Hey, guys! I know my chapters take forever to get up, but they're usually pretty long. Soooo, here is yet another long chapter! Enjoy it!
I am going to add something here. Someone sent me a review that amused me very much, so I'm gonna reply to it now. It was a review for chapter 10.
"Ahahahahahahahahaha I KNEW Miralle and Roelle were Mithos's and Martel's desendents!
Head check! LloydLucas, ColetteCalab, GenisGale, RaineRobyn, SheenaAndrew, ZelosZenos, AntonyPersea, RegalRory, YuanYuna, MithosMiralle, MartelRoelle... that leaves Nari, Ena, and maybe Zach.
Ena is most likely the heir of Anna. They have Alot of thing in common, both lived at a human ranch like place, they fallow patten, so I'll put them down as AnnaEna.
Something is off with Nari being Boltzman's heir, I mean, he played one of smallest parts in the game! There were several people who played larger parts like Chocolate, Clara, Aisha... The list goes on and on and on. And we have one other major charitor who doesn't have a desendent and needs one. Botta! And we can't really have a good famely tree if we don't even know his first name."
That's most of it. Whoever you are, sorry, I don't have the review' info at hand right now. Anyways, Zach is a descendant of Zelos, okay? Buuut, you do give me ideas on other people who could be the ancestors. But I guess you'll have to wait, now, won't you? (insert evil laugh) It's a shocker who Ena's ancestor turns out to be. (yet another evil laugh)
That night, the three were sleeping peacefully in their room when Andrew awoke with a start. He glanced around, on full alert with his eyes lidded with sleep, watching for anything out of the ordinary. As his eyes slid over the window, he saw shadows slinking beneath the sill.
Wasting no time, Andrew got up and yawned widely, giving the impression that he had not seen anything. He stumbled around the room, "accidentally" waking up Roelle and Ena.
"Huh?" Ena jerked her head up as she felt him fall on her stomach. "What're you doing, Andrew?"
"We've got unwanted visitors. Don't let them know that we know they're here. Get our stuff gathered together." Andrew said under his breath as he shook his head. "Oh, sorry, Val, didn't see you there. It's really hard to see in here, y'know?"
Andrew gave a foolish, sleepy grin as he backed up and fell over Roelle. At that moment, the unwanted visitors sprang in , shattering the glass and scattering it everywhere. Andrew grabbed his katana as he rolled back onto his feet and engaged the perpetrators immediately. In all, there were three of them, dressed in midnight black clothing and armed with swords.
Awakened immediately, Roelle drew his sword and charged in to fight one of the intruders that had gotten around Andrew's katana. Parrying his enemy's attacks, Roelle waited for the opportune moment. He took all hits stoically, not flinching as his blood trickled through the small cuts that sliced his arms. Then, he suddenly saw a glaw in his opponent's attack, he took his chance.
His sword flared golden, in synch with his moon tattoo that was visible on his bare ankle. He shouted, "Nova Blade!"
The golden sword shot into the man's torso and exploded in a shower of sparks. The sword withdrew from the torso with a sickening squelch and Roelle gave a grim nod. Turning around, he attacked the second intruder.
Andrew's patience began to wear thin. This guy was taking too long to defeat. Better finish him up with a big bang. With a savage grin, Andrew's dragon tattoo on his neck began to flare a garnet red light. The katana's blade erupted in flames and his face was even more savage than before. "Say goodbye!" Andrew snarled as he drew his katana back and exploded, "Hellfire's Call!"
The flames on the sword swirled as Andrew swung it down and struck his enemy. The man was surrounded by flames. He didn't even have time to call out in pain before he was incinerated. The flames disappeared and a pile of ashes were the only thing left behind. Andrew turned to the last man and Roelle, who had stopped their duel in astonishment. The man quivered and promptly threw himself out the window.
Andrew's tattoo stopped radiating and his face regained its normal composure. He was silent, then declared, "We're not safe here anymore."
Ena gave them their bags. "I packed while you guys held them off."
"Good job, Mom. Thanks." Roelle accepted his bag and dodged Ena's swat.
The three left the room mostly intact. They did leave a good bit more money than was necessary, though.
Nari gave a sigh of relief as Luin came into view. "Oh, thank the Goddess! A reprive!"
Zach scowled at her. "It's not that bad to ride with me, is it?"
"Um, yeah. Your shoulders are too broad to hang onto and I don't feel like touching your waist." Nari proclaimed as she leapt off the rheaird before it touched the ground. "I don't feel safe with you driving."
"Fine, then you can ride with Lucas tomorrow!" Zach snapped, landing the rheaird and cutting the engine off. He stepped off of it and put it away in the wingpack peevishly.
"Guys, I know you love each other, but can you please stop the spats?" Lucas groaned as he stored his rheaird in its wingpack.
"I don't love him/her! He/she's absolutely impossible!" the two exclaimed in unison, jabbing a finger at the other.
Lucas held up his hands placatingly. "Sorry. I think we'll be in a better mood after we've had some food and rest. Agreed?"
