|It was a warm, dry, sunny day in Krokotopia (like any other day) and I was headed to the Krokosphinx when Rowan Willowleaf’s voice echoed around me. “Sierra, will you help me with a boss?”
I was startled. I still hadn’t quite gotten used to whisper chat, which you could use to talk to anyone from anywhere in the Spiral.
“Sure, I guess I could. Is it in Marleybone again?” My sister was ahead of me by a lot. I had no idea when it had happened, but she had suddenly gone on a leveling-up spree and gained at least 10 levels ahead of me. She had already beat Krokotopia and was now almost in MooShu.
“Nope, this time it’s to help this random girl that I met in the Temple of Storms.”
The Temple of Storms was still in Krokotopia. I could do that!
“Sure, I’ll be there soon.”
I got a few potions and teleported to her.
In front of me was Krokopatra. She was who you had to beat to get in to Marleybone! I wondered how many times she had been defeated. Surely thousands of times, because of all the students wanting to desperately get away from this desert. I wanted to get away from this desert.
I looked around and saw three other girls next to me. Sydney Jadehammer was there, and of course Rowan was too. There was also a girl that I didn’t recognize, yet somehow she still seemed familiar…
On the first turn, the girl I didn’t know used ice wyvern. Did that mean she was ice? After a while of battling with her I found out that it must have been true. She used steal ward and frostbite, two spells that only an ice wizard could know.
Well, there went my hopes of already finding the next Seeker. If she had been the storm Seeker, then that may have explained the reason why she felt so familiar. So, this was actually normal. Who was she?
With four of us dueling, we easily defeated Krokopatra and her minions. I got the Hero of Krokotopia badge. Awesome! I was a hero before I was even past the Krokosphinx.
The other girls were also examining their badges and new items. Rowan had gotten a new pet! He looked exactly like a blood bat, but was called something else.
I walked over to the other girl. She looked so happy. And who wouldn’t be in her situation? I knew that everyone here was always thrilled at first when they were let into Krokotopia, but after a while they realized that they were at the bottom. Marleybone, MooShu, and Dragonspyre were just so much better than the place they were stuck in.
I held out my hand to her. “My name is Sierra Winterbreeze. What’s yours?”
“Sierra… what?” She looked up at me.
“Winterbreeze.” Her face looked shocked when I said that name. “What? Is something wrong?”
At first she looked as if she were about to say something, but then she shook her head. “Never mind. I just thought it sounded, uh, familiar…”
Strange, she felt like she knew me too. Maybe we really did know each other! “So what’s your name?” I questioned.
“I’m Jasmine,” she answered. “Jasmine Iceflame.”
Just then it hit me. Jasmine Iceflame! She was that girl I had bumped into on that first day in Wizard City. “Jasmine,” I gasped, “We do know each other! Remember, that one day that I bumped into you? You graduated to Apprentice Ice Magic that same day.”
Her eyes lit up. “I… I think I remember that!” she exclaimed.
“Why wouldn’t you? It wasn’t that long ago.”
“But, uh, well…” she glanced around nervously.
“She lost her memory a little while ago in a terrible accident,” explained Rowan for her.
I gasped. “Oh no, that’s horrible! I’m so sorry!”
“But this is good! I remember that day. Most of the time if I met a new person that I’d seen before, I wouldn’t remember them. All I could remember from the accident were important things. Like my parents and my home, and the names of the worlds in the Spiral. But I couldn’t remember anyone other than that and my best friends, and the headmaster and Professor Greyrose. I couldn’t even remember the school’s name! But I’ve relearned those things since then. I just can’t believe that I can remember you…”
That was strange. How could she remember me and not even the school’s teachers? I knew what the little voice inside of me wanted to say: magic. But being from Earth I still could hardly believe that I was a wizard, let alone all the extra stuff.
“What’s going on over here?” Sydney asked as she came over.
“Nothing, it’s just that Jasmine and I met long ago.”
“Really?” Sydney looked at Jasmine. “You didn’t, you know… remember her did you?” Apparently she knew about the accident too.
“Strange,” she said with a frown.
“Um, Sierra…” Jasmine began. Then she shook her head. “Never mind. It was nothing important.”
