Fairies : Mystica and Merlin
Chapter 23 : The Captain’s Remains
The fairies of the kingdom woke up one day, in panic, and in fear. There was a dragon in the sky. And that dragon was screaming. It’s scream shook the leaves on the trees, and rattled paintings on the walls, and rattled dishes in the cabinets.
They woke up very much afraid that the dragon was preparing to attack them. As a dragon hadn’t done in centuries. As a dragon hadn’t done since the stories of he legendary dragon, Merlin. The castle guards, and troops rapidly gathered all the bows and arrows, preparing to take to the sky.
Eyela stood on the balcony, overlooking the people of her kingdom. The people saw her there. Saw the she was not afraid. Saw her look to the sky. Saw her order the castle guard, and the troops to put down their bows.
Eyela recognized that scream. She’s heard it before. She knew it was the large dragon that had been with Mystica. She knew it was the dragon named Scream. And she couldn’t help but feel that Mystica, and even Merlin himself, were not far behind him.
Scream circled the castle. And then he flew outside the kingdom walls. Where he landed on the road, leading to the castle gate. And then he waited. Eyela ordered guards to the turrets on the walls. Not to prepare to strike the dragon. But to see if Mystica and Merlin could be found anywhere in sight.
She was Queen now. Married to Stephan. Stephan was king. And soon, their child would be born. Stephan stood next to her, on the balcony. Eyela spoke to him. “I wish to go speak with the dragon, Scream.” Stephan didn’t even ask her why. He just nodded his head, and took her hand, and walked through the castle. When they reached the main entrance of the castle, Stephan picked his loved one up. And then he took to the air. And flew, carrying Eyela above the kingdom. Above the walls. Outside the main gate. Where he landed, and gently placed the love of his live upon the ground.
And the two of them stood there, hand in hand, before the dragon, Scream.
Scream, screamed. But this was a different scream. It was almost gentle. Almost polite. And far quieter than Eyela had ever heard him scream before. And both Eyela and Stephan knew what that scream said. “Mystica comes.”
Scream moved silently to the side. So that the road was open. And there, just coming into sight, was a small group of animals. There were some rabbits, and some foxes. And some deer. There were small birds, Bluejays, Wrens, and Sparrows. And behind them came the hawks. Following them all were a small dragon, and a fairy, carrying a staff, that had crystal ball on top. Eyela’s jaw dropped. It was Mystica. And the entire fairy kingdom, watching as it was, couldn’t help but see that she had been through a lot.
She wore a light blue corset. It was low cut indeed. And very revealing. Mystica looked very grown up. And just beautiful. The way her hair ran down, draping itself across her shoulders. The tan color of her skin.
As she walked closer, Eyela noticed that Mystica’s left wing was damaged. Broken. And she knew, by looking at it, that Mystica’s ability to fly had been severely damaged. If she could fly at all, she could only fly short distances. And it would be very hard for her. When she was closer still, Eyela noticed the nasty looking scar on her left shoulder. A new scar. No more than two weeks old. And probably less than that.
The dragon, Merlin, walked next to her. Standing, he came up to her waist. But Eyela could feel the raw power coming off of him. He had more color than Eyela expected. His body was two shades of green. A deep, dark forest green. There were horns on his head, colored silver. His claws and teeth were silver too. You could look at his claws, and see that they were razor sharp. As he walked, the claws on his back legs left cut marks on the ground. There was a light of intelligence, and experience in his fire read eyes.
Right behind Mystica and Merlin, there were villagers. Eight of them. Eyela didn’t know them at all. All that she could assume was that they were people Mystica knew. People she had befriended in the place she lived. The great Northern Forest. Perhaps these were people from the villages that Mystica had met.
One of the villagers carried a vase. It had been sealed.
Stephan and Eyela waited, while that group walked up. Then Mystica and Eyela hugged. Mystica then looked at Stephan, and she hugged him too. “May I call you Uncle, from now on?”
Stephan laughed. “Of course, dear. Of course.” Then he smiled as he looked at Mystica. She had grown so very much. Even Stephan could feel the raw power of the white magic that was hers to command. “I have always wished you would.”
Mystica then stepped back a touch. And nodded to Stephan, and then to Eyela. “Queen Eyela, of the fairy kingdom of the Southern Plains. I have brought visitors that wish to speak with you. These are visitors to the kingdom from the Northern Forest. They wish to discuss opening trade routes through the mountains and the Grey Hills, so that they can trade with your people.”
