|Sorry for leaving you off there Olivia. I got your letter so at least now I know someone is reading this. Hope your leg is feeling better? Maybe you can explain how you got my message earlier after though. Anyways, back to Wizard City. Let me fill in on what I left off.
As soon as the words left Autumn's lips, my heart stopped. It literally stopped beating. I'd never felt that sensation at all through my lifetime. My body went all cold inside as I held my breath. Must've had the same effect on Brian. His face was pretty pale.
"You guys-," said Autumn, but she was cut off as Brian and I ran back to the Commons.
We hurdled past annoyed wizards who got bumped in the process, but I didn't care. I guess some jerk must've stuck out his foot, because then I found myself kissing the dirt on the ground.
I cussed softly.
My brother came to my side.
"You ok?" he asked.
I nodded. Nothing much, just a scratch maybe. I stood up and brushed off some remaining particles of dirt on my robes.
"I should've known you were a klutz as well, novice," a familiar gruff voice snarled.
It was Matt, still mounted on his tiger. His guys were blocking the tunnel to the Commons.
"Move it! We don't have time to play tag with you and your pals," I exclaimed.
Matt was surprised by my aggression. But he scowled and warned, "Nobody..tells...me....what...to...do!"
He got off his mount.
I stood my ground. Probably the stupidest thing I'd done in my life.
We were soon engaged in a physical battle. No wands or spells. Just our fists.
I ducked as he tried to swing his left at my face. Like a bull, he came charging back at me the instant I moved.
"Fight, Fight, Fight!" encouraged the crowd that formed around us.
"That all you got you wuss? Come face me for real!" he yelled.
"You asked for it," I growled as I swung at his face.
The impact of the blow sent him sprawled on the ground. Dang, I admit that my knuckles were sore.
Never fought in my life. So you can say how scared I felt.
I turned to face Matt. He had gotten up quick.
I noticed his eyes had turned into a bright red, no pupil. It was as if he was possessed.
He got up on his tiger and came pouncing straight for me. I had no time to react.
There was a flash of orange and black. Maybe I screamed, I couldn't recall. But heck did it hurt! Little did I know a 500 pound tiger was sitting on me. My stomach shot up to my throat as I felt a thousand sharp claws grasp into my chest. I tried to take a breath, but something pulled me back inside.
"Blaze!" cried Autumn.
I instantly felt the restrainment fade away from me as Matt steered his tiger off my body. I tried to stand up, but my chest hurt. I grasped my hand to it and realized my robe was stained with blood.
"I-I didn't mean to.." Matt's voice trailed off. He was pale as he backed away with disbelief at the sight of my blood.
"Matthew DragonRider, you're in complete violation of the Wizard Code Rule 56: Never injure a fellow wizard unless you're engaged in an arena match," spoke a rusty male voice.
So that's his last name! I thought.
I turned my head to look. It was a zebra! He wore a beige Australian style jacket, pants, shoes, and a cowboy hat while fumbling with a long, narrow gun resting on his shoulder.
"Sir Reginald Baxby, I-I swear I didn't mean it!" stuttered Matt. He was shaking all over, his golden eyes wide open.
Funny..his eyes, they're back to normal.
"Sure you did," said Baxby, the words dripping with sarcasm. He suddenly aimed his gun in the direction of Matt.
"Wait..what are you doing?!" cried Matt. His face gave away everything: Fear.
"Errgh, you might wanna move your ol' bum now kid," groaned the zebra.
I saw Matt step away to the left towards Torrence, the Storm tree. I then saw what the Reginald was aiming for. His tiger.
It was sort of getting around antsy. The agitated feline was now trying to paw at a group of wizards while growling ferociously.
"Wait! Don't hurt her!" Matt cried in protest.
A small dart shot from Sir Reginald's gun and caught onto the tiger's fur deep in the skin.
"No worries mate, just a lil' sleeping dart to calm her down," reassured Baxby.
"Eh..ok," muttered Matt unsure.
I watched as Baxby ordered Matt to take his tiger back to his house to rest up.
"We were leaving?" asked Brian, tugging at my arm.
My brother helped me up while hooking my left arm around his shoulder to help me walk. I continued to grasp my hand to my chest where the tiger had left the bloody gore.
We stepped into the tunnel back towards the Commons slowly. Pitch dark, but I still could make out a faint screaming as we drawed closer to the end.
I shook my head in disbelief as we exited Ravenwood.
Ambrose was outside the gates to his house, many wizards cowering behind him.
"Malistaire, you do not belong here! Leave at once!" Ambrose ordered.
The dark lord sneered at the headmaster.
"No need to worry old man. I just wanted to show two particular wizards their fate very soon if they try to interfere with my plans," Malistaire said.
He turned his head towards our direction. A slim smile creased on his wrinkled face.
Ambrose looked in his direction. When he saw us, he was shocked. Leave! His old face seemed to beckon.
"Oh don't worry. They won't be leaving. Not after seeing this!" Malistaire cried.
He lifted his golden-black staff. A black aura circled the dragon figurine. A black cosmos seemed to appear suddenly, a bright black light blinded the whole of Wizard City.
And then it stopped.
