This day is a special day for all of you. I am posting an entire book for you. This book was written while I was in high school. I started this book on Christmas of 2002. That is sixteen years ago, this book looking back is so horribly written, but I loved writing it. Please be kind with your comments, yes I know there are tons of errors, yes I know that the grammar is horrible. I am sharing this entire thing with all of you to show how far I have come in the last decade and a half.

 

 

Magic Wars

Book 1

~Fire Magic~

By Megan Colburn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

The Fall Begins

 

 

 

 

A girl with brown hair and orange-brown eyes, almost fifteen, she lay in bed asleep unaware of the danger approaching her, Northern country home. Two blocks down the street lay the temple a temple that she had visited many times, little does this girl know that her whole life will soon revolve around this temple. Her parents rushed into her room, and shook her awake.

“Megan get up, we need to leave,” Megan sat up in bed her blankets falling off of her.

“What is it, what time is it, why do I have to get up?” Megan asked, she yawned and looked at the clock, four-thirty in the morning.

“Megan we have to leave, we have to go somewhere safe,” Her father said, Megan looked around for her mother she had gone to wake Megan’s two younger brothers.

“Why what’s going on,” Megan asked, she look around there was light out side, as if the sun were coming up, “Why is the sun up if its four in the morning,” Megan asked.

“Its not four in the morning its six o’clock maybe seven, nothing electric will work, there is some strange storm in space that is effecting every thing, we have to get to the temple,” Her father said, Megan didn’t understand but she knew he wouldn’t joke about this, “Pack every thing that you will need clothes, books, nothing electric, pillows, blankets every thing you will need.” Megan nodded, and ran into her closet she came out with her two suit cases.

She stuffed the biggest full of her blankets and pillows, and some of her books, then the second she filled with her clothes, and her money, she looked around her room so many of her valuable things would have to be left behind. Then Megan remembered her giant backpack she had gotten for her last birthday, she pulled it out from under her bed, and started to rap her things in some of her clothes, she put her less breakable things in the bottom then the more fragile things on top, she gently put in on her back. Megan lifted her suitcases and ran out into the hall she saw her brothers packing their things, her mother and father down the hall stuffing their things into bags. She ran down stairs and put her bags by the door then remembered one thing, her prized collection of, little beanbag animals. She ran back up stairs and stuffed her favorite ones into her backpack.

Megan ran back down stairs wearing three purses that were bulging with little stuffed animals. Her family was starting to get their things down stairs. Her youngest brother Costen came running down the stairs two bags in his hand and his two prized giant stuffed animals strapped to his back. Her parents lead them out of the house and locked it up, then they lead them down the rode, Megan could hear the distant sound of drums, she shuddered something bad was happening but she didn’t know what.

Megan held her coat and scarf closer around her, her suit cases dragging her down. She moved one to the other hand and took, one of Costen’s bags, they seemed to be to heavy for him. Megan marched on behind her mother, her cold breath lifting in a little cloud in the cold January air. They turned onto the main rode and started to walk towards the temple, Megan saw other families that she recognized and she knew that they had come from miles away, which meant they had been traveling all night. Megan said hello to a girl that she knew that was a year older then her and one of Megan’s close friends, her name was Cassie.

“Megan do you have any idea what’s going on,” Cassie panted, Megan shook her head.

“How long have you be traveling?” Megan asked, Cassie looked around for the moon, it was almost all the way behind the horizon.

“Since the moon was high up at the top of its circle,” Cassie said, Megan gasped she had been traveling with her sister and parents for about seven hours.

“Well we’re almost to the temple.” Megan said, Cassie nodded. They entered the parking lot to the temple and walked up to it, a voice came from behind their group, from the church building behind them.

“Come everyone in to the gymnasium,” A lady that Megan didn’t know called, they hurried inside, Megan’s family found the place that was assigned for them to put their things, then went to the gym.

They sat on the floor with everyone else, Megan leaned against her mother, to tired to sit up strait. Megan saw her friend, Kathi walk in with her other friend Chris, they had come from further then Cassie, Megan knew they must have been traveling for at least half the night. Megan waved to them they waved back, for traveling all night they didn’t look to tired to Megan.

Kathi’s family, and Chris’s came to sit near Megan’s. Megan looked at Chris, she had had a crush on him ever since she had met him about a year before. She smiled at him and he smiled back.

“Kathi how long have you been traveling?” Megan asked.

“Oh about two hours,” She answered, Megan gawked at her, “We all rode horses,” Kathi said Megan looked at her family nine people most under the age of ten, except Kathi her brother Matt who was twelve, and her parents, she looked at Chris’s family, four, Chris his mother, and father, Chris’s sister Kristina, one of Megan’s good friends.

“You all rode here,” Megan asked looking at her fifteen year old friend, Kathi had long brown hair and brown eyes, taller then Megan by a couple of inches.

“No must of us share with the people younger then us.” Chris said, Chris was a hands some boy with black hair that he wore spiked on his head, with green eyes.

“Man that’s a long way to ride in two hours on horses, they must be dying.” Megan said, Kathi laughed.

“Their in the back of the temple by the fountain, with some other horse, like the Davis’s and some other people that live out by us,” Megan looked around she saw her brother Kiefer’s best friend’s family, Chris Davis a short thirteen year old, with blond hair and green eyes. Megan shook her head, Chris was one of the weirdest boys she had ever known.

“So what are we here for?” Megan asked, her friends.

“I think were about to find out,” Chris said he pointed to the front of the gym and old man stood on a chair so to be seen by everyone.

“My friends, I welcome you here, today we have gotten terrible news, war has broken out in our country, but not any war as we know it in our day and age, this war will not have guns or planes or nuclear weapons, over the past few weeks scientists have been watching a storm that is traveling across space and this storm has finally gotten here, this storm has blocked all electric waves, nothing that runs on electricity will work now, the way this war is starting to be fought is with swords and bows and arrows and spears, riders on horse back. Now we have trained professionals to train some of our people who are to stay here and protect our temple, will all the capable youth, over the age of twelve, no younger, please stand.” The old Man said, Megan looked at Kathi and Chris, they looked at her, they all nodded and stood, Megan’s mother grabbed her arm.

“Megan are you sure you want to do this?” She asked her eyes full of tears Megan nodded, and stood, she looked around her brother Kiefer and Chris were getting up, some of Megan’s friends, and other people she knew started to stand.

Megan swallowed and looked around, at all the parents of the youth, some were crying, knowing what was going to happen.

“You all are doing this on your own free will, no one is forcing you to do this,” The old man said, Megan looked around she saw some of the older youth sit down, she shook her head, they were cowards. “You few that are decided to stay will stay here tonight your families are leaving to go north with the guard as soon as they come they should be here by lunch, you may never see you families again so spend this time with them do not waste it.” He said, “We will serve breakfast in a few moments,” He said and he stepped down from the chair, Megan sat down and lean against her mother again.

She sat with her family for the next few hours, eating, and talking with them, spending as much time as she could with them before they were to leave.

“The guides are here,” The old man said, the families started to stand up, Megan hugged her mother and father, tears streaming from her eyes, she whipped them away, she didn’t want them to see her cry. They all walked outside her parents and Costen carrying their bags. Megan hugged and kissed her little brother and helped him loud his bags onto the horse that was assigned to him. She lifted him up, and then lead the horse over to where her parents were.

“Megan are you sure you want to stay?” Her mother asked, “And Kiefer are you sure, you never wanted to do anything like this before.” She said.

“I’m sure mom, I’ll miss you guys but I promise to come and visit you as soon as I can.” Megan said, Kiefer looked around.

“I’ll come with her, I’m sure I want to do this I want to stay with my friends and learn how to defend myself.” Kiefer said, Megan shook her head, she was doing to protect the temple and for her country.

“I’ll miss you guys.” Costen said, Megan looked up at him.

“You’ll be able to join us in two years,” Megan said, he nodded and took his horses rains.

“Goodbye mommy,” Megan said hugging him mom, she hugged her dad and said good bye and watched them mount their horses, they had ran back to their house and grabbed the seven animals, four small dogs and three cats they were all in little carriers strapped to the horses, and start off with the rest of the group she looked around, there were about a hundred-fifty youth left in front of the church building.

“Megan come on lets go inside the old man has things to talk to us about,” Kathi said, Megan nodded, and followed her friend into the building.

“Well everyone you have chosen to stay here, go and get your things and find somewhere in this gym to sleep, make a circle around your space, with your things, we will come around tomorrow and put up curtain around your spaces, we will have to stay in here until the permanent housing is finished in the woods, now after you get your spaces all set up meet behind the temple we have things to give you.” He said and left. Megan ran and got her things she walked to the back corner of the gym and set her bags in a big three quarter circle around the corner. Megan started to pull her things out and set them in piles in the corner she stacked her books and started to make a bed out of her blankets and three pillows she was able to pack. She jumped out of her circle and found that someone was setting up his area a foot from Megan’s. Chris looked up at her and grinned.

“You don’t mind do you, I couldn’t find anywhere else, they’ve already set up our dinning tables in the middle so there’s barely anymore room, everyone’s getting as big of areas as they can.” He said Megan smiled.

“No I don’t mind, where’s Kathi?” Megan asked, she looked around, and saw Kathi closer to the dinning tables next to Cassie and some other girls Megan knew.

“She’s over there, why aren’t you over there with them?” He asked.

“I like being in the corner I can see everything else, and I don’t like being near lots of people its to hard to get to sleep.” She said, “Well I’m gona head outside before it gets to crowded.” Megan said, Chris nodded and stood up, he walked outside with her, there was a small crowd out side by the fountain, Megan sat down and looked into the water, Chris stood in front of her looking around.

“Hey Megan look.” He said quietly pointing over to the gate, the old man was coming in with a couple others, they were all leading about two-hundred large horses.

“Well I guess you ten get the first choosing of you mount.” He said, Megan jumped up and walked over to the horses, she looked around and saw a beautiful tan horse, with black mane and tail, just the horse she had always wanted, she walked over to it and reached into her pocket she pulled out a apple that she had save from lunch, she was going to have it for a snack but offered it to the horse instead. The horse sniffed it and took the apple, Megan stroked the horse’s shoulder and then took its rains and lead it over to the water, where it took a drink.

“Here girl write you name on this leather tag then stick it on this saddle, tie you horse on one of the bars and put the saddle next to it.” The old man said, handing her a large saddle and tag.

Megan held the rains in her mouth, praying that the horse wouldn’t rear or decide to take off and pull out half her teeth. She led the horse over to one of the bars that had been place next to a feeding station for the horses. She tied the rains to the bar the flung the saddle over the bar, she wrote her name on the tag and placed it in the saddle, then she went over to Chris who had tied his horse on the bar next to Megan’s. He had chosen a black horse with white sock above its hoofs.

“Beautiful,” Megan said, Chris looked at her.

“His name’s Nightstar.” He said, he patted his horse then turned to Megan. “What’s your horse’s name?” He asked, Megan looked at her horse who was eating from its feeder.

“Sandstorm,” Megan said the horse looked at her and nodded, Megan smiled.

“Well it fits it,” He said, Megan smiled.

“Hey everyone after your finished with your horses come into the church and go to the large class room at the front of the building okay,” A man in his thirties yelled, Megan looked at Chris, then lead the way back to the building, and to the class room, there was a long line of about twenty people, but Megan could see what they were in line for, people were coming out the other door carrying up to three cages with them.

“Pets, what use will we have for pets?” Megan asked Chris he shrugged.

“Well my lady, these animal aren’t just like any other, their trained for carrying letters and for scouting out trails and things.” A man said, Megan looked around, a man about thirty stood about five feet away, a falcon sitting on his shoulder.

“Wow,” Megan said, staring at the falcon.

“Like him this is, Ace, he’s my best pet,” He said, his falcon clicked his beak and fluffed his feathers. “I’m Mark Doran animal trainer,” He said bowing to Megan and Chris, they looked at each other and bowed back.

“What kind of animals are we getting?” Chris asked.

“Well you can get up to three, there are hawks, falcons, owls, foxes, squirrels, bats, and a couple more, don’t worry there are hundreds of each so don’t worry about not being able to get what you want.” He said, Megan had always wanted a hawk, she was definitely going to get a hawk, a bat, and a fox, she had always wanted each one.

“Cool” Chris said, he looked at Megan as she started to jump up and down trying to see how much further. “Calm down Megan, we’ll be able to get there, its only about six more people in front of us.” He said, Megan looked at him and grinned.

“What are you going to get?” She asked him.

“Well I’m definitely getting a hawk, maybe a fox but I want to see what else they have before I make my final decision, what about you?” He asked.

“I’m getting a hawk, and fox, and I think a bat, but I think I’ll see what else they have before I decide too.” She said, he nodded, and they walked a little forward. She could see a sign that had what animals there were on it.

“Hawks, falcons, owls, bats, squirrels, foxes, and snakes.” Megan read, “I’m getting a bat,” She said, Chris nodded

“I think I’ll get a bat too, a hawk for day bat for night.” He said.

Megan tapped her foot as they waited for the person in front of them to make up her mind, she couldn’t decide on what animal to get, she finally choose and it was Megan’s turn.

“I would like a fox, hawk, and bat, please.” She said.

“What type of hawk,” the man asked, Megan thought for a moment.

“Red-tailed if you have any,” She said, he nodded and handed her a cage with a beautiful red-tailed hawk.

“What type of bat, fruit, or flyingfox?” He asked.

“Flyingfox please,” Megan said they were her favorite bats.

“Here you go,” He said handing her another cage with a giant black bat in it. “What type of fox?”

“Do you have any grey?” She asked, he nodded and handed her a large rectangular cage.

“Move down the counter and give that man the names of your animals.” He said, Megan nodded and moved down the line, and ran into the same girl that had been in front of her before, she couldn’t decide on a name for the fruit bat she had gotten that hadn’t already been chosen.

When it was Megan’s turn, “What is the name of your hawk,” The man behind the counter asked.

“Freefall.” Megan said, the man nodded and wrote it down in his book that was labeled hawks.

“Here is the stand you can let your hawk sit on, and a glove to where so he doesn’t scratch up you arm.” He said handing her a stand about five feet tall and a large leather glove, Megan put it on and picked up the stand. “What’s the name of you bat?” He asked.

“Nightwing.” She said, he looked in his book and nodded then wrote it down.

“Here’s a stand for your bat and an attachment for that glove so he can hang upside down on it.” He said, Megan took the stand that had a black box over the top of it, and a bar inside that he could hang from, and a leather rope that could attach to her glove, she attached it so she wouldn’t have to carry it. “And your fox.” He asked, Megan looked at the little grey fox that was sleeping in its cage.

“Raincloud,” She said, the man nodded and wrote it down, he turned around and started to stamp something.

“Here is your fox’s collar,” He said handing her a brown piece of leather with Raincloud stamped in gold letters on it. “Now get moving, we have a lot of people to serve here.” He said, Megan walked out, carrying the two stands and her three cages.

“Megan I’ll meet you in the gym,” Chris said, as he started to get his things for his animals, Megan nodded and went to her corner, she set up her stands and opened her cages. She put the bat in his stand where he went back to sleep. She opened the cage for her hawk it flew out and landed on her outstretched arm, it looked around, and saw it’s perch it jumped over to it, and it sat their watching everyone.

Megan smiled at her pet, then bent down and opened her foxes cage, she lifted her out and held her in her arms. She looked up at her and yawned then licked her chin she smiled and hugged her. She looked around, Chris was setting up his stands, and letting his animals out, he set his orange fox on one of his pillows where it curled up and fell to sleep. Megan set her fox down it sniffed around to where her cloths were piled and dug into them and went to sleep. Megan smiled and flopped down onto her pillows, Chris laughed at her as she rolled over and knocked Freefall’s stand, Freefall squawked his complaint, Megan apologized and curled up under her blanket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

Training Begins

 

 

 

 

“Megan come on lets go see what that guys doing out in the court yard.” Chris said.

“What guys?” Megan asked setting down her book.

“I don’t know I heard someone talking about some guy asking for someone to challenge him.” Chris said, Megan thought for a moment, then jumped up.

“Okay come on I bet I can take him.” Megan said, Chris raised his eyebrows, “Come on,” She said and she ran outside.

A man stood in a circle of people holding two staves. “Is none of you brave enough to face me, the great Slash.” Megan smiled and walked out of the circle into the clearing.

“What do we fight?” She asked, he looked at her.

“Staves, but I don’t play easy girly, this ain’t no preschool.” He said grinning, Megan grabbed one of his staves and bounced it in her hand checking the weight, she spun it around her hand, then around her body, learning the length. She looked at the man, he was staring at her.

“I don’t care I’ll fight you all the same.” Megan said, she took her stance staff in hand.

“Okay girly,” He said he took a stance and an older boy yelled.

“Go”

“Well girly lets see what you can do.” He said he circled her, Megan turned with him, she had learned not to talk when she was fighting it was a waist of breath and it made the other person nervous. “Come on you lousy good for nothin’ girl.” He said he lunged at her Megan diverted his staff and landed a blow to the top of his head, he stager backward confused. Megan took the opening and hit him with the butt of her staff right in the stomach. “Why you,” He yelled, he lunged again, Megan jumped out of the way and stuck out her foot, he fell to the ground with a nasty crunching noise. “Ah, you lousy girl, I’ll break you in two, you have no excuse to fight, your just a girl, women ain’t good for nothing besides staying hom’ and doin laundry.” He yelled, this set Megan off, she didn’t care about the insults to her but he insulted her sex, and he would pay. Megan dodged his attack and brought her staff up in between his legs, the boys in the crowd groaned as the man hit the ground, Megan place a foot on his chest and held her staff up to his throat.

“Never insult my kind again or you’ll pay.” Megan said, her eyes blazing.

“Okay,” He squeaked, Megan dropped her staff on him and walked away vary proud of herself.

“Hey girl where did you learn to fight like that,” A man asked walking out of the crowd.

“I’ve always like the old ways of fighting, I started training myself about three years back.” Megan stated.

“Can you use other weapons besides staffs?” He asked, Megan nodded.

“I trained with a hilted staff, where my hands could only move in a certain area, kind of like a sword.” Megan said, the man nodded.

“We will talk latter, the horse master wants everyone in the fountain area!” The man yelled, “And then you are to report to me back here after you finished there.” He yelled, the crowd split and people started to walk to the fountain.

“Nice job Megan.” Kathi said, Megan turned around she and Chris were standing there.

“Thanks guys.” Megan said she smiled and turned towards the fountain, they found an empty area on the edge of the fountain to sit, and waited.

“Your attention please.” A man said, he was a lanky man in his forties, black hair turning gray, his gray eyes matched the cloudy sky it was almost like looking through his head into the sky. “I would like to know how many of you know how to properly saddle a horse?” He asked. “Raise your hands,” He said, Megan saw Chris and Kathi raise their hands, along with about seven others, including Chris Davis and Matt, Kathi’s brother. “Okay I want you to go around and help some others saddle their horses, you are all to report back here when you are done riding now go on.” He said, they ran off to their horses and started to saddle them up.

Megan started to do it, even though she hadn’t taken lessons for years but she remembered a lot. She buckled it and checked that it wasn’t to tight or to loose. She turned to Chris who was helping another younger boy.

“Chris did I do this right?” Megan asked, he finished with the boy then turned to her, he examined her saddle and nodded.

“Nice job babe, is there anything you can’t do,” Megan glared at him, “Hey just playing around,” They all jumped a loud drum sounded somewhere close to them they looked around in the middle of the field was a tower on top was a huge drum and two people were up there pounding on it, they stopped and in the distance they heard the response of a distant drum.

“Their using Morse code,” Megan said, Chris nodded they turned back to their horses and untied their rains from the posts.

