"Why did I have to be placed in the school of Death?" That's what my little sister, Angie Thunderslash, said. Her face was buried deep in her bed mattress so only her long red hair could be viewed.
"Come on Angie, it can't be that bad." I replied. "It is a pretty good school, and you know it."
"You're just saying that." Angie moped. "You know perfectly well that necromancers feed off of the life of others to satisfy their needs and wants."
"Don't worry." I said. "You'll do great, trust me."
"How do you know?" Questioned Angie. "You're in the school of Storm, the most powerful of all. You're a really good diviner, you know. No wonder, it runs in the family."
That was true. The Thunderslashes were generations of diviners, all skilled and powerful, beating others in duels constantly. My great grandmother, Tara Thunderslash, had even been a storm professor before she passed away.
I could feel my face deepening into a dark crimson at Angie's admiration of my storm spells. "Oh, it was just a few lightning bats, nothing special."
"Don't be modest," Angie said as-a-matter-of-factly. "I saw you duel Wolf yesterday, so don't hide that you demonstrated a perfectly good storm shark."
"I'm only an apprentice."
"Well, you deserve to be an intiate."
I had to hand it to her; she was pretty intelligent for an eight-year-old.
"Don't mind it now." I said. "It's time for bed now." I didn't need to say it though. Angie was already tucked in.
"Alyssa?" She asked. "Do you think Death is going to be everything it says to be? Will it be hard to the core?"
"I don't think it’s any harder then Storm is."
"Don't say that." Angie said. "I hear Malistare Drake is a pretty rough professor."
"He's just a little sullen, that's all." I said. "You can't blame him. He's lost his wife, Sylvia." Then I came up with an idea. "Look to his assistant, Dworgyn, if you're having trouble."
"Are you kidding?" Angie said. "He's crazy! Wouldn't be surprised if he thought Marleybone was in his hunch!"
"Angie!" I scolded. "Don't talk that way."
"Sorry," Angie muttered under her breath, barely audible.
"Good night," I said.
"But you haven't told me a bedtime story yet." Angie said.
"I thought you said long ago that you were too old for those."
"I need one now." She protested.
"All right, all right." I sat down next to her bed. "This story is about how the moon changes its shape."
"No, not that one!" Angie said in turn to my offer. "All it is that the elephant just eats it and spits it out!"
I had really been hoping that she wouldn't have remembered, but just my luck, she did. It was pretty bad, I thought. So I really had to rack my brain to satisfy her. Then I found something that had been old and dusty and starting to fade away to dust in my mind.
"Well, I guess I do have something." I told Angie. "Marleyboneian archeologists have just found it in the runes of Krokotopia. It was written on a slate." I turned from Angie. "But, it's nothing, really."
"Tell me more!" Angie insisted.
I turned back to her, smiling. Then I eyed her closely. "All right, I'll begin." I said. "This is the tale of the Necromancer's Matter..."
Rays of light used the stained glass window as a doorway to shine in Destiny's eyes as she roused from her bed. The rays of light had been coming from the sun, a gigantic flaming ball of fire.
Today was her orientation in Ravenwood. She would be one of the first students of Fire. She quickly threw on an orange robe with a yellow trim, a robe of the advantage, orange and yellow quartermaster's boots, and pulled a hood over her head called a cap of the aggressor, knowing she had to look presentable to Mistress Flamea. So Destiny ran out of her house to set off in the world.
"Guess what?" Destiny asked her friend, Sophie.
"What?" Asked Sophie.
"I'm gonna be a pyromancer!" Destiny bounced at this. "I can't wait for orientation! I can't wait! I just can't wait!"
"You don't know for sure, Destiny." Sophie said. "You never know which school you'll get placed in. My brother, Jayden, was positive that he would be placed in Myth, but what do you know? He got placed in-" Sophie left off for Destiny to finish.
"I know, I know, he got placed in Life." Destiny said in an annoyed tone. Then she perked right back up. "What school do you hope to be placed in?"
"Fire, like you." Said Sophie. "But we won't know until Mr. Lincoln calls us down. And for some reason I get a feeling that I'll be placed in Ice."
"Weird," Replied Destiny. "Why would you get a calling the weakest school?"
