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The Prophecy of Four: Part Three


by jade_steel

--------

Tanelle examined her tail once again, then did something sensible: whacked her adopted brother with it once more. Again, black sparks flashed, and the Lupe fell head over tail.

     As Tanelle carefully dropped her tail behind her, she became aware of Huttser's admiring gaze. She caught his eye. "What?"

     "Tanelle, that was amazing!" he exclaimed. "I've never seen any Krawk move their tail as fast as you!"

     Tanelle ducked her head as if embarrassed, but she was thinking, If only he knew what had happened . . .

     ***

     Talusai felt the charm grow hot about her neck. Lofting herself into the air, she observed the same thing Tanelle had: a complete absence of movement. As she watched, pets started moving again, a Kacheek screamed as she was lifted to the roof of her Neohome, and things were normal.

     As Talusai was about to return to the ground, she saw a hint of purple and black, and bat-wings. Lifting the pendant to her mouth, she whispered, "Tanelle? What just happened?"

     She heard the Krawk's voice as if Tanelle were beside her. "I'm not sure. I thought time froze for a moment, but I don't think that could happen."

     "Odd. The same thing happened here," Talusai replied.

     "I'm going to contact Kal and Sanalre," stated Tanelle. "Wait. I want to see if they experienced the same thing."

     Talusai hovered, waiting for the reply. Finally, she heard Tanelle's voice again. "Yep. And, by any chance did your charm grow hot?"

     "Uh-huh."

     "I was afraid of that. Talusai, we're all in danger. That time freeze was just the beginning. I don't know what, but just - keep an eye out, all right?"

     Talusai nodded, as if the Krawk could see her. "All right. Oh, and Tanelle? Have you recently seen a Kacheek sitting on a roof?"

     "Um, yeah. I was about to ask, are you in the air by any chance?" queried Tanelle.

     Talusai grinned. "Yes. I think you live two doors down. Past the Jubjub and Kacheek, with the Lupe."

     Tanelle shook her head. "You are amazing."

     The two broke the connection, Talusai heading into her Neohome at Karen's call. Time for another Beauty Contest.

     ***

     Eight days later, Kal was sitting in a tree, enjoying Sanalre's attempts to climb. "Hey, Sanalre!" she called down. "Hurry up!"

     The Draik looked up, disgruntled. "You try climbing a tree with only two paws, and with a tail to boot!"

     At her words, an Old Boot hit Kal on the head. "What?" She looked up. Old Boots had started to fall all over the place. Jumping down, she called out, "Come on, Sanalre! We have to get inside!"

     Several hours later, the strange rain ceased as abruptly as it had begun. Sanalre noticed the sudden absence of heat at her neck, and realized that her charm had been heating up rapidly. "Huh." Speaking into the charm, she added, "Talusai? What was that?"

     As Kal crowded closer to Sanalre, Talusai replied. "Unless I'm much mistaken, a rain of Old Boots. Hang on, I have Tanelle with me. We discovered that we live practically right next to each other."

     Tanelle's voice came through. "Hi. Let's get to the point. Hot charms, right?"

     Affirmation came from the other pets. "All right then. Keep an eye out, let us all know if your charms heat up."

     The others agreed rapidly, then broke up. Tanelle turned to her companion. "Talusai, things are getting weird around here."

     Ducking her friend's swinging tail, Talusai straightened again. "Yes. Keep on the lookout for a report from them. Something should be going on with us in about a week."

     ***

     True to the Ixi's prediction, something happened precisely a week later. Talusai was playing with her adopted sisters when they flickered. She started. One of her sisters, the Kougra, turned to her. "Talusai, what's wrong?" she asked.

     "N-nothing." Talusai shook her head.

     "Okay then." Her Kacheek sister's attention returned to the game, as did Talusai's. The Ixi's attention was diverted once more, however, by a sudden heat in the hollow of her throat. Looking up from the pendant, Talusai's breath caught. Two Asparagus Chias were bent over the board. Talusai rubbed her eyes, and they became normal once more, but the heat at her throat faded more slowly.

     Once Talusai was out of earshot, she contacted Tanelle. "Tanelle? Was that a miniature version of Asparagus Day?"

     "Yep. We've got a problem."

     "Understatement of the year," muttered Talusai, then spoke more loudly. "We need to meet. Meet me by the Rainbow Pool at 1:00 AM, NST."

     "I will." The connection between necklaces was severed, and Talusai contacted her other friends. They, too, had seen the asparagus, and were more than happy to meet her. Talusai let the charm nestle in the lavender fur at her throat once more, then went down to dinner. She would need her strength.

     ***

     The pets met at the appointed hour, at the Rainbow Pool. Before they began to talk, they observed a Light Faerie wading through the Pool, singing happily to herself. Talusai smiled briefly, then returned her attention to the matter at hand.

