Magic and Mayhem: Part Three
Princess Sandra nearly leaps out of her fur when her Kyrii friend appears behind her in a puff of scarlet smoke.
"Watch it, Ray!" the princess coughs as the smoke lazily curls toward the high ceiling. "I could have blasted you into sludge!"
"My apologies for startling you." Dusting off his silk black and orange robe, he continues through her denials of fright. "There is an urgent business to attend to concerning the Midsummer's Ball."
Pouting in a very un-ladylike way, the desert Lupe fidgets with her necklace muttering, "Why is this a big deal?"
"Naturally because the Faerie Queen is coming."
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The staff of the White Pyramid Paradise is utterly stunned when the princess, who usually hides in the gardens during party preparations, suddenly takes charge, sending many scurrying in all directions. Everywhere the princess walks, there are at least three neopets asking her questions- about decorations, food, and seating etc.
The walkway to the main entrance is lined with magical white flowers that reflect moonlight at night. A plush red carpet stretches out on the marble steps. Gleaming spotlessly, the rooms are ready. Hieroglyphics decorate the walls.
"No, no, no! The Faerie Queen is not to sit next to him! He has atrocious table manners! I want those amethyst flowers on the right! Yes, I'm certain I'm not hiring Larry the One-legged juggler!" The desert Lupe sucks in a deep breath of air. "Make sure all the stables are ready. Tell the chefs to ready a seven course banquet. Put that vase away... it's hideous! That vine is too long. Someone please prune it."
An amused shadow Kyrii watches a flock of servants rush off. He leads her away commenting on her work, "I think the Queen will be amazed."
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Chattering excitedly, guests enter the beautifully embellished palace. Musicians draw them into the ballroom to gape at the colorful floating orbs that bathe the dancers in a myriad of shades. The princess politely greets those who enter. Anxiously, she scans the crowd then relaxes as her friend emerges at her elbow.
"You did magnificent." The Kyrii's mouth curves into a small smile. "Everyone is taking about you."
She flicks an ear dismissively at him and sighs. "I am sure the chief of the councilmen will gladly drag on and on the problems of young rulers squandering their wealth in wild parties."
An awed hush descends as the Faerie Queen arrives. The princess can't help but stare glassy eyed like a small child at the faeries that have come. Glad that her mask covers her blush, the Lupe composes herself. It is apparent who the queen is and the princess carefully approaches her.
Curtseying, Sandra welcomes her. "Thank you for coming, Queen Akota."
"It is a joy." The Faerie Queen, a tall faerie with long, dark black hair, a glittering pair of frosted white and azure wings and a flowing indigo dress with a snow white trim, gestures to two faeries standing protectively at her side. "These young faeries are recent heroines. They saved many- including myself- from an ancient dark magic. This is Valeane and this is Fyora."
Aching, Sand rolls onto her feet. The rising sun dazzles her senses for a moment causing her to question if she is awake or still unconscious. Her pounding head makes it hard to decipher what that long vision meant. But she does know one thing.
"You!" she snarls unhappily, turning toward the ghost. "I remember you!"
The Eyrie whimpers cowering under her gaze, "Don't put another spell on me! Isn't this curse enough?"
He didn't intend to be sarcastic, but Sand interprets it that way and erupts, "Your curse? Ha! What about mine? Why would I help you- even if I could?"
He blinks his ghostly red eyes in shock. "Wh-what are you talking about? You can't do magic?"
Quivering in rage, Sand shouts at him, "Well, that's what happens when you put a magic restraining spell on somebody!"
"Me?" the Eyrie straightens. "How could I do that? I only had a basic level of magic."
Still angry, she snaps, "I know it was you. You must have had some kind of magical enhancer."
Shaking his head, the Eyrie squawks, "You know that's not possible for low levels even with a magical charm. Besides I'm not affected by the curse you placed before you lost touch with you power."
Sulking, the kepru knows he has a point. "Alright fine, but you must know something. You were there and.... this happened somehow."
"I do know something, but..."
"You must promise to reverse this curse on me."
"Fine, I promise. What do we do first?"
"Find a certain scarab."
