An Old Friend
“Xandar.” King Andonis said as he was leaving with Flora.
“Yes my King?” Xandar asked.
“Once you return the nature fairy to her cell I want you to come back and see me immediately.” He ordered.
“Of course sire.” Xandar replied and pulled Flora out of the room.
As they were walking Xandar jollily asked “Aren’t you curious as to why the King wants to see me?”
“No.” Flora answered emotionlessly. Her thoughts on everything the King had just told her moments ago.
“To tell you the truth.” He continued in a carefree tone, “I already know what he wants to talk about. He’s going to punish me for hurting you. After all he did say that no one was to harm you and I went and zapped you anyways. Oh well. It is what it is. But for the record… whatever pain he inflicts on me I’ll make sure you get your share of it later.” Then laughed giddily as they continued down the halls. “It looks like we’re here.” He said happily as they reached the room then spun Flora around to face him and pulling her into a tight hug that pinned her arms to her sides. “When I get back we’ll have plenty of time to play.” He said looking down at her, “And this time there will be no interruptions. Luke is locked away and the little fairy princess has been grounded so nobody will be to save you this time.” Smiling evilly he released her and gave her a nudge in the door putting the electrical bars up. “Think about that while I’m gone. See you soon Emerald.” Then he left.
Flora dropped to her knees gasping for breath as the severity of the situation came crashing down on her. He was right no one was going to save her and she finally knew where she was with no way to let anyone know. The last days of her life were going to be spent being tortured by a sadistic maniac then offered up as an unwilling sacrifice to revive a dead planet whose resurrection would throw the entire magic dimension into chaos possibly destroying it. The tears just started coming of their own accord “I don’t want to die.” She sobbed, “Helia where are you?”
Luckily for Flora Xandar did not return that night.
The Winx and the Specialist were all sitting in the girl’s common room. And by some miracle they were able to persuade Ms. Faragonda and Griselda to let the boys stay over until they found Flora. Their argument being that when Tecna’s alert finally went off signaling that something was up on Eden they had to be ready to go at a moment’s notice so they could save their friend. The two agreed but Griselda said that she’d always be keeping an eye on them to make sure they weren’t up to any mischief as she put it.
So here they all sat most staring aimlessly at a giant monitor Tecna and Timmy had set up just waiting for the thing to make a beep show a blip or whatever it was going to do to let them know someone was on Eden. Aisha unlike the others wasn’t watching the monitor she was sitting at Timmy’s machine trying to find Flora that way. She knew she was just staring at a screen too but it made her feel a bit more proactive hooked up to it. Oh how she wished Nabu were here so he could comfort her if only he would just wake up she thought, but pushed it out of her mind she had to think about Flora that’s how the machined worked. Shaking her head of all thoughts she cleared her mind and focused on her missing friend.
Helia sat watching the monitor he hated playing the waiting game but what else could he really do? He had no idea where Flora really was. His cellphone vibrated and he pulled it out of his pocket. It was a text from Riven telling him to get to the Black Dragon ASAP. He got up and grabbed his black cloak.
“Where you off to?” Timmy asked.
“The Black Dragon.” He said.
“Dude you were there yesterday and came up empty handed why go there now?” Brandon asked.
“I got a text to go there so I’m going.” He said.
“Want us to come along for backup?” Sky offered.
“No I don’t want to look to conspicuous. I’ll be fine.”
“You sure?” Timmy asked.
“Yep.” He said with a nod.
“Good luck then.” Roy said, “I hope you find something out so we can go save Flora.”
“Me too.” Helia agreed. With that he put the cloak on headed out the door and onto the campus jumped on his leva bike and made his way to the Black Dragon.
Walking into the Black Dragon Helia spotted Riven at one of the back tables and made his way there, at least he hoped it was Riven since everybody pretty much dressed the same here.
Once he sat down Riven asked, “What took you so long? I was afraid the guy was going to leave.”
“There was a ton of traffic.” Helia replied, “And what guy?”
“The man over there in the corner,” He said with a nod pointing towards the man, “Check out his arm band. That’s a willow tree and you said the ones that took Flora had emblems of willow trees didn’t you.”
“Yeah on their shields no one ever mentioned an arm band before.”
