Chapter 7

There was a low, drawn out squeal as the door swung open. Before them lay the room that Ender was staying in, the sunlight from outside splashing over it. Ishishi and Noshishi both entered the room, glancing about, their Sensei making his way in shortly afterwards. The room itself wasn't that unlike the one that Zorori and the twins were staying in, across the hall from him. The difference was that this room actually looked lived in.

There were props and clothes strewn all over the floor, and a bag of Ender's lay against the wall; a pair of shorts, a wand, and some posters advertising himself were hanging out of it, and a pair of socks that looked virtually new were on the ground beside it. In the left-hand corner sat a small wooden table, with what it seemed were some of the squirrel's personal belongings spread out over it: an old looking scroll tied up rather hastily with a ragged piece of ribbon, a pen and some paper with notes scribbled on them, and a small, locked, wooden box. The fox's eyes lingered on the box for a moment. The intricate carvings that lined its sides seemed to gently play with his vision for a moment before he moved on.

The bed was the only thing in the room that wasn't messy. Compared to the rest of the room, it was practically immaculate. Judging by the state of the carpet near the table, it was rather obvious why. He most likely stayed up late during the night to get things done for his shows, and apparently, he most likely fell asleep there too. The sound of the squirrel shuffling about drew him out of his thoughts, and he looked over to see Ender digging through a small pile of stuff next to his bed. After a few moments, an "Aha!" left his mouth as he pulled a small folded piece of paper out of the pile. The squirrel unfolded it, glanced over it, murmured something to himself, then folded it back up and put it back in the pile. He made his way over to the table in the corner and grabbed a few blank sheets and the pen. Then he ran back to the pile beside his bed and pulled out a small pad.

"There we go," he said, making his way back over to the fox. "Come on he said, motioning to him and the twins, "why don't we get started." Ender made his way into the center of his room and cleared a space big enough for the four of them to sit in a circle. The squirrel sat down, and within a few seconds, the twins were sitting next to him, and Zorori across from him. He gave them his wooden smile as he picked up a blank piece of paper and put it down on top of the pad in front of all of them. Pulling out the pen, the squirrel drew five circles on the paper, laying them out so each sat at one point of a pentagon. He connected each to the next and completed the shape.

Zorori leaned forwards a little, Curious. What was this fellow going to be telling them that he needed such a diagram to explain. Ender leaned back, finished. Zorori's ear twitched as he waited for the squirrel to start talking. Was he going to..."Before I teach you how to preform any magic, I must explain the basic essences that magic uses draw their power from." He was... The fox crossed his arms and smirked. This was going to be interesting...

"There are five different essences that encompass the different areas of life." The squirrel leaned forwards and drew a spiral in the circle on top of the pentagon. "Laughter..." He drew a serrated blade in the next one. "War..." A tear came next. "Sadness..." Then a flower. "Peace..." And last but not least, a shining diamond. "And finally, Creation." He looked up after finishing filling in the circles. "Keep in mind though that the essences aren't usually represented by symbols. I'm just doing this to make it easier to explain." Ishishi and Noshishi both nodded in response.

"Of course," Ishishi said, "that makes sense." Ender gave the boar his wooden grin and patted him on the back, then settled back down to continue.

"Now then," he said, clearing his throat. "Each essence draws its power from different things in life and nature." He took the pen and pointed to the spiral. "Laughter is made up of all the good things in life: the evenings spent with friends laughing out in the fields, dancing in the rain, and rejoicing after a wonderful event. It's blissful noise filling the air." He pointed to the blade next. "War is anger, death, and rage. It's the destruction found in murders and serial killers, and the violence and corruption behind everything wrong with the world."

The squirrel paused for a moment after saying the last part of that sentence, taking a moment before continuing on to the next. He moved the pen from the blade to the tear. "Sadness is made up of the disappointments and losses one has in life, whether of something, or of someone." Moving the pen to the next symbol, he continued. "Peace is made of the quiet stillness of nature, and the serene feeling of silence felt when no one else is around. It is simple balance between forces." Finally, he pointed to the diamond at the end of the Pentagon. "And last but not least, Creation is the birth of life, inspiration and ideas. It's the muse that gives the artist the idea for his masterpiece, and the bringing of something new into the world."

Zorori couldn't help but have a smug grin on his face as he heard the last description. If there was anything he knew about, it was creating things. It was one of the things he was best at. He looked up as he started daydreaming a little, ignoring the fact that Ender was nowhere near done with his explanation. Perhaps he would be using magic through the essence of Creation. He could just imagine, holding his paw out, maybe saying a few words, and presto, before him stood a completed mecha, ready to do whatever he told it to. He couldn't wait.

The sound of Ender tapping his paw on the paper drew him out of his thoughts. The squirrel was watching the fox as his head tilted back, imagining what he'd be able to do. Zorori quickly corrected himself, sitting up straight and watching Ender carefully. It was only then that the squirrel made to move on.

"Now then," he said, keeping his eyes on the fox as he spoke, "in order to help keep balance between them, each essence has two opposites." Ender took the pen and pointed it at the laughter essence, slowly making his way around the circle from there. "The opposites of Laughter are Sadness and Peace. The opposites of War are Creation and Peace. The opposites of Sadness are Laughter and Creation. The opposites of Peace are Laughter and War. And finally, the opposites of Creation are War and Sadness." The squirrel uncapped the pen and drew lines from each essence to the two essences opposite them on the pentagon, forming a star in the middle to show their relations. He looked up at the two boars, glancing back and forth between them. "Does that make sense?" Both simply nodded, keeping quiet in the hope that he'd move on quickly. Zorori simply sat there listening and taking it all in.

