Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 110,063,438 Issue: 169 | 10th day of Celebrating, Y6
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A Storybook Tale: Part Three

by shadowcristal


"What happened?" was Lexicae's first thought when she snapped out of the trance. Then she remembered. Lyster! But why would the light faerie scream like that? A horrible thought hit the Aisha. "Maybe she was captured..."

That had to be it! Lyster was captured. There were no other possibilities. But where? Of course! That fortress!

With a quick movement, the Aisha was running again. If Lyster was captured, there was no time to lose! After all, the light faerie had been a very important guide. What would she do if Lyster was gone? How would Lexicae get home?

After a few minutes of running, the pet realized something. A cold chill ran through her body as she saw sinister shadows in the forest. They hadn't been there before. Something was different. Was it because she was closing in on the fortress? Or...?

Lexicae started running back to the pond. The freezing wind hindered her, almost as if nature wanted her to reach the fortress. But there was something important at the pond...

The sky grew darker as the breeze turned into a storm. It was completely black, and finally Lexicae realized what was wrong. She had forgotten the Orb! She had to go back to the pond!

With this thought in mind, the Aisha hurried back, despite the cold winds. She saw the Orb resting at the edge of the pond and moving. A quick skid, and the Orb was safe! It had almost fallen into that seemingly bottomless pond...

The Aisha sighed and started running towards the fortress. She felt more comfortable with an object of light beside her.

The winds turned against Lexicae. It was as she had suspected. The air was being manipulated, just as the pets were. But she didn't dare to raise the orb, in case a strong wind would grab it and carry it out of her hand.

Lexicae bit her teeth and continued the slow walk against the wind. In her hurry, the Aisha didn't notice the caped person in front of her.

"Turn back now... You still have time... Don't go any further!" the dark figure said.

"I can't!" the Aisha said desperately. "I need to help this place!"

"This is your last chance. Heed my words."

"No!" Lexicae shouted. The whole land was in danger, how could she leave it alone? "Only you can help..." Lyster had told her.

"Foolish pet," the creature snarled and vanished.

Lexicae's mind was in an uproar as that strong voice told her to go back. The pandemonium ceased as she thought of her friends in need. But yet there was that little corner tugging at her, suggesting that the caped creature might be right. No! She couldn't go back now!

"I've already made up my mind, so there is no chickening out. If I had done that, I wouldn't be here in the first place," she thought. This notion gave her more energy and she started running towards that gray building which seemed closer each second.

"Lyster, I'm coming!"


There! The fortress towered above the little pet as she looked up. "Now what am I supposed to do?" she asked herself. "Well... I'll have to begin with sneaking around. It wouldn't do any good to get caught." That bad self-image at home was completely discarded as the Aisha thought up a plan.

Lexicae followed her plan by slowly walking inside. Those big, granite walls that seemed to stretch forever in the entrance hall amazed her. It was as if this place had waited for her. With each step, the Aisha gained confidence but reminded herself to remain hidden. She blended with the shadows.

No one. There was a big stair at the end of the hall.

"Hmm. Prisoners should be high up in a tower or something," Lexicae thought and made a decision. She slowly walked up the stairs, trying to make as little noise as possible. Another scream almost made her jump. It was Lyster!

The Aisha hurried and looked around nervously, hoping she wouldn't be found. She held the Orb tightly as she moved onto the next stairs.

Crash! Lexicae had tripped on something! She quickly stood up and listened for steps. No one.

It was eerie. Such a big fortress... and no one was here. The Aisha resumed her mission, trying to erase those uneasy feelings that bubbled inside her.

Lexicae breathed heavily as she ran up to the highest level of the big fortress. Here, the walls seemed different. They were of shiny silver instead of dull gray. The Aisha slowly moved forward along the wall, trying to find her friend.

Another shout. Lyster was calling out for help!

"I have to help her!" she thought. The whole thing made her breath quicken. For the first time she realized something. Adventuring was exciting!

Rejuvenated, Lexicae snuck forward and to the big at the end of the hall. She saw the yellow light emitting and felt even more confident.

But how to open the door? The Aisha remembered what had happened in the forest. Lexicae raised the Orb, expecting something to happen.

Nothing happened.

She shook the Orb, trying to make it do something. "Come on!" the Aisha mentally yelled at the stupid item. Maybe something had to be said in order to activate it, like a phrase. Well, it couldn't hurt to try...

"Open!" she whispered, holding the Orb. It faintly shimmered, then the door unlocked and opened.

"Lexicae!" Lyster shouted of happiness, running out to hug the Aisha.

The faerie never got to do that. A dark shadow landed in-between and turned Lexicae.

"So you've managed help your feeble little friend," the figure snarled at the pet.

"Who are you?" Lexicae asked, her insides storming. This... this person showing up and totally ruining her bravado! Suddenly the Aisha realized that... it was all planned!

