Illusen's First Quest: Part Two
The glowing twig soon caught Illusen's eye, and she gasped realizing her emotions and tears had instilled magic in the tiny twig. Illusen had remembered learning that in times of great distress, a faerie's tears had been known to bring her help in ways she would have never before thought.
She got to her feet and picked up the little twig. It was too tiny to be a formidable weapon, but seeing the little stick gave her an idea. She climbed up the tree with ease, and carefully made her way out onto one of the thicker branches. She balanced with caution, making her way to the edge and snapping off the edge of the branch. It was thick and sturdy, and she knew she had found what she needed.
Illusen hopped to the ground and couldn't help but smile as she wiped the tears from her face and smeared them across the tree branch. It began to glow as it soaked up Illusen's tears, and this made her so happy it brought even more tears to her eyes. She wiped them on the branch too for good measure, and it glowed brighter than ever.
There was no way Illusen was going to let Fyora down now! She gathered her things, carefully grasping the branch as she exited the forest. She was surprised to see King Skarl was waiting for her at the entrance to the woodlands. He had a somber expression on his face.
"I'm sorry, Illusen," he said, through sobs.
Illusen began to ask what he was apologizing for but soon realized what had happened. Out from behind the large Skeith stepped Dr. Sloth, a particularly menacing grin on his face as he glared down at Illusen.
"You don't think I'm one step ahead of silly little Fyora?" he said, raising an eyebrow. "You'll be coming with me now, and I'll be making sure you don't do anything to foil my plans to conquer Faerieland."
He walked over and grabbed hold of Illusen. She squirmed and tried to break free from his grasp to no avail. Sloth took Illusen back to his spaceship, and they took off into the air above Meridell. Illusen looked below and watched as a couple of Sloth's Grundos escorted Skarl in chains back to his castle.
"Why are you doing this?" Illusen asked, once again unable to control her tears.
Sloth sat back in his chair, flipped on the autopilot and chuckled. "You really have to ask? I've finally come up with my most genius plan ever, and when all is said and done Neopia will finally be mine. Neopets everywhere will be my slaves, and everything will be just perfect."
"What does Faerieland have to do with that?" Illusen hissed.
Sloth rolled his eyes. It annoyed him that Illusen didn't understand his perfect plan, but he took pity on her, assuming she wasn't as smart and powerful as he was. "Stupid faerie," he laughed. "Capturing Faerieland is the key to ruling Neopia. All the times I've tried before to conquer Neopia something has stopped me. I've been thinking, and I realized that it's pesky faeries that like to butt into everyone's business and stop me. If it's not Fyora, its that dreaded Space Faerie. Don't get me started on her!"
Illusen realized that Sloth was full of himself, and she decided it would be best to not give him the attention he craved. It didn't stop him from rambling on about his genius, though.
"That's the genius of it," he raved. "I'll conquer Faerieland, and Neopets everywhere will tremble in fear without the silly faeries to save them. Sure, I thought I'd have the upper hand by planning a surprise attack, but of course that nosy Space Faerie went and ruined that. Nonetheless, I am more powerful than a bunch of puny faeries, especially now that I have Fyora's secret weapon."
"I never got to make the weapon," Illusen lied, still crying. She could only hope that Sloth would believe her and not look through her belongings.
"I know," Sloth said foolishly. "I mean you. You are Fyora's secret weapon. She spends her time guarding ridiculous artifacts in her stupid tower, letting her powers go to waste. She's old and lost her touch, and you were the only hope she had of defeating me. With you on my side, Faerieland will surely crumble."
"I'm not on your side," Illusen said. "I never will be."
Sloth rolled his eyes. "It doesn't matter if you say you're on my side or not. The fact that you won't be there to stop me is enough. I visited a fortuneteller in the Haunted Woods, and she told me that capturing you was my key to victory. So... ha-ha, I win!" He paused to give Illusen his best maniacal laughter, and afterward he was a bit offended that she wasn't impressed.
Sloth's spaceship loomed over Neopia, steadily making its way to Faerieland. Illusen tried to think of something to stop Sloth, but he was too big and powerful for her to take on alone. Even with her trusty blade, she would be no match for the evil doctor.
Illusen bided her time as patiently as she could, and soon enough Sloth's ship was hovering over Faerieland. He landed it with precision in the middle of the streets as Faeries screamed, running for cover. Sloth took the time to strap Illusen into her seat, tying her up so that she couldn't get loose and ruin his plans. He then hopped out, winking at her and thanking her for her cooperation.
