Faerie Wings III: The Nightmare of Dreamland: Part Eight
Illere gasped and face-palmed herself. “I know exactly what you’re talking about! Oh, how could I have forgotten that so easily?”
“Forgotten what?” asked Brillare. “Is it something important?”
“Yes, and it’s our biggest clue yet!” Illere insisted. She took a few deep breaths before she began her explanation. “As Kira was walking to her neohome, she was holding this pink book in her hands. When I asked if she had bought it, I was told that a ‘strange faerie’ had given it to her.”
“I remember that, too!” Sirena said eagerly. “While you two were talking, I was busy reading my wonderful story book I purchased for…um, how much did I pay for it again?”
“So this 'strange faerie' Kira met,” said Brillare, “is the same one that attacked us and those other faeries, too?”
“Yes, I believe they’re both the same faerie,” said Illere. “All the evidence so far points to her…whoever she is!”
“Why don’t you girls go over to Kira’s neohome and check the book’s slip?” Leah suggested. “Meanwhile, I will double check these overstuffed shelves to see if your book is lodged somewhere in them.”
“Thank you. You’ve been a really big help to us,” said Brillare. She led Illere and Sirena out of the Faerie Bookshop, flapped her wings, and flew up towards the bright blue sky.
“I’ll meet you over at Kira’s neohome,” said Illere as she flew over to meet Brillare.
Sirena groaned. “Its times like this that I wish I had my own pair of pretty, sparkly wings,” the Top Water faerie mumbled as she followed her flying friends down Main Street and towards a road aligned with neohomes. While Brillare and Illere flew in through Kira’s open bedroom window, Sirena knocked on the front door, greeted Cyprina, and trudged up the stairs after Cyprina towards Kira’s bedroom. “I’m…here!” Sirena announced as she collapsed onto the bedroom carpeting.
“How is Kira doing, ma’am?” Brillare asked Cyprina. “Has she opened her eyes yet?”
Cyprina wiped her puffy eyes. “I’m afraid she’s still in the same state, with no improvements. How about you, my dear? Have you found anything about Dreamland yet?”
“We know which book to look for now,” Brillare explained. “The shopkeeper at the Faerie Bookshop promised to find it for us.”
“That’s good news,” Cyprina sniffled.
“Look, here it is!” Illere cried as she picked up the open-faced book on Kira’s bed. “This must be the book that strange faerie had given her yesterday.”
“Strange faerie?” asked Cyprina. “Who is this?”
No one answered the question. Illere handed the open-faced book to Brillare, whose hands were emitting a faint white light. “Guiding Light,” the Top Light faerie chanted, “show us what can’t be seen with the naked eye.”
Everyone watched with wide eyes as the light grew stronger, illuminating the pages of the book, until a few red sparkles began to appear and twinkle. “That must be the leftover residue from the Dreamland spell!” Illere gasped.
“So whoever this faerie Kira met must possess the Dreamland spell,” Brillare concluded. “And she must have used this book to transfer it towards Kira!”
Cyprina wiped her eyes dry. “This is becoming more and more clear, girls. It appears whoever this faerie is targeted Kira and purposely used a top secret spell, too.”
“But why?” asked Illere. “Why would she want to use the Dreamland spell towards Kira? And why haven’t the other faeries she attacked been exposed as well?”
“This mystery is becoming more complex,” Brillare remarked, eying Kira’s glowing body as she spoke. “While we know the name of the spell Kira has been afflicted with, we still don’t know exactly who this faerie is, what ‘Dreamland’ means, and why she attacked three faeries within a two day span. We have no clues towards this faerie’s identity, and I honestly have a feeling that she doesn’t attend Faeriewood Academy.”
“If she’s not a student, then how could she have had access to the academy’s library?” asked Illere.
“The library is one of the only rooms open to the public,” Brillare retorted, “so she could have just poofed herself inside and examined any books she wished…including the book we’ve been looking for.”
“I see,” said Illere. “Well then, I suppose all we can do now is to wait for tomorrow to meet with Fyora.”
Brillare nodded her agreement. “Maybe Fyora will give us some more enlightenment when we speak with her,” she added hopefully.
“Yes, she must tell us something,” pressed Illere.
