Alysia's Destiny: Part Five
I explained to Lyra and Jester about the Cybunny in my vision, and then Lyra excitedly went over to examine the stone. She tapped it a bit and it ground in place. After a quick look around to make sure none of the guards outside had heard the noise, we pulled the stone out together with a tremendous tug and then peered into the narrow passage we’d opened up.
“What’s the plan?” Lyra asked softly.
“Well, for one thing, we need to get our weapons back,” Jester said, feeling the place on his belt where the Grarrls had ripped off his sword and scabbard and taken them away. “We can’t do much if we can’t fight.”
“Agreed,” I said. “Let’s make that first priority when we get out. Find the armory, and avoid detection until we can.”
“Then we need to rescue my master, and Master Thomas,” Lyra said. “They’re probably in another cell nearby.”
“And we need to get to the High Master,” Jester added.
“You’re forgetting one thing, though,” I said.
Jester and Lyra both turned to me.
“The prophecy. I’m supposed to defeat Pellinor.”
“Alysia, we don’t have time to worry about that,” Jester hissed. “That probably isn’t going to be now. Your fighting skills are no match for his. You will most likely end up defeating him someday, just not today, okay?”
“But the part about defeating the dark lord...” I began, but Jester cut me off.
“Listen, one really important thing to remember about prophecies is that they’re vague and can be interpreted multiple ways. Ferival might have another daughter, like your long lost twin or something, or it might just be talking about a metaphorical daughter of his.”
“Metaphorical?” I hissed. “You really think I’m not the daughter in the prophecy? I’ve already come to him and saved his life, and on the right day too; that’s fulfilling, like, half of it already. Do you think I should try to avoid my destiny? I have to go after him!”
“Shhhhh!” Lyra shushed us. A couple of guards had heard us quarreling and were coming to investigate.
“They’re going to see the passage!” Jester whispered. “Quick! Get the rock back in place!”
But it was too late.
“What’s that!?” one of the guards exclaimed, looking through the cell bars and straight at the gap in the wall. He fumbled for his keys.
“Into the passage!” Lyra yelped, diving through the small gap. Jester and I hastened to follow. Lyra pushed us past her and reached for the stone to block the entrance with, as we heard the clack of the key being inserted into the lock.
“There’s no time, Lyra!” Jester hissed. “Leave it! They’ll be too big to fit anyway.”
Lyra let go of the rock and half ran-half crawled after us down the stuffy passage. I scrambled ahead in front, then accidentally hit my head on the end of the tunnel in the dark.
“Shhhh!” I was shushed by Lyra and Jester.
“Give it a push,” Jester breathed.
I nodded, though he couldn’t see me, bracing myself against the stone block and giving it a good shove. It moved aside. Then I pulled myself out of the tunnel and Jester and Lyra followed. When everyone was through, I pushed the rock back into place.
We found ourselves at the bottom of a small tower, with a staircase spiraling up into the top, farther than we could see. Just then, we heard voices, coming from upstairs. We all dove for the nearest hiding spot, which happened to be under the stairs, just as we heard the heavy thunk, thunk, thunk, of the Grarrl guard boots on the steps.
“Where could they have gotten to?”
“I don’t know, we already checked the other prisoners, and they haven’t broken out.”
“I bet they went to the armory!”
“Their swords are all there!”
Jester, Lyra, and I smiled at each other, all thinking the same thing.
We silently left our hiding place as the guard’s steps began to fade, then hurried after them. We kept to the shadows, staying hidden, but always keeping the Grarrls in sight as they hurried along. Finally, we reached a large wooden door, which the Grarrls pushed open, and disappeared into. We all caught a glimpse of swords, shields, and armor hanging on the walls.
“We’ll hide until they come back out.” Jester whispered to us.
We ducked into a closet nearby. We hid, not daring to breathe until the Grarrls came out, grumbling that they hadn’t found us and their voices retreated into the distance. Then we slipped out of our hiding spot and into the armory.
Our swords weren’t that hard to find. They were lying out in plain sight on the first table we came to. We picked them up and quickly strapped them on.
“Do you remember the way to the dungeon?” I asked the others after we had suited up.
“Yep,” Lyra answered.
“Good. I’m going back to the throne room to find my father.”
“Alysia...” Jester hissed at me, but I ignored him.
“Look, I’ve just got a feeling about this,” I said. “Like I did yesterday when I saved my father, or a little while ago when I figured out our escape route or even when I bet on Zorb in the Poogle races. I have to do this.”
In truth, part of me was less than sure about my whole plan, but like at the Poogle races, I simply pushed the thought out of my mind. The clairvoyant in me was going off like an alarm during a tornado, and I just kind of knew what I had to do.
Jester began to say something, but Lyra shushed him and nodded.
“Don’t worry, Alysia. We’ll find our way back to the dungeon and figure out how to rescue Thomas and Herenia. Go.”
I nodded and snuck back to the armory door. With one final glance back at Lyra and Jester, I slipped out and made my way back to the spiral staircase.
The return to the throne room turned out to be easier than I’d expected. It seemed all the guards were still down, searching the dungeon for us. I hurried up the tower staircase and back to the familiar hallway leading to the throne room. When I reached the door with the purple Draik emblem on it, I pushed, surprised to find the doors still unlocked and made my way into the darkened room.
I found my father still hog tied in the chair near Pellinor’s throne, which was lit by one single torch, now gagged and awake. He started when he saw me, then started straining against the gag like he was trying to say something.
“Shhhh, I’ll get you undone,” I said, pulling out my sword and cutting the gag off the giant Lupe’s head.
“Behind you,” he said when I had sliced the gag.
I whirled around, to find Pellinor smiling maliciously at me from across the room.