Megan pulled herself up into the saddle and turned her horse, next to her Chris was turning his. Other people were started to mount their horses. Megan nudge her heal into Sandstorm’s stomach, gently, and Sandstorm started to walk forward, Megan hummed one of her favorite songs that made her feel strong and free as they rode out of the gates to the fountain. Megan nudged Sandstorm again and she started to walk a little faster, Megan laughed and told her to go faster they ran around the tower and in a circle Megan held on tight and turned her to go up the hill next to the field. Sandstorm stopped at the top of the hill and reared, Megan laughed louder and rode her down to where Chris and a few others waited.

“Man Megan you ride just as good as you fight, you’ll be a great help to this place.” Chris said, Megan grinned.

“That’s why were here isn’t it, to help?” Megan asked. Chris nodded and looked up at the top of the tower.

“Well you have done well now your going to just get used to riding your horse, get used to the movement of your horse.” He said, Megan grinned and nudged Sandstorm, she reared and they shot off riding fast around the field.

“Come on Chris,” She yelled, Chris trotted up to her on Nightstar. “What don’t want to ride fast?” Megan asked teasingly, he glared at her challengingly, she grinned and clapped her hands.

Chris nodded, and turned his horse around and they speed off, but his horse reared and spun in space, Chris yelled. Megan saw what had scared the horse. Megan made Sand run towards them, Megan jumped off and onto the ground she avoided Nightstar’s flailing hooves and snatched the pup of the ground. Nightstar was still rearing so Megan reached up with her free hand and pulled him down, she held him down until he was clam once more.

She let go and looked at the thing she had saved, she stared. A wolf cub, she had never dream she would ever be able to see one, she had once ran into a grown wolf in the woods but she had ran from it. Wolves were her favorite creatures in the whole world.

“What is it?” Chris asked.

“A…a wolf cub,” She said she was speechless she never dreamed this would happen.

“A wolf cub what’s it doing here,” Megan looked around there at the edge of the woods stood a pair of wolves they were staring at her, it was their cub.

“There, here hold Sand, I’m going alone.” She said, Megan handed him Sandstorm’s rains and starting off towards the woods, when she got closer the wolves started to back up afraid she would harm them, she set the cub down, when it saw it’s parents it ran to them whimpering, the two wolves looked up at Megan and, what almost seemed like, bowed. They picked up the cub and disappeared into the woods, Megan smiled and turned back she rejoined Chris in the field and continued to ride, she finally felt that Sand was getting tired and lead her back to her post. She took off the saddle and made sure she had plenty of food and water, then put a blanket over her back and left back to the yard where they were supposed to report after they were done, people were starting to gather there anyway.

Chris ran up behind her and put his arm over her shoulder, Megan didn’t know who it was at first, so she grabbed his arm and twisted it. Chris flipped over her and landed flat on his back on the concrete.

“Oh Chris I’m so sorry, I didn’t know it was you.” Megan said she helped him up, he groaned as he rubbed his tailbone.

“It’s okay, I’ll remember never to do that again.” He said, Megan giggled and patted his arm.

“Its okay I just thought it was someone trying to hurt me, it’s happened before I thought it was my friend but it was this guy that tried to strangle me, and now that we’re at war I’m not sure of any thing right now.” Megan said she walked with him to the crowd, talking about what they planed on doing.

“Well I’m not sure what we’re going to learn, but I want to go traveling and helping people I’ve always wanted to have an adventure and this is my chance.” Megan said.

“Well Frostbite you’ll be a great hero,” Megan stared at Chris, she didn’t know that he knew her nickname. “Kathi told me your nickname a while ago, I don’t know if it fits you though, your more fire then ice.” He said, Megan smiled, little did she know that, that phrase would mean more to her later.

“Well come on lets see what this is about, I think were waiting in line for something.” Megan said, Chris jumped up and looked around her nodded.

“Yeah there’s a tent up their with a table at the door and some people around it, their giving out something.” He said, Megan thought for a moment what were they waiting for.

“Megan its your turn I think.” Chris said pushing her forward towards the table.

“Name,” Said the woman behind the table.

“Megan,” She said, the woman looked down her list and nodded.

“Here you are Megan.” She said she handed her a belt with a sword hanging from it, then a dagger in a sheath, and then a bow and a full quiver, then she handed her a staff. “These are your weapons tomorrow you will cheek the list and see when your lessons are.” She said, Megan nodded and walked off carrying her weapons.

She went to her corner and set her things down she sat on her bed and pulled out the sword. It shown bright a beautiful steel blade, the gold handle was easy to grip. The sword was lighter then the stick she had trained with, she would have no trouble controlling her weapon. She put it back in its sheath and picked up her dagger, she pulled it out it looked exactly like the sword just the blade wasn’t three feet long it was about eight inches long and it felt like a feather in Megan’s hand.

“Well I see you like you dagger,” Chris said, Megan looked up and grinned he was wearing his sword belt and had attached he dagger to it already. Megan shook her head and attached hers to her belt then put the belt on, she stood up and walked over to him. He stared at her for a moment then grinned, she glared and kicked his foot, lightly then walked off.

“Oy everyone over here, get your uniforms.” A man yelled, Megan looked at Chris who shrugged they walked over to the man and he gestured to his friends, they started to take their measurements, then two woman shoved some things into their hands.

“Now off with ye.” The man said, Megan and Chris ran back to the area’s and examined what they had gotten.

Two pairs of knee high boots, five pairs of short pants, five sort sleeved shirts, five white tunics, two pairs of long sleeved shirts, ten pairs of sock, and Megan noticed hers first, three pairs of dull brown robes and a black cape. She showed them to Chris, he shrugged and examined his.

“What are they for, there like wizards clothes in the movies?” He said Megan nodded.

“Of course they are, your supposed to have clothes to go with what your training to be.” A Man wearing white robes said from out side their circles.

“What were training to be soldiers.” Chris said, the man shook his head.

“Not just that my boy, you will find out more tomorrow.” He said and walked away people staring and whispering as he passed them.

“What’s going on?” Chris asked Megan.

She shrugged, “I don’t know but what ever it is I’m excited.” She said, Chris sighed and yawned then looked at the tables.

“When are they serving dinner I’m starving?” He asked, just then.

“Dinner will be served in twenty minutes.” A voice came from one of the doors. Chris grinned at Megan.

“Come on lets go get seats before its to full at the tables.” He said, Megan nodded and followed him to the tables.

They went back to their areas and started to get ready for bed. Megan ran to the girls bathroom to change for bed, and found that they had added an area for bathing but Megan knew she didn’t need a bath today. She got dressed for bed and went back to her area. She feed her pets leftovers from dinner, all but her bat who was still asleep.

“Well everyone try to get some sleep, we’re going to set lamps around so everyone can see if they need to get up, we are going to open the doors to let the night animals out so they can go hunting, we will see you in the morning, don’t forget to check the list tomorrow to check to see when you start your lessons.” The old man said, everyone yelled good night to the old man and went to their areas to sleep. Megan sat in the corner watching everyone.

Chris curled up in his blankets, he was starting to snore, telling Megan that he was asleep. She looked around to where Kathi and the other girls were they were joking and laughing, Megan sighed and looked around again. She saw her brother talking with Chris, Matt and another one of his friends, named, Clark, she saw Clark’s brother Zach in his area asleep or so it looked. Megan curled up in her blankets and hugged her pillow that her parents had given her for the last Christmas, she started to cry, she missed her family she didn’t know what to do. Everyone was expecting her to be some hero, they expected her to be able to do almost anything, she didn’t know what to do, what was she supposed to tell them if she couldn’t do something. She felt Raincloud’s body lay down next to her, she smiled and kept crying silently, she cried herself to sleep.

She was walking through a forest, wearing a gold cape, she walked up to a tree and leaned against it. Another person walked around a nearby tree, he walked over to Megan and put down the hood on his cloak, Chris stood there smiling at her. Megan walked up to him and hugged him, he kissed her gently, and Megan kissed him back.

Megan sat bolt up right sending Raincloud flying off her chest, Megan looked around Chris lay in his area still asleep. Megan looked around the room she could see the sun starting to shine through the doors. She could see the night animals starting to return to their posts. People were still asleep, Megan got up and got dressed, she picked up her book and started to read.

“Hey Megan how long have you been up?” Chris asked, Megan jumped and looked up at him.

“Oh about since dawn, I couldn’t sleep.” She said, Chris sat down across from her, Megan saw their foxes playing together they looked vary cute.

“Bad dream,” He asked, Megan looked up at him she thought for a moment.

“No, vary good dream actually, I don’t know just couldn’t get back to sleep.” Megan said remembering her dream she sighed.

“Oh, I heard you crying last night, do you miss your family?” He asked, Megan looked at the ground.

“Yes, but its not just that.” She said looking around, “Everyone expects me to do everything so well, ever since that fight yesterday and when we were riding,” She said, she furiously whipped a tear off her cheek, she look at Chris, she didn’t want him to see her cry she wished he hadn’t heard her last night. “Chris I can’t do everything, big deal I can ride and wave a stick.” Megan said, “But that doesn’t make me a great warrior.” She said, she looked up and Freefall, he looked down and her and clicked his beak, Megan nodded. “I’m sorry, Chris its not your fault, why am I doing this,” She asked herself she put her head in her hands and closed her eyes. She felt a hand on her shoulder, she looked up Chris had moved over to sit by her and he had his arm around her.

“It’s okay Megan I understand,” He said, Megan looked away from him, “Come on lets go eat and then we can go and see when our lessons are.” He said Megan nodded and got up.

 

Chapter 3

Hard Work

 

 

 

 

“Look Megan were in all the same classes,” Chris said reading the schedule, “We’ve got staff practice first in the fields, then sword practice, then lunch, then archery, then everyone, except the green group today, that’s not us were the red group, goes to help with the construction of our new homes.” He said, “Then we come back for dinner then we all are to meet in the field. Well come on lets go get out staves.” He said, they went to their areas and grabbed their staves. Megan followed him out into field people were starting to gather around the man Megan had beat in the fight the day before. She looked around, there were people gathering around the sword master on the other side of the field.

“Okay now pair up and stand in two lines facing your partner.” He said, Megan faced Chris he nodded, people lined up around them people facing Megan’s way on her side the same with Chris. Megan grinned at her friend, she would show him what happened when a boy got on her good side.

“Okay now I want to see some aggression against your partner, hit, block, I’ll come around checking your handling. Now people on the right, you do a downward sweep, people on the left block high.” He said, Megan was on the left so she would be stuck blocking for a minute. “Now this is how you do the sweep, and this is the block.” He said, he demonstrated, “Now get moving we have a lot to do.” He said Megan blocked Chris’s sweep and threw it back at him.

Chris stumbled backwards and glared, Megan grinned at him, he jumped back into line and hit again. Megan held up her staff his hit hers with bone crunching smack. Megan pushed up hard, she stepped back and let him recover, he hit again and Megan shot it back at him.

“Okay now switch what your doing.” He said, Megan grinned and Chris stepped back.

Megan came down hard, and hit Chris’s staff, his arms buckled and he had to jump back. He glared at her, Megan smiled sweetly and attacked again. She started to make him back out of the line, she wasn’t showing him any mercy.

“Okay now you girl,” He said, they all stop, they didn’t know who he was talking to, “You girl that beat me yesterday,” Megan glared at him, “You and your partner are going to battle for us.” Megan looked at Chris he swallowed.

“Why are you afraid to fight me again?” She asked, the man glared at her.

“No and you will do what I tell you, your going to fight with your partner.” He said, Megan glared and faced Chris, he nodded to her they took their stances. “Okay go.” He said.

Megan lunged at her friend, he blocked her and tried to make a swing at her, she jumped back, and someone in the crowd pushed her forward, she stumbled and had to block one of Chris’s attacks she sent it back at him and attacked, he blocked. She glanced around she didn’t see anyone that would push her but she wasn’t sure. She jumped to avoid another attack and was pushed again, she spun around, kicking out her foot to trip the person. Megan faced her tall friend Zach, is blond-brown hair, and green eyes, he groaned as he tried to sit up.

“What were you doing?” She asked him.

“You kept hitting me and landing on my foot so I was trying to get you off.” He said, Megan didn’t say anything but some how she knew he was lying, if she had landed on his foot she would have felt it under her feet.

“Sorry I didn’t mean to.” She said, he nodded and stood up.

“Okay that’s enough, it’s time for you to go to your sword practice.” Their teacher said they ran back to the building join by the group that had just been to sword practice.

They spent most of sword practice learning their weapon, the weight, the length, knowing how close they could have their arm stretched out before the blade hit the ground. It was finally time for lunch, they ate quickly then ran off to archery which went fine, Megan, Chris, and another boy Megan didn’t know, were the only ones to get a bull’s-eye, Megan was the only one, of the three, that didn’t hit it more then once.

“Well now you guys go to the horses and get them ready to ride, you have to go and work on the barracks.” The arrow master said. Megan and Chris slung their bows across their backs and took their racing positions. “Well get going you two.” And they were off, weaving in and out off the other people, running as fast as they could to the fountain area.

Megan slide to a stop next to Sandstorm, who jumped with surprise. “Ha I when, ho man you are quite the competition.” She said, leaning against her horse, panting. Chris stood near by breathing hard hands knees.

They saddled their horses and mounted up and joined their leaders in the field. The sword and staff masters were both coming, and so was the man that had been wearing the white robes the day before.

“Well those cloths are fine for today but after tonight you need to start wearing your uniforms daily.” The robed man said.

“Why, I don’t understand why we are wearing wizard cloths?” Chris asked.

“Well my boy you’ll have to wait until we get back I guess, the ceremony will be right after dinner.” He said he turned his black horse and motioned for everyone to follow him.

They rode quickly and got to where they were going in about a half an hour. Men had already cleared a large area about two-hundred square yards. And they had already started to build the walls of what was starting to look like a fort. Megan looked around as Sandstorm brought her through the gates. She saw the skeleton of about ten three story buildings, one gigantic building which Megan guessed would be the messhall, and another vary large building where Megan guessed they would have lessons, there were large courts that would be used as training areas. Megan noticed stables being built, about twenty it looked like.

“Okay well lets see, red group is on watch first forty minutes,” A man sitting under a tent said looking at his list, Megan looked at Chris, they and about twenty others were the red group. “They are going to be up on the walls.” She said, Megan looked up at the walls they didn’t look to stable. “Bows ready we had a small group of raiders attack this morning.” He said, “Blue and White group your working first hour, white your on stables, blue your on barracks.” He said people started to groan. “Eric take the red group up on to the wall and tell them what to do, give everyone a drum to sound if they see anything, and tell them how to use it.” He said the white robed man nodded and led them up the wall.

“Okay everyone, spread out along each wall I want five on each wall, since there’s twenty of yea, now each of yea take a drum, if you see something hit it three times as hard as you can. If it’s a group of people just keep hitting it for twenty seconds, then get your bow and hold at ready. No one is to leave their wall though, stay there because it could be a distraction.” He said everyone nodded and found what wall they were to be on. Megan stood a couple feet from Chris who was leaning against the wall looking down at the thin forest.

“I don’t get how anyone can sneak up there’s not enough trees?” He said Megan shrugged.

“But there’re lots of bushes,” She said.

“Yeah but they’d have to crawl along the ground for more then a foot ball field’s length.” He said.

“Well if their desperate—”

“Desperate nothing, raiding parties don’t take that kind of time just for a little food, they’ll attack before they sit down and plan it out.” He said frustrated, Megan nodded, he was right.

“Hey Megan how yea doin’ you and Chris have been hanging out a lot since yesterday.” Megan looked around Kathi was standing next to her looking out at the forest.

“What are you doing up here your not in red group.” Megan said.

“No, I’m in blue group,” Kathi said smiling, “I’m on messenger duty, they needed someone that knew everyone, and I know mostly everyone that is up here’s name.” Kathi said, Megan nodded “Well what’s going on with you and him, do you know if he likes you yet?” She asked.

“I don’t know what’s going on, he chose an area next to mine, has been following me around since yesterday, and I had the weirdest dream last night, he’s given me two hugs already today. I don’t know what’s wrong.” Megan said, talking in a whisper so Chris, who was only about ten feet away, couldn’t hear her.

“I wouldn’t say anything’s wrong.” Kathi giggled, loudly Megan saw Chris glance at them out of the corner of his eye.

I bet he’s wondering what she’s giggling about, Megan thought to herself, “Shush Kathi your going to attract attention.” Megan said Kathi nodded and said good bye she walked on to see if anyone needed anything.

“Okay Red group switch with Blue group on the stables, and you messenger from Blue switch with someone from white group. Thank you.” Megan, Chris and Kathi ran down the stairs to the stables. Kathi left and went to join the white group, where some of the girls that had their sleeping areas near hers, Kathi started talking with them as they got drinks and some apple slices.

Megan and Chris got drinks and Megan chose to take a slice of a mango instead of a apple. She ate it happily she loved the taste of the fruit. A man wearing red robes showed them what to do, where they were to secure beams and boards, he told them to make pairs to make the work easier. Megan and Chris join up and started to gather boards from outside and hammer them into place. Megan was grateful that most of the roof had already been placed on and Chris had chosen a place out of the sun to work at.

“So what were you and Kathi talking about up on the wall?” Chris asked.

“Oh nothing that would interest you.” She said hammering a nail into place.

“Oh come on I could us a good story right now, I’m dieing of boredom,” He said, laughing at his own joke but when he saw Megan standing still staring at the nail in her hand. “What’s wrong?” He asked, Megan blinked, and looked at him and shook her head.

“Nothing, come on lets get to work, the sooner we get the buildings done the sooner we can move in here.” Megan said she sighed and hammered the nail in.

“Megan something’s bothering you what is it?” He demanded. Megan looked at the ground a tear streamed out of one of her eyes. She was thankful that it was on her side the Chris couldn’t see.

“Nothing is wrong do not worry, I’ll tell you all about it some other time.” She said Chris nodded and continued to work.

“So what do you think about this, what do you think this ceremony is after dinner?” Chris asked, about twenty minutes later.

“Oh I don’t know maybe it has something to do with what that white robed guy Eric was talking about last night.” Megan said, Chris looked around then fell to the floor, he sat against on of the beams and sighed.

“Megan I’m not so sure, this looks so and sounds just so weird.” He said Megan nodded and hung her hammer on the wall.

“Chris don’t worry I’m here and I always will be, you don’t have to worry about being left alone if there’s anything wrong.” She said, Chris smiled up at her.

“Owe isn’t that cute witle Megy-wegy sitting wit’ her witle boyfriend.” Chris Davis’s teasing voice came from behind her, Megan jumped up pulling out her dagger at the same time. The point was at his throat in a second.

“Didn’t I tell you I would cut your throat one of these days I’m sure you don’t want it to be today.” She said Chris stared at her, she felt a hand on her shoulder.

“Megan let him go he’s only playing.” Chris said, Megan nodded but didn’t give up that easy she nipped the edge of Chris’s chin and small cut appeared and blood start to come from the little crack in his skin.

“Remember one of these days, when I have an excuse.” She said Chris yelped and ran off.

“What’s wrong with you, he’s just teasing.” Megan looked at the ground and sighed she put the dagger back in its sheath and turned back to her friend.

“Oh its nothing he just has a way of getting on my nerves.” Megan said, she shook her anger off and looked gently into Chris’s eyes. “Come on let start working again.” She sighed.

“Yeah we only have another ten minutes I think, then we can have a ten minute break to rest and get a snack.” He said, Megan stared into his eyes, it was like looking into a pool of black and green. Megan swallowed her affection for her friend and nodded, they continued to work.

“Okay you can rest a while we will tell you when its time to get back to work.” A man yelled from the court yard.

Megan and Chris met Kathi and some of their other friends in the court yard and got water and some fruit. Megan tried not to look at Chris during the break but her eyes kept landing on him.

“Okay get back to work. You know where your supposed to be.” Eric yelled from up on the wall.

Megan and Chris went back to the stables and continued what they had been doing.

Forty minutes later they were told to start cleaning up and to go get their horses. Megan looked up and down the stable, and was shocked. The stable had, only be a quarter done when their group had started working in the stable, now there were three quarters of it done, mostly what had to be done was putting the on doors on each stall and adding the, hay holders, to each stall. Megan smiled and followed Chris to their horses.

