Princess Mind-Reader: Part Three
“Victoria?” the stranger suddenly asked. He turned to Kauvara. “Is that the one over there, with that candle?” He did a gesture that Victoria couldn’t make out. Kauvara nodded. The stranger turned back to Victoria’s direction. “Well, then, I guess I was a little early! Sorry about that; I could hardly see anything in the dark, until – poof! I see the sign of the Magic Shop and I was like, ‘Whoa, I told Victoria I’d be there when she woke up’ and then I went inside so – yes, er, sorry.”
Victoria figured it out already.
Deliluk flicked his hand impatiently. “Yes! It’s about time you guessed who I was. Are you blind, or what?”
Victoria tensed. “I’ve never met you! Well, in my mind, yes, but I don’t need you to at least come to me when we’ve only been talking for...” She couldn’t remember how many days they had been talking, but she realized they had been friends a long time.
Exactly. Deliluk’s voice intruded in her mind.
Do we really need to be thinking our conversations instead of saying them out loud? Victoria thought angrily. And besides, we’re using some sort of strange magic. Don’t you find that kind of weird?
“Nope,” Deliluk said, smiling.
“Of course,” Victoria said with a hint of anger.
Kauvara cleared her throat. “What in the name of Neopia is going on? Am I supposed to be saying something, or what? Because I think it’s kind of strange you guys know each other. Have you even met before? What about this mind thing?”
There was a click, and the lights came on. Victoria sighed and looked at Kauvara. “Well... er, we can enter each other’s minds, sort of, but except Deliluk is a lot more powerful than I am. It’s really, really strange and I can’t figure out why.” And I don’t understand why you didn’t reveal yourself to me earlier, Victoria thought hard to Deliluk.
Deliluk replied quickly, Oh, you can only talk in somebody’s mind when they turn thirteen. I wasn’t sure, because it took a while for me to get into connection, we were so far away from each other.
The Starry Kau stared at Victoria for a long time. “I thought it was just a myth. But obviously not.”
“Tell me what’s going on, Kauvara!”
Kauvara stared at Victoria and Deliluk. “I presume that Deliluk has no idea. Well, a long time ago, there was a legend about certain neopets called mind-readers, because they could speak in somebody else’s mind. But once you have a connection with a mind-reader” – she jerked her head in Deliluk’s direction – “it’s very hard to let go of it. Being a mind-reader is very useful, very powerful. You can break in somebody else’s mind, but only if you’re trained hard enough, you can be in the mind for at least a minute. It takes a very skilled mind-reader to do that. I had no idea mind-readers still existed. They are exceedingly rare. Powerful. Ones who want control will search the world for mind-readers. The assassin was probably trying to kill you because you were a mind-reader, Victoria. How he knew – somehow, there’s something that makes ones who believe in mind-readers – was because there was a sign, something that marked you. Have you had any problems with yourselves?”
It was an empty silence. How was Victoria supposed to get this down? All of this? She couldn’t be a mind-reader – Deliluk was the mind-reader, not her. But was he skilled, unlike her? Was he older than thirteen, much older? Her world was destroyed – because of this stupid mind-reader stuff. Unlike her, Deliluk was smart, cunning, funny, and annoying. She was none of that. She couldn’t plan anything by herself – much less add one thousand four plus one thousand fifteen. It was hard enough thinking of everything – her brain would start hurting really bad.
Finally, Deliluk destructed the silence. He replied, “There is nothing wrong with me, neither nothing with Victoria. Perhaps they have sharper eyes or something. Specially trained, perhaps. Do you think that’s a good idea? Savuk told me that they always know when a special somebody is around.”
Victoria was confused. She asked, “But why didn’t Savuk know you were a mind-reader?”
“The assassin,” Deliluk said quickly, answering Kauvara’s question. “Look, Victoria, Savuk didn’t want to destroy me. He was scared to. He knew how smart I was, but I didn’t want to defeat Savuk, either. He knows you’re alive. But – he made a decision. He was going to kill me – mostly because he angry that it wasn’t he who wasn’t a mind-reader. I escaped just in time.”
Victoria felt sorry for Deliluk. His brother had betrayed him – and Victoria was glad she didn’t have any siblings who would like to kill her. That was a good thing. But Savuk was after her.
