The Forgotten Years:Part Three
Several days had passed by and Zairia finally returned to the kingdom. The dark faerie started to avoid everyone close to her. She kept to herself and skipped all council meetings. It began to worry the high council, but the faerie refused to speak to them.
She didn't even speak to Nera, who everyone considered Zairia’s closest friend.
The Altadorian queen looked out of the open window of the small library chamber. Her mind constantly filled with worry. “Zairia still isn't acting the same…”
Altador, who stood at her side and looked through the books, replied. “Maybe she needs more time?” He kept his eyes on the pages of a book.
He always hoped for the best and tried to have a positive outlook on situations. Having hope was something they all needed once in a while. Worrying over something never helped a problem. It only caused more heartache and pain.
Nera on the other hand only saw the negative side of things. It caused her to worry often over the smallest and most insignificant details. Her fear of something going wrong often held her back from accomplishing anything. The fact she ever made it to Altador and rescued her people was a miracle.
“What if she never acts the same? I really want my friend back, I miss her.” Her tail flicked back and forth from the slowly building anxiety. It was a nervous habit she somehow obtained.
“I know, but you can't rush things. It'd only make it worse.” King Altador placed the book back in its place.
“I guess you're right as always…” She let out another sigh, wishing for good news to come her way.
Right now she really needed it.
Before King Altador could reply, a purple crack of light shot across the blue sky. Then, a large boom shook the building, causing the rulers of Altador to rush outside. Nothing like that had happened in the kingdom before. It was bizarre and unexpected.
“What in Neopia was that?” Nera asked as they hurried to where the loud sound had occurred. She silently hoped it wasn't Zairia who had caused it.
Altador had no idea what the light or sound was, and frankly, he didn't want to know. He hoped it wasn't what he thought it was.
Or who had caused such a thing to occur?
The rulers of Altador arrived at the scene. A crowd of Altadorians stood at the Hall of Heroes. Chatter filled the air as the Neopets tried to piece together what had happened. Some were throwing names in the air and others assumed a storm was developing.
“What's going on here?!” King Altador pushed his way through the crowd. Nera followed closely behind him. She hoped it was just some kids playing around.
A large gaping hole had appeared in the Hall of Heroes outer wall. Stone bricks were scattered across the lawn, causing a chaotic mess. It would take hours to clean up the mess, and days to repair the wall.
And there in the middle of it all, stood Zairia.
She stepped back from the hall, casting a critical eye over the hole in the wall.
“I'm making improvements to the Hall of Heroes. The foundation is awfully constructed.” She smugly smiled at the couple.
The queen felt her heart sink to the bottom of her stomach. “Zairia, I know before you were only trying to help, but now you're destroying the hall!”
The faerie’s actions angered King Altador, as he had asked her not to use her magic to build the kingdom. “Zairia, I told you we do not need your magic to improve the city!”
The dark faerie loudly sighed, placing her hands on her hips. “So we're back to that again, huh?”
Her long black hair swayed in the wind. Her purple wings slightly flapped in annoyance. Like Nera, the faerie also had her habits.
“How dare you-” the king took a step towards the dark faerie but was stopped by his wife.
Nera rested a hand on his arm and whispered for him to let her handle this.
After that, the queen turned her attention to the faerie. “Zairia, let's just talk okay? We're friends, right? We can work this out…”
“We aren't friends!” Zairia shouted. “You don't even deserve to be adored by your subjects or to have a say in this city.”
“That's not true…”
King Altador spoke up. “Zairia, now we both know that isn't the truth!”
“Oh yes, it is! I sacrificed so much to be here. Why does she get to be the adored queen and I don't even have a say in how this city is ruled?”
“Nera has sacrificed a lot as well and has done so much for this kingdom. We all have a say in how this land is ruled. Your ideas are just inappropriate and not what we believe in.” Altador scolded the faerie for her behavior.
Zairia snorted. “Sacrifice? All she did was have a little boat ride and land here!”
The comment hurt Nera’s feelings even further. She already had issues with thinking she didn't amount to anything or was helping the kingdom. The false accusation that her friend made her worries even worse.
King Altador barked out an order at the fellow council member. “Zairia your behavior is immature and will not be tolerated. I think it's best if you went and thought over your words and actions.”
The dark faerie finally found something the trio could agree on. “Oh, I'll think over my words and actions alright.”
“And that's when the whole ‘she tries to take over Altador but gets turned to stone and banished’ thing goes down?” Tormund once again interrupted, sitting on the edge of his seat. He already knew how the story played out, but hearing Nera’s side was in fact, interesting. Maybe the silly little tea party was a good idea after all.
Roberta held up her hand, ready to smack the yellow Lupe once again. Queen Nera stopped her, and the acara let her hand down.
Nera spoke. “Yes Tor, that's when it occurred.”
“So then what happened?”
“Well…” Nera continued on with the tragic tale of betrayal. She explained how they chose to handle the situation. The actions of Zairia had to be handled in an appropriate manner.
Jerdana, a blue Aisha and protector of Altador, stood in front of the king and queen. She was their only chance at saving the kingdom from the hands of Zairia. If anyone could do it, it would be Jerdana. Nera also considered her a close friend but wished they didn't have to resort to this.
She begged her fellow Altadorians not to go through with it.
“Your Highnesses, the only way I can protect the city is by trapping the land in a bubble of stopped time,” the Aisha explained their unfortunate situation. She struggled to tell them the news.
Nera didn't entirely trust the plan. “Jerdana is...is that really necessary?”
Jerdana sadly nodded. “Yes, my queen…I'm sad to say it is.”
The Xweetok still refused to agree to the plan. It seemed wrong. “But we'd be cut off from the rest of the world! What about our allies? Our friends? We have family outside of the kingdom!”
King Altador held up his hand to shush his wife and turned his attention to Jerdana. “Do it.”
Nera quickly glanced at her husband. “Altador, I trust you with my life, but we can't make hasty decisions! We'll be lost to time and just...forgotten!”
The king let out a heavy sigh. “Nera, the lives of our people and family are at stake. If we don't do this who knows what damage ‘you know who’ can cause?”
As much as she hated to admit it, Nera knew that Altador was right once again. Zairia was an incredibly powerful faerie. She could easily take over the land and corrupt it if they didn't do something immediately. They gave her a chance to redeem herself, and she blew it.
This was their only choice. The best choice.
“But Zairia is our friend…” Nera spoke softly, in almost a whisper. Her heart still held onto a bit of hope that someone in that dark soul, was her best friend. She wanted to give her another chance.
The friend that laughed at her jokes and always cheered her up. The friend that helped her adjust to her new life. It felt unreal that Nera was losing her. This shouldn't be happening. It wasn't fair at all. Nera had already lost so many beloved Neopians in her life. She shouldn't have to also lose such a close and dear friend.
No one should have to go through such a treacherous thing.
“Was...was our friend, and we don't speak her name anymore,” the king sighed and looked out at the darkened purple sky that started to blanket the city in darkness. “We no longer speak the cursed name of the Darkest Faerie.”
From now on, the name of Zairia would be banished to the voids of time. She would be referred to as the Darkest Faerie or the Betrayer from that day forward.
To be continued…