Previously on 'What if…' "Ash and one more thing, the library has many levels and it is very easy to stumble on them."

Ash followed the boys through the library, paintings beautifully hung off the walls above hundreds of bookshelves. Waterfalls, little cottage rooms with little people minding their own business, all sorts yet they seemed to change when you took a second glance. This world had a surprise one after the other.

It had been a couple of months of settling into a new world, seasons slowly changed as autumn started to turn to winter with snow and bare branch trees. Ash was into her classes and routines quite well, though Species Detection was the only one left to try, which had been cancelled because her teacher had lost two animals in the Ezera forest and had come down with some sort of infection. Her classmates in combat were coming around to like her, Tyson and Riley had been the two key friends of that class. Ash had made some sort of friendship with her roommate Faia, she happened to be her partner from chemistry, on the first day of classes. Their time together was mostly quiet, just doing homework, the occasional help with a subject or two, a few miming movements from Faia and a few words from Ash and they got along just fine.

Landon brought Ash out of her thoughts of the last couple of months with a simple touch on the shoulder. Touches flickered giving off the light all around the room. Students were all over the place, mostly at tables reading or trying to get homework done that was most likely due the next day, though there was an occasional student on the floor resting on a shelf or a student 'working' rather, having an afternoon nap.

"…So, I think we'll start in the history section given the fact that Freyans are a key part of it," Ez said, gesturing to the shelves they worked towards.

The three friends found a table and grabbed a stack of books from the shelves.

'Let the reading begin' Ash thought, opening the first book from her stack, 'A section of History.' The display of the different species on Medora. Flips, Jarnocks, Shadow walkers and Dayriders had their own sections in these books. Parts of the books had wars before peace in most of them, lots had the same ones repeating. After the fourth book Ash could feel her brain start to hurt and her eyes droop.

'Just for a few minutes,' Ash thought. Landon was already drooling on the table Ez had just slacked off. Ash sat down her book and put her head on her hands-

"Excuse me?"

Ash sat up and looked around, almost shrieking at the pair of large eyes staring at her. A man in his late sixties, short and round, about three grey strands of hair left on his head, wearing glasses with the lens so consecrated that it made his eyes pop out of his head.

"Sorry to interrupt your… nap, but I'm the Librarian and I couldn't help but notice you struggling to find the right thing."

The small man handed Ash a beautiful, covered book embroidered with bronze and scarlet red.

"I think this might be of some help and remember Miss James the Library had many levels and many secrets."

The Librarian waddled away leaving Ash with many questions. But she left them for later and looked at the book in her lap, 'The Jewel of Medora' the title read.

Ash flipped the cover open to reveal the first page which happened to be blank. So was the second page, the third and every page after that.

'How is this supposed to help?' Ash thought getting halfway through the book and only a single word sat in the middle of the page.

Speak

"Speak?" Ash read out loud. The book came to life, the work disappeared with a faint golden light. Another word began to appear writing itself on the page…

Hello

"Hi," Ash replied, though it felt kind of weird talking to a book.

What are your questions, Ashlyn James?

"I was wondering how to get home to Freya," Ash asked.

Is that all?

The book asked as if amused.

"Actually, who are you and how do you know my name?" The truth was Ash had too many questions to the point she thought that if she asked them the book would shrivel.

The Library, what else would I be?

"A quiet room filled with books that don't talk," Ash suggested. She could have sworn she heard laughter, yet nobody sat at the table behind her.

"You still need to answer my second question."

I am the Jewel of Medora I see and know all including who you are young Chosen

'Well, that explains the title I guess,' Ash equipped, though reading over the words again-

"Chosen?" Ash asked. The words faded and a diagram that looked a lot like a large family tree showed up on the pages. People Ash had never heard of were labelled, though there were a couple of famous Freyans she knew, Mother Teresa and Leonardo Da Vanci were on the tree. Ash was the newest addition to the tree at the bottom going up the person before her- Alexandra Jennings. The name was in gold writing as the others including Ashlyn's were in silver.

