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Pet Name: atchepsut
I thought it was just going to be an ordinary day; I had awoken to a pleasantly bright and breezy summer’s day, and the kingdom in which I live was already a hive of activity. This kingdom is Meridell, a rural land with an amazing history of heroes, war and adventure, and one which I am proud to be a civilian of. I am Atchepsut, and I have lived here ever since I was a chick. When I was old enough I began to help out in Ye Olde Petpets store, tending to the petpets and informing customers on how to care for their new companions: It wasn’t interesting but I didn’t mind doing it because I always had felt the need to help people however I could. It’s perhaps because of this tendency that I decided to take the risk of being late to work that morning, a risk which changed my life forever.
I had just set off on the ten minute work to work when I heard an almighty crash resounding from the edge of Illusen’s Glade. This was not an unusual occurrence; often a stray cheese wheel would escape from the Cheese Roller hill and tumble into the glade, and as such none of the other busy Meridellians around me batted an eyelid at the noise. For reasons I can’t explain, I just got the feeling that this was no cheese-related incident and felt some compulsion to investigate. Knowing the detour could make me late, I turned off the beaten track and jogged as quickly as I could towards the source of the noise. It did not take me long to reach the glade and I immediately noticed a big gap in the canopy, and below that the ground was littered with broken twigs and displaced leaves. I was still looking up at the hole, which, I noticed, was definitely too small for a cheese wheel, when I was surprised out of my musings by a loud groan a few feet in front of me. With a start I looked down to see a little blue Pteri in a heap on the ground, drowsily rubbing his head with his wing. It was apparent that he had crash landed, as he had rather a lot of dirt and foliage on his head!
“Um... Are you ok?” I asked him, concerned for the perturbed Pteri.
He looked up at me, clearly noticing me for the first time, “Do I look ok? Gah, the boss is going to kill me for this. I hate when this happens!” He ranted as I stood there, rather taken aback.
“What... Did happen?” I replied, as the Pteri picked himself up and shook off the dust. He didn’t reply at first, and seemed to grow concerned very quickly as he frantically looked around the forest floor about himself.
“Hey, did you happen to see a bag? A bag with some letters in it? I can’t lose that, oh where is it?!”
I noticed the bag he was talking about attached to a low hanging branch above me and reached up to fetch it for him, “Is this what you’re looking for?” I said, cautiously handing it to him.
“Ah! Thank goodness! Thanks, kid,” He said, calming down instantly, “You’re wondering how I ended up down here right? Problem with a pretty blue sky like this is that I’m camouflaged against it! Other darned fliers can’t see me and crash straight into me! And this,” He said, raising the bag I had just given him, “Contains important documents that I need to deliver to Skarl. I’m a messenger, you see,” He concluded.
“Well, you’re not far from the castle now,” I said, indicating to him the towering grey turrets topped with the colourful flag of Meridell which rose proudly above the trees in the distance.
“Pft,” The Pteri snorted, apparently becoming annoyed all over again, “There’s no way I’m risking flying again when it’s so darn blue up there. I’m sticking to night flights from now on. Besides, Skarl will only get mad at me when he learns that Darigan troops are planning to invade his kingdom, and I don’t want to be on the receiving end of that...”
“Darigan troops... what?!” I interrupted, “But Skarl has to know about this, the citizens could be in danger if he doesn’t know there’s going to be an invasion!”
“Well kid, that’s not my problem because I quit! If you’re so worried you can take the message yourself. Bright, garish thing like you won’t get crashed into by errant Korbats will you? Darned blind as a bat...” He continued to mutter under his breath about the vices of Korbats but I had stopped listening. Me? A messenger? By this point I had completely forgotten about the petpet store and was ten minutes late. But the knowledge that the Darigan Citadel was about to break the truce with Meridell was enough to convince me to take the Pteri up on his suggestion. Plus he was right about me being, well, garish. I am what is called a Pealenny; my plumage is all purple, green, turquoise and blue, which certainly makes me stand out!
“Alright... I’ll do it.” The Pteri eyed me incredulously, evidently not expecting me to agree to his idea. Nevertheless he handed to me the worn leather satchel that I would come to know so well, filled with a pair of large, golden scrolls covered in elegant script which were fit for a king. I donned the messenger bag and listened intently as the Pteri told me the detailed instructions on where to deliver the message and how to address the King. At this point nerves kicked in... I was going to meet King Skarl! I knew about his reputation as an angry and temperamental sort, but he was nevertheless one of my heroes.
“Well that’s about it. Good luck, kid!” Said the Pteri, fluttering only as far as the top of the canopy to wave me off. Brimming with pride I took off, excited to be serving my beloved Meridell in such an important way. It didn’t take me long to reach the castle, and, as I had always dreamed of doing, I descended onto one of the turrets were I would climb down the spiral staircase inside and into the Throne Room. I was stopped by a guard at the entrance to the turret, but once I explained the situation I was escorted to the king.
“WHERE’s MY PEASE PORRIDGE?!” I heard Skarl’s roar before I even entered the room, but I kept my cool. I bowed low before the grumpy king and held out the scroll informing him of the imminent Darigan invasion.
“Who the Pant Devil are you? Where’s my usual messenger?” He grunted, snatching the scroll from me and pouring over it.
“I’m Atchepsut, sire. I...” I began, before being abruptly interrupted.
“WHAT?! DARIGAN IS INVADING?! Ready the troops! Send out a negotiator! Send word to my brother! And you...” He roared, pointing at me as I trembled at the sheer noise the king was making, “You got this message to me this quickly?”
Taken aback at his sudden question I stuttered, “Um, erm, I delivered the message from as far as Illusen’s Glade your majesty, yes.”
“GOOD WORK!” He barked, “You’re much quicker than that wretch that worked for me before! You’ll deliver the message to Hagan. And come back tomorrow! There will be more for you to do then.” With that he strode from the room, half of his court in tow all giving instructions on how to repel the invasion.
I was overjoyed; finally I had the opportunity to serve my kingdom, and I had the King’s approval! Seconds later I was being handed a message to deliver to King Hagan of Brightvale and issued rapid directions to his castle. After that I had further letters to deliver throughout the region, and after a week I even had to deliver one to the Darigan Citadel to confirm that the truce was going to hold!
So that is the story of how I became a messenger Lenny, and from that day on my life became far more exciting: I quit my job at the petpet store and became the full time messenger of King Skarl’s court. I was celebrated in Meridell for helping to stop the invasion by delivering the message to the king in time, and after a year of delivering messages further and further afield I became well known throughout Neopia as the one and only Pealenny messenger. I am so glad I took that detour that fateful morning, as my life has changed for the better and I have never been happier. And I hear the ex-messenger Pteri is enjoying a relaxing retirement on Mystery Island too!