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Rolfin's Orb
Book 10 - Argentina – Tanzanite
Chapter 7

        Later that evening, after a supper of hot meat pies with beans and salty chips, they separated into groups to talk. Jason took the book that he was studying and went off by himself, too distracted by the laughter.

          Fiona taught them all how to play charades and then she had Elspet draw pictures and the group had to see who could guess first what she was drawing. Laughter filled the croft and for all, but Jason, the horror and stress of the last few weeks disappeared for a while.

          After studying the book for an hour, Jason’s eyebrows arched with joy. He picked up the book and rushed over to the others, interrupting their game. “I’ve discovered something that is of great value to us,” he blurted out.

          “Jason, you’ve burst in here right as I was about to guess who Callum was,” Johnny said. “Hang in there until I make my guess, please.” He looked at Callum. “I think you are Julius Caesar. Am I right?”

          Callum laughed. “No! Ha ha ha. I got you again! I’m Alexander the Great. Too bad, Johnny. You lose.”

          Johnny shrugged his shoulders. “I lost again. Oh well. Can’t win ‘em all, as Elspet would say. Jason, what is your news.” They turned to Jason to listen.

          “I’ve discovered how to summon the wizards from Xilia to capture Phelan and Drayton.” Jason grinned like a Cheshire cat.

          “What? Are you sure?” Julian clapped his hands. “That’s more exciting to hear than winning the drawing game. No offense, Fiona.”

          “That’s all right, Julian,” the girl said, winking.

          Jason continued. “There’s a spell of sorts, actually words that I have to say in Xilian and they will come. Once they come, we can ask them go to the castle and get Drayton and Phelan, or at least one of them. They’ve been after Phelan for a long time. I think it’s best if we call the wizards we are familiar with and then maybe some others, if needed.”

          “How many wizards are there?” Callum tried to sneak a glance at Jason’s book.

          “There are several thousand of them, I presume. It names most of them in the book, except the young ones,” Jason said.

          “That’s excellent news, Jason. We’ll all step back and give you some space. Everybody clear the room. Back up against the walls so they can fit in here. Jason, we’re ready when you are.” Angus leaned his back against the front door.

          Jeremy nudged Jared. “This is very confusing. Even after Angus explained it all to me, I feel like I’m in a dream.”

          “You’ll get used to it,” Jared said and then stepped back.

          Jason stepped into the middle of the room. He put the book down on Angus’s table and moved the orb next to the book. “Kihelem orbani tik. Mehum dipando fibonti. Shimesa buroli cartingad. Erufa galyo hepvimuc jakinso.” He stopped and stood in silence. “Daleth shapish yam wustix.” Silence.

          Upon hear those words, Fiona tapped Elspet and whispered, “Those words? Those are our words too. Weird.”

          Elspet put her finger to her lips. “Shh.”

          The room filled with a static electricity that fluxed through the room. Fiona felt her scalp tingle and goose bumps zoom up her arms and down her legs. Tiny popping sparks of violet blue exploded in front of Jason and flew into the air. Soon the sparks swirled around the room in a whirlwind. Five wizards appeared; each in flowing robes. The sparks ended and the room stood silent and still.

          Jason bowed. “Lehimna.” Dressed in a deep forest green robe, the wizard stepped forward and embraced Jason. “Zerahemna.” A wizard in a dark crimson robe did the same. “Lephimah.” As the other two had done, the wizard dressed in a midnight blue robe bowed and embraced Jason. Nahimena, who wore a violet purple robe, the royal color of the Chief Wizard of Xilia, leaned forward and kissed Jason’s hand. Samothi, former Chief Wizard, wore a golden robe with a violet-purple stripes on each sleeve. Jason nodded. “It is an honor to have you in our home.”

          The wizards glanced at the others. Lehimna spoke. “You called for us, Buntabi. I presume it must be important.”

          “We know where Phelan is and Drayton too. We have the three books in our possession and the orb with ten jewels; however they wreak havoc upon us and others and continually try to harm us and take the books and orb. Once we have the other two, we can proceed as planned. Both of them are at Castle Athdara. Serbel arrived earlier and saw them both.” Jason bowed and stepped back.

          The five wizards spoke to each other in Xilian and then Lehimna spoke once more to Jason. “We will need one of you to come with us.” The wizard’s gaze moved around the room, stopping at Fiona. “Young lady, Fiona, we ask you to join us.”

