Princess of Prophecy: Part Two
I have absolutely no idea how I looked as I plummeted from my window and found myself staring at sharp green thorns, but I’m pretty sure my eyes were wide and my ears were up on end as I stifled a scream. If my father found out I’d tried to sneak out, he would lock me in my room for sure, and the window would without a doubt be securely bolted.
I slammed my eyes shut as I waited for unbearable agony.
It never came.
All I knew was that all of a sudden, I was flying like a Pteri! Well, maybe not flying, but I was floating in thin air. I hesitantly opened my eyes.
My arms were spread out just like they had been when I was falling. I seemed to be lying on my stomach on a warm wind, and that wind was carrying me high above Altador. I had never seen it from this high up, and it was beautiful.
I found I was able to sit up on such a wind and as I did so, I looked at the stars in admiration and wonder. I recognized all the constellations, and I caught a glimpse of that white spacecraft that occasionally flew through the skies of Neopia. I’d been closer to it than ever before, and I thought I saw the figure of a Grundo at its wheel.
I then looked down at my beloved Altador. Even at night it was full of light, and Neopets were bustling about the streets, living their lives. I even saw my father walking from the Hall of Heroes to the palace with a frown on his face. If he could’ve seen me then!
Calissa flittered up next to me and sat down on my lap. That night was definitely the best night of life so far. I was flying above the city in absolute freedom!
Unfortunately it didn’t last forever. The wind gently set me down in front of an unknown building. Most of the Neopets were sleeping by now so with almost all the lights off, I could not figure out where I was. Nevertheless I was very tired. I curled up on the cool grass with Calissa in my arms and soon fell sound asleep.
“Fate always finds a way, Saeryennan of Altador.”
I stood in the Hall of Heroes. Light poured in and Nyvenne sat on the space where the statue of the Betrayer used to be.
“Am I dreaming?” I asked.
Nyvenne smiled. I could see unquestionable laughter in her eyes that gave me the answer.
“Sorry,” I said.
“Saeryennan,” she said, “you must listen clearly to what I’m about to tell you. It seems the Darkest Faerie wasn’t the only one planning your kingdom’s downfall. There is another plotter among your father’s council. But remember—what we see isn’t always stone-cold truth.”
My eyes opened.
I looked around. The building I had fallen asleep in front of was the Hall of Heroes. Calissa was chasing a Veespa around a small patch of flowers.
Why is it that I had to wake up just as I was about to ask Crazy Prophecy Faerie a question? If she had foreseen another traitor to Altador then why in Neopia had she not told me about it before, when I was five? Of course, that might’ve stretched it a little, for I, being a (unintentional) prophet myself, knew that you couldn’t predict stuff too far into the future. My predictions had always come true within the same day, except for the vision of my mother and me in that creepy cave...
Then it hit me. If there was another traitor I had better find out now. I didn’t want anyone harming my beloved Altador. Quickly, I picked up Calissa and ran into the Hall of Heroes.
I looked long and hard at every statue I saw. Surely it couldn’t be gentle Fauna, or caring Siyana, or lovely Sasha! And I couldn’t bear to think that it might be my father himself. I knew Jerdana would never plot against the kingdom she loved, and I’d known Psellia since I was a little Cybunny. So who could it be? Kelland, perhaps? I’d known he was once a thief, maybe he was stealing again? I couldn’t be sure.
“What in Fyora’s name are YOU doing here?!”
I turned. The enraged voice was one I knew. It was that Yurble janitor who got mad at everybody he saw. I had no idea why, so I figured he yelled at people for kicks since there was nothing else to do around there.
“Look, I’m sorry, Your Highness, but I can’t have you making muddy paw prints on my floor! It just means extra work for me! Now, do yourself a favor and get out! And take that miniature Cybunny of yours with you!”
I grabbed Calissa and slipped behind the janitor into the council chamber. Whew! It wasn’t that his words had bothered me. As I said before he yelled at everyone (and still does!), but I still didn’t like people shouting at me. My father had already given me enough of that.
And as luck would have it, there he sat in his seat in between Psellia and Siyana. I quickly ducked behind a fern.
