Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 97,878,627 Issue: 186 | 15th day of Eating, Y7
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

The Uni and the Miamouse: Part Three


by 3dcourtney12044

--------

"I -- I -- I --" stuttered Cuni, eyes blazing with anger but also with fear. She knew Jhudora could see that, she knew the faerie could sense her dismay.

     Suddenly, miraculously, and also to Cuni's horror, her Miamouse squirmed more than ever. Shyle wriggled herself out of Cuni's grip, leapt out of her grasp, and stood there, facing Cuni, looking determined.

     "Sh-Shy!" cried Cuni, tears streaking down her face. She looked back up at Winny; every second she wasted, her friend was suffering. Cuni fell to her knees in defeat as Shyle gave what looked almost like a nod, and turned to face the evil Jhudora. After the look of surprise that had flashed across her face, Jhudora looked delighted -- in a diabolic sort of way. She snatched up the defenceless Miamouse, waved her hand, gave a mirth of laughter, and disappeared in a flash -- literally. There was a streak of light, the faerie vanished, and Winny fell to her feet with a thud. Suddenly, the scenery changed, and in a matter of seconds, Cuni and Winny were in their same positions -- but they had been transported to Faerieland. It was a cool evening, and stars dotted the sky, with a sliver of a moon glowing down on them.

     Cuni was sobbing. "I'm s-s-s-sowwy, Winny," weeped Cuni, her tears splattering the cloud below her. "I kn-kn-knew you w-wewe getting huwrt, b-b-but I'm afwaid of what J-J-Jhudowa's gonna do to Shy n-now!"

     Winny bent down and panted, beads of sweat forming on her forehead. She winced as she walked, but as she watched her friend crying on the floor, she didn't care. "You shouldn't have let Jhudora take her," Winny said, still breathing a bit heavily. "Who cares what happens to me?"

     "I-I-I do!" cried Cuni. "And dat's jus' it -- Sh-Sh-Shy did it by hewself! She j-jus' jumped out of my awrms and w-w-weft wiff Jhudowa!"

     "She was brave," Winny said quietly, crouching down next to Cuni. "We'll get her back, Cuni." Cuni looked up at her friend through her tears. "I promise."

     Though she was absolutely sobbing with dread, though she was worried-sick about her poor Petpet, though she couldn't imagine what in Neopia Jhudora planned to do with Shyle -- Cuni smiled back at her true friend.

     "Wight," she said softly, straightening up. "Wh-what should we do?"

     "I think..." Winny said, scrunching up her face in concentration. She bit her lip, bowing her head, and then looked back up at Cuni. "I think we should pay a little visit to Fyora." The chattering that was normally heard buzzing around in Faerieland had abated, and their surroundings seemed vacant, less friendly. Cuni gulped, and nodded quickly. The whole of Neopia seemed a lot less welcoming to her when she knew she may never see Shyle again.

     "Well," said Winny, glancing around. "I guess we might find her at the Hidden Tower. You said it herself, she probably lives there!"

     Cuni heaved a sigh and gave another nod.

     "Right, then let's head off," exclaimed Winny briskly. "We... we can fly, if you want to." Her voice trailed off and she gazed longingly at her friend. Cuni shook her head; she was sure Shyle had much enjoyed Cuni's love of flying, and doing so without her dear Petpet seemed like something a traitor would do. "I thought so," Winny said, interrupting Cuni's thoughts. "Just... just wasn't sure."

     After one last sigh, Cuni took off galloping after Winny, keeping her friend's clattering hooves against the soft cloud in view. They sprinted into Faerie City, and Cuni soon found herself desisting in front of the largest tower she'd ever seen in her life; a familiar-looking cobblestone path exerted to a tall stone building. Winny and Cuni burst into the Hidden Tower, panting from the run, and bending over to catch their breath.

