A Single Prediction: Part Three
Demco followed the robed Krawk back through the catacomb of the Cove. He didn’t want to tell Sir Edgar that he was suspecting one of the most powerful faeries in Neopia, but it felt wrong withholding information from the person who had hired him. The Techo almost spoke up, but stopped himself. He had a good reason for keeping it quiet.
Demco had met Queen Fyora once, soon after he helped the Island Mystic. The Faerie Queen had been honest with him, telling him everything he asked. He was helping a client find her favorite plushie, and intuition had led him to the Queen. She had allowed him an audience, and indeed knew exactly where the plushie was. She said that she had seen it lying on the cobblestones in the street, but assumed the person would return for it. Setting the blue Acara plushie, an exact replica of its owner, on a windowsill, Fyora had returned to the castle.
It wasn’t the fact that she knew where the plushie was that astounded him. It was the fact that she didn’t hide the fact she left it in the street that astounded Demco. He trusted the Queen, and would bet his savings that she would only lie to protect someone from danger.
Focusing on the present, he realized they were in sight of the kitchen. It was only moments before they were back in the lounge area. Polip was still standing there, his desert staff hanging from his paw. The lamp that hung from the staff was now extinguished and set on the coffee table.
“How have you been, Polip?” Sir Edgar said to the Mynci.
“Fine, Sir Edgar.”
Demco sensed a connotation to that exchange, but ignored it. Sir Edgar was already moving to one of the shelves, and he was speaking.
“Some of my clients allow me to use their possessions while they are under my guard. In fact, some are very useful. Including-” the Krawk turned with an amulet in his hands “-this amulet of teleportation.”
Demco gazed at the artifact. The green gem dangled from the golden chain, mesmerizing him. He reached towards the amulet, but Sir Edgar snatched it away at the last moment.
“You must return with this quickly.”
Demco nodded, focused again. “I promise.”
“Thank you,” Sir Edgar said, bowing his head slightly. He handed Demco the Amulet of Teleportation, and the Techo immediately put it around his neck. “Faerieland,” he said, closing his eyes and focusing with all his power. When he opened his eyes, he was standing in the middle of Fyora’s castle.
There wasn’t any delay between the time he opened his eyes and the time he was spotted.
“You, halt! When did you get here?” shouted a Fire Faerie guard. Demco turned to face the faerie, knowing there was no reason to run.
“I came using this,” Demco replied, pointing at the amulet. “And I got here a few seconds ago.”
Something in the Fire Guard’s eyes relaxed. “The Queen is expecting you. She said you’d know the way.” That being said, the faerie turned around and returned to his post.
Demco watched the faerie leave, then turned to face the curving staircase that lead to Fyora’s chambers. In a way, he dreaded what was about to happen, even though he knew it had to. In another way, he looked forward to meeting Fyora again. Something about how gracefully she wields her power was comforting.
He took the stairs at a normal pace, knowing that Fyora was waiting patiently. When he reached the door, he didn’t spend time taking in its magnificence. Right away, Demco knocked on the purple entrance.
“Come in, Demco,” said the mellifluous voice. Demco pushed open the door, and there was Fyora.
“My queen,” he said, bowing. He was bathed in her radiant glow, purple lighting his features. The faerie’s wings were held as high as her head, but not in pride. She held herself like a queen because she carried the responsibilities of one. Her appearance was only for the people under her guidance.
“You know there’s no need for such formalities, Detective Archavius. It hasn’t been that long since we last spoke.”
“A year, at least,” he replied, though he knew what she meant. Last time they spoke, she had told him there was no need to bow, but he did it out of respect. Whether she thought of herself as a monarch or not, she was one.
“A year, is that it?” Fyora asked rhetorically, a smile on her lips. “Time conception aside, shall we get down to business?”
“You know why I’m here?” Demco questioned automatically, not even mildly surprised.
“Of course I do. Sir Edgar Avelin, if I’m not mistaken. And I’m not,” she added. “The misguided Krawk creator of the fortress Cove has hired you.
“You see, Demco, your suspicions are corrects. I stole the most precious item entrusted to him. As you well know, my intentions are good. The item is very powerful. It belongs to a Neopian whose name you will not be familiar with. However, you will be allowed to return to Sir Edgar with it.”
