Following the Wind: Part Five
Also by noob
Elora and Fyora rushed down the hallway, trying to make it back to the nexus where all of the portals lay before Fyora’s absence was noticed. Fyora was very nervous, Elora’s appearance felt like a dream more than anything else, and even though Elora had reassured her that she was indeed special, she still wasn’t very convinced that it was actually the case.
“This old friend of yours... who is she?” Fyora asked as they walked, curious to know the answer.
“Ah, she’s an Earth Faerie,” Elora said, a faint wisp of a smile on her face as she spoke, her eyes twinkling with memory. “Her name is Illusen... long ago she promised me aid if I ever searched her out and asked for it.”
“An Earth Faerie?” Fyora asked, her stomach fluttering with nerves. “She’s your friend even though you guys aren’t the same element?”
“Yes, she was,” Elora said sadly. “I was banished for befriending her though and fled... I’ve been wandering around ever since.”
“Huh?” Fyora asked, confused. “You said you needed to save the Air Faeries... why would you want to save the people who did that to you?”
Elora let out a bitter laugh. “I don’t know... I don’t even belong to them anymore but I still... I still don’t want to see them come to a bad end. Anyway, if this prophecy proves true then it will end in the unity of all the races and the reason for my banishment will no longer exist.”
“If it proves true...” Fyora whispered to herself, doubt filling her heart. “Hey, Elora-”
Before Fyora could finish speaking, a deathly shriek cut her off. The two faeries froze for a moment and turned around, flapping down the hallway and headed right towards them was a Bartamus, shrieking at the top of its lungs in alarm.
“Oh no!” Fyora said, her eyes going wide with fear. “That horrid little thing keeps watch over me sometimes. I’m so sorry I forgot to warn you!”
Elora stood there in silent shock for a moment before her hand quickly shot out and clamped around Fyora’s wrist, pulling her into motion again. “There’s no time for apologies! We have to get to the portal that leads to Meridell and the Earth Faeries before everyone knows we’re here!”
The two women ran down the hall, the Bartamus in tow still crying out angrily. Quickly they bolted down the adjoining hall that lead to the chamber with all the portals, their legs crying out in protest as their feet pounded against the ground.
So hasty was their retreat that they didn’t see where they were going and ran directly into a Dark Faerie who was rushing down the hall in the opposite direction to see what all the commotion was about. All three of them met with a resounding crash and fell back, the sound of the shrieking Bartamus coming up behind them.
The Dark Faerie was dazed for a moment but when she shook it off her eyes locked with Elora’s, who now looked very much like an Air Faerie and she screamed. “Guards! There’s an intrud-”
Elora didn’t wait to hear the rest; mustering up all her strength, she lobbed a huge gust of air at the Dark Faerie. Her aim was true and the wind hit her, slamming the Dark Faerie against the wall and knocking her unconscious. Fyora stared at the limp form in horror before another cry from the Bartamus jolted her back to her senses.
Elora tried to pick herself up but cried up in pain as she put pressure on her left foot. “Ah! I think I twisted it... I’m just going to have to fly the rest of the way.”
“Are you sure you can do that?” Fyora asked in concern. “These halls are really narrow... you’ll probably crash into something.”
“No time to worry about that, anyway I used to be pretty good at flying,” Elora said, pulling her cloak off and bunching it up in her arms. “You’ll just have to keep running and I’ll fly right alongside you.”
Fyora nodded in affirmation, got to her feet, and sprinted down the hall. Elora wasn’t far behind her, her wings flapping furiously. As they rushed along the cries of the Bartamus grew fainter and fainter as they outran it.
Before they knew it they had burst into the room with the portals and much to their surprise it was empty. Apparently nobody had gotten there yet and the two women breathed a sigh of relief. Without a second thought Elora eyed the portal that had the image of a leaf carved above and shot through, Fyora jumping into it right beside her.
The trip through that gateway wasn’t nearly as unpleasant as the one that Elora had taken to the Dark Faeries castle. Again darkness engulfed them, but this time it felt almost warm like sunlight and she could have sworn she smelled the fait scent of cut grass and spring flowers.
Suddenly both of them were bathed in bright sunlight and Fyora let out a cry of surprise next to her. “Ah! It’s so bright! Why is it so bright?”
