The Princess gently took the sword from Evander’s hands
and admired it in the light before placing it back in her sheath. The Draik
took something else out that he had hidden behind his wing, the dark nova. The
delicate black star lay perfect and undamaged as before.
“Evander, how did you get the nova?”
“Ahhh, well, that was easy. While everyone was
frantically looking for you and Phaedra was distracted, I managed to grab hold
of it.” Ritz’s smile faltered as she took it in her hand. She looked questioningly
“Ritz, Phaedra was right. Only you can unlock
the powers of the dark nova. But I urge you to use the powers for good and not
for evil. If you choose good, then you can save the kingdom of Meridell from
Phaedra’s terrible plan. But if you choose evil, then the nova will destroy
your pure righteous essence and you will become like Phaedra, terrible, cruel,
and cold. The prophecy of the sword was about you, and only you can fulfill
it. Ritz, the time has come to fight. I cannot help you, only your heart can
lead the way.” Evander lay a kiss on the Ixi’s head and a tear streamed down
his face. Ritz knew what she had to do now, and her enemy was waiting for her.
This would be the hardest test of all.
Ritz held the nova in her hands and closed her
eyes. She was no longer in the castle corridor with Evander. Dark shadows drifted
to take the world’s place and any trace of light was extinguished. She was alone,
cold, and scared in the depth of blackness. Haunting whispers and murdering
cries filled the shadows. A bloodcurdling scream pierced the Ixi’s ears. Ritz
was inside a shadow dream, and this time she could not fail.
She turned around to see the yellow haunting
eyes. They were bright with rage and anger. The orbs grew larger and wider as
they came closer. But this time Ritz could see whom the eyes belonged to. Phaedra
stepped forward and studied the Ixi with a grotesque look on her face. Ritz
could tell that she was truly a beautiful Dark Faerie, even if evil corrupted
her heart. Her purple gown sparkled majestically in the shadows and her long
black hair looked like pure silk.
“Ahh Princess, I have been expecting you,” she
spat. The Ixi didn’t flinch or tremble in Phaedra’s presence. The Dark Faerie’s
eyes narrowed with anger by how strong Ritz was keeping inside. She secretly
refused to show any weakness or fright, if she did then Phaedra could have an
opportunity to break her.
Ritz listened carefully to the screams and cries
from unknown beings that filled the shadows. She remembered the Light Faerie
that was crying in the corner, the last time she entered the dream. She tried
to find the Light Faerie again, but she was nowhere to be seen.
“Who was that Light Faerie I saw last time?”
Ritz asked. She was certain that Phaedra would hold the answer. Indeed she did,
hidden behind her stiff and unfeeling heart. The Dark Faerie suddenly looked
terribly sad and a single silver tear dropped from her yellow eyes.
“That Light Faerie you saw last time was me,”
she said simply. “Or rather a memory of myself,” she added. Phaedra sighed and
gathered herself up again. “I suppose I should tell you now, for you shall not
make it out alive anyway.” There was a long silence before she continued.
“I was not always a Faerie of darkness as you
see now. Along time ago, I was a Faerie of lightness.” She looked sick by the
memory of her past. “I was a young Faerie at the Faerie Academy in Faerieland.
In fact, I was one of the most talented and popular Faeries in the school. But
I was always interested in the darker subjects to be learned. I strove to learn
more about the dark arts and dark magical spells as well as Neopia’s most feared
monsters. People thought it to be strange for a pure Light Faerie to be so interested
in the darker side of Faerie craft. These were dark times, and a great evil
was spreading over Neopia. I had nothing to do with it of course, but people
couldn’t trust my word. One night, I was trying to convince my best friend Saphronia
(who was an earth Faerie) that even though I was interested in dark spells and
lore, I had nothing to do with the evil that was spreading and gaining power.
But the next day, news of a horrible tragedy broke into the school. The evil
force had taken my friend Saphronia. The academy pointed their fingers at me,
and claimed that I had taken her life because of the great argument we had the
night before. Nobody would listen to me, and my other friends betrayed me. The
headmistress of the school decided to expel me forever for a crime that I did
not commit. I lived alone, with no one to talk to and no friends to trust me.
I began to hate the world for inflicting this fate upon me. I let hate and evil
corrupt my innocent heart and I changed into my dark form. Ever since, I have
been planning my revenge.” Phaedra ended her story with tears in her eyes but
a bitter smile curved onto her lips and she laughed. Ritz felt a deep sorrow
for Phaedra. She deserved a second chance.