     Though the sky outside had darkened a great deal, the Hidden Tower was just as brightly-lit as ever. Gleaming items in glass cases lined the walls, with sky-high prices. Glancing around, Cuni found no sign of Fyora, now shadows or shimmering faeries. Just a long, red rug in the center of the room, and a few portraits hanging on the stone walls. "She's not here," Cuni said softly in a disappointed voice.

     "Well, I didn't really expect her to be here on the first floor," explained Winny, nodding at a set of stairs that was hidden in the shadows.

     "Wait, how come I've never saw dose staiwrs befowe?" asked Cuni, striding past Winny to make sure the steps were really there; she placed a hoof on the first one, and found it was just as solid as anything else.

     "I read somewhere," said Winny, following Cuni to the stairs, "that they only appear there when the observer truly needs to speak with Fyora about 'a matter of great importance'."

     "Oh."

     "Well, c'mon!" exclaimed Cuni, nodding at the stairs once more. "We'd best start climbing now, judging by the size of the tower, it could be a long ways up."

     Nodding in agreement, Cuni began climbing at a lightning pace. As they rose higher and higher, the two came across circular windows, but Cuni dared not look down; not from this height, anyway. the stairs twisted and turned, spiraling and lifting them higher and higher. Cuni and Winny did not speak, but preserved all of their energy for climbing.

     After ten or so minutes, Cuni began to think that they would be forever climbing until the ground leveled out and they came to a door. It was a tall, thin wooden door, but it was also dome-shaped and had a shining, brass knob. Reaching to turn it, her hoof trembled, why, she did not know. Fyora was the Faerie Queen, right? There was no reason to fear her, like Jhudora...

     She flung the door open and peered inside; of all places, she had never seen a room quite as extraordinary as this one. It was, yet again, a stone room, with shelves upon shelves of interesting things. There was a jar brimming with a bubbling goo that looked like neither a liquid nor a solid; there was a pink-spotted cauldron, nearly overflowing with a stringy substance; there was a glass case holding a gleaming, blue-and-silver sword on a velvet cushion; there was another cushioned object, with an assortment of jiggly pens that shot a pink ink out into the air every few seconds, but the ink slowly disappeared all on its own; and many things besides. If Cuni hadn't been here on urgent circumstances, she would have been quite interested in gazing upon all of Fyora's tools.

     "Wh-wh-where do you fink she ish?" whispered Cuni quietly, closing the door behind her, but keeping her hoof on the knob.

     Winny shook her head to signal that she did not know. There was no sign of Fyora. There was, however, a stained glass sort of window, a gigantic one, overlooking all of Faerieland, and in front of the window was a sort of coffee table with a steaming cup of liquid with a spoon inside of it. Right beside of cup was a sort of crystal ball, but it was in a zig zag form and kept glimmering brightly every few minutes, a foggy mist settled at the bottom of the abnormal shape.

     "Ah, yes," said a gentle voice, "I was expecting you."

     Cuni let out a yelp, and Winny sprang backward in shock; though they were now familiar with the unusual ways faeries appeared, they were not at all prepared to see a crown appear in midair. Now, it wasn't just a crown; the face Cuni had seen in so many books, on so many posters, appeared just beneath the crown. Her long, purple dress was slowly taking shape, and by the time it was complete, Fyora the Faerie Queen stood in front of the coffee table.

     "H-H-Hello," Winny said quickly in a high-pitched voice, "I'm-I'm-I'm Winny."

     "Yes," said the faerie in a patient voice that told Cuni she'd known their names all along. She smiled all the same. "Yes."

     "And I'm Cuni," the baby Uni piped up anyway. Her face tearstained, Cuni tried to clear her throat. "I-I-I was jus' wondewrin... if you could help me."

     "Go on," Fyora said gently, gazing at the two stuttering baby Unis.

