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Rated: ASR · Chapter · Fantasy · #2176002
NaNo 2013 novel. About the main character and a Shadowstaff.
Chapter One

Chirp chirp. Chirp, entered Josa's mind as he began to gain consciousness. He struggled to move his neck and arms. A gripping pain weaved its way down to his legs, numbing his ability to move around on the ground. Deep burning, aching sensations crawled deep underneath his skin. His mind felt fuzzy from being unconscious for a long time. He could not remember anything about what had happened. The breeze sent chills down his spine. The last thing he wanted to be is to be unable to move for the rest of his life. Slowly, he worked on stretching every single muscle starting with his neck. After several attempts he dozed off, unable to stay awake long. The breeze felt great against his bare cheeks.

His stomach growled in protest as he began to nod off again. Then he became aware of the pain striking his back and shoulders. A smell of a peculiar dish came in his direction. It gave him a reminder that he had not eaten for days. Sound of water from a nearby drinking fountain caused his dry mouth to open and close once. He needed to figure out what he wanted to eat and drink quick. He heard a couple people stop close to where he was laying and looked around to where he figured something important was being showcased, then left. After looking around, he realized they left behind some kind of drink and chips. Josa decided to focus on grabbing that drink and chips to relieve some of the pain he felt. Slowly, he moved forward on his hands toward the food. When he arrived there, he slowly nibbled on the chips and drank what tasted similar to pepsi until he felt satisfied. Even though the chips and drink did not completely satisfy his hunger, it was enough to moisten his mouth and gave a little bit of relief.

Come to me, a whisper, just loud enough for him to hear, came from the direction where the people had dropped by to look at. Josa could not think of anything that would want him around, but the sound of the whisper sounded so sweet and delicate that he figured it would not hurt to look around and see what wanted him to come. An ominous shaped staff, made of pure dark essence from its look, appeared on top of a pedestal. The darkness felt very fascinating and appealing at the same time. A shiver went through Josa's spine, but he could not stop looking at it.

Come, yes, I want you,the whisper came again. Josa felt a strange excitement to it.

Who- what are you? Josa still had a bad feeling deep inside, but he wanted to know what was going on too.

I am the Shadowstaff, the most powerful of all dark wands. Take me, the staff changed into an ordinary looking stick. I can be your guide.

No, I can't. I do not have any money on me, nor can I remember anything that has happened. But, I can try to find work and buy you when I save up enough, then I can take you and accept your guidance, Josa decided it would not be right for him to take a stick, let alone one that claimed to be the most powerful of all dark wands. He did not remember anything that would make wands talk or have its own mind either.

You do not know everything then. I choose myself who I want to be with, and that is you. You do not need money or anything of the sort. Just take me, I will help you with anything and everything. I know a good person when I sense one.

So, you do not cost anything? Josa thought again about the wand. It looked just like it was just a branch that fell out of a tree.

Well, of course not. How many do you know go around spending money on a branch that fell out of a tree? The Shadowstaff continued to just look like a tree branch laying there.

None. Anyone could pick up a branch that fell to the ground. I guess this means I can use your guidance then, Josa realized a tree branch to help him stay upright would be a good thing, not a bad thing.

Come, accept me. I will make a really good tree branch for you to steady yourself and walk, the Shadowstaff continued to speak into Josa's mind into accepting it.

I think this is a really good idea. I will take it, Josa steadied himself on his hands and knees and crawled up to the pedestal. He felt excited about the idea of being able to use a tree branch to help him walk. The wand looked so safe and felt very comfortable to the touch that he completely forgot about the bad feeling he had before about it. The dark aura still around it looked very attractive at the same time. Any senses that gave Josa the feeling that the wand was really trying hard to trick him into accepting it disappeared. The dark energy gave strength into Josa's body, eliminating any pain he felt before.

While I can take your pain away, I can't heal you. Rest on this pedestal for a little bit. That should help replenish your strength. I will slowly continue to heal you as best as I can while you rest. Who knows what will happen, the Shadowstaff said in a very calming, sweet voice.

What can I say? Your guide is very helpful. I love you, Josa could not help himself. He leaned himself on the pedestal while the wand worked its magic. The wand laughed very gently.

Well, well, I am very pleased to help you out here. The most I can say? I can't say how excited I am that you came around and accepted my help. Now, I want you to do one thing. Will you accept me?

Accept you? I do not know if I can do any favors for you, sorry, Josa pondered over what the wand meant when it wanted him to do one thing.

No, that is it. I want you to accept me and you will be all good to go. No tricks to it. Please, will you accept me?

Okay, I will, Josa figured it would not hurt after all the help the wand was giving him.

Excellent, the wand chuckled as it engulfed Josa in a strange kind of magic.

Just do not drive me crazy and I will be okay, Josa decided that it was time to stand up and try to find someone who could help him. Looking down he noticed he was wearing a robe with a light blue, glowing butterfly on his chest.

This robe matches our personality perfectly and you will be able to blend into the society. Magic gives the power to do anything. Okay, you are okay to stand and walk now, Shadowstaff said cheerfully.

Great, now I can figure out where I am, Josa slowly rose to his feet, using the wand to help steady him.

No worries, I know where we are. The planet we are on is Saturn, but in this culture we call it Magturn since this world is filled with magic. We are on the continent of Iskrealia and in the capital of Stingoff known as Gliston Valley. To be more specific, we are beside Silver Alley in a little small spot called Silver Wand Shrine. Got all of that?

Umm, none of these places are familiar with me. So, we are in Silver Wand Shrine then? Josa thought of all of the places he knew, but could not figure out any of the places the wand told him about. It seemed as if he was standing in a distance planet far away from home.

Chapter Two

Now, just behave normally. Let us go to the mall. There are lots of goodies to see, the Shadowstaff hummed its pleasure in visiting the mall.

Sure, lots of people go to the mall, right? Josa looked past the pedestals and saw a paved road that was filled with people walking back and forth. He felt like something was missing. There were no lines on the road.

Of course. The best mall to go to from here is to your right side. It is known as Silver Stop Mall. If you are hungry, just go to Silver Food Court and grab something to eat. I can provide the cash needed to buy anything you would like to buy too.

Which place will be good to go to first? Josa suddenly found it interesting, like an adventure, to look around and see what all there is to see.

Furry Friends is the best one. It is pretty close from here too. Let us go to that one first, Shadowstaff decided after a minute.

I love pets. Dogs and cats are neat, Josa made his way over to the road and stopped. The Shadowstaff still appeared to be just a tree branch in his hand. People started to stop and then look at him for a little bit before continuing on their way. He did not understood why, but then noticed they were all carrying small sticks in their hands.

Those are wands. It is quite obvious you are a newcomer, not a regular. No worries, they will warm up to us- I mean you.

I hope you are right.

Josa turned to his right to head over to the mall. A person stopped to ask him where his wand was, then he just simply said he lost it and noticed that excuse was widely accepted. A golden wand remained on the other pedestal when he decided to turn back and look around from where he came from. Then, as he turned his head, he felt a bump, head to head, that knocked him off balance and caused him to land on the ground. He looked up to see a very beautiful lady standing over him with a panicked look on her face. His heart raced and his mind swarmed from the shock of what just happened.

“I- I am,” Josa wanted some way to apologize.

“Hush, do not speak,” the lady turned around and waved for a man to get something from the Silver Food Court. Josa felt sure he was in trouble for this. He took in several deep breaths as she placed her hand over his chest.

“Are you feeling better now?” the lady asked. She dressed up in a beautiful robe all decorated with lily flowers, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Josa figured she must be an all important person for everyone to respect her right off the bat. Then he decided to ask the Shadowstaff about her.

Do not mess around with a doctor or nurse. She is very beautiful is not she? It replied with an amused tone.

“I am alright. I am,” Josa decided to go for apologizing again.

“No, it should be me to apologize. I did not see you coming at all. I think the others did try to warn me and I did not pay attention to them,” Josa was not sure he liked her anymore after being cut off quick. Then he realized her point of view.

She is very sensitive. Remember that. I am sure you can have some fun with her, Shadowstaff chimed in.

Knock it off. Okay, so she is either a doctor or nurse so I need to watch my step. I am feeling much better now though, thanks to both, you and her. Still, do not forget you are just a tree branch.

Hehe I only wanted you to believe that I am just an ordinary tree branch. Wait and see when chaos strikes though, it will be fun, Josa began to dislike the wand. He had accepted it because it helped him, now it was looking for chaos in the area and he did not want to see any trouble.

“Thank you, apology accepted,” Josa said.

“You welcome. So, you are having trouble with your back?” the lady stood over him. His cheeks flushed.

“How did you guess?”

“By the look of your face, I could tell you are in severe pain. Just admit it,” Josa realized he was not going to be able to convince her that he was okay so easily.

“Okay, I will admit it. Are you satisfied now?”

“Hmm, satisfied you admitted to having pain. Now, can you stand up?” she moved closer and reached out a hand.

“Sure. Of course I can,” Josa wanted to sound much more confident than what he felt.

“Do not get too cocky. Now, use my hand as support. I will let you stand up now.”

Josa raised his arm and accepted the hand she gave. Then, with all of his strength, he lifted himself off the ground and put the wand beside him for the best support he could muster. His back throbbed in pain as he stood there.

“Ah, I know what will work best for you. Though, your head got hit pretty hard did not it? I think the first thing you need to have is chocolate.”

“Chocolate? That is just candy. Candy is bad for your health,” Josa did not want anyone spending any money on him.

“It will help with your headache though, that is why I am going to get some chocolate candy for you to have. Ah, this nice gentlemen brought a good one for you right here. Now, give this poor man some medicine before he faints.”

Even despite his protest, Josa reluctantly accepted the candy. Then he wondered why his wand was silent. Eyeing it, he could tell it was watching with a smirk. It did not appreciate him getting hurt at all, yet it trusted her completely.

Why are you so quiet? He asked his wand.

Oh, if I distract you too much it will be obvious. But, trust me, you are in good hands with her. She maybe stubborn, but she knows what is good for you- chocolate it is, so eat up.

Okay, why did I ask you to talk then? I get it, she is either a nurse or doctor and highly respected.

There you go, that is the spirit.

Chapter Three

“So, uh,” Josa felt very tongue tied. He really wanted to know what her name was so he could thank her properly, but could not say the thing that he really wanted to say.

“Oh, my, where are my manners?” the lady's voice startled him. “I am Lily, the best stay at home nurse in this country, or so everyone around me says. You look brand new here, I have not seen you before. What is your name mind my asking?”

“I- I am, uh,” Josa stammered. He could not think about what his real name is, or what it used to be. It felt as if it refused to come back into his mind.

Hmm, you can't remember your own name? Why not just make one up? I think that would be the best route to go, Shadowstaff said in a mysterious tone.

Make one up? Okay then, I think that it will have to do then because I do not have the time I need to think right now. What kind of name will work for me then? Josa looked up from the ground to make sure she was still there so he could answer her.

There are many names to choose from: Bob, Dill, Pickle, Flo, Purple, and much, much more than that. For you though, and I will admit I am not very creative when it comes to choosing a name, Josa is a very fitting name for you. It is a very common household name, Shadowstaff glowed with anticipation as it waited for Josa's response.

“I am Josa,” Josa drew in a deep breath, then let it out, as he waited and hoped she would accept that for a name.

“Josa?” Lily sounded very calm and sweet.

“Yes,” Josa's heart continued to pound hard with anxiety and excitement as he wanted to be accepted by her.

“What a nice name! Very unique. Where did you come from?” Lily gave a wide smile.

“Shadowlands,” he had no clue why he just said that one word immediately.

“How- interesting. That place is off limits to everyone except for necromancers or the most powerful wizards- known as Sino Wizards... You appear way too kind to come from the Shadowlands,” Lily helped him to his feet, then frowned in confusion.

Great, what did I say wrong? Are you trying to get me into trouble with her? Josa fekt like he could not trust his wand's guide fully.

No, by answering her that it will make you even more appealing. Just trust me, things will turn out very well in the end, Shadowstaff gave out a very menacing laugh.

Gah, as soon as everything settles down, then I am switching wands, Josa then glanced back up to see a smile come across her face. Okay, maybe you are right then.

“Come, want to look around in the mall?” she let go after making sure Josa could walk around on his own. The wand glowed with pleasure.

This is the first time I have ever been inside a mall. I wonder what is in it? Shadowstaff asked with curiosity in its voice.

Just a place where there is a group of stores in one spot is all. It is fun to visit a mall and look around. By the way, if you have never been to a mall before, how do you know if there is a place called Furry Friends or not then? He made sure to also pay attention to Lily as they were walking inside the mall. While it appeared to be of average size, inside the mall looked much larger than what he expected.

Here I am, sitting on that pedestal all day and all night long. People come by and have conversations about how great it was spending their time in the mall and the places they went to to buy their school supplies and such, Shadowstaff tried to make its life sound as boring as possible.

Hey, you are just a wand. Besides, it sounds like you have interesting stories to tell. Okay, I get it. Even though you have not been there, you have heard about it, Josa took a deep breath and relaxed a bit.

The mall had a huge ceiling with a skylight that appeared exactly like the weather outside and plants lining across the walls. The floors was covered in marble tiles and bricks and many people walked to and from different stores. Josa stared at the designs on the floor and did not pay much attention to what Lily was talking about. He could not help seeing how beautiful the place was. In the middle of the walkway appeared to be stairs leading down to a place where there were chairs and tables. He saw quite a few groups of people as they passed by each store. The smell of the ocean filled the air.

“How do you like the place?” Lily's voice cut through and entered Josa's attention.

“Oh, I love it. How about, um, Furry Friends first?” he wanted to see the pets first.

“Right this way.”

They went across the hallway to one of the stores on the right side. There were paw prints painted all around it as a way to lead them straight over there. The first thing Josa noticed was the bunny rabbits. They felt very soft and warm to the touch. Some of them he felt sure he had never seen before because of how different they appeared. Then they looked at the cats and dogs. Mice, rats, ferrets, and other furry critters could be found there too. Then bats caught his attention. One flew over and landed right on him. It looked up at him with eyes begging for attention.

“Oh, so you must really be a necromancer then. Which element of magic do you practice?” Lily smiled.

“I have not figured that part out yet,” Josa hoped that not everyone had a specific element right off the bat.

“I see. Well, I will buy this bat for you and then we can move onto the next place to visit. Or, we could go to the food court. You do look very hungry.”

“Yes, I am famished.”

All the better, you need to eat. As a wand, I do not have to worry about eating or drinking. Hehe, Shadowstaff gave a slight nudge to his hand.

We will see about that, Josa rolled his eyes at it.

Chapter Four

“How is the meal? I really enjoyed this one,” Lily asked as Josa swallowed his last slice of Barkley Pizza special.

“As delicious as it can get,” he wiped his hands on a napkin that came along with the silverware.

Do not forget, I want a slice as well,Shadowstaff said in a teasing manner. Josa sighed and ignored it. He did not need to listen to his staff anymore.

Just then the wand decided to switch to its original shape and form. The top formed a pattern that could be found on an exotic butterfly and then twisted, vines shaped all the way down to the bottom of it. Throughout its appearance light blue streaked randomly with a dark hued glow that remained consistent with the mood of the wand.

“Is- is that the Shadowstaff, the most powerful dark wand of all?” Lily gasped in fright.

“Uh,” Josa felt cought in confusion at the sight. He thought the wand said it would only help him through a tree branch, not be with the wand itself.

I tricked you into accepting me by faking a tree branch all along, you are bound to be with me for life.

For life? I agreed to that? Josa wished he was more careful back in the place he woke up in. Then, he looked into Lily's face. “Apparently it is and not just a walking stick.”

“How lucky. You must be very powerful then. So the Shadowstaff picked on you to be its master then?” Lily showed fascination on her face.

“What do you mean master? The Shadowstaff was just guiding me-” Josa decided not to finish the sentence. He did not know about the rules of the place in the first place and did not want to look like a fool in front of everyone.

When Josa looked around, he realized he said that last part too loudly. People inside were staring at him with expressions of shock in their faces. He blushed as he dashed out of the restaurant, too embarrassed to face the others.

I am putting you back where you belong right now. Thanks for causing me a lot of unnecessary trouble, he scolded the wand while he headed to the place he found the wand.

You still need something to help you walk do not forget. Was not I a great help in easing your pain? Yes, you are my master, whether or not you like it. There is no way you are allowed to give me up right after you said you accepted me. Did you forget that?

Josa stopped and stood by the tree close to the pedestals. The Sunstaff, from what Lily had told him about in the mall, was not on the pedestal anymore. He looked around to see if anyone that took it was close by. A rustle in the bushes caused him to jump up and caught his attention. He could see an eerie glow there. Then the person showed himself to Josa. He was dressed in a golden robe covered with sun decorations on it and even glowed like the sun. The face felt very familiar, as if in a dream. Josa could not quite place where exactly he had seen the guy before though.

“Well, hello,” he said in a very gruff voice. The voice sounded familiar too, then Josa knew exactly who it was.

“Er, Wilbert! What are you doing here, and how did you get that staff?” Josa recognized the staff to be the one gone missing.

“Let us just say it accepted me. Now, remember those guys who took us away for the experiment? That is illegal in this country. I want revenge. Want to come?” Wilbert turned his back toward him and started conversing with the wand.

