All right, all right. I didn't write while in Malaysia.
And I didn't write when I came back either. Because it turned out that I thought I had one more week of holidays... when I hadn't... So there was a crazy rush of homework.
The first week of school has finally passed, and the heavy rush of getting used to waking up early/doing homework/getting bored etc has mostly passed... so here I am, writing when I'm supposed to be practicing for Oral Exam.
Disclaimer: Daidairo does not own Golden Sun. She does not own this document either, for everything that is done on the school's computer belongs to the school. Hence the school is the one who claims the Golden Sun. Please go right ahead and sue them. Make the authoress' life easier.
Chapter 22: The Princesses of Tennis
But it was. Mr Iaka gazed down impassively at the changers. His dark eyes glittered dangerously.
"So!" his voice was as booming and ugly as ever. "There had been a great disturbance last night, in which all of you were involved."
Many of the changers present, especially the younger ones, fidgeted uncomfortably at the policeman's tone.
"If anyone wishes to explain what was going on, you will raise your hand," he continued.
Each eager to clear their own names, two dozen or so hands shot into the air, waving desperately for a chance to speak. Mr Iaka pointed at a respectable looking man with a broken leg.
"Last night, there was a smell that induced my body to go out. All of a sudden I changed, then a horse attacked me! I got beaten up, and when I woke up I was here. I did nothing wrong at all, officer! I'm a victim!"
One by one, many victims explained their case. A group of nine changers that sat together at the side said nothing, glowering at every changer that spoke. A few of them had countless casts or were heavily bandaged. It wasn't long before Mr Iaka had his eye on them.
"And you?" he asked, pointing at one young man. Isaac eyed him, then noticed that he bore a strong resemblance to Brett Marshall.
"I... er... the same as the others. I was- uh, attacked..." he stammered.
"Tell the TRUTH!" Mr Iaka roared suddenly. A stream of information flowed out from the youth's mouth at once.
"We are the Combative Changers, and we were trying to defeat the other changers and gain their abilities! I brewed the MaxC-tract potion, an evolved concoction of the Changertract potion, and attracted the changers within a certain distance of the forest!" he gabbled.
"Bernard Marshall, you idiot!" several cried of protests came from the group with him. He flinched. Isaac noticed with a lurch that all of these 'Combative Changers' were youngsters.
Young, but dangerous. Dangerous, just like the cyclops had been...
Mr Iaka glanced at another policeman standing nearby with a black device. The brown haired man nodded. Mr Iaka then turned back to the changers.
"We have a confession. Will the other culprits who caused last night's trouble stand up."
A messy shuffle broke out, where the changers began whispering among themselves.
Everyone jumped. A few changers had leapt to their feet, shocked by the sudden shout more than anything else. The ones who couldn't stand nearly fell, and raised a hand instead.
"Is that all, boy?" Mr Iaka barked. The gorilla changer nodded vigorously. Half the team of policemen grabbed the nine offenders and escorted them out of the room with cries of 'silence!' to their protests.
When the doors had closed behind them and the room was quiet again, Mr Iaka stared down at the rest of the changers. The fact that Isaac, Jenna, Felix, Garet, Mia and one or two others had not testified yet seemed to have slipped his mind for the time being.
"Some of our men have reported seeing creatures that do not exist in this world. The changers will stand now," he said.
What now? Isaac wondered as he got to his feet slowly.
Mr Iaka stared at the standing changers and raised an eyebrow.
"I seem to have seen all of you before. State your name and your creature, one by one."
"Jenna Venus, flame panther."
"Felix Venus, centaur."
"Garet Mars, sphinx."
"Mia Cascade, mermaid."
"Isaac Gaia, dragon."
All the utterations were greeted by gasps from the other changers. Loud whispers could be heard as the mythicals became the center of conversation in the room. Goggle eyed, the changers kept asking each other if mythicals really existed.
"Silence!" Mr Iaka ordered sharply. He glanced at another girl who had not spoken. "And YOU?"
"I-I-I'm a cat, sir!" she squeaked. "Just a plain, normal cat, sir!"
Just then, feedback blared out from several walkie talkies. Mr Iaka tugged his out of his back pocket and raised it to his ear. Then he nodded curtly and humphed. As everyone watched, he muttered something. Then the doors opened, and two policemen escorted three changers in.
