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We looked down on the village. My mind was with those poor elves. We had to act fast. Those demons were strong enough to destroy every elf in the village. We could only hope that our magic would be strong enough to save the elves. From here, up the hill, all seemed quiet in the village. It was really a peaceful sight.
"They are fighting." James said.
He was standing next to me, on my right side.
"Yeah, I know."
Then, for a few moments, James and me looked eachother in the eye.
"It's time." James said silently.
Then, we ran to the village. We had to save our magical powers, so we didn't teleport. We just walked, like humans. We looked like humans too. When we were among humans, they could never tell about our magical powers. But today, we had to save elves. Elves had magical powers too. In fact, they had strong magical powers. It was very early morning and the landscape looked very lovely. Birds were singing. The sunlight was shining between the trees. We followed the path down the hill. When we reached the village, all was still very quiet. Were they still sleeping? Maybe the village was empty? We walked to the gate. James opened it. Then, a demon attacked us. It screamed and quickly attacked us with its magical powers. My body hurt, I couldn't move anymore. We had underestimated these demons. Suddenly, the pain was gone. The demon was gone too.
"He will come back." James said. "He survived..."
I nodded. We never used our magic to hurt anyone. This was an unusual situation. We had come to help because the elves were in great danger. I had a close look around. All was silent. Nothing moved.
"They are hiding somewhere." James said.
I nodded and got up. The village still looked the same. I headed for one of the houses.
"Are you a wizard?" someone behind me asked.
The elf smiled.
"Thanks for coming." he said.
"The demon escaped."
"I know..."
The elf looked down and said nothing. I could see that the demon had made life very difficult for him.
"Let's sit down." I said.
The elf agreed and we headed for a bench.
"Tell me what happened."
"Suddenly, that demon was here. We tried to defend ourselves, but we're just too weak. He wants our magical powers. He wants to become stronger, I think. My magical powers are very weak now."
Then, the elf looked me in the eye.
"There was nothing we could do to stop him." he said.
"I know."
Then, the elf had a look around.
"He'll be back soon."
I had a look around too. The square was almost empty. I saw two elves lying on the ground.
"They are sleeping. They have slept for weeks."
"We came as soon as possible."
The elf nodded. If only we had arrived here sooner. That demon had probably become stronger during the past few weeks.
"We didn't know about this. We found out by chance."
"He knew you would help us." the elf said.
I had a look around. Maybe our magical powers had really weakened that demon. Maybe we had a chance. Suddenly, we heard a scream. We got up. It was clear that someone needed our help. We found James and two elves. All three of them had been attacked by the demon. I could see it. This time, the pain didn't fade away. Their bodies just kept hurting. That monster wasn't that weak after all. I found out that I was too weak for him. I expected him to attack me too. We were trapped. It was wrong to think that way. James and the elves needed me, but I couldn't help it. I couldn't think positive. Suddenly, I found myself in a strange place. Where was I? This was not the Elfvillage! What had happened? This had to be a trick of the demon. What was he up to? I had to be very alert.
"Don't be afraid." a voice said.
I was in a strange hall with a very beautiful young woman. She was wearing a long, green coat.
"I don't like that demon either." she smiled.
"Who are you?"
"Just a wizard... Like you. You were too weak for him, huh?"
"Yes... How did you know?"
"James told me. He knew you would need my help. Poor elves..."
"Where is he?"
"He got wounded." she said.
"I want to see him."
"Relax. I won't harm you."
I still found it very weird. I only had her word. Yes, she seemed to have strong magical powers, but that didn't mean I could trust her. Maybe she was an ally of the demon? She could be lying.
"You will have to trust me, boy. I am much stronger than you." she said.
"What happens now?"
"I am trying to stop him. I don't like his plan."
"What plan?"
"The elves are important."
Then, she left. I was alone in the strange hall now. My footsteps echoed when I began to walk. It was a bit cold here.
"James!?" I screamed.
