A Water Faerie’s Tears: Part Two
Frightened, Mirae fled the cavern, and ran frantically back
along the stream to her family's home.
By the Bori woodcutter's bedside, the three
younger sisters listened gravely as their hysterical sibling tried to explain
how the disembodied voice at the back of the cavern had refused to give her
the Water Faerie's tears. When she was done, Jocelyn stepped forward.
"Well, Mirae, it looks like you were wrong about
being worthy," the Orange Ixi said, not without a bit of a gloating tone. "It's
obvious that this Water Faerie is not impressed by book learning. I'm sure that
it's a knight's heroic qualities that she's looking for. I will go now to the
Faerie's cavern." She turned to Alex and Cassielle behind her. "Don't worry,
dears. Our father will be cured in but a few hours. I don't intend to come back
without those tears!"
Alex scowled, while Cassielle merely nodded.
Her hope for her father's recovery was beginning to dwindle. For if Mirae wasn't
worthy of the Water Faerie's tears, who was to say that Jocelyn was?
The Bori woodcutter's second-oldest child stepped
into the magical cavern not an hour later. This time, whoever was at the back
of the cave was ready for a visitor. The mysterious voice rang out right away:
"Who goes there?"
To the Ixi, the voice sounded like the crash
of a waterfall, or the ring of metal on metal.
"It is I, Jocelyn!" she cried out. "I have come
to claim the Faerie's tears, so that I may heal my ailing father!"
Like it had done before, the voice asked: "What
makes you worthy of these tears?"
"What makes me worthy? Why, I am the bravest
maiden in all Brightvale!" Jocelyn boasted. "Who could be more worthy than I?"
"I am graced by the presence of Brightvale's
very bravest? What an honour!" To the Ixi, the voice's awe seemed genuine. "Very
well, brave one. But I must test you with a question before I give you my tears."
"I am ready," said Jocelyn, trying to sound
"What is the best weapon to use against evil
The would-be knight didn't even hesitate. "Why,
the sword!" she crowed. "The sword is the best weapon to use against any opponent."
Instead of congratulating her, though, the voice
"Be gone, unworthy one," it sneered. "The likes
of you will never merit the tears of a Water Faerie."
Jocelyn was aghast. She took a few steps backwards,
then turned and sped back to her sisters at the house.
When she learned of Jocelyn's rejection, Mirae
broke into tears.
"It's impossible! Father will never be cured!"
the Uni sobbed.
"Oh, please," drawled Alex. "Don't make a baby
of yourself." The Cybunny smoothed her skirts coyly. "I should have gone in
the beginning. I was the one who discovered the cavern, after all. It must have
been a sign that I'm the one who the Water Faerie thinks is worthy of her magic
"You?!" snorted Jocelyn. "If we weren't worthy
of the tears, then you won't be either!"
And as much as she didn't want to, Cassielle,
who was clutching her sleeping father's hand, had to agree.
Alex hoisted her skirts daintily as she entered
the Water Faerie's cavern. She remembered getting her hem wet the last time
she had been here, and the vain Cybunny didn't want to ruin another dress. She
waited for the voice that her older sisters had described to ring out, and,
soon enough, it did.
"Who goes there?" The mysterious call reminded
Alex of the soft "shush" of wind in the bulrushes.
"Alexandra, third daughter of the woodcutter,"
the Pink Cybunny said in her most amiable voice. "My father is sick, and I was
sent to get some magic tears to cure him with."
"And what makes you worthy of the magic tears
of which you speak?" the voice inquired.
"Well," Alex said as she patted her hair, "I
am the most beautiful maiden in the land. So I think that I deserve the tears
more than anyone."
"If you truly are Brightvale's fairest maiden,
as you claim, then I would have you answer a question."
"Ask away," Alex answered in a bored tone.
"What is your loveliest feature?"
That certainly wasn't the question that the
Cybunny was expecting! She thought about it for a moment, and then said confidently:
"My eyes. My eyes are my best feature."
Apparently, whoever was at the other end of
the cavern was not pleased with this answer.
"You are not worthy!" the voice echoed across
the water. "Leave my home at once, vain creature!"
Disgruntled, offended, and dismayed, Alex obeyed
the voice - and ran home to deliver the bad news.
The two oldest sisters were panicking. They
blamed each other and Alex for failing to retrieve the Water Faerie's tears,
and cried out that their father was doomed. Alex sat in the corner, her beautiful
face pinched, trying not to weep. The three of them were so wrapped up in their
sorrow that none of them noticed when their younger sister gave the sleeping
woodcutter's hand one last squeeze for good luck and slipped out the door, to
take the same path that her siblings had taken before her.
Cassielle did not rush towards the Water Faerie's
cavern. She hurried, but she also took the time to gaze around her at the beauty
of the forest. The trees were so green and so wet with dew, and the flowers,
their delicate faces bobbing in the wind, were so pretty. When she finally reached
the cave, the little Kyrii gazed at it for a few moments in awe, and wondered
how it had been formed in the first place. Probably by magic, she thought.
