It was a cold, dark night. a figure in a starry hood and robe, with a long staff and brown beard appeared out of the mist. he held a lantern that emanated a faint mana spark. he looked sadly around at all the damage the evil forces had done. the storm school had so many holes it looked like swiss cheese. the fire school had a serious case of frost bite, while the ice school had burned to the ground. the myth school's tree had been knocked over into its school. the life school had been torn off its foundation and was now settled in the branches of the grandfather tree. but worst of all was the death school. where it had once stood , tall and proud, there was now a gaping hole in the earth. it was not a crater. it was not a valley. it was as if a dragon had taken the earth beneath the school in its arms and carried it off into the outskirts of the spiral. a sad, lonely wizard wandered aimlessly among the ruins, taking it in, seeing if there were any clues as to who had done this and how to destroy them.
" What you seek is not amongst the rubble," a voice from far above whispered, "but within your heart. You knew Malistare would do this after Sylvia died. He was too unstable, Ambrose." the wizard replied, "I know, but I thought there may be a clue to overcoming him, Bartelby." "Ambrose, my dear friend, " the ancient tree said, "it is not you destine to kill him, but another." "Did you have a vision?" Ambrose said in a small voice. "while the schools were torn away, burned, and otherwise destroyed, Malistare stole my eye of the past from me. but, he did not steal my eye of the future from me. and this is what I see.........
These are dark times. But, there is a light in the darkness. This wizard will use this light, and with it, destroy the man who has caused us so much grief and pain."
"But, how will I know?" Ambrose said in a small voice, for he was not headmaster yet. "This boy," Bartelby explained, "will not be like the others. He will struggle more. He sufferings will be greater. He won't make friends as easily. He will live amongst the shadows." Ambrose said, "I see Bartelby. I will be on the lookout for this strange boy. In the meantime, how do we stop this evil?" "Ambrose," the wise tree chuckled, "surely you could gather all the wizards and drive him further out into the spiral until the boy comes?" "I will do as I must, Bartelby." Ambrose declared, and with that rushed off to tell the council of wizards.
When Ambrose told the council of wizards, they immediately sprang into action. Ambrose lead the wizard to watch and wait for Malistare to make his move. When Malistare was seen in Marleybone, all the wizards rushed to defeat him. Just before the final blow was dealt, he vanished into the far reaches of the Spiral, not to be seen again.
Chapter 1: the Past
That is the story I always hear, how some "chosen one" will come save us all from Malistare's horrible plan. Well, hi anyways. My name is Alexander O'Connor. Or, Alexander Deathwhisper, as Merle Ambrose and the rest of the spiral call me. It's my "wizard name". Well, it does represent me as a wizard. I'm a death wizard, and I'm shy and don't make a lot of friends. It's not easy for me. Well, here I am, a wizard. If you go back in time two months, and told me I'd be a wizard, I would have laughed in your face. Weird, how I got here. It was just a normal day back in a town I like to call home.
BEEP BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP BEEP! ugh. Another Thursday. The worst day of the week. I got up, got dressed, and went downstairs to see what my mom was cooking for breakfast. The second I opened up the door, cinnamon hits my nose. "What's for breakfast?" I ask my mom as I walk downstairs. "Cinnamon rolls." she replies, "And, if you don't hurry up, you're going to miss the bus. Agian." I inhaled two before sprinting out the door to catch the bus to school.
The bus was packed as usual. But packed is not bad. Loud is. I couldn't even hear myself think. There was all this talk of who got what for who for Christmas, and where people were going for the holidays. I went and sat next to my friend Tyler. We've been friends since 3rd grade. He and I have been through it all. "Why do you look so glum?" he asks me when I sit down next to him. "Glum? Where did THAT come from?" I asked. Tyler was very well read and enjoyed using big and unusual words. Translates to: headaches for me. "Glum is when you are sad." Tyler explained, "I thought you knew that." "Yea, well, I'm not a brainiac." I said as we pulled up in front of one of the ugliest buildings in town. They call it "Barker Junior High School".
I'm in the 8th grade. Next year I get to go to the pretty new school they just built, because the old one burnt down. I get to get away from all these kids, because they have to go to a different high school on the other side of town. When the boundary lines for the schools were made, they weren't drawn out evenly. So, I got to go to a different middle school than every other kid at my elementary school except Tyler and a few other people. That's why we became best friends. Next year I get to see all my old friends and I can't wait. But for now I am stuck with these boring kids. Or as Tyler put it so nicely one day, " Shallow, self absorbed, sorry excuses for humans that call themselves cool and popular even though no one likes them." Well, at least none of the sane people like them.
As I walked in the doors, the sound hits me like a tsunami. It's ALWAYS loud before homeroom. But today is louder than usual because it's almost the holidays. Tyler and I split up so that it's easier to get to our lockers. There right next to each other, but two people walking down the hallway without getting crushed is impossible right now. So, we go our separate ways. When I get there, I notice that my lock is open. I try not to run over and make a scene as I rummage through to see what's gone. Wallet: check. iPod: check. Homework: check. Textbooks: check. Scroll: check. Notebooks: check. Wait, scroll? What in the world was THAT doing here? I looked a little closer at it. It had a wax seal on it with a spiral and sparks surrounding it. Weird.
Just as I was about to open it, the bell rang. I shoved it back in my locker, got my books, and started to look for Tyler. As I was looking for Tyler, I saw a bird sitting on top of the lockers. The weird thing was, it wasn't affected by the noise. It just sat there. And stared. Straight at me. It was the weirdest bird I had ever seen. It looked like a raven, but had silver, metallic looking wings. And the oddest birthmark of a star on its chest.
"What are you staring at?" a voice from behind startles me. I spun around and came face to face with a tall, blonde-brunette girl, about my age, with clearest blue eyes I've ever seen. "Uh, nothing." I managed to stutter before turning and half running half walking away to find Tyler. I don't know why, but that girl had REALLY freaked me out. I found Tyler at homeroom, talking to Heather Creel, the most popular girl in school, and the only girl Tyler had had his eyes on since 5th grade. She was one of the few people who had gone to our elementary school. I shook my head and took my seat just as the bell rang and Ms. Prim, with the most annoyingly cheery voice ever, began to take roll.
Classes passed in a blur. One holiday party after another. We would have the parties tomorrow, but the school board decided to make it a teacher learning day, which means we don't have to go to school, only the teachers. I was one of the few people who didn't get sugar high or almost puke. I didn't think about the scroll, the bird, or the girl all day.
When school ended, I went to my locker and got my stuff. I was going to leave the scroll behind, until a faint voice from behind said, "If you don't take the scroll home and open it, you will ALWAYS wonder what it said." By the time I turned around, the voice was gone, but on the floor was a silver-blue feather. I picked up the feather and scroll and shoved it in my bag because one, the voice was right; two, this was starting to creep me out; and three, Tyler was coming down the hall and was going to ask if I didn't hide it. "Wanna walk or take the bus home?" he asked. "I wanna walk, I need the exercise after all those treats." I said. "Ok, well I need to get home fast," Tyler explained, "So I'll see you this weekend, ok?" "Ok. See yah later." I said. I would take the bus home with him normally, but I needed to think. Think about the girl, the voice, the bird, and the scroll.
The walk home was pretty long. Plenty of time to think. I turned on my iPod so no one would try to talk to me. I had walked two blocks before looking up to see who was walking ahead of me. It was a girl, my age, with long blondish-brown hair, a beat up leather messenger bag, jeans, and a green plaid jacket that looked worn. I'd never seen her before, and that was weird because I knew everyone in my grade. It started me thinking of the girl in the hall. Maybe it was her. Then I started looking around, to see if anyone else was nearby. Nope. No one else. Things were getting weirder and weirder. Suddenly I hear a sharp cry from above. I look up to see a silver, raven-like bird. Then, the girl lifted up her arm, and with that, the bird landed on her wrist. She turned around, waved and disappeared into thin air.
By now I had stopped walking. I was staring, open-mouth, at where the girl had been. The bird was hers. That made sense. But waving at me? Why me? This had to do with the scroll. I raced home to open the scroll, and see what this mystery was about, once and for all.
When I got home my mother and father were still at work and my brothers wouldn't get out of school for two hours. Good. I had the place to myself.
I ran up to my room, flung my bag by the door, and sat down on my bed with the scroll. I carefully peeled off the wax seal, not wanting to destroy it. I unrolled it, and began to read. This is what it said:
Chapter 2: the Scroll
Alexander Deathwhisper, you are cordially invited to join the ranks of heroes and become a wizard. If you choose to accept your fate, please sign your first and last name on the bottom of this scroll.
The Ravenwood schools provide a marvelous opportunity to learn magic. There is Fire, Ice, Storm, Myth, Balance, Death, and Life. The Professors are ready to help and guide you through an amazing adventure.
This offer is for one  semester of school, from January to June. You will board here or at your Earthly home. If you pass your tests and show promise, you will be eligible to apply for year round education.
Good luck to you in your adventures, and may I see you soon,
Headmaster, Ravenwood School of Wizardry
So that's what this was all about. The girl was a WIZARD, that's why she disappeared. Must be Balance. And the raven must be an enchanted pet. Well, this wouldn't be too bad. I could skip the rest of the year at Barker Junior, and make it back just in time for high school. I would have to tell my parents though.
"Hey mom." I said when my mom walked in the door, "How was work?" "Good Alex. Did you finish your homework yet?" she said. "I don't have any homework. But I did get this weird scroll in my locker today." I said, and handed my mom the scroll. She read it with a calm expression on her face. I was not expecting that. "So, they want you to be a wizard too?" she asked. "To? TO? Who else is a wizard? WHO?" I said, dying to know who else in the family was a wizard. "Your grandfather on my side." she said, " He was a Balance and Ice wizard. He left when he was 21." "Well, can I be a wizard then?" I asked. At this point I was sure I could. "Well, we're going to have to fill out LOTS of paperwork, but if you really want to....." "THANK YOU" I shouted, and hugged her. I couldn't believe it, I was finally getting out of middle school.
It turned out that my brothers went to their friend Jimmy's house for dinner, so I was an only child that night. Apparently, my father knew my mother's father was a wizard, and was ok with me going, provided I was going to come home every night to have dinner. All that was left to do was sign the paper. After dinner, my parents and I sat down to sign the paper. First my dad, with his big, sharp signature. Then my mom, with a smaller, loopy signature. Then me, with a tiny, square signature. After I had put the pen down, there was a knock at the door. My mom answered it, and there stood the girl. With long, blonde-brown hair, and clear blue eyes. She was in a amazing dress instead of jeans and a plaid jacket. But there was no bird this time. No, there was a dragon curled up on her shoulder. I did the only thing I could do. I fainted.
When I came to, I was in bed. My mother told me they worked out all the details with the wizard representative. On January 5th I was to report to headmaster's house. I would be given details then. My mom gave me a wizard outfit to wear. It itched like crazy. Oh well, just going to have to deal with it
Tyler and I spent the rest of the break together. When I told him I was going to go to a private school, he was sad, but understood. He was very happy when I told him it was not a boarding school. We went to the movies to see Mummy Attack 4 and Space Quest. We played video games until 3 in the morning. We tried to be normal, or at least I did. I didn't know what being a wizard was going to do to me, and if I'm going to change, I want to be normal first.
Then January 5th came. At six o'clock my mom woke me up and told me to get dressed. I got in the uncomfortable black robe and got in the car with my mom. I then realized I had no clue how I was getting there. "Um, mom, how in the world am I getting there?" I asked."Why, the airport, how else?" she replied, as if it was nothing. "No mom, seriously." I said. "Truly," she tried to explained, "the airport."
When we got to the airport I put on a jacket over the robe so that I didn't look too weird. When we walked in, my mom lead me towards a hallway. I was waiting for someone to stop us until I realized no one would. I sat in a chair in the hallway for forever while my mom filled out forms. Pretty soon another boy was sitting beside me while his mom filled out paperwork. "What's your name?" he asked in a nice voice. "Alex." I replied. "No, your wizard name." he asked. "Um, Alexander Deathwhisper." I said. "Oh, are you going to be a death student?" he asked. "Probably" was the only thing I could say before my mom and a guy I hadn't met yet had come through the door to get me. "Now, you be good and don't get into trouble. And be on time for dinner!" my mom said before I vanished to the other side of the door.
"Alexander Deathwhisper," the boy said, "Once you pass through that door, you will enter the world known as the Spiral. In that world, the rules are different. The stakes are higher. This is not some video game where you can be killed there and still come home. No, you have to know your limits, and make friends and help each other out. The first world you will encounter is sort of a trial world, where the weak and fragile are weeded out. Then Krokotopia, more realistic, but still a trial world, where we can control some things. As you get farther into the outer reaches of the Spiral, we have less of a grip on you. Marleybone comes next, where you will first encounter big bosses, and need friends to help. Mooshu is a little harder than that, but not much. Then, if and only if you are strong, brave, loyal, and heroic, you will move on to study at Dragonspyre. This is where the best go to receive training. If you stick with it, I'm sure you'll make it." "I understand." I said, and with that, he opened the door, and I stepped through.
Chapter 3: the Trial
I found myself standing in a big room, with a desk and books flying everywhere. "Now, who is this?" a voice from behind the desk said. "Oh, Alexander Deathwhisper. You've decided to join us." Then, a man in a long, starry robe with a starry hat, and a long staff appeared from behind the desk. "Why, that robe does not fit you at all. For Bartelby's sake, that's a balance robe, not death! Well, you'll have to earn some money and get yourself a death robe as soon as possible. Otherwise we just might have to make you balance!" Ambrose exclaimed. "Death? I'm death?" I asked. "Well, you are Deathwhisper, aren't you?" he asked. "Well, yes. That does make sense." I said.
"Good." he said, and handed me a rod of cold metal that stayed cod no matter what I did. It wasn't ice cold though. It was more like nightmare had decide to crawl out from whatever corner it had been hiding in and bottle itself up in this wand. He also gave me a thick book that could vanish in one word. "Now, this is your wand. It can help you cast spells and had a spell of its own. And this book is your handbook, I guess you could say. It show you your stats, maps, quests, spells, inventory, and friends list. Your bank is in your dorm room, which is located to your right when you go through the tunnel to Ravenwood. Your first quest is to go to Unicorn Way and help the guard, because there have been reports of undead, and they are not equipped to handle that. Go right away, and when you are done, hurry back." "Ok." I said, and ran out the door and down the street to Unicorn way.
That room, it turned out to be, was the headmaster's office, where I could always find him. He ran the whole Spiral from there. Or, at least, what they could control. As I ran out into the Commons, I got to see what this place was really like. There were people, rather kids my age and older, all over. It was like a little park. And no matter what language they spoke where they came from, we could all understand one another. It was amazing. I walked over to the tunnel with the plaque that read "Unicorn Way" and asked the guard to go through.
"Non shall pass without permission from the Headmaster." he stated in a gruff voice. I showed him my certification and he opened the gate for me. When I went through the gates I saw the street for the first time. It was not like the streets on Earth. It was cobblestone, and instead of cars there was hundreds of ghosts, evil fairies, and skeleton pirates circling it. None of them went on the sidewalks, so it was safe there. I went up to the guard, and he said to clear some undead out so that his men would have a chance coming home. I watched as others tried and tried again to kill them. A few succeeded. Most didn't. I then realized this was the first stage of separation. The weak ones could not hold and sustain the magic necessary to cast simple spells.
When I decided to go ahead and try, I didn't know if I would be one of the ones who would fail or kill the undead. First turn I casted a death shield, because I didn't have much health. The ghost hit me with a minor life spell, just taking a little bit of my health. Second turn I hit the ghost with a ghoul spell. It wasn't easy calling all that magic and focusing it on what I wanted it to do. But I did it. That was the only important part.
Soon I had finished that quest. I reported back to the guard, and he gave me the rest of the quests for that street. When I finished the street, the guard was impressed. "I've never seen a kid finish Unicorn Way as fast as you have." he said. "Thanks" was the only thing I could say in reply. I ran to tell Ambrose I had finished. When I told him, he was impressed. I worked all day, finishing Unicorn Way and Cyclopes Lane. Then I had to go home for dinner. My mom was happy I was at the head of my class. My dad was surprised. He didn't expect me to do this well on my first day.
The rest of Wizard City sped by in a blur. It was one battle after another. On the street I fought by myself, because then I only had to kill one monster at a time. When it came to dungeons, there was normally someone else going in, so we'd work together. When I got to Colossus Boulevard, I started to be challenged. I had to change my fighting style because I had to fight two at a time. Sometimes people would help and sometimes they wouldn't. By the time I was halfway through the first quest there I realized I was getting a bit of a reputation. People started murmuring, "The Chosen One." when they thought I couldn't here, or, "He's the one that will kill Malistare." or, "Watch out for that guy, he's powerful." If I had felt alone before, this just made it worse.
This continued all through that street. When I was done, I went to Ambrose and he gave me the Spiral Key so that I could go to Krokotopia. There the rumors just got worse. It seemed as though everywhere I went, the worse it got. I started getting mad, and losing control of my magic. One day, when I was fighting a powerful boss, and I had just a death blow to go, a boy who had been watching me whispered to his friend, "See, he's the one from the prophecy. He's a loner and lives in the shadows. I feel sorry for Ambrose. If he doesn't control him soon, he's going to have another Malistare on his hands."
That did it. It was the last straw. I was sick and tired of people talking about me. And not only was he talking about me, but he was saying I was going to become mad with power. I decided, that in that moment, that day, I would start a silent war. Despite all the people who were betting on my failure, I was going to prove them wrong. I was going to make no friends, I didn't need them. I was going to become powerful, and fulfill this insane prophecy. I didn't care anymore that I had no friends, because that is what made me who I am. And I was going to make sure EVERYONE knew that.
