The Forgotten Princess
A beautiful green Lutari sat in her room, combing out her silky black hair. Her black eyes were still and sad, and her pretty face was emotionless. She continued combing and combing, her hair already perfect. Finally, she sighed and sat up. Scooping up her small Warf, Craya, she sat down on her bed.
"Don't you wish we were anywhere else than here?" she said sadly, gesturing to her window. Outside, the beautiful village of Shenkuu was visible from their high home on the mountain.
Craya whined softly and nuzzled into the teenage girl.
A loud, sharp knock on the door interrupted the Lutari's thoughts.
"Rajana!" her mother, a brown Lutari said excitedly. "Come downstairs, quickly!" And with that, she bounded out the door.
Shrugging, Rajana set Craya down on the bed and followed her mother down the dark, rickety, twisting staircase. When they arrived at the bottom, two Tonus and an Elephante stood, their expressions serious.
The first Tonu, a red male, said, "I assume you are Rajana Time?" His red hair was slicked back, exposing his wide blue eyes.
"I... um... yes?" Rajana squeaked.
"Good, good." The yellow Elephante bustled uselessly around the room, seeming flustered. His dark eyes flashed and darted around quickly.
The second Tonu, a horrifying Mutant creature, swung his tail menacingly. "Are we done here?" he grunted in a low, grumbling voice.
Rajana's mother clapped her hands excitedly. "Honey!" She ran over and hugged her daughter tightly. "I can't wait to hear all about your adventures. I'll visit often, I promise."
"What do you mean?" Rajana cried, backing toward the stair well.
"You're coming with us, Princess," the red Tonu professionally said.
"No thank you," Rajana said sternly before darting up the stairs and back to her room. Her mother was right behind her, though, and planted a hand on her shoulder.
"Listen, I'll let Burt, Juhon, and Pricey explain everything," Mrs. Time hissed. "But you have to pack up your things quickly." Rajana attempted to interrupt, but her mother silenced her. "Hurry. And no bringing Craya."
"Mom!" shrieked Rajana, her voice wobbling. "How could you?"
But her mother had already scurried back down the stairs. She heard her talking in a low voice to the three men apparently called Burt, Juhon, and Pricey.
Confused, terrified, and shaking, Rajana scampered helplessly into her room. She took out a worn old suitcase from her wooden closet and threw random clothes and items into it.
Craya sat on the circular purple bed, her eyes wide with concern. "I promise I won't leave you forever," Rajana grumbled as she dug a pair of blue slippers out of her closet. "These awful men are making me leave."
Craya cooed in distress as the huge mutant Tonu entered the room. Gasping, Rajana snapped, "Knock much?"
The creature smirked and said, "Five minutes. No attitude. No exceptions. You walk out to the carriage or I carry you." And with that, he turned, swinging his tail into the frame of her door and left. A huge, hole filled dent was left on her wall.
Choosing not to get angry, Rajana got up, hugged Craya goodbye, and ran into the bathroom to fill a plastic supermarket bag with her toiletries. When she came back into her room, Craya was gone, probably angry with her for abandoning her.
Rajana leapt up, zipping up her suitcase, and walked down the stairs. Her mom was talking to the Elephante, who she addressed as Juhon. "I'm so excited!" Mrs. Time giggled. "This is amazing!"
A sleepy looking Cybunny appeared on the stairs, her black hair messy and flopping in her face. "Wha-?" she murmured.
"Go back to bed, Lunara. Your sister needs to leave." Mrs. Time waved the younger sister away.
Lunara snapped to attention and ran over to Rajana. "What's going on? Where are they taking you?" she cried.
Rajana shrugged, trying not to cry. "I don't know, Luna." She sniffed.
"Time to go," the man her mother had called Burt said, wringing his Tonu claws together.
"No!" screamed Luna. "Please, don't take her away!"
The mutant Pricey stepped over to Lunara and hissed, "Close your mouth or leave."
Lunara stifled a sob and turned away.
"Goodbye, dear!" Her mother waved as John ushered Rajana away. "We'll visit soon!"
Rajana waved meekly to her mom as she walked out the door. The crisp Shenkuu air blew her hair away from her face. They walked down her sloping pathway until they came to a huge, fluffy, royal looking buggy.
"Oh, Fyora," murmured Rajana, looking at the purple cart that was dripping with plush velvet cushions and golden accents. Two royal Unis stood at the ready with their harnesses on, ready to guide the vehicle. A chauffeur with a nametag that said, "Tivton" opened the door for them. She was a yellow Yurble with a sly smile and beady blue eyes.
