Saturday, January 1, 2011

HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND MERRY 2011! (Or is it the other way around...)


MERRY 2011!

Dis calls for celebration...

For those of you TNM fans...

De WHOLE of Part 9! I'm working on  Part 10 as I speak, and I'm about 1/3 or 1/2 or 1/4 through it. I think more around the lines of a third or a fourth, but oh well.

If you've read most of this, just skim down to the part you're on and start from there.

Da Seagem

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Necromancer's Matter, Part 9; A Glitch in Time

"The newspaper archives are right this way," The wizard library volunteer said.
"Thanks," Destiny said.
Ever since Noah had revealed that Marcus was his great-granddad, she had been researching him, looking for any hints that could be useful. From Noah's knowledge she had learned that Marcus was an only child and had lived until he was sixteen years old. He was a very advanced student that even Dragonspyre Academy was impressed with, and she knew they were strict when it came to students. His academic level was so high that he constantly made newspapers, them saying how great and dedicated he was. She was mainly scanning for any hints of Legendary Wizards activity.
Destiny walked through the archieves hall, scanning the newspapers that were printed when Marcus was alive. Destiny chose a few months worth of newspapers and looked until she found something:  

A New Age of Wizards

Recently, there have been some advanced students making their way towards the highest academic achievement possible. There are some very dedicated students in which have made the honor roll so many time in which they have to be reconized for their strong efforts.

Destiny leafed through the biographies for dedicated students until she came across Marcus:

Marcus Dawngem
Marcus is a fellow fire student who has achieved honors since he was seven. His extrodinary ablities for Fire Magic has allowed him to rise up and up until he has gotten to where he is now: at the top of Dragonspyre Academy. "He always studies hard and tries his best," Says his sister, Cassandra Spellfountain, adept thautamerge.

Destiny read on the biography and other newspaper articles until she came across a newspaper with an interesting header:

Dawngem Fades

Fellow wizards, old and young, grandmaster and novice, are now saddened by the shock of the sudden death of Marcus Dawngem, at the age of sixteen. The high-achieving grandmaster fire student was found in his room, lying on the floor, stone dead. His eyes were wide open along with his mouth, but no one has any idea why this sudden tragedy has taken its toll. "He was just fine the day before," His family claims. "Then all of a sudden, he goes into his room, and he stays there for hours. We call him to dinner, and when he didn't come, we rushed to investigate. And there he was, just dead. We have no idea why all of a sudden, this, this ordeal for us is taking place!"
For those who don't know who Marcus is, he was a high-ranked fire student. At novice his professor could see just what Marcus held in store. "He was so bright," Professor Firestone, teacher of Fire, said. "I could instantly tell that he was so capable of many things. It is a great loss to have such a young and brilliant mind lost."
Marcus reached apprentice soon, then became initiate in a matter of days. In just two months, at the age of nine, Marcus was a grandmaster and unbelievably, still moving. During his lifetime he has achieved countless honors since the age of eight. "I honestly think he had more then the capacity to become a future teacher of Dragonspyre Academy," Shares his friend, Patrick Thundershard, master diviner. "He even tried to create his own spells! Even though we were best buds, I always looked up to him. Even at death, I still do."
We will all mourn the loss of Marcus Dawngem. Funeral services will be conducted at the Dawngem home, next friday starting at 10:00 am.

Destiny had never realized how much even she was saddened until now. She could tell that everyone had had high expectations of him. Then all of a sudden he was gone. Sighing heavily, she cleaned up the newspaper articles and put them back in place. Destiny picked up her Scavenger's Staff of Sagas and exited the library. She was also now level 23, wore the Initiate's Uniform, was still sticking with the Onyx Studded Boots, and was really proud of her hat, the Animated Tri-Corn. It was a rare item and was no longer sold.
Nikki fluttered up to her. I read most of the article, She said. Until you put them away. It's kinda sad, isn't it?
Destiny nodded. "It is indeed,"  
Well, I meant you putting away the articles, actually, Nikki admitted.
Destiny glared at Nikki.
Kidding, Nikki muttered. Take a joke, will you?
"The death of someone that great isn't a joke," Destiny said as she exited the library.

Jessica sneaked behind the houses in the Commons as she eyed her target.
Her eyes followed the thautamerge around, and when Sophia stopped at Zeke and Eloise, Jessica closed in a little to hear the adept better.
"What was that again, my dear?" Eloise asked, straining to hear.
"I need a Cardinals Cap, Rouge's Robe and Jester's Slippers," Sophia ordered. "All purple with a dark green trim. Girl kind."
"Your reason to purchase them?" Eloise asked. When Sophia raised an eyebrow, Eloise said, "Sorry dear, a student just asked me to ask why wizards purchased things for a survey. My apologies if I seemed suspisous."
Sophia smiled. "It's okay," She said. "I'm buying the outfit as a birthday present for a friend," Sophia answered.
Eloise turned to another sheet of paper in a notebook and added up the cost total. "That'll be 1980 Gold," She said.
Sophia looked through her pouch for a while as Eloise bagged the robes. When Eloise turned to Sophia again, Sophia had the appropriate amount of gold. She handed the gold to Eloise. "Kinda costly," Sophia admitted. "I only had 2000 gold in there."
"Oh well, it is for a friend," Eloise helped. "It'll be worth the smile."
"Yes, yes it will," Sophia answered. "Thanks Eloise! Nice doing business with you!"
"Have a nice day!" Eloise waved as Sophia skipped away.
Jessica calmly stalked Sophia. Then she calmly reached for her wand and aimed it at her.
Jessica knew that casting spells wasn't tollorated in the Commons. But did Jessica care? No. She didn't.
Going ahead, Jessica tried a Vampire, to start off easy.
Her spell succeeded.
Jessica grinned as the Vampire was set loose.
Life and Ice, especially Ice, would pay for the misery they had afflicted to her.

The wizards in the Commons, especially novices and apprentices, screamed and ran away from someone or something. Sophia looked around to see what the sudden screaming was about, then she saw the vampire fluttering in the air, delebirately ruining the peace that was meant to be in the Commons. Sophia was surprised when the Vampire went for her.
Sophia took out her new Krokotopian staff, but then realized that if she casted spells along with the necromancer, she would get in trouble, too. She might not even win.
All she could do was run.
So that's what Sophia did.
Sophia ran around the Commons, trying her best to dodge the vampire. Seeing the success, the necromancer began to cast another spell.
Sophia looked around earnestly for help, hoping to spot the administration or some brave students. Unfortunately, there weren't.
Things were in her own hands. She had to act, and act quick.
Then she remembered something that Professor Icetalon (A fat fairy) had said to his students, "When in a tough spot, use the advantage of your surroundings. This is the Ice Wizard's normal specialty."
Use your surroundings.
Right when the necromancer had summoned a skeletal pirate, which lunged for Sophia, the adept rushed through the decision, barely pausing to think.
Sophia jumped headfirst into the lake. The advantage when Ice Wizards swam in water, they could breathe and their eyes wouldn't sting. Then Sophia froze the surface of the lake, trapping herself in the waters. Nice work Sophia, She complemented. Quick thinking and good defense. You're growing into a successful wizard of Ice.
The encouragement didn't last long, however. The skeletal pirate and vampire were relentless and wouldn't give up. The vampire's claws scratched rapidly at the Ice unsuccessfully. The status didn't discourage him, however. The skeletal used the tip of its sword to  puncture and hack away at the surface. It was actually making some progress. Just a few more moments and the barrier would be penetrated.
Just as the shield of Ice was about the break away, a familier voice saved her.
"I heard screaming in the Commons. What's going on?"
All of a sudden the vampire quit raking as did the pirate with his sword. Sophia swam and pressed her face to see who had stopped them.
It was Destiny.
"Jessica, what's going on?" Destiny persisted. Sophia clarified that Jessica was the name of the necromancer.
"Death spells on the loose," Jessica said. True. "I'm trying to get them under control." False.
Sophia took a deep breath and used the her staff to break the Ice herself. The look on Destiny's face was inevitable when she saw Sophia clamor out of the lake. Tired, Sophia melted the sheet of Ice spreading the lake, and the skeletal pirate gave way. The vampire resisted and held his own by taking advantage of the fact that he had wings, but then they were too frail and gave way along with the pirate.
"Sophia?" Destiny asked, unable to hide the shock in her voice. "Wha-what in Merlin's name were you doing in the lake?"
Sophia ignored Destiny's question and said instead, "I've got them under control now." Sophia turned the necromancer called Jessica. "Now, I need answers. Clearly you were the one who attacked me."
"You did WHAT?" Destiny shrieked.
The sprite next to Destiny-Nikki was her name, wasn't it?- chirped something ununderstandable. "No, Nikki, she didn't deserve it!"
Nikki talked back.
"That's your opinion!" Destiny protested. She turned back to Jessica, clearly mad. "Why?"
"I hate Ice and Life," Jessica muttered. "I told you that a long time ago."
"A long time ago was barely two months!" Destiny said. She started to say something, but before she could, Jessica interrupted her, before she had even begun. "A long time in my standards," Jessica said.
"So you hate Ice and Life," Destiny said. "That nowhere means that you can rush into the Commons and just attack someone!" Destiny looked around her. "The Commons is empty because of you! Do you know what this means Jessica? Do you?"
"What?" Jessica snapped.
"Suspension!" Destiny yelled. "And that's getting off EASY! This is worth EXPELLATION! If the administration were to find out about this, which they will, and find the culprit, you will be expelled!"
Jessica stared at Destiny. Finally she said, "Expellation is a risk I'm willing to take to exact my revenge on those schools." She said. Then Jessica turned away from Destiny and Sophia.
When Sophia was sure that Jessica had gone, she nudged Destiny. "It sounded like you knew her," Sophia said.
Destiny nodded. "I do. She's a friend of mine."
Silence had fallen between them. "I'm sorry Destiny," Sophia said, beginning to cry. "I really am!"
Destiny hugged Sophia. "Its not your fault," She soothed. "We all know that Jessica brought this on herself."

I would like to say that on that certain night, that Destiny had a peaceful and dreamless sleep. But, I can't, seeing how that dream is vital to the story and this part particurally. That, and it just wouldn't make sense to say that she had due to the amount of stress she currently had pressed on her.
After the long day in the library and the stress from the newly erected fight between the two necromancers, Destiny went to bed, after settling Nikki in. As she faded into sleep, she thought of the great loss of Marcus, and hopefully not Jessica.

Destiny was surrounded by sand.
Krokotopia. She was back at the Oasis.
Before she could open her eyes, she spotted a familier figure.
Destiny walked up to him. Balance was smiling. He looked around as if they were sharing a secret and everyone was going to hear it, there was no one around. Then, out of thin air, he pulled out a sword. The steel blade appeared to be attatched to an unusual hilt: It appeared to be made of a dragon's talon.
Balance then turned the sword around and cut himself on the arm. A few drips of blood came seething out of the wound and onto the sand. It seemed to form as a solid.
Balance picked up the now-solid form of the blood up. Destiny turned her attention to the wound for a split second, it was already healed. She figured, because,

1) It was a dream
2) Destiny figured that those kind of things would happen to a Legendary

It seemed that Balance was now trying to puncture the solid form of the blood with the sword. It couldn't cut through, it seemed to be inpenitrable, strong.
Destiny could now hear a rustle in the sand, another boy was here. And above him, the sky seemed to darken, as if night were approaching. The boy pointed to it with his right index finger, and seemed to be giddy, as if he had found it. Then the boy dissolved into sand along with the night sky directly above him, but his giddyness remained.
But in his place was another boy. He picked something off from the ground. He seemed to be holding ashes. He fashioned the ashes into many things: first a staff, then a book, a stuffed animal, a firecat, and so on until he, like the privious boy, turned into sand, the ashes with it.
Destiny turned to Balance once more. He stepped closer to the Oasis water and rummaged through it for something, the ripples evidence of it. Finally he pulled out an aqua-colored jewel, water still dripping from it.

She woke up. But not just on instinct: there was a red-hot burning at her hip. She quickly felt around it, and was almost half-surprised that it was the Communication Stone. She peered at it. She wondered if it were Jason or Noah. The message answered for her.
I finally reached grandmaster! Jason said.
Really? Destiny wrote. That's great! Congradulations, commander. You're the first member of the Order of the Spiral to reach that rank.
And not just that, He added. Dragonspyre is thinking of accepting me!
Okay, now that's great! Destiny said. Then, thinking of the recent event, Destiny wrote, But the battle still rages on.
Uh oh, Jason wrote. What is it now?
I had a dream, Destiny replied. It's not like the one I had in Krokotopia or the one after the mission in Marleybone pointing to Jessica. It was a variety of things. And guess who's in it?
Who? Jason inquired.
Oh, gosh. Jason said. This is GREAT! It could be leading to the descendant of balance!
Actually, Destiny corrected. Descedants. More then one.
Nice, Jason complemented. So, what happened first?
First off, Destiny started. Balance had this sword appear. It had a steel blade and the hilt was a dragon's claw or talon, however you want to put it.
Oh, that's easy, Jason wrote. Either Dragonsword or Dragonblade.
That seems about right, Destiny approved. The next one was this; Balance cut himself. Blood came out, then it transformed into a solid. He tried to use the sword to penitrate it, but it seemed kinda, kinda strong.
A little harder, Jason admitted. I'm thinking Strongblood.
Okay, these next two are tricky, Destiny said. This boy appeared, and there was night around him, even though the rest of the sky was in the tone of light blue. He was pointing to it and seemed happy that he had spotted it.
There was silence from Jason. That one he had to figure out, apparently. Finally the stone burned. Keywords are night and spotted. Nightfinder? He tried.
You're good at this, Destiny said. But, there's something familier about the last two names.
Nightfinder and Strongblood?
Yeah, Destiny said. Where have I heard those two before?
Once you mention it, Jason said. I think I've heard them before, too. But this isn't a trip to memoryland, if there's such a place. Is there any more of them?
Yes, Destiny wrote. The next one is when a boy picked up ash and molded it into a variety of items.
You said that that this would be hard, Jason pointed out. That's easy! Ashwielder, no duh.
Okay, there's one more, Destiny replied. Balance kneeled down and picked up this jewel from the Oasis lake.
There was no reply from Jason for at least ten minutes. That could mean a whole bunch of last names. But one of them, oh gosh.
What's one of the last names? Destiny questioned.
Um, one of the options is Seagem.

