The Old Princess, Peitho Aster, ran in exhaustion around the darkness of the chamber, where it is possibly the Nightmare King’s icy sanctuary. She was, shaming herself for it, afraid. She was worried about her beloved Sandman, and he could be anywhere in this hell-like tomb…
He had been stolen from her just some days ago. Nights of terrors and nothingness plagued her those empty and dark evenings without her precious dreams. Peitho tried to help the Guardians খুঁজুন for her beloved, but her uncle the King, Eric Aster, had ব্যক্ত to the Old Princess, "You stay here at the Palace, my blood. The others and I will look for your beloved Dreamer." With no regret, she disobeyed him, for him and the other Guardians have been snatched from her as well.
The poor, Old Princess could hear them calling out for her, their cries fading in and out of the unsettling inky blackness around her. She could not see them anywhere. The darkness left her blind and alone, and eventually the Guardians' voices had faded away completely, so she called out for them. "My Lord, Uncle!" she shouted. "Old Man Winter, so cruel, where are you! My Lord! Dearest sister Toothiana, that North, and Sandy! Sandman, my beloved dreams and innocence, where are you!"
As she called out, she received no answer and was left in the echoes of her calls. But in the distance in the corner of her crystal blue eye, she can see a dim, golden light; the Embers of Innocence fluttered in small sparks and faded into the blackness of the chamber.
Peitho the Old turned her head quickly. And there he was! She can see her beloved Dreamer, shrunk somehow, in a dirty, glass bottle. The poor, mute man looked concerned and in pain.
"Sandy! My beloved childish dreams!"
Peitho cheered and celebrated, running up to Sandy. As she did, she heard the chimes of his speech and saw him shaking his head vigorously. Dusty প্রতিমূর্তি of Pitch, the King of Fear, appeared above his spiky golden head. Peitho knew he was saying, "No! Stay away! It's a trap!" But she ignored him and ran up to the bottle that Sandy was imprisoned in. Peitho, the desperate princess, picked up the bottle and held it close to her face.
"Sandy, my lovely stories, are আপনি alright?" the Old Princess gasped. Sandy nodded his head. Peitho grinned weakly, hungering for his sweet dreams, she looked deeply into the Sandman’s sleepy golden eyes, and he stared with an awkward, but loving look in the Pookan-Human hybrid’s.
"Come now, my লেখক of Sleep, we must find the others and my King.” Peitho said, holding the glass bottle with Sandy inside tightly in her arms, tip-toing as fast as she could around the dark room, careful not to draw attention to herself with the Nightmare King’s henchmen lingering close by.
This hell she was already in became real when that devil, Pitch Black, emerged behind Peitho. His voice, like nails on a chalkboard, traveled to Peitho’s ears; "Where do আপনি think you’re going, your old majesty. আপনি just got here... Why not stay for a while?" Pitch’s words were like the cold, boney, filthy fingers of a monster so terribly evil, tracing harshly up and down the hybrid’s spine.
Restless slaves of that devil doppelganger appeared from nothingness and slivered towards the princess, whom was already running away from the danger. "Stop her!" the Living Nightmare had commanded.
The Nightmares surged forward. As Peitho looked behind her and saw that the wretched Fearlings were as fast as she was, she reached into her knapsack and got out her Darkness Extractor, an old relic that was, unfortunately, out of service at the time when Pitch the Nightmare King had attacked the Moon Clipper; She then twisted her body, still running and holding the bottle of her Dizzy Dreamer within close to her breast, pointing the relic at the Nightmares and prayed.
As she was praying to the Divine Powers for their help, Peitho’s dark offspring were pulled into the tip of the extractor and well contained into the crowded chamber of it. It was easy to get rid of the Nightmares, but then she wondered how she will get Pitch away from her.
All the Old Princess could think to do was to continue to run; The Nightmare King's lair seemed endless, as if Peitho kept running she would get nowhere fast. These thoughts made her feel fatigued, and she started to slow down, then completely stop. She breathed very heavily, her lungs burned. All hope seemed হারিয়ে গেছে when Pitch appeared out of nothing in front of her, and the King’s niece looked up at his cruel face.
