The Prophecy Faeries 3: Linisa's Return - Part Four
PART FOUR: THE MIRRORS
Fyora sat in her conference room. Across the table was King Hagan, who looked as weary as she felt. For several hours, the two leaders had been discussing the diplomatic complications that had arisen recently, but they had not reached an easy resolution.
Fyora was distracted from her conversation with King Hagan when she felt magic issuing from the mirror in her pocket. Reaching into her pocket, she only pretended to hear what Hagan was saying as she felt the surface of the mirror. It was cracked.
Hagan noticed the change in her expression, and stopped speaking mid-sentence. “Is something wrong?” he demanded. “I’m sure you can agree that my requests are very basic, not to mention necessary to the wellbeing of citizens of both lands, and—”
“No, you’re quite right,” Fyora said quickly. “I’m sorry, but an emergency of another nature just came up. Would it be possible to continue this discussion another time?”
“I suppose so,” agreed Hagan gruffly, “but I think this matter is of the utmost importance. I want the relations between our two lands to be peaceful, don’t you agree?”
“Yes, of course,” said Fyora swiftly, “but I’m afraid this is a very urgent matter that cannot wait. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.” In fact, Fyora was barely listening to what Hagan was saying; she stared in disbelief at the mirror. She stood abruptly and exited the room, allowing her servants to escort a very bewildered King Hagan out the door.
Fyora rushed to the hidden room in the back of her chambers, which was imbued with magical energy. It was in this room that her powers were strongest, for she had stored up enough energy here that she could work spells for days without growing tired.
Fyora tried every spell she could think of on the mirror, but nothing worked. She called the names of the Prophecy Faeries in desperation, hoping that the mirror would still work despite the crack, but it was a lost cause. She consulted her spell books, and double-checked the instructions she had written for herself when she created the mirrors many years ago. The instructions confirmed what she already knew. There was only one explanation for this: every one of the mirrors connected to this one had been shattered. Something must have gone terribly wrong.
She had grown worried when the Prophecy Faeries had not contacted her for some time, but had received no response when she tried to reach them. Now she knew that something was horribly wrong, and the faeries had no way to contact her for help.
She tried to think of a less disastrous explanation. Maybe one of them had fallen, and broken the mirror accidentally; but this did not explain how all four of the mirrors could be broken at once, for they each carried their own mirror. Besides, her magic was supposed to safeguard the mirrors against cracks and breaks. In order to be destroyed, the mirrors had to be forcefully shattered.
There was only one explanation. No sooner had Fyora reached this conclusion than there was a hesitant knock on the door to her chambers. Her new personal assistant, an Earth faerie named Lyna, entered the room. Fyora could tell from her expression that she had terrible news.
“This message just arrived in the mailroom of the palace,” said Lyna nervously, holding out a note.
Fyora took it and scanned it hastily. She gasped aloud when she reached the end, for it was signed by her former assistant, Linisa. Its message was simple but terrible. Linisa had captured the Prophecy Faeries and gained control of the most deadly magical object in Neopia, the Shining Sun. At first, Fyora tried to convince herself that it could not be true, for she had thought it impossible that anyone could gain possession of the Shining Sun, and certainly a single crazed faerie could never hope to accomplish it alone. But Fyora had not checked in with her guards at the Sun for days, and this news certainly confirmed the conclusion she had already reached about the Prophecy Faeries.
“What are you going to do, Your Highness?” asked Lyna. “Surely you will not answer her demands?”
“No,” said Fyora, “that is not an option. Call Hagan back into my conference room immediately, and tell him I would like his permission to enter Brightvale with several faeries. We are going to find the Prophecy Faeries.”
The four faeries had no way of knowing how much time was passing, for all of the windows in the room were heavily curtained, allowing no daylight to pass through. As the night wore on, they discussed their situation in hushed voices, in case they were overheard.
“What do you see in the room?” Victoria whispered to Bernadette. “Is there a way out?”
“There are windows,” said Bernadette, “but they’re covered up with something—a black cloth, maybe, or heavy curtains. I see a lot of tables and chairs, set up like a restaurant, and a doorway where the Eyrie came out. There’s nothing else.”
“Does anyone know what kind of spell this is?” asked Victoria.
“It’s light faerie magic,” said Bernadette instantly.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. It’s been draining my magic. Only light faerie magic does that to dark faeries. Besides, it’s the right colour.”
“If it’s only faerie magic, the four of us should be able to overpower the spell,” said Victoria, “if we only knew what kind of spell it was. Think of the defensive magic we’ve learned. What kind of spells should break this?”
Before the others had a chance to reply, they heard footsteps heading towards them. Only Bernadette could see the Eyrie emerge from the far doorway. The others saw only a vague figure moving in the dark.
“Yes, I understand,” said the Eyrie irritably. At first, the faeries thought he was speaking to them and were completely confused, but they soon realized that he was holding a small mirror in his hands. The mirror was identical to the ones Fyora had given them. The Eyrie seemed to be taking instructions from someone via the mirror.
