Maybe It's Fate!
Also by chirigami
Bright sunlight filters through the stained glass windows of the Brightvale Library, sending a halo of sunshine against the crown of an Usukiboy Usul. He scribbles busily in his journal, tongue sticking out in a sign of his intense concentration. Although the shafts of rainbow-coloured light surrounding him give an angel appearance, this Usul is definitely no modest being. If we were to peek over his shoulder, we would find these following words, written in flowing script:
‘I know word of my great fame and brilliance has already spread through the world, but in case you are ignorant, I shall introduce myself. My name is Fyrste, and I am the most wondrous Neopet you will ever meet. I’m charismatic, intelligent, and beautiful - and let’s not mention incredibly wise. I write down everything I say for I know that it will be invaluable to future generations that are not quite so as blessed as I am.’
‘What makes me so extraordinary? Apart from my dashing good looks and amazing fashion sense, I am a true knight of chivalry. Each day, I set off into the streets of Neopia, searching for people afflicted with woe. Then, single-handedly, I come up with a brilliant solution to their problems, and my fame is immortalized! My destiny is to help others, and I now set off to another day, where I know I will be the hero yet again.’
With that last flourish, the Usul sets down his pen and stands, a determined expression falling over his handsome face. He certainly is striking, with crystalline eyes and a long, bushy tail. Delicately, he dons his feathered hat and tucks his journal into the folds of his clothes, which are equally refined; he certainly looks the part of a hero.
He flings open the door to reveal a brilliant blue sky, with only a few clouds drifting serenely by. Brisk and business-like, Fyrste sets down the street with a look of careless ease complimenting his handsome face.
Halfway down the street from the library, he stops to gaze at the sky, lost in his wondrous thoughts. Out of nowhere (or so it seems) a Chia bumps into him.
"Oh goodness! Oh gracious! Oh, dear, what next? I’m terribly sorry!" the Chia gushes, turning bright red and stammering with embarrassment.
Fyrste looks at the Chia with a very critical expression.
"I'm extremely sorry too," he says gravely, frowning with an expression of utmost sincerity.
"It’s not a problem, sorry again,” the Chia stammers, turning to continue down the street.
"No," Fyrste elaborates, stepping in the way of the Chia, "I'm sorry about your colour! It's so plain, so ugly, so dull! You have no clothes, no nice patterns! You look terrible! It’s a tragedy of epic proportions!”
"Oh!” the Chia exclaims, flushing this time with a little irritation. “Well, I like my colour, thank you very much! It's simple, and I can wear any clothes I want, so it all works out. By the way,” he adds as an afterthought, “my name is Peanochio, even though everyone calls me Nochio. And really, I don’t mind being yellow. Yellow’s a happy colour! Everyone loves it.”
"Yeah, yeah, sure," Fyrste muses, his brow furrowing with displeasure. “Well, this won't do at all,” he harrumphs. “No Neopet deserves to walk around with a hideous colour like that." Absentmindedly, he strokes his little goatee, deep in thought. Suddenly, his face lights up like a beacon. “Great Fyora, I’ve got it!” he yelps, plunging his paw into his rucksack. “I know I've got it here somewhere," he grumbles, as various hair care products, a coupon for the Slushie shop, and a random shoe comes flying out of the bag.
Nochio stares curiously, but refrains from comment after the flying shoe soars over his head.
"AHA! There you are, you tricky little blighter!" Fyrste exclaims triumphantly, extracting a tube of lime green goo. “Drink up!" he says, extending the little packet to the Nochio, grinning roguishly. “This’ll cure you right up!”
"What is it?" Nochio asks, staring at the green liquid with a dubious expression.
"No matter, it will fix all your ailments,” Fyrste dismisses, waving encouragingly. “It’ll make you happy! Drink up!”
"Good enough for me." Nochio shrugs, tearing off the lid. Carefully, he tastes the insides and grins. "Oh, it is good!" he mumbles, guzzling the rest down. "Thank you, kind stranger!"
Fyrste grins even more mischievously. "Glad I could help," he says smoothly, an eager glint of anticipation in his eyes.
