The Prophecy Faeries 3: Linisa's Return - Part Eleven
PART ELEVEN: THE MESSAGES
When Hortensia, Dr. Jonair, and the three guards reached the main chamber adjacent to the Shining Sun, they found it in complete chaos. Spells flew rapidly about the room; faeries were battling both on the ground and in the air. Through the pandemonium, Hortensia caught sight of Bernadette, who had formed a magical shield around herself and was rapidly firing spells at nearby faeries. Dozens of faeries that Hortensia did not recognize were all over the room, fighting Bernadette and each other. An alarm blared overhead, and faeries were pouring into the chamber from other areas of the mountain. In the mix, she caught sight of the blue Eyrie, dodging spells from every direction.
The guards wasted no time in jumping into the battle, but it soon became clear that they were no match for faerie magic; it was all they could do just to dodge the spells that were thrown at them. Dr. Jonair stood hesitantly in the entryway, helpless.
“What should I do?” she asked Hortensia.
“Stay here and the guard the door. Make sure no one gets out. If anyone comes near you, yell and I’ll come help you.” Jonair started to protest, but Hortensia didn’t have time to worry about her. She flew straight towards Bernadette, who was in the thick of the fight.
“Tenny!” Bernadette cried when she saw her. “I thought you were dead or something!”
“Not yet,” Hortensia replied, firing a hex at a nearby fire faerie. “I found the Rose and freed everyone there. They’re on their way to defend the Sun, but some of them are injured, and it will take them awhile. I flew ahead with some guards.”
“Fyora sent us a little help as well,” Bernadette replied, immobilizing a faerie who had crept up behind Hortensia. Quickly, Bernadette cast a second shield around Hortensia, protecting her from magical attack.
“Thanks,” Hortensia called as she moved a little farther away from her friend, aiming for two faeries who were making their way towards the Sun. “What kind of help?” she asked.
“Five faeries. Apparently she’s on her way here with an army, but they got a little tied up, so a few faeries volunteered to help. They’ve helped me a little, but I’m sure glad to see you. I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up.” As she spoke, a massive whirlwind of purple smoke burst from her hands; gathering into a tight sphere, it cartwheeled through the air and pinned three faeries against the far wall.
“You should give the other faeries shields as well, so we know who they are and don’t mistake them for one of Linisa’s,” suggested Hortensia.
“I would,” said Bernadette, “but they don’t trust dark faerie magic. They wouldn’t agree to it. They’d think I was hexing them or something.”
“Have you asked them?” Hortensia asked, dodging one spell and casting another.
Bernadette did not reply. Hortensia correctly interpreted her silence as confirmation that she had not. “Dette,” Hortensia said firmly, “ask them now.”
“I’m a little busy,” Bernadette muttered.
Hortensia knew it was best not to push the issue, particularly not in the midst of a battle. “Where are Claire and Tori? Are they okay?”
“They were down one of the tunnels, with Linisa,” Bernadette called. “Haven’t seen them since. Every time I try to move toward the tunnel, I get distracted.”
They were unable to speak for several minutes as they stood back-to-back, warding off faeries from all sides. Nearby, Lyna was holding her own against a ring of fire faeries, who were tossing bolts of fire towards her from all directions. However, Bernadette could see that Lyna was outnumbered and struggling to dodge everything they threw at her. She desperately needed a shield.
Bernadette remembered how terrified Lyna and the other faeries had looked when they’d first seen her. Their reaction had been just like everyone else’s. Other faeries always treated her differently, always seemed to expect her to do something wicked because she was dark. The other dark faeries expected it of her too, and teased her for being different. Only Victoria, Clarisse, and Hortensia had ever understood that being a dark faerie didn’t define who she was. Bernadette had learned, when other faeries treated her differently, that there was nothing she could say to convince them that she wasn’t evil, nothing she could do to earn their trust. She knew that Lyna and the others would be the same.
Suddenly, the charm that Bernadette wore around her neck began to glow. As it did, Bernadette was reminded of the words that Hentoff had engraved into the stone. Not everyone sees in black and white. Trust in others to see you as you are.
At the same moment, Bernadette looked at Lyna and saw that two fiery spells were heading towards her at once; she could not avoid them both. Bernadette knew that the words on her charm were meant for this moment. This time, she did not hesitate.
Lyna winced as she saw the flames heading towards her, and prepared for the impact. To her utter amazement, the flames were abruptly repelled by a strong force that suddenly surrounded her. Lyna looked up and saw that the purple glow was issuing from Bernadette’s fingers.
In one swift movement, Lyna immobilized an unsuspecting fire faerie, who had thought that Lyna was about to be hit and wasn’t prepared for her spell. “Thanks!” Lyna called to Bernadette.
“No problem,” said Bernadette with a grin. Quickly, she scanned the room, looking for the other faeries who had come to help them. She soon located Kyra and Halliana and cast shields for both of them. Meanwhile, Hortensia had made shields out of nearby plants, like she had done before. Bernadette pointed out the other two faeries who needed protection, and Hortensia allowed her shields to envelop them.
