Platform 13

January 24, 2012
By SpiritWolf, Arapahoe, Nebraska
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SpiritWolf, Arapahoe, Nebraska
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Favorite Quote:
By believing One Sees


Author's note: What inspired me to write this novel was from a film I had recently seen entitled "Spirited Away" which was one of my most favorite anime movies ever.

CHAPTER ONE
THE ESSAY

Yume Ame was a young college student with silver hair, emerald green eyes, and pale skin. He was at the top of the junior class, and had already obtained a scholarship to a creative center in North America, in which he would attend after he graduated from high school. He was, nonetheless, unlike the other students at Sairento High School -, his silver hair stood out from all the other kids, they had mostly black hair or various colors, no his hair was a slick silver gray that shifted into various hues of gray once the sun reflects off it, he also was America. which was three stories tall and consisted of over 40 classrooms, two janitor closets, three offices, one disciplinary room, and two bathrooms. The walls of the foundation had peeled paint, and the floor consisted of deteriorating white tiles like the ones seen in bathrooms. What puzzled Yume the most was that the school itself looked more and more like the schools he had seen back in America.



Yume was a transfer student from North America; he had come too live in Sairento because the only remaining member of his family was his Grandmother Natsu. It felt strange moving into an unknown environment, he had to have over three years of Japanese language studies before even arriving here, he was thankful that his parents was able to pay a tutor to help him along the way. His parents were Rosy and Stephen Ame. Yume’s real name use to be Rain, but his grandmother only accepted him into her family if he were to gain a Japanese translation. Today was his fifth day at this school, and he hated it already. When he walked in the English classroom, a strong odor of rotten fruit and sour apples made his nose flare. Old withered posters of famous authors and novels hanged limp upon the peeling walls.


The students of the class room were all shouting and laughing at their own rotten jokes, each one cackled as the other wasted his or her voice. Thankfully most of them spoke in English so that Yume could understand them. He sat on his seat and fiddled with his English notebook that now had five pages filled with notes about proper Grammar and how words were spelt right in Japanese.


“Okay, class, now settle down,” Said Mr. Tsume as he entered the classroom. The teacher was an elderly man with gray hair and steely eyes.
Tsume wore a black outfit that made him stand out from the other teachers of the school He also contained a long saggy beard that was pure white.


“Today we start our new lesson of this semester, a lesson that you all shouldn’t forget.” The teacher’s voice was gravely and sounded like he chewed rocks as he spoke.


“This new lesson will test your writing and imagination as well, when you write this essay - which will consist of as many pages as you need to complete it, there will also be drawings and illustrations of the story you have provided.” He beamed slightly. A series of groans issued from the students like a dreadful wind.


“Enough,” Said the teacher, his hand rose in silent protest the complaining students.


“Sir, this is not an art class,” interrupted one of the students. Yume glanced at his direction and raised an eyebrow in suspicion; he remembered this boy. His name was Yuki, a senior and a tennis player.


“I’m well aware of that, Yuki; however, it comes to my attention that art is also a part of literature in many ways that is why I’m including it in this lesson. he said smiling softly and sits down at his desk.


“You will have today and tomorrow to think of a topic of fantasy you wish to observe,” he said, taking out a small timer and twisted it’s the hand towards the minutes that would signal the end of class.

***


The time had dragged on sluggishly, but at last the alarm dinged rather loudly, startling Yume back into reality. He was deep inside of his mind, trying to figure out a good topic for the essay. But sadly, as the last minutes ticked onward, he had no idea what to write about; it was as if his mind had been drained of thoughts. He sighed softly and looked around, that stench, it was overwhelming. Maybe that was a reason why he could not think, this school was so not set up for knowledge. It seemed to be rotting right in front of him.


School had gone on by and Yume was at last free from the grip of knowledge. He walked along the side the sidewalk, a shadow had been cast upon the town by a hovering rain cloud that looked rather threatening. Thunder echoed to prove its viciousness.


“Dang it,” Cursed Yume, for he had not brought his jacket, It was supposed to be sunny all day, not even a hint of rain was seen all afternoon during class, this storm must have just came out of nowhere. The small town was nestled within the mountains of Japan. it rested upon the side of one large mountain which was rumored to be called The Silent One, he had never figured out why the citizens had given a mountain a name, other than some strange legend.


After a bit of walking Yume paused a moment, smelling the cool autumn air that lingered around him. The trees had all changed colors, and coldness had gripped the earth’s soil. His Grandmother’s cottage was a few miles down the road from the village. She liked to have her privacy even though that meant he had to walk further to get to school. The wind picked up and ripped through his body like a spirit washing over him.


The town had been constructed a long time ago, etched onto the side of the mountain where when the sun will vanish behind it around 7:30 PM, night approached rather early, which was why he had to hurry; it now was 5:12 PM, time seemed to slip by when you hadn’t paid attention. He kept going then soon came to the entrance of the shrieking woods. The wind was so cold that made him shiver as his shoes tracked through the dead foliage. He saw a pile of dead leaves, and a strange looking dead tree that seemed to stand out from all the rest that surrounded him. The canopy of leaves above blocked out the sun and shielded him from the rain.


Suddenly, he felt a strange exotic feeling overwhelm him, as if he were being watched. His eyes darted back and into view, His breath was uneasy, and his body began to tremble. There was one thing that he disliked the most being watched.


“Hey,” A voice suddenly had come from within the mist suddenly began to develop around Yume’s ankles.


Yume turned around and saw a man wearing black robes; a hood over his head it was hard to describe his features included the piercing emerald eyes that shone in the dark. He almost fell to the ground out of fright, the man stared at him so menacing, that Yume’s heart nearly skipped a beat.


“Who are you?” He demanded, looking at the man, he began to pant slightly as he tried to calm himself.


“Who am I?” The man’s voice was a deep bass and sounded like echoing thunder.


“Who am I…”


The man smiled and knelt down on the ground, he extended his hand and rotated his index finger slightly counter-clockwise, suddenly a small pile of leaves began to move by itself, forming a mini cyclone beginning to take the form of an apple. Soon the leaves began to take solid form, even color. Yume’s eyes grew very wide when he saw a real apple sitting on the ground. His eyes glanced towards the tops of the trees to make sure that it hadn’t fallen off one of them., His eyes widened even more, it wasn’t in an apple orchard, and none of the trees nearby was an apple tree.


“What was that?” Yume inquired, rising an eyebrow as he leaned up against a nearby tree., now his mind was full of curiosity. The man was strange, and that thing that he just did was even stranger.


“What was that you just did?” He asked, eyeing the man, doubt in his voice.


“Well it’s a simple thing called magic, I know that some of you humans don’t believe in it but it’s a major thing in my world,” He said, as he raised his index finger in the air once more. Then green light arose, forming a spiral; suddenly another spiral of light, one sapphire blue appeared from his other finger and slowly began to intertwine with the emerald, both shimmering brightly.


“It’s just an illusion,” Yume said simply, shaking his head in disapproval.


“Right, is that what they call magic now these days, illusions?” The magic lights vanished as he moved his hand to the brim of his hood and slowly pulled it down. Now Yume could see the man’s features. He was young, maybe in his early twenties. He had pale skin, glossy black and white hair, and his eyes seemed to have gotten brighter. He also had a long gruesome scar that ran from his left eye to the edge of his neck.


“Who are you?” Yume asked again looking at the man; he was spellbound, as if a hex had been placed upon him.


“Me?” The man laughs slightly.


“Are there any other creepy men out here that perform strange things with their hands and require strange scars on their eye?” Yume asked

“I’m creepy?” The man lets out a slight chuckle as he looked at Yume. “Well my name is Karasu, and I’ve noticed that you have a heavy burden within that sack of yours.”


Yume looked at him, a bit puzzled as to what the man just
said. He seemed so odd, acted so strange. That trick with the leaves and the apple, how had he managed that? Deep in his mind, Yume was sure that it was no illusion. Yume looked around the forest floor, noticing tiny fireflies hovering above the mist, glowing brightly like lanterns.


“That paper inside your bag,” initiated Karasu, rising his left
Hand in an upright position, his index finger out, he waved it, slowly the bag unzip itself and a few of its contents move around, then a piece of paper flew out. A bright light illuminated the edges of it, a golden light that looked so beautiful.


“Hmm, an unfinished essay I see.” Karasu shakes his head
in disapproval.


“We have a while to finish it,” Protested Yume, trying to grab the paper, but it took flight and floated towards Karasu, he reached out for it, his smooth fingers grasping the paper.


“Fantasy eh?” Karasu questioned, rising an eyebrow as he looked over the empty paper and looked directly at Yume.


“Yeah, but I have no idea what to write about, fantasy is sort of not my thing, I’m more of into mystery and horror,” Yume said, laughing slightly as he looked around the forest, his hands remained now in his pocket, it was getting cold, and late, he noticed the hands of his watch had now pointed to 6:00 PM. Grandmother was going to strangle him when he got home.


“Okay look, I must be having some kind of dream right now, so please might I have my paper back and then let me be on my way?”


“To platform 13. Of course my friend,” Karasu said, a grin on his face that stretched from ear to ear.


“What is that?” Yume questioned


“Just a little piece of magic that has been forgotten for a thousand years, a world secluded from this one. Not very many humans visit this world do to their lack of interest,” Karasu said, smiling as he handed Yume back his paper which now no longer glowed.


“As much as I’d like to stick around fascinated through these illusions, I ought to to return home and get to my little brothero If you’ll excuse me.” He seized the piece of paper that hovered in the air and stormed off, leaving the hooded man in the mist.

***


He sighed softly and looked behind him; the man was no longer there. The cold air stung his skin and the night had already fallen. He had to get home quickly or his little brother might be causing hell for his Grandmother, who knew little about parenting. The path led him onward into the forest, soon he came into a small meadow that was rather breathtaking when you first looked upon it. The open space that was provided had slanted hills that were decorated with beautiful lotus, momo, Yuki Yanagi, and many other types of flowers that blew lightly in the night breeze. Upon the hill sat Grandmother’s cottage, a simple cottage that was medium sized. It only contained four rooms, two bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen large enough for three people.


A lovely fence decorated the backyard then concealed another garden just as beautiful as the one that the hills displayed. Grandmother loved flowers; they were her passion, her daughters and sons, you might say. Yume walked into the front entrance which was a large wooden oak door with a silver knocker. He didn’t worry about ringing it, it was his own house, he tried the doorknob but it was locked fast. He remembered that his Grandmother was very secure and had given him a key to unlock the door. He reached into his pocket, found the bronze key, then slipped it inside of the keyhole and twisted it. A series of locks clicked, and the door creaked open. He walked over the threshold and looked around the hall. It was dark outside of an oil lamp burning brightly, providing a strange atmosphere.

“Hello, Grandma?” Yume called out, removing his shoes as he walked onto the Bamboo carpet, Compelled he took a look around him. There was a small table small table in the middle of the living room that was finely polished, the surface reflected the light from the oil lamp. A fireplace was on the South wall of the house and the left over embers still shimmered a dark red. He grabbed a spit and jabbed it into the fireplace sending out dying sparks into the air, some of the charred wood fell to pieces like a crumbling building that had stood for thousands of years and at last fell separately from the decaying of the foundation.

“Hey is anyone home?” He called out once again, he heard a door open, and footsteps in the hallway and then caught site of his little brother standing there at the living room entrance.

“Brother?” Drake asked, rubbing sleep away from his eyes. He was twelve years old, Yume’s only brother, his only family. Yume smiled.

”Hey there chap, sorry I was late, I ran into someone and got into conversation. He was a magician, I do believe,” Yume said, smiling and waving his hand mockingly. His little brother giggled.


“A real wizard?” The little brother asked, walking towards him.


“I wouldn’t say a real wizard,” Yume reassured him, not wanting to crush the boys hopes.


“But when I do see a real wizard, I’ll be sure to introduce him to you alright?” He smiles slightly at his brother and patted him on the back.


“Okay, good night brother.” His little brother returned to his room, closing the door behind him.


“I wish you were here, mom, dad, he’s growing up so quickly,” Yume muttered to himself, sighing softly as he walked towards a small desk that contained their only image of their parents. A young charming man with silky blond hair and emerald eyes looked back at him; his arms were wrapped around a cherry red head with light blue eyes that shimmered like the ocean.


“I miss you,” He muttered, a tear drop forming in his right eye. He looked towards the only window that was provided in the area, it was located near the garden and the moon was casting its silvery light fell upon the floor. That light reminded him of that night….that night….

***


Yume woke in the latest hour of the night, hearing the sounds of the nearby vehicles in the suburb of New York City. Something had woken him from his deep sleep, a strange smell that lingered in the atmosphere, the smell of smoke and ash. He rose up out of his bed and gasped. There was a thick layer of smoke filling the air which began to choke him up. He coughed slightly and ran towards the window, interfering it open so the smoke could drift outside.


He gasped as he saw a fire truck, police cruisers and pedestrians gaping at the scene. Yume, curious as to what was going on, looked up at the apartment and was horror struck, the top levels of the building were on fire, casting embers into the bleak night. He quickly ran towards his door and grabbed the knob, he lets out a yelp of pain and pulled back his hand. The knob was blistering hot; it felt like daggers stabbing into his skin.


He looked around in pure panic; He browsed around the room looking for something to break down the door with.

“YUME!” called out his father’s voice, suddenly a scream follow behind it, it was his mother.


“MOM, DAD!” Yume shouted, grabbing a broom stick and jamming the tip of the broom into the frail wood. Suddenly the flimsy door gave way at last, and a wall of fire burst out in front of him. Yume covered his eyes, the smoke made them water; soon a large shadow of a firefighter appeared, snatched him under his arm and began carrying him down the flight of stairs.


“MOM!” He shouted. he whimpered slightly, struggling to become free from the fighter’s strong grip, but it remained useless.


Yume and his brother both stared at the stretchers that now contained their parents lifeless bodies. Yume was dumbfounded as to what happened. He held in the rage, and the tears that were building up inside of him, he held it for the longest of time. But now it was about to break lose, like the flood gates. He felt a small tear drop form, but quickly


***

Yume slowly came back to reality, salty tears were stinging his eyes. He knew that there was a way that they could have been saved, he had smelt the smoke earlier before he even went to sleep, he knew that something bad was going to happen, he could have prevented this whole thing, but he took no notice of it and went to sleep anyway…it was his fault that they were dead, it was all of his fault. He lay down on his bed and fell asleep.

CHAPTER TWO
THE PLATFORM
The following morning the smell of rice cakes and eggs filled the air. Yume’s eyes shot open and directed themselves towards the alarm clock, his eyes nearly bulge out when he saw what time it was, it was nearly half passed 8, he had slept in! He lurched out of bed and ran to his closet and quickly changed into his Saturday attire which consisted of a plain t-shirt and simple jeans. (Even though most North American schools have Saturday off, in Japan they go to school during Saturday which was downfall to the whole move)
Yume sat down at the table with his brother and Grandmother eating the rice cake at a fast rate, he had to get to school pronto or otherwise he’d be undoubtedly late.
“Don’t forget to leave an offering for the spirits Yume, it’ll bring back luck if you don’t,” His Grandmother warned him.
After Yume had dropped off a slice of bread to the spirits that supposedly lingered around in the gardens he darted off down the road towards the collage which was a few miles down the road. He knew that he was going to be painfully late for his first class which was his most important, English. He hurried down the path as fast as his legs could take them, he felt them cramping so he knew that he had to pause a moment and wait. Panting he looked around the silent forest. The woods were mildly hot, not unlike the summer which was boiling hot. He looked around and sighed. He could see the nearby mountains off in the distance though most of the canopy of leaves blocked it from view. Though the sun broke through most of the canopy it still seemed as if night had never left the forest.

“Well, you’ve returned I see, and in a hurry,” Said a familiar voice from behind Yume. He turned around and saw a the tall hooded man whom called himself Karasu.

“What are you doing here, stalking me?” Suggested Yume as he caught his breath.

“Not necessarily,” Karasu said laughing slightly as he leaned against a tree. He looked towards the young man and rose an eyebrow.

“Still nothing on that paper eh?” He asked.

“What is it to you,” Yume spat in disgust as he tried walking but found Karasu right in front of him as if he just came out of nowhere.

“But, weren’t you just there?” Yume questioned baffled.

“Haven’t you already figured out what I am yet.” It was more of a statement rather than a question. Yume looked at the man and shook his head.

“What I’m thinking at this moment is highly impossible for there is no such thing as magic,” He said shaking his head.

“So that idea is out of the thought list,” He said scoffing.

Karasu looked a bit hurt at these words.

“Well, do I have to show you another trick to prove your eyes that what you see is very real?” He asked grunting slightly as he rose his hand into the air. He waved it once, and suddenly the wind began to pick up and tiny beams of light began to zoom past him in tiny clusters of rainbow colors. One of them landed onto the ground and burst open, and more colors zoomed out of the cluster as tiny figures began dancing around the forest floor. Yume gazed at the display in aww and amazement. The little rainbow figures grabbed hands and began to dance around in circles casting a rainbow light show that was more dazzling then anything Yume had ever seen.

“Any more proof yet?” Inquired Karasu rising an eyebrow in suspicion. Karasu had his hair tied in a ponytail and his eyes were a bit dimmer then they had been before which to Yume was kind of odd.

“Okay, so you’re a wizard, I’m sure there are more of you around here then?” He asked looking around the forest suspecting to see if any other strangers might be lurking around casting spells among each other.

“Well particularly not in this area,” Said Karasu.

“But there are loads in my word, which I’d be honored to show you,” He said smiling that same smile he had the day before.

“As much as I’d like to, I really most be heading to class, I’m already late as it is,” Yume said getting prepared to make a run for it if he had to. Suddenly a loud roaring sound breaks the silence that lingered within the woods, it was a strange sound, a horrible sound that echoed in Yume’s ears making his eardrums pound with pain, he placed his hands over them as the roar shook the trees.

“What the heck is that?” Exclaimed Yume as he fell to his knees, he could feel the entire ground shake as if an earthquake was happening.

Karasu gasped and waved his hand and suddenly light began to form around the air. The various colored lights that were dancing on the ground took flight and began swarming around a specific part to where Karasu was indicating with his index finger, the lights soon began to take the shape of an old wooden staff. The same thing happened as did the apple.
The leaves that were on the ground picked up without being forced by wind and began to combine together forming a wooden staff out of pure magic. Atop the staff was a large thick emerald the size of one’s fist.

“Wow,” exclaimed Yume very impressed at what had happened.

“Quick, we need to hide, is there any shelter in these woods, a very nasty beast that you don’t want to tamper with is abroad!” He shouted grabbing Yume’s arm. Suddenly Karasu began to run at a fast rate and Yume had to pick up speed or be drug behind him. He gripped the man’s hand as then suddenly something amazing happened, the both of them began to take flight towards the tops of the trees. Was this really happening or was this all a dream again? The roar once again erupted with more force, sending a flock of black birds into the air. Karasu dodged them easily as the two of them hovered into the air as if they were weightless balloons.
Suddenly something came into view within an open space. It was another meadow, but what rested inside of this meadow was what appeared to be an old ruined church or chapel.
“What is that?” asked Yume even though his voice was caught within the wind as they hovered slightly downward towards the location. Soon Yume’s feet were firmly on the ground. He was panting, that rush of adrenalin had come so suddenly that it took him by surprise.
Suddenly a loud crash filled the air, and a large tree trunk came flying towards them and landed a few feet away pushing the muddy soil that was covered by a few days ago snow fall. The tree had long claw gashes in its side that appeared to have a hint of blood along the lines of the marks. What scared Yume the most was that the marks were too large for a bear or a wolf to have made. He looked around.
“S***, a Hebi-ōkami- raion a nasty creature from the darker side,” He said taking hold of his staff.
“Come no closer beast, you are within the boundaries of one of the sacred portals of Platform 13, by law of the supreme court of mystics; you are prohibited to pass this line!” Karasu then aimed his staff, the emerald atop began to glow brightly and a beam of sapphire blue light seeped out of it. Karasu began to walk counterclockwise in a circle formation, the beam of light casting a strange blue fire around them and the ruined chapel like a shield.
“Foolish wizard, you know that fowl magic can’t conceal me forever,” A loud booming voice echoed in the forest shaking the tops of the trees. Unexpectedly a large colossal creature drags itself forward into Yume’s view. His eyes nearly pop out of his skull as he sees the grotesque beast.


The beast was serpent like, had no hands and was as long as a skyscraper seen in the cities. The trees around the beast fell as its long snake-like body slithered passed them. Its scales glittered a deep purple that shimmered within the sun. The head was a giant dragon mouth that bared jagged teeth and fowl breath that could make one sick to his stomach.
A long pitch fork tongue flicked out of the mouth, which meant that the snake tasting the air like most reptilians did. Another quality the beast obtained was a lion mane, and a canine face which made it look like a cross between a snake, lion and a wolf.
The creature slithered in their direction and tried to cross the border, but like Karasu predicted the monster rebounded and nearly flew backwards as a result. The creature roars in anger as it recuperates from its down fall. It shook its large shaggy mane as it hissed harshly as it slithered its way towards them again posing to strike again, but this time with caution.
“Away fowl beast; you have no business with this young man!” Shouted Karasu waving his staff in the air as the force field grew stronger.
“He has something that her highness wants, something that she has been longing for all these years,” Hissed the beast.
“She wants me to bring him back alive to release her!” He said.

The beast roared and bared its long venomous fangs as it hissed slightly and lashed its long scaly tail at the force field at full speed, the only thing that happened was the rebound effect which sent the monster once again flying through the trees breaking and snapping them like twigs.
“Run Yume!” Shouted Karasu looking at the creature for he noticed that his magic was getting weak. That was one flaw of his world, you can only use one spell for a specific amount of time before it rebounds and vanishes.
“Go into the chapel and find a wooden door, it should lead you into the platform, hurry!” He shouted as he aimed his staff at the beast as the shield began to vanish.
Yume gasped and saw that the large beast was about to attack so he did as ordered. He rushed towards the ruined chapel that he had never seen before in his life during his first days here, he thought he had explored everything of the forest but apparently not. He ran towards the large double oak doors and tried to pry them open, at first it was hard to do but then again something happened that was unexplainable. A shimmering beam of light floated right next to him and suddenly the doors fly open and he is thrown inside as if a fully grown man had grabbed him and tossed him inside. The doors closed loudly behind him and all fell silent.
Darkness, darkness was all he saw. He tried to look around but it was impossible to see where to look. He wished there was some sort of light switch that he could feel for and switch on the light, but that was hardly possible. He had no idea where the walls were. He heard a strange noise; he prayed that it wasn’t a beast like the one outside. Why could he not hear the outside world anymore? And why was there no sunlight peering through the rotten ruff of the chapel? He sighed, this day could not get any better. He shrugged off his book bag and set it down somewhere hoping that he’d be able to find it again.
“Hello?” He called out; his voice echoes and bounces back at him. He kept looking around, but he could see nothing but the darkness that lingered like a wondering soul. He sighed softly and kept walking deeper into the chapel not knowing where he was going; he prayed that he would not slam into one of the walls or a pew that might be nearby. However there were no pews that he could see, for all he knew the chapel could be empty.

Suddenly there was a dim light within the distance. It glowed brightly within the distance like a flickering candle. Yume narrowed his eyes and looked towards the direction where the light was. He walked towards it and found that the light was getting brighter as he drew closer to it. Then it dawned on Yume that it was a lamp post with an old style oil lamp attached to it and the flame flickered and danced now casting shadows upon the darkened walls of the old rotting chapel.
“Odd,” Said Yume aloud, his voice echoes in the distance like it did before. He looked around, the light of the lamp began to get brighter and it was getting easier to see things now. And what startled him the most was, he wasn’t in a chapel anymore, but a train station. He had to be dreaming, he just had to! He took his two fingers and pinched his skin and waited to wake up, but nothing happened, the train station was still there, as was he.
“What’s going on!?” He exclaimed as he looked around trying to see if there was any exit doors or anything that could get him back to the light of day, he checked his watch and saw that he was already thirty minutes late, this could cost him big time for missing a day of collage without calling them saying that he would be absent today. He sighed and looked around; it seemed hopeless to look further for there was only darkness.
Suddenly Yume felt that strange feeling that he already had when Karasu had stalked him. He looked around wondering if someone else was with him in the darkness, maybe Karasu had managed to fight off the monster and was able to escape?
“Karasu!” He shouted praying for a reply, but all he got was his own voice echoing his question.
“Shh,” Said a haunting voice from within the darkness sending a shiver down Yume’s spine, he wasn’t alone.
“Who is there?” He asked looking around worried that another creature might be lurking around somewhere and he had no way of defending himself.
“No one here, but you and I, I and you,” Replied a faint voice that sounded as if it were made of the wind.
“Well then that means I’m not literally alone then,” Yume said mostly to himself.
“You’re from the world of man, aren’t you,” Said the voice faintly whispering slightly in the darkness.
Suddenly Yume notices that a strange shadowed figure is standing right next to him, it took the form that of a woman, but the rest of the features were hard to see because she was made of nothing but shadow, almost like a silhouette.
“Goodness child, you are not one of our people,” Said the voice as she walks through Yume like a ghost through a wall. The voice sent a shiver down Yume’s spine, it was like the sound of a mourning apparition from a haunted house.
“It seemed that the voice has spoken, and that history shall be written,” The voice said rising it’s hand into the air and pointed to a poll. On top of the poll was a sign that read.
PLATFORM 13
Yume sat there and looked at the sign and sighed softly. What was this all about, why was he here? Most importantly, where was Karasu to help explain things.
“Miss me much?” As if on cue Karasu stepped out from the darkness a smile on his face and a gash upon his forehead from the battle.
“Karasu, you made it, where the hell am I and how do I get back home!” Yume shouted rushing up to the man and slapped him right up against the face full force.
“Ow,” Karasu said rubbing the area in which now obtained a red hand mark from the slap.
“Someone is sure not appreciative of having their life saved from being eaten by a giant monster,” He muttered.
“I am, I’m just wondering why in the hell you left me in this place, why can’t I just wake up and be on my way to school like a normal student would to finish a god forsaken essay that is due not far from now and live on with my own life!” He shouted, some of the nearby spirits all looked their direction as if curious as to what was going on.
“Now, now children let us not fight,” Said an old gravelly voice. Suddenly out of the darkness came an old withered man, only he was not like the other shadows, but a solid human figure.
“Master, I’ve brought him as requested,” Karasu said bowing politely to his master. He slapped Yume on the side signaling him to do the same.
“Good job lad, I must be off myself so please meet me in my home in the Northern kingdom, and keep him from harm,” Said the old man whom suddenly vanished without a trace, as if he had just turned into air itself.

CHAPTER THREE
TWILIGHT TRAIN

Yume looked at Karasu and sighed. For some reason he began to realize that this was becoming less and less a dream. The strange creatures that resided around him were becoming more real than ever.

“Hey kid, ya alright?” Karasu asked in concern seeing that Yume was a bit distant.

“My name is Yume,” Yume said standing there in silence.


.

“Nasty human, what business does he have in our world,” Muttered the fire spirit that Yume had seen a few moments ago as the conductor of the train stepped out and started taking tickets.
`***

Yume gasps as he lurches out from his bed in pure panic, sweat rolling off his forehead. He looked around wondering where he was, his body was completely disoriented. He was still in his room at his Grandmother’s house, he sighed and laid back on his bed and stared up at the celing. It really was all a dream, he knew it! He did not really see all of those magical creatures and that beautiful train. He sighed and looked at his clock and his eyes nearly popped out of his skull, it was 6:55 AM in the morning. How long had he been asleep? He sniffed the air and smelt a fresh aroma of pancakes and rice balls, Grandmother’s specialties.

He was glad that the current events that had taken place were just a dream, and that none of it was real, Karasu did not exists, for now, their brief meetings for some reason felt real, but finding platform 13 and seeing those strange creatures, nah. But then something clicked inside of his head, this would be perfect for his assignment. He quickly grabbed his piece of paper and on top of it he wrote.
“PLATFORM 13”
Well the hard part was done, now for the nightmare to commence. He reimagined all those creatures that he had seen the tree with the hand, the fire spirit, and the ghost people. It was kind of odd how all those memories were still fresh within his mind. He looked at his Calendar to validate that it was indeed Sunday and not Monday, thankfully the calendar told the truth and it was Sunday. He rushed down to the kitchen and began helping Grandmother with making breakfast.

He sat up the table in the living room and noticed that it was dark in the room so he took out a box of matches from a nearby drawer and flicked one of the matches and watched it ignite, then slowly and carefully he removed the glass and lit the wick then cautiously placed back the glass and watched the flame come to life as it was fuelled by the oil.

Soon Yume’s little brother and grandmother and himself sat at the table. Yume kept silent as he jabbed at his oatmeal, he was in deep thought about the dream last night.

“Grandmother, have you heard of a place called Platform 13?” He asked taking a bite of the oatmeal and a swig of his chocolate milk. Her fork had clattered on her plate, and she looked up and stared at Yume.

“What is wrong Grandmother?” Yume asked in a bit of shock to see the sudden mood change in his Grandmother’s expression. She rose up out of her chair and then walked off and walked towards her room, she motioned for Yume to follow. He did so and the two of them walked into her room, she closed the door silently behind her.

“Where have you heard of this place,” She asked looking at Yume straight into the eyes as if he had said a bad word and did not mean to.

“In class, a student was telling me about it,” Yume lied; he dared not bring up Karasu just in case it was a bad omen.

“A student should not know about this, tell the truth for once,’ Said his Grandmother. She was old for her age, but her skin looked slightly different then from what any other old woman would look like, she still had a bit of young left in her wrinkles and gray hair.

“I came across a man with white and black hair, and emerald green eyes, someone by the name of Karasu, he told me of the platform,” Yume said sighing slightly.

Her eyes grew slightly wider than they already were. Her pale green eyes shimmered in the sun’s light that flirted from the single window.

“It seems that the Seishin-Sekai realm is in danger once again,” Said his Grandmother sighing slightly shaking her head.

“What is that Grandmother?” Asked Yume puzzled at the words, he still was having trouble pronouncing these Japanese names.

“Walk with me,” She said opening her bedroom door and exiting. Yume hesitated but did the same and followed her. Yume’s little brother was still eating breakfast and watching the Sunday news report on the small television that he bought for his last birthday.

Yume followed his Grandmother out of the house and onto the path that led into the woods that were still covered in a thick layer of morning murkiness. Birds sang their morning melodies, and various creatures scurried in the bushes hunting for their own breakfast. The forest seemed to alive. As Yume followed his Grandmother, they remained silent and never spoke a word. After a few miles and when the house was out of sight, she softly spoke.

“The Seishin-Sekai realm is the realm of spirits and gods, there are five islands, the first four are the kingdoms, and the last is a forbidden island that belongs to darkness, according to ancient folklore Gods, Spirits and demons wonder this world, as well as wizards and witches, every generation a day comes when the world slowly begins to fade because of one thing, the lack of imagination from our own world, one specific human is chosen to venture into that world, and see things unclouded by truth and fact,” She said.

Yume did not respond as his Grandmother spoke, he looked at the tops of the trees and noticed a small blue jay jumping from branch to branch as if it were following them. Yume then looked up and saw a large iron fence, and then beyond the fence a shadowy graveyard hidden within the thick mist. Yume could see a large yew tree and near it was an old broken down church that seemed to be rotting from its foundation as if it had not been used for a very long time.

The door of the graveyard slowly creaked open and they both entered. Walking slowly through the labyrinth of tomb stones they walked in silence. Yume wondered to himself why they were in a graveyard until his Grandmother stopped at a particular stone.

IN LOVING MEMORY OF




EMMA RAIN




1993 – 2009

Yume remembered now that the year was 2019, so that meant Emma has been dead for a very long time.

“She was a dear friend of mine I met in school in 97,” Said Grandmother.

“I was rather young at that age, when she first told me of what she began to see,” She said breathing softly as if in grief.

“Seeing things, what do you mean?” Yume asked as he knelt down beside the tomb stone, Yume notices that his Grandmother was handing him a rose to lay upon the stone for recognition of her soul.

“She was seeing strange spirits and ghosts that wonder this earth, you might inharite these same powers since I have seen them, as well s your mother,” She said looking down.

“In fact…” She looked around the graveyard sighing softly.

“It is the reason your parents are dead,” She said looking down, a silver tear falling from her right eye.

“Your parents were not murdered, they died of an unknown cause, you were spellbound to see a fire for they were afraid of you seeing what really happened, what really happened to them is beyond description,” She began to weep.

Yume stared at the tomb stone for the longest of moments. His breath was slow and easy, and a lump had formed in his throat. He did not know what to believe anymore.

“Karasu, he is a dear friend of mine, an old friend,” Said his Grandmother taking slow breaths. The man bowed slightly and smiled slightly rising.

“My lady, I believe that it is time for the boy to aboard the train, and return to where he rightfully belongs,” Said Karasu with a smile winking slightly at Yume.

Yume looked at his Grandmother in bewilderment.

“There is one other thing that your parents had not told of you yet Yume, you are in fact the surviving male hair to the throne of his realm,” His Grandmother said falling into silence lowering her head once more, her gray hair absorbing the moisture within the cold damp air.

“Your parents protected you and your brother by hiding in this world as humans when a dark force had arisen within the realm, but now you most return Yume to restore peace and fertility,” Said Karasu.

Yume froze for a long moment, as if something had stopped him from breathing, as if an unknown spirit had grabbed him. He sighed and looked up at the clouded sky, rain began to fall from the sky, as if it were crying for him.

“Your parents did not want you to know this, but now that you have seen Karasu, and had the dream last night, it is time,” His Grandmother said.

“How did you know I had the dream of the train?” Yume asked looking towards Karasu’s direction as if he knew that answer already.

“Karasu can see dreams, all spirits can see human’s dreams, which are one way that keeps them alive,” She said. Karasu seemed to be nodding in agreement.

“Your mother was indeed the Queen, however your father, he was a normal human whom met her along the way, he was one of the few rare humans that ever stayed in Karasu’s world, they fell in love, and decided to move into the human world together when the queen had announced of your arrival,” She said whispering the words very softly.

Yume had to be dreaming, he had to. Just like the dream when he was on the platform, it’s just a dream within a dream. His Grandmother really wasn’t saying the words that she was saying, and Karasu really wasn’t there. His body trembled slightly; cold tears began to fall from his eyes.

“Something feels different,” Karasu said suddenly breaking the long lingering silence as he looked up at the sky, in fact the bird song that had been going all morning had stopped, as if the forest had been muted. Karasu grabbed hold of his staff and took a deep breath.

“Something is wrong, I’ll go check it out,” He added taking hold of his staff and leaped into the air and was out of sight, he swore that he could have seen Karasu leap one of the very tall forest trees, though it was very difficult to see through the thick fog.

A few moments later Karasu reappears, his breath is seen in front of him for he was panting trying to catch his breath.

“There is a nightmare beast abroad in the village, its causing large cracks in the sidewalks and biting out large chunks in buildings, everyone is freaked out, it’s a good thing the beast is invisible, let us pray we get to it before it shows itself,” Karasu said taking hold of his staff.

“What happens if the humans see it?” Yume questioned as he rose up to his feet looking around the mist suspecting that the creature or maybe another creature might be watching them at this moment.

“If a human sees a nightmare beast, they’ll imagine more and more horrific beasts and they shall come forth in our world,” Said Karasu.

“So basically, what the humans see from your world, they picture another vision of that creature within their minds and it becomes reality within your own world?” Yume asked looking at Karasu with a puzzled expression.

“Yea, that is right,” He replied still catching his breath.

