A Tale of Two Unis: Part One
A wide smile stretched across my face as I strutted across the well-kempt front lawns of the palace. As the princess of Opalia and the rightful heir to the throne, I could actually call it my palace. I just didn't know that I was the last Neopian who would ever be able to do that.
I looked up above my head and saw the puffy white clouds, beautiful as ever. Faerieland was held up by those very wisps. If you looked carefully at just the right angle, you could see the tips of the purple brick towers. Faeries often came down from their home there and visited us in our tiny kingdom. We were right next to the Haunted Woods, so not many people stopped by, and as a result, we were a very peaceful place. We didn't have to worry about being conquered or conquering others. Barely any who did not live there even knew this kingdom existed! It was a nice place to be in charge of.
I galloped along, and all who saw me either bowed or gasped in awe. Calls of, "It's the Princess! Princess Oeur!" rang through the air. I was a Royalgirl Uni, cloaked in purple velvet with white fluff on the edges. My pink skin was a very light shade and went well with my tan Uni hooves. A traditional purple, pointed princess hat with a long pink tassel was on top of my soft, wild yellow hair. A large, velvety pink bow was on my tail, the ends streaming behind me.
The Land of Opalia was mostly known by the few who had heard of it for its nature and magic. Many who lived there were sorcerers or sorceresses, and, unlike the witches and wizards from the nearby Haunted Woods, they barely performed any dark spells. Most of the magic they used resulted in an abundance of food or repaired structures. I could do magic, too, but only on two days a year: the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice.
I had almost reached the Weewoo Gardens - my favorite spot in all of Opalia, where a huge population of Weewoos call home - when I saw a strange shadow nearby. I turned and saw a dark black tail swoosh as the Opalian it belonged to hid behind a tree. My curiosity got the better of me. I quietly came to the tree and peeked behind the thick trunk. There I saw a pretty Grey Uni looking at me with maroon eyes. Her black hair was ruffled, and her hooves looked exactly like mine. She stared at me, but did not bow or wave or even speak. I was not used to being treated like this - everyone had always been courteous to me here.
"Greetings," I said regally to her. She simply stared.
I was beginning to feel uncomfortable, so I trotted away, my mind contemplating who I had just seen.
I watched as the prissy Royalgirl Uni left me, going in the direction of the Weewoo Gardens. Of course. She was a princess, she didn't need to spend time working hard or anything. I blew a dark black strand of hair out of my face and went back to my humble home. It was a very small cottage where I lived by myself, for I had no family - not that I knew of, at least. I had grown up on my own, and as a result, I hardly ever speak. I spend my time listening, thinking, noticing things that others are too stuck-up to ever even look at. If someone saw what went on in my mind, they might find me very smart. But they don't know. No one knows what I'm capable of.
In my cottage, I made some borovan and sat down by the fireplace, drinking it and thinking as I so often did. I thought about family and where mine could possibly be. The flames in the fire were dancing freely, almost taunting. The rest of the house was more comfortable - completely dark. But I found that my thoughts made more sense when I sat by the fire.
I felt so alone. My only company for years had been the roaring fire and my daily borovan cup.
I decided I needed to find out more about my family. There must be someone, anyone, who could say that they're related to me. Someone out there worried about poor little me, asking themselves, "Where is Equinare, and what has become of her?"
I finished my borovan and set the now empty cup on the wooden table next to me. Then I left the room, off to find out more about my background and who I truly was.
I couldn't get the Grey Uni out of my head. I think my close advisors could tell that something was troubling me, for they pestered me to let them know repeatedly at the feast tonight.
"You're barely eating, Princess Oeur. Please, do have another bite to eat."
"No, no, I'm good," I insisted. They continued shoving food in my face, so I politely declined over and over for a good portion of the night. Finally I announced that I was tiring and needed rest. I stood, courteously thanked the chefs, and made my way to my bedroom.
As soon as I got there, I made my way to the window and stared at the scenery that lay beyond. The moon was a brightly shining silver orb in the starless sky. Night had settled over the trees, and all that could be heard to disturb the silence were the chirps of nearby Weewoos. It was the night before the Spring Equinox. I knew I wouldn't get my next opportunity to use magic until the Summer Solstice, which was months away. But even so, the season of Spring was beautiful, night and day.
I searched through book after book in the local library. There had to be some documentation telling me about my family somewhere. I peered at the spine of each novel and in between the thick wooden shelves. Nothing.
Finally, my right hoof brushed across a large book covered with a thin layer of dust. I blew off the dust and read the golden lettering along the side. A Record of The Citizens of Opalia. With trembling hands, I clumsily removed the book and held it between my hooves. I sat down at a nearby table in the empty library. I opened it up and flipped through until I got to names beginning with E. Page after page I flipped, then finally I saw it: my records. I read it slowly, carefully, scanning it for some sign of family. Finally, I saw some words containing the information I wanted to know. I read it quietly to myself.
"Daughter of Eclipse and Orbit." I blinked. Queen Eclipse? King Orbit? Hadn't they reigned before Opalia's current leader? Hadn't they been the parents of...
I gasped and hastily flipped through the pages to names starting with O. When I found the page of Princess Oeur, I studied the words about her family so intently that I felt they would be imprinted on my brain.
