Tangled Up in Blu: Part Twelve
“Blu.” A soft, melodic voice rang out in the head of the dazed Gelert. Her eyes fluttered open, but instead of the barren battlefield she was expecting to see, she was met with a serene Mystery Island beach. Crystalline waves lapped at the shorelines, leaving miniscule sea shells in their wake. Palm trees swayed lazily in the cool ocean breeze, their huge leaves casting shade over the white sand below. It was just like Blu’s favorite spot on the beach, but whose voice had spoken to her?
Blu attempted to stand up but failed miserably as she found that her body was numb. Swiveling her head to locate any sign of life, she came upon what had to be the source of the voice.
A tall, elegant water faerie lay on the beach before her, her turquoise scales glistening in the mid-afternoon sunlight. Her flowing blonde hair rippled perfectly down her shoulders and framed her beautiful face. Her pale pink lips complimented her light skin tone, and her eyes were the color of the ocean.
“Hello, Blu. Do you know who I am?” Each word that came from the faerie’s lips was like a melody that soothed the soul. Blu shook her head, strangely at ease in the presence of this stranger.
“I’m surprised. Haven’t you heard the legends? Why, I’m none other than Imohakua, the water faerie that founded your tribe. I gave the first water mage their powers and have chosen a successor ever since.” The water faerie’s plump lips curled slightly, her almond shaped eyes sparkling in the sunlight. Blu gaped at the mermaid, her mind reeling. How did she get here? Why was this faerie talking to her?
As if reading her mind, Imohakua spoke again. “This is merely a subconscious occurrence. You were on the verge of death, but I couldn’t allow you to die before the birth of a new mage. Your body could not handle the power of the Trident, and so it gave in. I could not allow this. I’m here to take your pain away. You’ll soon wake up in the arms of one of your able protectors.” The water faerie smiled, motioning for Blu to come closer. The Gelert inched closer to the ethereal figure, almost afraid to contaminate her aura of purity. The faerie let out a small chuckle that sounded like chimes in the wind. Immediately, Blu felt her fear melt and sat down right beside Imohakua. The water faerie lifted a pale arm and traced several lines on Blu’s chest with a slender finger. The mage shuddered as the faerie’s finger took its slow path along her fur. Though Imohakua’s finger left Blu’s fur, the sensation lingered. Blu couldn’t help but glance down at her chest. She was mildly surprised to find a new marking where the water faerie’s finger had just been. It was ornate and curvaceous, decorated with several artfully placed dots. It seemed oddly familiar. Blu glanced at the symbol and then back up at the faerie.
“What is this?” Blu asked, her voice more curious than concerned.
“Why, don’t you recognize this symbol?” Imohakua asked, cocking her head to the side. Blu squeezed her eyes shut, trying to remember where she had seen the marking before. It was a long time ago, back in her village...
“What are we supposed to do? We can’t just keep this from her for her whole life...”
“Now dear, you know we can’t possibly tell her about it; she’s much too young. For now, all we can do is read up on the subject so when we do tell her, we’ll be well informed.”
“Well informed?! She could be a... a... legend, and all you think we can do is be well informed?!? We have to do something!”
“Shh! You’re much too loud! She could hear you! Imagine, if she were to hear her true identity... the results could be catastrophic! She must not know that she is...”
Blu pressed her ear closer to the driftwood door of the hut, straining to hear the hushed conversation taking place inside. Her attempt was in vain; the extra weight on the door only pushed it open. The two occupants of the room immediately ceased talking, their eyes on the Gelert sprawled on the floor.
“Blu darling! What are you doing?” An island Gelert with warm green eyes asked with faux sweetness. She was trying to cover up her fear of the secret being discovered. Blu, being a mere child, furrowed her brow.
“Mommy, who’s dat?” Blu asked, her blue eyes widening in the most adorable manner. She pointed a stubby finger at the island Yurble standing beside her mother. Her mother, the island Gelert, smiled down at her beautiful child.
“This is Nankall, the advisor to the village elder. We were just having a little chat. Nothing to be concerned about, dear.” Blu’s mother smiled, creasing the wrinkles near her eyes. Little white lies to ignorant children never seemed to be a bad thing, until that ‘ignorant child’ turned out to be less ignorant than you once thought. Blu just giggled in her young naivety, hugging her mother’s leg. The elder island Gelert stroked the top of Blu’s head affectionately.
“I love you Mommy,” Blu sighed dreamily.
“I love you too, Blu.” Her mother answered the unspoken question that all children carry with them, albeit unknowingly. The island Yurble cleared his throat impatiently.
“Oh, Blu; I have to go now. I’ll be back in a little while. Stay out of trouble, dear.” Blu’s mother’s voice was calm and upbeat, as always. She ruffled her daughter’s fur before departing with the advisor. Blu cocked her head to the side after they left, curious to discover what they had been talking about. She stood on her chubby legs, straining to see the cluttered surface of a table. She climbed onto a chair, now able to survey the entire table. There were many assorted objects on the table’s wooden surface, but the one that caught Blu’s interest was an aging book with yellowing pages. It was opened to a page with a beautifully detailed illustration of a water faerie and paragraphs of undecipherable text. Blu scanned the other page, finding it quite dull other than an ornate marking in the center of the page. Curved and dotted, it appealed to the childish imagination of the Gelert. Curious, the young Gelert struggled to read the caption below.
