Two days had passed and the only plans that we had come up with were the same three plans as before; we rescue our friends, we rescue Jamie, or I go with Derek. I couldn’t bear to do either. I didn’t want to break Jack’s heart, so not rescuing Jamie and going with Derek were not options. I also didn’t want to leave my friends at Derek’s lack of mercy. They all looked to me for the answers. They all wanted me to be able to come up with a solution alone. Jack most of all. He was relying on me to be strong just because I was the Guardian of strength. Manny had fully explained my strength powers, and being able to solve everything by myself wasn’t a part of them. I just induced strength, fun and wonder. He didn’t understand any of that though.
Everyone was always asking me questions, fighting with each other and me. We weren’t being very friendly anymore. Everything that we used to stand for fell apart as I watched. Not even slowly. One minute we were friends, the next minute we weren’t. The only ones who remained unchanged were Terence and I. We hated the fighting, hated the arguing, and hated their behavior. Increasingly, we would spend some time together. We would go to the beach, go visit Atlantica and Ariel and Melody, and go ice skating, go stargazing. Once I even got to visit the Never Fairy realm. They were all amazing, and incredibly helpful towards stress relieving. Especially Silvermist. Terence and I remained friends through the fighting, through the stress, through the one fistfight Jack and Peter got into. Peter really put up a fight, but Merida knocked him out when he pulled his dagger.
“I just can’t believe this! It’s getting ridiculous. I thought I knew Jack, I thought all this great stuff about him, but it was all just a lie,” I grumbled, sitting next to Terence on the blanket that we brought for our picnic.
“I know. I can’t believe Peter would pull his knife though. Good thing Merida was there. He could have killed Jack!” said Terence, shock registering in his eyes.
“But that’s okay because he didn’t, though I don’t see why they were making such a fuss over this. We have four days left. We can do this,” I said, putting my hand on his shoulder. He smiled a weak smile. “Now, shall we get back to our picnic?”
He picked up his sandwich and took a bite. I ate some watermelon. We laughed. Being with Terence eased my mind for some reason. I couldn’t laugh back at the hideout. We didn’t have the breathing room down there to forgive each other. We just needed to spread out, just for a little while. I mean, what would just one day to breathe be when we had four? We didn’t even need to hide out anymore. The pirates weren’t after Peter anymore, not since I killed Hook. We could take a breather. I decided to tell Terence about it.
“Terence, we should take some time apart.” He gave me a confused side glance, his mouth open with a sandwich hovering in front of it. “No, I don’t mean we we. Just the others. Take a breather; spend some time alone to think.”
“I’m afraid that’s not going to be possible,” said a growly voice from just inside the woods. “You have ten seconds to run in the direction of your choice. Then…well, my friends and I are hungry today. Be quick!”
We looked at each other and seemed to agree on something. We stood, took one step forward and jumped down the dead tree stump that led to the hide out. Terence grabbed onto the ladder and so did I. I slammed down the hatch and we climbed down. We arrived in the main quarters and everyone was exactly the way we left them, only this time they weren’t screaming at each other, they were just sitting there giving each other dirty looks.
“Guys, we’re under attack!” I yelled.
“By who?” asked Peter.
“I don’t know, we’re just under attack! Just prepare yourselves!” I squealed.
Everyone grabbed a sword.
“Hey, how did you find out we were under attack?” Jack asked me, holding his staff at the ready as we made our way to the tunnel.
“I was out on a picnic with Terence and…” I replied.
“Oh, I see. You were with Terence.”
“Jack, it’s nothing. Let’s just fight!”
Jack hates that I spend as much time with Terence as I do. He gets all bitter and to the point whenever I as much as mention Terence’s name. I swear he could be the Guardian of jealousy if that was a virtue that Manny wanted kids to have.
We burst out into the daylight and were completely surrounded by something. They were like leopards and wolves and people combined. They had arms like a person, but they were covered in thick fur, grey, brown, or black and had the ears of a wolf on top of their heads. But they had legs like a leopard. They could stand on them just fine. From the neck up, they had almost completely human heads, except for their ears and eyes. They shone and glimmered in a hundred different colors, yet were still white somehow. Some were girls, some were guys. They all wore Skyrim style armor and carried massive broadswords.
“Opalvirgins!” exclaimed Kida.
“What?” The word sounded so strange to me. I knew what an opal was and I knew what a virgin was, but not an opalvirgin.
“They only exist because a witch cursed a virgin a few hundred years ago. She stole a pair of the witch’s opal earrings. The witch sent leopards and wolves after her. When they finally killed her, the witch decided that death was too good for the girl. So she fused together the girl, the leopard, the wolf, and the earrings and opalvirgins were the result. But that’s not important right now, all that matters right at the moment,” said Kida.
