Illusen the Grey Faerie: Part Three
Fyora smirked at Jhudora through her crystal ball. “Give up, Jhudora. I’ve won. Your twin will die in a few days, unless someone gives her some magic. If you make things easy for us, I’ll even let her live. For a little while, anyways.” She waved the crystal with Illusen’s magic in front of the ball, taunting Jhudora.
This was exactly what Jhudora had been waiting for. In a lightning quick movement, she ripped Illusen’s charm from her neck and plunged the sharp end through Jennumara’s eye directly into the crystal. Jennumara screamed in pain. Fyora screamed even louder in rage and fury. Jhudora watched, enthralled, as strands of mossy green light climbed into Illusen’s charm. The wings on the charm glowed brighter and brighter, and the crystal Fyora held slowly faded into a dull, nondescript grey. Fyora shrieked again with rage.
Still holding the charm, Jhudora felt herself sucked through Jennumara’s eye and promptly was deposited in Fyora’s chamber. Despite the dangers, she looked curiously around. It wasn’t every day that a faerie got to take a trip to Fyora’s chambers. Behind Jhudora was Fyora’s crystal ball on a small set of drawers, which she realized was how Fyora stayed connected with Jennumara. There was a window on the wall behind Fyora, and a bed in the corner. Otherwise, magical objects were arranged neatly all around the room. The chamber was obviously not only where the faerie queen slept but also her workroom.
“You fool! You ruined my plan! You will pay for this, Jhudora!” In an outburst completely uncharacteristic of the dignified queen, Fyora leapt onto Jhudora, wrestling for Illusen’s Charm.
Jhudora struggled to maneuver her hand away from Fyora’s while trying to throw the maddened faerie queen off her. Close range combat had never been her strong point, and she had no doubt Fyora was more than skilled at it. She tried to pull the magic stored in the charm within herself, but realized it was impossible. The charm now held everything that defined Illusen, not just a store of her magic. Jhudora could hardly hold both her personality and Illusen’s within herself at the same time.
Jhudora was rapidly starting to tire. What could she do? Desperately, she threw Illusen’s Charm from under Fyora’s arm as hard as she could. Fyora snatched her hand, eyes gleaming with triumph, before letting out a shriek of anger at clasping an empty palm. Stunned, the faerie queen turned around just in time to see the stone smash into the wall and shatter. An earthy green haze gradually rose at the wall as both faeries watched.
Amazingly, the wings remained intact. Now they glowed brighter and brighter, until the light was almost unbearable, as they drank in the green cloud that contained Illusen’s magic and life. Slowly, the wings grew larger and thinner, until they were made of the same filmy membrane that earth faerie wings were made from. The wings gently flapped out the open window and (Jhudora hoped) to Illusen.
Fyora ran to the window, preparing to follow, but Jhudora grabbed her and pinned her to the floor. Then suddenly she was in the air, using her wings to brake, while Fyora warily picked herself up. “It seems, Jhudora, that you have saved your twin sister. For a while, anyway. Now I will finish you off, and then where will your dear Illusen be?” Her voice was sweet, yet it dripped with venom. She continued, “Few can defeat the faerie queen in a magical duel. None can defeat both the darkest faerie and the faerie queen in the same day. Say goodbye, Jhudora.” She flicked her arm carelessly, and a huge tidal wave rushed at Jhudora.
There was nowhere to dodge. Jhudora used every last bit of her earth magic to create a barrier of water absorbing plants in front of her. As the wave crashed upon them, little green orbs formed on the stems, which steadily grew larger as they absorbed more water. The effect was not unlike watching someone blowing bubblegum. Then she retaliated by throwing small darts of darkness at Fyora. Furious at not having succeeded at destroying Jhudora immediately, she swept the chamber with fire, burning the darts and most of her furniture in the process. Jhudora, however, was safe behind her barrier of orb plants. A few had burst, spraying water all over the place and extinguishing the flames that came near the exhausted dark faerie.
“Fool! You won’t survive my next attack!” Fyora angrily blasted the room with wind, pinning Jhudora to the wall. Mist suddenly obscured everything. Jhudora couldn’t see, couldn’t breathe. She struggled but felt herself steadily growing weaker. In a futile, last-gasp effort, she called out, [Illusen...]
