Faded Memories #2: Rise of the Battle Faerie - Part One
This story is the sequel to Faded Memories#1: Forgotten Princess.
Fyora, the Queen of Faeries, was sitting at her desk in the council room of the faerie palace. It had been a particularly trying day and the bad weather outside had made it even harder to bear. She sat with her chin resting in one hand while tired, lavender eyes gazed at two objects on her desk. One appeared to be a picture and the other a necklace.
A knock on the large, purple doors of the council room caused the queen to look up. Seconds later, an air faerie dressed in the uniform of a palace guard opened the door and stepped inside. After bowing politely to her queen, the faerie spoke.
“Fyora, there is a visitor waiting in your study.” The guard frowned as she noticed the queen’s weary expression. “Shall I send her away and tell her to come back tomorrow.”
“No, Lydriel, it’s okay,” said Fyora, rising. She walked past her friend, giving the guard a reassuring smile. As she walked, she wondered who would pay her a visit so late at night.
Fyora stared in shock at the faerie that stood before her. The faerie was only slightly older than the queen herself, though her appearance was unlike any other faerie. Her hair was a shade of purple too light to be the hair of a dark faerie but far darker than Fyora’s own lavender tresses. Her eyes were bright green and her wings a soft shade of pink.
Fyora only knew of one faerie that looked like this, yet she could not bring herself to believe that this faerie was the very same person who had disappeared all those years ago. Never had she dreamed she would see her sister again.
“It can’t be,” she whispered. She backed up so she could brace herself against her desk. This was too much to bear at the moment. Navaleen watched her closely. “Where have you been?”
“Around,” answered Navaleen with a shrug. “I was in Faerieland so I thought I would stop by and catch up on times.”
Perhaps it was the nonchalant way in which Navaleen spoke that made Fyora lose her temper. Perhaps it was the shock of seeing someone she thought dead combined with the stress she had been feeling all day. Whatever it was, she lost it.
“Stop by!” she yelled, standing straighter. “You’ve been gone for how many years and you thought it would be a nice change to stop by and have a chat with your sister!”
She must have yelled louder than she thought, because Lydriel and some guards, who had been talking idly outside of her study, ran in with their swords drawn. They instantly took fighting stances between the queen and Navaleen, who was actually smiling.
“Well, hello, Lydriel,” she said with an annoying lightness in her voice. “You look much better than the last time I saw you.” Lydriel gasped in recognition and instantly put down her weapons. She, like Fyora, was completely taken back by the sight of her one time student.
Fyora, who had finally regained her composure, turned toward the guards.
“Summon the council faeries to the Council Room. You are dismissed afterwards.” The guards began to protest but they noticed their queen’s irritated look and decided against it.
As the guards hurried from the room, Lydriel and Fyora turned to the smirking faerie in front of them. Navaleen raised her eyebrows at them.
“So,” she asked, “am I going to get yelled at now?” Fyora stiffened.
“Oh no,” said the queen. “I’m just going to smile and laugh. I really don’t mind it when my sister disappears for such a long time that I think she’s dead!” Lydriel put a hand on Fyora’s shoulder to calm her down.
“I had a good reason,” said her sister with a frown. “I didn’t think you would be mad. I thought my letter...”
“A letter can’t tell me whether or not you’re alive, Navaleen!”
“Well, I couldn’t just send you a note every day,” snapped the princess. “What would it say? ‘Hello, sister dear, I’m perfectly alive even though I can’t tell you where I am and--’”
“But why?” asked the queen.
“Why would you hide from us? Why did you leave in the first place? Your note never said.” Fyora looked at her sister expectantly.
Navaleen turned away from them to stare into the fire which blazed inside the hearth. She was quite for several seconds before speaking.
“I was scared,” she said. “I was scared of the other faeries and I was scared of myself.” The faerie sighed. “I can’t explain it. I just had to get away. I didn’t feel safe anymore. When those faeries attacked Lydriel, Anna and me in the city, well, it unnerved me.”
Fyora felt guilt rise up in her chest. She wished now more than ever that she could have been able to protect her sister more. She turned away from her sister and felt tears squeeze through her now tightly closed eyes.
“Great,” she thought silently. “This is the second time tonight I’ve cried. A new record.” She flinched when her sister placed a hand on her shoulder.
Looking around, she saw that Navaleen was standing next to her, wearing a stern expression.
“Don’t you dare blame yourself either,” she said. “There was no way you could have prevented it. Besides...” Her voice took on a teasing note. “I thought it was the big sister’s job to take care of the little sister.” Fyora smiled slightly.
“There is only one aspect in which you are more mature and that is age.”
“Ouch,” said Navaleen. “I deserved that.”
Lydriel, who had been silent during the whole encounter between the sisters, suddenly spoke up.
“I have one question.” The royal faeries turned toward her. “How did you ever manage to stay hidden? You aren’t exactly a hard person to miss and Navaleen isn’t a common name.”
“A couple of ways, actually. First, I never came to Faerieland so people who actually knew me wouldn’t have ever seen me.” The other two nodded for this made sense. “Secondly, I changed my name.”
“To what?” demanded Fyora.
“Valeane,” stated her sister. “I spent a lot of time in the Battledome and that was what I was known by.” Lydriel’s eyes widened.
“But, I had heard about a faerie fighting in the Battledome by that name!” she gasped as all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. “It’s so simple,” she breathed. “Faeries are not uncommon at the Battledome so it would be of no significance to us and then you rearranged the letters of your name so we wouldn’t recognize it if we actually took interest.”
“That’s basically right,” confirmed Navaleen. “Though, I did have to take a letter out of my name.”