'She must be important,' she thought, looking at the rest of the family tree.

Yes, she is…

The book said.

"You can read my thoughts?" She asked.

Yes

"Noted," Ash said- "Wait is? Alexandra is still alive?"

Yes

"Can I meet her; she could teach me how to do this right…"

I am afraid I cannot, but I can help you with your original purpose for being here

Though Ash was disappointed, she knew the chances were slim, yet it would be amazing to know another Freyan in this world.

"Ok Library, show me how to get home."

A glow of gold shone on the wall of the bookshelf in front of the table Ash and her friends were sitting at. As the light faded an arch doorway stood embedded in the shelf. The book glowed again and new words were written on the page.

Then all you need to do is take the first step…

Ash closed the book, taking it with her as she walked toward the door. She considered waking her friends but thinking back, not even when she was talking to the book did the two boys wake up and looking around the room nobody seemed to notice that a door was suddenly in the wall of a bookshelf. Ash stood in front of the door, she turned the handle and opened the door, the room was a cavern with a river flowing smoothly, a single touch on the side of the cavern wall giving off just enough light to see the room around Ash.

"So, what now?" She asked, opening the book again, yet there were no words, just blank pages.

"Ok, on my own then," Ash said thinking out loud being the only one here. Looking at the rushing water in the river, the light from the touch wasn't strong enough to see the bottom, simply meaning it was deep. Ash looked around, there were indications where the water was coming from or which way the cavern went, the touch light only shone light where Ash stood at the edge of the river-

"Only where I stand…" Ash thought out loud looking at the touch on the wall. She moved further down the cavern she got to where the touch light dimmed in the darkness. She looked back to see if the book or touch had moved, only the flame of the touch seemed to flicker happily. She stepped into the darkness, but before her eyes could adjust, light flooded the very spot Ash stood. The touch sat above her head, underneath the touch words were neatly written on the wall.

You may walk through dark places but there will always be a light to guide you…

"Beautiful," Ash whispered, reading the text three times to make sure she remembered it. She looked around to see if anything had changed, only an arrow in the dirt pointing straight toward the river. Three stones in a straight line just breached the surface of the water, just large enough to put a single foot on.

'Well across it is.'

Ash took off her shoes and socks, the wet dirt under feet was cold, falling into the water would probably turn her into an Ashcycle.

She stepped onto the first rock easily, her foot brushed the water, one word, freezing. The rock was mossy and wet, the next stone was a further distance than what Ash had been expecting. The dim light had made the look a lot closer. Ash literally took a leap of faith, planting her foot on the second rock, but her balance threw her off and she went tumbling into the freezing cold water. The current took Ash down the river, her lower back scraping the bottom. Trying not to scream in pain Ash kicked her way to the surface, gasping for air, took a look around to see where the touch and stones were. She hadn't gone far; it was a short swim upstream to get back where she had started.

The pain in her back was an ache from the icy and just discovered salty water, the pain grew as she paddled against the current. Taking hold of the third stone Ash pulled herself up to sit on the rock. The wound on her back was screaming. She took her hand and touched the wound, stretching the skin making the wound even more painful. Agitating it wasn't her best move but-

"Shhhii-!" The pain smacked Ash in the back of the head like Finn's rod. She pulled her fingers away, watery blood covered them.

"What are you playing at!" Ash yelled out into the cavern; echoes repeated her words in a weird mellow rhythm. A sudden rush of cool wind went through the cavern, as if a silent laughter.

"What makes you think I'm playing with you?" A voice teased echoing through the cavern. It was really voices all intertwined saying the sentence, as if a choir harmonising.

"Who's this now," Ash was growing tired of this Library nonsense, she just wanted to go see Fletcher, get some warm comfy clothes on and go to bed in that order.

