Clues in the Hidden Tower: Sparkles's Mystery - Part Five
"Are they dead?" Brynn wondered. Sparkles didn't know what to say. Instead of answering, Sparkles just stared at the sleeping faeries on the floor. As if they knew Hanso was suspecting them, Illene and Saphrine had slipped into a familiar slumber. And the only clue in their tower home was a trail of purple dust that was spread around Saphrine, as if it was trying to trap her in a ring of dust.
"This means they couldn't have done it," Sparkles suggested, now glad that her new faerie friends were officially innocent.
"Yeah, but who else could have done it?" Brynn asked Sparkles. "Who would have a motive to strike these faeries?"
Sparkles shrugged her shoulders. "It must be someone we forgot," she replied. But after a brief moment of thinking, Sparkles asked Brynn, "Could it have been Mike?"
"Maybe," said Brynn, "but it could have also been Oscar."
"Oscar? Who's Oscar?" asked Sparkles.
"Oscar was a baker at Faerie Foods," Brynn explained. "He used to make un-believable cakes, cookies and pastries. But like Mike, Oscar was also captured and it was up to us to save them from a horrible wraith. Luckily he was saved, but like the others Oscar had decided to leave Faerieland for good. Why he would he here is still a mystery to me."
"Perhaps he felt that Faerieland was his home," Sparkles suggested. "Do you know where he lives?"
"He lives in the nearby woods for some reason," said Brynn. "Every time I see him, he just shivers a little and runs away. Can you believe it?"
Yeah, Sparkles thought. The pink Bruce felt that Oscar's behaviour towards Brynn was exactly like Mike's behaviour towards her and Scary. She was quite surprised that Oscar was shivering when he saw Brynn. Was he reminded by the horrors he saw whenever he sees Brynn, the hero who saved his life? To Sparkles, all boys were weird.
"Anyways I guess we can go now," Brynn sighed. "There's nothing here except dust."
"But this dust is a clue," Sparkles pointed out. "Besides, isn't this the same dust that struck the other faeries? This means that we have to get into the Hidden Tower! Our only hope to solve this mystery once and for all lies there."
Brynn nodded in agreement, and the two decided to leave the tower. Both girls were secretly pleased that Illene and Saphrine were cleared as suspects, even though Mike and Oscar were slowly becoming suspicious. Once they left the tower, Sparkles took a deep breath in. She felt more relaxed after taking in the cool crisp air.
"Finally," Hanso groaned. "I thought you two would never come out. So did you find anything good?"
"The only things we found were two sleeping faeries and a trail of dust," Brynn explained. "This means that Illene and Saphrine are cleared as suspects."
"They were suspects?" Scary wondered. Sparkles nodded.
"We felt it was pretty fishy for them to come to the Hidden Tower," Sparkles explained. "But what I would like to know now is what Mike and Oscar are really doing in Faerieland."
Hanso stopped what he was going to say to think. "You know, I never really understood why those two had decided to stay in Faerieland when the others all fled for good."
"It could be because they still live and work here," Scary suggested, not caring about either of them.
"But Oscar had left his job at Faerie Foods when Faerieland crashed," said Brynn. "And Mike had also left his job too. Besides, I saw Oscar by the woods."
"That's where Scary and I saw Mike!" Sparkles gasped. "He came to my rescue when the dust shower first came to Faerie City."
"You mean the one that just happened?" asked Hanso.
Sparkles shook her head. "It happened when we first arrived to Faerie City. We were trying to find the Hidden Tower, but then the shower came and Mike sprang out of no where and brought an umbrella. I guess he had seen the dust before."
"That's odd," Brynn said as she rubbed her chin. "How could Mike know about the dust shower? Unless...."
"Unless he flew into the sky and managed to sprinkle the dust from the clouds," Scary added.
"Yeah I doubt it," said Hanso. "Whoever had done it must be a faerie."
"But all of the faeries are asleep," Brynn pointed out. "It could have been anybody that could fly." Everyone nodded in agreement. Whoever had done it must have wings, but who could have done it? Before feeling too anxious, Sparkles decided to bring up the Hidden Tower topic.
