“Mia, are you sure about this? We could really get into so much trouble.” A yellow Shoyru stood in the Hidden Tower peering at the price tags around her. “This isn’t the Chocolate factory, you know. That stuff is replaceable. But if Fyora catches us snatching her stuff, then we could be sent to her dungeons forever.”
“Then maybe it would be wise of you to shut your mouth so she doesn’t hear us?!”
“Come on, Mia! Are you sure you want to? This stuff is all so expensive! I mean look at this.” The Shoyru pointed at the item nearest to her. “Eight and a half million neopoints for this Amulet of Thilg thingy!”
Mia, a green Scorchio, shushed her friend with a powerful stare as she began to say something to her. “Rai, she would notice that thing was gone the minute we left the shop with it. I’m looking for the least expensive thing here, the Squeezy Tombola Guy Toy.”
“Oh,” Rai whispered to her friend under her breath. “And if we weren’t stealing, how much would this tombola thing cost?”
“A hundred ten thousand neopoints.”
“And why did I agree to this insanity again?”
“Just go on! Create a diversion of some sort.” When Rai shot Mia a dirty look, the Scorchio just shrugged. “Unless,” Mia glared madly into her friend’s eyes, “you want to be the one snatching?” Rai stood her ground, fearfully. She was not afraid of her friend. It was the thought of Fyora catching them that really panicked her. “Then I’ll make your decision for you. GO!”
The Scorchio pushed Rai out of the aisle and into a rack of random items. Everything on the shelf rained down on her as she made a desperate attempt to get away from Fyora’s desk. Including everything from Slorg Flakes to Werelupe Claw Necklace. Rai was very nearly out of the way of the falling items when a potion shot away from the group and crashed down on her head. The liquid spilled from its broken container and Rai fell into a deep sleep. Right in the middle of the Hidden Tower.
It was a few hours before Rai woke again, and when she did, her head felt woozy. “Ooh, my head!” The Shoyru shook it violently, trying to shove the pain away from her. Needless to say, it only brought a boatload more. She fell back against fluffy pillows and closed her eyes, this time hoping stillness would help. Wait- “What the-” Her eyes flew open.
“I see Miss Crasher decided to wake up.” Ria turned her head slightly ready to glare at whoever was making fun of her. The expression was wiped off her face as soon as she saw the company she had.
“Fyora? Wow, my head must be a a lot worse than it feels. Me, in a place I can’t recognize, thinking Fyora is sitting by the bed. Am I, like, at the hospital pumped full of those drugs?”
Fyora sat down a plate full of faerie muffins and chortled. Very unqueen-like. “No, child. You are not in a hospital. This is real. And I- pardon the expression- I have a bone to pick with you. Something that cannot go unexcused.”
“What?” Ria searched her memory wondering what this faerie wanted to ‘pick a bone with her’ about.
“It’s about your friend. The little green Scorchio.” The faerie queen looked questioningly at Rai. Rai’s yellow fur went remarkably white.
“I-I d-d-d-don’t k-k-know what, umm, talking, uh, a-about.” Rai removed the pillow from behind her and placed it over her pale face, trying to hide the lies.
“You’re a terrible liar, my dear.” The faerie took the pillow away and set it gently on the floor. “I just want to know a little bit about your friendship with her.”
Rai thought back to when they first met seven years back. Mia had been the most fun as a five year old. Remarkably intelligent. Back then Mia’s owner had been super rich and Mia could have been the most popular kid in school. But instead of going with the cool group, she found Rai, alone. Rai had no friends. She was the worst at making them. She was one of the poorest pets in school and no one liked her because of that. As the years went on, the friendship was built to its limit. That’s when it started to crumble. When they were both ten, Mia took to the bad groups. At that time they split apart. Mia went to be bad while Rai stayed on the safe side and joined a book club, making quite a few new friends. For a while Mia disappeared. No one knew where she’d gone, not even her owner who was worried sick about her. Then a year later she appeared out of thin air and appeared to be changed. Once more Rai interacted with her old friend and didn’t notice as Mia slowly went back to her old way, dragging Rai along for the ride. Soon Rai was sucked up in the world of thievery. She became Mia’s telltale partner in crime, unwillingly. She always wanted to back out of it all and go back home to her family. She never could. The Defenders had found out who the two thieves they’d been trying to catch were and told their families. It was impossible to go back. Rai only had her partner to rely on.
Now as Rai thought back to those days she looked into the faerie’s trusting eyes. “I’m sorry. I never wanted to! I-”
“Shh, girl! We faeries are not ignorant. I’ve always known you never wanted to join your friend in her crime needs. In fact, I knew both of you were in that aisle yesterday and that your friend was going to steal the squeezy tombola guy toy. I think I’ve known that for ten years at least. Now I want to hear the story of one of the most famous thieves in the world.”