"Our little chat means nothing to you Ashlyn James?" The voice said.

"You're the Library?"

"Yes."

"Well, I'm Ashlyn as you already know, also I'm soaking wet, going to get hyperthermia from the cold or die from blood loss."

The voice seemed to chuckle with the second gust of wind.

"So dramatic, yet doesn't realise…," said the Library. The wind had died as it finished its sentence, Ash looked around to see if anything had changed around her. True enough she sat on the other side of the bank, a second touch was above her head, the first on the other side of the river showing her where she had left the book and her shoes. A strange sensation had come over Ash, her back had become a dull ache, and she was no longer cold nor wet. Her clothing had been changed from T-shirt and denim shorts, to jeans, a white shirt and a brown leather jacket. There was a smell, someone's sent on the clothing one Ash couldn't pick up but it was a comforting thing that she chose to hold onto. Underneath the shirt she could feel a bandage around her middle and around her back.

"Huh, thanks Library."

There was no response but another small chuckle.

Ash got up off the ground and grabbed the touch off the wall. It was dark; only the touch light was there to guide Ash through what turned into a hallway. There was a light starting to come up at the end of the hall.

As she neared, she saw that it was a fork in the road. Both were filled with doors.

'Past' was written in bold above the left corridor, 'Future' engraved on the right.

"Well, me coming from Freya is in the past, right?" Ah thought to herself, hoping for some input from the Library. When nobody answered she turned down the first corridor. Touches lit the way, doors of all shapes and sizes sat there waiting to be opened. Ash did in fact open a couple, the first was a jungle, a herd passed through, they were the size of elephants yet looked like a wild boar. One spotted Ash, it studied her as she studied it. It dipped its head slightly before moving along with the rest of the herd. She dipped her head as well before closing the door and moving further down the hallway. The next was a street, people walking everywhere, noises and smells passed over Ash. She quickly shut the door moving to the next, it was a clear sky, looking down Ash could barely see if anything was even on the ground, looking up huge masses of earth floated above her. They were floating islands, waterfalls and volcanos could be seen on some. Wildflowers of all colours could be seen on some. A gruff noise came from beside Ash almost making her fall in fright, to her right an enormous eye stared right at her, it was a purple colour. The grey snort was long and scaly like a lizard-

"Holy-"

The dragon came into full view, wings beating at a steady pace, its mouth stretched into the smallest of smiles seen on any animal. It was easily five times the size of Ash. She studied Ash carefully, the wings brushing wind in her face, making her sneeze. A throaty sound came from the dragon, like a laugh. The winged lizard took off higher in the sky, leaving Ash wondering and a new hair do. She watched as more dragons flew over her head, in all colours. From the nearest island, Ash could see pitch black dragon resting there, its blue eyes trailed over the dragons in the sky, before they found Ash. It tilted its head on curiosity, before the grey dragon landed close by it. She rubbed her body up the other dragon in clear signs of affection. Compared to the black dragon the grey looked like a child (and probably was) the other dragon overshadowed her ten times bigger at the most. Ash could see an island just a jump away, as she smiled to herself, something latched onto her pulling her inside the Library corridor, the door shutting after her.

"Hey!" She cried. She turned to glare at whatever dragged her inside, yet this had no head.

It was a knight's suit, yet it was old and rusty, the awful sound of grinding metal echoed through the corridor, enough to make Ashlyn's ears bleed. A rusted axe sat limply in his left hand dragging across the floor.

"Ok, how about we just sit down and have a chat-" Ash said, eyeing the axe wearily. "I'm sorry for whoever cost you some reconditioning, but you don't need to take it out on meEEE!"

The headless knight swung his axe straight at Ash. She pivoted and tried to run the hall of doors. Yet it had somehow caved into a solid wall.

"Library!" She cried ducking as the knight took yet another poor swing. The suit of armour's swings became more efficient, multiple times coming close to maiming Ash. She had started to use a couple of doors to escape, yet they all led back to the same killer corridor.

