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To Cure a Queen
In the time before humans, there were the elves. They were the most beautiful and dignified creatures to walk the earth. They were at one with nature. They led a peaceful existence, until that is the Great Civil War ripped the race in two. Many of the race tired of living with nature and instead wanting to conquer it. And so the war began. It was waged for many a year and many a generation. Finally those who had broken away had been out of tune with nature for so long their very appearance changed, thus was created the very first humans, they broke away from the elve’s kingdom of Evander, and formed the kingdom of Kordermian. Since then many years have passed, and relations have grown from cold to cool, the kingdoms now have ambassadors to each other.
“Jasmine! Jasmine it's time to get up dear! There is much to be done before tonight!” said Queen Esmina.
“I'm up mother. Actually I've been up for quite some time now.” replied the princess.
“How nice of you darling. Oh! The dress is finely finished!”
Queen Esmina was referring to the dress that Jasmine now wore. It was blue, like the Midnight Ocean, with sapphires encrusted around the collar, and when she moved it shimmered like the moon across the waves.
“You look stunning.” it was Quincey Adams, the Kordermian ambassador to Evander.
“She does, doesn't she?” replied the queen.
“Thank you both,” said the princess, “but I must be going now or else I shall be late for my lesson.”
“Nonsense!” said the queen. “It is my millennial celebration tonight, there shall be no lessons today.”
“Thank you ,mother.”
“No need to thank me.” she replied with a warm smile.
“Now Quincey what was it that you needed with me?”
With that Princess Jasmine leaves to go prepare for the dinner in her mother's honer, realizing that Quincey wanted to speak to her mother in private.
“We found someone sneaking around the castle grounds.”
“Bring them here.”
“Guards! Bring me the prisoner.”
Three castle guards rush to bring the prisoner to the queen.
“What is your name?”
“James Barbero.” replied the prisoner.
“And why exactly were you sneaking around my castle?”
“I was lost, your highness, I come from the kingdom of Kordermian.”
“I see. Do you realize what today is?”
“Well yes, but today is also the millennial celebration of my reign.”
“Congratulations, your highness.”
“Yes, well, usually I would immediately have you thrown in jail, but seeing as I'm in such a good mood, I will let you stay tonight and be a guest of honor at my dinner tonight.”
“But, your majesty, this goes against all precedents.” interjected Quincey.
“No buts, this is my day and I shall do as I wish.”
“Thank you.” said James.
The day progressed just as any other would have except for everyone in the castle was gathering and preparing for the grand feast in honor of Queen Esmina. After many hours of preparation the feast was ready to begin.
“Let the feast begin.” said the queen.
Immediately everyone begin to devour the food and drinks supplied by the royal family. Suddenly the queen collapsed. People rushed to her side, one of which being Quincey. He stood over the queen, opened her eye, looked in her mouth then shouted:
“The queen has been poisoned!”
Immediately she was rushed to the hospital wing of the castle where the best healers in the world were there to look after her. The room breaks out in a sudden panic, what are they to do? Their queen has been poisoned! Amid the scene created, Jasmine comes over and whisks James to her room.
“Why hello there.” said James a bit taken aback.
“Sit down, be quiet, and listen to me. What I'm about to tell you is of the up-most importance.”
“Oh course, your majesty.” Replies James, a bit concerned.
“My mother has been struck with a rare poison; I know because I just recently studied it and by chance discovered a cure for it, but unfortunately all of the ingredients are very rare.”
“So what does that have to do with me?”
“Quincey will have told the guards not to allow anyone to leave, but they will let you go, because they do not trust an outsider.”
“So you want me to go find these rare ingredients?”
“Then why am I still sitting here?”
“I do not know, but you need to hurry, you only have till the stroke of midnight tomorrow.”
As Jasmine finished saying this, James reached over and grabbed the note that Jasmine had been writing which contained the ingredients and where to find them. The dining room was still crowded, so it was not hard to for him to make it out of the castle.
“Halt, who goes there?” said the guard at the castle gate.
“It is I, James Barbero, a human, wishing to return home.”
“Very well human, leave, leave never to return.”
Slightly hurt at the last part of the guards statement, he continued at a rushed pace through the village. As he came to the edge of the village, he was approached by a young elf.
“Hello there,” said the young elf, “why are you in such a hurry?”
“Can you keep a secret?”
