Tyla came out about midday, still shaken up that she had
let Kacha's secret loose. The other two were nice enough not to say anything about
"I'm going to go check the stocks again," said
Sicho, getting up and heading towards the door. He had bought some more a few
days before Kacha left. He put on his hat and coat, waved, and was on his way.
It was a rather dreary morning. Humid, with
puddles here and there along the street. Above him were dark gray clouds just
waiting to unleash the torturous rain they contained. It was also very quiet,
as if all of the Neopians were afraid to go outside. It was an eerie feeling
to be walking amidst the silence.
He was now walking on a very high-class street.
The houses were humongous, and they hung over the silver Shoyru like beasts
about to devour a young, helpless creature for dinner. Obviously, it was rather
uncomfortable walking there, especially when the sky was nearly pitch black
above him. He started walking slightly faster, but stopped suddenly in front
of one house.
It was perhaps the biggest and brightest of
them all, so warm and welcoming that it contrasted to the weather greatly. He
smiled, but nearly jumped out of his skin when he looked through the window.
The curtains, blissfully elegant, were open so that he could see right in. A
great hanging chandelier of candles flooded the room with light. A long beautiful
table draped in a fine white table cloth hung over all the sides, and many dishes
filled up like mountains held the most delicious and colorful food money could
buy. Around the table were many different Neopets, but the one that stuck out
the most was the one at the end of the long side, closest to Sicho in the street.
It was a blue Acara, softly stroking a blue Babaa on her lap. She looked as
though she were a queen, sitting there in a glorious gown of gold (of course,
all of the other guests at the table were dressed just as nicely). For a split
second Sicho had the crazy idea that it might be Kacha, but he quickly shook
the nonsense out of his mind. But still, he couldn't turn away. And then, out
of the blue, the Acara looked straight at him. Her eyes went wide, her jaw dropped,
and she just sat there, transfixed.
After a minute or two she turned to the rest
of the company, who had been chatting happily the whole time, mouthed something
to them, and got up from the table. The others went right back to eating and
talking, not giving a second glance or thought about the Shoyru who had been
standing there, looking into their window for nearly ten minutes. Then the large
front door opened. Sicho could see a long, twisting, extravagant marble staircase
behind the blue Acara who had opened it. She beckoned the little Shoyru to come
up to the deck. He hesitated at first, but eventually climbed up the few steps
leading to the grand mansion of a house he stood before. The Acara smiled.
"I... I'm really sorry," she said simply, not
in a way that wasn't sorry, but in a state of disbelief, as though she was only
dreaming Sicho was on her doorstep.
"For what?" he said quickly. He still wasn't
sure if this was Kacha. It didn't exactly seem like her.
"For leaving, of course!" she said it as if
everyone should know. "I'm sorry I left. I know this seems strange, me, being
here, of all places..."
"Why are you here?"
"Because, well, I live here. It's a long story..."
she shut the door behind her and led him to a bench at the end of the porch.
"But I'll tell you."
And so she explained everything to him that
Tyla had learned by overhearing a conversation between her and someone else,
not forgetting to add in details and random.
"I'm so sorry"'s every now and then. Sicho just
nodded along, his eyes wide the whole time, and was mostly unable to comprehend
all of her words. It was all jumbled up in his mind so much that he had to rub
his head before he could speak.
"Wow... just... wow," was all he could get out,
no matter how many times he tried. Kacha was looking rather guilty. "Let me
get this straight," he began after a long time, "your name is Aleida, you only
pretended to be poor and homeless to get friends, and you are actually rich?"
She nodded nervously. "Wow..." and he was back to his speechless state.
"I thought you were pulling the same thing on
me," she said. "I mean, you couldn't be poor, you were all painted..."
"Well..." he looked a bit uneasy. "We weren't
always poor," and with that, he told her the complete story of how they were
once rich and happy and then they got hacked. Kacha shuddered.
"That's awful," she said sadly, staring at the
ground. "Just awful!"
"But of course, we would have been poor forever
if Phara didn't take us in."
"She's really nice... I like her a lot," she
sighed, staring off into the distance.
"Well, why don't you come back?" he pleaded.
She shook her head.
"I can't. While I'm breaking your hearts by
being here, I'm breaking all of my family's hearts by being gone. You should
have seen the looks on their faces when I came back. Sorry, I can't leave again..."
She stood up and starting heading to go inside, but stopped and turned to Sicho.
"Want to come in? We just need to get you into some good clothes and you'll
be fine." He laughed at first, but agreed to give it a shot.
