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The Nightmare


by _brainchild_

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Late one morning, when Sellescha the Pastel Kacheek woke up after a night of much-needed rest, she soon realized that something was amiss. Instead of the usual sunny rays beaming through her window, she was greeted by a cloudy cover of gloom. Also, this apprentice of magic sensed a strange presence throughout her Neohome, and it wasn’t a friendly one. What she sensed was dark magic.

     She immediately tried to find her sister, Maldice the Stealthy Draik, to ask her if she knew more about the surrounding spell. Maldice was a sorceress who was especially well-versed in magic, particularly dark magic, so she would definitely be able to identify a cause. However, much to Sellescha’s chagrin, Maldice was not awake. It wasn’t like Maldice to sleep in. Worried, Sellescha knocked on the door to Maldice’s room. When no one answered, she anxiously opened the door and saw her sister asleep on the bed.

     “Maldice, wake up. There’s something wrong.” Unfortunately, there was no sign of awakening from the Draik.

     “Maldice, wake up!” shouted Sellescha worriedly.

     Still no response.

     “WAKE UP!!!” yelled Sellescha in a shrill voice.

     Yet Maldice remained in a deep slumber that was by no means peaceful. She started to writhe in her bed with her eyes squeezed shut, muttering mostly unintelligible words. “The Betrayer... Spare me...” was all that Sellescha could make out.

     Sellescha began to panic, realizing that her sister was having a never-ending nightmare due to the dark magic curse which was emanating throughout the house. Not knowing who “The Betrayer” was, she had no idea who was responsible, or why they would want to curse her sister into eternal sleep to begin with. However, Sellescha wasn’t focused on revenge. Her first priority was to break the curse, but how would she do that?! Lamenting that Maldice’s extensive knowledge of dark magic would have been very helpful, Sellescha knew she had to find a solution without Maldice’s help.

     Just then, Sellescha’s sister, Lerlifia the Chocolate Draik, nonchalantly strolled into Maldice’s room. “Well, SOMEONE is sleeping in ridiculously late today... Pathetic! Wake up, you lazy---” Then Lerli noticed that Maldice was tossing and turning while mumbling in her sleep. “What’s wrong with YOU?!” sneered Lerli with a snarky expression on her face.

     “Lerli, be nice!” exclaimed Sellescha. “Maldice has been cursed, and we have to figure out how to help her somehow.”

     “Cursed? Well, good luck helping her without her extensive knowledge of magic and curses.” Then Lerli shrugged.

     Sellescha scowled. “Your aloofness disgusts me!” she snapped. “We have to help Maldice, or she’ll never wake up. But how?”

     Hearing the commotion, another one of Sellescha’s sisters, Walda the Baby Kacheek, walked into Maldice’s room to see what was up. “Why is Maldice still sleeping?!” she asked. Then Walda nudged Maldice. “Wake up! It’s almost lunch time.”

     Sellescha sighed. “Walda, she’s been cursed. We have to figure out how to break the spell somehow.”

     “Cursed?! Who would do THAT?!” scowled Walda. “Whoever it is, I’ll pummel them in the Battledome!”

     “Revenge!” snickered Lerli.

     “Lerli, this isn’t funny!” scolded Sellescha, exasperated.

     Then Walda had an idea. “I’m no expert on magic by ANY MEANS, since I’m just a kid, but is it possible to enter Maldice’s nightmare to break the curse? I saw someone entering a nightmare on Neovision.”

     Sellescha paused. “Wow, you’re right! I could do that. Although my wand isn’t great, Maldice’s wand is extremely powerful. I could use her wand to create a portal and enter her nightmare.”

     “Sounds like a plan!” Walda grabbed Maldice’s wand off of her desk and handed it to Sellescha.

     “Okay, but you’re coming with me, since you’re a Battledome pet! I’ll be surprised if we DON’T encounter some scary enemy...”

     “Deal! I’ll make whoever did this REGRET IT!”

     Thus, Sellescha created the portal, and Walda jumped in. Before Sellescha followed her, she turned to Lerli and told her, “Don’t follow us unless you intend to HELP instead of being rude and indifferent.”

