Madeline woke up to the sound of someone pounding on the door of her room. She grumbled and hopped out of bed, walking over to her bedroom door.
“Who is it?” Madeline yelled, leaning against the door in exhaustion.
“It’s Eliza…you know…your best friend? Can I come in?”
“Hold on, let me get dressed…” Madeline mumbled. She walked over to her closet and put on a vest, long-sleeved shirt, plaid skirt, and tall boots before going back over to the door and opening it.
“Ok, you can come in now. What exactly do you want?” Madeline growled impatiently.
“Lió wants us in the main room-we’re going to Sirius’s library today!” Eliza exclaimed.
Everyone had gathered in the main room, facing the west hall and waiting patiently for Lió. Once Lió arrived, she led the others down the hall.
The hall had only three rooms-an iron elevator that led up to the mountain tower, the observatory room where Sirius could view the entire island on a special map, and Sirius’s library-his collection of books, journals and other objects of his creation. The library was where, as Lió quoted “where Sirius truly felt at home-everything he was taught and trained in the ways of the Art.”
“What is the Art?” Andrew asked.
“The Art is a special kind of force, driven only by imagination and ideals,” Lió explained. “The special force behind the Art allows the writer to “write” something into reality-Sirius learned the ability from his father. Sirius taught me a few things from the Art-in fact, I helped him bring the Adventurer’s Transport into Adrift. Anyways, the only way to use the Art is to write, not draw: also, you technically have to have a special quality to be able to have any affect when using the Art. Most people have this quality but will never use it. I’ve used this quality, and now it’s time the rest of you learn how.”
Lió opened the door to the library and ushered the kids inside.
The inside of the library was enormous-three entire floors with at least 1500 bookshelves, 700 mysterious machines, and at least 1000 ancient artifacts. The library had maroon-colored walls with gold leaf borders and baseboards, and tall columns at all four-corners, also painted with gold leaf. There were many desks with open books and tall ladders to reach the highest shelves, and there was one large round table at the center of the entire library with a huge, realistic-looking map of the entire island of Adrift. In fact, the other two floors were built in a circular pattern, with a large hole in the center of each floor to view the map from above. The map was three-dimensional, complete with trees, buildings, the bullet-shaped ship and everything else.
“Being a patron of the Art, Sirius was able to write this entire library into existence,” Lió told the others. “He gave the paper to me and showed me how to burn it into the Adrift book, so that no matter what the library would remain in existence and never disappear. Before he left, he taught me this one phrase-Omniz Veron… ‘Lose yourself’.”
“So that’s what that means…” Eliza mumbled. “But what does that have to do with us?”
“I am, as what Sirius last told me to do, going to train you to become young masters of the Art,” Lió announced. “You can help save the worlds of Adrift and Adrift itself if you can learn how to re-write everything. Whoever plotted to destroy this place will no longer be a threat, and maybe even bring back the inhabitants!”
Everyone stood quite still for a moment, but then Travis stepped up. “Count me in,” he said with a grin.
“Count me in as well!” Clyde agreed. “I want to save this place-and learn how to write stuff into reality.”
“I’m joining too,” Madeline declared. “You can count me in.”
“I’m standing with everyone else!” Andrew cheered. “I want to help save this place!”
“I’m going to help,” Eliza said. “No one gets left behind here-no one.”
Lió looked so happy she appeared about ready to cry. “Sirius would be so proud. He promised to me that I could become an apprentice if I could help the heroes save this place, so maybe one day he could return with his family…Sirius loved this place, and it broke his heart when he had to leave. He wanted this place to be safe…he wanted his family to live here with him, so he could pass the Art down to one or both of his sons. He even wanted to teach me everything he knew, so I could show his sons how to use the Art…”
Lió shook her head. “Anyway, I suppose I should go ahead and teach you what I know. Come with me over to the map, if you will.”
Everyone gathered around the giant 3D map, and Lió took out a sketchbook and a quill pen. “To use the Art, you have to go deep into your imagination. Imagination is the quality you need to activate the Art, and in order to concentrate it into the energy, you need to forget everything else but what it is you’re thinking. You can write inanimate objects, but living things create themselves into your imagination. Sirius had trouble with the strange animals that mysteriously popped up in his worlds, but he was able to have the creations form by what he wanted by writing opposite of what he needed. For example, in the desert oasis of Soaan, Sirius wrote of a giant lake rather than a large plateau. Therefore, lizard-like monsters he called Loch Verde monsters appeared in the lake, and were tamed by the inhabitants.”
She handed the sketchbook over to Andrew. “Why don’t you try first, Andrew? You must have a lot of imagination.”
“Um, not to be rude or anything, but Andrew has, like, a three-second attention span, so that might be a bit of a challenge for him,” Clyde pointed out.
“I’m going to write a cannon!” Andrew exclaimed, and began scribbling on the page as quick as he could. When he was finished, he placed the pen on the edge of the map and looked back at the page. Nothing happened.
“Was something supposed to happen?” Madeline asked.
“Just give it a moment…he’s new at this, so just wait…” Lió said.
All of a sudden, an unloaded cannon appeared out of nowhere and dropped onto the ground with a loud crash, yet surprisingly it didn’t cause a hole in the floor.
“HOLY SMOKES!!!” Clyde screamed, jumping high onto one of the shelves and digging his claws into the wood. Since he was wearing boots however, he couldn’t get a grip and fell back onto the ground, landing on his stomach.
“Heh, I thought cats were supposed to land on their feet!” Travis joked. Everyone else laughed along with him.
“Ha-ha, very funny,” Clyde growled.
“Does the cannon actually work?” Eliza asked.
“Yep, any object written by using the Art will work, if it actually does anything, that is,” Lió said. “If you want to fire it, take that thing outside-it will have enough force to destroy the entire side of the building!”
“Hey Lió, you promised yesterday that you’d show us your flying skills-can we go outside?” Andrew wondered.
Lió sighed but smiled anyway. “Fine then, we shall go outside. Learning the Art isn’t that hard-it’s forming an entire world that is really complicated. You five won’t need to do that, but you may need to create certain objects.”
She helped Travis and Clyde carry Andrew’s cannon outside while the others followed behind. Once outside, they set the cannon down and Lió walked over into the open field.
Lió was wearing a leather vest, brown pants, and tall boots and had on a flat cap instead of her headdress. “This outfit lowers wind resistance and makes it much easier to fly. Plus, my wings won’t get caught in any strings, ribbon, or other decorative accessories.”
Lió fanned out her wings, which stretched up to 9 feet in length. She jumped into the air and beat her arms, and then she flew up high above the trees.
“Wow, she is really high up!” Andrew exclaimed. “I wish I had wings!”
“That would be a nightmare,” Clyde muttered in a terrified voice.
Lió landed on the ground with a slam, and she walked over to the group. “We Nocmurs can fly for endless hours, and some of us know how to do tricks while in the air. Now, how about we test the cannon?”
Travis loaded the cannon, and Andrew positioned it at a dead tree. They put in the gunpowder and lit the fuse, and the cannon blasted a hole through the tree.
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