As soon as Layla and Nabu had disappeared, teleported to the Island of Stars, Helia quickly set down the black leather-bound volume and gathered everyone around him.
As he reached to open it, Caelestis suddenly let out a terrified squeal.
They all jumped and glared at her.
"What now?" Stella snapped.
Caelestis' eyes flickered nervously from the book and back up to her face, and they saw her force her eyes to focus on a corner of the library.
"Oh, nothing," she gaped. "I...uh...I thought I saw a rat."
Stella snorted and rolled her eyes. "That reason to interrupt us is incredibly legit," she snarled, throwing every ounce of sarcasm she could muster into the last word. "Now leave us alone. There isn't much time."
Right as Helia was hooking his fingers beneath the cover to open the book, Caelestis blurted, "That book is cursed!"
They all froze. No one even dared to breathe.
Stella looked up slowly at the shivering girl. "Cursed?" she repeated.
Caelestis nodded vigorously, her face turning white. "Cursed," she said, taking a step back and pointing at the black book. "If...if...If u open that thing...someone here's going to die. For real. Don't open that book."
Flora started to look worried.
"Caelestis knows everything about everything in every book in this library," she said, taking a step back as well. "I think we can trust her on this one."
"How harmful can it be?" zei Timmy. "I think we could open it."
"What makes u think that everyone here's going to survive?" cried Caelestis. "If u open that book, if u so much as take a peek, God-bless-us-all-if-her-name-is-mentioned will kill someone here, and trust me on that, it could be anyone in this very room."
"Just open it!" screeched Stella. "We need to know everything we can about this...whoever-it-is! Open the book! We can't listen to a dopey kid, we need to read up!"
"Well, then, you're going to find out about the horrors of you-know-who door yourselves then," Caelestis muttered, turning around and stalking off through the labyrinth of bookshelves.
Helia finally pried open the heavy black cover of the "cursed" book and blew some dust off of the ancient yellowed pages.
The dust was blackish-purple, the color of a bruise.
As Helia was trying to figure out the strange symbols on the page, Flora's eyes widened in horror and she nudged him on the arm.
"Helia!" she hissed. "Everyone! Look!"
They looked at where she was pointing. The bruise-colored dust was beginning to take shape. First it shifted into the eerie silhouette of a person, then a cloud-shaped blob, and finally, an endless, black void of oblivion.
The Winx and the Specialists stumbled away, gasping. The Specialists readied their weapons.
Lightning bolts crackled out of the void, spiraling in all directions. As the Winx launched into their Believix form, a huge bolt shot out in the Specialists' direction.
"Quick!" yelled Brandon. "Deflect it!" Quickly, they crossed their swords, and Helia tried his best to make a web of laser strings. Fortunately, not so much a spark touched them.
The bolts spiraled wildly around them, spraying bluish-purple sparks that made little black spots on the ground. The Winx quickly deflected the bolts with shields, sometimes managing to catch the lightning and fling it back into the void. Somewhere, an agonized scream echoed around them.
Suddenly, Tecna remembered something. "Caelestis!" she cried over the rising wind. "Where is she? Is she okay?"
They were just having hope that Caelestis had gotten away safely until her blood splattered their faces.
"Layla! Nabu!" Bloom cried out with a wide smile when she saw her vrienden descending out of the blue sky. "We were just needing your help."
"You're here!" Musa, Riven, and Sky ran over along with Bloom to give them hugs.
"Did anything bad happen?" Layla asked quickly. "Did we miss anything?"
Bloom shook her head. "Not much. We got the eyes of the Crystal Ladies. volgende we're hunting down someone from the summer sector so that we can get a gem. Oh, and we still need bloem petals from the spring sectors, and we need to somehow persuade the Autumn nymphs to lend us a seed of two. Then we might have to kick Alena out of the lagoon so we can complete the spell."
At that last sentence, Bloom saw Layla's face fall a little bit, so she quickly added, "Oh, don't worry, we're not going to hurt Alena, if that's what u were thinking."
Layla relaxed. "Good," she said. "I finally managed to establish a connection with her on the realm of Iris. I don't want to betray her now."
Musa nodded. "Of course not," she zei sympathetically. "Anyway, we were just needing your help. See that creature over there?" She pointed to Rae.
Nabu squinted at her. "What is that?" he sputtered. "I mean, it's...uh...cool and all, but...it's..."
"...Weird, I know," Bloom filled in for him. "She's kind of like the princess of the summer sector. Those little sunbeams worship her like a goddess."
"I still don't get those sunbeams," zei Sky, shaking his head. "Little girls always bugged me, especially little girls dressed in yellow outfits who create sunlight and shove each other into holes in the ground."
They all laughed, and Bloom felt the familiar warmth of reunion.
"Anywho, we were thinking about asking some spin goddesses to weave a web to capture her," zei Riven. "But I don't trust them. Now that Layla's here, we can use her morphix instead."