Chris’s, Nightstar, snorted as Megan slapped him on his neck. Sandstorm looked excited about going back to the building, Megan had no idea why but it must be for something good. Megan mounted up and rode with Chris to the gates, most of their group was already there. Their horses to looked excited.

“What’s up with the horses,” Chris asked asking the same question Megan and most of the other people were probably wondering.

Megan shrugged, “I don’t know I guess we’ll find out soon enough.” Megan said, Megan looked up and so did many others when the heard the shriek of a hawk. She saw a large red-tailed hawk, its black feathers tipped with white gave away whose hawk it was. Megan sighed and waved up to the hawk. It dove and landed softly on the saddle horn, of Sandstorm’s saddle.

“Why are you here Freefall?” Megan asked her hawk, she knew he wouldn’t answer but asked anyway.

Freefall turned on of his gold eyes on her, Megan almost thought that she could read his mind for a moment. The hawk clicked it beak Megan sighed, he nodded and jumped into the air and flew back to the building.

“Okay come on lets go back to the temple.” Eric said. “We need to get you guys feed so we can do the ceremony.” The youth looked around at each other and followed Eric into the forest many more of the robed men and women followed in the rear of the group.

Megan breath drew short as her eyes fell on the field that was near the temple. A huge fire pit had been built in the center of the field about twenty feet from the watch tower. The grass had been painted four different colors, white, red, blue, and then an area left green. Each color was in one quarter around the fire pit. Megan shuddered there was something weird about that area.

“Okay take care of your horses then get to dinner the ceremony starts in a half an hour,” He said, Megan ran Sandstorm to her post, Chris and Nightstar following on their heals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

What a Ceremony

 

 

 

 

They walked into the gym, and saw that metal frames around the sleeping areas none had curtains on them yet though. Megan shrugged it off, she and Chris joined their friends at a table and started to eat.

“Freefall come,” Megan yelled from her table holding out her gloved hand.

“So what’s so special about this Freefall any how?” Cassie asked as they waited at their table, for Megan’s hawk.

“He’s a vary good looking bird, and vary smart, he was the one that met Megan and the fort earlier.” Chris said, the girls looked at him he hadn’t talked to often during their meal, he and Zach had been talked by themselves.

Freefall landed out of nowhere on Megan’s arm, a pure black hawk with white tipped feathers, was one beautiful animal. Megan’s friends gasped they had not gotten a good look at him earlier.

“Wow what type hawk is he?” Kathi asked.

“Red-tail,” Megan said, “I know he don’t look it but he is.”

Her friends stared at Freefall for a moment then looked at the big grandfather clock that had been placed near the door, it’s big weight ticking back and forth keeping the time going. It was almost time to meet out in the field.

“Come on guys lets go,” Zach said, they all nodded, Megan looked at Freefall he nodded and took flight flying back to his perch

“Okay you are all here now, everyone sit on the ground and close your eyes.” A man in a silver colored robe said, everyone sat, confused, on the grass, they all closed their eyes.

“Now listen to nature, listen for your gifts, your spirits will come to you.” The man said Megan sighed and put her hand on the ground, she felt around for Chris’s hand and squeezed it, he held her hand tightly. “Listen when you hear the spirit you will open your eyes, see the thing in front of you become one with it.” He said, Megan flinched as she heard some people around her scream, but Megan hadn’t heard anything to make her scream. Then a howl of a wolf came Megan opened her eyes, everything was dark beside a white ghostish, looking, wolf. Megan could still feel Chris’s hand in hers, then it was yanked away, she heard him yell close by although she couldn’t see him. She met the eyes of the wolf, its eyes glowed orange, Megan swallowed then the wolf jumped into the air landing on her she fell back.

“Now wake all of you,” A voice echoed in her head. Megan opened her eyes, she was back in the field Chris was sitting next to her, rubbing his head.

“What was that, a huge tiger was standing in front of me, then I couldn’t feel you next to me anymore.” Chris said, Megan looked at him their eyes met and they yelled in fear.

“Your eyes their grey,” Megan yelled pointing at her friend.

“My eyes, your eyes are orange.” Chris said, he thought for a moment, “Hey wait a minute the tiger’s eyes were grey.” He said, Megan nodded.

“The wolf that I saw it’s eyes were orange.” Megan said, Chris looked around, many people had different colored eyes. Megan looked at his eyes again if was odd because they didn’t even have a pupil they were just grey, she guessed hers were just orange.

“Now everyone put your right hand up in the air, palm up towards the sky.” The man said, everyone nervously did as he said. “Now when you see an orb of a certain color appear above your hand, go to the area around the fire pit that is that color, girls you should either be in blue or green, boys red or white.” He said, Megan looked up at her hand, nothing yet, she saw people around her start to get up, looking at the orbs that they were holding in their hands.

Megan looked up at Chris’s hand, just as a white orb appeared. He looked at her and grinned, he got up and walked towards the fire pit. Megan looked up at her hand, a red orb was in it. She stood up and looked at the thing, she ran after Chris a little confused.

“I thought girls were supposed to have green or blue,” Megan said, Chris looked at the orb in her hands.

“Yeah that’s weird, oh well now we can sit next to each other on the edge of the two areas.” Chris said, Megan shrugged and stepped into the red area. She sat down about a foot away from Chris, and looked around, there were no other girls in the white or red areas. But she did notice a boy that she didn’t know walking towards the blue area and sitting down near the back.

“Perfect now we will have the rest of this ceremony by having a fire and having fun the rest of the night. Tomorrow will go much like this one, but after dinner tomorrow you will come out here and have your magic lessons, just meet in your colored areas and you will begin. But first we must give you all your special powers, you will have something that has to do with, animals and something else that will be special to you, and you will have to find that one out your self.” The Man said, everyone looked around, red robed men made a circle around that fire pit they held their hands out towards it and a giant fire rose into the air, sparks went to each person hitting them twice. Megan’s eyes went wide as she heard voice coming from every where.

“Megan, Megan can you hear me,” Megan looked around trying to find the voice, she saw Chris had disappeared, and in his place saw a little fox, he looked up at her and around. “Megan can you hear me I’m up here,” Megan and the fox looked up, Freefall was circling over their heads, many other animals were to, calling out to their owners.

“Freefall what are you doing.” Megan said, pulling her glove out of her pocket and holding out her arm for her bird.

“I came to see, you I knew you would be able to understand me after the ceremony.” Freefall said, Megan screamed.

“You can talk,” She said, her eyes wide.

“No you can understand animals, only certain people can.” He said, Megan nodded, this was her power.

“Well I have the same power as Megan then ‘cause I can understand you to.” The little fox said, Megan looked at him.

“Chris is that you?” Megan asked the fox looked up at her.

“Yeah but why are you so big, and how can you not recognize me its not that dark.” He said.

Megan looked at Freefall. “You’re a fox stupid and you can only understand animals when your one because your power is transforming into one.” He said Megan giggled, and Chris, the fox, discovered that he was not himself.

“Ah how do I change back,” He said and in that moment he change back to his normal state. “Few I was worried I would be stuck like that forever.” He said, Megan giggled, now we cant have that now can we, she thought, she giggled again. “What are you laughing about do I still have a tail of ears of something,” He said feeling his ears and teeth to make sure they were human.

“No, its nothing.” Megan said, she smiled and looked at Freefall, “Well why don’t you go to bed I’ll see you in the morning.” Freefall nodded and took off.

“Well now let the party begin you will be aloud to have fun until midnight, in four hours, then its time to get into your beds. By that time you will have curtains around your area’s so, come on.” The man in the silver robe yelled, he gestured to the drum player, people with other instruments had gathered around him, they began to play some fast songs.

The boys started to stand up and run towards the fire, making up a weird war dance, they danced in circles around the fire. Megan fought her way through the crowd to see, she stood next to her friends laughing at the boys who danced and yelled in front of them. The girls slowly got into the rhythm starting to dance along with to boys, Megan was one of the few that refused to join their friends.

Megan looked around, the robed men stood on the tower watching the dancing, Megan wondered if this was part of their power raising. Maybe the dancing and this weird music help our magic grow stronger, Megan thought.

As she thought, Megan felt hands grip her wrist she looked up Kathi and Cassie had grabbed her and were pulling her towards the fire. She felt herself flying forward out of her friends hands, she stumbled into Chris.

He looked at her, Chris smiled and put an arm around her, he spun her around. She smiled, and danced more willingly with her, handsome, friend. Chris let her go and danced away, they dance around each other and laughed. Megan sighed when she finally was to tired to dance any more. Megan sat on the grass, Chris stood in front of her dancing around in circles, he finally collapsed on the ground to dizzy to stand.

“Hoo that was fun,” He said, panting, Megan smiled, Chris had become a good friend to her over the last two days, she didn’t know what to say to him.

“Well I’m tired I think I want to go to bed,” Megan said, she looked at him he was yawning, and swaying, he looked even more tired then she felt. “Come on Chris let’s get you to your bed.” Megan said, she helped him off the ground, and walked with him into the building.

They walked with each other through the thin walk ways to their areas. Megan pulled back her red drapes she smiled, a cot had been placed up against the wall, and a large plastic container to hold her clothes, along with a small night stand with a oil lamp on it. Her things had been piled at the end of her bed.

“Hey come in here, look at every thing we got.” Chris said, from his area, he turned around and saw Megan laying on her bed looking up at the ceiling.

“Chris why have you been so nice to me over the last two days?” She asked, Chris sat down on his cot, thinking.

“What do you mean Megan, you’re my friend, must I be mean to my friends or something.” He said, Megan turned over and glared at him.

“Chris we’ve never been that good of friends, and now you, chose an area next to mine, and you’ve been hanging out with me also,” She said, Chris looked at her, his grey gaze piercing.

“Oh I think I know what your think, and your wrong.” Chris said, “But I do love her how come I’m lying to her.” Chris said, but he didn’t say it, Megan’s eyes went wide, she knew her special power, she could read minds when she wanted to. “What, why are you looking at me like that?” He asked, Megan shook her head.

“Oh its nothing I think I’m going to go to bed, good night.” Megan said, she got out of bed and was about to close her curtain when she saw Chris’s curtain shut, but he still sat on his bed, “How are you doing that, oh I know you can move things with your mind.” Megan said, so that was his special power. “Good night.” Megan said she closed her curtain and was surprised to see that she could see through it.

“Hey Megan can you see through your curtain or is it just mine?” Chris asked.

“Yeah I can to, but I cant see through yours so, it must be a one way thing, some other weird magic, that we’re going to have to learn about.” Megan said she changed for bed and went to sleep.

“Megan wakey wakey, come on lets get some break fast.” Chris said, shaking Megan awake. She yawned and sat up, he nodded to her, and walked out shutting the curtain behind him. Megan could see him standing out side waiting for her. She smiled and started to get dressed. Megan stepped out side, her black robes sweeping around her, her grey tunic loosely tied over her orange shirt, her grey breeches loose fitting and comfortable. Chris was almost dress just like her, but his shirt was grey just like every thing else he was wearing.

“Come on boy, I’m hungry.” Chris glared at her.

“Why did she call me that, I like her calling me Chris, I wonder if she’s mad at me.” Chris thought.

“Okay I’ll call you Chris then,” Megan said, she slapped her hands over her mouth realizing that she had just given away her secret.

“What did you say?” Chris asked stopping, he stared at her, “That’s your power you can read minds, I can’t believe you.” He said, Megan looked at the ground. “Do you hear everything I’m thinking?” He asked, Megan shook her head, “What do you know, speak, Megan.” He growled.

“I’m sorry Chris, it’s just I…” Her voice trailed off as their friends walked around the corner.

“Hey guys come on lets get some grub.” Zach said, Megan sighed, saved by Zach’s growling stomach.

They followed their friends to the tables, and sat down, unlike the day before Chris sat away from Megan over with Zach, and some other boys.

“Hey Megan what’s wrong with Chris,” Kathi asked, “She must have told him she liked him and now he doesn’t want anything to do with her, I’ve warned her about him doing that.”

“No I didn’t tell him I loved him, he found out my gift.” Kathi stared at her, she hadn’t voiced her thoughts.

“Oh, so his mad at you for not telling him.” Kathi said, she knew what Megan’s gift was without asking.

Megan saw Chris look at her, out of the corner of her eye. “Why didn’t she tell me, was she afraid I would be angry, or scared, although I am, I love her I couldn’t be mad at her for a gift like that, I wonder if she read my mind last night when I was thinking about how much I loved her. Man she looks good in that outfit.” Megan could hear him thinking, she glanced at him smiling, his eyes went wide and he looked away.

“He’s not mad at me, he’s just wondering why I didn’t tell him,” Megan said she grinned he did love her just like she loved him.

“Megan can I have some of that ham.” Freefall asked, Megan looked up Freefall was sitting next to her on the table, she nodded and handed him some ham.

“Come on guys time for our training,” her friends nodded and all got up and headed out side. Megan stopped at the lists and saw that the red group was staying at the temple that night. She sighed Chris was now in the white group so she wouldn’t get to work with him again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 5

Fort Hope

 

 

 

 

“Well I’ll see you after we get back,” Chris said, he and the other groups were heading towards, the fort, Megan nodded, their classes had still been together, because the leaders had decided to have the red and white groups, have their classes together, and blue and green together, the only problem was that she wouldn’t be working with him at the fort.

“Come on everyone, lets go.” Eric yelled, Chris and Nightstar sped off with everyone else.

“Okay red group,” A man in a red robe said, Megan looked around the group she was the only girl in the whole group, she felt left out. “You can do anything you want, but you have to stay out side, no going in and sleeping. Practice your weapons or something.” The group smiled and started to run around.

Megan sat down over by the fire pit, playing with her dagger, she threw it into the ground and pulled it out. She sighed, so board nothing interesting to do. She looked up hearing people cheering, a large group had gathered about a hundred feet away, she stood up, she wanted to find out what was going on.

Megan ran towards the crowd trying to see over the heads of the boys in front of her, she sighed and looked around. She saw most of the horses grazing in the field near by.

“Sandstorm,” She called in animal. Sandstorm looked at her and trotted over. “Hold still I’m going to sit on your back so I can see what’s going on.” Megan said, Sandstorm nodded.

“Okay Mistress,” She said, Megan glared, as she positioned her self.

“You don’t have to call me that, just call me Megan.” She said, Sandstorm nodded, again.

Megan had a perfect view of the seen below. A fight, staves, Megan watched as one boy landed on his back at the feet of the champion.

“Does anyone dare to take on the champion, a winning streak of five no loses, oh come on lets see some competition.” A boy, Megan guessed was the ‘Champion’s’ friend, said.

“Freefall can you hear me?” Megan asked, the wind.

“Yes Megan what is it.” A voice echoed in the distance.

“Bring my staff to me please.” Megan said, Freefall screeched.

“I will take this champion on.” Megan said, standing up on Sandstorm’s back. Megan held out her hand, the staff landing squarely in it. The boys stared at the black hawk landing on her shoulder.

“You can’t take on him, you’re a girl,” The boy said, Megan glared, one of the other boys in the crowd ran up to him and whispered something in his ear. “Oh, really,” He said looked at her, “Come girl lets see if your skill can beat this champion.” He said, Megan jumped off Sandstorm and walked through the crowd, Freefall flying over her head.

“Ha lets see you.” The Champion said, looked up and down her, “Ha she’ll never beat me, she’s just some little girl that thinks she can beat somebody like me,” Megan heard him think, Megan glared at the boy, he was  about five inches taller then her, and looked strong, but she was stronger then she looked.

“Okay go.” The one boy yelled, the boy lunged at her, she stepped aside, and brought her staff down on his back.

The champion fell to the ground, he rolled over and tried to hit at her while on the ground, a big mistake. She hit it away and smacked his chins with her staff, he yelled in pain. She backed up letting him get slowly to his feet. She jumped at him, hit him squarely in the stomach, he staggered backwards, and before he could regain his balance, she brought her staff around his knees, he fell back. He landed, winded on his back, he stared up at her, she stepped on the wrist that held his staff, she pointed the butt of her staff at his neck.

“Give up loser.” She growled at him.

“Okay I give up.” He said, Megan grinned and backed off of him, then offered to help him up, he rejected her hand and used his staff to heave himself up.

Megan heard it before she saw it, she put out her staff. The hit made her step back, he was strong. Megan glared at the boy, then brought her foot up in between his open legs. He, and many boys in the crowd, groaned then he fell to the ground, pain overwhelming him.

“You sour loser, give up or I’ll hurt you again.” Megan said, he nodded, this time Megan walked away, before he could get up.

She climbed onto Sandstorms back and they rode away near the forest. She looked for Freefall, he was flying near her.

“Freefall can you go and get my bow, have Raincloud bring my quiver.” She said, the hawk nodded and flew off. Megan dismounted and found a empty training area, she set up the target, and took her bow from Freefall. She watched her little fox, running across the field stopping every once and a while to pick up an arrow that had fallen out of the quiver.

“Freefall, go help her will you, take the quiver from her, she can just bring me the arrows that’s she’s picked up so far.” Megan said, Freefall flew of the branch he had been watching her from, and over to Raincloud. But when he tried to take the quiver from her she jumped up into the air and snapped at him, the arrows in her mouth landing on the grass. She didn’t want him to take the quiver, she wanted to do this alone. She picked up the arrows and ran towards Megan. Not an arrow lost.

Megan thanked the fox and strung her bow. Her animals, watching closely, from the grass around her. Megan took aim and shot, the arrow landed on the little black bulls eye.

“You have good aim, for a girl.” A voice came from behind her, she turned around, Zach stood there, she glared at him, “No offence I’d rather not have to fight you like that guy.” He said, Megan turned around and gestured to the target, Freefall flew down and snatched the arrow, he flew back towards her and dropped it in her quiver. She took aim again, the arrow landing on its mark. Megan grinned, she looked back at Zach, he was looking at the arrow.

“So what are you doing, why aren’t you over there with everyone else?” He asked, Megan looked over where everyone else was, they were practicing their archery over by the fire pit.

“Because I’m not accepted over there, so who cares.” Megan said, shooting another arrow, it landed on the mark, again, she sighed, this was to easy.

“Oh why do you say that,” He asked. “You know she’s right she to good at everything, her and her boyfriend Chris, they’re just big show offs, they’re to good at everything to be in a group like that.” He thought, Megan glared at the target. “Well I’m going to be over there see you latter.” He said, Megan looked at him, as he walked away.

I’ll show them all one day, I’ll be stronger then them, they’ll never challenge me the way they have been, she thought. She looked at Sandstorm, she nodded, Raincloud, jumped up into the saddle. Megan climbed up and looked to Freefall.

“Go ahead, find Chris, try to tell him I’m coming,” Freefall nodded and flew off. Megan held Raincloud close to her, Sandstorm reared and rode into the forest. Megan smiled she had gotten away from the jerks that would never accept her.

“Megan there’s a tiger coming, run,” Freefall, yelled, after they had been riding for a long while, Freefall had already warned Chris, somehow Megan knew, that he knew that they were coming.

“Oh it must be Chris,” Megan said, Freefall flew into the trees around her, as an enormous white tiger walked around the tree.

Sandstorm reared in fear, of the tiger. Megan calmed her down assuring her that it was only Chris. Megan turned sidesaddle looking at the cat.

“Well are you going to change back,” Megan asked in animal. The tiger crouched ready to pounce. “Maybe it isn’t Chris,” Megan whispered. The animal jumped into the air, and transformed into a human. Megan lay back and kicked him up in the stomach, he flew over her landing on his back, she flipped off Sandstorm, she turned to glared at the groaning boy.

“Did you think the was funny or something.” Megan said, Chris laughed looking at her, his eyes sparkling, Megan grinned she could never stay mad at someone she loved so much.

“Oh come on Freefall came swooping around my head, I knew immediately that you were coming, so I made a deal with him to scare you.” He said laughing, Megan walked over to him and gently kicked him in the side.