“No, even if it is illegal, I do not remember what happened either. It feels so confusing, and I just want to survive and have freedom. However, when I come up with some way that would be safe and harmless to do to them, I do want to do that. Please, just be patient and let whoever is the police or the federal government take care of things,” Josa sighed. He remembered how much he hated to be with Wilbert in the first place, the bossiness got too much for him and now he was stuck in a place where he does not know where his home and mom is.

“You are forgetting everything do not you? Well, I do want to help you remember. That night when we sneaked out into the park, it was my idea, I pushed you to do it, come with me. Well, it turned out to be a lot of pain and misery involved, with, one of the main results happened to you- amnesia. I do not even recognize or know who you are anymore, except for that face. The kid who loves to run around and,” Josa felt pain and anguish rise as he began to remember those things. Then he realized he still could not remember his own him. He made up Josa and that name went well for a while, but it still was not his real name.

“Well, Josa is my name now. I do not remember what it was before, but I will soon,” Josa deliberately interrupted and instinctively caught the bat with his arms as it flipped over. He had forgotten about having a pet bat too all this time at the restaurant. Sur Pizza had a lot of good food to eat though.

“Well, I think I better head off and find something to eat. Good luck with your plans, but I think playing safe and harmless will not work out. I will see you around,” Wilbert walked away with his head held high.

What was that about? Josa watched with a smirk as Wilbert disappeared through the wilderness.

I do not know, but he is up to no good. That is for sure. Revenge. That is also a bad thing that will cause you to do something illegal. If he seriously takes revenge what I am thinking of, he will be forfeited of the Sunstaff and the wand will then need to reconsider its options about which master it should choose. I am very glad to choose you because of what I wanna do and what you need makes us a perfect pair. You are a true Necromancer now because of me and can go anywhere you feel like going to. Dark places, light places, even underwater in the deepest trench or inside the lava where fire towns of fiery beings are, Shadowstaff continued to ramble in such a way Josa did a head hit on the tree when he heard a voice shouting.

What was that? Josa wondered.

I do not know. Quick, hide in these bushes. Then we can see and try to figure out what is going on. Oh, I do not think this is good at all, he heard the emotion of worry in his wand's voice as he scrambled low in the grass as footsteps were heard. Two people dressed up in fancy gold decorated black robes ran over to where the pedestals were and examined the spot. One of them had gray hair and the other one had dark hair. Oh, my creator! He is the one with gray hair but dresses up exactly like the founder of the Federal Agency, my all the rules and laws they have is unbelievable and I do not feel like following any of them, well. The wand paused.

You do not need to take a breath like us humans do, Josa was amused at how much like a human the Shadowstaff behaved.

I do have feelings too. Everything has feelings, even blankets and T-shirts.

Okay, I really find this amusing. Still, do I have to keep you by my side every single minute? Sometimes I need a break from you, like now, Josa rolled his eyes. He found the wand too talkactive for his taste. Oh, we seriously need to focus on what is happening. What are those people and their names? What are they looking around at the pedestals for?

Oh, right. I still have not told you the name of my creator yet too. The other person with the dark hair is the founder of Magturn Worldwide Federal Agency where they go around and make sure there is peace everywhere. Any quarrels or disputes goes to them. My creator is Stradie Cockbeen and the other person is Stingy Willow, known as the Federal Agency Founder and Boss.

Thanks for giving that much information out. That answers one part of my question. Now, what are they doing exactly? Can you magnify what they are saying so I can hear it?

Sure I can, as a wand I can cast magic. Though, I do sometimes wonder why have not you cast your own magic yet? I do sense a very powerful magic in you that will make you invincible in battle, meaning you will always win...

Stop thinking like that, of course I can't cast magic, I am not a magical person. You are though, wait, you seriously think I can cast magic? By myself?

Of course you can. Try it. The Shadowstaff waited to see if he could cast the spell of magnification, knowing it will cause chaos if he did succeeded. It loved to play pranks on others and was very unpopular for that reason, but knew it could teach Josa in a very sleek manner to do exactly what it wanted to see happen too. Safe and harmless, that made Josa the perfect pick for a master.

“The wands are stolen. Someone must have convinced them to go with them,” Stradie put a hand on the pedestal.

Uh- oh, I really outdid myself in creating calamity. Now I have to keep you hidden from sight until I can convince my creator that was not what happened with me. It may have happened with Sunstaff, but not with me, Josa understood what the wand was trying to do now.

The wand glowed with a mysterious dark aura as it kept its thoughts to itself. Stradie and Stingy went out of sight onto the street, gathering as many people away from it as possible. Josa took deep breaths to settle himself. He never had experienced such a rough moment where he wondered if he had done something wrong himself. The tension felt like it would last forever as he stayed in a hiding position.

Quick, move while no one was watching. I want to hear the conversation they are having. I get it now. They think both me and Sunstaff is stolen. I am not stolen, but I can tell the Sunstaff had no choice but to accept Wilbert. I do not like Wilbert myself. What can we do? Well, I want to easedrop first, then escape, then we can make plans to stabilize this situation in a pranking manner, Shadowstaff made a low, evil laugh as Josa slowly merged out from his hiding spot.

“Great, everyone is here? No one missing or injured? Okay now, I have some important news to bring. The two wands I made, Sunstaff and Shadowstaff, has been stolen from the pedestals. We know it would take a great deal of powerful magic beyond our abilities for this to happen and want everyone to cooperate. If you know of anyone or anything about what happened to them please come and report it either to myself or to Stradie Cockbeen. It is very important to get these wands back to their proper place so that they can choose who their owners are. The Shadowstaff is only allowed to be with a necromancer and the Sunstaff is only allowed to be with a Sino Wizard. I appreciate your time and patience as we work on getting everything resolved,” Stingy Willow announced to everyone standing there. The Shadowstaff listened very patiently.

Exactly like I think it is. I am going to be doomed. I do not want to lose you at all. You know what? I think Lily can take us to her house and- Shadowstaff gave a thick, dark swirl of pure dark magic. It caught Lily's attention.

What are you doing? Josa sighed. Not another one of the wand's planning. A prank was not in his mind to do at the moment.

Asking Lily of course. She does seem to accept you.

Okay, not again, but have it your way please.

Good answer, the wand chuckled with delight. Josa felt unsure if it was referring to his answer or Lily's answer, but he had no choice but to wait and see what will happen next. Good or bad, he hoped it was not going to try to pull off another prank after begging him to accept it and pulling a disappearing act on its creator. The wand maker seemed very worried over the disappearance of both wands.

Please, as soon as this is done and over with, speak with your creator. He is very upset about what has happened, Josa scowled in frustration. He could not just leave the wand behind or anything of the sort since it refused to let him go.

Chapter Five

“Help!” an old man sounded the alarm on the other side of the mall. Stingy immediately went to investigate with the others close by.

How does he move so fast? Josa wondered out loud.

One word: Magic, Shadowstaff giggled in an attempt to cheep Josa up. It sounded like it came from the bank, or in front of the bank, rather. I want to go see what is going on. By the way it sounded like my creator's wife. Look how fast he is running too.

Great, even more trouble. Well, we can stay and see long enough what is going on and if she is alright, can't we? Josa watched as the main group entered the mall to be hidden from the threat the old man was experiencing, or whoever shouted for help. He ran down the road until he came to an intersection.

It will be safer to come through the grass to the front of the bank. We can keep well hidden there.

That makes perfect sense. On the road we will be easy to spot, right? Josa turned around and headed to the first door of the mall to cross.

True, the group of people has already spotted us too. Be prepared to fight please, the wand sounded more annoyed than anything else.

Fight? I do not fight nor do I want to fight. Is not there any other solution besides one thing after another thing? Josa started to rant.

Hey, you needed help, do not forget that. I was offering you help and I will continue to offer my help to you- the only thing you need to understand is you are not allowed to even think about trying to get rid of me. I wanted you to be my master after all. You are a necromancer, I can sense that. Element wise, who cares. It was very boring sitting there all day and all night and now I have been able to see more of the world than before. You are especially being very fun to be ordered around by because you do not remember your real name even, yet, still. Shadowstaff gave a very sinister laugh after saying that.

Oh well, I can't deny that. But how would the others understand that you tricked me into accepting you and not the other way around? Seriously, I do not know anything about magic, let alone realize magic does exist. What else exists, and which planet am I on? Josa went through the mall hearing screams of terror at the sight of him then exited on the other side. The first thing he saw was the huge stone walls of the bank and the bushes that surrounded it. Then he realized the bushes would make an excellent hiding place. The wand was right about having a good place to hide while observing what was going on at the front of the bank. He hoped things will turn out with Stingy in charge of the Federal Agency. There were many things he felt he could have done differently if only he had not accepted the wand's help.

You came from Earth, I can sense that. Even Earthlings have magic in their world, it is considered a forbidden place to cast magic on because of all the stigmatizm that is associated with witches and other Halloween stories of the paranormal beings. We are on a planet the Earthlings know as Saturn. But here we call it Magturn because of how magical this place is. Of course, the time runs differently, the calender is different and same with social life, but we are pretty much the same in our own unique manners. There is no doubt about that, Shadowstaff helped make an illusional camouflage as they settled down at the entrance and looked for the cause of the trouble.

“If you do not give me all the gold you have now, you will regret it,” Josa heard and recognized the voice as Wilbert, the one he met in the place where the wands were kept and always bullied him into doing things he did not want to do.

Great, Wilbert. I really do not like him at all. So, what are the rules of magic? Do you know? Josa watched as a very old lady is being held hostage at wand point with Stingy close by and Stradie in tears.

Oh, dear, it is the creator's wife after all of this time. Anyway, if we will be running out there to save his wife you will need to know the basics. After all, remember what I said about being prepared to fight? Well, this may be our very first fight, we will need to be prepared. He probably will not know how to cast magic, but then it is the Sunstaff we will be dealing with. It is even more, or so it claims, smarter than me. The wand took a break to observe the situation. Stradie had gone inside to get the money so he could save his wife from death.

Do not get distracted, please, Josa worried that Wilbert will get what he asked for and then cause even more trouble before anything could get sorted out. The Federal Agent Stingy seemed to be at a loss over the situation too and he thought that the top boss would be able to take care of everything. Obviously, though, the Sunstaff was stronger than any other wand, besides his own, for a dual. The dual Wilbert had with Stingy left Stingy injured and wand less while Wilbert gave a triumphant cry over his victory.

First, I should tell you about the strength of the magic for every person is different. The strength of the magic they have varies depending on where they were born. The closer in birth you are to a leyline in this world, the stronger the magic you will possess. Sometimes, in very rare cases, it has been shown possible that a person could access the exact core of the magical powers in this world. We do not know how that is possible, but usually those people have the powers to change the universe. You, I sense, is one of them, Shadowstaff gave a chuckle.

Okay, okay, whatever you believe in can come later. How do you use that magic then?

Most of the time, the more you meditate, the closer you will become one with the magic in you. Right now, you should meditate. Then you need to be able to focus and control the magic, try not to go over, or end up overflowing with the magic, or you will never be the same you ever again, or if life would continue to exist. I think then you would only become a puppet to magic and not be alive anymore, that would make you an undead zombie, a grunt could be heard in the distance as the wand spoke in a whisper.

Great, can't my situation about all of this become any better, wait you said I need to become one with the magic in me by meditating? Josa looked at the wand.

Yes, yes, you do. It is no easy task either. Look at the move Wilbert casted, he is already in tune with his magical powers, or maybe it was just the Sunstaff itself that casted it. The powers of wands vary too. Me and it is the most powerful of all the wands combined.

So, here are the simple rules of magic- meditate and be in tune with your powers and then focus on using and controlling that magic in a stable manner. Everyone does it, even me. Just kidding I am a wand, just a tool to use magic by, but not necessary to use all the time. However, I can guide, help, lead you into being a great, powerful necromancer, then move onto helping someone else out. How is that for a deal? Oh, I will refuse to leave your side if you dare try to give me up too.

Still insisting, huh? Well, I will do what you suggest then. I will focus on being in one with my inner magical powers as you call it then, Josa took in a deep breath, unsure if he really wanted to do this.

You have no choice. Do what I say to stay insane or lose yourself to magic, Shadowstaff said in a very sweet and mysterious voice.

Josa looked at Wilbert. Then he sighed. How was he going to be able to use his magical powers to defend himself when Wilbert seems to already be able to have the capability to use it? Then he decided he should go for it, unprepared as he was. It hurt him greatly to see an old lady suffer from hostility, especially his rival. He wanted to survive and live peacefully, but this was not the peaceful time he really wanted to have. After appearing in front of the bank, Wilbert did the expected and sent a strong blast from the wand at him. Josa quickly used the Shadowstaff to defend himself from the blast. The defensive shield held up for the most part, but did knock him off balance for a little bit. Then he went closer to where Wilbert was standing and holding the wand maker's wife hostage. This hostility was not accepted in his eyes.

“Stop it right now!” Josa demanded once he positioned himself.

“Stop what? You know I need money for food to eat and water to drink,” Wilbert said in a very light, casual voice. A manner that was a pet peeve.

“Sure, you can ask for help and work for it, not just rob someone and steal it. How about a dual? If I win, leave this place. If I lose, I will back off and let you do whatever you want to do. Deal?” Josa felt anguished at the fact his rival would think about robbing a bank in the first place.

“Okay, deal. You are just like those others, a weakling, anyway,” Wilbert seemed to stay very calm and collected about it, as if he knew he was going to win anyway.

“When will you learn that pride is not a good thing? Anyway, this is a deal that I will not hold back. Let us get started on this,” Josa held his position and prepared for the dual to begin. He hoped the Shadowstaff will know what to do in this situation as it seems to be. He still had no clue about how to use his own powers.

After Wilbert got into positioned they both readied their wands for the big hit. Then they swung their wands in a manner to cast the spell. The strength of the magic was even. When the spell collided it formed a bond that neutralized the attacks. Josa felt too afraid to release his and Wilbert seemed determined to win by continuing his spell.

Meditate. If you unlock your own powers first, you will be able to break this tie and win this battle, er, I mean dual, Shadowstaff reminded Josa as it focused on holding its ground.

Sure thing. Will you continue to do your part though? Josa looked at the situation. This seemed to be going nowhere as far as he could tell.

Yes, I will. You will be able to feel it when the magic becomes one with you too.

Josa sighed. No matter how much he longed to not fight, he still needed to do something to win this battle. Both wands were even in power and Wilbert has not bothered to meditate and unlock his own powers deep within yet either. Josa decided to close his eyes and focused on becoming one with his powers no matter how little did he know about how to do it. Then he felt something awaken in him. It gave a feeling of a strength he had not experienced before and started to flow through his veins. The next thing he knew was Wilbert screaming out and pain and he was flat on his back himself.

Awesome, you did it, you awoken your powers, the wand sounded very cheerful, too cheerful for his taste.

What happened?

You won the dual. Now my creator's wife is safe from harm thanks to you. I shall forever be your servant from now on.

What? Me be your master? Josa still did not find the idea of him being a master be very fun and appealing. The wand drove him nuts and gotten him into a lot of trouble as is, or so it appears that way.

Of course, that is what I have always wanted to do in the first place and my instinct, if you can call that my instinct, was right on the dot, Shadowstaff sounded very cheerful.

“How did you do that? Hey, you are still a weakling, but I will forgive you this time. For now, I will leave this place. However, this will not be the last of me that you will see. Do not forget that,” Wilbert picked up his wand and then vanished into thin air.

The wand maker's wife is safe. I am very glad to see that. What should I do next? Josa looked around. Stradie had not appeared back since he had shown up and challenged Wilbert to a dual.

Go up and introduce yourself to my creator's wife. I still do not know her name because she never says it around me or the Sunstaff. But I know what she looks like.

Great idea, sure. Hopefully this will turn out smooth and peacefully, Josa took in a deep breath to prepare for the worst of the situation.

Chapter Six

Here goes nothing, Josa headed up in the direction to where Stradie and his wife were standing and hugging each other. They stopped celebrating and turned with a look of fear in their faces as they saw him heading over to them, eyeing the wand. He decided to stop and rest, sensing their fear of him and knew it would not be a good time to just go up there and say hello. Seriously a waste of time, why bother... I do not know how to properly introduce myself and they probably think I stole you.

Do not forget about chocolate, the Shadowstaff glowed and waved a large chocolate candy in front of Josa's face. Eat up. Lily brought it for you. You were knocked out unconscious from using your powers for five minutes. She watched everything that happened and is a really good doctor. You need to eat this all up. Also, it is not a good time to speak with my creator and his wife yet, because of Wilbert and how he treated them. Lily offered to take us to her home for a place to hide if we can grab the broomstick and fake kidnapping her. Since we are in so much trouble anyway why not do just that?

I see your point. I am, well, following your guidance after all. It would be great to accept Lily's help, soon we will be able to speak with Stradie, er, your creator right? Josa accepted the chocolate and then turned around and nodded at Lily as a way to thank her for the medicine- he still could not believe how chocolate is medicine for fainting or being knocked out unconscious, but it did work in clearing his mind.

Yes, yes I will. I can still see the startled looks on their faces, I feel so bad about doing this. Still, I am concerned about your safety. I am the best wand so everyone wants me of course, Shadowstaff gave him a nudge on his arm.

Naturally, you do the worst things ever, yet it is all good. I am feeling much better and this would never have happened if I had not met you, Josa decided to admit about needing the help the wand gave him. He did not feel angry at it anymore about the situation he was in.

