The Rise of Heroes Book 1: The Academy of Hidden Secrets

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Chapter Seven

Darkness. That was the first thing he saw in this new fantasy that night. He could feel drops of sweat go down from his forehead, but he wasn't the only one who was going through this. Hugo could feel a cold metal chill creep along his spine, trying to scare the nerves right out of him while he was in his fantasy of misery.

Eathelyn was going through no more than what Hugo was, but her demon eye, which was closed to rest, began to twitch uncomfortably. Cold sweat was slowly flowing down from her neck, she couldn't tell what the feeling that is so terrifying was.

The wind howled silently in Rashika's room, she tossed and turned on her bed, the scales of her tail and wings were getting cool, even if she underneath at least three quilts! Her eyes were trying to stay shut, as the dark feeling was slowly creeping inside her mind. She would only wish that someone else was experiencing the same feelings she's receiving at that very midnight hour.

Small strands of wolf fur slowly fell from Ozur's wolf ears, as he struggled to get whatever was agonizing his head out. His hand went to scratch behind his ears but he buried himself deeper in his blanket. He was breathing very fast than usual, his eyes were itching to open, but he forced them shut.

Unbeknownst, the four teens were about to experience the same nightmare that very night, when the moon mysteriously became full.

They each stood alone in a different part of a forest but it didn't look anything like a forest. The trees did not have a single leaf hanging on its stiff brown barked branches. No, each branch was orphaned, leaving the trees looking much orphaned as well. Without leaves, what kind of tree were they?

The moon above them was dark crimson, looking very devilish to the sad world below. The ground was only filled with ashes, not a strand of fresh green grass in sight, not even the smooth surface of the small gray rocks were around.

Nothing was on that vacant ground beside ashes, and thick gray fog surrounding the scene. Rashika decided to go walk forward since she began to smell the strong aroma of smoke as if it was from a forest fire.

Ozur ran forward, curious about why he was in a sad setting like this and why this has something to do with the agonizing pain. However, that wasn't the only reason he went ahead; he hears loud sounds of chains following something or someone on the ground.

Wandering around the scene, Hugo began to wonder what could have happened to this place. Sure it almost looks like the Dark World but this place didn't have any homes or dry grass! Pretty soon he heard shrieks coming from the other side, so he quickly ran to see if someone was in trouble.

Running as fast she could, Eathelyn was racing across the dead trees while following the shrieking cry of the wind. Followed by the wind was a large glimpse of smoke just over the forest, so she was determined to see what was going on. They each managed to get to the center of the forest, but they didn't see each other; all they saw was emptiness and a large stone with a strange symbol carved on the bottom.

Looking up to the sky, there was a flock of birds flying around, shrieking and chirping aggressively. Some were blue jays, while the others were ravens, each group rushing into each other with sharp battle claws.

Behind the blue jays was a tree with a nest holding four baby birds, but two were blue jays and the other two were ravens. The teens looked at the two arguing groups crashing into each other while the sounds of a battle began to ring.

A few ravens fell to the ground dead, causing Eathelyn to move back a bit while her eyes looked at those birds in shock. It may have seemed like the blue jays were winning but soon the ravens began to be on top of their game. Now more blue jays fell to the ground, dead; their small feathered chests leaking a bit of blood while most of their eyes were closed. A raven and blue jay were soon faced to face with their claws clinging to each other, each bird sending their eyes of death.

The blue jay gave the raven a five-inch wound on its chest, resulting from another lifeless bird on the ground. The last standing blue jay was soon singing in triumph until it began shrieking in agony! On its back was an arrow, with a strong beautiful flame beginning to dance its way around the blue jay.

Its feathers turned to ash while it plummeted to the ground, trying to extinguish the flames but were unsuccessful.

The shrieking was put to an end, and the poor blue jay laid dead still while the flames continued to devour the body. The four hatchlings looked forward only to see a dark shadow flying towards them, holding the bow that shot the flaming arrow. Ozur made a run save the babies but the shadow only grabbed one baby raven, as the poor hatching began panicking in the shadow's strong grip.

Rashika looked at the figure in shock, and yet she was a bit curious on what might become of the little raven.

The hatchling was tied with rope as it was laid at the center of the carved circle, the teens saw the shadow slowly approaching the baby, revealing a devilish grin. The three other hatchlings flew down to rescue their friend, along with several other hatchlings from other trees but the shadow began shooting the flaming arrows again. Soon all they could hear is the cries of pain from those baby birds, perishing in the flames like that adult blue jay.

Satisfied, the shadow turned its attention towards the tied baby raven, pulling out its hands while specks of dark magic began to appear from its fingertips. The magic fell upon the raven, causing it to get knocked out cold. Before anything else could happen, the three baby birds from before came flying back, picking the shadow's head until everyone heard a petrifying growl from the raven.

Hugo looked down only to see the carved circle beginning to glow with blinding white light! Ozur managed to see the light grabbing the raven, pulling it down to very center while it began to cry of help!

Both Rashika and Eathelyn saw sharp teeth and claws grow larger along with the raven, as it grew larger and more aggressive. Pretty soon those innocent eyes were no longer the same. No, the pupils turned thin, no longer cute, or cuddly; those eyes spoke a thirst for blood, for murder.

The shadow mysteriously disappeared, leaving the vicious creature to arise from the ground. The once innocent hatchling is more than twenty feet tall, with razor sharp fangs that were sticking out of its mouth! The beautiful dark feathers were now dirty dark, ripped with some shedding off! Its talons now seem like they can pierce through anything in its path, or kill more than thirty men!