I wondered what she had been about to say.
Jasmine turned to the others. “I’m going to go complete this quest, okay? See you in Marleybone!” She ran off.
Rowan turned to me. “So you met Jasmine before?”
“Yep, she was one of the first students I met here,” I told her.
Sydney was staring at me in surprise now for some reason.
I curiously glanced at her. Why was she so shocked?
“Hey, Sierra, can I talk to you?” Sydney said.
“Sure, what is it?”
She looked at Rowan. “I meant alone.”
“Why?” Rowan asked, offended.
“It’s just… she doesn’t know about Seekers, does she?” Sydney questioned me.
“No, is that what this is about?”
“Okay Rowan, you’d better go then.”
“But I want to know what a seeker is!” she protested. But with a stern glance from me, her older sister, she angrily stomped out of the room.
As soon as she was gone, Sydney became excited. “Did you just say that Jasmine was one of the first students you met?”
“Yeah. So what?”
“Don’t you get it? The dragon said that’s who we needed! One of the first students you met in Wizard City. That might be her!”
My eyes lit up. “You’re totally right! I wonder if she knows Victoria-”
“Sierra, look!” She pointed to my neck. I looked down and saw my sapphire necklace, the one the dragon had given me, was glowing. That could only mean one thing. I looked up at Sydney and saw that hers was shining too.
“Sydney…” I said worriedly.
“I know.” She grabbed my arm and we began running. Last time this had happened, Malistaire’s minions were by us. We didn’t want to meet them again.
But before we could even step out of Krokopatra’s room, suddenly the same tube of wind that always surrounds us when we teleport came around us.
“We’re teleporting!” Sydney shouted.
Then, we appeared in a huge, dry desert.
But this was nothing like Krokotopia. There were cacti around us and the sun was burning, if possible, hotter than Krokotopian sun.
“Where are we?” Sydney wondered. I was thinking the same thing. What had just happened to us?
“Here, I’ll try to teleport out,” I told her. But no matter how hard I tried, nothing happened. “Uh Sydney… I think we’re stuck.”
“No!” she cried. “No, that can’t be!” She was about to try to teleport herself when suddenly Rowan appeared in front of us, looking dazed. Then Jasmine materialized next to her, equally surprised.
“Sydney? Sierra?” said a bewildered Rowan. “What’s going on?”
“We were just wondering ourselves,” I replied.
After everyone tried to teleport, we decided to walk somewhere instead of standing still. So, we wandered around for a little, before realizing that it was getting nowhere. When I was just about to give up, we heard a roaring sound above us. We looked to the sky and saw something very mysterious.
“Wh- what is that?” said a terrified Sydney. The other two were also scared, but I was not. Only dumbfounded.
The thing above us was a helicopter.
But from experience I knew that the closest thing in the Spiral to helicopters were the flying machines in Marleybone. The only other place I had seen this was on Earth. But we couldn’t be there.
After many hours of traveling though the boring desert landscape, we saw houses.
“Look!” exclaimed Jasmine, noticing them.
“It must be a city!” said Sydney excitedly.
“Then what are we waiting for?” I said, also thankful for the resting place, “Let’s go!”
We ran to the small town. It looked old, and like nothing I had ever seen in Wizard City. There were people walking around, but they looked nothing like wizards. Again I wondered if we could be on Earth. I hoped not. I didn’t have the best memories from here.
A small girl of about 6 years old came up to us. “Welcome to our town!” she greeted. “We don’t have many visitors.” Then she examined us. “What are you wearing? Do you come from somewhere far away?”
That was it. We must be on Earth. But still, how? “You could say that,” I answered.
“Cool!” she exclaimed. She walked up to Rowan and tugged on her robes. “Green is my favorite color,” she said.
“Really?” she said. “Mine too! What kind of wizard do you want to be when you go to school?”
“Uh, Rowan…” I began.
“Wizard? What do you mean?” the little girl inquired. “And I already go to school.”
“Nothing, she’s just, uh, crazy.” I pulled Rowan away.
Rowan glared at me and pulled her arm free. To the little girl, she said “How would you like to see my latest spell?”
