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  • Chiara Shih

The Legends of Erebus Part 1: Discoveries

Chapter 1: An Introduction

Emalia was an orphan, and had lived in an orphanage for most of her life. Her parents had both mysteriously disappeared in suspicious circumstances when she was 3 months old. Some said that they were stabbed by a local murderer though it was impossible, because that murderer died around a century before. Some said that they just left their child unattended when she was very young. They never reappeared after that, so she was taken to an orphanage by the local police and raised there.

In Emalia’s crib, where special candles that would glow luminously in blue. No one knew the meaning of them or where they had come from. Even the Matron never knew about them, as she was so endorsed in her champagne, and liqueurs. Emalia thought they were probably a parting gift from her parents. When she was lonely, she would pull them out, and sit next to the window. She would see the bright lights of low rise flats, and sometimes even heard the beeping noise of the laptops parallel to the orphanage. The city of Erebus was beautiful, but strangely entangled with it’s history, in some ways. Like it had never left it.

Emalia had no friends from the orphanage, because she was strange, and gave off different vibes, than just any other human. For one thing, she had unnatural black hair, and greeny blue hue, and would often like to be alone, like during the cleaning hour (which would often drag on to around 6 hours) unless she really had to see the other kids in the orphanage. She only had four friends from the outside world, who she’d met at the market by sneaking out of the orphanage through the window. Emalia often crept down the emergency stairs, and would run off down the street. Those stairs were eventually removed because the nasty, if a bit (actually very) drunk matron had a suspicion of what she was doing.

Chapter 2: Two Discoveries

Emalia woke up on a cloudy winter morning. She was turning 11 today. She prised open the trapdoor that led down to the 3rd floor, and peered down. “No one there. Great!” She often did this for some fresh air. She crept down the stairs, and saw a medium sized parcel wrapped in brown parcel paper and sealed with a parcel tape . She picked it up, and read the address. “Why on earth is it linked to me?!” she asked herself. She placed it on a stool, and walked out of the attic and into the bathroom on the third floor. The toilet stank of a mix of bleach, and a certain mammal (I’m talking to you human) dropping. She sat on the toilet and sighed. She wished of having toilet paper, instead of a damp old cloth, which had muddy brown stains. Suddenly a loo roll materialised within her hands. Her eyes widened with shock! It seemed like she was a conjuror.

Chapter 3: The Parcel

Emalia rushed back up to the attic all in a flurry, the floor creaked under her footsteps, and she ripped the parcel open. Inside, was a letter, black clothing, a thick, leather bound book, and a dark blueish sword. Emalia didn’t know anybody who would use a sword in the present day, and was quite perplexed. She read the letter.

The handwriting was a barely legible scrawl. Maybe it was meant to be like that. She did some quiet pondering for a while, until she was disrupted by a crowd of footsteps, rushing down some stairs. The other orphans. She tucked the objects into a small drawer under her “bed”, if you could call it that. She was confused, excited, and shook her head with disbelief. There was now way that she could be of any magical use whatsoever.

Suddenly, a ringing of the bell tinkled gently from the front door. Emalia put on a black shirt with green markings, jeans, and a too-big down jacket. She raced down the stairs, and swung open the door, and at the door were her best friends. She grinned. They were going into the city for her birthday, because at this hour, the matron would either be sleeping, with a serious hangover, or downing expensive champagne.

Chapter 4: The City

Of Emalia’s four friends, Nathaniel was the eldest, followed by Lydia, Jacen, Emalia, and then Sander. Emalia had met them at the market, while she easily snagged an escape. They all met together when they were younglings, and immediately took a liking to each other. They didn’t have much in common, each having their own wild personalities, but that was what drew them together. They treated each other like siblings.

Sometimes, they would visit a bookstore, or one of the local libraries (or the natural history museum, because Jacen’s parents were the curators). Today they were visiting the biggest library in Erebus.

They all walked across the street. The Nyxacan library was one of the oldest places in the city, if not for Yewman Avenue, which was there even before the city was built over 1000 years ago.

Emalia struck up a conversation. “Um, guys? Today I was thinking about toilet paper, when suddenly, a loo roll appeared in my hands.”

Jacen cracked up, being the gang’s prankster. Lydia was staring dreamily into space, mumbling a few words at the time. She spoke very softly, yet was good at logical puzzles. Sander on the other hand, was loud, and energetic. He was very fierce, when needed, or when just feeling it. Nathaniel was the group's genius, but was however a little know-it-all sometimes. Emalia was always very curious, and was a natural born thief (which she was quite proud of).