          Fiona looked at her mum, looking for her approval. “Mum?”

          Johnny squeezed Mairi’s hand. “Yes, Fiona. Go with them and help them as much as you can.”

          Fiona stepped closer to the five wizards. “I’ll go with you.”

          Lehimna smiled at her and took her hand. “Very well. We will return.” He lifted his hand in the air, swirled it around and they disappeared.

Mairi let go of Johnny’s hand and ran to the spot where Fiona had vanished. “Fiona!”

Jason put his arm around her. “She will be fine. They will watch over her. I suggest we find a place to sit and wait this out.”

                                                            * * *

            Phelan, in Drayton’s body, went from room to room in the castle, searching for anything ancient that might help him in his battle against the others. He didn’t succeed in finding anything, except an old sword and shield and a few gold coins from Burill. He made his way to the upper floor. A noise coming from outside caught his attention. He looked out the window, down on the grounds and saw the five wizards and Fiona. Phelan snarled. “Them. They’ve come for us, Drayton. There is no possible way for us to escape them if we stay here. They’ll hunt us down and drag us off to Xilia. We must get out of here. Any suggestions? You’ve been all around this castle and its grounds.”

          Drayton’s spoke and Phelan heard and replied. “The maze? You think we should go into the maze? That won’t stop them, you fool. We can’t hide from them. These wizards are more powerful than I. With five of them, I don’t stand a chance. Our only hope is to escape and leave this area. Don’t think they’ll go easy on you, boy, because you’re not a wizard. I have seen the do some ghastly things to humans they feel are dangerous to them.”

          “Go into the maze. It’s the only way,” Drayton said again. “Listen to me. I’ve been in there many times. There is no where else that we can hide.

          “You’d better be right, boy.” Phelan ran down the steps leading from the upper level and then scrambled out the back door. He made his way around the side into the maze and hid among the yew hedges.

                                      *  *  *

            The wizards stood near the door. “He’s not inside,” Lephimah said. “Both of them have fled. Nevertheless, we should go and look, just to be sure. We may find something useful.”

          They stepped into the castle and walked from room to room and ended up on the roof. “They’ve been here. I sense something,” Nahimena said. He stood and thought. “Phelan has entered Drayton’s body and controls it.” He stepped to the edge. “They are in the maze, hiding.” The wizard lifted his arm and sent a wave of light into the darkening sky. It hovered over the maze.  “It is difficult to see. This will help us with that.” He took Fiona’s hand. “You’re a brave girl, Fiona. We have watched what has been going on from our castle in Xilia and seen all you’ve accomplished. We’ve even talked of making you an honorary wizardress when this is all over.”

          “You have?” Fiona looked up at the wave of brilliant light. “That is so cool. Me, a wizardress. I like the sound of that. Fiona, the wizardress. “What’s it like there

          “In Xilia?” Nahimena leaned over the wall. “Patience, Fiona.” He turned to the four other wizards. “He is in the maze. Find Drayton and you’ll find Phelan. They are one. I will stay here with Fiona and watch from above.”

          The others charged down the flights of stone steps and hastened into the maze.

          “My castle in Xilia is ten times the size of Castle Athdara. The walls on the outside are made of Xilian marble and when the sun shines it stands like a field of white snow, fulgid and lambent.”

          “I don’t know what those words mean, Chief Wizard,” Fiona said.

          “It means that it sparkles and shimmers like the brightest star in the heavens. There are twelve towers, two on each corner and four in the center. Spires reach so high into the sky you cannot see the tops. The master stonecutters and sculptors have decorated every block of marble with designs of flowers, birds, leaves; anything to do with nature. There are a lot of archways and smaller spiraling towers. Inside the castle the floors are covered with decorate squares of emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and all the other jewels, like in the orb and more. There are jewels in Xilia that you can’t find on Earth.”

          Fiona turned and looked down at the maze. “That’s cool. You can tell me more later. I can see into the maze. I see the other wizards, but not Drayton. That’s weird. How can Phelan go into Drayton’s body? Does Drayton know he’s in there?”

          “Yes, he knows and I’m sure he’s not happy. Phelan is a snake. We’ve been trying to capture him and take him back to Xilia for centuries. Phelan wasn’t always evil, you know. I remember when he was a boy, in training,” Nahimena said.

