"Whoooooa..." Baritone gawked and stared in awe as he saw Charity's enormous mansion. The mansion was surrounded by brick walls. Each side had a pair of black arching gates that would give a trespasser a lot of trouble breaking in. The gates were designed in a graceful vine-like pattern.
"So, who else lives in your giant mansion?" Patch jokingly asked Charity.
"My army of maids who will whip you with their brooms at my command." Charity answered coyly. Patch gulped nervously in response.
The 3 children got out of the limo and proceeded to the mansion. When they went inside, they were greeted by numerous maids who were prepared to serve Charity and her guests.
"Ulp, Charity wasn't kidding about the army of maids..." Baritone muttered. Baritone looked all around the mansion and saw exquisite chandeliers, beautiful furniture, and home decor that lavished Charity's mansion. Just then, he heard a squealing somewhere in the back of a long hallway. The sound got louder and closer until Baritone saw a lady in a red professional attire dashing at Charity.
"MY DEAR LITTLE BABY~!" The woman grasped and hugged Charity tightly. "How was my little darling today?"
"Mom, I can't breathe... and I'm not a baby..." Charity choked.
"Oooh, you're so adorable when you're like that." Charity's mother cooed. She looked at Patch and Baritone and greeted them.
"Why, hello there! I'm Yai Ayano Blaze, Charity's mother, Chaud Blaze's wife, and co-president of the Blaze Tech company. Patch, I see that you've grown since the last time we met. And who have we here?"
"This is Baritone," Charity answered. "Mom, you're squishing me..."
"Hush, deary. You should let your new friend introduce himself." Yai gently rebuked as she finally let go of Charity. "What's your name?"
"I'm... Baritone. Nice to meet you, ma'am..." Baritone greeted.
"Oh, so timid of you." Yai giggled. She then turned to Patch and explained that Lan already contacted her about Patch and Baritone sleeping over at her place.
Everybody then heard the doorbell ring once more. A maid went to see who it was and quickly returned to Yai explaining that Michelle and Max were present.
"More guests? Wonderful!" Yai exclaimed as she opened the door. Michelle barged into the room with her sleeping bag.
"Hi, Cherry!" Michelle greeted cheerfully as she ran into the lobby of the mansion. She stopped momentarily to catch her short breath and then walked up to Charity and others.
"Michelle, please don't run! You need to be careful!" Ribbon, Michelle's Navi, fretted.
"Sweetie, listen to your Navi and your mother and please don't run, OK?" A feminine voice called out to Michelle. A beautiful woman stepped into the mansion. She had emerald eyes and wavy, long blonde hair.
"Mary! Oh, I'm so happy to see you!" Yai said as she embraced Mary, took her by the hands and brought her into the mansion. "How have you been? Are you doing well?"
"I'm doing all right." Michelle answered. "I'm sorry if we're causing a ruckus. Michelle somehow found out that you're holding a sleepover. She begged me to come."
"Not a problem, Mary. You and your family's welcome to stay here for the night. Besides, I like the festivity." Yai said as she watched all the kids except Max go to settle their belongings.
"Max, you don't want to join them?" Mary asked.
"Thank you, Mother... but I have some work to do." Max excused himself.
"Max, you're still a young boy. Go and have some fun spending time with friends! You can work yourself to death when you're old and out on your own." Yai said as she ordered some of her maids to escort Max to a room.
Max honestly didn't want to be involved with 3 people that he met earlier at the mall, but he was not about to start an argument in front of his mother. He did as he was told and silently followed the maids.
"I'm sorry about that..." Mary apologized.
"Mary, you apologize too much. Don't give yourself a heartache by worrying."
While Mary and Yai swapped their mommy stories and talked about their health and family life, the kids decided to watch movies in Charity's theater room. Most of them were sitting at the couch and were waiting for Charity to set up a movie. Max, however, refused to join and cooped himself up in his guest room.
"Geez, why does Max have to come?" Patch grumbled as he ate a fistful of popcorn.
"Patch...! Don't say that in front of Michelle!" Charity hissed under her breath as she fiddled with her PET's remote control program to get a movie set up.
"Hee, hee. It's OK. Max just doesn't want to be a party-pooper to you guys." Michelle smiled sweetly.
"Huh..." Patch remarked as he ate another handful of popcorn.
"What's a movie?" Baritone asked. He had much to learn in the world of humans.
"Oh, a movie is like... well... it's something that helps us have fun. It tells stories - only we can see and hear the story come to life." Charity explained.
"Cherry, which movie are we watching?" Michelle asked.
"I wanted to watch this latest movie that came out on DVD. It's called 'Rain: The Seed of the Rainbow'." Charity answered.
"That sounds like a cheesy movie. Why not watch something epic like 'The Blade of Destiny'?" Patch asked.
"No." Charity retorted.
"Fine, let's watch it after your movie, OK?" Patch negotiated.
"..." Patch made a blank face and resigned in silent agreement that Charity's choice for the movie was absolute. Charity smirked in sly triumph as she pressed a button on her PET and the room darkened. The movie proceeded to play.
