(Author Note, this is the second book, I've been revising and adding to the first one. Don't worry, you're not missing much.)
About 20 years pass from when we left off, and Larissa the Butter Churner (and proper holder of the fairy seeds) has matured into a young woman, and has no time for the likes of fairies. Larissa has married a Duke, changed her name to something a bit more formal, and had a child. This child is now about the age of 13, and does in fact have time for the likes of fairies.
Also, in the Glen, Flora has matured in a much different way. Flora now helps harvest pixie dust, and, you guessed it, fairy seeds. She often wears her hair down, and plays many games with her husband (Aaron) and two daughters (Bluebell and Buttercup.) Fenria, our fox friend, has also had a litter, and named one of her daughters after herself. It's only inevitable that in this day and age of exploration, the four children were destined to meet.
"Iris, are you done with your lessons for the day?" Delira asked her daughter as Iris walked in.
"Yes mother, I have done especially well in my French lessons. May I please go pick flowers now?" Iris asked impatiently. The window to the courtyard called to her with colors of deep purple and vivid blue.
"I suppose," Delira said in response. "Be back before it's dark."
Barely uttering a "thank you," Iris rushed through the halls and bound down the steps of the castle. She loved the courtyard, it was where she felt most at home. The courtyard flowers sort of spilled into the forest nearby.
Iris hummed happily to herself as she picked flowers. This was the only time she felt able to think for herself. Not for arithmetic or for French or for the suitors she was supposed to be appeasing. Iris wasn't quite able to give up her childhood, she was going to hold onto it for as long as possible. Smiling and smelling a rose, Iris sighed and sat down. Iris promptly started to weave a flower crown for herself, when her thoughts were interrupted by two small giggling voices.
"You tell her!"
"No you tell her!"
Iris propped herself on her elbows in front of the bush the voices were coming from. She pulled a branch aside and found two small floral fairies shoving each other. "Excuse me," Iris said. The fairies stopped. "Tell her what, exactly? Whom are you wanting to tell?"
One fairy dressed in blue gave a fairy dressed in cream a forceful shove forward. "Are you the heir of the fairy seeds?" the one in cream asked.
"The... what?" Iris asked, tilting her head.
"I told you!" The one dressed in blue exclaimed as she knocked the cream one's hat off.
"Shut up, Bluebell! Mom gave us a way to make sure, remember?" The cream colored fairy picked her hat off the ground and pulled a small, small pouch out from it.
"I'm afraid I'm terribly confused," Iris said, now sitting with her legs crossed. "I can understand fairies, my nursemaid talks of them often, but I don't understand what a fairy seed is."
"Don't worry, this won't hurt." The cream colored fairy fluttered up to be level with Iris's eyes. Out of her pouch, the fairy pulled a hand full of cream colored dust and gently blew it into Iris's face. The dust quickly changed colors to be brilliant shades of pink and yellow, then dissipated as it turned orange. Iris's nose twitched, and she sneezed three times.
The cream colored fairy smiled and looked over to Bluebell. "See Bluebell? I told you." Bluebell fluttered up to the cream colored fairy fo look closely at Iris.
"But Buttercup... She can't be. Surely the great Larissa would've told her daughter about fairy seeds."
Iris sat dumbfounded. She was about to ask what a fairy seed was again, when something started sniffing her ear. "No, young fairies, she is indeed the heir."
Iris nearly fell over away from the voice to her left. The source of the voice was a beautiful, adult black fox with a red patch the shape of a flower on her chest.
"I must be going mad..." Iris mumbled to herself. "Perhaps I've spent too much time in the sun, or maybe I have not had enough water..."
Bluebell flicked Iris's nose. "We're real, princess," Bluebell said irritated.
"No need to be angry, Bluebell," Buttercup said. "If she is the proper heir, we're going to be spending a lot of time with her in the future."
"That is correct, young fairies," Fenria Fox said as she licked her paws. "It will be your responsibility to deliver fairy seeds to Iris."
Iris's fist hit the ground. "Will someone please tell me what a fairy seed is?!" she yelled aggravatedly.
"Oh! Oh! I can tell her!" a young raspy voice said from behind Fenria Fox. "Can I mom? Can I please?!" jumping up from behind her mom, Fenria Junior pounced on Iris's lap.
Fenria Fox seemed to chuckle slightly. "Alright, you may attempt so, young one." Fenria Jr. pressed her head against Iris's hand as a sign she wanted to be pet. Iris numbly obliged as Fenria Jr. explained that the fairies had been running out of space, and they are now in need of many more seeds to be planted. Fenria jr. explained the rules to planting a fairy seed as she started playing with Iris's hand. Finally Fenria jr. finished by explaining that Iris's mom had once been the supposed holder of the fairy seeds.
Iris slowly withdrew her hand from the small fox's head. "Oh... I see..." she said quietly.
"You okay?" Buttercup asked Iris. Iris blinked.
"Hey!" Yelled Bluebell. "This is something to be excited about! Why aren't you happy?"
Iris shook her head. "I don't think I'm the girl you're looking for. My mother isn't the kind to plant seeds. She doesn't even believe in fairies. I can't be the heir," Iris said quietly.
Buttercup flew over to sit on Iris's shoulder. "Iris, none of that matters. What matters is that you've been chosen, not who your mom is."
Fenria Fox slowly stood up. "Child, would you like to see proof that it was your mom who planted the seeds?"
Iris rubbed her eyes, and looked over to the wise fox in curiosity. Fenria Fox sniffed the air and seemed to find the scent she was looking for. "Come, child. I will show you the last seed your mother planted." Fenria jr. hopped off of Iris's lap and hopped over next to her mom, whom started to walk toward the heart of the courtyard. Bluebell took up Iris's unoccupied shoulder as Iris stood up and followed Fenria Fox.
