Hello all, I'd like to now present you with Chapter 3 of my fan fiction. In case you're late on the scene and haven't read my other two chapters, here are some links to them:
Chapter 1 - Ripped from the Light
Chapter 2 - Leaves of Healing
Thank you all for reading.
Chapter 3 – Lexicons for Lionblood
In an effervescent puff of mist, the students landed securely below the steps to the Wizard City Library with Merle. Thomas felt the eyes of his classmates that had suddenly stopped to view the headmaster and the two class clowns; they all had such deadly serious looks on their faces.
Adding to the odd sight was how amazingly nimble Professor Ambrose was for his age. Thomas wondered why they had appeared at the bottom of the steps to the library instead of at the top? It might just be that Ambrose liked climbing stairs . . . or maybe he wanted to make this entrance.
“Here we are, students!” said Merle as he sprang up the steps with Thomas and Caleb trying to keep up.
Merle peeked his head through the doors to see his students busily checking out research materials for mid-terms. “Good day, all” Merle announced with a quick, clear voice, “Shut the doors and finish your transactions, Harold; we’ve got urgent spiral business!”
Harold, the Marleybonian librarian of Wizard City, calmly looked up through his dusty spectacles, licked his nose, finished his current transaction, and said in his calm, slow, and dog-like voice, “Pardon me students, the library is now closed.” He reached under his desk and pressed a magical clockwork button that quickly both sealed the doors and magically teleported the students back to the Wizard City commons.
“Um, Professor Ambrose?” asked Caleb. Thomas, Caleb, and Ambrose were still standing outside the library doors, which were now sealed magically tight.
“Yes, boy, I know we’re not inside the library,” stated Merle resolutely. Merle knocked on the library door three times quickly and three times slowly. Suddenly Thomas, Caleb, and Merle were shrunk and spun through the keyhole in the library door as if draining through the holes on a bathtub. When they materialized on the other side, there was Harold, who was raised from his usual position behind the desk and rising up the stairs to the second level of the library.
Merle once again sprung up the steps of the library staircase, completely passing the slow and methodical Harold. Harold, Thomas, and Caleb all reached the top of the staircase while Merle paced back and forth, muttering to himself about needing to talk to Falmea about recent fire wizard fashions. “What in the blazes is he muttering about” whispered Caleb to Thomas. Harold slowly winked at the boys and slowly opened the upstairs door. “Please, students and headmaster; let us retire to this private meeting room to discuss your urgent business.”
Harold had such an amazing sense of old school charm about him that most of Wizard City lacked. It was a true class and wisdom that was to be admired.
The students and Harold sat down in the comfortable leather seats and stared at each other for an uncomfortable moment. Harold served tea—silently—methodically—spectacularly.
“Well,” said Merle, feeling the uncomfortable silence. “How about that card, Thomas?”
"Uh, right!" Thomas started searching his pockets. It wasn't just moments ago he was in hospital robes . . . not student robes, "let's see, here they are." Thomas reached into his right hand pocket and produced a torn Cyclops summoning card.
Harold looked Thomas in the eyes and said softly, "may I please inspect your card, sir." Thomas, almost embarrassed by the formalities of Harold replied as formally, "of course Mister Argleston."
Harold took the card and elevated it to the light and pulled a small magnifying glass out of his coat pocket. "Yes, pre-titans card. Nice. Very nice. Horrible rip. I heard through the grapevine that you tried to heal the card?"
Thomas finished, "Yes, and when I did a hand came out of the card."
"Well that's what I heard, boy,” Harold laughed quietly. “And believe me, I've seen stranger occurrences happen in this city in my day.” Harold grew a more serious look, “What concerns me is that this card is pre-titans work. Work that should have expired years ago”
Thomas felt a bit unsure, "You’re talking about the time before the battle between the titans and the dragons?"
Harold nodded, “You know, Life and Death magic are the oldest of all the schools. Storm, Ice, and Fire are the youngest. But, Myth is interesting because it is both old and new at once--for legends are created everyday.” There was a moment of silence for Harold’s wise knowledge of history. "Tell me, did your cyclops friend tell you anything when he came out of the card?" asked Harold.
Thomas stared at the ceiling. What did happen? It all seemed so dream-like now to him. And then he remembered something outside the pain in his hand, "Yes, he asked me to help him."
Harold looked taken aback, "help him? Certainly the cyclops whose tear made this pre-titan card was vanquished in battle many years ago . . . perhaps before even Merle here was born."
Harold continued to look at the card and flipped it over, "Where'd you come by this card, Mr. Lionblood?"
Thomas once again stared at the ceiling, "You know, I'm not quite sure where this card came from. It was almost like it just was there one day among my other cards."
Merle stepped toward Thomas and Harold, "Thomas, you know it's customary for the head of the Myth School to give students their summoning cards . . . are you sure this isn't from Cyrus Drake?"
Thomas noted, "Yes, I had already received my cards from Cyrus when this appeared."
Merle looked shocked, "And you didn't find it strange it appeared?"
Thomas shook his head, "Actually, no I didn't. I'm sorry." “Strange things just kind of happen at a magic school,” Thomas shrugged.
Merle remembered Thomas had just been through a lot during that day and reached out comfortingly to him, "It's ok, Thomas. I just want to make sure you and Caleb know that the operating procedures of this city dictate that students report malfunctions of magic like this, but I know you're not a trouble maker. There is no crime here." Merle motioned to Harold who was still studying the card intently, "Mr. Argleston, can you see any clues to its origin besides being pre-Titan era?"
Harold shook his head yes, "Yes, yes I can, the back of the card has been painted with a rosin from a tree other than Ivan. And there is a brand here that resembles the symbol of General Akilles on Cyclops Avenue here in town. I think he might be able to give us some more assistance."
Merle smiled. He knew his old friend Harold would have some insight. It was his nature. "Thank you Mr. Argleston, we are off now to talk to General Akilles. Your assistance is as always, invaluable."
Harold slowly handed the card back to Thomas. "Thank you, young Lionblood, for letting me examine this card.” Harold rose from his chair and began to gather the tea cups before them, “And let me know how things go with Akilles, that stubborn old cyclops."
And with a flash of effervescent mist and a click of Merle’s fingers, Thomas, Caleb, and the headmaster vanished out of sight.
Harold descended the stairs and moved to the locked doors of the library. He whispered under his breath, "That boy's going to change the way we do business around here someday, I'm sure of it . . . now, let's make some more money," he said with his tail wagging the dust in the air.
The doors opened wide and a few students who had been trying to listen through the door stumbled in. Harold smiled and moved back to his chair.