"So should we try again tomorrow?" asked Sparkles.
"We can try again tomorrow," said Brynn. "I think we should meet here again tomorrow morning. Maybe we can also find some new clues."
"And that amulet," Hanso added, hoping that they could clear his innocence among the faeries. Sparkles nodded, and the group went off in their own ways for the day.
"Are you sure you know where the Hidden Tower is?" Scary moaned.
"You keep walking around in circles and it's getting really creepy."
"I know it's here," Hanso insisted as he felt the area in front of him.
So far he felt nothing. Sparkles and Scary were getting worried. What if Hanso couldn't find the Hidden Tower?
"I'm sure we'll find it," Hanso huffed. "We just have to keep looking, yeah keep looking."
"You can keep looking all you want," Scary insisted, "but I'm going to... ouch! Not again!" The purple Bruce stopped walking to rub a sore spot on her head. "This is the second time this happened! Faerieland really needs some caution signs hanging around here."
"Hey, it's the Hidden Tower!" Sparkles exclaimed as she felt the invisible stone wall she was so grateful to feel. "Thanks for finding it again, Scary." Scary just grumbled to herself and continued to rub her head.
"Come on," Hanso insisted, "we're wasting time." As if the fate of Neopia was weighting on him once again, Hanso threw the grappling hook with ease and aimed it at the tower window with success. Sparkles looked up at the rope and shivered.
"Are you sure it's safe?" Sparkles wondered. "Will there be any more Faerie Fog?"
"Could be," Hanso shrugged. "Now hurry up. We're wasting valuable time."
"Somebody is a little pushy today," Scary hummed. Hanso's face went as red as a cheery tomato.
"I just want to climb," he admitted. "I figured that since you're hurt that maybe I could take you're place. I would like to visit the tower again and see what it's like-"
"The rope broke, Hanso," Sparkles interrupted. Hanso stopped his rambling to check out what Sparkles was talking about. When Brynn saw the cut rope, she shook her head.
"When did this happen?" Brynn asked.
"Probably during my rambling," Hanso said, trying not to blush while he spoke. "Whatever."
"I bet this pretty sword is to blame," Sparkles said as she pointed to the ornate sword that was deep inside the Hidden Tower's stone wall.
Brynn inspected it closely. "This is a Faerie Blade," she gasped. "This is a very rare weapon. It can only be found in the Hidden Tower. But what I don't understand is where the other Faerie Blade is." Everyone gasped at the mention of the Hidden Tower. Whoever had done it, according to Sparkles's mind, could still be around.
"My head is still hurting, people!" Scary groaned. "I'm so sore I think I hear rumbling."
Sparkles knelt to the ground and pressed her ear. "I can hear rumbling too," she declared. But then the rumbling got louder and it began to turn into an earthquake.
"Earthquake!" Hanso exclaimed. "Abandon mission! I repeat: abandon mission!" Not remembering the Bruces, Hanso quickly took Brynn's wrist and ran towards the nearby woods. Scary was furious.
"How dare he ditch us for his friend!" Scary shouted to Sparkles, but Sparkles was in a world in her own.
What's going on? Sparkles thought. She tried hard to stand still, but the incredible force of the quake quickly knocked her down. Knowing she could do nothing else, Sparkles quickly lay down on the ground and waited for the quake to stop. To her amazement, she felt something else.
"What on earth are you doing?" Scary wondered as she held her sore spot. "We have no time to play games! We have to run!" But Sparkles refused to move. As she laid on the ground, Sparkles felt a new force coming from beneath her. This force didn't feel like it was rocking Faerieland; but instead, it was trying to lift Faerieland into the air. But of course, Sparkles thought she was imaging this. Or was she?
When the quake had finally ended, Faerieland had looked ten times worse than it had when Sparkles first arrived. The shops were now overflowing with mismatched items that flew out of the windows and are now on the city streets. All of the trees were crooked and uprooted.
"What was that?" Scary wondered.
"I think it was a sign," Sparkles replied.
To be continued....