Baritone was dazzled to see the actors come to life on what was once a blank white screen. He watched as the movie told a tale about the Beholder of Lights and his wife, the Maiden of the Clouds, witnessing the world turn into the single color of gray. They were sad that although the creatures of earth moved and breathed, the creatures experienced a living death as everything around them – including themselves – were the color of ash. They knew that a demon who called himself the Lord of Ash, sprinkled his dust all over the earth in the beginning of time and turned it into a dry and desolate world.
With her tears, the Maiden of the Clouds gave birth to the Angel of Rain. The Beholder and the Maiden loved the child dearly, but they were commanded by the Creator of the Cosmos to give up their beloved son in a certain manner. The parents of the Angel of Rain were pained, but knew that they had to do so in order to bring life into the world. The Angel of Rain also knew what he had to do, and even though he was afraid he obediently did as the Creator of Cosmos commanded.
They trusted the Creator of the Cosmos and the parents sacrificed their son by piercing their only child with the Beholder of Lights' weapon: the Long Bow of Brilliance. The Beholder of Lights shot an arrow of his light into the Angel of Rain's heart. The Beholder, cried out in grief as he witnessed his son pierced by his own mighty weapon. The Maiden of Clouds wept in sadness at her son's death.
But then they stopped and watched in awe as the Angel of Rain's body burst open of crystal-clear blood that shined a million colors in the Beholder's presence. The Angel of Rain shattered into a million pieces and then became a million raindrops that fell upon the earth. Each raindrop was blessed with the 7 colors of the rainbow.
The rain fell into the dry earth and quenched it with moisture and color. As the Beholder and the Maiden watched this miracle, they saw a rainbow arch in the sky. The Creator of Cosmos appeared before them and promised that the Angel of Rain, whose spirit now stood with the Creator, will rule the waters and the sky and that the rainbow would be the symbol of the eternal promise. Life was now filled with vivid, rich color and the creatures of the earth would be able to live joyfully forever. The movie then ended with a final note explaining this is why rainbows appear after a shower today.
When the lights came back on, everybody found Patch sniveling like a toddler.
"That... was so beautiful...!" Patch sobbed as he wiped his eyes. Charity laughed as she slapped his arm and gave the "I told you it was a good movie" look.
Michelle giggled while Baritone silently thought about the meaning of the story.
"Would parents sacrifice their own children to save the world...? Would a child really be OK with it?" Baritone wanted to think more, but he was interrupted as Yai barged in and announced in a sing-song voice that dinner was ready. Everybody except Baritone screamed in excitement and ran down to the gigantic dining room that could probably hold dozens of people for a grand ball. Baritone just sighed and smiled as he followed after them. He noticed Max standing near by the door of the theater room. Max had his arms crossed and stared at Baritone.
"Hey." Max greeted curtly.
"Hi." Baritone answered back. "Are you coming for dinner?"
"Yeah. So, how was the movie?" Max asked.
"It was good. It would've been nice that you watched along with us. Michelle says that you purposely didn't because you didn't want to ruin it for everybody."
Max stared at Baritone with an expressionless face for a minute before he huffed and replied that he just didn't like watching movies and left for dinner. However, Baritone knew that Max just didn't want to admit the truth and smiled as he followed Max.
Dinner was a refreshing experience for Baritone as he tried a variety of foods and drinks that Yai prepared for them. By the time dinner was over, everybody could barely get off of their seats.
"Buuurp! Ooh, man. I'm so full..." Patch belched.
"Eeew, Patch." Michelle responded. Max silently glared at Patch and just left the table. Charity grimaced in disgust.
"Hey, Cherry. Would you mind teaching me how to Net Battle?" Patch asked. He wanted a rematch with Max and he didn't want to pass the chance.
"Not tonight... Maybe tomorrow... I'm getting sleepy..." Charity yawned.
"Aww... Come on. I wanna learn now so I can whoop Max."
"Even if you did learn how to operate your Navi, you'd still lose to Max."
"Come on, Charity... Pleeeaaase...?" Patched begged.
"NO." Charity said as she went upstairs to get ready for bed.
"...OK..." Patch did the same and went to the bathroom to brush his teeth. Baritone later followed and asked Patch what this doohickie and that thingamajig was. Patch taught Baritone how to brush his teeth but Baritone had a bit of trouble understanding Patch's paste-filled explanation.
Max was already in his room with his door closed when everybody else said good night. Baritone said his good-nights to his friends and closed the door quietly behind him. He was about to approach his bed when he noticed that the moon was full and clear. Baritone couldn't help but be awed by the pearl-white moon. He opened the window and felt the night breeze blow gently at his face as though an angel of the night kissed him a good night.
Baritone breathed deeply and enjoyed the quiet night. He heard the soft chirps of crickets and looked at the sky. The moon's beauty almost reminded him of his mother...
The young boy looked down at his hands in quiet sadness as he proceeded to close the window and crawl to his bed. He shuffled a little under the blankets and turned so he could see the moon from where he was laying. He stared at the still moon once more.
"I miss Father... and Mother..." Baritone whispered as his eyes fell heavy and his mind slipped into the ethereal dreams.