A Single Prediction: Part Four
“Fyora!” sounded the shout that turned the heads of every Fire Guard in the palace. A recently appeared Techo turned his head as well, watching a Tyrannian Draik zoom past him at an incredible speed.
“Who was that?” Demco asked the nearest Fire Guard. His green tail twitched in curiosity.
“Her name is Jalazai. She is one of the Queen’s maidens.”
“Thank you,” Demco replied. He headed towards the stairs, sensing the urgency of the Draik was related to him. He was right.
“-a dangerous creature. You already knew that of course, since you took the Crown of Mistakes from him. What she did say is that since then he has quit offering his services to normal Neopians. He has made an announcement among the darkest forces of Neopia that he will help them. She was reluctant to tell me this, but you were correct about her grudge towards Lady Frostbite. She’ll do whatever she can to exact her revenge on the icy Krawk. What was it that made her so angry, anyways?”
Fyora obviously motioned for Jalazai to be silent, because a moment later she said, “Come in, Demco.”
The Techo entered the room, abashed at being discovered.
“I am magic, you know,” Fyora said in explanation. “Now we continue with the story! Lady Frostbite once tried to steal Jhudora’s wand in order to channel her freezing powers into it. She believed it would help her freeze all of Faerieland, but she was unsuccessful. At the Krawk’s touch, the wand immediately became black. It was utterly useless until Jhudora held it again. Clever magic, if I do say so myself.
“Jhudora has held a grudge against Lady Frostbite ever since. Because of this, I can get whatever information I want as long as it will hinder one of Lady Frostbite’s plots. The involvement of her brother in this is a twist of luck. Did she say anything else, Jalazai?”
“How did you know?” the Draik asked Fyora suspiciously. “You never cease to amaze me.”
“If I couldn’t surprise you, then I wouldn’t be very good at defending Neopia.”
“She said that the one you seek would come tomorrow at sunset.”
Demco couldn’t hold his tongue any longer. “Will you explain this to me again?”
Fyora turned to him, her purple glow once again surrounding him, calming him. “Why would I explain it? What you understand is correct.”
“So Sir Edgar Avelin is Lady Frostbite’s brother?”
The Great Faerie nodded.
“And his crown is now in your possession? You have the item that created the Cove?”
Again, a nod was her reply.
Finally, in a more solemn voice, he said “And Uyrthea is coming to reclaim the pebble tomorrow night?”
Both the Queen and Jalazai jumped at this. “Uyrthea is coming?” the Draik questioned accusingly. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Yes, Jalazai, I was going to tell you. But how do you know, Demco?”
Before Demco even spoke, she read it on his face.
“Sir Edgar started ranting the entire story to you, forgetting he lent you the Amulet.”
This time it was Demco’s turn to nod. “What can I do?” he immediately said.
“You’ve done your part,” Fyora said. “We have been waiting for this longer than you have been alive. Uyrthea will not escape punishment for her misdeeds, which we will not speak of.”
“But this is my fault!” Demco exclaimed. “If I had just rejected the case, listened to the Mystic’s warning, we’d all be safe!”
“Ah yes, the Mystic told me of this. You are even now starting to realize it was not you who were in danger, but you who were the catalyst of it. But do not dwell on the future. It will only lead to misery.
“Now, trust me. Do not involve yourself further. This is an internal matter of the faeries. Uyrthea is one of us.”
Demco gazed at Fyora. She still considered Uyrthea a faerie despite the evil that flowed through the land-locked monster. There was no doubt in his mind why faeries considered her their queen. This didn’t change his mind. He was still responsible for what happened.
Over the next few hours, Demco wandered the streets of Faerieland. He gazed at the children playing in the street with an odd envy. It was unlikely that anyone knew of Uyrthea and her evil, but adults still walked around with the weight of worry on their shoulders. They knew what could happen. Children were blissfully unaware. But Demco knew he had enjoyed his childhood already. Now it was his turn to face responsibility, not to hide behind Fyora like a child.
The skies dimmed as sunset approached, adopting their usual rosy color. Demco looked up patiently. Soon, he would depart.
The time had come. Twisting the amulet between his fingers, Demco didn’t take time to admire the glinting green of the emerald, or the glimmering gold of the necklace. The green Techo just closed his eyes tightly, feeling the cold metal in his grasp, and focused.
Focus... he told himself. It may scare me. Sir Edgar is a frightful old Krawk. But Fyora isn’t my guardian. I have to face up to this prediction. I was the danger, and now I’ll be the protector.
Demco could feel that strange combination of cozy and cold that made up the Cove. He knew when he opened his eyes they would be filled with the red and gold that made the Cove a compliment of Sir Edgar Avelin. He had focused on a spot to hide, one he had noticed earlier. The shelves on the wall were fit perfectly to the walls of the rock, but at some point the rock had crumbled away in this spot. The shelves hadn’t been moved, leaving a shadowy alcove behind a rack full of items entrusted to the mysterious Royal Krawk.
