Yay! I'm glad you guys liked the last chapter. (Honestly, I didn't really since they're going into recollections after one day. :T) Anyways, I noticed a certain review a little too late last time, and took it for the wrong meaning. CX Whoops.

Raven: For DanteShino, -pulls Dist's underwear over his eyes-

Shadow: XD -gives Van a similar wedgie-

Raven: The deed has been done! XDD

Star: Yes, and thanks to all who actually DO read the authors notes, whether for comical purposes or not.

Blaze: Its much appreciated.

Anyways, on with the chapter! :D Which is mostly dedicated to Star and her weird missions. XD

Chapter 19:

First Mission: Really?

Star's POV; First Person

Okay, so if Sync ever gives you a flier and tells you to do that, then ignore him and walk away. If not, then you will be in a similar mess as I am in.

"Please Star-y, save me!" Oli called from the distance. I scowled, grimaced, and cursed my luck before kicking the moderately big stone off the fallen boy.

"Oli, please. If rocks will slow us down, then we should stop and rest for a while." I said softly, directing his attention. Of course this attention was anywhere BUT my face and I didn't like the way his eyes kept flashing down.

"Oh, I'll rest. As long as you're with me." He gushed, and tried to wrap his chubby arms around me. I backed away faster than one might think possible and he felt flat on his face. He started bawling his eyes out at the new pain. I merely sighed and looked forlornly at the distant cathedral of Daath.

Ah this must be confusing to you all. Let me start from the beginning.


"I would like to request this mission please." I stated, handing the bartender the flyer Sync had handed off to me. The bartender, who was polishing mug glasses, put the towel and mug down and took the flyer. He scanned it carefully before a bright smile appeared on his face.

"Ah, we were looking for a pretty girl to do this. Alright, hun, the petitioner is a boy named Oli, he lives in the house down Main Street, the pink one on the left. Find him and you'll get more information for the job." I thanked him politely and turned back to Sync.

"Now what do I do?" I asked quizzically, holding up the flyer.

"Now rats, you find the petitioner, accept the job, do the job, then come back to the bartender for your reward." He explained slowly, as if talking to a five year old.

"Alright then." I started walking away and noticed he started following me. I caught Raven in my peripheral vision taking down a notice with a beaming smile on her face.

I waltzed out of the bar and followed the directions to Oli's house, paying no heed to the god general stalking behind me. I found it relatively quickly since it was the only pink house among all the other white ones. I knocked tentatively on the door and heard something scrambling behind the wooden blockade.

The door burst open, surprising me slightly, and in its place was a chubby teenage boy with pimples dotting his face. I subconsciously put a hand on my skin, making sure I didn't have any pimples.

"Um, hi?" He asked, staring at me. It took him three seconds to look from my face and down to my chest and then down further.

I cleared my throat loudly and heard Sync scoff in the back. "Hello, I'm Star. I am here about you request you posted in the tavern." I said as politely as I could. "You're Oli right?"

"Oh, I see." He replied, not looking up from my chest. He didn't even answer my question; in fact what he said didn't even make sense.

"Yes, can we come in?" I asked, clearing my throat a little louder now. I didn't like the feeling that I was been mentally disclothed by this boy I just met.

"Oh sure!" He said, almost startled. He then scratched his head. "Wait, we?"

I gestured behind me to where Sync stood stoically, a blank look on his face. Oli immediately straightened up and saluted.

"Please, come in." He opened the door more and I could feel his eyes following me in, before snapping back to Sync. I suddenly felt like I wasn't wearing three layers of clothing that I had on. I sat down on the messy couch and tried not to jerk when a pizza slice slid onto my arm. Sync sat next to me looking unamused as ever.

Oli sat down in a cluttered chair across from us, staring quite dumbly at me. An awkward silence enveloped the area.

"So, please explain this request." I pushed, trying to move the conversation on.

"Oh, well you see, I need someone to escort me to Arimis Spring and back. I want to see it for myself and maybe pick a flower for a souvenir." He flashed a smile at me, which I ignored with a blank look similar to Sync's.

"I can do that." I nodded and glanced at Sync. He shrugged as if he didn't care.

"Oh, are you coming?" Oli asked, directing his look at Sync. It might have been me, but it looked like Oli was glaring slightly at Sync.

"Nope, she's all yours. You two need to be back within a week though." He said a bit lazily. I felt my lip straighten into a thin line and I secretly sent Sync a very pointed disapproving look. He mostly likely saw since his mouth twitched upwards into a smirk.

"Oh okay. Its nice to meet you two then." He wiped his hand on his jeans and extended it out to Sync. The god general looked at it with distaste (his smirk turned into a frown) and he begrudgingly shook it. Oli then turned to me and went as if to hug me. The moment he extended his arms, I flipped backwards over the couch and reflexively slid my hand where my sword was. Of course it wasn't there but, I don't do hugs.

"Sorry, reflexes?" I offered to the two boys. One gaped and the other just nodded approvingly. I bet you can guess who.

"O-okay, anyways. I'll meet you here tomorrow at 8 am sharp Oli. Don't be late." I gave a flirtatious wink at the end, already guessing the nature of this man. I guessed right for he nodded his head enthusiastically. Sync coughed loudly and we set out from the teenagers messy house.

"Key out of Daath hm?" I asked Sync as we walked back.

"Your getting out of Daath aren't you?"

"Yeah, be back by the end of the week, is what I recall you saying." I snapped.

"Oh hush, you're going alone." He replied.

"That's where you messed up!" I declared. "Did you see that boy? He was ready to jump me had you not been there! Can't you like, spy from a distance?"

"I thought you wanted freedom?"

"I do! But not if I have to escort a horny teenager alone in the bloody woods all the way to Arimis Spring!" I declared.

He stopped mid-stride to give me an odd look. "Bloody?"

"Oh shush it! Its a word we use in Mizuho!" I screamed.

"Fine, I'll send a carrier pigeon each night. If it doesn't come back, I'll send someone to find you." He offered.

I tapped my chin with a finger at this suggestion. "That still doesn't remove the possibility of getting raped."

He scowled. "You can have your weapons back, dumb ass."

"And if I lose them?"

"Lorelei Rats, you're easily stronger than him!" He declared. I acted shocked.

"A compliment?! From Sync the Tempest? I'm so flattered I just might die." I ended dramatically lolling the word die as long as possible.

"Don't be. You're worrying over nothing." He scowled AGAIN, as we walked into the cathedral for lunch.


The next morning I set out with my customary leather sack hooked onto the side of my large black belt, sword dangling from my waist, and red bow holding back some hair in the front. The hair in the back still hung down though. I made it through the streets with relative ease since it was only 6 and headed out to get some supplies and maybe breakfast. I flashed the mission paper to the guards outside the cathedral doors and they removed their pikes so I could pass through to the market place. The church district was huge, the market place slightly bigger. I paced back and forth between the vendors until I found the one I had been looking for.

An elderly lady sat behind the counter with numerous apple gels, life bottles, panacea bottles, and other necessary shop needs. I also spied a dagger on sale, which converted to a throwing knife if necessary. With the little money Sync had given me (he still hadn't realized I had used his money for cheesecake, kekeke...) and my own from the sack I bought the knife, three apple gels, a life bottle, and a panacea bottle and a few food items. This added to my other supplies I hadn't used yet.

I counted about 800 glad to be left and left for the desert parlor for breakfast. Inside I leisurely sat down and ordered some ripe strawberries and a small slice of cheesecake. What can I say, I love cheesecake and strawberries. You want to get on Star's good side, offer her one of the two; or both to make her extra happy.

I paid them the rest of my money and started eating my breakfast and stared at creamy white walls and chocolatey looking floors. The scents of cakes, cookies, and candies drifted to my nose as I munched on the two food items. A small bell tinkered in the back, above the door, as more people piled in. After a while, I got up and left the parlor, managing to judge the hour by the way the clock was set up. (eg; It was set up like a clock on a wall.)

I made it there at exactly 8, which was awesome because I'm hardly ever on time. I rapped on the door and rocked back and forth on my heels patiently, waiting for Oli. I waited for a minute before knocking again. Still no answer.

Frowning I tried the handle and felt it twist open. I looked into the dark household to see if my client was in there. After a moment, my eyes adjusted and the room became almost as clear as it would have been in the light. Someone did tell me I had good eyesight.

The table was cluttered with wrappers, more so than the day before and the couch was all lumpy. Wait...

I walked over and poked the lumpy couch. It shifted slightly and made a noise. Not at all surprised at this, I went behind the couch and pushed the lump off the couch. It hit the ground with a loud thump.

"Oli." I called, slightly annoyed. No answer.

"Oli." I called a little louder, nudging the corpse like body with a foot. A mumble and another shift. I grew a little too impatient.

"OLI!" I yelled and kicked him. He woke to be kicked in the shoulder and barreled across the floor. When he stabilized himself against a pile of clothing in the corner he blinked sleepily at me.