Jason and Destiny both looked around them: They had gathered all the members of the Order of the Spiral at Destiny's cottage. The members were Jason, herself, Ryan Stormcaster, a diviner in his early magus, his sister, Natalie Goldenflame, a diviner, like her brother, who just turned level 40, Destiny's cousin Esmee Lionblood, an adept thautamerge very close to magus, Chris Soulhunter, a master conjurer, Alexis Lifestone, a theurgist who just turned magus, Jessica, a necromancer in her middle magus, and Nikki, an exiled sprite princess.
"Destiny here has just had another prophaphectic dream," Jason started out. "They concern the matter of the descendants of Balance."
Alexis gasped. "The cycle is almost complete!"
"Awesome," Esmee added. "But who are they?"
"Yeah," Ryan joined in.
"I'm getting there, I'm getting there," Jason tried to calm the members down. "The last names we interpreted were, in order: Dragonsword or Dragonblade; Strongblood; Nightfinder; Ashwielder and, the last one could mean lots of things but, one of the options is," Jason looked at Destiny. "Seagem."
Instantly all heads swivled towards Destiny. "Knew it!" Jessica said at last, pumping her fist in the air in triumph. Soon the stares were passed on to Jessica, who then blushed. "We had a talk in the Bazaar," She admitted. Shortly, Jessica realized her mistake as she remembered the event that had taken place the day before. "Not that it matters," Jessica grumbled, sinking into her seat. "There are four others anyways."
As Jessica said this, the Stone burned hot. Destiny quickly pulled it out and read, Guys, this is Noah. Urgent! Vladimir, Neela, Cody, Antonio and Anthony are coming to raid your base!
It's my house, for crying out loud! Destiny wrote. How do they get access?
Apparently Vladimir has this sort of system where he can hack the security system of houses, Noah explained. He fabricates house keys, equips the house, and you get the picture for now.
I guess that's how Neela raided one of the times before, Destiny guessed. As she was writing, she yelled, "Guys! Prepare your wands and spell deck! Noah has warned of an ambush coming shortly!" Destiny readied her staff.
"How shortly?" Natalie asked, urgency clearly audible in her voice.
"A few minutes shortly! Hurry!" Before she even finished saying that, almost all of the members were readied for battle.
Quickly prepare, Noah warned. They've already left the manor!
Before Noah could even finish, the spiral door swiveled open to let out a leprechaun aiming for Jason. But something was unusual about the leprechaun:
It was black. It seemed like a mutated, twisted form of the move. Death Leprechaun, Destiny named.
Destiny swiftly wrote Noah back. Hold on, she said. They're already here!
Wow, they're quicker then I thought! Noah wrote. Good luck holding them off.
Nikki killed the death leprechaun with one of her own. But shortly she was distracted by a sudden sight. A sight of a fellow sprite, not cursed like Nikki. She looked like any normal sprite, but she knew the face all too well.
LADY LILY?!? Nikki yelled.
The sprite smiled. Nice to see you too, She said.
YOU! Nikki shouted again as her rival seemed perfectly calm, contempt, even. You’re the one who tattled on me, rusulting in my banishment! You’re the one who made me fend for myself! You’re the one who just charged into my life and made most of it a dispicable misery! A living torture!
Of course, Lily reasoned. Why shouldn’t I? You’re my rival, after all.
Enough of this fancy talk! Nikki sneered. Let’s settle this, dueling style!
Lily grinned evilly. Gladly.
Meanwhile, Natalie attempted a Kracken at Vladimir, who had just emerged. Neela followed with a wraith, the wraith aimed for Jessica. She tried to cast a Kracken to defend herself, but it fizzled. The Adept life wizard (Destiny thought it was Antonio) summoned a Seraph at Alexis, which didn't do too much damage due to her resistance and a life shield. The pyromancer, Anthony, aimed his merciless helephant at Esmee, who conjured a fire shield in order to save herself. She flung it at the firey elephant then quickly ran away. Anthony followed. "Sissy!" He cried out.
That was enough for Esmee.
"SISSY?" She shrieked. She cast an Ice Wyvern, Evil Snowman, and Blizzard in that order, all aimed for Anthony. He gulped as he tried to scramble away.
Esmee nodded her approval. She folded her arms in satisfaction, despite the raging battle. "Run. Run, run, run while you can, sissy," She said, copying the pyromancer.
Meanwhile, Ryan and Natalie were teaming up against Neela. Neela used Doom and Gloom while Ryan brought up a colossus while a spell of Natalie's fizzled.
As the colussus boomed after Neela, she yelled to Ryan, "I thought you were a magus diviner, not a master thautamerge!"
Ryan sighed in exasperation. "Treasure cards, nitwit." He said.
"Oh. I knew that." Neela said calmly despite avoiding the colossus trying to kill her.
"Right," Ryan said sarcastically while Natalie summoned lightning bats.
Jason, Chris and Jessica were ganging up against Vladimir. Jessica attempted a skeletal pirate, not doing much damage due to Vladimir's resistance. Chris tried humongofrog, his smelly belch sticking all over Vladimir. Vladimir looked down at himself, as if he couldn't believe the slimey goo all over him. "Sick," He muttered.
"I didn't know boys were also concerned about their looks," Jessica said. "Most boys aren't. Wait, does this mean you're... you're a GIRL?"
"WHAT?" Vladimir shrieked. His rage brought up a wraith, skeletal pirate and a...
No, it wasn't a firecat. Well, it kinda was. It was a rather twisted form of it, like a firecat, only the cat was black. Black cat? Jessica guessed. Her confusion brought her off-guard, and Vladimir quickly used that chance to summon a Kracken.
"Treasure card?" Jessica asked.
Jason shook his head as he tried a meteor strike. It fizzled, due to the lack of concentration. "No, his secondary is Storm," He yelled over the commotion, the sound of spells in the air. "When we were little, we agreed to choose the same secondary. We both chose Storm. Chris wanted to train in Life badly, though."
"Don't push it," Chris warned, speaking up for the first time in ages.
In another part of the cottage, Destiny and Alexis were teaming up against Cody and Antonio. For some reason, Cody kept giving Antonio glares. Glares that seemed to read stuff like: Don't try anything or, I will kill you afterwards. She was confused, seeing how they were supposed to be on the same team.
Alexis casted a seraph at Cody while Destiny took the theurgist with a skeletal pirate. Then Destiny summoned a minion.
Cody looked at Destiny suspisiously. "You don't learn that till you're thirty!" He said as he used a wraith.
"Hat," Destiny reminded as the minion attempted a dark sprite at Antonio. Alexis gritted her teeth and decided to go for Antonio instead, drawing a centaur. Despite the resistance, it did heavy damage. But Antonio quickly used Satyr on himself, so the centaur hadn't really done much good. Destiny decided to try to make up for it with a skeletal pirate at Antonio whereas Alexis used Seraph once more on Cody, who easily defended himself with a Life shield, then summoning a minotaur at Alexis. While he did that, Destiny saw a glint of sparkling green hanging from Antonio's belt. Thinking that she knew what it could be, she used another skeletal pirate while the minion used a simple ghoul. Destiny manervered easily through the battle and too the pouch, and quickly drew her athame and cut off the pouch from Antonio's belt.
That's when Antonio spun around as Destiny ran away. "Hey!" He ran after her, trying to regain his stolen items, therefore leaving Cody and Alexis to duel each other. Antonio tailed after Destiny into the cottage.
Antonio looked around. Where was she?
Destiny was hiding behind her Wraith statue that she had recieved from Baron Mordecai. She opened the pouch, at the same time keeping an eye on Antonio, who was searching the house. She rummaged through a few rings and chokers, an athame, and a robe he had forgotten to sell before she found what she was looking for.
It was green, and in height it was no more then an inch long, but in width it had to be at least four inches. It was a dark green, and tiny little leaves seemed to fall as if it were fall and it were falling from a tree within. She could feel and see the power inside it.
The Life Shard.
"Yes," Destiny whispered in triumph. She quickly stuffed the Life Shard into her pouch, then put the rings chockers, athame and robe back in the pouch. She sealed it, and checked on Antonio. He was upstairs, looked behind the dresser. Destiny quickly took advantage of the situation and ran out of the house. But before she did that, she turned around and called after him, "You can keep it!", thrusting the pouch on the floor as she ran out to join the fight again.
She at first headed to join Alexis, but it seemed that the theurgist was doing pretty well against Cody, with the help of her healing spells. Esmee seemed like she was handling Anthony. Jessica, Chris and Jason were ganged up against Vladimir. But Ryan and Natalie's spells kept fizzling. She rushed to join the siblings in the fight against Neela. As she used Sunbird against Neela, she leaned in and whispered to Ryan, "I got the Life Shard from Antonio!"
"Can I see it?" Ryan whispered back. Destiny handed him the shard.
After he was done observing it (And casting storm spells at the same time) he asked, "Didn't you say that you had the Storm Shard also?"
Destiny nodded. She rummaged through her pouch as she tried a vampire that fizzled. She got out the thin piece and handed it to Ryan. Ryan was now glancing back and forth between the two shards, Life in his left palm, Storm in his other. He had dropped his clockwork staff. Slowly, he brought both of the pieces together. Soon they were no more then five inches apart from each other, and Neela had spotted both of the shards. "Hey!" She shouted, lunging for Ryan. Natalie quickly defended her brother by running in front of him and used a Kracken, followed quickly by a banshee, treasure card.
But Neela wasn't the only one who had spotted Ryan slowly bringing the shards together. Jason had noticed Ryan's actions as he summoned a fire dragon, but as soon as he saw him, he ran from the fight and to Ryan. "Wait, Don't!" He cried.
But he was too late. Ryan had brought the shards close enough together that lightning kept being exchanged rapidly between the two until a purple portal appeared behind Ryan, swirling as a vortex, and Ryan then fell through the portal.
"Ryan!" Destiny yelled. Her yell had brought Natalie to attention, who tried to come but was delayed by a scarecrow. Natalie finally couldn't handle it, she passed out.
Destiny wanted to wake Natalie, but Ryan was in even more trouble. She leaned down and soon linked hands with Ryan, and looked down. It seemed to be like a bottomless pit. Destiny struggled to keep her weight balanced, but was on the verge of falling in.
Destiny turned her attention to Jason. "Jason!" She yelled.
Jason ran over, trying to help her regain her balance. He looked down and saw Ryan. "If you connect two shards outside of the forge in which it originiated from, bad things happen!" He yelled after Ryan.
"Yeah, I think I've gotten that message!" Ryan yelled. "Where's Natalie?"
Jason had the same instinct. She was still unconsious. Jason looked around. "Alexis!" He yelled. "Someone needs your attention!"
Alexis peered from the seraph she had casted then ran over to Natalie. "What happened?" She asked.
"I don't know, I guess that battle was too much for her!" Jason yelled. "Try to bring her back to consiousness!"
"You think I don't know that?" Alexis yelled, tending to Natalie.
Meanwhile, Destiny couldn't help it. She would have fallen if not for Jason.
"We're both slipping!" Destiny yelled.
"Hold on!" Jason said. "Just don't let go!"
"Why in the spiral would I let go?" Ryan hollered after them.
The vortex had now clasped everyone's attention, except Alexis and Natalie. Chris rushed over to the trio trying to handle the vortex. "Why is this here?" He yelled.
"Ryan allowed the Life and Storm Shards to meet!" Jason replied.
"Oh, heck," Chris muttered. "I don't think I can be enough for the three of you to hold on, I'll try to find something!" Chris dashed off.
Jason was now using full power of all of his muscles to hold on to Ryan and Destiny. But then he saw a shadow loom over him.
It was Cody. "To heck with it," He muttered. He pushed Jason into the vortex.
Both Antonio and Anthony came over to investigate when they heard the three yells. Antonio looked to Cody. "What'd you do?"
"Why should you care?" Cody snarled. "Get away before I break your nose!" Then, grinning smugly, he added, "And you know how badly I can make things hurt." Then Cody got an idea. "Actually, I want to get rid of YOU too!"
Before Antonio could react, Cody went behind him and pushed him into the vortex. "Why'd you do that?" Anthony questioned, joining Cody by leaning in.
"Simple," Cody shrugged. "I don't like theurgists."
"Clearly," Anthony muttered.
But as Anthony had said it, both him and Cody had leaned too far in.
So far that they accidentally fell in. Then, as if deciding that they were enough, the vortex closed.
Jessica watched this happen. Breathing heavily, she decided, "We have to flee! Hurry before we're overrun!"
Chris nodded. "Esmee!" He called. "We have to go!"
Esmee looked around. "Where's Destiny and Jason and Ryan?" She asked.
"They fell in some kind of vortex!" Chris yelled. "We need to go." Then he turned to Alexis. "Come on, we need to flee now!"
"But what about Natalie?" Alexis shouted back. "She still hasn't recovered."
Chris didn't say anything for a minute. Finally, he decided, "We have no time! I'm sure she'll find her way back!"
"We can't leave without her!" Alexis refused.
"Alexis, if we don't go now, more then one person will be unconscious! Do you want that?" Chris asked.
Alexis was too stunned to speak. Finally, she said, "No,"
"Then lets go!" Chris made a hurrying motion with his hand.
"Can't we just take her with us?" Alexis inquried.
Chris shook his head. "She has to teleport on her will! Now hurry! We have to go!"
Alexis reluctantly joined them.

"Ugh," Ryan chorused, clutching his head.
He sat up groggily and rubbed his eyes. Ryan looked around. Where was everyone?
Apparently Ryan was back in Mooshu, outside at the Jade Palace.
"Glad to see you're awake," A familier voice behind him said.
Ryan stood up and turned around. It was Jason. "How did we end up in Mooshu?" Ryan asked, baffled.
"I don't know," Jason wondered. "I guess we just ended up here when we woke up."
"Huh," Ryan said. Then he noticed something that hadn't been in the Jade Palace before: It was a statue of a pig monk mediatating.
"I don't remember that being there before," Ryan commented.
"What being where?" Jason asked.
"That," Ryan answered, pointing to the statue.
Jason squinted and saw it. "I don't remember either," He said.
Then the duo saw a goat monk heading their way. "Excuse me," Ryan said. "I don't remember that statue being there. When was it built?"
"Only thirty years ago," The monk replied.
"Oh, you mean 452 A.C.?" Jason asked. A.C. stood for After Creation, the creation referring to after Ravenwood was built.
The monk looked at them as if they had both grown tails. "No, I mean 532 A.C.," The monk finally said.
"But that's ten years into the future!" Ryan protested.
"No, its in the past," The monk persisted.
Jason stared at the monk quizicly. "What year is it now?" He asked the monk.
"Don't be silly," The monk said. "Sheesh, pretending that 498 is in the future and not knowing what year it is. What're you trying to do?"
"We're trying to find out what year it is!" Jason said, angry.
"Fine, fine, no need to get mad," The monk soothed. "562 A.C."
Ryan and Jason looked at each other with the same shocked expression. They knew what had happened.
They were in the future.
"Now, if you would please excuse me, I'd best be on my way," The monk said. He traveled into Hametsu Village.
There was a silence between Ryan and Jason for a couple of moments. Finally Jason burst. "What have you done?" He yelled.
"What have I done?" Ryan asked, confused.
"When you fuse two Shards together outside of the forge," Jason explained. "THIS happens! How're we gonna get out now?"
"Fuse them again?" Ryan suggested, bringing out the Storm Shard.
"No, don't!" Jason warned. "If we do that again, who knows how much trouble its going to be! Congraduations Ryan, you've got us trapped in time! We don't even know where the rest of the Order is!"
"Did you say you got trapped in time?"
Jason and Ryan spun around to see a boy in master clothing behind him. He had long dark brown hair, green eyes, tan skin, had a Valkerie hat and another Dragonspyre robe and a grizzlehiem staff. His clothes were a tan-ish orange, so he appeared to be a master sorcerer.
"Nevermind," Jason quickly muttered.
"No, really," The boy persisted. He appeared to be about fourteen. He smiled. "Because I did too."
"You did?" Ryan questioned.
The teenage sorcerer nodded. "My name's Garrett," He said, offering his hand. Both Jason and Ryan took it. "My brothers and sister and I were just minding our own business when all of a sudden we were in a different area. Well, the area was the same, it looked the same, but we could tell it wasn't the right area. We found out we were stuck in time." Garrett's hand did a come along motion. "We've made camp in Ravenwood. Wanna join us?"
"Sure," Ryan and Jason said simontainiously, accepting. They followed Garrett. Then Jason stopped. "Wait, what's your last name?"
"Dragonblade," Garrett said. "I'm Garrett Dragonblade, master sorcerer. What's yours?"

Jessica had offered for Chris, Alexis and Esmee to stay at her Mooshu house for the night; It was best that they stayed together.
Chris, Alexis and Esmee were also all asleep in a guestroom. In her bedroom though, Jessica was wide awake. She was thinking about the day's events.
The Order of the Spiral had suffered a big loss today. Sure, they had gotten the Life Shard, but that was with Destiny or Ryan. Natalie's whereabouts were unknown. Destiny, Jason and Ryan had fallen into a who-knew-what. And the cottage might have taken some damage. All that remained was herself, Chris, Alexis and Esmee.
What were they going to do now?
The last time they had talked to each other, they had fashioned a new fight. Now there was a radiation of regret surging through Jessica and taking over her whole body.
Jessica sighed and surprised herself by falling asleep.

"Oh, Cody!" Antonio cursed.
"What?" Cody replied.
"Why'd you have to push me down?" Antonio complained.
"Because I wanted you gone! And if I hadn't been taken down with you, it would have been good riddance!"
"Guys!" Anthony tried to break the theurgist and necromancer up. "What is wrong between the two of you? We're apparently trapped in time and you two are still bickering like two little girls fighting over a doll!"
Cody punched Anthony.
"Guys, do you know what's going on?" A new voice asked.
Cody, Anthony and Antonio stopped the fight and spun around. The person appeared to be a girl around their age with long white hair with maroon eyes. She had dark brown skin and appeared to be a master diviner, with a Mooshu hat and a Dragonspyre robe. Her robes were purple with white trim. She was seated on a dragon mount. "I guess we do," Anthony said.
"From what I've seen, we're trapped in time," Antonio helped.
All Cody said was, "Who're you?"
"Sarai Storm," The diviner said. "I was on the Scotland Yard Roof, as we're on now, then I felt this feeling surge through me. I was in the same place, but I could tell the tiny details, like who was there, that kind of thing, had changed. Now apparently, from what I've seen, I'm in the future!"
"You're lucky," Antonio said. "I just had to experience the thrill of being pushed down a vortex." He glared at Cody, who just shrugged.
"That's how you got here?" Sarai asked.
Cody nodded.
"How do you suppose we return to the present?" Sarai said.
"I have no clue," Anthony said.
"Wait," Sarai said. "Who are you guys?"
"Anthony Spiritwalker, Antonio Lifespear, and Cody Shadowstrider," Anthony informed.
"But which is which?" The diviner persisted.
"I'm Cody Shadowstrider," Cody began. "The pyromancer is Anthony. And the theurgist is an idiot."
"Antonio Lifespear," Antonio corrected by gritting his teeth. He gave an I-swear-I'm-gonna-kill-you-someday-just-wait-for-it  look. Cody's glare said in turn, Fat chance, idiot. Antonio surprised the rest of the quartet by demonstrating a low, unearthly growl.
Anthony then ignored the growl and turned his attention back to Sarai. "Maybe we should all team up and look for a way to get out of this kind of time."
Sarai nodded. "You know, as a kid I had always wanted to travel in time," She said. "I had daydreamed of being in it, influencing the past so that the present was better, making revolutions in the future. But now that it's actually happening, all I want to do is return home."

Destiny awoke leaning on the side of the trunk of Bartleby, facing the Ice school. Groggily, she stood up and looked around as she recalled the events that had just taken place.
She looked around. Where were Jason and Ryan? They had all been pushed into the vortex together, but she couldn't find them anywhere.
Destiny had read in books that normally when people like her fell and went through portals, they went to a different dimension of the spiral or something. But things just appeared how they normally would be. She decided to first look around Wizard City for Jason or Ryan or somebody.
As she was strolling in the Commons, she found the Headmaster's office. The Headmaster! He'd know what to do! Eagerly, Destiny went inside.
She had been expected to find a lean man with red hair and beard. But instead, what she found was an old man with a blue monicle with Merlin clothing on. Students were swarming him.
"Woah," Destiny muttered. "Someone seems to have aged in the past year,"
But then she noticed the sky-blue eyes.
Wait... Merle?
"Merle?" She repeated out loud. She walked over to the old man. "Is that you?"
The old man turned around. "Of course its me," He said. "Why wouldn't it?"
"Its... its just that, the last time I saw you you were a baby, for crying out loud!" Destiny said.
"Baby?" Merle said. "Young wizard, I'm afraid you must be mistaken. I was born in 481. I'm eighty-one years old, how could you have seen me as a baby?"
Just as Destiny was about to reply, someone said, "Destiny?"
She spun around, hoping that the voice belonged to someone she knew. It didn't. It belonged to a girl looking around twelve years old with short red hair and blue eyes. She looked to be an apprentice pyromancer, judging from the way she was dressed.
"Who are you?" Destiny asked the apprentice.
The pyromancer seemed stunned. "It's me," She said. "You know, Fallon Shadowgem?" It sounded more like a question then an answer. Fallon studied Destiny. "And why're you dressed like an adept?"
"Because I am one!" Destiny said. This Fallon chick was insane.
Fallon shook her head. "No, you're a master." Then a thautamerge arrived behind Fallon. She had light brown skin, long black hair that seemed jagged at the end and was wearing blue and white Krokotopian clothes. She looked to be around nine. "Hi, Fallon! Hi Destiny!" The Ice wizard chimed.
"Somethings wrong with Destiny Vanessa," Fallon said. "And I don't know why." Fallon made a come on guester. "Come on Vanessa, lets do some questing with Alric." With that Fallon and Vanessa left.
Destiny was baffled. Fallon, Vanessa, maybe this Alric person, all seemed to know her. They said she was a master! How did they know her? What was wrong with them? Fallon especially. She needed a good place to think things through.
The Death School.
Destiny exited the Headmaster's-now Merle's- house and back into Ravenwood. She was thinking that things couldn't get much worse until she saw the death school.
Or at least, what was left of it.
Her school had seemed to have been torned from Ravenwood! The death classroom was nowhere to be found, and in the cycle of where it should have been, all that was left was a gaping chasm of remnants of the street floating in the air.
What had happened?
"What're you doing here?" A vaguley familier voice asked behind her.
Destiny turned around to see an apprentice sorcerer with pale skin, blue eyes, and long light brown hair. She could tell that the sorcerer was nine. Destiny remembered seeing her back in the balance school in Krokotopia.
"Hi!" Emma chorused. Then she repeated, "What're you doing here?"
"Trapped in time," Destiny replied. "You?"
Emma nodded. "Same here," Then Emma spotted a boy with very dark skin and purely white clothes, complementing short white hair. He had dark brown eyes and looked to be an initiate. Destiny couldn't decide if he was a necromancer or a sorcerer. He looked to be about eleven.
"Hey, Dylan, come over here!" Emma called. "I've found another one!"
The boy called Dylan soon joined Destiny and Emma. "What's up?" He asked.
"She's trapped in time too!" Emma pointed to Destiny.
Dylan nodded as a sign of understanding. "I see." He said. Dylan gave out his hand. "I'm Dylan Nightfinder."
Strongblood and Nightfinder.
Emma Strongblood and Dylan Nightfinder.
Of course!
Destiny accepted. "Destiny Seagem," She introduced.
"You should meet our other brothers!" Emma chimed. "We've all made camp! One of our brothers, Garrett, also found a grandmaster pyromancer and a magus diviner."
Destiny gasped. "Jason Stormflame and Ryan Stormcaster?"
"Yeah, how do you know them?" Dylan asked.
"They're both great friends of mine!" Destiny said. "I've been looking for them for a long time!"
"They did mention something about an adept necromancer," Dylan mused. "I guess you could be it. Come on, we camped in the Wizard City Spiral Chamber." The trio hurridly ran down to the spiral chamber.
"You should also meet our three other brothers," Emma pointed out cheerfully as they all went inside the spiral chamber.
Right when they did, Destiny spotted Jason and Ryan. "Jason! Ryan!" She shouted.
They both spun around just in time to see Destiny arrive. "Where were you?" She asked.
"We woke up in Mooshu for some reason," Ryan said.
"What about you?" Jason asked.
"Ravenwood," Destiny said. She turned back to Emma, who was right behind her. "So who are these brothers of yours?" She asked.  
"Come on, I'll show you!" Emma said. Emma led Destiny to a boy in tan robes, a Mooshu hat and Dragonspyre robe. He looked to be in his early teens and had purple eyes, long brown hair, and slightly tan skin. "Garrett," The sorcerer introduced. "Garrett Dragonblade."
"Now you need to meet Nicholas!" Emma pulled Destiny along before she could say any more to Garrett. Soon she was looking at an eleven-year-old boy with white skin, amber eyes, long light brown hair and was in initiate sorcerer robes. He smiled. "I'm Nicholas Ashwielder," He said.
Before Emma could pull her along again, Destiny introduced herself too. Then she allowed Emma to drag her to the final person. He looked to be the eldest, being around fifteen. He had slightly long black hair and light tan skin. He had kind of purple eyes and wore grandmaster clothing, which were tan and white. He smiled. "My name's Connor," He said. "What's yours?"
"Destiny," She said, offering her hand. Connor took it. "What's your last name?"
Connor sighed in frustration. "I don't like revealing my surname, honestly," He said. "It makes me sound like a wimp with Strongblood and Dragonblade around. Heck, Nightfinder and Ashwielder are more manly then mine! And I'm supposed to be the eldest!"
"I won't laugh," Destiny promised.
"No, people don't normally laugh," Connor explained. "It just makes me look like a sissy."
"It's true," Jason commented. "He hasn't revealed it to me or Ryan yet, either. Don't know why."
"Oh come on," Destiny said. "It can't be that bad. I've seen last names like Lifepetal."
Connor laughed. "Okay, now that's girly!" He said. "Oh fine. It's Seagem."

