The New Prophecy: Part Three
“I hate the cold,” Jhudora mumbled loudly, clutching the fuzzy purple jacket Fyora had conjured for her tighter around her slender body. Winter had just ended and she had been looking forward for lovely spring weather, but no. She had to get herself mixed in with Illusen and Fyora and their “New Prophecy,” depriving her of her one day off and leading up to that exact moment where she shivered angrily on Terror Mountain.
“It’s not s-so bad,” Fyora lied through chattering teeth. As the Queen of Faeries, she was prepared for practically anything, but this was practically a blizzard! Snow was falling heavily from the grey sky and the wind had picked up, leaving their exposed faces red from the cold. At least her pink jacket was warm.
“C-can we head inside the Ice Caves at l-least?” Illusen asked pathetically. The earth faerie wasn’t very happy either and keeping her hood up was charging her chestnut hair with static electricity. “Please?” she added, looking at Fyora desperately. “No one’s out here anyway!”
It was true. They had headed to Terror Mountain to hunt down the green-eyed culprit mentioned in the prophecy, but on such a cold day, no one except the three faeries were outside in the Happy Valley, which, Jhudora thought, didn’t make it a very happy place. Even the vendors were indoors!
“All right,” Fyora said, though she was inwardly quite happy that Illusen had suggested it; her delicate wings were starting to frost over.
So they trudged their way through the snow into the glossy Ice Caves... which were packed.
“So this is where everybody is,” Jhudora said grumpily as a pair of sibling Snowbunnies darted past her in a game of tag. It seemed that everybody had chosen to come inside the Ice Caves that day; the place was packed with neopets and faeries alike milling around in their mittens and hats, creeping in on the Snowager, visiting the Neggery, stopping by the Ice Crystal Shop, fighting in the Battledome, and just taking up space! Not for the first time, Jhudora felt claustrophobic.
“Well, this is going to be tougher than I’d thought,” Fyora said, her eyes wide as she surveyed all Neopians. And, as if it wasn’t bad enough, most of them were green. “I honestly never knew so many neopets were green,” she remarked.
“It’s a popular color,” Illusen said blatantly, pulling off her hood and unbuttoning her forest green winter jacket. “Who wouldn’t want to be green?”
Jhudora gave her a look, almost wishing that she didn’t have a green stripe in her hair.
“Well, I say we start searching,” Fyora said, looking around.
“How?” Jhudora asked, her eyebrows arched. “What are we supposed to do? Walk up to every single neopet in this place and say, ‘Hi! I’m Jhudora! And although I have no clue who you are, I’m here to tell you that you are one of the fifty million neopets in Neopia with green eyes which makes you a suspect in a prophecy that we don’t understand in the slightest and must be defeated. Thanks and have a nice day!’?” She turned toward Fyora and glared at her with her violet eyes. “Forget it. There’s no way I’m about to do that.”
Fyora sighed. “You’re right. It’ll be impossible to stop every single one of them.” She looked around dejectedly, but then an idea struck her. “Wait. We can ask Taelia!”
“Taelia?” Jhudora asked confused. “What can a snow faerie do?”
“She practically lives here,” Fyora pointed out. “If anyone’s seen anything strange around these parts, it’s her.”
“Sounds good enough to me,” Illusen said, re-bundling up and, rather unwillingly, putting the hood back on her head. Jhudora, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure. Taelia was a potion maker that had helped out with the Crystal Eye Prophecy. She had been placed by Jhudora into a group that was sent out to warn Neopians of the threat, but in the end she had been brainwashed by the fire faerie and had attacked everyone else instead! But Jhudora didn’t bring it up and instead decided to keep a very, very close eye on the powerful snow faerie.
So the three of them plowed past the river of neopets and faeries through the Ice Caves to the top of the mountain, which, if possible, was even colder and snowier than the Happy Valley.