“Wuh-water m-mm-mages get dis mark when dey com... complete the first tuh-task of their ex... exis... existence.”
“Yeah, I recognize it.” Blu stated simply. Imohakua’s lips curled into a smile.
“Well, then I suppose you realize what you’ve done. You have completed your first life task as a mage, and a fine job of it you did. Now you can finally go back home to Imohakua. But you can’t, of course, leave without what you came for.” Imohakua waved a creamy skinned hand in the air, sparkles trailing behind it. As the glitter faded, a dazed island alkenore could be seen on the sand.
“Liletia?” Blu had completely forgotten that the real reason she had come to this place was to find her lost petpet. Laughing in joy, she hugged the winged creature. As Blu’s arms pulled her petpet closer, Imohakua and the serene beach scene began to fade. The last thing Blu saw was Imohakua, flawless in her effortless beauty, waving goodbye and mouthing the words that Blu needed to hear.
“You did it.”
“Mmm...” Blu stirred. Zwane felt relief rush through his body. She was okay.
“Morning, sleepy head,” Zwane said playfully. Blu smiled, sitting up. She found that she was no longer in Zwane’s arms in front of Vzelle; she was in a comfortable bed in an unfamiliar room. Mephtik was carefully watching Blu’s every move, and Zwane was just smiling down on her, happy that she was okay.
“What happened? Where am I?” Blu mumbled, still half asleep.
“You’re in the castle infirmary. After you turned the Trident to stone, you passed out. We brought you here, and you’ve been unconscious for about an hour.” Zwane filled in the blanks for Blu. Blu, suddenly remembering her dream, pulled the sheets off of her body. She gazed down at her chest and found that the marking from her dream was there.
“I had a dream about the faerie who founded my tribe and gives water mages their powers. She told me I was going to die, but she saved me. She told me I had successfully accomplished my first task as a water mage and was deserving of this symbol upon my chest. She told me I was finished with my duties for now, and I could go home. I thought it was just a dream, but...” Blu’s voice trailed off.
“I guess it wasn’t just a dream. Either way; she’s right about one thing. You should be on your way soon, shouldn’t you?” Zwane couldn’t hide the tinge of sadness in his voice from the thought of Blu leaving. Against his wishes, Blu nodded.
“Yeah, I suppose I should... wait. Imohakua gave me back my alkenore. I had her before I woke up. Where...?” The Gelert’s question was cut off as a small ball of fur landed in her lap, squealing happily. Blu hugged Liletia. “In that case, I guess I’ll be moving along.”
There were two people present as Blu said her farewells: Zwane and Mephtik. The Gelert hugged her two loyal friends goodbye as she prepared to return to Imohakua. The trio had been through so much together; it was hard to believe how close tragedy can bring a group of strangers. It was almost painful to leave, but she knew she had no choice.
“Well, I guess it’s time to say goodbye,” Blu sighed, unable to think of a sufficient way to put her thoughts into words. Zwane and Mephtik nodded.
“Blu, ya done us some good ‘ere. I hope ya come back an’ visit me; I’ll still be ta guard at tha’ ol’ prison. Take care of yourself, ya hear?” It was all Mephtik could do not to cry. He’d grown so fond of that water mage; she was the daughter he never had.
“Yeah, Blu. You’ll come visit, right? If you don’t, we’ll have to hunt you down.” Zwane tried to lighten up the moment with humor, but he was really trying to cover up his lack of things to say. He and Blu had become almost impossibly close over the duration of this trial. If he had lost her in the struggle, he didn’t know if he could’ve gone on. He had just gotten her back from the verge of death and now he was losing her all over again. What was there to say?
Blu smiled, waving goodbye with a white paw. With Liletia in tow, she began to swim towards the surface of the ocean when a paw grabbed her arm.
“Wait! Wait.” Zwane sighed. He couldn’t just let her leave like this. “Blu, I just wanted to say that you’ve taught me countless things in these past few days... more than I’ve learned in my whole lifetime previously. So before you go and I become just another memory, I wanted – needed – to say this: thank you.”
“First of all, you’ve taught me more than I’ve taught you. I screwed up more times than I can count over the past few days; you and Mephtik are the only things that saved me from failing. And another thing: there’s no way I could ever possibly forget you. You’re probably the person I’ll remember the most through my life, even if you don’t think so.” Blu’s response left Zwane speechless. The silence that followed was anything but awkward, and the twosome filled it with a heartfelt hug. Mephtik couldn’t help but grin at the two friends as the pulled apart. Blu flashed a smile, again beginning to swim towards the surface.
“Bye, guys! I’ll be sure to visit soon, m’kay?” And with that, Blu set her eyes on the glimmering surface of the ocean, swimming towards the world she had left behind for the fulfillment of her destiny. She wasn’t sure what to expect upon her return, but whatever the future had in store for her, she knew she was ready. After all, there wasn’t anything a water mage couldn’t do – at least, with a little help from some friends.