Chris shook Jessica awake. By splashing water in her face.
"Hey, what was that for?" Jessica protested.
"Well, I couldn't wake you up with a dang horn, what else was I supposed to do?" Chris asked. Then Jessica noticed Alexis and Esmee in the backround, laughing. Jessica growled.
"Anyways," Chris said. "Using Communication Stones-"
"Communication Stones?" Jessica cut Chris off.
"You write on special stones and send messages," Chris replied.
"Oh yeah, I remember Destiny and Jason having them," Jessica said. "Wait, you have one too?"
"When Jason first found them, he gave one to me to communicate," Chris said, clearly exasperated. "Anyways, I got word from Jason, Destiny and Ryan."
"Really?" Jessica leaped out of her bed. "What did they say?"
"Get this," Chris started. "They say that they've been trapped in time."
Jessica's hopes dropped by almost a mile. "Is that where the vortex took them?"
"Apparently so." Esmee said, startling Jessica.
"How far or back?" Jessica asked.
"I read over Chris's shoulder as he was messaging Jason," Esmee continued. "Right now its 482 A.C., and there its 562 A.C., so," She cut off purposefully so that Jessica could do the math.
But Alexis did it before her. "That makes it eighty years into the future," She answered. "Almost a whole century!"
Jessica sighed. "Ugh, why do those three always get the good stuff?"
"Maybe its because they're the head of the Order of the Spiral?" Esmee suggested.
"That kind of thing doesn't matter right now," Chris interrupted. "Basically, what we need to focus on is how they're gonna get out."
"Well, what was it caused by?" Jessica asked.
"Ryan put two of the Shards together, I think," Alexis said. "They were the Storm Shard and the Life Shard, weren't they?"
Esmee nodded as an answer to Alexis's question.
"Anyways," Chris said. "Here's another part you'll be interested in. Our spy among the Thorns, Noah Firewielder, has given word that Vladimir and Neela are currently holding Natalie."
"I knew we shouldn't have left her," Alexis muttered.
"Where?" Jessica asked.
"My guess would be Thorn Manor," Esmee said. "That's their headquarters. I remember because Destiny was assigned to spy on them once before we found you, disguised as Neela."
"I guess we need to get her, then," Jessica said. Then her face fell. "But what about Ryan, Destiny and Jason?"
"They're smart, they'll be able to find their own way," Chris said. "But we're going to need a plan to rescue Natalie."
"I guess you and I will have to go there and find our way to her, get her, and get out as fast as possible," Jessica said. "Seems good."
"Only one problem," Esmee said. "You left out Alexis and I."
"Exactly," Jessica said. "We don't need you."
"You just don't like Life and Ice, huh?" Alexis asked.
Jessica nodded.
"Well, like it or not Jessica," Chris said. "It's Thorn Manor. We'll need all the help we can get."

Natalie finally opened her eyes to find herself staring at a stone ceiling. She tried to get up, almost unable.
She looked around. Apparently she was in a kind of prison cell. She tried to sit up again. That's when she realized that her hands were tied behind her. She used the wall for support and finally brought herself to a standing position.
How had she gotten here? Then she remembered Ryan falling in the vortex and she had fainted. She hoped Ryan was okay.
She heard footsteps in the hall and braced for impact, expecting it to be Vladimir or Neela or someone like that. Who really entered was a boy about twelve years old with black clothing on and a hood shrouding his head. A necromancer, most likely.
"Who are you?" Natalie asked.
"My name's Noah Firewielder," He said, pulling the hood down, revealing short blonde hair and blue eyes. "I'm with the Order of the Spiral, so relax." He pulled out an athame and managed to cut through the bonds.
"Thanks," Natalie said, rubbing her wrists. "Man, I've read about people getting tied up in books and stuff, but man, rope really does dig through skin!" She looked around. "You know where the keys are?"
"Sorry, but I don't," Noah said, pulling his hood back up. "I've been looking for them everywhere." Then he grinned smugly. "But, I did manage to find your spellbook and staff."
"Can you go get it?" Natalie inquired.
"Sure," Noah said, hurridly leaving the room.
It was only a few minutes before Noah returned with a Mooshu staff and spellbook with cards littered among the pages. "Here you go," Noah said, handing the equipment to Natalie through the bars. "Now I have to get out of here before anyone realizes you've escaped with my help." Noah hurridly can out.
It was only a matter of minutes before Natalie had casted a Kracken and he helped Natalie destroy the bars and blasted her way out. The Kracken chased people within the manor while Natalie ran the other direction.
This is good, she thought. Really good. Natalie grinned like a madwoman as she ran away and casted spells.

"How do you think we got here in the first place?" Anthony asked Cody and Antonio.
Antonio shrugged while Cody replied, "I think Ronan or whatever his name is fused the Shards. So all we have to do is find him and track down the Shards and use them to get out of here,"
"How do you think we're going to find these Shards you speak of?" Sarai asked.
"We need to track down someone, or a group, that possesses them," Cody informed. "They'll try to withhold the Shards from us, though, so we're gonna have to fight."
"Why would they withhold them?" Sarai wondered.
"They're bad poeple," Antonio answered. "Simple,"
"Any idea where they're at?" Anthony asked.
"I guess we'll have to search the worlds," Cody said. "Here, Sarai, you patrol Wizard City. If you hear a grandmaster pyromancer, magus diviner, or adept necromancer looking suspsious, attack them. They'll most likely be in a group together."
"Got it," Sarai said, nodding.
"What do I do?" Anthony asked.
"How about you patrol Krokotopia?" Antonio suggested.
"Sure, I guess he'll do that," Cody approved.
"What'll you do, Cody?" Sarai asked.
"I think I'll stay and look in Marleybone," Cody said.
"What about me?" Antonio asked. "Let me guess, I look in Mooshu?"
"Actually," Cody started. "I kinda have other ideas. Marleybone is a big place, so why don't you stay with me and help me look?"
Before Antonio could protest, Sarai said, "Marleybone being a big place... that's true. I think Antonio should stick with Cody."
"Same here," Anthony supported.
Cody nodded as they reached the Marleybonian Spiral Chamber. Sarai was now without her dragon mount. She went to Wizard City after saying her farewell to Cody, Antonio and Anthony. Then Anthony left for Krokotopia.
Cody turned to Antonio and grinned wickedly. "We are alone now," He said, as if Antonio was blind. "Nowhere to run now."

The shock Destiny felt rushing through her body and viens when she heard Connor say her own last name was intense, gripping her and never letting her go.
I'm not the descendant of Balance, She realized. It's Connor. Connor Seagem.
She now lay on her back, it being night. All of a sudden she wondered how much time she had spent here. Not that it mattered. Time was fuzzy now.
"Hey, what's up?"
Destiny stood and turned around. It was Nicholas. "Oh, hey," She said.
"You seemed upset when Connor said his last name was Seagem," Nicholas said. "Why?"
"Because Seagem's my last name, too," Destiny grumbled.
"So what?" Nicholas shrugged. "Shouldn't you admire the fact that you two have the same last name?"
"It's not that," Destiny admitted. "Its that I was hoping to be something, and apparently its Connor."
"How do you know?" Nicholas asked.
"Lets just say it has to do something with being a sorcerer," Destiny answered. "And I'm no sorcerer, Connor is, so lets face it, I've got no chance of being that person."
"How do you know?" Nicholas questioned. "And by the way, there is always a chance of something happening or someone being something. Sometimes it may not be very great, but there's always a chance. The choice is whether or not to expand that chance."
Destiny had nothing to say to that. Nicholas was right. There was always a chance of something.
"Well, I guess that chance of me being that someone is low then," Destiny finally said. "And no, I can't expand it. It's impossible."
"Impossible is a word only found in a fools dictionary," Nicholas countered. "As one of my favorite figures from the past had said. And he's right. Impossible can become possible. We just don't how to transform it that way. You just don't know how to expand that chance."
"Wise guy," Destiny muttered.
Nicholas shrugged. "I try to be," He said. "I might be younger then Garrett and Connor, but they look down to me. I can tell."
"How?" Destiny questioned.
"I've had a lot of experience here and there," He said. "You live and you learn. I've experienced a lot, so I've learned a lot. I guess that's what makes people so wise. Just plain experience."
"I thought you become wiser from knowledge," Destiny said. But before she had even finished Nicholas was shaking his head.
"You don't," He said.
Before he could say any more, a new voice said, "Destiny! You need to hear this!"
She turned around again to find Ryan and Jason. "I went out again tonight," Ryan continued. "I found this!" He held up a piece of withered parchment with a few lines of words in cursive with red ink. It was only until she saw the red ink that Destiny reconized what it was.
"The Prophecy of Fire!" She said, smiling as she clamored up to them. "The next few lines, huh?"
Jason nodded. "But they're pretty grim, to be honest."
Destiny's smile faded. "Here, lemme read," She said, taking away the parchment from Ryan, careful not to do any damage to it. She read the next five lines.

Five of Balance will be found in the glitch in time;
Five to start;
But one shall not pass the test;
Another will turn to the enemy;
And in the end only three shall remain.

"Oh no," Destiny muttered. "We're going to loose two of them!"
"Two of what?" Nicholas asked, looking over Destiny's shoulder.
Destiny yanked the parchment from out of Nicholas's sight. "Nothing, nothing," She said. "We're just talking about stuff, that's all."
"Stuff isn't nothing," Nicholas countered. "But oh well." Nicholas walked away.
After she was sure that Nicholas couldn't hear, Destiny hissed almost under her breath, "What does the test refer to, though?"
Jason and Ryan glared at her. "I think you know," Jason said.
She did. Destiny didn't want to admit it. Her face paled. "The Ordeal," She said.
"And you know what the consequence of not passing the Ordeal is?" Ryan questioned.
"What?" Destiny asked.
"Oh no," Destiny muttered.
Jason nodded. "I'm sorry. One of the descendants will die."
Destiny looked around the spiral chamber, with the inhabitants the descendants, who were siblings. Who would die? Would it be Emma, who Destiny had met in the Balance school? Would it be Dylan, who was told to be a treasure card ripoff? Would it be Nicholas, who was so kind as to try to comfort Destiny? Would it be Garrett, who was nice enough to take Jason and Ryan under their wing? Or would it be Connor, the bearer of her surname?
None of them deserved to die.
Then the next line bothered her too. Another will turn to the enemy. The enemy had to refer to the Thorns. None of them seemed to be bad enough to turn to them, either. Well, Dylan had a chance, from what she was told. But not great enough to become one of them.
Before she knew it, tears stung her eyes.
And crying was something that she did on very rare occasions.  

Sarai Storm had followed Cody's directions and gone to the Wizard City spiral chamber, desperate to find a way to her own time once again.
Why would someone be so horrible enough to block their only way out of this mess? Sarai thought. It was too much for her, even though she had gone through a lot and was a master diviner.
But then another thought came to mind, setting up a sinking feeling in her stomach, like a dark room that longed to be lit, and the match was the answer to the thought that came to mind.
Why do I suspect that there's something that Cody hasn't told me, or even Antonio or Anthony?
Little did Sarai know was that she was passing that answer right along in the dark as she walked out of the Wizard City spiral chamber, somehow not noticing the group of camping wizards.

"What use are Alexis and Esmee?" Jessica moaned as the quartet approached Marleybone.
"What is it that you have against Ice and Life?" Esmee asked once more.
Jessica shrugged. "Dunno. Oh, wait, apparently I do know, its because they're weak."
"Oh, I'll show you weak-" Esmee challenged, but was cut off by Jessica.
"I'll show you weak?" Jessica mimicked in a high-pitched tone, sounding nowhere near Esmee's voice. "Ha! You don't know the freaking definition of weak! That's how weak you are!"
"Listen up, you little-"
"Girls!" Chris said, butting in between the middle of them. "Stop fighting for Merlin's sake! This is not going to get Natalie out of Thorn Manor! In fact, I think it'll bring the chances that we'll all be caught higher!"
Jessica huffed. "Humph," She grunted, meekly agreeing.
"So what do we do?" Alexis asked, trying to bring Esmee and Jessica off-topic and forget about the argument they had less then a minute ago.
"Here's what we'll do," Chris said. "Jessica and Esmee will team up to distract the guards-"
Jessica groaned.
Chris was silent for a while then continued. "As I was saying," He said. "Jessica and Esmee will distract the guards while I go in there and find Natalie myself-"
"Why do you get to go there yourself?" Jessica complained. "Why can't I go in there and you and Esmee distract people?"
"Because I was friends with Vladimir," Chris explained. "I've been there, and I know my way around. Its best I do it, or else we have a higher chance of getting caught."
"That's great," Alexis said. "But what do I do?"
"Stick around and heal me or Jessica or Esmee if we need it," Chris said. Then he thought about it. "Actually, Natalie may need some tending too. Maybe you should come with me."
"At least I don't have to put up with the theurgist too," Jessica grumbled.
Alexis pretended she didn't hear that. "Lets go," She said.
Chris nodded. "We better go quick," He said. "Can't imagine what horrors Natalie is facing."

"Take this, stupid dogs!" Natalie yelled as she cast an Orthrus treasure card. As they were distracted by the huge two-headed dog, Natalie avoided them and ran. As she ran, she called after them, "You make horrible security! I'll tell Mr. Thorn that!" Then she muttered as she ran away, "Or maybe I won't."
I find this strangly fun, Natalie thought. I guess its the thrill.
Natalie turned through corners and through the halls, up a few stairs, down a few, having no idea if she was nearing the exit or running away from it. I wonder how Destiny and Alexis were able to make their way out, Natalie thought. If I run into Noah again, I guess I'll ask if he can guide me.
Natalie came to a fork in the road. She looked both ways, then quickly decided to take the left. She took the left. Then she ran into a teenage boy with blue eyes, long blonde hair wearing yellow Dragonspyre clothing. She ran past him, and shouting, "Hey!" He gave chase to Natalie.
Oh no, Natalie thought. Must be working for Vladimir! Must get away!
But she couldn't. Natalie staggered back as all of a sudden an Orthrus was blocking the way she was running. She turned around. Heading the other way was that conjurer she had just past, who was walking towards her. Nowhere to run. But she could fight. But not with spells.
Natalie was a person who thought quickly on her feet, Ryan complemented that all the time. So she already had a plan.
"Are you working with Vladimir?" She asked.
The conjurer nodded. "Why else would I be here?"
"And where's here?" Natalie asked. She knew the answer. Natalie was just asking to test out how dumb he was.
"Thorn Manor, Marleybone," The conjurer boasted. "And you can't get out."
"You're right, I can't," Natalie said, trying to get him overconfident. "But why take me here in the first place?" She added.
"When Vladimir found you unconsious at the raid," The conjurer began. "He saw that if he took you hostage that you could be a good barganing chip for the Shards."
"Shards?" Natalie asked. Once again, testing his dumbness.
"I don't know what they are," The conjurer admitted. "Vladimir hasn't told any of us. He told us to guard these little pieces."
"Huh," Natalie shrugged. "Why didn't I see you at the raid?" She asked.
"Vladimir didn't trust me and my friend Jose," He said. "Because we lost one of the Shards."
Natalie forced herself not to grin. Now the moment of truth; she had gotten the conjurer hooked, maybe forgetting that they were enemies! "That's unfortunate," She sympathized. "What're you doing with the Shards now?"
"Well, I think Antonio had this green one," The conjurer began. "And I'm pretty sure that Vladimir left Anthony with a red one, and I think that's it." The conjurer smiled. "By the way, I'm Adam."
"Nice to meet you, Adam," Natalie said. "But one thing,"
"What's that?" Adam asked.
"Did you forget that we're enemies?"
Before Adam could respond, Natalie cast a tempest, leaving Adam in the waves. She turned and ran the other direction: The Orthrus wasn't there anymore. Natalie ran as fast as she could.
When tempest was over, Adam started to give chase to Natalie, but was stopped by Vladimir having a panicked expression on his face. It was odd to Adam because he usually seemed so confident.  
"Thorn Manor is under attack!" Vladimir shouted.