“I agree completely!” cried Sirena, raising her arm from the floor to expose her raised thumb. “Let’s get some dirt from Fyora!”***
“Oh, you are the sweetest little thing I’ve ever seen!” Kira cooed as she snuggled a white Snowbunny. “You look so precious with your beady eyes and little nose!”
Aiken glared at her. “Are you done fussing over that little fur ball yet? It’s just a Snowbunny!”
“And it’s precious!” Kira exclaimed. “I’ve already given him a name: Walter.” She hugged the Snowbunny a little tighter. “As soon as we get out of here, I'll take Walter home with me and he shall be my petpet!” The Snowbunny squirmed, leapt out of its captor’s arms, and hopped off towards a nearby forest.
“Walter! Come back!” Kira cried, but the Snowbunny was nowhere in sight.
“Finally, that furry thing is gone,” said Aiken, shaking his head. “You’ve been cuddling it for more than an hour, I believe.”
Kira sighed. “Perhaps Walter would have been happier with his other Snowbunny friends, anyways. I suppose it would have been wrong of me to bring him back to Faerieland whenever I leave Dreamland for good.”
“Your ‘Walter’ is not real,” Aiken insisted gruffly. “He, or it, was only a figment of your imagination. If you were to bring it back with you to Faerieland, it never would have surfaced outside of Dreamland.”
“Really?” asked Kira. “So nothing in Dreamland is real? Even my teal princess dress is a dream?”
“Nothing here is real,” Aiken explained. “In fact, the only thing in Dreamland that is remotely real is you, Air faerie. For you, puny girl, are the only living thing here that could ever be woken up from the Dreamland spell.”
“That can’t be right,” Kira retorted. “I mean what about you? Aren’t you a real Kougra?”
“I already told you what happened to me!” Aiken sneered. “Don’t you remember, puny-minded faerie?”
“I remember,” Kira replied, “but I was just wondering if it’s possible for you to leave Dreamland without having a body.”
“That’s not how Dreamland works,” said Aiken bitterly. “It’s a dark, cold place designed to be light-heartened and innocent. Dreamland may appear to be a paradise, yet its exterior holds a lot more dark secrets than any other spell in Faerieland history.”
Kira took a step back from Aiken, almost stepping into a thin river that streamed behind her. “Um…besides being a magical Kougra from Shenkuu, what else do I need to know about you? Why were you even brought to Dreamland in the first place?”
After a moment of eerie silence, Aiken took a deep breath and squared his shoulders. “I was once known as a master magician,” the Kougra said as he took off his cloak and hood, exposing his messy, blue hair. “For years I was renowned for my magical abilities and respected for my bravery in the face of danger. And yet, at the same time, I was also a master thief who had once belonged to the Thieves Guild.”
“You were a master thief??” Kira gasped with disbelief.
Aiken nodded glumly. “For years I would travel around Neopia, stealing various treasures and artifacts as I overpowered everybody that stood in my way. I became so well known for my skills that Fyora, who at the time of my arrival to Faerieland was the newly crowned Faerie Queen, was on high alert and ordered her warrior faeries to stop me before I broken into the Hidden Tower.”
“Then what happened?” asked Kira.
“One night, I was able to sneak into the Hidden Tower,” Aiken continued, “and as soon as I grabbed a ruby amulet, a faerie appeared from the shadows and attacked me with this glittering red dust. After accidentally inhaling some of the dust, I fell into a deep slumber and then, to my confusion, found myself in Dreamland. I’ve been here for years afterwards, my body completely dissolving within days and my subconscious mind tortured with my last memories of my life in Neopia.”
Kira sniffled. “You poor thing; having to spend the rest of your existence roaming around Dreamland must be really tough for you! Having your mind remain alive while your body vanished…oh, what a cruel fate for anybody!” She blew her nose in a handkerchief that poofed out from thin air. “I feel really bad for you now, Aiken.”
“Don’t be,” said Aiken, his eyes softening a bit. “I know exactly why Fyora ordered her warrior faerie to send me here. For you see, young faerie: Dreamland was actually created to be a holding facility for Neopia’s most dangerous villains. It does not exist physically, but only mentally through the minds of those who have been imprisoned here. Many years ago I met many heinous villains here, and one by one their subconscious minds were erased from Dreamland for good. Soon, I know my subconscious mind shall disappear as well.” He turned to Kira and glared at her. “Now I’m curious as to why Fyora would allow a faerie-girl like you to be placed here!”
To be continued…