Fallen Kingdom by Candice Payne

“Rose, Get up! Malalate ka na ulit sa eskwelahan!” The thirteen year old could hear her mother yell at her in her native language of Tagalog from down the hall. Rose groaned to herself as she slowly sat up in her bed. Her eyes slowly fluttered open and she looked around the room trying to gather her senses. She slowly grabbed her phone and saw that it was 6 A.M. She sighed as she didn’t really want to get out of bed and go to school. School was so stressful especially when you had Luka around. The older student was constantly making fun of her, whether it be about the way she looked, talked, or did. It didn’t really matter. He would find something to nag on her about. She reluctantly got out of bed, knowing that if she didn’t she would have to deal with her mother’s bickering. Groggily, she made her way over to her closet and grabbed a black tank top along with some ripped jeans and flannel to wear over top. Once she got dressed, she looked over herself in the mirror and put her dark brown hair up into a bun. 

Rose then reluctantly headed down the stairs to grab some breakfast before she left. She grabbed an apple out of the fruit bowl before big bold red letters caught her eyes. Final Notice. She slowly picked up the letter that was addressed to her mom and opened it up to see that it was a bill for a large sum of money. She couldn’t say that she was shocked by the amount of money due. Her mother was the only one around to pay the bills and she was doing all that she could to do. She had recently even picked up a third job to put on top of the other two. Rose didn’t know how her mother could handle that amount of stress. Rose was, however, very surprised that her mother left out the bill. Normally she hid them so that Rose wouldn’t have to worry about it. Rose put down the bill. “I’m heading out!” She called out to her mom before she left out the front door and walked to school. 

“Hey Rose!” A familiar feminine voice could be heard shouting from behind her as she was approaching the school. Rose smiled as she stopped and turned around seeing it was her best friend, Seraphina. 

“Hey what’s up?” Rose greeted as she let the girl catch up before they continued walking to the school. 

“I’m suffering. Dad’s been getting on me about my grades in Mr. Soot’s class. He wants me to at least get a C in there, and I tried explaining to her that it’s literally impossible with the way he grades things. I don’t know how you get good grades in there,”  Sera groaned. 

“Have you tried listening to what Mr. Soot has to say? He literally tells you what to expect on the quizzes.” 

“I’m deaf.” 

“That can’t be your excuse for everything. Besides, you’re only deaf in one ear anyway.” Rose shook her head lightly at her friend. “If you want, I can help you with some of the assignments. You can probably come over to my house this weekend, and we can work on it. I’m sure my mom wouldn’t mind” She offered. 

“I’ll have to see what my dad says. You know how he is about letting me go places.” Sera sighed as they approached the school. “Time for another day of hell.” 

Rose nodded, agreeing with her as she watched students enter the school.  Rose and Sera headed to their class that was run by the dreaded Mr. Soot. They got to the school around 7:30 A.M. The two were pretty early since classes didn’t start till 8 A.M. They went ahead and entered the classroom. There were only a few students in there and they were all on their phones not paying attention to their surroundings. “Good morning girls.” Mr. Soot greeted the two cheerily. Mr. Soot had a very clear and distinct British accent since he was from London but had moved to America.

“Good morning.” The two replied to the teacher as they got into their seats. The two got on their phone, scrolling through social media to see what their favorite influencers had posted. Meanwhile Mr. Soot had gotten up from his desk and went to write on his dry erase board with a marker only to find that all of his markers did not work. 

“This is like the fifth marker this week that has died out. I swear one of you must be leaving the bloody things open when I’m not in the room!” Mr. Soot let out, getting frustrated about the situation. “Rose, can you go to the supply closet and get another pack?” Mr. Soot asked, though it wasn’t really a question. 

“Can Sera come with me?” Rose asked not wanting to do it alone. Plus the two always did everything together when they could get away with it. Plus, Sera always made everything fun.

“Yeah, sure, I don’t care.” Mr. Soot shrugged. Sera and Rose smiled as they got up and headed out of the classroom since the supply closet was down the hall so that all the teachers could get whatever supplies they needed without having to disturb another class. 

Rose and Sera bantered lightly on their way to the hallway, making jokes that had to do with making fun of their teacher. “Hey nerds!” A voice called out to them and Rose groaned, knowing who the dreaded voice belonged to. Sera and Rose glanced between each other, trying to figure out if they should even bother having a conversation with the man or if they should keep walking and trying to ignore Luka. “Hey deafy I’m talking to you.” The voice creeped closer. Sera sighed as she stopped and angrily turned around.

“What do you want Luka?” Sera snapped at the man, not wanting to deal with him today. 