"Just Star, thank you."

"Ah? Is it 8 already?" He looked at his clock, which had a red stain on it, and grumbled, getting up to do his morning things.

It was about 9 when he was finally ready. I shuffled my feet on the carpet impatiently as he redid the tie on his shoe. When he got up he surveyed my feet for a moment before smiling at me.

"A barefoot guardian?" He asked. "I like it, no shoes to get in the way of discarded clothing." I sent him an extremely odd look.


"Yes," He paused to swallow and give me another winning smile. "You shall protect me and help me with any needs I need on this journey."

I nodded and opened the door, blinking at the harsh light momentarily. Oli cried out as I stepped out into the warm sun. "Come, we're already an hour late."

We set out into the warmth, the hot cobblestones giving my feet relaxation. Once again, vendors called out at us and offered pretty jewelry. Although the mention of flowers once or twice pipped Oli's attention, I politely declined and led him out of the market district. We walked out of Daath, the giant spoke above embedded into the ground of the hill. I still wonder why they even built it.

The fields were full of monsters, which all were quick and deadly. Namely the bees who seemed to hold a grudge on anything that moved. Oli moved behind me as I made even quicker work of them, taking in Guy's training like a hungry coyote and using it to its full potential.

The fields not only held a bunch of monsters but a bunch of herbs too. Tear would be proud, seeing me identifying so many. I plucked some rosemary and parsnip, showed them to Oli, and put them in my bag. They were said to increase attack and memory. I pointed out a poisonous mushroom Oli had been eying and then a small amount of basil a chirpee above had in its mouth. Overall, the field and woods were bad. Even with sticks sticking into the hardened soles of my feet wasn't too bad. Although Oli didn't really show interest when I went into an explanation of powerful herbs. He even went as far as to correct me on the things Tear had taught me. Who knows?

It was when we started going uphill, where everything started going downhill, if you know what I mean.

"Starly, I'm hungry." Oli complained, using his ridiculous nickname for me.

"I understand this Oli, but were almost to the 17th monument. We'll stop there." I answered back. The 17th monument was never really pointed out in the game but it was about a mile off of the 4th monument hill, overlooking Daath. The 17th was in a forest clearing, said to have fruit trees growing around it.

I walked further and heard him groan a little more before begrudgingly following.

We walked further when a wolf appeared. And not a pretty one either. It had a long narrow snout, sharp nasty teeth, and an arrow shaped muzzle. If that didn't spell danger then the bright green and blue cameo paint on it sure did. Of course I had seen a bunch of cameo wolves along the way but this one was huge, not to mention had a lot more coloration warnings.

"Oli, stand back." I commanded. He did so quickly, hugging my arm. Ugh... "Get off Oli." He did that too.

The wolf growled lowly, its fur bristling. Wow, what I would do to have Mieu with me. I'd have him translate for me. It lunged suddenly and I whipped my sword out quickly, blocking the upper and lower jaw with the dragon sword. I gasped at the strength and felt myself being pushed back, the moist earth uprooting in my wake. The wolf snapped again and I could feel the sword bending under the weight.

I had only caught it's right paw moving at the last second, right before it caught me in the side and sent me spiraling to the right, into a tree. The impact struck the back of my head hard, making me dazed. I didn't have time to be dazed since I heard Oli's shrill scream. I righted myself and grabbed the fallen sword. I charged at the wolf howling a war cry and tried to run it through. The slick fur made the silver sword bounce right off.

Oli took cover behind me and I felt for the dagger which I had bought earlier. I swallowed hard as the wolf turned and I readied my stance. Of course I could feel my heart in my throat, I was so scared. I doubt Oli could fish out a life bottle for me should I get knocked unconscious. My heart was suddenly in my hands when the wolf lunged again.

I swung and met its gaping jaws once again. This time, learning from my last mistake I jumped the right paw and stuck the sword farther in its mouth, stabbing deep in the back of its throat. I then took the dagger at my side and shoved it into the wolf's wide flank, sticky blood soaking my hands.

The beast gave a howl of anguish and flicked it tail in my direction. I hadn't noticed until it was firmly rooted into my other side that there were plenty of poison barbs on the end of its tail. I cried out in anguishing pain and it flicked me sideways like a castaway rag doll. I didn't really watch how it hacked out the sword from its throat and stalked evilly in my direction; I was too busy trying to uncork the poison bottle, which held a cure for my poisoned side.

I didn't really take in how Oli bashed into its side and threw stones at it to slow its course; I was trying not to drop the bottle from my shaking hand as I poured it on the wound, taking out the barbs with the other.

I couldn't recall exactly how close it was to me when I felt a burst of life spring from me and fire flared out of my hands, scorching the beast; I was trying not to hyperventilate and administering first aid to my open damage.

All I remember clearly was when its jaws were so close it was dripping saliva on my face and I muttered 'explosion' at close proximity.

Oli and I were thrown a great distance before we both hit the ground. I saw the wolf's internal organs splatter around me, the stone jutting from the ground, and the relieved cry of Oli. I smiled blearily at the 17th monuments shape before passing out.


"S-..S-ar...Star!...Oh well." I opened my tired eyes just in time to see Oli's fish like lips hover above my face, his decent quite slow. With the bottom of my palm, where one might hit a volleyball, I smack his face away and looked around. It was night, stars twinkling above softly. A small fire lay out and I saw my bag had been spilled, used contents littering the ground around me. I looked at my hands, which weren't shaking anymore, then to Oli, who was bawling some distance away. I didn't know if it was from getting lightly smacked or not being able to kiss me. Whatever floats his boat. The 17th monument stood erect in the middle of this clearing, in which I currently laid my back on. At a distance I saw my sword, somewhat awkwardly sheathed.

"Oli." My too calm voice surprised him. Honestly it kinda surprised me too. "How long have I've been out?" I asked, turning to the chubby kid.

"About 8 hours. Its around 11 pm now." I held my head in my hands and made a slow exhalation. Alive, I'm alive and fish boy had managed to survive on his own for 8 hours and hadn't jumped me. This was good, I think.

I stood up and limped awkwardly over to my sword. The blade was angled quite oddly, looking to be about forty degrees instead of one eighty degrees. I grabbed it and bent it slight, feeling it slide more evenly into the sheath. I would need to visit the blacksmith after this. I also found a piece of flesh that had the dagger edged into it. I picked that out as well.

"Oh Starly, a pigeon arrived." I looked back at him now noticing a white dove sitting on his shoulder.

"Ah the carrier pigeon." I walked over and held out a hand. It reacted the same way the Kimlascan hawks had, it jumped onto my arm. Oli gasped in surprise as I started un-clipping the message from its leg.

Unfolding it, I had something between a smirk and a grimace. The paper was in a messy fonic language. I sighed and looked over my shoulder at Oli. Before I could speak I got a surprise tap on the shoulder. Turning I saw Yulia smile brightly, silently pointing to the paper. I tried to ask her a question but she disappeared before I could.

When I looked back at the paper, I saw an English message coded beneath the fonic.

Hey Rats,

Did he tie you to a tree or something yet? Or was I right about being worried about nothing?

Dist says that you have temperamental problems and your stupid friends just keep bugging me about something called a 'pet name' and how I like you. Can you believe it? Ugh.

I know, I'm barfing here too. Not to mention I keep hearing a song sung by that Shadow girl about a tree and Star and Sync. Its very bad, you should do something about it. Immediately.

Well, you better get this message, and burn it when your done.

Sync, the Tempest.

Ps: Try not to quit or doze off on the mission.

With a smirk I grabbed the other pigeons leg and took out the response paper and produced a quill from my bag. With the monsters blood I began trying to write the fonic language based on what the English said. (I.e.; I copied the fonic above the letter I wanted. There was even a 'Z' and a 'Q' in there. No 'X' though.)

Dear Sync,

I am alive, thank you very much. (T^T)* Although I have sustained some dire injuries. You wouldn't believe what kind of wolfies are around here.

Dist doesn't know anything, we both know this. All he knows is book language. I heard Shadow say he called himself a sexy beast. This induces that he's part insane too.

Okay, three steps you can use.A) Tell them that all the tacos in Daath will be eradicated. B) Use violence, it's the best solution. C) Start singing the song but replace our names with theirs. It usually shuts them up. ( Is the song kinda annoying and sung in a sing- song-y fashion?)

By the way, if you're barfing too much, please get a barf bag. Its unsanitary to barf on the floor.



PS: You have my permission to hang the two girls upside down from a tree.

*(I did this emoticon in English. Maybe he'll catch on that its a face.)

With a click of my fingers, Sync's note was ignited and burned to a crisp. I slipped my note into the birds foot holder thing-y and launched the small dove into the air. It flapped away at an astonishing speed might I add. Oli stared at its white feathers that it shed in takeoff.

"What was that about?" He asked.

"Oh, classified information for the order." I smiled softly, thinking of Ion when I said that. He always did that when you got too personal.


