A Glimmer of Hope
Illuminated stones pulsate in pastel colors beneath your feet; crisp air soothes your face, yet a seemingly permanent warmth heats your feet with every step. A young Kougra with elaborate pink face paint shouts and tries to catch your attention, but his words are drowned out by the celebration music; this moment is so happy, so alive for everyone lucky enough to experience it.
This was Fyora's intention from the beginning. Though none have ever guessed, the Queen had endured many hard times. From the ashes of those memories, she emerged as the Queen every face on this planet adores. Fyora exudes energy. Though she has roamed the world for centuries untold, her face glows. A person lucky enough to encounter her smile is immediately put at ease. Faerieland has always been her home, so those who reside there receive most of her affection. The city's glow seemed to illuminate the sky; the constant smiles over passersby gives you confidence.
Three days ago, while browsing through the book shop, a baby Poogle was barely able to control his tears. He howled and whimpered, so you went to see if you could help. Turning side to side, you realized that his mother wasn't around. The little Poogle tugged at your finger the entire time you searched the store. Finally, a distraught faerie Poogle noticed the baby. She sprang through the air, hugging the little one. She thanked you and walked off. Suddenly, the drink you had been holding in your hand was suddenly in the air, as you scream. A large puff of sweet smelling pink smoke began to disperse. Your mouth felt as if it was hanging open, but something within you made it impossible to close.
Before you stood the Faerie Queen. She was very soft spoken, and almost sounded nervous.
"I saw what kind a kind deed you just did. I would really appreciate if you would take this..." Fyora passed you a small glittery paper the stated, "Worth 10% Off. No expiration date. Courtesy of, Queen Fyora."
You started to blush with embarrassment, but thanked her quickly. How many times have you drooled over that Fountain Faerie Doll? Too many. A shopping trip seemed in order; then again, how many opportunities does one ever get like this?
"Actually, I would really like if you would mind coming to see me... erm... come look at the shop on the 2nd. It's Fyora Day, but I would very much like to spend it with a good hearted Neopian!" You sensed a nervousness coming from the Queen. Shock slowed your reaction time down, but a stuttered "Of... of course," eventually found its way out of your mouth. The Queen rushed forward and hugged you, kissing both cheeks, and giggled excitedly as she disappeared.
So after a few days of pacing, trying to figure out what was so special, you find yourself in Faerieland on Fyora Day. It really is beautiful; something about faeries is so rejuvenating. By the final step to the palace's main door, very little of your clothes weren't covered in some type of glittery dust. The door swings open as you're frantically trying to blow the dust off.
"I am so pleased you came!" Fyora's voice rang. "Please, come in. Allow me to bring you on a tour?" Much obliged, and in no position to decline, you followed her through hallways after hallway. Many amazing rooms passed by: one exploded in bright colors every few seconds, as potions were being tested. Young petpets cried from a nursery, several zooming around the air with wings the size of a pebble. The tour ended in her famous Hidden Tower.
Breathing was no longer involuntary, as you had to struggle to find a breath. Never before had you seen such treasures. The thought of how much the items would all cost took yet another breath from you. Your hand instinctively reached out at the shimmering gold, the porcelain paintings, the handcrafted dolls. You had always had a fascination with your best friend's mom's pearls and jewels.
Fyora was watched you intently; she was smiling.
"I knew you would like them. This is my personal collection. My heart never stops aching unless I am helping a precious creature. When I take small journeys to help nourish a village back to health and prosperity, I am often gifted with a token. This one..." she picked up a small shell, filled with a mesmerising jewel. It seemed as if the colors swirled within it, and a glow radiated from it. You never remember having seen anything like it.
"I was near Mystery Island when I felt that I was needed. When I arrived to a tiny town on the coast, several important Kougras were very ill. I was able to give them the energy to recover. I was presented with what they called "The Eye of Hope." They named it as such because of the dynamic traits of this jewel. Around tight corners," her hand began radiating heat, "it becomes almost liquid; it can maneuver through anything. On an average day, when the skies seem to darken, this precious jewel remains more sturdy than any other element on this world. An island mystic charmed this particular one with prosperity. I keep these treasures, all very close to my heart, locked away in this room. You may be surprised to hear this, but you are the first one I have ever allowed to enter this room."