“I’m here, sister.” Fyora whirled around to find herself face to face with Illusen, restored with her wings on her back. Her sweet face was pale with rage. Fyora’s concentration broke, and the room cleared. Jhudora lay on the floor, gasping for breath. Fyora angrily faced Illusen and the two faeries began to duel. Jhudora quickly returned to her dark faerie form, and immediately felt better. Rising up, she joined her twin in battle.
Together, the two were unstoppable. One compensated for the other’s mistakes, and their timing and communication was perfect. Fyora attacked them like a whirlwind, but was unable to do any damage. No matter what element she attacked with, one of the twins would respond with a quick, creative parry. Soon Fyora’s chamber was utterly unrecognizable. Jhudora glanced around, then realized that the almost only things still intact were the crystal ball and the drawers it rested on. The ball was a delicate shade of lilac. Next to it was a sky blue staff. Jhudora gasped. [Illusen, the crystal ball!]
Illusen threw herself to the side, knocking Jhudora over just in time for both of them to avoid a fireball. [What about it?] she asked as she retaliated with vines that reached hungrily for Fyora.
[It’s the ball on her staff, detached! Remember what we learned in the Faerie Academy?]
[Of course!] Jhudora could sense Illusen’s excitement as they conjured more orb plants to counter Fyora’s water spell. [The queen’s crystal is unbreakable, unless she has committed great acts of evil, for it is the trust granted to her by all six elemental faeries and the special faeries as well. It is where she gets her power from. Jhudora, are you saying-?]
[Yes! You distract Fyora and I’ll go see if I can break it!]
Both faeries ducked as Fyora slung a vine whip through the air. Jhudora heard Illusen say, [You pretend to be hurt, and then crawl towards it. I’ll keep her away from you.] Just then, Fyora threw a lightning bolt at Jhudora. Jhudora waited until it was only a few inches from her, trying not to lose her nerve, then counteracted it with a darkness spell. At the same time, she dropped to the floor, screaming.
Fyora sneered. “No experienced, older sister to help you out now, Illusen dear.” Jhudora prayed that Illusen wouldn’t be hurt.
“She’s only older than me by eleven seconds.” Jhudora felt how nervous Illusen was as she lured Fyora further and further away from the dark faerie. Slowly, Jhudora crawled towards the crystal ball. She reached it just as Fyora backed Illusen into a corner.
“You’re finished, Illusen.” Fyora raised her hand, which was filled with a bright lilac flame. Illusen didn’t flinch in the least, but looked nonchalantly past her at the desk.
“So are you,” she pointed out. Fyora whirled around, clearly horrified as Jhudora reached out for the crystal ball. But her reaction time was unbelievably fast. Immediately, she sent the purple fire in her hands speeding towards Jhudora.
Jhudora listened to Illusen, just in time. The spell hit the crystal ball instead. For one frozen moment, absolutely nothing happened as all three faeries stared at the magical artifact.
Then, slowly, small cracks crawled all over the crystal ball with a sound like an egg cracking. Fyora uttered a garbled incantation, trying to repair it. For a moment, it seemed that she had succeeded, as the cracks slowed down and stopped.
Then, without any warning, the crystal ball exploded. Shards of purple crystal flew all over the room. Illusen and Jhudora took refuge on the ground, doing their best to not get sprayed by the small pointy bits.
When everything had settled, the twins warily picked themselves up from the ground. Fyora lay still and inert.
“Look—she’s losing her color!”
Jhudora looked. It was true. Her lilac wings, hair, and gown were slowly fading to a nondescript grey, as the color rose and swirled in the air above her. Her wings were slowly shrinking. The two faeries watched in horrified fascination as she was reduced to a grey faerie right before their eyes.
The lilac color, however, stayed swirling above her for a few moments and then flew about the room, collecting the crystal shards into a small pile in the center of the room. Then it dissolved into different streams of red, green, blue, white, gold, and dark purple. After a while, the streams of colors whirled into the crystal fragments and disappeared.
Slowly, some of the pieces glowed with color, growing bigger and filmier as the wings on Illusen’s charm had done. Ten or so pairs of multicolored wings floated gently out of the window to seek their rightful owners, leaving Illusen and Jhudora alone in the chamber.
To be continued...