“Okay, since I’m part human from my dad’s side, I can imagine a cute fluffy creature with white fur, large eyes that are colored green, and it has purple markings on its fur, it’ll come to be?” He asked.

Suddenly a small layer of fog began to swirl around in circles, strange blue light began to submerge out of nowhere and a round ball began to take shape. Before Yume knew it, his exact image of the creature stood before him looking right at him and made a small peep noise.

“Keep your mind open though Yume, for if a negative thought were to occur, a more semester creature might come out as a result,” She said.

“Let’s go back to the house, we need to make sure that your brother is okay and I believe your Grandmother has something to give to you Yume,” Said Karasu looking in her eyes and nodding slightly.

“Right,” Said Yume and they all left the tomb stone and wondered into the forest.

Suddenly two eyes peered through the mist. A figure was hiding within the mist, a strange monk with strange colored robes, earth brown hair and dark eyes. On his shoulder rested a snake that had dark purple scales, its tongue flickered in and out of its mouth, tasting the air.

The snake that was wrapped around the monk’s neck hissed hesitantly and spoke to his master.

“What if they stop the beast that you have summoned?” The snake hissed, flicking its tongue out occasionally tasting the air.

“If they destroy the Galahar, then I’m afraid we have no choice but to head the mistress of the return of our beloved prince,” Said the Monk taking a deep breath. His eyes pierced through the fog, he rises his hand as then a large slit appears in midair, inside the slit was purple and black light that submerged from the other realm. He smiles softly and places the snake down upon the ground.

“I shall warn her anyways,” He said sighing softly before vanishing.

“Keep an eye on them,” He said and then vanished through the slit as it to evaporated. The snake hissed slightly and then slithered into the mist. Its body weaved itself through the tall blades of dead grass and through piles of fallen leaves towards its destination, Yume’s home.
***

Yume was sitting alone with his Grandmother. He was sitting straight and on his knees looking at her. She was digging through a series of drawers trying to find what she had attended to give Yume as a birthday gift when the time was right. It made Yume feel bad inside that she had to give this gift to him now, since times have changed and the one fact had been proven to him, spirits existed.

“Here it is,” His Grandmother’s old gravelly voice said walking back towards him kneeling down upon the soft bamboo carpet smiling at him.

“This is a very magical item within the Seishinr-yoiki realm,”

The tiny fluff ball that Yume conjured in the graveyard bounced up and down repeatedly and making small peeping sounds like a baby bird. Yume reached out his hand, the spirit bounced again and he caught it right in the middle of the bounce and tightened his hand around it and had an annoyed expression as the spirit giggled and squirmed out of his palm.

“Go play with my brother Gray, I’m sure he’ll need some company,” Suggested Yume to the disappointed spirit whom bounced out of the room grumpily, just then Karasu stepped inside the threshold.

“Found it at last madam?” Karasu winked slightly at Yume. It took some time, but Yume convinced Karasu to prove that Gray was real, and not a toy, that everything around him was full of spirits, wizards, witches, demons, and gods. Yume still found it hard to believe, that such creatures existed, but a strange sensation lingered within the air that Yume could not ignore, it was his destiny, he in fact was a prince of the Seishin-Sekai realm, that meant his dream would be real, and he would be boarding that beautiful train to return back to his own world.

“Grandmother, how is this stuff all real, I mean didn’t history find out of this realm?” He asked her as she took out a small black box that was wrapped with a silver ribbon.

“Yes my dear, all those fairytales you have been read to, those are magical accounts by those authors, each piece of fantasy is based off the Seishin-Sekai realm, this world is the main source of all of our creations, the skyscrapers represent the giants of the Northern mountains, and many other inspirations have come from the spirit world,” She said smiling softly handing him the small black box.

Yume took hold of the box and noticed that it was rather heavy even for a box. It was a rectangular box and there were inscriptions written on the cardboard that made up the box’s foundation.

“What are these markings?” Yume questioned examining the strange language, it almost looked like modern runes but different.

“It’s known as the Sushini language, it was the clan that your mother was born in, you see each territory within the realm is separated into clans, and Sushini is but one of those many clans,” She said.

“What does it read?” He asked wondering if he would be regretting ever asking.

“To my beloved child, this shall aid your magic once it begins to grow when you discover the hidden secret of your blood, and remember my love, the only way back to the real realm, is if you believe,” Resided his Grandmother.



“So you want me to go into this other realm, and save it, and then return here?” Asked Yume rising an eyebrow.

“It won’t be that easy child, once you’ve entered the world of spirits, your mind will become clouded with skeptical illusions and opinions on whether or not what you see is real, I can scenes that you are still having troubles believing in it, and that is a major issue that needs to be solved, and the only way for that to be solved is with patients,” She said smiling.




Yume sat in silence for a while, he then took his fingers and wrapped them around the lid of the box and then lifted it open. Inside was a wand made of black stone, its tip was twisted into spirals, and its handle took the form of a wolf’s head. The stone looked like black ebony, or obsidian, Yume wasn’t sure, and those markings, the Sushini language were displayed on its smooth glossy surface.

“It’s beautiful,” He murmured taking hold of the wand’s handle and feeling its weight pressure down upon his flesh, suddenly a brilliant flash of emerald light filled the room, and a strange yet beautiful song began to fill the air. It was a low hum of a soprano voice, it lingered in the air like a lingering lullaby, its tone was so beautiful, that it almost hypnotized Yume, the song sounded so familiar, as if he had heard it before. He carefully listened to each note.
***

Somewhere deep within the hidden realm of Seishin-Sekai the monk walked into a dark landscape. Mountains surrounded him from each direction; a heavy rain fell in sheets like a spirit weeping. He notices a woman wondering around in the rain and realizes that it is an ame-onna. He ignored the spirit and continued on towards the path towards the bridge that would lead to the entrance of a magnificently dark castle that loomed above the rainclouds. Though it was hard to see in the thick rain, the monk could easily see the three main towers of the castle, along with the large door entrance that provided a rather dark entrance. He knew that the tallest tower would lead up to the mistress’s chamber. A fowl tempered spirit that was not to be tampered with; she in fact was the queen of the realm.

He came into view of the large French double doors that were painted a lavender tent mixed in with a blood red. Atop the doors rested an evil looking gargoyle that guarded the doors, at night the beast would come to life and keep watch over the castle’s grounds. The large double doors swung open and he walked inside the great hall that was shrouded into darkness. Just like the walls of the exterior, everything was blackened, not even a hint of light could be seen anywhere. It took only but a few moments for the monk’s eyes to adjust to the candle light that was the only source of light provided. He walked among the empty halls of the castle and towards a spiral staircase that would take him to the tower of his mistress. He exits the main hall, leaving the six evenly paced pillars behind that support the castles weight.

He approaches three spiral staircases, one to his left, and one in the middle. He made his decedents to the staircase to the left and began walking upwards towards the tower where his mistress rested. The railing of the staircase is exquisitely engraved with flowers and vines, never one to be the same, each with its own individual detail that sets each one apart from the other. When he reaches his destination, he stands in front of a tall black wall, and that’s all that it was, a pure black wall. No frames, no design, not even a torch.

The monk lifted his hand and placed it upon the black surface and murmured a strange incantation.

“Declorious, Vevorious, Bartary,” He spoke the words flawlessly as then a hissing voice echoes from behind the wall, like a trapped ghost whispering in his ear.

“Enter,” Was all the voice had said.

Suddenly the wall gives out a low groan, soon an outline of a doorway begins to form and then he is standing in front of an old Victorian style wooden door with purple and red upon it, just like the main entrance, purple and red were the realms new colors. The monk reaches out his hand, that was now shacking and places his fingers around the knob and lightly turns it. The door gives out a low groan and then opens revealing a dimly light room covered in red and purple, along with crystal.

The monk peered inside. The walls were painted purple, with red designs, crystal goblets, crystal candles, almost everything crystal was inside the room, even flowers. The drapes of the room were a deep blood red, when the sun is normally out, the room would be bathed in bloody light. He looked towards his mistresses bed, red drapes were also hiding her slumber.

“Come closer, monk,” Hissed the same haunting voice that he had heard from behind the giant wall. The monk obeys and walks closer to the mistresses bed.

“You have come back, when I told you not to unless you bring forth information in which I should know about,” The mistress whispered.

“And I do bring forth to you information worth hearing my lady,” Replied the monk bowing low to the ground until his face presses up against its cold black surface.

“Rotten news from the other realm I assume,” Hissed the mistress in disgust.

“No my lady, dire news,” He said rising up from the ground taking slow even breaths. He was prepared for the reaction his mistress will bring froth.

“Your son, he has found out about our realm,” Said the monk sighing.

“How has this come to be,” She said hissing.

“Karasu, the watcher has shown himself to the boy, and also explained to him about the train and the platform in which he most find to enter our realm,” He said.

“Stop them from coming, stop them,” She said growling softly in anger.

“I’ve sent a monster into the village, right now its terrizing them, and I’m afraid that the boy is being equipped as we speak right now,” He said.

“Then why are you standing here, instead of going out and fighting him,” Growled the mistress.

“Because I’ve conjured an idea that my mistress will desire most,” He said straightening up.

“Do explain your idea,” She said in a mocking tone.

The monk paused a moment, taking deep breaths thinking thorough as how he was going to word this, he knew that his mistress was very keen on purity and perfection upon how a plan is described, he knew that for a fact for she gone through about twenty-five captains each year due to the lack of poor planning.


“Well you see my lady, what I’m trying to say is this, since your son now knows of our realm, we can use this to our advantage, I can “Pretend” To be a good hearted kind monk that I really should be, and tell him of what I’ve learned about these four missing relics that withhold a very dark secret,” He said taking a deep breath smiling softly.

“And what are these dark relics monk?” Questioned the Mistress raising an eyebrow in the upmost suspicion.

“What I’m talking about is this, there are four relics located on the four kingdoms of this realm, The first relic is the Mooncrystal which is located in the Northern Kingdom of Aurora Glass, and then the second relic the scale of Lord Drakonous is hidden in the Southern Kingdom of Ashenesse located within Shadow City, then the third relic lurks within the Eastern Kingdom of Aellea, and the last,”

“And the last which is the sphere of shadows lies within the Western Kingdom of Grayvale, hidden deep within the Shadowed Labyrinth,” Interrupted the mistress.

“Yes my mistress,” Replied the monk bowing slightly.

“Bring me one of my crystal artifacts,” She hissed as she rose up out of her bed. She then placed her feet upon the cold hard surface of the ground and stood up. Her long black dress flowed to the ground like a dusky river.

“My dear monk, you have the most clever of minds, unlike so few others that are in this castle, I suspect you will do the deed of playing the good guy, and then when the time is right, reveal the true purpose of the relics the four seals in which contain the darkness,” She grinned softly walking towards one of the windows that over looked the kingdoms.

“I may rule all of the four kingdoms, however there is a slight problem that we face within our plan my monk,” She said looking up towards the darkened sky.

“The guardians of the realm might be reawaken, and destroy my powers forever,” She said sighing slightly.

“The guardians have not shown themselves since the battle of CrystalGate my lady, you should have nothing to fear, they had not come when you claimed your darker side,” He also added.

“Yes, but what if there was a way that they could be summoned, a secret spell that only the chosen one could cast, if the Guardians arise, they shall also awaken the four ancient Gods of this realm, and my rein shall come to an end,” She said.

“That cannot happen, those Guardians have no such power to rise the Gods of this realm, sure they created the realm, but only one specific being has that capability of rising the Gods from their slumber,” He said.

“And what if my son is that person?” She hissed staring at him.

“What’s life without a little risk?” Questioned the Monk.

“Good point dear Monk, now leave me in peace, I shall think of what is to come,”

The monk bowed and then walked towards his mistress handing her a crystal the size of one’s fist and gave it to her.

She gripped the crystal that was colored a deep purple and stared into it. The crystal had various lights that flowed inside of it like sparks of electricity. She rose her finger and placed the tip of it onto the surface of the crystal as one of the thousands of sparks arose and met the tip of her finger. She slowly rose her finger and the spark was removed from within the crystal and now rested at the top of her finger dancing in spirals.

“Lets us take it to the next level!” She shouted flinging her finger in the air as the zap of lightning flung itself through the air towards its destination.
***

The rain now began falling in heavy sheets as Karasu led Yume towards the city where the monster supposedly remained hidden amongst the buildings of the town.

“Things can get ugly from this day forward, you do realize that, this is one of many demons you’ll be facing, just wait till you get to our realm,” He said sighing softly.

“The beast should be in this ally way somewhere, I can smell it,” He said.

Yume took deep even breaths as he looked around, the rain had made his silver hair dampen and flat, he had to move it away occasionally from his eyes so he could see where he was going .He looked around the dark alley seeing no signs of life, not even an ally cat or rats that normally occupied the ally.

“Its quite here,” Yume said.

“To quite,” Replied Karasu. Suddenly a growling sound could be heard, it was a deep throaty growl that ripped through the silence of the night, it even made the rain shudder.

Yume turned around when all of a sudden something began to wrap around his body. He gasped and tried to find the source of what was going on, but it grew tighter and tighter as if rope wrapped around him.

“YUME!” Shouted Karasu looking around for the foe.

Suddenly Yume felt hot breath in his face, and then the outline of a large snake head began to appear in thin air at least a few feet above him. The large snake hissed slightly flickering its long forked tongue in front of Yume’s face, tasting the air, or possibly him.

“So, this is the human boy that is said to walk the lines of both worlds,” Hissed the serpent tightening its grip around Yume’s body.

“Leave him be you fowl beast!” Shouted Karasu waving his staff into the air a few times as then a green electric light began to form a circle around him as he tossed it into the air and grabbed hold of it and slammed the end of the staff into the ground as bolds of green lightning flung themselves towards the snake causing it to hurtle itself against one of the storefronts making shingles from the ruff fall on top of it, losing its grip around Yume whom fell to the floor.

“Yume get up!” He shouted rushing towards him helping him get up.


“Get out your wand and try using it to summon your magic,” He demanded.

CHAPTER FIVE
AURA

Yume laid there trying to catch his breath from the monster’s painful grip. He looked at Karasu with hazy eyes looking around trying to figure out his surroundings. He rose up to his feet and saw that his wand was knocked out of his hand. He reached for it and grabbed the wand and rose up to his feet. He looked at the beast that started rising from the ground hissing harshly.

“Foolish human, you honestly think you can destroy the mistress that now perceives over your throne?” He hissed slightly lurching forward snapping its large fangs towards the boy’s shoulder hoping to sink one of its fangs into his flesh.

“I am no prince,” Shrieked Yume dodging the snake’s attack as he closed his eyes and took hold of the wand feeling a strange energetic pulse flow through him. His eyes opened wide as his breath became even and he raised his hand into the air. Suddenly thousands upon thousands beams light began to form ribbons out of his from his fingers and began wrapping around his wand.

“Use the ancient Wiccan magic!” Shouted Karasu grabbing hold of his own staff, doing the same thing as Yume, suddenly something unusual began to happen, both of their lights intertwined with each other and changed to a bright silver color that began to fill the darkness, suddenly a loud crack of thunder echoed and both Yume and Karasu flew back and slammed up against the wall of the building and fell into darkness, the creature shrieks loudly in pain, and its body falls upon the black surface of the ground dead. A few moments of silence passed, and its body turned black and slowly began to evaporate into ash that flowed through the wet air.
***

Yume awoken, his body ached with throbbing pain as he tried to figure out where he was. He was in his room, and the morning sun’s light filtered through his curtains. He sees floating dust particles hovering around. Did he just have another dream again? His eyes looked around his room, and there was Gray, his big round blue eyes staring at him with concern. He laid back his head and sighed in frustration, it wasn’t a dream.

“Hey lazy head the train will be here soon, you don’t want to miss it, you have to meet with the council of the seven lords within two hours,” Came Karasu’s voice as he smiles at him

Yume sighed, why could he not have woken up with a normal life? He rose up and walked towards his closet and dug through his cloths to find something suitable to wear. H placed on his former attire which was a black suit and a pair of black pants.

“Hey we aren’t going to a funeral you know,” Said Karasu laughing as he left the room.

“Grandmother, why can’t I come along too,” Complained Yume’s little brother as he ate breakfast feeding Gray the bits that he did not like.

“Because this is Yume’s destiny, he has to go and awaken the guardians whom can awaken the Gods to release the world of its burden,” Said Grandmother’s voice laughing slightly.

“I HAVE TO DO WHAT?!” Yume shrieked in shock and horror.

“Oh dear,” Grandmother sighed softly rising up out of her seat.

“Yes dear, you have to awaken the Guardians of the other realm; they may be the only hope in awakening the Gods,” She reassured him.

Yume sighed and sat down placing his hands upon his face groaning. What else was going to happen?

“Come on Yume, we have to hurry the train should be at the station any moment,” Said Karasu grabbing him and drug him out of the house.

“GOOD LUCK YUME!” Shouted his Grandmother sniffling softly.

Yume got away from Karasu’s grip and walked towards his Grandmother.

“Aren’t you coming with us?” He asked pleading silently with his eyes.

“As much as I long to see the realm of Seishin-Sekai, I have to look after your brother,” She said smiling softly.

“I understand,” Yume said frowning slightly and walked back towards Karasu.

“Are you ready then lad?” Karasu asked looking at him with that same smile that he had seen on the first day he had met him.

“You’ll need this,” Said his Grandmother walking towards the her Grandson and took out a pendent and wraps it around his neck. What now rested against his chest was a smooth metallic pendent with strange symbols around it that were hard to describe.

“What is it Grandmother?” He asked holding the amulet in his hand examining each of the strange symbols.

“This artifact was worn around the neck was King Solomon, the mighty hunter of evil spirits and demonic forces of our realm, it will protect you from harm, the inscriptions are unknown, but I believe it is Celtic,” She said.

“We have a train to catch,” Said Karasu aggravated as he tapped his foot upon the ground.

“Good luck, and be weary of anything suspicious,” She said nodding.

Yume hated leaving his Grandmother, he hated leaving his brother, he did not want to leave at all for he still thought that all of this was a dream, and he longed to wake up. The wand weighed heavy in his back pack that he had slung over his shoulder containing a few changes of cloths, and a photograph of his parents and some reading material just in case. He looked towards the cottage once more, before descending into the woods.

At first Yume said nothing, hearing the songs of the birds soothed him somehow. He looked around and smelt the cool fresh air, as if he were never going to smell it again.

“You have a choice ya know,” Spoke Karasu looking towards Yume smiling softly.


“What do you mean?”

“Well, when you defeat the evil queen and regain your throne, you can either stay, or come back here,” Said Karasu looking around for a place to summon the enterance to the platform.

“So I can come back whenever I want to?” He asked light inside his eyes.

“Yes,” He said.

“As long as you believe,” He added. He walked towards an empty space near a group of sleeping spruce and rose his hand in the air. He notices that there were three particular spruce that seemed to form a small circle around each other. He walked towards them and placed a hand upon one of the tree’s bark and felt it.

“What are you doing?” Yume asked Karasu with puzzlement.

“I’m trying to find a good healthy location to summon the platform, I want it to be clean of negative energy because evil can trace down the last time the doors of the platform opens,” He said sighing softly.

Soon they came upon the same opening in the woods that was in his dream. He looked towards the open space and saw the ruined chapel that was in his dream. The ruff was rotting, and the walls were falling apart, he looked around making sure that there was no monster in sight. He knew his dream was coming true, it felt exactly the same, the atmosphere, everything.

Suddenly the air grew dense, and then BAM!!! The sound of cracking thunder breaks the silence that lingered. Everything was in slow motion when the purple lightning slammed into the ground. Both Karasu and Yume were sent flying to the ground after the sonic boom.

“What the hell was that?” Gasped Karasu as he used his staff to help him get up. His eyes looked around in wonder, and gasped when saw the hole in the ground.

“Get back!” He shouted when suddenly the forest floor began to shake, as if an earthquake had been triggered.

Yume looked around, and then saw a woman standing there in the midsts of the forest, a grin upon her face.

“Well, planning on visiting the platform are we?” The woman asked smirking slightly, she also obtained a staff, but this time it was pure black and had dragon like spikes on top of it with a jagged purple crystal on top.

“You!” Shouted Karasu as he looked at the woman.

“You,” Mimiced the woman in response, her eyes flash slightly as if a beam of light flown by them.

“Who are you?” Yume asked looking at the woman.

“Don’t talk to her, she’s an enchantress,” Warned Karasu.

“And you’re a powerful wizard,” Said the woman grinning.

“What do you want?” Karasu asked clenching his hand around his own staff.

“Oh lets just say I was sent by someone to stop this tragedy from coming to our realm,” Said the woman lifting her black staff into the air and then slammed it into the ground. Suddenly large cracks began to take form upon the ground, a fowl sound began to submerge from within the earth, a rasping sound as if something were breathing, at first Yume thought it was the wind, but there was no mistaking the breathing…

“Prepare for battle,” Said the woman laughing slightly as she jumped into the air and landed on a near by tree branch watching from below as then the small hole began to fall apart and the ground began to cave in, soon a large massive head began to present itself through the ground, soil covering it’s scaly body, Yume’s eyes nearly popped out of his skull as then two large paws came into view helping support the monstrous beast that towered over him.

“Oh…my…god,” Muttered Karasu as he fell over backwards. The large beast took the shape of a canine, baring large jagged fangs inside its muzzle that dribbled with drool, its body was that of a lizard, its hind legs were spiked, and his scales were shimmering in the sunlight. The beast looked towards Yume and growled, its eyes black as darkness.

“RUN!” Shouted Karasu waving his staff into the air as a bolt of lightning shot through the air towards the creature, however the creature growled and batted away the bolt of lightning with a single swipe of its paw. It slashed its long snake like tail breaking the nearby trees into splinters as it began walking towards Karasu, each step caused the earth to rumble light loud thunder.

Yume gasped and darted past the beast’s legs and sprinted towards the chapel, it was getting hard to breath for some reason; it was as if something was gripping his throat. He soon found himself lying upon the ground and the woman in front of him looking down upon him.

“Going somewhere?” She hissed holding her staff in her hand, as she did Yume felt the tightness around his neck get tighter as he started choking.

“Well, you’re not so strong are you,” She said ashamed as she shook her head, she lifted up her rod and the choking sensation was removed.

Yume forced himself to take in a lung full of air, he quickly rose up to his feet and took out his wand that his Grandmother had given him, but he was feeling weak for some reason.

“Who are you?” He asked looking at the woman and then looked towards the doors of the chapel, he was trying to calculate the distance and how fast he’d have to run to get there without having her cast a hex on him.

“Who are you to play God,” Spat the woman looking at Yume hatred burning in her eyes as she rose her staff into the air. Before she was capable of slamming the bottom to the ground he took out his wand and shouted as then he swung it into the air, for a moment, silence began to weave itself into the air, and then beams of light submerged from the tip of Yume’s wand. The Celtic symbols began to glow brightly, as then the beams of light flung themselves onto the Witch making her fly backwards slamming against the tree.

“RUN NOW!” Shouted Karasu’s voice as he dodged another attack from the beast, the creature reared up and slammed its front paws onto the ground roaring, its roar was so loud that the chapel shuddered and threatened to collapse at any given moment.

At this moment, Yume felt a surge of courage flow through him, he soon took off in full sprint towards the doors, he felt a stab of pain in his arm, but he paid no heed to it as he thrust himself forward, he crashed through the doors as they opened for him without hard ach and he fell towards the hard concrete ground grunting slightly in pain. The large doors slammed closed behind him, and darkness plagued the chapel.

He rose up from the ground and looked around breathing heavily. The air seemed mild, not like the autumn air outside. Time seemed to have come to a standstill, he had no watch to look at so he wouldn’t know. He still clutched his wand in his hand that was shaking from fear, that beast, was it killing Karasu?

CHAPTER SIX
MOVING SHADOWS

“Your Aura is weak,” Came Karasu’s voice within the air, though he wasn’t anywhere in sight. Yume laid there on the ground, still frozen solid as his breath slowed down. Pain still throbbed in his right arm, something was hurting him. He looked towards his arm, and there was a deep gash that carved into his flesh. He looked around, there was no one around, not a single soul, though he remembered this place, it was the station he had dreamed about.

He tried to find some source of light, any source of light that he could use to comfort him, the darkness that lingered around him threatened him, and he hated it. He hated this whole thing, ever since his teacher assigned him that essay, it was as if everything decided to come crashing down upon him so suddenly, it felt like being crushed by two boulders, his Grandmother was telling him that he had a mother that was a Queen of some other realm, and that she hadn’t died in a fire, and that he had to awaken these guardians that will summon the Gods to destroy whatever darkness plagued this unknown realm.

“Humans, humans are with us,” Whispered a voice that floated into the air. Yume looked around, wondering whom it belonged to but he saw no one in sight.

“Who’s there?” He asked.

“Maybe not human, but half human, half wounded human,” Whispered the voice that seemed to have gotten closer to him.

“What shall we do for this one?” Asked another voice exactly the same tone as the first.

“We shall wait, we shall see if he is dangerous,” Replied the other voice.

“I mean no harm, I promise you that,” Yume said aloud not knowing why for he felt stupid for talking to nothing.

“He means no harm, this one says,” Came the second voice.

“If this one says boy means no harm, then this other one thinks you as an acquaintance, and acquaintances must introduce each other, my name is Other One, and my brother is just called One, what is your name young boy?” The voice supposedly called Other One asked.

“I am Yume Ame,” Said Yume trying to get up to his knees.

“Ame, that is a name forgotten in time, the bloodline had come to an end, you must be the last,” Whispered the Other One.

“My parents were killed, and all that is left is my little brother, me and my Grandmother,” Said Yume.

“Pain fills your heart, you have misplaced something valuble, and you’re waiting to board the train to find it again,” Said the One.

“Yes, I’m supposed to seek the council,” He said.

“We shall heal thy first, before thy does anything,” Said The Other One. Suddenly as if a cold hand had been wrapped around Yume’s arm, he felt a strange sensation on his wounded arm. He looked towards where the coldness had come from, and he saw two floating eyes that glowed like burning coals.

“Don’t’ be afraid of One’s looks, we are though only spirits like all others in the platform,” Said the One as his invisible cold hands stroked the wound that had been carved into Yume’s hand, and to Yume’s amazement, the wound was slowly vanishing, and the blood was vanishing.

“The council, is weak, and hides during the meet, to find the place, look into the land of crystal shards, where the silent ones speak, and where the reflection is broken,” Said the Other One, their voices suddenly drift off as then the loud sound of a train whistle blares through the silence like a shriek of an angry demon. Yume looked around, noticing that lanterns began to appear in different directions, and all the bazaar creatures began occupying the platform now. He rose up off the ground as not to embarrass himself in front of the spirits. He examined each and every one of them, though it was very hard to tell what they were.

One particular spirit that was the oddest of them all, was a strange wooden stick, and on top of the stick rested a single eye, this eye darted back and forward, as if looking for something or someone, or was just plain nerves and periodically checked to see if the coast was clear.

Everyone was forming a single file line, suddenly a loud rumbling sound began to fill the platform, and then a loud screeching sound followed it, Yume covered his ears for the sound was so loud it sounded like long fingernails being scrapped up against a chalk board. Suddenly out from the shadows, a large steam engine immersed. It was exactly how he dreamed of it, a perfect mirror image.

Soon the large steam engine came into view. Its paint shimmered beautiful lavender, the driving wheels a deep violet, the piston rods plated with gold that gleamed in the dim light provided by the lamps nearby. The water from the fog rolled down the boiler as if the locomotive was perspiring. The steam hissed from the cylinders, smoke bellowing from the chimney, the lamp shining like a blood red sun, and the whistle shrieked like a demon in the night. Yume’s breath was taken away, it was exactly alike, a perfect mimic that had no simple flaw that he could see.

Yume watched the conductor exit out of the train and began taking tickets from the fellow spirits that waited in line. He watched each individual spirit step aboard the train. He looked around, he realized that he had no ticket, he was never given one. He dug into his pockets wondering if there was a nearby ticket booth where he could perches one, however there was a slight problem, he did not see one. He removed his hand out of his pockets and inside of his clutched hand he felt a slip of paper, he opened his hand and saw a simple ticket that read. “Platform 13, One Stop” He smiles softly, knowing that Karasu had to have been behind this.

He got in line and made sure to make his presents less known to the spirits that were around him. He looked at the spirit that stood in front of him which was a one legged umbrella that obtained one eye that looked around the platform. He kept silent, he did not want to make a scene, and stand out. He saw a strange looking tree, and a hand hanging off of it holding it’s ticket to board the train, and then a few inches down the line was a fire spirit, it took the shape of a male. Yume sighed as the line progressed rather sluggishly, the train lets out a loud shriek from the chimney as another puff of smoke hissed from its top. He wondered what the spirit realm looked like, weather it would be like his own realm, or something entirely different.

“Everyone hurry, we must be aboard before the stroke of twelve!” Shouted the conductor, all the spirits began to mummer and just as he said this, an old station clock came into view, its rusty hands pointed to 11:30 PM, time sure flies by fast.

“Where are you Karasu,” Whimpered Yume as the line moved forward, he drew closer and closer towards the entrance of the train, would the conductor see that he was not a spirit and not allow him on the train? He took a deep gulp of air and looked around making sure to make himself as small as possible; he knew that things would turn out rather bad if he were to get caught.

“What is he doing here,” Came a voice as suddenly a man in a uniform approached towards Yume. He gasped looking towards the man realzing that it was a police officer, but a spirit officer. S***, he was dead.

“A human!” Shouted some of the spirits in panic as they all looked towards Yume’s way. The conductor glared at Yume, he was in trouble now. Suddenly he was pushed out of the line and he fell to the solid ground his knee scraping against the pavement causing another bruise.

“What does a pathetic human like yourself doing here, how did you find this place!” Shouted another officer who now had a strange golden rod in his hand that resembled the beating sticks that the officers carried in his world.

“I…I’m here to seek council with the Lords,” Yume whimpered as he rose up to his knees.

“Humans aren’t allowed in the realm, because of what they have done to it,” Said the second officer that approached him taking out a pair of black cuffs. The other officer grabbed hold of Yume’s hands and put them together as the cuffs closed around them, Yume sighed, what else could go wrong? Suddenly the golden stick that the first officer held suddenly collided against the back of Yume’s head, and everything goes dark….
***

Yume awoke, and things were still very dark. He groaned, he looked around hearing rattling objects within the area. He had no idea where he was until he heard the sound of tracks rubbing against train wheels then did he realize that he was aboard the train.

“W..where am I?” He stuttered leaning his back up against the wall realizing that he was in a very dark room that most be one of the carts of the train that had no windows.

“Your in the crow’s nest as some call it,” Replied a dark voice within the darkness, suddenly two green eyes peer right at Yume.

Yume groaned and shuddered, seeing those eyes sent a shiver down his spine.

“You’re a human, is that right?” Asked the voice.

“Half human I think,” Yume replied softly as he sat there rubbing the back of his head where the rod had slammed up against it.

“Right, that is what they all say,” Said the voice.

“Who are you?” Asked Yume wondering whom he was sharing the train cart with.

“My name means nothing anymore, I’ve been here for as long as I could remember, and that is a long time boy,” Said the voice. Yume then hears a cough. A fowl smell lingered in the air that made Yume slightly dizzy.

“I’m Yume,” Said Yume with encouragement as he looked around, slowly things were getting easier to see now that his eyes were adjusting to the darkness, he could see outlines of crates and boxes, some were closed and some were open and obtained liqure bottles, that explained the smell.

“And I am only but a monster, that may linger in your nightmares, I wonder in the light of a full moon, and hunt to satisfy my hunger,” Said the voice that now was sounding more male.

“A werewolf?” Asked Yume looking up at the eyes, now he knew why they were so green.

“If your kind calls us that, but I prefer the term wolf, and my name is Howl,” He said.

Yume nodded in acknowledgement smiling softly.

“You’ll be taken into custody once you arrive in Seishin-Sekai realm, I’m afraid that humans are strickly forbidden in our realm,” Said Howl sighing slightly.

“Well if you bit me by mistake then I wouldn’t be a human nessesarlly,” Said Yume.

“Smart one you are, your just like your father,” Said Howl smiling in the darkness. Yume’s heart leaped in his throat.

“You knew my father?” Yume asked staring at the green eyes that seemed to hover in the blackness.

“Your father was a noble man, even though we’ve not seen him since his disaperence in the Daktora Forest, he led the nobles against his own wife,” He said.

“Wait, my parents, they’er alive!” Yume looked at the eyes in disbelief.

“Haven’t you known?” Asked Howl growling slightly.

“No I haven’t, my parents died in a fire a long time ago,” Yume said clentching his fists.

“That was what she only wanted you to see, no your parents are very much alive, well your mother is anyway, that fowl woman,” He said.

“My mother as not fowl, she was a kind gentle spirit that would never harm anything!” Yume shouted anger pulsing through his vanes, suddenly a strange light began to appear around his wrist, it formed a little thread and began wrapping around him.

“Hey now calm down, your aura is picking up, we don’t need that around here,” Said Howl getting a bit nerves.

Yume looked at his wrist seeing the results of his outburst and tried to calm down, the light at first was rather bright, but as he calmed down slowly began to dim like a light bulb burning out.

“Sorry,” Said Yume resting himself back against the wall.

“I didn’t mean to snap at you like that,” He said.

“No worries lad, I would be upset to if I found out that my parents were still alive and that my mother had faked their own death to hide her shame and disgrace to the family name,” Said Howl.

“What do you mean disgrace,” Yume said, it was more of a statement then a question, and he attended that for he hated when someone talked bad about his mother, the kindest person that he had ever knew.

“Your mother, she was kind at first, but then one day came, in the midst of a cold winter, a witch had come to her when she lost her way in the frozen forest, her body was weak, for she was searching for her daughter that went missing,” Howl explained.

“Great, I have a sister now?” Yume asked sighing. He was getting annoyed with all the secrets.

“Yes, only she had vanished into the thin air, into the human realm, which also aided the evil that grew inside your mother, anyways, when she met the Witch the Witch agreed to save her, only if the Witch could consume her body, and take rein over the world she ruled,” He said sighing softly.

“That was a dark time for all of us, for once she agreed, the witch absorbed and trapped her soul, and she took her form, and destroyed everything that she had accomplished in making a perfect world,” Howl stopped and sighed softly looking down.

“So my mother is trapped because of the Witch,” Said Yume sighing softly.

“Yes, she is not an evil person; however she is being consumed by this evil being,” Said Howl sighing.

Suddenly a door of the cart slides open and there stands one of the officers.

“Human, come with us,” Said He said waving his hand in the air, suddenly Yume gasped and was up on his feet and flew across the cart and right into the arms of the officer.

“Good human,” He said clicking the cuffs around his wrists again.

CHAPTER SEVEN
THE REALM

When Yume was shoved out of the cart away from Howl, he was alone with the officers. He looked around the next cart that they walked, the spirits that occupied it glared at him, he looked out through the windows and gasped at what he had seen. Through the glass pane there was a beautiful ocean right in front of him. Its waters sparkled like blue diamonds, and the sun reflected off its surface. He looked around as he was shoved out towards another cart as they descended towards the drivers cart where the conductor lived.

“Where are you taking me?” Yume demanded glaring at the harsh officers.

“I’m taking you to see someone, now stop talking, you’ll disturb the passengers,” Growled the officer pushing Yume forward. Yume sighed as he looked around, spirits of different species glared at him as if they hated him from the start, what was their deal? Had they any clue that he might be their prince? Soon he was shoved up against the wall once he had entered the conductor’s cart and had a rod help up against his throat. He gasped trying to catch his breath, but the rod was pressed up against him so hard that it cut off the air.