“Ah,” replied Nathaniel in his normal matter of fact voice. “Well, you see, we are all talented in one way or another, and we have these special powers. It’s in our blood. Your talent just happens to be Conjuration. Mine is Telekinesis, Lydia’s is Clairvoyance, and Jacen’s is Shape-Shifting. We don’t quite know what Sanders is yet…Oh! And, by the way, we are also distant cousins of some sort…”

Emalia looked on with shock. She certainly didn’t know that they were all talented, let alone related. What a nightmare it would have been to room with Nathaniel.

“How on earth do you find that out?!” asked a bewildered Emalia. “Out of the family tree I have at home…” he said dismissively. He even might have been making it up, but knowing Nathaniel, he would never tell a lie. Emalia chose to believe it. They all rolled their eyes. Emalia knew they were listening with intent, but the way Nathaniel could just drone on, and on, in a boring monotone, just didn’t make it seem interesting. Especially contrasting to Lydia, who was an amazing storyteller. They saw up ahead, was the Nyxacan Library.

Chapter 5: The Library

Their eyes caught on a small poster, saying that old books could be read today, but not borrowed. It was a real thrill, because they were usually blocked up unless you were something of a visiting Lord, Duke, Earl, Duchess, etcetera.

“Hey guys, the Old Books are open to us today!” Lydia hollard. Lydia had an eye for detail, you could say, or maybe, it was just the spirits pestering her.

They ran up to the fifth floor, which was a dark, Shadowed room. Emalia pulled out her candles, and a faint blue light appeared in her hands. She shone it over an old, and dusty bookshelf. “The History of Erebus” she whispered to herself. Jacen pulled out a book labeled Ye Olde pranks while doing a silent cheer. Lydia carefully pulled out a scroll about ancient Greek myths and legends. Sander pulled out the most modern book, which dated back to the time of the Wright Brothers. They spent two amazing hours there, discussing the fact, and fiction the books held.

“Here’s a funny diagram!”

“What does this mean?”

“My, that is a funny looking man!”

“This must be false…”

“Oh, wow! Titans in Erebus!”

Chapter 6: A Drop of History

Emalia arrived back at the orphanage, this time climbing on a barely sturdy drain pipe, and flipped through the book she had been given inside the parcel. She came over words such as, “Titan”, “twin daggers” “Night, and Darkness”, and many more. The book held many secrets inside. It was a collection style book, and had many written accounts of “how this happened, and “how that happened” from people (probably talented) in different periods of time. It even included a cipher of Minoan (pretty cool, as Minoan is uncrackable) The most interesting bit was how Erebus (the city not the god) came to be.

Chapter 7: Shock

That exactly described her reaction at the very second. She couldn't believe her eyes. She? Related to a god?! She flipped to the back. There was a family tree scribbled on there. She traced one line exactly to the bottom. Max Wolffe (conjurist) married Myra Nixon (telekinetic), and had a child. Emalia Wolffe (conjurist) Emalia saw the proof for herself. She sucked in air, and reached for her sword. “A navy hue” she thought to herself. She sat on her bed, and sighed. She gave in, though two questions lingered in her mind “Why didn’t her friends tell her about being talented earlier?” and “Who were those who gave her the letter?” Sometimes, the truth was less believable than the fiction.

Chapter 8: Practice, Practice, Practice

The next morning, the window was all frosted, and icicles hung above her window. There were no heaters, and the attic was icy, especially at night. Emalia held the book, and scanned it. “You have to think very hard on what you need to conjure.” Emalia thought hard on what she wanted, and waved her arms like the air on a windy day. Suddenly, “pop!” Half a plant pot sat on top of a box. “Mmm, needs more work.” she mused to herself under her breath.

“Think, think, think. Oooooh, a model wooden horse!” She waved her arms around again (she knew that she didn’t have to do it, she just thought it was fun) and “Neigh!” a tiny shetland pony came bounding out of nowhere, and even though it was only about a foot long, it was still surprising. “Gah! What will the Matron think once she sees this?!” She opened the window (very unwise) and tried to let it out. “Oh, no wait.” Emalia gulped, and suddenly, it disappeared. She swung around and looked at the half-plant-pot. Gone. “Maybe it’s ‘cause I’m not too powerful?” Emalia pondered to herself. She gritted her teeth, and tried again.

It was another two hours, before Emalia could sort of control her powers. “YES! YES! I’m doing it!” she cried, as a bird flew from her hands. It fluttered around, before flying out of the half open window. Suddenly, Emalia heard footsteps clambering up the stairs. Emalia grabbed a broom from the corner, and began sweeping. The door swung open. Emalia feared for the worst.

Matron stepped through the door. “What were ya doing, ya swot?” growled the Matron angrily. She loved tormenting children, and she spent all of the money donated to the orphanage on cigarettes, and expensive things. Emalia cringed in disgust. Matron’s breath reeked of beer, and she would smoke. Often.

“I was… Um, cleaning Matron.” said Emalia in an innocent tone.

