Guardians of the Crystal Kingdom
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2 Guardians of the Crystal Kingdom
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Guardians of the Crystal Kingdom
Author :lavidalunasanggre
© Webnovel

2 Guardians of the Crystal Kingdom

Part 2

Chapter 6

Finding the Cure

"How's he, Oracle?" Katy asked Mrs. Delphina as she looked at Trevor lying on a bed, eyes shut and bitten arm purpled—her heart smitten with deep sympathy.

"He's temporarily relieved, my dear honey dear. I don't know how long the potion works for him."

"I know, Oracle. I'll find the cure for his poisoned arm before the venom penetrates his entire body."

"The cure is in our kingdom. Seek help from Princess Merfara. She has the potion of healing for any bite from the poisonous creatures."

"I can't Oracle."

"Why not? Are you afraid to challenge her to a duel? Please, do it for him."

"No, not at all. I'd already defeated her once to get my bangle back."

"You defeated her? I can't believe it."

Katy humbly admitted. "I do. You know our law states I can only challenge the princess once for a season."

"I know."

"Didn't you know of someone who can help us?"

Mrs. Delphina thought hard. "I know of someone."

"Who's he?"

"It's not he. It's she. You must travel to the mystic island to see Nympha."

"Who's she?"

"She's the Lady of the Apdis Island. It's located somewhere in between the Dolphin's Realm and the Crystal Kingdom."

"I know that place. I think I can go there."

"You must be alert, my dear, since the mystical island slowly appears and disappears. You can only find her when the island floats above the water."

"Interesting!"

"You must go now so we can save him."

Katy smiled. She grunted an incantation, and the wings grew on her back. She went outside the house, and her legs slowly transformed into a tail when she began to fly. She flapped her wings quickly to easily reach the island.

Along the way, the vultures beleaguered her. She aviated harder, trying to escape the enemies, but they followed her and pelted her with their sharp-knife like feathers. She was almost hit. She flicked her hand, and the multi-colored lights came out from it and directed to the feathers, and she hit them—the feathers drizzled like confetti. She continued her journey until she saw an island. She hovered around it.

"Lady Nympha of Apdis Island, I beg you to show yourself to me."

The lady showed up in a blinding light that made Katy cover her eyes. "Introduce yourself, young merfairy." Dressed in a white Grecian gown, she'd a round face with blue eyes, her ash brown hair hung down her waist and had webbed hands and feet like a duck.

"I'm Katy, an Elite from the Crystal Kingdom. Member of the Council of Thirteen. I need your help, My Lady. My friend was badly bitten by a poisonous snake, and he needs the cure. Please, help him." She said with a condescending voice.

"Are you serious?" Nympha creased her brow with confusion. "The solution to your problem lies at the hand of your princess."


"I know, My Lady. But I can't have the potion since we have a law in the kingdom that a princess can only be challenged once in a season."

"So you'd already fought each other?"

"Yes, we did, My Lady."

"I see. Well, I don't have the potion, but I know of a living being who can help you, for sure. You must travel to the bottom of the sea, to the fourth kingdom and look for the Great Naruha, the one-eyed mermaid."

"Sounds familiar."

"Yes, who doesn't know her anyway? She's the ancient mermaid gifted with unbeatable knowledge no other creature underneath the sea can match her brilliance."

"Amazing!"

"Indeed."

"But how can I go there? I don't know her place."

"Come closer to me. Put your finger on my forehead, and I'll show you her place through a vision."

Katy followed what Nympha had said. When she put her finger on the lady's forehead, a dark well unfolded to her—so dark she felt fear in her heart.

Nympha felt for her. "Fear not. Think of your beloved friend."

Katy sighed with relief. "I will." She put her index finger on her forehead, and she apparated to the fourth kingdom. She came at the well's mouth noticing her wings dissolved. She became like an ordinary mermaid. With hesitation, she went inside the dark well. As soon as she was in the middle of the well, a bloom of poisonous jellyfish assaulted her. It stung her, but she muttered an incantation, and their sting became harmless. Her bangle beamed her way. She was almost there at the bottom of the well when she heard a vociferous voice.

"Who dares to intrude my peace and silence?"

"Great mermaid! I'm Katy member of the Council of Thirteen from the Crystal Kingdom. I come—"

"Oh, a merfairy," the voice cut her off and showed herself to her. The ancient-one-eyed mermaid's entire body glistened as she sat on a huge scallop. Her sparkling red hair hung down her tail. And what was stunning about her was a shining pearl covering her left eye. "Certainly, certainly, a merfairy visits me. What a pleasure to see a merfairy lady."

Katy curtsied as a sign of respect to an ancient mermaid.

"What brings you here?" As Naruha asked, a school of anchovies assembled into a woman-like form and danced.

"I come here for a friend … for my lover to be honest. He's in danger."

"Oh, brave lady. Certainly, certainly, you travel far and risk your life to help your lover."

Katy grinned. Naruha lingered on.

"Get inside a giant shell and prove the purity of your heart. When I see white bubbles emitted from it, I'll help you. When I see dark ones, you'll be trapped there forever."

The anchovies with the large, larger, and largest snouts guided her to the shell.

Katy trembled, but the thought of losing Trevor made her tail shake. She glared at the mermaid before she went inside the shell. She knew she wasn't perfect. She committed several mistakes in her life, but she regretted them. She stayed inside for a while until the white bubbles surrounded her body and slowly left her on their way out to the hole. The shell opened, and a smiling Katy came out.

The tiny, the tinier, and the tiniest anchovies all winked at her as they flipped their fins in joy. Their brother and sister anchovies did the same.

"Good, merfairy! Certainly, certainly, you've passed the test!"

"Thank you, Great Mermaid."

"You'll find the cure for your lover in the Dolphin's Realm. Look for Ellen. Give this pearl necklace embroidered with sparkling diamonds to her in exchange for the potion she'll give you. Surely, she'll entertain you. She couldn't resist this fine jewelry."

"Thank you."

"Go now before it's too late."

Katy swam fast making her way out of the well. She mumbled an incantation using the bangle, and she lifted high. Her wings grew back, and she wafted to the dolphin's realm. She was halfway there when a fire dragon spewed fireballs against her, but she escaped from him. She swerved trying to mislead the creature, but its senses followed and enabled to see her. She whistled to the wind for help, and an ice dragon came winging to her rescue.

The ice dragon released ice spears against the fire dragon, but it breathed fireballs, and the spears melted.

While the two dragons were fighting, Katy continued flying to the dolphin's realm and landed at their business center. Several dolphins, male and female, greeted her. They sold different potions to her and convinced her to get inside their stores. In terms of potion-making, the intelligent dolphins were far advance, and their products were found to be potent.

"Do you know who Ellen is?"

The dolphins looked at and mumbled to each other. "Oh, Madam Ellen, the Business Minister. She must be rich she can afford her potions."

"Do you know where I can find her?"

"Fly straight to this way. When you reach the corner, turn to the left, and when you see the last building, it's where you can find her."

"Thank you." Katy glided to the building where Ellen could be found. She reached the glass-made building. She knocked on the door and a female dolphin with pearls and diamonds embellishment on her neck opened the door for her.

