The Treasured Diary: Part Four
"Oh for the last time Prince Fenmere, it's for your own
protection!" cried Hayden in exasperation.
"I don't care," said Fenmere, his voice muffled
from behind a wooden door, "I'm not coming out."
Jase rolled his eyes and pushed the Nimmo out
of the way. "Allow me."
With a forceful kick, the door burst open.
In the middle of the red velvet colored room
stood Prince Fenmere, arms crossed unhappily, with a look of utmost misery on
In a crumpled pile on the floor lay his glorious,
if only slightly dirtied, garb. He was not wearing his velvet purple fur cuffed
robes nor his jewel encrusted rings. Instead he wore a faded and stained brown
tunic with wide peasant sleeves and coarse itchy brown pants that could've easily
been made from flour sacks. His head was bare where a shimmering crown once
"This is humiliating," he said with a scowl.
"I refuse to have my status so drastically lowered."
Hayden threw his hands up in the air and walked
away grumbling down the hall. "Impossible!" and "So unreasonable!" could be
heard ask he went.
Sophia turned to Jase and Lord Cyril who both
looked as equally exasperated. "I'll talk to him," she said, entering the room
and closing the door. She wheeled around to face Fenmere.
"You," she said to him, "are the biggest baby
of a prince I've ever known."
Fenmere's eyes narrowed but he didn't lash out.
Sophia was the only one who could speak to him like that without harsh penalty.
"Maybe so, but the fact still remains that I
AM a Prince! Would you have me act a humble servant to Lord Cayleb Cyril, who,
in a normal world without secret diaries, would serve ME?" His eyes flamed.
"The dishonor of it! Can you imagine, the Prince of Gansvere hoeing a vegetable
Sophia crossed her arms. "It's better than the
Prince's corpse buried beneath a vegetable garden."
Fenmere rolled his eyes.
"Look at you!" she shouted furiously. "You think
a title can save you from death!" She picked up the Diary from under his velvet
robe. "This isn't some faerie tale, Fenmere, where the bad guys play fair and
have a conscience! This is the real world; the pets out there will kill you!"
She threw the book at his feet and stormed out of the room.
Moments later Fenmere emerged from the room with
a childish pout on his face. Hayden, Jase, and Cyril, who had been whispering
closely, looked up.
"Fine," Fenmere said to Sophia, who was grinning
victoriously, "I'll do it."
"V-very good," stammered Lord Cyril, still looking
very nervous, "I'll show you to the servant's quarters, Your Majesty."
Hayden cleared his throat, still looking fairly
unhappy. "It's very important to keep up appearances here, Cayleb, if we want
to keep Fenmere's location a secret. To the outside world, he must appear to
be a servant in your charge. We can't raise suspicion by calling him 'Your Highness'
or 'Your Majesty', or else the Confidants will find him. From this point on
his name is Umi. He's a simple peasant born in Meridell, nothing more."
"And what of me?" asked Sophia.
"You're his sister Mina," Hayden replied quickly.
Cayleb led them to the outer edge of the manor.
"Mornin' Master Cyril," greeted a toned yellow Bori as he plowed an empty patch
of dirt. "The soil's fertile this year; we should have a fair crop."
The Moehog nodded and waved with a faint smile,
it was clear he had other things on his mind.
A blue and red Blumaroo stopped paddling large
elegant rugs and curtsied, lifting their long brown petticoats.
"Take notice of how Lord Cyril's servants regard
their master," murmured Hayden, leaning in close to Fenmere, "it's important
that you act the same way."
Fenmere nodded, pretending like the task wouldn't
be completely impossible for him.
They came to five small, but well kept thatches.
Lord Cyril opened the door to the one on the far left and they all walked in.
There were two straw beds and a small washbasin on the floor.
"There's a trough outside that you can get your
water from," explained the Moehog upon looking at the disgusted face Fenmere
Sophia jabbed the prince with her elbow. "Everything
is just fine. We're your 'servants' and we'll live accordingly."
Lord Cyril wrung his hooves anxiously. "Yes,
of course." He turned to Hayden and spoke as though the Prince wasn't even there.
"What should I have him do? I can't just give orders to the heir of Gansvere!"
Fenmere pulled the Diary out of his tunic. "How
about I work on the first clue?"
All at once their faces lit up. Lord Cyril rushed
to the window and closed the tattered blinds. Hayden motioned to Jase, who nodded
and went outside to stand guard, before joining the other three on the floor
around the open book.
Fenmere began reading aloud:
"Behind the wares
Of the common and poor
Dwells the underground domain
Of Henry Delore.
Since I was married away
He's long since been alone
So don't expect the door open
Or a pathway to be shone
The door only opens
For a noble request,
Your answers rest beneath the surface
So tread lightly at best."
He looked up at the
others, each looking as puzzled as him. "Henry Delore," he murmured.
Hayden scratched his chin. "It's a shame Ramaya
isn't here; this is really her sort of thing."
"Where is she anyways?" Fenmere asked, noticing
the Ixi's absence for the first time.
"She's at her library."