“I can see dat, dog breath. Why did ya scream ‘yes’?” asked the matron.

“Ahh, because I just… Got rid of a bit of dirt?” answered Emalia, trying to be convincing.

Not being the brightest spark, Matron believed her, and strode out of the room in a tipsy flurry.

Chapter 9: Practice

Emalia spent the rest of the week flipping through the book given to her through the parcel, and practicing her powers. Inside the book she had been given, there was a guide to how to control her powers, and sword fighting. Emalia at night would often illuminate her lantern, and grip her sword. It felt like it had been made for her. Every time she held it, it felt lightweight, and powerful. Like a part of her. She had been mastering the moves over and over again. “Strike one, two, three, lunge, leap, and parry” she mumbled, memorising the moves. Over time, she had come to master the blade. She had also discovered more about her family, and it’s mysterious past.

Sander’s 11th birthday came, and went, overtime, and he too received a parcel. He received a bow and arrow, and the rest were the same as Emalia’s. He had discovered his powers. A weather monger.

Chapter 10: Disaster, Part 1

One morning, Emalia woke up early. She mumbled sleepily, and then she stared out the window. Right on the edge of town, at the town hall, a gasp of purple smoke rose into the air, and a loud explosion destroyed the town hall, into nothing but ruins.

Emalia heard someone cry out with alarm downstairs. “Probably Helena, she’s always alarmed about something.” Muttered Emalia under her breath. She was shocked! I mean, wouldn't you be? Emalia wanted to go in for a closer look.

She sheathed her sword, packed the book, and put on some proper clothes. Matron always kept the windows locked shut, but maybe Emalia could find a way to break out. She felt around in her jeans pocket. A stroke of luck! A paper clip, and a hairpin. She unravelled the paperclip and stuck it in. She had read many books about daring spies and whatnot trapped in rooms, where they had to pick themselves out. Emalia then slid the hairpin in and began picking.

Thirty seconds later, the window was open, and she hopped out onto the balcony. Emalia climbed down and ran as fast as she possibly could on the snowy road.

Chapter 11: Decoding

Emalia had pick-pocketed the newspaper and rushed over to the site. She needed to make a few stops first. She stopped at Nathaniel’s, Jacen’s, Sander’s, and Lydia’s on her way. They came rushing out, and they dashed to the ruins of the town hall.

Emalia opened her book and searched for the name Graves through the family tree. “If they want to have a force this big, they have to be talented,” commented Nathaniel. Sander nodded his head in agreement, causing a light breeze to run across the pages of the book. Emalia traced her finger to a family name. Graves. Nathaniel turnd white with shock. “Gimme the book!” he cried, he flicked through the pages of the book to a chapter labelled “The Graves”.

“It says here that… They have hypnotic powers. They also carry a family tradition for the eldest son to grow dark powers inside of them, powerful enough to destroy a building. They are one of the richest families in the city, and are under the fake last name of Angelo. They fake being from someplace in Europe or other,” Jacen read off.

“Wait a minute, isn’t Graves Manor on Tantalus Road?” asked Emalia, being the most street smart of all of them, from all those years of sneaking out and running away from the matron.

Lydia began conversing with her ancestors (clairvoyant, remember?) , and sent a couple of them off to feel the frequency of the explosion. “Wow, this explosion is giving off really a cold atmosphere, AHA!” Cried Lydia, “Parts of the explosion were cold, even though a normal explosion would send out heat…” she continued, getting excited.

“Meaning that if the part about darkness is true, then it must be cold! Darkness, and evil, would often be cold opposites!” finished Sander, his eye’s lighting up, this time, a light drizzle rained down on them all. Nathaniel looked grumpy, not being able to give a good answer. “Well, let’s meet up tomorrow.”

Chapter 12: Disaster, Part 2

That night, all the citizens of Erebus watched in horror, as 25 lives were taken at Baker Pub, and even more surprisingly at the Erebusian natural history museum. Jacen’s parents, who worked there at night, were taken in with the sweep of lives.

Panic, screaming. Emalia was shocked. She knew them very well since she was aged four, and treated them like her own. The even more surprising thing, they were Talented too.

The next day, she snuck out once again, to the junkyard. Jacen's eyes were red with tears. It was surprising to see him like this, because normally he was smiling and cracking dumb jokes. Now, look at what The Graves had done. They had temporarily transformed a joker into a sad, crying mess.

Chapter 13: Connections

“Woah! Check this out!” said Emalia “Four of the talented brought down already.”

“I wonder if the Grave’s are targeting them.” added Lydia, consorting her ancestors. A notebook flew from Nathaniel’s pocket, and hung there, until he quickly grabbed it. “Here, a pen.” said Emalia amusingly, as she threw some air at him, and transformed it into a pen. “Hey, give me the notebook!” snickered Jacen. He pasted the newspaper clippings inside. Here’s how the sheet looked:

The 3 disasters

What we know:

Over the last 2 days, 26 people have been killed

4 of whom were Talented

The 3 affected places were the Baker Pub, the Erbusian Natural History Museum, and the town hall.

