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Chapter 1

I
Fugitive

The cursed darkness gloomed over all of Wizard City. Everyone was nowhere in sight: No living being wandered in the streets, laughter of Ravenwood students subsided, not even the birds that sang in the sky. All were replace by the cawing of ravens and crows; plus the Undead that constantly groaned and roamed through Wizard City’s streets as they wondered without hesitations of where they can go.

This world is as perfect as how I thought it would be, thought the satisfied Kevin ShadowShade. Kevin sat over one of the walls of his Desert Villa home, admiring the gloomy sky and the darkness that covered his island. The Necromancer is taking his free time while his Master prepares something in his house.
Kevin ShadowShade was the one, and only one, of his Master’s best out of all of the Necromancers combined. His Master often treated him as if he were an apprentice, other than his minion. Kevin was given better duties, discipline, and never rejected his Master’s orders.
Noticing the time he spent sitting and gazing at the sky, Kevin leaps off the wall onto the stairs outside in the yard of his home. He sees some of the Ghouls walking in and out of the house, possibly fulfilling Master’s orders. A couple of armored Skeletons guarded in front of a large cell at the opposite side across from the stairs. The Necromancer went up to the two Skeletons, both stared at him with their shields held up.
“Your shifts are up, you may go take your breaks,” Kevin told the Skeletal Guards. Both guards looked at each other then walked away from their posts.
Kevin now sees a young female Wizard, older than Kevin only by two years. She lied there on the floor on her cell, her head facing the wall. As Kevin approaches the Wizard, he heard her groaning—groaning in pain. Apparently, she was recently whipped at the back for her previous actions.
Kevin took out a set of keys and opened up the cell door and walked in. The prisoner opened up her eyes to see her keeper looking over her, she suddenly looked back at the wall, shuddered by his presence.
“Sarah… Poor, poor Sarah…,” Kevin pitied the prisoner. “She is alone in a cold cell, on a dark night. Where are your friends? Oh, that’s right. They’re busy…working in my workshops!”
Kevin’s tone turned from sympathy to ridicule. “You tried to stop me, you tried to take down the Necromaster on your own, but you failed. You may be a determined, and worthy student of Cyrus, but to me… you’re pathetic. Without your friends or your sister (that you happen to be hiding behind the whole time,) you have no one to run to.” Kevin crept over the prisoner from behind, “Some hero, leader you turned out to be, ‘Princess’.”
Kevin got up from his knees and walked back out the cell, closing it locked. “You were strong before… But now, you’re nothing!” He kicked the bars of the Wizard’s cell, the prisoner flinched.
A novice Necromancer comes out from Kevin’s house and approaches him. “ShadowShade. Kevin ShadowShade, the Necromaster’s apprentice, I presume?”
Kevin nodded. He follows the novice into the home, making the last minute to hang up his keys.

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The island became silent as the Ghouls continued to be on look out for unwanted visitors. They checked behind crates and around each wall. No intruders were found. The Ghouls became weary and took their unauthorized resting.
A few feet away from them, a pile of sand began to move. The head of a Heckhound pokes out from the sand, shaking off the particles of sand on its face.
It was an open opportunity for the dog to search for his owner. He sniffed the air and catches her scent. The Heckhound dug itself out from beneath the sand and followed the scent.
The scent led the Heckhound into the yard within the Desert Villa. He sees a Wizard in a cell. Excitedly happy, he ran towards the person.
The prisoner looks to see her pet sticking his snout between the bars. “Hey, boy!” she said in a low tone as she pets the dog’s head.
“Midnight,” she called by its name. “Will you please fetch those keys over there?” she asked pointing in the direction of the set of keys sitting on a sturdy nail. Midnight obeyed his owner and ran at a fast speed. He, then, jumped at the keys, using his snout to knock off where they hanged. He caught the keys in midair and went back to his owner.
“Good boy!” the prisoner praised Midnight as she petted the dog and took the keys from his mouth. The Conjurer quickly navigated through the set and finally found the correct one for her cell.
The lock clinked, the Conjurer slowly opened the cell door, avoiding making a squeak. Nobody in particular were in view, the Conjurer made her chance to find out what was going on in the home of Kevin ShadowShade.
She went around the walls outside the yard and peered through one of the two windows. She sees Kevin and the Necromaster in one room, the Conjurer listened in to their plans:

“Professor Drake replied to your offer,” Kevin informed the Necromaster, “He is still not giving up the Krokonomicon.”
“Ah, very well… My brother chooses to take a wrong path by rejecting me,” the Necromaster chuckled under his breath.
“Fortunately for him, his pesky student destroyed the Tome of the Beguiler before we could plan any further. The curse still lingers. Now with the pest under lock and key, there shall be no more interruptions.”
“Master, if I may ask, what is our next plan?” the curious Kevin asked.
The Necromaster pondered the room. “Well my young apprentice, you’re a hasty little Wizard aren’t you?” he patted Kevin’s shoulder. “There is no thought in me that we can do now. We have plenty of time in our hands.”
“As well as the night stays still young,” added Kevin. The Necromaster proudly chuckles as both leave the room to elsewhere.

