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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 7th day of Relaxing, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 105 > Short Stories > Illusen’s Story

Illusen’s Story

by queenmedea9

Illusen's Glade in the Meridell countryside was quiet. Only the rustling leaves and soft, wayward breeze added to the music of stillness. Birds made their nests here, because of the protection that the Earth Faerie, Lady Illusen, ensured with her magic. The Faerie herself sat in her Tree, throughout which wound her house, but Illusen often preferred to sit outside on one of the sturdy boughs. She had her back against the trunk and in her hands was her warm reddish-chestnut and rich emerald-green hair, which she was playing with idly.

     The sound of galloping paws over dried leaves caught Illusen's attention towards the grassy, leaf-strewn floor surrounding her house. She looked down and saw two Eyries looking up at her with big, expressive eyes.

     "Lady Illusen, we need your help!" said one of the Eyries, his apricot-colored fur glistening in the sunshine.

     Illusen jumped down from her perch onto the ground, gracefully as Faeries are, and landed in a crouch then standing up straight. She lowered her eyes so her green eyelids showed. In her left hand, she delicately held her wand, which was a mere twisted branch infused with magic.

     "What troubles you, children?" she asked, her voice low, rich, and gravely.

     "There is a group of Peophins and Kois who are tangled in this horrible net. We couldn't free them because this net has magic in it. It burns when touched," said the blue Eyrie. "Please come and help us free them!"

     Illusen blinked in surprise. What net burns when touched? "Where is this net?"

     "It's in the waters near Maraqua. The water is deep, but the net is light so it floats. The sea there is turbulent." The blue Eyrie, Blueberry, shifted her paws and wings, as if troubled by some secret.

     "There is something that you're not telling me." Illusen's voice was calm and she knelt down so she could look them both in the eyes.

     The gold Eyrie, Blueberry's brother, Flaxen, answered, "We think the net may be magic."

     "But Faerie magic doesn't cause harm like that."

     "We think it's bad magic." His eyes darted back and forth as if a spy could be listening.

     "You mean Jhudora?" Flaxen and Blueberry shivered in response to the Dark Faerie's name. "I will help you, but you also must help me."

     The Eyries nodded vigorously. Illusen cupped her hand underneath Blueberry's beak. "You must go to the Healing Springs in Faerieland. There is a Water Faerie there. Her name is Naiya. Tell her that I have sent you and then you must tell her where the net is and accompany her to it. Make sure she takes her wand."

     Blueberry nodded, understanding. She was pleased at Illusen sending her to such a benevolent Faerie. "I will go at once, Lady Illusen." The Eyrie turned and flew off towards Faerieland as fast as she could.

     Illusen turned her cool gaze to the gold Eyrie before her. "Please lead me to this net. If this is Jhudora's work, it will not last against my magic." Illusen smiled, knowing the limits of her magic surpassed that of the Dark Faerie's because it was magic of light, rather than of darkness.

     Illusen flapped her four large green leaf-shaped wings in order to stretch them. Flaxen unfurled his own feathers and took off, pawing the air. Together they flew towards the swirling sea near the underwater city of Maraqua.

     Meanwhile, Blueberry had to fly to the clouds of Faerieland. Outside of Faerie City, lay the Healing Springs. She found the Water Faerie sitting at the edge of the springs, her light blue scaly mermaid tail was dipped in the waters, swirling the surface gently. She was talking to another Water Faerie, the keeper of the Rainbow Fountain. They looked like twins, both with mermaid tails. The Faeries looked Blueberry in surprise.

     "Are you ill, child?" the Water Faerie asked.

     "Are you Naiya?" Blueberry replied.

     The Water Faerie blinked her large, almond sky-blue eyes, showing her lids the same color. "Yes, I am Lady Naiya. How do you know my name?"

     "Lady Illusen sent me."

     Both Faeries stared at Blueberry. "Illusen sent you?" Naiya asked. "Are you on a quest?"

     "No. There is a group of Peophins and Kois entangled in a net that burns to the touch. It may be the magic of Jhudora."

     The Rainbow Fountain Faerie looked startled at the sound of the name. Jhudora's magic sometimes plagued Neopians and cleaning up the mess Jhudora left was always a headache for the other Faeries.

     "Illusen wants my help?"

     "Yes. She asked for you to bring your wand."

     The Faerie nodded. Her sister looked at Blueberry with eyes that mirrored Illusen's own. "I will go as well. I am Chailyn." The two Water Faeries slipped their tails out from the water. Chailyn turned to her sister and spoke with her in a Faerie tongue. Then they both began to fade out.

