Let There Be Lighten: Part Two
Antikia watched the lights of Krawk Island slowly slip into
the mist. It looked more inviting than sitting in a cold, dank rowboat, but she
knew better. She looked up at the sky. It was clear, except for a few silver wisps
of cloud drifting high in the atmosphere. The stars twinkled merrily at her, like
nothing had happened, like she was still sitting in a tall tree at home, picking
out the constellations of Luperus and the Space Faerie. She gave the stars a small
smile. It seemed like they were trying to say "Cheer up! You've found a new friend
and escaped those foul pirates, and now you're going to your safe, warm home!"
Kreludor was also high in the sky, casting a bluish-silver glow on everything.
On the horizon, the storm clouds still brooded, although they were going to give
Mystery Island a typhoon and were no longer concerned with a small purple Shoyru.
"You sure have a good sense of direction," Antikia
Samuel looked up at her, still rowing. "Thanks.
It's somethin' I've been blessed with for me whole life. It really came in handy
after I lost me sight in a nasty scrap with a Maraquan Jetsam."
As the night wore on, Antikia didn't feel the
least bit bored or worried, because Samuel told her about life in the outside
world. It turned out he had traveled quite a bit in his days as a pirate, and
had docked in many Neopian lands. He told her about the jungles of Mystery Island,
the bustling crowds and shops of Neopia Central, the sun-baked plains of Tyrannia.
She shivered with fear when Samuel described his run-in with Hubrid Nox in the
Haunted Woods, and shivered with cold when he told how he hiked to the top of
Terror Mountain. Samuel noticed that somehow, Antikia just being in the boat
with him made him less tired, and he didn't stop rowing even once.
The two of them barely noticed when Kreludor
set and the sky to the east started to become lighter and lighter. In the pink
light before the sun crested the horizon, Antikia suddenly noticed a small lump
at the edge of her vision that didn't seem to bob up and down with the water.
Samuel kept rowing, and Antikia strained her eyes to catch any details of the
object, and as they grew closer, and the dawn grew lighter, she could see that
it was a small island bordered by tall, sheer cliffs. On top of the cliffs was
a forest populated by huge trees. They looked like weeping willows, but were
as tall as redwoods and had thick, sturdy trunks. Purple flowers blossomed all
over the trees, and vines hung down from their branches. The trees' tiny leaves
made a calm rustling sound in the sea breeze. And, growing from the tree trunks,
were hundreds of red mushrooms.
"Samuel, it's my home!" Antikia cried. At the
word "home," the sun appeared from beneath the horizon and struck the scene
with an overwhelmingly pure, bright light, as if in celebration of Antikia's
return. Antikia was awestruck at the beauty of the moment, and Samuel, although
he could not see the sun's light, felt its warmth on his fur, and rejoiced also.
Antikia was so overcome with joy that she sang
the song she hadn't gotten to finish on the Buccaneer Bilguss. And this time,
she sang the whole thing.
Yen yiiht ayndir, vena yiiht fydan
Tyo yiiht hekird, cisan yiiht fehdan
Gaban uv lighten
Cehkan UV lighten
Dena yiiht sicurnus, lomuit yiiht cuem
Cyht yiiht cay, nulg yiiht kinyc
Panehkan UV lighten
Mujan UV lighten
Samuel stopped rowing to listen to Antikia's
clear, melodious voice again. He sighed in relaxation. He knew the Faerie language
had magic woven into every word, and Antikia's song probably had some elements
of a calming spell. When Antikia was done, he asked, "What's that song mean?"
"I'll try to translate it…" Antikia said. She
Air and earth, fire and water
Day and night, summer and winter
Keeper of light
Singer of light
Tree and mushroom, cloud and soil
Sand and sea, rock and grass
Bringer of light
Lover of light
"You see, Antikia Lighten is a title as well
as a name," Antikia explained. "It was given to me when I became the guardian
of the Forbidden Forest, in which Fyora's special crop of Health Shrooms grows.
In the Faerie language, it means 'let there be light.'"
"Arr…" was all salty old Samuel was able to say.
He quietly picked up his rowing and they drew closer to Antikia's island.
The waves smashed against the cliffs with fierce
intensity, preventing the boat from getting close to the island. "Shiver me
timbers! How d'ya reach the forest?" Samuel yelped, trying to maneuver the boat
away from the breakers.
"Oh yeah…the only way to get there is to fly…"
Antikia looked sadly at her sprained wing. She tried moving it to see if it
had healed overnight, but it hurt just as bad. The Shoyru hung her head sadly
and tried to keep back tears.
Suddenly, a purple light appeared at the top
of the cliff. It floated downwards, towards Antikia and Samuel. Antikia didn't
notice-she was too busy staring at the mossy bottom of the boat. She did notice,
however, when a pair of gentle arms scooped her and Samuel up and flew back
to the forest. Antikia looked up. It was the Faerie Queen herself!