Layla nodded. "What do u need me to do?"
Bloom gathered them all into a huddle, and she whispered her plan to them.
"Flora. Tecna. Stella. Help. Please."
The fairies looked around them frantically, distracted with the horror of what happened to Caelestis, they barely managed to dodge a lightning bolt that, door luck, passed right in between them.
"Friends. Help. Please." They could hear her voice closer now. It was coming out in an odd, weak monotone that told them that, no matter what was done, it was too late.
Stella flew over to Brandon. "Can u guys defend?" she asked him. "We need to look for Caelestis. We think she might be dead door now." The words came out in a dry, sorrowful tone. Brandon nodded seriously and continued battling, getting closer to the void with hopes of slicing it down.
Stella quickly followed Flora and Tecna's paths, and she found them standing solemnly over something. Quietly, she walked over.
She noticed that Flora and Tecna were staring down at Caelestis with the angriest looks on their faces.
She also noticed that Caelestis was standing up and had blood all over her fingers.
Suddenly, Caelestis burst into uproarious laughter. She raised her fingers to her lips and licked them.
"Caelestis!" Tecna snapped. "You had no right to trick us like that!"
Stella had never felt meer confused in her entire life. "Wait a minute...what happened? Caelestis, are u okay?"
Caelestis smiled at her. "I'm fine, Stella. And Tecna, I was trying to trick Moonless Night, not you. Sorry about that. If anything, I should be the one who's angry. It was a waste of money, buying this stuff." She grinned and wiggled her red fingers. "Cherry syrup. Works every time."
Stella followed the line of Flora's vision and saw the red liquid was smeared on her abdomen and was trickling down her skirt. A bottle of the kers-, cherry syrup was laying volgende to her, empty. Stella wiped the blood off of her face and gingerly touched it to her tongue. kers-, cherry syrup, no doubt.
Tecna laughed. "I guess u got all of us pretty good. Be careful, though, u could get hurt."
Caelestis grinned wider. "I'm an ethereal being. I can't get hurt."
Flora smiled at Caelestis and ruffled her hair. "Okay, I'll admit it, that wound looked pretty realistic. Now, do u have any idea how to get rid of that thing?"
Caelestis nodded, now dead serious. "I have a plan. Follow me."
Bloom observed the large, weblike tower of morphix. It was hollow on the inside and had very large holes on the outside. It was raised a couple of feet off of the ground, held in place door sturdy sheets of the purple substance which clung to the surrounding trees. A sturdy rope dangled inside.
Bloom hugged Layla. "This is perfect," she said. "Thank u so much!"
Layla smiled at her. "That's what vrienden are for. Now, how are we going to get this Rae thingy in here?"
"We'll just improvise," Bloom sighed, surprised on how much she had been doing that lately. Oh, well. If improvisation had worked with the Crystal Ladies, then surely it would work on Rae.
"Well then," zei Musa. "Here goes nothing."
They set their jaws, took deep breaths, and walked over to the brilliant yellow creature. Bloom thought that in spite of her strange webbing, she was still beautiful, almost as beautiful as Alena.
"E-excuse me," she said.
Rae looked up at her and smiled brilliantly. "Yes?" she zei in a voice that Bloom could describe in no other way besides sounding like silk.
"Uh...we're the color guardians and...uh...helpers of...um...the goddess Iris," Layla stammered, offering a weak smile.
At first, Rae looked as though she wasn't buying it, but fortunately, she smiled. "All right. Iris is a good friend of mine. Did she send u to me for a reason?"
"Uh...yes," Bloom zei weakly. She was racking her brain for an idea when she finally said, "I think that she...um...found some substance that would substitute for...a...uh...er...prism. u know, so that light can...shine through and make...um...rainbows?"
It sounded completely and totally bogus.
Rae looked unsure, but she smiled at Bloom so charmingly that she almost felt bad about their dastardly act that was about to be taken into action. But it was for her own good, at least.
"Well then, I guess I'll take a look." Rae stood, and Bloom saw that her webbing had a strange metallic quality in the sunlight.
They led Rae to the trap in the clearing. In the sunlight, the morphix cage shimmered with a thousand different colors, creating a realistic effect.
Rae walked up to it and stroked it for a while. "How does it work?"
"Well...uh...see, u have to get inside of it," zei Musa.
Rae was looking dangerously suspicious at this point, but Bloom could not help but wonder how she was so gullible.
Rae ducked carefully into the cage. "Now what?"
Bloom pursed her lips, nodded to her friends, and shouted out, "NOW!"
Sky, Riven, and Nabu sprang out of the surrounding bushes. Nabu quickly created a string of magic and flung it at Rae. It tangled around her feet and caused her to fall harshly on the ground.
As Bloom crammed her hand over her mouth, she hissed to her quickly, "We're on your side!" before all of her vrienden quickly lifted her into the air, strapping her firmly on to the rope.