"We must arrange an accident for Titus, it is a patriotic thing to do."
Monsters, sometimes, they hide among us.
You won't know, if the mind of an innocent boy, may hide a serial killer, a vampire or a terrorist. Yet to another, he might be a Patriot, instead of a monster. At least Faber thought he is.
Titus and Faber are two school mates, whom were accidentally marooned in a Wild West ghost town named Epitaph, and it is inhabited by militant Witches that only they can see.
For Titus, he wouldn’t be in this town, if he's not sent there by a crazed Principal whom was dressed up like a Wizard. Now, while trying to escape and with his mysterious past fast catching up on him. Titus has to contend with Witches. Some, were the former acquaintances of his grandma, having grudges against her and him, beside wanting him dead.
Then, there is his friend Faber. For something evil, desperate and ruthless had risen out from his shy mind, while they were escaping. For example, Titus has a Magical Torque of Strangulation put on his neck, without of his consent. Unless Titus does of Faber's bidding, Faber could strangle him.
For every path out of this town, seems daunting. From the surrounding deadly deserts, to the witches flying patrols above in the night sky. If they fail, there's always the final and the easiest way out, which is Death itself.
Chapter 1 Part 1 Final draft. The Sinister Warning.
The Present day.
I wish I am dead, Titus said to himself, it's better than the hell, that I am in now.
The boiling desert, is a place gravelled with dried baking soil that's cracked by the hellish heat of the sun every day. Hot enough to make a delirious man to begged and cry for the cold. The Silence of the Dead, is often associated with this baking hell, before one goes to a thirsty grave. A grand funeral there, is always follows by a feast, attended by Vultures and hyenas. They will always give a grand requiem, sung with howling laughter and sharp shrills, for their gratitude on dining, on the dying or the dead. That could be anyone, not coming out of this wasteland.
Ropes, like wires burning into his skin. So tight they were binding to Titus' wrist and ankles. As much as Titus want to scream in his mind to get out from them. His desperate struggle at breaking free is in vain, since he's tied to a wooden pole this morning.
He has fainted a few times. It is a super human effort for him to stay conscious, while his brain is getting baked by the burning hot desert sun. His skin is hot, the air surrounding him is burning. He is almost naked, saved for his pants. Beads of sweat, is rolling down from his face and body, yet the moisture is everywhere on him, except for his dry mouth and cracked lips. While the desert sun, like a fireball hanging in the cloudless blue sky above, is roasting him.
Titus could die, from being dehydrated alive, before the cancer from his skin kills him. While Death is patiently waiting, silently hidden in many forms, ready to claim of Titus when the Time comes. Titus prayed if that is to happen, may it be sooner. He's desperately hoping for the day to be over, so he could find some relief, from his torture. It is of this thought, which had kept him going. Unfortunately, he is to be punished like this for the next few days. He is too tired, to channel of his anger to those whom is doing this to him. To them, they believed Titus' punishment is an act of kindness. For they could do of worse things to him, for what he had done. All because of the blame, for a crime he didn't willingly do.
It is going to be a long and burning, but anxious day, for the creatures of the desert. The Vultures and Hyenas, were waiting and watching, if the two would be their next meal. However, the swarm of flies have already beaten them to it. For there are moments, Titus would have preferred he is dead, rather than being baked.
It wasn't his bloody fault. He got lied to, tricked, and then used. Titus cursed of his naive stupidity, for being simple minded and people took advantage of him.
The worst of the perpetrator, is the boy tied up next to him. His fellow school mate and not friend Faber. Whenever Titus thought of him, he just wants to shove of his fist, into Faber's lying gutter mouth. How could a religious and generous boy, be the master mind of a distraction, which had gotten a few people badly injured? If Faber isn't a normal school boy, as a muddle like the Witches had called him. He would be dead. For such crime is punishable by death in this town.
There's something isn't right about Faber. A moment ago, maybe he is delirious or perhaps it is the evil which had claimed him. Faber was laughing and preaching of doom. Like the town they are trapped in, would be smashed, and its people would be bombed from the sky.
Yet their suffering, is paled in comparison, compare to those whom are trapped in a concentration style camp not far from where they are.
The people in there, aside from getting cooked like they are. They are starving and malnourished looking, because they wore different clothing of an outlandish fashion, like most of them are wearing robes. They are Wizards apparently, from what was told to Titus earlier. They are from a skyship that the Witches had captured, before Titus and Faber had come into the Town.
Now, Titus is grimly witnessing of a procession leaving this heavily guarded camp. A stretcher, covered by a white blanket with the shape of a person underneath, is leaving the gate. It is sombre reminder, that this is the final way out of this town. Lucky bastard, Titus said grimly to himself, at least his suffering is over.
For Titus shall be joining this camp soon. Yet one month ago, Titus has never imaged in his wildest of dreams. He would be laughing himself silly in disbelief. If he is to discover that he's tied up, like how the ancient people did to the heretics, whom preached of new religions.