“What do you mean, Freefall was in on this the whole time, the two timing cheat.” Megan said glaring up at the giggling hawk.

“Yeah you should have seen your face when I was about to jump.” He said, Megan bent down to sit next to her friend. He jumped on her, they rolled on the ground full of laughter and happiness of getting free time to play around with their friends.

“Okay come on I think its time to head back to the field.” Megan said, she noticed that Nightstar had joined Sandstorm. Raincloud was trying to catch butterflies, Megan laughed, and picked up her little puppy.

“Hey I was playing with them.” She said.

“I know you can play with them some other time, but if me and Chris don’t get back to the field soon we’ll get in trouble.” Megan said in animal, Raincloud sighed and sat quietly on Sandstorm’s back.

“Okay lets go,” Megan said, Chris nodded and climbed onto Nightstar, and they rode fast back to the field, and in perfect timing to join the returning group, they let their horse go and graze then found where they were supposed to be around the fire pit.

“Okay you lousy nit wits, time to train you into real fighting machines,” A red robed man said, standing in front of the red group. “My name is Lark, hey girl aren’t you supposed to be in the blue or green group.” He said seeing Megan.

“No I got a red orb I am here.” She said, meeting the mans evil yellow gaze.

“Prove it,” He said, the boys around her giggled, as Megan blinking in question.

“Freefall, bring the red orb in my area to me.” Megan asked, Freefall appeared circling above her, she held out her hand, he dropped it in her hand.

“Here’s your proof,” Megan said showing them, the man looked at it, it glowed and if you looked closely it looked like a fire was burning in it.

“Hum I see, you are a Fire Novice,” He said, Megan shrugged and stuck the orb in her pocket.

“Okay well lets get started, I will explain what this is all about now,” He said, walking away from Megan. “You are all going to train to be wizards, since you are in the red group you will be a fire wizard, but first you have to learn the basics and until then you will be a fire novice.” He said, everyone looked vary confused, Megan noticed many of the boys around her looked like they wanted to laugh. “Sound funny to you fellows, I’ll prove it, watch,” He said pointing to a little bush, fire came out of his hand and burned the bush into ash, with out burning anything around it. “You should be able to do that, once you’ve gotten the basics down, you do have other powers other then your fire power but its nearly impossible for anyone to find out unless you figure out how to do it, your other power could be, water, air, or grass. The water power allows fire wizards to put out other fire wizards fire. The air power, allows a fire wizard to keep rain, snow, or any other weather thing off their fire. Grass allows a fire wizard to grow their own wood to burn in less then a couple minutes. If you get good enough in your other power you could even become a wizard in that area, there are three levels in magic after novice, the first is wizard, second sorcerer or sorceress, third mage. I am a Fire Sorcerer and so are all the other robed people that have a color, the man you saw last night in the silver robe, is also a sorcerer he has vary strong Air powers and Water powers, air allows the wizard to control the weather, and if your good in water powers also, you can control water to make a hurricane or something, with different combinations of powers there are many things you can do. There are not many known Mages at this time, the man in the silver robe, Marlo, is almost ready to take his test and there are many others around the country that are trying to get their Mage powers.” Lark said, Megan sighed she wondered what her other powers would be, and how she would learn to use them, if no one could explain it to her.

“Okay now how you make a fire ball, one of the basics, hold your palm face up, and look at it, concentrate hard try to see the fire there.” He said.

Megan looked at her palm, a little spark appeared and kindled into a flame, floating in her hand. She smiled and thought of what she could do with this power. Lark appeared in front of her, glaring.

“You’re just good in every thing aren’t you?” He growled, Megan looked around, she was the only one in the group that had fire in their hand, Megan frowned and, closed her hand around the fire, it was gone. She looked at the ground. “Now come on everyone, keep going,” He said.

“Show off,” “How can a girl be so much better then us boys,” “She’s a show off, she likes the attention,” “Show off” She heard everyone around her thinking, those two words echoed in her mind, she frowned again, fighting back tears of pain.

“Come on everyone concentrate, I want to see, you all have a fire ball in your hand.” Lark yelled, Megan blocked out the rest of the voices, she would show them, she would be the strongest of them one day, when she would become that though she didn’t know. “Vary well everyone, now take that fire ball and create a stream of fire, like a whip, if you concentrate hard enough, you should have a vary nice weapon in your hand.” He said.

Megan created a fire ball again, and saw it growing long and thin, a handle appeared, and she grasped it. She could hear the voices of the boys around her calling her names, she rapped the weapon up and held it ready to use, if she was told to.

“Girl come here!” Lark yelled, Megan swallowed and walked forward towards their teacher. “Since your so good, make that whip into a sword.” He said, Megan nodded and let the whip unwind the stream of fire began to shrink and get thicker, a hilt formed, and Megan now held a sword made of fire. “Hum, make a bow.” The sword began to bend and Megan now held a bow, a thin flame the made the string, licking her arm. “Make an arrow in the other hand.” Megan concentrated and a fire ball appeared it formed a long arrow. “Shoot the arrow into that bail of hay, over there.” Megan took careful aim, the arrow flew faster then the arrows Megan was used to it hit the hay bail and it burst into flames. Megan jumped, and pointed at the fire, water streamed from her hand, the fire was extinguished. “Well,” Lark said, laughing, “We know what your hidden power is.” The boys around her growled, but for once, Lark seemed pleased with her.

“You are all finished we will meet again tomorrow to work some more.” He said, Megan nodded, the bow in her hand disappeared. “Oh girl,” Megan turned around.

“My name is Megan.” He nodded.

“Well if you don’t mind here, this is usually given to great sorcerers, but we, the four sorcerers and sorceresses that are teaching you and your friends, we’re supposed to give this to our most promising student.” He said, holding out an amulet on a gold chain, “It’s a fire pendent, it’s supposed to strengthen that certain power of the wearer.” He said, Megan took it, she examined the pendent, it looked like her orb, like a little fire was burning in it.

“Thank you.” She said, “Well I best be getting in somebody said something about dessert,” Megan said, she bowed to her teacher and ran off.

“Chris so how are you doing, in your magic?” Megan asked, him as they sat down for dessert, she noticed the pendent around his neck.

“You the most promising student in your class too?” Megan asked, Chris grinned, and nodded.

“So tell me how’s the fort coming along?” Megan asked.

“Well the stable we were working on yesterdays done, five of the fifteen class and living buildings are finished, and wow was that a lot of work, their each three stories tall.” He said, Megan remembered the site the day before. “They say all the stables are done, so all we’re going to be working on now is, the living buildings,” He said, sighing, “They say that they have some wizards and people working on them all the time and that we should be moving in this weekend.” He said, Megan looked shocked.

“Wow really I can’t wait.” She said, her eyes glowing with excitement.

“That’s the Megan I know, man I wish I was a fire wizard with her.” He was thinking, Megan inwardly smiled, “I love her so much, she’s the perfect girl, not afraid of danger, or of love.” He said, Megan sighed, and looked at him, he blinked from his stare, and turned his head.

“Well I’m tired I’ll see you tomorrow,” He said, Megan yawned and got up with him, she walked to the bathroom and cleaned up, then went to her area.

She peeked through Chris’s curtain, to see him sitting thinking, luckily he was facing the other way so he didn’t see her. “I love her so much, how do I tell her,” He said, Megan saw his fox sitting on his lap listening, “I’m afraid if I wait to long that she might not ever know, I have to tell her soon.” He said, petting, Sunbeam if Megan remembered the foxes name right.

Megan thought for a moment then thought better of voicing out. She backed away from his area, and went into her own, she dressed for bed and went to sleep.

The next week went vary smoothly, Megan spending as much time with Chris as possible, even sneaking into the white group when they were working at the fort. They had progressed in their magical ability, some of the best in their groups, better then most of the older students. They day finally came that they were to move into the fort.

“Wake up everyone,” Marlo, the silver sorcerer, yelled, on Saturday morning. “Eat breakfast and pick up your saddle bags, and pack your things quickly we would like to be there in time for lunch. Your mounts will be waiting out side for you when you are finished.” He said.

Megan got up and dressed, she got everything together sticking them in her bags she had brought to the building, folding her uniform and all the things she had gotten since she had come there, ready to put into her saddle bags. She put Nightwing into his cage and folded his stand. She saw that Freefall was not on his stand so she packed it up and opened his cage so he could go in it if he wanted to. Then she ran to their table and met her friends.

“I cant wait to get their, I want to see all the furniture I got, you guys saw them working on it.” Cassie said, Megan smiled, the fire, grass, and air wizards had been working hard making beautiful furniture for them, Megan had seen them moving it into the buildings, and she guessed that every one would have some, she couldn’t wait to see them.

“Oh come on guys, furniture I just want a real bed to sleep in.” Zach proclaimed, many of them laughed in agreement.

“Well by the way the buildings are laid out, I think we each get our own room,” Megan said, the others nodded.

“Yeah I wonder how their going to have us organized.” Kathi said, “What I hear it will be by age and type of magic.” She said, “So Megan you’ll be the only girl on your floor, in what ever building the fire wizards are it.” She said, Megan sighed.

“Oh goody, more dealing with boys, that’ll never accept me as part of their power.” She said, “No offence to you Zach.” Megan said, although she didn’t really mean it, Zach didn’t accept her anymore then the other boys.

“None taken,” He said, over a mouth full of sausage.

“Well I’m full,” Megan said, taken a last drink of orange juice. She looked into Chris’s grey eyes, and winked, he nodded. She got up and collected her bags, then she ran to her area and packed her things. She was about to take her things out side, when Freefall flew over the curtain, carrying a letter. “What’s this?” She asked.

“Letter from family.” He said, Megan nodded and took it.

“Where are they,” Megan asked, the bird.

“North, way north of here, but I sensed that they wanted to mail you, so I went there, they knew me some how, and gave me that letter.” Megan nodded and opened the letter.

Megan read the letter tears filling her eyes, she missed her family:

Megan

How are you down there, we are up her in the Northern Fort, thinking of you, we miss you. That bird of yours is beautiful, please send him again so we can send you more letters. Soon we should be able to send you some ourselves, a caravan is coming selling trained animals, we will buy a bird or something and send letters to you all the time. We will send again near your birthday, miss you.

Love Mom, Dad, and Costen

“Well I guess their doing okay.” Megan said, “I’ll need you to go again soon, with a return letter, or maybe I can send Nightwing tonight, and he can stay there until sunset tomorrow.” Megan said looking at her sleeping bat.

“Okay come on can you help me, can you carry my weapons out, we need to get this all on Sandstorm.” Megan said, heaving a bag onto her back, then lifting two in each hand walked slowly out of their area, Freefall flew over her, carrying bow and quiver, Raincloud ran behind her dragging her staff. They finally got out side, and found Sandstorm, and saw that another smaller, horse was tied to her.

“Whose this?” Megan asked, her horse setting down her bags.

“This is, Winterwind,” Sandstorm examined the white horse, it was a horse, unlike Sandstorm, made for packing, she was diffidently not a war horse like Sandstorm, Megan nodded. “She’s a horse for you, to ride on long trips and for packing she’s built for carrying heavy loads.” Sandstorm said, smiling at her new friend.

“Does she talk,” Megan asked, the horse looked up at her.

“Am I aloud to talk to my master?” Winterwind asked.

“Of course.” Megan said, patting the horse on the shoulder, “So you can carry my bags to the fort?” She asked, the horse nodded.

“Oh yes I’d be honored, Mistress.” Megan shook her head.

“No Winter call me Megan, I want you to consider me a friend not a master.” Winterwind nodded, and let Megan load her bags onto her. Megan took her bow and strapped it to her back, along with her quiver, she wanted them within reach in case she needed them on their trip. She saddled Sandstorm and put on her Falconry glove so Freefall could sit on her arm, she made a spot on her bags for Raincloud and put her up.

“Now Winter, just tell me if you get tired, and I’ll get you a drink and we’ll take a break okay.” Megan said, Winterwind nodded and drank from the fountain, Megan smiled and looked around, mostly everyone was almost ready to go.

“Megan come on there gathering us in the field.” Chris and Kathi yelled to her, Megan nodded, and patted Winter’s flank.

“Come on guys lets go to our new home,” The horses nodded and yelled their glee. Megan jumped on Sandstorm’s back and they headed off to join their friends, each had two horses, Chris riding on top of Nightstar, and a little grey gelding following behind. Kathi was riding on her white mare, Snow, with a little pony following behind, its brown speckled coat almost all hidden under Kathi’s things.

“Okay come on, let’s go,” Megan yelled, the animals as well as her friends nodded. They joined the group of gathered students in the field, and met their other friends.

Megan didn’t listen much as her friends joked and made fun of each other. She was to busy watching the sorcerers, watching them from the tower. Megan wondered, as the sorcerers were whispering to each other what they were talking about, she wondered if something was going to happen. She didn’t even notice when a two boys joined their group and called her a lousy cheating girl.

“Hey you take that back Megan would never cheat, and she may be a girl but that doesn’t mean any thing.” Chris yelled, Megan turned to see the Champion, Megan had learned his name to be Letor, and his little goon, Megan shook her head.

“Chris don’t waist your breath on them, their just a bunch of soar losers.” Megan said looking back to the tower.

“Megan duck.” Freefall screeched as her friends screamed and yelled.

Megan ducked down just as the Champs staff whizzed over her head. She pulled out hers and spun in her saddle and hit the boy in the ribs, he flew sideways off his horse and landed on his back. His friend jumped from his horse to help his friend.

“We’ll get you for this.” The Champ said, staggering to his feet, he quickly lead his horse and his friend away.

“How can you expect to beat her if you cant even touch her,” Chris yelled after them, they sneered and ran faster. Chris laughed along with everyone else except for Megan, she was looking at the tower again. “Megan what’s up with you today you’ve been acting kind of distracted?” Chris said, Megan just kept staring at the tower.

“Megan what’s wrong with you?” Kathi yelled, Megan jumped at looked at her friends, Chris was looking at her oddly.

“What,” Megan said, Kathi looked at Chris who hung his head.

“You’re acting vary detached today,” She said, Megan blinked, and looked back at the tower.

“See the men up there,” Her friends followed her gaze, “They’re up to something, something’s going to happen when we get to the fort,” Megan said, her friends looked at each other exchanging weary glances. “Well don’t say I didn’t warn you.” She said, without looked at them, in animal she said, “Keep a look out all of you,” To their animals, they all nodded.

“Okay everyone here, lets move out, we need to get there before lunch.” A wizard yelled, and the people and animals in the field slowly crept into the forest.

Megan finally was able to concentrate on something else until about a half an hour later when one of the hawks, flying over them, reported to Megan that the fort was coming up, about two hundred yards away. Megan and her horses fought there way through the groups, trying to get to the front, her hand on her hilt. She looked around and called for Freefall, he came soaring down to her.

“Yes Megan.”

“Take some of your friends and fly ahead to the fort, tell me what you see.” She said, he nodded and flew off, about ten other birds going with him.

“Hey Chris, come on let’s go see what Megan’s doing,” Kathi said, they were a little behind Megan, and saw Freefall take off and ten birds follow him toward the fort. Chris nodded and they pushed their way through the crowd.

“Megan what are you doing,” Chris asked as he rode up beside her, he noticed her hand on her hilt, and look concerned to Kathi.

“Waiting, something’s going on and I want to know what it is.” She said, Chris nodded, and picked up his bow and quietly strung it, he pulled out an arrow and held it ready. Megan noticed that Kathi had slowed down and had rejoined their friends in the back. She saw them, out of the corner of her eye, getting ready.

“Megan,” Freefall screeched as he dove down to her, “There is a large group of people in the court yard, but they don’t look armed, there are men on the wall like always, but I noticed that there are men lurking in the bushes, what do I do,” He asked, Megan thought for a moment, then told him to get the other birds ready, she knew the men he saw were bandits and going to try to attack when the gates open for them.

“Chris there’re bandits waiting for us, they’re waiting for us to get to the fort and for the gates to open.” Megan said, he nodded, and held his bow ready.

“There’s the fort.” Chris said, Megan nodded, she hadn’t been to the fort for three days, it had changed a lot, a large sign had been placed over the gates with the words, FORT HOPE, burned into it.

“Well lets hope we get to see the inside.” She said, he nodded and looked around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 6

New Life

 

 

 

 

“Open the gates,” A voice rang form the top of the wall, Megan looked around, as the gates swung open, many people ran in with their horses, wanting to see their new home.

Megan and Chris turned their horses and had them start to back into the fort, both had their bows out, and were pointing to the bushes. As the first bandit jumped out, a arrow ran through him, as the rest jumped out, Megan and Chris along with the people on the wall shot fast, Megan’s friends near the back had gotten ready and were shooting people that were foolish enough to try to get at them from the back. Megan cut, Winter and Chris’s gelding, Storm, loose and they ran into the fort as Megan ordered them. she shot another bandit, and looked around, the only people left out of the gate were her and her ten friends, bows out, men came riding out of the forest on horseback. Megan shot one and noticed they all had swords.

“Swords everyone, try to spare one for questioning.” Megan yelled, she flung her bow up where, Freefall grabbed it, she pulled out her sword, then her dagger. She took a deep breath and a told Sandstorm to charge, her friends followed, hitting the enemy head on, the clash of steal rang out, arrow’s whizzed from above, hitting the enemy. Megan ordered at the enemy horses to stop moving, which they did, as they cut their masters down they walked into the fort, where they were taken to the stables by one of the people who took care of the horses. They surrounded the last man who had fallen from his horse and was laying on the ground with a broken leg.

Marlo the silver sorcerer came walking out of the fort. He walked up to the man and placed him hand on his leg, the leg was healed. “Now who are you working for?” He asked, Megan looked at Chris, she wondered, if they were in trouble for not telling the wizard that had been leading them, that there would be bandits waiting for them.

“I am, working for a man named, Lordin Camisole, we were to get into this fort,” He said looking up at the sign, “Fort Hope, and try to steal your riches,” he said, Marlo laughed.

“This is a training fort, we don’t have riches, horses, animals, and people are what we’ve got.” He said, “What is your name sir.”

“My name is, Molin,” He said, looking around at Megan and her friends, “We didn’t expect to run into this group of people though, we thought that we would be in by the time we were fighting anyone.” He said, Megan shook her head.

“Well I think they knew in advance that you and your group were here.” Marlo said looking at Cassie, she shrugged.

“I didn’t know what we were doing, until I got here I was told to get ready for something I didn’t know what it was.” She said, Megan grinned. “Megan was the one that knew everything,” Marlo looked at her.

“Ah she’s the one who I saw dancing that one night, her power and that boys next to her, its overwhelming and their power seems to be the strongest when their together,” Marlo was thinking, Megan thought about this for a moment.

“Well is that true did you know about this attack.” He said, Megan looked at him.

“Yes sir, I knew something was up, and sent my hawk and a couple others to look around, they saw the bandits,” Megan said, he nodded.

“She can talk to animals, a useful skill.” He thought, “Well why didn’t you tell your leaders about it?” He asked.

“Well because, I didn’t want to make everyone scared, so I kept it to myself.” Megan said, she kicked Chris’s foot as he was about to tell him that she had told him.

“I understand well, lets go inside.” He said, Megan looked at Molin.

“What about him?” She asked.

“Ah yes, well you may go, and tell your employer that we don’t have any riches.” He said, the man nodded and ran into the forest.

Megan turned Sandstorm and rode into the fort her friends behind her. Everyone was waiting for them, they cheered as her group entered the gates. She looked at Chris, he shrugged.

“Well everyone take care of your horse and take your packs to the right building then they will be put in your rooms, the buildings are by age, so find the right building and then you can go to lunch, the mess hall isn’t quite done yet so we are eating out in the court yard.” Marlo said, Megan lead her to horses, to the fifteen-year-old building along with her friends, that were both turning fifteen this year, her and Chris. They found their stalls with their names on them and let their horses go in. Megan lifted her bag off of Winter and put them out side the door, she brushed both of her horses and made sure they had food then, with her animals help, dragged her bags to the fifteen-year-old building, she put her bags in the area the had her name on it, the watched as they disappeared, she shrugged they must have gone to her rooms.