     Cuni wondered why Fyora was making her retell the horrible tragedy; she was sure the faerie knew it already. "I came to visit Winny," began Cuni, taking a deep breath before she started. "'Cause she jus' moved to Faewiewand. We decided to go and do one of Jhudowa's quests, and we did, but den I wealized I'd weft... I'd weft my Miamouse, Shy, behind." She gulped at this point, feeling tears coming on but fighting hard to hold them back. "We went to go and get her, but Jhudowa said no, and then she sent Winny and I to a dungeon, and gave Shy back to me. But den she made illusions, I fink, of my past, I don't know why. She showed an image of Winny being huwrt, and den it disappeared -- and she weally was getting huwrt!" Cuni stopped to take a breath. "Den, she gave me a choice, she said I could either give up Shy -- or watch Winny suffewr."

     When she'd finished, Cuni looked hopefully at Fyora, to see if her expression changed, maybe to one of sympathy or even pity. But her face hadn't changed at all, though her smile had decreased only a bit.

     "I see," the faerie said softly, turning to face the window. "Well, Cuni, Jhudora is that kind of faerie. She gave your Petpet, Shyle, back to you because she knew she'd be able to see you make a choice you'd much rather not make. And do you know why Jhudora decided to pick on you two?" Exchanging glances with Winny, Cuni shook her head. "Because both of your hearts are in the right place. She knew you were weak when it came to making choices like that, and she enjoys making generous Neopets suffer as a result of her dirty work."

     There was a pause in which Cuni let these words sink in. Winny pawed the ground anxiously, and said quietly, "Is there any way we can save Shyle?"

     Fyora turned around and considered them for a moment, making Cuni feel as though she were being x-rayed. "Yes," said Fyora finally, looking a tad bit grim. "Here you are--" (with a wave of her hand, a scroll appeared with a small pop! and she motioned for Cuni to take it) "--it has everything you need to know. Good luck, Cuni and Winny." And before Cuni could say anything, the Faerie Queen vanished soundlessly.

     "She -- she jus' hands us a scwoll and weaves?" exclaimed Cuni, looking cross. "She's da Faewie Queen! Can't she jus' go find Jhudowa and make her give Shy back or something?"

     "Perhaps," said Winny, surveying the scroll. "Let's take a look at the scroll..."

     They untied it from the soft red string, and unrolled it. Cuni held it at arm's length, and found a sort of riddle:

      Atop her cloud, you must go.

     In order to save your friend,

     Sit upon the throne you must

     To assure your journey soon will end.

     "Atop her cwoud?" said Cuni. "Does she mean Jhudowa's?"

     "Probably." Winny scratched her head. "And she needs you to sit on the throne!"

     "Jhudowa's thwone!" breathed Cuni. "It can't be dat hard, can it?"

     Consulting the scroll again, Winny replied, "All it says is to sit on her throne, to 'assure your journey soon will end', meaning you'll get Shyle back and defeat Jhudora."

     "Defeat Jhudowa?" repeated Cuni in an offhand voice; once she said the words, they seemed complex and she felt small. "Dis might be hawrder dan I fought..." At that moment, she pictured her Miamouse, alone in a cell or suffering at the hands of Jhudora. She shuddered, and felt a surge of determination. "Wet's go!"

     The trip back down the stairs seemed to take no time at all, as Cuni's mind was bubbling with drifting thoughts of Jhudora and Shyle, and Fyora's riddle. She didn't notcied the spirals, twists and turns, nor did she even spare a glacen at the portraits and windows hanging in the halls. Cuni and Winny quickly rushed down the narrow staircase, and found themselves bursting into the original Hidden Tower room. As Winny made her way for the door, Cuni halted in the center of the dark red rug.

     "You coming?" asked Winny, suddenly noticing Cuni's absence as she opened the door ajar. Fresh moonlight filtered in until Winny let the door slam shut and she strolled to Cuni's side. "What's up?"

     Cuni gazed at her friend. "Winny," she said seriously, "tanks for... for stickin' wiff me. For twying to get Shy back wiff me. It means a wot to me."

     Winny smiled and slung her hoof around Cuni's shoulder. "What're friends for?" she said. "Now, c'mon -- we've got a Miamouse to save!"