Slowly, Rajana stepped into the tiny space. There were couches lining every wall except for the door, and John and Burt shared one while Pricey took another. Rajana sat down on her own couch, her heart pounding.
"Okay, now, no rudeness intended, but what the HECK is going on here?!" she demanded.
Chuckling, Pricey replied, "You're the princess."
"No, I'm not!" Rajana cried. "You've made a terrible mistake, I'm just a normal girl."
"Actually, hon, you're not," Tivton said as the Unis trotted through the village. She turned her head and peered into the cart. "You have royal blood in you, obviously. Traa chose you."
"Who's Traa?" Rajana demanded.
"He's an old friend." Tivton smirked. "Well, actually, he's the decider of royalty. He senses royal blood miles away, and he said he sought a princess with flowing black hair in your home. So, we came and collected you. Now you're going to your palace."
"My what?!" screeched Rajana.
"Your palace. P-A-L-A-C-E. A common synonym for castle, C-A-S-T-L-E, a palace is usually smaller and less occupied than a castle." Tivton grinned.
"Okay, I know what a palace is. I just can't believe that I'm the princess!" Rajana slumped down in her seat, confused. "I mean, my mom isn't the queen."
"Well, then maybe you were adopted." John shrugged. "Because Traa sensed royal blood, and Traa is never, ever wrong."
"In fact, I bet that your mother always knew you were adopted, she just didn't want to tell you," Tivton pointed out as they rounded a bend. "A lot of parents do that, you know."
"But we're both Lutaris!" Rajana was speechless.
"We're both Tonus," Pricey said with a wickedly evil grin. "But are we related?"
"No," John said quickly.
"I can tell," Burt mused.
Rajana was quiet, deep in thought. Eventually, the Unis stopped and said, "We're here!"
Tivton jumped out from her seat and unlocked the door. Pricey, Burt and John filed out with Rajana following in their footsteps.
A beautiful blue Xweetok was standing in front of the palace, her pretty pink eyes shining with promise. "You're going to LOVE your new home here!" She clapped her hands. "I'm Jessie, nice to meet you. I'm your advisor type person and best friend. It can get lonely here, so it's good to have company, you know?" She babbled in her unreplicatable bubbly voice. "So, let's get started with the grand tour. You ready? I'll have Pricey here take your bags. John and Burt will meet you in the dining hall at five tonight for supper. There, you'll meet your dad!"
"I... don't have a dad," Rajana said softly.
"In your old family you didn't!" She giggled. "But here, you totally do! And your dad's the king! How stinking cool is that?"
"Pretty stinking cool," Rajana droned.
"Come on!" squealed Jessie, grabbing the green Lutari's hand.
They walked through the palace, and Rajana saw every room. And there were A LOT of rooms. There was the grand dining hall with its huge stone pillars and long table. There were the lush, rose filled gardens, with waterfalls, fruit trees, and every type of flower you could imagine. She saw many rooms that day, but Jessie saved her own room for last. "This is where you'll sleep and stuff. So, you know, I hope you like it! I designed it this morning. We can add some drapes if you'd like, I didn't have time to pick any out."
Rajana burst through the door and looked around. The walls were glittery and pink, with a huge four posted, plush, hot pink bed. The carpet was white and clean, and she had a dresser packed with makeup, clothes, and accessories fit for... well... a princess.
Rajana bit her lip sadly. Jessie cried, "Oh no! You don't like it? It's the drapes, isn't it? I knew I should've added drapes."
"No, no, I love it. It's beautiful," Rajana murmured. "Just not home."
"It is now, though." Jessie turned serious. "I'm trying to make this pleasant for you, so don't be a downer, okay?"
Rajana sighed. "I'll try. And thank you, this is beautiful."
Jessie smiled warmly. "I know! Anywho, I'll be in my room if you need me. You know where it is, right? Down the hall and to the left. Smooches!" And with that, she left the room.
Rajana sank down into the unfamiliar bed and started to sob. This was so awful. She didn't want a new family, especially not a father! She'd never had one before and didn't plan on starting now. Jessie was sweet, but she missed her best friend Moosa from her neighborhood. She'd do anything to see that chocolate Gnorbu.
After a while, Rajana dried her tears and started to unpack. She might as well accept the reality of the situation. Suddenly, she heard a shrill bark. "Craya!" Rajana cried, looking at the Warf that was tucked under a pink pair of socks. "I missed you! Oh my Fyora, you're not allowed to be here! But who cares? You're my little buddy and I love you!" she sang. Craya yipped sweetly in response and proceeded to lick her owner's face. "Cut it out!" laughed Rajana.
