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 N.A. Scalise:  Magical Journey to the Source of Love






Magical Journey to the Source of Love

Written by: Natalia Scalise

Translated from Russian by: Daniel Modin

Edited by: Cliff Carle. (www.CliffCarle.com)

Kathleen Marusak (Kathleen_Editor@yahoo.com)

Artists Illustrators: Viktoria Tseluyko, Sergey Tseluyko

Artist Decorator: Anna Sokolova

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All rights on this book are reserved by N. A. Scalise. No part of this publication, including the illustrations, may be transmitted or reproduced by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the written permission of the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations with citing the source.

Copyright © 2006, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0-9840814-0-0

Source Publishing, 2009



My dear readers, my motive for writing this fairytale was my clinical death, which I went through during a surgery. While traveling "beyond this world," I received startling knowledge, which I have passed on in my fairy tale.

I chose the genre of a "fairy tale" for two reasons: first, the knowledge that I have received would seem to be just way too strange if I were to describe it as an actual event. Second, both children and adults enjoy reading fairy tales, especially if those fairy tales are captivating. And how captivating my fairy tale may be is for you to judge. Your heart will tell you where there is fiction and where there is truth. The fiction will hopefully bring joy to you while reading, but the truth will remain in your heart forever, since it is absolute!


Table of Contents:

1.   The Scary Prophecy. The Fiery Bird.

2.   The Lizard Queen. The Unborn Brother.

3.   The Intuition Fairy. The Great Mission.

4.   The Kingdom of Evil. The Wrong Rules.

5.   The Spy Mouse. The Wax Museum.

6.   Pete the Dragon. The Antagonist Bridge across the Biting River.

7.   The Town of Injustice. The Royal Cemetery.

8.   The Council of the Cleverest Wise Men.

9.   Patrick the Mutant. Meeting the Queen of Evil.

10. The Tree of Evil and the Lake of Hatred. Prince Thomas.

11. The Ball at the Queen’s Palace. Adrian the Priceless.

12. The Sleeping Gas of Forgetfulness. The Secret Underground Tunnel.

13.  The Swamp of Doubts. The Neutral Territory.

14. Socrates, the Neutral Philosopher. The Philosophical Stone of Wisdom.

15. The Queen of Evil Visits the Neutral Philosopher. Meeting the Chieftain of Robbers.

16. The Kingdom of Kindness and Love.

17. Meeting the SOURCE OF LOVE.

18. The Kindnesses.

19. The Absolute Verity.

20. The Town of Dreams That Come True.

21. The Architect Nicholas. Zero-Transporting.

22. Competing in the Mini-Planes. The Sea of Love.

23. Underwater Bathyscaph Journey to the Canyon of the Glowing Crabs. The Dangerous Nephews.

24. Underwater Glass House. The Coral Greenery of the Little Intuition Fairies.

25. Returning to the Kingdom of Evil. Meeting the Robbers.

26.  The King’s Biggest True Love.

27. The Queen of Evil Meets the Chieftain of Robbers. The Spread of Love.

28.  The Trial and the Verdict.

29.  The Second Meeting with the SOURCE of LOVE.

30.  The Frozen Prisoners.

31.  The Intercepted Meeting of the Collectors of Evil.

32.  The Second Meeting with the Robbers.

33.  Traveling by Submarine. Saving Adrian’s Immortality.

34. Aqualantica: The Underwater World of the Stolen Talents.

35.  The Ghost Island.

36.  Riding the Electric Rays. The Cemetery of the Sunken Ships.

37.  The Wedding.

38.  Returning Home.

39.  The Laws of Love (The Chapter for Moms and Dads).

40.  The Friends Meet Again.


Two chapters from the next book:

1.  The Newborn Baby with All His Teeth: The Genius of Absolute Evil.

2.  Counterweight: The Genius of Kindness and the Genius of Love.






Chapter 1



It was New Year’s Eve. It was a beautiful, magic night, during which miracles occur and the most cherished of wishes can come true. The sky was spangled with a great multitude of bright stars. A large full moon was shining brightly. Suddenly, two of the stars appeared to fly down toward the earth. But they were not stars. They were two tiny fairy-girls with glowing wings. At first they flew together holding hands, then they split off in different directions, dancing, twirling and tumbling in the air and laughing happily. The fairy-girls flew down to a little house and landed on its roof.

"Wow, Intuition Fairy! This was such an exciting flight! We haven’t had that much fun in a while! Don’t you agree?"

"Yes, Fairy of Good Dreams! Too bad that we don’t meet very often, since I work during the daytime and you work at night."

"Oh! I forgot that it is time for me to go to work! All children are sleeping already, but I haven’t started delivering good dreams to them!" exclaimed the Fairy of Good Dreams.

"And for me it would be nice to get some sleep right now, while my Natasha is sleeping," said the Intuition Fairy.

"Bye!" said the Fairy of Good Dreams and swiftly flew away.

The Intuition Fairy flew into and down the chimney and through the fireplace. She came out in a spacious living room. In this living room there was standing a beautiful Christmas tree decorated with myriad colorful ornaments and garlands. The fairy-girl landed on the tree, comfortably placed herself on one of the garlands like on a hammock and fell into a deep sleep.

At this time in a little backyard behind the house, under a lemon tree, shadows flashed. Under the bright full moon from behind the tree appeared two small black mice and one giant gray Rat, the size of a man.

The Rat asked the mice in a quiet but angry whisper, "Are you sure that this is the same house you visited last month?"

The Rat’s big, sharp teeth showed in a wicked grin.

"Yes, Your Evilness! This is the exact same house!" one of the mice peeped in the response, shivering in fear.

"And you inserted two needles into each heart? The man’s heart, the woman’s heart, and the little girl’s heart? Two each? Are you positive?" the Rat continued questioning.

"Yes, Your Evilness, Chief of the Warrior Rats!" the second Mouse replied, while nervously wiggling his tail. "Two needles into each one of their hearts!"

"What were the results?"

"It worked great on the man and the woman. Now they almost always get angry and argue. It looks like they are going to divorce soon. But it did not seem to work on the girl at all. She remained just as kind as she was before," the first Mouse replied in a fearful, unsteady voice.

"This is terrible! This is just terrible!" the Rat spat out. "This means that all of it is true! This means that the Neutral Philosopher was right!"

"May I ask, Your Evilness, what was the Neutral Philosopher right about?" the second Mouse, who was much braver than the first Mouse, asked.

"He predicted to our King that here in California, in Los Angeles lives a girl who can destroy our Kingdom of Evil! That is what his Philosophical Stone of Wisdom told him. His stone also told him the address, and this is the house, and this is the girl," the Rat explained.

"This girl can destroy our Kingdom of Evil?" the second Mouse exclaimed in amazement. "But how can she? She is only ten years old! She is still a child and she is so fragile!"

"I don’t know how. And the stone didn’t say anything about it. That Philosophical Stone is always so unclear…." the Rat replied, falling deep into thought. "But, no matter what, it always tells the truth! And everything that it predicts eventually comes true!"

"No! I will never believe in that!" the second Mouse objected confidently. "How could a ten-year-old girl destroy the Kingdom of Evil? And how would she even get there? Our kingdom exists in another realm! We can get to them by going through the Magic Corridor, but there is no way for them to get to us!"

"That is correct, but the stone also said that the SOURCE of LOVE Himself will be helping the girl! And you know that nothing is impossible for Him, He is omnipotent!" the Rat nervously objected. "And, besides that, the biggest secret of our Kingdom is that…." and the Rat suddenly became silent.

"What is it? What is the biggest secret of our Kingdom?" the second Mouse questioned, shivering in impatience.

"You are questioning me too much! This is none of your business!" the Rat barked at the Mouse, realizing that she had almost given away the biggest secret of their Kingdom, the punishment for which was execution. "Your job is to obey me and to follow my orders! And my next order is as follows: tonight put four needles into this girl’s heart! These four!"

The Rat handed the four needles on her black, rough palm to the second Mouse. The needles reflected a cold glimmer under the bright moonlight.

"Yes, Your Evilness! It will be done!" the second Mouse promptly replied.

Above them, in the dark sky, a fiery burning spot appeared. It was quickly growing, while getting closer to the house. Soon it was clear that the fiery spot was a big fiery bird. It was huge and beautiful. The bird seemed to be completely consumed in fire. Its eyes were glowing with a bright red light and its feathers were sparkling with red, yellow, and orange flames. On the bird’s head was a magnificent tuft, burning red and yellow, similar to the embers of a campfire. Its tail had red-yellow sparkling feathers arranged in a fan shape. When the bird flapped its wings and shook its tail, red-yellow sparks scattered, as if they were fireworks exploding.

The fiery bird flew down to the house and landed on its roof. The bird was glowing brightly, well illuminating the entire garden, as well as the big gray Rat with her mice helpers. Now it was the Rat who was shivering from fear and crouching closer to the ground. The two mice completely collapsed into the grass. Their paws were nervously trembling.

"Wh…what is it th…that brought you here, oh great, mighty Fiery Bird? And wh…what do you want us to do for you?" the Rat stuttered, shivering.

The Fiery Bird slowly turned its head to look at the Rat and mice, scornfully smirked at them and replied, "Calm down. I do not need anything from you." Surprisingly, the bird’s voice was pleasant and soothing, "I just came here from the 66th realm because the Purples asked me to measure the power of Love of the girl who lives in this house. And you, leave me alone and please, do not bother me. You do your job and I will do mine."

The bird raised its left wing. From under the wing a great multitude of sparks shot out and a bright flash followed the sparks. In front of the bird, in midair, appeared an image of the sleeping girl surrounded by a large sphere, which was glowing with a pleasant golden color.

"Oh, wow!" the Fiery bird exclaimed, "I have never seen anyone who had such a powerful charge of Love energy before! Or, actually I have! Your Prince Thomas! The heir of the Kingdom of Evil! Ha-ha!"

The bird began laughing mockingly.

"Too bad for your King! How is he going to pass on the kingdom to such a kind heir?"

The Fiery Bird shook its head, throwing clusters of sparks in the air, and then added, "However, why should I care?"

The bird raised its wing one more time, throwing clusters of sparks, and a bright flash followed again. In the air appeared an image of the girl’s sleeping parents. Around their hearts there were glowing two small, barely noticeable golden spheres. The bird raised its right wing and pulled the images under its feathers.

"Oh mighty and powerful Fiery Bird!" exclaimed the Rat, still nervously shivering. "We are here because of that girl too! We must put the needles in her heart, so we can make her evil!"

"Ha-ha!" the bird laughed again. "This girl has such a powerful charge of Love energy and you want to make her evil with needles? And who ordered you to do that? Your stupid King? Ha-ha-ha!" the bird continued laughing. "But then again, why should I care? Your business is none of mine. I am just doing a favor for the Purples. I am the only one who can do this job and the Purples promised me a great reward for this. But now my job is done, so goodbye!"

The Fiery Bird flapped its large wings, throwing fireworks of sparks, and quickly flew away.

The big gray Rat recovered from her fear and roared at the mice, "Do not tell anyone! You hear that? Nobody! Do not tell what you saw here! And especially do not tell what you heard here! I am talking about the bird’s words, when she called our King stupid! Is my order clear?"

"Yes…Your Evilness!" replied the first Mouse, who was still lying on its back and with its paws shaking.

"Well, then get to work! Put all those needles into the girl’s heart! And tell me about the results in the morning!" the Rat barked at the two mice.

The huge Rat nervously twitched her head and grinned. Then she turned toward the fence, jumped over it in one leap and disappeared. The two little black mice silently crawled toward the house.

In this cozy little home all of the inhabitants were sleeping. Mom and Dad were sleeping, the cat Theodore was sleeping, and the girl Natasha was sleeping.

Natasha was enjoying a beautiful dream. She dreamed of being in a pine forest, at the shore of a small lake. On the surface of the lake were floating pink lotus flowers and white swans were swimming, raising their heads on long, graceful necks. Birds were singing their tender songs to her while swinging on pine branches.

But suddenly the dream changed. The lotus flowers changed into giant frogs, which were loudly hissing, showing their wide-open jaws with sharp teeth. The four swans soared out from the lake and turned into four giant wasps. The wasps flew up to Natasha and all four of them at the same time stung her in her heart. Natasha tried to scream, but couldn’t.

Suddenly, from the depth of the lake appeared the head of a giant snake. The snake attacked Natasha, grabbed her leg, and started pulling her down toward the bottom of the lake. Natasha saw that the snake was dragging her deeper and deeper, and there she was, at the muddy bottom of the lake. She was trying to break free, but all of her attempts were in vain.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, appeared two fiery spheres. The spheres flew up to the snake’s head and began squeezing it from both sides. The snake angrily tossed its head, showing its sharp teeth, and let Natasha’s leg go.

Natasha opened her big, blue eyes and realized that she was finally awake. Her forehead was covered in a cold sweat from such a scary dream. She sat up in bed and slightly shook her head with her light, long, curly hair, as if trying to shake off the dream now that she was finally awake.

"Oh! How wonderful that it was just a dream! And why would I even have such a dream!" Natasha whispered quietly.

Her mood became much better. But she still felt that something was terribly wrong. She just didn’t know what it was exactly.

She no longer felt like sleeping, so Natasha, in her pink pajamas with red butterflies, went into the living room to look at the Christmas tree. It was a beautiful Christmas tree. It had shiny golden ornaments and colorful lights, which were glowing so brightly that Natasha did not even need to turn on the lights. Natasha’s mood, however, was still not right. Suddenly, she remembered why – last night her parents had been arguing once again and talking about a divorce.

What if they really do get a divorce and Dad lives separately from us? Thought Natasha. Just like my friend Marta’s dad; he visits her only on Saturdays, and not even every Saturday. Natasha became even sadder.

Back to the Table of Contents




Chapter 2




Suddenly the cat Theodore caught Natasha’s attention. He had been busy in front of the fireplace. Theodore was white and fluffy. On his neck was a medallion with the words "Best Cat" engraved on it. On the back side was Natasha’s address and phone number, in case the cat ever got lost. Natasha saw that he had caught a lizard and was playing with it. At first he let it go, but when the lizard tried to run away, he caught it again with his paw.

Oh, he is going to eat the poor lizard! Natasha thought in horror. Just like he ate my parrot, Goga, last year, when Mom forgot to close the cage.

Natasha ran to her cat and took the lizard away. She held the lizard in her hands and she could feel how fast the lizard’s little heart was beating from fear.

"You see, Lizard, you should be very careful when Theodore is around," said Natasha.

She walked to the door to let the lizard go, but at that moment she heard the lizard talk to her in a human-like voice, "Thank you, dear girl! You saved my life! You are very kind!"

Natasha stopped to look closer at the lizard. The lizard was looking at Natasha with intelligent, alert eyes that were moist with tears. Natasha suddenly noticed that on the lizard’s head there was a little golden crown with tiny diamond stones.

"Wow! You can talk!" Natasha exclaimed in amazement. "And why do you have a crown on your head?"

"I am not just an ordinary lizard. I am the Queen of the Magic Kingdom of Lizards, and that is why I am wearing the crown," the lizard replied.

"But what were you doing here near our fireplace?" asked Natasha.

"I came here to meet the Intuition Fairy. The primary magician of my kingdom told me that tonight at midnight the Intuition Fairy will visit your home," answered the lizard.

"The Intuition Fairy will visit my home tonight?" Natasha amazed. "But why?"

"I don’t know exactly why. It has something to do with your birthday," the Lizard Queen replied.

"Yes, tomorrow really is my birthday," Natasha confirmed.

"Maybe that is why the fairy is coming, so she can wish you a happy birthday. But I desperately need to see her," The Lizard Queen commented sadly. "I want to ask her a big favor. My sons, Alex and Max, always argue and sometimes even fight. I don’t know what causes it, but they both are my children and it hurts me to see them like this. I really want them to love each other! I love both of them, but I don’t know what to do about it. So I wanted to ask the Intuition Fairy if she could help me."

"Oh, poor Lizard Queen, I understand!" exclaimed Natasha. "I have the same problem with my mom and dad. They also argue a lot. And yesterday, they even talked about a divorce. But I love them both and I want both of them to stay with me."

Natasha dropped her head and two tears rolled off her rosy cheeks.

"Don’t cry, Natasha," the Lizard Queen tried to comfort her, "your birthday is almost here, and the Intuition Fairy will come soon. Maybe she can help us both."

"Of course she will help us! I want it so very much and I really do believe!" said Natasha. "It would be wonderful if my parents could live in peace and love, and your sons too! It is so good when people never fight and always love each other! But why can’t my father and mother understand that it is much better to love each other than to fight each other? They do not understand that when they are arguing, I feel sad and scared… And even though tonight is New Year’s Eve and my birthday is almost here, my mood is worse than it’s ever been! They bought me all those presents that are laying right there under the Christmas tree! But why do I need all of that? If my parents divorce, then I will be so sad that none of these presents could make me happy! I wish that I could exchange all of these gifts for just one thing! I wish that my parents would live in peace and would love each other! And I could easily live without all these other gifts!"

"Well," said the Lizard Queen, "now I know that you are indeed a very kind girl! And I also want to give you a gift. Because you have saved me out of loving kindness, I give you the ability to hear and understand the voices of all animals, birds, insects, plants and every other living thing."

The Lizard Queen touched Natasha with her tail. From this touch Natasha felt a pleasant warmth spread all through her body.

"Now, not only will you be able to understand the language of all living things, they will also understand you," said the Lizard Queen.

"Wow! What if I ask Theodore why he wanted to eat you?" Natasha turned to her cat to test her new power. "Hey, Theodore! Why did you want to eat the Lizard Queen?"

"Well, first of all, I did not know that she is a queen," Theodore answered in a velvety voice, "and, second, it is not my fault that I am a predator. The foods that you feed me are pretty good, but sometimes I want a delicacy. I still have my predatory instincts. When I am hunting live prey, I feel such excitement! Do you think that those toy mice that you give me will replace the real thing? Of course not! I understand that those are fakes. And even though I do play with them sometimes when you turn them on, it is simply to be polite. I don’t feel any excitement, only boredom. And third, I probably would not eat the Lizard Queen, or maybe I would. It is such a temptation – live prey."

"Wow! Theodore! You are talking and I understand you!" Natasha exclaimed, amazed. "Yes, it is not your fault that you are a predator. But what do you mean by a ‘temptation’?"

"Well, it is simple," replied Theodore. "For example, your mom comes home from shopping and brings a delicious chocolate bar and puts it on the table. But she tells you that you cannot eat it until after dinner. Then she leaves the room, but the chocolate bar stays on the table. You are looking at it and you can imagine how great it will taste. It is so close, all you need to do is to reach out and grab it. That would be an example of temptation."

"Oh, I understand," said Natasha. "Temptation is something that you should not do, but you really want to, and you know that it is very easy to do because there is nobody to stop you. Am I right?"

"Exactly!" shouted Theodore. "But I believe that it would be much better if your mom would not even show you the chocolate bar until after dinner, when you are allowed eat it."

"I see! Then there would be no temptation!" exclaimed Natasha. "But what if the chocolate bar was there and I still did not eat it, then I would defeat temptation?"

"Yes," said Theodore. "I believe you would defeat it! But for many people it is very difficult. And I cannot always overcome it… This is exactly what happened with the parrot, Goga; I could not overcome the temptation. The cage door was open and it was so easy to grab him! Please forgive me, Natasha!"

"Okay, Theodore, I forgive you, but promise me, please, that you are not going to eat the Lizard Queen, nor any other animals," said Natasha.

"Well, I promise that I will not eat the Lizard Queen, that’s for sure," replied Theodore, "but it would be hard for me to promise not to eat other animals. I do promise that I will try not to eat anyone, though. It is all because of those predator instincts – they are often stronger than I am. But I will fight them! Even though the thrill of hunting live prey is such a temptation!"

"Oh, you really like to talk, Theodore! You are such a philosopher! But, now it would be better to be quiet. Only ten minutes left till midnight, and at midnight the Intuition Fairy will come. Oh, I am so excited and nervous! I need to do something to help me calm down!" said Natasha.

"I think the best thing for you to do right now would be to go kiss your sleeping parents," advised the Lizard Queen. "It will both calm you down and give you strength. When I kiss my sleeping children, it always gives me peace!"

"Then that is exactly what I will do!" Natasha cheered up.

She placed the Lizard Queen on the fireplace mantel, where the Lizard would be safe from the cat Theodore, and went upstairs to her parents’ bedroom.

When Natasha entered her parents’ bedroom, in the big mirror she saw her reflection and thought, Oh, I should not meet the Intuition Fairy wearing pajamas! That would not be polite! I must put on the best dress I have!

She went into her room and quickly changed into her favorite dress, turquoise with big butterfly-shaped pockets. She also put on a turquoise necklace, which her dad had given her as a previous birthday gift. This necklace perfectly matched the color of her dress, and it also matched Natasha’s eyes, which seemed to be even bluer now.

Natasha went back to her parents’ bedroom, silently opened the door and quietly approached the bed. Her dad and mom were sleeping, and their faces appeared peaceful, tranquil and happy, as if they had not argued at all last evening. Natasha kissed her mom first, then came up from the other side of the bed and kissed her dad.

Then she quietly and wishfully said, "Oh, how I wish that you two would get along well, never fight and always love each other!"

She turned around and was about to leave when suddenly she heard somebody’s faint voice, "Natasha! Natasha, do you hear me?"

Natasha looked back. It seemed to her that the voice was coming from her mom’s side. But Mom was still asleep.

"Who is calling me?" she asked.

"It is me, your little brother!" she heard the reply.

"What little brother? I don’t have any brothers!"

"Yes you do. But nobody knows about me yet. I am still very little. I am inside your mother. I came here just recently, less than a month ago. I liked your parents and decided to be born to them," the faint voice replied back.

"Wow, what news!" exclaimed Natasha. "I am happy that you liked my parents, even though they have been arguing over unimportant things."

"But I did not know that they fight over unimportant things," the voice continued speaking. "Yesterday I heard them talking about a divorce, after they had an argument. Natasha! Don’t let them divorce! How could that be, I am not even born yet, and already I will be without a dad? This is so sad!"

"Don’t be sad, my little brother! I think that everything will be fine! The Intuition Fairy will come soon and I will ask her for our mom and dad to stop arguing and to love each other. I hope that she will help us! Hey, how come I can hear you? You are not born yet, and you have not learned how to speak!"

"You hear my thoughts with your heart. The Lizard Queen gave you this ability because of your kindness. It will be sometime before I learn how to speak. First I need to be born, then grow a little. After that, I will learn how to walk, and only then I will start to learn how to talk. But with you I will always be able to speak through my thoughts."

"You know, my little brother, I am so happy that we will have you soon! And I promise you that you will not grow up without a dad! I will do everything I can to bring our parents back together, to love each other."

Natasha heard the bedroom door squeak slightly and saw Theodore coming in.

"Natasha, hurry up!" said Theodore. "Or you will miss the Intuition Fairy! It’s almost midnight."

Back to the Table of Contents

Chapter 3




Natasha quickly descended the stairs and stopped near the fireplace, where the Lizard Queen was perched on the mantel. The chimes on the clock rang twelve times. It was midnight, but the fairy did not appear. Natasha became very sad. She began to fear that there would be no fairy coming at all….

Two tears rolled off of her pretty pink cheeks and she quietly said, "I really don’t want my parents to divorce!"

Suddenly, she heard a quiet, gentle voice saying, "Don’t be sad, Natasha! Your parents will not divorce, if you will help them!"

This voice did not sound at all like the Lizard Queen. Natasha looked around with amazement, but she did not see anyone besides the Lizard Queen.

"Who said that?" Natasha asked.

"I am your Intuition Fairy," the same gentle voice answered.

"And where are you?" asked Natasha.

"Ha-ha!" the voice giggled with delicate melodic laughter, as if it were the sound of a tiny bell. Natasha suddenly saw one of the ornaments detach from the Christmas tree, fly over to her and hover in the air. However, it was not a tree ornament; it was a live girl, the size of a hummingbird. She had tiny wings on her back, which were brightly glowing in the dimly lit room, and she was fluttering them while hovering in front of Natasha. Natasha suddenly thought that it was probably very difficult for the fairy-girl to move her wings so fast and that she was probably tired. Natasha extended her hand and the fairy landed on her palm.

"So you are my Intuition Fairy?" Natasha asked. "But what is ‘intuition’?"

"Intuition is the ability to sense future events in your life, and it is also the ability to make the right choices and to do the right deeds. In other words, intuition warns a person about any dangers and tells how to avoid them. It also tells where happiness is and how to achieve it. Every person has his or her own intuition fairy, and I am yours. I came here to tell you that today is the day when you can help your parents, change your future along with theirs, and make your life full of happiness, adventure, and love!"

"Does this mean that I can change my parents so they will not divorce and will not fight or argue anymore?" Natasha asked.

"Yes you can!" replied the Fairy. "Trust me! I know the future!"

"But what do I need to do?" Natasha asked.

"First of all, you need to desire it very much, then listen to my advice, which I will be sending to you through your thoughts, and, of course, you need to trust me!"

"Thank you, Intuition Fairy! I trust you! But why didn’t I know you before if you are my intuition fairy?" Natasha asked.

"You have always known me," said the fairy. "I just never appeared to you. I was invisible. Once when you were still a baby and had just learned to walk, your mother was talking to the neighbor while you walked out into the street and were almost run over by a car. I was the one who stopped you at the last moment and turned you back. Another time, one month later, when you found your mother’s bottle of aspirin and wanted to eat them like candy, I again was the one who stopped you, and you put those pills back. I have often told you what is the right thing to do; I’ve sent you the right thoughts, and given you the right advice."

"Thank you!" said Natasha. "But why is it that I can see you today?"

"Today is a special day; today you turn ten years old! And I came to tell you that you are a very special girl because you were born at a very special time! And that is why you must complete the Great Mission!"

"I am sorry, fairy, but I don’t understand what you are saying." Natasha became confused. "Why do you think that I am so special?"

"You are so special because you were born during a special time!" the fairy explained. "You were born at zero hours, zero minutes and zero seconds, between December 31st and January 1st. You were born between two years, between two months, between two days, between two hours, between two minutes, and even between two seconds. That is why you were born between the two worlds in space and time, between the two realms: the Realm of Kindness and the Realm of Evil. That is why a beam of LOVE fell on you. It filled your heart with enormous, powerful Love and Kindness. That is why you are the CHOSEN ONE! You have permission from above to travel through different worlds and realms, and to become happy! But then you also have a responsibility or, to be more correct, a mission. You are to give others the chance also to be happy!"

"But how can I do that?" Natasha asked.

"In order to complete your great mission you must go to the Source of Love and bring back ‘The Laws of Love’ for all people!" the Intuition Fairy replied.

"And what are these laws?" Natasha wondered.

"‘The Laws of Love’ are the laws that all people need on this Earth!" the Intuition Fairy explained. "They are the laws that will reveal the secret to all people about where to get Love, how to not lose it, and how to become truly happy!"

"This sounds like a fairytale," Natasha commented.

"This is reality, it is true!" the Intuition Fairy reassured her. "And those laws that you will bring to the people are real laws! But all of this really is very unusual indeed, and if you wish to consider it a fairytale, then call it a fairytale!

"So, today a great fairytale will begin, in which you will participate. This fairytale will be about where to find love and how to become happy!"

"I definitely do need love; I mean, my parents need it very much. They would stop fighting if they had love," Natasha said dreamily.

"So then you will have the opportunity to help them," continued the Intuition Fairy. "And not only them, but also many other people on Earth! That is what your Great Mission is! The SOURCE of LOVE Himself chose you for it!"

"And who is the SOURCE of LOVE?" the Lizard Queen, who was quietly sitting on the fireplace mantel all this time, wondered. "And can He stop my sons from fighting?"

"The SOURCE of LOVE is Love itself – pure, magnificent and almighty!" the Intuition Fairy answered. "The SOURCE of LOVE is omnipotent, which means that He can do anything!"

"May I go to the SOURCE of LOVE with Natasha too?" the Lizard Queen asked with hope in her voice.

"Of course you may!"

"And may I go too?" Theodore wondered.

"And you may also go," the Intuition Fairy replied. "But let me tell you that it is not easy to get to the SOURCE of LOVE!"

"So how do we get there?" asked Natasha.

"I can help you with that," the fairy continued. "I will give you a magic red ball. Once you are ready to go there, tell the ball:

‘Magic Ball, please be my friend!

Show the way to the happy land!’

And the ball will start rolling, to take you where you need to go, to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. That is where the SOURCE of LOVE is."

"Thank you, Intuition Fairy!" exclaimed Natasha. "Can we go there right now?"

"Of course you can," replied the Intuition Fairy. "But I must warn you that the road that leads to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love also goes through the Kingdom of Evil. You will have to go through the Kingdom of Evil. You will meet those who live there: the evil Black Mice, the giant Warrior Rats, and maybe you will even meet the Queen of Evil herself. It is they who try to make people evil. They take the needles from the Tree of Evil and put the needles into the happy people’s hearts when people are sleeping. All of them will try to stop you from going to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. They will perform tricks and create traps for you. But don’t be afraid! Your main goal is to defeat the fear and doubt inside of you, to believe in yourselves and to believe that the Forces of Kindness and Love are stronger than any of the Dark Forces! If you do that, then none of the Dark Forces can cause you harm."

"But can we somehow go around this Kingdom of Evil?" asked Theodore.

"No, it is impossible!" said the fairy. "This is the way this world is made: In order to find love and kindness, first you must defeat evil and hate. Even though it is not an easy task, you should be able to do it. So, are you ready for the journey? It is long and hard, but at the end of this journey a great reward awaits you!"

"I am ready!" said Natasha.

"I am ready also!" said the Lizard Queen.

"But I am not sure if I am ready!" said Theodore. "Since the journey is long, then we probably need to take some food with us."

"You are right. We should take food with us," Natasha said, looking around. She noticed a small dish on top of the coffee table that was full of hazelnuts, and she put all of the nuts in her butterfly-shaped pocket.

"You don’t have to worry about food!" the Intuition Fairy announced. "You will find everything you need on your journey. But now I must leave. Oh, no, I believe I forgot something!"

"What did you forget?" Natasha wondered.

"He-he, I forgot to wish you a happy birthday!" the Fairy replied in confusion. "Happy Birthday to you, Natasha!"

She clapped her tiny hands and on the table appeared a beautiful bouquet of incredibly big red roses in a sparkling crystal vase.

"Oh, wow! Thank you!" Natasha smiled.

"Well, and now, goodbye!" said the fairy. "I wish you luck on your journey!"

"Goodbye, Intuition Fairy!" replied Natasha. "Thank you for everything!"

"Goodbye!" shouted Theodore and the Lizard Queen together.

And the fairy suddenly disappeared. Near the fireplace appeared a little red ball with golden lettering on it. Natasha picked up the ball and read the words out loud: "If you strongly believe that your wish will come true, then it will definitely come true!"

Natasha thought about these words and then said in a confident tone: "I strongly believe that my wish will come true and my parents will love each other again!"

"I also believe that my wish will come true and my sons will stop fighting!" declared the Lizard Queen.

"It is great that you believe," said Theodore, "but, as far as I know, in order for a wish to come true, you must make it come true! Let’s not waste any time; let’s start our journey right now!"

"Let’s go!" agreed the Lizard Queen.

"The Fairy said that the magic ball will lead the way," said Natasha. She extended her hand, in which she was holding the ball, and then said the magic words:

"Magic Ball, please be my friend!

Show the way to the happy land!"

Right after Natasha said these words, the ball suddenly came to life. It started spinning on her hand, then it jumped down on the floor and rolled toward the fireplace. Once the ball touched the fireplace, the fireplace quickly started growing. It grew all the way to the ceiling. Inside the fireplace there appeared a door. The ball rolled up to the door, touched it, and the door opened. The ball did not roll any further, as if waiting for the rest of the company.

Natasha and her friends came up closer to the fireplace and hesitated. Behind this door they saw a garden illuminated with bright light. Even though it was midnight, it was not dark. The moon was incredibly large and it was shining so brightly that it was as bright as day. But there was something wrong about the light. It was unclear if it was day or night. Finally Natasha realized what was wrong – it was missing color! Everything was black and white, and shades of gray. There was no green, nor red, nor blue, nor purple. The ground was black, the trees and leaves were gray, and the sky was white with gray clouds. On the gray grass there were jumping gray grasshoppers and a little gray bird was feeding her nestlings with gray worms. In the distance there was a river, which was also gray.

"How weird…" said Theodore. "I do not understand, is it sun or moon? Is it day or night?"

"It is more likely day than night, since everything is so bright," Natasha suggested.

"I think it is more likely night than day, since everything is black and white but without color," voiced the Lizard Queen.

"No, I still believe that it is day, not night, because all birds sleep at night," Theodore objected.

"Then why is everything so colorless, as if in a black and white movie?" Natasha asked, amazed.

"Because it is the Kingdom of Evil. It cannot have love or happiness, and that is probably why everything is colorless," the Lizard Queen suggested. "And besides that, this is a different realm than ours, and therefore everything here is also different."

Suddenly right behind the fireplace the tall gray grass rustled and moved. From within the grass the huge head of either a snake or a fish rose up, then quickly disappeared back into the grass.

"Oh, what was that?" Natasha exclaimed in fear. "I think I just saw a snake!"

"If I didn’t know that fish live in water, then I would say that it looked more like a fish!" Theodore objected. "Hmm, what a mysterious place! It even gives me the chills."

"Don’t be afraid! Remember, the Intuition Fairy said that we must defeat our fear!" Natasha said.

"Well, it is easy for the fairy to say that, she is not the one who has to go there! Just the name itself is already scary enough: ‘The Kingdom of Evil’!" Theodore’s fur stood up in fear. "And the Queen over there is evil; all she does is think up bad things she can do to people….Who knows what she has in store for us!"

Natasha stared at Theodore with bewilderment. She always considered him to be a brave cat; in fact, she believed that all predators in general were brave.

"Theodore, are you really afraid?" she asked.

"Afraid or not, I have doubts. I doubt that I need to go somewhere else and look for some unknown love and some unknown happiness. My life is already great the way it is now. I have everything I need for happiness: a warm house, a soft bed and plenty of food. And I don’t need to do anything; I can relax and be lazy for a whole day whenever I want to! No, you two can do whatever you want, but I am not going with you. I think I am happy enough already. Even though I am living without Love, you feed me very well here! Besides, it is not known if you will find love, but I am absolutely sure that you will have plenty of problems there." Theodore curled up on his soft bed. "Sorry, but I would rather stay here."

Back to the Table of Contents


Chapter 4


“Ha-ha-ha-ha!” went the laughter. It was coming from somewhere behind them. Natasha turned back and saw an owl sitting on top of the open window.
“Ha-ha-ha-ha!” the owl was laughing so loud that all of his body was shaking. Natasha worried that he would not be able to hold onto the window and might fall off.
“Ha-ha-ha-ha! Only a cat would say something like that! That is such catlike philosophy and catlike happiness – to get plenty of sleep and food while being lazy!”
“Hello, Owl!” said Natasha. “What are you doing here?”
“I have been watching all of you. I am a nocturnal bird; I cannot sleep at night. I was just flying by and saw a light in your window, so I decided to stop. I have heard everything, and I want to go with you too. I also have a problem – my daughter is still unmarried, she cannot find a match for herself. All of the young single owl males have asked her to marry them, but she has refused. She said she did not feel love for any of them. And I am getting old. I want to raise little owl grandchildren. But what I want most of all is for her to be happy. So I need to go with you too. Can you take me?”
“Of course, you can come with us!” replied Natasha.
“So, let’s not waste any more time, let’s go!” said the Lizard Queen.
They went up to the doorway in the fireplace, when they heard Theodore’s voice: “Alright! I guess I should go with you too. You’ll probably get into all kinds of trouble there without me.”
“Oh, Theodore! I am so glad!” exclaimed Natasha. “Of course, please come with us!”
“Let’s go together, my friend!” Owl suggested to Theodore. “The opportunity for such a journey does not come along every day. And you can trust me, some day love might bless you too.”
And so the friends started their journey. They passed through the fireplace and entered the gray country. Without fear, they followed the ball down a narrow pathway. Soon they saw a post with a big sign, proclaiming: “THE KINGDOM OF EVIL.”
“So we are going in the right direction,” noted Theodore.
“Well, there is no other way to go, there is only one pathway,” commented Owl.
They continued on and very soon they saw a little house. Above the entrance door there was a sign:
“Oh, wow! They even have customs here!” exclaimed the Lizard Queen in a disappointed voice.
“Don’t worry, somehow we will make it through customs!” Natasha tried to cheer everybody up as she knocked on the door.
“Come in!” said a frightful, creaky voice that sounded like an old rusty gate. The four friends entered the house.
There was a bright light inside the house. Behind a big wooden desk, in a black leather chair, was sitting a giant Rat, the size of a full-grown human. The Rat was savoring coffee with donuts.
“Who are you? Where from? Where to? What for?” demanded the Rat, while continuing to drink her coffee.
The Rat’s tone confused everyone. She said it with such hatred and contempt, it gave chills to them all. The friends got confused, except for Owl, who was very wise. He knew what to say:
“We are tourists. We are coming from our own plain country to your extraordinary, magical country to see all the enchanting sights.”
“And do you have a visa?” asked the Rat.
“What is a visa?” Natasha asked, perplexed.
“It is a permit to enter our country. It should have the signature of a government official and a stamp on it,” explained the Rat.
“No, we don’t have a visa. We did not know that we would need one….” Natasha’s voice dropped.
“I see,” replied the Rat. “I can give you a visa. How can you pay? Do you have the local currency, or maybe golden coins?”
“No, we don’t have either,” Natasha said sadly.
Then, wise Owl said to the Rat, “But maybe you have an idea? You seem like a very intelligent lady.”
Once again the Rat glanced at the friends with her little greedy eyes. Her eyes took in Natasha’s necklace and Theodore’s medallion. But what really caught her attention was the Lizard Queen’s golden crown with diamonds in it.
Her eyes lit up and she said in an indulgent tone, “I think we could come up with something. We have two kinds of visas. The first one is a preferential visa for wealthy people, but I don’t think you can afford it. The second one is ordinary, for everyone else.”
“Interesting,” said Theodore. “And what is the difference?”
“The difference is that if you have the first type of visa and you break our laws, then nothing terrible will happen to you. You will only have to pay a large fine and you will be sent out of our country. But if you have a regular visa and break our laws, then you will either be put in jail or frozen. Well, enough talk, just give me the necklace, the medallion and that little crown and I will give you one visa for the three of you. The fourth one will not be able to go. It looks like he has nothing to pay with.”
“We owls don’t need any money. We can live just fine without it!” stated the offended Owl.
“Exactly! That is why I will not let you go,” replied the Rat.
“Then we are not going either!” Natasha stood firm. “Either we all go, or nobody goes.”
The Rat thought for a moment. She did not want to lose all those treasures. “Okay,” she said, “I will give you our regular visa of the lowest category. One visa for the entire group – a group visa. But you must stay together as a group and you cannot separate. This will make it easier to control you because you will need only one spy…er, I mean guide, for all of you. That is why this visa is so cheap.
“Okay, first you need to learn the laws of our country!”
The Rat handed Natasha an old dirty piece of paper that had something written on it. Natasha took the paper and started reading out loud:

“Law 1: It is forbidden to do good deeds because those who do good deeds are soon forgotten.

“Law 2: You are required to do bad deeds because those who do bad deeds are remembered forever.

“Law 3: It is forbidden to be kind because kindness is weakness; those who are kind are always being used and are never respected.

“Law 4: You are required to be angry, since anger shows strength of character. Angry people rule over others. It is especially important because those who are angry are respected, and those who are very angry are respected even more, or at least they are never shown disrespect.

“Law 5: It is forbidden to be happy, because happiness interferes with obedience.

“Law 6: You are required to be sad and depressed because it makes it easier to control you.

“Law 7: It is forbidden to build or create. Creativity develops your mind. Those who are too smart in our country end up in jail.

“Law 8: You are required to break and to destroy, since such actions generate the most valued quality in our country: anger. But we warn you, we will show you exactly what to break and to destroy.

“Law 9: It is forbidden to be generous, compassionate or trustful, since it makes you kinder.

“Law 10: You are required to be greedy, envious and cruel, since all this makes you angrier; and you should trust nobody.

“Law 11: It is forbidden to have your own opinion if it is different from the authorities’ opinion.

“Law 12: It is forbidden to truly smile (we suggest a mean grin instead), laugh, sing or dance.

“Law 13: You are forbidden to reason. You should obey all orders without any reasoning, thinking, or asking questions.”

The friends stood confused after listening to these rules. Finally, Theodore said, “As far as I know, laws are meant to be correct. Are you sure that your laws are correct?”
“You are reasoning too much!” said the Rat. “As far as I know, if these are laws, then you have to obey them, and it is not important if they are correct or not!”
“But I don’t want to follow such laws!” exclaimed the Lizard Queen.
“You are just the lowest category of tourist!” snapped the Rat. “And I am the authority! Your business is to obey! I am the one in charge here!”
“Okay, okay!” wise Owl stepped into the conversation. “My friends were just joking! We all agree with your laws and we will obey them!”
“This is much better!” said the Rat. “Don’t make me angrier! I am already angry enough! Here is the visa of the lowest category for you. It says ‘four persons’ and the names are not important, as long as there are four of you.”
Natasha took the visa. It was a little piece of an old, torn, dirty paper with ragged edges. It appeared to have been clumsily torn away from a big sheet of paper and that is why it was crooked. But it was still the visa! The document! And this document would enable them to stay in this country. On this document, in the Rat’s uneven handwriting, was written:
Below that were the Rat’s signature and the stamp in the shape of her paw.
Natasha took off her necklace and the medallion off Theodore. The Lizard Queen handed over her crown. The Rat took all those things without being shy and right away she put the necklace and the medallion on herself. She put the crown on her palm and gazed at it while thinking how she could use it. Then she put it on the finger of her right hand and it fit perfectly. The Rat was very happy that she now had a gold diamond ring. Then she glanced at the friends again and saw the little ball. She picked it up and read: “If you strongly believe that your wish will come true, then it will definitely come true!”
“That is correct!” the Rat commented rudely. “I wish this pretty ball was mine and I strongly believe that my wish will come true because I will just confiscate it!” and she placed the ball on her desk.
Then the Rat picked up two little papers from her desk and handed them to Natasha. “These are two tickets for you to see our most popular sites: the Wax Museum and the Royal Cemetery.”
“Thank you!” Natasha replied, as she put the papers into her pocket.
Then the Rat looked at the friends, who seemed lost. She asked, “Well, why are you still standing here? Get out before I change my mind! Do you see that door with the ‘exit’ sign above it?”
The friends went to the exit and Natasha swung the door open. A light breeze came into the room and lifted Natasha’s hair, showing Natasha’s golden earrings with small diamonds in them.
“Hey, you! Stop!” the Rat commanded. “You, girl, you forgot to give me your earrings also!”
“Oh, no! No way!” Theodore objected. “We have already paid you and you agreed with the price. That was an agreement. But now you want to charge more? That will not work. An agreement is an agreement, even in your Kingdom of Evil.”
The Rat frowned. She did not know how she could object to that. The cat was right, but then she always wanted to have golden earrings!
She showed her teeth in a grin as she replied, “Okay, fine! Then I am going to trade the necklace for them.” And then she added in a rude, commanding tone, “This is not a request! This is an order! Girl, give me your earrings, fast! And take your necklace, before I change my mind! Or otherwise I could even not let you go at all!”
Natasha took off her earrings and handed them over to the Rat. The satisfied Rat took them and handed the necklace over to Natasha. The bargaining was over and the company continued their journey.
They stepped out into a big open field at the end of which they saw a forest.