Fyora turned away. She held a small trinket above her; filtering sunlight gleamed against it. It appeared to be a small purple rock. Never before had you seen a rock like it, but for a lack of words, it was a purple rock. Small golden rays escaped from it, and Fyora's sweet smile turned to a look of distraction.
"I am very much surprised, yet even more honored," you slowly said. The mood here was unsure, as if there was more to be said. "What is that you're holding there? Surely an interesting story is to be told of it." Several seconds passed before the Queen acknowledged she had been spoken to. Not looking away from the rock, she began to recite a story:
"No one has ever known which type of faerie I am. I am not water nor fire, the earth listens but does not sing to me. Space accepts me but never shares it's secrets. I have always been kept distant from others; they used to say that no one would understand. I was very young when I decided to try to find out myself. I tried dipping my toes in Moltara, melting snow in Terror Mountain, and I even tried to make flowers blossom. The only time I felt any closer to the answer was when I met Hesperos. I was sitting in a field very far from here one night. I was weak, and my feet had not yet forgiven me for my detour to Moltara. I felt very alone; I believe it was the cause of the cold. I looked upwards towards the sky and began admiring the beauty of the stars. It seemed as if I could remember the King and Queen before me; I was much too young to remember even their elemental type. I began imagining the stars coming towards me, comforting me. Suddenly, I realized that a star had actually seemed to meet me. A small, fading light bounced before my face. I gasped in shock!
I quickly turned as I sensed someone watching, but I was again distracted by the orb of light growing rapidly brighter. As the light grew, Hesperos (or as I fondly called her Rosie) was shown to me near the trees. Somehow, without me ever speaking, she knew everything about me. We looked very much similar, and those who saw us together often thanked the hair colors to help tell us apart. Her hair shimmered, even in the dark. Her feet left glowing prints on the grass, her wings trailed dust behind them. My favorite color was purple, hers was pink.
She quickly decided that she was going to help me find out who I was. Many light faeries wept when she announced she was leaving for a while. She was truly a wonderful faerie. During our adventures, we would find opportunities to help others. By then end of the summer, we had built a secret building just to hold all of our treasures.
Back then, of course, the treasures were of little monetary value. It was a child's favorite stamp, or a vase from a mother. Nevertheless, Rosie insisted that these would help guide me to discovering the truth.
I know now what I knew well then; she knew exactly who I was. Rosie knew where I came from as well as who I am meant to be. But, like the skies above, no answers were ever allowed to be given freely.
I worked diligently to attempt to understand what my little trinkets had to do with my secrets. Rosie always looked so sad as I would hunch over tables of stamps and stuffed animals. I do believe she wanted me to understand, I believe we loved each other as blood sisters.
The day of my official inauguration came. I had run weeping into the gardens.
"How am I to lead others if I do not know how to lead myself?" I thought over and over again to myself. I cried and screamed. Rosie found me in the furthest garden. She looked worse than I felt. As she sat next to me on the ground, pastel pinks and purples emanated from her feet, spreading across the entire courtyard.
"Fyora, darling. I must tell you. It is the law of my kind to never unveil what is still a mystery. However, I am aware that you are needed by these kind people of Faerieland. More still, you will reach the heart of every creature, wings or not, and leave smiles on their faces. I want to make sure that happens. You must not waste a second weeping. You must have confidence and understand that you are the only faerie meant for this purpose. You are a legend, you just don't realize it yet. I am here to tell you..." Rosie was cut off, when suddenly her hand began to sparkle ever more than usual. Her bright and pale skin was suddenly fading.
I tried desperately to cling to her; I could not bear for her to leave. Rosie was the only one that did not fear me or resent me. Instead, she encouraged me! By the time I could cry for help, she was gone. This small stone," Fyora flipped the purple rock over in her hands, "was all I could find left behind. I do not know for sure where it is from. I kept researching what type of faerie I could possibly be, and began ruling over this kingdom with the ideals that Rosie and I learned together. At first, I was far from a leader. I was so consumed with my adventure that I neglected the needs of my people. From this sadness and curiosity, I have developed powers that even a magical upbringing could never give. I keep these trophies to remind me of my quest. I must keep my head on my shoulders for my people, but I must also understand what powers hide within me so that I may use them properly. I like to find items, very similar to a few you see here in this room, that others may earn to help them in their own quests. I wish I was able to give these away freely. However, it gives me comfort to know that I'm allowing some access to items that otherwise would only ever be held by Kings."
