Meanwhile in the Land of the Fairies
The fairies, Fortune Fountain and Glacier had been walking for a while. Hetty noticed the wide open space around them was no more. The more they walked the more they felt their surroundings closing in on them. It was not long before they found themselves in a confined space. The air all around them had got dense. It was like they had walked into a fog that was not really a weather condition. Hetty looked more closely and likened it to a sheer curtain that was started from the ground right up to the sky and stretched all around them everywhere they looked. She looked down at the ground and realised that the path had come to an end.
Everyone stopped and looked around them, surprised by their surroundings. Hetitia crept closer towards the sheer-like curtain. She prodded at it cautiously and felt a hard and cold surface. In fact, it looked a bit like the Ice Mirror that they had gone through earlier. They tried looking through to the other side but their vision was obstructed. There seemed to be a whole army of water droplets stacked one on top of the other and sliding down the surface on the other side.
“Where are we?” asked Hetty with a voice like she was in a dream.
“Interesting,” said Fortune Fountain as he looked at his ice compass, “I’m not exactly sure, fairies. Here, hold on to Glacier while I figure this out.”
The fairies held on to their prisoner and gave him suspicious looks, challenging any notion he had of escaping.
“It seems that we’ve reached the end of our journey, fairies,” said Fortune with a puzzled look.
Hetitia rolled her eyes and fluttered over to him, dragging Hetty and Glacier along without thinking.
“Here, give me that fountain!” said Hetitia decisively as she exchanged the compass in his hands with Glacier, “you look after him while I figure this out.”
Fortune laughed at her manner and submitted, “Go ahead, fairy but I’m sure you’ll come to the same conclusion.”
Hetitia looked at the ice compass with interest. She had seen Fortune Fountain dip the compass in water to be able to read it. Perhaps the compass stored a secret that needed to be revealed in this manner. But she could not see any water source around her as she scanned the area. Her eyes suddenly stopped at the surface that she had just touched. Water droplets were on the other side. Perhaps there was a way after all, she thought to herself. Hetitia fluttered over to the surface inspecting it and feeling it with her hands. Hetty watched in bewilderment.
“What are you trying to do?” asked Hetty.
“I’m trying to find a crack in this pane or a window of some sort to the other side,” said Hetitia, busy at work, “Don’t just stand there, help me!”
Hetty rolled her eyes again and headed towards a different part of the pane, mimicking Hetitia. They worked diligently across the whole surface, trying to find an opening of some sort until they both reached the same spot and gasped. They could feel a wet stream of water sliding down the surface and they could hear a muffled sound as well. They placed their ears on the pane trying to listen but all they could hear was a wailing followed by a song of sorts that sounded like a mumble.
Fortune Fountain watched them with interest while holding tightly on to Glacier. Hetitia produced the compass and gulped nervously before placing it in the tiny trickle of water. Suddenly the enclosure where they stood echoed with sound that came out of the compass. They had to adjust their ears after a few moments then things started to make sense. The fairies looked down at the compass and it kept showing them one message: Wallowing Waterfall. Proceed.
They all listened with awe at the song being sung. It was like a story being told; the story of time. Parts of it were happy and cheerful, other parts were sad and nostalgiac, others were scary and still others were angry. They listened, captivated by the tune and voice of the waterfall more than anything. When she finished her song, there was a brief interlude of music. It was the sound of the splash of the waterfall where the water droplets celebrated the culmination of their journey from high above the waterfall down to the very bottom of the pool. Then Wallowing Waterfall started her song again.
Fortune listened with interest, nodding at the words and reacting to the emotion while the fairies tried to figure out how to get through to her. Just then Hetty had an idea. They had been obeying the compass’ instructions since Fortune had got his hands on it again. It was just as simple as that. All they had to do was to comply with the instructions and proceed. Hetty held on to the compass that was still in Hetitia’s hand and closed her eyes before fluttering into the stream of water.