“I feel like I’m betraying her.”
“Rai, this is not betrayal. She hasn’t got a heart. Soon, if she isn’t stopped, she will begin to kill. Like it or not, if you don’t give me information, then you’ll have murder on your paws.”
“How's that fair!?” The yellow Shoyru rubbed her aching head again. “Fine. I’ll give.” She looked up at the faerie, actually starting to like the demanding queen. “It all started...”
Later, after recalling the whole story, she leaned against the remaining pillows. There was a single window and the morning light shone through it. Without looking at the faerie, Rai slid out of bed and went to the window. The Shoyru was shocked as she looked down. It was the best sight she’d ever seen. Little colored dots walked on the trail below. Somehow it resembled a rainbow. “Nice, isn’t it?”
“Yeah.” She turned her head towards the queen as she addressed her. “Fyora? Aren’t you going to lock me up?”
The queen looked shocked at the proposal. “What ever for?”
“I was going to steal from your shop. I thought you didn’t like thieves?”
“Rai, you see you never were going to steal. Here, let me try to explain what I mean.” Fyora pulled out her trademark Supernova Wand and waved it over a dull crystal ball. The crystal ball shimmered as light from the wand flowed into it in a lovely array. It shimmered once-twice-three times before a unclear picture emerged from the fog. Slowly it began to clear. The picture showed a green Scorchio and a yellow Shoyru. The Scorchio pushed the Shoyru away and into a rack.
“Yes. This is you and your friend. I saw this scene quite a few years back before the green Scorchio became one of the best criminal in the world. I’ve always been waiting for this to play out and now that it finally has, I can finally show someone something I’ve never showed anyone.” The faerie waved the wand above the ball again and it flashed as the picture disappeared. Words scrolled on the screen but they went by so fast Rai couldn’t catch them. “These words are instructions on how to handle the yellow Shoyru when it came along. It knows what you’ll do but it hasn’t told me. It only gives me one simple instruction.” The words in the crystal ball paused and only one line was readable. The rest was blurred out.
“Fazer ao amarelo a pergunta simples: irá após seu amigo e conservar-nos-á todos? Ou deve dizer o No. e tornou-se mesmo mais má do que verde?” Rai read frowning at the foreign words. “What does it mean?”
“The whole script is in this odd language. It took me a year to figure out what it meant. It says, ‘Ask the yellow one the simple question: will she go after her friend and save us all? Or shall she say no and became even worse than the green one?’”
“And what does that mean?”
Fyora rolled her eyes-she did! “It means will you go after your friend and hand her to me once you find her location?”
“Why would I do that! Sure, I don’t approve of what she does in her free time, but I won’t send her to jail! I’m not that way.”
Fyora rolled up her purple sleeves and reread part if the instructions. “Or shall she say no and become even worse than the green one.” The queen rested her delicate hands on Rai’s shoulder. “My dear, this is your choice. I won’t push you. But this is your last chance.”
Rai pushed herself away from Fyora and leaped on the bed again, rocking back and forth. “Must I answer?!”
The queen nodded sullenly.
“Oh bother it all! Fine, I’ll betray my friend! I DON’T WANT TO! But I guess I have to.” Rai lifted her head. Tears streaked down her face. “What do I have to do?”
“Come.” Fyora opened a wooden door to reveal winding stairs. Rai followed the faerie down. “I closed my shop for a few minutes so we’ll have privacy while I give you this.”
The companions reached the main room and Rai gasped as she saw that there were still a few stains on the tile from the stuff she’d spilled. “Oops.”
“That’s nothing. Now where is it... Ah-ha!” The queen stopped in front of a random shelf and picked up a few items. “This is the Sword of Skardsen. A very powerful sword. Few others exist. Use it wisely. And this is a Shield of Pion Troect.” The queen went to a third shelf. “The last thing I want you to have is a surprise. You may have it if you return.”
“To make sure I come back, you mean.”
“You’ll come back. I suppose you’ll want to set out right away?”
“Good. Now good luck! Shoo!”
“Wait! Since I’m going now, I have a question.” The Shoyru rubbed her still sore head. “Why did I fall unconscious? It wasn’t that hard of a hit.”
The faerie pulled a broken potion vial out from under her desk. “Read the label.”
Rai did. “Slumberberry Potion, 9,500,000. That explains it. Good-bye, our highness.”
And that is how Rai’s journey of a lifetime began.
If this gets in I'll be leaping around this room in joy. All neomail is welcome!