The Coronation of a King
Purple eyes stared out a window overlooking the frost heaves of Terror Mountain. Today was the day, Prince Hailstorm became King Hailstorm. Turning away from the window, the young ice Draik began to pace his room. Exhaling with a blast of chilly breath he turned towards the door. Everyone would be here soon. Hail, as he was known to his friends, began to tick off the guests one by one. There would be the Peophins of the water, the Pteris of the sky, and most importantly there would be the grumpy old king, Skarl himself. Hail’s father had reiterated plenty of times the importance of impressing the great king. The Skeiths were not only one of their closest allies, being dragons themselves, but Meridell was also one of their closest neighbors and unhappy kings led to skirmishes. It was bad enough that there were constant wars for the Obelisk in neighboring Tyrannia.
Donning the ceremonial garb Hail hurried out of his room.
Long steps and a short flight brought him to the hall where the event would take place. The ice prince gazed around him, wide eyed with astonishment and wonder. While the castle of Terror Mountain wasn’t a castle per se it still had its beauty. In the place of the sweeping turrets and draw bridge gates that one could find on Brightvale’s castles and Fyora’s palace, the little known castle nestled in the Ice Caves was chiseled out of the very substance that gave the area its name. Swooping stalactites and shards of colored ice where everywhere to be found. The stair case, crafted carefully by the greatest sculptors, wound around in a short spiral. The banisters were perfect to slide down on snow days. The Cave of the King looked out over the ice arena and shared a cavern with that of the great Snowager.
A fire Ixi slipped along the floor, lighting glowing candles in her wake. Two Draiks were rolling out a long carpet that was only set down on the icy floors when guests who might not be used to the chill were expected to visit. The area where the coronation was to begin was roped off with silver candle tree foregrounds which were already ablaze and letting off warmth that would drive away the bitter frost. Prince Hailstorm inhaled, the smells of cooking meat and baking pies coming to him from the bakery. He coughed when a peculiar smell from the Shop of Mystery wafted down to him and scrunched up his nose.
“Hail!” a sweet voice called out, echoing slightly across the cave walls. Hailstorm turned around to find a pretty chocolate Peophin making her way to him, her face flushed with a blush at the echo. “I’ll never get used to the echo of this place.” Pure Decadence whispered as she flashed him a grin.
Hail felt a grin of his own cross his features. “You don’t have to whisper Deca. Just… try not to project so loudly!”
Deca tossed her head, her dyed amber mane fluttering behind her. She was dressed his opposite, him in a silver tunic and black pants and the purple hair that was his only act of rebellious youth and her in a long sweeping gown the color of autumn leaves. The gown seemed to dance with light from the sun despite the fact that the sun rarely shown in this area of Terror Mountain. Decadence tossed her head again. If there was one thing she was vain about it was showing off her new hair style. Hail had to smile again. “Your hair looks fantastic.”
Deca smiled brightly. “Why thank you for noticing… finally. Honestly though Hail it’s not my fault I project. Have you ever tried speaking underwater? If you want someone to hear you let alone understand you well you have to be loud.” With a shrug of her shoulders she settled onto a bench placed against the wall. “Enough about me though. What about you? How are you feeling? I almost stopped at the Healing Springs to get you a potion in case you fainted. You do look a little pale.” She laughed a sound not unlike the wind whispering through the trees.
Prince Hailstorm gave her a look. “I’m an ice Draik. Of course I’m pale” He responded before casting a glance around. “Where’s Brujyh? Did your brother decide not to come after all?” Brujyh, the third of the four friends, was a dimensional Peophin who was as opposite of his sister as could be.
“He’s around.. somewhere.” Deca said with a wave of her hoof. Being 202 days younger than her brother didn’t stop her from being the more mature one. “If I know him he’s probably causing mischief at the Neggery or worst shopping for a new petpet. He’s Squall’s problem not mine.” Squallleonheart50 was a very old Darigan Peophin who’s reputation in the early Neopian Battledome led him to getting a favored spot in the Peophin world. Some say watching the two children of the Grand Peo was the highest honor one could receive. Squall always joked that it was a fate worse than being the guy who rented out poles to underwater fishers.
Both Peophin and Draik turned at the sound of hopping coming from behind them. In strode Violettya. “Good morning, good morning!” cried their friend. Viol was always at the height of the latest Neopian fashion and was bedecked in a dazzling ruby gown. Her blonde hair was held up by a headband that looked like a crown. “Are we excited for today or what?” squeaked the Cybunny. “Ahh Decadence, look at you.. don’t you know blonde is the new auburn?”
Deca tossed her head again. “Nonsense, blonde was last year, auburn is definitely in this year. Right Hail?” The young Draik looked confused.
“Hmm…” He replied, neither agreeing nor disagreeing. His eyes widened at the time. “I’ve got to go get ready!”
A few short hours later the hall was packed. The uneasy eyes of some of the guests glanced around hoping the noise wouldn’t wake up the Snowager and cause him to blast them all. Prince Hailstorm strolled out and across the expansive ground. He lifted his chin and tried to make sure he didn’t accidentally trip over his tail which would have embarrassed both him and his parents forever. He got to the front of the room and took his place next to King Skarl. Skarl glanced at him grumpily. “Don’t mess this up.”
The wise king of Brightvale sat next to his brother. Hagan leaned across the other Skeith and fixed Hail with a smile. “You’ve got this.“
Hail smiled back. “Thank you, Your Majesty. Though, I’m frightened.”
King Hagan frowned at him. “I’m not dense, youngin’! I already knew that!” he replied.
Hail stood up prepared to give his acceptance speech. He looked out across the crowd and tugged at the color of his silver tunic. He started to speak and nothing came out but a small squeak. Embarrassed, Prince Hailstorm glanced at the floor then cleared his throat. Looking up again he caught the eye of Pure Decadence who gave him an encouraging smile. He nodded and his eyes rested on Squallleonheart50. A thought came to him and he started again. “What do you do if fierce Peophins has eaten too much tin of olives?” The crowd looked confused. Hail continued. “When they’re eating a Air Faerie ice lollies.”
King Skarl stood up with a glare. “Leave my kingdom now!” *Grrrrrrr*
An insistent beeping noise filled Prince Hailstorm’s ears. He lurched up in bed. It was all a dream. Only just a dream. “Silly dragon! You’re a prince in name but nothing more. “Hail said to himself as soon as his heart stopped racing. Quickly he jotted down what he said to the King. Getting dressed, he flew downstairs almost colliding with his father in the hallway.
“What’s the hurry?” His father asked.
“I need to go to Meridell! I think I might have figured out how to get the Skarl-Moody avatar!” The young Draik exclaimed, halfway out the door already.