There's some part of History, known only to some. This secret history, is the history of Magic. In this world, unless you are a Wizard or a Witch, you will never hear of it.
Before the prehistory of humankind, while we were still living in the caves and hunting animals. There's the age of Werlacks. The word "Werlack", after its true original meaning was twisted and diluted through Time, what we know today, is "Warlocks". However, of then, the true and pure original meaning of the word means "Warrior mage" or "Warrior Magician." The Werlacks were a race of super magicians with extremely advance and powerful magic. So advance was their phenomenal magical powers, they were almost worshipped as gods. For the legends and myths, had spoken volumes and resonated with reverence, of how they had tamed the Mountains, the Sky, the four basic elements to even Death and Time.
They ruled absolute and had everything. They had no equals other than themselves, and of then, the world was theirs. In fact, they literally conquered the sky with their skyships and sky cities. While the normal humans cowered in their caves when seeing a lightning bolt flashes in the storms, that was the Werlacks doing. They could have had everything, until a terrible civil war they fought which resulted of their extinction. One side, of evil, is the action of one individual, because of his extreme greed and selfishness. The other, of good, had not for her selfless acts and the coalition she forged. If her side had not won, the world could have slipped into a barren wasteland in the likes of Mars.
So much was the ferocity fought in the battles from that War. The legacy and aftermath had left craters, gorges and canyons, the odd mountains rising out from a plain to lakes appearing out of weird places. Scars on the earth and land, that no erosion and time can hide.
In the conclusion of their civil war, it was a shattered world awaits the victors. Seeing of the terrible cost paid for their victories, she, the Witches would one day worshipped as their goddess, would force the splintering of her remaining race into two. So the tragedy of another war would never transpire again.
Thus, the end results, was the "Witaks" the Witches and the "Wizans" the Wizards. Each is unique of its own, in culture and magic. It was their creator's greatest of hopes and the most generous of blessings, that her two new factions would not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Unfortunately, soon after the time which the myth has labeled as the Age of Splintering. Petty politics and jealousies struck the two races with a vengeance. Beside dashing the hopes and dreams of their creator, they return to their roots of Violence, with battles fought in magic. Like their history was never there or learnt, this new hidden war, fought in discretely secret battles mostly in the skies, where the human eyes can't see. Although it was a very diluted version from the likes of their ancestors, but it was almost as destructive. Eventually, today, the casualties and cost had made both side a ghost of their former selves. While the humankind, are rising, thriving and expanding.
The war could have continued, with the remnants of those two races fought in secrecy and on a slow but slippery downward slope to their eventual extinction. Had not for the foresight and wisdom of another two individuals from the opposing two sides, with a hard-forged peace treaty they had rammed through almost twenty years ago. However, despite the treaty was written by blood and magic. There are those from either side would like to see the treaty burn and crash. They have as much hate for it, as they have for their enemies. So much was the hate, that some of these former blood enemies were willing to work together to null the treaty and have the war to continue again..
However, little do they know, in the blindness of their hate. From the ashes, their ancestors might be on the rise again. This time, not even humankind is spared, from their plans of evil.
This is the story.
Fifteen years ago.
Fifteen years ago.
Was the day when Titus' dad died, just after he's born.
It was the beginning, of the lingering mystery continued to this current day for Titus. A past which he never knew, is now told to the readers. For only his mom and grandma, were the unfortunate witnesses of the event that they had to suppress in the most remote part of their nightmares.
In that fateful night, nearing to a small town out in the countryside, is a forest sunken below in the sea of darkness and infiltrated by the early morning mist. Within the dark alleyways of trees, were sounds made by the haunted hooting cries of owls and resonated by other strange spine-chilling sounds. The sources had made them, were supernatural in origin. At least, according to the local folk legends, perhaps by Ghosts or Witches.
In truth, they are wrong on the former, but absolutely right on the later.
Tonight, the train station within of the town and next to the forest, is struggling to lift of itself out from the mist-soaked Darkness. It is a futile effort for the station, because everything in it is ancient. The slack yellowish lighting, from the farting gas fed lamps in their Victorian era fixture and fittings that's populating the station. These antiquated lights are utterly insufficient at fighting off the tides, from the invading Steam, Fog and Mist.
Even though the time of the night is very late or too early in morning, the station is far from being empty, with station attendants readying a steam train with the passengers catching it. Most of these passengers are work fanatics, dying to get to a city that's far away to start their job. They are catching the last train of the night, so they can get there in time for the coming morning.
The noise generated tonight, in the platforms within of the station, has almost the loudness of a street market. There are train attendants blowing their whistles away and rushing the passengers to board the departing train, so it could depart on time. The shrill from the whistles, had whipped the passengers into a boarding frenzy. Causing them to rush and push to board the antiquated carriages from the train, for the fear that the train would leave without them.
