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Rivals


by surgicalsalad

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It was a question Illusen had been asked so many times before. "Illusen, if you are an earth faerie, then why does Jhudora the dark faerie get to stay in Faerieland, and you're exiled to Meridell?" Illusen would simply smile, for all these matters had been settled many, many years ago, when she and Jhudora were still small children.

     Jhudora, you see, was a beautiful little girl, with a face as sweet as honey. However, even though everyone agreed she was one of the prettiest faeries there had ever been, she was also the cruelest. It was a warm, sunny day, and Jhudora had been busy practicing her spells of clouds and rain, just to make everyone else a little more miserable. Her fingers delicately twirled as she chanted, rattling off the ancient verses of storms the older Air Faeries had taught her.

     "Jhudie! Jhudie!" called out the faerie queen. Jhudora grumbled, snapping her fingers and letting the clouds fade into a light mist, folding her arms, she turned with a grimace to face the Queen of Faeries, Fyora.

     "What is it now?" she demanded. "And I've told you again and again, don't call me that!"

     The Queen just smiled; dark faeries always had an attitude, especially when they were younger. "Jhudora, a new faerie has just arrived, and, the way we've figured, she's your sister; she shares a face just as beautiful as yours."

     Jhudora darkened; no one, NO ONE, was prettier than she! But sure enough, peering out from behind the Queen's gown were two bright green eyes that were indeed very lovely. The small little redheaded faerie was too shy to even talk to her, but even before this earth faerie could introduce herself, Jhudora had swelled up with unbelievable envy and hatred. She bit her tongue, however, and only plotted secretly a way to be rid of her new sister.

     "Jhudie," the Queen said, breaking her from her thoughts, "This is Illusen."

     "Pleasure to meet you," Illusen said softly.

     "Charmed, I'm sure," Jhudora replied curtly, her heart burning with envy, pumping her jealous blood through and through. The Queen smiled a bit, shaking her head; part of her pitied Illusen for having Jhudora as her sister, but secretly, she hoped Illusen's politeness would rub off on the little darkling. Fyora left them to their own devices, which turned out to be a brutal mistake. Illusen looked at Jhudora shyly.

     "The Queen has told me all about you, you're very powerful, I'm told," she quipped, attempting to spark a conversation. Jhudora just looked enviously at the earth faerie. They were sisters, all right; the stripe was a trademark of their family. Jhudora could only stare with bitter jealousy at the younger faerie as she babbled off about magic.

     "You know, Illusen," Jhudora interrupted craftily. "I could teach you my spells of thunder... that is, if you aren't scared."

     "Why would I be scared?" she asked.

     "Oh, no reason," Jhudora said with a giggle. "It is a rather easy spell, after all... but the problem is... the spell books for storm magic are kept in the cellar of the Hidden Tower."

     Illusen gulped, for she had always been a little wary of the dark. Still, the young faerie was determined to impress her big sister, and she was certain this was the way to do so. So Illusen swallowed her fears and looked Jhudora straight in the eye. "I'm not scared!"

     Jhudora smiled wickedly, grabbing her sister's hand. "Good, now let's run along, okay?"

     She took off, dragging poor Illusen along by her wrist until they reached the secret tower. Jhudora felt along the invisible wall with certainty, pressing a hidden brick, which opened up a staircase spiralling down through the clouds. Hesitantly, Illusen took the first step in, an attempt at courage. As soon as Illusen's foot touched the stairs, Jhudora pushed her down the stairs and locked the hidden passageway in a shroud of her telltale mist. Jhudora dusted herself off and walked away, leaving Illusen all alone in the dark to rot away in secret. However, it still burned Jhudora inside... as long as she knew Illusen was alive, that meant there was someone more beautiful than her, and it began to drive her mad. She spent many nights awake and restless, pacing, even skipping meals. After awhile, the sleepless nights and little food caused Jhudora's eyes to sag and wrinkle, adding to her paranoia. That crafty witch Illusen was not only pretty, but she was stealing Jhudora's beauty right off her face! She began to hatch a scheme to be rid of her little sister, once and for all!