I went to speak with Ambrose the next morning. When I got there , there were two cups of tea waiting on the table. "I was expecting you, Alexander." Ambrose said, "It is about the whispers, isn't it?" "Yes, it is." I replied, not knowing what else to say, "I am getting sick and tired of people saying I'm going to spiral out of control." "Are you?" Ambrose asked. "No." I said. Ambrose looked at me strangely. When I look back on that moment I see why. I said that one syllable with so much conviction, that even the most doubtful person had to believe me. "I see." he said, "And I believe you. Even if I'm one of the few people in this world who do, I believe in you." "Few? You're the only one, Ambrose." I said. "Oh, I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't one or two more people who believed." he said with a twinkle in his eye, and a slight smile, "Your dismissed, Alex. You have a lot of training to do."
I trained and trained and trained. I built up my spell deck with the most powerful spells I could. I got a lot of blades and feints so I could make my attacks more damaging and I got healing spells from life school so I didn't have to worry as much about dying. The only thing that would help more was a friend, but that was out of the question. I would never make a friend here. Sure, people came and stared at me during battles, but as soon as I look at someone, they pretend to be busy, or not paying attention. It bugged me, but I dealt with it.
It was end of April when I spoke with Ambrose. Soon I realized June was approaching, and I was either going to have to apply or go back to Earth. I then realized I was trapped. I was never going back to being a normal, average teenager. I was going to apply, and continue here.
By the time June rolled around I was finishing Krokotopia. When I came back in the fall, I would be in the real wizard world. The stakes higher, the bosses bigger, the cards even more harmful. It was going to be fun I thought as I stretched my sore muscles.
Chapter 4: Summer
When summer came, Tyler and I had to make up for lost time. We went to the movies to see the movie everyone was talking about. We played video games and explored the forest with Tyler's new dog, Oscar. We think he was a lion or a tiger or a dragon in his past life, because he was not scared when he came face to face with any of the animals. Not even a rattlesnake.
One day the new high school had an open gym day, so kids could come try it out. Tyler and I thought it would be a good idea, because I wasn't going there next year. When we got there the place was packed. There was a game of basketball and two games of knockout going, one for beginners and the other advance. Tyler joined the advance game while I watched.
I saw some of my friends from elementary school that I hadn't seen in years. "Hey Alex." They'd say as they passed. A few stayed to talk, and they were sad when I told them I wasn't going to high school with them. All of them asked how my new school was. It was hard, trying not to give away too many secrets to where I was. I just said it was an international school for very talented kids. It was true, but not completely.
Tyler came over after he had finished the game of knockout. He is an amazing basketball player, and was going to try out for the basketball team. He had been practicing forever. "I won." he said. "Nice." I said, "You know we should come practice in here sometime when it isn't so crowded." "Well, I can talk to Coach Davis, but no promises." he said, and went off to find the coach.
When Tyler got back, he told me that Coach Davis would let us practice in the gym tonight if we help out with clean up in the food room after the open gym was over. We agreed that we might as well, and went over to the food room to enjoy the food.
By the time everyone left and the food room was clean, it was dark out. My mom had said I could stay out until eight, which was in two hours. "You guys make sure to lock up behind you." Coach said. "Ok." We replied, and practiced our free throws. Soon, we were into a full on scrimmage. Of course Tyler ended up winning. I'm not that good at basketball. "I have to go get a drink of water." he said, and went off. I sat there, in the middle of the gym for a while. Suddenly, I started to feel really strange. I looked up from where I sat. It was dark, and I couldn't see that well. "Tyler, is that you?" I asked the empty air. "UH.................Ooo................................Ahhhhh...................Oh......................................" was the only reply I heard. "Uh, h-hello?" I said, my voice becoming shaky. This could be Tyler playing a joke on me. But this had that sinister feeling, like the first time I picked up my wand, or when a death spell was cast upon me.
All of a sudden, ghosts appeared out of the darkness. Following them came firecats, ghouls, fire elf's, vampires, helephants, and wraiths. "O dear. This cannot be good." I whispered, and prepared the first of many spells.
I dueled for what seemed forever. Helephants and wraiths just kept coming. After some time I was ready to give up. Then I remembered why I was becoming a wizard. It gave me new strength. I fought like there was no tomorrow. But still, I became weary fast. Soon, I collapsed. Lying there, not yet unconscious, I realized I was going to die, unless someone from the wizard world came to help me. This must have happened to another person, last time the gym burned down. Oh well, at least now Ambrose will be one step closer to seeing who is connected with Malistare.
Chapter 5: The Twins
"Oh no! We're too late to save him Kiley!" Jasmine screamed, and charged into the mass of monsters. "Oh brother. Rather sister. You know Jams, you really need to control yourself. One of these time you may die, and none of the powers in the spiral will be able to save you." Kiley said. "Oh, don't worry!" She yelled, while fighting helephants. "You'll save me. You have to! We're twins!" Ugh. Kiley thought to herself. She is always WAY to reckless. Isn't the older one suppose to look out for the younger one, not the other way around? Kiley ran into battle beside her sister. Soon they had cleared a path to the fallen boy. "Well, this doesn't look TOO serious." Kiley told her sister, "Only a boy that was overwhelmed. I'll have him better in no time at all."
Soon, Alex was surrounded by a bubble of protection. Kiley was working furiously with what dryads and satyrs she had to get him conscious. Jasmine, or as her sister called her, Jams, defended the two with ice spell after ice spell. As soon as the undead realized that it was hopeless, they began to crawl back through the portal they had come from. Jams went over to look at it. Just before it disappeared, she noticed a small, enchanted stone lying below it, with distinct fire and death markings. "Weird." she though, and went to see how her sister was doing.
Well, you may ask why these girls were here. Or why they were saving Alex. Or how they'd known what was happening. The truth is, this is a VERY special pair of sisters. They were abandoned at a Earthly orphanage, no mother or father. They grew up into very different people. Jams was loud, impulsive, strong, honest, and very impatient. She was the older one even though she didn't act like it. She had brown-green eyes and straight brown hair, with a silver streak that she got after the fire. Kiley was very shy. She was never as outgoing as Jams. Once you got to know her, she was very friendly and charming. Sometime she acted young, but that's because they never really got a chance to have a childhood. But, that is another story. She had long, curly blonde-brown hair and clear ice blue eyes. Kiley was a theurgist, and always tried to help people. She always wore the same light green dress with emerald green coat that they had been given as a birthday present from Ambrose. It was beautiful, and the coat was covered in a purple vine pattern. It was said to be from the lost realm of Celestia. Jams was a thaumaturge and wore a dress, also from Ambrose and rumored to be from Celestia. It was light blue, down past her knees, with gold and silver decoration that resembled ice shards. She had a necklace that was a blue-silver star.
These girls were the ones designated by Ambrose to guard Alex, for after the last boy who may had fulfilled this prophecy died in this very gym, the chosen ones needed protectors. And who better than the ones who almost saved the chosen one last time. Jams and Kiley had been visiting a powerful sorcerer who now lived on Earth. They were taking a walk by the school, when suddenly it began to emanate magic fire. Both girls ran into the building to save whoever was in there. It was said Jams died in the fire. But in fact, it gave her the power to transform into any animal she chose. She now traveled with Kiley, and appeared as a pet raven, snake, or dragon when Kiley was in public. Even Ambrose didn't know. These two, because of their prior experience with the dark magic, were assigned to look out for Alex, and protect him.
This brings us back to present day. Jams was walking over to her sister. "Uh, Kiley, I have bad news and more bad news." She stated, "Which do you want first?" "Well, everything seems to be bad news these days." Kiley said, "Well, go on. Tell me the news." "Well," Jams began, "It appears that we are dealing with a very powerful pyromancer and nemocratser. And, it's the same person as last time. I found another teleported stone with the same signature." "Oh my." Kiley said, "This is getting worse and worse. Well, everything except our patient. He is recovering quickly, and should be fine in a minute or two. We should go before the other boy gets back." "Fine, let's go." said Jams and they turned around.
What is going on here? Tyler asked himself as he walked back onto the basketball court. Two girls were standing over Alex talking. Not only was the fact that they were here weird, but that they were dressed very strangely. Then he realized Alex had to be unconscious. Just then, both the girls turned in his direction. Oh no, he thought, now they're going to hurt me to! "What do you want?"he yelled at the girls. "Nothing." a quiet voice came back. "Why have you hurt my friend?" he asked. "It was not our fault. We were trying to help." the same quiet voice came back.
Now Tyler was just getting mad. His friend was unconscious, and these two were helping? He saw no first aid kit, no water, no cell phone to call 9-1-1. How in the world were these girls helping? "You better leave my friend alone." he shouted. The same, quiet voice replied, "Don't tell us what to do. You are no match for us mere mortal. Just let us do our job." Tyler snarled, "What job?" and ran at them. In one swift motion, the girls joined hands and disappeared. Then, there was a tap on his back. He turned around and saw the blonde girl. "When your friend wakes up," she said, "Tell him to get plenty of rest tonight, and to see headmaster tomorrow morning." Then, she vanished.
Chapter 6: The Meeting
When Alex woke up [ a few minutes after Kiley and Jams left ,] he couldn't believe he was alive. Tyler was sitting there, head in his hands, trying to make sense of all this. He looked up when I began to stir. "Some girls came by. They scared me to death." he said. "What did they look like?" I asked. "Um, one was brown hair with brown eyes and a blue dress and a blue-silver star necklace. Oh, and she had a silver streak in her hair. The other one was blonde with amazing blue eyes, and a pretty green dress with purple design. They said to tell you to get plenty of rest and see headmaster tomorrow morning. Do you know what that means?" "Yes I do." I said. Have I mentioned those girls give me the creeps? Well, there was no choice now. Apparently those girls saved me, and I was going back to school tomorrow. "I'm sorry Tyler, but it looks like I'm going back to school tomorrow." "Oh, so headmaster is like a principal?" Tyler asked. "Yeah, that's exactly it!" I said, "But for now, I have to get home." "Ok, see yah around." Tyler said, and I walked out of the gym.
When I got home, I told my parents I had to return to school the following morning. They were disappointed, but understood. My mom made a big pot of pasta and we had garlic bread and meat balls to go with it. After dinner I watched a little TV, then went up to bed.
In the morning, I got dressed in my new Marleybone robe, shoes, and hat. When I went down for breakfast, my mom looked at me, and said, "You finally look like a wizard." I ate the eggs and toast, and my mom and I got in the car, and went to the airport.
When I got to Wizard City, I went straight to Ambrose. When I got in the office, he had two cups of tea waiting. "Good morning, Ambrose." I said, "How was your summer?" "Fine." he replied, "But, I got some unsettling news this morning. It seems as though you were attacked last night. But, I had a wizard in the area, so everything was alright. What exactly happened?" "Well, I was attacked." I started, "By helephants, wraiths, fire cats, ghosts, ghouls, and all sorts of other fire and death creatures. I fought long and hard, but got weary and collapsed. When I came to, my friend told me he saw two girls, my age, one with brown hair and brown eyes, and the other blonde with blue eyes, standing over me. They must have been the ones that saved me. But they did scare my friend pretty badly." "Well, he will just have to be told that wizards exist." Ambrose said. "Wait, I can tell him wizards exist! That would have been much simpler than lying to him. " I exclaimed. "We didn't want him to find out unless it was absolutely necessary." Ambrose said, " But now, you must go tell your friend what has happened, and come back at once.
I rushed out the door, down the tunnel to Ravenwood, into the tree we call Bartelby, through the world gate, and into Tyler's backyard. Tyler was there playing with is puppy. "What just happened?" he said, staring at me. "Tyler, I wish I could have told you this before, but the reason I go to a private school is because I'm a wizard. And those girls were wizards too. They saved me when some magical beings came and attacked me. I'm really sorry, but that's the truth." I said. Tyler just stared at me like I was insane. "Want me to prove it?" I said. I took his silence as yes.
First, I did a simple teleport spell. That convinced him I was a wizard. I did several more spells just for fun. A thunder snake, a fire cat, a snow serpent, a troll, a ghoul, and a imp. Then, I told him I was powerful, and he wanted me to prove it. So, I decided to summon a wraith. After that, Tyler didn't question my magical abilities.
We sat and talked. About my magic, what the Spiral looked like, it's history. It was a lot of material to cover, and Tyler took it all in like a history lesson at our school. But, while this was going on where I was, Ambrose was having a very different conversation.
"How could you be seen by his friend! I told you to keep it secret so Alex felt like he could look after himself! Now I had to tell him it was a coincidence. But, if more coincidences start to happen, he's going to figure it out. Be careful." Ambrose said. That was one of the few times Ambrose had lost his temper with Kiley. "I will be careful, Ambrose." she replied softly. She didn't like being yelled at, especially not from the headmaster. "But, what most disturbs me," Ambrose began, "Is that Jams was sighted at the scene of the attack. Her body was buried with proper burial rights for a hero, so her spirit should not be up and about. Is there something you're not telling me, Kiley?" "Well," Kiley began, "Oh, I can do this alone." she said, and awoke the dragon sleeping on her shoulder, and whispered something in its ear. Now you see, Ambrose was very intrigued by this, because he didn't know the dragon was Jams. What made his curiosity grow was when the dragon jumped off her shoulder, and started flying in lazy circles around their heads. As the circles became tighter and tighter, they became faster and faster. Soon, the dragon was not there. It was just a blur. Then, the blur began to glow with magic. All of a sudden, the light became a column. This, however, only lasted for a second. When the light faded, there stood Jams, in her Celestia dress, with her star necklace, and long brown hair. You could hear a pin drop in that room, at that moment. "Oh my." Ambrose whispered., "I should have seen this coming. I was always curious as to where your pet got the ability to morph from animal to animal. But now, I have my answer. So, this fire gave you the magical ability to shape shift?" "Yes, it did." Jams said, "But not only that. It also gave me the ability to communicate with animals. And, it gave Kiley the ability to become invisible, move objects with her mind, and fly." "Why, those are a fine set of powers to add to your spell deck." Ambrose said, "Now, when Alex gets back, you must return to your duties. He is now in Marleybone, and more danger than ever before. Now, you girls deserve the time off for now. Off you go. Enjoy yourselves." And with that, the girls departed to rest, that is, until Alex got back. And when he got back, he was even more of a handful than before.
Chapter 7: Marleybone
Finally, Alex thought, I've made it to Marleybone. I wonder what it's like? These were the thoughts racing through his mind as he made his way to Bartelby, and the world gate, with the key to Marleybone in his hand. When he reached Bartelby, he looked up at the wise old tree. "Hello Bartelby," he said, "How are you doing?" "Well young wizard , I am fine." the ancient tree replied, "You are the one they speak of, the one who will fulfill my prophecy?" "Yes," I said, "I believe so." "And that is an important thing, to believe," Bartelby explained, "For if you wizards didn't believe that there was magic, there wouldn't be. If you didn't believe that the spiral door could teleport you, it couldn't. And, if you don't believe, if you ever doubt yourself, even just for a second, that you can't make friends and fulfill the prophecy at the same time, then you will never have friends. Now go, young wizard, and fulfill the destiny that was yours from the beginning. Go now, and save the spiral."
After talking with Bartelby, I raced into the tree, unlocked the door, and stepped into Marleybone. The first thing I saw was a magnificent church. It turned out that the world gate was in the center of the church. I walked down the great isle, and out the door.
Marleybone looked like a older version of London. It was dark there, always night. The people were dogs, that walked on two legs and spoke English, with a British accent. There were several alleyways weaving around a central square. In the square was a fountain that looked like the fountain in Place de la Concorde. Place de la Concorde is located in Paris, and is surrounded by all of the French government buildings. All of the shops were located around this square. If you made your way through the maze of alleys, you could find Barkingham Palace, where the queen lives, the Scotland Yard, or police, Digmoore Station,221 Barker Street, and Big Ben. I was instructed to take a balloon car to Hyde Park and get a quest there. Once I was in the station, I went over to Tracy Castleton to get my ticket. She gave me my ticket and pointed out the car for me. It was like a hot air balloon on top, but a boat on the bottom. It was so weird. Once I got to Hyde Park, I realized I would be fighting on rooftops. I saw Lady Desane, and went over to receive my quest.
Fighting on the roof was a lot different that fighting on streets. But, since the bad guys didn't come to us, we went to them. So, I had to fight Hooligans and O'Leary Burglars up on the roof. After a while I got the hang of it. I kept going, through Hyde Park to Chelsea Court.
Once I got to Chelsea Court, I had to start facing tough bosses. I was going up to where Shakes O'Leary normally hung out, and just before I went in, a boy nearby said, "Would you like help with that?" I turned around and came face to face with a wizard I hadn't seen before. "Sure," I said, thinking about what Bartelby had said about making friends, "you can come if you want. So, what's your name?" "I'm Noah Owlcatcher. I'm Ice and Myth. And you are?" the boy said. "I'm Alexander Deathwhisper. I'm Death." I said, just as we disappeared into the bosses lair.
We killed O'Leary with ease. After that, Noah and I started helping each other. He got use to the fact that people would avoid him when he was with me, and was really nice to me. Then again, he was nice to everybody. One day, he told me he wouldn't be coming to school for a few weeks. "I'm going to visit my relatives in Pittsburg. My mom is making me take a few weeks of school off. I hope your ok without me." "Oh, I'll be fine. I can cope on my own." I said.
It turned out he would be gone for two weeks. I would go easy, not too fast. I did a few quests, but then ran into another boss I was suppose to kill. I waited, doing side quests, but soon I ran out. I decided to go ahead and try it. "What's the harm it could do?" I told myself, and took the teleporter stone over to the dungeon. I jumped on the launch pad, and in 10 seconds, I was in.