WHOOO! WHOOO! The train roared out again and again, with its super-size Whistle. Screaming for all to board, while farting out steam. Almost blinding of its passengers, from seeing of its red metal body. However, even the blind can find it, because of the strong stench coming from its diesel fuel, oil and brake dust.
With minutes to go before departure, the front engine of the train is roaring like a leashed raging bull. Readying to charge out at any time. Until of then, it was angrily shouting of its displeasure, of its forced confinement. It does this by lashing out into the darkness, again and again, with its whistling blast and more steam farting.
Among the passengers catching this train, is one Angus Stormbolt. His appearance and clothing, has betrayed him out as a person, who stands out from the crowd.
While wearing a Victorian-era black tail coat, white shirt, long dark pants and a top hat. He would have been righteously fitting, with the furniture of this station, if it was a hundred years ago. However, from where he had come from, the fashion he’s wearing, is quite perfectly normal.
In fact, Angus would probably think that you are ignorant, if you are to tell him off that he’s from the last century. Simple really, because he’s a Wizard, living among us.
According to him, he’s living in the land of muddles, for we are the Muddles. The word “muddle” is a common slang his people has reserved for us, because according to them, you have to be genetically gifted with a special concentrated mind, to conjure of anything Magical!
At this time, Angus was nervously and constantly twitching of his small, black and curved moustach, while his blue eyes were glued to the entrance of the station. From time to time, he creased of his well-combed, greased, and greyish black hair. While his right hand was busy and impatiently fiddling on the brass-knob, from an exquisitely decorated walking stick.
A few times, he’s also looking at a small and round golden pocket watch, which he has in his pocket, that's tied to a golden chain. The peculiarity of this watch, if compares to a normal one. It doesn't have of any numeric numbers but replaced by planets, clouds and moons. These features are not carved or itched on the watch but popped out like miniature illusions. Which only Angus could see himself.
He is clearly impatient while waiting, from his body language.
Suddenly he hears of a loud speaker, shouting out.
TRAIN ON PLATFORM 1 WILL DEPART IN FIVE MINUTES! ALL ON BOARD AND BELT IN! TRAIN WILL DEPART IN FIVE…”
The announcement was enough to stroke of Angus' rapidly beating heart to go crazy. Like he’s standing on the thin ice from a lake, which is about to break at any minute.
Come on Margaret! Come on! Where are you and the family? He silently screamed to himself. The Coven meeting was over half an hour ago!
Unfortunately, there's nothing he could do but wait. Then, after letting loose of a loud sigh with his mouth. He spied a newspaper boy looking like Oliver Twist suddenly walking past him.
The boy has stacks of newspapers, folded under his right armpit, while he's waving of one above his head. Angus could hear of his selling pitch loudly, while he's screaming.
“EXTRA, EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! LATE NIGHT EDITION! DERELICT BUILDING COLLAPSE AT QUEEN ST… READ ALL ABOUT IT!”
This was enough, for Angus' eyes to latch on to the boy hungrily. For Angus has just found of his salvation, which can help him kill of his boredom, while riding in the train later.
“BOY! OVER HERE! “Angus shouted to the newspaper boy.
The boy, whom is a smart and quick lad. He quickly ran over to Angus, and then, he examines of Angus carefully. Mildly surprised, by the boy's strange behavior. Angus' eyes went wide with shock, as the boy then said to him, "Tonight is a magical night, is it not sir?”
“The night is only Magical, when you see of a broomstick and a carpet,” Angus then smiled, after he had said of the secret phrase, “I shall take one please.”
“Errr.. Pearls or Dollars sir?" The boy asked.
Damn Witches money, Angus cursed to himself, which Margaret hasn't given me any.
"How much in muddle's dollars?" Angus asked instead.
"Two sir!" the boy smiled, "I rather take those!"
"Here you go boy," Angus smiled.
He then gave the boy the money. The boy, after glancing around like someone was after him. When he finally satisfies that the coast is clear. Like secret agents secretly exchanging secret drops and money. The boy then gave Angus a small glass tube filled with a red liquid.
After, he gave Angus a warm smile and a salute, before running away, while Angus was returning a wink and a smile. Then, the boy went back to selling of his newspapers, like he's doing it before.
Angus put the tube against the cloudless night sky above. So the moonlight from the half moon, could illuminate of its liquid content. Ahh, there goes my boredom while on the train. He sighed with deep happiness, like something golden and satisfying exploding within him.
After putting the glass tube into his pocket, Angus' eyes went wide. Oh! by the clouds! I almost forgot! His pulses then started racing like a horse being poked by a branding iron again, with the ice beneath of his feet is seemingly thinner than the last time.
"Come on Margie where are you?" Angus asked of himself impatiently again.
The announcement suddenly blasted out again, screaming that the train will depart in two minutes. By now, Angus' impatience was exploding inside of him.
