Book One: The Rescue
_By InpirationalButterfly _For Willa-Merry Christmas!
Chapter one: The Kidnapping
nce upon a time, there was a beautiful kingdom that ruled this Earth long, long ago. It was called Butterfly Land, and was full of beauty, laughter, and surprises. People of all kinds, from clever foxes to clumsy giants, traveled across the world to visit this amazing place. Out of all the beauty in the kingdom, one creature stood out, more beautiful than all the rest: the Butterfly Queen, Willa. With her laughing eyes, playfully smiling rosy-red lips, and shimmering chocolate –brown hair, she left most creatures speechless. Her subjects, the loyal fairies and human-sized butterflies that lived in the kingdom, thought of her as a mother, for she was so gentle and kind. Butterfly Land was, indeed, a merry place for all, until one day…
“HELP! HELP! Oh, someone, help me!” a voice cried from the palace courtyard. Queen Willa was running toward it a once. She was almost there when a deeper voice laughed: “It’s no use!” The evil voice boomed. “No one can help you now! Come, my new wife! MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!” Then, a new voice spoke, crying “NOOOO!!!!” Putting on an extra burst of speed, Willa raced to the courtyard-only to find it abandoned and covered in torn spider webs. The Queen wrinkled her nose. “Gross-it smells like decaying bugs in here. Blech.” she commented under her breath. Suddenly, she heard a small whimper behind her. She turned around and saw that it was Anstalian, a purple and orange butterfly. Willa was instantly at her side.
“Anstalian, dear, what happened? Why are there cobwebs everywhere? Please tell me what has upset you so.” The Butterfly Queen inquired softly. Anstalian looked up, and for a brief moment, relief filled her tearful gaze when she saw her Queen standing above her. “Oh, Your Grace, thank Iris you are here!” she exclaimed. “Oh, it was awful! M-m-y d-dear Manishia…she…she was kidnapped!” Anstalian burst into tears. Willa was shocked. Everyone in the kingdom loved Anstalian’s sweet, cheery daughter, Manishia. Who would do such a thing? Willa wondered. It must have been someone outside of the kingdom, she concluded. No one that I know would be so cruel as to kidnap such a nice girl! “Did you see the kidnapper?” the Queen asked. Anstalian nodded. She started to speak, but Willa stopped her. “Let’s go into the palace. Then you can tell me what happened.”
Chapter two: Anstalian’s Tale
“I had just started making dinner,” Anstalian began once they were inside, “and Manishia had gone outside to play in the palace. I heard her laughing with the royal dog-what is his name? Rufus, right?” Willa nodded. “Go on, Anstalian.” She said. Anstalian obeyed, continuing her story. “Well, I was heading toward the door to go fetch her, when a large shadow came over the windows, and I saw what looked like some sort of shiny rope and heard my daughter scream: ‘HELP! HELP! Oh, someone, help me!’, and then Rufus whined and ran past my house in fear. I panicked. I-I f -flew to the …the courtyard as fast as I c-c-could, and the prince from the enemy kingdom, Spiderland, had Manishia…he…he had her all wrapped up in his web, and he…he took her away for a wife! Can you believe that, Queen Willa? He’s going to make her marry him!” Anstalian shook her head miserably. “As he t-t-took her aw-w-way, Manishia…she…she looked down at me, and cried for help. I…I flew up and tried to free her, but the ropes were too strong, and I…I couldn’t fly against the wind…he was hanging by a web tied to several of his slave dragonflies…oh, Willa, what am I going to do?” she sobbed.
Willa was shocked. Horribly, utterly shocked. Her soft gaze turned to fierceness. “Well then, we’ll just have to get her back!” She decided, standing up so suddenly that she knocked her chair over. “Oops.” She muttered as she righted her seat. “Kaitlyn!” She called to the kingdom’s warrior maiden. “Yes, Your Majesty?” Kaitlyn said as she sped into the bedchamber. “Prepare the warriors!” Willa ordered. I need three parties-two for first attack and one for backup! Bring only our best-we’re facing spiders!” “Yes, ma’am!” the fierce fairy replied, then hesitated. “Er, I’m not trying to be disrespectful, Your Highness, but…well, why?” “I’ll explain later.” Willa said. “Now please, hurry!”
