Saving Terror Mountain: Part Three
“I cannot believe it!” Nella told Lionel happily. The king of Brightvale walked ahead of them, his dark green robes flaring out behind him as he moved quickly. “I did not think that he would actually go with us to work on our quest!” she admitted honestly.
Lionel nodded in agreement. “Least of all to go with us and see Illusen,” he said slowly.
Nella smiled as they continued on through the Brightvale Castle’s halls. This reminded her of Armin, a young Bori, and Hannah, the Usul, who saved the Boris from their imprisonment in the ice on Terror Mountain long ago. The two of them had rescued the mountain before, so perhaps she and Lionel could do it with a little help of their own.
Lionel and Nella had been assigned to the quest of saving Terror Mountain. Their homeland was being literally blown away by what they thought was a fierce wind created by Jhudora, who lived on her little cloud in Faerieland. They nearly killed each other at first by mistake, but then they realized that they were on the same side. The king was the person they had come to for advice, and now he was the one rushing them off to find the earth faerie.
She did not notice the king glance over his shoulder. “Come on, what are you waiting for?” Hagan demanded, startling her from her thoughts.
“We are coming!” she said anxiously. The king sighed and held the door open for her as she ran out. Lionel and King Hagan quickly followed her outside into the bright sunlight. They could see the top of the castle in Meridell and the white and red tents. The trees of Illusen’s glade were also visible.
The three of them ran—more like sprinted—down the dirt road to Meridell. Lionel exchanged grins with Nella as the king started to slow slightly. “We are almost there, sir,” Lionel said with a chuckle.
“I am not blind, Bori,” Hagan grumbled as he scrambled along.
They entered Meridell and passed by the Ye Olde Petpets shop and came to the fork in the road. Several different colored Ixi stared at them as they came near. “Are you ready for this?” Lionel asked anxiously.
“After all, she is Jhudora’s greatest rival. She could do something unexpected,” Hagan said.
Nella got the hint. “You two stay here. I will go and talk to her,” Nella said quietly. The two of them were all too eager to stay standing where they were on the road. “I will be back soon, with or without Illusen.”
Nella sighed, shook herself, and headed into the trees and towards the forest glade where Illusen would be sitting with her garden gnomes and her other little creature friends. “Illusen? Where are you? I need your help, please,” she called. Silence echoed in her ears like how the roar of the wind on Terror Mountain had. The forest made her nervous.
“What do you need, little Bori?” a quiet voice asked. “You look so frightened and seem so sad.” Nella turned to see Illusen and all of her sad and scared thoughts vanished. All that was left was her awe. “What do you need help with, my child? Do you need a place to stay?” the earth faerie asked quietly.
The Christmas Bori swallowed twice before she was able to speak to Illusen. “I need your help on my quest,” Nella said at last.
The faerie eyed her with emerald eyes. “A quest.” Illusen laughed cheerfully. “What kind of quest? What is your name, my dear?”
“My name is Nella.”
“Oh, what a nice name. So what is it you need my help on? I do not usually help with quests, not even my own,” Illusen said to Nella.
Nella swallowed again. “I was on a quest to find who is hurting Terror Mountain,” she said meekly.
“That is a sad occurrence,” Illusen admitted sadly. “How could I possibly help you with that? Did you find out who it is that is doing it?”
Nella hesitated for a moment before replying. “I think it is Jhudora’s doing,” she blurted at last.
“Jhudora,” the faerie hissed through her teeth. “So you all were finally able to figure it out?” Illusen’s face filled with hatred. “It took everyone long enough. I saw her planning for something, and I knew it would come. But they turned it into rumors...”
“I always believed you if it counted for anything,” Nella muttered.
“Go away. Leave me alone and figure it out on your own. Some quest...” Illusen muttered, walking away through the trees.
“Wait, Illusen, please!” Nella cried. “Jhudora has my Horus! Please, help me at least get Rema back!” she begged as the shadow shrank.
Illusen turned in surprise. “She stole your petpet?” she asked with surprise.
Nella shrugged warily.
“I think that is going too far,” the faerie said bluntly. “Come and fetch your friends so that we can leave to Faerieland. I have to do something now, before she hurts any more innocent creatures,” she said sadly.
Before she knew what was happening, Illusen had pushed her back to the road, to where Lionel and Hagan were waiting for her. “You look funny,” Lionel told Nella when he saw her baffled expression. “Good day, Miss Illusen,” he said to the faerie.
“You too, my Bori friend, and your little Stego friend as well. And Hagan! What a surprise to see you over here in Meridell,” Illusen said happily. “Does your brother know you are here?” she asked.