They are not going to make it in time. I have to do something to delay the train. Angus seethed.
He's angry of being put into a position for doing something drastic. Like performing a spell. However, doing it in the open with muddle's eyes everywhere is taking a huge risk.
If what I did appeared on the muddle's media. I could be punished by having my powers suspended from six months to a year. I might have to pay a heavy fine to cover the cost of damage control, should the Occulus Silentum people has to come out and do mass memory erasure. They can't exile me, for I already am.
Come to think of it, I got nothing to lose. Angus grimly said to himself silently, having his mind made up. The train is about to depart in one minute and there's no shadows of them showing.
Carefully, Angus quickly checks of his surroundings for anyone might be watching him. Luckily, all the muddles surrounding him were busy boarding the train or the station attendants were busy with their passengers or checking at the time for the seconds ticking by.
The steam surrounding me would definitely help to cover my act from preying eyes, Angus smiled. He then walks stealthily, his eyes were ever checking, while making his way to the front engine of the train. It is cold tonight, they probably won’t notice the difference.
The metal wheel of the train gleamed brightly with the moonlight casting on it. Angus, seeing his reflection on the shiny metal. He then aimed his walking stick at them and softly said, "Glacies Ramulus!"
With his hand holding at the pointy end of his walking stick, a jet of ice shoots out from the knobby end of it.
Angus used his walking stick over the wheels, like a gardener spraying his garden of flowers and plants with a hose of water. Ensuring the ice encasing them to be thick and solid.
Once his work was done, satisfied, Angus smiled grimly and walked away. This will buy me additional time.
Angus went back to where he was waiting before. With the secret knowledge that he alone knowing the fate of the train shortly, he waited calmly and uncaring for what is to come. Surely enough, Pandemonium struck the station, when Angus heard the driver of the train shouting that the train can't move. It took almost a few minutes for the pandemonium to die down, so the station attendants and engineers would use of their logic instead of their emotions, to find a solution to melt the ice.
Angus' satisfied mind would soon went back to anxiously waiting again, when he saw the train attendants were shouting and barking like mad dogs, to get of the necessary equipment to melt the ice.
The minutes soon went by again. From time to time, Angus would cast of his anxious eyes back and forth, from the gate and to the attendants, while they were working on the engine.
Eventually, his heart would sink deeper into coldness, at seeing the attendants dispersing away from the engine. The time he had bought, is now all used up. Angus knew that he can't delay the train again.
He soon heard of the fateful announcement made.
"THE LAST TRAIN FOR THE NIGHT WOULD BE DEPARTING IN TWO MINUTES. WE DO APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENT DELAY BEFORE, DUE TO ICE PROBLEMS."
"Come on Margie! Where are you?" Angus said out loud. He couldn't contained of his anxiety anymore, with it leaking everywhere out from his body language. His left hand was fiddling on the knob of his walking stick uncontrollably. His right hand couldn't stop creasing of his hair, while he's walking back and forth on the spot from where he's standing before.
Suddenly, the pressure valves inside of Angus was set to full release, when he saw his family appearing at the gates of the station. With his relief rocketing up on a steep ballistic trajectory, Angus ran to his family.
Angus saw a young lady in her late twenties with red hair, while wearing a knee length dark dress without a hat ran toward him. She has a baby in a miniature hammock slung around on her left shoulder and neck, with one of her hand is holding onto a girl around three years of age. The young girl also has red hair, while bearing a strong resemblance to her mom. Lastly, following them is a lady in her late fifties, with a mix of white red hair while also wearing a knee length black dress.
They were also rushing toward at Angus, like they were running away from a chasing firestorm.
Once the lady in her late-twenties got close to Angus, Angus exclaimed with a rushed voice.
“You are late Margie! We better get on the train!”
“The… Coven had broken… up latter than I…. had anticipated Angus," Margaret panted, while she's trying to catch up with her breath.
"We will talk later on the train Angus," said the older lady in her fifties firmly, like she's giving an order.
"Indeed, Mrs Trillian," Angus replied formally.
She's a tough one, his mother-in-law Sarah, Angus said to himself, like he's expecting trouble. His mind was pounding and his heart was beating fast. Readying, in case of any trouble coming from her. For this lady has a demeanor, that it is suicidal, to go against.
"Right, come on! come on!" Angus panicked.
"Angus, you hold Magnolia's hand. Then, we get on the train, quickly and safely, " said his mother-in-law, with a firm tone.
“Come on Margie, Magnolia sweet heart, we must dash! ” Angus urged.
They all ran and ran. Just when they were about to climb the metal steps to their carriage and through a door which enters it. They found a station attendant looking anxiously at them.
"You lot are just in time, another ten seconds you wouldn't have made it."
"Thank you for waiting sir," Angus said with relief, "Come on, let’s get inside!"
