Ten Acts Of Kindness, A Techo Story: Part Three
The Third Act Of Kindness
The Faerie choir sent by Illusen lifted its voice in merriment and delight.
“It’s Valentine’s Day and our choir has arrived
To sing you our songs and bring tidings of love.
Our mystical chorus has practiced for weeks
To utter these words and send love from above.
“Illusen is here, as is Jhuidah the belle.
The Faerie Queen lingers to relish the day.
It took not a second for them to arrive.
The Faeries are here to give blessings today!
“So welcome you citizens, Neopians all
To this, our Valentine’s Day melody!
Now toss up your hats and give a great cheer
For Valentine’s Day is a day full of glee!”
Yes, it was that most beautiful of days, Valentine’s Day! The streets were packed with Neopians from all over Neopia, dressed to the nines in their finest duds. Many of them were dressed in their brightest pink and red apparel, wanting to celebrate Valentine’s Day to the fullest and liveliest extent. Dozens of them were wearing Heart Shaped Sunglasses, even the male Neopets, while those who could afford them were wearing Pretty Flower Masks. Pretty Pink Flower Hats abounded here too, their blossoms lifting and falling gently in the breeze.
Our Techo stood here, dressed in his simple monk’s robes. Standing next to him was the Mynci Master. The two were watching the Valentine’s Day celebrations exploding all over the streets of Meridell. How different were the days of the Techo, chock full of the memories and companionships of his Training School friends and students! He was never lonely now. How different from the old days where he used to watch the parades float by, wishing he could be a part of something special, yet never feeling that he could belong!
The Techo cleared his throat, and wiped the corner of his eye. He had never really gotten over his stoic dislike of crying in front of others. To break his mood, he turned to the Mynci Master and smiled.
“Thank you for lending me this lovely sword,” he said to her. “It suits me just fine. It’s just the thing I needed to spice up this old outfit of mine in time for the celebrations.”
“Not a problem,” said the Mynci, grinning. “Valentine’s Day is a special day, and I hope you’re enjoying it.”
The two of them watched the revelers dancing through the streets. The Mynci Master turned to the Techo and uttered a sigh.
“I have to be getting along. The old Acara Master wants me to finish registering the new students for the upcoming semester. Even on Valentine’s Day, you never get a break from being an instructor.” The Mynci straightened her robes and walked off. “I’m glad you enjoy the sword! You can keep it if you want!”
“Thank you!” gasped the Techo. He clutched the hilt of the Gold Handled Short Sword and marveled at the finely crafted blade, perfectly balanced, and laced with intricate gold and silver patterns all along one side. It was a truly beautiful sword, possibly the most beautiful weapon he had ever had the opportunity to hold. And now the Mynci had given it to him. Could the day get any better?
He wandered through the crowd, smiling at all the happy couples and party frolickers spending time together on this special day. Valentine’s Day was such a truly special occasion, one where the hatreds and bitter rivalries of the past could be dismissed and forgiven for the sake of love and friendship. A hallowed day was this, where camaraderie reigned, affection was unbounded, and acrimony bit the dust.
Having satisfied himself with an earful of people’s cheers and well-wishes, the Techo turned and started to walk back to the Mystery Island Training School. The ferry ride over to the Island would only take a few minutes, and he had some chores to do once he got home. Cutting across the street, he walked onto the forest path he had arrived on, and began to make his way over to the docks.
Silently he walked through the forest. The golden sunlight cascaded down through the forest canopy and dappled the leaves with a fiery yellow glow. Birds chirped merrily in the trees, and here and there he could hear the rustling of some forest creature running through the woods and scrounging around for fallen nuts and other treats. The air was electric with energy and spirit. The mid-afternoon brilliance made him catch his breath and utter a sigh of awe as he walked.
But there was someone not quite happy here. Sitting forlornly in the shade of a huge rock, his long ears drooping, sat a melancholy Shadow Gelert. His color seemed to suit his dark mood, as he poked the poor forest flowers in front of him with angry jabs of a wooden stick. The Techo stopped short and frowned.
“Hey, you, what do you think you’re doing there? Leave those poor plants alone!” The Techo walked over to where the Shadow Gelert was sitting. Littering the floor, he noticed as he approached, were crumpled scraps of paper. Some of them had words written on them. It seemed that the Shadow Gelert had torn up the pages in a fit of anger.
“I’m having a pretty rotten day,” snorted the Gelert. “I’ll thank you to leave me alone, please. It’s Valentine’s Day and I can’t think of anything nice to write to my Valentine. Well, the problem is, she doesn’t know she’s my Valentine yet. I was supposed to write her a lovely poem, give it to her, and watch her beautiful face light up in joy, right? Problem is, I can’t get my words to rhyme or anything. Writing’s never been my strong suit. So now I’m alone here, surrounded by bits and pieces of my failure, with no poem and no Valentine to spend Valentine’s Day with. This day has turned into a nightmare.” The Gelert continued to jab at the flowers.
“That’s no reason to be dejected,” said the Techo. “You could always send her something else to tell her how you feel. How about A Mysterious Valentine’s Card? Those are always in demand, and it doesn’t involve writing of any kind. Just buy the card, and send it to her. She’ll be seeing hearts the rest of the day.”
“I don’t have any money, and I don’t have any items to trade for A Mysterious Valentine’s Card. Those cost fifty thousand Neopoints, don’t you know that? A veritable fortune! Why, it would take me weeks to save up enough Neopoints to buy one, and Valentine’s Day is TODAY. Why do you think I was resorting to writing a poem? It’s the only thing I can afford!” The Gelert glared at the pieces of paper surrounding him. “Well, I tried to, anyway. Now I’ll kindly thank you to LEAVE ME ALONE!”
The Techo scurried off at the Gelert’s explosion. Groaning, the Shadow Gelert went back to sulking in the shade of the enormous rock. What should he do? Valentine’s Day and nothing to show for it. His beloved was probably the Valentine of some other Neopet by now. It was quickly getting on to becoming late afternoon, and the time to give her something should have been early morning so that they could spend the holiday together. Now, evening would come and go and this Valentine’s Day would the worst Valentine’s Day he had ever had.
The sun began to drop low in the sky. Frustrated, the Gelert’s mind began to race. Should he show up at her door, empty handed, and declare his affections for her? Would she really accept such a careless proclamation of love? No doubt she was hounded by dozens of suitors every day, for she was the prettiest Island Aisha in Neopia. He sighed and buried his head in his hands. Hours passed.
Finally, he decided to give up and go home. Waiting for a miracle to strike was not working. He would go home, his worthless tail between his legs, and forget that Valentine’s Day even existed. The day was almost over anyway. It had been a foolish dream, and nothing more. With an exasperated grunt he raised himself to his feet.
And gasped. Lying there on top of the rock was A Mysterious Valentine’s Card. Its pretty pink envelope was sealed with a beautiful red wax heart. The faint smell of roses drifted up from its rosy exterior, and it seemed to glow with an inner radiance. It was brand new, had never been opened, and it sat there waiting for him to use. He grabbed it, and clutched it close to his heart.
“Thank you!” cried the Gelert into the dusky forest.
Hidden behind a tree, the Techo smiled.
The sword was gone from his side. Who the sword now belongs to, we may never know. But it should be stated that one is never alone in the forests of Meridell, and that the forest-dwelling Faeries who had seen this act of kindness from our dear Techo were now racing to tell the story to someone very interested in him indeed...
To be continued...