“Citizens of Butterfly Land!” the Butterfly Queen announced at the meeting. “There has been a terrible crime that must be avenged!” She explained all that had happened, right to where she had rushed into the courtyard. “Our troops are ready,” She announced. “As soon as I am prepared for battle, we shall attack!” The peoples of the kingdom cheered.
Chapter three: Preparation for Battle
“Emeraldsheath, are you ready to fight? We’re going to be in the most danger, for we are the ones who are going to free Manishia. Plus, I’m the queen, so the spiders will be attacking me twice as much as everyone else anyway. If you think you can’t handle it, I can get another steed. You don’t have to fight.” Willa whispered to the huge emerald dragonfly that she had chosen. Emeraldsheath was the son of her usual ride, Ambersheath. Willa would have been riding her, but unfortunately, the amber dragonfly had a torn wing that wouldn’t be healed until about next month. The dragonfly nodded. “I’ll be okay. I’m a little nervous for my first battle, but I will not fail you!” Emeraldsheath said with his odd buzzing lisp. Willa smiled. “You’ll make your mother proud!” She promised him.
“Are we ready?” Willa asked Kaitlyn. The warrior maiden nodded. “We are.” She was astride Silversheath, Ambersheath’s silver mate. Behind her were the leaders of the other two fighting groups, Jenna and Lucas. Jenna was sitting on Rubysheath, Emeraldsheath’s ruby-red sister, and Lucas was on Goldensheath, another one of his sisters. Willa nodded in approval at the only humans (besides herself) living in Butterfly Land. The Sheath families of dragonflies were not as fierce as the Blades, but they were more strategic, so they won more battles. Coalblade (a black dragonfly of the Blade family) and Cloudblade (a white Blade dragonfly) looked upset at not being chosen, but they didn’t complain. “Good. To Manishia, Butterfly Land!” The Queen called, her sword raised to the heavens. She and Emeraldsheath flew into the sky, closely followed by dragonflies of every color.
Chapter four: Attack
Willa glanced over at Kaitlyn, who gave her a silent nod. It was time. “ATTACK!!!” she shouted, and dove towards the Spider Castle. The war cries of Butterfly Land’s warriors mingled with the surprised shrieks of the Spider Kingdom’s residents. Willa unsheathed her sword and secured her battle-axe’s case over her shoulder as she made her way towards the chaos. The battle had begun.
A rather large brown spider riding a puke-colored dragonfly lunged toward the Queen, holding a nasty-looking javelin. Undaunted, the battling queen swung her sword and easily knocked the weapon out of the spider’s hand. It made a hissing noise-Willa suspected it was laughing-as it showed that in three other hands, it held a sword, an axe, and a spear at ready. “Prepare to meet your doom, you foolissshhh queen! Beware of the Ssssspider Landssssss!!” It hissed menacingly. Willa flinched but refused to back down. “Attack mode Double Trouble, battle moves Wing Scythe, Tail Jab, and Scratch!” She whispered to Emeraldsheath earnestly. He gave her a tiny nod. “Just say when!” he buzzed back. The spider dove towards her heart, but Emeraldsheath moved aside just in time. Quick as lightning, Willa got a vile from the saddle pouch and drank its shimmering crimson contents. The spider lunged again, missing her by a nanometer. She shuddered as his cold sword came so close it brushed her skin. Suddenly, she screeched in agony as it felt like two knives pierced her shoulder blades!
“Aaarrg!!” she shouted, then smiled with relief as the pain ebbed away and heard her chainmail rip. She had not been stabbed; there was always a brief moment of agony when wings were grown. Her armor already had holes in the back, just in case. Willa flexed new muscles and caught a glimpse of beautiful, shimmering, gossamer wings. The spider just stared in awe, mouth gaping. “Wha…you…you grew w-wings! They just…popped out!! H-h-how’d you do that?!!” the stunned arachnid stammered. Willa grinned. “Oh, we’re just a little more…advanced than you spiders.” The queen explained, stalling for time. She nudged Emeraldsheath, telling him to get ready. “I can teach you if –NOW, EMERALDSHEATH!!” she shouted, jumping off of the saddle. The spider was so surprised that he dropped his axe. Willa’s wings became a crimson blur as she and her steed separated, getting on both sides of the enemy warrior. Willa sliced a wing off of his dragonfly, making the yellow-green creature begin to spiral towards the ground. It didn’t take very long for Emeraldsheath to nudge the flailing spider off and send him plummeting to the ground far below. “Nice work, Emeraldsheath.” Willa complemented the dragonfly as she straddled him once again. “Thanks, Your Majesty.” He said, then stopped suddenly. “Look, the prison tower! And there’s Manishia, in the window!” he buzzed excitedly. Willa looked toward where he was gesturing with his tail. She opened her lips in a dazzling smile as she saw the familiar violet blue wings of Anstalian’s daughter. “To the tower!” she commanded, and Emeraldsheath, Willa on his back, flew to the rescue.
