The Forgotten Years:Part Four
As the trio walked down the chamber staircase, Queen Nera continued their conversation from earlier. She appreciated that the two heroes listened to her story. They seemed interested and cared about the large city and its residents.
Nera was extremely thankful for their kindness and compassion. More Neopians should be like that. Taking an interest in something and working to make the world a better place should be on the mind of every individual. Even the smallest contribution would make such a big difference.
“So, my dear sweet Zairia was not always the villain she's now perceived as,” Nera said, stepping off the last step and into the main hall.
The yellow Lupe had helped the brown-haired Xweetok down, and she graciously thanked him.
Tormund smiled, still not believing that the story of the Darkest Faerie was a complete truth. “She sounded awfully nice.”
“She was...well...in her own odd way,” the positive memories of the past caused Nera to chuckle.
Despite how cold and uncaring the dark faerie acted, she always had a soft spot. Nera managed to bring out the best of the faerie. Somewhere in that cold exterior, was a warm-hearted faerie.
And oh how Nera missed that side of Zairia.
“It's hard to believe, considering all that she's done.” Roberta shook her head in utter disbelief. They now stood in the main hall, continuing to discuss the villainess.
“I'm well aware of that,” Nera replied. She hated being constantly reminded of the faerie’s mistakes.
“She seemed pretty rude when we had faced her,” Tor commented.
The faerie had hired a Gelert Assassin to take ‘care’ of them. That wasn't really the nicest thing someone could do. Actually, it was outright evil and heartless.
Whatever happened to that Gelert anyway?
Roberta rolled her eyes. “Well, she was trying to take over Neopia.”
“Yeah, I know that smarty pants.” Then the knight changed the subject by asking a question. “What do you plan on doing about the Darkest Faerie’s return to Neopia?”
The Xweetok queen looked over at the pile of rubble that used to be Zairia’s statue. “I just...I really miss my friend. I don't know what I'll actually do.”
Her reaction to the faerie’s return depended on Zairia’s behavior. If she really changed, Nera would welcome her in open arms. If not, then she would have to leave it to King Altador and Jerdana. As much as she wanted her friend to be a better being, the kingdom’s wellbeing had to come first.
“Do you forgive her?” Roberta asked, brushing a strand of dark hair behind her ear.
“I already forgave her long ago,” the queen of Altador still had a bit of hope left for her friend. “Maybe one day she'll change and come back to us.”
Tormund loudly snorted. “Do you really believe that?”
“Tor!” Roberta snapped at him. She couldn't believe some of the things he'd blurt out. Sometimes she wished he kept his goofy mouth shut. It would save them from awkward situations.
He held up his hands in defense. “I'm just asking!”
Nera ignored his attitude and replied. “We all need to have a little hope, young Tor.”
Before Tormund could reply to the queen’s comment, a loud commotion stopped him.
A flying Yooyuball soared through the window, smacking Tormund in the face. The sudden impact caused him to lose his balance. He fell down onto the floor and groaned. Roberta wanted to laugh but held it back.
The Yooyu unrolled and snickered at the yellow Lupe. Nera realized who the sneaky Yooyu belonged to.
The queen rested her arms on her hips and turned to the hall entrance. “Alarick!”
Standing in the doorway of the hall was a young white Xweetok and a small brown Lupe. The Xweetok looked nervous, and the Lupe had an annoyed expression planted on her face. To Nera’s disappointment, it's something that happened far too often.
Alarick nervously smiled and shrugged his shoulders. “Sorry about that, mom.”
Cecilia, the small brown Lupe, pointed an accusing finger at her brother. “I tried telling him he shouldn't be playing so close to the hall.”
Alarick frowned. “Tattletail.”
“Troublemaker.” Cecilia stuck her tongue out at her brother.
The two siblings began to bicker, but their mother silenced them.
They obediently stopped, still glaring at one another.
“I'm so sorry about that Tor.” Nera helped the young knight up on his feet.
He chuckled and rubbed his aching cheek. “It's alright, it's hard to believe Alarick is around our age.”
“He's technically a thousand years older than us,” said Roberta.
“Please don't get technical.”
Alarick and Cecilia were excused and went back outside to play. Nera shook her head and finished up the conversation.
Some things just never seem to change.
“Thank you for inviting us, your majesty.” Roberta shook the hand of the queen.
She was grateful that Nera opened her home and heart to them. Maybe next time Roberta could invite her and Altador to Brightvale.
“My pleasure. And goodbye you two, have a safe travel.” Queen Nera bid them farewell and went to tend to her irresponsible children.
The two Neopians left the Hall of Heroes, making their way back to Brightvale. They chatted about their next adventure and whether or not the Darkest Faerie would return.
Hopefully, she wouldn't, leaving Altador and their beloved rulers in peace.
“So now what do we have planned to do, Robby?” Tor teased, walking down the dirt trail. Leaves crunched under their feet as they walked.
“Don't call me that.” Roberta immediately scolded him. “And we have to help my uncle get rid of some pests that are taking over his library.”
“Oh neat, an actual adventure!” Tor sarcastically said. “Sounds like a blast.”
The pests were most likely small petpets that made their way into the castle. Handling them would be easy as pie. Battling swamp monsters or an evil sorcerer would be a better start to an adventure. Sadly for Tor, neither of them would be happening anytime soon.
She smiled as they continued to walk. “You get to hold the net while I round them up.”
“What? No! I want to round them up! There's no fun in holding the net!” The Lupe objected to the idea of holding a net.
It sounded even more boring than handling a few petpets.
She shook her head in response. “Nope. You gotta hold the net. King Hagan’s orders, young knight.”
“I'm not holding the net while you get to do the fun part.” Tor continued to argue over the job.
“Yes, you will.”
“No, I won't!”
“Yes. You're gonna hold the net.”
Tormund stomped his foot down like a child throwing a tantrum. “Roberta! I am not holding the net!”
The blue Acara ignored he pleads, continuing on her way to Brightvale. She smirked at the stress in his voice. It was her time to have fun for once. He often teased her over every single thing. Now it was her turn to do the teasing.
“Roberta you get back here this instant!” Tor chased after her, continuing to beg.
And so, the young heroes embarked on another adventure, leaving the question of whether the Darkest Faerie would return to linger in the crisp autumn air. It soon would leave their minds, as they had other affairs to take care of.
Back in the land of Altador, Queen Nera sat with her loving children, watching them roll a red ball back and forth to one another. Watching them get along for once was a pleasant surprise. Usually, they were annoying one another or causing trouble.
“What was Roberta and Toby doing here?” Alarick asked, rolling the ball to his little sister.
Cecilia caught it, rolling it back. They continued the process of rolling the ball back and forth.
“It’s Roberta and Tormund.” Nera corrected him. “And they came to discuss some current issues with me.”
“Is something wrong?” Cecilia looked over at her mother.
Alarick stopped rolling the ball, waiting for an answer. He became curious as well. Most of the time, King Altador and Nera would shelter them from the horrors of the world. They didn't want them to worry. They deserved a nice and normal childhood.
The normal part was hard to do considering they were the children of famous Neopians.
Nera shook her head and patted the top of her daughter’s head. “No sweetie, nothing is wrong. Don't worry about anything.”
The brown Lupe nodded and went back to playing with her brother. She was so innocent, exposing her to the problems of the city just felt wrong.
Nera’s thoughts continued to go back to her dear old friend. She found herself wondering if Zairia would ever return to Altador.
Would the faerie ever change? Did she regret her past actions that had harmed so many? And if so, would she take responsibility for them? So many questions went through the Xweetok’s mind.
Only time could tell what would happen to the Darkest Faerie.