I would never think of handing over Victoria. That was what Deliluk was thinking. I would save her rather than save my brother. Victoria could hear pain in Deliluk’s throaty voice. I just hope that I’m not being used as a tracking system.
He could be lying, Victoria told herself, shutting herself out of Deliluk’s mind.
Suddenly Kauvara said, “Well, I think we’ve all had a lovely night, and we better get to bed. Hurry up, Vicky! Go grab the air mattress out of the closet and blow it up. Deliluk is sleeping in your room tonight, whether you like it or not. I’m tired.”
With that, the Kau was gone. Then she was back. “Oh yes, and turn the lights out after you go to sleep.” Then she closed the door once again.
Deliluk sighed. “’Kay, it’s just me and you now, sis.”
Victoria snorted, “Don’t call me sis, before I start calling you bro. We are not related, end of story. So please – shut up.”
The two puffed up the air mattress, and they forced themselves to go to sleep.
Victoria found herself wolfing down breakfast, as if something was about to happen. She wasn’t allowed in Deliluk’s mind all morning, and she wondered why. He didn’t say a word, even when Victoria asked him a question. Finally, she cornered him.
“Deliluk, what’s going on?” Victoria asked, her eyes hard. “I have no idea why you’re resenting me all of a sudden. Did I do something that bothers you, or what? I’m really sorry if I have.”
Deliluk shook his head. “No, it’s not you,” he concluded. “I think Savuk’s coming. But he’s coming just to tell us something, I think. Don’t worry about it.”
“Don’t worry about it?” Victoria nearly shrieked. “Savuk is the guy who tried to kill me, remember? Can you think, Deliluk? Since when have you given me any advice? When, Deliluk?”
That’s the way. Treat him roughly, tell him that he should go back to the hole he came from, a soothing voice said in Victoria’s mind. He was never a nice guy. Tell him that somebody’s coming, okay? Tell him that Savuk is really coming. He has something to tell Deliluk.
Not listening to the rude, mean lines the voice had said in Victoria’s mind, she said, “Look, Deliluk, your Shadow Usul twin is actually coming, okay? I believe you. I just had a vision,” she lied. “He has something to tell you. Savuk is coming.”
Emptily Deliluk stared at her, as if he had no idea she had said anything. After a long thirty seconds later, he said, “Well, I can read my brother’s mind – and besides, where’s Kauvara this morning?”
“We’re low stock on some Magic Vials, so Kauvara went out to order some,” Victoria said softly. “Why do you ask?”
Deliluk opened his mouth to answer, when all of a sudden; there was a knock on the Magic Shop door. Victoria prayed it wouldn’t be her shadow nightmare: Savuk. If he was lying and came here to kill Victoria instead, Deliluk would be killed trying to defend Vicky.
When Deliluk let the neopet in, a cold, creepy voice said, “Oh Princess, Princess, where are you hiding? I’m your friend, I won’t hurt you.”
Swallowing, Victoria said, “I’m not a Princess because of you. Why have you come, fiend? You could have just sent a neomail or something. You’re here to kill me. You’re here to finish the job you didn’t complete three years ago. Go ahead. Finish me off.”
Savuk blinked slowly, his eyes sending a shiver down Victoria’s spine. He said softly, “Oh, but Vicky, I don’t have any weapons with me, sadly. Unfortunately I came here to tell both of you something that you need to hear from my lips. I was told to.”
Victoria snarled, “If you’re trying to get anything out of us, it won’t work! We’re not afraid of you, and we never will be. We’re more powerful than you are!”
The Shadow Usul turned to look at Deliluk. “Are you going to say anything, brother?” he asked questioningly. “You never seemed to say anything around me.”
Deliluk said quickly, “You aren’t my brother. We aren’t related. You are – a – liar. You’ve come here to demolish us, not to talk, like Victoria said. To kill us. So, if you are going to kill us, go ahead. Take your chance.”
Savuk stared at the two neopets hard, deciding if he should really attack them. Sighing, he answered, “I wish I had come here to kill you, Deliluk, but I have come here to tell you something important. Very important. So, would you like to hear it?”
No one moved.
The assassin smiled evilly, as if he had gotten them cornered. “The thing I have to tell you is...”
To be continued...