"Hi, I'm looking for Ms. Ellen."

"Why are you looking for her?"

"The Great Mermaid had sent me here."

"Oh, Naruha, my friend. I'm Ellen. Please come in and have a seat." Her male attendants busied pouring liquids in the bottles on the table. "Cookies, frappe or anything?"

"No, thanks. I come here to give this to you."

Ellen's eyes sparkled. "Wow, what a beautiful necklace! I love this! Boys, do you see what I'm holding? Bring the potion equivalent to this very fine jewelry." Her male attendant came to her and handed her the potion.

"Here it is young merfairy. This is a perfect potion to cure the poisoned creature.

"Thanks. But how did you know I need this potion?"

"A diamond for a poison."

Katy smiled. "Thanks again. I have to go." She stormed outside.

"Come back next time and bring more of this."

Katy waved her hand. She soared skyward back to the Dili-Ingun-Natos' world. She chose flying instead of using her power of teleportation for she didn't want to weaken her strength. Teleportation cost so much of her energy.

On her way back, a sea turtle on the water surface screamed for her help. She whirled downward.

"Please, have mercy on me, merfairy lady."

"What happened to you?"

"I was bitten by a shark. My fin hurts. I lick to cure it just like what I did when I was wounded, but it doesn't work. Please, help me."

Without hesitation, Katy poured the potion on the turtle's fin, and it made the turtle feel better.

"Thank you, merfairy. Truly, you have a golden heart." The sea turtle transformed into a beautiful lady wearing a royal dress with a crown on her head. Her entire figure radiated. Her skin was as white as snow, her long hair was as black as the coal, and her voice was sweet and gentle.

Katy gasped that she covered her mouth with both hands, and her eyes bulged in disbelief. The woman who appeared before her was the reason for her existence.

"Goddess Neptuna!" She curtsied.

"Katy, you've proven to me you have a pure and compassionate heart. When you poured the potion to me when I disguised as a turtle which was intended primarily for your special someone, you make me believe there's still goodness left in the creatures I've created." Goddess Neptuna said with the tone of tenderness in her voice.

"It's my greatest honor to be of help to someone, Great Goddess."

"Hold my hand as we walk on the surface of the water."

"Great Goddess, am I worthy to hold your hand?"

"You're most worthy. Listen to me, a great natural catastrophe shall wipe out all the seven kingdoms I've created."

"Great Goddess, please spare us from this forthcoming destruction."

"It shall happen when the majority of the hearts of the sea creatures are filled with selfishness, envy and hatred. However, I still believe in the goodness and the purity of heart just like yours. You'll have a great role to prevent it from happening. When the Chosen One comes back to her rightful home, you'll assist her to fight the evils, stop the catastrophe and help restore peace and balance of all my creations."

"Will you do it?"

"I will. Who is she, Great Goddess? When is she coming?"

"She's coming … very soon."

"Great Goddess, please give us a sign she's the Chosen One."

"She has a water gem on her forehead."

"Thank you, Great Goddess."

"You're welcome." The Goddess smiled sweetly and opened Katy's hand. "Take this bottle of potion and help your true love. You have my blessing." Goddess Neptuna whirled up the sky and evanesced.

Katy kept on gazing at the sky and uttered, "Oh, my G" in disbelief that she met and talked with the Goddess in flesh.

"I can't believe this. Not every creature in the seven kingdoms has been allowed to meet her in flesh or spirit form. Surely, they wouldn't believe if I tell them I met the Goddess."

She journeyed back to the mortal world light-heartedly. As she mounted up her wings, she passed by the sea, the mountains and the river. Her eyes shimmered as she glared at the splendid beauty of the creations, and she vowed to help the Chosen One fulfill her destiny so that all the creations of the Great Goddess including herself wouldn't be obliterated from the Fantasy Land.

Not far away, she'd already seen the house where Trevor unconsciously rested. Suddenly, a familiar figure with an ice dragon hovering above the river captured her interest.

"Your Highness, what are you doing here?" Katy asked.

"Oh, trying to kill the time. I'm bored in the palace," Princess Merfara replied as she tried to look at herself in the mirror as if she was waiting for someone to see her in her most desirable look.

"Really? Maybe you just want to see him … to see your former great lover." Katy teased her.

The princess shook her head while smiling.

"Do you still love him? It's been a long time," Katy asked.

This time, the princess bobbed her head. She could no longer deny her feelings. How could she forget the man who taught her what true love was? "Yes, I'm still in love with him even if his hairs turn to grey now. I haven't forgotten him. His memories remain indelible in my heart." Her voice cracked with longings for a man with whom she wanted to be with for the rest of her life. However, she was torn between her love and her duty to the kingdom.

"I feel for you, Your Highness. I believe you and him share the same feelings. I know he remains single up to this day. He's living in a house not far from where the Oracle lives. He's an old man now."

"I know that's why I still love him. Sometimes, I come to his place and leave some gifts for him."

"Do you want to come with me? I think I need to hurry now before it's too late. Trevor is ill. Besides, the Oracle would be glad seeing you."

"Yes, I will. Lead the way."

They would've started flying to the house when out from nowhere, Katy's twin sister appeared before them.

"Flying fast to cure our one great true love?" Olivia asked.

"Go out of my way, if you still care about him," Katy said.

"I do care about him, but you're a traitor. You stole his heart from me."

"I don't. He simply loves me."

"Stop it!" Olivia covered her ears. She didn't want to hear those words from her. Katy's words tormented her like an ant biting a lion's inner ear. "You're a great, liar bitch."

"Now, leave our way," the princess commanded.

"I won't. Oh, the princess … my former accomplice. How are you?"

The princess didn't answer her. She practically raised her eyebrows to the sky.

"Oh, speechless to see me? Want to see my new powers?" Olivia opened her mouth, and tens of winged-snakes came out and hurled to the direction of the two merfairies who both prepared for her attack while the ice dragon moaned hard. Before her snakes could come close to them, the dragon released its ice spears, hitting the target while missing the others.

Meanwhile, the princess flicked her hand and directed the power that came from her fingers to the other snakes. She hit them, and they fell to the river.

"Bastard!" Olivia glowered. She transfigured into a gigantic winged-snake and spat high-acidic liquids to the dragon while it counteracted her power with its ice balls, but they only melted—some hit on the ice dragon, and it burned his skin and made it excruciated in pain. She sneered seeing the creature hurt while the princess and Katy had their mouths dropped open in shock for the dragon's skin was badly hurt considering that its skin was thick as a hundred trunks of a tree. Olivia flitted her tongue in and out.

"Don't look straight at her eyes or else you'll freeze. Katy, use your bangle," commanded the princess.

Katy grumbled. "Partum a clypeus." And her bangle created a shield to protect them. The huge snake expectorated again against the shield. At first, the liquids didn't work, but eventually, they slowly dissolved it.

"I'm sorry, Your Highness, the bangle's power has weakened. Perhaps, I overuse it."

"It's okay, Elite. We can do this. Let's circle her." The princess distanced facing the snake, while Katy was on the right side, and the ice dragon, on the left side. "Let's simultaneously use our powers against her. On my count ... one, two, three, go!"

