Princess of Prophecy: Part Three
The ocean’s surface was cold, but under the water it was like ice. For a moment I thought I was in the Ice Caves rather than off a shore near Altador.
I had never learned how to swim. I didn’t think I would ever need to until now. I felt an absolute certainty that Nyvenne had done this. After all, she was an Air Faerie, and I almost knew her to be the one that flew me to the Hall of Heroes.
She’d been using me the whole time.
With no idea of how to keep myself afloat, the shore kept vanishing. No matter how many times I (barely) managed to pull myself up it was in vain. My attempts to rescue myself only resulted in sinking beneath the waves again.
I was just about to give up when suddenly, a burst of water shot up with me on top of it. That was not normal; something must be forcing it to do that...
When a gust of warm wind set me down on the shore, I found my answer.
There stood Crazy Prophecy Faerie, lowering her hands as the water became calm again.
“You... you *cough* saved me...”
She looked at me with warm, loving eyes that reminded me so much of my mother.
Although the Faerie’s eyes continued to look at me with a motherly affection, her face was grave. She knew something... she just wasn’t telling me what.
“Listen,” I said, “I think I know who the traitor is.”
“And?” she said.
“It’s Psellia. I truly cannot believe it but everything seems to point to her. The arrangement of the constellations... the way she acted in front of my father... everything! And this... wind stuff that pushed me into the ocean just proves it!”
Tears formed in my eyes. I thought I knew Psellia. Why would she do such a terrible thing?
“You are correct, I’m afraid,” said Nyvenne. “And yet—”
Before I knew what was happening, another Air Faerie swooped out of the sky. She looked exactly like Nyvenne except for the fact that she was clothed in orange, and it wasn’t a pleasant orange either. Just looking at the outfit made my eyes burn. And the look in her eyes was definitely not one that showed any kind of compassion.
“Nyvenne! After this little stunt I cannot let things go any further!”
Her voice freaked me out. It sounded like what I imagined the Betrayer’s to be: full of anger and vengeance, and a little bit of glee—wicked glee.
And the horrid creature picked up Nyvenne and flew off without a trace.
“Nyvenne! Oh, Calissa, why did I suspect her? Now look what I’ve done!”
It was beginning to be the worst day of my life. My Petpet looked at me with big, happy eyes.
I sighed. Calissa was wonderful, but she couldn’t understand me, not like my mother or Nyvenne or even my father could.
There was only one thing I could do.
I would have to find out where that Faerie took Nyvenne. And to do that, my first step would be to go to my father and tell him what I knew.
The constant arguing of the JubJub quarry workers let me know I was headed in the right direction. Again I glimpsed the Air Faerie I had seen earlier. As I looked at her more closely I noticed she was sitting on a perfectly flat rock. She was not Nyvenne, but there was something about her that seemed familiar.
I walked up to the Air Faerie. Her eyes were closed.
“Hello?” I said.
I snapped my fingers. “Um... are you going to wake up?”
Still no answer.
“Excuse me? Um, could I talk to you? Hey, I’m speaking to you there! Yes, you! Come on, wake up, wake UP, WAKE UP!”
“CHEE! CHEE! CHEE!” Calissa chattered.
The Faerie didn’t move an inch.
I reached out to her shoulder to tap it.
I pulled my finger back. Something had appeared around the Faerie just as I was about to touch her. It looked almost like a blue Spyder web in the split second that I saw it. And it burned.
It was a force field. It had to be. And somehow this one contained its prisoner in such a manner that she was frozen in time, unable to speak or to move.
No one had noticed her. No one really went to this quarry, and the workers were always too busy shouting at each other to know if anything was going on.
I made a mental note to inform my father about this poor creature, and Calissa and I went on our way.
I heard a clash of swords. A woman screamed, and my father came around the corner.
“Saeryennan,” he said, “you must flee the palace at once.”
“No,” I replied. “I must protect my family!”
With that, I picked up a dropped sword and ran into the main hall of the palace.
I was lying on the grass outside the Archives. Another prophecy... wow. Just wow. I’d never had a vision following one that hadn’t already taken place. I still had yet to be in that green cave.
