Clues in the Hidden Tower: Sparkles's Mystery - Part Four
"You got the grappling hook, Sparkles?" asked Scary.
Sparkles nodded. "Check."
"How about the sack?"
"Lip Gloss?" Hanso smirked. "Why on earth would you need lip gloss?"
"In case there's a make-up emergency," Scary explained. She was putting on her black gloves while Sparkles adjusted her black sweater and hat. The Bruces were now ready to break into the Hidden Tower!
"Sparkles, swing the grappling hook," Scary instructed. Sparkles nodded and tried her best to swing the grappling hook as high as she could. But her throws weren't high enough to hit the invisible window.
"What are you doing?" a voice behind them asked. Sparkles and Scary gasped at two faeries and an orange Kougra they barely recognized.
"Saphrine!" Sparkles gasped as she quickly placed the grappling hook on the ground.
"Illene!" Scary gasped.
Hanso was also looking surprised. "Brynn? What are you doing here?"
"I heard you were still in Faerieland, so I decided to visit you." Brynn blushed as she explained her appearance to Hanso. But Scary and Sparkles were more interested by Saphrine's and Illene's appearance to notice.
"What are you two doing here?" Scary demanded.
"The same goes for you three," Illene pointed out. After noticing the sack on the ground, she asked Hanso, "Breaking in again, Hanso?"
"Again? When did he break in the first time?" Sparkles wondered. She was hoping Illene wasn't mistaking their mission.
"Well," Hanso stammered, "it was easy to... I don't know... take a few things when you were all under that spell. But I did give some of it back."
"Uh-huh," Saphrine scoffed. "And I really hope you gave us back that amulet, Hanso. We faeries are still mighty furious you took it."
"What amulet?" Hanso asked frantically.
"The Amulet of the Dark Faerie," said Saphrine in a superior voice. "The very amulet that the Dark faeries had made with their dark magic, and with the magical powers of their fellow minions. It's still missing Hanso, and we know you took it."
"I never stole that amulet," Hanso squeaked. Brynn and Sparkles were torn about the truth. Was Hanso really innocent? Scary, however, had already made up her mind.
"How dare you rob the Dark Faeries!" Scary exclaimed as she pointed at Hanso. "You could have robbed the Light Faeries, or those Mermaids, or even the Faerie Queen. But no. You had to strike the Dark Faeries; the best faeries in Neopia!"
Everyone fell silent for a moment. In her confused mind, Sparkles was trying to piece everything together. Personally, she felt that Hanso could have been at the Hidden Tower before. Why else was he so anxious about being here? He had told Sparkles and Scary that the only way to enter the tower was through an invisible window. Hanso had also told them to wear black sweaters with matching hats and gloves.
But another thought soon struck her mind. The mysterious dust shower that had happened struck the faeries right before the 'supposed to be' belated Faerie Festival. According to the facts she had been picking up, Sparkles had a really strong feeling that Hanso could be responsible for it. But why would a Neopian who had saved Faerieland want to put it to sleep? Sparkles had a theory: Because the Hidden Tower is loaded with expensive and rare artifacts, some of them of mass destruction. It made sense to her to have Hanso cast a spell on the faeries with the dust so he could loot it. But then again, he could be innocent.
And how about Mike? Sparkles found it a bit odd that Mike was still hanging around Faerieland, even though he was captured during the plot. Could he be seeking revenge on Faerieland? All of these different ideas swirled around Sparkles' mind. And as Saphrine and Illene walked away, Sparkles noticed how grumpy Hanso was. Brynn was still here, so she must have decided to help them.
"Stupid faeries," Hanso mumbled. "Accusing me of robbing them and taking their stupid necklace. And after everything I did for them! Seriously?"
"But Hanso," Brynn said softly, "you can trust me, right?" After Hanso nodded, Brynn said, "Then tell me this; did you really steal the Dark Faerie's Amulet?" Scary and Sparkles noticed how hard Hanso was blushing. He was a pink as faerie floss! But could he have been lying to Saphrine?