But I got no answer. The other rooms were all empty. Later, I found the stairs to the basement. James wasn't there either and I got really worried about him. There was no point in staying here so I returned upstairs. Suddenly, a little girl appeared behind me.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"Tarol. My mother has sent me here..." she said.
For a while, she just looked at me, as if she was very surprised.
"Where are we?" I asked.
"This is Yion's castle. This is where she teaches me."
"Who's Yion?"
"She is one of the most powerful wizards there is. She got you here."
"The lady in the green coat?"
Tarol nodded.
"Yeah... She has a green coat."
"I believe I've already met her."
Then, she smiled.
"Do you know where my friend is?" I asked her.
She was surprised.
"Your friend?! You mean...? There are two of you here?!"
"Yes. My friend got wounded. I'm worried about him."
For a moment, she just looked at me with big eyes.
"I can't help you, I'm afraid." she said. "Need to get back to my lessons. See you."
Then, she vanished. I was alone again. I kept looking for James, but I coudn't find him. After a while, I began to think that he wasn't here. Suddenly, Yion came back.
"That demon is stronger than I thought." she said.
"Where's James?" I asked.
"Relax. We're taking care of him."
"Who's we?"
"Me and my pupils. He should be cured soon."
"I want to see him."
"You have to be patient. I don't want anything to go wrong. If you go and see him, you would only distract my pupils, so wait here. There's nothing you can do for him."
"I have magical powers too, you know." I said sharply.
"I know, I know, but you don't have the right spells... He's seriously wounded. Like I said: that demon is very strong."
"I hope you're telling the truth."
"I'm not a liar." Yion said and I had the impression that she was offended.

A week had gone by and I still hadn't seen James. Yion kept telling me that he was curing. It just took time to heal the wounds.
"I know that this isn't easy, but all is going well." she said.
I wanted to believe her, but I shook my head.
"How do I know if you are telling the truth?" I asked.
"Trust me. There's no need to worry about your friend. You should be relieved. He's in very good hands."
"I really need to see him."
"No. It's still too dangerous. He was almost killed. Why don't you trust me? I saved you!"
"I know, it's just... I need to see him. I can't... I can't just wait and do nothing. You have to understand."
"It's too dangerous."
"I can't take this anymore."
"I'm doing the best I can. There's no other way. You don't have the right spells and there's no time to teach you. That's the way it is."
Then, she put her hand on my shoulder.
"Try to be optimistic."
Then, she vanished. I was alone again. I felt so powerless. This was a nightmare. Was James going to be alright? How were my other friends doing? Were they looking for me and James? What had happened to the elves? So many questions, but Yion had only told me that she needed all her powers, that she was doing everything she could to save James and the elves. She had also said that there was still hope. Luckily, Tarol came to see me almost every day. She told me a lot of interesting things. Yion was a very powerful wizard with countless spells who was willing to teach some of them to Tarol and her friends. It wasn't easy and it would take several years, but Tarol was willing to work hard. She was really a nice girl and I liked her. She was also curious about my spells and my friends and kept asking questions about it. But of course she had to study and practice her spells and today, she hadn't come to see me yet. I knew that I couldn't take this for much longer. My spell for teleporting was blocked, so there was no way out. I had access to several halls and rooms, but they were all empty. At least, I could easily practice my spells. I wondered if there was any point in practicing, but I said one of my spells anyway. Later that day, Yion came back.
"Something went wrong." she said. "Don't worry, James is alright, but the elves aren't. We have to act fast!"
"Yes. I need you. This is something you can help me with."
The next moment, me and Yion were in a strange wood. The trees had very big leaves and there was a strange kind of light.
"Where are we?" I asked.
"This is where the evil wizards live. They are helping the demons."
I was shocked.
"How... How strong are they?"
"Don't worry, I'm much stronger and together we can easily defeat them."
I had another look around. This place looked quite nice. I had never seen something like this before.
"Come. Let's go." Yion said.