"It's not necessarily the weakest," Sophie said. "Ice wizards are almost undefeatable in health."
"Yeah, but why would you want a fairy with a squeaky voice for a professor?" Asked Destiny.
"Don't insult the professors, Destiny." Sophie instructed. "Who knows how much trouble you can get in for it!"
"Relax," Destiny said. "We're not students right now, we shouldn't offend them much."
"I sure hope you know what you're doing." Muttered Sophie.
Suddenly the two heard screaming and yelling.
"What's going on?" Destiny yelled.
"There's a commotion in the commons!" yelled a conjurer.
"What kind of commotion?" Destiny could make out Sophie's voice among the swarm of students.
They received shoving and pushing for an answer.
Finally they managed to make their way through the crowd and look at what was going on. A long, black haired fifteen-year-old-looking necromancer was doing something to a guy with blonde hair in purple robes, a little older then Destiny and Sophie, ten, but younger then the necromancer. There were two other guys behind the necromancer, about his age, one wearing fancy red robes and brown hair. A pyromancer, from the looks of it. Standing next to him was another boy with blonde hair shorter then the other boys in formal yellow clothing. Most likely a conjurer. Destiny burst when she saw what the necromancer was doing to the diviner.
"Stop!" Destiny burst into the area and got a clear view of the wedgie the necromancer was giving, and shoved the necromancer past the other two guys, knocking him down to the cement of the ground. "Leave him alone!" She shouted.
Destiny had been so obsessed in the incident that she didn't look at the expressions of the crowd. Their mouths left a hole where the lips should have been, and it seemed their eyes were going to pop out of their sockets. Why's everyone like that? Destiny wondered. Her attention turned back to the necromancer, who's right hand was gripping his left elbow. He was flashing his all his white teeth, bent over, and gave an eye to eye look to Destiny that gave her a clear message, "I shall take my revenge!" What came out of his mouth was a little more frightening. "No one," he gritted, and stumbled, but managed to go on. "No one messes with Vladimir Thorn!" He was now shrieking. "Who are you? Who?" Vladimir shrieked at Destiny.
"The one and only Destiny Seagem." Destiny proudly boasted. "What's it to you?"
"What's it to me?" Vladimir was getting very angry. "What's it to me?" Then he quit screaming and smiled one of those grins when you know that person is just up to no good. "Well, then, Destiny, mark my words, you will pay!" He turned to the other two boys. "Chris, Jason, come." And with that, Vladimir gave a flick of a cloak and instantly vanished. Teleportation was the first thing that came to Destiny's mind.
"Where'd he go?" She asked the other two.
"No one, not even us," the pyromancer said. "Knows where he goes. I try teleporting to him from time to time, but I never can, because it's like something's blocking me and Chris from doing it.” So the pyromancer was Jason and the Chris was apparently the conjurer. Destiny noticed then he hadn't spoken a word.
"What's wrong with him?" She asked.
"Oh, he's just a little shy for a conjurer, that's all." Jason replied.
"This Vladimir guy talked to me like he was some lord." Destiny realized. "But I didn't even know he existed, let alone attempt to worship him."
"He's just one of those guys." Jason said. "A bully, really. Has been since his enrollment at Ravenwood. He wanted to be in the Death school, always has been since he took his first breath of life. Chris and I have been friends with him ever since I could remember. And if anyone messes with him, like you just did, he always swears to get revenge, and he always does. And you're lucky if the revenge is getting embarrassed in a classroom. For what you just did, pushed him in front of the whole of Ravenwood, that's got to be bad." Jason turned to Chris, who nodded at him.
"We need to go now. I'll just warn you, don't mess with Vladimir Thorn from now on." And with that, Jason teleported, fire insignias roaming the air. Chris just walked away into the shopping district.
"Awesome!" Called out a voice. Destiny recognized it as the blonde haired diviner. "Now not only we have embarrassment, but history to use against him in another blow! Time someone stood up to the guy once and for all."
"What's your name?" Destiny asked the diviner.
"Ryan," the boy said. "Ryan Stormcaster."
"Ryan," Destiny said. "You wouldn't want a repeat of the wedgie, would you?"
