The New Prophecy: Part Two
It didn’t take very long for Jhudora and Fyora to reach the Hidden Tower. It was, of course, invisible, but as the Queen of Faeries, Fyora knew it like the back of her hand and easily flew inside through the highest open window.
Unfortunately, Jhudora just flew straight into the invisible, yet solid, stone wall.
“Blasted!” the dark faerie cursed, making her way inside and looking at the Queen of Faeries angrily. “Why didn’t we just use the door?”
“Oops. I kind of forgot about that,” Fyora said sheepishly, but it was true. She had been in such a rush to decipher the New Prophecy (as she had decided to call it) that she had forgotten that the door downstairs was always left open in case of customers. She fixed her hair with the hand that wasn’t clenched on the napkin with the prophecy scribbled on it and replied, “Oh well. We can just head down the stairs. I need to put this prophecy in the vault on the first floor.”
Jhudora sighed. Contrary to popular belief, the Hidden Tower was more than just an invisible tower which Fyora used as her expensive shop. In reality, it was more or less a small castle with a main tower that encased a spiral staircase that led to each of the three floors. Being on top, they were in an expensive looking spare bedroom with marble floors and clad in Fyora-themed furniture and filled with just about every Fyora themed item in Neopia, making the room, in Jhudora’s opinion, horribly tacky. There was a bed draped in lavish fabrics, a mirrored vanity, a desk, a Fyora print bean bag, a rocking chair, and on the wall was a Fyora Rules Poster. But the real Fyora didn’t give the room a second glance. Instead, she was already halfway down the spiral staircase on the opposite end of the room to the next floor.
Jhudora tried to follow as quickly as she could, but spiral staircases just weren’t her thing. They were too small for her to maintain her full wingspan, for starters, and although she never admitted it, she was a bit claustrophobic. So, grumbling, she followed the Queen down, only pausing for a brief moment to admire the large set of wooden doors on the second floor that led the way to the council room, a room she now remembered quite vividly from her brush with the Crystal Eye Prophecy. She could almost see it: the long wooden table running down the center, the graceful chandeliers on the ceiling, the tall golden mirrors that hung on the walls, and the fireplace located in the corner: the one clue that they had entirely misinterpreted...
“Hurry up!” Fyora called impatiently, looking up at Jhudora from her spot at the base of the stairs. “We don’t have all day!”
“Okay! Okay! Hold your Unis!” Jhudora called down, scrambling to the ground floor.
The ground floor was the actual Hidden Tower Shop, complete with circular stone walls engraved with magical symbols, a red curtain with golden tassels hanging up on one side, and an immaculate long light purple counter and glass display case showcasing items that were way too expensive for the average Neopian and laced with magical protection spells to ward off unwary thieves: Slorg Flakes for 750,000 neopoints, a Fire and Ice Blade priced at two million neopoints, and of course, the Supreme Deluxe Faerie Queen Doll for a whopping five million neopoints! As expected in such an expensive store, no one was in there.
And then Jhudora spotted her own doll, modeled in her likeness, with straight purple hair, wide violet eyes, and her signature dress. And then she noticed its price.
“Hey,” she mumbled to Fyora. “How come my doll is 3.5 million Neopoints less than yours?”
“Because the Jhudora the Dark Faerie Doll isn’t in the Supreme Deluxe edition,” said a voice from behind the counter.
Jhudora snapped her head up from looking at the doll and saw none other than her least favorite faerie popping up from behind the counter and playing around with her chestnut hair: Illusen.
Illusen was as shocked as Jhudora upon seeing her in the shop. As far as she knew, Jhudora didn’t shop; she instead had neopets come in left and right to do her bidding for her in exchange for useless prizes. And the fact that she seemed to have willingly come in with the Queen of Faeries herself was downright unbelievable!
Illusen’s mouth quickly opened to say something, but Jhudora took the words right out of it.
“What’s she doing here?”
“Watching over the store,” Fyora answered simply, heading over to the earth faerie. “Like I said before, today was my day off and I needed someone to man the counter.”
“How was lunch?” Illusen asked, her green eyes overly wide and bright to cover up her distaste of Jhudora being in the same room as her. She was dressed in her normal everyday attire: a fitted green dress with a stylish brown belt and fingerless green gloves.
“Short,” Fyora responded, showing her the napkin. “Kauvara had a prophecy.”
