Disclaimer: I do not own Ninjago because if I did Zane would be mine too! ;D
Oh, it's so hard to say no to cake…*a black clothed arm reaches over to snatch a piece* and even harder to keep it away from Cole. Thanks Crystal Persian for the yummy snacks and thanks to everybody for your keepsake reviews; I treasure each and everyone one and keep them close to my heart. Okay, well here it is guys, the intro chapter to Book 3: Quiet World of White.
Please read and enjoy!
(Outskirts of Twilight City on the Destiny's Bounty)
Winter is fast approaching; for even in my meditative state, I can sense the polar radiation begin to spread throughout Ninjago.
I yearn for the upcoming season because it's my favorite for more reasons than the obvious.
I can only hope that this year it will happen…
I've only witnessed this beautiful natural phenomenon once and many years have passed since then.
This particular occurrence only happens when a temperature aversion is present at the surface and the warmer air above the ground mixes with the colder air near the surface.
Since warmer air frequently contains more water vapor than colder air, this mixing will—
I can feel a light poking sensation on my left knee.
I open my eyes slowing from my contemplation and see Sasha's male duck Howard pecking me with his beak.
"Oh, Howard stop that," Sasha says coming over to me and picking Howard up, "I'm so sorry Zane, he seems to like to mess with people when he gets bored."
"See, Howard SUCKS!" Kai states furiously, I lean to my left slightly to see the red ninja a few feet away pointing and scowling at the black-billed duck.
"Heh, you're just mad that he woke you up this morning," Cole says while side-stepping a kick from Jay.
"Well, excuse me, but I didn't set my alarm clock on QUACK!" Kai retorts angrily, still glaring at Howard.
"Oh come on red hot tamale, he was only trying to stop you from inhaling the drapes with your snoring," Jay jibes while ducking under Cole's right hook.
Sasha laughs happily at Kai's accusation and gently strokes Howard's black-striped head.
Howard closes his eyes in bliss obviously pleased by Sasha's petting and snuggles a bit in her arms.
She then places the duck carefully on the floor and instructs him good-naturedly.
"Now go play with Lilia, it's almost lunch time."
Howard begins to preen his feathers, but turns to obey Sasha's request and waddles off towards his pure white golden-billed female counterpart.
Howard's marking was really quite unique for the black stripe began in the middle of his forehead and trailed all the way down his body to the tip of his tail, the rest of his feathers the flawless white matching that of Lilia. A light chime could be heard with each pitter-patter of his black-webbed feet because of the little red collar with a single gold bell attached to it adorned his neck comfortably.
Sasha straightens up and I rise from my lotus position to join her.
It has been approximately three weeks and six days since Sasha joined our ranks and many events have transpired since her showing of power to Leviathan.
We had finally reached Twilight City the following morning and began our search of the building meeting the description of Sasha's vision.
Ironically enough, there were an immense number of black-colored facilities that had the word "star" in their name in the city of Twilight.
From the Star Haze Lounge to the Black Star Restaurant, and down town where Moonstar dwelled with its scantily clad women lurking on every corner making propositions.
Though I cannot fathom why when a particular woman had approached Kai and asked "You wanna have some fun tonight?" Kai's face flushed with embarrassment and he declined vehemently while sweating profusely.
How could being asked if you want to have fun make a person blush and excrete diaphoresis?
Hmm, I guess there are still mysteries about human behavior I have not solved yet…
After leaving Moonstar behind we traveled further west and stumbled upon Starlight Orphanage.
A quaint homely facility managed by a serene group of nuns.
Sasha had informed us that this building had the correct formation of windows and was certain that the Orphanage fit her vision best.
So, following our sensei's orders we began doing rounds of surveillance on not only Starlight Orphanage, but the other facilities as well just to be safe.
"Alright, that's enough training for now young ninja," Sensei's voice reaches my ears and I look up to see him standing in front of the helm of the Bounty, "Cole, Jay, Kai it is time for you three to make your rounds in Twilight and remember be inconspicuous, we don't want to make the people feel uncomfortable."
"Yes Sensei," they say in unison.
Sensei moves to leave the deck and my eyes settle on his retreating form.
Sensei Wu has still not told us about the Prophecy of Phoenix and what it entails, I know I must respect and honor his wisdom since he is my master, but I can sense that the information he holds is a burden to him.
Why can he not tell us yet?
What is he waiting for exactly?
"In time Zane," he says to me as he closes the door behind him.
Sigh, yes, Sensei's wisdom surely surpasses my own.
I look to another corner of the ship and spot Nya crouching down to pet the Lilia's back feathers as she lay with Howard in the comfortable straw nest bed Cole had made for them. The shine of the silver bell on her blue collar twinkles in the sunlight as she sleeps peacefully against Howard.
