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A Tale of Two Acaras: Part Two


by secant

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“Master Lucky, it’s morning,” called the housekeeper. The Pteri lightly tapped the gilded doorway of Lucky the Acara’s grandiose bedroom. “Wake up, sir!”

     Lucky yawned and opened his eyes. His four-poster bed was draped with the usual purple and blue curtains, the colors of royalty. But wait—was that a green mist in the corner?

     “Wait a minute, what’s this?” The Acara stepped forward to examine the strange mist. He reached his paw inside the fog—and saw his fur change to a dirty yellow hue.

     “I’m coming in!” The housekeeper opened the door, then shrieked, “Intruder in Master Lucky’s bedroom! Alert, alert!”

     The five Grarrl security guards who guarded the estate rushed inside. They seized Lucky by the arms and dragged him away. Overwhelmed, Lucky cried for help.

     “Stop it! Have you all gone mad? It is I. Look, it’s Lucky!” he ordered to no avail.

     It wasn’t until he was thrown into the streets when he realized (from a reflection in a puddle) that he was strangely altered. His usual handsome face was now a ruddy yellow—like that of a peasant in his storybooks. His clothes, too, had been changed somehow; instead of the silk nightgown he had on, he now wore strange tattered rags that belonged in the garbage.

     The mist changed me! he thought. I have to change my appearance!

     He decided to pay the Fountain Faerie a visit.

     - - -

     Meanwhile, on the other side of Faerieland, Jo the peasant Acara was now walking through Faerieland in majestic wear with Jhudora at his side. He was unused to the silk and fur, and he felt bewildered that everyone he met greeted him as “lucky.”

     “I am very lucky to have the chance to come here, but I thought only I knew?” Jo wondered aloud.

     “Keep quiet and walk, my boy!” Jhudora instructed. “Pay no attention to these folks. They have eaten too many faerie bubbles!”

     I have the real Lucky taken care of, Jhudora thought proudly. Right now he is probably crying out of misery. Ha! Not so lucky anymore, are you? Nobody shall recognize him until it is too late, for I shall have the Hidden Tower goodies within an hour!

     “So you’re a friend of Illusen’s?” asked Jo, observing Jhudora’s dark robes.

     Jhudora’s face crinkled at the word ‘friend.’ “Uh, we are acquaintances,” she corrected.

     “I didn’t know Illusen liked Dark Faeries!”

     “She doesn’t,” Jhudora responded flatly. “Carry on!”

     They passed the Rainbow Fountain. Jo was mesmerized by the colorful swirls in the clear water. It looked good to dive in. Illusen had told him stories about it, with its “magical properties to turn Neopets into a different color.” To his pleasant surprise, the Faerie guarding the Rainbow Fountain waved them over.

     “Hello, Lucky!” she said. “What color do you want to choose today?”

     “Uh...” Jo stared at the pool. “I can change into any color?”

     “Except a few, but yes!”

     “Okay... um... I do not know...”

     I sense the real Lucky arriving this way, Jhudora suddenly thought. “Come, come, we have to hurry along!” she snarled, dragging Jo in the opposite direction.

     A few moments later, the real Lucky appeared, out of breath. He tugged on his tattered clothes and said to the Fountain Faerie, “Hey, buddy, I need a dip in the pool!”

     “No can do, you need a pass,” the Faerie replied sternly.

     “What—but I always come here for free!”

     “Who are you?” laughed the Fountain Faerie. “I have never seen you before in my life! Get lost, peasant!”

     Lucky stared at the pool longingly. “Just a quick dip, and you’ll recognize me, please!” he pleaded.

     The Faerie resolutely refused. Lucky walked away, angry and hurt. How dare they treat me like scum! he thought heatedly. So what if I look like a peasant? I haven’t done anything wrong! They treat me like Sloth! If that’s the way they treat everyone not as privileged as I was, then I don’t want to be with these folks!

     - - -

     Jhudora reached the Hidden Tower. She was banned from going inside, but her new little friend was not.

     “Now, just greet the queen and ask to go inside,” Jhudora hissed before evaporating into a puff of green smoke.

     Jo waited hesitantly. A few moments later, Queen Fyora appeared. Jo gaped at her flowing dress, her magic wand, and her authority that stuck to her like an aura.

     “Good day, Lucky, what can I do for you?” greeted Queen Fyora.

     “Oh my goodness, you are the queen of—of Faerieland!” rasped Jo.

     Fyora looked at him strangely. “Yes, are you feeling all right? Why don’t you come inside?”