“Who are you, and what are you doing here you disgusting human!” Growled a blonde haired man that had a slim body and bright blue eyes, he almost seemed human which was rather odd, but then again the dog tail that swayed back and forward made a big difference.

“M..My name…name is Yume Ame,” Yume stuttered whimpering for the rod was chocking him. It was suddenly released from his throat and he took this moment to take a deep inhale of fresh air panting.

“Ame, you mean your related to the Wicked Witch that enslaves spirits and destroys cities?” He growled pressing the rod back against his throat.

“Leave him alone,” Came the conductor’s voice full of panic.

“At least till your off the train,” He said taking out a metal shovel and grabbing a handful of coal and scooping it into the boiler, he then rushed towards the whistle and pulled the string as it shrieked loudly bellowing out smoke from the chimney.

“Come with me you fool,” spat the blonde haired boy letting go of the rod and walking towards the exit, there was a glint in his eyes that was kind of strange, as if he were saying that he was only playing to make the police think that he was working for them kind of look.

He led me right back to the black cart where Howl was. Yume was tossed back to the ground and the cuffs were not removed just yet.

“Are you here in the name of Karasu the wizard?” Asked the blonde boy taking out a key and removing Yume’s cuffs that were making his wrists hurt.

“Yes,” Said Yume grunting slightly rubbing his sore wrists, for some reason those cuffs had a stronger grip on them.

“That means your part of the rebellion against the evil Witch that lurks within the Western Kingdom,” Said the boy.

“Yes he is, he is in fact her son,” Said Howl in the background.

“Who are you?” Asked Yume looking at the blonde boy.

“My name is Kage, I’m part wolf as you might’ve seen but I have more human features,” He said.

“A Halfling,” Said Howl laughing slightly.

“Hush it werewolf,” Spat Kage sighing softly.

“Anyway, back there was all show, I meant nothing of it so don’t hold a grudge on me, I know a way to get out of this train, its heading towards the southern Kingdom towards Shadow City, the council lies in the Northern kingdom so we have to make track from there,” Said the boy.

“So there are four kingdoms?” Yume asked a bit puzzled.

“The four kingdoms are as followed, The Northern Kingdom of Silverwynne, then there is the Southern Kingdom of Ashenesse home of the Queen of Ashes, then there is the Eastern Kingdom of Aellea the Kingdom of Glass, and then last and horridly the worst, the Western Kingdom of Grayvale, where she lives,” Kage paused a moment, and shuddered.

“So where are we going?” Yume asked resting himself up against the cart’s wall.

“We’re headed towards Ashenesse, that is where they keep their prisoners is within the Princess of Ash’s kingdom, which is not the prettiest place to be, trust me I’ve spent three years there,” He said another shudder passing his skin.

“I need to find Karasu, I’m worried about him, he said that I have to go to the council,” He said.

“The council of Aellea, that is where they meet,” Said Howl.

The rest of the train ride went on in silence, Kage had left the cart and went back towards the front of the train.

“What do you plan to do,” Said Howl looking at Yume.

“What do you mean?”

“What do you plan to do in saving our realm,” He repeated.

“I don’t know, Karasu said that I had to find a way to summon the Guardians of the realms, and ask them to rise the Gods to destroy the evil that lurks within it, but now I’m afraid to considering that the evil is my mother,” He said sighing.

“Don’t go feeling sentimental, if you are capable of destroying the evil creature inside of her, I’m sure your mother’s soul would be very weak,” Howl said.

“Then I’ll heal her, return her back to her normal state, then she can reclaim the throne and I can help her clean up the mess that the creature had made,” Yume said smiling softly.

“There will be war you know, a great battle, it is foreseen in old legends, when the young prince at last returns to his kingdom, shall hence forth arise an army to rebell against the wickedness that has spawned in the once beautiful kingdoms, and imagination shall once again be restored to both realms,” He said smiling.

Yume pulled out his wand that was supposedly a gift from his mother. He felt the black obsidian, allowed his fingers to brush against the ruff surface. He looked towards the handle to see the wolf’s head, it was howling and had its eye open, towards the middle of the handle was a diamond shape that leads downward towards the tip of the wand, it measured at least 8’15, and weighted practically nothing, and the markings on it shimmered a maroon red color.

“Beautiful, it is,” Said Howl looking towards Yume’s wand.

“Those are very rare, wizard and witches don’t use them anymore, for magic is within them, wands just help control the magic, so it doesn’t drain their aura as fast, you see most magic folk obtain the aura through their blood, when using it can weaken them, that is why you must be careful when practicing earthbound spells, for you use the earth’s energy when casting them,” Said Howl smiling.

Yume looked at Howl for a second, and then back at his wand. He closed his eyes, imagining a thread of light submerging from the tip of the wand, he pictured it to be an ice blue color, an illuminating ice blue that would destroy the darkness around them. He kept picturing it in his mind, keeping his eyes closed. An electric feeling began to overcome him, it was a strange feeling, a feeling that he had never felt before, it was as if someone was wrapping their arms around him in a protective way, someone watching over his shoulder, making sure that he was safe. Then a soft melody began to fill the air, the same song that his mother had sung to him when he was younger.

He opened his eyes and beams of blue light were floating out from the tip of the wand, and casting themselves around the cart, suddenly they shot through the walls and suddenly the cart lurched and nearly turned itself over, like something was pushing it. It made Yume tumble over forward and accidently crashed into Howl.

“What is going on?!” Growled Howl looking around, suddenly the cart door opened and there stood Kage smirking.

“Time to make our great escape!” He shouted as then another thrash occurred, this time the cart broke off the train that sped through the tracks and flung itself across the water, floating like a balloon in the water.

Yume gasped, opening his eyes wondering what had just happened. He looked around trying to regain his baring’s.

“Come on Howl, help me pry the wood open so we can get some daylight,” Kage said banging his shoulder against the floating cart.

“What happened?” Murmured Yume as he rubbed his head.

“Your magic separated the cart from the train,” Howl said grunting as he rose up to his feet and slammed himself up against the wood, it began to give way and a piece of wood had fallen off and flung itself into the water. A beam of sunlight escaped through the open hole, and Yume was now capable of seeing Howl. He had the face of a wolf, a long muzzle, ears, and sharp teeth, and pure white fur, he wore pure white robes that flowed down to his ankles, he had those same green eyes, and a scar that ran from his right eye all the way down to his neck, and he had snow white hair.

“Yes, I’m a White Wizard,” Howl said seeing Yume examine his features.

“White Wizard you say?” Said Kage smiling.

“Two wizards and a Halfling,” Said Kage.

“Exciting,” He added hoisting himself out of the crate to rest upon the flat that wasn’t underwater.

“Well come on you two, we need to peddle our way towards the surface,” Kage said sighing.

“Or, we can just do this,” Said Howl raising a hand into the air, however it wasn’t a hand, it was a paw. He then twisted it to the left, and allowed his index finger to sway gently to the right in three circular motions, suddenly the crate began to take flight across the water without anything or anyone pushing it, it was as if the water itself was dragging it across the flat surface. Soon a large dark shadow of an island approached Yume’s view.

After a long period of waiting, they were at last on dry land. Yume knew this because he could hear seagulls in the distance, and there was sand seeping out of the crate. Howl and Kage were both gone as well, he most had fallen asleep during the journey. He jumped out from the crate and looked around himself, what met his eyes was just beyond anything he had seen.

A large forest towered over him, its trees were very tall, taller than the trees back at home. Their leaves were colored a deep purple which was the only thing that differed them from the trees at home. He saw Kage walking around the beach side looking for firewood, but did not see Howl anywhere.

“There you are sleepy head, welcome to the Northern Kingdom of Aura Glass,” Said Kage as he walked towards Yume with a pile of wood in his arms.

“Where did Howl go?” Asked Yume looking at around.

“He went out to hunt, he smelt some really good Gedels nearby,” He said.

“What is a Gedel?” Yume asked.

“A half and half, half gazelle half deer,” Said Kage.

“Though their meat is rather gamy it’s still better than nothing,” He smiled and then set the wood down and began digging a pit in the sand.

“Oh and we’re fugitives for some odd reason, I tried going near the city that is close by and they have posters of us, wanted dead or alive,” He said shuddering.

“Wow, news goes out fast around here,” Yume sighed softly. That was great, he was new to this world and was already an outlaw.

“Why aren’t we in the Eastern kingdom wasn’t that where we were headed?” Asked Yume.

“Well in this world there are no directions, we just call them those names because we were inspired by the names that your people have done for your directions,” Said Kage.

“Oh,” Replied Yume.

Suddenly a sound was heard within the boarder of the forest, and Howl immerged from the woods carrying what Yume guessed was a Gedel which had the body of a white tailed deer, and then the horns of a gazelle.

The fire was burning brightly, keeping away the night that lingered at their feet. Yume, Kage, and Howl were eating the half breed animal enjoying its tasty morsel.

“We have to get to the Palace of Glass, there is the kaleidoscope tower where the Lords withhold their private meetings, you have to prove yourself worthy of attending, for they don’t take outsiders very likely,” Said Howl.

“And how do you suspect us to get to the palace without being caught by guards since our wanted posters are hanging everywhere?” Asked Kage holding up three pieces of paper with all of their drawings on it.

“I never thought of that one,” Said Howl sighing slightly.

“Welcome to our world son, where people are willing to toss you out just to save their own necks, we have to keep you hidden because spirits don’t take likely to your kind, however we must find the rebellion against the Queen to get you to safety, there you’ll be able to make a few friends that won’t want to kill you,” He said smiling.

“Where is the hide out now, I mean they change every new moon and full moon,” Howl said.

“I think if I remember correctly they moved to the Valley of Stars where no wonderers could come across them,” Kage said straightening out his hair, as he did it changed into a sort of lavender color like that of the train.

“We’ll need new cloths and hair,” Said Kage walking towards Howl placing his hand upon his scalp, the snow white hair then changed to a wild green with darker green highlights, he then walked towards Yume and Yume glowered at him.

“We need to do it for safety,” Said Kage seeing his look.

“No one, touches the hair,” Snarled Yume.

“Howl?”

Howl rose up and walked towards Yume; he then wraps his arms around him tightly, Yume grunts and struggles to break free of the wolf’s grasp. Kage stepped forward and placed his hand on Yume’s hair as it changed to a natural blue color.

“There we go,” Said Kage smiling rather wickedly seeing the expression on Yume’s face.

“My beautiful hair,” Sobbed Yume looking at the blue locks, it was longer to. He glared at Kage; he now had a passion of hatred for a short while for him.

“Now let’s move, the sooner we get to town, the sooner we can change our cloths, specially you Yume, you look…unnatural,” He said grinning again placing sand upon the fire making it sizzle.

“Water makes smoke, we don’t need to have guards nor hunters know our trail,” He said.

CHAPTER EIGHT
ERIA

When dawn had arrived, the travelers had at last arrived at the first village before the city. The village of Ashbrook was smaller than Yume’s own town in his world, and what amazed him the most was one thing, every single building was made of glass.

“This is why the kingdom that we’re in is normally called The Kingdom of Glass,” Said Kage smiling as he saw Yume’s eyes looking upon the buildings, each one casted a reflection of light casting beautiful rainbows upon the forest floor.

“Makes sense, SilverGlass,” Said Yume looking around.

People were walking among the travelers, not even noticing them as if they were minding their own business.

“People don’t like strangers, they think they might get shipped off to the Western Kingdom to slave for the Queen,” Whispered Howl placing a hood over his head to hide his wolf like features.

“And I bet I don’t help very much,” He added.

Yume nodded and walked in silence making sure not to stand out, he felt so different with his cloths and his new hair color.

“There is a shop there that we can get some new cloths, sure it won’t be what we like, but hey something is better than nothing,” He said and guided them towards the entrance of the store.

The door opened, and then closed as they walked inside. Yume looked around, every inch of the place was pure glass, even the items, thankfully the cloths were not but some of the items that the store owner was selling were and it was breathtaking. A small figure of a horse stood upon a stand made of what looked like silver glass, and many other objects. He even saw a stained glass butterfly.

“The citizens are Glass blowers I presume?” Asked Yume.

“Yes lad, we are,” Answered the Clerk as he came from behind the cashier.

“How may I help you three gentlemen?” He asked cupping his hands together rubbing them as if eager to get a few things sold.

“Yes, we would like to ugh, fit in with society,” Said Kage in a polite voice.

“Right, Let’s start with the boy shall we?” He asked smiling at Yume.

Yume gulped and walked forward as the man examined him.

“Hmm, I think you’re a Western aren’t you? I mean sure you look part human but I bet you have western blood inside you,” He said shaking his head.

“Don’t despair, just because you’re from that kingdom doesn’t make you evil or anything, can’t be too cautious that’s all,” Said the clerk walking towards a rack of cloths and scanning through them. But then it dawned on him. He walked back towards the boy and took out a tape measure and began wrapping it around the boy.

“Hmm, kinda scrawny,” Said the clerk mostly to himself, but Yume kind of took this as an insult.

He then walked back towards the cloths rack and dug through the various styles of cloths.

“Ah this shall do very nicely for you lad,” The clerk took out an extravagant styled tunic made of silk, it obtained faded blues and purples and had a slight touch of silver. He handed him the shirt and smiled.

After a while the clerk had found each of the three tunics that fit them both and was at a reasonable price. Luckily Kage had enough gold pieces, so they were able to leave the store without a big fuss, and apparently Yume being human had not alarmed the shop keep either.

“Now what, how far is the Valley of Stars from here?” Yume asked looking around.

“Maybe an hour, or three,” Said Howl looking down at the ground sniffing the soil. The air around the village was still for some reason, as if there was something evil lingering in the outskirts of the town. Yume looked around, feeling the strange vibration pulsing through his vanes, he felt angry for some reason, like a wave of hatred had washed over him. He held his head feeling slightly dizzy from it.

“Something is coming,” Said Howl seeing Yume’s face turn pale like a sheet.

“I agree,” Said Kage looking around, his tail was straight and alert. Suddenly a loud roaring sound broke the silence, all the people around them looked up with fright in their eyes, the glass houses shook and vibrated, and threatened to shatter.

“It’s a crystal beast!” Shouted a voice of a hysteric man running from the exit.

“RUN!” He shouted and vanished inside a household.

Kage, and Howl both looked towards the direction the man had come from, suddenly the ground started vibrating, and then another roar broke the stillness and then a large beast submerged from the depths of the forest breaking trees and crushing plants as it proceeded towards the town. Screams of terror rushed through the village as they all scurried away like mice. The beast had a lizard like quality to it, it was not as big as the other two beasts that Yume had faced, but it was almost as big as a modern sized home. It also had a metallic feature to it, as if it were being ran on cogs and wheels. The beast had large crystal spikes on its scaly back, and long sharp fangs that almost touched the ground. Its eyes were deep blue, and it had a long lashing tail. Its hind legs were thicker than its front legs which was rather odd.

“Not again,” Muttered Yume pulling out his wand. The other two looked at him, Howl however took position as if he were about to take a charging bull head on. The beast reared up like a bucking horse and roared as it then began to charge right towards them. Howl stepped up and rose his hand into the air and closed his eyes, as if waiting for the impact to occure, the beast charged onward not even taking notice of him, suddenly vines of a plant began sprouting out from under the earth, and intertwined themselves around the beast’s legs, the beast yelped and then leaped once, but the vines held a strong grip upon the beast and he came crashing downward onto the ground causing erosion of the soil.

“HEY, DON”T TOUCH HIM!” Shouted a girl’s voice rushing out from the woods running towards the monster.

Yume looked at the girl; she looked rather shy yet outgoing, possibly a soothsayer’s daughter by the looks of her garments which were white with trims of gold robes that hung low like a white waterfall, she also has long, fine, straight black hair that went passed her eyes, hazel eyes, and pale skin. She appeared wiry and had a delicate face that was smooth. She looked towards their direction as she trotted up towards the large crystal beast.

“This is my pet, he sort of ran off from my backyard when some kids were picking on him and throwing stones,” Said the girl pulling back her black hair from her eyes, a gentle smile upon her face.

“So please don’t harm him, could you help me out in bringing this big fella home?” She asked.

Yume nodded.

“Sure,” Replied Yume.

“My name is Eria by the way, Eria Goodwind, I’m the daughter of Soothsayer Harriet Goodwind, she’s rather famous around these parts, the king of the Glass Palace requests her during war times to see what the future withholds,” She had a sense of pride in her voice.

“However my mind is sort of set to taming overly large beasts such as Crystal here,” She said as then the beast nuzzled her as if it were a tamed pet.

All three travelers looked at her, as if she were nuts.

“My name us Yume, this is Kage, and the wolf guy over here is How,” Yume smiled softly.

Eria looked at the werewolf with inspired eyes.

“It is an honor to meet you sir Howl, I mean I’ve never seen a werewolf in person, that is not your kind,” She said lowering her eyes. Howl seemed tense at this, he must have known what kind she was talking about. The kind that acted more animal rather than human.

“So where ya headed, you can come by my cottage considering that the guards will be patrolling the area soon,” She said.

“Yeah, that sounds great,” Yume said smiling.

“We really should be headed towards the Valley you know,” Said Kage.

“The valley is where the rebellion lays, my mother works for them as well,” Said Eria as she winked and headed towards the cottage.

The cottage oddly enough wasn’t made of glass, but of timber from the nearby woods.

“Don’t you feel um, odd about living in a plane house?” Asked Yume as they approached the cozy cottage that rested upon a hill, behind the cottage was a corral with horses and cows grazing upon the fresh grass. The sky was empty of clouds, and the air was so refreshing.

“Nah, besides Soothsayers get to choose what they want to live in, besides crystal is becoming rare these days due to the incident in the caves towards the Rhyer Provence,” Eria said opening the door allowing them inside.

“Problems within the crystal mines, what kind of problems?” Asked Howl as they stepped into a fairly nice two room cottage with a medium sized kitchen, a decent sized living room that had a fireplace.

“Some rumor about a dragon roosting there, it won’t allow any of the miners get near because apparently the dragon has made a nest there now and is claiming all the crystal inside waiting for a mate or something,” She said sighing.

“A male dragon no doubt all male dragons find a den and make sure that they have jewels of some sort so that they can impress their mates,” Said Kage laughing slightly shaking his head.

“Great,” Howl snarled in disgust.

“How is the palace handling the situation?” Asked Kage.

“I’m not sure, no one has ever brought it up in the council, the Queen just says if the dragon wants to make a home there, so be it, find another mine,” Scoffed Eria as if she distasted the Queen’s thoughts.

“She is becoming more and more dangerous, I’m surprised heads have not rolled yet,” Said Kage.

“So you were saying about heading towards the Valley of Stars, I know where the camp site is of the rebellions against the Queen, my father goes out there and sneaks in supplies every quarter moon,” She said taking out a map of the land. Yume now notices that each kingdom was an island, there were four main islands that were labeled and only two that were not labeled.

“Okay so here we are in SilverGlass right here, and the Valley is located in the Mountains of Whispers which is just South from here,” She placed her finger upon the mountain range.

“And right here is where the palace is, and where the council withholds their meetings, that is where we want go first right guys?” Yume asked looking at the map having his own finger upon the place where the palace was.

“Yes of course, that is where we are going first, then we must report to the base of what has happened, and your arrival most be celebrated,” Smirked Kage.

“What do you mean?” Asked Yume.

“We have been waiting for something like you to come boy, for a very long time, I know who you are, my mother has predicted your arrival, and then the downfall of the mighty Queen,” Said Eria.

Yume blushes softly looking off, he was now officially embarrassed, him a savior?

“Well this is my mother we’re talking about,” Said Yume.

“We’ll figure a way to save her, that is a question you can ask the sages once we meet them,” Said Howl.

“Sages?” Asked Yume looking at Kage.

“That is what they call the members of the council, mighty sages for they use their magic for the common good,” He said.

“So why don’t they do something about this, I mean can’t they figure something out?” Asked Yume.

“Yeah but the saddest thing is they are only allowed to use their magic if they obtain their magical item, you see when magic is used they are collected within a specific artifact that means something to them,” He said.

“So if we find the artifacts, they may just have the power to awaken the guardians whom will also obtain the power to awaken the Gods to destroy the demon within my mother?”

“We need the Gods…” Howl said looking at Yume signing. He peers out the window.

“But the only thing is, we do not know who are the guardians that have the special power to arise them, we also need to be aware of a mistake that shall occur, we don’t know that either” He said as if answering Yume’s question.

“A mistake?” Yume asked, he was getting very confused.

“Yes, when Eria’s mother read the stones, she predicted that a mistake would arise that will bring forth the end of our realms, but then it can be fixed,” He said sighing.

“Okay, so wouldn’t it just be easier if we can just avoid this mistake?” Yume Asked.

“Mistakes are complicated to avoid here, especially fate,” Said Eria sighing.

“Does anyone have any clues as to where these guardians might be located?” Yume questioned.

“The only people that might know would be the council, and the meeting is being held soon, we have to hurry,” said Kage sighing.

“How will we get to the palace?” Asked Howl.

“You can ride my horses, they’re in the back,” Said Eria smiling as she trotted over towards the back door and opened it. The three travels walked towards the door and noticed that the outside was the coral that they had seen when they first came to the house. Beautiful flowers of different verities littered the green grass. They looked up and gasped at what they were seeing. In front of them were three large horses with thick thighs and long tails that swished back and forward swatting flies. Their fur varied in different colors. The horses rose their heads, eyes meeting the travelers. On top of their heads, a long horn spiraled upwards towards the heavens.

“Wow,” Stuttered Yume eyes starting in pure amazement.

“Be gentle, they are rather shy,” Said Eria approaching one horse that had a coat of black fur with gold streaks, his horn was made of amethyst stone that glistened in the sun. His mane flowed down his neck like a river of gold.

“Each horse has his or her own coat, when their born they decide within their minds how they want to appear to the world,” She explained.

“These are very rare creatures, most of them have been slaughtered since the last war,” Said Kage approaching the second horse whom was a female with different shades of blue upon her coat. Her horn was gold and had strands of pink highlighting the spirals.

“That is Parcy, she is rather fragile,” Said Eria.

“She hurt her leg last winter when trying to escape a pack of dogs that were hunting her when she was out grazing Snowdrops near the forest,” She sighed softly.

“Hello Parcy,” Said Kage with a smile as she nuzzled his hand. He allowed his fingers to run over her white main.

This one is Shant, he has been through a tuff time, he was hunted a while back, and got a bullet wound in his side, I of course nursed him back to life, and he has stayed here ever since,” She smiled as Yume looked at Shant. The black horse looked back at him, it had ice blue eyes, and its golden mane sparkled within the glistening sunlight. This was a strange moment for Yume; he was looking at a mythical creature that was said not to have existed.

CHAPTER NINE
COLOR THE SKY

Yume’s breathing began to accelerate at a quick rate. His eyes looked at the horse; the horse looked back at him, with those beautiful hazel eyes. Everything he had thought about magic was wrong. It was real, and he knew it. It stood right in front of him, staring at him. He took a step closer, reaching out his hand to feel the horse’s muzzle. The horse rose its muzzle and gently placed it on the palm of Yume’s hand, and breathed softly, making quite snorting sounds.

“I think he likes you,” Said Eria approaching the stallion. She smiled and brushed her fingers through the golden threads of his mane.

“Yeah,” Yume said looking at him. He was a beautiful horse, but was he really worthy to be his rider?

“You can have him if you like; I mean if you’d be willing to take him?” Eria looked towards Yume, a smile upon her face.

Yume sighed and looked away, a figment of disbelief showed in his eyes.

“I…I don’ even know if this is all real, I’ve woken up twice to this same dream, what makes it say that this is really real,” He said sighing softly looking at the ground.

Eria knelt down and plucked one of the flowers that flowed gently in the soothing breeze, the flower’s petals bent backwards as the gale brushed its invisible fingers against its stem.

“Do you believe?”

Yume looked at Eria and sighed. He looked off and began walking away from the coral, head lowered.

Eria looked towards Yume and began to follow. She sighed and stroked the fur of Shant’s mane.
***

Kage and Howl decided that they should stay with Eria and her mother for the evening, the sun was now dipping low, vanishing from sight, bringing forth the brilliant stars that glittered like thousands of diamonds.

Yume had been wondering around the premises of the cottage, examining everything. The flowers, the trees, even glass plants that grew towards the lake. His mind was fighting with him, facing fact, or fiction was tuff.

“Yume?” Came Eria’s voice as she walked towards him.

Yume looked towards her, and sighed.

“Hey Eria, I’m sorry about this morning, I did not mean to snap like that,” He said.

“No, it’s okay.” Said Eria smiling a weak smile.

“Who wouldn’t, I mean you were taken away from your world, and placed inside a stranger world that you don’t know about, its different here then it is at your world, isn’t it?” She asked peering at him through her eyes.

“I never meant for this to happen, it just did,” He said.

“It was meant to happen, Yume, fate is mysteries, you have to understand that,” She said.

“It was because of that essay, before this all happened, it was because of that essay,” He said.

Eria looked at him. She nodded and allowed the flower to drop back. When the first star appeared, She looked up.

“Come here, there is something I want to show you,” She said taking his hand and walking him towards the woods.

“What?” Asked Yume.

“Well if I told you , you would not be surprised,” She said.

Soon Yume found himself walking in the forest with her hand in his, it was as if they had been friends forever, yet he did not remember her. She drug him along the labyrinth of trees and rocks, owls hooted in the darkness, and nightingales sang their midnight lullaby. Their silhouette’s weaved through the tree lines as they ran through the trail. Suddenly the trees departed into a valley with a smooth flat surface, and upon a lake colored a midnight blue reflecting the sky above.

Yume stared up in amazement at all the beautiful stars that glistened above. His eyes then darted towards the woods, he was hearing strange whispering among the trees, as if voices were echoing in the distance.

“Who is there?” He asked looking around.

“They are the spirits of the forest, they are called Kayume,” Answered Eria smiling.

“They come around here, during the night of the full moon sometimes to watch my performance,” She smiles.

Yume looked up, the moon was indeed full, and its silver light flooded the world.

“It is beautiful,” She whispered in Yume’s ear smiling softly as she walked towards the lake.

“What was it you wished to show me?” Yume asked looking at her.

She did not respond. She slowly lifted her hands into the air, placing them together as if she were offering something to the lake. She then lightly pressed her lips together and blew gently, a series of rainbows began to submerge from her lips, as if taking the form of the wind from her lips. The light then took the outline of a beautifully colored butterfly. The outlined butterfly flapped its wings a few times then took off into the air, as it did various strands of light flew out from the back of it, creating long strings that weaved themselves into the night.

The humming of the Kayume looked at the butterfly, that was when Yume notices that the creatures were made of wood, pure wood. Long vines settled on top of their scalps, and their eyes obtained the various colors that of a peacock feather tips. They were practically spellbinding.

The butterfly had risen high above the sky, almost casting itself into the stars, still leaving behind strands of rainbow light behind it, causing the colors to change into an ice green color. Suddenly a wave came across the light and it automatically changed into a blood red.

“The Aurora,” murmured Yume as he stared out into the sky.

Eria had a smile upon her face as she blew on her hand again, forming another butterfly that soon took flight in front of the lake, causing another thread of light to dance across it’s glassy surface, the waters reflecting its ethereal beauty. The lights twisted and turned in spirals and cork screws. Eria allowed more butterflies to submerge from her breath to join with the others, soon the sky was lit with an array of beautiful colors.

Yume stared up in astonishment, he was awake, and he knew it. This was real, the creatures close by were real. He watched them closely, seeing their movement. Flawless, and real.

“Now do you believe?” Asked Eria looking at him slowly rising her hand towards his.

Yume smiled softly and allowed his fingers to weave inside of hers, and gently looks into her eyes.

“This is kind of odd,” She stuttered looking off.

Yume removed his hand and then cleared his throat looking towards the sky that was still being painted by the butterflies.

“My mother, she gave me these,” She then dug into her robe pockets and pulled out something, but Yume did not know what.

She then revealed what was in them. Inside her hand rested two polished stones, one was a very soft purple, and the other a very deep blue color. They shimmered brightly in the bright colors above.

“She told me to give them to someone that would mean something to me later in my life, I believe that you have the power to save us from the darkness, so you will be considered the most important person in my life,” She said holding out the two stones for him to take.

They were so beautiful, as if the finest crafter had created them using magic.

“They are magical in many ways, they may come in handy when things look dark,” She said smiling. She then placed them in Yume’s outstretched hand and then began walking back into the forest, disappearing into the night.

Yume looked out back at the lake as the butterflies hovered around; he noticed that their lights were getting dimmer as Eria vanished. Yume decided that it was now time to head back to the cottage and prepare for the journey to the palace of glass tomorrow. He was about to leave, but he spotted one of the creatures close by, he wanted to see their faces more closely. He examined them very closely. The creature was indeed made of wood, and the peacock feather texture in their eyes was very real, there was no paint. Small horns decorated the forehead, and strange designs were etched into its bark like skin. It vanished into the night, as did Yume.
***

The sun had at last risen once again into the sky, bathing the mountain caps in brilliant sunlight, the snow on top glistened beautifully like a garden of diamonds. Yume had awoken, the sunlight filtered through the drapes of the room in which he was given. A drawer rested on the western wall, and a bookshelf displayed upon the north wall. The south wall is where the windows were that obtained blue satin drapes.

A light knock came at his door and it slid open and a chubby faced woman wearing brown robes stepped into the room. She was pudgy faced and white eyes. Around her neck was an a necklace with small tablets of the same ancient language that was etched into his wand.

“You must be Yume Ame, am I correct?” Asked the woman in a husky voice looking at him.

Yume nodded .

“Yes, you were the one I saw in my dreams,” She said sighing softly, a smile appearing over her face.

“I need to speak to you alone please, within my gardens,” She said motioning him to follow.

Yume got up and noticed that he had fallen asleep with the new garments that he got yesterday, he most had been very tired last night. He followed her out of the house, but this time they did not go to the forest, they went off near the village. A little along the way, the woman took a left turn into the woods. Yume hesitated but followed.

“My name is Gada, I am the mother of Eria,” She said smiling.

“I kind of figured that much,” Yume said nicely.

She did not reply.

The walk was utterly silent, as if a single word would bring forth a curse. The morning birds sang their usual tune. Yume looked up at the large trees and sighed.

“You are very young, and your mind is clouded with fact,” Said Gada as she turned and looked at him.

Yume did not know how to reply or if he was to.

“Your very head strong, and live with your feet firmly upon the ground,” She said.

“That was how I was raised,” Yume said sighing.

“I understand, your Grandmother did not want to tell you of the gift that you possess, she was afraid that it might disturb you, for you are to play an important role within this story,” She said looking at Yume in the eyes.

“I’m no one special, I don’t even know what I’m doing, I have to awaken guardians and fight an army and save the world all at once,” He said sighing.

“I know it seems like a lot, and I’m sorry that you bare this burden, if I could I would use my magic to lift it off of you, but you have royal blood inside of you, I can’t change that,” She said sighing.

“Where do I start, at least tell me that,” He pleaded.

“Well it’s always best to start at the beginning, you have already met one of the guardians, he just doesn’t know it yet,” She said.

“I have?” Yume asked looking back where the house had been.

“Yes, he is one of three guardians whom had their memories erased so they can’t remember who they were, or how to use their magic,” She said.

Yume glanced at her and sighed softly. Now things became rather more complicated.

“If he remembers who he is, and what his purpose is in this life, he shall slowly begin to remember his siblings, the other two Guardians, but the only way to truly awaken them, is by finding the artifacts that they need to reawaken the true magic within,” She sighed.

“Things have changed since this world began, it was once a beautiful world, full of peace, harmony, then one day came, when it was all shattered,” She closed her eyes as she faded into the memory.

CHAPTER TEN
DARKNEST PAST



Snow was falling heavily upon the ground of the Western Kingdom of Grayvale. The snow was cold, and the stars were hidden under a thick layer of gray clouds, bringing forth the harsh gale that turned the snow into large drifts upon the trunks of young willow trees.


“Mother, I’m so c…cold,” Said the young girl whimpering clutching to her mother. Just a few moments ago, they were sitting by a warm fire; the next a demon had chased them into the night, leaving their home in an inferno.


“We’re almost there, I promise, he’ll welcome us in his presents I promise,” Her mother whispered.


“Stay warm Harriet Her mother cooed as she brushed her cold fingers over her daughter’s hair. Soon an illuminating light of a lamp can be seen. Harriet looked up towards the light, a leap of joy throbbed in her frozen heart.


“There it is Harriet, there it is,” She whispered as they drug onward towards a good sized cottage that had a smoking chimney. They treaded the cold ground, as Harriet looked up she saw the cottage closer than it had been. She could not wait until she felt the warmth of the fire that burnt inside.


“What’s going on?” Came a voice as a door opened and an old woman stepped out.


“Who’s out there?” She asked.


“Are you the Grandmother of Hyer?” Called out Harriet’s mother as she held her daughter close to her.


“I’m just a poor beggar woman, I’m afraid Hyer can’t come to the door at this moment,” She said.


“Please ma’am, let us in, we’ve lost our home to a demon, and we are homeless,”


“Please do come in my poor souls,” Said the woman waving her hand to coax them inside.


Harriet sighed in relief once the warmth of a burning fire had overwhelmed her body and a shawl was wrapped around her. But then she paused a moment and smelt the air, for some reason a strange scent of sulfur had suffocated the warm air.


“Do you smell that mama?” Asked Harriet looking up at her mother, whom had an empty expression.


The old woman closed the door rather harshly.


“Well, it seems that we’ve got off on the wrong foot my lady,” Said the woman’s voice in a cruel dark tone.


“Madam, I don’t know what you mean?” Harriet’s mother said.


“Of course you don’t, you are a very naughty soothsayer you are my dear, stealing from demons,” Said the woman.


She gasped and grabbed ahold of her daughter and pulled her out of the armchair.


“Back away witch!” She called looking around for some kind of weapon.


“Now, now no need for that kind of language my dear,” Said the woman. Suddenly strange sounds began to submerge from the old woman’s mouth, a strange sort of gurgling growl sound. Just then the old woman removed her shawl that she wore and suddenly her features were disoriented and grotesque. The woman’s hair hung down in silver strands all the way down to the floor, her teeth were rotten and chipped. She had long fingernails that almost resembled claws. Her eyes glowed like burning coals.


Harriet whimpered softly as she looked at the terrifying beast.


“Stay behind me,” Warned her mother as she rose her hand in the air and growled slightly as a small gleaming light began to submerge from her fingers her eyes turning a violet purple as she reached into her pocket where she kept her rune stones. She held it tight in her as it shimmered brightly and tossed it towards the hag. The hag growled and grabbed ahold of the rune in her hand and smirked. She crushed it and then reopened her hand and a pile of dust fell to the ground.


The old woman smiled and then rose her index finger in the air, it shot out like a strand of rope and then wrapped itself around Harriet’s mother. She gasped and tried to get out of the bind, but it was no use.


“Let me go you hag, you destroyed everything I had,” She snarled.


“That is what I do my dear, but I believe that you still have something of mine that I seek,” She smiles.


“It is the only way to keep the light strong, the only way to destroy your mistress whom is determined to arise,” Growled the mother.



“The darkness can only be brought forth by the relics,” Snarled the woman.


“And darkness can be destroyed by a single beam of sunlight, which will be brought forth by the ancient items of the guardians whom shall use their magic to awaken the Gods, and destroy your kind!” She shouted.


“Enough woman, now give me the relic, or you shall die a horrible death,” She said.


‘Never,” She hissed.


The hag raised her other finger and then twisted it once. Suddenly the mother’s eyes widened and she whaled in agony for a burning sensation began to overwhelm her, suddenly her whole body turns into ash, and falls into a pile right in front of her.