You had leaned against the wall and fallen to the floor during her story. Suddenly, the room seemed very, very loud. Every item in this flood of items represented Fyora's good deeds? You can barely make out the sign above the door across the room; this space was so large! Every inch of the walls was cluttered with treasures.
At the same time, amongst all of this wonder, you could feel your heart sinking. For so long you had always wished for Queen Fyora to bestow you with a quest, just to see her. You had read books about her. The Neopian Times was never short in new and exciting articles with her; hours were spent rereading them all of the time. Why, then, are you feeling so empty?
Of course. Because this wonderful faerie was aching with sorrow in front of you. That didn't change how overwhelming your trip had already been, and that you've never really had a way with words before.
"I am so sorry, my Queen. If I am able to do anything for you, please let me know." You blushed, feeling silly at the thought that you could possibly help the Queen. You still cry when you try to run a mile, let alone help the most powerful force known to Neopians. The Queen suddenly sniffed and turned to face you. Her face glowed with usual grace, but her eyes were freshly red and watery.
"Oh, I was so hoping you would say that!" Fyora nearly fainted, landing in front of you to grab your hand. "You see, I have been looking for someone for quite some time with a true and kind heart. You are one of the few that has never hurt another Neopian, Neopet, or Faerie ever before. You, too, seem to leave a trail of optimism behind you. Beyond that..." she grabbed your hand and pulled it to the edge of a bookcase filled with trophies, "you have a very similar magic about you. It is very similar to my own. Look." As you looked up, you saw the walls push forward even more shelves and closets of treasures. The scent of lavender and mangoes filled your nose, a shimmering light nearly blinded you, and a feeling of immense power rushed over you.
"What is going on?!" you asked, panicking. Fyora smiled and put her hand on either side of your face.
"You, too, have more within you than you know. I am asking a favor of you, as you are the only one I will ever trust to ask..." Her eyes darted side to side anxiously as she asked, "Would you mind running my tower for me?"
Your mouth dropped even further than the first time; you feared you might be able to taste your shoes soon enough. Suddenly, your head felt like it was about to burst. So many thoughts forced their way in, and you were unable to let anything out. Seeing your panic, she rushed forward.
"Now, now! I'm not asking you to run Faerieland. I do have a trusted faerie that is more than capable for helping while I am gone. I am not leaving forever. I need you. All you would have to do is man the shop, dust occasionally, and put a fresh bowl of candy on the counter every once in a while!" She looked as if she was about to burst. "It's just that I think I have found a connection between my trophies! What's more... I THINK I KNOW WHERE THIS STONE IS FROM! No where on our planet... even further than Kreludor..."
You've never been able to say no before. You've often waited for the next elevator, eaten the smallest piece of pie, and been stuck mowing your neighbors Neohome countless times. Your head told you, no... screamed at you that this was the time that NO is necessary. You opened your mouth quickly to allow that beautiful, BEAUTIFUL word "no" out, but instead an "alright" was found hanging in the air.
You had no time to even be speechless, as suitcase after suitcase were quickly gravitating towards Fyora. She floated forward and hugged you tightly.
"We aren't so different, you know. One day, you will come across a question that demands some unknown answer. I will be there for you." She looked directly into your eyes. Afterwards, she kept looking. Finally, with a wooosh, she was out the window. With so many questions running through your head, you leapt through the air towards the window just in time to yell to Fyora.
"Why go through such trouble to listen to Rosie? Why did she leave this hole in your heart?!" Fyora stopped abruptly and looked down at you.
"Because," she smiled brightly, "I believe we are sisters. If not sisters, then related! So many years of being alone and making others happy, I may finally have permanent happiness of my own!"
"WHAT IF SHE'S GONE, FYORA?!" you shouted, but it was too late. Loud bells began to ring against your ears as you realized you have your first customer. You roamed the halls quickly, trying to remember your tour. Eventually you reached the shop's entrance. Hastily putting on an apron, you saw two faerie Kacheeks peeking their heads through the door.
"Er... Welcome? Yes! Welcome to the Hidden Tower." You greeted the two and they eagerly flew over to you. A piece of hair insisted on falling across your face as you thought of what to say. For this to be so strange, you did find a certain comfort being here. Looking around at the artifacts surrounding you, Fyora's mention of each one being hand picked to help specific people with their quests popped into mind. "Tell me, have either of you ever dreamed of an adventure before? Because I may just have something here to help you with that!"