Chapter 8: The Mistake
Once I got into the bosses lair, I jumped into battle. I began to set up my traps and blades for skeleton pirate. The boss just kept passing. After three turns, I attacked. I got 1,234 hit point, which wasn't bad. Now the boss was mad, and came back with a kraken. I was pretty low on health, and saving my pips for the next attack. Next round we both passed. Then, the boss did lighting bat. Now I only had 509 health left. Great, I thought, just what I need. Next turn, I killed it with a banshee. Finally, it was over. I collapsed on the floor, and passed out.
When I came to, I had regained some health, but if I was pulled into battle on the way to the commons, I would die. I started to get up, then realized there was a shadowy figure standing by the window. "Um, h-hello? C-can I h-help you?" I said, scared out of my mind. "Well, actually, you can," the shadowy figure said, "You can die, NOW!" The figure raised his staff, and brought it down with such force, I was knocked onto the floor. Then, he took off his hood, and my worst fears were confirmed. I had made a VERY bad mistake not getting out of here right away. A mistake that may cost me my life.
For there, in front of me, stood the one man I had to destroy. A man we refer to , as MALISTARE!
He hit me with the most powerful death spells I had ever seen. I was expecting to see a wraith, or a scarecrow. But no. He casted a weird, fog-like mist, that started at his feet. It raced across the room, to where I had managed to stand up. It came like a blanket across the floor. When it reached me, it formed into long tentacles and began to swirl around me like a cocoon. It incased my legs, binding my hands behind my back. I was helpless. He stood in the mist, staring at me. Soon, he let out an evil chuckle. "You were NEVER a match for me, Alexander. You would have DIED just like all the others. Seriously, did you ever think you could actually BEAT me? I didn't think so." he said, as I looked at the ground, trying to see if I had actually believed I could kill someone this powerful. "Alexander." he said, "The name fits you. Too bad you will die tonight, just as all the others fell to my power. No one will EVER BE as powerful as me, Alexander, NO ONE!" He said this in rage, and then began to attack. He released the fog, and hit me with wraiths, scarecrows, and skeleton pirates. I tried to fight at first, but realized it was useless. I was going to die. I curled up on the floor, hoping that death would come fast and painless, and that no one would miss me too much.
I remained conscious for a long time. It turned out he was trying to kill me slowly, make it painful. I just laid there, hoping the end would come soon.
It had been an hour of torture. I was still there, on the floor, waiting for death to take me. It couldn't be long now, I thought, as I slipped into dreamland. I was unconscious. Malistare had won. Whoever had been protecting me had failed.
The last thought I had before sinking into a never ending sleep, was what those girls, destine to protect me, were like. Guess I'd never get to find out.
Chapter 9: Saving Grace
I will now tell the story from Kiley's perspective, since Alex is dead.
Great I thought to myself. He's going to try and do it by himself. Alex had just jumped on the launch pad and disappeared into the bosses lair. "Don't worry," Jams the Dragon whispered in my ear, "He use to fight all alone in Krokotopia. He'll be fine." "No," I said, "There's a really good chance he WON'T be fine. The bosses here are harder Jams. You know that." "Well, we'll just have to watch, wait, and see what happens next." Jams said, and curled up on my shoulder to take a nap. "Ok fine, I'LL watch while YOU sleep." I said to the sound of a dragon snoring.
I watched through my mind's eye as the battle took place. He was doing really well. He hit the boss with a skeleton pirate, which did pretty good damage. But it didn't kill the boss, and now the boss was angry. It hit him with a kraken, which did a lot of damage. He passed. Then the boss hit him with a lightning bat, and he had really low health. I was just about to run in when he casted a banshee and it was all over. I sighed with relief. He survived. That meant he was strong. My worries over, I woke Jams, and waited for him to come out. He never did.
When I looked back into the building, I realized he was passed out. I shook my head, and was about to go in and heal him, until Jams whacked me in the head with her tail. "Don't move." she said, "I sense and evil presence lurking. Not Marleybone. Oh no, this is much more powerful." We waited for three minutes. Then we saw a dark figure in a hooded cloak race into the building. I looked into my mind's eye and saw Alex stir. Then he realized there was someone there. Then the figure took off his hood. And my worst nightmare came true.
Jams and I raced to the door. We tried to get in through the door, but it was locked with dark magic. "Ugh, why does Malistare always lock the door!" Kiley said to Jams. They knew if they didn't get in there fast, Alex would be dead. That couldn't happen again.
Finally, after multiple centaurs, seraphs, and wraiths, they managed to open the door. They went quietly up the steps to where Malistare was slowly draining Alex's health.
What I saw made my blood curl. in the middle of the room was Alex's lifeless body, and above him stood a wraith, slowly draining his power and giving it to Malistare. "You try to save him, I'll get Malistare." Jams whispered into my ear. I looked at the dragon and saw the terror in her eyes that must mirror my own. I nodded, and with that, ran in with Jams to save our only hope.
Kiley ran towards Alex. The wraith had disappeared, and Malistare was readying another attack. She put a quick absorb on him, just before a skeleton pirate hit him. "What are YOU doing here?" Malistare said. "I'm saving him." Kiley replied. "Why you little-" Malistare began, but before he could finish, Kiley flicked her wrist, where Jams had been concealed as a bracelet. With that flick of the wrist, Jams uncurled herself and flew at Malistare, jaws open, growing five times in size in that short flight from Kiley's wrist to Malistare's face. His face was permanently disfigured.
Malistare was no match for the dragon. And Jams was too close to use magic. So, Malistare wrestled her. They rolled on the floor for forever. Finally Jams paused, and in that moment Malistare shoved Jams away. He then stunned her, so she wouldn't interfere.
While all this was happening, Kiley was healing Alex. She made a thick layer of absorbs around him, so it would take Malistare forever to kill him. She then used lots of dryads and regenerates to heal him. He was still unconscious when Malistare came over. He smacked her on the side of the head, and she went flying into the wall.
"You do NOT interfere with my plans. Now release the bubble, and let me kill the boy." Malistare said. Kiley remained silent. "You release the magic, NOW!" Malistare screamed while picking her up by her collar, "Why do you not respond! Answer me NOW!" Kiley replied, in a soft, quiet voice, "Not on my life." Then, Malistare completely lost his temper.
He threw her with tremendous force into the other wall. She crumpled on the floor, stood up, and with the last ounce of her strength, casted all the life left in her to Alex. Then, she fell on the floor, unconscious.
I woke up with a start. I was alive. What had happened. I didn't move, because I could tell Malistare was still there. I wanted to see if he'd leave. Then I realized how many absorbs were around me. There was so much protection he probably wouldn't be able to kill me. I lifted my head carefully. I saw a dragon as large as a mastiff lying on the ground, obviously stunned. I looked to my left and saw the wall. There was a small blood streak going down. Now I was worried. I turned my head the other way and saw an identical streak on that wall, and below the streak, a limp, lifeless body of a girl who had saved me countless times. A trickle of blood ran from her mouth, and skinned areas on her head which indicated she had been thrown against the wall at least twice. Malistare stood over her, laughing. "Why, she actually thought she could save him! And giving him all her life! Like THAT would have helped. She'll die soon anyway. Goodbye Kiley Lifehunter!" he said in a very sarcastic voice, and kicked her in the chest.
I was shocked. I was angry. I was horrified. I wasn't going to let my friend be treated like garbage. No. I would stand up for her, and help her. Because THAT is what friends do.
Bartleby was right. I could make friends if I tried. So I was going to make her my friend. I was going to help her.
Chapter 10: Only Time will Tell
Malistare turned around with a smile on his face. It faded the second he saw me, standing there, ready to battle. "Great." he said, "Why won't you just die like all the others!" "Because I'm NOT the others. And they were not me." I said, "Which is why I WILL kill you, and I WILL save the Spiral. Because it's my destiny. And you can't mess with destiny." "Oh, how heroic you sound." Malistare said with a chuckle, "You think by killing me you save the Spiral. Hah! This is MUCH bigger than you EVER could have imagined, little boy. It will blow your mind." He then blasted away half of my absorbs. He was readying another attack when the most unlikely visitor dropped by. Literally.
"NOAH?!" Alex shouted, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" "Well," Noah said, "I ported to you because I thought you might need help with a boss. I don't know if I'm going to be any help here though." "Well, this is working better than I planned," Malistare said, and stunned Noah. He collapsed on the floor in a pile of limbs. "Portolis domus." Malistare said, and Noah's body vanished, along with Malistare. "NO!" I screamed. He was my first friend. He was the first person who had ever been nice to me, besides Ambrose. Now, not only had I lost him, but Kiley as well. I bent down to see if she had a pulse. I didn't feel anything.
I went over to the dragon, who was just stirring. She looked me over once, then looked over to where Kiley laid. She stood up, and leaped into the air. She flew in lazy circles, until they became tight and fast. Then, a column of light appeared, and a girl, my age, with brown straight hair that had a silver streak in it, in a beautiful blue dress, with brown-green eyes, stood there.
She looked at me, then ran over to her sister. I was still stunned. She examined her sister with a careful eye. "She's badly hurt. But she's holding on." the girl said, " We have to get her to Moolinda. FAST." "Moolinda?" I said, "Why?" "Don't you see?" the girl said, "She's dying, just as Malistare said. If she isn't healed fast, she could die tonight." "Alright." I said, "One more thing. How do we get her there? "Oh, don't worry." the girl said, "I got that covered."
She went over to Kiley's body. You could see her chest, rising and falling, all to faintly. Then, the girl said, "Come here." I went over, not sure what she was doing. "Now listen," she said, "You're going to hold Kiley's arm. It makes it easier for the magic to hold. One more thing: don't fight it." I didn't get what she meant by fight it. She stood up, hovering over us. "Portolis spiritus ludus." Then, I felt as if I was being dragged away in a thousand different directions. Naturally my body began to fight it. But then I remembered what she had said, and let the magic take hold of me.
The light was so bright compared to Marleybone it took me a minute to see where I was. We were standing in the middle of an aisle, with desks on either side. In front of us was a desk up on a platform . Behind us was a door with a life plaque. All around the walls were decorated with Life banners and shields. The chalkboards had half a lesson on them. Moolinda Wu stood on the platform with chalk in hand.
Then I looked away from Moolinda, to all the desks that I thought were empty. They weren't. At least 15 journeyman wizards sat, staring at us, trying to figure out what we were doing there. "Well," Moolinda said, "What do we have here?" "She's almost gone Moolinda, hurry!" the girl screamed. Moolinda came over and looked at Kiley carefully. "Why, yes she is." Moolinda said, "Class, we will resume this lesson next week. Don't worry, it won't affect you. Go practice what I have shown you. Good day." The class filled out single file. Moolinda looked at me hard. "Pick her up and bring her up here." Moolinda said to me. She cleared off her desk while I carried Kiley up, and laid her on the desk. "Now, we will do our best to heal her. If it is not enough, it is not enough. She is very close to death. Alexander, go get the book of healing from that shelf. That will help."
I got the book. When I got back, Kiley's sister had some sort of crystal in her hand. Moolinda was preparing for a major healing spell. She was in some sort of trance. I brought the book over, and looked around not knowing what to do. "When she wakes up, hold the book open to the bookmarked page. Ok?' the girl said. "Ok." I said.
When Moolinda came out of her trance, she took the crystal, and started to recite words from the book. I didn't see anything happening. I shot a warning glance at Kiley's sister. She just shook her head. Then, I started to feel itchy. I looked around and saw the room starting to glow. Then the crystal shone like no other. It started to radiate sparks of green light, that fell and hit Kiley. Soon she too began to glow. In a few minutes, the whole room was glowing with little sparks of life, that made you feel whole again. Then the spell ended. The magic faded. "Will she be ok?" I asked.
"Only time will tell," Moolinda said, "Now take her to her dorm, and put her to sleep. Check on her everyday to see if she wakes." I went over and picked her up. The magic had made her light as a feather. Her sister lead the way, and I followed. When she was tucked in bed, we said good night to each other, and went to our own dorms to rest until morning came, and told all.
Chapter 11: The Rumor
The next few days were very tedious. Kiley was still in critical condition, and Moolinda said there was a good chance she wouldn't make it. Moolinda came and checked on her every morning before school started and every night after dinner. Jams wouldn't leave Kiley's room because she was scared that Malistare would try to bypass the shield around Wizard City and hurt Kiley. I wasn't much use either. I attended my classes and did my homework, but other than that all I could do was run errands for Moolinda or Jams, and sit there hoping Kiley would come back soon.
One day Jams went to go see her teacher. She had to get out of the dorm room, or she would scream. When she got back, her face told me that she was madder than a fire elf with a case of frostbite. "Why did you tell them?" She screamed, "I thought we could TRUST YOU! AH!" "What is it?" I asked, not knowing what was going on. "You started the rumor, you had to!" She screamed, "You were the only other one who knew!" "Knew what?" I asked. This was getting weirder and weirder. "JUST GET OUT!" she screamed, and with that, slammed the door in my face.
"Well," I said, "She is in a tuff. I wonder if she got a fireball thrown at her." I turned around to walk away and saw a boy, about my age, standing in the doorway. "Then what they said was true," He whispered, "She is going to die." "What are you talking about?" I said. "I heard a rumor that there was a life girl that was attacked with powerful black magic in Marleybone. They said she was going to die." "So, the rumors are out there?" I asked. "Go down to one of the schools and ask around. I'm sure you'll find your answer there." he said, and vanished down the stairwell.
I took the boy's advice. I went down to the Storm school, because they had some girls that seemed to know everything about everyone. I saw the usual bunch sitting on the pier by Torrence. The girls were giggling and laughing. It was obvious that the topic of the day was the newly made master storm boys. I rolled my eyes. They were so dramatic. One of the reasons I avoided talking with them unless it was necessary. This was necessary.
"Hey girls." I said, "Have you heard about that life girl-" "Oh, you mean the poor girl that's dying?" one of them said in a tone that made it sound like it was the end of the world. All the others sighed with sympathy. Rather, fake sympathy. "Uh, yeah." I said, "Do you know who told you about it?" "Well," one of the other girls began, " We were going to talk with Officer Anderson when a boy popped up out of nowhere. I mean, literally, nowhere! And he said something about getting something for a 'master', and he almost ran into us!" Then all the girls started to crack up. "But then," the one who had been telling the story said, suddenly becoming very serious, "He said 'No, must find the flower, so she'll never wake up.' We didn't think anything of it, until we hear that a dying girl had been brought into the life school. Well, from what we heard, more like dropped!" They all started to giggle and whisper to one another, and I realized I had gotten all the information I was going to get from these girls.
I turned around and looked at all the wizards hurrying from school to school, with packages, quests, and friends. How he envied them. They were so carefree, so careless. One careless move had almost cost me my life. Well, no use feeling sorry for yourself, I thought. you might as well do something. I decided to find the boy I had seen in the stairwell. He was my next best bet in finding out what was going on with Kiley. I had a feeling it was more than just being drained of health. There was something more sinister at work here. And I was going to find it.
I found the boy by the fire school, reading a book on fighting techniques written by one of the Dragonspyre teachers before they were killed by the Dragon Titan's army. He looked up as I approached. "Good book?" I asked him. "Your here about the rumor, aren't you?" he said. "Well, I'm sorry my friend is dying in a tower over there, and you seem to be the only person around here who actually knows what's going on!" I yelled, drawing unwanted attention from a few students around us. "I know how it is. To have someone dying right in front of you, and not being able to stop it." he said, with a sad, lonely expression in his eyes. "But, you have a chance to stop it," he said, stood up, and snapped his book closed, " And I'm going to help you the best I can." "Thank you." I said, "It's good to have someone else on my side. What's your name?" "Bradley Flame." he said, "And you?"
"Alexander Deathwhisper." I said with a smile. I had a good feeling about this guy. He was one of those people who always had your back. I was right there, but as I learned later, Bradley wasn't as I first saw him. There was a different, sinister side to him as well. The warrior in him. It was said in ancient history that each child was born with a different spirit. Some were naturals at making friend. Others were thinkers, always curious. Still others were writers, and musicians, and leaders. Occasionally there was a healer. And rarely, once in a blue moon, a warrior was born. These spirits tended to be outcasts. But, once they discovered their true potential, they could not be stopped from their destiny. This was how Bradley was. And I was very glad he was on my side.
Chapter 12: Seeking Truth
"So," I said, "Who do YOU think started the rumors?" "What rumors?" Bradley said. "You know, about the dying girl." I said. "Why would I know?" Bradley said, "I just heard what you heard." "Ok..." I said. "Why are you so interested in this girl anyway?" Bradley said, "It's probably just a rumor." "Well...." I said, "It's not exactly a rumor." "WHAT?" Bradley exclaimed. "Well, I was in Marleybone when...."
I told Bradley the entire story. Beginning to end. Including the part where Jams exploded in my face. "You've had quite an adventure." was all he could say, for he was in shock. "I need your help now to convince Jams it wasn't me." I said. "I suggest we go back to the girls who saw him. Maybe they have something else they didn't tell us."
So, with that, we went back to the girls by Torrence. They were still talking about the master storm boys, who apparently were all they could think about. "Hey girls." I said, "Remember the girl I asked you about earlier?" "Oh yes!" the over dramatic one said, "What a pity! That boy, he must be EVIL! He had that look in his eye, like Malistare!" she said. "Ok... can you tell me anything about this boy?" I asked. "Well, he was tall, a little taller than you, with a black robe on, and a black hood. He looked just right for anyone in Marleybone." "Did he happen to mention anything?" Bradley said. "Well," one of the quieter girls said, "He did say something about a flower. I think it was, 'Got to find the flower so she never wakes up.' Yeah, that was it!" "Ok, thanks!" we said, and ran to the girl's dorms.