The second they were inside, they found themselves inside of the carriage's red carpeted, poorly alighted, dark middle narrow corridor, which it leads to separate adjoining private booths. They have to find theirs before the train speed up, otherwise, the acceleration can injure them.
“Angus sir, where is… compartment 2-A.” Magnolia asked sweetly.
"Keep looking further ahead dear," Angus gently and urgently rushed her. She was not his child, but from his wife's previous marriage, yet Angus treats her as his own.
"I found it!" Angus saw Magnolia a few seconds later, while her finger was pointing to a metal plate near to a netal door.
"That is very clever of you my dear!" Margaret exclaimed.
"Indeed you are! "exclaimed Mrs Trillian with a delightful smile, "You are only three years old and you are already speaking like a five!"
From the facial expression of these ladies, so focus and oozing with joy they were on the cute face of their little girl, they forgot that the train was about to depart.
"We better get seated in, before the train moves, " Angus hurried them.
"Excellent idea," said Mrs Trillian, while nodding at Angus. Angus' heart exploded with amazement and delightful surprise by her reaction. Oh wow! This is one of the rare moments, Angus thought to himself, that her usual granite hard and stern expression was melting softly on him.
Angus then enters into the small compartment, within, he found of two long leather couches facing toward each other. While sharing in between them is a window, with the view of the night sky, the moon and the countryside with the forest, as the background. The metal walls of the compartment, is padded with red leather, while making the place having a touch of luxury.
After, Angus sat on one side of the couch and having it all to himself, while the women and girls all sat on the other. As soon as Angus placed of his walking stick, in the empty space next to him on the couch. Suddenly, they all felt of an almighty jolt. WHOOO!! The train then rumbled and quake, while it is beginning to move, but slowly.
Now that they were finally settled in, Angus could finally relax as of now. He let loose a mighty sighed, while releasing of all his tension. Like a loaded spring being fully uncoiled.
While the train is picking up speed, Angus found the moonlight from outside, was shining through the window on Margaret's face. Making her looking, like a beautiful maiden rising out from a fable glade.
"You look so beautiful dear," Angus couldn't help by saying, while Margaret was blushing.
Her mom, Mrs Trillian however, she made a snorting sound, while her eyes were rolling to the ceiling of the compartment.
"Thank you dear, I love you Angus," Margaret then gave her husband a wishful stare.
"Do you ever give up Angus, this infection of your charm?" Mrs Trillian interrupted with a deep sigh.
"Mom! Would you leave us to ourselves?" said Margaret indignantly, "You are spoiling the moment."
"Sorry dear, the foul feeling from the Coven meeting, is still lingering in my mind," Mrs Trillian said grumpily.
"I am tired,” Magnolia suddenly interrupted them with a yawn. She then started lying with her head, on Margaret's laps.
“Come on sweetheart, off you go to the land of dreams!” Margaret said to Magnolia, who's then already fast dozing off.
"I wish I could ride a carpet, so I could fly us all home. Just like the days before Titus was born," Angus grinned.
"Or a Broomstick," Margaret smiled.
"That's why we are catching a train," Mrs Trillian grunted, "We are going to live with the muddles. Flying on a Carpet or Broomstick will make us stand out."
The price we pay, for our marriage and having Titus. For our love. Angus sighed. Exiled by both our culture and society.
However, deeper within of Angus’ mind, he felt a mixed of bitter emotions. His mind was livid with anger, regret and the bitter pain of rejection.
Exiled, outcast. We were on the verge of a new era. We are supposed to embrace of the new changes in our society, so we can move on from our hate. Margaret and I are the first, and this is how our societies had rewarded us, because of die-hard old timers can’t move on from the past.
"It is going to be hard, living with the muddles," Margaret said, with her eyes gazing out at the passing scenery, while the train was moving faster.
"I wonder of what job I can end up with, in the muddle world," said Angus too, while his eyes were binding to his wife's. They found their stares toward at each other, were wishful, hopeful and lost in thoughts.
While their reflection on the train's window is telling them of their insecure future.
"To think I was the best Illusion Mage from my Sky city. For SpellKeep is losing one of its most talented. How I had entertained the nobles with my skills," Angus sighed.
"And I am the best Mender there is, when it comes to wounds and torn clothes," Margaret smiled.
"Remember of how we had met? And how we had fallen in love?" Angus asked, while his eyes were elsewhere.
"You were my prisoner," Margaret laughed.
"Oh.. come on dear, and you Angus, this kind of talk is not going to get us anywhere with the reminder of the past. Let's move on to the future tense stuff shall we?" Mrs Trillian growled.
"I am tired Angus, I better get some sleep," sighed Margaret.
Then, Silence would weave of itself into the compartment. Margaret with Magnolia, would soon entered into a deep state of sleep.
Angus continues to studied them, for he has never been happier at seeing of his loving family. He was in his own little world, enjoying the cuteness and sweetness of their innocent faces.