"Relax," Ryan said. "He's been taunting me quite a while now, so the wedgie isn't the worst he's done to me. That's because I've really been rebelling him lately."
"Are you a novice or an apprentice?" Destiny asked.
"Don't be ridiculous!" Ryan said. "I'm an initiate."
"So you're ridiculing the apprentices and novices in turn, just like Vladimir?" asked a voice. It belonged to a girl slightly younger than him in blue clothing, with long brown hair, and blue eyes that brightened any day, no matter what happened.
"Esmee!" Destiny called out. She ran to Esmee, hugging her. Ryan saw that Esmee was at least a head taller.
"Ooookay, what's the relation here that I'm missing out on?" He asked.
"Esmee is my cousin." Destiny said. "Can't you see the resemblance?"
"Er... no." Ryan commented. "You don't look alike at all."
"Not in looks," Said Destiny. "But in, you know, personality."
"No, not really." Ryan said. "Anyway, I need to get to class, so I guess I'll see you around?"
"Yeah, sure, I guess." Destiny replied.
"Anyway, see ya." Said Ryan, and he walked away towards Ravenwood.
"Cool guy," Esmee said. "Is he your boyfriend?"
"What? No! No, we just, um, we just, err..." Destiny stammered.
"Destiny and Ryan, sitting in a tree," Sang Esmee, "K-I-S-S-I-N-G!"
That was torture enough, Destiny thought. Maybe she'll stop now. But no. Esmee went on, "First comes love, then com-"
Before Esmee could get to the M word, Sophie ambushed Esmee and clamped her hand over her mouth so she'd stop singing. Finally after a minute, Sophie let go. "All right, all right, I'll surrender."
"Good," Sophie said.
"Yeah," Said Destiny. "Not cool! We only just met!"
"But you saved him from Vladimir's grip." Esmee remarked.
"True," Destiny said. "But he just said that he had been facing that kind of stuff forever and is attempting to backfire and has been for who knows how long."
"Anyway, I tried to find you because I wanted to show you something." Esmee said. "It's in the shopping district."
"Cool!" Destiny literally jumped at this. "Let's go!"
"Okay," Said Sophie. "It's almost time for my school to be revealed anyway, so I'll catch you guys later." And Sophie headed to Golem Court.
Esmee and Destiny reached the shopping district soon after. "What is it? What is it?" Destiny ran ahead of Esmee and exclaimed in her face, "What is it, what is it, just tell me what it is!"
Esmee grinned. "If I told you it wouldn't be a surprise!"
"So?" Destiny said. "If you tell me, I'll have been prepared for it and know what it is and stuff!"
"No, it'll ruin the whole fun of it!"
"Maybe for you!" Destiny continued. "It's just that, when have you known me to be a patient person?"
"Never," Esmee admitted.
"But like you said, the surprise will be fun for me!"
"Here, I'll strike a deal," Destiny offered. "If you tell me what it is right here, right now, I'll act surprised when I get it!"
"Um, Destiny," Said Esmee. "There isn't anyone on this except for me. So how is that a good deal?"
"It's a good deal because I'll know what it is, and I'll be surprised when you show me! It's a win-win."
"There isn't anyone on this except for me, so how can that be a good deal?"
"It'll be a good deal on my watch."
"And how is that good?"
"Apparently you don't care for anyone but yourself!"
"If I didn't care about anyone, would I be having this conversation with you?" They were on Elik's Edge now.
"No," Destiny admitted. "But you only care for yourself when it comes to surprises!"
Esmee ignored the comment and went inside a shop.
"Where are-" Destiny looked above her to see what store it was. It was the housing and furniture one, apparently.
"Okay, I think I know what it is!" Destiny burst when she went inside the shop.
"What?" "Fire flowers to plant in my yard!"
Esmee giggled. "Honestly Destiny, not even close."
"Well, what then?"
"You're about to find out, aren't you?"
"Yeah, I guess." Destiny straightened her hood. "Okay, at least tell me this; what's the surprise even for?"
"I thought you'd know that one," Esmee said. "It's a good-luck-on-your-first-day kind of thing."
