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Chapter 7

VII
The Death of the Future

Sarah commanded her Cyclops minion to tie Sarah II onto a chair, as she investigated through the ninja’s backpack. Sarah II was set by the dining table—clear of the food once placed there. Midnight kept his attention to the suspected criminal, growling and bearing his sharp fangs, including Sabrina, Kevin, and Sierra who surrounded the table.
“Aha! Just as I thought it would be!” Sarah pulls out a bag from the backpack, it was the same exact bag Sarah II had carried during the robbery. She brought it to the table and emptied out its contents in front of Sarah II. The items contained from the sack were artifacts from the museum; this person was in the hot water now.
“What are these?” Sarah demanded.
“I have no idea how they got there,” Sarah II lied.
“Oh really? I have an idea of how you got away with these,” Sarah began to explain. “It was simple, you purposely ran through those foggy alleyways so that you would be concealed. When you lost us, you took the opportunity to call your pet to take the bag as he hid it within your backpack. That way when you go to jail, you’d still have the artifacts.”
Sarah II was silent. She was apparently stumped by Sarah’s logical thinking. “But–you don’t understand…”
“I understand that you did steal the Krokotopian artifacts, but I don’t understand why you attacked Kevin in the first place.”
“Look, I can explain. Just let me–”
“Let you what? Untie you so that you can jump on one of us again?”
Sarah II shook, “No!
“Then, what? I can barely trust you if you’re going to go ‘ninja attack’ on people. And if you’re going to continue to do so, then I’m gonna take you back to Scotland Yard… whether you are willing to cope with it or I’ll drag you there myself!”
There was a moment of pause. Annoyed, Sarah II looked away. “”Hmph! I guess you don’t appreciate me trying to prevent the death of the future.”
Disconcertingly, Sarah stared at Sarah II and spoke in a meekly tone, “The what? What are you talking about?”
“Exactly. You don’t really know everything about me, yet. Yes, I admit that I am a thief, fine. But, it’s all I can do, anyways it was for a good purpose.” Everyone in the room looked at each other, then back to the ninja who speaks again. “You see, I’m not from your time… I’m from the future.”
Once again, everyone was silent.
Kevin tilted his head, “Err… did that girl just say she is from the future? Or am I hearing things?” If this wasn’t the truth, Sarah would say that Kevin was only drinking too much soda.
“Unbelievable!” Sabrina clamped her hands on the sides of her head.
“I’m don’t believe it,” Sierra shrugged. “How would we know that you are really from the future?”
Sarah II grinned under her mask. “If I were from the future…Did you have a test today?”
Sierra rose an eyebrow. “Yeah, why do you ask?”
“Well, I can foretell that you are going to ace Professor Greyrose’s quiz. If its correct, then I’m really what I am.”
“Oh sure. I’ll keep that in mind,” Sierra said sarcastically.
Sarah interrupts, “Sorry to bother you, but you mentioned something about the ‘death of the future.’ What is it?”
Sarah II’s head drooped, the children realized her eyes begin to fill with grief. “The death of the future is what awaits in your present.”

The future isn’t as bright as it was thought to be. It turned out to be an era of eternal darkness.
You see, it all started when I became Professor Drake’s assistant. His brother finally received the Krokonomicon—thanks to a teammate who turned against good to evil. When the professor and I had found out, we broke into his lair and took the book away. He became very upset that he turned to retrieve the legendary, but dangerous book called the Tome of the Beguiler.
I failed to stop my nemesis from succeeding in his mission. In result, they began to use some of the magic in the book to cause corruptions in Wizard City, to get revenge on the people who let down Sylvia when she was ill. Professor and I were hit by the quakes and invasions, but we managed to survive. Though, we knew we had little chance on saving the rest of the Spiral, Professor Drake planned to destroy the tome, hoping it was the accurate thing to do… but I made a mistake.
I was too reckless to stay long enough to listen to Drake’s instructions. Therefore, when I managed to get to his brother’s hideout, he had already begun casting the Doom and Gloom global curse. I hastily attacked him, but I accidentally burned the tome as I panicked.
Now in the future, it is a world of darkness: where life dies, but death grew strong. The Tome of the Beguiler’s magic charmed every Death student of Ravenwood and turned on the entire school community. They were all minions of—what we now call—the “Necromaster.”
It was horrible! Undead monsters roamed throughout the entire Spiral, all under the Necromaster’s control! All of the students in Ravenwood became slaves and put to dirty work! Life magic no longer worked because of the strength of the Doom and Gloom. Its secondary cause was LifeBane: no one could heal and Life can’t save itself. So, the only way of healing is by stealing health, what most of the necromancers practice.
All, but pure darkness! No sun ever comes out, nor warmth! Just a bitter world of Death!