     The little blue Eyrie panicked, remembering that Illusen had asked her to accompany her to the sea. "Lady Naiya! Lady Chailyn! Please don't leave! I'm supposed to accompany you."

     The Faeries stopped fading. They stopped their traveling spell.

     "Oh, then come with us." Naiya said, gesturing for the young Eyrie to it in her lap. Blueberry did as she was told. Despite the fact that Naiya spent most of her time in water and she had very smooth light blue scales on her tail, her lap was quite warm and comfortable. Naiya wrapped her pale arms around Blueberry, making her cascading blonde hair fall onto Blueberry's back like a blanket. They quickly faded until they vanished completely in a swirl of periwinkle smoke.

     A small boat rented from Mystery Island was filled with some worried Neopians, a purple Lupe, a red-orange Kougra, and a green Ixi. Flaxen and Illusen arrived just as the boat did. Flaxen swooped down into the boat to rest. Illusen, being a Faerie, could hover over the water and could fly over very long distances without tiring. A violet Flotsam swam fast near the surface of the water, with Naiya, Chailyn, and Blueberry riding comfortably on its back. The Flotsam swam next to the boat, letting Blueberry jump in next to her brother. Naiya and Chailyn slid off the Flotsam's back into the water.

     Illusen hovered over the frothing water. The net was purple with an orange light glaring on it. Glimpses of Peophin flippers and fins arced above the waves while the cries of frightened Kois lashed out from under them. The net buzzed and in response, the Kois and Peophins screamed. Naiya and Chailyn stared at them, tears brimming in their horrified eyes.

     "We have to stop them from writhing. It only tangles them more," Illusen said.

     Naiya and Chailyn dove beneath the water. They spoke in the Water tongue, the sound resembling that of humpback whale songs. Soon the thrashing stopped and the Peophins raised their heads above the surface. The Peophin and Koi fins moved slowly only enough to keep them where they were. Despite that they were no longer thrashing against it, the net scored deep into their flesh, clouding the water with blood. Illusen tried levitating the net off of a Peophin nearest her, but it did not budge.

     "This is Jhudora's work and one of her most powerful spells," Illusen said to the general area of her sisters. "The three of us will have to work together to destroy the net."

     Naiya and Chailyn nodded and thrust their intricately decorated crystalline staffs out of the water. Illusen turned to the boat full of anxious Neopets.

     "Can you fit them in the boat?" she asked.

     "We can fit about half. But the Kois, they can't be out of the water very long. They're fish," Flaxen's voice quivered.

     "Then we'll have to use a spell to get them to the Healing Springs and the Rainbow Fountain. Stand by in case some need to be transported if the spell doesn't work right."

     The Neopets did not have much of a choice. They watched wide-eyed as the three Faeries moved so they made a triangle around the net and spread their arms out. They began chanting in a language known only to Faeries; no Neopet could even attempt to imitate it. The magic wielded between the sisters turned a vivid blue-green and pulsed like electricity, growing louder and louder. The orange light of the net dimmed until it finally vanished. The net itself began to fall apart and disintegrate in the water, like dissolving sugar in coffee.

      The injured Neopets gasped for air, struggling through the pain to keep moving so they wouldn't sink. The Faeries continued to chant, but in a softer unified voice, until every last wounded Koi and Peophin faded out of sight. Right after, the Faeries let out one big sigh, as though exhausted. Naiya and Chailyn disappeared as well, to their chosen waters, to oversee the healing of the Neopets.

     Illusen, who did not return to her home like her sisters, stopped hovering and stood up, standing on the surface of the water as if it was dry earth. Instantly, the waters smoothed so they resembled a tranquil sheet of glass. Her fair skin had a lavender tint to it from her exhaustion and her eyes were cloudy. She slowly walked towards the boat, stepped into it, and collapsed.

     "Lady Illusen! Lady Illusen!" cried Flaxen, Blueberry, and the other Neopets. "Lady Illusen! Are you hurt?"

     Illusen opened her eyes, as though they were fluttering butterfly wings. They were a little less cloudy now. "No, children, I am not hurt. I am just tired. Please take me to my Glade. I must rest there." Illusen's eyes closed again and she fell asleep with her chestnut and green hair tumbling out all around her. Held limply in her hand was her wand, spilling little green and yellow glitter onto the boat floor.