The little girl gasped, tears swelling into her eyes as she rushed towards the ash pile , where her mother just stood. She was dreaming, that was all it had to be, a simple dream. She just had to pinch herself and she’ll wake up. She tried, nothing happened. Her mother still laid there upon the ground, just a simple pile of ash.


“Your mother should have been smarter,” Warned the hag as she approached the pile of ash.


Harriet looked into the pile and saw a small shimmering object that was no bigger then a stone. She reached for it and clutched it into her hands, a sudden warmth rushed over her even though tears still fell down her cheeks like a stream.


“Now give that to me darling, and no harm shall come to thee,” The hag hissed.


“Never in a million years, I’ll be sure that light shall dawn, and darkness shall fall!” She shirked seizing her mother’s pouch that obtained her stones and grabbed one.


“Northern kingdom!” She shouted as then a blinding flash of light swooped over her and she was gone.


The hag screamed as she saw the girl vanished and then the whole building began to catch fire.


A horse approached at the edge of the forest, baring it’s rider. The man had hay straw hair and soft blue eyes. He gasped in horror as he looked that his house was on fire.


“What the?” he asked looking around desperate for answers. He got off his horse and casted a water spell using the snow nearby melting it with a fire charm as fast as he could to save his home before it vanished into ash.





Harriet found herself somewhere in the Woods of the Northern Kingdom curled up in a tree trunk. She shivered softly because cold had once again taken hold of her. She whimpered as the images of her mother’s death repeated again and again in her mind. She will get her mother’s revenge, she will see the downfall of the darkness, she knew that one day a savior shall come and bring the light of day again.


Sadness overwhelmed her heart, as she clutched the item that she held within her hand. There was a strange warmth inside of her hands because of the stone that she held. She wanted all of this to go away, she did not want this anymore. She wanted to be in her room hear her mother whispering that soothing lullaby again…
***


The soothsayer came back to reality, looking at Yume who looked back at her.


I’m sorry for the loss of your mother,” He whispered looking down.


“It’s not your fault darling, it was that dreadful woman that now possess your mother,” She hissed.


“So you mean that demon that killed your mother, now possess my mother?” He asked.


Harriet nodded slightly sighing.


“Do you still have the object, for some reason I have a strange hunch that it belongs to one of the guardians,”


“Yes, it does belong to a guardian, and I do have it,” She said and then slowly reached for her neck and them grabbed ahold of a cord and slowly pulled it off of her neck and then Yume at last saw what was at the end of it. A small emerald pendent hung at the end of the black cord. She then hands it to Yume, who clutches it in his hands.


“Who does it belong to, do you know?” Yume asked with hope.


“No, I do not,” She said.


Yume nodded and looked up at the sky, time had slowly slipped away from them and the sun had vanished behind the mountains and twilight had already casted its spell upon the land.


“We should get back, they might get worried,” She said and then began to walk back towards the cottage.


Yume and Harriet had returned at the cottage with stress. Eria was freaking out wondering where they had gone; Kage was about to rip Yume’s head off for not telling him where he was, and Howl was silent as normal.


“So when are we ever going to get to the council?” Asked Kage sighing.


“You’re lucky that it lasts for a whole week and not a day for we would have missed it,” He said.


Yume sighed with relief thinking that he really screwed up the plans.


“We’ll have dinner tonight and then off to bed with you four if you’re heading towards the city,” She said rushing into the kitchen.


As Yume and the four of them sat at the table eating dinner which consisted of strange meatballs of a Gedel, and sauce from a Mortzilla plant. He felt the weight of the artifact in his pocket. He managed to wrap it in cloth to keep it in good condition. He felt that same strange sensation that Harriet had felt when she held it. He sighed. Things were becoming unclouded now, he was beginning to realize that there was no dream at all, that everything was real.


What Eria had said the day before rang in his ears. There will be a mistake that we can’t avoid…what did that mean? Then something else had occurred inside of his mind, who owned the item that he obtained?

When everyone was sent off to bed early for the night, Yume could not sleep. So much plagued his mind. He knew that everything around him was real. All the spirits and demons that he had seen. A cool breeze wisped through his window making him shiver. Suddenly he heard the sound of bells tinkling in the distance. It made him rise his head up and look around to find out where the bells had come from.

“You look lost,” came a small voice from the distance. Yume looked around, no one was in the room.

Suddenly he spots a small glisten of silver light fluttering around the room like a tiny firefly.

“Did you say something?” Asked Yume looking at the ball of light.

“Well to me there is no one else around now is there?” Asked the voice that came from the ball of light.

Now things were getting a bit strange. Yume sighed softly, he supposed that the small light was a fairy of some kind.

“So are you the one everyone is talking about, the savior of our people/” Asked the spirit’s voice with a hint of humor in its voice.

“Do I amuse you in some way?” He asked sarcastically rolling his eyes.

“Oh no its just that, you’re a bit young and not well muscled like everyone thought,’ Said the voice.

“Well hero’s don’t have to be, you can be a mouse and still be a hero,’ He said sitting at the edge of his bed.

“What are you might I ask?” Yume felt stupid for asking this for he already knew what it was.

“I’m of course a fairy,” Just then the ball of light grew brighter and then right in front of him stood a tall beautiful woman. She wore an ice blue nightgown that flowed downward like a river of satin. Her eyes were pale emerald, and her skin was white as snow, her hair was like spuned silver.

“What are you doing here?” Asked Yume in bewilderment, he had never seen such a beautiful creature before. Her glass wings were that of a butterflies, and she obtained a very good look, and her eyes, they almost sparkled.

“Well, I’m here to talk to you about something that might be useful for your quest,” Said the fairy. There was strangeness in her voice, as if something pained her inside but Yume did not know what.

“Okay, go on,’ He said sitting back and allowing the fairy to speak

CHAPTER ELEVEN
THE UNKNOWN TRICK

“I have wanted to show you something, that lies deep within the forest,” Said the fairy with a smile.

“Really, what?” He asked looking towards the door that led into the hallway of the house, which remained deathly silent besides a few snores here and there.

“Something truly beautiful, something that keeps the light,” She said and then the fairy returned back into a silver glisten of light and then drifted out of the open window.

Yume slipped on some sandals and then leaped out of the window and was welcomed by the warm night air bathed in silver moonlight. He inhaled the sweet scent. Everything was alive, more fairies hovered around berry bushes and night birds hooted the Nocturne. It was more beautiful than he had imagined it, though he noticed that when he was with Eria he did not notice the true beauty of the forest, that was because he saw it without his true imagination.

“See what happens, when imagination is unclouded?” Asked the fairy smiling softly, she was human again.

Yume nodded slightly in agreement as he looked around hearing beautiful music, music that he has never heard before in his whole life, it was so strange, so vivid, it almost soothed him in some way.

“Come on, they are deeper within the woods, in a secret meadow that only us fairies can find,” Said the fairy laughing.

“What is your name?” Asked Yume in puzzlement not really trusting her just in case she might be tricking him and she really was a demon like Eria’s mother’s story about the old peddler who disguised herself from her true form.

“Fairies don’t have the power to be dark my boy, though some of us have attempted to, but they have been exiled to live in the Western Kingdom which is where most of the true darkness is found, no one dares go there anymore, some have even started calling it the Kingdom of Shadows, but you can call me Rye” She said and then began walking another path that Yume had not taken yet with either Eria nor Harriet, he was wondering if all these night exertions were really necessary.

The journey was ruff on Yume’s feet, he felt like they were about to fall off. The labyrinth of trees seemed to never end. The mountains were black shadows upon the skies. A river trickled nearby and a lone wolf howls solemnly into the night.

“How much further?” Asked Yume groaning as he tripped on a rock and almost fell to the forest floor, but thankfully a nearby tree had stopped him from doing so by stretching out its branches and catching him.

“Thank you,” He whispered to the tree smiling as he regained his balance and saw that the fairy was nowhere in sight.

“Rye?” He called out looking around as another howl broke the silence. In the distant dark, an owl hoots.

He looked around as he followed the sound of the sound of the river. Once he had come to a clearing in the trees, he paused. He was near the river now, but it wasn’t much of a river, but more of a stream tricking downward towards the sea. It most connect to the lake that Eria had seen the night before.

“They come here,” Said Rye’s voice.

“What are they?” Asked Yume.

“They are what you have already seen, but what you have already seen were mixed blooded creatures, however these unicorns are pure, more magical then the ones that you had seen,” Said Rye.

Suddenly two silhouettes appeared in the shadows, silver streaks began zooming past the trees towards the river. Yume’s eyes widened as then two massively large unicorns appeared prancing through the water splashing it everywhere. They had long silver manes and pure white fur. Their eyes were sky blue, and their horns were pure gold that spiraled towards the heavens.

“They’re so beautiful,” Muttered Yume breathless as he gazed upon the creatures.

The fairy then began to recite.




“White as winter snow,

A river of silver,

A spiral of gold,

Purist light,

A soothing song

Shall they sing,

Thus bringing forth

Summer and spring,

May they withhold magic

Forever and then on,

And may darkness forever be gone,”

Yume stared at the unicorns that galloped around the stream whinnying and snorting as they rubbed against each other, they must be a couple for Yume noticed that one unicorn had a more bronze horn then the other unicorn which had a pure gold horn.

“Very good at spotting that, most never really take notice of that, yes the bronze horn is the male, and the golden horn is the female,” She said smiling softly.

“They are lovely,” Said Yume as if he was lost in a dream.

“There is a way to keep them from harm,” Said Rye looking over Yume.

“What do you mean?” He inquired.

“A terrible darkness is brewing in the Western Kingdom, that you already know, you think that awakening these Guardians might help, it MIGHT help, that is the point, they say that it might help, nothing definite, however I do now a sure way that the darkness can be stopped,’ She said narrowing her eyes looking down at the ground.

“What is it?” He asked.

“The way to truly bring forth the light, is to find the dark relics of Azdorthus,” She said shuddering as she said the name.

“What?”

“Azdorhus is the wickedest demon known to this realm, he was determined to shroud the world in total blackness, when he thought of this dream, he had performed a dark rite that would use his own soul to create four artifacts, four dark artifacts that will consume one’s heart with such darkness he would never see the light of day again. The first artifact is the Dragons scale of one of the most feared dragons in the kingdom, then there is the Mooncrystal of an evil witch named Hysness whom was believed to have killed her whole family on the night she was born with just a single spell, and then the last artifact is the sphere of shadows, one of the most darkest artifacts ever known,” She said taking a breath.

The stallion looked at his mare; his beautiful blue eyes gazed upon hers. He then lowers his head downward and places his horn into the water, the water soon changes to a crystal mirror of clean and pure water. His mate lowers her head and begins to lap at the water peacefully.

“As long as they roam the earth, pureness and tranquility shall forever keep the darkness at bay, bring peace my lord, bring peace,” She said and then vanished without a trace.

Yume was left alone in the forest, still watching the unicorns drinking in the stream. He looked around. Yume rested himself upon the forest floor, and kept his eyes on the unicorns, mesmerized by their ethereal beauty.

His eyes closed, and he fell into a silent sleep,.
***

The morning had awoken him. The morning light filtered through the canopy of leaves. He heard whispers and slurred speech. He groaned and slowly rose his head up from the moss pillow in which had been placed under his head.

“W..what?” He asked looking around. He gazed around as he saw different tree spirits looking at him. Whispering to themselves examining him as if he were an insect being inspected for poison.

He got up and swept off the leaves and grass that was on his tunic and looked around and yawned. Suddenly he heard a tree snapping in the distance making his head turn. He smelt sulfur, a foul smell of sulfur. He reached inside his pocket and pulled out the small cloth that withheld the guardians item. He slowly unfolded it and inside rested the small stone pendent that shimmered brightly in the sunshine, just then the stone’s color changed from a blue to a sudden deep purple, then a dark green color. It kept transitioning from to color like a kaleidoscope.

“Who do you belong to,” He whispered to himself as he looked at the stone, his heart racing with pride.

“YUME!” Shouted Kage’s voice as he truged through the woods.

“We are leaving whether with you, or without you!” He called out his voice echoing in the woods.

Yume rose up off the ground and gasped. He slapped himself up against the head and then placed the stone inside his pocket and darted off into the woods towards Kage’s voice.

As he ran towards Kage, Kage looked at him in a defiant way. He was going to speak, but his words were chocked and locked in his throat. Suddenly the sound of thunder breaks the silence, and large storm clouds began to submerge from the morning sky. The forest had fallen silent and lightning flashed through the sky. Rain suddenly flooded the forest floor as if a hole had been ripped through the sky. Yume looked around as then suddenly a large hole swelled up within the sky and a large scaly paw suddenly submerges from the darkness of the hole.

“What the hell is that?” He called out gasping as then another large hand came out of the hole as then both of them came crashing down onto the soil. They were large and scaly and were a light blue. Just then a large dragon like head peers out of the hole and lowers its head to look directly at Kage and Yume, opens its mouth revealing row upon row of jagged teeth and drool as it let out a roar which consisted of thunder.

“It’s a Ryozaf, a Rain Dragon!” The dragon lets out another louder roar, making Yume cover his ears as then the dragon’s long snake like body slithers out from the hole in the clouds and collapses upon the ground and its long tail which took the shape of a lightning bolt slammed onto the ground also causing a thunderous effect.

“Why is it that you always attract the deadliest demons?” Asked Kage as they were zooming past the trees the beast trailing them at very fast rate.

“It’s not me,” Growled Yume as they approached the cottage.

“MONSTER, GET ON THE HORSES AND LETS MOVE!!!” Shouted Kage as he jumped over the rails of the coral and jumped on his horse and gripped her saddle as she whinnied with fright.

Yume ran over to the black stallion and grabbed ahold of the reins and jumped on as well, thankfully he had some horse riding skills when he was in Middle School. He looked and saw Howl and Eria already perched on their horses.

“We’ll lead the beast away from your home and the village, we need to figure out a way to lose him so we don’t get him to the city, that is our destination!” Shouted Howl as he waved his hand in the air as then an invisible force filed surrounded Harriet’s home. The four horses then darted off into the depths of the forest towards the towering mountains, the rain falling down in sheets.

Yume’s eyes closed tightly as he gripped the reins as his horse galloped through the trees. He felt its strength flow through him, as if they were somehow connected to each other, he knew that this horse wasn’t like the unicorns, though a relative. He kept his eyes tightened as he shivered softly for the rain pelted through his tunic.

He wondered how long it would be before they lost the monster, for it kept drawing closer and closer, but thankfully to Howl and Kage who obtained magic fought back, Yume was to weak to use his own and he couldn’t reach for his own wand to help. All he had to do was just clutch the reins and steer his new horse.

CHAPTER TWELVE
THE FORSAKEN

The beast followed in hot pursuit, the horses galloped through the wet and soggy forest.

“The rain has to clear before we enter the city, the dragon is relying upon the storm that is still lingering!” Shouted Kage as he waved his hand in the air and a wave of dryness shoot right out of his hands towards the beast which made it roar in pain for dryness was its natural enemy.

“Keep going, circle the city walls if you most!” He shouted.

Yume sighed, he had enough of this. An energy overcame him as he grabbed for his wand and closed his eyes, he rose it into the air and took a deep breath as then a beam of yellow light began to swirl around his wand, the symbols began to glow brightly and then a bright beam of light shot up toward the sky, the light then weaved through the clouds as they all began to vanish and the mist along with it.

Yume closed his eyes, his heart pounded rapidly against his chest as his pulse was racing. Sweat rolled off his forehead as if it were a hundred degrees.
“Yume!” Called Eria as Yume grew very limp and fell off his horse hitting the side of his head against a rock, and he passed out into darkness and fell into a strange vivid dream.
***

His eyes opened into darkness, that was all he was seeing. He thought he was back at the station near Platform 13, but it wasn’t, it did not feel right. He took deep and even breaths as he felt a pesents of another being.

“Six objects you will find, the world’s fate shall not be defined,” Said the voice.

Yume looked around.

“Who’s there?”

No response.

“One set brings light, the other brings fright, heal the land that is terribly cursed, or soon the order of the universe shall be reversed,” The voice echoed.

He looked around trying to figure out who or what was speaking to him. Suddenly snow began to fall within the darkness. He looked up and saw no clouds, not even a sky. He risen his hand into the air and caught a flake and then examined it, he took deep and even breaths as he looked at the flake. Suddenly more snow began to fall.

“Where am I?” He asked.

“You’re in a place that can’t be seen, yet lies in between,” Answered the voice.

“Who are you?”

“I’m only a voice that you can hear, but I hope I do not bring fear, I’m just a guide who shows you the path to what is right, better get a grip, and prepare to hold on tight,” Said the voice.

“What am I doing here?” he asked.

“To learn something you do not understand, but are willing to know,” Just then a strange sort of mist began to appear from within the darkness. Then a magnificent white wolf came into view. It’s fur was pure white, whiter than white if that were possible. The snow did no justice to the wolf’s fur.

“One item has been found, two more remain to make darkness confound, the next you seek is a key that opens no door, but opens something inside, and will help push their fears aside, the last is but a ring, only then light can flourish, to extinguish the dark forever,”

“So the items are the stone, a key, and a ring, can you possibly give me a clue as to where to search for the key?” He asked.

“It lies within one whom does not know he obtains it, he is oblivious that he is who he is, and his fate will surely change before his eyes once, the key unlocks the lies,” She said.

“So, one guardian already obtains the item, but doesn’t know how to use it,” He said.

“Only pure magic can awaken the item, only then can the item awaken the guardians themselves, but be warned, find the dark relics as well, for they are a threat if they shall fall into the wrong hands,” With that the wolf got up and slowly vanished into the snow. Yume looked around and a blinding light began to arise from the sky as he looked around in a haze. He moaned feeling a throbbing pain in his head.

“About time lad, we thought you were lost in the Ghost realm forever,” Said Kage as he laughed softly.

Yume rose his head and looked around. He was in a strange hospital, spirits wondered the room that he was in. He saw strange flowers decorating the rims of the ceiling that was made of shimmering crystal.

“Where am I?” Yume asked rubbing his head.

“In the City of Crystal son,” Replied Howl with a smile.

“The meeting, has it started yet?” Asked Yume looking around for some kind of clock. He then spotted one, it was odd looking. It took the face of an owl, it had two eyes that were the clock faces, and each obtained the same amount of hands. He noticed that it was only 5:00 PM.

“How long have I been out?” He asked.

“Several hours, your aura drained when you cast that spell,” Said Kage sitting on the side of the bed.

“I met my spirit guide, she said that one of the council members is one of the guardians,” He said.

“Well that is highly unlikely,” Came a rather familiar voice.

Yume raised his head and gasped. Leaning upon the door frame was Karasu. He was glad to see that he was okay, but then anger boiled inside of him, where the heck had he been when he went through all of this insanity.

“So you decide to show up at the last minute before I’ve totally lost my mind?” Asked Yume face turning red a bit.

“I’m sorry about that, I was confided to a sealing spell, took me a while to break out of it thanks to that little Witch, I’m afraid we’ve not seen the last of the Queen’s henchmen,” Said Karasu laughing.

“Where is Eria?” Asked Yume noticing that she wasn’t around.

“Oh she’s gone out to fetch some herbs to make some tea for you, she’ll be back soon though,” Kage said reassuringly and winked at Yume.


“What were you talking about again your dream,” Said Kage looking series now.

“I saw my spirit guardian, she was a white wolf, she said that we have to find the three relics that will awaken the guardians, then she warned me of these dark relics, that they could bring forth the end of light,” He said looking off.

“The relics of light, the relics of dark, keep them apart,” Said Kage sighing.

“What are these dark relics?” Asked Yume.

“The dark relics are said to have the most evil and hatred inside of them, they were created by the darkest wizard ever known in our world, he was destroyed of course but some say that he had created these objects and poured all of his hatred and darkness inside of them, one is the scale, the other is the Moonstone, and the last is the sphere of darkness, if the Witch were to ever get ahold of these we all can say goodbye to the sun forever,” He said.

“But the fairy said that we most find them and keep them from her,” Said Yume desperately, a strange sensation was going through his mind at the moment, he couldn’t think straight for a moment, it was like his mind was being clouded by an unknown force that he could not tamper with.

“What do you mean?” Kage asked.

“They are better off where they are now boy, if we find them that will give a more likely chance that the Witch will try and steal them from us if we were to obtain them,” Said Howl.

“No, we must find them, as well as the relics of light, and I believe who obtains the first one,” He looked towards Karasu and nodded.

Karasu glared at him, first in disbelief, then in shock. He slowly approached the bedside and looked at Yume.

“What are you saying Yume, I’m a guardian?” He asked.

“Yes,” Said Yume slowly taking out the stone that was in his pocket. He then notices that the stone is shining rather brightly, brighter than he had ever seen it shine.

Suddenly Karasu felt a strange sensation over whelm him. He sees a painful memory, his parents having their necks being slit, their blood being spilt upon the ground, then his mind being clouded by an evil crone. His body began to tremble as he reached out for the stone. He slowly placed his index finger upon its surface and a blinding flash of light flooded the room.

“What was that?” Kage asked as the light dimmed away.

“The Awakening,” Muttered Howl in pure amazement as he looked over at Karasu making sure that he was still him.

“I feel, different,” Stuttered Karasu as he wrapped the stone around his neck, like meeting an old friend again.

“Karasu, what do you recall, anything?” Yume asked.

“I remember, my parents being killed, having their throats be slit, their blood being spilt upon the floor, and then a second artifact, the one like this, vanishing without a trace, and the stranger that obtained the artifact, he is a man with black hair, I don’t know his name, but he is far off,” He said.

“Was the artifact a Crystal? where is it?” Yume asked.

“The Mooncrystal is deep within the mountains, inside of them where crystal is said to grow,” He muttered.

“The Crystal mines,” Said Kage at once sighing.

“Great, so now we get to face a dragon,” Muttered Kage.

“If we find the light relics, we might have a standing chance.

Suddenly Eria rushes in panting.

“Did you read this article!” She shouted shoving a paper in front of Kage.

Kage’s eyes nearly bulged out as he read the labyrinth of printed ink upon the parchment.

“Wholly…” He began but suddenly he lost his words.

“What’s wrong?” Yume asked looking at Kage. He then reveals what was on the page.

The article was talking about the signs of a dark army rising in the Western Kingdom, dark monsters from the shadows are submerging and gearing up for what may be the battle of a century, they are declaring that the prince comes to reunite with his mother, or she will summon the depths of shadow to swallow not only this realm, but his own.

“She does not have that kind of power, does she?” Eria asked looking at Yume with concern.

“If portals can open between worlds, I’m sure she’ll do anything to take rule over that world as well,” Said Karasu sighing.

“There is no stopping her, we do need to find the relics, fast,” Said Howl sighing.

“We leave now,” Said Kage.

“So we have to return back to the Northern Kingdom, and go into the mines to find the Moonstone, and then find the other two relics, as well as find the light relics, man we are given quite a burden, I wonder if there is a check involved,” Said Karasu.

Everyone glared at him, as if saying don’t even think about it.

“Just kidding guys, I know that we have to save the world for no one else would,” He laughed softly.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
WINGS

“From hence forth, we shall be known as, the Awakeners,” Said Howl as he looked at the circle of friends. Kage, Yume, Eria, and Karasu, then himself.

“Each of us shall swear to do the best of our abilities to complete this task, find the relics of light, and the relics of darkness,” He said taking out a knife and slowly pricking his finger with it’s tip, a bead of blood spews out as he tossed it into a burning fire that they had created in the outskirts of the palace. The flame grew brighter as his blood entered it.

Karasu then was handed the knife.

“I solemnly swear to complete this mission, if death shall overcome me, I will welcome it with honor, and ask that my name be remembered within the new realm” He said and then tossed his blood into the fire which grew brighter.

The knife passed around as everyone made their vows. The fire burnt brightly as everyone’s blood was now inside.

“The binding oath conjuration has now been complete, we are now Awakeners of the Guardians, and we shall extinguish the darkness forever,” Said howl bowing slightly to the fire, everyone followed his example.

The next few hours ran by slowly. Yume was in a sleeping sack trying to get to sleep. His eyes were lost within the labyrinth of stars that littered the night sky. He was an Awakener now, he had two jobs, find the light relics, find the dark relics, that should not be hard, can it? He knew that the first relic he was going to have to face the dragon, which made him chuckle slightly. What have you gotten yourself into boy. He’d sometimes wonder to himself. He began to miss Grandmother at this time, her stories, her smiles. He wished that she was here to help him through this.


***

“Okay Yume, this is the moment, once you enter the chambers of the meeting, be strong, remember they will bring forth a challenge, then will ask for your return with proof of that challenge, my guess is they have knowledge of that dragon, and that they shall use it as your test and that you’ll bring back the proof, if that is so we are in good hands for the council is good at concealing information of the Queen they are sacred mages after all,” Said Karasu smiling.

Yume looked at himself in the mirror. He was now wearing long green and black robes that ran past his feet.

“Is this necessary?” he asked looking at himself.

“Proper dress code I’m afraid,” Said Karasu firmly.

“How does it feel to be a guardian,” Yume asked as he stood there in front of a large mirror.

“Different, it feels like, as if the other me has just disappeared,” He said looking out the window of the Kaleidoscope tower. The city of Crystal and glass was even more beautiful than the village.

“Okay, remember what you are going to say?” Karasu asked looking at the clock as it chimed the afternoon away.

“My Lords, terror is arising in our land, I have a way that will destroy the darkness forever, a way to reawaken our lost guardians, but I need your assistance, I need your full alliance, yes I may be the prince of this realm, proof you ask? Ask the evil Queen,” Rehearsed Yume.

“Perfect, now knock their socks off,” He laughed and pushed Yume through the hall that would lead him to the top of the tower. He looked at the finely made interior. A large spiral staircase lead upwards towards the heavens. The staircase was made of entirely of diamond and crystal, the light from the sun that filtered out the window casted rainbows upon the floor of the tower. Yume slowly made his decadence upward towards the tower.

He then was being escorted by one of the guards that were wondering the tower.

“Be straight forward boy, the meeting is very intense at this moment, they have just realized that an army is being built by the evil witch,” He said.

Yume nodded slightly as he took a breath, he looked out a nearby window and gasped seeing a police officer riding a horse. Dang it, he forgot about him still being a fugitive. The posters still had to be hanging up on the walls.




“Great,” He muttered to himself as then he saw two very large glass doors that towered over him. He gazed up at it in amazement and took a deep breath as it slowly opened and then a large room came into view. He walked inside and the doors closed behind him. He walked into a large room, he saw the seven chairs of the sages, each were about five or more feet above the ground towering over him like large pillars. They shimmered a brilliant color for each mage, one was green, another was blue, the other was silver, the other was white, and another was gray, turquoise and at last gold.

“NOW WE MOST FIGHT BACK!” Shouted one of the seven sages as he looked at his fellow sages.

“There is no need for yelling Margon,” Said The third sage.

“We are on the brink of war, and we’re missing the prince, of course there is time to yell!” Shouted Margon.

“My friends, I do believe we have company,” Said another Sage.

Yume gulped and stepped forward, he knew that they were talking about him.

“And who are you good sir,” Said one of the Sages.

“My Lords, I am Yume Ame,” He said bowing slightly.

The Sages all gasped and started talking amongst themselves. Yume noticed that each sage was different. One was a tall man like himself with large elk antlers and earth green robes, his hair was sandy blonde and his eyes were a storm gray, then the second one was some sort of tree elf he had tree leaves and branches in his brown hair, and he had silver eyes, the third a black shadow whom had no description, the fourth one was an oversized barn owl. The fifth lord was a beautiful woman with long black hair that flowed like a black river, however her hair was past her shoulders and landed on the ground in a heap, it reminded him of Rapunzel in a strange sort of way. The sixth sage was an elderly man with no eyes at all, and had no hair. He held a cane that was as big as a staff, perched on top of it was a dragon with open wings and a crystal between it.

“You can’t possibly be him,” Said the fifth Sage.

“Let us see your wand,” Said the Sixth.

Yume took a deep breath and then grabbed ahold of his wand and then presented it to the council as then another wave of talk spread amongst them.

“We most introduce ourselves my sages, we are very rude,” Said the first sage that had the elk antlers.

“I myself an named Amari,”

“My name is Xyrophan,”

“Gytheses,” Said the third.

“Dynora,” Said the Fourth.

“Zytrotheses,” Said the fifth.

“Hyjora,” Said the sixth with a smile.

“And my name is Stryxamar,” Said the seventh.

Yume bowed once again and stood there holding out his wand.

“Why do you come to us,” Spoke Zytrotheses.

“I come to you today my Lords, to bring forth an idea that can save us from this greater evil that is lurking at our doors,” He said.

“Speak,” Said Stryxamar.

“There are three objects within this realm, one has been found while two remain hidden, these artifacts are believed to have the power to reawaken your lost guardians, whom I hear has the power to awaken the Gods and will end this war once and for all, but I most have your full alliance, and support in helping me find these objects,” Yume said.

“The items of light have been lost for centuries now, there is no proof that they have ever existed,” Said Stryxamar.

“I have indeed found one item already, and a Guardian has awoken,” Just then Karasu approaches the room standing in front of the council whom all sat upon high chairs that towered a few feet above the ground. He examined the colors of each of the pillars that shimmered brightly. They most represent something, a province if he was correct. For he remembered that the map he had seen of the realm there were provinces upon the map, two for each island.


Karasu looked up at the seven lords and then closed his eyes. Glowing amber light suddenly began to circle around him, his necklace glowed brightly as he rose his arms. Shimmering balls of light began circling around his arms as then more light submerged from underneath the ground over his feet. Yume could hear the audience gasp in amazement as this was happening. Just then a slight humming sound was vibrating off the walls.

“It is true,” Said Amari in pure amazement and astonishment.

“He my lords, is one of the three guardians,” Said Yume.

“And we believe you sir Yume, however we discourage your alliance, not until you prove yourself worthy of it, go into the crystal mines of this kingdom and bring back a single horn from the dragon that lurks within the cave, that is your test,” Said Stryxamar.

Yume nodded slowly. He also knew what was in that cave, he knew that he will find Mooncrystal that will belong to a darker force, and should he tell them about that as well? Or should he keep that a secret?
“My lords, please tell me the origin of these artifacts,” Yume said.
“Well I thought you might already know of them since you’ve brought them up young boy,’ Said Stryxamar.
“I did bring them up yes, but how were they created?”
“They were created by two Gods, and one Goddess of this realm. The two Gods were the high rulers who shaped the land, and the Goddess brought forth life onto it, when the Gods and Goddess created the realm, each took apart of their own soul and made it into an artifact that would be guarded by one being from the world in which they had created, and when things seem most dark, should they only use their magic to reawaken them to bring forth the end to it all,” Said Karasu smiling.
The seven mages nodded in agreement and said no more, and they would not speak again for a guard had come into view holding a wanted poster in front of them. Karasu growled and grabbed hold of his staff and shot a beam of light at him stunning the guard.

“Come on!” Shouted Karasu grabbing hold of Yume and then ran towards the window as then more beams of light began zipping towards them as more guards filled in the room. Yume gasped as they neared the window.
“Are you crazy, we’ll never make this jump!” Shouted Yume.

“Let’s see,” Said Karasu grabbing hold of Yume as he then leaped right off the window. Suddenly Karasu’s hole body surrounded itself in a strange gleaming light that made Yume close his eyes. Just then Karasu was no longer Karasu, but an oversized raven whom sored through the sky, where his hands were was a pair of talons that gripped tightly around his arms.
“AHHH!” Screamed Yume as they swooped over large buildings. More knights had arrived below them and were firing arrows into the air, Yume was capable of blocking them using a shield spell with his wand.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN
THE ARMORY

Karasu sored over the walls of the large city and then lowered himself downward and opened his claws dropping Yume to the ground.

Yume thankfully landed on his feet and looked around. He saw Eria, Howl, and Kage both on their horses holding his own horse and Karasu’s by the reins.

“Guards are piling everywhere since you’ve been spotted, we need to head to the station and aboard the train to get back to the Northern Kingdom,” said Kage.

Within the shadows, the monk stared at the companions, his snake slithered across his neck and then onto a tree wrapping herself around one of its branches.

“Mistress won’t be very happy about this, not very happy at all Bix,” He said.
***

“Mistress, a guardian has been awoken,” Stuttered the Monk as he approached her bed bowing.

“A guardian, awoken,” Muttered the mistress whom spat in disgust.

“HOW DARE YOU SPEAK SUCH FOWL WORDS IN MY PRESENCE?” She waved her hand and then a large shadowed wall flew out of nowhere and swooped right over him like a towering wall of mist. Choking and blinding the Monk. He whined and his legs buckled falling to the floor rubbing his eyes.

“I’m so sorry my lady, I did not know what to do, every time I send out a demon, they always manage to get away from it!”

“Try harder then,” Said the mistress.

“The spell is it ready for casting my lady, that shall be the only thing that can stop them,” He said.

“The spell needs one more thing before it can take effect, and I’m almost done with that one single thing, thanks to you brought that peace of hair from that pretty girl,” She said grinning as she weaved the piece of Eria’s hair into her own.

“My lady, the sun shall not dare arise when the spell is cast, then your army shall come forth, and do your bidding,” He said with a smile on his face.

“Yes indeed,” She said laughing softly. She then rose up out of her bed and walked towards one of her many mirrors and looked at herself. However the figure of the woman that she posssed did not show, but of an elderly hag with rotting teeth and a shrivled body.

“My lady looks beautiful today,” The monk muttered.

“Stop trying to suck up Monk, you are very loyal to me but I’m still sending the girl to retrieve that relic that they found, I can’t have that guardian remembering the others for if he does then it will make things easy for them, I can’t make it easy for them,” She said as she then walked towards an old book stand that obtained a withered book that had nimble pages of spells written on it.

“Ah, this will distract their attention,” She then placed a finger upon the page and began to mummer the spell that was written in another language, a dark language that no one of the realm of light dared to speak.

“Casting shadows, hunt them down, casting shadows bring them to me, be warned though, have the artifacts of darkness just for me,” She whispered as then black streams of smoke began to submerge from the page and then they circled around her and then landed onto the ground and large black dogs with red piercing eyes began to take form. Slobber ran down their muzzles and their fur was black as midnight. Large horns displayed on top of their heads and their tails were jagged.

“Now my canines, hunt,” She whispered with a smile.

“My lady, what if they are destroyed too?” Asked the Monk.

“Then I’ll cast my darkest of creatures to destroy them once and for all,” She said.

“I’ll station every single guard on every island my mistress,” The Monk said.

“They seem to do no good Monk, they evaded them once,” She said.

The large dogs descended out of the castle and into the trees of the forest, suddenly as the mist began to arrive, their bodies suddenly vanish along with it. The mistress closed her spell book and then took a glass of black cherry wine and sipped it.

“Things seem to be unraveling themselves, but once my spell has been cast, and the shadows once again arise, I just need those three relics in order to complete the spell,” She said.

“The fairy has told him about the artifacts, and I do believe humbly that he is being led to the first, the Mooncrystal, if he doesn’t get killed by the dragon, he’ll have one at hand already my mistress,” He said.

“That pleases me, one out of two, he still has no clue of where the others are, nor the other relics of light,’ She said.

“Be patient my lady, things will come your way I promise,” He said bowing slightly.

“Keep to your duty Monk,” Hissed the mistress.
***

Night had fallen, and a burning camp fire roared to life as Karasu sat down lying his magic staff upon the ground.

“We need to head towards the mountains,” Said Howl
Yume hated this, talking about the mission that was given to him. He had no idea on how to fight a dragon, he did not even have fighting skills.

“Your afraid of fighting the dragon aren’t you,” said Eria looking at Yume with a sad look.