“Spell? Like a magic trick? Sure!”
“Ok, watch.” Rowan took out her wand and drew the life symbol in the air.
“Wow! Awesome!” the girl exclaimed.
“That’s not the end,” smiled Rowan. She activated the symbol, and an angel appeared in the air: the spell, seraph.
Then the girl’s enjoyment turned to fear as the seraph drew her sword. She began backing away, and then turned around and ran. “Help! Weird angel thing with scary sword on the loose! It’s going to kill us!”
Rowan was shocked. “But the girl was so excited just a moment ago! And it’s only the spell seraph! Doesn’t everyone know that?”
I gently placed a hand on her shoulder. “Rowan… everyone… I think I know where we are.”
Cries of disbelief such as “What?”, “Really?”, and “Why didn’t you tell us?” rang throughout the crowd of my three friends.
“Yes,” I said. “I think we’re on Earth.”
“Earth?” Sydney repeated. “What’s an ‘Earth’?”
“Isn’t that the place that the headmaster said something about when you came here?” Rowan said.
“Yep,” I told her, “This is the place that I was stuck in until, thankfully, Ambrose came and saved me.”
“How’d we get here?”Jasmine asked.
“I have absolutely no clue,” I replied sadly. “But to fit in, we need to get rid of these clothes. And no magic.”
“How come! We need our spells to protect each other!” protested Rowan.
“I know, but don’t worry, I survived all those years without magic and I’m fine.”
“So you lived in a desert before all that time?”
“No, of course not! Not all of Earth is a desert.”
“See my point? It’s dangerous in a desert.”
I was so frustrated. “Fine, if you want to scare everyone like that poor little girl, then be my guest. I don’t care. But if we want a place to sleep, then we’d better go to that hotel over there.”
Unfortunately, we didn’t have any money. That meant no hotel room for us. There was only one other place that I could think of going to, one that didn’t cost any money. But I didn’t have very nice memories there and wasn’t exactly eager to go back.
Since I was the only one who knew Earth and I couldn’t think of anything else, we had to go there if we didn’t want to sleep in the desert. But the orphanage probably wasn’t anywhere near here. How could we get there? The only answer I could think of was to teleport.
I explained to my friends that they should try to teleport to me if I didn’t come back. I was going to teleport to the orphanage. I guessed that we couldn’t teleport out of here, but maybe we could inside of it.
When I tried, believe it or not, it worked! Soon my three other friends appeared beside me, and we were standing in the exact same spot I had been when I had left for Wizard City. I looked down at my clothes and smiled. I wondered what John would think of my story.
We walked up to the door and knocked. Pretty soon one of the caretakers of the orphanage opened the door. When he realized it was me, he was shocked.
“S-Sierra, where d-did you come from?” he stammered. “You’re back!”
“Yep, and we need somewhere to stay.” I had wished it would be one of the other caretakers or the owners that had opened the door. I didn’t particularly like this guy. He was just as afraid of me as the kids.
“When… but how… where…” He shook his head. “Who are they?” He gestured to my friends.
“These are Sydney Jadehammer, Jasmine Iceflame, and my sister, Rowan Willowleaf.”
“Your sister!” he repeated in shock. “How did you meet her?”
“None of your business! We just need a place to stay. Although this isn’t the best, it’s better than sleeping out in the middle of the desert.”
I sighed. “Please, we need a place to sleep.”
The caretaker hesitated, but finally agreed. “But in the morning you have to answer my questions,” he told us as we walked in.
“Fine, which room should we sleep in?” I asked.
“You can just sleep in yours.”
“No one has taken it?”
“No. All the other kids think it is haunted. We had no idea where you were, so some thought you were dead and haunted your room. It always has been much colder in there than any of the other rooms, so I’m not surprised.”
We began to walk up the stairs, but when we were about to turn into my room we heard a voice behind us. “So, Strange Sierra is back.”
We turned around and I saw the one boy that I hated most out of this entire orphanage: John.
He had always loved to pull pranks on me and tease me for my weirdness. He had always called me Strange Sierra and was the tattle tale that revealed all my mess-ups with magic.
