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Atop the Grey Cloud: Part Three


by kemppotatoe

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Princess Sankara of the Lost Desert sat on a regal bed with many fluffy pillows that probably cost a million Neopoints each. Gwendolyn stood, transfixed with horror, and stared at the princess.

      She remembered what Louie had said about this being a guest room. Well, when his cousin snuck in it wasn't occupied, but it was now!

      "Hello," Princess Sankara said, kindly.

      "I-I'm sorry, I'll just b-be going now…" Gwendolyn stuttered, reaching for the window ledge.

      Princess Sankara frowned. "Why? You obviously need something here. Why else would you be sneaking into the castle?"

      Gwendolyn gulped. "W-well…"

      "Really," Sankara said, smiling, "I don't care that you snuck in unless you plan on murdering me. What is it you need? Maybe I can help you,"

      "Well, you see," Gwendolyn said, "I-I'm looking for the Grey Cloud, and-"

      "You mean where the Grey Faerie lives?"

      "Yes. Apparently Faerieland is in some state of… inconvenience, and the Grey Faerie, as cynical as she is, has the power to fix it."

      "Oh," Sankara said, interestedly, "wow! I never knew she had so much power."

      "Neither did I," Gwendolyn went on, "but I was thinking I could, you know, consult King Skarl about it. I thought maybe he might know where it is."

      "I doubt it," Sankara said, laughing. "He's only interested in food. I've been here about a week and all he does is eat. See, Senator Barca sent me on a summer trip to go see all the lands. She says I need to see more places than just the desert. I've only been to Terror Mountain so far, but I think I can help you."

      "You can?"

      "Yes. I saw a mysteriously dark cloud amid the white ones atop the mountain. It could very well have been the Grey Cloud."

      "Oh, thank you!" Gwendolyn said with excitement, "Thank you so much!"

      "You're very welcome, air faerie," Sankara said, as Gwendolyn started to scramble out the window.

      "Oh, my name's Gwendolyn," and with that Gwendolyn ran from the castle, took off into the air, and headed for Terror Mountain.

      "Gwendolyn?" Sankara said to herself, "What kind of a faerie name is Gwendolyn?"

      ***

      Gwendolyn loved soaring above the ocean, her hair flying behind her, the wind tickling her face. She landed on a small cloud very close to Terror Mountain, and started to eat her Chokato Chips.

      "Maybe I should inform Ferinslé that I think I know where she is," Gwendolyn muttered to herself as she squeezed her necklace. She expected Rhey to take a little while to come and find her, but within five seconds he had flown up next to her.

      "That was fast," Gwendolyn said, awestruck, "did you come all the way from Faerieland?"

      Rhey scowled and mumbled, "No, I was pretty close by."

      "Why?" Gwendolyn inquired, suspiciously, "You weren't perhaps…following me, were you?"

      Rhey looked up quickly and gulped. "No," he said, "no, I haven't."

      Gwendolyn felt a surge of anger. "You're not very good at lying, Rhey. You have been following me, haven't you?"

      Rhey shook his head quickly. "No, no, no!"

      "Yes, you have! I saw a dark shape behind me, but I assumed it was just a traveling pet!"

      Rhey plopped down on the cloud. "I was ordered to follow you. Ferinslé and Fyora wanted to make sure-"

      "Queen Fyora," Gwendolyn corrected him hotly. "And why?"

      "They just wanted to make sure you were getting on okay. I can see you're too arrogant to suppose that you need to have some help! I was just doing my job, but if you don't want me to, I won't!"

      "Fine!" Gwendolyn retorted angrily, "Don't! I don't need you!"

      Rhey flew away and Gwendolyn threw a Chokato Chip after him. Then, she wished she hadn't, for she had never told him to tell Ferinslé about her discovery.

      With a heavy sigh, Gwendolyn packed up her things and flew the rest of the way to Terror Mountain.

      As she landed in the heavy snow of Happy Valley, Gwendolyn pulled on her red cloak. She looked into the sky, but saw nothing grey.

