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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 145 > Continuing Series > The Light Faeries Apprentice: Part Five

The Light Faeries Apprentice: Part Five

by neo_star_queen

The two purple Grundos sat nervously on cold plastic stools, sharing a few Cosmic Cheese Stars. They looked around the quiet café. An elderly yellow Chia sat four stools away from them, licking Green Tea pills. A group of rowdy young pets sat behind them, doing homework and bragging who could scarf down the most Intergalactic Spiced Beans without water. In a table to their left, a pair of fire Wockies chatted about the Stock Market. There was no one who looked like they might be an evil Villain.

     "Glarsh nff ashtok?" whispered one of the purple Grundos to the other, which translates to something like, 'do you think he is late?'

     The other Grundo shrugged and whispered back, "Anuuk. Fnark anuuk sa lmmpkl dur ashtig," which translates to, 'Maybe. Or maybe he is one of these pets.'

     The first Grundo opened his mouth to reply, but then elbowed his partner and nodded his head towards a female Draik that had just entered. The Draik was wearing a heavy, thick black cloak with the concealing black hood drawn up on her head; maybe the cloak was to hide the shriveled blackish-green wings, and maybe the hood was for covering the withered, cut-up ears that indicated the Draik was a mutant.

     The Draik sat down and quietly ordered a glass of water. Gargarox Isafuhlarg, the owner of the small café, didn't even flinch when he looked at her face. He filled a glass cup with water indifferently, set it on the counter and mumbled deeply, "10 neopoints."

     The two Grundos went up to her clumsily, each trying to push the other in front. The Draik acted as if she didn't notice their squabbling. Finally one of the Grundos stepped forward tentatively and squeaked, "Midsh ankku liu?"

     The Draik half turned, so that they could see part of her face. One bulbous orange eye with black slits for pupils came to rest on the Grundo who had stepped forward, and she smirked. The Grundo drew back uncertainly. "I don't speak your language," rasped the Draik.

     The purple Grundo paused, trying to find the right words. "Denriada?" he asked slowly.

     The Draik nonchalantly took a sip of water and said, "I am Denriada."

     The purple Grundo took another step up to her. "We Sloth slave. Take you to ship." He waited to see if the new villain understood.

     Denriada stood up wordlessly and tugged her black cloak even tighter around herself.

     The two Grundos piped something to each other quickly, and then they scurried off. The first Grundo said to Denriada, "fast follow!"

     The Draik smirked again and padded off behind them.

***

     Happiness watched cheerfully as the Grundo brought his massive arm down to pick her up and carry her to Faerieland where he would probably treat her to yummy Faerie food. What a nice Grundo.

     The Grundos giant hand was only inches away from the nuisances head when a white blur swooped down and shot away with the Cybunny tucked safely in her arms. The Grundo bellowed as his fist pummeled the ground, causing it to shake and tremble.

     "Hi, Neoangel!" greeted Happiness, but the Zafara didn't reply. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Neofaerie sinking his sharp teeth into the rocket-fire blasters. She still had a job to do. The Zafara flew through the air, slowly, so that the Grundos wouldn't give up on chasing her. Every time they got close she put on a sudden burst of speed. She had to lead the Grundos as far away from Neofaerie as possible.

     It worked. The lead Grundo watched Neoangel with beady eyes for a second, and then roared and ran off after her, the rest of the troop right behind. Not having to worry about making too much noise anymore, Neofaerie pounced against the gadget, crashing into it and tearing anything that he could.

     Neoangel whipped around in the air and called back to her brother, "let's go!" The Kougra grinned, and raced off past the Grundos, who stood there looking dumbfounded for a second, before shouting and thundering off after him. But they were too slow, and soon they fell behind, cursing, as Neofaerie, Neoangel and Happiness whirled through the door to the main Virtupets Space Station.

     "Whew," said Neofaerie, taking deep breaths, "that was fun. So what are we gonna do about NSQ?"

     Happiness squirmed out of Neoangels arms and hopped onto the steel floor, gazing curiously around the giant spacecraft and taking it all in. Neoangel said, "I can't go back right away. I think I should be at full magical energy when I go in, so I'll have to rest a while. NSQ should be fine in the meantime."

     "You make it sound as if we aren't coming with you," said Neofaerie, raising an eyebrow suspiciously.

     Neoangel met Neofaeries eyes and said firmly, "You aren't."

     The Kougra opened his mouth to protest but Neoangel said quietly, "don't argue, Neofaerie. It takes too much energy out of me. We'll wait until the time comes, to make the final decision."

     Without waiting for his answer, the Zafara made her way past a few empty tables and sat down at on a stool that, judging by the way the seat was still warm, had been recently vacated.

     Happiness leaped up onto the seat beside her and brightly asked Gargarox for a Chocolate Éclair Paste. Defeated, Neofaerie shambled over and sat down on the ground behind Happiness's high stool.

     Neoangel closed her eyes, concentrating hard, her brow slightly furrowed. She sensed that some dark magic had just been used in the vicinity, or someone who used dark magic had been there. Who had it been? Did this have some connection to Sloth? Neoangel found herself subconsciously rubbing her thumb over the amulet again, wondering if somewhere behind the closed doors of Sloth's spaceship, NSQ was in danger.

***

The two purple Grundos ran up to the large silver door, checked once more to see that the cloaked Draik was still behind them, and quickly pressed a black button beside a set of sleek sliding doors. The doors slid open to let them through.

     "Ahh," came a voice out of the shadows, "Denriada, how nice is it to see you. Come in, come in." Sloth greeted her as if they were old friends.

