Battle On - Pajeridy's Fight
The Battledome was always an interest of mine, especially when Carizeecrow gave me a Sturdy Blue Sword! I was ready now, you better believe it! I hounded Carizeecrow until she finally gave me a few neopoints to go and buy a little armor. She didn't like the idea of me going up against all those tough opponents! Something about being 'worried sick' that I might get hurt. I guess she thought I would run around and play with my new weapon, rather than embrace the Ruki warrior within!
Please. Like I could get hurt. What was so tough about those other guys anyway? With their big muscles, their super expensive armor, and amazing weapons? Psh. Pushovers. I could take them!
When I finished my daily chores and gobbled up what was left of my Skull and Bones Pasta (you know, because real warriors eat skulls and bones for breakfast!), I headed right on out to the Battle Magic Shop. Okay, I admit, it was a little overwhelming at first. So many weapons to choose from!
"Oh, ho! Look at the little pink Ruki and her baby sword!"
A gruff, menacing voice sounded behind me. I felt my heart drop into my toes when I saw his massive shadow fall over me from behind. With a gulp, I braced myself and turned around to look up at him. He was the biggest, meanest looking Skeith I'd ever laid eyes on! Behind him stood two others—a viscous looking Bruce and Krawk.
"It's... he... actually." I used the sleeve of my shirt to polish my shiny pink exoskeleton. "What's wrong with being pink?"
"Oh nothing." The Skeith shrugged. "If you're a little girl!"
When he looked behind him and laughed, the other two joined in. They stopped immediately when he raised his hand.
"Well, my human says it's a charming color for a tough Ruki boy—err, man!" I sounded a lot snottier than I meant to. "And she's -always- right about that kind of thing."
It dawned on me in that moment that I should have just laughed weakly, quietly agreed and gone on my way.
The Skeith's eyes narrowed and his razor sharp teeth bared as he leaned down, his face barely an inch from mine. "You saying I'm wrong?"
"Your breath is what's wrong." I waved a hand in front of my face to drive that point home. "Why don't you go bully someone else?"
My mouth always tends to get the better of me, and obviously this situation was no different. I knew I was in trouble, especially when he balled up his fist. For a second I thought he was going to punch me, but when the shop keeper appeared he relaxed a little.
"See you in the Battledome, little girl." He shoved me back so hard that I fell onto the floor, dropping my sword in the process.
Again he laughed, and as expected, his two cronies laughed right along with him. That sound rang in my ears for a few long seconds after they were gone.
"...not a girl!" I shouted finally, but it was too late. By now they were probably halfway to Hubert's Hotdogs by now. "They're not so tough."
I stood up and dusted myself off, then quickly left the shop just in case they decided to come back. Of course I could take them, but you know, I wouldn't want to embarrass anyone with my super amazing battle skills!
As quickly as I could, I ran to my home in Neopia Central. I wasn't running away, mind you! Just, you know, I was in a hurry. Ahem!
Carizeecrow was sitting at the kitchen table, munching on some Chokato Crisps when I walked inside. She regarded me for a moment, brows raised slightly. "Are you crying, Pajeridy?"
"No!" I wiped my eyes and sniffled. "My eyeballs are just sweating!"
"Okay." She nodded, speaking in a skeptical tone. "How was your day out—did you get you any new armor?"
"No." I frowned. "I was afraid--"
Her brows shot up again.
"That you might be lonely."
Carizeecrow snorted and shoved the bowl of Chokato Crisps away. "Out with it, what happened?"
I was busted, obviously.
So I told her what had happened at the Battle Magic shop, and how the big Skeith pushed me down and insulted my amazingly pink exoskeleton. The more I talked, the more annoyed she became. By the time I was finished, she was tapping her foot and drumming her fingers on the table top.
"It's Grumps and his gang," she fumed, standing up to pace the kitchen now. "How dare they pick on my precious little--"
When I made a face, she changed tracks.
"--tough guy, I mean." She nodded. "They're lucky you didn't teach them a lesson!"
But I wanted to teach them a lesson. Of course it was never obvious, but they might have been a little meaner than me! Truth be told, I wasn't ready to run into them again any time soon.
"Come on, we're going to the bank." She grabbed her coat and was out the door before I could ask why.
Once there, she took a giant chunk out of her savings. She didn't say a word, just grabbed the sack of coins and left. I followed close behind.
Her first stop was the Defense Magic Shop. She smiled at me as we stepped inside, then demanded the shopkeeper show her his best items.
"Are you going to fight Grumps?" I asked, watching her curiously.
"No." She held a piece of armor up close to me, trying to judge whether it fit or not. "You are."
I admit, that thought was a little scary. But I was excited too! Carizeecrow was never big on the whole Battledome scene—in fact, she's always been a little too overprotective. The most dangerous thing I've ever gotten to do was try the Lab Ray, and only once!
