|Emily looked around a corner before zipping down the road in Krokotopia. Alex ran beside her, wickedy texting on-the-go as if she was a grandmaster battling her worst enemy. Alex could text very fast, besides always knowing when Emily needed hep, and she was never boring to talk to. But her text-chatting habits were sometimes annoying. Sapphire, Emily's newly-adopted Meowodon, ran alongside both girls, growling when she saw an enemy so that they could hide.
"It looks safe here, Alex," Emily said, resting against a palm tree. "Nobody around, nothing to worry about. That battle with Mona was something, huh?" Emily wiped a bead of sweat off her forehead and guzzled a potion. She wasn't like some girls she knew, always texting and laughing a little too much and wearing more than enough pink (not that there was anything wrong with that.) But Emily stayed away from those girls. When she was about six, she wanted to be like that; she wanted to giggle and text and act cute and innocent and popular. But after she was sent to the cabin in the woods with her mom and brother, who eventually left, having better things to do than to take care of a destructive little tomboy-ish girl and her stupid neighbor, she realized that acting cute and cool wasn't a life skill she needed for her own lifestyle.
But that was behind her. She had been spending all her time in The Spiral, though she was only allowed in the City and Krokotopia, and she had a load of clothes stocked up in her closet, feeling glad that none of the were pink.
Now she was family. Now she was a Wizard, and she was glad of it.
But, at the moment, she was sitting tired against a tall palm tree, holding the empty bottle in her hand while her power regenerated. Alex texted next to her, laughing every now and then, staring only at the little screen that Emily had returned to her a few months earlier. Sapphire licked her paws contently and laid her head on Emily's lap.
Everything was quiet for about two minutes, then Sapphire shattered the silence with a loud roar. She got up on her hind legs and roared again, and Emily put a hand on Sapphire's back. "Shut up!" She whispered. "Do you want to be attacked by Kroks and who knows what else?!" The young Meowodon got down all all fours again and quietly growled, as if to say 'You're not the boss of me.' Alex had put her texter away and was staring at the huge cat, her eyes a little squint-y from looking at the texter for over an hour and just now adjusting to the sunlight. Emily watched the distance. Thet were on a small island connected to the other ones by one bridge. The island was said to be deserted, and only a desert to cross to get between islands. But she knew it wasn't. There was definitely something there, and Emily knew what to do to get to it.
"Why are you after this village, anyway?" Alex said, biting a mango she had in her backpack. "There's nothing here we want, anyway."
"It's said they hold about twenty-five different Pyromancers to harvest their Fire Magic,but I don't know what for." Emily thought about how to get to it. Then she had an idea. "Hey, Alex, do you still have that coil of rope?"
Alex dug it out of her backpack and gave it to Emily. "Yeah, why?"
"Because I know how to get there now."
Emily grabbed the end of the rope and tied it around the tree in a solid knot, then ran it to the nearest edge. It reached over the side of the floating isle with plenty of rope to spare. Emily pulled the end up over the edge again, and tied it around her waist. Alex ran toward her, Sapphire running behind her. "Emily, what are you doing?"
"Hold this rope, and pull it up when I get down there." She let Alex take ahold of the rope, and then she took a deep breath. "When I get down there, just pull up the rope and tie it to your waist. then just get over the edge and down as far as you can go. I'll catch you if you fall."
Alex looked around. "Emily, if you jump down there, it's gonna be for nothing. Can we just go back home? I still have about a million thiings to at home, don't you?"
Emily said nothing.
She floated on air, falling down and away, watching the underside of the island.. Roots of dirt dangled down, and suddenly, the rope made a snapping sound and stopped. Emily almost screamed with the force of the rope jerking her up, but eventually she was just hanging by her waist on a rope. She started kicking her legs and swinging the rope. Alex stayed above, holding the rope in case it detached from the palm tree. Sapphire sat with her paws over her eyes as Emily swung back and forth, gaining as much force as she could. Then, Emily swung forward and managed to grab the very bottom of the island. She was holding on by one root while she hooked her foot into a rock crevice.
She started climbing. Sure enough, there was a hole in the bottom of the isle. To explain it, if you got to Krokotopia and look in your map at an island, you can see the bottom is a pyramid-shaped piece of earth that is holding up the surface, and that was what Emily was scaling right then.
Emily climbed for about ten minutes, somtimes slipping a bit, but she finally made it to the hole near the top of the floating underground island. She climbed up and in the hole, and after a few crawls forward it became clear that there was a village in the middle of this huge island. The hole expanded as she went further in, and soon she came to the edge of a giant, hollow cave, filled with torches hanging from the cave ceiling. There were Kroks all over the place, and it looked just like a normal town. But Emily knew it was where her fellow Pyromancers were being held. She untied her waist and went back to the mouth of the cave. She thrw out the rope. "Here," she called. But the rope didn't get hoisted up so that Alex could come too. It just fell through the air. Emily looked over the edge as the rope fell. She felt for a rock abd grabbed it, then started climbing. no more than a minute later, she climbed up over the edge and looked around. Only Sapphire stood, whimpering and cuddling up next to Emily. 'Where's Alex?" she said to the meowodon. Sapphire looked at Emily. Then she looked over the edge. "That means there's more than one way in," Emiy said to herself. She looked at Sapphire. "There must be hundreds of exits. And I need someone to distract guards while I go in. So, first of all, which direction should we go to find Alex fastest, and second of all, how are we gonna get you down there?"
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