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It is another new day and I need to stop by and ask Old Salty if he needs anything more from me. As I walk in, he surprised me by the good mood he was in, compared to yesterday. "What a sunny day! I knew you would come" he said. He said that he only needed a couple of things and could I find him a Nocturnal Ring. As I told him that I would find one for him, he also stated that he hoped I could help him get the Steam Tool from the Road Sign. After I gave him the items he wanted, he told me that he was getting to like me, sort of. Rather than question him why only sort of, I thanked him as he gave me the Golden Star for Valeria Steiner's diary.
Since Professor Pinfeathers asked me to visit the Wise Dragon after I finished with Salty's requests, I headed for the Forbidden Tower. Every day that I walk through the Midnight Castle, I am surprised by the amount of changes that have taken place. When I first visited the castle, I only saw Anabel at the Castle Gates, and behind her in the Castle Entry, the Iron Knight. So many new residents of the castle, as well as the changes within the castle. It still amazes me.
When I arrived at the tower and spoke to the Wise Dragon, he did not seem to recognize me. He said that I looked oddly familiar. He stated that he was doing an experiment and maybe after the experiment his memory will return. He told me that the Vampire's Palm was missing from the experiment and that I might find it in the Fire Fountain. Oh and he also needs the Shackles of Chaos. For that, I have to go back to the inn.
On a counter beside Salty, there suddenly appeared a lot of different foods. As usual, Mom and Dad could not see any of this food, It apparently was for my eyes only. I found the Shackles of Chaos there on the counter and with the Vampire's Palm, made my way back to the dragon. I guess I must have startled him, because he said that he did not expect me back so soon. He seemed a bit distracted because he mentioned something about me to never mind about the blue reflection in the red mirror. I did not see a red mirror, let alone a blue reflection in it. But I guess it is not good form to question the Wise Dragon. He wanted the Shield of Order and a Polestar. He told me that I am beginning to deserve his respect. He thinks I will be able to help him. It appears that the Dragon has a very long list for me. We decided to put the rest off until tomorrow.
When the Wise Dragon asked me to get the Celestial Pendant from the Winter Garden, I had to ask where that was. I had not seen a winter garden yet, but if I had to guess, I would think it would be somewhere in Ice Rock, as that is the only place I had seen so far that would be cold enough to have something that would be winter like. He confirmed that it was indeed in Ice Rock. As I got there, It looked like my Dad had been busy removing ice from an area with a statue of a woman sitting in a garden. I could see part of what used to be a very large door, leading into what might have once been a solarium or a hallway of sorts. It looked as though you could see all the way to the back, and see trees on what used to be the outside. I don't know how you can have winter in one area, and fall in the other areas outside of the Midnight Castle. But I think that is another area of the magic of the castle. After I brought him the items he needed, the Wise Dragon needed to think, and told me that Anabel had been looking for me.
As I approached Anabel, she told me that her senses told her that I will soon need to descend to the dungeons. She wanted to help me but she can not conduct the ritual without the Bemusing Potion that had been lost. She also needed the Vampire Sign and the Binding Fate. The Binding Fate needs those three strange books that I came across before, and she can't help me until I find them. Once I had the items she needed, she told me that the ritual is working, and thanks to my help, she has discovered the Bemusing Potion.
I cant help but wonder what these rituals and potions are supposed to do for me. I get tired out trying to find all of the items that everyone needs and I wonder if they are just testing me or if these items are really needed. I need to ask Old Salty about all of this. But I don't know if I can, as he is against me finding the Mystery Chamber and I don't know why.
I think I got too much sun yesterday when we went to the beach. I had a frightfully bad headache. But I am much better today and ready to check with the Wise Dragon, to see what we need to do next.
