Illusen and Jhudora's Night Out
"Hello. Would you like to help me with something?" Illusen, the famous Earth Faerie, asked the energetic yellow Kacheek who showed up at her door. After sighing inwardly at his enthusiastic nod, she sent him off to buy a white chocolate Usul. Illusen forced a smile on her exhausted face and waved as the Kacheek scampered off.
"Finally. Alone at last." That day had been particularly grueling. A new discussion on the noob branch of the Neoboards had inevitably led to Faerie Quests. This had sent a wave of excited first-time questers charging towards her normally peaceful glade.
Illusen quickly hung a sign on her door that stated: "Off on important duties. Please come back later." She then closed her door, locked it securely, and made a cup of tea in her warm, country-style kitchen. Illusen grabbed a large book the librarian Faerie had lent her and reclined on her green reading chair, determined to have a relaxing, comfortable evening. Illusen was just in the middle of getting engrossed in her book (a very good one, about royal Lupes and deceiving Kyrii scheming in the Lost Desert) when there was another knock at her door.
She steadfastly ignored it, but the accursed knocker was a bit more persistent. They started knocking louder and louder. The pounding on the door soon became hard enough to rattle the shelves, lined with bottles, which hung on her walls. When the knocker threatened to shake the very foundations of her home, Illusen had had enough.
Overcome by a sudden fit of rage, she hurled her book on the floor, jumped up, and flew at breakneck speed to the door, which she violently threw open.
"Can I help you?" she growled through gritted teeth, fighting the urge to scream.
A speckled Lupe pushed past her and entered Illusen's home. "Who burned your cream cookies, princess?" she asked breezily.
Illusen's eyes screamed blue murder before they were hit with recognition. "Jhudora? Is that you?"
"Of course it is. Why, were you expecting someone else?" said the Lupe, who was most definitely Jhudora.
"No, no. It's just... I've had a pretty exhausting day." Illusen collapsed on her chair again.
"You too, huh? Those noobs are relentless. Taelia had to come to the capital and took refuge in the Hidden Tower. But that's not why I'm here. Both of us could obviously use a break, which is rather excellent because I've booked a reservation for two at Kelp."
"Jhude, you're amazing. A night out is just what I need right now."
The hostess of Kelp, a Maraquan Uni, looked up from her magazine to groan at her newest arrivals. A speckled Lupess and a pink Eyrie had just walked in. The hostess grudgingly drifted over to them, plastering a fake "delighted grin" on her face as she did so.
"Welcome to Kelp!" she said brightly," Do you have a reservation?"
"Yes, we do. It's under 'Jhude'," the Lupe said. The hostess noticed the Lupe had a very interesting voice. It was a bit deep, and had musical undertones. But because a customer's voice did in no way affect her, she forgot about it. With that in mind, the hostess led the two of them to table 5.
She then went back to the front desk, counting the minutes until her shift ended.
"You would think the classiest restaurant in Neopia would have better service," Illusen observed from under her pink Eyrie disguise.
"At least the food is decent," said Jhudora. "Let's order before we talk."
The two faeries were pondering the dessert section when a gust of wind blew open the doors of Kelp. The faerie Queen herself, the famous Fyora, swept in dramatically.
The hostess of Kelp slammed her magazine down on the desk and rushed over. "Queen Fyora! What a surprise!" she said, looking sufficiently flustered. "Is there anything I can do for you?"
She just ignored the hostess and scanned the dining area. The effect the queen had on the restaurant was tremendous. Most of the pets just stared, openmouthed in utter awe. Some of the bolder ones squeaked out greetings, looking amazed when she returned every single one. Soon the pets, including the hostess, started neomailing anyone and everyone about this amazing occurrence.
The two "pets" at table 5, after looking around the room, hastily profiled themselves into the group of awed starers to attract the least amount of attention. The last thing they needed was to be caught shirking duties. Fyora caught sight of them, though, and glided over, a generous smile on her face.
"Good evening," the faerie queen said. "Would you lucky pets like to do a quest for me?"
Everyone in the restaurant froze, waiting for the pets to accept and for the faerie queen to announce her quest. The two "pets" were relieved. Their disguises were working better than they would have thought.
Then the speckled Lupess spoke up. "Sorry, Queen Fyora, but we've had a long day and we would like to relax tonight. Maybe another time?"
A tremor of shock rippled through the diners and staff alike. Who did they think they were, turning down the Faerie Queen like that?
Fyora was quite shocked herself. "Excuse me? Did you just say you wouldn't do the quest?"
"Yes, I believe we did. But I'm sure quite a number of people in this room would like to take you up on your offer," the pink Eyrie said helpfully, with a pretty smile.
The Queen was perfectly livid. Her lovely face blanched, then reddened. "That won't be necessary. I am no longer in need of assistance," she said stiffly, and a bit lamely, before vanishing in a poof of lavender smoke that smelled like lilacs.
Jhudora and Illusen waved the smoke away, seemingly ignorant of the hostile atmosphere the restaurant had adopted.
"Crotchety old hag," Jhudora grumbled. Illusen hid her beak in the menu to hide a giggle.
"Really, though, she was sincerely upset when we didn't accept," she pointed out."Maybe we could have let her join us or something of the like... just to make her feel less embarrassed."
"That's just because Queens are too used to getting their own way all the time," replied Jhudora bitterly. "Waiter! We're about ready to order!"
The waiter, a red Shoyru with small wings and a rather large waistline, shuffled over to their table, clearly upset. It wasn't enough that his salary had been cut yet again; now he had to ask the two pets with the musical voices to leave Kelp. He REALLY wasn't good at things like this.
"Something's bothering him," Illusen whispered. "Whatever could it be?"
"Frankly, my dear, I couldn't care less," said Jhudora.
"Ahem, er, excuse me..," said the Shoyru, who had reached the table. "But, o-on ac-account of all the n-neopets here at K-Kelp, I must ask you t-two to please l-l-l-leave..." He was sweating profusely now. And the Shoyru's mother had assured him just two months ago that he had outgrown his stutter! "S-slighting the Faerie Q-queen w-w-will not b-be tolerated." There, he had finished saying what the hostess had written on his hand. Now the pets should be getting up and leaving.
The Shoyru looked at the incognito faeries in puzzlement, for they were still very much inside Kelp. Meanwhile, the pink Eyrie was examining her companion warily, trying to detect the faintest trace of her losing her temper. Jhudora was more amused than angry, though; she seemed intent on messing with the Shoyru.
"I'm sorry, what was that? I couldn't quite hear what you just said," she said maliciously.
The Shoyru was more flustered than ever as he struggled and stuttered though some parts of his speech; a good bit of the ink on his hand had smeared from his sweat, and he couldn't remember them for his life.
Finally, the Shoyru was saved by the very owner of Kelp. He put a hand on the Shoyru's shoulder to silence him and addressed the Lupe and Eyrie. "I have heard that the two of you caused a disturbance in my restaurant," he said with a voice full of authority."I would thank you kindly to evacuate the premises at this instant."
"Jhude..." Illusen warned, seeing Jhudora's eyes flash violet.
"Oh, of course, sir. The last thing we would want to do is cause a scene." Jhudora put emphasis on her last word, her voice thick with the implied threat. It had just the effect she wanted, because the owner of Kelp paled and his eyes widened. Taking comfort in her small victory, Jhudora left. "Come on, Princess," she said to Illusen, "There's always Hubert's hot dog stand."