Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2019 finalist, Troy Koh! Troy finished 4th grade this past school year. The story he submitted is called “Journey for the Lost Brothers” 


Journey for the Lost Brothers
By Troy Koh

PROLOGUE

“We have to get them though!” said the first voice.

“Then send the spirit Buffalo,” said the second voice. “No, even better, The Death Adder.”

“Are you sure we should use our resources like this?” said the first voice.

“Decide what we should do then, actually send Terreatnia!”

“Black Death, if you would?”

“Yes, the black eagle will do for now.”

“Then send him to the nebulans.”

“My Lord why do we need to kill them?” A third voice said.

“Why not? And do not upset me or I will exterminate.” The word rolled off his lips as he ‘exterminated’ 17 other people.

“My Lord, we won’t have other wars if it is only one big battle!”

“Alright, we will let them live for the sake of another war.”

“May The Rouge Land win!”

“May The Rouge Land win!” the chant echoed around the dungeon from the castle of the Rouge in the middle of the Rouge Land.

“His father died a hero in war. His mother died giving birth.
Please, Take care of him, his name is Wade.”

I looked up.

“What?” I said in confusion, looking up at the man who had adopted me then looking back at the note. “I don’t have a last name?”

The man shook his head.

“You do.” Then he whispered quietly, “Do you remember being born a triplet?”

As soon as the words left his mouth I had a sudden flashback. I saw myself being loaded onto a ship away from… me? Then I realized…

“Will…” I said instinctively.

“Yes,” the man said. I jerked my head toward the man, remembering he was still there.

“Will,” I said. “He was my brother, right?”

“Yes, sorry I haven’t introduced myself. My name is Peter Hasender.” Mr. Hasender said. Then he said, “Do you remember the other triplet?”

I shook my head sadly.

“No.”

“Then we’ll look for Will, okay?”

I nodded. Then I said, “Wait, where is Will?”

“Hmmm, so many questions. You’re the opposite of a computer, and Will, he is on the Nargrasian Islands.”

“What?” I said. I had only heard of Quinten, which is where I lived, and the name Quinten for the King Quinten, who founded this land.

“How are we going to get to Will?” I asked.

Probably just going by boat, I thought, almost anything was like that.

“Nope,” he said, smiling as if he could read my mind.

“W-what?” I stammered.

“Yes, of course, we’re going underground,” Mr. Hasender said.

A thought nagged at the back of my mind, something connected with underground and Nargrasia. As we were going underground, scuttling noises could be heard from almost any direction. Mr. Hasender said to try not to look or hear and I was pretty sure they looked gross and to make it better I took his advice. The journey was long and tiring, but the determination to see my brother drove me on. Mr. Hasender said that we were going to meet to our destination soon. Although Mr. Hasender was leading me, I had a feeling we were going north even though Nargrasia was west. Every day, Mr. Hasender checked this weird thing. It was shiny, silver, and fit around his wrist, so I figured it must be a bracelet, although when I asked him if it was bracelet, he said a type, but if you knew what it was you wouldn’t call it that. The next day, I saw him put something out of his bag. It was the same type of thing, only with a different symbol. For the next few days, we just slept, ate, walked, slept, ate, walked, slept, ate, walked over and over. Then the day after, we got there! Mr. Hasender showed me something. He put a bracelet on me, I said something weird that even I didn’t understand and a wisp of blood red air came out, then went back in. He said, “Wow, you’re a natural.” The coming day, we went to what looked like a castle. Inside it was definitely a castle, however it was still running, then immediately Mr. Hasender bowed to the throne

“Huh,” I said. No one was there though? Then, when I looked closer, I saw someone painted exactly as the throne on the throne. Immediately the person (who I guessed was the king) rose.

“Rise Wa…”

Then I remembered

“William,” I whispered.

“…de.” The king finished. And of course I rose. Then the king turned to Mr. Hasender. “Have you told him the fake prophecy”

I remembered.

“Three shall be the ones, Two shall ruin it, One shall die, while the others live, one shall be turned, another will change, the last will…”

“Yes, unfortunately no one has the knowledge of the rest of the prophecy,” Mr. Hasender sighed.

However, for me something clicked and then fell apart.

“Will, come out,” Mr. Hasender said. Will came out, just the same as me.

“Will!” “Wade!” we cried out to each other, embracing in a brotherly way.

“Where have you been, Will!” I asked.

“Well here in the Duok they treated me nicely and they said you would come so I stayed here,” Will said.

“Wait, is William here? Hold on, the Duok?”

“Yeah, but no, William isn’t here.”

“Wait, no not really!” I said, pleading into their eyes to find hope that it would be all right but found the truth.

THE SECOND WORLD WAR HAS BEGUN.
THE SECOND WORLD WAR HAS BEGUN.
THE SECOND WORLD WAR HAS BEGUN.
THE SECOND WORLD WAR HAS BEGUN.
THE SECOND WORLD WAR HAS BEGUN.