Fyora smiled and gently put the two pets down
on the mossy forest floor. "Antikia! I'm so glad you're safe!" she said. "I
had just come down to check on you, but you weren't in the forest. I was getting
worried!" She turned to Samuel, who sat there, trying to figure out what had
just happened, and why he was now sitting on the ground instead of a wet rowboat
seat. "And who might you be?" the Queen asked him.
"Samuel No-Eyes, at yer service, ma'am…" Samuel
said, turning towards the source of the dignified female voice.
Antikia looked at him in disbelief. He was addressing
the ruler of Neopia! He was supposed to take off his hat and bow! Before she
could tell him so, she remembered he was sightless and caught herself. Instead,
she gently tapped him on the shoulder. "Samuel, this is Fyora, Queen of the
Faeries," she explained in a reverent tone.
Antikia was sure that, if she could see Samuel's
eyes, they would have been as big as Pinannas. He opened and closed his mouth,
but no sound came out. Finally, he pushed himself to his feet, swept his three-cornered
hat off of his head, and bowed deeply in Fyora's direction. "I-I had no idea
'twas you, ma'am…" he stammered.
Fyora smiled at him. "Did you help Antikia find
her way home?" she asked kindly.
Antikia and Samuel told Fyora all about their
adventure aboard the Buccaneer Bilguss and their run-in with Captain Gillfeather,
and she listened intently, a furrow of worry forming on her brow with the mention
of the captain. When they were done, she sighed. "I supposed something must
be done with that scheming Gillfeather. I'll have the Water Faeries see if they
can teach him a lesson or two." Then, she turned around and plucked two large
Health Shrooms from the trunk of a nearby tree. She examined them closely and
then said, quietly, "These will do." She turned back to Antikia and Samuel and
placed the Shrooms in their hands, then pushed Samuel's to his chest. "A gift
for you," she said, smiling, "for helping my Antikia Lighten." Antikia gladly
ate hers and smiled when she gave her wing a few test flaps and found that it
was feeling better than ever.
Samuel carefully felt the Shroom to see what
it was. "A-are ya sure, Yer Majesty?" he asked in disbelief.
"Yes," Fyora replied.
Samuel carefully took a small bite of the Shroom.
It was thick and rubbery, but tasted refreshingly of mint and oranges. After
swallowing the first bite, he quickly dug in to the meaty mushroom and finished
the rest off in a few gulps. As soon as he finished, he felt different. Something
had changed. A forgotten, foolish hope resurfaced in the back of his mind, and
he tore his eyepatches off. His heart became caught in his throat as he realized…he
could see!! He could see the lush, verdant greens of the forest, the golden
morning sunlight streaming through the branches, warming his fur, and the brilliant
purple flowers accompanied by the plump red Health Shrooms with red speckles.
The visual explosion blew the Acara away. Colors,
everywhere! He hadn't experienced colors in ages! Overwhelmed, he let himself
fall on the ground, now staring at the soft blue of the sky and glorious white
of the clouds.
The face of a purple Shoyru appeared, blocking
his view. It had been years since he had seen a Shoyru, and even now he had
to remember the word's association with the appearance. This Shoyru was a pretty
purple color and had kind eyes, but a worried expression. "Um, Samuel…are you
okay?" Antikia asked.
"Am I ever, lass!! I can see!!!" Samuel leapt
to his feet, grabbed Antikia's paws, and pranced around merrily like he was
a young Acara playing at Neoschool. As he spun around, he saw a stately, beautiful
lady with long purple hair, a lavender dress, and large, purple, translucent
Faerie wings. He tried to hold the tears back, but they welled up in his eyes
as he smiled at her and she smiled back. "Thank you, Yer Highness…" he managed
to croak, wiping his nose with his sleeve.
"Anyone as brave as you deserves a gift as precious
as sight," Fyora said. "I'm going to go back to Faerieland now-"
"Um…" Fyora was interrupted by Samuel, who had
regained his composure. "Would you…take an ol' salt like meself back with ya?
Me mum's up there, and I would like t'quit the piratin' business and help 'er
out…" He looked up at Fyora hopefully.
Samuel turned to Antikia. "Thanks fer savin'
me, lass…" he said.
Antikia looked confused. "Huh? But, you were
the one who saved me…"
Samuel shook his head. "Arr, I know, but if you
hadn't sung yer song and made me remember my life before the high seas, I would
still be out there, pillagin' and plunderin' with ol' Gillfeather, never even
thinkin' the wiser."
"Nonetheless, I would like to thank you, too,"
Antikia said, smiling. "Will you come back and visit me? It gets sort of lonely
"Arr, or my name ain't Samuel No-Eyes!" Samuel
said with a grin, then paused. "Hm, guess I'll have to do somethin' about me
last name now, 'cause it's not exactly true any more!"
Later that day the Buccaneer Bilguss was caught
in a mysterious whirlpool that sent the Captain to his knees, promising that
if he survived, he wouldn't be SUCH an atrocious person. Moments afterwards,
the whirlpool let up. Gillfeather never kidnapped helpless Shoyrus to exploit
their Faerie powers ever again, and Antikia and Samuel were the best of friends
To be continued...