The Faerie's Blessing
"Those gingerbread cookies are going to taste delicious," SweetyHeartpteri said to herself, checking her basket to make sure that she had all the right ingredients. The Checkered Aisha loved all sorts of cooking and baking, and had decided to make her sister's favorite cookie as an early Birthday present.
Sweets continued along the path back to her home in Neopia Central, when suddenly, there was a bright flash of light. Something hit her, and her basket tumbled out of her grasp.
"Oh, I'm so sorry!"
Sweets looked up to see a young Light Faerie, her short blonde hair windblown and messy as she scrambled to clean up all the fallen ingredients.
"I'm so sorry!" the Light Faerie said again. "I'm still in training, just a new Faerie, really. I'm not used to flying at all! I've been flying for a very short time, it seems like I crash into someone every fifteen minutes. That's what I was doing before I crashed into you, you see. Flying, I mean. I'm sorry, I'm rambling, aren't I? I'm not very good at being a Faerie yet."
"It's alright, just calm down," Sweets said. "I'm fine. No harm done."
"Oh, but I cracked your eggs. I'm sorry. Here's the rest of your groceries." The Light Faerie handed Sweets her basket, and Sweets took it with a smile.
"It's fine. I can just go buy some more."
"Okay. I'm sorry." The Light Faerie hung her head, her bottom lip trembling.
"You don't need to keep on apologizing," Sweets said. "It was just an accident. Flying's not easy, but you'll get the hang of it."
"Really? How do you know?"
"I used to be a Pteri, before I was an Aisha," Sweets said. "It took me a really long time to learn how to fly, but once I did, it was the best thing. It was so much fun to soar through the air. But before I could, I had to crash a couple of times."
"Wow. I'm so glad I met someone else who had trouble flying. It's not easy to learn, but it seems like everyone else gets it and I just don't."
"My name is Sweets," Sweets said, introducing herself. "What is yours?"
"Oh, my name is Laraletta, but you can call me Letty. It's a pleasure to meet you!"
"Likewise," Sweets responded.
"You're really nice. Would you mind doing a quest for me? I'm supposed to practice handing out quests and rewarding those who complete them."
"Sure!" Sweets said. "I'd love to do a quest."
"Great!" Letty clapped her hands together. "Okay... Um..." Her face scrunched up as she started to think. "I need to ask you for a collectable card... Oh, but which one? Hang on, just one second, 'kay?"
Sweets waited patiently while Letty took out a piece of notebook paper. Letty scanned the list for a few seconds before declaring, "Aha! Can you bring me Meerca Menace?"
Sweets nodded. "Meerca Menace. Okay, I'll run over to the Card Shop and get one for you."
"Oh, thank you! That'd be perfect! I wait right here, then, shall I?" Letty plopped herself down on the ground, sitting cross-legged.
"Oh, okay. I'll be right back." What a peculiar Faerie, she thought to herself. But her heart seemed to be in the right place.
"One Meerca Menace?" she asked the Buzz at the counter of the Collectable Cards Shop; she took the card from him and made her way back to where Letty was still sitting on the ground.
"Good, you're back! I was worried for a minute that maybe you wouldn't come back, and then how silly I'd have looked, right?" Letty dusted the dirt off of her already stained gown.
"Here you go," Sweets said, handing her the card.
"Oh, perfect! This is just the one I needed." Letty slipped the card into her pocket and turned back to the Checkered Aisha. "Let's see, now I need to give you a Faerie's Blessing. What should I do?"
"Usually Light Faeries raise the level of a pet," Sweets said gently.
"Yes, but you've been particularly helpful. I want to do something special." Letty took a deep breath and closed her eyes. "May all that you make bring insight and new life." Her hands began to glow as she said it, but just for a moment.
"There," she said a second later, opening her eyes again. "How's that?"
"Perfect," Sweets said, smiling. "Thank you."
"No, thank you! Well, I should get back to Faerieland. Bye!" Letty waved and took off in the air, nearly crashing into a Scorchio as she did so. Sweets winced, but then continued walking.
"Well, I better get some new eggs," she said to herself. She headed towards the burger-shaped food shopped and greeted the Food Chia.
"Back again, Sweets? Decided to bake something else?" the Food Chia asked.
"No, I'm still making the gingerbread cookies," Sweets said. "I just need some more eggs. The other ones got cracked."
"Ah, well, I'm afraid I'm fresh out of Wibreth eggs. Could I interest you in some magical Kazeriu eggs?"
"Do you have anything else?" Sweets asked.
"Just the Kazeriu eggs. They'll work just as well in a cookie recipe."
"Alright then. I guess I'll take a half dozen of those."
"Half dozen of Kazeriu eggs. Here, they're on me," the Food Chia said, setting the eggs out for her.
"Wow, thanks! That's very nice of you." Sweets collected the eggs and continued on her way home, watching the sky for anymore falling Faeries.