     Jo followed Fyora through an invisible door, up a set of stone stairs, and into a room with an array of unimaginable rarities. Artifacts, weaponry, books... Jo wanted to touch them all. He examined a shiny Ghostkerbomb beside him in awe.

     “Illusen told me stories about these! They were used long ago in the Battle of Meridell...” he trailed off as he saw the Ghostkershield. “Goodness! So many treasures!”

     Fyora observed him quietly. Outside, Jhudora sensed trouble. It won’t be long until the fool breaks our cover! she thought. To make matters worse, she spotted the real Lucky heading for the Hidden Tower, rags and all. The rags worked for the guards and Fountain Faerie, but could Fyora see right through them and realize Lucky’s true identity? It was a chance Jhudora did not wish to take.

     “Ahoy there, stop!” Jhudora appeared in a cloud of green smoke in front of the Acara. “Do not go into that tower!”

     “Why?” demanded Lucky. Suddenly he recognized the green smoke. “It was you! You turned me into this—this—”

     “Shush, my plan is nearly finished!” Jhudora conjured up a crystal ball, then remembered the Hidden Tower had enchantments that forbade anyone from seeing inside illegally. “Drat!”

     “Change me back! Now!” said Lucky.

     At that moment, Fyora and Jo emerged from the Hidden Tower. Jo gawked at Lucky, who resembled him back at Meridell exactly. Lucky stared at Jo, who looked exactly like him, when he was painted Royal.

     “Jhudora, tell me what you are doing with that crystal ball,” said Queen Fyora authoritatively.

     “We were just leaving,” Jhudora cackled, grabbing Jo. “Goodbye—”

     Queen Fyora stopped her from disappearing on the spot. “I didn’t realize Lucky was into hanging out with Dark Faeries now,” she commented.

     “Huh?” said Jo and Lucky at the same time.

     “We have a bond,” muttered Jhudora. “What did you pick from the Tower, boy?”

     Jo pulled a Grimoire of the First Order from his robe excitedly. “I can’t wait to show this to Illusen! She can read it to me!”

     “Lucky, you can’t read?” questioned Fyora in surprise.

     “I can!” yelled the real Lucky.

     All heads turned to the seemingly peasant Acara standing nearby.

     “Who are you?” chuckled Jhudora nervously, eyeing between Fyora and Lucky.

     “You should know!” retorted Lucky. “I’m the real Lucky!” He pointed angrily at Jo and growled, “He took my identity, just to get freebies!”

     Jo shook his head bewilderedly. “No, I—”

     “Okay, a few questions!” interrupted Fyora. “The real Lucky knows my favorite item of all. Whoever says the item is indeed the true Lucky.”

     Lucky blinked blankly. He vaguely remembered Queen Fyora mentioning a favorite item before... but he had been too busy admiring his new coat. Vanity loses again! he cursed. “Um, I do not know,” he grumbled sheepishly.

     Jo raised a paw excitedly and burst, “I know! I know! Your favorite item is the Fyora Bobblehead! There was an old, long lost story about it; Jazan of Lost Desert once asked to craft a—”

     “Okay, let us leave,” snarled Jhudora, not wanting to expose her brilliant plan. With a poof, she and Jo disappeared, leaving Fyora alone with Lucky—or a strange peasant Acara, in her eyes.

     “Why did you claim to be Lucky?” demanded Queen Fyora with a glint in her eye.

     “No, I am—I am the real Lucky! I was born in Faerie City to the oldest family line! I visit the Hidden Tower every Wednesday! You know me!” begged Lucky.

     Queen Fyora just shook her head. “What have Meridell folks come to?” she sighed in exasperation. “Come now, let me return you to your rightful home.” She waved her hand, and a cloud of faerie dust showered over them. When the dust settled, Lucky saw that they were in a grassy meadow with farm acres in the distance.

     “Ahoy, King Skarl!” shouted Queen Fyora to a passing Skeith in royal clothes.

     “Queen,” grumbled King Skarl.

     “Take this farmer’s boy in and give him a good home, will you?” Queen Fyora smiled at the bewildered Acara. “Do not worry, King Skarl is a great king! I daresay you shall never go hungry again.”

     In a blinding flash, Queen Fyora was gone. Lucky glanced at the Skeith skeptically.

     “Well, off to the dungeon you go!” growled King Skarl, who was in a bad mood as usual. “I can’t feed an extra mouth for free. Unless you have any special talents, boy, you can go down the stone steps to a dark cell!”

To be continued...

 
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» A Tale of Two Acaras: Part One
» A Tale of Two Acaras



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