The Trial of Her Mind: Part Eight
"NO!" I retorted.
Beck slapped a hand to her forehead. "Crud!" she groaned. "I forgot about the Diamond Orb! It's holding all of your powers, but I totally forgot to smash it before I came here... "
"Oh, so first you help both sides, and then you forget to DESTROY THE THING THAT WOULD HELP OUR SIDE WIN?" Prism screeched. "What kind of person are you?!"
"Not to mention the fact that now we can't fight! We might as well just lock ourselves back in the cage!" Cora said irritably.
I healed myself greatly with my wand, even though the bubble gum spots on my hands could still be vaguely seen and my spine was hurting like mad. However, it was then that I realized how anxious I was. My adrenaline was still running high, but so was my angst.
"Try to surround her!" Beck called.
I didn't respond. The trust I had shared with her was shattered into pieces. I didn't know whether to summon a tornado upon her or cast a shield around her. Instead of doing either, I cast her a suspicious glance.
Instead of crawling into a little corner in my indecisiveness, I whipped up a strong gale to fuel the dying flames around the Darkest Faerie, and added a little fog in there to lessen her eyesight. "Actually, I say that Brynn and Hanso should stand back until she's a bit weaker," I argued, smoke from the fire stinging my eyes. "Because it looks like they won't be doing any real damage without magic."
"Hear, hear," Mom muttered, having picked up the Darkest Faerie's nail filer and was giving herself a pedicure.
There's really not much to say about what happened next. It was all pretty much just us hurling spell after spell at the Darkest Faerie, and the Darkest Faerie hurling spell after spell at us, except for if you count when I set Brynn and Hanso free from the Immobilization curse and they helped out. I had ashes all over my face, and though I tried to wipe it off with my sleeve, my face just looked as if I had tried to eat a powder puff; my hair smelled a little burnt from being too close to Beck when she was spurting fire everywhere; my energy was being slowly drained from all the magic I was using. I wished I was back in my mind, where I could tirelessly blast spells of all different elements.
Finally, the Darkest Faerie sent a particularly bad hex at us, and Beck and I both put up the strongest shield we could. As we struggled to keep it up, the enemy groaned in anger. "How long will you two stand?" she grumped. "Well, I think I know what to do... " She wrapped her scarlet fingernails around the Bead. "Finish these two!" she cried intensely.
Suddenly, it began to make a soft humming noise and shake violently. The Darkest Faerie rose into the air without the use of her wings (clearly the work of the choker). She looked down upon us with her blood-red eyes, a mad glint set in them. With an insane grin, she spread out her hands to end us. "You were a fool to challenge me!" she screeched.
"Nice knowing you," Beck mumbled.
I held up my index finger to indicate that she should wait a second. I wanted to see if my plan had worked. "Just watch."
A deep eggplant light filled the chamber. It took me a brief moment to realize that it wasn't coming from her palms; instead, it was emitting from the glittering stone around her neck. Nothing could be seen for a few seconds, especially when the dark purple turned into the darkest black I had ever seen. And all the while, the Darkest Faerie's outraged "What?! No! This can't be happening!! NOOO!" rang throughout the air.
Yup. It did.
The light retracted, and I could finally make out my surroundings. Brynn was standing with her sword held high, clearly having been about to swing. Hanso was crouched down, covering himself with the shield. All the prisoners seemed to be clutching each other in fear.
There was a silence before Beck broke it. "Oh my gosh... Dira, come look... " She burst into a fit of laughter, supporting herself on the altar.
I wiped the sweat off my face and ran over to where she was standing. My eyes immediately widened. "Wow," I said simply.
The Darkest Faerie was only half the size of my hand, and was currently running around in circles around the Bead, which must have fallen off when she shrank. "How could this happen to me?!" she yelled in a high-pitched, squeaky voice. "It was all going so well." She looked up at us with her tiny little eyes. "You! You did this! Wait until I get my hands on you!" She came over to my shoe and kicked it with all her might, but immediately clutched her foot in pain.
"Yeah, that has a steel toe, you little twerp," I said, covering my mouth with my hand so she wouldn't see my amused grin. I rushed over to my belt, which I had thrown off in the heat of the battle, and reached into the bag with all the bombs. My first intent was to toss a very smelly explosive on her, but when my hands instead touched something cool and plastic, I had a much different idea.
I pulled out the water bottle and grinned. "Beck, bring your 'Mistress' over here," I half-ordered, half-giggled. "I have a plan for our little friend."
The fire faerie picked the Darkest Faerie up under the arms, which she only had to use two fingers to do, and brought her to me. At the sight of the bottle, she began to laugh even harder. The Darkest Faerie, however, began to holler in her shrill tone: "Don't you dare put me in there!"
Beck was only a step away from me when she had a horrified look on her face and immediately shook her hand. "Ow!"
"What?" I asked.
"She... she bit me!" Beck gasped.
The prisoners sprinted over to us to see the villain's punishment, and it appeared that Brynn and Hanso couldn't resist, either. They all stood watching in a little circle, chortling humorously (Fyora was chuckling the hardest of us all). Hanso took out his lock-pick and poked multiple air holes in the bottle, his eyes crinkling with laughter. I unscrewed the cap and nodded. Beck dropped the Darkest Faerie inside, who landed on her bum and began yelling even more. I tightened the cap on again and held the bottle up to eye level.
