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A Water Faerie’s Tears: Part Two


by yaya269101

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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 important.

      "What is the best weapon to use against evil and despair?"

      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 just laughed.

      "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 tears."

      "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 voice.

      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 the water.

      "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.

The End

 
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