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The Puppet Master

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It was your average day in Ever After, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and Raven Queen was being antisocial as always. Hiding herself in the library to avoid any conversation with people she either didn’t know or didn’t like, she always found a good book to read while doing this. However, Raven didn’t seem to have any luck when it came to finding a good book today. That is, until she found a mysterious book, hidden near the back of the library, it had a black leather case and there was no title. Raven has taken it out, curiosity getting the better of her. She opened the book and saw in huge letters. THE LEGEND OF THE PUPPET MASTER. “Hm, I’ve never seen this book before...or even heard of this Puppet Master...” She muttered to herself as she flipped over the page.

Soon Raven found herself fascinated by this Puppet Master, finding out no one actually knew their identity, they always wore a mask, she wanted to find out more about this mysterious person then noticed a paragraph at the end.

It said “While the Puppet Master’s identity is unknown, the treasures they’ve managed to claim have been hidden in a cave for many years, many people attempted to claim this treasure as their own. None succeed.” The page after showed a map of the area, Raven soon realised that this was near Ever After. She got up and took the book with her. She pulled out her mirrorphone and texted all the people she needed saying there was a meeting in her and Apple’s dorm.

Soon after that message was sent Raven and Apple were in their room, “So please explain what this situation is about Raven!” Apple said clearly wanting to know why Raven wanted to hold this meeting. Raven shook her head “Wait until the others arrive...” She said

Darling was the first to arrive, followed by Lizzie, Justine then Kitty. Raven then waited for Blondie, Cupid, Briar and Ramona to come in. Everyone needed was in the dorm after a few minutes of waiting. Raven stood up and held out the book. “In the library today I discovered a book I had never seen before, it’s about the Puppet Master. At the end it mentioned the treasure this mysterious person had left behind. And it also has a map showing the area!” She said excitedly.

“So what you want is for all of us to go and find this treasure?” Darling said leaning against the wall. Raven nodded, Lizzie looked at the map, “Raven this doesn’t seem safe...” She said quietly. Raven looked at her, “Lizzie it won’t be dangerous! I promise!” She said smiling brightly.

Without them knowing, a mischievous fairy was listening into the conversation from outside. Faybelle smirked “I’ll just get them to lead me to this treasure and I’ll get rich!” She said chuckling as she left.

Little did all of them know, this adventure for treasure would soon turn into a rescue mission. One that was life risking...

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Mysterious, powerful, heroic, these were the words to describe the Puppet Master, yet they didn’t know the whole story, people didn’t actually realise how powerful this person was. All they actually knew of was their mysterious background and personality. Yet Raven, even if she seemed like she wanted that treasure, was determined to find out this person’s identity. The feeling in her chest made her think that this powerful being wasn’t actually gone. Just hidden, not wanting to be found. 

As the group was nearing the entrance to the cave where the treasures laid, the mischievous fairy was still following, claiming this treasure as hers would put her name in the spotlight at the school. Her mother would be proud of her, and her trickery. 

Blondie was videoing every part of this expedition, she wanted her viewers to see her and the others claim this supposed treasure as theirs. Cupid however, seemed on edge the entire journey, like a certain doom would take them all, but it was probably nothing right? 

They finally arrived at the cave entrance, the top part was covered in moss and webs, these treasures must have been there for years on end, no one seemingly being close to managing to take it as theirs. What could this place have that would stop others from taking this treasure then? Traps? Monsters? Who knows? 

Darling, who was probably the bravest of the group, stepped forward first, using the tip of her sword which she had brought along, to lift up some moss that had overgrown to cover the entrance. She looked back at the group and nodded, “Lets go...” She said calmly as she walked inside. 

Faybelle, the everloving trickster, was keeping her distance so no one could see her. As soon as the last person stepped into the cave she flew in, but stayed at the top. The place being dark enough to make sure she couldn’t be seen. 

Briar squinted ahead, “This place is too dark! We need a flame or something!” She complained. Apple, ready for anything, pulled out a torch from her emergencies pack, flicked it on and handed it to Raven, who was at the front of the group. Raven took it smiled, saying a quick “Thank you” to the princess. 

Raven shone the torch ahead, thankful it was powerful enough to light their path, however, not enough to stop them from walking into cobwebs into rocks that were sticking out. Lizzie had the misfortune of the cobwebs while Faybelle, still hiding, got whacked with a few rocks sticking out from the top. 

Kitty went and helped Lizzie pick out the cobwebs from her hair, hey she may have loved seeing people get pranked by her but she wanted to help her best friend/maybe crush. Ramona and Justine stuck together the entire way in, the roommates were good friends (oh my god they were roommates). Finally, after all the tripping over rocks, huge spiders that should not exist and one heavily swearing Maddie after she realised she forgot to bring tea. They walked into a huge area, stone columns holding up a marble ceiling.