"Okay, spill." Destiny said. "This is the time to do it, anyway."
"I suppose you're right." Esmee replied. "Here, this should give a pretty clear hint." She handed Destiny a brochure.
"A brochure?" Destiny said. "That's it?" She knew Esmee, and Esmee was not the kind of person to do something so little.
"No, silly!" Look inside." Destiny opened it up and peered. "A quite a bit of furniture?"
"Why would I be giving you all that furniture if you didn't have any space to put it in?"
"What do you mean?" But then she saw just where Esmee was getting at. "Oh! You're giving me all this space!"
"Exactly my point."
"But why would you be giving it all to me unless you were buying me a cottage or a royal playhouse?"
Esmee was trying hard not to laugh.
"Oh, that's precisely what. You were, trying to. Say."
"All along." Esmee said.
"Would you like a tour?"
"Why wouldn't I?"
The shopkeeper handed them a key.
"Oh so it's the key to the house?"
"Yeah. But we have to leave quick, okay?"
"Sure, whatever." Destiny replied.
They headed up Ravenwood, and Esmee was looking up at Bartleby, a great tree. "Good morning!" Esmee called up.
"Hello, Esmee Lionblood." The tree replied in his booming voice. Then he opened a part of him that revealed some stairs and lead to somewhere, apparently. Esmee headed up the stairs, seeming to go exactly where she was going, while Destiny didn't have a clue what she was doing. Must be part of the surprise, thought Destiny, so she joined Esmee.
The stairs led to a huge, magnificent, gleaming room. Little trees seemed to be sprouting, vines covering the bark walls, leaves falling everywhere in a room with a circular perimeter. In the center of it all was a door, edged by what seemed twigs, and a center light shining down on it. Although she had never been there before, Destiny knew at sight what it was.
"The wizard city spiral chamber!" She looked at Esmee. "But how did you know about this?"
Esmee looked straight ahead of her, a long silence fitting in with it. Finally she just replied, "I have my ways." She lead Destiny to the spiral door and fitted the key in, fumbling with the lock for a moment.
"No way," Destiny breathed. "You go by using the spiral?" She was astounded at the idea, as if it had never been thought of until she mentioned it.
"That's the whole idea!" Esmee winked. "Now do you want to see your future house or not?"
"Why wouldn't I?"
"Then be my guest and go through the door?"
Esmee opened the door, and held her hand out, saying to Destiny to go through. She saw in the door an area with two massive buildings, and grass so green a life wizard couldn't be able to see any mistakes or any signs of withering. So it worked like a portal, Destiny thought. Interesting.
Destiny stepped to the other side, and Esmee quickly joined her.
"Okay, so what's even in this massive place, anyway?" Asked Destiny, her cape seeming to float in the wind.
"I'll show you. Destiny, Destiny?" She was nowhere to be found. Oh, where to begin looking for her? Esmee thought. Then she heard a shout coming from somewhere. "All right! You can go under a bridge! Nice touch!"
Ah, the lake and stream.
Esmee followed a trail of sand to a nice, shallow area of water to wade in. "You gotta try this, Esmee!" Shouted Destiny. That proved she was there, all right.
"Come on, Destiny." Said Esmee. Her back was turned to Destiny. "We don't have a lot of time, so we need to get through the res-" Esmee was cut off by a cold, wet feel douching her entire backside, head to toe. Seemed like Destiny splashed her.
She was already drying off, though. While she was meditating, the water on her either evaporated or dripped back to the source.
"Ah, haha, ah haha!" Destiny laughed. She was bent over, pointing at Esmee. She then saw Esmee meditating.
"Oh no you didn't!" Destiny shouted, and flicked her cape to the side and pushed it, sending even more water to Esmee, not only interrupting her meditating but wetting her once again.
This time, Esmee didn't even bother drying off. She was smiling. "I guess that's how you want to play it!" Then a water wave of massive size sprouted behind Esmee, and in turn Esmee jumped on top, and the wave lurched forward at Destiny, who scurried quickly under the bridge.
"I thought you were an ice wizard, not a water wizard!" Destiny shouted.