They hit the snake altogether, but their powers seemed futile. The skin's snake was invulnerable. Olivia struck back at them. She joggled her venomous tail and hit Katy. She slobbered against the princess and burned her skin. The dragon looked straight at her eyes, and it froze. She would've assailed them again when a white bird emerged in their midst. The bird then shapeshifted into a wonderful woman dressed in a spring-green cloak, her lavender hair reached her ankles, and her staff had the head of a living eagle with flapping-fuchsia feathers right below the head.

"Your powers come from the dark force. I surmise from the Spirit Witch Queen," she spoke with gentleness in her voice but with authority.

"Why intrude us? This is none of your business! Leave or die." Olivia's harsh words made her scowl.

Out from the forehead of the lady came the water gem and released blinding rays of light. The snake's eyes tried to counterattack it, but they were powerless. "Leave now or you'll be blind."

Olivia transformed back into her true self. "Your intrusion will surely reach to the Spirit Witch Queen." She put her index finger on her forehead and vanished.

Katy and her company came nearer to the lady and thanked her for saving their lives.

"Thank you, Dear Lady."

"You're most welcome. Call me Connie, Queen of the Forest." Her water gem still lingered on her forehead, but this time it didn't emit the blinding rays of light.

Katy's lower lip convulsed in awe for she remembered the words of the Great Goddess about the savior. She must be the one, she thought.

"Water gem, release your power. Cure their wounds and return their strength." The water gem released soft rays of light touching the bodies of the three creatures. "Go now, before your enemy comes back with her Queen." The lady said and in a wink of an eye, she lost to sight.

Katy fluttered to the house while the princess apparated back to the Crystal Kingdom together with the ice dragon.

The fireflies had lighted the night when Katy got inside the house. She heard Trevor moan in pain.

"Goodness gracious, you're back, dear honey dear."

"I am. How's he, Oracle?"

"Not okay. He's trembling and agonizing in terrible pain."

"Worry no more, I've brought the potion." Katy then moved closer to the front of the bed and poured gingerly half the potion on Trevor's left arm and let him drank the remaining contents. Instantly, his wound slowly healed, and there was no trace of a scar left on his skin. Trevor moved and opened his eyes. He smiled at her, and she kissed him on the forehead.

"Sleep well, my love," Katy said. Her right hand caressed Trevor's hair, and her kisses sent him into a deep sleep.

Katy joined him on a bed while the Oracle left them.

"I'll do everything to keep you alive even if it means great sacrifices for me. You're my oxygen. Without you, I hardly live. No one can separate us. Not Olivia. Not anybody else … not even death."

Chapter 7

Taking a Break

Trevor awoke at the lorikeets' chatters. Sunshine had already streamlined through his room's window. He grinned while watching Katy sleep like a baby. He thought she must be exhausted in her journey to find the cure for his bitten arm. He was one lucky guy to have found a woman, a merfairy lady to be precise, who was willing to risk her life for him.

He loved her more for her bravery and pure heart. He caressed her skin gently from her arm to her face and kissed her rosy cheeks.

How can you be so nice while your sister is an evil freak? You both grew and came from the same womb, you should've the same character. Had you known her wickedness has been engraved to the cartilage of her bone, must you have strangulated her with your umbilical cord if you have it or with your tail? Jeez.

Katy moved and opened her eyes slowly when Trevor caressed her hair and smelled it. The scent was intoxicating, honey and rose—sweet and fragrant.

"Hey, fishheart," Trevor greeted her with an invigorating look.

"Hi. Are you okay now?" Katy checked Trevor's arm.

"I survive, fishheart."

"Great!" Her eyes lit up. "You keep on saying 'fishheart', and I like that anyway. What does it mean?" Katy asked, beaming.

"My sweetheart fairy fish."

Katy chuckled. "Okay. That's cool." She leaned toward the bedside.

"It's sweet. Anyway, thank you for saving me." You're my angel … my angelic fish … my angelic sweetheart.

"You're welcome. I'll do everything for you." Katy came toward him, and she kissed him. Their lips moved in perfect rhythm telling them they'd been made for each other for eternity. Every time she kissed him, her heart tangoed with a playful wind, and her mind sojourned peacefully like it raced a thousand-mile journey—it felt so right. She could feel the serenity inside her even though she knew there would be an imminent danger ahead of them. Even her inner siren tossed her two thumbs up in agreement.

Trevor felt also the same way for her except for the inner siren part. They were catching their breaths when their lips parted.

A moment of silence suspended the air.

"Kate, are you a matchstick?" Trevor asked, smiling widely at her.

"What?"

"Don't say what. Say why?"

Katy's face plastered with confusion. "Why?"

"Kate you're neither a merfairy nor a thing. You're a matchstick, and so am I. We're a perfect match made in the sky."

Katy chuckled on Trevor's punch line.

"Kate, you must be tired now. You know why?"

"Why?" Kate wriggled. She knew whatever his answer was it would send her bolt of sensational currents making every nerve of her body swoon.

"'Cause you keep on running in my mind."

"Cheesy."

Trevor seemed unstoppable. "Kate, I bet you don't know Isaac Newton."

"I don't know. Why?" She grinned.

"He's right about a natural phenomenon. I tended to be pulled by you, and so you are by me. Isn't love magical we're brought to each other by gravity?"

Katy laughed. "I know gravity. It's a force, just like love. That's what I learned from my Mother."

"Precisely. Well, seriously, it must've been a long and dangerous journey you had to save me." Trevor gently pinched her nose. Can I massage you to ease your back pains … if ever you need it? Promise, I'll behave.

Katy giggled. "I think so."

"Curious. Please, tell me. And please stop biting your lip or else I can't help but bite it."

"Gross. I'll tell you later. Meantime, let's get off the bed and take our breakfast."

"No, no, no. I'll get breakfast, and we'll have it here on the bed." Trevor winked at her and strode outside. A few minutes later, he came back with the tray full of food.

"Here I come, beautiful. Let's have our breakfast." He sat beside her. He gave her cookies, hotdog and a slice of fruit. She grinned, flashing her pearly white teeth. You know what, fishheart? Even if I don't eat, I'm already full by merely staring at you, I swear it. Cross my heart. Fingers crossed. Joke!

"Let's eat, Kate. I'm hungry." I'm hungry for your love. Jeez.

They were staring at each other while eating. Occasionally, Trevor would give Katy a few winks that made her fluster.

"You have …" Trevor pointed his lips at her. Katy thought Trevor wanted to kiss her lips.

"What? You want me to kiss you?" Katy asked, grinning.

"Yeah but you have … oh, never mind. Let me do it for you." He wiped the sides of Katy's lips with his thumb. "The red paste." Then, he sucked his thumb.

Katy bit her lip. Did Trevor do that? Thumb sucking with red paste from me? Well, conservatives might find it scandalous. Others, yucky, but as for me, it was cute … and sensual. Feeling her mouth dried up, she slugged down a glass of juice.

When they were almost over, Trevor spoke.

"How's the adventure, beautiful?" He fondly called her 'beautiful' and every time he called her on it, she went red. Don't bite your lip, fishheart. I'm getting a hard-on now. I'm not kidding, this time.