“Of course I can, I am an elf aren't I?”
“I am on a mission from the princess to find a cure for the poison that her mother has been poisoned with.”
“Allow me to join you, I have been trying to win the affections of Princess Jasmine for ages. This could be my last chance.”
“Fine but we mustn't tarry we only have until midnight tomorrow.”
“Then let us be off.”
“First, what is your name?”
“Everyone calls me Aslief, so you may do the same.”
“Very well Aslief, let us be gone.”
And with that the unlikely companions went off in search of the first component of the potion, which could be found in Evander. It was the tear of a sphinx, which are of course famous for their riddles. The two friends progressed through Evander to the Sands of Time, home of the sphinx. Upon their arrival, the sphinx had this to say.
“Begone you travelers, neigh, adventurers; I have had my fill today, even though you look as if you would make a very tasty dessert.”
“We have come for your tears.” shouted James valiantly.
“Calm yourselves wayfarers, I will give you my tears.”
“Well that was easy.” said Aslief.
“That is of course if you can answer one of my riddles.”
“Tell it to us then.” shouted James.
“What is the beginning of the end? You have three guesses and one minute to come up with the correct answer or else.”
“Trying to solve a sphinx's riddle.” blurted Aslief.
“Nice try, but no, forty seconds left.”
James was left deep in thought.
“Birth.” said Aslief once again.
“Alas, no. Twenty seconds remain.”
The sphinx was already sharpening its claws in anticipation for its meal.
“E.” said James.
“What?” replied the sphinx.
“The beginning of the end, it is E.”
“You are correct.”
The sphinx, always being a creature of its word, produced for them a single tear, and placed it into a flask for them.
“You may not believe me when I say this, but I wish you well on the journey that lies ahead.”
“Thank you, almighty sphinx.” they replied in unison.
So the two heroes set off, this time to the borders of Kordermian, the human kingdom. They were to get to the Isle of Despair, and retrieve a single leaf from the Okatone flower. As they approach the gorge that separates the Isle of Despair from Kordermian, Aslief says:
“This is going to be easy.”
“And why is that?”
“I did this many times as a child; it was one of our rights of passage, I guess I got a lot more practice in then most did.”
And with saying this, Aslief ran full speed towards the edge of the gorge, did a cart wheel, then right on the edge, did a front flip and catapulted himself over the gorge, onto the Isle of Despair.
“Now you're just showing off!” James said with a smile.
It did not take Aslief long to find the Okatone, and get a leaf to put into another vial. After Aslief gets back across, James congratulates Aslief on a job well done.
“Now,” says James, “how do we get to the Voids?”
By this time the heroes had made it back into the outskirts of Evander.
“Well, there are two ways, we can either die, or go to sleep well holding Void salt.”
“Well I prefer the less violent method. What is it we're getting there anyway?”
“A scale from a void ranger.”
“You don't happen to have any Void salts on you, do you?”
“Actually, no I don't, but look around you, what do you think this stuff is made of, everything in the natural world is made from Void salts, so grab something, think of the Voids, and go to sleep.”
So they grabbed a handful of dirt, lay down, and went to sleep, while thinking of the Voids. It wasn't long before they saw each other again, this time in the darkness, which was the Voids.
“Where are the rangers?” said James.
“They have sensed us, so it will not be long now, draw your sword.”
James did as he was told, and suddenly a lone figure hovered through the darkness towards them, it was a ranger. As it drew nearer, it drew a sword with each hand; it was prepared to face them both at the same time. The battle had begun. It seemed that they had finally met their match, it seemed that the ranger never ran out of energy, it seemed that the fight was to last for hours, with swords flashing and their bodies being thrown around. But as the ranger closed in to slash at James, Aslief pushed his sword under, then up into the breast of the ranger, he hurried to pry a scale off the dead ranger. As he did, he and James woke up, to where the fell asleep the only difference being that Aslief now held the scale of a Void ranger.
“We must hurry,” said James, “we only have an hour left to make it back to the castle.”
The friends rush to the castle, just before the stroke of midnight, the princess quickly mixes up the cure, and administers it to her mother. Queen Esmina makes a full recovery. Aslief ends up marrying Princess Jasmine, and James is recognized as a hero in both kingdoms. Coincidentally, after the failed attempt on the Queen's life, Quincey was never seen again, but as for everyone else they lived:
Happily Ever After.