Chronicles of the Chosen: The Last Battle - Part Three
“Fyora!” I exclaimed, on the verge of tears.
The Faerie Queen was now lying on the ground, one hand held to her forehead, her eyes closed. I put one paw at her chest, and gulped.
“Oh no,” Monica said. “This isn’t going to look good in the next issue of the Neopian Times!”
“I can see the headline now,” Kendall told me. “Zafara Lunatic Traumatizes Queen!”
I felt for her heartbeat, and smiled in relief. There in her chest I felt it going Ka-thump, Ka-thump.
“She’s fine, Kendall,” I told him. “She probably just fainted.”
“Does anyone have any smell incense?” Johnny asked.
Maurice thought a moment, snapped his fingers, and said, “I have an old gym sock in my pocket.”
“NO!” Fyora said suddenly, sitting up faster than a Mortog would explode when kissed.
“I’m okay, that is not necessary,” she said quickly.
Getting back on subject, she asked, “Did you say that you... dreamed all of that?”
She looked up at me, and then back down at the ground.
“Have you ever dreamt that something would happen, and it did?”
“Yeah,” I answered. “One time, the night before we first confronted Jhudora, I had this dream. The dream was that we’d fight her in an open field at dusk. I saw all of her attacks, all of our reactions, everything!”
The Faerie Queen’s eyes were blown wide at this point.
“Really,” Fyora gasped. “You saw ALL of that?”
“Well, kind of,” I said. “I saw the beginning of the battle, where it was just the Chosen Neopets against Jhudora. Then, I saw a swirling cloud of purple and green form beside her.” I gulped. “The last thing I saw before waking up was these big, yellow eyes emerging from the purple and green.”
The Faerie Queen slowly stood up to her feet, only to lose her balance and plop back down onto the ground. She held her head, and rubbed her temples, like Maurice had earlier.
She looked up at Maurice.
“Who’s the one in your group that’s the leader?”
“That would be me,” Maurice answered.
“He isn’t our official leader,” said Kendall, “but he’s really good at bossing people around.”
Maurice glared at the Acara, who laughed nervously.
“Hmmm... And does he have these dreams?” Fyora asked.
“No, your majesty,” Maurice answered.
Fyora stumbled onto her feet. She smoothed out her long, pink dress, and began to speak.
“I think I know what’s going on here. Years ago, on the day each one of you were born, I gave you all each the power to control one element.”
“Yes,” Monica said.
“But, I also gave an extra ability to one Chosen Neopet, the one who would lead the other five into battle.
“I gave that pet the ability to foresee the future through dreams. It’s a crucial ability, indeed. It could warn the other Chosen Neopets of future attacks and battles. It could also give valuable information.”
Monica, Maurice, Johnny, and Kendall all looked at each other, glanced at me, then looked back at Fyora.
“The pet with that ability is the true leader of the Chosen Neopets.”
Fyora looked at me, and smiled.
“You’re a leader, Sandra.”
Maurice walked up to me and grinned.
“Looks like I owe you an apology,” he said.
But I didn’t care about his apology. I was in too much shock to care about much of anything. All I knew was that now the entire fate of the world rested on my shoulders. It wasn’t just about Kathryn needing my help anymore. Now Monica, Johnny, Kendall, and even Maurice had to depend on me.
I gulped when this thought came into mind: The world will crumple into ruins if I mess this up.
Later on, during lunch at the pound, I sat at the corner of the Dining Hall, sighing and poking my soggy Sandwich. Now it was MY job to ready the Chosen Neopets for the upcoming battle. Back when I lived with Jamie, I couldn’t get ready to eat dinner in time.
And then there was Kathryn to worry about. She was many miles away, and we only had a few precious days to find her.
What if I fail? What if, in the future, Jhudora ends up ruling the world? It would be my fault. No one would ever forgive me.
Monica slipped through the Dining Hall and plopped down beside me, smiling. Kendall plopped down on the other side, a goofy grin on his face.
“Sandra!” Monica exclaimed.
“How’s it going on your side of the volcano?” Kendall asked, laughing.
“Would you guys be mad at me if...?”
I looked up at them.
“...If I did something that might lose the war?”