Back to the Table of Contents


Chapter 5



From the door leading into the forest was a pathway; the friends decided to take it. They were walking quietly. Suddenly, Theodore’s ears went up; he became watchful. Slowly he turned around and then pounced. Everyone saw that Theodore had caught something gray, and that something gray was squirming. They came closer and saw that he was holding a little mouse.
“Theodore, please be more careful! Don’t put so much weight on him because you might hurt him!” cried out Natasha.
Theodore lifted up one paw and the mouse screeched, “Easy, you idiot! And don’t even think about eating me! I am the royal spy and I was sent to keep an eye on you! And besides that, I am also your guide! If you harm me, you will be in big trouble!”
“Let him go,” said Natasha, and Theodore released the mouse.
Spy Mouse got up, shook the dust off and said in a prideful, disdainful voice, “You should always remember who you are and where you are!”
Then he added in a milder tone, “Since you now know that I am watching you, I no longer need to hide. Although, I was supposed to show up before you a little later, right by the Swamp of Doubts. But I hope you don’t mind my early company?”
“Oh, I guess it’s okay, since those are the laws here,” said Natasha and without thinking, she put her hands in her pockets.
Natasha had a habit; when she was nervous she would often put her hands in her pockets. In the pocket she felt something small, hard and round; she pulled it out to discover one of the hazelnuts. She had forgotten she put a bunch into her pocket just before they left home. She was about to put it back when she heard the pleading voice of Spy Mouse:
“Girl, you have a hazelnut and you don’t want to eat it? Please, give it to me! I love hazelnuts! But our Queen gives those out only two times a year, one hazelnut for each spy on her birthday and one hazelnut for each spy on the King’s birthday.”
“Well, of course you can have it!”
Natasha was about to hand the hazelnut over to Spy Mouse, but Owl interrupted her:
“Oh no, you cannot have the hazelnut so easily. But you can earn it. Tell us something about your Queen and her family.”
Of course, Spy Mouse was not supposed to do that, but he wanted that hazelnut, so he agreed, “Okay, I will tell you about the Queen! But come closer, I need to talk very quietly so nobody will hear us. The Snitch-Crow could be somewhere nearby.”
The friends came up close to Spy Mouse, who started his story.
“When our Queen, whose name is Caroline, was younger, she was not as wise as she is now. She was disobedient and stubborn. She fell in love with a handsome guy, named Michael, who was from the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. She ran away to that kingdom with Michael. They got married there and they had a son whom they named Thomas. But the father of our Queen could not accept that. She was his only child and successor. There was no one else who could inherit his Kingdom. For almost five years he kept sending threatening letters to her, repeatedly saying that she would not inherit anything from him if she did not return home. He accused her of betraying him and said how much he hated her. But none of that helped. People become different when they are in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. So to our Queen, Love had become more important than riches and power. But then our King came up with a scheme: he wrote a letter in which he said that he had become very old and ill and that he most likely would die soon. But before he died he just wanted to see his daughter, her husband and their son. He also said that he forgave her and would allow her to live in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love if she wanted to. After Caroline received this letter, she, her husband, and their young son came to visit her father. The King pretended that he was happy, but at night, when everyone was asleep, he told his servants to put the needles of envy and greed into the heart of his daughter.
“On the next day the King told his daughter that he wanted to talk to her privately. He showed her his record book, which revealed how wealthy he was, how great his kingdom was, and how many servants were under his command. Then he took her to his treasure chamber and showed her all of his gold and precious stones. And when he saw a certain spark in his daughter’s eyes, he knew that the needles of envy and greed were doing their job.
“He told her, ‘Daughter, you are the only person to whom I could give all this. But my kingdom is the Kingdom of Evil and there is no place for kindness and love here! This is why you must make a choice – either own all this and get rid of your husband, or go back to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love, live in a little house without any gold or precious stones and own nothing but the love of your husband.’
“By that time the needles in Caroline’s heart had completed their work, she no longer felt any love for her husband, so she said, ‘Of course I agree, Father! Your kingdom and your wealth are much more important to me than the love of my husband. And, besides, what is ‘Love’ anyway? It is just a word, just a fantasy. Father, forgive me for running away. I was so young and naive….Michael brainwashed me with all his talk about Love. In the Kingdom of Kindness and Love I could create anything that I wished for. I could even create a big mansion to live in, but it would look out of place. Over there, people prefer to live in small houses and possess very little. And most important, I now realize that I didn’t have any royal power there. Power is strength! I do want to be the queen, and the sooner – the better! I want to own all this wealth! I want to be the richest and most powerful person in the kingdom!’
“‘I knew that you were a smart girl, just like all of our family!’ her father told her. ‘But what should we do with your husband? He is a bad influence on you. We’ll have to think of something.’
“‘There is nothing to think about,’ Caroline smiled wickedly. ‘We will just freeze him in the Cave of Ever-Frost, and the problem will be solved! We will invite him there pretending to show him the natural beauty of our kingdom.’
“The King agreed that was a great idea, ‘Finally, you have realized that he is not a match for you! No Queen of Evil can be married to a man from the Kingdom of Kindness and Love! But we will easily correct that! I will write a divorce order and you will be free. You will find somebody more appropriate for you, somebody from our country. That is, if you so desire, of course.’
“The next day they invited Michael to see the Cave of Ever-Frost. Once they entered the cave, Caroline took out the Freezing Wand from her pocket and touched Michael with it. He instantly froze and turned into ice. He is still standing frozen there, in the Cave of Ever-Frost. Caroline convinced Thomas, their son, that his father suddenly had left and was now living in a faraway country, and did not care about either of them.
“So everything worked out well for the Queen and the King, exactly as they planned, except one problem: Caroline’s son – Prince Thomas. He was born in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. His father is also from that Kingdom. This has affected him significantly – he is very kind by nature! For our country, this is a considerable disadvantage! There are so many ideas that the King and Queen have come up with in order to change Thomas, but nothing has helped. They tried putting the needles of anger and hatred into his heart while he was asleep, but that did not help. The needles would simply melt from Thomas’s great kindness even before he would wake up! The King and Caroline have been trying unsuccessfully for years to solve this problem. They still continue to try to solve it. Tomorrow, in the King’s castle, there will be a council of the cleverest wise men. Caroline has promised a huge reward, her ruby pendant, to the person who comes up with the solution to make Prince Thomas normal, which around here means evil.
“That is the entire story, all that I know,” said Spy Mouse. “Now give me the hazelnut!”
Natasha gave him the hazelnut and he immediately started devouring it.
“That’s such a sad story!” exclaimed Natasha. “And did Thomas’s father, Michael, die in that Cave of Ever-Frost?”
“No, he is just standing there frozen,” mumbled Spy Mouse with his mouth full. “He can be brought back to life any time, it only takes a bit of energy from the Source Of Love.”
“So then why doesn’t anyone do that?” Natasha wondered.
“Because that is a great crime, punishable by death!” Spy Mouse replied.
“Well,” said the Lizard Queen, “time is short and we are wasting it! Let’s get going!”
“Let’s go!” Spy Mouse agreed. “The first site that you must visit is the Wax Museum!” Spy Mouse announced pridefully. “There is no such other wax museum anywhere in the world!”
“What makes you think that? Near the city where I live there is a wax museum! And I have been there!” Natasha objected.
“No, those are not the same wax sculptures! Our sculptures are special!” Spy Mouse insisted. “In the entire world there are no sculptures like ours! You will see for yourself!”
“Okay, let’s see. Take us there!” said Theodore.
“It is very close! Right after that meadow!” the mouse peeped and swiftly ran down the pathway toward the meadow.
The friends followed him. Once they got to a small meadow, they heard a weird noise, as if someone was unsuccessfully trying to start a moped.
“Can you hear those sounds? What is that growling?” the Lizard Queen questioned in amazement.
“I don’t have a clue,” Spy Mouse replied in confusion.
The friends passed the meadow and saw a great cliff in front of them. On the cliff was an entrance to a cave. Above the entrance there was a sign with large lettering:


At the entrance to the museum on a big, rough stool was sitting a giant-sized Rat. The Rat was sleeping, leaning against the cliff, and was snoring so loudly that the leaves were falling off of the nearby trees.
“Now I see what those sounds are!” exclaimed Spy Mouse and yelled at the Rat, “Here you are sleeping again! You shouldn’t be sleeping at work!”
The Rat jumped up and opened her eyes. “I was not sleeping! I just shut my eyes for a second!” the Rat replied impudently, once she saw that in front of her was just a little mouse and not the Chief Rat, and especially not the Queen herself.
“Are you going to the museum? And do you have a ticket?” the Rat quickly blurted out to change the subject.
“Yes, to the museum, of course!” answered Spy Mouse and then addressed Natasha, “Give her your ticket.”
Natasha reached into her pocket and pulled out the small ticket. She handed the ticket to the Rat.
The Rat took the ticket and spitefully hissed, “Welcome to our Wax Museum! I hope that you will remember it for a very long time!”
Spy Mouse led the way into the depth of the cave, swiftly moving his tiny feet. The friends followed him. The cave turned into a narrow tunnel, which was dimly lit by the burning torches on the walls. After passing the tunnel, the group came out to a spacious cave and froze. The cave was well lit by a great multitude of torches attached to the walls. The cave was filled up with a vast number of standing statues, which looked as if they were live people. All of the statues were looking at the company with frozen eyes, which were filled with terror. These statues seemed as if they were real people who couldn’t move, but with their eyes they were pleading, Help us! Please! Save us!
Defeating her fear, Natasha approached one of the statues and in horror she saw that it was not a wax figure. It was the body of a real, live man covered with a thin ice crust.
“Mouse, now tell us the truth!” Natasha whispered, overcoming her fear again. “These are not wax statues! These are real, live people, just frozen! Right?”
“Yes, you are right!” the mouse whispered back, while fearfully looking around to make sure that nobody was watching them. “But you shouldn’t let anyone know that you figured it out! It is a secret! If the Queen finds out that you know it, then she will freeze you also! And maybe even me! And here we will be, standing like statues forever.”
“Oh no! No way! We are not telling anything to anyone!” Theodore answered for all of his friends. “Thank you for warning us!”
“But why were all of these people frozen?” wondered Owl.
“For different reasons,” Spy Mouse continued whispering. “But all of them have done something that our King didn’t like….”
“So then the ex-husband of the Queen, Michael, is also among these prisoners?” Natasha asked.
“Yes, he is at the other end of the cave,” Spy Mouse answered. “Let’s go! I will show you.”
“Let’s not go there! This is already too creepy!” Natasha replied sadly. “And right now we cannot help him anyway.”
“Well, whatever you say,” Spy Mouse didn’t insist. “But one more time, I implore you, don’t tell anyone about this!”
“Don’t worry! We are not too talkative!” Owl assured the mouse.
“That’s right! Especially if it would put our lives in danger!” Theodore agreed.
“It is just too cruel to freeze live people!” the Lizard Queen sighed.
“I think that we will be able to help them when we return from the Source of Love. I am sure we will come back to this place again!” Natasha tried to cheer everybody up.
“What??? You are going to the Source of Love?” Spy Mouse exclaimed in amazement.
“Yes, we are,” Natasha assured him.
“But that is forbidden territory! You cannot go there! For our people, it is punishable by death!”
“But we are not people of your country!” Theodore objected. “Therefore we can go there!”
“By the way, girl, what is your name? And how old are you?” Spy Mouse suddenly changed the subject.
“My name is Natasha and I am ten years old,” Natasha replied.
“Oh! Wow! That’s exactly what I thought!” Spy Mouse worriedly whispered to himself. “I suspected right away that there was something wrong here! This is that girl! So the prophecy was real! Soon will come the end to all of us! This is terrible! This is so terrible! I should notify the Queen about it! Or maybe I should not….”
“What are you whispering there, mouse?” Owl questioned.
“Oh, nothing. I just remembered something,” Spy Mouse replied in confusion, and then quickly added, trying to change the topic, “Well, the museum trip is over, so let’s go back!”
The mouse led the way back to the exit and everyone followed him. Outside by the entrance the guard Rat was waiting for them.
She saw the friends leaving the museum and asked them, “How was it? Did you like our museum? Those statues look so real, as if they are live! In the entire world there are no other statues like these!”
“That is true,” Owl agreed. “Nowhere in the entire world….”

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Chapter 6



The friends continued down the forest path and soon they came to the shore of a large swamp.
“This is the Swamp of Doubts,” said Spy Mouse. “There is only one way of getting across – to walk on the back of Pete the Dragon. He lives in this swamp and during the day he usually sleeps. If we walk on his back very gently and cautiously, then, most likely, he will not wake up.”
“Is this dragon dangerous?” the Lizard Queen asked.
“Of course he is dangerous!” exclaimed Spy Mouse. “He is gigantic and brainless! And what could be more frightening than a huge and stupid monster? The only thing good about him is that he is very lazy and he sleeps twenty hours a day; because of this there is less chance that he will wake up. But, if he does wake up, then we can give him branches from the Sleepy Tree. He will eat those with pleasure and go back to sleep again. Let’s go, I will show you where the tree grows.”
Spy Mouse came to one of the trees that looked like a maple tree and said, “This is the Sleepy Tree. Take as many branches as you can hold.”
The tree was not very tall. Natasha was able to easily reach the branches, so she started picking them. Theodore and the Lizard Queen climbed up on the tree and started picking the smallest limbs and Owl was breaking off the limbs with his beak while hovering in the air.
“Okay, I think that these branches should be enough,” said Spy Mouse. “Quick, let’s go!”
The friends hurried back to the swamp. When they came near the shore, they saw little bumps sticking out above the surface of the water.
“Those bumps are the dragon’s back, or actually the top of his spine,” said Spy Mouse, “and the rest of him is down in the swamp below the surface. Walk on these bumps like steps, but again, be very careful.”
Spy Mouse went first. He was jumping from one bump to another swiftly and skillfully, as if he had been doing this his entire life. Theodore and the Lizard Queen followed him. They did fairly well also.
“I can just fly across! Why should I bother with walking?” said Owl, and he did just that.
Natasha was the last one to go. She was slowly and carefully stepping from one bump to another. She reached the middle of the swamp. The dragon was still sleeping. But when she had almost come to the end of the swamp, the dragon woke up and the bumps started swaying. From the swamp the dragon’s huge head, which was attached to an elongated neck, slowly rose.
“Who is it that dares to bother my sleep?” roared the dragon in a thunderous, deafening voice. Flames shot out of his mouth and singed some of Theodore’s fur. The dragon’s body shivered with fury and it shook the friends viciously. Natasha, Theodore and Spy Mouse miraculously were able to hold on and not fall into the swamp, but the Lizard Queen was not so fortunate, and she fell. Owl, who was watching, swooped down quickly, snatched her with his claws and carried her to dry land.
The dragon’s head came right next to the friends and all of them were frightened when they saw his huge eyes, which were glowing with a blazing light. Locked in fear, Natasha wasn’t able to move at all.
“I will tear everyone into little pieces!” the dragon roared. “Or even better, I will swallow all of you without even chewing!”
He picked up the cat with his sharp teeth, threw him up in the air, opened his dreadful mouth, and swallowed poor Theodore. Then his head started slowly moving toward Natasha.
Natasha realized that it was time for her to act. She overcame her fear and in a confident voice she said, “Dear Dragon Pete! Please, don’t get angry at us! We have brought food for you. These are the branches from the Sleepy Tree. I know that you like these! And please, forgive us for walking across your back as if it was a bridge. We were doing so only because there is no other way for us to get across.”
The dragon suddenly choked, started coughing, and spit out Theodore right before Natasha’s feet. The poor cat with wet, singed fur looked pitiful. However, he was alive and sound, even though he was very afraid.
“Hmm. ‘Dear’!” the dragon said thoughtfully. “Nobody has ever called me that before! Even though everyone is constantly loitering here, walking back and forth, back and forth across my back. Sometimes they might feed me a few branches, but nobody has ever said a kind word to me before this!”
The dragon sighed and added, “Well, thank you for the kind words, folks, and thank you for the breakfast. However, I cannot chew. Something sharp is stuck between my teeth; every time I try to chew, I roar from pain. I haven’t eaten anything for three days.”
Pete the Dragon put his head down and started crying. Giant tears, the size of chicken eggs, rolled out of his eyes.
“Calm down, don’t cry! I can help you there,” Owl reassured the dragon. “Just don’t breathe fire on me, or I will not be able to fly anymore!”
“I am not going to breathe at all!” replied the dragon and opened his giant mouth.
Owl flew up to the dragon, into his mouth, and disappeared in it. After a few seconds he flew back out, holding a large spike in his beak.
Owl dropped the spike into the swamp and asked Pete the Dragon, “Now, do you recall what it was that you ate? The spike was so big, I was barely able to pull it out.”
“Three days ago I was eating the leaves of the spiky palm tree,” replied the dragon. “It has spikes on the stems, but not on the leaves. I always eat these leaves very carefully, trying not to bite any stems. But I guess I did bite off a little more than I planned that day. Thank you very much! You have really helped me!”
Then the dragon turned to the cat and said in a guilty voice, “And you, please forgive me for almost eating you, and for burning your fur! But don’t worry, you will grow new fur soon.”
The dragon then turned to Natasha, “I believe that you were saying something about food?”
Natasha quickly handed the branches to the dragon and he chewed them with pleasure. Spy Mouse also gave him his branches. When the dragon had finished his breakfast, he yawned and said, “Thank you again! Well, okay. You can keep going and I will go back to sleep.”
His head slowly disappeared under the water and his body froze still. As Pete the dragon slumbered, the friends safely reached the other side.
The group went a bit farther and in the distance they saw a little river with a beautiful wrought iron bridge across it.
“What a pretty bridge!” Natasha exclaimed.
“Yes, it is very pretty, but it is also very mean,” Spy Mouse murmured. “It is the Antagonist Bridge.”
“What does antagonist mean?” wondered Theodore.
“Antagonist means opposite,” Spy Mouse explained. “As black is opposite to white, night is opposite to day, and in the same way evil is opposite to kindness. This bridge is very evil and only those who are very evil can cross it. It does not let kind people go across because kindness and evil are antagonistic. It will not let you cross, since you are kind. I don’t know what we should do!”
“Maybe we could try to get very angry somehow before crossing the bridge?” the Lizard Queen suggested.
“You could try that, but you need to become extremely angry!” Spy Mouse replied.
“I will go first,” Natasha said. “I will recall some unhappy memory from my life, become very angry, and go across. Here, I think I remember one!”
Natasha stepped on the bridge. It looked like it was made of solid metal. But after she took a couple of steps, the bridge started tossing her up in the air, coming at her from underneath, as if the bridge was made of rubber. The thrusts were similar to an earthquake, except that they were far more intense. The last push was so strong that Natasha flew up high in the air, flipped over and fell down onto the sand.
“Oh no! Are you hurt?” the Lizard Queen asked with concern.
“No, luckily the sand is very soft,” Natasha answered.
“You are very lucky that you fell on the sand and not into the river!” Spy Mouse exclaimed. “There are little piranha living in this river. And if you fall in they will eat you completely in less than five minutes! Even though these fish are small, there are many of them and they have very sharp teeth. That is why this river is called the Biting River.”
“So what can we do? How can we cross to the other side?” Natasha frowned.
“Yes, that really is a problem!” Spy Mouse said. “The bridge will let me go across, but what about you?”
“I know!” the wise Owl exclaimed. “We can do this: I will carry Theodore and the Lizard Queen to the other side. Spy Mouse will cross over the bridge. On the other side we will make a raft out of the tree branches that grow there by tying them with vines. Then we will come back for Natasha with the raft and bring her over to the other side.”
“That is such a great idea! Good job!” Theodore agreed with Owl. Then he told the mouse, “Well, Spy, you go across this bridge and we will see what will happen.”
Spy Mouse came up to the bridge and swiftly ran across it. The bridge did not move at all.
“Yes, it does recognize its own kind,” Theodore said maliciously, “but I don’t want to take any chances.” So he told Owl, “Go ahead, my friend, carry me over as you have promised!”
Owl carefully picked up Theodore with his talons and began slowly carrying him over the river. Theodore was a well-fed cat and it was difficult for Owl to hold him. Owl was flying very low, right above the water on the right side of the bridge. When they had reached the middle of the river the bridge suddenly broke its front pillars loose from the ground and stood up like a stubborn horse. The bridge bent to the right toward Owl and started kicking with its pillars like a stubborn wild stallion kicking the air with its hoofs. The bridge hit Owl with an iron pillar. This powerful strike made Owl lose his balance, and he dropped the cat. Theodore was suddenly falling down toward the water. He was frightened when he saw a great multitude of piranha in the river. The largest of them was opening up its jaws wide, with white teeth gleaming, in anticipation of a meal. Theodore noticed that one of the teeth was broken. The frightened cat closed his eyes. But Owl quickly recovered, swooped down and grabbed the cat at the moment when Theodore’s tail just barely touched the water. Owl started rising up in the air together with the cat. At the tip of Theodore’s tail was a piranha hanging and flapping in the air. The cat was shaking his tail feverishly, trying to get rid of the fish, but the piranha was biting down even harder. Finally, the fish was no longer able to hold on and fell back into the water.
The bridge turned toward Owl again, trying to hit him with the pillars, but Owl was able to dodge it by quickly turning right. The exhausted Owl reached the opposite shore and collapsed on the sand together with Theodore. The bridge set its pillars back in place and froze as if none of this had happened.
“Your bridge is way too vicious!” Theodore informed Spy Mouse.
“That was completely your fault, I warned you that you need to become extremely angry before crossing,” Spy Mouse said, shaking his little paw at him. He turned to Owl and said, “When you go back for the Lizard Queen stay far away from the bridge. Don’t be fooled just because it is calm now.”
“Yes, I have already learned that,” Owl replied and flew back for the Lizard Queen, keeping quite a wide distance from the bridge. The bridge did not move at all and Owl successfully carried the Lizard Queen to the other side.
“Now we need to make a raft,” Owl said. “I know how to do that. It is just like making a nest. We need many thick branches and some vines.”
Spy Mouse started chewing off the large tree branches with his sharp teeth, and the cat, the lizard and Owl were tying them together with vines. Soon the raft was ready and they crossed the river for Natasha, using branches as oars, as they steered clear of the bridge.
Natasha carefully stepped onto the raft and sat on the edge. The travelers headed to the other side of the river. When they had almost reached the shore, a small wave slightly rocked the raft. As it tilted, Natasha tried to grab the edge with her right hand in order to keep her balance. Her fingers slipped into the water. She screamed and pulled her hand back. On her middle finger there was a piranha hanging, champing onto her finger with its sharp teeth. It was the fish with a broken tooth again. Natasha shook her arm, trying to get rid of it. But the hungry fish was only shaking its tail, it was not letting go of her finger. In an instant, Theodore jumped up, bit off the piranha’s body all the way up to its head and swallowed it. The fish’s dead head continued hanging on Natasha’s finger for a few seconds more. Then the jaws released and the head fell into the river.
“Thank you, Theodore!” Natasha said with relief.
“There is no need for gratitude,” Theodore answered, “But this fish tasted terrible! It was very bitter. I am afraid that it might give me indigestion! By the way, it was the same piranha that tried to eat me, but instead it got eaten by me!”
“That is called irony,” Owl noted.
“Maybe for you it is called irony, but for me it is called lunch!” Theodore winked.
The raft made it to the shore and the friends jumped out on the sand.

Back to the Table of Contents


Chapter 7




After resting for a short while, the small group continued their journey. They passed through a gray forest and came to a town. On the side of the road there was a sign that read: “The Town of Injustice.”
“That’s a friendly name,” quipped Theodore.
The company entered the town and they were amazed to find that on the right side of the road there were beautiful mansions, constructed mostly of marble and crystal. But on the left side of the road there were little old shacks with hay roofs. It also seemed very unusual that many of the mansions had their windows and doors boarded up as if there was nobody living there.
“Why are these houses closed up?” Natasha questioned Spy Mouse.
“Because the owners have died. And the rest of the wealthy people will soon die off too. Most of them don’t have any heirs. These people are afraid to fall in love because they don’t want to get married. They don’t want to share their wealth in case of divorce. They are in the ‘Trap of Property.’ All wealthy people in our country are very greedy. Our Queen has turned them that way with the needles from the Tree of Evil in order to keep them away from LOVE. So, when they get old, they die lonely and their property becomes the Queen’s. Even though some may get married, they do not want to have children. Children are very expensive. They need to be fed, dressed and sent to school. About five years ago some people did have children and the Queen was not pleased. The children are the successors, and after their parents’ death they inherit the property and the Queen gets nothing. Our Queen is very shrewd, so she came up with new decree: ‘A wealthy family that does not have any children, gets the reward of one big ruby every year, but a wealthy family that does have children, must pay every year the penalty of a big ruby for every child they have.’
“Of course this law caused a big difference in people’s behavior. Now, wealthy people don’t have any children. And, sooner or later, the Queen will get all of their wealth, including the rubies that she gave out as rewards for their childlessness. Yes, our Queen is very shrewd!”
Near one of the beautiful houses, which appeared to be much more expensive and bigger than the rest, was a lovely carved marble bench. Sitting on it was a sorrowful old man, staring off into the distance with a grim, indifferent look on his face.
“Whose house is this?” asked Natasha. “It is much bigger than any of the other houses! And who is that sad old man on the bench?”
“He is the wealthiest man in the Kingdom of Evil,” reported Spy Mouse. “He owns a diamond mine! He is very old. There was a time when he was married, but the Queen would not accept that. She was very afraid that they might have children, who would inherit the diamond mine. So she came up with a ruse – she invited them both to her ball. At the ball, the Queen brought a glass of wine to his wife, and when she took the wine, the Queen, ‘accidentally-on-purpose,’ pushed her slightly and made her spill the entire glass on the Queen’s dress. This drew everybody’s attention and the Queen acted like she was very offended. The man’s wife was arrested for insulting the Queen, and she was imprisoned for life in the Tower of Loneliness. So this man, the owner of the largest diamond mine, is alone now and the Queen is impatiently waiting for him to die. Yes, it is not always a good thing to be wealthy in our land; wealthy people have their own problems.”
“And what do the poor people do?” asked Natasha.
“The majority of the poor people are working in the mines – they are excavating diamonds, gold, rubies and other precious stones for our Queen. And they get very low wages because the Queen is a miser.”
“Can the poor people fall in love?” wondered Owl. “Since they are not in the ‘trap of property’?”
“What are you saying!” retorted the Spy Mouse. “Nobody can feel love in our country! Everything is designed to prevent love. The poor are in a different kind of trap – the trap of envy and anger! They envy the rich and are angry at them because of their own poverty. That is how they are kept under control! The principle of control is simple: the three negative feelings – greed, envy and anger – will never let LOVE get close to people with those traits. Yes, our Queen is very crafty!”
“But why are there no people on the streets? The only person we have seen is that old man,” the Lizard Queen noted.
“The poor neighborhood people are all at work and their children are either in school or in daycare centers,” Spy Mouse explained. “And the wealthy prefer to stay inside their homes. They don’t like to associate with their neighbors. All neighbors hate each other and this is why they believe that it is better for them not to meet their neighbors at all. It is common in our land for all people to hate each other. The wealthy despise the poor because of their poverty. The poor despise the wealthy because they envy their riches. All of the wealthy hate each other and all of the poor hate each other simply because they are mean and because hatred is our usual way of feeling.”
The friends quickly passed through the Town of Injustice and entered a deep forest. Natasha noticed that the trees had color; they were green again, as was the grass. And in the grass were yellow and red flowers. She looked up and saw that the sky was blue.
“The trees are green! The colorless land is over!” Natasha exclaimed. “Have we arrived in a different kingdom?”
“No, we are still in the Kingdom of Evil,” the mouse replied. “But the colors are here because the Neutral Territory is nearby. It has a very bad influence on our kingdom, and our Queen doesn’t like it, but there is nothing we can do about it….Even though that would not be any of your business. I brought you here to show you another unique site of our kingdom, the Royal Cemetery! We are almost there. Do you see that brick building in the distance?”
Everybody turned in the direction where Spy Mouse pointed and saw a small building made of red brick. There was something odd about the building.
“That is weird! Why doesn’t that building have any windows?” Theodore wondered.
“Because that building is a cemetery. Dead people don’t need windows!” an annoyed Mouse replied.
“But that building is so small! It is very hard to believe that the building is actually a cemetery,” Theodore continued reasoning.
“Oh, don’t worry! Once we get there you will believe it!” the mouse commented mysteriously.
The company finally reached the building and above the entrance they saw a sign:


Spy mouse pressed a hidden button, which was down in the ground, and the entrance door opened. Behind the door, absolute darkness sprawled. Suddenly, out of the darkness walked a giant Rat, even bigger than all of the previous Rats.
The Rat glanced at the company with her sleepy eyes and angrily asked, “What do you want?”
“As if you don’t know what we want!” Spy Mouse angrily replied. “The tourists came to see the Royal Cemetery. And you are sleeping again! As always! Someday I am going to tell the Queen that you’re always sleeping at your job, maybe then you will learn how to talk more politely to me, as well as to the tourists!”
The Rat tried to correct the situation. With a big grin on her face she announced, “Dear tourists! Welcome to the Royal Cemetery! I hope this site will stun you so much that you will remember it for the rest of your lives!”
Then she turned away and quietly, so nobody could hear her, added, “That is, of course, if you survive.”
The Rat pressed a hidden button on the wall and the building became illuminated by dim light. Everyone noticed that there wasn’t much inside the building. It was just a small room with a desk in the middle and a big comfortable chair behind it. On top of the chair were a pillow and a blanket.
Suddenly a loud rattle sounded. A rollup door opened behind the Rat’s back.
“Please, take this elevator! It will bring you to the underground, where the cemetery is located. Your guide will give you a tour. Enjoy!” The Rat spitefully grinned.
Spy Mouse stepped inside the small elevator and the rest of the company followed him. The Rat closed the elevator doors and the elevator started descending slowly, shaking and rattling. Soon the elevator stopped and the travelers came out to a great underground cave. The cave was lit with a dull fluorescent green light. The walls of the cave, the ceiling and the floor seemed to glow. Along the walls were tall rectangular boxes, which also seemed to glow with green light.
“These are the former kings and queens of the Kingdom of Evil!” Spy Mouse announced with pride.
Natasha looked at the boxes more carefully. Her eyes finally adjusted to the dim light and she noticed that these were not just plain glowing boxes, these were crystal coffins, filled with a greenish liquid. Inside the coffins were the royal ancestors. It seemed strange that the coffins were about twice the width of what usual coffins should be. Also it seemed strange that the coffins were standing up instead of resting on the floor.
“This cave is the resting place to eleven royal generations,” Spy Mouse continued speaking. “The right side of the cave is where the kings are placed, and on the left side are the queens. The first king here on the right is Zorber the Vicious. Back when he ruled the kingdom, his name alone would put all of the kingdom’s people in fear, rich and poor. Let’s have a closer look!”
The friends came up right next to the coffin with hesitation. Inside the coffin there was standing a tall man, dressed in royal clothes with a mantle on his shoulders. The greenish liquid, with which the coffin was filled, was slightly glowing and it was giving green color to the man’s face. His hair was slightly moving with the currents. In his hands he was holding a squirming snake, which was opening and shutting its mouth, showing sharp fangs.
Suddenly Zorber the Vicious opened his eyes, which glowed with red light. He angrily grinned and a ghost flew out of him. The ghost looked exactly like Zorber. It flew in circles above the travelers, who were rooted in fear and couldn’t move.
“You are too kind! You should not be kind at all! You will be executed for your kindness!” the ghost spitefully hissed. “Your heads will be chopped off! Become evil now! Being evil will save your lives!”
The ghost was holding the snake in his hand. He took the snake, made a loop out of it, and threw the loop over Natasha’s neck, trying to choke her. Natasha tried to wave the ghost away, and it flew up higher, away from Natasha. After making a few circles, the ghost returned back to the body of Zorber the Vicious and everything became silent again.
“What was it? A real ghost?” Natasha asked, shaking from fear.
“That is a secret that I cannot tell you.” Spy Mouse dodged the question.
“Your secrets are pretty obvious! Those had to be special effects! All of you enjoy scaring people here!” Theodore said.
“That is correct. Scaring people is very common to our Kingdom. It is easier to control those who are in fear!” Spy Mouse agreed. “And that’s why they are trying to scare you here! Are you afraid yet? Should we continue the excursion or not?” Spy Mouse challenged.
“Let’s continue,” Natasha replied, accepting the challenge.
Natasha was indeed frightened, but she didn’t want to give into her fear and surrender before the powers of evil. She remembered what the Intuition Fairy told her, Defeat your fear!
“Okay, let’s continue with the excursion then,” Spy Mouse agreed. “The first queen on the left is Liesa the Hateful, the wife of Zorber the Vicious. She was well known for her hatred. She hated everyone, even her children. Liesa the Hateful and Zorber the Vicious are the grandparents of our Queen. Let’s get closer for a better look!”
The friends came up and through the greenish liquid they saw a short lady dressed in beautiful royal clothes. In her hands she was holding a crystal ball. The crystal ball had something inside, and that something was moving. Natasha took a closer look at the crystal ball and noticed that it was filled with big moving spiders. Liesa the Hateful suddenly opened her eyes, which were red and glowing. Then a ghost flew out of Liesa also. Liesa the ghost hovered above the travelers and opened her crystal ball. Out of the ball the spiders fell out on Natasha and her friends. The friends tried to brush and shake the spiders off, but all of their attempts were in vain, since the spiders were also ghosts.
“I hate the kind! I will have all of you executed! Death to all the kind!” Liesa hissed, while flying above the company.
Then she flew back inside her body. The spiders also disappeared. Everything became quiet again.
“Let’s continue our excursion,” Spy Mouse said.
“No, let’s not!” the Lizard Queen disagreed. “This excursion isn’t too enjoyable.”
“I agree, we better go back,” Theodore nodded along with the Lizard Queen. “This is not an excursion that we would choose.”
“He-he! I’m sorry, but we cannot go back,” Spy Mouse sneered. “The elevator can go up only when it is empty. It doesn’t have any power to pull passengers back. This is the way this cemetery is made. We have to go through the entire cemetery and take another elevator at the end.”
“Okay, then let’s run!” Natasha suggested and started racing down the pathway between the two rows of the standing coffins, heading toward the other end of the cave.
The rest of the company followed her. Out of the corpses, when the travelers were passing them, ghosts were flying and chasing the travelers.
The ghosts kept on screaming, “Destroy them! Cut their heads off! Cut them in pieces! Hang them!”
But the friends continued forward. Soon they reached the other end of the cave and stopped in front of the elevator doors. The ghosts also stopped, hanging above the travelers.
“This is terrible! They really are very kind! How unspeakable!” Liesa the Hateful complained to her husband.
“I hate the kind!” replied Zorber the Vicious. “They ruined even our great grandson Thomas! Soon there will be nobody suitable to rule our kingdom!”
“Wait! This is that girl from the prophecy! I can sense her awful kindness!” exclaimed Liesa the Hateful and screamed at Natasha, “Get out of our kingdom!”
In Liesa’s right hand appeared a sword and in her left appeared a spear. She attacked Natasha, trying to stab her with the spear and slash her with the sword, but the ghost weapons went right through Natasha without causing her harm. However, it was still very frightening. The rest of the ghosts also attacked Natasha and her friends.
“Leave her alone!” Owl stood up for Natasha. “You get out of here!”
He began flying through them, trying to peck at them with his beak. Theodore and the Lizard Queen were swinging their paws in the air, trying to fight back the ghosts.
“Don’t worry about them, leave them alone, they are not real. They cannot harm us,” Natasha calmly replied. “Besides that, I am not afraid of them at all!”
All of this time Natasha was standing still without moving. Then she suddenly smiled.
“How impudent! She even smiles!” Liesa the Hateful screamed. “Get out of here now, you filthy girl! You are not welcome in our kingdom!”
“Oh no!” Zorber the Vicious objected. “Let her stay here! Hopefully our granddaughter, Caroline, will do something about this girl. And it is time for us to return to the 66th realm. We are late by almost one hour! The Purples will be angry.”
“Oh! That’s right! You are correct!” his wife agreed.
The two ghosts disappeared. The rest returned to their bodies, and shut their glowing red eyes. Silence reigned once again.
“Our excursion through the Royal Cemetery is over! Congratulations!” Spy Mouse announced.
Then he pressed the elevator button, which was hidden down on the floor. The elevator doors opened.
“Why do you congratulate us?” wondered Theodore, as the company stepped inside.
“None of you died of fear! Congratulations!” Spy Mouse clarified.
“Why? Has that ever happened? Has someone died here before?” the Lizard Queen asked in horror.
“All kinds of things have happened here before.” Spy Mouse dodged the question.
“What is the 66th realm, and who are the Purples?” Natasha asked.
“You are asking something you shouldn’t know!” Spy Mouse angrily replied.
The elevator arrived at the top. The doors opened and the company came out into the forest, not too far from the pathway. The elevator doors closed. Everyone looked back and saw that the elevator was hidden in a hollow of a huge tree and it was camouflaged so well that it was impossible to notice it from the outside.
Spy Mouse suddenly stopped and said, “If you give me another hazelnut, I will tell you some very important information!”
Natasha checked her pockets, took out another hazelnut and gave it to Spy Mouse. He ate it very quickly.
Feeling satisfied, he sprawled out on the grass. The friends sat down around him, and Spy Mouse continued. “Today, in about twenty minutes at the King’s palace, they will assemble the council of the cleverest wise men. Two issues will be discussed there. The first issue is, ‘How to help Prince Thomas to become normal,’ which means evil. Second issue is, ‘Solving the problem of the robbers.’”
“Robbers? What robbers are you talking about?” Theodore rolled his eyes.
“Some of the poor people, who are tired of working for low pay and without weekends off, run away to the forest and become robbers. The numbers are growing rapidly. They do not work and they do not pay taxes, but the worst thing about them is that they rob the rich.”
“And they pass the money out to the poor?” Natasha guessed.
“No! Why would they pass their money out?” Spy Mouse asked with amazement. “They pass the money to their chieftain, and he decides what to do with it. He keeps most of the money for himself, and from the rest he generously gives a salary to his robbers, while he is building up the town in their forest, making their life more comfortable.”
“So, he really keeps most of the money for himself?” Owl frowned.
“Yes, of course! He is the chieftain, which means the boss!” Spy Mouse explained. “But the robbers’ salary from their chieftain is four times greater than the salary they used to get at the diamond mines. They are satisfied with their lives. But the wealthy are very much afraid of the robbers. Now, even the Queen is afraid of them, she has even stopped going through the forest. They are becoming a big problem.”
“And how do you know all these details?” queried Theodore. “It would seem that this information should be kept as an important secret.”
“But, you forget I am a spy! This is my profession and my talent!” Spy Mouse said proudly. “My father and my grandfather were spies also, so I am a third-generation spy! And I know many things because I am a good spy. But if the Queen would reward me for being a good spy, or at least feed me well, then I would never give out such information for just two hazelnuts.”
“I see…” mused Owl. “It does not sound like a good idea to keep the spy so hungry.”
“By the way, you can find out exactly what they decide at the meeting,” continued the Spy Mouse. “Owl can fly there and listen. It will not be hard to do. The King’s palace is located very close by, on the right side of this pathway. On the top floor there is a large round window that is always left ajar. But you will need to hurry – the council will be convening soon!”
“Okay, I will fly there right now!” said Owl as he flapped his wings and took off.

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Chapter 8



Owl did not have to fly very long before he spotted the palace. It was built of crystal and marble. The marble columns were encrusted with huge diamonds. He found the big round window right away, and just like the Spy Mouse said, the window really was left ajar. He landed on the window opening and peered inside. It was a bright large hall. In the center of the room was a large table with many chairs around it. The Queen and King were already sitting there and talking quietly. Owl started listening carefully.
“You see, daughter,” said the King, “you gave birth to a son who only gives us problems! We have been trying to make him normal, evil, for many years, but to no avail! And the boy is growing; tomorrow he will be eleven years old! What if he stays as kind as he is now? Then what would we do? We cannot pass the Kingdom of Evil onto the hands of a kind successor!”
“We still have time, Father! We will come up with something!” exclaimed Caroline. “Let’s hear what our cleverest advisors have to say. I have not fed them for three days, so they should be ready to think.”
The main door of the chamber opened, and the advisors shuffled in, bowed to the King and to his daughter, and seated themselves at the table.
“Let’s not waste any time! Let’s start the meeting now!” commanded the King. “These questions are serious and they need to be resolved as quickly as possible! Let’s start with the first problem: How to make Prince Thomas evil.”
The King gazed at the man on his left and said, “So, First Advisor, what do you suggest?”
The First Advisor, an old, tall, skinny man with a long nose, stood up and said, “I think we should try shock therapy!”
“What is that?” the King asked in a surprised voice. “Explain it.”
“It is very simple!” continued the First Advisor. “The Prince should be hit on the head with a wooden bat, but not too hard. If the strike is too hard, it could make the Prince stupid. The strike should be of medium strength with a bat of an average weight, so that the Prince will become only slightly stupid, so it will be much easier to manipulate him.”
“What are you saying? You’re an idiot!” roared the King in anger. “What if you get hit with an average-size bat on your stupid, bald head? I would really enjoy seeing that!”
“And another thing,” the Queen broke in, “how do you expect a stupid prince to rule the Kingdom of Evil after he grows up and becomes a stupid king?”
“Very easy!” blurted out the First Advisor. “Ruling the Kingdom does not require brains!”
“For an average kingdom, probably not,” the Queen commented. “But in order to rule our kingdom, the Kingdom of Evil, it does require a very smart and shrewd king, otherwise we would not survive! It looks like you forgot the biggest secret of our Kingdom: KINDNESS IS STRONGER THAN EVIL! Did you also forget that our mission is to spread evil and hatred everywhere? And in order to do that we need to be very inventive, always coming up with new methods and ideas on how to do it! Our highest goal is to defeat kindness. And a stupid king could never do that! So, your suggestion is unacceptable!”
The First Advisor sank back into his chair, his shoulders slumped.
“What can the Second Advisor suggest about this problem?” asked the King.
The Second Advisor was a tall, husky old man with fiery red hair and beard. His whole face was covered in freckles.
“I have an excellent suggestion!” he said. “We should show all of the Kingdom’s riches to the Prince. We should take him on an excursion to the diamond mines, then take him to the vault and show him all the diamonds, the gold and all of the King’s wealth. I am sure that seeing all these riches will create greed in him. And after greed, the feelings of hatred and anger always follow.”
“You are sure but I am not!” the Queen argued. “Don’t you know that kind people cannot be greedy? You have the statement mixed up! Hatred and anger come first, always followed by greed! Greedy people are not necessarily hateful or angry. If we could make him angry first, then he would become greedy very fast! But how can we make him angry? That is the question! Your suggestion is not accepted!”
The Second Advisor fell back into his chair, his head down.
“What would be the Third Advisor’s suggestion?” asked the King.
The Third Advisor was also an old man. He was short, bald and obese. His entire face was covered with warts.
He stood up and said, “I would suggest the propaganda of violence! We should show him scary movies, full of blood and gore! Gore and more gore! Read him stories about violence and murder.”
“What is wrong with you? Why are you so absent-minded?” asked the amazed Queen. “Don’t you remember that we did all those things back when he was five years old? It did not make him evil; it did not even cause any fear; it only made the Prince bored. He would often yawn while watching those scary movies. We even tried putting cockroaches in his room, hoping he would smash them. Instead, he would put each cockroach on his palm and play with it. Then he would open the window and put the insect outside without causing it any harm! Your suggestion is not accepted!”
“What can the Fourth Advisor suggest?” asked the King, who was running short of patience.
The Fourth Advisor was a very old, thin, short man. He was considered the wisest and for the King and his daughter, the Fourth Advisor was their last hope.
He rose slowly and spoke. “Loneliness and imprisonment, those are the two things that can help our Prince. It has been known for a long time that loneliness hardens even the kindest hearts! If a person is lonely for a long time, then kindness slowly dies out of their heart. My suggestion is to imprison the Prince in the Tower of Loneliness where we keep our privileged prisoners. We could imprison him alone on the uppermost turret. We would supply all of the amenities, and even feed him well. He could have walks on the roof whenever he wants, since the roof is flat. But he shall not be allowed to see anyone! I believe that this is the only thing that will help him.”
“Hmm, that could possibly help,” commented the Queen. “I think we should try that. Your suggestion is accepted! Especially since there aren’t any better suggestions.”
“Good! Now let’s discuss the problem of the robbers,” commanded the King. “You know that many poor people join the robbers because they are not satisfied with their lives. There is a large group of them already. They rob the wealthy. But the worst thing is that it is very hard to get to them. They live in the Neutral Territory. This territory is located near the Kingdom of Kindness and Love and it makes everyone kinder. This is why I am afraid to send my warrior Rats over there. If my warrior Rats become kind then we will be without any troops. More and more poor people are running away to that place. If this continues then we will have nobody to work in our mines. This is a serious problem and it should be resolved as quickly as possible. What can the First Advisor suggest to us?”
The First Advisor stood up and with a serious expression he said, “I have three words: fines, fines and again, fines! Those whose relatives join the robbers, should pay very big fines.”
“This will not help! It does not even make sense!” interrupted the Queen. “Their relatives don’t have any money. They have not even paid off all of the previous fines yet. The amount of our fines is much greater than the amount of their pay. This suggestion is not accepted. What can the Second Advisor now offer?”
The Second Advisor stood up, and with an angry expression he said, “I believe that a new law should be created. This law should state: ‘The death penalty will be imposed on all those who run away!’”
“Well, before executing them we need to catch them first,” objected the Queen, “and besides that, usually only the bravest men run away. They are not afraid of anything. This suggestion is not accepted. What can the Third Advisor tell us?”
The Third Advisor was dozing off when he heard his name. He jumped up and rapidly answered, “We should send all of the warrior Rats to battle the robbers! Our troops are the best in the world and cannot be defeated! Our King and Queen are the wisest! Long live our King and Queen!”
The King and the Queen looked at him then at each other and then at him again. Finally the Queen said, “You should sleep at home, not at the meeting. Didn’t you hear what the King just said? While you were snoozing, he said that it is very dangerous to send our Rat warriors to the Neutral Territory. Even the meanest of the Rats can become kind and might end up joining the robbers. Your suggestion is not accepted, if it could even be considered a suggestion.”
“What can the Fourth Advisor offer us?” asked the King.
The Fourth Advisor got up and said in a confident voice, “Raise the birthrate in the poor families and give out one ruby for the birth of each child. And also slightly raise the wages of the mine workers.”
“What is wrong with you?” huffed the Queen. “That is too much spending! I don’t want to give up so much!”
“Sometimes we need to sacrifice a little so we do not lose everything,” the Fourth Advisor said patiently, “but this does not apply to you because you will lose very little and only temporarily. It will pay off in the long run. Let me explain. The poor need to have at least a little money. This will keep them in the ‘Trap of Property.’ This trap is very hard to get out of. And most important of all, it will keep them from running away because they will have something that they do not want to lose. Nobody ever runs away from money. Money and other material things are the biggest trap! Your workers run away because they have nothing to lose. And in order to make them more compliant and to keep them under control, you need to allow them some material things. But you, Your Highness, will only gain from this. When they have children they will need to pay for food, schools, medical and clothing. And since all of the schools, stores and hospitals belong to you, you will get all of that money back. So it will work in this way: The right hand will be giving and the left hand will be taking back. And also you need to declare that you will forgive all those robbers who will return to work in the mines again.”
“Yes, you are right!” said the Queen. “Why didn’t I think of this idea before?”
“Also,” continued the Fourth Advisor, “more children from the poor families will mean more workers for the mines in the future and more diamonds will be brought into the treasury.”
“I am very proud of you!” the Queen exclaimed.
She took off her ruby pendant, approached the Fourth Advisor and placed it around his neck.
“You have earned this! I always knew that we could count on you, that you are the wisest in our Kingdom!”
“Enough! The meeting is over!” commanded the King and then he instructed his daughter, “So tomorrow we will put the Prince in the Tower of Loneliness.”
“I believe we should do this the day after tomorrow!” countered the Queen of Evil. “Some tourists have arrived and are visiting us. There are four of them. We need to find out what they are up to, find out who they are, what their true goals are and we need to decide what to do with them. Besides, Prince Thomas has his birthday tomorrow. We will have the ball in order to celebrate the event. We will also invite the tourists. This way we can learn everything about them.”
“I agree,” said the King. “One day either way will not make much difference. And now everyone must leave! The meeting is over! It is late and it is time to go to sleep.”
The advisors got up from their chairs, bowed to the King and Queen and left the room.
The Father King and Caroline were left alone. They stood up and went over to the fireplace. The fireplace was very great and beautiful, with a roaring fire giving warmth. On top of the mantel were two giant antique candelabrums with three candles in each. The candelabrums were made of pure gold. Above the fireplace there was a large painting hanging on the wall, showing a lake with some creature sticking its fish-snake head out of the water.
Suddenly all of the six candles lit up. The Father King pushed one of the candelabrums and the painting flipped to the left, revealing a dark opening to a tunnel. From out of the tunnel two ghosts flew out, whom Owl recognized right away. They were Zorber the Vicious and Liesa the Hateful. The ghosts floated to the table and took the royal seats. Caroline and her father sat themselves on the other side of the table, where the advisors were sitting before.
“I welcome you, Father! And I welcome you too, Mother!” the King greeted the ghosts. “There weren’t many changes in our kingdom during this past month. We don’t really have any news…”
“I welcome you too, Frederick!” Zorber the Vicious replied. “But you are wrong! There is big news, terrible news!”
“Hah! You’re saying you don’t have any news!” Liesa the hateful screamed, breaking into the conversation. “You are on the verge of complete destruction! The prophecy is starting to come true! She is here already, and she is not afraid of anything!”
“What? She is here already?” the King screamed. “But why didn’t anyone inform me of this?”
“Simply because everything in your kingdom is so disorganized! You cannot keep anything under your control! Everything here is out of order!” Liesa the Hateful hissed. “Your servants are not afraid of you at all! I always hated you because of your weak character! It has been almost a whole day since the girl from the prophecy came here and you don’t even know about it! The Purples are already worried. They sent the fiery bird to measure the power of Love of that girl, and the results are horrifying. One thousand units! Her power of Love is one thousand units!”
“Oh, wow! Is that even possible?” the King exclaimed.
“You are such an idiot! I have always hated how dumb you are!” Liesa continued screaming. “An idiot like you must be a rare find, because I have never met anyone as dumb before as you are! Don’t you even know that your grandson Thomas has the same power of Love, one thousand units?”
“But Mom, none of that is my fault…” the King stuttered.
“Liesa, we don’t have much time!” Zorber the Vicious interrupted the conversation. “We need to go back to the Purples. The passage to the 66th realm will close in minutes. And if we are late, we might get into much trouble!”
“Yes, you are right, Zorber!” Liesa agreed. “Well, Frederick, we will continue our discussion later. And now come forward, I will suggest to you what to do with that girl.”
The King came to Liesa the Hateful and she whispered something in his ear. Owl was trying to distinguish what Liesa was saying, but he couldn’t hear anything.
“Goodbye, Frederick! Goodbye, Caroline! We will see you next month!” said Zorber the Vicious.
“I hope that in one month you will have good news for us!” Liesa hissed angrily and flew into the hidden tunnel first.
Zorber followed Liesa. The King went over to the fireplace and pushed the candelabrum again. The painting returned to its place, hiding the entrance to the tunnel.
“Father! What did she tell you?” Caroline asked curiously.
The Father King whispered in her ear.
“Well, I think she is right. That is a great idea!” Caroline replied, pleased. “I think that it is the best thing we can do.”
“I think so too. But now let’s go to sleep. We will have a difficult day tomorrow,” said the King and headed to the door.
Owl hurried back to tell his friends everything that he had seen and heard. They all listened to his story about the meeting with interest.
“I think that is so cruel to imprison the Prince in the tower,” said Natasha. “And I am wondering, who is that girl from the prophecy that Liesa the Hateful was talking about?”
“I think that she was talking about you!” Owl replied. “During our trip to the Royal Cemetery she referred to you as ‘that girl from the prophecy.’”
“And I think that it is time for you, Spy, to tell us about what is going on here,” Theodore questioned the mouse.
“I don’t know anything about it,” Spy Mouse peeped, shivering in fear.
“I don’t think you are telling the truth,” objected Theodore. “You better tell us the truth right now, or I will eat you!”
“Oh, no! Please, don’t!” Spy mouse shivered even more. “I will tell you everything!”
“Well, then, go ahead! Tell us!” Theodore demanded.
“The Neutral Philosopher predicted to our King that a girl from Los Angeles could destroy our entire kingdom. And it looks like his prophecy is already starting to come true. You are that girl,” the mouse quietly whispered, pointing at Natasha.
“What? Are you saying that I could destroy your kingdom?” Natasha asked in amazement.
“No, not I. The Neutral Philosopher said it,” Spy Mouse squeaked, still quaking in fear. “And he is never wrong. He has been predicting for us for over 200 years. And everything that he predicted, all of it came true.”
“That is stupid!” Theodore exclaimed. “Some old man has gone crazy and is telling you nonsense. And you believe in that nonsense! I have known Natasha my entire life. She would never harm a fly! And you are talking about destroying an entire kingdom!”
“Natasha! Please, don’t kill me!” begged Spy Mouse. Two tiny tears rolled out of his eyes. “I will serve you! I will be very useful! I know so much!”
“What is wrong with you, Mouse? There must be some mistake! I don’t want to harm anyone! Don’t be afraid!” Natasha handed him two more hazelnuts. “Here, eat these, maybe it will calm you down.”
Spy Mouse ate the hazelnuts and regained his senses.
“I think I need to talk to your Queen. I will explain to her that I am not going to harm anyone,” Natasha said, “I will tell her that I am just passing through your kingdom to get to the SOURCE of LOVE because there is no other way to get there, but through your kingdom.”
“Oh, no! Don’t even think about telling that to our Queen!” exclaimed the Spy Mouse. “Then she will know that someone has spied on her! And those who spy on her end up in prison! And, by the way, don’t talk much with her about anything!”
“You are right! At the ball we should keep quiet!” Owl agreed.
“Spy Mouse, there is still one more mystery that you haven’t told us about yet! Who are the Purples and what is the 66th realm?” the Lizard Queen questioned.
“That is something I don’t know myself,” Spy Mouse mumbled in confusion. “I just know that the 66th realm is where the ghosts of all of our royalty go after their death….And that it is somewhere down very deep underground….Some of the ghosts come back once in a while, asking the king for a report about all of the work that has been done to spread evil on Earth. But none of them ever talk about how it is down there in the 66th realm. Even though once I heard that Zorber the Vicious said, ‘Over here we are still serving the powers of Evil. Even though it is better to live in the Kingdom of Evil. So don’t hurry to get down here yet. Enjoy your time!’”
“Okay, I believe you,” said Theodore. “But it is getting late now and everyone is tired. We should get some sleep…”
“We could sleep right on the grass, it is so soft and tall!” Natasha suggested as she curled up under a tree. The Lizard Queen and Theodore lay down next to her. Owl perched on one of the branches of the tree. Ordinarily Owl was a nocturnal bird and he always slept during the daytime. But now, when he had no time to sleep during the day, he had to change his habits. The Spy Mouse also lay down nearby. He was very satisfied because he had eaten four hazelnuts in one day. It would normally take him two years to earn that many hazelnuts.