"What to do, what to do, Princess?" Pitch mocked the hybrid with a cruel and cold chuckle. Peitho pointed the Darkness Extractor at the Nightmare King’s heart. He did not care, nor did he flinch. “Don’t make me use this on you!” the Old Princess cried out, “You will turn into nothing but contained matter if আপনি come any closer!” Pitch laughed at Peitho’s bravery. Then he disappeared, and then reappeared behind her. Peitho turned around quickly and faced Pitch. He swiftly and slowly, started circling around her, and she kept the relic pointed at him. "Come now, Peitho... Quit অভিনয় so brave! আপনি know that আপনি just want to roll up in a ball and cry for your King. Admit it. আপনি do."
Pitch, that fiend, had read Peitho’s damaged mind like a child’s picture book. She hesitated a little, but kept the relic pointed at the Boogeyman’s heart. He was starting to really confuse the poor petite princess, but then she felt the courage and boldness to say, "...You're right, Nightmare King, cold and cruel. I do. I want my King to hold me, and tell me of the good news soon to come. But I won't. I can’t live without my family…" Pitch grinned, and ব্যক্ত matter-of-factly, “…Or your sweet dreams.”
There was a moment of annoying silence between the two. The atmosphere around them seemed neutral. "I see... আপনি are trying to be brave, like আপনি were in the days with your old family...” Peitho felt offended when Pitch dared to mention her old family, her family before the King. Pitch continued; “I remember when আপনি were little Carrie Rogers, and when আপনি slaughtered those other children at that school আপনি were thrown out of, হারিয়ে গেছে your best friends, turned on your own father-“
“Watch it, Pitch!” Peitho had warned him through gritted teeth. The Coldest and Cruelest grinned; delighted he had found the Old Princess’ weakness. “I understand. আপনি might never see them again anyway, and all আপনি ever want to do in your life is to protect the ones আপনি love.” Peitho nodded softly, holding back tears. Pitch continued;
“I would do the same thing if my family was in danger... I tried to save her once... But... I was tricked, taunted..." Peitho had lowered the Darkness Extractor, but clenched the bottle with her Sleeping Story Boy inside even tighter. "What do আপনি mean?" She questioned. She had heard of the stories of Kozmotis Pitchiner, and how his very soul was consumed entirely দ্বারা the darkest and cruelest creatures of the universe. Peitho’s pretty face lightened up, she had found Pitch’s weak spot!
Peitho the Old heard a sigh that came from the Nightmare King, though it did not sound like him at all. "I…” He mumbled, in that strange tone Peitho had heard. She concentrated on the Walking Nightmare’s face; it was turning from twisted and evil, to sorrowful. But as soon as Peitho spotted the vessel’s sorrow, the evil had returned to his face, and he clutched his head and shrieked with emotions the petite Peitho could not explain. Her হৃদয় raced.
Pitch the Frightening growled at Peitho, as she attempted to wobble away. But before the Old Princess could make enough distance away from the Boogeyman, he grabbed her দ্বারা her curly red locks and held her close to his cold body.
He leaned down, his mouth দ্বারা Peitho’s ear, and whispered; “You short, pretty princess. Do আপনি recall how I built up my army?” the King’s niece, too afraid to speak, shook her head. “Well. I’m so very not sorry to have to tell আপনি this, your old majesty, but very long ago, your puny, pathetic womb had held the demon spawn of my army. All of them.”
Peitho accepted this, for she remembered it. This had happened in the darkest times, in the times when Pitch had defeated an army of Pookas; a once dominant species to the planet Terra. The Cruel Nightmare Man had destroyed them all but two. Eric the King, who had fled after the battle was over, and the Human-Pooka baby hybrid, Peitho, so sweet, untouched দ্বারা darkness until that evening after the Battle of Pookan Extinction.
The Living Minions of Darkness that Pitch had left after the battle plunged into her young mind, consuming Peitho’s innocent soul, and twisted her baby body into a grotesque, but feminine and grown version of her once young self, giving her a dark soul; she was cursed forever.
The Nightmare King impured her beautifully deformed body and soul, impregnating her with his demon spawn, letting the poor, twisted princess suffer alone with the pains of pregnancy. And when the দিন finally came, the demonic nightmares clawed their way out of Peitho's womb, making her feel tremendous, unbearable pain. When the newborn nightmares ripped their way out, they fled out of her womb and flew in all directions of the Nightmare King's lair, leaving the exhausted Peitho laying on the hard and cold ground, feeling empty and soulless. She could remember the way Pitch laughed mockingly, leaving her all alone as he went with his offspring of darkness to bring terror to the world.
Those were terrible times for the Old Princess, but she lived in this new place, with new people. She was very blessed and happy with her new life with the Guardians of Children and Innocence. She looked down at her beloved Sandy, who has been neglected this whole time. He had a worried look upon his smooth, golden face. "Don't listen to him!" his facial expression said. Then Peitho ব্যক্ত to the Dreaming Man telepathically, "Don't worry, I will get us both out of this, and the rest of the Guardians will be নিরাপদ too." The Sandman smirked at Peitho, as a sign that he had heard her telepathic message.
Without warning, the small, redheaded princess lunged at the King of Terror, impaling his হৃদয় with the Darkness Extractor. Pitch moaned loudly with such pain and misery. There was so much darkness and kickback from all the evil the Darkness Extractor was sucking out of the Nightmares' vessel, that Princess Peitho had to hold the extractor with both of her delicate hands. As she held the Darkness Extractor with two hands, Peitho had let the bottle that her Dizzy Dreamer had been imprisoned in fall to the hard floor. When it did, the fragile glass shattered into tiny, glittering pieces, freeing the Guardian of Dreams from the spell put upon him, returning him to normal size!
The Sandman observed the scene before him; his dearest friend, Princess Peitho, was using an ancient weapon from the Golden Age. Sandy gasped; it was the Darkness Extractor! And it was finally working! The Creator of Dreams smirked at his beautiful friend, she seemed to have got this. She would defeat the Nightmare King once and for all! Sandy's smirk went away as quickly as it formed once his gaze reached the lovely Peitho's face. She was looking back at the Sandman with a mix of joy and thrill, but her eyes screamed, "Help me, my sweet dreams and innocence!" the Old Princess had spoken to him telepathically. He looked at the glass chamber of the Darkness Extractor and saw that it was beginning to crack! If it breaks, the Nightmares will escape, and only God knows where they will flee to! Sandy then suddenly remembered that he can turn all darkness into something sweet, kind, and full of light and dreams.
Sandy went between the King of Nightmares and the glorious little princess, right underneath the glass chamber of the Darkness Extractor, and tightly closed his hands over the chamber, keeping the darkness from escaping. Eventually, the chamber did break, but as soon as the inky blackness came in physical contact with the Sandman's skin, the horrible nightmares shifted into graceful streams of dreamsand. Sandy and Peitho's faces lit up with a pale amber glow as the dreams slipped out in between Sandy's fingers, curling and twirling around them, making the death of the Nightmare King into something truly beautiful and pure.
As Peitho pushed the Darkness Extractor deeper into the Nightmare Man's torso and the স্থুলকায় Sandman easily turned every extracted bit of darkness into a sweet stream of dreams, the odd pair grinned at one another with true happiness. They were defeating the centuries-old enemy of the Guardians of Childhood! Very soon they will create a new Golden Age, an age without darkness to blind the helpless, an age without terror to burrow deep within the hearts of the truly brave, an age that seemed like an impossible paradise, the age where nothing can go wrong.
মিনিট had passed, and all the darkness had finally left the body of Kozmotis Pitchiner and had been turned into a glorious stream of light and dreams. The once chamber of the Nightmare King had now been lit up with the Sandman's good magic. The air has lifted, and the atmosphere no longer felt heavy and sluggish, but now it felt light and weightless, as if আপনি could leap into the air আপনি could float effortlessly and never touch the ground.
The Guardian of Dreams and the King's niece looked down at the now nightmare-free vessel laying before them. There was nothing in that vessel now but rotten flesh. No Kozmotis, no Nightmares. Just an empty vessel, laying before the two, dead. Peitho frowned down at the lifeless man before her. The world has been ridden of the most fearful and evil villain of all the cosmos, but she had also ridden of Kozmotis Pitchiner; a man who had once saved the galaxy from an evil that eventually took hold of him and possessed his now lifeless body. A part of the princess wondered if there was a way to save him...