"Alright, I took it," Hanso admitted, "but I didn't keep it, okay? I actually felt bad for robbing those stone statues. So I decided to scale the Hidden Tower again and place the amulet back. What I don't understand is why that air-head of a faerie was accusing me of stealing it."
"Perhaps you placed the amulet in the wrong spot?" Sparkles suggested.
"I don't know where you placed it," Brynn convinced Hanso, "but what I do know is that all of our answers will be in the Hidden Tower. We just need to get in." Everybody nodded in agreement. They were originally going to break in to see if the sleeping dust was still there, but now they had to get in to find the missing amulet in order to prove Hanso's innocence. As if it was as light as a feather, Hanso threw the grappling hook as high as he could, and smiled when the hook had 'disappeared.'
"Who's going first?" Hanso asked. He turned to Scary and Sparkles, who were both shaking their heads.
"It's way too high to climb," Sparkles blurted out. Scary nodded in agreement.
"Oh, come on," Brynn insisted, "it not that high. Besides you're not just doing it for Hanso... you're also doing it for the faeries as well!"
"Fine, I'll do it," Sparkles sighed. "But only for the faeries!"
"Go Dark faeries!" Scary cheered.
"And Hanso?" Hanso asked meekly. Scary and Sparkles just stared at him.
"Okay, here we go," Sparkles huffed as she grabbed the rope with her hands. Knowing Scary couldn't wait for her forever, Sparkles quickly began pulling herself up the tower. She began very slowly, but soon found her pace with her climbing as she continued to pull herself up. Scary was right behind her, following her exact pace. To Sparkles's amazement, Scary was not screaming at her for being too slow or too fast. The two Bruces felt like they were victorious.
"I can't see! I can't see!" Sparkles screamed. Just when she was comfortable with the climb, Sparkles and Scary were struck by a thick pink fog that clung to them and the air around them.
"Retreat!" Brynn commanded, and the two Bruces quickly scaled down the tower, hoping to escape the fog. By the time they had reached the ground, the fog had faded away. Sparkles was shocked.
"What was that?" Sparkles gasped. "It just came out of no where and attacked us."
"I think it was Faerie Fog," said Hanso. "I remember seeing it in the Hidden Tower. It's a tough weapon to use because it only reacts to faerie magic."
"Faerie magic?" asked Sparkles. Then she asked Hanso, "Like Saphrine and Illene, right?"
Hanso nodded. "Yep. And I bet they were behind this. Why else would they come to the Hidden Tower?"
"But if they did do it, then why did they give us the directions to the Hidden Tower?" Sparkles wondered.
"This could have been a set-up," Scary suggested, but Sparkles wasn't sure if it was true. She secretly thought that someone else had done it.
"I say we pay them a visit," Brynn suggested. Hanso and Scary nodded, but Sparkles was still feeling uneasy. She felt bad about accusing her new faeries friends for sabotaging their break-in. But as long as Hanso suspected them, Sparkles knew it was worth one visit to see.
"Illene? Saphrine? Anyone home?" Sparkles tried to whisper, but her nerves were beginning to get the better of her. The group had just entered Illene and Saphrine's tower home after they found the spare key under the door mat, and they were now inspecting the tower for any signs of the two suspects. The two faeries were very tidy, but Sparkles was still feeling that something was out of place here.
"Let's check upstairs," Sparkles suggested. "I bet they're up there." With Brynn behind her, Sparkles walked up the tall staircase and into the top corridor. They had a choice of two doors: one closed and one that was ajar.
"Let's go to the second one," Brynn whispered. Sparkles nodded and followed Brynn inside. The room was, in fact, a bedroom. A bright yellow bedroom with lacy curtain to match the feminine theme. Sparkles went to the bookshelf and picked up a book.
"Ooh, Faerie Tales!" Sparkles exclaimed, but Brynn convinced Sparkles to put the book back and focus on their mission. Sparkles sighed and placed the book back on the shelf. After finding nothing, they decided to go to the other room. The other room was darker and it felt colder, too. From the looks of the furniture, it was also a bedroom. Suddenly Sparkles gasped.
"Illene!" she exclaimed. Saphrine!"
To be continued...