Suddenly, Nochio starts looking positively green. "What's happening?" he asks, a queasy expression on his pea-green face. To his horror, he starts shrinking; slowly at first, and then faster. His body rounds out as he turns steadily greener - in an instant, it is over.
"Hurrah!" Fyrste cheers, sweeping off his hat and taking a bow. "That Pea Chia Pop did the trick! You look absolutely brilliant now - almost as handsome as I am, and good enough to eat!”
Nochio begins stuttering in his distress. "Bu-bu-but," he stammers, "I - I’m a pea! I don't want to be a pea! Peas are edible! Someone is going to eat me!" (Fyrste’s ‘good enough to eat’ comment doesn’t seem to have given him a confidence boost either). Nochio looks around at the other Neopians on the street, turning slightly grey as he sees the teeth of a close by Grarrl. “Wh-what-what have you done?!”
"No, no, no need to thank me,” Fyrste says modestly. "It is my sole pleasure to help; it is my calling and my destiny. Well, enjoy life!"
And with that blasé comment, he skips down the street, leaving the terrified pea behind and congratulating himself on a good deed well done.
After a long days’ work, Fyrste sits down at his desk and contemplates his gallant deed.
‘I am a hero,’ he writes modestly. ‘I know it, you know it, and little Nochio certainly it. But it doesn't mean that I won't be seen in the company of the commoners - I am still humble. I have dedicated the rest of my life to helping people. Who knows, maybe someday I will help you who is reading this when you are in need! You should certainly hope so, for I'm the best pet for the job!’
With a smirk and a nod, the Usul pulls out his brush and begins grooming his tail, untangling the knots that have accumulated during a tiring day’s work.
Merel is humming to herself as she strolled down Neopia Lane, a perpetually cheerful expression on her delicately sculpted face. She is the type of Peophin that likes to see on the brighter side of things, and often succeeds. As usual, she is going to sit and sketch on her favorite bench, when she notices that her seat is already occupied.
Nochio slumps glumly on said park-side bench, looking positively tragic.
“Hey, why so blue?” Merel asks, setting herself down on the bench beside him. Her beautiful rainbow coat stands out against the brown wood of the bench, and she tosses her mane majestically.
“I’m not blue, I’m green,” the pea says helplessly, “but I was yellow.”
Merel is about to find another park bench to sit on (preferably one not already inhabited by a lunatic vegetable) until the little pea glances up at her with fearful eyes, which quickly dilutes to an expression of utter misery.
“Oh!” Merel cries, her heart melting. “What’s your name?”
“Peanochio,” the little Pea sighs, for the second time that day. He seems wary of introducing himself, because the last time he did, he was turned into a vegetable. “But everyone calls me Nochio. And you?”
“Merel,” the Peophin replies hurriedly. “Now Nochio, what’s wrong?”
“He turned me into a pea!” he replies sadly. “An edible, eatable, pea!”
"Hold on,” Merel says, with an expression of utmost dread in her crystal eyes. “Was ‘he’ an Usuki Usul?"
"Was he pompous?"
“Did he have a ridiculous amount of hair care products in his rucksack?”
"Fyrste!" Merel groans, and she bolts off the bench. "Wait right here!”
And with that, she speeds off into the horizon, leaving Nochio behind to ponder on the insanity of some rainbow Peophins.
“Fyrste!” Merel exclaims, banging away at his door. “Fyrste, you scoundrel, open up right now!”
Completely oblivious to the rising storm of an angry female, Fyrste saunters up to his door, whistling merrily as he catches sight of his dearest friend through the window.
“My dear Merel!” he cries jovially, opening the door with a gesture of general hospitality. “It’s wonderful to - ”
He can’t really get any farther, because Merel thumps him on the chest. “Oh, where do you keep your brains!” she exclaims exasperatedly.
“Er, well,” the Usul begins, frowning. “Is that a rhetorical question, or...?”
Merel gives him the look, the one which females are so capable of. “What did you do to that poor little Chia?” she asks, pacing to and fro in agitation. “You turned a poor, innocent stranger into a pea?!”