Sweet, you agree with me. Now, for escaping, we need a broom. Not just any broom, but the kind that is built to be the fastest flying broom ever- the Vromstock.

Vromstock? That is a weird name for a broom. That should be a name for a race car though, Josa watched as the wand casted its spell. Suddenly, he heard glass break and shattering all over the place. He wondered what kind of spell the wand was doing, even though it talked about the Vromstock, he was not very familiar with the name. Suddenly a brilliantly colored broom appeared racing toward where he was standing. Gah, slow that down.

Nah, we need it this fast, sorry, the wand chuckled in delight. Josa felt like he was just living in a nightmare. He had never ridden on a broomstick before, let alone one that is said to have the fastest speed ever. Then the broom stopped in midair right where Josa was standing. Lily quickly jumped onto the broom and waved for Josa to get on too in the same manner.

“I- I have never, ever, been on a flying broom before,” he deliberately did not feel like it was even safe to be on a broom. Flying brooms did not exist from where he was living before.

“Oh, come on. You need to get yourself away from this place. I will help in getting you out of here then I will leave you behind and come back here,” Lily pulled him up onto the broom. Josa really liked the colors and design of the broom and how pretty it appeared. He still felt very scared to death of the idea of riding on a broom though. The idea of going high in thin air on nothing but a stick made him feel sick to his stomach from being very nervous about it.

“Good, now you are on. Sorry guys, but he needs to head to an emergency area real quick. I will be back. And, hey, what is up with you not trusting me? I know how to fly like a whiz,” Lily kicked off the ground and steered the broom into the air high above the buildings. Slowly, they grew smaller until they could see the entire city that made up Glisten Valley.

“Beautiful view up here, is not it?” the wand asked proudly. Josa looked around at all the roofs and how the trees drew patterns of happiness. The breeze felt just like. Even though his heart still pounded hard, he felt like he was safe and sound despite being very high into the air. A soft, melodic tune was carried by the air up to where they were hanging out. All of a sudden Josa did not want to let go of Lily at all, fearing he would fall from the broom if he did not hold her tight enough.

“Have this nutty bar, it should help you adjust to this airful feeling and is packed with protein. You should have lots of protein as a necromancer. Your magic will flail without it. Kidding!” Lily gave him a mini sized nutty bar the size of being in the middle of his palm. He accepted and ate it happily. The fear then fell away and he felt relaxed. He wondered how could all of these delicious things be medicine.

“Medicine here comes in many shapes and sizes. For us, we use magic to give the appearance of something else so you could never guess it was medicine. However, I do tend to babble my mouth too much and scare away my patients. Okay, I know where to go now. My house- it is just on a mountain and there is a good hiding spot there for you. Only, do not stay in one spot too long or you may end up getting caught by a Federal Agent. They still assume you stole that Shadowstaff, but I know that is not true. I will do my very best to convince them of that.”

“You speak just as much as my wand does, too. Okay, I see how that works. I am glad you are honest,” Josa then felt the wind hitting his face in a way that he could not finish saying what he wanted to say. The broom seemed to move at a speed of light in his mind.

Chapter Seven

“We are here now,” Lily stopped the broom in midair quite a ways above a spot close to the mountain.

Josa opened his eyes, then realized he needed to rub them open. His arms and legs flailed around like Jello. He mumbled as he stretched his arms out, then looked around. To the north there was a cave and a creek running through, coming from the mountain itself. Then there were trees up to where a good sized house stood and then a road passing through.

“It- it- it is very beautiful. What a wonderful place you live at. So, you live right beside a forest?”

“Yes, I do. In fact, some calls me the forest vet because of how I know so much about the forest and its animals. I know exactly what to look for to cure many illnesses. You might be surprised at some of the things I come up with.”

“It sounds like you have a lot of fun being a doctor, or nurse, whichever you prefer to be known as,” Josa smiled. Maybe, he realized, she was not bad at all to be around with. She was very caring, even if her voice did annoy him a little. He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. “Thank you for everything you have done for me. I am willing to help you as much as I can. I really appreciate everything you did to help me out.”

“Aww, thank you,” Lily blushed.

Josa leaned back, then looked around. “Okay can we go to the ground and land please? I am nervous about being so high up in the air.”

“Get used to it, this is your best way to travel by night,” Lily then directed the broom to land in front of her house.

“Great!” Josa eagerly jumped off the broom only to find himself laying face down on the ground.

“Oh dear, do not be so hasty about it. This is the first time you have ever ridden on a broom before, have not you?” Lily covered her mouth in concern.

“Oh, no, I am fine. Seriously, you do not need to worry about me,” Josa rolled over and than sat up in a sitting position.

“Are you as clumsy as you talk? I am worried you will fall over and injure yourself now,” Lily helped him up onto his feet.

“I am okay, seriously. So, first day went well, sort of. A place to hide for me now. Where would that be? I do not feel like entering a jail or anything of the sort. I did not try to convince this wand to be with me either, it was the other way around,” he fumbled around for his words, to add to his embarrassment about jumping off the broom. Inside his heart, he swore he did not want to ride another broom ever again. That one went way too fast for his liking.

“Get used to this broom. I think I will let you keep it and then come up with the money to pay for the damage that was caused. This wand does creeps me out, but I can tell, from when I first saw you, that you had nothing to do with any trouble that could have happened. Try to teach this wand some manners and manage its behavior. There is a time to have fun and be silly, but not today and not right now. Somehow we need to fix all the trouble it has caused. Wilbert is another thing. I do not think-” Lily said.

“Hey, hey, the way he was looking at you, like an eye of obsession over you. Lily, I think you are in risk of danger no matter where you are,” the Shadowstaff cackled. “Still, I need to be able to convince my creator about what really happened with me and what Josa and I witnessed after we ate lunch together in by where I was being kept for days and nights. You know it would have been helpful to walk around and see things once in a while like the Sunstaff had the privilege of doing.”

“Where did my pet bat go?” Josa looked around. He realized he was not feeling the tiny claws digging into his shoulder anymore after he jumped off the broom.

“You should give your pet a name. They learn fast,” Lily took the Vromstock in her hand and gave it to him.

“Hmm, maybe I will call it Fluffy. You know how Fluffy looks all cute and attractive but is all about doom on the inside, no good to it,” Josa accepted the Vromstock.

“You are silly. Do not give your pet that name if that is the case of reason to name your pet that. Well, a pet is a pet. I guess you can call it Fluffy. Just remember when someone asks you why you choose that name do not give that reason.”

“Perfect, it is a beautiful name,” Shadowstaff brought up quickly when he heard the reason.

“Okay, Fluffy it is. Fluffy, where are you?” Josa waited for a little bit. Fluffy appeared shortly after and landed on his arm. It crewed and fluttered its wings after landing. “Sorry for scaring you like that. I need to learn how to ride this broom though, wait, Vromstock. It sure goes fast.”

“Creww, Cre, crewwwww,” Fluffy, the bat, seemed to settle down and accepted the apology Josa gave.

“Aww, how cute. Fluffy is absolutely adorable,” Lily turned toward the house. “This is my home. I stay here all day long and work here. Do you like tea or coffee? Please, feel free to make yourself at home here, I am available if you get injured. Stay out of trouble please, Shadowstaff.”

“Nah, I like pranking around. Nothing harmful or dangerous though, but I do wanna have some fun,” it replied in a very innocently sounding voice.

“Oh, come on, relax. Can't you think about doing something else for a change?” Josa did not want any trouble coming his way.

“Shucks,” the wand calmed down though. Then all three of them went inside the house, including Fluffy.

Chapter Eight

“Want some more green tea?” Lily asked as she rinsed out the emptied tea kettle and headed to the cabinet for more tea bags.

“No thanks, I am good. The tea is delicious and so is the dried lamb strips. I can't believe how well you cook- wait, never mind, I think you cook great all this time,” Josa replied. She giggled a little bit.

“No need to thank me. I know you could use this. Besides, you have helped me a lot already.”

“How is that?” Josa could not think of anything he had done to help out. Fluffy snuggled up in his hands and purred. He found his pet entertaining with its crews and quirky behavior.

“Remember how you helped Slicia when she needed it? You have saved the bank from anymore problems Wilbert could have caused and, well, I do have even more reasons I can think of how you helped me. You never took advantage over anyone either despite how evil looking you are. Gosh, the butterfly design looks wonderful, the rest of you speak of being a very powerful necromancer. Another thing, did you really come from Shadowlands? You act way too kind and generous to be from the Shadowlands.”

“Grr, Shadowstaff!” Josa scowled in a manner that only made the wand burst out laughing hard. “No, I never did. I only said that to be accepted. I came from Earth.”

“Earth? That is an entirely different planet. How on the world did you ever realize that life and magic ever exists on different planets?” Lily stopped what she was doing. “We can visit Earth, but it is very hostile. No magic is allowed to be used there or we could end up dead in an instant. There are nice people there, no doubt, but because of religion and witchcraft, it is too dangerous. Besides, there is no peaceful living there like it is here. Sure, we are alike and have trouble here, but war does not exist here in this world. There is no threats from one country to the next here. We only have locals and continentals.”

“Actually, I think I would like to just stay and live on this planet then. No war, piece and quiet exception the very few. Well, does people like Wilbert happen a lot or-?” Josa then heard a rasping knock on the door and jumped up.

“Oh, I forgot the Federal Agents would come and investigate since they think you are, or had, stolen the wand. Quick, take cover under the table. You did not do anything wrong, trust me,” Lily then exited the kitchen.

Josa did as she asked and scrambled under the table, politely keeping Fluffy's attention so he would not lose it again. Two times of forgetting about his pet was more than enough times worrying about it. By now he had grown to adore it and wondered how he had ever lived without it. The bat loved him dearly too, he could tell. Then, as he settled down in a comfortable position and laid the wand down on his lap, he heard her opening the door and saying hello. Fluffy flew over and settled on the Shadowstaff and stopped crewing. It seemed to know and understand what to do.

“How are you doing?” Lily sounded like she was coming into the kitchen now.

“Good, good. Been quite a hectic day. I have settled everyone down in Silver Lane as well as around the bank and now everything is as back to normal as it can be. So, that fellow did not hurt you or anything? Well, I did come to ask you some questions. We need to know as much as possible so that nothing becomes a huge threat in the future,” Stingy's voice was very close. Josa took in deep breaths as he realized what this conversation was going to be about, but he still wanted to know what they thought about him and if he was going to be safe.

“Certainly. I will try to help you out as much as possible.” Two chairs were pulled out and then they sat down.

“This is about Wilbert and, let me think, oh, his name was Josa. We have put Wilbert on the wanted list as the most dangerous criminal. Josa is also wanted too, but he did not seem to be near as dangerous as Wilbert was. He seemed to have done nothing intentional except to save Stradie's wife, oh, I forgot her name. If I was younger I would remember what it was. Anyway, has Josa done anything threatening to you or anything?” Stingy asked.

“Why no, he has not. He seems to be the most kind and generous necromancer. I do know neither he nor Wilbert was born on this planet, they were born on Earth.”

“Ah, we need to find out who they were when they were living on Earth. However they found their way here is a big mystery then. Okay, my next question is did he ever convince the Shadowstaff to be his wand?” Josa heard pen writing on parchment paper while they spoke.

“Well, I can say he seemed to rather wanted to get rid of the wand instead of keeping it. I do not think he tried to convince the Shadowstaff wand at all. In my opinion, it is full of pranks and treachery as is and still need to learn some manners. You know how it always is?”

“Yes, I do know it very well. I would not be surprised about anything it dares to do. Go ahead and continue on.”

“Okay, my theory is, it literally pulled a prank and tricked Josa into accepting it by just offering to be his guide in a form of a tree branch to use as a walking stick. When I first met Josa, he was using a tree branch to walk with and appeared to be in need of much special attention and medicine. He seems a lot better now after taking the medicine I gave him. Still, he is not a criminal and does not deserve to be put in a cell for questioning or anything of the sort.”

“We will see about that. Remember, we just want to get our facts straight. I have a feeling, but I will not say or decide anything until it is proven. My next question is this-” Stingy continued to ask and then listened to her response.

How long will this last? I would like to be able to move around. It just seems like forever is all, Josa asked his wand.

Could be by the minute, could be by the hour. Who knows? Shadowstaff then paused as Lily answered the next question. Lily says to stay put until he leaves. She does not think, by the sound of these questions, the Federal Agency will think you are safe. They did, however, put you on a lower priority list compared to Wilbert and other top robbers and bandits. This means we have hope to just live in peace.

Yes, it does. Well, it will be peaceful if you do as you say and not do stupid things, Josa then cocked his head to listen to the next question being asked.

“The Shadowstaff took the Vromstock by itself. I realize how much it costs and the damage done to get it. I am willing to pay the price. Please, do not do anything that will drive Josa nuts. He seems to have amnesia and yes, I will be very careful. Any trouble and I will send you a message as soon as I possibly can,” Lily then stood up from the table.

“How very kind of you. Do not let Josa take advantage of you, you hear? We do not know what he is capable of,” Stingy stood up as well. Josa wondered if it meant they will not take him, just talk to him or something. Still, he now knew he was on the wanted list for having the Shadowstaff and had many questions about the rules of magic too, like the side effects from casting a spell. “If you ever see him, do not try to deal with him, leave it for us and we will take care of him.”

“Oh, I certainly will try too, if he is off the wanted list. I am sure he will cooperate.”

The two of them headed out of the kitchen toward the front door. Josa's heart still pounded quickly as he heard Stingy leaving. This meant he had to have a good hiding spot or else either Wilbert or the Federal Agents would find him. So far neither the Shadowstaff nor Lily wanted him to be caught.

The worst thing that can happen is isolation. Many people ends up driven insane in the isolation cell and then they pretty much become a madman and a threat to society and need to be put into a jail cell for life. Even though the isolation process is just a few days, they try to see the reaction of what you would do if you were alone. Still, something about the process is off the chart in my opinion. There needs to be a better way to handle the interrogating process, the wand shivered in Josa's hand.

Oh, wow, then I really do not belong there then. Still, I think if everything is settled down there will be a chance to make myself acceptable to society- right? Josa crawled out from under the table. With Stingy gone he had nothing to worry about.

“Well, sorry about that. He is the head and founder of the Federal Agency and I did not want you to be taken over to the place, in case they do the worst thing ever, that is. Maybe it would just be questioning and then relieving you, but I did not want to take any chances of that happening. You do need a good hiding place. I think I know the best place for you to hide will be,” Lily waved for him to follow.

“Where would that be?” Josa followed her outside and then they stopped after going to the back of the house.

“There is a little cave, just beyond the creek. We can turn it into a temporary hideout until I think it will be okay for you to have a house and live in where the others are. First, I want to hear of your opinion about it though,” Lily then led Josa across the backyard beside the trees, across a creek, and then stopped where there were piles of rocks with grass growing on top was. Josa found it to be a very pretty sight.

“This is very beautiful! It is like a one stop for a nice, quiet resting place,” Josa waved his hand in the air. Suddenly a butterfly appeared and flew away. “Huh?”

“Watch your magic,” Lily laughed.

“You know what? I really do not know much about magic, even despite all the Fantasy genre books and such that I read, or, rather, used to read, every day. It just feels like an entirely different world, like being underwater.”

“Of course you are in a different world. This means there are different rules. I, er, will teach you the best you can,” Lily glared at the Shadowstaff as if warning it not to teach him something beyond his ability first.

Chapter Nine

Josa walked outside from exploring the little cave. “This is a very neat place, great for a suitable hideout. So, how will I sleep?”

“First, before you can just turn this into a hideout, you will need to come up with a list of essential things needed so that you can stay here. After you have done that then I will do my best to get those things in a very casual manner. Did you get a good night sleep last night in my room?” Lily stood where he was standing. Yesterday had been a very long day with being in Silver Lane and then overhearing the conversation between Lily and Stingy. He wanted to just have a chance to sit down and relax, not doing anything else but that, for a day.

“Alright, um, a paper and pencil then, or wait pen,” Josa blushed as he stumbled on his own words.

“Crew, Cre,” Fluffy fluttered its wings a bit, then went back to being content where it was.

“Of course, I did not forget those things. Here is a notebook and some pens. Make a list of what you can think of needing. Of course, heavy does not matter. I can make anything levitate and I will teach you how. I also know how to expand the area so that there is more room to put things in too. That will be another thing I can teach you. If the Shadowstaff keeps it simple, then you can learn from it too. However, you had a harsh day yesterday, you should settle down before casting any magic. What the Shadowstaff did was a naughty way to teach you, that was very harsh on your body when you have not built up any endurance yet,” Lily glared at the Shadowstaff again.

“Yes, yes, I know it could have killed him. However, my strength and the Sunstaff's strength is equal. That fight, er, um, dual would have went on forever if I had not convinced him to put his magical powers into the spell too. Still, things all worked out in the end and my creator is safe and sound now, right?” the wand gave a dark aura of pleasure at what it did.

“Just be careful. Now that he has learned to tap into his powers, he needs to work on focusing and using it properly. However, only what he can handle and still stay conscious though, it will take a long time before he could fully withstand using all of his powers. Right now, he is weak, very weak, and needs to be nursed back to health,” Lily smiled, giving a hint that she is proud of both of them for what they did. Josa smiled back at her.

“Another question I have is this- do I seriously have to hold this wand 24 hours per day for every day of the week? It kind of bugs me to have my hand glued to its side-” Josa lifted his hand that held the wand. Immediately the wand laughed out loud with its sinister laugh.