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Chapter 9



The night was warm and tranquil. In the sky was a large bright moon shining and the grass was downy soft. It seemed like nothing could disturb the deep sleep of the tired travelers. But what was that!? From the depth of the forest there came the sound of a rustle in the grass. This rustle was swiftly moving closer. Then the leaves of the tree above the sleeping company also made a sound and a shadow fell across Natasha’s sleeping face. Something very long and thin started slithering slowly down the tree, coming closer to Natasha. As if she sensed the danger, Natasha became restless. She suddenly woke up and opened her eyes. In fear she saw that right above her, inches from her face, there was a huge snake hanging down from the tree. The head of this snake had large round eyes. It was covered in scales and its head resembled a fish. The fish-snake opened its jaws, showing its sharp dreadful teeth, and started making a noise: “His-s-s-s!”
“A-h-h-h!” Natasha screamed. She could not move and now her eyes were shut. The leaves on the tree moved, then the grass under the tree parted and the sound faded quickly into the distance.
“What happened? I heard you screaming,” asked Owl.
“I heard your scream also,” said Theodore, “Did you have a bad dream?”
Natasha, still filled with fear, was unable to move. She was quietly whispering something over and over.
“What is she whispering?” Owl asked the Lizard Queen, who was the closest to Natasha.
“She is repeating the same phrase over and over: ‘I wish it would crawl away, I wish it would crawl away,’” the Lizard Queen answered.
“Ah, I see! She saw Patrick the Mutant!” said Spy Mouse. He ran around Natasha and carefully examined her. “She is lucky; Patrick the Mutant did not touch her. She probably scared him away with her scream.”
Natasha finally got over her fear, opened her eyes and sat up.
“I saw a giant snake with the face of a fish!” she said. “It had such dreadful teeth and it was all covered in scales! Mouse, do you know who that was?”
“It is Patrick the Mutant, our Queen’s favorite pet,” answered Spy Mouse, “and you are very lucky that he didn’t touch you. Once he touched our Queen when she was feeding him late one evening. He caressed her on the right cheek with his tongue and the skin in that spot became dark brown and sprouted thick black hair. Our Queen became despondent. It was a good thing that her son, our Prince Thomas, was able to help her. Since he was born in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love, his hands possess healing power. Thomas touched the Queen’s cheek with his hand and the cheek became normal again. Now our Queen feeds Patrick the Mutant in the daytime and only with a fishing pole. During the daytime, Patrick the Mutant is not dangerous; he does not come out of the lake because he is afraid of the daylight. He comes out only at night, and only for a short period of time. Our Queen is very proud of him.”
“What is there about him that she could be proud of?” Theodore wondered.
“Patrick the Mutant is a unique creature! He mutated from an ordinary goldfish!” Spy Mouse said pridefully. “A year ago, our Father-King gave ten goldfish as a birthday present to our Prince Thomas. The Queen suggested putting them in the Lake of Hatred to see what would happen. They put the fish in the lake and soon nine of them became very weak and sluggish. But the tenth fish, the biggest of them, started growing very fast and soon he ate all of his siblings and mutated into a huge monster – something between a fish and a snake. This mutant can live in the water and breathe with gills, and he can also crawl out of the water on land and breathe with lungs as well. Our Queen calls him the Perfect Creation of Evil. She pridefully shows him off to all of her guests. I think that she will show him to you too. And don’t even think about showing her that you don’t like him, or you’ll anger her!”
“What should we do? What should we show?” inquired Natasha.
“Delight, of course, what else!” Spy Mouse answered.
“Thank you for warning us,” said Owl. “And now I would not mind going back to sleep, but I am afraid that your Queen’s favorite pet might disturb us again.”
“I don’t think so,” replied Spy Mouse. “He was most likely very scared by Natasha’s scream and will not come out of the lake until tomorrow night.”
“So then let’s sleep. Tomorrow will probably be another hard day,” said the Lizard Queen, and everyone agreed with her. The entire company lay back down under the tree. Soon all were sleeping, except Natasha, who was still afraid. It took some time, but eventually fatigue crept over her, and she fell into a deep sleep.
In the morning the company was awakened by a squeaky voice, “Hey you, tourists, wake up!”
Everyone blinked the sleep from their eyes and saw a giant gray Rat in front of them. She was the head chief of the warrior Rats. On her shoulder was sitting a big black crow and she was staring at the company with her little evil eyes. It was the Snitch Crow.
“Our Queen is having a ball today in honor of her son Thomas’s birthday!” Chief Rat announced. “He is now eleven years old! You are invited to the ball! Come with me, I will take you to the palace.”
“This is a great honor to you, tourists!” rasped the Snitch Crow. “Especially considering that you have a visa of the lowest category! Ha-ha! Be proud!”
“Be quiet! That is none of your business!” angrily ordered Chief Rat to the crow. She spun around and started marching off to the palace.
The company followed after her. All of them had been walking silently for sometime when they heard an earsplitting, dreadful scream. It was so painful that our friends stopped dead in their tracks, filled with terror.
Chief Rat noticed it and said, “That is our Queen’s favorite pet, Patrick, screaming. Don’t be afraid, he is dangerous only at night. Well, actually he could also be dangerous in daytime, but only when he is very hungry. But since the Queen keeps him well fed it is rare that he is hungry. The Queen herself feeds him fresh fish twice a day. So why are you standing here like you are frozen? Let’s go! The clock is ticking! Be quick, we are wasting time!”
Chief Rat wheeled around and continued leading the way as the company followed her. Soon they all saw the pretentious, richly adorned palace, made of marble and crystal. The window frames were adorned with enormous diamonds. Both the stairway leading to the entrance and the entry porch were covered in gold.
“This is such a beautiful palace!” exclaimed Natasha.
“Everything that belongs to our Queen is beautiful!” replied Chief Rat. “Our Queen is beautiful also!”
On both sides of the steps were many flowerbeds with incredibly lovely, large, white flowers. Natasha stepped closer to the flowerbed and saw that the flowers were smiling at her. She wanted to smell them; she leaned close to the flowers with her tiny nose.
When Spy Mouse saw that he cried out in alarm, “Stop! Don’t get too close to the flowers! They will bite your little nose off! The flowers are not smiling because they like you. In reality they are very evil. They are watered from the Lake of Hatred and every day they become more and more evil. Their smiles are deceitful. They are only smiling to attract more prey.”
Natasha jumped back in alarm.
“You filthy girl!” exclaimed one of the flowers angrily as they all stopped smiling.
“You there, stop messing around!” Chief Rat angrily ordered Natasha. “The Queen herself is waiting for you, make haste!”
They entered the palace and met the Queen right away. She really could be considered beautiful, but there also was something repulsive in her face. Natasha realized that it was her mean eyes and the scornful frown that made the Queen’s otherwise beautiful face ugly.
“Hello, dear tourists! I am very glad to meet you!” the Queen greeted them formally.
“We are also glad to meet you!” Natasha answered for everyone, even though none of them felt any excitement at meeting the Queen. She answered in this way only by way of courtesy.
“I would like to invite you to the conversation room,” said the Queen. “We could talk there, learn more about each other. Follow me.”
She began walking up the stairs and the friends followed her.
The Queen brought them to a spacious room, which had a magnificent fireplace with a cheerful fire in it. Near the fireplace there were several soft, elegant sofas and on the walls there were many beautiful oil paintings.
“Make yourselves comfortable!” said the Queen as she sat down on one sofa. The friends sat on the other across from the Queen.
“And now, tell me, why did you come to our kingdom?” asked the Queen.
“Actually, we are going to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love,” answered Natasha, “and the Kingdom of Evil is on the way to it.”
“What!?? You are going to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love!??” The Queen’s face contorted with hatred. “And why are you going there?”
Owl stepped on Natasha’s hand, trying to give her a sign that she was saying too much, but naive Natasha did not understand, so she continued her story.
“My mom and dad want to divorce, but I want them to be together; the Lizard Queen has two sons who are often arguing; Owl has one daughter who does not love anyone; and Theodore is going with us just in case any of us might need help.”
“I see,” said the Queen charmingly. “Since it is very close to us, you could go there anytime. I would suggest that first you visit our points of interest. Two of them you have already seen. Those are the Royal Cemetery and the Wax Museum. By the way, how did you like them?”
“Those are two places that we will remember for the rest of our lives! Especially the Wax Museum!” the Lizard Queen replied and cautiously looked at the Queen. “Those statues seemed almost as if they were real!”
“They seem real because the sculptor who made them is very talented!” the Queen replied with pride.
“Yes, that sculptor sure is talented…” Owl hinted with irony. “And who is that sculptor, may I ask?”
“That sculptor is I! Who else could have such talent?” the Queen bragged. “But you need to see our other points of interest also, the Tree of Evil, the Lake of Hatred, and the Cave of Ever-Frost. And then you can go to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love.”
The Queen fell into thinking and then asked Natasha, “Tell me, little girl, do you really believe that the powers of Kindness and Love will win over the powers of Evil?”
“Of course they will win!” answered Natasha. “It cannot be any other way!”
“And I think that it is very unwise to believe that!” replied the Queen. “My servants and I do a tremendous job of spreading evil. We take the needles from the Tree of Evil and then at night, when all the people are sleeping, my mice servants insert these needles into people’s hearts. In the morning when people wake up they become completely different. They become more angry, nervous, envious, greedy, and violent. They argue, they divorce, they hit each other and their children. Some of them even commit murder. All that gives us great satisfaction.”
“I do not understand one thing,” interrupted the Lizard Queen, “How do you benefit from all of this?”
“This is a great benefit to us!” answered the Queen of Evil. “When people are evil, they emit an evil energy, which flies to our Lake of Hatred and fills it up. We drink the water from it and become even more evil. And being evil is our strength!”
“That is not true!” Owl interrupted. “Strength is in Kindness! And Kindness will win in the end!”
“Don’t be silly!” the Queen objected. “The entire world is already changing toward the Evil side! Take for example my friend Adrian the Priceless. Just one hundred years ago he could not get married. All of the beauties turned him away because he was very old and ugly. And do you know what is going on now? Everything has radically changed! He used to be Adrian the Immortal, now he is Adrian the Priceless! He put an advertisement in newspapers around the world, which stated: ‘The wealthiest man in the world, multi-billionaire Adrian the Priceless, 1000 years old, wants to marry and has created a beauty contest for ladies 18-25 years of age.’
“The advertisement got so many responses! Thousands of beautiful ladies were waiting in lines in order to sign up for the contest! Travel agents would organize trips to Adrian’s private island! The ladies would come to him, they would sing and dance for him, and they would compete in cooking! However Adrian is still single, but now the reason is different: he cannot decide because he has too many choices!
“So tell me, why do young beautiful ladies want to marry old Adrian the Priceless who is over 1000 years old? Even though he is immortal, he is very old and terribly thin! Do you know the answer? I do. Because of his wealth! Because he is a multi-billionaire!
“And my servants did a great job. They have visited all of those ladies and have inserted the needles of envy and greed in their hearts, too! And these are just a few examples; everyday more and more people become like that!”
“So do all of the people turn out to be like that after you pierce their hearts with the needles of Evil?” asked the Lizard Queen.
“Alas, not all,” sighed the Queen. “If the person is really very kind at heart or if that person truly loves someone, then our efforts are useless. The needles will just melt. But many people do give in to the Evil. And to you, I advise you to think about my proposal: I ask you to stay in my Kingdom and work in my palace. You will be fed very well and you will be paid very well also, three small rubies a year for each one of you. That is a very good salary! You should agree! But if you don’t want to, then, well, go on to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love.”
The Queen’s face became repulsively scornful again.
“We thank you for the offer,” Natasha spoke up, “but we need to go to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love so we can help our close relatives.”
“Fine! You will go there tomorrow,” conceded the Queen of Evil. “But today, we are celebrating the birthday of my son, Thomas, who is the heir to my throne. I invite you to the ball. But before we attend the ball I want to show you the Tree of Evil and the Lake of Hatred. Tomorrow morning I will take you to the Cave of Ever-Frost and after that you can go wherever you want. Now let’s go to the garden to look at two of our favorite sights – the Tree of Evil and the Lake of Hatred.”
Suddenly behind the window there sounded a loud fearful scream, which was already familiar to our friends.
“Oh! My poor baby! Patrick is hungry! It is time to feed him and I completely forgot!” exclaimed the Queen. She then added, “Patrick is my pet. I have raised him all by myself! He is so beautiful! He is an example of what the energy of Evil can do: it turned a tiny goldfish into a huge monster, whom I named Patrick! He still continues to grow! And he has such great teeth! Sometimes even I get scared. But most important, he can live in the water and on the land. He is just a Perfect Creation of Evil! He turned out like that because he lives in the Lake of Hatred and absorbs more and more hatred every day. I am so proud of him! Let’s go, I will show him to you!”

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Chapter 10


They all went into the garden where there were many gray trees that all looked the same. Aside from all those trees there was one huge tree that looked like a pine. When they came closer they saw that this pine tree had metal needles, which were gray in color.
Curious by nature, Natasha extended her hand so she could touch them, but Owl hurriedly whispered in her ear, “Don’t touch them! Those are the needles of Evil!”
Natasha quickly drew her hand back.
“This is our most important sight!” the Queen beamed with pride. “With its help we are changing the world. This is the Tree of Evil. It grows needles from all four directions. The needles from the north side emit the poison of anger, hatred and annoyance. The needles from the south side emit the poison of vanity, superiority and selfishness. The needles from the east side emit the poison of envy and greed. And the needles from the west side emit the poison of fear, desperation and depression. This tree is our great hope; not many people can withstand the poison of its needles!”
The Queen then pointed to a nearby body of water. “And over there is the Lake of Hatred!”
The friends approached the lake and were amazed at how small it was.
“She must not be doing as well as she tells us!” Natasha whispered to Owl. “Since the Lake of Hatred is so small, there must not be many people who are evil.”
The water in the lake was very muddy and dark, almost black. And it was difficult to imagine how someone would want to drink this water.
Suddenly they heard a voice from behind them, “Hello!”
They turned around and saw a boy about eleven years old. He had light, curly hair, big, blue eyes and a very sweet face. He was dressed in a plain blue sweatshirt and blue sweatpants, which made his eyes appear even more blue.
“This is my son, Prince Thomas!” said the Queen. “Why are you still in the garden?” she questioned him. “And why are you not yet dressed for the ball?”
“I was drawing the lilac shrubs and I got so carried away that I did not even notice how much time had passed by,” answered the prince.
“I see,” said the Queen. “These are our guests. They are tourists on their way to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love.”
Thomas looked at Natasha and smiled. It seemed that he liked her. The Queen noticed that and her face briefly distorted into an evil frown. She did not like it when people smiled. But she did her best to hide her dislike. She continued talking in a polite manner, addressing Thomas, “Well, since you are here, maybe you would also enjoy watching me feed Patrick.”
The Queen clapped her hands twice and a servant came out from behind the lilacs. He carried a fishing pole and a bucket full of fish. He took one fish, hung it on the pole and gave it to the Queen. She took the pole and held it up so the fish was dangling high above the lake. Suddenly the water in the lake was covered in little ripples and the giant snake-fish jumped out of the lake. It flew up, twisting in the air, grabbed the fish and disappeared into the lake again.
“That was such a beautiful jump! He moves so perfectly, so gracefully!” the Queen exclaimed with excitement. “Now, do you see how great my creation of evil is? Do you see that evil is a very powerful force?”
The surface of the lake again became covered with little ripples; the monster came up again, but did not show himself above the surface. He was watching from under the water with his huge eyes, waiting for another fish. The monster’s first jump was fast; he was above the surface for less than a second, so that is why Natasha was not able to see him clearly. But she was curious to see if it was the same monster that had hung down from the tree. And so she forgot to be cautious. She ventured all the way to the edge of the lake, so she could see the monster better. Natasha looked over the edge of the lake and became frozen in fear. From under the water there was the head of a giant monster looking back at her. His jaws were wide open so Natasha could see two rows of long sharp teeth. His eyes were glowing with a bright red light and they were drawing Natasha like a magnet, hypnotizing her and directing her without words, “Come closer to me, closer, closer….”
Natasha was obeying these eyes. She had lost the power of her own will. She was tilting down closer and closer to the lake and then suddenly she slipped down into the lake. The monster grabbed her leg and pulled her down. Natasha was drowning and about to become Patrick’s next meal. The Queen’s son, Prince Thomas, jumped into the lake after Natasha. He swam to the monster and tried to pry his jaws open to free Natasha’s leg. But the monstrous creature was very strong, so he was pulling both Natasha and Thomas deeper into the depths of the lake. Suddenly, on the left and on the right sides of the monster’s head two glowing fiery spheres appeared. They slowly moved closer to the monster’s head and started pressing it together. The monster gave up. It let go off Natasha’s leg and disappeared into the farthest depths of the lake. The glowing spheres then also disappeared, as suddenly as they had appeared.
Interesting, what were those two spheres and why did they decide to save us? Natasha thought to herself.
Thomas has created them by using his thoughts, so he could save you! He was born in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love, so he possesses many great powers, Natasha heard the reply in her head.
Natasha guessed that this thought was from the Intuition Fairy and at the same instant she lost consciousness. Natasha’s body slowly started sinking toward the bottom of the lake. But Thomas quickly grabbed her and swam to the surface. When they have already reached the surface, Thomas took a deep breath and headed for the shore. But at that moment Patrick suddenly came back. With a speed of lightning he wrapped the girl’s legs with his tail and started pulling Natasha and Thomas back into the depths of the lake. He even opened his jaws wide, thinking about how great of a dinner he is about to have, when suddenly above their heads appeared a bright white light. This was the Light of Love, which was coming from the invisible Intuition Fairy. The light was descending lower and lower and was getting brighter and brighter. Patrick the Mutant was a creation of Evil and he could not bear this powerful Light of Love. He stuck his huge fish head out of the water and angrily growled. Then he let go off Natasha’s legs and quickly disappeared in the depths of the lake.
Prince Thomas swam out to the shore, where he carried Natasha out in his arms and gently laid her down on the grass. Everyone came close to them. Natasha’s eyes were closed and on her right leg there was a deep gash from the monster’s teeth. Thomas moved his hands over the wound and it quickly disappeared, like it was never there. Then he put his right palm on Natasha’s forehead and she opened her eyes. The friends were standing numb with amazement and could not speak. Thomas started speaking first:
“Now you are safe,” Thomas said. “But remember, you must stay away from Patrick when he is hungry!”
“Thank you!” sobbed Natasha and her eyes filled with tears of gratitude.
The Queen was standing nearby. Her fearful face was white as chalk. She told Thomas in an angry unsteady voice, “You should not have done that, Thomas! You know better than that. Patrick does not like to joke and he can be very dangerous! You took a deadly risk!”
“I had to do that, Mom. Otherwise Patrick would have killed her,” Thomas answered in a calm and confident voice. He gave his hand to Natasha and helped her to her feet.
After Thomas had touched Natasha and healed her wound she felt such a great rush of energy! She was elated and she wanted to sing and dance with happiness! But she realized that she could not do that since it was forbidden in the Kingdom of Evil. She knew that she had to hide her emotions. Miraculously, her dress and her hair dried immediately.
Thomas is such a courageous boy! Natasha thought. And he is so brave and decisive! He was not afraid of the monster! And he could have died along with me.
Natasha smiled at Thomas and he smiled back at her. The Queen noticed that and, once again, her face distorted into an evil frown, which she tried to hide.
“So everything has turned out well; that is good,” the Queen said in a soothing tone. “And now we need to hurry, the ball is about to begin.”
The Queen squeezed Thomas on the shoulder and said, “Son, quickly go get dressed and then come to the dining hall.” To the friends she said, “And I invite you as well, my dear guests, to the dining hall.”

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Chapter 11



The Queen turned around and went into the palace. The friends hastened to follow her. Inside the palace they entered a spacious room, in the middle of which there was a very long marble table with a large selection of delicious foods on it. Around the table were beautiful carved wooden chairs.
“Why is the table so large and with so much food, if there are only a few of us?” asked Natasha.
“Adrian the Priceless should be here soon,” answered the Queen, “and he never goes anywhere alone now. All of his bride-contestants are always with him, and there are so many of them, no less than a hundred. I am afraid that even all this food might not be enough.”
Suddenly the front door opened, and a servant in beautiful red attire entered and announced in a resonant voice, “Our most prized guest has arrived! The richest man in the world! Adrian the Priceless!”
Immediately there entered one very thin, bald, old man, tottering in cheerfully. He was so thin that his cheeks and eyes were sunken in, but his cheekbones protruded out and his prominent, hawk nose was awkwardly big. He had a huge smile on his face and Natasha noticed that all of his teeth were gold and set with diamonds in each tooth. The way in which he was dressed definitely did not suit the ball. He was casually dressed in running shoes, shorts and a tee shirt.
Natasha could not hide her curiosity and asked the Queen, “Why does he have diamonds in his teeth and why are they so big?”
“Well, since he is so old and does not have his natural good looks,” answered the Queen spitefully, “and to be perfectly honest, he did not have those even when he was young, he has to compensate for it by artificial means. The more expensive, the more beautiful it is considered.”
“But why is he dressed so casually instead of dressing for a ball?” Natasha asked in amazement.
“He believes that this sporty style of clothing makes him look younger,” answered the Queen. “He also wants to have platinum hair attached to his scalp, but he is afraid that he will not be able to comb it and it will make him look like a hedgehog. Nobody has ever had platinum hair attached because it is too costly. So nobody really knows what it will look like when it is done.”
At this point Adrian strolled up to the Queen, still beaming his priceless smile. “Hello, Caroline, haven’t seen you in a while. By the way, where is Thomas?”
“Hello, Adrian!” answered the Queen. “Thomas is dressing, he should be here soon.”
“Oh my, how quickly time flies!” exclaimed Adrian. “He is already eleven years old! I have brought him a gift, but it is outside in the yard, it would not fit through the doors. It is a helicopter, the latest model!”
“Wow, Adrian! That must be expensive!” speculated the Queen with delight.
“Nah! The helicopter itself was not that expensive, but the license to fly it under Thomas’s name was pricey. The sellers were stubborn. They told me that the owner needs to pass a test flight in order to fly it. They would not even quote me a price on it, trying to get the highest price possible, but in the end I bought it anyway. There is nothing that I would not buy for Thomas.”
“Well, thank you, Adrian! I believe that he will be very satisfied with such a gift,” responded the Queen. “And where are all of your brides-to-be?”
“They are still downstairs, gathered in front of the big mirror, trying to pretty themselves up,” replied Adrian.
At this moment the door reopened. The servant in the beautiful uniform entered again and declared, “The bride-contestants!”
Soon a noisy mob of bride-contestants rushed in, all trying to get the seats closest to Adrian.
“Dear guests! I request that everyone take their seats at the table!” ordered the Queen. The guests hurriedly settled in. The only two persons missing were Thomas and the Father King.
The door popped open again and the beautifully attired servant announced, “His Majesty! The Father King! Frederick the Third!”
The King entered the hall in a prideful pace and headed toward the table. He sat on the right of Caroline. The entire hall fell silent. Everyone was expecting a speech from the King. He looked at the guests pridefully and spoke, “I greet all of you, dear guests! And I thank you for coming here to celebrate the eleventh birthday of my grandson, Thomas. And now I suggest a toast to his health with our special Drink of Hatred!”
The servants, who were standing behind the guests’ chairs, started filling up the mugs with the dark muddy liquid. All of the guests, except Natasha and her friends, swallowed their potions and began to eat with a healthy appetite.
The Queen noticed that the Lizard Queen and Owl could not reach the table. She told them, “Fine, I will let you sit right on the table since you are so small.”
The Lizard Queen and Owl hopped up onto the table. The banquet looked and smelled appetizing and everyone was eating with abandon.
Suddenly Natasha felt someone scratching lightly at her ankle. She looked down and saw Spy Mouse. She understood that he was asking for something to eat, so she secretly dropped a piece of pie stuffed with walnuts, and then a couple of grapes and a couple of dates.
The Queen announced, “Now I suggest that everyone try our special Cocktail of Evil! We take water from the Lake of Hatred and add different berries to give it a better flavor. The cocktail tastes superb!”
Again, everyone drank, except the friends. When the Queen finally noticed that the tourists had not touched their glasses, she asked, “Why aren’t you drinking?”
The friends glanced at each other. The Owl, who was the wisest, answered, “Thank you, but we do not want anything more. Everything was so delicious and we ate so much that we don’t have room in our stomachs!”
“Well, whatever you want!” said the Queen, her face distorted once again by a hateful frown.
Suddenly, after finishing her cocktail, one of the contestants, with the number “24” pinned to her blouse, started singing loudly,
“My fiancé is bold,
And like a frog he’s cold,
And also my fiancé
Is one thousand years old!”

Adrian frowned. He did not like to hear such an insulting song about him.
“I remove you from the contest!” he said in an offended voice. “If you can sing a song like that then it means that you don’t love me!”
“But it was only a joke! Just a joke!” replied the bride-contestant in a frightened voice.
“Every joke is only partially a joke. Most of it is usually the truth,” Adrian angrily exclaimed. “Therefore I disqualify you as a contestant to be my wife!”
“Whatever! It’s not like I even really wanted to win anyway!” said bride-contestant #24 in an annoyed voice and stalked out of the hall with a disdainful expression, grabbing the biggest cherry pie on the way out.
“Honored guests! Let’s have another of our special refreshments!” suggested the King. “It is called the Impudence Cocktail! It makes people more evil and boldly offensive. It will even make people speak their most hidden negative thoughts.”
Once again, all of the guests, except the friends, drank.
The Father King leaned close to Caroline and whispered in her ear, “Now listen carefully to the conversations of our guests, but be especially careful to listen to the hidden thoughts that they are going to give away.”
It did not take long for the drink to start working. It even worked on the Queen, since she had drunk the cocktail also. She said maliciously, “Dear brides! Which one of you wants to prove that she really loves Adrian?”
“I do! I do!” volunteered many of the bride-contestants.
“Well, you will need to pass a little truth test,” suggested the Queen. “Who wants to go first?”
One of the contestants, a pretty, tall blonde with the number “55” tagged on her blouse, raised her hand and said, “I am ready!”
“Good!” smiled the Queen. “Come up here by me.”
The girl glided over to the Queen.
“Our Impudence Cocktail is considered very valuable because it makes people tell the truth without hiding anything. It works much better than any lie detector. Now tell me, do you love Adrian?”
“Yes! I love him more than anyone else on Earth!” answered the girl.
“Hmmm, I think the cocktail has not started working yet,” the Queen said disappointedly. “Let’s wait another minute!”
The minute passed and the Queen repeated her question, “Do you really love Adrian?”
“Him? You mean the one who is one thousand years old?” laughed the girl. “Nobody lives that long! Why would I love him? It could not be because of his looks. He has enormous elephant ears and a big long nose and he is always grinning, showing off his diamond false teeth. He dresses up all sporty, as if he were an athlete. But judging by his muscles, he probably goes to the gym only once every hundred years. And he wants a young wife! He is looking only for girls between the ages of 18-25!”
“But I am immortal!” raged the offended Adrian. “I will live longer than any of you!”
“I am sure that you will live longer,” continued bride #55, “but you will not get any younger.”
“That’s it! I disqualify you from the contest! I don’t want anyone like you!” snapped Adrian.
The ex-bride-contestant, without any embarrassment or regret, went back to her seat and continued dining on the delicacies.
“Does anyone else want to prove their love for Adrian?” questioned the Queen. “Or maybe one of you just wants to say something?”
“I want to say something!” replied bride #38.
“Fine, dear! Come here, stand by me!” the Queen called to her.
The girl came up.
“Go ahead now, we all are listening,” the Queen gestured left and right.
The girl gazed at everyone with a haughty expression on her face and said with scorn, “I am young and pretty and I need someone young and handsome that I can fall in love with. But this one is way too old for me – there’s a nine-hundred-eighty-year difference in our age! It was my mother who pushed me to participate in this stupid contest. She said, ‘Go for it, daughter! He is a billionaire, it is worth a try!’ And I told her, ‘But he is so old!’ And she answered, ‘That is okay, the older – the better! He will die sooner!’ So I told her, ‘But he is immortal!’ So she told me, ‘You see now what money can do! If you become his wife, then he will buy immortality for you also! And maybe for me too, since I will be his mother-in-law, which is almost like a mother!’ So I told her, ‘But Mom, look at the photo! He is so ugly!’ She told me, ‘That’s okay, daughter, for that much money even a chimpanzee would be considered handsome!’ So that is how she talked me into it.”
“Well,” taunted the Queen, “does anyone else want to add something?”
“I do! I do!” many of the bride-contestants answered.
The drink was clearly doing its job.
“Enough! I think that they drank too much!” interrupted Adrian. “Yes, I believe that you gave them too much to drink!”
“I just want you to see the truth, my dear!” the Queen said maliciously, for the cocktail was doing its job very well on her too. “Do you really believe that any of these young beauties love you? They love your money, not you! You are a scrawny and shriveled old man. Do you really enjoy listening to such hypocritical lies from a young lady, who is telling you that she loves you? And then you pretend that you believe these lies! But you are not that stupid; you can always tell when someone is feeding you a lie! Oh, how many times have I told you, dear Adrian, that real and true love does not exist! It cannot exist! Love exists only in fairytales, which are nothing but lies! You are one thousand years old but you still believe!”
“But I do know that it exists!” Adrian argued stubbornly. “A long time ago back in my youth, I felt something; it was with one girl named Veronica, but then she left me for another.”
“So you see now!” the Queen said triumphantly, “So much for love! She probably chose the wealthiest of you two! She did not need love! She was looking only for material benefits!”
“I think you are wrong…” Adrian shot back. “Even back then I was the wealthiest. I still wish that she had not left me,” Adrian added regretfully.
“And now you still are the wealthiest!” the Queen continued arguing. “And so what? Which one of them loves you? Nobody! They only pretend to love you so they can get to your wealth! Love does not exist and it never did! Nobody loves you and nobody will ever love you!”
Adrian started crying bitterly as huge heavy tears ran down his ancient sunken cheeks.
Suddenly everyone heard a voice say, “That is not true! I love you!”
Everybody turned in the direction of the voice and saw Prince Thomas. He had been in his seat for quite a while, but no one had noticed him because he had entered through a back door, so the servant at the entrance had not announced him.
“Yes,” said Thomas, “I do love you, Adrian. I love you just because, not for your wealth or any other reason. I have always loved you.”
The Queen turned purple with rage.
Adrian stopped crying and beamed at the boy, “Thank you, Thomas! I always knew that you were a nice boy; you don’t seem to have any of your mother’s traits. Thank you! But I also want a lady to love me. That is something that I really miss in my life! I already have everything else. Oh, how I wish I could find such a lady!”
“But maybe you don’t need to search? Maybe it could be the same lady you once loved?” asked Thomas. “Veronica has been divorced for 800 years. She once told me that she often thinks of you and regrets that she left you. She says it was her biggest mistake. She has wanted to come to your island, but she is afraid that you would not forgive her.”
“I have already forgiven her!” Adrian said, joy rising in his voice. “I have always believed that she did not love her husband, but loved only me! I will go to her right now!”
“She loved you, she didn’t love you,” the Queen said maliciously. “Quit making things up, there is no such thing as love! Yes, maybe you two will get back together again. But once she finds someone wealthier than you, she will leave you again!”
“No, she will not!” Adrian objected. “There is nobody wealthier than me! I am the wealthiest! But what good is living 1000 years without love or joy. No wealth can compensate for love!”
“What are you talking about! That is completely wrong!” the Queen objected. She realized that she was losing the argument, but she still would not give up. “Wealth can compensate for anything! Look, you have so many brides-contestants! And all of them are so young and pretty! Every single one of them is way better than your Veronica! But now you say you want to go back to an old woman. She is already over 900 years old! And she does not have beauty now!”
“I don’t care about physical beauty,” argued Adrian, “and I don’t care about age. She loves me, and I love her too! To me, the best woman is the one who really loves me! And that is why we could be happy together! I could never be truly happy with any of these young ladies who pretend to love me because of my wealth. I guess you cannot understand that? I want to be happy! And only love can give real happiness! Wealth can’t. Do you remember that you used to love Thomas’s father? And how happy you were? Do you really think that now you are much happier than you were back then?”
The Queen fell into thinking about what he’d said and her face became sad. The Father King noticed that and began to worry. The one thing that the King was afraid of most was that his daughter might remember her old love and want him back, leaving her father alone.
He quickly broke into the conversation to change the subject. “Adrian, I think you have a fine to pay to us. Of course, I understand that we are friends, but the law is the law, and you just broke it. And as you know, dear Adrian, the punishment for saying those words is a fine. So excuse me, my friend, but according to my calculations you owe us 211,000 gold coins.”
“Wow! What was it that I said?” asked Adrian in amazement.
“You have said the forbidden word ‘love’ eleven times. And each time it costs you 10,000 gold coins. The word ‘happiness’ was said six times…8,000 coins for each one. The word ‘joy’ was said once, which is 3,000 gold coins. Besides that you did not agree with the Queen’s opinion and you were arguing with her, saying that love exists. And for having an opinion opposite of the Queen’s, as you already know, that is a fine of 50,000 gold coins.”
“I see,” said Adrian, “then I will declare it once again: LOVE DOES EXIST! You can add 50,000 more, I will pay it off. It is well worth the price.”
“Whatever you wish, dear Adrian, whatever you wish!” said the King, smiling to himself as he wrote down the amount. “Great! 261,000 gold coins! You always please me, my friend! You always please me with your stubbornness and your rebellious attitude. It especially pleases me because you have the ability to pay for all of that. Sign right here on the bill and we will not hold you up.”
Adrian signed the bill and said, “I thank all of you very much! But I am especially grateful to you, Thomas! It is possible that what you have told me might radically change my life! And now excuse me! It is time for me to leave!”
“It sure is!” the King agreed. “Run along!”
“Goodbye everybody!” replied Adrian and he quickly left. All of the bride-contestants instantly followed after him.
The Queen seemed to be in a very foul mood. “Alright,” she said, “the celebration is over! The hour is late. It is time for everyone to go to sleep now. We will talk more tomorrow.” And then she told the friends, “I will show you to your bedroom. And for you, Thomas, it is time to go to sleep also! You already have stayed up past your bedtime.”
The Queen escorted the friends to a small bedroom, which had four beds. She wished them a good night and left. Natasha, Theodore and the Lizard Queen got into their beds and Owl sat on the bedpost. But none of them wanted to sleep, for they all were feeling fearful.
Owl started talking first. “I have a bad feeling about tomorrow’s trip to the Cave of Ever-Frost. It all sounds kind of suspicious.”
“Why don’t you fly out there and listen to what the Queen and her father are talking about?” suggested the Lizard Queen.
“I will do that right now!” answered Owl. “Open the window.”
Natasha quickly opened the window and Owl flew away.

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Chapter 12



Owl right away found a round window that had been left opened, so he sat on the windowsill and waited. Soon the light turned on and the King entered the hall. Then a few seconds later Caroline came and they sat behind a table.
Caroline spoke first. “Well, Father, everything is clear about the tourists! This is certainly the girl from the prophecy! She came here uninvited and she also brought her friends! And they are going to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love so they can help their relatives. They really think that we will let them get there! They want to make their relatives kinder; they want them to love each other! Their goal is to spread Kindness and Love, which is completely opposite of our goal, which is to spread hatred and evil. Therefore they are our worst enemies!”
“I agree,” said the King. “They are dangerous. Well, we have one successful method of defeating this kind of enemy. They must be destroyed! We will do it the way your grandmother, Liesa the Hateful, suggested. Tomorrow we will invite them on an excursion to see the Cave of Ever-Frost. We will take them inside the cave and freeze them forever!”
“That is exactly what we should do!” declared the Queen. “And now let’s count how much money we made from our mines today.”
The frightened Owl did not stay to listen to the rest. When he flew back to the bedroom everyone was impatiently waiting for him.
“So what did you hear?” blurted the Lizard Queen.
“Quiet!” whispered Owl. Then he turned to Natasha and said in a very low voice, “Look and see if Spy Mouse is sleeping.”
Natasha looked under the bed and saw that Spy Mouse was gently snoring through his tiny nose. On this one day he had eaten more than he had ever before. Usually he would go to sleep half-hungry, and the growling in his stomach would keep him awake. Now he was sleeping deeply and peacefully.
“He is sleeping!” Natasha whispered. “Go ahead, tell us quickly!”
“We are in big trouble!” said Owl. “They consider us their biggest enemies and so tomorrow they want to freeze us in the Cave of Ever-Frost. We need to escape and we better escape right now during the night, while everyone else is sleeping!”
“I agree. We do need to escape. And the sooner the better,” said Natasha. “It is good that our bedroom is on the first floor.”
“But at the entrance to the palace they have guards posted, who might see us!” noted Theodore.
“Don’t be afraid. I saw them,” Owl shook his head. “They are not on patrol; they are asleep, leaning against the wall. We could pass by them very quietly.”
All of a sudden, a quiet whisper emanated from a vent in the wall. Everyone turned to see a barely noticeable fog coming through the vent, covering the floor, and slowly filling up the room. The friends sniffed a sweet smell. Suddenly, all of them started feeling very sleepy.
“Hurry up and open the window, Natasha!” Owl quickly said. “There is something I don’t like about this gas!”
Natasha threw open the window and said, “We should ask Spy Mouse! He probably knows what this fog is.”
Natasha ducked down near Spy Mouse, who was sleeping on a rug under the bed and was already completely covered with fog. She started shaking him, trying to wake him up, but she wasn’t able to rouse him.
Finally Spy Mouse opened his eyes and asked in a perturbed voice, “What is going on?”
“What is this gas that is coming from the vents? Is it dangerous?” Natasha asked anxiously.
“No, there is nothing dangerous.” Spy Mouse yawned. “This is just the Sleeping Gas of Forgetfulness. It is actually very nice: you forget about everything in the world and sleep peacefully till morning.”
And with that, Spy Mouse fell back to sleep.
“We should not lose any time! If we fall asleep, then it will be the end of us! We need to get away quickly!” Owl exclaimed as he flew out through the window.
But he came back right away and landed on the windowsill. Nervously blinking with his big round eyes, Owl whispered, “It’s too late! The two guards are already heading here. I think the Queen sent them to make sure we wouldn’t escape. Quickly, into your beds! Put out the lights and don’t make any noises! Let them think that we’re asleep!”
Natasha shut off the light and everyone climbed into their beds. Owl landed on the bedpost near the window. Very soon, heavy steps sounded. The guards marched to the window and stopped right under it.
One of the guards said, “It looks like the tourists are sleeping. I am not hearing any sounds. But we still should check. Help me up; I will look into the window.”
A rustling came from outside the window and soon the guard’s head appeared. He carefully examined the room. The friends were lying motionless, for they were afraid to even breathe.
“Good! They are sleeping!” said the guard as he jumped down.
“It wouldn’t hurt for us to get some sleep also!” the second guard replied. “We could stay right here under the window.”
The rustling sounded again and then silence followed. A few minutes later a loud snoring filled the air. The guards were fast asleep.
But the Sleeping Gas of Forgetfulness was still filling the room. It had already risen above the beds’ level. Everyone, except for Owl, was asleep after breathing the gas. Owl was sitting on the bedpost and he was up above everyone else, so the gas did not affect him. Owl realized that his friends were in great danger, but he didn’t know how to help them. He started pushing Natasha, trying to wake her up.
Natasha finally opened her eyes, sat up on the bed and asked, “What happened? I had such a good sleep!”
“We need to run, but I don’t know how we can do that!” Owl replied. “Under the window there are two guards, and the gas is filling the room up. Get up quickly! When you stand up, you will be higher than the level of gas, and you will not fall asleep. We need to think of something fast!”
Natasha got up and staggered toward the wall. Being affected by the sleeping gas, it was hard for her to keep her balance. At the wall she began teetering to the left. In order to keep from falling, she grabbed onto the great mirror on the wall in a carved wooden frame. The mirror suddenly slid to the left and a metal door behind it became visible, which silently opened by itself.
Natasha and Owl saw that behind the door there was a tunnel leading underground. The walls of the passage were made of large bricks. From the door there were steps leading down. The underground was illuminated by the burning torches mounted on the walls.
“We need to get going,” Owl whispered, indicating the tunnel with his big, round eyes.
“But it is so scary down there! And we don’t even know where it leads!” Natasha protested.
“Falling asleep here is even scarier! If we stay, we will be frozen tomorrow!” Owl insisted. “The underground is our only chance. You grab the cat and the lizard, I will take the mouse, and then we run!”
“Why would we need to take Spy Mouse?” Natasha objected.
“Just in case,” Owl replied. “We could get lost in the underground, and he probably knows all of the entrances and exits.”
Natasha picked up the cat and the lizard, who were already sleeping so deeply that she couldn’t wake them if she wanted to. She headed underground. Owl, holding the sleeping Spy Mouse in his claws, flew after Natasha. Once they entered the tunnel, the metal door quietly closed. Natasha stopped and sat on the steps.
“Oh, this is so scary!” she whispered, “I feel that we are trapped!”
“Don’t be afraid! Fear will only hinder you! There is only one direction for us to go, and that is straight ahead!” Owl insisted.
Natasha began descending the stairs, holding the lizard and the cat, both still in a deep sleep.
Soon the stairs brought them to a cave, which was becoming a narrow tunnel farther down.
“I don’t know where this tunnel leads us, but there is no other way. Keep moving ahead!” Owl commanded as he flew down the tunnel.
Natasha followed him. The tunnel kept going farther and farther down. The brick walls were moist, and in some places, drops were streaming down.
Soon, the tunnel opened to a large, wide cave, dimly lit with torches. Natasha saw at the other end of the cave an underground lake.
“Now we are definitely in a trap!” Natasha exclaimed. “There aren’t any exits out of here, and all there is ahead is water!”
“There must be an exit! We just cannot see it!” Owl declared with confidence. “We need to wake up Spy Mouse. He knows everything!”
“We need to wake all of them up! But how?”
“Let’s try to spray some water from the lake on them,” Owl suggested.
“Good idea!” Natasha agreed. She scooped up water with her hands and splashed it on Theodore. The cat jumped up and started shaking his head. Natasha then splashed the Lizard Queen. She also woke up, blinking the sleep out of her eyes. But everything was much more difficult with Spy Mouse. No matter how much water Natasha threw on him, it had no effect. The mouse was sleeping so deeply that he didn’t even move at all.
“Nothing works! I am afraid that he will sleep until the morning now,” Owl said disappointedly.
“I think I know what to do!” Natasha exclaimed. She took a hazelnut out of her pocket, brought it right up to Spy Mouse’s nose and said, “Hey, mouse! Do you want this hazelnut? It smells great! It is so delicious too!”
The mouse twitched his little nose, sensing the scent of the hazelnut. Then he opened his eyes a slit and asked in a sleepy voice, “Is that hazelnut for me?”
“Yes, it is for you! Who else could it be for?” Natasha replied.
On this news, the Spy Mouse completely woke up. He grabbed the hazelnut and ate it quickly. Then he looked around and asked in amazement, “Wow, how did we get to the secret underground tunnel?”
“That is exactly what I wanted to ask too,” Theodore added, slowly blinking his sleepy eyes.
Owl told them the entire story of their running away through the hidden door.
“I think I remember something,” said Theodore. “I believe the Queen was planning on freezing us.”
“If we do not find a way out of here by the morning, then that is exactly what she will do!” Owl shivered. “But I don’t see any way out. Maybe you, Spy Mouse, know where the exit is, and you could show it to us, if it even exists at all.”
“There is a way out, but I cannot show it to you because it is deep under the water,” Spy Mouse answered. “There is a wall right in the middle of the lake, all the way down to the bottom of the lake, but in the wall there is a large opening that looks like a dragon’s head. This opening will take you to another cave, which leads up to the tunnel that will bring you straight to the forest.”
“And that is what you call the ‘way out?’ How do you expect us to go through it?” Owl said aghast. “I cannot swim at all, and neither can the cat, nor can the lizard. What should we do?”
“Even though I can swim, I have never swum so far, or gone so deep underwater, and especially in the darkness. This is so scary!” Natasha shuddered.
“Don’t worry,” Spy Mouse tried to calm them. “There will be no need for swimming. I know a secret switch here. If I press it, half of the lake water will run out into another cave below. Then you will be able to get to the opening by jumping on the rocks, which will be sticking out of the water. But there will be another problem, which is more difficult to overcome.”
“What other problem are you talking about?” Lizard Queen worried.
“At the bottom of the lake there lives a huge octopus. It can grab and eat anyone of you,” Spy Mouse warned.
“So there is an exit, but it is impossible to exit through it,” Natasha sighed.
“It is possible, but it is very dangerous,” Spy Mouse explained. “When the water drains out, it makes a lot of noise. The octopus is afraid of the noise, so it goes down to the bottom of the lake. Now listen carefully, this is what you need to do: When the water gets low enough to where you can see the rocks, then you need to start running across very fast. You will have about five minutes. It should be enough time for you to get to the wall and through the opening into another cave. You should be safe there. The octopus is a lot bigger than the opening in the wall, so it will not be able to get to the other side. Then you walk across the rocks on the other side to the shore. At the lake shore you will see the tunnel, which will lead you out to the forest. When you get to the forest, you will see two pathways. Take the one that goes to the right. It will lead you straight to the Neutral Territory. But make sure that you don’t take the one on the left! Otherwise you will end up in the Swamp of Doubts!”
“Aren’t you going with us?” Natasha asked.
“No, I cannot go with you,” Spy Mouse replied. “If the Queen were to find out that I was helping you, then she would kill me! I have to go back. After you go through the wall and to the tunnel at the shore, I will press another switch, so the water will fill the lake again. Then I will go back to the bedroom and fall back asleep. In the morning, when the Queen comes, she will think that you somehow escaped through the window, and I have had nothing to do with that. But now you need to hurry! Get ready, I am pressing the switch!”
Spy Mouse pressed the switch, which was hidden in the wall, and with a roar the water started draining out of the lake. Soon rocks became visible from under the water.
“Run! You don’t have much time!” Spy Mouse yelled out.
Theodore went first, jumping from one rock to another. The Lizard Queen tried jumping also, but she fell into the water. Owl grabbed her with his claws and flew toward the opening, which just appeared: the dragon’s head with its jaws wide open. A row of stalactites hanging down, like dragon’s teeth, and two green emeralds sparking like eyes completed the image.
Owl was the first to go through the opening and to the other side. He set the Lizard Queen on one of the rocks near the entrance to the tunnel. After a couple of minutes Theodore was already near Owl and the lizard. Natasha was only halfway to the opening. At this time the water fell silent as it had stopped draining. From under the water arose a giant octopus head with mammoth eyes.
“Natasha! Run faster and don’t look back!” Spy Mouse yelled out.
Natasha started running faster. Owl sensed trouble and flew back to Natasha. She was already near the opening, but the octopus was right next to her too. The octopus was huge. Its eyes looked mean and angry. It reached out with one of its long tentacles, wrapped it around Natasha’s left leg, and began pulling her underwater. But Natasha was able to grab onto the edge of the opening in the wall and she was trying her best to hold on. Owl fluttered around Natasha in panic, but could not help her in any way. The huge octopus was very strong. It lashed its tentacles around her leg and tightened the grip. Natasha realized that her exhausted hands will soon let go and she will fall right into the octopus’s jaws. Suddenly an incredibly bright white light emanated from the opening and made the emerald eyes sparkle even brighter. The white glow slowly illuminated the cave and blinded the huge octopus. The monstrous octopus had never seen such bright light ever before. It got scared, let go off Natasha’s leg, and swam away to the depths of the lake.
Natasha realized that this was the Light of Love, coming from her invisible Intuition Fairy. The Fairy saved the girl once again. Natasha thanked the Fairy through her thoughts and quickly climbed through the opening. Owl flew in after her. Jumping from rock to rock, Natasha quickly reached the shore.
“Are you by the tunnel already? Can I turn the water on?” Spy Mouse yelled out from the other side.
“Yes, we are at the tunnel!” Natasha yelled back to him.
“Don’t waste any time! Run quickly! And I am pressing the switch!” Spy Mouse shouted.
Roaring water sounded again. The water started filling the underground lake. The friends took off, running down the tunnel, which was well-lit with torches. Soon the tunnel ended and they ran out into the forest. The friends stopped. Even though the moon was shining brightly, the friends did not see a pathway.
“So where are these pathways? The left one and the right one?” Theodore questioned. “I don’t see either one. I can see very well at night, but there are no paths here!”
“I see one!” Owl exclaimed. “But I don’t know if that is the one we need. It seems like one of them has grown thick with weeds.”
“So what should we do now?” The Lizard Queen worried.
“We will go down the only pathway we have,” Owl suggested. “It looks like it leads to the right.”
The friends swiftly ran down the pathway, afraid of being pursued.

