Clues in the Hidden Tower: Sparkles's Mystery - Part Eight
Sparkles was very excited about today for two reasons. For one reason, she had finally realized who was creating those terrible disasters in new Faerieland. The other reason was because today was Sparkles's birthday! Finally, Sparkles's special day had come, and now she could celebrate her birthday with the party she was waiting for.
Right after I expose the criminal, Sparkles decided to herself. After spending the whole night thinking and re-thinking her ideas, Sparkles was confident that she had figured out who the real culprit was.
She had also thought hard on the reason why they would try to lift Faerieland back to the ground, steal the Dark Faerie's Amulet to frame Hanso, and send a shower of Glittery Faerie Dust over the unsuspecting faeries. But when they approached their meeting spot, Sparkles and Scary were surprised to see that Brynn and Hanso were talking to Oscar and a green Kacheek, who was obviously Mike.
"For the last time, Xandra is not here!" Hanso exclaimed. Sparkles was wide-eyed with fear as she approached the group.
"What's going on now?" Scary demanded.
Hanso immediately pointed to Oscar and Mike. "Those two still think that Xandra is here," he explained. "We keep saying she's not here, but they don't believe us. Now I know that you two are just a bit smarter than they are. I won't be surprised if those wraiths sucked the brain cells out of them!"
"But it's true!" Oscar insisted. "You guys have to listen to me. The fate of Faerieland is in our hands now, and we must defeat Xandra before she sends another shower of dust."
"That's not true!" Sparkles blurted out. Everybody stared at her, and Sparkles took in a deep breath. "I mean... I know who did it," she said sheepishly.
"You do?" Brynn gasped with amazement. "Well, don't just stand there, tell us-" Suddenly Brynn fell to the ground. "Earthquake!" she exclaimed.
"But I have to tell you something," Sparkles insisted desperately. Fearing Faerieland would crumble, Sparkles knelt to the ground and pressed her ear to the ground. Sure enough, the ground felt like it was trying to rise.
Come on, Sparkles told herself. You have to say something! As soon as this ends, you go walk over to Brynn and explain your theory. Only you can save Faerieland! Amazingly, the quake had stopped after a few short minutes. When Sparkles got up, she looked up at the sky and gasped at what she saw.
"There it is!" she exclaimed to the others. "There's your culprit! It wasn't Xandra that was destroying Faerieland... it was Saphrine!"
"Saphrine!?" everyone gasped. As they turned to look up in the direction Sparkles was pointing to, they could all see a frazzled Air faerie flying in the sky.
"Saphrine, we know it was you all along!" Sparkles shouted to the Air faerie. "You can stop now!"
"Sparkles, it can't be Saphrine," Brynn insisted, but even she was surprised when the Air faerie turned around to Sparkles and flew down to the ground. Sure enough; it really was Saphrine! "This can't be," Brynn gasped. "She's supposed to be sleeping."
"That's what I thought too," Sparkles explained. "But then last night, Scary told me that we could have been overlooking something. At first I was not so sure. But then I remembered that we found Saphrine with a ring of faerie dust around her. And because it was spread around her, then none of it touched her!"
"So it was her! I knew it." Hanso grinned at Saphrine, who frowned back.
"You still don't know everything," Saphrine insisted.
"But I do," Sparkles piped up. "I know all about you Air faeries, because of a book I bought from the Faerie Bookstore. As soon as I remembered Brynn mentioning new clouds forming, I decided to read the section about cloud making last night, and realized that only Air Faeries could create new clouds. You could also enter the Hidden Tower whenever you want since you're a faerie."
"Which was how Saphrine could have gotten that Faerie Blade and the Glittery Faerie Dust," Brynn added.
Sparkles nodded. "The only thing Saphrine needed to do in order to carry out her real plan is to get rid of all of the faeries. She sprinkled the faerie dust because she had remembered what Fyora had taught her. Then she could use her powers to create new clouds and float Faerieland back to the sky."
"And I bet she took the Dark Faerie's Amulet to increase her powers," said Hanso. "She had probably also used that Faerie Fog on us while we were climbing up the Hidden Tower." Sparkles nodded in agreement.
"But this is still confusing," sighed Mike. "I mean for one thing, why on earth would Saphrine go to such great lengths to return Faerieland to the sky?"
"Maybe it's because she was unhappy about being grounded," Sparkles suggested. "Perhaps Saphrine wanted something. Like... I don't know... a cloud? Only real, and not junior, Air Faeries can get their own cloud. I read about it in my book. It explained that earning her own cloud is a great achievement for an Air Faerie."
"Is that all true?" Oscar wondered. As if on a cue, everybody turned to stare at Saphrine, who was blushing hard.
"Oh, all right," Saphrine grumbled. "I did do all this, but only because I was so close! I was just two classes away from earning my own cloud when Xandra came and cast her evil spell on us. When we woke up, we were all surprised to see that we were not on a cloud anymore, but instead we were on the ground!"
"And you didn't like the ground, didn't you?" asked Scary.
"I thought I would like it," sighed Saphrine, "but it turned out to be a lot worse than I could have ever imagined. Because somebody needed to be free from his spell, Fyora was too weak to help us faeries repair our beloved Faerieland. We junior faeries were also told that we had to start all of our courses and magic exams all over again. Can you believe it?"
"So you thought that you could improve the faeries' lives by bringing them back to the sky, right?" Brynn asked Saphrine.
