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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Collecting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 102 > New Series > The Unusual Usul From the Far East: Part One

The Unusual Usul From the Far East: Part One

by unique377

Miyuko carefully took out a flute from her caramel leather bag, the ocean breeze whipping her fur back as she stood up, facing the boundless, crystal-blue ocean. Shadow, her black Anubis, settled himself down on the sand, gazing at Miyuko with those wise and watchful eyes of his. Trinity had whittled and given this Eastern flute to her on her birthday. She had even taught Miyuko how to play wonderful and soothing music with it.

     To Miyuko, it was a very special gift as she loved to play this flute and would always practice whenever she had the time. It also helped to calm her down whenever she had problems that always seemed as though they couldn’t be solved at all.

     Placing the flute near her lips, she started to play a haunting melody that seemed to harmonize with the gentle murmur of the waves, pouring all her heart and soul into her playing. Each sharp, sweet note lingered in the air before it got swept away, forever lost, into the dancing wind. After the last, long quavering note, Miyuko slowly lowered the flute from her lips

     She had just moved to Mystery Island a few days ago and today, she was going to go to the Neoschool here for the very first time. Although she was very sad at having to leave her friends behind, she loved living here at Mystery Island, especially when she could go to the beach anytime she wanted to.

     Glancing at her watch, Miyuko decided that it was time to go and get ready for Neoschool. Gazing one last time at the beautiful sunset and the salmon-pink clouds that dotted the sky, Miyuko stuffed her flute back into her leather bag and left rather reluctantly, the rich sand shaping to fit her footsteps and Shadow’s paw prints … …

     For about the hundredth time in the morning, Miyuko went over to her full-length mirror and stared it for a long time, wondering if the silk kimono, Trinity, her owner, had made her wear, was acceptable in order to be regarded as a normal Neopet and not some kind of freak.

     Staring back at her from the mirror was a tall, slim Usul with an oval face and a coffee, porcelain-like complexion speckled with white island markings that set off her lustrous, sparkling large almond-shaped dark eyes to perfection. Miyuko adjusted the plain jade hoop earring (Trinity had replaced it, claiming that the wooden hoop earring looked terrible on her and besides the jade earring enhanced her Eastern look) she wore on her right ear and the flowers that adorned her collar fur nervously.

     Being an Island Usul didn’t help at all, and in fact, it seemed to contrast sharply with her kimono and made her look just plain strange. The kimono also brought out her Eastern look, which Miyuko knew would not mix well with other Neopets as it was very strange. Miyuko moaned miserably when she heard Trinity calling her down for breakfast.

     “If only Trinity would let me wear that lavender cashmere sweater and denim jeans I just bought yesterday at Mystery Island shopping mall!” Miyuko grumbled angrily, as she slowly trudged downstairs.

     “Eat your green pepper omelette, dear,” Trinity said, pushing a plate that held at least two slices of green pepper omelett towards Miyuko when she sat down rather grumpily.

Trying not to groan with disgust, Miyuko forced herself to finish the same omelette she always had to eat every morning with much success. Then, with her mouth still full of omelette, she mumbled some inaudible words before pushing away the plate, grabbing her backpack and heading for the door.

     As Miyuko was the only Neopet Trinity had, she had to walk to school by herself, and although Miyuko felt very lonely, she was used to this familiar feeling ever since she was created. The walk to Mystery Island Junior High School was short and uneventful as Miyuko didn’t really know anyone, and she was always busy checking the map to check that she was in the correct direction.

     Arriving at a large, tastefully bland building made from bamboo, Miyuko subconsciously started running a paw through her fur. Wishing that she had brought a comb, Miyuko cautiously entered the threshold of the school building. She knew that Neopets were staring at her while some others were nudging their friends and whispering and pointing at her.

     Miyuko felt her cheeks burn with embarrassment, but she never broke her long and easy stride as she hurried into the building. She realized that everywhere she went, the chattering and laughing always ceased and were replaced by amazed stares and whispering and pointing.

