"...Yet we still know little about these creatures known as Du-" Seouls shut the book. He was bored to tears of reading, but he had nothing else to do. He picked up the tome "Fact or Fiction?" and placed it back on the shelf. He didn't have time to sit around and read about imaginary creatures to make himself smarter. There were plenty of other books that were much more fun.

Seouls picked up his small stack of more interesting books, and paid the bookstore cashier. He dumped the books in his backpack as he walked out the swinging double doors. He leisurely strolled down the street toward his neohome, humming a catchy tune to himself. During a pause in the music, he heard a soft, strange warbling note being held out, the same one he had just hummed. Seouls swung his head around. Seeing nobody near him, he shrugged and dismissed what he heard as imagination.

Seouls's mind wandered as he slowly walked. He stared blankly at the iridescent spots on the ground cast by his shining blue scales. He adjusted the pack between his large wings. He enjoyed being a Draik. Everything about it! The claws, wings, long tail, red "cat" eyes- they all suit him. Sure there are other types of Neopets with the same kinds of attributes he could be, but none of them suit his liking. Shoyrus were too fleshy. Scorchios, too blunt. Krawks, too fierce. But Draiks- THEY were majestic!

Seouls smiled to himself, opened his wings, and took off into the sky. He hovered there for a minute, orienting himself, and pointed toward his neohome off in the distance. He began a leisurely glide toward it. Suddenly, he heard the weak little spectral "voice" warbling out the song he had previously been humming. He jerked his head around, searching everywhere for the culprit. He saw nothing. Unnerved, Seouls hurried home.

In the weeks that followed, the voices became more and more noticeable. Every time Seouls spoke, hummed, sang, or did anything with his voice, the noise became near unbearable. He had inquired a couple of his close friends about the sounds, but no one else could hear them. This both terrified and fascinated Seouls.

The noise was somewhat tolerable in the noise of the city, because the melodic voices were truthfully very quiet. They were merely distracting when they "spoke" all at once. So, one evening Seouls decided to find somewhere quiet to see if he could study and better understand the music. He wandered into a nearby forest. The sun was setting off in the distance, and the daytime creatures were settling down for the night and nocturnal ones stirring in their burrows.

Seouls paid no heed to these rustlings, and instead sat on a large, mossy rock in a small clearing. He closed his eyes and listened.

He didn't hear much. So he began to slowly, quietly sing a soft tune...

Can I walk a little more? I'll do everything I can
All these people that I see- I will never understand
If I find a way to go, and I change to love the light
Then my soul will fall apart, and it all will fade to white!

As he sang, it seemed like the entire world began to hum. A mist rolled into the clearing at a surprising rate. Seouls stopped singing and looked around in a panic. All around him, he began seeing small white dots floating all over. At first he mistook them for dust motes glowing in the dying sun, but when he saw some begin to move on their own... Seouls grew ever more nervous.

The blurry creatures moved slowly around him. As an experiment, Seouls sang again...

Who I am inside my heart, I could tell you with a vow
But the words that I would use would be 'Good for nothing' now!

The living specks suddenly became clearer and started humming in eerie, warbling tones. Even now that they were fully in focus, Seouls still couldn't quite tell what they were. They varied in degrees of transparency, some almost solid, and some he could barely see. All where a ghostly blue-white. The biggest ones were roughly the size of a small plate, but most were about as long as a finger. A few were so small he could only tell they were there by the light coming off of them. This light didn't seem to touch any of the objects around them. Even the brightest ones couldn't pierce the shadow in the crook of a tree, but they all lit the air in a supernatural way.

Seouls sang a little more, and watched in fascination as they began to swim and wiggle through the air, like they were dancing. Some of the movements were so awkward, Seouls couldn't help but be amused. The many different shapes and sizes of the creatures made every single one a treat to look at. Some looked almost like fish, others clusters of lights. A few looked vaguely like wings, flowers, and worms. The creatures were cute, in their own way. They danced around him in the mist of the moon-lit forest.

The sight of these happy little creatures filled Seouls with unnatural happiness, began to sing his heart out, smiling and dancing along with the lights.

Seouls soon lost track of time. He awoke from his trance when the first licks of sunlight shone over the opposite horizon. Realizing this, he stopped his giddy singing and stared in disbelief. When he stopped, the humming of the creatures died down, and they stopped flying around in their feverish dance. The more transparent ones quickly faded away. The rest suddenly grew sluggish, and began to "swim" away from the clearing, growing more and more faded as they moved, until all of them had disappeared, leaving Seouls alone.

Seouls was sad to see them go, but the exhaustion from dancing all night quickly drove him to the ground. After a few astonished breaths, he slowly turned around to face the moss-covered rock he sat on earlier, planning to rest on it rather than the moist ground.

