White Weewoos don't exist. *shifty eyes* Circulation: 115,191,906 Issue: 230 | 9th day of Running, Y8
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The Beauty Within: Part Three

by queen_aingeal


Daria left the farm early the next morning, waving goodbye to Alton, Lydia, and their three children. The newly-made beauty walked through Meridell, relishing the awed gazes she attracted. And to think, she thought happily to herself, I used to be a monster lurking in the shadows of the Citadel. Now look at me! I'm so pretty!

      Her thoughts were interrupted, however, when she ran face-first into the green nose of the Turmaculus and was knocked off-balance. She winced, bracing herself for the flood of laughter that she felt certain would arrive. Instead, she heard a girl's voice that was tinged with concern say, "Oh my goodness, are you OK?"

      Daria looked up. Standing over her was a teenage girl, with long blonde hair and sparkly blue eyes. "Oh… yeah, I'm fine," Daria said, getting to her feet.

      "Are you sure?" the girl asked worriedly.

      "Yeah. I'm fine." Daria smiled at the girl, and she smiled back, showing perfect white teeth.

      "My name's Mirabel," said the girl, brushing a nonexistent speck of dust from her fashionable leather jacket. "What's yours?"

      "Daria," the Uni replied.

      "Daria… that's pretty. What does it mean?"

      Daria was confused. "Does it have to mean something?" she asked.

      Mirabel laughed, a bright, tinkling sound that seemed to Daria to be quite cold and condescending. "Why, of course it does, silly! My name means 'of uncommon beauty', which is quite OBVIOUSLY accurate!" she said, flipping her hair over her shoulder.

      "Oh…" Daria said, and thought for a moment. "I think someone once told me that my name meant 'wealthy'."

      "Well, you certainly don't LOOK it," Mirabel said. "After all, you're not wearing any makeup, and you don't look like you've been groomed."

      Daria looked down. "I don't have an owner," she said quietly. "I'm sorry."

      Mirabel gasped, putting a hand to her chest. "Oh my, you poor thing!" she cooed. "Well, of COURSE you'll come with me then!"

      "Really?" Daria asked, looking up with hope and gratitude in her blue eyes.

      "Of course. Let me just abandon one of my pets, and I'll take you in immediately!" Mirabel said. "Ooh, this is going to be so much FUN!"

      Daria felt a twinge of guilt as she watched Mirabel run over to a green Aisha and speak to it for a few minutes. When she turned away from it to go back over to Daria, the Aisha was crying.

      "OK, it's all settled!" Mirabel chirped happily. "Come on, let's go." She strode off purposefully, and Daria slunk behind.

      Would you have done that if I wasn't pretty? the Uni thought.

     * * *

     Soon the two arrived at a massive, silver Neohome in Faerieland. "Welcome home, Daria!" Mirabel said cheerfully, opening the door. Daria stepped in cautiously, looking around.

      The front hallway alone was huge, with a giant towering ceiling and a skylight sending golden rays of light down on the two. "Wow," Daria said, and an echo called the word back to her.

      "I know, isn't it?" Mirabel said, walking up to the spiralled staircase. "Princess! Fluffy! Damian!" she called up, and the echo replied.

      Footsteps thundered above, and soon three Neopets came down the staircase. One was a handsome Rainbow Eyrie, who stopped at the foot of the stairs and stretched his sky-blue wings. After him came a Faerie Ixi, tripping down the stairs lightly on delicate hooves. Lastly there was a Royal Usul, whose pink ermine robes floated around her diminutive frame.

      Mirabel went over to the staircase and stood beside her pets. "This is Damian, that's Fluffy, and that's Princess," she said, pointing at the Eyrie, the Ixi, and the Usul each in turn.

      "Who's that?" Princess asked, straightening her pointed hat.

      Mirabel laughed. "Oh, dear me, I almost forgot! This is Daria! Isn't she beautiful??"

      Fluffy fluttered her wings. "Not as beautiful as me!" she said pompously.

      "Me neither!" Princess said loudly.

      "Oh, shut UP," Damian said in irritation, flapping over to Daria, who stood aloof. "Don't mind them," he said to her kindly. "They're just stupid."

      "MirAAAA, he called us STUUUUPID!" the girls squealed in unison.

      "Damian, be nice to your sisters!" Mirabel said, her perfect smile slipping slightly. Before Daria could register the slip, the smile was back on at maximum intensity. "Now DARIA, let's get you to your room!"

      Daria was led up the stairs and shown into a magnificent bedroom made of marble. She looked around at the walls and saw several Nightsteed posters put up. Mirabel let out a small shriek. "Oh my goodness, I forgot that she put those up! I will of course take them down immediately!"

      "No, don't!" Daria said, running in front of Mirabel. "I like them."

      "You… LIKE these things?" Mirabel asked in disbelief.

      "Well…" Daria said, hastily trying to cover her slip, "they are UNIS, after all."