I scooped up Calissa and walked on toward the palace. It was strange... after the one of the bandits trying to kidnap my mother, I hadn’t had a prophecy until the one of the cave. Why was that? I thought about my dreams were prophetic of the next day I would have, but nowadays I usually forgot them due to being so busy with royal duty. I hadn’t had a real, exciting prophecy for so long.
I guess I didn’t need them then.
It all became clear to me now. The visions—that is, the real ones, not the dreams—only came when something drastic was about to happen. It wasn’t a future I could not change, it was guidance. They were telling me what I had to do to save my family and kingdom. I had never been shown a bad outcome of events with the exception of my Aisha plushie getting ripped to shreds as a little girl, which meant things could’ve gone either way if it hadn’t been for my choice. If I had dropped the sword in front of those bandits, they would’ve made off with my mother, but I hadn’t. It wasn’t completely inevitable fate—it was choice as well.
My heart filled with a sense of—can you believe it?—heroism. I didn’t really want to be a hero, but I would do whatever I could to protect those I loved and protect Altador.
As I was thinking this, something grabbed me and picked me up.
I looked up. It was the Air Faerie who had kidnapped Nyvenne. I recognized her chill wind and eye-burning orange clothing.
I fought as hard as I could.
“Let me go LET ME GO!”
I kicked and flailed my arms. I even bit her hand, but she was too strong for me. She carried me off to the mountains that stood between Altador and the kingdoms of Meridell and Brightvale. There was a mountain at the very center that was an eerie glowing green.
I landed facedown on the ground—hard. This was the cave from my vision all right. I looked up to see my mother tied to a stalagmite and Nyvenne standing very still. Her eyes were closed.
“Nyvenne!” I cried.
I ran to her aid as fast as I could only to feel a burning pain as a bumped into what looked like a blue Spyder web. Nyvenne was trapped in the same time prison as that poor Faerie in the quarry.
I picked up what looked like a wet piece of chalk. I tried to cut through the ropes that bound my mother with it, but it crumbled in my hand. There were only two other things in this cave, and neither looked promising. Nevertheless I tried the piece of plushie and the old burnt stick. Neither was helpful.
“Ahh, I see Queen Kalara was quite easy to capture without her little defender.”
The Faerie wearing that horrible orange walked into the room.
“Allow me to introduce myself, Princess,” she said. “I am Alilire, a Faerie of the Air.”
More like a Faerie of the Dark.
I turned to Nyvenne, still as ever. Tears formed in my eyes yet again. I needed her, now more than ever.
“Yes, it seems my crazy sister was more powerful than that burst of wind I gave,” Alilire continued.
“She’s not crazy!” I shouted.
“Oh, I thought she was,” Alilire said in a fake sweet voice. “I believe you call her Crazy Prophecy Faerie?”
“How do you know so much about me?!”
“I’ve been watching you, Princess. I knew from the moment you were born that you would try to foil my schemes. My sister said as much, she foresaw it... but poor thing, you never wanted to be a hero, did you? Yes, Nyvenne does force responsibility upon those who would never care. She always got it better because she was the prophetic one... I never got a thing. I was scorned for my cold winds. My sister’s warm ones only added to her easy life!”
Warm winds... of course! Just as I’d suspected! Nyvenne had saved me from crashing into that rosebush!
My mother looked at me with sad eyes, then at Alilire.
“Please... don’t hurt her. She means everything to me!”
My princess had been taken from me and I could do nothing about it, least of all fly after the horrid witch. As a Faerie Snowbunny, my wings couldn’t fly that high.
I noticed the King walk down the road. Hope, at last!
I squealed with all my might.
The King bent down.
“What is it, Calissa?” he asked.
I tried to recreate events as best I could. I walked the way I’d seen my princess walk, then I flew to the ground the way I’d seen the orange Faerie do so. I struggled just as I had seen my princess do, and I squealed, trying to sound exactly like she had.
“Silly little Petpet,” the King said through tears as he stroked me with a single finger. “My wife and daughter have been taken by a crazed Air Faerie and you’re my only family left right now.”
It was obvious he had no idea what he was talking about, so I resolved to do something about it myself. I flapped my flimsy wings and flew in the direction I’d seen the Faerie fly. I didn’t have to fly high up, I just had to find my princess. That Faerie had stolen her, and I wasn’t going to do anything without getting her back first.
To be continued...