Illusen the Grey Faerie: Part Four
Illusen and Jhudora continued to look at the small pile of crystal shards on the floor, wondering if any more wings would emerge. And sure enough, after a short while, a pair started to grow. This pair, however, was lilac just as Fyora’s had been. It too floated gently out of the window, seeking the faerie it belonged to.
“I wonder who that pair will be going to?”
“Not her, that’s for sure.” Illusen gestured towards Fyora’s grey form, which was starting to stir.
Jhudora glanced at the former queen and sighed. It was stated in faerie law that whoever was with the queen should she be turned grey or in some other way rendered unable to rule must immediately find a safe place to signal all the elemental leaders to vote on a new queen.
“You send the summons, or should I?”
“You do it. I’ll take Fyora to the prison.” So saying, Illusen carried Fyora the grey faerie off.
Panting, Jhudora grasped her wand tightly and waved it, concentrating fiercely. She pointed it out the window. Her efforts were immediately rewarded by a huge gray lily blossoming into the sky. Pedestrians and faeries alike turned to stare. Jhudora doubted that many of those who weren’t faeries could understand what the signal meant.
“I always wondered why the signal had to be a lily,” Jhudora remarked to herself.
Before the elemental leaders on the council arrived, though, several faeries dropped by, doubtlessly the ones whom the wings belonged to. Illusen arrived back at the chamber just as the first one flew in. All the faeries with their restored wings thanked Illusen and Jhudora profusely for freeing their wings before flying off again.
The last faerie to fly in before the leaders arrived was the recipient of the lilac faerie queen wings. Illusen took one glance at her before whispering, “Baelia?”
Baelia smiled at the dark faerie and the earth faerie. “Thank you so much for restoring me,” she said. “I am forever indebted to you.”
“Oh, no,” Jhudora hastily replied. “Fyora was after us, is all. We were trying to save our own skins. We had no idea—”
“Faerie queen bless me, Baelia?” Fuhnah, the fire faerie leader, had arrived. She stared at Baelia, and then at Illusen and Jhudora, who now noticed that they were much worse for wear. “What happened?”
“Let’s save that question for when everyone gets here,” Jhudora replied, suddenly realizing how tired she was.
As soon as all the leaders had arrived, they convened right in the wreckage of Fyora’s chambers. Illusen and Jhudora recounted what had happened to them. Then Baelia told her tale to the gathered council.
Baelia and Fyora had been the daughters of the former faerie queen, and as such both had all six elements at their command. But Fyora had never been as powerful as her older sister, and therefore was not eligible to inherit the throne. Jealous, she had secretly stolen Baelia’s magic in the same manner as she had taken Illusen’s. Slowly, her greed for power consumed her as she stole the wings of more and more faeries and added them to her crystal. As her power grew, she learned many dark secrets, including how to use a faerie’s powers without stealing her wings. As such, Jennumara had been her test subject for the spell.
The eight faeries listened in horrified silence to Baelia’s story, stunned by Fyora’s actions. When she finished, Nereid spoke. “But how do Illusen and Jhudora tie into this tale?”
Jhudora answered for both of them. “Long ago, as our mother was tending to us in the cradle, a dark faerie prophetess spoke the prediction that faerie twins, one earth, one dark, just newly born at the time, would one day overcome a creeping darkness swallowing the throne. It was always assumed that we would defeat something evil seeking to cause harm to the Queen. But the truth was that the creeping darkness referred to Fyora. She, being Queen, had access to every faerie prophecy and soon realized the truth, and set out to eliminate us.”
Malexa, the eldest of the council, cleared her throat. “Now, we know without a doubt that Fyora is guilty of treason and harm to her fellow sisters. She can remain in the dungeon until we decide what to do with her. But now we must install a new faerie Queen.”