When we got there, Kiley was still out cold. Jams wouldn't let us in. "Alex, just go away and NEVER COME BACK! EVER! You'll make our lives a lot easier!" "Jams," I said, "It's not my fault. You've got to believe me. It was those blabber mouth storm girls!" "Yeah right!" she said, "How could THEY know?" "Well," I began, "They were in Marleybone when they saw a boy who was muttering something about finding a flower so a girl would never wake up. Then, they heard about us porting into the life school, and put two and two together." Bradley and I waited, patiently, hoping she would let us in.
The door opened slowly. A girl's head popped out from behind the crack between the door and the frame. "Really?" Jams said, with honest, brown eyes. "Really." I said, trying to be as sincere as possible. The door opened to reveal the tall girl who had been protecting me. "Come in then." she said, "But wait, who's HE?" "Oh, Bradley?" I asked. "No smart one, the guy behind him!" she said in a sarcastic tone. Bradley spun in a circle. "But there's no one behind me!" he exclaimed. "This," I said, "Is Bradley Flame. He wanted to help find out who all was behind this." "Fine then, he can come in too." Jams said in a reluctant tone.
Inside it was stuffy and smelled like there had been no fresh air for a week at least. I mentally counted back the days. Wow. It had been a week since the Malistare incident. I went over to see how Kiley was doing. Still the same, lifeless, non moving body as before. Bradley came over as well. "She's knocked out cold." Bradley said, "How long has she been like this?" "A week." I said. "This IS serious." he said, and went over to look at her book collection.
"What are we going to do? Just sit here?" Jams said, "My sister is dying. DYING! And all I can do is sit here and watch her suffer! You have no idea how painful this is!" "How," I said, "Do you know she is suffering?" Jams just looked at Kiley, then back at me. "Twins," she began, " Who are wizards, sometimes are born with a rare gift of telepathy. No one knows how it occurs, and there have only been about five cases so far." "And why are you telling us this?" Bradley asked. "Because Kiley and I," Jams said in a shaky voice, "Are one of them."
I looked over to Kiley. She looked different. At first I convinced myself it was merely a trick of light. Then, Bradley said, "Does Kiley look different?" That did it. I went over to take a closer look. Suddenly, I had the strongest case of déjà vu ever. I couldn't place it though. I was racking my brain, and then all of a sudden I had an extremely strong flashback.
I was on the floor, injured, but alive. I looked to one side and saw a dragon. On one of the other walls I saw a streak of blood. Oh no, I though, I'm re-living my worst nightmare.
Chapter 13: the Awakening
"Alex? Alex! ALEX!" I heard a girl's voice screaming. I snapped back from my flashback. I knew what was wrong with her. Or rather, what was right.
"Alex, what is it?" Jams said, "You look like you know something. Do you?" I gave her a big grin and walked over to where Kiley lay. Sure enough, all too faintly, her chest was rising, up and down.
"Get Moolinda, she's coming too!" Jams screamed. Bradley ran out the door at full speed, down the stairs, over to the life school. I was standing over Kiley, hoping against all odds she'd pull through. Then I remembered a spell I had just learned the other day. "Sacrifice." I muttered, and little gold orbs hit me, stealing some of my health. I winced, and Jams looked confused. Then, a green haze appeared over Kiley, giving her some health. Jams and I held our breath. "What happened?" she whispered. "I used a small healing spell to help her become conscious." I whispered back. We waited. Soon, her breaths became stronger. In a matter of minutes, her eyes fluttered open. "What did I miss?" Kiley said, in a weak but happy voice.
"Ugh, how can you stand this?" Kiley said, "It's so stuffy in here!" Jams smiled. I could tell she was back to her old self. I went over and opened two of the big windows. At first they didn't budge, but with a little effort, they opened. I went back over to Kiley and Jams. The room already looked brighter.
We heard footsteps in the hall. Soon Moolinda appeared, along with Bradley. "Oh, Kiley, you're back!."Moolinda said. "Hi Moolinda!" Kiley said in a cheery voice. "Who's that behind you, Moolinda?" she said in a questioning voice. "Hi, I'm Bradley." he said, "I've been helping Jams and Alex." "Well," Kiley said, "I'm glad you're on our team. We're going to need all the help we can get with that nasty rumor going around." "How do you-" I began to say, when I remembered what Jams had told me about her and her sister. "Oh yeah." I said, "I forgot."
"At any rate, you have to go speak with headmaster. He's been wanting to see you. All of you." Moolinda said, "I will tell him to come visit after the afternoon classes. Until then, all of you go to your classes, except Kiley. You young lady, are on bed rest for at least a week. I will give you reading material so that you don't get behind on your studies. Now, I believe we are all done here." With that, she left.
"I guess we just have to go to our classes." I said, "You'll be alright by yourself Kiley?" "I'll be fine. You guys go to your classes. You'll be able to find out more about the rumor." "She's got a point." Bradley said, "Besides, there's nothing we can do with her on bed rest except decipher who this mystery person is." "Which," Kiley said, "Is exactly how I plan to spend this week."
Then, the bell rang. "Off to class we go." I said, and we all filed out the door after saying good-bye to Kiley and making sure she'd be ok for the next two hours. When we got to the base of the tower, Jams and Bradley went toward the elemental schools, Jams into the Ice school and Bradley to the Fire school. I went through the tunnel to the Commons, over Rainbow Bridge, behind the waterfall, to Nightside. That was where the Death school was. I walked in just as the lecture on controlling Wraiths began.
Chapter 14: The Headmaster, Noah, and a Headache
When class let out for the day, I ran back to the tower. When I got there, I saw Jams, Bradley, and Ambrose already seated around Kiley's bed. She was just finishing a book Moolinda had given her.
"Well, now that we're all here, let us begin." Ambrose said, "First, I want to know exactly what happened in that tower. Alexander? Care to elaborate?"
"Well," I said, "I was doing some quests in Marleybone, and my next quest was a boss. I had been doing these quests with a friend, but he was on vacation. I went in, and after killing the boss, fainted from exhaustion, because it had taken a lot out of me. Then, when I came too, Malistare was there. He sapped nearly all my power until Jams and Kiley saved me. Malistare almost killed Kiley, as you can see, and stunned Jams. When I came to, he had just finished Kiley, and was going to fight me when Noah ported to me. Then, Malistare kidnapped Noah, and I think you know the rest."
"That is quite a tale Alexander. But, wait a second, Noah was KIDNAPPED?" Ambrose said. "Well, yes." I said. "This is much more serious than I though." Ambrose muttered, "You have heard the rumors, right?" "Yes, we have been trying to figure them out." Bradley said. "Well, I believe that is the only way to proceed. That boy they saw is most likely linked directly to Malistare. Maybe he has an apprentice?" Ambrose said, "Whatever he is, you are responsible for finding who he is, what he's after, how he got here, and where he came from. That is all."
He got up, and began to leave, before I said, "What about Noah?" Ambrose turned around and said, "There is nothing we can do for him until we find what Malistare is after. He will use Noah as bait to lure you to his lair, and kill you. If you want Noah to live, your best bet is to steer clear of Malistare." With that, Ambrose walked out the door, and the four friends were left alone once again.
"Ambrose is right." Kiley said, "The only way is to wait and lay low. Don't worry, we'll get him back. He's a strong boy." I looked up into her big, honest eyes. I wasn't sure if Malistare would keep him alive that long. "Are you sure?" I asked her. "I'm sure." she said, "But in the meantime, we have to do something, or my head will explode!"
"Alright," Bradley said, "Let's start by making a list of everything we know about this boy." "Well," Jams said, "We know he has some form of 'master'. Maybe Malistare?" "Alright, that's good. Anything else?" Bradley said.
"He's looking for some sort of flower. A poisonous one, something that will 'make sure she never wakes up'." "Ok, got that." Bradley said.
"He was last sighted in Newgate Prison, in Marleybone. Is the flower there?" Kiley said. "Good, this is good." was all Bradley said while writing furiously.
"He's one." he said, "We should look into what types of plants grow in Marleybone that are poisonous. That would tell us what he was after. And I know just the person." All eyes turned to Kiley. "Why is it always me?" she said, "Fine, I'll do it. I have a book on plants found in Marleybone. That's what I'll do while you all are in school."
We threw around ideas until dinnertime. By that time, we all had reasonable headaches. Moolinda came up to fetch us, and check in on Kiley. She insisted that she go down to eat dinner in the dining room, and Moolinda had no choice but to let her. She had to use a wheelchair, but she didn't care. She was just happy to get out of her room.
When they walked into the dining room, all eyes were on them. Everyone knew who they were. Between the rumor and the prophecy, there was a good reason to stare. They sat at a table by themselves, and got to act like normal kids for once. They were happy, and all was peaceful.
But sadly, not everything was this peaceful. In a dungeon in Dragonspyre laid there friend, Noah. He was a prisoner of Malistare. He was currently waiting for one of Malistare's apprentice's to bring him his dinner. One of the apprentices was tall, with long black hair and a ragged scar that ran from his eyebrow down his cheek. His eyes scared Noah. They were like two black holes that had been put on his face. They always looked out onto the horizon, as if trying to figure something out. He was very impulsive, and often destroyed things when he got mad. Noah didn't know his name, but he thought he heard Malistare call him Nobody one time.
The other apprentice was Dakota Stormstaff. He had an evil glimmer in his eyes. He was always joking around with the other apprentice, but whenever Malistare was nearby, he became tense and rigid. He had deep purple eyes, and lightning like hair. He was normally kind to Noah, except when Malistare was around.
The last apprentice was a girl. Her name was Lily Thundercatcher. She was tall, but not as tall as the boys. She had red hair with streaks of gold. Her eyes were storm cloud grey. She was cruel, not only to Noah but to the other apprentices as well. She was the only one who seemed to genuinely like Malistare. She never brought Noah his food though. She was Malistare's favorite, and made sure the boys knew it.
Noah heard footsteps on the stairs. "Hey Dakota." Noah said. "Hey," Dakota said, "Listen, I thought I'd tell you that Malistare's not having a good day, and the other guy got him real mad. If you see him, don't ask. Malistare would rip your head off." "Thanks." I said while Dakota slipped a loaf of bread and water through the bars in the cell, "What's that guy's name anyways?"
"Well," Dakota said with a downcast look, "We call him Nobody. He has no family, no past, and can't remember anything. I got to go, see yah later." "Ok, see yah later." Noah said, and continued to ponder how this group of kids had wound up as Malistare's apprentices.
Chapter 15: the Realization
After the four got back from dinner, they decided to talk some more about who this mystery boy could be. Kiley said that she had a headache, and read a book instead.
"So, what should we do tomorrow? We don't have afternoon classes, so we can work on our assignment." Jams said. "How about we go down to Newgate Prison and ask around about that boy?" Bradley suggested, "It would help us figure out where he went after those girls saw him." "Ok, when we get there, we should stick together. We'll see if Dr. Watson saw anything first, then go check in with the officers." I said. "I agree," Jams said, "We need to stick together." "So, where should we meet?" Bradley said. "How about here when class ends?" I said. Then I looked at the time. "Wow, it got late fast." I said, "Bradley, we should go before they lock up." "Ok." Bradley said, and we got up to walk towards the door.
"WAIT!" Kiley screamed, "I know what the boy was after!" We all rushed over to her. "You see this?" she said, pointing to a picture of a purple flower with five pointy petals, "That's a Harebell flower. Normally its perfectly safe to eat, but when it's grown in Marleybone environments that had iron and copper in the soil like Newgate Prison, it becomes one of the most deadly plants in the Spiral. THIS has to be what our friend was after." "Good job Kiley!" I said, "We'll see if we can find any when we go tomorrow. But for now, we all have to sleep. Good night, Kiley, good night Jams."
The boys then left for their own rooms, where they got a good night's rest so that they were ready for tomorrow's adventure. Kiley and Jams kept talking for another half hour about what had happened and how they were going to keep Alex safe. Soon, Jams headed off to bed, leaving Kiley in her room by herself. She was pondering what had been happening. Surely Alex wasn't suppose to find out about how she and her sister had been protecting him. He was suppose to believe he could be powerful enough to kill Malistare. That was the only way to succeed. Because if he didn't believe, how could he possibly succeed?
She decided she needed fresh air. She went out onto the porch and looked up at the stars. "The stars are beautiful tonight, aren't they?" a low, deep, rich voice said. She looked up into the smiling face of the ancient tree.
"How have your days been treating you, Bartelby?" she said. "They have been treating me splendidly, Kiley." the wise tree said, "I have lived to see a world united, torn apart, brought back together, only to be turned against itself once again. And now, to see the one that can save it all, if he can believe." "But that is just it," she said, "If he is helped now, and believes he must rely on us, then he will not succeed, for if it comes down to him......"
"Do not worry, Kiley." he said, "While he may begin to get use to you and rely on you like a good friend, he will never lose his ability to fight. It was born in him. He will always carry his warrior spirit. If he has to, he will. You know that." "I do, it's just that....... I was beginning to doubt myself......" "Do not doubt Kiley." Bartelby said, "You know the answer to your ponderings in your heart." "Thank you," Kiley said, "Thank you very much." She then went back inside, and laid down. In a few minutes she was fast asleep.
But sadly, this joy was not shared everywhere. Of course Bradley and Alexander and Jasmine and Kiley and Ambrose and all the others in Wizard City were fine. But in Dragonspyre, in a small dungeon cell, life was about to get a lot worse for Noah.
"Hey." Noah said as Dakota came down with his food, "Is Malistare feeling any better?" He shot me a death stare. I took that as, 'Can't talk, but yes he is.' He gave me a loaf of bread and water. Just as he was about to leave, Lily came down the stairs. "Get him out. Malistare wants him." she said, and began to climb the stairs. When she got to the top, she turned around. "Well," she said, "What are you waiting for?" "I-I don't have my key." he said in a shaky voice.
"Why do I always have to do the work around here?" Lily said, and came down the steps. She took out her key, and unlocked the door. "Get up." she said. "Get up!" she said again, her voice starting to rise. "I TOLD YOU TO GET UP SO GET UP!" she screamed, came in, took my arm, and dragged me out. "Nicely done." Dakota said with a wicked grin. Lily just smiled. "Now take him upstairs. PRONTO." she said, and walked up the stairs. Dakota's evil grin vanished. It was just an act. I was relieved. "Come on." he said, "You know I have no choice." He marched me up the stairs.
Once we got to the top, I saw Malistare. He was in rage. Nobody already was bruised and battered. "One task! ONE TASK! And you FAILED! FAILED! AH!" Malistare was NOT in a good mood. "I've got the prisoner." Dakota said. "Finally. Bring him here." Malistare said. Noah shuffled over to where Malistare stood. WHAM! The first punch came fast. I didn't even bother to dodge. They came with ferocious speed. Punch. Kick. Stab. Swing. Soon I crumpled to the floor.
The apprentices just had to sit there and watch. It was torture for Nobody. Dakota winced often. Lily just enjoyed it. You must be wondering who these people are. Allow me to elaborate...........
Chapter 16: the Apprentices
Part One: Dakota
I will begin with Dakota, because he has the happiest story out of them all.
He was born into the Stormstaff family, a pureblood storm family that was very powerful. He was the third child out of four. His oldest brother, Joshua, was a warlord in the arena. His older sister, Sadie, one of the brightest students ever. His younger brother, Timothy, was a storm wizard prodigy, summoning a kraken at the age of 7. Unfortunately, Dakota was average compared to his siblings. Sure, he was at the head of his class, but that wasn't good enough for a Stormstaff child. They had to surpass their peers and become great. Because he was not exceedingly powerful or smart, he was often overlooked. This lead him to get away with more trouble than the others.
By the age of 10 he had pulled off more pranks, and gotten away with it, than you and I could imagine. He was a Magus then, and continued to climb ranks fast, but not fast enough. His father always pressured him to do better, his siblings always offering help. He never accepted their help. He wanted to be the best because he was, not because his siblings helped him.
Now, while this was who he was at home, it was the opposite at school. He was the most popular in his class, swaying girls with one or two words. His peers always asked him for help. When the class went to the arena, he was always king of the court, beating anyone who happened to be against him. But soon, even this power wasn't enough. He took the power, looks, and smarts for granted. He wanted to be like his brothers and sister. He wanted to be the best.
One night, he got into a fight with his father. But this wasn't the usual do better fight. No, his father was mad. He had caught Dakota with his grandmaster wand. Dakota was going to use it to pull a prank on the Myth students then next day. When his father learned about this, he was furious, and sent Dakota to his room for the rest of the night. But Dakota never listened to his father. No, that night he decided to run away.
"Why can't you just be like your brothers and sisters! Dakota's father shouted, "You were always a disappointment to this family, never applying yourself!" I just stood there. I knew it was no use getting into this fight again. It was a losing battle.
"Answer me! Why do you not apply yourself?" my father shouted again. I tried but failed to tune him out. "Do not ignore me son! Answer your father!" Still, I did not budge. My father was furious. He went to his oldest son and said, "Make him talk!" I looked at my brother. "Do as he asks." he said. Still no reply. My father then went to my sister and said, "Make him talk!" She looked at me. "You're just making it worse by not replying." she said in a gentle voice. I stood there, wondering what would happen.
"Well," my father said, "If you do not wish to reply, then you will go to your room, and come out when you have an answer."
I went to my room. I was use to this. Whenever my father was having a bad day, he took it out on me. It was always my fault when my youngest brother got hurt. It was always my fault when my sister's book went missing. Whenever there was a problem, it somehow was caused by me. By now I was use to spending long hours in my room. There was a store of food in case I got hungry, and if I had to leave the house I could always climb down the ivy. But this time was different. I was tired of being treated like a stranger in my own house. No. My father could no longer control my life. I always tried and failed to please him as a little kid. Now I've learned he will never appreciate me. So there was only one thing left to do. Run away.
I pulled my travelling bag out from under my bed. It was still in very good condition. I took all the food in my room and wrapped it in a cloth. Next, I found my favorite robes, and put those in my bag. Then a blanket roll to sleep in. Next my books on combat and spells. Then, last but most important, I put my wand and spell deck in the front pocket. I was all set to go when I heard a knock at the door. I froze in place. If it was my father I was doomed. "Hullo?" a little boy's voice said, "Daky? Are you in there?"