"Oh, fun-filled yet dangerous. I traveled far to the Mystic Apdis Island where the lady told me about the one-eyed mermaid who knew about the potion for your cure. I set off my journey there … alone." Katy pinched Trevor's nose then continued. "Then she gave me a test which I passed."

"You mean a pen and paper exam?" Trevor interrupted.

"No, not that way. I went inside the giant shell to determine the purity of my heart. If white bubbles came, then I could get out. However, if black bubbles would come out from the hole of the shell, then I'll be trapped there forever, and I won't see you again. Fortunately, I passed the test."

Trevor kept on nodding and listening attentively to her.

"And then, the ancient mermaid gave me the necklace and told me to embark on a trip to the Dolphin's realm to look for the fabulous Ellen and gave her the necklace in exchange for the potion. I flew back here. Along the way, I saw a turtle floating on the water who screamed for help. She asked me to help her cure her poisoned fin, and I gave her the potion supposedly intended for you. Something strange happened because the turtle transfigured into our Great Goddess … the origin of everything. She handed me back the potion. As I continued my journey back here, I saw the princess and her ice dragon. I invited her to come with me, to see you and the Oracle. When we headed our way here, my evil twin sister appeared and fought against us. She vanquished us because she became more powerful. Luckily, the Queen of Forest came to save us with her water gem."

"Wow! What a dangerous journey you'd traveled to save me! Hmmm, I love you, Kate." Trevor kissed her on the cheeks.

"I love you too, Rockefeller."

"I think you deserve a treat." What do you want hamburger, frappe or me?

"A treat? What's that?"

"That means, you prepare yourself while I do too because I'll bring you to the city."

"The city? Is it far from here?"

"No, not at all. Trust me. I'm sure you'll enjoy our trip."

"Okay, you say so."

"Ready?" Trevor offered his hand to her as he spoke.

Katy bit her lip and accepted Trevor's hand. "Ready for what?"

"To be my forever." Trevor's face lit up. And when he winked at her, Katy's panties fell to her ankles.

***

Trevor brought Katy to the park. Katy's eyes glimmered as she watched the kids joyfully play there. Her stares fixed on the couple with kids. Trevor observed Katy's expression—she loved to have kids. He thought.

When an old man with an ice cream parlor in cart past them, he called him, and the man halted. He laced his fingers to hers, and they strolled toward the man.

"Hey, Mister. Please give us some ice cream." Trevor handed him the money, and the vendor gave him some of it in two large cups.

"Try it, fishheart. You'll love it."

Katy playfully licked the ice cream in a cup while it was still on Trevor's hand. "Hmmm, taste good. Thank you." She snatched it from his hand. Her mouth watered that she slurped it—in a few seconds, the cup became empty. Just like a kid who craved for sweets, she asked for more, her lips pouting.

"What flavor is that?"

"Mine?" Trevor asked her naughtily. "Heavenly."

Katy flustered. "Nay, I'm asking the flavor of your ice cream."

"Oh, I see, vanilla. You want some?"

"Yes."

Trevor scooped a spoon of ice cream and offered it to Katy.

"Say ah," Trevor said. Katy opened her mouth and snarfed it. "How's the taste?"

"Heavenly," Katy replied, smiling.

"Just like mine," Trevor whispered. Katy pinched him.

"What?" Trevor chuckled. Katy smirked. Trevor knew Katy had understood what he'd meant. He took another spoon, and this time, he engorged it. "It tastes better."

"Crazy. You really are," Katy said.

"Yes, I'm crazy … crazy in love with you." Trevor winked at her. "Seriously, the ice cream tastes better after your saliva had mixed with it."

Katy's mouth formed an O-shape in astonishment. She couldn't agree for more.

Trevor gave Katy another cup of vanilla ice cream, and she debauched it right away

"Let's go there. Let's have some street food. I bet you'll like it too." He grabbed her hand, intertwining it with his and strolled to the edge of the park where the vendors sold the food.

"Mister, please give us some quail eggs and tempura and a bottle of coconut juice. Here's the money."

The vendor gave them the food, and Katy loved them too. She'd eaten much of them. She was chewing the tempura and quaffing the juice while he happily stared at her innocence. After that, they went to the malls, used the escalator which Katy feared for she thought it might swallow her. They glided to the theater and watched Fifty Shades Freed.

They loitered around the mall—hopping from one store to another as they merrily put on different clothes. They went to the Quantum Station and played games such as gun and ball shooting and even tried dancing. She was really having a good time with herself and with him.

The nightingales had been yodeling giving the night a piece of lovely music when they went home.

"Thanks for the day," Katy said.

"You're welcome. Did you enjoy it?" I'll bring you to court, to Victoria court (a motel). Promise, you will enjoy there. Joke!

"Very much."

"How's the date, dear honey dear?" Mrs. Delphina asked as she opened the door for them, but before they could answer, her eyes brightened in purple lights and saw a vision that made her heart sink.

"What did you see, Oracle?" Katy asked.

"Never mind it, my dear honey dear," Mrs. Delphina said as she looked at the couple holding their hands. They seemed to be delighted she couldn't tell what she'd seen that might spoil their jovial mood.

"Please, Oracle, tell us."

"Not a good idea, Elite."

"Please?"

"You and my grandson shall quarrel over his infidelity." Her voice was serious.

"My infidelity, Grandma? That's impossible! I love Kate, and I'll never cheat on her." Trevor put his arm around Katy's waist.

Mrs. Delphina brushed off. "It shall happen, Trevor dear honey dear. Your destiny is revealed to me."

"I trust you, Oracle. I know it will happen. Your vision always comes true. There was never a single foreboding you saw and told the merfairies about it that didn't come true. I hope we're brave enough to reconcile when it happens," Katy said and caressed Trevor's arm.

"I know you both can do it. Love is the most powerful emotion, that even if it doesn't have eyes, it will make you see your true love and his significance in your life. It doesn't have feet, but it shall lead you back to each other's arms." Mrs. Delphina quipped, half-smiling.

"Thanks, Grandma," Trevor kissed her on her cheek.

"Thanks, Oracle," Katy hugged her.

"You're both welcome, dear honey dear." Mrs. Delphina's long arms enclosed them.

Chapter 8

The Academy of Merfairies

Katy awoke at dawn. A tiny firefly spoke at her in a hushed tone, and her eyebrows quirked. She rose from the bed. She flicked her hand, and a paper came out of it. She wrote a letter using the lights emanated from her fingers. She put it together with a magic mirror which looked like a travel-sized Giorgio Armani compact foundation beside Trevor's pillow so he could easily see it when he woke up.

Before she left, she smacked him on his cheek and teleported to the Crystal Kingdom.

The merfairies flew to and from the hallway of the Crystal Palace, and the spirits in white smoke, who died in the war, also winged with them. Katy headed to the Council Room of thirteen. Everyone was expecting her presence. It was no surprise to them when she entered the room. She was the only one whom they'd waited for before the formal discussion started.

"Good, that you're here, Elite." The head of the council wearing thick round eyeglasses spoke. She was a regal woman who wore a twenty one-carat diamond pearl-necklace. She'd an ash brown hair with a round face, a turned-up nose and owned a set of piercing-gray eyes.