"Now," Ender went on, "despite the fact that each essence has its opposites, it isn't rare to see two or more essences working in harmony with each other to help keep balance in the world, even if both of them are complete opposites. For example, say a volcano is erupting and burning down a forest, but then after the lava cools, new brush and new life springs forth from the destruction." He adjusted his position to get more comfortable while talking, sitting back and crossing his legs as he faced the three in front of him. "The cooperation between the different essences are what allow magic to be applied to such a broad spectrum of situations, and allow it to be used in such a wide range of ways."

Smiling and standing up, the squirrel picked up the paper and handed it over to Zorori. "You might wanna keep that," he said, getting to work gathering a few more things around the room as soon as the fox took it. Zorori looked at it for a moment before folding it up and putting it into his pocket. When he looked back up, Ender had several small notepads in his hand, and a few pencils. He handed one of each to Zorori, then passed the others out to Ishishi and Noshishi.

"So," he said, taking a step back and looking them over, "here's what I want you to do." As he spoke he turned to face the window in his room, looking out at the world beyond it. "I want you to head out into town, and I want each of you to find an example of an event that that would give power to each essence." He turned and looked them over again, holding up his paw as if to drive home the point. "That's five for each of you. You cannot share, and..." The squirrel leaned in a little closer to make sure that all three of them understood him. " cannot cheat."

Zorori quickly glanced between the two boars, then looked back up at Ender and smiled, taking a few steps towards him. "Don't worry," he said, swinging his arm around Ender's shoulder in the friendliest gesture that the fox could think of, "we won't." He backed up a little, looking over the squirrel and giving him a thumbs up before jogging over to the door, taking the handle in his paw and slipping his body around the wooden door. "Come on you two," he said, motioning to the twins. He smiled a little, a mischievous look in his eyes as he spoke, one that Ishishi and Noshishi recognize all too well. "Let's go have some fun." Without another word, he darted down the hallway. Ishishi and Noshishi followed, giggling a little as they anticipated the fun that they'd be having.

Zorori stuck his head around the corner, his straw hat casting a small shadow over his face as he gazed back and forth, looking at the happenings in the square. "Hmm..." He put a paw up to his chin as he thought, then pulled back into the alleyway, plopping himself down and crossing his legs as he sat across from Ishishi and Noshishi.

The younger boar leaned forwards a little. "Sensei, what kind of pranks are we going to be pulling today?" The fox glanced over at him, a small grin crossing his face. It was small enough that it could almost be seen as a smirk.

"Today," he said, looking back out at the square. "...Today we'll be pulling small pranks. Nothing too big."

Ishishi looked at him with a questioning look. "Huh, small pranks? Why small? Why not go big like we usually do?" Zorori's tongue protruded from the left corner of his mouth as his eyes focused on something happening in the square. He quickly jotted something down on his pad with his pencil, then looked up at Ishishi.

"Because," He said, putting his pad down, "Today we're not simply doing it for fun. Today we're only doing it to change some of the things that we'll see happening in town. That way, we'll actually be able to observe what we need to."

Noshishi tilted his head a little. This didn't seem entirely like the Zorori they knew. He wasn't one to typically follow instructions. "So," he asked, "we're actually going to be doing the exercise that Ender told us to do?" Zorori only smiled at him, a little amused by the question.

"What," he replied, "you didn't think I'd just blow all of this off, did you? I want to learn how to use magic, and if this is how we start, then this is what we're gonna do." The two boars looked at each other and smiled, understanding where their Sensei was coming from.

The two of them faced him with a determined look on their faces. "Okay," they said, eager to impress Zorori by doing as well as they possibly could. The fox chuckled a little. The two of them always were eager to please.

He turned to look at the square again. If there was anything they could be sure of, it was that the town square was the epicenter of many of the town's events. If they were looking for anything, they could probably expect to find it around here. "Alright you two," he said, keeping his eyes on the square, "I want you two to head on out into the town and see what you can find. Remember, we need one for each essence." He stood up and took a step into the sunshine, glancing back at the two boars, who were both sticking their heads out of the alleyway to look about.

The fox pulled three small devices out of his pocket and handed one to each of the twins. They were watches, rough models, but watches. Zorori strapped his on to his wrist, fiddling with the single dial on it a little. "I made these from what scraps I could gather from around the room and Jack's kitchen. They should all work just fine." He helped Ishishi and Noshishi get theirs on and adjusted to match his. All of them were set at noon. "We'll meet back here at three-thirty." He took a few steps towards away from them, then turned to face them again. "I'll see you guys later, and don't forget." Without another word, he darted off and disappeared into an alleyway on the opposite side of the square.

As Zorori slipped between small groups of people, a lingering thought made its way into his mind. Would those two be okay on their own? He shook his head a little, tossing the worry aside. What was he thinking? Of course they'd be okay. They managed to handle themselves just fine when they'd gone on their little errand to get him his cream puff... despite the fact that they never actually got him a cream puff... With a grin, he turned down a corner at the end of the alleyway, finding himself on a small street.

He couldn't wait to hear what they'd been up to when they got back together...