Saphrine nodded. "I knew my plan was going to be too risky to attempt, but I knew that I had to do something to help them! With the help of the Glittery Faerie Dust, and a few magic words, I was able to put all of the faeries to sleep... except for Illene."
"So then you decided to take her out," Scary continued.
"Illene was getting too suspicious with me, so I tried to steer her somewhere else. I tried to convince her that Hanso was still a master thief and that our new friends were going to help him loot the Hidden Tower. But when she didn't believe me, I decided to send her to dreamland," Saphrine sounded superior as she talked.
"So you decided to mess with our investigations at the Hidden Tower by moving it," said Hanso.
"It's the only thing I could do," Saphrine admitted. "I knew how to teleport things, so I was able to move the Hidden Tower around Faerieland so that you guys won't find it. But sadly you always did. After learning that you guys were going to climb up the tower, I immediately poofed myself into the tower, grabbed the Faerie Fog, and sprayed it at you guys. I also tried to cut your guys' rope. It was the only way to prevent you guys from finding your proof."
"But what about Xandra? Oscar and I were sure we saw her in the sky," said Mike.
Saphrine sighed and said, "That's because she helped me. I... freed her." Everybody gasped in horror. So Xandra really was free!
"Where is she? What's she doing?" Brynn and Hanso stammered.
"In the woods," Saphrine explained coolly. "After I freed her, she agreed to help me move Faerieland. So technically, she was the one who caused those giant quakes. I just created that awful fog. And as for her location, I decided to turn her into stone in the woods. I actually just did that a few minutes ago!"
"Yeah, cool, but what about the Faerie Festival?" Scary demanded.
"Can't you reverse the spell?" Sparkles asked hopefully. Saphrine thought for a minute and nodded. With a snap of her fingers, Sparkles watched in awe as all of the sleeping faeries woke up to the sunlight.
"I'm really sorry for what I did," Saphrine sighed. "If you guys hadn't seen me, I could have made another quake ten times worse! I'm sure that Faerieland would have crumbled in seconds if I tried to raise it up to the sky." As if she knew everybody was waiting, Saphrine pulled out the Dark Faerie's Amulet from her pocket and threw it at Hanso, who caught it at ease. "Sorry," she whispered.
"We are here today to honor our guests," Fyora said in a booming voice. Now that Faerieland was back to normal, Fyora had organized a banquet to thank everybody who has saved Faerieland. While everyone sat in their seats, Fyora stood up and began a thank you speech she prepared for the special occasion. "I would like to first thank Hanso, for his bravery in defeating our poor Xandra." She smiled at Hanso, who blushed back.
"When do you think she'll mention us?" Scary whispered to Illene.
Illene giggled and shrugged her shoulders. "I'm just glad Saphrine was given community service to do. That and she had to start her magic lessons all over again!" She giggled as Saphrine's face went red.
Scary groaned as she poked her slice of cake with her fork. "So, you're saying that I wouldn't even get one little 'thank you' after EVERYTHING I did!?!"
"Sadly," Saphrine sighed. Furious, Scary decided to attack her cake until Fyora's speech was over. While she waited for Fyora to finish, Sparkles turned her gaze to Brynn, who was busy talking to a Light faerie.
"And I would love to thank our sweet Shirley," Fyora continued. "Her bravery and cleverness had saved Faerieland from Saphrine's wicked spell. Thank you very much, Shirley."
"It's Sparkles," Sparkles squeaked, but Fyora continued as if she didn't hear her. Brynn winked at Sparkles after she finished her conversation. She must have been pleased with working with Sparkles!
After her especially long speech was over, Fyora held up her glass of faerie fizz and said, "Here's a toast to our friends, old and new, and for Faerieland. May we rise to the sky one day by ourselves, and not by Saphrine! I am confident that we can restore Faerieland's magic again." After winking to Sparkles, Fyora said, "And may our beloved Shirley have a wonderful birthday today!"
I'm beloved by Fyora! Even if she doesn't know my name, she still adores me!!!! Sparkles thought eagerly as everybody else held up their faerie glasses and began a toast.
"Toast!" everybody cried. "To a new Faerieland, the defeat of Xandra, and to the birthday Bruce!"
Yes, thought Sparkles, cheers to peace and the new Faerieland. I really hope things get better for Faerieland. I really, really do! After the banquet was over, Sparkles and Scary decided to do some last minute sight-seeing before they leave for Neopia Central. Both Bruces were thrilled that they got to meet all of their favourite faeries, but now they felt a bit sad about leaving Faerieland. When Brynn and Hanso approached them, Sparkles felt a lump in her throat. Could she say good-bye to them?
"We just want to say thanks," said Brynn. "We had a blast working with you two. I hope you guys will come to Faerieland and visit us again." Sparkles nodded and hugged Brynn very tightly. When she finished her hug, she turned to Hanso and nodded at him.
"Well, I guess Faerieland has four heroes now," Hanso said as he pulled out a pin out of his pocket. The pin was shaped into a pair of faerie wings, and each wing had three little diamonds on it. "Fyora gave me this pin after we saved Faerieland," Hanso explained. "But it's way too girly for me, so you can have it."
"Thank you," Sparkles gulped as Hanso placed the pin in her hand. The pin sparkled a bit as the Neopian sun began to set.
"See you guys soon!" Hanso cried as he and Brynn walked away towards Faerie City. Both Bruces knew that they were desperately needed in Faerieland.
"I really hope he doesn't rob our neohome," said Scary, but Sparkles only laughed as their two new hero friends walked away into the sunset. After placing her new pin into her flower purse, Sparkles and Scary began walking to their hotel.