     Meanwhile, however, Illusen had just about given up all hope! She curled up, huddled on the cold stone floor. Illusen shivered, staying close to the door in hopes she might catch a ray of light, a whisper, or a footstep, anything that meant someone was looking for her! Tears welled in her eyes and spilled all over her face, she wept at her own foolishness.

     "What was I thinking?" she wailed. "I should never have trusted her! Why would she be so cruel?"

     She stood up, wandering down the long flight of stairs to try and at least find a spell book. If she was lucky, one of them might be the glowing kind, and at least give her a little light. Like the plants they looked after, earth faeries required at least a little light lest they wilt, and Illusen was already weakened, her ankle sprained from that mighty fall. She waited, desperate and confused as she began to be lured into a frosty sleep.

     During all of this, Jhudora was plotting. She built a large coffin, one for her poor, dear younger sister. She had it all set, choosing a strong, iron coffin which she was certain would sink like a stone. However, as evil as Jhudora was, she simply did not have it in her heart to simply destroy her young sister. She worried about how she would get rid of Illusen so much that her hair began to fall out, something she was certain was a spell of Illusen to make her ugly. So furious about the whole ordeal, Jhudora lugged Illusen's burial box along, creating a dark storm to cover her traitorous actions. Jhudora arrived at the cellar door, trying to come up with some way of getting Illusen out of her life. She let the door swing open, to find Illusen right where she had been left. Jhudora shrunk back a bit, touching Illusen's cheek to find it pale and cold. The darkest faerie breathed a sigh of guilty relief, and placed her little sister in the coffin, swinging it shut. Without wanting to bother with it any more, Jhudora dropped the coffin off the clouds of Faerieland and into the water. She walked away, confident that she had finished off her sister and would return to being the prettiest of all the faeries. Surely Illusen could not keep stealing her beauty if she were not around, right? Jhudora walked away from the stormy water without any expectation of seeing her little sister ever again.

     However, the iron coffin was sturdy enough to withstand the force of the water, and drifted over the ocean waves for days until it washed up on the shores of Meridell. It so happened that King Skarl had been irritated for days and had been so grumpy he hadn't shaved, and the traces of his itchy beard made him all the more grumpy. After throwing out the third court jester, he went for a walk along the rivers, where he stumbled upon a strange, long box; none other than Illusen's would-be grave! Skarl looked over the large metal box with awe. "Could it really be? Such a sturdy box doesn't seem like a coffin for someone ordinary... it must be the remains of a pirate king!"

     Intrigued, the old king carefully lifted up the hood of the coffin, and gasped at the tiny girl inside. "No, not a king, a queen!"

     King Skarl lowered his head to find a pulse, but as he brushed her cheek, his scruffy whiskers tickled Illusen. Her lips curled up and she giggled a bit, looking up. She blinked a bit a few times, a bit startled to be looking into the jaws of a royal Skeith. Illusen turned her head at the trees around her. Unbeknownst to the vain faerie, the cold, damp air of the cellar had rendered Illusen in a stiff sleep, and she simply hadn't awakened until she was tickled just so. Ever grateful to King Skarl, Illusen offered to stay in Meridell and protect his people by providing them with the finest swords made out of her would be tomb. Time passed, and she grew up from a shy little girl into the beautiful faerie she is today. As for Jhudora, when the other faeries found out about her cruelty, she was forced to hide in a swampy dark cloud, her beauty by now had long since faded so in the end, perhaps, it was for the best.

     And so, whenever a young neopet would ask Illusen why she didn't just take her place in Faerieland with all of the other faeries, she would only smile, pat them on the head, and point to the dark stormy cloud that dotted on Faerieland and masked her rival sister, Jhudora.

The End

 
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