The Faerie Thief: Part Three
Tugging the dark green cloak over her head and pulling down on the leaf pin at her throat, Sybille stands outside the entrance to the Haunted Woods, swallowing a large amount of nervous spit. She is physically alone, but Elyon and Odette rest in her heart, their strength helping her to move forward.
Before leaving Faerieland, both Odette and Elyon gave gifts to Sybille. Odette twittered her wings and levitated a few feet off the ground, revealing a pirate Faellie, his slate grey fur bristling at Odette's movement.
"His name is Nilsb," Odette said, leaning over; her wings still a movement of color, petting the small creature behind the ears. Nilsb gave a small squeak of satisfaction, sitting nicely on the floor while Odette continued, "I was training him to give you for you birthday; however, I think he will be of better company now."
Sybille walked forward to the Faellie scooping him up into her hands. His slate fur was soft as he crawled from Sybille's palms, up her arm, resting in a small ball on her shoulder. Sybille turned her head, nuzzling the Petpet with her nose. "I love him, Odette, thank you." Nilsb licked Sybille's nose lightly.
"This is a special dagger," Elyon said, handing Sybille a silver dagger with the emblem of Faerieland etched into the hilt. "This dagger is as light as an Air Faerie and as strong as a Fire Faerie. I hope this will protect you against the perils that lie ahead of you."
Sybille now stands with her toes in the damp mud of the Haunted Woods, her heart aching for her sister's embrace and her friend's strong hand on her shoulder. Placing on foot deep into the mud, twigs and leaves squishing through her toes, Sybille begins her adventure into the Haunted Woods.
Looking around, Sybille cannot recognize if the sun still shines in its zenith or if the sun has set beneath the plains of Neopia. The Haunted Woods is dark, as always, Whoots coo in the trees, Petpets causing shivers to slither up Sybille's spine as they create eerie noises from the thick bushes. Nilsb nibbles on Sybille's ear, giving the air Faerie comfort.
"What is it, Nilsb?" Sybille asks, taking the Petpet off her shoulder and into her cupped palms. The Faellie squeaks then flexes his wings levitating off Sybille's hands.
"I cannot fly. My wings are too weak," Sybille replies with a sad smile, scratching the Faellie behind the ear. Nilsb gives a drawn out squeak then hangs off Sybille's shoulder once more, stubbornly refusing to fly if his friend cannot fly either.
The monster's hut is not far from the border of the Haunted Woods, but the location is unknown. Sybille puts a finger to her lip, biting it lightly in concentration. She knows that the monster will go hunting and then return home, so it is a matter of finding him while he is on the hunt.
A furry ear brushes against Sybille's hair. Nilsb's ears are alert, his head turning off the path and into a thicket of thorny vines. Nilsb begins to fly towards to the woods, hearing something peculiar, a soft cry of voices, the howl of a monster.
"What Nilsb!" Sybille cries out as she runs after the Faellie, her dress tearing at the thorns, a light scratch cutting across her porcelain cheek. The Faellie speeds forward until both he and the Air Faerie approaches a clearing. Sybille slaps a hand over her mouth to keep from screaming as a tremendously large Werelupe strolls across the clearing, his yellow eyes glowing menacingly in the full moonlight, a large sack crying out in pitiful wails,
"Let us go!"
"Balthazar, you monster!"
The Werelupe bounces the sack on his shoulder. "Shaddap, Faeries!"
"Nilsb, no!" Sybille whispers, grabbing the small creature that fights against his restraints, huffing and gearing for a fight. "We cannot fight him. We just need to steal the Faeries. Let's follow him back to his hut in the Haunted Woods and we will steal the Faeries when Balthazar goes to sleep."
Balthazar's hut is buried in a deep thicket, rotting wood masking the many hostages that glow through the dirty windows. Sybille does not expect such a residence, but instead a cave or hobble of dirt with a door. Nibbling on Sybille's ear, Nilsb then gives a determined squeak.
