“Armin, tell me the truth,” said the young yellow Usul, her long brown hair teased into long, gorgeous curls decorated with mauve ribbons. “Do I look all right?”
The Bori, also yellow, rolled his eyes, not even looking at her. “Hannah,” he replied, adjusting the buckles on his black shoes. “You look fine. Why do you care? That’s the third time you’ve asked me that.”
Hannah sighed, making sure her curls hadn’t gone flat, or worse, frizzy. “I know I’m acting like I own a beauty parlour. It’s just... I’ve never been to Faerieland in my life, and I definitely haven’t been summoned by Queen Fyora. She’s so important; I want to look just right.”
“Hey,” said Armin. “I’ve never even left Terror Mountain before I met you. You don’t see me freaking out. I still can’t believe that you calmly managed to free that baby Chia from the clutches of the Snowager, but you’re freaking out at meeting the Faerie Queen.”
“Whatever,” Hannah muttered, giving herself one last look in the mirror. She did, in fact, look rather pretty. A dear friend of hers had picked out both her and Armin’s outfit. She was clad in a pale mauve dress, the purplish-sheen matching her hair ribbons. It was trimmed with white and silver, and she wore little white shoes. Despite the fact that she hadn’t ever worn anything glamorous, she could tell that it was beautiful.
Armin also looked fit for a queenly visit. His black pants were perfectly pressed; his shoes were black with silver buckles. He had a white collared shirt on, as well as a purple vest lined in silver. She had never seen him looking that refined.
Hannah knew in her heart that they were both ready to meet Fyora, but still, she was afraid.
Jhudora stood at the gates of the Faerie Palace, grimacing jealously. The Faerie Palace was her rightful property. She had been born with the promise of inheriting it, and instead had been banished to her pathetic cloud she called home. She was about to regain her rightful property.
Dressed in a slim-fitting dark purple and lime green dress, the Dark Faerie flicked her matching hair back behind her tinted-purple shoulders. It was time to make an entrance.
Stretching out her clawed hands, she forced the big pale purple stone doors to fly off of their hinges and land behind her with a deafening boom. Without any form of self doubt, she stepped forward.
A guard was standing just inside the doors. He was a big, strong green Tonu who was usually the most competent guard in the Faerie Palace. However, when looking upon the face of the Dark Faerie, he nearly turned into a nervous wreck.
Holding up his silver sword, he shakily raised it above his head.
“D-d-don’t c-come any c-closer,” he stuttered, trying to sound confident, yet was failing quite miserably. “I-I’m not afraid t-to use this!”
Jhudora smirked. “But you are afraid of me,” she said haughtily. A bolt of dark purple light shot from her lime green claws, and the silver sword melted into a sculpture of a court jester wearing a hat with bells. “That’s all you are under me, fool. Now, let me in. I want to have words with Fyora.”
The Tonu shook his head, one eye on the little sculpture, the other on Jhudora. However, Jhudora was not one to meddle with. One enraged frown from her face was all that it took to send the guard off.
Not much later, Fyora came gliding in, in all of her lavender glory. Her pale purple tunic dress fell down to her ankles, and her hair was held up in a bun. Her crown was held firmly on her head, and her scepter was in one hand.
“Jhudora,” she said, no sign of fear in her voice whatsoever. “I’m under the impression that you gave my guard quite a shock. What business have you here?”
A wicked grin formed on Jhudora’s face. “Why do you ask,” she said, her voice dripping like syrup. “Does one need business to see her own sister?”
Fyora’s face clouded over. “Right then,” she said grimly. “Follow me to my personal quarters.”
It was a long walk up to Fyora’s personal lounge, but neither faerie was tired when they reached to top. As if to show how fit she was, Jhudora didn’t retire to a comfortable chair, as Fyora did. Instead, she stood up straight and glared down at the Faerie Queen.
“You know you are my sister,” Jhudora said. “Don’t deny that.”
“I don’t,” said Fyora. “I remember playing with you. You were so good.”
Jhudora rolled her eyes. “How I was doesn’t matter. What matters is that I was born first. I’m the older sibling. The kingdom should be mine. Don’t deny that, Fyora. You know it’s true!”
Fyora was not intimidated. “Our mother decided who would rule on depending on what she thought was best for the kingdom. I had no say in the matter, but I do not disagree with Mother’s views.”
“So she exalted you and banished me to a pathetic purple cloud,” Jhudora spat. “It’s disgusting. Words can’t express how I feel about it. Only one thing can.”
Waving good-bye to their coach and four, Hannah and Armin began to climb up the steps to the castle. The magnificent flags flew from the towers. Every inch of it was a castle.
Armin nervously smoothed his fur. He was beginning to understand why Hannah seemed so nervous. However, he kept on a brave face and began to walk up the stairs in front of Hannah.
They both were slightly confused at the lack of doors, but neither said anything, not wanting to look foolish in front of the other who possibly knew about the doors. They both guessed it was for redecorating, and they walked in.
Hannah didn’t know what she was expecting. Maybe a fanfare, maybe a silent escort, but, she expected to be recognized or to see Fyora. What she saw was... nothing. She looked over to Armin, who appeared to be thinking the same thing. However, his big eyes were looking around, scanning the room for clues.
“There,” he exclaimed all of a sudden, making Hannah jump. His furry paw was pointing at a narrow flight of stairs, which probably led up to Fyora’s personal quarters. “I know we shouldn’t go there, but don’t you think that this emptiness is a little suspicious?”
Hannah nodded. “I’ve learned to follow hunches,” she said, her eyes fixed on the staircase.
They both started running at the same time towards the staircase, and then coming to a screeching halt when their eyes both noticed the same thing.
There was a single purple scale. Not the type seen on Scorchios, but a jagged, evil looking type. “Jhudora,” they both whispered at once. That was all it took. At top speed, they bolted up the stairs and into the Faerie Queen’s personal lounge, where a horror awaited their eyes.
Jhudora, the evil faerie whom they had never met, was standing in the middle of the room, holding a glass jar in her clawed hands. In that bottle, if they strained their eyes, they could see the small purple shape of Fyora, trying to make herself grow magically, but the bottle stopped her from growing.
Hannah tried to shout, but all that came out was a strangled sounding choke. Though it was quiet, it was enough to make the evil faerie whirl around and notice the two formally dressed explorers.
“So,” Jhudora cackled, raising the unoccupied hand. “You’ve found me. Well, you’ll be shelf-mates with your queen soon.”
A beam of light shot from her hand, heading full force at Hannah who ducked just in time. Jhudora grimaced, and then aimed at Armin, who ducked. Hannah looked at Armin, and then signed out in their special sign language, “I’ll distract her. Get the Amulet of Thilg!”
Armin nodded and grabbed the Amulet off the table, aiming it at Jhudora. She felt a warmth in her hand, and then...
Jhudora stopped shooting the light. She tried, but she couldn’t. Nothing was working, and then she stopped caring about the light. The bottle in her hand was shaking, and then it bashed into a million pieces. Fyora stood in front of her.
“A faerie who tries to hurt people,” said Fyora, looking her sister straight in the eye, “will never take the throne. Remember that, Jhudora, and someday you may take your place. Until then, you stay on your cloud.”
A gust of wind blew through the tower, and Jhudora, though she tried to fight it, was blown away.
Fyora smiled at the team of explorers, and they smiled back, both thinking the same thing.
“That’s one for our resume.”