I sat in my chair. I was bored. More than bored. More than more than bored. I can’t begin to say how bored I was. My eyes were glued to the front wall, to a spot just to the left of the teacher’s head. My head was in my paws, my elbows resting on my desk. Stars, my sister, was next to me. The class was just baby pets. I saw no other Baby Gelerts (like me), but as well as Stars, there were two other Baby Cybunnies. They were Kyra and Kary, and sisters. Stars was staring at a speck on the ceiling. On my other side was a Baby Uni, and he was staring over at the corner, where an Usul and a Zafara were arguing over who should take notes.
In short, no one was paying attention. I doubt the teacher actually knew what she was talking about, so it didn’t actually matter. Anyway, this whole “chat speak” course is pointless. If our owners can understand it, they’ll let us know. I moved a front paw and toyed with the metal tag that was attached to my teal collar. I tried to keep an interested expression, so the teacher would think I was paying attention.
It should be against the rules to teach at the end of the day. There were five minutes left. I slipped my pencil into my bag, and checked that my books were there, too. “Kylielle, please tell the class the origin of ‘pwn,’” she said.
“Um... It was a typo?” I guessed.
“Very good. Okay class, pack up.” With a little ‘phew’ I stuck my lunch box in my pack and slipped it onto my back. I noticed a small pink, heart-shaped note on my desk. A card? For me? Puzzled, I stuck it into my pack and joined Stars on her way home.
“Kylie, show me!” said Stars, after I told her. We were sitting next to each other on a couch, waiting for our sisters and brother to get home. I pulled out the little pink heart again.
“It says, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’,” I said.
“I know that, Kylie, I can read!” she said.
“Well, yeah, but it sounds so much better read aloud,” I argued.
“I guess you’re right, but it would sound better if I read it!”
“Then read it!”
“’Happy Valentine’s Day.’ Do you think we should ask Kae about it?”
“No, not Kae. She’d probably get all depressed.” Kae, our sister, is always depressed. We think she should be painted grey, but she wants to stay a Blue Poogle.
“She’s good with words, not mysteries.” Bubbles is a Sketch Poogle, another of our sisters.
“Channeri? Yurblie? Xwendine? Ardi? Ryon?”
“No, no, no, no and certainly no!” I said.
“Why not Ryon?”
“He’s a guy!”
“He’s our brother, though!”
“He’s a guy, and he wouldn’t know! Hey! Luta will know!” I said.
“Yeah! Let’s ask her.”
“When she gets home.”
“Well, yeah, since we can’t ask her when she’s not here.” The front door opened.
“Hey, girls!” Pup, our owner, came in from the gardens and hugged us both. “I’m going to stock up the shop soon, so I’ll be digging through the Safety Deposit Box. But one of your sisters should be home before I leave,” she said.
“Alright,” we answered in unison.
“Let’s not bug Pup about it, okay?” I whispered.
“Because she’s busy saving for that paint brush or whatever it is now. She’s going to be playing games and stuff for AGES!” I said.
“Oh.” Sometimes Stars needs things explained to her. I don’t mind. I still love her.
“Sounds like a valentine.”
“Well, on February fourteenth pets give other pets that they like valentines- like your card- or flowers or candies,” Luta said.
“Mmm... Candy,” I said. Luta laughed kindly.
“But I don’t know why one would turn up now, since it’s only February first,” Luta said.
“It’s... it’s...” Stars held out her paws to count with. “Thirteen days away,” she finished.
“Yeah,” Luta said, lost in thought.
The next day I sat in the same seat at the same time, equally bored. Once again, no one paid attention. When she released us, I noticed another valentine. It was a bit bigger, and this time red. It said, “Roses are red, violets are blue, Fyora’s apple orchard is not as sweet as you.” I looked at the third line. “Fyora’s apple orchard is” it read. My mind raced, trying to find what who said about Fyora’s apple orchard.
Bubbles. A while ago, she had told me about a story... “Fyora is said to have a secret apple orchard, and the apples are the sweetest tasting ones in the world! And they’re Everlasting Apples- the only ones in Neopia!” she had said.
“Hey! Stars! Look!” I nudged her and whispered. I pushed the valentine towards her. She read it, then looked at me.
“Wow,” she mouthed.
“Yeah. Were you there when Bubbles-”
“Yup. C’mon, let’s get home. Then we can show Luta.”
“Why? She’s told us everything she could possibly know!” I said.
“Fine. We’ll investigate.”
“Like a mystery?”
“Like in a mystery.”
So the little hearts lead us on an adventure.
“Shh!” I said.
“Why?” Stars asked.
“Because, we’re sneaking. Sneaking requires quiet.”