Elora laughed and leaned up against the large tree that was at their backs, she was almost sure that if it was touched in the right spot it would trigger an entrance back to the lair of the Dark Faeries but she didn’t care, for the moment it looked like things just might work out.
A rustling sound in the bushes startled Elora out of her momentary reverie and caused Fyora to jump in surprise. A wave of fear washed over them when an Earth Faerie walked through the bushes with a frown on her face. A moment later that fear turned into a feeling of elation and excitement as Elora realized who the Earth Faerie was.
“Illusen!” she cried, trying to get up to go greet her and falling down again because of her ankle. “Ow! I forgot I was hurt.”
The Earth Faerie turned and looked at Elora in shock, her emerald eyes glittering with uncertainty. “Elora? Elora is that you?”
“Yeah, it’s me,” Elora said with a grin.
“You have to go now; you shouldn’t be here,” Illusen said rushing over to help her up. “Our two kinds never much liked each other but now... now they’re planning a war.”
“Yeah, I know. I came to ask you for your help,” Elora said, accepting Illusen’s aid and leaning on her to take pressure off her injured foot.
“Oh? My help? You can tell me about it later. Right now you and your ummm... friend need to come over to my place. You could get killed if the wrong Faeries spot you.”
“Ah, all right,” Elora replied and then gestured towards the girl who was with her. “By the way, this is Fyora.”
Fyora nodded in greeting and the three of them headed back into the bushes where Illusen had appeared a few moments before. After walking for awhile they entered a glade with a small wooden cottage in it. Illusen lead them to the small house and let them inside, setting Elora down on a large squishy armchair near the fireplace and tending to her injured foot before she spoke.
“So what did you want to ask of me?” Illusen said, looking at Elora with mild curiosity.
“I need your help... while I was in the Haunted Woods, I discovered that the person who currently heads your council is a Dark Faerie in disguise named Thestra,” Elora said quickly, getting right to the point.
Illusen looked startled and a bit incredulous. “Thestra is a Dark Faerie? Are you sure? I wouldn’t be surprised, but still...”
“Yes!” Fyora blurted out. “I know because I used to live in the Dark Faerie’s castle... I’d see her sometimes!”
Illusen turned to look at the girl. “I forgot to ask back there, but who are you, dear? You don’t seem to have an element either now that I’ve gotten a closer look.”
Fyora opened her mouth and turned red but before she could respond Elora answered for her. “She’s a girl the Dark Faeries locked away because she was meant to complete an old prophecy that would end in the unity of all our elemental races.”
“Interesting,” Illusen said, raising her eyebrows, “a prophecy with unity at the end... sounds very promising... if that were possible... oh, if that were possible, then what happened to you would never have to happen again!”
“Exactly,” Elora said grinning, then after a moment of thought her grin faded, “I still don’t think I could forgive the rest of my kind for what they did... but if I could keep anyone else from feeling that bitter... it would be worth it.”
“What do you need for the prophecy?” Illusen asked, eying Fyora who was standing over to the side and still looking a bit embarrassed.
“A staff, there was something about a staff... of creation I think it was? It was about a Faerie with no element who would unlock its power and unite everyone.”
Illusen again looked over at Fyora, this time in excitement. “They had the girl too? Sounds like they think she’s the right one; this could prove to be very, very true. I’ve even heard that the eldest of the council members has a staff in her possession that’s been sealed... it’s just rumor, but still...”
“We have to get a look at that staff,” Elora said, hope filling her as the huge goal of joining all the Faeries together began to seem more and more real.
“It’s no good,” Illusen replied sadly. “She won’t trust you; you’re an Air Faerie, and I don’t think she’ll recognize Fyora for who she really is.”
“Yes, we can get her to trust us,” Fyora said softly as the other two Faeries turned to look at her with questioning eyes. “We just have to show her that Thestra is a fraud, right? If we show her that they’ve all been controlled by the Dark Faeries, then she’ll be more likely to believe us, won’t she?”
Illusen and Elora turned to smile at each other then looked back at Fyora, who was nervously picking at her hair. In unison the two older Faeries replied, “That’s exactly what we need to do.”
To be continued...