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Rolfin's Orb
Book 12 -
Chapter 9

            When they appeared in Angus’s cottage, they all collapsed on the floor.

     “Fiona! Elspet! Callum! Are you all right? What happened to you?” Angus ran over to them.

     “We’re fine, Uncle Angus,” Fiona said, staying where she was.

     “Just decided to make a grand entrance, did you?” Angus winked at the three of them.

     “Actually, we’re just all exhausted. Whew. All right.” Fiona stood and dropped the backpack on the floor.

     “Hey! Be careful with that. Remember my dinosaur egg is inside.” Callum reached for the fossil. “Good. It’s not broken.”

     “What is that? A dinosaur egg, you say?” Angus took it from Callum.

     “The alexandrite is inside the egg. Callum wants to keep the egg, but you’ll have to break it to get the jewel out.” Fiona caressed the object.

     “A dinosaur egg? That’s simply fascinating,” Jeffrey said. Jeremy came for a closer look. “Isn’t it amazing,  Jeremy?”

     “Never seen such a thing. I’m not even sure what a dinosaur is, to be honest,” Jeremy said.

     “Why don’t you tell us about your trip,” Joacquin said. “Come and sit by Julian and me, Fiona.”

     “What about me and Callum? Don’t you want us?” Elspet pouted.

     “Of course,” Joacquin said.

     “Never mind them, Elspet. You and Callum can sit by Jasper and me,” Jared said. He grinned at Julian.

     “Before anyone tells anything, we need to get the alexandrite in the orb. I’m too excited,” Angus said.

     Mairi took the egg from his hands. “Do any of you think you can break this egg without ruining it? I mean, it’s a dinosaur egg. What sort of dinosaur is it?” She looked at Fiona.

     “It’s a velociraptor egg,” Callum blurted out.

     “Oh dear! You mean one of those horrid dinosaurs on that movie that…”

     “Yes, Mum. It’s one of those,” Fiona said.

     “Would one of you please tell us what a dinosaur is,” Johnny said.

     Callum spoke. “Do you know what a lizard is?” The men nodded. “It’s like a hundred lizards all put together into one giant lizard, but it walks on its two back legs, has sharp claws and really sharp teeth. When it roars it nearly breaks your ear drums and it is so big that when it walks the ground shakes.”

     “Oh my,” Jeffrey said.

     “Are you sure there’s not a dinosaur inside the egg?” Jesse sat on the floor in front of the fireplace.

     “It has the alexandrite in it and that’s all. I saw it.” Fiona folded her arms across her chest.

     “I believe you. Sorry for questioning,” Jesse said with a pout on his face.

     “Just open the egg, will you!” Johnny was becoming anxious.

     “What’s going to happen when the last stone is in the orb?” Jack sat next to Jesse and nibbled on some shortbread. He offered Jesse a piece.

     “Jason? If anyone knows the answer, it’s you. You’ve been studying the Xilian book. Dare we put it in, or is there something we should do to prepare?” Jimmy, who stood at the back of the room, glanced at the man sitting next to him.

     “Once that stone is in, it will open a time warp, if you want to call it that. The wizards and dragons will come through it. Fiona, I know you just returned from a tiring journey, but you will have to go through the time warp, since you have the gift now, and bring King Kegan and King Rolfin back and as many of their men as possible. I didn’t want to tell you this, but right now Phelan is gathering his evil army. The book predicts that he will. I imagine the castle is bulging at the seams with ghoolies and ghosties and all sorts of horrible creatures. The placement of the last stone is the beginning of the final battle between him and his followers and the Wizards of Xilia and their followers, which includes us.”

     “Final battle? Here in Inveralba? It’s too hard to believe all this.” Mairi leaned against Johnny.

     Jimmy responded. “Everything that has happened up until this point has prepared us for this event. All of this didn’t happen by chance, Mairi. It was all carefully planned out centuries ago. The wizards had to wait until King Kegan had a descendant strong enough and brave enough to do this. That was you, Fiona and you, Mairi, with the help of Callum and Elspet, your knights, so to speak.”

     “I’m a knight? Cool!” Callum rubbed his chest with his clenched fist. “Sir Callum, Lord of McAllister.”

     “Callum! Don’t be so silly,” Elspet said.

     “You are a knight too, Elspet.” Callum grinned.

     “What do I need to do then, Jason?” Fiona stood in front of him and looked down at the book. “Does it say in there?”

     “The first thing we need to do is get that stone. Callum, I see no way to remove it except to break a small hole. I’ll be careful. Once we’ve got the alexandrite we’ll glue the piece back on. It should look as good as new,” Jason said.

     A knock came at the door. “That will be Aidan. Our group is complete. All twelve of us and Johnny have been reunited.”

     Angus opened the door and let Aidan in. Overwhelmed by the number of people there, the man clung to the nearest person, Jack. “Welcome, Aidan. Your name for now is Joseph, as we discussed in the past. Sit next to us and we will fill you in on what is happening.”

     The confused red headed, green eyed man sat in front of the fire and listened to Jack’s explanation.

     “How come Joseph’s here already. I thought the others didn’t come until the stone was in?” Callum made the unusual comment.

     “I suppose it’s different this time since it’s the last stone. Who knows the answers to things these days,” Mairi said. “Come over here by me, Callum and let’s see what happens.”

