Allan woke up to a loud sound. Someone was shaking him. “Wake up boy! Come on! Wake up!” Allan opened his eyes and saw Cailean. His eyes were huge. A mixture of sweat, blood and dirt was running down his cheek. “We have to go, NOW!” he screamed. Allan jumped out of the bed, and became dizzy for a second, but before he could even wake up properly, Cailean pulled him out of the room. “What’s happening?” Allan yelled and stopped the little man. “What are you doing?” Cailean said, “We have to go! I’ll explain when we get out of here.” Allan looked doubtingly at him, but followed. As they ran Allan thought he saw glimpses of weird creatures. He heard screams, roars and weird summing noises. When they got out of the building Allan saw it for the first time, it looked like a castle, just slightly smaller, one of the walls was almost torn down, and smoke was escaping from some of the windows. “There you are!” a voice yelled. Allan looked and saw a beautiful tall woman, she reminded him of Laya. She had long shiny black hair and the same yellow eyes. “Hurry up!” she said as she pulled him into a little wooden boat. When they all were safe aboard, Allan and Cailean started rowing. His arms where hurting badly, but he was determined to leave this island pronto. When Dalur had disappeared into the horizon, Cailean stopped rowing. Allan’s arms were burning. “How could those small arms row so fast?” he wondered as he watched Caileans tiny arms. “We’re not safe yet” the woman said, “We have to get to Koltur!” Cailean looked at her. “Koltur? But isn’t that a part of the Serenity isles?” The woman nodded. “But are you crazy? That’s where Domiel will look first! He probably already sent his…” The woman stopped him before Cailean could finish his sentence. “That’s why we have to get there before them! We don’t stand a chance without that damn bird!” Cailean looked at the horizon and didn’t say a word.
The hours went by, and they all sat in silence, the weather seemed the same, but it had turned a little darker. “That’s it,” said Cailean. “That’s Koltur” Cailean was looking at a big island, it was covered by heavy woods. Allan had never seen taller trees in his life. When they arrived at the shore, the woman and Cailean immediately jumped out of the small wooden boat and onto the sand. The dense jungle was only a few meters away from the shore, Allan was almost certain he saw something move, it scared him, he couldn’t imagine what terrifying creatures could hide in that forest. “What now?” Cailean asked, he looked at the woman. “Now,” she said. “We just have to find Royea’s castle.” Allan wasn’t spoken to, and he thought it best not to speak. He just followed them into the jungle. Suddenly something moved beside them, it was fast. “What was that?” Allan screamed. Cailean and the woman looked at each other, they looked very worried. “Don’t worry child, they wont hurt us.” Allan didn’t find him very convincing, but felt safe in the presence of the woman, she seemed like she had something up her sleeve.
After what felt like hours they made it to a giant gate. “Finally!” Cailean said while wiping a drop of sweat of his forehead. “All we have to do now is…” Once again Cailean was stopped before he could finish his sentence, but this time it wasn’t the woman, it was something else. A black creature stepped in front of them, it looked kind of like a wolf, it was huge. It had large red eyes and big claws, it almost looked like it was grinning. Allan almost jumped into the air when the creature started howling, the sound alone gave him chills. Within seconds, more appeared. “There must be at least a dozen!” Allan thought. The woman and Cailean were frozen; they just stared at the black creatures. “Guys?” Allan said; his voice was shaking. The wolf-like creatures started circling them. Seconds seemed like minutes. Suddenly one of the creatures charged, it was headed right towards Allan, he lifted his hands up high for cover and closed his eyes, waiting for the pain, but nothing happened. Instead he heard a loud ‘zapping’ sound, it almost sounded like someone got electrocuted. He opened his eyes only to find the creature lying down next to him, it was still breathing. A huge man appeared from the shadows, he had a wooden staff in his hand. “Go through the gate!” he yelled. The gate had opened. Cailean, the woman and Allan sprinted through it, and before their eyes a huge castle appeared. “Whoah!” Allan said while he stopped to admire it. The castle was taller than the trees, it was simply perfect and golden as the purest of gold. “Welcome the Royea’s castle, young one!” said Cailean. They walked through a garden with perfectly trimmed bushes, some of them were shaped as odd creatures. The castle had two huge golden doors, as they opened a tall golden woman walked out. She had a long beautiful golden dress on, and a little diadem. Her curly golden hair reached her hips and her eyes shined like the sun. “That’s queen Royea” Cailean whispered. Allan couldn’t take his eyes of her. “Welcome to Koltur” she said happily. She spread her arms as if she tried to hug them all, but she was standing several feet away. “Come in, come in!” she said. “You must all be tired and awfully hungry.” And she was right, or at least about Allan. They were led in to a great hall; almost everything was gold, with the most amazing and graceful rose patterns. There was a huge dining table with all the food one could dream of. Allan suddenly found himself drooling, but he quickly removed it with his sleeve. “Please be seated, my guests” she nodded at them and gestured towards the table. Allan ate all his stomach could hold, he had never tasted anything like this.
