Ready wasn’t even the first word to describe what the team members felt, after what they heard what harm their very own Headmistress was capable of causing to innocent people! Even if those people are slaves, no one deserved to go through hell like that, no one.
However, this wasn’t the time to answer whether they were ready or not, especially since Eathelyn ran ahead of the group as she shouted, “Are you going to just stand there or are you going to keep going so we can find some more answers to other questions! We maybe might find a way to help Thuggort, and Zeliah!” Hearing this, the whole group followed as they ran past bent metal pieces to wood broken into splinters!
At last, they stood in front of a bronze metal door that seemed to have never been opened for centuries! From the looks of the dust and webs decorating it, the door seemed to mean to not be opened by any trespassers, or any important person. Small engravings could be seen across the door which seemed to state:
“Property of the Sun Gang.”
Zeliah stepped forward, placing her palm on the bronze surface, looking for a weak spot. At last, she found one and without any effort, she punched the door’s center and it went flying inside! She ignored the eyes of surprise as she shrugged. “Years of doing the men’s job makes my muscles stronger.” Nodding, Hugo, Eathelyn, Rashika, and Ozur turned their heads to the entrance. The sight they saw was breathtaking; but not in a good way.
This library that was in the actual heart of the school, looked the exact opposite of the one Team Hero went to earlier! And this one was underneath the Copper Library!!
Sure there were feathers writing on soul books but there were no portraits, just a dark library that was as old as the bronze door. Soul Books of previous ancestors were tattered and full of dust bunnies as if no pair of eyes has ventured through those pages for a very, very long time.
“This is the real heart if the school, The Grand Library. Yeah it seems very ancient but no one has ever been in there and us slaves just heard rumors about them.” Zeliah explained as she lit up the room with every torch on the tall pillars. “There were slaves who tried to reach this place but none got passed the trap area, we’re the first ones to venture through here. Rumor has it, this room is our very ticket to freedom.”
“Freedom?” Ozur asked, wondering if freedom was the same dream every slave shared and held in their palms for many years.
“We overheard the oldest slave of our society speak about a machine that can transport you to any place you desire, all you need to do is type the place and go through the portal and freedom granted.” Thuggort looked around the room, trying to spot the legendary machine he spoke of while the teens followed. “But we’re not sure if such a thing ever exists but we know that this is the very place where you’ll see the parts of your soul books that you didn’t see. That’s pretty much why we took a chance on the rumors and brought you here; since you’re the first team to ever ask questions you asked a while back...Although there are also other rumors talking about another team like you but I’m not sure about that rumor but you guys can look around there.”
On cue, he pointed to the book shelves so Team Hero went right to reading while Zeliah and Thuggort kept guard, making sure no intruder came by for some reason.
Rashika looked through the spines of the Soul Books, looking for the names of their parents, especially the ones who just... Disappeared. Eathelyn was running through the halls to find anything that seemed off. Ozur was buried in Soul Books as he looked for not only his but Rashika’s, Hugo’s and Eathelyn’s book as well. Hugo, on the other hand, was on the part if the library that had old tattered up scrolls, mainly the ones that were about the Sun Gang.
After two hours of searching, Eathelyn was the first to cry with aghast, just a few meters away from where the others were. “GUYS! I found something that you should really take a look at!!”
It didn’t take any less than five seconds before the other members regrouped to where Eathelyn stood in front of a portrait that was pretty hard to see since she held her torch down.
“Wait is it Eathelyn?” Rashika questioned with concern as her friend’s face remained shocked and confused. “What did you find?”
All Eathelyn could answer in a small whisper, “My...My...Dad...” Then without another word, her torch rose to light up the darkness that covered this portrait, and there it revealed four teenagers; two boys and two girls. One girl was at the right end, with two boys in the middle and the second girl at the left end of the portrait. They were standing tall with pride with their weapons drawn as if they were ready to engage in battle. Eatheyln was pointing to the young man who was the third one standing in the portrait with feathered ash colored wings while he wore a white tunic and black pants, holding the same sword she had with her right now. They could see that the boy possessed the Demon Eye on both pupils.
At that moment, Hugo gasped at the other male teen standing next to Eathelyn’s father by the right where the first girl was standing! “Hey, my dad’s up there too!” Sure enough, the male teen was his father, combed hair, Demon Eyes, a plain black t-shirt and pants, along with the same twin swords that were attached to him.
