When they reappeared, they were in front of a wall of stone. They backed away, and realized that the stone wall wound for miles down to the right and left, and then must have curled around the city. It was about ten feet up. Blake backed up, and bolted at the wall. When he was close to it, he jumped up and grabbed onto a loose brick and pressed his palm against it, vaulting himself over the rest and landing gracefully on the top. “Come on,” he said. Merlock looked at him questioningly.
“Do what I just did,” he said.
“Blake! You just flipped onto a brick, pushed down on it and spun yourself around so you could push off and land on the top of a ten foot wall! I can’t do that!”
“I can’t because I’m not a warrior! I can do this!” He snapped his fingers, and mist formed around his body, hugging his ankles. The mist was silvery and was studded with twinkling orbs of light. It gathered into a thick platform, and Merlock looked up. The platform carried him up to the wall, and he went over it, landing on the other side. When he landed, the vapor dispersed and clung to the ground, disappearing. Blake jumped down and landed in a roll and got up.
“I never knew I could even do that! Let’s go!” Blake started at a run, and was going so fast that he couldn’t see him.
Eventually, Merlock appeared on a white, fluffy cloud, racing next to Blake. They followed the pathway over a sparkling, winding river and over to the other gates of the city, where the white puffy cloud flew back into the sky. They went to the giant gate, and looked through it. There were words on the ground in cursive. Blake looked up at the gate, and sideways glanced at Merlock. Merlock touched his ring, and he seemed to light up for a moment. He looked at Blake, as if Blake had the answer. “I can open it, I think.” He looked at the giant lock. “There are wards and sigils everywhere, and it isn’t a normal lock. I’m going to try a trick.” His fingers twitched, and he began to work. He waved his hands and weaved them around in an intricate manner, and soon enough, the lock was lit up in a thousand colours. He flicked his fingers, and the inside of the lock began to glow. It clicked open, and Merlock slipped through with Blake behind him.
The lock clicked back by itself behind them as they stared at the city sprawled before them. The buildings had names like Talia & Brooke’s Spell Books and Tel’s Weaponry. The pair looked at the beautiful orange sky that had strips of pink and yellow lining it. It was a different time there. There were large creatures with wings that breathed fire through the sky and there were horses with shining horns on their foreheads that walked the streets. “Dragons! Unicorns?”
They looked at the men that weaved gossamer threads of colour around their buildings and watched women stir cauldron liquids with ladles. As they walked down the pathway, they saw men in hoods and dark robes like shrouds of darkness that swirled around their bodies. One of them walked by, his cloak fluttering behind him. He sat down, and made a quick drawing of some kind around him. It was a circle with an odd design in the center, like a star with crisscrosses. It began to glow in red, and a man ran over to him, trapping him in a web of gossamer threads.
“Necromancers,” said Merlock. “They shouldn’t be here. They should be in The City of Bereavement or in The Lifeless City.” They watched as many other people captured the rest of them. Blake and Merlock kept walking, and a man with scrappy, ripped clothes grabbed Blake’s arm. Blake looked at him alarmingly, and sent ripples of energy through the man, who crumpled to the ground. He was persistent. He rose again, and held his hands out, begging for something. Blake threw the man from his arm, and focused on him. He threw his hands out, and the air around his hands shimmered. He threw a wave of distorted force at the man, and a spectrum of light danced around it as it struck him and sent him into a tree. The man collided with it and slid down, his body shifting into that of a man with a tuxedo.
A whole crowd began to surround them, their faces masks of astonishment. Even Merlock was staring at Blake. Whispers of excitement rolled through the crowd. Blake looked at his arm, which was surrounded with a gleaming gold aura. It was flickering with power. Another man with scrappy clothes walked over to him with a bunch of other people like him. They all closed around Blake, grabbing his arm and trying to drag him away. Blake sent a sea of roaring golden flames at them, and they fell back. Him and Merlock jumped over them, and one man grabbed Blake’s ankle. Blake elicited his power, and the man crumpled down. A lady grabbed his leg, and Blake was ready. He spoke a word under his breath. “Effluo,” he said. He disappeared, and the only people that seemed to see him were Merlock, and four men and three women. He threw a shield up around himself and slipped through the crowd, people being pushed away by his wall.
He kept running until they reached the end of the pathway. There were people still following them. Blake reappeared and looked at Merlock, who seemed to know what to do. He looked up at the sky, and then back down. He gathered up energy into his hands, and soon, a sphere of blue lightning was coiling and dancing in his palms. Merlock threw it at a stack of barrels, and they exploded, momentarily distracting the people. The two ducked into a shop.
“Hello! Blimey, you two look like you’ve just seem a phantasm or something along those lines! No matter, do you see anything you fancy?” The man had an English accent. Merlock looked at the wall, where there was a shelf of small things that looked like sticks. He snapped his fingers, and one floated down to him. It was silvery, and the end was sharp. He tapped it, and it extended into a staff with a glowing orb that had some kind of stone on it. He tapped it again, and it shifted into a sword.
“Blake! You should use this!” He handed it to Blake and got down another stick. He paid for it and returned to Blake. This one was more mahogany, and the end was still very sharp. Merlock twirled it and weaved invisible patterns into the air.
“What is it?” asked Blake.
“A wand!” Merlock exclaimed. “It helps focus the power of a warlock and allows us to use words to shape magic. It basically put us on the same level as wizards.”
Blake paid for the over-expensive weapon he had and slipped it into his sleeve. “Does it work for wizards too?”
“Some,” he replied. They walked slowly, and Merlock stopped him. He turned around “Um, sir?”
“Yes, my valued customers?”
“What society are you?”
“A wizard, of course.”
“Could you transport us to Talia & Brooke’s Spell Books?”
“Of course!” he said. He pointed at the two of them, and there was a flash of light. They found themselves in a shop with large bookcases and glass shelves. Blake walked around, looking through the books until he found one he liked. He brought it to the counter and pulled out his money.
“Oh, no,” the lady said. “We only accept Mags here.”
“What are those?”
“The magical currency!” she said. Blake took his money and looked at Merlock. Merlock took the money in his hand, and a light emanated from it. He gave what he had in his hands to the lady and gave the book to Blake. Blake flipped through the pages until he found a page on improvisation. He read it over, and then walked outside. The people crowded around him immediately, and he sent a wave of rippling blue flames at them. They backed away, but one man thrust his hand forwards and a wall of force knocked Blake to the ground. Blake slipped the wand out of his sleeve and tapped it until it became the sword. The hilt had strange runic symbols on it and had jewels that studded it. He sent flames rippling through the sword and swiped it. The man fell back, but got back up.
“This man can say too many spells; make him speak in reversed yells!” Blake pointed at the man. The man shook once, and his body lit up for a brief moment. The man tried to speak, but all Blake heard was jumbled syllables. He sliced at the other man, and the blade whistled through the air, singing a beautiful tune. The man stumbled back, trying to speak again. Blake and Merlock shouldered through the crowd, leaving behind warlocks and wiccans and wizards and many others staring after them.