“Now, my foolish little Ixi, I shall fulfill
my plans of revenge with the dark nova’s power. And since I am inside your dreams,
all I will have to do is destroy you first,” she cackled with spite. She pointed
her wand towards Ritz and exerted a powerful force of glittering dark magic.
The force hit Ritz in the stomach and she fell back a few feet. A painful sensation
grew in her middle but she managed to stand up again. Ritz pulled out her sword.
A confused and worried expression fell on Phaedra’s eyes as she saw the weapon
in the Ixi’s hands.
“So the prophecy is true,” she whispered as she
gazed at the beautiful silver sword. “And young Princess Ritzalina has come
to defend her kingdom,” she cackled loudly. “Well, we will see if you can defeat
me,” she said. Phaedra aimed her wand again and another magical force traveled
for Ritz’s chest. But the Ixi blocked the magic with her sword and the force
backfired for the Dark Faerie. The magic was so powerful that Ritz stumbled
to the floor but managed to catch a glimpse of what happened to Phaedra. The
evil Faerie was hit full on by the back fired spell. She was stunned by the
shock and her eyes widened with horror as she faltered to the ground. Then Ritz
reached behind her wing and took out the dark nova. A pink essence glowed around
the black star as the Ixi held it high in the air.
“No, what are you doing!?” screamed Phaedra in
pain. She scrambled for her wand but she was too late. Ritz placed the nova
on the ground and raised her sword high above her head. She sent her sword crashing
upon the black nova and smashed the star into pieces. As the nova broke, the
powers from with in it seeped out like a foggy mist. Ritz could feel the power
inside her; it burned through her heart like an icy fire. All of Ritz’s memories
flashed before her eyes. Her birthing ceremony when she was blessed and cursed
at the same time, her 12th birthday when she received Flutter the Faellie, the
time she met Phaedra in the forest and helped her, the first time she entered
a shadow dream, the night Kallisto died, when she ran away to a cave in the
mountains and met Evander, the day she returned to the cottage and got captured,
when she was trapped in the dungeon and discovered a secret tunnel, when she
was chased by the prison guards and Evander saved her. Ritz could feel all of
her emotions at once. Innocence, happiness, kindness, frightfulness, sadness,
anger, love, curiosity, and bravery filled her insides with the power of the
Suddenly, the shattered nova reformed itself
from the pieces on the ground. Magic was filled with in it, a new kind of magic…
love. The nova transformed into golden lightness and was no longer black. Phaedra
began to change also. The new magic from inside the light nova circled around
her body. The Dark Faerie was transformed into a beautiful Light Faerie once
again. Kindness filled her eyes and her purple gown changed into white. Her
long black hair became locks of gold. Phaedra circled around and twirled her
arms into the air.
“I’m myself again,” she said softly. “Princess
Ritzalina, you’ve done it! You’ve lifted the curse of the dark nova!” The Ixi
smiled and ran for Phaedra.
“So you are no longer evil?” she asked.
“Of course not,” Phaedra said warmly. “I only
forgot what love and kindness meant,” she said gently. “But you have given it
back to me. You have given me a second chance.” Phaedra wrapped her arms around
the Ixi and let a single tear stream down her cheek. “Thank you, Princess Ritzalina.”
The dark shadows evaporated and Ritz found herself
back in the corridor with Evander by her side. In her hand, the Ixi found the
golden nova, sparkling like the bright stars in the sky. Ritz reached for her
sheath and discovered her sword safely tucked inside. She breathed calmly and
looked into the Draik’s eyes. They didn’t say anything, only held each other
Just like Phaedra and the dark nova had changed,
so did their surroundings. The cruel shadowy castle transformed back into a
golden palace bright with merriment. The halls were bursting with song and color.
Ritz looked out the great window where the kingdom of Meridell lay peaceful
under the warm sun. The thick black clouds of thunderous weather drifted away
to reveal dapples of white clouds in the twilight blue sky. But out of everything
that had happened, Ritz felt changed most of all. She had grown to learn so
many new things in life. At first she wanted to just run away from all her fears
and responsibilities. Now Ritz knew where she truly belonged.
“Evander, I know who I am now. I have found my
place as the heir to the throne,” she said slowly. “But I have not forgotten
our agreement. I will help you to return to Riverence… if that is what you wish,”
she said with sadness in her breath. The white Draik held her hand warmly and
looked into her eyes.
“No, I think there just might be a place for
me here,” he said excitedly. “Princess, I chose to serve you as a knight of
Meridell.” Ritz held their gaze and laughed with happiness. She couldn’t wish
for anything better.