I started at the scraps of loose material laying around and gathered them into a pile. I excused myself from Oli's presence and went out to gather wood.

I ignored the protest of my muscles when I bent down to pick up the wood. The monument shined in the moonlight a distance a ways, being like a beacon to me when I made my way back to the camp site.

When I returned I stacked the wood on the used materials and checked the center of my hand. The dragon spiral was a little below the halfway marker. It was just enough to ignite the pile. I snapped and the pile ignited with a little difficulty. I urged the flames again, and they sprang to life. Along with it, I felt a sharp pain in my hand that trailed up to my shoulder and then zipped throughout my body.

I suddenly felt sick to my stomach. with a lurch, I staggered over to a tree and emptied whatever food I hadn't digested. I'm glad Oli was a good sport about it too, he came and held my hair back as I puked. And then came the vile.

That was probably some of the worst times of the mission, excluding the poison barbs, that I had to endure. How the anorexic and bulimic people could stand it, I would never know.

After I was done with THAT ordeal, Oli lead me back to the fire. "I'll go get some water. There's a stream over there." He pointed southwest. I traced to where he was pointing, and closed my eyes. Faintly, I could hear the rush of water masked beneath the cackle of the fire.

"That's okay Oli. You can stay here." I attempted to get up, only for him to push me back on my rump.

"No, its fine. I'm getting a little squeamish anyways." He removed his large hands from my shoulder, grabbed a canteen, and headed out to get some water.

I waited patiently for his return, and strained to listen for sounds of struggle, in case something tried to eat him. I closed my eyes again and listened to the soft careen of the nightingales, the roar of the fire, and the rushing water in the back. This was accompanied by the low clicking hum of the crickets. Also followed by the loud snap and crackle of dying autumn leaves under Oli's massive foot.


I opened my eyes, thinking it was Oli who had called my name. Alas, there was no one in the camp grounds or surrounding area. So I closed my eyes again and listened to the nightingales-

"Star, listen."

Again, the voice. It was a voice of a man's almost but had a solid tone behind it, symbolizing power. This of course was the opposite of Oli's. I shifted uncomfortably and looked at the distance between me and my sword. If I had been standing I could probably jump, roll, and grab it in one swift motion. But since I was sitting it would be like leap, crawl, scoot, reach, touch, and then grab in a long drawn out motion.

Not to mention if I tried to use some fire it would have quite the negative effect on my body at the moment. I wonder if the fire I made could be bended to become a fireball, like in 'The Last Air bender'...


As if in response to my thought, the fire flared outwards and circled around me like a forest fire. I gave a shriek of surprise and watched as it flickered and formed into a huge animal. It's head looked like a cat and flames started forming around the head like a mane. I watched as it started turning into a giant-

"Hey Staaaaarrrrlllyyy~!" I snapped my head to the right to see Oli running at me with a dumb grin on his face. Oh no, if he got too close...

"Oli stop!" I screamed.

He stopped dead in his tracks, but had a confused face on. "Why?"

"Because the fire monster's gonna eat you!" I cried, pointing in front of me. I could just feel the fire swell with rage and burn even brighter.

"What fire monster?"

"How can you not see it?!" I scooted backwards, "Its right-" I looked forwards to see a regular fire openly burning, looking none out of the ordinary. There wasn't even burn marks from when it circled me. I blinked in confusion and swore I heard the fire cackle and snort.

"Ehh...Do you need a nap? I'll happily make you tired enough for one." I looked up at Oli in confusion before I saw him put his hands on the edge of his pants.

"No, no, no, no, no! It's fine really! I'm tired as is! I think I'll go and wash up and then head onto bed!' I shouted a little louder than originally intended. As quickly as one could with an injured body I rushed out of the camp site and towards the silky silver river.


The white dove descended gracefully down onto his outstretched arm, the bright full moon illuminataing the background. On top of a great hill stood a lone figure, his silhouette barely visible in the darkened night. The vast expanse of forest below the hill stretched out beyond the horizon, only in meet a clear stop at the base off a far off volcano.

Gently, he took the note from the birds leg and opened it up. As he scanned over the message (and poorly written fonic), the bird whistled and laughed. A soft wind blew past ruffling his hair which shined under the stars.

With a silent chuckle, he placed the bird in the messaging roost and read over the letter once again.

"Dist as a sexy beast huh?" Sync asked himself quietly, folding the letter in half and sticking it in his pocket. He began to descend the hill, slowly and admiring the nature around him. It was in a way better than sticking around with his companions; quiet and peaceful, a perfect place to meditate.

This was of importance to any good martial artist, since serene environments were currently lacking in the world.

The scent of sweet honeydew suddenly came with the wind, making another presence known to the strategist.

"Arietta. I assume you have good news?" Sync turned to the younger girl and tilted his mask down slightly, just in case.

"Legretta is planning on heading out next week to prepare. Asch also seems to be preparing for something." The pink-ette whispered quietly, hugging the side of her liger.

"So soon?" Sync asked, scratching his forehead.

"Yes, it is the approximated time that Tear Grants and Luke fon Stupid will enter Akzeriuth."

"Did I just hear malice from Arietta? Shame on you."

"Shame? What's that?"



From atop the tree tops I sat, gazing down at Oli who was busy trying to seduce me with removing his clothing in a slow manner. It bored me to no end and seeing as how the tree was going to be my bed and sanctuary, I just stayed up there for the time being. The pineapple and apple gels seemed to work like a charm and I was fully mobile with in the hour.

"I'm sexy and I know it!" Oli called down from below. I scowled and turned away, knocking down a branch above the teenager while I was at it. I heard a thump and then some crying, most likely from the branch. God, when will this mission end?

"Go to bed!" I called down irritably.

"Only if you come down with me!"

"Lorelei forbid, if I don't get any real sleep I'll come down and escort you to the river! And make sure you don't know what oxygen is ever again!" I screamed.

"Jeez, somebody's got their panties in a knot. Mind if I untwist them for you?"

"Ugh, stupid horny teenagers, there always ready to get you at night." I mutter to myself, fully aware I was a teen myself. Thankfully, you probably couldn't classify me in any of Oli's categories.

"Starly-chan! I'm cold, come warm me up!"

"You have a fire!" I shouted over my back. Wow these limbs were pretty sturdy to keep me so high up. I decided to climb higher so Oli's voice would become muffled.

"Okay, but I need help!"

"With what?!"

"Well math..."

I stopped my ascent and looked down at him. "Math?"

"Yes, there's this problem I need help on. There has to be two people too." I squinted at him from my high perch.

''So what's the problem?" I asked, hanging from a branch like a monkey.

"Okay so you add a bed, subtract the clothing, divide the legs, and multiply the children! What's the answer?"

"Some one besides the two of us." I called. "And stop your stupid pick up lines, they're getting on my nerves." I hooked my legs on the branch and lifted myself up into the canopy of leaves.

"You know you want me!" The chubby one hooted.

"Ugh... Go to sleep~!" I cooed down playfully.

"Come and join me, baby."

"I said, GO TO SLEEP!" I finally snapped, throwing a branch down like a dart. I heard an omf(!) from him and turned away. My bed for tonight was three branches close together, I hope I didn't roll over too much.

"Yulia, what a virgin!"

"Bitch do you want to go there?!" I shrieked. "I will hang your ass upside down from this tree and leave you for the cameo wolves!" He didn't say anything after that. Lesson be learned, don't anger Star at night when she's trying to sleep.


Dawn came like a red mist settling over a blanket of orange and yellow. I woke up with a sore back in the tree I had stayed in for the night. Luckily, it was a fruit tree so I picked a peach off the branches and lightly munched on the fuzzy fruit. I stood up and stretched and did a few random yoga moves up on the three combined branches.

With all the morning stretches done I hung my legs on the branch and then twirled down the tree, getting a healthy amount of exercise as I did. The sun broke over the mist and shined down very tentatively revealing a sleeping teen, an ever going fire, and a bunch of scattered healing items.

I picked up my looted bag and began stuffing the items that hadn't been completely exhausted. Luckily, I had plenty left, although I was missing quite a few gels in here. After that was done I went to the river and filled the canteens with the pure flowing water. I don't think I have ever seen such a pure looking river on Earth besides when I was a child. They were now either clotted with mud, litter, or dead body parts. This river had beautiful blue flowing water, which sparkled with the rising sun. It flowed at a fast pace towards the ocean that laid a few ways out.

I would have taken a nice bath but since I had a perverted teen in my midst, I just dunked my head in and washed out the grime and sap from the tree. A few charred spots still marred my hands so I washed those too, along with my feet. Luckily, I didn't pollute the river, it was still a pretty azure blue.

I gathered the supplies and made my way back to camp, redoing my hair that I had yesterday with the front pulled back and wrapped the red bow around the tie. I got back and snuffed out the flame with whatever power I got back from resting. It seemed to work since the fire went out well enough.