“Well come on I’m starving,” Chris said pulling her outside.

They ran to join their friends for lunch but before the food was brought to the tables, Marlo stood up and raised his hands. “Quiet please,” He yelled, everyone fell silent and looked at him.

“I wonder if he’s going to give us awards for protecting the fort.” A friend of Megan’s, Camilla, said. Megan shook her head, why should they get awards for doing what they were being trained to do.

“No my Lady Camilla you will not get an award right now.” Marlo said, Megan swallowed a giggle, he had super hearing.

“Okay now, your going to have to get up to get your food, and don’t push there’s plenty of everything for everyone so don’t worry.” He said, Megan saw people bringing food out to some long tables, just like a buffet, Megan thought. “After your done eating, you have until dinner free, you can go to your rooms or visit with friends, or do some weapon training, your not aloud in the leader building unless your invited, there are signs on all the doors into that building so don’t worry. Please don’t leave the fort, try to arrange your rooms so you don’t have to tonight, and you’ll need your sleep for tomorrow.” He said, everyone groaned. “Now lets eat.” He said, everyone jumped out of their seats and raced to the food tables, grabbing plates and dishing food onto their plates.

Megan grabbed two plates and dished her favorites onto one plate. A salami sandwich, cheese cubes, two pickles, a bell pepper, some baby corn, and filled the other plate with a salad. She ran back to her table balancing her food, trying to keep it from rolling off. She yelped as her lovely bell pepper rolled off, and fell. It hovered back up and set itself back on the plate. Megan looked around and saw Chris pass her, she smiled and followed him. She started to eat, thinking of different things.

“Megan news from the forest important but finish eating,” Freefall yelled, Megan had been having him patrol the forest for the past few days, talking with other animals, and bringing her back anything important he had heard.

“Excuse me guys.” She said and got up.

“Where’s she going, she barely touched her food, it’s not like Megan not to eat her salad, or her pickles, she only took a bite out of that one.” Chris said, looking at where she was going.

“But she did take her bell pepper you saved for her.” Kathi said, Chris nodded and watched Megan, run to the barn where her horses were.

“I’ll be right back guys.” He said, transforming into a little black rat he ran to the barn.

“…found her, and asked her about him, there is a wolf name Frostbite, and he is a puppy, it could be him, I wasn’t able to find his parents how ever, their names are Greyfur, and Lightfoot.” Freefall told Megan, Chris climbed up a beam listening, Megan was pacing her horse’s stall.

“Good, man if only I could transform like Chris, I could go and look for them with you,” Megan sighed and sat down on a hay bail. “Well I guess this is all we can do for now, we will look for them some other time when I can actually leave the fort.” She said, Chris looked to Freefall, who was looking at him, and swallowed. He climbed into the rafters where the hay was stored and transformed into cat. He jumped down the latter and casually walked to where Megan was, and looked at her.

“Hey little kitty what are you doing in here, the horses might hurt you.” Megan said, Chris smiled.

“Oh don’t worry they never hurt me.” Megan nodded and looked to Freefall.

“So what other news is there?” She asked.

“Well the sparrows say that the rodents are finally starting to come out of hibernation, and they say the bugs are starting to come back from winter quarters.” Megan shuddered she hated bugs.

Chris laughed, and Megan looked at the little cat. “What, are you laughing at?” She asked.

“Nothing.” He said, fighting his giggle fit.

“Well is that it today?” Megan asked, Freefall nodded. “Okay well I guess I’ll go back to lunch.” She said stuffing the rest of her bell pepper into her mouth, “Knowing Chris he’s probably wondering where I went.” She said smiling, Chris looked cattishly at her. “I love him so much if only he knew.” She said, sighing and walking out of the stall. Chris smiled and ran out of the barn jumping onto the bench at their table transforming back to himself and starting to eat again. Just as Megan walked out of the barn and headed towards them.

“So what were you doing, Megan?” Kathi asked, Megan smiled and took a bite from her pickle.

“Forgot to put Winterwind’s blanket on her back.” She said, Kathi looked at Chris who nodded, and she smiled.

“Well I hope that she’ll be nice and warm tonight.” Megan nodded and finished her food then ran to her room, Freefall following close behind.

They found their room, on the second, fire, floor, the door had her name on a plaque. Megan walked into the room and gasped. A large queen size bed was sitting under the window, a beautiful oak desk sat in the corner, a dresser next to the bed with a mirror above it, a book case stood next to the dresser, there was a fire place with a chair and couch for company. Megan walked around stroking her hand over the furniture, she noticed Freefall’s stand along with Nightwing’s had been set up in one of the corners. Freefall sat there watching her, cleaning his feathers. Megan opened one of the two doors on the side of the room, and saw a large closet with most of her clothes hanging in it, the other was a bathroom, Megan closed the door and went to her bed she pulled her favorite pillow, from the chest that sat at the foot of her bed, she hugged it to her and laid back.

A yelp came form under her blankets, Megan jumped up just as Raincloud poked her head out of the blankets. Megan laughed and patted the foxes head, Rain, yawned and lay her head down and when back to sleep.

Megan went to the couch and lay down on it. Freefall flew to her and landing on her knee. He sighed and looked into the fire place where a warm fire burned, keeping her room warm from the winter cold.

“I guess we’ll have to wait quite a while before we can go and look for Frostbite, I don’t know when I’ll be able to leave the base without being noticed or questioned.” Megan said, she sighed and looked into the fire.

Chris stood out side her door in the form of his own fox, “Oh Megan don’t worry we’ll find him, why do you want to find this wolf in the first place?” Freefall asked, Chris wondered the same thing.

“Because I want to learn more about him.” Megan said, Chris walked causally into the room, Megan saw him and smiled thinking he was his fox, Sunbeam, “Hello Sunbeam, where’s Chris,” She asked, Chris thought quickly and nodded.

“He’s in his room putting his things away and everything.” He said, Megan nodded, Raincloud opened her eyes and saw Chris, she jumped off Megan’s bed and ran to join him, “Come on lets go play Raincloud.” He said, Raincloud nodded and followed Chris out.

They ran down the hall and up the stairs, to where Chris’s room was, they walked in, Raincloud saw the real Sunbeam playing with a rubber ball and yelped. “Do not worry, it is me Chris, we’re going to help Megan,” Chris said, Raincloud looked at Sunbeam, he stood up and ran up to her.

“So how we help Megan,” Raincloud asked, Chris looked at the ground.

“Well since we’re animal’s we can slip out of the gate into the forest, if we can find this wolf she’s looking for then we can bring him to her,” Chris said, Raincloud nodded.

“Am me ‘loud to help,” Sunbeam asked, Chris nodded.

“Silverflash,” Chris called, his hawk hovered over him, “Get Freefall and report back here, we’ll need his help.” Silverflash nodded, and she flew out of the window. A few minutes latter, she was back Freefall behind her.

“Your lucky Megan needed to use the bathroom or she would be following me up here.” Freefall said, Chris nodded.

“Well we’re going to go looking for this wolf.” Chris said, Freefall cocked his head at him.

“How much do you know,”

“Enough,” He said, Freefall nodded, “Come on we can get out the gate you two go looking from the sky, ask other animals if they’ve seen him,” Chris yelled, Freefall and Silverflash flew out of the window and out of sight. Chris and the two foxes behind him, ran out of their building and out of the gates, the guards probably just thought that they were going hunting or something.

“Okay come on split up, report to that clearing in an hour,” Chris said, pointing with his paw to a clearing about ten yards away, the two foxes nodded and ran in different directions. Chris ran across the clearing and into the forest.

Megan walked out of the bathroom, and saw Freefall and Raincloud missing, she shrugged they must have gone hunting. She pulled out her book and started to read, when she got board of that she went looking for Chris.

The Air’s were on the next floor up, she climbed the stairs, and found Chris’s room, she opened the door. The room was empty, Raincloud or Sunbeam weren’t there, neither was Silverflash, Chris’s hawk.

“They must be in the court yard.” Megan said to herself.

She ran out of the building and to the training yard, some of her friends were there but none of them had seen Chris, or her animals. Megan ran up the wall and saw two hawks flying over the forest.

“Freefall,” Megan called out in her mind, “Freefall is that you,” One of the hawks turned and flew towards her.

“Megan what is it?” He asked, Megan sighed.

“Where is Chris and the foxes?” She asked, Freefall landed on the wall in front of her.

“Well they’re out looking for the wolf, and me and Silverflash were helping.” He said Megan scolded.

“How much does he know?” Megan asked the hawk shrugged.

“All he told me was, enough, and so I decided, if I said I wouldn’t help him he would go out and look anyhow so, I decided to help, two hawks are better then one.” He said Megan nodded.

“Vary well, to bad I can’t get out of the fort.” Megan said, leaning against the wall.

“Maybe you can, I’ll distract the guards long enough for you and Sand to get out of the fort.” He said, Megan nodded, and ran down the stairs to the stables, Freefall behind her.

She quickly explained to Sandstorm what they were doing, Sand agreed to help and let Megan saddle her. Winterwind wanted to come too, but Megan refused telling her it would be easier to get one out then two. They walked to the doors of the stable closest to the gates and watched, as they opened the bigger gates, a small group of wizards was expected anytime now, Megan nodded to Freefall.

Freefall flew around the guard’s heads distracting them, Sand took off Megan flat on her back, they charged through the gates and into the forest. Megan could hear people yelling that someone had ran out of the fort. Freefall reported to her a second latter saying that the no one was following so she dismounted and lead Sand through the forest, Freefall flying over them.

“There he is, Chris’s about twenty yards up.” Freefall yelled down to her, Megan nodded and jumped onto Sand’s back, and rode fast, she stopped her horse when she saw a little orange fox sniffing the ground.

“Chris, how dare you.” Megan yelled, to him, Chris looked up and transformed.

“Sorry Megan I wanted to help you,” He said, Megan smiled, and jumped off of Sand.

“I understand my friend, but how much have you heard?” She asked, Chris looked at the ground and played his boot in the sand.

“Enough to do this.” He ran to her, and before Megan could do anything, he had her in a strong embrace, his lips on hers, when he let go he transformed into a hawk and flew into the sky.

Megan fell to the ground stunned, she never knew she could feel so good, her first kiss had been a total surprise. Nothing like how she had dreamt it. She smiled and stood up, and walked into the forest, Sand walking next to her.

“I sense you are happy, happier then you were last time we met,” A voice came from behind a tree, Megan stopped walking as two wolves, and a small tiger walked out from behind the tree.

The three were all juveniles, no older then a few months, she recognized the one in front. He purple eyes gave him away, Megan didn’t know the ones behind him, but she guessed they meant something.

“Frostbite, I’ve come looking for you.” Megan said, the wolf smiled, and nodded.

“I know, you’ve been looking for me ever since you saved me from Nightstar.” He said Megan nodded.

“These are my friends, Firekeeper, and Snowstorm,” He said, Megan wondered at their names, they seemed oddly familiar.

“I see you found the wolf.” Freefall said, landing on Sand’s saddle. Megan nodded and looked up, Chris and Silverflash were circling over them.

“What do their names mean?” Megan asked the wolf.

“They are yours, and the man that has taken the shape of a hawk, for fear of hurting you.” He said, “Your heart’s names are Firekeeper and Snowstorm.” He said, Megan looked, at the wolf it’s eyes, glowed orange, its black grey fur, seemed oddly familiar.

“You’re the wolf I saw a week ago.” Firekeeper nodded.

“No I am no guardian I am the one that came to you in your dream, in this form you see now is a shadow, I am destined to protect you though.” His voice rang out in to the forest.

“What do you join me for?” Megan asked.

“I do not join you now, I have still much to learn, but soon I promise, come to the forest, when you are ready to leave, I will met you and go with you then.” He said, Megan looked at the wolf. “Do not worry, you will know when it comes.” He said.

“Tell your friend that flies I will met him soon, Firekeeper, I see you and your friend becoming vary strong and important to this world.” The Tiger, Snowstorm said, Megan looked at its eyes grey just like Chris’s.

“You call me Firekeeper why?” Megan asked the Tiger.

“Your nickname, the name of your animal.” Snowstorm said, Megan nodded.

“You must go now, your home wonders of you.” Frostbite said, Megan nodded.

“What part do you play in this?” Megan asked, her old friend.

“None, I am only a lowly wolf that will soon lead a pack, and that is it.” Megan nodded, “Ah do not feel sorry, soon I will be able to help you,” He said, and he and his friends disappeared into the forest, Megan sighed, she had so many questions, she jumped onto Sand’s back.

“Raincloud, Sunbeam, go back to the fort, our search is over.” Megan yelled, she heard their responses and looked to Freefall, he nodded and took off, he would have Silverflash and Chris help him distract the guards so she could get back in.

She knew the gates would be open, there were small groups coming from all over to the fort, mostly wizards or their new teacher. They were expected until dinner. She rode fast and ran right past the distracted guards and into the stables, she threw Sand’s saddle off of her and ran into the loft and hid under some hay, she heard voices down in the stable, and heard them leave.

“Their gone, Megan,” Sand said, Megan nodded and climbed down back into the stables, she brushed the hay out of her hair and walked out of the barn.

“Well aren’t you just the little trouble make,” A voice came from behind her.

Megan spun around, Marlo stood looking down at her, “What sir?”

“What were you doing out there?” He asked.

“Finding my fox she had left and Freefall told me she had gotten lost so I went looking for her.” She said, Marlo looked at her.

“You sure,” Megan swallowed, fearing he had another power.

“I went looking for a wolf, his name is Frostbite, I found him, and well I’m back now, but my fox, Raincloud was out there, and well I’m sorry sir,” Megan said, looking at the ground.

“That is okay,” He said, Megan looked up at him he wasn’t going to punish her.

“Okay?” Megan asked.

“Yes, you are okay and in one piece, just tell me or one of your teachers before you go, they may say no, but that cant stop you, as long as a leader knows.” Marlo said, Megan smiled and bowed to the sorcerer.

“Thank you sir.” She said, and ran off to the training court, where her friends were still training. Freefall brang her staff to her as she jumped the fence.

“Any one want to play?” Megan asked, and trained with her friends for the next thirty minutes.

“Dinner everyone.” Marlo yelled, Megan handed her staff to Freefall, he took it to her room, she ran to their table, and sat down across from Chris, he didn’t look at her for a few moments, he only glanced at her for a moment, he’s grey eyes full of fear, Megan smiled at him, and he smiled back and sat up strait.

“I have an announcement.” Marlo yelled, Megan and Chris and their friends looked to where he stood on a platform.

“May Megan C., Chris S., Kathi B., Cassie P., Chris D., Kiefer C., Camilla R., Cristina R., Kristina S., and Luke D. please come forth,” Megan looked up and down the table at her friends, they were all looking at her, she nodded, they all stood up and walked to where Marlo stood.

“These ten people protected this fort earlier today, and they have earn recognition for their actions.” He said, Megan looked up at him, a man walked to his side holding a long box Megan estimated about ten inches long. Nine other people came to him they too had boxes like the first.

“They will each receive these.” He said, opening the first box and pulled out a beautiful dagger, he pulled it out of its sheath the beautiful white metal almost looked like glass.

“This is a dagger made of quartz-metal,” He said, Megan had heard of this metal, as strong as steal and hard as diamond, you could even see through it, it was supposed to be the rarest metal on earth. “They have been made for people that are true heroes, and I believe these ten are worthy of that title, and of these daggers.” He said, he resheathed the dagger and placed it back in the box, “Each of the sheaths have the person’s name on them, so if their stolen you know what it is.” He said, Megan excepted hers out of the box and buckled it on her belt next to her other dagger and sword.

“Be careful with those, they’re sharp.” Marlo said, Megan smiled and walked back to her seat, her friends following close behind, Megan didn’t like the way people stared and glared at her, but what was she to do about it, destroy the whole fort and shame the dagger hanging from her belt.

“Okay dinner’s served,” Marlo said, everyone got up to get in line for dinner.

Megan got her food and went to sit down, Chris to, Megan’s surprise sat next to her. She sighed, Chris always made her feel better. She felt a hand on hers, she looked down at the bench where her hand was, Chris had his hand over hers. She looked up at him he smiled, she smiled back and went to eating her dinner.

After dinner, Megan headed to the barn to take care of her horses. After she was done she sat down on the hay and watched her horses, play with Raincloud, nipping and butting heads trying to get a hold of the little fox.

“Oh, just planning on sitting the night away,” Chris asked walking into the stall.

“Hum,” She muttered.

“We have magic lesson’s in a half an hour.” He said, Megan nodded.

“That’s thirty minutes from now so why not rest for a little while.” Megan asked, she sat up and stared at her friend, that had seemed to become something else.

“I’m sorry about earlier,” He said, Megan looked at him curiously as if she didn’t know what he meant, she would play with him for a minute or two.

“What do you mean?” She asked. She stood up and step slightly towards him.

“Sand move in front of him for a minute.” Megan told her horse, Sand moved into position and Megan moved swiftly.

Sandstorm moved out of the way, and Chris, stared at Megan who was only three feet from him. Megan jumped to him hugging him, she put her head on his shoulder.

“There is nothing to be sorry for, you just did what I couldn’t.” Megan said, Chris got over the shock of her hugging him and rapped his arms around her.

“Come on love, lets go and get ready for class.” Chris said, Megan nodded and took Chris’s hand, they walked to their building and got their robes on, they each left their old daggers and their swords, and headed out side.

Megan sat by the fire pit waiting, she watched as the boy they called the Champion boast about how many people he had beaten, Megan knew he wouldn’t say how he was defeated her more then once. She watched as her friends that were girls, all five were in the Water group, two of her male friends were in Fire with her, Kiefer and Chris, Chris, and Luke were all in Air.

“Okay Fire and Air are together today, Water and Ground together over there, Fire, Air over here.” Eric the leader of the Air’s yelled, Megan and Chris smiled at each other, and ran to where Eric and Lark stood waiting for them.

“Do you have your swords Megan, we’re doing some special practices today.” Megan looked down, her sword wasn’t hanging from her belt, neither her nor Chris had their swords.

“Freefall, Silverflash, bring me and Chris our swords.” The hawks screeched. “Chris hand out, palm up,” She said to Chris, he looked at her and held up he hand, “Get ready, catch.” She said, closing her own hand around her swords sheath, she buckled it to her belt. Chris too was strapping his to his waist.

“Well isn’t that a nifty trick,” Eric laughed, at her, she glared at the man.

“I wouldn’t criticize her, she’s the strongest Fire wizard here.” Lark said, Megan smiled, Eric looked at her.

“How can a girl out of place in a magic of boys be the strongest of them?” Eric asked, “She’s nothing but a little fake, wanting the attention of all the boys she’s surrounded her self with.” Megan read from his mind, she glared daringly at the sorcerer, he glared back at her. Megan knew that she could not trust this man.

“Okay everyone, today we will be learning how to put some of your magic into a weapon to make it stronger and more effective.” Lark said, Megan heard people whispering behind her. “Everyone remove your sword from it’s sheath please,” Lark said, everyone took out their swords and held them in front of them. “Now concentrate, now like you did your first day, try to make a fire ball in your hand. Your weapon’s blade should either become a flaming blade, or it will look like there is a cloud attached to it depending on what power you have.” He said.

Megan sighed, and closed her eyes, she opened them, her blade was on fire. She yelped with glee, she looked to Chris his was covered in a thick cloud.

“Excellent now we will have a duel one fire and air.” Lark said, he smiled at Megan she nodded, Lark had accepted her ever since her first lesson, he knew she had great potential as a fire wizard or Sorceress, or maybe one day Mage. “Megan will be the fire wizard, Eric your Air?” He asked, as Megan stepped from the crowd. “She’ll show him, how much potential she has as a girl in our group.” He thought, Megan smiled he was thinking the same thing as she was.

