I feel as though my world is collapsing in on me. Like nothing is going right. Well, of course nothing is going right! I’m stuck in a strange world and forever trapped here. I can never go back to the world I once knew. Not to mention anything about that world is what I thought. What everyone thought.
Everything I knew was wrong.
So there is only one thing I can do: to save the world I’m in. Sounds simple enough. If only the things I had to defeat were monsters and the people I had to talk to were ghosts. That would be normal. And easy.
Wait, perhaps I should back up. Why and how am in this strange world? And after that, why can’t I go back to mine?
I can’t remember much. I mean, it happened so fast, what do you expect me to think? One minute I was on a blimp going to Chelsea Court in Marlybone, the next I was falling through the sky and landing splat on the road.
I remember a noise though.
There it was, but far off and traveling away.
I saw an orange glow off in the distance and blurry shapes were rushing around me. I thought I should heal myself. I’m a Life Wizard after all. But I couldn’t move. Couldn’t see. Could barely hear and definitely not feel anything.
There must have been so much pain my body had gone numb. I tried to blink back blackness but that didn’t work.
I thought of Sierra Spellspinner who had been riding with me. And Matt Goldcoin, her little brother. They must be hurt too. The whole blimp had sort of… exploded.
I decided I should just wait. Someone would find me. Us. Heal us. We would be fine.
I screamed and buried my head in my mother’s arms. I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe it. Grace was not dead. If anyone I should be dead. Why had it been Grace?
Grace Star, level 23 Theurgist, lay motionless on the white bed. Not so white anymore. Moolinda Wu and Angelia, assistant healer, had spent all night trying to save her.
I had been on the blimp, but had fallen in a pond, suffering only some major burns, easily saved by a simple ice spell. Matt had teleported to a friend to help them just before the explosion.
Angelia said they had found Grace on the road in Regents Square, barely alive.
The whole event was all anyone talked about. Most people thought it was Malistaire’s fault, but why would he do such a thing? It was minor. Besides the fact someone died. Others thought it was just an accidental prank some wizard had played.
But no matter who had done it or what had caused it Grace was dead and no one could change that.
I sob into my mother’s coat, not wanting to look at the blood coated, dirt covered, burned up face of my former best friend.
It was a sunny day in Mooshu. Well, it was always nice in Mooshu. I love it here. I get sick of the other worlds pretty quickly like Marlybone.
I checked my quest book while blaming the scenery for why I forgot I was here.
Great, I have to kill the Death Oni. Well, I may as well get it over with. I’m an ice wizard so I think I can survive this. All I know is that getting to him is the hard part.
About an hour later I slowly approach the Death Oni, very confident. I saved a potion bottle so I used that before I rushed into battle.
But as I run towards him the Death Oni vanishes. I stop. Where had he gone?
“Ouch!” I cry out. I land on my butt slipping on some water. I stand up and look around. My steps echo on the floor as I walk around. Was this some kind of trick? What was happening?
I sighed and decided it wasn’t worth it. I teleported home. I was wrapped in a white blue mist with little ice symbols. I was thrust down the familiar tunnel of darkness as I prepared to be landed at my house.
The Death Oni room reappeared.
I looked around confused. I was in the same place. Why was I in the same place? And why was the water rising? And what was that noise?
I walk over to a gap in the wall to look at the channel of water running around the dueling place. Yes. It was rising. But why? It lapped against my feet, getting my shoes all wet.
Ugh, good thing I have my own house now. Mom would have a fit if I came home with wet shoes.
But my feet were getting kind of cold. I stood on one foot and tried to squeeze some water out of it.
“Aaahhhh!” I slipped and fell splash into the water. I struggled to keep my head above but something was pulling me down. I groped for the edge but what my fingers found just slipped out of my grasp.
Slowly I was pulled down. My lungs felt on fire and my eyes stung from keeping them closed shut. The last thing I wanted to do was open them.
Why was I sinking? It was water, I should float!
What is the…
“Can you believe it?” I look up from my homework. I was over at my friend’s house Friday evening. Llewella Rubywater slammed the newspaper down on the table. It sent a few papers flying. “Another one! Another death!”
“Who?” I ask.