What we don’t know:

Who are the mysterious “Graves”

Why is they doing this

Will there be more attacks

They wrote this all down. “It could be useful info” said Sander. Emalia was still confused. Why would they do this?

Chapter 14: Caught!

The next day, Emalia was travelling home after a busy day, she thought she could sneak in through the front door of the orphanage, when suddenly,

“Caught you, you miserable little squirt” Matron grabbed Emalia by the front of her shirt, and lifted her off the ground.

“I d-d-don’t know matron, you sent me on m-m-m-market work.” Emalia lied through her teeth.

“Stupid child…I sent Cara to the market today, and other than that, you know the rules, no going out, and no contact with the outside world. That means no talking to those stuck up friends of yours.” snarled Matron, breathing her champany breath into Emalia’s mouth.

“My friends are not stuck up.” yelled Emalia.

“BE QUIET! And stay in the attic until I feel like seeing you again, and maybe a bit more.” Growled the Matron.

It was no use arguing with her. She wiggled out of the matron's grasp, and ran up the stairs into the attic. This was the price for slipping out for a little while. And she had less helpings of hot porridge (they called it porridge, because they didn’t know what matron put into it), even if it was terrible, but she was starving day and night no matter what.

Chapter 15: A Daring Plan

Emalia spent the next few weeks, cleaning the cupboards, and washing the dishes. She pretended to be on her best behavior. She began making scraps of metal appear at a time, as not to seem suspicious. She put everything together, slowly. She began making a complex grappling hook, so she could scale buildings and see what was going on. It took a while, and she had to test it, somehow. She added the finishing touch. Now, she just had to test it.

Chapter 16: Test Run

The day came. Emalia was called to go get supplies from the market on Mercury road. Emalia concentrated on the window. She put her hand up against it, and then, poof. It was gone. She stared at herself. It seemed her power had grown, and she could make things disappear, as well as appear. She stepped onto the ledge, it was a good way down. “Here goes nothing.” she muttered. It was nothing as good as what Jacen could cook up, but it would do. She jumped off the ledge, and she could feel herself beginning to fall. The grappling hook wasn’t stopping giving out rope. This wasn’t working!

Chapter 17: Flight! (Well, sort of)

Emalia pulled on a toggle, and could see that something needed to be jammed. She grabbed a metal toggle, and pushed it in. It stopped slowly, and pulled her back up quickly, as she rose up like a Phoenix, towards the top of the orphanage, landing on the roof with a clunk. There, Emalia could see the mercury street market to the left, and she swung herself on the rooftops. It was fun doing it, because you knew no one was higher than you. She could see the small, barely minimum of cars rushing below her.

She saw Sander and his family down below her, in the market, and Emalia pulled herself down. “GAH!” Sander screamed when she saw her hanging upside down. Emalia began roaring with laughter. “EM! We’ve been worried sick! Jace, Lydi, and Nate have been worrying why you haven’t snuck out for the thousandth time!” Emalia landed on the floor with a gentle “THUD” of her feet, and they set off down the market, towards the snack stalls, hoping for some Gyro’s, or fish’n’ chips. “By the way, I told Jacen to come as well. He’s been shifting houses. Last night he stayed in Nates.”

Chapter 18: STRANGE Things, Part 1

They bumped into a surly teenager, and Sander let out his infamous angry retorts “Oy! We’re trying to get somewhere!” Emalia elbowed him. “Sorry, we’re just trying to get to a friend, would you mind moving?” she said. “Nobody, not nobody, says ‘Get out of my way’ to Braxton Graves. Take my advice. If you start behaving like my dad, ” He stared into Emalia’s eyes. She began feeling dizzy, as his dark coal eyes began having red swirls in them. She swayed back and forth dizzily, before landing with a thump on the sidewalk.

Chapter 19: STRANGE Things, Part 2

Emalia woke up 30 minutes later. Jacen and Sander breathed a sigh of relief. “We’ve been shaking you, and shaking you. That boy was creepy.” said Jacen with a shudder, “But did you catch his last name? It was Graves, like the name on the newspaper!” yelped Emalia. “Owww. I have a splitting headache. It feels like a pack of boars ran through the folds of my brain looking for truffles.” Sander and Jacen gave each other a “look” and decided that they should accompany Emalia home, but not without a snack. Emalia looked a bit grey, but she hungrily devoured the fish ‘n’ chips in seconds.