“Woah, calm down. I was just wondering where you were going. That’s all. You two skipping class?” Luka said with his eyebrows raised, trying to act nice though he was really just looking for a way to get the two into trouble and Rose knew it.

“No, we’re just getting markers for Mr. Soot. Now buzz off.” Rose ordered him causing him to merely laugh.

“No, I don’t think I will.” He said as he joined the two looking for a way to annoy the two, having nothing better to do. The two glared at him before reluctantly going towards the closet with Luka following them. The three approached the closet, slowly opening the door. The closet was extremely dark, and it kinda irked Sera and Rose as it seemed almost too dark. “Come on, what are you two waiting for? Stop being such wussies.” Luka seemed unimpressed by the two. 

“Why don’t you go in first since you’re so tired of waiting on us? You didn’t even have to come with us in the first place.” Rose asked, getting snotty with him. Luka seemed hesitant as he looked into the closet, but he didn’t want to say no as to not seem scared. 

“Fine. I will!” He retorted before heading into the closet. Rose and Sera slowly piled in. “Where the heck is the lightswitch?” Luka muttered as he felt the walls for the lightswitch going deeper and deeper into the closet. “I uh- didn’t think the closet was that big.” He suddenly jumped, hearing the door shut behind him. “Why did you shut the door?!” He yelled at the two looking behind him though he couldn’t see anything. 

“I didn’t! I swear!” 

“You’re lucky I don’t beat the crap out of you right now!” Luka yelled at Rose getting frustrated at the two as he felt that they were pranking him. 

“Hey! We didn’t ask you to come with us!” Sera shouted back, getting stressed out by the whole situation. Unexpectedly around them, they all could hear the sound of something falling, but it sounded like it just kept going down. “What is happening?” She frantically asked. She didn’t get an answer as she suddenly could feel herself falling into what felt like an abyss with the other two soon following behind. They were all screaming terrified as this was the last thing they were expecting to happen to them. 

The next place Rose found herself was somewhere that she didn’t recognize. She was in what looked to be in a cave, but it wasn’t a normal cave. It has looked like a field with flowing  green glass and what looked like dandelions but unlike regular dandelions they were a soft baby pink that gave off a luminescent glow. There were so many of these dandelions that it lit up the entire cave letting Rose see the walls. “Where am I?” She asked aloud as she recollected her thoughts and memories trying to figure out how she ended up in this situation. The whole thing suddenly came back to her in a flash. “Sera!” She shouted as she got up off the ground and began searching her surroundings, trying to find even a glimpse of where her friend might have gone. “Sera, come on, where are you?” She whined, wanting to believe that the whole thing was a joke. The whole situation was really overwhelming for her. She could feel herself start to shake and her breathing became quick. Her tearing up from how alone and scared she felt. 

“Calm down child.” She heard a soft, motherly voice come from the entrance. Rose immediately felt at ease before she looked up at where the voice was coming from. She jumped, seeing that there was a half-human, half-snake creature at the entrance of the cave. The creature started slithering towards her, and Rose immediately began backing up. “It’s alright child. I’m not going to hurt you.” The creature tried to reassure her. “Your friend is worried about you.”  

“Where is she?” Rose inquired, wanting to make sure that Sera was okay. She knew that Sera had really bad anxiety especially with new places. If Sera knew that she was traveling to somewhere she hadn’t been before. It would take her weeks to build up the courage and reassure herself that everything was going to be okay. Rose couldn’t imagine how Sera was right now, considering they had no warning about being here in this strange place. The naga motioned with her hands for Rose to follow and Rose reluctantly did so, keeping her distance in case the naga attacked. Not that Rose really had any means of defending herself if the creature did attack her. 

The creature brought her to a little home. The walls were made out of stone brick. Some of them had little cracks in the walls showing the age of the building. There were also vines growing on the side. It wasn’t much, however it definitely had a cozy and calming vibe to it. Smoke could be seen from the outside coming out of the brick chimney, and it could be seen stretching among the roof of the building. The naga opened the door for Rose, and she slowly entered the house. 

Upon entering, Rose saw a familiar figure. She immediately rushed over to Sera, who was drinking some tea, however she stopped seeing that something wasn’t quite right. Sera’s skin was glowing purple. “What happened to you?” Rose questioned her. Sera looked over at Rose with a confused expression on her face, clearly unaware as to what she was talking about. 

“I don’t know. I just showed up outside this house. What happened to you?” Sera questioned looking at Rose with a bewildered expression. 

“I was more referring to why your skin was purple-”

“My skin’s purple?” Sera interrupted before she looked down at her hand. “Holy crap!” She jumped all freaked out..