Mystica turned, and motioned the villager holding the vase to step forward. He did. And as he did, he held out the vase. “Your Majesty. In this vase are the ashes that are all that remains of the former captain of the guard. He made the mistake of attacking the White Witch, and her dragon guardians. His soldiers fell. Most of them died. Those that didn’t, fled into the mountains. Where they have hidden.”
Stephan reached out, and accepted the vase. Eyela spoke, “Thank you.” Then she looked at the villager, and asked, “May I ask the entire story of what happened to the captain and his guard?”
The villager stepped to one side, and looked at Mystica. Mystica just nodded her head. Then she held her staff aloft, and the crystal ball came to life, white magic pulsing through it, as Mystica said, “Remember how the captain ended.”
And there, hanging in the air, pure white images formed. Those image displayed a picture of the lake, with Mystica’s house, there in a tree, next to the clearing. The entire kingdom watched as the story unfolded before their very eyes. They saw the dragons strike. They saw how useless the cross bows and the swords had been against either dragon. That eventually, the dragons would have killed every soldier there. That it had been as if the dragons were holding back. Waiting for a special fight they knew was yet to come.
They saw Mystica float across the lake, the captain having found her. They saw him as he repeatedly loaded his cross bow, and fired bolt after bold at Mystica. As rapidly as he could. They watched as Mystica approached the captain, by the edge of the lake, where the captain physically launched himself at her. They watched him try to hack her into bits with his sword. They watched as Mystica struggled to her feet. Cross bow bolts sticking from her broken wing. A very ugly bolt sticking from her shoulder.
They watched as the captain struck at her, time and time again. They saw that Mystica was unharmed. They saw how the fighting of the dragons, and the soldiers had all stopped, and were watching the fight between the captain and Mystica.
Everyone then watched as the captain drew back his sword. And then struck as hard as he could at Mystica’s neck. And they hear Mystica utter just one word. “Burn.” Then they watched the captain’s sword melt, turning to liquid metal. They watch white flame shoot up the captain’s arm. They watched that flame engulf the captain. They watched his body ignite into fire. They watched it turn to ashes. They watched the four dark forms with spears impale the black soul of the captain, and draw him down into the ground.
Then, the images were gone. And Mystica spoke. “There was no light left within his heart and soul,” was all she said.
Then, the villagers spoke. “We are hear to discuss opening trade with the fairy kingdom, your Highness. We have learned about your efforts against the captain. How your people freed the villages and towns from the captain’s control. How they have been helping the people of the Grey Hills, and of the mountains rebuild.”
Eyela then declared that the villagers would be staying in the castle that day, and that night. That they would be treated properly as guests. The entire party was allowed to stay. The dragons stayed outside the kingdom’s walls. The animals stayed with them. Mystica stayed with them also. Sleeping on the ground, underneath one wing of the dragon, Scream.
The villagers held their meeting with the Queen, and the King. A trade agreement was reached. And a celebration was planned for the next day. Eyela returned, outside the gate, to where Mystica was. And the two of them spent time talking. Telling stories of the things that had happened while Mystica was finding her way through life.
Eyela told Mystica the story of how she and Stephan had fallen in love. How they’d been married. How she’d become the queen, and he’d become the king.
Mystica told the story of her home. Built by her two hands. Of her battle with the soldiers so many months ago. Of the battle with the wolves. Of the villages she’d protected. Of the friendship she’d formed with the villages. Of how they’d helped her build a real house. Of the destruction of that house. Of the entire clearing. And of some of the trees. During the battle with the captain.
As they spoke, Merlin listened. When the stories reached their end, Merlin walked up to Mystica, and sat down on the ground next to her. Then he spoke, in an almost human voice, “She’s become a white mage. A full grown white mage. And in time, she will become stronger than any black mage can ever be.”
After the celebration the next day, Mystica, Merlin and Scream said good-bye to Eyela. Mystica hugged her, knowing they would not meet again for many years. Eyela wished her well, and told her that if she needed anything, all she ever had to do was ask.
And then, Mystica took her place behind the head of Scream, and the dragons flexed their wings against the air, and in a few heartbeats, the three of them were gone.