The Elements of the Exploring: Part Four
“Where are you going?” Victane asked as Fayeroh started to fade into the darkness as she walked.
“To find a way out,” Fayeroh replied, looking at her surroundings in the dim light given by her wings. “You can join me if you would like, unless you enjoy sitting in the dark.”
“I don’t like the dark,” Victane sighed, and Fayeroh stopped walking, feeling a little sorry for the girl. As annoying as she was, Fayeroh knew that she, too, would be miserable if she had lost her powers and then had gotten lost in a cave.
“You’d better come with me,” she called, trying to sound as welcoming as she could. “Otherwise you might never get out of here.” She heard Victane stand, and a moment later the grey faerie stood next to her.
“Okay, but don’t get your wings too close to me,” she said nervously. “I don’t like fire.”
“Imagine that,” Fayeroh muttered to herself, and together the two faeries took off in search of an exit.
They had been walking for quite sometime when they first heard the sound of the waterfall. Victane shrieked and hid behind Fayeroh at first, thinking it was some kind of monster growling, but once the fire faerie calmed her down, they recognized the sound as that of water.
“If there’s a waterfall, then maybe there is some other way up, too!” Fayeroh exclaimed in excitement. “Let’s follow the sound, it should bring us to the water.”
“You’re sure it’s a waterfall, right?” Victane asked, biting her lip. “And not some monster? 'Cause I don’t like monsters.”
“Yes, now let’s go!” Fayeroh said, and with a little more coaxing, Victane agreed and began walking once more.
Aeriana, Listanie, Eerine, and Disparity walked through the open air, following the curve of the cave. Luckily, the cave was much smaller from the outside than it appeared from the inside, and they were able to make their way to the back of it fairly easily. It was here that they spotted the stream Winith had recently followed to the waterfall, and they studied the area, looking for another way in.
“Maybe there isn’t one,” Aeriana suggested after a while, washing her face in the stream.
“But there very well might be,” Eerine sighed, crouching down to look more closely at where the stream entered the cave.
“Why do you think that, Eerine?” Listanie asked, and Eerine looked at her, standing up and then leaning against the cool stone.
“From what I could tell of the cave, it seems like it’s possible that neopets have lived there in the past. And if they did, then one of the big reasons for it would have been this stream. It goes right into the cave, but I don’t think it has always been that way; this stream looks like it was made by neopets, which suggests to me that there is another entrance into the cave, one they would have followed as they dug under the rock, so that when the water started flowing in they wouldn’t get caught.”
“And how in all of Neopia do you know that?” Disparity asked, and Eerine laughed.
“I’m an earth faerie; I know a lot about these things,” she said with a wink, and the other faeries laughed as well.
“Ooh, look!” Listanie said then, her eye catching something on the rock she was studying. Eerine made her way over and saw that what Listanie was looking at was most likely the entrance to the cave she had been hoping to find. The stone at first glance looked perfectly normal, but under closer inspection, it was easy to see that a big chunk of the rock had been taken out and then carefully put back into place.
“Help me pull this out,” Eerine commanded quickly, glad to see her suspicions had been right. The other three faeries crowded around her, and together they tried to pry the rock out. However, they quickly realized that it was much too heavy for them, and they all stood back in disappointment.
“Now what?” Aeriana asked, and Eerine huffed, putting her hands on her hips.
“There has to be some way to move it,” she declared, and she looked at Disparity, who returned her gaze. The two faeries stared at each other for a moment in concentration, until their eyes grew a little bigger, and smiles broke out on their faces.
“What?” Listanie inquired as her friends stepped back from the cave.
“We seem to have forgotten the simplest method of removing this rock,” Eerine smirked, and Listanie and Aeriana looked at each other in confusion.
“And what would that be?” Aeriana questioned, and Disparity shook her head in amusement.
“We are faeries, you know,” she said, watching her friends, “and we do have the capability of—”
“Magic,” Listanie finished, and Disparity nodded as the other two faeries nodded in comprehension and then got into place to help remove the rock.
Winith waited in the stream, trying to get as close as she could without being pulled into the waterfall. She could just see over the edge to the ground below, and faintly, she could hear the faerie that had fallen, as well as someone else, talking. She listened intently, trying to determine if their voices were growing closer to her or not, and at length she concluded that, slowly, they were.
It seemed to take forever, but eventually, the two faeries reached the waterfall, and Winith called to them from above, startling them both.
“Who are you?” Fayeroh asked, and Winith shook her head.
“That doesn’t matter; what matters is I am here to help you get out!” she replied, wondering where the other faerie came from.
“And how do you suggest we do that?” Fayeroh questioned, looking around her. “I don’t see any way up.”
“You have to come up where the water goes down,” Winith called, her voice weak against the loud rush of the water. There was no response, and the water faerie looked down to see the other two faeries looking at each other anxiously. “What’s the problem?” she asked, and the faeries both sighed.
“We don’t like water,” they mumbled, barely loud enough for Winith to hear, and the water faerie huffed, using her magic to send a big splash down over them.
“Get over it.”
Fayeroh breathed heavily, her mind completely blank except for the horrible thought that she was absolutely drenched, for a second time that night.
