- Chiara Shih
The Pathway to Freedom
Xyell: The boy hero of the story, he is brother to Zylia, and despite what people say, his name is pronounced Sy-ll. He is rash, reckless, impatient, and fierce.
Zylia: The girl hero of the story, she is sister to Xyell, and her name is pronounced Zi-lee-yah. She is dreamy, fierce, sometimes sarcastic, and has a crazy imagination.
Freedom Fighters: A group of good wizards who want to defeat the Shadow Fold and make up the rebellion.
Drexilius: Pure evil manipulator. He is tall, old, bony, and his eyes are yellow with evil.
Shadow Fold: A group made up of Drexilius' friends and supporters.
by Zylia Lygrass
I am old and frail as I write these words of the adventures that I once had. Once the hand I held my quill in was strong and firm, but now it is bony and shaky. This is not a fairy story, this is a TRUE story. This happened in the once-in-havoc realm of Forever. This is a tale of what my brother Xyell and I once experienced. This happened in a world of magic, and the dark arts, completely CRAZY ideas and simple inventions. This is a story of good versus evil, so read on, dear reader, f you dare…
A shadowed figure rode silently on her wolf, her face and body covered by a black cloak. She stopped right by a small lantern, and she met another shadowed figure. She took out her staff, and the other person said, “Zylia, what news do you have for the alliance?”
“Come I’ll tell you, Xyell,” Zylia whispered back. With a swiss of their staff, they uttered “Forever” and a large boulder rolled over, opening the entrance of a small cave. They removed their hoods, and gave each other a high-five. Another mission complete!
Zylia, a girl of 12, had jet black hair which whipped around everywhere, and her neon green eyes were wide and curious. Xyell was also 12. His hair was a longish blond up which he let grow up to his neck, and his ruby red eyes were fierce and brave.
Zylia told the group inside the cave the news. “Drexilious and the Shadow Fold are planning to reawaken the Beast of Bloodshade.”
A gasp of terror went around the room, for the Beast of Bloodshade had destroyed many a realm. Zylia continued. “They are going to use it to wipe out our wizarding tribe.” A gasp went across the room. “I have also found out that they are keeping the plans on the top floor, where the archives are. That’s all I know right now.”
“We are sending you out tomorrow to spy again, and Xyell, you will be her partner,” Svellius, their leader and head of the rebels, commanded.
Zylia and Xyell walked to a small plot of land where their cave was located, their headquarters for sorts. Zylia made herself comfortable on a small rock, waved her staff and muttered tempestas claudicatio, a weather deflection charm so that a small bubble surrounded her. The bubble stopped the rain from touching her. Xyell did the same, and they slept with their wolves. It was a fitful sleep however...
Xyell dreamt of the day his parents were taken. His small arms tried to reach out and touch his parents, but the Shadow Fold had already taken hold of his parents. He tried to grab them, but they were dragged out, the door slamming and leaving him and his sister alone.
When the siblings woke up, they didn't feel rested at all. It was dark, like always. When the Shadow Fold came into the land of Forever, they turned the once bright sky into a shrouded, gloomy land, and the blue lagoons turned to lava. The land's inhabitants were forced into hiding or risked being punished, or worse, losing their lives.
The two put on a fresh pair of robes, and went over to Svellius. "Now to your lesson," Svellius barked. "NOW!"
Xyell and Zylia walked towards a large boulder, and climbed up to the top. One fox sat on top and said wisely, “Now, let’s work on spell fighting.” (Animals could talk back then, probably because they were resurrected humans)
Spell fighting was a fight where you would hurl spells at your opponent, and try to defeat your opponent, while deflecting your opponents spells. It was great fun, and it gave Xyell, Zylia, and all the other younglings a chance to use all the spells they had learned.