Nya soon stands and goes to see Jay off with Sasha turning and doing the same with Cole.
Seeing their displays of affection, I quickly turn away as I feel the familiar pang of jealousy seep into my system, but I immediately crush it with a wall of biting frost.
Despite Cole's words to me weeks ago I still feel that I am destined for a life without the true love of a female companion.
I lean against the ship's cabin wall and bow my head staring at my feet.
I must not continue to fret about this, for it is undignified for a ninja to sulk and be consumed by petty emotions.
I lift my head when I hear the others activate their spinjitsu vehicles, the Tread Assault and Blade Cycle speeding down the dirt road and the Storm Fighter flying off, back to Twilight.
Nya and Sasha both turn back and walk up to me.
"Well, what do you guys want for lunch since it's my turn to cook?" Nya asks politely once they reach me.
"Oh, I loved when you made grilled cheese sandwiches that one time," Sasha says, sighing with fondness of the memory, "and when you added ham, plus the tomato soup for dipping, I thought I died and went to heaven."
Nya giggles lightly with a pink blush dusting her cheeks at the compliment and turns to me with a smile.
"What about you Zane?" she asks pleasantly.
"Yes, please repeat the meal you made last time and may I request extra deli meat on mine please?" I ask with warmth.
"Sure, no problem I'm going to go get started, I'll call for you guys when lunch is ready," Nya says walking away to go inside.
Once she leaves the Kunoichi of Water turns to me and stretches her arms above her head.
"It was nice of you to wait for me while I finished my spar with Nya, shall we begin Zane?" She asks walking to the center of the ship.
I small smile graces my features as I follow her and position myself a few feet away.
After Leviathan's blessing all of our training procedures intensified greatly. With our amplified elemental powers we are now able to produce techniques that were deemed impossible before.
I pull my hood over my head and she pulls her mask up over her face.
I situate my body into a low offensive stance and concentrate on the prominent sub-zero energy within me. Within seconds a ring of long crystal ice shards levitate and circle my body which I can command at a flick of my finger.
During the last few weeks we have dealt with three skirmishes with the Serpentine each one more daunting than the last. They had attacked three small cities claiming to be scavenging for scrap iron and other goods, but with the six of us together with our newfound strength, we were able to repel their attacks and drive them away. Oddly though, they did not attack any mountain villages or Twilight for that matter, so I know we must remain vigil in our surveillance for when they do decide to make Sasha's vision a reality.
During the continuation of her training, she had taken tutelage from each of us on different training methods.
Cole for weapons training, Kai for martial arts, Jay for shurikens and kunai projectile training, Nya for added agility and stealth, and me for elemental training.
After all, ice is merely water frozen into the solid state.
On the battlefield, she has proven to be an equal member of the team, even spotting strategic vantage points for attack or weaknesses in an enemy.
Needless to say, she has become a force to be reckoned with, I think as I see her whip out her Bo Staff and twirl it expertly in wait for my attack.
"Let us begin," I call out and launch a few shards straight at her. She quickly defends by sweeping her Bo staff out horizontally summoning a gush of water, the force of the current veers my shards off course, and she retaliates by sending another torrent of water at me aimed at my legs. I perform a no hand cartwheel over the powerful stream and land on my feet, and then launch myself high into the air in a corkscrew twirl over her. During mid-spin I send six more shards to her exposed back in which she gracefully spins multiple times to the right to dodge them.
I land lightly on my feet and stare at my admirable opponent.
Yes, Zane this is what you must do, train, just focus on—
I look up to see a dark avian circling overhead.
Sasha notices my distracted look and glances up as well.
"Hey, it's your falcon Zane, he sure has been gone for quite a while," she observes, relaxing her muscles.
Yes, he has, I think curiously, the only errand I had him run was to deliver the letter to Ninjago City for Sasha. But, that was a week ago and since then he has been vanishing, not returning for days.
I stretch my arm out and my feathered friend takes that as an invitation to come down.
He perches on my arm and that's when I see it…
a black band with a yellow happy face sticker around his right leg.
Phew! Alrighty, I have the ball rolling now. I will be introducing Ayane very early in the story most likely next chapter, so I hope you guys are ready to see a very interesting girl. Oh goodness, and also this story will be a light collaboration with Crystal Persian because she had some very good ideas for Ayane that I'm going to implement. So, please give credit to her as well when I use her material. I will document it accordingly! Please leave your precious thoughts and feedback my friends!
Bye-bye everyone see you soon!
Can anyone guess the natural phenomenon Zane talks about?