The teens nodded. "That had better include some ice cream." Nari mutinously muttered.
Lucas burst into laughter as the three entered the bustling lake town of Luin. "Don't worry, little girl, I'll show you the best places around here. You might have forgotten, but this is my hometown."
Nari perked up. "Oh, yeah, it is." Then she seemed to catch herself and replaced her usual sarcastic face. "That just means free food and free lodging."
Zach took the opportunity to laugh at Lucas' expense and get away with it. "Oh, yeahhh, time to repay me for my wonderful hospitality."
Lucas eyed Zach, as if debating about whether or not to hit him. Apparently deciding against it, Lucas sighed. "I suppose. First, though, we're gonna eat before we go anywhere near my house."
"Huh? Why?" Zach elonquently asked.
"My parents can't cook. Either of them. I barely survived puberty eating their charcoal." Lucas grimly said.
Nari and Zach gave a sympathetic shudder. After a moment, Zach promptly pushed Lucas into the crowd. "Nooowwww, before heading off to death by charcoal, let's get some food!"
Ena landed her rheaird outside of Luin. She sighed and leaned across the console in front of her. "Okay, guys, why don't we rest here tonight?"
"Whatever you say, Mom." Roelle impishly grinned.
"Roelle, I swear by the Goddess, one of these times, I'm gonna knock your head off." Ena scowled at him, then grinned, "But for now, we're eating dinner. Andrew's buying."
"What?!" Andrew demanded, "Why me?!"
Ena replied as she glanced around, "Because you're the one with all of the money." Her eyes settled on a restuarant with an elegant sign proclaiming, "Water's Rest." "Let's try this place."
Roelle and Andrew looked at it. Sitting on the water, it was a light colored wooden house with light blue trimmings and soft light lighting the pathways around it in the evening sun. Exotic looking plants decorated the outside and music could be heard softly over the water. The two guys looked at each other.
"This place looks expensive." Roelle muttered.
"I know she's doing this on purpose." Andrew groaned. "I just know it's revenge for starting the 'Mom' thing."
"Zach! Nari! Lucas! You're okay!" the two heard Ena exclaim.
They rushed in and saw Ena hugging a certain red-headed teen.
"Nari!" Andrew exclaimed, somewhat startled. "Lucas, Zach, you guys are all okay?"
"Lucas, man, am I glad to see you!" Roelle clapped hands with him as they gave each other a guy hug.
"Are you doin' okay, Ro? They didn't stick a Stone on you, too, did they?" Lucas asked, concern in his eyes.
"Yeah. The same hour I arrived." Roelle showed him the crescent-moon shaped topaz Savior Stone on the back of his left hand.
Lucas rubbed his own sword-shaped Savior Stone. "What's the point of it?"
"Who cares right now? Must have food!" Nari and Ena proclaimed dramatically.
The group chuckled and Lucas called over the crowd, "Hey, Rajir! Where're you at?"
An handsome young man with wavy gold and orange hair with tangerine eyes that were common to fireaids appeared, his dark tan face bright with a smaile. "Luc, man, you're back!"
"Just for a day or two, Raj." Lucas gave the young man a hug. "How're you doing?"
"It's been busy since you left, dude. And look at you, with your new classy friends! Someone's been getting around." Rajir gave a teasing grin.
"I'll ignore that last comment and help you guys out tonight if you'll give my friends a table and the specialty..." Lucas offered, a tempting tone in his voice.
"Sold. Right this way, my friends." Rajir gathered up some menus and silverware and led the group to a quiet corner with soft lighting and a peaceful mural on the walls.
Once everyone had been settled, Rajir took their drink orders and motioned for Lucas to follow him with a jerk of his handsome head. Lucas followed him, a puzzled look on his face.
Out of earshot of other people, Rajir turned to Lucas and seriously said, "Lucas, you can't stay here. There's these weird guards that have been rounding up some of the halflings and putting them in containment camps. They're also on the look out for some escapees from prisons in Flanoir, Hima, Asgard, and Old Exire. Somehow, I think you know something about that."
Lucas replied to the first statement with, "I thought they stopped that after the War on Halflings? That was, what, seven years ago? The Order of the Elements had to give an official disbandment to put a half to the detainment camps." With a frown, he added, "Something's off."
"What about the escapees?" Rajir crossed his arms.
Lucas waved it off, "Later. Is there anything else I should know about?"
"Well, Jaelyn was forced to put TEBOs on all of us halflings working here. The government told her if she didn't, she'd have to shut down." Rajir shook his head and said, "But the weirdest thing is this- I got a tattoo on my palm, but I didn't go and get it done. I just woke up after a dream about some funky thing and it's on my palm and my TEBO's turned into a star."
"What?" Lucas exclaimed, grabbing his friend's hand and examining it. He sighed. "I don't believe it. How many more are there?"
Rajir cocked his head and gave Lucas a look that clearly said 'What the hell?' He asked, "Lucas, what're you talking about, dude?"