The two females seemed unfamiliar to Rashika and Ozur until the wolf boy spotted the teen’s names printed on the bottom that was in the order of where the teens stood along with the team name. “Heather of the Myth World, Edward of the Dark World, Roger of the Dark World, and Olivia of the Dark World. Team...” Ozur paused for a moment, then swallowed the disbelief. “Team...Team Hero.”
They were all in silence at that moment, a lot of thoughts entered their minds.
What did this mean?
Does this mean that we’re some sort of reborn members of that Team Hero?
Why did Headmistress Olema hide this?
Does the Sun Gang know anything about this?
“Ozur, your mom was a wolf hybrid right?”
Ozur turned to Hugo as he nodded, confused on why he would ask such a question while Eathelyn continued to look at Roger, who was her father after all! “Yeah, Mrs. Pawen would tell me that my mom was the only wolf hybrid at the school during that time, why?”
Hugo pointed to the Heather, who was standing to the right of his father, Edward, and sure enough, that girl had wolf ears shown through her short wavy darkish brown hair. She was wearing a short dress that had short sleeves and leggings that were up to her knees and sure enough, Ozur felt like he was about to faint. Just by looking at that girl, he felt some sort of warm and yet, aching feeling in his heart, as if he had some sort of connection to her. He wasn’t sure if what he was seeing was a dream but he didn’t care at all as time slowly passed by as he looked at the young girl in the portrait. All he could say in disbelief while his eyes got a little dust in them. “Mom?”
While Ozur had his emotional moment, Rashika looked up at where the Olivia girl stood in the portrait. Long straight dark hair tied to one ponytail, dressed in a long-sleeved crimson shirt and a black skirt that was up to her knees, as for her red Demon Eyes, they were shown with burning determination in the pupils. However, it wasn’t the way Olivia was dressed that caught Rashika off guard to the point that she might break down right where she was standing.
Strapped around Olivia’s waist were the same leather belts of limitless bombs that Rashika was wearing right now! The shapes of the bombs were the same, the same midnight color on the belt leather. No way, Rashika shook her head with loath. There is no way that this smiling person wearing my belts is my mother! She left me with dad, she doesn’t deserve the right to be called a mom! But dad told me one time that these belts belonged to her, and that no one had the same belts as her..So maybe...But then why would she leave me with her stuff left behind? And yet, she felt a bit of happiness, at least she got to see the face of the women she never met since she came to this world. Sure the woman left her without a clue to let in on what the woman was like but now that didn’t seem to matter right now. But one cannot help but wonder why this portrait was down here, and not in the fabricated library where all the other previous generation students portraits hung on the walls behind this generations?
Of course, no one can or will answer that willingly, so without a word, they dispersed to find more information about the Team Hero on the portrait. After another half hour, they regrouped with Rashika who found the previous generation Team Hero’s Soul Books and the scrolls Hugo had on his hands. They each opened their parent’s Soul Book, but for some reason, the pages wouldn’t reveal any video memory, just a message that stated, ‘Unite With Other Three Around The World’. They exchanged glances as if they each read each other’s minds which probably what happened, and it didn’t involve literally going around the world.
Ozur laid his mother’s Soul Book first, followed by Eathelyn’s and Hugo’s fathers’ Soul Books, and finally, Rashika placed her mother’s book last. The books formed a round circle in the middle, making it look like the world but not exactly. Without warning, the four Soul Books all glowed with a bright silver light, as it made the empty center glow as well! The shine began to reveal clear memories of the teens on the portrait; turns out the present Team Hero weren’t the first ones to be down here.
“Did you find anything interesting Roger?” Heather asked as she approached the demon boy who had his eyes glued to some blueprints he found from the old scrolls.
“Yeah, check this out guys,” Roger presented the plans to his team members, as they gazed at the blueprints in astonishment. “These plans shows the creation of some sort of transportation machine, but from the looks of those X’s, the guy who made it didn’t live long enough to finish this.”
“Well then,” Olivia smiled, snatching the blueprints right out of Roger’s hands. “Let’s get to work, our instructor has the flu so he won’t be training us for a while, might as well use this time to finish this contraption. Maybe it’ll be something of good use for us.”
“At least she thought of that besides dating that dragon boy,” Edward chuckled, but then winced when Olivia threatened to elbow his gut.
“So this machine that Thuggort and Zeliah were talking about..” Eathelyn began, placing the pieces together, after pausing the memory from playing by using her Demon Eye. “That must be the same one our moms and dads were building in their youth.”