The dragon told me to find a way to examine the Stone Chaps. But as I had not seen any Stone Chaps, he told me to look behind the throne. As I came out of the Forbidden Tower, into the Throne Hall, I saw Dad trying to move the throne. All of a sudden that old throne just fell apart, and behind it were stairs leading down into the Dungeon of the Cursed. With candles and torches lit, looking around the dungeon was a little eerie. I could see heavy chains with shackles attached to them hanging from the ceiling. There were a couple of skulls and two different openings on my right. A little farther along that same wall was a fountain that looked as though someone had tried to repair either the fountain or the floor, as there was a glob of concrete on the floor. Whoever did the work was not very good at it..
On my left, there appeared to be what I thought might have been barrels, or half barrels, with wood sticking up out of it. I don't know what any of that might have been for. All in all, the hallway was a very strange and disconcerting place. It was dark and dingy and felt like someone was watching you every step you took. It was the eeriest place I have been in, since I have been in the Midnight Castle.
At the end of the passageway on the floor, was a curious looking round metal disc with eight sharp points sticking up. All of these points were going from a round ring in the center of the disc. On the back wall were huge statues of men and chained to the back wall was the Stone Chaps that I was looking for. This has a series of locks that took three items to open. Well, I found the Stone Chaps, but it was the rest of the dungeon passageway that held my attention and, I must add, just a little bit of fear. This is the first time I have felt any fear here, and I hope it is the last.
I got the Cuirass of Flame for the Wise Dragon, and hurried out of the dungeon. That is one place that gives me the creeps. The dragon told me that I had surprised him again, and that I was a good helper.
Then the dragon got strange again and said that he wondered why the dragons would need princesses, and asked me if I knew. Not being a princess myself, I don't really know why dragons need princesses. Now he realized that he had gotten himself distracted and decided to send me on another task.
After retrieving his items for him, he stated that it was perfect. He told me that it was a pleasure to deal with such a helper. Thanks to me, he said, he is very close to the puzzle solution. The calculation was right but he must replace some of the components. The Symbol of Love and the crafted Glinting Earrings. Yes, he told me, that was exactly what he needs. And it was at this point that he gave me the Golden Wreath, the final item needed for Valeria Steiner's diary.
Needless to say, I was so excited to put the last decorative piece in place on the cover of Valeria Steiner's diary. Now, we were going to get to read whatever she wrote in there. I was literally dancing on my toes as I opened the diary! Oh my gosh, all that is in there is a vial. Reading a little note, I found that this is no ordinary vial. Of course it isn't ordinary. This is the Midnight Castle where everything is magic, but only for those who can see it. I was so disappointed when I saw that I must fill the Vial of Memories from castle residents.
All of a sudden, instead of standing in the Castle Entry, I was transported to the Dungeon of the Cursed. Professor Pinfeathers was excited. Look he told me, we woke Valeria Steiner herself. Well, almost as good, it was the ghostly form of Valeria who appeared. The professor said that she may know some secrets of discovering the Mystery Chamber that may help you. That Vial of Memories is Valeria's vial and hers is the Vial of Sad Memories.
Valeria Steiner's ghost looked rather bad. I realize that ghosts don't normally look normal, but she had such sad eyes and dark circles around her eyes. I felt really bad for her.
Valeria said that she needs revenge on whoever killed her. She seems to think that Rustle the Mountain Troll is the culprit. She said that there must be a reason that the troll hides in his Ice Rock. But she thinks she can thaw him out. She wants me to get the Symbol of Sacrifice from the Ice Monster and the Mandrake Root from the Drunken Skeleton. Ice Monster? I head into Ice Rock and there standing as tall as a tower, is a giant statue carved out of the ice. Or at least the top half of him was. He had red glowing eyes and horns that almost looked like a crown going from his eyes to the top of his head. It was amazing! You give him two sets of Shackles of Chaos and one Ice Crown, and he blinks his eyes twice then squeezes his arms to his chest, then gives you the item you need. It was fantastic.