“Hello John. Nice to see you again,” I said sarcastically.
“Who are they?” he asked pointing to my friends.
“Why does everyone care about who they are so much? This is Sydney Jadehammer, Journeyman Pyromancer; Jasmine Iceflame, Adept Thaumaturge; and my sister, Rowan Willowleaf, Adept Theurgist. And in case you want to know, I’m Sierra Winterbreeze, level 19 Journeyman Thaumaturge.”
John just stared at me in disbelief.
“If you don’t mind, I’m going into my room now,” I told him. I turned and walked in.
The lumpy and uncomfortable bed I had slept on so often was still there. Everything was just as I had left it.
“We need some more beds,” I commented, noticing that there was only one.
We walked back out into the hallway, and John was still standing there.
“Listen Sierra, I have a, um… offer.”
“What kind of offer?” I questioned.
“How about we have a prank contest? It starts at midnight, and since its nine now you have three hours to get everything together.”
After considering it for a moment, I turned to my friends and consulted them. When I finally got them to understand what a “prank” was, they agreed to help me do the biggest prank ever on John.
With a smile, I told him, “Ok. Good luck.” We shook hands on it.
We walked back in my room and I turned to Sydney, Rowan, and Jasmine. “Listen, we have a lot of work to do guys. John has always enjoyed midnight tricks, so we have to somehow set up a trap for him when he tries to get us.”
“Can we please use our magic for this?” Rowan pleaded.
“Well, I guess for some parts but I already have an idea of what I want to do. For the most part, we’ll be sticking to the classics.”
It took us the entire three hours to set it up. While Rowan, Sydney, and I worked on it, Jasmine went off to spy on John to make sure he wasn’t planning anything that could throw us off.
At about eleven o’clock, Jasmine came back and reported that he had fallen asleep. “Perfect! Now we can sneak into his room without him noticing.” So silently Sydney and I tip-toed in and placed everything in exactly the right position, triple and even quadruple checking that everything was ready. At 12 o’clock, we got into our own positions and ready for the laugh of our life.
Right on cue, John’s alarm went off. I knew he had been planning on waking up to prank us at night! He yawned, and still half asleep slipped on his slippers at the bottom of his bed. But when he stood up, he slipped and fell. I had to restrain myself from giggling so we wouldn’t be given away. He had fallen because Jasmine had coated his floor in ice.
He stood up rubbing his head just to fall over again. Using his bed for support, he inched toward the door and opened it, activating the trap we had set on it. A bucket of ice, courtesy of me, landed on his head and cracked open, melting into icy cold water right on his head. It wiped away any remains of sleep.
Trying to get his bearings, he stepped back right onto the sponges we had placed there for him. Because of the ice and bucket of water, he slid right across the floor into the stair railing. He got up and panicked, afraid of what might happen next. He tried to run, but Rowan summoned a bunch of vines to rise out of the ground and keep him still. It was only to scare him, not to hurt him. When he tried to scream, Rowan covered his mouth.
Sydney then teamed up with Rowan to create an enormous meteor shower. Just as he was about to be hit, Rowan released him from her vines’ grip and he dodged the incoming meteors. He began yelling, and curious children poked their heads out the door and gasped. John was so busy looking over his shoulder at the meteor shower that he didn’t notice that he was headed straight towards a swimming pool filled with glue that we had set there just for him.
He splashed into it and was covered in the white glue. Now almost everyone down the hallway was looking at John, who now could not be identified. I signaled to Jasmine, and she activated a fan to blow a bunch of sunbird feathers onto him, which stuck because of the glue. We hadn’t had enough time to gather regular earth bird feathers from outside, but luckily Sydney had some sunbird feathers with her from Wizard City so we used those.
Then someone yelled out, “AH! IT’S AN ESCAPED MUTANT BIRD FROM THE CIRCUS!”
Everyone around John began to back away.
“What are you talking about? It’s me, Jo-“
Then the same caretaker that had opened the door for us rounded the corner, carrying a shovel. “No mutant birds will get into this orphanage!” he hollered, heading straight to John.
“But wait! I’m not a mutant bird!”
But the caretaker didn’t listen and began whacking him with the shovel.