"Am I late, Madam Ludilyn?"

"No, you arrive on time. Let's begin our meeting. As you all know, an unknown being attacked the shield of our kingdom yesterday. For a thousand years, this shield has been protecting us from our enemies. It's a strong shield that no enemy in the past years had been successful in destroying it. Every merfairy knows that only a powerful magic can destroy it, and it must be attacked from inside. No other creature can enter our kingdom without passing through the shield. If the shield detects that he or she's not a merfairy, it wouldn't allow him or her to pass through even if he or she has the power of teleportation," Head Ludilyn said.

"What are you trying to imply, Madam?" Defense Minister Hagak asked.

"What I'm trying to say is that one of our merfairy people is trying to destroy it. There's a traitor in the kingdom."

"Who is she, Madam Ludilyn? Do you have any idea?" Princess Merfara asked while she crossed her arms over her chest.

"I don't have an idea, Your Highness. Only if the Oracle were here she–"

"Wait, Madam," Katy barged in. "I'm sorry if I stop you from saying, but I surmise I have an idea."

All eyes of the Council were on her. She continued. "I guess it's Olivia."

"Your evil twin sister?" They asked her in a chorus, and Katy nodded.

"How could it be?" Head Ludilyn asked further.

"I fought with her." Katy looked at the princess trying to ask permission if she might allow her to tell the event that took place together with her. The princess smiled and gave her a thumbs-up sign. "When I was on my way to the Oracle, as you know I've maintained communication with her, I saw the princess and her ice dragon having a good time flying. I invited them to see the Oracle. Suddenly, Olivia appeared before us. We'd a good fight until she defeated us. She transfigured into a huge snake, and her venomous, highly acidic spittle melted the shield which my bangle created to protect us. If she destroyed my shield, then, I think she was the one who tried to slowly poison our kingdom's shield too. After all, she's a merfairy. She could pass through the shield and enter the kingdom as she wishes."

"Powerful she has become!" One of the Council said.

"Where did she get her powers?" Head Ludilyn asked further. "The last thing I know about her is that she stayed near the river bridge."

"I heard it from the Queen of the Forest who saved us that her power comes from the Spirit Witch Queen."

"From the evil witch?" Few of the Council said in chorus. "I thought we'd already killed her!" Minister Hagak said, but the sincerity of his voice was superficial.

"We must eliminate her before she can get back in her flesh form. Or else, we'll be doomed." One of the Council suggested.

"I agree," Head Ludilyn said, and the rest rejoined her statement. "I suggest an order from the royal family be sought to command the soldiers to patrol throughout the day and night to protect us from our enemies. "Your Highness?"

"I and my sister will issue a decree," Princess Merfara said.

"Thanks, Your Highness," said the whole Council.

"Meeting adjourned." Head Ludilyn came closer to the princess and whispered.

***

Katy strutted with her tail along the Sarvard Academy—a school for the merfairies. Three large-five-storey buildings made of sparkling glasses housed the students. At the center of the three buildings was the Olympic-size swimming pool with a twenty-six-foot olive tree at the middle of it.

Seven subjects were taught there: Spell casting, Shape-shifting, Skills Against Black Magic, Potion Making, Physical Education, Divination and Teleportation with Mind Control.

She'd been absent from her classes for the several days. She'd missed important lessons so she must cope with. A forthcoming annual Sports Festival would be held in the kingdom in which she'd be actively participating. Even though she was an Elite, she was still a student. She gained the distinction when she saved the ancient prince from the legions of fire dragons.

"How are you, sistah?" A merfairy gay with plenty of accessories on her neck, wrist and ankles asked. He always emphasized 'sistah' to her which is a term of endearment between friends which means, sister.

"I'm okay. I've been busy these past few days, my friend, Raffa."

"Really?

"Yeah."

"With whom?"

She sulked.

"Ah, ah, ah. Busy with your … lover?"

"Ssshhh. Lower your voice."

"How's he? Is he a good kisser?"

Katy pinched Raffa's side.

"Ouch!"

They were at the door of their classroom when she said. "He is."

"Naughty!"

The bald male professor had written a few instructions on potion making on the glass board when they dawdled inside. Before they'd taken their glass seats, the professor spoke.

"Too early for the next session."

"I'm sorry, we're late, Professor Nudge. I attended a meeting with the Council," Katy explained, and the professor nodded as an affirmation she could take the seat while Raffa took his seat too.

"Oh, you also attended the Council meeting, Raffa?" Professor Nudge asked. His students chortled.

"Yes." Raffa jokingly said." His classmates guffawed.

"Silence!Really? So I'd like to call the attention of your parents, informing them you're not qualified to join the sports festival because you're a certified liar."

"Mea culpa, Professor. It was just a joke." Raffa bowed before him.

"Apology accepted. Without further much ado, let's resume our lesson." Professor Nudge lectured on how to mix the ingredients and their exact amounts to create a potion of transformation. His class yawned as he continued talking, but they pretended they listened to him every time he'd look at them.

The class ended, and the merfairies hurried outside.

"Tell me, how's the Dili-Ingun-Natos' world?" Raffa asked.

"It's beautiful. The people or the mortals, that's how they call themselves, dressed differently from us. And … they have mouth-watering foods."

"Really? That's nice. I wish I could visit there someday."

"I hope so. They have this wide and big place where everybody can shop."

"Just like a dolphin's business center?"

"Aha."

"Interesting! So, you've gone there with your Dili-Ingun-Nato's lover?"

"Half-Dili-Ingun-Nato, half-merfairy." She corrected him.

His face lit up. "Really? I thought he's an ordinary Dili-Ingun-Nato. How could that possibly be?"

"He's the Oracle's grandson."

"The Oracle? Is she alive?"

"Yes of course."

"I can't believe this. I thought the Oracle can't survive in an exile."

"She can. After all, she's the Great Oracle."

"Tell me more about your lover."

"Well, he's good-looking, having dimples on both cheeks with tantalizing eyes and red lips." Katy giggled as she remembered how they kissed each other.

"Naughty, sistah!"

She said. "Friend, can I share a secret with you?"

"But of course."

"How can I start this? Hmmm, our shield is poisoned, and it's slowly getting powerless in the coming days. If it can't be restored, it will eventually disappear in time for our annual sports festival."

"Dangerous! Does the Council know about this?"

"Partly yes, partly no. They knew the shield had been attacked, but little did they know that's slowly poisoned."

"Are we still safe?"

"For now, yes. But in the future, that I can't tell."

"Who did it?"

"My twin sister."

"That evil creature! I'll transform her into a frog if I see her."

"You can't. She's getting powerful now—so powerful she could transform into a huge winged-snake." She said while Raffa protruded his eyes in her revelation. "That's why I need your help now."

"What help?"

"We must go to the library this evening."

"It's forbidden. We'll be expelled from the Academy by the Minister if she catches us."

"I know."
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"Why not ask her?"

"She's a concerned Minister. She'll immediately issue a notice to everyone and that would probably create chaos."

"I agree."

"Are you coming with me? Your excellent skills in transformation will make us easily escape if either she or the guards catch us."