Well I got the Symbol of Sacrifice from the Ice Monster, and the Mandrake Root from the Drunken Skeleton for Valeria, supposedly to make the Mountain Troll confess. But he did not. Valeria thinks that it was Rustle who killed her but she can't punish him because she is a ghost. She said that it is sad to be in this gray world between life and death. No wonder she looks so sad to me. She told me that she would not be a distraction, her memories have left her. She wants to know where to find her Vial of Sad Memories and despite her attempts, her investigation has gone south. She said that the ghost of a decrepit man told her something important, and also made fun of the poor innkeeper. She needs the Call of Adventure and the Roaring Lion to use as a bribe. She said that when she was killed her friend lost faith. Now he hangs around the castle waiting. She does not know what he is waiting for, but if I can get these items for her, she will think of a way they can be used.
I went to the inn and when I walked in, I stopped dead in my tracks. My mouth hung open in astonishment. There, hanging from the ceiling was a monkey. It is a good thing my Mom can't see him, she would not want him "hanging around". I had to give this monkey 3 rings to get the Call of Adventure from him, and as I was there in the inn, I got the other items Valeria needed. When I took them to her, she said that she can now see that these items won't bring the innkeeper to life. She has, however, found her Vial of Sad Memories in the Ice Rock. She asked me if I had lost hope of finding the Mystery Chamber of Wishes and I told her that I had not lost any hope of finding it. She told me that I kept hope alive, and called me her friend. Then she gave me her Vial of Sad Memories with her thanks. I poured her Vial of Sad Memories into the Vial of Memories and sealed it tight. It was time to find out who else has a vial of memories for me.
When I am in school, I have a lot friends who want to see the "Haunted Castle". I keep trying to tell them that it isn't haunted, it just needs a lot of work. And my Dad is working at it as fast as he can. There is this one group of kids that are always nagging at me to come to Midnight Castle. Their leader, Dbinamen, is so funny. They all keep me laughing all the time. One of these days, I am going to have to bring that group to the castle. And maybe I'll see if the Kraken is available too.
Professor Pinfeathers told me that if I perform the innkeeper's tasks, he should give me the Vial of Old Memories. That kind of seems fit as I always call him Old Salty.
Salty greeted me saying that he heard rumors that Valeria Steiner's ghost was back in the castle. I told him that the rumor was true and that I had met her. Salty looked at me and said that there is no time for rumors, we need to explore the Frozen Treasures. I have long since learned that "we" means "I". He impressed upon me that I needed to spend less time on ghosts and more time on the important things. To me, what could be more important than one of the ghosts in my Midnight Castle?
So I headed in the direction of the Ice Rock, where Salty said the Frozen Treasure was. Suddenly, and without any sound, the ice seemed to carve into itself a nice big niche. This was almost directly below the Ice Monster. Inside this cave like niche were all sorts of treasures. Of course, I was the only one who could see the treasure within. My Dad said to be careful, since a hole had appeared in the ice, the ice may be weak and collapse. But I knew that it would not collapse. It was just showing me another area where I can find items that my castle residents want.
Old Salty said that I need to move forward in life like a shark. I guess that means I have to keep moving, because I know that sharks must keep moving. At least I hope that is what Salty meant. I sure don't want him to mean that I have to bite somebody. As I was gathering items he needed for his guests he asked me if I ever wondered if there is life after death. I had never thought about this before, but considering I am seeing all kinds of ghosts, I guess there must be something besides just becoming a ghost and living between the live and the dead, like Valeria said she was.
Salty had me go to the Dungeon of the Cursed. One of the open areas on the right, that I had noticed before was an inset filled with skulls. I know the skulls were not there on my previous visit to the Dungeon. There are iron gates that are open, and may have once held prisoners. Among the skulls was a shield. I thought that would be a perfect present for my brother Marty. I will have to come back later to see if I can get it for him.