     Tanelle spoke first. "Does anyone here remember the Prophecy of Four? I remember only the first part: In the midst of the light will rise the Betrayer."

     Kanal'te spoke up from where she was sitting, almost lost in shadows. "From the midst of the dark to fight comes the Warrior."

     "Funny," Sanalre remarked. "You look almost like you could be the Warrior, the way you're hidden in the shadows like that. Anyway, I have the next part: By stands the Healer, to cure wounds of flesh and soul. Again, what a coincidence! I used to be a Water Faerie; healing was what we did naturally."

     Talusai added the last part of the prophecy. "In the battle, the Believer, who brings all to light." Oddly enough, she was standing under a small lamp that hung from the gate to the Rainbow Pool, which shed a small puddle of light upon her.

     "Hmm." Tanelle pondered. "Odd that we all remembered one part, and they all joined together. Something told me that was important. I just - don't know why," she finished.

     "Well," said Sanalre reasonably, "it seems important to me too. I wonder why it's important to both of us."

     The other two pets voiced their assent rapidly. "It does . . . I wonder why?" Talusai asked.

     The pets resumed their waiting. "Why exactly are we waiting?" asked Kanal'te finally.

     "Ummmm . . ." Sanalre said intelligently.

     "Because it feels right to do so," said the Krawk, and clamped her mouth shut.

     "My own sentiments exactly," added the Ixi, clamping her mouth tightly shut and turning the other way.

     Sanalre and Kanal'te glanced at each other and sighed. Those two were so incorrigible. They were always fighting about something or other. Dropping the train of thought, Sanalre and Kanal'te returned their attention to the others and went back to their waiting.

     Suddenly, nimbuses of light surrounded the four pets. Red for Tanelle, blue for Sanalre, green for Kanal'te, and silver around Talusai.

     When the light cleared, the companions glanced around curiously, avoiding looking at each other. Tanelle finally turned to her fellows, and stopped, dumbstruck. "Well, that was interesting," she remarked slowly.

     As the others turned toward the center of the circle as well, they all caught glimpses of each other. "Okay," said Kanal'te. "I think it is safe to assume that something has happened."

     Talusai looked at her oddly, perhaps because the other was stating the obvious, and replied. "Well, I should say something has happened! We are no longer pets, but we have returned to our faerie forms. Still, I feel that something isn't quite right."

     "Me too." Sanalre, who had been silent until then, voiced her agreement.

     Kanal'te fingered the charm that still lay about her neck, and was surprised to feel that it was warm. "Hey, guys?"

     All heads turned toward the earth faerie, and she continued. "I think we need to go to Faerieland. Tell Queen Fyora what happened. After all, there were some strange things happening, while we were pets, and they're not done yet. I can tell."

     While the others readily affirmed Kanal'te's choice, Tanelle held back. Something wanted her to go to Faerieland, something bad . . . Finally she made up her mind. She would have to face it sooner or later. "I'm in," she told her friends, and they took off into the sky, heading for Faerieland.

     As the faeries entered through the gate, Tanelle held back momentarily. Gathering her courage, she flew through. Immediately, she felt a dark presence sweep through her mind. As her body kept walking, Tanelle fought inwardly, trying to keep herself from being overtaken by the darkness. She could not fight it, though, and the darkness wrapped itself around her mind, washing like a sea at the pillars of her consciousness. But, unbeknownst to both Tanelle and the dark one, a small piece of light remained within Tanelle, like the oasis within the dry desert.

     The fire faerie rushed ahead, to catch up with the others, returned to the state she had been in before her transformation to a Neopet. Her companions did not know, would not, until it was far too late.

     ***

     They were received much more favorably by the guards at the gate this time. "Please, come in," said one.

     "The Queen will be with you soon," said the other, escorting them in.

     The four friends sat down on a couch. "Well," said Kanal'te, "That was certainly a more favorable reception."

     Recalling the last time they had tried to get in, Sanalre and Talusai nodded. Tanelle, however, sat still.

     "Tanelle?"

     The fire faerie turned toward the voice instinctively. It was Sanalre. "Tanelle, are you feeling all right?"

     "Yeah," Tanelle replied. "I'm fine. Look, here comes the queen now."

     She was right. The queen swept through one of the doors that opened onto the room. "I was told someone wanted to see me?" she inquired of the room at large.

     "Yes, that was us." Kanal'te was taking the lead, because Tanelle seemed to be uninterested in doing so.

     "Well, what is it?" Fyora asked, somewhat impatiently. She sat down beside the earth faerie, and waited.