I opened the door to find my little brother. He never could get my name right, so he called me Daky for short. "Whadar you doing? Isn't that only for travelling?" he said. I closed the door. "Listen Timmy," I said, "I have to leave. Dad just expects too much of me. I can't keep it up. I need to get away." "Oh," he said, "I know exactly how you feel." I looked at his sad, violet eyes. I suddenly realized how much pressure he must be under. He was only 9, yet already training with kids who were at least 13 or 14 years old. I felt guilty that I had to leave him behind.
"Don't worry." he said, "I'm use to it now. I just gotta keep it up for a few more years and then I'm outta school." "Hey buddy," I said, "When I find a place to stay, and you're out of school, I'll come take you to live with me. How does that sound?" "Oh, thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!" he said, and wrapped his skinny arms around me. I smiled. I would really miss him.
"What should I tell dad?" he asked. "Don't tell him anything. I don't want him finding out." I said. "Ok," he whispered, "But what about Sadie and Joshua? What should I tell them?" he asked. I pondered that for a minute. I did owe them some explanation as to why I was leaving. I got a piece of parchment down from the shelf and wrote a short letter. "Here," I said, handing the scroll to my younger brother, "Give this to them after I leave and dad has found out that I'm gone. Make sure dad doesn't find it."
Timmy nodded eagerly. "Don't worry, you can count on me!" he said. "I'm sure I can." I said, and hugged him tight, "Now I have to go. Be good, and don't get into too much trouble." "Ok!" Timmy said, and slipped out the door with the ease of a cat. I was going to miss that little guy.
I climbed out the window and made my way carefully down the ivy. I had been down it enough times to know it was safe and sturdy. Once I got to the bottom, I ran and ran. I went through the woods, up a rocky hill, and down the far side until I came to Triton Avenue. I then used a teleportation spell to go to Ravenwood. You may ask why I didn't do this earlier. It is because my father could tell where I went from the magical traces left where I ported. That is why I waited.
I wandered around Ravenwood for a while. Soon, the sun began to go down. Students began to go to their dorms or leave for their homes. I was going to have to sleep under the stars. I was about to go down the Ravenwood tunnel to Bartelby, when a figure appeared in front of me.
"Why aren't you in your dorm?" the tall figure said. "I-I was just going home, to Mooshu." I stammered. "No," the cloaked figure said, "You're a runaway, aren't you?" I was scared now. I didn't want to go back. "Are you going to send me home?" I asked. "Nonsense!" the figure said, "In fact, it is quite the opposite. I am looking for an apprentice. If you agree to be my apprentice, then you will study under me and do as I say, when I say. In return, I will give you food and a home. Do you agree?"
I looked around. No one else was there. This man had presented me with a very good offer. I couldn't refuse. "Ok," I said, "I'll be your apprentice." "Very good," the figure said, "Follow me."
I followed him down the tunnel, through the world gate, down a ramp into a place I didn't recognize. "Welcome to Dragonspyre." the shadowy figure said. "This is where we will live, in that tower there." he said, pointing to a tower. "We will be great together, but for now, get some rest. We have lots of things to do."
Looking back on that day, I am glad I ran away. But, I deeply regret following that hooded stranger. For he, was MALISTARE!
Part Two: Lily
Lily's story is very different from Dakota's. Dakota's heart was pure gold, only lead the wrong way. If Ambrose or Cyrus or Bartelby had found him first, this would be a much different story. But, sometimes the hero doesn't win. Sometimes, you lose. Sometimes, the dark triumphs. This was the case with an unfortunate soul named Lily Thundercatcher.
Lily Thundercatcher was an only child. She was born to Sunni and Jacob Thundercatcher. She was raised in a loving, caring home. Her life was perfect. The family was the image of the "perfect family". Everything was going perfectly until one April afternoon.
"Daddy! Daddy! You're home early!" a young Lily said as she ran out the door to hug her beloved father. "Hello, dewdrop!" her father said when he saw his daughter, "I've got a surprise for you and mommy." "What is it? What is it!" she asked, "Please tell me! Please!" "Now, wouldn't that ruin all the fun?" he said, "Go get something nice on, we're going out tonight!"
Half an hour later, Lily and her mother and father were walking down Cyclopes Lane, to where the fairgrounds were. But, they didn't see any ordinary fairgrounds. No, it had been converted into a huge fair. There were clowns, games, rides, everything a child could imagine. There was even circus performers. Lily couldn't believe her eyes. "Oh daddy, thank you!" she said, "This is the best present ever!" "I'm glad you like it." he said, "Now, let's go watch that circus act."
Her father lead the way down to the second row, where they sat. The show was just about to begin. The ringmaster came to the center of the stage. "Good evening" his voice boomed over the speakers, "Tonight, we bring you amazing performances, from all across the Spiral. Bears from Grizzleheim, Manders from Krokotopia, Cats from Marleybone, Oni from Mooshu, and, DRAGONS from Dragonspyre!" The crowd cheered wildly. It was rare to see an Oni, but a dragon! Dragons were incredibly rare. "Now," the ring master's voice boomed, "On with the show!"
With that, the curtains were drawn back, tons of clown bears came pouring out. Cats began to fly in the air. Manders balanced on one another, and did flying leaps into the air. It was breathtaking. Then, the clowns started to leave the stage. The cats stopped flying form high above. The manders disappeared. Soon, a lone spotlight shed light on a small figure. He was short, with broad shoulders and big, muscular arms. I his hand was a whip. He had a top hat on, and a long Marleybone coat. You could tell he was smiling. He cracked the whip into the air. Once. Twice. Three times. Then, you could hear the curtains open again. Not see, hear. Then, a monstrous roar was hear. It was the most amazing sight to behold. Because there, in front of them, was an enormous, gigantic, huge, war oni.
The crowd watched in awe as the oni came onto the stage. It swung its massive sword to and fro, but never hit the tent poles. It roared, again and again. The short man remained in control the entire time. He gave commands, the oni obeyed. He ran, jumped, roared, and swung his sword. But all too soon, that act was over. Then, the ringmaster came out, in a glittering, shinning suit that looked it be made from glass. "Now, for the final act," he said, "Behold, the eternal, amazing, powerful, immense, all-knowing, DRAGON!"
The crowd stood up with a roar. But it was nothing compared to the roar that came from center stage. A beautiful, strong, dark blue dragon with ice blue eyes came out onto the stage. Lily's father put her on his shoulders to get a better view. The one thing she remembered about that night was how mad that dragon looked. It had an enchanted necklace so it couldn't get too far away. It was trapped, like a bird in a cage. The dragon let out a roar. The crowd applauded. The dragon struggled to get rid of her invisible chains. The crowd cheered. Then, the dragon did something totally unexpected. She lifted up her head, and let out a terrible inferno of flames.
The crowd screamed in horror as the tent burst into flames. People surged towards the exist with no prevail. They were trapped. The dragon had managed to escape, but wouldn't get far. Lily's father and mother hugged her tight. The tent quickly became filled with smoke. The last thing she remembered was her father looking her in the eyes, and saying, "I love you."
When the fire was put out, the bodies were discovered. While sorting through the wreckage, a death student found Lily, unconscious. She was the only survivor that day. This fact drove her mad. She was consumed with grief, and in this, became the Lily I speak of in this story. We do not know how she became to be Malistare's apprentice. Some say she met him at a lecture he gave, and became a devoted pupil. Others say she ran into him as Dakota did. Still others say she was kidnapped. No one knows the truth.
That is Lily's story. It is not pretty, or sweet. But, the tale I tell next, has no comparison. It is the tale of a sorry boy, who lost everything. It is Nobody's story.
Part Three: Nobody
Told from the perspective of himself
I woke up with a terrible headache. 'Where am I?' I thought, 'What happened?' All around me was evidence of an explosion. I carefully sat up, not wanting to injure myself. I stood up, very slowly. Still, I soon succumb to a dizzy spell. I had to reach out to stop myself from falling. My hand hit metal that was cold as ice. I jerked back immediately. 'Why is this so cold? Shouldn't it be hot?' I thought to myself, 'Got to stay focused. Move now, ask questions later.'
I moved quickly through the wreckage. Once or twice I would get dizzy, but nothing bad. From the wreckage, it looked like a warehouse had exploded. I saw no human remains, just bricks and cement. I just kept moving. It was a nightmare, not knowing who I was, where I was, or how I got there. I just kept moving forward, hoping against all odds I would make it. I stumbled for what seemed like hours. Soon, I heard a voice from far away. It was calling for somebody. "Elizabeth? Elizabeth please tell me your alright? Elizabeth? Elizabeth?" The voice kept repeating that name. "Elizabeth." Who was she?
I continued to wander, towards the voice. Soon, I came to a clearing. In it I saw a man. He was tall, with black shaggy hair down to his shoulders, and dark brown eyes. Worry was all over his face. He searched franticly among the rubble. Soon, he came across a frail young woman. She was half buried under the rubble, and there was blood. Lots and lots of blood. The man raced over to her side.
"Aaron, Aaron where are you?" she called, "Oh, Aaron, come to me please." "I am here, darling." he said, "What is it that you wish? Should I fetch a life wizard? Surely you can hang on that long." "Oh, Aaron," she said, "I am on death's door. I am not coming back. You must go on without me, before someone sees us." I saw the man begin to cry, "No, Elizabeth don't leave me. You're my entire world. Please, don't leave me all alone." he wept into her open arms. I started to creep away slowly. Surely I wasn't meant to see this.
I sat among the rubble. I could hear the woman dying a few yards away. The man, who I assumed was her husband, sat with her, crying. Soon, the crying stopped, the moans faded. I crept around to where I could see. The man bowed his head, and sighed. He knew her life was over. "Oh Elizabeth," he said, "How could you leave me all alone? With the girls, and our duties as wizards? Oh, I will not be able to do this. No, I need you to help." He sighed, a deep, heavy sigh. He held his hands above her, as if they floated there. He muttered, "Seolaim baile."
Little sparks jumped off his hands, incasing the now dead Elizabeth. Soon, she was covered in light. Then, she disappeared, in a blink of an eye. I stared, wide eyed at where she had been. I was so amazed with what I had see, I didn't notice that the man Elizabeth had called Aaron was staring at me. "Well, aren't you an interesting little boy." he said. I snapped back to reality. "I-I'm sorry, were you talking to me?" I said. "Who else is around here?" he said. "Well in that case, I'm not a boy, much less little." I said. "Well then, what is your name?" he said. "I-I don't know" I said, "I can't remember." "That's a problem." he said, "Can you remember anything?" "Not a thing." I said, and began to sob.
"There, there." Aaron said, "It's ok, You are a bright young boy with your life ahead of you." I stopped sobbing. "You-you really think so?" I said. "Yes, I do." he said, "In fact, unless my foresight is incredibly off, you are a wizard." "Me?" I said, "A-a WIZARD?" "Yes. Now, come with me, we have lots to do."
We set off, Aaron and I. For the next three years, I lived in Wizard City, near Ravenwood. I studied magic, and attended school at Ravenwood, where I became a Necromancer. But, this was all too well, and like the rest of the life I knew, good things never last. And this was no exception.
One day as I was walking home, I began to get a shiver up my spin. I knew something was wrong. "Don't come home." a voice in my head said, "It is dangerous. You must turn around and never come back." It was Aaron's voice. We had figured out how to communicate with our minds. I ran faster. I had to save Aaron. He had given me a second lease on life. I owed him this at least.
When I got to the house, I felt the cold even more. I went into the house. I searched the foyer first. No sign of Aaron. Then the kitchen. Still no. Then, I went out onto the back porch. I scanned the backyard. Not a hair out of place. Then, the library. When I approached, the door was slightly ajar. I pulled out my wand. I looked inside. Aaron was on the floor, unconscious. Merle Ambrose was over him, wand out. I lost it.
I attacked first, asked questions later. Merle didn't see it coming. He wasn't prepared, so he fled. "Seolaim draiodor cathair!" he said, and vanished in a puff of purple sparks. I looked around. "He will be ok." a voice said from the corner, "Merle only knocked him unconscious." I turned around. A tall figure stood there. "Merle will be back though, he never leaves a job unfinished. Why don't you come with me. Aaron wanted me to take care of you. Yes, come with me. I am a Necromancer, I will train you. You will be powerful and great. Come with me, Nobody."
I gulped. He seemed to be telling the truth. And Merle had been standing over Aaron. Why wouldn't he be telling the truth. "All right." I said, "I'll go with you." The man smiled. He then lead me away to his house in Dragonspyre, where I live now.
Nowadays, I wonder what would have happened to me if I hadn't gone with him. He probably would have killed me. I decided that it was the right thing to do then. But, now that I am here, I wonder why I came. I don't like it here. He makes me do things I don't want to do. He does offer shelter, but I don't like it one bit. I would run if I could, but I can't. I will wait for it. I will wait for the time to come.
Chapter 17: Search for the Key
"And that concludes our lesson on advance wraith study." Professor Dworyn said in his monotone voice, "On Monday we will work on summoning these creatures. Expect to be tired when you go home. That is all, you are dismissed." I jumped up and joined the mass of magus's trying to get out of the small death school door. There was lots of pushing and shoving, and a few toes were stepped on. "Hey, watch out!" one of the more powerful girl's said, "Or you're going to meet my wraith!"
Eventually we all got out into Nightside. Most left through the tunnel behind the waterfall. Others went to Sunken City to look for regents and collect artifacts. Still others sat down to have their lunch. I was one of the people who went through the tunnel. I ran through the commons, trying not to crash into people. Soon, I was through the Ravenwood tunnel, past the door to the Girl's Dorm, and up three flights of stairs. "You know," I said, out of breath, "They really outta get an elevator. Those stairs make me TIRED!" Kiley laughed. Bradley smirked. Jams stared at me. "What?" I said. "Well, Kiley has a balcony. You could have rode a dragon or used a teleportation spell to get up."
"Oh," I said, dumbfounded, "That's how you get up here so fast." This made Bradley begin to chuckle, and Kiley laugh harder. "Ok, ok," Jams said, "I know that was funny, but the Marleybone incident is not funny. In fact, it scares me. So can we please get a move on?" "I'm ready!" chimed Bradley. "Me too!" I said, "Can't wait to figure out who this guy is." "Me too. It's so exciting, getting to be a detective!" Kiley said. "Alright then, let's go." Jams said. I started towards the door. "Uh Alex?" Jams said, "We're taking a dragon, not the stairs." "Oh yeah," I said sheepishly, "I forgot."
When I got out on the balcony, I saw two Dragon waiting there. They was small, meant for riding just above the streets when you were doing running quests. "Wow, there beautiful." I said, "But why only two?" "I thought that we could share. They can carry two people at a time, you know." Jams said. One was a boy, with black scales that had just a hint of red on the edges. His eyes were ice blue. On his back were Jams and Bradley. The other was a girl, with deep green scales, and amber eyes. On her back was Kiley, sorting through the saddle bag to make sure everything was there.
"Wait a second." I said, "Aren't you on bed rest?" Kiley's head snapped up. "I'm no use to you there, and besides, you may need me." she said in a matter of fact tone. I eyed her suspiciously. "Did Moolinda say this was ok?" I asked. "Yes, of course she did." Kiley said, "Now get on the Dragon or we're leaving without you!" I smiled, and jumped onto the Dragon. "Let's go!" I said.
With that, the boy Dragon turned and leapt off the balcony. The girl Dragon was close behind. That first flight took my breath away. Words fail to describe how flying felt. It was like running into the wind on a stormy day. Like standing on the bow of a ship as it cuts through the water. Like jumping on a trampoline. It felt like freedom.
Soon, we landed in front of Bartelby, and rode in. Jams used her key to open the Spiral Door to Marleybone. We walked into the grand hall of the magnificent church. We could spend hours studying it, but sadly we didn't have time. We raced our dragons through the aisle and out the door.
When we got outside, the dragons took to the air. We made quick time going from the footstep of the church to the roof of Scotland Yard, where we knew Watson would be. "Good morning, Dr. Watson!" I said, jumping off my dragon, "We were wondering if you had seen any suspicious characters around here lately, particularly a wizard, a little taller than me."
"Well, now that you mention it," Dr. Watson said, "There was a boy here the other day. He seemed distracted, and almost ran into me! I thought nothing of it at the time, but he didn't look like he was up to any good, if you get what I mean. He was heading into the prison. If you have any more questions, I'd ask one of the officers stationed inside." "Thanks Watson!" I said, and we took to the skies once again.
"Ok, how are we going to find the flower?" I said to Kiley as we flew over the wall to Newgate Prison. "Well," she said, "From what I've read, I may be able to sense it's spores in the air. After all, I am Life." "Ok, is there a backup plan in case that doesn't work?" I asked her. She looked at me sheepishly. "No." "Alright, then were just going to have to rely on you." I said, just as we crossed the wall into Newgate Prison.
When we got over the wall, Jams flew her dragon near ours. "Kiley, start to scan for the spores. Bradley and I are going to talk to Officer Ness and Officer Anderson." "Ok!" Kiley shouted back. Then she turned to me and said, "We're going to fly over in a sweeping motion, and see if I pick up anything." "Ok," I said, "Do you want to start at the center and spiral out, or sweep over?" "Spiral." she said, and I guided the dragon and she began to search for the spores.