Then I noticed something. Before I had left Oli had been right by the fire... Uh oh.

"Starly-chan!" I felt an immense weight add onto my back and two fish like looking arms wrap around my abdomen. It was only thanks to the sturdy ground that I didn't collapse under all the weight.

"G-get off!" I screamed and ran forward, throwing the assassin off my back. When, not an assassin but I'd like to think it. That way I had the choice of killing him in self defense.

"Ow! What, you don't like hugs? Or did I scare you?" He blubbed, smacking his lips together in a kiss-y manner.

I don't do hugs. I just don't. One they draw attention and two the person has the potentiality to stab you in the back because you're defenseless! But, if your a hug-gy person, I'm cool; as long as you don't come at me with a hug.

"No Oli, please gather your things. We need to set out immediately, I want to make it to Arimis Springs by nightfall." Of course, I knew this wasn't going to happen, but hey, I can dream. "And do not touch me in such a manner again."

"Oh, I always liked the strict type. Go on, order me to do something." He smiled and leaned forward, hands on his chin.

I turned a smiled, a little cruel smile if you prefer. "Okay Oli, get up and start walking. Immediately." He saluted in a false military like fashion.

"Yes sir, I mean ma'am!" He grabbed his meager belongs, a sleeping bag and a bag to but the sleeping bag in, with food stuffed in it somewhere, and started marching in the direction of Daath.

"Oli, Arimis Spring is the other way..."

"I knew that!"

"Of course you did."


It was midday when a pigeon came soaring overhead, a message tied to its leg. I stuck out an arm and it descended down upon it gently, cooing slightly. Oli had been complaining previously about food, now grew still and silent. I ruffled the dove's feathers on his breast and slipped the note from his leg. It was in English so I automatically knew that this wasn't from the god generals. That and only three others that I knew could produce English notes...

Dear Sh-tar,

There's a limit to how much you can give Blaze sugar apparently. Shadow and I were testing to see what would happen if Blaze got over-hyper and it turns out after a certain amount his attention just kinda snaps to a single spot across the room and he sits there, and stares. Just stares, and he doesn't snap out of it until like, four whole hours later. Its kinda creepy too...

So anyways, we found where these messenger -pi-g-e-o-n-s-, Doves were at. (Here, pigeons was crossed out and doves had been rewritten so much that it stood out) Turns out the church of Daath keeps them up in the very tip top of the tower. But its okay! They have a teleport thing-y that if you say "For the Fon master!" That it goes up all the way. He he, we figured it out cause Blaze said 'I'm gonna get something for the fon master." XD

Of course there was already some people there so we had to take care of some...business. Don't worry, they aren't dead but they'll be out of commission for a while. :3

Going on, it turns out no one here knows English. Sync just jumped out of nowhere when we launched the bird last night and grabbed the bird. He then stole the message and started looking at like we had scribbled on a page. Which, technically, was true since the top had a bunch of scribbles on it...okay so I got bored! Big whoop.

And then we just might have um...kicked him down a flight of stairs...on purpose...

In conclusion, we got the message back by singing a certain song, and we sent it out. Very swagsome don't you think?

Asta la Bye Bye!

With prejudice,

Raven, Shadow, and Blaze

Ps: Blaze said he demands a promotion... I didn't get it either.

"What' cha reading Starly-chan?" I finally realized Oli had been looking over my shoulder as I read the message. "What does that mean?!"

"None of your business." I huffed, closing the note. He snatched it from my hands right before I could shove it back into my bag. "Hey!"

"What are these strange symbols? Is it pictionary?!" He exclaimed. He pointed to the 'S'. "Is this a snake?"

A sudden thought occurred to me. It was so smart that a smile curved up onto my lips at the thought.

"Yes Oli, its a secret code used by the ninja's of Mizuho. I'm one of those ninjas and knowing the code is very important. You get apprenticeship when you learn. If you can figure it out-... No impossible." I trailed off suggestively.

"What? What happens?" He asked excitedly.

"Well...then I could teach you the ways of the ninja." I said slowly.

''What really?! And your a ninja?! That's so cool! So I can be a ninja if I figure out what the letter says?" He asked like an excited school boy.

"Yep, so tell me when you've deciphered it."

"Yes ma'am!" He started scanning over it, taking note of how many "snakes" were in there. I turned back around, snickering as I did so. Unless he got the same assistance I had with the fonic earlier, then he would never figure out the English language.

Thankfully, it kept him very busy for a few hours, and he came up with quite a few notable phrases. One of them was, "My sister in ninja-ness, I bring this note to inform you of terrible danger, a giant snake has attacked the village. We request the help of you, the dark phoenix, to come and assist us in this plight. We need all the ninjas we can get to drive the terrible snake away with your awesome ninja powers. Signed, the bloody wolf."

Considering that the second to last sentence was about them kicking Sync down a flight of stairs, I doubted that I would have to worry about giving Oli lessons.

I stared at the setting sun in the distance, taking time to look over the crest-fallen hills of the Padamiya continent. They dropped and rose like the dunes of sand in Chesodonia where we were practically abducted. Stupid Sync, and his stupid "save your life" logic...

"I got it Star-chan!" I looked back at Oli whom was waving the paper around like a lunatic. "Its about how your boobs-"

"No." I instantly shot, walking faster now. He whined and began thinking of new descriptions of the English text. The sun was almost gone now so I suggested we stop for the night. We stopped on a rocky outcrop tucked away into a cliff face.

Which brought us to the scene at the start of this chapter.

"Please Star-ly, save me!" Oli called from the distance. I scowled, grimaced, and cursed my luck before kicking the moderately big stone off the fallen boy.

"Oli, please. If rocks will slow us down, then we should make more stops and rest for a while." I said softly, directing his attention. Of course this attention was anywhere BUT my face and I didn't like the way his eyes kept flashing down.

"Oh, I'll rest. As long as you're with me." He gushed, and tried to wrap his chubby arms around me. I backed away faster than one might think possible and he felt flat on his face. He started bawling his eyes out at the new pain. I merely sighed and looked forlornly at the distant cathedral of Daath.

One of the rocks from above had tumbled and slowed until it landed on Oli and pinned him down with its weight.

I knelt down and sighed, scanning over the damage with a medics' eye. He had a bruised and swollen lips, the rock had made a nice growing welt on his side, and his elbow had been sliced open by a sharp rock when he had hit the ground. He sniffled like a baby and gave me a fish eyed watery look.

"Isn't this the part where you start ripping you're clothing to use as bandages?" He asked, holding his arm so more blood would drip down. I gave him a blank stare and pulled my bag from my side, extracting the bandages.

"No Oli, this is the time you shut up and get the food out so we can survive the next day." I made a cracking sound with two bandages snapping together like a leather belt.

"I like sexy Star better."

"I'd like you to stop making crude comments." I pushed a strand of fallen hair behind my ear and grabbed his chubby arm. I started wrapping the bandage around carefully and he sat silently watching my hands twirl 'round and 'round his arm. The white bandage soaked up the red in record time and I finished dressing the wound. I made him eat a few apple gels after that.

I stared at him very critically for a few seconds. "Listen Oli, if you want to improve your life, let me give you a few suggestions. First, stop going ga-ga for girls. Calling them sexy and advancing on them only applies for sluts, not honest to God good people they are. Secondly, stop focusing on chest areas and look at people's faces. Direct eye contact is nice. Third of all, make a goal for life. Don't stare at pornography all day or be a total jerk, make progress with your life. Occasional laziness is okay but please know your responsibilities."

He stared back at my face now, making direct eye contact. He then broke contact and stared at the ground for a while. I turned away as well and started gathering up wood and dead brush lying on the ground. I came back and set it down a few feet in front of him and picked two rocks up that looked to be flint. I started striking the flint like Jade had showed me and tried to make a good amount of friction between the two. Small sparks started showing after enough heat had built up. I had just got the first piece of dead grass to light when Oli spoke again.

"Can you teach me to fight?" I looked up as the smoke rose from the pile.

"Teach you to what?" I asked, striking the rocks one last time. Fire leaped up and framed my face eerily. My red eyes had an orange under glow from the fire below.

"Fight, I want to learn how to fight." He kicked his leg up and then punched the air. "To be a ninja!" I smiled at his optimistic nature.

"Being ninja is hard. It's confusing and terrifying and doesn't get much better from there, to quote someone." I warned, poking the fire with a stick that had fallen out. He seemed crestfallen at this.

"Oh." I looked at him and smiled brightly, only to turn that into a scowl when I noticed he was drawing an inappropriate figure into a dusty part of the outcrop.

'Pretend its not there Star, your okay.' I thought to myself and shivered slightly. "We'll arrive at Arimis Springs tomorrow." I quickly said, making him stop drawing the women's chest parts.

"Oh really? Cool! Hey is it true that there are beautiful maidens there?" He asked making fins on the woman's head.