Sarai glanced out into the Commons at night, looking for the trio Cody had described.
Instead, she found someone else.
"Looking for someone?" A sweet voice asked behind her.
Sarai immediately turned around to see a girl that was completely white. Literally. She had long white hair and white eyes, with white skin. She wore an odd mix of a white Victators Helm, Monk's robe, and Krokotopian boots. Sarai could make a trace of faint blonde in her hair. She held a long white staff with crystals adorning it all the way down the handle and another huge crystal at the top. They, of course, were white.
"Are you one of those people?" Sarai asked.
"My name's Taryn," The girl said. "But don't listen to those boys. You don't need the Shards!"
"How do you know?" Sarai asked.
"Because I myself can get you out," Taryn said simply.

Grunting, Destiny woke up again, a part of her brain saying that this was all a dream and that she would wake up soon.
But it was too good to be true. Almost everything was lately.
She opened her eyes again. The reality part of her had spoken the truth. It was reality.
"I need to know," A new voice said behind her.
Destiny jumped and found Nicholas standing firmly. Whatever Nicholas was asking, Destiny knew that he would not back down from the subject he inquired.
"Need to know what?" Destiny asked.
"What you, Ryan and Jason were all talking about," Nicholas persisted. "You looked so serious about it, and you were crying afterwards. Most necromancer's don't cry."
"I am not most necromancers," Destiny snarled.
Nicholas raised an eyebrow.
"Well, yeah, I don't cry too often," Destiny admitted.
"Well, what was it about?"
Destiny sighed. Nicholas would find out sooner, so she might as well tell him.
Unless he's the one who dies.
Destiny shook all matter of death from her head. The fateful lines of the prophecy had kept snaking their way into her head. She tried to take her mind off of the topic, but she never could. It was practically useless to get rid of, they were stuck to her mind like cement glue.
"Well, to start out," Destiny began. "You ever read the story called The First Wizards?"
"Oh, its that you wanted to talk to me about?" Nicholas asked.
"Yes, this is a serious topic," Destiny persisted.
"Dude, or dudett, whichever you prefer, I know," Nicholas said. "I know. I know what you're going to say."
"Wh-wha-what?" Destiny asked. He knew that who he was?
A smile crept up on Nicholas. "I know who I am, who Connor and Garrett and Dylan and Emma are. We're the descendants of Balance, aren't we. The page you were holding? The Prophecy of Fire. Who you are? Descendant of Death, correct?"
“Wait,” Destiny interrupted, suspicions rising. “How do you know?”
Nicholas smiled. “I was hoping you might ask that,” He replied. “And it’s because I can do this.”
Right then, Nicholas found some grass and plucked it out of the World Tree. He set it out on his left palm, and then his right palm covered that and rubbed them together. He took his right palm off of the palm that contained the grass-
No. It didn’t contain grass. It contained sand.
Destiny folded her arms. “Okay, give it up,” She said. “What trick did you just pull off?”
“I didn’t pull off anything,” Nicholas said. “I can actually change grass to sand. And,” He rubbed them together again, and when they came apart, they revealed grass again. “Sand to grass.”
“Impressive,” Destiny admitted. “Can all of you do that?”
Nicholas shook his head. “Not that I know of, at least,” He replied. “Okay, I’ve answered your question, now you answer mine. Are you a Descendant of Death?”
Destiny shook her head wearily. "No," She said in a hoarse voice. "I've only got one chance of lineage, and that's very slim."
"What's that chance?" Nicholas asked.
"A few days ago I had a dream," Destiny replied. "In the dream, I saw things that represented people's last names. Like, um, lion's blood in a dream is Lionblood. I saw five last names. Your guys'. Ashwielder was in that no problem. One of them was Seagem."
Nicholas nodded. "Connor Seagem."
"And Destiny Seagem," She pointed out.
For a moment Nicholas was silent before letting out, "Oh,"
"Yeah, Oh. Ironic, isn't it."
"Yeah. Sorry, it's Connor." Nicholas admitted.
Destiny laughed. "Sure not what you were saying last night!"
"Yeah yeah, so everyone keeps telling me," Nicholas muttered. Then he rubbed his head. "That's odd," Nicholas said. "Starting to feel a slight headache. I thought I took this medication that blocked migranes. This is... sudden."
Destiny sucked in a breath, eyes wide open. Oh no, She thought. This can't be happening, it CAN'T!
But it was.
And furthermore, there was nothing she could do about it.
Nicholas rubbed his head more, then groaned. "This is getting worse by the second," He said. "Correction, This is getting worse by the millisecond."
Then Nicholas could hold on no more. It began with a grunt, then a groan, then screaming in agony. "What kind of headache is this?!" Nicholas yelled.
Then Nicholas fell to the ground, unconscious.
Tears stung her eyes. She didn't know why all of a sudden this was happening. Why did she get teary-eyed at this moment, out of all others. The signs had come. She had known they would come. She'd known they'd come and Destiny had also known that there was nothing that she could do about it.
The Ordeal was upon the Descendants of Balance.
Why when Nicholas fell to the ground? Destiny asked herself. You've been through Alexis's and Jessica's Ordeal, accepted them and acted like a man.
So why now? Why this moment out of all others? Destiny wanted to man up, to face that Nicholas was facing his Ordeal and there was nothing Nicholas, Destiny, or anyone else but Fate to do about it. Destiny wanted no more Ordeals, what all of the Descendants had to go through wasn't fair! Maybe it was a trail for them to overcome. Maybe it would sharpen them in every way. But they didn't deserve it. They could overcome trails just as well without the Ordeal. Destiny wanted no more Ordeals for anyone.
But Fate apparently had other ideas.

"Ready?" Esmee asked Jessica.
Jessica nodded. "Lets bust Natalie out of there!" Normally she would have said something snappy to the thautamerge, but Jessica know better. Reluctantly, she released her bitterness towards Life and Ice.
Chris and Alexis had already gone inside to search for Natalie, Noah or anyone else. Now it was up to the rivals to complete the job: Distraction.
What seemed like the same moment, Jessica started tracing the Death symbol for a Skeletal Pirate while, surprisingly, Esmee was etching the Myth symbol. They let go at the same time and unleashed their spells.  
Jessica's Skeletal Pirate was successful. So was Esmee's spell... which was an Earthquake.
Jessica nudged Esmee. "Secondary Myth?" She guessed.
Esmee shook her head. "No, treasure card. Thought it'd be effective." Esmee paused to listen to screams within the black mansion, added by the sound of guards' yells, completed with a shriek from what sounded like Neela.
Esmee looked at Jessica and grinned. "What do you know?" She asked. "I was right."
"For once," Jessica snarled.
Esmee rolled her eyes. "Whatever Jessica," She grunted. Then her frown was erased with an evil grin. "Now, how does that saying go?" Esmee asked, then pretended to think. "Oh yeah, I believe its, lets get this party started!" Esmee raised her Flawed Sapphire Wand for Battle.
Jessica, rolling her eyes, did the same.

Natalie's breath was starting to come out ragged. True, it was fun. But now was not "Fun" time. Right now was "Run-for-your-life-or-you'll-be-mincemeat" time. Natalie wanted to get out of the latter time.
Natalie then heard the sound of guards gaining. So persistant and yet so bad at their job! Natalie thought as she ran. Then she stopped. "Time to fight," Natalie muttered. Quickly the storm symbol had appeared in the air, and Natalie finished with a Kracken.
Natalie grinned evilly, even though she wasn't evil as Vladimir, Neela and Cody and whatever people they hired, like that dunce Adam. Natalie noticed the Kracken's palm not to far from her, so reaching out, she jumped and hung onto the Kracken, made her way onto the palm, climbed up the arm and rested and the twenty-foot-tall creatures shoulder, where she had a clear view of the guards who had now caught up. They looked around, then looked up at the Kracken. The guards meekly casted a few ghouls and enraged, the Kracken hurled his bolt at the group. It landed almost straight in the middle, leaving the mixture of dogs and humans scattering.
Natalie grinned. "That's right," She called. "Run away like wusses and sissies!" Natalie paused to think. "Actually, you're something more profound! Wussissies!" Lot of S, Natalie thought.
Confident now, Natalie guided the Kracken after the guards, assuming that they knew where the exit was, since she had heard that there was an attack on the Manor. As she did, to hopefully prevent trouble, Natalie took the fact that her secondary was Fire to good use and summoned a Phoenix. Natalie could feel the Kracken beginning to sway, knowing that his time as a minion was almost up. Not knowing what to do, Natalie looked around for options. The Kracken was about to fall over and unless she didn't do something quick, Natalie would fall with it.
Then the phoenix she had summoned was in sight.
Making an insane decision in a split-second, right when the Kracken toppled over Natalie jumped off his shoulder, loving the few, fast and exilerating moments when she was soaring through the air. Natalie squinted and saw the phoenix...
...And landed perfectly on its back.
The phoenix was soaring through the air faster then Natalie had, which was kind of surprising, seeing the rate and altitude she had flew. Wind pushed heavily at her face, and she could barely rein in, let alone cast spells.
Then Natalie couldn't take it any longer.
Tired, Natalie's muscles gave way to falling off, and Natalie couldn't help herself. She tumbled off of the phoenix in which she had created and landed on the ground.
She heard something snap.
Natalie tried to get up but found it difficult. The rest of her body had landed on her left arm, which was now searing almost unbearingly with pain, pure pain. Natalie got up, but staggered and limped as she walked. She wondered what had happened as she couldn't help but cry out in pain.
Then the answer was clear.
Natalie had broke her left arm.

"Then prove it," Sarai snarled. "Do it now. I want to go back. That's the whole point of me being here in Wizard City."
Taryn sighed. "When the time is right, I will," Taryn said.
"The time is right now!" Sarai protested.
Taryn smiled, as if Sarai had cracked a funny joke. "Time," She muttered. "Time is a beautiful thing. An element. There should be a school of it."
Sarai groaned. This was getting her, Cody, Antonio or Anthony nowhere. Maybe she should just stick with finding the trio and these Shards.
She huffed. "Waste of time," Sarai muttered. She walked away.
"Wait!" Taryn yelled as she ran up to Sarai.
Sarai stopped and turned around. "What?"
"I would do it now," Taryn said. But-"
"Then freaking do it already!" Sarai yelled, her echoes bouncing off of houses in the commons in the night. It was the sort of scene you see in a book, Sarai realized. The kind where the mysterious person tells the kid or teenager everything, or her mission. Hopefully Taryn would do something like that. It would be pretty cool, Sarai guessed.
"There's a good reason why I'm not," Taryn persisted. "Its because you're not together."
There was a silence. Then Sarai exhaled deeply. "I see your point." She admitted. "So what do we do now?"
"We," Taryn started, a small smile starting on her face and taking over her face. "We need to get the whole gang back together."

Destiny stared down at Nicholas, still shocked.
The time was coming.
One of them was going to die.
Destiny was racing through her mind. No, it can't be! She thought. No more Ordeal, please!
Just at that moment, Ryan appeared. "Destiny, this is bad," He said. "Emma just entered her Ordeal, as did Connor."
Destiny nodded. "Same with Nicholas."
"So only Garrett and Dylan remain for now, huh?" Nicholas asked.
"I guess so," Destiny shrugged. "But if their siblings are currently going through this, then its only a matter of minutes, seconds, possibly, before they're out too."
Ryan shook his head. "Death is almost upon us," He said. "One of them has most likely seen their last sights."
"Don't remind me!" Destiny snapped. Then she saw the hurt on Ryan's face and her next reply was in a gentler voice. "I'm sorry, its just that I'm going through a lot, I guess."
"Aren't we all?" Ryan replied. "I've never seen someone die through Ordeal. But its gonna happen."
Destiny let out a breath that she just then realized that she'd been holding in for a while. Then a new topic came to mind, one that she had been constantly wondering about but hadn't realized it till now due to the horrific lines of the Prophecy of Fire.
"How's Esmee?" Destiny asked. "Chris? Jessica? Alexis? Natalie?" She had put Esmee first because she was her cousin and so far was concerned about her welfare most. Natalie too. The last time Destiny had seen her, she had been lying on the grass unconscious. "Have you recieved any word from them? Any at all?"
Destiny had been expecting a solemn shake of the head, "No, I'm sorry,", or a sigh. The next words weren't what she had in mind.  
"Actually," Jason joined, coming up from behind Ryan. "We recieved word while you weren't here. Chris has a Communication Stone like me, so he told us all that was going on, as I did him."
A spark of hope lit. "What'd he say?" Destiny ask excietedly.
"Chris told us that when in the raid on the base that they fled, but had to leave Natalie behind," Jason said. "It resulted in her capture, apparently."
Both of Ryan's hands were clenched into fists, his knuckles white. Destiny noticed a drop of crimson liquid drop from a fist. Blood. Ryan's nails were apparently digging into his skin, Destiny observed. Eew.
"Scumbag," Ryan said. "Dirty little rat. I'll show him..."
"Ryan, stop," Destiny warned, and helped him uncurl his fists, one of which was bleeding. "Hurting yourself isn't gonna make things better."
"Oh yeah?" Ryan countered. "Imagine if your sibling got kidnapped! What would your reaction be?"
Destiny didn't say anything. She did have siblings, two brothers and two sisters. "I would be mad," Destiny admitted. "I would stop at nothing until I got them back." She shocked herself that if her little sister Scarlet was the victim, that she'd do it. Because Scarlet was a pain in the butt.
"Now imagine yourself in my situation," Ryan proceeded. "That you were helpless to do anything about it, in another time or dimension with no known way out."
"Furious," Destiny said.
Streams of tears were beginning to fall from Ryan's eyes, one making a trail, then another one shortly following, taking advantage of the same path and glistening. He was breathing heavily. Ryan noticed the tears and wiped his face quickly before anymore could fall. Then he furrowed his eyebrows. "Exactly,"
"Don't worry Ryan," Destiny soothed. "It's going to be okay."
"Actually," Jason interrupted. "It already is. Chris reports that he issued a rescue mission to the remainders of the Order, Jessica, Alexis and Esmee, and I can feel that its already taking action. Don't worry Ryan."
"Anything else?" Destiny asked.
"Other then that they fled to Jessica's house," Jason said. "Pretty much it. Lets hope luck's on their side on the mission."
Let's hope luck's with us, Destiny thought.

"Quit pushing me around, Cody!" Antonio yelled as he tried to run away from the rouge necromancer. "We're supposed to be finding the dang Shards already! Geez, you were the one who issued the mission in the first place!"
"We've already looked," Cody said. "We've looked and we've met up. They're nowhere to be found. So I figured that until Sarai and Anthony get back, I'd amuse myself. Unfortunately for you, my strategy is get you back for taunting me for when we first met."
"You already did!" Antonio protested. "You over made up for it!"
"In your book, yes, I have, true," Admitted Cody. "But lets see, on page seventy-two in my book it says, "If someone taunts you, you will remain restless and on the hunt until that person is truly sorry for their mistake."
"But I am!" Antonio said.
"Sorry, yes," Cody countered. "Truly sorry, no."
"I am!" Antonio yelled.
"Whether you're truly sorry or not has to be decided according to the avenger," Cody said. "And the avenger is me."
Right before Cody could tackle Antonio, a shrill scream yelled, "Cody, what're you doing?"
Cody quickly turned around, prepared to fight, but he relaxed when he reconized Sarai. "You done already?" Cody asked.
"You done already?" Countered Sarai, raising an eyebrow.
"Well, it was split up," Cody pointed out.
"Never mind that or your wrestling with Antonio," Sarai critizied them. Both Antonio and Cody slouched. Then Sarai smiled. "Anyways, there's someone I'd like you to meet."
That's when Cody and Antonio noticed the girl behind Sarai. "Woah," Antonio muttered. "Someone's white,"
The girl in white nodded respectively. "I am Taryn," She said.
Cody nodded. "I'm-"
"I know who you are," Taryn interrupted. "Your name is Cody Shadowstrider. The theurgist is Antonio Lifespear. And I believe I just met Sarai Storm."
Cody stared at Taryn. "Who are you?" Cody asked, suspisions rising.
Taryn giggled. "I am exactly who I say I am," Taryn claimed. "Taryn."
Cody relaxed. He felt that Taryn was telling the truth. "Why're you here?" He asked, not letting his character falling.
"You four-yes, I know about Anthony Spiritwalker, too," Taryn said. "Were focused on getting the Shards. That is not what you need to be focusing on. Right now our objective is to find Anthony. Not to mention the Order of the Spiral."

Adam was shocked. Thorn Manor? Under attack? One of the reasons why he had accepted Vladimir's offer was because the Manor had seemed so inpenitratable.
"Well, why're you just standing there?" Vladimir scolded.
"Um what?" Vladimir asked.
"Who was that girl who just ran from me and casted the Kracken?" Adam asked.
"Girl and Krack-" Then Vladimir realized. "OH MY GOSH I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!" He screamed.
"Believe what?" Adam asked, genually confused.
"My my MY, you and Jose mess up EVERYTHING!" Vladimir yelled. "You let Natalie ESCAPE?"
"Natalie the prisoner?" Adam said.
Vladimir sighed in exasperation. "No, Natalie the root beer girl. YES NATALIE THE PRISONER YOU IMBOSILE!"
Adam gulped. Things weren't looking good.
"Heckhound, you mess up everything! At least Jose knew who to watch over!" Vladimir yelled.
Adam's fury was rising. He didn't want to get paid only to be shrieked at. Time someone stood to this guy. "Oh yeah?" Adam challenged. "Well, if you're so great and perfect, then why are you standing around talking to me instead of doing something about the fact that we're under attack?!"
"You didn't do anything about Natalie!"
"Oh, for crying out loud, I DIDN'T KNOW!"
"Adam, if you still want your money then you better act up and you better act up FAST!" Vladimir hissed. "I pay you for work and alliance, not for releasing the dumbness that seeps through your uncharged mind! Now get to WORK! As will I!"
With that, Vladimir charged off.
Adam sighed. He did want the money. He was also tired with Vladimir's insults. They sure boost self-esteem, Adam thought sarcastically. With that he gave chase to the gir- Natalie.
But not to capture. To negotiate.

