A Neovian Holiday
“Hurry up, Sophie!” Bruno called back to his younger sister, who stood on the streets of Neovia, gazing into shop windows.
Sophie took one more glance, then ran to catch up with her older brother.
Sophie’s older brother Bruno had agreed to take her to the market to buy some Day of Giving gifts, but now it didn’t seem such the idea.
“You know you liked toys when you were my age,” Sophie snarled, being pulled by Bruno.
“If Reginald wasn’t visiting Altador on his scholar’s trip, you’d still be waiting for lunch to be cooked at home,” Bruno replied, not bothering to look down on the Ixi.
“But you agreed to let me come with you!” Sophie cried in defense.
“I said if you didn’t spend ten minutes looking at toys you could come. This Holiday break from school has turned your memory to pudding. When we return home, you’re going straight to your textbooks. Then, maybe I’ll consider taking you to the toy store tomorrow when I go to the Post Office.” Bruno sighed.
“Textbooks! But it’s Holiday Break! I’m through with studying!” Sophie pouted, attempting to look like a Mynci.
The Gelert looked down on her. “If you study hard enough you’ll end up like Reginald, and you’ll get to go to Altador for a class trip.”
“I don’t want to go to Altador! I want to have a fun Holiday through the Month of Celebrating!” Sophie tugged on his arm.
“Sophie, when you quit pestering me I’ll consider letting you go to the toy store today. Just please make sure you keep reading. There are so many interesting things to learn in Neoschool. You’ll learn about the Altador Cup, and you’ll get to experiment with potions from the Healing Springs, oh and the books! Just wait until after the break, you’ll get to read so many books about famous Neopians, Neopian traditions, even strategies of games! I can let you read a couple of my old schoolbooks when we come home.” Bruno practically drifted away to another planet, remembering how much he loved Neoschool.
Unfortunately, Sophie didn’t quite feel that way. So far of what she had already learned in Neoschool (the puzzle Math for newbies), she wasn’t looking forward to Bruno’s pride and joy.
Bruno stacked several books in front of Sophie. Commander Gormos, The Curse of Maraqua, and Cheat! Explanations were in big bold letters on the books in front of her.
“These were my favourite. Memorize the main parts of the books, and I’ll take you to the toy store after dinner,” Bruno gushed.
After Bruno left Sophie alone, the walls made Sophie feel as if she was being trapped. Falling from the white sky in Neovia, a tiny snowflake landed on the window. The Day of Giving was in two days, and Sophie was stuck in a room being forced to study. If only Sophie had another way of celebrating the holidays, but making Bruno proud as well. Sophie beamed out the window. Snowflakes blew everywhere, and the wind wrestled the tree tops. That’s when it hit her. Maybe she could learn enough about the Day of Giving, then impress Bruno with her knowledge. That might have been a different topic, but it was a grand idea.
“Bruno?” Sophie called into the kitchen.
“Yes, Sophie?” a shaky voice replied.
“Do you have any books on the Day of Giving?” Sophie beamed a sugary sweet smile.
“I might have a couple. Why?” Bruno looked over at her.
“Umm, I am just learning so much about lots of things, but maybe I could learn more about the holidays as well.” Sophie grinned, trying to sound convincing.
“Finish the other books first. The topics from neoschool come first. Then you can read the fun books.” Bruno then turned around, and began to make some dinner.
Sophie stormed back to her desk, pouting over the books. She opened to the first page of Cheat! Explanations.
When playing Cheat!, it is a good strategy to not make a pattern of when you cheat, but not random cheating either. Keep in mind that other players use this strategy as sneaky as it may be.
Booooring! Sophie thought. The Curse of Maraqua was the next book in line.
Many years ago, in a small fishing village there lived a young Usul named Garin.
That’s even more boring. Sophie sighed, in her thoughts. (If you think about it, Sophie, living in Neovia would have read much more thrilling tales.)
Finally, she opened the last book. Commander Gormos read:
Working against Dr. Frank Sloth, his ideas were soon the master brains of Kreludor.
These were the most boring books ever! Well, at least she could say she studied them.
Miranda, Sophie’s friend, took a large slurp out of the green soup Sophie and Bruno were having for dinner.
“Thanks for letting me stay for dinner, Bruno,” Miranda chimed.
“That’s fine,” Bruno replied, looking frustrated.
Sophie said nothing. Earlier, when she had told Bruno she had finished, he stacked more books in front of her. Why wasn’t this the holiday she’d dreamed of? If Reginald wasn’t in Altador, they probably would have taken a vacation to Terror Mountain to experience some real snow. But now, she was trapped inside her house eating soup and reading textbooks.