"Not yet," Sybille says, running her hand over his slate fur. "We will wait until he has fallen asleep." She runs her fingers over her belt, the dagger from Elyon fastened tight next to her lock picks. She peers through a dusty window as Balthazar reaches one beefy paw into the sack, pulling out a fire Faerie, and placing her on the shelf next to another fire Faerie; a pitiful red light in a corked glass bottle. The hut is small, a one-room residence with a bed, table, and a bookcase flowing with menacing titles to the right of the rotting shelves of captured Faeries.
Sybille leans against the rotting wood of the house. "Alright, Nilsb, we will hide here until Balthazar sleeps. This window provides the perfect reconnaissance spot."
The Faellie squeaks, pointing across the muddy clearing at the front door.
"I know we are sitting ducks. If he comes out, we can dash around the house and into the bushes. Will you listen for any visitors or intruders?"
Nodding his head in strong proud motions, the Faellie sits in the Faerie's lap, ears up, arms at tight at his sides.
Sybille peers through the window a few more times; once Balthazar sits at a small square table with a slab of Blumaroo Steak, next he reads a black, leather bound book by the faint light of a candle, finally he pulls a sleep shirt over his massive head, and crawls deep under a patched green blanket.
"Let's go, Nilsb," Sybille whispers, rustling the Faellie from her lap. Creeping along the front of the hut, Nilsb grabs Sybille's hair, keeping her close. Sybille reaches into her belt for her lock picks, guiding them through the hole with flawless motions. The door gives a light click and swings open with a soft creeaa.
A stale aroma assaults her nose as she creeps along the shadows cast by the dim Faerie light. Creeping over to the shelves where the Faeries sit on display, she puts her index finger to her mouth, hushing the Faeries. Sybille dares not release the Faeries in the hut, fearful that the blinding light would stir the Werelupe's steady snores.
Opening a large sack, Sybille grabs each Faerie off the shelf, placing them gently in the sack so as not to rattle the poor creatures in their bottles. As Sybille snatches Faeries off the rotting shelf, a cold shiver runs up her spine, the room quiet. Nilsb tugs on the Air Faerie's hair squeaking in a frantic tone.
"Stop, Nilsb," Sybille says, brushing the Faellie away. "You will wake Balthazar."
Everything begins quickly, a strong paw slamming against Sybille's rib cage, throwing her into the back wall of the hut. Nilsb is choked then thrown near the window that he and Sybille were spying on Balthazar through mere minutes ago. Balthazar now looms over Sybille, growling.
"What Faerie dares enter my hut?" Balthazar snarls.
"My name is Sybille, thief of Faerieland," she says, her voice booming with false confidence. Balthazar lets out a tremendous roar of laughter.
"You're hardly a Faerie! Your wings are so small, even I wouldn't bottle your weak magic."
Sybille bites her lip, kicking Balthazar in the shin. He lets out a painful howl as she bolts to her feet, grabbing her sack of Faeries and then a few more off the shelf.
"Why, you little pesky Faer-ahooo," Balthazar wails as he reaches for Sybille to have his arm comes in sharp contact with Elyon's dagger.
Sybille runs over to door, scooping an unconscious Nilsb in her arms with tender care but Balthazar is quick, grabbing Sybille by the hair and throwing her back away from the door. Sybille holds the Petpet close to her chest as the Werelupe swings at the air Faerie. She ducks under the small square table. Balthazar brings a mighty paw down on the table, smashing it in half, but not before Sybille has launched herself out from under it, tumbling close to the Faerie shelves. She dashes towards the door, turning to face Balthazar.
"Remember my name, Balthazar, because no longer will you terrorize the Faeries, for there is now hope that they will be rescued. I am a Faerie Thief, and I steal back the captured Faeries taken hostage by monsters like you!" With that she runs from the hut and deep into the Haunted Forest.
"Faeries of Faerieland!" Sybille shouts into a throng of Faeries in the center of Faerie City. "May I please have your attention?" A few Faeries turn their heads mumbling to one another.