“Now fly up beside the waterfall,” the water faerie called down to them, and Fayeroh glared up at her, trying to relight her wings and failing miserably.
“I don’t like being wet,” Victane sobbed beside her, though Fayeroh ignored her, trying her best to dry herself off.
“It’s useless to dry off, you’ll just get wet again when you come up here,” Winith yelled, and Fayeroh flipped her long hair behind her, looking up.
“Who says I’m going up there?” she asked.
“It’s either stop complaining and fly up, or stay down there forever,” she called back, and as Victane sobbed loudly at those options, Fayeroh decided that flying through some water wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
Winith looked behind her to see the remaining four faeries carefully walking against the wall of the cave, looking exhausted. They looked startled to see her there, and once they came close enough, she pointed over the edge of the waterfall, showing them her friend.
“I was trying to help them find a way out,” she told them, and she looked to see the other girls looking over the edge with wonder.
“Fayeroh!” Disparity yelled, and Winith saw the fire faerie look up from where she was slowly flying towards them, her movements slowed by the constant spray from the water.
“You can make it, Fayeroh,” Eerine encouraged as the faerie smiled up at them, moving a little quicker. Before long, she was nearing the top of the waterfall, and the other faeries reached out to grab her hands, helping her onto the ledge. There was a long silence as the girls all watched their friend to make sure she was okay, and when Fayeroh let out a long breath of relief and pushed her hair out of her face, a look of thorough distaste in her eyes, they all started laughing.
Fayeroh dried herself off as much as she could before standing up and hugging all of her friends. She was glad to be back on the top level of the cave, but wanted more than anything to get out of the cave altogether, in case the floor decided to give way again. She was ready to leave, but at the last minute she remembered the gloomy faerie she had left below.
“Victane, fly up here,” she called over the edge of the waterfall, looking down at the small figure of the grey faerie.
“I can’t!” she called back.
“Why not,” Fayeroh replied, getting splashed by the water, “and don’t tell me it’s cause you don’t like flying.”
“I can’t fly; I have no powers, remember?” the faerie yelled, and Fayeroh looked back at her friends, wondering how they could help.
“I could cast a shadow that could fly you up,” Disparity suggested, but Victane shook her head and took a step back.
“I don’t like shadows,” she declared, and Disparity looked quite annoyed, since she didn’t like anyone refusing her help.
“Well I certainly can’t help you, since you don’t like fire,” Fayeroh said with aggravation. “And you don’t like water, so that is no help, either. Victane, is there anything you don’t dislike?” There was a long pause below, until finally the grey faerie answered.
“I like air,” she said quietly, barely understandable over the sound of the water. Luckily, Fayeroh did hear what the small faerie had said, and she looked at Aeriana, who smiled, coming nearer to the edge of the cliff.
“I can try to create a breeze for you to float on,” she suggested, and Victane nodded from below.
“That would be lovely.”
Disparity and Fayeroh held onto Aeriana as she stood against the edge of the path and took a deep breath, focusing her magic. She created a soft gust of wind and sent it below, where it swept under Victane and picked her up. Aeriana concentrated as hard as she could, and she moved her foot over to get a more comfortable stance. As she did, however, her foot slipped, causing her to stumble. Her friends kept hold of her, but her concentration faltered, and Victane began to fall. From beside her, Winith gasped as she watched the small faerie tumble through the air, and Eerine and Listanie watched from behind, holding onto Fayeroh and Disparity in case anything happened. Victane neared the ground quickly, but just as she was about to hit the dirt floor, Aeriana got her focus back, and slowly she began to rise once more.
Aeriana, Fayeroh, Listanie, Disparity, and Victane all walked out into the chilly night air, and shortly after they were joined by Winith. All seven faeries were exhausted, and all of them wanted nothing more than to go home.
“I don’t think I will going back in there for a while,” Fayeroh commented, shivering.
“Me neither,” Winith agreed, examining her tail. “Those narrow tunnels gave my scales some cuts.”
“Thanks for helping our friend,” Listanie told her, and Winith shrugged.
“I didn’t want to just leave her there,” she said, and Eerine smiled.
“We should all meet up here again sometime,” she suggested.
“That would be great,” Winith replied. Eerine nodded, but then turned around as she felt a soft tapping on her shoulder. Victane stood behind her, her eyes cast upon the ground.
“Do you think I could join you?” she asked timidly, and Eerine stared at her for a moment before she let out an amused breath.
“You are part of ‘we’, so yes, you can come, too,” she said, and Victane smiled for the first time since Fayeroh had encountered her.
Winith soon took off, since she had to loop through the woods before getting back to the stream that would take her home, and Victane went with her, claiming she lived that way, anyways. The remaining five faeries then headed back towards the front of the cave, silent except for the sound of their feet crunching dead leaves as they walked. It had been a tiring day, and each one longed for a warm house and a soft bed. They thought about what had happened and who they had met, and they remained in this quiet reflection until they reached the point of separation and said their goodbyes, all looking once more at the nearby cave, knowing that their adventures would be a little less exciting for a while.