I followed her through the wood. This place was really calm. There was no sign from the wizards. All was silent. I could only hear our footsteps. Yion kept walking without saying a word because she needed to concentrate for the spells she was going to need. There were a lot of rumours about the evil wizards. No-one believed they were weak and they were clearly stronger than the demons. Suddenly, I heard a noise behind me. I turned around and saw one of the demons. He screamed at me. I wanted to say one of my spells, but suddenly, he fell on the ground. He could hardly move. He lifted one of his paws a little and then he gave up. I just kept watching him without saying or doing anything. Yion grabbed my arm.
"Come on. Let's go." she said.
"He's not defeated." I said.
"I know. I have to save my magical powers. I will need them later."
We just kept walking through the wood and I wondered if there were any more demons going to show up. Yion kept walking without saying a word. After a while, I got tired, but I didn't want to complain. Suddenly, I noticed a big castle. It was very high and proved that those wizards were far from weak.
"That's where they live." Yion said.
"Very big..."
"Yeah..." Yion smiled.
"Are we going inside?" I asked.
She nodded.
"We have to."
I had a close look at the castle and realised that those wizards were very dangerous.
"They don't know we're here." Yion said.
I nodded. Suddenly, I noticed that Yion was very alert.
"They will notice us if we come closer. We'll have to teleport." she said.
The next moment, we were in a dark, cold room. There was only one torch and I could hardly see Yion.
"Where are we?"
My voice echoed.
"We're in the basement." Yion said quietly. "It's the only place where they can't detect us."
Suddenly, I heard footsteps. I could see the silhouette of someone.
"Hi..." Yion said.
The stranger said nothing, as if he or she didn't trust us.
"We have come to help you." Yion continued.
"Have you?" the stranger asked flatly.
He had a very deep voice and I suddenly felt sorry for him.
"Yes. We are wizards with strong magical powers. We can get you out of here."
Now, I heard more footsteps. Suddenly, I heard a scream. A strange light appeared in the basement and a demon showed up. He was very tall. Now, I could see the others. I noticed that they were elves. They all had a strange look in their eyes. And they were clearly afraid of the demon.
"Don't worry. He won't notice us." Yion said quietly.
I was relieved to hear that. The demon grabbed one of the elves and stared at him. Nobody moved or said anything. Then, after staring for a while, the demon began to scream again. Suddenly, the guy began to scream too. Then, the demon dropped him and left. It was dark again. Yion went to have a look at the poor man.
"They stole his magical powers." she said.
"That's right. That's why they brought us here... to steal our magical powers." a young woman said.
It was very dark there, so I couldn't see her properly.
"How come he didn't take you?" a young guy asked.
I could hear that he didn't trust us.
"That demon was very weak... almost too weak to see us. Someone is using him." Yion said.
She had another look at the man who had been grabbed by the demon. It was very dark, but I could see that he just lay there without moving.
"I can't help him, but I think he's going to be alright." she said.
Then, all was quiet. No-one was doing anything. Suddenly, the door opened and a stranger entered the basement. He had a torch, so I could see how he grabbed one of the elves and took him along. The door closed behind him and all was quiet and dark again.
"That was close." Yion said.
She was clearly relieved.
"This one was much stronger... He might have noticed us." she confessed.
"His spells are different than mine. It's not easy." she explained.
"What happens now?"
"I have to know more about their spells. I'm not sure how strong they are." Yion said.
"What are you two doing?" one of the elves asked.
"I was just saying that those wizards have strange spells. I'm not sure how strong they are." Yion said.
The elf didn't say anything.
"Are you there?" Yion asked.
"Who are you?"
"Me and my friend are good wizards. We want to save you... Don't be afraid."
But the elves were afraid. They were afraid to come near us. Yion took my hand.
"They will find us and they'll try to steal our magical powers." she said. "This castle is filled with their magic."
"You had a plan." I said.
"Yeah... but their spells are very strange."
This didn't sound good.
"Maybe we should leave." I said.
"No. We can't leave. The elves won't survive without us. They are slowly killing the elves."
I was shocked. For a few moments, nothing happened. All was quiet, nobody moved. None of the elves was talking. This castle was a terrible place, but what could I do? Yion wasn't doing anything and James wasn't here. This was going wrong.