     The Neopets promptly delivered the exhausted Earth Faerie to the shore of Meridell, moving from the boat to litter buoyed by strong yellow Gelerts and big-pawed Lupes when they reached land. The troupe of loyal Neopets bypassed curious onlookers, who were stunned at seeing Illusen sleeping like that, in such beautiful disarray. The Neopets left when they reached her Glade, except for Flaxen and Blueberry, who personally carried their Lady into her huge, unlocked house and laid her on her autumn leaf-colored bed and waited for her to wake up.

     Illusen's house was a beautiful tree, where everything looked as if it was grown rather than built, into spirals and twists and knots. Green was Illusen's color, so various shades filled the room, offset by breaks of violet and that of autumn leaves or sunset. On a shelf near a window was a first edition of Illusen's Novel, one of her combs, and a vessel of her magic Potion. Her cabinets were stocked with her famous cream cookies and lots of healthy food. The walls throughout the house were covered with hundreds of plants, vines, and flowers, where they continued to grow outside, crawling down the tree trunk like blossoming hands.

     When Illusen finally stirred, the two Eyries woke up from their sunlit doze and scurried to her bedside. When Illusen opened her cleared eyes, Blueberry was sitting next to her on her bed with a glass of iced spring water with thin slices of orange floating in it and a crystalline plate heaped with organic red and green grapes, apple slices, and chunks of Vegan cheese. Flaxen helped Illusen sit up while Blueberry handed her the glass.

     "Why are you still here, children? Your friends have gone off long ago to play," Illusen said, her voice soft and unhurried, though a bit surprised.

     "We wanted to make sure you were all right, my Lady," Blueberry said.

     "Yes. You helped us when we asked. Now it is our turn to help you," Flaxen said.

     Illusen took a sip of the water and smiled when the swirl of orange tickled her tongue. "Where is my wand?"

     "It's here on the table," Flaxen said. He gestured towards the bedside nightstand painted with leaves and Illusen's wavy green symbol. Her wand had stopped spilling glitter everywhere finally, so it looked again like a simple tree branch with a leaf still on it.

     "Thank you very much for staying with me. You have no idea how lonely I can get way out here in Meridell." Illusen's calm voice was edged with a very old sort of sadness.

     "You are lonely, Lady Illusen?" asked Blueberry. "Then why don't you live in Faerieland with your sisters?"

     "Jhudora lives in Faerieland too. She and the Dark Faeries and I do not get along since I have always foiled their magic for hundreds of years. Jhudora was probably testing me with that net, to see the extent of my powers."

     "You could live with the Faeries on other lands," Flaxen offered.

     "I could. Mystery Island is green and Jhuidah is very crafty with her cauldron, but it is too humid and noisy there. Taelia and Terran, the Negg Faerie, live in a world that is just too cold for me. The others… I love them all, but I require quiet, peace, grassy fields, the chance to make things grow, and the wide open sky. The Soup Kitchen Faerie, Hermione, and the Space Faerie, Kailani, sometimes visit me when they have time spared from their duties. It's been years since I've seen the Faerie Queen, Fyora, but I've become used to being alone. Why else would I stay in Meridell?" A smile tugged at Illusen's bright green mouth.

     Flaxen and Blueberry grinned too. Meridell was certainly a place to find some peace and quiet, even though that peace and quiet often strayed into boredom. Illusen ate the food that Blueberry had whipped up for her, grateful for the Eyries' company. When she finished, she stood up slowly to stretch and carried the plate into the kitchen, down a set of spiraling stairs. Blueberry jumped off of Illusen's bed and followed her brother downstairs. They found Illusen untangling her sleep-tousled hair with her mint ice cream-colored comb. She looked at them with smiling eyes and pointed to a plate full of a variety of cookies and two tall glasses of fresh Kau milk laid out on her kitchen table.

     "Help yourselves, children," she said. "They're freshly made." Flaxen and Blueberry were yet again floored by the wonders of Faerie magic.

     Later that day, after Flaxen and Blueberry walked out of the leaf-shaped door, they looked around for any sight of Illusen in the house. They backed up to see the house in full and saw her sitting up in one of her favorite perches: a hollow bough that shot up out of the top leaves of the tree like a chimney, a great scouting place. Illusen had changed her clothes into a fresh short green dress that looked elegantly tattered, her fingerless gloves, her sturdy earth-colored boots, and had braided a lock of her chestnut hair. She looked out towards them with a glowing light in her eyes, a smile of an Earth Faerie Lady who found some loyal friends that proved she has passed Jhudora's test and had made her light-filled magic shine bright.

The End


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