The message kept on repeating in my head as I laid down on my bed. Even Will had frozen and turned toward them to realize the shock. The first World War had lasted a century, and at least 200,000 people died from each land: Quentin, The Duok, and The Three Hidden Realms. The Three Hidden Realms had ended the war with a prophecy and a treaty. Although they did that, right after they hid themselves from the rest of the world. Ironically, I was taught they named themselves after our three worlds then in the war they left one messenger. That messenger had died saving everyone else though, so I guess that counts for being good. Eventually I fell into a nightmare.

William panicked. The hounds were going to find him. He grew up having only two things to distinguish himself from everyone else; he had what looked like a watch or a bracelet, and he had no last name. The bullies had called him William NO NAME, he always hated that name, and to make it worse he would have tackled them if he wouldn’t have gotten in trouble.

“Darn you,” William cursed, if those tattle-tailing bullies hadn’t told everything he would’ve escaped that dreadful beast who kept on hunting him. Then realizing he was cornered, he rubbed the watch thingy that had once saved him. Anyway, as he rubbed he said something raspy, and a huge neon dragon made of smoky light formed. Meanwhile…

In the arena, Will and I, I guess were practicing. I could make a huge blood red dragon appear, while Will could make a yellow dragon appear. Mr. Hasender said that soon enough we would be able to make them fully materialize completely.

In the gloomy dark tight space, William screamed as the hounds got closer. The hounds snarled menacingly.

This is it, they said next it would be death to the hounds, William thought sadly. The foul stench from trash and the hounds’ breath got closer. Then the dragon grabbed him with its paw and flew out of there.

“Yes!” William shouted triumphantly. I’m out of here! thought William, then, “Oh no, where am I going?” William shrieked at the dragon.

One hour later, William said, “ Hey, is that a castle?” The dragon growled.

Inside … “Hey, is that William riding a drag…” Will faltered.

“NNnnnnnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooo!” I sobbed.

William was waving to his brothers when a huge blackish purple eagle came out of nowhere and knocked into him and sent him off his dragon

“Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh,” William screamed as he was enveloped by the… darkness? Wait, a portal!

How much worse could this get? Little did William know that he was going to fall into a cold place and that he was going to fall head-first into a big rock before getting knocked out.

“Nnnnoooo!” he screamed before he was all the way through the portal. In the portal it was icily cold, and to make it worse it got a freaking amount colder when he came out, and that’s what he felt before slamming into a rock and blacking out.

For the next month me and Will doubled our training time: four times a day, and by the end of the week we were past our masters. My dragon had to stay blood red but it could change shape at my will. Now instead of a stare, it was blood red eyes full of hatred reflecting my feelings for the person or maybe even people who did this. The training was so intense that Mr. Hasender had suggested asking the dragons to give us strength. Once I grew fiery wings, some other times I could turn into a dragon. One month passed and Mr. Hasender said, “Time to name your dragons.”

I named mine Delta, Will named his Zeal. Days of training passed and finally on the forty eighth day Mr. Hasender said that we were ready to go looking for William.

On the other side of a nebula, William was walking slowly away thinking what if these guys have captured me for the good?

“No,” he said aloud. They would have talked the other side into giving me over. But the other half of him thought, What if they knew the other side wouldn’t have given you over? But he would be happier with his brothers. Slowly he began to stash food. He would escape, he would go back to his brothers.

Will and I were flying. We only took Mr. Hasender along, otherwise the dragons would get tired too easily. Recently, I had gotten Delta to change color and now he could change into an ice dragon. Zeal could also change, so once we spotted William, our dragons changed to ice mode and we dove toward the nebula. Mr. Hasender said the nebulans did not like visitors without permission, so it would be as if we were going on a death mission because they especially would not like visitors who want to take one of them.

“They are the reason the First World War started. Another planet’s spaceship came and took one of their own so this nebula’s people went there and killed the person. However the people of that planet didn’t know how dangerous taking people from that nebula was, so they waged a war, so naturally the others had to also take sides. Only one organization didn’t join, the Three Realms. Anyhow they stopped the war,” Mr. Hasender explained.

“Hold on,” I said. “Was it only I who got the letter, or did William and Will also get the letters?”

“Oh, do you mean this?” Will produced a letter with a cheeky grin.

“His father died a hero in war. His mother died giving birth.
Please, Take care of him, his name is Will.”

“Yes! Why didn’t you show it to me earlier!” I said.

“Oh, I thought if you didn’t have it you might have gotten embarrassed,” Will said over the roaring wind.

“Hey, there’s a person,” I yelled.

“Duck!”

We followed it without hesitation as arrows whizzed over our heads.

“Nevermind, there are people,” I shouted.

“As if I had no eyes,” Will hollered back at me.

“This is no time for chatting!” Mr. Hasender said.

William focused. He heard someone yell, “They’ve been lured here!”

“Ready the traps!” someone else yelled.

