Lucci, The Moon Spirit:Part Two
His heart had leaped out of his chest when he saw her. "Lucci!" he said, as he spotted her on the hill, sleeping in the melting pile of snow. He had searched endlessly to find her, so afraid in his heart of what might’ve happened to her after she fell. But alas! She survived!
But then, he reconsidered. "What if she forgot about me?" he thought to himself. An array of self-doubting questions followed, and he asked himself if they could ever be together again. In all of his time as the sun spirit, he never saw anyone fall from the stars onto the Neopia and ever make their way back up. He sighed, but he would find a way to her once more. For though they were opposite, they had a connection unlike any other. He imagined one day holding her hand while they danced, running his hands through her hair, and singing melody’s together while walking through the town. As his thoughts grew happier, he shined brighter than ever. The townspeople remarked at how quickly the snow melted over the course of the morning, and rejoiced in the opportunity to continue stocking firewood for the deepest of winter.
She woke to her eyes burning. She sat up, and saw the sun blissfully shining brightly over her head. Her arm quickly covered her face, shielding her eyes from the rays. "It’s so bright!" she yelled out, scampering to get onto her feet. With her eyes still covered, she knew she had to get somewhere dark. She started running towards the forest, where she knew the sun could not shine through the thick branches.
He watched her, sad that once again the power of the sun he wielded, had caused her physical pain. He saw his beloved disappear into the forest. "Don’t forget me." He said out loud.
She ran safely inside the forest, but she wouldn’t make it far. Refreshed to be out of the sunlight, she stopped for a breath of fresh air and rubbed her eyes to dull the burning sensation.
"HALT! HALT IN THE NAME OF THE QUEEN!" a strange voice said. She listened, there were galloping sounds, the sounds a Uni would make. She turned to see an army of men on their Uni’s, charging towards her way. She took off full sprint the other way, unsure of who they were, who the Queen was or why they were following her.
She was not the most graceful on her feet yet, and running was still a challenge. Her dress caught on a nearby tree and she fell, unable to unwrap the fibers of the fabric from the sharp sliver of wood.
"What do you want?" she screamed as the men surrounded her.
"In the name of the Queen, you have been summoned to the Royal Palace." One of them said, presumably the leader of the army. A thick steel helmet covered his face, and his armor was highest-quality steel adorned with a red cape and the emblem of the palace. The men behind him dawned Meridell flags. "You must come with us, Miss. You will not be harmed."
Looking for other ways of escaping, she sadly saw none. She pulled her dress free from the wood and climbed onto the back of a Uni they had ready for her. Chained to another Uni, they took off. She had never rode Uni-back before, but she seemed to get the hang of it, especially since another was leading hers. Her heart pounded, she didn’t know why she was being summoned.
As they made their way out of the forest, she instinctually covered her face with her arm, although this time much of the sun was covered with clouds, and it did not pain her to be in the sunlight. "Helios." She thought. "I know that was you. Don’t worry. I’ll be okay."
They rode for nearly 50 miles to the palace. The castle gates opened upon their arrival, and they followed through a cobblestone path up about another mile. Wherever she was, it was beautiful. The grass was soft, luscious, and a bright color of green. This differed from the rest of the town, that clearly didn’t have the funding for proper lawn care and represented more of a dry, stick brown color and appearance. Trees began to line the cobblestone path, and they passed many large flower gardens, garden statues and ponds.
Finally, they crossed a drawbridge going over a mote. She could see the palace in all of its entirety. She’s not quite sure how she never saw this while up in the sky, it had to be one of the most magnificent castles she had ever seen. And in person and up close, it seemed that much more impressive.
She could see a large amount of people outside the castle walls. Handmaidens, servants, cooks, gardeners, tutors stood around the entrance. Then there was one woman in particular who must have been the Queen. A beautiful Royal Lupe, with her hands gracefully grasping each other in front of her elegant red dress. The soldier pulling her Uni stopped in front of the Queen, jumped down from his Uni, and helped Lucci down from hers.