However, unlike the Happy Valley, it was far from deserted. In fact, at least a hundred different types of faeries had their wands out and were conjuring some sort of temporary ice and snow stadium in the middle of the peak and were being watched by at least thirty curious neopets.
“What in Neopia are they doing?” Illusen asked, her bright green eyes wide at the ice structure they were creating.
“Preparing for the annual Faerie Display,” said a voice from behind them.
Jhudora turned around and groaned. It was Taelia. The snow faerie was dressed in a fashionable, yet warm, long light blue parka. Her snow white wings were tipped with a cool hue of blue that stuck out through holes in the back of her jacket, and her short, chin-length black hair complemented her vivid turquoise eyes nicely. In one arm, she cradled a branch of Snowberries, Gnorbu Wool Candy Floss, and other miscellaneous items that she had sent questors out to retrieve for her. Her other hand, however, was lightly laid on top of the shoulder of a faerie, no older than sixteen, who was looking at her admiringly.
“What are you three faeries doing all the way up here today?” Taelia asked curiously.
“Oh,” Fyora said warmly, putting on a rather false smile, “we’re dealing with a bit of a prophecy. Nothing to worry about that much, but you know how it is. Anyway, Taelia, we were just wondering if you’ve noticed anything strange around these parts? Anything out of the ordinary?”
The snow faerie shook her head, her hair flailing around her head in the wind. “No. I really haven’t noticed anything strange. Everything is pretty much running smoothly, even the preparations for the Display.” She then looked at the young faerie beside her. “Arisca, have you noticed anything strange?”
Arisca shook her head, her straight shoulder-length black hair swaying softly behind her, running against the back of her own light blue parka. Her turquoise eyes matched Taelia’s and her voice was light like a gentle snowfall when she replied, “Sorry, but I haven’t seen anything, Aunt Taelia. I’ve been too busy helping out with the Faerie Display.” She then looked up at Jhudora, Illusen, and Queen Fyora eagerly. “Are you three coming to the display tonight? There’ll be performances from a bunch of different faeries and admission is free.”
Jhudora didn’t want to spend time watching a bunch of little clumsy faeries try to brandish wands and make bubbles or something and was about to blatantly tell Arisca that, but Fyora beat her to it.
“I’m sorry, Arisca,” the Queen said kindly, “but we really ought to be wrapping this prophecy up.”
Arisca nodded her head a bit sadly, but then put on a smile. “I understand. Maybe once you’ve figured everything out, though?”
“Maybe,” Fyora said putting on her own smile.
“Okay,” Arisca said, and then, turning to her aunt, said, “I better get going. I need to help out with the stadium. I’m the only snow faerie in the bunch and the design this year is completely constructed with ice.”
“Yes, you do that,” Taelia said, and with that, Arisca ran off, her fuzzy white boots making footprints in the snow as she left.
“Well,” Taelia said, “I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful, but I really need to throw these items into my cauldron before everything overheats, and then my potion will be as useless as Toenail Soup! I’ll keep my eyes open though for anything suspicious, I promise. Now, if you’ll excuse me...” Taelia gave a quick bow and then scurried off.
“Well, that was pointless,” Jhudora said with a sigh, imagining how nice it would be to be back in her cloud, a warm fire blazing in the hearth, and her book, 101 Ways to Speak Evilly, waiting for her along with a mug of hot chocolate.
Illusen appeared to be thinking along the same lines, too. “Listen,” she said, stifling a shiver, “this mountain is way too big for us to keep exploring as a group. It’ll take forever, and night is coming soon.” She was right. The sun was already getting ready to set and the sky was starting to gain a pink tint. “Why don’t we split up, each of us on a different level? Queen Fyora, you could take the Happy Valley, I’ll take the Ice Caves, and Jhudora can stay here.”
“Thanks,” Jhudora said sarcastically. “Give me the coldest spot ever!”