“So,” my father said. “You mean to tell me you haven’t found the Air Faerie who cursed my daughter?!”
Siyana sighed. “Forgive me Your Majesty, but we Faeries know most of all how good we are at hiding. You can’t expect one to be tracked down in a matter of hours, it’s just unrealistic!”
“Siyana,” he said, “don’t apologize, please. You are blameless. It’s Psellia I am disappointed in. To not know where to look for a fellow Air Faerie...”
Psellia didn’t respond. She just sighed and looked down at the floor.
“No one tells me a thing around here,” my father continued. “Just last night, I saw the constellations change location! Every one of them! I would’ve believed it but a dream had I not seen—”
“I’m sorry, sir,” Siyana interrupted, “but what does that have to do with—”
“SILENCE! I’m telling you there are dark forces at work in this kingdom. First my daughter passes out with a prophetic vision that some insane Faerie wrought upon her, and now she is gone, petnapped, no doubt, by that lunatic! This is more than a twist of fate, there must be some sort of plot! And I think I have an idea who is behind it!”
I carefully treaded behind the statues of each hero as I heard my father continue to express his anger from the council chamber. Jumping to conclusions—that was exactly like him. He thought through and through that I was a good girl who would never mess up or Fyora forbid run away from home! So of course I had to have been stolen in the dead of night.
I ran up the stairs to the observatory. I had to find out if what my father spoke of was true. And sure enough, one peek through the telescope confirmed that the constellations had, indeed, shifted. What was especially peculiar was they were in a circle and in the same order as their statues were below!
I couldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t believe it. Psellia’s Dreamer constellation was in the exact spot the Betrayer’s statue would be—where the Sleeper should’ve been! And the Sleeper had taken up the empty space left by the Dreamer.
Psellia—could it be? It was impossible! I had known Psellia since I was a baby. She had taken care of me in the nursery and even bought me Calissa. It just couldn’t be her, it couldn’t!
I sat on the two stone steps in front of the doors of the Hall of Heroes. Why would Psellia betray the council?
With the constellations shifting and everything Nyvenne had told me, it seemed all too likely. But wait... everything Nyvenne had told me...
Why should I even believe the insane woman? For all I knew, perhaps she had caused the constellations to shift herself, and decided to frame a Faerie I actually liked! If an Air Faerie was going to try to bring about Altador’s downfall, I could only think of one suspect: the same one who was at fault for all my misery. The very Faerie who destroyed my reputation by causing me to faint in front of every hero in Altador. The annoying spirit of the winds who had put my father off the rocker, and had manipulated both him and me in such a manner that resulted in my desertion.
I couldn’t risk running into her again. The problem was that she always seemed to know where to find me.
“Calissa,” I said, “we’re leaving... Altador.”
A tear fell from my eye and impacted the porch I sat upon. Leave Altador... perhaps forever. How would I bear it?
Of course I wouldn’t leave forever. I would have to come back and stop Nyvenne. But first I had to have some sort of plan. And I couldn’t form one with her nosing in on me all the time.
I picked up Calissa and walked toward the city gates. My face was wet with tears, and I think I let out a small moan of sadness as the gates closed behind me. More miserable than I had ever been, I wiped my eyes with my paw.
“No! It’s a perfectly flat rock quarry!”
I would even miss those JubJub workers. I remembered hearing their shouts from inside the city as I played by the fountain. I began to miss my father’s yells now, and the janitor’s.
As I walked, I glimpsed an Air Faerie out of the corner of my eye. Nyvenne! I ran and ran until I could hardly see Altador. By the time I was done, I sat on a shore near that sandy valley that lay between my kingdom and the Lost Desert.
“Oh Calissa,” I said through tears as I petted my Snowbunny, “why did it have to be like this? Why is it that I couldn’t be a normal princess? Why did that Crazy Prophecy Faerie have to cause so much grief? If only she had never come! If only I had no power of prophecy! If only my father—”
I never finished my lament. All I knew was that a strong cold wind came up behind me and I hit the surface of the ocean.
To be continued...