The lone Conjurer and her pet escaped Kevin’s keep and traveled back to Ravenwood, Wizard City, through the World Gate.
Ravenwood remained the way it was before: empty as it was abandoned, all schools are in ruins, and the school trees around the school grounds were in a never-ending sleep. The crows cawed and were all over the area.
The Wizard, accompanied by her Heckhound, walked towards the ruins of the Myth School. Both dug through the debris to the inside of what stands in the school.
The classroom was a mess, as it was during the Necromancers’ rampage, and dark without a source of light.
“Hello,” the Wizard whispered as she walked up to the front of the classroom. Suddenly, one of the student desks moved and a figure rose from beneath them. The Conjurer jumped in alarm and slowly kept away from the figure.
“Oh goodness! It is only you,” says the voice of Cyrus Drake as he dusts himself. He walked toward several of the candles, lighting each one of them. “So, how did your scouting mission go?”
“It went okay… I think,” the Conjurer replied, “even though I got caught.”
“Very well, I see that you managed to get away anyhow.”
“Yes, sir,” the Conjurer looked down at Midnight, the Heckhound panted. “With help that is.”
“Back on to business matters, child, what did you find about my brother?” Cyrus asked, determined to know.
“Well,” she paused, ”I found that he was going to plan something with the Tome of the Beguiler.”
Drake gives a firm look that startled the Wizard. “But I destroyed it before he had the chance to find out what,” she quickly added.
“You destroyed the book?!” Cyrus exclaimed.
“Yea, I did,” the Conjurer admitted. “But I panicked that I didn’t know what to do!” The Conjurer felt disappointment in herself and threw herself onto a seat, almost tearing, she says, ”I’m sorry, Professor. I shouldn’t have rushed through like that.”
Cyrus shook his head upset with his student’s failure. “I don’t understand, the Tome is destroyed… But how come the Spiral is still under the Doom and Gloom spell?” the Conjurer murmured, although loud enough for Professor Drake to hear her. She took out a book titled Dragonspyre: An Illustrated Guide to the Great Civilization, from her bag and began to browse through the pages.
“From what I believe,” Cyrus started to lecture, “My brother may have put in a large amount of magic… More than anyone would in the entire Spiral… That made the Doom and Gloom spell invincible, even if its source was destroyed. Just when you ran off from me, I was going to show you something. I found the exact information needed to rid of the book.” He takes out a folded piece of paper from his robe pocket. “This paper contains all the instructions decoded off the Beguiler’s chamber walls. I wrote down everything that is vital to disable the Tome’s dark magic.”
“However,” he added, “Because the Tome of the Beguiler is gone without being disabled from its abilities, its effects will still remain here on this day, and forever on.”
Drake’s address droned on while the Conjurer looked through the pages on her book. She stopped at a section of Dragonspyre’s greatest inventions. She read on until she came to something that caught her eye:

Dragonspyre rumored to have a brilliant machine. The machine was the Time Crystal. It was powered by a special portal crystal, with a special ability to open a portal in time.
Although the machine was somewhat approved to be used to the Dragonspyrians, it remained untouched until Dragonspyre’s dark hour of the Dragon Titan’s attack.

Diagrams showed that the Time Crystal was locked away in the Hall of Time Vault of the Grand Chasm. Having knowledge that the Grand Chasm was one of the most securest place; including every safe and lock the Conjurer was able to get pass through; she got an idea.

“Professor, I know what we can do,” announced the suddenly excited Conjurer. Cyrus stopped in his ongoing lecture. The student stood up and showed the pages in the book to the teacher. “The Time Crystal is what we can use to get rid of the Doom and Gloom spell!”
Cyrus unsure what his student is trying to point out: Some little Dragonspyrian tall tale? The Conjurer explained.
“Since I destroyed the book here, I can go to Dragonspyre to find the Hall of Time. And right when I find it, I can travel back in time before the Doom and Gloom curse and the Necromaster’s discovery of the Tome of the Beguiler.”
“So, as long as the Necromaster can’t do anything else without the Tome, this is our chance to go into the past and destroy the book there!”
Cyrus Drake pondered. The Hall of Time? Wasn’t this a mere legend? If it weren’t, then that would possibly help with getting rid of the curse. This is a perfect idea; a mythical time machine, returning to the present time, undoing the Tome’s magic underneath the Necromaster’s nose, it’s a well thought out plan! Cyrus rose an eyebrow.
“Well, this isn’t a bad plan at all,” he grinned halfway.
“Yea, I think we will make a success with it. I got a helper in Dragonspyre who can gather the crystals and the other things needed for the Time Crystal for me,” the Conjurer put the guide back into her bag.
“But Sarah,” Cyrus paused. “This is a dangerous mission to attempt, especially with all the Draconians that settle in that world now. Are you sure you are willingly to risk your life taking the Time Crystal?”
“I’m sure of it. If our other plans didn’t work, then I will do this. After all… it’s the only road not taken.”