“Yeah,” He muttered looking down.

“I can’t even through a punch, sure I can wave this stick around and cast a few spells without words or anything but that probably won’t help with a colossal dragon,” He said.

“You’ll need armor, if I’m correct the hidden armory is not far from here, Eria will you take him to it?” He asked.


“Of course, come along Yume,” She said smiling softly as she rose to her feet and began walking into the dark woods.

“So, you afraid of encountering the dragon?” Repeated Eria looking at him.

Yume nodded. He did not really feel like talking about it, he was feeling very home sick, and wanted to just wake up again from this place.

“Don’t worry, fighting a dragon is just like fighting a bull on steroids,” She said laughing unconvincingly.

“So why are you not like the other spirits that are around here?” Yume asked looking at Eria.

“Well, to tell you the truth, I was once human, I had a perfectly normal life in the human realm, in the state of New York I believe, I was a saleswoman, making loads of money, but I just for some reason did not feel happy, so I decided to run away, when I found Platform 13 I just sort of ya know got caught in my own imagination, that is when my mother found me, she took me in and cared for me, for some reason I felt more awake now then I had ever felt, I never knew my mother, until I met her. She said that a long time ago when I was a child I was accidently boarded on the train and was sent into the human realm, she felt terrible for letting it happen and had never forgiven herself for it, but hey, here I am now helping you out,” She smiles.

“Your mother has been through a lot,” Yume said.

“She has,” Said Eria.

They were silent throughout the journey. Suddenly the trees began to get less and less, a clearing suddenly came into view and the stars glistened brightly. Then a large oak tree stood right in front of the open space, nothing else. It towered over all the other trees, its branches reached out towards the sky as if it were trying to touch the heavens.

“Wow,” Muttered Yume looking at the large tree.

“It’s the old oak, holds some of the realm’s secrets,” She said.

“I’m afraid I can’t go any further,” She said.

Yume looked at her and gulped. He then began walking towards the large tree seeing that a path had been made for travelers to follow. He closed his eyes and began walking towards the large tree as if feeling a strange magical vibration through the ground. What felt like hours was only minutes, and he was already a few inches away from the tree. His hand tingled and his blood was hot. He reopened them and there he was standing in front of the large oak.

“Wow,” He said once again as he looked at it.

“What do I do!” He called out to Eria seeing that he had walked some distance away from her.
“Use your wand, tap the base of the tree three times in different areas and it should open!” Eria shouted her reply.

Yume took a deep breath and took out his wand. He noticed that it was glowing again like it normally did when he casted his magic. He slowly placed the tip of the wand onto the bark of the tree and tapped one spot, another spot, and another. He then backed up for the tree gave out a loud groan and a gust of wind suddenly blew across the open meadow making the blades of grass bow before it.

A loud cracking sound was heard as then the tree’s trunk began to split. He gulped for the tree swayed back and forward within the wind as the crack grew wider as if it were opening a strange type of doorway. Then at the base of the tree a large hollow appeared. Yume sighed; he saw darkness in front of him that lead deep underground.

He closed his eyes and reopened them making sure that this was not a dream. Then he slowly began making his decadence downward inside the tree where supposedly the armory was located.

The darkness faded as bright torch light suddenly came to life as a dark passage way was revealed. He grabbed the torch that was hung on the wall of the cave and then began walking further. It was silent, not a word or a sound could be heard. It was as if all life ceased within the darkness.

“Hello!” He called out, but the only thing that replied was his echoe. Suddenly he heard a loud crashing sound, s if metal had fallen off something. He jumped and nearly fell over a root as he regained his balance and looked around. He kept his cool and went on walking. Suddenly he noticed that it was getting lighter. He covered his eyes for a bright light flooded his view.

“What are you doing here?” Asked a familiar voice.

“I’m looking for the armory,” Said Yume.

“Ah, okay,’ Said Rye laughing as she turned back into her human form.

Yume uncovered his eyes and saw the fairy that he had seen in the woods back at Eria’s home.

“Hey there,” She said smiling.

“Did you get a chance to find that relic yet?” She asked.

“No not yet, I’m getting there though, this is step one of three,” He said.

“Oh good, I’ve been down here tons of times to borrow spells from ancient texts, it’s like a museum here,” She said.

CHAPTER FIFTHTEEN
UNEARTHED

Both Rye and Yume traveled into the darkness, suddenly a large room that was covered in shadow came into view.

“Give me your torch,” Said Rye. Yume obliged and handed her the torch as she then placed the flames of the torch as then one torch ignited along with thousands of others, the torches all ignited in a strange circle and their flames illuminated a large room cluttered with misbalance artifacts that were just piled around.

“This is called the Cluttered Hollow,” Said Rye smiling as she looked at a few golden goblets that rested on an old wooden table that was hand crafted picking one of them up and examining it.

“Some people come down here when they are in need of some money,” She said.

“Okay,’ Said Yume baffled at what he was seeing. There were thousands of things lying around, it looked worse than his room did back in America. He walked around trying to find some useful things to fend off a dragon. Soon he noticed that a shield was resting upon a wall. He pushed through all the items and reached for it. When he gripped it he pulled hard and it came to him with ease. The shield was rather light then Yume had expected. He looked at it, it was pure silver and reflected his own image and the background.

“Here is a sword too,” said Ryle as she picked up a finely made blade and tossed it to Yume.

Yume grabbed it with cat like reflexes and looked at the sword. It was made of black ebony and strange writing was displayed upon the blade. Near the hilt a large amethyst crystal was perched.

“Wow,” He said waving the sword in the air, He regretted this action for then the words began to glow and a beam of light shot out of the tip of the blade zipping towards the wall like a bolt of lightning, it slammed against the surface of a mirror and rebounded onto another. Rye dodged the bolt as fast as she could rising her hand and then it shot right back at her but instead of harming her, it vanished without a trace.

“Wow, thanks,” Yume panted slightly as he placed the sword back upon the ground.

“Is there a scabbard anywhere?” He asked.

“Yup, right here,” She said and handed it to him. Yume then carefully lifted the sword and sheathed it back into the scabbard.

Suddenly a strange presents could be felt within the room. A powerful wind suddenly brushed through the cave making the torches flicker out.

“Trespassers,” hissed a frightening voice.

“Stay calm, it’s the Riddler, she lurks in these caves and when someone enters they can’t go unless they answer her riddles,” Said Rye

Just then a large canine like shadow appeared, it had a long swishing tail, and two red eyes that glowed like two burning coals from the furnace.
“Well to me it seemed like you were trying to, but now that I’m here I propose a riddle for you three riddles in fact, if you answer two out of three, you shall be free, fail to do so and then you shall pay my deadly fee,” She said
“Tell away my lady,” Spoke Yume calm as ever.
“What is light as a feather, yet heavy enough not for man to hold?” She asked smiling softly as she sat down on her haunches and beamed at him wagging her tail.
Rye’s eyes bulged and a slight giggle came from her mouth. She floated towards his ear and whispered something that the creature could not hear.
Just then Yume took a deep inhale of air and let it out as a slight breath.
“Is that your answer?” Asked the Riddler.
“Yes,” He Confided.
“Yes, breath is the answer,” She hissed through her teeth.
“Alright, riddle number two, if you lose my word will be true,” She said grinning.
“What is silver yet sometimes gray, hunts by night, sleeps by day, can turn its head around, so it can see the moon upside down?”
For a moment, Yume was lost within the riddle. He looked at Rye for an answer, but she was clueless. He sighed and thought hard. “Sometimes silver, yet sometimes gray, hunts by night, sleeps by day,” He repeated the question as he rubbed his chin.

A smirk of satisfaction displayed over the Riddler’s face.

“You may ask for a hint,” Said the Riddler.

“Please?” Asked Yume.

“I may hunt mice, I may hunt snake, when death appears your soul is mine to take,” She said.

Yume sighed, for some reason he swore that he had heard this riddle once before in class. It was his English class for about every weak the teacher would come up with a strange riddle to solve. He snapped his finger as he thought he might have had the answer.

“An owl,” he said smiling softly.

The Riddler growled deep in her throat her tail lashing and her claws extending. She knew that she had lost, for he had answered two out of three, it wouldn’t matter if he got the last one wrong or not.

“They come to witness the night without being called, a sailor's guide and a poet's tears. They are lost to sight each day without the hand of a thief,” She said.


“Yume,” Whispered Rye.




“Yeah?” He asked softly looking at the fairy.



“What is it that you see every night when the sun falls silent?” She asked.



“How about stars?” He said to the Riddler who had by now dug deep claw marks into the ground.


“You have won, now you may ask me one question and I’ll answer it as best as I can,” Said the Riddler.



“What and where is the second Relic of light?” He asked straight froward.




“It is in a place that cannot be seen when you want to see it, but will be seen when you don’t want to see it the item is also something that unlocks a door, yet no door can ever be unlocked with this,’ Said the Riddler whom sniffed the air.



“No one gets these right, no one dares deny my power, you have had help did not you, fairy I now smell, how foolish of me to fall for your spell,” She growled and then lunged at Yume baring large giant fangs.



Yume yelped and leaped out of the way just in time as the Riddler fell to the ground and crashing into a pile of junk.

“RUN!” Rye said as she darted off towards the exit of the cave.
Yume did not hesitate. He held on tight to his sword and then darted towards the exit along with Rye taking a deep breath closing his eyes hearing the Riddler gaining speed. Suddenly He burst out of the entrance of the tree and landed onto the ground the shield he carried clanged heavily to the ground as he panted looking around him.

“Phew, that was a close one,” Panted Yume looking around. Rye was no longer there. Odd, he swore that he had just seen her.
***

“My mistress, I have discovered something that might keen your interest,” Spoke the Monk as he looked from behind an old dusty volume of spells and enchantments.

“Enlighten me Monk,’ Said the Mistress in a dark tone. This night she wore a blood red satin dress that had black ribbons tied around it. Her hair was pulled back in a long pony tail, and she wore black eyeliner.

“It says here, that you at least need one horn of a unicorn to complete the Shadow Spell,” He said.

“Really,” She said a grin upon her face.

“Yes my lady, and the person whom is casting the spell is to remove it herself in order to gain the fullness of its power,” He said.

“What else is there?” She asked.

“A warning as well is followed, once the removal of the unicorn’s horn, that person shall be plaque b terrible nightmares for the rest of their lives, a demon shall arise from the darkness to haunt them until their dying breath or till they replace the horn,” He said.

“Sounds interesting,” Said the mistress filling her goblet with a blood red wine.

“If I remember correctly, two unicorns are located in the Northern Kingdom, I believe,” She said.

“Yes my lady, shall I bring forth the carriage my lady?” Asked the Monk.

“Yes, and bring forth my five black stallions as well, we’ll just drop by, remove the horn and be on our way,” She said rising out of her chair and walking towards the exit.

“Yes my lady,’ She said.
***

After a long journey, the four travelers decided to retreat back to Eria’s cottage before making their decadence to the mountains where the mines would be located to figure out a way how to kill a dragon.

“I’m sure mother has a book or two on dragons and their fighting cababilities,” Said Eria as she rode her horse. She stroked it’s mane and then slowly placed a hand upon it’s shiny horn.

“Yeah, that is what they all say,” Yume replied sighing as he allowed a lock of golden mane wrap around his finger absentmindedly. This was a very strange adventure, he had found one relic, but he still had five more to go, and now the end seemed to be drawing nearer, and for some reason he felt that something much worse was to come.

They at last arrived back to the small cozy cottage of the Soothsayer.

“Oh your back, what happened?” Asked Harriet with concern.

“You’ve only been gone a day?”

“We ran into some more trouble again, the Queen has guards storming the place in look for Yume,” Said Kage sitting down sighing softly pulling hack his hair which then changed into a dull hazel color.

“I’m sorry dears, if I could change the law I cou…” Suddenly she paused a moment. She dropped her knitting project that she had done and removed a small pouch and emptied out its contents. On the table rested ten stones with strange symbols upon them. She quickly scooped them up in her hand and then tossed them back onto the table as they made a loud clattering sound.

“Oh no,” She muttered franticly looking out her window.

“What’s wrong ma’am?” Asked Kage.

“Something wicked this way comes,” She said staring out the window.

“Mother, what’s wrong?” She asked.

“Something terrible is coming,” She said looking off into the woods.

“Something bad is going to happen,”

“What?”

“The stone’s don’t know, but something is going to happen that is bad for our world,” She said.
***

A black carriage drawn by five black stallions tore through the ocean water, passing by the railroad without troubles, glided through the waves that clashed to the side. A dark storm cloud hovered over the carriage. The mistress pulls back one of the curtains that shileded her from the light and peeked out to see the island close by.

“Ah the Northern Kingdom,” She hissed in disgust.

“Where the most beautiful creatures live,” She shook her head.

The carriage then drove onto the beach and hurtled towards the forest at lightning speed, as it went on by, the nearby trees and plants began to wilt and shrivle in dispair as rain begna coming down in hard sheets.

“Where are they,” Hissed the Mistress as Rye was trapped in a small circluar cage in her sphere form.

“M..mistress please don’t do this,” She whined.

“I have to in order to complete my spell, I need the horn of a unicorn in order to cast this spell, then I can use the horn as my own personal wand,” She laughed.

“You promised that if I gave the boy the information about the relics, you’d let me go, he is drawing closer to the first one and he has found and awoken one guardian already,” She said.

“That is why I’m keeping you here, as bate,” She said smiling.

“All unicorns need bate, a pretty little princess,” She laughed in disgust.

Soon the cottage of the soothsayer appeared as the zoomed past it causing a strong gale of wind to gust over the ruff and causing a loud crash of thunder.

“What the?” Yume asked peering out the window. Suddenly the light had vanished, and a strange darkness began creeping over the trim of the window.

“Back away!” Shouted Harriet grabbing his arm and pulling him away from the window.

“What’s wrong?” He asked.

“It’s the Witch, she is here,” She said looking around suspiciously.

“Someone has told her about what lies in the woods,” She sighed.

“What do you mean?” He asked.

“The unicorns, they are in danger, if the Witch is to obtain one of their horns, she’ll be able to rise her army and destroy us!”

“Quick, head to the woods Eria with Yume, you guys most save them!” She shouted waving her hand as the back door swung open.

Both Yume and Era darted out towards the woods at full sprint. He panted slightly as he caught up with Eria whom was a very fast runner. He saw the trees past by him, he noticed something strange about them, they were dying. He slowed down to a halt and looked around.

“Eria wait,” He said looking around.

“What’s wrong?’ She asked looking at the trees.

Suddenly all of the leaves began to fall from the trees, however they did not change colors, in fact they were pure black, blacker then black in fact.

“What’s happening?” He asked.


“Everything is dying,” She muttered breathlessly as she looked around. She heard a strange sound filling the air.

“Come on we need to get to the stream!” She shouted grabbing his hands and pulled him through the labyrinth.

“So you knew about the unicorns?” He asked, he knew that Rye hadn’t told them about the unicorns.

“Yeah, we just did not want to tell you about them, they are not like our horses, they were bred with a normal horse which is what makes them differ from unicorns for they are pure bred,” She explained as they weaved through the trees and avoided obstacles.

By the time they had reached the stream, the air had gone deathly cold. He shivered slightly wondering what was going on.

“This happens when darkness walks among light,” Said Eria, her breath visible in a puff of mist.

Yume shivered softly, his teeth chattering as he looked around as then a tall woman stepped into the clearing.

“What the!” Suddenly Eria’s hand was placed over his mouth muffling out his words as she tugged him behind a bush harshly.

“Stay silent or we’re both dead,” She hissed.

“Here is where we’ll set the trap my pretties,” Said the Mistress as then her three black dogs that she had summoned came into view.

“The cottage nearby won’t interfere my mistress,” Said one of the dogs in a dark cold voice.

“Good, we’ll set up the circle here and wait for them to come,” She said.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN
DARKNESS, DARKNESS

“Darkness, darkness, be my shadows, hold me tightly in your never ending night until the dawn never arrives, withhold the power of twilight, as light flees from your empty stare, may the stars only shine, and the sun may it never rise again,” The mistress hummed the song in a dark tone.

Yume gasped as he saw Rye in the clearing by the river. His heart began to pound as he looked around. She was in a beautiful satin gown, she wore various necklaces with the most expensive diamonds. She looked his way, pain in her eyes.

“I’m sorry,’ She whispered softly.

Suddenly the a sound broke the silence, it was a low tune, but it began to grow. It was the song of the unicorns, they were getting closer. Did they realize that this was a trap? He wanted to do something, but Eria held him back.

“She isn’t your mother anymore, that is something else,” Hissed Eria.

“But she can’t take the horn of the unicorns, that will bring forth everlasting darkness,” He said.

“Yes, but remember, the Gods have the power to bring back the light, that is one thing that the mistress does not see, for she thinks that if she gains the power of our realm, she can conquer any realm,” She said.

“You mean she wants to take over mine as well?” He asked.

“Yes, I think that is her desire as well, for her daughter had vanished into the huma nrealm, well the demon’s child that is,” She said shivering.

“So that is why she hates both realms, isn’t it,” Yume said.

“Yes, because if you stay in the human realm for a long time, you become a human yourself, that is one law that we all know of the Seishin-Sekai realm,” She said sighing.

“Have you ever seen it happen? I mean a spirit turning into a human?” He asked.

“No, and I never do, some say its painful, while some say it’s a disgrace giving up our heritage for such a form,” She said.

Yume nodded slightly in agreement. If he was a full spirit he would never want to become a human, not in a million years. But he felt kind of saddened for he was part human as well, he had lived in the human realm as a Halfling.

“We can’t just sit here and let her kill the unicorn,” Said Yume.

“We can’t change the story Yume, whatever the prophets write, is what it shall be, that is one major law that we all must abide by,” She said.

Just then only one unicorn had come into view. Yume was shocked, wondering where the other unicorn possibly was.

Rye looked at the unicorn and heard its voice whisper in her mind.

“My mate is safe, I forgive what is about to happen, you were drug into this by force, do one thing, and one thing only, return light back to this world,” Said the enchanting voice.

“I’ll try,’ she said almost on the verge of tears. Her face sparkled in the sunlight that was being choked by clouds.

“Ah, there is the filthy disgusting creature!” She shouted grabbing out a knife grinning.

“You have something of mine,” She said walking towards it.

“Don’t touch it,” Hissed Rye as she stood in front of the unicorn.

“Ah, getting sentemtle are we?” The mistress asked grabbing the fairy’s neck grinning as she then took the blade and sliced her wrist. A bead of blue colored blood began to ooz out of the slit. Rye’s eyes teared up as she then was tossed into the river.

“Now unicorn,” She rose her blade into the air that still obtained fairy blood.

“I shall take your power, and use it to bring forth the everlasting night!” She then hurtles her knife towards the bottom of the horn.

SNAP


The horn had broken off and the unicorn whaled in pain. The sound was that of a high pithed music note that made the trees and air shudder. Yume nearly passed out at the sight of this. Tears began rolling off his eyes as he watched Rye lying there upon the ground, either dead or alive.
“Don’t move,” Eria hissed softly as she looked at him sternly.
“Do it for me,” She asked.
Yume sighed and sat there, he closed his eyes wanting it all to end. He looked off into the sky, it now was starting to get darker.

“We can’t do anything now, what’s done is done,” She said and then vanished into the woods.
Yume ran towards Rye as the woman had vanished into the woods. He looked towards the dead unicorn, hatred flaring in his eyes as he looked towards Rye.
“I…I’m sorry,” She whimpered as light was fading from her eyes.
“I…I was forced to,” She said.
“It’s okay, I forgive you, I’ll find all of the relics, and destroy them so that she can’t use them,” He said.
“There is only one way, that they can be destroyed,” She whimpered.
“What?” He asked.
“Only one way to destroy them,” She said.
“You need the fairies tears, and her blood, pour them onto the artifacts, and wait for the rising of the full moon, its silver light will be overpowering, and should destroy them,” She said. She then took one last breath, and all life had vanished from her. A tear drop submerged from her eye, he looked around wondering if there was some sort of vile, he found something on Rye’s belt and took it, he placed it upon her cheek as it fell into the vile. He sniffled softly holding back his own tears. He found another vile next to the one he found and was capable of getting a single drop of blood.

Yume bent down sobbing. Tears fell into his eyes. Even though he barely knew the fairy, it was as if he had known her his whole life. He knew that she meant to harm to the light, she was forced into what she did.
“I’ll destroy them in your honor,” He said with a chocked up voice.
***
The next day rain came down in sheets, thunder crashed about every minute. Yume examined his shield and took a deep breath. He had been practicing throughout the night with Kage a supposedly good master at handling a sword.
“Right, you’ll also want to use your wand in this, try aiming for the underbelly of the dragon where there are no scales, make sure that it doesn’t bite you for I believe that this dragon might have venom, I’m sure that the dragon will hold the object specially if it’s a gem of some kind.
“A Moonstone,” Said Yume sighing.
“Yes, then after you obtain that item wrap it in this, its buck skin of a deer, it will shield you from the evil that object contains,” He said.
“We’ll also need some winter gear, I’m sure that it’s snowing up in the mountains, and we need to be careful of wolves, they like to prowl upon those hills as well as snow demons,” He said.
“Are you sure you want to go Eria, you should stay here and look after your mother,” Yume said looking at Harriet whom had continued his knitting.
“I’m sorry for the loss of your friend,” said Howl as he looked at Yume seeing a saddened expression.
“Death will be a common factor with the Mistress, but we must face it if we want to cleanse the realm,” He said.
“Let’s just go, and get this over with,” Yume muttered.
Eria looked at Yume with concern as he got up and headed towards the corral.
Yume was furious, even though he kept it bundled up inside. He placed on the saddle on his horse and sighed softly looking at him. His eyes blinked softly as he whinnied.
Yume sighed and looked at him.
“I wish you could speak to me, you’d understand me won’t you Shant,” He smiled and stroked the horses mane.
The horse shook it’s head snorting softly and pawed at the ground with his hoof.
“Come on, let’s show them that we can take care of ourselves,” Said Yume jumping up grabbing hold of the horse’s reins and kicked his sides. The horse then took off, it prepared for a mighty leap over the gates, it launched and flew into the air and went right over the fence and then vanished into the night.
“YUME!” Shouted Eria’s voice as she gasped running into the back looking around franticly.
“Eria what’s going on?” Howl said stepping out. He had his normal white fur back and was sniffing the air, his wolf like ears twitched as he sighed.
“Yume ran off,” Said Howl as Kage came bursting out.
“Great, what does that oath think he is doing?” He asked.
“He’s trying to prove himself that he doesn’t need any help,” She said.
“Let’s go after him!” Shouted Eria.
“No darling, this journey is for him alone,” She said sighing.
“But mom, he’ll need us, he can’t even survive on his own,”
“When the time comes, one man must find his true calling in this place, sometimes men have to show courage in order to find themselves,” She said.
Yume sighed softly as his horse treaded into the unknown. He knew that this was a stupid act but he had to do it. Attached to his hip was a small bag of a short supply of food that he had bought from the village. He knew that he was heading into the mountains to brave the harsh cold so he also found himself an old jacket. He was thankful that he pit pocked Kage before he took off otherwise he’d never get any of the things that he needed.

He sighed and looked around, he was only half way through the dense woods, and the sun was slowly vanishing from the sky, turning the sky into a canvas of purple and bright pink. He sighed pulling the reins making the horse come to a stop. He looked around as he got off and then leaned up against a tree. What was he thinking, going on his own? He knew that he would never make it he knew he would die alone.
He looked over at Shant. He then looked towards the mountains that were still far off. He sighed. He was going crazy. He had no idea what he was doing, he was going up against a dragon, he had no idea how to even fight a dragon. He looked at his horse and sighed. Why did he have to do this, why did he have to be the one to save everyone?
Just then he heard something in the distance. It was soft yet barely audible. He wondered what it was. His mind was still boggled but he concentrated very hard on the sound that he heard. It was a small bell-like melody.
He reached into his pocket and then pulled out the two stones that Eria had given him. He looked at them thoroughly and sighed.
“I’m sorry Eria,” He whispered. The sound became stronger once he said this. He looked at the stones. He wondered what was going on, weather the song was coming out of the stones. He took one and separated it from the first. The tune then broke into two halves, as if he had removed the second vocalist. He gazed at the stone in amazement. Suddenly the light began to shimmer brightly. He aimed it in front of the path in front of him, then suddenly a beam of light zoomed out in front of him. He stood up and gasped, it led right towards the mountains.
“Let’s go Shant,” He said jumping on top of him and then took off like a speeding bullet through the path following the light. He placed the first stone into his pocket as Shant galloped through the dark woods, the stars now visible in the sky. His breath was cold for the night was growing colder. He closed his eyes as the scenery zoomed past by. What seemed like hours he looked up and saw the mountains right in front of him. He pulled the reins making Shant come to a halt. He looked at the colossal mountain range that towered over him.
“What have I got myself into,” He whispered as he saw the beam of light going right through the mountain. There was an open pass that led inside through the mighty labyrinth.
“Over there boy, we have to go through there,” He said. He climbed back on his horse as he then began to head towards the pass. The only sound he heard was the whaling of the gale that broke through the peaks of the mountains that snaked through the land like the spines of the dragon that he soon would be facing.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
THE MOUNTAINS SPEAK

The darkness had filled the land, making it very difficult for Yume to see anything. The only thing he could see were the jagged tips of the mountains that towered over him like giants on their thrones. He sighed wondering where the moon was for that could be the only source of light that would help him see where he was going. He had allowed Shant a rest by walking most of the journey, but already his golden mane was becoming ice.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t thinking straight boy, now it’ll be my fault if we die out here,” He said sighing. The beam of light that was barely lighting the path still pointed onward to some unknown destination. He sighed and kept going. The wind was blowing ruffly cutting through the mountains chilling Yume to the bone. Even though he had on winter cloths, the sting still managed to get to him.
Suddenly he began to hear strange voices in the air. He rose his head up looking around wondering what these voices were. He sighed thinking that now he was going mad. But then again he was in a different realm, here anything was possible. He looked at Shant, his eyes were crusted with ice and his breath was thick with cold mist.

“How could we get a fire started, there isn’t a tree for miles,” He said sighing softly. He looked around and saw only one single pine tree. He found it kind of odd to have one pine tree out in the middle of the mountain range, where was its brothers? He drug Shant through the large thick snow drifts drawing closer to the tree.

“Why is a tree here all by itself Shant?” He asked the horse even though he would not expect a reply, unless the horse could learn English within five seconds.

He decided that he should tie Shant’s rope to the tree and ride out the wind storm for it was getting worse and his feet were nearly frozen to the ground. He would set up his blankets on the snow and see if any of the branches could provide a decent fire, he had a few lightning stones in his pockets from a wizard shop that was in the village, he’d use those to ignite it.

He managed to get a few of the lower branches and stacked them in a untidy pile and found some stones to place around it. He placed the branches on top of each other and then took out two stones that were blood red in color, but glowed like fire. He smiles softly.

“Thanks for the money Kage, I know you’ll be pissed as a robbed troll once you find out,” He then struck the two stones together and a bright spark of flame spat out onto the branches and immediately caught fire.

After the fire had brightened things up a bit, he was still hearing those strange voices within the wind. He wondered if he should reply to them. But then again if it were an enemy like someone whom worked for that evil demon that possessed his mother, he would be in trouble. His mother, that one single moment with the unicorn, he saw her…he took no notice of it, for pain and grief overwhelmed him for the unicorn. But he did see his mother, after all these years thinking that she was dead, when she stood right in front of him, but as a different person, a Witch whom wanted only darkness to rule this land.

“Mother,” He whispered softly to himself as a tear fell from his cheek. A familiar pain began to overwhelm him inside. The pain that he had felt all those years, the pain of feeling responsible for what has happened, if he’d never been born he would not have disappeared into the human realm, and she would have never been possessed by the demon. \
***

Deep within the Western Kingdom and inside the castle of night, the mistress stepped forward. Her head bowed low as her black dress flowed to the ground like a poisoned river. Her eyes obtained a tent of purple eyeliner, and her hair hung lose in long black locks.

“Come closer,” Came a dark cruel voice from the deep darkness that stood in front of her.

“My Lord,” She whispered slightly as she stared into the black cold nothingness.

“The plot is in session, I have obtained the horn of the unicorn, I can use its power to make the spell work, however we are in in a dilemma,” She said.

“What is this dilemma,” Spoke the dark voice. The voice sounded as if the shadows had been creating it, sending shivers down one’s spine.

“I do not have possetion of the relics my Lord, however I do have someone looking for them, someone who is related to me in a way,” She said.

“It doesn’t matter whether he is of your blood woman, as long as the dark relics are in my grasp before the next fullness of the moon, by then I shall have enough power to raise the darkness and destroy the light forever,” He said.

“My Lord, darkness will reign, I’ll guarantee that, and I shall be your Queen forever my Lord,” She said.

“Yes, you have done so much for me, you have proved yourself worthy of my hand,” Said the dark voice.

“Thank you my Lord,” She said.

“However if the plan is to fall, you will be the blame, and death shall meet you sooner then necessary,” He said.

“I will take full blame of what is to come my Lord, but I beg not of death from my Lord, but death to the one whom caused the downfall, my son,” She hissed.

A deep laughter began filling the darkness, it sounded faint at first, but then grew like rapid thunder.

The Queen had left the underground chambers and walked up the spiral staircase back into her own chambers. She sighed and placed a hand upon a tall mirror that had two dragons upon the frame.

“Show me,” She whispered.

Suddenly instead of her own reflection, the reflection of a large dragon appeared. The dragon was black as midnight, its scales shimmered a deep hue of purple, its large fangs looked like swords, its claws dug deep into the walls of the mines as it climbed on one of the tall walls.

“That’s my boy, sharpen your talons for your fight,” She whispered.

“The boy wouldn’t have a chance against you, once he had removed the stone, you’ll be free to roam and destroy this world,” She said.

“Be patient my dear,” She whispered softly.

“Be patient,”
***

Yume had managed to open his eyes after a small rest. His body began to ach and he noticed that the fire was slowly going out. He restalked the wood using some more dead branches nearby. He sighed and took out his wand and looked at it. Was it really necessary to have a wand for performing magic? He never really understood the purpose of wands. He felt the obsidian stick and looked at the howling wolf. He gasped as he noticed that one of it’s eyes was glowing a bright red.

Suddenly a soft voice began to fill the air. At first it sounded rather gravely as if rocks were rubbing against each other, but as it drew closer it sounded more clean and clear. It was a lullaby or an old prayer being sung in the wind.
I hide behind your shadows,
I look past the darkness,
And into the night,
So mote it be,
Earth, fire, air and water,
And shadow are apart of thee.
Yume felt like he was in a trance. He shook his head and looked around the darkened valley wondering where that sound had come from, but no one was around. He took out his wand from his pocket and waved it gently over the fire as it then rekindled back to life. He sighed and shivered softly. He revised a bit of the song that he had just heard. Shant shook his head whining softly as he looked around the range. A cold air blasted through the mountains making Yume shimmer. The small stone that produced the beam of light sat next to him on a flat rock, still pointing towards his destination. He looked down towards the dark path in which would lead him towards the mines.


“Who goes there,” Came a soft voice that echoed in the wind.


Yume looked around. The voice had differed from those he had heard.


“Is someone there!?” He shouted looking around.


“Who dares disturb my mountains at this time of night and in this weather,” Mumbled the old voice that drew nearer.


“I don’t mean no harm to thee, I am but passing through towards the mines,” Yume called out.


“The mines of Xendraft? Bad place to be going,” Replied the voice as then the dark outline of an old man came into view within the amber light of the fire.


“What do you mean sir?” Asked Yume.


“Fire and darkness now have consumed that mine, soon it will consume all of the kingdoms,” It is awakening, the last time it had awoken a dark God named Amatsu-Mikaboshi had arisen from the depths of shadow, and threatened to destroy all the light that ever was,” He said.


“Who’s that?” Yume asked.


“The God of darkness, and pure evil,” Replied the old man whom now was visible enough to see. He was wrinkled skin, had a strange fur coat that of a wolf around his neck. His eyes were sky gray, and his hair was white as the winter snow itself. He wore an ice blue robe with a hood that hid most of his face. In his right hand was a large staff, towards the tip of the staff were two pairs of dragon wings opening up, between the wings rested a large emerald stone that shimmered in the firelight casting green specks upon the white snow.


“Who are you?” He asked.


“I am the wonderer of the mountains…” Suddenly the earth began to violently shake. As if the wind had grown stronger and began shaking the mountain side. The old man yelled and tumbled down to the ground. He gripped his staff and held on as a low groan erupted from beneath the ground. The earth continued to shake as if someone had grabbed hold of his staff and pulled himself up.


“What was that?” Asked Yume regaining his balance rushing towards the old man and grabbed him under the arm and pulled him up.


“Thank you son,” He groaned and walked towards the fire and sat on a nearby rock.


“What was that?” Yume asked again looking at the old man.


“That was the dragon stirring in his sleep, you see boy the crystal mines are just below us,” He said sighing.


“Oh,” Said Yume looking up towards the towering mountains that were a dark silhouette.


“Did you happen to hear a strange singing by any chance sir?” He asked.


“Ah yes, that is the mountains singing my lad, the mountains sing in this world, however I’m afraid that the mountains in your realm remain silent from the neglect they’ve received,” He said.


“How did you know that I’m from the human realm?” Asked Yume flabbergasted.


“I know many things,” Said the old man.


“My name is Fesiris,” Said the old man outstretching an old withered hand.


“I am the history keeper of this realm, I go from place to place recording various history and wars throughout the land,” He said.


“The singing you’ve just heard is the song of the mountains, you see my dear boy, the mountains are alive, and obtain their own voices using the magic from the MoonCrystal that are within side them, they sing using the other various stones as well, say garnet is in one mountain, he shall have a deep tenor voice, a emerald would have a bass voice, then diamonds have soprano, and at last sapphires will be altos.


“So what you are saying is, its what is inside the mountains is what causes the music?” Asked Yume.


“Yes my dear boy,” He said.


“However not every mountain sings anymore, in fact all has fallen silent after the first approach of Norok which is the name of the Amatsu-Mikaboshi spirit, one of the darkest demons of our realm,” He said.


“Long ago, Norok use to be an apprentice of mine, in fact he was supposed to be next in line to be the collector, however there came a day when he dreamed of Knight Hood when he came across his first dragon, you see dragons aren’t all evil, in fact there is a kingdom above this that obtains the dragons of good souls, however that is only a legend, anyway as I was saying, Norok was a brave young man, however his sights were set on victory, muscle, and power. Which are all signs of a dark sorcerer, I have no earthly idea where the boy had come from in his younger ages, however I did realize that he was a magician as well, and that is what made him dangerous, one night came in the midsts of a cold dark winter, when the dark spirit Amatsu-Mikaboshi had came into the night, and went inside of him and took over his soul,”


“When he woke the next day, he killed his parents, and then began using his magic to ruin the land, in his never ending rage he some how obtained a spell that could crack the earth, for you see boy, this realm wasn’t all islands like it is now, but one continent, but then he had found the ever changing spell, he had risen his own army of dark malicious creatures that wonder the night, and attacked the kingdom, this was before the possession of the Queen, she was a good hearted woman, however when the war befell upon her, she was taken over by another demon that of the same sort of Norok,”


“We thought all was lost, until the guardians had arrived to save us, and as they did, they destroyed the darkness by putting it under a deep sleep spell that would last a million years, however in the process they had completely forgotten whom they were, and the sacred artifacts have been lost,” He said.
“One out of three has already been awoken,” Said Yume looking off.
“How is this?” Said the old man looking at him sternly as if in disbelief.
“I have found the sacred stone that belonged to the first Guardian,” He admitted.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
DESTEINED PATH

“I’m possible,” He said looking towards him.