Once at home, Sweets mixed together all the dry ingredients, and then added molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest. She cracked open the supposedly "magical" Kazeriu eggs, but they looked like normal Wibreth eggs to her and she added them as well. After letting the dough rest, she turned on the oven and popped the cookies in just as her owner arrived.
"Mmm, that smells great, Sweets!" her owner, Lina, said.
"Thanks! Do you want to go get Kata? They're almost ready."
"Sure!" Lina went to go find the Christmas Aisha and reappeared a few minutes later.
"Alright Kata! Happy early birthday!"
Sweets opened the oven, but jumped back when something leapt out of it!
"Eek! Was that a Miamouse?" Lina said, trying to spot the moving creature.
"No..." Sweets said. "I think that was a Jinjah!"
"Look! There are more of them!" Kata pointed to the oven, where Jinjahs were leaping out of it left and right and racing around the house.
"Quick, block off the hallway; I don't want them getting crumbs everywhere. Sweets, open the back door," Lina said, rushing to shoo the remaining Jinjahs out of the oven.
Sweets opened the back door and the three of them worked to get every last Jinjah outside. From the doorway, they watched them race off into the distance.
"Well, that certainly was a birthday surprise," Kata said.
"Yeah, what happened there, Sweets?" Lina asked.
"I don't know," Sweets answered. "I followed the recipe exactly, and it was just a normal cookbook. It wasn't one of those magical trickery ones or anything."
"Was anything different?" Kata asked.
"Well... I used Kazeriu eggs," Sweets mused. "The Food Chia told me they were magical."
"Got it. Never use Kazeriu eggs," Lina said, laughing a little.
"I guess so," Sweets responded. "Well, it's still early. Do you want to go to Terror Mountain and get slushies?"
"Sure!" Kata said. "That'd be a good birthday present as well!"
"Great! I'll see if anyone else wants to go." Lina walked through the Neohome, announcing their impromptu trip.
When they got home that evening, their bellies sloshing full of slushie, Sweets yawned and went straight to bed, the Jinjah incident completely forgotten.
The next morning, Sweets got up bright and early. She considered it one of her duties to make breakfast in the morning; it gave her an excuse to cook, and she knew that the others appreciated it. Plus she wanted to buy some more eggs; she had thrown the last of the Kazeriu eggs out.
Once back with a dozen normal eggs, Sweets put them into a pot of water to boil, before peeling them and putting just a touch of salt and pepper on them. They hadn't had hard-boiled eggs for breakfast for a while, and she left them in the fridge for the others to eat once they woke up. She, however, ate her own and then went outside for a morning walk with her Fire Swabby. He graciously cleaned the gravel path ahead of her as he walked, and she smiled and waved at their neighbors.
A very noticeable racket was coming from her house, and once Sweets heard it, she started jogging back, her Swabby swishing along happily in front of her.
"What's going on?" she asked, closing the front door. One of her sisters, Cream, ran through the hallway and into the living room, chasing something very small.
"Got it!" she announced, reappearing moments later with her hands cupped.
"Good. We've got the others," Lina said from the kitchen.
Curious, Sweets followed Cream and saw a cage full of tiny, white bouncing things.
Lina saw her then. "Sweets, I really am thankful that you made breakfast for all of us, but next time you make deviled eggs, please put a cover on them at least."
"I didn't make deviled eggs, I made hard boiled eggs," Sweets responded.
"Nope, they're definitely deviled eggs," Cream said. "See? Pitchforks and everything." She took a bite out of the one in their hand; it squirmed angrily. "Tastes great, though."
"Hmm... I wonder if the Food Chia accidentally gave me those magic eggs again."
"How about just no more eggs for a while?" Lina said, watching the deviled eggs shake their pitchforks in evil protest.
"Sounds good to me," Sweets agreed.
Feeling bad for causing two food disasters in a row, Sweets wanted to pull something really special off for dinner. With the heartening gesture in mind, she went out shopping for food yet again.
"I'm off to Meridell," she called to her owner, grabbing her shopping basket before heading out. She knew that she'd be able to find the freshest produce in Meridell, and fresh food always made for a good meal
"What'll it be?" asked the Draik farmer at the farmer's market.
"Four onions, and..." Sweets looked over the meat that was available. "Is this fish fresh?"
"Caught just this morning," the Draik replied. "It's tasty for making Tut Trout."
"That's exactly what I was planning," Sweets said. "I'll take it."
She paid the farmer for the food and took one last look around; she suddenly spotted the Pick Your Own plot, and decided that some berry pie would be perfect for dessert. She paid the Gelert 400 neopoints and promised him that she would definitely not take any of the dung in the field.
Her basket heavy with food, Sweets rushed back home to begin preparations.
She put seasoning sand on the fish and put it in the oven to cook, and then put the onions in to roast. After washing the raspberries she had picked, she coated them with sugar and lemon juice and put them in a pie crust, adding that to the oven as well.