Back to the Table of Contents

Chapter 13



Just when they thought they were safe, Natasha fell waist-deep into a thick cold substance. Theodore and the Lizard Queen also got stuck in it. They were all struggling to get out.

“This is a swamp! It’s pulling us in!” screamed Natasha.

“Hold on to me! I will get you free!” said Owl.

He flew down to the Lizard Queen, grabbed her and carried her to a gray tree that was growing nearby. He placed her on the tree and went back for Theodore. He grabbed Theodore and also dropped him on the tree. By the time Owl came back for Natasha, the swamp had already pulled her in up to her neck.

“Hold on to me! I will pull you out!” Owl commanded.

But Natasha pleaded, “No, Owl, You can’t! I am too heavy for you! It looks like I will not be able to get out. Go to the SOURCE without me!”

“Ha-ha-ha!” came a peal of spiteful laughter from the next tree. It was the Snitch Crow. “So now you are trapped, tourists of the lowest category! And you wanted to get to the SOURCE! Sure, we will let you go there, sure! Ha-ha-ha! You will die here, you filthy girl! The Swamp of Doubts will suck you in completely, give it five more minutes! Now do you realize that the powers of Evil are much stronger than the powers of Kindness and Love? They will not let you get to the SOURCE! You are just a weak little girl, and you wanted to defeat the powers of Evil! And now you are in a panic! You are trembling! Be afraid! Be very afraid! Die! Die!” cackled the Snitch Crow.

Natasha really was scared. She was going deeper and deeper into the swamp. She had to tilt her head back in order to breathe.

And suddenly she got a very clear thought in her mind: ‘Don’t be afraid! The Swamp of Doubts is sucking you in only because you are afraid! Get rid of your fear! Get rid of your doubts! Then the powers of Kindness and Love will help you!’

Natasha understood that it was the Intuition Fairy who was telling her what to do. And suddenly Natasha stopped fearing the swamp and doubting her own strength at exactly the same moment when she trusted the Intuition Fairy. Natasha quelled her fear: “I am not afraid of evil powers! And I am not weak, I am very strong! You cannot do anything bad to me because within me I have the LOVE of my parents and my little brother! Love makes me a hundred times stronger!”

The swamp stopped pulling Natasha down, but then it began emitting a thick gray fog instead.

“There you go! Breathe the Fog of Doubts, you lowly tourist!” yelled the Snitch Crow. “Breathe it before you die!”

The fog came very close to Natasha and she could do nothing but start breathing it.

Thoughts of doubt again filled her head: ‘I am weak! I will die now! The powers of Kindness and Love will not be able to help me! There is not enough time! I am dying and I am frightened!’

Natasha started sinking again, but then she suddenly received another powerful thought, which she pronounced out loud, “I am strong! I will get out of here! I must live so I can help my parents find love, and to protect my new baby brother!”

And at that moment Natasha felt her feet connect with a solid surface, like that of a rock. She climbed up the rock until she was out of the swamp and standing in a meadow. Owl carried Theodore and the Lizard Queen over to Natasha.

“Criminal!” yelled the Snitch Crow. “Such breaking of our laws is unheard of! You have said so many forbidden words! This situation is way out of control! I will have to report it to the head of the Warrior Rats!” The crow stopped to consider and then added doubtfully, “Maybe she will give me a hazelnut….”

With that she flew away to the palace to complain to the head of the Warrior Rats, all the while screaming, “Help! They escaped! The tourists escaped! Help!”

“Oh how wonderful that you got out of the Swamp of Doubts!” said the Lizard Queen excitedly. “But I still don’t understand how you did it!”

“I don’t really understand it myself. I just believed I was strong and the powers of Kindness and Love would help me.” Natasha shrugged. “And right after I believed it I felt a solid path under my feet. I too am wondering, what was that solid path that got me out of the swamp?”

‘It was your solid faith in your strength and your belief that Kindness and Love are stronger than Evil. Your faith got you out of the swamp!’ Natasha heard the thought in her head. She understood that this insight was coming from the Intuition Fairy.

Suddenly, they heard a loud scream. It was a sound that was already too familiar to the friends. It was Patrick the Mutant, who was angry because he had been awakened by the crow’s shrieking.

“That is something that we really don’t need right now! Patrick the Mutant awake!” Theodore exclaimed as his fur stood up along his back. “I think that he is angry with us. Because of us he has lost his dinner. He has eaten only one fish.”

“Let’s not hesitate, friends!” Owl cautioned. “We better start running!” And the company began racing down the pathway, deep into the forest.

They ran through the gray forest, which was not very wide. As they reached the edge, they suddenly saw a golden, luminous light in the distance.

“That must be the Neutral Territory!” Natasha marveled. “The light must be coming from that land! It is so close, but I cannot run anymore, let’s take a rest!”

“That is too great a risk!” Owl objected. “I am certain they are pursuing us!”

“But I am very tired also,” Theodore complained. “Let’s rest for just a little bit at least!”

All of them dropped down on the grass without any strength remaining. But they did not get to rest very long before they heard the sound of loud tramping feet and saw three big Rats coming on the pathway.

“The chase!” screamed Owl.

They all jumped up and started running as fast as they could. The light was getting brighter and brighter as the Neutral Territory was getting closer. But the sound of tramping feet was also getting closer and closer. The Rats were catching up. One of the Rats, the biggest one, caught up with Natasha, who was last. The Rat reached out and grabbed Natasha by the wrist. Natasha tried to break away from her, but the Rat was too strong.

“Now I’ve got you, tourist! And you will not get away!” grinned the Rat.

Theodore turned around and started scratching and biting the Rat. The Lizard Queen did her best to bite also. Owl flew over and with a great burst of speed he smashed the Rat in her forehead with his powerful beak. The Rat squealed with pain. She had to let go of Natasha as she held her forehead with both paws.

The friends took off running again, but the two other Rats were quickly gaining ground on them. One of the Rats caught up with Theodore and bit his hind paw, but the cat was able to break free. Exhausted and slightly limping, Theodore was barely able to keep up with the friends. The light became brighter and brighter as the friends kept running.

Then Owl looked back and said, “There is nobody chasing us anymore! We can rest now!”

All of them realized that they were now in the Neutral Territory and they collapsed exhausted on the grass near the road. The first thing they noticed was that the grass was bright green, not a faded green-almost-gray, like it was before.

“What can I say!” said Theodore. “It feels like we just ran an obstacle course!”

“We made it! We got away from them!” exclaimed Natasha. “We are on the Neutral Territory here, and the grass is a lot greener!”

“I suggest that we make a stop here and get some sleep,” said Owl. “And tomorrow we can continue our journey.”

“Look, there is a little house nearby and there is a light in the window!” exclaimed Natasha. “Let’s ask them if we can stay for the night.”

“First we need to find out who lives there,” said Theodore. “What if it is someone like the warrior Rats?”

“You are right, we should be more careful,” the Lizard Queen agreed.

Back to the Table of Contents

Chapter 14



The friends approached the house, and when they got closer they saw that the place, even though it seemed to be small, did not appear to be shabby or cheap. It was built out of red brick, the roof was metal, and the windows were large with shutters of carved wood. Above the door there was an inscribed plaque:


“Oh, so this must be that same philosopher who predicted to the King of Evil that Natasha will destroy their kingdom!” the Lizard Queen exclaimed.

“I think that we definitely need to meet and talk with him,” Owl suggested. “I am often called a philosopher too, but that one is also ‘neutral’? What could that mean?”

“I don’t think that he is any danger to us,” said the Lizard Queen.

“And I think it would be very interesting to meet him! I want to know the truth about his prophecy,” said Natasha as she knocked on the door.

The door opened and there appeared a short old man with a friendly smile. His face was kind, but of all his features, his eyes were the most noticeable: they were glowing with happiness and joy, even though there was also something sly about them.

“I welcome you, travelers! It is always my pleasure to greet guests! Come into my home!” said the philosopher.

“You are a welcome sight and we are glad to meet you too!” Natasha beamed.

The company entered the house where it was bright, clean, and cozy. There was not much furniture: just a table, a few chairs, a sofa near the fireplace, and a wardrobe near the entrance. Also in the room were many shelves with various books, just like in a library, and a few shelves with strange small clay pitchers, pots, plates and mortars with pestles. Something else caught Natasha’s eye; it seemed unusual: on top of an old chest was a great violet crystal, set into a wrought bronze stand.

“Take a seat on the sofa!” said the philosopher. And after everyone sat down he asked, “So what is the purpose of your visit? What are the questions to which you don’t know the answers?”

“I wanted to ask, why do you call yourself ‘Neutral Philosopher’?” Owl blinked his big eyes.

I call myself that for two reasons,” the philosopher smiled. “First is that I live on the Neutral Territory between the Kingdom of Evil and the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. I am neutral to both of them, which means that I don’t belong to either of these kingdoms. Second is that I do not interfere; I am neutral to everything and to everyone. There are powers of evil, which serve the evil. There are powers of kindness, which serve the kind. But there must also be someone who is neutral. And that person is me. I don’t serve anyone. But I like giving advice to those who need it. Did you come to me for advice?” asked the philosopher.

“We are going to the SOURCE, to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love,” said Natasha. “We are searching for LOVE!”

“I see,” said the philosopher, rubbing his chin, “many people believe that they need to search for love. They spend all of their lives searching, but they never find it. Others believe that they need to wait for it. They wait all of their lives, but love still does not come to them. But where can Love be found?”

“Yes, where can love be found?” Natasha repeated the question.

“Let’s ask the Philosophical Stone of Wisdom!” said the philosopher as he walked over to the violet crystal. He put his hand on it and the stone started glowing with a pretty light violet color.

“Tell us, Philosophical Stone of Wisdom,” The philosopher called out, “Where can LOVE be found?”

The stone started emitting a fog. Suddenly, the stone answered in a deep voice, “Find it everywher-r-r-e, arou-u-nd, in your-r-r-self, insi-i-de….Lo-o-ok, for it, and you-u, wi-ill fi-ind i-it. You-u, ju-ust, ne-e-ed, to wi-ish, for i-it.”

“That is not very clear!” said Theodore.

“I did not understand any of that either,” said Natasha.

“You are getting too complicated again!” The philosopher kindly said to the stone. “I have told you many times, please, make it simpler, so it can be understandable to all: Where can Love be found?

“There are only two ways of finding love,” answered the stone in a now-monotone voice. “The first way is to ask the SOURCE OF LOVE about it, and the second way is to find it inside yourself, in your heart.”

“Well, now that is much more clear!” Owl cheered up. “I think that it would be simpler to ask the SOURCE about it, since we are going to see him anyway.”

“Of course you could ask the SOURCE for Love,” the Philosophical Stone of Wisdom agreed, “but I have a question myself to which I don’t have an answer. The question is HOW TO KEEP LOVE? I know that in the material world there is a law about the conservation of energy, but it works only with material energy….There should be some similar laws about Love also, laws about the conservation of Love….But I don’t know them, even though I feel that they must exist. You should ask the SOURCE of LOVE Himself about that.”

“This is exactly why we are going there!” Natasha exclaimed. “My Intuition Fairy told me that I should get the Laws of Love from the SOURCE and pass them on to all people!”

Natasha sighed and, finding courage in herself, asked the stone the question that was bothering not only her but also all of her friends, “And now, please, tell us, am I really that girl about whom you predicted to the King of Evil?”

“Yes, you are that exact girl,” the stone replied confidently.

The friends looked at each other in confusion and the philosopher looked at Natasha.

“But I am not going to destroy anything! I don’t want to do anything bad to anyone!” Natasha objected.

“I did not say that you are going to do something bad,” the stone answered. “I just said that you have the power to destroy the Kingdom of Evil and you have already started….Destroying evil does not mean you are doing something bad. Destroying evil means you are doing good.”

“Now I don’t understand at all,” Natasha replied in confusion.

“Everything has its own time,” the stone continued. “Now is the time for you to act, and later will come time for you to understand….”

The stone stopped glowing and the fog around it disappeared.

Neutral Philosopher turned to Natasha and smiled. “So you are that girl from the prophecy?”

“I don’t know, maybe that girl could be me, but I think that there is some mistake,” Natasha, who no longer felt like arguing, replied.

“No, it is not a mistake! It is your destiny!” the philosopher exclaimed.

“But how can I destroy the Kingdom of Evil?” an amazed Natasha questioned.

“Easily! With Kindness and Love!” explained Neutral Philosopher. “I can already feel your power to do that!”

“That is very interesting.” Owl commented. “With Kindness and Love it is very possible to defeat Evil, but that would not cause destruction. That would cause only a change!”

“Well, you could put it that way,” agreed the philosopher, “but that would still be the same thing.”

“Are you saying that I will change the Kingdom of Evil and it will become much kinder?” Natasha asked.

“Yes, that is correct,” the philosopher confirmed.

“Well, then, that is acceptable. It is better to change something than to destroy something,” Natasha commented. “And also I wanted to ask you two more questions. Who are the Purples and what is the 66th realm?”

“I am sorry, but I cannot tell you that,” replied Neutral Philosopher. “It is a great secret for the Kingdom of Evil. And the punishment for revealing that secret is death.”

“But then maybe we should ask the Philosophical Stone of Wisdom about it? A stone wouldn’t be afraid of death,” the wise Owl suggested.

“You could try that,” the philosopher agreed.

Natasha came close to the stone, put her hand on it, and asked the stone, “Tell us, Philosophical Stone of Wisdom, who are the Purples and what is the 66th realm?”

The stone started glowing with the purple light and unwillingly answered, “It is too early for you to know. And it is better for you to not know. But the right time will come, and then you will meet the Purples and travel to the 66th realm.”

“And when will that time come?” Natasha asked.

“In six years from now,” answered the stone and stopped glowing, demonstrating that the conversation was over.

“Well, for such information the stone most certainly will not be punished,” Owl commented in disappointment. “It told us something, but did not explain anything. Everything was so unclear.”

She turned to the philosopher, “Can we please stay the night at your house? We are very tired and very much in need of sleep!”

“Of course you can!” said the philosopher. “Arrange yourselves wherever you like!”

So the travelers placed themselves on the big comfortable sofa and settled in for the night.

The next day when the friends woke up, the Neutral Philosopher was no longer at home.

On the table there was a note, “Sorry, I left to attend to some pressing business. If you are hungry, there is food in the refrigerator. If you cannot wait for my return, then goodbye! I wish you luck!”

“I think that we better not lose any more time,” said the Lizard Queen.

“I agree. I cannot wait until we meet with the SOURCE!” said Natasha.

So the friends continued on their journey. They headed down the narrow pathway toward the light until they saw a young girl who was sitting under a tree, playing a tender melody on a flute. The melody was very beautiful as was the girl. But the most notable of all her features were her eyes. They were big, blue, and they were softly glowing with love and kindness. To Natasha it seemed that she had already seen her somewhere before.

The girl noticed the travelers and she smiled at all of them pleasantly.

“Oh, now I remember you!” Natasha exclaimed happily. “But back when I first met you, you were just a tiny little girl and you also had wings.”

“We all grow, even fairies. And the wings, I don’t need them here, I can fly without them.”

The Intuition Fairy stretched out her hand with the flute and it suddenly disappeared. She came up closer to the travelers and saw that Natasha’s hands were scarred from her battle with the Rats.

“Don’t worry about those scars, they will heal right away,” said the Intuition Fairy as she moved her hand over Natasha’s.

Everyone looked at Natasha’s hands and they were amazed that the scars had instantly disappeared.

“I was also injured!” Theodore complained. “The dragon burned my fur, the piranha bit my tail, and during the chase, the Rat bit my paw and now I am limping. Can you help me?”

“Of course!” answered the Intuition Fairy.

She came over to Theodore and gently petted him with both of her hands, from head to tail. Theodore’s fur turned long, white, and fluffy again.

Theodore made a few jumps, moved his tail, and exclaimed, “How great! I’ve stopped limping and I no longer feel pain in my tail!”

“Are you a magician?” Natasha asked the Fairy.

“I am in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love,” replied the Fairy, “and so are you. Love is everywhere around you. Love is what has healed you! Even the worst of all diseases and illnesses melt in the presence of Love as fast as ice melts in boiling water. Although it is true that I am something of a magician, my power is not great. And now, my dear travelers, I will take you to the real Magician. That is, the SOURCE OF LOVE!”

“And where is he, the SOURCE OF LOVE? And can he be seen?” pleaded Natasha.

“He is everywhere. Usually you cannot see him but you can feel him. He is invisible,” explained the Fairy, “but some people still can see him. Those are the people who really are very kind. Their hearts are so full of Love and they always share this Love with others. The SOURCE OF LOVE allows those people to not only see him, sometimes he talks to them and even lets them dive into his energy. He, himself, chooses the people and they are called ‘The Chosen.’”

“But who is He, this SOURCE OF LOVE?” Owl questioned.

“The SOURCE OF LOVE is your best and most faithful friend, your greatest helper. He is the kindest of all, the most powerful magician of all magicians and the most wonderful miracle of all miracles because he is the one who creates all miracles!” the fairy replied.

“Yes, I have already learned about that!” said Theodore, who was still feeling euphoric after being healed.

“You will see many more miracles, my dear friends!” the Intuition Fairy promised. “So let’s get going!”

The company started their journey. They were going toward the light, which was getting brighter and brighter.

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Chapter 15



By this time everything at the Queen’s palace was all stirred up. The Queen was blaming the warrior Rats for not catching Natasha and her friends. The Father King was blaming the guards for sleeping on their shift and not stopping the escape. The advisors were arguing among themselves about which of them should have predicted the escape. Only Thomas was calm. Everyone had forgotten about him, so he was in the garden doing what he always enjoyed doing – drawing pictures of nature.

When the Queen of Evil and the Father King got tired of blaming the security guards, they met in the hall for a discussion.

“So, Father, we have lost the tourists. But it is not so bad, we can always catch them on their journey back!” said Caroline. “Either way they are going to have to come through our Kingdom once again, there is no other way! So that is when we will catch them!”

“Yes, we will catch them and next time we’ll freeze them!” replied the Father King. “We cannot let them go back to their country and spread their LOVE! And that girl from the prophecy is too great a threat to our kingdom.”

“Well, I wouldn’t think that,” Caroline disagreed. “I think that we can easily take care of that terrible girl when she comes back. I am more worried about the other problem! What should we do with Thomas? Of course the suggestion from the Fourth Advisor sounds interesting, but I am afraid that it will not help Thomas. He is way too kind. We might just lose more time.”

“So what can we do with him?” asked the King.

“There is only one person who could help us. That is Socrates, the Neutral Philosopher,” answered Caroline. “He always gives the most correct answers. And I want to go with Thomas to him right now for advice!”

“But the only way to get to him is through the forest, and that is where all of the robbers are! That can be very dangerous!” exclaimed the King.

“Don’t worry, we will go there in the tank and will take a few warrior Rats with us,” replied Caroline.

“That is a good idea!” the King agreed. “I will go with you. I will order the servants to prepare the tank and you go look for Thomas. He is probably in the garden.”

When all of the preparations were ready, the royal family set out in the old tank. The King had recently bought it from Adrian for a very low price and he was glad that he had got it for cheap. The old tank was moving slowly down the road, making a lot of noise and smoke, and behind the tank there were ten warrior Rats on foot. The journey was not long and soon they arrived at the philosopher’s house successfully.

“It will be better if I go in by myself, and you and Thomas stay here and wait for me,” said Caroline. “If you are needed then I will call you.”

Caroline got out of the tank, went up to the door and knocked.

The philosopher opened the door and said with a warm smile, “I welcome you, Caroline! Come into my house, I am glad to see you!”

“I am glad to see you too, Socrates!” replied Caroline as she entered the house. She settled on the sofa and the philosopher sat in the chair across from her.

“So tell me, what has brought you here to me?” he asked.

“The biggest problem for me is my son Thomas,” the Queen answered. “He is way too kind. But he is my only successor! The day when he will become king is close! But how will he rule the Kingdom of Evil when he has such a love for everyone? So I have come to you for advice. You are my last hope.”

“I see!” said the Neutral Philosopher. “Your problem really is difficult. It is almost impossible to make Thomas evil since he was born in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. And also his heritage: his father was from that realm. You did the right thing in coming to me, only I know how to help you. But it will cost you one million gold coins!”

“What?! How much? One million? Did I hear you right?” Caroline asked indignantly.

“Yes, you have heard me right, one million,” repeated the philosopher.

“But you used to always give your advice for free!” Caroline huffed. “You always used to say that you did not need money!”

“And I am still not saying that I need money. I don’t need money, but I need what I can buy with money,” declared the philosopher.

“So what do you want to get for my million gold coins? You have to admit, it is a rather large amount!”

“I am getting old and I don’t need much. I already have almost all that I need. But now I want to travel, I want to see the world. So that is why I need money. I cannot travel without it. And you need my advice to help you and I can give you this advice. So we will trade. We will trade my information for your money. Then I will trade the money for a trip around the world. But I am not asking for anything extra, this amount is exactly what I will require to purchase my trip.”

“I see, Socrates, that now you are turning evil,” said Caroline. “Earlier you used to give your advice for free. There is only one part to this that satisfies me: now, it seems as if evil is winning! Money has corrupted you. This means that money serves the negative power, which is my Kingdom of Evil!”

“It is not a fact; it is only your opinion that I have become worse and that money serves the negative power. The fact is that money is neutral. Money is a neutral currency of exchange for any situation in life! And that is a fact!”

“Enough!” said the Queen. “I will give you one million gold coins. But now tell me what can I do to turn Thomas to the evil side?”

“Give me the money first,” said the philosopher. “I am familiar with your cunningness, Caroline. Write me your royal check and then I will give you the answer to your question.”

“Fine,” said Caroline, “What else can I do? I am sure your advice is well worth the price.”

She took out her checkbook, wrote out the royal check and gave it to the Neutral Philosopher. He examined it carefully and put it in his pocket.

Then he said, “In order to turn a kind person into an evil one you need to anger and irritate him: Do not allow him to do anything, forbid everything, talk to him only in an irritated and angry voice, put him down, offend him, criticize his appearance and his behavior, his intellectual ability, his creativity. You need to show your absolute confidence that he will not succeed in anything, that he is worthless and that nobody needs him. You need to show him your hatred and disgust. And you need to do that regularly and continuously. This will help to disconnect him from the SOURCE OF LOVE and he will then become wicked.”

“I see,” the Queen acknowledged. “This information really is worth a million. Even my grandmother never treated me in such a way, even though she was the most evil of all our family. But if that will help Thomas then I will do it.”

“Let’s also listen to the philosophical stone just to be sure,” the philosopher suggested.

He hobbled over to the stone and put his palm over it. The stone started glowing with a pleasant light violet color and started emitting fog.

“Tell us, the Philosophical Stone of Wisdom, what needs to be done in order to turn a kind person into an evil person?” asked the philosopher.

“He needs to be angered again and again continuously,” spoke the stone.

“You see, I am right,” said the philosopher.

“Yes, you are right,” replied the Queen, “But I have another question for you. This girl from the prophecy, is she really that dangerous?”

“We could ask the Philosophical Stone of Wisdom about it, but only if you give me one more million,” the philosopher smiled cunningly.

“One more million? What for? Just because of a girl?” the Queen hissed. “You must have gone crazy! I am not giving you another million! I know it well even without your advice that we can easily take care of that girl!”

“Well then, goodbye, Your Highness!” the philosopher smiled again.

He did not want to reveal the truth about Natasha to the Queen. Aware of her weakness for money, he knew that she would refuse to pay.

“Okay then, goodbye!” the Queen replied with discontent, as she headed toward the door.

When Caroline came outside, she got into the tank and told her father, “Good news! I found out what we need to do, but we will talk about it at home.”

The Royal family turned around and headed back home. The tank was slowly moving through the forest, but suddenly it stalled. The driver Rat tried starting it several times, but her attempts were unsuccessful. The tank was coughing, groaning, and making a lot of noise, but it wouldn’t start. The engine compartment started smoking.

“I am sorry, Your Highnesses, but we cannot drive in the tank any farther. The tank has broken down,” the driver Rat reported with her head down.

“You see, Father! I told you that we should have purchased a brand new tank, but you argued that it was too expensive!” Caroline exclaimed indignantly. “You are always trying to save money! This is not something that you should save money on! What are we going to do now?”

“Don’t worry, daughter,” answered the king, “we can walk the rest of the way. It is not very far. And I will buy a new tank. I will ask Adrian for a discount because this tank broke down!”

So the royal family left the tank and started for home. The warrior Rats followed behind.

Suddenly they heard a commotion from the forest and a gang of robbers rode out on horseback into the road in front of them. When the warrior Rats saw the robbers they took off running, leaving the Father King, Caroline and Thomas alone. The robbers surrounded the royal family. One of the robbers had caught Caroline’s attention. He was a tall handsome man with an athletic body. He was the chieftain of the robbers.

He jumped down from the horse, and said as he bowed, “I welcome you, Your Highnesses! I am the chieftain of the robbers. My name is Ron. I am sorry to bother you, but, after all, this is my job. You are currently in my territory and if you want to continue your journey then you will have to pay me a ransom of 100,000 gold coins!”

“What? And since when has this territory been considered yours?” defied the King. “I don’t remember declaring that!”

“We took it without any declaration, Your Highness, just because we are robbers,” answered the handsome chieftain. “And if you wish to continue your journey, then you will have to pay the ransom. And if you will not pay the ransom, then you must come with us and we will decide what to do with you.”

“But why 100,000? Just one week ago you took only 10,000 gold coins from my advisor!” the King continued.

“First, there is inflation, Your Highness. As you know, prices are getting higher. And second, he was just an advisor and you are the king!” said Ron, bowing again.

“This is outrageous!” the King raged. “This is discrimination by position and title!”

“No, this is not! This is more like showing respect for your title!” the chieftain answered with a humorous grin. “How could I offend you by charging you as much as for a mere advisor?”

“It’s okay, Father! Let’s just pay them,” said Caroline.

All this time she was feasting her eyes on the chieftain. She liked his appearance, his wittiness, his cleverness and even his sense of humor, even though she usually hated when people joked. The Neutral Territory was showing its nature and the Queen’s attitude was slightly changing, as she was becoming kinder.

“Oh well,” said the King in a disappointed tone, “if you insist on it that much then I guess I will have to pay. I will write you my royal check for 100,000.”

“No, we don’t want a check!” replied the chieftain. “You know very well, Your Highness, that we have no access to your banks, they are full of guards. So we can accept cash only.”

“But I don’t have that much cash with me!” exclaimed the King.

“Then we will keep Prince Thomas as a hostage,” said the chieftain. “The rest of you will go back home and you can send the ransom with one of your servants. Once we’ve received the ransom, then we will let Thomas go.”

“But maybe it would be better if you keep me as a hostage?” offered Caroline.

The chieftain looked at her carefully.

“Maybe it would be better to keep you, Your Highness, but we would rather keep Thomas as a hostage. That way will be more reliable.”

The Father King and Caroline had no other choice except to agree with the robbers. So they left Thomas and continued their journey back to the palace.

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Chapter 16



At the same time as Thomas was being kidnapped, the Intuition Fairy, Natasha, and her friends were continuing their journey in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. They were walking down a narrow pathway toward the light, which just kept getting brighter and brighter. Soon they saw little pretty houses on the horizon. And in the sky appeared a large blimp painted in rainbow colors.

“What are those houses and who lives there?” asked Natasha.

“Those are the houses of the residents of our Kingdom of Kindness and Love,” answered the Fairy.

“The people of your Kingdom must be poor, since they live in such tiny houses,” said Theodore.

“No, our people are very rich!” replied the Fairy. “We can create anything that we wish for ourselves!”

“So you are saying that if you wish for a golden ring with diamonds then you will get one?” asked the Lizard Queen.

“Of course!” said the Intuition Fairy. “Look!”

She stretched out her hand with the palm up and suddenly, out of nowhere, a golden ring with diamonds appeared on her palm.

“Wow!” exclaimed Theodore. “Where did it come from?”

“From the SOURCE!” answered the Fairy. “He can give us everything that we need and want. I thought that I needed the ring, I imagined in my head the kind of ring I wanted; the SOURCE caught my thoughts and created the ring.”

The Fairy slightly waved her hand and the ring disappeared.

“Why did you un-create it?” asked Natasha. “That ring was so pretty!”

“Because I don’t need it,” answered the Fairy. “And if I do need it, then I will just create another one. The SOURCE will help me.”

“Wow! So he really is a magician, this SOURCE!” exclaimed the Lizard Queen.

“Yes, he is a magician,” answered the Fairy. “He is the most powerful of all magicians!”

“But why do the people of your Kingdom live in such small houses when they could create great mansions?” asked Natasha.

“The people of our Kingdom are absolutely happy and therefore they don’t need unnecessary trappings,” answered the Fairy. “It is when people are not completely happy that they are always striving for grand, expensive things. They think things will substitute for happiness, or at least partially compensate them. But they will not substitute for happiness because Happiness Is In Love! And that is why we prefer to live a simple life, even though we can create mansions. We do not give much importance to wealth. Sometimes we do create big houses, but those are only temporary. They are usually designed as a place where we celebrate somebody’s birthday or anniversary. And we do have mansions, but those are our galleries, theaters, libraries and gardens. They are permanent.”

“And what is that blimp in the sky?” asked Theodore.

“That is the latest invention of our architect, Nicholas. It is our new kindergarten, ‘Hummingbird.’ Children like it. But I like his underwater cottage homes the most. Those are made of thick glass and are located deep in the ocean. It is wonderful to sit on a couch at home and watch the marine life swimming by. About a year ago I created one of those homes from his model when my friend, the Fairy of Good Dreams, came to visit me. She was delighted by that home. And when she left I un-created it and went back to living in a small home.”

“But why did you un-create it?” asked Theodore. “That must be fun to watch the fish.”

“Yes, it is fun, but it is very hard to get there. You have to use the underwater taxi.”

“I don’t understand,” Owl broke into the conversation. “Do you think that being wealthy is good or bad?”

“Being wealthy is of course a good thing. For the people of your country it means more possibilities. With the use of money they can make their lives more interesting. For example, they can travel, see other countries, their cultures and their traditions, or buy a comfortable home and make it cozy and beautiful, or buy delicious food. Everything that we can easily create with our thoughts your people have to buy. For you, wealth brings a certain security and protection. And that is good. But it can be bad when money becomes a trap and it closes the channel for LOVE! It happens when a person gives in to greed and starts feeling superior to others, or when a person starts thinking that money is happiness. Then money becomes their main priority, their main goal in life. Then greed, selfishness and pride fill their heart and that heart no longer has any place for LOVE.”

“But there are people who have both wealth and Love!” the Lizard objected.

“Of course! There are many people like that!” the Fairy agreed. “But the wealthy have a different problem: it is very hard for them to find true Love. Many people purposely try to marry someone wealthy in order to solve their own financial problems. And they love not them but their money, just as with the example of Adrian.”

“What should they do then?” asked Owl.

“Very simple!” answered the Fairy. “Put aside all of your fears, free your heart from worry and greed, and then the heart will be able to feel Love! And then you will find the one who really loves you!”

“But it is hard to find the one who really loves you!” Owl continued arguing. “Especially when you have a lot of money….”

“It can be done easily,” the Fairy replied. “Ask the Source to give you LOVE. The Source will gladly give you love if you sincerely ask for it.

“But if that is so simple, then why can’t all people ask the SOURCE for LOVE?” asked Natasha.

“That is the problem; it is rare when someone asks for LOVE!” the Fairy answered. “Usually people ask for money, a better job and other material things. And it disappoints the SOURCE that people value money more than LOVE. If they would ask him for LOVE then he would gladly give it. The SOURCE likes it when people want LOVE because he is the SOURCE of LOVE! The main mistake many people make is that they ask for money. DO NOT ASK THE SOURCE FOR MONEY, ASK FOR LOVE! And he will give you money as a reward!”

“But the people of your Kingdom are wealthy too!” the Lizard Queen challenged. “Why are they not in a trap?”

“The people of our Kingdom live in LOVE! And their main concern is to do good to those whom they love. They are always in a great mood, they are absolutely happy and therefore they don’t need anything excessive, they only need what is necessary. The principal feeling of our people is LOVE. And from LOVE come such feelings as joy, happiness, satisfaction and most important, the will to make other people happy.”

“And what do the people of your Kingdom do?” asked Theodore. “If they can create everything so easily, houses, clothing, and food, what else do they have to do?”

“They do art,” answered the Fairy. “They draw paintings, write books. But their main form of art is to come up with new ideas of how to make other people happier! The SOURCE likes that kind of art especially because happier people are his main goal and bring him great satisfaction.”

“I understand,” said Natasha. “I used to always feel that satisfaction when my mom and dad were happy.”

Then she pointed to the buildings up ahead. “Are we going to go into this town?”

“We could go in if you are not in a hurry,” the Fairy suggested. “You decide.”

“Of course it would be fun to see how people of the Kingdom of Kindness and Love live, but we really are in a hurry,” said Natasha. “We need to meet the SOURCE, and return home as soon as possible so we can help my parents, the Lizard Queen’s sons and Owl’s daughter.”

“So let’s hurry then,” said the Fairy, and the company continued their journey.

Soon they all saw a strange glimmer in the distance that looked like gates.

“What is that?” asked Theodore.

“That is the customs checkpoint,” answered the Fairy.

“What? Another customs? So do we have to pay again? We don’t have anything left!” said Owl indignantly.

“Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay here,” smiled the Fairy. “These customs only check to see if you are worthy of meeting with the SOURCE, or if you have done any bad deeds in your lives.”

Everyone became very quiet, trying to remember if they had done any bad deeds.

When they got closer they saw high beautiful gates and standing near were two tall guards who were smiling. The guards were wearing white uniforms with shiny gold buttons and buckles.

“Hello! We are glad to welcome you to our Kingdom!” the guards said in unison.

“In order to meet with the SOURCE,” the first guard said, “you have to go through our screening so we can see if you are worthy to meet with the SOURCE.”

“Let’s start with the smallest one of you,” the second guard continued. “Go through these gates please!”

The smallest one of them was the Lizard Queen. She swiftly marched through the gates. Everyone watched, as right in midair a screen lit up, glowing in a pleasant turquoise color.

“Awesome!” said one of the guards. “Such a clean, kind, righteous color! It seems you haven’t done anything really terrible in your life!”

“No!” said the other guard, as he pointed to the screen. “Here in the corner I see a little brown spot… So, please recall what you have done wrong.”

The Lizard Queen looked at one guard and then at the other with amazement, but she really could not remember what she had done wrong.

“Okay!” said one of the guards. “I will help you. You were stressed over minor details. When your children would not get along, you were stressed a great deal.”

“And how is that wrong?” the Lizard Queen asked with amazement. “How is being stressed out considered wrong?”

“If the stressing is done over minor worries then it is wrong,” answered the first guard. “And that is exactly your case! First, remember, they are just children. All children argue and then five minutes later they get along just fine. Second, you give away your energy to the powers of evil when you allow yourself to be stressed. The powers of evil need your energy, so they purposely send bad thoughts to your children that make them fight. If you stop feeling stressed about it, then your children will stop their feuds.”

“I understand!” said the Lizard Queen. “Thank you for such great advice!”

“Now, answer our question: Do you admit that you have done wrong?” asked the second guard.

“Yes, I admit it,” answered the Lizard Queen.

From the side of the screen a pleasant ring chimed and the little spot disappeared.

“Congratulations! You are worthy of meeting the SOURCE!” said the guards in unison. “Who is next?”

Owl was next. He walked through the gates and stopped. The screen lit up in a pleasant turquoise color and it clearly had two black spots in the corners.

“Your problems are more serious!” said one of the guards. “Please recall, what bad deeds have you done?”

The Owl realized that he had to confess, so in a confident voice he said, “The first bad deed I did when I was building my nest. I did not have enough branches, so I stole a few from my neighbor when he was gone. When he noticed what I had done, he came to me to complain. So I pecked him in the head. That was my second bad deed.”

“I see,” said the first guard, “theft and fighting. This is serious.”

“Do you admit that your deeds were very bad and can you promise not to do that anymore?” questioned the second guard.

“I do admit and I do promise!” stated Owl as he lowered his head in shame.

A ring from the screen chimed again and the two black spots disappeared.

“Congratulations! You are worthy to meet the SOURCE!” said the guards in unison. “Who is next?”

When Theodore heard that he started backing up and said, “I will let Natasha go first because she is a girl.”

Natasha walked into the gates and the screen lit up in turquoise light again, but this time it was glittering with golden sparks.

“What a good girl!” said the first guard. “But what is that tiny light-brown spot?”

“I deceived my mom once,” Natasha confessed. “My mom bought some delicious candies before Christmas and said that nobody should eat them until Christmas. But I did not have enough patience, and at night when everyone was asleep I went to the kitchen and ate two candies. On the next day I felt very guilty, especially in front of my mom, but I still did not confess. I admit that what I did was bad and I promise that I will never do that again!”

The screen chimed again and the spot disappeared.

“We believe you! Now you are worthy to meet the SOURCE!” said the first guard.

“Congratulations!” said the second guard.

Natasha stepped through the gates.

Next it was Theodore’s turn. He was afraid because he had done so many bad deeds and on top of that, his deeds were very bad. He was sure that he would not be allowed to go in, but he did want to meet the SOURCE. He looked around and noticed that to the left and to the right of the gates there wasn’t any fencing. So he thought, They will not let me go anyway, so I will try to run around the gate! I can run fast; they will never catch me!

Theodore ran to the left of the gate as fast as he could. Suddenly bells started going off in every direction. Theodore found himself suspended in midair about a yard off the ground. He was swiftly moving his feet but he was still held in the same spot. He looked funny hanging there and the guards laughed.

“So where are you trying to run to, buddy?” asked one of the guards, still laughing. “Do you really think that you can get to the SOURCE of LOVE by cheating? No way, buddy! Either confess your evil deeds right now in front of everyone or go back!”

“I confess! I will tell everything!” cried Theodore, helplessly moving his feet in the air.

One of the guards came over to Theodore, grabbed him with both hands and placed him on the ground in front of the gates. Theodore walked through the gates. The screen lit up in a turquoise color again, but this time it had three big black spots and a lot of little spots.

“Wow!” said one of the guards. “Now this is a serious case! But we will still listen to you.”

Theodore felt both upset and disappointed. He realized that he would not be allowed to see the SOURCE and that all of the amazing feats he had accomplished on this dangerous journey would have been in vain. Now, he regretted with all of his heart the wicked deeds he had done. He started crying; but he had to confess. It was very hard for him to do. Especially because he felt so ashamed before Natasha. She was always taking care of him and she had done so many nice things for him! And how had he repaid her! He had eaten her favorite parrot, Goga. Theodore recalled how sad Natasha had been, and he started crying even louder.

But then he gathered up his strength and said, “The worst deed that I have ever done was when I ate Natasha’s favorite parrot, Goga. My second very bad deed was when I ate our neighbor’s little guinea pig. It got into our yard through a little hole in the fence. The neighbors were calling and looking for it for a whole week, but they never found it. And the third bad deed was when I caught a sparrow in the yard and ate it too.”

“Yes,” said one of the guards, “those really are bad deeds. Do you admit your fault and do you promise that it will never happen again?”

“I don’t know! I really don’t know!” said Theodore. “Of course it is a very bad deed to eat someone. But that is my way of feeding myself because I am a predator, so doesn’t that justify my deeds?”

“It could justify your deeds if you were homeless and starving. But you were not starving! We know that Natasha feeds you well!” explained the guard. “And taking away a life just because you enjoy it is unforgivably evil!”

After this explanation Theodore realized his fault and declared, “I was wrong! I admit my fault and I promise that I will never do that again!”

“And what are those little black spots?” asked the second guard. “There are so many of them!”

“I often used to steal pieces of meat and sausage from the kitchen table when Natasha’s mom was gone. I admit my fault and I promise that I will not do that anymore either!”

All of them were watching the screen with hope, but the spots did not disappear.

“We are sorry,” said the guards, “but we cannot let you go to the SOURCE. The spots have remained, which means that you are still not worthy to see him!”

Theodore started crying again. The entire company became very distraught.

Then Natasha said, “Yes, Theodore is guilty, but I forgave him for Goga. Please help him. Isn’t there anything that can be done so he is made worthy to meet with the SOURCE?”

“He could ask the SOURCE himself for forgiveness,” said one of the guards. “You just need to ask him aloud if that is your desire. The SOURCE Always Hears and Forgives Those Who Sincerely Ask Him!”

Theodore was in despair. He cried in a loud pleading voice, “Dear SOURCE! Please forgive me! I am guilty! And I am terribly sorry! I promise I will never do that ever again!”

Suddenly, the bell chimed near the screen and the spots disappeared. Only the turquoise color remained.

“Congratulations! You are worthy to meet with the SOURCE!” said the guards. “You can go in!”

Theodore swiftly ran through the gates, fearing that the guards might change their minds. He raced to Natasha and she picked him up. She was so happy that it all had turned out so well.

“I am very happy for you, my dear!” said the Intuition Fairy. All of this time she had been standing nearby and was silently watching. “My mission is complete. You can go through the rest of your journey to the SOURCE without me. Just go toward the light. Goodbye!”

“Goodbye, Fairy! Thank you for everything!” said Natasha as the fairy suddenly disappeared as if she had dissolved into the air.

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Chapter 17



The friends were walking toward the light, which was getting brighter and brighter. But it was not a usual kind of light. It felt warm, gentle, tender and kind. As it touched their hair, it was gently caressing their hair; as it touched their face, it was kissing their face. The light felt like it was penetrating their body and it made their hearts feel joyous and happy, with a feeling of love for the entire world, a world that had suddenly become so wonderful!

And there was also an absolute confidence that the entire world also loved them, loved them so much that they simply could not resist to love it back in return. It was obvious, they realized, that this magic light was ALIVE, that he understood everything and that he felt everything.

He was very huge, endless. He was very powerful. He was omnipotent. His strength and power were in his LOVE! He was the SOURCE of LOVE! Those who were inside him felt incredible joy, satisfaction, and peace. It was a feeling that they were mighty and filled with the desire to help all those who were in need; the desire to do as much good to everyone as possible and also the desire to share this wonderful feeling in their hearts with everyone, to share LOVE! This SOURCE-LIGHT was bright golden yellow with a light-green shimmer. It was beautiful, and pleasant to the eyes, even though it was very bright.

The travelers felt that they gained strength and energy as they came closer. It became much easier to walk and so they moved faster. Soon they felt that the LIGHT was getting thicker and finally it became very dense. The thickness of it was somewhere between the thickness of air and the thickness of water, but it was pleasant and easy to breathe. Walking was becoming easier and easier. They got a strange feeling that after each step they were slightly floating up and down.

Natasha pushed away from the ground with more force and floated up, but then she slowly came back down.

“Look! I am flying!” she exclaimed.

The Lizard Queen and Theodore also started jumping and flying up in the air, giggling as they went along.

“Hmm, I am flying anyway,” said Owl. “But now I feel like I am also swimming instead of simply flying.”

“Yes,” said Natasha, “you are right. This feeling could be called flying but it could also be called swimming.”

“It would be difficult for me to argue with you because I have never swum or flown before,” said Theodore. “But I absolutely don’t care if I am flying or swimming or flying-swimming. The most important thing is that I am enjoying it. And this feeling is much better even than what I feel when I am lying in the sun!”

“I think that the SOURCE is alive and is kind,” said the Lizard Queen.

“I think so, too,” said Natasha, “and I am wondering if we can actually talk with him.”

“Of course you can talk with me!” Natasha heard the reply. But it sounded strange, not at all like a usual voice.

Natasha stopped and the rest of the company stopped also. All of them were staring at each other in amazement. Then Natasha realized why the reply sounded so strange: the SOURCE of LOVE was communicating mentally. What she had heard was not a voice but a thought in her head. But that thought was very different from her own thoughts, it was somewhat “brighter.”

“Did he answer you, or did it just seem like that to me?” asked Theodore.

“Yes, I answered Natasha and everyone can hear me,” spoke the SOURCE.

“So you talk through thoughts?” asked Natasha.

“Yes, I communicate through thoughts and all of you hear me at the same time, just as all of you see me and feel my Kindness and Love to you.”

“Are all of the people able to see, hear and feel you?” asked Natasha.

“No, not all, only those who are able to see, hear and feel LOVE,” answered the SOURCE.

“You mean there are those people who are not able to see, hear or feel LOVE?” asked Theodore.

“Yes there are. Those people who do not believe in the existence of love are not able to feel love. Their hearts are closed to Love and for me it is very hard to reach out to them.”

“And why do they not believe that Love exists?” asked the Lizard Queen.

“The powers of evil plant in them the thoughts that Love does not exist, and they accept these thoughts as their own, and believe in them.”

“And why don’t you plant in them that Love does exist?” Owl asked.

“Instead of just planting the thoughts, I simply let them feel Love. In all people, during birth, I insert a piece of Love in their heart, and this Love stays with them for the rest of their lives. With this Love people find kindness, joy, good luck and happiness. And my helpers, the powers of Kindness and Love, always come to help them during a difficult time. I always stay connected: little rays of Love from people’s hearts reach me, and I feel it, and people also feel it back. Through those rays I send even more Love to people so they can be even happier and more successful. That is my channel of connection with people. And not believing in LOVE closes that channel.”

“So all people from birth are able to feel Love?” asked Natasha.

“Yes, they are able. And not only people but animals too, and even plants. Only the powers of evil are not able to feel Love,” said the SOURCE.

“So you are saying that the powers of evil are not able to LOVE at all?” asked Natasha.

“They are able to love, but only when they are in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love or in the Neutral Territory. But that happens very rarely. Usually they feel only anger and hatred. And they try to stop others from feeling Love. They do it because of envy and anger. During the night, when people are sleeping, the powers of evil insert the needles from the Tree of Evil into people’s hearts. In the morning a person wakes up in a bad mood, irritated, and starts feeling the emotions of evil.”

“Emotions of evil? Aren’t those anger, hatred and something else?” asked the Lizard Queen.

“Emotions of evil are anger, hatred, envy, greed, irritation, indifference, uncertainty and fear. And when a person has these feelings then that person gets a little ray, which connects with the powers of evil, and they direct that ray to the Lake of Hatred, where the evil is collected. Then the powers of evil drink it like water and become even more evil. And people who make the evil for them become weaker and weaker. The evil takes away their strength, their energy. Evil closes off the ability to love, to enjoy life and to be happy. But the worst is that for those people it is not enough that they are unhappy. They have a strong desire to make other people unhappy also. Even though they do it unconsciously and unintentionally.”