“Some ice wizard. Erica Dragon-something-or-other.”
I sigh. Thankfully no one I knew. “That’s too bad. That’s two right?”
“Yeah. Erica was found drowned in the Death Oni dungeon. They’re totally canceling questing for a month! Can you believe that?”
I shook my head. “No I can’t.” No questing? Now I was never going to level! And I was so close to level 48; I was about to learn Storm Lord!
Llewella and I were both storm wizards in Dragonspyer, both level 47, both 15 years old, and both about ready to die to learn Storm Lord. We were the deadly duo in dueling. We haven’t lost a battle since we teamed up in Mooshu.
And now that dream was delayed a month.
“So much for learning Storm Lord! We were so close! And then these people had to just go and die! Why is Ambrose canceling questing! Can’t someone drown in the Commons? Or trip down some stairs?” exclaims Llewella.
“Well I think he did it because both accidents were totally unnatural. The blimps have magic on them so they shouldn’t explode. And water doesn’t drag you under according to the Invisible Scout.” Invisible Scouts were sort of the spies of the Spiral. They were in all the dungeons where teachers can’t go with students.
“It’s still unfair,” she mumbles.
I brush a strand of purple hair out of my eyes. “Cheer up. At least it wasn’t us or anyone we knew. We can wait a month to get Storm Lord.”
“We don’t really have a choice do we.”
We finish our homework, by then its twilight and I have to go home. We say goodbye and I teleport to my home, my Massive Fantasy Palace. I make sure no bugs have infested my garden then go inside.
I give my pets some food then go down the transparent wall to my room. I let Zeus, my adult fierce hound, climb on to my bed while I get some pj’s on.
I shiver as a feeling of unease settles on my back. I stand still for a moment, listening. I expect to hear the low growl of a monster or the tap, tap, tap or claws. Or perhaps the trickle of water coming to drown me or the rolling of a bomb to explode me.
But I hear nothing. I sigh and shake away the feeling. It was silly. I climb into bed but don’t fall asleep.
The feeling keeps coming back.
After about an hour of restlessness I stand up. I pick up Zeus who whines in protest and bring him to the pet room. I drop him off there, go downstairs, grab the spare mattress, pull it up stairs and set it down under the big oak table. I feel instantly better surrounded by pets.
And I fall asleep pretty quickly.
My eyes snap open.
I look around. The sound is faint but there is something in my house that shouldn’t be there.
I slowly sit up. The pets are in the corner of the room growling in the direction of the downstairs stairwell.
I make my way to the transparent wall. I pass through it just as a black clad figure stomps up the stairs.
I cover my mouth and try not to gasp. The creature is about the size of a middle-aged man. He was dressed entirely in black, but the clothing seemed to be more like mummy wrappings than a shirt or pants. And it clung to him like a second skin.
But what really startled me, and what must be the culprit of the noise, was his nose. Or his mouth. It was hard to tell. Because a large snort about three feet long came from the middle of his face, just below two white marbles that must be eyes. It was narrow but then bulged out at the end like a bell.
Whenever it went–
–The bell end vibrated.
I backed away until I hit the cold wall. Then I turned and fled down the hall way as silently as I could. Frightened tears pushed at my eyes but I blinked them back.
What was that thing?
I skidded to a halt and tried not to breathe too loudly. Who had said my name?
I breathed a sigh of relief. It was only Llewella whisper chatting me. I would’ve known that had I not been so paranoid.
What? I responded.
Did you hear the Proclamation?
Huh? No. I just woke up.
Oh. Some novice told Ambrose that they saw some creepy person in black. So Ambrose declared that everyone has to stay in his or her houses.
I rushed to my closet and hid myself in there.
Well, I might have to break that proclamation. Seeing as that thing is in my house right now!
Wand twisters! Quick, teleport to me now!
I found Llewella Rubywater on my friend list and teleported to her. She had the Sultans Palace. I met by a blast of heat and rough sand. Faster than I thought wizardly possible I disabled anyone teleporting to me, whisper chatting me, and being able to track my teleportation.
I sat still, catching my breath.
“Fallon! Are you ok? Are you sure you saw it?”
I nodded. “It… it was black. Like that… other wizard said it looked like… I-I’m fine.”