Chapter five: Rescue
Two huge spiders guarded the entrance to the tower. This could be hard, Willa thought, but I will not be defeated! For Manishia! She urged Emeraldshield on, sword at ready. The spiders spotted her almost instantly. One threw a spear at her-and missed her by almost a foot. Willa rolled her eyes. Had he no training? Apparently so, for when she reached the guards, the spear-throwing one thrashed wildly with his sword, not taking care to aim at all. She simply used the flat side of her sword and hit him on the head. He passed out. The second guard yelped and unleashed a string of web towards her. Willa easily sliced it into bite-sized pieces and knocked the guard out cold. The queen shook her head. The Spider King was awfully foolish to place untrained warriors on guard duty.
Emeraldsheath flew into the tower, all the way up to the top room. Again, Willa shook her head. “Only two guards? And untrained ones, too! Spiders can be very foolish sometimes.” She sighed. Manishia turned around when the queen came in, eyes frightened. The butterfly let out a whimper. “D-don’t h-hurt me!” she squeaked. Willa was flabbergasted for a moment, then realized that this butterfly in distress didn’t recognize her in battle armor. Willa flung her tangled hair out of her eyes and sheathed her sword, dismounting Emeraldsheath. “It’s okay, Manishia, it’s me, Willa!” She said gently, cautiously approaching the butterfly with an outstretched hand. Manishia hesitated, not believing her for a moment. “It’s really me. I’ve come to rescue you.” Willa persuaded. The captive butterfly looked into her eyes and instantly knew that she wasn’t lying. “Oh, Your Majesty!” Manishia cried, throwing herself into Willa’s arms. “It’s going to be okay.” Willa whispered, picking up the crying young butterfly. “We’re going home now.” She mounted Emeraldsheath and called a command out of the cell’s window: “Butterfly Land warriors! Mission accomplished! Retreat!” She flew out of the tower and followed the warriors toward home.
Chapter six: Safe at Last
“My baby!!” cried Anstalian cried as she saw Willa coming, holding Manishia. “Mama! Oh, Mama!” Manishia cried, jumping out of the Butterfly Queen’s arms and running to her mother. Anstalian looked up at Willa with tears of joy in her eyes. “Thank you, Your Grace! Oh, how can I ever repay you?” The happy mother exclaimed. Willa smiled. “Just seeing you two so happy is my payment.” The Queen said. “Her wing is a little torn, and she has a bit of a scratch on her cheek, but they should heal soon. Here’s some herbs for the cough she’s acquired.” Willa handed Anstalian a small cloth bag. The butterfly took it gratefully, then put her arms around her daughter again. “Oh, I’m so glad to have you home!” she said. Willa cleared her throat to get their attention. Mother and daughter looked up expectantly. “Yes?” “I have a surprise for you.” The queen said. “Follow me!”
She led them to the courtyard entrance and let out a shrill whistle. When she heard a low whistle come from the other side of the gate, she turned to the confused-looking butterflies and beamed. “You’re gonna love it!” she promised as she let them in.
As soon as Anstalian and Manishia entered the courtyard, loud cheers rand out and the butterflies were showered in tulip petals of all colors. They laughed with joy as their friends welcomed them. Butterfly Queen Willa smiled, ignoring her disappearing wings. She loved her kingdom, and would do anything for it. No matter how hard the task at hand was, she wouldn’t fail. The Queen walked into the courtyard. “LONG LIVE BUTTERFLY LAND!!!” She shouted, pumping her fist in the air. “LONG LIVE BUTTERFLY LAND!” echoed the kingdom’s peoples before exploding into cheers and shouts of joy.
LONG LIVE QUEEN WILLA!