That night, they put on dark robes, and rode on their wolves. Xyell rode on Flamefast, his wolf, and Zylia rode on Darkfang. Xyell cast an invisibility spell over them all so that they could blend in, unnoticed. When they got to the edge of the city, they saw an enormous black fort. Black fire steamed off the walls.
They waved their wands and chose to become falcons, so they could soar over the fortress unnoticed. They swooped towards the top of the tower. They landed in a dark room, with evil-looking flames perched on the torches. They waved their staff and turned back into humans.
Xyell handed Zylia his staff, and they searched the different shelves in the Archives room. They found different scrolls and packages. Zylia was slowly scanning the scrolls, but Xyell was ripping them out impatiently. The noise must have alerted the guards, because moments later, guards appeared and grabbed Xyell.
Zylia gasped and quickly turned invisible to avoid being captured. She slowly pulled out a malicious black scroll, and read the contents. This was the right scroll. She quickly stuffed it into a bag, and tried to see where Xyell was. She panicked to see that the guards had caught her brother, giving him a potion of quick sleep. Then they shoved him out the archives, unconscious. A tear welled in Zylia’s eyes and dropped onto the floor at the thought of what they were going to do to him.
She knew couldn't do anything to save Xyell at that point, so she took off on Darkfang, Flamefast following close behind. When she arrived back at the base, she ran in and cried, “Xyell has been captured, we have to do something!” a gasp went around the room, for even though Xyell was a bit hot-headed and stubborn, he was greatly liked by other members of the rebellion. Svellius turned around and boomed “We will rescue him in due time, but for now, Zylia, did you get the plans?” Zylia handed him the malicious scroll, and he turned towards his study.
Xyell, meanwhile, was having the most loathsome time. He was shoved into a dark and damp cell. He sat on one of the prison beds, which he strongly suspected were actual stone tables. He was peeved, but when he was served dinner, he got even more grumpy. The cellmates were given a dollop of what looked like slug snot. Xyell vomited on his plate, and refused to eat anything. The guards gave him an evil stare.
He tried feeling for his staff, but strangely, it wasn't there! “Oh right, he thought, “I handed Zylia my staff, so now she has it.” Xyell flopped into the stone-hard bed, and tossed and turned, because he had the most peculiar feeling, that something, or someone, was watching him.
The next day, back at headquarters, the wolves were having a conversation:
Flamefast: Woof woof, I am a puppy, look at my little legs run!
Darkfang: No, you are not, Flamefast, you are a wolf, and you were the biggest in our litter.
Flamefast: (Ignoring Darkfang) Look at me fetch! I am a Corgi! Woof woof!
Darkfang put a paw to her head and groaned.
Zylia ignored them and pulled out a brass Nendletron—a complex machine which made potions— some glass phials, and a small list of potion ingredients. She wanted to make the potion of acid. She knew that it would help break Xyell out of his cell, even as she had no idea where he was being kept.
She rested Xyell’s staff on the rock that she was working on, and she opened her Book of Spells. She flipped to the correct page, but frankly since it was an old copy, that page was ruined, so she decided to make her own version of it. She began working and working throughout the week, powdering Astatine, crushing scorpion tail, juicing silver beans, and some other stuff, all the while stirring with her staff. Finally, she created a strange green glowing liquid. She dipped an iron spoon on it, and coated an iron bar with it. “Yes!” she cried, as both fizzled away into nothing. The only thing that works against this is enchanted wood, she thought.
She loaded the potion into her special glasswood vial, pulled out some parchment, and began writing her plans for the escape tonight. She stuffed Xyell’s staff into a sack, and gripped hers tightly. She pulled on her black robes, and her fighter helmet. She was going to need these things.
Xyell spent each day staring out of his cell bars hoping his cell days would end soon. Waiting made him very, very, grumpy. Grumpiness made him peeved and annoyed. He decided that he would have to eat the seems-to-be-vomit foo eventually, and he was right, it was the worst thing he had ever tasted, it was even worse than vomit, it tasted like dog doo doo, vomit, AND fuzzy mold.