"He wasn't always bad, Mr. Sandman... He was a hero once. He was very much loved until those terrible, evil beings blackened his noble soul..." Peitho felt warm tears slide down her cheeks. Deep in her heart, she felt all the pain that Kozmotis had to go through. He did not deserve what had happened to him. No one does. Sandy had noticed that Peitho was in pain, and he took her dainty hand in his. Sandy's হৃদয় skipped a beat when he felt the princess gently squeeze his hand. He squeezed her hand back, then he ব্যক্ত to her in a whisper she almost did not hear, "At least he is in a better place now, I hope..."
Days had passed since the Nightmare King became no more; the rest of the Guardians had managed to free themselves from their bindings after they had been awoken from Sandy's newborn dreams. They found Sandy and Peitho holding hands, and looking respectfully upon the empty vessel of Kozmotis Pitchiner. The Guardians were very surprised to see that the villain they have been fighting against all of their lives has been defeated so easily দ্বারা a small, but old girl and the most ancient of the Guardians. As they all gathered around the lifeless body, they ব্যক্ত not a word and gave their respects to a once loved hero and villain. When the Guardians returned to the North Pole, they took Kozmotis with them and had his body cremated. They managed to scatter his ashes amongst the stars, stars that the hero of the Golden Age had defended for years before he had been turned wicked.
After the funeral service had ended for Kozmotis Pitchiner and all respects had been paid, the Man in the Moon himself came up to Princess Peitho, and told her that she had earned the শিরোনাম of Guardianship, to become a Guardian of Childhood for ridding of the Nightmare King. Peitho did not want it, but she politely accepted this honor
and took the oath. She was then named the Guardian of Understanding. (This শিরোনাম made no sense to Peitho at first, but she eventually understood.) Everyone was happy for the Old Princess, especially her King. "You're a Guardian now! আপনি should be proud." Peitho should be proud, but why bother making her a Guardian in the first place? The only enemy of the Guardians was now gone. Without Pitch Black, the children of Earth wouldn't need the Guardians anymore...
North, the Guardian of Wonder smiled upon the newest Guardian, knowing exactly what she was thinking. They both sat down together in his office, sipping on mugs of hot cocoa, as he explained to the curly-haired Guardian, "Our oldest and only enemy may be gone, Peitho, but the children of Earth still need us. We must fill their hearts with hopes and dreams, we must let them find the wonder and understanding in all the things they experience, and we must help them cherish their most precious memories, and be sure that their lives are full of fun from start to finish." All Peitho could do was smile at and understand what North was telling her. That North always had an answer to every question, no matter how hard অথবা strange it was. Peitho finally understood why everyone looked up to and respected North as a leader of the Guardians, and she finally began to do the same...
Peitho was sitting দ্বারা herself in the quietest part of the North Pole's Workshop, looking out the window to the pale, icy landscape. A warm, fuzzy blanket was wrapped around her slim body. She finally accepted herself as not just a helpless princess, but as a Guardian of the children of the world. She let her head lean up against the cold glass of the window and the chilly draft of air tickle at her exposed toes. It was quiet, so quiet that the distant humming of the Workshop's ruckus did not rule over the hardly noticeable footsteps of the Sandman, walking over to the newest Guardian.
Peitho turned her head slowly towards him, letting her red, curly locks fall off her shoulders. She smiled solemnly at her beloved Creator of Sweet and Beautiful Dreams, as he approached her, returning a smile. He then sat across from her in the spacious window seat, and they both locked eyes. Sandman smiled at the Old Princess in a way that only the odd pair could understand. After that unforgettable night in the Nightmare King's icy lair, the two had grown very close. The Sandman had now expressed new feelings for this mysterious girl that sat across from him; What used to be feelings of friendship he had for Peitho had now turned to feelings of love, a romantic love. He had exposed these feelings to Peitho days after the Nightmare King's death. Peitho gladly accepted him, realizing that it wasn't just the dreams she loved, but the person who created them.
They both then looked out the window together, and without any words, they sat amongst the cozy vibes of the North Pole, silently appreciating their প্রণয় for each other...