Monica’s smile turned into a serious look straight away.
“Actually, we would have to throw you into Maraqua’s Bubbling Pit.”
I gasped. “What?”
“I’m just kidding!” Monica laughed.
I giggled. She really had me there.
“But seriously,” she said, resting one paw on my shoulder, “we would never be mad at you. You’re like family to us, and you can NEVER be mad at family.”
“Yeah,” Kendall added. “When we tease and taunt each other, it shows that we care about one another.”
My face lit up like Christmas lights.
“So, you call me Flamethrower because you care?”
“No, I just like to drive you nuts.” Kendall grinned.
We all did a group laugh together. I tried to smile, but I still felt weighed down. Monica glanced at me.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I don’t think I can be the leader you all need,” I said, poking my Sandwich a second time. “I’ve never led anything in my entire life!”
“You’ll do fine,” Monica assured me.
“Still, I’m not sure,” I said.
I sighed loudly.
“Why can’t Maurice be the leader? He’s been doing it for years! He knows more than I do.
“I just can’t do it alone.”
A moist, salty tear escaped my eyes. I slid down my face and finally splashed onto the sandwich. I wiped my eye with my shirt sleeve as Maurice walked over.
“Hey, guys. What’s up?” he asked.
Ignoring him, I continued, “I can’t be a leader. I’ll blow it.”
“Come on, Sandra,” Maurice told me. “Don’t be like that.”
I looked up at him.
“If you believe in yourself and work hard, you can do anything you set your mind to,” he said. “Quote from my old owner.”
“Really,” I asked. “You think so?”
“Sure,” Maurice answered. “And if you need help along the way, we’ll be happy to lend a hand.”
I couldn’t help myself; I grabbed everyone and pulled them into a big group hug.
Family, I thought blissfully, with a warm smile on my face.
Later that night, when everyone was back in their dorms, I woke up. Monica was already wide awake, standing by the door, motioning for me to come on. I nodded my head as I followed her out into the dark halls. We began to sneak to the Lair Entrance.
Every step I took had to be light. Every breath I took had to be silent. Even when I glanced around at something, I had to do it carefully. Dr. Death could sense anything out of place if done improperly.
And if he caught us, any hopes of finding Kathryn would be gone.
Monica slipped ahead of me and led the way to the door. She punched in the code, the door opened, and we walked in, closing the door silently behind us.
From there, we ran swiftly down the flights of stairs to the real Lair entrance. Monica and I stopped to take a breath before unlocking it. I opened my mouth to say the password, but Monica stopped me.
“Can I say it this time?” she asked.
“Sure!” I said.
Monica grinned and said, “Kadoatie.”
The red light above the Lair entrance shone green, and the door unlocked. We walked into the headquarters.
Maurice and Johnny were seated at the table, looking at us with serious faces. I winced slightly as I walked over and sat down. Kendall was scrambling through his Jeran Backpack, not at all paying attention upon our arrival.
“Okay,” Maurice began once we sat down. “We need to plan out a battle strategy now if we are to stand a chance against Jhudora. Any ideas?”
Whoa, wait, back up!
“What about Kathryn?” I argued. “She’s in danger, people! Shouldn’t SHE be our top priority right now?”
Maurice looked at me like I was crazy. He exchanged suspicious glances to his guy friends, and then looked back at me.
“Sandra, you have to be realistic. Tomorrow’s the Solstice. If we try to rescue Kathryn, we won’t return to Neopia Central in time.”
“But we should at least try!” I argued. There was NO WAY I’d take this without a fight.
“No! This is the only chance we have. We need to plan a strategy. It’s now or never, Sandra!”
At this point, I was struggling to hold back tears. My face was puffy and red. My voice choked with emotion as I spoke.
“We can’t just leave her out there to...”
“Forget it, Flamethrower!” Kendall interrupted. “It’s hopeless. We’ll have to do the battle without her.”
I groaned in frustration and fell back into my seat. It was hopeless to get through to these guys! Kathryn NEEDED our help. We couldn’t just sit there and force her to fight Jhudora alone!
And while all of this swarmed though my mind, Maurice led everyone through his battle strategy.
To be continued...