Jessica cast another Skeletal Pirate at the guards that kept coming and coming and seeping and seeping through the doors. A second later Esmee followed with an Ice Wyvern.
Then something weird happened.
Before she could cast another spell, a ray of blue came from one of Esmee's palm. It was clear that Esmee didn't know what she was doing. She was confused at the ray was pointed at the guards, hitting them one by one.
And turning them into statues of ice one by one.
Once they were all frozen, the ray flickered and died, leaving Esmee completely unaware of what had happened.
"What," Jessica started. "Was that?"
"I-I-I don't know," Esmee stammered. “I just had this radiation- no, feeling - and I just had to, you know, let it out. And that’s what I did.”
“Well, save the dramatic speech for later,” Jessica interrupted. “Now that we can take care of guards easily with your fancy freezing, lets see how Chris and Natalie are doing.”

“Ugh,” Alexis groaned. “When will we be able to find Natalie and leave? I’ve got bad memories here.”
That was true. A month or two ago, Destiny had been assigned to spy on Vladimir desguised as Neela. She had found Alexis and together they had barely escaped the manor with Vladimir, Neela, Cody and the guards all on their tails.
“Patience Alexis,” Chris soothed. “It’s a virtue.”
“As the saying goes,” Alexis grumbled. “Not to mention it’s a curse.”
“Quiet!” Chris hissed as he pulled Alexis against a black stone wall besides him, the guards barely missing them and running past. Chris turned to Alexis again. “Do you want to be caught?”
Rapidly Alexis shook her head.
“Good,” Chris approved. “Then stay quiet and lie low!”
Her avid eyes sweeping the hall, Alexis noticed a medival door- one of those wooden doors with black metal hinges.
Alexis knew instantly where it led to.
“Come on!” Alexis whispered as she pulled Chris to the door. Alexis tried it, and surprisingly, it was open.
It led to the Manor dungeon cells.
“Knew it,” Alexis cheered. “Score one for Alexis.”
“In what?” Chris asked sarcastically.
“In being smarter then Chris,” Alexis answered.
Before Chris could insult Alexis back, Alexis led Chris down the hall. Most of the cells were empty and the same. But the one that really stood out was one that looked utterly destroyed.
The cell was practically pulverised. Most of the black iron bars had been snapped in two, the halves up slanted upwards, and the ones on the bottom slanted downwards. The door apparently hadn’t been opened, but the lock was split in two and the cell door seemed to be depending on a fateful hinge to the right for support. There were cut ropes sprawled on the floor and it looked like dust had actually built inside of there due to gray stone bricks that had crashed and one was preparing to crash.
Alexis turned to Chris. “Natalie’s cell.” She decided.
Chris nodded in agreement. “She is the type to think on her feet,” He said. “Now lets find her.”
Chris pulled Alexis along down the hall as another stone brick crashed and broke the last hinge, the end result the doom of the cell door.

Vladimir swiftly ran to the security room. He hadn’t been hearing from the security, so he decided that it was time to take matters into his own hands.
Quickly Vladimir pulled out a red key from his pouch and unlocked the door, revealing the security room, basically a system of telescopes that watched every room at almost every angle that all met up to there. The Security Room.
Vladimir entered another section of the room that watched over the cells in the dungeon. Before he entered that section though, he noticed a telescope leading to outside of the manor.
Vladimir peered into the telescope. There he watched as Jessica and Esmee retreated into the manor. The guards that were supposed to be protecting it weren’t moving a milimeter. Just then he saw the sheets of ice that covered each one of them.
Vladimir knew that all descendants had potential. But being able to freeze things? That was a whole different story indeed.
Vladimir then rushed to the telescope watching over Cell #24, Natalie’s cell.
Or what was left of it.
Vladimir gritted his teeth at the sight of the ruined cell. Helephant! Vladimir thought. Dang those Descendants of Storm! He knew that they had a thing or two with strength.
Then he noticed two others, a conjurer and a theurgist. He recgonized them both easily.
Chris Soulhunter and Alexis Lifestone. Order of the Sprial.
With good eyesight he watched the two of them carefully. He watched as Chris and Alexis fled the dungeon.
Vladimir exited the security room. Just then he noticed Jose running about. “Hey, Jose!” Vladimir barked.
Jose scrambled to him. “Yes Vladimir?”
“You know where the dungeons are, don’t you?” He asked.
Jose nodded. “Sure do,” He replied.
“I need you to guard the entrance,” Vladimir said. “A part of the raiding party is in there and will attempt to get out. Don’t let them. Get them. Maybe even kill them, if it comes to that.”
“Killing?” Jose asked, his voice quiet now. “You want me to kill?”
“At a last resort,” Vladimir said. “But if that’s what it takes to stop them from killing us, you just may have to. The stakes are now higher then ever before.”

Pretty soon Dylan and Garrett had fallen to the Ordeal too. Surprisingly, throughout the night, Connor had woken up and was waiting for the three members of the Order of the Spiral when they repeated.
Destiny rubbed her eyes then noticed Connor. “I thought you were in your Ordeal,” She said.
Connor nodded. “I was. Till I woke up.”
Destiny sighed. “I guess that’s it then,” She said solemnly.
Connor noticed the sadness right away. “What’s the big deal?” He asked.
“Our last names,” Destiny said. “Lets just say that.”
Connor sighed. “What about them?” He asked. “And please don’t do those dramatic pauses. I hate those.”
Unknowingly, a smile crept up Destiny’s face. “I do too,” She said. “Anyways, one night I had a dream. They basically spoke of last names. One of them was Seagem.”
“Awesome,” Connor replied.
“It was for me too,” Destiny agreed. “Till I met you.”
“So meeting me was a bad thing?” Connor asked, hardness erupting in his voice.
Connor was taking it the wrong way. “No, that’s not what I meant!” Destiny protested. “The thing is, my last name’s Seagem too.”
The hardness was replaced by happiness. “Awesome,” Connor said again. Then he realized where Destiny was getting to. “Oh,”
Destiny nodded. “Yeah.”
“Hey guys, what’s up?”
Destiny looked around and saw Garrett awaking up. “Already passed?” She asked.
Garrett nodded. “Yeah. It was scary.”
Destiny stared at him. “You know,” She said. “It only took a matter of hours for you while it usually takes at least a day. You’re Descendant to recover that I’ve seen.”
Garrett’s eyebrows rose. “Nice,” He said, grinning.
Destiny offered her hand to Garrett. “Congrats Garrett,” She said as Garrett accepted. “You just set a record.”
Garrett grinned slyly. “Again, nice,”
Then a jolt was sent down Destiny’s spine.
This means that when it comes to dying, Destiny thought. They’re out of the equation. But Dylan, Emma and Nicholas are still up for grabs.
Oh great. It just had to be one she had history with, huh?
Within the next hour Ryan and Jason had awoken and got some breakfast to share. The group ate viraciously and savored it. But Destiny knew it was only a matter of time before the subject arose again.
Destiny was right. “So, you guys recovered from your Ordeal pretty fast,” Jason observed.
“Honestly, I recovered barely before Destiny woke up,” Connor admitted. “I guess it took like fifteen or something hours.”
“Fifteen hours is pretty normal,” Ryan added. “But a matter of two or three hours from Garrett? That’s almost paranormal. He was close to beating the Ordeal record.”
Again Garrett raised his eyebrows. “Sheesh,” Was all he could say.
Jason nodded. “Sheesh indeed.”
The rest of the day seemed to fly by. Day turned into night. During the night Dylan recovered and was waiting for the rest of them. Now all that was left was Emma and Nicholas.
Another day passed. Still no recovery from either one of them. Somehow the group managed to keep themselves entertained.
Then, night rose.
Dylan, Connor, Garrett, Destiny, Jason and Ryan had all gotten back from the arena to test out their skills against one another in a series of duels. When they came back to the chamber, they found Emma tending to Nicholas.
Destiny gasped in horror. If Emma was now recovered-
It meant two things. One was good, the other very, very bad.
The first one was that Emma had survived her Ordeal.
The second thing was that apparently fate had chosen Nicholas.

Anthony was almost done searching for inside the Tomb of Storms. He had searched every nook and cranny of it, most would do the same if they were trying to get back to their own time. They would be that desperate.
Soon, when he returned to the Oasis, he found Cody, Antonio, Sarai and another girl dressed clad in white waiting for him.
“Hey guys,” Anthony greeted. Then his eyes swept to the girl. “Who’s she?”
Before the white girl could respond, Cody said, “She claims to be able to take us back to our own time.”
“Doesn’t the Shards do that?” Anthony questioned.
The girl shook her head. “No,” She answered. “That would be very, very unwise. If you bring the Shards at a close enough distance yet again, the massive amount of cosmic energy stored inside those fragments will cause even more chaos if they were to reconnect. You were all very lucky to survive an event of the Shards being brought together. Sending you forward or back in time was a tiny spark compared to what could have happened. What normally happens. There must have been a very powerful force near it to repel the radiation of that kind of energy.”
Antonio whistled. “So this is only a minority?” He asked.
“It’s exactly what I’m saying,” The brainiac girl said.
“So what’s your name?” Anthony said. “At least tell me that if I’m supposed to trust you.”
The girl nodded her understanding. “My name is Taryn.”
“A last name?” Anthony inquired.
“None,” Taryn said simply.
Anthony nodded his understanding. “I see,” He said. Some people in the spiral chose not to have a last name and just went by a first. Apparently Taryn was one of those people.
But Anthony quickly got back on topic. “So you explained pretty well what would have happened if the Shards reconnected,” He observed. “So explain how you’ll be able to take us back to our own time.”
“That I cannot explain,” Taryn objected. “It is against sacred laws for me to do so. But I can explain this: we need to find the rest of what you call the Order of the Spiral and... a few others.”
“Who is a few others?” Sarai asked, speaking for the first time.
“Some siblings who are gonna get caught up in this, whether they like it or not.” Taryn said. “All in the school of Balance.” Then the color drained from her face.
Sarai could sense that something was wrong right away. “What is it?” She asked.
“Sarai,” Taryn said softly. “Go to Wizard City. Now.”
“Why?” Sarai asked.
Taryn tried to blink away tears. “A death toll is near.”

Jessica looked over her shoulder along with Esmee as they entered Thorn Manor. Instead of a dark blue, now the sky was becoming a dark yellow as the sun began to rise east over the horizon.
“Wow,” Jessica marveled. “The raid has taken a few hours, apparently.”
Esmee’s eyebrows raised. “Had no idea it took this long,” She agreed.
“Anyways,” Jessica said. “We still have to find Alexis and Chris, but preferably Natalie.”
“So stop freaking standing there,” Argued Esmee. Before Jessica could talk back, Esmee retreated inside the manor. Shortly Jessica followed and rushed to catch up with Esmee. Suddenly a shout of pain was heard down the hall to the duo’s left. Quickly they both decided to rush and check it out.
But it wasn’t long before a sudden swooping phoenix was heading their way at an incredible rate. Quickly Jessica ducked, but Esmee held her ground, unmoving.
“ESMEE!” Jessica yelled. “Do you want to get squashed?”
A laugh came from Esmee. “I’m not!” Right when she finished, Esmee closed her eyes and exposed the palm of her right hand. Soon after, another freeze ray had shot out of it and turned the phoenix into a block of ice.
Jessica nodded an approving nod to Esmee. “Nice one,” She complemented. “That certainly disposed of the rouge phoenix.”
The fourteen-going-on-fifteen thautamerge shrugged. “I try,” She said, followed shortly by a smug smile. “Now lets move it,” Then once again Esmee broke off. Jessica rolled her eyes in annoyance, then shrugged.
They looked around, then saw a diviner grunting in pain, one they recongnized instantly.
“Natalie!” They shouted simentaniously.

When she saw the group returning, Emma rushed up to them, with tears in her eyes. “It’s Nicholas,” She stammared. “H-he’s not doing well! He’s struggling to breathe, and his heartbeat is slowing!”  
Jason ran over to Nicholas while Ryan muttered, “Oh no.”
Destiny along with everyone else listened to Nicholas, and he wasn’t in good condition. “We need to get him to a hospital or infirmary or something!” Dylan shouted.
Garrett shook his head. “As much as I hate to admit it, we can’t,” He said, “because there just won’t be enough time to take him to someplace like that.”
“Then get a theurgist!” Dylan shouted. “Just do something!” He looked to Nicholas, and even though he couldn’t hear, Dylan added, “Don’t worry, you’re gonna be okay!”
“Does anyone know CPR?” Connor asked as he scanned the group. “Nicholas has lack of oxygen coming to his brain.”
“I don’t.”
The group was stunned by Nicholas opening his eyes. “You’re okay!” Exclaimed Emma.  
Nicholas shook his head. “Not exactly. I didn’t pass.”
The color from Emma’s face drained once again. “What do you mean?”
“For now, I’m alive. However, I can’t exactly say that in ten minutes.”
“No,” Dylan said. “You’re not. If you do, we’ll get you to a medic.”
“No ordinary medic can bring someone back to life,” Nicholas regected. “It’s got to be Life herself or... or...”
“Or what?” Emma asked.
“Or the Descendant of Life, in which even she may not be able to do it,” Nicholas said. “The only other one who can do it is a fully realized Pure Descendant.”
“Pure Descendants barely exist!” Jason yelled. “You kidding me?”
“If I were, would I be saying it in the first place?”
Silence told Nicholas the answer he was looking for. “That’s what I thought.” He turned to his siblings, with a series look on his face. “You all have a common goal, Descendant or no,” He began. “You may not realize it, but I know that the spiral is indeed in graver danger then any of you know. It’ll take hard, combined efforts to repel that threat.
“I have seen things of the future from my Ordeal,” Nicholas continued. “It’s not a pleasant one. You’ll also have to keep this in mind: In the process, a world will actually fall and crumble to ruins, as will the rest of the spiral if in the end it isn’t enough. The spiral will be filled to the brim with evil and demise. Vladimir and his group have a plan that none of you know about. You don’t even realize how dangerous his goal is, and you don’t even realize how close he is to completing it! If he were to succeed, then everything we’ve all worked for will be for nothing. Everything as you know it will crumble to dust and ash.”
He looked closly at all of his siblings. “My time is coming very soon,” He warned, “Please, I need my siblings to fulfill their destinies, their roles to their school. Give your life if neccissary, as have I for this cause. The game has become a lot dangerous then what it was a year ago. I need you four, Connor, Garrett, Dylan and Emma, to fulfill your roles. All of you need to do so. And you will.”
Nicholas turned to Destiny, Jason and Ryan. “You’re all thinking how the legendary Marcus Dawngem died,” He said. “I know how, the same way I will.”
Ryan gasped. “He died in the Ordeal?” He asked. “But... he was a Pure Descendant...”
“Ordeals for regular Descendants are horrible,” He said. “One for a Pure is a thousand times multiple! Almost no one can survive that kind of challenge.”
Nicholas took a deep breath and looked up. “My time’s up,” he said. “Wherever this lead, someone had to go. I’m glad it wasn’t one of you guys. Time to rest.”
And with that, he was still.

From behind a corner, Neela Waterpetal noticed Esmee’s new power. She knew that she had a powerful aura as the Descendant of Ice, but not powers. Thautamerges learned to freeze little objects when they were grandmasters, and it could only be something small. However, Esmee had it down at adept. Her aura.
Aura. That’s what Neela would call it.
She had to find out about the Auras. If Esmee could freeze things, with her being a Descendant, there was almost no telling what the others could do. They’d most likely have Auras along with Esmee, powers to help them enhance life. Now she practically knew that the Descendant of Fire could do; he could most likely set things on fire with merly a glance.  
Neela had to find out more. Why hadn’t she, Vladimir and Cody heard of it before? Had they actually managed to keep their powers a secret or were they just barely being discovered? Neela had heard no mention of it that she could recall, nor had she seen it in action till now, so she assumed the latter. Neela needed to discover what this was, or if the Order had even known about it.
But if they had just discovered it now, Neela thought, had they had the capacity to use this all along?
Or did they not discover it till now because now was a grave time for them with Neela and Vladimir being so close to succeeding?

Connor felt Nicholas’s face. “He’s gone,” He said, barely controlling himself, “no theurgist can bring him back now, I’m afraid.”
Destiny looked back to everyone of Nicholas’s siblings. Only Emma’s auburn hair was visiable with her hands buried deep in her face. Connor was trying to hold his own for everyone. Garrett was trying to comfort Emma, telling her that everything was going to be okay.
But was it? Nicholas had died! They were all trapped in time with no known way out! Natalie was apparently captured for what she knew, and she couldn’t imagine what kind of trial Chris, Jessica, Esmee and Alexis was going through.
Things were not okay.
She realized that she hadn’t checked on Dylan. Dylan’s back was turned to the rest of the group, arms across his chest.
“Why did Nicholas have to die?” He asked himself, even though he knew that he was going to get no clear answer. “Why not me?”
Destiny heard him, and apparently so had Jason. “It was for a good cause,” Jason promised, “it won’t be for nothing.”
“And just what cause is this?” Dylan’s voice was raised. “Nicholas and I weren’t just brothers, we were almost twins! We were the closest two people you could ask for, even though that we were different schools.”
“Wait, wait just a minute,” Destiny rose, looking Dylan in the eye, “just what do you mean you were different schools?”
Dylan shrugged. “He was Balance,” He replied, “and I’m Death.”
Destiny slowly turned to Jason, who had a shocked expression on your face. “Um, you’re not Balance?” He inquired, trying to hide the uneasiness in his voice but obviously not successful.
“You see me wearing white robes, not tan,” Dylan reminded. “what did you expect?”
“We expected that you were Balance!” Destiny’s voice rose. “You went through the Ordeal! Your last name was in a dream of mine! And now you’re death?” Her voice was shrilling with the final four words.
“Oh, so its my fault all of a sudden?” Dylan asked, his voice rising along with Destiny’s, “you can’t blame me! I didn’t choose to be in Death!”
“But, but,” Ryan joined. “this means that you just may not be a Descendant of Balance.”
“But I went through the Ordeal and everything,” Dylan argued. “I guess you’re just not used to the fact that someone in Death could be a Descendant of Balance.”
Jason looked to Destiny, who’s face turned a deep red.
“Anyways,” Dylan persisted. “Enough with the fact that I may or may not be a Descendant, because I know for a fact that I am. My brother, twin, in fact, has died and all you’re doing is standing around here wondering if I’m a Descendant!”
He yelled the last few words, breathing heavily, seething in anger. “You don’t care!” He yelled. “You don’t care that Nicholas has freaking died!”
“That’s not true!” Ryan argued. “We care perfectly!”
“Then why are you standing around here arguing with me instead of moarning him along with Garrett, Emma and Connor?” Dylan yelled pointing to his twin’s body. “If this case, whatever you’re fighting for, has killed him, then I want no part of this, I don’t care if it kills me!”
With the last few words Dylan turned around and ran out of the spiral chamber. But not before saying,
“In fact, I’d prefer to be dead myself now! Anything to see Nicholas again!”