Fyora sighed. “Illusen’s right, though. There’s no way to cover everything that’s happening if we’re all stuck together. We’ll have to split up.” She adjusted her tiara. “It’s about 8 o’clock right now. The Faerie Display starts in a half-hour and should end around ten, so if we all meet up around then at the entrance to the Snowager’s lair, we can swap reports. But if anything suspicious happens before then, we need to find each other ASAP. Got it, you two?”
“Yes,” Illusen said readily as Jhudora muttered, “Fine.”
“Okay,” Fyora said with a firm nod, and with that, she and Illusen flew off to their posts.
Jhudora, however, wasn’t very satisfied with the arrangements. Yes, she had wanted to be rid of those two irksome faeries all day, but being in their presence had been better than standing on top of a mountain congested with little faeries and ignorant neopets while it was a few degrees below freezing!
But as much as she wanted to complain, as much as she wanted to just take off into the sky and fly home to her cozy lair, she knew that prophecies weren’t something to kid around with. They were serious, complete with serious consequences if she didn’t solve it now, so bitterly she stuck her numb hands and chipping green nails snugly into her pockets and looked around.
The top of Terror Mountain was full of Neopians who could likely be involved with the New Prophecy. One of them happened to be the same fire faerie that had caused the Crystal Eye fiasco a few years back. She was just strolling around, visiting the Garage Sale to see what was in stock. But Jhudora knew that she couldn’t be the culprit this time for two simple reasons: one was that her brain had also been wiped at the end so she couldn’t be out for vengeance, and second was the simple fact that she had warm crimson eyes, not green.
There were, however, many possible culprits who were green. For starters, Jhudora noticed some young unruly green Myncies causing some mischief near Donny’s Toy Repair Shop, but she unfortunately knew from past experience that some neopets just acted that way, no matter how immature.
“This is pointless,” she muttered after a good fifteen minutes of search, sitting down against the wall to the Shop of Mystery on a piece of fairly dry ground. She was freezing her purple wings off, but more than that, she was tired. Stifling a yawn, she leaned her head against the wall to think about the prophecy, to try to untangle its hidden meanings in case they had misinterpreted something like with the Crystal Eye Prophecy, but before she knew it, sleep had overtaken her.
While she was unconscious, Jhudora had the strangest dream of her life. She was caught on a gigantic Spyder web in the pitch dark, a dark that was so complete that even her sharp dark faerie eyes couldn’t penetrate the blackness.
As she struggled on the web, trying to break free or at least reach her wand stuck in her pocket, she suddenly noticed something, a flash of green in the darkness that glowed with such intensity that she found herself blind for a few moments. It was then that she realized what they were: eyes, green earth faerie eyes. And as her own violet eyes darted about, she saw more and more of them, popping in and out of the blackness, taunting her, laughing at the dark faerie in their own silent way.
“STOP!” she wanted to shout, struggling against the web which was binding her tighter and tighter now, but her mouth wouldn’t open. She was frozen in place, and the eyes were getting closer and closer...
Jhudora woke up with a start, her head banging against the shop wall behind her as her body jerked, giving her a horrible headache and messing up her wind-tousled hair even more. “Ow,” she muttered, wobbly standing up.
The dream was still clear in her mind, by why had she had it? Was it some sort of warning or premonition? “Don’t tell me I’m a seer too,” she muttered to herself darkly, but before she could think the matter over anymore, she heard a roar of cheers in the distance.
She turned her head toward the sound. The temporary snow and ice stadium stood tall and proud, glistening gently in the setting sunlight and looking much more majestic than the Ice Arena below. It was clear that it had been built by magic for a magic event: the Faerie Display. And it was obvious from the echoing cheers that the show was about to begin.
And then it clicked in Jhudora’s head.
“Where else to find green eyes than on earth faerie?” she muttered to herself, “and where else am I to find some power-hungry earth faeries than at a Faerie Display?” A knowing smirk was on her face, her purple lips twisted in her infamous smile. And so, brushing off the few snowflakes that had settled onto her coat and giving her rested wings a good shake, she flew off in the direction of the stadium.
She had a show to see.
To be continued...