"Um...I don't know. I've never actually been to Arimis Springs. I just have a map." I showed him where and he nodded.

"Oh..." What that his signature word? He had started with it three times now.

We ate supper in silence, (Cooked peaches. Yum...), and then set up the sleeping bags near the campfire, since the late fall was setting in. Soon it would be winter around here.

I slipped into my sleeping bag and turned by back on Oli, preparing to sleep for the night. I only closed my eyes when a flapping of feathers woke me up from that half sleep daze. A dove cooed at me, pecking my nose when I tried to swat it away.

I grabbed the note from its leg groggily and opened it up. Briefly scanning the note, Sync's jagged seemed to just blur together. Upon trying to figure it out in English, I gave up and tossed it aside. I'd write back, in the morning...

And with that, darkness swallowed my vision.


"What is your problem?" I immediately asked Yulia, seeing as how I was in her magically field of bunnies again.

"What do you mean?" She asked innocently. By the way she rolled her eyes though, you could tell it was a false act.

"Oh so you don't notice. Ms. I- have- to- be- silent- when- addressing- someone- on- the- Padamiya- continent." I shouted.

"Oh about that...I have a legitimate reason!" She crowed.

"Oh really? Do tell." I seethed.

"Well you see, there's all sorts of fonons out of whack here. The seventh fonon has almost no say so here. In fact, the place you chose to camp out at in one of the only spots where I'm not being torn apart. Here look." She turned around, swishing her overcoat and pointed to the bottom of her dress. I looked down and saw it half faded, half fuzzy. I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn't seeing things.

"See, even in my own realm I'm being distorted. You happened to camp in a place where the two crazy fonons seemed to cancel each other out." Yulia sighed, her breath visible in the even temperature area.

"Wait so theirs too ambient fonons clashing on the Padamiya continent. And they're canceling each other out?!" I tried to hide the excitement out of my voice and failed miserably.

"Correct." Yulia gave me an odd look. I practically vibrated on the spot.

Two ambient forces of fonons, which meant super amounts of fonons, which was a big red flag for summon spirits. And if they were battling each other and canceling each other out it narrowed down choices. Not to mention a place with a great water area and an active volcano was another bright orange/red/yellow flag.

Undine and Ifrit were definitely here.

I was in the middle of self glory when Yulia cleared her throat. "Oh thanks Star." She drawled. "For automatically assuming I can read your mind. You know you can share why your face turned from bored to excited."

"Oh well you see-" I began then stopped. "Wait I thought you could read my mind."

"Oh, I can. Too bad this isn't YOUR real mind. This is just a subconscious mind with brain waves that allow others to communicate in. Example in how Blaze, Raven, and Shadow are able to fit here. Actually, it's probably even more complicated than that since I can communicate with them long distances when THEY'RE unconscious. So you pick, really long lecture explaining something I don't know about, or explaining to me why you're so jittery."

"So two forces are battling around here right? So that means they must be opposing equal forces since they can cancel each other out. And ambient fonons equals summon spirits!" I exclaimed proudly.

"Amazing Star. Bravo." She clapped slowly. "You're really sharper than you look."

"I'm going to take that as a compliment." I said dully.

"Good, now anyways, you better get up. This atmosphere is really stressing me out. My arm is beginning to fade." She displayed it for my viewing.

"Alright, I'll be on the look out." I saluted and watched the scenery fade.


Arimis Springs, home to multiple fauna and flora. What great privileges to set foot on the amazing sanctuary. It must be everyone's greatest scenic view right now.

Or not.

"Starly-chan~! Look at all the pretty birdies!" Oli squealed, picking one up as it thrashed around wildly in his hands.

"Oh yes, so pretty." I huffed and stared at the great cliff face which had vines crawling all over it, not to mention some trees and waterfalls. Oli was enthralled to finally reach Arimis Spring by midday and decided to have a picnic. I thought he couldn't move fast because of his minor injury from the rock, but he seemed to strive to be here by the end of the week. It had taken 3 more days to make it here from the cancellation area Yulia had pointed out.

I could definitely feel the difference from where when I had once been by the volcano and now I stood by Aramis Spring. I felt slower, weaker, but overall; Tired. I wanted to take a nap that would last for the minimum of 3 days.

The carrier pigeon no longer appeared so I assumed Sync was either done writing messages or the bird had somehow become crippled. Not surprising. Kimlascan hawks could have eaten Daath's doves for brunch.

"Oli, how long do you want to stay here?" I asked, splaying out the picnic blanket he randomly produced for our picnic. It settled softly on the ground and Oli plopped his butt down on it with pride, pinning it down.

"Until the fishy lady appears." He suggested merrily. I rolled my eyes. If Undine did happen to show up, we'd be doomed. Assuming Undine was located here.

"How about it she doesn't show within two hours we start heading back. I wanna try to catch a coach to Daath since we'd be traveling on the road instead of off road." A little ping went through my head that told me I was supposed to be due at the end of the week back in Daath. Sync had mentioned it somewhere and we had already spent 5 days getting here. I don't think I could last another 5 days with Oli on the road back.

"Ah...okay." He said eventually.

And so the waiting began.

It was an hour and half, I was eating the local fruit from the nearby trees when my hunger came back time to time. I packed a few extra peaches in case we ran out of food. Oli was merrily running around in the wide open area, collecting wild flowers. A few times he'd venture into the entrance of Arimis Springs only to run out screaming when a monster on the ceiling growled threateningly. Quite amusing to watch.

I tilted my head back and looked directly at the sun. You know, it didn't hurt as much as it had before. It was just bright. And yes, for all the doctors out there, I know I'm being stupid and ruining my eyes. Meh, whatever.

"Star-chan! I found an orchid!" He carried back a small uprooted tree and plopped it down in front of me. Dirt rolled off some of the dirt and stained the sheets. "It's an Ada!The lanceolate leaves are distichous with a length of 20 cm, growing on pseudobulbs with a maximum length of 10 cm. The foliaceous leaf sheaths are well-developed. See how the pendent and spectacularly colorful inflorescences do not grow above the leaves. They can produce up to 15 fragrant flowers. This one has 12! Ada uses a "pseudoparasitism" method of attracting parasite pollinators, by mimicking their host. They are not easy to cultivate, because of their high demands." He explained.

I blinked in surprise at Oli. "How much knowledge on botany do you have?"

He sat on the sheet rolling his eyes skyward as if to remember something. "Well I know all about Orchids because my mother used to experiment with them before she died of poisonous fluids from an unknown species of plant. She also liked a lot of hibiscus because they were tropical flowers which don't bloom much up here. She loved the Hibiscus Laevis."

I stared in awe at Oli as he dished out the plant knowledge. I didn't even know about the Ada much less the Hibiscus Laevis. Maybe he could have something going for him. "Have you ever thought of becoming a botanist Oli?" I asked.

He gave me an odd look. "Why would I do that? I want to be a warrior!" He struck a proud pose. I shook my head.

"Although being a warrior is nice, your throwing your life away. Why not become a botanist and try to find remedies and heal the sick? Cure cancer!" I exclaimed the last part. I didn't know if they had rapid cell division here or not, but hey, I usually get lucky with my guesses.

"Cancer? That's a thought." He said, fingering the leaves in the Ada as they swayed in the harsh wind. A fragrance seemed to fall with the wind and carry it straight into the entrance of Arimis Spring.

Something growled from the inside of the cave. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck shoot up at the fierce growl. Instantly, I was on my feet, groping for the hilt of my sword. I wasn't even able to unsheathe it when a vine shot out of the cave and wrapped around my ankle. It tugged swiftly, reeling me in. I hit the ground hard, smashing my head against the warm sun baked ground. I laid dazed for a moment as it pulled me in at rapid speed.

Shaking my weariness away I tried pulling away, screaming when it bit into my ankle even more, most likely leaving gashes. Oli jumped up, frightened at the new enemy pulling off his mercenary. He didn't know what to do. The last thing I saw of Oli was his terrified face when I was abruptly pulled into Arimis Springs. The vine was attached to the ceiling and pulled me up to where I hung limply.

I had felt sluggish and weak outside Arimis Springs, now inside of it, I felt miserable.

Someone sighed, almost childishly. "I come to visit my Nee-chan and Yulia's emissary appears here, scouting us out from just outside the Springs." A boyish, small voice whined.

"I don't think that was a wise thing to do. She doesn't seem like she'd pose a threat to us. Especially here, I smell Ifrit's presence all over her. It sickens me." A very cold, serious, feminines voice said. In the dark I couldn't really see anything except for a silhouette of a women and perhaps a small child that looked like Honey off of Ouran High school Host Club. The child snapped his fingers and the vines somehow found their way around my throat. Uh oh.

Wait, hold the fon. Did they say Ifrit? Before that Yulia?! Oh snap there's two of them here. And considering one of them had flipping vines around my throat, it was safe to assume this was either Gnome or some weird forest spirit. And the fact about Ifrit and the way she kinda spit his name out probably means it was Undine or some weird water nymph. I am so screwed.