It turned out that the Embers had bought some bacon, some grapes, and a bottle of cider, which she took back to the orphanage. “Matron, can I go to my room? I’m not feeling that well.” Grumbled Emalia. “Nonsense. You will mop the floors like everyone else.” was the “sweet” reply. “Oh, but I have a horrible headache.” pleaded Emalia. “Alright, but just this once.” The matron gave Emalia a steely stare as she climbed up the stairs.

Chapter 20: Graves Residential

The next morning, Emalia walked down the street with Lydia. She had escaped, yet again, to the outside world. It was amazing how long a person could stay asleep under a large box of chocolate liqueurs. They turned into Tartarus Road. Here, it was dark and cold.

They spotted a large house at the end of the road. Emalia and Lydia snuck towards it. They looked at the address plate. 666 Tartarus Road, Graves Residential. Lydia began scaling the house. “What do you think you are doing?!” mouthed Emalia. “I’m going in for a closer look.” Lydia mouthed back. She was like a spider, and in 30 seconds, she was on the 3rd floor. Emalia joined her. They peered in through the window. That same teenager was talking to a tall man in the hall. Emalia placed her feet onto a small balcony, and picked the window lock. A satisfying click came out, and Lydia swung the window out a smidgeon, and they listened in.

“Dad, that girl I hypnotised, she looked like that Myra and Max Wolffe we bumped off ages ago, remember her?” said Braxton. “Are you sure of it Braxton?” said the father, “Absolutely, and she was accompanied by an Ember, you could tell. Small, freckled, sandy blond hair, and a ferocious temper too.” continued Braxton in his gruff voice. “Hmmmm. This might be a problem if she is anything like her father and mother, we could try to turn her into one of us” said a new voice, this one was evil, twisted, old and gnarled. “Yes…We could bribe her with a family, she’ll fall for that, like here stupid parents who refused to join us.” cackled the evil old voice maliciously. Emalia listened on, in horror. These people, trying to take her on as a family? Never.

She was lost in thought while thinking, and leaned a little to the left too much, and her shadow edged in a little into the room. Lydia immediately saw this and told her to duck. She could hear the old man saying “Braxton, check the window.” The burly teenager marched toward the window, and they hid under the sill. He peered around, before mumbling “Nobody there Grampa… ”

Chapter 21: An “Unexpected” Visit

That afternoon, while Emalia was washing up the laundry with a boy named Zachary, the doorbell rang. She heard the matron rush downstairs and swing open the door. Braxton Graves, his father, and an Old man in a wheelchair stepped in. She recognized another boy as Braxton’s friend from the other day. Emalia panicked. The last thing she wanted was them to become her parents.

She rushed into her attic room, and packed all of her little possessions. She put her grapple hook on standby, and stayed upstairs. “Emalia?” The matron called down, “A family wants to see you.” immediately, Emalia knew she had to come downstairs. She flung her satchel filled with possessions over her shoulder, and walked down the stairs, quivering in fear.

Emalia put on her best happy face, and walked to the matron's office. The man was there, sitting on the opposite side of the desk, with the old man, and Braxton Graves. “We would like to adopt you, young Emalia,” said the old man in a fake kindly voice, the complete opposite of what he really was. “Yes,” continued the Father, “We will be the best family you will ever have.” “No.” said Emalia in a stony voice. “You will never adopt me. You killed my family, and you and your family are evil. What kind of maniac decides to blow up the town hall?!” “Stupid child.” said the old man, in his regular, hideous voice. “Braxton, get her.” Braxton Graves chased after Emalia. She was suddenly pursued through a hall. A dead end. She was surrounded by his cronies.

Emalia pushed through ferociously through the 3 boys upstairs to her attic room, and destroyed the window. She clicked her , and leaped out. Soaring through the air, away from the deadly place. The father seemed infuriated, as Emalia became smaller, and smaller.

Chapter 22: Ember House

Emalia flew over the rooftops, until she saw what she was looking for. She turned onto Short Street, and saw Ember House. It was hard to miss, as it was a small blue house, with Victorian style architecture involved. She pressed the doorbell. “DOOR, DOOR, DOOR” came the loud reply.

The door opened, and a Jolly looking man welcomed her into the house, and into the kitchen. She was surprised to see Jacen sitting on the counter, with Sander. They waved her over, and Lydia’s head popped out from behind a book (Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief to be exact). “I’ve just run away from the orphanage, and the Graves are onto me.” panted Emalia, clearly out of breath. Lydia wore a concerned look. “I’ve told the others what was going on. I’m not sure you’re the only one being targeted.” “We’ll be able to shelter you,” said Sander, “We’ve been housing Jacen here for quite some time.”

Emalia took a seat, and picked up a banana sandwich from the plate in front of her. “You can stay in the guest room. Jace has been staying there too. You can’t room with me because I’m sharing a room with Alex.” Sander groaned. They all walked upstairs and down the hall. They entered the guest room. It was a simple wood room that looked like a lodge. There were 2 small beds on either side of the room. Emalia sat down on the other bed, and began unpacking.

