Fyora and Jhudora: Secrets Within the Clouds - Part Two
As the two Faellies brought the unconscious Aurora to the entrance of the Faerie Palace, they too felt the strong weight of fatigue and fell upon those imposing steps. Members of the Faerie Court immediately noticed them and rushed to help. The faeries brought them through the ornate palace doors to be healed.
As Aurora and the distressed Faellies were carefully laid out on a table, a team of three Water Faerie sisters then placed their hands upon them and began to cast their healing magic. After a couple of Wet Snowballs and a Pale Elixir, Aurora and the Faellies had been revived successfully.
Though still wearied from her ordeal, Aurora, struggling to speak, said, “I have urgent news for the Faerie Queen; please, take me to her.”
The Water Faerie sisters tried to deter her, their symphonious voices pleading with her in unison: “You must rest, little one; we have healed you, but only by so much. If any more damage is done to your tiny frame at this stage, we cannot assure you of a safe recovery.”
“My concern right now is not for my own safety, but rather the safety of the Faerie Kingdom,” Aurora remarked amidst throes of pain, dismissing their worrying for her health. They reluctantly agreed to release her from their care, and requested of the Faeries present for one to escort Aurora to the Inner Court of the Faeries for an audience with the Queen Fyora.
A young Fire Faerie stepped forward amongst the throng of onlookers.
“I, Phiria, shall accompany her, and protect her from any further danger, should she wish it of me.” Phiria leaned towards the table, her obsidian eyes looking upon the tiny Air Faerie. Aurora looked up at the towering Fire Faerie. Her locks of coal black hair were tucked away beneath a hood of deep red, the cloak draped over her shoulders; she wore a long tunic of orange that was as bright as the flamed wings on her back. Aurora nodded her head in agreement to Phiria, and allowed herself to be accompanied by the stately Fire Faerie.
She thanked the Faellies for their help, and promised, “The Faerie Queen will set things right; the sacrifice of your kith and kin shall not have been made in vain.” The two Faellies faintly chirruped in acknowledgement, and slowly closed their eyes in slumber. The Water Faerie sisters told Aurora that they would watch over the Faellies and ensure they were rested and recovered.
One of the Water Faerie healers gently placed Aurora into the cupped hands of Phiria, who glided carefully through the corridors of the Faerie Palace, so as not to jostle the tiny Air Faerie.
“You are not burning, are you?” Phiria asked of her small passenger. “I am reducing my flames as much as I am able to.”
“I am fine; you need not restrain yourself,” the little Air Faerie replied. Aurora actually felt comforted by the Fire Faerie’s warmth; it was as if she were in bed, and woken up by the bright and warm sunbeams of dawn.
As the two Faeries reached the Chamber doors of the Inner Court, a Draik guard announced their arrival.
“The Air Faerie Aurora desires an audience with the Faerie Queen on matters of the safety of Faerieland.”
He struck his staff upon the marbled floor, and the wide chamber doors were opened, granting them entry. As they passed through the gilded doorway, the massive doors slowly closed behind them. As Phiria reached the steps of the Faerie Queen Fyora’s throne, she kneeled before her and asked of an audience.
Fyora, scepter in hand, responded with dulcet tone, “Granted. I shall hear out your claim, young faerie.” Phiria then flew up towards the side of Fyora’s throne, and kneeling once more, set her hands to the throne’s armrest. Aurora, with staggering motions, walked off of Phiria’s hands and onto the throne to speak.
“My Lady, there is a great evil looming over Faerieland; it is none other than the Darkness Faerie Jhudora. I have seen with my very eyes her wicked plans, and from her very lips she proudly gloated of her involvement in almost every tragedy to ever befall Neopia. You must act against her, My Queen, or I fear that everything shall fall to ruin.”
Phiria gasped in astonishment at this revelation, her cry of surprise echoing throughout the pillared room. The Faerie Queen, however, became stone faced; her normally kind and gentle face became cold.
“For centuries now, many faeries have accused Jhudora of an array of villainous deeds, but beyond suspicions or alleged witness to these acts, no one has been able to provide real proof of Jhudora’s deeds. As the Faerie Queen, it is my duty to rule fairly over all of my subjects, including the Darkness Faeries. I will hear no more of this matter.”
“But my Queen,” Aurora protested, “How can you dismiss such a dangerous threat to your kingdom? Surely you must believe that at least some of these claims hold a grain of truth to them, rather than cast them aside entirely!” The little Air Faerie was taken aback by Fyora’s unusually cold demeanor, and was pained over the Queen’s disbelief in her.
Fyora, upon seeing Aurora’s hurt expression, softened her harsh gaze.
“Forgive me, my little Aurora; I did not intend to cause you distress. But I truly cannot believe that Jhudora is capable of the actions you speak of. Besides...” Fyora paused a moment; her head turned away slightly, so as not to gaze upon the look of complete disbelief on the faces of Aurora and Phiria, “Jhudora has suffered enough, without further condemnation. I cannot act against her.”