She has put up with her friend’s eccentricities too many times to let this one slide by. Fyrste is oblivious even when he causes more harm than good, and for the most part, Merel has suffered through it with a good nature. But turning Chias into raw produce? That really is too much.
“What in Neopia are you talking about?” Fyrste grumbles, looking quite put-out. “Oh!” he exclaims suddenly, brightening. “Do you mean that little Chia, Nochio?”
“Yes, that one!” Merel cries. “Who else did you turn into vegetation?!”
“I don’t see what’s got you in a tizzy, my dear,” Fyrste dismisses mildly, waving his friend inside the house. “Nochio should be honored! He’s so unique and fashionable now, and he was absolutely hideous before.”
“He didn’t want to be fashionable,” Merel groans, as she was chauffeured inside the quaint cottage. “You turned him into a pea. Of all things, Fyrste, a pea! I almost sat on him, for Fyora’s sake. Fyrste, I beg to know, what were you possibly thinking?”
“Merel, Merel, Merel.” Fyrste sighs, shaking his head sagely. “You’re so naïve. You don’t know how he was before! He was so bland, so ugly, so... yellow.”
“So?” Merel yells, almost weeping in her exasperation. “You’re yellow!”
Fyrste rolls his eyes. “When will the naiveté end? My fur may be yellow, but look at my clothes! Look at my hat! I’m oh so fashionable, and Nochio was oh, so... ugly.”
“He was happy being ugly,” Merel grimaces, realizing that she is fighting an uphill battle.
“Why would he be happy being ugly?” Fyrste scoffs, seeming heartily amused.
Merel abruptly changes tact, realizing that she is getting absolutely nowhere.
“Fyrste, you can’t just permanently change people without even asking them.”
“Well, I refuse to ugly-fy him again,” the Usul states loftily, looking rather offended as he sweeps off his chair. “Now, if you will excuse me, I must catalog the day’s events into my journal. Good day.”
“Fyrste! Please be sensible!” Merel exclaims, leaping to her hooves.
“Good day,” the little Usul repeats, and it is clear from the miffed expression in his eyes that he really means it.
“Oh, very well,” Merel sighs to herself, as she is ushered out the door. "I’ll make it up to him some other time, but for now, something needs to be done about Nochio.”
As Merel is confronting Fyrste, our unfortunate Chia friend is waiting in the park, his terror growing with every passing second. Upon seeing a group of Skeiths walk by, he crawls underneath the bench and huddles there, eyes scanning the park for all hints of danger. He shudders. Who knew the world was such a dangerous place?
Finally, Nochio sees the outline of her figure walking towards him. She looks slightly confused when she catches sight of the empty bench, looking around curiously.
"Under here, Merel," Nochio squeaks.
Merel sighs as her eyes fall upon on the terrified pea.
“Look, Lil’ P,” Merel begins affectionately, extending her hoof to him and pulling him out. “You’re a pea, and you might as well make the best of it. After all, nothing’s going to change anytime soon, so just embrace it.”
“Danger lurks everywhere in Neopia,” Nochio replies tremblingly.
“You can’t just give up and hide because you’re afraid of what’s going to happen,” Merel scolds, sounding like a disappointed schoolteacher. “Were you afraid before?”
“No! But that was before I was turned into something edible! The chances of something happening to me have been maximized!” he cries sadly.
“You can’t hide from life! That’s not even living,” the Peophin points out, “and besides, the Defenders of Neopia are always here around the corner if something bad does happen."
“That's true,” Nochio replies, an unsure expression replacing his previously terrified one.
"And on top of that, there are many more delicious things than peas. I mean, who even likes peas anyway?" Merel chuckles, her eyes bright with mischief.
Nochio looks at her with a confused expression, wondering if he should take that as a compliment or an insult.
"I know I've never liked peas," he admits sheepishly.
“Well, there you go! Besides, this kind of makes sense,” Merel adds as an afterthought, amusement lighting up her bright eyes.
“You being a pea. I mean... Pea... Nochio. Get it? Maybe it’s fate!”
And as the sun sank down on another day, Nochio grinned. Maybe it was.