"It ties in with the escapee thing. I'll tell you later, okay?" Lucas promised. "Let's just hurry and get your shift over with."
Lucas gave a sigh of relief and rubbed his shoulder. "I'd forgotten how busy it could get in there."
The others in his traveling group had remained outside, in the back, where they had sat in the garden, dipping their feet into the cool, clear water. They had been chatting and catching up for several hours. It was 9:30 in the evening and the restaurant had just closed.
Rajir nodded. "And it's not even holiday season."
Lucas groaned, "Don't remind me. Let's just get outta here."
After a few seconds of silence, Rajir asked as he followed Lucas, "When are you gonna explain this tattoo thing to me, dude?"
Lucas promised once again, "Once we're all in private."
Lucas and Rajir led the little group along, until they came to a house that lay on the outskirts of the city, near the statue of Lloyd. It was small and white, with little rows of flowers outside of it and the water behind it. Lucas knocked on the door rather loudly. He wasn't surprised in the least when a ruffled old man opened the door and demanded, "Whaddya want, you- Lucas? Is that you?"
"Hey, Dad." Lucas grinned, hugging his short father. "I've got Rajir and some of my new friends with me."
"Well, come in, all of ye." the short man stood aside. His auburn-brown hair was turning silver, but his brown eyes still held warmth and a youthful twinkle in them.
The five newcomers q uietly entered the house, giving various forms of respect and thanks for letting them stay.
Two pairs of eyes followed the group, glowing luminously in the darkness from the full moon above them. They settled themselves comfortably in the ditch across the street crom the house and kept their eyes trained on the silhouettes travelling from window to window.
Rory and Robyn stumbled through the showy city of Phalenyr with Caleb and Miralle in tow. Their rescue of Miralle had been fairly easy. Miralle's guard had fallen asleep and she'd simply wandered through the building until she found herself outside of an inn called The Snowy Rose. She was found by her group almost immediately.
Currently, they were trying to get out of town as quickly as possible. However, their progress was being delayed by a sudden blizzard.
Robyn called to Rory over the howling wind, "Rory, there's no way we're getting out of here now! Let's see if we can find where Yuan's staying if he's still here!"
Rorry nodded and took the group into the Cathedral of Light for a brief respite. Miralle shivered violently. She hadn't known she was in Phalenyr and was only wearing her usual thin red dress. Caleb fished out a blanket from the group's bags and placed it around Miralle's shoulders. He and Robyn then sandwiched the poor teen between them.
As they tried to warm up Miralle, Rory found the communicator and opened a channel. "Hello, Regal, are you there?"
"Rory? What is it?" Regal's voice floated into the air, disturbing the soft tranquility.
"Is Yuan still in Phalenyr?"
"I believe so. Do you require directions to his residence?" Tapping keys accompanied Regal's voice.
"Yes, that we do." Rory replied, suppressing a shiver from the cold air.
Regal quickly relayed the directions and the two noble bid each other good bye.
Rory sighed, "Are we ready to go back out there?"
Caleb suggested, "Why don't you and I find Yuan's house and bring back appropriate clothes for Miralle? Perhaps the blizzard will have cleared up by then and we can leave."
Rory nodded his agreement. "Very well. Let's go."
Once the two were positive that Miralle would be fine, they set back out into the roaring storm.
Robyn and Miralle sat on a bench as they waited, concentrating only on keeping warm.
Miralle examined the Cathedral, feeling somewhat at home. Since she and Roelle had been raised by monks, many hours of their lives had been spent inside places of worship. They had prayed, played, learned, and thought in the pews, all of which had been sources of amusement to the friendly monks.
Miralle's crystal blue eyes looked upon a stained glass window of the Goddess, with her flowing green hair, and the God, resplendant wings illuminating the night. It was still so strange to her that the immortal God and Goddess were actually mere mortal half-elf siblings that had lived millenia ago. Musing about it, she supposed that, in a sense, Martel was a goddess of sorts since she still lived on in Mana.
Speaking of Mana, Miralle still didn't quite understand what her hidden power was.
"Hidden powers?" Miralle and Roelle chorused. "What are you talking about?"
"You've noticed them. You don't know what they are, that's all." Mana gave the two a gentle smile. "Miralle, coouldn't you feel the loneliness of those exspheres when you first met Pryor?"
Miralle thought back and and remembered how she had suddenly been hit with those waves of emotion. "Yeah, but what does that have to do with anything?"
"You are blessed, child.Your ancestor, Martel, had the same power. You are empathic. You can sense the emotions of others. With this power, you shall help the Yggdrasill tree to flourish, along with me." Mana held Miralle's face in her hands. "When the time comes, of course. Use this power throughout your journey to hone it. Use it to learn how to keep peace and foster love."
Miralle was quite confused, but noded her head.
"Now, my guardian, your power comes from your ancestor, Mithos, as well. It is hereditary. Have you noticed?" Mana fixed him with her penetrating emerald gaze.