Aurora stood speechless for a moment, unable to comprehend what Fyora had said. Was this the same Faerie Queen that had taught her to be brave and just, despite being born unnaturally small? Was this truly the Faerie Queen who led her Kingdom with kindness and justice?
“What do you mean, My Lady?” Aurora cried out, shaking herself out of her stupor. “We are on the verge of absolute annihilation, and you say that you can do nothing? Why is the Faerie Queen so hesitant to act upon this threat?”
Aurora’s tearful eyes pleaded for Fyora’s response, but to no avail; the Faerie Queen bowed down her head and fell silent. Aurora’s body, weary from battle and fatigue, could take no more strain, and she collapsed upon the Faerie Queen’s throne.
Before Phiria could move to assist her, Fyora picked up the tiny Air Faerie and held her in the palm of her hand; tears welling up in her eyes, the ordinarily regal and genteel Fyora lost her composure and cried softly, “I am sorry, my little Aurora.” Her voice, like the sound of a multitude of chimes blowing in the spring rain, moved both Phiria and Aurora.
Aurora, raising her head slightly to look up towards the Faerie Queen; she mustered what little strength she had left, and weakly asked, “Why...?”
A shadow emerged from behind the tapestries in reply: “Because she is not fit to rule Faerieland!” Aurora’s eyes widened in fear; she recognized that voice, that voice bubbling with a vile viciousness. As the shadow walked slowly from behind Fyora’s throne, Aurora could see that it was none other than Jhudora, that loathsome traitor to the Crown of Faerieland, nay, to all of Neopia.
Phiria, upon seeing the Darkness Faerie, flew quickly between Jhudora and the Fyora; wings emblazed, she carried both Fyora and Aurora and set them at a safer distance from the dreaded traitor. Phiria’s eyes glowed with an intense heat, like coal that has been ignited.
“How dare you, Jhudora!” she roared angrily; her fiery temper enkindling. “You have no right to chastise our Beloved Queen!”
“I have every right, brash young Faerie,” Jhudora retorted, a wicked smile emanating from her lips. “Isn’t that right, dearest sister?” Aurora and Phiria both turned quickly to their Queen, their eyes aghast.
Aurora looked up once more to Fyora, still held in the Faerie Queen’s delicate hands, and softly said, “This cannot possibly be true, my Queen; surely this wicked Faerie casts lies and slander upon your honor! Tell me this cannot be so.”
“Yes, dearest sister, tell them the truth,” Jhudora mockingly cried out. Fyora stood up, Aurora still in hand, and stared calmly at Jhudora. Though the Faerie Queen appeared collected, Aurora could feel the hand she was held in shaking erratically.
Looking down at Aurora, Fyora replied, “I’m afraid that what she says is true.” Pausing slightly to look at Aurora and Phiria’s looks of dismay, Fyora continued; “Many centuries ago, the Faerie Queen Thyora was about give birth to the heir of the throne to Faerieland. But instead of one child, Thyora gave birth to twins. But the eldest child, born minutes before the other, was born a Darkness Faerie. Because of the fear of a Darkness Faerie ruling over Faerieland with the powers of evil, Thyora’s advisors counseled her to banish the child to a cloud outside of the Faerie Kingdom, while the younger child was to be raised as the sole heir to the throne. This was made a secret from the subjects of Faerieland, lest the Kingdom divide and wage war amongst itself. Jhudora was that elder child, and I the younger.” Her shaking voice gave out, and Fyora collapsed to the floor, her body stricken with grief and panic.
“Thank you, my dear sister; I could not have explained it better myself,” Jhudora added. “While you were raised in luxury and groomed to be the Queen of Faerieland, I was banished to that desolate cloud, my birthright as first born stolen from me before I even took my first breath. While you were surrounded by a Court that loves and adores you, I was given up to the Night and left with nothing. After what was done to me, what right would she ever have to punish me, when I am the rightful heir to the Crown of Faerieland, and she but an unworthy usurper?” Her gaze fell upon Fyora, eyes that held only hatred and malice for the Faerie Queen.
Fyora’s eyes could not meet that hateful stare, but even though she looked away, she could feel those livid purple eyes burning at her skin. The weakened Aurora, seeing her Queen distressed, fluttered her wings laboriously and flew up to Fyora’s gaze.
“My Queen, you must not listen!” she implored. “I have seen Jhudora’s true self, and she would see every creature crushed beneath her feet; she is cruel, evil, and cares for no one but herself! She could never be the Faerie Queen that you are!”
But this brought no comfort to Fyora. “She lived a life filled with nothing but sadness and suffering; can I truly blame her for what she became?”
A flash of green light caught their attention; an orb of green flame was flying towards them! Fyora and Aurora were unable to dodge it in time, and could only look on in terror.
“You should know better than to turn your back on an enemy, dear sister,” Jhudora cackled.
To be continued...