They carefully sneaked up the stairs, cautious
not to make a sound. The dining hall was just through the door at the side of
the hall. Once upstairs, Kacha began flying into closets and flinging things
left and right. The family had a lot of guests, and therefore had to keep a
lot of clothes for those who didn't bring quite enough. Eventually she found
two suitable suits for a male Shoyru, and told him to try them on. One was just
slightly too small, and the other was just slightly too large. They went with
the large one, for the other was beginning to tear slightly at the seams.
The two walked down the staircase, Kacha looking
impossibly beautiful. Sicho, who looked just a little shabby but over all nicely
dressed, nearly tripped out of his suit as he came to the last step. He straightened
up, though, Kacha giggling slightly, and opened the door into the world of fancy
"Aw, you just missed Kalla's latest joke!"
"Tell it again, tell it again!"
"Oh, okay... there was an ixi, a Doglefox, and
"Wait, wait, wait..." Everyone stopped their
cheering and chanting and quickly shot their glances up to the head of the table,
a prominent looking Lupe painted as though he were from Mystery Island. "Who
is the new guest?" Kacha and Sicho exchanged glances.
"Uh... this a friend of mine, uh, Sicho," she
said nervously, grinning stupidly.
"Come on over!"
"Empty chair, right over here!"
"Hurry up, dessert is up in fifteen minutes!"
"Sit down, sit down!"
The hundreds of welcomes he received seemed
to come piling on and on. He had an amazing assortment of food, and was nearly
stuffed full, but when the waiters and waitresses came out with the dessert
tray he couldn't help but stuff his face again.
"So, Sicho, how do you know Aleida?" said a
happy little Zafara across the table from him.
"Beauty contest, of course!" Kacha butted in,
smiling like an idiot. Sicho nodded vigorously in agreement.
"Well, beauty contest indeed! Did you win? Aleida
and I were the top in our species three times. She even won the whole contest
last month. How about you?"
"Uh..." he tried to think of something. "Well,
I got... um... third in my species. But that, of course, was only because the
others had to buy votes," heads nodded around the table, with things like "To
be sure, to be sure" and "filthy scoundrels", "I never really did it again.
If they couldn't appreciate my beauty, I didn't belong there." The others cheered
"here, here!" and raised there glasses to him. Kacha had to snort into her napkin
to keep from laughing her head off.
"But, again, how did you meet?" the Zafara asked
after everyone had lowered their glasses.
"Did you just bump into each other?"
"Yes, yes," said Sicho, "she was carrying her
rewards when we nearly crashed into each other. I just wasn't looking, and she,
of course, couldn't see over her trophy. We ended up talking. Haven't seen her
since, but she caught me walking down the street and hurried me inside." Kacha
winked at him, nodding her head an all, to keep from letting anymore slip. Who
knows, he might even tell them how they really met. "Of course, I don't want
to waste anymore time chatting when we could be enjoying this delicious chocolate
cake." The others cheered and laughed and dug into their fine desserts.
Soon, dinner and dessert was over, and Sicho
had to get going.
"Oh, surely you'll spend the night. We still
have plenty of lovely guest rooms left. Stay, won't you?" they all wanted Sicho
to stay so badly that he couldn't help but give in.
"Alright," he said. Kacha smiled and escorted
him to his room.
"That was close, really close," she said, opening
the door to reveal one of the finest bedrooms he had ever seen, even when he
was rich, "but you pulled it off."
"Yeah," he said in a dazed sort of way, looking
around at all of the beautiful bamboo furniture and the comfortable bed at the
"Well, goodnight," she smiled.
"Goodnight," and with that said, Kacha left
Sicho alone to his glorious guest bedroom.
In the morning, he woke up to the soft sounds of someone in the kitchen. He
got up, still wearing the same suit he wore the night before, and walked into
the dining room.
It was already half-filled with Neopets, all
talking and buttering up some toast before the main meal came. They greeted
him warmly yet again and sat him down in a different spot next to some new faces
to talk to. But before anyone knew it, everyone was in the room, breakfast had
been served (and eaten), and it was time for Sicho to head back home. He waved
as he stepped out the door, but stopped short as he saw two familiar faces in
"Sicho! Sicho, where were you?" It was Tyla
and Phara. They had been looking for him all night, and their faces were lit
up when they saw him. "We knew that you were out later than you had ever been...
what happened?" The other people of the great mansion who had come to say goodbye
to Sicho were shocked when they saw the two scraggly Neopets. Tyla and Phara
were just as confused and disbelieving when they saw the rich Neopians. "KACHA!"
Phara roared, jumping up to hold the blue Acara in her arms. Whinniley, however,
the head of the house, pried her out.
"Someone please tell me what in all the great
lands of Neopia is going on?"
To be continued...