The Legend of Vasnia: Part Four
Hektor oversaw the rebellion’s armies as they fought the brutal Trekkan forces. He was not a warrior but a strategist, and his ingenious plans had so far carried the rebellion close to victory. But one thing continued to bother him: he had not yet spotted Lias, and he had no idea where he could be.
Hektor suddenly noticed a movement in the corner of his eye... It was the princess and young Philon! Thank goodness they had made it out without injury. Philon’s death would be sorrowful, but the death of the True Princess could mean the death of the rebellion itself. Satisfied that they would soon be out of the palace and into safety, Hektor returned his attention to the battlefield. By now the antechamber’s huge glow-shell chandelier was swaying to and fro ominously from its chain attached to the high, domed ceiling. Hektor watched in horror as one stray weapon soared through the water and struck the chain, causing the entire structure to collapse. They may have been underwater but the chandelier was so massive that its sheer weight swiftly pulled it downward and onto the fighters below. Hektor cried out and clasped a flipper to his mouth—the victims had been almost all Vasnians. Now they were down in numbers.
“Rudy!” Hektor said, turning to a Vasnian general. “Call in the second army.”
“Look, I know it’s a last resort but that chandelier just took out at least fifteen of our men. We need numbers.”
“I know, sir, but the second army was called an hour ago. They’re already fighting.”
Hektor’s stomach dropped. This meant that there was no one left to fight. He watched as his army struggled to stand their ground. The Trekkan warriors were strong, and now there were more of them than there were Vasnians. Unless a miracle occurred it seemed they could not win.
Vasnian after Vasnian fell almost simultaneously. The exhausted warriors were doing their best, but they needed help if they were going to win this. Hektor braced himself, ready to order a retreat.
The Elephante wheeled around, startled. It was Alodia—and about seventy Abovian, fully armed warriors. She had returned from the Above as promised. Hektor nearly cried out with gratitude but instead cleared his throat and took a deep breath.
“Alodia, thank goodness. We are falling—send your soldiers into the fight immediately. You’re our final hope, I’m afraid.”
“Yes, sir!” she said enthusiastically, saluting the Elephante. She turned and faced her eager troops. “Come, friends,” she commanded. “It is time for vengeance!”
The group let out a thrilling war cry and swam forward. Hektor was amazed by the different species—there were other Lutari like Alodia, but also Acaras, Krawks, and Bruces. They all wore the same outraged expression on their faces, as if they had been horribly wronged and were here to make things right.
At the sight of these strange creatures many fighters balked, both Trekkans and Vasnians. Most of them had never before seen Abovians. But the Vasnians recovered more quickly because they had already known the Abovians were coming. The Trekkans, however, were utterly confused and terrified. They thought these new creatures were demons with weapons never before seen in the ocean. A couple Trekkans actually fainted in fright.
“Fear is strength,” Hektor muttered, shaking his head as he watched this turn of events.
The Vasnians quickly overtook the Trekkan forces with the newcomers’ assistance, and, after several more hours of intense battle, victory was finally theirs. It had been a long, exhausting day, but it had all been worth it. The rebellion had succeeded.
Princess Isolde was crowned queen the next day. Her brother, formerly King Castor, easily surrendered and let his sister take control. It turned out he had already tired of Trekkan rule and he was more than happy to let a Vasnian take the throne.
Lias was never found. It was rumored that he had fled as soon as the Vasnians had the slightest advantage, eager to save his own skin. (“Coward!” Akios exclaimed angrily at this news.)
The council that had stayed loyal after Isolde’s capture immediately became the Royal Council of Vasnia. They were to assist Queen Isolde in most decisions concerning the kingdom and met regularly as soon as Isolde took the throne.
All Vasnians, whether or not they had assisted in the rebellion, were gifted handsomely, with rebel warriors receiving a bit more. A ceremony was held within the week to commemorate those that had died during the battle. The Trekkans were permanently banished from the kingdom, and any Trekkan or their descendants would never be allowed to set foot, fin, or flipper on Vasnian sand.
Two weeks after the battle Queen Isolde approached Alodia, who was preparing to return to the Above the next day. She had been staying in the palace for the past couple of weeks, yet she and Isolde had not been face to face since before Isolde’s capture all that time ago.