"But what if I'm not strong enough?" I frowned, looking down at my Sturdy Blue Sword. "He might squash me!"
"Well, I have a ton of Codestones saved up." She smiled. "You can buy some training with those—and I bet I can get my hands on a few Faerie Quests, too. Maybe Fyora needs help with something."
Her confidence gave me a little comfort, but I still wasn't sure I would ever be a match for Grumps or any other member of his crew.
Once we'd purchased a snazzy set of armor, it was off to the Battle Magic Shop. Carizeecrow rubbed her hands together as she looked over all the weapons, then grinned down at me. "Let's see if we can find something better than that silly sword."
Oh, you better believe I was all for that!
Together we browsed, but she didn't offer much input. I knew she wanted me to pick something I was comfortable with using, so I didn't ask too many questions.
At last, I decided on a Brilliant Blade of Brightvale. Sure it wasn't the most expensive, and it obviously wasn't the most powerful, but it had a kind of heroic look to it. Being a hero would be nice, wouldn't it? If I could beat Grumps, I would sure feel like one.
By the time we'd shopped ourselves out, I had a nice set of armor, a new sword, some healing potions and even a couple of battle scrolls.
Then it was time to train. I gotta tell you, it wasn't pleasant—not at first! Training is hard work, and it takes a lot of perseverance and dedication. After every course, Carizeecrow would offer another Codestone to pay my way through.
While I trained, she ventured to Faerieland and spoke with the faeries to see if there was anything she could do to get them to make me stronger. I didn't see her much, they kept her pretty busy. There were a lot of faeries though, blessing me with things like strength, defense, movement... lot of good things.
Soon, I felt like I was ready.
Carizeecrow helped me send out a challenge to Grumps, and in no time at all, the date was set.
I felt so sure of myself... until I was in the arena. Grumps had just walked in with his two-man crew. He was decked out in seriously amazing armor and carried a Ridiculously Heavy Battle Hammer on his shoulder.
"I don't know about this," I stammered, ready to turn tail and run. "He looks mad."
"You got this!" Carizeecrow patted my back. "You've trained so hard—it's time to show him why it's not a good idea to be such a bully all the time."
As always, she was right. I had to do this! If not for me, then for all of my fellow Neopians who had fallen prey to his nasty bullying. When I gave her a serious look and nodded my head, she smiled and held my helmet out for me.
I shoved the helmet on my head and grabbed my sword. Time now to be the warrior I always dreamed of being.
I approached, and the unwelcome sound of laughter greeted me.
"Oh no, he's got a sword!" Grumps pretended to cower. "I forfeit, you win!"
As best as I could, I ignored them. I didn't need to respond—what good would it do?
We stood at the ready now, one of us on either side of the ring. His crew stood in his corner, and Carizeecrow in mine.
"Get him, Pajeridy!" She rooted for me. "Show him who's boss!"
With one swing, he brought his hammer down. It clanged loudly against my sword and jarred me so hard that I immediately dropped my weapon. He laughed and tried to swing the hammer at me, but I quickly crawled underneath his large form in hopes of skittering away.
"Get him, Grumps! Knock the pink right off of the little wimp!" One of his cronies shouted.
Just then, an item went whizzing by Grumps and I. Whatever it was connected with the Krawk's head, knocking him senseless for a second.
"Don't you talk about him that way!" Carizeecrow shouted.
Suddenly, there wasn't a sound from either of them anymore. They just kind of stood there, looking down like scolded children.
"You can do it, Pajeridy!" she shouted her encouragement. "I know you can!"
But I didn't know how, not with my weapon knocked out of my hands. I skittered underneath him and rolled out on the other side. The ground shook as he spun around and brought his hammer down, missing my head by maybe an inch.
Again I crawled under him, just because it worked getting away from him last time. I stood up and spun around, so did he. We were face to face now. He growled at me and bared his teeth, but didn't make any move to attack me yet.
"Why don't you just give up? You don't even have a weapon, all you can do is run—ayyeeee!"
When I suddenly stomped on his foot, he let out a howl of pain. His hammer hit the ground with a thud, and he grabbed his injured foot up, and just kind of hopped around on his other one. I saw giant tears well up in his eyes and his lip quivered.
"I'm telling my mom!" he shouted at me, and hobbled away.
His cronies rushed after him.
"Whoo!" I heard Carizeecrow cheering for me. "That's right! You won—I knew you would!"
Sure enough, it was a victory. It wasn't a glorious victory, or anything amazing enough for minstrels to write songs about, but I didn't care. I stood up for myself, and that's what mattered in the end.
As far as I know, Grumps doesn't pick on anyone these days.