Now with 50% more useless text Circulation: 114,369,520 Issue: 229 | 23rd day of Awakening, Y8
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The Treasured Diary: Part Four

by twirlsncurls5


"Oh for the last time Prince Fenmere, it's for your own protection!" cried Hayden in exasperation.

      "I don't care," said Fenmere, his voice muffled from behind a wooden door, "I'm not coming out."

      Jase rolled his eyes and pushed the Nimmo out of the way. "Allow me."

      With a forceful kick, the door burst open.

      In the middle of the red velvet colored room stood Prince Fenmere, arms crossed unhappily, with a look of utmost misery on his face.

     In a crumpled pile on the floor lay his glorious, if only slightly dirtied, garb. He was not wearing his velvet purple fur cuffed robes nor his jewel encrusted rings. Instead he wore a faded and stained brown tunic with wide peasant sleeves and coarse itchy brown pants that could've easily been made from flour sacks. His head was bare where a shimmering crown once rested.

     "This is humiliating," he said with a scowl. "I refuse to have my status so drastically lowered."

      Hayden threw his hands up in the air and walked away grumbling down the hall. "Impossible!" and "So unreasonable!" could be heard ask he went.

     Sophia turned to Jase and Lord Cyril who both looked as equally exasperated. "I'll talk to him," she said, entering the room and closing the door. She wheeled around to face Fenmere.

     "You," she said to him, "are the biggest baby of a prince I've ever known."

     Fenmere's eyes narrowed but he didn't lash out. Sophia was the only one who could speak to him like that without harsh penalty.

     "Maybe so, but the fact still remains that I AM a Prince! Would you have me act a humble servant to Lord Cayleb Cyril, who, in a normal world without secret diaries, would serve ME?" His eyes flamed. "The dishonor of it! Can you imagine, the Prince of Gansvere hoeing a vegetable garden!"

     Sophia crossed her arms. "It's better than the Prince's corpse buried beneath a vegetable garden."

     Fenmere rolled his eyes.

     "Look at you!" she shouted furiously. "You think a title can save you from death!" She picked up the Diary from under his velvet robe. "This isn't some faerie tale, Fenmere, where the bad guys play fair and have a conscience! This is the real world; the pets out there will kill you!" She threw the book at his feet and stormed out of the room.

     Moments later Fenmere emerged from the room with a childish pout on his face. Hayden, Jase, and Cyril, who had been whispering closely, looked up.

     "Fine," Fenmere said to Sophia, who was grinning victoriously, "I'll do it."

     "V-very good," stammered Lord Cyril, still looking very nervous, "I'll show you to the servant's quarters, Your Majesty."

     Hayden cleared his throat, still looking fairly unhappy. "It's very important to keep up appearances here, Cayleb, if we want to keep Fenmere's location a secret. To the outside world, he must appear to be a servant in your charge. We can't raise suspicion by calling him 'Your Highness' or 'Your Majesty', or else the Confidants will find him. From this point on his name is Umi. He's a simple peasant born in Meridell, nothing more."

     "And what of me?" asked Sophia.

     "You're his sister Mina," Hayden replied quickly.

     Cayleb led them to the outer edge of the manor. "Mornin' Master Cyril," greeted a toned yellow Bori as he plowed an empty patch of dirt. "The soil's fertile this year; we should have a fair crop."

     The Moehog nodded and waved with a faint smile, it was clear he had other things on his mind.

     A blue and red Blumaroo stopped paddling large elegant rugs and curtsied, lifting their long brown petticoats.

     "Take notice of how Lord Cyril's servants regard their master," murmured Hayden, leaning in close to Fenmere, "it's important that you act the same way."

     Fenmere nodded, pretending like the task wouldn't be completely impossible for him.

     They came to five small, but well kept thatches. Lord Cyril opened the door to the one on the far left and they all walked in. There were two straw beds and a small washbasin on the floor.

     "There's a trough outside that you can get your water from," explained the Moehog upon looking at the disgusted face Fenmere was making.

     Sophia jabbed the prince with her elbow. "Everything is just fine. We're your 'servants' and we'll live accordingly."

     Lord Cyril wrung his hooves anxiously. "Yes, of course." He turned to Hayden and spoke as though the Prince wasn't even there. "What should I have him do? I can't just give orders to the heir of Gansvere!"

     Fenmere pulled the Diary out of his tunic. "How about I work on the first clue?"

     All at once their faces lit up. Lord Cyril rushed to the window and closed the tattered blinds. Hayden motioned to Jase, who nodded and went outside to stand guard, before joining the other three on the floor around the open book.

     Fenmere began reading aloud:

     "Behind the wares

     Of the common and poor

     Dwells the underground domain

     Of Henry Delore.

     Since I was married away

     He's long since been alone

     So don't expect the door open

     Or a pathway to be shone

     The door only opens

     For a noble request,

     Your answers rest beneath the surface

     So tread lightly at best."

          He looked up at the others, each looking as puzzled as him. "Henry Delore," he murmured.

     Hayden scratched his chin. "It's a shame Ramaya isn't here; this is really her sort of thing."

     "Where is she anyways?" Fenmere asked, noticing the Ixi's absence for the first time.

