800 Green Mirrors
"Iam so close to hitting this major milestone, eight HUNDRED Green Mirrors!! Just one more to go and I will have them all. I've been working on this for years," said Aerlina, a gorgeous Air Faerie who spends her days collecting different beauty and grooming items. She is one of the many faeries that will use her magical abilities to cast spells on helpful Neopians willing to complete her quests, she loves to make Neopets quicker and more agile. Just like all Air Faeries, when one of her quests is completed she will increase the movement speed of the one who helped her.
She is an avid collector of many items, but her favorite is the Green Mirror. She seems to request this item more than any other, and has built up a massive collection of them, just recently receiving number 799. Her faerie friends aren't quite sure what she does with them, but it can only be assumed that they line all the walls in her home, creating one giant mirror for her to admire her own beauty.
Aerlina has been working as a quest faerie for almost a year now. She spent twelve years perfecting her magic skills, training every day, and working very hard to be able to have enough power to raise Neopets' movement by three points (the minimum required for the quest faeries). She got into the business out of a passion for helping people, she wanted to make the world stronger and faster, and this is also a way to give Neopians a quick smile. Her quests aren't difficult, the items have low rarity and are hardly expensive. It is much cheaper than training with doubloons or codestones! But...things didn't go as planned.
Nine months ago...
"I've been doing this for three months and...people just haven't been very grateful. Not like they are with you guys," Aerlina said as she was sitting around with her faerie friends.
"No, they are excited," said Florence, a Fire Faerie who has been in the questing business for a couple years. "It's just that the movement skill isn't a huge priority for a lot of pets, it is only really useful for a few Battledome weapons."
"Look Aerlina, don't get too stressed about it," said Ermoya, an Earth Faerie who has been granting spells on Neopets for a decade now. "I used to be laughed out, all the Earth Faeries did. All we could do was make sure a pet was well fed, restore their hit points, and make them gain a little weight!! That didn't go over well, why would they spend their money on me when the Healing Springs gave that away for free? But things changed for me, maybe they'll change for you."
"Change how Ermoya?" Aerlina was frustrated.
"The Battledome is always changing, there could be big changes and movement could become very important," responded Ermoya.
Aerlina sighed deeply. She was very passionate about helping people, but felt like it was going unappreciated. She decided that if she wanted to enjoy her job, she'd have to find a new part of it to drive her forward.
Back to the present day...
"WHERE IS IT!?! WHERE IS MY GREEN MIRROR!?!?!" Aerlina was fuming, shrieking at a poor Baby Kiko she came across in Neopia Central. "BRING ME MY GREEN MIRROR. NOW!!!"
The Baby Kiko started to cry, quivering and hiding. He hopped off as quick as he could into the marketplace to find the shining eye makeup.
"Aren't you being a little harsh?"
"WHO SAID THAT," screamed Aerlina. "I AM GOING TO HELP HIM GET FASTER. HE NEEDS ME."
Aerlina had become obsessed with items. She spent her days harassing helpless Neopians just to get another item to add to her collection. She's been trying to obtain Green Mirrors, and now that she is so close to her goal of 800 she has become ruthless. A lot of Neopians end up rejecting her quest, or using boons to request another faerie, as they feel like movement is a waste of time and they'd rather save the time. Somewhere, deep down, Aerlina is clearly hurt by this.
"Look, you need to chill out. You are scaring these people," the voice answers back. A Robot Quiggle emerges from the bushes. "What is wrong with you? Why are you like this?"
Aerlina's anger starts to fade as she looks back at the Quiggle. Her voice was sincere, almost caring, and that threw the Air Faerie for a loop.
"Do you need to talk about it," the Quiggle said as she sat down on a log on the side of the path. "Sit and talk. It's never okay to be that angry."
"It is just so hard," Aerlina says as her eyes well up with tears. "Nobody likes me. Nobody wants to work with me. I spent years working on my air magic to be able to help out Neopians and no one wants my help, everyone thinks I'm useless."
"Hey now, you aren't useless. Movement is important, agility is important, they just don't know it yet," replies the Quiggle. "They aren't rejecting your quests because they don't want to help you, or because they don't want your magic, maybe some ignorant Neopians don't want to increase that stat but...I think most people might be scared of you."
"Scared?? Of me? I'm just a faerie!"
"Did you see that Kiko run after you screamed? No one likes to be screamed at, it makes you seem greedy and ungrateful. Sure, you are helping out these pets with your magic but...they are helping you out by adding to your collection. It's a symbiotic relationship, you need them just like they need you."
"Oh, wow, I've never thought of it like that," Aerlina looks down at the ground for a few moments, thinking. "You know, when I started doing this I was so happy and excited, and I loved the way pets smiled when I boosted their abilities. They would run back and forth to show me how much faster I had made them, I loved it! After a while though I started noticing the people who wouldn't do that, who would scoff at movement speed, and I started to focus on those people. I focused on the negative people instead of the positive and..."
"And it made you jaded. Those people weren't good to you and it made you feel bad," said the Quiggle. "So you wanted to make them feel bad back. But you got so caught in your own head, and in getting revenge, that you lost sight of the true use for your magic: to make people happy."
"You are so right," things were clicking for Aerlina now. "I got so focused on collecting Green Mirrors and thinking those were what I was doing this for...I love my Green Mirrors, but that isn't the reason I got into this. Yes, I can still collect them, but not at the expense of others' happiness. That poor Kiko...he didn't deserve to be screamed at, he was just walking along down the path."
"Sometimes we all get caught up in our own emotions, it's okay. It seems like you are realizing what you need to do now," the Quiggle spoke gently as she was patting the Air Faerie on the back.
"Thank you, thank you so much for giving me this pep talk. I just...I let myself get so carried away...I got jealous of the other faeries and so mad at the naysayers of movement that I lost myself," said Aerlina. "I think I'm okay now. I want to make pets happy."
"I'm glad, you are a wonderful faerie Aerlina. Here, you seem to be back on the right track, I coincidentally had this and think you should take it," the Quiggle reaches into her bag and pulls something out and hands it to the faerie.
"Oh! Oh my!! You don't have to do this!!" Aerlina's eyes turned from sadness to joy, gazing at a Green Mirror in front of her. "Thank you so much!! Number 800!! What a big day for me!!!! How can I ever repay you???"
"You don't owe me anything," the Quiggle smiled.
"I know," said Aerlina as she stood up. She faced the Robot Quiggle and began a spell, stars and faerie dust surrounded her new friend and there was a sudden flash of light.
"Wo-wo...woah. I feel," the Quiggle stood up and moved her arms around. "I feel...faster! I feel like my gears just got a fresh greasing!! I haven't felt this good in ages, it's like all the rust has been cleared out of my joints!!"
Aerlina smiled, a sense of joy and pride washed over her. This was the reaction she wanted.