“When will Reginald come back?!?” Sophie burst.
“Actually, he neomailed me last night. He’s coming back tonight!” Bruno suddenly looked a bit more cheerful, sitting up straighter.
Sophie’s face grew a large grin. Finally! Now her vacation would really begin.
“So what textbooks did you get from Mr. Techomind, Sophie? He only gave me two textbooks to study!” Miranda twinkled.
“Textbooks from Mr. Techomind? Well, I have two as well, but Bruno has been piling me down with other books so I haven’t gotten to them yet!” Sophie grouched, hinting to Bruno.
“Which ones?” Bruno blurted.
“Poetry for Peophins and Pazo the Lonely Aisha,” Sophie growled. When would Reginald walk in the door?
“I got Big Book of Puzzles and Oopsy Daisy.” Miranda smiled.
Three sharp knocks echoed through the house.
The knocks were from Reginald so- WHOOSH! Sophie bolted to the door.
“Hi Reginald!” Sophie wrapped her arms around the Lupe.
“Hello sister. Might Bruno be home?” Reginald smiled.
“Right here.” Bruno yawned, walking into the room.
“Reginald! Can we have fun for the Day of Giving? Bruno has been demanding that I read books! It’s not fair!” Sophie whined.
Reginald gave Bruno a startled look. “What?” he mouthed. Bruno motioned for him to come into another room.
“What is this all about?” Reginald began.
“Well, you see Sophie doesn’t realise it, but she has been learning books related to...”
Sophie swung a cloak around her. Miranda did as well.
The door creaked, and the two young Ixi walked out onto the streets of Neovia. A fog circled around the tall street lanterns, and the sound of their shoes against the stone road echoed through the Haunted Woods. Anyone they passed by would wear a cloak as well, and would hide their face.
Miranda and Sophie stopped in front of one of the houses hidden behind a shop.
“See you in neoschool, Miranda.” Sophie waved her friend good-bye.
Eight books lay in front of Sophie.
“...What are these books for?” Sophie cried.
“So you’ll get a good grade.” Reginald grinned, winking at Bruno.
“OK, what’s going on here?” Sophie groaned.
“Finish reading those, then we’ll tell you.” Bruno patted Reginald on the back, and left Sophie to be.
Sophie moaned some more, and opened the books in front of her.
Peophins are good,
Peophins are great.
I love Peophins
So much my heart quakes!
Pazo wandered down the streets of Sakhmet.
Gloomy reeled in 60 fish in his lifetime.
The surface of Kreludor is bumpy and beaten.
“Will my minions be any slower?” Sloth said.
The Hall of Heroes is in Altador. Altador is in Neopia. Neopia is in neospace. But what does it all add up to? The Curse of Altador.
If only the Aisha had been smarter.
What are fellow Neopians dressing in today?
“Sophie! Come here!” Bruno shrieked.
“Yes, brother?” Sophie sighed.
“Grab your cloak. We’re leaving,” Reginald gushed.
“What?” Sophie was so confused.
Bruno wrapped her cloak around her and picked her up.
“T-T-Terror Mountain?” Sophie gazed upon Happy Valley.
“Yes, and there is something I wish to show you.” Bruno took her by the hand.
All 3 of them walked into the Ice Caves. The Scratchcard Kiosk, the Neggery, and the Ice Arena surrounded the mighty caves.
“We are going to visit the Snowager,” Reginald breathed.
“WHAT?” Sophie exclaimed.
5 Minutes Later...
“Question Number 1. Why did Sloth go to Kreludor?” the Beast croaked.
“T-to find Grundos to work for him!” Sophie mumbled.
“Correct. Congratulations, Sophie. You answered each question correctly. Now you may pass.” The Snowager slithered aside, revealing a large golden door.
Sophie, Bruno and Reginald walked slowly up to the door. A golden handle lay slapped on the door in front of her. Slowly reaching out, she grabbed a hold of it and opened it.
Inside, there lay a large decorated tree. Presents and presents were beautifully wrapped and scattered about below. They all had the names of Sophie, Bruno, and Reginald on the nametags. A sign was on the wall next to the tree. Sophie read it carefully. In big, silver letters it read,
“Happy Day of Giving, Sophie. Love, your Brothers, Bruno and Reginald.”
A big grin washed over the Ixi’s face. Her Neovian Holiday had finally come.