“You obviously went to great lengths to ensure that we wouldn’t find you.” Fyora’s voice was filled with sadness and hurt. Navaleen looked at her guiltily.
“I’m sorry, Fyora,” she whispered. “But I didn’t know what else to do.”
“I know,” said the queen. “I just wish you could have trusted me more.”
“Well, I don’t plan on leaving again, so we can at least catch up on things.”
Lydriel and Fyora turned toward the faerie. Both were surprised by this statement.
“You aren’t going to leave again?” questioned the air faerie. Navaleen shook her head and both faeries smiled.
“I’m tired of wandering and I’ve missed all of you so much. I just wanted to come home.”
Fyora smiled the first real smile she had in a long time. Her sister returned that smile and the queen suddenly felt as if a great burden had been lifted off her shoulders. She felt that nothing could go wrong now that her older sister was here.
“Well, let’s go down and tell the council,” stated Fyora. “I know they’ll want to see you. Oh, and I guess I’ll have to call you Valeane now.” Her sister’s eyes lit up at this.
“Are they all still on the council? Lilia and Prilla and Rani?”
“Yes, all of the original council members are still here with one new member,” said Fyora as the three exited the room.
“Really,” said Valeane excitedly. “Who is the new faerie?”
“Fyora got a dark faerie to come represent her element,” said Lydriel. There was slight disapproval in her voice. Valeane looked at her sister, startled.
“A dark faerie?” Fyora nodded. “That’s surprising. Who is it?”
“One of the dark faerie students who graduated from the Academy a few years ago,” explained the queen. “She’s kind but perhaps a little too stubborn for her own good. She represents her element well, though. Why is it surprising?”
“Oh, well.” Valeane looked at them with that old mischievous look in her eyes. “I was just surprised that the others agreed. They are quite narrow-minded when it comes to such things.”
Lydriel and Fyora chuckled at this. Lydriel looked at her old student and smiled.
“Don’t let them hear you say that,” she cautioned. “After seeing how much help she is in dealing with the dark faeries, they act as if the whole idea was theirs all along.”
The three faeries were silent for a while as they walked down the familiar halls which led to the council room. They were almost there when Valeane remembered the disapproval in Lydriel’s voice when she talked about the new dark faerie.
“Is she trustworthy? The new faerie?” she asked the others.
Lydriel sighed and shrugged. Fyora on the other hand, nodded.
“She comes from a very disreputable family,” explained her sister. “They weren’t the most trustworthy of people.”
“But Fyora was right when she said the girl is kind,” admitted Lydriel. “I was completely against having her here, but she proved her worth not long after she arrived.”
“To have you compliment her is enough proof for me,” teased Valeane. Having been the air faerie’s former student in fencing, the girl knew how grudging Lydriel was with her praise.
“She is a little young for the job, though,” said the air faerie.
“How old is she?”
“She only graduated two years ago?” asked Valeane in disbelief. She turned to Fyora. “Why did you offer her that job? She’s barely an adult!”
“I had my reasons,” stated the queen. Her sister shrugged and dropped the subject.
Valeane stopped when they approached the large, lavender door which led to the council room. She was nervous at seeing the council members again. That door was the key to many memories. Some memories were ones she loved dearly, others she could have gone her whole life without remembering them and still be happy.
Fyora and Lydriel entered into the council room with Valeane right behind them. The council members lounged in the chairs surrounding the large fireplace. All looked at their queen with curious expressions on their faces.
“It is very unlike you, Fyora,” began the Uber Light Faerie. “To summon us like this. Or did you forget that unlike some people, we actually need a little bit of beauty sleep?”
“Prilla, you and the council are the last people in the world who need beauty sleep.” Fyora laughed. “Especially after the hours you six spend on getting yourselves presentable in the morning.” This comment caused a series of chuckles to escape the assembled faeries.
“I had a very good reason for summoning you, though,” said the queen, this time speaking more seriously. “I thought you might like to see someone who has been gone for a while.”
“And who is this person who decides to pay visits in the middle of the night?” demanded a very grumpy looking Lilia. “I just might have to teach them a lesson.” The normally dignified earth faerie lay slumped sideways in a chair and wore an expression of annoyance on her face. Valeane stepped out from behind Fyora and Lydriel and faced the earth faerie.
“I hope that you’re in a good enough mood to spare an old friend,” she teased. “I’m not really up for a fight just now.”
She couldn’t help but laugh at the face Lilia made when the earth faerie recognized her. Turning, she saw that Prilla had choked on her drink. Rani, the water faerie, was staring in open-mouthed shock.
“But,” gasped Sheila, the Uber Air faerie. “You... I thought... we...” She was unable to finish her sentence. All the council members with the exception of the dark faerie could hardly contain their shock. Without warning, Sira, the fire faerie, threw herself at Valeane and, laughing the whole time, enveloped her in a huge hug. She was closely followed by the others.
“Ouch,” gasped Valeane as she desperately tried to free herself from the others. Fyora and Lydriel were laughing as they watched. The dark faerie stared in confusion.
“What’s going on?” she asked. Everyone looked at her with large smiles on their faces. Valeane looked at the dark faerie and spoke
“I don’t believe we have met before,” she said kindly.
“Valeane, this is Mithana,” said Fyora as she walked forward. “Mithana, I don’t think you’ve heard about my sister yet.”
“Your sister?” questioned the dark faerie. “I didn’t...” She was cut off by Prilla’s voice.
“Wait a minute,” she demanded. “Valeane? Your name is Navaleen.”
Fyora and Valeane turned toward each other and identical grins spread across their faces. Recognizing the familiar looks on their faces, some of the council members groaned.
“What mischief have you two been up to?” questioned Rani. Valeane looked at her.
“You have no idea.”
To be continued...