All the while the other kids were saying, “Is it dead yet, sir?” or “How did it get here?” and Rowan, Sydney, Jasmine, and I were sitting there with broad grins on our faces, trying extremely hard not to laugh.
“Please! It’s me, John! Please!”
Finally, the caretaker stopped. “John? That’s you? But how did this happen?”
“I’m not completely sure. There was this meteor shower, and an icy floor, and…”
But John didn’t even have to finish. Already the entire orphanage was staring right at me. When I looked to my friends for support, they were all pointing at me. In exasperation I said, “He started it!”
The caretaker sighed. “Sierra, when are you going to learn? You must control your strange, uh… powers.”
“I just can’t help it! I’m sorry,” I said trying to put on my innocent face.
“Fine,” he said in a huff. “But I need you to answer my questions then.”
“First of all, where have you been?”
“Uh… with my family.”
“Your family!?” he exclaimed. “Where do they live? I can drive you there! Your friends too!”
“I’m sorry, but it’s not a place you can drive to.”
“Then where is it?”
I was thinking quickly, and decided upon the first place I could think of: “Antarctica.”
“Antarctica? But I thought people can’t live in Antarctica!”
“Well, that’s where I’m from.”
He looked skeptical, but only said, “Because of what you’ve done, you must be punished. I’m sorry, but we can’t keep you in here. You will have to sleep outside as punishment.”
“What!” I exclaimed.
“And your friends too, if they helped.”
“But he said he wanted a prank contest! We were only trying to win!”
“Sierra, you know better than that! Life isn’t all about winning.”
“Yeah, it’s about loving and caring for plants and the world around you.” Rowan said. I glared at her. “What? Did I say something wrong? That was the right answer though. I would know, since I’m a life wizard.”
“That’s not the kind of life he was talking about,” I said through gritted teeth.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard we argued, we got nowhere. Soon enough I found my friends and I sitting outside in the cold. To make matters worse, it had began to rain. I wished we had already met the storm Seeker so they could make the rain go away.
But we had to accommodate. I wished we had at least thought about getting some blankets.
Then, almost as if I summoned him with my wishes, a boy appeared in the doorway. He was a handsome boy with dark hair and green eyes. He came bearing warm, heavy blankets and pillows. I rushed over to him. “Did you bring those for us?” I asked.
“Of course I did. Do you see any other kids out here that might need them?”
I took them greedily, and with a nod I thanked him.
“By the way,” he said, gesturing to Jasmine’s entirely white robes, “those went out of style in Wizard City years ago. Red is the new white.”
“But I’m an ice wizard, and our traditional colors are-“
“Wait a minute. Did you just say… Wizard City?” I inquired.
“But how could you know about it?” I gasped.
“Because, I’m Seth Goldenblood, and I’m a level 8 Apprentice Pyromancer.”
“But how did you get here?”
He shrugged. “I’m guessing Malistaire did it. My parents were interfering with his ‘plans’ as he called them. He told them to stop, but since they didn’t even know what they were supposed to stop, they couldn’t. Malistaire threatened to kill me, and one day he appeared in front of me and suddenly I was here, right outside the orphanage. I’m so glad my parents finally sent someone to save me! Now everything is going to be okay.” He smiled warmly at us.
“Um, Seth, right? Uh well…” I began.
He scanned our unsmiling faces. “That is why you’re here, isn’t it?” When we didn’t reply, he slumped down on the front steps in disbelief. “But… I was so sure that I was going home…”
“I’m sorry Seth, but we’re just as stuck here as you are.” I sat down next to him. Poor guy! Obviously as an apprentice, he must have just started Ravenwood. Then he was torn from his family. I sincerely wished there was some way we could help him.
“Seth, if you need some other wizards to talk to, we’ll be right here,” I told him.
He smiled feebly at me. “Thank you. What’s your name again?”
“I’m Sierra Winterbreeze.”
“Nice to meet you.” He looked around the front yard of the orphanage and at the pouring rain. “You know, I think I’ll stay out here for a little while if that’s alright with you.”
“Sure!” I said. “Stay as long as you want.”