“Merlin’s beard Fallon you must’ve had a scare. We have to tell Ambrose it can get to island houses!”
Llewella vanished in a puff of purple gray smoke and storm symbols with a crack like pop. I followed in suit. We dashed into Ambrose’s house.
“Fallon! Llewella! What are you doing here? Did you not hear the Proclamation?” demanded Ambrose as soon as we walked through the door.
“Headmaster sir. Fallon said the monster was in her house,” answered Llewella. “We decided to come to you. You should know after all.”
Ambrose nodded. “Is this true Fallon?” he asked turning to me.
I nodded. My breath still gone from the frightening experience.
“Well then, it seems that I have been forced to do the unthinkable,” mutters Ambrose. Did he mean he had to use Ancient Magic? We learned in school that the Headmaster could only use Ancient Magic in an emergency.
“I must use Ancient Magic.”
I knew it.
Ambrose went over the bookshelf and pulled out a think, dusty, old book. I recognized it as the Book of Secrets. It had the test that chose your school. Everyone knew about it.
He flipped to near the back, past the test pages. I always wondered what was in the back of the book. The page had many odd symbols on it.
“This has the spell of protection. But I cannot read it but I can translate it to the Wizard Language, which I can translate to something readable. But I can guarantee that it will bet the all-correct translation. It might take a few days but as long as the creature doesn’t make another attack we shall be fine.”
“Alright,” said Llewella. I said nothing. As I looked at the page the symbols began to rearrange themselves. They began to form words that I could read.
“It says words,” I say.
“Indeed it does Fallon, but none no one can read.”
“No. This says ‘two moon diamonds’ and this here says ‘one sphinx tongue.’” I grabbed a piece of paper and a quill and scribbled down the page in something readable.
Spells of Protection
To make a spell of protection, one must gather these ingredients for the basic protection. For a more advanced protection spell, one must only add the essence of the one whom they wish restrict from certain parts.
Two moon diamonds (for substance)
One tongue of a sphinx (for presence)
One eye of newt (for sight)
Three blades of Lethal Grass (for protection of presence)
Solid magic shields of each school (for protection of magic)
(Advanced: essence of one whom you wish to restrict)
I set the quill down. “That’s all it says.” I looked up at Llewella and Ambrose. They were looking at me like I had grown a second head and turned orange with blue spots and had the height of a Stormzilla.
“How did you know that? Last I knew you could barely read regular words! Now you’re reading Hyrosighns!” exclaims Llewella.
I shrug. “At least it’s better than a rough idea of what it says found over the period of a few days. Now we can get this stuff quicker.”
“Not so fast Fallon,” stopped Ambrose. “Do you even know what some of this stuff is?” I shook my head. Llewella did too. “Moon diamonds are extremely rare and can only be found in the Mines of Silence.”
The Mines of Silence were the mines where the Kroks used to make the Manders mine silver and pure ore. They have long since been blocked off and have been collapsing sometimes.
“And Lethal Grass is extinct. It used to grow in Dragonspyer but when the Titan army attacked and the whole place was destroyed , so was the Lethal Grass. That is impossible to find because there is none,” finished Ambrose. “Arthur Wethersfield might have eye of newt and tongue of sphinx. And we can get solid magic shields of every school but Balance because there is no shield for that school.”
“But couldn’t some family have an heir loom of Lethal Grass? I mean, there were people to lived back then. And some Mander family might have the diamond,” I protested.
Ambrose shook his head. “We know for fact those ingredients don’t exist. And even if some did exist what can we do about a Balance Shield?”
I sigh. “Fine whatever.” Paper still in hand I tracked back to my last teleportation, back to Llewella’s house. She soon appeared beside me.
“You just had to go and take the paper didn’t you?” she says.
I nod glumly. “Ambrose is wrong. I know two people who have a Moon Diamond and some left over Lethal Grass. As for the Balance shield, I think I can use that Tower Shield which activates for any school.”
“Well, if you say so.”
“I think that monster is after certain people. We have to protect Wizard City at all costs. And I think it might come after me again.”
“Alright. But I’m coming with you.”
“Of course you are. The people are your parents.”
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