“Oh, no! That is exactly what my parents are doing right now. They are making my little brother and me unhappy. Even though they do not have any intention of making us miserable,” said Natasha. “So it does happen that people create evil in their own hearts. And my parents also create evil for the powers of evil and at the same time for each other. They get angry at each other, suffer from that, and they get me to suffer and even my little brother who is not born yet. But how can it be stopped? I don’t want it anymore! I want to change this and to bring my life back to how it was before. My mom and dad used to love each other and me! All of us together were so happy! How can I do it? Help me, SOURCE! I will do everything that you tell me! I am not afraid of anybody, none of the powers of evil! Do not think of me as little, I am still very brave and strong and I want to be able to protect my parents from evil because I LOVE them! Help me, SOURCE! Advise me how to do it, teach me! I came to you for help and I brought my friends, they need help too! Help us, SOURCE!”

“Of course, Natasha! I will help you and your friends. You have asked me for help three times and I will answer you,” said the SOURCE. “I do know that you are strong. Your strength is in your courage and in your Love. You love your parents and your little brother very much and you will be able to rescue them! Besides that, you will be able to help many other people as well. I will give you the power that is able to melt away any evil. But you already have this power; I will only increase it. YOUR POWER IS IN YOUR LOVE!”

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Chapter 18



Suddenly the friends heard strange sounds, similar to the ringing of little bells, which seemed to come from all directions. When they listened closely, they heard that they were not bells, but quiet giggling, just as melodic, gentle and kind as the giggling of little children. Then they noticed little glowing spheres that were swimming-flying in the SOURCE. They were almost transparent and they were the same color as the SOURCE: A golden yellow fog, but their color was a little bit thicker. It looked like they were playing chase, happily, joyfully running after each other.

“And who are they?” Natasha asked.

“Those are my children, KINDNESSES,” said the SOURCE. “To all people at their birth I give a Kindness so that people can be kinder. Kindnesses are part of me, part of my Love. When a person is born I put a Kindness into that person’s heart. It helps that person to love and to do good. The Kindness is the best part of a person because it is a part of me, a part of LOVE!”

“So I have a Kindness like that too?” asked Natasha.

“Of course!” said the SOURCE.

“I feel that I actually am the Kindness!” Natasha exclaimed.

“You are feeling right!” said the SOURCE.

Suddenly Natasha felt frolicsome! So she decided to play chase with the Kindnesses. She pushed off and swam-flew to them. They started playing together joyfully.

“I feel that I am the same as you are! I am one of you!” said Natasha.

“Yes, you are one of us!” the Kindnesses answered giggling. “You are one of us!”

Natasha could not understand if they were joking or if they really meant it, but it didn’t matter to her. She felt such a great happiness when she was playing with them. She could physically feel how kind they were and how much they loved her!

Theodore, Owl and the Lizard Queen also joined in the game. The entire company was happily giggling while swimming-flying in the SOURCE and playing chase with the Kindnesses.

“And how about the animals and birds? Do you give the Kindnesses to them too?” Owl asked the SOURCE.

“No, they are already kind enough!” the SOURCE answered. And it was unclear if he was joking or if he was serious.

“I understand! I remember! Now I know everything!” Natasha exclaimed. “Before I was born I also was a Kindness and I lived in you, SOURCE!”

“Yes, that is correct!” said the SOURCE.

“But here, inside of you it is so wonderful, safe, cozy and comfortable! And on Earth it is often so sad and difficult. We have to constantly battle the evil. Maybe the Kindnesses should not get born at all but stay living in you? Why do you send them to Earth?” asked Natasha.

“I send them for the experience!” answered the SOURCE. “The Kindnesses need to know what evil is and how different it is from Love. They need to gain knowledge, to grow up, to become stronger. And besides that I give LOVE to people! If all people would be born without the Kindnesses then they would be very indifferent and the evil powers could easily conquer them!

“The purpose of the Kindnesses on earth is TO LEARN TO LOVE IN EARTHLY CONDITIONS! To learn to love in the conditions of discomfort: they have to earn money and they have to fight evil and most of all they need to help people to fight against their own bad characters and to overcome their negative qualities! They need to learn to love other people despite their imperfections.”

“And do the Kindnesses return back to you?” Natasha asked.

“Yes, of course!” answered the SOURCE. “When they learn how to really love despite the earthly difficulties, then they can come back. THE KINDNESSES RETURN TO ME ONLY THROUGH TRUE LOVE!”

“But that must be so difficult, to love when the powers of evil always interfere and plant negative thoughts…” said Natasha. “A person is made from two halves. The Kindness is a part of you, SOURCE, part of your energy of Love and Kindness. You give the Kindness to people at their birth. But then the evil powers insert their needles with their energy of hatred and envy. In the person, does it all mix up and become something in between? To me it seems like some white paint was mixed with some black paint and it came out gray, somewhere in the middle between black and white. Is that like it is with all people?”

“No, it is different with most people!” answered the SOURCE. “And even though every person does have two kinds of energies, the energy of Love and the energy of evil, these two energies do not mix; they pull a person in opposite directions! They produce conflicting thoughts. The powers of Love advise with good thoughts, motivating people toward doing good deeds and toward loving other people. They lead toward creativity, success, joy, love and happiness. And the powers of evil give people the thoughts of doubt, fear, disbelief in themselves, and in their own strength, and the thoughts of envy and hatred towards those who are better, and who have achieved more. Then those thoughts bring a person anger, then fear and, later, depression. In that condition a person cannot have Love or success or joy.”

“So what can these people do? How can they withstand the evil powers when those powers are so cunning?” asked Natasha.

“All of the brilliant ideas are always simple!” answered the SOURCE. “And in this case it also is simple: Do not trust the evil powers; do not listen to what they say. But rather, listen to the kind powers, and trust in them. You get what you believe in!”

“But how can we find out who advises which thoughts?” asked Natasha. “Especially when it often turns out that the evil forces mask their advice to seem so good that they appear to be right!”

“And that is also simple,” said the SOURCE. “You need to listen to the emotions and feelings that you receive when you hear various thoughts. If, during any thought, you receive even a little anger, irony, fear, envy or doubt, then this thought is from the evil powers. But if you have the feeling of confidence, happiness or care for others, then this comes from the Kind Powers.

“Any person can learn to distinguish them. If a person will follow the thought-advice of the kind powers and ignore the ideas of the evil powers then that person’s life will change very quickly. The evil powers will no longer be able to manipulate and will leave that person alone; maybe not right away, but gradually. That person will become better and better and that person’s life will become happier and more successful. And finally that person will return to me.”

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Chapter 19



“And is it true that the material trap does not allow people to love?” asked Natasha.

“Nobody and nothing can forbid people to love, if people want to love!” the SOURCE answered with a kindly chuckle. “You just need to want to love! To love yourself, the world in which you live and everything around you. And then the world around you and the people around will also love you! It cannot be otherwise.

“Real LOVE is mutual and that is the main law of LOVE! All the other ideas that suggest otherwise are just lies, created by the evil powers.”

“Are you saying that even the people from the Kingdom of Evil can love?” asked Natasha.

“Of course they can!” answered the SOURCE. “Even the Queen of Evil used to love her husband and her son….And she still does, but the poison of hatred does not let her feel it. But the biggest block that does not let people love is disbelief in the existence of LOVE. I love all of you and will always help those who call on me. But those who ask for help must believe in ME and believe in LOVE and KINDNESS. And also that person must not believe those thoughts that the evil powers send.”

“But where can people find love?” Natasha asked. “Not all people can come here to you for Love!”

“Actually it is very simple,” replied the SOURCE. “I will tell you a secret: you do not need to go very far. The Kingdom of Kindness and Love and even I, the SOURCE of LOVE, already exist in your hearts. Yes, there is LOVE inside of you already! You are LOVE! Get rid of all the evil thoughts and the emotions that they bring. Get rid of all the negativity and only positive will remain! Cancel out the ‘non-love’ inside yourself and only Love will be kept!

“The most important thing that all people should know is that LOVE WILL ALWAYS STAY WITH YOU IF YOU ONLY BELIEVE IN IT!”

“Is that another law?” Natasha wondered.

“Yes, it is a law,” the SOURCE declared, “but it would be more correct to call it The Absolute Verity!”

“And what is absolute verity?” Natasha asked.

“That is something that has always been and will always remain. That is something that no force will ever be able to change or destroy. It could be called more simply: THE TRUTH!” said the SOURCE.

“Now I understand!” Natasha exclaimed. “Thank you, SOURCE! But I want all people to learn about these laws of Love! My mom and dad too! Everyone needs to know about LOVE in order to become happy!”

“I like that you care about other people!” said the SOURCE. “I will give you a little book for your parents. It will be called just that: ‘The Laws of Love.’ They can read it and pass it on to others. In this book there are only five laws: five rules. But if people will follow them then they will always be happy because LOVE will always be with them!”

Natasha extended her hand and there appeared a little book in a golden cover. The title on it was “The Laws of Love.”

“Thank you, SOURCE! I will most assuredly give this book to my parents!” Natasha said eagerly.

“Your heart will lead you,” replied the SOURCE. “And now you need to go back!”

“But can’t we stay here just for a little while longer?” Natasha pleaded. “It is so wonderful to be here with you that I don’t want to return!”

“But what about your mom and dad and what about your little brother? They need your help!” said the SOURCE. “You cannot stay with me right now, but when the time is right, you will be able to come back to me!”

“So I will return to you when I die?” Natasha asked.

“You will not die! Death does not exist! It is just a transition from one reality into another!”

“Oh, I understand!” said Natasha. “Okay, then we are going back home. But there is still one unsolved problem: how can we help Owl’s daughter? If the book ‘The Laws of Love’ can help my parents and the Lizard Queen’s sons will stop arguing when she stops stressing because of it, then what will help Owl’s daughter?”

“I have been waiting for that question,” stated the SOURCE, “and now listen to my answer: All those who visit me, THE SOURCE OF LOVE, are filled with my energy, the ENERGY OF LOVE! And that energy of LOVE stays with them forever! And now you also are filled with my energy, you are filled with LOVE! And when you go back then all those whom you will meet will feel this Love and also be filled with it, becoming better and gaining the ability to LOVE!”

“And my daughter also will be able to LOVE?” asked Owl.

“Of course!” answered the SOURCE. “Once you come back home and hug her then she will also be filled with LOVE.”

“And my mom and dad?” asked Natasha.

“And your mom and dad, and the Lizard Queen’s sons, and also all those whom you will touch!” replied the SOURCE. “And now you really have to go back! Farewell!”

“Goodbye, SOURCE!” answered all of the friends in unison as they headed back home, jumping and floating with joy.

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Chapter 20



Soon they met the Intuition Fairy.

“Hello Fairy!” said Natasha. “Are you going to escort us again?”

“No, I will not escort you, this time you will go alone, my dear,” the Intuition Fairy answered sadly. “I just came to tell you goodbye, Natasha! I have been your Intuition for ten years and I have been helping you. So I have become a part of you. But now, after you have been inside the SOURCE, I can no longer be with you. The mission of an intuition fairy is to bring the person back to the SOURCE.  I have accomplished my mission. Now I am no longer your Intuition. You can simply call me by my name, Bianca. Now, Natasha, you have your own intuition and you, by yourself, can predict the future!”

“Yes, and my own intuition is telling me that we will still meet again, and not just once!” Natasha said with enthusiasm.

“Yes, you are right,” said Fairy Bianca. “But for now I must tell you goodbye!”

“No! Wait!” Natasha exclaimed. “Do not disappear! We would also like to travel in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love and we would like you to guide us through it!”

“But you were saying that you do not have time and that you need to hurry back home!?” Fairy Bianca sounded puzzled.

“Yes, we really do need to hurry to get back home so we can help those who are close to us, but we are just way too curious about how people in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love live, to leave now!” Natasha said.

“Yes, all of us are very curious about that!” Theodore agreed.

“And I also want to see how people live here!” the Lizard Queen said.

“Can we go for a short visit?” Owl begged.

“Well, it will be a pleasure for me to be your guide and to show you the Kingdom of Kindness and Love!” Fairy Bianca agreed. “Especially since we don’t need to go very far, it is very close, right after this forest. Let’s go! I will show you the Town of Dreams that Come True!”

And with a brilliant smile Fairy Bianca headed toward the pine forest growing nearby. Our friends, jumping happily, followed after her. After entering the forest the company was amazed by the great number and variety of flowers growing all around them. They were of various heights, various sizes and various colors, but they all blended harmoniously and the air smelled like a fragrant perfume.

“How beautiful!” Natasha said, amazed. “I have never seen a forest with such a great number of flowers!”

“This is all Lina’s work, the wife of our main architect, Nicholas,” Fairy Bianca said. “She is our main gardener. And she changes this forest every day, always creating new variations. Yesterday it was an oak forest with mushrooms and berries and now it is a pine forest with wildflowers.”

“But it is impossible to grow such a forest in one day!” the Lizard Queen said, astonished.

“Yes, in order to grow such a forest it should take at least fifty years!” Fairy Bianca agreed. “But she did not grow it, she created it. And anything can be created in just one moment.”

“Now I see!” said Owl. “She created it the same way as you created the ring.”

“Yes!” nodded the Fairy. “In the Kingdom of Kindness and Love all people, and even little children, can create anything that they wish by using their thoughts.”

“I want to create something by using my thoughts too,” Natasha said.

“Go ahead, try!” Fairy Bianca suggested. “I think that you can surely do it.”

Natasha stopped, closed her eyes, then smiled, opened her eyes and looked at her pockets. Her butterfly-shaped pockets separated from the dress, came to life and flew up, joyfully playing with each other. Then the butterflies returned back to their place as pockets.

“You see, it worked! Even though not for too long. But that is just a matter of practice,” Fairy Bianca cheered Natasha up. “By the way, since we are so close to the Town of Dreams that Come True, every one of you can easily make your dreams come true.”

Suddenly a small pool appeared right in front of the company. The pool was clear and it was about a knee high. Inside the pool there were many large colorful fish swimming. Near the pool was a big scoop net lying on the ground. Then from the grass, from the right side of the pathway, a group of small grey mice trooped out. The mice were awkwardly marching in a single line on their rear paws while holding their front paws behind their backs. They came up to Theodore and started parading around him in a circle.

“What is this?” Owl questioned in amazement.

“They are Theodore’s dreams coming true,” Fairy Bianca laughed.

Theodore’s eyes sparked with predatory instinct and he murmured in response, “What, I cannot even dream now?”

The fish pool suddenly disappeared and then a few seconds later the mice disappeared.

“And I have a dream too. Why doesn’t it come true?” Natasha asked the fairy.

“And I have a dream,” commented the Lizard Queen.

“And so do I,” Owl added sadly.

“I know your dreams,” replied Fairy Bianca, “but they are in the future and they cannot come true at this moment. But they will definitely come true when their time has come!”

Soon the friends left the forest and came upon a town with small, beautiful, quaint houses. These houses were surrounded by lush gardens with blooming trees. The trees filled the air with a great, intoxicating scent. Under the trees were flowers growing of an amazing beauty. In the middle of the town was a large playground with a sandbox, with a slide made of clear plastic that was shining in the sun in a multitude of varying colors and with a great number of swings. Above the playground there floated a blimp, painted like a rainbow.

At the playground there were many children, but their parents were nowhere to be seen. In the sandbox two little girls were playing; they were no more than a year old. One girl wore a red dress and the other was dressed in pink. Suddenly the girl in pink disappeared and in her place appeared a boy about two years old, wearing blue overalls.

Did I really see that or did it just seem to me that she disappeared, Natasha wondered.

“This is the Town of Dreams that Come True,” the Fairy said. “It has many talented people and some of them I will introduce to you.”

The friends went a little farther and with bewilderment they noticed that the slide was not made of plastic. It more closely resembled a clear beam of light, which was glowing an unusually bright golden-green hue. This beam would start up high, so high that they could not see the end. The beam ended on the very tall and incredibly soft grass.

Suddenly the friends saw three girls sliding down this beam, as if it were a slide, holding on to one another. Behind the girls three balloons followed. The girls were descending very fast, screaming and giggling with pleasure. And when they reached the bottom they rolled onto the gentle grass. The balloons also landed on the grass. The girls quickly ran to the balloons, grabbed them, and the balloons quickly started soaring up, pulling the girls after them. The company gasped in awe, watching this event.

“What is this beam-slide?” Natasha asked, mystified.

“This is the Beam of Happiness,” Fairy Bianca answered. “It is the concentrated energy of the SOURCE, the energy of Love and Kindness. Whenever you touch it you are filled with strength, health, happiness, love and kindness. All of our country’s people love to slide down this beam, children and adults alike. We get up to the top by the balloons, which are controlled by our thoughts and take us wherever we wish to go. Then we slide down the beam at a great speed, while being filled with its energy.”

“And that blimp painted in rainbow colors, is it the kindergarten ‘Hummingbird’?” the Lizard Queen wondered.

“Yes, it is,” the Fairy replied. “It was created by our main architect, Nicholas.”

All of them gazed at the blimp. It floated high in the sky and was radiating a spectrum of colors from the sunlight. The friends noticed that a little door in the blimp opened and a small boy, about five years old, jumped out of it, holding a balloon in his hand.

“Oh no! He is going to crash!” Natasha exclaimed in horror.

“Don’t worry! It is a magic balloon. It is controlled by his thoughts,” the Fairy soothed. “The boy just decided to fly. You see? Nothing bad has happened.”

All of them were watching the boy with great interest as he slowly descended, holding on to his balloon and happily kicking with his feet. Then the balloon stopped and the boy hovered in midair.

“Why is he just hanging there?” Owl asked.

“He is waiting for his friend,” the Fairy answered. “Look below!”

All of them looked down and saw that from the nearest house out came another boy of about the same age. He went to a bush where a variety of balloons all different colors and sizes were tied. He took one of the balloons and slowly started floating up to the first boy.

When the boys met up they stretched out their right hands and they clapped their hands against each other’s. After that they started to swiftly ascend while spinning in the air and kicking their feet. They ascended so high that they were barely visible.

“But that is very dangerous! It is so high up and they are so small!” the Lizard Queen exclaimed with worry.

“There is nothing that is dangerous in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. Everything is taken into account,” the Fairy answered calmly.

At that instant, as if proving the Fairy’s words, one of the boys let go of his balloon and scratched his head. He started falling, but his balloon descended even faster and softly pushed him from underneath, moving him upward. The boy extended his hand and caught his balloon. The second boy, after seeing that, also let go of his balloon and his balloon also pushed him up from underneath. After meeting up again, the boys took each other’s hands and now they both let go off their balloons. Their balloons started pushing them up from underneath and the boys were again flying up in the air together, kicking with their feet and laughing.

“The children of our country like to have fun, just like all of the children in the rest of the world, but we have the most possibilities for joy!” the Fairy said.

Next, a little girl no more than three years old jumped out of the door of the blimp. She did not have a balloon and she was falling very quickly. Three of the balloons tied to the bush separated and flew up to the girl. They started pushing her from underneath, taking turns. First it was the pink balloon, the yellow balloon went second, and the red balloon, next. The girl was waving her hands, kicking her feet and giggling happily. Then she saw the two boys in the distance who were playing just like she was. She headed toward them and they all started laughing together.

“I was so scared for her!” Natasha said. “But nothing bad has happened….”

“To me it seems like the balloons know where to go,” Owl noted.

“Of course!” the Fairy replied. “These balloons are controlled by thoughts and they fly wherever you want them to go. They also are the invention of our architect, Nicholas. He has created high-speed underwater bathyscaphs for sea traveling and many other wonderful things. Do you want to meet him?”

“Of course we do!” Natasha answered. “But before we do that can we go down the Beam of Happiness and fly on these balloons?”

“Sure you can!” the Fairy winked. “And I will also join you, with pleasure. Pick a balloon of the color you like the most. It is absolutely unnecessary for you to untie it. Just decide which balloon you want and it will fly up to you by itself. And then just think that you want to ascend to the top of the Beam of Happiness and the balloon will carry you there.”

Natasha looked at the balloons and she liked the light-purple one. In less than a second that balloon was in her hands. The Lizard Queen was holding a little balloon of a green color, Theodore had a red balloon and even Owl was holding a yellow balloon with his talons and wings.

“I could fly there on my own, you know,” said Owl, “but I was very curious about how you could fly on the balloons and control them with your thoughts.”

“I want to get to the top of the Beam of Happiness,” Natasha thought and the balloon started lifting her up in the air.

It started ascending slowly at first, but it was speeding up faster and faster and finally it gently landed on top of the beam. The beam was soft and flexible like rubber and it was also pleasantly warm. Natasha slightly pushed away and slid down fast like an arrow. Behind her Owl, the Lizard Queen and Theodore were also descending. Fairy Bianca was the last one to go. The entire company with happy laughter rolled onto the tall grass. Since the grass was so soft, nobody got hurt.

“How great!” the Lizard Queen exclaimed. “I feel so happy! I love everyone and everything around me!”

“We all feel that way,” Fairy Bianca answered happily, “that is why we slide down the beam.”

“Oh, look! Our balloons came down to us!” Theodore exclaimed.

He took his balloon and quickly started ascending into the air again. The others followed after him and began a game of chase. After playing for quite some time the friends landed again on the grass.

“There is one thing I don’t understand. This balloon is so tiny and I would be too heavy for it. How could it carry my weight?” Natasha questioned in confusion.

“It is not the balloon, it is your dream that carries you!” Fairy Bianca smiled. “It is your dream that lifts you up into the flight! This is called the flight of the dream. You dreamed about flying and this is the Town of Dreams that Come True!”

“I have never had so much fun and I have never been so happy either!” Natasha beamed.

“I could do this for the rest of my life!” Theodore purred. “I have never done anything more fun!”

“I think that the only thing more fun than this would be riding in the underwater bathyscaphs,” said the Fairy. “But in order to do that you need to finish the training and receive a license for driving an underwater vehicle.”

“And do you have such a license?” Theodore asked.

“Yes,” the Fairy answered, “I do have the license and it will be my pleasure to give you a ride. But a little bit later. Now I want to introduce you to our architect, Nicholas. We have a celebration today. His daughter Krista is getting married to my brother Ted. The wedding will be in two hours. Would you like to attend this wedding?”

“How wonderful!” Natasha exclaimed. “Of course we want to attend! And will there be any more interesting sights?”

“Yes, you will see many unusual occurrences at this wedding. And in the evening we will ride in the underwater bathyscaph, as I have promised,” the Fairy answered them.

“But I hope that the food at the wedding will be to my taste,” Theodore announced.

“There will be any food that you wish for,” said the Fairy. “And now we need to go. The architect’s house is to the right of the Beam of Happiness. Follow me!”

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Chapter 21



The Fairy headed toward the house and the friends followed right after her. It was very close and in less than a minute they were standing at the porch of a not big but very beautiful house, which was surrounded with a gorgeous garden. In the garden flew brilliant butterflies of diverse colors and sizes. The front door opened and there appeared a smiling man of about 40 years of age, of medium height. He was wearing casual running shorts and a T-shirt. There was nothing unusual about him, except for his eyes, which were glowing with happiness and joy.

“Hello, Nicholas!” said the Fairy. “I have brought our guests to you. They went to the SOURCE and now they are on their way home. I wanted to show them our country. Let me introduce them: This girl is Natasha, this is her cat Theodore and her friends, Owl and the Lizard Queen.”

“Nice to meet you! My name is Nicholas. I am always glad to entertain guests!” said the architect.

“This is a pleasure for us also!” Natasha replied, with a friendly smile.

At this moment a large butterfly with beautiful golden-brown wings landed on her shoulder.

“What a lovely butterfly! I have never seen such butterflies before!” Natasha exclaimed in wonder.

“My daughter Krista has created it. She likes to come up with new kinds of butterflies,” explained the architect. “Please, come inside.”

The company entered the house. Natasha noticed that there wasn’t much furniture inside, nothing unnecessary. Almost like the inside of the Neutral Philosopher’s house. The one odd object was a painting above the fireplace. It was very large, almost the size of the entire wall. On the painting there was a lake surrounded by a forest. The painting seemed so real that Natasha even touched it, just to see that it really was a painting and not a window.

The architect observed her and said, “That painting was presented to us by Ted, the fiancé of my daughter Krista. He is an excellent painter. By the way, they are going to have a wedding exactly one hour from now. Would you like to go?”

“Of course!” The friends answered in unison.

“The wedding will be at the Palace of Joyous Events,” said the architect. “This is very far and we do not have much time. We will have to use zero-transporting.”

“Zero-transporting? What is that?” Owl asked.

“Oh, I think I know!” Natasha exclaimed, remembering the children from the sandbox. “I saw how in the sandbox one little girl disappeared and in her place a little boy appeared. Is that zero-transporting?”

Nicholas nodded a “yes.”

“How did they do that?” Natasha continued. “They were so small, no more than one year old!”

“The children in our country develop very early,” the architect explained. “They are able to transport with the aid of zero-transporting at the age of one year, and some can do it even earlier. Transporting happens by using thoughts and it can be done very easily: In your mind you first imagine the place where you what to go. Then just wish to appear there and the SOURCE will take you there instantly. We often use zero-transporting as a vehicle. It is very convenient. But zero-transporting does not work under the water; the water’s density is too great. But I have created high-speed bathyscaphs that are controlled by thoughts. And not too long ago I finished creating a mobile underwater house, which is made of armored glass. The most important thing about this house is that not only can you live, but also travel, in it. It can move at different speeds, easily controlled with thought.”

“Oh, I really would like to visit such a house!” Theodore exclaimed. “It must be fun watching the fish!”

“Great!” said the architect. “I will take you there for the night. And now it is time for us to go to the wedding. Since you are not yet able to transport by using the zero-transporting, I and the Fairy will help you. Let’s all stand in a circle and hold hands.”

All of them stood in a circle, took each other’s hands and at the same moment they appeared in a large hall. Natasha noticed that Nicholas was now dressed differently. He was wearing a black tuxedo and a white shirt with a bow tie. The walls of the hall were decorated with garlands of exotic flowers. The hall had three rows of long tables. But the tables were almost empty. On the tables there were only vases with flowers and empty plates with silverware.

“My wife has created all those flowers,” the architect said with pride. “Aren’t they wonderful?”

“The flowers really are beautiful, but where is the food?” Theodore asked curiously. “The wedding will start in one hour, but all of the plates are still empty.…”

“Oh, our guests will create their own food,” the architect smiled. “This is our tradition. We always do it this way simply because it is hard to read the thoughts of such a large amount of people to find out what each person wants to eat.”

“But I do not know how to create food…” Theodore said timidly.

“Don’t worry!” said Fairy Bianca. “I will create a meal for you as well as for your friends.”

“Please, put more meat in mine. And various fish would be nice too. I like salmon the best!” Theodore explained in a hurry.

“I have already read your mind and I will create everything that you want, and for your friends also,” the Fairy responded.

Suddenly at the main seats, at the end of the table, as if out of nowhere, the bride and the groom simultaneously appeared. Then, one after another, the guests started appearing. Some would appear two together, these were the married couples; some would appear even three or more at a time, these were families together. All of the guests were wearing fine, dressy clothing.  Soon the entire hall was filled. A short, pretty lady suddenly appeared near the architect. She was wearing a long light purple dress.

“Let me introduce you. This is my wife Lina,” said the architect, “and these are our guests. They have just been to the SOURCE.”

The architect introduced the friends to his wife.

“I am very happy for you!” said Lina. “You have gone to the SOURCE and now your life will change: You will live with love in your hearts!

“Thank you!” Natasha said happily and then added, “I really like all the gardens and the flowers that you have created.”

“I love creating beauty,” Lina replied. “But I think that my best creations are still ahead.”

By this time, almost all of the seats at the tables were taken and all of the plates were filled.

“Please, come to the table!” the Fairy addressed our friends and showed them where to sit, not too far from the bride and groom. The friends took their seats and started eating with pleasure. The Fairy was right: on their plates were the meals that they liked the best.

After nibbling a little of her food, Natasha began studying the guests with interest. At first they did not seem to be any different from other people. But after looking at them more closely, their faces seemed different. Most of all Natasha was attracted to their eyes, which were almost glowing with joy and happiness while emitting the energy of kindness and Love.

“Just wondering, why is no one congratulating the bride and the groom, and not giving them presents?” Theodore whispered to Fairy Bianca.

“Everyone has already congratulated them a long time ago,” she responded. “You just have not heard it because we speak through our thoughts. And about the gifts, they were already presented as well: the architect created a house for them, Lina created a beautiful garden with blooming trees and flowers, their aunt presented them with lovely furniture, and their uncle presented them with stylish clothes. He is our famous clothing designer. And if they need anything else they can simply create it themselves.”

“It might be nice for them to also have a car,” Theodore suggested.

“There is no need for a car in our country.” Fairy Bianca smiled. “If the distance is short then we do not mind walking. And for longer distances we just use zero-transporting.”

Soon, the guests started disappearing and the hall gradually became empty. The friends were wondering where everyone had gone.

Back to the Table of Contents

Chapter 22


The architect announced to the friends, “My dear guests, I would like to invite you to watch the mini-plane competition for our teens. My son Georgy is going to compete. This year he is thirteen. He has been impatiently waiting for this moment because the minimum required age for this competition is thirteen. I have taught him flying from the time he was ten. But there is a great difference between flying on your own and participating in a competition. This is his first competition and I must be there. Would you like to join me?”

“Of course we would!” Natasha spoke for all of them.

“Then let’s join in a circle and hold each other’s hands,” the architect suggested. “We do not have enough time to walk there, so we will again use zero-transporting.”

The Fairy, the architect and the friends stood in a circle, took each other’s hands and at that same instant they were suddenly sitting in soft chairs in a giant stadium with a large crowd around them. They recognized many of the guests as those with whom they had just shared dinner. Nicholas and the others were dressed in casual sportswear.

In the middle of the stadium was a huge transparent cube. It seemed to be made of glass. Inside the cube were three little airplanes, numbered “1,” “2,” and “3.” The boy-pilots were already sitting inside the airplanes, waiting to start. Up high, above the cube were three large rings hanging in the air.

“This is our main stadium,” said the architect. “This cube is made of armored glass. The airplanes are of a small size: specially made for teens. My son has the airplane with number ‘three’ on it. The key of this competition is to fly exactly through the center of the ring. Every pilot has his own ring. In twenty minutes they need to fly through the ring as many times as they can. Every flight is worth ten points, but if they do not go exactly into the center then they lose points.”

“But this looks like a dangerous sport!” Natasha worried. “What if a plane hits the glass or two airplanes crash into each other? Couldn’t the pilots get hurt, or even killed?”

“No, it is not dangerous,” architect Nicholas assured her. “I came up with this project back when my son was just born and I have taken everything into account. The planes cannot crash into each other, nor can they hit the glass. I have created a protective shield around each airplane. If an airplane comes close to the glass then the protective shield will just smoothly push it away. The same will happen if two airplanes come very close to each other. Besides that, there is a protective shield around their helmets too.”

“And why are there only three of them?” Theodore asked. “Are those the only participants?”

“No, there is a total of thirty-six participants, but only three at a time are allowed to compete, so that they have plenty of air space,” architect Nicholas pointed out.

On the opposite side of the cube a screen lit up. It had numbers “1,” “2,” and “3” on it with blank rectangles under the numbers. Then from somewhere up above, a voice started counting down: “Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one….” And then a shot rang out. All three of the airplanes simultaneously flew up into the air and headed toward the rings.

They flew into the rings exactly in the center, or so it seemed to Natasha, but architect Nicholas commented in a melodic voice, “My son missed a little. He is probably worrying too much. He does a lot better during practice.”

The ring number three was on the right and soon everyone noticed that pilot number three had almost doubled the speed of his airplane. He was able to go through the ring twice while other pilots were able to do it only once.

“The boy is hurrying too much, but so far he is flying precisely through the center of the ring,” architect Nicholas commented.

Airplane number one also tried to increase his speed. He also was able to go exactly through the center of the ring, but when he was flying through the ring a second time he slightly touched it with his right wing. It threw the airplane to the side, toward the glass, and the glass softly bounced him back to the center of the cube.

“You see! This is the protective field that I was talking about,” said the architect. “This game is perfectly safe.”

Then the finish signal sounded. The airplanes landed on the ground. Inside the rectangles under the numbers the score lit up: #1:250; #2:380; #3:640.

“Oh, wow!” the architect exclaimed. “My son’s score is so high! Even I did not expect that from him!”

“The boy that was competing with number one, he is probably terribly disappointed that he got the lowest score,” Natasha surmised.

“No, he is not disappointed,” the architect explained. “We never get disappointed and we never ever experience negative feelings. He will even be happy for my son.”

At this time the announcer’s loud voice sounded, “With the score of 640 the winner is plane number three, piloted by Georgy.”

On the empty chair to the left of the architect a smiling boy suddenly appeared.

Addressing the architect, he said, “Dad, I knew that I would be the winner!”

“I knew that too, son!” the architect concurred. “You earned this victory. You put in so much practice! And now tell me, son, what would you like to have as a present?”

“A trip on a bathyscaph, of course! That is my most favorite kind of entertainment!” Georgy declared.

“Great! We are headed there right now.” Nicholas smiled. “And we will take our guests with us too.” The architect then turned to his guests and introduced each one to his son.

“Hello! I am always happy to meet new guests,” said Georgy with a smile.

“Hello!” Natasha spoke for her friends. “And congratulations! You are such a good pilot!”

“Thank you!” Georgy answered humbly.

“Okay, so let’s all hold hands and go to the ‘Sea of Love,’” said Architect Nicholas.

They all took each other’s hands and at the same instant they appeared at the seashore. The sea was an incredible turquoise color with smooth waves. At the shore were a large number of children and adults. Many people were also swimming in the sea.

Natasha noticed that even very small children were swimming without adult supervision, so she asked, “Is swimming in the sea also safe in your kingdom?”

“Of course!” proclaimed architect Nicholas. “All people in our land are born with the ability to swim. Besides, I have created a product for safety. It is an oxygen sphere. Once a person dives in and his head goes under the water, then around the head there appears a clear sphere filled with oxygen. People can swim under the water as long as they want; the oxygen spheres will always be with them so they can breathe freely. Would you like to try?”

“I would, very much!” exclaimed Natasha.

“I don’t like swimming and I never did,” Theodore announced. “I have always been afraid of water. But since you have this sphere of oxygen, and you say it is perfectly safe, then I guess I could try, but not too far from the shore.”

“I have never swum before either and so I also would like to try,” the Lizard Queen said with enthusiasm.

“Well, if everyone else is going to swim then I will do so too,” Owl joined the conversation.

“But I don’t have a bathing suit.” Natasha’s expression clouded.

“Well, now you will get one,” Fairy Bianca declared.

In the same instant, Natasha was standing in a bathing suit of a bright turquoise color.

“Wow! Thank you!” said Natasha. “And how did you know that I like the color turquoise? Oh, never mind, I forgot that you know everything about me.”

“Yes!” Fairy Bianca laughed. “And I even know things about you that you don’t know yet. But now, let’s swim! Everybody follow me!”

And she ran toward the sea, laughing merrily. The entire company ran after her, except Theodore, who was still standing on the shore indecisively.

“Ah, the water is so warm!” Natasha exclaimed.

“The water is always like that here,” the Fairy confirmed. “In the Sea of Love the water is always the temperature that is the most pleasant to your body. When we swim in it we get soaked with the energy of love and happiness.”

“This is wonderful!” the Lizard Queen exclaimed. “I have never been swimming before and I would never have imagined that it could be so pleasurable!”

“I also enjoy it!” Owl agreed, then turned to the cat. “Come here, Theodore, don’t be afraid!”

Theodore cautiously approached the waterline and touched it with his paw. He instantly pulled his paw out and started shaking it vigorously. Then he probed the water with his paw once again.

Finally, he mustered up his courage and shouted, “I’m not a scaredy-cat!” He swiftly ran into the water and to his surprise, he started swimming right away.

The entire company was swimming in the sea and giggling with pleasure. Architect Nicholas, his son Georgy and Fairy Bianca were constantly diving under the water. Finally Natasha decided to try it. On instinct, she took a deep breath before she dove under. But she saw that surrounding her head was a transparent sphere and she realized that she could breathe freely and easily. All around her swam various fish of vivid colors. At the bottom there was a multitude of coral. But most of all, Natasha was amazed that there were children playing at the bottom, leisurely collecting seashells and sea stones. Around their heads were the same clear spheres.

Natasha swam to the surface and told her friends with excitement, “This oxygen sphere is incredible! It makes it possible to breathe under the water! And my hair did not even get wet!”

The Lizard Queen and the Owl also mustered up their courage and started diving. After that, even Theodore took a chance and dove under. But once he saw the beautiful, colorful fish under the water, his eyes sparked with a predator instinct.

Forget about what you are thinking right now, Fairy Bianca spoke to Theodore with her thoughts.

That was just a random thought that ran through my head… Theodore answered through his thoughts, filled with embarrassment. I was not going to act on it!

“Wow, I never knew that swimming could be this much fun!” Owl said with excitement.

“And if someone had told me just yesterday that I would be diving into the sea I would never have believed them!” Theodore declared. “But this is so great! You dive under and you can see what kinds of fish there are! It is such a great joy for me to watch the fish!”

After the company had enough swimming and diving they came out of the water and plopped down on the soft warm sand.

“I did not get tired at all,” Natasha announced. “It is even the other way around, I gained strength!”

“That is because you were swimming in the Sea of Love. The water here is filled with Love, which gives you strength,” the Fairy pointed out. “But wait till you see what’s next!”

Back to the Table of Contents

Chapter 23



“Okay, who wants to ride on a high-speed underwater bathyscaph?” the architect asked.

The friends all jumped with joy.

“The bathyscaph station is very close,” Architect Nicholas pointed out. “Can you see it? It is to the right of us, near the three palm trees.”

The friends saw a great multitude of crafts of various shapes tied to a pier nearby. Some of the bathyscaphs were round, some were oval. Some were even shaped like pears. The friends came closer and Georgy impatiently ran up to a round bathyscaph with the number “49” on it. He opened the hatch and climbed in. Everyone followed him. Once the friends were inside, they were amazed by how roomy it was. Inside it seemed to be a lot larger than it looked on the outside.

“This is interesting, how is it possible?” Owl asked curiously. “The bathyscaph on the inside is at least four times greater than what it is on the outside.”

“I just made it larger in size,” Architect Nicholas answered. “Everything happened so fast that you didn’t notice. Seat yourselves comfortably. I am going to give you a ride at different speeds; first on a low speed, then on medium, and then at a fast speed. And finally, if you want, we can even ride on the ultra-fast speed.”

The friends sat near the portholes and began peering outside. Out in the water there were even more colorful seaweeds and colorful fish.

“This is so beautiful!” Theodore exclaimed.

“Attention! We are now taking off!” Architect Nicholas announced and the bathyscaph started descending down in the water very quickly.

“And what speed is this? The fastest?” Theodore asked, unable to hide his nervousness.

“No, this is the slowest speed,” the architect answered. “But they are built for high-speed.”

“And are they safe?” Theodore wondered out loud.

“Yes, they are safe and they are controlled through thoughts. But this toy is meant for adults. In order to control one you must pass an exam for a license. The high-speed bathyscaphs are absolutely safe in the territory of the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. We are not going to go any farther, so you don’t need to worry.”

“Well, that’s good.” Theodore murmured and became mesmerized, watching the fish through the porthole.

The architect changed the speed and the bathyscaph began moving much faster.

“Oh, this is so fast, it even changes my heartbeat!” Theodore exclaimed.

“Dad! I want to go to the Canyon of the Glowing Crabs! It is so much fun there! And I’ll bet our guests have never seen anything like it! Can we go, please?” Georgy pleaded.

“That is very far, and it is also in the neutral waters!” Nicholas cautioned. “You know well enough that it is not safe to go there.”

“But Dad! It is only the beginning of the neutral waters! It is still very close to our country’s territory. In case of danger we could always return quickly; after all, this is a high-speed vessel!” Georgy reminded him.

“Yes, that is true,” the architect agreed. “Well, only for a few minutes, we won’t stay for very long. Of course, that is if our guests do not mind.”

Georgy addressed Natasha and her friends, “Please, agree! I promise you have never seen such beauty before! The glowing crabs and the glowing fish! If we don’t go now, you will never be able to see such a rare and beautiful sight!”

Curiosity got the best of Theodore. “I think it might be worth seeing!” he suggested, and everyone agreed with him.

“Well, hold on tight then, we will proceed on ultra-fast,” said the architect, and they accelerated ahead with blinding speed.

In a few minutes everything suddenly became very dark. The bathyscaph stopped.

“Oh! Why is it so dark?” Theodore worried.

“We are down at the bottom of the Canyon of the Glowing Grabs,” Nicholas answered. “I will turn on the outside and the inside lights.”

Outside the bathyscaph, projector beams began to shine in different directions, lighting up the underwater world. Our friends saw plants and fish of the strangest shapes. The fish started swimming over to the bathyscaph. One of the fish, the largest one, came right up to the porthole and seemed to be staring at the friends. The fish slightly pushed its nose into the porthole glass and made the bathyscaph rock.

“Of course, I do like fish, but this one is just way too big,” Theodore spoke up in a worried voice. “I am wondering what it wants from us!”

“It does not want anything from us,” the architect said to calm the cat. “Fish swim toward light. They are very curious.”

More and more fish swam up and soon they surrounded the bathyscaph, completely blocking the view.

“We need to turn off the light,” Georgy suggested. “Then the fish will swim away and we will be able to see the glowing crabs and the glowing fish.”

“This is true!” Architect Nicholas agreed. “Besides, if we turn off the lights then nobody can see us and we should be safe. Does anyone mind?”

Everyone remained silent and the architect doused the lights.

Instantly, everything became dark and Georgy said, “Now your eyes will adjust and you will be able to see the crabs.”

Natasha started noticing movement in the water. She looked more intently and saw a magnificent large crab crawling on the bottom of the canyon right toward them.

“I see a crab heading toward us!” Natasha exclaimed. “And it really is glowing!”

“And I see the glowing fish and glowing jellyfish,” said Owl. “I can see quite well in the dark, you know.”

“And I can see in the dark just as well as you can!” Theodore bragged. “I see them, too. And I even see plants glowing.”

“We will see all of that too, but later,” said Fairy Bianca. “Our eyes are made differently and we need more time to adjust to the darkness.”

A little more time passed, and Natasha started distinguishing not only the crabs but also the fish as well as the jellyfish. She even noticed the iridescent plants, too.

“This is so incredible!” she exclaimed.

“Well, didn’t I tell you that it is a beautiful place?” exclaimed Georgy. “You will not find another place like this in the world.”

For some time the company silently watched the beauty of the lit up underwater world with awe. Suddenly they saw something very bright that did not look at all like the soft underwater brilliance coming from the crabs or fish.

“What is that light shining in the distance?” Georgy pondered, “Let’s move up a little closer and see.”

“I don’t think that we should do that,” Nicholas cautioned. “It could be trouble.”

The shining object was rapidly coming closer and the friends could already make out that it was a small bathyscaph.

“I feel that there is danger to one we all know, but who is not with us right now!” exclaimed Fairy Bianca. “But I cannot clearly tell what kind of danger and to whom. The density of the water is too high. Let them get a little closer and then I will be able to clearly read their thoughts and tell you exactly what is on their minds.”

“I think we better leave before they see us,” Architect Nicholas insisted. “I am responsible for all of you here.”

“Dad!” Georgy protested, “The Fairy said that she feels a threat to someone whom we all know. We should find out what that is, so we can warn that person!”

By now, the craft had come very close and the friends could make out the unfriendly faces of two young men with angry eyes glaring out of the porthole at them. It was clear now that those two had also noticed them.

“Now I will intercept their thoughts and find out what they are doing here and what they want,” said Fairy Bianca. Suddenly she let out a scream, “Oh no! Run! They are going to shoot at us with their cannon!”

But it was already too late. A dull underwater explosion sounded. In the sidewall of the bathyscaph there instantly appeared a shell hole and water started quickly filling the bathyscaph. But it did not last very long. The hole quickly patched itself, and the water disappeared.

They took off with incredible speed and after a few seconds, stopped on the bottom of the sea, which was filled with daylight.

“Now we are safe,” said architect Nicholas with a sigh of relief. “We are at the bottom of the Sea of Love.”

“Nicholas! You turned on the ultra-fast speed so quickly,” said the Fairy, “I am so glad that you have such fast reflexes!”

“And you created the new lining in the place of the opening and removed the water so rapidly!” replied the architect. “And now tell us, who were those two? What were they doing there? And who is the person in danger that we all know?”

“Adrian is in danger,” Fairy Bianca cried out.

“Adrian???” the friends exclaimed with worry.

“Yes, Adrian,” Fairy Bianca continued. “Those two men are Adrian’s nephews from the thirteenth generation, Kim and Tim. They want to inherit his legacy, since Adrian is the richest person in the world. But their problem is that Adrian is also immortal! Twelve generations of Adrian’s nephews and nieces were not able to wait long enough for Adrian’s legacy. So these two have decided not to wait. They have plotted to find out where Adrian’s mortality is. Nobody really knows its location. Gossip tells that his mortality is inside a needle and the needle is inside an egg. And the egg is in a golden chest, and the chest is somewhere deep under the water in a cave. But nobody knows where that cave is located. However, the nephews did find out where his mortality is hidden. They have bribed the Snitch Crow and she stole a map from Adrian’s office. The Snitch Crow sold it to Adrian’s nephews for a bag full of hazelnuts.”

“The Snitch Crow is so stupid!” said Theodore. “She could have asked a million gold coins for such information!”

“No, the Crow actually wasn’t stupid at all, but rather malicious,” Fairy Bianca corrected him. “She made three copies of the map and changed the coordinates. One of the copies she sold to Adrian’s nephews for one bag of hazelnuts. The second copy she sold to the Fourth Advisor, not for one but for three bags of hazelnuts. The third copy she wants to sell to the Queen of Evil. But she has not done it yet because she is still deciding whether she should ask for ten or for twenty bags of hazelnuts. On all of these three copies the coordinates are incorrect and only the Snitch Crow has the original and knows where Adrian’s mortality is truly hidden. However, Adrian’s nephews are also smart. They realized that the Crow had changed the coordinates and now they are searching in other places near the one that is marked on the map. And they have almost reached their goal. We met them exactly at the cave where the chest with Adrian’s mortality is to be found.”

“Oh, poor Adrian! He really is in great danger!” Natasha exclaimed, her voice filled with worry. “We must find a way to help him. I like him, he is so nice, and all he wants is to find Love!”

“I like him too!” agreed Architect Nicholas. “Last year I met him at the underwater bathyscaph competition, which was going on in the Neutral Territory. He is very talented for a regular human! His bathyscaphs are only slightly slower than mine! Do you remember him, Georgy?”

“Of course I do! He invited us to his island. He was saying that he would show us the latest models of his helicopters and submarines. I like him too!”

“But how can we help him?” Natasha exclaimed. “His nephews are already close to the cave!”

“Don’t worry,” replied Fairy Bianca. “I know the future. You still have time. Very soon you are going to meet with him and then you will be able to help. And now it is late and we need to get back.”

Back to the Table of Contents

Chapter 24




“As I remember, you wanted to stay for the night in the underwater house, where I have promised to take you,” said architect Nicholas.

“Of course we do!” Theodore answered for everyone. “It is so relaxing to just watch the fish….”

Nobody argued that and soon they arrived at a small underwater glass house. It was dusk already and from all sides of the house were projectors shining, lighting up the underwater plants, beautiful corals and the multicolored fish, which were lazily swimming around.

“I hope that we are safe here,” Theodore said, worried.

“In the territory of the Kingdom of Kindness and Love you are always in absolute safety,” Fairy Bianca assured him. “And, besides, I will stay with you for the night.”

“That will be great!” the architect confirmed. “And tomorrow morning I will pick you up.”

The bathyscaph came up right next to the house and their doors lined up. The doors of the bathyscaph and the doors of the house opened simultaneously and the friends stepped into the glass house. The architect and his son Georgy said goodbye and left, so the rest of the company soon fell deeply asleep after placing themselves on the comfortable sofas. Only Theodore remained watching the fish for some time, blinking with his sleepy eyes, but soon he also gave in to sleep.

The next morning the friends woke up rested and joyous.

“Good morning, my dears!” Fairy Bianca greeted them. “Let me invite you to breakfast!”

All of them came to the table and dined on their most favorite fare, which Fairy Bianca had already prepared for them.

Just when they all finished, the door of the underwater house opened; Architect Nicholas and his son came in.

The architect said, “Good morning to everyone! I hope you enjoyed your breakfast! What are your plans for today? We could go for another bathyscaph trip through the Sea of Love if you’d like to…”

“Nicholas, let’s show them the Coral Greenery of the Little Intuition Fairies!” suggested Fairy Bianca.