Hugo stepped back, his hand slowly reached towards one of the handles of his twin swords on his back; but he didn't feel the smooth, rough handle of either sword! He was completely defenseless! Or so he thought…

Right behind him was an old slingshot and a few rocks next to it, so with great speed, he ran towards his new weapon! Thankfully the beast didn't see him, it was running to an empty spot so he used this opportunity to attack! Shooting rocks on its head, trying to earn its attention.

Eathelyn, however, decided to try to make the beast dizzy with her speed, but she somehow couldn't feel her two legs move. She couldn't even stretch her hand out to grab Lightning Blade if the blade was there! She just stood frozen and useless. At least she thought she was frozen still, she looked up ahead of her, spotting a good sharp stick to using but the only problem now was how to get to her desired tool.

Suddenly, rocks out of nowhere began to shoot at the creature, missing its head at first but luckily, those stones managed to hit the stick, moving it towards her. Eathelyn began to concentrate on the stick, using every ounce of strength she could feel until at last her fingers touched the weapon that just might save her.

Rashika narrowed her eyes as she searched for a perfect spot to shoot her flames, but before she could the creature was running towards her! 'Calm down Rashika,' She told herself. 'It just wants you to feel scared. Focus.'

Catching a quick glimpse of a couple of large boulders on top of a hill, she decided to use her wings to fly up, only to realize that her feathered wings were in no good shape to fly! Hoping that this out of nowhere idea works, she breathed in a huge breath of air, and then fired straight at the hill, praying that her flames won't melt the boulders.

Unfortunately, it didn't move all of the stones, just one which resulted in the huge raging monster to get hit, but then get distracted to another direction, which was empty space that is somehow throwing rocks.

"Wait what?!" She exclaimed, trying to see if her eyes haven't gotten messed up, she rubbed them a bit but she still saw the empty space throwing rocks! Not only had that she now saw a sharp stick begin to attack the beast's head! Rashika decided that now wasn't the time to see if she has gone mad or not. With her opponent distracted, she began to circle it, hoping if another phantom will appear to help her while she took out some of her bombs from her belt to cause explosions.

Now Ozur was beyond shocked than he was ever was in his whole fourteen years of life! Seeing rocks getting thrown at the monster bird, then a stick without a wielder hitting its head as well, and to top it all, explosions were now coming out of nowhere!

"I-I must be going insane!" He shouted, but he saw that the beast wasn't getting defeated so he began to dig in his bag, only to find nothing inside, not a prank to felt by his fingers! "Think! THINK OZUR!"

Ozur began to throw a small tantrum until he stopped one of his fists from hitting a tree for some reason. Now he saw an opportunity to create his own prank, but hearing the petrifying roars of the monster, he had a difficult time concentrating.

Hugo was about to run out of rocks, because of that he began to pray for a miracle. "Let it be a ghost, let it be my mom ...I'll even take that shadowy thing for heaven's sake!" He paused and made an amused face, sarcastically stating,"I can't believe I just asked for the person who made this thing..."

Reaching for the last rock, he quickly kissed it and then shot it towards the beast's eye, praying that it'll work.

Eathelyn's stick was about to break so she quickly began to look for a fatal spot to penetrate it through the beast's body. "Better find one fast," she told herself. "I've been riding on top of this thing for a while now... And I'm now starting to feel sick..."

"If only I went to train with dad about running in circles, as much as this is just a dream... I'm getting pretty fed up with this," Rashika growled under her breath, but she couldn't help but feel less hopeful for another phantom to come.

Suddenly, all three teens saw an enormous boulder being soaring in the sky, aiming right on tip of the beast, so Rashika and Eathelyn quickly made a run it, not even realizing that each girl wasn't alone.

Once they were out of reach, the boulder hit the monster right on target, causing it to scream its last shriek. It didn't move at all after that and once the dust cleared, all that was left of the creature was its sharp talon. None of the three teens knew how or when this boulder was launched; if it was a miracle or a coincidence.

However, that wasn't the case for Ozur, who was leaping around in joy in front of a giant tree slingshot! "It worked, my plan and great calculations worked!" In case any of you readers are confused, here's a brief explanation.

While our three teens were busy praying for a miracle, Ozur was busy creating a slingshot out of two dead trees while using some dried up vines to tie them down. Once he was finished with that, he hauled in a huge boulder he found and at the right moment... He launched the boulder out.

"That was way too close," Rashika gasped, getting up on her feet since she fell while running from the boulder. "Wonder what this whole thing was for?"

Eathelyn however, before she could say anything to herself, she heard a strong echoey voice speak from out of nowhere as it told her in wisdom.

"The time is almost here young warrior, you must be prepared for the future battle that you will encounter soon, and other battles as well... You will be teamed up with a team like no other, stay alert young Eathelyn, for you will be the one who will see bits and pieces of the future..."

"And watch out for your future friends, one of them might end up making a decision that will change the entire world for eternity..."

"Wait!" Eathelyn shouted, getting up on her feet as the voice began to fade. "What are you talking about, which friend will have to make that decision?! What battles?!"

The voice did not answer, it just faded, and soon everything turned into a blinding blast of white light while a loud sound was beginning to be heard.


"Wait- What?!" Eathelyn bolted up from her bed, hearing the sudden horn tooting, waking every student in the train up. She looked out of the window, seeing that same blinding light sting her eyes a bit. Once her eyes didn't sting, she looked shocked, suddenly feeling this strange light's heat warm her.

"Is that?" She began, then finished with a small smile. "The sun, so that is how it looks like huh?"

Meanwhile, Ozur woke up by falling off his bed while he still was cheering, Hugo woke up with a gasp and Rashika woke up flying to the ceiling, full of alert until she calmed down.

Although they all knew this was a dream, they all asked themselves at the same moment while the train still continued on its trail.

"What was that all about?"

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