But alas, Professor Rhyb came back. The Alium was nowhere to be seen, but another man trailed behind him. His long-sleeved jacket covered him to just above his waist and was tightly tied with string slightly off-center. The sleeves of his jacket were wide and reached down to his wrists, decorated with a decorative band almost at the edges. Its narrow v-neck revealed part of the rather simple shirt worn below held together by a simple knot. His pants were loose and were reaching down to his leather boots made from uncommon leather, but were otherwise a design found commonly. And beside him was yet another man, a lot older and time was evident in every line on his face. He was dressed in a white-hooded cloak embellished with intricate swirling patterns.The three were quick to bow down their heads upon seeing the pair. It was Professor Rhyb who spoke. “Prince Alexander, Princess Ariannah, I have brought Elder Hayes and Healer Reed with me. It is best to take matters as quickly as we can.
Nothing could ever be more peaceful than a quiet afternoon. That was if one weren’t bound by any responsibilities. All there was to do was to relax, the mind free of worry and concern.Except that wasn’t the case for Prince Alexander at all.Here he was at the Zephyrus’ old greenhouse—abandoned for so long and never been reconstructed ever since Nivalon Empire went on a rampage. It was a mistake. Their own internal conflict sent a massive storm, ravaging nearby lands and kingdoms. The only remnants of the greenhouse were just an elevated circular platform. Piles of small rubble strewn around it. And the trees were the only ones left standing as if they hadn’t been ready to leave their soil.Perched on a sturdy branch of a tree, leaning against its trunk, Alex would watch Ariah get around her moon magic with the help of Elder Hayes. With the blanket of darkness smearing the glittering sky, the silver glisten of her power blended with the stars.A week had passed, and the rumors spread o
“Oh, that.” Maxwell whistled, the wind carrying the sound with it. From the distance, a single gleam of gold pulsed on the black sheet of the sky until it grew larger, flying toward them. It was a Carrier, a transparent spherical shell with swirling gray smokes which hid its content from plain view. The gold which gleaned from the sky earlier was its wings, a pair of thin strips of gold metal.Maxwell dipped his hand in the Carrier’s rubbery material and it disappeared up to his wrist. He withdrew a snaggy diamond bottle, containing a cerulean liquid that glowed naturally in the dim light.The prince plucked it from Maxwell’s grip at breakneck speed and stowed it inside his pants pocket.“Just in time,” he said in a monotone voice, his vision getting as far as the distance it could reach. “How come it took you so long? Good thing the last one’s still in effect for a few more days. I can’t get by without this.”Maxwell grunted and plopped himself beside the prince, the branch swaying a
“Ow! Stomp down on my heel one more time, and I’m seriously going to have to break your ankle.”“Maybe if you weren’t hogging the entire glow of the lamp up there, Miss Vanders, the rest of us could see where we were going.”Clara tried to stifle her laugh as she followed a bickering Maxwell and Holly across campus in the dark. It was almost eleven, and Blaire was pitch-black and silent, except for the hoot of an owl. An orange gibbous moon was low in the sky, cloaked by a veil of fog. Between the three of them, they’d only been able to come up with one gas lamp, so only Holly had a clear view of the path of the shady pocket redwoods. For the other two, the grounds—which had seemed so lush and well-tended in the daylight—were now booby-trapped with fallen bristlecones, thick-rooted ferns, and the backs of Holly’s feet.When Holly had asked her to do some extraordinary moon spells, Clara had gotten a sinking feeling in her stomach. Alex had just dropped her off in her chamber room. And
Holly crossed her eyes and stared at the tip of her nose when a butterfly perched on it. She was breathless and unmoving, but she sneezed when it tickled her nose. Maxwell was to be seen creeping up behind her like a thief in the night. He flicked her nose, sending the butterfly flying away and Holly yelping in surprise and pain. “You!” She swung her arm, aiming for his face, but he easily deflected her attacks. Another one came, then another, but Holly was only able to land her punch in the air. “You really can’t let a day pass without doing anything that annoys me.”Clara stood up and was about to intervene when she saw Holly close to tears. And her anger was only fueled up by Maxwell’s derisive laughter. “It’s just a flick on your nose, Holly, and you’re already exploding. Don’t try so hard looking terrifying. It was cute.”The princess caught her breath when Holly conjured a spiked mace ball made of air. She flailed it at Maxwell who effortlessly deflected it. “I have always hat
The room was dingy and windowless, lit by four wall torches with rusty brackets. A faint smell of fried fish lingered about the place. The shadowy walls were lined with shelves of large glass jars, in which floated all manner of revolting things Clara didn’t really want to know the name of at the moment. A highly polished collection of manacles hung behind a cluttered desk. Looking around, one thing was certain for Clara: of all the places she had visited so far in Blaire, this was by far the most interesting. It was a cramped space, full of funny little noises. A number of curious glowing instruments stood on spindle-legged tables. Apart from the weird glass jars, occupying a single floor-to-ceiling shelf were books giving off a bizarre feeling.Clara hesitated. She cast a wary eye around the room. Surely it couldn’t hurt if they took a look around.She stepped further into the room, and suddenly stumbled over a bag lying in the middle of the floor. Inside it was a shimmery crystalli
Clara’s eyes popped on the red leather-bound book that was thicker and heavier than a normal book. There was a sign of old age, but there were no other damages. It also seemed to be well taken care of. She turned it over at a different angle to inspect and figure out anything, but nothing else—not even the name of its writer—was written other than the title itself.She held onto it tight against her chest before she strode quickly over the table in a jumbled mess. Thrill and excitement rushed into her system as she cleared the table of strewn parchments. She fixed the candelabra in a suitable position, so it could properly cast a light on the book’s pages.She sat on an uncomfortable squeaky old wooden chair and took a deep breath before opening the book on its first page. At first, Clara thought it was blank. She was about to turn it to the next page when words started to appear. Clara stared at it wide-eyed. Words appeared as they formed a sentence.‘Everything in this book is a hist
Clara and Holly woke the next day to a brilliant sunshine and a light refreshing breeze, and the classes were quick to end. Over Caelholme, the afternoon sunlight crept over the grounds around the shops, sky and lake alike turned periwinkle blue and flowers burst into bloom. Clara and Holly sat under an umbrella shed just outside the town’s famous pastry shop, Greta’s Sweetums. Clara was looking expectantly inside the shop as she craned her neck, checking if their order would arrive any time soon. Inside, there were shelves upon shelves of the most succulent-looking sweets imaginable: Creamy chunks of butterscotch that changed color in every bite; hundreds of different kinds of chocolates in weird animal shapes arranged in neat rows that customers must be prepared to catch once it either leaped or flew; colorful candy necklaces which adjusted to the size of the neck; miniature candy cones; cans of slithering candy worms; cakes that could be ordered in towers or slices; and enchanted