Jams and Bradley reported back. No luck with Officer Ness, they were trying Officer Anderson. Kiley and I weren't having any luck either. No matter where we went, there were no spores. Finally, we had to land on a rooftop to give the dragon a rest. "Where haven't we looked?" I said, "We checked Mugsy, Lockpick O'Leary, Gibson O'Leary, and Agony Wraith. We went by Officer Ness, Pruski, Anderson. What is left?" I don't know why I bothered to ask. I already knew the answer, and it was way too dangerous to go there. Kiley was just about to answer when Jams and Bradley teleported to us in a shower of red and blue sparks. "We had no luck with any of the Officers. You?" "No luck anywhere." Kiley said, "Although, we have one more place we CAN look." "No Kiley, it's way too dangerous." Jams said. "Come on Jams!" Kiley shouted, "It's the most likely place for it to be, and it's the only place left. We have to go." "No Kiley, it's dangerous, and you're not stable enough yet!" Jams replied, in an equally loud voice
. "Well too bad." Kiley said, "Because I'm going whether you like it or not."
With that, she ran over to the green dragon, and jumped on her back. The dragon was restless to take to the sky. "Either your coming with me or staying here. Your choice guys." She said. We were all quiet. "I'm coming." Bradley said after a few minutes of deliberation, "We have a healer, and she seems pretty stable to me. Besides, we'll stay together." He jumped on the back of the black dragon. "I'll go too." I said, and sat down behind Kiley. "Well then," Jams said, "Guess I have no choice." She jumped on the back of the black dragon, and they leapt into the air, side by side.
Chapter 18: Hidden Secrets
The dragons flew from the rooftops at full speed towards Newgate Prison. They had no plan. Just get Kiley in and see if she sensed spores. They landed on the roof, leaving the dragons for now. Bradley melted the concrete in on corner and lowered Jams down. She gave an all clear, and the three others followed down the hole, into an unknown world of villains.
"Ok, stick close together. Make sure we don't get separated." Jams said. We followed her down the passage to one of the cells. It was silent. We moved on, down the ramp, through the next cell. Still, nothing. "This doesn't feel right." Bradley whispered, "Where is everybody?" "Right behind you." a dark voice said. We all spun around, to a tall, menacing figure, in a black robe with gold edge. He was taller than me, but not taller than Bradley. His hood covered his face. When he did lift his head, the shadows still disfigured his face. But what we did see, was to blood red eyes. He smiled. "Well, well, well, what do we have here?" he said, circling us, "A fire wizard. A death wizard. An ice wizard. Ha. Like THAT can beat me!" He turned to the prisoners behind him. "Get them." And with that, we fought for our lives.
"Where's Kiley?" I managed to whisper into Jam's ear while the battle was going, "That wizard only named three wizards. What happened?" Jams just smiled her all-knowing smile. "You'll see." she said, and went to attack a grave digger. We fought for a long time. Grave diggers bashed their shovels against my head and arms, hoping to hit a vital organ. Lost souls summoned death creatures, from your worst nightmares. Jams and Bradley did well, able to kill quickly with a shower of meteorites, phoenix, evil snowmen, ice wyverns, and blizzards. I didn't have as much luck. I was death, and all of them were death, making them resistant to my spells.
Soon, I realized I was separated from Bradley and Jams. "Bradley, Jams where are you?" I shouted at the top of my lungs. No use. "BRADLEY! JAMS! WHERE ARE YOU!" I screamed again. All that came back was the moans and groans of undead. They just wouldn't stop. They were relentless, using whatever they had until you finally took them down. I was fighting a lost soul when I caught sight of Bradley and Jams. They were fighting, back to back. At least I didn't need to worry about them. They had things under control. On the contrary, I did not. They seemed to like me. A lot.
Soon, I was backed up against a wall. There was no escape. I had lost everyone, no clue where to find them. I was growing weary, and felt like just porting out. It was just like the fight in the gym all over again. Then, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked over to see the one person who could lift my spirits.
"Didn't we say we were going to stick together?" Kiley said. "Well, you weren't there when we ran into that boy. Where were you?" I said. "I was checking something. But right now, we need to fight not talk." Kiley said, and casted a seraph. It began to slice through the undead like a knife through butter. When that one died, two more took its place. We finally had a chance.
Unfortunately, the fact that we were killing several undead made more attack us. We tried to rejoin Jams and Bradley, but they couldn't hear us. Kiley was getting frustrated. "We have to get back to them!" she said, "We got to get out of here!" Then, I heard a voice ring through my head, "Jams, where are you?" it asked. I looked at Kiley. She was staring at me. "What just happened?" I said. "We're over by the hole in the roof. Where are you?" a voice in my head said. "We're trapped. Wait on the roof for us. We're going to have to go further in before we get out." Kiley said, telepathically, "We'll see you then."
Kiley took my hand, and with her free hand, pushed a rock that opened a small door. We crawled through, shutting the door tightly behind us. That would hold off the undead. Lost souls couldn't communicate or press the button, and grave diggers weren't smart enough. We followed the passageway to another cell, where I pulled out my wand and prepared to fight through.
"No" Kiley said, "Watch this." She pulled out a long, moss green sword, covered with a lavender vine pattern. It didn't look like it belonged in this world. There was a magic, dark touch to it. "Solas na gealai" she whispered, and the sword began to radiate a soft, milky light, that reminded me of moonlight. When we walked towards the undead, they parted a path for us to travel through. We went to the next door, that lead to a spiral path down. We followed it, into a great cave, and who know what laid beyond.
Chapter 19: The Light of Truth
The stairwell was musty and spooky. Kiley went first, holding her sword in front of her so we could see where we were going. I followed closely behind, staff ready. Our footsteps echoed off the rock walls. Rather, my footsteps echoed. Kiley barley made a sound. After a few minutes, Kiley froze. "What is it?" I whispered. "I feel them. I feel the spores." she said with a grin. We quickened our pace.
The stairs went on forever. I almost hit my head a few times on a low hanging rock. They were jagged, as if this passage had been made in a hurry. If I had gotten a better look, I probably wouldn't have gone. Fortunately, we had the light of the sword. That strange, mysterious sword.
Soon, we began to slow. I gave Kiley a questioning look. "The door is right down there. And, I don't think were alone." she said back. I stayed where I was while Kiley crept down the last few steps. I saw the light stream onto her face. I saw that look on her face. I will never forget it. I rarely see it cross her face. For it was a look of pure fear.
Kiley's Point of View: I looked up at Alex. His face showed that he knew I was terrified. I shuddered, and looked back upon the room that filled me with dread. No one was there, all though somebody had been. Or something. There were mana sparks hanging in cages around the perimeter of the room every five feet. The room had to be at least twenty feet long and thirty feet wide. There was a sidewalk around the outside that was five feet wide. Stepping stones divided the middle into four quadrants. But what scared me was not all this. It was the fact that in the middle which was open to the soil, were thousands and thousands of deadly Harebell flowers.
I took one step out onto the sidewalk. It looked safe. I beckoned Alex down. When he got to the door, he realized what had scared me. We started by walking around the perimeter, seeing if any patches were missing. We didn't find anything, so we went along the stepping stones. Still nothing. "What if he hasn't found it yet? What if we beat him to it?" Alex asked with a hopeful expression. "Oh, you didn't beat me to it. I can assure you of that." a menacing voice said, "See? I have a bunch in my hand. Enough to kill all the dogs in Marleybone." He stepped out of the second stairwell, his face still in shadows. But what I could see was his blood red eyes. Those cruel, evil eyes.
Alex's Point of View: Kiley pulled out her sword. "Get behind me." she said. I obeyed. There was nothing else for me to do. "Oh, Kiley, you're still the same. Putting your life on the line just to-" "Be quiet." she said. He shook his head, "Why Kiley? Doesn't he deserve to know-" "I SAID BE QUIET!" she shouted. "Still the same as always. Ha. I knew you'd never change." he said, and drew his sword, "Shall we?" "We shall." Kiley said. She looked at me over her shoulder. "Whatever you do, don't get in the middle of this. If things go sour, run. This fight it between him and I. Not you." She then looked back at her target, and charged.
The boy saw it coming. He easily blocked it and tried to attack, but Kiley was too nimble, and dodged. He grimaced. "I was hoping you wouldn't still be this nimble, but you and I both know you're dead. It's just a repeat of two years ago." Kiley's face remained calm and concentrated, but you could tell that remark stung. They dodged and ducked and pounced and swung, hoping to land a blow. But they were both outmatched. Kiley with speed and agility. The boy with power and strength. It continued for a while. Soon, they began to lag. I thought that somehow time had slowed down, but then I realized they were exhausted. Especially Kiley.
The boy took advantage of her weariness. He aimed a blow for her ribs, and connected. She went flying back towards me, blood pouring out of her side. She landed on the ground with a yelp. I finally got a good look at them. They had been moving so fast that I hadn't noticed that the boy's clothes were being reduced to shreds and he quit a few cuts, some rather deep. Kiley's arms had a few scraps, but she didn't have anything deep. Just a hole in her side. "You're no match for me, Lighthunter. Never have been, never will be." the boy said with a sneer. She looked up at him with a look of despise, hate, anger, and disgust. Then, she smiled. "I may not be a match for your strength, but I am far better with a sword. Look at all those wounds I managed to give you. The only wound you gave me was this," she said, lifting her hand from her side. Using her sword as a brace, she lifted herself up. I tried to help her, but she shot me a look that said, Get away. She lifted her sword up. "Besides, I never got to show you my sword, and what it can do. You should really see it." She held her sword in front of her and yelled at the top of her lungs, "Solas na gealai!"
The boy stepped back in fear. Surely he was not expecting this. The sword began to glow again. But it was not soft moonlight. No, it was bright, radiant, milk white moon that shot from her sword. When it touched her wound, it began to shimmer, and the wound started to heal. The boy staggered back. "Not possible!" he shouted, "That sword was left in the Valley of the Realta Reim Radharic! You couldn't have it!" "How do you know it's not possible! It's completely possible!" Kiley shouted. "No, you can't be that powerful! You-you just CAN'T! You CAN'T have the Sword of Shadows!" Kiley smiled, wide, like the cheshire cat. She closed her eyes, and begun to sing, "Pairc an air reidh claiomh, IONSAIGH!"
The sword began to grow brighter and brighter. Faint sparks of light purple and green began to cirlce, faster and faster. I had to close my eyes to stop me from going blind. Then, the light leapt off of the sword, right at the boy. I finally got a good look at his face. He had high cheekbones and hollow cheeks. A ragged scare ran from the edge of his left eyebrow, up over his eye, to the bridge of his nose. He looked as though he's seen a ghost. The light surged, but before it could hit it's target, expoded into a thousand different pieces, and dimmed out. The sword still glowed, but faintly. The boy was backed up against the wall, breathing heavy. Kiley motioned for me to follow her up the stairs. "This isn't over, Lighthunter." the boy said when we started to climb the stairs. Kiley looked at him with a sad, lonley expression. "It will never be over." she said, and began to climb.
Chapter 20: The Blaze
We climbed for a few minutes before Kiley stopped. "Never repeat anything you heard or saw in there to ANYONE." I looked at her curiously. She normally wasn't this secretive. "Why can't I tell-" I began. She turned around and grabbed me by the shoulders. "No. NEVER repeat what happened in there. NEVER." she said in a tone I had never heard her use. I looked at her face, and couldn't tell whether it was anger, sadness, or fear. "I won't." I said in a quiet voice. She let out a deep breath and took her hands off my shoulders. "Good" she said, and we resumed our climb.
Kiley's Point of View: Why did it have to be him? Why couldn't my past leave me alone for once? Alex was never to know my secret, or Jams secret. It was suppose to stayed buried in the past, where it belongs. Still, my past haunts me at every turn. First Alex, then the gym, then the Malistare incident, now this? How long will this go on? For once I wish I could be normal. Unfortunately, the stars decided to make me different. That boy. Why did he have to be there? Why was he there? Is he with Malistare now? It would make sense, but still...... I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Bradley's Point of View: "Where are they!" she shouted for the hundredth time. I let out a long sigh. "She'll be here soon Jams. So will Alex. They probably found a passageway and decided to check it out before coming back up." "Yeah, I would believe that, but it's been at least two hours since we came out of there. Kiley isn't dead, I can tell. Alex, I'm not so sure about." Jams said, pacing back and forth. I laughed. "What's so funny?" Jams said. "If you keep pacing," I said with a chuckle, "You're going to wear a hole in the roof. THEN we'll have a problem on our hands." She tried to stared at me with her evil eye, but it just made me laugh harder. Soon, we were both rolling all over the Newgate Prison roof, laughing our heads off. After a few minutes we sat up and stopped laughing. "So, since I can't pace and we don't have any good books, what should we do?" Jams said. "I don't know," I said, "We could tell stories." "Ok," she said, "How about you tell me about your childhood? I don't know the first thing about you!" "Are you sure?" I asked her. "Yeah." she said, and curled up by the dragon. I then told her the story I will now tell you, about how I became a wizard, and what I left behind.
Bradley Flame is my full wizard name. My human name is Bradley Douglas O'Byrne. I was born to Genevieve and Patrick O'Byrne. I was the youngest out of three boys. My older brothers were named Cabel and Joshua. When I was little, we lived in a large cabin in the mountains in Pennsylvania. There were two border collies in the family, Riley and Tristan. We loved to take them on long walks through the woods, and play in the rivers near the cabin. When winter came, we went sledding down the big hill behind the house. My brothers and I were best friends. We did everything together, from hide and go seek to scavenger hunts. I had so many happy memories there.
One day, when I was in the 7th grade, my father came home from work early, at around 4:00. "Guess what?" he said, "Daddy got a raise, and we're going to move to the city!" Mom cheered. Cabel hugged my mom, and Joshua jumped up and down. I just stared at them. How could they be happy? The only place I knew was this house. It was the best ever. The city was filled with cars and sidewalks and concrete. Out here, you could actually take a deep breath. There were few sidewalks, and many uncharted paths through the woods. That's what I loved about this house. It was outdoors.
When my mom saw that I wasn't happy, she came over to me. "What's wrong?" she asked. "I don't wanna move." I said, "I wanna stay here." "Oh, don't worry, you'll be fine in the city. It will be an adventure!" she said, and they all started to dance around again. I sat there, wondering if somehow this terrible dream could just go away.
The next day we began to pack. Mom and Dad had apparently been planning this for some time. They even had a house ready. Joshua and Cabel went fast, eagerly wanting to see the new house. I took my time, making sure everything was in place. It took over two hours. After I was done, it was time for dinner. I went down to see they had started without me. I took my place to the right of my mom, and served myself some mashed potatoes from the bowl. Dinner was lively, and included many stories about the city. I sulked through the entire evening, not enjoying one bit of it. When asked what was wrong, I simply said I was tired. When dinner was over, I went upstairs and got ready for bed. When my mom came in to check on me, I pretended to be asleep. I stared out my window, out onto the woods. I made a decision then. I wasn't going to the city.
I got up, and quietly got dressed in a warm flannel, wool sweater, and my outdoors jacket. I put on sweats, and jeans over them. It was going to be cold. I took my bag and put in a flashlight, blanket, and some food. I tip toed down the stairs, and opened the back door. The air hit me with force. It was freezing. I closed the door, and began to run down the edge of the slope. When I reached Riley and Tristan, they wagged their tails. I was going to forget about them and just keep going when Riley let out a whine. "Fine, you can come." I said, and put their leash on them.
We began our journey northwest, because I knew there was an old abandoned cabin up there. We hiked for five miles before we got there. My brothers and I had stocked it with wood and warm blankets when we were younger. I doubt they remembered now. I started a fire, and made a bed for the dogs. We would be fine, I told myself.
I ate beef jerky for dinner, and gave the dogs some kibble. I let them out to run around. They were happy, and so was I. We got a good night's rest, and were ready for what morning brought us.
When I woke up, the sun was just coming up. I ate a biscuit, and gave the dogs a treat. I took them out to explore. We walked for a mile west, away from home. At about 10, I heard the sirens.
They were police sirens, coming to look for me. I began to run. I went about thirty yards before tripping over a root. I slid and fell, a long mud smear developed on my cheek. It stopped me for but a moment, and I was up and running again. Riley and Tristan followed faithfully. Soon, after fifty yards, I had to stop and rest. I hadn't been in the greatest shape, and no match for dogs and the police. I heard their voices a few yards off. I was going to run in the other direction, but I heard barks. I then realized I was trapped. I was going home.
"Hold still" the police man said as he entered the clearing with a dog pulling on his chain, "We're not going to hurt you." I turned, slowly in a circle. I wondered why they don't just come and get me. Then I remembered Riley and Tristan. I looked down to see the dogs circling me protectively. "Call off the dogs, boy." another police officer said. I looked from the police officer to my dogs to their dogs. I stood my ground. "Alright, you've chosen the hard way." he said, and the officers began to move in.
Riley started first. He was barking, madly, and snarling. Then Tristan began to copy. I could tell some of the officers were scared, but they kept moving. 'What I gotta do' I said to myself, 'Is scare them. Bad.' "Arthraigh" I muttered under my breath. I still don't know why I did. But at that moment, both of the dog's ears pricked up. They let out a ferocious snarl, and stood still, eyes closed. Then, they began to morph. Riley was the most startling. His hair grew mahogany brown, and he grew a second head. His eyes began to glow like fire embers. His snarl grew even more menacing, and his stance emanated power. Tristan was not as radical. His fur grew tan brown with purple streaks, and his eyes were golden. His stance was twice it's normal size, and when he barked, it made my hair stand on end. I looked up at the police officer's faces, which were ghost white. All except the officer that lead them.
"Come on." he said, 'Let's get the boy and get out of here." He then walked right by the dogs, and began to grab for my wrist. I had to do something. "Ar Thine!" I shouted, holding my arms out, palms up. With that, fire orbs grew in my hands. They spread along my body like wildfire, but they did not harm me or my clothes. The officer jumped back, as to not be burned by the flames. Now the officers were spooked. They turned and ran with their dogs, out of the woods. All of them, including their leader.