“You are funny. I like you,” Shadowstaff hesitated. “Oh, right, I still forbid you to try getting rid of me. I prefer to be with you.” The wand then shrieked with more laughter.

“I think you are a good fit together- er do not get too proud there. Remember, Josa wants to have his own life too,” Lily shook her head, continuing to smile.

“Yep. Seriously, wait, I should be back onto what I really need for my hideout to be livable in, do not I?” Josa held up the notebook and pen. “How am I going to write with a stubborn wand in my hand?”

“Oh, good question. Okay, you do need to write,” the Shadowstaff then unlocked itself from Josa's hand and floated in midair. “Very true, I am powerful enough I can move on my own. This means I can just follow you around and cause chaos-”

“You are still the same self, are not you?” Josa tried his best to put on the worst scowl he could think of and not laugh.

“Okay you look even more funnier with that smirk on your face,” again the wand laughed. “You are the best master ever.”

“Oh, gee, I am going to,” Josa could not come up with a way to finish the sentence. Instead he decided to chase his wand around for a little bit as a way to be as demeaning as he could be.

“Ohh, tag! You are it, of course you are it,” the wand whistled in glee as Josa chased him around.

Lily just stood there and laughed as they chased each other around for a while. He found he could not help but to laugh himself as he was rather having fun as well. Even if the wand did try everything it could do to be as annoying as possible. Then he thought of it as his best friend for a fraction of a second. Good or bad, it did really want to help him. After a little bit of chasing it around he felt tired and yawned.

“Aww, shucks. He is tired now, maybe I can-” the wand knew better than to cast a random spell though.

“Here, sit on this rock and I will bring some water to you. It did look like you were having a lot of fun, after all. Still, do not forget about the list off things you need,” Lily helped Josa to the rocks and made sure he laid down in a very comfortable position. Then she casted some spells that seemed to make the rock soft and plushy instead of its usual hardness. “There, I will be right back. Just stay where you are. Shadowstaff- could you stay silent for at least five minutes?” Then she turned and left.

Come into the hideout. With a paper and pencil, we can see what we need. You know how to light up the place, right? Josa walked toward the cave.

Yes, I do. It is funny, you know, to need to draw a map of the rooms and such. Still, she said she knew how to expand the space, Shadowstaff followed closely behind.

After entering the cave he made toward the left. It seemed like there was four tight, circular areas separate from the rest of the cave. He went over to the one on the farthest side and examined it. It held a pattern that would look great as a bedroom if it was enlarged. He drew a circle and a line. Then he marked the cave entrance on the paper.

This would work as a room to sleep in, Josa pointed at the circle and put bedroom on it. Then he made three dots connected to the room. Bed was the first thing he put down as that is what he felt used to sleeping on, then crossed it off. It would be too heavy to move quickly.

There are magical air mattresses with a solid bottom to them so that it will work just as good as a normal bed and mattress in this world.

Oh, of course that will do then, Josa wrote down magical air mattress as the very first thing he would need for his hideout. Then he looked at the second spot in the room. It seemed it would fit something very large when that space becomes enlarge. The second thing he put for the bedroom was a closet that would be a walk in and holds everything that a closet can usually hold. Then he turned toward the opposite side. Something else could fit in as well. He decided to put down a desk where he could do paper work and such. Done with this room now. Time to move onto the next.

The next one worked for a bathroom. Josa put down two bullets, then made a point to write toilet and shower for the room. Then he decided he needed a pantry for storing food and put the room to the right down as a storage. The last one looked great for a kitchen. He put down ten bullets due to how large it naturally was. Then he put down stove, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and a large vent that did not need any electricity or other sources of energy to run off of. Then he decided on a table with chairs and cabinets for cooking utensils and other kitchen related cooking items.

Alright, the list of essential items needed for the hideout is checked off. Lily said washer and dryers do not exist because they do everything by magic. Josa leaned on the wall to rest for a minute. “Fluffy, we are home.”

“Creeee, Crewww, Cre,” Fluffy flew around, giving its approval by crewing as it went. Josa laughed. He felt happy to see his pet having fun in the cave hideout.

“How is your list going?” Lily appeared just inside the entrance door, smiling. “Wow, Fluffy really likes it here too. Bats are used to living in caves after all.”

Josa handed over the notebook with a grin. Shadowstaff seemed to be thinking for a little bit, so he glared at his wand in case it was trying to think of something to do similar to a prank. While it really helped him and he began to see good in it, it also easily annoyed him with its evil laugh and love to pull off a prank attitude. Sometimes, he thought, it needed a good lesson. However, it also kept him busy and entertained. He giggled as he noticed its reaction to his glare. What it was thinking of now became quite obvious that it wanted to pull of a prank just for the fun of it.

“You obviously need a bed before the sun sets tonight. I can afford to get this first. Also, the pantry we can make too by tonight. The kitchen is just as important, so a microwave, refrigerator, and freezer is what I will also buy and come back with. Good list, you are very creative. I think your choices are perfect,” Lily then turned to head out. “Books, you need to read books on magic and necromancy since you are, after all, a necromancer.”

After watching Lily leave Josa went over to the rock and sat down to enjoy the fresh air. Fluffy stayed inside the cave. The Shadowstaff kept poking around at the ground. Then Josa decided he wanted to have a drink. He walked over to the creek, cupped his hands, then dipped his hands into the water. It felt crisp and fresh. He knew, since he could see through the water, it would be safe to drink. He gathered as much water into his hands as much as possible then quickly took a sip. The cold freshness went through down his throat, soothing any dryness and soreness he felt from being thirsty. He continued to do that for a little bit and then returned to the rock. He laid down and stared at the sun until it started to go down.

“Josa, I got the stuff we need to fix your hideout into a livable place,” Lily's voice could be heard clearly. He heard her footsteps before he saw her. He flipped over and stood up to be in good shape as possible to meet her.

“Silly, you do not need to be all dressed fancy or anything, it is just me,” Lily smiled while Josa blushed.

“Thank you for your help,” Josa began.

“Hey, what are doctors for? You are still my patient until you get better,” together they went inside the cave.

The first thing Lily did was expand each room until it was a fairly large size, then put the bed into the furthest corner. Then, in the bathroom, she put a toilet and shower that were magicked to work even despite the fact there was no electricity or water connected to run on. For the pantry she enlarged the space to be walk through storage. Finally, she tripled the size of the kitchen and placed a microwave, table, refrigerator, and freezer.

“All done now- everything runs off of magic, so do not worry about connecting it to electric wires or water pipes. There is no need to have such things.”

“Great, that is wonderful,” Josa gave her a high five. Then she gave him five carriers that were separated from the carriers for the hideout stuff.

“You will need to know everything there is to know about magic. Take these books, all of them are bought. I have made sure to number them so you know which order to read and practice these in. It is going to be hard work to use your own magic regularly and will be feeling very tired. The fifth carrier holds a lot of chocolate candy. Only eat those candy bars when you feel faint or do faint or dizzy. They are medicine for such effects.”

“Hard magic or easy magic?” Josa gulped in fear.

“Easy magic. Only do what you can do and do not overexert yourself to do something so easy and simple. I made sure it is ones that you can warm up on just to get a feel for casting magic. The more practice you do, the better you will be able to cast more powerful ones like in that dual you had with Wilbert.” Lily waved. “Time for me to go to bed now. Good night sleep!”

“Same to you,” Josa did a nod and a peace motion as she left, then turned and went into his new bed. “The History of Magic, Simple spells for new magical users, String tied house chores, Working magic for necromancy, Beginner guide to necromancy, and 101 spells of various things to do.”

“Sounds like a good choice of books for you to read and study. I think you should start out with The History of Magic,” Shadowstaff hovered by the bed.

“The History of Magic by Daneldi Galford,” Josa turned the page to the Introduction chapter. “Huh, I can't read this. The writing is all jiggled around and everything.”

“What did you expect? This is a different world after all. While our English and the English on Earth may match, the writing is completely different here.” Shadowstaff went behind Josa and hovered. “Here we go, I can help read this now.”

“This book is written so that we may know and preserve the knowledge about magic of this world. While things change over time, the history will always be a way to understand where magic came from and where it is heading,” Shadowstaff began to read the words smoothly. When they came across the end of the chapter then Josa began to feel more confident about it. He might just be able to learn to live in this place properly after all this time had passed by.

“That is quite a mouthful, mind the contrary. However, let us do the Introduction on the Beginner guide to necromancy now. I want to read it to you so that you may start to know how to deal with your own powers,” Shadowstaff jumped in excitement.

“Sure thing.” Josa then put the book off to the side and picked up Beginner guide to necromancy and turned to the Introduction chapter.

“Greetings, my fellow dark magic users. This guide is only for those who are well versed in dark magic,” the wand began to read in an eerie tone.

“Hey, not so eerie please, you are creeping me out by reading this one already,” Josa snapped at it.

“Oops, okay. Well, this guide is only for those who are well versed in dark magic, yes, I am well versed. Now I will read the next sentence and continue on from there,” the wand kept reading in a more normal voice as they learned a little history about necromancers and how dark magic was discovered. Then the chapter ended. “Okay, bedtime now. Sleep tight, let the, wait, how did that go...”

“Do not let the bed bugs bite, yep. Good night to you too,” Josa turned to the other side and fell asleep.

Chapter Ten

“Hello, good morning everyone,” Lily called out from the entrance of the cave. Shadowstaff disappeared through the bedroom door while Josa woke up to the smell of breakfast. The food smelled as if it would taste really good, his stomach rumbled.

“Hey, come on it, do not by shy,” Josa walked over to where Lily was standing. She smiled a little.

“You know what, you need to be out in the sun for a little bit. Come on outside. I brought a picnic blanket with me so we can eat outside,” Lily moved and he followed her out to where she had laid the blanket. He saw even more food that looked just as good as the one she was carrying. She giggled as he looked at the food in her hand. “Oh, this is not for eating. It is what I call a wake up to the smell of breakfast alarm.”

“Wait, that is not food after all of this time?” Josa opened his mouth to say more, then closed it.

“Nope, it is not. But, you will enjoy what I brought for you. Did you read any of the books I brought yet?” Lily stayed standing until Josa settled down and started chowing down on the food. He realized he was a lot hungrier than before than what he thought he was.

“Yes, I did, well, wait. Rather, the Shadowstaff, er, my wand read it out loud for me. The first one I read out of was The History of Magic, the Introduction chapter. Then I read the Beginner guide to necromancy- again the Introduction chapter, by my wand's suggestion. Then I fell asleep. Those are long chapters. Are they always long like that?” Josa continued to eat in between sentences.

“Yes, most of the time, the chapters are long. However, it is essential that you start learning beginning today so that, if Wilbert ever comes around again, you will be able to withstand his attacks. So, I think it will be good to now look at Chapter One in The History of Magic. Shadowstaff- if you do not mind, would you please summon that book over from the bedroom?” Lily smiled, as if pleased with Josa.

“Yes, madam, or ma'am,” Shadowstaff then glowed as it summoned the book Lily asked for. After a couple minutes the book appeared right on the blanket.

“Wonderful, this is wonderful,” Lily picked up the book. “Now, are you ready to listen to it?”

“Yes, I am,” Josa smiled.

Textbooks are quite boring in my opinion. However, just for you, I will pay attention and memorize every single word she reads out loud so that you can learn to be the best necromancer, the most powerful, that has ever come into existence in this world. I might even, who knows, name you a Void Master? Shadowstaff seemed to be very calm.

What? I am not a Void Master, Josa turned and glared.

“Hey, stop arguing and pay attention. Shadowstaff, be quiet now,” Lily snapped her fingers, then Josa turned back and looked at the book. He saw a picture of a core.

“Here I go. Magic started two megamillimiums ago, essentially saying, 1,000,000,000 years roughly about,” Lily went on to read about how it started in the core of Saturn. It was proven that someone had lived, or still living, in the core spewing magic. That person had come from an entirely different galaxy. Dinosaurs lived on Earth at that time. That guy ended up so filled with magic he evaporated into particles. Then, since he was essentially conscious still, weaved lay lines into existence. This turned out to be how magic formed on Saturn. Then the chapter ended.

“That was a great story. You think he is still alive to this day?” Josa moved closer to see the pictures in the chapters after she finished reading it.

“He is not alive in flesh, but in spirit. It is said he controls who can access the core's magical powers and he only speaks to a very few,” Lily picked herself up and settled in a position Josa could put an arm behind her back for supporting himself while he looked over her shoulder.

“Did you remember the first spell book I want you to study from first?”

“No, I know you have the books numbered, but is it the necromancer ones first?” Josa motioned to the Shadowstaff to put the book called The History of Magic back to where it needed to be.”

“Not those yet. You need to start slow. The book I want you to study first is Simple spells for new magical users. It will teach you how to access your powers better and easier than what Shadowstaff told you to do and simple spells to practice your magic with. Please do be careful, there are side effects to casting spells if you use more power and strength in it than what you are readily able to handle,” Lily stood up. “See you later, time for me to start working. I stay at home and help the sick that comes to my house. You are free to come on over, but stay out of sight of the others or pretend to, well, I know you are suffering from that day still. See you later.”

“Alright. I will stick around and take it easy. I can have my wand read the book for me,” Josa waved as she walked away and across the creek. Looking at the water made him feel thirsty. “I am going to go grab a drink of water. I do not remember having any water taste as good as that water from the creek.”

Josa walked slowly in the grass toward the creek, looking over his shoulder to make sure his wand did not try to do something or end up causing trouble. He had enough trouble for one day. Then he reached the creek and took several drinks of water. Something dark glistened in the sun on the ground, catching his eye. After drinking he went over to where he saw the object and kneeled down. Five peculiar stones as dark as the night laid there. He could not help but stare at it. The stones did not look like anything he had ever seen before. He picked up all five stones and put them in his pocket. Later on he thought he will ask his wand about what they are and if there was anything special about them. That book for starting to use his powers will be first. He returned to where his wand hovered above the ground.

“Summon Simple spells for magical users book and put it in my hands. I should work on learning-” Josa saw a book flew straight into his hands with the pages already opened to a certain chapter. “What is this?”

“You saw Dark Stones by the creek and picked them up, right?” the wand appeared to be having something in mind.

“Yes, but, that I was going to ask you about later on,” Josa looked at the chapter. It was titled Dark Stones for Advance Necromancers. It gave instructions on what to do when a necromancer found a Dark Stone and how to convert it into a minion through a process called bonding. He listened to his wand as it read every single word and felt a strong curiosity toward doing it. Then he remembered Lily's warning about using advance magic.

“I should not try it, but this answered my question fully about it,” Josa still could not help but feel an urge to try it out.

You can't resist it, you are a necromancer after all, Shadowstaff decided to switch to telepathy just for entertaining itself.

No, Josa took out two Dark Stones from his pocket and wondered if these were, indeed, the stones that the chapter mentioned. Shadowstaff immediately put the book back to where it had found it and came back.

The stone just looked like it was begging for him to use it in the same manner as what the book said about it. Josa decided he will do it just once, then focus on what Lily told him to focus on. The feeling of darkness pulsed from the stone into his arm. “Okay, I will try it out, since you insist. So, I need to think of a critter or form to be in first, right?”

“Yes, yes,” the wand glowed with excitement as it hovered back a distance a ways. It knew not to distract the critter he picked or the trying it out would fail.

Josa took the stone in his hand and formed a fist, closing his eyes to think about what it was he wanted it to appear as. He focused on the butterfly on the front of his robe. It felt perfect to just match his outfit. It was two feet long with a wingspan of 8 feet. Then he tossed the stone out as far as he could. He could see the stone evolving into the shape of the butterfly he imagined and focused on bonding with it as it landed on the ground. The dark powers released from the stone filled the air as the process fell through and he was able to bond with the butterfly. Quickly, he opened his eyes and consumed a candy bar after the first sensation of dizziness and feeling overwhelmed from the process.

“Yes, that candy bar will help you recover from that. You used more of your powers than you needed to. Still, I admire you for doing that. Brilliant display of power!” Shadowstaff seemed to smile. “By the way, what is its name?”

“Umm, I do not know. Maybe it can tell me-” Josa noticed it seemed to just flutter there in one spot, waiting for something.

“No, you need to name it,” the wand continued to act happy.

“Okay, how about Timber?” Josa watched as the butterfly jumped up and down. “Okay then, Timber it is.”

“Er, is Timber just wood from trees that were cut down? Come on, be more evilier than that please,” Shadowstaff mumbled in a manner Josa could not quite understand it.

“Why do you think everything needs to be dark? That is just- er,” Josa could not think of a way to finish the sentence in a manner of scolding.

“Teehee,” the wand just seemed to continue to enjoy itself.

“Sometimes I think you are just doing everything your own way,” Josa sighed. Timber flew over and landed on his arm and cuddled. He thought that was cute.

I can do whatever you would like me to do, Timber telepathied to him.

Keep me company. That is all for now, Josa replied. He did not know what kind of things it could do, nor did he want to dare ask his wand about it after using the Dark Stone. Then his stomach growled. Lily had left him alone to do some studying and now he felt hungry.

“Ready for some lunch?” Lily's voice sounded very close, surprising him.

“Oh, how did you guess it? Yes, I am ready,” Josa turned around and hugged Lily, making sure the lunch did not get knocked over.

