The Secret of Geraptiku: Part Eleven
I frowned and glanced around. The dark faerie was smiling at me, Milk was on the ground under me with me sitting on him, and Luna had jumped off and was still making faces at me. Something was wrong with this picture...
I stood up and helped Milk to his feet. I had confused friend and enemy, but it was all clear now. The quiet was because Milk had stopped screaming, Luna had stopped barking, and the dark faerie had stopped speaking in my head, all happening momentarily, and in the sudden silence, it was easier to see how messed up the dark faerie had made my thinking.
"Sorry about that whole trying to knock-you-out thing," I said to Milk sheepishly. He looked at me a little resentfully at first, but then he smiled weakly back.
"It's okay. At least you didn't." I shuddered to think of what would've happened if I hadn't realized in time that the dark faerie was manipulating and enchanting me.
"But you still can't leave," the dark faerie said out loud, smirking ever so slightly. "You need to answer my question first."
I glanced at Milk nervously, and then sighed at the dark faerie, but I knew better than to complain. "What's the question?"
"My name," she said with a superior glower. "What is my name?"
I froze. I didn't have the faintest clue. When I glanced at Milk, he had a similar expression to what I felt.
"I will tell you a riddle. You have one chance. Get it right, and you will leave," she said, looking at me. "Get it wrong and... I'll let you think about that.
Tell me the place of where you first went
Oh! When the hunger in your stomach had left a dent
Maybe you'll get the question wrong, then today you'll forever rue
But you didn't get what you thought you would there, did you?
Oh, it is so very much sunlit
Let you tell me how often you do it
And now, tell me your answer, tell me, tell me, and hope you are right."
"There's nothing to rhyme with the last line," I said when it was clear that was the end. "You just said 'And now, tell me your answer, tell me, tell me, and hope you are right,' and then... the end?"
Milk looked like he wanted to slap me for a second, but then he smiled. "Yeah, only... nine? No, that's seven lines, there's nothing to rhyme with the last line."
"There's one more part I haven't told you, but for that, you'll have to make do," she said, then she smiled, not at all nicely.
"Okay..." I muttered. Thinking over the lines. "Wait, can you repeat it?"
She said the riddle again.
"And then we have to figure out something she didn't tell us," Milk muttered. He sighed. "I don't know, I really don't know, I think this applies to you."
“I know!” I exclaimed after a minutes soundless thought. The dark faerie looked up at me. She smiled her sweet smile again.
“You know?” she asked. “What is the answer?” Her voice was once again beautiful, lovely, and otherworldly in it's dazzling tones. It made me spacey and dreamy again.
No! I told myself. Snap out of it. She can’t make you forget again. You had it... what was it again? Something about the...
“Akee?” asked Milk. “Do you know the answer? Tell her! Come on...”
“It’s...” I frowned. I just had it... didn’t I? I did have it, I was just thinking the answer just now... right?
“What is it, Akeelyla? If you just said you had it for no reason... Well, that’s being naughty. Maybe you need some more sleep to waken you up some more.” She smiled and raised her hand, like she did so long ago.
“NO!” I screamed. “Don’t make me fall asleep again!”
“Yeah, Akee, let’s just keep thinking about the riddle thing. Okay, where have you eaten lately, and gotten something else?” Milk was talking hurriedly, like he wanted me to figure out the riddle fast.
“Um...” I turned my attention to him again. “I don’t know. Wait, you mean like when I first got on Mystery Island? Well, I did go to the Tombola Machine..." Something clicked into place in my head. The riddle was only seven lines, and at the beginning of each line was... I opened my mouth.
The faerie's smile twitched momentarily to reveal a face of anger. But it was for a second, so I couldn’t be sure...
“THAT’S IT!” he exclaimed, taking the words right out of my mouth. “That must be it! The Tombola! What did you get?”
“Of course! I got a Mau codestone! And a-"
“Bottled Dark Faerie. Of course,” the faerie said softly. That was why I made you come here. Faeries shouldn’t be trapped like that. She is devastated and hopeless right now, and the horror of that... that... it's just dull and torture. Nothing else.”
“So,” I said hopefully. “Can we go now?”
She looked up sharply. Then she smirked. “You have not figured out my name yet. You cannot go. ‘There’s one more part I haven’t told you. But for that, you’ll have to make do.’”
I sighed angrily. “How will we figure that out, do you think?” I said mostly to myself.
“Hmm,” commented Milk helpfully.
“Well,” he said hesitantly, like if he was right, the dark faerie would be mad, and if he was wrong, he'd be stuck here, “what... if... we... need to scramble the words or something?”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea,” I agreed. “Okay, you spell Tombola like T-U-
“No! It’s T-O-M-B-O-L-A. Okay, so, how about like..." he paused for a second as he ran the letters through his head. "O-O-M-B-L-A-T?
“I don’t think her name is Oomblat. Think about it. That sounds just a little bit stupid. How about..." I thought it out, and spelled something in my mind that didn't sound dimwitted. "M-A-T-O-B-O-L?”
“I don’t think so,” he sighed. “This could take forever! There are like, a million different ways you can spell a word with the letters from Tombola! And just because we can come up with a few, doesn't mean any of them are right.”
A flash went through my head. The piece of paper... what if it said her name on it? It had an A, and maybe a B... No! Not a B, it was an L, and an O... “How about we spell it backwards? That piece of paper had an A, then an L... I think maybe an O..."
“How about you two just be my eternal servants forever?” she hissed.