“How did you not notice that?” 

“I don’t know. I guess I kinda did, but it didn’t hit me til now that it was. I don’t know why I’m purple, that’s really weird. Why are you pink?”

“I’m pink?” Rose looked down and sure enough her skin was a baby pink color. She wasn’t really that freaked out by it. “Oh, cool! I am.” 

Sera shook her head lightly. “You think I’m weird that I didn’t know I was purple when you didn’t even know you were pink. The hypocrisy in this household.”

“Shut up. Have you seen Luka?” 

“Nope, probably a good thing as well, knowing how he is. He would have tried to attack Lillith without a second thought.” 

“Lillith?”

“Yeah. Lillith.” Sera pointed over to the naga who had gone into the kitchen while the two were catching up. “She’s really nice, she found me passed out outside and brought me in and offered me tea.”

“Are you sure it’s really a good idea to be drinking that?” Rose asked in a low voice still not trusting the naga. 

“Hasn’t killed me yet. Besides she’s really nice. She wouldn’t do anything like that.”

“But what if-” 

“It’s fine.” Sera reassured as Lillith came back from the kitchen. “Here you go, darling, some lavender chamomile tea with honey. I hope you like it. If you don’t, it’s fine. You don’t have to drink it. 

“Thanks.” Rose said as she took a sip of the tea. She had never had lavender chamomile tea before. To be truthful, Rose had never really been a tea drinker, always preferring coffee. However, this tea was good. She actually liked it. She then faced Lillith. “Do you know why we’re here and where exactly we are?” She questioned.

“This place is called Vita Nova. I don’t know why you’re here, but it’s not the first time one of your kind has shown up here. Every once in a while a human falls down here. Though this is the first time I’ve seen three here at once.”

“I’m getting Undertale/Deltarune vibes.” Sera whispered into Rose’s ear, and Rose shook her head, not believing that Sera was comparing this to a game. This was real life. Nothing crazy like this should have been possible, right. So why was this happening to them, and why now? Nothing made sense to Rose. “Wait three people?” 

“Yes, there was a male that was here. He seemed very stand-offish. I invited him to come in for some tea, but he declined. Can’t say that I blame him though. I know I’m not your typical stranger.” 

“So uh how do we get back home?” Rose asked the naga, knowing that she needed to get home otherwise her mom was going to freak out. She wasn’t in the mood to worry her mom or get grounded.

Lilith sighed. “I figured you were going to ask that. That’s going to be a bit of a challenge. See, you have to go to the castle if you follow along the path outside you should get there. It’s a very linear path. Anyway, there’ll be a way  for you to get out of the castle. However, as of late, the King’s fallen ill and his son has been running rampant. I wouldn’t really advise going there.” 

Sera nodded lightly. “Well, we have to leave. I’m afraid that our parents would kill us. I’m sure we’ll be able to handle ourselves.” 

Lillith looked sad, but she nodded. “I see. Well, you’re always welcome in my home. Rose was pleasantly surprised that the snake wasn’t going to try to make them stay with her. 

“Thank you for the tea.” Rose said, and Sera repeated before they headed off. “So that was interesting.” Rose commented as they followed the path that Lilith had told them to follow. The path seemed to keep leading on through the weird cave structure but as they continued on it turned into a cliff of sorts. The path was lit up by lanterns hanging from the ceiling. There was nothing but the path to follow, unless they wanted to fall into the pit.

“Yeah it was.” She paused for a moment as if collecting her thoughts. “So, Luka is here.” She sighed lightly. “I gotta admit that I was really hoping that he wasn’t going to be here with us. He’s going to make this really lame”

“We probably won’t even run into him. Lilith said that he didn’t bother going into the house so he’s probably way up ahead of us.” As if on cue, they could see a familiar male figure in the distance. “Nevermind…” Rose added before she noticed that there was a very short figure in front of Luka and the two seemed to be arguing.”

“You can’t come any further!” The short figure ordered. 

“I disagree. You’re lucky I don’t pummel you in the ground, kid.” Luka responded, not really impressed by the situation at all. 

“I’m not a kid!”

“You look like a kid to me.”

“If you must know, I’m the prince, and I will have you thrown in jail!” 

“Oh yeah and I’m X Æ A-12.”

“What?” The kid seemed confused. 

“Nevermind, just let me pass!” Luka whined as he began to walk past the kid, before suddenly, a blue flame came out of the kids mouth that made Luka jump back,

“Woah what the-” 

“See, I told you. Not a good idea to mess with me.” The kid said snottily. Meanwhile Sera grabbed a stick since the kid didn’t seem to notice the two of them at all, being more focused on Luka. Then she motioned to Rose that she was going to go around the two before she did just that. She then went and hit the kid upside the head from behind, causing him to stumble and fall down.

