Then There Were Six: Part Four
"Well, Fuhnah's still faerie," Tanelle panted as she met
with Sanalre and Kanal'te. "I haven't found Iyana yet, but after her we'll need
to check the Fountain Faerie and then find a way to figure out how those not in
Faerieland have fared."
"Come on," Kanal'te ordered. "If I'm correct,
"I hope so," Sanalre told her as the three began
to jog at a steady pace toward Iyana's quarters.
"Oh, no, not again," Kanal'te groaned as they
entered the room. On the bed where Iyana should be sitting was a blond young
woman, contemplating a sprouting plant.
"Let me guess: Anayi?" Tanelle queried.
The young woman nodded, not taking her attention
from the plant.
"Listen, do you know how we can check on those
faeries not in Faerieland?" Kanal'te asked urgently.
"Scrying pool in the next room," she muttered.
"That's Nereid's when she's here."
"Thank you." Sanalre nodded her head, then raced
from the room for the next one over, her friends not far behind her.
They entered the room with some trepidation,
not knowing what they would find. Sanalre seemed perfectly at home in the watery
setting, while Tanelle and Kanal'te were less comfortable. As though she read
their minds, Sanalre gestured for them to go. "You go. Meet up with Mayra and
Triesta. This will take a while; I'll meet you when I'm done."
Tanelle and Kanal'te were only too happy to depart
the room. Sanalre didn't notice them go. She was too busy leaning over the pool
that was the centerpiece of the room. It rippled with rainbows of colors, sometimes
showing hints of a face, or a place.
"I've never seen one of these before," Sanalre
muttered. "I read about them once, and how they work, but I've no experience.
I can only hope this works."
Leaning forward, she dipped both her index fingers
in the pool, then blew on it, stirring the waves into smaller ripples. "Illusen,"
The pool rippled; nothing showed. Sanalre frowned.
That was exactly how the books had said to do it, but...
"Ohhh..." she muttered. "I see now." Sanalre
repeated the process, but the name she murmured was "Nesulli". An image of a
red-haired young woman with freckles showed.
"Now I understand how to work this thing," she
"Taelia," Sanalre tried. The familiar image of
the dark-haired Snow Faerie appeared.
"I've got a lot to get through, but it's a start,"
Sanalre muttered as she searched for Nereid, who was obviously not in Faerieland.
Three hours later, all six were back in the throne
room. The team that had gone searching for information on the faeries reported
that approximately 85% of all the Faeries had become almost human-like without
their powers. Triesta and Mayra told of the crystal's fracture, and how they
would need to make their best guess at how to work it.
"I got absolutely nothing out of Aroyf." Talusai
finished the reporting. "We have to go now, though. Mayra, do we need to bring
"Mmm...." The Dark Faerie paused as she delved
into her memories. "We need something to represent each element, but that's
it. I would recommend collecting some of the Faerie weapons, such as the Necklace
of the Water Faerie. Can you all find those?"
"I'll get those," Sanalre volunteered. "It shouldn't
take too much haggling, not with Faerieland in the state it's in."
"Anything else?" Talusai prompted.
Mayra consulted her memory once again. "Just
a Glowing Jelly and a Nanka Bottle, for when we need to alter the light."
"I saw this cute little shop that had those in
stock, and it was actually here. It looks like acquiring the ingredients will
be no problem. I'll be back as soon as I can," Talusai told her, and dashed
out the door.
The two were back as fast as they could possibly
be, and Mayra led the way to the other place beneath Faerieland that shouldn't
exist. "We go through here," Mayra whispered as she opened the door to the stone
tunnel. "Give me the Jelly and the Bottle; I'll use them when it's time."
The first part was straightforward, nothing out
of the ordinary. When the stone changed, though, it lit up, glowing with the
light of a thousand Novas as Mayra crossed the border.
The other five instinctively flinched, but Mayra
had seen that part in the secret in her memory. Calmly, she uncorked the Nanka
Bottle and let the darkness cover the light, dimming it to a bearable level.
Tanelle gasped as she felt her hair begin to
blacken at the ends. "We need to hurry, Mayra!" she cried. "I'm already beginning
to feel like I'm ceasing to be a faerie!"
"Right." Mayra nodded as they came to the next
part, a tunnel full of darkness. She produced the Glowing Jelly from the bag
at her waist, and proceeded faster than before, the Jelly held high to illuminate
"Ah!" Kanal'te cried as she tripped over something.
"What's wrong?" She felt Sanalre's hands on hers.
"Nothing now, but we truly must hurry. I'm losing
my contact with the earth."