I tried to stop the blaze, but I couldn't. Sparks were jumping off my body, landing in the nearby tree grove. The whole place came ablaze. I was hopeless. The dogs weren't affected by it, so they stayed by me. After a few minutes, I saw a figure appearing through the fire. It was a woman, taller than me with orange, fiery hair, and a long red dress. She held out her hand, and I took it.
The person who rescued me was in fact the Fire teacher, Dalia Falmea. She took me to Wizard City, where I have live since. That is my story, of who I have become. But what I left behind, a grieving family, a scared town, and countless stories.
The police told everyone that I had built a campfire, and when Tristan was startled by the police, he knocked more logs into the fire. This created the great blaze that destroyed acres of forest. Some didn't believe. Some said aliens. Some said spontaneous combustion. Some said that I made fire bombs and threw them at the police. But none guessed that I was a wizard. This is why I couldn't go back. People thought I was dead. And that was ok with me. I didn't like them anyways.
Chapter 21: To the Dungeon!
Nobody's Point of View: I continued to breath heavy. She had gotten better. I would have to train. I used my sword to prop myself up. The flowers had been sprawled across the floor. The beds were in ruin. I shook my head, and went to the last remaining patch of flowers. I drew my short sword, and cut them down to the stem. I stood up and heard the figure behind me.
"What do you want?" I asked. "Well, you were fighting her. I wanted to see how you'd fair." he said. "She got stronger." I said. I wasn't going to tell him about the Sword. It would complicate things too much. Besides, if I did, Malistare would send his strongest monsters after her. And I couldn't do that to her....... ah my memory fails me once again. She and I, we are connected in past and future. But how? How are we linked?
I came back to reality when Dakota began to speak again. "I can tell she got stronger!" he said, "This place is a mess!" "Yeah. But since I'm the one who fought her, you get to clean it up." I said. "No, let's just leave it. Besides. Malistare wants us back home. Fast." "Ok." I said, and Dakota started up the steps opposite the ones Kiley took. I looked back at that stairway. 'This will never be over.' What did she mean? This girl was more of a mystery than my past. She wasn't just a girl. What was she?
When we got to the top of the stairs Dakota frowned. "What's bugging you?" he said. "Nothing. Come on, we got to get home." I said, and disappeared into the portal.
On the other side was the entry hall to the Drake family home. There was a family portrait on the wall of a tall, black haired man in a long black robe with a silver pattern. The woman had on a sun gold gown and purple-blue overcoat. The two sons wore identical robes, one gold and blue, the other black and white. They were all smiling. I looked up at that picture now and wondered what happened to that happy family.
Dakota charged up the steps with me right behind him. When we entered the great hall, we saw Malistare pacing. "What took you so long?" he asked as we approached. "We had a .... err...... small incident. Won't happen again." Dakota said. "It was the Twins sir. And Him." I said, keeping my eyes on the ground. "Well, what did you do about them?" Malistare asked. "I sent the Undead to kill them. Jams escaped, and Kiley and Alex ran into the flower room. I fought her, but in the process we destroyed all of the flowers-"
"WHAT!" Malistare screamed, "Those were the last remaining batch in all of Marleybone! And you destroyed them! How dare you!" He leaned over to strike me across the face. He almost did, except that fight with the girl had made my senses sharp. I dodged at the last second, making him fall on the ground. "YOU'RE DEAD!" Malistare yelled, and then said to Dakota, "Take him down to the dungeon. No food or water for three days." I stared at him. I would object, but then he would just lengthen my punishment. Dakota came over with a sorry look on his face, and was going to lead me down the steps until I remembered.
"Wait!" I shouted, "We may have destroyed all of the flowers in the fight, but before that I grabbed some, as insurance." I ran over to him and pulled out the bundle of fresh flowers. His eye went wide, and he grabbed them out of my hands. He raised them to the light so he could inspect them. "These are a very good specimen. Thank you. Now, you only have to suffer two days." He walked out of the room leaving Dakota and I speechless.
"Sorry 'bout that." Dakota said when we got to the dungeon, "Noah here made him pretty mad while you were gone." I then looked into Noah's cell to see a limp figure huddled in the corner. He had bruises everywhere, and looked like he could use a healer. He looked up when he heard his name.
"Hey Nobody, how yah doing?" he asked in a feeble voice. "Fine, how about you?" I asked him. It looked like he could use some company. "Good. Or at least, better than an hour ago." I looked at all the bruises and could see he had gotten the painful end of Malistare's rage. "Well, Malistare got mad at me, so now I have to spend two days in here without food or water." I said. He looked at me in surprise, and said, "I won't mind sharing. Dakota brings me a lot anyways." I looked at him then more as a friend than my master's captive. Because technically, all of us apprentices were his captives too.
We spent the next few hours talking about what life was like being wizards. Noah told me about his family, and what they were like. He had been born here in Wizard City, it turned out, and grown up a normal kid. But when he met Alex, his life changed. He wasn't normal. He said it was fun, not being normal.
We talked until dinner, which was when Dakota brought Noah his food. As he said he would, he split his loaf of bread in half, and gave half to me. I thanked him, and we began to eat. I began to wonder why he did that. I spent the rest of the night on that subject. No one had ever been that nice to me. Except Aaron. Aaron had taken me in when no one else was there for me. I owed him my life for that.
After dinner we talked some more, but soon Noah got tired and fell asleep. I laid down and looked out the window at the full moon, and wondered if Aaron was still alive, and how he was fairing. I wondered why Noah was so kind to a stranger, a stranger who worked for the person who kept him captive. I wondered who that girl was, and why I remembered her name. Kiley Lifehunter, I think it was. I wonder what she mean, 'This will never be over.' What started? A war? A fight? A rivalry? Sadly, in order to answer this question, I needed my memories, which were lost back at that explosion. That cold, icy explosion.
Chapter 22: Into the Clouds
Alex's Point of View: When we got back the top, the Undead had cleared out. Kiley and I were silent as we made our way to the roof. When we got there, Jams and Bradley were furious. "Where have you been?" Jams said. "We ran into..... trouble." Alex said, picking his words carefully. "What trouble?" Jams said. Before I could find an answer, Kiley jumped in to save the day.
"The boy that sent the Undead after us was down in the tunnels. We found him in a room filled with Harebell flowers. Fortunately, he hadn't picked any. We fought, and destroyed the beds of flowers in the process." Kiley said. Jams nodded. I wondered if she knew who that boy was too. It would make sense. Something about him wasn't right.
"Well, we should get going. Ambrose will want to know what we found. Besides that, the Dragons are restless." Bradley said. "Alright, I guess there's nothing more for us to do her anyways." Jams said, "Come on. If we hurry, maybe Ambrose will have some lunch for us!"
Bradley got up into the dragon's saddle and helped Jams climb up. The dragons were big, bigger than I remembered them. They wouldn't fit through the world door anymore. "Uh, Kiley? Jams? Is it just me, or did the dragons grow while we were gone?" I said. Jams was just getting into her dragon's saddle, and looked down at the ground. "That was a harder climb than before. The man who lent me them said they were half Drake, so they wouldn't be as big as the others, and we could ride them on the streets. But, they are too big right now to fit on the streets." she frowned in confusion, "Kiley, any impute?"
"Well," Kiley stated, "They are probably young. Around 9 or 10 years old in human years. They would have stopped growing for a while so the man who lent you them though they had stopped growing all together. But, they probably have started growing again. Who lent them to you anyways?"
"Prospector Zeke said I could borrow them. They needed to get out of the barn for a while. Speaking of Zeke, he didn't expect us to be this long. We should drop them off on our way to Ambrose." Jams said. "One question." I said, "How do we get back if we can't use the world gate?"
"Well," Kiley said, "Since the Spiral is all one world, it is incased in a cloud of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other gases. This is all held together with ancient magic that Bartelby and his sister cast upon the world before it split apart. And each of the individual worlds are incased by a thin barrier that makes up the atmosphere. So, if these dragons are strong enough, they can just fly past the barrier to any world they chose." "Oh." I said, "Then I guess we should try, shouldn't we?"
I climbed up onto the saddle. Once my legs were strapped in [so I wouldn't fall out if we went upside-down.] I leaned over and grabbed Kiley's hand. She used the scales as stepping stones to get into the saddle. When she was settled, she said, "Ok Jams, time to see what these dragons can do!"
The dragons took off from the roof of Newgate Prison. They circled around, slowly going up in a spiral. Soon, we could see from Scotland Yard to Mugsy. We continued to climb into the stars. "Wow." Kiley said, looking down, You could see all of Marleybone from up here. It was amazing. As we climbed higher and higher, the ground was farther and farther away. Soon, we broke the barrier between Marleybone and the rest of the Spiral. We could see all of the worlds orbiting around Wizard City. It was amazing.
I wish I could have stayed up there forever. But, I had a job to do. We flew towards Wizard City, at the heart of the Spiral. When we approached the barrier, Jams shouted, "Slan pasaite! Muid dluthchara!" A ripple went through the bubble, and it absorbed us.
Chapter 23: Dreams, Nightmares, and Reality
Nobody's Point of View: I was having that strange dream again. There were seven men standing in a line, with the sun behind them. They were protecting something. The monsters that were attacking them were hideous. There were Dragons, Storm Lords and Frost Giants as well as Hydras and Centaurs and Scarecrows that had turned evil. They all were relentless, not giving up until you kill them, even if they only had one leg left. I was fighting too. There was a boy next to me, with brown hair and kind green eyes. On my other side was another boy, with long black hair and brown eyes. We fought together, and it was exhilarating. We took out Hydras with a Minotaur, Dragons with a Wraith, and Frost Giants with Helephants.
But soon, a corrupted magician landed a spectral blast on me. I fell to the ground, where there was soft green grass died red with the blood from the battle. I heard the moans and cries of those like me who were dying, slowly, on this soft plane. I started to drift in and out of consciousness, wondering where my friends were.
"He's over here!" a voice in the distance said. I strained to hear more, but every time it was muffled by the sounds of battle. "......are you ok? .....! Are you ok?" a soft, high, melodic voice said. It was always the same voice, the same words. The voice, it was so pretty. It sounded like spring, with the birds singing and fairies dancing, and honeybees buzzing from one flower to the next. Then another voice came in. It wasn't as high, but it wasn't low. It sounded like hail hitting the leaves, or snow as it fell to the ground. It said, "Hurry! They're coming! If you're going to do it, do it quick!" Then the high voice again, "He's too far gone, he'll never make it! We're too late-" "Impossible!" said the other voice, "If anything you will come up with something. You know we can't lose him!" I heard someone muttering under their breath, calculating something.
The sounds of battle were all around. But still, all I could hear were those two voice. They must be angels, I though, here to take me away. Soon, the first voice came back, "There is one possibility. But you know the risk is high..............." the voices and battle begin to fade, just before I get my answers. But right before I drift away, I hear this: ".....send him to Earth."
I have been having this dream, or nightmare, for a while. Ever since that fateful day when Ambrose almost killed Aaron. I always wake up in a cold sweat, and remind myself it's just a dream, and I need to get back to sleep. I close my eyes, but all I can see is those two boys, and all I hear are those voices over and over again, calling to me, begging me to come back to them. "Why? How?" I ask them. But never have I gotten my answer.
After a while, I drift back off into dreamland. This time, I have a different dream. A dream of childhood, and a happy one.
I was in a long hall. On either side were doors leading to children's rooms, with two beds and a chest of drawers for them to share. There were pictures and drawings covering the walls, making it feel like home. I ran down the hall to the big bay window that looked out onto the street. There were Christmas lights decorating every awning, and snow blanketed the ground. Down on the streets, people rushed from store to store, looking for toys and clothes for their friends and family. In front of the building I was in there was a snowman army, with twig arms and pine needle noses. A sign next to them read, "Little Valley Orphanage, New York."
I felt a tap on my left shoulder. When I looked, no one was there. "Gotcha!" a high sing-song voice came from my right. I spun around to see a girl, a little shorter than me, who must be at least eight years old, smiling. She had long blonde hair and lots of freckles. "Come on! You're gonna be late for the hide and seek game!" she cried, and ran down the hall. I chased after her, relieved to have a friend. She took the stairs two at a time and leaped across the sitting room to a group of kids standing in the middle of the room. The girl I had been following went and stood by another girl, eagerly wanting to begin the game. "All right." an older boy said, "We're gonna play hide and go seek. I'm it. The only rules are you can't go outside, you can't go in the garage, and you can't go in Aggies's room. Got it?" "Yes!" all the little kids chimed in. "Ok then," the older boy said, "1.........2...........3............4......."
We all ran off to find a hiding spot. I followed the girl I met earlier, and she went with another girl to a closet by the front door. We dove into it, burring ourselves deep in the back behind all the coats. Soon we heard, "Ready or not, here I come!"
We stayed quiet. We didn't want to be found. We heard kids scream and squeal when they were found, and lots of little feet pound down the stairs. Soon, the older boy began to call names. "Ali! Blaire! Where are you? I know you're there somewhere! Come out come out wherever you are!" Then, "Lay! I know you're out there to! Where'd you go big boy?"
We giggled. He wouldn't find us in here. The door flew open. "Ha!" the older boy said, "Oh, THERE NOT IN HERE SARA!" He moved on. We were overcome with laughter. We fell on the floor in a dog pile, rolling all over the floor. The door flew open. "I FOUND THEM SAM!" a girl, probably Sara said. "Oh there you are!" Sam said. We were pulled out of the closet into the jostle of kids we called family.
I don't know where this came from. Was my name Blaire? Ali? Lay? I don't know. All I know is that is one of the few memories I have. I guess I haven't lost my memory. Maybe it's locked away, deep inside..........now I have to wake it up.
Chapter 24: Surprise, Surprise
Apparently when we broke the barrier that protected Wizard City, Some sort of alarm went off. Our dragons began to circle, making their way towards the commons. When we got in sight of the Commons, we saw a big crowd had assembled, along with all the masters and Ambrose. They were prepared for an invasion.
Jams, we got trouble. I told you forcing open the shield wasn't a good idea. Kiley said. It was our only option. Now stop complaining and put absorbs on us. Bradley and I will keep them busy, you and Alex try to stop them. Jams replied. Ok. Kiley said, and began to put up lots of absorbs.
We circled out of range until the absorbs were ready. When they were, Kiley nodded at Jams, and Jams whispered something to Bradley. He began to grin mischievously. He whispered something back. Then Jams was grinning mischievously. We got this covered. Jams said, and drove her dragon into a very steep dive. Kiley placed her hand on the dragon's head, and using telepathy, guided it to a safe landing near Zeke.
Jam's Point of View: "We're going to head off the attacks so that Kiley can get on the ground to talk to Ambrose. It's our only chance. I was thinking make a big display of it. You got any ideas?" I whispered to Bradley. "Well," he whispered back, "We could do a nose dive, that would scare them. I'm trusting your good at controlling dragons." I grinned, wide. "That's perfect." I said, and nodded to Kiley so she knew we had a plan. I then placed my hand on the dragon's neck, so I could communicate with it. I told him what we wanted him to do, and he agreed. "Hang on." I told Bradley, and then the dragon performed what I thought was the steepest dive ever.
When I looked down upon the wizard's faces below, I knew they were scared. That was good. They probably wouldn't attack. Boy, was I wrong. First, a master storm student summoned a triton. Two of the absorbs shattered. More followed suit, and soon we were surrounded by kraken, helephants, colossus, and triton. They clawed, scratched, and bashed the absorbs to no end. The absorbs were shattering quickly, and soon one triton broke through, zapping Bradley. He went limp in the saddle. It was no use. 'Get us to higher ground.' I told the dragon. 'As you wish, master.' it replied, and took off. Before we could reach safe altitude, a triton jumped up and priced the dragon's wing. It howled in pain, the gash bleeding with purple dragon blood. I yelled as the dragon plummeted to the ground.
Kiley's Point of View: Alex and I jumped out of the saddle and ran towards the mass of wizards. There were so many, the formed a solid wall. Alex couldn't get through, and said, "You're going to have to in without me. Let me in when you can." I nodded, and slipped into the crowd. I was skinny, easily fitting through the gaps left by people. Soon, I saw Ambrose within the mass of people. I made my way over to him. When I was halfway there, I heard a shattering noise. I looked up to see the last absorb shatter, and Bradley go limp. Jams tried to fly away, but the triton priced the dragon's wing.
"NO!" I shrieked as the dragon spiraled down. I ran through the crowd until I was by the dragon. I began to check it's vital signs. He was still alive. Then, I went over to the saddle, where Jams and Bradley were still strapped in. I felt for their pulse. Bradley had a pulse, and it was growing stronger by the minute. Unfortunately, Jams was the opposite, growing weaker and weaker.
"Stand aside, young girl," a deep voice said, "We must kill the intruders before they kill us." I turned to see Blaze Silverfist. He was a Balance Master, and well respected. He was also VERY powerful. He raised his hand, preparing to summon Hydra to finish the dragon and his riders. Tears started to stream down my face. I looked around. I realized no one but me could stop him, would stop him. I stood up. "Stop." I said, breaking his concentration. "Or what?" he said, the spell beginning to take hold. "I said, STOP!" I screamed, and slapped him across the face.
Blaze's eye's snapped open. "What was that for?" he said, "I'm not doing anything wrong! I'm trying to save us all!" I stared at him. I then turned to address not only him, but the entire crowd. "You are all so BLIND! Do you see who this is? It is my twin sister, Jasmine, and her friend, Bradley. Alex and I were with them in Newgate Prison investigating the mysterious boy there. We borrowed some Drakes from Prospector Zeke so we could move faster, but they turned out to be dragons. They grew while we were there, and we couldn't fit through the World Gate. So, we went through the outside. We opened the barrier so we could land, but this is what greeted us! Not a joyous crowd eager to hear the good news, but a hostile crowd who wanted to KILL US!" I screamed, tears rolling down my cheek like a stream, "And thanks to all of you, my twin is almost DEAD!"