"Scared I maybe, but I can't say no to you."

"Thanks, my friend."

"On one condition." He jerked his index finger.

"Say anything."

"You'll bring me to the Dili-Ingun-Natos' world and unwind ourselves to their huge business center."

"I will."

They'd have entered the classroom when their physical fitness professor with a shrill voice in the doorway yelled telling her classmates to proceed to the arena. They flew with them. As they came nearer to the arena, her not-so-nice classmate approached them.

"Oh, Katy, are you ready for the synchronized swimming? I've been practicing these past days. This time, I and my team will surely win," a petite merfairy named Bella said.

"Really? Well, we'll find it when the sports festival comes." Katy said with confidence while Raffa mimicked Bella's words and gestures. She smiled at his friend's reaction.

"I haven't seen you lately. Where have you been?" Bella asked.

"It's none of your business, petite," Raffa intervened. His remarks made Bella Flora twitch her pouty lips. Nosy freak.

"Whatever!" Bella Flora flitted away.

"The nerves," Raffa said. Gosh! "That girl, I love to pull out her fallopian tube and spank her liver and small intestine. What do you think, sistah?"

Katy chuckled. "And maybe kick her nosy tail?" They laughed. "Seriously, we shouldn't mind her. The best thing we can do is to understand her. She has gone through a lot, and perhaps her nosiness is her coping mechanism."

"I couldn't agree for more," Raffa said. "You're the most understanding merfairy I had ever known. That's why I befriend you and shall keep you as my friend for eternity."

"Touching. Thanks for that."

"Elite?" a merfairy lady in her teens spoke. She approached her."

"Yes?"

"A gift from the Smithereens." She handed her a brown cloth with precious stones in it. "The messenger said if you have spare time please feel free to visit them."

"I will. Thank you very much. So nice of you to hand it to me." She placed it in her purse and gave her an okay sign (a thumb and an index finger forming a letter Y).

"You're very much welcome. I have to go." She flitted away from her.

"See you around. Thanks again."

They continued flying, and they rested on a glass chair. They watched the other students practicing their routine in synchronized swimming, Quebeech, swimming and flying with hurdles. When their time came to use the arena, they practiced their routines for the three contest categories.

The howls of the wolves in the forest resonated when their professor dismissed them.

***

"What took you so long?" Raffa seemed pissed off waiting for her at the back passage of the Academy. Emegesh!

"I'm sorry. I had an emergency meeting with the princess," Katy explained.

"About what?"

"I'll tell you later."

"Okay. Let's go now. It's almost midnight, sistah." Raffa drank a small bottle of potion and handed one to Katy, and they transformed into fireflies.

They quietly went inside the secret passage, making sure they won't make any noise even if they disguised as insects. They passed the classrooms until they reached the library. Their eyes blinked a few times in shock that the lights were still on. They peeped through the glass window and saw the Academy Minister return the book in a shelf. The Minister put off the lights, and she left.

With golden specks of dust on his wings, Raffa flapped them and made the guards sleepy. They passed through below a small hole of the glass door and went inside. They waited for several minutes until they were sure the Minister won't come back, and they transformed into their true selves.

"What exactly are we looking for?" Raffa mumbled.

"It's a purple book with diamond embellishment on its cover." Katy scanned the bookshelves. She'd searched almost every book on the shelf, yet she couldn't find it.

"Are you sure it's here?"

"Yes, I am." She continued searching.

Raffa's eyes blazed when he saw the book they were looking for. "Alas, sistah, I found it!"

"Lower your voice." Katy put her palm on Raffa's lips to silence him. She took the book from his hand and read its table of contents. She smiled when she found the information she was looking for. She flipped through the pages and read carefully every snippet of information contained therein. She memorized every detail on how to cure the poisoned shield. She told him they'd leave the library for she'd already gotten the information needed. They were about to shapeshift into fireflies when they sensed someone was coming.

"Who dared to intrude the library at this unholy hour?" The voice roared with authority.

Katy whispered, "Invisibilia" and the bangle made them both invisible. It was Madam Marsette, the Academy Minister who came back to the library. She wore a stern-looking face with Greek nose, azure-blue eyes and a dark hair styled similar to Demi Peters's hairstyle when she won the 2017 Miss Universe. Her blue de France top dress adorned with a persimmon-red brooch, the size of a table tennis ball, would make anybody think she was on her early twenties where in fact she was already a hundred years old.

"Show yourself or I'll show you no mercy." Minister Marsette readied her magic wand.

In the entire academy, only distinguished merfairies who held the highest positions could use the wand. All members of the Council had it, except Katy being the youngest member. She could only have it when she'd graduate from her studies.

A swarm of bees buzzed and hovered on the shelves. The Minister thought the insects were the ones creating the noise. Her fighting expression turned into calmness. Smiling, she left the library.

They sighed in gratitude to the bees. They were almost caught if not to them. One of the bees looked familiar to Katy. She gawked at the bee, and it winked at her. It saw her even if she was invisible. She winked at it too because it was the friendly bee which helped her win in Quebeech against the princess.

As soon she lifted their state of invisibility, Raffa handed her the potion while he drank his, and they shapeshifted again into fireflies. They flew out to the secret passage heading their way to Katy's room.

"Holy horse, saintly snake, we're almost caught." Raffa's sweat meandered across his cheeks while Katy chortled at her friend's mortified expression. "What are you smiling at, naughty girl?"

"Look at your face in the mirror, you're stressed. You look five years older."

"Oh, this is because of your doing." Raffa planted both hands on his waist. "Well, what does the book say?" Looking funny on his terrified look, he wiped his sweat with his terra cotta red scarf.

"The solution lies at the hands of the winged-snake women."

"Where exactly is that?"

"It's a world far from the seventh kingdom. Flying there is impossible because of the strong winds. Our wings couldn't endure the winds' gustiness."

"Can we not teleport there?"

"I don't think so, our power of teleportation works only within the seven kingdoms of the Fantasy Land and in the Dili-Ingun-Natos' world."

"And why didn't we use it in going to the library? We can just easily teleport to and fro."

"If we use it then we're expelled from the Academy. The library has security systems that detect teleportation."

"You're brilliant, sistah."

"I'm not. It was lectured in our class, and you were absent then."

Raffa chuckled. "I see. Now going back to the land of the snake women, how could we possibly go there?"

"The book says we must travel to the seventh kingdom and ask help from … guess who?"

"The handsome merman?" His deep-seated-Egyptian-blue eyes sparkled. "Common, let's not waste our time. I want to have a bite on him."

"No, no, no. From another gay … gay merman."

"Gosh. Not interested. You travel there alone."

"Okay, then, you'll never see handsome Dili-Ingun-Natos."

"No. That's not part of our deal."

"It's part of the agreement. You're the only trusted friend I have. Besides, if we become successful, you'll be a hero and who knows you'll become an Elite too."

"An Elite? Love it. Count me in."

"Let the adventure begin." Katy gave Raffa a high five which he learned from his beloved Rockefeller.

Chapter 9

The Antidote

"Your Majesty, you have guests from the Crystal Kingdom," the merman guard said as he escorted the guests to her queen who was sitting on her golden throne.