"Just stop!" Ash complained, ducking, pulling her through the jungle door again. She reappeared out of the raining door just behind the headless knight. Ash tried to close the door quietly, but at the last inch a squeak was let out, making the knight spin around, axe raised.

"That is so stereotyped," she muttered, pivoting and ducking from another strike. She stepped back and her foot hit something cold. It was the knight's head. She picked it up, examined it before a skeleton head fell out.

"That has so many ways of wrong," Ash muttered. She looked over to the headless suit of armour, its axe sitting at his side, he stood there, waiting. Ash picked up the skull and put it back in the helmet before gently placing it back on the shoulders. The knight stood there before it once again sprang to life dropping the axe and bowing to Ash.

"Thank you thine lady, what is the name of my glorious saviour?" The knight asked, standing up without a sound.

"Ashlyn," she said.

"Well, Lady Ashlyn I am forever grateful and, in your debt, if you are ever in need of help Sir Camden is only a call away," the knight said.

"Thank you... Sir Camden, that is truly kind of you, if you don't mind could you please tell me where I can get home?"

"A quest? Well but of course! Let thy lead the way!"

Sir Camden marched down what was now a corridor rather than a blank wall. The searched through seemed the never-ending hallway of doors. Ash and Sir Camden found a way to space and the middle of the ocean. Another led to a forest, with the bark a colour of silver and the leaves a shade of gold. A little girl stood in a clearing of many paths, she had short locks of golden-brown hair, her eyes a shade of emerald-green, a small circlet of silver around her forehead. Sir Camden had bowed to the girl so Ash dipped her head in respect. The girl looked surprised, yet when they showed their respect, she smiled and waved before picking a flower by a tree and ran off on one of the pathways. The little dress she wore flowing behind her.

They finally made it to the never ending (that has an ending) corridor, on last door sat there.

"This is where I leave thy Lady, if ever in need of help thy just a call away!" Sir Camden told Ash, pointing his finger to the sky.

"Thanks Sir Camden, I will definitely keep that in mind thanks," she replied. With that the knight walked to the nearest doorway opened it and walked through. Ash stared at the door in front of her. It looked like the door were made of a palace. Embroidered with hand made designs. Flowers and vines carved into the door, a golden frame lining the outside. Taking a deep breath, Ash took hold of the doorknob with a shaky hand. Turning the ball of cool metal, the door slid open with ease, revealing an empty space of darkness. Ash stepped into the space, looking for any signs around her.

"So, a void of darkness is home?" She asked herself. "I didn't know that knights and Libraries had a sense of humour."

"I didn't know they did either," the Library said.

"So now your talkative," Ash deadpanned.

"I am, though if you wish to find home a short walk will not hurt you."

Rolling her eyes to the heavens and back, Ash murmured a series of complaints under her breath and started walking straight. The light from the door she had walked through was her only light, though it slowly faded and a new light came her attention quickly.

The light was seeping through a square front door of a familiar Freyan house.

"What's this?" Ash asked in the open air.

"You came here to look for a way home… and you have done just that," the Library said.

"What about my friends they're still on the top level. What will happen to them?"

"They will wake up and go back to their life as everybody does."

"Will they ever know what happened?"

"They may be your friends but they are not Chosen."

"What happens if I don't go through this door, will I ever be able to come back to find it?"

"You may be able to come back when the time is right," the Library simply said. It seemed to disappear as if leaving Ash to her thoughts and consider her decisions.

She stepped toward the door, the fine details noticeable; the cheap coating starting to peel ever so slowly, the many scratch marks from the neighbour's cat. Freya was just on the other side of this door. Yet when she reached for the handle, it was cold, it felt somewhat wrong to even consider going through the door.

'But when will be the right time?' Ash thought. Regardless of what the Library said, she turned the knob of the door to open it to see the other side.

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