William started to wriggle out of his cell. He needed to tell them he was about to escape! Then he knew.
“Lacamarsa locotimen,” he whispered. The same neon dragon floated out and whizzed out, burning a hole for him.

“Yes!” He pumped his fist then crawled out he ran, then whistled for his dragon. He jumped on as his dragon Quebek enlarged. He rode him out with the chaos leading to a doorway for him. He flew out to see his brothers fighting.

“WADE, WILL, I’M HERE!” William screamed at us.

We slowly backed away until we were out of range.

“William!” I shouted.

“Let’s get back to the mansion and give you a good meal for training.” Mr. Hasender said, as he said those words I looked at him with disbelief.

“Uh, more training?” I asked.

“Yes, a feast and party, but I’m afraid this won’t be it. They will relentlessly attack us until they get…” He looked at William, then after a while Mr. Hasender smiled. “I know! All we have to do is put a fake William out and they will kill the fake William,” his grin widened, “And to add to the chaos we can choose a dead body that way it will look like one of them killed the fake William.”

The next few days we celebrated, had a feast, and brought William up to our training level. Mr. Hasender even showed us his ‘spirit.’ His was a stoat named Leo. Then one day a message came that hardened Mr. Hasender’s face.

“What was in the message?” I asked.

Mr. Hasender sighed. “One of our people has been separated from her animal, it gets really saddening.” Then he looked up determined. “We are going to get that animal.”

Some days later, I asked Mr. Hasender if the Second World War had actually begun.

“So the war hasn’t begun?” I asked, chuckling a bit to myself. His face changed from the pondering face back into the sad, hardened face, and he sighed.

“I’m afraid the war will only get worse. After we find the animal I want to visit The Three Realms to find the answer to all these wars.” He ended with a little sigh.

Well, at least we have each other, I thought.

The Sequel To The Next Short Story

“Knock, knock, knock,” they rapped on the door.

“Miss Winter, Katie,” they called. They then heard a lot of sobbing and, “Hello, who is it?”

“We found your spiritish thingy.”

They showed a majestic deer.

“No it’s another FAKE!” Katie screamed. “They keep putting out fakes!”

“Are you sure she hasn’t gone mad?” the person whispered to Miss Winter.

“FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE!”

I gasped, waking up from my nightmare with the eternal “FAKE” still ringing in my ears. I sighed. The mission would be impossible if the dream were true. Well, not impossible, but pretty impossible.

A Quest To Find The Lost Animal

PROLOGUE

“Bring some food,” Mr. Hasender called to us in our room when we were packing for the long journey.

“I have beef jerky, raw steak, a pack of vegetables, and a pack of other stuff,” I called back down to him.

“And for the clothes?”

“I have everything ready.”

“What about arm-guard?”

“Oh I have those on right now.”

“Good you’re supposed to wear them during the whole trip.”

“What?” I said. “We’re supposed to wear them the whole trip?”

“Yes, now stop repeating what I say.”

During the “break” which was just the period of celebration when William had just come back, we had all grown a lot. Well, so had everyone else, but we just had a longer sleep period. Our dragons and Leo have had a good rest, they have been resting since William came. But yesterday the training kept on being interrupted with yawns and growls because the dragons were still sleepy. After they got used to being woken up, Mr. Hasender showed us how to find a spirit and how to find a normal animal, and how to know the difference. The journey there was supposed to be long because it was on a different planet. Planet travel isn’t hard for us though, because the atmosphere is always breathable, I guess it is because we don’t have those machine things that are supposed to come out in 750 years, those are supposed to pollute your world. Anyway, the journey was long, and along the way we caught some meat and saw some other people they were just awed by us I’d like to say but actually they ran for their lives. Three days later we finally got there, at first I was happy we got there but I remembered my nightmare. I shuddered with one question in my head: who was ‘They’ from the bad dream? We, as in me, William, and Will, told Mr. Hasender about our dreams.

“Oh ‘they’ probably means the other land.”

“The Rouge Land.” I shuddered. They had been the most violent and had been the last to sign the agreement. “I think they are just making things dangerous and want to get everyone riled up so that another World War will begin.”

“Uh, hasn’t another world war already begun?”

“Yes, thanks to what they did.”

William’s jaw dropped as fast as a rock then was pulled back up just as fast. “Really? I thought that was us who had caused the war?” He said honestly. He had really grown to appreciate things after the whole slamming-into-a-rock-and-feeling-like-he-had-just-broken-every-bone-before
-blacking-out-thing. Sadly, at first we had no idea where we were supposed to go.

“Hey, how about we keep on going straight until w-”

“C’mon, let me join your talk of some weird language,” Mr. Hasender said.

“What do you mean?”

Suddenly Mr. Hasender turned around and stared at us. “We need to have a meeting with the council.”

“Uh, council?”

“The people who made this– organization.,” He explained.

The meeting was held in a large circular room. Tthere were seven chairs for the councilors and more for random people. Sadly, one of those people would be me.


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