The Princess and the Crook:Part Six
I woke up in a cosy bed, sunshine rays dancing on my closed eyelids. A cool breeze was caressing my skin and messing with my hair. « Such a peaceful atmosphere… »
I slowly opened my eyes and inspected my surrounding. Judging from the architecture of the room, I guessed I was in Sakhmet. I tried to stand up but the pain was still too sharp. I looked at my side and noticed that my wounds had been treated. Somebody knocked on the door, and a Pink Shoyru entered.
« Oh you are finally up! You have slept for quite some time! The Wocky who accompanied you woke up yesterday… » She put down on the table a plate full of yummy looking food « Welcome to the Scarab Inn by the way, my name is Elliott, feel free to call me if you need anything »
« Thank you very much Elliott, do you know how I ended up here and are you the one who took care of my wounds? »
« You are very welcome » She gave me a warm smile « One of the employee found the both of you near a collapsed pyramid, our team of medic Unis came to your rescue and brought you here. »
Hugo chose that moment to enter the room.
« Oh my, the Sleeping Beauty is finally up? »
« Well I’ll let the both of you talk, I’ll be next door if you need anything » offered Elliott before leaving.
After a few seconds of silence I finally looked him in the eyes. He was smiling shyly. « So… We won? »
« Oh yes we did! » He exclaimed cheerily.
Ace charged at me and tightly hugged me as Hugo burst out laughing.
« You have been asleep for a few days, Ace… You can still make it in time to save your sister if you leave before this evening. » He recommended while handing me the mystical bag of sand.
« What about you? What are you going to do? »
« Well… I’ve done lots of wrongs to many people… » He looked at me with embarrassment « So I’ll sail around Neopia to help the victims of my misdeeds. »
« That looks like an interesting adventure… » I hesitated a little before going on « … Don’t forget to bring me souvenirs from around the globe if one day you pass by Lutari Island… »
« It will be a long journey » His face lit up « … But when I’m done, would you accept to be friends again? »
« I don’t really have a choice then…. I’ll be waiting for your metamorphose, you ruthless crook » I grinned as I remembered our meeting and our trip together. It felt like ages ago…. « And when you come back to me you better be worthy of my friendship! Don’t deceive me a second time. »
« I won’t. I definitely won’t. » He hugged me in a tight embrace. « Then… It’s time for me to go. Thank you for everything! »
« This better not be a farewell, Hugo. I’ll wait for you. »
He stood up and smirked one last time before leaving the room, Ace on his shoulder. It would take some time, but I knew that eventually, the wound that his betrayal opened in my heart would heal. And I sincerely hoped that when this day come, we would be able to set sail together once again.
After a few hours I felt a bit better. I still hadn’t fully recovered.
« Are you sure you don’t want to rest a few more days? » Asked Elliott with a concerned tone.
« I would love to but I have got an important matter to take care of… I have to be in Lutari Island in less than two days, I must leave now. »
« Lutari Island?! That will be a rough trip for a convalescent Xweetok… Let me come with you. »
« Well… That’s really nice of you but don’t worry, I’ll manage somehow… »
« No, no, no. I can’t let you go alone. Moreover, I’m stronger than I look, I can at least carry you on my back until the end of the desert. It only takes an hour to leave the Lost Desert by flying! »
Since I didn’t have the time to find another solution, I accepted her kind offer, and we took off to Altador.
Elliott didn’t lie, it took only an hour to leave the desert. After moving farewells and promises to see each other again, Elliott left. I was alone again.
Altador was such a lively city! Finding a ship was an easy task. Wherever you want to go in Neopia, there is always a crew willing to take you there. I wandered in the harbor, talked to several captains until I met a really nice Yurble. She was a strong and dependable captain and she happened to have some business to take care of in Lutari Island. Her crew-mates were really nice people, they provided me food and a place to sleep for the night. We sailed to Lutari Island at dawn, and as soon as we docked I rushed to my sisters’ side.
« ANE!!! I can’t believe it! You really made it? You have everything? » She set her eyes on my side « Oh my Faerie Queen! What happened to you? Have you treated the wound? Let me have a look. Don’t. Move. »
Lina was euphoric, she seemed so glad to see me. I gave her the ingredients and she hurried to make the antidote. Nala was saved. I couldn’t hold back my tears. We did it, Nala was alive!
I told them my story and we went back to our daily life.
My mind began wandering… This saving had been possible especially thanks to Hugo. Well he was the one who stabbed her to begin with, but wasn’t this a first step in his journey to fix his misdeeds?
My motivation had been enhanced. I wanted to change too. I wanted to become stronger, to design and build more efficient devices. I wanted to fly with my own wings. The ones I had built previously had been severely damaged when I fell in the ocean, and I was determined to craft a better pair.
A lot has happened since then, I worked for several years as an apprentice for Tangor in Moltara. This month, I finally opened my very own workshop in Lutari Island. During those years I sometimes felt lonely, so I adopted a plumpy, Plume. He is a little bit hard to deal with and grumpy but he kind of looks like me in this aspect.
Hugo kept one of his promises: he completely disappeared from my sight. Every now and then I think about him. I hope that he didn’t give up on his resolution, and that he is still working to become someone better, somewhere in Neopia. Every time someone enters my shop, a part of me hopes that it is him, that he came back to see me, that we can finally set sail together again. Every time, it is another deception.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
« Come in! » I shout as the door slowly opens.
As usual my heartbeat speeds up as I wait for the customer to come in. Who might it be? Only his ears are showing from his dark cloak. I suddenly realize who is in front of me and I explode in joy.
« TANGOR ! How are you? What are you doing so far away from Moltara? »
« Haha I just wanted to see how my great little apprentice was doing! » I missed this old Mynci so much!
« I am so happy to see you! How did you come here? »
« Well I was busy with my daily tasks when a foreign customer visited my shop. He told me he was headed to Lutari Island so I thought it would be a good opportunity to visit your brand new shop! »
« Nala and Lina will be so happy to meet you! Follow me, I’m closing the shop for today! When are you going back to Moltara, is your customer going to take you back there? » I close the door and we begin walking toward my house.
« I don’t know yet, my client doesn’t intend to go back to Moltara. I think he said he was looking for somebody on this Island. »
« Great, you can stay a few days in the guest room if you’d like! »
Somebody is standing in front of the house. Judging by his silhouette it is neither Lina nor Nala. The closer I get to the house, the clearer I can see the stranger. « This can’t be… » I quicken my pace. I can see his face very well now. I am almost running. Five years. I waited five full YEARS! This idiot is smirking as usual. His skin is tanned. His clothes are nothing like the rags we were both wearing last time we saw each other. He is wearing the glasses I crafted so long ago. Without thinking I jump in his arms
« It took you far too long you crook! I thought you were never coming back! »
« Well I promised you didn’t I? » His mischievous smile still stuck on his face. « So, ready to go on another adventure, Princess? »