The Green Valley Prophecy Part 4 of 7
Knight SunSpear paced back and forth in front of the ornate cushioned bench that sat outside of Lady Ophelia’s court. “Have a seat,” asked Bella.
“Too soft,” he replied. “Too many pillows. Besides, I’m already uncomfortable with this whole situation. I know we’re all skilled fighters.” He glanced over at Bella and rolled his eyes. “Most of us are skilled fighters, but how are we supposed to defeat fighters like us, but seven times better?”
Florise pointed over to Mantoson. “We have another person on our side. That might tip the balance in our favor.”
“Bah! Who says they’re not going to bring someone else? They might have a whole army!”
“Don’t worry,” said Mantoson. “Before you engage in battle, we will first retrieve the legendary siphoning staff. It’s supposed to drain the energy from magical creatures and provide the holder with limitless power.”
SunSpear stopped pacing and stared at Mantoson. “We’re supposed to find some stupid staff and then find a magical creature to charge it up? Where are we going to find a magical creature with enough power?”
Mantoson chuckled. “Why, from the golden dragon that protects Lilyshire.”
“Dragon?!” shouted SunSpear. “Oh, hell no! No one ever told me about a dragon! I’m out of here!”
He turned to go, but before he could take a step, the door to Lady Ophelia’s court opened. A diminutive beetle with an ornate feathered hat stepped out. “Lady Ophelia will see you now.”
Bella and Mantoson entered the room quickly. Florise grabbed SunSpear by the hand. “Come on. Let’s find out what this key means and then we can talk about what to do after that.” She led the reluctant swordsman through the doorway to join the others.
The court was a large open marble room with chairs and mirrors lining the wall. In the middle of the room was a raised platform that almost looked like a stage. Off to the side was a desk with papers and a pen and ink set. Lady Ophelia was standing in the center of the platform with her shiny ribboned staff up in the air. “Quick! Have a seat,” she declared.
Everyone hastily took their seat against the wall and waited patiently. “Ok,” said Lady Ophelia. “I’ve been working on a new spell. Watch!” She began to twirl her staff in the air. The ribbon on the end created a full circle over her head. Slowly, the ribbon began to glow a brilliant scarlet. Soon, small spheres of light shot out of the scarlet light, bursting into a bouquet of golden sparks as they hit the floor.
Everybody but SunSpear applauded wildly. Lady Ophelia stopped the light show and took a deep bow. “Thank you. I’m going to do that at our next big function.”
SunSpear rolled his eyes at the ceiling. “Well, that’s a useful spell if we get attacked. They’ll all start dancing and then they’ll be vulnerable. Meh.”
Lady Ophelia smiled warmly at SunSpear. “Oh, If I’m attacked, I’ll do a different spell.” She quickly spun around and cracked her ribbon like a whip. A large bolt of lightning shot out from the end of the ribbon and destroyed the pen and ink holder on her desk. Everyone jumped at the sound, and Bella dove under her chair. “I could have obliterated the desk as well, but I like it too much.”
SunSpear nodded in approval. “That’s more like it.”
Lady Ophelia put her staff on the table and sat down. “I know you didn’t come to see a magic show. Normally, I wouldn’t have time to have guests, but since Sir SunSpear and I know each other well, I was able to find the time.”
Florise glanced over at SunSpear who appeared to be blushing. “Right. He said that you were the smartest person in the kingdom.”
“Aw, he didn’t have to say that.” She smiled sweetly at SunSpear. “I already know that. Now what is this puzzle you want me to solve?”
SunSpear nervously handed over the prophecy and the key. Lady Ophelia quickly scanned the two documents. “It’s a simple book cipher. It’s extremely easy to figure out” She looked at SunSpear and frowned. “I think you could have done this on your own.”
SunSpear hemmed and hawed for a second. “Well, we really didn't have a chance to try. I just thought you’d be the best person to go to.”
“I’m glad you found an excuse to see me again.” Lady Ophelia sat down at her desk. “First, we number each word like so. Then we look up the first letter based on the key. The first number is 33. And that word is “mage.” The first letter, therefore, is “m.” Let’s keep going.”
Quickly, she raced through the rest of the cipher. “Ok. Here it is!” She passed her results to Florise.
“MANTOSON FINDS THE SIPHONING STAFF,” read Florise.
“Ha!” said Mantoson. “See. I am part of the prophecy and we need to get that staff first! I have a map and the instructions on how to retrieve it. I have a task to do, just like you do.”
SunSpear crossed his arms and grunted. Lady Ophelia read over the prophecy thoroughly. “Interesting. It does seem like all of us are part of this prophecy.”
“All except the queen,” added Bella. “Could we ask her to come along?”
Lady Ophelia slammed the prophecy harshly on the table and stared at Bella. “No one asks the queen to do anything! She tells us what to do. And if she tells us to go away? We go away and this quest is OVER!”
Part 5, A Royal Pain