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Platform 13

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Author's note: What inspired me to write this novel was from a film I had recently seen entitled "Spirited Away"...  Show full author's note »
Author's note: What inspired me to write this novel was from a film I had recently seen entitled "Spirited Away" which was one of my most favorite anime movies ever.  « Hide author's note
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The Realm

CHAPTER SEVEN
THE REALM
When Yume was shoved out of the cart away from Howl, he was alone with the officers. He looked around the next cart that they walked, the spirits that occupied it glared at him, he looked out through the windows and gasped at what he had seen. Through the glass pane there was a beautiful ocean right in front of him. Its waters sparkled like blue diamonds, and the sun reflected off its surface. He looked around as he was shoved out towards another cart as they descended towards the drivers cart where the conductor lived.
“Where are you taking me?” Yume demanded glaring at the harsh officers.
“I’m taking you to see someone, now stop talking, you’ll disturb the passengers,” Growled the officer pushing Yume forward. Yume sighed as he looked around, spirits of different species glared at him as if they hated him from the start, what was their deal? Had they any clue that he might be their prince? Soon he was shoved up against the wall once he had entered the conductor’s cart and had a rod help up against his throat. He gasped trying to catch his breath, but the rod was pressed up against him so hard that it cut off the air.
“Who are you, and what are you doing here you disgusting human!” Growled a blonde haired man that had a slim body and bright blue eyes, he almost seemed human which was rather odd, but then again the dog tail that swayed back and forward made a big difference.
“M..My name…name is Yume Ame,” Yume stuttered whimpering for the rod was chocking him. It was suddenly released from his throat and he took this moment to take a deep inhale of fresh air panting.
“Ame, you mean your related to the Wicked Witch that enslaves spirits and destroys cities?” He growled pressing the rod back against his throat.
“Leave him alone,” Came the conductor’s voice full of panic.
“At least till your off the train,” He said taking out a metal shovel and grabbing a handful of coal and scooping it into the boiler, he then rushed towards the whistle and pulled the string as it shrieked loudly bellowing out smoke from the chimney.
“Come with me you fool,” spat the blonde haired boy letting go of the rod and walking towards the exit, there was a glint in his eyes that was kind of strange, as if he were saying that he was only playing to make the police think that he was working for them kind of look.
He led me right back to the black cart where Howl was. Yume was tossed back to the ground and the cuffs were not removed just yet.
“Are you here in the name of Karasu the wizard?” Asked the blonde boy taking out a key and removing Yume’s cuffs that were making his wrists hurt.
“Yes,” Said Yume grunting slightly rubbing his sore wrists, for some reason those cuffs had a stronger grip on them.
“That means your part of the rebellion against the evil Witch that lurks within the Western Kingdom,” Said the boy.
“Yes he is, he is in fact her son,” Said Howl in the background.
“Who are you?” Asked Yume looking at the blonde boy.
“My name is Kage, I’m part wolf as you might’ve seen but I have more human features,” He said.
“A Halfling,” Said Howl laughing slightly.
“Hush it werewolf,” Spat Kage sighing softly.
“Anyway, back there was all show, I meant nothing of it so don’t hold a grudge on me, I know a way to get out of this train, its heading towards the southern Kingdom towards Shadow City, the council lies in the Northern kingdom so we have to make track from there,” Said the boy.
“So there are four kingdoms?” Yume asked a bit puzzled.
“The four kingdoms are as followed, The Northern Kingdom of Silverwynne, then there is the Southern Kingdom of Ashenesse home of the Queen of Ashes, then there is the Eastern Kingdom of Aellea the Kingdom of Glass, and then last and horridly the worst, the Western Kingdom of Grayvale, where she lives,” Kage paused a moment, and shuddered.
“So where are we going?” Yume asked resting himself up against the cart’s wall.
“We’re headed towards Ashenesse, that is where they keep their prisoners is within the Princess of Ash’s kingdom, which is not the prettiest place to be, trust me I’ve spent three years there,” He said another shudder passing his skin.
“I need to find Karasu, I’m worried about him, he said that I have to go to the council,” He said.