When he had rotated around enough for the rock to come into his view, he found a dark being sitting leisurely on it. Seouls jolted in surprise. He hadn't expected anyone else to be in the middle of a forest before the sun had even come up. How long had that person been there?

The figure was reptilian, and his lack of wings led Seouls to believe he was a Krawk. The Krawk's scales were so black, they seemed not to even exist. His belly scales were a startling purple. On his face he wore a skull mask painted with blood-red designs. He had purple fur going down the back of his head and neck, and a tuft of the same colored fur at the tip of his long tail. In the Krawk's hands lay a long wooden staff that twisted into a fork toward the top, then rejoining a bit later into a sharp point. The space in the staff was diamond shaped, and within floated a light blue orb that glowed with supernatural power. The Krawk's sharp eyes were the same unnatural glowing blue.

The Krawk turned to face him, and Seouls was then able to see an oddly-shaped dark green band on the Krawk's right upper arm. The Krawk smiled, his eyes and staff glowing slightly brighter. "Have a nice dance?" he said in an almost unnaturally low, smooth voice.

Seouls sat wide-eyed, and was only able to gape his mouth open like a fish, flapping his mouth uselessly, not knowing how to respond.

The Krawk stood slowly and faced Seouls. "I would advise you to stay away from things you don't fully understand," he said slowly, the deepness of his voice vibrating the air ominously.

Finding his own voice, Seouls stuttered out, "What were those? Can you see and hear them too? How long have you been there? Who are your? What-"

The Krawk held up a clawed finger, halting Seouls's flood of questions. "If you must know, those were Spiridions. Weak, magical creatures from the alternate plane of existence known as Ialu. And yes, I can see and hear them. It is a rare gift to do so consistently." He finished by stabbing the end of his staff into the moist, leafy ground and folding his arms.

Seouls's curiosity burned. "Sp-Spiridion? Ialu?"

"Yes," the shadowy Krawk muttered.

"What exactly are they?" Seouls prompted.

The Krawk eyed him suspiciously, the glow of his eyes seeming to get even more intense. "Spiridion are a weak, common form of creatures known as Du'an. Spiridions are a form of light Du'an, otherwise known as Avira, meaning "air, atmosphere, and spirit". Rightly named, they are! Always dancing around in the air like children. Spiridion itself means "little spirit," and these smaller Avira are very prone to following sounds they enjoy. And it seems they really love your voice.

The Krawk paused. He unfolded his arms and grasped his staff with one hand. "These Avira come from an alternate dimension of our world. This realm is known as Ialu, meaning "field of dreams". Many who find that they can see these creatures my find themselves pulled into this other plane of existence, as the border between our world and theirs is thin, causing them to leak into our world, and us, into theirs.

"When people are drawn into this alternate realm, most are unable to handle the difference. The very nature of their world can tear you apart. Almost all that cross over never come back. The few that do are only able to do so through a process known as Nirvana, the disappearance or extinction of the soul. They are said to return with their minds and bodies, but their soul is left behind or eliminated, and they are stuck in a trance-like state. Misty eyes, shuffling movements, emotionless, rarely talk, rarely move. They just slowly fade into death.

The Krawk uprooted his staff and pointed the sharp tip at Seouls, startling him.

"But that's not all. There is another realm. A dark one known as Abaddon. 'The Place of Destruction'. 'The Bottomless Pit'. 'The Abyss'. However you want to define it. The Du'an from here are dark and twisted. They are known as Avdimi. 'Destruction and Loss'. 'The Unfortunate' or 'Wrenched'. These rarely worm their way into our world, in comparison to the Avira, and most are left too weak to do anything more than cause bad dreams or uneasy thoughts. Others can cause mischief, causing one to lose keys or glasses. Others have been mistaken for mythical creatures, like Bigfoot or Aliens.

"There is a darker form of Avdimi. Beings so evil and messed-up that any time one escapes from Abaddon, chaos ensues in the world. They are called Keres, or 'Death Spirits'. They cause famine, natural disasters, plagues, and through these, death. They are not something you want to come in contact with.

"Though powerful in their own way, Du'an of any kind can not survive outside their own realms for too long, and eventually fade away or die. They are not made of flesh and bone like you and I, and disappear without a trace. It's hard to tell if a fading Du'an is dying, or simply returning to their own world.

"We still know very little about these creatures, so I say again. I advice you not to meddle with things you don't understand. It may only be Spiridion today, but you could eventually attract Avdimi as well. Proceed with caution." As the Krawk finished, the glow in his eyes died down until it was barely noticeable in the light of the half-risen sun.

The shadowy figure turned and walked into the dark of some densely-grown trees, and disappeared, leaving Seouls still sitting, now cold, on the moist ground.

His mind rolling from all that had just occurred, Seouls stumbled back home.