However, it wouldn’t be long, when he found Mrs Trillian's harsh eyes was studying him.
What is with her? Ever since she has first set her eyes on me two years ago, she has been having some kind of reserve grudge on me. I may not be the ideal son in law, but why does she hate me so? Like she only barely tolerates of my presence. Angus seethed uncomfortably, while her contemptuous eyes were studying him. As ever.
This went on for two minutes, until Angus found of her stare, like a wall which keeps pushing of him ever closer to the edge of the clift. Finally, his agitated and frustrated mind could hide no more. I need to take a chance, to get this out from her. I might cause irreparable damage to our relationship with what I am about to do, but this kind of cold and scornful attitude can't continue on. I can't take it anymore.
"Why do you hate me Sarah, I have tried to be a loving husband to your daughter," Angus asked bluntly and uncomfortably.
"It has nothing to do with hate," Mrs Trillian said harshly, "It is the lack of foresight from your part, which has left me simmers, from my frustration."
"What have I done, to deserve of it?" Angus asked, after gotten slapped with shock, from her revelation. It is so utterly different from what he had assumed. The surprising truth, was now grabbing of his attention hard.
"Having Titus, do you understood the price I had gone through, so he would be spared," Mrs Trillian sneered.
"I gathered the Coven meeting did not go well?" Angus asked anxiously
"It was a farce. My enemies were hounding me. I was lucky to even had purchased of this exile with all my wits. For if I had failed. Titus would have been executed, with me, you and Margaret."
Angus blinked. For the first time, he felt the depth of the gravity, from the price she had paid.
"Thank you Mrs Trillian, for the sacrifice you had made," Angus replied gratefully.
"Seeing the love of you two, I would have done of anything to preserve of it. For no price is too high..yet it seems too high. I for one, have no idea of what I will do..in the muddle society."
"If I am to be executed, it could restart the war. I hope you did mention of that fact in the meeting?" Angus offered. Partly, his mind had felt very relieved, for not being blamed of something bad. Yet he felt the pang of guilt, for the situation he had put her in. The least he could do, was to offer something to help her.
"You are one of many Wizard Angus," Mrs Trillian snorted, "Beside, it is too late for them to dispelled of the impossible. The Magic from the Treaty guarantees a minimum of twenty years. Only five has passed and do you see the reward from it? Our people, the Witches and the Wizards, at war ever since the Age of the Splintering. Now, there's finally peace between us. "
"I guess we are the fruits from that tree, you had planted together with the Archmage."
"Well said Angus. You definitely have your moments, even for a Wizard," she smiled.
"And you madam, as my mother-in-law, is the only Witch whom had ever complimented me and treated me with kindness. Despite of how we had initially first met," Angus smiled.
"I hope there's no hard feelings aye, Angus?" Sarah smiled.
"No Mrs Trillian, I have never answered a question that's more intense, like yours, " Angus jokingly laughed.
"You are right. At my age, I have seen and been infected too much by bitter memories. Hard enough, to treat of anything suspicious, despite what is innocent or simple," Mrs Trillian sighed.
"How about we talk of something else? Maybe we can watch of the news together? "offered Angus.
"Brilliant idea Angus, if you have something. It is anything better than to talk of the past," nodded Mrs Trillian.
"I bought this from the newspaper boy earlier," smiled Angus, and he took out a tube half filled with red liquid.
"Oh! a memory potion, how quaint," she said casually.
From his pockets, Angus then took out a crystal ball sitting on a flat wooden base with one side of its sphere. There is a cork beneath of the base, which Angus then pulled out and filled the Crystal ball within with the liquid from the tube.
After he had plugged the cork back into the hole, he then placed the crystal ball in front of himself and Sarah, before rubbing of it furiously.
Soon enough, an image of a Lady, wearing a purple dress and black hair appeared.
While watching it, their faces was then transformed, into of surprised and shock.
“By Kronos! The Inter-magical Market was bombed! The explosion was such a scale that nothing is left but a huge crater?” Angus exclaimed.
Mrs Trillian just shook her head continuously with utter bewilderment on her face.
To be continue to part 2
Chapter 1 Part 2 Final Draft The Sinister Warning.
"We must wake Marga-" Angus was stopped by Mrs Trillian.
"Don't! let her sleep," she said firmly, "She had a hard day. Later."
"But this is huge, Mrs Trillian," Angus said excitedly.
"Angus, you fought in a war before and so have I. This is no different than the death and destruction that we had seen in our life."
"But what kind of spell could have left such a crater? Look at the scenes in the ball,"
"Only a lost spell from the Warlock age," Mrs Trillian said worryingly.
"Time will tell. There will always be an investigation on such things," said Mrs Trillian sullenly, "But I fear for the peace treaty, that I had worked so hard for."
