The Missing Unicorn in the Land of the Zombie Fairies—Part Nine
By: David K. Montoya

DEDICATED TO MY KIDS, JAY, ZOIE & LILY

Emma and Olivia were shocked when they saw their oldest brother, Billy, before them dressed in a black and purple Knight's armor. Back home he was plagued with a disability called Autism, but he appeared not to be troubled by it—in fact, his speech was different as he spoke. "All these years, I wondered if you knew of Foyn and the others, now I know for myself."

"But, how," Emma asked, her words laced with utter surprise.

"What do you mean, Emmy," Billy asked with a smile.

"Your ailments seemed to have vanished," Emma asked. She took a closer look at her brother.

"Ailments," Billy asked with a chuckle. "You been reading dad's books again?"

"How is it possible," Emma asked, tears welled up in her eyes.

Billy knelled to be eye level with his sister. "Why are you crying, Emmy?"

"I always prayed I would see you in better health," Emma explained. "To be uninflected with your disability…and, here you stand today."

Billy smiled. "This is the realm of magic and wonder, what makes the impossible quite possible here does the same with the Autism."

Olivia ran over and hugged her big brother. "I don't understand, but I am happy."

"So am I Olivia," Billy said and patted her on her head lovingly.

"What happens when you go home," Emma asked, still entranced at her brother's change.

"I go back to the Billy you know," Billy said. "The Autism only disappears while I am here."

"How did you get here," Olivia asked. "Were you sucked away into some portal?"

Billy laughed aloud.

"No, no. I discovered this place when I was much, much younger," Billy revealed. "Before you, two were born and mommas was still alive. I battled alongside the Gryphons when the Siren Demons first attacked."

"So, you came through the television too," Emma asked, as she waved Kén and Theo over to them.

"Television…no," Billy answered, and placed his hand on the hilt of his sword as he watched Kén and Theo approached. "My gateway was the body mirror in Dad's room. It used to be mommas'. One day I was running around it and tripped. Instead of shattering the glass, I fell into it. Foyn who was the Chief of the Gryphons helped me go home, once the Battle of Hydrain Gree was eventually over."

"You wanted to go back home," Olivia asked, now surprised herself at the story told.

"Of course," Billy said in a soft tone. "It seemed like years here and I missed Mommas and Dad. I didn't care about anything else, I just wanted to go home."

Billy paused and stared at Kén Tauros.

"You look familiar," Billy said in an aggressive manner. "Who are you?"

Emma stepped in between her brother and Kén. "This is our friend, Kén Tauros, Billy."

"Are you from the house of Goodfellow," Billy asked, still in the aggressive tone.

"No. I am from the House of Tauros," Kén said, fear aligned his speech.

"I did not realize the Clan of Tauros was now a House," Billy thought aloud. He looked at Emma and continued. "You sure he is a friend?"

"Yes, he has saved our lives many times," Emma said.

Billy extended his hand, "If Emma says you are a friend, you are my friend as well. Nice to meet you Kén."

Kén took Billy's hand and said, "Likewise."

Theo walked up and bowed to Billy, "I bid ye welcome, Sir Knight. I am Prince Theophrastus von Hohenheim of Paracelsus, It is my honor to stand before you, honorable knight."

"Theo, that's our Brother, Billy," Olivia said, with a hint of aggravation in her character.

"Oh…My apologies," Theo said, and then bowed again. "It is my honor to stand before you honorable Brother knight Billy."

"Oh, you are the annoying one in the bunch, eh," Billy asked as he turned to the burning city of Paracelsus.

"Yes!" Olivia announced excitedly.

Billy grinned at his youngest sister. "So, you are the prince of this Paracelsus, Theophrastus?"

"Yes, sadly," Theo said. "My friends call me Theo, by the way."

"All right, Theo," Billy said and patted him on top of his head. "You may call me Billy. What happened here Theo?"

"The Zombie Fairies," Theo explained. "They took my mother and kingdom captive."

"Plus, they kidnapped Yoon," Emma elaborated on Theo's thought. "We are on our way to the Land of the Zombie Fairies."

"Who is Yoon," Billy asked. "Is he the one who allowed you to be a part of this world?"

"Yoon, the Unicorn," Olivia said, excitedly. "We have helped him many, many times to save his world."

"I see," Billy said as he held his chin and thought. "What are you planning to do next?"

"We are traveling to the old Magus in the village," Emma elucidated. "Normally, Yoon would fly us there, but since he is gone, we have to walk there."

"Which is the landscape for the most fantastic journeys to be had," Billy said with another smile.

"So, we are on to the next adventure," Emma said excitedly.

Billy looked around the area, and said: "The only way from Paracelsus is East, right?"

Theo Bobbed his head in acknowledgment.

"And, Theo, you grew up here, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the next realm the Darkland," Billy said as he walked away from the others.

"Oh yes, mother said not to go near there that anytime a young Gnome would they would come up missing, well that's what mother said anyway, but her advisor once told me it was just to keep me away from there," Theo rambled.

Billy looked over his shoulder at the young prince puzzled. "What happened to your speech, Theo?"

"That's the way he normally talks," Olivia said as she walked past Theo.

"Theo did your mother ever talk about the illuminated path," Billy asked and continued forward.

"Na…no…" Theo said, confused.

"Do you know the history of Darkland," Billy inquired and begin to move large rocks that were in front of him.

"All I know it was here before I was born and mother told me to stay away from it because the demons liked to eat little Gnomes," Prince Theo said nervously.

Billy moved a few more rocks out of the way as he spoke, "Foyn told me a story a long time ago, the Gnomes had a civil war, long before your mother became Queen. The Radical Gnomes who wished to rule Paracelsus was assisted by the Swamp World to take over the monarch…And they would have done so if Foyn and the other Gryphons had not come in the rescue. The Radical Gnomes were vanished to the Darklands, the Gryphons created a path which illuminated the surrounding area, once they led the losing force into exile, they covered the illuminated path with random brick and stone so neither the people of Paracelsus or Darkland could ever reach one another ever again."

"I never heard of that legend surely my mother would have told me," Theo said.

"Here time works differently, a longtime here is a mere second on Earth," Billy theorized. "So, if it has been years on Earth since that happened, it would have been—,"

Emma interrupted as she said, "Thousands and thousands of years for them."

"Exactly," Billy said.

"But how do we know it really happened," Kén asked. "It could have been a wives' tale when you heard it."

"True Mister House of Tauros," Billy said as he lifted the final stone from his path, which revealed something square planted into the ground that glowed. "Or it could be true and in plain sight, but people never bother to look for it…until now."

To be continued…

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