Chapter 30:

Return Trip

Full Moon! Through the Rings of Love

Flying through the space between the moon and planet was surprisingly calming. Space was quiet. This was like a relaxing boat ride across a pond, only the water was the icy rings of our planet. Hard to believe we were just in those rings yesterday…from here, they looked nothing like the realms we visited.

What caught our attention even more was the galaxy above. It was an impressive collection of points of light and gas.

We couldn’t hear the others behind us, but they were in the same calm trance we were, gazing off at the distant galaxy.

"Legends say, our empire used to control all of space." Luna waved her hand across the air, referencing the stars. "I believe it's true. Maybe someday, we'll have it all again."

"Maybe we can make that happen in our lifetime?" I said, half jokingly.

Luna was quietly considering my words. Then she closed her fists and nodded with approval.

"Yes, I know we will!"

Luna’s enthusiasm always cheered me up. I can definitely say our journey to the moon would have been worthwhile if it hand’t been for Mond. As long as we stopped her, this would be a tale for our children someday.

And I mean real children, not giant golden birds.


The upper atmosphere started out cold, chilling us to the bone. Things were a lot warmer the closer to the ground we flew.

We touched down right in the heart of the Fairylands. The birds were tired, so this was the best they could do for us.

While flying in, I spotted where the temple was. It would be a hike, but we'd braved this place once before, and we could do it again.

Zumi drew her iron sword. “Alright, everyone get behind me!”

She was our defense against the fairies, since iron was their weakness. And if they were out and about, who knows how they’ll try and get in the way?

Zumi took point, and we raced in just behind her.

Time slowed as we walked, a familiar, discomforting feel brushed through the air.

I remembered the feeling we had when that illusion spell was cast on us. This time we were ready for its strangeness.

As if tearing through the fabric of space and time itself, Zumi swung down her iron sword and parted the illusion that was warping our sense of day.

A simple fairy, shaped nearly identical to a tiny human woman with bug eyes, floated in the wake of Zumi’s strike, mere inches from taking the blow.

"Listen!" Zumi shouted to the fairy. "The crystal temple your kind worships is about to be destroyed." She pointed at us. "Those two are the only ones who can stop it. Will you let them through?"

The fairy didn't look like she wanted to comply, but Charlie had something to add.

"If you wish for tribute, let me stay here while you cast your spell. I'll gladly let you torture me if it let's them pass..."

Charlie was taking one for the team. It had a high chance of going wrong, since fairies could lie or completely reject the idea.

Despite that, the fairy seemed to comply with a sassy nod of her head. I don't know if she believed what we were saying, but she decided to take him up on his offer to be exclusively affected by her power.

I'm sure if his head hadn't been sent to a nightmare realm of unimaginable terror, he would have said something like "You guys have made me see that I am nothing if not the thing that keeps you all going." Or at least, that's the fantasy my mind came up with.

I took a mental note where he was, because no way was I leaving him behind once we finished. Goodluck to you, man. Thanks for this.

That fairy wasn't our only problem though. A tiger monster appeared, higher level then any of us, even when I powered up with Luna’s magic. Luna had gotten even more weaker since the moon phase was constantly changing.

I was about to put everything I had into a single strike with all the power I could muster, but Zumi stopped me.

"No!" Zumi shouted out. "Save your strength! I can fight this one."

Zumi raised her wand, summoning powerful rainbows of energy around it. Each wave of the short wooden rod wrote ethereal words in mid air, sending them flying at the giant tiger like monster.

She was a powerful mage. If anyone could outdo a higher level opponent, it was her.

"Get out of here, brother! Stop Mond and the Portal Master!"

Zumi didn't have time to say more, she focused completely on her fight.

Now it was just Luna and I. The crystal temple was just beyond a hill, and our final confrontation with Mond was about to begin.

Mario Nakano 64
Taylor J
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