Illusen's First Quest: Part Three
Fyora guided Illusen expertly through the streets of Faerieland, guiding her around the screaming and crying faeries as they panicked about being under control of Dr. Sloth. The Queen and Illusen slipped inside a little building, and Illusen soon realized they were back in her house where this quest had started.
Fyora walked over to the kitchen table and sat down patiently waiting for the earth faerie to join her. She seemed so relaxed about it all that it was beginning to scare poor Illusen. Fyora motioned for Illusen to join her, and the earth faerie obliged.
Illusen opened her mouth to speak but Fyora shushed her. They waited in silence and soon a rapid succession of three knocks came at the door. Fyora nodded, noticing the secret knock, and snapped her fingers unlocking the door. Mira the Space Faerie entered.
"Well, girls," Fyora said, "we've got trouble."
Mira chuckled. "You think?"
"Not for long." Fyora smirked. "Illusen's got just what we need."
Fyora reached into Illusen's bag and pulled out the branch. "I like it," she said, admiring Illusen's handiwork. "It's like your own little staff. It's regal and powerful, befitting of true royalty. I'm very impressed, Illusen."
"Thanks." Illusen blinked. "It was created on accident, really."
"It doesn't matter," Fyora said with a kind smile. "What matters is that this weapon can be used against Sloth. Are you ready to save Faerieland?"
"Whatever you ask of me I will do, my queen," Illusen said obediently, even though deep inside she was so nervous she felt sick. This wasn't a task she would ever feel ready to do even with months of preparation, much less at a moment's notice.
"Great," Mira said, making eye contact with Illusen. The Space Faerie had a strong aura around her of dominance. It was no wonder Fyora held her in such high esteem. Fyora had a gentle authority to her, but Mira radiated pure power. Just staring her in the eyes made Illusen feel feeble.
"We'll need you to sneak into Fyora's castle," Mira continued. "You're going to pose as any other faerie reporting to duty for Sloth's rule. We're lucky he came here alone, so getting to him should be easy. Once you're in his presence, pull out your weapon and let it do the rest."
"Is it really that simple?" Illusen asked. "Sloth captured me when I went off to see my friend Skarl and make the weapon. He seems to be one step ahead of us. He even told me that he visited the same fortuneteller that you both met with in the Haunted Woods."
Mira nodded as if this didn't surprise her. "Yes, we actually visited that seer after Sloth. It took some persuasion, but she eventually told us what she had informed Sloth. We never sent you off to make the weapon expecting you to be captured, but we weren't surprised when Sloth came down to Faerieland with you imprisoned. Trust me, the next time I visit that seer she will be getting an earful."
"The point is," Fyora interrupted before Mira could get any angrier, "Sloth isn't a step ahead of us. Things have taken an unexpected turn, but what Mira suggests should work. His arrogance will be his downfall; he believes you're captured and that things will be smooth sailing from here on out."
"I see," Illusen murmured.
Fyora passed her the staff and walked over to her. She messed up Illusen's hair, pushing it over her eyes trying to disguise her as best as possible. Meanwhile, Mira pulled out the dark cloak the Faerie Queen had worn to visit Illusen. She tied it around Illusen's neck and pulled the hood over her.
"You're practically unrecognizable," she said happily. "Now go to the castle and stop Sloth. Do it for Fyora and all of Faerieland."
Illusen took a big breath and nodded. She summoned all the power she could to walk out the door and not cower in fear. The two most important faeries in all of Neopia were depending on her, and it was her duty to make them proud. She turned the handle to her house and set out onto the street.
The chaos was still occurring, and Illusen had to make her way over rubble and even faeries that had fallen to the ground to sob uncontrollably. The line waiting outside of Fyora's castle wasn't very long, but there was a queue nonetheless. The faeries ahead of Illusen eerily reminded her of herself. She knew most of them by name and they all had one thing in common. None of them made waves. Everyone in line was content with just following the crowd and getting by without making a fuss.
Illusen thought to herself that she no longer had a desire not to make waves. The fact that these faeries reminded her of herself made her sick. These were the ones that so willingly were going to give themselves up to evil! She couldn't help but feel sorry for them, but armed with her powerful staff, she realized she was different.