     Miyuko forced herself to stay calm and not panic as she searched for the locker number the principal of the school had given to her when Trinity had first brought her here to sign up.

     It took Miyuko quite a long time before she finally found her assigned locker. Gratefully thanking Fyora, she quickly dialed the combination to open her locker and shoved the books she didn’t need at the moment inside just as the bell rang.

     Shifting her backpack to her other shoulder, Miyuko pulled out a scrap of paper on which she had written down the place where all her subject classrooms were located.

     “Number 32, in the West wing, second floor …” Miyuko muttered feverishly as she ran up two levels to her Math classroom.

     By the time she reached the classroom in question, she was told that her Math classroom was another two floors up. Panting heavily, an almost-ready-to-break-down Miyuko sprinted all the way up another two levels and soon found her Math classroom.

     “Hello, Miyuko! You can call me Miss Hoff. I’ll be your form teacher for the rest of this year,” a tall, willowy blue Uni introduced herself, smiling kindly at Miyuko as she stumbled into the room. “Class, this is Miyuko, our new classmate! She has just moved from Neopia Central and I hope you’ll make her feel welcome here! Now, who would be kind enough to guide her around for the rest of the day?”

     Utter silence. Miyuko stared at her new classmates blankly, somehow feeling that they weren’t a really friendly bunch judging from the sullen looks on each and every one of their faces.

     “Now, what’s the matter with you, class?” Miss Hoff exclaimed in a sharp voice as she looked indignantly at her group of students. “Okay, if you guys aren’t going to say anything, then I’m just going to have to choose… hmm… what about you, Lilac?”

     A rather cross-looking Island Gelert commented in a loud and not altogether very happy voice, “Oh all right then! But she sure looks odd to me! I mean, what’s she trying to do, wearing a kimono on a day when there’s no special occasion? All Usuls sure are strange, always trying to look original but in the end, the result is terrible!”

     At this, the entire classroom shook with laughter, and Miyuko blushed furiously, feeling extremely hurt and angry by Lilac’s rude remarks.

     “Silence!” Miss Hoff screeched, slamming her hoof against the desk.

     The whole class fell silent at once.

     “Lilac, do be careful when you make remarks! Engage the clutch to your brain first before putting your mouth in gear!” Miss Hoff said sharply, glaring at the grumpy Island Gelert.

     “Yeah, yeah … whatever,” Lilac mumbled, rolling her eyes in a clear indication that she wasn’t going to heed Miss Hoff’s advice.

     “Miyuko, you can go and sit next to Deep-Sea over there,” Miss Hoff continued in a kinder tone as she turned towards Miyuko.

     Miyuko shuffled to sit down next to the extremely quiet male fire Usul who was probably the only one not painted Island and also hadn’t laughed at Miyuko.

     “Okay, as I was saying, you need to divide thirty-nine first as you are actually finding the total amount of Snorkles…” Miss Hoff droned on for a few minutes and although Miyuko liked her a lot, she couldn’t help feeling extremely sleepy when she heard Miss Hoff’s voice continually talking. It was like a non-stop talking machine and had a hypnotic effect on her.

     Miyuko glanced around at her other classmates and noticed that they were all falling asleep too. Lilac was already snoring away and was even drooling on the table. Only a few others like her partner, Deep-sea, were still sitting there and listening intently to every word Miss Hoff was saying.

     “So therefore, when you subtract twenty from thirty-nine, you’ll get the amount for one unit and then when you multiply by five, you get the answer… is that understood? Class? Class?”

     Snores only greeted her and save for some who were still trying their best to be awake, the others had fallen asleep.

     “Constant vigilance!” Miss Hoff shrieked, slamming her hoof against the table again. That woke most Neopets up but not Lilac, who was still in a deep slumber and was now muttering inaudible words in her sleep.

     It was extraordinary how Miss Hoff could look like an extremely angry Skeith when she was boiling mad. Marching over to Lilac, she rapped her hoof onto Lilac’s head three times before Lilac finally woke up.