"Gnome? Undine?" I croaked.

The two figures exchanged looks. "Shall I kill her?" The shorter one asked, ignoring my question for the most part.

"As long as she smells like Ifrit's domain of fire, so be it." The women said, flicking her hand.

The vines abruptly tighten, cutting off oxygen. I choked and struggled to get my hands free from the vines so I could release the choke hold. Nope, they were firmly stuck and I was suffocating. Why was I always the abused one?! Save Blaze of course.

I reeled my head back and stared at the entrance so I wouldn't have to die in the shadows. Hey, if I die, its gonna be towards the light.

Something ran through the entrance of the cave and rammed into the two figures. The vines seemed to loose their anima and I plummeted to the ground. I expected a hard landing...and I got one. I rubbed my arse and knew that would leave a nasty bruise. Looking forward, I witnessed an epic fight. A new silhouette had joined the fray but moved too quickly to distinguish. The woman threw her hands forward and water rushed to greet the person who rammed into them.

The boy in turn smashed his small fist and stalagmites roared towards the new one. I jumped out of the way to avoid the typhoon of rock and water. The figure had no problem bounding from stalagmite to stalagmite. When they got to the top of the tallest stalagmite, a shower of knives rained down onto the presumed summon spirits. The figure then leaped down and ran toward me.

I tried to jump out of the way again but he snagged the scruffy part of the sweater dress and dragged me out of Arimis Springs. Oli stood waiting with the picnic blanket and basket in hand looking relieved. The savior plopped me down in front of Oli. I whirled around and stared at my helper to see it was Sync. I gaped.

"What? How? Why?" I sputtered.

"That's two times I've saved your life. You'll be owing me pretty soon." He smirked as I fumed. I looked past him when he made another sly joke and saw the vine shoot out again, this time aiming for his head. I didn't hesitate to take me sword out this time and slice the vine to shreds right before it smashed into Sync. He turned in time to see this happen as well.

"That was quite ironic. One debt paid." I positioned myself next to the god general in case the vine decided to try again. Sync turned and assumed a fighting stance, five knives materializing in his hands.

"I don't like using knives but I can't really punch a vine to death." He muttered, annoyed.

The two figures came to the entrance but remained a certain degree in the cave, making their faces and breast cloaked in shadow. Fortunately their clothing near the bottom was revealed.

One was wearing a beautiful sparkling dress of azure blue, that fell down near the ground. It had waves lined on it, making the dress look like it was the ocean itself when it shimmered in the wind. The other was wearing green and brown leggings and a camo vest. You could barely see this though since it was all covered by a large tabard with the Earth as a center symbol on it. Standing next to each other, you could easily see the height difference. You could also see the taller one, the lady definitely had fins on her head, protruding from where her ears should be.

"Emissary of Yulia, leave now or we won't hesitate to kill you. You've already brought enough trouble on our hands, disturbing the balance. Just leave us." They both said at the same time, in total harmony.

I didn't bother to answer since that could have gone either way to Sync or I. Sync did belong to the order so hopefully, he'd believe this as well.

When no response came from either of us, I straightened and turned towards Sync. "We should leave, if they're talking to us." I whispered.

Being higher exalted spirits, they heard this of course. "Of course we're talking to you, you stupid girl. You wear the mark of Yulia do you not?" A rush of fourth fonons hit me head on as the taller one stepped forward, water splashing from under her foot even though there was none. I clutched my head as a whole new world of pain caught my attention.

"Rats?" Sync asked, glancing at me as if nothing had happened. Granted, he probably didn't feel it in the first place.

"I'm fine. We should go." I announcing, giving Oli the evil eye in case he would object.

"What's the matter, emissary? Don't like the cold?" The lady asked, sending another wave of invisible fourth fonons throughout the area. "You and Ifrit are destined to like each other."

I felt like asking her what that meant but I couldn't speak over the numbing cold that settled on my shoulders. My bones were stiff and nerves seemed to freeze on the spot. If there was a Celsius here, I didn't want to go anywhere near her/him now.

"Rats! Get a hold of yourself. Your face is turning blue." Sync called. I shifted my gaze to him.

"Oh thanks, I'll remember that as I freeze to death." I couldn't help but say, moving my hand. It raised with jerks as if I was a robot.

"Star?" He asked hesitantly, as if on the border of believing me or not.

"Nee-san, we should at least give her a chance to leave." The shorter finally said, tugging on the other's dress.

"But... Fine. Emissary, leave before I freeze you to death and deposit your corpse at Ifrit's doorstep." The taller bit. The fourth fonons let up and I felt the blood rush to my face again. The two turned to walk back into the cavern.

"Undine! Wait!" I shouted. The taller stopped and faced me. She stepped out into the light so that I could talk to her face to face. She indeed had fins on her head, long flowing blue hair that was cropped neatly next to her ankles. Her bangs had grown out, leaving her forehead completely exposed.

"It's the fishy lady!" Oli proclaimed. Undine sent a flurry of icicles at him that pinned him to a tree with a frown that could make Van pee his pants. I noticed the smaller hesitate to come out, but retreated when Undine gave a slight shake of her head.

"Undine, I don't know why you have a grudge on Ifrit, but I have no connection to him at all. I just bare the fifth fonons, nothing more. I've never met him before." I hastily explained. Undine stared at me for a moment before snorting.

"I see. The idiot hasn't made his move yet. Well, in a way this is good." She drawled to herself. I raised an eyebrow, not knowing how to respond to that. She was acting like he was going around raping girls he liked. That...is quite odd.

"Nee-san...She's telling the truth." The younger said.

"Is that Gnome?" I asked, trying to peer past her at the younger. He shifted so now I couldn't even see his tabard.

"Yes, it is Gnome. Though, if you are here to collect a seal, you'll find we require a little more than a bit of pretty talking." Undine narrowed her eyes. "That's what Yulia sent you for isn't it?"

I would have answered had Sync not been beside me, giving me a look that spelled trouble. "No!" I shouted.

"Lie." Gnome muttered. Undine narrowed her eyes, drawing a pike of ice from the ground.

"No, I mean, I didn't come here to get your seals. I didn't even know you were here. I was just escorting the fat one." I groaned.

"...Truth." Gnome muttered.

"I see. Well..." Undine trailed off, looking around to make sure no one was going to ambush her. When she found no one else she dispersed the pike of ice.

"I didn't know ice was your element too. What about Celsius?" I asked.

"Celsius has far better control over ice. I can only make small structures." Undine explained, looking more at ease. She balanced a shard of ice on the end of her finger.

"I see." I paused. I didn't really have an idea about what to say.

"Leave." Something went past my face and planted itself in the tree behind me. I didn't have to turn to know she had thrown the shard of ice. I put a hand to my cheek and felt it become warm and sticky. Great, I was going to die of blood loss by the end of the day. First my side, then my leg, and now my face. I frowned grimly.

What did I do to anger God? Why?

I turned to leave, knowing my back was exposed to the enemy. Stupid mistake but she said she'd let me leave. I limped over to Oli and banged the side of the tree as hard as I could. The ice shattered and he fell to the ground with a thump. I used the tree to support my weight, leaning against it heavily. The limbs were screaming in agony and the blood loss was really taking a toll on my fatigue.

Looking back, Gnome and Undine quietly sunk into the shadows of the cave. Without taking my weight off the tree, I turned slowly to the two boys. Sync was giving me what I thought to be a questioning stare and Oli was blubbering about how I was hurt. I ignored Oli but gave Sync a cold hard stare.

"Why'd you come?" I asked.

"The carrier pigeons stopped coming." He answered in a heartbeat. Almost like it was rehearsed. "And also, Oli's grandmother sent a pigeon to Daath. She wants him at the harbor. She even sent a carriage for him which is waiting on the main road."

Well...that was a pretty good excuse. "I see..." I said after a long pause. "Yosh, let's start heading out. I'll just patch myself up and..." I searched my supplies to find all my gels had been spent. With a sigh, I rummaged through again to make sure I hadn't missed any by accident. Sure enough, there wasn't a single one left. With a sigh I threw the bag over my shoulder and grabbed the drawstring at the last second. The bag closed shut and fell with a satisfying thump on my back, the leather drawstring reeling it in under my hand.

"Or not..." I finished disappointed with lack of supplies.

"No gels Rats? Aren't you prepared?" Sync asked coyly.

"Oh, you bet." I said back sarcastically. Funny, even when injured to a great amount, I still manage to survive and make witty comments. I took a few more steps before I felt the weight of the injury settle onto my foot like a one hundred pound weight.

I stopped walking and leaned heavily on another tree. I could feel Oli and Sync's eyes following me but knew they still remained in the same place as before. I looked down at my bare foot and saw it was coated in blood from my ankle. I suspected sprained ankle by the way it hurt when I walked. Also some of the briars were still stuck in the top of the ankle.