Chapter 23: Hidden

Being hidden was strange, for her. She knew she was probably “Graves enemy #1” for escaping their clutches, and they weren’t all that used to being swindled, more like they did the swindling. She and Jacen had to keep the blinds down at all times, and once when she dared to go outside, there was a poster saying: Emalia Wolffe. Wanted. Huge reward from Angelo's if you find her. “The Graves have huge influence, have loads of money, but the mayor doesn't want anything to do with them.” Nathaniel said when he dropped by one afternoon.

It suddenly occurred to her. No wonder they had such a big house. A couple of shady people had walked by a couple of times round the house, and once even inside the house miraculously (probably the rare skill of teleportation), when Jacen and Emalia only managed to avoid detection by locking themselves in the toilet, putting on a manly voice, and making the people nosing around go away.

The only upside was that Sanders Ma, and Pa were great cooks, so it was hot gravy on spaghetti, with beef each day, and sandwiches of all shapes and sizes. It was good, but she couldn't keep this up forever.

Chapter 24: Book Secrets

One day, while Emalia was doing her research in her book, alongside Jacen, who was flipping through his, she stumbled upon something unusual. There were 2 pages glued together, she tried to yank them apart, but no luck. She looked onto the page before. The page number looked considerably more thick than the others. She put her finger up to it, and pressed hard. A whirring noise lightly hummed, and the pages pulled apart. The page was blank. Emalia looked on with disappointment. She ran her hands across the spine of the book, gold fire burned across the paper, and soon enough, there was a map of the city. Different footstep marks walked all around the city. She read the labels. “Oliver Alanis, Peter Wolffe, Eva Howls, Braxton Graves, Marla Alba– Braxton Graves?!” She read the footstep mark. It was walking around the bookstore. “That’s where Lydia’s parents work!” Observed Jacen, now looking over her shoulder. “Let’s go,” said Emalia, “It’s only a few blocks away.” Sander, now hovering over her, grabbed his coat, and they all rushed out of the door.

Chapter 25: Bookstore Confrontations

They rushed across the street, to Kirk Bookstore. The door swung open, and he walked inside. There was a nice smell of old books, and a nice homely light. Lydia was carrying a large pile of books. She plopped down by the history section, and hurried over. She closed her eye’s, and read Emalia’s mind. “Braxton Graves, here?!” she yelped. “Can you stop reading my mind?” Emalia smirked.

A dark figure whipped across the building. Nathaniel peeked his head from around the literature section, and joined them. Her sword materialized in front of Emalia’s hands, and they snuck onto the other side of the bookshop. A figure in a dark cloak ran. Emalia couldn’t help herself. She ran at Him with the sword. She was about to rashly destroy the figure.

Chapter 26: Scroll Search

When Lydia stopped him in her tracks. “I’ve read his mind. It isn’t him. It’s one of his cronies. He’s called Oliver Alanis, and Braxton ran away ages ago.” said Lydia cooly. Emalia formed some rope, and Jacen unmasked him. A scrawny, red haired boy emerged from beneath the hood. “That’s not Braxton.” Muttered Sander under his breath. “He’s searching for a set of daggers. Whoever owns the daggers, can be the most powerful Talented, and apparently over Erebus, and all the Surrounding cities. Apparently anyways.” Finished Lydia. “No wonder the Graves wants it.” thought Emalia. They let the cronie go, and searched the book store. “Nothing,” complained Sander. “Can we go home soon?” Nathaniel checked under the loose floorboards. Still nothing. Lydia checked in her living room, in the other room. Nothing. Jacen and Emalia checked inside newly arrived book boxes. Nothing, nothing nothing. Sander checked the cabinets, and found something. Not daggers, but a note.

Chapter 27: Nereus Diner

“Saturday night’s tonight!” cried Jacen. They began writing plans for the meet up. That evening, they wore their cloaks, and walked towards port street. Nereus Diner was a simplistic place. There were simple spruce planks, and spruce benches. No waiter’s and 2 chefs. A hooded old sage sat alone on one of the benches, near the back. Lydia and Nathaniel sat down, while Sander, Jacen, and Emalia hung back. “What info can you tell us? It’s an information transaction, after all.” Lydia leaned in, and the old man grumbled. “You’s not Willum…” Mumbled the old man, clearly a bit drunk. “Who’s William?” Nathaniel asked swiping the Beer bottle from the old man using his special telekinesis, and handing it to Jacen discreetly. “Willum Graves. Supposed to meet me ‘ere.” Emalia caught Lydia closing her eye’s and digging deep into his brain. “Lucky, she can talk with ghosts, read minds, and speak to us telepathically” muttered Sander. “Sorry can’t talk to you, if you're not Willum…” Mumbled the old man. “Now.” the message sliced through her head like a knife. Her turn. She stepped up, and dug through her pocket, as if searching for something. She materialized a Peridot Ring (in her pocket, as not to seem suspicious) and put it onto the table. “Tell us, and take the dosh.” said Jacen. This was working a treat. The old man’s eyes widened. He opened his mouth to speak, and words came tumbling out.