She walked to pound on the walls of her plastic prison. "Let me out this instant, you fiend, you monster, you twit!" She shot a hateful glance at Beck. "How could you turn your back on me? She was never supposed to pass the trial of her mind!"
Beck shrugged. "I felt as if I had picked the wrong side enough times."
I shook the bottle and she fell once more on her bottom. "Yeah, because my side PWNS," I said. I gave the bottle to Prism, who, after thanking Brynn from cutting his chains, clutched it quite evilly and started making weird faces at our criminal.
Mom clapped me on the shoulder with a smile. "Well," she declared, heading for the door, "Let's go home."
"Wait!" Terri called, planted to the spot. "I'm still confused. What about the whole card thing?"
Cora nudged her in the ribs lightly. "Catch on, will you?" she laughed, "The war was the whole conflict between Dira and the Darkest Faerie. The unlikely ally was Beck--" Here she shot a cold glare at the fire faerie, who rolled her eyes, "--And the destruction bit was the Darkest Faerie's downfall. Get it?"
She shrugged. "I guess. I don't know. After being so nervous, I'm not sure what to do anymore. Now, Dira, hold still so I can wipe that face paint off. The DF was right on one thing; you look like a noob."
After getting out of the cave (which was quite a feat, considering that everyone kept asking if we were going the right way), we made a quick run to an abandoned cottage near the Haunted Woods, which Beck revealed to be the Darkest Faerie's lair. It was one of the scariest things I had ever seen. There was a crystal ball in the center of the one-room house, a cauldron in the corner, and multiple shelves full of rather disgusting ingredients (Pickled Niptor Eye, anyone?). Finally, we stumbled across a huge, crystalline orb that glittered in the candlelight.
Before anyone else could offer, I immediately stepped forward. "May I have the honor?"
Fyora looked at me with an odd expression, and I was sure she was going to refuse. Instead, she grinned, gestured to the ball, and said, "Go for it."
I grasped the Diamond Orb with both hands, staring into its reflective surface. And I hurled it at the floor with all the strength I could muster.
It shattered into what seemed like a billion pieces of glass, and different coloured tendrils of smoke poured out. The purple went to Cora, the yellow went to Terri, and so on. A rainbow smoke trail flew out the window and sank into the soil.
You may find this strange, but once I saw the grateful looks on everyone's faces, all I could think was, Finally. I did something the right way, for once.
We had a conversation at the cottage that explained a lot to me, so I'll share it with you, just so I can clear things up.
1. Beck ran into Susan on the way to the Secret Cavern, and after a brief explanation, got my wand for me.
2. Even Faerieland's magic was leeched away by the Diamond Orb.
3. Since the Bead chooses its owner, and the Darkest Faerie certainly wasn't chosen, it caused her to shrink. When I gave up the Bead, I had been hoping it would backfire on her.
4. Mom had a water bottle for her lunch, but misplaced it in her personal bag of bombs.
5. My mind was kind of like a forest because it was in the 'imagination' corner of my brain, and I once wrote a poem about a woodland with an upstream river for English class.
6. My mom started crying when I 'died' because, during that war seventeen or eighteen years ago, a couple of the soldiers had the same spell performed on them, and not all made it.
As for how the Darkest Faerie became flesh again, it is a rather lengthy explanation compared to the others. You see, when the faeries became stone, it affected her as well; however, it was sort of a counter-spell, so instead of remaining granite, she became a regular faerie again. She put a decoy in her place, and she was able to escape into hiding. She was still very powerful, which is why she was able to get into and sent me into my mind.
Alright, do you think we can continue now? Because this is around the second or third time you've asked for something to be clarified.
Don't you just love happy endings?
After a while, everything went back to normal. Faerieland returned to its regular, beautiful self. Fyora decided to turn the Darkest Faerie back into what she should always be – a stone statue; but only after, of course, putting her on display at the Hidden Tower.
"Geez, that's a bit harsh, don't you think?" I said, examining the bottle with the agitated faerie in it.
"A BIT?!" the Darkest Faerie screeched, "This is a more cruel punishment than anything I could have come up with! Hey, little kid in the blue, didn't you read the sign, you oaf? NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY."
Fyora grinned, and her eyes shone with mischief. "She had it coming," she answered honestly. Who knew Fyora had a dark side to her?
Brynn got to keep that dagger that she never used. Even though she claimed that it seemed to emanate more power than her sword, I think she just thought it was shiny. Also, Hanso happened to get a hold of the most expensive item at the Hidden Tower, and something told me that the Faerie Queen had something to do with it. Last time I saw him... well, let's just say that his fingers were a little too close to where my pockets were.
Word got around of the adventure, and soon enough, I had to work almost the whole day to help my mom at the shop. You'd never believe how full it was! Since Terri didn't get the job at the Furniture Store, she applied for part-time at our shop. It was just us three faeries against basically a humongous line of customers. Cora laughed every time she had to pass the windows and mouthed 'I feel sorry for you' when she caught our gaze.
Believe it or not, Beck and I became friends. There are some things that you just can't do without growing close. And saving the world from the clutches of Neopia's greatest villain is certainly one of them. No matter how cliché that particular sentence is.
Now, you may be wondering how I did defeat the Darkest Faerie in the first place.
Well, to keep it short and sweet, I'm not ordinary. I'm extraordinary.
...Or weird. But in my opinion, they're pretty much the same thing.