          “Phelan good? I would never believe that. I’ve seen him do some horrible things and I know he’s cruel and very evil,” Fiona said, thinking back to the wizard’s dastardly acts.

          “He was a good wizard long ago. His father was devastated when his son went to the darker side of wizardry.”

          “Is his father alive? What about his mother?” Fiona kept her eyes on the maze.

          “Samothi is Phelan’s father.”

          “The guy who used to be Chief Wizard before you? He’s Phelan’s father?” Fiona raised her gaze. “Whoa. I’ll bet he’s disappointed.”

          “Samothi has six sons and four daughters. Phelan is the second son. His mother died when he was but a young boy. He witnessed the whole thing. A dragon, one of our best, Andromeda, became ill and the disease affected her brain. She went mad and then lost control, going on a rampage. She attacked everything in her sight. It happened that Ambrosia, Phelan’s mother, was walking past when Andromeda saw her and burned her to a crisp before devouring her. Phelan was watching out the window of the castle and witnessed the entire incident.”

          Fiona felt a wave of compassion rush through her. “That must have been a horrible thing for him to see.”

          “It was. Phelan was never the same after that. He stayed home and stopped coming to wizard school. He became angry and his father discovered he’d been secretly practicing the darker arts of wizardry. When Samothi confronted his son, he went into a rage and left Xilia. We never saw him again, but heard that he had turned into a powerful evil wizard. You’ve seen the end result. We’ve come to take him home.”

          “What about his brothers and sisters? How did they turn out?”

          “They are all great wizards and wizardresses, good and kind,” Nahimena said, sighing with regret. “All were distressed over their brother’s behavior.”

          Shouts erupted from the maze. “He’s over here. I’ve found him.” Fiona saw Lehimna running down one the paths.

          Phelan felt like a trapped rat. “I’m not about to let them catch me.” He ripped at the yew hedge until there was a hole large enough for him to squeeze through. The branches cut at Drayton’s arms and face, and wore his fingers to a bloody mess, but Phelan didn’t care. He ran away from the maze, disappearing into the woods.

          “He’s gone! Return.” Nahimena spoke in a soft voice and the other wizards turned from the maze and climbed the steps. 

            They returned to Angus’s cottage without Phelan or Drayton. The others waited to hear what happened. Fiona blurted it out. “It was so cool. Nahimena lit up the sky and we could see the whole maze. We were at the top of the castle while the others went to find Drayton and Phelan. Phelan took over Drayton’s body and they escaped. I saw them get away. Now what are you going to do?” She turned to ask Nahimena.

          Penelope gulped. “Wizardship, I am Drayton’s mother. I am ashamed to admit that. If that evil Phelan has taken over my son’s body, does that mean my son no longer exists?”

          Nahimena turned to the elderly woman. He saw sadness in her eyes. “We love our sons, even when they disappoint us.” He turned his gaze to Samothi. “We will do all we can to save Drayton.”

          “Thank you,” Penelope said. Nellie took her sister’s hands in hers.

            “We shall return to Xilia for now. Call us back when you come in contact with him. We will wait there for further notice.” He turned to Fiona. “You have another power. You can travel anywhere in the world by thinking about the place you want to go. I would suggest you put this power to good use.” Nahimena called the others to him. “We will return.” The violet-blue sparks returned and along with it, static electricity. The room spun and the wizards disappeared.

          “Wow! That was so cool.” Fiona ran over to her mum. “He said he’d make me an honorary wizardress. Isn’t that great!”

          Elspet and Callum, excited and impatient, wanted to know what happened.  Fiona took them and they went outside to sit on the porch. Crickets chirped and darkness enveloped them. “It was so so so cool. Nahimena told me some stuff about his castle in Xilia. He also told me some things about Phelan and how he turned bad.”

          “Fiona,” Mairi said, opening the front door. “It’s nearly bedtime. You can tell Elspet and Callum about this tomorrow.  I’ve a grand idea. Why don’t you go home with Elspet tonight? I’ve ran into Catriona and Jamie in town and they said it’s all right. You spend the night and tomorrow with Elspet and just play and have a fun day with Wee Alastair and Malcolm. Callum, I’m sure your mum will let you stay over too. You three have been through so much. I’ll take care of everyone here. Go on and be a child for a day.” Mairi hugged her daughter. “Go on.”

          The three children left for Callum’s to get permission and then spent the night giggling and making cocoa.

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