Illusen’s eyes widened. “I didn’t know that she was a seer!” she remarked and, glancing around to make sure that Jhudora was far enough away, she lowered her voice, tilting her head towards the dark faerie and added, “So what’s she doing here, then?”
“You know I can hear everything you’re saying,” Jhudora barked from the other end of the store.
“Helping,” Fyora responded wearily. She should have known that these two wouldn’t be able to get along for five minutes.
“But how can she help? She’s a dark faerie! And, what’s more, she’s Jhudora!” Illusen felt outright jealousy. Here was an important issue, a prophecy of all things, and the Queen recruited none other than the one faerie who wasn’t worth as much as the scum on her shoe!
Jhudora glared at her rival with piercing violet eyes. “Don’t worry. I don’t want to be in here with you any more than you do, but a deal’s a deal and I agreed to help out with this stupid prophecy.”
“Yes, yes,” Fyora said, cutting in, trying to ease the enmity between the faeries. “And between the three of us, we should be able to figure this out. But first, the vault. This prophecy needs to be properly recorded and a napkin from a local coffee shop just won’t do.” And so, with her slender manicured hand, she pulled the large red curtain that hung up on the wall behind the counter away, revealing a hidden room devoid of anything except a pedestal, an old book, and a large silver vault.
Illusen’s jaw dropped. “I didn’t know that was here!”
“Well,” Fyora said, “it’s actually a secret, one that I hope you two will be able to keep. Now come on through, you two. We haven’t got all day.”
“Why do you keep saying that?” Jhudora asked, stepping into the hidden room and looking around.
“Because I don’t know how soon ‘soon’ is,” she said simply, leaving Jhudora even more confused than before.
Fyora headed to the intricately carved white pedestal where the single book was laid. It had no title, but was bound in a purple cloth that was faded from age. “This,” she said, opening the book to a crinkled page, “is the complete set of rules for prophecies, written by one of the Queens from years past. It is a very important book.” Then, being very careful with the old book, she flipped to a free page, and ripped it out.
Illusen’s jaw dropped, but Fyora just waved her hand at the astonished faerie. “Do either of you have a pen? A quill?”
“Of course,” Jhudora remarked sarcastically. “I always carry sharpened feathers around with me.”
“No matter,” Fyora said, pulling out her slender wand, muttering a spell, and using it as a writing utensil to transfer the prophecy from the napkin to the paper. Once it was all written down, she placed several enchantments on the paper to stop it from corroding into nothing as the years passed.
“Normally, I’d put it in the safe to worry about later,” she remarked, “but seeing as this problem is imminent, I suggest we discuss it now.” So, waving her wand, she conjured up three wooden chairs and a small coffee table.
“In here?” Illusen remarked, sitting down on the cushioned light green seat. “Aren’t prophecies normally discussed upstairs? In the council room?”
“Yes, but after last time...” Fyora suddenly caught herself. Illusen didn’t remember ‘last time,’ since she had wiped her memory. So she instead recovered lamely, “I just think it’s more convenient in here.”
Illusen nodded and Jhudora snorted, sitting down in the chair and plucking the prophecy from Fyora’s hand. “Let’s see,” she muttered, her eyes scanning the parchment. “It seems just like every other prophecy: declaring doom, written in rhymes, blah, blah, blah, and complete with clues that make absolutely no sense.” She paused and looked up. “Why are prophecies never straightforward? Wouldn’t it just be simpler for seers to say who, what, when, where, why, and how without putting it into some stupid riddle?”
“I agree,” Fyora said wearily, “but let’s not question that right now. Read the prophecy out loud, will you?”
“Fine,” Jhudora said, crossing her legs and starting to read:
“A green-eyed fiend reflection makes
Upon a hill that always wakes
Some cunning words, a tale they spin
And nighttime dreams among us dim
For soon the light will start to fade
And dark will set into the day
Reversible? It may be done
If two bitter enemies can become one.”
Once she finished reading, an idea popped into her head. “Isn’t it obvious?” she said smiling, looking at the Faerie Queen. “It’s Illusen! Who else do we know that has green eyes, is a faerie, and is a complete and utter nuisance?”
“Hey!” Illusen retorted. “A lot of earth faeries have green eyes and I am not a nuisance!”
Fyora glared at Jhudora. She should have known that the dark faerie would have found some way to pin it on Illusen. “Listen, this prophecy doesn’t even say if it’s a faerie or not and there are plenty of Neopians with green eyes.”
