Jhudora's Revenge: Part One
The tip of my wand glowed brighter and brighter, infused with arcane energy as I slowly waved it over the ring of dark shrooms. As the shrooms withered one by one, the air began to cackle with electricity with an intensity to match my fury. With my wand still ablaze, I strode over to the edge of the cliff and watched the twinkling lights of Faerie City from afar. I could see Fyora's tower in the distance and I gripped my wand tighter as rage coursed through me. I would like nothing better than to rain destruction from the fiery depths of Moltara on to that wretched city and rid myself of the faeries who have tormented me.
Especially you, my dear Siyana.
With great difficulty, I reined in my anger and retreated into the depths of the Faerie Cavern. I must not let my anger get the better of me. I have been waiting for the past thousand years and I must not let my impatience ruin everything that I had worked for.
Just a little while more, My Lady. I will have you freed from your watery imprisonment before the next Kreludan cycle is completed.
"Jhudora, hurry up! You don't want to be late!" my mother called out from the hallway.
"I'll be right down, Mom!" I replied with great excitement. "I'm putting out some petpet treats for Barty!"
It was my first day at the Faerie Academy and I had been looking forward to that day for as long as I could remember. I had heard so much about the Academy from my sister, Illusen. I was entranced by her ability to twist the branches of the trees in our garden into beautiful shapes. I envied her ability to conjure juicy neggs out of thin air and they made great snacks when we went on our picnic trips. I could hardly wait to master my own set of spells and maybe even make a few friends along the way.
My mother, on the other hand, was not very thrilled about the idea of sending me to the Faerie Academy. She was more protective of me than she was of Illusen. My sister started her education at the Academy at the age of six while I have been homeschooled until the age of ten when I finally managed to convince my mother to send me to the Academy.
"Take care, sweetie," my mother said as she waved goodbye at the gates of the Academy. "Be careful out there."
I detected an undercurrent of worry in my mother's tone, but I brushed it off as a mother's anxiety and waved good bye to my mother and my Bartamus. I was about to realize that my mother's worries were not unfounded.
"Jhudora?" the faerie instructor, a light faerie named Lady Siyana, read off the class register.
"Present!" I chimed as raised my hand, failing to notice that Lady Siyana had raised an eyebrow when she saw me.
I had heard about Lady Siyana's brave exploits and how her heroic efforts saved a farming village from a band of bandits. She was also one of King Altador's trusted advisors and I was in awe of her. I admired the musical quality of her voice, her grace and poise and her battle prowess. It was a great honour to be taught by her.
I looked around the room anxiously and saw that my class consisted of different faeries and I was the only dark faerie. The excited fluttering of wings of various shades created a beautiful kaleidoscope of colours in the room. I was certain that I would have many new friends by the end of the day.
"Before you learn to brew potions and cast spells, it is important that you learn about the history of Neopia so that all of you may better understand your respective cultures and perhaps guard yourselves against potential dangers," Lady Siyana addressed the class before glancing in my direction.
I back smiled politely, feeling pleased that I had somehow attracted the attention of such an esteemed faerie. My happiness soon turned into shock as she described dark faeries in a way which I could not identify with.
"Throughout the course of history, dark faeries have constantly threatened the peace in Neopia by corrupting the minds of weaker neopets and faeries," Lady Siyana recited, referring to dark faeries as though we were nothing better than Balthazar who captured faeries in bottles. "Dark faeries will not hesitate to resort to trickery and other vile methods to achieve their goals and are rumoured to be the very manifestation of evil himself."
I could not believe my ears. The faerie which I had idolized so much was stating false facts about me!
"That's not true!" I cried as I choked back a sob. "I would never dream of hurting anyone!"
"Of course not, my child." Lady Siyana smiled at me placidly. "I was merely referring to darkness faeries in general, not you."
I bit back a retort as I sank back into my seat. I could feel my classmates' stares boring through me from all directions. I shrank further back into my seat and tried to use my wings to cover as much of myself as possible. I could hear murmurs from my class mates as Lady Siyana continued with her lesson. Confusion ran through me as I fought back tears.
"During my travels, I discovered that much of the destruction upon the land was brought upon by dark faeries..."
A million thoughts ran through my head as Lady Siyana's words faded into the background. Even her voice had taken on a harsh and grating quality as she spewed lie after lie.
Why would Lady Siyana speak of darkness faeries in such a manner? Why didn't Mom or Illusen mention this? Was this hatred for dark faeries the very thing that Mom tried to protect me from all these years? No, I will prove them all wrong and show them that dark faeries are nothing like what she has described.
"Sweetie, I was afraid that this would happen." My mother held me tightly in an embrace as I sobbed into her shoulders.
"Why didn't anyone tell me before?" I struggled to get the words out.
"We thought that it would be best if you grew up without knowing about the stereotype of dark faeries," my mother replied, on the brink of tears herself. "I was so wrong.
"I'll tell you the truth if you feel up to it, sweetie."
Blinking back tears, I nodded. My mother sat me down on her lap and started to explain.
"Dark faeries get most of their magic from the shadow plane. I am not sure of the true nature of the shadow plane, but rest assured that one doesn't turn evil simply from drawing strength from the shadow plane. I do know, however, that the shadow plane is where the veil between Neopia and the Great Evil is the thinnest."
"Does it mean that I will become evil if I practice my magic?" I asked in a confused tone.
"No, sweetie. Strong-minded dark faeries are able to resist the temptations of the Great Evil and will remain uncorrupted by the shadow plane. Unfortunately, it is this close proximity to the Great Evil that makes dark faeries more likely to turn to evil as compared to other faeries. This is also the very reason why dark faeries have been thought by many to be evil. Promise me that you will keep your mind strong, sweetie."
"I promise, Mom," I whispered, feeling the weight of that promise rest on my little shoulders.
I looked forward to the Battle Magic class. It would be a great opportunity to show the other faeries that dark faeries are capable of good healing magic. I had spent a great deal of time reading my copy of 'Dark Faerie Magic' from cover to cover in search of a good healing spell. To my dismay, most of the spells listed in the book were offensive spells which promised to 'cause unbearable pain to your enemies' or 'bend your enemies to your will'. No matter how I searched, there did not seem to be a good healing spell that I could use without resulting in ill effects.
I was about to give up and turn to Illusen for help when I finally spotted the perfect spell.
"Shadow Health," I read aloud. "This will allow you to extend your maximum life by borrowing defence from the Shadow Plane."
I spent the next few days practising the spell. I had memorised the incantation and recited it aloud at least fifty times before I attempted to cast the spell with my wand. The wrong incantation could lead to a completely different spell being cast and I could not risk injuring my classmates.
I waved my wand in a counter-clockwise motion and muttered the incantation. It took every ounce of my concentration to ignore the hushed whispers from the Shadow Plane which my mother had warned me about. The whispers became louder as the spell progressed and I had to chant even louder to drown out the whispers. I finished off the last word and crumpled to the ground in exhaustion.
The lights went out momentarily, leaving me in pitch darkness. A dozen purple orbs materialized out of thin air and danced around me, casting a faint but steady purple glow before extinguishing in a puff of green smoke. The lights came back on and I felt rejuvenated after the beautiful display of lights.
"The spell works!" I cried happily as I picked Barty up and cuddled him. I had successfully shielded myself from the influences of the Great Evil on my first attempt! Barty gave a shriek and flapped his wings in vain. I chuckled and released Barty before going to bed feeling as happy as a Blumaroo.
Everyone will be so impressed by my ability to heal and they will see that I am not the monster that they make dark faeries out to be. Perhaps they will be more trusting of me after that and I will be able to make some new friends at last!
To be continued...