“The council of Aellea, that is where they meet,” Said Howl.
The rest of the train ride went on in silence, Kage had left the cart and went back towards the front of the train.
“What do you plan to do,” Said Howl looking at Yume.
“What do you mean?”
“What do you plan to do in saving our realm,” He repeated.
“I don’t know, Karasu said that I had to find a way to summon the Guardians of the realms, and ask them to rise the Gods to destroy the evil that lurks within it, but now I’m afraid to considering that the evil is my mother,” He said sighing.
“Don’t go feeling sentimental, if you are capable of destroying the evil creature inside of her, I’m sure your mother’s soul would be very weak,” Howl said.
“Then I’ll heal her, return her back to her normal state, then she can reclaim the throne and I can help her clean up the mess that the creature had made,” Yume said smiling softly.
“There will be war you know, a great battle, it is foreseen in old legends, when the young prince at last returns to his kingdom, shall hence forth arise an army to rebell against the wickedness that has spawned in the once beautiful kingdoms, and imagination shall once again be restored to both realms,” He said smiling.
Yume pulled out his wand that was supposedly a gift from his mother. He felt the black obsidian, allowed his fingers to brush against the ruff surface. He looked towards the handle to see the wolf’s head, it was howling and had its eye open, towards the middle of the handle was a diamond shape that leads downward towards the tip of the wand, it measured at least 8’15, and weighted practically nothing, and the markings on it shimmered a maroon red color.
“Beautiful, it is,” Said Howl looking towards Yume’s wand.
“Those are very rare, wizard and witches don’t use them anymore, for magic is within them, wands just help control the magic, so it doesn’t drain their aura as fast, you see most magic folk obtain the aura through their blood, when using it can weaken them, that is why you must be careful when practicing earthbound spells, for you use the earth’s energy when casting them,” Said Howl smiling.
Yume looked at Howl for a second, and then back at his wand. He closed his eyes, imagining a thread of light submerging from the tip of the wand, he pictured it to be an ice blue color, an illuminating ice blue that would destroy the darkness around them. He kept picturing it in his mind, keeping his eyes closed. An electric feeling began to overcome him, it was a strange feeling, a feeling that he had never felt before, it was as if someone was wrapping their arms around him in a protective way, someone watching over his shoulder, making sure that he was safe. Then a soft melody began to fill the air, the same song that his mother had sung to him when he was younger.
He opened his eyes and beams of blue light were floating out from the tip of the wand, and casting themselves around the cart, suddenly they shot through the walls and suddenly the cart lurched and nearly turned itself over, like something was pushing it. It made Yume tumble over forward and accidently crashed into Howl.
“What is going on?!” Growled Howl looking around, suddenly the cart door opened and there stood Kage smirking.
“Time to make our great escape!” He shouted as then another thrash occurred, this time the cart broke off the train that sped through the tracks and flung itself across the water, floating like a balloon in the water.
Yume gasped, opening his eyes wondering what had just happened. He looked around trying to regain his baring’s.
“Come on Howl, help me pry the wood open so we can get some daylight,” Kage said banging his shoulder against the floating cart.
“What happened?” Murmured Yume as he rubbed his head.
“Your magic separated the cart from the train,” Howl said grunting as he rose up to his feet and slammed himself up against the wood, it began to give way and a piece of wood had fallen off and flung itself into the water. A beam of sunlight escaped through the open hole, and Yume was now capable of seeing Howl. He had the face of a wolf, a long muzzle, ears, and sharp teeth, and pure white fur, he wore pure white robes that flowed down to his ankles, he had those same green eyes, and a scar that ran from his right eye all the way down to his neck, and he had snow white hair.
“Yes, I’m a White Wizard,” Howl said seeing Yume examine his features.
“White Wizard you say?” Said Kage smiling.
“Two wizards and a Halfling,” Said Kage.
“Exciting,” He added hoisting himself out of the crate to rest upon the flat that wasn’t underwater.
“Well come on you two, we need to peddle our way towards the surface,” Kage said sighing.