     “Huh? Wha … who … ow, my head!” Lilac complained as she rubbed her head gingerly. “All right, who hit me?” she asked out loud angrily, not really noticing the eerie silence that had suddenly come over the classroom. “Wait till I find out who is that person! Why I’ll bash that person up so badly until…”

     “The person that you were about to bash up so badly would be me, Miss Lilac!” Miss Hoff hissed furiously. There was a dangerous glint dancing in her eyes as she slowly spoke every word. “And now because of you, we have wasted precious time! For that, you will have detention for one entire week!” If there was one thing Miss Hoff hated most, it was pupils sleeping in class when she was busy teaching. “Ungrateful, disgraceful and unmannerly!” she would always mutter furiously before launching into a full-length tirade on how ungrateful Neopets always liked to sleep in her class and not appreciating her hard work.

     However, she seemed to be in a real rush today, and after meting out the punishment to Lilac, she went straight back to teaching Math.

     “Now, where was I?” the class groaned silently as Miss Hoff began droning about fractions and division again.

***

Miyuko sat by herself at an empty table, munching slowly on the fresh sushi rolls and fortune cookies Trinity had packed in her lunch bag and staring at groups of Neopets chattering happily away, wishing that she belonged to one of them.

     Lilac, who was supposed to be her guide around the school, had somehow disappeared. Not that Miyuko minded though as Lilac struck her as some kind of Neopet who only liked to give and get into trouble.

     Just then, there was a sudden plonk as Deep-sea placed his tray down on her table and said, smiling shyly, “Is it okay if I sit here? All the tables are occupied …”

     “Yeah, sure,” Miyuko muttered as she chewed thoughtfully on a piece of Fortune Cookie.

     “Whoa, you eat aquatic food, too?” Deep-sea exclaimed in surprise and interest when he saw Miyuko’s food.

     “And to think somebody was so quiet just now!” Miyuko joked, smiling amusedly at Deep-sea

     “Was I? I thought that we weren’t supposed to say anything during lesson!” Deep-sea said, looking rather indignant at being called quiet.

     “Whatever … you struck me as a kind of quiet guy though,” Miyuko shrugged and swallowing her Fortune Cookie, she reached to take a slice of fresh sushi roll when she noticed that there was somebody standing there beside her. It was Lilac, the Island Gelert and she looked extremely reluctant and grumpy.

     “Miss. Hoff told me to be your guide around the school … which means having to follow you around and helping you find where are your classes in case you have problems …” she mumbled in a very unhappy voice. “This is pathetic! Having to follow a Usul all around the school … bah! I have better things to do! Besides, it’s not like she’s a baby!” she added under her breath.

     Miyuko heard her muttered remark but knew that it was best to keep quiet and pretended not to hear what Lilac had just said.

     “You needn’t follow me around if you don’t want to … I can figure out myself, thanks,” Miyuko said in a clear but stiff voice as she stared at Lilac coldly.

     “Heh … well, happy finding, Odd Usul!” Lilac sneered, returning Miyuko’s cold stare with a look of immense dislike.

     Deep-sea looked rather afraid during the exchange between Miyuko and Lilac and seemed to be staring into space, as Miyuko bit off part of her sushi roll furiously. Both were all lost in their own thoughts and didn’t talk to each other after that until the lunch break ended, and everybody headed back to their classrooms.

***

“So how was school?” it was the first question that Trinity asked Miyuko the minute she got home.

     “Terrible …” Miyuko sighed sadly before trudging upstairs to retreat in her bedroom.

     Trinity looked slightly worried but put Miyuko’s depression down as temporary.

     “She’ll gradually get used to this,” she told herself, as she thoughtfully folded a paper Poogle and gazed at the ceiling, her mind wandering away to other problems like paying the bills on time.

     Little did she expect the events that were about to unfold to happen at all.

To be continued …

Previous Episodes

The Unusual Usul From the Far East: Part Two

The Unusual Usul From the Far East: Part Three

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