     “It is time,” Angus said. “My only concern is that this croft is too small to hold one dragon, never mind a dozen of them.”

     “The wizards will take care of that. While the croft will look the same on the outside, it will expand inside and hold everyone. Trust me,” Jason said.

     “This is so cool,” Callum said. Mairi put her arm around his shoulder.

Angus took the stone and walked over to the orb. He hesitated. “Fiona, why don’t you put the jewel in its proper place? Elspet and Callum can help you. You three were the brave ones who went to all those places, fought all sorts of creatures and showed extreme courage and bravery. This should be you three’s privilege.” Angus stepped back and handed the stone to Fiona.

“Come up here, Elspet, Callum.” Fiona had them each hold a part of the alexandrite. “Together.” They shoved the stone in and moved out of the way.

Nothing happened for a few moments and then the orb began to shimmer. The gold shone like it was newly forged and polished. The stones lit up one by one in order of their placement. When all were aglow, the dragon etchings inside vibrated and cast a dragon on the wall. It spun around the room, like it was flying. The colors swirled, sparks popped and glittered, filling the room with the essence of life. Then, as suddenly as it started, it stopped. The group stood in silence. A beam of light shot from the top of the orb and through it stepped Nahimena, the Chief Wizard. A golden staircase appeared and he climbed down, stopping in front of Fiona, Elspet and Callum. He bowed and stepped to the side.

Behind him appeared Lehimna, King Rolfin’s wizard, who made the orb and gathered the jewels to put in it.  After him appeared King Kegan’s wizard, Zerahemna, son of Lehimna, and then Zerahemna’s son, Lephimah, caretaker of Cloudwaltzer, the black dragon. Samothi, Phelan’s father and former Chief Wizard during days of Zerahemna appeared next. One by one the great wizards of Xilia stepped through the time portal into the room. Dozens of other wizards followed, entering Angus’s croft.

When the last wizard had come through the time warp, the dragons appeared, led by Cloudwaltzer. Black dragons, red dragons, green, purple, brown, silver, gold and white dragons stepped through the portal and stood next to their masters.

“Wow! This is so cool. Look at all the dragons.” Callum’s eyes bulged with excitement and suspense.

A purple dragon put its head through and holding onto it was Drayton. All in the room gasped. He stood tall and straight, dressed in a purple robe. The necklace around his neck glowed, his eyes fiery and his hair tied back behind him.

“What is he doing here?” Fiona turned to Nahimena.

Drayton stepped down and stood in front of Fiona, who clutched Callum and Elspet in a huddle. He reached out to touch them and they shrank back. A gentle look crossed his face. “Please, do not fear me. I am not the man I used to be. I have changed.”

Nahimena stepped forward. “Drayton is now a Wizard of Xilia in training. He’s cast aside his evil ways and has joined us in doing good.”

“Is this true, Drayton? You’re a good guy now?” Callum smiled at the once hated man.

“Yes. I am here to help you all in your battle. See, I’ve even got my own dragon. Her name is Zu.” The dragon bowed and allowed Callum to stroke it.

“That is so cool. Welcome to our side, Drayton, or do you have a different name now?” Callum kept petting the dragon.

“I am keeping my name. From now on it will be a name you think of with honor and bravery instead of disgust. I apologize to you all,” his arm, held low, moved around the room, “for all the pain and sorry I have caused you in the past. I ask your forgiveness.”

The twelve men nodded. Mairi smiled and gave Drayton a hug. Elspet followed Mairi’s example. The only one who hesitated was Fiona. Drayton kneeled in front of her. “I am especially sorry for things I did to you, little one. I know I can’t undo things but I can give you my word as a Wizard of Xilia, that I will never again do an evil deed. Forgive me?” He smiled and winked at her.

She gazed into his eyes. “You know, you’re kind of handsome when you smile.” She threw her arms around his neck. “Welcome, Drayton.”

     Drayton stepped to the back with Zu. Nahimena moved forward once more. “As you all know, great battle is to take place. Fiona, you have been given the fit to time travel. I would be pleased if you would go through the time warp, time portal, or whatever you want to call it, and bring King Rolfin and King Kegan back here with you, along with their armies. We will leave the orb here, the portal open and you can return here any time, but we need the kings and we need their armies. Will you do it?”

     Fiona turned to look at her mum and Johnny. Mairi opened her arms and Fiona ran into them. “Fiona, sweetheart, it’s up to you. After seeing all of this, I have to believe whatever the wizards say is true. You have my blessing. I know you will be safe.”

     Johnny bent down and gave her a hug. “Go, Fiona. Do what you were born to do.”

     Fiona turned once again to Drayton. He called to her. “Fiona.” He slipped the necklace from around his neck. “I am giving this to you as a gift. It belonged to our ancestor, King Kegan.” He put it over her head. “You wear this and when you feel the time is right, give it to the king. It is yours now.”

     “Wow! That is the coolest necklace I’ve ever seen,” Callum said. “You’re so lucky, Fiona. I wish I could go with you.”

     “Me too,” Elspet said.

     The three hugged each other. Fiona looked around the room. “I love you all.” She waved at them, climbed the steps and disappeared into the light.

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