There was silence as the two exchanged looks at each other. The Queen had a smile on her face, and curtsied in front of Lucci and nodded her head. Lucci did the same motion, although not quite as gracefully.
"Welcome to the Palace, Moon Spirit. My name is Queen Cassandra."
Lucci’s smile dropped and a look of confusion and fear swept across her face.
"No need to panic my dear, you are perfectly safe here and nobody will share your secret if you do not wish us too. We felt it was important for your safety to summon you here, and keep you under protection of the royal guard."
"But, how did you know?" she said, still stunned.
"We will discuss that soon enough. Come in now dear, let me show you to your room." The Queen said, reaching for arm. She wrapped it around her arm and escorted Lucci inside.
The sun watched up above, as best as he could through the clouds. He had a suspicion in his heart…this did not look good.
"You must be tired my dear, it is your nighttime after all." Cassandra said, opening the magnificently large doors to a guest room. Lucci gasped, it was immaculate. The room was dark, but illuminated by small, flashing, white lights in the ceiling surrounded by beautiful dark blue paint. It looked exactly like the night sky.
The bed was fitted with a white comforter, made of the finest delicate cottons imported from the Lost Desert and had a white tulle canopy gracefully hanging over it. All of the furniture was pristinely white, and it had seemed like the room was made for her.
"Your majesty, this is an amazing room. I truly am looking at it in awe; it’s literally taken my breath away. But I cannot help but be confused, how could you have possibly known who I was? And why would you help me?"
"Yes, yes, my dear. I knew you would be wondering. Truth is, I have an interesting past. I was born into nobility, but I was also given a special gift. The power to see the past and prophesize the future. But I was also given a special curse. Nobody would believe my prophecies or anything I had to say. All over a simple little argument really."
"But, I believe you. I believe every word you’ve said so far and have no reason to doubt you."
"You are not from Neopia now are you my sweet?"
Lucci bowed her head out of acknowledgment that she was indeed right about her being the Moon Spirit.
The Queen walked over towards the window and looked down at all of the servants, housekeepers, and florists outside. They were laughing. They were mocking her.
"You see down there? None of them believe me. I called you a Moon Spirit and here they all are, thinking I’m delusional. Who knows what they think about you now. But I know who you are and what powers you have, and I know I must keep you safe."
"My, my powers?" Lucci said quizzically.
The Queen looked back to her from the window, "Yes. But I must allow for you to find those out on your own. You may find them to be more of a curse, and I’d rather not spoil it for you." This was an answer that would have Lucci repeating to herself over and over again.
"It is daytime for us, and so you must sleep. You will grow weak if you do not. We shall speak again tonight, I will send a servant to collect you for dinner tonight at 9PM sharp. Goodnight." She said, closing the door behind her.
When she woke up later that day, she ran over the large window of her guest room and opened the silk curtain shades. She saw him, the sun, disappearing in front of her. She waved to him, hoping he could see her and would see she was safe. She saw it get brighter for a moment, then fade away completely. She smiled, and looked out her window further to see the sun. It was beginning to grow smaller, as the new lunar cycle was beginning, and less of the moon would be illuminated. In about a week, it would become the "First Quarter Moon" phase.
She opened her wardrobe to see dresses and garments already hanging there for her. She was immensely fond of her white dress in which she arrived to Neopia with, but she decided something different would be in order until she could get her dress repaired and cleaned.
She slipped into a new dress, and joked to herself that she shall wear this every First Quarter Moon. It was a stunning dress, one that most Neopians would recognize as the Royal Girl Kyrii Dress. The bottom layer was of white tulle to give fullness to her legs. The second, light blue fabric with long, white triangle patterns. The top layer was a lovely shade of blue, and pulled the dress together and balanced well with the color of her skin. A blue-green cape with a white-fur collar hung nearby, that she fastened around her shoulders and allowed to flow perfectly behind her. She twisted strands of her hair from the front of her face back, on each side, and fastened behind her head. Her long, flowing, green hair fell gracefully down to her waist. She saw her hands glowing pure white, so she found a pair of white gloves to cover them, as to not draw attention to herself. Especially since most people in the household would not believe she was a moon spirit after all, if it came from Cassandra anyways.
