The Princess of Flowers: Part Twelve
PART TWELVE: ROSE'S MIRACLE
As soon as she and Nathaniel arrived in Floritua, Rose was horrified. From their location—behind the royal palace—they could see the gardens of miracle flowers wilting. Every white flower had brown-tipped petals, and some were already more shriveled than others. Not wanting to waste a single second, Rose poofed up her Rose Rod and knelt, making sure the rod was touching the vibrating earth.
"Rose Power. Stabilize." Rose’s words were firm, yet her heart was beating rapidly. She wasn’t too confident in her magic abilities, and she had little faith that her powers could stabilize the miracle flowers at all. [But I have to do this!] Rose told herself. [Not only for myself—for my subjects, for Nathaniel…for every Neopian in the world!]
Nathaniel watched breathlessly as the Rose Rod shone a white light and, at the rose-shaped tip, a flash of white light steamed out into the sky. Within moments, the ground had begun to stabilize, the cracks were disappearing, and all the miracle flowers glowed with the same white light. "Outstanding," Nathaniel breathed.
Rose stood up and stretched her arms. "Well, that was easier than I expected it to be," she remarked. She turned to Nathaniel. "Now everything has been stabilized again. The miracle flowers will keep on glowing until they’re completely recharged."
"It must not be an easy task to maintain the stability of Neopia," said Nathaniel, scratching his head.
"My mother’s the one who looks over them the most," Rose explained. She looked over at the glowing bunch of flowers and smiled. "They’re so lovely."
"No question," Nathaniel agreed. "They’re at peace now, thank goodness."
Just as Rose was beginning to loosen up some more, Mira appeared in front of them and—for some reason—poofed away. [What’s she up to?] Rose wondered.
"Run!" Nathaniel grabbed Rose’s hand and pulled her away. Rose struggled to match his pace, and when she turned back, she saw a trail of purple fire following them. After stopping in a bare field, Nathaniel approached the inching trail and threw three water orbs at it. "There we go," he huffed as the remaining smoke blew away in the wind.
"My, you are a tough cookie." Mira reappeared in front of Nathaniel and aimed a fire orb at him.
"Take these!" Nathaniel reflected the attack with a small stream of water. He then had a blue-crystal substance appear beneath Mira, imprisoning her hands and legs. "There, now you’re trapped!" he smirked.
Rose gripped her rod tightly as she surveyed the surrounding area. When she noticed a growing crack approaching her, she pointed her rod at the increasing space and shouted, "Rose Repair!" Within seconds, the crack had completely disappeared and was replaced with green grass. "You think a mere crack was going to stop me?" Rose scoffed, turning to face Mira. "Besides, haven’t you forgotten that [I] am in possession of the Mirror of Reflection?"
Mira laughed. "Are you kidding? You already broke that mirror, you idiot. So because of that, nobody can imprison me in it ever again!" Feeling a sudden strength of power, Mira shattered Nathaniel’s crystal trap and sent a stream of black fire towards him. "Take this, you twat!"
"Rose Blaster!" Rose sent a stream of rose petals towards the fire, hoping to keep it away from Nathaniel. She struggled to maintain her power levels and found perspiration forming over her face as the burning flames slowly approached her. Nathaniel stood by her side, preparing to step in if Rose needed a hand.
"Well Rose Princess," said Mira, "I’m mighty surprised by you." She inched her fire closer. "To think a Kyrii born into royalty would fight for a clod in blue clothes! And I believed you hated him…yet here you are, actually trying to save another Neopian’s life!"
"I’m not as heartless as you assumed I was." Rose urged herself to push her pedals closer to Mira. "Yes, I used to despise Nathaniel—in fact, there were many folks I despised being with. Besides my own parents and the servants that worked for us, there was Mildred, the village bread baker; Gary and Wesley, the gate keepers of the Air Faerie Kingdom; Bre the Air Faerie; and Cassie, the jelly Kacheek. I disliked every one of them, even if they aided me in this forsaken quest I had to partake in."
Nathaniel gasped when Rose and her rod began glowing white. "But you know," Rose grunted, "now I can finally say what I wasn’t able to admit before: I, the Rose Princess of Floritua, have [real] friends! I can actually say there are others outside of Neopia who like me and wish to be my companion. Even when I treated them with disrespect, they remained by my side!"
