“You sure this will work?” Hugo asked skeptically when Ozur had his wand out since the four teens were on the other side of the school, away from spying eyes. “I mean sure you’re getting better at your magic but are you really ready to try long distance communication magic?”
“Relax, I tested this with my clones during breakfast from the other side of the cafeteria and we chatted mentally while the headmistress made her announcement,” Ozur waved his wand towards the wall, chanting in a low voice, “Enter a friend’s mind from a distant. ”
A yellow flash of lightning entered through the walls as Ozur eyes became shut, concentrating on finding Thuggort or Zeliah from where they heard the slaves stay at.
“We better make this quick, before Ulin or anyone else catches us doing this, especially Headmistress Olema,” Eathelyn earned with caution.
Nothing happened once the yellow lightning disappeared through the hard rough bricks, everyone waited patiently for results. They could see Ozur beginning to sweat from exhaustion but his eyes remained shut as his mind focused on the objective of his mission. Hopefully, he finds someone soon, or else he might collapse with exhaustion and the last thing he needed was a trip to the medics.
Meanwhile, his traveling trail of magic was wondering around the school from underground, searching for slaves headquarter like a hound dog! Past dust bunnies and rotting wood, to a peculiar giant hole leading deeper underground. It scurried down the path, discovering the broken down society of slaves doing the laundry or just chopping more firewood! Tents that brown, broken, and dusty stood not very proudly were on the other side of the working area, looking like they’ll fall to the dirty ground.
The lightning then went from slave to slave, looking for the friend it was summoned to find but no luck. So far it caused several slaves to jump in surprise and just stare at the thing in awe. Other slaves stayed clear from it, parents pulling their children away from it, while older siblings blocked their younger siblings from trying to touch the mysterious moving lightning.
The slaves doing the laundry waved it off in defense with some of the dirty clothing they were holding. Everyone did their best to make sure no one got in contact with that strange lightning, but they could have made sure everyone knew.
Thuggort was walking from his laundry cleaning post holding half of small loaf of bread, making his way towards the firewood cutting slaves. He made sure his finished all of his assigned laundries to clean before he headed out to give his sister her breakfast. He was busy with his head being above the clouds, he didn’t notice the lightning following him! His mind was set off with questions about how his new friends Team Hero were doing at that very moment when he was walking. He longed to hear from them one day since they promised that they’ll be able to help him and his sister!
Zeliah, on the other hand, was way too busy focusing her strength on the tool she has on her scarred hand as she chopped the wood that was needed for the night. Of course like her brother, she was waiting patiently for any word from those four teens. Not that she was excited about them keeping their promise, in fact, she made sure she didn’t keep her hopes too high. The last thing she needed was to be depressed over a broken promise that might show up sooner or later. Who am I kidding, She thought, chopping the two-hundredth chunk of wood. Those four probably got caught but will have to face the consequences after this school year ends. Yeah, besides who in their right mind would try to help people like us?
Her thoughts went back to her job before she gets punished for slacking off again, she just needed ten more wood to chop before she gets her ten-minute break. She didn’t notice the slightly worried faces of other slaves who were trying to move out of the way but it was hard with the chains binding their legs. She finally finished the last log, sitting down on the dusty ground to catch a breath but then again she’s being work like this for her whole life. Actually, since the day she could hold an ax! Her messy hair was getting over her eyes spilling drops of sweat on the ground, despite being tied up into two ponytails. Her hands, legs and back ached but she ignored the pain, this was the life of a slave and only time she knew that she’ll stop feeling this is when she’s dead.
“Zeliah? I got some breakfast you missed this morning,”
She quickly got out of her thoughts seeing Thuggort stand before her, holding the bread before he handed it to her. “Thanks, but did you eat your breakfast?”
“Yes, I ate heavenly this morning,” Thuggort laughed, trying to hide the rumbling his stomach made. In truth, his half of the bread was given generously to one of the kids younger than him who didn’t eat anything for the past three days. “You just enjoy your bread, don’t mind me.”
