Chapter 8 –The Escape

"Where are you, you little beasts?" Benyard called out as he stomped through the halls. He stopped in his tracks when he heard the sound of wood breaking and stone being scrapped. He followed it to a nearby room with the door completely ripped off. He smiled evilly and hid himself along the outer frame, "Once the Menumorae is done tearing them apart, I'll just sneak in and grab the staff." he whispered to himself and snuck a peek inside the room, only to find the Menumorae ripping through the furniture and the staff he so coveted lying on the floor, but no Kits anywhere to be found. 'The Menumrae must have already devoured them.' he thought to himself, and began sneaking into the room. He froze when the Menumorae stiffened, listening for the footsteps, and turned to look right at him. He quickly dove for the staff as the creature dove for him, grabbing the coral handle and pointing the top at it. When nothing happened, he looked it over, finally noticing that the jewel was missing. "No." he whispered to himself, and looked up to catch a face full of black poison. "GYAH!" he called out, and dropped the staff, clutching his eyes in pain as the Menumorae once again lunged at him.

Mike, Hazel and Wolf all reappeared in the kitchen area, specifically near the fireplace. Mike wobbled a short time, before shaking his head and standing upright, "Are you ok?" Hazel asked, seeing that her brother Wolf had his mouth full of Sapphire. "Yah, just, never really done a short jump that far before. Gonna take me a while to rest my mind." he said in reassurance. Suddenly all three of them heard the shrill scream of Benyard, "GYAH!" "I know that sound, The Menumorae got him in the eyes with its poison." Hazel said, and Wolf placed the Sapphire on the floor, "I know how that feels." he said, and again they heard Benyard, but this time, he screamed the bloody scream of pain. "We need to go!" Mike said, and the other two nodded, both in fright. "Grab onto me." Wolf told them, right before he picked up the Sapphire in his mouth. Mike and Hazel once again gripped his collar in their paws, and off he went like a blur of silver. Wolf moved through the halls with ease, Mike giving him directions as the three of them made their way to the door. In a flash they exited the stone building, and just as quickly the walls began cracking and crumbling. The wood of the doors and furniture splintered easily, almost as if it were brittle and dry, almost centuries old. Within seconds, the entire mountain collapsed and the floor began crumbling under their feet, "MOVE IT!" Mike shouted to his speeding brother, causing Wolf to turn his head, and see the sight that was taking place. With a panic, Wolf sped up, Hazel used her grass claws to secure herself to her brother's collar, and Mike held on for dear life. The crumbling ground seemed to follow the three of them closely the whole time, even as they approached the rock slide from the beginning. "NOW WHAT?" Hazel asked as they quickly approached the large pile of rocks. Mike closed his eyes and focused as hard as he could, searching for whatever power he had left. 'Come on,' he told himself, 'come on.' The rocks burst apart, scattering in all directions as the three of them surrounded by a small yellow pyramid barrier. "YOU DID IT!" Hazel called out to her brother as they cleared the last of the pile of boulders. Mike smiled weakly, and Hazel reached over, holding him up and safe as the three of them traveled back to the finished Higharchy Castle.