“Such incidents like this have not happened in many hundreds of years, and thankfully were few and far between. Therefore, we do not have a clear precedent of what to do now. Normally, faerie law states that we must install the eldest council member as Queen. But in this case Baelia is the rightful heir to the throne and shall be crowned as such.”
All the faeries gathered clapped. Together, the leaders for all six elements gathered up the crystal’s remaining shards and combined their magics to reform the perfect sphere. They handed it to Baelia. In her hands it glowed the softest shade of pink, before growing brighter and brighter. Then she flew out the window, still holding the crystal, followed by the council as well as Illusen and Jhudora. Together, they soared over the astonished crowd of faeries and pets below in a graceful dance.
“Fyora is no more. Baelia is the new Queen. Long live Baelia!” Fuhnah called. The mass of Neopians assembled cheered loudly, despite their confusion over what was going on.
“When are you going to tell them about Fyora?” Illusen asked Malexa.
“Eventually, when we get everything sorted out,” the dark faerie replied.
The faeries soared back to the castle, to find the Kougra guards in disarray. “What is going on?” Baelia asked.
“Pardon, lady, but it seems a prisoner’s escaped from the dungeons, some grey faerie or other, it seems,” the closest guard replied.
All eight faeries stood rigid for a moment. Then Baelia ordered, “Search the entire castle, and within a mile radius around it. Go.”
That night, Illusen and Jhudora each returned to their respective homes. The next morning, as the sun rose, Illusen flew over to Jhudora’s cloud to help her tidy up.
They had barely worked for an hour before a knock sounded on the door. Jhudora groaned. The reporters had come.
“Good luck, sis.” Illusen quickly made herself invisible. Jhudora groaned again and opened the door. A sea of Neopian Times reporters were gathered, and several attempted to stream past her into her house. Jhudora quickly blocked the entrance with her body.
A torrent of questions assaulted her. “Is it true you were a grey faerie?” one eager red Eyrie called out, while a shadow Kougra asked “What was it like being grey?”
“Who took your wings?”
“Was it Illusen?”
“How did you get your wings back?”
“Does your ordeal have anything to do with where Fyora went?”
And so it continued, stream after stream of questions, nonstop, none of which Jhudora bothered to answer.
She didn’t have to act very hard to play the part of a sullen, annoyed dark faerie. “Go away! I’m not answering any questions! Or taking any quests,” she added hastily as an owner and her blue Uni approached from the back of the crowd. “Being a grey faerie is exhausting work! Go away!” She stepped back inside and slammed the door shut.
“Nice job, sis.” Illusen reappeared, grinning. “I’m afraid you’ll be barricading yourself inside your home for a while though.”
Jhudora sighed. “That’s the least of our worries right now. We still have no clue where Fyora is.”
“At least she’s a grey faerie now.”
“But few faeries know what she did yet. The rest are going to wonder what Baelia did, and Fyora can make up any old story and they will believe her.”
“True. But the council can deal with that when the time comes.”
Jhudora shrugged. “Perhaps.” The twins continued to repair Jhudora’s house.
Finally, at around noon, they finished. Jhudora looked sadly at the mess of glass in her trash bin. “It took me forever to make all those potions,” she grumbled.
“I know what you mean.” Illusen glanced out the window. “Stupid reporters are still there. It’s a good thing your windows are one-way,” she remarked.
“Yes. How are you going home?”
“Like this.” Illusen deftly twirled around, her hair tracing a graceful circle behind her, and disappeared in a swirl of red and green.
[Show off,] Jhudora thought to Illusen. A huge yawn hit her. “I’m going to bed,” she mumbled to herself. A few minutes later, she was lying snugly in her bed, sleeping.
A cold wind whipped up all around, and a grey faerie stepped out from the shadows, prowling at the back of the cloud, where no reporters had bothered to station themselves. “It’s not over yet, Jhudora,” Fyora hissed. “I promise I’ll be back.” So saying, she stepped away, melting back into her surroundings. The piece of the cloud where she had been standing turned slightly grey.