Roelle gave a small nod. "I think I know what you're talking about. When I'm protecting Miralle, I've noticed that sometimes, I can't feel pain or I sudenly have more speed or more strength."
Mana rewarded him with a smile. "Yes, you're correct. Your power comes from protecting those you care deeply about. However, " Mana's voice became grave, "both of you must be quite cautious when you are exploring the limits of your powers. Do not overexhert yourself when using them, for if you do, it may set of a chain of events that are irreversible."
The twins shivered from the cold chill traveling down their spine. They meekly replied, "Yes, we'll be careful."
"Good." Mana's face softened once more. "Now, if you two evere need anything either come here or touch the tattoo that Aska and Luna gave you and say my name."
They nodded again and Mana smiled at them as she hugged them. "Be safe, my brethren. Tell Yuan Martel says hello."
With that, Mana was gone in a flash of light, leaving behind a pair of very stunned twins.
Use her powers to keep peace and foster love... hmmm. Miralle grinned. She'd probably get plenty of practice with that in their large group. She gave a larger grin. Especially between Nari and Andrew!
At that moment, Rory and Caleb stumbled back in, Yuan-less. They were, however, carrying an assortment of packages.
"What? Where's Yuan?" Robyn inquired, still huddling with Miralle.
"Somewhere else, apparently." Caleb muttered, distributing his collection of packages.
"Don't worry, though. Somehow, Yuan knew we'd be coming through here and left these parcels at his house. Here's Miralle's." Rory handed Miralle a bag with her name on it.
She opened it and found a gold coat with the sun on the chest area of it. It was also trimmed with some sort of white fur. She immediately slipped it on and snuggled into it. "It's so warm!"
Robyn examined the bag's other contents. "Here's some pants and boots." She handed them to the rejuvenated teen. Miralle pulled them on and stood. "Alright, I'm ready now. When are we going?"
"Right now." Caleb declared. "The storm's stopped for a moment, so we're taking the chance while we can."
"Agreed." Rory stood and offered his arm to Robyn. "Let us go back into the weather."
Robyn accepted it with a smile and the foursome wandered into the afternoon sun.
Once they had gotten started, they cleared the snowy continent fairly quickly. Rory looked at the other rheaird, which carried Caleb and Miralle. "Does anyone have a preference where we land at?"
"Ooh, ooh! Luin! I've always wanted to go there!" Miralle chirped from behind Caleb, who suppressed a twitch around his mouth.
"Very well, we'll land there. It's on the way to Neotokio, so it's not as if it's out of the way." Rory reasoned as he adjusted their heading slightly more north.
When the group landed in Luin that evening, Miralle jerked her head up. "I think Roelle's around here somewhere!"
"What?" Robyn turned to the teen, blinking.
"Yeah! I don't know how to explain it, but I sense something that reminds me of Roelle!" Miralle tugged at Rory's shirt. "C'mon, hurry!"
Rory put away his rheaird and waited for Caleb to put up his. Once he had, they discovered that Miralle had already dashed off. Luckily, her golden hair stood out against the crowd and she was easily found.
Miralle finally came to a pause outside of a restaurant called Water's Rest. As she turned her head to look at it, she was lifted into the air with a cry of, "Miralle, you're okay!" and twirled around.
"Roelle!" Miralle hugged her twin tightly. "I'm so glad to see you!"
"Caleb, Rory, Robyn! You guys are all alright, too!" Lucas appeared, wearing his waiter's uniform.
"Of course we are. Why wouldn't we be?" Caleb sardonically commented.
"It's good to see you as well." Rory clasped Lucas' hand.
"Where's everyone else?" Robyn hugged Lucas.
"Inside, helping out. Would you like anything to eat?" Lucas answered, with a flourish of his arms.
"Of course! I'm starved!" Miralled cheered.
Lucas ushered them in, unaware of eyes staring at their group. Two halflings watched them. One was a mermaid-sylph mix and the other was of sprite-fireaid ancestry.
The mermaid-sylph, with long, flowing blue hair and blue tinged skin of the merpeople and gold eyes of the sylph, glanced at a communicator and pressed abutton.
"Cardinal Veele." she musically said.
"Yes, what is it, Arilph?" a voice replied back smoothly.
"More of them have joined the escapees. Do we still wait?"
"Yes. You and Pyris wait until the last group has joined them. Then, you may commence the plan." Veele stated.
With that, the connection was cut.
Arilph turned to Pyris. "You heard him."
Pyris snorted. His skin was a deep tan and his hair was a flaming orange. Sprite wings came from his back, a fragile transparent green. "More waiting. Bah."
"You know, it only makes the end more rewarding." Arilph softly said.
Pyris didn't reply. He simply went back to watching the group of descendants through the windows from their vantage point.
Zenos sighed with some aggravation. Gale hadn't shut up and Antony hadn't said anything at all since takeoff six hours ago. For some strange reason yet unknown, where ever Yuna had been taken moved constantly.
He peered closely at the tracking system on the console of the rheaird. Something was coming up and fast. It was also where ever Yuna was. Looking through the clouds, Zenos squinted, then exclaimed, "Whoa! Slow down!"