By Friday, he had gotten impatient, and decided to find a way to break out. He tied bedsheets together, and pulled himself up. The ceilings were pretty high, but he managed to swing himself towards large drain pipes attached to ceiling leading to the floors. He was free! Or so he thought. He had burst open a sewer door and crawled in, but then something that felt like an invisible hand pushed him hard, down onto the stone floor.
Zylia crept through the night on the back of Darkfang, Flamefast sprinting close behind. Zylia had spotted the dreaded prison castle. She knew that Xyell had to be in there, somewhere. As she approached, she quickly turned herself into an owl and soared up, up towards a random barred cell window.
Once inside, she turned back into a human, and being a spy, she knew how to sneak around without noticing, like nobody else in the world. She spotted a cell and peeked inside. The most horrendous sound came out, and a giant snore exploded on her face, morning breath and all. Eeew!
She knew for a fact, that Xyell did not snore (well not like that anyway), so she moved onto a couple more before reaching the highest cell. She quietly scaled onto it, but before she could lean down to check, a blow came to her face. “Ow!” she yelped, a figure in black prepared to give a blow, she took out her staff and yelled quietly, fulgas! Suddenly lightning came out from the green gem perched on top of her yew staff.
The figure was knocked off his feet, and was out cold. Zylia viewed through the bars... just as she thought! Xyell was lying on the floor. She dipped her enchanted wood spoon, and coated the bars in acid. She watched as the bars quickly fizzed away, hopped in, removed her helmet, and muttered surgit, whilst pointing her staff to Xyell.
Immediately, Xyell bounced up, and his eyes popped open. Zylia grinned and coated acid onto his chains. Brother and sister then recounted what happened since they had departed. “I felt like I was being watched,” said Xyell scornfully. “You were being watched?” yelped Zylia. “Yes, so we’ve gotta go, or else we might run into those hooded guards again,” said Xyell.
“Agreed,” replied Zylia. “Oh and, I brought your staff,” tossing the ash staff to Xyell, who picked it up, and swung out the window. He was better at swimming than climbing, so he nearly lost his grip when he was holding onto the edge. Xyell gritted his teeth and climbed back up. Zylia followed, and said repondo so that the bars would come back up.
Xyell and Zylia reached the bottom, and they turned into swifts, soaring through the air. They spotted the glowing wolves, and landed, both nuzzling them with pleasure. The ride back was swift, yet strange. They carried on until they reached the base. A blast of dim light welcomed them, as many members cheered for Zylia and Xyell’s successful rescue. Silence then followed, as Svellious walked into the room. A meeting was about to begin. Everyone took a seat, and Svellious began to talk, his elder staff tucked in a pocket.
“Welcome. Thanks to the plans Zylia found, we have discovered that the Shadow Fold is going to awaken the Beast of Bloodshade. As you all know, the beast is one of the last survivors of the extinct realm of Bloodshade, home of the Llorne. The beasts have hidden a scroll in one of the other realms, and that scroll has the spell that will stop the Beast of Bloodshade. We have tracked the realms to Nexo, Zyger, and Yora. We will be sending small teams to each realm, to try and find the scroll.
Our first team is Hyperion Zeldon and Julian Dernot who will be going to Nexo. Our next team is Xyell and Zylia Lygrass who will be going to Zyger, and the last team is Dyra Green and Sander Cove, who will be going to Yora. Got that?”
“Yes!” chirruped all six of us. Svellious continued, “Each team will be given six hours to prepare for their mission, and I will see each team separately before you leave. A ground crew will be assigned to each of you, so we can keep track of your progress, and we can communicate to each other. A name that means nothing right now, but was found on the plans that the Shadow Fold had is Beyilinor. Try to find out what it means. It might be a clue."
The six of us then walked to Svellious, and he gave each of the teams a roll of parchment. Everyone scurried to their quarters to read their roll: