by Brendan McGrath
"EEEK!" shrieked Elinee, back in the library. Her face morphed into a kindly one, and her evil robes were replaced by a simple sweater and skirt. "Please forgive me! The herbs in this forest have withered. I was trading the villagers for Thanatos's herbs."
"I bet Thanatos made the herbs wither!" scowled Nasia.
"Where's Dyluck?" asked Lilak, frantically.
"He's in the ruins, south of Pandora," explained Elinee. "Thanatos was controlling me somehow, with my want of the herbs. I need them to live. Defeating Spiky brought them back, as I now see," she said, pointed to a flower pot.
"How do we get into the Underground Palace?" asked Link. "It's blocked by your crystal orb's lava field."
"You need the magic of ice," explained Elinee. "But I don't have any magic left. Before you go, take this whip. It's a Mana weapon. I'll teleport you outside," offered Elinee.
"Dyluck is alive!" whispered Lilak.
LINK... CAN YOU HERE ME? COME IMMEDIATLY TO THE WATER PALACE!
"It's Luka!" exclaimed Link. "I'd better go..."
"Wait! I'll come with you, Link!" whispered Lilak. I'm worried about Dyluck, but I can't save him alone! And... the Mana Seed... it gave its power to me, too. I think it's calling me. Even after rescuing Dyluck, the Empire must be stopped, and Mana must be protected. I want to help you!"
"I know what you mean..." said Link. "We're a team, now."
"Yippee! I'm coming along, too! You can count on me!" said Nasia jumping up and down.
"But I thought you wanted to get home!" Lilak reminded her.
She lowered her head, and looked into the forest around them. "Mana is my life energy, and my nourishment... the world will be destroyed if Mana... dies... we have to save it!"
"OK!" said Link, "Let's see what Luka wants!"
Link, Lilak, and Nasia all new that they were friends forever, and that the Mana Seeds had brought them together.