“So, learned anything from the-” Lily stopped talking when she saw Timber. “Did you, by chance, decided to use a Dark Stone that only necromancers are able to see and find on the ground?”

“Yes,” Josa blushed and the Shadowstaff decided to hide behind him. “Shadowstaff- you can explain it to her better than me.”

“My, if that wand continues at this pace I will need to send you to a hospital,” Lily mumbled.

Josa took the food and ate it quickly. Lily opened the book up to Chapter One and began to read it, explaining how the process of using the magical powers and varying the strength of the power. Shadowstaff listened intently and continued to repeat the words in Josa's head five times so that he could memorize it. Then he took out a Dark Stone from his pocket. Another test would be is if Lily would be able to see it. She saw nothing in his hand when he tried to show it to her. Then he decided it was, indeed, Dark Stones just like in the chapter. He could visualize a wolf forming out of the stone. The kind that could stand up to 10 feet tall. Then he accidentally dropped the stone. Immediately, darkness filled the air around them and the stone transformed into a giant greywolf. Then the wolf growled like a tiger. The darkness that filled the air disappeared. Josa could feel a very powerful bond with it, just like Timber. The process worked.

“Stay, Tiger,” Josa said in a firm voice. Then he turned to Lily. The fainting sensation sent him on his knees.

“My goodness, you need to be careful. Yes, that was a Dark Stone. So, a wolf named Tiger? How amusing,” Lily made sure he ate an entire bar of chocolate candy. He felt better, just exhausted after eating the candy.

“Yes, I know, I am not at all good with coming up with names,” he smiled. “People will be confused when they see Tiger, will not they?”

“Of course, you are still very kind for being a necromancer, just like the one in The History of Magic,” Lily giggled. “Well, enough using your magical powers for one day. I do not want to see you go on an overload with it. Bad things will happen if you do. Cool down and rest inside your new home. I brought a magical air controller so you will never feel too hot or too cold inside.”

“Sounds good to me,” Josa wrapped up the day by spending time thinking about everything that had happened in his bedroom.

Chapter Eleven

“Ah, how is your progress in using your magic and casting it in the exact manner you can use it as?” Lily asked after they had finished both books.

“Great, I am not even feeling dizzy anymore,” Josa tossed the apple up in the air and then had it freeze in mid-air.

“Good job. I am also glad you are feeling better. It must have been a very rough start,” Lily checked the calendar. It had been two weeks since they had met.

“Creee, Crew,” Fluffy went after the apple as if it was its favorite thing to eat. Josa took the apple down and caught it just before Fluffy could take a bite and split it up. Then he sent a slice up to where his pet could easily grab and eat it.

“Save a bite for me please,” Josa smiled as he picked up a slice and ate it. “What kind of bat is Fluffy anyway? A vampire bat?”

“Nope, a fruit bat. Fluffy loves to chow down on fruit, as you can tell. Not every bat is a vampire, but every vampire can turn into a bat,” Lily giggled.

“True, very true,” he let Fluffy settle down on his arm and eat a couple more slices. He misses Fluffy every now and then because of how his pet loved to seem to disappear on him all the time. However, it always came when it was called. Same with Timber and Tiger.

“Now, the next two books I think you are ready for is String tied house chores and 101 spells of various things to do. The two other books, Beginner guide to necromancy and Working magic for necromancy are other books you can now start studying from. I think Shadowstaff will be better off teaching you necromancy than me. Well, I can also arrange it so you could meet my friend Isaac. He knows a lot about being a necromancer than anyone I know of. He will be able to help guide you through. The path of a necromancer is a very tough one and very lonesome too. I am sure you will be okay as long as you stay touch with friends,” Lily rested on her shoulder.

“When can we meet him? I would love to see him since he knows so much about necromancy then. Which class is he?” Shadowstaff seemed very eager and excited about it.

“Take it easy. He is very busy working with other necromancers and protecting his territory from bullies. I will let you know as soon as I can. I think Dark Alley during daylight will be our best bet for meeting him,” Lily nudged his wand.

“I do not know how you can handle being around my wand, but I admire your braveness there,” Josa smiled.

“Oh, get used to it. Shadowstaff may be a prankster and a trickster, but it really means no harm at all. I still feel bad for it when it gets in trouble,” Lily did a false glare to it.

“Ahh, I see how that goes. Well, since it earnestly seemed to want to help me I will handle it. Sometimes it just drives me nuts,” Josa rolled his eyes.

“See, see, how much I saved your life?” he could tell his wand felt very proud of itself for what it had done. He smiled in approval.

“Okay now, remember how I had numbered the books to go by so do not forget to start out easy and work your way to the harder spots,” Lily turned and headed back to her house. “I will be back around. Now, I think, you can play with Dark Stones all you feel like it too.”

“Great, thanks!” Josa waved until she rounded the corner. Then he went inside his hideout. So far everything had been working out to plan. He felt much stronger and could walk on his own now.

“So, now which book to read? We have all week before she comes around again,” Josa asked his wand.

“String tied house chores is the next book. I will read and help you remember every single spell listed in this book. By the way, I think telepathy will be easier than speaking out loud too for you. Any stumbling and you will lose the cast,” Shadowstaff seemed to be calmed down as it summoned the book.

Sure thing. Okay, chapter one is where to start. I do not need to go through anymore introductions. We already know what the book is about, Josa agreed switching to telepathy would be easier.

Sure thing. Okay, here, let us look at the Table of Contents first. Chapter One deals with how this book focuses on house chores and how to use your powers to enable it to work properly. Chapter Two focuses on doing the laundry. Chapter Three covers doing the dishes, dusting, mopping, and sweeping type of things. Chapter Four is about maintaining the water pipes and water supplies. Chapter Five goes for maintaining the walls and floors. Chapter Six is all about ceilings. Chapter Seven is about houseplants and keeping them alive. Chapter Eight is about having pets in the house. Chapter Nine is about making space in the house. Chapter Ten is the rest of the things you need to know and then there is an Index and dictionary of spells to use, Shadowstaff paused after reading the Table of Contents.

These things are still very important to know, do not forget, Josa poked his wand. It jumped and giggled in surprise. Okay, start out by reading the first chapter.

After finishing the book, Josa went to bed. The next day he decided he will do 101 spells of various things to do. The book was filled with randomness as he learned each and every spell. He continued to study the Beginner's guide to necromancy as the main book to study from until he completed that book. Then he started Working magic for necromancy.

“Okay, today is the day to go over and meet Isaac. Are you ready?” Lily asked. Josa had the Vromstock in his hand. He handed it over to her.

“Please, do not go so fast this time. It nearly scared me to death,” Josa glared at the Vromstock. For just being a fancy broomstick it had a kick and the speed felt crazy.

“No worries, just remember not to panic any and the ride will be smooth.”

With the Shadowstaff in his hand, Josa went onto the Vromstock first. Somehow, he felt much calmer than before about going on it. Then Lily joined him. She slowly kicked it up into the air and then headed straight to Gliston Valley. They were going to meet Isaac in front of the entrance to Nocturn Alley Bowling. He felt his wand's excitement and smiled. Even if he did not enjoy flying fast and found some of the things his wand liked to talk about annoying, he looked forward to meeting Isaac too and enjoyed the ride. After several hours they made it to Gliston Valley. Then they flew down to where Dark Lane was located. The absent of street lights caught his attention and he shivered. A place without lights would be a very dangerous place to go to at night. Then they landed beside a gate on the side of the road.

“Here we are,” Lily sounded cheerful. “It is safe during the day in a group, but watch your back at night. You never know what a necromancer will do when the moon is out.”

“Thanks for that tip,” Josa watched as several people dressed in a rich, black cloak walked passed by.

“Good afternoon Madam,” one of them said.

“Good afternoon to you too,” Lily replied in a sweet tone. She waved for them to go on. “I do help necromancers out when they are sick too. They seem to show a lot of respect for that. In normal society, they are looked down on or feared, however many of them are good and not bad. Just a few bad apples can ruin everything.”

“I agree. So, it is safe here during the day then, right?” Josa looked around and noticed a person standing nearby, seeming to wait for someone to arrive.

“Yes, it is. Oh, there he is,” Lily waved for him to come over. “Do not be shy to me, please. We both know each other very well.”

“Good afternoon. No worries, I just did not want to scare you or sneak up on you, wise doctor. So, this is the newest necromancer of the day?” He took his hood off. Josa noticed he looked very old.

“Yes, this is Josa. He may not look like it, but he is a very kind necromancer from, well, Earth,” Lily whispered the last word as if it was not very common to have someone from Earth be a necromancer.

“Ah, he did come from the Shadowlands then, did not he? I see. Nice to meet you there Josa. I heard, from your news, about what you did in Silver Alley. That was mighty brave of you,” Isaac held out his hands and did a hand shake with Josa.

“Great, so, I am very new to this and would like some help in learning my powers,” Josa stumbled over his words and blushed.

“Hehe, the journey is a very long one. I see you have great powers. Your wand, well, Shadowstaff, said it all,” Isaac turned and bowed down to Josa's wand. It gave its approval by creating a dark swirling mist around him.

“Yes, indeed, I am proud of myself for it. It was fun tricking Josa's mind into accepting me,” Shadowstaff moved a little as Josa glared at it when it said its last sentence. “Oops, looks like he did not quite accept that yet. Still, he loves me. I know it.”

“Sneaky, are not you? Well, just have to get used to it. I have never seen Shadowstaff this happy and content. Looks like you are doing a great job and teaching it to behave,” Isaac smiled. “Come, let us go through this gate and head to Nocturn Alley Bowling. It is super fun and no one will-” Isaac stopped when he saw a fruit bat flying over. Josa whistled at it and raised his arm. Fluffy came over and landed, crewing as it settled down.

“Oh, by the way, never leave your pet behind when traveling. The bond between owner and pet is strong enough that they will grieve if they notice their owner missing. It is a good thing the Shadowstaff summoned it,” Isaac watched Fluffy.

“Oops, I thought, well, never mind. Usually pets are not allowed in many places?” Josa felt silly for not knowing anything.

“Well, if you are going to be a necromancer, you need to feel like this is your place to shop. Of course, they can go anywhere, but here is where they like to gather for socialize with each other. Some of them are not very nice, but then they do get kicked out if there is any fighting that goes on. Majority of them are good people, some make excellent players. As long as you are with me you will be safe. I am very highly regarded and respected in Dark Lane,” Isaac said, giving some tips and a tour of what there is and how to behave when they go inside. A lot of noise from loud people could be heard as they walked to the back door entrance. When they reached the door Isaac banged on the wooden knocker.

“Who is there?” a gruff voice sounded from the other side.

“It is I, Isaac. I brought a couple friends along- Lily and Josa. Please let us in and pay no mind to our new necromancer,” Isaac said in a very firm voice. Josa felt a little chilled by how unfriendly this place appeared. Then he reminded himself he was, after all, in Dark Lane where the people of darkness met to do their shopping.

“Why, come on in then. Please do not start any trouble,” the door opened up.

Josa followed behind Isaac as they walked through the doors. He did not want to be stared down at or anything and felt a little nervous. His heart pounded excitedly as he thought about what all he will be able to see and do with Isaac on his side. Then, after they all entered the building, the door closed. He did not see anyone around to open or close the door, let alone speak through a speaker or anything. The hallway was filled with dark fire lamps and skulls of animals. The place felt different than anything he was used to before. He felt out of place, yet at a comfortable place at the same time.

“Hello Isaac. I am Gruff, the club member officer who is in charge of guarding the door and not allowing anyone who is not a necromancer by themselves in at the same time. Some necromancers brings friends along, which is a different case. Lily, friend of Isaac, so glad to see you again. It has been a long time. So this is the necromancer you feel is good, even despite the fact he has a Shadowstaff?” Gruff shook hands with each one of them.

“Yes. In fact, he is the kindest necromancer I know, besides from Isaac,” Lily smiled.

“Good to see you. Josa- if you cause any trouble around her you will be kicked out. That is a rule we are proud to uphold in this place. Get along and your good to go, ye hear?” Gruff gave a pat on the back.

“Yes,” Josa gulped. “I- I will try.”

“I will behave master, tehe,” Shadowstaff continued to be calm. Josa eyed his wand warily as he knew better then to just believe it.

“Grr, it calls me a master, yet sometimes I think it is the opposite,” Josa mumbled.

“Ah well, it does take time getting used to your wand. However, if it does not behave I will ask for you to leave it outside.”

“Sure, I could-” Josa could not help but to giggle as he knew very well his wand will complain if he left it alone.

“Not fair,” Shadowstaff mumbled a bit loudly.

“Now, go have fun, would you like to go to the arcade, bowling alley, restaurant, gift shop, cafe, mini store, or performance theater first?” Gruff asked.

“I think the bowling alley would be a great place to start. The game is very entertaining and Josa could use practiceing making the Shadowstaff useful and even use his own powers to play the game,” Isaac said.

“Well then, hop into the elevator and I will send you to the bowling alley then. I can't believe you would say powers, but if that wand learned all of its lessons then sure, it can have fun,” Gruff smiled and waved to the elevators at the end of the hall.

“Thank you,” the three of them went into the elevators.

“Ding- dong,” Isaac said after the elevator stopped moving.

“We are there?” Shadowstaff asked before Josa had a chance to ask the same question.

“Yep. Now, remember, behave like a wand please. If we can avoid any suspicion about who you really are, the better it will be. Josa- call yourself Jackson. Jackson will be very common name and will not cause trouble. Remember, words spread very quickly and you do not want to have the attention of a Federal Agent or a civilian of normal society. Gruff will understand what we are doing very well. Necromancers do make up their own names when they are in a socializing place too. So they will just consider you a newbie and not someone who is wanted in society,” Isaac warned.

“Okay then, my name is Jackson like a cat in the wilderness,” Josa laughed.

“Sure, you could say that,” Isaac laughed too.

Once inside Josa could see groups of necromancers gathered around in tables. Most of them just wore black cloaks with hoods without any decorations to them. Several had decoration patterns that matched each other, and a few had patterns that stood out compared to the others. They got a reservation of a bowling alley toward the far end. Josa used the name Jackson, explained he named his orange striped tabby cat after his real name and decided to use it for himself. The receptionist just laughed and gave them everything they needed to play the game. Then he asked to have an instruction booklet so that he could play the game properly. The receptionist nodded and gave him a booklet explaining the game in details. Then they went over to where their alley was located and sat down on some bone chairs around a very decent looking table. The table glowed and three different lights flashed and spun around in a circle. After each of them had their own color then numbers showed up and spun around. Isaac was first, Lily second, and finally him. Then the lane lit up in a deep maroon color and skulls appeared. There were 13 skulls total lit up in different colors.

“This is so cool- how do you play?” Josa felt impressed at how homely it felt, even if the majority of the place was darkened by the lack of ceiling lights.

“I will go first, oh, do not forget you have the manual too,” Isaac stood up and went over to where a red line appeared. Footprints showed up as he walked to it. “First, you go where the footprints appear and put your feet on it so it matches those footprints.”

The lane lit up with lines as he stopped on the footprints. He explained how those lines mark the direction of where the magic ball will go. The magic ball represented a bowling ball and the skulls represented bowling pins. Then he showed how to create the magic ball. It swirled in dark colors as he held it up for Josa to see. Then he swung it into the lane. First, it rolled along the side between the gutter and second line. Then it swerved into the middle and knocked down all of the skulls. He scored a strike. Unlike baseball, a strike was like a home run. The number 13 appeared on top of his color. Then it was Lily's turn. She put her hand on her color, bringing up many icons. Then she selected a specific icon and the skulls turned into flowers. Then she brought up another sets of icons, picked one, then went over to where the footprints appeared. Instead of a ball of swirling dark colors, she held up a large, multi-colored transparent ball. Then she swung that ball and knocked down eight of the 13 flowers. Isaac explained how, just before your turn started, you could change the bowling pins and bowling ball to be whatever you would like to be by selecting an icon. There are a total of 150 choices to choose from.

“Thank you for demonstrating. Now it is my turn, I am ready to give it a shot,” Josa smiled.

Josa touched his color to pull up the first set of items. He remembered how the first set of items affected the bowlling pins. There were many categories to choose from. He decided it would be neat to pick on the icon that showed a mysterious symbol. Suddenly, the skulls turned into werecobras and the icons disappeared.

“Huh?” Josa felt a little confused.

“Some of those things that the bowling pins and bowling ball can turn into can be pretty strange. Do not worry though, it is all just an illusion,” Lily nudged him on the shoulder. “It is perfectly safe, trust me.”

“Okay,” Josa smiled and accepted the werecobras for his bowling pins. Then he went over to the icons for a bowling ball. He picked on an icon the shape of a butterfly. “I am ready now.”

“Just a warning, what the icon shows may not be what will appear,” Isaac giggled.

“Hey!” Josa blushed.

Josa went over and put his feet on the footprints that showed up as he was walking up to it. Then he did what the others did and summoned his magic ball. It turned out to appear very much like a vampire aardvark, more hilarious looking than the werecobras. Then he threw it in the same manner as the others. It rolled into the gutters halfway there. He turned and went back to his chair. Just the feeling of doing it for the first time felt pretty awesome. They were smiling as he sat down.

“That was a good throw. Keep it up and you will be a pro at no time at all,” Isaac said as he sat down.

“Thank you,” Josa smiled.

