The Golden Quill: Part Seven
Zax sighed. "As you wish. We'll follow at a distance."
Fyora grinned slightly. "Good. Now, shall we be going?"
Fyora walked at a brisk pace while Xaz and Zax trailed behind her at a slower pace until the distance between Fyora and the two pets was acceptable. At that point, they sped up until their pace matched Fyora's.
Fyora led the two pets through the labyrinth of halls in the palace until they were just around the corner from the main corridor that led to the throne room. There, she turned to Xaz and Zax.
Fyora's voice was little more than a whisper when she spoke to the two pets. "I'm afraid that now you must follow me. They will not allow two pets alone into the throne room. If I'm lucky, they won't recognize me. I'm not exactly dressed like a human, but I hardly look like I did when I left this rotten place."
"Won't your hair color give you away?"
"I'm hoping that purple is now the new trend; however, we'll not know until we at least try. Now, you do realize, don't you, that you could be imprisoned if Maricia already has total control?"
Xaz shrugged. "Sure, but that's a risk that we're willing to take."
Fyora nodded solemnly and led the two pets around the corner and down the corridor.
A gruff voice met the three as soon as they rounded the corner.
"Who gave you permission to be here?"
Fyora nodded in the direction of the faerie Grarrl.
"We come needing urgently to speak with the queen."
"If that were so, you would know that she has been ill as of late and is watched over by the heir."
Fyora, despite knowing that Maricia would be the heir, couldn't stop herself from gasping.
"You would be wise to speak her name with her title and with more respect."
"Then my need is even more urgent. I must speak with the queen alone."
"Why should we allow that?"
"You wouldn't believe us even if we told you."
"Then you may not pass."
Fyora was so involved in her conversation that she hadn't seen Xaz and Zax position themselves in such a way that, with only a small amount of force, they would catapult themselves into the two guards.
Moments after Fyora realized that the two planned to attack the guards, the job was done and both guards were unconscious on the floor.
"That was a very foolish plan. As soon as they wake, the alarm will be sounded."
"Which is why we need your help. Can you wake them up without them having any memory of us?"
Fyora groaned. "You do realize, don't you, that I'm still a very young faerie. There is much for me to learn that others know."
"But can you do it?"
"With great difficulty, yes."
Xaz motioned to the two guards on the floor. "Well then..."
Fyora positioned herself between the two and closed her eyes, concentration and focus clear. She mumbled a bit under her breath, then ran to the now open doors that led to the throne.
"We've got about thirty seconds before they are fully awake, so we'd best be on our way now."
The three ran through the open door, quickly closed it behind them, and looked around the room.
"It's so different than I remember it."
"Eh, it's a big girly for my taste."
As Zax laughed at Xaz's comment, Fyora wandered around the expansive throne, unable to comprehend its change during her absence.
"Maricia is probably the one who made the queen ill. This room is so different now..."
"The décor was never this purple. It was always a combination of the different tints and shades of blue. There were always accents of white and silver. I never really knew why. It was probably the queen trying to make me comfortable. I am an air faerie, you know. She probably was trying to appeal to my tastes. Now, however... well, it's just all so dark. I wouldn't call it evil, but I'd say it's about as close as it can be for just the walls of a room."
Fyora finally shook off her feelings and focused herself on her task at hand.
"Enough of this. We must get to Leeana. Perhaps there is still a cure for her illness."
For a short moment, Fyora glanced back at the door to ensure that the guards had not heard her.
"Not one that you'll ever find."
The two pets and Fyora whirled around to find Maricia sitting regally on the throne.
"Well well, child. I never thought that you'd have the backbone to return. Of course, I also figured you had at least an ounce of common sense. My mistake."
"Why did you do that, Maricia? I was just a child."
Maricia laughed. "You still are a child. Be lucky I let you alive to stay as one. Now why don't you and your little pets run along before I get angry and put you in a time out."
Xaz nearly pounced on Maricia, but Zax stood in his way and shook her head.
"I have a better idea."
"And what is that? You fight me; I win. Yippee. There's no challenge in that."
"I will fight you, but not until after you read this."
Fyora took out the small notebook and threw it towards Maricia, who caught it with ease.
"Just read it."
"I'll humor you, Fyora, but only because you do have royal blood, and I'll give you one extra chance after I've read your petty story."
Fyora watched Maricia's countenance as the faerie read what Fyora had been through at her own hand.
Maricia turned the last page, yawned, and sent the book flying into one of the pillars.
"Pray tell, child, what purpose did that serve?"
"I. AM. NOT. A. CHILD."