I stood up very suddenly, my mind reeling. How could I be related to such important neopets and not hear a thing about it? Why had I grown up alone? Could this really be true?
I left the book lying on the table. The next person who saw it would probably wonder why it was open to Princess Oeur's page and read the page without much interest, their eyes flickering over the most stunning words I've ever read: 'Daughter of Eclipse and Orbit'.
I woke up to a cloudy Spring morning. Grumbling, I straightened up in bed and rubbed my eyes with my hooves. I studied them carefully. They looked identical to the ones of that Uni I saw the other day.
Why was I so obsessed with that one pedestrian who did not acknowledge me? I wasn't sure if I was offended by her lack of attention, or if it was something else. She almost looked... familiar.
All throughout the day, I couldn't get that Uni out of my mind. It didn't help that the beautiful sky had been overtaken by grey storm clouds, reminding me of the Uni's color.
Finally, I couldn't take it any longer. Right in the middle of my evening grooming, I stood up suddenly from my chair.
My groomer, a Pink Eyrie, looked startled. "My Princess, what is the matter?"
"Do you know where a Grey Uni lives here, Melanie?"
Melanie blinked. "Um... yes, there is only one living in our Land of Opalia. She lives at 14 Cauldron Street."
"Thank you," I said gratefully, getting ready to leave.
"But why are you going? What's wrong?"
"Nothing, Melanie," I told her. "I need to go."
"But wait!" Melanie called after me. It was too late. I was racing out the door. Soon I had passed through the front gates of the palace and was on a long cobblestone pathway. My hooves made loud clop, clop noises as they slapped the stones making up the road. It was still raining heavily and getting all over my newly-applied makeup, but I didn't care. I made it to the house described by Melanie, 14 Cauldron Street, and pounded on the wooden door. I was soaking wet and my hat wasn't straight and my hair was half-brushed, but I was fine with anyone seeing me like this. I just wanted her to open the door!
"Come on! Open up!" I hollered. I put my ear to the door and listened. There was the soft noise of hooves slowly hitting the floor. The door creaked open, and I was face-to-face with a sad Grey Uni. She may not have been sparkly and bright pink, but she was very pretty regardless. Her skin tone was a light grey, and her faded black mane went well with it. Her dark maroon eyes were staring at me blankly. Then comprehension dawned on them, and her face became even sadder.
I didn't know what to say. "Greetings," I tried, smiling kindly.
She said nothing.
"I'm Princess Oeur. Who are you?"
"Equinare," she said in a clear voice.
"Could I come in?" I asked. The rain was starting to make me cold, even under my velvety cloak.
"No," the Uni said flatly.
I blinked. Nobody ever refused my requests. I was a Princess!
"May I ask why?" I said, a little more loudly.
"You've taken away enough of my life, haven't you?" the Grey Uni asked, her eyes darkening.
"I don't know what you're talking about," I said, getting a little angry myself. She was so disrespectful!
"I've grown up all alone, never knowing my family," the Uni said quietly, and I needed to lean closer to listen to her. "All this time, I have gotten no help from anyone. I have family, but they have never even looked at me until yesterday."
"Who's your family?" I asked conversationally.
She glared at me. "You, sister."
I was taken aback. What was she talking about? "I think I'd know if I had a sister," I snapped. But I looked at her more carefully. As I had noticed before, her hooves looked identical to mine. There were more similarities, too. Our horns were the exact same shape and protruded from our heads at the same angle. Our manes both had that wild look to them, so unlike the usually combed-back hair of other Unis. Our eyes were the same shape.
The Grey Uni continued angrily, shouting at me, "You know why you never knew me? You know what the one little thing was that made my life so hard and lonely? I was second-born! And in the Land of Opalia, only the first-born is the Prince or Princess! Only the first-born is considered royalty! Our parents decided to get rid of me, and it's all because of you!"
She screamed the last word. Her eyes were bright with rage, and my own ocean-blue ones stared at her, trying to understand.
"I'm so sorry," I whispered.
"No, you're not!" the Grey Uni yelled. "You've been pampered all your life! You have no idea what I've been through!"
"I didn't want you to go through this, you know-"
"Get away!" she shrieked. She stood on her hind legs and pushed forward with her front hooves into empty air. Like magic, I felt myself pushed back, and as I flew through the air, I couldn't believe what was happening. I saw out of the corner of my eye the door slam shut just as I landed in a large puddle of mud, the rain still falling on top of me to add to my misery.
My cloak, my hair, my bow, they were all covered with that disgusting, soppy mud. I wondered if they'd ever be clean again. But somehow, those thoughts were quickly pushed out of my mind. I sat there, thinking to myself, not even bothering to get out of the wet dirt. I had a sister. All my life, I had a sister, and I didn't even know it until now. Wait... that couldn't be! I knew that each member of the royal family could only do magic two days a year, on two of the four most magical days. I could do them on the Summer and Winter Solstice. But if Equinare was really my sister, she wouldn't be able to do them unless it was one of the four magical days. And today was...
It was the night of the Spring Equinox.
Equinare was my sister. I had a sister who despised me.
To be continued...
This is the history of two of my pets, one of whom I adopted from a very kind user. Thank you so much for Equinare! =D