Cyrus allows the Conjurer permission to put the new plan on action.
The Conjurer took the time to gather necessities for her trip. She avoided exposure as Undead creatures and Necromancer constables patrolled throughout Wizard City. The Wizard finally finishes up and returns to Ravenwood to Bartleby. She went up to the World Gate turned the Dragonspyre key into the knob, and leaves the world.

The young Wizard and her pet entered Dragonspyre’s Basilica. They ran down the walkway and stopped to find Rashflare, a Dark Redwing, waiting for them.
“Ah, you’re back!” the dragon bowed to the Conjurer’s presence.
“Rashflare, I need a ride to the Grand Chasm. Will you take me there?”
“Yes, anywhere in the Spiral you wish,” Rashflare assured her.
Midnight jumped into the Conjurer’s bag, then the Conjurer hops onto Rashflare’s back. The dragon flies off the island towards the mainland.
As the two got close to the deserted kingdom, Rashflare began to flap his wings slowly. This was so that the Draconians wouldn’t hear them coming; Rashflare also stayed very close to the walls to avoid detection. The dragon entered the Grand Chasm area and dropped down in front of the vault entrance.
The Wizard dismounted from Rashflare. Before she dismissed him she asked him for a favor. “Rashflare, I need you to stay here and guard this place for any Necromancer troops.” The Redwing nods and takes off flight into the crimson sky. The Conjurer walked through the entrance to the Grand Chasm’s vaults.
The hallway was quiet and dark as the Conjurer passed several vaults. Her pet jumped out of her bag and followed alongside her. Suddenly, a spirit of an adult wizard appears, the Conjurer stopped in her tracks.
The man was elderly in age and wore a dragonscale-like wrap and his cape flapped in the windless air. He stood on his staff, looking down at the Conjurer.
“Young wizard of the living, what are you doing in an awful world like this?” the man asked.
“I’m here for the Hall of Time, can you tell me where it is here?” the Wizard replied.
The man shook his head, “I am terribly sorry, young lady, but I can’t allow anyone, not even the living, to access the Time Crystal.”
The Conjurer disappointed by the man’s answer, she begged him. “Please, sir. I am in dire need of it. I’m on a quest to go to the past so that I can prevent this Doom and Gloom curse from happening!”
The Conjurer’s words had hit the man. Doom and Gloom? He looked at the sky: Dark clouds had covered up the sky, making the entire area darker than it was before. Could this be the cause of this?
“Very well,” he said after a moment of thought, “I’ll show you the way.” The man suddenly stopped on his first steps. “Oh, gracious me! I forgot my manners. I am Edrik Scatterglow, what name do you go by, young miss?”
“Sarah,” the Conjurer shook hands with Edrik and looked at him in the eye. Apparently, Edrik rose one of his eyebrows.
“Hmm, that name is familiar,” Edrik paused. “Oh, yes. I remember now!”
Edrik pulls out a large bag from beneath his cape. “A young man came by not long ago and told me to give you this.” He handed Sarah the bag, she peeked inside of it. It’s the portal crystal! And there were many of them! “Seems like this gentleman really admires you,” Edrik chuckled. “Ugh, don’t remind me,” Sarah annoyingly said.
Both continued to walk through the hall until they reached to a specific vault. Sarah thanked Edrik and was given a few tips on how to use the Time Crystal. Sarah used her lockpicking skill to unlock the vault and opened it, closing it shut behind her.

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Sarah had finally gotten to the Hall of Time. Midnight stayed by her side as she approaches a pedestal in front of the large crystal in the back of the room. She took out a blue crystal, containing events that happened before the curse, and placed it in between the stone dragon claws. The crystal illuminated, and the Time Crystal ignited.
Sarah ran up to the front of the Time Crystal. It glowed very bright and gave off a beautiful display of colors, Sarah awed at its magnificence. Midnight barked at his owner, snapping her out of her mesmerized state. Sarah focused back to her mission.
She stood in front of the crystal, making a last check for inventory. She looked down at her Heckhound.
“Are you ready? Remember once we go through this portal, we won’t take any break stops until we hit destination understand?”
Midnight bowed his head and stood by Sarah.
Both Sarah and Midnight ran through the portal. Within the portal they were in a vortex of time. They saw all of time reversing back at lightning speed. The darkness became light as the entire Spiral universe once was. The two passengers were suddenly dropped down into the Marleybone world. They have begun their quest.

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Meanwhile after the fugitives’ departure, a small dragon happened to have spied on their actions. He was able to stealthily listen in to the fugitive’s conversation with Edrik until she locked the vault. The small dragon hissed and flies off his perch, leaving towards his master’s home.

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