"- and I said- What?! Why?" Gale broke off his sentence.
"You don't wanna hit Old Exire, do you?" Antony grunted.
Gale considered this, then backed off of his throttle significantly. "I suppose you have a point."
The three guys circled around Old Exire until they found a landing space. When they were given the all-clear, they landed and quickly got out of the way of other fliers.
Zenos looked around the city appreciatively. The old stone buildings were still holding together very nicely and it was a very large, sprawling place now. The exotic air of the city was only intensified whenever a cloud drifted through the city.
Gale whistled. "I'm impressed."
"Yeah, it's pretty cool. C'mon. Let's get a room so we'll have a base of operations while we search for Yuna." Zenos said.
"Very well. May we also stop by a weapons shop?" Antony requested. I fear this blade that I have is quickly outliving its use."
"Sure. Let's go ahead and do that. I see one right over there." Zenos motioned off towards his right.
As they walked into the weapons shop, Zenos eyes Gale's childish kendama. "Um, hey, Gale, no offense or anything, but... don't you think it's time for a more... menacing weapon?"
Gale stopped in his tracks. He pulled out the brightly colored kendama and examined it. He then looked around the shop, where dark steel weapons of all sorts hung on the walls and on racks. He frowned. "I think I get what you're getting at. Kendamas aren't exactly... manly, are they?"
Zenos shook his head emphatically.
While Antony examined the shortswords, Gale and Zenos experimented with various other weapons. The experiments involved weapons that Gale could juggle and throw accurately. Soon, Antony had a new shortsword and Gale had a pair of daggers concealed beneath his wrist. All he had do to was flick his wrist and he had daggers in his hand.
Gale smirked. "Now all the ladies will be swarming me."
"Whatever makes you feel better." Antony monotonously said.
Gale and Zenos stopped in their tracks, gaping momentarily before Zenos began roaring with laughter and Gale started pouting.
"That was awesome, Antony!" Zenos held his hand up for a high-five.
Antony blankly stared at the raised hand. "Why are you doing that?"
Zenos and Gale gave Antony an incredulous look. "Don't you know what a high-five is? It's when you do this..." They slowly high-fived each other.
"What is the purpose of it?" Antony crossed his arms.
"To congratulate each other for a good joke, a tease, or a burn on another person. Like you just did on me." Gale asked, amazed, "Didn't Presea teach you this stuff?
"No. There was no point in it."
Gale gave Zenos a shocked look. Then he declared, "We shall teach you, young grasshopper!"
"First, we get our room." Zenos pulled them off towards a nearby hotel.
Yuna sighed into her pillow once more. She couldn't wait until she finally got out of this place. She was bored completely out of her mind. Not even writing songs could occupy her anymore. There wasn't even anyone to talk to. Raphael wasn't exactly the liveliest person around. Besides, he looked far too much like Zenos for her liking. It was creepy and only served to make her even more miserable. Wreathe wasn't an option for escape or amusement since Pryor had sealed off summoning in his domain somehow.
Since the others had left a day or two ago, she had been given freedom to roam the castle as she pleased. She could go anywhere, as long as Raphael was with her to ensure she didn't try to escape.
Irritated, Yuna promptly decided to go for a walk to clear her mind. She called, "Raphael."
"Yes, Mistress Yuna?" Raphael's red head appeared.
"Could we go for a walk in the gardens?" Yuna stood, smoothing out the denim jeans she had decided to wear today and slipping into sandals.
"Certainly, Mistress. Are you prepared?" Raphael offered his arm.
"Yeah. Let's go." Yuna took his arm and they walked down the hall.
When they finally reached the gardens, Yuna sighed deeply. Drinking in the sunlight and inhaling the fresh air, she felt content again, as if she could reconnect with the world outside the garden walls and be with her friends again.
All of sudden, she tensed. She could sense someone coming. In her summon spirit's element, her senses were heightened. Turning back towards her attendant, she saw a figure approaching and her jaw dropped. "Ryu?"
The figure stopped and looked at her, then exclaimed, "Yuna!"
Yuna ran towards her brother, then paused in her dash. Her brother was different. His hair was deep green as always and his eyes were the same molten gold as they had always been. But, he walked differently- graceful like the elves- and he had faery wings- they looked like fragile dragonfly wings in a radiant gold color.
"Ryu, how did you get those wings?" she asked as she hugged her older brother.
"I'll tell ya later. What're you doing here?" He chuckled, rubbing her hair. "You're still as short as ever."
She scowled at him playfully. "As if. You're still freakishly tall. What are you doing here?"
He laughed. "I was here to talk to Lord Pryor. He's agreed to help my organization for a little price."
"Your organization? Good Goddess, what have you been up to?" Yuna gaped at him.