“I was the only student in Ravenwood who didn’t get caught in the necromancer invasion. Under my oath, I will do as Professor Drake says, step up to the Necromaster’s rule and foil his plans of further destruction. I escaped the future to the present to redo my quest, because of my failure to abide with orders. I am in need of obtaining the Tome of the Beguiler so that I can destroy it. And this time, I’ll know what I am doing.”
Sarah II set her attention to Kevin behind her. “I am sorry for my actions, earlier. It’s just… You reminded me of someone I once knew. I couldn’t control my anger over thinking about him. Will you forgive me?”
Kevin snobbishly shrugged, his long, slender raven hair shifted to the front of his face. Without giving eye contact, he mumbled, “Fine, I guess.”
Sabrina, at last, moved from her spot and onto the table. “So, what are these for?” she asked as she observed each of the collectables.
“Careful with those, they’re important,” Sarah II warned her. “The box is an ancient Krokotopian lockbox. It was a magical keepsake to the old pharaohs; it was said that the lockbox was used to secure the most valuable of their possessions.”
“The piece of stone is the key to the Tome of the Beguiler. Only one exists in the Spiral and is the only key that can open the cursed book. I need to keep that key under protection.”
“The two items are, so far, what I need in order to make sure that the tome is secured after it is destroyed.”
Sarah gave acknowledgement to the ninja’s story, both Sabrina and Sierra untied the girl from her chair. Sarah II stretched out her arms, relieving the pain from the tightening. Afterwards, she went to stuffing the artifacts back into her backpack.

The children stayed as long as nine o’ clock in Sarah’s cottage to consume the remains of their needless party. Right after the guests had departed, Sarah sets out a spare bed by the balcony window, where Sarah II gazed through it at the moon high in the night sky. Sarah had the bed in front of her room so that she can keep an eye on Sarah II.
Exhausted, Sarah yawned and stretched. “I’m going to bed now,” she announced as she opened the door to her room, Midnight raced in. “Don’t do anything sneaky tonight, caprice?”
“Yea, sure,” the distracted Sarah II responded. With that, Sarah entered her room and dressed into her nightgown. She dropped onto her bed and hit her head on the pillows, Midnight cuddled besides her. Within minutes, Sarah fell into a deep slumber.

Coast clear, Sarah II turned away from the window and began to search into her backpack. She brought out a crystal ball and set it by her bed. She activated the crystal with a wave of her hand; the ball illuminated the dark and hazed from the inside, finally the fog cleared up to reveal the face of Cyrus Drake.
Cyrus peered into the crystal, “Sarah? Is that you?”
“Yes, it’s me Professor,” Sarah II replied.
“Oh, good. I was afraid that your travel through time would be a tragic failure—I’m just glad to see you in one peace.”
“Umm yeah,” Sarah slightly shrugged. “Anyways, the time crystal took me just like at least a month before the Doom and Gloom.”
“Very well, hopefully it’s enough time to do things straight,” Cyrus scratched his chin.
“Ok.”
“By the way,” Cyrus added, “The Necromaster is searching for you. He found out that you escaped.”
“Huh?! How?”
“Apparently, our spy was able to eavesdrop from one of his minions: they mentioned that Kevin’s guards reported your absence. He’s already ordering a manhunt.”
“Ugh, darn it!” Sarah buried her face into a pillow, screaming in it.
Cyrus continued, “”I believe that you’re not going to be doing this mission in secret anymore. If you get caught, we’re done for!”
“Don’t worry, Professor. The least I am worrying about is the Necromaster knowing where I am. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to enter the Hall of Time. I tinkered the lock system to the vault so that it’s secured from the inside.”
“Safe you think, young Conjurer,” Cyrus said. “You can’t really count on what you are doing to protect yourself. Knowing my brother, he’ll do anything in his power to get around your blockages. He’s going to be taking down each and every one of them, then he’ll catch you by the time you look over your back, unknowing his presence.”
Professor Drake’s words went through Sarah II’s head. Her confidence was beginning to peel away as uncertainty overcame the wizard. Everything was planned out, but still, the Necromaster can break down her obstacles. What else will she do if nothing worked? Quit the mission and surrender? No! I can’t do that, now! I barely started and I’m just about to locate the Tomb of the Beguiler!
Without a complaint, Sarah nodded to Drake. “Be careful, my student. With the Necromaster on your trail, you don’t have much time to destroy that tome. Farewell, and I bid good luck to you…”
“Yes sir. I won’t fail you, Professor…”
With that, the crystal ball turned off.
“I won’t fail you, again…,” Sarah II breathed.

