Chapter 18: While Ye Slept
Petrie’s face was priceless. When Skye came into the clearing by the willow, he stared hard. He could see something red and white on her shoulder, but couldn’t tell. He thought it might’ve been a flower or the like. He was about to start yelling about ‘wasting his time while she frolicked in a meadow’. When Skye hopped down from Thoth and the small red thing hovered next to her; Petrie yelped like a wee lass instead. 𝓲𝐧𝙣𝓇ℯ𝓪𝐝 c𝚘𝒎
Skye and Nicolas both laughed at his reaction hard before Skye declared; “What kind of a man squeaks like that? At a wee fairy, no less; hahahahaha!”
Petrie flushed at Skye’s barb. His irritation was obvious as he shouted back, “Well excuse me! Ye may be adapted to this whole... buggerd-up, situation-thing. But Ima Not! I’ve been by me self, jumping at the slightest wee noises, with a half-dead prince for me only company. Ima hungry, cold, muddy, and half eaten by bugs! Now! What do ye have to say for yer self?!”
“Ack! I found bloody FAIRIES! What person wouldn’t want to stop and chat? Ye know what?! I can’t even deal with ye.. If-If ye don’t understand how amazing it ’tis; then there’s no hope for ye..” Skye sighed and rubbed her forehead out of frustration.
Petrie was about retort, but they all froze when they heard: “Skye...”
Tidas was attempting to crawl out of the hollow when Skye caught sight of him. They had come back the same way Skye’d left. The hollow was on the other side of the willow tree. Tidas coughed as he pulled himself along in the mud. Skye ran to him; splashing down into the mud with her bare knees to be beside him.
Rolling him onto his back, Skye placed his head on her lap. He coughed again as Skye felt his face. He was cold and clammy to the touch. Nicolas fluttered just above Skye’s head now, looking down at the prince. He was definitely the same lad who played in the forest with Skye as a child. His life force was depleted badly, but it felt the same as the boy’s did back then.
Nicolas figured Tidas was just physically injured, but this was altogether different. Being so new to her power, he wasn’t sure Skye could save him herself. ‘But she’s no normal elemental, either. She was healing Celestia just by her will.. No effort at all! She may be able to do it. And it might help me to unravel the truth,’ Nicolas thought.
Skye swallowed hard to fight her tears before looking up and asking; “Please, Nicolas... What am I to do? Tell me what to do, please?”
The old fairy’s heart ached for the young couple. The unshed tears combined with the determination in Skye’s eyes made him buckle down on his own emotions. What Skye was, needed to be shelved; Tidas was most important right now. He examined the prince a moment before turning to Skye with a quizzical look; “Was Prince Tidas poisoned?!”
Petrie stepped forward and spoke: “It was one of the men I was with, uh... Sir-Mister Fairy. It was due to a poisoned blade he had always carried.. He didn’t like the idea of ‘someone survivin’ meeting him’.. He was Not a pleasant man,” Petrie shuddered from unspoken memories as he finished.
“And he’s been treated? With what?” Nicolas asked as he flew over to Petrie.
“Ima.. Not sure.. Ye know; up close: ye kinda look like Santa Claws,” Petrie stated as he was finally able to get a complete look at the old fairy.
“Yes, yes; Skye said the same thing. My name is Nicolas. Now, do you still have the container the antidote was in?” he asked with a slight urgency in his voice and fluttering.
“It’s over on the ground in front of the hollow; why? I know I gave it to him properly! If he dies, it ain’t because of me! I’ve been nothing but helpful,” Petrie defended as Skye scoffed loudly at his last remark.
It was too late though: Nicolas was already flying back towards the hollow. He found the pouch sitting on top of the mud. Any traces inside would still be unaffected by the mud. He had worried a moment about Tidas smushing it when he’d crawled out before; allowing the liquid to seep in. But the contents seemed dry.
The old fairy stuck his hand into the tiny pouch that was more like a giant bag, to him. Gathering up a few granulates of the contents; he felt, smelled, and tasted them to identify them. But right before he stuck his tongue on the last one, a voiced called out and said; “That would be a terrible idea, you old dotter! Don’t just stick random things in your mouth! That’ll kill our kind, you old fool!”
“Maevis! Hugo didn’t drop you, hmm? That bird never listens,” Nicolas sounded mean, but they both had a grins.
“Oh shut it, Nic. Would a thank you kill you? Now where are-oh! Dearie me, lass; your poor dress! And it was so pretty, too!” the old fairy woman looked taken aback as she spotted Skye.