"Ryu put an arm around her shoulders and grinned, "Little sis, lemme tell ya something. There's something about us that Mom and Dad never told us. They wanted us to live normally. But that's something for another day. Right now, I'll tell you this much- the organization I'm in is a revival of the Order of the Elements. We're gonna try and break some of the detainees out of those camps that the government has started again. Lord Pryor's agreed to help us if we help him find this group of travelers that have weird tattoos on them. Speaking of tattoos, when'd you get that rose one? ... Yuna? Are you okay?"
Yuna had turned pale. "Ryu, you can't!"
"Why not?" Ryu frowned. "And you didn't tell me why you're here."
"I can't tell you, not right now!" Desperate to not be found out, Yuna reverted back to their childhood code talk. "Mong e e tong mong e a tong tong hong e wong yong long dong e rong mong a nong song i o nong i nong nong e o tong o kong i o."
Ryu, puzzled, still nodded. "Fong o u rong dong a yong song."
Yuna nodded. "I'll be there one way or another."
They hugged and parted. Yuna whispered, "Be safe."
Ryu flashed her one of his confident grins again and left.
Raphael flew towards her slowly. "Is everything alright, Mistress?"
Yuna gave him a small smile. "Yes, everything's fine."
"Miss Yuna! How wonderful to see you on this beautiful day." Pryor appeared from a side garden.
The ever present wind suddenly picked up as Yuna politely waved to him. "How are you, Lord Pryor?"
"Quite wonderful, especially now that I see you garbed in the resplendant sun." Pryor smiled at her winningly as he kissed her hand.
"You flatter me too much, milord." Yuna humbly replied.
"Nonsense. I speak only the truth." Pryor returned.
Yuna didn't respond to his statement. She looked around and commented, "We're on Old Exire, aren't we?"
"That we are. However did you figure it out?" Pryor pleasantly said.
"The breeze is always blowing, I couldn't see the ground for a long ways down when I looked over the railing, and I walked through a cloud yesterday." Yuna drily replied.
Pryor laughed and grinned at her. "What wonderful reasoning. Congratuations. I'll let you go into the city if you like."
Yuna's face brightened. "Really?" Then she caught herself. "But there's a catch. There's always a catch."
"Since I'm quite confident there's no way for you to escape from here, I'll only require you to take Raphael with you when you go." Pryor sweetly smiled.
"Of course, milord." Yuna inclined her head.
"Wonderful." Pryor turned to Raphael. "Mistress Yuna is now allowed into the city. You are to escort her in your elven disguise."
"Yes, Lord Pryor." Raphael glowed for a moment, then settled onto the ground. His wings had disappeared and his ears were elongated and tapered to a point. His eyes weren't as blank as usual, but his face was as serene as ever.
Pryor pulled out a bag of gold and handed it to Raphael. "Mistress Yuna may get whatever she likes. She won't try to escape."
"Yes, Lord Pryor." Raphael took the gold and returned to Yuna's side. "Shall we go, Mistress Yuna?"
Yuna suppressed the urge to shiver from excitement. "Yes, let's. Until later, Lord Pryor."
"Have fun." Pryor nodded with a smile.
Once Yuna and Raphael were back inside, a halfling appeared. He was a sylph-sprite mix with solid gold eyes and translucent blue wings. "Lord Pryor?"
"Follow then, Kaelzi. Make sure Raphael doesn't get any ideas." Pryor coldly commanded, all warmth gone from his figure.
"Yes, Lord Pryor." Kaelzi bowed. He leapt into the sky, his whole body slowly changing to the color of the sky. Once he had completely adjusted, no one could see him. With a very soft buzzing from his wings, he flew off after Yuna and Raphael.
Yuna rubbed the area around her savior stone absent-mindedly. It didn't bother her, but she was still adjusting to the weight of it on her left hand. It was jade green in the likeness of a rose and a silver charm protected it.
"Where would you like to go first, mistress?" Raphael politely asked.
Yuna admired the blend of ancient past and modern present first before answering, "I feel like ice cream."
"Then, please take my arm and I'll show you where to go to." Raphael extended his arm. Yuna accepted it and they went off.
"Man! Can't Yuna just stay still?" Gale complained as he, Zenos, and Antony ate ice cream at the Cream's Delight Shoppe in the marketplace. "We find the freakin' movin' city and she still doesn't stay still!"
Zenos merely grunted in response.
Antony looked at the tracker once more. "I think she's getting closer."
"What?!" the two exclaimed.
The bell on the door tinkled and Yuna stepped in, wearing a white spaghetti-strap shirt with denim jeans and sandals. A man walked in with her- an elf that looked exactly like Zenos.
"Scary. Two of Zenos? Doesn't bear thinking." Gale muttered.
Yuna noticed the three of them and her face lit up. "Gale! Zenos! Antony!"
"Yuna!" Gale jumped up and ran to his best friend. "You're okay!"
"Of course I am!" Yuna replied, then turned to Raphael. "It's okay, Raphael. These are my friends."
"How unexpected." Raphael softly said, then spotted Zenos, who looked extremely confused. Raphael cocked his head. "One of them looks exactly like me."
"I know." Yuna giggled. "Let's get our ice cream and sit down together."
