Marina And The Healing Springs
The water faerie waved her hand and chanted, conjuring a glimmering spell that fell upon the exhausted Wocky that stood before her.
As the soft blue light vanished, the faerie realised with a frown that the Wocky's physical condition hadn't changed much at all. The Wocky's crimson fur almost seemed dimmer than before, even.
Sighing, Marina began to speak. "You've gained three hit points. I'm sorry, but that's the best I can do."
The Wocky absentmindedly nodded and shuffled away from the misty spring on a cobbled path. The faerie bit her lip.
Today had been a busy day as always for the guardian of the healing springs. She had seen the usual, the diseased, the wounded, the decrepit pets that wandered out of Fyora knows where. All of them she had tried to cure, but of course, only so many could be fully done so. Her magic was strong, but not strong enough.
Even before Faerieland's fall, the problem was the same. She just simply wasn't strong enough to heal everyone. She was weak.
Laced with fatigue herself, the faerie slid further down into the pool of enchanted water. She stared at the darkening sky, the cacophony of colours blending into a blaze of red, purple and blue.
And slowly but surely, she began to drift into slumber, and dream.
The young water faerie's eyes lit up at the sight of the towering trees and fields of flowers. There she was, a water faerie in an enchanted water-filled carriage being flown down to Neopia's depths by a Uni for the very first time in her life. The thought filled her with uncontainable glee.
Her mother chuckled. "We've only just arrived in Meridell, Marina."
The faerie grinned in the direction of her guardian. "But it's all so different! There are no clouds and everything here."
The older faerie nodded. "Yes, but there are things that are the same. Like pools of water, for instance."
Marina smiled even harder at the mention of water. "Wow...! Do Neopets swim in them too?"
"Yes, of course. Unlike you and me, though, most pets cannot live in them."
Just before Marina could display even more curiosity, the carriage skidded to a stop on the grassy ground. The two passengers were almost hurled to the right from the sudden stop.
A booming voice called out from outside. "Lady Silvana, Lady Marina, we've arrived at Illusen's Glade!"
Silvana turned to her daughter. "Well, it's time to leave now. Marina, please try not to fall out."
The faerie opened the door of the carriage, but the pool didn't pour out. With the grace only a water faerie could exhibit, she weaved the water and led it out of the carriage, carrying both of the faeries outside in its pull.
Silvana turned to the large yellow Uni that had acted as their steed. "Thank you for doing this, Raith."
He bowed. "It's a pleasure serving you two, Lady Silvana."
Struggling to keep herself from floating upside down in the enchanted water, Marina's voice suddenly shot out. "I see Lady Illusen!"
As if on cue, the earth faerie slid out of the sea of trees in front of the carriage.
She smiled at the sight of the trio. "Welcome, all of you. Since you're here, Silvana, I assume you require some ingredients as always?"
Silvana returned the gesture. "Yes. I require some aquaberries for a healing potion of mine. Would you happen to have some stored?"
"As a matter of fact, I do. Please, feel free to come into the glade while I obtain them."
All three gladly accepted the offer, and together they swam and walked into the shady sea of trees that the earth faerie called home.
Marina flopped around in the pull of the water. "You've come here a lot, Mother?"
The older faerie nodded. "Yes."
The young faerie tilted her head. "For your potions, right?"
Marina frowned. "Then why is it so important just for a bunch of potions?"
Silvana put on a solemn smile. "Because; they can help others."
Marina tilted her head even more. "But a lot of potions can help. A lot of the faeries don't go to all the places you go just for potions."
Silvana paused, then began to speak again. "Marina, do you know how you bump into things while swimming sometimes? And how it makes you feel hurt?"
The faerie nodded. "Yeah, it makes my skin feel all bad."
"Now, imagine that all the times you've felt that come rushing at you at once."
She shuddered. "That's scary."
The older faerie nodded. "You see Marina, my potions can get rid of those feelings."
Marina gasped. "Really?"
"Yes. This is why I go through all the trouble, you see."
Silvana smiled. "It is."
Immediately though, it shifted into a frown. "Sadly though, there are things that exist that potions alone cannot cure."
Confusion flowed into Marina's mind. "Really?"
"Unfortunately, yes. Things like diseases can only be cured using medicine and spells."
The young faerie tilted her head again what felt like the millionth time to her. "Diseases?"
"Yes, child. Horrible ailments that affect neopets which leave them weak and bedridden."
Marina fiddled with her fingers. "That sounds really, really bad."
Raith chirped into the conversation. "Your mother cured me of a really nasty one once with a spell. I was unfathomably grateful."
After some pondering, Marina looked to her mother. "What happens to pets that don't get cured for a while?"
Silvana was silent for a bit. But she slowly answered. "If they become weak enough, they, well... They die, Marina."
Marina sported a worried expression. "Die?"
"They leave the physical plane, for the most part gone for good."
The young faerie shrank back. "That sounds really, really, really bad."
Silvana nodded. "I agree. That's why we have to do everything we can to help, to prevent all these horrible things from happening."
Marina looked down through the transparent water. The dirt, grass and flowers seemed ethereal through the bubble.
"Can I come with you when you go out for stuff more after this then? I think I want to help."
Her mother grinned. "Of course, Marina."
The young faerie smiled in unison.
Marina nearly jumped out of the pool she was sleeping in, the sudden voice startling her from reminiscing. Even without glancing at the sky, she could already tell that it was past midnight.
As she turned toward the source of the voice, she found herself face-to-face with a young faerie Buzz.
"Ah, I'm so sorry to keep you waiting. Do you require healing?"
The Buzz nodded. "I bumped into a tree, and my head kinda hurts."
The faerie nodded, now only noticing the light red tint of his head. "I see. Please, stay still for a moment."
The Buzz did as he was told, and the faerie began to recite. Slowly, glowing blue light began appearing on the Buzz's forehead, wrapping it in azure.
As the faerie finished chanting, the glow faded, and revealed that nothing much had seemed to change for the Buzz. It was still the same lightly bruised forehead.
Marina slowly clenched her fist.
"I... I'm sorry, you've gained 3 hit points. That's... the best I can do."
The Buzz stared at the water faerie. "You were talking in your sleep a little while ago."
The Buzz seemed solemn. "You said, 'I'm sorry, Mother.' Did something happen with your mom?"
Marina gasped. Partly in embarrassment from talking in her sleep, and partly in concern that her recent feelings of self-loathing were going to be unleashed onto a child who she couldn't even fully heal.
"N-No, nothing happened. I'm sorry you had to listen to that."
The Buzz touched his forehead, and smiled. "My head feels a lot better now. Thank you."
The faerie looked down. "You're not fully healed though. I'm sorry."
The Buzz seemed confused. "Does it really matter if I'm fully healed for now?"
Marina looked up, surprised. "I... well, doesn't it still hurt? I'm... weak. I'm sorry I wasn't able to heal you much."
A smile started to form on the young pet's face. "Well, I don't think you're weak. I think it's really, really great that you're even trying to heal everyone who comes here. Whether or not you manage to cure someone, you're still trying to help, right?"
The faerie was shocked.
"I... still, though, I just-"
The Buzz interrupted. "You're really amazing. I think that you shouldn't feel down on yourself just because of something like that."
Marina blinked, trying to comprehend what he was saying to her.
"...Thank you. Really."
He smiled. "You're welcome. I think I've got to go now though, so, goodbye!"
With those words, he flew off into the dark sky, leaving the faerie to her thoughts.
Marina held her hand to her chest and glanced at the shining stars.
"Mother, maybe, just maybe... I'm not as bad as I thought."
And with that, her resolve burned anew.