"Isn't that Odette's sister?" one fire Faerie mumbles to an air Faerie.
"Yeah," the Air Faerie replies. "She is that Sybille. The one who has weak air magic and wastes her time stealing from Neopets."
"Ew, let's just ignore her then. She isn't worth our time."
Sybille clenches her fists. She reaches into her sack, pulling out a light Faerie. She turns and looks up at Queen Fyora's castle. The Queen stands on a balcony overlooking Faerie City.
"Thieves can help Faerieland!" Sybille shouts up at the Queen, lifting the cork off the bottle to display a dazzling yellow light that blinds and illuminates the crowd of Faeries into amazement. The light Faerie stretches her wings for all to see then turns to Sybille.
"Thank you so much for rescuing me!" the light Faerie chirps, clasping her hands on Sybille's shoulders. "My name is Jayleen. You are a true hero."
"Did she just release a bottled Faerie?" a water Faerie from a nearby fountain asks a earth Faerie.
"Yes, she did just release me!" Jayleen exclaims. "She rescued dozens of us!" She reaches into the sack, uncorking a dark Faerie with a bang of purple smoke.
Cheers echo throughout Faerie City as Jayleen and Sybille release all the Faeries from their cramped captivity, each faerie stretching their wings or violently shaking Sybille's hand.
"Sybille, you're alive!" Elyon shouts from the clouds above the Faeries. She flies down, landing on the cobbled city center with a soundless touch. "Your sister will be so happy to see you!"
"Odette." Sybille pauses, longing for her sister. Sybille gazes over the various Faerie faces, no seeing the earthly radiance of her sister. "I am going to see her. All the faeries I rescued are free now so there is no reason for me to stay." Sybille begins to walk towards her house.
Elyon grabs Sybille's wrist. "Wrong way, heroic one. Your sister is waiting for you in Queen Fyora's council chambers."
Sybille swallows hard and follows Elyon up the stairs of the castle and down the large corridor. Queen Fyora sits in her throne, Odette to her left; proud tears of joy streaming down the earth Faerie's smooth cheeks.
"Please approach, Sybille," the Queen speaks with an even tone and expression. Sybille walks forward with slow, hesitant steps.
"Your majesty, I meant no disresp..." Sybille begins, but the Queen cuts her off.
"I deliberately told you to never thieve again," the Queen lectures.
"I know that, ma'am, but you see..." but Sybille is cut off again.
"For your theft against Balthazar, I bestow upon you the garb of the Faerie Guard and the title of Commander of the Faerie Rescue Division." Queen Fyora smiles down at the confused air Faerie, her mouth in unattractive positions, her pale eyebrows raised in disbelief. "You have proven, Sybille, that thieving can be done for the greater good. I therefore wish for you to continue stealing from Balthazar. Free the captured Faeries and put an end to his profiting off out existence."
Sybille let out a squeal of excitement, Nilsb flies in figure eights above her head, Elyon and Odette suffocating Sybille in a warm embrace.
"I will recruit a few comrades for your missions, Sybille," the Queen laughs at the excitement of the Faeries. "Train them well and keep them safe."
"Who is that?" a dark Faerie mutters to her friend.
"That is Sybille!" the friend replies. "She steals from Balthazar and rescues Faeries."
"That is the Faerie Thief?" the dark Faerie shouts in awe. Sybille waves at the dark Faerie with a warm expression. Climbing the castle steps and strolling down the corridor, Sybille wrings her hands together ready for her first day as Commander of the Faerie Guard. The doors to the Thieving Division stand tall before her in light pink, and interwoven emblem painted white on the door.
"Are you ready, Nilsb?" Sybille asks, scratching the Faellie behind the ear. Nilsb squeaks in reply. Sybille takes a deep breath and slams open the doors, strolling up the row of Faeries hollering, "Alright, Thieves. Who's ready to rescue some Faeries today?"