“Who are those? Are they your little sisters?” the Lizard Queen asked.

“Yes,” Fairy Bianca confirmed. “In this greenery they grow and from the SOURCE of LOVE they receive the ability to know the future. Would you like to go there?”

“Of course we would! This sounds like fun!” Owl replied for everyone.

“Okay then, let’s go!” the architect agreed, as he headed toward the doors.

The rest of the company followed him.

The bathyscaph was moving at a slow speed, since the greenery was not too far away. Through the portholes the friends could clearly see the underwater beauty of the Sea of Love. There were exotic underwater plants of various shapes and bright colors, there were sparkling jellyfish, and there were small but quick pretty fish with golden scales, reflecting the sunlight and shining brightly.

Soon at the bottom of the sea they saw a big clear dome. It seemed as if the dome was made of glass, glowing with soft golden light and rainbows of color. This dome was emitting the pleasant energy of Love and Happiness.

“I just now realized how great my life is!” Theodore exclaimed.

“I have the same feeling too,” Owl agreed. “Even though this feeling was much stronger when we were at the SOURCE.”

“The SOURCE of LOVE sends His energy here to the greenery so the little fairies will grow kind and loving and receive the ability to predict the future,” Fairy Bianca explained.

The vessel doors lined up with the greenery doors. Both doors simultaneously opened. The company stepped out in amazement. The greenery looked like a big field, on which there were growing rows and rows of red glowing corals. The corals had many buds and flowers, which looked like big, red roses. Also in the greenery there were ladies dressed in beautiful, long white gowns. They were strolling back and forth between the rows of corals and spraying a light gold color at the flowers.

“So this is our Coral Greenery of the Little Intuition Fairies,” said the architect. “This is where they grow.”

“Where do they grow?” Theodore asked in confusion. “All I see here are flowers!”

“And that is where they grow. Inside the flowers!” Georgy explained. “First they are inside the bud. Then, when they get a little bigger, the bud opens into the flower and the little fairy starts opening her eyes and smiling. Then, a little later, she starts to speak and then she acquires the ability to sense the future. After that the SOURCE sends her to a newborn child on Earth.

“And so then you, my Intuition Fairy, were born here also?” Natasha asked.

“Yes, I was,” the Fairy giggled. “Let’s come up closer to have a better look.”

When the friends moved closer, they noticed little girls, the size of a hummingbird, joyfully sleeping inside the big, soft flowers. They were wrapped in the flower petals, making it very hard to spot them. Only their tiny heads were visible above the flower petals, and they looked like tiny toddlers.

“Please, don’t wake them up,” Fairy Bianca whispered. “Let them sleep. They grow when they are sleeping.”

“Can we go to a section where the fairies already have grown a little?” Owl asked. “It would be interesting to talk to them."

“Of course we can,” replied Architect and led the company further into the greenery. Soon they heard faint melodic voices, which sounded almost like the ringing of tiny bells.

“He-he, they are travelers not from our country,” one of the little fairies said.

“He-he, they have been inside the SOURCE of LOVE,” another little fairy giggled.

“And this girl will have a little brother! His name will be Roman! And I will be his intuition fairy!” a little fairy exclaimed.

The travelers stopped and with interest they watched the little fairies, which were curiously peeking out of their flowers.

“Everything that you just told us we know already,” Theodore started talking to the fairies. “But could you tell us something new, something that we don’t know yet about?”

“He-he,” replied one of the fairies, “you will have twenty-eight children!”

“Well, that is nice to know,” Theodore commented. “And who will their mother be?”

“That is something that you know well yourself!” replied another fairy. “That is your neighbor, the white, fluffy cat Lily.”

“I was guessing that, but I was not very sure,” Theodore murmured.

“And the boy Georgy will become an architect, just like his father!” said one of the fairies.

“And he will have three children!” another fairy added.

“Tell me, please, will my sons get along?” the Lizard Queen asked.

“They will get along! And they will also help many others to get along! And you will be very proud of them!” said one of the fairies.

“And Natasha will go to the 66th realm….But that will happen in six years from now,” another fairy commented.

“But why will I go there?” Natasha asked.

She so desperately wanted to know, but even her own intuition could not give her an answer to this question.

“So you could free….So you could help….” the little fairy tried to reply, but before finishing her answer she yawned, closed her tiny eyes, and fell asleep.

At this time one of the ladies in white approached the company and with a pleasant smile she said, “Please, do not tire the babies. They are still very small and it is time for them to sleep.”

As if confirming these words, the other fairies also started yawing in a funny, awkward way and closed their eyes.

“And Owl will have twenty-five grandchildren,” yawned one of the fairies.

“And he will be elected to be the Wisest Head of the Forest,” another fairy added, speaking through her sleep with her eyes closed already.

All of the fairies fell into a deep sleep.

“Thank you,” Owl whispered quietly.

He then quickly wiped the tears of joy from his eyes before anyone noticed.

“Yes, it is definitely the time for the fairies to sleep. And for us it is time to finish our tour,” Fairy Bianca whispered.

“May I kiss one of the fairies?” Natasha asked. “They are so cute!”

“Okay, but be very careful!” replied the lady in white. “They are sensitive and fragile.”

Natasha went over to the fairy that was saying Natasha’s brother would be named Roman, and that she would be his intuition fairy, and carefully kissed her, barely grazing the fairy’s face with her lips. From this touch Natasha suddenly felt her thoughts connecting with her unborn brother.

Natasha! Why are you taking so long! Come back sooner! I am so worried without you!’ she heard the thoughts in her mind and knew it was her little brother calling her.

Don’t worry, little brother! I will come back soon!’ Natasha replied back in her thoughts.

“Goodbye, little fairy,” Natasha whispered. “We will meet again.”

The company headed toward the exit and in a few moments they were already in their seats in the bathyscaph.

“So, how did you like our little fairies?” Fairy Bianca asked.

“They are so sweet!” the Lizard Queen replied.

“And they predicted such good news for us!” Owl added.

“We could also go see other sites. We still have time today,” Nicholas suggested.

“Thank you for your invitation, but we really should hurry!” Natasha replied. “We have already stayed here for quite a while. We must return home. Our relatives are waiting for us. They need our help.”

“Will you take us to the station? Then I will escort our friends to the border of the Neutral Territory,” Fairy Bianca suggested to the architect.

“That is fine with me!” the architect agreed.

The architect took them once again to the station.

“I really enjoyed meeting all of you,” exclaimed architect Nicholas. “And I really like you. If you ever come back to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love again, please do visit me.”

“We enjoyed meeting you too,” Natasha answered for all of them. “And we actually liked everything about the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. It is so wonderful here that we don’t even want to leave!”

“This is all because in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love, people live with Love for each other,” the architect clarified. “We get our energy from different fun activities, from art and, most importantly, from each other. We make other people happy by giving them our Love. Then our Love returns back to us greatly increased, after passing through the SOURCE of LOVE again. And in the Kingdom of Evil it is exactly the opposite. People hate each other and with their hatred they make each other much weaker. And they also live much shorter life spans. In the neutral countries, which are just like the one where you came from, people choose their own lifestyle. Some live with Love and their life is similar to those who live in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love, while others live with hatred, anger and greed, so their life is more like those who live in the Kingdom of Evil. Remember, it depends on you.

“Also I want to tell you about one magic key that makes it possible for the people of the neutral countries to feel like they are living in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. This key is called CREATIVITY! The energy of creativity is the energy of happiness. So, please, love more and create more!

“And now, farewell!” said the architect and he and Georgy suddenly disappeared.

“Goodbye!” the friends replied.

“The border of the Neutral Territory is right behind the forest. I think we better walk through there on foot,” the Fairy suggested and the friends agreed.

While tramping through the forest they noticed how much it had changed from the last time they were there. Now it was a birch forest with a multitude of lakes, and there were blooming water lilies and lotuses, and swans swimming. On the branches of the thin birch trees, which were growing around the lake, nightingales were singing their melodies. Under the trees there was a great multitude of flowers and between the flowers butterflies were flitting around.

“This forest is even prettier than the one from yesterday!” the Lizard Queen exclaimed with delight.

“Yes, Lina really loves her job. Every day her creations become better and better,” Fairy Bianca replied.

It seemed too soon that the company arrived at the border of the Neutral Territory.

“So now is the time for us to say goodbye.” Fairy Bianca sighed. “Which even makes me a bit sad.”

“But we are not saying goodbye forever!” Natasha spoke up. “We will meet more than just once later in the future! I know it well and so do you!”

“I am glad that after meeting with the SOURCE you have gained the ability to predict the future! Now you no longer need me, now you have your own intuition. That will help you in life, Natasha. And so, farewell, my dears!” said Fairy Bianca and disappeared into the air.

“Goodbye, Fairy!” Natasha called out as the friends continued on their journey.

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Chapter 25



Soon the travelers were back in the Neutral Territory. To their surprise, Spy Mouse was standing at the border.

“Finally you have arrived!” exclaimed the Spy Mouse. “I have been waiting for you here for two days already. I have such amazing news!”

“What news?” asked Natasha.

“First, the robbers took Thomas as a hostage and are asking for a ransom. Second, Caroline fell in love with their chieftain, and now the King is very angry! She wants to deliver the ransom to the robbers by herself. She told the King that she does not trust anyone else with such a great amount, especially any of the servants. But the King does not believe her and does not want to let her go to the robbers.

“But I am waiting for you here, because of another reason.”

“And what is that?” Natasha’s asked curiously.

“The Queen of Evil and her father consider you the greatest enemies of our country,” Spy Mouse said in a hushed tone. “They want to catch you and freeze you in the Cave of Ever-Frost! At the border of our country there are ten warrior rats waiting to entrap you. They have been ordered to catch you and to bring you to the palace! So I came here to warn you.

“I am risking a great deal by telling you this. If the Queen finds out that I have warned you, she will order me to be killed. But you have been so considerate to me, like nobody else has ever been! You are so friendly and kind, I decided to help, so I stayed to warn you.”

“Thank you, Mouse!” Natasha gushed. “But what should we do now?”

“I will show you another way, a detour,” suggested Spy Mouse. “Even though there is another danger: We may run into the robbers.”

“Well, I think that the robbers cannot be dangerous to us,” said Owl. “They can be dangerous only to those who are wealthy, and we do not have anything they could take away.”

“That is right!” Theodore agreed. “Everything that we had has been taken away already!”

“And I also agree that the robbers are not a threat to us!” said Natasha.

“Well, I hope you’re right,” Spy Mouse shrugged. “So then let’s go! We better hurry up!” And Spy Mouse began running down the barely discernable pathway in the forest.

The friends quickly followed him. They traveled a long way down that pathway. It would often disappear and reappear again, but Spy Mouse never got lost. He was in a hurry and he was running fast, rapidly moving his tiny feet. But then he suddenly froze, directly in front of somebody’s big boot. Spy Mouse looked up with terror and saw Ron, the chieftain of the robbers. The entire company put on the brakes and stopped. They too stared at the large, imposing chieftain. The chieftain was staring back at them quizzically.

Ron said in a merry voice, “I welcome you to my territory!” And then he added jokingly, “Sorry that I don’t know who you are, where you are coming from, and where you are heading to. Please, introduce yourselves.”

“We went to the SOURCE for LOVE, so we could help our relatives. And now we are on our way back,” Natasha explained nervously. “The Queen has declared us as enemies and she placed ten warrior Rats at the border to trap us. So we had to go around and ended up in your territory.”

“To the SOURCE for LOVE?” the chieftain asked with amazement. “Well, what happened? Did he give you LOVE?”

“Oh, yes, of course!” said Natasha, as she stepped closer to Ron. “Please, mister robber, could you lower your head a little?”

“Sure I can!” said the chieftain with curiosity, as he crouched down.

Natasha put her palm on his forehead. The chieftain slightly flinched as if he’d received an electric shock and gazed at Natasha in wonder. He was smiling and there were tears in his eyes.

“What is going on with me?” he questioned. “What am I feeling? This is such a great feeling, but why can’t I see clearly?”

“You are feeling Love and you do not see clearly because you are crying,” answered Natasha. “You are crying from happiness.”

“Nothing like this has ever happened to me. I have never cried before and I have never felt Love before!” said the chieftain in amazement. “This is so wonderful! Thank you, little girl! But what did you do?”

“I just shared my LOVE with you!” answered Natasha.

“Hey, what about me? I want to try what that feeling is too!” said somebody behind their back.

The friends looked back and saw that many of the robbers had surrounded them.

“Little girl, could you share LOVE with us also?” one of the robbers asked.

“Of course I can!” answered Natasha. “We have so much of it, it will never run out! There is plenty for everyone!”

The robbers lined up and approached Natasha one at a time. She would touch each one of them with her small palm and they would walk away joyous and peaceful, making a place for the others. To Natasha’s surprise, the last one in the line was Spy Mouse. Natasha put her palm on the ground and Spy Mouse hopped on her palm. She picked him up and slightly stroked his fur with her other hand. Spy Mouse looked joyous and peaceful.

“Thank you, Natasha!” murmured Spy Mouse.

“Thank you, Spy Mouse!” Natasha returned. “You saved our lives by risking your own.”

At this moment two shadows flashed unnoticed up in a nearby oak tree. The shadows got a little closer and froze above Natasha and her company, hiding in the tree branches. These two shadows were the ghosts of Zorber the Vicious and Liesa the Hateful.

“This is exactly what ‘the spread of Love’ is. The prophecy is starting to come true,” Zorber quietly whispered to his wife.

“If she keeps on doing that, then she could destroy our Kingdom of Evil very quickly. In less than a week there will be no wickedness left in the Kingdom of Evil!” Liesa whispered in response. “We need to stop her. But how? We must come up with something; we should ask the Purples for advice.”

“No, that will take too much time! We simply need to destroy her! And we need to do that as soon as possible!” replied Zorber the Vicious and both ghosts disappeared.

The chieftain approached Natasha, smiled, and said, “And now I want to invite all of you to my house! You are probably hungry and want to eat? Even though we are robbers, we still can be hospitable!”

“Thank you!” replied Natasha. “We will gladly stay at your place, but not for very long because we need to hurry back home.”

“Do you want to ride in this beautiful carriage?” asked the chieftain, pointing to a luxurious carriage which was parked under a big tree. “The Queen recently sent it to me as a gift. For some reason that I don’t understand she has been very generous recently!”

“That is because she has fallen in love with you!” said Spy Mouse.

“What are you saying! Can that be possible?” Ron asked, filled with surprise. “Is the Queen of Evil able to love?”

“Yes, she is able! She used to love Thomas’s father. She even lived in the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. It was her father who tricked her into coming back and becoming evil again,” Spy Mouse told him.

“In love with me? Interesting!” said Ron the chieftain. Ron smiled happily, as he and the other robbers mounted their horses. “Oh well, we will see. And now let’s go over to my place. We will have a great feast!”

So the friends followed the robbers in the carriage. Soon they came out into a meadow in the forest. In the meadow were several little log houses. The robbers stopped their horses and jumped down. The friends stopped also and clambered out of the carriage.

“Come inside my home, feel free!” said the chieftain.

Natasha and her friends entered the house and recognized Thomas. He was kneeling near the window, making a little house out of tree branches for the cat. The cat was perched on his shoulder and purring with pleasure.

“Hello Natasha!” said Thomas smiling, once he saw her. “You are back! And I thought that I would never see you again.”

“Yes, I am back!” exclaimed Natasha.

“Natasha!” said the chieftain. “What a beautiful name! I am sorry I forgot to ask your name!”

“Are you going to keep Thomas as a hostage until you get the ransom?” Natasha inquired of the chieftain.

“First I did keep him as a hostage, but now we are the greatest of friends!” answered the chieftain. “I would have let him go a long time ago, but he does not want to go home. He says that he likes it here. Nobody forbids him to do what he likes.”

“That is true!” answered Thomas. “I do like it here and for the first time in my life I have friends!”

During this time the robbers had been setting the table, so the chieftain invited everyone to dine.

The friends ate with pleasure and then Natasha said, “Thank you, dear robbers, for your hospitality! But now we really need to be going.”

Disappointment clouded the face of the chieftain as he asked, “What, you are leaving? But I wanted to invite you for a pleasure trip through the forest. I have such magnificent horses!”

“Thank you for the offer, but we really must hurry,” said Natasha. “Our relatives are waiting for us and they are not feeling well. We are the only ones who can help them.”

“I see….” said the chieftain. “Well, if you have to go, then you better go! My friends can escort you to the edge of the forest. That is where our territory ends.”

“Thank you, but we better walk alone,” said Spy Mouse. “Anyway, the forest’s edge is very close. And this way we will make much less noise. We really don’t want to draw attention to ourselves.”

“Well, you know best,” sighed the chieftain.

“Goodbye, Chieftain! Goodbye, robbers! And goodbye to you too, Thomas!” said Natasha a little sadly.

“Goodbye, Natasha!” said Thomas. He also was very sad and he had eyes for no one but Natasha.

“Goodbye, dear friends!” the robbers chorused in sorrowful voices.

Quietly, walking down the forest pathway, the friends journeyed on.

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Chapter 26


Meanwhile, at the castle the King was conversing with his daughter.

“Caroline, my dear daughter, let’s talk openly. As you know we have two very pressing problems: the problem with Thomas and the problem with the robbers. What do you think we should do? What would be the best way of solving these two problems?”

“Father, I think that I could solve both of these problems at once: I will marry the chieftain of the robbers!” Caroline said.

“What a move!” intoned the King. “But how do you think that will help to solve the problem with Thomas?”

“That is simple! Let me explain: Of course what the Neutral Philosopher has advised is correct and it really could help Thomas to become very evil. But I am not sure if I really want that.”

“I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want it?” questioned the King.

“What don’t you understand, Father? I am the one who will have to anger and irritate him! And not just once but constantly! I will have to do everything bad for him, talk about him only in a bad way, always put him down and always offend him! And he will hate the entire world because of that, but he will also hate me! And you too! Do you really want that? I don’t. Because he is my son, I don’t want him to hate me. I love him, even though it is against the laws of our country! Let him stay the way he is. I realized a long time ago that he will not become the king of our country because of his kind personality. And that is why I need to marry Ron. We will have another successor. I think that this time it will be exactly what we need. Ron has a good heritage; he is from our Kingdom. And he is so smart, brave and daring! No wonder the robbers chose him as their chieftain! And he is also so handsome!”

“I agree with all of that,” replied the Father King, “but he does not have any noble titles! He is not a duke or a marquis!”

“We can give him the title of duke!” said Caroline. “Consider all of our dukes; do you think that any of them can give us a good successor? All of them are ugly, greedy and extremely stupid! The only thing they know is how to count money. Do you want a successor like that? I don’t!”

“You are right, I cannot argue against that,” agreed the King. “But Ron is poor! He does not have a surplus of saved diamonds!”

“You are wrong there!” Caroline objected. “As far as I know from our mice spies, Ron has not only a great surplus of diamonds, but also over nine million gold coins! He has been robbing for over five years now! He already robbed almost all of our wealthy people. Even you and I owe him. Besides that he is a diamond himself! I don’t know why I never realized that before! Oh, I like him so much!”

“And that is exactly what I don’t like! Daughter, I think that you are too passionate about him!” the King objected.

“But there was a time when you were passionate about my mother!” Caroline answered.

“Yes, but that was a different kind of passion. I felt a passion not as much for her, as for her money and her princess title, which meant power! And the fact that she was beautiful was a good thing of course, but I cared about that the least. Even if she would have been ugly I would not have lost any passion for her. I married her because of my true and greatest love! My greatest true love is the love of money! And your mother was the lady who had it all! That is why I fell in love with her!”

“Well, that is true, I love money the most of anything in the world also,” said Caroline, “and I have almost everything that I want! But if Ron could also be mine, then I would have absolutely everything I want! Besides that we will solve our two biggest problems: the problem with a successor and the problem with the robbers. If I get Ron to marry me then he will have to convince all of the robbers to go back to their previous jobs, mining the diamonds. Even though the Fourth Advisor is also correct: we do need to give them money and material possessions because nobody has ever run away from money. And then we will never have robbers again! So have I convinced you?”

“Well, I can’t say that I like it very much, but I don’t see any reason to object,” said the Father King. “Let it be as you say!”

“Thank you, Father! I knew that you would understand!” gushed Caroline in a glad voice. “And now I think that it is time to deliver the ransom for Thomas. I will do that on my own!”

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Chapter 27



Lost in thought, Caroline collected the cash from the bank, changed into her best dress, ordered the carriage to be prepared and left for the forest to visit the robbers. She took only three of the warrior Rats as her guards.

The trip was not long and soon the Queen reached the robber’s village. The chieftain Ron met her in person.

He opened the door of the carriage and he said with a friendly smile, “I welcome you, your Royal Highness! I hope that the trip did not tire you very much!”

“Not at all!” Caroline replied. She was looking at Ron with delight. Her eyes were only focused on him; she did not notice anything else. Ron was looking back at her with interest and curiosity. He was thinking that she was very beautiful. In her eyes, he saw that she was interested in him. In his heart, he felt his interest in her ignited. At that moment their interest grew into something more. Ron gave Caroline his hand to help her out of the carriage. When she touched his hand she flinched slightly, as if from a little electric shock, and at the same time she felt a caressing heat wave passing through her. This wave filled her heart with tenderness and joy. Ron felt exactly the same thing. It was LOVE. They looked into each other’s eyes and with their eyes only they said, “I love you!” to each other, without words.

Flustered, Caroline came out of the carriage and spoke in a tremulous voice, “I have brought the ransom for Thomas: 100,000 gold coins.”

“I don’t need the ransom,” said the chieftain, also slightly flustered. “I let Thomas go a while ago, but he decided to stay with us. Right now he is drawing by the pond. We could go to him right away, if you would like, Your Highness!”

“Please, stop calling me ‘Your Highness,’ you may just call me Caroline! We do not need to be so formal!”

“With great pleasure!” Ron smiled, looking fondly at her. “Caroline! Hmm, I like the sound of your name.”

“Thank you,” sighed Caroline. “Please, I would like to see Thomas now.”

“Of course!” replied the chieftain. “The pond is nearby. We only need to take a short walk.”

Ron gave his hand to Caroline, as they strolled into the depths of the forest. The three Rat guards followed closely behind. Caroline glanced back and noticed the warrior Rats.

She commanded, “I no longer have need of your services. Go back to the palace. I dismiss you. Tell my father that I will hold up here for a short while. Tell him not to worry.”

The Rat guards halted in confusion as they watched Ron and Caroline walking away toward the pond, alone.

The robbers were watching them with interest and smiling.

One of the robbers said, “I think this is what is called THE SPREAD OF LOVE. The girl Natasha got LOVE from the SOURCE and shared it with Ron and the rest of us. Ron shared this LOVE with Caroline and now it seems to me that they have fallen in love with each other.”

“Yes, that is what I think too,” agreed another robber.

When the Rat guards heard this, they took off running to the palace to report to the King about the situation. When the King heard about what had happened, he became furious. THE SPREAD OF LOVE was considered to be the worst crime in the Kingdom of Evil and it required the worst punishment: death. But the King was greatly troubled by the fact that the ENERGY of LOVE had touched his daughter Caroline. The King, filled with fear, thought that now Caroline might leave him forever and stay in the Neutral Territory, living with the chieftain and Thomas. The King called for the Fourth Advisor and told him what had occurred.

“I am very much afraid that my daughter might leave me!” said the King in a worried voice. “I really don’t know what to do! Help me! Advise me!”

“You don’t need to worry, Your Highness!” proclaimed the Fourth Advisor. “Caroline has been in such a situation before and we have succeeded in getting her back. So we will get her back this time also. You simply must wait patiently. Also, some subterfuge is needed. You should not show your real feelings. You need to just smile and pretend that you are happy for her. And if she says that she wants to get married then you have to agree and arrange a fancy wedding ceremony for her. And later you will order your evil mice to insert the needles of hatred and greed into the hearts of Ron and Caroline while they are sleeping. They were born in our country and those needles will most definitely work on them! Then she will not leave you.”

“And what should we do with the robbers?” asked the King. “All of them are also infected with Love!”

“Dealing with them will be even easier; we will just put the needles of greed in their hearts. Only the greediest have run away to become robbers! They even charged me 10,000 gold coins when I was traveling through the forest!” said the Fourth Advisor in an indignant tone. “And where do they get such high prices?”

“Yes, their prices are really unheard of!” the King agreed. “They were asking me for 100 000 gold coins for Thomas! I tried to bargain with them, but it did not work!”

“Do not worry, we will outsmart them!” said the Fourth Advisor. “Of course the evil mice will have to work extra hard, but I am very sure that the victory will be ours. We are in the Kingdom of Evil and therefore Love will not remain here very long!”

“I hope that you are right,” said the King optimistically. “If your plan works then you will receive a diamond pendant as a reward.”

“Thank you, Your Highness! I am always glad to serve you!” the Fourth Advisor declared. “Have you forgotten about the tourists? We need to do something about them too. They brought Love into our country and they have committed the worst crime, the Spread of Love! What do you plan on doing with them?”

Suddenly the six candles on the fireplace mantel lit up. The father King went over to the fireplace and pushed one of the candelabrums. The painting above the fireplace flipped to the side, revealing the hidden tunnel. The ghosts of Liesa the Hateful and Zorber the Vicious flew out of the tunnel and hovered right above the King.

“Frederick! Why is this girl still wandering around?” Liesa the Hateful screamed at the King. “She has infected all of the robbers with Love!”

“You cannot lose any more time!” yelled Zorber. “You should destroy her immediately, otherwise in just a few days our entire kingdom will be infected! And then it will be too late for us to do anything! Do you have a plan to defeat the tourists?”

“I believe that they should have a public trial and be executed in front of the entire Kingdom,” suggested the King. “Then all others will be afraid to commit this crime, I mean the Spread of Love.”

“Sorry, but we cannot do that,” the Fourth Advisor objected, “because the tourists are friends with the robbers and your daughter is planning on marrying their chieftain. If she finds out that you have executed the tourists then she might become very angry with you and then she will definitely leave you! Right now she is on their side!”

“So what should we do?” asked the King. “We cannot let the tourists go! They will continue the Spread of Love!”

“Of course we should not let them go!” answered the Fourth Advisor. “They are very dangerous and they should be executed, but without a public trial. You should have a trial and sentence them to death beforehand. And they should be executed secretly! Then your daughter will not find out and she will stay with you. She will not even remember them! There will be too many other worries to keep her occupied.”

“I think that you are correct, I completely agree with you,” commented Liesa. Then she turned to the King and added, “And I think that Caroline should marry Ron. He could give us a very good heir. I have been watching Ron for a very long time. He is very greedy, very selfish; he is good at using other people. The only downside right now is that he is infected with Love, but we can fix that easily.”

“Ron is nothing like Michael! He is a real man of our Kingdom and we could cure him easily!” Zorber the Vicious agreed.

“All those are great ideas, but right now we are losing time!” the Fourth Advisor interjected. “Your Highness! You need to order your Rats to catch and to destroy the girl immediately!”

“Then, that is what I will do!” said the King. “You really are wise and you deserve the greatest reward.”

“It is my pleasure to serve Your Highness,” the Fourth Advisor replied politely.

He bowed to the King and to the ghosts and left with a satisfied smile.

“It is time for us to leave. And for you it is time to act!” said Zorber the Vicious.

“Yes, it is time for you to act now! You mustn’t wait. Otherwise it could cost you your life!” Liesa the Hateful added. “Goodbye, Frederick!”

The ghosts flew out into the tunnel above the fireplace. The King pushed the candelabrum and the painting returned to its original place. Then the King called for the head of the warrior Rats to give her a secret mission.

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Chapter 28


Natasha and her friends did not travel very long down the forest pathway when from the bushes came a noise and the Rat warriors jumped out.

The biggest one of them came up to Natasha and growled, “So now you are trapped, tourists! This time I will most assuredly not let you go!”

It was the same Rat who was chasing them the last time and whom Owl had struck in the forehead. She was the captain of all warrior Rats.

When she moved over to Owl she said, “And you, big-head, if you dare to strike me again then you will pay the consequences!”

Chief Rat carefully and suspiciously looked over our company; she noticed that there was a small book with a golden cover poking out of Natasha’s pocket. It was the book that Natasha was given by the SOURCE.

She quickly grabbed the book out of Natasha’s pocket and read the title out loud, “‘The Laws of Love’! What? This is forbidden literature! How dare you bring this into our country!”

She then started tearing the book into small pieces. Natasha began sobbing.

Then Chief Rat raised her head and barked, “In the name of the King of Evil, I declare you the prisoners of the Kingdom of Evil! You have broken our laws! You have committed the worst crime of all: you were spreading Love! You will be tried for that! Now follow me!”

Chief Rat turned around and marched down a pathway. The friends could not do anything but follow her as the Rat warriors closed in behind them. The pathway took them through a forest in the mountains. As they skirted the bottom of a mountain they found themselves approaching a precipice. The Rat came to the edge of the precipice and stopped. The friends stopped behind her.

“And now in the name of the King of the Kingdom of Evil I will judge you!” announced Chief Rat, as she turned around, glaring at the friends.

“What? Right here?” asked Owl in amazement. “There must be a judge and a jury and a lawyer!”

“I am the judge, the jury, and the lawyer for you!” hissed Chief Rat. “Besides, this judgment is just a formality anyway. Our King has already sentenced you to death for the worst crime in our country: the spread of Love! And now I find you guilty! For your punishment you will be thrown from this precipice into the chasm below!” She then commanded her warrior Rats, “I order you to execute the sentence immediately!”

The friends did not even have time to think before the warrior Rats began running up to them and started pushing them toward the edge of the cliff.

The battle had begun. Theodore and the Lizard Queen began scratching and biting the Rats, Owl began pecking them with his sharp beak and Natasha was fighting with the chief of the warrior Rats. But their strength was not equal to the Rats: there were too many Rats and Chief Rat was much bigger and stronger than Natasha.

Chief Rat was slowly pushing Natasha closer and closer to the edge. Finally, she succeeded in pushing her off the edge. At the same time the other Rat warriors pushed the cat, the lizard and Owl off the edge too. But the wise Owl grabbed Theodore with his claws and the cat was able to grab hold of the Lizard Queen. The stupid Rat warriors did not even realize that Owl would not fall into the abyss because he could fly! That is why Owl safely landed at the bottom of the abyss, holding Theodore in his claws, who was also holding the Lizard Queen.

But Owl knew he would not be able to hold Natasha; she would be too heavy for him. And when Chief Rat pushed Natasha off the cliff, she plunged down and felt a hard blow as she hit the bottom of the chasm. Then strangely, Natasha felt as if she were soaring upward! She had already soared up above the trees when she suddenly saw her body down below, near Theodore, the Lizard Queen, and Owl. Natasha was bewildered.

“So where exactly am I?” she wondered. “Down there, where my body is, or up here, where I am now, above the trees?”

She looked down at herself and saw that she was a sphere. She had no arms nor legs nor body but only a transparent barely noticeable globe.

Down at the bottom of the chasm, the Lizard Queen suddenly screamed in a frail voice, “Oh! Natasha is dead!”

This is strange, thought Natasha, I see everything, hear everything and understand everything! This means that I exist! And therefore I am alive! But my body is down there and I am now a sphere! Oh, so now I’ve turned into one of the Kindnesses! The SOURCE was right: death does not exist! There is no death! I did not die, I am continuing to live! But now I am different and I am able to fly! How wonderful!

Natasha-Kindness flew up then she flew left and right and then she flew down closer to her body. And only then did she see that Theodore and the Lizard Queen and Owl were all weeping near her body.

“This is weird, why are you crying?” asked Natasha. “I am feeling so marvelous! Now I am a kindness! And it is so much fun to fly! Now I can return to the SOURCE! I am so overjoyed!”

But no one answered Natasha and she realized that none of them could hear her.

All of them were still crying and the Lizard Queen said in a faint voice, “Natasha, dear! Come back if you can! It is too soon for you to leave us! You still need to help your parents and your little brother! Come back! Oh, SOURCE! You are the most powerful of all magicians! You can do anything! Only you are able to bring our Natasha back into her body! And I beg you, please, do that! She still needs to help her parents and her little brother! She still needs to do kindness here on Earth! And she could return to you another time much later!”

But how can I come back into my body if I am dead? thought Natasha. My poor friends! They still do not understand that now I am a Kindness! No, it is impossible for me to return!

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Chapter 29


Natasha suddenly felt that some awesome power was lifting her higher and higher. And with a great velocity she began moving through a tunnel-path at the end of which there was a light. Her speed was growing faster and faster. Quite suddenly she stopped and she was surrounded by an intense bright light. Natasha realized that she was inside the SOURCE! She felt absolutely joyous.

“Hello, SOURCE! I am so delighted that I came back to you! It is so blissful being with you! I love you so much! I love you with all of my heart; I feel your great energy, it fills me with happiness and joy! I feel love for everything and for everyone and especially for you, SOURCE! And I am so thankful to you for that! Now I realize that only a little bit from us is needed in order to feel your love. If we want to feel the warmth of the sun then we need to go outside, come out of the shade and expose our body to it. And then we can feel its heat. But if we want to feel the energy of Love then we just need to get rid of anger, greed, envy, irritation and fear. We need to open our hearts to you, SOURCE, and you will gladly fill us with your Love! It can be done so easily if we really want it! I am so glad that you helped me to understand this! I am so glad that I have come back to you!”

“Hello, Natasha! I too am so delighted that you understood the ABSOLUTE VERITY! But I think that you came back to me just a little bit too early!” the SOURCE responded with a note of humor. “You haven’t done what you have promised: you have not helped your parents to bring back their Love, and you have not helped your new little brother to become happy. So you need to go back!”

“No, no, I don’t want to go back! I am feeling so blissful being here with you!” Natasha replied.

“You cannot always do what you want. Sometimes you have to do what is required!” the SOURCE said kindly. “Now I will show you what your friends are doing.”

Suddenly a screen lit up in front of Natasha and she saw Theodore, the Lizard Queen and Owl, all crying.

The Lizard Queen was repeating the same phrase over and over, “Natasha, dear, come back, please, come back if you can.”

Natasha felt pity for her friends but she still did not want to return.

“And now I will show you your parents and your little brother,” said the SOURCE.

The picture on the screen changed and Natasha saw her sleeping parents and heard her little brother’s voice, “Natasha, my dear sister, come back to me please! You have promised to help me! And you have to keep your promises! Natasha, do you really wish to never see Mom and Dad again, and never ever meet me? Come back, dear sister, I beg you!”

Natasha began to wonder if she really should go back. The image on the screen disappeared.

“So what do you say now?” asked the SOURCE in his kind voice.

“I understand that I must go back, but I still don’t want to leave you!” Natasha answered regretfully. “There are so many problems and difficulties out there, and here with you it feels so comfortable and safe! And it is so exhilarating to feel your Love! No, I will not go back, I will stay with you!” Natasha stated stubbornly.

“Yes, there are many problems and difficulties that are created by the evil forces,” said the SOURCE, “but that is exactly why you need to go back, so you can help people to solve those problems! And now look, I will show you the future that will happen in forty-two years if you do not go back!”

The screen lit up right in front of Natasha again and she saw two people in it. One of them was dressed as a doctor and was listening to the other one, who was holding a little dog in his arms. The dog seemed to be very obese.

“The one with the dog is your brother,” said the SOURCE. “He is forty-one years old. Your parents divorced even before he was born, so he grew up without his father. He would see him only once a year, during the summer break, since your father moved to another city. After you did not come back your mom and dad became very unhappy and their hair turned gray immediately. The feeling of Love left your family forever. The evil powers were planting more and more feelings of fear and greed in them. Your brother grew up without Love, but with fear and greed. Once there was a short period of time when he felt Love for one very nice woman and he even married her, but then he divorced too.”

“He probably divorced because he did not meet the right woman,” Natasha suggested. “I have heard that in order to be happy with Love you need to find the person who matches you, is that true?”

“No, that is not true!” the SOURCE answered firmly. “In order to be happy with Love you don’t need to look for someone special. It could be anyone!  If you share your energy of LOVE with the person you choose, then you will receive the same in return.  It is the exchange of LOVE that brings real happiness! And your brother did not believe in Love. That is why the evil forces could easily plant in him the belief that his wife spends too much, and that having children will also cause great expenses, causing him to have less. He believed this even though your brother is fairly wealthy. He has a good income from his own business. But the evil forces made him very greedy so that he feels regret and he even suffers whenever he spends money. Especially when he spends money not on himself but on somebody else, even on his dog. Do you want to listen to what he is talking about with the doctor?”

“Of course I do!” said Natasha.

The image on the screen came to life and the sound came on, like someone had released the “pause” button. Natasha saw her brother. His face seemed familiar to her and she realized that he looked very similar to their dad, except that he had a beard and moustache.

His face had an expression of disappointment and he spoke to the doctor in an irritated voice. “Doctor, I am feeding him just like you recommended, but he is only getting fatter and fatter! And his food is becoming costly; I pay about $1000 a year! I think that only a quarter of that should be enough for him. That would be much less expensive for me and he would lose some weight; just look how fat he is!”

The doctor’s expression showed amazement, “I don’t think that your dog is gaining weight because of the diet I recommended. He just does not get enough exercise. You should take him for a walk more often and also play with him. Once he starts exercising then he will start losing weight. But you should not cut down on his food; he might get sick if you do.”

Her brother’s face became distorted in a frown. Now his expression reminded Natasha of someone else’s frown. And Natasha remembered who that was; it was the Queen of Evil. She used to scowl just like that.

Her brother, without hiding his irritation and anger, complained, “What are you talking about, doctor? I don’t have time to walk or play with him! And besides, I get very tired at work. I work at least ten hours a day, sometimes more, and sometimes I even work on the weekends! I think I should just cut down his food by at least half!”

“I am sorry,” said the doctor, “but that cannot be done!”

“This is terrible!” the brother argued. “This dog will make me broke! I have so many expenses because of him! Besides all the money that I spend on his food, I also need to buy special shampoos to wash him, pay for the visits to you, and pay for various vaccinations! Why did I even get this dog? I would never have done it if I’d known how much it would cost me!”

Now even the doctor became irritated and angry. None of his patients before had ever suggested that his service was too expensive.

The doctor replied, “In that case you will be better off giving this dog to someone who will take care of him and love him!”

“With great pleasure!” retorted the brother. “Then I will be rid of all these unnecessary expenses. I used to spend less on my ex-wife than I spend on this dog now!”

“Splendid!” said the doctor. “You could leave him here right now if you wish to. Many people often ask me if I have pets available for adoption. Just write me a waiver and don’t forget to sign it.”

The doctor handed him a sheet of paper and dictated the text: “I willingly give away this dog and I permit any willing person to take him home.”

The brother quickly wrote the note and signed it.

“That’s it!” said the doctor. “Now you may go! I will not charge you for today’s visit. Goodbye!”

The brother got up, placed the dog on the doctor’s desk and said, “Goodbye, doctor! Thank you for not charging me!”

He turned around and left with a satisfied expression. He came out to the street, got into his car and drove off. He seemed to be happy, but then his face suddenly became distorted again; he quickly turned the car around and drove back.

“Natasha, why do you think your brother is going back?” the SOURCE asked.

“He realized his mistake, and he does not want to part with his dog. Now he will regularly play with him and will not regret spending money on him!” Natasha answered.

“No, I am sorry, but that is not correct!” said the SOURCE. “Now listen carefully, I will make his thoughts audible.”

Something clicked and Natasha could hear her brother’s thoughts, “Oh, how stupid it is of me to give away a purebred dog to the doctor for free! He will probably sell it to someone instead of giving it away! How could I be so stupid! I have signed a waiver for him! I should have got from him at least half of what the dog costs!”

The image disappeared.

“So what do you think about that?” the SOURCE asked Natasha.

“This is terrible!” Natasha answered. “He does not love anyone, not his dog or even himself! He works ten hours a day or even more just to make more money without being concerned about his own health! The only thing that he loves is money!”

“What he feels about money is not Love, it is called greed,” the SOURCE corrected her. “And that is what the evil powers are planting in him.”

“Oh how awful, he does not even have his own opinion? That seems so abnormal! He doesn’t want to get married, nor does he want to have children because he does not want to spend money on them!” Natasha exclaimed. “Is he going to remain like that? Is he going to grow old without loving anyone and also without anyone loving him? And all of that because he is afraid of spending money!”

“I am sorry, but that is exactly what is going to happen,” said the SOURCE. “He does have his own opinion, and he does want to love someone and to be loved! But the evil forces are planting in him that Love does not exist and that it is only an illusion. And also that marriage means only additional problems and expenses.”

“But why does he believe them?” Natasha asked.

“He grew up without Love, your parents divorced even before his birth. He did not know about Love and that is why he does not believe in it. What do you say now?” the SOURCE asked.

“What can I say? I have to go back!” Natasha exclaimed.

“That is right!” the SOURCE agreed. “You need to return and help your parents. They need to learn about THE LAWS OF LOVE!”

“Oh, SOURCE! I no longer have your book, ‘THE LAWS OF LOVE!’” Natasha said disappointedly. “Chief Rat took it away and tore it into little pieces! How can I help my parents now?”

“Don’t worry, Natasha!” said the SOURCE. “THE LAWS OF LOVE cannot be destroyed, just like LOVE itself cannot be destroyed!”

“Oh SOURCE, are you going to give me another book? But I cannot take it! I am a Kindness now and I don’t have any arms or legs!”

“Go back, Natasha, and don’t worry!” the SOURCE said kindly. “I will send the book to your parents’ house. Don’t forget that I can do anything because I am the greatest Magician! And now goodbye, Natasha!”

The light started fading, becoming fainter and fainter. Natasha realized that she was moving away from the SOURCE.

She became very sad and in a pleading voice she said, “SOURCE, don’t leave me so soon! Please, wait for just a little while longer!”

“Our time is up!” the SOURCE answered tenderly. “We will meet another time!”

The sphere of Natasha Kindness began to rotate. It picked up speed and soon was spinning wildly as if out of control. Natasha felt a moment of panic right before everything went blank….

Sunlight filtered through the tiny slits between Natasha’s eyelids. She opened them a little wider then blinked. Suddenly she saw Theodore, Owl, and the Lizard Queen standing next to her, weeping. Natasha realized she had returned to her earthly body.

She opened her eyes wide, sat up and announced, “I am back! It is too early for me to return to the SOURCE yet! I still need to keep my promise to my little brother. And I still need to do kindnesses here on Earth! There is much to be done!”

Everyone was so astonished they could not speak. But one by one, tears of sadness turned to joy.

Natasha stood up and said, “Ok, let’s go! Let’s not waste any more time! Come on!”

Back to the Table of Contents

Chapter 30


Suddenly they all heard a faint voice, “Natasha! Natasha! I am so glad you have come back!”

Natasha looked back and saw that it was little Spy Mouse. All this time, he had been standing nearby behind a rock and crying while watching the scene unfold before him. The mouse ran to Natasha and she crouched down and extended her palm to him. He climbed on her palm and just stared at Natasha with joyous eyes, which had not cleared yet from the tears.

“I am very happy to see you too!” Natasha cried out. “But how did you get here? We are at the bottom of an abyss! It is so deep here!”

“I came down through the tunnel in the Cave of Ever-Frost,” explained the mouse. “There is a secret path, which almost nobody knows about. Through this path we can get to the cave and after going through the cave we will come to another hidden pathway, which will take us to the robbers. I am sure they will help you return to your country. But we will have to go through the main gallery of the cave, through the Wax Museum, which has many frozen prisoners standing there. I hope that you are not afraid of seeing them again.”

“No, don’t worry! We actually do want to see them!” replied Natasha. “I hope that we will find a way to release them!”

“Well then, what are we waiting for? Let’s go! Let’s not waste anymore time!” exclaimed Spy Mouse.

He jumped down from Natasha’s palm and quickly ran toward the cliff. The company quickly followed him. When they came closer they saw a narrow passage. The friends followed after Spy Mouse. It was very dark and they were finding their way by feeling the walls with their hands. Up ahead in the distance they saw light. They went a little farther and they came out into a giant cave, which was lit up with many torches on the walls. It was the main gallery of the Cave of Ever-Frost. Along its walls there stood many frozen prisoners. The friends stopped, gaping again at the sight.

“This reminds me of wax figures in a museum!” Natasha whispered. “Except that these people are alive! Which makes it so creepy. It looks like they just froze a moment ago.”

“Natasha, can you guess which one of them is Michael, Thomas’s father?” Spy Mouse asked curiously. Since Spy Mouse had been here many times before, he was not frightened by the frozen prisoners.

“I will try,” answered Natasha and she carefully studied the frozen prisoners.

One of them was a little taller and the expression in his eyes was different from all the others. His eyes were shining with kindness so intense that even his frozen condition could not conceal it.

“This is Thomas’s father!” said Natasha, pointing at Michael.

“That is correct!” Spy Mouse was amazed. “That is him!”

Natasha approached Michael and, overcoming her own fear, she hugged him. She felt that he was cold as ice and she started feeling herself becoming cold also, but she continued hugging him. Suddenly everyone heard a heavy sigh, then one more sigh, as if by magic.

Michael awoke and spoke to Natasha, “Thank you, little girl! You have freed me from my icy imprisonment! You have melted the ice of hatred with the warmth of your Love! I would have been standing here for eternity without you. Tell me, what is your name?”

“My name is Natasha. I am so glad that you are free now!” she answered. “And now let’s free the other prisoners!”

Natasha, Michael, the Lizard Queen, Owl, Theodore and even little Spy Mouse started hugging the frozen prisoners. The figures would spring to life and thank the friends. Soon there were no frozen prisoners left; all had been brought back with Love.

“Thank you, dear friends! You have saved all of us!” Michael gushed with joy. “And now let’s think about how we can get out of here.”

“Don’t worry, I know the way!” said Spy Mouse. “I know a hidden path that will take us to the robbers, and then they will help us to go farther, they will guide everyone back to their own kingdoms.”

“Do you really think that the robbers will help us?” Michael asked Spy Mouse in surprise.

“Of course!” the mouse answered. “They are very nice and kind robbers. Natasha has shared Love with all of them.”

“Now I see,” Michael replied. “And by the way, do any of you know where my son Thomas is? And how old he is now?”

“He is eleven years old already. He is now with the robbers and they are all the best of friends,” answered Spy Mouse.

“I have been standing here for so long! But now I am free! So then let’s go!” Michael exclaimed happily and they all followed Spy Mouse through the dark narrow tunnel.

Back to the Table of Contents

Chapter 31


After traveling some distance, Spy Mouse stopped and quietly said, “Now we are going to pass through the Cave of the Secret Meetings. That is where the monthly reporting is currently conducted. The Collectors of Evil report to the King and to the Fourth Advisor about what jobs they have completed in the past month.”

“And who are these Collectors of Evil?” Natasha was both amazed and interested.

“They are one of the greatest inventions of our Fourth Advisor,” Spy Mouse answered. “He devised the Collectors of Evil many years ago. Near the Cave of the Secret Meetings is the factory that makes them. They are sent to the people straight from the factory. They look like little dirty-gray clouds. The stronger the Collectors are, the darker they are in color. They are invisible to people; they can be seen only in the Kingdom of Evil. But even though people cannot see them, they can feel them; feelings of discomfort always follow the person who has a Collector.”

“But what is the reason for creating these Collectors? How can they be useful?” the Lizard Queen wondered.

“The Collectors are of a great use to us, when they are not lazy!” Spy Mouse exclaimed. “They fill the Lake of Hatred with the Energy of Evil. Every Collector finds himself a victim: a person to whom he sends negative thoughts. Usually the Collectors fly around their victims, but the lazier ones sit on their victim’s left shoulder. The goal of the Collectors of Evil is to make people unhappy, so those people will emit more negative energies. The Collectors of Evil collect these energies and then take them to the Lake of Hatred. In order to do so, the Collectors need to cause their victims to feel anger, as well as the other dark feelings, such as fear, doubt, insult, envy, greed, disappointment, irritation, pride, irony, and vanity.”

“But how does a Collector cause such feelings in a person?” Theodore wondered.

“He sends the thoughts into that person’s mind,” replied Spy Mouse. “For example, that he or she is stupid, ugly, or that he or she will never achieve anything in life, and that nobody loves him or her. The person agrees with those thoughts and accepts them as his or her own. Then the person starts worrying, and the thoughts turn into feelings, and the feelings cause the desired behavior. People get irritated, angry, offended, and envious; they fight, they even divorce. So all this causes people to emit negative energy, which a Collector of Evil gathers, only to influence that person more and more.”

“But what can protect people from their effect?” Natasha worried.