"Certainly. What would you like, mistress?" Raphael asked.
"A cookies 'n' cream milkshake and a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream." Yuna dreamily requested.
As Raphael strode away, Zenos and Gale stared at Yuna like she was crazy.
"So I'm going through withdrawal. Sue me." she joined them with a glare.
"Yuna, what's going on?" Zenos hissed, taking her hand under the table.
She squeezed his hand tightly. "I can't tell you now. We've gotta figure out how to get outta here before Raphael gets back!"
At that moment, Raphael reappeared. "Here you are, Mistress Yuna."
"Thank you, Raphael." Yuna accepted it, moving over so he could sit on her other side. "Where's your ice cream?"
"You forget. I'm an angel. I require no sustenance." Raphael blankly replied.
"At least have a bite." Yuna offered him some of her ice cream.
"As you wish." Raphael obligingly took it. He placed the spoon in his mouth and staggered. As he was barraged with sudden taste and feeling, he felt an intense pain in his head.
"You're absolutely worthless, you know." a young Pryor smirked at six-year old Raphael as he ate his vanilla ice cream.
The spoon paused as Raphael replied, "Not according to the Eternal Swordsman's teachings." He finished his bite of ice cream and added, "Why do you say that, anyways?"
"Hasn't my father told you?" Pryor continued smirking, then maliciously said, "Your father sold you to us."
The spoon clattered to the table as the young redhead sat, shocked. "But Daddy said he was just sending me here for a better edu-ma-cation."
"It was a lie. Your father sold you to us because you're a twin. And everyone knows twins are unnatural things." Pryor smirked, enjoying the young boy's pain.
Raphael didn't say anything right away. He looked at the floor and asked, "What about Zeno'?"
Pryor shrugged, a carefree expression on his face.
Raphael sat in his chair, overwhelmed with this new kind of emotion.
"It hurts, doesn't it?" Pryor whispered. "I can fix that. Do you want to not feel that pain in your heart?"
Raphael looked at Pryor, a tear slowly trailing its way down his slightly freckled cheek.
"Do you?" Pryor insisted.
Raphael closed his eyes of tears and bowed his head, remembering.
"Well? What's your answer?" Pryor demanded.
"...No more pain. I don't like this feeling. It hurts too much."
Pryor triumphantly smirked. "Just wait. Soon, it won't hurt anymore."
Raphael slowly nodded, then began to cry into the melting remnants of his ice cream.
Raphael held his head, eyes squeezed together in pain. With a slight groan, he opened his eyes. Looking at the others, his eyes were somber sea-green pools of light. "Huh? ... What just happened?"
"Raphael, are you okay?" Yuna asked, concerned. She gently laid a hand on his shoulder.
Raphael looked at her and she was stunned by his likeness to Zenos now. "I think I remember you. You're Yuna. You're a captive under my guard."
"Wha- Raphael, are you okay?" Yuna repeated, leaning closer to him. As she did, she noticed a bulge in the hollow of his throat. "Is that-?"
She reached for his white turtleneck and pulled it down, exposing the bulge. It was an orb of gold- a Savior stone without an ounce of protection around it. Yuna exclaimed, "It's a Savior Stone!"
Zenos looked and met Raphael's eyes. "Just who are you?"
Raphael blinked, then his eyes widened. "Is your name Zenos Wylder by any chance?"
"Yes, that's me. Why?" Zenos peered closer at Raphael. Suddenly, he gave a sharp intake of breath as his mind hit him with forgotten memories.
A face that mirrored his own perfectly.
Tumbling black and white.
Another boy with red hair- a baby.
Blowing out four candles on a birthday cake with himself.
A flash of light.
Red hair dragged away by Daddy.
Blue hair and a little head of white.
"No! No! Don't take Raph'el! Mommy! Stop them!"
Gold hair runs by.
"Stop! Why are you doing this, Zatos!?"
"Twins are unnatural things! If there's only one of them, everything will be all right again!"
"No! Stop it, Zatos!"
A burst of darkness.
"Serena!" Daddy screams.
"She interfered with our business. Let's go, son." Blue hair grabs Raph'el and begins walking away.
"Raph'el! I'll find you!"
"Zeno'! Help me!"
He runs towards Raph'el. He falls. Raph'el's face is smothered in cloth.
Zenos and Raphael stared at each other. They pointed at each other, then mumbled, "You're my twin."
"What?!" Gale, Yuna, and even Antony exclaimed.
"It's true. I... I just remembered everything." Zenos said, numb.
Raphael looked at Zenos, then commented quietly with some amusement, "We still dress the same."
The others looked at Zenos, then Raphael. Zenos was wearing his usual black mockneck shirt and tan breeches with his hair spiked. Raphael had on a white shirt with dark blue breeches and his hair fell into his eyes. Yuna and Gale glanced at each other and Antony decided not to say anything.
Zenos shook his head, throwing off his cloud of numbness. "We gotta get out of here."