"You did really well, despite the change in the land where you were excavating." the scholar said to them. They had arrived shortly after they had burst through the rock slide, and the change in the land he had been talking about was the new deep chasm that spread out nearly across the entire continent. The Scholar sat on a nearby stone block while Mike rested on his side in the shade of a nearby tree and Hazel sat close by. Wolf had decided that being in the tree would provide the conversation with more of an adventure, just something small for the time being. "It wasn't my fault this time." Wolf said, he had handed to sapphire he held to the Scholar the moment he had arrived. "I know little one." the human responded as he turned his eyes to the tree. Mike turned to his brother his eyes shining with knowledge, "The entire region was held up by the magic of the Wizard's Staff." he said, "When we broke it, the power slowly faded." "Not necessarily." the Scholar corrected, and set the sapphire on the ground. The barren ground around d it turned green, sprouting with blue and yellow flowers for a few feet and then stopped. "This sapphire is the Wizard's Staff." "What?" the all called out and looked to the sapphire. I read an ancient scroll, and it appears that they used to rely completely on magic to do anything. However, they always gave names to great sources of magic, not the artifacts they were attached to. It is also why the planet is so barren and wasted now, the ancients squandered the energy the planet had and now it will take some time before it restores itself." "More than eight hundred years." Hazel said as she remembered the conversation they had before hand. The scholar simply smiled at her. "I am sorry to hear of that Benyard fellow. I may not have been fond of him but I certainly never wished such a fate." he said and turned as he heard the paw steps of the super dog and father of the Kits. "Finally!" he said in exasperation, "I thought we'd never finish." "Oh, don't be such a downer." Mittens said as she walked next to him. "Me…A downer?" Bolt asked as if the very word was a shock to him, "You weren't the one carrying all of that stone from the quarry to the castle." "And just think, you'll be so much stronger for it." Mittens said as she pushed her side into his. Bolt simply chuckled and blushed, "Well…ok. But only because you like it so much." he said and looked to his children, "They weren't bothering you were they?" he asked. The scholar smile gently and shook his head, "Not at all. They were actually very exciting to talk with." he said as he reached down and picked up the sapphire, "And now, I will fulfill my end of the bargain." Bolt and Mittens looked to each other in curiosity, "Bargain?" Bolt asked, "We never made a bargain." "None the less, I am determined to help you, meet me in the great hall of the Higharchy Castle when you are ready." the human said, and stood up, leaving them alone. Mittens and her husband walked up to their children, "What was that all about?" Bolt asked as he looked back at the human. Mittens on the other hand, curiously looked to Mike's side, "What is that in your fur young man?" she asked both curiously and slightly upset. Mike flinched a little at the tone of his mother's voice, and then picked up his head to glance at the side that was facing the sky. Smudged and rubbed into his white fur, was a large amount of black soot, drastically changing the color of his side. He gritted his teeth in worry and thought, "It was my fault Mommy." he heard Wolf say, "We were playing near the forge and I accidently pushed him into the soot tray. I'm sorry." "I saw it Mommy. I told them not to play over there, but Wolf didn't listen." Hazel said, only causing Mittens to believe it more. Mittens seemed to mull it over in her head, only to finally accept it, "Just be more careful next time sweetie," she said, "I don't want to lose any of you Kits." she said, and nuzzled Hazel a short while before turning back to the castle doors, "Come on you three, let's go see what he has that will help us." she said with Bolt following close behind. Wolf jumped down from the tree as Hazel and Mike lifted themselves up from their position on the grass, and Mike shook himself off. "Hazel, Wolf." he called out causing them both to stop and turn to him, "Why did you say that to Mommy?" "Because that's what brothers…" Wolf said, only have Hazel interrupt and add her own two cents in, "And sisters!" she said. "…and sisters do, they look out for each other." the grey Kit finished, rolling his eyes as he added his sister's part in. Mike smiled happily as he joined his siblings, "Thanks you two." he said and they followed their parents into the large building.

Inside the library at the Avona house hold, the same blue book lay open on the floor, until a great gust of wind picked up again, causing the book to wildly flip pages. From above the flying pages, a tornado appeared, carrying Bolt, Mittens and the three kits near the top, and dropping them unceremoniously on the ground. Bolt found himself dropped behind one of the smaller shelves as Mittens latched herself to the side of one of the taller ones with her grass claws and Hazel holding tightly to her collar with her paws and teeth. Wolf found himself flung to the floor near the door while Mike was buried head first into an open spot on one of the shelves. The wind died down, vanishing from the room just as quickly as it had appeared, and once it had, Mittens jumped down with her daughter on her back. Bolt trotted out from behind the shelf and Wolf walked up to meet them. Bolt looked at all of them, "Where's Mike?" he asked, and was answered when the Kit spoke up from behind the bookshelf, "I've been looking for this book." he said. Mittens and Bolt began pulling books off of the shelf, allowing Mike to pop his head out with a small brown book in his mouth. Wolf and Hazel both began to chuckle with laughter at the silly antics of their brother. Bolt exhaled his worry, finally calming down as his family finally set paw back into their own time, "Not this time, Mike." he said. "Aw." the Kit said through the book, and jumped down to set it on the ground, "Please?" he asked. "Mike listen, reading is fine on your own time, but right now you Kits need a good night's rest." Mittens said. "Yes Mommy." he said, his ears pinning themselves to his head. Mittens looked to him, her eyes soft and a new understanding in her soul, "Tell you what, how about I read you a bed time story, one that's easy for me to read." she suggested. Mike turned his head, thinking about her proposal, "You have to do it every night from now on." he said. Mittens chuckled happily and Bolt nodded his head, "Deal!" he said for her, "And some times, I'll read them." Mike, Hazel and Wolf jumped into the air with joy, shouting, "YAY!" as they did, and ran off towards their sleeping aria. Bolt and Mittens laughed as they walked to the door, "Dear," she said as she turned to the white shepherd, "I don't think the Avonas will appreciate the mess we made." She turned back to the library, books strewn on the ground and papers spread all over, "Oh," Bolt said as he turned to the same sight, "Right." and he took off, zooming around the room at top speed, putting everything back where it should be, including the book that sent them on their wild journey through time. "I think a nice fairy tale will do." Mittens said as she used her paw to pull a small book out from a nearby shelf and picked it up with her teeth. "I'm with you, nothing dangerous about a simple fairy tale." Bolt said as he walked out the door alongside her.