Hey guys! Here’s part two of The Paladin Princess. In this part, Allura finally embarks on her mission to Oriande so that she can figure out why she has been acting so strange.
Pidge knocked on Hunk’s door. “Come in!” Hunk yelled.
Pidge walked in. “Hey, Hunk,” she said. “I brought you a juniberry flower.”
Hunk looked at it and smiled. “Hey, I’m preparing some Altean cookies for Allura,” he said. “Do you mind if I use the petals in the recipie?”
“Sure,” Pidge agreed. “That would be great. Can I help you?”
“Uh, yeah,” Hunk said. “Yeah, I don’t think you have cooking experience…”
“I don’t,” Pidge admitted. “But I could help you get all your supplies and stuff like that.”
“That would be nice.”
The two of them walked down the hall to the cafeteria. Allura passed by them. She waved, gave them a sad smile, and kept walking. Hunk and Pidge waved back.
Hunk leaned in next to Pidge. “Hey, what’s going on with Allura?” Hunk whispered.
Pidge shrugged. “Honestly, I’m not sure. Um… my brother once told me that in Greek mythology, eidolons are ghosts that possess humans. Maybe something like that’s happening with Allura.”
“But we’re not even in Greece. Or Earth.”
“And we’re too far for spirits to rise from the Underworld,” Pidge said. “Yeah, never mind. That’s a silly theory.”
The two Paladins got to the cafeteria. Hunk slipped into the kitchen and Pidge followed him in. “Alright, Hunk, what do I need to do?”
Hunk grunted as he gathered the ingredients. “Um, give me a bowl. And a spoon. A big one.”
Pidge nodded. “Got it!” she said. She scooted around the kitchen and collected those items. She placed them on a counter in front of Hunk.
“What next?” she gasped, panting.
Hunk sighed. “White or brown sugar…?” he muttered. “White. Yeah. Pidge, give me some white sugar.”
Pidge opened a cabinet, grabbed a sack labeled ‘Sugar: White’ and tossed it to Hunk.
About an hour later, the Altean deserts came out of the oven. Pidge brushed her forehead with her sleeve and sighed. She leaned against the fridge. “That was a lot of work,” she said.
“Yeah, but it’s not done yet,” Hunk replied. “We still need to add the icing and juniberry petals.”
Hunk carefully squeezed white icing into a swirl. Then, he gently placed a petal onto each of the cookies. He clapped in delight. “Ta-da!” he exclaimed.
Pidge leaned closer to the cookies. Then she looked at Hunk thrust out her hands. “Team Punk does it again!” they said as they high-fived.
“Pidge, do you mind delivering these to Allura?” asked Hunk.
Pidge shifted her weight. “I’d love to, Hunk, but I need to get back to work. You can give them to her and say it’s from both of us,” Pidge suggested.
Hunk nodded. He ran out of the kitchen and into Allura’s room. Allura was facing her back to Hunk, clutching her chest and whispering something to herself.
“Allura, I got you some…” Hunk’s voice trailed off. “Allura, are you okay?”
Allura gasped and quickly turned around. “Yes, Hunk, I’m fine,” she replied.
“Um, okay,” Hunk said, suspiciously. He eyed Allura. She had her hands behind her back and her face was paler than it should’ve been. “Pidge and I made you these Altean cookies. I hope you like them.”
Allura walked over and picked up a cookie. She nibbled it and a smile tugged at her mouth. “Hunk, this is very good. The juniberry flower really adds to the taste.”
Hunk grinned and nodded. “Yeah, I’m glad that you like it.” There was a moment of silence as Hunk watched Allura gobble up the cookies. “I’m gonna go now. I hope you get better soon.”
Allura laughed. “I’m fine, Hunk.” She had a gleam in her eye which almost made Hunk believe her, but he knew there was something seriously wrong. Hunk smiled again and left the room.
Keith sat in his room, staring at his Blade of Marmora knife. He sighed. There was a knock on the door.
“Come in,” Keith said.
The door creaked open, and Coran was standing there. “Keith, can I discuss something with you? Privately.”
Keith stood up. “Of course.” He raised his eyebrows. “But why me? Why not Shiro? I mean, he is the leader of the team.”
Coran sniffed and rubbed his chin. “Well, I’m afraid Shiro is quite busy. He was my first choice, but it seems like I’ll have to talk about this with you.”
Keith placed his knife on a nightstand and sighed again. “Alright. What is it?”
“Allura. She wishes to visit Oriande and see if she can figure out what’s wrong with her.”
Keith tilted his head to one side. “Oriande?” he asked.
“Ah, yes. You were on a Blade of Marmora mission at the time. Some deca-phoebs back, Allura and Lotor visited Oriande to learn the secrets of Altean alchemy. Anyway, to successfully enter Oriande, you need the Mark of the Chosen.”
Keith waited. “And?”
“And Allura doesn’t have the mark anymore, yet she insists on going with the Blue Lion.”
Keith stared down at the floor. “Maybe she’ll still be able to enter Oriande.”
“But the Guardian of Oriande, the White Lion, will kill her!”
“Wait, there’s a White-” Keith stopped himself and shook his head. “Whatever. Maybe, Coran, this White Lion will recognize her and let her in.”
Coran sighed and placed his hands on his forehead. “Keith, it simply doesn’t work that way. Ah, you need a lesson on Altean folktales! So, there’s Oriande, Voltron, Alfor-“
“No thanks, Coran. Anyway, when is Allura going there?”
“I had a conversation with her earlier. Later today, she said.”
Keith nodded. He walked out of the room. “I’m going to have a little chat with Allura, then,” he muttered as he wandered down the hall.
Finally, he got to Allura’s room. He came inside without knocking. Allura was sitting in a chair near a table. “Hey, Allura,” Keith said. “I need to talk to you about something.”
“Yes, what?” asked Allura.
“Coran told me that you want to visit Oriande, whatever that is,” Keith muttered. “I just want to ask you… what’s this Mark of the Chosen?”
Allura looked up at him. “Didn’t Coran explain that to you?”
Keith shook his head. “He didn’t say much.”
Allura stood up. She placed her hands on the table. “Only worthy Alteans can receive the Mark of the Chosen. When a person’s Altean marks start glowing, they know they have received it.”
Keith stepped toward Allura. “Your marks aren’t glowing.”
Allura gently put two fingers on the pink Altean marks on her right cheek. “Keith, I know I’ll be fine. I’ll find a way. Don’t worry, I–“
Allura and Keith gasped. All of a sudden, Allura’s Altean marks started shining bright pink. “Um, is that the Mark?” Keith wondered
Allura nodded and smiled. “I’ll leave now,” she said. She grabbed her bayard. “The sooner I find out what’s going on with me, the better.”
Keith nodded. “Alright, then. Good luck.”
Allura grinned and ran out of the room.
Allura ran to the hangar where the Blue Lion was kept. She entered the cockpit and sat down. She took a deep breath, but the Blue Lion wouldn’t start.
She gasped. “Blue, what is wrong?” she asked the lion. “Why are you not starting?”
She tightened her grip on the controls. “Please, Blue,” she begged. “I must gain some knowledge at Oriande. Please! I’m doing this for myself… and the team, too.”
One minute passed.
Allura groaned. “Why are you not listening to me, Blue Lion?”
Finally, the Blue Lion purred. Allura smiled. “Good lion,” she said. “Come on.”
She turned the joystick and the lion roared. It leaped out of the hangar and out into space.