“The only remedy is Love!” Spy Mouse answered. “People who possess TRUE LOVE, which is given to them by the SOURCE, are not under their spell. Such people could even be dangerous to the Collectors, because the Collectors will simply melt, evaporate, or disappear from their powerful Love.

“And I also know one more way of fighting against them. It can help those people who do not possess true Love, but still do not want to give their energy to the powers of Evil. It is simple: when a person hears the negative thoughts in his or her head, then at the same time he or she also hears the opposite thoughts, given by his or her Intuition Fairy. At that moment it is important to realize that the correct thoughts are those that are positive, from the Intuition Fairy, and that the other thoughts can be turned down before they become feelings and actions. 

“Let me also tell you another secret. Since the Collectors of Evil sit on a person’s left shoulder, then the thoughts that they send also come from the left side of the head. And the thoughts sent by the kind powers come from the right side of the head.”

“I understand!” Natasha exclaimed. “That is exactly how it was with me once! One time I was trying to memorize a little poem, but I could not do it because in my head there was a voice continuously repeating the idea that I was stupid. And that almost made me cry. But then I told myself: ‘No! I am not stupid! And I have a good memory!’ And after that I was able to memorize the poem very easily.”

“You did the right thing,” declared Spy Mouse. “If all people would act that way, then the Collectors of Evil would be left without any work. And besides that, while emitting the negative emotions and giving away their energy to the Collectors of Evil, people cause damage to their own health. Even though there is a time when people are free from them, it happens only once a month when the Collectors of Evil fly away to the Kingdom of Evil for their monthly report meeting. Then people have a good time and go about in a good mood. But this bright time ends quickly, because when the Collectors of Evil come back, they start torturing the people with new strength, and people emit even more of the negative energies. The Collectors of Evil collect that energy and then bring it to the Lake of Hatred again. The main energy in that lake is the energy of hatred, but there also are other energies added to it as a spice, giving the water a specific taste, which our King and Queen enjoy so much. And those are the energies of insult, disappointment, doubt, fear, envy, pride, and vanity. These beings bring the collected energy to the Lake of Hatred once a month and they report about their accomplishments to the King and to the Fourth Advisor. Right now one of those meetings is in session. The tunnel, through which we are walking, goes through the balcony in the Cave of the Secret Meetings. We need to walk across the balcony very quietly, so they will not notice us.”

“Can we listen in on what is discussed at the meeting?” the Lizard Queen asked.

“Of course we could intercept some of the conversation,” Spy Mouse said in a hushed tone. “I enjoy intercepting conversations myself. But we need to be very careful and very quiet. Now follow me and walk on your tiptoes.”

The group followed his advice, and soon they came out onto a balcony, from where the well-lit Cave of the Secret Meetings could be seen. Everybody stopped and peered down from the balcony. They saw a spacious cave with a large mirror standing in the middle of it. In front of the mirror there was a large area filled with little gray clouds. The clouds were hovering in the air, just a few feet from the ground. The King was sitting near the mirror. To the right of the King sat the Fourth Advisor, and to the left of the King sat the Chief Rat.

The King’s face was filled with wrath and he ferociously yelled, “All of you are so lazy, just like a bunch of sleepy flies! For the entire month of your work, if you can even call that work, we gained only about a quart of water! Only one of you, the Braggart, has earned a reward this month. He receives a title of ‘Master of the Evil Arts’ and he also gets a big reward: swimming in the Lake of Hatred! Envy him, you rascals!”

“W-o-o-o-w!” the envious whisper sounded from the crowd. “That is too much!”

“The Braggart brought his victim, Doctor Alexander, to the most desirable condition that benefits evil: a complete disbelief in Love!!!” the King continued. “Now Doctor Alexander is ours completely!!! He does not even believe in his own Intuition Fairy and his connection with the SOURCE is completely severed! Our goal is to turn as many people as possible that way! They are the ones who cause the biggest gain in our lake! Come to me, Braggart!”

The Collector Braggart flew up to the King and hovered right in front of him. He was different from all of the other Collectors; he was a lot larger in size and a lot darker than the rest.

“Look at him, he is in such great shape!” the King announced with pride. “Look how much he gained in size and how dark he got! Remember, when a Collector is gaining the energy of Evil he also grows and gets darker. But a lazy Collector always diminishes in size and becomes lighter in color! I am proud of you, Braggart! And now tell us, how were you able to achieve this?”

“I was working day and night!” the Braggart started his story. “I was trying so hard, that I almost got no sleep at all! And my great effort gave me such marvelous, awesome, excellent results! I am the most hard-working, the most enduring, the best worker of all the Collectors! I am the best! The most of the most…”

“Now you are bragging too much!” the King interrupted him indignantly. “Are you forgetting who you are and where you are!? I am the one who is the most of the most! And you are just a braggart!”

“I admit my fault, Your Highness! Please, forgive me. I am such a rascal…”

“Well fine,” the King declared. “I forgive you this time, because of your achievements. But tell us, what did you come up with in order to bring the doctor to such an angry state? What is your secret? Share your experience, so everyone can learn from you.”

“‘The Group Influence’ is what I came up with!” pridefully replied the Collector Braggart. “I worked together with the Collector Bully. My victim, the doctor, was in love with the Collector Bully’s victim, a girl named Ann. So I got this ingenious idea: what if we could influence both of them simultaneously? I suggested this idea to the Bully and he agreed. As a result of our work, we made them separate for the rest of their lives, even though before our influence Doctor Alexander had asked Ann to marry him and she had agreed.”

“Yes, that really is a great idea!” the King exclaimed. “But how exactly did you do your work? Show it to everyone, so all of the Collectors here will know! Direct your thoughts into the Magic Mirror of Memories. Collector Bully, you come up here too!”

Collector Bully flew out of the crowd and up to the King. He was a little smaller than Braggart, but he was still a lot bigger and darker than all of the other Collectors.

“And you also seem to be in good shape! This is how your great work rewards you!” the King complimented. “And now, both of you, direct your thoughts into the Magic Mirror of Memories, so we can view your great achievement.”

Everyone stared at the mirror rapt with attention. At first it only showed a gray fog, then the fog disappeared and the details of a bathroom became visible. There stood a handsome man about thirty-five years of age. He was staring at himself in the mirror. Braggart hovered near him and whispered something in his ear.

“Turn up the volume! I cannot hear well!” the King commanded and immediately everyone heard Braggart’s voice:

“And still the left of the moustache is shorter than the right! And they call themselves a first-class salon! Nobody there even knows how to trim a moustache!”

After that the doctor’s voice could be heard, however it was not really his voice but his thoughts: Oh, never mind. It actually looks even.

Then Braggart spoke again, “You call that even? It is shorter, a lot shorter! Almost a quarter of an inch!”

The doctor quickly grabbed the scissors and he nervously started trimming his moustache on the right side.

Braggart spoke up again, “But now the right one is shorter! It is all because of the scissors, they are too dull. There is a sharper pair somewhere in the kitchen. You should get those instead.”

Then the doctor’s thoughts sounded again: There is no time to look for them! I am already running late for my date! I am probably seven minutes late! At least the park is near my house!

“But how can you go on a date with the girl you love when your moustache is so uneven?” Braggart’s voice sounded again. “She will think that you are an idiot and she will never marry you! And you are not seven minutes late, maybe one minute at the max!”

I should look at the clock, the doctor’s thoughts sounded again.

“Why should you look at it? That would be just a waste of time! It is still early! You’ll trim the moustache evenly instead, so you won’t look like an idiot,” Braggart continued.

The doctor walked out of the bathroom and into the kitchen. He was frantically opening all of the drawers, but he could not find the scissors.

I think they are in the bedroom. I left them there last evening, thought the doctor.

“No they are not there! They are in the kitchen! They definitely are in the kitchen!” Braggart insisted. But the doctor still went to the bedroom and found his scissors. He went back to the bathroom so he could again trim his moustache.

“And now you really look like an idiot!” Braggart said maliciously. “The moustache is so short that you will have to shave it off!”

The doctor took out his razor and hurriedly he started shaving off his moustache. When he was finally finished, he lifted his head and saw that the clock on the wall was showing 7:30.

Oh no! I am thirty minutes late now! Anna has probably left already! thought the irritated and angry doctor. He furiously pulled on the drawer’s handle so he could put his razor away, but the handle broke off. The image in the mirror disappeared.

“That is a great job, and there is nothing more to say,” commented the pleased King. “He got so ferocious that he even broke off the drawer’s handle. But I do not understand, where is The Group Influence here? How is it shown? What is The Group Influence?”

“The Group Influence means, Your Highness,” Bully jumped into the conversation, “that at the same time as Braggart was influencing the doctor and whispering to him the thoughts that caused him to be late, I was working with Ann and whispering to her the thoughts that were turning her away from the doctor. I will show it to you in the mirror now.”

The fog appeared in the mirror again, followed by the image of a pretty girl with a sad, lonely face, sitting on a park bench.

Bully’s voice sounded, “It is already seven o’clock and he is not here yet! And you came ten minutes early, because you were afraid of being late! How stupid of you!”

No, that can’t be! Ann’s thoughts sounded. He is never late! He will be here soon!

“Five minutes have passed already, but he is still not here! He does not respect you at all! And if you will count that you came ten minutes earlier, then you have been waiting for fifteen minutes already!” Bully kept on.

He is working so hard! Maybe something happened in the hospital, Ann thought sadly.

“If something would have happened there, then he would have called you,” Bully continued.

Yes, really, he did not even call! thought Ann.

“Exactly! He does not respect you at all! He is twenty minutes late now! And if you add those ten minutes that you came early, then you’ve been waiting for thirty minutes!” Bully whispered

Maybe he is still going to show up; I will wait a little more, Ann considered.

“Do you really want to wait any longer? Why would you? This is such mockery! He does not respect you at all!” Bully added even more fuel to the fire. “Nobody in your life has treated you like this before! But here you are still waiting for him! And you are even going to marry him! Do you really think that you might have a happy future with him? You will be better off breaking up with him right now than putting up with such disrespect for the rest of your life!”

The girl angrily snatched her purse from the bench, got up, and quickly marched off down the park alley.

“So this is the method of The Group Influence!” Braggart said proudly. “Together we both were turning them against each other until we finally separated them for the rest of their lives. Of course, what we showed you right now is just one moment, and we had thousands of such moments.”

Up on the balcony, Natasha quietly whispered into the Lizard Queen’s ear, “Now I understand why my parents, as well as your sons, don’t get along. It is because of the Group Influence!” Natasha went on, “And I know that Doctor Alexander! He is our family doctor! He is often irritated like that!”

“Hush! Quiet!” Spy Mouse whispered to her.

Down below, the King exclaimed, “I am proud of these two rascals! What could be more useful, and wicked, than destroying two lives and collecting so much negative energy at the same time? Bully also receives the title of ‘Master of the Evil Arts’ and I will let him swim with Braggart in the Lake of Hatred for as long as they want! Even if they swim there for the entire day! And the rest of you lazy rascals, learn from them!”

Another envious whispering rolled through the crowd of the Collectors.

“And now the bad news,” the King growled with disappointment. “The Collector Napdozer did not bring us any energy at all! The entire world has never seen anyone as lazy as him! I think that we should un-create him! Fly up to me, Collector Napdozer.”

Napdozer flew up to the King and started sobbing loudly, “I will change, I will improve! I will not be so lazy anymore!”

“Your Highness! Un-creation of a Collector is the greatest punishment possible!” the Fourth Advisor broke in. “I suggest that you forgive him this time and give him a last warning…”

“Okay, I forgive you this one time only!” the King said indulgently.

At that moment a fly landed on Theodore’s nose. His nose started itching and twitching, and he was not able to refrain from a loud sneeze, “A-choo!”

The King, the Fourth Advisor, the Chief Rat, and all of the Collectors of Evil looked up and saw the group.

“You told me that the tourists were captured and executed! But they are alive and well!” the King roared ferociously at Chief Rat. “It looks like they even freed the prisoners! Catch them and execute them all right now!”

“Run!” Spy Mouse commanded and swiftly he took off down the tunnel.

The rest of the group followed him. Chief Rat was quickly flying up the stairs toward the balcony; the Collectors of Evil flew after her. Natasha and her friends were running very fast, but the Chief Rat was even faster and already very close. Then Spy Mouse stopped; he let the entire group pass him, and pressed a little button in the wall. From the wall, a heavy door rolled out, making a lot of noise, and was quickly closing the tunnel. Chief Rat tried to run through the little remaining gap, but the door slammed on her and her head got stuck in the opening.

“You will not get away! I will catch you and destroy you! You, the tourists of the lowest category!” Chief Rat screamed with anger and disappointment.

“Don’t worry, that will not happen any time soon!” Spy Mouse calmed everyone down. “The button that opens the door is located only on this side. To reopen the door they will need to go outside the other way and around the entire cliff. And that will take them five hours.”

But suddenly the Collectors of Evil started coming out through the walls.

“Oh no! They can go through the walls!” Natasha cried out. “What are they? Ghosts?”

“No, they are much worse!” Spy Mouse answered. “Not only can they go through walls just like ghosts can, but they are very evil and can be invisible to people! They can only be seen in the Kingdom of Evil.”

Some of the Collectors of Evil caught up to the friends and tried to stop them. The Collectors began flying through their heads back and forth, attempting to influence their thoughts. Natasha’s head became filled with such thoughts as ‘You need to come back! The King will forgive you! The King will even reward you if you come back! You will get five big rubies if you return and return your friends! But if you don’t return, you will be very sorry! You’ll all pay with your lives!

“I am not afraid of you! And I am not planning to return! So, please, leave me alone!” Natasha answered confidently.

At that moment some of the Collectors started getting lighter in color and quickly melted and evaporated from that powerful energy of LOVE, which Natasha and her friends received after their meeting with the SOURCE. When the rest of the Collectors saw that, they turned around and started fleeing back through the wall.

“Cowards! I will report you to the King!” Chief Rat screamed, but nobody listened to her.

Soon all of the Collectors of Evil had hidden behind the wall, including Braggart and Bully, who even led the retreat. The friends calmly turned and marched toward the exit from the tunnel.

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Chapter 32


Soon they saw a light and came out into a meadow.

“We have arrived and this is the robbers’ town,” said Spy Mouse.

“This is a nice place they’ve got here!”  Michael said in wonder. “And here they are!”

Two robber-guards came up to the group. They were staring at the ex-prisoners in surprise. When they saw Natasha they immediately recognized her.

One of them said, “Hello Natasha! We are very glad to see you again. And whom did you bring to us?”

“Hello dear robbers! I am very glad to see you too!” shouted Natasha. “And I have brought to you the ex-prisoners from the Cave of Ever-Frost. They have been frozen there, but we freed them with the warmth of our Love. And this is Michael, Thomas’s father.”

“Oh yes, Love really does create miracles!” said the second robber. “I will go to the chieftain and tell him that you have arrived. He will be glad to see you again! Right now he is by the lake together with Thomas and the Queen.”

And the robber-guard hurried away.

“What, the Queen is also here?” Michael exclaimed in amazement.

“Yes, she is here!” the second robber answered and then added in a happy voice, “We have great news! The chieftain and the Queen are in love with each other and our chieftain has proposed to her!”

“What!? How could that be considered great news? As far as I know, she is still my wife!” said Michael.

“No, sorry, Michael,” Spy Mouse spoke up, “but you and Caroline have been divorced for five years. You just did not know about it because the King decreed the divorce right after you were frozen.”

Michael did not reply. He sadly dropped his head and the friends felt very sorry for him. They realized that he still loved the Queen no matter the circumstances.

At this moment the chieftain, the Queen and Thomas appeared on the pathway. They were hurrying toward the robbers’ town very quickly. Ron and Caroline seemed to be worried but Thomas’s face was shining with happiness. He had always dreamed about seeing his father again, even though he had been told many times that his father didn’t want to see him anymore. When Thomas saw his father, he recognized him right away and ran toward him.

They hugged and Michael said, “You have grown up so much, son! But your face has remained almost the same! I recognized you immediately!”

“I recognized you too!” Thomas said. “You are exactly the same as I had imagined!”

At this time Ron and Caroline joined them. Ron still seemed worried. He really loved Caroline with all of his heart and he was afraid that she might want to go back to her ex-husband. He could not imagine himself living without her. Caroline’s face wore a guilty expression. She had forgotten about Michael a very long time ago because the needles of hatred had banished her love for Michael from her heart. When Ron’s love had melted all of the hatred in her heart she was able to feel a mutual love in return for him. She loved him so much so that she had even forgotten about everything else in her world. But now, when she saw Michael, she realized that she still loved him. Caroline could not understand how she could have done this to Michael. Their eyes met. They were gazing at each other and both were silent. Caroline had tears in her eyes.

She said, “I am so sorry, Michael! Please forgive me if you can.”

Michael smiled. Now he had hope that Caroline might come back to him.

“I forgive you! I know that it was the Father King who has done all of this. He ordered the needles of hatred and greed put into your heart when you were sleeping. Now you have freed yourself from their influence. I think it was my love that helped you with that! Caroline, now we can return to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love and we all can live there together happily: you, me and our son Thomas! Just as we lived before, do you remember?”

Caroline was silent. She still loved her ex-husband, but it was a different kind of love, it was love-gratitude, love-respect, but it was not the love of a woman for a man. Caroline was mired in doubt. She looked at Ron and in his eyes she saw expectancy, pleading, concern and hope. And also there were tears in his eyes. The robbers’ chieftain was crying for the second time in his entire life. But he did not break into the conversation. He was patiently and obediently waiting for her decision. Finally, Caroline made that decision.

She turned to Michael and said, “Forgive me once again, Michael, but it was not your love that melted the needles of hatred in my heart. It was Ron’s love! I fell in love with him the minute I first saw him! I can’t go with you; I will stay with him! It is no longer possible to change the situation; besides, I don’t even want to.”

Michael was silent. It was difficult for him to lose Caroline, but he knew that he no longer could change her mind.

He turned to Ron and then back to Caroline and said, “Well, Caroline, let it be as you say. You stay with Ron if that will make you happy, because the most important thing for me is that you are happy, because I love you!”

Then Michael asked Thomas, “Who do you want to stay with, son?”

“I will go with you, Father!” Thomas answered. “I haven’t seen you for such a long time and I have been dreaming about our meeting! And I hope Mom will come to visit us often.”

“What do you think about that, Caroline?” Michael asked his former wife.

“Of course I don’t want to lose him,” Caroline answered, “but I understand that with his kind character it will be very hard for him to live in our country. His homeland is the Kingdom of Kindness and Love. And besides, Thomas is old enough to make his own decisions. And therefore, even though it is very painful for me, I will let him go!”

“Thank you, Caroline! It is also hard for me to leave you, but I also will let you go. I declare that I affirm our divorce. And you are free to marry Ron. And now, son, it is time for us to leave,” Michael told Thomas.

“No way! You cannot leave! I will not let you go!” somebody’s voice sounded behind them.

They all turned around and saw Adrian. He was no longer so skinny and on his head there was short platinum hair spiking up. He was smiling with his diamond smile, but now his smile was completely different, it was sincere. Next to him there was not a young woman, but one still beautiful lady.

“First you need to travel to my island and attend my wedding! Veronica and I have decided to remarry! Thank you, Thomas! Sometimes children are smarter than adults!”

Then Adrian hugged Michael and said, “I understand you! I understand your feelings! I was feeling exactly the same thing when Veronica left me for someone else. But trust me, everything will be fine and you will be happy again. Love will come to you if you only believe in it!

Natasha thought that she had heard these words somewhere else before and then she remembered that it was exactly what the SOURCE had told her.

Michael smiled and answered, “Thank you, Adrian! Well, I would be honored to celebrate a wedding! It is always a great joy for me to see other people’s happiness.”

“You are such a great guy!” Adrian said. “What can I do to make you feel better? Do you want me to give you a helicopter as a gift? The latest model! Or how about a submarine?”

“Thank you, Adrian, but I don’t need any of that,” Michael answered. “Don’t worry about me; everything is going to be just fine because I am not alone! My son Thomas is with me!”

“Oh, yes, I had completely forgotten that you can create anything that you wish!” Adrian said.

Natasha thought that she should urgently warn Adrian that he was in danger. But she did not want to talk about it near Caroline, so she waited for a more appropriate time, when the Queen of Evil would step away from Adrian. Natasha did not know that now the Queen of Evil had become much kinder.

“And you look wonderful now, Adrian! You have gained weight and appear to be in great shape!” Caroline noted.

“Well, that is because of my dear Veronica! She is a master chef!” Adrian replied.

“I just don’t understand one thing, Adrian. Who exactly are you inviting to your wedding?” Caroline asked.

“What do you mean ‘who exactly’?” Adrian asked in amazement. “Everyone! Everyone who is here: you, and Ron with the rest of the robbers, and Natasha with her friends and the freed prisoners! We all are going to get into my submarine and head to my island right now. My ex-bride-contestants have already prepared a feast and have set the tables. All of them have remained satisfied; I gave each one of them a consolation check for 10,000 gold coins. Oh, we are going to have so much fun! And then I will transport everyone wherever they need to go. Does anyone mind?”

One of the freed prisoners replied, “I am very happy for you, Adrian, but I am sorry that I cannot attend your wedding. I have spent way too much time in that cave and I really need to go back home now.”

Then another freed prisoner added, “All of us have spent many years in that cave, and we wish to return home now as well.”

“I understand,” Adrian replied in disappointment. “Goodbye then! I wish you luck!” Adrian turned to the rest of the company and asked again, “Does everyone else want to go?”

They all expressed their happy anticipation of the trip ahead.

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Chapter 33



The friends traveled to the sea where Adrian’s great submarine was waiting for them. After boarding, the group began studying it intently.

“This is my latest invention!” Adrian boasted. “A high-speed family submarine. It can also take plenty of guests; it is designed to hold up to one hundred passengers! But the most fascinating thing is that on its upper deck there is a small airport with ten helicopters. So you can travel not only by sea, but by air! I already have many orders for this model!” And then Adrian turned to Veronica, “By the way, Veronica, according to the latest undisclosed statistics I am considered the wealthiest man in the world. There is nobody wealthier than me!”

“Ah, dear Adrian, I love you not because of your money,” Veronica declared, “but because you are so cheerful and smart and you have such a wonderful personality! I would still love you even without money!”

“That’s right,” Adrian winked. “But with money I feel much more secure!”

Meanwhile, the Queen of Evil, on the other end of the craft, had found an ancient painting and was viewing it with curiosity. Natasha seized the moment.

She whispered in Adrian’s ear, “I must tell you, you could be in danger! When we were traveling in a bathyscaph together with the Intuition Fairy we saw your nephews, Tim and Kim. They also were traveling in a bathyscaph. We met them at the Canyon of the Glowing Crabs. The Intuition Fairy said that they are looking for your hidden chest in order to find the needle that holds the power of your life and break it. They want your death in order to inherit their legacy.”

“Oh no!” cried Adrian. “That is the last thing that I need! I am just starting to enjoy my life! My life is just beginning! Love has finally found me! I have just decided to marry my beloved!”

Then Adrian loudly addressed all of his passengers, “We are changing our course because of an emergency! Everybody, take your seats and put your seatbelts on! I am sorry, but I will have to explain later. Now I am going to switch to the ultra-fast mode of transport.”

All of the passengers took their seats and put their seatbelts on, even though none of them knew why.

Adrian turned the vessel around and accelerated to the maximum speed. Everyone was pinned to their seats by the velocity of the sub. They soon reached the cave and descended to the ocean floor.

”Do not panic, I have to turn the inside and the outside lights off,” Adrian said as darkness enveloped them.

“Adrian, dear, what is going on?” Veronica whispered.

“Can you explain to us what is happening?” Caroline asked in a low voice.

“Look out through the portholes,” Adrian replied.

Everyone saw a little bathyscaph, whose illuminators were glowing slightly, emitting a weak light. It was sitting near an entrance to an underwater cave.

“That bathyscaph belongs to my nephews, Tim and Kim,” Adrian continued. “They came here so they could find the chest where my mortality is hidden and then kill me. They are trying to get my legacy!”

Suddenly everyone saw that out of the cave two scuba divers emerged and headed toward the bathyscaph. Adrian turned on one beam-light and pointed it at the divers. In the bright light everyone witnessed one of the divers holding a little golden chest in his hands.

“You rascal!” Adrian shouted and pressed a button.

A dull shot sounded and the diver became entangled in a net. The net was slowly pulled back into the submarine. The diver took out a knife and quickly sliced the net. He launched himself forward as hard as he could and propelled himself out of the net. However, in doing so, he dropped the chest and it rolled downhill into the cave. The chest opened and an egg fell out. It also began quickly rolling downhill, passing up the chest. Suddenly the egg rolled into a rock and broke. A needle fell out of it and disappeared in the darkness at the bottom of the cave. The chest rolled away in the same direction too. The scuba divers by this time had quickly reached their craft and sped off.

“Veronica, Natasha and Thomas! Let’s quickly put the scuba diving suits on and go look for the needle! The others can wait for us here inside the submarine!” Adrian said, deeply distressed. “We must find the needle. If we do not find it, then Tim and Kim will return and search for it. And if they break the needle, then I will die! Will you please help me?”

“Of course we will help you, Adrian,” Natasha answered for everyone, “but I have never even tried scuba diving.”

“My scuba diving suits are very simple to use. Everything is automated. The oxygen is delivered automatically and the air you exhale is purged, also automatically. An individual projector light is installed above your forehead. It turns on and switches from bright to dim depending on the environment. Besides that, we all are going to hear each other simultaneously. The sound is very good inside these suits.”

Adrian, Veronica, Natasha and Thomas put the suits on. Then they went into a small room and the doors closed. The room became filled with water and the door on the other side opened. Adrian swam out and the others followed him. The projector beams from the submarine were shining brightly, and the individual projectors were also turned on, shining in every direction. Adrian, Veronica and Thomas quickly swam toward the entrance of the cave. Natasha had never swum underwater in a suit before and therefore she was not able to keep up. Thomas noticed that she had fallen behind, so he swam back and offered her his hand. Natasha grabbed his hand and they quickly caught up.

At the entrance of the cave Adrian said, “And now swim slowly and carefully. Try not to stir up the sand because if the needle becomes covered with a layer of sand, we will never be able to find it.”

One at a time, slowly and carefully, the divers entered the cave. Adrian swam in first, Veronica followed him, then Thomas went next, Natasha being the last one to venture inside the cave. They all swam in different directions, carefully searching the cave floor. Their individual projectors were brightly lighting up the floor with their powerful beams. Time was passing slowly and the search was not going well. But then behind a rock Natasha noticed the golden chest.

“Yay!” she exclaimed. “I found something!”

“That’s not much of a find,” Adrian interjected with disappointment. “You can leave that chest where you found it. We don’t need it. We must continue looking for the needle.”

“But maybe we should take it, Adrian?” Veronica joined the conversation. “It is pure gold, and it is also an antique!”

Adrian remained silent. Suddenly Natasha got a strong feeling that she should lift the chest. It was not even just a feeling: she felt absolutely confident about her idea. Natasha lifted up the chest and saw a little needle under it. She carefully picked it up and, not believing her own eyes, she examined it. It looked just like an ordinary needle. It was hard to imagine that somebody’s life could depend on such a small object.

Natasha said in a quiet voice, “Adrian, I think I found the needle.”

“Be careful! Do not move! Do not drop it!” Adrian exclaimed.

He quickly swam over to Natasha, took the needle and studied it.

“Yes, it is the exact needle! There is my name engraved on it! Thank you, Natasha! Ask anything from me that you want!”

“Don’t worry, Adrian! I don’t need anything! I am very happy that I could help you!” Natasha replied.

“Ok,” said Adrian, “I owe you one now. But Natasha, how were you able to find it?”

“I don’t even know,” Natasha replied. “I just had a feeling that I needed to lift up that chest.”

At this moment Natasha suddenly remembered what the Intuition Fairy had told her when they were leaving, “You no longer need me, you have your own intuition.”

“Well, now we can return. We will have a great feast awaiting us!” said Adrian as he headed back to the submarine.

Veronica followed him. Thomas took Natasha’s hand and they also swam toward the submarine. When all of them were safely inside, the door closed and the water drained out. The other door opened and our friends walked into the main compartment of the submarine, where everyone else was waiting for them impatiently.

“So, did you find it?” the Lizard Queen asked expectantly.

“Yes, we found it!” Adrian happily exclaimed. “Well, actually Natasha found it. I am so grateful to her!”

“Oh, how wonderful!” Caroline exclaimed. “I am so happy for you!”

All the other travelers were delighted and they all smiled with joy for Adrian.

The friends started taking off their scuba diving suits when suddenly Theodore exclaimed, “They are coming back! I see a light in the distance!”

Adrian turned off all of the lights once again and everyone waited silently and apprehensively. The light was swiftly getting closer and a small bathyscaph could already be clearly seen in the distance. But it was not the same bathyscaph Tim and Kim had used.

However, Adrian recognized it and exclaimed, “Wow, would you look at that! That is the bathyscaph that I sold to Fourth Advisor last week! So he is also hunting for my mortality! He told me that he just wanted to enjoy the beauty of the underwater world!”

“It was the Snitch Crow that stole the map with the plan of the cave from you and sold it to your nephews and the Fourth Advisor,” Natasha said.

“I have always suspected that my Fourth Advisor could be a traitor and would betray anyone at anytime!” Caroline exclaimed with anger. “Even though sometimes he does give very good advice….”

The bathyscaph of the Fourth Advisor got closer and Adrian turned on the interior and the exterior lights. The Fourth Advisor stopped his vessel and stared at all those inside the submarine in amazement.

“I welcome you, my dear advisor!” Caroline said through the loudspeaker. “What are you doing here?”

“I, uh, am, uhm, just enjoying the, uhm, beauty of the underwater, uh, world,” the Fourth Advisor stuttered through his loudspeaker, his voice filled with fear and confusion. This made the friends laugh heartily.

“Well, go ahead, continue!” Caroline commanded.

The Fourth Advisor switched to ultra-fast speed and quickly jettisoned away.

“Now I will hide this needle in such a place where no one will ever find it again!” announced Adrian. “My life is very important to me right now! The best part is yet to come! And now, hold on. I am switching to ultra-fast speed. We will arrive in a couple of minutes at my island.”

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Chapter 34


The submarine swiftly took off, but very soon it was slowing down. Through the portholes they could see lush underwater plants, corals and incredible fish in a great multitude of colors. The submarine slowed down even more.

Suddenly, Theodore exclaimed, “What is that? I see buildings! It looks like someone is living there!”

They all looked through the portholes and they too saw the unusual high-rise buildings in the distance.

“This is Aqualantica, the country where I was born and grew up,” Adrian said proudly. “It is located deep under the water and no one knows about it. A very long time ago, more than a thousand years, Aqualantica was part of a continent. It was a section of the Kingdom of Evil, which back then was called the Empire of Evil. However, a terrible earthquake happened and the territory of Aqualantica went down to the bottom of the ocean. Most of the people of the Empire died back then. Only a small group survived: One genius scientist, his son, the Emperor with his daughter and few servants.

“When the earthquake started, the scientist suggested hiding in a gigantic cave to the Emperor. He said that they did not have enough time to run away and the cave was their only hope. The scientist was right. The cave slowly submerged under the water. The entrance of the cave was tilted down and trapped the air inside. Thus, the people in the cave survived. They remained deep under the water. They did not have food, clothing, beds, or housing. They were trapped.

“The scientist, who had secretly worked to create a bathyscaph over many years, suggested to the emperor, ‘Your Royal Highness! I have a bathyscaph that is capable of traveling under the water. With its help we could return to the surface when the earthquake has subsided. But I suggest a different choice. We could stay here and become the rulers of the entire world. With the use of my bathyscaph we could raid ships, taking away their valuables and food. We could take the people into slavery and use their labor for raising crops in underwater fields and for building new housing. The most talented people would stay within the palace and receive the title of ‘Advisor Inventor.’ But our main goal will be to get the most talented people from up above, so we can become the rulers of this world. All I ask is for one condition: your daughter will marry my son.’

“The Emperor agreed. The scientist was very evil, mean and daring, but he still was a genius. With the help of a few of the servants, the scientist would make a hole in a passing ship using a special drilling machine, which was built into the top of the bathyscaph. When the ship began to sink, they would kidnap its passengers. The passengers would be given the ‘drink of forgetfulness’ so they would never remember their past. Aqualantica was expanding and soon became a very powerful underwater empire. The scientist had picked out a group of the most talented citizens and they would often come up with incredible new inventions.

“Soon the Emperor’s daughter gave birth to a son. He was the grandson of both the Emperor and the scientist. They named me Adrian! The Emperor declared me as his successor and the scientist taught me all of the knowledge he possessed, gratified that I was as much a genius as he was.

“Five years later my brother was born. But we never became friends. He always envied me because I was smarter than him and also because I was the successor. When I was thirty years old, my grandfather, the Emperor, died and I became the new Emperor of Aqualantica. Later that same year I invented the needle of immortality and hid it in the underwater cave, making myself immortal. No one knew about it; I kept it a secret.

“By that time, Aqualantica had become a powerful country in possession of advanced technology. My grandfather, the scientist, was right when he decided to kidnap the most talented from the passing ships. Aqualantica became the greatest country because it had become the Underwater World of the Stolen Talents; and I was its emperor. At thirty years old, and immortal, I had eternity ahead of me. But I needed to get married.

“My scientist grandfather was very old and seriously ill by that time, but he still was very intelligent. He suggested I marry a girl from the land above. Together we spent time searching for a bride for me from the sunken ships, and finally we found one very pretty girl named Veronica. I liked her and I asked her to become my wife and the Empress of the Aqualantica, the most powerful nation in the world. However, she told me that she needed three days to think about it. To me, these three days seemed to last forever. Finally, she agreed and we were married. I gave her immortality also, since I loved her.

“I kept on trying to create immortality for my scientist grandfather, but every time I failed. His illness was already too progressed.

“One year later, my grandfather, the scientist, died. It was a great sorrow for me. But I did not know that an even greater sorrow awaited me. My wife, Veronica, confessed to me that she had agreed to marry me only because she was afraid. She believed that if she didn’t agree, then like everyone else, she would be given the ‘drink of forgetfulness’ and forced to work in the underwater fields.

“The worst for me was that she said she loved someone else. She asked me to let her go back to the surface to her fiancé. That made me very angry. At first I did want to give her the ‘drink of forgetfulness,’ so she would forget about her fiancé and remain living with me. But, then I realized how much I loved her. I wanted her to really love me too and I didn’t want to cause her harm. So I suggested to her that we would go up to the surface together to find her fiancé and determine if he still loved her or not.

“That is what we did. We went to the surface and found her fiancé. He was very happy that she’d returned because he thought that she had drowned. I saw that she also was very happy. I had never seen her so happy. I realized that in order for someone to be complete they didn’t have to be the emperor of the most powerful nation in the world. I realized, a person simply needs love. At that moment, I, the immortal genius emperor of the wealthiest and most powerful nation, I, the one who considered myself the best, envied a simple, regular guy because my Veronica loved him. I told her that she was free and I made her fiancé immortal also because I wanted her to be forever happy.

“I left her and thought that I would never see her again. After that I left the Emperor title to my brother. I made an artificial island for myself in the neutral waters and remained living there. Sometimes I do visit Aqualantica, though rarely.

“Sometimes destiny changes, and so does love. Many years passed and from Thomas I recently found out that my Veronica was single once again. He told me that she often thought about me. Right away I took off to go see her, and now we are here together once again. Today we are getting married for the second time, and this time she is marrying me because she loves me! Isn’t that true, Veronica?”

“Of course it is true, Adrian!” Veronica blushed. “You have been waiting for me so long! More than nine hundred years! How could I not treasure such love?”

“I think that now we are going to be truly happy,” Adrian said expectantly.

“But why did we come to Aqualantica?” Natasha asked.

“I just want to hide my needle of immortality in one of the underwater caves. Tim and Kim would never guess that my mortality is hidden so close to them! I know a perfect spot here. Please, wait. It should not take much time,” said Adrian.

He put the scuba diving suit on and left.

“I am wondering, Veronica, why did you really go back to Adrian again?” Caroline asked. “And where is your previous husband now?”

“Our love did not last very long,” Veronica explained. “Very soon our feelings for each other died. I don’t even know why. And I don’t have a clue as to where he is now.”

“Well, maybe your love for Adrian returned to you because he is so wealthy?” Caroline pressed on.

”No! Not because of that!” Veronica disagreed. “My previous husband was very wealthy also, but I came to realize that he never loved me anywhere near as much as Adrian did. I was very young back then and did not understand true love.”

By this time, Adrian came back and said, “Okay, finished! Now I am sure that nobody will ever find my needle! We can celebrate our wedding.”

“Could we, please, have a quick visit to Aqualantica?” asked Natasha. “It sounds so intriguing!”

“Well, if it is a quick visit, then sure we can,” Adrian replied.

“Adrian, let’s show them the Ghost Island and the beaches of the Elite Rose!” Veronica suggested. “And the two of us also could enjoy a little swim in the ocean.”

“I agree,” Adrian answered.

He turned the submarine toward Aqualantica and headed off at a slow speed.

Soon the travelers could see many high-rise buildings at the bottom of the ocean. One of the buildings clearly stood out from all others. The building had an unusual and beautiful shape. It was made of several various-sized towers. The building had large round windows, which were shining brightly. Under each window there was a little balcony. On each balcony were growing myriad colorful underwater blossoms.

“This is so beautiful!” the Lizard Queen exclaimed.

“That is our Royal Palace!” Adrian commented.

In the middle of the palace was the tallest tower. It rose up so high that the travelers couldn’t see its end.

“That is amazing!” Natasha exclaimed. “I feel like I am in a fairytale! I have never seen anything like this!”

“It really is amazing!” the Lizard Queen agreed. “It must take a very mighty talent to build that!”

“Well, that’s what Aqualantica is! The land of the stolen talents!” Adrian laughed. “This is nothing special compared to some of the other sights you will see here.”

The submarine propelled to the center tower and lined up right against a large glass porthole. The porthole and the submarine’s side door opened simultaneously.

“Welcome to the main palace of Aqualantica!” announced Adrian and stepped out of the submarine into a brightly lit hall. The rest of the company followed. Inside the long hall they noticed that along the walls were many doors.

“What are these doors?” Theodore asked.

“These are the resting rooms, the rooms where travelers can relax after their tiring journeys. Also these rooms are often used for changing,” Adrian explained.

“That is what I really need now! I need to change,” Veronica exclaimed. “I don’t want to wander around Aqualantica in such a plain dress.”

“And I too want to change into something more festive,” Caroline agreed.

“Oh, please, ladies! I think that we will lose too much time here,” Adrian worried.

“I can help you with that! In just an instant I can create any style of clothing that you could possibly wish for!” Thomas suggested.

“Okay! Go ahead, create it!” Veronica agreed. “What do we need to do?”

“Just close your eyes and imagine the dresses, shoes, and jewelry that you want to wear, that’s all,” explained Thomas.

“And can I order something too?” asked Natasha.

“Of course you can. Anyone can!” replied Thomas. “And now close your eyes and envision everything that you want. Think of all of the little details too. Hold that image for a few seconds. And now open your eyes!”

Everyone opened their eyes and gasped in awe. They were wearing exactly what they had wanted. Caroline was wearing a lovely red gown with diamonds sewn into it. On her feet she had silver high heels, also decorated with diamonds. On her head she was wearing a lustrous crown with one great diamond in the middle and many small diamonds around it.

Veronica was dressed in a light blue dress sewn with pearls. On her feet she had pearl shoes and on her neck she wore a necklace made of big, shiny black pearls.

Adrian was wearing a tuxedo with a light blue shirt underneath and a bow-tie.

Ron also was wearing a tuxedo, but his shirt was red, matching the color of Caroline’s gown.

Michael and Thomas remained dressed in the same way as they were dressed before. Natasha also remained dressed in the same way, but in her ears she now had golden earrings. These were exactly the same earrings as the ones that Natasha gave to the Rat at the customs checkpoint of the Kingdom of Evil.

Theodore also got his medallion back, and the Lizard Queen now wore the little golden crown on her head again.

“I must note that our ladies have a great sense of style!” Adrian complimented.

“Thomas, why have you never told me that you could do such things?” Caroline asked in amazement.

“Because, Mom, you never asked me about it,” replied Thomas.

“I want to get a better look at myself. Is there a mirror somewhere?” Caroline asked impatiently.

“There are plenty of mirrors here. All of the resting rooms have them,” Adrian replied.

Caroline and Veronica entered one of the resting rooms and saw a large mirror the size of an entire wall. With pleasure they studied their reflections. They were wearing everything exactly the way they imagined it.

Veronica joked, “Your Highness, doesn’t your crown put too much weight on your head? It looks quite heavy.”

“That is okay, I think I can handle it,” Caroline replied, laughing. “But your necklace seems too heavy; it could even break your neck!”

“No, my neck was made for jewels!” Veronica giggled.

Pleased with themselves, they came back out to the hall where the rest of the company was waiting for them.

Back to the Table of Contents

Chapter 35


“And now we should visit the Emperor of Aqualantica,” said Adrian. “But that will be a quick visit, just to be polite.”

Adrian led the company down the hallway and then stopped in front of a large sliding door.

“This is the royal elevator. It will take us to the Island of the Elite Rose,” said Adrian as the door opened and he stepped inside.

The rest of the company followed him. The elevator was very spacious inside. Along the walls inside were beautiful antique sofas and chairs upholstered in red velvet with golden flower patterns.

“Have a seat, please!” Adrian invited. “It will take about ten minutes before the elevator will reach the Ghost Island, despite that this is a very fast royal elevator.”

“The Ghost Island?” Natasha asked in surprise. “But why would you call it ‘ghost’?”

“Well, the Elite Rose is an artificial island of a triangular shape with rounded corners,” Adrian started explaining. “It was built by the first emperor of Aqualantica, my grandfather, more than a thousand years ago. It is the biggest resort zone for the royal family and for the elite. It is situated far off in the ocean, away from most sailing routes. It is the Ghost Island because it is not visible from the outside. It cannot be viewed either from planes or from ships because it is covered by a special protection shield. When the ships did not see it, back in the day, they would run into the island and their passengers would be kidnapped and their possessions would be stolen from them. But now Aqualantica has plenty of everything. It is very wealthy and has many talents. So the last emperor created a new law that forbids robbing the ships.

“Now this island is just a resort. Just as it was before, the island cannot be seen from the outside. The pilots and the sailors just see water instead of the island. There is a special device that broadcasts a picture of water onto the passing boats’ and ships’ displays. If a ship is heading toward the island, then it will be directed around it without the sailors even noticing. They will think that they are still heading straight. I invented a special device that overrides the ships’ navigation systems and guides the ships around the island without showing route changes on their navigation screens.

“People were afraid of this zone for many years because many ships used to disappear around this island. This zone became known as the Bearmood Triangle. And the very few people who actually got to see the island named it the Ghost Island.”

“Wow! That is so amazing!” exclaimed Natasha. “I am going to visit the Ghost Island! Even if I talk about it, nobody will ever believe me!”

“And that is something that you shouldn’t do!” Veronica warned Natasha. “Just as the rest of Aqualantica, the Ghost Island must remain a secret. The main reason is so that the people of Aqualantica can still live peacefully. Promise that you will not tell anyone about it! Really! I don’t think we need to give you the drink of forgetfulness.”

“Of course I promise! I am not going to tell anything to anyone!” Natasha quickly replied. “I don’t need that drink!”

Soon the elevator stopped, the doors opened, and the company walked out to the great hall of the main palace. The room was furnished with lovely handcrafted furniture and on the walls were antique paintings.        

A tall, skinny servant dressed in silver overalls came up to Adrian, bowed, and said, “Welcome, your Royal Highness, the Ex-Emperor! Do you wish to visit our Emperor?”

“Yes, just for a quick visit,” Adrian replied.

“Right now the Emperor is at the Central Library,” the servant informed.

Adrian quickly walked to the tall, carved wooden doors, which were across from the elevator. The rest of the company followed. The servant picked up a phone on the wall and informed the Emperor that there were visitors. At the library doors another servant greeted them by bowing down and opening the doors for them.

The hall of the Central Library was huge and had a high ceiling with the bookshelves going all the way up. There were so many books that it seemed impossible to even count them. In the middle of the library there was a magnificent fireplace with a fire roaring in it. The Emperor was sitting in a soft armchair in front of the fireplace. He was wearing a blue sweatshirt with sweatpants and soft house slippers. When he saw Adrian and his friends, he got up from the chair and smiled.

“Hello, Adrian! Welcome, my dear!” the Emperor greeted Adrian. “It’s been a while since you visited us!”

“Hello, Allen! Sorry, I’ve been very busy. There is this new project that I am working on, another high-speed underwater bathyscaph,” Adrian replied.

“I see that all of you are dressed up! Do you have some event today?” the Emperor asked.

“That is exactly why I stopped by. I have a big event today. I am getting married!” announced Adrian.

“That is great!” the Emperor exclaimed. “And may I ask who are you getting married to, if that is not a secret?”

The Emperor turned to the travelers, scanning them.

“I am getting married to Veronica!” Adrian replied. “She is the love of my life!”

The Emperor looked with amazement at Adrian, then at Veronica, and then said, “Well, congratulations to both of you! I hope that this time it will be forever!”

“Allow me to invite you to my wedding! I invite you and your sons, Tim and Kim. By the way, where are they? I wanted to talk to them,” said Adrian.

“They went for a bathyscaph ride,” replied the Emperor. “They should be back soon.”

“Well, I will see you at my wedding then. Maybe in 40 minutes or so, I hope?” said Adrian. “And now we will go have a quick swim and then head straight to my island. Everything there should already be prepared. I will see you there, so I am not saying goodbye!”

Adrian marched toward the exit and the rest of the group followed. They exited from the palace, walked down marble steps, and came out to a stone road, which led straight to the ocean.

“Adrian! Our shoes aren’t meant for this kind of walking!” complained Veronica.

“Yes, really! I am sorry! Let me call for a car,” replied Adrian.

“Maybe there is no need for a car? I could just change you into swimsuits instead,” Thomas suggested.

“Go ahead! Change us,” agreed Caroline. “I have already imagined what kind of swimsuit I want.”

“And I already imagined my swimsuit also,” said Veronica.

“Good. Everybody, close your eyes then,” said Thomas.

Right after everyone complied, Thomas added, “Okay, now you can open your eyes.”

In amazement, they saw that everyone, even the cat, the lizard and the owl, were dressed in the same kind of suits. The suits were light purple overalls with the island’s logo, the three roses and the words ‘The Elite Rose’ under the roses, embroidered into the suits.

“This is not the suit that I ordered,” Caroline complained.

“I am sorry, but we have a very strict dress code,” Adrian explained. “These are our special suits, and they are the only swimsuits that are allowed at our beaches. In these suits you will never drown, even if you cannot swim at all. They will always keep you up on the surface at all times.”

“Well, I don’t mind it then,” Caroline agreed, “especially since I cannot swim at all.”

“Great! Then you will learn how now!” Adrian exclaimed and ran toward the ocean.

The rest of the group ran after him, except Theodore, who slowly and unwillingly jogged in the back of the group, murmuring to himself, “Oh that water must be so wet and cold….I am sure that they don’t have the oxygen spheres here….Why should I even go swimming? I’d be better off laying here on the nice, warm sand.”

The royal beach of Aqualantica did not seem to be much different from any other beach. The only notable part was a big white tent, which was simply floating in the air above the rows of beach chairs and beach chaises. On top of the chaises were air mattresses. Above each chair and chaise there was a small air fan.

The greenish-blue ocean water was very clear and the sparkling waves were playing in the sun, as if inviting everyone to jump into the cool, refreshing water. The travelers accepted this invitation and went splashing and playing in the water.

Suddenly, right from under the water, about 50 meters away from the company, a giant saucer dove out and hovered in the air. The saucer had round windows-portholes, and from one of the portholes two strange creatures were peering out. The creatures were greenish gray in color and had big heads with huge eyes. They were explaining something to Adrian in sign language and Adrian signed back to them. The creatures smiled, waived goodbye at Adrian, and the saucer disappeared in the blink of an eye.

“Who were they?” Ron asked Adrian in amazement. “Are they even human?”

“No, they are not,” replied Adrian. “They are the latest model of our robots. They are heading to the constellation of Ursa Major. Our scientists just recently found some extremely strong mineral there. This mineral would be very useful to me for building new machines. So that is why the robots are heading there, to mine it. Their speed is extremely fast, even faster than the speed of light. People wouldn’t be able to bear such speed. And the robots stopped by just to say farewell!”

“So that was an intergalactic ship?” the Lizard Queen asked in amazement.