Once that was completed, the two friends searched the room for Victoria and Clarisse, hoping to shield them as well, but the two faeries had not appeared.
It was at that moment that someone screamed Hortensia’s name.
Hortensia whirled around and caught sight of Dr. Jonair, who had been struck with a spell and was falling to the ground. The dark faerie who had hexed her was flying away through the tunnel, heading out of the mountain.
Hortensia immediately followed the faerie, unable to stop and see if Jonair was all right. She followed the dark faerie through the twists and turns of the passage. To her surprise, the faerie turned and flew through an opening that Hortensia had never noticed before. Following her, Hortensia was led through a dizzying labyrinth of tight, narrow passageways. She noticed that they were gradually ascending, moving up above the main chamber, but otherwise she lost her sense of direction.
At last, the passage widened into a long corridor. At the end, the glowing light of the Shining Sun could be seen, streaming forth from a massive hole in the floor ahead. The dark faerie realized, too late, that she had reached a dead end. Within moments, Hortensia had immobilized her, but not before the faerie, with a sinister smile, fired one last spell straight at the ceiling. At first, Hortensia didn’t realize what had happened, but then the entire ceiling began to shake, and rocks rained down.
Many feet below, Victoria and Clarisse had finally emerged from the long tunnel, which they had sealed off with magic to prevent the cursed water from flowing in, and joined the battle. Unfortunately, Bernadette no longer had the energy to cast shields for them, so they had to make do with deflecting or dodging all the spells aimed in their direction.
All at once, a series of spells were aimed in their direction. They managed to dodge out of the way, but they could not prevent the spells from hitting the steel door behind them—the door that separated the main chamber from the Shining Sun. The door was blown apart instantly, and the light of the Sun burst into the room. At exactly the same moment, the ceiling above them began to shake.
Linisa, who had emerged from the tunnel ahead of Victoria and Clarisse, began screaming orders at the faeries. “Move them towards the Sun!” she screamed. “Back them into a corner!”
Too late, the three friends realized her plan. Linisa and her faeries were coming at them from three directions, herding them towards the now-open doorway and the massive, glowing sphere that lay beyond. If the faeries got too close to it, they would die.
Unexpectedly, Khorianna’s voice, speaking the words of the prophecy, began to ring in Clarisse’s ears.
Before the Month of Sleeping comes to a close,
The scorned faeries will enclose
The guardians in the rose.
She knew what those words meant. Linisa and her band of faeries, scorned by Fyora, had converged on the guardians of the Sun and trapped them within the prison known as The Rose.
The Eyrie, firmly planted, lies,
And Faeries take to the skies,
Heading to an unwelcome surprise.
A trap, a castle, a trip, a confession
All precede the final transgression
As evil attempts another accession.
This was now obvious, as well. The Eyrie had been “planted” as a spy within the palace. He lied to Fyora about the inn, which caused the faeries to head there, where they were trapped. The castle was Brightvale Castle, and the “trip” had been the ensuing journey to Faerieland. The confession had been the Eyrie’s. The “final transgression” could refer to any of Linisa’s deeds since.
The messages, carved in stone, are read;
Aware at last, the Faeries are lead
To fulfill the Fate previously unsaid.
Events of the burning battle unfold,
The Sun consumes, and a fall uncontrolled
Leads to the inevitable death foretold.
It was these lines that Clarisse still did not understand. “The messages, carved in stone,” she whispered to herself. “The messages, carved....” Suddenly, Clarisse felt the charm around her neck begin to glow, and she remembered the words engraved there.
Trust in yourself. See and understand, listen and know.
And Clarisse suddenly realized that she had heard those words before. Khorianna had said them to her. In your visions you see, yet you do not understand. You listen to thoughts, yet still you do not know the truth.
Trust in yourself. Trust in yourself.
Clarisse knew that she had been right all along about hearing Khorianna. Victoria’s doubts had reinforced her own, but she had been right all along. She also knew that Khorianna wouldn’t have told her about the openings in the chamber room unless they were important.
“Tori!” Clarisse screamed, turning to find her friend in the mayhem. “Tori!”
Victoria was standing farther in the chamber than any of the others; she was closest to the Sun. As Clarisse called her name, she turned and located the air faerie.
“It was true. What Khorianna told me, it was all true. Find them, Tori!” Her voice possessed such conviction, such absolute certainty, that Victoria knew it must be true. Still, she wondered how it could be possible....
Her charm began to glow. As Victoria wrapped her fingers around it, she felt the message carved there. Not everything has a perfect explanation. Trust in what you cannot understand.
Victoria turned towards the Sun and looked up to the ceiling, looking for an opening in the rock similar to what Clarisse had described. As she turned, she heard a familiar voice scream her name. She located the jagged hole in the ceiling just in time to see a body plummeting through it.
To be continued...