The Keeper of Maraqua: Fugitive
This is a sequel to the story The Keeper of Maraqua: Genesis found in the
160th Issue of the Neopian Times.
The sky high above was clear and the sun beat down harshly
on everything below it. The water of Neopia's seas seemed very clear today and
sunlight danced on the water's surface.
But Melleia did not have time to stop and admire
how beautiful the day was. She just kept on swimming, occasionally surfacing
to make sure that she was headed in the right direction.
Finally, she swam up to the beach and dragged
herself out of the water. The hot summer sun beat down hard upon her back. Melleia
shook the water from her small faerie wings and used them to fly up and hover
inches off of the ground. She shook the excess water off of herself and pulled
on a long dark cloak. It hid her face, Water Faerie tail and let her wings out
through a hole in the back.
She was on the west beach of Mystery Island,
near to the Marketplace. She needed some supplies from the market and her pursuers
wouldn't think to look for her on land.
Melleia sighed and touched a hand to the charm
on her necklace. Life had become very complicated for her, the former Princess
of Maraqua, a week ago, when her sister, the queen, as her dying wish gave Melleia
a huge responsibility. Now, Melleia was on the run from enemies she had never
met, hiding in the sea's darkest, coldest hideouts.
She shook off her memories and started flying
to the market. It wasn't far and she reached it in under a minute.
Many, many people were at the market today,
making it a very colorful place. Melleia flew right in and no one gave her a
She flew around, the many shop signs beckoning
to her, pleading with her to visit their particular shop. She ignored most of
the signs, knowing that there was probably almost no truth in what they said.
Then she came to a small hut with a stand that
was set up out front. On the stand were many berries and foods of all kinds.
Even faerie foods.
Melleia stopped at that stand, eyeing the foods
that reminded her of home.
"How much?" she asked the stand-keeper. She
gestured to a few kinds of berries with one sweep of her hand.
The stand-keeper was a blue Lupe who was reclining
in the shade of a sun shelter, lazily watching the people who stopped at his
stand. When she spoke, he turned to Melleia.
"Super Juicys, 30 Neopoints a berry," he said,
gesturing with a paw. "Fishberries, 10 Neopoints. Brightvale berries, 20 Neopoints.
Faerie Pastries, 700. Blueberry Faerie Bubble, 350."
Melleia nodded. As far as she could tell, the
prices were fair. She took a pouch from her waist and took out a few coins.
She purchased a super juicy berry and a faerie pastry. Placing them in a sack,
she wandered away from the stand.
As she left the stand and was moving on, Melleia
spotted a few other Faeries just coming out of another shop farther down the
There were three, a water faerie and two dark
faeries. They looked as though they were searching for something and Melleia
had every reason to think that it might be her.
She quickly flew into an alley between two shops,
trying to hide in what little bit of shadow was in the alley. But since it was
almost noon, there were no shadows to hide in.
"Oh, no," Melleia muttered as she saw the three
faeries pass by the mouth of the alley. She tucked herself into a small ball
and desperately hoped that she wouldn't be spotted.
The three Faeries passed by the mouth of Micella's
alley, absorbed in a conversation. As they passed the alley, Micella breathed
out a sigh of relief and stood up.
Then one of the faeries came back and peered
down the alley. She spotted Melleia instantly.
Melleia's heart leaped into her throat and she
flew up and over one of the shops whose wall made the alley. She heard the shouts
from below as she flew over the roof off the small hut.
"Get her!" one of the faeries, probably the
water faerie, yelled to the other two.
I guess that settles any questions, Melleia
thought, struggling to keep up her fast pace. Her water faerie wings were small
and not accustomed to this much activity and strain. Being a water faerie, she
spent most of her time in water, not air.
But she managed to keep her pace quick.
Melleia chanced a look over her shoulder. She
saw both dark faeries, wings furiously flapping, and the Water Faerie, trailing
the other two.
Melleia began to slow, breathing hard and knowing
that she couldn't keep this up. She had to get into her own element, in which
she'd have the advantage.
I need to reach the sea, she thought,
looking both ways quickly.
She was near the edge of the market, headed
east. She couldn't reach the eastern shore of the Island, it was too far. She
couldn't turn completely around and head back to the western shore, she'd have
to go through the Faeries that were chasing her.
That leaves north and south, she thought.
And the south shore is much closer.
So Melleia took a sharp, 90 degree turn and
headed for the south end of the Island.
Unfortunately, that made the dark faeries a
bit closer than they had been.
"Come on, you can do it," Melleia kept muttering
to herself, straining and trying as hard as she could to keep going and escape
Now, if you didn't read the first story (The
Keeper of Maraqua: Genesis) you don't understand that there were reasons that
she wanted to avoid capture other than to save herself. But if Melleia was captured,
her beloved home, Maraqua, would die.
And she had vowed to her sister on her deathbed
that she would not let that happen.
So Melleia pushed herself to her limit, and
beyond. But the dark faeries pushed themselves to their limits too, and there
limits were above Melleia's.
They steadily gained as they grew nearer and
nearer to the beach, hoping to catch Melleia before she dove beneath the ocean's
surface. And Melleia steadily slowed as they got closer to the beach, fatigue
in her wings overcoming her.
"Come on, you can do it," she muttered again.
The beach came in to sight.
As soon as she was over water that was deep
enough, Melleia stopped flying and turned to dive into the water, a smile on
her face as she realized that she was probably safe.
So she angled her body and gladly felt the warm
ocean water wash over her . . .
Her body was about halfway into the water when
she felt a hand on her tail.
"Oh, no!" she screamed. One of the dark faeries
had gotten close enough to grab her before she made it all the way into the
She was getting dragged back up, into the air.
But she wasn't going without a fight.
Melleia turned her body around, bringing her
head and shoulders just out of the water. She saw the Dark Faerie who had her
Melleia thrashed at the faerie with her tail,
knocking her back and making her lose her grip.
Melleia dropped back into the water again. This
time, she wasn't hauled back up above the surface.
She wasted no time in swimming away, diving
deeper and farther away from the dark faeries and the beach of Mystery Island.
Then she heard a splash on the surface behind
Sound carries underwater, so she easily heard
the splash and determined that it was made by someone about the same size of
The other water faerie.
Melleia had forgotten about her through the
course of the chase because she had fallen so far behind. She wouldn't stay
far behind now.
Melleia thrust herself forward with her powerful
tail, diving down toward the ocean floor. She chanced a look over her shoulder
at her pursuer.
She was gaining.
Melleia turned back around and continued to
thrust herself onward. "Come on, you can do it," she said to herself again.
"No, you can't!" the other water faerie exclaimed
from behind her.
Melleia's comment, which she had only meant
to be heard by herself, had carried in the water, loud enough for the other
Faerie to hear. But she ignored the other faerie and kept moving.
Glancing around as she swam, Melleia tried to
decide where she was. After a few moments, she thought that she knew. She searched
her memory of this area, trying to remember a place that she could hide in .
Then she thought of one. If she remembered correctly-and
she hoped for her life and Maraqua's that she did-then there was a small hut
nearby, hidden in the coral reef where she might be able to find shelter.
But she couldn't let her pursuer see her enter
the hut . . .
I'll lose her in the reef, Melleia thought,
already angling that way. She can't know it as well as I do.
So, Melleia darted around all kinds of underwater
plants, coral, seaweed and kelp, trying to elude her pursuer. After a moment,
Melleia was almost certain that she'd lost the other faerie and she darted (if
that term can be applied to swimming! ?) off in the direction of the small hut
that she remembered.
She hastily knocked on the door, continuously
keeping an eye out for the water faerie that was after her.
A small Maraquan Acara answered the door. "Yes?"
Luck was on Melleia's side. A Maraquan pet would
be likely to offer her hospitality.
"I am being chased and I need to hide," Melleia
quickly explained, glancing over her shoulder. "This is the only safe place
I can think of."
The Acara's eyebrows rose. "Why should I let
you in? This would probably bring your pursuer here, yes?"
"You should let me in because if I am caught,
many lives will be on the line. And no, I don't think that my pursuer will come
"The lives on the line, they concern me how?"
Melleia grew impatient and got a little alarmed.
That water faerie might come out and spot her at any second . . .
"The lives concern you because yours is one
of them!" she replied, not quite sure if that was wholly true.
The Acara looked at her suspiciously. "How can
I be sure?" he asked.
"Because," Melleia said, deciding to take a
gamble, "I am Melleia, former Princess of Maraqua and I give you my word as
a royal, a Maraquan citizen and a water faerie."
The Acara's eyes grew wide when she said that
she was a Princess. He then bowed and motioned her inside. "Hurry, Your Highness,"
After she was inside, the Acara closed and locked
the door. The hut had only a few rooms, maybe three, Melleia guessed. A kitchen/dining
room, a sleeping room and bathroom. There were no windows.
The front door opened right into the kitchen/dining
room. Melleia pulled off her cloak as she entered, laying it on the dining table.
"Now, Your Highness," the Acara said, swimming
up beside her. "What brings you out this way?" He gestured to the chairs around
the table and for Melleia to sit.
She did. "Well, you know of the tragic death
of my sister, Her Majesty Queen Aangeela." The Acara shook his head. "You haven't?
Well, I must tell you, she had an enemy who came in and shot her, looking for
something that she had. I am sorry, but I can't tell you what." He nodded that
"Anyway, she gave to me that item which she
had as she was dying, forcing me to leave Maraqua. Her enemies are now mine."
The Acara nodded. "I understand, Your Highness."
"You can call me Melleia," she said. "I am no
longer a Princess." A hint of bitterness crept into her voice.
"If it's alright with you, I prefer to call
you Princess Melleia and Your Highness in hopes that you will one day return
Melleia smiled a sad smile. "I will if possible."
"Meanwhile, you will be staying here and I will
do all that I can to keep you safe and aid you, Your Highness."
"Thank you. If I am to stay, I should probably
know your name."
"Wyneb," the Acara said. "My name is Wyneb."
"Well, thank you very much Wyneb," Melleia said,
another sad smile creeping across her face. "But you may have just offered more
than you meant to."
"No, I did not. I will help you even if it means
the death of me."
"It very well might be," Melleia replied.
"Then so be it."
Melleia knew that now, she had an ally in her
quest to keep Maraqua alive. Even if it meant the death of both, they would
keep Maraqua alive.
The End . . . for now
Author's Note: If you're reading this, I got my second story into the Neopian
Times! This story is the second in what I plan to be 3 or 4 stories featuring
Melleia, the Keeper of Maraqua. You can Neomail me with comments!
As always, wishing I had gills and a tail instead of legs, jedimaster891.