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As they look for a silver and sapphire scarab, the Eyrie explains its importance. The scarab is a magical tool used to bind the ghost to someone's servitude. After some kind of incident (which he refuses to speak about), his old "master" cast off or lost the scarab near the ruins so he couldn't leave.
"I've been so lonely.... No one comes here anymore." The Eyrie's wings droop, recalling all the years out alone in the desert. "I had no one to talk to. I even forgot my name."
"Well, I can't just call you Eyrie or "Hey, you!" so," Sand pauses. "I'll call you Steve."
"Steve. It is unusual. I like it."
"Good because I'm going to call you that fr- Ow!" Sand stumbles as something sticks in her paw and she pulls it out by her teeth.
"Are you alright?"
"Found it," she mumbles through a full mouth of scarab. "Now what?"
Steve looks hesitantly at her, "Now we've got to get your magic back."
"How do we do that?"
"By using the opposite amulet of the one that locked up your magic."
"What's the problem? That sounds easy enough- Wait... where is this amulet?"
"It just might be in Sakhmet's royal treasury."
".....we better start walking then- or eh, floating."
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Step one: Get off island. Check.
"I never want to ride that way again. Ever." Sand groans feeling a bit queasy after latching onto the wheel of the Uni carriage.
Step two: Get to Sakhmet. ....Mostly in one piece. Check.
"Run faster! They are catching up to you!" Steve coaches not so very helpfully as a pack of wild Mastyxi chase Sand. "I don't think they are very friendly."
"You... (huff) (huff)... think so?" Sand glares at him. "I thought... (huff) (huff)....they just wanted to... (huff)....play with us."
Step three: Break into royal treasury vault. In progress.
"Wow! This is so exciting. I've never broken into a palace vault before." Steve flutters energetically. "What if they arrest us?"
"Really? For one," Sand grunts as she melts into the shadow of a curtain. "You. Are. A. Ghost. You could just disappear through the walls and... what could they possibly do to you? Also, we are not going to get caught. Now, do your part."
The Eyrie sticks his head through a wall to see around the corner and replies, "All clear."
The kepru sneaks down the hallway her fur bristling. Steve lashes his tail in warning and Sand dives behind a chair as a guard marches by. When the guard rounds the corner, she streaks past several doors and stops at one with a sign that reads: "Royal Personnel Only."
"This is it," Sand confirms scowling at the locked door handle. "I just need a way in-"
A busy scribe approached the door, his arms so full of scrolls he doesn't see Sand. Opening the door, he stumbles in, not noticing a kepru on his heels. She takes cover in a pile a treasure.
"Someone should organize this place. It's a mess!" The scribe grumbles to himself while exiting the room with more scrolls.
Two sea blue-green eyes gaze out from a chest of gold coins. Leaping out of the wooden chest, she gives Steve, who had just materialized from passing through the door, a withering look that says Nice job keeping lookout. She carefully studies the different amulets.
After circling the room, Steve announces, "I don't think it's here."
"Where else could it be?"
"They... uh might use it for ceremonies or decoration or something like that. Oh! Princess Amira could be wearing it. The amulet of the crystal sun is considered to be good luck if one wears it."
"Looks like it won't bring her good luck after all, because we are going to steal it."
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After escaping the vault (Sand howling until someone checked the source and then running out the open door), Sand devises a plan, "Alright, ghost boy, know what to do? Even you shouldn't mess up."
"Hey!" Steve protests, but then guiltily asks, "Wait, when do I yell?"
"When I scream, 'Oh, is that a ghost?' And keep it simple," Sand says, then adds as an afterthought. "It should probably work."
"Here comes that servant!" the Eyrie whispers before fading into the wall.
Sand takes her place on the cart. She can smell the aroma of the mouthwatering food just above her head. The cart lurches into motion as the servant wheels it out to serve the princess. Murmuring voices chatting softly mute further as the food arrives. She dares to peek out under the white curtain. Pulse racing and heart fluttering, her head whips back into the cart. Steading her breathing, Sand can't help but second guess herself. The power of strong magicians is prominent in the room. Without her magic, Sand would be at a disadvantage. Steeling herself, Sand leaps out of the cart and shrieks.
To be continued...