Hagan’s face darkened. “Skarl? Why in the world would I want him to know I was here unless I came to see how much he managed to learn in the last three days?” Hagan demanded. And then he smiled happily at Illusen. “I figured little Nella could convince you to help us expose Jhudora.”
“I would be glad to help stop the evil that she radiates any day, my old friend,” Illusen replied, shaking hands with him. “Okay, so I will use a spell to take us up to the Faerieland and give my sisters in Faerie City a little visit. I hope that we can find your poor little Horus, my dear,” she told Nella.
They all smiled and Illusen muttered a few words they could not hear. Nella sighed at the beauty of the door that appeared at the intersection of the fork in the road. The door opened out into the cloud upon which Faerieland rested. Jhudora’s dark cloud was growing still, even as they watched it.
“You can even see how her evil is growing as we speak,” Illusen murmured. “It is always becoming more powerful as neopets complete her quests.”
“It is terrible,” Jace muttered in agreement. King Hagan nodded in agreement.
“And how in the world can we possibly stop it?” Nella asked nervously.
“First off, follow me,” Illusen said quietly. “If Jhudora sees me here, it will be trouble for everyone.” The earth faerie led them towards the Rainbow Fountain, where the Water Faerie spent her days.
The faerie looked up when she heard them come near. Her eyes widened when she saw Illusen. “How may I be of service to my fellow faerie and her little Neopian friends?” Nereid asked in a musical voice as she pushed a shimmering curl back behind her pointed ear.
“We are in search of a way to stop Jhudora. For her powers are growing even more than before. Soon we will not be able to keep her from destroying the world. She is already destroying Terror Mountain,” Illusen stated. “We need your help.”
“Why should I help you when you have spent your time lazing about in that garden of yours? And for the rest of Neopia, all they have done is drain the powers of my beautiful fountain,” Nereid demanded stubbornly.
“Because this is your world as well, Nereid,” Hagan said with frustration. “If you think for one moment that Jhudora will spare your life, then you are sadly mistaken. She is evil, and you are not.”
“So then what is your plan?” both faeries asked simultaneously.
Nella smiled at them and then looked over at Lionel. “Perhaps if all of the faeries stand together against her, they could form some sort of a weapon with their powers put together for one purpose,” she said calmly. Lionel nodded in agreement.
Illusen exchanged glances with Nereid. “Crazy, but brilliant. This plan, little one, might just turn out to be successful,” Illusen muttered, patting Nella’s shoulder.
Nereid sighed and clapped her hands once. “Well then, should we gather the others and see what they think of this?” she asked the group of four. They all nodded and she smiled slightly, her bright blue eyes shining with new excitement. “Alright, follow me,” she told them, “out the back way.”
They followed her quietly and came to the eastern wall. Nereid looked back over her shoulder and saw the last traces of dark purple smoke vanishing into Jhudora’s cloud. “Well, where is the door?” Hagan asked quietly.
Nereid jerked back to where she was standing and put her hand on the wall. The stone beneath it swung back on invisible hinges. “Go on through,” she told them.
Once in Faerie City, they all felt more relaxed, including Illusen. “The faeries normally gather for a lunch in the Faerie Foods store.”
Illusen smiled. “I love the Illusen Acorns they serve there!” she said happily. The group flocked off towards the shop and hardly heard her comment. Except for Nella, who glanced over at her with a tiny grin
“They are inside!” Nella said with a relieved sigh. All of the other faeries were sitting inside at the many round tables. The Space Faerie, the Fire Faerie, the Light Faerie, and all of the others were chatting happily.
“Excuse me.” Illusen cleared her throat as the travelers entered the delicious smelling shop. Every faerie in the room looked up in surprise.
“A little late for lunch, don’t you think, Illusen?” Fuhnah, the Fire Faerie, asked with a laugh.
“Don’t get your flames worked up,” Illusen snapped. “I need each and every one of my good sisters’ help right now.”
“What is the problem, Illusen?” the light faerie asked with concern.
“Jhudora is destroying the Terror Mountain,” Nella said sadly. “I think she is taking the evil from every Neopian’s heart and every nook and cranny of the world, and I think she is going to use it to destroy everything good that exists.”
The faeries looked to see who had spoken. “And who are you?” the Space Faerie asked Nella coolly.
“My name is Nella,” was the Christmas Bori’s reply. “And I came to save my home.”
“Your home...” the Tooth Faerie said sadly. She shook her head wearily. “And why do you think that we can save it? Do you think we will be able to do it?”
Illusen’s head bobbed in agreement and Hagan sighed. The room fell quiet. “Will you help me, sisters, or will you let the world die?” she asked softly.
To be continued...