Demco took a second to contemplate the conundrum posed. When he finally was prepared to admit that he was stumped, he spoke. “Why allow it to be returned at all?”
“We must allow it to save your life.”
The Techo, caught off guard, recoiled from Queen Fyora. “I’m not at risk,” he assured her. “But if the item is as powerful as you say, then many lives could be at risk from returning it!”
“Trust me, Demco.” Fyora’s eyes glowed brightly as they gazed at the green Techo. “Sir Edgar is challenging to mislead. He will know you found the item, and will not be forgiving if you don’t have it. Now go.” A flash of purple blinded Demco, and he found himself standing in the foyer with the Amulet of Teleportation around his neck and a foreign object clutched in his paw. Respecting the Queen’s privacy, he did not look at the item. Rather, focusing once again on the inner works of the Cove, he disappeared from Faerieland without a backwards glance.
“Jalazai,” called out Queen Fyora after Demco left. “Please come here.”
A Tyrannian Draik gracefully swooped into the room. The vaulted ceilings gave her room to maneuver to the side of the Queen without upsetting any furniture, and the gems that decorated her hair glittered in the light. “Yes, my lady?”
Fyora smiled exasperatedly. “Just Fyora, Jalazai. Would you please fly to Jhudora’s Cloud and ask her what she knows about Lady Frostbite’s brother?”
“Yes, my lady.” The Draik lifted into the air quietly, her blue gown barely rustling. In a moment, she was out of sight.
“Did you get it, Detective?” Sir Edgar asked immediately.
“Yes,” Demco said. “I have it right here.” The Techo held his paw out. Polip stretched his neck towards them, his post by the door not allowing him a good view. In Demco’s hand was...
“A pebble?” he said in confusion. “How is this dangerous?”
“What do you mean by dangerous?” Sir Edgar looked at Demco, reading his expressions.
“Dangerous was the wrong word. I just thought that since you protected it so well that it was important.”
“It’s extremely important, more than you could ever imagine. Do you know how many Neopets have held this pebble without knowing what it contained? Even children have held it, just tossing it for the enjoyment of watching it fly. So long was it hidden in plain sight that we gave up searching for it.”
A malicious glint had now made its way into the Royal Krawk’s eye. Demco glanced quickly at the Mynci to his side. The Lost Desert staff that emphasized Polip’s presence was now cradled in two hands, as a well-trained fighter would hold a weapon.
“Finally, Uyrthea happened upon it. Immediately, she could feel the magic emanating from it. She knew it was no ordinary pebble. Fashioning herself a wand, the Air Faerie disguised the stone with a prison to protect it. Encased in the wand, no one could tell it was the wand that gave Uyrthea her power.
“But it came at a price, as all power does. The pebble was earth magic, while she was air. It mutated her, slowly fusing her into a mixture of the two elements. She changed with her magic, becoming a sickly green color. Her glow faded, and eventually the worst possible thing happened.
“She lost her ability to fly.
“For a faerie, being unable to fly is the worst shame. With both this and the use of dark magic, she was socially banished from Faerieland. Uyrthea fell to the earth, landing in the ocean not far from here. She crawled out of the waters, barely surviving. Filia found her and brought her here to be nurtured back to health.”
Demco started to back up because of how far Sir Edgar had advanced towards him.
“After being nurtured back to health, she left. Shedding her wings and donning a shadowy cloak, she became one with the earth-dwelling darkness you call evil. Even I don’t know where she is, but soon she will return for the pebble. It was prophesized.
“Alas, now you have seen the pebble and know too much. You only have two options, and I know which one you will choose. Join us or perish.”
“Wait,” Demco said, stalling. “I have a riddle.”
The Krawk stopped. Looking at his claws in a conceited way, he waved Polip back to the door. “He will not escape,” Sir Edgar said. “Go on.”
“There was a Krawk, a Mynci, and a Techo. The Krawk and Mynci had cornered the Techo, blocking all exits, but he still managed to escape. How did he do this?”
“That’s simple,” Sir Edgar said without thinking. “The Techo teleported.” Suddenly, the Krawk’s eyes opened in realization. “Get him!” he shouted at Polip, who threw his staff at Demco with all his strength. But it was too late. Demco had already transported himself back to Faerieland.
To be continued...