Winx Club Forever
The Loyalty Game is the forty-fourth issue of the Winx Club Comic Series.
A friendly boat race among friends is quickly turned into an assassination attempt when a rogue speed boat rams into Bloom and Sky's boat. After learning that the rebels on Eraklyon have begun their attack, someone is sent to Magix as extra backup.
It is a bright and beautiful day in Magix, where the Winx and Specialists are at the pier, getting ready to have a boat race. Since the boys have all rented out their boats for the weekend, today would be the perfect time to use them! Timmy is confident that he will win the boat race thanks to all of the calculations he has made, until Tecna asks if he took the water temperature into account. Once Tecna explains why Timmy should have taken water temperature into account, Timmy confesses that he forgot to do so. Brandon tells Timmy that it will take more than calculations to have fun in a boat race and asks Stella is she is ready to race. As he helps her onto the boat, Brandon explains to Stella what she will be needing to do.
Tecna and Timmy are in their boat, where Tecna wants to know what is taking Timmy so long to get his figures straight. Timmy cannot seem to get his calculations right because there are too many variables.
As Helia is getting his boat's sail ready, Flora invites Aisha to ride with them, but Aisha claims that she will just end up adding extra weight and tells Flora that she will watch the race from the shore. Flora, on the other hand, believes that winning is not important and has Aisha hand her her bag so that she can ride with them. Aisha ends up taking Flora on her offer and tosses her bag over to her.
Riven compliments Musa on her boating skills as she has already gotten her half of the boat ready. Musa then tells Riven that she has had lots of fun going boating with her father, so she had to get boats ready many times before.
Timmy is still having problems trying to solve his equations as everyone else's boats have already set sail. Tecna suggests that he simply untie the boat from the pier and hoist the sail and, when Timmy gives it a try, he is able to get the boat moving.
As all of the boats make it further into the lake, Sky makes sure that Bloom does not feel scared or sick. Bloom, on the other hand, is feeling just fine as she enjoys the wind blowing through her hair.
Brandon takes out a megaphone as he gets ready to start the race and he asks if everyone remembers the rules. Stella relays the rules to everyone: they will be sailing in a triangle from the buoys near the pier to the other two further down the lake near the White Horse. Now that the rules have been placed, the boats pick up speed as Brandon officially starts the race.
Stella struggles to keep the sail up as lakewater keeps splashing at her from both sides of the boat. Brandon tells her to try and concentrate or else they will lose the boat race, to which Stella salutes Brandon as she promises that she will try her best to follow his orders.
The races continue all morning long, as Musa and Riven win the latest round. Brandon worries about Riven and Musa's lead, to which Stella asks if it is her fault even though she is doing her part. Brandon assures Stella that it is not her fault and tells her that they have one more round they can still win. As he tries to get everyone to line up for the last round, a wooden pole swings over and hits Brandon on the back of his head, causing him to fall over and into the lake.
Stella manages to pull Brandon back onto the boat and notices that the back of his head is bleeding. As Stella tries to tend to his head wound, Sky steers his boat close by to asks if everything is alright. Brandon insists that it was his own fault for being careless as he winces with pain at every instance Stella tends to his gash. Sky then tells Brandon that it would be better if he rested on the shore, since a head injury can be very dangerous without rest. Brandon agrees to this and steers his boat back to shore. Sky lets Brandon know that they will finish up the last round and come back for a barbeque until Riven steers his boat near Sky's, bragging about how he and Musa will win. As Sky and Riven go about their usual rivalry, Brandon and Stella see everyone off as they head back to shore. On their way back, Stella suggests that Brandon go see a doctor but Brandon insists that he will not need one after they lie down for a bit. He then promises to go sunbathing with Stella so that she does not worry too much.
Later, Stella and Brandon are watching their friends race as Stella notices that Sky and Bloom's boat is in the lead. Brandon claims that it is only because they are not competing for that round, until Stella suddenly notices a mysterious motorboat speeding towards their friends' boats. Everyone else notices the motorboat only to realize that the driver will not change their course and is purposely barreling towards them. Everyone scatters and the motorboat goes speeding after Sky and Bloom's boat! Bloom panics until Sky grabs her and dives into the lake with her in his arms as the motorboat rams right through his boat.
From the shore, Stella panics at the thought of Bloom and Sky being hit until Brandon grabs her hand as they run towards the lake to help Sky and Bloom.