     “Nah, I’m going to go watch Neovision.” Lerli walked downstairs with no care in Neopia, much to Sellescha’s disgust. However, her sister’s lack of empathy was the last thing to worry about at the moment---Sellescha had Maldice to save. Thus, Sellescha took a deep breath and leapt into the portal.

     ---

     When Sellescha reached the other side of the portal, she found Walda waiting for her. “Let’s go!” she exclaimed.

     Sellescha gazed at her surroundings. She and Walda had arrived in an empty room full of blue and red haze. There was a single door ahead of them.”Walda,” began Sellescha, “do you know anything about what could possibly be in store for us? I sure don’t.”

     “Yup! I saw something similar to this on Neovision. Past that door, there should be three puzzle rooms which will test my Battledome stats and intelligence. Once I get through them, there will be an enemy at the end, whom I will promptly annihilate. Not sorry at all!” She grinned. “Then the curse will be broken.”

     “Okay... I should stay back and wait here at the entrance, since I have no significant stats whatsoever. I’d just be a liability, with you trying to protect me from whoever this scary creature is.”

     “Okay. I’m off!” Thus, Walda rushed through the door ahead of her.

     ---

     Walda shut the door behind her and was greeted with the first puzzle, which tested her endurance and agility. The objective was to run a long distance in a short amount of time and reach the next door before time was up, without tiring out. There was an hourglass in front of her, which, once flipped, would start the clock. If she ran out of time, the next door would close, and she’d have to go back and try again.

     She flipped the hourglass and started sprinting. Due to her ultimate agility, reaching the door in time wasn’t much of a challenge. She stopped to catch her breath before moving on to the next puzzle, which awaited her in the room before her.

     The next objective tested her strength and intelligence. Standing before her was a maze, with its path obscured by heavy boulders. She had to push the boulders out of the way in an arrangement which would render the maze completable. Often, boulders had to be strategically placed atop switches to open doors which were otherwise obstacles. If she backed one of the boulders into a corner by mistake, she would have a hard time getting it back to where it needed to be. Fortunately, she didn’t make any errors, and completed the puzzle with ease, though it was time-consuming. After reaching the next room, she caught her breath again, then took on the final puzzle.

     The last task tested her endurance, defence, and agility. She had to run through a long corridor while being continuously assaulted by flying arrows which she couldn’t block. She had to make it through quickly, and have high endurance and defence stats, to get to the end without running out of health first and collapsing on the floor. Fortunately, she was able to do this, and she entered the final room.

     She drank a Mystical Tea Caddy which she had brought with her to restore her health before confronting the much-anticipated enemy. “HEY, COWARD!!!” she yelled angrily. “No one gets away with cursing MY SISTER!!! SHOW YOUR PATHETIC SELF!!!”

     An evil cackle resounded throughout the room, and a puff of red smoke cleared to reveal the Darkest Faerie. “YOU!!!” shouted Walda. “I remember you! You caused ABSOLUTE CHAOS during the Wraith Resurgence, and I was one of many courageous Neopians who put you in your place! I wrecked you when you were disguised as Kaia!”

     “You brat...” sneered the Darkest Faerie. “I won’t lose to you again. I have trained extensively since my defeat. I don’t feel any compulsion to keep losing to the same opponent... I will obliterate you!”

     “Dream on!” scowled Walda. Then she cringed because she realized that she had accidentally made an insensitive pun. With that, the battle started.

     While the Darkest Faerie had become stronger, Walda had the advantage of knowledge: She knew exactly which weapons the Darkest Faerie was carrying, since they were all the same ones as last time. Thus, she knew not to attack with darkness or fire icons, and avoid physical icons when possible, since the Darkest Faerie’s Pulsing Ruby Ring would reflect 80 percent of the damage back at Walda. She decided on her Sword of Malum, which dealt a combination of water and air icons against this specific opponent, and her Sword of Tawre, which dealt water icons and minimal physical icons. Walda knew that the Darkest Faerie didn’t have much power to block this particular combination.