In fact, when he opened his eyes, he discovered he was so well hidden that he couldn’t even see into the rest of the cove. Fortunately, he could hear. Demco immediately stopped moving when he heard the gravelly voice that was coming from the room on the other side of the shelf.
“Where have you stored the pebble?” it grated harshly.
“I brought it with me to save us the lengthy walk to where it is usually stored.” This second voice was easily identified by its haughty tone. Demco found it strange he hadn’t noticed it before, but it was probably because he had been focused on the Island Mystic’s prediction. It was Sir Edgar. However, it had an out-of-place humbleness to it.
There was a moment of silence as the pebble was examined.
“It seems you are as true as your word. Hand over the pebble. Your reward is by the door.”
Demco was almost certain this second voice was Uyrthea, but he didn’t want to make any mistakes. The fallen faerie could have sent a messenger to pick it up.
“Polip,” Sir Edgar said. There was a brief pause, then a grunt. Whatever Sir Edgar was being paid had been identified by the Mynci.
“There you are,” Sir Edgar continued, and Demco imagined the exchange being made. Sir Edgar would carefully drop the pebble into the other Neopian’s hand. He would eye them cautiously, reading their movements in their expressions. If they made a false move he wouldn’t flinch, but he’d tense in preparation.
A loud crash broke Demco’s concentration. “Stop!” shouted a new voice.
“Fyora,” Demco whispered, and heard the gravelly voice hiss it as well.
A green glow suddenly filled the Cove, and Demco knew it was time to make his move. Planting his paws firmly on the ground, he pushed with all his might against the heavy shelf. It swayed, and he pushed it again.
“Almost there,” he grunted with exertion.
Demco felt the weight lift off of his back as the shelf started to fall. He tilted forward to avoid falling as well, and then spun around. The room had been revealed!
He took in the room quickly, and gaped. In the center of the room was a hunched figure, cloaked with a green robe. The shadows hid the face, but two clawed hands stuck out of the sleeves. Demco could immediately tell this was Uyrthea. What looked like a transparent wall of glowing moss surrounded both the cloaked figure and Sir Edgar, while Polip lay unconscious underneath a large piece of what used to be the door.
Fyora was standing in the doorway, casting blasts of purple magic at the shield around Uyrthea. Demco looked on in amazement because the shield flexed with every blow, reflecting each of Fyora’s spells back at her. Suddenly, he was spotted.
“Get away from there!” Sir Edgar was pointing a sharpened claw at him and shouted in worry.
Why is he worried? Demco asked himself. His brain on overdrive, he went through everything he remembered.
The Cove was magic in design, created by Sir Edgar in the perfect shape with his crown. The crown was now in Fyora’s possession. Sir Edgar made every corner to his liking. He was worried about where Demco was standing.
That was it! Magic can’t be worn away! This wasn’t some accidental concave corner, it was on purpose. Demco was literally standing on one of the Cove’s many secrets.
Whirling around, the Techo saw exactly what it was that made this hide-away so special. At the bottom of the wall was a single outcrop. A stone pedal.
“No!” Sir Edgar roared, but it was too late. Demco knew three things. Uyrthea must be stopped, Fyora couldn’t do it, and this was the only option. He stomped down on the pedal with all his strength.
A grinding noise that was similar to the gates opening could be heard echoing through the Cove. “Run!” Sir Edgar shouted. Demco turned and saw why.
The sea was rushing towards him. Somewhere in the depths of the catacombs that formed the Cove, the pedal had broken the seal between the rock and the water. Saltwater was now flooding the entire structure, and at bone-breaking speed.
Demco stared into the foaming eyes of his doom, and then everything went black.
He awoke lying on the beach near Neopia Central, with Fyora standing over him worriedly.
“Did you catch her?” Demco asked immediately.
Fyora shook her head, and then a Draik appeared beside her.
“The home-destroyer got away again. She probably teleported away in the same way we did. Although I doubt she had the decency to save the Krawk.”
“What exactly did Uyrthea do, anyways?”
Fyora bowed her head in respect to those who had been lost many years ago. “She used her newfound powers to open up the clouds beneath every home in Faerieland she could.”
Demco gulped quietly.
“But what she did is in the past. Today is your day. You defied me to risk your life because you thought that the prediction made this your fault.”
Demco stared at her. This was the point where Fyora would say it wasn’t his fault, then some wise phrase, and then leaves in a flash of purple.
“It was, but you redeemed yourself. The only person who is truly at fault is the one who does not try and fix the problem they create. Now go enjoy your life, Demco. I trust you will continue to help those in need?”
Demco nodded, and Fyora smiled. “Let’s go home, Jalazai,” she said. The Tyrannian Draik and the Faerie Queen disappeared in a purple flash.
“Oh well,” Demco said, standing up and brushing sand off his clothes. “Two out of three isn’t that bad.” Grinning, he walked off in the direction of Neopia Central, where the good Detective Demco Archavius would meet a young blue Quiggle who had lost her Doglefox.