“You’re telling me! Let’s just kill these things already!” yelled Peter.
What I found the saddest of all was the simple fact that we were barely teenagers and we all killed in cold blood. It was like we had a personal vendetta against each of the enemies we faced. A lot happened, I’m sure. I killed at least eighty opalvirgins. Everything was business as usual, until I heard a call for help. I turned around and there was Terence, pinned down on each limb by an opalvirgin. I ran to help but got caught up by another opalvirgin. I looked around, panic-stricken, for someone to help him. Everyone was fighting. Then Jack took one down. He was close enough to make it.
“Jack! Get Terence!” I called out. He looked at me, then to Terence, and went to fight another one. “JACK! GET TERENCE!”
He completely ignored me. I couldn’t let my guard down for a second while fighting, but that wasn’t the only reason I looked away from Terence. I heard him scream, I heard him grunt as a blade sliced his throat, then nothing but the malicious laughter of the opalvirgins as they left to find a new target. Just like that, Terence was gone. An anger I’d never felt before boiled inside me and I attacked so fiercely, none of the opalvirgins stood a chance. Soon they all lay dead on the grass and I stalked away from the carnage and gore towards a cliff. No, I wasn’t going to jump to my death, I just needed some room. But of course, he had to follow me.
“Where are you going?” Jack called out to me.
“To do something fun!” I yelled in hatred.
“You can’t do that!” said Jack as we finally got to the top.
“What does it matter to you if I have some fun for once?”I yelled.
“You know that’s not our problem here Vanessa! We have only four days left to prepare! Did you forget about all of our friends who are being held captive?! We don’t have time for detours!”
“You know what I think?! I think you’re just jealous! You are so jealous, it’s unbelievable! If I was going out and having fun with you, you wouldn’t care!”
“Vanessa, just believe me! We don’t have time for this!”
I scoffed. “You’re asking me to believe in you?! After what you did?! Ha! As if!”
“What are you talking about?! What did I do to deserve all your hate?”
“You let him die, you asshole! I begged you to help him and you ignored me! You LET him die! You let him die because you were jealous that I was always doing things with him and not you! If you weren’t always fighting just like everyone else, I would have! So if you want me to believe in you, looks like you’re going to be disappointed, because I won’t!”
“What are you saying?”
“We’re DONE Jack! We are done! I will never believe in you again! As a matter of fact, you aren’t even real to me anymore!”
As soon as the words left my mouth, Jack disappeared. I looked around still angry. When I didn’t see him, I grunted in disgust and flew off into the night. I flew back to the beach and just screamed and kicked the sand and hacked the crap out of the few palm trees that were there. When the fight had all rushed out of me, I collapsed in the sand and cried. I cried for Terence then, not for leaving Jack. The two names together in my mind just got me angry all over again. I stood up and wiped my tears away angrily.
“Derek! I’ve decided!” I yelled out into the night. He appeared in front of me.
“What have you…?” I didn’t even let him finish. I put my hands on his shoulders and kissed him hard and angrily. Then I pulled away.
“Get me outta this hell hole now,” I hissed. He seemed a bit shocked. He took my hand but the glassy look on his face remained. I snapped my fingers after waiting ten seconds for any sort of reaction. He shook his head and then he teleported us.
When we got to his fortress I let go of his hand and stared up at it in shock. It looked exactly like the Princess Academy. Walls made out of the same red bricks, roof made of the same black shingles, topiaries of crowns and books and quills exactly the same, there even appeared to be the same mysterious-looking yellow flowers in the garden. I craned my neck to get a better look. They were. The only difference was there was no sign or kids running around.
“Home is where the heart is, and my heart was at this school,” said Derek.
“Why burn it down then?” I asked.
“I didn’t burn it down. I sent the hobogoblins to the camp, not to the school. Those ones were rogue.”
“Oh. Well, I’m here. Are you going to let our friends go?”
“What?! Why not?”
“You see, they’re being guarded by an army of opalvirgins.”
“I’m not seeing a problem.”
“They went rogue and are holding them for ransom.”
“Ugh! Never mind, I could find a way around them. What about Jamie, same thing?”
“No. The most evil sorceress of all guards him.”
“Can’t you just tell her to back off? She didn’t go rogue too, did she?”
“No. She’s trapped inside a diamond, but her powers are still far beyond anyone else’s.”
“Then can’t she just bust herself out?”
“No, she can’t. I don’t get it either.”
“Great! Just perfect! Now what?!”
He walked me to the door and opened it up.
“How about we start with the tour?”
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