Three changers familiar to the mythicals. Isaac stopped himself from calling out. Garet didn't.
"Kraden! Ivan! Sheba!"
"Silence!" Mr Iaka yelled as all three newcomers shot Garet a warning look. He turned to Kraden. "You say you can explain these monsters?"
Felix clamped a hand over Jenna's mouth. At the exact same time, Isaac did the same to Garet. They caught each other's eyes and grinned sheepishly. Both had expected hot tempers to blow at the insult.
"They're not monsters. These children are but changers like all the other changers here. The only difference between them is the creatures, as these few have mythical creatures as their changeo," Kraden explained.
"Changeo?" Isaac removed his hand from Garet's mouth.
"The creaure or changed form of a changer," Garet explained.
"Just tell me. Are they dangerous or not?" Mr Iaka demanded. His mouth twitched unpleasantly.
"No, sir. They can control their powers and are sensible kids who won't hurt anyone," Kraden said calmly with admirable patience.
"We of the Police Force will look into that. Before any of you leave the hospital, give your names, addresses and creatures to Derek. He will be in the lobby." A blond beside the door raised his hand to Mr Iaka's curt sentence. The fat policeman nodded at Derek.
His chest puffed up with importance, Mr Iaka strode down the aisle between the rows of chairs. The rest of the policemen, looking impressive with all their blue uniforms pulled straight, marched after him proudly.
Isaac watched as Ivan slipped his hand into one pocket and held up a small ball. Slyly, he shot it with precise aim and timing until it rolled under Mr Iaka's lifted foot.
The policeman slipped, and he tumbled onto the ground with a smack. The rest behind him tripped over him and banged into each other, stumbling around like a group of uncoordinated marching elephants.
"Yes! Too bad about your cool exit!" Ivan muttered with a grin. Isaac made a choking sound and held his face straight as the embarrassed team of policemen made their way out, utterly humiliated.
The door closed. Then the room burst into laughter. Everyone chuckled away at the thought of the ball of policemen who had tried to lord over them embarrassing themselves with a silly fall in the end.
"Ivan, you're a genius!" Jenna exclaimed, giggling.
"I'm glad you're all merry, everyone, but the worst isn't over yet," Kraden reminded them sternly. As the mythicals gathered around him, Isaac noticed that his eyes were dancing.
"I've roughly heard about what happened. Are all of you all right? No serious injuries?" Kraden asked anxiously. The changers looked at each other.
"There were some major injuries at first, but Mia healed them," Felix admitted. He glanced briefly at the bandages around him and one cast on his leg. Only Mia, Ivan and Sheba were injury free.
"Piers came to see us yesterday," Garet said suddenly. "He's not here?"
"Yes, Piers was the one who informed us about what had happened. He hadn't taken any damage, of course... We were unsure of the truth behind everything though," Kraden said.
"Are we allowed to go home?" Jenna asked.
"That lies with the doctors. I think Felix might be asked to stay," Kraden rubbed his chin. "Don't worry, if it's about the homework, your teachers have been told to be lenient. You're not the only students from Crystal School to be affected, after all."
A shout came froma youth with a mohawk hairstyle. It contrasted sharply with the hospital gown he was wearing. Seemingly unbothered, he waved at the mythicals.
"Are you dudes really mythical creatures?"
It was only then that Isaac noticed everyone in the room still staring at them. Feeling rather embarrassed himself, he remained quiet and left Kraden to do the explaining. Before Kraden could utter a single word, Brigitta burst into the conference hall with Malcolm and eight other nurses.
"All of you will retire to your respective rooms to rest until further notice," she announced. "Come."
The nurses helped the temporarily physcially disabled to move out of their chairs onto wheelchairs or handed crutches over. The rest followed Brigitta out. Kraden, Ivan and Sheba nodded sympathetically at them.
"Darn it. I want to go home," Jenna muttered unhappily, shuffling her feet as she walked after Brigitta. Garet patted her on the shoulder.
"Don't worry, you're not terribly hurt. I'm sure you'll be allowed to leave the hospital."
"I woke up feeling fine on Tuesday! But they kept me here until now!" Jenna complained.
