An Unexpected Confrontation (Chapter 11)

Fortune Fountain and the fairies had been wandering down the path for hours. They walked through valleys and ice villages. Fortune Fountain and Hetitia continued to tease each other throughout the journey and Hetty started to wonder whether this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the two of them. She chuckled at the thought of mentioning this to her sister who would no sooner than send a million wandering waterfalls in Fortune Fountain’s direction for battle.

“Can’t we just sit for a little while under this tree? I’m tired, we’ve been walking for ages,” said Hetitia as she slumped on a stump.

“Come along now Hetitia, we must not waste time!” said Hetty dragging her sister up again.

“Ahhh! Interesting, look at me. I’ve been trapped in a tree for years and I have more energy than you,” teased Fortune Fountain.

“Oh! Oh! The nerve! Yes pent up energy. Ha!” replied Hetitia.

“Come along you two. Fortune, shouldn’t we be at the Fairy Council by now?” asked Hetty.

Fortune Fountain stopped and started spurting water out of the top of his head while scratching his chin. He closed his eyes for a full five seconds and then opened them again with an undeterred look in his eyes.

“We should be here,” said the fountain.

The fairies looked around but all they could see was a dense field of snowdrops. Then they saw it, an ice crystal palace rising amid the snowdrops and there were tens of fairies fluttering about it.

“This must be it,” said Hetty pointing to the palace, “Come on!”

The fairies started flying towards the palace not realising that Fortune Fountain had fallen behind.

“Come on fountain, you’re pulling us back!” cried Hetitia.

“Fairies, I have got you safely to the Council and this is where I must stop. The Council is no place for me,” stated Fortune Fountain.

“But Fortune, we still need you! You’re our ice compass!” cried Hetty.

“I will be waiting right here, fairies,” beemed Fortune.

The fairies fluttered momentarily around Fortune Fountain before they made their way to the palace. A magnificent ice gate greeted them and the guards recognised them right away.

“Welcome fairies, the council is expecting you,” said the palace guard as they walked through the gates.

Hetty and Hetitia made their way through the palace grounds and all the other fairies stopped to take a look at them. They whispered amongst themselves when they recognised who they were.

“Look! It’s the princess’ fairies!” said one fairy to another and very soon Hetty and Hetitia were the focus of attention.

Hetty grabbed Hetitia by the hand and leant over in whisper, “Do you get the feeling that we’ve suddenly become celebrities? Let’s get out of here!”

They flew as fast as they could until they reached the palace entrance with tears streaming down their faces from laughter. Taking a moment to compose themselves they brushed their hair and freshened up before reporting to reception.

“The council will be with you any moment now, fairies,” said the receptionist.

Hetty and Hetitia fluttered about the room looking at various paintings on the walls of legendary fairies. “Do you think our pictures will be up here one day?” giggled Hetitia.

Hetty laughed as she settled down in a comfortable chair, “I doubt it very much!”

They barely had a chance to regain their breath when they were summoned to the main hall where the council members were meeting.

The fairies hurried along the long ice corridor until they reached a giant door which had been opened and they walked in.

“Ah, fairies, welcome, we have been waiting for you,” greeted the head of the council.

The fairies sat down and started telling the council members all what had happened that day. They spoke of Petuna’s disappearance, the urgent business trip that the king had taken, their encounter with Ice Mirror and her words to them and how they had made their way to the council headquarters with the help of Fortune Fountain. The council members listened with interest, every so often interrupting with a question or two. When the fairies had finished telling their story, they were told what they should do next.

“You must make your way to the Wallowing Waterfall, the gateway to the Crystal Well. There you will wait for Petuna to get to you. We have been in touch with Cloud Intelligence who has told us of a grave matter. We will be speaking to the king and Cloud Bearer the moment our meeting with you is over.”

The fairies looked at each other with puzzled expressions. Hetty found the courage to question their instructions, “Surely we should be trying to save the princess. It might be too late if we make our way towards the Wallowing Waterfall.”