     With a last grin and a nod, the two baby Unis bolted out of the Hidden Tower, the scroll tucked safely under Cuni's arm, and galloped flat-out towards Jhudora's Cloud. They ran across not a soul.

     But, just as they were approaching the staircase, however, they heard a worried yell, "Winny! Cuni! Where are you? Please, please answer..."

     Winny looked horrified, and quickly pulled Cuni away, ducking behind the staircase a bit so they could not be seen. Peeking slowly out acorss the dark, empty cloud, a faded light of a flashlight appeared, held by a girl. Though it was dark, Cuni could make out Jade's saddened expression, as she called their names over and over again.

     "It's Jade," muttered Winny frantically. "We can't let her see us..."

     "But she's wowwied!" argued Cuni as Jade jogged past. "You should at least tell her what we're doing..."

     Winny shook her head. "I can't," she said softly. "I know Jade. We can't just say, 'Oh, we're going to go and battle Jhudora. Be back in an hour or so.' and leave it at that! She won't let us -- or even worse, she'll try and help!"

     "How's dat worse?" mumbled Cuni.

     Winny shook her head. "I can't let Jade get in that kind of danger. We're already risking our lives, I can't let her get caught up in it.... We can't tell her. Or at least not until we're back."

     Cuni watched with a sinking heart as Hade worriedly hurried past, heading towards the Wheel of Excitement. "Now's our chance," said Winny, revealing herself and dragging Cuni along. "She's over at the Wheel of Excitement... that's a good ways away from here... it'll give us a bit of time... she might come back..."

     Winny hurriedly ushered Cuni up the steps, and Cuni, before Winny could speak, said quietly, "One second. We should at weast... I dunno, weave her a sign or something that we're safe." Cuni pulled out the scroll, placed it on the ground, and sat on her knees.

     "We don't have a pen!" exclaimed Winny, puzzled.

     "Maybe not," said Cuni, and looked around hastily. "Winny!" she said suddenly. "Da Gnome Shwoom..."

     "What?"

     "We need it!" Cuni hissed back. "Da one you dwopped earlier..."

     "Err... okay..." Winny, taking great care not to make too much noise, galloped down the steps and off into the distance; Cuni could make out her figure snatching up a forgotten item and hurrying back, climbing the steps.

     "Got it," she said breathlessly, dropping the shroom beside Cuni. "But Cuni, what good will it do?"

     "Well, it's a kind of shwoom, wight?"

     "Yeah..."

     "Maybe..." Cuni breathed, and she squeezed the Gnome Shroom around the gooey, purple-ish part above the stem. A powdery liquid oozed out, splattering the scroll, and Cuni moved the shroom up and down, squeezing it as she went. Finally, she was able to spell out, "JADE -- DON'T WORRY! SIGNED, WINNY AND CUNI."

     "Brilliant," muttered Winny as Cuni rolled up the scroll, took aim, and chucked it far from the cloud. It wavered in the air for a moment before slowly lowering to the ground.

     "Well," Cuni said briskly, standing up and gazing intently at the throne. "I guess... it's time."

     Winny nodded solemnly, and Cuni gulped; she was taking a great leap, and a great risk at that. But no matter what happened, Cuni vowed to herself that she would return to this spot with her brown Miamouse in hand. No matter what it took.

To e continued...

 
Search the Neopian Times




Other Episodes


» The Uni and the Miamouse: Part One
» The Uni and the Miamouse: Part Two
» The Uni and the Miamouse: Part Four



Week 186 Related Links


Other Stories


---------

T3h Praedius
An ill-timed random event... looks like Praedius is in trouble.

by arttimo

---------

The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Stolen Sharky - Part One
"There you go, buddy!" She gave him a pat on his back-which had little white spots. Since Scout was one of the only Sharky's left in all of the Neopian oceans, he always received special care and attention.

by playmobil_is_my_life



Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.