Sarai barged into the chamber, looking around. Taryn had said that a death was near. She had to get to that dying person before he or she did pass away.
That was, until she saw two boys and a girl huddling over a body.
Sarai walked over to the trio. “What’s wrong?” She asked.
The girl looked to her, streams of tears accenting her blue eyes and light brown hair. “It’s N-N- I can’t say his name!” The girl cried. “My brother- dead!”
“This wasn’t supposed to happen in at least thirty years,” The oldest boy muttered, with black hair and purple eyes in Valkyrie clothes. “I can’t believe this.” It was obvious that he was trying to hold it together for his siblings.
Sarai gulped. She had been to late. Sarai knelt down besides the girl. “I’m so sorry,” She said. “So sorry.”
“And now-now- another brother, he’s, away! He ran away!” The girl continued.
“All in a days work,” Sarai heard the other boy mutter.
Sarai shook her head. This was insane. Loosing two brothers in one day was perfectly insane.  
“Our companions have gone after him,” The boy muttered again. The younger one, the one in that looked like in his late Magus. “Dylan wants to kill himself!”
“Well, you’re not going to let him,” Sarai affirmed, standing up. “He doesn’t understand that if he’s dead, he doesn’t consider how you three feel about this situation. Your brother needs to learn to live and learn, accept facts. Now, we’re going to find him!”

Before they found Dylan, someone else did.
He breathed heavily, staring out into the nothingness of his former school. Everything was being deprieved of him. First the trust of his teacher and guardians, practically saying that he was a failure as a necromancer. After that, his school was ripped out. To add, he was trapped in time with no known way out.
Now, his twin brother and only supporter.
It was all gone. Simply gone.
“Sad how the Death School is gone, huh?”
Dylan turned around to see a boy around his age with blue hair and dark eyes. He wore black Valkyrie armor and a gold sword. Dylan nodded sadly.
The boy looked over to Dylan. “Something’s wrong. I can sense it.”
“How would you feel if you just lost your twin and your school?” Dylan muttered.
“Well, I don’t have a twin,” The boy said. “However, there may be something that I can do to change that.”
Dylan looked at the blue-haired boy with interest. “What may that be?”
The boy’s lips formed a grin, both a little sinister and warming. “I’ll tell you. First, introductions. My name’s Cody Shadowstrider. What’s yours?”  

Natalie grinned from ear to ear. “Great to see you guys!” She yelled as she rushed up to Esmee and Jessica. “What about Chris and Alexis? Destiny, Ryan and Jason?” She cringed as she spoke Ryan’s name.
“Destiny, Ryan and Jason’s location are not of importance right now,” Esmee decided. She didn’t want to talk about her lost cousin. “What matters right now is that we find Chris and Alexis.”
“Well, then let’s get out!” Natalie said. “Lets find them and go, I’m sick of this place!”
“I’m afraid I can’t let you do that,” A new voice said.
Shortly after those lines were spoken, the trio saw a shadow emerge. A shadow of a teenage girl with long jet-black hair flowing down wearing a black and red Valkyrie Set. At first they didn’t recongize her, but when they saw her amber eyes, they did.
Neela. Apparently her hair that was usually tied up into a ponytail was now loose, and she wasn’t in her usual formal Marleybonian garb. Now she was clad in Dragonspyre armor.
And as if reading their minds, Neela grinned and asked, “Oh, admire the new change of looks? I decided that Marleybonian wear was too stuffy and was getting old. However, Dragonspyre armor,” Neela did the impossible by grinning even wider. “now this is what you call a good change of clothes.”
“Let us pass, Neela,” Jessica warned. Then, with a grin not nearly as sly as Neela’s, she added, “Unless you want to feel Esmee’s wrath.”
Esmee grinned. “I can do pretty nasty things to you now,”
“Oh, you mean your Aura?” Neela gasped. “Yeah yeah, been there, done that. I know you can freeze things.”  
“Wait, wait,” Natalie interrupted as she turned to Esmee. “you can freeze things?” She asked.
“Isn’t that what we just said?” Neela snapped.
Esmee nodded. “Exactly. So how about I test it out? You know, for practice?”
And with that, she launched a blue ray at Neela. However, it stopped when it got a foot near her. It didn’t dissolve or anything, it was just stopped, as if there was an invisible force field around Neela. For a few minutes, Esmee kept pushing and pushing with her strength. She turned her head and mouthed, “Go while I have her distracted!” to Jessica.
Jessica couldn’t read mouths. But she did get the message. She grabbed Natalie’s arm and fled.
Or, at least, tried too. Neela drew out her onyx blade and used it to bar Natalie and Jessica. “One step closer and this will be going inside your bodies,” Neela warned.
Natalie couldn’t take it anymore. She had already more or less played the role of damsel in distress, and even with a broken arm, there had to be a way in which she could help. She at least owed Esmee and Jessica that much.
Then, without thinking, winds rushed up to Natalie and the fighting quartet heard clouds roll in above the manor. The air was spiraling around Natalie like a vortex consuming yet another victim, lifting her up so her head was an inch from the silver ceiling, and her eyelids fluttered and eyeballs rolled back as if she were fainting. But she wasn’t. So she opened them again. Only this time they weren’t their usual gray: It was a dark purple. Not just the eye color- her eyes were completely purple.
Jessica gulped as she saw the fifteen-year-old rise up into the air with her eyes turning purple. And at the same time, she heard lightning flash outside and thunder rolling in. She quickly looked out a window and saw that the winds of the storm was causing a huge wreck outside, with tree trunks cracking apart and falling down onto soggy grass or gravel, Marleybonians fighting against the storm, desperate for safety inside their homes.
And if Jessica knew right, the storm happening at the same time that Natalie was- well, in her state, (Jessica didn’t know what else to call it) was nowhere near a coincidence.
She soon had her attention diverted back to Natalie, whose right arm shot out and lightning shot at the ceiling with a downwards motion of her arm.
Esmee and Neela looked at each other with horror written across their faces. What had Natalie become?
With a horizontal motion, the winds grabbed Neela’s sword from her and threw it against the wall, falling to the stone floor with a clank.
As Neela rushed after it, Jessica and Esmee fled. But when they saw that Natalie was still in her trance, they rushed after her, not knowing what in the spiral to do to get her out of her state.
As Esmee continued trying to get Natalie down, Jessica turned her attention to Neela, who had collected her sword and was already advancing towards them. Jessica quickly summoned a Kracken, knowing that her Death spells would be pracitcally useless due to Neela’s heavy resistance.
After a huge effort, Jessica saw that Esmee had got the winds slowly putting Natalie down to the ground, and watched as the dark purple eyes were slowly turning to its usual gray. Once again she looked to Neela, who had easily killed the Kracken with her sword, the Kracken’s purple blood spilling across the floor.
To hopefully keep Neela distracted once more, Esmee summoned an Ice Wyvern, knowing that it wouldn’t do too much, but for now it was what she had.
A weakened Natalie opened her eyes, the purple completely gone, thankfully. “What- what happened?” She asked as the ceiling began to crumble and as Neela finished off the Wyvern- already.
“No time for that,” Esmee rushed. “For now the important thing is to find Chris and Alexis and get out of here!” Jessica took Natalie’s hand and ran out of the hall with her, Esmee following short behind. As Jessica and Natalie proceeded, Esmee held her ground.
“What’re you doing?” Jessica yelled at Esmee. “Let’s go!”
“Hold on!” Esmee cried. She closed her eyes, raised her arms and hands up, fingers spread apart and palms downwards, she quickly turned her palms up as if she were commanding something to rise.
And something did rise- that something was a thick sheet of ice slowly climbing up to the ceiling to bar Neela inside the hall.
“Nice one,” Natalie approved, a grin creeping up on her face. Sure enough, she was her old self instead of that creepy being who had seemed to be possessed. “I’m liking Esmee’s power.”
“Speaking of which,” Esmee quickly turned around, long brown hair swishing in the air. “What did you do? Natalie- somehow you called that storm. I don’t think you were possessed or anything of the sort. I think you did that on your own will.”
“Did what?” Natalie questioned, confused. She was interrupted by the sound of Neela hacking away at the ice with her sword. Again, Esmee put another sheet of ice to join the one that was already imprisoning Neela for good measure.
“Lets get out of here,” Esmee interrupted. “But just a second,” She added as she saw Jessica and Natalie already taking off. “Natalie, you may not remember, but you were lifted into the air, your eyes were a deep, dark purple, and there was this huge storm going on outside-”
“Speaking of which,” Jessica cut in. “I think its gone now.”
Sure enough, they didn’t hear any more lightning or thunder sounding. It still seemed a little cloudy, but based on what they were hearing, the storm seemed to have ceased.
“Guys,” Esmee proceeded. “I remember Neela saying something about an Aura. She said that my ability to freeze things in thin air without a source of water nearby was my Aura. Natalie, I think you found yours. You can call storm fronts.”
Before Natalie and Jessica could say anything more, Neela had broken through one sheet of ice and was already about halfway through the next.
Esmee quickly added three more layers and, when they heard footsteps coming nearer and nearer, they ran away, their main goal to find Chris and Alexis as soon as possible.

“Guys, Dylan could be anywhere,” Jason said as they hurried out of the spiral chamber in the dead of night. The trio was so tired- it had to be at least 11PM.
“Ain’t that the truth,” Destiny muttered. She knew that it wasn’t exactly the best time to be snappy, but being a necromancer, she really couldn’t help herself but to let Jason see that stating the obvious wasn’t exactly going to help.
“Like we did in Grizzlehiem and Mooshu, we’re going to have to split up and do patrols,” Jason proceeded. Either he hadn’t heard Destiny or decided to ignore her comment- and attitude. “Destiny, I need you to take the Commons. From what I’ve seen, the siblings are already looking through Ravenwood, so I guess I’ll look through the Shopping District and Elik’s Edge. Ryan, for now, you’re stationed in Olde Town.”
“Why is it always me that gets to patrol the lamest places?” Destiny grumbled. This time, Ryan and Jason did hear her.
“This the right time and place?” Ryan asked as Jason opened his mouth, most likely to say the same thing. “Who cares where we’re patrolling, the only thing that should be on our minds is where Dylan Nightfinder is.”
“Guess you’re right,” Destiny responded. “Well, may as well get a move on.”
The head of the Order of the Spiral headed into the commons. Once Destiny reached the lake, she stopped running and watched as Ryan and Jason headed into the Shopping District. Very soon she couldn’t see them anymore.  

Shortly Ryan had split up from Jason to do his task. But not long at all did he see make out a shape in the Commons. “Dylan?” He called. “Dylan, we’ve been looking for you. Your siblings are worried, you know.”
But as Ryan advanced towards the figure, he realized that it wasn’t Dylan. It couldn’t be Dylan- He wasn’t a foot tall and he certainly didn’t have wings.
The Descendant of Storm crouched down to inspect the figure. It was chirping rapidly in gibberish he couldn’t understand and ranting at him, but yet the sprite seemed kind of happy. Then Ryan inspected the sprite- then he gasped when he realized just who it was.

First off Destiny looked through the streets. But all that was in the streets of the Commons was the almost eerie breeze of the wind the sound of the rushing waters going down the waterfall and going into the stream. Destiny decided to mess around for a second, so she picked up a little jagged rock the color of a nut, and threw it in the lake. Destiny grinned as she watched the rock drop in and the ripples came out of the epicenter and made its way through the street, and somehow that usual plunk sound satisfied her more then usual. Perhaps she had just needed to take her anger out somehow.
Destiny crossed the bridge to the area of the Commons and noticed the entrance to Unicorn Way was guarded. But not too well, seeing how the guard was sleeping on the job.
Man, this place... It just seems to have... Changed. Destiny thought, at a loss for words even for her own mind. I remember the Commons- when it wasn’t deserted at night and no one was guarding the entrance to Unicorn Way.
What had happened?
Destiny decided to check out the library. As she climbed its stepped she noticed something hanging on the doorknobs. Locked!
She ran up to the doors and tugged at it, hoping something would work. She wished she knew how to pick locks. If only-
Then, as if on cue, Destiny heard a distinct fluttering sound. She turned around and saw a small figure heading her way. Wait a minute-
Until now, Destiny hadn’t really thought too much of the sprites disappearance. Now she realized how much she had missed her talkback attitude and her company.
Destiny? She heard the chirping voice ask. Sure enough, it was her. And apparently Nikki realized that too.
Nikki rushed up to her. Well, you haven’t seemed to change, She said, grinning.
“Nikki!” Destiny almost yelled in delight. Never had she thought would she be so glad to see the dark sprite. “Where were you? How’d you find me? How are you in this time too?”
Oh, I found that diviner bloke-
“Ryan,” Destiny corrected. Yup, it sure was Nikki. Nikki didn’t think twice about insulting even her allies.
Whatever. Anyways, I found him in Olde Town while I was desperately looking for Lady Lily-
“Wait, Lady Lily?” Destiny asked. “That sprite who told on you?”
Yeah! She’s allied herself with that blue-haired turd, now she’s still out to get me!
“How is she communicating with Cody?” Destiny questioned. Then she stopped. “Wait... he’s here?”
Yup. Nikki said. Sure is.
When she said that, something flashed in Destiny’s head and quickly faded away-
Another shall turn to the enemy;
This was it. Those lines of the prophecy were almost complete. Nicholas had died, and now it was very possible that Dylan would join Vladimir and his brew-haha. That was that. They hadn’t been able to prevent those lines of the prophecy.
But yet again, who could prevent fate?

“DYLAN!” Emma practically shrieked, tears blinding her eyes. Her hair was matted, dirt and streams of tears on her face.
Connor had never seen her this unruly. She was usually so clean. Emma must really be desperate for Dylan. And Connor couldn’t blame her. She had seen unspeakable horrors throught the Ordeal, trapped in time, a brother had died, and within ten minutes another sibling goes missing- and she was only nine.
Connor was the oldest, so he was usually more or less expected to be “The Man of the House” from time to time. And as the oldest, he had to reassure her. But he could barely see that possible, as he couldn’t reassure himself. So how was he supposed to tell Emma that things were okay? He knew that Garrett kept trying to do it, but Connor could easily see uncertainaity within the magus’s eyes. The diviner girl, Sarai, knew that they were all lost in their own ways, but she didn’t know herself what the sorcerers had been through in the past couple of days.
Connor looked up at the dark blue sky. Dark gray clouds seemed to be rolling in, matching the mood of the family. It seemed all was lost, not even a sliver of hope remained- until he heard the magic word.
“Praise the spiral, Dylan!”
Connor stopped sulking and ran towards Garrett’s voice. He looked behind and saw Emma was grinning as she ran too. Then they stopped at what they saw.
Dylan was in a ball. Then he slowly rose up and faced them, his face expressing not even the slightest sign of joy.
“Guys... I’ve... I’ve found a way.” He said.
“A- a way for what?” Emma asked.
“A way for all of us to be brought together once again,” Dylan responded.
“We are together,” Connor persisted. “Don’t you see?”
“No, you’re the ones who don’t see!” Dylan raised his voice. He took a minute or two for the confused faces of his siblings to sink in. Then he relaxed. “When I say all of us to be brought together, I mean all of us. Me, you three- and Nicholas.”
“Dylan, Nicholas is dead!” Connor said. Instantly he wished he hadn’t said it, as if that statement had made it true. “And unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do.”
“There is!” Dylan persisted. “A way to bring Nicholas back to life, a way, for all of us, to be truly reunited!” He took a deep breath, and looked at the siblings again. “We need Cody’s help if we’re going to become one again.”
“Who’s Cody?” Garrett asked.
A new voice spoke up. “I am,” An eleven-year-old boy in black Valkyrie armor, dark eyes, and short, light blue hair entered. Alongside him was a sprite. Cody stared at each one of them. “I know what has happened to you, all of you,” Cody said. “I’ll admit, I don’t personally know what each and every one of you has been through. But like Dylan said, I can change it.”
Cody’s eyes swept the audience, as if he were trying to detect people who would speak up. No one did. He proceeded. “All you have to do-”
“Cody!” Another voice joined. The Descendants of Balance recongized Sarai Storm, who looked a little worn. “Cody, Anthony and Antonio are in a fight in the Shopping District! Come on!”
Cody looked at the Descendants again. “Excuse me, I have to go.” Cody followed Sarai, and Dylan decided to follow Cody.

“Nikki, I need you to look for Jason and Ryan,” Destiny said. But before she could say anymore, Nikki cut her off.
Why? I just found you!
“Nikki, this is urgent,” Destiny persisted. “You need to warn Jason and Ryan that Dylan will most likely turn to Vladimir!” Then she looks at the lock shielding access to the library. “Actually, first I need you to pick the lock. You an do that, right?”
Sure can.
“Then do it, please,” Destiny pleaded.
All right, all right, Nikki replied. After a few moments with fumbling with the lock, Nikki flew back over and said, You’re good to go.
“Thanks,” Destiny said. “Now go warn Jason and Ryan, please.”
On it, Nikki said as she flew away.
Destiny rushed inside the library and looked around. With its banners, many shelves and mechanisms, it didn’t seem to have changed from when she last was in it, when she was doing research on Marcus Dawngem. Her attention was diverted to a book laying open on the desk. Destiny approached it and looked at the cover. The book was titled, Great Headmasters and Headmistresses of Ravenwood. She saw the page it was opened on. The page was labled, Merle Ambrose.
Destiny smiled and read some of the biography.
Merle Ambrose was born to Redbeard and Amber Ambrose, both former headmasters, on August 13th, 481 A.C. in Wizard City.
She was stunned. Wait a minute....
She turned back one page and was shocked at what was written on the next page. A picture of a caring woman with red hair into a ponytail was under the header:
Amber Ambrose
Her eyes bugged. Amber was a headmistress? But- not in her day! Was this going to happen in the future? If it was in this book, it had too. But she thought that Redbeard would be on the next page!
She had to face facts. Her world was slowly crumbling down.
But her thoughts were interrupted by heavy panting. Come quickly! Nikki yelled. Jason and Ryan are in a fight!