When I gave Old Salty the items he wanted, he called me pal, and told me that he was in danger. He wants me to remember Old Salty Took as a good man. I told him that I already did. He apparently has been having bad dreams, he said that all those doubts, nightmares and shadows lurk in dark corner, waiting for him. He thinks that the Live Potion will give him strength against the nightmares. He drank some of the potion, and said that he had been poisoned. That was low, inhuman, and now he was a ghost. I did not tell him he already was.
Poor Old Salty, I feel so bad for him because now he is a ghost. He was a ghost when I first came here, but apparently he did not realize it. Or maybe there are different levels of ghosthood. I have to agree that he did not look as see-through then as he does now. It is also sad that Salty was in love with Valeria when someone killed her. Salty then lost faith in the Mystery Chamber. But now that they are both ghosts (and look like it), he said that he and Valeria are back together now. He feel so much happier, like he has wings. He wondered if Valeria will fall back in love with him again.
Salty told me that since he doesn't have to take time out of his days for sleeping, he has a lot more time to think. All of his life, everything was about business and deals. Now he wants me and him to do business together.
As a future friend, he told me, I should take the Vial of Old Memories as a gesture of his good will. I took the vial he handed me and thanked him for it. Then I headed for the diary where I still keep the Vial of Memories, and poured the Vial of Old Memories into the larger vial that already holds the Vial of Sad Memories. I will have to go to Professor Pinfeathers tomorrow to see who needs me next. It seems I am less of an owner of the Midnight Castle, and more of one who is owned by the castle and its inhabitants.
I am so excited about tomorrow though. It is finally moving day! We will be moving out of the Inn, and into the castle. Mom and Dad's room is the big room on the second floor, their windows are right above the castle entry. They can see the two big statues of the knights who can bang their weapons on the ground. The old broken well can be seen from their window too. Dad is going to fix it and Mom said that she would plant flowers there, and maybe some vines to grow up the sides.
Marty's and my rooms are on the third floor, right above Mom and Dad's. My room is on the left, I like to keep the curtains open, so I can see all the beauty outside of the castle. Marty's room is next door to mine, on the right and he likes his curtains almost closed. Maybe he is still afraid that the Kraken will be roaming around. But I don't think he has to worry about that. Salty said that the Kraken rarely leaves his area.
I can't wait! It is going to be so exciting sleeping in that beautiful castle. We have only been here a few months but I love every inch of that castle, even with some of its flaws.
The professor said that Anabel would have the Vial of Happy Memories, and that she does need my help. When I saw Anabel, she needed my help getting the demon seal which summons demons. They come when you are asleep. She also needed me to make the bemusing potion for her. I had to hunt all over the belfry to find a second polestar for that. Anabel said that ever since her initiation, she thirsts for blood. I guess that is normal for a vampire. But she said that she needs to calm it and needs my help, not my blood. Thank goodness. She feels that the Vampire Sign and the Aquamarine Charm will work at calming her thirst.
After I was able to obtain those items for her, she told me that she knew I would succeed and feels much better. In order to keep the blood thirst under control she wanted the Knife of Peril and the Oak Mug. I used the last of my raven's eyes to get items from the drunken skeleton. Then getting other items for her used up more of the items I had stashed in my keepsake box. Now I have to hunt for more Raven's Eye or, if I can't find them, wait for the castle to supply me with more of them. Thankfully, her blood thirst is nearly satiated. Now I need more Raven's Eyes? How many does she think I have in my keepsake box? I finally got them and to gain composure, she wants the Orb of Moonlight and the Totem of Harmony should accompany it. She can feel the magic aura now, and thanks me for finding the items for her and for the final assignment she wants the Harmful Poison, and the Binding Fate. After getting those for her, she thanked me and gave me the Vial of Happy Memories. I was very disappointed that she did not talk about those memories at all. I would have loved to hear about them.
Marty and I got into trouble last night. After Mom and Dad went to sleep, we slipped down to the Castle Entry and made the statues bang their weapons on the ground. It did of course, wake Mom and Dad and now they lock the door to the entry so that we can't do it again. We are grounded for a week, but it sure was funny.