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Queen Lyra: The Beginning

by precious_katuch14


“H ello, Lyra. Thank you for coming.”

     The dark faerie with cropped hair walked into the Faerie Palace throne room slowly, her echoing footsteps the only sound for a few moments until Lyra stopped in front of the raised dais leading to the throne and curtseyed perfectly.

     “What did you need, Your Majesty?”

     Fyora looked at Lyra with a fond smile, and Lyra was suddenly aware of the lines on Fyora’s face and especially at the corners of her eyes, and the way Fyora leaned slightly, gingerly, in her throne before standing up and smoothing out her long pink gown. She stepped down from the dais gracefully as though gliding instead of walking, meeting Lyra at the foot.

     “I have been the queen of Faerieland for many years,” Fyora began, folding her arms across her chest loosely and meeting Lyra’s bright purple eyes. “I’ve seen many battles, wars, mysteries and all sorts of events during that time, and for most of it, you were by my side, as my faithful attendant. For that, I am forever grateful, and…I’m afraid I must ask of you one final request.”

     “F-Final?” The word tumbled out of Lyra’s mouth, and her jaw hung open in disbelief.

     “I have no sisters or daughters to be my heir, and according to Faerieland law, if I have no relatives to succeed me, I am free to appoint a successor from among the faeries who hold positions within my court,” the queen went on. A chill ran down Lyra’s spine, and she hurriedly closed her mouth, trying her best not to interrupt despite all the questions threatening to bubble up from within her. “And now, I have made my decision. I have chosen my heir.”

     Silence reigned in the hall between them. Lyra mentally went through the faeries she knew were within Fyora’s inner circle. The officers of her army, her advisors, the court scholars…

     “You, Lyra, shall be the next Faerie Queen.”

     The dark faerie’s wandering mind suddenly halted and plummeted back into the throne room.

     * * *

     “You said the Faerie Foot Marathon was two weeks away, right? Surely that’s enough time to change the route.” Lyra traced her finger along a map that had been provided on a small wheeled table. “If you turn right, away from the Poogle racetrack, you can take this path and loop around, back to the Rainbow Fountain. That way, you don’t disturb the Stream Hamlet, or the Faerie Food outdoor day market.”

     A lanky air faerie pondered this for a moment, looking at an earth faerie with an apron flanked by a yellow Kacheek, before nodding slowly.

     “You might be right, Your Majesty. It will be more of a challenge to go around. I’ll just have to start sending word soon about the route change. Yes, yes, this is fine with us. I’ll talk to the rest of the organization team.”

     “Don’t just talk to them,” Lyra replied, a stern note in her voice. “The change has to happen.”

     “Of course, of course.”

     “You heard her, Eleanor,” the earth faerie grumbled. “Queen Lyra will find out if our market is disrupted by rowdy runners.”

     Eleanor threw up her hands in defeat. “All right, all right. I got the message.” She looked at the earth faerie, tempted to roll her eyes or make a face, but decided against it to curtsy before Lyra instead.

     “Thank you for your time, Majesty. We shall take our leave.”

     The earth faerie and the Kacheek followed suit, and the three of them turned away to leave the throne room. Once they were gone, Lyra sighed and slumped in her seat, only to quickly sit up straight and adjust the cushion beneath her when she saw a bespectacled light faerie enter and usher the faerie guards outside. The light faerie approached the foot of the dais, with a pen behind her ear and a clipboard in her hand.

     “Kuri? What is it?”

     “Are you all right?” With her free hand, Kuri adjusted her glasses. “Today must have been quite busy; so many faeries and Neopets going in and out of your throne room.”

     Lyra glanced around, and once she was content that only she and Kuri were inside, she sighed again, more loudly than before. “There seem to be so many things happening in Faerieland at once that need my attention. I wish they wouldn’t bring everything to me so often. Can’t they agree among themselves and make their own decisions?”

     Kuri pursed her lips. “I’m afraid that’s easier said than done. They will always find it much easier for you to decide because you’re the queen.”

     “It’s folly, if they think it’s simple for me to make decisions like that,” Lyra pointed out. “I studied our map of Faerieland for three nights to figure out an alternate route for the Faerie Foot Marathon just so they wouldn’t disturb the market or the new residential hamlet. It’s so difficult being queen, I don’t understand why Fyora chose me.” She frowned, reaching up to take the tiara from her head to grip it in both hands. Kuri raised her eyebrows at the gesture but held her tongue.

     “Do you think Fyora made a mistake…choosing me?” the dark faerie asked her tiara, her voice rapidly shrinking.

     “What makes you think that?” asked Kuri, leaning forward a touch before moving up the dais steps.

     “I’ve only ever been her personal attendant, I never thought of myself as queen. I was happy to remain her attendant and to continue working with her and everyone else in the palace. But now, I have to listen to so many citizens of Faerieland every day, and it feels like everything I do isn’t enough. There’s always some faerie or Neopet complaining, and…” Lyra winced. “And I’ve been hearing things. Within the court. In the market. About me, and how I’m a dark faerie from one of the most notorious clans.”