“Come on, Natalie has to be around here somewhere!” Alexis protested.
“Patience is a virtue,” Reminded a bored Chris for about the hundreth time.
“As you keep saying!” Alexis snapped impatiently.
Before Chris could react by lecturing her once more, a new voice arose. “Who’s there?”
Alexis and Chris gulped, clamping both of their hands over their mouths. They had just blown their cover... but it was too late. The past was past, and they couldn’t change it. So of course clamping their hands over their mouths was completely inneffective when a master diviner with dark eyes, short black hair, and a slightly muscular build that Chris and Alexis didn’t recognize seemed to rise out of the shadows, wearing a monk hat and dragonspyre armor and a purple Dragonspyre sword, which Chris recognized as the Galvanic Blade.
“I said, who’s there?”
That’s when the diviner casted the stormzilla to seek the two out. Its yellow nose sniffed the air, then after a minute, it seemed to pick up a scent- Chris and Alexis’ apparently, because right then the stormzilla charged at them.
Right then a minotaur and a centaur popped out of the Myth and Life symbols Chris and Alexis had etched to meet the stormzilla. The minotaur’s ax went through the stormzilla’s hip, but seemed completely ineffective. However, this encouraged the centaur all the more to send a volley of arrows at the stormzilla, which bore through its chest while the minotaur held it down. As the stormzilla dropped to the ground, dead, the minotaur and the centaur disappeared into the air, having done their jobs.
Alexis saw the the diviner’s lips curve into a smile. “There you are.”
And now yet another voice arose, and Alexis was half-surprised to find it her own as she stepped out. “Got a problem with that?”
“Yeah. I kinda do.”
As the diviner reached for his sword, Alexis took that opportunity to lunge at him, her hip ramming into his chest, knocking him down the the floor. However, the boy simply brought up his leg behind Alexis and swung it at her backside, hitting her hard. Seeing this, Chris emerged and helped Alexis up after casting a humungofrog at the diviner, who was prepared for this, seeing how he had summoned a shield to defend himself as he used it to cover himself from the vomit the huge green frog puked out, barely damaging him at all. As he protected his head and torso by using his left arm to hold the shield, his right, which had a sword in it, cruelly scribbled a Storm symbol, which fizzled, the ashes falling quickly like snow.
But this didn’t bother the diviner. As Chris and Alexis were busy picking new spells, he heaved the shield, landing perfectly in the humongofrog’s mouth, suffocating it a little, then the diviner ran his sword through it, and he might have the same intention to do it to the Descendants, seeing as how he ran his swords through the symbols they had made in progress, therefore altering their concentration and having it fizzle as he took them by surprise as he pushed Alexis to the stone ground and attempted to punch Chris, who countered it by using his left arm to grip the diviner’s, holding him back as Chris kicked his stomach.
Meanwhile, Alexis swiftly got back up, rushing to her Mooshu wand, which was laying on the floor about ten feet away from her. She ran as fast as she could to it, but to no avail, seeing as how the Storm Wizard beat her to it in a flash and grabbed it, pointing it to her throat as Alexis skidded to a halt from running fast, then noticed that the diviner was pointing the Galvinic Blade at Chris. Then what happened next was unexpected.
The diviner’s lips curled into a smile just when another guy crept up behind him, surprising the trio completely as he tackled the diviner, forcing him to drop Alexis’ wand and his Galvinic Blade. The guy who had tackled the diviner was someone who yet Chris and Alexis didn’t recognize, for he was in black, black hood shrouding his hair and yet also shading his eyes.
“Enough, Jose!” The guy in black snarled.
“What do you think you’re doing?” the diviner called Jose countered back.
“Teaching you a lesson!” Yelled the guy in black, who before backtalking pulled down his hood to reveal short blue hair and sky blue eyes. Alexis didn’t recognize him, but apparently Chris did.
Noah’s gaze abrubtly swung to the Descendants of Myth and Life. “Go!” He yelled. “I’ve got Jose!”
“Noah, you just blew your cover!” Chris said urgently as Alexis bent down to pick up her wand. “You’ll probably get killed!”
Noah managed a weak smile at them, as if everything was going to be okay. But just blowing his cover and identity as a spy, it may not. As if seeing this suddenly, the magus pyromancer’s smile turned serious again. “Just go! I’ve got Jose covered! Reunite with Jessica and Esmee quickly! They’ve already found Natalie! Just GO!”
Looking to each other with worried expressions written on their faces, Alexis and Chris solemnly nodded briefly as they ran out of the hall, leaving Noah to fight with Jose, who had broke free from Noah and looked at him menacingly.
“You’re going to get it!” Jose yelled, angry, bringing up his blade.
Noah gulped.

Before Nikki could say anything more, Destiny was already out of the library, running towards the shopping district, gripping her Scavenger’s Staff of Sagas as if it were a lifeline.
Must... get... to... Jason... and... Ryan...
That’s what was in Destiny’s head as she entered the shopping district, and by the fountain she found that Nikki’s words were true- Jason was locked in combat with Anthony while Ryan was holding off Antonio, Noah’s cousin. Fire symbols after Fire symbols rang in the air, both of the pyromancer’s having no better idea then to constantly bring helephants to life. Antonio had just been able to cast a Guiding Light as Ryan’s spell fizzled, allowing Antonio time to trace the Life symbol again, this time bringing up a seraph. However Ryan seemed to be holding his own against the magus theurgist, while Jason and Anthony weren’t making much progress. So Destiny rushed to help them when she was caught back by surprise.
Jason screamed in fury at Anthony, and then the next sight was horrific- fire poured out of Jason’s mouth and other fist, sparks zooming the air and some landing on Destiny’s shirt.
Fireballs came out of Jason’s fists, all aimed for Anthony, who backed away in surprise, trying to dodge the fire. Anthony had brought up a Fire Shield, but it seemed to be doing no good to the fire that Jason was summoning without a symbol, without a staff- without magic.
Yet it was magic. How else would Jason be able to summon fire without a spark or ash without creating a monster from a spell? It just popped out of nowhere, and fire seemed to surround Jason and Anthony as Jason advanced towards the master, barely any emotion displayed on his face. Jason didn’t carry his Dragon Rider Staff- he just went out there with his bare hands, and he didn’t even lift them up as more fire seemed to surge from his mind and into the real world, fireball after fireball aimed for Anthony, yet none actually hitting Anthony- instead it hit the dye and shoe shops, unmaintained due to the late hour. Fire lit up the night and wreathed the battle between Anthony and the Descendant of Fire in red and orange.
Jason was now looming over Anthony, clearly worried for his sake and backing away on the ground. The Descendant of Fire brought up his arm, all of a sudden flames dancing on it, and as he was about to bring it down on Anthony it was interrupted by a cry, which Destiny had found to be her own.
The pyromancer turned his attention to her and as he did so, the fire seemed to soften, and apparently Antonio and Ryan’s battle had ceased to turn and watch Jason bring up the flames.
A look of concern and compassion replaced his emotionless face, and gradually it seemed that the fire ceased a little bit, and on top of it, Jason looked as if he were going to pass out. Jason had gone from a vicious battler into an understanding guy in barely a second. Jason took notice of the fire around them, which were slowly beginning to die down.
Jason breathed hard as he seemed to be done taking notice of his surroundings. “What... what happened?”
“Dude, you were out of control!” Ryan suddenly yelled. “There was a whole bunch of fire that you generated, and you did it without spells! It didn’t come from flint or sparks or anything either!”
Jason took a moment to register this and tears streamed from his eyes a bit, as if realizing and taking notice of the monster he had been. He drew in ragged breaths, another stream of tears going down his soot-stained face. Jason turned to Anthony, who was still on the ground, cowering from Jason in fear.
But Antonio didn’t, for he took no mercy and casted a centaur, already nocking an arrow at a surprised Jason, and to cover for him, Destiny quickly summoned a Skeletal Pirate, just in time for it to rush up in between the centaur and Jason, and just as the arrow was released the pirate blocked it with the flat of its sword. But the pirate met its match soon enough, for there was another pirate who lunged for it, sending Destiny to quickly turn around to find Cody Shadowstrider grinning menacingly, the near-grandmaster advancing near them.
“What did I miss?” Cody asked, confusion seeming to take over his face. The confusion quickly died as he grinned. “By the way, I’ve brought a friend.”
That’s when a boy in white clothes with dark, dark skin, short white hair and chocolate-brown eyes stepped out behind him, looking fairly nervous and ashamed, and Destiny’s heart softened a little bit when she saw him.
“Dylan,” She barely mangaged.
Dylan took a deep breath and pointed his wand at the head of the Order of the Spiral, switching from Destiny, to Jason, then to Ryan as he said, “For the right reasons. You guys lied to me! You all are wizard scum!”
“We didn’t lie to you!” Ryan’s voice rose. “We told you what was going to happen! We warned you about the death of one of your siblings! We took you in-”
“You didn’t take me in!” Dylan yelled. “Garrett took you in! AND HE NEVER SHOULD HAVE!”
“Dylan, I know that Nicholas has died,” Jason cut in, “but nothing can change that. Fate has already took its course.”
“Then I hate fate as much as I hate YOU THREE!” Dylan screamed.
“Guys, I hate to be the party pooper,” Cody interrupted. “But I’m bored. How about some fighting?”
Just then Cody released a scarecrow, something that Destiny had only seen once or twice from Vladimir and Neela. With barely a second to think, she conjured up a Death Shield and quickly observed who Cody was aiming at- Ryan. So she threw the shield at one of the Descendants of Storm, but missed. Ryan picked it up and raised it just in time to partly block the scarecrow’s attacks.
Antonio casted a sandstorm at Destiny and Jason, and because they had not been prepared, yes, it did damage them. As it died down, both of them summoned fire- Destiny by sunbird, and Jason by using his mind trick as he threw a fireball at Antonio, who seemed fairly surprised, taking him aback, which gave the duo the opportunity to throw more spells at the theurgist while Ryan attempted to hold Cody off, who Dylan was joining. Anthony was still speechless from Jason’s fire tricks, still on the ground as if he were rooted there- Jason seemed to have truly terrified him.
And the sound of spells in the air, the fire flickering and the aura of warfare spreading seemed to have died immediately when a shrill voice screamed, “STOP!”
Destiny quickly turned around to see a master diviner with chocolate brown skin and eyes, with long white hair, wearing a purple and white monk’s hat and Dragonspyre armor. Cody seemed to have recognized her though, because he muttered, “Sarai... Oh geez.”
The girl Cody identified as Sarai yelled again. “What’re you doing? Who caused this?”
Antonio and Anthony looked a little ashamed of themselves when they heard Sarai scolding them like a mother scolding her son for stealing candy from a baby. The remaining Descendants of Balance emerged behind her, as did a girl purely in white- with the exception of her purple eyes, reminding Destiny of an athemist.  
Finally Destiny broke the silence. “Who are you?” It was directed at the white girl.
The girl smiled. “My name is Taryn. I have the power to get every single one of you back to your own time.”
It seemed as if the air had been knocked out of Destiny. Ryan’s eyes bugged, and Jason tried to disguise his shock by raising an eyebrow and asking, “How?”
Taryn’s lips formed a genuine smile. “That, I cannot tell, for the secret of this particular magic is ancient and has been lost for a time.”
“Well, never mind that,” Destiny suddenly spoke up. “What I’m wondering is if you can do it. Because if you can, then prove it.”
Taryn maintained her smile. “I remember Sarai here asking the very same thing a day or so back. I refused to do it because not all of you were here. But-” Taryn’s gaze went to Sarai, Cody, Antonio, Anthony, Emma, Connor, Garrett, Jason, Dylan, Ryan, and finally, Destiny, and Taryn’s gaze seemed serious and punctured into her, as if trying to send her a vital message, and Destiny could see a look of worry yet hope in her eyes when she saw Destiny, “since now all of you are here, I can do it. I only will if you agree to stop the fighting.”
Everyone hastily nodded.
Taryn nodded her approval, her smile suddenly fading as she marched into the very center of the Shopping District. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Then her eyes opened suddenly as she said, “Then let the process begin.”

Huffing, Chris and Alexis ran side by side until-
Until they found them. A thautamerge with long auburn hair and blue eyes wearing Marleybonian clothes, a necromancer with jet-black hair and blue eyes wearing black and red Mooshu clothes, and someone they had been eagerly hoping to see again- a girl with dark skin, light blue hair and gray eyes in purple and white Mooshu armor.
The next moments were blurred with joy and happiness, but Chris could make out that Esmee and Jessica were smiling and laughing wholeheartedly together but tired, their differences put aside- for now. Alexis and Natalie giving one another a girl hug, and Chris stood there, smiling at the happy reunion.
And, it seemed for a moment right there, that things were going to be okay. That it was going to be all right. They had succeeded in their goal. They had united once more. Sure, Destiny, Jason and Ryan were in a different time, but Chris was confident that it would get sorted out.
But quickly things got grim.
“Noah,” Chris breathed.
The girls paused and turned to look at Chris, a look of determination and hardness on his face.
“Noah,” He repeated. “Noah Firewielder blew his cover just so Alexis and I could escape from a diviner called Jose.”
Alexis bent her head solemnly.
Chris smiled a little. “But don’t worry Alexis.” He said. “Noah saved us,”
The next words sent all of them with a new determination and new goal. Something that they had to do otherwise nothing would go right.
“So we’re going to do the same.”

Vladimir Thorn was rushing everything and running everywhere, hoping to protect his home and base from crumbling to the Order of the Spiral.
He tried veraciously to stop them from flowing down his cheeks- he could barely watch. It was his home, after all.
But his thoughts were quickly interrupted by a girl with long black hair (not tied in its usual ponytail) and amber eyes in black and red Valkyrie Dragonspyre armor. Neela. She looked worn and shivering a little bit- maybe the Descendant of Ice’s powers had an effect on her. The soles of her boots were covered in a purple liquid- Kracken blood.
“What is it?” Vladimir asked.
Neela took a deep breath and said, “They found her! They found Natalie! They took her along and are nearing escape! I’m sorry, I fai-”
Vladimir gripped her shoulders, and Neela expected a slap or something most villains did in books. But when she look into his eyes, all she saw was concern and worry for his childhood friend. “Neela, stop. Calm down.” He said encouragingly and sympathetically yet stern and forceful. “It wasn’t you. It was the Order- they simply overpowered you that time, especially with Esmee’s newfound power.” Vladimir released Neela’s shoulders and asked calmly, “You do know about them, right?”
Neela nodded her understanding, trying not to show the fright in her eyes.
But Vladimir easily found it, forcing him to recall the time they had first met, three or four years back...
“Stop it!”
Twelve-year-old and newly oriented novice necromancer Vladimir Thorn, grief stricken, looked over to his right and saw a girl a bit younger then him in novice fire robes backing away from a trio of grandmaster necromancers. They were bullies of Ravenwood- Oran Nighthunter, Ally Shadowbreeze and Galen Darkspell.
Oran pushed the fire student back, his red hair seeming to glisten along with his amber eyes remarkably similar to the girl in the Fire robes- for she had long black hair, was a little short and had narrow, light amber eyes.
Oran laughed. “Or what, puny novice?” He pushed the Fire girl down onto the pavement, and as he did so, a chorus of laughter erupted from the trio of bully necromancers. As the girl tried to get up, Oran simply pushed her back down again, and they laughed once more.
“Oran, stop it,” Ally pretended to sympathize, her long golden hair pushing on her shoulder. “I mean, isn’t the girl weak enough? She is a novice! They can’t even help themselves, those noobs!”
Oran, Ally and Galen laughed again.
Rage burned within Vladimir, a fire within him flaring. The Fire girl’s black hair... it reminded him too much of her.
I’m doing this for you.
“Hey! Stop it!” Vladimir yelled, approaching the twelve-year-olds.
Oran, Ally and Galen all turned their gazes to him, and for a second Vladimir was nervous and unsure that he should have said that. But then he quickly regained his confidence as Oran asked, “What? Did you say?”
Vladimir grinned along with them. “You heard me. Stop it! Or do you need your ears checked?” The novice pretended to think about it for a minute then grinned wickedly as he added, “Oh yeah, that’s right, I forgot. You don’t have any.”
Galen rolled up his sleeves and balled up his fists, but Oran didn’t even turn his head around as his arm blocked the dark-haired boy’s way. Then Oran advanced towards Vladimir, making sure to tower over him. “Going up to us, you might not have any yourself.”
Ally and Galen laughed to encourage Oran, but instead Vladimir maintained his confidence and countered, “You’re just using my insults? Man, you cowards might want to take classes on insultation.”
Ally and Galen Ooohed as Oran raised his eyebrows and asked softly and forcefully, “What did you just call us?”
“Coward. You heard right. I called you a coward.” Vladimir pointed out. “And I’ll do it some more. Liar. Bully. Good-for-nothing.”
Oran was starting to look mad. “You’re starting to get it!”
Then he punched Vladimir, knocking him to the ground. Ally and Galen followed shortly, kicking him in between them as if he were some sort of ball.
Oran barely had time to register the cry when all of a sudden, the girl, now in black and red and hair flowing down, tackled him and tackled him hard. Vladimir got up as Oran was knocked down, with the girl in Death robes furiously swiping at him.
“You... don’t... mess... with... me... ever... AGAIN!” She yelled between punches and kicks, and Oran was helpless, and Vladimir, Ally and Galen made no move- they just stood there, surprised at the sudden change of the girl.
The girl was seething with rage, eyes filled with fury all the while the only thing Oran’s eyes displayed was fear. But nontheless, the girl continued.
“You think you’re so smart!” The girl screamed. “But get this, son of a banshee!” Vladimir couldn’t believe she had just sweared, “You just dug your own grave right there!”
“Please, no!” Oran begged. “Please!”
“No!” The girl screamed right in his face, kicking him. “I will not stop! When you pushed me down and I begged for mercy, did you give it to me? DID YOU?!” She kicked him again.
Oran was wheezing now- he probably couldn’t handle it anymore. He looked half-dead... all because he had attempted to pick on a seemingly mindless girl.
“Wh- who are you?” Oran asked fearfully in a mix of a stutter and wheezing.
“A fighter,” The girl snarled, “giving you what you deserve!” She laughed. “It’s funny- you’re acting like the victim now! Hiding your lies and disguising yourself!”
Now the girl was barely inches away from his face. “I’ll stop. Because I have to thank you- you made me infinitely stronger and smarter today.” She stepped away from him, and it took him a minute or two to regain his strength to sit up.
“Don’t you dare mess with me again!” The girl hissed right in his face, spitting on him. “Because believe me, I’ll remember. I’ll remember, all right. Now run. Run like the spiteful coward you always have been!”
Oran hastilly nodded, picked himself up and ran like the wind.
The girl in Death robes turned her attention to Ally and Galen. “You want it too?” She threatened.
They both shook their heads and ran.
The girl smiled, then turned her attention to Vladimir. But unlike the previous three, at him, she smiled. “Hey. You had guts.”
Vladimir relaxed. He had thought that the girl was going to harass him to get the helephant out of there, but apparently not. “Um... yeah. I guess I did.”
The girl smiled again, this time genuine. “You stood up to them-”
“So did you,” Vladimir pointed out.
“Yeah, but you inspired me to rise up.”
“I- I did?”
The girl elbowed him and laughed. “Didn’t I just say that?” She looks at him for a moment, then says, “I’m Neela. Neela Waterpetal. Student of... Death.”
Vladimir nodded. “Vladimir Thorn.”
The flashback was interrupted. “Vladimir!”
He recognized the voice. “Jose? Did you find them?”
“Yes, and something else,” Jose appeared now with a guy in black with blonde hair, his eyes closed, Jose’s arm over Noah’s neck. Noah looked unconscious and had a bloody nose.
Vladimir stepped forward. “What the-”
“He’s a traitor! A spy! Noah has worked for the Order of the Spiral all along!”