"Ice is just a solid form of water, so it doesn't matter!" Esmee shouted back. She then jumped, did a backflip, landed on her feet in the lake, and lurched both of her arms forward, sending the wave towards Destiny, splashing her hugely, and was now covered head to toe in freshwater.
"Okay, okay, let's see the rest of the royal playhouse, how about that?" Destiny offered, bringing her hood up, because the water had put a lot of weight on it, forcing the hood to sag in front of Destiny's face, covering it.
"Not so fast!" Said Esmee. "You did two splashes, so I need another turn." But this splash wasn't nearly as massive as the previous one. The second splash barely sprinkled on a finger.
"I can't wait until I'm a pyromancer," Moaned Destiny as they were climbing up the sandy hill that had led to the water fight. "Then I can heat myself up to make it so I'm not wet anymore and all dry and clean instead."
Esmee had already dried off from the splashes. "Here, I'll dry you off," Esmee offered. "Don't think I can dry myself but not others."
"You don't know how good that would be." Destiny muttered. Esmee placed a hand on Destiny's left shoulder, and closed her eyes. In less than a minute, Destiny was as dry as she had been wet, once again either evaporating the water or sending it in a water made stream back to its source. , perking Destiny back to her old self. "So what shall we explore next?" Destiny asked.
In reply, Esmee sat down in a field of magnificent grass, the same patch Destiny had been admiring when she had been staring into the portal view of the castle. "How about looking at the grass?" Asked Esmee. "We need to take some moments out of our lives to appreciate nature."
"You sound like a theurgist." Destiny pointed out.
"You don't have to be a theurgist to see the beauty in the earth." Said Esmee. "You can be a necromancer and see the life in nature."
"It is breathtaking." Agreed Destiny. "But what about in the winter, when the snow is shrouding the grass and the field?"
"Even when the snow has fallen," Esmee told Destiny. "You just know the grass is in there somewhere, deep within. You can still feel the little life even underneath the mass of snow. It may not be visible, but it's still there, living for what seems eternity. The beauty of it can never die." There was a stunned silence for a moment.
"I guess you're right." Said Destiny. "But where should we go next?"
"How about a theater?"
"Really?" Brightened Destiny. "Are you serious? A theater? How great is this place?"
"I don't know, you tell me."
Esmee lead Destiny to a place big in both width and height, and a checkered floor. There were two places above the ground that ensured you with a good view of the play or whatever was going on. There were seats and steps that lead to the stage, which had a scene, a wooden floor, red velvet curtains, and blue curtains with stars behind the sides of the stage, leading to backstage. Destiny ran straight to the stage, and climbed on it.
"Isn't this cool or what?" She asked Esmee, who was climbing the stairs to the stage. "I can see it now," Destiny continued. "When I finish my fire studies and become Destiny Seagem the Great, and become the most beloved pyromancer of all time, this whole place will be the most visited place in the spiral, set like a museum, to see just what it was like in the day to day life of me, and one of the main events is showing the story of my life on this stage! And the play will be called, The Tales and Mishaps of Destiny Seagem the Great!" Destiny turned to Esmee. "I know it's a long title, but I'm working on it."
"Well, Destiny, the thing is, I don't know."
"What do you mean you don't know? This is my future and you know it. I shall go down all the way back in history!" Destiny jumped at the fact.
"You may not be a pyromancer. You may get placed in a different school. You may get placed in death, for all I know." Destiny flinched at the thought of becoming a necromancer. "Who are you to judge?" Destiny asked. "I was born to be the greatest student of fire of all time."
"Destiny, you don't know for sure!" Esmee responded in a cruel tone. Then she felt pained and said again in a softer tone that sounded more like her, more cheerful. "But you'll find out today, won't you?" She placed a hand on Destiny's shoulders, giving her a reassuring look. Destiny nodded in turn.
"Speaking of that," Esmee said. "We need to hurry through this so we don't miss when Mr. Lincoln calls you down so you know you're school." Destiny agreed.
"There's only one more part of the tour," Esmee said. "We haven't even seen the actual house and space you'll be roaming around in." But all Esmee was talking to was surrounding air and landscape. Esmee ran over to the entryway to the house, and sure enough, the door was flung wide open. When Esmee entered, Destiny was roaming a small space under stairs.
