Legend Seekers: Mysterious Magic - Part Nine
From a perch high in Faerieland, Pemero looked down on Mystery Island and wondered.
Will there ever be life there again?
Once there was no more need to be shadow, Pemero had used the staff to restore his silver coat. It was a wonderful thing, that staff... it was like... a universal solution. He soon came to realise that magic could solve most problems, although some required more power than others. And yet, there was something missing...
It’s made everything easy. Now there’s no challenge in anything... I made a bridge across the ocean, and I gave Seth his magic, but I didn’t do anything at all. It was all the staff.
Ironic, how most pets would kill to have this kind of power... but when they finally got it, they would realise it wasn’t what they wanted after all. The pot of gold is a nice bonus, but the real treasure is the rainbow itself. And after all, if he completed his training with it and ended up without it in a fight...
“Pemero! Tea’s ready!” Samila called. In the end, she had left him alone about running away. What’s done is done, she had sighed, eyes blazing with contained fury. But if you ever do that again, I won’t be responsible for my actions. You had us so worried, Pemero!
He wanted so badly to tell the truth, but he was a little afraid of what Seth might do. It had been a mistake, bargaining with magic to escape the situation. His Faerie friends could have solved the problem for him, but no... he had been determined to get himself out of the mess, just once. Now, Seth had power, and he would be looking to learn how to use it.
With a heavy sigh, Pemero pushed the staff, and it rolled towards the edge of the cloud. Before it fell, it seemed to flash with angry purple light—as if beseeching him to change his mind. He didn’t. Instead, he let it fall, and watched with fascination as it tumbled towards the sea, turning over end on end repeatedly, until it was finally out of sight. Out of sight, and out of mind.
“Pemero, come on!” Samila grumbled. Reluctantly, he turned tail and ran towards the palace, where a hot dinner would be waiting for him. As he reached the gateway, Samila smiled, and whispered something.
“You did the right thing.”
“What was that?”
It was nearly a week later that Jen discovered the artefact.
She had been wandering down the coastline, watching the last of the ash wash into the ocean, when a glint of living colour caught her eye. It was clearly a thing of great value, and just looking at it sent a chill down her spine. A thin blade of maractite curved from the top end, and layers of coloured rock made up the rest of it.
It washed closer and closer, until it was almost within her reach. Hesitantly, she moved towards it and fished it from the water. A searing pain ran through her paw, and for just a second, her senses were consumed by blaring, purple-white light.
What’s happening? What is this thing?
As soon as it had started, it was gone. She gulped in the air, trying to make sense of what had happened, never taking her eyes from the wand. If that’s what it is. It’s really closer to a staff... she thought distractedly, but it didn’t matter what she called it. Her fur was still standing on end from the shock. I’d better ask Kail about this.
Jen held a picture of the old temple in her mind, and the staff did the rest. A familiar fading sensation ran through her, and her vision doubled up, showing a faint image of Kail’s study.
Kail Selvar! she cried out. Kail, I have to show you something!
When the Lupe finally emerged, he was livid. Black clouds of anger seemed to whirl in his eyes, but when he realised it was Jen, some of that anger faded.
What are you doing here? he asked, not moving a muscle. His eyes rolled to the staff, then back to Jen. That staff is very dangerous. No wonder you came looking for me. Her heart was still racing with fear, but she pulled herself together.
I was hoping you could offer me some guidance, she said sheepishly.
I know what that is, but it goes far beyond my experience to deal with it. It functions as a summoner and amplifier of magic. It is a powerful thing, but... if it is overused, it ends up as the one in control. Jen shuddered.
What should I do with it?
Take it to the Faeries. They and they alone will be able to contain it. I don’t know how it got here, but it belongs with Fyora. Normally I wouldn’t recommend using the staff under any circumstances, but... he sighed. You are capable and responsible. Use it to reach Faerieland, and nothing else. Am I understood?
Absolutely, Jen intoned solemnly.
Go, then, and may the Faeries watch over you, Kail Selvar replied. A moment later, she faded from view once more, and re-emerged on the same beach she had left behind.
With superstitious caution, she examined the staff. The stone shifted almost constantly, playing out a thousand never-ending stories that no one would bother to watch or listen to or remember. She felt its energy combine with her own, removing all traces of fatigue and loneliness. It made her feel invincible.
Moving with extreme delicacy, she closed her eyes and allowed the magic to flow. It was cool and refreshing this time, but she knew that one wrong movement could change all of that. A pair of huge, delicate wings sprouted from her shoulders, and her shadowy fur fell away to be replaced with magnificent coat of magenta and cream.
