Third day of Ficmas – Battle Spider Trio

On the third day of Ficmas the author gave to me...

Three Battle Spiders,

Two Soulmates,

And ONE new fic about trees.


Hunter Steel looked to his hands and beamed at his masterpiece. He had been working on it for close to a month now, and it was almost the day he could finally give it out! The War between Humans and Invectids were over, and since he could spare time away from repairs he had been working on the gifts without any interruptions. Or mostly any. People were always worried when he was in one place alone for too long, something about him somehow wrecking the work everyone tried so hard on, so they came and checked on him every now and again, which put some dents in his time to work on the gifts. But he couldn't help it! It was almost that day! Everyone might have been bugged at how he was acting, but he just so excited!

He was literally bouncing off the walls in his joy! Shadow, his faithful Battle Spider told him to go find an outlet to get rid of his energy, and boy did he get one! He let Shadow out of the manacle so he could have some fresh air and be able to think by himself. It also gave Hunter a great chance to fix things up around the castle for what was coming up without being asked questions.

Hunter smiled again, running his hands over the small item. He was always good with small objects, and when he came to the Inner World, he had to know how to use knives, so the piece of art in his large hands was not a big surprise to him.

But to his friends, it would be.

Hunter took out the giant spider eye clip from his hair and let the locks tumble out. He raked his right hand through his hair and leaned from his spot on his bed to lift the covers off the floor. He found the wooden box of gifts he hand crafted in the past months, each masterly painted by friends in the city surrounding the castle. He counted one for each of his friends, and made two extra for an offering. He was not only going to have fun at the party he was going to be throwing, but also remember it was around a year since he ran away from the orphanage, and about six years since the accident.

After so delicately placing the figurine in the box hr gathered up his stuff, opened his window, and expertly climbed down. Until he reached close to the bottom and fell off the vines covering the wall. But the gifts were still okay, and that was what mattered.

Corona's eyes twitched in annoyance at the empty room in front of her. She had looked everywhere for him! Dinner was ready in the dining hall, and Hunter wasn't even there! This was crazy by itself, but Hunter hadn't been seen all day either! It wasn't right. Hunter had never missed a single meal in all of the days Corona knew him, why was today so important?

"HUNTER!" Corona shouted. She had been to the training area, the weapons armoury, she'd asked Princess Sparkle if she knew where he was and even she wasn't sure. He'd been avoiding everyone for weeks now, always saying he had something to do.

"Corona!" she heard someone holler from outside the window.

She walked through Hunter's room and couldn't help feeling how empty it was. There was a single bed, a nightstand and that was all the furniture that was in his room. It was bare without Hunter...Hunter always just drew the attention away from everything else in a room.

"Corona!" the voice shouted in irritation once again.

She made her way to the window, and there below her was her entire team. Magma and Igneous, Sparkle and Lumen, and Aqune, Corona smiled, her sister. Shadow was also outside, out of his manacle, so she eagerly looked to see if Hunter and his vibrant red hair were sitting atop of him. He wasn't.

"Corona!" Lumen shouted. "We got a message from Hunter saying that we all need to go to the forests for sundown. You know the one where you first met Hunter?"

Corona dashed through the corridors and down the stairs until she made it to the entrance of the Palace where her friends were awaiting her.

"Shadow, why isn't Hunter with you?" Sparkle asked questioningly.

The large Spider gave something that looked oddly like the Battle Spider equivalent of a shrug. His long, eight legs stretched and made a sharp turn and started along the past down into town on the ways to the forest.

"I'm not sure Princess. Hunter has been really quiet lately; he's also been ditching me to go somewhere to do something. From morning after breakfast to not until evening is when I see him, he's been avoiding everyone." Shadow replied.

The group made its way along the streets of Arachna, stopping to see and greet all the citizens who praised the Spider Riders.

"Jeez, how long does it take to get there?" complained Lumen.

"Oh Prince, Hunter must have a good reason for this. Just trust in him." Aqune gently said.

"That may be so Aqune, but that doesn't explain why Hunter has been avoiding us!" Magma added.

"Your right but...hey, what's that?" wondered Aqune.

The six drudged themselves through the last bit of harsh foliage until their eyes hit bright lanterns in a clearing*. There were trees decorated with crystals and glass and flowers. There were more lanterns attached to the trees, and at the tallest tree in the clearing, at the top was a yellow tinted glass star. There were boxes under the tree wrapped in cloth or red and green, with bows a snow white.

"Wonder when you guys were gonna show up. " The, oh, so familiar, cheerful voice from the inside the light responded.

Hunter was in his regular clothes, but he was wearing a scarf that was just a deep forest green. His smile was contagious, and soon everyone was smiling. He motioned his head over to the tree with the boxes underneath, and so all went over.

"You guys don't know what this is, but on Earth, we Earthens call it Christmas," Hunter began, and then looked sheepish. "I don't remember the story behind it, but we give gifts to people we care about and just enjoy their presence in return." He laughed. "I always used to get bad stuff because I wouldn't sit still for anything."

Everyone laughed. It sounded just like Hunter.

"So Hunter," Lumen asked. "What did you get us? And how did you know that today was this holiday you used to celebrate?"

Hunter gave a sad smile and looked down he went over to the present tree and picked up a box.

"I've...sorta been counting the days since I left. It makes me still wonder what it'd be like if I didn't find my grandpa's journal. And as for these awesome gifts, open them and see for yourself!"

They all opened their packages and gasped at what they were. They were wooden spiders, all looking like each Rider's respective Spider. They were painted with gorgeous colors and had a shiny and soft feel to it due to the gloss over top of it.

"Hunter," Corona started. "They're beautiful! You did this?"

Hunter grinned hugely again, back to his regular self. He did that really easily, have switches on his personality to make him change at the drop of a hat.

'Hunter really must have reigns on his feelings, I know Hunter has always been smiling when I've seen him, but no one could be happy all the time.' Corona thought.

They all celebrated the strange holiday together, but as they were all leaving Hunter stayed behind. Aqune and Corona noticed this and stay behind as well. Hunter's large Spider was nudging him to get a move on, but Hunter just gave a small smile. In his hands he had two figurines, but they weren't painted all the vibrant colors of a regular Battle Spider, one was pure white and the other pure black. He placed them in a hole on the reverse side of the gift tree and put dirt on both the figurines, burying them.

"Why did you do that Hunter? Who were those for?" Aqune asked quietly.

Hunter beamed at them again, then lightly said, "They're for my parents, It's been years since I've seen them...they always wanted to come see what Grandpa saw. I made these for them because they didn't get to see this place before they died..." Hunter was still smiling.

"Christmas was the last holiday I got to spend with them. It's weird, I know, but Christmas was one of my favourite holidays back on earth."

The three left the forest, went back to the castle and slept quietly until the next day's sun broke the night sky, and Hunter was up and wrecking his own kind of trouble all over again.

'If they get all weepy when I show them Christmas, wonder what'll make them happy? Valentines' and Halloween are always available.' Hunter laughed and thought while dashing away from Corona, who he just so happened as to refuse her cooking.

Lana and Aster Steel smiled from above. Their boy turned out better than they thought he could be. He remembers the promise the three of them made...

'To all ride out with their Three Battle Spiders'