The entrance to the Prestigious School of Assorted Magix was magnificent. The elegant carvings of magixians of ages past gave one a sense of power and mystique. At the zenith of the doors was a carving of Gix, the original magixian. Jack gaped in astonishment at the awesome door. He put his hand on it and instantly turned into a cupcake.
“Jack!” Reza cried in disbelief.
“Don’t worry.” Siphokazi said. She clicked her fingers and Jack was back to Jack.
“I… was a pastry” Jack mumbled, his eyes wide.
“Those doors open only to those who know magix.” Siphokazi said as she walked towards it. “Behold.” As her fingers touched the doors there was a sparkle of green light. Slowly, incredibly, impressively the door ope… The door was stuck on something.
“It looks like something’s in the way.” Dojima said.
What appeared to be a fallen pylon was preventing the doors from opening. Responsibility stepped forward and lifted the pylon with one hand and tossed it out of the way.
“I’m sorry, you can’t be here” said an under-wizard who had come to find out who’d thrown a pylon over his head. It was evident that he was an under-wizard because he still had eyebrows and his skin was only a mild blue-tinted chartreuse.
“We’re here for the seer.” Siphokazi said.
“Oh, no, no, no. PSAM is shut down.” the under-wizard said.
“Shut down? What have you done?” Dojima asked sharply.
“Protesting against what?” Siphokazi asked.
“Various things, my lady, now I must ask that you leave.”
“There’s no need for us to leave, my man, we are here for the seer and do not intend to interfere with your agenda.”
“I’m sorry, I simply cannot allow it. Send us a letter and we’ll engage. Here’s my address. Now I must insist.”
The party did as they were asked. They were not here to make enemies. Although they doubted that their letter to three hundred and fish Gsdjnsouhnskf Road would ever be engaged. So, they decided to hatch an ingenious plan.
The Better Luck Next Time Inn, was on the outskirts of PSAM. It was the teavern where many a hopeful wizard was sent upon failing their entrance exam. The party sat by the much-appreciated hearth were a large dead animal was sleeping in the fire. Jack managed to get a map of PSAM from the teavern owner by hooking him up with a fat load of dosh, which was somehow still worth something even though Flockboast was under water. What Jack didn’t know was that there was a gift shop around the corner that sold them for a dosh fifty (and glow-in-the-dark ones for a dosh seventy-five).
They gathered around the gift-shop map. Responsibility, who had gotten a good view of the area while they were inside, marked down the positions of the protesters and their likely patrol routes.
“The Seers Department is at the far end of PSAM.” Dojima noted. Unsurprisingly, it was also at the highest point of the tallest tower.
“Couldn’t we climb over the mountains?” Heart suggested.
“Protective magix shrouds those mountains, furthermore, they’re super high.”
“Couldn’t we barge in? What could a bunch of under-wizards do to us?” Jack said, grasping his hilt.
“No, Jack, it’s none of our business. We’re not here to interfere.” Dojima said.
“In fact, it would be best if we remained unseen altogether.” Siphokazi said.
“Wait, what if Reza showed her face and got them to bow down before her!” Jack suggested. Reza blinked glumly.
“She doesn’t have her crown. They’d sooner turn us into cupcakes than believe us.” Siphokazi said.
Jack scratched his head, or rather, attempted to scratch his head but scratched the bakawk on his head instead. As she pecked his head irritably he got an idea.
“Hey, Siphokazi, could you protect us from getting turned into cupcakes?”
“Alas, magix is not my strong point. I would only be able to protect one of us.”
“I’ve just thought of an idea that might be insane enough to work.”
“Excuse me, your DPR Tea, sir.”
“Ooh! That’s mine!” Jack said.
The desert was finally in sight. Jean pointed to the River Spectacular, which the Desert Flower had carved out of the earth all those years ago. A cold shiver ran down her spine as she approached her home. What lasting destruction would these new seeds bring?
They flew along the desert coast passed what Jean pointed out as Djulok territory. They went inland and approached the centre of the desert. They stopped at a watering hole where Jean had a brief conversation with the nomads there. They didn’t know much but were deeply concerned. The nomads described a massive beam of light in the sky. They also described a flash of black light. It was all quite confusing to Jean and Beardface who, like most people, haven’t read the previous chapters. Then an excited child, who couldn’t contain his excitement anymore, directed their attention to the moon.
You see, when Felix deflected the beam of energy it didn’t disappear. It simply hit something else.
They landed in the E’ko region. Jean’s homeland. This was another nomadic region and so they had to track Jean’s family down. Not an easy feat in an ever-shifting windswept desert. Fortunately, Jean was an excellent tracker and knew what to look out for. Peter and Gregor touched down outside their encampment.
It was eerily silent. The tent canvas slapped around in the wind and an E’ni flag flailed violently in on itself. There wasn’t a person to be seen.
“Are you sure this is the right place.” Beardface whispered.
Jean nodded and pointed to the flag. It was the same colour as her scarf. She remained silent as they looked around. She led Beardface into the nearest tent. He had to duck to get his hair in. Jean scratched around under some sort of bed as if she were looking for something.
“They’ve left everything behind. This isn’t normal.” she whispered.
“Could they have headed to the meeting place?”
“Possibly, but my brother would never have left this behind.” Jean produced a shiny trinket.
“Do you suggest they were…”
“So, I said, ‘well, then sand pigs must be handsome!’ Juhuhuhu.” said a husky voice from outside the tent.
Beardface was about to say “Ah, some fellows!” when Jean covered his mouth and gave him the those-aren’t-my-people-they-sound-like-Djuloks look. They remained silent as the person walked passed the tent. It sounded like he was accompanied by 5 or 6 others.
“What did you do next, Djokstrap?” asked an oily-voiced one.
“Kicked the punk in the face. No one talks to Djokstrap like that. Especially an E’ni brat.”
Jean’s fist clenched.
“Hey, can we go back now?” moaned one of the others.
“We’ll leave when we leave, Djokovthebooshfelt. We have to make sure none of them got away.”
A distant rumbling filled the air.
“Oh, there’s the worm now. Guess we have to leave.” sighed the moany one happily.
“Well, since you’ve been so optimistic you can check this last tent. ”
“Wait! What if there are some main characters lying in wait to knock me out, steal my uniform and impersonate me?”
“… Tshiporftheoldblok, you go with him.”
“Don’t dawdle! We’ll leave in roughly enough time for you to change your clothes.”
“Thanks!” Beardface said thoughtlessly.