I watched one of those old movies the other day—you know, from when nobody wore masks. It was a little disturbing to see all those naked mouths, and sometimes it was tricky to tell what was going... [+]
Near this heavenly land there was another kingdom called Koronis. It was ruled by a cruel king named Pyrox. The kingdom of Koronis, with its large walls, and steel gates looked more like a fortress than a kingdom. Koronis was an evil, oppressive kingdom, and all its residents were aggressive and enjoyed combat. Because of this, Koronis naturally had a skilled, powerful army, but it’s tendency to declare war over the smallest disputes caused it to become very unpopular. And no matter how powerful it became, Koronis had always lacked beauty. With all the battles that took place there, it looked like a wasteland. And with the news of Atlantis became more popular, Pyrox’s anger only grew.
After enduring several insults from other kingdoms, Pyrox’s jealousy of Atlantis finally reached its peak, so he decided to conquer Atlantis and strip it of its beauty and wealth. And it wasn’t just because Pyrox was jealous of Atlantis. For years, Koronis had been the most powerful kingdom in the sea, and no other country dared to defy Pyrox out of fear of being destroyed. That is, until Aquadeus became king of Atlantis. He stood up to Pyrox and started convincing other countries to revolt against him. Soon, more nations began to join this alliance, and if it gained enough support, they may become powerful enough to defeat him. However, if Pyrox was able to conquer Atlantis, any hope the rebels had of defeating him would disappear. After months of preparation, Pyrox finally had what he needed; an army of over 3000 soldiers. And even though Pyrox himself thought it was overkill, his advisor, Flaronis, insisted it was perfect. As his army began the march to Atlantis, Pyrox already felt triumphant.
When Aquadeus learned of the attack Pyrox was planning, he was very upset. Even though Atlantis was an amazing land, its army was nothing to brag about. On top of that, tales of Pyrox’s unstoppable army and his conquests were known throughout the sea. And with how close the army was to Atlantis, it was too late to ask for help from another kingdom. Normally, Aquadeus would have immediately began planning some sort of defense against them, however, it was quite late when he was told of the attack, and the army was very far away, so he decided he would figure out what to do after a good night’s rest. Unfortunately, that rest wasn’t as good as he would have liked.
That night, Aquadeus was plagued with horrible nightmares. He saw his beloved city enveloped in flames, burning brighter than the sun itself. He saw his beautiful gardens and corals burned to a crisp. He saw his people, laying on the ground, their clothes torn and faces bleeding, begging for mercy. He saw his beloved daughter, Aquifer, caged and being taunted by Koronian soldiers. She was crying and yelling at him, “Help me, Father! Help me!” And above it all stood Pyrox, laughing, a maniacal glint in his eyes. Laughing at his kingdom, laughing at his people, laughing at his daughter, but above all else, laughing at him.
Aquifer sat in her bedroom, sad and depressed. As soon as she heard the news of the attack, Aquifer could not get over a feeling deep within her, that told her something bad would happen. She knew she had to save Atlantis, but how? She wasn’t a brave hero, she was a princess, and all her life she had been treated like one; fragile, delicate, like she didn’t know how to take care of herself. But as she thought about it more, she realized maybe she should be treated like this. She should sit quietly and let the adults handle the situation, like she always did. But there was a voice, deep inside of her, that didn’t care if she wasn’t very brave or strong. All that mattered was to protect the kingdom that she loved. Suddenly, Aquifer realized what she had to do. She ran out of her bedroom, all the way to the doors of the palace, flung them wide open, and ran outside. While she was running, Aquifer noticed something glowing in the distance. At first, she thought that the sun was rising. Unfortunately, when she looked at it closer, she realized it was a torch. Slowly, the glow began to spread, as the fire from the torch was passed to others, until a large glowing shape was visible. Slowly, it dawned on Aquifer what was happening.
Pyrox’s army had arrived.
Bells tolled all throughout the kingdom of Atlantis, warning all citizens that Pyrox’s army was approaching very quickly. After waking up, Aquadeus was shocked with the news: Pyrox’s army had somehow sped up and would reach Atlantis in a few hours. Worse yet, Aquadeus still had not planned a defense, leaving the kingdom vulnerable. He called a war meeting and discussed with his advisors how to protect Atlantis. However, no matter how hard they tried, the only solution they came up with was to surrender to Pyrox. After a while, the old king realized there was no other option. Just as he was about to issue the order to surrender, Aquifer burst through the palace gates. Aquadeus stared at her, shocked and confused. “What are you doing here?” he asked, “Go to your bedroom now!” “No,” said Aquifer, “I’m not going to my bedroom.”
Aquadeus was taken aback; he had never seen her act this way before. And before he could respond, she continued speaking, “My whole life, I have been treated as though I was too delicate to handle the real world. I always wished I could prove to everyone I was brave, but soon I began to think I wasn’t allowed to because I was royalty. And then, I realized that, even though I wasn’t strong, it didn’t mean I wasn’t brave. I love Atlantis, and I refuse to see it destroyed. I have a plan, and if it succeeds, Pyrox will be stopped forever.” Moved by her speech, everyone leaned closer to hear what Aquifer’s daring plan was.
Pyrox’s army approached the front gates of the great city. Its walls were thin and weak, and the gate looked as though it belonged to a doll house. Pyrox laughed at himself; how could he ever think that Atlantis posed a threat at all? “At last”, he thought, “I shall rid myself of this annoyance once and for all” Suddenly, Pyrox saw the front row of army disappear. Immediately after, the second row followed. Little by little, Pyrox’s army began to disappear. After he got a little closer, he could see what was happening. His army was falling into a trench dug around the city. As soon as Pyrox realized this, he yelled, “Retreat!”. Unfortunately, all that did was startle the seahorses, causing them to jump into the abyss, taking with them almost all of Pyrox’s army. Although he and Flaronis somehow managed to escape alive, the rest fell to their deaths, leaving Pyrox stripped of his ‘unstoppable’ army.
Back at Atlantis, the townspeople were cheering. They had defeated Pyrox and caused him to lose most of his militia, meaning the ocean was now free of his rule. But none was prouder or more pleased than Aquadeus. Thanks to his daughter’s quick thinking, almost all of Pyrox’s army had been swallowed up by the gorge. Had it not been for her, Atlantis would have surely been lost forever. On top of that, Aquifer had finally gained recognition as a true hero, and was no longer treated like a delicate little princess.
Unfortunately, there was still bad news. Even though his army had been destroyed, Pyrox and Flaronis were still out there, seeking revenge against Atlantis unlike ever before. “I’m getting too old for this”, thought the weary king, and trudged back to the palace, wondering what the future may hold.