     The Darkest Faerie recoiled in pain while failing to hit Walda with her infamously unreliable Focus of Imminent Destruction. Furthermore, the Darkest Faerie’s Leaf Shield would not come even close to covering the amount of damage Walda had inflicted. This exchange continued for a few more rounds before the Darkest Faerie began to show visible signs of exhaustion. She struggled to catch her breath, but smirked because she had an ace in the hole---or so she thought.

     Fortunately, Walda had anticipated her move. Walda knew that the Darkest Faerie intended to use her Wand of the Dark Faerie to heal herself every turn and stall Walda until she ran out of health. However, Walda knew what to do. She used her Lens Flare and Warlock’s Rage faerie abilities to prevent the Darkest Faerie from using any weapons, then finished her off while she was dazzled. With a groan, the Darkest Faerie collapsed onto the ground.

     Walda smirked. “Get lost!” she sneered. “Why did you curse my sister, anyway?”

     Exhausted, the Darkest Faerie sighed. “She... for some odd reason... uses dark magic to do good things... She interferes with my plans... I wanted to keep her at bay...”

     “Good always prevails!” grinned Walda. “Stop being an evil monster, and maybe you won’t have such horrible ‘luck!’ Never mind---luck has nothing to do with it. If you commit crimes, someone is bound to get fed up and put you in your place eventually!”

     The Darkest Faerie groaned. “You... I won’t forget... Ever...” Then she fell unconscious.

     With that, the blue and red haze disappeared, indicating that the curse was broken, much to Walda’s relief. Then she noticed a magical orb up ahead. She touched it to teleport herself back to the entrance, as she had seen on Neovision.

     She reappeared in front of Sellescha. “You did it!” she exclaimed with a smile. “The haze is gone... That means the curse is broken! I’m so proud of you!” She gave Walda a big hug. “Now, let’s get out of this literal nightmare so Maldice can wake up!” With that, the two jumped back into the portal to return to their Neohome.

     ---

     “I think she’s waking up,” commented Lerli.

     Sure enough, Maldice opened her eyes and sat up. She turned to Walda and told her, “Walda, I had the most interesting dream about you last night. I dreamed that you were battling the Darkest Faerie! Say, what time is it?”

     “I don’t know,” answered Walda. “Well past morning, that’s for sure!”

     Sellescha glanced at the clock. “It’s 3 pm by now,” she answered.

     “Really?!” replied Maldice. “How in Neopia did I sleep in THAT LATE?! Anyway, I’m hungry. I’m going to go make myself some breakfast---no, a late lunch by now!” Thus, she walked downstairs with no sign of any negative effects from the nightmare.

     Sellescha and Walda both shrugged, surprised that Maldice did not realize that she had been cursed. “Should we tell her?” Sellescha asked Walda.

     “I don’t think there’s any need to,” answered Walda. “If we do, she’ll just worry about it happening again and doubt her ability to fight off evil.

     “But... What if the Darkest Faerie DOES try this again?!” asked Sellescha anxiously. “Even though that eerie presence is gone for now, what’s stopping the Darkest Faerie from re-casting the same curse?”

     “She can’t,” answered Walda, “I saw on Neovision that this particular curse only works once on each Neopet. Once someone has recovered, they can’t fall under the same curse again!”

     Sellescha breathed a sigh of relief.

     “Then don’t tell her,” agreed Lerli. “You don’t want to make her upset or nervous.”

     “Fine,” replied Sellescha. “As far as Maldice knows, this never happened.” Sellescha turned to Walda. “Please put Maldice’s wand back where you got it so she doesn’t get suspicious.”

     “Okay.” Walda put the wand back on Maldice’s desk.

     Sellescha smiled. “Walda, thank you so much for saving your sister. Without you, she’d still be trapped in that horrible nightmare.”

     “You’re welcome. It wouldn’t have been possible to save her without you, either, since you were the one that made the portal!”

     “Well, I’m glad we were both able to defeat that villain and save the day.”

     “Me, too. I’m hungry as well... Let’s join Maldice for a ‘late lunch,’ as she called it.”

     “Great idea. My stomach is growling!”

     The End.

 
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