Fyora was filled with rage that Maricia could be so heartless and uncaring. She flew towards Maricia, but was easily stopped by Maricia's shield.
"Is this the best you've got? It feels like I'm swatting at a mozito. I want a challenge."
Fyora was fuming and her hands were clenched in fists while glowing various shades and tints of blue, with silver streaks accenting her fingers. She moved her body as though she were trying to throw something at Maricia.
"Was that supposed to do something?"
Fyora's hands were glowing even more, but nothing had happened.
"It works a little more like this."
Maricia just pointed at Fyora, and Fyora was instantly enveloped in a thick smoke.
When the final remnants of smoke vanished, the two faeries stood ready to fight; Fyora with nearly her entire body now glowing and Maricia in a relaxed position, like a person who knows that their opponent is incapable of winning.
Xaz and Zax watched the entire exchange, helpless and unable to do anything other than watch the two faeries.
Maricia smirked, evil intentions clear. "Your end has come, child. You should have stayed away."
As Fyora was nearly blinded by Maricia's power, Maricia's attack suddenly vanished. Maricia stared at Fyora, unable to comprehend that the weak faerie had somehow negated her attack.
Fyora noticed an odd feeling on her neck, so she looked down. A teardrop shaped pendant hung around her neck. It was the color of cyan, but it was glowing as Fyora's body had been moments before.
Maricia saw the glowing pendant and knew that somehow she would lose. She had spent almost all of her power in her latest attack, and Fyora remained unscathed. Although a young and inexperienced faerie, Fyora was powerful enough to defeat Maricia.
"Maricia, you are done. My mother's tears have saved me. This pendant that hangs around my neck is Thyora's Tear. It is my mother's, and it has saved me. Your attack was useless and has left you wide open. May you never harm another again!"
Fyora's body started to glow again, but this time it was a rich purple that enveloped both Fyora and Maricia.
Zax and Xaz had been blinded by the deep purple light, and when their vision was finally clear, Maricia was gone.
Xaz stared at the abandoned throne, unable to comprehend all that had just occurred.
"What just happened?"
Fyora smiled weakly. "I sent Maricia away. There is a secret land that I only just discovered. It disallows us from using our power. Maricia will not be allowed to leave."
"How could you only now know about it? And how could you escape if you can't use your power?"
Leeana strode confidentially into the throne room. "Perhaps I can answer that."
Fyora nearly jumped in her excitement. "You're not sick!"
"Well, I was. I think that Maricia put something in my food. The odd thing, though, is that it wasn't anything like the diseases most known to Neopia. It was something different. It was sinister and dark... I think it was fueled by her presence and power. It was very wise of you to take her away to that land."
Fyora shrugged. "I didn't even mean to. It was all so sudden. I didn't even know what was happening at the time."
Leeana smiled. "Sometimes that's just how it works. You are a very powerful young girl. Given that my most recent heir is no more, you may once again be declared future ruler!"
Zax and Xaz exchanged a confused look, but neither felt like asking the question that they most wanted answered.
Fyora smiled at the two of them. "Don't worry you guys. Because Maricia is as gone as she ever will be, a new heir may be named. Our laws and customs may be strict, but this was an unexpected loophole that will be very much in my favor."
"And mine too. Fyora, I am so sorry that I allowed Maricia to deceive me as she did. You deserved so much better than you received."
"It's ok, you didn't do it on purpose."
"What happened to you while you were gone?"
"I think I'll tell you another day."
Many years later, as Leeana was frail and week, she picked up the first printing of the first paper ever introduced to the inhabitants of Neopia. She had long ago renounced her title as Queen and had passed it to Fyora. It advertised articles, comics, short stories, an editorial, and series. She looked at the new series and saw the title of the story. It was called 'New Beginnings.' It had a picture of three faeries. One dark faerie was protecting an air faerie while the other dark faerie was trying to attack them both.
She read through it, with her tears staining the priceless artifact.
Though it took months to get through every part, Leeana read Fyora's story. By the time the final part was out, Leeana could barely even breathe without feeling her bones ache.
A very young Acara walked into Leeana's room and handed to her the most recent issue of the Neopian Times.
Leeana read the final part, let the paper fall from her hand and drift to the floor, and whispered. "I'm so sorry, Fyora."
"That's not how the Neopian Times was created!"
"Yes it is. If you don't believe me, you can go ask Fyora herself. You could even ask Zax or Xaz, who are currently the palace guards."
"But how would you know?"
The now faerie Acara chuckled quietly. "Trust me, child, I know."