      Mirabel considered, then nodded. "OK," she said briskly. "Now, I realise that the furniture may not be QUITE what you're used to, but it's a start."

      Daria looked around. There was a Zen Desk in the corner with a rolling chair, a Zen Sofa that served as a bed, and a Zen Rug in the middle of the room. "It's very, um… Zen," she said.

      Mirabel scoffed. "Yeah, it's hideous, isn't it?" she said distastefully.

      "I like it, actually," Daria said, smiling. "It's a lot better than what I'm used to."

      "Oh, no, you're entirely wrong," Mirabel said airily, waving her hand. "The colours totally clash with your coat."

      "Black and white go with everything," Daria said.

      Mirabel turned around and glared at Daria. "Look, do you WANT to look fabulous or not?"

      Daria blinked. "Um…"

      "That's what I thought," Mirabel said, ignoring Daria and sweeping out of the room. "I'm going to be downstairs. If you need anything, Damian will help you out." And just like that, she was gone.

      Daria stood in the black and white room, feeling slightly dazed. She went over and lay on the sofa, looking up at the ceiling. "I miss Spike," she said to herself.

      "Who's Spike?" asked a voice. Daria sat up sharply and saw Damian in the doorway.

      "Spike is - was - my petpet," Daria said, sitting up.

      "Really?" Damian asked, coming in and sitting beside her.

      "Yeah. He was a Drackonack, and he was really sweet."

      "Wow!" Damian said, smiling. "That's cool. Where is he now?"

      Daria sighed. "He ran away in Meridell. I think he was afraid of me."

      "Why?" Damian asked.

      "He was used to seeing an ugly Uni, and when I got pretty, he ran away down the Symol hole," Daria said, then gasped, realising what she'd said.

      "When were you ever ugly?" Damian asked.

      "Umm… my old owner…" Daria sighed. "My father is Lord Darigan."

      Damian fell silent, digesting this. "So… you were a Darigan pet?" Daria nodded. "That's so cool!"

      "No it wasn't!" Daria said, turning to Damian with a shocked look. "I was really, REALLY ugly!"

      "I doubt it," Damian said. "Darigan pets look awesome."

      Daria began to reply, but before she could get a word out the lights went out, and the house grew cold. Damian stood up. "What's going on?" he asked.

      Daria jumped up and ran to the top of the stairs, staring down at the door. Sure enough, a second later a heavy knock sounded three times. Mirabel went to the door and pulled it open.

      There in the doorway, his tattered wings unfurled, stood Lord Darigan. He swept in, pushing Mirabel to the side. "Where is she?" he asked in a low, threatening voice.

      "Who?" Mirabel asked, her voice trembling.

      "My daughter." Darigan turned to the girl, and Daria saw the eerie white glow of his skull-like mask. "Daria."

      Mirabel brightened up. "I know where she is!"

      Daria ran down the stairs. "I'm not going with you!" she shouted. She was aware of Damian running after her, but at the moment she didn't care. "I don't care what you say or what you do, I am NOT going with you!"

      Darigan looked confused. "Who are you?" he asked. "You do not matter to me. I'm looking for Daria."

      "That is Daria!" Mirabel cried, pointing.

      "Mira, no!" Damian said. "Don't you understand? That's Darigan! He wants to take Daria away and make her ugly again!"

      Darigan looked at the Eyrie with an expression of boredom on his face. "He's right, you know. When I find Daria, I am going to take her back to where she belongs." He turned his icy gaze to the defiant Uni standing before him. "Of course, if you are who you say you are, then this little spell should work wonders." He raised his arms, his black cloak billowing around him, and hissed some words that chilled Daria to the core.

      Lightning flashed outside the Neohome and all the windows in the entire castle flew open simultaneously. A cold gale began howling, swirling around Daria's body. Daria looked down and saw her beautiful spots melting away, revealing an ugly dark blue colour in their place. "No," she whispered, as her creamy mane thickened and darkened to grey. Her horn lengthened and twisted, falling limply behind her. She looked back and saw the feathers falling away from her wings to reveal those of a dragon. The wind died down, leaving a hideous Darigan Uni in the place of a beautiful Spotted pet.

      "Ah…" Darigan said softly, and Daria saw the smile on his face, barely hidden by his mask. "So we meet again, my dear."

      "What is THAT?" Mirabel screeched in disgust. "Ugh, get it AWAY!"

      "Daria," Damian said softly. Daria looked up at him with tears in her eyes.

      "Come now, Daria," Darigan said, and Daria walked slowly towards him, her hooves thudding dully on the silver floors. Darigan laid an icy hand on her shoulder and she felt his cloak swirl around her. "Time to go home," he said, and they were gone.

To be continued...

Author's note: Phew! I wonder how this will end up! Well, you'll have to wait until next week before you find out. It's all going to be fine, though. I promise.

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Other Episodes

» The Beauty Within: Part One
» The Beauty Within: Part Two

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