Zeliah didn’t take a bite in the bread, she looked at her brother for a moment before she ripped her breakfast in half and handed the other half to her younger brother. She didn’t give him time to protest as she explained. “Don’t try to deny it Thuggort, I know you gave your breakfast to the little girl over there near that cardboard box. I’m not saying it was wrong, but next time you tell me the truth...I can’t have you starve, we both eat together or we both starve together. Now eat your breakfast, we still have a few more minutes of break.”
Thuggort nodded, nibbling his half of his breakfast, not bothering to begin an argument with his sister, she always win. He sat down right next to his sister, as Zeliah held onto him protectively, eating her half of her breakfast. While they enjoyed their breakfast, they didn’t notice the lightning spark twice as it made its way towards them, ready to leave the message.
One moment they were enjoying this bit of happiness, and the next thing they knew, a spark of magic hit them! Although they didn’t feel any pain, however, they did feel a blast of energy enter their mind like wildfire! Zeliah was ready to pick a fight with whoever shot that spark but suddenly she and Thuggort heard of familiar voice run through their minds!
“Zeliah, Thuggort, it’s me Ozur. I’m using one of my spells to communicate with you two mentally because I have some news and a really important request.”
“Ozur?” Thuggort couldn’t help but feel excited to hear the teen’s voice again but he couldn’t help but wonder what news he brought. “What’s going on, did you and your friends find out something very interesting?”
“Yep, first my friends and I are here to tell you that we’ve found a way to set you all free and safe from the Sun Gang.”
“You’re kidding! Are you positive?” Zeliah tried to maintain calm so no one will look at her suspiciously as they continued to hear what Ozur has to say.
“Very positive, but we’re going to need you to gather every slave in one place tonight, my friends and I will meet up with you to discuss everything with you all. Our plan needs all the help we can get. You think you can do that?”
Thuggort looked up at Zeliah, his eyes begging for her approval, so without a choice, the older sibling nodded. “Yeah, just leave it to us Ozur. Thuggort will be meeting you at the same place in the library where he led you to find those Soul Books, exactly on midnight. There he’ll take you to where this meeting you want with us will be held, don’t worry this place is only known to slaves only.”
“Thank you guys, and just you wait. My friend and I will get those chains off you even if we have ripped them off ourselves. We’ll see you at midnight, thanks again.”
The energy flowing through the siblings suddenly disappeared, but Zeliah got up as she helped Thuggort up as well. “Well you heard the wolf hybrid, we better get the word out and make sure we all know about this meeting tonight. Thuggort, I assume you got the laundry slaves covered?”
“Yes sir...I-I mean ma’am, don’t worry pretty soon everyone will know before we head to our sleeping hours,” Thuggort saluted, hugging his sister goodbye before running off to spread the word until he had to walk since Zeliah shouted out with concern, “Don’t run too fast Thuggort, you know your lungs can’t handle that much running!”
“Roger that!” Before she knew it, Thuggort disappeared into the reappearing crowd of slaves going back to work since the break was over. Shaking her head, Zeliah raised her ax up and continued to chop off wood; but this time she was passing a message in silence. The chops of her ax could hear, CHOP, CHOP, CHOP, and pretty soon the same rhythm of her message passed on to everyone in the area!
As for Thuggort, when he waved the clothes to take off the dust before washing, a clear sound of wind. He flipped the clothing, making the same message as his older sister but using the thin air to make the rhythm, and like slaves doing the hard labor, the code spread around the area like wildfire.
“Ozur you look like you’re about to collapse!” Rashika panicked, getting ready to get him out of his trance. “You need to stop now, we can try again later.”
“Don’t worry about me,” Ozur winced, hoping that Rashika or any of the others saw this while he tried to reassure them. “I can handle this, trust me. You each did your part, let me do mine.” Rashika was about to protest but Hugo shook his head in disapproval, making her stand down and watch helplessly. They waited until they saw Ozur’s teeth clenched tighter as if he’s communicating but they don’t know for sure yet.