     "She's at her library."

     "Her library?"

      "Yes, she's the head librarian at the Gansverian library," he said with a proud smile. "I told you the Paladins had members in high places."

      He pulled out a blank piece of paper and a quill from his purple vest and scrawled the words "Henry Delore". He opened the door and motioned Jase in.

      "Take this to Ramaya as quickly as possible," he told the Draik, "and tell her to meet us in the marketplace." Jase nodded and took to the sky, zooming off like a red fireball.

      "The marketplace?" echoed Fenmere.

      "Behind the wares of the common and poor," Hayden read from the first two lines of the poem. "Where else could it be?"


     Hayden pushed his way through the throng of dirty serfs and merchants while Fenmere stared mesmerized by the scene around him.

     The streets were paved with a mix of straw, dirt, and dung which most likely lead to the overwhelming stench of the place. Grubby looking vendors screamed their prices at the passersby- pets ranging from tired mothers with crying children in tow to the nobly dressed squires acting on their knight's command.

     He wasn't watching where he was going and ran straight into the fat belly of a large green Scorchio.

     "Watch yer step, maggot!" he spat on Fenmere, who staggered backwards in shock.

     "How dare you!" the Gelert gasped, his face red with fury and astonishment.

     The Scorchio threw back his head and laughed obnoxiously. "How dare I?! Grem, Wissle, come over 'ere and take a look."

      A spotted Elephante and a brown Grarrl emerged from the crowd.

     "This poor whelp thinks he's better than me," laughed the Scorchio.

     The Grarrl lifted Fenmere by the front of his shirt. "Is that so?"

     "Put him down," said Sophia stepping forward boldly to face the three. The Grarrl dropped Fenmere harshly to the ground with a wild grin.

     "What have we 'ere?" he said grabbing the white Zafara's long brown curls, "quite a pretty little peasant, eh boys?"

      Fenmere picked himself up, his eyes blazing angrily. "Take your grimy hands off her."

     The three turned to him again, a look of disbelief on their faces. "You should really stop giving orders, rat," said the Scorchio as they slowly circled around him, cracking their knuckles menacingly. "You're in no position for that."

     Suddenly Hayden jumped in front of Fenmere, silver dagger out and gleaming.

     "The police officer over there's getting suspicious, boys," he said in a low voice, nodding towards a blue Grundo in uniform, "and I'd hate for him to see me dirty the market with your blood."

     They grumbled a few choice words but eventually walked off. Lord Cyril came out shakily from behind a stall where he'd been cowering in terror.

     "They were certainly vile," said Fenmere with a grimace.

     Sophia turned to Fenmere disappointedly. "You can't keep doing that! You have this mentality, this idea that you're better than everyone else." Her clear blue eyes bored into his. "Now, without the shimmer of the crown to sway people's motives, for the first time maybe you can see that you're not."

     Fenmere looked at the ground, unsure of what to say.

     "Uh, let's keep moving," said Hayden in an attempt to break the tension.

     They walked forward in silence until they reached the end of the marketplace. Sophia's words rang in Fenmere's head. He was just like everyone else.

     Hayden approached a bored looking striped Kougra and asked if he knew of a home that used to belong to a pet named Henry Delore. The Kougra shook his head.

     "Well," said the Nimmo looking around at the vast emptiness, "it looks like we're back at square one."

     Just then, an excited brown Ixi and a red Draik came running up to them.

     "I found it!" shouted Ramaya, before lowering her voice at the realization that there could be others watching.

     "Found what?" asked Fenmere.

     "Henry Delore!" she motioned for them to follow. "Hurry up, I'll explain on the way!"

     They all dashed down a back alleyway until it ended in an expanse of green grass. She led them to a thicket of dead looking shrubs and spiny trees.

     "I don't understand," huffed Hayden as he followed Ramaya through the bushes, "Henry Delore lived over 200 years ago. How could you find him?"

     "It was all very simple actually. The library has an extensive record of all the letters sent by the influential people of Gansvere," she said, pushing open a rusted and squeaky metal gate. "It just so happens that they had several written under the name of Elizabeth Stafford, a fictional character in a book called Garon the Great. Lucky for us it's well documented that Garon the Great was a favorite book of Queen Arin Elise Bavarian.

     "Now finding the recipient of these letters was a bit more difficult. Who could be so significant and yet so mysterious that a Queen would need to write under a penname to communicate with them? But then I found it, records of a certain knight named Sir Gawain McAllister. McAllister was a something of a hero; he was the epitome of chivalry in every way. Before Queen Arin was married, the two shared a secret romance. They wrote each other often, she signing as Elizabeth Stafford," she paused with a proud smile, "and he as Henry Delore."

     She stopped and pointed victoriously.

     Their eyes followed the direction of her hand and their mouths fell open.

     Fenmere gulped and repeated a verse of the cryptic poem. "The underground lair of Henry Delore."

     They were all in an enormous cemetery.

     Henry Delore, or Sir Gawain McAllister, the true love of Queen Arin, was dead. The lair they had to enter was his tomb.

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» The Treasured Diary: Part One
» The Treasured Diary: Part Two
» The Treasured Diary: Part Three

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