"Oh Fyora!" Sloth boomed, stomping through the streets of Faerieland and headed to the Queen's tower. He pushed past Fyora's guards, a pair of fierce Draiks whose duty it was to protect the queen. Illusen watched with horror as he quickly made his way into the tower, slamming the door shut behind him.
It appeared what Fyora, Mira, Illusen and all the other faeries feared was now coming true. Sloth had just swooped in and taken Fyora's castle with ease, and surely once he began to rule over Faerieland he would use the faeries and their magic for his evil deeds. It wouldn't be long before all of Neopia was in the palm of his hand.
Illusen rocked back and forth, fidgeting and trying to break loose from the chains Sloth had used to tie her up. It was no use; Sloth knew what he was doing and made sure Illusen could never break free. Realizing this, she instead tried to just reach for her bag behind her, hoping she might be able to reach inside and grab the magical branch and free herself that way.
Her fingers grazed the top of the bag, and with some effort she managed to get a hand inside it. Illusen wiggled around and managed to grasp the branch! She sighed and smiled, holding it tight and feeling its gentle glow in her grasp. Suddenly, a boom shook the ground, startling Illusen and causing her to lose her grasp on the branch.
She gritted her teeth and began to try again, but stopped when the source of the boom made itself apparent. It was Dr. Sloth, and he had made his way to Fyora's chambers, taking over the magical system she used to relay messages throughout all of Faerieland. His arrogant voice boomed throughout the streets.
"Hello, silly faeries!" He sniggered. "Your new ruler, Doctor Frank Sloth reporting for duty. Wait-- scratch that. It'll be you reporting for duty to me to be my new slaves. That's right, faeries! Sloth has taken over Faerieland, and Fyora can't save you now. Starting immediately, each and every Faerie will report to my new castle to tell me her skills and usefulness in my new army. Those that fail to report for duty will... face the consequences."
His somber words needed no explanation. With another boom, the magical system turned off, and cries of panic rang out through the streets of Faerieland. Everyone's worst nightmare had come true, and soon Neopia would be no more than rubble when Sloth was done with it. Illusen couldn't help but feel guilty. If only she had been faster or hadn't gone to Meridell, she would've been able to make the magical weapon Fyora needed in time and not fallen into Sloth's clutches.
She peered out of the spaceship and examined the chaos as faeries raced around helplessly. They all steered clear of the spaceship, afraid to venture too closely to Sloth's property. Most of the faeries looked grim as they made their way to the castle to report for duty, while the others just wept and screamed, unwillingly to give into Sloth but realizing this likely meant they would not be around to see his evil unfold.
Sloth didn't even need to directly do anything to cause most of the chaos that was happening on the streets. Faeries that had hated each other for years began to freely bicker and quarrel. Fire faeries that despised water faeries were lighting buildings on fire as air faeries caused whirlwinds that knocked others off their feet.
The Faeries knew that Sloth was such a powerful figure that they believed not even Aethia the Battle Faerie, Mira the Space Faerie or Fyora the Faerie Queen could stop him. They accepted their defeat as inevitable. Illusen watched it all unfold from the safety of the spaceship, knowing they would never believe in her, either. So why did Fyora?
She didn't have much time to ponder the question because the spaceship began to sway back and forth. Illusen struggled to stand up high enough to see what was happening, but all she could make out was the tops of faeries' heads. They must be rocking the spaceship back and forth intent on knocking it over and destroying it in protest of Sloth's reign.
Just as she expected, Illusen soon was tossed to the ground as the spaceship was flipped on its side. The glass windows shattered around her, and she could suddenly hear the pandemonium that was occurring on the streets. It took a few seconds for her ears to adjust, but when they did she could hear a voice whispering to her.
"Come on!" The shrill voice beckoned. "Hurry before he sees us!"
Illusen was still dazed and confused from the fall and couldn't make out whom the voice belonged to, but she could feel multiple hands grabbing at her. One pair of hands was brushing the glass out of her hair while another worked at the chains binding her to the chair.
She felt her hands fall to the side! They had been freed! Before she could even take a second to get her breath, one of the hands belonging to the voices had grabbed her and whisked Illusen away from the spaceship. She blinked, getting her bearings and realized from the flowing lavender hair that the faerie that had liberated her was none other than Fyora.
The Queen kept the pace up but smiled at Illusen and waved to her now that she was more awake. "Hello, dear," she said hastily. "Welcome back to Faerieland! You've got a country to save!"
To be continued...