Taryn took a deep breath and lifted her arms, then brought them back down again.
She’s not doing magic with a wand, staff or sword, Destiny observed. Hand magic. Have to be pretty powerful to do that.
But Destiny’s thoughts were interrupted, because a symbol she had never seen before appeared in front of Taryn. It was a white symbol, that looked like the basic hourglass outline, an upside-down triangle’s tip connecting to the tip of another triangle. Then it broke and a white portal appeared in the air, like a swirling, white black hole.
“Here we are.”

The Descendants ran like heck, running away from the entrance on the slim hope that they’d find Noah.
Then they saw him. He looked unconscious, in Jose’s arms, which couldn’t be good. Neela and Vladimir were near.
“What do we do?” Alexis squeaked.
“Simple,” Esmee said. She looked down on her hand and grinned.
“Esmee, fancy freezing isn’t an option!” Jessica hissed. “Didn’t you see? It had no effect on Neela! It stopped in midair by the time it got a foot near her!”
“Maybe not,” Esmee admitted. “But observe those stone pillars. I can freeze those...”
Then Esmee whispered her plan to everyone.
“Pretty good,” Chris mused.
“What can I say?” Esmee shrugged. “I’m the Descendant of Ice. I’m awesome that way.”
Then the five rose up and ran towards Jose, Vladimir and Neela. Chris landed and cast a minotaur at Vladimir while Alexis started to cast the Life symbol, aiming for Neela. Jessica went head on for Jose and wrestled with him for a bit. Esmee got to work coating the pillars in ice, and Natalie guarded Esmee.
Jessica jammed her thumb into Jose’s eye then punched him in the stomach, forcing to release his hold on Noah, who was now awake- a little.
“Whaz heppin...?” Noah groggily asked.
“Why do you need to know again?” Jessica answered as she ran with Noah’s arm on her shoulders, limping along.
Neela lunged for Natalie, who swung her staff and tripped Neela, with a new confidence that she had never had before. She poked her staff into Neela’s stomach knocked her to the ground, not bothering to do anymore damage.
Chris and Vladimir were locked in combat, with Myth and Death eagerly awaiting each other with constant wraiths and minotaurs summoned. The minotaurs ax clashed with the wraith’s ax like a swordfight. Finally the wraith chopped off the minotaur’s head, the body of the human collapsing to the ground, and the wraith evaporating into air as it grinned with it’s skeletal teeth in satisfaction.
For some reason, for Chris, he lost it.
He screamed in a deadly combonation of fury and rage and out popped in midair a Mooshu sword, which he barely caught. Then popped out blue and white Mooshu armor which immediately assembled themselves over his current set of clothing as he advanced towards Vladimir, furiously swinging the sword.
Vladimir took a step back or two. “What the-”
Out came of the air a hatchet, which launched itself at Natalie’s hand, who immidiately started hacking away at a pillar that Esmee had already coated completely in ice, and it started to tremble a bit, weakening.
As Vladimir was distracted by this, just like that, a Myth symbol appeared in front of Chris, and out came an earthquake that shook the whole room, and Vladimir struggled to maintain his balance.
Then somehow, the sword that had popped out of the air launched itself at Vladimir, who spun around and dodged, it barely missing his head and sticking itself into the wall instead.
Immediately another sword popped out of nowhere, which threw itself at Vladimir.
During then the pillars started to crumble down, thanks to Esmee and Natalie.
“Run!” Natalie screamed as they all broke out into a run, going as fast as the wind, avoiding the crumbling ceiling that Neela, Vladimir and Jose were trapped in.
They soon saw Jessica, who looked relieved to see them. “GET OUT!” She screamed with Noah at her side, half unconscious.
And with that, they ran like the wind out of the doors of Thorn Manor and into the setting of Marleybone, with dawn erupting, the sign of a new day there.
After they had put enough distance between them, Esmee huffed, “I can’t believe it. We did it.”

Taryn turned back. “Now’s your chance. It will shut down within a matter of minutes. The more energy I have, the longer this will remain, because this is a more of an over time spell, like Fire Elf. So hurry.”
She turned to Cody, Dylan, Antonio and Anthony. “You guys will go first- I cannot endanger the rest.”
Taryn had barely finished her sentence when Antonio had already gone through the portal.
Cody smirked. “May as well,” He said as he strode towards the portal. Before he did though, Cody turned around and gave the Head of the Order a look that said, This isn’t over.
Clearly it wasn’t. But it soon would be, Destiny reminded herself.
But how did she know that? Maybe it was a gut feeling, maybe it was something she was sure of. Destiny didn’t know how she knew it, but it would be over soon.
But not now it wasn’t.
Destiny had been so lost in her thoughts that she had barely noticed when Anthony clammered up to Jason. “T-take this,” He said as he handed Jason a red piece of something that was almost like a perfect oval. There seemed to be a fire flickering inside it.
Jason breathed. “You can’t be serious...” He looked to Anthony. “Do you know what this is?”
Anthony didn’t seem to know, but Destiny sure did.
The Fire Shard.
“No, I don’t,” Anthony stated. “But- just don’t do that to me again, okay?”
Jason nodded. “I won’t.”
Anthony nodded, the two moons of Wizard City glistening on the streams of tears that had ran down on his face as he slowly walked backwards towards the portal, then he turned around and eagerly went through, not looking back.
Emma, Connor and Garrett walked over to Dylan, who hesitated. “Are you staying with us... or what?”
A minute passed before Dylan rapidly shook his head. Looking back all the way, he stepped through the portal to join Anthony.
Right then, the grim words of the Prophecy of Fire ran through Destiny’s head once more.
One shall fail the test;
It had referred to Nicholas Ashwielder, Descendant of Balance and twin of Dylan. He had loved and cherished his siblings over anything else. It hadn’t been fair that it was he who ended up dying.
And it wouldn’t have been for nothing, Destiny vowed.
One shall turn to the enemy;
Out of vengeance and grief for his twin, Dylan Nightfinder had looked to Cody Shadowstrider for help. He had made bad choices... but really, who could blame him? Dylan had been in a state of pure grief- and made rash decisons that would affect his life.
“Descendants of Balance,” Taryn called, and the siblings looked to her. “You may have as well joined the Order, but it is best to get back to your home, for now.”
Garrett, Connor and Emma nodded. As they walked up to the portal, all holding hands together, Taryn stopped them with a sad expression. “I am truly sorry for the loss of Nicholas. He would have had a bright future ahead of him.”
They nodded solemnly to Taryn, but then looked over to Destiny, Jason and Ryan with little smiles. And it relieved Destiny to know that even with Nicholas gone, they would be okay and manage to move on.
And so they did. It seemed as if stepping through the portal assured that. And there they were, gone in the bright white light.
“Sarai,” Taryn said. “You were very eager to go home. Now you are able to do so.”
Sarai ran up without hesitation or looking back whatsoever.
Taryn now looked at the final three. “Ryan. Go. You will meet up with your sister shortly.”
This encouraged Ryan a lot as he practically plunged in headfirst into the portal.
Now Taryn looked over to Nikki and Lady Lily, who Destiny had realized just then had been fighting... or doing whatever. She didn’t know. Taryn beckoned towards the portal with her head. Lady Lily fluttered in, but Nikki remained at Destiny’s side.
Not just yet, She said. I’m staying by your side. I will fight and defend.
Destiny looked down at Nikki and smiled at the backtalking sprite. However rude she may be at times, it was very comforting for her to say it.
And not just for Nikki to say it, but the fact that it was true.
“Jason.” Taryn said. “You have the Order of the Spiral to manage. Best you meet up with them and your best friend, the Descendant of Myth.”
“How do you know this?” Jason asked.
Taryn chuckled. “As superstitious as Fire, I see. You remind me so much of her.”
Jason’s eyebrows rose, and so did Destiny’s. “Wait... you knew my ancestor.”
Taryn chuckled. “I know many things, Jason Stormflame, Descendant of Fire, Grandmaster Pyromancer.”
“Okay, you were just showing off right there,” Jason pointed out. Then he got back to business. “But who are you?”
“That, my friend,” Taryn answered, “will be answered another day. Another time. It is not now.” She quickly looked to the white portal, which was starting to flicker a bit. “Go now, Jason Stormflame, while I have the energy left.”
Jason nodded and ran through with the Fire Shard in his hand.
“Nikki, the Dark Sprite,” Taryn said. “You have to go through now. My energy will be wasted soon, and I will have to talk with Destiny in private. She will follow shortly, do not worry.”
Nikki nodded, took a look back at Destiny, and flew through.
Taryn looked to Destiny after Nikki had fluttered through. “You are last,” She observed, as if she hadn’t noticed it before.
“No duh.”
“Seagem,” Taryn said, and Destiny being referred to by her last name creeped her out a little bit, “now is not a time to fool around. Great horrors will await all of you. Some might say this is the end, but... this is merely the beginning of your true trials.”
“Good to know.”
“And about knowing,” Taryn began as Destiny edged near the portal. “soon you will find out... everything. Things that are barely hinted to Wizardkind, wonderful things you and everyone else will discover. But at a price- there will be more lives taken- Nicholas was merely the start. And he was right- a world will fall. Stop the Thorns before it gets too late!”
Destiny nodded, then looked at the portal- it was starting to die.
“Go while I’ve got the last bit of energy left,” Taryn warned.
“What about you?”
Taryn smiled. “Oh, don’t worry about me. I have my ways- I summoned this, so I can summon another one in due time.”
Destiny nodded to Taryn as she said, “You’re not who you seem to be.” It was not a question- it was a hard statement.
Taryn shook her head. “No. I am not. Now go.”
Destiny looked behind her once more and sure enough, it was starting to close. Panicked, she hurried and took one last look at Taryn as white light blinded her eyes-
And she was at her cottage, with Ryan, Nikki and Jason waiting. But something else was waiting- something that her heart fell at when she saw the sight.
Her cottage that Esmee had given her after their journey in Grizzlehiem was burned down.

It was a wreck.
The ceiling had collapsed and the walls were black instead of the bright brown-gold it had been, a bit like a skeleton. Some of the wall had been evaporated and was still falling apart. All the furniture were merely debris and ash, some so badly charred that you couldn’t even recognize it anymore.
The sight was enough for her breath to be squeezed out of her and she tried to hold her own.
Jason came up and laid a hand on Destiny’s shoulder. “I’m sorry. We’ll rebuild it.”
Destiny nodded and knew at once that Jason’s words were true. “Yes. We will.”
But then her sadness was suddenly replaced by a sudden happiness as six people came into view as they teleported there.
Chris, Jessica, Esmee, Alexis, Natalie and a little surprisingly, Noah with dried up blood surrounding his nose.
Oh sheesh.
“What happened?” Jason asked whereas Ryan rushed to Natalie and Destiny rushed to Esmee. “You’re back!” They shouted simultaneously.
Ryan was about to hug Natalie when all of a sudden Natalie backed up. “Hold up, just go easy on me, okay?” She asked. “I have a broken arm.” Natalie diverted her attention to her arm.
Ryan’s face immediately paled. “Alexis!” He said. “Nat has a broken arm!”
“Really?” Alexis asked. “I didn’t know! Natalie sure didn’t act like it.”
“Heh, seeing isn’t believing,” Natalie reminded. “You should know that by now.”
“Nevermind,” Alexis replied. “Just let me take a look at it and see what I can do. Ryan, you may want to come along, after all, she is your sister.”
Ryan hastily nodded and joined the two girls.
Destiny turned to Esmee, both of them unsure what to do now that they were reunited. Sure, minutes ago they would have given almost anything to see their cousin again, but now it was a bit akward.
But then, as if on cue, they both rushed up to each other and hugged as if there were no tomorrow. And out of a peek of her eye, Destiny saw Jason and Chris a bit unsure like them, then observed them smiling and patting another on the back.
Soon both duos let go to get back to business, for even at this moment they had things to discuss.

“So, Neela used the word auras, right?” Jessica asked.
Esmee nodded. “I’m pretty sure that’s what she called my ability.”
“So Esmee’s... Aura... is to freeze things,” Destiny didn’t know what to call it for a second, but then quickly reminded herself what it was called.
“And there was this incident with Jason,” Ryan piped up. Ryan had stayed at Natalie’s side for a bit as he had observed Alexis tend to her, but the siblings had quickly caught up and now Ryan was no longer worried about her. “He was just shooting fireballs everywhere, but not with magic. It was more of his will and personality, his drive.”
“Maybe that could be his Aura,” Noah mused. Some of the area below his nose was a dark, dark red from the dried blood, but for the time being he was pretty much okay. “Setting fire to things.”
Ryan nodded. “So Auras are powers of the Descendants. Esmee’s Aura is to freeze things, and Jason’s is to set fire to things with his mind.”
“Wait, what about Natalie?” Jessica pointed out. “Remember that huge storm front and her being lifted into the air? That’s Natalie’s Aura, calling up massive storms. What other explaination is there?”
Esmee nodded her understanding. She too had witnessed it, so she understood the Descendant of Death’s theory.
“So we’ve got three out of eleven Descendants who have discovered their Auras,” Jason observed. “Natalie, Esmee and myself.”
“What about me?” Ryan asked. “If my sister has an Aura, than so do I.”
“Well, you are a Descendant,” Jason pointed out, “but there are two of you, and Natalie’s already discovered her Aura, so honestly Ryan, there may be a chance that you won’t have one.”
Ryan nodded. “I understand.”
Destiny knew that Ryan was trying to hold it together and all, but she could sense that he was growing jealous of Natalie and wanted a power of his own. She knew how he felt- but at least he was a Descendant.
Was Destiny wishing that she were a Descendant?
She was. Maybe facing the Ordeal would be bad, sure, but having such great and noble lineage would be awesome, as if she were royalty. And now they had the will to do such awesome things. Even her cousin was one.
That’s when Destiny observed- Esmee was a Descendant. And Destiny was her cousin, so they shared part of the same blood.
So what did that make her? Did that make her a Descendant or just a regular girl related to one?
Most likely the latter.
Alexis and Natalie walked over to the group discussing the Auras. “Not to mention Chris,” Alexis pointed out as she joined them, Natalie shortly following with a cast around her left arm. “You should have seen him when we were rescuing Noah. There were a bunch of swords popping in the air by Chris’ side and the swords were hurling themselves at Vladimir.”
Chris nodded. “I don’t exactly know how I did that- I just wanted to strike Vladimir with something offensive, something unexpected- and I guess I did.”
“So what I’m seeing is that Chris can bring things to life,” Jason understood. “So basically, if he wanted a chair, he’d get a chair at will.”
“Not to mention he can control the objects,” Natalie recalled. “The swords were hurling themselves at Vladimir.”
Somehow, that’s when Destiny remembered something.
“What about the Descendants of Balance?” She suddenly asked. “Nicholas... before he died, he could change grass to sand with a rub of his hands. And Nicholas could change it back to grass again.”
“Who’s Nicholas?” Chris asked.
“Someone great,” Destiny replied. “Nice, caring... he was the wrong person to die.”
Jason, Ryan and Destiny quickly told the rest of the Order about their experiences, as did Natalie, Alexis, Chris, Esmee, Jessica and Noah. Nikki tried to add in a few lines, but only Destiny could understand her, so the effort was practically useless. But Destiny recognized her effort to tell about Lily, so Destiny hurridly added that too. Even though she had been in a rush, Nikki was satisfied with Destiny’s effort.
“Wow,” Chris raised his eyebrows. “And we thought we had an adventure,” He muttered.
Ryan chuckled. “Oh believe me, you did. You got to get into a fist fight with others!” He was reffering to Chris and Alexis’s fight with Jose.
“True, but you’re the one who got stuck in time!” Alexis protested.
Destiny smiled as she watched Chris, Ryan and Alexis argue about who got the better adventure. Things seemed normal now, not as if they were recovering from their darkest times yet.
Because it seemed that they knew that things would be better... or would they? There was still the mystery of Taryn. Who was she? How was she able to travel in time? How’d she know about the Shards? Would they encounter Cody again now that he proved just what he was made of? How would the Balance Descendants get exactly caught up in this? Would Dylan be okay? Whose side was Sarai on? And most importantly, what had Taryn meant when she said that she would find out everything?
Soon you will find out... everything. Things that are barely hinted to Wizardkind, wonderful things you and everyone else will discover.
So what did that mean? Obviously that meant that there were things to find out, no duh. But how? Could she seek out the other five founding members of the Order of the Spiral? But Taryn had said everything else... was there something that no one had discovered? Ever?
Then she recalled more of Taryn’s wisdom- But at a price- more lives will be taken. Nicholas was merely the start. And he’s right- a world will fall.
Those words really bothered Destiny, punched so many holes in her as if she were a piece of paper and the words were a hole puncher. More lives taken? Did this mean that she would die? By pushing down Vladimir Thorn on the day of her orientation... did she seal her fate on that dreadful day?
Then she realized- it shouldn’t be her that she worried about. What about the rest of the Order of the Spiral? Would they die? Destiny didn’t want this to end as it had with the Balance Descendants.
Destiny was cut off from her thoughts by Jessica approaching her. “Uh, hey,” She said.
She understood Jessica’s reluctance. Destiny had the same feeling, most likely received from the fight they had before Destiny had even got the dream.
In turn, Destiny nodded and made eye contact with the other necromancer, jade green making contact with blue.
And that was the only conversation they needed, making up for the fight in the Commons after she had attacked Sophia.
They both smiled, and Jessica turned her head, and Destiny did likewise to see most of the Order of the Spiral filing out. Jessica was shortly out of the cottage too, leaving Destiny and Nikki alone with a skeleton of a cottage.
Nicholas had died. Dylan had turned to the Descendants of Valkoor. Noah had been found out. Natalie’s arm was broken. The Balance Descendants had faced tradegy brutally.
Yet, Destiny knew that everything was going to be all right.

Vladimir was alone in his room, staring at the picture of a girl whose image he had memorized.
He looked at it every night, to remember just what he was fighting for, to make sure she wasn’t forgotten.
The girl with the long black hair and bright blue eyes was his only thing to keep him going after all these years spent alone. Sure, he had found Neela. But even she couldn’t make up for the loss of her.
“I will be seeing you again,” Vladimir vowed.
Nothing was going to get in the way of that. Vladimir would make sure of it.