"Well, maybe they wanted to have everyone awake before a conference like today's," Isaac said. Several changers had left the crowd and entered their rooms. "Since that's done, we should be free to go if we're unhurt."
"But Felix..." Jenna turned and trailed off. "Where's Felix?"
Her brother was nowhere in sight.
"Mia's disappeared too," Isaac said suddenly. Jenna glowered, clenching her fists.
"Ohhh... if anything happens, I'm gonna..."
Out of an adjoining corridor, Felix ran towards them, looking hale as he pulled bandages off him. "Let's go home."
Behind him came a tired but triumphant looking Mia, pushing her hair out of her eyes. Isaac immediately guessed that Felix had asked her to heal him so that he would be able to take Jenna home.
It worked. This time, none of the nurses or doctors questioned their recovery abilities, and all the mythicals were allowed to leave.
"It was unbelievable, not letting us see you!" Dora exclaimed, putting a jug of fresh milk on the table. "Kyle and I were so worried when we realised that you had disappeared!"
"I'm sorry I got you worried, Mom," Isaac said humbly. Kyle ruffled his hair affectionately, a smile touching his lips.
"As long as you're all right, son, nothing else matters," he said. Isaac remembered the 'half dead' bit of his story that was omitted in the telling to Kyle and Dora, and shifted guiltily in his chair.
It's best if they don't know, really... though I feel
awfully bad about hiding the truth...
"But it's really amazing, about you changers and all," Kyle shook his head in wonder as he sat down at the table. "If doctors could harness the power of that Mia Cascade, people all over the world wouldn't be suffering. She can even be considered a goddess."
"I'm just glad that she helped to save you, Isaac. One day, you must bring her home for lunch or dinner," Dora called over her shoulder as she poured out fresh milk from a carton into a large jug.
Another omelette landed in front of Isaac.
"Eat up, dear. They can't have fed you well at that hospital!"
Glad to use food as an excuse not to talk, Isaac dug in. Truthfully, he hadn't known what exactly he should say about the incident. He still felt a little sore, and at least the culprits had been arrested.
It didn't feel like near death at all.
So that was the end of it. Tomorrow, life would continue as usual.
Cutting off a piece of omelette, Isaac held it out to Flint, and Ground swallowed the mouthful instantly.
"Look, he's one of them."
"The ones that fought on Monday?"
"I heard Charles say that this Gaia's got a mythical creature!"
Aware of the whispers he was attracting, Isaac kept his head down as he walked to the assembly area. He was painfully reminded of a scene from last year. Fingers were pointed, gossip and rumours were spread. His old schoolmates had said he was different from them; a changer. This time, the changers said he was different from them; a mythical.
Isaac walked over to the class 9A and stood in line behind Joash. The boy leaned backwards and placed the back of his head on Isaac's shoulder, so that his face was inches away from Isaac's. Startled, Isaac turned slightly and stared at him.
"Is it true that you were involved in the big fight? And for that reason you were absent for nearly the whole week?" Joash whispered softly.
"Um, yeah..." No one told Isaac to keep it quiet anyway.
"Cool..." Joash murmured, his eyes bright. Raising his head and standing up straight, he looked around innocently as two prefects walked by with identical suspicous looks on their faces. Hurrying past Joash and Isaac, they muttered what sounded like 'gay guys', looking back occasionally at the line of 9A.
"Are we supposed to laugh of cry, sweetheart?" Joash asked with a snicker.
Isaac shook his head and grinned reluctantly.
"Chairmen, please begin to take attendance for your class," Kraden said through a microphone. From what Isaac could see of him, he looked extremely tired, and there were dark eyebags beneath his usually alert eyes. "As mentioned earlier this week, due to unforseen circumstances, many teachers have been away and clubs were stopped. This is a reminder that clubs will begin again only next week."
Isaac breathed a sigh of relief. He thought that he had missed the basketball practice that was supposed to be held the previous day.
"Also, because many of our teachers are still busy, Changing lessons will continue to be suspended until further notice. Please consider Changing lessons as free periods to work on your other school work."
It made sense. Kraden would definitely be busy trying to sort out everything that had happened.