As the light faded, a human figure seemed to float next to Malistaire. No..there were two!
I finally realized in horror.
It was Dad, with Uncle Sean.
They were unconscious.
"Let them go!" I shouted. My voice echoed through the eerie Commons.
"As you wish," Malistaire snickered.
The two floating bodies suddenly plunged into the lake. The same crystal-blue lake I saw that morning, now a death trap for my dad and uncle.
But something happened afterwards. Don't let me freak you out.
A dragon-like creature then seemed to appear out of thin air! He charged at the frothy lake and appeared shortly afterwards holding the two unconscious bodies.
"What in the name of Bartelby is happening?" Malistaire screeched in protest.
The red beast then slowly hovered to the ground on the left side of the lake. Suddenly, a group of wizards cloaked in white stood behind him. He set Dad and uncle down gently.
The draconian's orange eyes then stared at Malistaire, hard.
"Remember us?" he said slyly. A yellow forked tongue slithered out.
"No..it can't be. Keira is dead! Your organization still can't possibly be held!" Malistaire was really shocked.
"Or can't it?"
One of the white-cloaked wizards stepped towards Malistaire slowly.
He pulled back his hood.
A serious face appeared. He must have been only around 19, with a short black Mohawk. He had lots of piercing.
"Nexas..I thought you were dead," Malistaire spat out.
"Yea, don't believe whatever the kiddies tell you back home, 'k?" Nexas said.
He suddenly unsheathed a broad silver sword, stained with blotches of red.
His tone, his attitude..why did it remind me so much of one person?
"You think you can beat me with Corwin of Amber's petty little toy you call a blade?"
Nexas clenched his teeth.
"You'll take that back!"
He drawed the sword and shouted, "Greyswandir'!"
A black flame suddenly engulfed the blade. Several blood-red characters engraved onto the side glowed brightly as Nexas sprang up and lifted his sword to hack off Malistaire's head.
A lethal move..but Malistaire was quick.
He lifted up his staff and blocked the blow in the midsection of the weapon.
Laughing out loud, Malistaire shouted some spell I couldn't identify, "Thanatos!"
Nexas was pushed back harshly from a force that came out of the staff. He landed on the draconian, who in return, grunted in pain.
"I'll be back to finish all of you! One after another," Malistaire said.
He lifted his staff and disappeared.
A long silence filled the Commons.
I looked at Brian, but his attention was to something else.
I stared in his direction which was at Nexas and the draconian.
I suddenly remembered.
"Wait!" I ran toward them.
But it was too late.
The whole white-cloaked group, including Nexas and the draconian, disappeared, dragging the unconscious bodies of Sean and Dad.
I stomped up to Merle Ambrose, who, at the time, was trying to calm everyone down.
"Listen old man," I said, pointing a finger angrily at him, "I want to know where the h*** my dad and uncle were taken!"
The headmaster gave a look of disapproval, probably from my language, but replied, "That group you just saw are called 'The White Gems'. For years now, they have been fighting secretly behind the shadows against Malistaire, trying to obtain any bits of information of his plans. Where they abide, I'm not sure. But, I do know for a fact that Nexas, one of the best assassins of the group, hangs around in the Death Tower at Nightside."
I rolled my eyes.
"Ok, great, but how the heck am I supposed to get to Nightrealm, or whatever it's called?"
"Nightside," Ambrose corrected me, "is a hidden cave of some sorts hidden behind the waterfall behind you."
I turned around.
Sure enough, there was a cobblestone bridge leading to Unicorn Way with a massive waterfall to the right.
"How do I get in?" I asked.
"You don't," answered Ambrose solemnly.
"Whad' you mean?" I said angrily.
The old man pulled at his beard thoughtfully.
"I won't say any more until you have defeated Nightshade. Otherwise, you won't find any more information elsewhere."
He walked back into his house slowly.
I walked away angrily towards the bridge.
Ignoring everyone, including my brother, I heard the crowd diminish slowly as time flew by.
As I began throwing pebbles into the lake, watching the small ripples, I didn't hear Autumn coming near.
"Lighten up," she spoke casually.
I shook my head.
"If you're trying to make me feel better, it's not working."
She crept up behind me.
I didn't mind much, until I was suddenly shoved over the bridge.
As I resurfaced, I could only hear the annoying laughter of Autumn as I coughed up water.
"What the heck was that for?" I shouted.
Recovering from her laughter, she said, "Couldn't find any other way to cheer you up. You won't accomplish anything to finding your father and uncle by standing around you know."
"Hmph," I grunted as I got out of the water and tried to squeeze the excess water from my soaking robes, "You could've showed it in a lighter way."
All the teenager did was smile.
"C'mon. Take Brian with you," she said.
I quickly found him near Prospector Zeke, who was supposed to be a merchant/traveler of some sort.
"Where we going?" Brian asked, confused, as we caught up to Autumn.
"We're gonna get some quests done. Like I said, you're wasting your time standing around like idiots."
She disappeared into the gate to Unicorn Way.
"Well, we better get going," I nudged Brian.
We both followed Autumn.
I felt a new sense of security now.
Maybe I'd find Dad and Uncle Sean after all.