“Did the man that obtained the item have strange dreams?,” He asked.

“No, not that I know of anyway, but there was a strange magical effect that he had,” He said.

“He is not a guardian,” Said the old man sternly.

“What do you mean?” Gasped Yume glowering at the old man.

“He isn’t the guardian, all those whom obtain the magical artifact would have had strange dreams about a past life in which they had not lived, and that will tell them whom their fellow guardians are,” He said.

“Who else touched the artifact,” He asked.

“I did,” Yume said.

“Pull up your sleeve boy,” Demanded the old man.

Yume pulled back the sleeve of his tunic and his eyes widened when he saw two cresent moons intertwining each other on his arm.

“The mark,” The man muttered in bewilderment.

“What do you mean, I’m the guardian?” Yume asked.

“It appears so, where is the artifact,” He asked.

Yume dug into his pocket and pulled out the cloth that obtained the stone, he managed to get that back as well from Karasu without him noticing for he thought he might need it for times

“Oh my gods,” The man said receiving the stone in his hand. He carefully unwrapped the stone as it then began glowing radiantly in the light.

“I am the guardian?” Yume asked.

“Then why did Karasu lie to me about him being the guardian?” He asked.

“Maybe because he knew that he wasn’t, and he knew that you were and just did not have the nerves to tell you your destiny,” Answered the old man.

“Oh,” Yume lowered his head and listened to the night, another song was being sung by the mountains.
Oh behold,
The guardian is here,
Whispering winds,
And Enchanted forests sing,
Sometimes in the flow of stars,
A gleam of light is at last seen,
And to an end the darkness is foreseen,
All whisper and murmur the rumor of time
And space…the guardian is here…
He shall bring forth the light, and destroy
This everlasting dark, slumbering Gods
And ancient spirits wake, the time
Has come and the Guardian is
Here… be however warned, if
Dark is to hear of this celebration
Death should surely draw near…

“That song is for you, wait for the dreams, remember them,” Said the old man.


Yume looked towards Shant whom was whining and pulling on his tether that held him to the branch of the tree.

“What’s wrong boy?” He asked.

Suddenly an arrow comes buzzing through the air and jams itself right into the bark of the tree. Shant rears and kicks his front feet and pulls full force on the branch as it then.
SNAPS!

Yume gasped and grabbed his things and jumped on the horse as it then darted off.

“Get on old man!” He shouted.

“No go and I’ll hold them off!” He replied drawing out a long sword that was illuminated by a strange blood red light.

“I’ll take care of this darkness,’ He murmured as he waited. Five figures all on black horses were approaching. They had a strange foul smell to them and their features were beyond appropriate description, they were beyond grotesque.

Yume gripped the reins of the horse as he trudged onward through the snow. The towering mountains zoomed past him as he felt the cold air sting upon his skin.

“Remember them,” Echoed the old man’s voice from the back of his head as the beam of light once again pointed the way through the mountains. The cold wind whispered through the powdered snow sending it down his spine for a storm had conjured in the sky. He whimpered wishing that he wasn’t forced to leave his warm fire, but whatever the creature was that was on that black horse could be chasing him. But what he did not know was of the canine that followed him through the mountains, the canine that the evil mistress had summoned.

“It’s okay Shant, I think…I think we’re almost there,” He said clutching the horse’s mane tightly shivering.

The wind made a load moaning sound throughout the mountains making a strange sound that sent a different kind of shiver down Yume’s spine. It sounded as if a ghost were moaning in the night, and that it was wondering around through the snow covered peaks. He noticed that the beam of light was diming a bit. He wondered if the magic in the stones were wearing out, or if he was getting close towards his destination?


He soon found out that it wasn’t dimming, but he was getting closer! He could tell for there was one mountain peak that the beam of light was pointing at, it almost looked like a laser beam just aiming right at the destination where the mine would be. He smiles softly and kicks the sides of Shant allowing the horse to pick up speed. He looked back to make sure that no one else was behind him, specially that dark creature.

“I hope your okay,” He whispered a prayer to the old man praying that he wasn’t dead. The night seemed to have been lasting a rather long time, he thought by now the sun would have been up. Maybe it was because the mountains were so tall that it blocked out the sun, and that it was always night in the mountains. He would have longed for the sun’s warm rays to touch his skin, but then again that would give the enemies the chance to see him clearly.

Suddenly he notices that he is closer towards one large mountain that seemed to tower over all the others. He pulled the reins of Shant making him come to a complete halt. He then jumped off and pulled out his wand, he aimed it towards the mountain closing his eyes imagining a bright beam of light absorbing out from its tip and circling around it.

He then opened his eyes. A static energy flowed through him like never before, it was as if the powdery snow was lifting off the ground and circling around him like a protective shield. He took deep and even breaths as he concentrated on the magic that was flowing through his heart. He then saw a bright beam of golden light shoot outwards towards the sky in a straight beam.

Silence fills the air and Shant whinnies uncomfortably. Yume looks around, there seemed to be no one in sight, not a soul besides the whipping of the wind. He looked at the oversized mountain in puzzlement. Was this the mine? Where was the equipment and entrance? Suddenly the earth once again began to shake once again. The large mountains let out a groan as the earth tremor. Yume lost his balance and dove right into the snow. Shant was spooked reared and took off into the night.

“SHANT!” Yume called out for his horse starting to chase for him but slowed to a halt realizing that it was stupid to go out into the mountains alone without his horse. He sighed softly as he then heard a growling sound.

“Well, if the prince isn’t lost and alone,” Came a dark voice from the night.

“Who’s there?” Demanded Yume looking around franticly panting, his breath could be seen in front of him like a lingering ghost.

“Just a figment of your nightmare,” Just then a large spectral dog jumps right onto Yume’s chest pushing him down on his back, teeth bared and drool falling from it’s pure black lips. In front of Yume were large sharp fangs the size of daggers.

“Don’t move, or I’ll rip your throat out,” The dog warned growling in his throat.

Yume whimpered softly looking at the monster, it’s eyes glowing a deep red, as if a nightmare had been trapped in its vision and could not escape.

Yume tried getting up, but the dog’s large paws pressed down harder on his chest, he could feel it’s claws digging into his tunic. He whimpered with fright as he tried his best to struggle free from the beast’s grip.

“I said don’t move,” The beast then dug its sharp claws into Yume’s chest, making puncher holes, blood slowly started to flow freely now. Yume screamed in pain.

“Now, where is that stone we’re looking for boy?” He growled.

“I think it’s still in the mountain brother, this lazy boy has just made it here by the looks of the trail,” Said another dog as it approaches the first. This dog was a bit smaller than the one that was on top of him.

“Who are you?” Yume panted still feeling the throbbing pain in his chest from the canine’s large claws digging into his flesh.

“We’, ha, we aren’t as important as you your highness,”

“What do you mean?”

“Well you see, we’ve been sent here to look after you, make sure that you don’t get killed, I saw that Draklon over there ready to kill ya on the spot, you see there are dark creatures out there that want your blood, some work for the Queen, while others don’t,” Said the dog.

“My name is Cyverous, and my brother over here is named Akyzon,” He smirked baring those gruesome fangs.

“What do I care about your disgusting names demons,” Yume spat on the ground as he tried kicking the beast with his boot, however that was a mistake. Cyverous growled and then dug his fangs into Yume’s arm. Yume screamed in pain closing his eyes feeling the sharp teeth dig into his flesh. Blood began to flow now like a river as the beast lifted its powerful jaws from the wound.

“Let that serve as a lesson prince,” Said the beast getting off of him.

“Now, we’ll stick with you for a while till you retrieve the stone properly weather you live or die from the dragon we don’t’ really care for we can always find someone else to find the other two artifacts,” He said smirking as he jumped off Yume.

Yume got up and whined softly like a puppy, holding the bite wound as the blood soaked the snow around him.

“Stop complaining, I could have broken your arm so be thankful,” Barked Cyverous.

Yume got up and looked at the large mountain. He had no other choice but to find the entrance and go inside the labyrinth of mines and tunnels and try and find the dark artifact, and the dragon. He sighed. Damn it, where was his sword? Oh it was back at the camp. Great.

“I have to go get my sword,” Said Yume looking at the canines.

“Not at all, we’ve retrieved it for you, thought you might need it, and we discarded your shield and got a better one for you,” Said Cy as his brother then took out a sword and a shield and placed them in front of Yume.

Yume sighed and placed the shield around his arm and then took hold of his sword, he slid it back into his scabbard where it belonged. Heck he knew that he would need these two things. Even though these creatures were harsh and evil, he had to be thankful that he retrieved the sword for him, and provided a shield, but that meant that they were trying to keep him alive so that he can fight the other artifacts

CHAPTER NINETEEN
THE LABYRINTH OF STONE

Yume looked around the giant mountain once again. He took a deep breath and concentrated. He had no idea where the entrance would be.

“Try the south side of the mountain,” Said the dog sighing softly.

Yume then peered towards the South. Suddenly particles of light began to shimmer all around a specific part of the mountain. The particles were ice blue, violet, purple and various hues of lavender and magenta. It was odd seeing these different colored particles floating around only on side of the peak. He walked towards it and took a deep breath again. He was getting very cold for there was no fire, and the wind was blowing even harder now that the dogs were close to him, it was as if they had brought a dark cloud.

“Hurry up and find the entrance, we’d like to get this show on the road,” Growled Cyverous.

Suddenly he began to hear a strange echoed in his mind.

“Speak what words cannot say, thus enter the place in which keeps light at bay,”

Yume looked around. He was now rather puzzled as to what or who had said that.

“Speak what words cannot say, thus enter the place in which keeps light at bay,”

“What are you going on about?” Snapped Cyverous.

“Come on brother, I’m freezing my tail off,” Whimpered his brother.

“Hush,” barked Cyverous.

“Give me silence please,” Growled Yume.

“Don’t get snappy with me kid, I’ll be all to willing to take the rest of that arm off,” He said.

Yume clenched his arm, it still throbbed and blood tricked down. He grabbed a bit of cloth that he had in his pocket and wrapped it around the wound sighing softly making sure to put lots of pressure on it.

“Grandmother, help me,” He whimpered as he looked at the dust particles. They suddenly began to shift and dance around. It was odd how they acted, it was as if they were real spirits, they couldn’t be, could they?

Suddenly words began to form within the particles.

“I OPEN WHEN YOU SPEAK SILENTLY, BUT BE WARNED WHAT LIES INSIDE IS UNKNOWINGLY DANGOUROUS, BE FURTHER WARNED TRAVELR”

“What does that supposed to mean?” Asked Cyverous.

“It means that I have to speak with my mind in order for the doors to open, however it’s also talking about what lurks inside,” He said.

“I believe there is this labyrinth in there as well, held up by large pillars thicker then any stone,” He said.

“A labyrinth?” Yume asked gulping in a breath of cold air.

“Yeah, it was made to keep unwanted guests out of the way of the miners, however the dragon now uses it as a safe guard to keep his hoard of treasures,” Said Cyverous’s brother.

“Hush, don’t give it all away,” Growled Cyverous.

Yume paused a moment and cleared his mind. He took in everything that surrounded him. The cold, the dark, the light, all of it. He allowed it to build up inside of him, as if he were collecting all of the energy around him. Suddenly deep in the blackness of his empty mind, golden letters began to appear as if someone were writing them with a feathered pen.

“DYVERTES, TORMECTIN, DORVES,”

“Dyvertes, tormectin, Dorves,” Repeated Yume aloud. He then saw the particles all start to swirl at a very fast rate, as if the wind had suddenly picked them up. They began to form a multicolored cyclone that then began to form a strange door. It then implanted itself upon the mountain side.

“Wow,” Said Cyverous.

“I had no idea that you can speak that language,” He said rather impressed.

“I didn’t know either,” Yume answered back. Suddenly the large double doors began a solid object. They took the form of the mountain, and were the same color, a black gray. Yume walked towards it and reached out his hand to meet the handles. Once he touched it a golden light began to flow throughout the frame of the door, almost like vines of a plant and more words appeared upon the surface.
ALL THOSE WHOM ENTER, PRAY TO SEE LIGHT ONCE YOU’VE ENTERED, DANGER LURKS BEYOND EVERY STEP, BE FURTHER WARNED OF THE HIDDEN RACE THAT LIES WITHIN THESE MOUNTAINS, THEY MAY NOT BE AS PLEASANT AS YOU’D SUSPECT, PS BEWAR OF THE DRAGON GRAGTRESH….

Yume sighed clutching his shield as he then wrapped his fingers around the door handle and tugged .The door gave one loud groan and then slowly opened. The door drug across the snow, piling it up in one heap. Yume gasped as then a large hole appears at the base of the mountain. Inside the mountain was pitch blackness, as if the whole world inside had been engulfed in shadow.

Suddenly a large gust of wind blew through the mountains, and Yume was then violently pushed inside of the enterance. The brother of the canine Cyverous growled and jumped in front of Yume as then the large double doors slammed shut leaving Cyverous behind. Yume and Akyzon both flew downward in a narrow tunnel that acted more like a slide then anything else. Yume grunted as he came to halt hitting his head on a stalagmite.

“Damn it,” Cursed Akyzon turning towards Yume.

“What did you do?” He growled.

“I did nothing, it was the wind that did it,” Snapped Yume sighing softly rubbing his head for he had hit it against a rock. Suddenly a crackling sound was heard. And a nearby torch came to life, along with a few thousand of them that circled around the cavern. Yume’s eyes bulged out of what he was seeing in front of him. Large pillars towered over him held up most of the building in six rows.

Yume looked above the mighty cave and saw jagged stalactites hovering above him. There were also various stalagmites that decorated the bottom of the cave as well. They were taller then the average sized human.

“Wow,” Said Yume, his voice echoing in the bleak shadows around him.

“What is this place?” He asked.

“The Labyrinth of Stone, the miners of this tunnel built it so that if someone came inside by mistake, they’d be lost within its twisting paths,” Replied Akyzon.

The sound of dripping water came to Yume’s ears. He sniffed the moist air that reeked with bat guano and other leavings of cave creatures. He could hear the wind whistling through the caverns that were found deeper within the cave. He sighed and wondered where to go, where to begin looking. Suddenly from his pocket another beam of light was visible and was pointing down towards the chambers that were displayed across a large cavern wall.

“Great, I suppose we have to get lost in them now,” Muttered Yume.

“Lead the way dog, you have better sight then I do,”

Akyzon sighed and lowered his ears and began to walk forward snarling softly, but barely audible for the boy to hear.

They walked into the tunnel, the torch light slowly fading from the main chamber. Darkness, that was what they had walked into.

“How can the miners work in this?” Questioned Yume as he looked around making sure that the dog was still up front.

“They can see in the dark, they have the best night vision, almost as good as wolves,” replied Akyzon.

Yume noticed that this canine did not have as much force in his voice as his brother, as if he was forced to act the way he did. But still if he worked for the demon he would not trust him at all.

“So where does this dragon live?” Yume asked looking around the blackened walls not seeing a thing, he wondered why he even bothered, the only light provided was the single beam of light that had drove him this far. He had to thank Eria for giving him these stones for they have helped him through this journey, he’d never would have made it if it wasn’t’ for her.

They walked in silence, a long suffering silence. The sound of dripping water grew louder as then they walked into a large chamber lit by a single beam of silver light that came from the ruff of the mountain.



“Wow,” Stuttered Yume spellbound at the sight he was seeing. In front of him was a large fountain. It obtained silver water that reflected the light from above. It rippled and bent in different ways. Around it were twelve pillars not as tall as the ones that held up the caves. In front of the fountain was a staircase that lead down to it for Yume now sees that they were on the brim of the mountain on a strange platform that circled the mountain.

“What is this place?” Yume asked in bewilderment.

“This is the Cleansing Room, souls come here when darkened by shadow to cleanse themselves, I’d never go near that myself,” With that the dog backed away, ears lowered and tail tucked between his legs.

“I don’t think the stone is near here,” He said looking around seeing other passages.

Yume knew that he was scared.

“What’s the matter, afraid that your heart might be cleansed?” He smirked softly. He knew that he had a plan, but how was he going to get him into the water, if he did it by force he would get bitten again, maybe by accident, yeah that had to be the best way, by accident.

Yume began his decedents down the stairs. He then began to notice that silver coins were littered upon the floor of the fountain and that a statue of a large dragon stood in the center of it. It’s body was twisted around a large tower and its mouth wasn’t spitting out fire, but the water.

“Who made this?” He asked.

“Who knows, no one probably even knows that it exists, I just know this place as if I’ve been here once,” Admitted Akyzon.

“Hu,” Was all that Yume replied. He bent down towards the edge of the pound and then noticed another strange thing. Small silver fish were swimming in its waters. He raised his index finger into the air, and slightly touched the water’s surface. As ripples flooded the fountain the world paused…suddenly as if out of nowhere a loud roar fills the cavern. It was ear piercingly loud, Yume clasped his ears with his hand s as the water began to vibrate, a large stalactite suddenly broke loose from above and came crashing right near the edge of the fountain.

Yume’s eyes widened as he backed away. The roar had faded into an echoed. He removed his hands from his ears and looked around noticing that Akyzon was nowhere to be seen.

“Great, thanks mutt,” Cursed Yume looking around the fountain as the water at last relaxed.

Suddenly soft whispers began to fill in the silence. They were faint, but Yume was capable of hearing them.

“Who’s there?” He asked. He wondered if it was This One, that spirit he had met a while ago.

But no one replied.

He sighed and looked back at the water. The only thing he saw was the fish that swam in the water full of silver coins. He took one out of his pocket and closed his eyes and made a single wish. He flipped the coin inside and it fell with a plunk.

Suddenly his pocket felt as if it were on fire. He gasped in fright as he reached inside and pulled out the second stone. It was burning brightly with a solid beam of orange light.

“What the?” He asked. The beam of light was pointing up towards another flight of stairs that lead back up towards the brim of the mountain and towards another door entrance. He began to walk towards the area leaving the fountain behind. The darkness swarmed over him again as he walked into the tunnel. He wished that canine was here to at least keep him some company, but for some odd reason the stone he held in his hand was towing him somewhere.

“I guess you get what you wish for,” He said to himself since he after all did wish for a way to find what he was looking for.

He followed the beam of light as if it were a compass. He then came into a fork

CHAPTER TWENTY
SILENCE IN THE DARK

Yume sighed and wondered through the caverns. His heart thudded for every step he took he was getting closer to both the artifact, and the dragon. It felt as if he had been walking for hours. He had no idea what time it was because there was no sign to guide him. He was lost.

“We are darkness,”

“We are silence,”


“We are shadows,” Came three echoing voices that ripped through the silence. Yume froze, a deathly cold air began to fill his lungs as he looked around.

“Who is there?” He asked aloud his voice echoing in the tunnel.

“Death of three, three times thee, darkness, silence and shadow are we,” Replied the first voice.

Yume froze solid. He looked around frantic to see if anyone else might be around besides himself and the voices but the darkness was so thick he could not see anything.

“We don’t speak, we don’t feel, but we thought we most warn you,” Spoke the first of three voices.

“You didn’t answer my question oh sightless voices,” Said Yume.

“We are what we are, there is no chance in who we are,” Said the second voice, the silence if Yume was right.

“What are you here for?” He asked.

“To warn you of the danger that lurks within this mountain, death may come to thee if you aren’t properly prepared,” Suddenly the sound of a knife being pulled out of its sheath is heard. Yume clutched his sword’s handle ready to pull it out at any moment.

“Drop it, leave it, worthless magic here, as well as your shield,” Said the shadow. Suddenly a bright blinding light overwhelmed Yume and he felt for his sword and shield, but they both had vanished.

“Take dagger,” Said Silence as then a silver dagger hovered in midair. Atop the handle of the dagger was a dragon’s head. Its mouth was open and showed two rows of sharp daggered teeth, and in its eye was a purple stone that gleamed brightly.

“What’s this?” Asked Yume slowly wrapping his fingers around the dagger’s handle.

“The dagger of frozen time,”

“The dagger of a reaper,”

“A weapon that may pierce through the toughest armor,”

“T..thanks,” Murmured Yume.

“Gods of Death normally don’t help the living, but we saw specialness inside of you, so we decided to help, the blade contain the blood of us Shinigami,” Said all three voices in unison. Then Yume had never heard the voices of the spirits of death again, he was now alone once more.

Yume sighed and began to continue through the tunnel. He noticed that the beam of light provided from the stone had been extinguished. He sighed knowing that he would have to continue the journey blind.
***

When all was still and silent. Yume thought that he most be dead. For there were no signs of life what so ever. Suddenly he entered a large chamber. What met his eyes nearly blinded him for his eyes were slow adjusting to the now shimmering bright light. In front of him was a treasure trove of various diamonds, jewels, necklaces and other spectacular artifacts that were being illuminated by a single shaft of light from above. This scene reminded him of the old children’s books that always told children that dragons liked making their beds out of treasures of untold history.

He looked around the mighty cavern in pure amazement. Everything was just spellbinding, he could not take his eyes off of all the shiny items that littered the ground floor. He looked around, seeing no dragon which he thought was kind of odd. He also saw another flight of stairs that led downward once again towards the bottom where the jewels and other items rested. He wondered if there were various caverns with the same base as this and the fountain room.

He felt rather lonely, he wished that Kage and the others were with him to observe this treasure.

“Well, looks like someone got here at last,” Came the voice of Karasu.

Yume yelped with fright grabbing his dagger and aiming it.

“Wow, buddy hang on!” Shouted Karasu as he approached Yume.

“Don’t worry I’m real,” He said.

“How long have you been following me?!” Exclaimed Yume.

“Um since you were attacked by the dogs,” Admitted Karasu.

“So let me get this straight, you’ve been here this whole time without saying a single thing!” Shouted Yume anger boiling up inside.

“I know it was wrong to so, but I wanted to see where we stood, because…I lied to you Yume about the whole guardian thing, I already knew that you were a guardian, which was the reason why I came to your world to find you, you have no idea how long I’ve been searching for you,”

Yume sighed, trying to calm himself. He knew that now was not the best time to fight over such lies at the moment, a dragon was lurking around the caves and could be back any time now.

“So where the heck is this stone, I want to grab it and get it back to prove to the Lords that I’m worthy of their truest,” Said Yume sighing.

“Perfect, I’m sure you’ll do fine,” Karasu said grinning.

“So did you stumble upon those Shinigami as well?” Yume asked rising an eyebrow.

“Yeah, they’re kinda creepy if you’d ask me, I’ve heard about them in ghost stories and all but never thought I’d see one,” He smiles softly, knowing that Yume was still very cross with him and he suspected the worst to come.

“Yeah, they gave me this,” He handed Karasu the blade.

Karasu’s eyes nearly bulged out of his sockets as his hand swept over the handle of the blade.

“Death’s blade,” He said in a low volume voice gazing at it in pure amazement.

“Yes,” Said Yume.

“Why did they give it to you when Kage got you a perfectly good sword and armor?” He asked.

“I don’t know why, they said that the blade I had wouldn’t do,” He shrugged and placed the blade back in its sheath.

“Let’s say we start looking for that stone eh?” Karasu said smiling softly.

Yume looked around. His heart was beating lightly against his chest. He knew that something was going to happen, he just knew it. They both descended downward towards the staircase towards the treasures.

“Have you been through these mountains?” Asked Yume now glad that he had someone to talk to besides himself.

“A third few times,” Karasu admitted. He was shocked that Yume wasn’t lashing out at him about the whole spying thing.

“Has anyone been in here?” He asked looking around.

“Well duh, after all it is a mining mountain,” Karasu rolled his eyes.

“Oh, it just seems like no one has ever been in here, but then of course who would have placed the torches and the staircase, where are the Mooncrystal mines? I had not seen any yet,” Yume said now taking this in.

“Well the Moonstones are a bit deeper inside the mountain, there is a passage way that leads deeper into the mountain that would take you to more chambers that obtain the crystal,” Explained Karasu grabbing a golden goblet.

“GHA!” He exclaimed tossing the goblet back onto the ground with force.

“What’s wrong?” Yume asked rushing over to him.

“Darn treasure is as cold as ice!” He yelled rubbing his hands to get warmth.

Yume being so unobservant picked up a golden plate, but it ended up right back where it was.

“Alright, I believe you,” He immediately said doing the same thing that Karasu was doing.

“There must be some sort of spell on them, I remember reading about a spell that most wizards and witches can place on items that if they’re held for a long period of time they can freeze their souls,”

“Okay, rule number one now in place, do not touch any shiny object,”

“Agreed” Replied Karasu placing his hands in his pockets.

“What about there?” Yume pointed as then suddenly a large pillar appeared out of no where right in the center of the room, almost like the fountain.

“Where did that come from?” Questioned Karasu with surprise in his voice.

Yume walked towards the pedestal and looked upwards. There atop of it, a strange looking crystal gleamed in the light like a small star whom had lost its place among the heavens. However there was a strange darkness towards this light that send a shiver down Yume’s spine.

“How are we going to get up there?” Karasu asked looking up towards the top sighing seeing that it was at least twelve feet if not higher.

“Another problem to be solved,” Yume said.

Just then another ear splitting roar echoes through the tunnel, however this was much closer. Yume covered his ears once again and looked around. The whole mountain was shacking as the sound of thunder boomed across the cavern. Once it stopped and was only an echo he removed his hands from his ears. Just then a swarm of black winged creatures burst out of the darkness of a near by tunnel in panic. They were in a giant black cloud that was heading towards them.

“DUCK!” Shouted Karasu lying down flat on the ground, Yume following his example. Suddenly the large swarm of winged creatures began to fill in the room flying in a circle almost like a cyclone wrapping around the walls of the cavern. Some flew over the beam of light making the light shimmer on and off almost like a candle flickering.

“What are they?” Asked Yume as one of them clumsily managed to smack into his mop of untidy hair.

Yume screamed slightly in fright for the beast was strange looking, it was cloaked in shadow, it also obtained two amber moons glowering at him.

“Don’t move,” Said Karasu growling slightly swatting one of the creatures away. Suddenly the large swarm vanished into the next caverns. Their strange sounds were still heard as they vanished.

“What were those?” Asked Yume.

“Stretcher bats, terribly loud as you might have guessed,” Said Karasu.

Suddenly the cavern began to get very hot.

“Is it hot in here or is that just me?” Karasu asked.

“Um, I think you might want to get back on the ground Karasu, right now!
“ He pushed Karasu to the floor as just then a large stream of smoke and fire shout through one of the caverns catching every jewel and diamond on fire, a large circle of flame circled around the companions. The flames danced and twisted themselves around the edge of the cavern blocking every exit.


When it was safe to move Yume removed his arm from Karasu as they both looked around.

“I think our pal is here,” Said Karasu chuckling nervously.

Suddenly the earth underneath them began to shake violently. They both managed to lose their footing and Yume stubbornly dropped his knife. It slid across the floor and then skidded to a halt. A beam of flame burst out as then cracks began to appear upon the cavern walls, suddenly large pieces of stone came flying towards them like falling houses. Yume grabbed the neck of Karasu’s tunic and pulled him out of the way as then a large black stone slammed right in front of where Karasu had been.

Suddenly the entire wall of the cavern began to collapse. There in front of it was a colossal dragon that was almost tall as the mountain itself. The way it moved around through the cavern was almost snake like. It had long jagged fangs that stuck out from each corner of its muzzle almost like a saber toothed cat from the dinosaurs. It had the body of the snake which made it capable of slithering around the caverns. It had four paws. Two front legs, and two back legs that helped it scale the rock. It was slithering across the walls of the mountain hissing and growling. Flames were leaking out of its

“Keep down!” exclaimed Karasu grabbing hold of his staff that he had resting against one of the walls and then took it in his hand and slammed it against the ground. Sparks came out from the bottom sending out small bits of ice around the flames. The flames hissed and cracked as then they began to freeze.

The dragon had now made it all the way into the cavern. It was extremely long, almost as long as a train. Its tail obtained a strange stinger almost like a scorpion, and its scales looked almost like glass.

It lets out a roar and then moves its large head towards them.

“And what do we have here, a nice snack to eat eh?” The dragon’s gurgled voice asked as it flicked its tongue tasting the air.

“It’s blind,” Whispered Karasu to Yume making sure to keep close to him.

Indeed, the dragon had no sight what so ever.

“No sir, we were just passing through,” Karasu replied.

“Is that so, not looking to steal any of my jewels?” It asked. With this it plucked out a nice sized diamond and held it in its large canine like paw. Its tongue tasted the surface of the jewel as if examining it by smell.

“No oh mighty master of fire and air,” Said Karasu bowing slightly slapping Yume in the shins with his staff to follow his example.

Yume obeyed taking deep easy breaths. He took out his wand slightly in preparation just in case the beast turned on them.

Yume rose to his feet.

“My lord, we do however seek the Mooncrystal that is placed upon your pedestal!” He called out trying to act really brave for he wanted to impress the dragon.

“Is that so?” The dragon’s booming voice sounded like roaring thunder.

“Yume,” Growled Karasu rolling his eyes.

“Yes my lord, the Mooncrystal has special meanings to us,” Exclaimed Karasu in a loud voice.

“It does so to me too, it is what gives me power,” He snarled lashing its long tail towards a pile of treasure. It collided with it, sending plates, goblets and other objects flying through the air.

“Please my Lord, we mean no harm to thee!” Karasu shouted.

“But you mean to steal my treasure, the one she specifically ordered me to watch over,” Growled the dragon.

“If it’s a battle you want for it, then a battle I offer!” Yume said waving his wand. A surge of magic shot through him as then his dagger flew out and into his hand.

“Battle!” The dragon sent another row of flames out of its mouth; lava began spewing out of its mouth like dripping saliva.

“Yume are you insane?!” exclaimed Karasu in a low volume voice.

“I have to have some sort of proof that I fought the dragon, and it seems that the dragon already has been visited by the mistress if it was supposed to look after the artifact, so she must have already known that it was located here,” Explained Yume.

“I have not been challenged in a very long time,” Hissed the dragon lowering itself down off the walls. Its large head swayed back and forward as it crawled closer to Kage.

“Yes my Lord!” He shouted and then lashed his blade right across the dragon’s muzzle as it drew closer. A slip second and the dragon let out another ear piercing roar that echoed through the cavern. Its tail lashed out towards Yume like a long whip. It crackled like lightning. Yume dodged it by jumping out of the way. Karasu had managed to escape the strike by hiding behind a pile of gold.

“You’re so dead now fool,” Growled the dragon opening its mouth and out came a blast of fire.

Yume gasped and dodged the flame quickly. Another burst of flame headed towards Karasu’s direction. Karasu held his staff into the air and a shield washed over him and the flames reflected slamming back into the dragon sending it flying back down towards the ground. The dragon grunted and growled lying upon the floor. Suddenly strange sounds began to submerge from the dragon. Bones started cracking and its flesh began to change. A shimmering black light began to overwhelm the dragon, as if a black shadow had begun to wrap itself around it.

At first the transformation took upon a slow transition, but as time progressed. Large black leather wings were now in view. A lizard like body was created and the head of the dragon had downsized and obtained razor sharp horns upon its skull, it had dark purple scales that shimmered brightly in the firelight and dark eyes, darker than coal. Its teeth were as sharp as daggers, and its eyes were now blood red. It lets out a roar and raises its giant head. It flapped its wings and began to hover in the air. Its long tail lashes outward towards Yume, knocking a pile of stones and gems aside.

Yume barely gets out of the way; a sharp spine from the tail manages to scrap his arm cutting through the tunic leaving a gash on his arm close to the now scabbed bite-mark from the canine. The dragon’s large head slammed against the peak of the ruff. The mountain shudders as then large pieces of rock began hurtling towards the ground, the pull of gravity made it move at a faster rate. Karasu waved his staff into the air and the rock exploded into millions of shards which went flying in different areas.

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE
SACRIFICES MOST BE MADE

The large dragon raised its head into the air and sniffed the cold atmosphere. The sun had at last risen bathing the world in its brilliant light. Its wings stretch outward and flex as he roars loudly. Suddenly one of its wings smashed right into the large pillar that obtained the Mooncrystal. The pillar groaned slightly and snapped in half like a branch on a tree. The platform of the pillar dipped downward, sending the Mooncrystal hurtling towards the ground. Yume gasped, leaped in midair and flung his wand. A spark of silver light shoots out from its tip and wraps around the crystal. He grabs the buckskin and opens it, the crystal is soon safe inside the skin.

“Come on!” Shouted Yume as he raced up the staircase and darted off back to where he had started. He was back into the room with the fountain looking around franticly. The mountains seemed to be crumbling for large cracks had begun to form upon the walls and large pieces of stone began crashing downward. One stone came colliding down, pulverizing the dragon fountain shattering it into dust.

“Well there you are!” Yelped Akyzon as he suddenly came darting towards Yume’s side. Yume took note that the canine’s paws were damp and his fur was wet, was it possible that he crossed the fountain? He looked into his eyes, and saw that they were clear, and his fur, it wasn’t black but silver!

“Welcome to the good side!” Shouted Yume dodging a large rock that smashed into the ground.

“Did you guys forget about me!” Exclaimed Karasu running at high speed holding his staff in his hand as a large shadow beast came swooping after him.

“You attract some of the worst troubles!” Karasu shouted towards Yume. Suddenly the three companions burst out of the labyrinth and out through the doors. They face planted into the cold snow as the earth shook violently. The large mountain that was in front of the mountain came crashing downward into nothing but a pile of rubble.


The dragon crashed downward, sending snow flying through the air like a soft powder. Yume notices now that the dragon obtained two large eyes both a dark green color that shimmered in the burning sunlight. The dragon lifted its head and let’s spews a blast of fire into the air. The heat of the flames makes the snow around it melts, forming a circle of green around it.
Yume aimed his dagger at the beast, aiming it carefully. He took a deep breath knowing that he could not mess this up. The dragon’s long tail lashes into the sky, cracking like a lightning bolt it swooshes downward hurtling towards its unknown target.
Yume attempts. The blade hurtles towards its destination. Everything was freezing, as if the cold gripped the companions souls. The dagger flung into the air, as if cutting it like cloth. Just then….
CLING!
The sound of metal upon metal, the blade hurtling towards the earth. Upon a single scale blood had began to spew rapidly like a flowing river. The dragon roars in distress and pain, its tail still hurtling towards the ground. Yume then notices where it was heading, right towards Karasu!
“KARASU!!!!”
Shouted Yume as loud as he could. He took off in a sprint. His heart raced as he then tackled Karasu towards the ground as if he was an athletic football player. Just then, the spiked tail came crashing downward, right onto his back. At first, a sheering pain throbs around his spine, the smell of blood upon snow…his heart slowly beats as if threatening to stop. He moaned, the puddle of blood forming around himself stains the snow.
“YUME!” Shouted Karasu’s voice. Which soon faded into nothing.
“Wounded.”
“Only wounded,”
“Not dead,” Said the three voices of the Shinigami.
Then all fell silent, as if time had slowed to a halt, and nothing of life remained in Yume’s eyes….
The darkness surrounded Yume. It was as if it had always been a part of him his whole life. He opens his eyes, seeing nothing in front of him. His heart did not pound, and air did not come from his mouth.
“You are in the crossroads,” Came a soft pure voice.
Yume browsed the darkness, wondering who said those words.
“You aren’t dead, but your body is asleep,” Said the voice. Just then a tall woman appears. She wore a long silver dress covered in diamonds and crystal. She wore a crown that took the form of an iron circle and had wires stretching out from each end and on the end of those wires were different colored jewels, three of them. One was Emerald, the other was Amethyst, and the last was gold.
“Who are you?” Yume asked lost and confused.
“I am the protector of the Gods, and of this realm,” Replied the woman. Her face was as pale as ice, and her hair was white as a frozen river and sparkled light fresh snow upon the ground, and her eyes, a deep, deep sea green.
“And you are Yume Ame, the chosen savior of our world, you are also a guardian of the three mighty Gods,” She said.
“The Gods?”
“Yes, the two Gods, and the Goddess, two are brothers, the God of the earth Erde, then his brother the God of the stars Sairento, and their sister the Goddess of light, Aytheya,” She said.
“Those are the Gods that I most awaken, right?”
“Yume, you are a guardian, one of the three, minus myself since I’m their protector,” She said.
“I’m lost, this whole world, this whole story, what does it all mean?” He asked.
“When one searches his calling, he might have to take a giant step out into a different world, in order to find it, you are a prince, your mother was a spirit, and your father was a human, which is why you have mixed blood, you are known as a Konketsu,” She said.
“But where am I now?” He asked.
“The last thing I remember was saving my friend from danger, and then all falls dark,” Said Yume.