She turned to look at herself in the mirror and smiled, she quite liked her appearance and was delighted to try on the dress, another item that seemed to have been made for her.
She was startled at the knock at the door, but it was only a small Usul who had come to collect her for dinner.
The Usul was quiet, and didn’t say much. She led Lucci down the long corridors of the Castle until they found their way to the dining hall. Lucci bowed to the Queen and her royal guests, before taking the seat pulled out for her by the Usul.
Lucci and the Queen talked extensively over dinner; Lucci had many questions about Neopia and felt quite comfortable talking to the Queen. The Queen, by the end of dinner, would have insisted that Lucci take up piano, art, history and even language lessons…until Lucci demonstrated to her that she knew most modern languages since she watched over the Neopia for thousands of years. The Queen laughed and was quite impressed.
"Well, when they return back from the war, the King and the Crowned Prince will be very happy to meet you my dear. They will be delighted to find such a beauty and a kind-hearted person in the palace."
"Thank you your majesty, I truly appreciate everything you have done for me. I do miss the moon terribly so, but until I get back this is quite a lovely place to stay in. Thank you."
"Of course, it’s the least I can do for you Moon Spirit. I do have one favor to ask of you though, you see, as mentioned earlier, the war will be over soon. Meridell has been quite successful due to his majesties military strategy efforts. And I wish to hold a ball for the kingdom when they return. It would be a delight if you would attend as our honored guest."
"A ball? Really?" she said, remembering watching young ladies and gentlemen from all over attend balls, where they danced the night away while adorned in the fanciest gowns and attires. "I’m afraid I’m not familiar with dancing like they do here on Neopia though."
"Nonsense, you will have plenty of time for lessons before then. I will see to it for you. Would you care for more dessert?"
"I am quite full, but thank you. I do enjoy these delicacies you all call "moon pies" though, I must admit again I never had any need to eat while on the moon so I can’t be one to compare these from any real ones though!" she said with a laugh. The Queen laughed as well, so hard in fact, she began to tear up. After wiping the corners of her eyes, she dismissed herself, and instructed Lucci on where to find the piano room on the third floor of the palace, should she feel like playing.
Later on, after changing into a dress that wasn’t so tight around her waist, she made her way to the piano room. There, she was met by the same Usul servant who escorted her earlier.
"I will be your teacher today." She said, almost embarrassed.
"Oh, excellent. Thank you. I’m sorry, I don’t have much to go on."
The Usul walked over to the grand piano and begun to play. Lucci’s mouth dropped at the sound of the beautiful song she played, it was the most miraculous thing she had ever heard before. She sat down and put her fingers on the keys to play after the Usul was finished, and wished she could make the keys sound graceful, as she had just heard. Even though the Usul was up quite late past her bedtime, she stayed up all night with Lucci going over the basics. Lucci enjoyed her music classes after dinner every night, and by the end learned to play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", although she was confused by the lyrics.
A week passed and Lucci began to feel different every day. As she did every night, she waved goodbye to the sun, and greeted the moon like it was an old friend. She saw it the crescent growing smaller and smaller, and knew the next cycle was in full swing, the Full Moon.
She instantly grew a headache and felt debilitatingly weak. She was tired, and her hands did not glow as strong. She hardly had the energy to sit up, but not wanting to be rude, she picked out a dress from her wardrobe. For some reason, this time she picked a dress that seemed to represent her mood, the darkest dress tucked way in the back of the wardrobe. It was black, made of rich fabric, but it was simple and modest. She had no energy to put a lot of effort into her appearance, so she adorned the dress with a black necklace and black heels.
When she arrived for dinner, the Queen looked stunned. "Lucci, what a change in appearance!" she said, startled.
"Oh, I’m sorry your majesty. I don’t know what’s come over me…I feel so sad. So lonely. So dark." Lucci said, as she began to cry.
The Queen walked over to the nearest window and opened the blinds. "How do you think the moon feels today?"
To be continued…