Sky manages to surface and still has Bloom in his arms, who seems to be unconscious. Riven sails his boat over and helps the two of them into it, which is when Bloom starts to regain consciousness. She asks where they are, to which Sky assures her that they are both okay. Riven notices a cut in the middle of Sky's forehead, but Sky insists that it is merely a scratch. Timmy and Tecna sail their boat closer to Riven's as Timmy asks if there were any distinguishable markings on the motorboat. Sky claims that he did not have time to see because he was trying to get Bloom to safety and the motorboat was gone before he could even realize it. All of them head back to the piers, where Sky demands to notify the police of what happened.
On the piers, Stella confesses to Bloom that she feared that the worst happened and Brandon adds that what the motorboat did to them was inexcusable. Bloom is surprised by how their day is starting out, to which Stella insists that the person or people behind the crash will pay for it.
However, when they reach the nearest police officer, the police chief tells them that the motorboat was rented from a facility on the other side of the lake and that whoever rented the motorboat did so under a false name, seemingly disappearing into thin air immediately after the crash. The chief explains that they will keep investigating the motorboat crash, but it will be very difficult to do so without any leads. He then notices that it was odd of the motorboat to be following Sky and asks if he is a prince. Sky asks what he means by this, to which the police chief reveals that the crash might not have been an accident if enemies of Sky's family may be behind it.
At Red Fountain, Sky begins to suspect that this may have been an organized attack and Codatorta adds in that there are people in Eraklyon who would benefit from the royal family no longer having an heir. He advises for Sky to be careful until Brandon comes back, reporting to Sky that his father, King Erendor, has called him in for a video conference. Codatorta gives him permission to leave as he asks Sky to give Erendor his regards. As the boys leave, Sky asks Brandon if Erendor said anything, to which Brandon claims that news of the crash may have gotten to Erendor because he seemed very worried.
At their video conference, Erendor mentions that he has just got the police report and reveals to his son that the political power struggle on Eraklyon has gotten worse. Sky insists that he will be protected if he stays at Red Fountain, however, Erendor claims that that is exactly what is wrong. With Brandon being Sky's squire, it was his duty to protect him, but he was nowhere near Sky when the crash occurred. He then begins to suspect Brandon of possibly orchestrating the crash because it was him who had the idea to hold a sailboat race, but Sky interrupts by telling his father that it was merely coincidence. Erendor claims that he knows what happened but the main problem is that Sky, Eraklyon's only heir, was left unprotected. He tells the boys that there will be an inquest held tomorrow, where Brandon will have to answer to a lot of questions and suspicions, to which Brandon accepts; much to Sky's dismay.
News of the inquest travels fast, as the Winx girls are already talking about it in their dorm. Stella cannot believe that Brandon is being suspected because, in truth, he missed the last race due to an injury from an accident. Tecna is confident that Brandon will end up being exonerated but Stella cannot help but panic and starts crying at the thought of how terrible Brandon is being treated. Just then, Bloom returns and asks what happened to Stella. Musa tells her that she is worrying over Brandon until Stella picks herself up and apologizes to the girls for breaking out in tears so suddenly. Bloom then tells the girls that she has not seen Sky all week and Tecna asks Bloom why she had to work that afternoon, even though it is not one of her regular days. Bloom reveals to the girls that Madame Greta needed Bloom to show a new waiter the ropes. The new waiter Greta just hired is a boy named Adrian.
In her flashback, Bloom shows Adrian around to each part of the cafe's interior as she tells him each of the rules, such as not letting those old enough to drink alcohol overdo it. Adrian jokingly asks what Bloom does if such a person does not listen to that piece of advice, to which Bloom claims that she tells the bartender and lets him handle it. Adrian suddenly tells Bloom that he will not let any harm come to her, but Bloom insists that he does not need to worry since most of the customers are boys and girls from nearby schools in Magix. Adrian then asks if her boyfriend comes to the White Horse too, believing that Bloom is too pretty not to have one, to which Bloom reveals that she is dating Sky, a boy from Red Fountain. She then shows Adrian to the terrace.
Bloom concludes her story by telling the girls that she and Adrian get along very well and that he is a big help around the cafe, until Stella suddenly suspects that Bloom may have fallen for Adrian. Bloom insists that she is lying because she only loves Sky and the rest of the Winx quietly giggle as Stella teases her. Bloom smacks Stella with a pillow and the girls quickly get into an all-out pillow fight.