“Every time someone came into contact with them was during a fight though and since shields are a lot bigger than an arm band that’s one the things you’d notice first.” Riven said.
“That’s true.” Helia agreed.
“It’s at least worth looking into so I figured I’d give you a heads up.”
“Don’t mention it Flora’s a friend I want her back safe and sound just like everybody else.”
“So did you find that girl you were looking for?” Helia asked making casual conversation while keeping an eye on the man.
“Yeah got her back to her dad poor kid was scared senseless when I showed up to rescue her thought I was going to hurt her.”
“Well you do have one of those faces” Helia joked.
“Hey.” Riven said somewhat offended.
“I’m kidding we all know once you get past that rough exterior you’re a puppy dog underneath.”
Riven just scowled and looked the other way.
“So if you’ve finished your mission why are you still hanging around here?”
“The foods actually not half bad here.” Riven joked.
“Seriously why be here if you don’t have to.”
“Same reason you’re here my friend’s missing and I want to find her.”
“He’s on the move.” Helia whispered abruptly ending their conversation.
The man was on the move alright and he came right over and sat down at the table with Helia and Riven. “It’s about time you showed up Helia.” the hooded man said.
Helia and Riven both reached for their swords.
“There’s no need for that.” The man said and took down his hood.
“Luke.” Helia whispered in shock.
“It’s nice to see you too Helia.” He said.
Riven just looked back and forth between the two confusion written all over his face.
“This is impossible you’re dead… you died I watched you fall.”
“My death was greatly exaggerated.”
“If you survived that fall why didn’t you return to Red Fountain?” Helia wondered angrily.
“I found a better purpose a place where I felt I belonged.” He said ignoring the anger in Helia’s voice. “I thought you wanted to go to art school so why are you still at Red Fountain?”
“I did drop out of Red Fountain and go to art school but I found a reason to go back.” Helia told him calming down some.
“That reason being Flora you wanted to be closer to the little nature fairy right.”
Helia’s eyes went dark and he slammed his fists on the table leaned over Luke “Where’s Flora?” he asked darkly, “If you’ve hurt her I swear I’ll”
“You’re making scene.” Luke said interrupting him.
Helia looked up indeed some of the patrons were looking at them, but fights here weren’t uncommon in fact they were a given people were probably just bored and looking for some good entertainment.
“And I haven’t hurt her. In fact I’m here to help you save her.”
This got Helia’s attention and he sat back down much to the disappointment of the customers who went back to minding their own business.
“Okay I know it’s important to get to Flora and all but who is this guy?” Riven asked irritated.
“I got that part.” Riven said, “How do you know Helia?”
“This one’s touchy.” Luke said, “Alight I’ll start from the beginning but also make it short and to the point. Helia and I go way back friends since childhood. And let’s just say that I knew from a young age that I was different from most of the other boys. It wasn’t until I became a teenager that I realized what it was, turns out I was gay and when I finally came out everyone I cared about abandoned me even my parents they kicked me out and told me never to come back until I was “normal”. The only one who stood by me was Helia he didn’t care stayed my friend heck his parents even let me move in, shortly after that we enrolled in Red Fountain. The students there pretty much ignored me as well or avoided me like I had the plague, but I was already used to others ignorance so it didn’t bother me. We were on a mission chasing after a few renegade trolls in the mountains. We fought and one of them knocked us over a cliff Helia managed to grab onto a branch sticking out of the side and caught me in the process. But our combined weight was too much for it and it started to crack so I let go and fell into the rivers below.”
“We searched for you where did you end up?” Helia asked.