I turned and ran. Through the crowd, down towards the fairgrounds. I looked back once to see everyone staring after me. The path I had made still was there. Ambrose was next to Blaze, who seemed the most shocked out of them all. Ambrose put an arm out to steady him. He had almost killed her. That boy. How despicable.
Alex's Point of View: I watched her run. She was headed for Golem's Court. I could find her later. I rushed through the crowd, to where Jams, Bradley, and the magnificent Dragon laid. I leaned over to see that Bradley would come too soon. The dragon's wing could be mended easily, with the proper magic. But Jams, she was almost gone. I stood up, and realized all eyes were on me now. I turned to Ambrose and Blaze, and with a scowl said, "Bradley will be fine. So will the dragon. As for Jams, she is almost gone. She needs to be stable. Fast." I then took off towards Kiley. I could feel every eye follow me.
Blaze's Point of View: I watched him go. I couldn't believe what he'd said. Jams? Almost dead? And it was all my fault. I had been checking the barrier and noticed the disturbance. I told Ambrose. I guess we all over reacted. "Um, Ambrose?" I said as Alex ran after Kiley, "Shouldn't we help them? If what they said is true, Jams needs help."
"Right," Ambrose said, "Johnny, Ryan, Kevin. Get those two unsaddled and into the infirmary immediately. Krista, Hayley, Hanna, wall of this area so we may care for the dragon in peace. Masters, if you aren't busy, I may have a job for you. The rest of you, go back to whatever you were doing. Good day." Then, he went into his office, and wasn't seen again.
The crowd dispersed quickly. The girls in charge of the wall were quick. One side was up in a matter of minutes. They were on the second wall when another dragon, probably the one Kiley had been riding, came into the clearing and sat next to the first dragon. She rested her muzzle on his head, careful not to disturb anyone, and went to sleep.
I went over to Johnny, Ryan, and Kevin. They had gotten Bradley out, and Kevin and Ryan were caring him on a stretcher towards the infirmary, with Moolinda close behind. Johnny was trying to get Jams out of the saddle. "Let me help." I said, and unbuckled the leg harnesses. "Thanks!" he said. We lifted her onto the stretcher, and carried her to the infirmary.
Moolinda is treating Jams right now. Bradley is strong, but still unconscious. No one has touched the dragon. Moolinda was struggling to heal Jams. "I don't know how to heal her. Her magical circuits are completely different from normal wizards. I'm powerless here." Moolinda said, and went to the door. "Wait," I said, "Aren't you going to heal her?" I asked. Moolinda looked at the floor, "I can't." she said, and left.
I sat there, on the edge of her bed, wondering how to heal her, for a long time. I had almost killed her. I was the reason she was going to die. I felt so guilty. Why? Why did I have to be wrong? There had to be something I could do.
Oh, Bartleby, Lady Nightstar, help me! I don't know what to do........ I don't want her to die because of me! Why did it have to be me that attacked!
Chapter 25: A New Way of Making Friends [Do Not Try at Home]
Dakota's Point of View: I didn't like that we were keeping Nobody in the dungeon like this. It just wasn't right. Right now I was seated at the large dining room table with Lily across from me, Nobody's empty chair on my left, and Malistare's chair on my right. He was not here yet. He had been in his laboratory all day, experimenting on the flowers. Lily and I sat there, in silence, for what seemed like forever.
"So, how've you been?" I asked her. She just shot me her evil eye. "Aw, come on! You're still going to be mean to me? Why? We're on the same side!" I said. "I do not associate with beings under my level of intelligence." she said, and turned to face the grand window at the end of the hall. I couldn't help smiling. She thought she was so smart.
"Why do you assume I do not match or exceed your aptitude? How do you know I cannot keep up with your level of comprehension? I may look like I am all brawn not brains, but really, I am both. So if you think you're smarter than me, and that allows you to boss me around, I'm sorry. You can't do that." I said. I had been wanting to say that for forever. She always seemed to try to float in the clouds above us, as if Nobody and I were no match for her.
She turned back to the table. She was speechless. I grinned. "Now, are you going to apologize like a good little girl, or are we going to need to get a shovel to scoop you chin off the ground?" I said. Her mouth closed, her jaw hardening. "I will not stand to be insulted like that. YOU are the one who must apologize." she said, and turned away.
Lily's Point of View: No one had ever dared to speak to me like that before. This boy, he was different. I was curious as to why. I guess I'd play his game for a little while............what trouble could it get me into?
Dakota's Point of View: I stared at her. She was demanding an apology when she had insulted ME! Now she was starting to get on my nerves. "You know," he said, "For someone who is so bright, you miss major points. YOU are the one who insulted ME. Now, if you do not apologize, I will be forced to be mad at you. And you won't like me when I'm mad." She looked at me, as if sizing me up. "Why would I be scared?" she said, and went back to staring out the window.
That did it. She was going to be sorry she said that. I stood up, in one smooth motion, and stepped back from the table. I felt my rage mix with my magic, building and boiling and pumping and flowing. I felt it in every inch of my body. She looked over at me, clearly unaware of what I was going to do. She smirked, and went back to staring out the window. I growled, and lunged across the ornate table, with its white tablecloth and fancy china, to the chair where she sat.
She shrieked, and leapt out of the chair. I had overshot anyways, and hit the wall with my feet, like a cat. I pounced off, ready to charge again. I looked towards the direction she had ran, towards the window behind Nobody's chair. There were huge drapes covering the walls and heavy silk curtains on the windows. She could be behind any of them. I was angry, and that fed my magic, building it.
"Come out and fight like a real wizard! One who can hold her own! Because if you are too scared to fight me, then you should not have insulted me!" I yelled as I walked towards the end of the hall. The air was rigged with tension. The only sounds were of my footsteps, right, left, right, left. They stopped in the middle of the room, near the great window that looked out over Dragonspyre. You could see everything. I looked at each drape, for that tiny tell-tale bump or movement that would tell me she was there.
Soon, the anger ebbed away, the magic returning to its normal state. I couldn't stay mad like that forever. "Fine. If you will not face me like a true wizard, then there is no reason for me to fight you. For I only fight real wizards. Not shadows, not whispers. I fight face to face with my enemy, so that the winner is victorious because of skill, not stealth. You're safe for now, but I warn you. I'm watching you." I said, and went back to sit down at the table.
After a few minutes, a head popped out from behind the drape closest to the left pane of the window. It scanned the room with cat like eyes, making sure it was safe. Then, she slipped out of her hiding place, and glided over to her spot, and sat down. We both stared at our plates, wondering when dinner would come.
After some time, the cook, a seraph, appeared at the kitchen door. "Master will not be joining you for dinner. He told me to serve it to you before it got cold." Then, she placed two bowls of steaming hot Mooshu soup in front of us. We thanked her, and she left.
We ate in silence for some time. Soon, Lily's eyes lifted to meet mind. They had fear written all over them. "I'm sorry for being so snobby." she said. "It's ok." I said in a gruff tone, "But don't do it again." I had finished my soup, and was getting up to leave. "Don't go." she said, "If it isn't much of a bother, I'd really like to get to know you. It's rather lonely around here, and you don't seem too bad." I smiled, and sat back down. "What do you want to know?" I said with a wicked grin.
Lily's Point of View: I can't believe it. I actually wanted to be his friend. I think it may have been the way he said he only fought 'true wizards.' I had always liked people who had their own moral code that was similar to my own. And just for the record, the only reason I didn't fight was because I was running low on mana. Nothing else. Well, yes there was. I've never told anyone before, and I don't want anyone to find out really. But, nevertheless, I must tell somebody. The truth was I was absolutely terrified of him. And, I think that's why I want to be his friend.
Seeing the rage and anger in his eyes, just reminded me of that dragon, from the fire my parents were in. That dragon looked furious, and the result of her anger was the fire. Ever since then, whenever I see that rage in somebody's eyes, I run and hide. Anger only leads to destruction, unless you can control it, which is pretty much impossible. Emotions override all thoughts, all desires. Rage, loyalty, honor, and fear being the strongest. If you are inflicted by these, your judgment is impaired, and not reliable. This is why I fear it.
I was relieved to see that Dakota would stay. We talked, mostly about the present. Sometimes our childhoods came up, and we would say something. I think we both have something to hide. We finished our dinner, and went out on the balcony to practice the new spell Malistare had taught us. It was called Triton. We were having trouble with it. I was about to give up when I took my wand, and threw it on the ground.
"What was that for?" Dakota said. "I give up!" I said, and began to storm away. "Whoa, slow down!" Dakota said, sliding in front of the door, and grabbing me by the shoulders, "You're doing fine. Storm just fizzles a lot." I tried to wiggle out of his grasp, but he was too strong. "I'm just fed up with all these spells!" I said, "They always take forever for me to learn! It's not fair! You never fizzle!" "Want me to teach you a secret?" he said. "Sure." was the only reply I could give. He let go of my shoulders, and said, "Go pick up your wand." I did as I was told. "Now come here." I went over to him. I held out my wand as if to cast a spell. He turned my hand so it faced away from us, and placed his hand over my hand.
"Now, push your magic into the wand. No, not all at once, but a little at a time." I pushed my magic into the wand, and drew the storm symbol. I activated it, and out popped a triton. I was so happy. "I DID IT!" I sung, and hugged Dakota. He stumbled back from the force. I believe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Chapter 26: Ripples of Life
Alex's Point of View: I ran towards Golem Court at full speed. We needed Kiley to help Moolinda heal Jams and Bradley, and try healing the Dragon's wing. And that wasn't like her, running off. I needed to know what was going on here.
When I got there, the place was deserted. I looked around. Where was she? She wouldn't have gone IN the tower, and there was nothing else here. I walked around and around the circle, wondering where she had run off to. I was about to go through the tower when I heard a muffled cry coming from the back left corner, near the rocky cliff. I went over, hoping to see Kiley.
I ran through the trees. No sign of her, or that she'd ever been here. I went back to the tunnel, and walked the base of the cliff. When I reached the back corner, I saw a cave. I ran ahead, thinking Kiley was probably in there. When I got to the mouth, I could feel the power radiating out of it. It poured out, and just standing there made me feel fresh and renewed. I took a hesitant step inside. Then, I took another. Then another, and another, and another. Soon, I had left the daylight behind for the darkness. The cave had a smooth, polished floor that looked to be made of obsidian. The walls were rougher, but not deadly. Stalactites hung from the ceiling and stalemates rose from the floor to meet them. The joined like dragon's teeth, forming rows and rows of spikes ready to rip your flesh from your bone.
After a few minutes of walking, I saw a reddish-orange light at the end of the tunnel. I began to run. When I got close, I could hear somebody crying. And something running, flowing down a drop. I kept running. I slowed down when I reached the end. In front of me were two figurines, standing tall and proud, guarding the entrance. Above read a passage in a language I couldn't understand. It said:
An halla dar data briongloid, duisigh, la, trathnona, talamh, farraige, speir, solas, dorcha, breitheamh, laoch, agus realta.
Amhain ion dar data intinn, ion dar data hairt, is ion dar data spiorad canna scoith.
The two statues were not humans. They looked like girls, about my age, but with marvelous wings, not of a seraph, but of soft dove feather, tough as raven's feather, beautiful as bird of paradises wings. The one on the right was looking up, with her hands in front of her forming a bowl. Her hair was curly and flowed down past her shoulders. On the left was another angel, but she looked different. Her hair was straight, and her hands were grasped in a pleading gesture, as if begging somebody to do something. I tried to peer into the room, but it was around the corner, so I couldn't see.
Then, I heard the sobbing grow louder. I hid behind the angel on the left, so no one could see me from inside.
"Oh, Lady Nightstar, what did I do wrong? I didn't want this to happen to Jams. It isn't fair! In all the fairytales, all the make believe stories, the good guys don't get hurt like this. They don't die. They don't turn on their friends. Why did it have to be me that saved Alex! Why did I have to be in the battle! Couldn't it have been somebody else? I wish I could be a normal girl for once! That's it! Give my job to somebody else, one of those people who always wish for something extraordinary to happen. They'll get what they're asking for!" Plunk! Something fell into water.
I felt sorry for her. I must be a big pain to look after, always getting into trouble. All she wanted was to be normal. I decided to go back and check on Jams. Kiley would come back when she was ok.
I crept out from my hiding spot, careful not to disturb her. I slid out from my hiding spot, and tipped toed down the path. Five feet from the door, I let out a sigh, and began to walk normally. Thunk........pitter patter pitter patter went a stone I accidentally kicked. I froze. "Who's there?" Kiley called. "Who's there!" she said, her voice rising, "Come out from the tunnel and show yourself!"
I let out a deep breath. I had no choice now. I turned around. Thump. Thump. Thump. Went my feet on the floor. I passed the gate, and turned the corner. She was sitting at the edge of a pool, about three feet across. The room was circular, with light blue, purple, and green mana sparks lighting the walls. Runes covered them, as well as the strange language that was written on the entrance. A giant crystal was hanging above the pool in mid air.
And in the middle of it all was Kiley. She was sitting down, looking back at the mouth of the cave. Her eyes were red from crying, and the hem of her dress was soaked with tears. Relief crossed her face when she saw who it was in the tunnel. "Oh, hi Alex." she said in a soft voice, "I wasn't expecting you to find me her."
I walked into the room, and sat down next to her. She knelt by the pool and looked into its deep, watery depths. "What are you doing down here?" I said after a few silent minutes. "This is where I come when I need to get away from it all. Not many people know about it. Just me, you, Jams, and.......some other people." she said with a look of dismay on her face. Her normally bright blue eyes were filled with sadness, and a tear rolled down her check. "Who else?" I asked. "It's ........nobody. They're not important anymore anyways. Spirits of the past, and that is where they remain."
I could see that I wasn't getting anywhere, instead I was making her cry even more. "What is this place?" I said, trying to change the subject, "The only place I've seen crystals like this is Dragonspyre." She perked up a little bit. "It was created by Lady Nightstar, you know, Bartelby's sister?" she said, "Well, she didn't want to reside in Wizard City, or any of the other worlds currently in the Spiral. So, one day she disappeared. But, before that, she left a note that lead you through a series of riddles. Only the smartest could solve it. I turned out to be pretty smart, and found this place." "Ah." I said, "But what does the archway in the tunnel say?"
"Oh, you can't read it, can you?" she said. I shook my head. "No bother, no one knows Old Tongue anymore, anyways." "What's the Old Tongue?" I said. She looked at me curiously. "You seriously don't know what the Old Tongue is?" "No........" I said. She smiled. "It was the speech first used in the Spiral, when it was whole. It helped to control your magic, and enabled you to create your own spells. It has been lost over time though. Only a few wizards still use it, and few will teach it. The reason they changed was because younger kids didn't have the patients or discipline to learn it. It took a long time, and required you to be dedicated. New Tongue is much easier to understand, and can be taught easier. The only downfall is, New Tongue isn't specific enough for you to create spells. It is not a language magic understands easily, and cannot define thought as well. Old Tongue had many more words, and magic flowed within it. It is the language of magic."
"Ok," I said, "Thank you for the history lesson, but I only asked what it SAID." She began to laugh, a high, song like laugh, that just made you want to laugh. Soon we were both laughing. We tried to stop, but if you ever have tried to stop laughing after something really funny happens, you know what I mean by it is impossible. After a few minutes, we managed to regain our sanity. "The door says, "The Hall of Dreams, Wake, Day, Night, Land, Sea, Sky, Light, Darkness, Hero, Justice, and Stars. Only pure of mind, pure of heart, and pure of spirit can enter."
"Why? Shouldn't it be all of the school?" I said. She laughed. "It is, silly!" she said, "Light and Day are Life, Night and Darkness are Death, Land is Fire, Sea is Strom, Sky is Ice, Hero is Myth, Justice is Balance, and Dreams, Wake, and Stars are symbols for magic in general." "Oh.....I get it!" I said. I didn't quite get the fire-ice-storm relationship, but I didn't want to bug her about it. There were more pressing matters. "Come on. Don't you think we should check on Jams, Bradley, and the Dragons?" I said, and stood up. She looked up at me with a face that said everything. She didn't want to go back, not at all.
I knelt down beside her. "You know, you're going to have to come out eventually." I said, "The sooner the better." Still no response. "Come on, you can't be ashamed for how you acted. I would have done the same for you or Jams." She just sat there, dull-eyed. I went over to the passageway, and picked up a shiny pebble. I went back to the pool of water. "You see this?" I said. She nodded. I tossed the pebble into the pool, right in the middle. The water ate the pebble, and ripples flowed away from it. "You see how that one pebble made the entire pool ripple? It's the same with actions. Everything you do, every pebble you throw in the pool, has a repercussion, or consequence, like the ripples."
She looked at me with kind eyes. "You know, when I was growing up, that's what my Nana would always tell me. No matter what I do, I'm going to hurt somebody, so you have to be ready for the consequences of you actions." I was taken aback. "What?" she said. "I have never heard of you or Jams talk about your past." She looked down into the pool. "It's not a particularly happy past." she said with a look of regret, "But I can't change that."
She sighed deeply. "Ready to go?" I said. "I think so." she said. I smiled, "Better now than later." and helped her up. We walked down the passage, under the arch. Once we had cleared the arch, Kiley turned back, and whispered something under her breath. I looked at her funny, and she just shook her head. "Come on, let's go." she said, and we ran down the tunnel.
We ran down the tunnel, through Golem Court, down past the Fairgrounds, into the infirmary. We saw Blaze sitting by Jams, who was unconscious. Kiley went stiff. She didn't like him, apparently. He stood up when he saw us there. " I-she uh...." was all he could say. "Why isn't Moolinda healing her?" I asked. He stared at me. "She said she can't." We stared in shock. Kiley went white. She said in a small, feeble voice, "No, Jams, no. You can't die!"
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