After a few moments of waiting, Ozur’s eyes opened up, he got up from where he sat as he hid his wand in his satchel. He walked away from a few steps in silence, causing his teammate’s tension to grow more until he turned around and smiled. “We’re meeting an old friend at the school library midnight tonight...Don’t be late.”
With that, he made his way to their training field while everyone else followed in silence but excitement and determination were burning up in their souls.
“Why couldn’t you arrange this tomorrow?” Hugo yawned quietly, leading his team with only a candlelight to guide them through the school library that night. “Like when Ulin doesn’t try to murder us with training by fighting off clones of herself at full power without our weapons! I still got bruises from that.” On cue, he rubbed his sore left arm, but Eathelyn casually explained, “Well if you paid attention to her clone and instead of Alsha’s glares then maybe you would avoided that flying lesson to the wall.”
“Hey in my defense she looked like she was going to kill me right then and there,” Hugo sighed, knowing that Eathelyn had a point. “I bet she’s still not over that time I accidentally ruined her hair by spilling a bowl of oatmeal.”
“Okay so if you’re done going to the lovely memory lane,” Rashika sarcastically remarked, moving ahead of their leader. “We’ve arrived.”
“And just in time,” A voice from behind the wall added, the wall vanished the same it did the first night they came, revealing Thuggort in his cloak as he held another candle. “This way, everyone is waiting to see the famous Team Hero everyone is talking about, even the Sun Gang are talking about you.” He pointed to the right, beginning to lead the way as Team Hero followed him while the wall closed up behind them.
“We chose to have this at midnight because that’s when all the slaves are summoned back to their tents to sleep and when the watchers of the slaves get out to sleep, leaving us alone. Zeliah made sure everyone is accounted for, and everyone swore that they wouldn’t tell a soul on what was about to be heard tonight,” Thuggort explained, continuing to walk forward passed new tunnels the teens haven’t seen before. The walls were glazed dust that has never been touched that covered the carvings of figures that seemed to be telling a story. However, it wasn’t just any story, but the tale of how the Sun Gang came to be. There were the cravings of the bloody wars between the three worlds, the Sun Gang’s appearance in the world, and how they liberate the worlds from the darkness.
“Don’t worry guys, only slaves are allowed to come down through here,” he reassured the teens. “No one, not even the headmistress herself would dare to come here.”
“Well that’s good to know,” Ozur nodded, patting Thuggort’s shoulder gently. “So how are you and Zeliah holding up with your lives here?”
“We’ve had better days as slaves in our lives, but these past few months have been the same, even these past few days,” Thuggort answered with calmness in his voice. “Zeliah and I have been waiting for you guys to show up pretty soon, we’ve been hearing rumors about you four.”
“What kind of rumors?” Eathelyn asked, ready to see what stuff people talked about behind her back, even if they actually want to have nothing to do with her or her friends.
“Oh you wouldn’t believe it, Fwen, a young friend of mine, was cleaning one of the team’s headquarters when she heard this serpent boy say that he owes Team Hero his life because without them he claimed, he wouldn’t have been here. Then Ker heard another student from another room talk about how much stronger you are than Team Same and possibly the headmistress,” Thuggort listed, not even noticing the shocked looks on their faces as he continued. “Julia overheard one of the instructors say that maybe after five years, you guys can prove to be stronger than the Sun Gang and if you didn’t know about their secrets, you might become legends!”
The darkness that consumed everything but the candle’s flames was soon getting replaced by a distant light that shined brighter than the stars! Team Hero was silent from those rumors that they didn’t even hear wander through the school! At last, the darkness was devoured by the light of the other side, making the candles just add more to this shine!
There they were, exiting out of a tunnel only to be standing forth, in front of an enormous cave like room with torches lit up from every pillar that held the roof! Then there were the people that filled the room in front of them. Slaves in different color, features, and hair but all their eyes have the same spark. The spark of hope they have longed to grasp for, and here they are, waiting. Waiting for Team Hero to speak. Waiting to see if Team Hero can keep their fire going on without a sign that it might perish.