     Kuri shook her head. “But you’ve proven many times that your loyalty has always been with Fyora and Faerieland. We know you left the Wingshadows behind. You rose to the occasion when Terask invaded Faerieland, in your own way.”

     “Sometimes I don’t know what else I can do, Kuri.” Lyra gingerly placed the tiara on her head and flinched as if it weighed a ton. “Not everyone will believe me when I say I’ve always been loyal to Fyora and Faerieland.”

     The light faerie frowned in thought, taking the pen from behind her ear and gesturing with it before sliding it back into its previous place. Meanwhile, Lyra rested her elbow on the throne’s armrest and propped her cheek onto her hand, only briefly distracted by the pen’s flourishes.

     “Your Majesty,” Kuri began formally, prompting Lyra to sit up straight again, “is your schedule clear for the rest of the day?”

     “I believe so. Why?”

     “Meet me at the palace entrance in ten minutes.”

     * * *

     When Lyra went down to the doors of the palace, Kuri was already there, wearing a faded orange cloak. She gestured for Lyra to join her.

     “Where are we going?”

     Kuri did not answer, and merely opened the door to leave, glancing over her shoulder to make sure Lyra stepped out right behind her. Once they were outside, the afternoon sun shining down on them, Lyra couldn’t help but look around at the shops and houses surrounding them. Two Faerie Blumaroos came out of the food shop with a fresh batch of Earth Faerie Brownies, promptly halted at the sight of their queen, and strode quickly toward her, bowing somewhat clumsily along the way.

     “Your Majesty!”

     “We just wanted to thank you, for your help after our house burned down from the accident. Which, by the way, was Meical’s fault.”

     The other faerie Blumaroo glared at his twin brother. “I thought you said it was an accident, why is it suddenly my fault, Oak?”

     “You were the one making crazy magic experiments with your potions!”

     “I told you, it was an accident!”

     Kuri and Lyra traded glances before both Blumaroos turned back to them and blushed.

     “A-Anyway, as we were saying,” Oak continued, “thank you for helping us rebuild. I’m sure Meical has learned his lesson – ow! Really? Elbowing me in front of the queen?”

     Lyra disguised an impending chuckle into a clearing of her throat behind her fist. “Y-You’re welcome. It was the least I could do…”

     “Your Majesty! Thanks to you, my relatives and my family are getting along now!” A young orange Yurble sprinted up to them just as the faerie Blumaroo twins bade their farewells. “I’m so glad you helped them come to an agreement about our farm.”

     “Oh!” The dark faerie paused and thought for a moment. “Sadie, was it?” Lyra smiled and reached down to pat Sadie’s mane. “It was the least I could do; I’m just glad I convinced them to simply divide up the field.”

     “I-I don’t have anything to give you, but…”

     The queen waved a hand. “No, you don’t have to. I’m only doing what I can – and should.”

     “Don’t worry, I’ll think of something!” Sadie insisted, balling her paws into determined fists.

     Nearby, the air faerie shopkeeper of Faerie Furniture loaded up a wagon with old furniture and accessories, many of which were already breaking down and unsuitable for sale. Then she looked up, grinned, and waved toward Lyra.

     “Your Majesty! I’m taking your advice and selling these to Lynbel, the Kougra engineer from Moltara!” she called out. “She agreed to take them as you said she would! Thank you for helping me clear out my warehouse!”

     “You’re welcome!” said Lyra, nodding in approval. Kuri discreetly took her wrist – a signal for them to continue their walk, which brought them to the city square. Two little Usuls began picking some flowers from the grass.

     “Are we supposed to be looking for anything?” Lyra whispered.

     “Do you notice anything strange?” Kuri answered Lyra’s question with another question.

     The dark faerie was quiet as she tried to think of anything she could have missed. “Not…really? Everything seems to be going well.” The encounters along the way had been a surprise, but they weren’t strange by any means.

     “And I believe that’s a good sign,” said Kuri, folding her arms across her chest. “You noticed nothing because you’re doing a good job of ruling Faerieland. They listen to you, too. Maybe some don’t, but think about it – not everyone listened to Fyora, either, right?”

     Lyra nodded slowly. “I guess…”

     “Next time you doubt whether you’re doing a good job, leave the palace and walk around, and look at Faerieland for yourself. Look, and listen to everyone thanking you for everything you’ve done for them.”

     The two Usuls walked up to them, holding a circlet made of white and pink flowers toward Lyra and beaming.

     “Aw, thank you,” said Lyra flattered, smiling at them as she removed her tiara to make room for the flower crown. While the Usuls jumped up and down excitedly, Lyra inclined her head slightly toward Kuri. “And thank you, Kuri. You really aren’t my Chief Advisor for nothing. I wish I could do something for you.”

     “Figuring out how to cheer you up was harder than foiling Terask’s invasion of Faerieland,” the light faerie replied with a straight face.

     Lyra tried to stifle it, but she let out a laugh before turning to the Usuls.

     “Can you make another flower crown, for my friend Kuri?”

     Kuri raised an eyebrow. “A flower crown? Really, Highness – “

     “Yes, you’re right. I should make one for you myself. Why don’t you teach me, little ones?”

     The End.

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