"Yes, she's the head librarian at the Gansverian
library," he said with a proud smile. "I told you the Paladins had members in
He pulled out a blank piece of paper and a quill
from his purple vest and scrawled the words "Henry Delore". He opened the door
and motioned Jase in.
"Take this to Ramaya as quickly as possible,"
he told the Draik, "and tell her to meet us in the marketplace." Jase nodded
and took to the sky, zooming off like a red fireball.
"The marketplace?" echoed Fenmere.
"Behind the wares of the common and poor," Hayden
read from the first two lines of the poem. "Where else could it be?"
Hayden pushed his way through the throng of dirty
serfs and merchants while Fenmere stared mesmerized by the scene around him.
The streets were paved with a mix of straw, dirt,
and dung which most likely lead to the overwhelming stench of the place. Grubby
looking vendors screamed their prices at the passersby- pets ranging from tired
mothers with crying children in tow to the nobly dressed squires acting on their
He wasn't watching where he was going and ran
straight into the fat belly of a large green Scorchio.
"Watch yer step, maggot!" he spat on Fenmere,
who staggered backwards in shock.
"How dare you!" the Gelert gasped, his face red
with fury and astonishment.
The Scorchio threw back his head and laughed
obnoxiously. "How dare I?! Grem, Wissle, come over 'ere and take a look."
A spotted Elephante and a brown Grarrl emerged
from the crowd.
"This poor whelp thinks he's better than me,"
laughed the Scorchio.
The Grarrl lifted Fenmere by the front of his
shirt. "Is that so?"
"Put him down," said Sophia stepping forward
boldly to face the three. The Grarrl dropped Fenmere harshly to the ground with
a wild grin.
"What have we 'ere?" he said grabbing the white
Zafara's long brown curls, "quite a pretty little peasant, eh boys?"
Fenmere picked himself up, his eyes blazing
angrily. "Take your grimy hands off her."
The three turned to him again, a look of disbelief
on their faces. "You should really stop giving orders, rat," said the Scorchio
as they slowly circled around him, cracking their knuckles menacingly. "You're
in no position for that."
Suddenly Hayden jumped in front of Fenmere, silver
dagger out and gleaming.
"The police officer over there's getting suspicious,
boys," he said in a low voice, nodding towards a blue Grundo in uniform, "and
I'd hate for him to see me dirty the market with your blood."
They grumbled a few choice words but eventually
walked off. Lord Cyril came out shakily from behind a stall where he'd been
cowering in terror.
"They were certainly vile," said Fenmere with
Sophia turned to Fenmere disappointedly. "You
can't keep doing that! You have this mentality, this idea that you're better
than everyone else." Her clear blue eyes bored into his. "Now, without the shimmer
of the crown to sway people's motives, for the first time maybe you can see
that you're not."
Fenmere looked at the ground, unsure of what
"Uh, let's keep moving," said Hayden in an attempt
to break the tension.
They walked forward in silence until they reached
the end of the marketplace. Sophia's words rang in Fenmere's head. He was just
like everyone else.
Hayden approached a bored looking striped Kougra
and asked if he knew of a home that used to belong to a pet named Henry Delore.
The Kougra shook his head.
"Well," said the Nimmo looking around at the
vast emptiness, "it looks like we're back at square one."
Just then, an excited brown Ixi and a red Draik
came running up to them.
"I found it!" shouted Ramaya, before lowering
her voice at the realization that there could be others watching.
"Found what?" asked Fenmere.
"Henry Delore!" she motioned for them to follow.
"Hurry up, I'll explain on the way!"
They all dashed down a back alleyway until it
ended in an expanse of green grass. She led them to a thicket of dead looking
shrubs and spiny trees.
"I don't understand," huffed Hayden as he followed
Ramaya through the bushes, "Henry Delore lived over 200 years ago. How could
you find him?"
"It was all very simple actually. The library
has an extensive record of all the letters sent by the influential people of
Gansvere," she said, pushing open a rusted and squeaky metal gate. "It just
so happens that they had several written under the name of Elizabeth Stafford,
a fictional character in a book called Garon the Great. Lucky for us it's well
documented that Garon the Great was a favorite book of Queen Arin Elise Bavarian.
"Now finding the recipient of these letters was
a bit more difficult. Who could be so significant and yet so mysterious that
a Queen would need to write under a penname to communicate with them? But then
I found it, records of a certain knight named Sir Gawain McAllister. McAllister
was a something of a hero; he was the epitome of chivalry in every way. Before
Queen Arin was married, the two shared a secret romance. They wrote each other
often, she signing as Elizabeth Stafford," she paused with a proud smile, "and
he as Henry Delore."
She stopped and pointed victoriously.
Their eyes followed the direction of her hand
and their mouths fell open.
Fenmere gulped and repeated a verse of the cryptic
poem. "The underground lair of Henry Delore."
They were all in an enormous cemetery.
Henry Delore, or Sir Gawain McAllister, the true
love of Queen Arin, was dead. The lair they had to enter was his tomb.
To be continued...