     "Maybe I need to get to the top of the mountain," she muttered to herself, walking briskly. She made her way through the ice caves and onto the mountain. Snow was falling heavily up here, so Gwendolyn pulled her cloak closer to her. She looked up and gasped.

     Sure enough, very high up, a grey cloud was floating. It was steadily drifting north because of the slight wind that pushed it. Gwendolyn noticed that the Grey Cloud was much higher up than any of the other clouds that covered Terror Mountain.

     Gwendolyn quickly started to fly upward. She was very excited now, and barely even noticed the snowflakes that hit her face, stinging painfully.

     Finally-at last- Gwendolyn landed softly on top of the Grey Cloud, and sure enough, the ever-powerful Grey Faerie sat on it, moping… as usual.

     The Grey Faerie looked up in astonishment. "Who are you?" she gasped. "How have you found me?"

     "I'm Gwend-"

     "You're a spy for that evil villain Sloth, aren't you?" The Grey Faerie accused, "You plan on taking over this world! Nooooooo!"

     "Please," Gwendolyn said. "I'm not a spy. I'm here to ask you to come back to Faerieland." She smiled politely, but the Grey Faerie did not.

     "Oh no!" she screeched, "I am never, ever, ever, ever, ever, going back there! Where I simply sit upon my cloud unnoticed, where prancing faeries come and make fun of me, where all is happy and fluffy and no one notices the… the real things about Neopia! That cloud where everyone thinks all is well? You think I'd go back there? Oh, no, no, no, my dear faerie! Never will I return there. Never."

     "But," Gwendolyn pleaded, "we- we need you! Faerieland is in trouble and it's you who has the power to fix it!"

     "Ha!" the Grey Faerie said, rolling her eyes, "Like I really care about Faerieland's welfare. Haha, you are so funny."

     Gwendolyn sighed. "Please! Please, for all the faeries who never did anything to you!"

     "No, no, I don't care anymore. Nope!"

     Gwendolyn suddenly remembered the scroll from Queen Fyora and she quickly pulled it out of her backpack.

     "Here," she said, handing it over to the Grey Faerie, "this is from Queen Fyora. Please read it!"

     The Grey Faerie narrowed her eyes at the scroll. "This isn't a trick, is it?" she asked. "It won't, like, explode in my face, will it?"

     "Uh, no, the queen trusts that if you read this scroll carefully you will return and help us."

     "I don't know…" the Grey Faerie said uneasily, but she took it. Her eyes scanned the lines and her narrowed eyes became wide again. "Oh," she said sheepishly, "yes, I see the problem now."

     "So you'll some?" Gwendolyn asked excitedly. "Please!"

     "M-maybe… I don't know… none of my business, really…"

     Gwendolyn reached into her backpack and pulled out the gift she wished to give to her. "Here," she said, "this is for you."

     The Grey Faerie's eyes widened. "F-for me? Really?"

     It was a Grey Faerie Doll. It was brand new.

     "Yes," Gwendolyn answered, "as a sign that you're not forgotten. You're…er… famous. You even have your own collectable card and Neopedia article-"

     "I bet Queen Fyora's got more!"

     Gwendolyn responded calmly, "Well, yes, that's true, but I guarantee you that if you were the imperial highness and queen of Faerieland, you'd have a lot also."

     The Grey Faerie started examining the doll. "It's nice," she said, "thank you."

     "Of course," Gwendolyn said, "now will you come back with me?"

     The Grey Faerie sighed. "Oh, oh… oh, alright."

     Gwendolyn felt the knot in her chest lift. "Oh, thank you, ma'am! So much!"

     "Yes, yes, whatever," the Grey Faerie said, waving her hand impatiently, "where are we? How long will it take?"

     "What do you mean, where are we?"

     "Well, this cloud drifts along on its own! I never look down, so I have no idea where I've gotten to."

     "You're above Terror Mountain, and it'll take about three hours to get back home."