"Introduce yourselves," Queen Landaya said in her sweet voice. Her trident shimmered with a slithering snake swathe around its shaft. When she tapped the serpent's head, it froze and became a non-living-golden decoration.

"Your Majesty." She curtsied while Raffa bowed. "I'm Elite Katy,member of the Council of Thirteen. And he's my friend, Raffa." The simplicity of the queen's beauty stunned her. Aside from the coruscating crown on her head, the queen owned the sweetest face underneath the sea with sea-green eyes, oval face and Greek nose.

"Why do you come here?"

"Your Majesty, we're seeking permission from you to see one of your merpeople. We're looking for Vicera."

"Oh, my intelligent merman. It seems your problem needs an urgent solution that you travel far just to see him."

"Indeed, Your Majesty."

"What happened to the Oracle? Hasn't she returned yet from an exile?"

"Not yet, Your Majesty."

"Well, guards accompany our guests to Vicera. Use the shell to reach his place easily."

Katy and her friend thanked the queen, and then the guards escorted them to the giant shell that seemed like an elevator in the Dili-Ingun-Natos' world. The guard pressed a circular stone, and the shell opened. They entered, and the guard pressed zero. They looked at each other in confusion. The shell moved up speedily, and when it reached level thirteen it went down so fast, heading to the basement of the palace. The shell squalled as it opened. Raffa and Katy covered their ears.

"We're here," said the guard.

"Oh what a ride! I feel like I'm vomiting. Thanks to the Goddess, we're alive!" Raffa said while massaging his head.

The guards laughed and led them to Vicera's place. The guard knocked on the door.

"Who's knocking?" a feminine voice asked.

"I'm Chris. Someone is—"

"Chris Hemsworth?" The voice cut him off. "Thanks to the Goddess that you leave Hollywood to visit me." His tone seemed he was thrilled to meet the person behind the door.

"No, I'm Chris Seasalt, the merman guard." Chris chuckled while the merfairies and the other guard looked at each other with their eyebrows rose as if telling what the heck he was saying."

"Okay, not bad." Still, he didn't open his door. "Why do you come here? Do you miss my rare beauty?"

"Yes, pretty Vicera. Besides, two merfairies are looking for you. They want to consult something from you. They have a blessing from the … Queen." He emphasized the last word so that they could already get inside.

"Okay, just push the door. It's not locked anyway," Vicera said.

Shaking their heads, the guards pushed the door and entered. Katy and Raffa followed them. The room was spacious and cozy. Its walls were decorated with red and yellow. Every piece of furniture was colorful and embellished with precious stones. Katy shifted her attention to the mergay who was facing his yellow wall.

"Why are you looking for me?" Vicera swiveled and stared at the guests from the sides of their tails to the crown of their heads. He glared longer at Raffa.

Katy cleared her throat as she gaped at the mergay with a red veil on his head—the mergay had the most intimidating face with two-permanent-raising eyebrows, bulging eyes and pouty lips, all perfectly carved in an angular face.

"We're asking your help so we can travel to the land of the winged-snake women," replied Kate.

"Oh, I see. You come to me because your power of teleportation doesn't work in going there."

"Precisely," Raffa said.

"Oh, your voice. It seems you belong to the third party … one of us?"

"Precisely," Raffa agreed.

"Well, since you're one of us. I mean you're gay too to be specific, that makes my decision easy. I'm going to help you both." Vicera said briskly that made Raffa scream. Vicera covered his ears as he rolled his eyes. "Tell me about your concern."

"Our shield had been poisoned. According to the purple book, only the oil from the snake queen's dead skin could restore its condition to its original state," Katy explained.

"Wow. This calls for an adventure."

"I think so. Only your magic flying shell can transport us there."

"But of course, no other means can travel there except my Kabemay, my winged-scallop with humungous, whale-like eyes. Well, brace yourselves because we're heading there. Put your hands on my yellow wall as I do mine."

As soon as they touched the wall, the merfairies evanesced. The guards neared and were about to do the same, but Vicera quickly barred them and told them. "You're not part of this adventure guys. Just kiss me. Quick!" The guards rubbed their temples, smiling, and a guard named Chris kissed his right cheek while the other one, Liam, kissed his left. Playful as he was, the guards accidentally kissed their lips when Vicera lost to their view.

"Incest," Vicera's voice resounded across his room. Chris and Liam who were first degree cousins, scratched their heads, grinning.

***

Riding in a flying-huge scallop, they appeared in a world where everything floated—the trees, the flowering plants, the rocks and even the bodies of water where a school of fish playfully drooped and hopped. The merfairies couldn't get their eyes off to the wonders of the world of the winged-snake women. They headed to the waterfalls when someone roared not far behind them. They pivoted and saw a terrifying creature—his head resembled a lion and his winged-body to a man.

"A Leoman!" Vicera shrieked. "We're in danger. I think we'll die here." Emegesh!

"Don't say that friend. We have powers. We can handle them." Raffa tried to calm him down. "Right, sistah Kate?"

Katy nodded.

The creatures followed them. It growled and flapped its huge wings and released sharp knife-like feathers. The flying shell escaped its attack and flew to another direction, heading toward the huge rock to hide. Before the flying shell settled on it, the huge rock had been pulverized by another roaring Leoman.

"Sistah, create a shield," Raffa suggested.

Katy grumbled an incantation, and her bangle produced a shield. The creatures flipped their wings again pelting their knife-like feathers and directed toward them, but they were not hit—the feathers just fell and floated. The creatures roared louder in fury. One Leoman punched the shield, but it wasn't broken. When the two punched, the shield shattered. They gnarled in triumph as they tapped their chest with their fists.

The merfairies released powers from their fingers and tried to hit the enemies causing them to have wounds, but their enemies pretended they were hurt and later laughed loudly at them. A self-healing occurred on the creatures' wounds. The creatures would've neared them when the winged-snake-women glided to their direction. The creatures bawled.

Katy's and her company's tails shook on the thought they were sandwiched, but they were wrong because the two-winged-snake women smote the Leomen, not them, with their venomous tails to shoo the enemies away from them.

The creatures struck hard against each other.

A one-winged-snake woman wobbled her tail against the Leoman while her other companion wriggled her tail to the other enemy. A Leoman released sharp knife-like feathers from their wings and directed them to the snake-woman, but the latter slabbered high-acidic fluids and melted them. Another Leoman punched the snake-woman and hit her, but she managed to fight back with her venomous tail hitting and circling the enemy's body and tightening its grip. The Leoman groaned in terrible pain, and then a winged-snake woman bit him hard. His lifeless body floated in the air.

The other Leoman tried to rescue his brother, but it was too late. He squalled as he threw punches into the air seeing his brother dead.

This time, the snake women transformed into beautiful women, and together they performed the snake dance. They gyrated and seduced the remaining enemy—their beauty mesmerized him. The Leoman ogled at their curves, looked at them straight to their eyes, and he froze. The snake women came close to him, and their right arms turned into king cobras and pierced their fangs on his neck until his last drop of blood floated.

The smiling-snake women squinted with a victorious smile and drew close to Katy and her company.

"Thank you for saving us." Katy bowed.