“Yes, and that is all you shall remember at the time, for when you die, your soul forgets his long term memories,” She said looking down.

“But why do I still remember about the Gods and the relics of light and dark?”

“Because they are important memories, and that is your unfinished business which is what is keeping your soul still alive,” She said.

Yume was lost. He fell to his knees and sighed softly. Tears began to swell in his eyes. Was he really dead? Had he really sacrificed himself to save his friend? He looked up at the woman for answers.

“However, there is a way to redeem your soul, if you show an act of great courage, and sacrifice, you will be able to ask the God of Death for your soul back, and to repair your hour glass,” She said.

“Really?” Yume asked.

“Yes,” She said.

“What do I do till then? I mean my friends are in danger of that dragon and the whole world can be ending while I’m gone, and they’ll be wondering where I am,” He said.

“You’ll be practicing your real magic Yume, the magic that doesn’t come from a wand, but from in here,” She then lifts her hand and places it upon his chest, where his heart was.

“Be brave Yume, and darkness will fade within time,” She said.
***

Light was fading, and cold had struck hard upon Karasu. His eyes flickered open as he came back to reality. His heart thudded slightly against his chest, and his joints were asleep which he had been lying there for a long while, a day if not more. He looked around and saw the dog lying next to him, the warmth of his fur was overwhelmingly comfortable. He thought that the canine was evil, but then remembered that he had crossed the cleansing waters of the fairy pond in the caverns. He looked up, and there the mountain still lay in rubble. He rose to his feet, staggering a bit he used his staff for support. He looked around and saw Yume lying in the snow, pale as a ghost.

“Yume!” He shouted and rushed towards him. He placed a hand upon his face, it was cold, colder than ice.

“No, no this can’t be happening,” He said. A lump began to grow in this throat. He felt a salty tear began to form.

“No…” He murmured looking at Yume.

“Wake up!” He shouted grabbing his shoulders and shacking Yume’s limp body.


Karasu looked at Yume. Seeing that his eyes were frozen cold. He placed his ear upon his cold chest, listening. At first there was nothing, and he thought that all hope had fallen. He whimpered and looked around. There had to be some way, some way to awaken him.
Tears began to swell in his eyes. He knew that he was a man, and that men rarely cried. But all the hope of Seishin-Sekai was lying next to him, dead as shadow, dead as night.

Akyzon lifted his head up, he sniffed the air and saw no signs of the dragon which had been gone for some time now.

“What’s going on?” Akyzon asked looking around the mountain range. He noticed that Karasu was leaning over a limp body that was in the snow. He began to realize that it was the boy that he and his brother was trying to lead towards the darkness, but something inside of him had changed once he had crossed the healing waters by mistake.

Karasu noticed that the dog had awoken.

“We’ve not been properly introduced, my name is Karasu,” He said.

“And my name is Akyzon, I was working with my brother, but I had a…a change of heart,” He felt as if saying this was going to end his life, for he had betrayed his mistress.

“So I see, it seems that the legends of the fairy tears are true,” He said.

“I suppose so,” Karasu said.

“Is the boy okay?” Akyzon asked.

“I don’t know…I haven’t…haven’t heard a beat of his heart,”

Akyzon looked at Karasu, as if transfixed by his passionate friendship between the now deceased Prince. His ears lowered, knowing that all hope had seemed lost in the air. Considering that the boy was the only hope, the only way to change this realm. His eyes looked at the snow, a river of the boy’s blood trickled down.

Karasu sighed. He knew that he could not let Yume just lay here. He grabbed hold of his staff and rose his hand around the crystal and wrapped it around the stone. His eyes closed, then opened as he then reopens them, they were now a deep violet as he stared into it.

“Karasu, what’s wrong?” Came Harriet’s voice.

“Yume is no longer with us, Harriet, a dragon is lose among the lands,”

“Just what I’ve suspected,” She said, her voice saddened. Clouds began to cover the sky, making it overcast. The clouds that began to appear were beginning to be painted pink, purple, and crimson red. Everything seemed so still, no bird song, not even the wind dared to howl. It was as if the world had fallen silent with the death of the Prince.

“We’ll alert the camp,” Said Harriet, her voice vanishing. Karasu sighed, his eyes turning back to normal. He knew that the members of the camp would have their hearts crushed when they hear the bad news. For they were looking forward to seeing the Prince alive and well. But now that was not going to happen. Only if Yume would have listened to him and went to the camp first before seeing the Lords to be sentenced to this dreadful task. That was it, it was the Lords fault, those stupid sages! It was all of their fault, they had killed him!

Karasu then took his staff.

“Are you with us, or not.” He asked the dog as he stood up.

Akyzon nodded slightly The wizard bent down and placed Yume’s dead body in his arms then slowly flexed his fingers around the emerald, shimmering light began to merge from its core. Getting brighter it began to wrap around them. A cyclone soon swooped over them and they vanished.

***

Eria sighed, Looking out the window. This was all false news, Yume couldn’t be dead. Not now….tears were swelling in her eyes. He knew that he couldn’t be dead; he was supposed to be saving them, not dying.

Suddenly a loud snap sound made her jump. She looked towards the source of the sound, and there was Karasu holding Yume in his arms.

Eria’s mother rushed over towards Karasu and helped him prop Yume’s limp body onto the table to examine him. Checking his pulse, and his deadly wound that displayed on his arm. There were two wounds. One was a terrible bite, and a gash.

“Who’s your friend?” Eria’s eyes narrowed downward towards the black dog.

“He’s a new member of our little group, his name is Akyzon,” Karasu said.

Silence had filled the house, as Harriet kept checking on Yume for any signs of life. Eria noticed that tears were beginning to fall from her cheeks as well. Eria knew that this was a bad sign.

“His soul is lost, not dead, but lost,” Announced Eria’s mother at last.

“What does that mean?” Karasu asked sitting on a wooden chair by the table.

“It means that he is lost in the Shadowed realm in which we don’t speak of,” She said.

“The only way he can get back is if he finds his true calling as a guardian.

Kage walked in. He knew what was going on. He just did not want to interfear. When he heard the results, he knew what Eria’s mother was talking about.

“That happened to my father once, when he was young. He was working in the mines with some dwarves once, but then something happened and an evil witch had attacked him placing him in a coma like state using a spell, he had not awoken for about five years,” He said.

“So it’s like a coma?” Eria asked, slightly relived by this news.

“Yes,” Harriet said.

Suddenly a knock startles the house, making everyone jump in alarm.

Harriet walked towards the door and peeked through the spyhole to see who it was. She gasped and saw that it was the first of seven Lords.

She unlatched the door and opened it.

“Pardon my intrusion madam, but my attendance is needed at this time, grave news has been overwhelming the city that the death of the Prince has occurred and we wish to take him and burry him properly,” He said.

“NO!” Eria shouted growling.

“He is not dead!”

“Child, calm down,” warned her mother, her eyes looking at her with sterness.

“Don’t tell me to calm down, you just said so yourself that he is dead!” She clentched her fists, tears stung her eyes.

“I have no control over this darling, if they want to take his body, then let them..” She said looking down.

Kage steps out of his room and protests.

“No!” He blocked the Sage’s way as he approached Yume’s dead body.

“I don’t allow this to happen!” He growled.

The sage glared at Kage. A stern yet blank stare. Kage froze, as if all the blood had dried in his vanes. His heart slowly faded, and all the life had drained out of him. His skin color lost its tone, as he turned pale white, white as stone.

“What did you do to him!” Eria shouted rushing over to Kage.

“He’s dead,” Announced the Lord as then the body of what was Kage vanished. Eria’s eyes grew wide with fright.

“Why did you do that you, you monster!” She shouted.

“Don’t,” Hissed Harriet, her body trembling afraid that the same thing might happen to her daughter.

“No one defies the law of us Lords, he paid his price,” He said.

“Now I will take his body to court, if you prove to us that he is not dead, then we’ll postpone the burial till he is cured from his aliment, however I give you till the next coming of the full moon,” He said.
Yume’s body rose into the air, soon golden dust particles began to float all around his body, soon he was covered in them, and then his body disappeared and was never seen again.

“His body is now concealed in front of the council,” Said the Lord and then he too had vanished.

The Kage that was once alive and well, was now a mound of ash. Why had such darkness come upon them? Why was everything going so wrong? Suddenly the loud sound of a bell being rang interrupted the silence.

“What’s going on?” Harriet asked as she walked towards the window and her eyes nearly buldged out.

Far off in the distance, a roaring fire was spreading through the woods and through the town of glass.

“Oh no!” She shouted.




“Get out now!” She told the others. They did not hesitate. Smoke began to engulf the atmoshpire. She grunted and rushed around the house and ran to her room. She pulled open drawers franticly looking for something. She then came upon one drawer and found the object she was looking for. It was a small box that obtained a special item and she slid it into her pocket.

Fire had taken root in the woods. The light of the sun had turned into a bloody crimson flame. Plants and trees shriveled in terror on the oncoming wall of flame. The animals and spirits fled towards the safety of the mountains where fire could not breach because of the ice cold. Eria, Harriet and Karasu had managed to escape the burning cottage as it came crumbling to the ground.

“Our home!” Shouted Harriet as she fell to her knees crying. Ash was upon the ground, all the plant life was dying, everything was dying.

“It’s the curse,” Muttered Karasu standing there looking at Eria.

“The horn of the unicorn is being mistreated,” Eria sobbed as she walked towards her mother crying on her shoulder as she scooped up a small leaf that was still green. However her strong fingers accidently crushed its frailness and its remains blew within the gale that blew lightly which aided the fire.

“We have to find a safe place now!” Shouted Karasu as he waved his staff in front of the blaze. The fire separated into two halves and then moved away from them, continuing on its destructive course as if they were an obstacle it most avoid.

“Use your magic to put it out, you are now the only wizard here!” Eria shouted.

“I can’t use magic against nature, it’s against the laws,” Said Karasu.

“The only thing we can do is to get out of here before we die as well,” He said.

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

A JOURNEY TO SOMEWHERE

Karasu, Eria, and Harriet had managed to escape the blaze. They had managed to take shelter in the next village over which was called Fragile Glass. It was a neat town; however it was not made of glass. The fire had taken many lives in Eria’s and Harriet’s village. The glass had been bent and broken, and nothing else remained. Sadness had taken its toll upon the travelers. They had lost their one companion that could change their word and darkness was coming, surely coming.

“Karasu, we have till the full moon to figure out something to save Yume,” Said Eria looking at him in haste.

Karasu stared off. He saw small dim lights of fairies floating around in the darkened world outside. A black shadow had engulfed the sun, and things felt lost and alone. Dark spirits had submerged from the shadows, and all light seemed to have just vanished.

“The demon’s getting stronger,” Karasu said.

“Yes she maybe, but we have to save Yume in order for him to find the rest of the Guardians,” Pleaded Eria.

“I know, he may start remembering who he is, since he is the real guardian, even though Kage lied to him,” He said in a stern yet gentle voice.

“We are all saddened by Kage’s lose, and I’m still outraged that, that stupid Lord had the rights to kill him just for protecting his friend, his death will be honored but you can honor him by saving Yume!” Said Eria.

“Are you sure?” Questioned Karasu.

Eria sighed. She was scared, lost and alone. She needed comfort, things were paining her. People were dying, her world was dying. She still remembered the day it began even though it wasn’t that long ago, but now as she looked at it, it seemed like it was a long time ago.

“Mother, sing me a lullaby,” She whispered as she looked around the small hideout that was occupied by a few of the village people who were crying and weeping with their families. The darkness had consumed everything, and all the citizens of the villages had to retreat to these small manholes as they are called which has a powerful spell that keeps darkness at bay.

Harriet had been sitting alone for a long moment in silence.

“Yume sacrificed himself for me,” Karasu said looking off, a silver tear is seen falling from his cheek.
Every night, we’ve always plead,
Even though we don’t really know if
Anyone could hear our sorrow,
In our hearts, the light still lingers,
Like a candle light unwilling to be
Extinguished, now we are not afraid,

People around the companions all look towards the soothsayer in aww. Her voice was so pure, so soothing, that they all seemed to be humming the song, as if it were an old phrase or nursery rhyme that had been sung to them many times. But Eria knew better then that, this was a song that her mother was making up, something that would mean a lot to her in the future when all was well again.
Of what may lay in the darkness,
Although we know there is plenty of
Things to fear, we are stronger then we
Seem, we can create the magic, even though
We knew we could, Even though the darkness
Takes hold, surely the light shall surely grow.
The sunlight shall come, the rain shall and rinse
Away our pain, Even though times seem scary,
Even though all seems lost, there is hope,
Oh there is hope. A journey to somewhere
Can lead you anywhere, if you believe
In yourself you can concur the impossible,
Even though our hearts may be broken,
Sure within time the guardians will be awoken,
The darkness will subside, everything will be alright..



Her voice slowly fades to a halt, and all falls silent. Eria looked towards where Karasu was, but he was no longer there. In fact he was nowhere to be seen. And Eria did not know if she’d ever see him again, nor Yume, the only thing she could do was pray….praying seemed to be the only option that she had at this moment.
***

In the midst of Twilight, Karasu wondered through the demon infested woods heading towards the edge of the island where he would board the train to go to the Eastern Kingdom of Eastern Kingdom of Allea where his own story had begun…

He held his staff tight as he rode his horse onward through the darkness, making sure to keep his staff bright to shield himself from the shadowed demons that were reaching out for him. He wanted to go back, for he remembered someone within his past that could heal almost any ailment, even comas and sometimes death. But something blocked his memory, and he wasn’t so sure of who the person’s name was. But somewhere deep within the Kingdom rested a small village where he was born and raised… as a natural born wizard.

Karasu traveled none stop, the only times he was capable of stopping was to take refuge when a giant beast wondered through the labyrinth of trees threatening to destroy everything in its path. He knew that times were now darker than ever, this was the Witch’s work, the demon’s work. She used the magic of the Unicorn horn and abused it by placing the realm under a dark curse, that he knew.

He wondered what she was doing this very moment, basking herself in her doing possibly. He looked around the tall darkened trees. No hint of sunlight could be seen through the thick layers of darkness that loomed over the kingdom.

“Terrible times,” He muttered shivering as a gust of cold wind stung his skin. He knew that he was getting closer to the sea. He allowed his horse to slow to a trot since they have been galloping through the trees since midday. He knew that she was getting tired, and so was he. But he did not want to make camp. He wanted to go on until he managed to get to the station, he knew that the train should be making a stop anytime. The train normally visited each island about twice every week, then returned to the human world for a long period of time allowing the spirits to wonder there for a long period of time.

Karasu remembered when the train had been built after the great splitting of the land. After the mighty wizard used his powers to cause the great separation of the mighty kingdom. Karasu noticed that the sun was vanishing for it grew even darker, almost pitch. A storm also blew in for cold rain began stinging his pale face as he rode through the harsh gale that brought down branches from the tops of the tall trees. Thunder echoed in the distance.

Karasu sighed, knowing that it was time to give in and build a shelter. He takes his staff and waves it in the air. A forming ball of light takes shape, soon it circles around an area and a fine cottage perfect for one occupier appears along with a nice clean hors stable. Karasu leads his horse and ties her into the stable and enters the warm firelight cottage to escape the rain. He then began to mummer incantations to protect the house from any seers of darkness. He made a complete circle around the house, a piece of chalk was in his hand and was drawing a five pointed star upon the ground with a circle around it. He then rose his hand up into the air, and forcefully pushed it downward and his forefingers touched the surface of the wooden floor and a bright blue light ignited across the star making it shimmer various hues of blue.

“There we go,” Karasu said sighing softly placing his staff down next to the south wall and took a seat on one of the nearby couches that sat next to the fire. A bookcase rested on top of the fireplace that came to life with a warm roaring fire. He walked towards it and grabbed one of the volumes and opened it up and placed it on his lap. He flipped through several pages, until he found what he was at last looking for.

“In the eastern kingdom, there lies a secret healing spirit, one who knows many cures for many things, but she is rarely found, only a witch or wizard with a special gift may find this being, ancient history has for claimed that this spirit was created by the Goddess of light and creation to heal the sick, and to feed the poor when times were worse. It is said that this creature lives in a dense shadowed village somewhere in a small village cloaked in darkness,” Karasu read aloud.

“There you are,” He said sighing softly.

“But what is your name, you were a part of my family once,”
***

Just then the memory occurs to Karasu, as if it were a cloud passing by. There stood a four story tall mansion; it had lots of windows, and rooms. It was old and ancient. Vines were draped over the concrete walls that were withered with age. Two large gothic doors displayed at the entrance. Near each door were two torches that burnt brightly into the night. When the doors swung open and guests began to walk inside dressed in exotic costumes pagan music was playing in the background, a haunting melody. Various spirits were dancing in the ballroom, while other spirits were occupying the dining room.

Karasu was young, in his early teens. He wore a red velvet tunic with a long cape of maroon silk. Unlike the other spirits around him, he wore no mask to hide his identity. He did not dance to the enchanting music played by the orchestra, in fact he was bored of this party that his mother and father held.

“Come on darling, sit down,” Came his mother’s soft voice coaxing him to sit next to her. His mother and father were the greatest Witch and Wizard of the time being, they healed the sick, helped the poor, and fought in battles against dark foes. They were famous around the Eastern Kingdom. His father worked for the magic industry training future Witches in Wizards in mortal combat for the King and Queen.
***

Karasu submerges back to reality, for his mind would not allow him to see any further of his past because of the spell that was placed upon him. A spell in which he had placed. He refused to see what else had happened, for it haunted him so much. He looked out the window, seeing the roaring wind crash against the window. The howling of the wind is louder then he imagined.

Karasu decided to call it a night. The fire extinguishers itself as he abandoned the living room and retreated to his compartment which contained a single bed and a window to observe the darkned realm around him.

“Yume, please,” He whispered softly.
***

Within the Shadows, Yume reawakens. His mind was still clouded by what happened between him and the dragon. He sighed and looked around. No one was with him, as he rested in the land of Limbo. He knew that he was being useless to his friends, just sitting around here not fighting that dragon that could be causing hell to the realms. He looked around and sighed. He took out his wand and waved it into the air. The darkness that rested in front of him vanished, and there he could see the four kingdoms. Fire was breaking out in the Northern Kingdom, the palace of glass in which he had met the seven Lords remained untouched, however the villages and towns were being burnt to the ground.

“Why am I here, when I should be down there, rescuing them,” He said to himself.

“Because the only way you can rescue them, is by finding that lost memory,” Came the voice of his wolf guide. He looked towards the wolf and sighed.

“I told you, I don’t remember anything,” He said.

“That is because you aren’t trying hard enough, you never forget something once its happened,” Said the wolf.

“Yeah, I know.” He said sighing softly.

“A key, who would need a key?” He asked.

“The key is the item yes, but we need the person in order to use the key to unlock their soul so that they could awaken as a guardian, the closer we get to awakening the three guardians, the sooner we’ll be ready for war,” She said.

Yume closed his eyes and reviewed all of his memories that were locked behind golden gates. He pried the gates open and browsed through the mountain of memories. There was the time when it was his sixth birthday and his mother and father were still alive, still human. They were celebrating with cake and presents and games. It almost brought tears to his eyes to be reviewing this memory, for he knew that was the life that he wanted back, he wanted to he normal again.

He then came upon a single memory that he had not yet seen. At first when he looked at it, it was pitch black. He was use to seeing that since pitch surrounded him like a plague. Then he saw the insides of a brilliant castle made of crystal. Everything was made of crystal, it was so beautiful, so breath taking. When the sun’s rays were casted just right, a rainbow would display upon the land. He remembered being in a large double sized bed. He was young, maybe ten or eleven. He had blonde hair and the same emerald eyes.

He heard his door being opened and a young girl with cherry red hair comes into view, his sister! She had beautiful eyes that obtained a bluish green hue that almost looked like the Northern Lights that danced across the skies at night during the winter. Her skin was pale.

“Come on brother, its time to introduce yourself to the kingdom, your birthday is today!” She called out excitedly and ran back down the stairs of the castle giggling.

Yume groaned and rose up out of bed. He sighed, it was his sixth birthday. He was short and had a thin body. His eyes were steel gray and his hair its normal silver color.

He smiles at himself and then walked towards the nearest window. When he looked down he saw thousands of citizens dancing and performing various tricks and shows just for him! It was the celebration of his own birthday, he was the future king of all these people, and this was a time where all the kingdoms gathered to perform their best magic to him, if he was impressed they would get an extra gift from the palace and their children would e spared from the draft.

Yume enjoyed these days even though they came once every year. So he was going to enjoy this one. As time progressed he was downstairs in the palace throne room watching all the guests dance to the ancient music that was being played by a professional orchestra.

“What do you think son?” Came Yume’s mother’s voice. Her voice…it was so soothing and beautiful, so elegent and fragile.

“I love it mother!” He chimed his face bright with excitement as he watched everyone dance.

“That’s my boy,” Came my father’s deep growly voice. Yume looked over to the man, he was a human in a spirit realm, that was what he knew of his father. He wasn’t a spirit, but a simple human living a dream that he had for a long time, to be married to the Queen of this enchanted realm.

Suddenly screams of fright began to burst out from the streets. The large double doors soon exploded into thousands of shards as then came a woman wearing black cloths, her eyes were pure red and her skin white as a ghost.

“Ah if it isn’t my nephew!” Cooed the woman as she approached the throne.

“What are you doing here sister,” Growled the Queen rising from her seat.

“What’s wrong, can’t I even attend my own nephew’s birthday?” She asked grinning devilishly.

“You are not even supposed to be here, you are vanished from the four kingdoms to forever rest in the hidden islands,” Snarled Yume’s mother as she rose out of her seat. She grabbed a beautiful white staff that obtained five strands of emeralds.

CHAPTER TWENTY_THREE
SURRENDER TO HOPE

Yume was still puzzled as to who this woman was. According to her, she was his Aunt. But why had he never heard of her, nor even seen her?

“Mom, who is she?” Yume asked looking at her.

“No one important,” Hissed Yume’s mother in reply.

“Go now, or I’ll have you throne into the shadows,” Growled his mother in a dark tone.

“Now sister, why don’t I just introduce you to a new friend of mine shall we?” She smiles and snapped her finger. Suddenly another loud explosion and the walls that held the doors suddenly explode. There stood a colossal man with triceps and every other muscles imaginable walking down the carpet. He had large hooved feet and his eyes glowed bright red, he wore a hood over himself, and in front of that hood was pitch black.

“Your majesty, what a nice surprise,” Rumbled the voice.

“Get out now!” Shouted Yume’s father as he rose up.

“Guards!” Shouted my mother as she waved her staff into the air. Suddenly doors opened from every direction of the palace and troops of men wearing shields with the kingdom’s symbol upon it came marching into the room.

The large man chuckled and waved his own hand and every single one of the soldiers froze to the spot, and turned into ash.

“Leave now, or you shall suffer,” Said the Queen growling.

“How dare you speak to me that way, to your future leader?” Growled the man in the cloak.

“You are not of royal blood, now be gone!” She then grabbed her staff, rose it into the air and slammed it into the ground. A loud crack of thunder echoes in the distance and sparks fly out from the bottom. Then a huge wave of light floods the castle, the large man growls in distress, as his skin then began to peel off like paper.

“What is this magic?” Growled the beast as he then roars in triumph as then a gust of wind blew into the ash.

Yume smiled and looked at his mother’s diction only finding her lying upon the floor.

“Mother!” He shouted climbing out of his chair and rushed to her side.

“Stay back son!” Warned Yume’s father the king as he walked over to his wife’s side and examined her.

“My darling please be with us!” He cried slightly. The woman that claimed to be his Aunt, was nowhere to be seen, not a trace.
***

Just then another memory of their life back in earth came into view. He laughed as his mother pushed him on the swing that hunt on a thick branch in their tree in the front yard. The fresh autumn breeze that blew her beautiful hair.

“Mother..’ He whispered his lips quivering as tears fell from his eyes.

“I miss you so much,’ He reached out, wanting his real fingers to touch her face once more.

“I’ll save you, I promise,”

“Of course you will darling,” Came a soft voice from behind him. Yume nearly gasped with fright, but when he looked behind him, he nearly fainted.

There stood his mother. Not a memory, not a false image, but her. She wore a beautiful lavender satin dress that flowed like a beautiful purple river. She wore her hair back in a long pony tail, and it was just as silver as his own was. He rushed to her, barring his face into her beautiful dress as he cried.

“There, there my child,” She cooed softly rubbing his back gently.

“Mother, why…why did you lie to me about the fire?” He asked.

“I had to darling, I did not want you to see what really happened, you see, your Aunt was possessed by a demon, and that demon had gotten into me, so I had to cast a spell to make sure that you and I and your father were safe in the human world,” She said.

“But you…you could have told me the truth,” He said.

“I know darling, I should have, but now everything is happening, you’re a guarudian now,” She smiles.

“I’ve always known that you were special,” She said and kissed his forehead.

“Mother, what happened to my sister?” He asked.

Her smiling face then turned into a frown.

“Your sister, she was stolen the day after the incident with me and your Aunt, we’ve never seen her since then darling,” She said.

“Oh,”

“Now you listen here Yume, you are going to wake up soon, and when you do, promise me this, whatever you do, find the relics of light, and awaken the Gods and Goddess to bring an end to that demon, and if I die, I want you to know this, I want you to know that I truly love you,” She said.

“And I love you too,” Whimpered Yume.

Soon his mother slowly began to vanish, as if she were a ghost. Never to be seen again. Tears filled his eyes when he saw her leave, but then he turned back to the scene of the falling kingdoms.

He sighed and wondered where to start. He had no idea who else could be the barrier of the next artifact. But then, something came inside his mind. The image of his father, for some reason that picture of him stood out. Was he the possible candidate for the second artifact?

“Mother, are you still there!” He shouted.

“Barely,” Replied her voice.

“Is father still alive!” He shouted.

“Yes, he lives within the forest that is silent, and where darkness cannot breach, he evacuated with the camp towards the Southern Kingdom where another wizard protects their allies with magic stronger than the darkness,” Her voice then faded out forever.

“When you believe, darkness will fall,” echoed her voice one last time, before it faded once more.

Yume sighed. He was now alone again in the darkness…
***

Karasu had at last made it to the train station after he left the cottage. People were boarding the locomotive silently as if being sentenced to slavery. Watch guards were located at every entrance of the train to make sure that unwanted gusts did not board. Karasu gulped, he knew that he would have to trick these guys somehow for he remembered the wanted posters out in the palace showing him and his friends. But luckily they did not have to worry about Yume, not now anyways.

He looked around taking a deep breath as then a change waved over him. He now was an old shriveled man, a cane was in his right hand as he had an arched back which made slight popping sounds as he walked on by the guards.

“One ticket please,” Came the conductor’s voice as he sees the old man.

Karasu takes out his ticket and the conductor takes the slip and then shreds it and smiles.

“All aboard!” He shouted as then the line began to move forward with haste for the trains’ demonic whistle blew once again, sending jets of steam into the air. From afar, a monk with his hood over his head glared out in the darkness, towards Karasu’s direction. He then soon vanished without a trace.
***

“This is my kingdom now,’ Cooed the mistress laughing slightly as she looked into the Westren landscape that was now bathed in shadow. In her hand was the unicorn’s horn. It had turned into a solid black shadow, and it seemed to make her skin the same color as well. Her eyes had turned steely, and her wickedness had seemed to have grown.

“Look at our beloved kingdom sister, look at the citizens down there celebrating my ruling!” She laughed darkly.

“Yes, my celebration as Queen!” She rose the horn into the air as then a bolt of lightning shot through the horn and shattered the sky.

“The spell is almost complete my Lord, however now we just need the artifacts, what news of the boy and of my dragon?” She asked.

“Your dragon is doing well, destroying every rebellion against you my Lady, and the boy, we have not heard from him in a while,” He said. The man walked towards the mistress a slight smile upon his face.

He was a bulky man, but still obtained pure red eyes that glowed in the blackness that lingered around them.

“My darling, the spell will be complete, and then I will be your King forever,” He whispered in her ear.

“And her soul,” Scowled the Mistress.

“Forever destroyed,” Replied the man.

“Good,” She said a smile of satisfaction upon her face.

“My Lord and Lady, I’m terribly sorry for interrupting anything, but I believe I do have news of the rebellion against you,” The monk said.

“Do tell monk,” She said. A hissing sound echoed in the darkness. Then the monk’s snake appeared out from his hood and hissed in his ear.

“My darling says that the boy has scarified himself in saving his friend from the dragon killing him,” He announced.

“The boy is dead?” The Lord said turning around glaring at the monk. The monk nodded.

“Yes my Lord, the dragon had slashed its tail against the boy and killed him dead on,”

“It’ll seem that I have to send my Hunts woman out once again,” Hissed the mistress waving the horn around in a circle as then a spiral of dark shadow began to appear.

“Also my mistress, there has been no signs of the spectral dogs, I do believe one of them has betrayed you and Lady Darkness only knows where the other had gone,” He said.

“Never mind them,” She said as then the shadows formed a tall woman obtaining ebony black hair and purple eyes.

“My mistress, you’ve called?” She asked.

“Yes, I would like you to find the wanted persons from these posters that hang in the villages and towns, I want you to bring them to me as soon as you can get them, a hint of their whereabouts, the city of glass,” She said.

“Yes my mistress,” Soon another cover of shadows and the woman had vanished without a trace.
***

Karasu had managed to elude the guards that were patrolling the station. The spirits that were aboard the train were solemn and silent, none spoke a word. He wished he could speak to one of them, but he knew that there was no one he could trust.

“I heard that the rebellion that use to be in Star Valley had moved forward towards the Southern Kingdom where the Wizard of White protects them,” Whispered one spirit to another.

“Well they are as good as gone, the Witch’s army is getting stronger, and stronger, creatures and demons are rising forth in the West and are occupying the other kingdoms, After that dragon had submerged from the darkness, people have been running in terror, one particular village is being terrorized by a werewolf,” Said the other.

“So I see, well did you hear about what happened to that human? The one that managed to cross the boarders, I heard that he was killed and that the sages are going to perform a burial,” He said.

Karasu held his breath. He knew that was a lie, for the sages promised that he had till the full moon, but how could he tell when the full moon was? He couldn’t even see the full moon.

He looked out at the sky, his eyes nearly widened as to what he was seeing. The darkness above had cleared, and a half moon was illuminating nearby clouds that sailed over its silvery surface. He sighed, he knew that he had a limited time, so he prayed that he would be able to find the healer…he just had to.

The train drove onward through the ice made tracks that overlapped the sea, heading towards the Eastern Island. There is where his past lay, his horrid past. He was afraid to face it, but he just knew he had to in order to remember the healer, she had worked for his family for a very long time, was it possible that she was still there?

The train passed by the remains of a small town that floated above the water. Its buildings were engulfed by flames and its occupies seemed to have vanished. He knew that the dragon was causing a lot of damage towards the kingdoms, and the only way he could be stopped was by Yume. He was a very powerful magician even if he was human. Karasu wished he had some more time to train him to use the magic that is in his blood. It happened all so fast, way to fast if you think about it.

Karasu sighed. He knew now that if he did not save Yume, the whole world may fall to darkness, and never surrender to hope. He knew something however that no one else knew of, the ancient prophesy that involves Yume, something that has been told a long time ago to him by an ancient and powerful wizard.

If he remembered correctly it went like this.


DEEP WITIHN TIME, A HAPPENING SHALL OCCCURE, A CHANGE IN THE LAND THAT WIILL bring forth a time of change, six items, a dragon, and darkness shall come forth, and bring forth the beginning of a new age.
Karasu sighed. He knew what it meant, he always did. It meant that darkness planned on coming, and that the Darkness would arrive to bring an end to the light forever, and that the only way to stop, is to bring forth Darkness’s greatest enemy, light. He did not want to tell Yume that the ancients had this all planned out from the very beginning, he knew that would wreck him. Because when one person gets pointed out from the crowd, he begins to doubt themselves over weather or not they can fulfill it.

The train moved onward towards its destination, nonstop towards the Eastern Kingdom.

“Eastern Kingdom stop!” Called the conductor as the train’s wheels screeched loudly against the tracks as then it lurched to a halt. The phantoms and spirits aboard rose up from their seats and grabbed their luggage and exited the train. Karasu grabbed his cane and got up looking around. He was still in his old man disguise for he could not afford to be seen.

He looked around and noticed a change within the atmosphere. It was deathly cold, and it was. Snowing? He looked up at the sky, and sure enough snow was falling from the sky. The ground was already covered in a thick layer of the fluffy white substance of frozen rain. He sighed as he looked around at the other phantoms. He unlike them was affected by the cold.

“Now where old boy,” He said to himself not knowing where to go next. He had to find the village, the village in which he was born in. The village of Graymor. He made sure that he was a good distance away from the guards and from the train station before he turned back into his normal self. However he managed to change his hair color to a dark hue of blue with a green tent. He also changed his outfit to a winter tunic that was thick wool and he had a hood that would cover his face.

The village in which the station was located was called The Village of Silence, and yes it did live up to its name. Not a sound could be heard. That was of course the lingering dark fog still hovered around the atmoshpire like a plaque that could never be lifted. Karasu tried to remember the directions to his house, they were still implanted in his mind. He sighed and kept going. He wish he did not have to leave his horse behind in the cottage, but he had to for horses could not board trains. He prayed that she was capable of taking care of herself.

“And where are you going,” Came a familiar voice. Karasu turned his head and nearly fell over seeing who it was.

“Eria!” He shouted growling.

“What are you doing here!”

“Following you,” She said as she jumped off a nearby tree smiling softly.

“Why did you leave your mother!?” Asked Karasu anger filling up inside.

“She was okay by herself, she is helping the village rebuild after the darkness had overtaken it, they are setting up guards at every entrance to alert them of oncoming danger,” She said.

“Our world is full of danger,” Karasu sighed.

“Yes, I’m afraid it is, but the only way to stop it is by finding this person right, I do have an idea of whom you are thinking of, her name is Glendtthedis, she is a powerful healer in all of the kingdoms,” She said.

“H…do you know of her?’ He asked as the memory switch at last clicked on.

“Lets just say that my mother has connections and I’ve seen her once or twice in my own life time,” She said with a proud smile.

“Lead the way,” Instructed Karasu.

“Well if I remember correctly, she lives in a secluded part of the woods, near an old bog or swamp, but sometimes she moves occasionally and since the darkness is now abroad, goodness knows what will happen.

Suddenly a strange crackle filled the air, like static from an old radio. Just then way above the tops of the trees came a projection of the Queen.