“Look for mirrors like this one,” said a voice from the mirror. It was so faint the faeries had to strain to hear it. “I’m sure Fyora will have given them one.”
“I’m sure they’re in their bags,” said the Eyrie, “but as you said, I cannot remove them myself. The magic prevents anyone but the wearer from taking them.”
“Make them give you the mirrors, then!” snapped the voice angrily.
The faeries looked at each other in puzzlement. No one, except for Fyora, Hentoff, and themselves, knew about the magical qualities of the bags they wore, which Hentoff had given them to safeguard their possessions on their first journey.
“Cast the spell I told you about,” continued the voice in a calmer tone. “It should draw the mirrors from the bags.”
“I will try,” muttered the Eyrie dutifully, though he looked doubtful. “How soon do you want them moved to the Rose?”
“Tomorrow,” said the voice. “That should give us enough time to ensure that the prison is secure.”
“All right,” said the Eyrie. “I will await your instructions tomorrow.” With a flash of light, the figure in the mirror was gone. The Eyrie set it down, closed his eyes, and began a spell. None of the faeries, even Bernadette, could tell exactly what he was doing, but after a few moments they could feel the magic surrounding them.
To their surprise, the mirrors Fyora had given them flew straight out of their bags, drawn out by the Eyrie’s spell. In moments, the mirrors rested on his paw. The Eyrie smiled grimly. Lifting them one by one, he threw each mirror to the floor, smashing them into dozens of pieces. Without a word to the faeries, the Eyrie left the room once more.
“Well, that was weird,” muttered Bernadette.
“What is the rose he was talking about?” whispered Clarisse. “The rose is in the prophecy!”
“I’m not sure if this is relevant,” said Hortensia slowly, “but it made me think of something....” Her voice trailed off, and she was silent for several moments.
“Just tell us, Tenny!” said Bernadette impatiently.
“I remember reading something in history last year,” Hortensia explained, “about this old mansion in Neovia. It was known for having beautiful rose gardens. It came to be known as The Rose House by Neovians. After many years, the wealthy owners of the mansion died. Their only son, who was supposed to inherit the mansion, left Neovia to become a soldier in a war, and was never heard from again. The city of Neovia took possession of the mansion, but by that time it was crumbling and decaying, and all of the rose gardens were overrun with weeds. Instead of restoring the mansion, which would have been expensive, it was decided that it should be converted into a prison. Since that time, the prison was known by locals as ‘The Rose’. Many years later, a new prison was built, and The Rose was abandoned. But to this day, some Neovians claim they can hear the screams of prisoners within, or the cries of the former owners of the mansion, whose ghosts are devastated by the loss of their rose gardens.”
“You recited that story word for word from memory, didn’t you?” Victoria accused in amazement.
“It sounds like one of the silly stories locals tell to scare each other,” Bernadette said. “But they were talking about a prison, and said we were being moved to the Rose... that’s a creepy coincidence.”
“I know it’s just a story,” said Hortensia, “but when I heard prison, and the rose, that’s what it made me think of.”
“It makes sense if we consider the prophecy,” said Clarisse suddenly. “It talks about being ‘enclosed’ in the rose. That would make sense if The Rose is the name of a prison.”
“Well, I don’t know about you three,” said Bernadette, “but I really don’t want to wait around and find out what the rose is—particularly if it’s a creepy haunted prison.”
“What are we going to do?” whispered Hortensia.
“We’re going to get out of here, that’s what we’re going to do,” said Victoria. “Surely the four of us can overcome this spell!”
“All right,” Hortensia agreed, “let’s try.”
The spell that trapped them didn’t allow for much movement, but the faeries found that they were still able to cast spells. For hours, they tried every combination of their magic that they could think of, but nothing seemed to work.
After what seemed like days, the spell that trapped them seemed to have grown weaker, but the four faeries were exhausted. Bernadette was the most strongly affected by the light faerie magic, and she felt her powers waning with each attempt.
“I don’t know about you,” gasped Bernadette, her voice only a faint whisper, “but I don’t have much energy left.”
“Let’s try one more,” said Victoria, “and make it a good one.”
After a few minutes of debate, they agreed on the spell that they should cast. Together, the four faeries gathered up the last of their energy and forced it into the spell, which soon filled the room with a multicoloured glow. They could feel the spell that bound them losing its strength. Eventually, they felt it give way, and they dropped to the floor of the room, free to move at last.
For several minutes, none of them had the strength to move. Using energy they didn’t know they had, they managed to stand and make their way out of the inn. Hortensia and Clarisse had to help Bernadette, who barely had the strength to stand. They had just enough time to hide in the forest nearby before they all collapsed in exhaustion. They didn’t even have the ability to cast protective spells around themselves before succumbing to sleep.
To be continued...