Sky Lake

Chapter 1: Water Dragon

I was so ashamed to find that there was no key in the box. I did not how to even think about finding it. I asked the Jade Pool Fairy for her advice.

She was so clever that she deduced the whereabouts of the key. For she guessed that if it was not in the Flyingstone Ape’s hand; then it must be with the Firestone Kobold in Sky Lake.

Sky Lake has fresh clear blue water and a grand waterfall. Birds love to hover in the sky making sweet music. However my trip here was not for sight-seeing.

Time was of the essence so I went to the Water Dragon immediately. I had to beat the Firestone Kobold in order to get the key. As per the request of the Jade Pool Fairy, I took the key to Shilan in the Jade Fungus Cave and asked her to shut down the Water Dragon.

But as we tried to shut down the Water Dragon, Heretics appeared carrying Iron Pestles. They raised them menacingly at us and threatened to kill us. We had our work cut out but we did manage to defeat them eventually.

Holy City was at peace for a short time although it would not be long lived… The Water Dragon could not be shut down for long. We must find the poison’s source and eradicate it.

Chapter 2: Dispel Poison

The sound of crazed laughter and a shriek of triumph came from under the Mystic Tree. The source of the sound came from was the usually quiet Medicine Master. He hurried over to me grasping some kind of mushroom in his hand and wearing a very excited look upon his face. “Young man! Oh it’s good news! After months of searching every medicine book I had, feeling disheartened and almost giving up at least three times I came across this wonderful specimen. This magnificent little fungi may look insignificant, but believe me it holds a wonderful secret inside. It has its own poison that is powerful enough to counteract the poison in the water. Oh praise be to nature she has a cure for everything!”

However, when the Medicine Master made a closer study of the Venom Fungus he discovered that it only had limited power. And as such could only restrain the poison in the water for a time, not completely get rid of it. Stronger spore powder was needed for that. I told him how when I had gone to collect the Fungi for him I had also seen several smaller Demons scampering around the older ones. He gave another whoop of excitement. “Eureka! That’s it my boy! That’s exactly it! Those small creatures are the Fungus Whelps, the offspring of the Venom Fungus. Contrary to most other species, it is the young who are most powerful. I’m sure that if we could get some spores from them then the antidote’s effects are sure to be permanent.”

I took myself off to Green Fungus Mountain to find the Whelps. They were much more difficult to deal with than the older, slower adults. Nevertheless I managed to collect a whole load of spores, which I took immediately to the Medicine Master. After several false starts he managed to safely harness their power and place it inside magic globes, which he then gave to the Jade Pool Fairy.

Chapter 3: Rescue

At last the poisoned water could be remedied and the Water Dragon could be started up again. Everyone should have happy but something seemed to still be troubling the Jade Pool Fairy…

She told me how her worries were far from over as Jade Pool Castle had fallen into the hands of Demons and Demonized Bead Fairies. To recapture it would take the strength and cunning of the Master of the Swordsmen. So, I went to find him and ask for his help to lead the assault on the castle.

He willingly accepted the role and quickly formulated the best plan of attack. First, he sent some of his Master Hands to Green Fungus Mountain via the West Lake Passage. I chose to follow their route, defeating any Evil Dire Apes that stood in my way. But even though they had been killed the Apes transformed into Centurions and began to haunt the Mountain. This could mean big trouble for us if we did not deal with it at once.

I told the Master of the Swordsmen about this problem and it worried him too. He suggested that I go to ask the advice of the Jade Pool Fairy.

Chapter 4: Sisters

The Jade Pool Fairy said that these poor creatures had been badly persecuted. So their actions should not be judged so harshly. In fact they were to be pitied and saved. The only way to do this would be to re-train them.

The Jade Attic was fiercely guarded by patrolling Demonic Bead Fairies. Their beautiful eyes had turned blood red and their striking faces had been corrupted into masks of evil. There was no mistaking their possession. I had to be very careful and sneak in to take their spirits by surprise. The atmosphere there stank of evil and I began to feel very uneasy. I collected what I needed and beat a hasty retreat. Handing the spirits over to the Jade Pool Fairy she began to tell me the story.

She told me the whole story of Sky Lake. It transpired that once upon a time the Master of the Bead Fairies, Zhaolan, believed that they no longer needed the help of the Swordsmen. And as such they should sever their alliance. The Jade Pool Fairy, who is her younger sister, disagreed. She still alleged that they should continue their co-operation.

The Shadow Taoist, on finding out about this situation, used it to his advantage. He began to mislead the Zhaolan, whispering falsehoods into her ears and turning her against her own. He led her to his lair and locked her up. From then he was able to openly persecute the Bead Fairies, who found themselves lost without a leader. They were unable to defend themselves and were forced to do things against their natures.

But now she felt the time had come to recapture Holy City and assassinate the Shadow Taoist, putting and end to his reign of terror forever. The only complication being that her beloved sister, Zhaolan, was still under his wicked control. Before any plans could proceed she must be rescued first.

I returned again to the Jade Attic and was shocked to discover how the once stunning fairy had changed. Her face was gaunt and grey, her body had become emaciated and her silken hair now hung limply by her face. As she turned her sunken dark eyes to me a look of relief passed over her, for she knew that she was being saved.

She was terribly ashamed of herself for her actions and wanted more than anything to go back to Holy City to apologize to her Fairies. But as I snuck her out of the prison she slipped by my and went off on her own, leaving behind a note for her younger sister.

I it she said that she should not worry about her. Her time on this earth was almost up but she refused to leave empty handed. So she had gone to exact her revenge on the Shadow Taoist.

Last 5: Shadow Taoist

Also in the letter she wrote that the Shadow Taoist was rumored to be hiding out at Clear Spring Pool. To find out if this was the case I went there in secret. In the middle of the pool I saw a light blue gem casting out its light as the water flowed around it. I supposed that it must be the Nature Stone, which was left by the founder of the faction. The stone had the ability to turn any water magical, just like the water from Sky Lake. But the Stone had been covered by a venomous green cane. The poison that flowed from it had polluted the water. So I had found the source of the trouble. Just then the Shadow Taoist appeared; his sword in his hand ready for attack. He was scanning the horizon as if looking for something in particular. The sight of him unnerved me and I retreated back to the Jade Pool Fairy

As I reported my findings to her, she appeared to be considering them carefully. Then she spoke “The Shadow Taoist must surely be on heightened guard after he discovered my sister had escaped. I am sure he is aware that she will want revenge for what he has done to her and her Fairies.” She also warned me that he would be too deadly a foe for me to take on, on my own. She suggested that I ask some of my friends to come to help me.

Many Fiendish Bronze Guardians and Ironshell Snailmen were laid to waste without mercy. For everyone killed meant that we were one step closer to the Taoist. When we faced him we discovered that he was indeed extremely powerful and had the ability to confuse. The battle raged on it proved to be one of the hardest I had come across yet.

Eventually he succumbed to our force and was killed. But it left us all exhausted. We returned at once to Holy City to report the good news to the Jade Pool Fairy.

Finally the Bead Fairies may return home. But how long it would take Sky Lake to recover its former beauty was anyone’s guess.

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