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The Princess and the Crook:Part Four


by chlo26

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     Wait… Whaaaaat? I needed water. I needed to get away from there. My head was spinning and I began sweating profusely. Why? Why? WHY? Hunego was walking toward the pirates, Nala’s necklace in his hand, offering it to the Lupe as if it was a sacrifice to some kind of deity. Nala’s necklace…? WHY DID HE HAVE NALA’S NECKLACE? I couldn’t think straight. Why was my heart hurting so much? I’d always been a loner, I just had to continue my journey alone, as it was planned to begin with. I made my way in the crowd and grabbed his shoulder.

      « What does this mean Hugo? Tell me this is a joke! Who are they?… Who are you… ? » My grip became tighter and tighter, my claws began digging through his flesh.

      He didn’t have his glasses on. He curtly got out of my grasp and his light blue eyes pierced directly through my soul.

      « Don’t talk to me as if we knew each other. » He began walking away.

      « … you traitor… » I mumbled. « Was it out of pity then? Tell me Hunego, was it fun watching me struggle to save my sister? Why did you saved me from the water if you wanted to make me drown anyway?»

      Suddenly, the last piece of the puzzle was put to its right place. Why didn’t I think about it earlier? What was a pirate doing alone near the bay where my sister just had been stabbed? Why was he in possession of Nala’s necklace? WHY HAD I BEEN SUCH AN IDIOT? I forcibly made him turn around.

      « WAS IT FUN TO TRY TO MURDER MY FAMILY? »

      For half a second I saw a hurt expression pass through his eyes before he took back his expressionless mask. « It wasn’t my intention to hurt her, but she was interfering with my plans. »

      He was barely finished when my fist was already in his face. No reaction. His captain started laughing « Havin’ trouble with the lady, Hunego? Ye need help? »

      « She’s not worth our time, let’s go. »

      I tried to run after him but the faeries grabbed my arms tightly to prevent me from going. « THIS IS NOT OVER HUGO ! I’ll get revenge ! » Tears I couldn’t control were streaming down my face as I cried out in frustration. Was I angry, was I sad? I didn’t know anymore. The pain in my head became unbearable. Everything was blurry and spinning around me. It all turned black as I slowly lost consciousness.

      ***

      I woke up several hours later, in a room I’d never seen before.

      « Are you awake? » Marina was by my side, a sad but gentle smile on her face.

      I looked around me but we were alone in the room. « Where is…? » The events of the day before came back to my mind and I felt my chest tightening. Marina gave me a sympathetic look.

      « Here is what you asked for » She handed me a small container filled with a transparent liquid. « You can rest here as long as you want »

      « Thank you for everything, Marina » I tried to smile but it seemed fake. « I have to go as soon as possible, my sister is still in danger. »

      « Are you sure you don’t want to stay a few days? »

      « I would love to but I can’t… It was really a pleasure meeting you all, and even after what happened with… Well you know who… I’ll keep only good memories of Faerieland. »

      « … Ok then, I’ll help you pack everything. Please don’t overdo it! Your next destination is the Haunted Woods right? »

      « Yeah… I have to hurry before it’s too dark… »

      ***

      After warmly thanking everyone, I took my backpack and continued my journey. Going back to my loneliness after getting used to Hugo’s presence for the last few days was difficult to bear. His betrayal left something broken in me, I was in a haze, as if I was sleepwalking. In this condition, the travel to the Haunted Woods passed by in the blink of an eye.

      I wandered in the woods for half a day, without any plan, just counting on my luck to find the missing ingredient. Suddenly I began hearing a kind of hissing from the ground, as if someone, or something, was trying to talk to me.

      « II AMMM HUNGGRRYYY..... feeed mmeee annndd I wwilll reeewwaardd yoouu…. » I jumped in fear as I recognized the famous monster.

