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The Faerie Pet: Part Three


by nut862

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I was too shocked at the Acara's sudden exclamation to say anything. Me, a "chosen one"? Or, I should say, the chosen one? And I was a "faerie pet" who was going to somehow restore the Water Faerie queen? I didn't even have wings, and I hadn't ever met this Acara before, not to mention the fact that I'd never even seen the queen.

     I don't know why I even stayed there instead of flinging open the trapdoor and never coming back to the palace again, but something about the Acara made me stay. Her wholly gentle appearance that seemed to be radiating kindness and truth convinced me not to ignore her words, but how could they possibly be true? I was no chosen one. I was an ordinary blue Flotsam named Floater. How could I possibly restore the queen to her throne?

     The Acara was looking more excited by the second. "It is true! You are the one that the prophecies speak of! I have read the prophetic writings in the library many times, and there can be no doubt. You are the faerie pet!"

     "I…I…" I stammered, not knowing what to say. I hardly wanted to disappoint her when she looked so happy, but I had to tell her that she'd gotten her information wrong or something, because I was definitely not going to be saving a queen anytime soon. That was out of my line of work.

     "I should tell you the story of this palace," the Acara said, seeming to calm down a bit.

     I perked up at this. I certainly wanted to hear the history of this magnificent kingdom. "Yes, please tell me. Who was your queen, and how did she get overthrown?" I asked eagerly.

     "I will tell you," the Acara said placidly. "Naiyania is her name, and she was the kindest Water Faerie ever to exist anywhere in the oceans of Neopia. Not only was she true of heart, but she was powerful, and determined to aid the struggling pets of the seas. She built this palace, a safe haven where good and true pets who were able to venture into these depths could learn from her teachings.

     "She taught them not magic, as you might learn from other faerie teachers, but the pets under her rule all learned to be good and pure of heart, with her help. Her kingdom was strong, and separated from the rest of the ocean by a tunnel, at the end of which was a boulder to keep stray pets from coming in. Only kind and true pets could enter her sanctuary, and her subjects were not permitted to leave, but they didn't care. There is a large area of ocean surrounding this palace, and they were allowed to go there at any time. It was all under Naiyania's rule.

     "All, that is, except for a small patch of land at the edges of the sea, where a group of Jetsams lived. They had been there to begin with, before Naiyania came, and now they refused to leave. They resented the Water Faerie queen for coming and taking the land that they had formerly patrolled. Naiyania did not allow the Jetsams to cross into her territory, for she knew that the Jetsams were evil. They were in league with the Dark Faeries, and any pet who supports those evil beings is known as belonging to the Darkness among faeries.

     "Hate built up in the twisted minds of the Jetsams. They despised Naiyania and all her subjects for being good. They claimed that all they were mad about was the fact that they were confined to a tiny patch of the ocean, but that was not true. It was the fact that kindness had spread through the vast area of this part of the ocean, and the Jetsams couldn't stand for that. They wanted to destroy Naiyania from the moment she built her palace.

     "The Dark Faeries were all for it. They hated Naiyania for being the sweet Water Faerie she was. And the Dark Faeries granted the Jetsams the power to imprison, to seal away in a place of darkness from which nobody can escape without help. And it must be help that comes from a faerie, or one with faerie powers. No ordinary pet can break through the prison, and once inside, it is impossible to escape on your own no matter what your strength or ability.

     "The Jetsams began attacking immediately. With the powers of Darkness to use, they were able to cross the borders into the ocean kingdom and took any pet they saw captive. Naturally, these pets were palace subjects. Naiyania watched with horror as the good, kind creatures that she had taken such care to select and teach all vanished practically before her eyes. She did what she could to stop the Jetsams from entering her domain, creating a barrier that they could not pass, even with their Dark abilities.

     "But the Jetsams still had the pets that they had captured, and those pets could not escape from their prisons. Naiyania couldn't let those pets remain captive, it being her rule that if any pet has the chance to aid another, they must do it. And Naiyania could free them. She had more than enough power to destroy the prison and release the pets. So she swam off through the sea, towards the Jetsams' small corner of the ocean, intent on freeing the pets.

     "Little did she know that the Jetsams had laid a trap for her. They expected her to come after the captives, and were waiting for her. She knew the danger, but she also knew that her powers were greater than the Jetsams'. Unfortunately, she had no time to use them, and they sealed our queen away in darkness, never to return, or so they hoped.