"Isaac Gaia, present. Where were you the past few days?" Rachel asked, her pen poised above the clipboard with the class attendance list.
"Er... In hospital," Isaac replied. Rachel raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. She continued down the line.
PE and English passed quickly, with the teachers beginning to harp on tiny details that Isaac had already learned. Most of the time, he was explaning roughly what had happened to his curious classmates, and proving certain rumours false. Garet was bombarded with questions as well, and unlike Isaac, he described in detail his fight with the tiger, and how effective his attacks had been. By recess, everyone in the class had discovered that Isaac and Garet were mythicals.
Felix, Piers and Jenna were already in the canteen when Garet and Isaac went down, escorted by a crowd of younger students who had seen them and were eager to hear the tale. Garet collected food for both of them, and they sat down beside the other mythicals.
A glare from Felix sent the eighth graders scuttling off. But it didn't stop the gossip around them.
"I can't believe she did that."
"That's so evil... So unkind! The poor boy!"
"He's that one, see, the spiky blond! He's a new guy, too, and yet he's treated like this..."
"They said that mermaids have always been evil; looks like it's true..."
"Fancy her refusing to use her immortality to save a life!"
Isaac winced sharply and put down his sandwich. That part of the story had spread all over the school somehow; people thrived on unhappy and untrue information more than on cheerful and truthful ones. Everyone was discussing just how inconsiderate and selfish Mia was, and that "We're on Jenna's side!". Isaac had been quick to reassure his classmates that it wasn't true, but there was no way he could convince a whole school that Mia was actually trying to save him from a terrible fate. After all, there were a few who delighted in making Mia appear small and mean, and would disbelieve truth readily without a care.
Jenna did not seem to be listening to the soft but audible whispers around; she was arguing loudly with Garet about fries and potato wedges. Each time Isaac tried to cut in, both Garet and Jenna would silence him with a 'shut up!' and continue talking. Piers and Felix looked just as uncomfortable, the former having heard about the immortality issue from Felix.
"I'm sure Mia didn't mean it like that," Piers muttered.
"She already explained it to me, but Jenna's hasn't closed her mouth so I haven't got a chance to explain!" Isaac whispered back, glancing at Jenna. She dug the handle of a spoon into Garet's cheek.
"She just jumps to conclusions easily. I'll talk to her tonight..." Felix trailed off as the entire canteen quietened down. Uneasy, unusual and an unnatural silence filled the canteen for the first time in history as all the students looked up.
Mia had entered the canteen and was looking uncertainly about her. She shifted her books from one arm to another as she felt all eyes upon her.
Isaac felt Jenna shoot to her feet beside him, having finally stopped debating with Garet. She raised her arm.
"Mia! Over here!"
The silence felt frozen. Everyone was stunned into shock as Mia smiled and walked over to her. The two girls greeted each other and sat down.
Garet found his tongue first. "What on earth...?"
"What on earth what?" Jenna asked. Garet saw an evil glint in her eye that seemed to be daring him to talk.
Slowly, the hum of chatter resumed its place. Many changers were staring at Jenna and Mia is complete astonishment.
"You know... I can't help feeling that something is going wrong..." Piers muttered to the other guys. He saw smiles on Jenna's and Mia's faces. Evil smiles.
"So you'd be free this afternoon?" Mia was saying.
"I'd expected them to be at each other's throats," Felix breathed disbelievingly. "Mia must have had many attacks from people who believed Jenna, and should be feeling extremely pissed off!" All four guys watched the girls wordlessly, as if they were time bombs due to explode any minute.
"Well, you did say you play, so let's meet at
Soranea's Tennis Club at 2 o'clock," Jenna was saying.
"They're going to play tennis!" Isaac demanded incredulously.
"It must be a farce!" Garet said instantly. "They're aching to murder each other, but they can't, so they're going to challenge each other at tennis instead!"
It seemed as if he was right. The girls faces were partially hidden by their hair, and their eyes gleamed dangerously. Looking fearful, the guys retreated and sidled several feet down the bench away from them.
"What if they injure themselves and each other?" Piers asked anxiously.
"We'll go too," Felix announced loudly. The girls looked at them.
"The more the merrier!" Jenna said, smiling. The boys gasped.
"That... smile..." They winced sharply.
