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The Princess Whose Tears Were Jewels


by mizuchi

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Once a long time ago, there was a beautiful Acara princess. All of Neopia loved her beauty, and the Acara knew it. She grew up vain, hating everything she believed to be ugly. One day, as she was shopping with all of her friends. An elderly Lupe woman hobbled up to her, asking for a bit of food. The Acara sneered, turning the Lupe away and calling her names, pointing out to her friends on how ugly the Lupe was. The Lupe, angered by the Acara’s vanity told her that the next time she saw herself in the mirror, the Acara would see how truly ugly she was. The Acara laughed, telling the old Lupe that no mirror could ever deny her her own beauty.

     That very night, as the Acara sat down to brush her long and shiny hair, she gazed into her mirror, admiring her beauty. Except, her beauty did not last. She watched in terror as her beauty degraded and she became disfigured. It turned out that the elderly Lupe from before was actually a witch who had put a curse on her! Horrified, she rushed into her parents’ room. At first, they did not recognize her, and they called the guards on her, believing her to be a thief. But once the Acara proved her royal lineage, her parents threw up their hands in anguish. Their daughter had lost her beauty.

     But as they cried with her, they noticed something. As their tears hit the expensive rug below them, they saw that their daughter’s tears turned into precious gems. Their own tears quickly dried as they greedily snatched up the Acara’s bejeweled tears below her. Her parents glanced at each other with wicked grins and a malicious plan entered their minds.

     It took the Acara a long time to finally fall asleep since while she kept crying, her tears kept turning into jewels, hurting her as they fell into the folds in her bed. Every time she twisted or turned, another gem would poke her sharply, and the pain would cause her more tears. She was miserable. But her misery wasn’t to be had only as she slept. When she woke up the next day, all of her beautiful clothes were gone, only to be replaced with colorful outfits that would only serve to bring plenty of attention to her. A servant Kougra boy came in, announcing to the princess that a banquet was to be held in her name.

     The Acara was mortified. Her parents knew of what had happened to her, so why would they do something like this? Her tears started again. The Kougra sighed heavily. Even though her face was misshapen, he still thought her to be the most beautiful in all of Neopia, though he was much too afraid to tell her. After all, he was a lowly servant, and she was a princess.

     Her only choice was to put on one of the multi-colored garments and rush off to her parents, crying her gemstone tears as she went. When she finally found them and asked why they were doing this, they replied bluntly that they only wanted her to cry. Then they would have all the money in the world. The Acara princess was disgusted, but mostly, she was devastated that her parents would do something so cruel to her. She ran to her room and searched for a mask to hide her face and she set off to look for the elderly Lupe.

     She was in luck, as the Lupe was in the same place as before in the crowded shopping center. She begged the Lupe to return her to normal in exchange for all the riches in the world, but the Lupe did not care. She told the Acara that the only way to return to normal would be if she could find someone to say she was beautiful and honestly mean it. The Acara went home, dejected.

     At the banquet, there was quite a bit of merriment as the people danced and talked jovially about various unimportant events. The King and Queen (of avarice) called attention to everyone, announcing their daughter. The Acara sheepishly walked out, her face covered in her mask. She could not disobey her parents, after all. Tears welled up in her eyes, already crystallizing. To make matters worse, the Queen snatched off the Acara’s mask, revealing to the world her secret. Everyone laughed, causing the Acara’s tears to fall in abundance. But the King and Queen weren’t through with her. They threw her mask atop one of their high-backed royal thrones. She quickly jumped up, standing on the seat trying to reach for it. But she could not, and as she leapt up, she lost her balance and tumbled backwards, causing everyone to laugh again. Humiliated and distraught, she came to her knees and sobbed, crystals flowing around her in a precious stone cascade.

     The banquet ended many hours later, though the Acara didn’t notice past her tears. She just sat there, her feet sore from sitting on her knees, and her face red from all the crying. She was jostled by a hand on her shoulder. She turned slowly to see her servant Kougra with the mask in his hand. She snatched it, and put it on quickly, lest she be ridiculed more. She tried to hold back her tears. She was afraid she would have to live like that forever, for who would think her to be beautiful now?

     But the Kougra did, and with his heart full of honesty, he told her that she didn’t need the mask as long as she was with him. Her sadness stopped as she slowly moved the mask from her face and looked into the Kougra’s eyes. With an outstretched hand, the Kougra helped her up while tears fell from the Acara’s eyes, this time from happiness. The Kougra looked in shock, for when her tears streamed from her face, they did not turn to gems, but merely fell in a puddle below her. The Acara was back to normal. She rushed to a nearby bowl of punch and sure enough her reflection showed her beautiful self. She smiled for the first time in what seemed like forever, but her smile soon faded. She realized that her parents were greedy, and if she were to appear before them as she was, they would shun her, or possibly try to bring her back to her old position. Tears came back to her eyes. But the Kougra had an idea. He asked her to run away with him, and they would start a new life outside of the castle walls. The Acara princess did not hesitate to agree. She decided then and there to spend her life with a friend who loved her as she was, no matter what happened to her face.

     The next day, the King and Queen woke up early, excited about how much their daughter would bring them today. They burst through her room, preparing themselves for a handful of new gemstones in her bed, but instead they found her mask and a note that simply said:

     “I’ve decided to spend the rest of my life with someone who understands my true value, and not with someone who only wants me for the valuable things I give.”

     The King and Queen sobbed, but not because they had lost their daughter, but because they had lost all of their hopes for becoming the richest kingdom in Neopia.

     As for the Kougra and the Acara, no one knows what happened to them, but you can believe the two of them are living happily ever after.

The End

 
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