Chapter eight: When things get even worse than before
Where we left off…
Eliza, Madeline, Clyde, Travis, and an unconscious Andrew were surrounded by some very angry-looking Tree Dwellers, and it seemed like they were not pleased about the group being here.
“We may not get out of this alive; you guys all know that right?” Clyde asked.
“I’m pretty sure we know,” Madeline growled. “Caught by savages-Grandpa and Grandma would be freaking out right now.”
“I think they are freaking out, but not because we’re cornered,” Travis said.
The Tree Dwellers closed in on the kids with angry eyes and their spears raised. The leader snarled something in his strange language, and the others corralled the kids, surrounding them on each side, and then began to move.
“Great, first we had to fight a lake monster, and now we’re being kidnapped by angry monkey giants,” Clyde complained. “If Sirius meant for this all to happen, I will totally not introduce myself to him when he comes back to Adrift!”
“Wow, that sounds so terrible,” Travis muttered as he heaved his sleeping brother up on his back. “At least you don’t have to carry your unconscious brother on your back!”
One of the Dwellers said something in an angry tone, and the two shut up. The Tree Dwellers continued one walking, leading them up a rope bridge to a large hut that appeared slightly larger than all the others. They led the kids inside, and shut the door behind them.
The hut had only one room, and it certainly wasn’t a room that one would live in. There was no bed or a kitchen or bathroom whatsoever-it seemed that the room was meant as a governmental room of some sort. There were a few tables with candles on them, but other than that there was nothing in the room.
However, at the far end of the room was a tall chair made of Chronosroot wood, flanked by two masks hanging on the wall. Sitting in the chair was possibly the leader of the Tree Dwellers. He wore a headdress of blue and silver feathers, and wore a long robe adorned with colorful beads and smaller feathers. He had wrinkles under his eyes and his fur was gray, but the look in his eyes seemed unusually kind, as if he knew why the kids were brought here.
The Tree Dweller soldiers nudged them forward towards the elder sitting in his chair, but they held back, instead guarding the door with their spears.
“Uh, should we try to speak or something?” Travis asked Eliza. “Maybe we could try communicating with their leader.”
“It is alright young human, you do not need to worry,” the leader said in perfect English. “I can speak many languages from everywhere in the Spiral-my soldiers speak in code, however, so that is why you cannot understand them.”
He rose up from his chair and walked down onto the floor of his hut. Even though he was elderly, he had to be at least 8 feet tall.
“Wow, that’s awesome!” Clyde exclaimed. “But how come you had us brought here?”
“My soldiers brought you here because I know what you’re after,” the leader answered. “My name is Star Ranger, and I can predict the future. I am-or was-good friends with Sirius, and I know what happened here and in the other worlds. I also know why you’re here-you need the next red page and the other two blue pages, is that correct?”
“Um yes, we need the pages,” Eliza asked. “But what about the other thing you said…about predicting the future? You actually know what’s going on? Could you please tell us?”
“I apologize, but my visions aren’t always accurate,” Star Ranger said sadly. “I have the pages with me of course, but about the future…I will tell you this one vital thing: lose your questions, and you will find your answers.”
He handed the pages over with a comforting smile. “It is alright if you don’t understand what I’ve just told you, but when the time comes you will understand. A great evil is growing powerful-very slowly, but certainly stronger.”
At that moment Andrew shot up with a terrified look in his eyes. “AGGH, SOMEBODY HELP ME!!!” he shrieked, causing Travis to drop him on the floor. His scream freaked out the soldiers, who backed up against the wall of the hut in surprise.
Andrew got up with a moan and Travis explained to him what happened while he was unconscious. Once that was cleared, Madeline addressed Star Ranger.
“Good sir, we aren’t exactly what you’d call heroes,” she explained. “Your own men easily brought us here without a struggle. We don’t know how to use weapons of any sort-we are very vulnerable.”
“No, that is where you are wrong,” Star Ranger said. “You are young masters of the Art, and you do not need a weapon to activate it. All you need is your imagination, and you will defeat any evil.”
Star Ranger walked back to his chair and sat back down, his tail flopped to the side. “It is high time you leave young ones. I wish you good luck, but you may need more than that to destroy the root of the plague that consumes these worlds. When Sirius returns, remind him to come visit me sometime-I am very old and will not exist for much longer, so he better come visit.”
Eliza nodded and flipped open the book to the last page, placing her hand inside the symbol. The book flashed, and the group teleported back to Adrift.
“I’m still very confused as to what was going on,” Andrew said as they handed the pages over to Lió. “You weren’t very good at explaining, Travis.”
“I’m sorry, but we were in the middle of a conversation,” Travis growled.
“There’s no need to fight,” Lió scolded them. “Geez, you two are as bad as my cousin!”
“Star Ranger told us about some sort of evil,” Madeline said. “Is there really something after us?”
“Star Ranger never lies, so you guys are certainly in trouble,” Lió answered. “Luckily, you’ll be going somewhere that never had any violence: the Aerodynamics Age, aka my home. I hope you find those pages quick-whatever this evil may be, I fear it’s coming too soon.”
“But this is only our third world!” Clyde exclaimed. “How are we to find all of these pages?!”
“I think some of them may be hiding here in Adrift, but I suggest you go to Aerodynamics first,” Lió said. “After Aerodynamics, there is one last place I need you to visit.”
Eliza nodded her head. “I guess we ought to get going now,” she proposed. “Gather around everyone, we are going to Aerodynamics!”
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