"Well, you fell right into my trap," the person said confidently and moved into the light. It was a Mutant Ruki.

"AHH!" the Aisha screamed. This was another thing she couldn't stand besides reptiles. Lexicae tried to escape, but found that she was boxed in. A sphere of darkness surrounded her and the ugly Ruki. Lyster was outside.

"We'll have our battle here and now. Don't you even think about escaping," the Ruki sneered. "The name's Underlig, by the way."

"I guess there's no choice but to fight..." the Aisha muttered. Why was it so hard to be a good hero and not scared? Lexicae had to admit that she was pretty scared. "Be strong! You can do it!" she told herself and took a deep breath.

"Ready?" Underlig asked.

Lexicae nodded anxiously.

"Hand to hand combat," the Ruki said coldly, "That means no items. No orb."

"What?" The Aisha was shocked. But without the Orb, she was just a helpless little Aisha.

"Discard it. Now." Underlig snarled and gave his opponent a small shove.

"But... But..." Lexicae objected. Before she could say anymore, the Ruki had pushed her.

"Ah! The Orb!" the Aisha cried out, for it was slipping from her grasp. The beautiful golden item fell on the floor and into a thousand pieces. Lexicae fell on her knees. Without the Orb, she was doomed.

"Let us begin!" Underlig called out and jumped on Lexicae. She tried desperately to fight back, but the Ruki was just too strong with four feet.

"Help..." the Aisha whispered weakly as she was being pounced. A few tears dropped and rolled to the lowest part of the bubble as Underlig continued to beat her up.

"Lexicae! If you don't believe, if you don't use your own strength, then you won't be able to win!" Lyster shouted and tapped at the bubble that contained the two pets.

Lexicae opened her eyes. Believe? Why? The Orb had been so helpful... And she wasn't good at anything. She'd fail at tests, run slow and lose... Then it hit her. If she didn't believe she had a chance of winning, she'd give up.

"Have you already given up?" the light faerie shouted, trying to help the confused little pet.

"I'll have to try... Try my best..." the Aisha thought and jumped, trying to get out of the locked-down position she was in. She managed to make a fancy skip and land right on the Ruki. Everything wasn't that bad. It was bad, but not that bad.

"You little..." Underlig growled and punched Lexicae. Lexicae quickly moved sideways and avoided it by a few millimeters.

"Keep up the good work!" Lyster cheered.

With this new energy, the Aisha managed to beat Underlig. For each second that the battle went on, she felt stronger. There was no doubt!

Finally the Ruki fell on the bottom of the bubble. He glared at her angrily. Lexicae was breathing heavily when the bubble vanished and they fell on the floor.

"Good job!" the light faerie came running, but disappeared.

Lexicae blinked. What was going on? She had won the battle! The little pet pondered, and thought of the possibility of fifty other pets like this... She shuddered. Then... it meant that one battle wasn't enough.

She looked at herself. The Aisha had scratches in several places and her legs felt every heavy. "I don't think I can do much more..." she thought, but rejoiced at the fact that she had won.

The Aisha came back to reality after a moment and contemplated. Why had Lyster disappeared? She remembered the moment she had opened the door. It had been a chilling feeling there, just for a second, and then it was gone.

This cold sensation appeared again. In her confusion, the Aisha didn't see the dark, purple swirls that appeared in the corner. She just sat there, lifeless and lost.

"Has it been fun playing hero?" An icy voice startled Lexicae. She quickly turned around and saw who it was. The dark faerie that had given her the book!

"Well?" the faerie demanded.

"Playing hero?"

"Humph! You messed up all my plans, Lexicae!" the faerie told the pet.


"I can't allow you to poke your nose in this business any further. Your little friend, Lyster realized what was going on, and look what punishment she got..." the dark faerie trailed off, watching Lexicae's reaction.

"I don't understand..."

"You were just being used. What a great power... the power to believe..." the faerie said, touching the Aisha's face. Her hand felt hard and cold. "I'd like that..."

Lexicae just sat there. "It must be a trap," she thought. The Aisha had the feeling of doom, but this time it was final. It couldn't be changed, like with Underlig.

"Farewell!" the dark faerie shouted and made a gesture with her hand. Darkness surrounded Lexicae and soon she was enveloped in it. The Aisha let out a last scream before her demise.

"That is the end of you, and the power is mine!" the faerie cackled. "And more will open the book and enter this exciting adventure... thinking they could be heroes. But in the end, it will be the same for all!" She shouted the last words and disappeared in a puff of smoke.


"Hmm... I haven't seen Lexicae lately. I'll have to check on her," Valkera thought and ran to Lexicae's room. She opened the door and stood there in surprise. On the bed, there was a glowing old book.

Her curiosity awakened, the Green Uni walked forward and picked up the black book. She opened it and started reading...

The End

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Other Episodes

» A Storybook Tale: Part One
» A Storybook Tale: Part Two

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