     The Grundos ushered Denriada into the room, and the doors closed behind them. "Now," said Sloth pleasantly, "remove your cloak and let's talk business."

     The Draik paused, and then slowly, she pulled off her heavy black cloak and threw it to one of the purple Grundos. There was a sharp intake of breath from Sloth.

     The Draiks dark, olive green skin was mottled, loose and stretched. Her scaly underbelly was covered in long scratches and scars. Her wings were torn, bits of them hanging off, waiting to fall, and her huge tail lay limp on the ground. Yet something about her, although Sloth couldn't quite put his finger on it, made him think that she might have once been beautiful.

     Sloth quickly recovered from the slight shock (he had, after all, seen many mutants before) and set a smile back on his lips. "Well," he said, "let's get cracking. My neopoints first, please," he said, holding out his hand calmly as he tried not to look too eager.

     Denriada glanced around the room and said coolly, "That's odd, I don't see your half of the bargain anywhere."

     Sloths lip curled, but he gave a curt order to the Grundos to fetch the prisoners. They darted out awkwardly, leaving Sloth and Denriada to glare at each other from opposite sides of the room.

     A few minutes later the Grundos returned, squealing rapidly in their odd language. Sloth stood up from his chair, glaring down at them. "What do you mean? I had ordered them to be caught! How could they escape?"

     Denriadas eyes narrowed. "Something wrong, Sloth?"

     "Oh no, nothing wrong at all!" said Sloth nervously, turning to her and laughing in an oddly high-pitched way. "I'll go get the prisoners myself, actually," he said. "Umm, wait here." He shot the Grundos one more icy glare and left the room. The Draik turned her creepy orange eyes on the Grundos, and they gulped and hid behind Sloth's desk.

     Denriada balled her hands into fists. "If she's not here… no," she said angrily, "I've waited too long for this. I've come too close to give up because of this petty villain's blunder."

     The Grundos, hiding behind Sloth's desk, had no idea what she was talking about. They also wondered how powerful she really was, if she was able to call their fearsome master a 'petty villain.'

***

NSQ was lying in her cell, humming vaguely and trying to figure out what the cracks in the stone ceiling looked like when the bars clanged open and Sloth stepped in, looking furious.

     "Where are the other two prisoners?" he roared, making NSQ jump.

     Immediately, NSQ said, "They fell out the window and couldn't get back in, and then a giant Pterii swooped by and offered to fly them up to the roof where they could get in, but it turned out there was no hole in the roof, so they had to go to Meridell to buy some very hot gruel to pour on the roof so that it would burn, and then there would be a hole in the roof so they could drop back in." She had recited it to herself over 8 times. She smiled at Sloth. "They should be back in an hour."

     Sloth screamed something in another language and pounded the wall with his fist. NSQ shrank back, her knees drawn up to her chest as she watched Sloth rage, half scared, half amused.

     "I can't believe this," fumed Sloth, "I leave my mutant slaves to take care of 3 measly pets, such an easy job for them, and they let me down! How is this possible?"

     "3?" asked NSQ curiously. "Who was the third pet?"

     Sloth looked at her as if he had only just noticed her. "The Draik seemed particularly interested in that new Zafara," he muttered to himself, "but maybe I can give her this girl for now…" He walked over and grabbed by the arm. "Come on," he grumbled.

     "Draik?" NSQ asked blankly, "you mean the third pet was a Draik? I don't think I know any Draiks… maybe they ran off with a stranger. Did you say a Zafara too? But that makes 4. Or did Happiness run off? Oh wait, I have a Zafara!" She said suddenly, catching on. While she babbled, Sloth had dragged her back up to his office. The sliding doors opened, and he shoved the girl inside.

     Denriadas huge eyes narrowed considerably. "Only this human? Where are the others?"

     "They're coming," said Sloth, "don't worry, we'll find them. While you're waiting, though, take this girl. I'm terribly sorry about the delay with the others, but-"

     "It's a package deal," hissed Denriada, "I want all 3 pets here as well."

     "I assure you that you will receive everything you are paying for."

     NSQ stayed silent, not trusting herself to speak. Clearly, Sloth was trying to make some sort of trade with the Draik, and she was included. Sloth had said something about 4 pets. Here was the Draik, so that must mean that Neoangel had found the others. So where were they now? From what Sloth had said, they had managed to escape from the mutant Grundos, but what were they planning?

     Meanwhile, Denriada seemed to be thinking hard as well. "Fine," she said suddenly, as if struck by a sudden thought, "I'll take the girl for now. When you find the others, you will call me through the villain communicator. Until I have all of the prisoners in my possession, you will receive no pay."

     "Come now," said Sloth, "be reasonable-"

     "I am being reasonable," said Denriada coldly. She hauled NSQ over to a section of the wall, and it crumbled before her, leaving a wide passageway. Sloth raised no objections to the destruction of his office. Denriada wrapped her sharp claws around NSQ's wrist, ignoring the girl's shudders, and with a flap of her ripped wings, she soared out into the sky.

     Sloth waited until she was gone, and then sat back down at his desk with a sigh. "All I wanted was a few neopoints," he complained. Under the desk, trying to stay away from Sloth's smelly feet, the purple Grundos squeaked in sympathy.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

The Light Faeries Apprentice: Part One

The Light Faeries Apprentice: Part Two

The Light Faeries Apprentice: Part Three

The Light Faeries Apprentice: Part Four

The Light Faeries Apprentice: Part Six

The Light Faeries Apprentice: Part Seven

The Light Faeries Apprentice: Part Eight

The Light Faeries Apprentice: Part Nine

The Light Faeries Apprentice: Part Ten

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