“No fairies, we have had word that the princess is on the move along with a stranger. Her powers are slowly being depleted and if you go to her directly there is a great risk that you will all die. As you know water-wrestlers are waiting in the shadows for the three of you to be reunited to relinquish her magic. No it is safest for all involved if you do as we say. Do not worry, we have others watching over the princess. Now do not delay fairies, you must be on your way.”

The fairies got up to leave, thinking of the words they had just heard. Hetty realised that they would need Fortune Fountain’s help more than ever now to find their way to the Wallowing Waterfall.

Elsewhere in the Land of the Fairies

Meanwhile, Fortune Fountain was lingering at distance from the palace and had grown restless so he decided to take a little walk in the woods nearby. He had heard many stories of the beauty of the land but had never got a chance to see it for himself, being stuck in a tree for years. He walked into the woods, spurting water all over the place, breathing in his sense of freedom. He took in the beauty around him until he reached an iced up lake that had millions of snowdrops and over-hanging trees. Birds were chirping away and the sun was bright. The sun was known to never set in the Land of the Fairies. He took in a deep breath.

“Ahhh! How wonderful it is,” said Fortune to himself as he settled down in a cosy area of the woods.

Suddenly he heard some rustling in the trees. He turned around to see the source of the noise. There was an eerie stillness and he felt that he was not alone. The birds had stopped chirping and he remained on guard, spurting tiny fountains in the air. Then he heard it again.

“Who’s there?”

There was silence for a moment then he heard it again. He made his way towards the trees and that is when he saw him running away. Fortune Fountain dropped his mouth in shock.

“It can’t be!” thought Fortune Fountain to himself but before he could allow himself that indulgence he cried out, “Stop!”

Fortune Fountain started running towards him until he stood facing him, his breath short and his water spurts erratic.

Glacier turned around, his eyebrows arched high in a mean expression and then started laughing to himself. Fortune Fountain’s shock slowly turned into a growing anger.

“Why! Look what we have here,” said Glacier slowly, “I thought you were another one of those dumb fairies trying to capture me but instead I find a lump of water.”

Fortune Fountain spurted water into the air in anger, rage building within him.

“After all these years, you have the nerve to call me a lump of water! You’re nothing but a walking hazard you lump of ice!” said Fortune Fountain.

Glacier laughed out loud before settling down on the ground watching Fortune closely, “Now now, fountain, there’s no need to get cranky, you’ll only get yourself in a puddle!”

“I have been waiting for this moment ever since I last saw you, Glacier,” said Fortune, “I will avenge everyone you harmed!”

“Well well well! It seems you’ve developed a thick skin,” said Glacier as he got up slowly giving Fortune a piercing look, “I would advise you to choose your words carefully, fountain, you wouldn’t want a repeat of what happened before.”

He looked around him and continued, “At least last time you had the fortune of being held against a golden pear tree. There’s nothing here but these useless ice trees. How’s that for company for several more years? I can just see it, fortune fountain getting iced all over.” He gave out a fierce laugh.

Fortune Fountain circled Glacier carefully and said, “Here’s what will happen and you better pay attention very carefully. First, you will give me back the ice compass that you stole from me, then you will be shocked into a million icicles at which point you will be delivered to the Fairy Council. They would then send you to the king and you can imagine the horrors that you would experience at his hands.”

Glacier mocked the fountain silently, “Surely you’re not going to force me to do anything I don’t want to.”

“No, Glacier, but you do realise that you now have an audience,” said Fortune calmly.

Glacier looked around him in bewilderment until he noticed a million snowdrops eyeing him closely and fairies hiding in the shadows.

“Come out fairies!” shouted Fortune Fountain.

Glacier immediately seemed to shrink to half his size from fear. He had gone into hiding in the Land of the Fairies ever since the avalanche. That was the safest place for him he was told by the water-wrestlers. As long as he stayed out of sight, the fairies could not get to him. He had heard about the mission that the king had set out since the death of the queen and that he was willing to pay whatever was needed for Glacier’s capture. He had hid himself well and no one had managed to find him until today. Glacier shivered and gave off tiny scrapings of ice from anxiety. He looked around him and very soon he was surrounded by tens of fairies; Fortune Fountain watching closely.

“Prepare for battle Glacier!” cried Fortune Fountain.

The End

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