The rest of the game went very well. Josa even managed to do a strike twice. Fluffy stayed on his chair the entire time and his wand helped him with summoning the magical ball. He enjoyed being able to hang out with Isaac and learned a lot about being a necromancer. After a few games Isaac wanted to show him some books. He followed Isaac to the store in the building. There they found a lot of books on being a necromancers and spells used most of the time. Then he picked up an advance book to study from after he finished the other books, as suggested by his wand. After going back to the entrance it was time to say goodbye and leave. He felt a little disappointed about it, but then knew he could come back and hang out with Isaac more later on. Lily told the truth about what Isaac knew, and felt confident in that. After saying goodbye Josa took out the Vromstock from its storage device and, with Lily being the guide, flew back to where he stayed in the cave behind Lily's home.

“Good night. I had a lot of fun playing bowling. Let us do that again some time. I will not pick werecobras next time,” Josa smiled and waved as they separated for the night.

“Glad to hear that. Good night,” Lily turned and went over to her house.

“Creee, Crew, Cree,” Fluffy flew straight in and settled down on its bed and fell asleep. Josa continued on to his own bedroom, letting the Shadowstaff decide what it wanted to do.

Chapter Twelve

“Mysterious Tomes?” Josa asked his wand after finishing up on a chapter. He felt more confident in reading the books now, but still has to ask for help from his wand to fully understand it.

“Why yes, of course. Mysterious Tomes could produce something great or something horrible. You will not know unless you try it out,” Shadowstaff chattered.

“Seriously, I was studying. How did that ever come across your minds? Anyway, tomorrow is when we will be able to return to Dark Lane and meet up with Isaac. He will help us find some things. It will not be anything crazy, just what is needed to continue studying necromancy is all,” Josa leaned back and rolled his eyes. “I should get used to flying on the Vromstock by myself without having to have Lily around all the time. At least I am more comfortable about handling it on my own now.”

“Indeed, it was funny to watch you try to fly it first few rounds. In fact, it still seems like you have not gotten the hang of it yet,” Shadowstaff let out a whistle.

“Okay, time for the advanced book I picked out. I have read all of the beginner books and such I feel confident about being a necromancer now. You behave very well- why do the others think you misbehave a lot?”

“Oh, I do not know. Maybe I am just misdiagnosed as a wand who does not have a master and is impatient,” the wand glowed with happiness.

“Ah, I see how it is. Well, you do drive me nuts still. I do not know how long I can keep my sanity in this manner-” Josa became distracted by his wand's laugh and sighed.

“Now, the introduction here. Fi- Fliston,” he opened up the book to the introduction page.

“Flicker, almost. Okay, let me read. You can understand me and follow along so you will continue to learn how to read the books and learn necro-” Shadowstaff stopped to rest for a little bit, then began to read the page.

A few hours passed by before Josa finished the chapter up and closed the book. His stomach growled with hunger. He yawned. The choices he had were to sleep now or go search for Lily and let her know he wanted to eat. The sun setting down always caught his attention too. The sky painted in colors of blue, orange, and red was awesome to watch. He did not want to miss that either. Lily came with a bounty of food. She brought a basket filled with fresh food and vegetables, then several magical carriers- three of them filled with meat and two of them filled with fruits and vegetables. She also continued to bring a single carrier with milk and eggs in it. All meat products were blessed, then cooked, before sent to the store. This way no one needed to worry about undercooked meat. The pasta came inside the basket as well.

“Here you go. Sorry I am late. I was busy wrapping up on a person's healing,” she smiled in a manner Josa enjoyed seeing.

“Great. I am also very excited about going over to see Josa. This time we are going to drop by a few stores and look around, right?” Josa grabbed some food and formed a meal, mixing the pasta and vegetables together.

“Yes, indeed. This will be the few times we get to spend a day together and enjoy ourselves too. Mind the dessert,” Lily pulled a circular ball out and sent out cherry pie and pudding.

“Oh, those are very good desserts too. Thank you. I do believe I have learned a lot from you, Isaac, and Shadowstaff too. I am prepared to behave like a real necromancer when it is time to,” Josa took a bite of the meal he made. “Mmm, good!”

“Glad you like it. Looks like you are starving,” Lily sat down on the grass. “Have you had much success in your studies?”

“Yes, I have. Shadowstaff reads and I perform it. The chocolate helps a lot in recovering after a hard spell. I am feeling much stronger than before now too.”

“Good.”

After supper finished up Josa took care of the leftovers and took the food into his pantry and put it away. Lily had saved up enough money to buy a lot of food to last him a month no matter how much of it he ate. Then he spent some time to just listen to everything she had to say about her day. There seemed to be more incidences as Wilbert aimed for stealing food. She could not understand why he had to steal it instead of just accepting for help and seeking shelter at a place that offered shelter. He remembered how Wilbert wanted revenge for what had happened to both of them. Then Lily left after the stars appeared in the sky. He yawned, then decided it was time for him to crawl into bed and go to sleep.

The next day Josa woke up and went into his pantry. He picked out some eggs, fruits, and meat strips and then went to the kitchen and sat down. He nibbled on it. Fluffy came over and ate some of the fruit he had out as well. Shadowstaff stayed still and watched. Then Lily came over. Josa grabbed the Vromstock and went out to meet her.

“Ready to go?”he felt very excited.

“Yes, of course. Have Fluffy with you? It is important to make sure you keep your pet with you,” Lily jumped on and motioned Josa to join behind her. He joined, knowing now the role was reversed so that he had control of the broom. Due to practice, he could now handle a decent speed with her as a guide.

Josa kicked off the ground gently and together they rose to the air. Then Lily helped him by pointing the way as he struggled to pick up speed and go in the direction she showed at the same time. Being a driver of the Vromstock felt very difficult and challenging, despite how easy she made it appear to be. He successfully reached Gliston Valley on time. Then he followed her lead to the area where Dark Lane is. The chill of the air went straight through his skin in a very pleasant manner. He remembered the gate where he first met Isaac and headed straight to that area. This time the road was filled with people going to where they wanted to go to. The gate looked beautiful as it glistened in the sunlight.

“We are here,” Josa said as he landed by the gate.

“Wonderful, Isaac will be with us shortly,” both of them jumped down from the Vromstock and Josa picked it up and held it with his hand.

“Greetings,” Isaac bowed down. Josa noticed some stopped and stared at him for a little bit before moving on.

“Hello,” Josa bowed down, mimicking Isaac's movements.

“Let us go to the first place I can think of you would be interested in- the mall here. It is much more decent than the individual shops. I think you will blend perfectly around there.”

Together they went to the mall. Josa made sure to keep Fluffy on his arm and enjoyed creasing the fur. In response it purred very softly. Inside the mall he noticed there were a lot of decorations around in forms of skeletons and creepy, but hilarious looks. There were different colors all over the place, not anything like around the bowling alley he went to.

“Welcome to the mall, where the illusions are perfect for any visit by a necromancer. You are less likely to end up caught here easily,” Isaac led them toward the middle. Josa caught sight of something moving in one of the display windows.

“I think I would like to go to the Salvege Shoppe first. I am curious to see what they have,” Josa turned to Isaac.

“Sure thing. Watch your step, and do not touch anything though. Some items do have a mind of their own. I know the Shadowstaff will know what to do in case of havoc, but try to be careful,” Isaac led them over to the shop. Then Josa noticed they were just moving balls in empty space. The first thing he thought of when he realized that was a patronus.

Then Josa decided to look around at the book area. Books were scattered here and there. On top of pedestal appeared to be a couple very tiny books. They seemed very different than all of the other books. Several more pedestals revealed more books of similar manners with labels on them.

“What is this?” Josa turned toward the ones that were not labeled.

“So, unknown, a Mysterious Tome is. Get it,” Shadowstaff whispered in his ears. He reached out and picked up the three books and went over to the counter. A cloaked figure stood on the other side of the counter.

“So, you are Josa?” he asked in a very grumpy voice.

“Yes- how did you know?” Josa's heart pounded.

“I heard your wand talking, that was how I could tell who you are. You sure made quite a show out there in Silver Alley. So, you want those Mysterious Tomes? It will cost you big bucks. Or, I could accept a deal,” the receptionist spoke in a soft, but firm, tone.

“Hmm, let us play Tic-Tac-Toe. By the roll of the dice, whoever has the highest roll gets to go first. Whoever wins this Tic-Tac-Toe will be able to have the Mysterious Tomes. Deal?” Josa decided to try a bargain. He knew he had a 60 percent chance of losing, but was only doing it to please his wand so that he would not have to do it again.

“Weird deal, I would say. Play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe? I am able to easily beat you, that game is super easy. Okay then, deal,” the receptionist drew two parallel lines going up and down and then two parallel lines going straight across, forming a box in the middle. Then he summoned two dice and rolled to get a number of 12. Josa did his roll and received a number of 14. He won the roll.

Then Josa looked at the board. He could sense the dark eyes staring at him from the other side. Then he picked the top right corner. An X formed. The guy decided to put an O in the very center. Josa decided it would be wise to put an X on the left lower corner. This way, he knew, it would be impossible for the guy to create a tie very easily. After a few minutes the other person decided to put an O in the top left corner. The only choice Josa had was to put his X in the lower right corner, so he did that. Then he saw he was a winner no matter how that guy tried to stop him. The guy mumbled how unfair the deal was when he made his turn. Josa finished it off by making three Xs in a row and realized he now had possession of the three mysterious tomes. Quickly, he went out to the entrance and met up with Isaac and Lily.

“How did you ever get those tomes?” Isaac looked surprised as Josa came over and stopped.

“I made a deal- whoever won Tic-Tac-Toe will get to keep them. I ended up winning,” Josa held them up for him to look at. “I do know he said I could make a deal with him in order to get them.”

“Be more careful, please. I know that is a huge deal for just making that kind of deal. He will make everything even more expensive just for you now. Since you are brand new he took you very lightly. Next time, though, he will not fall for that. I will say make up a challenging game that makes him think so hard he would not forget it,” Isaac smirked after saying that. “Well, I think you have had enough for one day of being in the mall. Time to head out. Take Lily with you and go home. I did see some Federal Agents wandering around nearby and had to hold their attention for while you were in the store. At least they did not think anything of my behavior of trying to cover you up. A Dark Stone will help if you do ever need to use it.”

After going out of the mall Josa went on the Vromstock, followed by Lily. Then they flew away from Dark Lane and toward Lily's home. A few clouds helped to cover their sight as they watched out for any Federal Agent who could be lurking nearby. In a couple hours they made it. Josa jumped off, then helped Lily. Then he decided to give the Vromstock to Lily.

“I do not need it anymore. I think I can get by without it. Since these are Mysterious Tomes it will take me a while to see how they work out. It just, well, I could not let the opportunity go by,” Josa hugged her. Fluffy flew around them.

“Do not worry about anything. I think you are a true necromancer now. The role seems to fit you very well. Stay yourself no matter what happens please,” Lily hugged him again, then turned and went over to her home.

“I had fun,” Josa called out, then turned and went inside his hideout.

Chapter Thirteen

Josa went out of his hideout and sat down on the large rock to wait for Fluffy and his two minions, Timber and Tiger. Fluffy flew out crewing as it headed to him and snatched a bite of insects that caught its attention. The Shadowstaff slept comfortably in Josa's hand- or so it seemed. Then Timber flew out and decided to land by the rock Josa sat on and made itself comfortable in the grass near it. He wanted to be up and ready to be able to start his day when Lily was ready. The water in the creek could be heard from the distance. Today they were going out to Silver Wand Shrine where he first met her and do a special therapy to see if he could remember something. The soft breeze felt good on his skin after being in his hideout all night long.

“Coming,” Lily's voice could be heard in a distance.

Quickly, Josa stood up and motioned everyone to stick with him. Lily had accepted the Vromstock from him and returned it back to where he had grabbed it. He did not want to be stuck with the broomstick anymore. After gathering around Josa listened to her as he wanted to be able to travel quick, but not seen. Any place he had been to will be automatically available to return to with his minions through teleport-speed method, as it was known in ancient times where necromancers could appear to places they had been to in an instant. The more powerful the magic was, the better it was.

“Got that Shadowstaff?” Josa asked after she finished explaining.

“I knew that for years- just kidding. Yes, I have every single word memorized. No more Vromstock, I get it, you did not want to go fast. But now, we will be traveling brilliantly like I imagined it,” Shadowstaff laughed.

“Yeah- yeah, I know. At least this is the route if we do not want to be seen by anyone,” Josa motioned to Timber and Tiger. “Timber- take Lily. Tiger- take me. We are going to Silver Alley. The place to stop is at Silver Wand Shrine. There, she could help me see if I can remember anything and figure out what happened- if what Wilbert told me is true.”

Timber and Tiger seemingly vanished into thin air. Then Josa watched as one of the shadows took Lily and then disappeared into the ground. Then the other one came. He felt a very light sensation as he went onto Tiger and merged in the ground as if he was nothing but just a shadow. The next thing he knew was they were swirling by the exact same pedestals he woke up around as he rose from the ground and materialized. Lily stood watching with Timber hovering nearby, smiling.

“Wait, one second we were standing at your house,” Josa could not quite figure out what happened.

“We did the teleport-speed method to reach here. Yes, one second we are in one place, another second we are in a different place. Some takes longer, but yours went instantly. You put a bit too much strength in casting the teleport-speed method. Still, we made it safe and sound. You have grown much stronger than when I first met you,” Lily helped Josa up to a bench and sat down.

“Thank you. I think I really like it this way compared to the Vromstock. Why did I end up grabbing the worst broom flier ever?” Josa put his arm down, then reached up to the sky to stretch them out. “Still all in one piece now.”

“Good job. Of course, you do stay in one piece. If you did not then we would have had to fly on the broom,” Lily said.

“I know, I know. I get it. So, why are the pedestals here even though there are no wands hovering over them?” Josa looked around and blinked.

“They are there permanently for displaying the best wands Stradie makes. In this case, it was Sunstaff and Shadowstaff. He continues to make wands that prefer to pick their own owners instead of most other wand makers- where they just make wands to sell to others no matter how good or bad it is. Since Stradie came around with this new technique of how the wands pick their owners, then he has been diligent in making the best possible and beating all of his companions. He has grown very popular over the years for it.”

“Wow, and yet I still have to pay for this wand,” Josa took a deep breath. Lily said a lot to think about. Wands choose their owners- that used to be in one of the Fantasy books he read about. Those wands still needed to be bought by money. An owner of a shop did that for their living.

“As soon as I can convince those Federal Agents there is nothing to worry about concerning you-” Lily looked off in a distance. Josa could tell they had been insistent on finding out everything there was to know about him and she continued to risk her life for his. Then he looked at the ground.

“So, what kind of special therapy are you planning on doing?” Josa felt curious about it.

“Okay, ready to start it? Remember, you can back out of doing this if you do not feel comfortable,” Lily stood up.

“I am ready,” Josa gulped and stood up.

“Great, let us go then. First thing is first- we need to retrace your path back to where you entered this world. There, you may be able to find clues about your past.”

Lily walked over to where some broken down bushes lay. Then they followed the path into the wilderness and continued to walk for a while without stopping. Timber and Tiger followed closely behind. Fluffy stayed quiet as it watched from Josa's arms. They stopped for a breath of air and water from the water jugs for a little bit before continuing on. The trees loomed closely to each other over their heads. Then they came to a broken down shack. Shadowstaff eliminated any booby-traps or other kind of traps that could interfere with them. Josa then found two shiny cards, unaffected by the weather, on the ground and picked them up. One read Wilbert's name with personal information and the other one read Jeffrey.

“How did this escape the Federal Agent's attention?” Lily asked when she saw what he was looking at.

“I do not know- Jeffrey does sound familiar to me,” Josa turned and gave the cards to her.

Josa looked around at the cottage. The place was a mess. There were broken pieces of glass and wood everywhere. One thing he did not see was either a portal or a gateway back to Earth. Even the Shadowstaff could not find one. He sighed. Then he noticed a piece of cloth on the ground and picked it up. He went to the sink and washed all of the dirt and mud off of it and found a peculiar pattern on it. He had seen the pattern before, it felt like just a distance memory. Then he decided to look around some more before deciding to return to Lily.

“Let us go back. I may return here later on in my own time to look around more, but it is not safe for you,” Josa stopped talking for a little bit. He thought he could make out Timber's signal that danger was heading over here. A rustle in the bushes sent chills down the spine. “Well, it is not safe for me either, but I am strong enough to face any attack. You go first.”

“Sure thing. I think you have improved a lot. Okay now, Timber, let us go back to the hideout. Josa, please come straight over right away. I did not like that rustle in the bush either,” Lily disappeared after Timber went straight to her. Then Josa followed by calling out to Tiger. He did not want to face whatever was making the rustling noise.

After splitting off for the day Josa decided to hang out on the large rock. He wanted to study the piece of cloth before doing anything else. The name Jeffrey also bothered him, where have he heard that name before. On both driver's licenses, the place it came from was the same. Lincoln, Louisiana sounded very familiar from somewhere too. It must be a place on Earth, where Lily had said he came from. Then he picked up a piece of paper he found while he was looking around some more and put in his pocket. The title of the paper said Magification. Then more words appeared in the different English he struggled to be able to read efficiently.

“Shadowstaff- can you read what this says? I can't make out hardly any words,” Josa said after letting go of his wand.

“Sure thing- wait a second, are you sure you want me to read this out loud?” a hint of concerned could be heard in Shadowstaff's voice.

“Yes, I am sure. It must be important, good or bad, for me to know about.”