“But what did they use it for after they finished building it?” Ozur observed, his eyes suddenly met the scrolls Hugo was holding; the blueprints. “Hugo you got them in your hands!”
Hugo nodded as he pulled the plans he held, opening them to see that the designs were more in detailed than the ones in the flashback. “Yeah, I was going to show you this.” He pointed to the measurements and design. “As you can see, our parents went through all the time and risk to finish what someone had started, but like you asked before Ozur...what happened after that?” They looked up at the memory that continued to play on through the vision.
Edward grabbed a ruler as he measured and recorded the information while Roger drew out the designs. Olivia was running around the school with Heather as they took metal parts and wires in secret, never getting caught by anyone, thanks to Ozur’s father, Farris. Farris actually distracted the instructors and staff with his pranks while the girls gathered the materials even but he didn’t get caught to face punishment much to Heather’s relief.
They finished their training early so they can head back to the library as they continued to expand this little project of theirs. For the parts that needed a little fire, Olivia managed to convince Olmr to use his dragon fire, though they had to lie to him about what they were building. The days turned to weeks, and the week turned to months until at last, they were done.
“I am pleased to present to Team Hero, for our timeless effort, this transportation machine!” Edward announced, pulling the curtain they used to cover their creation!
There was a machine that had an oval opening with several light bulbs on top that had wires attaching it to one of the bombs Olivia’s belt had that was also attached to a typewriter. “Not only, did we make this, but this machine will get anyone to any place without any problem, now the problem is...We have to test it out.”
“And I know just the person for the job,” Olivia smiled, signaling Heather to walk in with their guest, who was a slave boy who was about their age they met and who told them about this library. “Are you ready to try this out?” The boy nodded, as he prepared himself to confront this opportunity of possible freedom.
“Okay!” Roger clapped his hands and began to type certain words but the memory didn’t show what exactly he typed. The light bulbs suddenly began to light up, as the empty space began to form a green portal, ready to let anyone go through. “That place I typed is one I know that no Light Worlder or demon can enter without the forest’s approval, so it’s safe there.”
Nodding again, the slave boy approached the portal, a little hesitant before taking a deep breath, and then went through; disappeared without a trace. The group waited patiently for a sign of success, and there they heard the speaker they had, report, “Transportation successfully went as planned. The person got to the destination safely.”
The team cheered as they high five each other in celebration when Heather then gladly suggested in joy. “If we managed to free one slave, imagine how many slaves we’ll free with this. We’ll have to find more places where no one can reach people, and then operation Freedom will begin.” The other three members saluted as they chanted, “Yes captain!”
“Whoa, who knew our parents were this awesome,” Hugo remarked, proud to know that his father used to help slaves escape but then a thought hit him harder than Eathelyn’s punches. “But wait...What happened? Why is this place now the property of the Sun Gang, and why aren’t slaves escaping now?”
“Something must have happened after they graduated,” Rashika suggested, starting to question the truth she grew up with about her mother. If her mother was as kind as the same woman on the memory then something about the sudden story about her sudden abandonment is way off.
“No way…” Heather was shaking a piece of brown crumpled paper she held, her eyes overflowing with fear. “This can’t be right.”
“What can’t be right? What did you see?” Roger took the paper away from her, reading it himself while Edward and Olivia looked from behind his shoulders. Their reactions were the same Heather’s but Olivia did well to hide her fear. The four didn’t say a word from the shock until Heather snatched the paper back, pulling out a freshly new scroll and a feathered pen.
“What are you doing?” Olivia questioned looking over her shoulder to see Heather write down everything the paper had stated into the scroll. “Never mind but why are you rewriting everything?”
“Isn’t it obvious, if the Sun Gang destroyed this original piece, then we have an extra copy for more generations to see,” Heather explained as she finished copying every last word. “Also just in case if we die in the middle of this new battle, and have a new team step up to continue…” She got up to run over to a certain spot in the library then returning with a smile. “Now it’s perfectly hidden until the time comes.”
“We need to find that scroll Ozur,” Hugo whispered to the teen’s ears; they don’t know what their parents read but they need to see this bad piece of news themselves. Also the fact that the Soul Books didn’t show what the previous Team Hero read, or what Heather was writing
“If they knew about whatever they were talking about then why aren’t they here?” Eathelyn asked herself but it sounded like she was asking everyone in the room. “Why didn’t anyone hear anything about this because if our parents were going to show this then why isn’t there a rebellion?”
“I think we’re about to find out,” Rashika responded, as they all paid close attention to next turn of events.
