..."Outsiders!" came a voice seemingly from everywhere, causing Sally and Misty to dart their heads every which way.
At last, and at the same time, they saw a familiar faerie float toward them. "Taelia!" said Misty, pointing at the hovering figure.
"Who sent you two? Jhudora?"
"No," Sally quickly replied.
"Hmm... you don't seem disingenuous." She smiled at the pair. "Looks like Jhudora hasn't been able to pierce my spell yet. Welcome to Terror Mountain."
"What's going on, snow faerie? Why did you hide the mountain?" Sally asked.
Taelia cocked her head to one side, almost giving a "really?" look but her ever-present smile masked it. "Er... because the entire mountain was recently threatened by Jhudora and many of her dark faerie sisters. Word in the caves was that many of the dark faeries were plotting this year to bewitch the Advent Calendar prizes when Neopians weren't looking!"
Misty and Sally gave Taelia the "really?" look now.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" The Snow Faerie frowned. "They're going to make their move at noon!"
"Er... really?" was all Sally could say.
"Look, Taelia," Misty started, "I know this threat sounds serious, and under different circumstances it certainly would be." The Usul paused, then slowly inquired. "Have you ever been to an Advent Calendar before?"
The Snow Faerie looked visibly taken aback. "Well, I've been featured in a few of them, but I've always been too busy protecting Terror Mountain, rather than collecting knick-knacks I'll throw into my Safety Deposit Box and never look at again."
"You sure you haven't ever went to the Advent Calendar?" Sally said with a giggle.
Taelia smiled wanly. "Look, kids, you found Terror Mountain. Good for you. But why would I unhide it after threats that could possibly harm every goer to the Advent Calendar in one week's time?"
"Trust us," Misty said as she turned her back on the faerie. Sally did likewise.
The two left the tunnel, leaving the Snow Faerie to just watch on.
On the first day of the month of celebrating, the bells tolled and the newspapers read, "TERROR MOUNTAIN REOPENED IN TIME FOR THE ADVENT CALENDAR!"
"Misty Misty Misty," Sally exclaimed, bursting through her sister's bedroom door. "Let's go let's go let's gooooo!"
Misty smiled. She took her sister's hand and made their way to the Ferry, and to the Mountain. They stepped off the ship to behold the towering icy slope.
Misty grinned. It was a glorious sight. It felt so... right.
They got into the massive lineup and waited... and waited...
And then Taelia appeared as the sun started to set. "You two!" she said, looking only somewhat frenzied. "It's almost five and still no sign of the dark faeries! How did you know the attack wasn't going to happen?"
"Simple," Misty commented. "You'd said the faeries were going 'to bewitch the Advent Calendar prizes when Neopians weren't looking'. Well, Neopians are ALWAYS looking at and after the Advent Calendar during the month of celebrating. I mean, this steady lineup has been here for hours!"
Taelia frowned... then smiled. "Why you little Usuls... you two are right. I wish I would have seen that earlier." And with that she fluttered off.
Sally gave her big sister a high-five as they approached the building and received their super awesome amazing gifts.