“Okay, Larthin come here.” A boy walked out of the crowd to stand next to Eric, Megan swallowed he must have been a head taller then her, he’s mussels bulged from his chest and arms. Megan had seen this boy before, the girls were always swarming around him, and he seemed to like the attention, Megan would admit he was handsome, but to full of himself. She knew, he in the Air group was the Champion, like Letor was in Fire, Chris had told her all about him. He was about a year older then her, and may have looked stronger then her, but she was stronger then she looked as she had proven to his co-champion already, and had been doing push ups every night for the past year, she wouldn’t lose.

“Okay, Megan you up to it,” Lark asked, Megan nodded keeping her eyes on Larthin.

The fire disappeared from her sword as she put it down at her side, she saw Lathin’s cloud disappeared, and they walked to where they were about five feet apart. They bowed to each other, and put their swords up, Fire burst from her sword, the large flame not even warm to her.

“There is only one rule to this fight,” Eric said, “Only magic and weapons no fist of kicks, okay?” He asked, Megan nodded, she was better with a weapon anyhow, “Don’t worry if you miss, when you become a sorcerer or sorceress you get a new special power and mine is being able to make invisible walls” Eric said, Megan smiled, she wouldn’t miss.

“Okay go,” Lark yelled.

Larthin charged, Megan jumped out of the way and threw a ball of fire at her foe. He sprayed it out with water from his hidden powers, although he now had a burnt hole in his tunic. Megan grinned and pointed her sword at him and concentrated a stream of fire shot from the end, it flowed to Larthin and wrapped itself around him, he yelled in pain, and fell to the ground. His cloths not burnt a bit but still smoking. He staggered to his feet.

“Oh I’ll get her for that, I’m stronger then her, I can do this, she’s just a weak little girl, there’s no way she’s the strongest of the fires.” Megan grinned let him think that way, she would play with him for a while.

He charged at her again, she moved out of the way and swung her sword, the hilt hit his shoulder, he staggered into the invisible wall, that Eric had made to protect the onlookers. He stood there for a minute regaining his breath, Megan didn’t lower her guard however she kept her eye on him, while she let the fire on her blade die she was ready to get it back any second.

“Get up, and get her, she’s just a girl you can get her.” Eric said, Megan glared at the man that stood behind a wall, Megan snorted she would get him one day.

Larthin charged, but stopped short, a cloud shaped like him ran forward and wrapped around her, it threw her into the air, she looked around at first scared but she knew what to do. Her sword was already pointing down, she concentrated hard, the flames turned blue for a moment then there was a spiral of fire and water on the blade, she smiled it would work. The cloud had lifted her up a hundred feet, Megan took a deep breath as the cloud disappeared. She yelled and a pillar of water and fire shot to the ground, pushing her up a little, she slowly let it lower her to the ground. She landed softly and jumped out of the way of one of Larthin’s useless attacks. She heard the cheers of her friends that had seen her amazing hovering trick.

Megan would end this now. She ran at Larthin, and before he could move, stuck her sword into his leg. Larthin screamed in pain and fell to the ground.

Lark ran to him and using one of his powers mended the cuts Megan had given him. He looked up at Megan, “Vary good Megan, I would never have thought of combining both my powers to make a lowering pillar to soften your fall.” Lark said, Megan smiled at the praise from her teacher. “You know soon enough you’ll be ready for your sorceress test.” He said, Megan smiled at the thought, “You would be the first and probably only ever, Fire Sorceress.” He said, Megan nodded, she knew this to be true, she was the only reported girl to have fire or air powers. Megan knew this was weird but took pride in her powers.

“Thank you sir, when is the next time to be able to take the test?” She asked, Lark stood up and cleaned his hands.

“Well I think its next month right before you guys start lessons in those unfinished buildings.” He said, pointing to some of the smaller buildings, they still weren’t finished but almost. “Until then you can train more, that’s mostly what you’ll be doing.” He said, Megan nodded. “Go and join your friends Megan, you are done for today, you may go and do some more duels with them if you like, if you do have one of them come and get me I would like to watch, especially you and that Air, Chris, you both are vary skilled.” He said, Megan nodded and ran to her friends, although she had just been in a duel her energy was still high and she had plenty of magic to do another fight with her friend.

“Chris duel me,” She yelled, he looked at her then nodded, she turned to Lark and yelled for him to come.

“Okay lets see what you guys can do.” Lark said, Megan stood ready facing Chris. “No punching or kicking, lets see, go.” He yelled, their friends had gathered around to watch, they cheered them on.

“Okay Megan lets see what you’ve got.” Chris yelled charging, their swords hit the echo from the clash of blades rang out.

They fought long matching blow for blow. Neither one landing a real blow, with weapon or magic. Megan tried to throw a wave of fire at him but he but up a shield of cloud and it disappeared.

“Okay if your playing that way take this.” He said, reaching out his hand, a large hand made of cloud.

“Oh yeah,” Megan too reached out her hand, a great hand of fire appeared in front of Chris, the hands clasped the people in front of them, and lifted them off the ground.

“Crap my sword isn’t pointing down,” Megan heard Chris think, his eyes were looking for a way to get out of this.

“If you lower me to the ground I lower you.” Megan said sweetly.

“Never,” He said mockingly, and he transformed into a hawk and flew out of her grasp the fire hand disappeared.

“Ah you, I’ll get you” Megan yelled at the hawk, he flew to the ground and transformed back to his human form. Chris grinned up at her.

“Let’s see you try.” He whispered. She grinned and he stared at her startled.

Megan’s sword blue and red appeared through one of the cloud fingers a tornado of water and fire set down on top of Chris, he yelled in fright, and the hand released her. She quickly did the same trick again, and lowered herself to the ground.

She stared at the tornado it dissolved, Chris got his balance back right before a net of fire fell over him. He stood trying to fight against it, he closed he’s eyes, a big mistake Megan was closing in.

A wave of water appeared under the net and washed out from under it, Chris was gone, the moving water formed the shape of a human and became solid, Chris stood facing her, a large grin on his face.

“Okay that’s enough.” Lark said, Megan lowered her sword and sheathed it, she leaned against one of the fence posts fatigue taking her over. “You both are vary skilled, some of the best I’ve ever seen.” He said.

“Well isn’t this the first group of Fire’s you’ve ever thought?” Chris asked.

“No I’ve been teaching for many years.” Lark said.

 

 

 

Chapter 7

Knowledge

 

 

 

 

“What?” Megan asked.

“Ah yes you do not know yet.” Lark said. “Well this sort of storm has past over before, I was about your age when the last one was here but that was almost a hundred years by now. The magical community has always existed but we only recruit big groups like this when a war is to happen during this space storm.” He said, Megan and Chris and their friends looked at each other.

“Ha would you believe I’m a hundred and thirty-seven,” Lark laughed.

“What, how can you be that old?”

“Once you have your magical powers you can not die of natural causes, neither can your immediate family like your parents or siblings.” He said, Megan stared at Chris, could they really live forever.

“Well it’s getting late why don’t you guys get some rest, Megan, Chris I would like to talk to you for a moment though come with me.” He said, Megan and Chris followed him to the teacher’s building, they could hear their friends laughing and joking as they entered their buildings. They entered the teachers building and followed Lark to a room they went in and he invited them to sit in some chairs, near the fire.

“Water?” He asked, Megan and Chris accepted and drank deep from their glasses.

“You two are the most skilled wizards I’ve ever seen,” He started off.

“Thank you Sir.” Chris said, he looked at Megan who stared into the fire.

“You two will be ready for your Sorcerer’s tests next month and I know you both will pass.” He said, Megan looked at her teacher then to her friend. “I know you will, I have the power of Foresight.” He said, Megan smiled. “But if you do not stick together and work as a team until your powers have grown into your next stage I fear what will happen.” He said, he looked into the fire then back to them. “Do you understand?”

“Yes,” They coursed.

“Good, now go wash and sleep, tomorrow’s more work and more training.” He said.

Megan and Chris ran to Megan’s room where then sat by her fire, in silence. “What did he mean he fears what will happen, if we’re not together?” Megan asked, staring into the fire.

“Ah don’t worry Megan we’ll always be together.” Chris said he stood up and stretched. “I’ll leave so you can wash and sleep, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Chris said, he walked out and closed the door behind him, Megan washed and climbed into bed.

The next few weeks went on mostly the same way, they worked on their unfinished buildings and trained in magic and weapons. They finally finished the giant mess hall and just in time because the day after if was done they had a huge thunderstorm. Megan and Chris’s magic grew stronger and Lark was always complementing them on the things they did. Everything was fine until the day before their tests.

Megan and Chris were practicing their archery when Lark came and sat on the post to watch them. “You know your tests are tomorrow.” He said, Megan nodded, and pulled her string back, the arrow flew through the air onto the target hitting its mark, Freefall brought it back to her and she took aim again. “I don’t know if you guys should be using your energy.” He said, Chris shrugged.

“Well sir what type of test is this?” Chris asked as he let one of his arrows fly.

“Well first you will be tested on your weapons and magical skills then you will be put in a room, for the rest of the day, where there is not light and no sound, in that room you will face your greatest fears. The only thing your not aloud to do in there is scream or talk no noise.” He said, Megan let her arrow go it flew through the air and landed five feet before the target.

“Megan what’s wrong, you’ve never missed a target?” Chris asked concerned.

“Nothing just thinking.” Megan said, she looked up Freefall as he dropped the arrow into her hand, he knew what she feared.

“Just remember then the things you see wont be real although the look, sound and feel real, they are not, I know I’m not supposed to give advice but think about meditating, like we’ve been teaching you in your magic lessons, tonight and tomorrow in ‘The Room’ it will help calm and prepare you.” Lark said.

“Thank you sir.” Megan said, handing her bow and quiver to Freefall.

“I’ll see you guys at dinner,” Lark said and walked away to the teachers building.

“Sir Lark you don’t look a hundred and thirty-seven?” Kathi said as they sat at their table waiting for dinner to start.

“Ah yes good point, well you see you don’t age after a certain year what year do you think.” Lark said he smiled as the kids around him thought.

“You look in your late twenties to me.” Megan said, Lark smiled at her.

“Yes you don’t age after thirty, people like your parents wont age after how ever old they are now.” He said, Megan nodded she looked around to the kitchen doors, on of the cooks was stepping towards the bell.

“I think dinner’s going to start,” She stated, Lark nodded and got up he walked over to the teachers table where he ate with the other teachers and older people at the fort.

The bell rang and, Megan was quite used to it by now, the food appeared on plates on the tables. Everyone jumped for the plates wanting to get what they wanted. Megan didn’t see the point the plates refilled themselves each time they were emptied. She slowly got what food she wanted and began to eat.

“Okay now everyone who is not taking their tests tomorrow go to the training yard and make sure you have your daggers. Anyone taking your test meet outside the gates on your horses.” Marlo yelled, Megan, Chris, Kathi, and Luke, Kathi’s boyfriend, stood up and walked to the stables they each were going to take their test the next day.

“Okay guys lets go,” Megan said, she sat on top of Sandstorm, who could sense her mistresses excitement.

“Yeah,” Kathi yelled and they rode out of the stables and through the gates. There three other people waiting there, that equaled seven of the ten wizards that had been chosen for the next days festivities. Megan turned in her saddle she saw Marlo and two other adults, three kids followed them closely.

“Okay you ten come with us we are going out to the fields, since the planting season hasn’t started yet we’ll practice there.” Marlo said, and they followed him to the other side of the fort, where they would plant their crops within the next few weeks. The fields were flat and barren at the moment, just dirt.

“Okay now everyone watch,” Marlo said, “Go ahead, Seren,” He nodded to the woman who stood on his left. Seren held her hands towards the ground, and about ten feet from where she stood grew ten targets. Then next to those spears grew out of the ground, then staves, they would be practicing a lot.

“Okay, now Megan I know that one of your skills is that you can talk to animals, please tell the hawks of everyone here to bring their masters, their bows and quivers,” Marlo said turning to Megan, she nodded, and called for the hawks, they heard her out then went to carry out her chore.

“Everyone hands up,” Megan said, the nine that stood around her raised their hands, their quivers and bows fell into their outreached hands.

“Excellent Megan, now everyone take a place in front of a target.” Marlo said, Megan ran to a place and pulled out an arrow. And put it on her string. “Now we are going to practice things that you will have to do tomorrow. Each power does something different to a weapon, Fire, the arrow turns into a flaming arrow, Air the arrow is replaced by a cloud that no longer takes the shape of an arrow but is just as deadly, Earth the arrow turns into either a arrow shaped rock, or shatters into splinters right before it hits the target and sends pieces of the arrow into the target, Water just like Fire and Air the arrow turns into a water arrow.” Marlo said, everyone nodded.

“Now everyone turn your arrow into what you want it to be.” Marlo said, Megan looked at the arrow it was already on fire, she smiled, “Aim, and let it go.” He yelled.

Megan pulled her arrow back and the arrow flew forward, hitting the target, which burst into flames, Megan smiled, she saw Chris’s arrow, it went right through the target, Megan stared at it, as a hole appeared in the middle of the target, she looked at her target the fire was gone, and she saw Freefall trying to get her arrow for her but he couldn’t get it. Megan ran to the target, and looked at her arrow.

Had she really pulled back her string that hard, she walked around the other side of the target, the tip was all the way through. She went back around and tried to pull it out, Freefall grabbed the back of her robes and pulled as hard as he could.

“Wow Megan how did you do that.” Chris asked walking up next to her.

“I don’t know help me get it out.” She said, Chris put his hands over hers and they both pulled, the arrow move slightly out and then they both fell backwards, the arrow coming with them. Megan landed on top of Chris, and as she climbed up she saw the hole in the target fill over again.

“I bet you cant do that again Megan.” Marlo said, Megan looked up at the Sorcerer.

“And what if I can sir?” She asked.

“I’ll give you a pack horse and my best long bow.” He said, Megan grinned and she stood up.

“And what do you get if I don’t do it?” She asked, Marlo looked around and saw Freefall sitting on the top of the target.

“That hawk of yours.” He said, Megan looked to her hawk, Freefall nodded.

“Okay, I won’t miss.” Megan said, she walked up to her place and took her pose.

“You can do it Megan,” Freefall yelled taking into the air and flying up into the sky calling her name.

“I won’t fail.” Megan said, pulling her string back, she remembered what she had done before, she felt the fire on her arrow and looked to the target, she let the string go, and watched the arrow fly through the air, it hit its target, which burst into flames, Megan ran to the target and watched as the flames drew back, the arrow wasn’t there but a hole was, she walked to the back of her target and looked around the arrow wasn’t any where.

“Megan over here,” Freefall yelled, Megan ran to him, and saw the tree he was flying in front of, there was a hole in the tree, she looked through the hole, and saw in the tree right behind it the arrow was lodged into the tree. “Megan how did you do that?” He asked.

“I don’t know, Freefall does this mean I won or lost.” She asked her hawk.

“Megan did you find the arrow?” Chris asked running up to her.

“Yes, in that tree.” Megan said pointing to the tree.

“How did you do that, I’ve never met anyone strong enough to shoot an arrow through a target across a hundred yards then through a three foot thick tree and half into the next.” Marlo said, looking at the arrow lodge in the tree.

“I guess Freefall is yours now Sir Marlo.” Megan said, looking to her bird.

“No he’s not.” Marlo said.

“Yes I didn’t stick the arrow in the target,” She said, “That’s what the agreement was for.” She insisted.

“No the agreement was that you wouldn’t hit the bulls-eye,” Marlo said, “If it will make you happy you’ll only get a new pack horse, and this small bag of money.” He said, pulling out a small little purse out of his pocket, he handed it to Megan, “You can’t really use it here but in your journeys you will need money for food and room.” He said, everyone here at the fort will start earning money every week starting the day after tomorrow, you’ll get about that much every week.” He said pointing to the small bag in Megan hand.

Megan opened the little pull-string hole and looked in. “This doesn’t look like money,” Megan said, taking out one of the twenty coins out of the bag.

“Don’t worry it is, and that one is the one that is worth the most, its called a gold piece, the silver ones, you need four to make a gold piece, they’re the silver pieces, and the copper ones, you need five to make a silver piece, and well if your any good at math, twenty for a gold piece.” Marlo said, Megan put the coin back in the bag, and stuffed it into her pocket.

“Meet me after practice and I’ll show you what horses you can chose from.” Marlo said to Megan, she nodded and headed back to the targets.

They practiced many other weapons until it was time to end. Megan wanted to go with Chris, but she had to meet with Marlo. She told him to meet her in the stables he nodded and walked with their friends back into the fort, leading her horse behind his.

“Megan,” Marlo called to her, Megan turned around and walked around the fort with him. “You are a vary skilled fighter,” He said, Megan bowed her head.

“Thank you sir,” She whispered.

“Call me Marlo, please, well I have never seen a person better with a bow then you.” He said, Megan smiled.

“Well my friend Chris is better then me, sir, I mean Marlo, Chris is a much better archer then me, he has never missed his target, it took me a day or two to get used to my bow.” She said, she saw Marlo smiled.

“Well if that so, I would love to see him shot a bow, it must be your fire powers,” He said, “And your strength, I’ve seen you fight against some pretty strong people, those combined make an arrow pretty deadly.” He said, Megan nodded.

“So why are you telling me this?” Megan asked.

“Well you see Megan you’ll be the first woman fire wizard in all history, and you vary well may become the first Fire Magess in all of history also,” He said, Megan looked up at him.

“What sir?”

“There have not been many Magesses, because not vary many women have ever gotten to that level of magic, birthing children takes to much out of them.” He said, Megan bowed her head.

“Why do you think I would be able to get to that level, you think I will never have any children?” Megan asked, she sadly looked through the gates she saw Chris sitting by a fire with some of the other guys. Would she and Chris never get that far?

“No I just think with how strong you are now you will be able to become a Magess before your ready to have children so you will be able to be there forever.” Marlo said, Megan smiled. “Well come on let me show you the extra pack horses.” He said, Megan followed him happily, he had never meant that she would never get married.

“Here they are, I’m sure your horse’s stall is big enough for one more,” He said, Megan looked out at a small heard of pack horses.

“Megan I am Dragonswing,” A handsome grey horse said, walking up to Megan.

“Dragonswing, pleased to meet you would you like to be one of my horses?” She asked.

“Yes ma’am.” He said, Megan nodded and hugged the horse, she led him to her stall, and introduced him to her other horses, they accepted him and she went to go and find Raincloud. She ran into Chris on her way to her room, then she remembered that she was going to meet with him.

“Megan I thought we were going to talk in the stables?” Chris asked, Megan nodded.

“Yeah I forgot, come on we can talk in my room,” Megan said, Chris nodded and took her hand gladly as they walked to her room.

They sat together talking for a while, then Megan laid her head on Chris’s shoulder and listen to him tell her of what they would do together in the future. She stared at the fire and watched as it dance in her eyes. The last thing she remembered was falling asleep in his arms.

Megan sat bolt up right had she slept with her friend, had he taken advantage of her while she slept. She looked around she was in her bed in the same clothes she had been wearing the night before, she was laying on top of her covers, Chris had placed her in her bed before he had left, and he had placed his robes over her for blankets.

Megan got up and walked to her window the sun was just coming up, she had plenty of time she and the other people that were taking their test were to leave for the temple right after breakfast, they had supposedly put up the rooms the week before. Megan had plenty of time to wash and meditate before breakfast. She filled her tub with water then heated it with her fire, then climbed in to soak. By the time she climbed out she had an hour left before breakfast, she sat down on her bed and began her practice.

She fell out of her trans when she heard a knock on her door, she sighed and got up, she opened the door. Chris stood there, his hair still a little wet from his bath, he smiled at her. Megan invited him in, he put his hand on her head as he walked past.