Like robots, one by one the faeries made their way into the castle for the audience with Dr. Sloth. As Illusen made her way to the door she could peer in and saw that Sloth continued the line inside the castle and up to the throne. He was sitting atop Fyora's seat pompously, watching with amusement as the faeries groveled to be his slaves. After each faerie got down he would put them down and tell them they weren't worthy, but he would give them the honor of being his slave anyway.
Illusen was getting angry just watching Sloth treating her faerie sisters with such disrespect. As soon as she was able to slip inside the castle walls, she pushed her way to the front of the line and shouted at Sloth.
"Your reign here is going to be over before it even begins!" she boomed, pulling down her cloak and revealing her face to Sloth.
He gasped and sat up straight on the throne, standing up and pointing at her in disbelief. "How... what?!" he stammered, climbing off the throne and starting towards Illusen.
Sloth stopped dead in his tracks when Illusen pulled out her staff. It glowed with power as she pointed it right at his chest. "Don't take another step," she said, "or it may very well be your last."
Sloth cautiously brought himself to a standstill. He put his hands up as if to surrender. "You don't need to use that, you know," he murmured. "I surrender."
"For some reason, I don't believe you'd give up so easily," Illusen said warily.
"You're right, he wouldn't." A voice called out from the entrance of the castle. Sloth and Illusen both looked and saw Fyora making her way through the castle. She joined Illusen and held out her own staff. "I do believe he'll be giving up now, though," she winked. "He can't take on two powerful faeries."
"Fyora, you look wonderful today," Sloth said with as much charm as he could muster. Realizing he was defeated, his only option was to sweet-talk his way through this.
The Faerie Queen laughed in his face and waved her staff, causing Sloth's arms to jerk up and back behind him, locking together in invisible chains. She walked over to him unafraid, grabbing him by the neck and escorting him outside. The scared faeries all watched in amazement and began to stop their quarreling.
Fyora spoke to them all as she escorted Sloth to his broken spaceship. With a wave of her staff it was restored to its previous condition. "Dr. Sloth, your presence is not welcome in Faerieland. You are lucky that my faerie friends and I are so gracious as to not wish you or any Neopian harm, so we will allow you to leave in peace even after your terrible trespass and attempts to destroy us. We will let you leave on your own accord on the condition that you will not step foot in Faerieland again."
"Yes, yes, I accept!" Sloth hissed, wiggling his arms as Fyora loosened the invisible chains. Once he broke free he climbed into his spaceship and powered it on as quickly as possible. He hovered up over Faerieland and bellowed out to Fyora. "I will be back one day, and you and the rest of Neopia won't be so lucky!"
With that he vanished out of sight, and the faeries rejoiced. Fyora smiled, grabbing Illusen's hand and raising it in the air in victory. "Sisters," she said with glee, "this is the faerie you have to thank for our success. Her name is Illusen, and she forged the powerful weapon that Sloth knew to fear!"
The faeries cheered, and Illusen blushed. She was worried earlier about being one of the faeries that blended in and submitted too easily when evil came to Faerieland, but now she knew she would forever be remembered for her act of greatness. She raised her staff in the air proudly, and all the magic in it glowed, sending a beam of light into the sky.
It burst in the air like a grand explosion of fireworks, causing light to fill the sky. Her magic created an invisible bubble dome over Faerieland, and Fyora explained to the crowd that it would act as a barrier to keep Sloth from entering. The faeries all rejoiced once more and began to celebrate knowing their home was now safe from harm.
From that moment on, Illusen was known as a hero throughout Faerieland. All the faeries wanted to be friends with her, and the younger ones wanted to be just like her. The attention flattered Illusen, but she couldn't help herself from still favoring her books and solitude. One day she received a letter from Skarl inviting her to live in the forest where she created her staff, and she decided to take him up on the offer.
Before leaving, Illusen vowed to Fyora to frequently return to Faerieland and visit all of her friends. She kept true to her word, always making sure to go back to her old home a few times a month. The rest of the time she spent happily in Meridell with all her books, reading and creating cookies and potions in peace. Having conquered Fyora's quest for her, she didn't mind asking other Neopians for help with her recipes, and she even got joy out of giving them something to search for and bring to her. Every time a Neopet completed one of her quests, it reminded her of the great quest she did to save Faerieland and how it changed her and made her a better person. She hoped that her quests would have the same effect on someone else, too.