Princess of Prophecy II: Kalara's Secret - Part Three
This was Miarra. Glorious Miarra, and it had all been hers... until some Lupe just decided to butt in and take it from her. Katriana—no, Queen Katriana couldn’t even remember just how the stupid Lupe and his comrades had managed to banish her to the mountains that bordered Miarra and Shenkuu from the lands of Meridell and Brightvale. Well, she sort of could. She mostly had that quite literal Dark Faerie, Princess Sakura, to thank for it. And only she had gotten her comeuppance—last Katriana heard Princess Fyora had sent her older sister to the bottom of the ocean. And she was a statue. But the other eleven—oh joy and happy day, we’ve got Miarra! And while we’re at it, why don’t we rename it after our super brave Lupe leader guy! Let’s call it Altador, and forget the true queen! Grrrrr. And that Xweetok... Aliana, was that her name? Whatever, wasn’t like it mattered. Katriana was going to have her vengeance... no matter who tried to stop her.
For the rest of the day, I had an uneasy feeling. I would often glance outside the window to see if the sky had turned red or if anything was on fire, but it was just as sunny as before. Things were just great.
Of course, I knew that it would not last forever. Katriana was coming, and she was going to wreak havoc on my beloved Altador.
The whole palace seemed frightened. Even Calissa would occasionally twitch for no reason. My father was repeatedly calling for his guards to make sure the city was safe, my mother was always reading history in the library, hoping to learn as much about Katriana as possible, and Xandra paced. She paced about the palace as if she didn’t care at all where she was going. Whenever I walked about to ease my tension, I would run into her somewhere. She would look quite frightened and then try to force a smile at me. She’d then pat me on the shoulder and walk on.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to know. The next time I saw Xandra I ran up to her and asked her to sit down next to me, which she did.
“Xandra,” I said, “tell me about Katriana.”
Xandra slid off the bench and kneeled on the floor. Her face changed; tears were flooding from those sea-green eyes of hers. I had never really noticed how beautiful her eyes were. It was as if I was seeing who she really was for the first time. She really wasn’t what she seemed.
She finally spoke.
“K... Katriana took me from my mother’s home. She... snuck up on us, on our whole family. When Queen Miarra disappeared, we suddenly got this housekeeper... she was a Brown Wocky and her name was M-Mirana... she insulted me and your mother whenever our mother wasn’t looking... at night there would be an orange glow around her door. I was afraid of it.
“Then one day... she revealed her true colors. She wasn’t a Wocky, she was our new Queen, Katriana, in disguise. She set our house on fire. I had time to save Kalara, but I couldn’t escape myself... she petnapped me... took me to her castle. I was taught a lot of her powers. She taught me how to shapeshift and how to teleport and shoot great sparks from my hands. But she wanted to me to use my new power to aid with her tyranny. I couldn’t, so she forced me to. She took control of my mind and made me do all these horrible things...
“When your father came, Katriana let me go. She didn’t want him to know what she was doing. I ran away. I couldn’t go back there. The Faerie Queen Evanna found me, and I stayed with her and her daughter Fyora. I was there when Fyora became Faerie Queen. Her sister, Queen Evanna’s firstborn, was a member of your father’s council... But Katriana found me. She entered my dreams and she possessed me again. I knew the only way to be free of her was to get rid of her in some way, but I didn’t know how... then I found this spell...”
And that was the beginning of what I knew. All the Faeries had been turned to stone, but it seemed that not even that could stop Katriana. She’d possessed Xandra one last time, forcing her to attack Castle Nox. And that was the last straw for Xandra—her sanity was broken by Katriana.
I looked at her again. It was the first time I had ever seen her cry.
“I wanted to be strong,” she said. “I held in all my... my tears with magic, just to shield myself from her influence. I didn’t look in a mirror all that time... that spell...”
I understood. Holding all her tears in must have fogged up her pretty eyes until they looked very dark.
I put my arms around her. I couldn’t help myself. The poor Xweetok. What a horrible life... and to think that I’d snapped at her in anger when in reality, she’d been an innocent victim of circumstance. The one I really hated now was Katriana. I wanted to see her as a statue at the bottom of the sea, just like the Betrayer.
Just then I heard my father’s voice. He was calling for his guards to defend Altador. I could only guess that Katriana had been sighted in the city.
Xandra stood up and grabbed my waist. She hurried me into my room saying “Quickly! Quickly!” in a frantic whisper.
Once we were in my room, Xandra began to cast some sort of spell. The wall opened to the left of my bed, revealing a secret passage!
Xandra pushed me in.
“Stay here,” she ordered. “I’m going to get your mother.” And the passage door closed as she scampered out.
I shivered. It was dark and damp in the passage. The only light came from torches. As far as I could tell, the walls were made of brown bricks. I felt quite lost...
Suddenly, I saw a light in the distance. It glowed orange in color and it made me feel safe. I sighed and sat down against the cold wall.
But... what was this? Why was this light... coming toward me? And why was it flickering as though it was a bunch of... flames! A fire was headed my way... or was it? From what I remembered, fire wasn’t at all shaped like a pair of wings...
That was when I knew Katriana had found me. As fast as I could I picked up my skirts and ran. I could feel the heat of her angry fire as she came closer. I heard the sinister fluttering of her wings, and suddenly I felt a very hot but delicate hand grab my shoulder.
I turned and looked up into the face of the Fire Faerie. She wore her bright orange hair in braids that reached her waist. Her face was pale, and her eyes... they were not like Xandra’s eyes at all. They were completely black, with groups of flames where pupils should have been. This Faerie had no compassion at all.
I looked at her with utter disgust and horror that someone could do such a thing to an innocent Neopet like Xandra. I remembered what she had said about her own eyes looking black, and with that thought, a single tear streamed down my cheek.
“Listen,” I said angrily as more tears formed; some for Xandra and some from a combination of fear and terrible anger. “I know what you did to Xandra. Anyone like that is no friend to me, or to Altador. I wish you—”
Katriana just laughed.
“You really think that you, a helpless little Cybunny, can defeat the greatest of all Faeries?!” She spoke with pride when she referred to herself in that way. “I am the rightful Queen of this land. You are no princess. Your father stole my Miarra from me. That wretched Lupe deserves no noble title at all. He is a thief, and you are no one.”
She pushed me. I fell to the ground and slid across it.
“You were no Queen,” I said. “You were a tyrant. My father wouldn’t have had to come if you hadn’t overthrown your own mother, who loved you above all things! She gave you everything, and you repaid her with... hatred!”
Katriana laughed again. It was a dark sound that mocked the very essence of love itself.
“My mother was... convenient. From the very beginning I was the queen, and she was quite happy to be my servant. She let me rule the whole place until one day when a strange Earth Faerie and Light Faerie appeared on my doorstep. They tried to teach me. As if! I’d had enough of this betrayal, so I acted. Quickly.”
What kind of a warped view of the world did she have?! Her own mother... “convenient”!
“I think your mother realized she had to knock some common sense into you,” I snarled, standing back up.
“Honey, ‘common sense’ is one of those mythical aspects that I was smart enough not to fall for. And I think that’s enough chitchat, don’t you?”
She fired a spark at me that sent me hurling into the wall. I fell to the floor in pain.
“I need to send a message to your worthless father and to that idiot Xweetok. You’re pretty strong. I’m sure that possessing you would benefit us both... it’ll help me reclaim Miarra, and you’ll get all the power in the world. What do you say?”
I didn’t believe she would truly give me a choice. I screamed. Even if it cost me my voice, it would be worth getting out of here.
To be continued...