Raven, being the leader of this adventure, took a step inside, noticing at the other side of the cave, multiple treasure chests were shown. This was it, they finally found the treasure, yet didn’t it seem too easy? Apple seemed to have that same thought process until the mischievous trickster fairy flew over them all and landed in the middle. “Finally! Took you guys long enough to get here!” Faybelle said with a smirk as she took a step towards the treasure.

Apple finally realising something yelled out “Faybelle no!”. It was too late, Faybelle heard a clicking sound and looked down, seeing the stone square she had stepped on pushed down. The treasure disappeared and the back end of the wall opened up. 

4 warriors stood there, all armed with swords and shields, each one held a deviant smirk on their faces. “Got you!” The one at the end said in a creepy tone raising their sword, each one followed that order. Faybelle took a step back, “This, was not a good idea...” She muttered under her breath. 

Darling raised her sword at the ready, this fight would depend on her...yet could she handle it? 

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A quick dodge to the left and a side roll to the right, this was how Darling was avoiding the slices of the warriors that had trapped them in this cave. Her breathing was quick, adrenaline pulsing through her body, another dodge, she needed a shield or something that could defend her. The sword she had brought with her couldn’t help her forever. 

As if someone was listening up above, as well as also hating Darling, the one warrior she was avoiding had seen her tactic of getting away from him. He slashed at her arm when she attempted to dodge left yet again, it grazed her skin yet she felt burning pain where it hit. A possible magic effect of this particular sword. 

The others royals and rebels where attempting to hold off the warriors attempting to take on Darling, Ramona taking on one on her own. Raven doing the same with her magic, Lizzie, surprisingly, using her cards like throwing stars and teaming up with Kitty to take one down. 

Apple was attempting to figure out how to escape this trap cave, Faybelle was a different story however, using her magic to already get out of the cave, Raven would’ve tried to do that but didn’t want to risk one of the warriors coming with them as well. 

Ramona punched one person square in the jaw, launching her back into a wall, another click was heard as Ramona gave the others a confused look. All was quiet for a second, the warriors had stopped fighting and Darling had pushed herself away from the one she was fighting, exhausted. 

The one that had been launched into the wall gave a broken smirk, her bottom lip had been bursted so a trickle of blood was coming down her chin, two of the rock walls pushed apart, revealing a strange mechanism, it was in the shape of a dragon with metal strings attached to it, a blaster in its mouth. It looked like a mechanical puppet. 

Darling, too distracted by it, felt a searing pain come across her back, looking behind her she saw the demon like smirk of the boy she was fighting. His sword had slashed across her back, her blood on the tip of his sword. Her eyes widened as she felt a kick to the gut, sending her to the floor. Apple screamed out something but Darling couldn’t hear it as she got beaten up by the two warriors. 

Ramona ran over to help Darling but felt herself falling to the ground, Cupid and Blondie started to run over to help the others but were stopped by an invisible force. Every person who hasn’t attempted to fight these strange warriors had been trapped by this force. Raven however, was also trapped, no matter how much magic she used she could not escape. 

Ramona got back up only to be struck back down, she opened her eyes slightly to see Lizzie getting pinned, a sword at her throat, her usual calm expression gone as fear loomed over her, as Kitty fought against the force as well, screaming something. Ramona then noticed the girl she launched had grabbed the dragon mechanism and aimed it at Darling, the broken smirk returned as she looked at Ramona before clicking a button. 

Light filled up the room as Ramona covered her eyes, looking again at where Darling used to be, only her sword remained, silence yet again filled the cave, before Apple broke it, screaming curses at the girl. Lizzie, realising it was a boy she was against kneed him where the sun doesn’t shine, he stumbled away, swearing like a sailor.

Lizzie got her cards out and ran at the girl, thinking the machine would need reloading time, she was wrong, she managed to throw one card before the light filled the room again and the princess of Wonderland was gone, only her cards remained. The Cheshire Cat’s daughter was silent, tears pricking at her eyes.

Ramona, realised something, she would be next, she looked over at Raven, “Raven! You have to teleport everyone away!” She yelled at the rebel, who looked shocked that Ramona had even said that.

Raven was about to say something before Justine cut in, “Not without you Ramona!” Her eyes were wide open, her breathing heavy, Ramona smiled sadly then looked at Raven. “You have to do it Raven, to save everyone else...” She said, Raven, nodded, regret would probably hit her later as she started muttering the spell as Ramona saw the girl holding the metal dragon puppet aim at her. 

A yell, a flash of purple, where the others lay was no more as Ramona knew they were safe. She looked dead into the eyes of the girl and sighed. “Bring it...” Ramona said before being blasted with pain, only seeing white for a minute.

Then darkness....