"Don't be afraid." Yion said.
First, I thought she was talking to the elves, but then I realised she was talking to me!
"Don't be." she said.
"But we have to do something!"
"I am. I'm exploring their magic."
"I'm doing the best I can."
So, Yion and I stayed in that basement with the elves. It was very boring, but the evil wizards left us alone.

Finally, Yion grabbed my arm.
"Let's go." she said silently. "Just trust me, alright?"
She teleported us to another room. This room looked much nicer than the basement. There was a small window and there were several torches. In the middle of the room, there was a big, wooden table. The walls were made of big, grey stones. On the floor, there was a carpet. Suddenly, the door swung open and a strange man entered the room. He was surprised to see us.
"Who are you?!" he asked.
"We are wizards. Can we have a talk?"
"What do you want?" the man asked sharply.
But Yion wasn't impressed. She walked towards him.
"I know that your friends are much stronger than you." she said.
The man was very surprised and shocked.
"Don't deny it. It's true. I know how I can help you." she said.
The stranger looked her in the eye and I could see that he didn't trust her.
"I could make you stronger... I know thousands of spells." Yion said.
"How did you get here?" the man asked.
"We teleported... I know you're trying to hide here, but I found it anyway." Yion answered.
Now, the stranger had a look at me.
"He's a friend of mine. He is willing to help me."
"Help you with what?"
"With making you stronger, of course!"
Now, she put her hand on his cheek.
"I know they're treating you unfairly." she said.
"What's it to you?"
"We're wizards. We have to be strong."
Then, she said one of her spells. After that, she walked towards me.
"I could do more if you want."
The man was clearly impressed and confused. Yion laughed and sat on the table.
"I could change the whole situation." she said.
The man was too shocked to say anything. Yion had a big smile on her face.
"Go on. Go and see your friends and try the new powers I gave you." she said.
But the man didn't leave. He walked towards her.
"You're not supposed to be here."
"Don't be stupid. We've come to help you!"
"Mind your own business." the man said.
"Don't you want the new powers? I know you could use them. And this is only the beginning. Maybe... you could become stronger than all the others."
She jumped off the table.
"We'll be back." she said.
The next moment, she teleported us back to the basement.
"What are you doing?!" I asked her.
"Trust me."
"But you're making them stronger!"
"No! Not at all. Just wait and see."
I shook my head.
"It doesn't make sense."
"It does. It's just not as easy as I thought." Yion said.
Could I really trust her? Was she really here to help the elves? I didn't know what to think anymore. It was so bizarre!
"Look, things didn't go as planned, but I still believe it will work." she said.
"And what if it doesn't?"
"I can always take those powers back."
One of the elves had come near us. He could hear what we said.
"Don't worry, alright?" Yion said to him.
The elf just stared at her. I felt really sorry for him. And now that evil wizard had become stronger! Suddenly, Yion walked away from me and the elf. She knew I was confused. The elf still didn't say a word. For a long time, nothing happened. I even fell asleep. Suddenly, one of the evil wizards came to get another elf. I was surprised that he didn't see me and Yion. A few moments later, another wizard opened the door. For a few moments, she just had a look around. She had a torch and I could see her face. I thought that she would see me and Yion, but suddenly, she grabbed one of the elves and stole his magical powers. Then, she left. Yion came to have a look.
"Is he going to be alright?" one of the elves asked.
"Yes, I think so. I wish there was something I could do."
"They always want more and more." a female elf said.
"Yes, I know. I want to stop them." Yion said and she really sounded kind, as if she cared about the elves very much.
Maybe she could be trusted after all. A few moments later, I had a word with Yion in "private". We still had to share the room with the elves, but I really had to ask.
"Why didn't they see us?" I asked her.
"That's because of what I did. The guy wants more... I knew he wanted stronger powers. He was the weakest one of the group. Now, he thinks his dreams can come true. He wants to become the new leader. They're not that strong anymore."
Not that strong anymore?

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The following comments are for "The challenge"
by Stefanie

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