The very next day, the inquest is about to begin. Brandon is leaving their dorm as Sky follows him, constantly apologizes for his father placing him under suspicion. Since the inquest is about to begin and they still do not know who was behind the motorboat crash, Brandon has to change dorm rooms and can no longer talk to Sky. Despite all of Sky's apologies, Brandon confesses that believes Sky did not try hard enough to convince Erendor of his innocence and suspects Sky of possibly thinking that he had some part in the crash. Sky tries to speak but Brandon cuts him off, telling him that he cannot rule him out of the suspects list even if they are friends. Brandon then storms off as he tells Sky that he will prove his own innocence to him and Erendor.
Moments later, Timmy runs up to Sky, asking what all of the shouting was about, and Sky claims that nothing has happened. He then asks Timmy if he will be going to the White Horse tomorrow and Timmy confirms this, even suggesting that they can come back to Red Fountain early in order to hang out with Sky. Sky demands that Timmy not have the others come back early as he will also be going to the White Horse. Timmy tells him that Codatorta forbade it and tells him that it is too risky for Sky to leave the school since they still do not know of the identity of their attackers. Sky, however, is fully aware of the risks and wants to continue living his life normally, believing that he is not afraid of those who are after his life.
The next day, Bloom and Adrian are serving tables. Bloom gives the Winx their drinks as Stella starts prodding her about Adrian. When she gets a good look at him from afar, she is so impressed by how good-looking he is that she may even apply for a job, too! Bloom tells Stella to leave her alone about Adrian as she leaves to go serve more tables, and Stella giggles to herself as she watches Bloom leave. Tecna also comments on how good-looking Adrian is as he walks by.
Bloom and Adrian bump into each other, where Adrian asks if anything is wrong. Bloom insists that everything is fine and asks Adrian how his first day on the job is going. He claims that everything is going well with Bloom teaching him, however, he points out a table of witches who had ordered many things one at a time, which caused him to make a hundred trips to their table and back. Bloom tells him that it is because the witches like what they see and would love to keep him around for as long as they can. That is when Adrian asks if Bloom likes what she sees, which causes her to get flustered as she tells him that she thinks he is a nice guy. Just then, the Specialists arrive and Bloom runs up to Sky, wondering why he is not staying at Red Fountain. Sky tells her that he decided to come as well, and Adrian tells Bloom that she can stay with her friends if she likes, as he will go continue serving tables. Bloom thanks Adrian and then takes the opportunity to introduce him to all of her friends. Adrian then takes his leave as he tells Bloom to have fun. Bloom, on the other hand, claims that she will only spend ten minutes with them before going back to work. Bloom sits down at the table and asks Sky about what made him change his mind. However, Sky seems more interested in Adrian, the new waiter, as he does not let Bloom leave his sights. Bloom tries to assure Sky that it is him that she loves but Sky claims that he does not know who or what to believe anymore because he is surrounded by nothing but suspicious people. Bloom urges Sky to calm down, to which Sky admits that he has been stressing out because of the decisions his father has made and how he even fought with Brandon yesterday. Bloom asks if Sky suspects her, to which Sky denies but claims that he needs to be alone for a while. As he leaves, he asks Adrian if he heard all of what happened, to which Adrian claims that he was busy cleaning. Sky gets even more upset and storms out of the cafe.
Adrian apologizes, hoping that Sky did not leave because of him, but Bloom insists that Sky is just tense at the moment. Adrian agrees to this, believing that no one would be able to stay mad at a girl as cute as Bloom, and the two of them stare into each other's eyes before Bloom rushes back to work before something else could have happened. She frantically tries to clean up a table as she asks Adrian to go work on the terrace. Once he is gone, Bloom looks back at Stella, suspecting that she may really have developed feelings for Adrian.
Later that night, as Stella and Bloom get ready for bed, Stella promises to keep Bloom's crush on Adrian a secret. Bloom claims that Stella does not understand the situation, but Stella believes that she does, claiming that it is only simple, especially with Sky's recent moody behavior. She then realizes that Brandon has been acting differently too, and blames it on their boat race. Stella tells Bloom to sleep as they will just see what happens with everything in the morning and, before she goes into her room, she lets Bloom know that there will be no harm in thinking about Adrian, even for a little bit. Bloom is convinced that she will only be thinking of Sky, however, as she tries to go to sleep, she goes to sleep thinking of Adrian.
A few days pass and the Winx are attending their usual classes. Stella asks BLoom she has heard anything from Sky, but Bloom claims that she has not heard from him in over four days. Stella tries to assure Bloom that he will get in touch with her sooner or later and, suddenly, Bloom's phone starts vibrating. It is a text from Sky, asking her to meet up with him at the White Horse at 8PM. Bloom jumps at the chance to be alone with Sky, since the White Horse will be closed by then.