With her petpet by her side, Rajana felt much better. She finished unpacking and walked downstairs to go check out the massive library by herself. Jessie had showed her, but had quickly breezed through, not letting Rajana select a story. Everyone she passed gave her a quick bow and said, "Morning, Princess Rajana!" Word sure spread quickly.
When she made it through the polished wood doors, she marveled once again at the sheer beauty. Bookshelf after bookshelf lined the walls, touched the floor, scraped the ceiling. A few small windows shot streams of light onto the ground, like small orbs guiding the way. Rajana smiled as she walked through the slightly dusty shelves, touching the spine of each book. With dismay, she wondered how many of these books she could actually read. She wished she could read them all. But then, with hope swelling in her hear, she had a new appreciation for her current status. She had her whole life to read them!
After an hour of fruitful searching, she left the room with Grimoire of Affluence, her rarer pick, and the ever so simple Cybunny Down. Happier than before, she left the huge room and made her way back through the palace. As she turned the corner to go up the stairs, Jessie popped out, her grin wide. "Hi hi!" She cheered. "I see you've taken out some books from our fantastic library. You picked Grimoire of Affluence and Cybunny Down, huh? Wow, the first one is pretty intense. Cybunny Down, though... well... that's my personal favorite." She winked.
Rajana smiled. "That's great!" She didn't really know what to say. Jessie's peppiness could get overpowering. "Well, I'll be going back to my room now, if you don't mind."
"No problem! Mind you though, you'll be meeting everyone at five for dinner." Jessie said.
"Oh, alright." Rajana brushed the comment off and dashed upstairs. She lay in her bed and read her books, getting absorbed into the worlds that they contained. Just as she flipped the cover of Cybunny Down closed, Jessie popped her head in the door. "Dinner!" was all that she chirped before disappearing. Rajana swung her legs off of the bed and went to leave the room, but Jessie poked her head in again. "And wear something really nice. Like, royal nice."
Rajana paused. "I don't have anything that nice."
"Look in the closet." The Xweetok winked. And with that, she left, shutting the door softly behind her.
Rajana made her way over the the door she suspected led to her closet. Craya danced at her heels, excited to see whatever the surprise would be. The green Neopet gasped. In front of her was a room twice as big as her bedroom filled with beautiful silk dresses, long scarves, velvet sweaters, and flowy pants. A row of blue, flower print skirts hung to her left, and Rajana lunged at them. After a while of deciding, she finally settled on one of the skirts with a red, long sleeved shirt and some deep blue heels. She used her new makeup and finally made her way downstairs, only teetering in her shoes a little bit. (Okay, a lot.)
She entered the dining room to see it filled to the brim with people. She smiled at them nervously and sat at one of two empty seats at the head. "Hello, my loyal subjects," Rajana stuttered. Kicking herself for saying that, she backtracked. "I mean, I'm Rajana. Princess Rajana, I guess. Well, as of today." The group stared at her, obviously looking for some grand speech. "Um, well, I like reading. And Warfs. And last year for my birthday I got a really cute T-shirt that said Perfect Lil Princess. That's all." Rajana sat down. The room echoed with her last words.
Jessie cleared her throat. "Well, I'd like to make an announcement. Traa would be here; however, he's off in Krawk Island straightening out all that negative energy. He'll be back in about a week."
"Has he met the princess yet?" urged an apple Chia.
Jessie shook her head. "Nope, not quite yet." Rajana silently noted how much more serious the Xweetok was when she was around a group of pets.
"So, are we all here?" Jessie asked.
"Yes!" cried a voice. A green Gnorbu burst through the door, running as fast as she could. "Sorry, I was busy playing outside when-"
"Just take a seat," murmured a brown Gelert to the left of Rajana.
The Gnorbu slid her green hair out of her eyes and settled into the seat to the right of Rajana. She was definitely younger than seventeen year old Rajana... maybe twelve, thirteen? But her sister, Lunara, was fifteen, and looked much older than this Gnorbu.
Jessie stood up. "Rajana, meet your new family. This is your father." She pointed to the Gelert.
"N-n-ice to, you know, meet you." The Lutari nervously smiled.
"No need to be afraid, my dear. It's a pleasure to know that we're connected. You'll be well taken care of here. We all love you very much." Her father smiled warmly.
"And this is your little sister, Princess Terrana." She pointed to the late Gnorbu.
"What?" rasped Rajana.
"I know, I know." Terrana sighed sheepishly. "I don't seem like princess material, right?"
"No, it's not that, I just didn't know you were my real sister. I had another sister, but then I found out that I was royalty and adopted and she wasn't and-"
"Shhhh, it's okay. Really." Terrana's ears perked up and she smiled sincerely.