“Oh. Yeah. Where do you think it is?”
“The apple orchard? Somewhere in Faerieland.”
Kimmie, my Faellie, and Sunset, her Snowbunny, were following us. We were trying to get to the fabled orchard. We had just gotten to the front door when we bumped into Pup.
“Hi! What are you two up to?”
“Nothing!” we said in unison.
“Okay, you’re doing something. Will you tell me what, or is it a Kylie-and-Stars secret?” She smiled.
“Secret!” I said.
“Tell you!” Stars said.
“I mean, tell you!”
“I mean, secret!” at the same time. Pup stared.
“Maybe you can just tell me you’re taking Luta with you,” she said, knowing Luta would keep us out of trouble.
“Um... LUTA! COME SOMEWHERE WITH US!” I called to her.
“That works just as well. Have fun, be back soon.”
“Alright.” Pup left, and Luta came.
“Soo...” We were headed to Faerieland when Luta asked.
“So we’re going to Faerieland to find Fyora’s apple orchard.”
“Why?! That’s like, impossible!” she said in disbelief.
“Is not! And Kylie got another valentine. That’s why.”
“What did this one say, Ky?”
“Don’t call me Ky!”
“Better. It says, ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, Fyora’s apple orchard is not as sweet as you!’”
“Really?” It was the kind of question you don’t answer. (I think Bubbles has a word for that, but I forget what it is.) So I didn’t answer.
We didn’t wind up finding it, but I found an apple by Faerie City- just sitting on the ground- and it was heart-shaped. I kept it. I thought about finding it as I opened my lunch and pulled it out the next day.
“Oops!” I said as it came into two pieces. A little red paper heart was right where the seeds should have been. “Wow.” I unfolded the valentine. “Oceans are blue, I would be, too, if it weren’t for you.” I read. I poked Stars. “Look!” She read it. The three-line poem was nice.
“Kylie! Maraqua!” she whispered. I got it after a second.
“Maraqua! With Luta, today!” I exclaimed.
“No! Tomorrow! You get one every day. Go tomorrow and you’ll find one there!”
“Tomorrow. First thing,” I said. Later, Luta agreed to this.
First thing the next day, Luta, Stars and I got ready for Maraqua. For Luta it was easy- Lutari are excellent swimmers, especially Luta. She had already been blessed by a faerie, and could now breathe under water. Stars used several Bottled Water Faeries to get the ability, but I only used two. (Pup was annoyed at us since she had to buy lots of them.)
“Come on, quickly, Stars, Kylie.” Luta was already in the stream we’d follow to Maraqua. Luta knew the waters well. I thought hard and jumped in, focusing on breathing at first. Then a bubble formed around me, moving with me so I could swim. Stars also had a bubble.
“If Bubbles was here, she’d have a bubble!” I giggled. Stars laughed. Luta smiled. Waving bye to our petpets, we moved easily downstream.
All right, maybe not all of us. Lutari are natural swimmers, so Luta did. Gelerts are, even though it’s unknown, very good in the water, for a non-aquatic species. Pup says Gelerts, like other canines, are very strong swimmers. When I ask what canines are, she looks at me like I said something funny, then goes back to whatever she was doing. Anyway, Stars is another story. Cybunnies don’t do well with water. Her long back legs, which are really good for jumping, have nothing to push against. And her attempts at the Gelert-paddle weren’t even funny.
After a long time, we reached Maraqua. I saw all the Maraquan pets- Koi, Peophins, Jetsams, Flotsams, and pretty much all the species that can be painted Maraquan. There weren’t many Lutari, because without the special Faerie ability, they need to come up for air. It was nice down there. We wandered over to Kelp, the restaurant. I looked longingly at the meals. Then I saw it- over to the side of Kelp, between it and some house or something.
Lying among the seaweed, there was a heart-shaped shell, surrounded by small shells that were placed in the form of a heart outline. I picked up the middle one, and noticed a little piece of pink paper- another valentine. I pulled it out. Slightly bigger, it only had three words on it. “I Love Roo!” I read.
“Roo Island!” Stars and me together.
“Oh, no. You two are going to drag me onto the merry-go-round!”
“C’m’on, Luta! Now! To Roo Island!”
“Fine. Tomorrow though.”
It was a long swim, but it was the most direct route to home. We swam straight to Neopia Central, not to the river again. We got there, my heart-shaped shell still in my paw. I busied myself with making a small hole in the top, and finding a string. It turned out to make a really nice necklace.
The next day, right after school, we headed to Roo Island. Luta was slightly annoyed, but she brought us. We dragged her to the merry-go-round, of course. There we found it.