“No thank you, ma’am,” I said, smirking. “You see, we’ve almost just figured it out. Wouldn’t it be just so disappointing to realize that when you’ve found a way out, you still had to stay here? You see, I actually do believe in making others happy, unlike you.” During this whole time I was talking, her expression gradually grew angrier and angrier.
“Um, Akee, I don’t think you’re helping,” Milk cautioned.
“I’m not trying to make her happy,” I snapped. “It’s easier thinking when she’s mad at you than when she’s hypnotizing you.”
He rolled his eyes. “Yeah, also, when she’s mad at you, she’ll make it so you can never talk again.”
“That’s happened before?” I asked in shock.
“Yes. It’s happened before a lot. So please shut up, and how do you spell Tombola backwards?”
I could hear a hissing noise from somewhere, and I turned around to look at the faerie. She was glaring at me intensely.
“Okay,” I said hurriedly. “It starts with an A-"
Stop it, Akeelyla.
“No,” I moaned. “Not the voice in my head thing again.”
"Oh no," Milk muttered.
Don’t spell my name. No one is supposed to know what my name is. You’ll upset the balance of Neopia if you do.
“Well, that’s just too bad,” I muttered. I’m not sure if she could hear me or not.
Luna barked at me. I glanced up at her in surprise. I had almost forgotten she was there.
So, Akeelyla, don’t spell my name. The world will be much harder if you do, and that’s the last thing anyone needs. You’re just being selfish, and for what? To leave? Who says being my eternal servant is a bad thing?
I glanced at Milk.
Ah, yes. I can see how you might think that. But he’s a liar. A dirty rotten little Neopet. One of the worst kind.
“Akee? What’s going on?” Milk asked me. My eyes were wide open and staring at the air in front of me. He dashed over to me. He grabbed my shoulders and shook me. “Come on, wake up.”
I frowned. “I’m not sleeping.”
“Yes, you are. You are listening to her, and that is like sleeping, and having a dream where someone else controls you.”
He is not right. I am not controlling you; I am simply explaining the truth.
“What is she saying to you? I can’t hear, tell me. Come on, Akee, that’s all you have to do, just tell me.”
“She’s saying that she’s not controlling me, that she’s just explaining to me what’s really going on,” I whispered.
I could hear him groan. “She is controlling you. Now, you want to get out of here right? You..." I could see him desperately try to think of something to convince me. "Your owner! You want to see your owner, right? What's her name again? Xaea, right?" That name broke the dark faerie's control over me. Xaea! Yes, I wanted to see Xaea again, what would she say if she knew I was so close to getting out of here, and I lost my chance because of some dark faerie?
Now, you must listen to me quickly. You are so close, so close to ruining your life with that idiotic owner of yours. Stay with me and life will be blissful.
“No," I muttered, shaking my head to break her control all the way. "Tombola... backwards... Milk! Spell tombola backwards for me real fast!"
“Okay!” he exclaimed. “Let’s see... um... A...”
“...L...” I continued. But then I gasped in surprise. The dark faerie was walking over; in another few seconds, she would be close enough to wave her hand and make us all fall asleep. And then there would be no hope.
“...O...” he announced.
“Stop it. Stop right now,” she grated menacingly.
“...B... umm... I forgot. What’s next? Hurry!” I said to Milk, urging him on.
“...M...” he mused.
“And the last letter is-”
“T! It’s T! We did it!” The dark faerie suddenly froze in surprise. Or should I say, Alobmot froze in surprise.
She hissed through her teeth. But then she spun around and flew to a window up above and vanished through it. A door made of earth crumpled opened to my side, and the silver and black throne disappeared into silver mist, then tendrils floated upwards, and disappeared altogether.
I inched hesitantly toward the door, my eyes locked on it. Luna looked up from her position on the floor. She looked around in confusion. “Do you think it’s safe?” I asked the Neopet who had just helped me escape. But when I glanced over to the place Milk was, wondering why he wouldn’t answer, I realized he wasn’t there.
He had vanished too, just like Alobmot. Maybe he made it out a different way. Maybe he was stuck here. The dark faerie only looked at me when she was talking most of the time.
“Xaea!?” I shouted. I put Luna on my head and ran over to the door. When I strode outside I took a deep breath and was amazed at how much I’d really missed fresh, outside, clean air, so different than the musty air inside, and the heavy water. It was daylight, around the same time as when I got transported inside the castle. I was in there for twenty four hours. I felt a wave of exhaustion now that the imminent anxiety of never seeing my owner or anywhere else than that black pit of Alobmot's home was gone. When I was fairly far from it, I turned around to see the castle thing.
But then I hesitated halfway around. Should I keep looking? Would there even be anything still there, had it left like its owner? Or would it still be there, an overgrown castle a dark faerie had ruled and trapped many people? And what happened to Milk? And the dark faerie, Cydon, Vahara, Toomin, Tillie, and all the Peophins? I grimaced and simply ran forward to where Xaea was. I almost turned my head to see the castle thing, but instinct told me that some things are meant to go unseen. That was one of them.
“Akeelyla? What happened?” asked my owner, confused. She brushed dirt off her knees, and ran her hand through her hair to get the leaves out. “I feel like I just passed out or something after we saw that flash of light and- wait you saw it too, right?” I nodded. “And I woke up in a spot way different than where we were and... and... What happened to you? You look like you’ve just seen a dark faerie and had the adventure of your life or something.” Xaea snorted at the ludicrousness of her sentence. “But anyway, what happened?”
“Umm..." I smiled slightly, "It’s a long story."