I bent to pull them out and I heard some shifting behind me. The autumn leaves crackled and came to a stop near me. I picked out the last briar before getting to my feet. Call it instinct, call it super natural, whatever floats your boat, but I knew it was Oli even before he helped me up. Maybe it was the fact he was more courteous (believe it or not) than Sync that I knew.

I leaned on Oli's squishy shoulder and tried not to fling back in repulsion. He was doing something good so... I felt another shoulder support my weight. I looked over to see Sync scowling.

"I wouldn't do this if I didn't have to bring you back to Daath." He said crossly, deeply frowning. Either way though, I switched shoulders to lean on and found Sync's to be much more supportive. I tried to balance the weight in between the two but it seemed more of it kept falling on Sync. Whoops.

"Alright, I'm ready. Lead the way." I said quietly. Immediately the two stepped in unison and we started making our way out of Arimis Spring.

At first, it was fine. They walked in complete unison and I hopped along every three steps they took. We got out of the clearing in a good three minutes. As soon as we reached the open fields though, we started having problems. Sync seemed to start walking alot faster than Oli and the two of us struggled to keep up with him. He didn't even look to be in his brisk walk yet.

From there, the two started quarreling like two tom cats fighting over a mouse.

"Move faster will you?!" Sync shouted. Oli and I shrunk back at the sudden harsh command.

"Why don't you stop going so fast!" Oli barked suddenly. I shrunk back even farther, knowing that I'd probably never get out alive.

"We have to make the carriage by five or else." Sync snapped back.

"She's injured, we should move at her pace." Oli yelled. The two turned towards me. "Well?!"

"H-hey don't bring me into this." I felt like a mouse now. If I shrank any more, they might not be able to see me, metaphorically of course.

"See, she can take it. So why don't you speed up?" Sync growled.





"Please stop..." I muttered falling back onto the ground. They didn't seem to notice and kept bickering like five year olds.

"I know what you are but what am I?!"

"Nah, make me!"

"Maybe I don't feel like it!"

"Maybe your mom doesn't feel like it!"

I can't believe those two even went there in lines of childish. This sounds more like an argument between Raven and a sack of potatoes. And believe me when I say that by the end of her argument, there are usually mashed potatoes. So in the next few minutes, I had stood back up and began hobbling towards the main road, ignoring the bickering that was slowly fading in the back.

Screw the reward, if this is a chance to escape Daath/ Van, I'll take it.

It was almost when I was out of earshot that I heard the two shout in surprise. They finally seemed to have noticed I was gone...

I heaved a sigh and tried walking faster. If i could evade them, the harbor wasn't too far off. I looked down at my feet while I walked. They were far paler than anywhere on my body, particularly the right one, which was still bleeding and had gone numb from pain. Wait a minute, surely the cells would have repaired a clot by now...

I realized something with a tremendous amount of horror. Poison, I had been poisoned by Gnome's vine. I dug through my bag and found a single panacea bottle.

I gave a huge sigh of relief and sat down, uncorking the bottle with my teeth. I poured the expensive liquid onto my wound and watched the clot form. It was a little morbid but hey it was better than watching crimson liquid poor out.

I laid back on the grass and stared at the sky. It was still a healthy blue along with the random green fonstones floating here and there. There were clouds too, which held shapes. While I grudgingly waited for feeling/pain to return to my foot I stared counting the second until Oli or Sync found me. I was screwed the moment the vine had appeared...

I got to three thousand, four hundred, ninety seven when a rock hit my forehead. I leaned forward feeling pain in my ankle and careened my head back. Sync stood above me frowning, mask tilted up slight just so that I could see a hint of green eyes in the shadow. Oli stood a few paces behind him breathing heavily.

"Running away Rats? On a mission? I thought you had more respect than that." Sync stated bitterly.

"Not quite my enemigo. I just waltzed away from two bickering children whom couldn't keep there mouth's shut." I stated, using a bit of Spanish mixed in. They looked as if it wasn't anything big.

"Well, get up. We're almost to the main path." I stared at him in surprise. I hadn't know we had gotten that far. I hopped up, yelping when pain surged back full force to my ankle. I resisted doubling over and bit my lip. Why cruel world, why? Oli and Sync bent over to look at it.

Oli spoke up first. "This could be wolfsbane! All parts are poisonous. The poison is an alkaloid called aconite, which disables nerves, lowers blood pressure, and can stop the heart. Even casual skin contact should be avoided; symptoms include numbness, tingling, and cardiac irregularity." He reported. I suddenly felt kinda dizzy. I did have numbness...

Oli wasn't done though. "If ingested, it usually causes burning, tingling, and numbness in the mouth, followed by vomiting and nervous excitement. It is usually a quick-acting poison."

"Well it's cured now guys. Haha, yay panacea bottles!" I said nervously, laughing slightly at the end. Oli narrowed his eyes and stood up. Sync stayed down, having a dumb look on his face. He probably didn't expect Oli to know so much.

"Star, did you ingest any plants lately? Especially ones that were upside down and looked like earlobes?" He asked.

"No, except remember when the vine came and latched around my leg-." That was all Oli needed before he went on listing a bunch of other poisons it could be and why I should have cured it immediately afterward and such. Sync stood up and dug throw a hidden pocket. He brought out a small wing pack and opened it up, a small chime going off as he did. It sounded strangely familiar to a small bell. As Oli kept blabbing about poisons, Sync pulled out something, closing the wing pack as he did.

He handed me a glob of red and stared. I recognized it as an apple gel and happily chewed it after muttering a thanks. I always liked apples. I stopped chewing for a second. Wait, he had a gel this whole time and he didn't give one to me when I was seriously injured...That jerk!

I glared at him, which he shot back a quizzical frown like he was wondering what he did wrong. Oli stopped midspeech to stare back and forth between Sync and I, wondering what just happened.

"Anyways, let's head out." Sync stated. "Now that someone has had her spotlight time." I glared and checked my mark on my right hand. Just enough to set his hair on fire.

Which I did. It was quite amusing, watching his hair spontaneously combust into flames, Oli shouting in surprise and covering his own greasy hair, Sync running around in circles screaming profanities. I followed Sync with my eyes the whole time, adopting a blank face. I knew my eyes lied about my feelings though. I had a look of pure amusement on the inside.

Eventually he patted it down which left black and white singes in some places, mostly at the tips. I figured he'd have it out by morning by the way he was frantically shaking his head and scratching it.

We reached the main road with no problems, except for Sync whining about his hair, but we still reached the main road before five. Actually, we reached it around three thirty according to Oli and Sync. They had bickered about it all the way here and Oli was rubbing it in that they had a bunch of time left. Typical...

Along with the bragging rights, Oli also got a huge carriage to ride to the port. It was humongous and was pulled by several monsters that resembled rhinos. I gazed in astonishment at the carriage, until the door flung open and Oli's grandmother rolled out. She was a big person herself, wearing a lacy bodice as well as an iron cage to do her face good. I bit my lip and tried not to laugh. She looked more like a noble on her way to some Cinderella ball.

"OLI! Oh how I'll missed you!" She squealed. She tried to hug the teen but the iron cage kept getting in the way. She ended up patting his cheek with a gloved sweaty hand.

"Hi Nana. Are we going back to Malkuth?" He asked, smiling.

"Yes, we are Oli. I hope you didn't leave anything!" She gushed.

"I didn't Nana. Except for all my homely possessions and the rent bill." He muttered the last part very quietly.

"Oh goodie! Pile in then!" She said happily.

"Oh hold on, I need to speak with my escort and give her her reward." He bounded over to where I stood and pulled me out of his Nana's earshot.

"Oh thank you awesome ninja!" He said almost woefully. "I wish I could return but I must go. If we must meet again, I wish to have multiple children with you!"

I gave him the oddest look I could and then some. "I um...hope you weren't serious about that last part." I said, keeping one eye on him just in case he tried something.

"Here, your reward slip. Just in case the bartender doesn't believe you." He handed me a crumpled piece of paper that had his signature on it.

"Oli!" His grandmother called. "Nana wants to talk to your escort once your done!"

Oli frowned and patted my shoulder. "Good luck."

"Sure, and if this is about some weird marriage your cooking up then I'll come back over here and murder you. If not, then Goodbye, and be a botanist. Seriously, you qualify." I turned and tried my best not to limp over to his grandma.

"Ma'am." I bowed slightly, scowling where she couldn't see when my ankle flipped sideways, spiking pain.

"Hello, your name?" She asked coolly, all emotion devoid.

"Star, ma'am."

'Well Star, you've got some nerve!" She huffed. I raised my gaze and stared her straight in the eye.

"I don't understand." I replied monotonously, know something was going to go wrong.

"Taking my grandson out into the wilderness, endangering his life, making him eat scat! That's what!" She screamed. I jumped back in surprise as she continued to rant and chew me out.

