The Toymaker by nimble Ginelle Quinn -- Chapter ten: in which the students and Brie escape and come up with a plan to save the others
Brie took the twins’ hands and pulled them along with her towards the edge of town and right into the woods. Samson, Sumatra, and Creole followed close behind, keeping their heads down to lose the ninjas’ interest.
“Don’t stop for anything!” Brie yelled, leading the students up the mountain. “We can’t stop for anything!”
“What about my father, and Harrison?!” Sumatra cried, tears beginning to run down her face.
“We can’t help them now; they’ll have to take care of themselves for now,” Brie said, throwing a glance over her shoulder.
Sumatra nodded her head sadly and wiped away her tears. “I suppose you’re right, but we can’t just leave them like that. Maybe now, but most certainly not later. My dad has never been up against such powerful enemies; sure, he knows all the spells, but he never had to use them!”
“At least we have his book,” Samson exclaimed, holding up the spell book. “We can learn our powers ourselves, or learn a few powers at least.”
“And that’s all we’ll need for now,” Brie agreed. “Food, water, a safe place-that will all matter afterwards. We need to get to safety, as far away from those ninjas as possible.”
She kept on running up the mountain slope, pausing every so often to let the others catch up to her. Desmond yawned as much as he could to keep the pressure out of his ears, but he was still worrying about Harrison’s safety. Harrison looked odd but he was nice and at least tried to save the students. What would happen to him now that the ninjas have him?
“We’ve made it to the top of the mountain,” Brie said, stopping in the cliff meadow at the top. “The ninjas won’t find us at the top; they don’t seem to be the mountaineer type, mostly keeping at the middle region. They probably have pressure problems.”
Creole walked over and sat in the field, cross-legged. “Good thing, because my legs are very tired,” he mumbled.
“I’ll sit down too,” Sumatra replied, sitting next to Creole. “Better to get some rest everyone, or when the ninjas come eventually, because we might not get a chance to escape.”
The rest of the group sat down next to the young sages. Desmond shifted in the grass for a bit, wheezing a little from running up the mountain. He looked up and turned to Samson, facing him.
“Can I see the book that Navajo threw to you?” Desmond asked, holding out his hand.
“Sure thing, but be careful because it’s rather worn-out,” Samson answered. He tossed the book over to Desmond, and Desmond began to flip through it.
Desmond examined the various spells and lessons inside. “Wow, a lot of these are very easy to learn; at least, they’re very easy to practice. We should practice a few of these, and maybe then we could figure out a way to find our friends and save them.”
“Sounds like a good idea, Desmond,” Brie commented. “What spells do you have in mind?”
“We should try this spirit shield spell-you know, the Valor’s Armor spell,” Desmond suggested. “It’s a pretty common privateer spell, and it absorbs five times enemy damage. Apparently sages can learn this spell too, according to the book.”
Desmond stood up and backed away from the other students. Holding the book in his right hand, he began to read the ancient aztecosaur language that the spell was written in. Holding his left arm up above his head, he shouted the last three words of the spell, and the small stone wall rose up around him along with the Valor shield flag. The short wall disappeared, leaving behind a glowing golden sphere surrounding his entire body.
“That’s really cool,” Danielle said, “But how do you remember the words? That’s some pretty ancient language, and even in a time of crisis we wouldn’t remember that!”
“Turns out there’s a short cut to the spell,” Samson told her, taking the book from Desmond. “All you have to do is wave both of your arms in front of you, and then jump up in the air with your arms high above your head, and the spell will work.”
“That is much simpler,” Creole pointed out. He stood up and did the arm movements and then jumped in the air. The spell worked much faster, quickly forming the spirit shield around him.
Samson and Sumatra eyed the pages in the book, and Sumatra stopped on a slightly moth-eaten page. “This spell right here is about summoning a flock of crows, made out of light. They are an adaption to immortal matrix, but they aren’t actually alive like the matrix-they are just a form of magic-infused light that appears to be alive.”
“How do you use that spell?” Brie asked, rather curious. “That may come in handy.”
“In the book, it says to clench your fist tightly, and then whisper “a murder of crows”. Throw your fist open, and the crows will materialize and fly out, awaiting your command. Although they aren’t alive, they are rather intelligent, and can be sent to scout for information and to find missing people, and can attack in an orderly fashion.”
“That’s totally awesome!” Desmond replied. He clenched his fist and whispered ‘a murder of crows’, and then threw open his hand. Shining purple crows flew out like a swarm of angry hornets from Desmond’s palm, cawing and flapping their shadowy wings. They flew in all directions before landing in a perfect line on one of the wooden posts on the edge of the cliff, looking directly at Desmond.
“Well now that’s amazing,” Sumatra replied, looking up from the book. “What should you command them to do? They won’t fade away unless they’re attacked or they’ve served their purpose.”
“Tell them to find the location of Navajo Redd, Richard Travis, and Harrison,” Brie suggested. “They’re super intelligent, right? So maybe if you command them to look for our friends, they can discover the Rebel’s hiding place, and the other’s location.”
“That’s a great idea,” Desmond answered. He turned to the purple crows, which were waiting patiently. “You heard what the stuffed dog said: go out there and find the Rebel’s hiding place. You’ll be able to tell who the rebels are, because they are wearing pitch-black ninja outfits, and only their eyes aren’t covered.”
The crows all cawed in response, spreading their wings and taking off into the dark sky (it wasn’t night, but the stars were out, mostly because of the Darkness). The crows flipped into a nosedive all at once, gliding down the steep cliff face towards Red Dawn woods.
“When they’ve found what they need, they will alert you by showing you a light sphere of their memories,” Sumatra read from the book. “After that they will vaporize into the surrounding air until they are summoned again for another task.”
“That’s all we will need for the time being,” Brie responded. “I suppose we ought to go find somewhere to stay, far away as possible from those ninja pests. I think I might know of a place where we can stay: another small, somewhat hidden town south of here called Trioden. We can practice there for the time being, and maybe learn on how to summon our immortal matrix companions.”
“What about those crows? Will they be able to find us?” Danielle asked, smoothing her red sundress.
“According to my father’s book, the crows can track the one who summoned them, basically by magic sense, whatever that is,” Sumatra told her. “The crows will be fine-they can find us, as long as we don’t lose Desmond.”
“Then that is that,” Brie announced, standing tall even though she is only a foot and a half in height. “We are going to Trioden, and we will not stop for anything!”
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