     "With Naiyania gone, the barriers protecting her kingdom also vanished, and the Jetsams were free to enter what had been her ocean sanctuary. The Jetsams now were hardly Jetsams anymore; they were pawns of the Darkness, carrying out the Dark Faeries' evil deeds under the sea. They captured as many pets as they could find, which was almost all of them, leaving the palace desolate and empty. I was the only one who escaped, for I stayed in the palace and they could not enter it. But many years passed with the palace subjects and Naiyania imprisoned."

     The yellow Acara stopped talking at this point. I was horrified. Her tale sounded like something out of a tragic storybook. I could hardly believe that the Jetsams had done such a thing. I shivered to think of how I had agreed to help that Jetsam I'd met. So he was with the Dark Faeries…I had never taken the time to learn much about faeries, but I knew enough to be aware that Dark Faeries are bad. They are intent on evil and destruction.

     "That's…awful," I said, searching for a stronger word to describe how I felt about the whole event. "I guess you can't go save Naiyania?"

     "I do not have the power," the yellow Acara replied. "I am a palace subject, taught by our good queen Naiyania, but I am still a regular pet."

     "But…" Something about the Acara's story confused me. "But how did you escape the Jetsams, then? You stayed in the palace, but why couldn't the Jetsams enter it? They could get into the rest of the kingdom when she was captured, so why couldn't they get into the palace?" I asked.

     "That is where the Sea Sapphire comes in," the Acara said. She turned her gently shining eyes on the royal blue jewel, sitting regally on its pedestal and glowing with power. "There were prophecies regarding Naiyania's downfall. She did not want to lose her palace, so she took this rare gem and sealed a great deal of power in it. Then she put the gem in this secluded room of the palace, and sealed the entrance so that only a palace subject or a Water Faerie, or one with such faerie powers, could come in.

     "In the event that she was overthrown, the gem would be activated, and would keep the barriers and other magic activated around the palace. For Naiyania's own power is enclosed in this jewel, and the pedestal on which it rests feeds its power to the palace. The power is carried through the pedestal into the floor and distributed through the walls of the palace, so that no evil can enter.

     "But if the Sea Sapphire were ever to be removed from the pedestal, the power would be cut off. And if that happened, this palace would be vulnerable to destruction by evil." The yellow Acara looked at me, and I half expected her to be glaring at me accusatorily, but her eyes were gently shining with compassion. Even so, I felt guilty.

     "I'm sorry," I murmured, ashamed. "I had no idea that the whole palace is supported by this one jewel…" But then, how could I have? It's not as if every building in Neopia has a gem repelling evil from the structure.

     "You know now that the Jetsam you met is of the Darkness," the Acara said softly. "I trust that you will not make the same mistake again."

     I shook my head. "No. But why did the Jetsam ask me to do such a crazy thing, anyway? He told me to come in here and get the jewel so that he could release its magic and restore the palace. I didn't really believe him," I added quickly, just in case the Acara got the wrong idea. "But I figured I'd explore the palace a little anyway."

     "The Jetsam was lying," the Acara said in her way of stating everything as if it's automatically true. "The Sea Sapphire's power has already been released and is flowing through the palace. It was triggered by Naiyania's capture."

     "Yeah. He told me this corny thing about not being able to get the jewel himself because only a Flotsam can touch it." I almost laughed at how silly that excuse sounded. The real reason he couldn't touch it, quite clearly, was that no evil could enter the palace.

     Then again… "Why could I enter the palace, if it repels evil? I mean, I was practically taking orders from that Jetsam, and he's evil, right?" I wondered if the Acara was going to tell me that I was naturally inclined to good and thus I was allowed to enter. That wouldn't be so hard to take.

     "You were enabled to enter because you are the faerie pet." Excitement flickered across the Acara's face again, and she said, "Yes, you are Floater, the faerie pet told of in the prophecies, destined to release Naiyania and restore our good queen to her throne!"

     I shifted uncomfortably, wishing she would stop calling me something I wasn't. I hardly knew anything about faeries, and certainly wasn't a faerie myself. Nut couldn't even afford a Rainbow Paint Brush for Quiggler at the time, much less a Faerie one for me.

     "Look, I…I think you've got the wrong Floater. I'm not…I mean…I can't…I'd like to help," I said finally. "But I really don't think I can."

     "You can free Naiyania," the Acara stated. Her way of saying everything as if it's true was starting to make me nervous. The yellow Acara waved her paw around the strange carved letters in the walls of the room, the undersea language I didn't understand. "The writing in this room foretells your coming."

     "I can't read it," I said.