She tries hiding her feeling, she always does, because of her former position. Strength must be shown and not your weaknesses. However, I can tell that she is very worried by the news.
"This will definitely set back of the hard work you did. The Inter-Magical Market was a symbol of the unity between us from the Treaty."
"Over five hundred dead, and the muddle claimed it was a meteor strike from the heavens," Mrs Trillian snorted, "Only they could have come up with such an imagination."
"So, what would you do?" Angus asked worriedly. He had just heard that part of the news. It was utterly shocking and dreadful. He felt that his heart was speared by his Fear and Helplessness. Whoever was behind this, they are using terror to undermine and destroy the peace treaty! What would they do next? Would they be coming for the others and us? Mrs Trillian should be very worried. Yet, she was not a bit concerned. Perhaps it is not as concerning as I have come to believe.
"There is nothing I can do. I am exiled from our culture for life," she said sadly., "Maybe you can Angus, from your side. With your family connections to the Wizard nobility, perhaps you can action something."
"My current connection to them is somewhat dimmed, after my marriage with Margaret. Most of them shunned me. Even my father had disowned me. I doubt any of my word would reach the Archmage."
"I am sorry Angus, for the price you had also paid," Mrs Trillian said sadly.
"It doesn't matter Mrs Trillian. It's my love for Margaret, that's all I cared about. But I fear for our future with this news."
"For that, you have my eternal admiration," said Sarah, "However, there's nothing for the both of us can do, with this tragedy. We are not in the position of power to action of anything. So the best thing we can do, is to see what shall happen."
Angus sighed deeply. He's extremely troubled by the news, he fear for his and his family's future. His heart was insecure, of the unknown threat that's out there, that may or may not have him and his family in the targeting recticule.
Threats, which has absolutely no regards for human life. Angus looked at his crystal ball. He saw a red hair baby girl crying near to two bloodstained cover up bodies, with the wreckage of the burning building surrounding her.
From that moment onward, Silence descends of itself into the compartment again. While Mrs Trillian was dozing off, Angus continued to be mesmerized by the Crystal ball and its troublesome news. His eyes has to struggle with the watching of it, because of the poor yellowish illumination given off by the old style light bulb, from the compartment's ceiling.
Angus was about to whip out a magical light to make the compartment brighter. When suddenly, the metal door to their Compartment begins to squeak loudly. Sounding like a metal surface being scratched sharply.
Immediately, Angus’s heart jump by it beating rapidly.
Angus put of his crystal ball away and grabbed of his walking stick. He struggles again at seeing, of whom is in the almost blacken chasm in the passageway outside through the opened door. At this time of the night? Whom would dare to disturb of our own private space and peace?
To Angus' guarded surprise, he saw a strong looking man, with short white hair and a long goatee for a beard. His mouth is chewing onto an ivory pipe. He's wearing a white robe, with drawings of silver lightning bolts scattered everywhere.
He has a silver staff in one of his hand, and it is elaborately decorated with runes and exquisitely made.
Very carefully, Angus studied the man, while on the highest of alert in his mind. He has the spells, ready to cast, if the situation calls for.
Instead, he looked at Angus with his blue eyes and he then smiled warmly. Enough to cut through of Angus' cold anxiety, and uncoiled of the tension in Angus' body.
“Good Evening sir, I presume this is compartment 2-A?” asked the man warmly and politely.
“It is,” Angus replied, while he kept watching of the stranger carefully like a hawk.
“Good. Very Good,” said the stranger.
Before sitting down, Angus saw the stranger put his head back out through the door and search the passage way with his eyes. Like he's checking of anything lurking in the darkness. Once he's finally satisfied that there’s nothing out there. The stranger then closes the door to their compartment.
"Why are you here sir?" Angus confronted him anxiously.
Instead of answering Angus, the stranger said, with relief leaking from his facial expression.
“Oh thank the gods that I am not followed,” He said to himself, before asking Angus, "May I sit here sir?"
"Why are you here?" Angus confronted him again.
"I have a ticket for this compartment. I believe I am justified, to ride of my trip here."
The stranger then shows of Angus the Ticket, and having no other choice, Angus grudgingly relented of the stranger’s presence.
"May I sit next to you?" asked the Stranger.
Angus coldly nodded and he asked him in return, "What do you mean before by followed?"
The Stranger calmly gave Angus an enigmatic smile, before saying, “It is just my shadow. It is nothing to worry about. Are you and your family the only ones using of this compartment?”
“Yes,” Angus forced of himself to reply very uncomfortably, before changing of his tone harshly to the Stranger, "and you sir? Who are you and what is it to you?”
By now, Mrs Trillian was fully awake. Before, she was lightly sleeping and then was disturbed to full alertness, from the harshness of Angus' voice.
Angus, seeing she's awake, he then relaxes a bit more. Good, she is getting her wand and spell pouches out. Having the most powerful of Witches on your side, you can't lose, should this man be a nut job.