“Magification- well, I should tell you first what that is. It is an experiment that is highly frowned upon by society, however sometimes, with the Elite Federal Agents' approval, it could be done,” the wand shuddered in disgust as it read the paper. “Josa- this was not suppose to happen to any Earthling, let alone two people. Memory loss of the past is one side effect. This means one thing.”

Josa decided he did not have to hear anymore. The needle marks all over his body was proof it did happen. Then he realized he could remember more than what he thought he could remember. Suddenly, he missed his parents very much and wondered how they were doing. If he could return to Earth, the first place would be going down to Lincoln, Louisiana and meet his parents. It had been a very long time since he last seen them and felt like he was safe and sound at home. Then he remembered how much Wilbert had constantly bullying him into doing things he did not want to do and how he always ended up getting into trouble in school and other places that were otherwise fun to go to and look around. Then he looked at the cloth. It looked like it came off from the pants he had received for Christmas from his mother. He decided he will be keeping it in a safe place and never lose it.

“Do you know of any spell that will preserve this cloth and make it as if nothing has ever happened to it?” Josa turned toward his wand.

“Certainly, for as long as you would like to keep it. I know exactly what to do,” Shadowstaff casted a spell onto the cloth.

“Thank you,” Josa stood up and took the cloth into his bedroom and put it on the bedstand. Now he would be able to have something to remember his mother by whenever he went to bed. He wonder how she would react if she saw him today- would she even recognize him?

Chapter Fourteen

After some more studying and learning to read better Josa looked up to see a couple people flying through the air on broomsticks. Timber dashed off and followed them for a little bit, then returned. It showed the Shadoowstaff an image telepathically.

“Oh, no, it is Federal Agents from the headquarters. I think they have figured out we are here and now will be after us,” Shadowstaff murmured softly to Josa.

“What should we do then?”

“Hide. Not just in any manner. Only a special minion move could make you completely invisible,” Shadowstaff dashed off.

“What would that be called?” Josa tried to hold out on his laugh.

“Stop smiling, I am not joking. Anyway, that special minion move is called the vanishing act of necromancers- proof that you are a true necromancer,” Shadowstaff seemed to be waiting for something exciting to happen.

“Oh, okay then, I get it. So, I can use Timber and Tiger, or I can create a different minion, right?” Josa rolled his eyes. He thought his wand might be a bit to excited about wanting him to do something.

“Create a new minion. You still have three Dark Stones left, why not use that?” Shadowstaff seemed to smile.

“I knew you were going to say that,” he sighed. His wand would answer in this manner and was nothing surprising about how it behaved.

Josa took a step back and watched as the two agents reach closer to where they were. Quickly, he went inside his hideout. Even though he was safe, it was apparent that they did not want him around Lily until they would decide that it was safe for him to be in society. He wondered how all of the other necromancers handled being separated from the others just because they used dark magic. Lily and her friends seemed to accept him gracefully, but then they all accepted dark magic. However, Isaac did hint that Josa's magic did not seem to belong to any element and could be the rarest element of all- the void element. Void magic did not have any element to it and tends to be considered the most powerful since the only weakness void magic had was against another void magic. Otherwise, it would behave normal against another element and resistant to elemental attacks. In this situation, he still needed to be careful as the defense endurance was considered low. It was a good thing he was able to retrieve from the fight in front of the bank and escape even though he won.

Josa took out a Dark Stone and looked at it in his hand. What kind of minion would be good for using this special move? Even though the Dark Stone was pure dark and shaped like any rock could look like, he thought about hunting for food on his own. It would need to be some kind of weapon and he could carry it around and not depend on using the wand as a walking aid anymore. The results would be a bow with arrows that could rejuvenate itself whenever he needed more arrows so that he would never need to worry about being short on supply for arrows. Then he tossed the Dark Stone down, putting as much power in it as he dared put in. The thing could be an interpreter for his other minions so he could understand them fully. A huge cloud of darkness filled the air and spread out as the bonding took place. After it cleared up he picked up the bow off the ground.

“Rutmoor- I need to hide quick,” he whispered. His wand was already with Timber and well hidden. Then Rutmoor swirled and he became a cloud formed shadow, hiding in a crack. Tiger went into the spot where Timber went. Voices carried through the air and footsteps could be heard running toward the hideout. Josa knew all he could do now was wait for them to pass through.

“Here, I think this is where the darkness came from Lasik Coffborn,” a voice said.

“Okay Shu Cuff. I think this is where that owner of the Shadowstaff is hiding out. Lily seemed to be too friendly- he could be using her easily,” Lasik Coffborn replied. Then they both appeared at the entrance of the hideout. Josa tried to watch what was going on under the shadows.

“Seems like there is no trace of barriers or booby-traps. My spell is not picking up on any at least, still, this feels too easy,” Shu then whispered something and the room was lit up by a bright light.

“Just looks like an ordinary cave. Okay, watch your step and search for that necromancer. Once we have him cornered then we will be able to rescue that Shadowstaff,” the two agents looked around. They did not seem to target any cracks smaller than what a person could fit into. Josa felt like he was in the right spot, where he continued to stay hidden.

“Nothing here, did you find anything?” Shu called out.

“Yes, it looks like this hideout was transformed into a living place. Weird thing is, I do not see any signs of food or other things that would suggest anyone was hiding out here. Just looks like something Lily decided to create by herself for a patient as we know she does with this cave, untouched by darkness,” Lasik appeared from the other side.

“Well, something did happen here, maybe that was a Dark Stone being used so that that necromancer could escape. Well, better head back to the headquarters to report our findings now,” the two agents walked through the entrance. Josa quickly returned to his normal form and waved for the others to do the same. It felt hard to just stay in cloud form. His legs wobbled and he nearly tripped as he went to the entrance to see if they were leaving now. When they were out of sight Josa wanted to go outside for a breath of fresh air.

Chapter Fifteen

The next day he ate the last of the food Lily gave him and found his place had nothing to eat now. Josa did not feel very concerned as she had taught him how to hunt for food. Chances of seeing her again could be slim now that the agents suspected him hiding in the hideout. He missed hearing her voice in the morning. Bringing one of the three tablets he won through a deal of Tic-Tac-Toe with him, he went outside and sat down on the large rock. Fluffy flew by and settled down next to him too. Shadowstaff remained calm as it seemed to be eager to read the Mysterious Tome. Then Josa opened it up to the first page.

“Okay, read it out loud. If it is nothing harmless, then we can try it out,” Josa said out loud.

“What is the fun about reading first, okay kidding, I know I do not want to blow up this planet. You are right. Okay, let me start. It is a shiny dark ball to create. The Tome will unlock the ability to create this you need to have special ingredients mixed in boiling water in a pot. Oh, by the way, the shiny dark ball can be any color of any element really- it is known as a Mana Ball. Mana Balls are very useful,” Shadowstaff said, trying to make out that Mana Balls are safe.

“Erm, okay, so it is just about Mana Balls then- a useful item? Still, try reading word per word before I decide if it would be worth trying out or not,” Josa rolled his eyes. Sometimes he wondered how much patience he had for his wand.

“Sure then, okay I will read from the beginning. The title is How to create a powerful Mana Ball. Then it goes to say the author is unknown. That means that this tome is a special one created from someone. Okay now, here is the first paragraph:

'Once upon a time, an explosion occurred. Once I went to that site of explosion, I saw this ball swirling with power. I went over for a closer look and noticed that it was magical, not found anywhere else in this world I used to live in. It whispered my name and begged to be used. Since then, I realized what it was- a ball of magical power, with so much force I could hardly figure how much it would last. This was a mana ball. Then it told me it wanted a companion, it felt lonely. I accepted it. Ever since then, I went from a nonmagical user to the process of becoming pure magic. Here is the very first thing I learned to do when I felt so overwhelmed by how much magic flowed through my veins. It told me how to create a Mana Ball so that I could continue to have complete control of my powers. Then there is the list of ingredients, then it gives directions on how to make it. This tome, like any other tome, will disappear and the potion you drink will give you the power to do exactly what it shows,” Shadowstaff wrapped up with a happy glow.

“Okay, make a list of those ingredients, I will try out this tome and see how it works. If I ever feel overwhelmed by how much magical power, I want to be able to control it,” Josa stood up.

“Sure thing. Remember, we can't depend on Lily anymore, so we are going to need to do everything ourselves. You can count on me to know where to go and what to do- well, actually, once you make this Mana Ball, I can communicate through it to you no matter how far apart we are. This way, things at home will be in control while you go out to do something. Remember that I am here to help you improve and be your guide- okay drop the guide part, I am your official helper and friendly servant. What you are doing is awesome,” Shadowstaff hovered back a ways. “Dark Lane should be your first stop. Necromancers are very common there.”

“Yes, they are. I think you are right about that one. Okay, a large pot is one thing I need- what else?” Josa took his wand in his hand and held Rutmoor with his other hand.

“Garlic, ruts, pipes, bones, magical essences, marbles, and so many other things. I will give you everything you need to know whenever I see one. I made a list of the ingredients on a separate piece of paper to erase when we get it,” Shadowstaff summoned a piece of paper with writing on it.

“Great, thanks. I think we are ready to go now,” Josa closed his eyes and took a deep breath, then let Rutmoor do its thing to Dark Lane.

Once in Dark Lane they went over to the mall. Isaac was nowhere in sight. Josa's heart pounded a little since he did not know what to expect except for putting his hood over his head as soon as he got there to try to blend in with the surroundings. No matter how hard he tried there were others stopping to stare at him when he passed by, maybe even following him.

What is going on? Josa asked.

We should watch our back. There is no necromancer as friendly as Isaac. Most of them are only wanting to do things their way no matter what. Let us just say the kind of trouble we do not want to have but could very easily happen. One bad egg will ruin everything, Shadowstaff tried to keep its glow at a minimum. Then they entered the store that the wand seemed to think would have most everything.

Turned out the store had everything. No one was watching and following them as they gathered the ingredients. Then it was time to go to the check out. The faces told Josa one wrong move and he would be ganged up on. He went to the very back of the line and waited until it was his turn. When it came time to pay for the things, the cashier waited, appearing to just be thinking and looking at him like he was crazy.

Great, what do I do now? I know I do not work so I do not have any money- Josa felt around in his pockets to see if he had something that would work. Then he felt change in his pocket. Oh, this must be real money. Okay, I can pay for it then.

Hehe, the illusion will go away in an hour or two, Shadowstaff replied.

What!? It can't be fake, Josa nearly dropped the coins onto the floor. He blushed.

Just kidding, I have a special reserve of coins only I can accept. Listen, these coins are from there, you have enough to pay for them no worries- I even added a tip.

Thank you, Josa put the coins down on the cashier's hands. The cashier accepted.

“Have a good day,” Josa said, then waited for a reply as he grabbed his things before leaving. None came, but he figured he at least did the right thing.

As the door closed he could hear laughing and scoffing behind. Josa sighed, felt a lot better that nothing happened directly while he was in the checkout line. Being incompetent felt isolating though. He wondered when he would be able to return to society without being looked down on as a criminal. A blast went over him as he headed toward the exit. He looked up to see some of the same necromancers dodged into a hiding place. Quickly, using the special move Rutmoor had used before, he transformed into a dark cloud and vanished under the shadows.

“He is still here- somewhere,” one of them called out as they gathered around near where he was hiding.

“Sheesh, do not forget how powerful he is. Why did you throw that attack in the first place?” another one said. It occurred to him that that shot was accidental, not on purpose. Still, he was in trouble now.

Swiftly he threw himself into the air and quickly went for the exit, hoping none of them would see him do that. He heard someone yell to lock the doors as he neared the door. Then someone opened the door to enter, giving him a chance to escape. He wondered what he did wrong, but then decided heading back to the hideout would be the best thing. Then he did the teleport using Rutmoor's method to get as far away from the mall as much as possible back to his hideout.

“That was a close one!” Josa said as he returned safely back to his normal self, still holding everything he had bought from the store.

“Indeed. Those necromancers were up to no good, that was for sure. I am surprised they had not decided to just all of a sudden start attacking us from every single direction. Maybe it was because they know me very well and fear me,” Shadowstaff sounded like it it felt very proud to be known.

“Great, thanks a lot for that. I just want to live peacefully, not have to go facing a fight everywhere I travel,” Josa murmured.

“My pleasure. You will get to live exactly that- no worries. Just- think about it. Create a portal into a world of your own. Just kidding, it would take a ridiculously powerful magic to do just that. Hmm, like, the kind of magic powers I sense you possess,” Shadowstaff hovered nearby as Josa put the water to boil.

“What!? I do not, and will not, ever dream of having such powers. I am normal, not supernatural,” Josa felt like hitting his head on the wall.

“You have it, I am sure it is in you. You can't resist, just like the Dark Stones. By the way, I think you should check out that spot again to see if there are more,” Shadowstaff sounded very happy.

“Sure, after I create this potion and then follow through with the steps to make a Mana Ball. Simply put, let us drop that subject now and move onto something more normal to talk about instead of creepy things,” Josa added the ingredients as the water came to a boil.

“Ah, let me think. Different subject. There are so many subjects to think about. How about a story? Once upon a time there was this very intelligent old wandmaker walking into the woods when suddenly, he had an idea. Why not create a Sunstaff and Shadowstaff and sell them to whoever they chose to become a wand to? Then he set out, searching for the right materials and- oh- the potion is done now,” Shadowstaff observed the potion.

“You are right, it is done,” Josa moved the pot away and placed it in a different spot of the kitchen so he could let it cool down until it was drinkable.

“Now I am ready to drink it,” Josa said after an hour. He got up, poured the potion into a cup, and drank it. The liquid felt cool and moist to his mouth and tasted just like honey on his tongue. “Delicious!”

Josa sat the empty glass down, then asked his wand for the rest of the instructions on how to make the Mana Ball. Raising his hands, he started the process of casting the spell from what the tome enabled. Something seemed to click as he performed the spell. First, there was swirling of colors in the air between his hands. Next, a small, dark ball of power formed and hovered just above his hands. He held it, feeling strength and power that he did not feel before as he handled it. Now, he did not need to carry his wand around since his wand could communicate through anything magical, including his minions.

Chapter Sixteen

“Would you like to go for a picnic?” Lily asked after Josa came out from his hideout.

“Definitely, a picnic would be a nice break. I missed you. Where have you been?” Josa held up Rutmoor and Mana Ball for her to see.

“Great. Wow, bows and arrows and a Mana Ball? How did you find a Mana Ball?” Lily seemed interested in the swirling powers.

“Oh, I created it myself. It seems to grow a little bit per day, then give me abundant power when I hold it,” Josa replied. Lily's jaws dropped.

“You- you made it, all by yourself? That is incredible! Well, time to head out to that lake where I told you about. I asked Shadowstaff to help me direct Rutmoor and it agreed to do so, so you do not need to worry about how to get there, luckily.”

Josa held hands with Lily and then let Rutmoor loose. They were going to be traveling through teleporting with her help so that he did not have to worry about how long it would take to get there. Tiger would follow closely behind with the food and picnic blanket. The feeling the teleporting method gave did not affect him near as much as the first one did anymore. With practice between going to her house and his hideout, he felt more used to it. He drank the potion that the tome created until it was all gone. After the potion was all gone, then the tome disappeared. Now he was down to two tomes left to study. At the picnic site he learned the Mana Ball will grow until it reaches a mature size. After it became mature, then it would be 10 times more powerful than what he was feeling right now. After that she switched the subject to light things where they could just relax and have fun.

“Beautiful outside today, birds flying in different directions and the breeze is just perfect,” Josa laid down on his stomach and picked up his sandwich to eat. The sandwiches she brought were 10 inches long and packed full of meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and dressing. It filled him up pretty quickly. The appetizers looked just as delicious too.

“Yes, it is. Whenever I see a sick animal, I do try to rescue and heal that animal too before releasing it back into the wild. They are alike, just like humans, in many ways. It is easy to figure out what their sickness is half the time. Sometimes, though, I do not know how to care for it and have to send it to an animal hospital.”

“Aww, how kind of you. You know what? I love you,” Josa finished chewing and swallowed the bite. He still had half the sandwich left to finish eating and eat so many others. “Care if I save this half for later?”

“Certainly, do not feel like you have to finish every single bite,” Lily casted a spell in a manner so that he could easily carry the sandwich in his pocket without ruining its quality.

The next thing he decided to eat Josa picked out from the picnic basket. It looked like berries and cut up fruit inside a cute kitty cup. Taking the fork, he nibbled on the berries and fruit and smiled. The taste of the combination of it felt juicy and tasted very good. Then he decided to be able to have another appetizer, green beans and macaroni and cheese. This kind of macaroni and cheese tasted delicious and nothing like the other kind he remembered eating. It felt warm and cooked just right. Then, for dessert, he decided to have a bowl of ice cream. The rest of the leftovers was his to keep in his hideout. He found out some things about what the Federal Agents were thinking about and a thought that maybe they would not do anything but ask him questions and accept him. He felt very glad of the news. After the incident in the mall, it sounded like they might not punish him or do the interrogation after all.

“Ah, so they just do not know about me because I am a necromancer and Wilbert is a Sino Wizard then, right?” Josa asked after she finished speaking.

“Yes,” Lily smiled and kissed him on the cheek. He blushed.

“Great news. Maybe no one will be afraid of me anymore,” Josa stood up, then turned toward the lake.