“You won’t get away with this!” Heather shouted, but this time she looked several years older, except she was being held against her own will by Demon Officers, faced to face with someone in the shadows. The place she was being held against her own will was the library where the machine was hidden. “I’m a mother now, my son is home with my husband and you wouldn’t want him to discover what happened to not only his wife, but his son’s mother! He’ll fight you, demand for answers, and question how fair the Sun Gang really is!” Heather growled at the person in the shadows. “Not to mention the whole world will want to know when the Sun Gang began to practice slavery and what they plan to do to everyone!”
“You don’t have to worry about your son and husband,” the shadowy spoke with venom in her voice, which sounded familiar, “My husband is over at your home right now, getting ready to burn your husband to ashes...Oh but don’t worry, your son will be in a nice home in the orphanage.”
“Why you..” Heather glared, struggling to get off the officer’s grip but she couldn’t escape. “My son won’t be an orphan, not as long as I’m around, and besides I have friends who’ll be more than happy to help me! I bet they’re on their way right now.”
“Yes well, we’ll see about that,” The shadow smirked, snapping her fingers and the door smashed opened, as Olivia’s protesting screams could be heard along with a high pitched cry of a baby.
“LET ME GO YOU BARBARIANS! You can’t just grab me like this! I jut gave birth to my daughter a few hours ago who I have to care for now with my husband, who by the way, is on his way back from his job just to see his daughter!” Olivia stopped her struggling only to see her friend in the same situation as she was. “Heather? What are you doing here, what’s going on?”
“I-I don’t know!” Heather sadly answered she saw Olivia’s eyes widen in fear as they saw one of the officer’s hand the shadow there was the crying baby wrapped in a warm blanket.
“Why you...” Olivia sneered under her breath as she watched the shadow attempt to unwrap the blanket to see the child’s face. “I swear if you harm my daughter then so help me, I will get myself out of these idiots hands and kill you!”
The figure laughed, looking down to get a glimpse of the child. “Now don’t be ridiculous Olivia, I have no intention of harming your daughter, yet....In all my years, Olivia, you married that dragon boy, after all, just look at how hideous your daughter looks. Those dragon ears, wings...Ah! And tail! You sure you don’t want me to get rid of this....This thing?”
Rashika’s breathing became slower, she braced herself to her mother spat out a ton of hatred and disappointment she had for her own offspring.
“I have but one answer,” Olivia whispered, and then growled her answer. “This ‘thing’ is my daughter, and I would stop at nothing to make sure she’s safe from the likes of you! So I don’t want you to kill her, I rather go to hell than have any harm come to Rashika!”
Her eyes widen as her body tensed. Rashika wasn’t expecting any of this at all, never in a million years but there were her mother’s memories crystal clear. “But what happened? Why did dad lie about her disappearance? Does he even know what happened to her?”
The shadow shook her head, looking at the baby in disgust. “Such a shame this creature will grow up without a mother.” Her eyes narrowed to the two hostages, as she pointed to the machine they were standing in front of. “I have sources telling me that you two and your other two friends created this invention. Only to use it to free slaves where we can’t recapture them! Also the fact that you have an acknowledgment of my plan, the Sun Gang’s plan in the future. I now ask you one simple request. Turn the machine on some and my officers can take those escaped slaves back to where they belong! Do that then you won’t die and get a place in the Sun Gang.”
“There is no way we’ll work for the likes of you! Where did you hear this from?!” Heather interrogated in anger, knowing very well that no one but her and her team members had any knowledge of this!
“Where you ask,” the shadow asked with a devilish grin. “None other than your so called friends, Roger and Edward. My officers stormed into their homes as I demanded information over the missing slaves, so I threatened to kill them and make them slaves if they didn’t give any answers.” She revealed a dagger she had in the sleeves of her cloak, twirling it around at a dangerous range next to the baby. “The cowards they were, on their knees begging for mercy as they told me ever drop of information they know. They even told me that you two were the ones who actually planned to make this machine and then use it to free slaves.”
Heather and Olivia gasped, not sure how to feel at the betrayal their other members of their team have brought upon. Just to save themselves, they sold their friends to the hands of the Sun Gang! The shadow once again requested, “So if you two want to live, then you’ll lead us to the freed slaves so we can take them back. If not, then you two will be guaranteed to miss out on your children’s lives, so I would think carefully about this one. We wouldn’t want my dagger to accidentally slip on this baby’s chest if you don’t give me an answer.”