      ***

     It had taken hard work to get the Grey Faerie off her cloud, but Gwendolyn had done it, and they were now minutes from Faerieland. They could have been there earlier, but it seemed the storm had either started again or never gone away.

     The Grey Faerie muttered continuously under her breath as they flew.

     "What should I have expected anyway? Sunlight and a parade celebrating my return? Oh sure! Instead I get a windstorm, rain, and darkness. Figures…"

     Gwendolyn rolled her eyes. "We're almost there, okay? I have the exact coordinates and the cloud should be right-"

     She stopped. She couldn't believe it. The coordinates of Faerieland were very recently updated, there was no way they could be wrong! And yet, here Gwendolyn floated, inches away from where the main cloud was supposed to be… and all she could see was rain falling into the ocean below.

     "Where is it?" she gasped, looking around.

     "Oh, I knew it!" The Grey Faerie gasped, "If I came back, something terrible and devastating would happen! Look! I've caused Faerieland to disappear! Oh, I knew I was a worthless pile of dung-"

     "Stop it!" Gwendolyn shouted. "Really! Enough moping! I think it's the storm! It must have blown Faerieland northward!"

     The Grey Faerie looked up north. "That way?"

     "Yes, we just need to fly a bit more."

     "But we just came from there, and besides, the wind is blowing southeastern… that way!"

     She pointed in a different direction. Gwendolyn frowned. "But… the winds were blowing north when I left! I remember!"

     "Well, it must have changed. C'mon, let's hurry! I'm soaked to the bone!"

     They flew southeastern, towards Krawk and Mystery Island, and sure enough, after another hour of soar wings and bad tempers, they spotted Faerieland hovering above Mystery Island.

     "Yes, finally!" The Grey Faerie groaned, "I thought we would never ever make it! But good! It's here and well!"

     The two of them instantly flew towards Faerieland, and as Gwendolyn's feet touched the ground, a cheer broke out.

     "Hooray for Gwendolyn the Faerie, whose persistence showed her inner bravery!"

     Gwendolyn looked around wildly, and saw what seemed to be every faerie of Faerieland standing to greet her.

     "Hooray for Gwendolyn the Faerie, whose persistence showed her inner bravery!" the faeries chanted again, clapping their hands and rustling their wings.

     Queen Fyora walked forward, smiling brilliantly, her hands outstretched to welcome the two faeries home.

     The Grey Faerie started to sob. "My home! Why did I ever leave it?"

     "It's all right, Patty," Queen Fyora said soothingly.

     "Patty?" Gwendolyn said with a look at Queen Fyora. "Who's Patty?"

     The Grey Faerie said through tears, "That's my real name! Very few people know!"

     Gwendolyn had to restrain giggles. She thought her name was stupid for a faerie… but Patty? You had to admit that was even worse.

     Ferinslé walked up to Gwendolyn. "Well done, you passed your test."

     Gwendolyn stopped giggling and stared open-mouthed at her mentor. "Test? Excuse me?"

     Ferinslé smiled. "Yes, m'dear. It was partially a test. Faerieland's only current danger is being blown away too far, as you can see, but we still wanted Patty. She's a wonderful faerie to have around, and in truth, she is very powerful. Having her here is a breath of relief to many of us. It was a test to see if you would really persist having her come back, and you did. So, in a way, you did save Faerieland from danger. The danger of striking catastrophe and not having a powerful enough faerie to help us. Good work, my apprentice, good work."

     Gwendolyn, who was still getting over the fact that the quest had been a test, spotted the earth faerie, Trevelle, running towards her.

     "Oh my goodness, Gwendolyn!" she said, excitedly, "You were so wonderful!"

     "Thanks," Gwendolyn replied, beaming.

     And in truth, Gwendolyn, as clumsy as she was, saved Faerieland. Any day they could be attacked, any day they could be in trouble… but now, with The Grey Faerie, chances of that were very low. Because of Gwendolyn, of course, because of a clumsy, interrupting, trainee healing faerie.

The End

 
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Other Episodes


» Atop the Grey Cloud: Part One
» Atop the Grey Cloud: Part Two



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