Another Shade of Green: Part Three
Jhudora woke up the next day feeling miserable. Ms. Deja had been correct. She wasn't faking being sick. She really felt miserable and she just wanted to crawl back into bed and fall asleep. She didn't bother brushing her tangled hair and, after getting dressed, she managed to drag herself to Ms. Flame's class.
"Jhudora, you look positively ill. What is wrong with you, child?"
Jhudora blinked slowly and looked up at Ms. Flame. "I'm really sick."
Ms. Flame eyed Jhudora warily. "I don't trust you, but you really do look sick. Why don't you go to the nurse; she'll know whether or not you're really sick."
Jhudora sighed wearily and managed to pick herself up and walk to the nurse's office where she promptly collapsed in one of the chairs. When called, the nurse took Jhudora's temperature and was shocked. "Dear child! You have a horrible fever. You should go to bed now!"
Jhudora attempted to shrug her shoulders but lacked even the strength to do that, barely managing to utter even a monosyllabic response. "Sure."
Jhudora left the nurse's office and walked as hastily as possible to headmistress Vashti's office. She knocked on the door and, once given permission, walked into the room.
"Headmistress Vashti, I'm really sick. You can ask the nurse if you don't believe me. I just came to tell you that I'm gonna be asleep the rest of today, so I'd appreciate it if you'd let me sleep without disruptions."
"If you're really sick, I suppose that's a fair request to make. Go rest, Jhudora."
"Thanks, headmistress Vashti."
Jhudora walked out of the room and walked as quickly as her body would allow to her room. Once there, she walked to her desk and found a bottle sitting on the dresser. She picked it up and guzzled the contents. Moments later, she felt fine. Her fever was gone and she felt normal again.
She quickly joined the other dark faeries and found Ms. Deja.
"Ms. Deja, I don't know what you did, but it worked perfectly! You're a genius!"
"Hush, Jhudora! Not here. We can talk later. Now we must hurry if we want to leave on time."
"Of course, Ms. Deja. Sorry about that."
"All is well. Now, Jhudora, my services come at a price. You may join us for this part of the trip, but you will not be joining us at our destination. You will be going to Meridell."
Jhudora whined at the teacher who had helped her, "but that must be where all the earth faeries are going!"
Ms. Deja's tone was biting and forceful. "Hush! You think that I don't know that? Listen quickly. You are one of the two most powerful dark faeries and Illusen is the most powerful earth faerie. The two of you are powerful enough to control Neopia. She does not yet know this, but it can only remain hidden for so long. Ms. Flame and headmistress Vashti know it and they both fear you. You know how powerful they are. Know that their fear of you is easily justified; you are a powerful young lady, Jhudora. You must get Illusen to join you. She may not share your intentions, but she would go to the same lengths to achieve what she desires. She loves Neopian greenery, and in the end it will consume her until she feels that she must control it. When that happens, you would be wise to aid her as she begins to take over and rule Neopia. For that reason, you will be going to Meridell."
Jhudora was overwhelmed with information. She had always known that she was powerful, but she never realized that even the headmistress was afraid of her; let alone the fact that the headmistress had good reason to be afraid! She allowed Ms. Deja to propel her to the congregated earth faeries.
"Before I leave, Ms. Deja, what did you do to headmistress Vashti?"
Ms. Deja allowed a wicked grin to form before she answered Jhudora's question. "Let's just say that I hope she has no interest in fulfilling her duties for the rest of the day."
"Did you hurt her or something?"
"Jhudora, what I gave to you was highly contagious. While I'd love to infect the whole school, everybody but headmistress Vashti received the antidote. You received it only after you had infected her. She is just as sick as you were an hour ago. Now go! You must confront Illusen when the time is right!"
"But I'm a dark faerie, I'll stand out!"
"Not anymore you won't."
With a quick flick of her wrist as she walked away, the older faerie transformed Jhudora's appearance into that of an earth faerie.
"Girls, please settle down! I know that you're all excited to be visiting Meridell, but you must calm yourselves! Now, would you please get into pairs as quickly as possible, quickly!"