"The evil grin..." Felix muttered.
"She means, it'd be better to have more people watch her beat up Mia..." Garet gulped. "Girls... are scary when they're mad..."
The boys watched them, and each saw fire building up around Mia and Jenna.
"I see," Miss Malvonite clasped her fingers together gravely. Her green eyes narrowed. "How did both of you recover from your injuries so quickly?"
Behind them, the class was chattering loudly, not caring tuppence that Isaac and Garet had been called up for a talk with Miss Malvonite during class contact.
"Mia Cascade of 8A healed us," Isaac said truthfully. "Kra- Master Kraden knows about it."
"Master Kraden... All right, I'll talk to him. Is that all?" Both Garet and Isaac nodded. "Go for your next lesson then. Stay out of trouble, or I shall have to waste another period of class contact listening to you."
Bowing obediently, Isaac and Garet grabbed their bags.
"It's free period until dismissal!" Dave said brightly, following them out of the classroom. "Reckon we can go home early?"
"You're the chairman!" Garet said in mock horror. "How can you suggest something like that?"
Dave grinned and punched his shoulder, then ran off.
"But he's right, you know," Garet observed thoughtfully. "We might as well leave. Where are you going to now? We've still got two hours or so before we have to stop Jenna and Mia from killing each other and everyone else around them."
"I think I'll visit the library," Isaac said, opening his locker and taking out a writing pad.
"Aw, not going to visit Kraden?"
Isaac's locker door slammed into Garet before it closed with a click.
This time, Isaac searched the whole library from shelf to shelf. The time flew past as the books flew by his eyes, and when an hour was up Isaac was dizzy from scanning through so many book spines.
"No Thor and no Megaera," he sighed. Could Ivan have been mistaken? Did those immortals really exist?Maybe Megaera's book was just something else that Sepians Unus did not want him to see, and Thor's book didn't exist.
Or were those thoughts merely to comfort himself?
Isaac exited the library with a sigh. He went to meet the other mythicals.
Soranea's Tennis Club was an average sized but posh place. The hard and soft courts were clean and surrounded by lavish tables, chairs and umbrellas. It was pretty new, and the staff worked hard everyday to improve the reputation of their work area.
A collection of excellent rackets, balls and clothes were displayed for choosing, and the guys each picked up one racket with a sense of foreboding. Piers paid the rent for the rackets, balls, clothes and court without a word, and they proceeded to a small court at the end. Changing cubicles took up a corner of the fenced in court, and the changers changed their clothes quickly. All the males wore a simple shirt, sweatpants and sports shoes, with the exception of Felix and a headband, and Isaac with a shot red scarf. The females donned white shirts and shorts to match.
"That's nerve wrecking too," Garet gulped. "If they wear safe shorts instead of tennis skirts that are revealing during vigorous sports, that just means that they're going to get serious running about on the court! I'm seriously getting worried!"
"Don't be ridiculous! What they wear doesn't make a difference!" Piers said crossly. But he looked nervous too.
"We have to put the girls on the same team so that they won't have a chance to whack the balls at each other," Felix whispered.
"Jenna, Mia! Felix and I will take the two of you on first!" Garet called. The girls smiled, and the boys twitched.
Isaac and Piers sat down beneath an umbrella to watch, as the game began. The ball flew from one court to another as a line of flash. Isaac and Piers turned their heads each the the ball changed direction, so they were turning their heads from side to side swiftly, trying to follow them ball.
Of course, it wasn't long before they got dizzy.
It was long before Garet and Felix got tired.
"You two are a bunch of amazons," Garet grumbled. "Do you play tennis real often or something?"
"It's just that you two are weak!" Jenna said, shaking her finger.
"And you forget, the two of you are still sore from your injuries. I've fully recovered, as usual, and Jenna's fine too," Mia said.
The boys stared at her fearfully, and heard the silent sentence that Mia didn't add.
"So I'm going to make sure she's no longer fine.""I need a break. Isaac, Piers, take over. We still have about two hours before our time's up. Make sure you two win!" Felix said. His eyes added, "And make sure they get so tired they can't do anything to each other."
So Felix and Garet removed themselves from the court and went to buy drinks for everyone.