“We can walk around along the edge. Who knows what we will see when we look into the water. Maybe a fish will jump out,” Lily stood up too and nudged Josa to come along with her to the path.

“Sounds good to me,” Josa smiled.

They started from the point on which they walked onto the path and headed over to where there was a bridge over the water. The bridge was transparent except for the edges and there were glass walls on either side to prevent someone from falling into the water. Lily lead the way through the entrance of the bridge as Josa hesitated, feeling unsure about how it would be to walk on water literally. Then he followed. He found the floor uncomfortable at first as he could see the water move underneath his feet. Then he began to relax as he realized why she took him there. He watched as fish swam back and forth underneath their feet.

“How do you like this? I know it was sudden, but,” Lily smiled and acted like it was a normal thing to do.

“This feels great. No need for a boat or life jacket- just walk on water,” Josa smiled back. With her around he calmed down very quickly. It was going to be a new norm for him after being on a new planet.

“It took me a while to get used to it. I mean, walking on water, seriously out of my comfort zone. However, do this with someone for a while and you will not think twice about it.”

“Yeah, I have a feeling you are right on the dot there.”

They continued to go around, meeting a few others here and there as they walked. Josa noticed how some said hello to him more readily than others. Only a couple gave unfriendly stares. Then they went back to their picnic and put everything away. After gathering everything at the picnic, Josa joined with Lily and together they teleported back to her house. He kept the food with him as he said goodbye and left for his hideout.

“How did everything go?” Shadowstaff asked as Josa reached the entrance.

“Good, it was a beautiful day to go out for a picnic. And, well, this might sound crazy, but, I walked on water too,” Josa tossed the Mana Ball up into the air.

“Great. Nope, I know exactly what you mean. I have done it many times myself with my creator. Now, let us do the second tome you won through the deal. I want to see how it will turn out,” Shadowstaff summoned the tome from the hideout into Josa's hands. “It does not even say what will happen. However, I am sure it will be harmless. It does not require anything but a mana ball. Just think of a swirly portal and a portal will appear.”

“Erm, will there be any side effects from doing this? I do not want to do it if it cause any side effects,” Josa sighed.

“Nope, of course not. I have seen people build portals before too,” Shadowstaff said it too innocently and casually for his taste.

“Okay, so, focus on building a portal and a portal will appear. Just like that, eh?” Josa frowned. It sounded way too advance for his taste.

Josa looked at the back right corner of the hideout after going through the entrance. If he made a portal leading somewhere, it would be there. Then he raised his hands and touched the mana ball. It glowed with excitement as it sent magical power flowing through Josa. The feeling felt so good Josa did not want to stop. He continued to focus on creating a portal.

“Well, careful, you are doing it, but too much and, well,” Shadowstaff stumbled for the right words to say.

The words reached over into Josa's mind and broke his focus. At the same time, the Mana Ball seemed to vanish and the air went completely black. Josa found it suddenly hard to breath and gasped for air, then his legs gave away and he fell down onto the ground. He could hear his wand shriek as a rumble could be felt. The last thing he remembered happening was a feeling that he was being dragged out of the hideout and someplace outside.

“Josa- can you hear me?” a sweet, soft voice called out to him. Then he realized it was Lily trying to help him. He opened his eyes and yawned. Then he tried to sit up. “No, do not try to sit up yet. You are still very weak. Here, have some of this.”

Josa accepted the chocolate from Lily's hand and unwrapped it. He noticed it was in a mixture of black and white colors. Then he took a bite and chewed on it slowly. The headache started to go away and he began to feel better. Looking around, he noticed the place looked completely different than what it normally looked like.

“What happened?” Josa said at a barely audible voice.

“I am not sure what you were doing, but I see how small the Mana Ball is now. You must have used it to cast a spell, did not you?” Lily continued to support him.

“Yes, well, Shadowstaff said something about a portal and,” Josa stopped to take a deep breath. Whatever damages were done would need to be fixed as soon as he possibly could.

“Great, whatever happened did happen though. I am surprised how quickly you are recovering. That spell you did really made a mess of things. Now just rest still, do not try to speak yet. I will ask Shadowstaff all about it and to do the cleaning until you are able to stand on your own feet- I wish I had feet too,” Josa perked and looked at Lily. She seemed to be able to move very well. Then he noticed she was telling the truth- she did not have feet to stand on. Then he wondered how she could ever move the way she moved.

“I will be alright. Trust me. Well, that gives me a new question to ask. Why do you not have any feet? How do you move? I do not see a wheelchair or anything,” Josa blushed from his own curiosity. It could be too sensitive question to ask.

“Oh, do not be shy about it. Many people ask me that question when they see me. I was born without feet, yet they comment about how it would be impossible for them to move around if they did not have any feet. It is through magic really that I am able to move around though.”

“Oh, I see. Well, time to see the results of what happened and see if it can be fixed,” Josa looked around. The grass darkened and he could make out some critters he did not see before.

“I think only you can fix it. In most cases like this, it is a side effect of a spell that does go away on its own. Still, I can't guarantee you anything. Your magic is so much different than any other magic. It could even be possible that the type of magic you can use is just Void magic,” Lily said out loud.

“I think it is Void magic. How else was I able to accomplish what I just accomplished just now? I still do not know what all that happened from that cast.”

Josa felt strong enough to look around and see what happened. The grass appeared darkened and the critters that were in the way of the blast seemed to have been turned to stone. Lily appeared to be untouched by the blast. The cave looked like it was in ruins. He pondered about how that spell went so far, and if that tome still exist anymore.

“Wow, I did a lot of damage. The wildlife looks completely dead now. This place looks like a battle field instead of a place to relax and enjoy yourself. Is there any way to fix it?” Josa stood up onto his feet.

“There is a way to reverse the spell. You seriously over did yourself this time. I am not sure how long you need to rest- probably two weeks before you can try to reverse the spell and fix it. On the other hand, it is kind of strange. I do think this is Void magic, the most powerful type of magic that exists. I wonder if the person who transformed this planet into a magical place to live thought about how you would just come along and have the exact same capabilities as he did. Anyway, come over to my house to rest. Do not worry about it for now,” Lily helped him cross the creek and they walked up to the door of her house. Fluffy, Timber, Tiger, and Rutmoor followed behind.

Once they entered the house then Josa made himself comfortable. He rested until two weeks had passed. Then he went over to where the spell affected the surrounding places and created a Mana Ball. Using that Mana Ball, he observed the side effects of the spell to where everything returned to normal. Lily did manage very well to keep the Federal Agents, as well as others, away so that they would not even know what had happened in her backyard. She explained how she wanted a week off to just be by herself and successfully did that without any questioning about him. After he finished reversing the side effects into having a Mana Ball to carry around again, Lily went back to her home. He smiled as he knew everything was going to be okay again.

Chapter Seventeen

“I am going to move back into the hideout. My presence really puts pressure on you- especially when the agents come around,” Josa hugged Lily. He was going to miss being around her all the time. Then, he returned to the cave. It looked much more normal than before when he casted the spell, then went inside.

Fluffy flew around the cave after they went through the entrance, crewing as if it was happy to return to the place. Josa smiled as he watched his pet. Living in a cave ended up being the best place for Fluffy to live in. Then he summoned Timber and Tiger to his side using his wand to help clear any debris that laid around. As the last of the debris cleared up he noticed his pet was not flying around crewing cheerfully anymore. He motioned for his minions to follow him. Shadowstaff seemed to be nowhere in sight either. He felt glad he had Rutmoor and the Mana Ball he created to clear the area of any side effects the spell had. His Mana Ball grew a little bigger every day.

As he reached the far back right corner of the cave, Josa noticed a very odd glow from the wall. It swirled in place as it stayed there, not doing anything else. What kind of thing that would happen from such a powerful spell to cast he could not quite remember. Then he reached out his hand to see how it felt like. The hand he used went straight through it as if the wall never existed. Then he decided to take a deep breath and go through.

“Glad to see you caught up with me,” Shadowstaff's voice could be heard very close. He turned toward his right side.

“Hey, where were you? Well, I am looking for Fluffy-” as soon as Josa said his pet's name Fluffy came straight over and landed on his arm. “Oh, phew, I am sure glad you are alright. Where are we by the way?”

“The core of Earth- wow, for being in the hottest place ever this place sure feels cool,” Shadowstaff seemed very excited about it.

“The next thing we need to do then is,” Josa said slowly to himself. A portal not even the Federal Agents were aware of- maybe he could stay well hidden here in this place and not have to worry about what anyone else thought of him.

“Find a new hiding place- one no one truly knows about, not even Lily,” Shadowstaff hovered very close to him.

“Well, this looks like bare land only. Anyone could find us easily,” Josa looked around. He noticed the ground beneath him seemed to be some kind of invisible path over flowing lava that only extended a few yards in either direction. “When there is just a few yards to move around on- how would we be able to move?”

“You are the master. Command it to spread one mile around in diameter,” Shadowstaff seemed to have an answer for everything.

“Sure- all I need to do is command it and it would listen to me. What a brilliant idea.”

Josa felt unsure about whether or not he could listen to his wand. Everywhere he looked was lava and a strange air feeling. This kind of atmosphere felt like he was in the very center of the core of a planet. Then he decided to give it a try. Immediately, the floor became as wide as he commanded it. He felt surprised. No side effect or anything- the magic did exactly what he wanted it to do. Then he turned around. There was nothing at the back of the portal except empty space. Then he focused the magic on making a completely solid barrier that could be seen surrounding the portal for a few yards around so that in the end, he would not mistaken or wonder about it floating in midair. Dark bricks with a glow on them appeared doing exactly what Josa wanted it to do.

“See? See? What did I tell you. Now you can make anything and make this your perfect hideout,” Shadowstaff said very proudly.

“You are right- the magic did whatever I wanted it to do and there were no side effects. This could only mean one thing- I belong here and I will be able to have complete control over my magic without feeling or seeing any side effects,” Josa agreed and sighed. His wand was being too excited for his taste about what he just did.

“Hehe, you are growing way more powerful than anyone could imagine. I saw the ability in you though, and, because of my confidence in you, it happened. Now, the world is going to change, just like how Saturn became Magturn, and how I was able to be created,” Shadowstaff settled down a bit, though still seemed to like to jump from one place to another.

“You are funny- you know that? Okay, I will turn this into a hideout. Let me think. This portal should be a fair distance away from my hideout. I think I will put my hideout at the back of the portal in hopes that no one looks that way before deciding to turn around and head back through the portal.”

Josa went around to the other side of the portal. Using Rutmoor, he moved over to the place where he wanted the hideout to be. The glowing lines marked each room of the hideout and where the outside walls were. Then he focused the magic to creating the walls using the same material as what it did to create the form around the portal and have lighting on the inside and only one door. Then the hideout was completed.

“To make this permanent, you are going to need materials for the hideout to latch onto. Otherwise it will disappear the minute you walk out of the area through the portal and then back in. You will need to remake it again,” Shadowstaff said in a quiet voice. “At least the floor will always be permanent. You are guaranteed that.”

“Thank you. Even though you drive me nuts half the time, you are truly helpful and a lifesaver. I want this place to accept you as my best servant of all time. You have the brains and the know how, I just need to follow through to make it happen,” Josa hugged his wand.

“Aww, I love you too,” Shadowstaff imitated a purr of a cat when the cat felt really happy to show its approval.

“Wait, you are not just purring like a cat are you? When did wands start to do that?” Josa laughed.

“Just now,” Shadowstaff created a smiley face.

“You are funny, you know that?” Josa smiled back.

“I know. I am, after all, awesome- the best dark wand that was ever made. I get the bragging rights.”

“So, I will make this a deal and call this place my new hideout. As soon as we figure out- well, rather, I figure out, what kind of materials I need to build this place up and turn it into home I will be all set,” Josa decided to sit down on the ground and watch the patterns the lava made for a little bit. He found it fascinating to be able to see how the lava flowed underneath.

“Hmm, the lava is pretty to watch. I will admit that,” Shadowstaff then decided to do the same thing.

The floor then mimicked the movement of the lava. Josa could tell it just wanted to do whatever it took to please him. Then he decided the color of this lava that the floor created an illusion of should be purple and blue shades while the real lava- the thing he did not even want to dare end up in, red and black shades. This way he would continue to live in his new hideout without the worry of ending up drowning in the lava that would wipe him out quickly. Then he decided he wanted to head back out to the cave through the portal and tell Lily about it. This time, whenever they are together, it would not be in a place they would be seen by people. They could walk and get their exercise together without having anyone else watching. The place could also take a while to get used to too. He could not imagine it any better than what it looked like and how to enter it without being worried about ending up caught. Still, it did sound like there was hope for him to be able to blend in with the society from what Lily reported.

“Want to stay or head out with me?” Josa turned and looked at Shadowstaff.

“I will stay here. We can always communicate to each other through your Mana Ball there too. Still, I am going to miss you. At least you have your very own Mana Ball and Rutmoor in case anything happens.”

“Indeed. Well, I will need a guardian of this portal to keep intruders away. Good thinking. I want to be able to keep contact with you no matter how far apart we are. So, as a master of this place, I want to make it so that this place will be in top shape and ready to go for anything that could happen. See you later, I am going to go tell Lily the news and bring her over here so she will know where I am whenever she wants to see me,” Josa waved and stepped through the portal. He felt a little strange to be back onto a real planet again. He noticed his Void powers seemed to still linger there in the cave.

Then he went over to Lily's house and knocked on the door. After she answered, Josa told his news and waved for her to come with him for a second. He used Rutmoor to quickly enter the cave. Then he showed her the portal and went through it. It took a little bit of convincing for her to step through the portal too. Once inside, he noticed the floor remained like he left it, but the walls and hideout was gone, just like his wand said it would happen. Since Lily gave the thumbs up for making this his new hideout, she was more than willing to help him know what he would need to start transforming it into a home. For now- he could only start out small and work his way up. Then they separated.

Chapter Eighteen

“Try out this kind of clay I brought over with me,” Lily said when she came over to help Josa. Fluffy crewed its greeting to her when it saw her.

“Sure thing. How does the building part work out when the clay is in its raw form?” Josa looked at the clay to see if it would just turn into a brick if he just break a piece off of it andlay it down in a specific manner.

“First thing you need to do is to just break a little bit of this clay and then place it carefully on a specific spot on the ground,” she replied.

Josa carefully broke a piece of the clay off of the chunk Lily carried and then placed it on the very corner of the line drawn out to be the left front corner of the house. Then he waited until she said what to do next. After she said the instruction about what to do next, then he decided to focus the magic to create a red brick that was in the shape of the base cornerstone of the house. After that she suggested to go out and then back in to see if the brick would stay in place.

“It worked out,” Lily said as they returned to the spot where the brick was placed on the same spot.

The process to make the brick appeared really easy. Josa decided to try it out on his own with her there to help guide him for a little bit before she figured it was time to leave back to her house. Then he decided it would be okay to continue to build the house more before eating some of the food she brought for him to eat. The bricks turned out to be very steady as he carefully laid them down on the ground and transformed into clay. Josa went on to form the walls of the house and the location of the rooms. The clay ran out after the formation of the last room started. Overall the house looked very pleasing in his mind. It was the beginning of a much better hideout compared to his previous one.

“Looks good,” Shadowstaff commented when he finished up on the last piece of clay.

“Thank you, that is the best thing I can think of to say so far.I think this will be the best hideout to have yet. We will be living in a house innstead of a cave or out in the wilderness where there is no shelter available to stay safe in,” Josa stretched his arms out and then did some exercises to help ease any painthat could occur after the hard work done to create the house.

Josa decided to head out of the portal and then head over to Dark Lane to see if he could find some more clay to work on the house some more the next day. The sun started to rise in the air as he woke up and went through the portal to the cave then outside. Birds chirped happily as they flew past. It seemed like this was going to be a good day for him to do things. Then he held out Rutmoor and his Mana Ball to make sure everything was all ready to go. Shadowstaff would be able to give him the money he would need to be able to get what he needed. He used another Dark Stone to create Pamphy, a very cute little rabbit that could do many skill work on its own without help. He figured in order for him to be able to keep on having the money that it took to live, he would need to start creating minions that would become very popular with society and they would accept hiring them at no question or suspicion on where they came from. Even if one ended up discovered, he could just make a second one for a different place to make up for it.

“Okay Pamphy- go to Silver Alley and then, from there, search and secure a job. Any money you earned legally send to me. I will slowly pay the wand back with interest and then the rest of the money I will invest in living off of. It will be a long journey, but I also have a lot of land I can transform into meadows too. Speaking of meadows, I should start working on that part once I am done with my house. Still, house comes first. Rutmoor- take me to Dark Lane. Let us see if we can't find the clay we need,” Josa let go of Rutmoor and watched as Pamphy disappeared. He knew his minions will refuse failure, but worried how he was going to be able to sustain living on his own. His minions would be a huge help. Then he decided he would need to make guards for his hideout too in case anyone comes wondering in.

The moment he let go of Rutmoor Josa felt himself being transported to Dark Lane. Then he took Rutmoor into his hands as it returned back to its bow and arrows form. An object would never be guessed to be a minion. He felt certain of that. Then he went into the mall and found the Artist Ways shop at the very end. This time there were no trouble to worry about. One thing he figured he could do would be to celebrate having his very own place to live too. He was now safe from anything in case something happened and did not have to worry too much about being left out.
© Copyright 2018 Angelica Weatherby (dragonfish at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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