Later that night, Bloom arrives at the White Horse but Sky is nowhere in sight. She dials up Sky's number but, before he picks up, Adrian surprises her as he comes from around the corner. Sky then picks up the call, asking why Bloom called, to which Bloom asks why he is not at the White Horse when he invited her there. However, Sky has no idea what the message was and tells Bloom that he did not send any messages. He then asks if Bloom is out at night by herself, to which Bloom tells him that she is with Adrian. He frantically demands for an answer as Bloom explains that Adrian had just got there and that they are not doing anything. Sky tells Bloom not to go anywhere as he rushes out of Red Fountain to meet her at the White Horse to see if she is safe. Brandon catches Sky leaving from around the corner.
Adrian asks if anything is wrong and Bloom responds by saying that she cannot understand how Sky does not know anything when he was the one who set up their date. Adrian asks if she is sure that it really was Sky who sent the message and Bloom is positive that it was because it was the same number. Adrian begins to suspect something and asks Bloom about Sky's whereabouts. When she tells him that he is on his way here, Adrian concludes that it must be a trap and starts leaving in order to stop it. Bloom tries to figure out what is going on, but Adrian insists that there is no time to explain and lets Bloom ride with him to Sky's location on his hoverbike.
Meanwhile, Sky is on his way to the White Horse where he finds a toppled tree in the middle of the road. As he tries to ride his hoverbike over it, a laser fires at it from within the trees, causing Sky to fall off of the hoverbike, losing his helmet in the process. As he tries to recover from the fall, many men in black clothes and masks come out from the trees, surrounding him. One of the men in black tries to tie Sky up, but Sky is too quick for him, grabbing the rope before it does any damage and punching him out of the way. As many more men in black come out from the trees, Adrian and Bloom arrive on the scene. One of the men with a red scarf orders the others to attack any intruders, but Adrian hops off of his hoverbike to shoot the man before he can strike. Sky gets shot in the left arm as he tries to get up, which causes Bloom to run towards him to see if he is okay. Sky urges Bloom to transform and escape but Bloom cannot do so because she is too upset. Another one of the men is about to shoot both Bloom and Sky until Brandon whacks him in the back of the head with a stick. The two of them are surprised by Brandon's arrival, but Brandon is just relieved that he was able to make it in time. The men in black then make their escape now that their ambush has failed.
Bloom is relieved that she and Sky have been saved but then she asks Adrian who the men in black were. Adrian claims that they were hired assassins and the same people responsible for the motorboat crash earlier that week. Bloom asks Brandon how he was able to make it in time, to which Brandon reveals that he had been keeping an eye on Sky and followed him when he saw him leave. Bloom then suspects that Adrian is no mere waiter and Adrian claims that he can tell them everything now that the situation is all over.
The next day, at the Magix Police Station, the police chief reveals to the Winx and Specialists that Adrian is a secret agent who was sent by King Erendor to protect Sky. He got himself hired at the White Horse in order to keep an eye on Sky and his friends. Brandon suspects that this was because he was also under suspicion but Adrian claims that they had to suspect everyone near Sky. Luckily, thanks to Brandon's actions the night before, he has been completely exonerated. Adrian then reveals that he had to keep an especially close eye on Bloom because he suspected that the assassins would use her to bait Sky into a trap. As he explains the rest of what happened, Bloom starts becoming distraught.
Once everything has been settled, the Winx and Specialists leave the police station as the police chief and Adrian wave goodbye. Bloom tells them to wait for her as she runs back to the police station to talk to Adrian. He tells her that he has to return to Eraklyon and Bloom accuses him of only hanging around her because his job called for him to do so. Adrian claims that that was the case initially but it became something more. Bloom insists that he is lying to her again, but Adrian claims that he is not, adding in that he cannot convince her that he is being truthful. Bloom then walks away, catching up with Sky, and waves longingly at Adrian.
- In some pages, the big pink floral accessory that hangs off of Flora's top goes missing.
- Throughout the issue, Musa's hairbands have a tendency to switch between pink and red.
- In some pages, Adrian's pupils will be missing.
- As Adrian and Bloom talk on page 44, Adrian's mouth is all white in one of the panels despite the inside of his mouth being drawn to show his tongue.
- The Winx
- The Specialists
- White Horse Staff
- Red Fountain Staff
- Eraklyon Spies