"Dinner almost ready?" Cream said when she walked in. "It's not going to come alive again, is it?"
"No, of course not," Sweets said. "That was just a—" but as she opened the oven, an eruption of roaring, screeching and flapping filled the kitchen.
"What the--?" Grabbing an oven-mitt, she pulled the fish, onions, and pie out, and to her dismay saw that each one was alive: the fish was breathing, the onions had turned into oppressor onions, and the raspberry pie was now a spooky raspberry pie.
"Maybe there's something wrong with the oven?" Cream suggested, reaching for an oppressor onion and nibbling it.
"Please stop eating the sentient food," Lina said, coming into the room. Sweets grabbed hold of the fish and put it into the sink, turning the faucet on so that it had water.
"So, what's up with all of this?" Cream asked, gesturing towards the crowded countertop.
"I don't know..." Sweets sat down and held her head in her hands.
"Well, when did it start?" Lina said.
"It started with the Jinjahs."
"And did you do anything different before that?"
"Well... I was in Neopia Central... and I did a quest for a Light Faerie."
"You did?" Lina asked. "But your level isn't any different."
"That's because she didn't raise my level. She..." Sweets sat up straight. "She gave me a different kind of blessing."
"What was it?"
"She said that everything I made would bring insight and life. It must have gone wrong somehow."
"Yeah," Cream agreed, "instead of bringing life, everything you make becomes alive."
"Well, we can go to Faerieland tomorrow. Maybe we'll be able to reverse the spell," Lina said.
"I hope so," Sweets replied.
The next morning, Lina opened the door of the Neohome to hear a horrible wailing.
"What's wrong?!" she shouted, rushing in. Her path was blocked by something white and floating.
"I poured a glass of milk and it became aware," Sweets answered.
Lina knocked the haunted milk out of her way; it moaned miserably. "Come on. Faerieland awaits!"
The pair of them traveled to Faerieland as fast as they could, and soon, the purple city surrounded them.
"How are we going to find that light Faerie again?" Sweets asked.
"Well, Fyora's in charge of Faerie Quests, right? Maybe she'll know."
The purple city of Faerieland was soon visible, and Lina and Sweets walked straight to the Quest Center.
The Faerie Queen looked up as they entered. "Hello, Lina. What can I do for you today? I'm afraid you're not on a quest at the moment."
"No, Your Majesty, it's not about an open quest. It's actually about a quest that my pet completed yesterday. Sweets, why don't you tell Queen Fyora what happened?"
And so Sweets explained about her encounter with Letty and the unusual blessing that Letty had placed upon her. When she was done, Fyora sighed.
"You must excuse Laraletta. She means well, but does not fully comprehend the responsibility of her powers yet. I'll fetch her at once." The Faerie Queen flew off to find the young Light Faerie, and Lina and Sweets waited for her return.
"It's too bad the spell didn't turn out well," Lina said. "You're already a wonderful cook. Imagine how much better it'd be if your food really did bring insight and life. You could inspire people just by cooking for them."
"Maybe Fyora will know how to fix it," Sweets mused. "Either way, I'd just be thankful to be able to cook normal food."
"Here they come now." Lina pointed into the sky, where Fyora flew steadily, her hand clamped around a much younger Faerie's wrist who rocked nervously in the air beside her. They landed on the ground, Fyora gracefully and Letty stumbling.
"I'm so sorry!" Letty burst out, but Fyora silenced her with a wave of her hand. Sweets smiled at the Light Faerie to let her know she had no hard feelings.
"Now, Laraletta, there is a reason why Faeries give out the rewards that they do. It is very easy for a good-meaning spell to turn into a curse, especially for an untrained Faerie. You've already apologized to this Aisha, but I hope that you understand the consequences of your actions."
Letty nodded vigorously, and Fyora smiled. "Good. Do I have your permission to break the spell?"
"Yes! Of course!" Letty said.
"Then hold out your hand. You too, Sweets." Both Letty and Sweets did so, and Fyora grasped each of their hands in her own. "By the power in me as Queen of the Faeries, and with the spell caster's permission, I revoke the blessing that has been placed on this Checkered Aisha. In its place, I leave the following spell: may all that she cook bring comfort to those who eat it."
Sweets felt a warmth creep through her as the spell took hold, and she smiled. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. Thank you for being so understanding." Fyora smiled again and nodded goodbye to the three of them before returning to her duties.
"I'm so sorry!" Letty said again. "I'm such a miserable excuse for a Faerie."
"Are you kidding?" Sweets said. "I haven't had that much excitement in a long time. And, because of you, I got a blessing from Queen Fyora! That doesn't happen every day."
Letty smiled. "I guess not."
"Would you like to come over for some brownies?" Lina offered. "I'm sure they'll make you feel better, especially if Sweets makes them."
"That sounds wonderful!"
And with that, the human, the Faerie, and the Aisha went home to enjoy a delicious pan of non-sentient brownies.