The room was silent for a long moment, nothing could be heard but the continuous cries from Rashika, who was more scared than ever at the setting she was in. Wasn’t before long when Olivia’s and Heather’s head hung low in defeat, indicating that they’ll do what they were told. Releasing their grip, the officers led the two women towards the machine as the shadow tapped her heels with impatience. Heather glanced over at Olivia, who nodded as if there were exchanging a plan through their minds, as the wolf hybrid’s fingers touch the keyboard but she didn’t type.
“Are you typing the location or not!” The shadow shouted, losing her patience. “We don’t have all night you two! Do you want to die?!”
Suddenly Heather pulled out a hammer that wasn’t noticeable to the eyes of the people in the room, all except for Olivia. Without hesitation, she smashed the keyboard with her hammer, breaking every letter and then took the bomb right out of its connection; causing the machine to turn off for good! With good aim, Heather threw the bomb out the window, falling into the water, never to explode at any time! Having full knowledge that it was time to make her move, Olivia attacked the officer behind her which resulted in every one of them to get knocked out! The shadow was too busy screaming at the officers to capture the resisting fighters that she didn’t notice Olivia making a back-flip over her, grabbing Rashika right off her arms! At that moment, the baby’s cries eased as Olivia and Heather stood tall and proud as if they were daring the shadow to do something.
“Are you ready to give up Olema?” Olivia snarled at Olema, who took down the hood and smiled, making the women stand their ground.
And unfortunately, she wasn’t ready to give up…
Out of nowhere, before they could react; fast, sharp agonizing pain pierce through their chests, right where their hearts were as one of them screamed in agony! Olivia looked from behind after Heather fell to the floor, only to see Olema’s husband, Hellioh, holding on to two swords, both of them had blood dripping from the tips. She could feel the blood from her body spill from her wound as the burning pain never ceased as she clenched her teeth at Hellioh. Olivia took one last look at her friend, she could tell that Heather was gone from the world, from the looks of her eyes that lost its fire and the crimson puddle beginning to cover the floor.
She could see Hellioh approach her from behind again, but this time his sword was aiming for Rashika! Despite her pain and endless bleeding, with her fists, she punched him as hard she could, sending him flying out the door! She lifted a part of the blanket that wrapped her child, making sure Rashika wasn’t hurt by a scratch.
Olivia felt another stab in her chest, as she screamed this time, causing her child to cry again! Without any more strength, she too fell to the ground, her arms holding her baby tightly and protectively. Olema smiled at the dying demon, as she knelt down to the floor, taking Rashika out of her mother’s arms. “Don’t you worry Olivia..” She turned to Heather’s dead body. “You too Heather...You’ll be reunited with your husband and your son will be an orphan right now, growing with the story that some person shot you. And as for your daughter Olivia...Well, let’s just say she’ll grow up believing that her own mother loathed her and soon abandoned her. How does that sound?”
Olivia knew she only had a few moments of breath before she was gone for good so she spoke them wisely and bravely to Olema. “Y-You m-m-may think y-you w-won Olema, b-b-but I-I-I k-know one thing......R-Rashika w-will stop y-y-you, but not b-b-by h-herself....B-But her f-future t-team, I-I j-just know that s-she and her t-team will d-defeat you. All I hope for m-my d-daughter is for h-her to g-grow up with r-real friends by her side....So w-what if s-she hates me...I-I’ll never stop l-loving my c-child.” Olema could see the dying mother use her own blood to write something on the floor but she didn’t bother to worry. At last Olivia finished what she wrote, her eyes went pale and closed slowly, releasing her final breath. “I believe in you...Rashika..” She was gone now.
Olema smiled as she saw the two bodies glow and transform into two beautiful blue lilies that shined under the moon’s shine. “Two more flowers to add to the Sun Gang’s enormous collection of lilies down at the earth.” She looked at the baby she held, the child was still crying. “Oh shut up, you’ll never know what really happened to your mother and you’ll never be able to bring her back anyway...But don’t worry, one day you’ll reunite with her; along with every living sound in those worlds. Because the Sun Gang will begin a new era after eliminating this one.” The Headmistress bent down to grab the two flowers, the blood that smeared the ground was gone as if nothing happened.
“Those two died knowing the truth, such a pity they weren’t strong enough to save the three worlds...No one will know of this...I’ll make sure of that.” She walked away as she put her hood back up, slamming the metal door behind her while echoes of Rashika’s cries could be heard.