Jhudora's Revenge: Part Three
When Jhudora saw that Innocenza had bought her, her anger freed her. She started growing into her normal size. She did what any dark faerie that had been trapped in a dark sack for hours would do. She captured the Aisha and took her to her secret lair. This secret lair, however, was where nobody would think to look. After all, only Jhudora had dared to go to the dark side of Kreludor, and only she knew what secrets the shadows hid.
Innocenza moaned as she slowly woke up. She clutched her head, hoping to somehow minimize her headache. She felt like she’d downed five pineapple slushies in one minute, only instead of a brain-freeze, she just had one enormous headache. She finally came into the realization that she wasn’t in the Haunted Woods anymore, and that her family was far away, no doubt wondering where she was.
“Please, it was a royal Aisha. She came to buy a bottled dark faerie for my Kougra.”
Veritas was asking all around the marketplace, but none of them remembered seeing Innocenza pass by them. Finally, one shopkeeper pointed her toward Balthazar’s table, the only place in the entire market that sold bottled faeries.
“Balthazar, have you seen my royal Aisha? She came to buy a bottled dark faerie?”
Balthazar grunted and pointed her towards his tent behind his table. Veritas gulped and followed him in.
Once inside, Balthazar opened up a burlap bag. Inside were many bottled faeries. He looked through the bag until the found the one that he was looking for. It was a light faerie.
“No, I don’t need a faerie, I’m looking for my pet, if you can help me...”
Balthazar gave her a small glare and freed the faerie.
The faerie shook herself off. She was about to scream in terror when she saw that Balthazar, the same Lupe that had captured her, had freed her. Then she saw that he was trying to ask her something. She sighed and asked him what he wanted. Balthazar pointed to his mouth and grunted.
“Very well. I will allow you to speak to this human and her pet, but it will not last forever. You may only speak to them if they need your help, which they clearly do now. But on one condition. You may never capture me again. I will take a small item from you as proof that I am a faerie you will not capture, so that you will know I’m not lying. Do you agree?”
Balthazar nodded and he grabbed one very small bottle from one of his shelves. He gave it to her, then spoke to Veritas and Vendette as the faerie flew as far away as possible.
“You see, I cannot speak, not without freeing a captured light faerie. None of the others will do it, but it is in their nature. The small bottle was one of my first attempts at capturing normal-sized faeries. The faerie escaped, but the bottle continued to shrink. It had yet to return to its normal size, but it has not gotten smaller yet either, so I have kept it to give to a faerie that I free. Anyway, you would like my help?”
Veritas nodded. “Please. You’re the last person that I know has seen my royal Aisha. She was buying a bottled dark faerie for Vendette, but she vanished.”
Balthazar nodded. “Yes, I think I know what happened. Earlier today, I captured a full-sized dark faerie.” He smirked. “I finally perfected my system, but that is not my point. My point is that the Aisha bought that faerie, it was the only dark one that I had available. When she left, I thought I heard a muffled scream, but I had faerie hunting to do, so I ignored it. I think that she either freed the faerie or the faerie escaped. I don’t know which, and I honestly don’t care. I apologize that she was endangered, but how could I foresee her disappearance? I must be on my way; I have told you all that I know.”
Vendette muttered. “Thanks, I guess.”
Veritas glared at her pet. “Thank you, Balthazar.”
Innocenza looked around the room. She had no idea where she was, only that she was in a dungeon. She didn’t remember much. Just a dark faerie escaping from her bottle, then getting bigger. A lot bigger. She vaguely recalled the faerie muttering to herself, but then her memory went blank. That was all that she could remember.
She moaned out of exhaustion and annoyance when the faerie that opened the door to her cell was Jhudora.
“Why, hello, Innocenza. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I was trying to track you down, but it figures that you’d buy me. I mean really, who’d have thought that out of all the bottled dark faeries, you’d buy one that had me in it? But the odds don’t really matter, do they? Not when you’re faced with the realization that it’s already happened.”
Innocenza muttered. “What do you want?”
Jhudora just looked at her as she would look at a naïve pet. “I want what all faeries want. Control. I want to rule over everything, but I have smaller goals. Revenge, destruction, misery, and the like. Right now, I’m working on revenge and misery all at the same time. You’re such a helpful little Aisha. I’m sure that in no time big brother will just have to come and save you again. Then I’ll get complete revenge. I don’t care about your wimpy owner; she can go jump in the ocean for all I care.”
Innocenza glared at Jhudora. “Can you at least tell me where we are?”
Jhudora smiled, revealing the fangs that she called teeth. “Of course, dear. We’re on the unexplored side of Kreludor. Everybody else told me that I wouldn’t survive. They told me all sorts of silly things. And what do you know, this is where my hiding place is, at least my true one. Sure, I have a lair in Faerieland, but it’s nothing compared to this. I mean, if you put King Hagan’s castle, King Skarl’s castle, King Kelpbeard’s castle, Queen Fyora’s castle, and Queen Mist and King Edel’s castles together, it might be the size of my castle. Of course, they all believe in being modest and having modest homes, so perhaps that’s not a good example.”
Innocenza snickered. “What about Princess Amira and Prince Jazan?”
Jhudora merely glared at her. “They have the same idiotic motto. Well, Jazan does anyway, Amira is more like me. She’s smart that way. She knows that nothing other than looks matter; she realizes that the pets that she rules over will always follow her, at least if she makes them, so she can be as self-absorbed as she wants to be... and she is. But enough about them; this is all about you. You and your miserable, sorry excuse for a brother. You destroyed my life. Now I think that it’s only fair that I destroy yours in return.”
Innocenza just glared at Jhudora, not as afraid as she had once been. “And how do you think you’re going to do that? Kidnap me again? That is so last year. Try something newer.”
Jhudora, tired of being mocked by those not even worthy to be in her presence, snapped back, “For your information, little Innocenza, this plot of mine goes much deeper than you can comprehend. You think that I can’t make life miserable for you? To destroy you would be an act of kindness. As you know, I’m not kind. You’ll be suffering forever, I’ll see to that. And don’t flatter yourself by thinking that you’re important enough to be kidnapped. It just makes it easier for me to get your annoying big brother to come to me. Saves me some trouble, you know? Though I doubt that you know. I’m surprised that you know anything.”
Innocenza muttered. “I’m surprised that it’s possible for anybody to be so self-absorbed, but then, knowing you, I really shouldn’t be so surprised.”
Jhudora ignored the jab and strode out of Innocenza’s cell, leaving the Aisha in her cell.
Veritas and Vendette were back at their house. Veritas’s head was in her hands and she was mumbling.
“Not Innocenza, not again... and not Jhudora. Of all faeries, why Jhudora?”
Vendette was also thinking, but not about the same things as his owner. He was thinking of where Jhudora would be. He’d taken her on before and he’d gladly do it again. He just didn’t know where she was. He highly doubted that she’d be foolish enough to retreat to her home in Faerieland. Most likely she had a hidden lair somewhere.
However, Vendette didn’t have to think too much before a letter appeared in his hands, and an immense feeling of déjà vu overtook him instantly. He’d recognize that handwriting anywhere. It was just like that on the ransom note that he had received just before his first encounter with Jhudora.
To be continued...