"Still up to playing?" Jenna asked. Garet translated the actual meaning to Isaac.
"Still think you can keep up with me? Give up already!" Isaac shuddered and clutched his racket.
"Of course! I'm not going to give up a chance to beat the boys!" Mia smiled across at them. Isaac smiled back uncertainly. Was that to put them off their guard...?"Meaning, she won't give up," Garet muttered. "Watch out!"
Jenna released the ball and bounced it onto the ground. As it rebounded up, she pulled her arm back and swung her racket with all her might.
The ball flew.
When Garet and Felix returned, they were greeted with a horrifying sight. Both Isaac and Piers were collapsed on the ground near the tables, panting hard and staring fearfully at the court. Jenna and Mia were on opposite sides of the court, swinging their rackets as hard as they could.
At TWO balls at exactly the same time.
The balls flew back and forth, becoming blurred as the girls increased the speed of their actions. Felix demanded why they were playing against each other, but his voice was drowned out by the thudding of balls on the ground, and the battle cries of the girls.
"Too... tired... they're amazing..." Piers panted. "Or maybe it's because they were probably the only ones to eat lunch... the rest of us were panicking..."
"We have to stop them!" Garet cried. "Before someone dies!"
"Tried! They wouldn't listen!" Isaac gasped.
"Jenna! Stop it!" Felix shouted. Jenna continued hitting one ball after another. Garet took in a deep breath.
Both girls swung their rackets one last time as the cry rang out, and froze. Two balls flew as the girls turned to look in surprise at their spectators. The balls flew over the nets. They continued soaring.
At the exact same time, each swift, hard ball hit Mia and Jenna squarely on the heads. They collapsed, and bleeding bruises began to form on their heads.
"OH MY GOD! This is what I was afraid of!" Piers yelled.
"It looks superficial, but if it's the head there might be trouble!" Felix ran towards his sister and ripped off his headband, covering the bruise on Jenna's head in an attempt to still the bloodflow. Isaac undid his scarf and did the same to Mia. As Garet and Piers snatched up their belongings, Isaac and Felix lifted the half-unconscious girls onto their backs and ran for the First Aid Room.
Flying past the courts, they reached the receptionist desk where the manager was speaking to a family of potential customers.
"Yes, we know you will provide us with entertainment, but what about safety precautions?" the father was asking.
"Of course that's important as well!" The manager agreed. "Safety is one of our main concerns, and we make sure that none of our customers ever suffer injuries of any..."
"ARGHHHHH THE FIRST AID ROOM!" Garet yelled. "Over there! Turn left!"
"HOLD ON! JENNA! Don't faint on me!" Felix cried. The mythicals raced past the desk and turned, leaving several droplets of blood on the floor.
The family blinked. They stared at the blood. They stared after the running changers. They stared at the courts.
"That's what you guys thought?" Jenna said grumpily as Felix wound a bandage around her head. "If you guys hadn't misunderstood, you wouldn't have yelled, and we wouldn't be bleeding."
"We're really sorry," Isaac apologised, holding Mia's bandage down with tape. He pressed it gently to keep it in place. "We thought the two of you would be so mad at each other that..."
"I was mad," Jenna admitted. "But this morning, Mia explained everything to me. I understand why she didn't want to give over her immortality now, and though I would've acted differently myself, I'm not angry anymore. I just jumped to conclusions again, that's all."
"But this time, you weren't the only one who jumped to conclusions easily," Mia said, giggling. Jenna grinned.
"You guys really have wild imaginations!"
The boys felt extremely silly. The girls laughed again.
Just as they were feeling even sillier, the door burst open.
This time there isn't even a cliffhanger, but there you go! A nice long chapter to make up for the short previous one!
I have VERY bad news. My father has just banned me from the computer, my Gamecube, and my DS. I don't know how I shall survive... Currently, I'm typing on my brother's laptop, and I might hopefully be able to use it once in a while... Therefore, it might be sometime before I can come back with the next chapter. I'll try my very best, though.
As I'll be away for so long, it's a nice long time for you readers to take the time to read and review, right? So please leave a review, and I hope to see at least 290 reviews when I come back!
Thank you for all your support, and I promise I will update the minute I have time.
Until... long days later...