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Only Time Will Tell

by lugal222


May 1, 2015

            As Prytariel entered Exquisite Ambrosia she gazed at the group sitting in the corner. She couldn’t help but feel a twinge of despair as she realized that that majority of neopets were unaware of their existence but, to be fair, from afar they don’t look like much. At first glance they look just like many other Gnorbus, Chombys, and Cybunnys. However, Prytariel knew something that the other inhabitants in the restaurant evidently didn’t: the four in the corner were in fact some of the most important people in Neopia, or at least they would be in June. By all accounts Keetra, Loryche, and Derlyn should have been easily noticeable, they were former Altador Cup Winner’s after all, but still their group was largely ignored. Prytariel fumed at this injustice as she stormed towards the table.

      “It isn’t fair. There are eighteen teams that participate in the Altador Cup and, while the newscasters try to be equitable when announcing, the other captains don’t treat us like they treat the rest of their peers and neither do many of the people of Neopia. This needs to stop” Prytariel stated, not wasting a moment before getting down to business.

      “That’s why you called this impromptu meeting? Seriously? I gave up practice time for this?” Keetra exclaimed as she stood to leave.

      “Not all of us have the same problems as you. Some of us can win” Derlyn mocked as she followed Keetra’s lead.

      “Wait!” Prytariel shouted. This is going all wrong, she thought. They were supposed to understand… they were supposed to see what she saw. “Can you honestly say the other captains have never treated you differently? Hook…They’ve never looked down on you?” She could sense their hesitation. Line... “Layton Vickles hasn’t mocked you every time he scores?” Sinker.

      “What’s your point” Keetra muttered, still hesitant to commit to leaving or staying.

      “I have a proposition… a plan really. But it will only work if we all agree to it.” Prytariel waited until Keetra and Derlyn sat back down before continuing in a hushed voice, “We trade players” she began before quickly intercepting Keetra’s objections, “Just for practice.”

      Keetra snapped her mouth shut again and stared at Prytariel, seemingly accepting the plan thus far.

      “We trade players so that our players receive the added benefit of playing against different styles. We all would have the same advantage because we all are experiencing a different team’s methods and ideas. It will help us expand our skills and beat the guys. I know a few of you already have a Cup under your belt, but imagine what the guys’ responses would be if you won a second one? They would have to acknowledge that women captains have just has much skill as them.” Prytariel trailed off at this point, unsure of how to proceed. She tried to assess the other captains and figure out if they would side with her or not. Keetra, Derlyn, and Loryche had all won the Cup in past years so she had assumed they would be the hardest to convince. She assumed Mirsha would have spoken up and immediately agreed to any plan, regardless of what it was, and yet she remained silent. Perhaps she had underestimated her counterparts. Maybe she should have been focusing on convincing Mirsha.

      “Is this plan legal?” Mirsha asked, having picked up on Prytariel’s nervousness.

      “Of course it is!” indignation spread across Prytariel’s face. “I’m just certain that anyone watching us would assume the worst… or tell the other captains we met and then they will assume the worst. And… technically I haven’t checked, but how could it be illegal? We are just practicing. They don’t have any right to tell us who we can train with and who we can’t.” Mirsha hesitated, not yet completely sold on the plan, but Prytariel wasn’t certain what to do in order to convince her.

      “It sounds like a simple change, but what are we getting out of it? You guys aren’t winners so what can you contribute to our practices?” Keetra asked.

      Before Prytariel could respond, Loryche shocked them all by answering: “It never hurts to have another person’s opinions. Working with others provides another way of looking at an issue. For instance I hate the faerie ball. I can never score with it and it is getting a little pathetic that I have to always have ‘Spikes’ shoot the ball in order to get a point. However, I have noticed that Mirsha never has any issues scoring with that ball.” Prytariel did a silent, inward happy dance and tried to remind herself to find a way to thank Loryche. That compliment to Mirsha did more to convince her that this plan was a good idea than anything Prytariel could have said.

      “I’m in” Mirsha exclaimed.

      “Me too. Obviously” Loryche quickly seconded.

      “I guess… it’s not like you guys can ruin my team anyways and I can afford to be a little generous towards your teams since my team doesn’t really need any more practice; we could win the Cup tomorrow if we wanted to” Keetra sneered, although her eyes expressed the doubt that her words did not convey.

      They all stared expectantly at Derlyn.

      “No” was all she said as she stood up and left. No?! Prytariel couldn’t believe her ears. No reason, no request for more information…. Just “no”?! Weeks of planning, convincing her team it was a good idea, and finding a good moment and location for all five captains to meet and Derlyn ruins it all by saying no. The others stared at her, similar disbelief evident in their faces, but Keetra rebounded the quickest.

      “Guess that means the plan’s a no-go” and she quickly followed Derlyn out. Prytariel tried not to be too bitter about Keetra’s quick change of opinion on the plan. Derlyn was probably her ride back to the space station after all.

      “I thought it was a good idea. I’m sorry it didn’t work out” Loryche patted her arm as she walked out the door and then it was just Mirsha and Prytariel sitting at the table. Prytariel couldn’t stand the awkward silence so she quickly gave up and stormed out of the restaurant to deal with her sadness and failure away from her enemy’s eyes.

      May 7, 2015

      I’m in. Lets meet.

      That was all the note said, but it was enough. Prytariel quickly gathered her bag and set off for the same restaurant in Altador. She once again was the last one to arrive; in fact, Keetra, Mirsha, and Loryche were already walking out when she arrived. Prytariel hurried over to the table and stared Derlyn down, her eyes begging to be told what had changed; it didn’t take long before Derlyn broke down and explained.

      “They interviewed me for the stats that they share with Neopia before the Cup and I sneaked a pick at what they put down. Inexperience. They said my weakness was Inexperience. I pointed out to the guy taking the notes that I have won an Altador Cup and he still wrote down inexperience. The nerve of it. Then it hit me… no one would pull this kind of stuff on Layton, so I am in. I don’t know if it will help, but I am willing to try.”

      “I can’t promise it will work” Prytariel admitted, something she was afraid to admit, even to herself.

      “Only time will tell” Derlyn muttered as she got up and left.

      “Only time will tell” Prytariel responded to the empty doorway.

      The End.

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