“Or, we can just do this,” Said Howl raising a hand into the air, however it wasn’t a hand, it was a paw. He then twisted it to the left, and allowed his index finger to sway gently to the right in three circular motions, suddenly the crate began to take flight across the water without anything or anyone pushing it, it was as if the water itself was dragging it across the flat surface. Soon a large dark shadow of an island approached Yume’s view.
After a long period of waiting, they were at last on dry land. Yume knew this because he could hear seagulls in the distance, and there was sand seeping out of the crate. Howl and Kage were both gone as well, he most had fallen asleep during the journey. He jumped out from the crate and looked around himself, what met his eyes was just beyond anything he had seen.
A large forest towered over him, its trees were very tall, taller than the trees back at home. Their leaves were colored a deep purple which was the only thing that differed them from the trees at home. He saw Kage walking around the beach side looking for firewood, but did not see Howl anywhere.
“There you are sleepy head, welcome to the Northern Kingdom of Aura Glass,” Said Kage as he walked towards Yume with a pile of wood in his arms.
“Where did Howl go?” Asked Yume looking at around.
“He went out to hunt, he smelt some really good Gedels nearby,” He said.
“What is a Gedel?” Yume asked.
“A half and half, half gazelle half deer,” Said Kage.
“Though their meat is rather gamy it’s still better than nothing,” He smiled and then set the wood down and began digging a pit in the sand.
“Oh and we’re fugitives for some odd reason, I tried going near the city that is close by and they have posters of us, wanted dead or alive,” He said shuddering.
“Wow, news goes out fast around here,” Yume sighed softly. That was great, he was new to this world and was already an outlaw.
“Why aren’t we in the Eastern kingdom wasn’t that where we were headed?” Asked Yume.
“Well in this world there are no directions, we just call them those names because we were inspired by the names that your people have done for your directions,” Said Kage.
“Oh,” Replied Yume.
Suddenly a sound was heard within the boarder of the forest, and Howl immerged from the woods carrying what Yume guessed was a Gedel which had the body of a white tailed deer, and then the horns of a gazelle.
The fire was burning brightly, keeping away the night that lingered at their feet. Yume, Kage, and Howl were eating the half breed animal enjoying its tasty morsel.
“We have to get to the Palace of Glass, there is the kaleidoscope tower where the Lords withhold their private meetings, you have to prove yourself worthy of attending, for they don’t take outsiders very likely,” Said Howl.
“And how do you suspect us to get to the palace without being caught by guards since our wanted posters are hanging everywhere?” Asked Kage holding up three pieces of paper with all of their drawings on it.
“I never thought of that one,” Said Howl sighing slightly.
“Welcome to our world son, where people are willing to toss you out just to save their own necks, we have to keep you hidden because spirits don’t take likely to your kind, however we must find the rebellion against the Queen to get you to safety, there you’ll be able to make a few friends that won’t want to kill you,” He said smiling.
“Where is the hide out now, I mean they change every new moon and full moon,” Howl said.
“I think if I remember correctly they moved to the Valley of Stars where no wonderers could come across them,” Kage said straightening out his hair, as he did it changed into a sort of lavender color like that of the train.
“We’ll need new cloths and hair,” Said Kage walking towards Howl placing his hand upon his scalp, the snow white hair then changed to a wild green with darker green highlights, he then walked towards Yume and Yume glowered at him.
“We need to do it for safety,” Said Kage seeing his look.
“No one, touches the hair,” Snarled Yume.
“Howl?”
Howl rose up and walked towards Yume; he then wraps his arms around him tightly, Yume grunts and struggles to break free of the wolf’s grasp. Kage stepped forward and placed his hand on Yume’s hair as it changed to a natural blue color.
“There we go,” Said Kage smiling rather wickedly seeing the expression on Yume’s face.
“My beautiful hair,” Sobbed Yume looking at the blue locks, it was longer to. He glared at Kage; he now had a passion of hatred for a short while for him.
“Now let’s move, the sooner we get to town, the sooner we can change our cloths, specially you Yume, you look…unnatural,” He said grinning again placing sand upon the fire making it sizzle.
“Water makes smoke, we don’t need to have guards nor hunters know our trail,” He said.
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