      « You are the Esophagor aren’t you? » My voice was shivering « Can you help me find a mysterious potted flower please? It’s really important… »

      « I miiiight …. iffff yoooouu briiinnng mmeee whaaatt I waantt… »

      I finally had a trail to follow ! I ran to the closest food shop and used what was left in my wallet to buy whatever the Esophagor was asking for. With the loot in my bag I hurried to the beast’s den.

      « thaaaannnk yooouuu huuumaaann… goo too gyyypssyyy caammp… »

           And the Esophagor disappeared in the mud with a squishy sound. This encounter wasn’t like I expected but at least I knew where to go then…

      ***

      It took only 10 minutes to find the camp behind the bushes. A little Usul with a red cloak was alone there, trying to start a fire.

      « Excuse me? Nice to meet you, my name is Ane, is this the Gypsy Camp? »

      « Oh ! It’s quite unusual for tourists to wander around here… Are you lost? Do you need help? » She shook my hand frenetically « I am Gilly, nice to meet you too! »

      « Well in fact I’m looking for something and I was told that I might find what I wanted here… »

      I then proceeded to share my story once again.

      « … I see… That’s quite a difficult situation you are in, it must have been rough… About the flower, I can’t do anything myself, but you should definitely follow the path on the left to go to Neovia. There, you might want to check the almost abandoned attic. I know the Aisha who lives there, she is a really sweet girl! »

      I followed her advice and arrived in a dark city. I walked in the fog until I found what looked like the description of Gilly and knocked on the door.

      « Welcome to my attic ! Let me know if there is anything you are interested in! »

      I couldn’t hold in a little scream. She was indeed a sweet aisha, but it wouldn’t have hurt to warn me that she was a ghost ! I almost had a heart attack ! I apologized for my rude behavior, with a face red of embarrassment. She let me enter and I had a quick look around the place. There were lots of old stuff under webs and dust. But among all of these antiquities something caught my attention. It was glowing in the dark, like a jewel in a pile of junks.

      « Can I have a look at the flower on the shelf please? »

      « Sure! It’s a pretty item, isn’t it? I really like it but since Gilly especially sent you here, maybe it’s time for me to get rid of it… »

      « You wouldn’t mind? How much do you need? »

      « Well… Excuse me if I’m wrong, but you don’t have that much Neopoints on you, do you? » Well… Actually I had none… « It’s so rare for me to have visitors, simply chatting a bit with you was enough payment, don’t worry about it! »

      I looked at my clothes that had become rags, my hands black of dirt, and I suddenly blushed… « Thank you very much, I promise I’ll come back to repay you as soon as I can… »

      « I told you not to! Take it as a gift for making my day brighter! Life is boring when you don’t have anyone to talk to… »

      I thanked her one last time before going back to the camp. Gilly nicely asked me if I wanted to stay the night, I couldn’t afford the luxury to refuse her offer…

      ***

      I woke up at dawn, said farewell to Gilly and went off to the Lost Desert. It was quite a sight! The sunshine was reflecting on the sand creating a breathtaking landscape.

      But this heaven-like place soon became hell. After hours of wandering in the sand I ended up completely lost. Everywhere around me was the same, I was about to go mad. Moreover, my last bottle of water didn’t last long, and my mouth quickly dried. I could barely stand up. How many days did I spend in this desert? I can’t remember…

      Finally, I ended up seeing something far ahead. It looked like… A Pyramid? I slowly regained hope and I began crawling toward my goal. I was exhausted, my skin was burnt by the ruthless sun, but the memory of Nala lying on the ground and the smile of Hugo against whom I swore to take revenge were filling my mind, helping me to find the determination I needed to keep going.

      The pyramid was closer and closer! Only a few steps away… ! But suddenly a huge shadow flew over my head. Something huge crashed inside the pyramid with an ear-splitting sound.

      The place became quiet again for a few second and then I heard it. A sound I would never forget, a spine-chilling scream that pierced my ears with a thousand needles.

      « SSSSKKKKRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEE »

      Eyrieki was back home.

     To be continued…

 
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Other Episodes


» The Princess and the Crook
» The Princess and the Crook:Part Two
» The Princess and the Crook:Part Three



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