As they passed many flowers, Iris tried to wrap her head around what had been said. "You can't really be the heir, can you? That's impossible." Fenria Fox stopped in the middle of the courtyard, where a large stone planter had been set with a small sapling growing in the center of it. Iris gasped.
"Child, you recognize this plant?" Fenria Fox asked.
Iris nodded. "This was the first plant I remember being in this garden. Mom said I would be able to pick as many flowers as I wanted, as long as I protected and grew this sapling. I've been watering it and caring for it for as long as I've known how, yet it's still a sapling."
Fenria Fox smiled. "Dear child, all good things take time. 20 years ago, your mother was married into the royal family. She had to give up all things related to fairies and magic. Flora and I witnessed her plant this last seed on a rainy day. It's good to hear that she has asked you to care for it."
Iris gently reached forward and stroked one of the two leaves from the baby tree. The sapling seemed to grow in response. "If it takes 100 years for a tree to grow," Iris murmured, starting to connect the dots, "Then that means that there's still going to be 80 years for this tree."
"Correct, child," Fenria Fox said gently. "Now do you believe that you are the heir?"
Iris smiled, the sapling was all the proof she needed. Iris threw her arms around Fenria Fox and embraced one of her new friends. "I do, I do believe! Thank you so much!" The two fairies and the fox pup joined the hug.
Iris slowly withdrew, but saw a slight look of sorrow in Fenria Fox's eyes. "Child, am I correct in that your mother will be funding an expedition over the oceans in a few months?" Iris bit her lip and nodded. "I think so, she doesn't tell me much. Her and Father are planning on sending people to farm for them in the new lands being discovered."
Buttercup, Bluebell, and Fenria jr. all looked at each other apprehensively. "What's wrong with that?" Iris asked.
Fenria Fox stood on all four legs. "It has been discussed amongst the fairy community, that the next heir should also explore the new lands. We are in need of spreading our population out to see the other plants and animals."
"...Oh," Iris said. "I'm not so sure I know how I would accomplish that.”
"Worry not, child. Flora has approached your mother about the issue and is straightening your travels out now."
The two young fairies high-fived in honor of their mom, and Iris smiled, relieved. Everyone's brief moment of happiness was interrupted by a ringing sound and a raspberry pink streak flying toward them.
"Wooaaaah! Oof!" A young adult fairy's fall was broken by Buttercup and Bluebell. "pbbt!" The fairy tried to blow her long brown hair out of her face, but gave up on the second try and brushed it away with her small arms. The new fairy stood up and straightened her raspberry pink tulip skirt and her green bodice.
"Flora!" Fenria Fox said in surprise. "How did it go with our old friend?"
"Not well," Flora said as she helped her two daughters up. "She said that she didn't want her daughter to have anything to do with 'improper fairies' and 'witchcraft.' Us! Improper?! Hmph! Larissa has changed quite a bit since we last knew her."
Fenria Fox's tail swept over the ground to wrap around her side. "You have changed much as well, Flora."
Flora's wings fluttered angrily. "Well yes, but I have changed for the better! It's to be expected that a young fairy like me would change as I have children and help them grow to be young seed bearers. She has done no such thing!"
Iris didn't know whether or not to defend her mom. She opted not to after seeing Flora furiously stamp her foot in the ground.
"Flora, please control yourself. The new seed bearer is amongst us," Fenria Fox nodded over to Iris, who looked from Flora, to Fenria, then back to Flora.
Flora suddenly seemed to take in her surroundings. "Oh! Iris! You don't know how long I've wanted to meet you!" Flora shook Iris's hand vigorously, much more than a fairy should be able to.
"I... I..." Iris stuttered, recovering from being shaken so much.
"You... You're the new seed bearer, right?" Flora said, trying to finish Iris's sentence for her. Iris nodded in response. "Good! Don't worry, we'll find a way to get you over the oceans!" Flora said happily. "I'll pluck out every one of your mother's hairs if I must."
The bells chimed seven times and Iris looked above her. "It's getting dark, I must be going inside. Can I meet all of you here tomorrow?" All of Iris's new friends agreed that they would meet in the evening of the next day to discuss further plans. Flora, Buttercup, and Bluebell hastily plucked some flowers for Iris as the foxes darted back to the forest. Iris waved goodbye as they fluttered away, and wove herself a crown as she walked into the castle.
"I have returned, Mother," Iris said, straightening her flower crown. Delira walked to her daughter, and took a flower from her crown.
"These are not your usual flowers," she said in a questioning tone as she examined a buttercup.
"I... Uh..." Iris searched her mind for an excuse. "I wanted to try something new. One of the servant girls was telling me how nice she thinks bluebells and buttercups look. I think I rather like the combination as well," Iris smiled nervously.
One of Delira's eyebrows rose, but she didn't question it further. "Go get washed up for supper, we're having the Duke of Wales over tonight,” Delira said as she handed Iris her flower back. Iris took her flower and skipped happily to her room to get ready.
Iris gently took off her flower crown and sat down to let her hand maiden braid her long, auburn hair. The handmaiden cocked her head. "Those aren't your usual flowers," she said curiously.
"I decided to try something new," Iris responded happily swinging her feet.
Iris managed to patiently wait through the braiding of her hair, the eating of dinner with a duke, and the unbraiding of her hair only to fall back onto her bed, clutching the flowers given to her. "I'm the heir..." she whispered quietly to herself as she fell asleep.
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