“Hey I was just coming by to see what you were doing,” Chris said, looking at her animals that were still asleep, Megan noticed that Nightwing had just flown through her window and was climbing into his box. “And I wanted to see you I wish I would have woke up earlier I would have been here sooner,” He thought, Megan shook her head as she closed the door.

“Nothing, I guess I fell asleep last night,” She said, although she already knew that.

“Yeah you did, I put you in your bed and went to my own bed,” He said, “Before my emotions got control of me,” He thought, Megan smiled, he had controlled himself even though he could have taken advantage of her he hadn’t.

“Well why are you here so early?” Megan asked.

“Just to see you I wanted to be with you now before we had our tests.” He said, pulling her close to him, she placed her head on his chest, listening to his heart beat, she closed her eyes, she sneezed, and felt herself drifting into a wonderful dream.

Chris flew next to her, he looked much older, by a couple of years. But he wasn’t himself, he had wings for arms, clawed hands stuck out of the elbow, from the waist down he had a tigers body. Megan looked at her own body she was the same, accept that her lower body was that of a wolf. “This is your future learn to strive for this.” A voice echoed around her.

Megan jolted back into reality, Chris still held her. She looked up at him, he eyes were clouded.

“What do you see?” She asked him.

He looked down at her and smiled, “A future together.” Megan smiled and kissed her friend.

“Come on lets go.” She said, she led him down stairs by the hand and to the breakfast table.

“Okay now every to-be sorcerer get your horse and be ready outside the gates, have your bow and quiver, and sword.” A man yelled from the teachers table, four of the teachers rouse from the table along with Marlo, and walked to the teachers stables, Megan headed to her stall, and saddled Sandstorm thinking of the hours to come.

“Megan don’t worry, we will pass, we will get through this together.” Chris said, his hand appeared on her shoulder and she felt strength grow in her heart.

“Yes I know, now come on,” She said, she strapped her bow to Sandstorm’s neck where she could get it easily.

They rode slowly out the gates. Lark sat on his horse on Marlo’s right, and the Grass teacher who Megan knew as Seren rode on his left. Lark smiled when he saw her and Chris, he nodded in an approving stare. He was the one that had gave them access of this test. Of course Chris’s Air teacher, Eric knew how strong he was, but would not let him take the test thinking he wasn’t ready, but Lark had trained him along with Megan every morning teaching them things that they would need to know in the future.

“Okay everyone here, come on lets go.” Marlo said, three teachers and ten wizards set out, cheers from the walls above gave the students encouragement and told them that their friends were there waiting for them to return.

Megan looked around in their group, along with her and Chris, Kathi, and Luke were there. So were two Air boys that she didn’t and then Megan couldn’t believe it the other four were none other then, Larthin, and Letor and their two followers how they had gained access to this group Megan would never know.

“Well what do you think this thing is going to be like?” Luke asked Chris, they went into a big conversation of the differences in the training each of the different types of powers went through.

“Megan I saw you and Chris go in to your room last night,” Kathi whispered to her, Megan slowed their horses so that they would be at the back of the line. “What happened?”

“Nothing we talked and sat by the fire, and I fell asleep leaning on him,” Megan said, Kathi grinned.

“Oh really I wonder what happened after that?” Megan heard Kathi think. “Oh then what happened?” Kathi asked her.

“Nothing, he said he held me for a while then put me in my bed and left for the night.” Megan said, Kathi’s eyebrows raised, “Really that’s all that happened.” Megan insisted, Megan knew Kathi didn’t believe her but she couldn’t make her believe, let her believe what she wants I know what happened and that’s all the matters, Megan thought as they rode deeper into the forest.

A half an hour latter they emerged from the woods and saw what had happen around the temple in the past few weeks, people had build walls around in, and buildings inside, Megan knew this was where their test would take place.

“Wow,” Megan heard her friends whisper, Megan was amazed, this was a lot to have happen in only a month.

“Megan men come running from the woods, they carry weapons warn your friends.” Freefall screeched flying over her head.

“Bandits everyone,” Megan said, turning Sandstorm and pulling out her bow. Sure enough there about a hundred yards out of the woods, bandits were running waving axes and swords.

“Remember what you learned last night use is here.” Marlo yelled, he looked up to the walls, and wave a signal to them, they opened the gates a little, Marlo, Lark, and Seren rode through then the gates closed, leaving them to fight alone.

“Kathi, Chris, Luke, gather round, remember what we did last time, the same formation.” Megan yelled to her friends, the took their positions around her, they let up their bows, and shot, Megan’s fire arrow flying through two men, both dropped to the ground dead, Chris’s arrow however was much more deadly, it killed four of the hundred or so men in one shot.

Megan shot again the man that it hit had an ax, his ax flew through the air, and hit one of his friends, they both dropped to the ground. Megan grabbed two arrows at the same time and turned her bow sideways, the men were getting closer and spreading further apart, Megan took her two arrow aim and shot, they hit two men that were about ten feet apart. Just as Megan pulled her sword and held it up, everyman fell to the ground.

They were wood, all of them wood. A grass sorcerer had done this and a person with the ability to change something’s appearance hand made it so they would think bandits were attacking them.

“Vary well students come into the fort.” A voice called.

Megan sheathed her sword and rode after her friends. What was that for, was it part of their test?

“Megan that hawk of yours is a great friend to you, we didn’t expect for you to know of our little band until they were really close, you guys had a huge advantage knowing that there were people there.” Marlo said riding up next to her, Megan notice Larthin and Letor whispering and glancing at her, but didn’t mention it.

“Thank you sir, Freefall has been vary useful to me ever since I got him, he is truly a great animal.” Megan said, she looked around, and saw ten small square buildings with no windows, and a door that latched from the outside, Megan knew what those were for from the second she laid her eyes on them, and she knew Chris did too.

Megan turned to her friends, they nodded, she sighed, they knew what was going on too. But by the looked on the two champion’s, and their followers, faces they didn’t have a clue what was happening.

“Okay everyone,” Marlo said to the ten students, “Choose a building and stand by the door we will be with you in a moment.” Megan climbed down from Sandstorm and took a door, Chris chose the one on her right and Kathi on her left.

“Okay are you Megan?” A man in a grey robe asked, Megan nodded. “Okay put your sword and bow next to the door, the only weapon your aloud to have in the is your dagger,” The man said, Megan nodded, she took of her sword and quiver and set them down with her bow, she sighed as the man opened the door.

“Now the rules are, no talking, and no trying to get out, the door will open when it is time for you to come out, good luck wizard, if you pass when you come out you will be a sorceress.” He said, Megan nodded and looked to Chris, he nodded to her, she smiled and stepped into the room, the door closed behind her. Megan was plunged into darkness.

Megan found a corner and sat down, she pulled out the amulet that she had been given a month before, it gave off a dim light, her eyes adjusted more to the darkness and the dim light lit the shadows enough for her to see. She pulled out both her daggers, she lit her old dagger it gave off a stronger light, then her amulet, she threw it to the other side of the room it landed in the ground and gave out a large circle of light, Megan could see everything that she needed to. She lit her quartz dagger and stuck it in the ground in front of her. The light would have been enough if Megan hadn’t seen a shadow move in the corner.

Megan grabbed her  other dagger and threw it into the corner, it hit the monster which wailed in pain then disappeared. Megan walked over to her dagger, grabbed it up and went back to her seat. Megan practiced her dagger throwing for a while until she saw a shadow pass in front of her other dagger. The flame went out and Megan’s only light was the dagger she held in her hand.

Megan sensed it before she saw it, she ducked, her other dagger flew over her head. And hit the wall, she reached up and grabbed it. The dagger lit up and Megan threw it into the other corner, she saw the shadow a huge spider, five feet tall, it turned to her dagger that was stuck into the ground. Megan took the chance her senses over powering her fear, she jumped on the monsters back and drove her flaming dagger into it’s back, it wailed and disappeared. Megan was swept away, by a wave of darkness, the flames went out, she landed on her back.

When Megan opened her eyes, she felt another body next to her. She groped around for her dagger and lit it, Chris lay next to her under a blanket, she stuffed her hand in her mouth to stop from yelping. She dare not raise the blanket.

“Megan is that you, can you hear my thoughts.” Chris’s mind came to hers, he had not opened his eyes.

“Chris,” Megan thought, she took his hand, about to spell into it.

“I can hear your thoughts, too, here,” Chris thought back to her. “Is it okay for me to open my eyes?” He asked. Megan looked at herself, she and him were fully clothed.

“Yes, but how did you get in here?” Megan asked, in her head, Chris opened his eyes and blinked not used to the light from her dagger.

“I don’t know, how come your in my building?” He asked, Megan looked around, there was no way of telling what room they were in, she stood up and brushed of her back, then walked around the room looking for her dagger.

Megan smiled as she picked up her dagger, “We’re in my room,” She thought to him.

Chris shrugged and walked over to her, he took the dagger from her and stuck it back into its sheath. Megan looked up at him, as he wrapped his arms around her, and kissed her gently.

“Chris, what are you doing?” Megan thought to him.

“Loving you,” He stated, not letting her go.

Megan pushed him away, she glared at him, “Don’t the darkness is a wicked thing, and I won’t let it take control of you or me.” She stated.

Chris saw Megan’s eyes go wide, just as he saw a giant shadow hand grab her. Megan reached out too. Megan saw a shadow grab Chris and drag him away he struggled the whole way, trying to get to her. Megan ran after him into the shadows, but he was gone, back to his own building. A tear streamed down her cheek, she was alone again.

“Megan,” A voice rang in her mind, “Megan look this is what your mission is.” It said.

Megan turned around, she was standing in a court yard like the one back at Fort Hope, but different there were more barracks and taller walls. Megan walked around, and she noticed what she was wearing, she wasn’t in her tunic, breeches, and robes any more. She wore a tree green tunic, and cream breeches, her boots looked warn like she hadn’t got a new pair in many months, her robes were red and vary short, they looked more like a long coat, then robes.

“Captain,” A man called from up on the wall, Megan looked around a woman looked up at the man, Megan almost gasped, the woman was her, “They need you in the tower they’ve seen something.” The other Megan nodded, and ran off in the other direction, Megan followed her, up a flight of stairs and onto a large platform.

“What is it?” The other Megan asked a man that was at a telescope.

“Captain Megan, I think there’s bandits out there.” He said.

“Freefall, Silverflash,” The Captain called, Freefall and her beloved Chris’s hawk appeared at Megan’s side. “Out there, scope it out.” The hawks nodded and flew to where they were told, they reported back.  Megan watched as everything went black, “You have to be there, or this will happen,” The voice said, Megan was standing in a burning ruin of the fort she had just been in, Megan fell to her knees. “Now go.” The voice said, Megan fell backward.

Chapter 8

Fire Sorceress

 

 

 

 

Megan blinked she was back in the court yard of the temple, she squinted the sun shining into her eyes. Megan climbed to her feet, she looked around, Chris ran to help her up.

“Finally Megan, I’ve been out for an hour.” He said, Megan sighed.

“An hour, but I just saw you a couple of minutes ago.” She said, Chris shook his head.

“That was two hours ago, Megan time passes slower in there.” He said, helping her to a table, Megan grabbed a glass of water and pored it down her throat.

“That was amazing.” She whispered to him, he nodded.

“Yes it was.” He said he hugged her then got up, Megan looked around, Kathi had just stumbled out of her room, Luke and Chris, ran to her aid, Kathi gasped for air, as if she had just been drowning.

“Kathi what’s wrong?” Megan asked giving her friend a glass of water.

“Drowning, all that water no air,” Kathi gasped, she looked at the glass she squealed and dropped it.

“You didn’t scream did you?” Luke asked.

“No but I am so grateful to be out of that dreadful room.” Megan saw other people coming out of their buildings, Megan saw that everyone seemed to have made it.

“Okay everyone collect your weapons and report to the walls.” Marlo yelled from above them.

Megan collected her bow and sword, she gave her bow to Freefall, and let him take it to Sandstorm. But he quickly returned to her side. Megan walked next to Chris, remembering to sight of him being dragged off by the giant shadow. She would never let that happen to him again.

“Here are your new Sorcerers and Sorceresses.” Marlo yelled, Megan looked out over the wall and gasped, every person from Fort Hope was there to see them.

“Larthin, come forward,” Marlo beaconed, Larthin walked over to the Sorcerer, “Larthin one of your newest Air Sorcerers,” He said, the crowd cheered, Marlo handed Larthin a sword, and a small crystal ball, “Take these the ball you will learn to learn latter.”

“Letor,” He called forward. “One of your newest Fire Sorcerers Letor,” The crowd cheer, Marlo handed him the same two items.

“Bruton,” He called, Letor’s follower walked forward, and received his items, “John,” Larthin’s goon, excepted his gifts and walked off to join his friends.

Finally it was Luke’s turn, Megan, Chris and Kathi cheered along with the crowd. Luke smiled at them and gave a thumbs up to the crowd.

“Kathi,” Marlo yelled, “Your Water Sorceress,” The crowd cheered, Kathi took her items and went to stand with Luke, “Chris, Your Air Sorcerer,” Megan cheered loudly for Chris.

“And Megan,” Megan walked forth and bowed to her now fellow Sorcerer, “Your First and probably only ever Fire Sorceress,” Marlo yelled, Megan blushed as the crowd roared, Megan took her gifts, and heard Marlo whisper, “Megan just wait until you see what you get for becoming a Mage,” He said, Megan looked up to him he winked and she joined Chris and her friends. “Now Sorcerers and Sorceress take a bow and hold up your swords for the world to see.” Megan unsheathed her sword, she gawked a quartz-metal sword, just like her dagger. Chris poked her and they raised their swords together, the sun reflected off of them, and each sword lit up. Megan smiled, she had made it, this far what would the future hold.

“Okay everyone back to the fort for dinner,” Marlo yelled, Megan sheathed her sword and looked down the wall Sandstorm waited for her, Megan ran down the stairs, and jumped onto Sand’s back, she strapped her new sword to her belt she now wore two daggers, two swords, and a quiver, but she took the quiver off and hooked it on Sands saddle next to her bow.

“Okay Sand let’s go,” Megan said her horse nodded and started to walk out of the gates, she saw the people of the fort were already riding into the forest, talking of things that they would do latter that day.

“So Chris what’s your knew power like Lark told us about?” Megan asked Chris.

“I don’t know yet, and I know you don’t either,” He said, Megan grinned.

“Yeah I don’t know just wondering. So what do you want to do latter today,” Megan asked, she looked up to the sun, it was only about two o’clock.

“I don’t know we could go out on a walk.” Chris said, Megan nodded.

“Yeah or we could, just relax around the fort.” Megan said, Chris nodded.

“Sounds good.” He said he laughed and turned to Luke.

Megan and Chris spent the next few months together going to different classes around the fort. They did mathematics, planning tectonics, mapping, and advanced magic and weapons, together. As their love and friendship grew, so did their power, Megan finally knew what it was like not to be alone.

“Chris come on, today is our first day of wild animal training,” Megan said, pulling Chris from the stable where he had been playing dice with a couple older sorcerers, in the Air class.

“Okay, but I was winning,” He said proudly.

“Sure you were,” He hadn’t be winning he had already lost five silver pieces.

“Come on we’re going to be late,” Megan said, all the other fifteen year-olds were already entering one of the class room buildings.

They ran up the stairs to the second floor and took their seats at a table, each table sat two people. And they always chose the same one. Megan looked around and waved at Freefall, who was sitting in the window next to Silverflash, Freefall nodded his head. Megan looked back to Chris, he was looking at the chalk board reading what it said.

Megan looked at it and was about to start reading it when, a woman Megan had never seen around the fort before, walked into the room. The women wore blue robes, of a Water Sorceress, her white hair, made her look older then she was, her eyes yellow were vary creepy. Megan didn’t know where this woman had come from unless she had arrived two minutes before, Megan didn’t know how she could have got past her vary observant eyes.

“Hello class, I am, Leanne your animal teacher.” The woman said, the class said hello, “Okay now when I call you come up her and get your new charge.” The woman said, and started to call names, Chris went up after a few minutes, and receive a cage covered up so you couldn’t see what was inside. “Megan,” Leanne called, Megan got up and walked forward, “No young man don’t look yet.” She yelled at one of the boys in the back.

“Here you are, Megan.” Leanne said, Megan took her cage and went back to her seat, carrying the cage carefully.

“Okay,” Leanne said after she had handed a covered cage to everyone, “Uncover your cage,” She said, Megan carefully lifted the sheet off of her cage.

“A cat,” Megan heard Chris think, Megan looked to his cage, a baby tiger was sitting staring around the room when she saw Chris it hopped around and stared at him. Megan shrugged and looked into her cage, a puppy sat staring at her.

Megan gasped its coloring it’s orange eyes. Firekeeper Megan thought, it was the wolf that she had seen three months before. But that was impossible, Megan thought, the wolf she had met had been older then a puppy.

“Oh that’s okay, Megan it is me Firekeeper, spirit animals come to their owners in different forms, then they are sighted the first time,” The wolf told her. Megan smiled it was the wolf.

“Megan tell this untalkable boy, Chris, that, my name is Snowstorm not Cat.” The baby tiger said, Megan looked at her, sure enough the tiger had gray eyes, it was the tiger she had met.

“Chris, this is Snowstorm,” Megan said, to Chris, he looked at her, and then to the cat.

“Okay Snowstorm, good name.”

“Okay, yes I know some of you would rather like another animal, then the one you got, and you will have another chance to get a new animal.” Leanne said, “In a few weeks you may get another animal if you are up to the task, and they won’t be babies, they will be as old as the ones you have now.” She said, Megan smiled at this, she could get a tiger, for Snowstorm to be friends with, and Chris could get a wolf.

“Okay, open the cage, and take out your animal.” Leanne said, Megan opened the door, of Firekeeper’s cage, and he jumped out onto her lap. Megan looked to Chris, and saw Snowstorm, jump on his arm, as he reached in to get her, he pulled her out, and she didn’t dig her claws into his arm, until, Chris moved his arm slightly and she almost fell. Chris, flinched in pain, and the claws pierced his skin, he pulled her off and put Snowstorm on his lap. He examined his wounds, that were starting to bleed.

“Ah don’t worry they will heal.” Chris said, smiling at Megan, who shook her head, and turned to take care of her puppy.

“Here, take these bottles and feed the babies, they haven’t had a meal in an hour.” Leanne said, she set two bottles full of milk, on Megan, and Chris’s table.

Megan picked up a bottle and held in over Firekeeper’s nose. Firekeeper sniffed it and opened his mouth, Megan scooped her puppy up and held him on his back, and started to feed him. Megan looked over to Chris, he had done the same thing with Snowstorm, and Snow looked vary content on staying in Chris’s arms. Megan glared at the cat, Chris’s arms were where she belonged.

“Okay, well I guess that’s it for today, next Monday I want to see how much your animal has grown used to you, by that time, it should know its name and be able to come to you when you call.” She said, Megan stood up, Firekeeper still in her arms.

“You’ll need to feed them every few hours, and when you need more milk just go down to the mess hall they’ll fill the bottle up.” Leanne said, before everyone started to leave, “A bed for your pet has been placed in your rooms.” She said, Megan and Chris walked out of the class room’s building and back to Megan’s room.

“Here you go, Firekeeper,” Megan said, setting him down, him and Snowstorm started to play around, the room, and soon enough, Raincloud and Sunbeam started to play with them.

“So Chris what do we do now,” Megan asked, the boy she was laying on.

“I don’t know but I know that it’s something,” He said, holding her tight to him.

“I love you,” Megan whispered, he whispered it back and they fell asleep in each other’s arms.

Megan opened her eyes, still in Chris’s arms, Megan smiled and rolled over, Kathi, and Luke were sitting on her bed, talking with each other. Megan jumped up, how long had they been there?

“Ah,” Chris, groaned as he woke up, “Megan what’s wrong, Megan?” He said sweetly.

“Ah It’s about time you two woke up and just in time to go to dinner,” Luke said, Megan glared at him, he grinned at her, and Kathi stood up.