“Fine.” Jhudora rolled her dark eyes, realizing that they hadn’t appreciated her joke, and looked at the paper again. “What does it mean by, ‘A hill that always wakes’? I knew that Kauvara wasn’t the sharpest Kau in the bunch, but I thought that even she knew that hills aren’t alive.”
“I thought that was obvious,” Illusen bragged, getting back at Jhudora for the ‘it’s Illusen’ comment. “It’s obviously not talking about a real hill, but something that appears to be a hill. Something big and hill-shaped, but alive: like the Turmaculus in Meridell!”
“That makes absolutely no sense!” Jhudora argued. “The Turmaculus is always sleeping, not awake!”
“I have to agree with Jhudora on that one,” Fyora said, losing her patience. Jhudora and Illusen were so intent on outdoing the other that they were entirely misinterpreting the prophecy, not even caring if what they said made sense or not. Though Illusen’s thought had made the Queen of Faeries start to think...
“What about Terror Mountain,” she said abruptly. “A mountain is somewhat of a hill.”
“But what about ‘always wakes’?” Illusen asked. “It’s mountain. How can it be awake?”
“Maybe not the mountain exactly,” Jhudora joined in, starting to actually think about the prophecy seriously for the first time, “but maybe it’s referring to the Snowager. That thing is almost always awake.”
“That sounds about right,” Fyora said with a smile. Finally, some progress! “Now,” she continued, “the next part about a spinning a tale clearly indicates lying, which, no doubt, anyone who is plotting something that involves taking over Neopia regularly does, and ‘dark will set into the day,’ must signify what will happen once the ‘green-eyed fiend’ takes over, which, we hopefully will prevent from even happening. And, if we don’t, it says it can be undone, but I’m not about to take any chances.”
“What about the reflection part in the way beginning?” Illusen piped in. “Are they talking about a mirror?”
Jhudora felt like laughing. “That was almost exactly what you said last time, and look where that got us!” she retorted, remembering back during the Crystal Eye Prophecy crisis when Illusen wanted to cover up every single mirror that had hung on the walls of the council room because of the word “reflection” when what she really needed to have worried about was the fact that the table had been soaking wet and dripping with water.
But Illusen didn’t see the connection. “Last time?” she asked, her eyebrows arched in confusion.
Fyora started staring daggers at Jhudora’s slipup, her eyes wide and sharp. How could Jhudora have been so foolish as to refer to “last time”?! Illusen’s memory had been wiped clean!
But Jhudora instantly realized her mistake and bit her lip. Fyora’s little mind-wiping frenzy was making things much more complicated than they already were. How was she going to be able to discuss this new prophecy without making any more comments about the Crystal Eye Prophecy? It would be nearly impossible! Unless, of course, Fyora restored Illusen’s memory and told her what had happened...
But by the look on Fyora’s face, Jhudora knew that she would do no such thing, so the dark faerie kept her mouth shut and instead said to Illusen lamely, “Oh, it’s nothing. Just some...er... dream I had a few nights ago.”
It was clear that Illusen wasn’t buying it, but before she could say anything, Jhudora hastily continued, “Speaking of dreams, what do you think ‘nighttime dreams among us dim’ mean?”
“Good catch, Jhudora,” Fyora said, breathing a sigh of relief that another conflict had been diverted. “I was thinking that it might be referring to dreams as in goals and hopes, and that everyone is going to lose sight of them and give up in the fight. Which,” she said, standing up, “means we don’t have much time. Like I said before, I don’t know how soon ‘soon’ is, but if this prophecy is as current as today, we have until nightfall.”
“Nightfall?!” Illusen exclaimed, standing up in alarm. “We barely know anything and yet it has to be solved be nightfall?”
“It’s our only choice,” Fyora said sadly, “but you’re wrong on one thing. Given the time restraints, we actually know quite a bit on this prophecy. The problem is, in order to figure out the rest, like who’s responsible for this fiasco, we’re going to have to get a move on.” Holding out her wand, she gave it a swift wave, making the table and chairs disappear (causing Jhudora, the only one still sitting, to fall hard on the floor) and replaced them with three heavy winter jackets.
“Bundle up, you two,” she said, picking a pink one off the stone floor and putting it on. “We’re heading to Terror Mountain.”
To be continued...