     Kanal'te poured out to her the whole story of how they had come to be there: Their transformation, their adoption, the strange happenings, and most importantly, what had happened when they had uttered the Prophecy of Four. When she had finished, Fyora leaned back in her chair, then promptly sat up again as she squashed her wings.

     "Well," said the queen. "It is a fantastic story, and one that not many would be likely to believe. I would not believe it myself, if I had not felt many pulses of dark magic over the last month or so. There was one just about half an hour ago, probably just as you were entering Faerieland."

     Tanelle stiffened involuntarily. Far away, a dark faerie did the same. How had the queen detected her magic? She had thought it hidden, cloaked within the dark. Frowning, she passed a long-nailed hand over the crystal ball in front of her and leaned back forward, to observe the happenings.

     "Tanelle?" Fyora tapped her on the shoulder. "Are you all right?"

     Gosh, second person in a half hour, thought Tanelle. "Yeah," she lied. "Just a bit of a chill."

     "All right then. Girls, I believe that this may be the work of a renowned Dark Faerie, Miriash, who's been causing problems all over Neopia, and that the Prophecy of Four may be about to come true. Upon whom, I know not, but I shall send out messengers to gather an army. I also believe that you would be valuable assets in the battle that must come soon. Would you like to join me?"

     Tanelle shook her head. "No, but thank you. My interests have never lain with fighting."

     Kanal'te and Talusai glanced at each other in shock. Tanelle, not a fighter? They had thought that Snorkles would fly the day they heard those words. Just to be sure, Talusai glanced out the window. No flying petpets.

     Sanalre spoke up. The normally hyperactive faerie was unusually serious. "I would rather not fight either. I would stay with those faeries who heal rather than wound."

     Kanal'te spoke for both herself and Talusai. "We will fight with you."

     "Good, then. Kanal'te, Talusai, come with me. You must get some training. Sanalre, go to the Healing Springs." Fyora completely passed over Tanelle.

     Sanalre and Tanelle exited the palace and headed away, in the same direction, more or less. Sanalre headed for the Healing Springs, while Tanelle headed around the back of Jhudora's Cloud. Sanalre looked at her friend askance, but said nothing.

     Tanelle walked until she was directly behind Jhudora's Cloud, then rose up in the air and plunged sharply downward. Instead of falling toward the cities below, she entered a realm of darkness. Folding her wings, Tanelle let her feet find the floor and guide her onward.

     As she walked on, she found another faerie. Tanelle sank to her knees and waited.

     "So, Tanelle, you have returned to me." The voice curled out of the shadows and wrapped around Tanelle, deepening the control that the other faerie had over her.

     "Yes, my lady." Tanelle said no more, knowing that her lady would know all that had transpired.

     "And so the queen prepares for battle. Well, I have done the same. We attack tomorrow."

     At the faerie's last words, light blossomed within the darkness. It revealed a number of faeries, predominantly dark and fire. It also revealed many Darigan, Mutant, and Grey pets. Tanelle blinked at this last choice of color, but kept her silence and returned her attention to the lead faerie.

     This faerie was no ordinary dark faerie. Instead of the traditional purple and green, her colors were black and red. Her eyes gleamed like fire, while her wings burned with pure darkness. She was Miriash.

     "Here." The faerie produced a Sword of Skardsen from thin air and tossed it at Tanelle. "You will have a number of other armaments, but this will be your primary weapon and defense. You are fighting on my side, yes?"

     Tanelle nodded her head mutely, and got up from where she knelt to follow the faerie to the armory.

     ***

     One day later, Sanalre joined many other water faeries walking to the palace. There, they joined the army that the queen had called together to defend against Miriash. As Sanalre looked about, she noticed Kanal'te toward the front. Her eyes sought out Talusai, in the middle of the forces. Nowhere could Sanalre see Tanelle, until she remembered that Tanelle would not be fighting. Sanalre also saw many pets, Faerie and not. She saw a Christmas Zafara who almost reminded her of herself, standing toward the front, but behind Kanal'te. A Fire Shoyru stood by Talusai. The two were talking, and seemed to be enjoying their chat.

     As Sanalre walked on, she noticed several pets among the water faeries. There was a young yellow Shoyru walking next to her. It glanced up at her and said, "I'm LilWingNight. What's your name?"

     "Sanalre," the water faerie replied. LilWingNight, apparently satisfied by this exchange of information, turned her gaze forward again and walked onward.

     After the faeries had taken their place at the rear of the army, Sanalre turned her gaze forward. As she watched the dark tide sweep across the horizon, Sanalre was possessed by a wisdom far beyond her years, and knew that this was the day for the Prophecy of Four to be fulfilled.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Prophecy of Four: Part One
» The Prophecy of Four: Part Two
» The Prophecy of Four: Part Four



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