Seeing the situation may quickly change dramatically for him. The stranger quickly answered.
“I am Tiberius GoldStone," he said, like he's relaxing for the first time for a long time. His right hand was rubbing on his forehead, like its full of sweat. Then, without of any permission from Angus, he sat next to the empty space next to Angus' couch.
Before anyone else could say of more, Tiberius continues.
"Oh finally! A chance that I can finally rest of my weary old bones, after so long on the run!” he sighed.
"Are you a Wizard?" Angus exclaimed, "Your name."
"You can say that I am," Tiberius smiled.
"Why are you here? Living with the muddles?" Angus asked, while looking astonished. This is the first time he has met of anyone from his kind, living with the muddles.
"I can ask the same of you in return," Tiberius smiled coldly.
"Angus," said Mrs Trillian suddenly, "Let me."
"Err.. yes, " Angus replied, caught off guard by her sudden interference.
"You should introduce more of yourself first, before we are to tell more about ourselves," Sarah said firmly.
"Knowing the details of my life, can be hazardous. Especially when they are hunting for me. The information might cost you a lot... maybe even your life," he said softly and coldly, and it made the eyes slits of everyone awake in the compartment, forced wide and large, "Are you absolutely sure that you want to know the details?"
There was a minute of Silence between them, before Mrs Trillian finally asked of him bluntly, "Could you kindly move to a different compartment, Mr Tiberius sir? As you can see, we are a family and we do need of our privacy. There are plenty of other empty private suite in this train."
Instead of answering her question directly, Tiberius replied instead, "Have you heard the news of the Inter-Magical Market? It is ghastly isn't it? This bombing? So dreadful, the death of many innocent people for the sake of a fanatic.”
"A fanatic?" Mrs Trillian exclaimed with surprise.
“There's nothing about a fanatic in the news,” Angus answered, he's as shock as she is.
"Trust me, there is," said Tiberius, looking please with himself like he knew a lot more," In fact, I can tell you, the person whom had did it, was wearing a wizard’s attire. It was a boy, following the orders of a Fanatic, so he could create blames for both sides. It has everything of a classic frame up,” Tiberius smiled, while enjoying the shock, which is slowly permeating into their heads.
“Why would a fanatic be wanting to-” Angus demanded, but Tiberius silenced him.
“There’s always someone unhappy with this peace treaty,” said Tiberius grimly.
“That's true,” Mrs Trillian answered coldly.
“However, there are those whom had wanted to use it to further their own cause, by playing one side against the other,” Tiberius replied with a coldness matching hers.
“Yes, the classic divide and conquer, but why are you distracting us from my original question asked to you?” Mrs Trillian asked again, with a nerve harder than steel.
“It makes sense, doesn’t it?” Tiberius replied with a gaze as sharp as hers.
“You are the one whom is not making sense, by your cryptic revelations, or you are making it up. However, all we want is our privacy. I do ask of you to leave us,” Mrs Trillian replied again, firmly, with her wand out and for show to Tiberius. "I will not ask again."
“I don’t have a lot of time, before it finds me,” said Tiberius again, like his fear is now returning to him, “I believe your baby over there, his name is Titus?”
Tiberius’ sudden question, jolted them to go to red alert of the highest level. Angus raised of his walking stick, while Mrs Trillian was aiming with her wand toward at Tiberius' face.
However, anticipating of this, Tiberius took out something looking like a card, like from a deck of cards found in a poker game. This caught them completely by surprise, before they could do of anything, Tiberius moved first.
“Tempus Sanctus!” he cried, with the card, clipped in between two of his fingers. It then started glowing.
In the next minute, they were completely at his mercy. So fast was Tiberius moving, his shape was struggling by just trailing him. He then took out of another card and casted of another spell.
Suddenly, Angus found of his walking stick floating out from his hand forcefully and the same was happening to Mrs Trillian. They were completely frozen. For one second to them, is ten for Tiberius, he's simply too fast.
Then, to their horror, they found the walking stick and wand, was turned around and pointing back to their owners. Suddenly, Time went back to its normal flow. Angus, he found to his surprise, he couldn’t move at all! Like some kind of supernatural force was holding him.
"Since you have the most authority here, you must listen to me," Tiberius said urgently.
"What kind of Magic is this?" Mrs Trillian exclaimed, with shock and surprise.
"This," Tiberius forced of her attention by showing her a deck of Cards. Not like poker cards, but cards, each has a rimmed golden border, and inside, is a painted picture that's semi-alive.
"Spell Cards! By the Goddess!" Mrs Trillian exclaimed with her eyes wide, "You are.."
"Now that I have your undistracted attention, you will listen to me," Tiberius said to her grimly," Your grandson is in danger. For those whom are responsible for the bombing of the Market, are coming for him. You must let me do of what I must to help him. Otherwise, they will take him and kill all of you. I mean all of you."
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