I felt indignation boil in my blood and felt like I was about to explode from it.

"And my poor baby was with WILD ANIMALS! Can you comprehend that?! WILD ANIMALS! Because YOU took him out so he could be 'so cool'!" She shrieked.

"Listen here you over protective broad! I've been hit by an explosion, stabbed in the side, spent numerous hours in trees, knocked in the head with boulders, and had to face to very powerful enemies, whom poisoned me! I only accepted the damn bloody job, I didn't take him out to be cool! I needed to take a job to win my flipping freedom, and I still don't get it! And then you have the audacity to come and yell and me for fulfilling a request from YOUR grandson! So what I'm saying is, SHUT THE HELL UP!" I screamed back, jabbing her chest with my finger with such animosity that she eventually was pushed back into the side of the carriage.

Sync, seeing that negotiations weren't going well, intervened. "Is there a problem Rats- Star?" He corrected himself at the last second, much to my displeasure. He would've said it if he could've.

"Not at all, Sync the Tempest." I said stepping back with some difficulty. It was getting harder to walk on my foot.

"Sync the Tempest?! Oh, I've heard so much about you! Would you care to accompany us to the harbor?" She gestured to herself and Oli, whom had walked up in between my yelling and Sync's intervention.

"No thank you. I need to take me... cadet back to the capital for further training. She has quite a temper to lose." He turned his head towards me and frowned. "Right?"

Oh I see where this is going. "Yes senpai, I should keep my mouth shut more often." I bowed humbly toward my new "teacher."

"Oh! She's your student?! I had no idea! Well, I hope you two have a safe journey back. No hard feelings Star?"

"Yes, sorry about that." I lied. I actually wanted to punch her face in with a flaming fist.

"Bye." Sync stated rather bluntly, grabbing my arm and leading me away.

I waved a goodbye to Oli and his Nana. I turned back and waited until we were out of sight and the sound of the coach rolling away was out of earshot. My leg then inconveniently gave out from under me.

I grabbed my ankle and bit my lip in close off the wail surfacing. I think I can feel my bone under my flesh, all the blood was gone. Yikes.

"I can't go on. Can we rest?" I shuttered, feeling a cold wind blowing from Arimis Springs. Undine's no doubt.

"No, we'll never make it back in time." Sync stated bitterly.

"We'll never make it back when I'm like this." I said quietly, a sob breaking the sentence. I hated these moments.

"Well, then..." I felt two hands slip under my legs and then raise me up. I jerked in surprise and wrapped my arms around the first stable thing in the area. Which was his head. He threw me up and I landed on his back with a startled yelp. He started running, holding onto my legs as he ran.

I realized he was carrying me on his back after a few moments complete fright of not knowing what he was doing. The fright was complete with his insane speed, which is probably how he caught up with Oli and I.

"Could you go a little slower?!" I yelled over the wind.

"We won't be on time!" He yelled back.

"On time for what?!"

He didn't answer, he just turned his head and smirked. "Just hold on tight Rats and don't let go until we get there."

I nodded and rested my head on his back, attempting to catch some of the sleep I had missed on the mission. Hopefully, I wouldn't die of blood loss. I closed my eyes and let darkness soothe my aching eyes.

I must of fallen asleep because I was suddenly aware that the scenery had changed and I was resting against a tree. It was also night time and a fire blazed in front of me. I looked around for my "teacher" and couldn't locate him. I looked around cautiously, keeping my guard up in case he decided to jump out and scare me. I hate when people do that.

As if a sign from the gods, the wind blew and something above me knocked against the tree gently. I looked up and saw a metal ring hooked to an orange string. I trailed it up the tree to see it wrapped around an arm, which was attached to a body. I half smiled, half frowned at this.

Sync, whom was up in the tree, was in a similar position I had been when I was escaping Oli. Sprawled out in the tree, one leg crossed over the other, he stared down into the fire with a cold calculating green eye. But to where as I saw the fire to be warm and inviting, like in a house feel of warmth and homeliness, Sync's eyes saw it as a harshness that would burn the house to the ground and decimate the landscape.

It almost scared me, knowing fire was two completely different things in another's eyes. A song appeared in my head at that thought. It was the Goddess of Fire by Steven Reineke. It sounded calm at first and near the middle, erupted into terror and seemed to scatter.

I began humming the tune, bring it back to mind. It was an amazing piece. Of course, I momentarily forgot Sync was there, so when I started humming the bell part which was somewhat high, it alerted him.

"Finally." He jumped down and landed on the opposite side of the fire. I continued humming, as though he wasn't there. He settled across the fire, giving me his 'stare of death'. I didn't know what for but I ignored, going on a few clarinet trills in my mind, letting them come out as some weird slurred hum.

Apparently, Sync wasn't patient at all and didn't want to listen to all 10 minutes of its epicness. I did manage to make it to the flute solo before he interrupted with a disturbing question. Even though he had asked questions before, this one hit the nail on the head.

"So, what's this about Yulia's emissary thing? They seemed quite livid that you were there, Mizuho ninja." I stopped humming, the exploding part of the music running through my mind. Thoughts seemed to come faster and easier when I thought of that part.

"Ninja's of Mizuho are usually called emissaries because our leader was named after Yulia Jue. They were great spirits, so it wasn't completely unbelievable that they knew about Mizuho." I lied easily, the song smoothing back out in my head.

"Great Spirits? I do recall you saying Gnome, Undine, and Ifrit didn't I?" He asked. Damn him and his good memory.

I flipped songs in my head to a calm smooth song called Absolution. "Yes, you did."

"Aren't they the name's of the composed sentient of fonons?" He asked.

"They are."


I cleared my thought. "Well you see..." My song logic was failing me, any good lies started to slip. I really wanted to shout 'How much can a two year old possibly know?!'** But that would give away critical info. "It's kinda hard to explain. There are a few spirits that hold the names of the fonon sentient for a sign of power. They are very strong.

"And of Celsius? I remember the fish lady saying something about her. How would you know about her anyways?" He pressed. The fire crackled and swept toward Sync unexpectedly, smoke billowing in his face, even though the wind was blowing towards me. Turns out smoke especially gets under masks.

He coughed and hacked for awhile until I found a great intervention space.

"Do you need some water? I'll go get some for you. Smoke makes one's throats extremely dry." I said when he stopped, a tear rolling down his cheek from coughing so much. He wiped it away in a blur of movement.

"No, I'm fine." He snapped.

"Are you sure, you know you just might forget about this." I snapped at the word forget. This was an old technique I learned from my teacher back on Earth.

"I don't think so." He said crossly.

"Really, you will forget." I snapped again at forget. He inclined his head enough so that he could see that it was I whom was snapping the fingers. Good, even better.

"So you were saying-"

"Seriously Sync, you're going to forget about it and die." I snapped at forget again and he seemed quite focused on my fingers now.

"Die from what?" He asked, transfixed.

"Die from lack of H2O. Did you forget?" I snapped a final time there and he seemed to completely freeze.

"What were we talking about again?" He asked.

"Nothing much, just the secret passages in Daath's cathedral." I drawled.

"What?!" He snapped. I laughed and gave him a dangerous look.

"Come now, you were about to finish." I said devilishly.

"I don't know what you're talking about." He growled, standing. I smiled, knowing the trick had worked. It doesn't work all the time but it seemed to work this time.

"We're leaving." He suddenly announced, snuffing the flame with an effortless wave of his hand. That's talent right there.


"We'll never make it. Get on." He knelt down and grimaced, looking back at me expectantly. I stared in confusion then remembered about my injured foot. Oh yeah... I rolled over to him and limply but my hands around his neck. He ascended, taking me with him. I bit my lip and tried not to squirm when he started running at his insane speed again. Seriously, he's going to be my number one two year old on Earth. Athletic Person, Impossibly Fast, Smart ass, Strategist, General, and Evil toddler shall be his titles.

"Don't die." He muttered and swerved through a forest, deliberately ducking where a branch was so that I would get hit. Rude.

Eventually we reached the peak of the 5 monument in two days record time, which over looked Daath. Dawn rose and bird sent flurries of songs down onto the capital.

"You know, this is probably the worst first mission ever." I whispered, dropping myself off the general. He didn't say anything except cracked a wise comment about how he did all the work of running.

We began our descent down the fifth monument, not speaking until I decided to roll down the giant hill and dragged Sync down with me. Good times.

Especially when a lumberjack seemingly had a bunch of branches piled at the bottom of the hill and Sync smashed into them face first, only for me to roll into him when he tried to get up. That's what he gets for being mean.

Whoo! Ending! (finally...) I feel so bad for Star, -.- I abuse her, a lot. But don't worry! It gets worse before it gets better! Anyways, hopefully we can move on after this to Akzeriuth. I've been waiting for this too! ^^

** Sync = Ion in replication.

Ion = 2 years old.

Therefore, Sync = 2 years old.

Ps: Blaze still demands his promotion...Immediately.