There was a little white die. Instead of dots, though, there were little red hearts. The little red valentine was the same color. It read, “Erupting with Love.”
“Don’t volcanoes erupt?” I asked.
“Doesn’t Mystery Island have volcanoes?”
“Can we go there?”
After sitting through chatspeak class, we dragged Luta to Mystery Island. After several things I prefer not to think about- a run in with the Techo Master, falling into the Rock Pool, and losing Sunset in Geraptiku- me, Kimmie, Stars, Sunset and Luta found the volcano.
“Umm... Where’s the valentine?” I said. Stars looked up and up.
“Up there, maybe?” she suggested.
I tilted my head back. Doing this, I could barely see the top.
“Anyone take rock climbing?” I asked. We finally got one of the Tiki Tours, and climbed about a million feet up the volcano “What if it erupts when we’re up here?” I asked.
“Won’t happen. It’s extinct,” said the Tour guide.
I’ll just summarize the rest of that day. In the burning sun, we explored the whole volcano. I found the valentine under a heart-shaped rock, and it said, “I love my landlubbers.” That pirate-speak lead us to Krawk Island the next day.
“Arrgh!” I said, mock-pirate-like.
“Why isn’t Ryon coming?” Stars asked. Luta said he was busy.
Our brother really likes pirates. He wants to be painted pirate soon, too.
Over by the Dubloon-O-Matic, we found it. A little bottle with a heart in it. The heart read, “I’m Happy that Your Warm Heart Can Melt Ice.”
“Happy Valley,” I said. We boarded a fake pirate ship and sailed home.
“Brr!” It was the ten trillionth time I said it, but Happy Valley is cold. Especially on February seventh. Stars pulled her hat farther down on her head. Her ears stuck out at the bottom, lying against her head until there. I pulled my scarf up, my earmuffs down and my coat closed. Yurblie came instead of Luta, and she was fine, being a Snow Yurble.
Outside of the wintery petpets shop was a heart-shaped snow ball. Pressed into it was the next valentine. “Love is Older than Time.”
“Tyrannia is old,” I commented.
Stars told me to leave out the boring details, so I’ll summarize the next three days. I don’t know why she called them boring, but I’ll listen to her.
In Tyrannia, we saw a concert, then found the valentine by the exit. It said, “I’d be lost without you.” We immediately realized it meant a certain desert...
Then we got lost in the Lost Desert. We wandered, and somewhere found a little pink heart, half-covered by sand. It reads, “Love Grows.”
At the farm in Meridell, we counted potatoes and then found a valentine in a haystack. It said, “Love is out of this world!” and had a little orange circle on it.
Then it gets interesting...
Okay, so the ride to Kreludor was fun; the Grundos that met us there weren’t. Anyway, we wandered around, getting lost on a planet that wasn’t even our own. We actually saw the Space Faerie, and then found a lovely little valentine, “Love can be spooky!”
“Oh no.” I gulped. “The Haunted Woods.”
So, on the twelfth of February, a very terrified me, Stars and Yurblie entered the Haunted Woods. Luckily it was by the Brain Tree. It was a little red heart, saying “You Can’t Draw Love.”
The next day, in our very own Neopia Central, we wandered to the Art Centre. In the only window of the Coffee Shop, there was a little heart, saying simply “I love you, Kylie.”
“Great. The day before Valentines Day, and not a clue of where to go tomorrow,” I mumbled.
“Don’t worry, Kylie. We’ll find the right place,” Stars said confidently.
I could hardly believe the events of the next day. After school, Stars ran home. I went slower, because I had a lot to carry. When I got home, I didn’t see any of my fourteen family members. In the kitchen, I found a nice Bottle of Love and fourteen Love Shake Chocolates. I stared. Next to the Bottle of Love, the last valentine said, “Every day this month your sisters and brother have given you a valentine. This is mine to you, Kylie, the Bottle of Love.” It was signed by Pup. I smiled.
“Stars! Luta! Yurblie! Bubbles! Kae! Channeri! Blu! Xwennie! Ardi! Llammy! Art! Ryon! Unisies! Everyone!” I called all my siblings. Once everyone had gathered at the door, I said, “Thank you.” They smiled.
“Umm... Pup got us these.” I moved away from the door, and they saw the fourteen Love Shake Chocolates. Smiling, and eating mine, I saw my thirteen siblings- the thirteen pets who gave me valentines to show how much they care- having what was the best valentines they ever had.
“Stars? You knew?” I asked her that night.
“We all knew. We all worked hard to write clues, one each. We all hid them.”
“But why?” I asked.
My little sister smiled. “Because we love you. We all love you.”