Chapter 28: The Old Man’s Story

“Aye, the twin daggers were forged by Erebus and Nyx. There was a saying that whoever found it would control the cities. They enclosed their powers within it. Night, and Darkness. Rumors are that they could be anywhere around here. Probably not in Erebus though, there’s a high chance that it was hidden in the mountains of Aether though…” The old man stopped abruptly. “My memory, it is not so good. I can’t remember the rest.” Jacen stepped up, and gave the old man his beer bottle back, pretending it was new. “Maybe this will jog your memory a bit.”Jacen winked at Nathaniel. “Ooh, my memory is returned. So, They could be anywhere in the land. Nyx and Erebus lay down on Hesperides hill, and there they lie, in eternal sleep until someone reawakens them.” The story had finished, and the old man pocketed the money, and the “new” beer bottle and shuffled out the door. Emalia wasn’t worried about the man with the ring. She would make it disappear soon. They sat down at another table, and shared a bowl of beef stroganoff.

Chapter 29: Emalia's Book

Let’s give our heroes a break, while I give you a few excerpts from Emalia’s book:

Chapter 30: Abduct

The next day, Emalia was feeling adventurous, so she went out down the street to the local Deli to see what she could have. She walked down Short Street whistling as she went. As she turned the corner, she noticed a Tall gangly boy, a couple yards behind her. He had yellow eyes, which were very unnerving. She began to walk faster, and made a quick turn down an alleyway. She noticed he sped up too. She grimaced. She was being tailed. She broke into a run. “Blast!” She thought. “If I had my sword, I could battle him off.” Her tail leaped into the air, and landed on her back. Now she could look at him up close, she realized that he was the boy who was in the bookstore. Her adrenaline was running, and then, the lights went out.

Chapter 31: Torture

When Emalia woke up, she was tied to a wall, and she was in a dark room. “Where am I?” She thought. Suddenly, the door opened. Dark Figures stepped inside, and sat on an armchair. Her eyes adjusted, and she saw the Old Man sitting on a wheelchair, with Braxton sitting smugly on the chair. “Young Emalia, you can’t hide forever. You know how your parents disappeared? It was because your father defied me. He would not join forces with us. I said to him, ‘Young Wolffe, imagine if we, the talented, were powerful over the people, like the gods once were. We could join together and rule over all!’ he refused over, and over again, for our grand plan. He and his friends formed a band of talented, and tried to defy us. We had no choice but to destroy them. I will ask you this question. Will you join our crusade, or suffer like your parents.” asked the old man. “I’ll join you when hell freezes over!” yelled Emalia, the old man growled. “Tighten the ropes!” Emalia could feel the rope burns getting worse. She closed her eyes, and tried to stay strong. “Argh!” she cried. The ropes were now burning. “That’s quite enough, Braxton.” said the Old man, “Yes Grandpa” muttered Braxton. They walked out of the room, and Emalia was left in the darkness.

Chapter 32: Prisoner

The next morning, Emalia was sent into the west wing of the house. The rooms there looked suspiciously like cells. Emalia was shoved into one of them. “This was the price of being over curious.” She thought. She tried to dig into her pockets, and eventually found her swiss army knife that the Embers had given her. She flicked the large knife open, and sawed at the rope. When they finally came undone, she cheered “Yes!” and jumped into the air. But then, she realized she was still trapped in the dark. She found one of her blue matches, and lit it up. She peered around in the ominous blue light. She could just make out a small air shaft, that she could squirm out of. She slowly climbed up the air shaft, and she could see a sliver of light. She was nearly there, when her feet slipped, and she tumbled back down towards the floor. Crash! She hit the ground. Emalia rubbed on her leg, where a large bruise was forming. “Curses.” she cried. This was going to be harder than she thought.

Chapter 33: Whips, and Lashes

An hour later, Emalia tried again. She climbed up, until, yet again, she could see it in reach. Yes! Higher, higher, higher. Then, her foot missed a step. “Eeeek!” she panicked, and then came tumbling down. Emalia groaned, and cursed. “Mumbo, Jumbo.” she muttered to herself. She saw Braxton open her door, carrying a whip. She winced. Her turn now. “Get down on your knees.” he hollard. Emalia meekly got down. He raised his hands, and then, Crack, crack, crack. Emalia screamed loudly. But that was only the beginning. Braxton raised a finger, and drew a triangle across her back. She felt like her back was on fire. “His talent must be even more powerful than we expected.” she thought. Getting out of here was even trickier than getting in. The next few whips came bashing down, like a bat, to a ball. Emalia knew that if she screamed, the whipping would continue. Instead, she held a strong face, and grimaced every 10-15 seconds. Braxton eventually gave up, complaining he “had a huge blister because of the little twerp”. Emalia smiled, and wriggled onto the floor. She stared at her gashes. How was she ever going to explain them to her friends, once she got out.