When they were done a short man wearing a long tuxedo led them into a smaller room with couches and a big fireplace. “Wait here, the queen will be with you shortly” he said, and walked out of the room. Allan, Cailean and the woman all looked awkwardly at each other. Allan wished he knew what the woman was called, but the thought it was embarrassing to ask after all this time, he was just hoping Cailean, or someone else, would call her by her name. “What… what were those creatures?” Allan asked. Cailean looked at his small clumpy hands and said: “Well… they are shadow wolves, they used to protect the castle, but without the stone of serenity they have all gone mad. Domiel has cursed them. Some dwarves from my village call them the damned. They were some of the first to get affected by the disappearance of the stone, now almost everything is ‘damned’.” Cailean rubbed his beard for a while and opened his mouth; “I…” but before he could finish his sentence the doors opened. It was Royea. “Your majesty” the woman said, and curtseyed lightly, Allan and Cailean followed her lead. Royea looked at them all. “Cailean” she said, looking at him. “I thank you for taking this journey for your kingdom.” Cailean bowed. Royea then moved her eyes towards the woman. “Eesa, I thank you for escorting the boy to Gandur, and going to Dhardi, the land of the humans.” Eesa curtseyed again. “So she was the cat!” Allan thought to himself. “And then there is you, young man.” She looked at Allan. He was pretty nervous, what was she going to say? “I have to ask you a great favour” She said, placing her hand kindly on his shoulder. “This country is entering dark times, but the dragon has foretold that you can stop it.” She moved away from him and pointed at a picture on the wall. “This is Domiel,” she said. She pointed at a poster of a rather blurry picture of a pale man with a short black beard. His black eyes were full of hatred, and he held a long curvy wooden staff in his hands. “He is a wizard who possesses great power, he is one of the greatest wizards this land has seen.” She sighed. “The prophecy tells that you are the only one able to get back the stone of serenity and prevent chaos and darkness, only assisted by the fire bird, we call it the phoenix.” She stopped in front of the window and gazed upon the sky. She leaned over the edge , and whistled gently. “Fuego” she whispered. “Fuego, you are needed” she closed her eyes, and once she opened them again, a little ball of fire appeared in the sky. It soon took the shape of a beautiful bird; it was only a bit bigger than a soccer ball. The bird landed gently on Royea’s hand. It looked as if it was burning her skin, but she didn’t react to the flames. “Very few can hold him without getting burnt,” Royea said, as if she had read his mind. “Step up, young one, and give him your hand” Allan hesitated a little bit, the bird looked as if it was on fire, and he could feel the heat, but it felt good. He stretched his arm and the bird immediately took place on it. He could feel the heat, but he didn’t get burnt. Royea smiled fondly. “There is no time to waste!” she said, breaking the silence. “The darkness is already spreading faster than first expected.You must retrieve the stone, and from here, you must travel alone, only accompanied by Fuego here.” she looked at the bird. “I wish you luck” she smiled at him, as if she expected him to grow a pair of wings and just go save the world or something. Suddenly the bird grew bigger on his hand, until he was surrounded by fire, the room turned red and a glimpse of light blinded him.