As Cassielle entered the cavern, the disembodied
voice greeted her the same way that it had greeted her sisters.
"Who goes there?"
She didn't answer at first; she was too busy
taking in the ethereal beauty of the cavern. Then she came to herself.
"My name is Cassielle," she said calmly. Then,
after thinking for a few moments, the Kyrii added. "My dear father, the woodcutter,
is gravely ill. I was told that the tears of the Water Faerie who lives in this
cavern could cure him. My three sisters have come here already, seeking the
Water Faerie's tears, but they were all turned away. Now I have come to ask
the great Faerie for her help."
As it had done before, the voice inquired, "What
makes you worthy of obtaining the Water Faerie's tears?" But its tone was gentler
than it had been with the other girls.
Cassielle hung her head. She had thought long
and hard about this question, but she still didn't have a good answer.
"I don't know," the Kyrii replied feebly. "I'm
not the smartest, the bravest, or the prettiest. There's nothing really special
about me. I only came because I was the only one left who hadn't tried to get
the tears." As Cassielle spoke, she had to choke back tears of her own. Summoning
every bit of confidence she had, the woodcutter's youngest daughter raised her
face to where she thought the anonymous speaker might be.
"But please!" she cried. "My father is so sick.
I'm afraid he's going to die! He needs the Water Faerie's tears to save him!
Oh, please..." Cassielle had yelled herself hoarse, so had to drop her voice
down to a whisper. "I love him so much. I can't bear to lose him. Please, may
I have the Water Faerie's magic tears?"
Cassielle waited. For a moment, there was silence.
Then, echoing through the cavern, the Kyrii heard a splash, as if someone or
something had just slipped into the water. There was silence again... and all
of a sudden, the glowing balls that pulsed faintly throughout the cave exploded
with blue light.
The cavern was completely transformed. Intricate
patterns of cyan and green played across the sparkling walls. The water that
filled the cave lit up and sparkled like a blanket of crystals. And there, rising
from the waves in front of the little Brown Kyrii, was the source of the mysterious
She was the most magnificent person Cassielle
had ever set her eyes upon. As she rose above the surface, her aquamarine scales
glittered like real jewels. She had long, thick ropes of golden hair and skin
like alabaster. But it was her eyes that really took Cassielle's breath away;
her clear, grey eyes, that seemed to see into the Kyrii's very soul.
Once her upper body was completely out of the
pool, the mysterious being stopped rising and hung there, treading water with
her great tail. Then she spoke, and Cassielle heard her voice as it truly was:
the ringing of bells and the trickling of a brook over a rocky riverbed.
"I am Rhazia, the most powerful of all Water
Faeries. Your story has touched my heart. You, little Cassielle, are worthy
of my healing tears."
The great Water Faerie's upturned palm glowed
for a moment, before a tiny vial made of indigo crystal appeared upon it. Rhazia
closed her eyes, and an expression of great sorrow crossed her face. Then, without
warning, four tears fell from her closed eyes; two from each. With a deft motion,
the Faerie caught them all in the crystal vial, then stoppered it. Her expression
as she held the tears out to Cassielle was a joyous one.
"Here you are, little one," Rhazia murmured.
"This should be more than enough to cure your poor father."
"Thank you!" The little Kyrii was elated, but
there was still a question nagging at her mind. As the Water Faerie turned to
swim back to the end of the cavern, Cassielle called to her: "Wait! May I ask
you one question before I return to my family?"
Rhazia twisted to face the woodcutter's daughter.
"You may," she said.
Cassielle swallowed, and cleared her throat.
She felt very awkward, asking this of the powerful Faerie. At last, she inquired:
"What made me worthy of your tears, when my
sisters were not?"
The Water Faerie laughed. It was a beautiful
laugh, like spring rain falling into the sea. She smiled up at the Kyrii from
"Only someone with a pure heart may receive
my tears," Rhazia whispered. "No other quality matters. For what is the use
of intelligence when one lacks compassion for the life around oneself? What
good is bravery when one doesn't recognize hope as the most powerful weapon
of all? And what is the point of beauty, when one's heart isn't one's loveliest
feature?" The Water Faerie laughed again. "It was your gentleness that made
you worthy of my tears, Cassielle. Your gentleness, and your love for your family.
I bid you farewell!" Suddenly, Rhazia jumped up, and, with a shower of droplets,
dove down to disappear beneath the water.
It was with a light heart that Cassielle left
the Water Faerie's cavern, the vial full of tears clutched in her hand. As she
tore along the path beside the stream, the Kyrii could have been thinking about
what Rhazia had said about her pure heart, and about the compliments the Water
Faerie had bestowed upon her. But instead, Cassielle was thinking about the
joy that would be in her sisters' faces when she showed them her prize, and
what her dear father, the old Bori woodcutter, would say to her when he awoke
at last, completely cured and ready to greet the new day.