Now she could reach Faerieland. It took an effort of will to pull herself away from the staff, knowing how powerful it was... how much one pet could achieve with it, if they had the mind to.
She shut it out.
I hope this is as easy as it looks, she thought excitedly. Being a Faerie was one of her childhood dreams. The clouds would be her fields and the sun would shine all day, all year long. She allowed the wings to unfold and flapped them experimentally. The wind was high enough that she lifted several inches into the air... and lost her balance. Er... whoops.
She tried again, beating more rapidly to gain height and speed. Gradually, she realised she could use her legs to help balance when she was in the air. This is so exciting!
As she rose, she gained confidence. It helped not to look at the ground until she was above cloud level. Other flying pets zipped past her, and here and there, mountains protruded from the white mass, like islands in an ivory sea. It was beautiful.
Faerieland had never looked so huge! From beneath, it looked dark and mysterious, but as she rose she realised it was a cloud of silvery-white, and not like the other clouds at all. It seemed alive, in the way it moved... so much like the staff she held. A city sat on the crest of this cloud, looking utterly dwarfed, like an absurd purple crown.
I hope they let me in with this, she thought madly. Someone might think I’m trying to attack. Thankfully, no one did. The guards allowed her to pass without a word. Once inside the gates, she made a beeline for the castle, and the Queen.
Fyora was busy sorting through a number of important files when a guard Faerie rapped on the door.
“Come in,” she muttered, not taking her eyes from her work.
“Your Majesty, a young Wocky would like to see you.”
“Send her away. I have things to do.” Another gawker, no doubt.
“She’s carrying an artefact of considerable power.”
“Okay, let her in. I really don’t have a choice, do I?”
The door swung open soundlessly, and a Faerie Wocky fluttered in, looking dishevelled and frantic. “Fyora,” she breathed. “I came as quickly as I could. I thought you should have this.”
“Hold on. Who are you?”
“My name is Jen. I was a shadow Wocky until a few hours ago. I—”
“Your name rings a bell.” Fyora cast her mind back over the past year, remembering a flood of faces and names and places. At last, she made the connection. “Did you know a young Kougra by the name of—”
“Pemero?” Stunned by this question, Jen gathered her thoughts before replying. “Er, yes. He used to be my best friend.”
“I see. It’s been a while since you last saw him. Am I right?”
Jen laid the staff carefully on a nearby desk, where it sparked with magic. Is she blind? Jen thought wildly. Why does she keep changing the subject? “Er.. yeah. You see, he was on Mystery Island when—”
“I know.” Fyora sighed. “I’m surprised you don’t. Most everyone is talking about it.”
Confusion gripped Jen. She had the idea that something big had happened, and for some reason, she hadn’t found out about it. “What do you mean?”
“Well... for a start, he’s still alive, and living in Faerieland as we speak.”
At that, Jen thought her eyes must have grown to the size of dinnerplates. It wasn’t possible. It couldn’t be. Nobody had survived the blast except for her. Right? But was that really true? Was there anything to prove that there were no other survivors out there, just as lost and confused as she was?
“I think I need to sit down,” was all Jen managed to say. “Erm. What about the staff?”
“It will be taken care of.” Fyora’s eyes glistened with knowledge.
“Thank you, Queen Fyora.” A pleasant lull of silence fell over the room.
“If you want to see Pemero, I can give you directions to where he’s staying. I’m sure he’ll tell you everything when you get there...”
Once tea was finished and the pots had been cleaned, Pemero retreated to the living room. There, he curled up next to the fire and watched it crackle, bright and solemn, whilst he sorted through a mass of confusing thoughts.
Giving Day is approaching quickly... now all I need is some new friends to buy gifts for. I wonder how they’re all doing, down there on Krawk Island... do they believe all the stories about me...? I don’t think they would... but it’s hard to know for sure.
It had been a long, exciting year for a young Kougra. He wondered if the next could possibly hold so much adventure; so many revelations. If I could have seen into the future, seen myself as I am now... would I still have left for Mystery Island?
He closed his eyes. Yes. I think I would. After all, isn’t that what I was looking for when I left my home behind?... Didn’t I leave precisely because I wouldn’t know what was waiting for me around the next corner? And... Mystery Island wasn’t my fault... His eyes slid open again, resolute and certain.
I thought I was to blame but how could I have known? If not me, it would have been some other clueless pet. That’s the way these things work. If something is going to happen, it will find a way... like a stubborn weed that grows through concrete to reach the life-giving light of the sun... and all we can really do is be ready for it.
To be continued...