She found herself wading through a crowd of water droplets who were surprised by this fairy who had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. The droplets had been waiting patiently for the waterfall to finish her song so that they could celebrate in the interlude again and produce their music. Hetty made her way through until she found herself at the far end. When she took another step she found herself fluttering before the Wallowing Waterfall. Hetty admired the waterfall’s magnificence. She looked closely and could see Hetitia, Fortune Fountain with Glacier in tow on the other side following her lead.
Wallowing Waterfall had been watching them all and as soon as she finished her song she turned her attention to them.
“Fairies! Fortune Fountain and… Glacier? How intriguing!!” said Wallowing Waterfall.
Hetty was excited about this encounter. They had finally reached their destination and made it back into the Land of the Flowing River in one piece.
“Wallowing Waterfall! It’s such an honour to meet you. You sing beautifully!” exclaimed Hetty.
“Why thank you, fairy,” said the waterfall before breaking into a sonnet in honour of her guests. The water droplets cheered when she finished and started celebrating again by hurling themselves in the air before making big splashes as they dived in the pool. It was like water droplet’s version of a jumping castle.
“What brings you here fairies?” asked the waterfall.
“Oh! Waterfall, we’re searching for the princess. The council told us to meet her here – that she was or is heading here. Have you seen her?” asked Hetitia desperately.
“Mmmm, no my fairies, I haven’t, did you get separated? But I do recall a bunch of strange looking creatures coming this way,” said the waterfall thoughtfully before breaking into another song.
When she finished her song she said, “One of them even dropped something in the pool down below.”
The fairies looked at each other and without a second thought dived in the pool, looking for anything unusual. They searched through the crowds of gleeful water droplets until they saw it. Their eyes widened with shock. It was the royal liquid compass. They quickly swam towards it, grabbed it then swam back up to the surface. The fairies shook the water off and started inspecting the compass.
Meanwhile, Fortune Fountain had secured Glacier, who was looking around him in fear, in a safe corner.
“Interesting! You’re shaking! What is it that you fear icicle?” said Fortune Fountain.
Glacier flicked a look at him and gulped before finding the words to speak, “Fountain, I give you my word that I will help you but please, promise me that you will protect me.”
Fortune Fountain stood cross-armed considering Glacier’s words carefully, “I’m still not so sure I can trust you icicle but only time will tell.”
No sooner did Fortune say his words than a strong tremor hit them. They were all thrown off guard. The fairies fluttered in the air grabbing hold of the compass that was jolted out of their hands. Wallowing Waterfall broke her song and started wailing instead. The water droplets were thrown up in the air by the force of the tremors. Fortune Fountain had fountains spouting all over the place and Glacier felt several cracks in his body. He shook with fear.
Before they could understand what it was that hit them, another tremor followed. This time they were prepared and Wallowing Waterfall protected them by enveloping them in a stream of water droplets.
The fairies went pale as a familiar feeling washed over them. Wallowing Waterfall suddenly changed her song. This time she started singing of disaster striking and the words told the story of what would happen unless something was done.
They all listened in fear when they realised that an avalanche had started which had been prompted by the removal of the Amber Crystal. The fairies fluttered nervously. They had to do something to stop Wallowing Waterfall from turning to ice. It would not be long before this happened as the avalanche would make its way here. If this happened, they would lose all hope of reaching the Crystal Well and of retrieving the Amber Crystal from the thieves because the Wallowing Waterfall was the entrance to the Crystal Well. They had to act fast.
That was when Glacier spoke, “I can help you!”
They all looked at him with sudden realisation. They ran towards him and released him, throwing him into Wallowing Waterfall, who was wailing in expectation of her fate. Glacier strengthened his resolve and armed his ice flakes in readiness. He was prepared to face the soldiers of the avalanche and fight them icicle to icicle until they surrendered. He had done this before to save his own skin in the last avalanche. This time he had to do it for the waterfall. Most of all he did not want to fail the fairies and Fortune Fountain. Perhaps this time they would see that he really can be trusted. Perhaps they would put in a good word for him with the king and he would be spared. He stood patiently, waiting. The next few moments would decide Wallowing Waterfall’s fate, his destiny and the future of the land.