She was soaking wet and but oddly warm, but then she remembered what Zanna had told her about the clothing she was wearing. Lydia opened her eyes and what she saw did not surprise her, she was still in the cavern and there were a few of what she now knew were sprites; in their full size. But what did shock her was that Will was holding her.
She sat up feeling much better than she had the entire time she was in Eleden, her mind had cleared but she still didn’t believe that Will was here. She thought that she was still in a strange place and she wanted something familiar... Lydia looked up and there he was her… her Will. Her home. He wasn’t a dream, she didn’t know why she was so sure but she was.
She hugged Will and when she pulled away she was at a loss for words, “Hi.” She finally forced out.
He tried to hold back a laugh but it didn’t work, and “We are way passed that.” And they both laughed. It was comfortable as it always had been.
“Looks like our girl is up. You both seem well.” Zanna walked in and was sitting on a tree stump.
Lydia just nodded, but Will spoke “Yea…” He eyed Lydia unsurely but proceeded after seeing her bright face, “Yea actually we are.”
“You're wondering what’s happening.” Before they responded a woman walked in with a confused look on her face but Lydia had seen her before.
“Hey I know you! You're that reporter lady that goes to the library.” Lydia shouted a little too loudly.
The lady walked and stood next to Zanna, “Jillian.” The lady they now knew’s name was Jillian smirked.
“Jillian, I suggest you pay attention to this too. So it would be smart to sit next to Lydia and Will.” Zanna said. Lydia couldn’t remember if she had told Zanna her name, but it wasn’t that big a deal.
Jillian started to say, “Me?” but sat down anyway.
“The potion you have taken was a strong one. The effects vary depending on the person. In your cases you have, extreme confusion, anger, and disbelief.” As she said each she pointed from Lydia, Will then Jillian. Zanna continued, “But all have one main purpose which is to open a portal and bring you into Utopia. Now what stopped the side effects is our fountain that you two have just came out of.
Will spoke now, “How’d it do that?”
Zanna looked at Will and spoke, "The fountain has healing properties, it runs from the main source of our magic which blesses it. Now Jillian both Will and Lydia have been in it already. I think it’s time for you to enter it.” Zanna turned to look at Jillian.
Jillian stood up, “No. Why should I?”
Zanna looked down at her and simply said with her soft tone, “We do not take kind to rudeness or to violation of orders, especially orders which are being given for your safety. Also if you do not enter the fountain willingly it will be done by force, and trust me you will not like it.”
Lydia looked at Jillian who gulped, “Fine… do I just jump in?”
Zanna said, “Yes, and when you come out you will follow Shannon for a change of clothes, clothes which will be explained and will be put on without a fight.”
Before Jillian jumped in she looked at Lydia. Their eyes meeted and Lydia nodded at her. Jillian closed her eyes and jumped in. What happened next was just like what Zanna said and Will and Lydia learned who Shannon was.
When Jillian came back she was wearing the same leaf fatigue as Lydia. But on her face she seemed more relaxed just like Will and herself.
When everyone was seated again a few sprites sat down making a circle that grew larger and larger as more sprites joined. Lydia thought back to her time here, and remembered something that she didn’t understand.
“Zanna.” Lydia said.
Zanna looked away from the sprite who was now joining them and responded, “Yes?”
“Who was the man on the black horse that I had to run from?” Lydia said getting a curious look from both Jillian and Will.
“They are the Dark Guardian’s of the roads. If ever you see one again, your best chance will be to run as fast and far as you can.” Zanna said. “Staying off the roads will keep them from a direct attack, but you can come across them even traveling in the forest.”
“You say that as if we’ll be traveling.” Jillian said with little excitement in her tone.
Zanna looked at each of the humans, “You will be, but right now we will not talk about it yet. Right now, you need to know who their Master is.”
“Who’s that?” Will asked ignorantly.
“The man who controls the Dark Guardians, he is known as the Dark Lord Maltar.” Zanna looked down at the ground then back up, “He has many evils on his side, evils which limit our freedoms. He destroyed Ciraden another moon sprite Village. Their souls are now with the moon.”
“But our fellow sprites are not the only ones who have lost their lives, many others have followed them into death. He has increased his power and has put fear in many others. Our lands have grown weaker and will eventually be no more.
“That’s terrible!” Lydia said shocked. “Why is he doing this?”
Zanna sighed. “He was a result of a tainted thought that was stored so deep in the subconscious, it reached Utopia. He started out as nothing more than a mere wisp, and was always a nuisance but something happened to him”
“What?” Everyone asked simultaneously.
“No one knows what it is, but he is coming back stronger now. Much stronger. No one knows why he’s so strong or how he recovers, but now Utopia is becoming less and less Utopian.”
“Ok, ok. So you’re telling us we’re in Utopia? Isn’t that some idea some Greek philosopher came up with?” Jillian asked.
“No. He did not come up with the idea. He was the first human to visit here.”
“Utopia was a world created when humans began to create ideas.” Zanna continued. “We are the creations of the gatherings of these ideas and are what you would call the ideal perfect world. But this world is also balanced out by Maltar. Without Maltar, this world would plunge into just as much chaos as if he were to take over Utopia.”
“Imagine a large balance. This balance requires both sides to be even in order for it the keep steady. Maybe sometimes one side can be slightly heavier that the other, but if either side becomes too heavy, the balance topples.”
“And right now, the balance is starting to reach it’s toppling point. Once we topple, there’s no turning back.”
“What does that do?”
“Our worlds coexist and without one the other cannot survive. If Utopia gets destroyed, all thoughts will be released onto humanity and chaos will break out. Most people will die immediately from the immense knowledge that invade their minds. Some will survive. And they will end up become worse than Hitler.”
“Uh, good to know?” Jillian whispered nervously.
“But why are we here?” Will demanded.
“For reasons, yet to be explained.” Zanna beckoned them to follow her as she turned to lead them away.