King Altador's Substitute:Part Three
The following morning, Queen Nera ordered several workers to sail to the small Yooyu island to make the much needed repairs. Within several hours, the island had been restored to its former glory. The Yooyus were overjoyed and took back their unique jobs at the Altador Cup. Fixing an island didn't seem so hard after all. It only took a few hours and the only thing Nera had to do was call in a few hardworking Neopians.
Nera sat at a smooth wooden table in Altador’s personal office, and wrote out a to-do list on a notepad. She marked off ‘fix the Yooyu island’ and ‘attend the council meeting’ as completed. She smiled to herself, feeling proud she accomplished something. They may be small tasks, but she still completed them.
A sudden knock on the door scared her, making her jump. Nera rested her hand on her chest, breathing in slowly, trying to calm her rapid heartbeat.
“Come in.” Nera called out once she was calm and collected. She turned herself towards the door, waiting for it to open.
An orange Yurble, known for his angry outbursts and for being the janitor of the Hall of Heroes opened the door. He looked furious, which was nothing new.
“Do you wanna know what happened?!” The janitor yelled, slamming his mop down on the ground.
Nera blinked. “Well...not really..”
“The hall ceiling is stuck open again! I can't even close it! The gears are rusted and I'm not about to fix it myself, I'm just the janitor!” The Yurble crossed his arms.
Nera sighs. “I'll look at it and see what I can do.”
The queen followed the janitor back to the great hall. The ceiling was indeed open, letting a mass amount of sunlight into the Hall of Heroes. The eleven statues casted shadows on the marbled floor. The Darkest Faerie’s statue was still a pile of rubble.
Nera wanted to ask why the janitor still hadn't cleaned the mess up. It's been that way for several years, shouldn't he be finished with it by now?
Before Nera could ask, she took a step and almost slipped on the newly moped floor. She grabbed onto the wall, trying to support herself.
“Oh yeah..” the orange Yurble glanced back at her “I moped so you should watch your step.”
Nera grumbled ‘thanks’ in reply. She then carefully followed the Yurble to the gear room. He opened the shiny metal hatch to the ceiling mechanics. Nera examined it, having no idea what any of it did. There were hundreds of gears, all different sizes. The three biggest ones were covered in thick rust, making it hard to turn the crank that closed the ceiling.
“Hmm..” Nera looked closer at it, and rubbed her chin “I'll have a mechanic come in to look at it today. Thank you for informing me about this.”
The janitor only mumbled, going back out of the room to finish moping.
Nera headed back to her husband’s office, only to be approached by a yellow Gelert. She clearly was a resident of Altador, sporting a white toga and her blonde hair was pinned up with ivory. The Gelert appeared to be stressed and in a panic.
“Is something wrong?” Nera asked as she tried calming the Altadorian down.
“Oh yes something is wrong” the Gelert took a tissue out of her small purse and dabbed under her eye. “My poor poor Charley is stuck in a tree and can't come down.”
“Oh no I'm so sorry! I can help him down if you want.”
The Gelert’s face lit up. “Really? Would you?”
Nera nodded. The Gelert led her to a large tree that was not far from the Hall of Heroes. The two stood under the tree, and Nera squinted, looking through the leaves.
“Is that a...petpet?”
In the tree was an Alabriss. The creature was sitting happily on a branch, neighing at the Neopians below him. His wings fluttered and his tail twitched. The pet appeared to be harmless.
The Gelert nodded and called up to her pet. “Don't worry my sweetie, this nice lady will get you down in no time!”
The Xweetok looked back at the distressed lady. “You are aware that Alabrisses can fly, right?”
She chuckled. “Not my dear Charley, oh no no, the poor thing is too terrified of heights to ever fly.”
Nera wanted to ask why in Neopia would it ever climb a tree then, but she decided it would be a waste of breath. Instead, she climbed the tree, getting leaves and sticks tangled up in her shiny brown hair. Climbing a tree in a dress may have not been the best idea.
Nera finally reached the branch where the pet rested. The Alabriss neighed at her and stomped its hooves on the branch. It sounded aggravated that the Xweetok came up to it.
“Listen, Charley is it? Well, uh...Charley I'm Nera. I'm just here to help you get back to your mom okay?” The Xweetok climbed up on the branch, and reached for the white Alabriss with one hand.
It backed up in response, snorting and shaking its head.
“Oh come on, seriously?” Nera muttered.
She sat up on the branch, trying to balance herself. The pet then hopped off the branch, flying down to the Gelert. Nera looked down, feeling confused and even more annoyed.
“I thought you said he didn't fly!?” Nera shouted down at the lady.
The Gelert only shrugged, picking up her pet and walking off with it. Nera climbed back down, noting that Charley was in fact, a horrible Petpet and to never trust him again if they crossed paths once more.
Like seriously, what creature climbs a tree when it's terrified of heights and then jumps off the branch? The Gelert could have just waited for her pet to come down on its own. But nope, she had to rush to Nera for help. Now her hair had became entwined with sticks and leaves.
Nera mumbled how she wished Altador would come back. His absence impacted her greatly. The amount of work she had to do started to pile up. Each task became harder than the last, making doing anything all the more dreadful.
A large Darigan Uni with feathery bat wings and a long tail, approached Nera. He was covered in scars and wielded a heavy sword. The queen recognized him as one of the royal guards. He often looked after her daughter, Cecilia. She trusted the man and considered him a close friend.
“Your highness.” The uni bowed, his long black hair hanging off his shoulders. A few strands of it was tightly braided. His ears had a few tears in them and his hooves looked worn out. Despite his appearance, the menacing looking man had a kind heart.
He stood up straight and cleared his throat. “I hate to interrupt your afternoon walk, but I have urgent news.”
“Oh no... what is it this time?”
Duard hesitated, really not wanting to tell his queen. “Cecilia...may have let out the Altachucks...and they may or may not be attacking a few of the residents.”
Nera rubbed the sides of her aching head and groaned. Now she had to herd all the Altachucks back together and find a way to keep her daughter from letting them loose again. Then she had to give out a public apology to the citizens of Altador for that incident.
Nera released a loud sigh and let her shoulders droop. “Thank you for informing me. I'll talk to Cecilia about it and have someone help me get all the Altachucks together.”
Duard nodded and went back to his work on guarding the princess of Altador. Nera watched as he picked up Cecilia, a small brown lupe, and rested her on his broad shoulders. The child laughed as they headed off into the hall to play. Being the youngest child of Altador and Nera had it’s benefits, Cecilia could play whenever she wanted. She got away with more than Alarick did, and she adored by their subjects.
Most likely she wouldn't be punished for letting the Altachucks loose, she didn't know much better. The child was soft for the furry pets. Most of her days were spent playing with them. She may have just wanted to play outside with them or wanted them to have fresh air. Nera’s own altachuck, Chuck, was horribly grouchy and mean to everyone, except Nera and Cecilia. The child had a weird but sweet bond with petpets.
In the money district, Nera heard the faint cry of some residents. The altachucks were causing havoc in Altador. Most likely they were nipping at the ankles of Altadorians and eating their food. Possibly digging up their gardens as well, considering they liked to bury things.
The xweetok queen just sighed, not looking forward to fixing the current situation. Each time she fixed one problem, another one would occur.
Today felt like it would never end.
To be continued…