“Do you two need a chaperone everywhere you go?” Kathi asked, seriously.

“Chris, nice job,” Luke asking Chris to give him a high-five. Chris just glared.

“Luke do you not have any maturity in your brain whatsoever?” Kathi snapped at her boyfriend slapping him over the back of the head.

Luke cowered and nodded, he stood behind Kathi, grinning and winking to Chris, where he couldn’t be seen by Kathi.

“Attack, every archer on the wall, battalions man your horses and get ready to run out.” The tower watch man called. Megan, Chris, Kathi, and Luke, ran to the wall, each had their bow. They found where they were needed, and got ready.

“Now remember just like last time spread out along the wall, and get ready to aim, shoot at the enemy,” The Captain yelled to the archers, “Emily you’re not aloud up here, go back down to the infirmary, or back to your room, your not aloud up on the wall.” He yelled, Emily ran back down the wall, and into her housing building. Last time there was an attack, Emily’s aim was so bad she hit one of their own people.

“Okay here they come.” The Captain yelled, Megan aimed her bow at the lead enemy. She let go, the arrow flew through the leader and into the man behind him, Megan told the horses where to go when they were free and they gladly ran to the fields which were now full of hay, corn, wheat, small apple and orange trees, and many other plants the fort would need. Megan fired again, just as she heard the explosion, a magical bomb had been place outside the wall, the wall was undamaged thanks to the spells Sorcerers had put on it. But the blast sent waves of dirt and air upon them. Megan flew up and backwards.

Megan felt herself falling, and turned over, a hundred feet below, the ground, ninety, eighty, Megan curled into a ball, she knew she had the best chance if she was in a ball, she felt hundreds of clawed feet grabbing her robes, but she didn’t slow down. Megan hit the ground, she heard her legs and many of her ribs break, as she hit the ground. She uncurled painfully, the song of battle rang in her ear, as Chris ran to her side, calling for Marlo.

“Chris, what is it,” Marlo asked, running from the infirmary to his side.

“She flew off the wall when that blast hit.” Chris said, Megan could hear the fear and tears in his voice.

“Okay come on help me get her to the infirmary.” Marlo said.

Chris looked at Megan, her eyes red and clouded, he knew she couldn’t see him. Chris felt the tears streaming down his face, would she live? Chris helped Marlo ease Megan onto a stretcher and they ran her to the infirmary.

“Okay come on, Megan, hang on one more second.” Marlo said, running behind a curtain.

Chris knelt next to the cot they had placed Megan on. “Megan I don’t know if you can hear me but, please hang on, for me, for your friends, for Freefall, and Firekeeper, what would I tell Sandstorm, if you…” Chris muttered to her, he let his tears flow out of his eyes, he could see her orange shirt turning red. She was bleeding, blood was starting to trickle out of her mouth.

“Megan hang on there.” He said, he kissed her cheek, and bowed his head thinking.

“Tell Chris,” Megan coughed, Megan couldn’t see anything but dark she knew a friend was by her though.

“Yes I’m here,” Chris’s voice came to her ears.

“Tell him, that if I don’t make it, for him to move on with his life not to dwell on my memory.” Megan chocked out, “Tell him I love him, and wish I could be with him, but if I don’t make it, I love him,” Megan said.

“Megan I love you, you can’t give up on my now.” Chris said, Megan blinked and her vision started to return.

“Chris, I lo…I love…” She coughed, her breathing became hard and slow. “I love you,” Megan said, her vision went black, Chris was gone.

Chris stared as Megan’s eyes closed and her breathing stopped. “Megan no wake up, come back.” Chris said, he looked up Marlo and ten other people were running out to see to the girl that lay in front of him.

“Marlo is she going to come back?” Chris chocked.

“She will if you let us concentrate, why don’t you go back to the wall, they need everyone that can fight out there.” Marlo said, he knelt down, along with the other doctors, they started to try and bring her back.

Chris ran out and back onto the wall, he shot mercilessly at the enemy, his anger and love for Megan taking control over him. He heard his name called, and went down the wall. A man held Nightstar ready for him. Chris jumped on his horse’s back and ran out the gates.

Chris was knocked from his horse, and started to fight on the ground with a man, that had a large battle sword. He’s anger almost took control of him when he remembered something Megan had taught him, “Never let anger or hate take control in a battle, it will blind you and you are more capable of being attacked.” She had said. Chris respected her for what she knew and would follow it.

Chris won in the battle and found Nightstar, just as victory was proclaimed, Chris ran back through the gates, jumped off Nightstar and ran to the infirmary.

Megan lay on her cot, her breathing loud and slow. Chris knelt next to her bed he put his head on her hand, and started to cry.

“She’ll be okay,” A voice came from next to him, he felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up, Marlo was looking down at him.

“Are you sure? Why does she look like she’s still in pain, isn’t there anything you can do for her now?” Chris asked.

Marlo frowned at him, “She’s not the only one in here that we need to help, she is fine, everything is healed, but she is still in pain because there are bones that we can’t heal, she has three broken ribs she will have to heal herself, we were able to heal her lung, and realign her shoulder, and legs, but we can’t really make the bones heal, they have to heal by themselves.” Marlo said, Chris looked into Megan’s face, “She will have to stay in here for a while though.” Marlo said, he left Chris alone after that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 9

Life Without

 

 

 

 

For the next few days Chris would visit Megan every time he could, he still saw her pain. But he started to forget to visit her, forget that she was still in the infirmary. Chris would even forget that she even existed sometimes, Kathi and Luke and the others, wondered what was happening to him.

Megan was starting to recover, as soon as she could sit without her ribs almost killing her, she started to take her studies in her bed. She studied her mapping and battle planning in bed of course she couldn’t practice weapons or riding, but she still spent time with her other pets. Horses weren’t aloud in the infirmary, so Freefall would take messages to the horses for her. Megan’s puppy was starting to grow bigger and stronger, Raincloud couldn’t play with him anymore he was so big.

Megan started to wonder why Chris had never visited her, she would talk with Kathi and Luke, but she didn’t ask them about him. Megan wondered if Chris thought her dead, or if he had found a new lover, the thought of Chris forgetting her made her cry.

Megan was finally able to walk, but Marlo wouldn’t let her leave until she wasn’t limping anymore, so she was confined to the infirmary, Marlo let her help how ever with other people that were wounded in other fights. She discovered that she had the healing power, just like Marlo did, and he started to train her in the healing arts. She loved learning that her healing powers although she didn’t know she had had them at the time had helped her healing go faster.

“Well Megan, I think your ready to get out of here, but anytime you want to help in here, we always need extra hands.” Marlo said, it was the day Megan was going to move back into her room.

“Thank you Marlo, thank you for teaching and helping me.” Megan said, she picked up Raincloud and walked out of the infirmary.

Kathi and Luke ran to greet her and followed her to her room. Megan found Firekeeper, Freefall, and another wolf Megan knew at once as Firekeeper’s mate, a female he had told her about when she was in the infirmary, Megan knew she was called Nighteyes. Megan greeted her pets, and sat on her bed.

“What a day to get out of the infirmary.” Luke said, plopping down on Megan’s couch.

“Why?” Megan asked.

“Graduation,” Kathi said, Megan looked at her in question, “Everyone who has gotten good points on their studies, and anyone who has or is going to take the Sorcerers tests.” Kathi said.

“Cool, so am I graduating today?” Kathi and Luke nodded, Megan smiled with glee.

“And if we want we’re aloud to leave the fort and go to help or teach other people. The leaders are going to start sending people out to look for young people with the gift of magic,” Luke said, Megan nodded, cool they could go out on their own little adventures if they wanted.

“So what time it this graduation?” Megan asked.

“Tonight right after dinner, no magic class afterwards, just a big feast for dinner then the ceremony,” Kathi said, Megan grinned, she hadn’t been able to eat much in the hospital none of her favorites, only the foods they saw fit for the patients to eat.

“Okay so where’s Chris,” Megan asked, Kathi and Luke looked at each other, frowning.

“We haven’t seen much of him for the past few weeks, we know he hasn’t been visiting you, but we don’t know why.” Luke said, he looked at her, concern in his eyes.

“Oh, well he’ll be there tonight wont he?” Megan asked they shrugged. Megan frowned a blinked back tears.

“Megan don’t worry do you want me to find him?” Freefall asked her, Megan looked at her hawk.

“We can help him,” Firekeeper said, Nighteyes nodded.

“No, guess it’s fine I’ll see him tonight.” Megan said, her pets nodded and went back to their own conversations.

“Okay well come on lets go to dinner.” Luke said, Megan nodded.

“Well first I want to visit Sand, and the others.” Megan said, her friends followed her down to the stables and they spent a little while with Megan’s horses.

“Okay everyone time for dinner.” A voice called from the tower, calling everyone from the fields and woods to come and join dinner.

“Okay I’ll see you guys latter,” Megan said, to her horses, they nodded, Megan at the time didn’t know how right she was.

“Come on Megan lets eat,” Kathi called, Megan ran out of the stable and they ran for a spot in line.

“Okay is everyone done eating?” Marlo asked. Everyone stopped talking or whatever they had been doing and looked up to him.

“Okay now every person who I call come up and get you graduation gift, it is a robe of your power and that has a symbol on it of this fort, so no matter where you are, you’ll be known, as a graduate not a runaway. Now,” He started to call names, every Sorcerer and Sorceress was called up to the stand, Megan and Chris included.

Megan watched him go back to his seat so she would know where to find him. She excepted her robes and a spyglass, for seeing things far away. Megan went back to her seat, and listened to every other person. The ceremony finally ended and Megan got up.

She started to walk towards where Chris had been sitting, she saw him run towards one of the buildings. Megan silently and swiftly, followed him, she peeked her head around the corner and saw him holding another girl, a lot younger then them. Her blond hair and blue eyes made her vary attractive, but why, Chris was kissing her, just as he had her two months before. Megan ran from the scene and to her room, she started to stuff her things into her saddlebags, pile everything she would need for a long trip into her bags.

Megan saw through her tears Kathi and Luke enter her room. Megan went back to her packing. Sent Freefall, Firekeeper, Nighteyes, and Raincloud, to steal jerky and dried fruit from the kitchens, they brought the food back to her and watched her stuff it into bags.

“Where are you going,” Kathi demanded, trying to stop her.

“Away I need to get away from this place for a while, I’ll be back I promise.” Megan said, Kathi and Luke still tried to stop her.

“You can’t stop me I’m leaving tonight rather you like it or not.” Megan said, she stopped packing and turned to face her friends.

“I promise I’ll be back, do not worry, oh and Kathi can you take care of Nightwing while I’m gone?” Megan asked.

“Yes Megan, but Megan what’s wrong?” She asked.

“Chris, he’s in love with someone else, someone younger, more beautiful, less scared, less battle worn.” Megan said, tears streaming from her eyes once more, she finished packing and put her bags by the door.

“Okay, now will you guys help me tonight, will you help me carry these things out?” Megan asked, looking at her friends, they looked at each other and nodded. “Good tonight, I go alone, only my pets come with me.” Megan said, “I need you guys to open the gates for me, okay?” She asked, they nodded, and sat on the couch to wait with her.

Megan got Raincloud’s holder ready, along with Freefall’s stand, which she would hook to one of her pack horses so he could sit on it when he was tired.

“Okay come on guys.” Megan said, when she heard the one o’clock bell, she picked up three of her packs, and lead the way to the stables. She started to strap every thing to her pack horses when she remembered something. She made sure every thing was ready, and told her friends to go to the gate and wait for her signal.

When Kathi and Luke were gone, Megan pulled a note out of her pocket, she ran to the teacher’s building and silently opened the door. She crept up to the third floor, and picked a lock on one of the doors, she entered Marlo’s room, and walked over to his desk she placed the note on it, the note sat in plain sight leaning against his candle.

She ran out and went to the kitchens she grabbed some bread and more dried meat, for the trip she grabbed some water containers and left. She ran to the stables and put her last minute things in her packs.

“Okay Freefall, go tell them to open the gates.” Megan told her hawk he flew out, Megan climbed onto Sandstorm’s back and took Winterwind and Dragonwing’s lead ropes and started out of the stable, Megan saw Luke and Kathi prying open the gates, Megan waited a moment, signaled to her pets they all ran out quickly, then Megan followed them, she heard the gate cricking closed behind her.

“No, Megan, where’s she going,” Kathi and Luke heard Marlo call, they turned and saw him he was only wearing his night shirt, and his robes, Kathi guessed he had just awoke.

“We don’t know she just wanted us to help her get out.” Luke said, Marlo looked down at him.

They saw Marlo glance at the paper in his hand, “Yes she said she needed to get out of her, her letter says she’s going to go south, but she didn’t say why,” He said looking at the two students.

“We know why, but I don’t know if she wants us to tell anyone.” Kathi said, she looked at Luke he shrugged.

“You will tell me, but tomorrow, come to my room tomorrow right after breakfast, tomorrow is Saturday so there are no classes to worry about, and since you graduated you only have classes you want to go to.” Marlo said, he laughed. “Well you two go back to your rooms, I’ll see you tomorrow.” He said, they nodded and ran off.

Megan rode blind for a long time, tears streaming from her eyes, and the wind as her horses ran for her. They all ran Megan knew her pets ran near by. Freefall flew over head, watching and leading the way.

“Okay slow down.” Megan yelled to her horses, they slowed to a walk for the first time since they had left the fort which by now was ten miles behind them.

“Megan can I ride for a while.” Megan’s panting Raincloud asked, Megan got off of Sandstorm’s back and nodded, she lifted Raincloud onto Dragonwing’s back and climbed back up.

“Are you two okay?” Megan asked her wolves, they nodded, and continued to lead the way, Megan looked up to Freefall who, flew ahead. “Look for some where to rest near a stream or something.” Megan called to her hawk, and wolves, they nodded and ran or flew off.

“Come on guys we have to get out of this place.” Megan said, Sandstorm looked at her.

“What about my beloved Nightstar, what about Chris?” She asked.

“I’m sorry Sandstorm, you will see him again someday, I’m not sure when though.” Megan said, looking up at the moon over head.

“What about Chris?” Winter asked, Megan looked at the back of Sandstorm’s neck.

“I don’t know, something happened while I was in the infirmary, he thought me dead or something.” She said, sadly, a tear came to her eye but she blinked it back.

“So what are we going to do now,” Dragonwing asked.

Megan smiled at her pack horse, “It’s time to have an adventure, all our own, when we return to Fort Hope everyone around will know our names,” Megan laughed, her animals agreed and it rouse their spirits. They ran on, finally they found the wolves, they had found a little cave, and were already scouting about.

“Okay come on guys let me take of your packs and we can get some rest.” Megan said, she got her packs to the ground and got out her cot, and started to set up camp, she didn’t start a fire for fear of being followed, so she just told Firekeeper and Nighteyes to keep watch.

Chris came running towards Kathi and Luke, “Where’d she go, why’d she leave, without telling me?” Chris asked, they glared at him.

“Why do you think she left you cheating hook,” Kathi yelled at him taking a swing and his head, he backed up a pace.

“Wha-what do-o you mean, why are you calling me a cheater,” Chris asked, he’s fear of something bad happening making him shiver.

“She saw you kissing that younger girl,” Luke stated glaring at him.

“What when was this,”

“Yesterday,” Kathi said, angrily.

“Yesterday, after the ceremony, I had to go to the fields, I haven’t seen Megan for many weeks, ever since I got put on patrol.” Chris yelled, he looked around. “You mean she’s gone, where did she go I have to get her back.”

“You mean that the person we saw wasn’t you.” Luke said, Chris nodded.

“I would never cheat on Megan, I’ve just been on patrol all the time, as if…” He stopped.

“Someone didn’t want you around the fort so he could chase her out,” Kathi said, thinking.

“Come on everyone to my room,” Luke said, then ran towards the housing building, just as Marlo crossed their path.

“Remember you were going to explain why she left to me,” Kathi and Luke looked at Chris, he shrugged.

“Well we would but the story’s changed,” Luke said, Marlo raised his eyebrows.

“I don’t care tell me everything you know.” Marlo said. They followed him to his room, and sat around a small table.

“Okay well, Megan and Chris have been in love since before this war or what ever it is started, and they’ve spent a lot of time together, since then, and well when she fell off the wall and was sent to the infirmary, Chris visited her everyday until he was put on patrol, but Megan didn’t know about that, so Megan thought he had forgotten about her or something.” Kathi said.

“And yesterday after the ceremony Megan followed Chris, or at least the person we thought was Chris, and she saw him making out with a younger girl, she was really mad and started to pack everything up, and she told us what had happened, and so we believed her since we hadn’t seen Chris for a while, only in classes or what ever.” Luke took over.

“So we helped her and now she’s gone.” Kathi finished.

“That’s impossible Chris is on patrol until next month,” Marlo said, finally, he looked at his lists, “And he’s been there all the time.” He said, he looked at Chris, “You wouldn’t cheat on her would you?” He asked, Chris shook his head.

“I would never cheat on her I love he to much.” Chris said, he looked out the window, and sighed, “I don’t get it who would want to get Megan out of the fort.”

“Does she have anyone that is an enemy or just doesn’t like her,” Marlo asked, her friends looked at each other.

“Yes, Letor, the Fire Sorcerer, Larthin, the Air Sorcerer, and their two followers their names escape me, and no sense of disrespect Eric too.” Chris said, Marlo stood up and went over to his desk, Chris looked at the table that they were sitting at and saw a letter addressed to Marlo in Megan’s hand writing, he picked it up and started to read.

Marlo please forgive me I have to leave, I have to get out of this place for a while, thank you for being my teacher, and such a good friend to me, tell my friends that I will be back soon, I don’t know exactly when but I will return, I’m going south, just so you know, please don’t send anyone after me, I’ll be fine.

Yours Truly, Megan the Fire Sorceress

P.S. I will come back a Magess, I promise.

Chris put the letter back on the table, just as Marlo returned to the table, with a list, he started to read it, Chris watched his eyes slide down the page.

“Here, Letor, special power illusions. He made an illusion for Megan to see you with someone else. And wasn’t Eric the one that put you on nonstop patrols?” Marlo said, he nodded, Chris thought this over for a while, then nodded again.

“Okay well you guys go and act like every thing is cool, I’ll do some detective work and figure this out.” He said, the students nodded and left the building, and went to the stables, to talk in their secret hide out, in the loft above stables.

Megan woke up and got ready to go, Freefall sat sleeping on his perch for the first few hours ride then he went off to keep watch. Megan carried Raincloud on her lap, and each of the wolves were scouting about the area ahead. They stopped for lunch near a stream where Megan had time to wash, up stream from her animals of course. They traveled at least into the next territory, the scenery slowly changed from forest to prairie and hills. She stopped for the night on the top of o small hill, where they could at least see far enough away. They’d know if anything was coming.

Chris snuck out of his room, and packed up Nightstar, “We travel light buddy,” He told his pack horse, Snowflake, who looked vary grateful, they snuck out of the fort, and rode as fast as they could, Chris looked behind him, Snowstorm was chasing after them, she was coming weather her liked it or not, he had brought Sunbeam just because he couldn’t leave him behind, Sunbeam was deeply in love with Raincloud, just as he was with Megan, and Nightstar with Sandstorm.

If we catch them can we bring them back, where did they go, south where south, how far south. Are they going to the southern continent or is she going to stay up here, Chris thought, millions of questions, what was he going to say when he found her.

“Come on guys,” He yelled, just as the sun started to come up.

“Come on guys,” Megan yelled, they were leaving even before the moon, the sun was just starting to come up and she was already on Sandstorm’s back. They rode off into the distance.

Chris rode for days and didn’t find a thing no sign of Megan. He had to finally give, up, he was running out of food, and it was starting to get hot, summer was coming. He rode back to the fort, and met his friends, he told them everything. They would have to wait for her return. But they wondered when it would be, how long would they wait for her to come back. They did their duty to the fort and soon forgot about their missing friend. The world would continue turned and war was soon going to be upon the northern continent.

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