He laid down next to us. Actually, I was surprised that he had decided to sit with us. After all, we were all girls. He was the only boy here. But he acted as if he hadn’t noticed.
I was just drifting off into sleep when the wind and rain had suddenly stopped. It was so sudden that it woke me up. As I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and looked around, I saw that all my friends, including Seth, had also been awakened by this strange phenomenon. What could be happening? Then we heard the loud windy noise that always occurred when someone was teleporting, and all of us turned around just in time to see Angela Unicornrider, Caleb Frostsong, and some other man who was dressed in purple robes appear. I estimated from the mysterious man’s color in robes that he had been the storm wizard who’d stopped the rain.
“Mom! Dad!” Rowan cried. She ran up to hug them.
“Dad?” said Jasmine in surprise, running up to greet the storm wizard.
“Hello my little Jasmine,” he said with a kind smile.
“What’s going on?” asked Seth.
“Seth,” I said, turning to him, “these are my parents.”
“Oh!” he exclaimed. “H-hello, Sierra’s parents.”
After the happy reunion was done though, my parents switched to lecture mode. “You had us so worried!” my mother fumed.
“Yes, and you’ve been using magic for your own personal purposes, and, to make it worse, in the presence of humans!” my father scolded.
“We’re sorry!” I said.
“Jasmine, you should know better. I’m going to have to tell your mom,” her father said. Jasmine just lowered her head in shame.
“And Sydney,” said Angela facing Sydney, “we’ll need to tell your parents. Where do they live?”
Rowan, Jasmine, and I laughed but of course my parents didn’t get it.
My parents explained that since our powers weren’t fully developed yet, we couldn’t teleport from Earth. So with their help, we returned home.
I got to meet Seth’s parents. He was fire, but both of his parents and his younger brother, Quinn Spiritflame, were ice. They were so happy to finally have their oldest son back. I promised to come and visit. It’s too bad that I knew that Seth couldn’t possibly be a Seeker, because we already had Sydney as our fire Seeker.
When I got back home, I found Jasmine waiting for me with Sydney next to her. “Hi guys!” I said happily. “I’m so glad to be home.”
“So am I,” said Jasmine. “And now I can go to Marleybone!” Then she stopped herself and looked straight at me. “But Sierra… there’s something I should have told you before. I almost did, but I stopped myself.”
“What?” I asked curiously.
“Well… bumping into you that one day wasn’t the only time I remembered you from.”
“Really?” I said, suddenly very interested.
“Yes. The other time I heard from you was actually from my friend. It was the same day as the accident, I believe. I was only an initiate back then. She was a powerful storm wizard, but she wanted to get out of Krokotopia like the rest of us and get into Marleybone. So, with the new spell Kraken she just learned, she broke open the door to the Temple of Storms. But when we went inside, there was this huge triton in there instead, and the entire building had changed. They told her that she was a, uh… not sure. A ‘looker’ or something.” Sydney and I exchanged astonished glances. She couldn’t have meant Seekers, could she? “Anyway, the triton said that we had to find you for some reason. I didn’t understand, but somehow Victoria seemed to completely comprehend what it said. So we were looking for you, until we got in that accident…”
“Yeah, about that. What kind of accident was it?”
“It was actually in Marleybone. The triton let her into Marleybone for a while, and we were on one of those flying machines when it crashed.”
“And wait a minute. What did you say your friends name was?”
“That’s her, Sierra!” Sydney cried out with joy. “Wasn’t that the storm Seeker?”
“Seeker? Oh yeah! That is what they were called!”
“So Victoria was already awakened?” I said.
“Yeah, that was also what it was called! She had to ‘awaken’ you!” Then Jasmine gasped. “Does that mean that she already helped you?”
“No, it means I helped myself.” I replied. “Now why haven’t we met Victoria if she’s already a Seeker of Light?”
Jasmine turned pale. “Well… she lost her memory as well, and I doubt she remembers that day.”
“Oh.” I said. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go awaken the storm Seeker!”
“But it’s late!” Jasmine whined. “Why do we have to go now?”
“Fine, we’ll go in the morning,” I grumbled obviously not happy.
At least now I have something to look forward to.