Immediately a whipped my sword out in front of me, expecting to be attacked by Grarrls, but there were none.
“You’re alone,” I said, stating the obvious.
“Of course, I don’t need my guard to defeat you,” he hissed. “I could kill you with one hand tied behind my back and my eyes closed.”
“Yeah, I doubt it,” I answered.
“I knew you’d come here,” he said, not seeming to take offense. “To rescue your father, thinking the words he sputtered out all those years ago would protect you. You can’t defeat me, Alysia. You simply can’t.”
Slowly, he drew his sword.
I moved into a defensive stance, then, suddenly, my knees buckled under me, and I fell to the floor.
No, I thought to myself. I can’t go into a trance now. He’ll kill me.
I struggled against the enveloping blackness, trying to stand and fight, but I couldn’t. I saw Pellinor walking over to me, and braced for the end.
Pellinor raised his sword. Then, something very strange happened. I flew to my feet and blocked as he brought down his weapon. Pellinor, just as surprised as I was, attacked again, but my sword flew to defend me. He tried again, but I knew where he was going to attack from before he even did and had my sword raised to block his attack before he even knew what was happening.
I could see. My clairvoyance was predicting his every move. As Pellinor attacked, I knew exactly what he was going to do, and how to defend myself. I let out a whoop to match even the one at the Poogle races, and half in trance, and half myself, I defended myself as Pellinor continued to pummel me with blows.
“This... it isn’t possible!” he sputtered. Then he let out a scream of rage and flew at me. I threw him down, but he picked himself right back up again.
“You can’t defeat me.”
“This can’t be! I’m invincible!” Pellinor howled.
Slowly, I gained confidence, and as the battle raged, I began to take advantage of Pellinor, and began to force him back into the corner. I remembered Jester’s shuffle, taking full advantage of form and foresight as I darted around Pellinor’s more and more vulnerable defense. Eventually, I had him right where I wanted him, pinned up in the corner.
“Surrender,” I said to the cowering Draik.
“To you?” he spat. “Never!”
“Surrender, now, or you’ll be sorry.”
The Draik spat at me and moved to attack, but I could see the attack before it came, and I saw the weak spot in it. As he thrust as sword at me I darted out of the way and hit him hard. Pellinor fell backward, gasping his last breaths, then collapsed on the floor.
“I warned you.”
I rushed over to my father, who was smiling at me.
“Father, are you okay?”
“Never better, Alysia. Never better.” He beamed at me.
I smiled, and in that moment, I knew. Everything was going to be alright.
“Do you, Alysia, promise to protect the secrets of this guild at all costs, as long as you live?”
I was kneeling at my father’s feet in the meeting room of the Oracles Guild where everyone had gathered to watch me take the oath.
“Yes,” I said, smiling up at my father.
“Then I take you as my apprentice,” he finished.
I got up and hugged him tightly, and everyone in the audience let out little awwws of pleasure. I didn’t care.
It was a few days after I’d defeated the dark lord in the fortress, and we were all back to the Guild safe and sound. Pellinor’s Grarrl guard, along with the traitor Nathaniel had dispersed the moment they’d gotten word of their master’s demise, and Jester and Lyra had found Herenia and Thomas and gotten them safely out of the dungeon. They now stood together in the front row, clapping wildly. After the oath, I went to take my seat among my new friends.
“Congrats, Alysia,” Jester whispered to me as my father began to address guild issues.
“Thanks!” I smiled at him.
“Where are you going after this?” Lyra asked me.
“Home,” I answered. I had a feeling my old friends were missing me.
“Alysia! Where were you?!” Shelby shouted to me as I climbed the bleachers in the Poogle stadium to go sit with her.
“Oh, I took an unexpected trip,” I answered cryptically, sliding into the spot next to her.
“Where?” she asked me nervously.
“Meridell,” I answered.
“And... what exactly did you do there?” she asked me knotting her eyebrows.
“Just played some games, hung out with friends, you know.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked.
I looked down at the Poogles stretching on the track, and I noticed Zorb waving to me with one hand, and holding a powdered doughnut in the other hand. I laughed. It was good to see that some parts of my life hadn’t changed in the past few days. When I thought back on it, it seemed like longer than a week ago that I’d bet on Zorb and won.
“Who’d you bet on?” Shelby asked, following my gaze out to the Poogles on the racetrack.
“No one,” I answered. I’d decided that it would give me an unfair advantage if I knew who to bet on. Besides, if I won every time, people might begin to get suspicious, and I’d sworn to keep the Oracles Guild a secret. “I don’t want to ruin my winning streak. Who’d you bet on?”
“Rhea,” she answered.
“She’s not going to win,” I muttered to myself, wishing I could do something to save my friend a few neopoints.
I sighed. My newly discovered power was going to take some getting used to. Still, I supposed I would simply have to live with only being able to talk with Lyra and Jester about the things that had happened to me over the past few days. Suddenly, just as I thought of them, Lyra and Jester walked up the steps and sat down next to us.
“Hey, Alysia,” Jester greeted me.
“Who’s this?” Shelby asked.
“Friends of mine,” I answered. Then, when Shelby turned back to the Poogles I hissed at Jester, “What are you doing here?”
“The High Master needs you,” Lyra whispered. “He’s called an emergency meeting.”
Jester turned to Shelby. “Hey, um... we have to leave. With Alysia.”
“What for?” Shelby asked.
“Faerie quest,” I answered, improvising.
“Okay,” she said, looking a bit disappointed. “See you later.”
“If I don’t see you first!”
Shelby smiled, and I smiled back, before I followed Jester and Lyra out of the stadium and towards a new adventure.
I sighed. A prophet’s work is never done.