“Yes, but it is also used for flying here, around Earth,” replied Adrian. “It is protected by an invisible field, so people cannot see it. Earlier it was used for studying and spying on people. The robots would go out to study what was going on in the world, and they would report everything to the Information Center of Aqualantica. Now spying is no longer needed, since we can get most of our information from the news and media worldwide.

“But sometimes we still use these ships to secretly study the brightest scientists on Earth. We have special equipment that copies people’s thoughts. Aqualantica no longer steals talents from the passing ships, but they continue stealing talents from the greatest scientists on Earth.

“The rulers of Aqualantica call it ‘copying of the thoughts’ instead of stealing. But I think that it is wrong and I have tried to influence the Council of Advisors to change their policy. However, they didn’t agree with me.

“The people of Aqualantica often jokingly call these ships ‘flying saucers.’ These saucers also are my invention. Almost all of the elite families have such crafts. They are very useful for flying to mountain getaways, faraway camps, or even different planets, where Aqualantica also has many resorts for the elite.”

“Oh Adrian! It is such a pity that we cannot fly anywhere for a vacation. You are always busy with your work,” Veronica sighed.

“I promise you that when I finish working on that bathyscaph, then we will travel,” Adrian promised, hanging his head.

“We will see,” Veronica replied doubtfully.

Back to the Table of Contents

Chapter 36


Suddenly, not too far from shore, the friends saw giant fish jumping out of the water, flying high in the air.

“What is it there jumping in the ocean?” Ron asked.

“Those are our trained electric rays,” Adrian explained with pride. “They are very large and strong fish. The children of Aqualantica love riding on them.”

“Wow, you can ride those fish?” Theodore, who was still lying on the dry, warm sand, asked in amazement.

“Of course! Anyone can ride them, even you can, if you want to,” Adrian answered.

“Yes, please!” Theodore exclaimed in excitement. “To ride a giant fish, that’s something that I couldn’t even dream of!”

Adrian whistled loudly. Several fish sprinted toward the shore, diving in and out of the water.

Then Adrian brought his hand, which had a ring with a tiny microphone built into it, close to his face and ordered, “Prepare the rays for a ride, please. The royal beach, sector seven.”

In seconds, a small golf cart appeared in the distance. It drove up to the shore not too far from the friends and a beach worker in a silver uniform stepped out. In his hands he was holding something strange.

“Does anyone else want to ride on the rays?” Adrian asked.

“I do!” exclaimed Natasha.

“Then I do too!” exclaimed Prince Thomas.

Adrian spoke into his ring again, “Please, prepare two child seats and one seat for the cat.”

The beach worker wrapped something around the fish. The friends came closer to him and saw that he put small saddles on three of the ray fish.

“The fish are ready. Take your seats, please!” smiled Adrian.

Natasha and Thomas got in their seats and fastened their seat belts. Theodore cautiously meandered up to the shore and stopped right before the water. When Adrian saw that, he picked up the cat, placed him in the saddle, and fastened the belts. The beach worker went over to his golf cart and took out three small plastic bags. The bags were light purple in color and bore the logo of the Elite Rose. The beach worker handed one small bag to Theodore, one to Natasha, and one to Thomas.

“What are these?” asked Theodore.

“These are the Chom-Chom Chips,” Adrian replied. “Electric rays love them, and that is why they let you ride on them. Every time they turn their head around, you must throw them one chip.”

“And can I try these chips?” asked Theodore.

“Sure you can,” smiled Adrian. “But make sure you leave most of the chips for your ray fish.”

Theodore picked one chip from the bag, chewed it, and exclaimed, “Wow, these are great! This is the tastiest treat I have eaten in my entire life!”

“Now press the red button on your wetsuits,” Adrian continued.

Natasha, Thomas, and Theodore followed the instructions and pressed the red buttons. Out of nowhere clear helmets appeared on their heads, and behind their backs appeared oxygen tanks.

“What are those for?” Caroline asked in confusion. “I thought that they were going to ride just above the water.”

“These electric rays are very unpredictable. They could let you ride just above the water, but they also could dive under the water. But don’t worry! Once the chips are finished, then they will bring their riders back. They don’t like giving free rides.” Adrian smiled.

The beach worker clapped his hands and the rays sprinted into the ocean. In a few seconds, as if by a command, all three of the ray fish turned their heads back. The riders reached out and handed the crispy Chom-Chom chips to their fish. The rays swallowed the chips immediately, turned to the left, and continued sprinting. Then the fish turned their heads again, asking for chips. Natasha and Thomas handed more chips to their fish, but Theodore decided to skip fish feeding this time. His ray slowed down and turned his head again, demanding chips. But Theodore liked those chips too much and he decided not to give them away. Instead, he wanted to eat the rest of the chips by himself later, when he returned to the shore. And this decision was a great mistake.

Natasha and Thomas had by now fed their fish five times, but Theodore’s ray had received only one chip. The ray stopped in confusion, trying to understand. Finally Theodore’s ray realized that he was being cheated.

The ray raged with anger and dove underwater, pulling Theodore into the depths of the ocean. When they reached the bottom of the ocean, the ray raced through a thick coral grove and then through a garden of spiky underwater plants. Theodore’s tail wasn’t protected by the wetsuit, so the corals and the spiky plants were tearing at it. Theodore screamed in pain, but couldn’t do anything about it. He was firmly fastened to the ray and couldn’t escape. The ray continued racing down the ocean floor and soon he brought Theodore inside a dark underwater cave. The ray suddenly turned around and the saddle, with Theodore strapped into it, fell off, making Theodore bump his head against a rock at the bottom of the cave.

The ray swam up close to Theodore and touched the cat with his tail. A powerful electric charge shocked Theodore. Poor Theodore lost consciousness. The ray, feeling satisfied, swam away, instantly forgetting about his ungrateful customer.

Adrian nervously spoke into his ring, “Theodore, where are you? Can you hear me?”

But the cat couldn’t hear him. He was lying unconscious at the bottom of the huge underwater cave, and a group of venomous octopi was slowly starting to surround him.

“He cannot hear you, Adrian! And I feel that he is in a great danger!” Natasha spoke in an unsteady voice.

“One high-speed underwater bathyscaph to the royal beach, sector seven, please,” Adrian called into his ring again.

In just a few seconds a small bathyscaph appeared out from the ocean and powered up to the shore.

“Natasha, Thomas, will you go with me?” Adrian asked. “I might need your help.”

“Yes, of course,” replied Natasha.

“Of course we are going with you,” replied Thomas.

All three of them quickly climbed into the vessel and Adrian shut the hatch. They sped off into the depths of the ocean. Adrian pressed a green button on the bathyscaph’s computer, and on the display appeared a small green dot. Adrian zoomed in on the dot and they saw a clear image of Theodore lying on the ground behind a big rock. His paws were firmly holding onto the bag of Chom-Chom chips.

“He is in the Cave of the Venomous Octopi! That is where we have the oldest ship cemetery,” exclaimed Adrian. “We need to hurry, we don’t have much time. Even just one bite of an octopus could be deadly to him! I am switching the controls to the highest speed.”

They rapidly took off and in a few seconds, stopped just as quickly.

“We are in the Cave of the Venomous Octopi,” announced Adrian. “It is completely dark in here, so press the green buttons on your wetsuits to turn on the small personal lights. Octopi are afraid of light, so that will scare them away, but not for long, so we must hurry.”

Adrian opened another hatch and climbed outside, having his small individual light illuminating the way. Natasha and Thomas followed him. They came out to a huge, dark cave, which was full of wrecked ships. At the bottom of each ship the friends could see a big hole, which was made by Adrian’s ancestors many years ago. The ships were covered with underwater moss and many other various underwater plants. Great numbers of venomous octopi were crawling around the ships and around the cave. Once the octopi saw the light, they slowly began leaving and hiding inside the ships.

“I don’t see Theodore here,” Natasha worried, “but I feel that he is still in great danger!”

“We will find him now,” Adrian calmly replied and took out a small, round device from his pocket.

He pressed a button on the device and the screen turned on.

“This is the latest model of my handheld computer,” bragged Adrian. “And here is the cat, all the way at the end of the cave.”

Without pausing for even a second, brave Prince Thomas quickly swam into the darkness of the cave, racing through more of the octopi. Adrian and Natasha followed him.

At the end of the cave they found Theodore, who was still lying unconscious behind the big rock. He was surrounded by a crowd of the venomous creatures. The biggest octopus grabbed onto Theodore’s tail and bit it.

“Oh no! We are too late!” exclaimed Adrian. “That must be a deadly bite for him.”

Thomas swam over to Theodore, chased away the octopi, picked the cat up, and headed back to the bathyscaph. Natasha and Adrian silently turned around and followed.

When they were safely inside Adrian took Theodore’s wetsuit off. The cat was still breathing. His tail had a great number of spikes stuck in it and his fur was still standing up from the electric shock.

The cat recovered his consciousness and whispered, “I’m not feeling good. I think I’m dying.”

Two tears ran down Natasha’s cheeks. Thomas did not say a word, stroking Theodore with his hands from head to tail.

The cat suddenly shivered, opened his eyes, and resented, “Your ray fish is just completely insane! You should choose better, more calm rays instead of the crazy rays like the one I got!”

Everybody laughed, realizing that Theodore was no longer in danger and that Prince Thomas had healed Theodore.

Adrian replied to the cat, “Oh, really? And I thought that you would follow the instructions. You were told to give chips to the fish every time the fish asked.”

“But I thought that I could save some chips,” the cat explained. “I liked those chips myself.”

“Now you understand, Theodore, that it is not one of those times when it is a good idea to save,” Adrian joked. “Especially in Aqualantica; we have plenty of chips!”

At that moment a bright light flashed outside the portholes. Everybody looked outside and saw two scuba divers, who were rudely taking pictures of the friends. A few more flashes followed. The friends could clearly see through the transparent helmets of the scuba divers and distinguish their faces, which were purple in color. Then they hastily got into their strange, egg-shaped bathyscaph and quickly took off.

“Wow! Who are they?” Natasha asked in fear, and then quickly replied. “Oh, I know! They are the Purples!”

“Yes, those were the Purples,” Adrian agreed. “They have visited us before, but this is the first time they got so close. They were taking pictures of you, Natasha. You were sitting right next to that porthole. For some reason they are very concerned about you. That is strange….”

“I know why!” Natasha replied. Now, since she had her own intuition, she knew the answers to many questions. “They were taking pictures of me because I emit the energy of Love! And they are studying and researching about Love because they don’t have it in their realm. They want to know everything about Love.”

“I also have heard about the Purples before,” Theodore spoke up, “but who are they? Do you know anything about them, Adrian?”

“The only thing I can tell you about them is that these creatures are from the 66th realm and we don’t know much.” Adrian answered. “They live somewhere deep underground and they come to our realm through the crater of the nearby underwater volcano. This is an active volcano and we have built a factory nearby. We use the volcano’s lava to melt the extremely strong metal we use to build robots and intergalactic and spying ships. We need this metal in order to make the ships strong enough to endure long flights at an acceleration beyond the speed of light.”

“And how often do they visit you, these Purples?” wondered Theodore.

“We rarely see them,” replied Adrian, “but we know that they spy on us and they steal the knowledge that we have gained over a thousand years.”

“So they are stealing from you what you have already stolen from others?” Theodore joked.

“Hmm, well, yes, it’s something like that…” Adrian unwillingly agreed. “But we tolerate it because we don’t want war. We believe that neutrality is the best of politics.”

“And what does neutrality mean?” the cat asked.

“Neutrality is when we don’t bother them and they don’t bother us,” explained Adrian.

Then he spoke into his ring, “Veronica, can you hear me, dear?”

“Where are you? Is everything alright?” Veronica’s voice sounded right out of the ring.

“Yes, we are fine, we will be back soon,” replied Adrian.

Adrian turned on the ultra-fast speed and in just a few seconds the bathyscaph was at the ocean’s surface near the shore. The friends stepped out onto the golden yellow sand. Natasha was carrying Theodore in her arms. Even though Thomas had healed the cat, Theodore’s fur was still standing up since the ray shocked him with many volts. Also his tail still had many spikes stuck in it. But nevertheless Theodore still had the bag of Chom-Chom chips clutched in his right paw.

“So how did you like that fish ride?” asked Caroline, barely able to hide her laughter.

“This ride I am sure I will remember for my entire life…” Theodore murmured in response, not wishing to divulge the details.

“That happened just because you were so greedy. Let this be a good lesson to you!” Owl spoke up.

“Okay, just leave the cat alone!” Adrian defended Theodore. “I am sure that he has learned his lesson.”

“Yes, I have!” Theodore replied.

Then he took a tasty, sweet chip out of the bag, put it in his mouth, and started chewing happily.

The entire company sat themselves into the beach chairs with soft, inflatable pads.

“I am so hungry after this swim and after the bathyscaph ride. And I haven’t eaten anything since this morning!” Adrian joked, looking at the cat.

Theodore wondered if he should offer one of the chips to Adrian, but then he quickly changed his mind and pretended that he hadn’t heard Adrian.

“And I haven’t eaten anything for five years,” Michael complained, joining in.

Theodore shut his eyes and clutched his bag even tighter.

“Oh, poor Michael!” Adrian exclaimed. “We all should quickly head out to the wedding feast!”

Adrian spoke into his ruby ring again, “Bring my high-speed submarine to the royal beach, sector seven, please.”

In just minutes the submarine showed up at the water’s surface, not too far from the shore. From the submarine came out a little motorboat, which puttered to the shore and then took the friends back to the submarine.

“It wouldn’t hurt if we could change,” Caroline noted. “How can we attend a wedding feast wearing swimsuits?”

“I can help you,” Thomas suggested. “Just close your eyes and imagine the clothes that you want.”

Everybody closed their eyes. And a few seconds later, when they opened their eyes again, they saw that they were dressed in the same clothes they had ordered when they first arrived in Aqualantica. Also, Theodore’s fur became fluffy again and the spikes disappeared from his tail.

“Great!” exclaimed Adrian. “Now we can go to the wedding feast! Hold on, I am switching to the fastest speed possible.”

A few minutes passed and Adrian announced, “We have arrived near the island. We are going up to the surface now!”

Back to the Table of Contents

Chapter 37


Once the submarine arrived at the surface, the friends disembarked and had their first glimpse of the island, which was abundant with foliage in different shades of green.

“This is my island!” Adrian proudly announced. “My mansion is not very far from here. We could either walk or take a helicopter. Which do you prefer?”

“Maybe it would be better to take a walk?” Natasha suggested. “I am a little seasick from our trip.”

“I see,” replied Adrian, “my Veronica used to get seasick, but then she got used to it.”

Adrian led the way down the ramp, then turned and held out his hand to Natasha who was following behind him. Natasha extended her hand to him also and as their hands touched, Adrian flinched as if he had been shocked. All of his body was filled with a wonderful energy.

“How great!” he gasped. “And what was it that shocked me?”

“When you touched me I shared LOVE with you, which the SOURCE has given me,” Natasha answered.

“Thank you, Natasha!” Adrian exclaimed.

“Can I try it too?” Veronica begged. “Natasha, can you share it with me also, please?”

“Of course!” Natasha agreed.

She went over to Veronica and hugged her. Instantly, Veronica’s face became joyful and she started crying.

“Veronica, dear, why are you crying? Is something wrong?” Adrian worried.

“Everything is fine, Adrian! Everything is wonderful! I am crying from joy! Only now I truly realize how much I love you! How great it is that we are together again!”

“Yes!” Adrian beamed. “That is right. LOVE IS HAPPINESS! I have realized it only now too. Before I used to think I was happy, but I was wrong. It is good to have money, but having Love and money is the greatest! Thank you, Natasha! But what can I give you as a gift?”

“Don’t worry, Adrian! I have everything I want at home. Just help me return soon.”

“No problem!” Adrian declared. “Right after the wedding I will take you and your friends to the border of your country. Now let’s head inside my castle! I am getting hungry!”

The company walked down the forest road and soon they saw a very large building of an odd shape. It was what Adrian had called the castle, but it didn’t look like a castle. The building had the shape of several rectangles and it looked like the letter T set on top of another tall rectangle.

“And what is your castle made of?” Ron asked with amazement.

“It is all armored steel, of course! I have two landings for the helicopters there on the first level and one landing for the airplanes on the second level. The helicopters and airplanes arrive and leave often. There is a lot of vibration and only armored steel can handle that.”

“And how do you, Veronica, like all of that vibration?” the Queen asked jokingly.

“It is only during the daytime!” Veronica answered. “At night there is silence. I don’t mind Adrian’s little amusements. Actually, we are planning to build another castle not far from here. That one will be in a retro style.”

“Is it also going to be made of armored steel?” Caroline asked.

“No, this one will be made of stone,” Veronica answered.

The group had reached the front doors of the castle.

“These doors are automated and they open only when Veronica or I come up to them,” said Adrian.

The doors swung open and they entered a large hall.

“The main dining room is on the second floor,” Adrian informed everyone. “We will need to take the elevator.”

The elevator opened on the second floor, revealing a huge dining hall with a great number of tables. On the tables was an enormous variety of foods and around the tables were the ex-bride-contestants making the final preparations.

“And now I invite everyone to the table!” Adrian gestured and everyone gladly accepted his invitation.

“I want to make a speech!” Adrian continued excitedly. “Today, Veronica and I are getting married. I have been waiting a very long time for this. I have been waiting my entire long life. I have been very lonely! Of course I had many friends, but very often I would be disappointed with them. Sometimes they would just simply use me to their advantage.

“I have always had one favorite hobby; since early childhood I have had a talent as a constructor of machinery. I have made a great deal of money and have even become the wealthiest person in the world. But I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy because I lacked LOVE! And now I am happy! Thank you, Thomas, and thank you, Natasha! You have helped me to find happiness! Veronica and I are very grateful to you! You have helped us to find LOVE! And now I invite everyone to please enjoy the food! On these tables there are delicacies from all over the world, anything that you could wish for!”

While everyone inside the castle was carried away with the feast, the beautiful Fiery Bird landed on the roof of the castle’s second floor. The bird started taking Natasha’s, Thomas’s, Veronica’s, and Adrian’s photos in the same unusual x-ray way. The images of all four of them surrounded by big, glowing golden spheres appeared in front of the Fiery Bird.

At the same moment the ghosts of Zorber the Vicious and Liesa the Hateful appeared right next to the Fiery Bird.

“Oh, wow!” the Fiery Bird exclaimed happily, “Look at that glow! You see how powerful their LOVE is!”

“Yes, it sure is,” the wicked Zorber the Vicious agreed. “It looks like the prophecy is coming true. That girl really can destroy our kingdom.”

“Of course she can!” the Fiery Bird replied. “And I think that it is better for you not to come too close to her. You will be safer if you keep your distance.”

“We tried to fight her and we almost destroyed that girl, but the SOURCE brought her back,” Zorber the Vicious spoke in confusion. “It looks like we have lost this battle."

“Nonsense!” Liesa the Hateful interrupted him. “We didn’t lose anything! The battle has just begun! Soon she is going to leave our kingdom and then we will have enough time to thoroughly prepare for the next encounter. We will win this battle!”

“How silly of you!” the Fiery Bird objected. “You will never win this battle if the omnipotent SOURCE of LOVE Himself is involved in it!”

“We will just see about that!” Liesa the Hateful responded angrily.

She grabbed her husband’s arm and the ghosts suddenly disappeared in the air.

The Fiery Bird raised its right wing up, throwing clusters of sparks in the air. The photographs-images disappeared under the bird’s wing.

The bird tilted its head and fell into thought, speaking out loud, “Oh, how great it would be if the SOURCE of LOVE would take me to serve Him.”

The Fiery Bird sighed, flapped its huge wings, throwing clusters of sparks, and quickly flew away.

Meanwhile everyone at the castle was still celebrating. Natasha was sitting next to Thomas and Veronica. Veronica noticed that Natasha and Thomas were very sad.

“Why are you so sorrowful? Is there something I could help you with?” Veronica asked.

“I am sad because soon Natasha will be leaving and I will no longer see her,” Thomas answered.

“And I am sad because of that too,” Natasha said. “Even though I can sense that sometime in the future I will come back and meet with Thomas again, I don’t know when and how I will return.”

“I can help you with that!” Veronica exclaimed. “You will not be separated; you will see each other in your dreams. Natasha, take this ruby ring, it is magic! It is called the ring of zero-transporting. I give it to you as a gift! If you put it on before going to sleep, then in your dreams you will travel to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love and will meet there with Thomas.”

“But how will I get back?” Natasha worried.

“You will just need to gently turn your ring back-and-forth and you will wake up back at your home!” Veronica replied.

“Oh! But then my traveling will not be real?” Natasha lamented.

“A dream is just another kind of reality,” Veronica assured her. “And it is just as real.”

“Thank you, Veronica!” Natasha exclaimed. She took the ring and placed it on the ring finger of her left hand.

“I am also very thankful to you!” said Thomas with a big smile.

“And now it is time for us to go back home,” Natasha said. “Our relatives are waiting for us. We need to help them.”

“How unfortunate that you don’t have more time!” Adrian sounded disappointed. “I wanted to show you the latest models of my airplanes.”

“My dear, I think that you could do that some other time. I have a feeling we will meet with them once again,” Veronica said as she patted his hand.

“It would be wonderful to see you more often; I think that you are great friends!” Adrian said. “And now, since you are in a hurry, I will take you all the way to the border in my helicopter! It is very fast!”

“There is no need, my dear!” Veronica replied. “They have a much faster vehicle of transportation.”

“No way! What is that vehicle?” Adrian challenged.

“As a gift I gave Natasha my zero-transporter ring. She needs it much more than I do. We can do just fine without it.”

“You have done the right thing, dear! I was upset that I could not do anything for Natasha and for Thomas!” Adrian exclaimed happily. Then he added, “By the way, right now I am working on a new zero-transporter ring, which will be able to take you places not only when you are sleeping, but when you are awake also! I will give you one next time you come to visit us.”

“And now, Natasha, you need to be touching all of your friends!” Veronica said.

Natasha happily followed Veronica’s advice. She picked up Theodore and the Lizard Queen in her arms and Owl landed on her shoulder.

“Just turn the ring and all of you will be right at your home. You will wake up in your own beds,” Veronica smiled.

Natasha turned the ring and….

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Chapter 38


Natasha woke up in her bed and opened her eyes. She remembered everything that had happened to her: meeting with the Lizard Queen and the Intuition Fairy, traveling through the Kingdom of Evil, the Neutral Territory, the Kingdom of Kindness and Love, and meeting with the SOURCE.

Did all of this really happen? She wondered. Or maybe it all was just a dream. But how can I know? Oh yes, the ring!

Natasha looked at her left hand and saw a small thin ring with a little ruby on her ring finger.

“So all of this did really happen!” she exclaimed. “Thank you, SOURCE, for such great adventures! Thank you for all the knowledge you gave me! Now, I promise I will be of help to all people who want to be happy! Oh yes, my mom and dad! I will start with them!”

Natasha went into her parents’ bedroom and silently approached their bed; her mom and dad were sleeping peacefully. Natasha came to her mother’s side. She hugged her mother very carefully so as not to wake her up and she kissed her. Then she came around to her dad’s side and hugged and kissed him too. Natasha waited a little longer, trying to hear her little brother’s voice, but he also seemed to be sleeping.

“When is it going to start working?” Natasha thought while making her way downstairs. Theodore was waiting for her. On his neck there was hanging his beloved medallion.

“You are forgetting about your duties, Natasha!” he murmured. “I want to eat but my dish is empty.”

“I am sorry, Theodore! I will give you some food,” Natasha said happily as she filled Theodore’s dish.

“And don’t you want to see your presents?” Theodore’s eyes twinkled.

Natasha looked under the Christmas tree and saw many gift-wrapped boxes of different sizes.

“I will look at them later, I’m not worried about them now,” Natasha replied. “Right now I just want to know if I have helped my parents or not.”

“Of course you have helped them! I am sure of it!” Theodore assured her, while dining on his favorite canned food. “Now they will always love each other and get along in harmony.”

“It would really be so great if they would always get along,” Natasha commented wistfully.

A noise came from the stairs. Natasha saw her parents coming down. They were walking together, hugging each other.

“It worked!” Natasha whispered happily.

Her parents were talking and Natasha listened in.

“Katherine, dear! Please, forgive me!” Dad said. “Yesterday I was talking about a divorce. I don’t know what was wrong with me, but I surely know that I don’t want it now!”

“And I don’t want it either, Robert!” Mom shook her head. “Please, forgive me for what I said! I don’t know what I was thinking!”

“I know what it was!” Natasha broke into the conversation. “It was just a bad dream! So forget it! Nothing happened, you were just dreaming! We always were happy and we will always be happy together, you, Mom, you, Dad, me, and my little brother!”

“What? What little brother? What are you talking about?” Dad asked flabbergasted.

Natasha became confused. She realized she had just revealed a secret, but then she quickly recovered.

“I had a dream last night that I had a little brother. He is so kind and so smart! I have heard that dreams can sometimes come true.”

“And you know, Natasha, I think that you might be right. I have been feeling strange for the past couple of weeks,” Mom said. “Yes, you will have a little brother, or possibly a sister.”

“I also believe that dreams come true!” Dad grinned broadly. “And it will be grand if this dream could come true. I have always dreamed of having a son. Even though it would be wonderful to have another daughter as well! Especially if she is as kind as you are, Natasha!

“And today you are ten years old! We wish you a happy birthday, daughter! Mom and I have presents for you; I hope you like them. Do you want to unwrap them?”

“Of course I do! Thank you!” replied Natasha as she headed toward the Christmas tree.

Okay, my future little brother, Natasha spoke in her thoughts, I have fulfilled my promise. Our parents will not divorce now!

Yes, I know that! I can feel it in our mom’s mood! the little brother replied back in thought. I always feel what Mom is feeling. Thank you, sister!

“And I wouldn’t mind having two sons and two daughters,” Theodore purred. “They would all be happy together.”

Natasha carefully studied her parents, wondering if they understood anything of what Theodore had said.

“Oh, Theodore is hungry! He is purring, asking for food!” As Mom said this, the doorbell rang. “I will feed Theodore, and you, darling, please see who is there.”

Mom went to the kitchen and Dad, to the front door.

“So it’s always like that,” Theodore sounded offended. “It seems like food is the only thing that I need in my life.”

Theodore was sitting on the windowsill and was staring at the neighbors’ white fluffy cat, Lily.

“You know, Natasha, I think Lily is very pretty and that we have many things in common: she is also white and fluffy, just like me. And I think that she likes me too! Remember? The little fairy predicted our future together as a family. I should get to know her.”

“You see, Theodore!” Natasha smiled. “It looks like Owl was right when he told you that you also might need Love!”

At this time Dad came back. He was holding a large shiny envelope in his hands, with “Special Delivery” printed on it in big letters.

“Darling, look what an interesting envelope we have here!” Dad called out to Mom. “It has such a nice golden color, just like it is glowing! I have never seen anything like this before! How interesting, on the return address it simply says, ‘THE SOURCE of LOVE’! I’m anxious to open it!”

Mom became impatient too. “Yes, it really is very pretty! Let’s open it now!”

Dad tore open the envelope and took out a thin little book with a golden cover. It was titled, The Laws of Love.

“How fascinating!” Dad said. “‘The Laws of Love!’ I never thought that Love had laws! I thought that Love was just a feeling.”

“Yes, that is very intriguing!” Mom replied. “I can’t wait. Let’s read it now!”

Natasha looked on with overwhelming joy as her parents sat on the sofa and began reading.

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Chapter 39


Attention, attention, attention, please! Now you will read important information that will help you find true Love, as you savor it for your entire life, and become truly happy.

The Laws of Love:        


In order for somebody to love you, you need to have the energy of Love within. Where can you get it? Create it in yourself: BE HAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE, love yourself, love life, love everything around you, nature, animals. THE MORE YOU LOVE THAT WHICH IS AROUND YOU, THE MORE ENERGY OF LOVE YOU WILL HAVE IN YOURSELF! This energy is felt by those who surround you, not only people but also animals and even plants. And if you will accumulate this energy in yourself then you will soon notice that people will start liking you. Even complete strangers will begin talking in a friendly manner to you.


LOVE is like a spring of fresh water. The water in it can stay fresh and not become stale only if it is running.

You can have mutual love with another person only when your main priority is GIVING AWAY the energy of Love. In order for that to happen both people must have open hearts. They, just like little children, should enjoy life and not allow themselves to become disappointed by minor setbacks. THE MORE LOVE YOU GIVE AWAY THE MORE LOVE YOU GET BACK IN RETURN! Don’t try to “save” Love! Share it with joy!



Since Love by its nature is a spiritual creation (Love is the energy of the SOURCE of LOVE, and the SOURCE is Love), therefore, LOVE IS GIVEN AS GRACE TO THOSE PEOPLE WHO VALUE THE SPIRITUAL MORE THAN THE MATERIAL. Sometimes Love is given in advance, for reeducation in order for people to change their values and priorities. But this is so people will realize that LOVE IS THE MOST VALUABLE COMMODITY! A person who learns about GENUINE LOVE realizes that it is the only value in life and it is much more important than material gain. But if such a change of values does not happen then the SOURCE takes his gift back and the person is left with spiritual emptiness (and even though this person may retain all of their material wealth, this person no longer enjoys it as much).


If you love the SOURCE of LOVE more than anything else, then you will have a connection with Him and in your heart there will always be Love. YOUR LOVE FOR THE SOURCE IS YOUR CONNECTION WITH HIM. It is exactly through this channel that you will receive the energy of Love! Love yourself, but love the SOURCE more than yourself! Love your spouse and your children (the exchange of Love is necessary for Love to remain in your heart), but love the SOURCE more than your spouse and your children! And then you will avoid trouble either with your spouse or with your children.



Get rid of your doubts, and no matter what the circumstances are, never doubt that the powers of Love and Kindness will come to help you whenever you need them! Only your doubts can block Love from helping you! The Energy of Love is just like the energy of light. If there is a beam of light coming from a flashlight then it can illuminate an entire room. But if you cover the flashlight with your hand, the light will be hidden and the room will be dark. And in the exact same way, your doubts will hinder the energy of Love. Get rid of your doubts and you will be open to help. Then the powers of Kindness and Love will help you!

These are the five laws! In conclusion, I want to add, BE KIND!  Kindness is the sister of Love, and Love is the most powerful force there is, which is given to us by the SOURCE! A kind person is a person that has been touched by the SOURCE with a beam of His all-embracing Love. With the help of Love and Kindness you can move mountains! BESIDES, ONLY A KIND PERSON CAN BE TRULY HAPPY IN LIFE because this person’s heart is open to Love and the SOURCE gladly helps this person throughout life’s journey!

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Chapter 40


While Natasha’s parents were carried away reading the messages from the SOURCE, Natasha was opening up her presents, and Theodore was feasting his eyes on the neighbor’s pretty cat, Lily. Lily, slowly and stylishly, was passing on top of the fence. When she came to the lemon tree, growing by the fence, Lily suddenly stopped and cautiously raised her ears. Her eyes shined with the predator’s instinct. Theodore carefully scanned the lemon tree and on one of the branches he saw the Lizard Queen.

“Natasha!” Theodore shouted, “The Lizard Queen is on the lemon tree in the garden! And Lily is on the fence! Hurry! To the garden!”

Natasha ran out to the garden, and Theodore followed her. Upon seeing them, Lily strutted away reluctantly. Theodore smiled at Natasha, then turned and followed Lily into her yard. Natasha approached the lemon tree and smiled at the Lizard Queen. On the lizard’s head was a little golden crown with diamonds, just like the one that she had before.

“Hello, Lizard Queen!” Natasha exclaimed. “I am so happy to see you again! And how are your sons doing?”

“They are here, with me,” the Lizard Queen replied.

“Where are they? I don’t see them!” Natasha asked, looking into the leaves of the lemon tree.

“Right there, swinging on the branches!” The Lizard Queen nodded with her head in their direction.

Natasha finally saw the two small lizards, which were really swinging on the tree branches. While holding onto the branches with their front claws, they were pushing away from the lower branches with their back claws.

“These are my sons, Alex and Max. They cannot sit calmly, not even for a minute!” the Lizard Queen said with love and pride. She then called to her sons, “Hey, guys! Come here! I will introduce you to Natasha.”

Swiftly climbing through the branches of the lemon tree, the little lizards reached their mother and sat next to her.

“Hello, Natasha! I’m Alex!” one of them announced.

“And I am Max!” the second piped up.

“So you are no longer fighting?” Natasha asked warmly.

“Yesterday we fought many times,” Alex replied in confusion.

        “But today we did not fight at all! Not even once!” Max said pridefully.

“Who there is so correct and well behaved? Let’s get acquainted!” sounded a voice from above.

Natasha raised her head and saw three owls landing on the lemon tree, not too far from the Lizard Queen.

“Let me introduce my daughter Irene! And this is her fiancé Andrew!” Owl nodded at the other two owls next to him. “He just proposed to her today, and she has agreed to marry him. I am so happy!”

“Thank you, Natasha! You helped me so much!” said Irene and lowered her head shyly.

“I am very thankful to you too!” the Lizard Queen commented with tears in her eyes. “You helped my sons become kinder!”

“What are you talking about? Why me?” Natasha shrugged. “It is all because of the SOURCE. He was the one who helped us all to become kinder and to learn how to love one another!”

“Yes, that is correct!” Owl agreed. “Without the SOURCE’s help we wouldn’t have been able to change!”

“I wish I could visit the Kingdom of Kindness and Love,” Andrew commented sadly.

“Me too! Me too!” Max and Alex shouted, jumping up and down.

“Do you think that is possible?” the Lizard Queen asked Natasha.

“It sure is!” Natasha smiled, “I still have the zero-transporting ring, and all of us will certainly go there! Trust me, I know the future!”

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So, dear readers, according to all rules I am now supposed to say ‘THE END.’ But I don’t want to end it here, and I feel that you don’t, either. Therefore, I will change the rules and say no! This is not the end! It is just a short break. Soon there will be another book to follow, continuing Natasha’s adventures. Are you curious? Let’s look into the future and read a couple of chapters from the next book.

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Chapter 1


In the Kingdom of Evil, in the Cave of the Secret Meetings, the King and the Fourth Advisor were sitting in front of the Magic Mirror of Memories. Standing by the entrance of the cave was the Chief of the Warrior Rats. Chief Rat was huge, just as tall as a fully grown human, and the King felt secure when Chief Rat was guarding him. The King and the Fourth Advisor were having a secret conversation.

“Well, it doesn’t look like we are doing very well!” the King complained. “We cannot control even this walking skeleton Adrian! Imagine this, he got married! One-thousand-and-one-year-old Adrian got married! Married to whom? He married with this old hag Veronica! I cannot even imagine it! He had so many twenty-year-old beauties willing to marry him because he is the wealthiest in the entire world, but he chose this old woman who is over nine hundred years old! They both think that they are in Love! They have been married for over a year now, but their Love is growing only stronger!”

“Yes, Your Highness, it looks like they really are in Love,” the Fourth Advisor said with regret. “It is all because of this girl Natasha, who infected them with her Love when she came back from the SOURCE of LOVE.”

“Oh, I wish it was only those two that were infected, but no!” the King continued. “Caroline, my only daughter, the Queen of the Kingdom of Evil, is also filled with Love! She married a simple man from a lower class. And they always stroll together in the forest in harmony, like two swans!”

“But your son-in-law, Ron, is very wealthy!” the Fourth Advisor tried to calm the King. “He robbed all of our wealthy people back when he was the chieftain of the robbers! And then you also gave him the title of Duke!”

“That is true,” the King agreed, “but take a look at that forester! He doesn’t have any manners or class. I don’t understand why my daughter even loves him! And yet they both are deeply in Love! How are they going to rule the Kingdom of Evil with their Love after I die?”

“Don’t worry, Your Highness!” the Fourth Advisor spoke again. “Soon the Queen will give birth to the new heir, and I think that he will be very evil. Just imagine all the water from the Lake of Hatred that the Queen drinks! I am sure that none of it was wasted! Even though it does not affect the Queen because she is in Love with her husband, I am sure that it affected the child. The child must have absorbed all of that energy of Evil meant for both of them by himself. And you, Your Highness, are still young enough to raise him right and make him a worthy heir of the Kingdom of Evil!”

At that moment a noise sounded by the cave’s entrance. A panting servant hurriedly ran into the cave and quickly announced, “Your Highness! Great news! Your daughter has given birth to a boy!”

“That’s great!” the King exclaimed. “I have another grandson! The heir to the throne! I wish to see him immediately!” Then he turned to the Fourth Advisor and spoke, “Come with me!”

The Father King hurried out of the cave, heading to Caroline’s suite. The Fourth Advisor ran after him.

Caroline’s splendid bedroom was furnished with hand-crafted furniture, fashioned from carved wood. Caroline was sitting in a chair near the window. In her arms she cradled her newborn son. The King knelt down next to her, and began examining his new grandson.

“Caroline, daughter! He is so beautiful! He looks so much like Ron!” the King spoke tenderly. “You are my little grandson, you are the future heir!”

The King tenderly touched his grandson’s nose with his index finger. The boy angrily glared at the King, frowned, and suddenly bit the King’s finger.

“Aagh! He bit me!” the King screamed. Then he thought for a second and exclaimed with amazement, “He has teeth already, even though he was just born!”

“Yes, Father. He was born with all of his teeth and already knows how to bite!” Caroline replied. “I wonder what that means.”

“I don’t know,” the King replied in confusion. “Maybe it happened because you were getting such good nutrition, but I think there is also some other reason behind it. Hmm, that is amazing! He is the true heir of the Kingdom of Evil! Yes, daughter, you were right when you chose your second husband from our Kingdom. The teeth must be a good sign, he must be very evil! It is good that we were giving you all that evil water from the Lake of Hatred!”

“Your Highness, I believe I know the reason behind it!” the Fourth Advisor spoke up. “Once in a thousand years the Genius of Absolute Evil is born. He is born with all of his teeth. Also from birth he is able to swim and to understand the languages of all animals. He can even talk with animals, birds, and fish. And although they are afraid of him, they always obey him. From birth he is very intelligent and cunning, multi-talented. And most important is that he is very evil! Congratulations, Your Highness, your grandson has exceeded all of your expectations! Your grandson is the Genius of Absolute Evil!”

“Finally! Finally the Kingdom of Evil will receive the heir that it really deserves!” exclaimed the King. “But how should we name him? His name alone should strike fear in people!”

“Let’s name him after my great grandfather Zorber,” replied Caroline. “He was the most evil man in our entire family.”

“Zzorrrberrr! Zorber! I think that sounds great!” the King agreed. “Well, then it is official! The little Zorber is the Genius of Absolute Evil!” Then he tenderly spoke to the boy, “Come to your grandpa, my little boy! Let me look at you! Maybe you look a little bit like me too?”

The King picked up the boy and brought him closer to the window to take a better look. At that moment a great eagle was flying near the window. When the baby saw the eagle, he started mumbling. The eagle changed his course, flew into the open window and hovered right above the baby. The baby grabbed the eagle’s talons with his tiny hands and the eagle flew out of the window, carrying the baby toward the lake. Everything happened very fast, in the blink of an eye.

“Daddy! Help! The eagle kidnapped my baby!” Caroline screamed in terror.

“Don’t worry, your Highness!” the Fourth Advisor calmly replied. “The boy ordered the eagle to take him for a flight. They will come back.”

“To the garden then! Quickly!” the King ordered and all three of them ran to the garden, concerned for the baby’s safety.

The eagle was flying in circles above the Lake of Hatred and the baby was giggling happily, while holding on to the eagle’s claws. Suddenly Patrick’s huge head appeared on the surface of the lake. Patrick opened his sharp jaws and let out a savage scream. When the baby saw him, he mumbled something quietly. The eagle started quickly descending and placed the baby right on Patrick’s head. The baby grabbed onto Patrick’s ears, quietly whistled and kicked Patrick straight in his right eye with his tiny heel. Patrick the Mutant disappeared under the water together with the baby.

“Oh no! My little baby has drowned!” Caroline screamed in horror.

“No, he hasn’t. Don’t worry, your Highness, your baby is a great swimmer from birth!” the Fourth Advisor soothed.

“Then Patrick is going to eat him!” the King moaned.

“No way! Patrick is afraid of him!” the Fourth Advisor objected. “They will just swim around for a little bit and come back.”

And just as the Fourth Advisor had predicted, a minute later the baby’s smiling face surfaced on the water, followed by Patrick’s face, whose eyes were full of fear.

“It looks like this monster really is afraid of our baby!” the King exclaimed with pride.

“Yes, Patrick is afraid of him. And not just Patrick,” the Fourth Advisor confirmed.

Patrick swam up to the shore. The baby was sitting on top of his head, beaming with pride. Caroline ran to her son and snatched him from Patrick’s head. The baby stretched, yawned, and fell asleep in Caroline’s arms.

“My little hero is tired! Let me take you to the crib!” Caroline said tenderly, and all of them, Caroline, the King, and the Fourth Advisor, headed back to the bedroom.

Caroline placed the baby into a beautiful antique crib carved from polished wood, and the King hurried to shut the window, just to make sure that there wouldn’t be any further adventures.

At this time the servant came in and announced, “Your Highness! Today in our Kingdom two more boys were born with teeth.”

“Two more geniuses? That’s impossible!” the King roared. “Bring them to me!”

Two servants entered, carrying two babies. The King and the Fourth Advisor studied the two infants with attention.

“Open your mouth, little baby, show me your teeth,” the King spoke to one of the boys, who was refusing to open his mouth.

The King brought his index finger near the boy’s mouth and the baby instantly bit the finger without hesitation.

“Aagh! This one bites too! But he has only the two front teeth, and my grandson has all his teeth!” the King exclaimed with pride. “You check the second baby,” the King commanded the Fourth Advisor.

The Advisor brought his index finger near the other boy’s mouth and the boy bit the finger without hesitation as well.

“Your Highness, this boy has only the top two front teeth also,” the Fourth Advisor reported.

“Well, then they will be friends and helpers to my grandson! They are not just little children, but a gang of little rascals!” the King joyfully exclaimed as tears of joy ran down his cheeks. “Now comes a new era in history! Now evil will conquer all!”

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Chapter 2


A little later the King and the Fourth Advisor returned to the Cave of the Secret Meetings and continued their conversation.

“Your Highness, I have to tell you something, but I am afraid that it might disappoint you,” the Fourth Advisor mumbled.

“Don’t worry! I don’t think that anything at all could disappoint me today!” the King chortled with confidence.

“Well, as you know, there are two forces in this world: the powers of Evil and the powers of Kindness and Love. These two forces must always be equally balanced. So when the Genius of Absolute Evil is born, on the same day his counterweight, the Genius of Kindness and Love, should also be born. And I am guessing that he has entered this world already,” the Fourth Advisor explained.

“Well, actually I was expecting something like that,” the King commented. “Let’s awaken the Magic Mirror and see where our counterweight enemy is.”

The King tapped on the frame of the Magic Mirror and the Mirror turned foggy. Then the fog disappeared and the King and the Fourth Advisor could see a small, cozy bedroom. In the bed was lying a beautiful lady with a newborn girl by her side. Next to the bed was a man, standing. He was holding a newborn boy in his arms. The woman and man were talking.

“What?!! That is Michael, the ex-husband of my daughter! This is the second time he has tried to ruin everything for me!” the King bellowed in anger. “My first grandson Thomas wasn’t able to live with us because he was very kind, just like his father! And now look what Michael does to us! Now his newborn child is the counterweight to my second grandson! How ironic, the Genius of Kindness and Love is related to the Genius of Absolute Evil! I am wondering, who is his wife?”

“This is Fairy Bianca. She once served as Natasha’s intuition. But after Natasha visited the SOURCE of LOVE she was given her own intuition, so Natasha and the Intuition Fairy separated,” the Fourth Advisor explained. “When Michael, the ex-husband of your daughter, returned back to the Kingdom of Kindness and Love he met Fairy Bianca and they both fell in love with each other. They were married at about same time your daughter Caroline married for a second time. No wonder their children were born on the same day. But I am wondering, why do they have twins? Which one of the twins is the Genius of Kindness and Love?”

“Turn up the volume!” the King commanded. “I want to know what they are saying!”

“I am sorry, Your Highness, but that is not possible. The batteries are too low,” the Fourth Advisor replied in a guilty voice. “I tried to warn you last week when I said that it was about time to change them, but you told me that it was still too early. Even if we order them from Adrian immediately, we are not going to get them before tomorrow.”

“It’s a pity that we cannot hear what they are talking about,” the King said with regret. “At least it is good that Caroline isn’t nearby. Otherwise she would be blaming me again, saying that this is not something I should be saving money on. My greed is hereditary; I got it from my grandmother.”

“Your Highness, I could try to figure out what they are talking about by the movement of their lips,” the Fourth Advisor commented.

“Without sound? Just by the movement of their lips?” the King repeated in amazement. “Well, go ahead! Try!”

The Fourth Advisor came up closer to the mirror and stared at Michael and Fairy Bianca with great attention. He stood frozen in front of the mirror for a long time.

Then he turned to the King and reported, “I know, Your Highness! The Genius of Kindness and Love is in two persons now!”

“What does that mean?” the King asked in confusion.

“Since the twins were born, the Genius of Kindness is the boy and the Genius of Love is the girl,” the Fourth Advisor explained. “This has never happened before. Before it used to be that the Genius of Kindness and Love was just one boy. He was both, the Genius of Kindness and the Genius of Love. But now there are two of them.”

“I still don’t understand,” the King interrupted him impatiently. “Tell me, is it good or bad for us that there are two of them?”

“To be honest, your Highness, I don’t even know,” the Fourth Advisor replied.

“And do they have teeth too?” the King wondered.

“No, your Highness, they don’t have their teeth yet,” the Fourth Advisor replied.

“Well, then, they are nothing to us! Too weak!” the King proudly announced. “But do they have some abilities beyond ordinary?”

“Yes, the twins have many extraordinary abilities,” the Fourth Advisor replied. “The boy, whom they named Daniel, can understand the tongues of all animals and can speak with them, just like your grandson Zorber. The animals, birds, and fish obey him at all times. When animals obey your grandson, they obey him because they are afraid of him. But Daniel they obey because they love him. Both boys, your grandson and Daniel, can easily ride on a tiger’s back, fly on a giant eagle, and swim with dolphins. All of the animals and birds can tell them the news about what is going on in the world, especially sparrows and crows; they are the most talkative. Zorber and Daniel both are great swimmers from birth and they can stay underwater without breathing for a long time. When they are swimming, sharks and dolphins will guard them. When they are out in a forest, they will be guarded by tigers, eagles, and wolves. Both boys are very brave and are not afraid of anything.”

“If I understand you right, you are saying that their strengths and abilities are equal?” the King asked.

“Yes, Your Highness,” the Fourth Advisor replied. “Both boys, Zorber and Daniel, have the same abilities and are equal in strength. But to our regret, as you know, the SOURCE Himself helps the powers of Kindness and Love. And He is omnipotent. Because of that we will never be able to defeat them, even with all of our cunningness. Even though for them it is not very easy to defeat us either. We are waging an unfair war, based on deceit and cunningness. Zorber and Daniel are the future leaders of the two opposing forces. They counterweight each other and their goals are completely different. Zorber’s goal is to bring the entire world under the dominion of Evil’s control. Daniel’s goal is to spread Kindness and Love all over the entire world. They are rivals from birth and will continue to be for their entire life.”

“Well, just like I expected, this battle will not end anytime soon. But there is also a girl. What are her extraordinary abilities?” the King asked.

“The girl is named Paulina. Just like her mother, she has a great talent in music, and just like her older brother through her father’s line, your grandson Thomas, she is very good at drawing,” the Fourth Advisor spoke. “She was born with golden hair, which will grow very quickly. When the wind tousles her hair, her hair will play a beautiful melody. If the wind comes from the East, then the melody will be in an Eastern style. If the wind comes from West, then the melody will have a Western style. If the wind comes from the South, then the melody will be so catchy that it will be impossible to restrain from dancing. And if the wind comes from the North, then the melody will be so sad that it will make everyone cry. But the worst thing for us about this girl Paulina is that from birth she will always keep Absolute Love in her heart and she will pass on this Love to everyone that she meets.”

“I think that it is better for us to never meet her at all,” the King commented. “But still, Zorber is the only one who has all of his teeth, such strong teeth! He bit me so hard, my little baby! And he is just a newborn! Imagine what he is going to be like five years from now!”

And what will happen in five years? You, my readers, will find out when we meet again in my next book. And yes, we will meet again! Trust me, I know the future!

Your author

Natalia Scalise


To be continued.
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