"But what about your quest for beauty?" Kira gasped, wide-eyed as Rose’s pedals inched towards her. "Don’t you still consider yourself as ugly? Whatever happened to your desires to improve your self-image?"
Rose smirked. "There was a time where I cared only about my own appearance," she confessed. "And yes, I still feel quite self-conscious right now. But you know, ever since I got to known Nathaniel, my opinions about myself have changed drastically. I no longer feel as ugly as I used to before we conserved, and now I understand completely that there’s more than one’s beauty than their physical appearance."
"Wha-what?" Mira stammered.
"Alright, you almost got her!" Nathaniel cheered. "Just a little more to go, and Mira will be defeated!"
Hearing Nathaniel’s encouragement made Rose feel a burning warmness inside. As her body and the rod shone a brilliant white light, Rose found herself shouting an unfamiliar phrase: "ROSE BLASTER! MIRACLE POWER!" Somehow, her trail of rose petals converted into white, long flower petals that swarmed Mira in a white dome. Mira shrieked at the top of her lungs as the petals surrounded her and, afterwards, exploded into a sprinkle of glitter. Despite using a higher amount of power, Rose felt energetic. She didn’t have a single hint of fatigue and, for some reason, the sky was now raining white flower petals. It took her a little longer to realize what had happened: she had absorbed some of the miracle flowers’ energy when she stabilized them, and the new flow of energy had given her a new power!"
Nathaniel clapped Rose on the back, "You did it! Mira is gone and you’ve saved Neopia!" He beamed a proud smile. "Well done, princess."
"Thank you," Rose breathed, taking in the shower of flower petals and the relief in her journey coming to its end at last. She couldn’t believe what had happened: Mira was finally defeated, her curse was—hopefully—lifted from the citizens of Floritua, and she had admitted to having friends! Rose smiled and shook her head. "It’s unbelievable," she remarked. "It’s finally over."
"So…now what?" asked Nathaniel. "Shall we visit the village and see if everyone’s alright?"
Rose shook her head. "Not yet," she urged. "Let’s go back to Ms. Margo’s house and see if she and Mildred are alright." She stretched. "I could really go for a cup of Ms. Margo’s tea right now!"
Nathaniel laughed. "Yes, me too."
"Do you need anything more, Miss?" asked the maid. The red Kau beamed brightly as Rose twirled in her lavender ball gown. "Oh my, you look positively darling in your new outfit!"
Mildred—Rose’s first and only lady-in-waiting—agreed. "Yes, you look stunning!" She handed over a pink parasol. "If it gets too sunny, remember to use this. Oh, and don’t forget your gloves."
"I won’t." Rose admired her reflection in the floor length mirror. The dress was a tad too frilly at the bodice, yet it was still a refreshing thing to wear on such a warm and sunny day. The taffeta skirt swirled as she walked, and the sparkling purple shoes Mildred paired with the dress were delightfully comfortable. "Now then, where’s my hat?" asked Rose.
The red Kau handed her a straw hat topped with purple flowers and a matching ribbon. "You look fabulous, milady!"
"I know," Rose said, smiling. She adjusted her hat until it was perfectly straight.
"Rose, you’d better hurry," said Mildred, glancing at the clock. "It’s already five to three!"
Rose nodded and promptly left her bedroom, parasol in gloved hands. She walked quickly through the palace hallways, not bothering to admire the passing servants or the maids scrubbing the floors and walls. As soon as she made her way to the royal gardens, she picked up her skirt with both hands and hurriedly ran towards the rose bushes, being extra careful not to slip on the pathway tiles. When she finally reached the rose garden, she halted, smoothed her hair, replanted her hat, opened her parasol and casually strode towards her guest. "Have you been waiting for long?" Rose asked.
"I believe I’ve been waiting for more than an hour," Nathaniel teased. He was wearing a green shirt with matching pants and shoes. His gloves were also the same colour. "Now then, where did you say your gardeners planted those rare jelly flowers you’ve been talking about?"
"By the tulips," Rose explained. She took Nathaniel’s arm. "Now then shall we begin our stroll?"
Nathaniel nodded. "Of course, milady," he said. "I’ve been looking forward to it all day." He flashed a smile while Rose led him down the path, happily chattering about her favourite types of roses.