Alasdair and Unda arrived at a clearing in the woods. Hiding from Alasdair’s acquaintances would be difficult but not impossible considering their lack of knowledge.
“This has been bothering me. Most need to say spells in order to perform magic, correct?” Unda asked, plopping her belongings on the ground.
“Well, for small things like that,” he nodded to her sword that hung at her side, now in a scabbard he had conjured, “It only requires concentration. For bigger spells, it requires words.”
“Oh, huh… I’ve never met a wizard or witch before.”
“Well, there are very few. And the others are not quite as friendly as me.”
“You tried to kill me!”
He laughed dryly. “They’d do worse.”
“So, I’ve heard stories, but is it true? The prophecy…what it says…”
“Yes,” Alasdair informed her, picking up twigs around the area to make a fire.
“What exactly does it say?”
“I can’t say it by heart,” Alasdair admitted. “But I do know that it is coming true as we speak. When I heard it, a few years back, I didn’t think it would include me. I didn’t even believe it could happen with the terror we currently live in. But now I’ve met you, and destiny seems to be falling into place.”
Unda laughed and shook her head. “I’m one of the four…How strange. Where do you think the others are?”
“I have no clue. The real question is how they have stayed hidden all this time. I thought it was crazy that you survived but three other people, living under the radar? How is that possible in a world with such strong security? People watching your every move -” Alasdair thought he saw a pair of eyes in the woods behind Unda.
Unda turned around but didn’t see anything. She then looked around and saw that Alasdair was lying face-down on the ground. Before she could move to see if he was okay, she felt a prick on the back of her neck and fell beside him. Then everything went black.
~ ~ ~
Alasdair peeled his eyes open and took in his surroundings once his eyes adjusted. The area was dark, but he could make out a wooden area, with a few crates strewed across the floor. By the shaking of the room, he realized they were on the move. He tried to move his left hand and realized it was chained to his other hand. He rolled his eyes and attempted magic at them, but they wouldn’t budge. Alasdair’s breath caught in his throat. Were the shackles charmed?
Unda woke up and looked at the shackles on her hands and feet too. The chain also connected to the floor. “Alasdair, where are we?”
“Some sort of wagon I guess?”
Panic arose in Unda’s eyes. “Is it - is it the queen?”
“I’m not sure.”
They bumped each other’s heads as the cart hit a bump. Alasdair moaned, but Unda was unfazed. She spit on her chains and froze the saliva with her blue eyes which glowed as she used her power. She pulled her hands apart and the chain broke apart.
Alasdair smirked. “Who taught you that trick?”
“I taught myself,” she said, as she broke the rest of the chains.
He nodded and stood up with Unda. All of a sudden, the vehicle came to a halt and both captors flew across the cart. They landed on the ground and groaned.
An elf walked in with a torch, lighting up the entire area. Long, straight white hair caressed her body and crystal-like light blue eyes locked with Alasdair’s.
“Clementina,” Alasdair murmured reluctantly.
“Hello Alasdair,” she answered, clearly peeved.
Unda looked back and forth between them. “You two know each other?”
Clementina narrowed her eyes. “Keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t escape those chains again,” she told two soldiers, a woman and a man, who came in promptly and chained them again. They knocked them out with tranquilizer.
Hours passed by and they arrived at a miniature palace deep in the forests of Terra. Unda and Alasdair awoke and looked around the magnificent castle, up at the ceiling that was painted beautifully with natural colors and lovely strokes, and at the grand windows in the main hall they were seated in. They realized that they were no longer chained down to anything.
“I see you’ve woken up,” a smooth voice echoed.
Both got up and into fighting position.
“Clementina, please, all those things that I did…they are in the past.”
She walked into the room with her hands behind her back. She wore a forest green gown with a boat neckline, long sleeves and gold detailing, and her hair was now in a braid. “I’m not here to talk about your idiotic behavior,” she spat. “I understand you were a fool back then and hope you have changed by now if you are the one who will help to save Elementi.”
Alasdair scratched his head. “You mean, you aren’t going to hurt us? Why did you capture us?”
“Would you have agreed to come if we hadn’t captured you?”
Clementina rubbed her hands together and formed a holographic blue and green ball in her hands. She threw it out in the air and it expanded to show a map.
“What - what is this place?” Alasdair asked, looking at the foreign landmasses and the bodies of water.
“It’s called Earth. The three dots are the locations of the others. Find them and you have your team to defeat the queen.”
“How do you know this? How did you find this map? And what is Earth?” Unda bombarded the elf with questions.
Clementina chuckled. “I’m the oracle you foolish mortal. I know all.”
“Elves can be oracles?”
“Trolls can be oracles, young one.”
“Really? Okay, um, well, so what is Earth and how do we get there?”
“Another universe,” Alasdair brushed his bangs back. “We’d need to find portals.”
“Luckily, you have me,” the oracle said. “And I have this.”
She handed a red jewel to Alasdair. “It opens portals to wherever you need to go. And do not forget to close them. An Earthian coming into our lands would ruin us and someone from our lands going to Earth would be just as bad.”
“Thank you,” Alasdair put the device in his cloak pocket.
She nodded. “Also,” she pulled the map back into the palms of her hands. “You’ll need this,” she placed a hand on Alasdair’s shoulder. He breathed in deeply as he absorbed the map. “Now, you’ll be able to locate the people without looking at the map. Of course, if you do think you need the map, you can access it through your magic.”
Alasdair nodded. “Alright…So why are you doing this? Helping me - us?”
“Our world is damaged. It’s been a while since I’ve felt safe. With Queen Amethyst leading Elementi, we are in constant turmoil and corruption. I know that it is my duty to do whatever I can to help you on your quest. It will be tough, and still, the outcome remains unclear, but, with the right help, I know you can do it. You are a good man despite your previous actions.” Clementina started to smile, but caught herself and curved a strand of her hair behind her ear and sighed. “Besides, I’m depending on you and the four chosen ones to save us. Now, you should be on your way. And never stop to look back. Amethyst always has someone watching, and, if you’re not careful, you’ll get caught in one of her traps. Safe travels.”
Alasdair was just about to pull the red jewel back out, but a noise erupted from the entryway of the castle. “No!!!! We aren’t working with them. We would ne-“ The sound of blade piercing through skin alarmed all of them.
“Go now!” Clementina shouted. She turned around and rushed to the entryway, summoning all the energy she could to fight back; however, her powers were limited to mind and simple light magic.
Alasdair wanted to protect her, but he knew that they had to go. The fate of Elementi rested in his hands at this very moment as to whether he would use the jewel to escape or not.
In a few seconds, Unda yelled, “Alasdair, we need to go!”
He pulled the jewel out and yelled a phrase in a different language and with a flicker in his eye, a blue and pink colored circle formed in front of them. The queen’s soldiers starting piling into the hall, and Alasdair took Unda’s hand, jumping into a world that was foreign to both of them.