"Hey Esmee," She called out. "This is gonna be where my bed is in the future!" Destiny popped open her hands and arms when she said future, as if she was already roaming the streets and pavement of the distant tomorrow.
But she wasn't. She was trotting up the stairs already and called down.
"Oh, and that big space there downstairs will be my glorious library!" Again Destiny spread out her arms as if she were to soar the air, and then went up the stairs. Destiny had lead herself into a room with another wooden floor then the usual red and white checkered pattern. She waited till Esmee caught up to her and then said, "This is where my crafting station will be!" Destiny then dashed to a wide space of the checkered floor pattern and quickly made up her mind that this is where she would place all of the artifacts she collected throughout her adventures in the spiral. You can't be going down in history for doing nothing, Destiny thought.
"This is where I'll place stuff I collect in the spiral!" Destiny quickly said, and then noticed the stairs leading somewhere else, probably of gleaming magnificence. So that's where Destiny headed next.
She climbed up the stairs, and loved the sight held before her in her eyes. A stained glass window like the one she had in her room held gleaming rays of light shining down on the floor, almost as magical as fire magic itself.
Esmee finally caught up with Destiny, out of breath, but Destiny could tell that she thought the interior of the tower was worth the climb. "Nice view, isn't it?" Esmee asked Destiny.
"Absolutely breathtaking!" Was the response.
"You know, I can't pay for this all at once." Esmee said.
"Where are you getting at?" Destiny asked.
"I don't have enough money to pay for this fully, so I reserved this for you and when I have all the money, I'll be able to pay for it and you'll be granted access." Esmee said.
"So what I'm hearing is that you haven't paid for this yet, so I can't use it until you've paid for it?"
"Sadly, yes." Esmee said. "And we need to go soon for your orientation."
"Yeah, I know." Destiny replied. She touched the stained glass window. "Not a better place for a study, don't you agree?" Destiny asked. "No, there isn't." Esmee said. "I think we need to go now."
"I guess you're right." Destiny said. So they together headed down the long winding spiral staircase back to the spiral door platform. Esmee used the key on the door, opened it up, and the portal back to Elik's Edge opened back up. And looking back, Destiny stepped through. She was shocked at who she found after both her and Esmee stepped through. Sophie was standing there, panting.
"Destiny," she breathed. "Last I checked, Mr. Lincoln was on the last names beginning with P! Seagem isn't far behind!"
"Wait, what school did you get placed in?" Destiny asked.
"Turns out, Ice." Sophie said. "I'll tell you more later, there's no time to waist!" Destiny turned to Esmee, who just nodded and said, "Well, you better take her advice and run."
Destiny then scrambled out of the shop, leaving Sophie and Esmee behind.
Finally Destiny made it to Golem Court, where she could hear Mr. Lincoln going around saying, "Mr. Seafountain, you have been placed in the school of balance." Mr. Lincoln handed a boy a novice balance wand.
When the boy leaved Golem Court, Mr. Lincoln called out, "Miss Seagem, Miss Seagem!" Destiny pushed her way through a crowd of students. She might make it in time!
"Miss Seagem! Does anybody know where Miss Destiny Seagem is?"
"Right here sir, right here!" Destiny called out, and passed future novices, bumping into some, finally coming front and center. She could hear the whispers of the fact that she had stood up to this Vladimir Thorn guy. "I'm sorry Mr. Lincoln, I really am!" She said, hoping to make up for the fact that she had almost missed her school calling.
"Well, now that you're right here, right now, I guess the headmaster would like me to say that it's all right." Destiny straightened out her hood, robe, even boots. This was the moment she had been waiting for her whole life, the moment of truth. She then stood up, back straight, in a good posture.
"What school have I been placed in?" Exceitment was rushing through Destiny's brains. This is it! Destiny thought. When he reveals my school, the almighty, the all-powerful, wise school of fire, where I'll be able to become a pyromancer and be taken under Mistress Flamea's wing as a student, it will set the course of my future! Overall, this would set Destiny on her path, and change her life. Then she heard the words slip out of Mr. Lincoln's beak.
"Miss Seagem, you have been placed in the school of.... Death."
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