Jhudora found Illusen and quickly paired herself with Illusen.
Illusen looked at Jhudora and smiled. "Hi, my name is Illusen. What's your name?"
"My name is... Arodu. It's nice to meet you, Illusen."
"You will be given two hours to explore and, if you would like, practice. You may play in the leaves, try to make plants grow more quickly, or experiment as you see fit. Just make sure that you stay in your groups! Now go and have fun!"
"Hey, Arodu, where would you like to go?"
"Oh, anywhere is fine, really. I don't care much about this place; I prefer all the beautiful plants back home. These just aren't for me."
Illusen looked at Jhudora in the same way a Meerca would look at a Pteri who claimed he was made of jelly. "You must be crazy! It's absolutely gorgeous. Let's go explore over by the edge of the forest."
"How about over by the hill for that cheese game. What's it called, anyway? Cheese roller? Something like that. I'd love to explore over there."
Jhudora shrugged. "Whatever. I really don't care."
The two girls walked over by the forest. Illusen was completely enthralled by the majestic trees that guarded Meridell's border. Jhudora was bored out of her mind, but she knew she had to wait for the right moment to bring up control of Neopia.
The hours passed so quickly for Illusen that she hardly even realized that any time had passed at all. She heard the teachers calling the earth faeries back and knew that she had no choice but to return to Faerieland with them, once more being separated from the unique fauna that flourished in Meridell but would never be healthy in Faerieland.
Without warning, Illusen started sobbing. Tears streamed down her creamy complexion and landed on the soft earth. Although Illusen didn't realize it, each tear made the trees immediately around her grow. As she sobbed hysterically, the trees grew and started to form a cabin. Jhudora stared in awe at the trees, but she couldn't think of anything to say, and so she remained silent.
After about ten minutes, Illusen finally stopped crying and looked around and was immediately shocked at the sight surrounding her. She was sitting in the middle of a cabin that was fully furnished and carefully hidden amongst the trees. Nobody could find it if they did not first know where it was. She was amazed at the transformation that had taken place as her tears were soaked into the ground.
Illusen slowly walked out of the cabin and down the stairs that were, literally, a part of one of the trees that had created the cabin.
She reached the bottom and looked, awe filling her eyes, at Jhudora. "Did I do this?"
Jhudora saw her opportunity and humored Illusen. "Yes, you did. You are a very powerful young girl. You have great power over this land. You could do great things all over this continent, if you let yourself. In fact, I can help you."
"What are you talking about?"
"Illusen, it's me, Jhudora. We are two of the most powerful faeries in all of Faerieland. Even Ms. Flame and headmistress Vashti fear us! If we wanted to, we could control Neopia. We should, for the good of Neopia. Do you know what you could do for all the inhabitants of this great land?"
Illusen was horrified at Jhudora's suggestion. She had no desire to take control of Neopia, and certainly not Meridell. She just wanted to enjoy the beauty that was there. "Jhudora, I do not know who has told you these things, but you are deceived. I could never do that to this great and amazing place."
Jhudora harrumphed and stuck her tongue out at Illusen. "Then I'll just leave you here. I'll go back to Faerieland without you!"
"I can only hope! Leave this place, Jhudora. Leave me and never return to this wondrous place. Go and commit your foul deeds somewhere else. You are neither welcome nor wanted in this great place."
"You sound awfully vicious, Illusen."
Illusen glared at Jhudora, filled with anger at her audacity to suggest that the land should be conquered. "And rightfully so! You suggest that I conquer this amazing land. I could no more conquer Meridell than you could conquer your dreams. You would gain nothing by doing so and in the end you would lose more than you gain. There may be viciousness in my words, but they are justified. I do not and could never even want to control this place. It allows me to use it at my will, I have no control over it and I want no control over it. Until you learn that same lesson, you will never be welcome in my new home."
"Your new home?"
Illusen nodded. "Yes. I'm staying here. I'm not going back to Faerieland with you. All my stuff is already here and I'm not leaving this amazing place."
To be continued...