Chapter 34: Escaping for Real

Emalia spent the next 3 days planning her escape. However hard she tried, she could never manage to conjure anything. Her hands were tied at all times, so she couldn't reach her matches. They were tied behind her back, however, so she could reach her blade hidden in her jeans pocket. She used 2 fingers to reach them, and when they finally clattered out of her pocket, she began scraping away for 3 days and nights.

They were tough, and seemed enchanted by someone, so they were stronger than normal knots. Those 3 days and nights felt like eternity, but finally, she broke free.

Emalia silently snuck past the door that led up to the left side of the house. She had been kept in the right side of the house, she figured, and found that the Graves family slept in the top floor of their fortress of terror. Emalia snuck into a room, which unknowingly, sealed the fate of the twin daggers.

Chapter 35: The Office Room

The room was an office, and hanging on the wall was a map. A map of the outer islands. On the map, was a black spot, with 2 daggers marked on the map. “This is the map leading to the twin daggers!” murmured Emalia. Realization dawned on her, and she slipped it into her pocket. This was amazing.

Emalia crept back into her cell, and knew that the only way out was the vent, because the front door was probably guarded closely. She climbed up, and saw the window of moon shining from the top. She was nearly there, when she lost her balance, and began to fall down.

Two strong hands grabbed her arms, and Emalia scrambled to the top. She looked over, and saw the 4 faces that she had missed the most. Nathaniel, Lydia, Jacen and Sander beamed at her. She grinned back, and Nathaniel explained everything.

“We were wondering where you went, so we began searching the city. There, we realized the only logical location for you was Tanelus Manor. It took us 3 days, but we made it.” Emalia slowly took out the map, and showed it to them. “Their jaws dropped, and they gaped. “I think we’ll have to find it ourselves, before the Graves do.” Lydia said with a sigh. They sat on the roof, for 5 minutes, before scrambling down to the bottom.

When they hit the ground, they ran down the street, but not before they heard a voice angrily yell down the street.

Chapter 36: The Fight of Yewtree Avenue

They stepped back, and out of the darkness, Braxton Graves stepped out grinning maliciously, like a wolf spotting it’s prey. They ran, as 4 other older ones stepped out, and began the chase.

The four of them ran down Yewtree Avenue, and discovered it was a dead end. They sucked in their breath, and got ready for a fight. Emalia charged at them, her hair going ablaze. They looked on in shock, as she struck them with a power so great, even Emalia didn’t know what it was. It looked like a weird ball of dark purple light. All she thought about in her mind was a way to stop them.

Sander began throwing thunderbolts down the street, as Lydia ran towards them, with her spirit ancestors brandishing torches. It dawned on Emalia. These spirit ancestors were more than spirits. A giant hawk picked up one of the teenagers, who unfortunately had a weapon of his own. Jacen, who seemed to be the big bird dropped the person, who Emalia realized was the wolf boy who captured her. Hair began sprouting around his body, as he leaped at Nathaniel.

Nathaniel knew what to do, thinking quickly on his feet, Emalia saw him stare hard at a loose piece of cobblestone and hurled it at them. The wolf-boy ducked, and hit Braxton Graves square on the face. Emalia bit her lip, and as the Graves gang looked on, frozen with astonishment, they ran down the street, towards an escape.

Chapter 37: The Harbour

They bolted down the street, just as the sun was rising, the stars were fading away. They reached the harbour, and unknowingly it seemed that fate was pulling them that way. They hopped onto the nearest boat, which was a small sailboat, with a motor, and a small inside.

Everybody hopped on, as they felt it was right to do. Emalia took a peak at the boat name “The Argos II” They untied the knots, and Emalia started the engine. Nathaniel and Jacen read the map. “We have to go to the Aether mountains to find the Twin Daggers before the Graves come, and our city is theirs.” They all sat together grimly.

Emalia sat alone, at the front of the boat as the sun rose up, and the night faded away. She looked back. The city of Erebus was getting smaller and smaller as the boat moved away. Her past was behind her, for now, and the future was bleak. But Emalia knew they would persevere, and whatever happened, they would deal with it together. She looked back. Erebus was now no more than a small dot, to the open ocean. The orphanage was behind her, as part of the past. What would come she knew, would not be easy, but what was behind her, she had overcome.

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