“Not in Magix.” Luke said, “As I was trying to make it to shore I was sucked into a portal and lost consciousness when I came to I was lying on a bed and a pair of crystal blue eyes were staring at me then disappeared in flash when they realized I woke up. Moments later a fair skinned women with midnight black hair and green eyes walked in trailed by a little girl with the same skin but pale yellow hair and the same eyes that were watching me. According to them I popped up out of nowhere while they were having lunch by an underground lake and landed in it. Queen Lydia that was the woman recognized the Red Fountain uniform pulled me out and offered to take me back after I had rested. I asked who she was and she told me the whole story how the ancestral witches destroyed her kingdom. I felt like I owed her if she hadn’t been where I landed I would have drowned so instead of returning I offered her my service in thanks for her pulling me out. She accepted but told me if I ever wanted to return to Red Fountain I was free to do so. I came out to the soldiers there and not one of them cared and treated me just like they treated everybody else. It was a liberating experience to be sure. I stayed and couldn’t have been happier. Queen Lydia died a few years later but I didn’t know all the details until yesterday. And this is where Flora comes in.” He said solemnly, “King Adonis there’s something wrong with him. It’s like he’s gone crazy. Apparently they’ve found a way to bring back Eden it involves these stones set up on Eden they made it to where once they’re activated it’ll drain the magic and energy from the planets all across the magic dimension pass through Flora and send it to the core of Eden to restore the planet. but it can only be activated by a nature fairy. This is how Queen Lydia died they tried using her nature magic but she wasn’t strong enough and it killed her.”
“But if you take away each planet’s magic and energy it’ll throw the entire universe into chaos.” Helia said.
“That’s exactly what Flora told him and she offered up a different solution with something called the breath of the ocean but the king refused the idea and plans on using her to activate it in a few days. I don’t think she’ll be able to survive” Luke said, “Plus I think the King’s gone crazy he was talking to invisible people during dinner. It was creepy.”
“Okay so the king is nuts. We have a few days that’s plenty of time to get a team together and go and get Flora.” Riven said confidently.
“I wouldn’t be so sure.” Luke told him.
“Why’s that?” Riven asked.
“Xandar.” He stated simply.
“Who’s Xandar? Flora never mentioned anyone by that name in her letter.” Helia said.
“He’s a very bad man who delights in the suffering of others.” Luke told him, “He’s taking a liking to her and not in a good way. Once I heard her say you’re name I knew I had to protect her, but I can’t be there all the time. Luckily for her she’s made a friend in Princess Lily or more of a sisterly bond really. She never leaves her side. But as of yesterday it’s all changed and Xandar has free reign. Lily heard of what they planned and attacked without a plan getting herself locked in her room with an anti-magic barrier set up around her room with orders not to be released until Adonis came for her. I jumped in to help her and got arrested for it.”
“Then how are you here?” Riven asked,
“And why the hell didn’t you take Flora with you?” Helia asked venomously.
“There wasn’t time.” Luke said, “I broke free of the guards stole an airship and flew here. I knew you’d come here and try to find answers so… here I am.”
“Where’s Flora?” Helia asked darkly.
“Tenebris Petra Regnum.”
“Huh?” Riven asked confused.
“Dark Rock Kingdom.” Luke elaborated.
“Why didn’t you just say that in the first place?” Riven said.
“My ship is ready let’s go.” Luke said.
“We should get the others.” Riven suggested.
“There isn’t time I don’t want to leave Flora alone with Xandar any longer than I have to who knows what he’ll do to her.” Luke told him.
“Riven go back and let the others no what’s going on.” Helia instructed, “I’m going with Luke.”
“I don’t trust this guy he could be leading you into a trap.” Riven said.
“You don’t have to trust him.” Helia said, “But I do. Now please tell the others. I’ll see you at Dark Rock Kingdom.”
“Fine.” Riven grumbled, “But if anything happens to my friends you’re the first one I’m coming after got it.” He told Luke threateningly.
“Dually noted.” Luke said with a nod.
The three split up Riven to Alfea and Helia and Luke off to rescue Flora.
“Once we get there I’ll drop you off in one of the nearby caverns, then I’ll go in and get Flora.” Luke said while they were on the airship.
“No I’m coming in with you.” Helia objected.
“It’ll be less conspicuous if I go alone if I had you they’d know something’s up.
“But you’ve been arrested won’t it look odd that you’re walking around.”
“I’ll say Adonis had a change of heart and released me if anyone asks.”
“But you assaulted other guards and stole a ship.”
“Don’t worry I knocked the guys out then put them under a forty-eight hour sleeping spell then stashed the bodies and stole their ship. So if they don’t report its missing no one knows.” He said. “I’m going to drop you into this mountain cavern. I want you to make your way to this cave opening that’s where I’ll bring Flora.” Luke instructed handing Helia a map. “Are you ready?”
“Good cause this is your stop.” Luke said opening the door of the ship you’ll have to parachute down it’s not wide enough for me to land.”
Helia nodded grabbed a parachute and jumped.