     The Acara pointed to a certain group of carved letters. "There it is written, 'The power of Queen Naiyania will be held locked within the Sea Sapphire until the day of her downfall. Then the Sea Sapphire will be activated and will prevent evil from defiling the palace, as Queen Naiyania would have wished, for as much time as passes before the day of her return.'"

     "Okay," I said. "What does that have to do with me?"

     The Acara turned to face another part of the wall and said in her steady voice, "Here is carved into the walls, 'Queen Naiyania will be imprisoned many years. Then a pet will come, possessing faerie powers of Water and Light, and will free our queen. And this pet's species is a blue Flotsam, and her name is Floater. Naiyania will reign again.'"

     The Acara turned back to me. I wasn't sure what to say. The Acara had been reading in such a sure voice, as if she knew that what she was saying was true. But she said everything that way. And I couldn't read the writing on the walls of the room. For all I knew, the Acara hadn't translated it correctly. Maybe it said, "Banans are yellow and juppies come in many colors," and the Acara just wanted me to think it read what she said it did.

     Then again, the way she looked, standing there, practically glowing with truth and light, made it hard for me to believe that she would lie. But maybe there was another Floater out there somewhere who is a blue Flotsam. It wouldn't surprise me. It couldn't be me. I just couldn't imagine myself freeing Naiyania. For one thing, I couldn't do it. I had no faerie powers, I was sure of that.

     Then again, why had I been able to enter the palace? Why had I been able to enter the room of the Sea Sapphire? The Acara had clearly mentioned that no ordinary pet could just waltz in and do that. Only pets under Naiyania's teachings, or a Water Faerie, or one possessing the powers of one, could enter, according to the Acara. If that was true, then…

     The thought scared me. I couldn't be a faerie pet! I didn't want to be a faerie pet. I was just a carefree little Flotsam living in Neopia Central. I was a completely ordinary pet with nothing special at all about me. I lived with my owner and siblings, and had no association at all with faeries. In fact, speaking of my owner and siblings, Nut and the others were probably waiting for me on the beach. It had to be lunchtime by now.

     "Look," I said to the Acara, a trifle uncertainly. "I'd like to help, but I really can't. I appreciate your asking me, but I don't have any faerie powers. And I really have to go now. My owner will be worried about me."

     My body wanted to leave, but my mind wouldn't let me. Looking at that yellow Acara, practically radiating light, and looking so expectant and hopeful, I felt a little ashamed to be leaving her like this. She wanted to see her queen restored to the throne so much, and she thought I could do it. Was I just going to go off and leave her here, doomed to spend the rest of her days in this empty palace, waiting for the Water Faerie's return?

     But why did I believe what the Acara was telling me? She was a stranger, and she was telling me tales that belonged in a storybook, not only about the sea, but also about myself! Why did I believe her?

     I believed her because she looked truthful, so much so that I couldn't imagine any other pet as genuine as she. There is one problem with not believing anything until it's proven, and that's that if you are faced with someone who is radiating truth and light seemingly from within her soul, it's hard to suggest to yourself that she's lying when it's obvious that she's not.

     "Well," I finally said, after no small debate in my mind. "What would I have to do to restore the palace?" This was sounding a lot like the questions I was asking that Jetsam.

     The Acara's face brightened, and her eyes shone on me in a way that told me I was doing the right thing. "Naiyania was imprisoned by a Jetsam, therefore you must find a Jetsam," she said. "Then release her."

     "How?" I asked.

     "You will have the power to release her then," the Acara stated. "Hurry now, for our good queen has been waiting long for you. I will stay in the palace, lest I be captured, for the Jetsams immediately imprison any pet that ventures into what was once Naiyania's ocean sanctuary."

     "I wasn't imprisoned," I pointed out.

     "You are the faerie pet," the Acara said. She seemed to think that telling me that I was the faerie pet explained everything. "The Jetsams recognized you. They know that they can use your power for themselves, so they let you go, hoping that you could help them destroy the palace by taking the Sea Sapphire. Now that you are helping to restore the palace, they will seek to destroy you, or turn you back to them. Be careful! Don't let them imprison you until you have freed Naiyania! Now, hurry!"

     In a somewhat confused, extremely uncertain, and very nervous state of mind, I swam out of the undersea palace, intent on achieving a goal that I had no idea how to reach.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Faerie Pet: Part One
» The Faerie Pet: Part Two
» The Faerie Pet: Part Four
» The Faerie Pet: Part Five
» The Faerie Pet: Part Six



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