Friendship Means Never Giving Up: Part Three
"You did your best, Breezey, and that's all anyone could really ask for..."
Allrianne and Breeze sat outside the Faerieland bookstore enjoying the sunshine and some Faerieland specialty treats they had bought a few minutes earlier. However, despite the beautiful weather and the delicious Fire Faerie Sundae sitting in front of him, Breeze couldn't bring himself to enjoy the delicious treat.
Ever since Jhudora and her mists tossed him out of Jhudora's Bluff, Breeze had doggedly returned each and every single day to try and talk to the Dark Faerie. Each time he was met with a stone door that refused to budge. He had even convinced Kelsier to go with him, pretending that he was on a quest. Jhudora immediately saw through that plan and used her mists to throw Breeze out of the entryway and allowed Kelsier in. Kelsier took the quest offer but told Breeze that he wasn't going to cross Jhudora. He wanted to help but he was too far into her quests to have her ban him from her bluff.
Eventually Valentines Day came and went. Even though he celebrated with his friends and had a good laugh or two, Breeze couldn't help but feel that stone of guilt nestled in the pit of his stomach. Every time he saw the Bluff, he imagined Jhudora sitting by herself in her empty castle brushing her hair. When he talked to Vin, all he could think about was the stories Vin told him about how Illusen had this perpetual sadness in her eyes.
"I know I did my best, but it wasn't..." Breeze sighed as he took up his spoon and shoveled a spoonful of ice cream into his mouth.
"It wasn't enough?" Allrianne rolled her eyes as she picked up her Chocolate Faerie Mallows and popped one in her mouth. "Breezey, you did more than enough. Most people wouldn't have thought twice about how Jhudora feels and would be too scared of her ripping them limb from limb for doing what you did. In fact, I'm surprised you even survived."
It was Breeze's turn to roll his eyes as he continued eating his feelings away. Sugar was an amazing medicine that made swallowing even the most bitter of emotions tolerable.
"Besides, it wasn't as if Illusen wanted to meet up with Jhudora anyways."
Allrianne had a point. Although Illusen didn't discover that the letter was lie, Allrianne reported that the Earth Faerie wanted nothing to do with Jhudora. Illusen wasn't quite as mean as Jhudora was but Allrianne said that Illusen insisted that Jhudora was pure evil. So evil that this letter was nothing more than a way for the Dark Faerie to try and trick Illusen then trapping her somehow. There was no way Illusen could risk the safety of Meridell doing something as foolish as reforging a long lost friendship with Jhudora.
"I'll get over it..." mumbled Breeze. The Faerie Xweetok knew that eventually he had to give up and move on with everything. He continued eating his ice cream with forced gusto, daring himself to enjoy the sweet and fiery taste. "It's just going to take some time..."
His Faerie Wocky friend nodded sympathetically, but her nod of sympathy was cut short. It was soon replaced by wide eyes and a look of shock borderline terror. Around them, the streets of Faerieland fell silent before nervous whispers erupted. Older Neopets ushered the younger ones inside while the Faeries all paused and scowled. Their magics flared as if preparing for an attack. Slowly, a black shadow fell behind him and Breeze felt the fur on the back of his neck rise.
"You are the Faerie Xweetok named 'Breeze', correct?"
That silken soft voice.
Swallowing hard and fearing retribution, Breeze nodded slowly. He then dared to turn around and face the Dark Faerie behind him. Jhudora watched with discriminating eyes. Her entire focus was on Breeze, he could feel it. It was as if the rest of Faerieland didn't exist.
"Yes, that's me... and that's my friend Allrianne..."
"Don't get me involved in this," hissed Allrianne, but she looked up at Jhudora with defiance in her eyes. "If you even think about hurting him..."
Jhudora barely even blinked at Allrianne's threat. Instead she watched Breeze carefully she turned around with a magnificent swoosh of her dress. "You are coming with me. Now hurry it up; you know that I don't like it when people waste my time."
Silence washed through the crowd. Breeze watched as Jhudora walked without looking back. He then turned back to Allrianne who shook her head in warning. Still, for some peculiar reason, Breeze knew that he could trust Jhudora.
"I'm going with her, Allrianne. You can come with me if you want and if you don't I'll see you here tonight..."
As he got up, Breeze felt Allrianne grab him by the paw. She looked into his eyes and shook her head again. Gently pushing him, Allrianne followed Jhudora, keeping a careful distance between her and the Dark Faerie. Breeze couldn't help but smile. He knew the look in Allrianne's eyes.
Friends don't leave friends behind.
- - -
The walk was long and silent. Although Jhudora never said where they were going, Breeze knew exactly where she was leading them. They were going to Meridell. When the trio reached the outskirts of Faerieland, Jhudora motioned for Breeze and Allrianne to come closer to her. Breeze followed without hesitation while Allrianne kept a bit her distance until Breeze yanked her in with him. When he did, he couldn't help bit notice Jhudora smirking slightly as if amused by him.
After Jhudora whispered an incantation, purple mists instead of emerald ones started to form. They swirled and swirled around the trio. Allrianne didn't scream but she gripped Breeze's hand tightly. Trust, even though she was scared she trusted him. Just as how even though he was a bit scared, he trusted Jhudora.
Within seconds the mists consumed the trio and just as quickly as it came, it disappeared. Soon the three of them were standing at the edge of Meridell in one of its beautiful large forests.
"I know where we are..." said Breeze as he looked around. A huge grin sat on his face as he laughed a bit. "We're in-"
Although Jhudora's command was strong, he voice wavered. Fear. There was fear in her voice. Breeze glanced back at Allrianne and saw that the Faerie Wocky was still watching Jhudora with some wariness. However, her posture had relaxed and her eyes were wide. Breeze couldn't blame her, this was the first time she had seen Jhudora this vulnerable.
Giving his friend an encouraging smile, Breeze then turned back to Jhudora. She wasn't looking at them. Instead her gaze was set firmly at a green hut a few yards away. Slowly Breeze walked forward and stood next to her. He dared a glance at Jhudora and saw that all harshness erased from her features. There was just sadness, fear, and a hint of longing in her eyes.
Without a word, Breeze slipped his paw into Jhudora's hand.
Jhudora pulled back as if his touch had burned her then looked at Breeze with scowling eyes. Breeze smiled before he offered Jhudora his paw again. She looked at him with wary eyes but then slowly she softened. Her pale purple hand wrapped around Breeze's paw and she looked up at hut again.
Together, she and Breeze walked to Illusen's Glade.
- - -
What was she doing? Why was she doing this?
A million and one thoughts raced through Jhudora's mind. Every step she took made her heart pound faster. If it wasn't for the insufferable Faerie Xweetok holding her hand, Jhudora was certain she would have called on the mists to take her back to her castle. There she would be safe. She would be sheltered. She wouldn't be hurt. Yet, here she was standing at the front door of the one who hurt her most.
"Knock on the door..."
Jhudora scowled as she looked down at Breeze. There was something about this one. Maybe it was the way he was bold enough to try and deceive her. Maybe it was the way he stubbornly visited her Bluff every single day for hours trying to get her to talk to him. Maybe it was the fact that he was sincere in his goals. Either way, there was something about this one that made Jhudora want to destroy him for making her feel so vulnerable for the first time in years.
It was because he managed to do that, that she respected him as well.
This Faerie Xweetok named Breeze managed to force her to look at herself, truly look at herself, for the first time in years and realize that he was right. She was lonely. She was bitter. She was also selfish. It is true that Illusen did hurt her but misunderstandings happen and it was time to set things right.
Steeling herself, Jhudora reached up and lightly tapped on the door.
To be continued...