Where am I? Sarah had just woken up in a different sort of realm. Somehow, she is on the highest peak of Olde Town, still in her nightgown.
Olde Town wasn’t the way it was before: it is abandoned, the castles and structures were left in disrepair. The trees and grass once there had withered up to the root. The sky was in advanced darkness, not a full moon was in view. The temperature of the atmosphere was bitterly frigid. The lonesome Sarah shivered having to cope with her improper outwear, she began to grow goose bumps all over her skin.
Unaware of what lies in the dark world, Sarah walked on down the street; each step an icy stone ground beneath her feet. She looked about the road: a line of crows sat on the tree branches ever so still, giving their evil eyes to the Conjurer. Nevertheless, they didn’t set any fear toward Sarah, yet. Just before Sarah went down the next set of steps, there was a road ahead of it covered in fog.
In curiosity, Sarah slowly came to the final step of the stairs and tried to peer through the mist. It was dense, nothing could be seen beneath the fog. Beneath the haze, the ground shook up and abruptly split open; a bony hand reached out and grabbed at Sarah’s ankle.
Sarah suddenly fell on down by an unknown force. She took a quick notice that her leg had gotten too close to the fog…and something had grabbed her. She sees a hand gripping firmly on her ankle and was pulling her towards it. Screaming, the girl tugged herself back onto the higher steps; the flock of crows cawed and flew off in various directions. Sarah started to kick the hand away, it wouldn’t budge until its wrist broke off. The hand stayed on her leg for a few seconds then released its grip and clutched its fingers closed. Free at last, Sarah crawled back up the steps and got up running.
Her heart began to pound hard and anxiety was building up. What is this place? I know it’s Olde Town, but how did it turn this way?
The thoughts of Sarah II came to her mind. She heard the ninja’s wisdom playing over: ‘The future isn’t as bright as it was thought to be…it was a world of darkness…where Life dies…and Death grew strong…No sun ever comes out, nor warmth…Undead monsters roamed throughout the Spiral…’
Oh. My. Gosh. Sarah had just entered the Shopping District when she stared at the thousands of eyes belonging to the many ravens perched along the buildings and stone fences. They all looked maliciously back at her and cawed ominously—this was no good. The birds darted Sarah and pecked her wildly. Sarah shielded from their aerial attack, but in the process they jabbed her and left marks on her bare arms.
A sound of a shrieking girl in distress was heard behind the walls to Olde Town. The black birds flew away and disappeared to the dark sky, leaving the Conjurer scratched. She ran quickly back through the Olde Town tunnel where the screaming was coming from. But as she got there, she was surrounded.
Sarah now faces a horde of dead creatures, groaning and shambling toward her. They were all closing in on her, Sarah took a step back…something was behind her.
She dared to look slowly behind her back and sees a peculiar person standing. Sarah could not recognize the specter for his face was partially veiled with a mask and a hood hanging over his head.
He took hold of the stunned Sarah, covering her mouth before she had the opportunity to scream. “I finally got you,” the person whispered malevolently. The frightened Conjurer struggled to be released; the creatures were coming in closer. Within seconds, Sarah had fainted in terror.

Sarah abruptly sat up from her bed, panting so hard and sweat rolled down her head. She took a quick observation to find out that she was in her bedroom. In that moment, she came to a state of relief. Oh thank goodness, it was just a nightmare.
Just to make sure everything was the way it should be, Sarah got up (taking care that she doesn’t accidentally push the slumbering Midnight off the bed.) She opened her bedroom door to check on Sarah II, the girl is sound asleep—awkwardly sleeping with the bed covers over her head.
Sarah returned to bed and slept once again. Throughout the night, she still thought of the dream she had experienced.

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