Chronicles of the Darkside: Keys to Fantasia:Part Five
Chapter 5: It Follows For All Eternity
"Night is falling." Iggy murmured. "This isn't good, this is the one stretch of unclaimed land between here and Brightvale and the Wraith magic of the Glamour Beasts tend to make this place an infernal maze."
Knowing that the group wasn't getting anywhere the four agree to stop for the night, light a fire and rest. But something didn't feel right, as pointed out by Ikufumi. Once night fell, Ikufumi with her new powers could tell that movements of time precisely -- and the night didn't just creep on unnaturally slowly, time was not moving at all. Feeling startled by this development the girls quickly packed up camp and began rushing south, only to find themselves lost in the eternal nighttime trap of the Glamour's magic. They could not leave this forest so long as it was night, but if their enemies had their way, day would never come for them.
"I wonder if my Millenia magic can break it." pondered Ikufumi.
"Break what?" asked Vitaqui.
"The Glamour's spell. The one causing everything to be night."
"Worth a shot I say."
And thus Iggy began to dance, directing her motions to the south and south east where they wished to be. Encouraging the other girls to join in, they all skipped, slid, and shimmied through the woods towards the borders of Brightvale as day broke and they made their way out of the accursed forest. They weren't too far from their destination, and soon they were once again in claimed, and safe, lands. Lands that the Glamour and Shimmer did not dare to touch if they truly wished to be fates.
"Hey, it worked! But how?" exclaimed Vitaqui.
"Magic Cooperation, I never would of thought it would work with Gem Magic." interjected Spahrks, "Magic Cooperation is when one of us uses a power and all of us manipulate that power together by meeting the requirements of the magic with the original user. It allows me to let other people read minds along with with me via aura contact, for example. My aura is kept pretty close to my person, so you'd basically need to touch me for it to work. So, If you just hold my arm you will know what is going through my targets head, hehe. Ikufumi's Time magic works similarly, and I imagine all of ours will in some way. If Ikufumi is dancing, you engage in the use of the magic by participating and dancing with her because that meets the requirement of usage for the magic itself"
"Wow, I knew you studied magic a bit since you've said so before but just what do they even teach in the training school in Shenkuu?" Vitaqui giggled. "I've not seen you brandish a weapon even once but you sure know your way around magic lik--" Vitaqui stopped dead in her tracks. They had made it to Ether village. Or more correctly... What was left of it.
The girls picked carefully through the rubble. They knew all to well after their experiences in the Haunted Woods that this was the work of Kiramekimasu and Guramarasu, and where the once cheerful town square was there was now an eerie and glowing shimmering white and glittering purple message etched into the ground: "Is it worth it?"
"I-is it worth it?" Iggy stammered.
"I hated this village." whispered Vitaqui, "I am a healer by nature and some believe me prodigious in my practice and that I should study and become the greatest but much like you and Spahrks I never wanted the destiny determined for me, I wanted to determine my own. I didn't want to be a scholar of medicine. I wanted to travel the world and make friends -- something I never had growing up here. The people of Brightvale are notoriously snooty, you all know that, but what they don't tell us is they pitt the young minds against each other. It's hard to make friends when you're always being forced to strive to better than everyone else at your craft. I got exactly what I wanted through this, only unexpectedly. People I could just be friends with, without having to try to one up anyone." Vitaqui began crying, "And no, it wasn't worth it! This was my only home.." Vita collapsed into tears yet again, knowing she never wished the destruction of this little village. As much as she hated this town, this was once her home and now that was all but gone.
"C'mon, Vita. Staying here isn't helping anything." Ikufumi muttered, tugging on the heartbroken Mynci's lavender peacoat.
"I will make this right." growled Vitaqui through gritted teeth. "No matter the cost."
Now, more somber than ever, the group trudged (with great haste but trudging nonetheless) to Faerieland, threw open the doors to Faerie Palace, and demanded to speak with Diamond.
"We need. That power. Now." Iggy and Vitaqui roared with unison, fully ready to avenge the little village they had left behind the day before.
"Very well." the stunned-out-of-her-guise Diamond eerily and satisfiedly hissed. "Iggy, take this power. Is the power to manipulate antimatter. Much as Vitaqui's power works like her Water magic, yours will work like your Fire. Perform the motions for your fire magic in reverse and you will be able to generate Black Holes for a few seconds at a time." Iggy glew as the others had before her, and circle was complete -- all four Keys had been granted. "Now, go. Go to the Dark Cave in Moltera, follow it to its end. When it seems you can get no further use the keys in order until you reach another stopping point. Once you reach a fifth stop you will be at the entrance to the Heart of Neopia. There you must use all four powers in unison. This will set the faeries free, restore the energy balance and put a stop to the destructive presence of the Shimmer and Glamour."
The girls, hearing the final part of their mission, made great haste in leaving. On the way out, Ikufumi was quietly muttering. "Skyfor told me to be a big girl and help, and at home I always get in the way. But here I really do help. You all will need me from beginning to end, and no one has had any complaints. Back home, I always get in the way. Vita, where you're alone in everything I'm expected to get help for everything. And this has been my chance to help. I'm scared of the dark... But if being a big girl and helping involves braving dark caves... I think I'm ready." the little Aisha nodded in determination, "I'm scared of the tiniest things. But when I have friends like you all, what is there to be afraid of? I am strong. And we can do anything together." At those words, the whole group smiled in endearment. Ikufumi, just as everyone else, in a backwards fashion got what she wanted. To once, just once, be able to help. With the newfound knowledge from Diamond she would be helpful up to the very end of this quest and now the time had come to repay the cosmos for their wishes coming true by saving the Faeries, the Neopets, and even the Fates.
The door once again slammed on the Faerie Palace... But once again the gems were left talking amongst themselves.. "Did you tell them about the part where they get transported into some kind of temple and have to make a wish at the altar in order to get out?" Emerald asked over the communicator.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again," Diamond hissed menacingly, " Why should I?
The girls rushed to the entrance to Moltara, threw open the doors to the underground city and began asking around where the Dark Cave was. After curtly informing Lampwick they didn't have time to fool with his lantern and worms Iggy offered to generate a fire that would light the path once inside. The girls quickly made their way to the Dark Cave. As instructed, they followed the cave to its end, finding them faced by a wall of Red Moltite. Motioning for the other three to step back and mind their ears, with quick execution of her magic she blasted through the wall and making it like it wasn't there to begin with. The foursome barreled down the path, coming upon the next obstacle, a large gap with stalactites and stalagmites between them and the rest of the path. Now with great ease, Spahrks' song manipulated the rock formations to form a path across. The next obstacle was trickier still -- a flat wall with a sun and moon, and the words "meet me in time". This took some pondering, but Ikufumi had the idea to make Neopia's sun and moon match the picture, since the displayed etching was with the sun at sunrise. Upon doing so the wall crumbled before them, revealing the next part of the path.
:"Oh, this is not going to be good." grumbled Iggy.
To be continued…