After dismounting the hawk on a higher limb; Maevis looked like an angel as she fluttered down. She was older, but one could hardly tell. Her hair was an enchanting dark silver color, and she had deep smile lines around her eyes and mouth. Other than that; she looked young. Her robes were a dark blue color; making her hair stand out beautifully. Her skin tone was the same as the other fairies Skye had met so far. And her eyes matched her robes. She reminded Skye of the angel figure one put on top of a Yule tree. And she had the same soft white glow as Nicolas.
Maevis looked at Skye with pity at first, then admiration. The girl had obviously fought hard, and in many ways. The stories Nicolas had told her over the years about the two human children made the situation conceivable. She had teased him fiercely about how downtrodden he’d become since they’d stopped visiting the forest. Now, she understood why. The forest basked in their presence.
As Maevis looked about, the dead bodies didn’t even make her flinch. She had seen and caused much worse in her eight-hundred years of life. Skye quickly explained the gaps of the story to Maevis as she readied her magic. The girl seemed strong in will and spirits; instantly making Maevis like her. Especially when she saw Skye’s handiwork from saving her prince, and heard Petrie’s part in the story.
The fact a carving could sway Skye to spare him in the heat of the battle was intriguing to both of the elders. They considered it further proof of Skye’s potential and virtue. But Maevis’ exterior shifted when Skye mentioned her second power. Between the shock and contemplation that crossed Maevis’ face: Skye swore she saw terror. She had seen something similar with Nicolas before.
As they caught Maevis up, Nicolas had been searching around in the brush with Hugo’s help. He came back with a small wild potato, while Hugo delivered a few dandelions, before flying off. He looked up at Skye and motioned for her to focus.
“I’m going to show you how to make an emergency poultice. But you will have to do the work; that’s how you’ll infuse your magic into it.”
Taking a breath; Nicolas continued: “This poultice would normally need to be switched many times, for multiple days. But it’s effects will be greatly amplified based on the magic you pour into it, while making it. If you can focus your magic enough; you can spare him pain now, and possible side effects from his wounds.”
Skye looked both highly motivated, and confused. How was she supposed to focus her magic?! She hadn’t even been aware of the action, when she funneled it into Celestia. All she remembered was feeling an urgent need to help. She could feel the frailty of the tiny Fae when she’d picked her up. She remembered how her heart had swelled with her desire to save the beautiful fairy woman. Suddenly; Genie’s words came to her.
Skye closed her eyes and attempted to connect the familiar cool surge of her magic with her desperate need to save Tidas. She focused on her heartbeat; pulling the magic up from her gut. It resisted, but Skye’s will was undeniable. Her heart pounded hard in her chest as the cool sensation mixed with the choking heat of her emotions.
The torrents threatened to rip Skye apart from the inside out as they clashed. If she’d been standing; the pain would’ve brought Skye to her knees. She gasped for air as Petrie came to her side, and took Tidas off her lap. She fell to her side as convulsions overtook her. The three held their breaths as she shook violently; unable to help.
Just as suddenly as they had begun; Skye’s convulsions stopped. Maevis checked to see if she was still breathing, and sighed with relief when she’d found Skye’s pulse was strong. It had become eerily quiet in the forest: even the bugs had stopped. A sudden surge of magic power bloomed out in every direction from Skye. It knocked Maevis back, and caused the ground to tremble.
A brilliant, gold-colored aura cloaked Skye from head to toe. Her magic power surged beyond anything Nicolas and Maevis had ever felt before. They thought she was about to explode, but then Skye’s hair begun to shimmer brightly. Her golden red hair changed to match the glow of her aura. It grew so bright they all found themselves covering their eyes. A sudden crashing sound similar to a lightning strike, made them all shout their alarm.
Cautiously; they all removed their hands from their eyes. Skye was on her knees, leaning over Tidas. Startled by her sudden closeness, Petrie screeched as Skye’s eyes glowed, while she studied Tidas’ face. She smiled gently at him, then placed her hand on his chest above his heart. A soft glow came off of it, and Petrie could feel warmth emanating from her.
Within moments, Tidas’ color had returned, and his breathing was completely stable. Skye smiled softly one final time before falling over to her side: unconscious. She’d fallen towards Petrie, causing him to almost drop the prince’s head so he could catch Skye with his arm. While trying to keep Skye from falling over, Petrie looked up and yelled at the old Fae with an incredulous: “WHAT the BLOODY HELL just happened?!”
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