“Come on!” She motioned to the two as she took off running. Rose and Luka quickly followed.

 “You know, I didn’t need your help!” Luka said as they kept running. 

“Hey! Get back here you brats!” The kid screeched before he did a whistle as if calling something, and sure enough a bike without a driver came flying towards the three. 

“Woah!” Rose yelled as she just narrowly dodged the incoming vehicle.  She glanced back to see the kid getting on the bike. “Hey guys, what are we going to do about that?” Rose asked the two, and the two looked at each other before looking at their surroundings. They really couldn’t go anywhere. It was a linear path like Lilith had told them. There wasn’t really anywhere to go. 

“You two to the side, so that there’s an open path in the middle.” Sera said, coming up with a quick plan. The two did what they were ordered to do, though Luka didn’t look exactly pleased with the fact that he was being bossed around. “And stop!” Sera said as she stopped running. The two looked unsure but Rose trusted the other. 

The kid rode the bike into the middle of the road and didn’t bother slowing down, not expecting them to stop and that was when Sera with her trusty stick, put it out in front of the driver causing him to fall off the bike. Luka immediately grabbed the bike and took off, leaving the two behind with the kid.

“What the hell?” Rose yelled as she ran after him, but he had already zoomed off and there was no way that the two were ever going to catch up.

“Bro, that’s my bike,” The kid whined clearly upset that his bike got stolen from him by some bully. 

“Honestly, that’s what you get for chasing us like this.” Sera shrugged, not really minding that Luka had stolen the bike, since she didn’t want him to hang out with them anyway. It just sucked that they got left with the annoying brat that was supposedly the prince. 

“Trueee.” Rose agreed. “Anyway, are you going to be nice to us, cause if you’re not we’re going to just drop kick you off the side of this cliff,” 

“Yeah, yeah, just until I get my bike back. My father’s going to kill me if I break another one of his knight’s bikes.” 

“Wait, so that’s not even your bike?” Rose snorted. “What a loser.”

“Hey, I will have you executed!” The prince said. “Plus, I don’t see any of you having a bike.”

“Yeah, sure, anyway, do you have a name or can we just call you annoying?” Rose asked,

“Well if you must know, my name’s Tomathy.” He muttered. 

“Nice to meet you Tomathy. My name’s Rose, and this is Sera.” Rose introduced. “Anyway, if  we help you get your bike back, will you show us the way out of this place?”

“Sure. I guess.” 

“Awesome.” Rose smiled, glad that she was able to get Tomathy to make a deal with them. “He’ll probably be at the castle by the time we get there.

“How far is it anyway? It feels like we’ve been walking foreverrrr.” Sera couldn’t help but complain as they had been walking the whole time they had been talking. Sera was always the impatient one, always wanting to get things done in a rush so that she could get to the things she wanted to do. 

“Another half hour since we’re walking.” Tomathy told them. Sera groaned as they continued walking and walking. It seemed like it dragged on for hours, especially with Tomathy constantly saying dumb stuff to them. But soon enough, the castle was in sight and Sera and Rose let out a gleeful cheer as they started running towards the castle. Upon getting there they couldn’t help but notice the bike crashed into the wall. Sera and Rose bit their lips as they saw Tomathy get all angry and fuming literally. “We should probably get out of here.” Sera whispered to Rose who nodded and they quickly headed inside.

“I want my knights to go after those brats and take them to the dungeon! Now! Someone needs to pay for this! Where is the boy who did this?!” Tomathy yelled. 

Sera and Rose kept running and avoided any of the guards that had decided to follow Tomathy’s orders, though most of them just sat around ignoring the kids. Eventually they found the portal where Luka had managed to hide out.

“Took you two long enough. Apparently I can’t go home without you two. The portal won’t open unless all the humans in this world decide to go. Kinda dumb.” 

“Whatever. You’re the one who left us.” Sera said as they approached the portal and it soon sparked to life. The three of them went in as they heard the door open seeing the child trying to follow them. 

The next thing they saw when they entered the portal was a bunch of shelfs with supplies on them and around them on the floor were toys. “And we’re back.” Rose said with glee.

Sera nodded. “Finally.” She said as she looked up at the clock and saw that school had ended. “And we don’t have to go back to Mr. Soot’s class. Very pog.” 

“That was fun. I guess though kinda lame.” Luka but into the conversation.

“So. Same time tomorrow?”

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