"You're most welcome, bestie," Serpentina, the snake woman with a red tail and who looked very young like Katy said. "Not all snake women have snake spirits." She chuckled. "If you know what I mean."

"Yeah, I know. Most are traitors, but you and your companion are different. You have the spirit of the lamb, helpful and kind. At first, I thought you'll help the Leomen."

"They're our number one immortal enemies."

"Thanks for that. I thought you killed them so you can eat us." Vicera interrupted.

Serpentina flashed her sharp fangs. "Do you want?"

Uh-oh. "No, I won't." Vicera's lips shake.

"Just kidding. The winged-snake women are the friendliest of this world. So why do you come to our world?"

"We're here asking for your help," Katy answered.

"Help? What exactly are you asking from us?"

"We're asking for the oil from your Queen's dead skin. According to the purple book, it's the only cure for our poisoned shield." Katy said. The snake women nodded.

"Come with us to the waterfalls, and I'll give you your desire."

They followed the snake women and reached their sanctuary. Katy curtsied when the aged winged-snake woman with a crown on her head gazed at them.

"Queen Mother, the merfairies have traveled far for your help. She's asking for your skin oil," Serpentina said.

"Welcome, creatures to the WonderWorld, to our floating land. I'm glad to see other creatures from the other kingdom. As you know, before I'll give the thing you ask for, you must pass a test," she said it with a seductive voice.

"Queen Mother, please spare them," Serpentina said.

"Trust me, my daughter. One of you will volunteer to look at me straight to my eyes."

Raffa and Vicera cringed because they knew that anybody who looked at the eyes of a snake woman would freeze to death. However, Katy showed no fear for she was determined to cure the poisoned shield for the sake of her kind.

"I'll volunteer." Katy moved closer to the queen and looked at her—eye to eye. She stared at her longer, but nothing happened to her.

"Amazing! You don't freeze. I see in your eyes the purity of your heart and spirit. No doubt, your Goddess appeared to you. Take this oil."

Katy neared the Queen Mother and took the bottle of oil from her and thanked her.

"Thank you, Your Majesty." She said. The queen mouthed "welcome."

"I'm glad you have it, bestie," Serpentina said. "You may now go home with a happy heart."

"Thank you. But how can we go home safely? I mean—"

"I got it. Don't worry." Serpentina looked at her mute sister, and together they released lights from their eyes, surrounding Katy and her companions, and they disappeared back to Vicera's place.

They thanked Vicera for his help and kissed him goodbye by his cheeks. They teleported to the Crystal Kingdom, and Katy splashed the oil on the poisoned shield.

"Now, we're all safe from Olivia's attack." Katy illuminated a huge grin.

Chapter 10

The Queen's Revenge

Olivia was throwing her golden goblets inside the cave when the Spirit Witch Queen beheld to her.

"Why are you hot-tempered, my loyal ally?"

"Your Majesty." Olivia curtsied. "I could've defeated my twin sister and her company if not to the nosy ladybird!" She scoffed, her lips curled in madness.

"A ladybird? How did she look like?" The Spirit Witch Queen arched her eyebrows with intrigue.

"All I could remember is that she'd a water gem on her forehead," Olivia replied.

The Spirit Witch Queen flashed her mad expression, her eyes turned into red and into black and back to red again in rage.

"Bastard! How dare her to interfere with the affairs of others!"

"Do you know her, Your Majesty?"

"Of course, she's my sister. Robber of power! Traitor!"

"Her gem was so powerful my eyes couldn't withstand its power."

"Don't say that!" The Spirit Witch Queen chided her at the top of her voice making the owls', bats' and the ravens' eyes blanch—they were clinging to the stalactites of the cave. "I'm more powerful than her. Don't belittle me."

"Mea culpa, Your Majesty."

The Spirit Witch Queen gave her a smug smile. "Go back to the river and take tens of lives so my power will grow even stronger, and I'll avenge your loss."

"I will, Your Majesty." Olivia flew, and the petrified owls and ravens accompanied her.

"The Witch Queen is scary," one of the owls said."

"She really is," the other one agreed.

"You're both right, Kim and Chloe." Olivia snickered.

"You say so. We're always right. Remember, we're the Owldashians." Kim and Chloe chorused on their hoarse voices.

Olivia apparated to the river, and the bus full of passengers made her coruscate with a wolfish smile. She flipped her tail and designed a black whirlpool. Out from it, came her lone, black water horse and kicked the tire of the bus making it fell off the bridge. The passengers screamed for their lives. She opened her mouth, and several winged-snakes came out of it and bit the people to death, and the ravens munched on them too.

Kim-and-Chloe-the-owls gave the ravens a yucky face—they almost vomited when the ravens chomped on the victims' eyes.

"Mouth-watering," Rowling-the-raven said, her saliva slabbered.

"Delectable, damn it," King-the-raven swore, eyes gleamed. Just like the old times, they played Roshambo to get the last pair of the corpse's eyes.

Olivia looked delighted at her allies.

She, then, took the human spirits, put them in the bottle and brought it to her queen.

The queen flared a sugary smile.

"Great, my loyal ally!" The Spirit Witch Queen took the bottle and devoured the spirits therein. Her color changed into emerald green. "I can feel it. My strength has become even stronger—stronger than a thousand vultures. Stay here, and I'll bring her head to you. "

The Spirit Witch Queen disappeared. Olivia's rage against Katy and those who helped her got deeper. She wanted the ladybird to pay for her intrusion—her death was enough. She could've killed her twin sister if not to her nosiness. One reason she liked her Spirit Witch Queen was the queen would avenge her if she was aggrieved.

She wanted to see how her Queen would cut off the ladybird's head so she chanted an incantation, seeing the fight in her Queen's cauldron shaped in the likeness of a rectangular aquarium. The boiling cauldron with green water showed her the scene.

The Spirit Witch Queen entered the palace and headed her way to the ladybird's bedroom. She held in her hand a blazing-green sword and readied to cut off the sleeping ladybird's head when the bird guards' shrieked. The ladybird awoke and smirked at the presence of the Spirit Witch Queen in her room. They fought each other using their magical powers until an intruder gave up and cursed the ladybird.

"Magica blanca abracadabra." The Spirit Witch Queen released emerald-green lights from her mouth and her nostrils and directed them to the ladybird, and the latter transformed into an ordinary bird. She cast a spell using the strongest incantation against her only a young mermaid's pure heart could bring her back to a woman. The soldiers of the ladybird came and would've have used their powers forming their hands in a triangle when a Witch Queen mouthed, "Evaneska" and went back to her cave in misty green smoke.

"Congratulations, Your Majesty." Olivia lauded her, clapping her hands on the air.

The Spirit Witch Queen quelled with a devilish smile of triumph. "I did it because of you. The spirits you gave me … I surmise they're bad Dili-Ingun-Natos that they've made me stronger."

"Thank you, Your Majesty."

"You're very much welcome, my dear. When you and I unite, no one can match us. No one can. Not even the Great Goddess." The Spirit Witch Queen tittered and gave a scary laugh at the owls, the bats and the ravens which were roosting on the stalagmites and the stalactites—but this time, the birds didn't recoil—they joined her laugh in their squeaky voices.

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