“Alodia,” Isolde said, knocking gently on Alodia’s doorframe. Her belongings (which now included a hefty amount of precious minerals and other valuable items) were stacked in cases around the bedroom. She and her caravan were leaving in exactly twenty-four hours. She turned around at the sound of Isolde’s voice.
“Oh! Your Highness!”
“Isolde,” the queen corrected her. “I am never ‘Your Highness’ to you.” She smiled—she clearly meant it as a compliment.
“Isolde. I was just packing...”
“I know. Alodia, I know we never used to see eye to eye... And I want to apologize for treating you so badly. I had old prejudices, and I wasn’t at all fair to you.”
“Oh Isolde, you don’t have to apologize to me! Really, I understand completely. You had never met an Abovian before, after all.”
“Yes, well... Look, I’d also like to thank you profusely. Your efforts are the reason the rebellion succeeded. So I wanted to give you this as a sign of our friendship and my gratitude.”
Isolde held out a chain with a shiny medallion—it was the very one she had worn every day for almost her entire life; it was the necklace she had inherited from her mother, the late Queen Nareth. Alodia took one look at it and immediately shook her head.
“Thank you, but there’s no way I can accept this! It was your mother’s!”
“Please, Alodia. It is a gift. I want you to wear it and remember the Vasnian people during your life in the Above. I want you to remember me.”
Alodia took it hesitantly and clasped it around her neck. It was absolutely dazzling.
“Thank you so much!” she cried, rushing to Isolde and embracing her. Tears welled up in her eyes. Despite their rough beginnings, the queen had finally befriended her. This somehow had made everything worth it.
“Alodia, I’ve been curious about something for some time, and I’d love to clear it up before your departure.”
“What is it?”
“Well... Why exactly did you and your friends come to help our cause? I mean, we were doomed without you and are eternally indebted to you, but why did you care about Vasnia in the first place?”
Alodia didn’t answer at once. She took her time to form her answer carefully.
“We didn’t exactly care about Vasnia,” she began slowly. “We mostly wanted revenge on the Trekkans. You see, long ago, when I was just a young child, several adults of my Abovian town decided to explore Neopia’s ocean—you know, to see if there was anyone down here. My parents and the parents of many of my friends participated in the exploration. But they disappeared. We didn’t hear word from them until months later, when a solitary survivor returned and explained to us what had happened. They had met the Trekkans at some point during their travels and were completely destroyed. Every single one of the fighters I brought from my land is an orphan, their parents murdered by the Trekkans. We have grown up since then—I was only about six years old at the time—and we had a vendetta to fulfill.”
Isolde gasped at the both injustice and the fact that every single Abovian warrior—all seventy of them—were orphans. The story barely surprised her, however; she knew the Trekkans were bloodthirsty and merciless.
“Perhaps we shouldn’t have let the Trekkans free,” Isolde said regretfully. “They might harm others out there.”
“Not unless they’ve found Lias,” Alodia replied confidently. “He was the leader from the beginning, the corrupter of the Trekkans. And even if they do come across him, I doubt they’ll be very happy that he abandoned them so quickly. The Trekkans probably now have their own vendetta.”
The departure of Alodia and her Abovian friends was both heart wrenching and heart warming. They had defeated the Trekkans and thus avenged their deceased parents, and they were extremely pleased with themselves. They had lost a few lives, of course, but they had been prepared for this consequence from the very beginning. All was now well, and they could begin living their lives again.
Alodia proudly displayed Isolde’s necklace on her neck, and she hugged all her Vasnian friends before leading her people upward toward the open air of the Above. Tears welled up in Isolde’s eyes as she watched her friends and saviors disappear into the blue abyss. Philon was standing next to her and gave her a big hug.
“It’s time to rebuild the kingdom, Princess,” he said, ignoring the fact that she had left the title of princess behind weeks ago.
“Philon, would you like to join the Royal Council?” she asked spontaneously.
Philon was startled, but nodded eagerly.
“I’d love to!”
“Good,” Isolde responded, breaking away from Philon’s embrace. “Because we have a lot of work to do.