"Lucky we're there, then, isn't it?" Mayra called
from the front.
The group emerged into a circular stone chamber.
The centerpiece was a pedestal with an iridescent crystal atop it. The crystal,
though, was dull and flawed, no longer the masterpiece it must once have been.
"Here's where I can go no longer," Mayra annouced.
"This was the part that I could not see. I know there's something tricky about
it, but I can't place what."
"Well, we don't have much time!" Kanal'te exclaimed.
"Let's just do this!" Without waiting for advice from the clever one, she pried
the gem from the Staff of the Earth Faerie that she carried and placed it in
the small, green, circular indentation on one side of that pedestal. "It doesn't
really fit...." she commented, but stepped back and let Talusai place her gem.
Talusai's was the pale blue crystal from the
front of the Circlet of the Air Faerie. It fit loosely in the wide silver indentation,
as though it had been shrunk. "That's interesting," Talusai told them. "Who's
Sanalre stepped forward to place the gem from
the Necklace of the Water Faerie in the blue indentation. "That seems way too
small for that," Sanalre told Tanelle, who was busy trying to fit the Orb of
the Fire Faerie into a rather small red-glowing circle.
Mayra didn't even bother to take the gem out,
but rested the Amulet of the Dark Faerie in the triangular slot that glowed
purple, while Triesta approached the small, diamond-shaped white slot and tried
to insert the tip of the Wand of the Light Faerie.
"It's not working!" she called to Mayra, moving
it one last time. The gem in the top came in contact with the inside of the
small hole, and the crystal started glowing, but with an ugly black color. The
earth began to shake, and Tanelle fell over, crashing into Kanal'te and knocking
"What did we do wrong?" Tanelle cried over the
din of the falling rocks.
"I don't know!" Mayra shouted at her. "I couldn't
see this part! How do you expect me to know?"
The two were so busy yelling at each other that
they didn't notice Talusai make her way slowly over to the pedestal and yank
her gem from its place. She reached for the stone from the green indentation,
but it wouldn't come. "Kanal'te!!!" Talusai screamed at her friend. "Get your
wings over here and help me! I need you to put this stone in the silver spot!"
Kanal'te struggled up and over to the pedestal,
despite the ever-increasing shaking. She reached for the stone and it went flying,
toward the far end of the room.
Talusai hit her head with her hand. "Oh no. How
is this going to work now?"
The other pairs had meanwhile been switching
their stones, following Talusai's example, and the shaking had lessened, but
the crystal was still shining with that ugly black color, and the cracks were
Kanal'te closed her eyes. She knew what she would
have to do: summon the stone with her power. She also knew that it would drain
the rest of her power, and make her human. The worst part was, Kanal'te didn't
know if it was reversible.
She knew she had to do it, though. Kanal'te reached
out with the last of her power and found the stone, brought it to her hand and
to the wide silver space awaiting it.
As the stone touched the silver, the crystal
began to shine clearly, and the cracks were mending. As Kanal'te watched this,
she felt her wings shrivel into dust, felt the last of her affinity for earth
leave her. Hair turned black; eyes became dark blue.
"Kanal'te, no!" Sanalre exclaimed. "You can't!"
Kanal'te looked up at her, sadness and the knowledge
of the right thing to do evident in her eyes. "Can and must. I don't know if
I can go back, but this is the way it has to be if I can't."
"Of course you can go back!" Tanelle cried. "Can't
she?" the Fire Faerie queried Mayra, the expert on these matters.
Mayra swallowed hard. "I... don't know."
"You're supposed to know!" Now Talusai joined
the battle. "This is one of my best friends, and I'm not going to let her leave
this place as a human."
Kanal'te smiled at her friends. "Thanks, but
I'm not sure that's possible."
Triesta threw in her two bits now. "It is. If
Mayra and I draw the power from the earth stone into you, you'll become a faerie
again. She and I will have to stay down here, to prevent this from ever happening
again, but you'll come and visit, right?"
"You'd do that?" Kanal'te stared at Light and
Dark, sisters standing together, prepared to do what was right.
"Aye," Triesta told her. "We shall." The two
laid hands on the stone, and Kanal'te felt the power of the earth course back
through her, and suddenly she was once again a Faerie, feeling all of the earth.
"Thank you," Kanal'te told them fervently. "I
don't know how I can ever repay you."
Triesta winked at her. "Just come visit lots."
The two turned back to the pedestal, and the
Four walked up, back into the light, to stay as faeries forever.
Author's Note: Thanks to Chrissa and Jen, who practically made me write
this. Evil girls! *glares* But I needed to do this anyway, so thanks a ton.