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Chapter Three

By: Emily Wang

The scroll was hardly longer than Ellie’s snout, and it looked old. Ellie was absolutely sure that it would dissolve into dust if she even touched it. But she reminded herself that she needed to find out more about the voices she had heard inside her head. Even still, she eyed it warily, and Nyra had to practically push Ellie before Ellie touched it. Ellie held it delicately in her paws and slowly unfurled it. Inside, hardly bigger than Ellie’s claws, was black, faded lettering. But Ellie could still read it.

“Well,” Ivy said, leaning over Ellie’s shoulder. “Read it!”

Taking a deep breath, Ellie looked at the page and began reading.

“Long ago, during the Creation’s Time, the home we call Askaria was split into two. The two creators, Willow and Loki, had fought over the throne to the land, with Loki storming off, vowing vengeance. He gathered his followers and retreated to the western half of the continent and blocked off all entrances to it by building a wall, or mountain. For decades, he and his followers remained hidden along the western coast. Over time, overhunting and poor water treatment had ruined the place and turned it into dangerous mountain terrain. As word spread, Loki and his followers were known as the “OtherSide.”

After an attempt to make peace ended in bloodshed, Willow decided to accept the fact that Askaria and the OtherSide would never interact again. And after that, there was no longer any interaction with the OtherSide if records are to be confirmed. They are still a mystery to us. But there was one incident.”

“Does it just end there, or did you just forget how to read?” Nyra said. Ellie nodded her head half-heartedly, ignoring the hint of sarcasm. The scroll had told her nothing she wanted to know! It was just boring history she could have easily learned in school!

“Doesn’t it seem weird to you that the scroll would just end that abruptly?” Ivy exclaimed. “I mean, it just feels like there should be more to it.”

“You’re right,” said Ellie, reading the scroll another time. “It is strange that the scroll would just end like that.”

“Do you think it’s unfinished?” Ivy wondered.

“No, because the librarian would never allow anyone to put an unfinished scroll in the library,” Nyra pointed out.

“Then why in the world would it just end? This doesn’t tell me anything I want to know!” Ellie mumbled.

Nyra started to say something, but Ellie didn’t want to hear it. Ellie wanted answers, and bickering wouldn’t give her any. She needed another way to find them.

“Enough,” Ellie growled. “Talking about it won’t tell me anything I want to know. It was my idea to study it, so I am deciding to go somewhere else. I say we should go to your mother, Nyra. Doesn’t she know a lot about the empire’s history?”

“Geez, Ellie. That was a bit passive aggressive,” Nyra hissed.

Ellie was confused. Passive aggressive? What did Nyra think Ellie had said?

“What do you mean?” Ellie asked quizzically.

“You know, Nyra’s right. Your reasoning is flawed, Ellie. Don’t be so full of yourself.” Ivy said, scowling.

I was just suggesting to talk to Nyra’s mother!” Ellie protested.

“Well don’t act like you’re in charge of everything. You’re not the only one who was wondering why you were screaming at the top of your lungs,” Nyra countered.

“Well I just wanted to have some answers!” Ellie argued. “Look, how about we just go to your mother and-

“And I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Nyra said hurriedly. She looked nervous all of a sudden.

“Why not? All we have to do is ask your mother some questions and we’ll be out of there!” Ellie suggested.

“You have no idea what my mother thinks of you!” Nyra suddenly exploded. “Why can’t you just act mature for once?” Nyra yelled, earning a loud “Shush!” from the librarian.

“Fine then! Since you won’t cooperate, I’ll do it without you!” Ellie screamed. She had finally lost it. Her friends wouldn’t listen to her at all! Didn’t they understand that this was her mission?

Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Ivy cast a dark look at Ellie. That was all she needed to see. She spun around and stormed out of the library, slamming the doors behind her.

But before she left, she heard Ivy whisper, “Good riddance.”

And as she ran home, those words were the only thing that played in her head.

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