After a few seconds of thinking, Zenos declared, "This is what we're gonna do. We're gonna stage it. Yuna, you and Raphael will go by the fountain and we'll appear, then catch Raphael, who has kidnapped you. Antony will pretend to knock out Raphael and Gale will explan to the crowd that Raphael kidnapped Yuna in Asgard and we're taking him back to make sure he gets what he deserves. Then we get on our rheairds and get outta here. Agreed?"
"Sounds good to me." Gale and Yuna agreed as Antony nodded.
"We'll have to be on the lookout for Kaelzi." Raphael warned. "He's a sylph-sprite halfling that can blend into the sky, like a chameleon."
"I'll take care of him." Gale assured Raphael. "I can sense people's magics, even in their passive state."
"Okay. He's a wind mage, so knock him outta the sky and onto the ground. He only takes on the sky's color, so he'll be easy enough to finish off on the ground." Raphael added.
"Let's get out of here and do this show." Zenos stated, determindly.
The group exited the shop and split up.
They "ran" into each other in front of the designated fountain.
"Look! It's Leila!" Gale exclaimed, pointing at Yuna.
"And that scumbag! Hurry!" Zenos ran at the two 'unsuspecting" people. Yuna seemed to be struggling against Raphael's firm grip.
Zenos tackled Raphael from behind. Raphael had morphed into his elven disguise, except with bright orange hair. "You filthy man! Thought you get away with our Leila?!"
"You! Agh!" Raphael "hit" Zenos with a blow to his eye and knocked him away. Zenos landed in the fountain with a splash. Raphael sprang up and started to run, but Antony was blocking the way. With a good solid "punch" to the stomach, Antony knocked Raphael unconscious.
"Ryan! Drew, Jamie!" Yuna hugged Gale as she sobbed, "You found me!"
"Of course we did." Zenos staggered up to her, sopping wet, and embraced her as well.
By now, of course, the crowd was quite curious.
"Don't worry everyone. We have everything under control. This guy kidnapped our friend when we were in Asgard on a trip, but we've found him! We're going to take him back to Asgard to make sure he gets the justice he deserves!" Gale bound an unconscious Raphael with a metal pair of handcuffs.
Zenos picked up the perpetrator and they walked off, the crowd dissipating.
They reached a rheaird field swiftly and were able to leave right away, courtesy of their little act by the fountain.
Once they were in the air and a good distance away, flying relatively low, Gale stretched an arm as he muttered to himself, then cried, "Lighting!"
A shriek of pain was heard off to their left as a piece of the sky fell to the ground 50 yards below the entourage. Muttering furiously, Gale finished Kaelzi with a shout of, "Grave!"
The sky on the ground gave several loud cries of pain. He was cut off rather abruptly when the last spike of earth drove through him.
"That takes care of that." Gale gave a grim nod.
"Let's stop somewhere soon." Yuna requested from behind Zenos.
"Sure. Look, Luin's coming up." Zenos said.
"Great! Can I get un-unconscious now?" Raphael asked in a muffled voice from his slumped position behind Antony.
"Yup." Zenos chuckled at his twin.
With a tremendous stretch, Raphael sat up and changed back to his human form.
They landed in Luin and walked into the town, Gale groaning, "Food! Food! Foooooodddd!"
"Okay, okay, sheesh." Yuna sighed. "Where's that Water's Rest that we went to last time? That place was awesome."
Glancing around, Gale spotted it. He happily cried, "It's over there!" He started to run to it; however, he ran straight into someone with red hair.
"Jeez, watch where you're going- Gale?" Zach said, surprised.
"Zach!" Gale grinned.
"Ena!" Yuna cried.
"Yuna!" Ena hugged her.
"Zenos!" Zach jogged to his brother.
"Zach!" Zenos ruffled his little brother's hair affectionately.
"Zach?" Raphael blinked.
"Zenos?" Zach looked at Raphael, confused.
"Raphael?" Ena cocked her head.
"Ena?" Raphael looked shocked.
"Gale!" Gale shouted.
"WAIT!" Yuna shouted.
"What's going on?!" Zach demanded. "Did you get cloned to something, Zenos?"
"I'm so confused." Lucas appeared.
"Lucas?" The group said collectively.
"What?!" Lucas wailed, "What's happening?!"
"Everyone's repeating each other's names and not even really trying to find out what's occuring." Antony monotonously informed him.
Well, guys, there it is! I had fun writing this one. (insert evil laugh here)
I do think I'm gonna poll the readers on this question, though. Should Raphael stay with the group or should he go back to Pryor and act as a double agent? I'm torn because I don't want to take Raphael away from Zenos so quickly! That would be so mean!
Oh, and whoever can figure out the secret code between Yuna and Ryu gets a special prize. I haven't decided what yet, though.
And I've seriously got to stop coming up with these OCs! I'm gonna be like Freakyanimegal456 before long. --;; Too many OCs, I mean. I like her stories.
So, don't worry. I've already started on Chapter 13 and it'll be up soon, hopefully. We're just about out of school! Yes!
Read and review, please!