Dinner that night was a marvelous affair, with seven courses and delicious dishes that Rajana had never heard of before. It was certainly different than the omelettes and sandwiches her mother made.
After supper, everyone left and retired to their rooms. However, as Rajana made her way upstairs, she spotted Terrana sitting in the hallway reading a book.
"Hey, uh, sis!" called Rajana awkwardly.
Startled, Terrana dropped the book. It was called Extreme Shenkuu. "Hey, I've read that book!" Rajana said happily. "I got it for my birthday a few years ago- I couldn't put it down."
"I know, right?!" Terrana grinned, flipping through the thin pages. "It's amazing how many sports are out there- I just want to try them all!"
"Me too! Except, I'll admit, I'm an Altador Cup fan. Yooyuball is more my speed." The Lutari flicked a piece of hair out of her eyes.
"Which team are you for?" Terrana questioned.
"Shenkuu, of course! You'd be hated if you weren't for Shenkuu! And now that I'm the princess? I represent Shenkuu, so how can I not vote for our sports team?"
"Well, don't tell, but I'm Altador," whispered Terrana.
"Altador?" Rajana burst out. "But they absolutely STINK!"
"Hahaha, just kidding!" laughed Terrana. "I totally got you!"
"You'd better be kidding!" Rajana grinned, chuckling out loud.
Terrana smiled. "I have tons of cool stuff in my room. I have some fun games in there, too. I'm kind of obsessed with games. I love to invent new ones!"
"My sister Lunara is like that; she's up for any dare," Rajana said slowly, feeling a dull throb of pain in her heart at thinking about Lunara.
"That's cool. I'll have to meet her someday. So, can I show you my books and toys?" Terrana asked hopefully. "I don't have anyone to play with, and Dad totally stinks at Usuki Dolls."
Laughing, Rajana grinned and said, "I'd imagine he would!! But what about Jessie?"
Terrana's smile faded. "She's no fun. She acts all nice for a while, but then gets bored and moves on. Every time I ask her to play, she just snaps at me. It's kind of weird; she used to be so nice."
"She seems fine to me..." Rajana trailed off.
"Yeah, well, maybe." Terrana shrugged.
The girls sat in silence for a minute before Rajana cracked a joke. "Wow, you're so good at playing awkward silence!"
Laughing, the two girls stayed up late chatting and playing. Everything was perfect.
Over the next week, Rajana learned to love being royalty. The expensive clothes, the objects, the books, the treatment she got. One day, while she was draped in gold jewels getting her picture painted, Jessie burst in with a huge smile on her face.
"Soooooo sorry to interrupt, Rajana, but guess what?! Traa's here; he wants to see you."
Rajana rolled her eyes. "Now? I'm rather busy, tell him to wait." She'd taken to talking like a princess at times. She wasn't spoiled, but she found it fun to use her privileges. She could NEVER talk like that at home.
"No, Princess, you don't understand." Jessie's voice got desperate. "He's not patient; you need to come NOW!"
At Jessie's scream, Rajana said simply, "Fine," and got off of the plush purple couch. Tossing the green Nimmo who was painting her a bag of Neopoints, she got up and followed Jessie out into the gardens. Sitting on a bench was an old, greying, hunched-over Techo in slightly ratty clothes with a knotted white beard. The wind seemed to blow everywhere but on him, and he had power practically flowing around him.
"I brought the princess to you, Traa!" she said nervously.
Rajana stepped slowly towards him, and suddenly the air changed. "No," he said in a harsh voice. "NO!" he yelled. "She's not the one. No royal blood whatsoever. A mere mortal. Get her out of here and bring back the real princess with the flowing black hair. The OTHER one."
"There is no-" Rajana started to say, but then, with sick realisation, she knew.
Jessie looked at Rajana with such disgust. "Leave. And take John, Pricey, and Burt with you. Bring back the REAL princess," Jessie said in a stone cold voice. "Keep her out of my sight!" She screamed to some guards.
"But I thought we were friends!" Rajana cried.
"Never," growled Jessie.
And then, as she walked away, she saw Traa's glassy, milky eyes and realised that he was blind.
TWO MONTHS LATER
Lunara sat in her room, bored as can be. She missed her freedom. She missed her family. Now she realized why she wasn't a Lutari like her mom and sister. She was adopted. She knew that she had a duty to serve, but only wanted to explore the real world. Her petpet swirled by her side, but she brushed it away. All she wanted to do was to get out.
Terrana opened her door. "Wanna play a game?" She grinned, and so did Lunara. Of course she was game, and ready to play.
Neomail any comments you have!! Enjoy! :)