“This is your majesty speaking, drop what you are doing and listen carefully, fugitives are on the run, the names are as followed, Karasu Adonis, Eria and Harriet, Yume Ame, also this is a time of renewal, accepted what has happened. As of tonight, my shadows will be watching every entrance of the woods, and villages, if any rebels are constructed to go against my power, they shall easily be destroyed the shadows will be stationed after sunset, that will be all,” Just then the visual projection vanished as the snow kept falling from the sky.

“That was it?” Eria sighed softly.

“We’ve not heard announcement like that before,” Karasu said.

“Well the tech people at the palace might have created a new invention of some sort,” Eria said sighing.

That was a true fact.

“We better hurry, she said that shadows were going to be stationed at every exit of the forests , we don’t want to have to come across one of them,” Said Eria.

“Yeah, we might as well,” She said.

“Let the journey begin!,” She added.

Chapter twenty-Four
Silent Prayer

Both Eria and Karasu wondered through the thick forest throughout the evening. As night befell upon them they knew they had to be careful. Whatever these shadows were, they both knew that they did not sound pleasant.

“What should we do, set up camp or something until the next dawn?” Karasu asked.

“Well if I remember correctly, the home of the healer is about at least two days’ worth of travel ,” She said.

“Great,” Karasu said rolling his eyes.

“Let’s keep going, I’m hungry however so I’ll hunt a deer or something,” Said Eria.

“At the mention of food, Karasu’s stomach gave a loud grumble. He knew he had not eaten since the time he left the village, which was a bad thing for he needed the energy.

“Stay close,” Karasu murmured as he rested against a tree watching Eria vanish into the darkness. He looked up towards the sky sitting on a rock. The snow fell in large flakes upon his cheek.

“Please, oh Gods and Goddess, please awaken, awaken to destroy this everlasting darkness,” He pleaded. He knew it was impossible for them to hear his silent prayer. But heck, he had to give it a chance. What seemed like hours, Eria had at last returned with a fresh kill.
Karasu had one important job, to kindle a fire. He set up a few stones and placed wood inside. He took his staff and then lowered its tip into the fire, it slowly began to catch fire and a bright warm blaze sizzled the snow around it.

“There we go,” Said Karasu sighing with satisfaction.

“To bad we can’t use magic for everything,” Said Eria as she took her knife and began to clean out the good parts of the deer.

“That would just drain the fun out of things,’ Said Karasu grinning resting his staff down.

He hummed slightly, a soothing lullaby that he knew a long time ago.

“So, what happened to your parents Karasu?” Asked Era as she found a stick that would work well for a spit. She then set it up and placed a few pieces of meat and began to spin it around the fire to roast.

“I don’t really remember,” He said looking off.

“Every time I try to reclaim the memory, I always manage to lose it,” He said.

“Yeah, I understand that, just like how I try and remember my real parents,” She said.

“So you were in a church when you were found?” Asked Karasu.

“Yeah, according to the monks I was almost dead, I had many wounds, at first they thought there was no hope for me, but then my mother Harriet came and saved me using what magic she had,” She said smiling.

“So your mother is a healer and a soothsayer?” He asked.

“That’s right,” She said.

“Interesting, why was she in the abbey with the other monks?” He asked.

“My mother didn’t know her true calling at the time, she had a bad time when her farm had been lost due to the great freeze, and her husband had died as well, and her children had never been seen,” She said.

“She had kids?” Karasu asked in bewilderment.

“Yeah, funny story that one is,” She said yawning as she then looked around for any serving utensils that she could use to serve the meat. Karasu waved his hand in a circle as then light particles began to form in the air and a nice silver platter floated her way. She smiled and placed the meat into the platter and looked at him with a polite grin.

“All I do remember of my family was this ancient celebration that we always performed called Samhain, my mother always invited guests to attended in our mansion for my father owned some sort of big company that made lots of gold in its industry. My mother was as kind spirit, she always wore lovely jewels, food was always on the table,” He smiled.

“Then there is the most happiest memory of all, my first lessons of magic,” He said.

“My mother noticed my talent in magic, because she had once told me that her mother was a Witch and that was where I had gotten the gift, was from her, because the magic seemed to have skipped her gene and then passed into me,” He explained.

“Anyways, my mother got me a tutor named Mother Meg, she was a really great Witch whom worked in ancient ways of light magic. My mother refused any dark magic for it was forbidden at the time after the Queen’s sister tried taking rule with it by trying to poison her,”

“I remember that in my studies,” Said Eria.

“The Queen was almost killed by her sister within the night, she tried poisoning her wine by using a servant to do the bidding,” She said.

“Yeah that’s right, if it wasn’t for her being as powerful and majestic as she was, we could have lost her that day,” He said.

“True,” Eria said.

Karasu continued on with his story.

“Anyway after that event occurred, my father’s company almost went down, and my mother had to sell off some of her jewels just to keep my tutor, Mother Meg was a really good teacher. She taught me that magic could be used in many ways, whether it’s in words, or in the mind, or by the earth,” He said.

“So that is how you became a wizard hu, by your grandmother’s roots?” She asked.

“Yeah,” He said.

“So where does the healer live?” Karasu asked.

“She lives in the swamps of the woods, that is all that I know, but then again she could be anywhere, the mountains aren’t far from us either she could have hid herself in them since no one disturbs the mountains,” She said.

“Great, I’ve had my share of mountain climbing, think we should try there?” He asked.

“There is another village not far off, maybe we can stop there and get plenty of rest and supplies before we go out again, maybe someone there would know,” Suddenly a loud scream breaks the silence of the woods. Eria rises her head in the air and catches the sound. She rose up and looked terrified.

‘Quick!” She shouted rushing into the direction of the scream.

Karasu rose to his feet and took off in the same direction in which Eria had taken off.

“Eria stay close, it might be a shadow, or worse!” He shouted.

Eria either did not hear him, or paid no attention to his warning. She darted through trees and gasped seeing a body lying in the snow in a pool of blood.

“H…help me,” Stuttered the wounded man whom laid in the snow. A large gaping wound displayed on his left side of his stomach. His face was pale, and his body shook from the cold. Eria bent down and examined the wound.

“What happened to you?” She asked.

“Demon, tried killing me,” The man panted slightly.

“Hiding in the woods, I…I wounded him,” He panted.

Eria looked around through the trees. She could not see anything in front of her. The sun was vanishing from the sky cloaking the world into pure darkness. She whimpered afraid that the monster might come back.

“Karasu!” She shouted praying that he was somewhere nearby.

Karasu came rushing towards her voice when he saw the man lying on the ground.

“What happened?”

Just then a loud crack of a whip broke the silence of the woods and Karasu screams in agony. He groaned as his arm reaches over towards his wound which was displayed over his back. A large lash mark had cut through his tunic and drawn a long strand of blood. He then looked up at his unknown assailant and gasped. There stood a hooded figure. He was black as the night itself, and the only way Karasu could see the demon was the silvery eyes glaring at him. In the creatures hand which was the hand of a skeleton clutched the handle of a long black whip that obtained spines across its base.

Eria growled slightly. She grabbed her bow that she used for her hunt and knocked an arrow in and aimed.

“When did you get that?” Karasu said as he grabbed for his staff.

“Traded it,” She said grinning.

The hooded figure hissed as it bared its strange looking fangs. Its cloaks flooded over the snow as it drew closer to them.

“Stay back!” Eria hissed.

“You stay back, weakling, you dare reject the mistresses darkness,” It whispered.

“You work for that horrendous woman?” Eria growled, her grip on the arrow grinding her teeth.

“Mistress is our mistress, darkness is her magic, we obey her and her alone, any whom go against her shall die, demons arise from beneath the earth, and shadows shall forever cloak this world,” The hooded figure smirked.

“Not this time,” Said Eria allowing the arrow to be released from its string. The arrow thuds right into the rib cage of the hooded figure. It howls in pain as it falls to its knees. It stared at Eria for a long period of time before the light faded from them and he fell into the snow.

“Come on, let’s get him out of here,” Said Eria picking up his legs.

Karasu walked over towards the man’s shoulders and lifted him up.

“What’s your name son?” Karasu. asked

“Nanon,” The boy muttered.

Karasu got a good look at him. The boy was very young, possibly still in his teens. He had white hair. His eyes were sea green.

“I’m from the next village, the healer should be at home by now,” Moaned the man.

“Good, we’ll get ya home don’t worry,” Said Karasu as he held up the man.

“Eria, let me take him, you look worn out,” He said.

Eria obeyed and Karasu propped the boy up wrapping his left arm around his shoulder and began to help him walk along the path. It was tuff work but he managed to drag the boy all the way. In the distance Karasu could see tiny specks of light of what looked like a neat little village. The trees were beginning to depart and houses began to appear.

“We’re almost there, just keep with us,” Eria encouraged as she smiled softly taking out some cloth and wrapping it around the boy’s thigh where the wound was most open.

“The Shinigami will be coming anytime,” Said the boy.

“Shinigami only come for the dead,” Reassured Karasu.

“That is what I’m about to become,” Nanon replied.

“Now stop that, there will be no death tonight,” Eria said.

“By the way, my name is Eria, and the strong wizard that had just saved your life is named Karasu,” She said smiling.

“Nice to meet you, and thank you for saving me,” He muttered taking gasping breaths as he looked around.

“Help!” Shouted Eria as she saw shadows of people rushing their direction.

Soon Karasu and Eria were being helped by a group of men from the village. There were four of them. One was tall and rather muscled and had reddish hair that almost looked like fire. The second was a younger gentleman with sandy blonde hair and a scrawny build, the third was a half and half. He had a good body with slight muscles not so much as the first man, and had Silver Star colored hair that went all the way down to his shoulders and was tied into a pony tail.

The fourth was a woman. She had paper white skin, brown eyes and long jet black hair. She was thin and wore a strange blue and white tunic and had a bow and a case of arrows attached to her.

“What happened!” Called the man with the pony tail as he helped Karasu support the wounded boy.

“Seems that Nanon came across a shadow,” Replied Karasu sighing in relief as the man helped him.

It was hard work, carrying him to the village. But Karasu and the pony tailed man had managed to get the boy to the Healers cottage. The cottage was small and had a single table that looked as if it were both used as a kitchen table, and a doctors table. The small cottage was lit by a nice fire, and the windows were closed shut to block out the world of prying eyes.

“Ly him on the table please,” Said the old woman whom looked to be in her nineties if not older. She had flour white hair, and gray stormy eyes.

“What happened to him?” Karasu asked.

“It seems that a demon had bitten him,” She said sighing.

“Thank you two for bringing him back here, however I daresay that he is no longer welcomed here, I will heal him and I ask you to take him with you,” She said.

“What do you mean not welcomed here?” Asked Karasu in bewilderment.

“He is not human like you, nor us, but has tainted blood,” She said.

“What do you mean?”

“He is a werewolf,” Replied the pony tailed man.

“My name is Jade by the way, Jade Axyden,” Said the pony tailed man grinning.

“So how did this boy become what he is, werewolves are rare around here these days, since they were almost whipped out in the last realm wars,” Karasu said.

“Apparently we have one that lives around the mountains that comes down every fullness of the moon and feasts upon our cattle and lambs,” Said Jade.

“I see, have you tried every remedy out there to cure the curse?” Karasu asked.

“Yes, and for some reason the poison is still inside of him, we even injected silver inside him and that had no effect.

“Odd, normally silver injection pumps the venom right out of the blood system,” Said Karasu in deep thought.

“What else have you tried, surely you can’t just toss the boy out into the woods like that, I would hate to think that the boys injuries are your fault, you all seem never nice people,” He said.

“Thank you for that comment sir, what is your name before we proceed into deep conversations of this matter,” Asked Jade raising an eyebrow in suspicion.

CHAPTER TWENTY_FIVE
THE HEALER
The clock kept ticking the time away as the old woman dressed Nanon’s wounds.
“My name is Karasu, a wizard,” He said smiling.

“We’ve not seen many Witches nor Wizards in a while,” Stated Jade.

“I use to work for the Queen a while ago, before this demonic presents had taken over her, I was the one whom took care of the prince before he disappeared.

“Is it true that the prince returned to the realms?” Jade asked looking at him, hope in his eyes.

“Yes, but I’m afraid that tragedy has befell upon him and that he has fallen into a coma for saving me,” Karasu explained.

“I hope he awakes, we need him more than anything, to fight against the evil Queen, we are doing our best to make an army, but it’s just so hard now these days, specially finding weapons,” He said.

“Yeah, but we most keep a low profile on that situation at the moment, the shadows could be observing us,” Hissed Jade.

Hours replaced minutes as the clock ticked onward. Karasu and Eria had been both given separate rooms in the Inn that was close by.

“You worked for the Queen before she was possessed?” Eria asked before they departed for the night.

“Yeah, a long time ago when Yume was very young, he probably doesn’t remember me, I was supposed to be his mentor,” He said.

“You never did tell me that bit,” She said.

“That was before we got interrupted by the shadow,” Said Karasu.

“Oh yeah, that’s right,’ Eria said.

“Well good night,” She said and then vanished into her room.
Karasu felt drained after dragging Nanon into the village. He sighed softly and looked around the hallway, he could hear snores of many occupies of the Inn. He knew that things were ruff these days considering war was among them, and there was no sight of light at all. He opened the door to his room and was welcomed by candlelight. He had one single window that looked out in the western direction were the sun had vanished from leaving them all in the surreal darkness.
Karasu sighed as he looked out his window. He knew he had to talk to the healer that worked on Nanon. He had to get answers about this healer, the healer that Eria had known. The name had already escaped his mind. But she was real, and he was glad of that. The shadows of the trees towered over the Inn. Strange glimmering lights floated around their trunks. It was odd to see fairies at this time of dangerous night, especially if there were shadows among them.

A knock frightens Karasu. He rose to his feet and opened his door and there stood Eria.

“Hey Karasu, I want to see the stars again,” She said with a pleading look in her eyes. \
“Oh alright,” He said smiling.

“Let’s go up, there is a balcony,” Said Eria leading the way down towards the end of the hall where a spiral staircase led upward towards the second level of the Inn. The both of them walked in silence.

“Do you really think this healer is the answer Karasu?” She asked.

“She has to be,” Karasu said.

When they reached the balcony Karasu slid open the sliding glass door and smiles softly allowing her to go first. He then followed her afterwards. Once upon the deck. He held his staff firmly in his hand, he had never let go of his staff, he would never for it was his item, his magic.

“Alright, ready?” He asked.

“Now take a deep breath,” He said smiling.

“And think of something that truly lightens your weight upon this world, something that is different from everything else in your mind,” Instructed Karasu.

Eria did as she was told and an image of Yume came into view. Oh Yume, She held a good feeling for him, such a wonderful feeling, a feeling in which she had never felt before in her whole life. Even though her mother had encouraged her to get married since she was at the marriageable age, but she just wasn’t interested in any of the suitors that her mother had planned out for her. However Yume was a different situation.

“Now close your eyes for a few minutes then reopen them” Karasu said smiling as he waved his staff into the air. A ray of bluish green light began to submerge from the emeralds that were perched atop the rod and began to flow into the air. They formed five fingers and the fingers clutched a good portion of the darkness, it then pushed it away and starlight made the darkness dissolve into nothing but pure silver light.

“Open,” He said.

She did and gasped at the sight of the beautiful stars.

“So breath taking,” She muttered as the emerald green light had now taken the form of a piece of thread and was weaving itself between the stars.

“Isn’t it?” He asked grinning softly.

“They call it Aura,” He said.

“Aura?”

“Yes, Aura,”
***

The next morning Karasu woke in his room. He yawned softly and stretched his aching muscles. After watching the Aura he and Eria had retreated for the night knowing that they would need their energy. Suddenly Karasu was hearing shouts and screams from the town’s people. He sniffed the air and nearly choked. It held a strong scent of blackened smoke, like fire! He arose out of bed and gasped seeing that the floor boards had caught fire and that everything was burning rapidly.

“Wizard!” Shouted a gravelly voice as then an ugly goblin with a spear at hand approaches him aiming the spear at his heart.

Karasu grabbed his staff and yelled slamming the base of it at the Goblin sending an electrical reaction sending the goblin hurtling towards the closed door. It shattered into millions of splinters as it crashed into the hall way.

“Karasu we have to leave!” Came Eria’s voice as she came running through the hall.

‘Quick, we’ll have to jump!” He said opening the window.

“Trust me,” He said offering her his hand. She slowly took it a bit nerves.

“Take a deep breath and hold on to me tightly!” He ordered as he approaches the window with Eria. He took one final breath and then grabbed ahold of her and launched himself out of the window. A bright light forms over him once again as then his body shifts back into the raven body. His large black wings expand and grab the wind as his talons grab hold of Eria whom was screaming in fright.

Don’t worry Eria, I’m still me

Karasu said within his mind. The screaming of Eria had calmed as he glided through the sky. What met their eyes was devastating. It was a raid. People were screaming in agony as goblins drove knives and arrows into their bodies. Suddenly Karasu felt agonizing pain in his right wing. He then notices that one of the Goblins that were down below had knocked an arrow into its bow and shot him right in the wing.

HOLD ON!

CRASH

As Karasu and Eria crashed into the ground, Karasu took upon his normal form once again.

“Quick let’s get inside,” Groaned Karasu as he noticed that they were near the Healers
home.

“Are you okay Karasu?” Eria asked as she helped him. She opened the door of the cottage and saw the old woman’s limp body upon the floor, a spear in her shoulder.

“Nanon!” Shouted Karasu as he fell to the ground grunting, blood oozing out of his wound.

“Madam, are you still with us?” Karasu asked as he fell on the floor grunting. He felt a burning sensation overwhelm his whole body.

“My dear, those arrows…obtain goblin poison, one of the strongest poisons…in my cupboard there is enough for one person, an antidote, take it my dear, you have a very important part to play within this story,” She muttered taking deep breaths.

“Madam do you know anything about the Healer, the one that is supposed to be the best healer of them all?” Asked Karasu.

“Y..yes my dear, she lives near a beautiful lake, where no darkness can come, a lake that connects to all four corners of the realm, a lake that is said to have the most powerful healing magic of all,” She whispered.

“Wonder Lake,” Eria said eyes wide.

“Yes my dear, Wonder Lake which is located within the Western Kingdom of Grayvale,” She said.

“But that is where the Queen’s castle is!” Karasu moaned as a sharp stab of pain shot through him.

Eria got up and ran towards the cupboard and dug through it.

“What’s it called madam,” Pleaded Eria as she tossed bottles around in desperation.

“Moon tears my dear, moon tears,” She said.

“Karasu, you most save this realm, take the boy with you and save this world, do it for me,” She said tears swelling in her eyes.

“My dear husband, my dear Allan, I’m coming now,” She moaned looking up.

“I’m coming…” She then closed her eyes. Her breathing was slow. Her chest rose and fell, and the beating of her heart could be heard faintly. However on the last beat, it never again thumped, and her breathing had stopped.

“I’ll try,” Karasu said looking at the old woman. Even though he had not known her for long, he hated seeing people die in the arms of darkness.

Karasu lowered his head and sighed softly. He knew that he had to keep his promise, he was going to see the Healer, no matter what cost, even if he had to give his own life for it.

“Come on, we have to go!” Nanon shouted.

Eria grabbed the bottle of Moon tears and then ran towards Karasu and uncorked the bottle and then forced Karasu to open his mouth and swallow the antidote.

Karasu took deep breaths, he then felt his strength regain and the wound where the arrow had struck heal. Suddenly another arrow flings through the air and shatters the window. It had fire on it and it stabbed right into a barrel of some sort of strange liquid. It started to leak and flames caught forth and began to catch the house on fire.

“Come on!” Shouted Karasu grabbing Eria’s hand and burst out the door.

“Go, I’ll catch up!” He said pushing both of them forward. Karasu took a deep breath and found a blanket that laid on the table and walked over towards the body of the healer and placed It over her.

“May your spirit fly free my lady,” He said waving his staff around her. The body of the woman soon began to turn into golden dust particles. Like tiny ember bits that floated into the sky and vanished. He then abandoned the burning building that was about to fall off its foundation.

“Keep going!” Shouted Nanon as he looked behind himself and a group of goblins were chasing them. He was feeling rather woozy for just having his wounds heal. The scars may be gone, but the pain still stung inside of him.

“Where do we go!” Eria barked.

“I can get us to the kingdom using my magic, but it’s hard to do and uses up most of my strength!” Karasu shouted.

“You have to try!” Nanon said dodging an arrow that flew passed his waist.

Karasu placed his staff underneath his armpit. He then cupped his hands together and began to rub them very roughly together. He was rubbing so fast that static lightning bolts were beginning to form around his palms. Soon they turned a crimson red. That was when he opened up his hands and blew into them. Just as he did a burst of flame shot straight outward from his palms. The stream of flame circled around the companions about six times forming a tornado. The trees all bent backward, their roots being torn out of the earth, a large gust of wind blew away the goblins and then…
BOOOM

The army of goblins all circled around the empty spot where their pray had just been. One bent on its knees and scooped up a handful ash in his palm and allowed it to blow freely in the breeze.

“Damn wizards,” Spat the Goblin taking hold his staff.

“Follow!” Shouted the goblin and then hurtled towards the woods.
***

Yume looked around the empty space. His mother had completely gone, and the wolf had come back. The she wolf, his spirit.

“Do you realize how important you are to the realms?” The wolf asked.

“Yes, I’m the prince,” Yume said sighing slightly getting worn out from hearing the same thing as if it were a broken record always stuck on repeat.

“Then why haven’t you found the location of the ancient key to awaken the second guardian?” She asked.

“I do not know,” Yume replied with truth.

The wolf let out a sigh and looked at Yume.

“Keep thinking Yume, I’m not pressuring you, it’s just that time is short and war is upon us, blood has already tainted the air,” She said.

“So I’ve seen countless times, and my friends they are trying to help awaken me,” He said.

“It’s possible that if you awaken once again you might find the answer that you seek,” She said.

“How?” He asked.

“Lets just say that the key might be in a world you’ve almost forgotten,” She smiles, and the vanishes, as if she were a ghost whom disappeared into the darkness that still lingered. He hated the darkness, despised it. He wished that a candle could be lit, in order to illuminate some of the dark.

Yume sighed. He hated being alone. The darkness seemed to clutch his throat. As if a hand had wrapped around his neck threatening to drain his whole life. He sighed and kept thinking. He wished that this would be over, that all the lies would be overwritten.

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX
THE WESTERN KINGDOM OF GRAYVALE

The terrible spell had indeed taken its toll upon Karasu as the three of them collided onto the floor of the western kingdom. He moaned feeling a migraine submerging from his brain. He looked around, a bit hazy as he took deep breaths.

“Wow,” Came Eria’s voice as then she looked up to see a large futuristic like city in front of her. The buildings were tall, taller than life. They formed large spirals and obtained thousands of windows. Perched on top of each building was a gem stone that glistened dolly in the twilight that still hovered in the air.

The streets were flooded with citizens walking in unnaturally straight lines. The air was fowl and smelt like rotting meat.

“Welcome to the city of Grayvale,” Said Karasu taking deep breaths trying to relax himself looking around the large city. They wore simple garments of black and red, the kingdoms original colors. Their expressions were blank, and emotionless, as if they had lost all feeling and thought.

“It’s the Witch’s work,” Whispered Karasu to Nanon whom looked baffled at the scene that met his eyes, apparently a werewolf had never seen the city before.

“Come on, we need to seek refuge and lay low, I’m sure that guards are everywhere and Eria and I are on the wanted list,” He explained.

“Right,” Said Nanon keeping close to them.

Karasu lead the way, he knew these parts like the back of his hand, considering that the Queen had use to send him and Yume here a long time ago to get magical supplies.

Karasu, Eria, and Nanon had at last arrived at an abandon convenient store where it seemed unoccupied by many visitors. The shop keeper was at his desk, reading a withered novel by candlelight. Karasu opened the door, a cluster of bells ring announcing their arrival into the store making the man place down his novel and look up at his new guests. He had paper white hair that grew in thick curled locks, and a pair of glasses perched at the bridge of his nose.

“Welcome my friends, to the Wondertorioum, the last bits of the magical shop branches,” He said smiling softly, as if proud that he has lasted this long in business since the time of darkness.

Karasu recognized the name very well; it was indeed the same shop that him and Yume both went into one autumn day.

“Mister Reverous,” Smiled Karasu.


“Master Karasu!” The old man removed his glasses and peered at him for one long moment.

“That’s right, alive and well,”

The old man got off the stool in which he sat on and rushed over towards Karasu and wrapped his arms around him.

“Oh my old friend,” He sobbed.

“Shh its okay Reverous, I am here,” He said smiling.

“It’s so good to see you, it’s horrible what’s happening to magic these days, the evil Queen is banning it!” He said.

“What!” Karasu exclaimed looking at him sternly.

“Banning magic, she can’t do such a thing,”

“Oh she can, and she has, already a few of my favorite Witches and Wizards have been sent to the castle and have lost their magic already, the Queen has a strange sort of machine in her castle that sucks out the life source of magic within the Witch and Wizard leaving them powerless and almost human,” He said.

“That is unspeakable, what about the Sages, haven’t they done anything about it?” He asked.

“It was them, the Lords whom have signed the papers to allow the Queen to do so, because after the death of the Prince, they think it’s best to surrender to her true power, and his..”

“His?” Eria asked.

“The one shadow everyone fears, the one whom caused the last great war of our kingdom, the one who split the kingdom into four separate islands,” He said.

“Kurai Shado,” Muttered Karasu in a barely audible voice.

The air seemed to have gone deathly still, and cold drifted into the store. The shop keep looked at Karasu and sighed.

“Yes, he has awoken, right after that evil Queen had slain the unicorn,” He said.

“How do you know of that?” Karasu asked.

“It was all over the place after it happened, especially when the Queen made public appearance and had the horn of the unicorn with her,”

“So she’s using its magic to do her bidding,” Eria said.

“Yes,”

“Quick, hide!” The old man suddenly nearly fell over as he pushed the three companions forward and opened a small trap door.

“Quick get inside,” He said shoving Karasu inside, then Eria, and then Nanon.

“Hide that staff if they see that staff of yours my old friend, they will suspect magic,” He said.

Karasu did as he was told, he waved his hand over the staff as it then transformed into a normal walking stick and held it firmly in his hands, still afraid that he might lay it down and forget it.

Once Eria, Karasu and Nanon had squeezed themselves into the hideaway the old man closed the door and darkness filled the small claustrophobic area.

“Do you think?” Eria began but was interrupted by a harsh Shh by Nanon.

“Quite or we all both will be committed to Azun Prison!” glowering at Eria. Hissed Nanon

They all fell silent as then the shop door swung open violently and clashed tightly closed.

“Ah, you must be sir Reverous Decoris am I correct?” came a blood chilling voice. The voice in which Karasu had once heard before.

“Madam, it’s you,” Spoke the old man in a worried tone.

“Is the Queen with you?”

“Not entirely, but I must say she does have her eye on this place,” Said the woman’s voice. Then it dawned on Karasu. It was the same woman that he and Yume met along the way towards the platform, the one whom summoned that demon to attack the both of them.

“My lady Xedy,” Said the old man.

“Yes, that is my name old man, what is it to you?” She asked.

“I ask why you come to my humble shop?”

“Rumored had it that a few spies have wondered here,” She paused and examined her fingernails that were painted a rose red. Her lips obtained purple lipstick, and her eyes were cloaked with black eyeliner. Her dress was a checkerboard pattern design, it would make one’s eyes hurt if they looked at it for a long period of time for it had that illusion effect.

“My lady no spies here I reassure you,”

Just then the door of the shop reopened and what stepped inside was something that the shop keeper had not expected. It was a shadow. It had its hood off, and you could see the black silhouetted human like figure with two large eyes that shimmered like two amber moons.

Karasu’s heart had almost stopped once he saw the creature. Suddenly Xedy walked towards a rack full of various styled wands looking at one in particular. It was a black wand that was finally carved and polished. The handle of the wand obtained a very creepy looking raven head. It was 21 inches, and polished black. It obtained a wooden birch shaft that went through the entire wand, and it appeared to be made of polymer clay.

“If you are telling the truth my good friend, I do believe this will be the price in exchange for your life,” She said with a sneer holding the finely made wand into her hand.

“But why would such a powerful witch such as you desire to use a wand?” He asked.

“Wands have their purpose in this life as much as we do, though I can kill you instantly with just a flick of my finger, the wand can sustain my temptation,” She said grinning.

“Well said my lady, I do hope you enjoy your stay in the city,” he said.

“I will be keeping an eye upon this place, don’t think you’re off the hook so easily just yet,” She hissed and then motioned for the shadow to move outside. She then exited the door letting the door clang heavily, not even the bells dared to jingle in her presents.

The shop keeper sighed in relief as the evil woman vanished from out of sight. He wondered back towards the small hideaway that he kept the companions and unlocked the hatch and slid it open.

First went Karasu taking deep breaths of fresh air.

Then, Nanon.

Now Eria whom was so cramped that she had to walk around in order to get feeling back into her body.

“What was that all about?” She asked.

“Just another Witch that is a part of that evil renegade over at the castle,” The old man said sighing softly sitting down placing his hand upon his forehead sighing softly.

“I’ve seen her once before,” Said Karasu.

“She tried to block Yume and I’s passage to the platform before the train boarded,” He said.

“What really happened to the poor boy, the sages are proclaiming it as a tragic accident,” Said the old man.

“Have you heard of the recent dragon attacks upon some of the villages in the Northern kingdom?” Karasu questioned.

“Yes, I’ve heard,”

“We were looking for something, an item in the Mooncrystal mines, and the dragon attacked us for it was his most prized treasure, we were on the face of the mountain when suddenly the dragon was going to kill me, but instead Yume saved me by taking his own life,” He said looking down remembering the nightmare as if it happened only a few hours ago, when it only has been two and a half days almost.

“I see,” Assumed the old man.

“But we have a way to bring him back, we are headed to the lake to find the Healer, and ask her to join us in the Glass kingdom to help heal his illness,” Karasu said with a smile.

“Come on, we need to go,” Eria said looking around as then an uproar was heard outside. Glass shattered and people screaming.

“Yeah, I agree,” Karasu said.

“Do you think you can use your magic?” Nanon questioned

“I’m still regaining strength, I’m very weak,” Karasu panted.

Karasu used his staff to help support his weight, his legs were trying to buckle underneath him but he refused to give in. He looked around the shop.

“You could use my mirror, it transfers people to other locations,” Said the old man.

“Perfect, show us where it is,”

The shop keeper led the travelers towards the back of the shop where a single door rested against the wall. Curtains were covering the door. The old man pulled them back and revealed a shiny black door with a silver knob. He grabbed hold of the knob and then twisted it once as it clicked open. He tugged at it and the wood gave a low groan and a wave of dust floated into the air. There in front of them was now a beautifully made mirror that shimmered brightly in the sunlight that now met its surface.

“Alright, picture your designated path, picture it clearly, we don’t want any mistakes for you might end up in two places at once,” the old man said.

‘Right,” Karasu said.

The three companions closed their eyes and took deep and even breaths. They imagined the lake, yes it was the lake in which they wanted to be. The lake…its smooth crystal clear waters, its undefined beauty, a place where light still remained, and where the stars could still be seen reflecting off the lake’s surface like a translucent looking glass.

Karasu was the first to open his eyes, and what he had just imagined was right in front of him. The lake stretched outward as far as the eye could see, towards the darkened edges tall mountains towered over it casting their mighty reflections upon the still water. Directly in the middle of the lake was an island that obtained a single house that was two stories tall.

“Wow,” Eria said with a baffled expression as she looked at the lake.

“Welcome, to Wonderlake,” Announced Karasu smiling softly holding his staff close to him as he rose it into the air and then gently pressed it down on the grass. As he did so a shimmering light began to flow upon the blades of grass. At first it was white, then it transformed into starlight silver. It went down in waves across the plain as then flowers began to appear upon the grass. As each flower submerged from the earth, they opened their petals and showed their bright illuminating colors. Each flower looked like an orb of light shimmering in the darkness.

Nanon gasped in pure amazement. He looked over at Karasu, and managed a slight smile. He hadn’t smiled in a long time, not ever since he was bitten by the werewolf that had made him an outcast from his village.

Suddenly Nanon stole a glance upwards towards the moon, he gasped and his pupils began to dilate.

Karasu stared up at the moon in puzzlement, it was only three days from being full, but for some reason Karasu knew what was going on.

“Nanon?” Questioned Eria seeing the sudden change in Nanon’s expression

“What’s wrong with him?”

“Quick, back away Eria, now!” Karasu ordered.

Nanon lurched forward, a sharp stab of pain fills his insides, and it feels like pens and needles stabbing into his bare skin. His legs buckled and he is upon the ground his hands grab a handful of grass as bones began snapping and going out of place, his body was transforming. His pale face began to extend, forming a snout that bared long fangs. Hair began to grow every inch on his body. His cloths ripped and tore as he fell to the ground his heart thudded like a drum, his spinal cord extended into a furry tail as he now stood upon four legs, his eyes were a bright green, his ears were pointed up and erect waiting for a sound to be heard. His sight was sharper than ever, and he could smell every scent in the world.

“Nanon, easy,” Karasu beckoned approaching the wolf. The wolf was about half way up to Karasu’s waist, that was how tall it was. It had a built body as if it were a jock. His fur was black with silver streaks, and his eyes a piercing green. His teeth glimmered white.

The wolf stared at Karasu, afraid, lost and wanting someone to understand. He moved slightly forward, towards Karasu.

Karasu froze slightly, unaware that the wolf wasn’t going to attack.

“Nanon, can you hear me?”

The wolf nodded his head, as if to say yes.

Karasu relaxed. He now realized that Nanon still had his human side left, but for how long.

“Nanon, you have to try and control yourself, do not get the sudden urge to kill, if you kill your wolf side will become stronger and take over your mind, you’ll never transform again, I’m afraid we’ll have to keep you hidden for now it least until dawn, we don’t want to scare the Healer, and I’ll ask her personally if she can make you a potion that could ease the transformation, that looked rather painful,” Said Karasu.

The wolf just nodded again. His eyes looked down, and his tail and ears drooped as if grieving. A soft whimper submerged from his muzzle.

“Come on now, lets see if there is a place in the woods where we can settle you where no one can find ya,” Karasu said walking towards the woods.

Eria sighed and looked at Nanon. She felt terribly sorry for him, for being different, a shape shifter at that.

They headed deep into the woods, till the lake was nowhere in sight. Karasu looked around the woods, not knowing what to do for Nanon. There appeared to be no caves anywhere.

CHAPTER TWENTY_SEVEN
ISLE OF TEARS

“Hey think I found something!” Called out Eria as she examined a strange underground entrance.
Karasu walked towards Eria and noticed the underground opening. There was an old dead elder tree on top of it, the cave was in fact an entrance inside the tree.
“The elder means luck,” Eria said smiling.
“How do you know that?” Karasu implied.
“Because I took over four centuries of herb studies,” She commented laughing slightly.
“How old are you again?”
“Eighteen, plus a few hundred years,” Said Eria.
“So soothsayers never grow old?”
“That’s right, kinda odd though,” She said.
Nanon let out a low whine as he sniffed the entrance of the cave. He wrinkled his nose and his ears flattened as his tail straightened.
“What’s wrong….Nanon?” Karasu had a terrible time not treating Nanon like a pet, for werewolves hated that more than anything, he knew that for a fact.
Soon Nanon vanished into the trunk of the tree, and into the darkness of the cave.
“Come on,” Encouraged Eria as she began to walk down into the cave as well.
“What if it’s not safe?” Asked Karasu.
“What can’t possibly be safe then Wonderlake, you said no evil has touched it,” She said.
“Yes but that doesn’t mean cruelty can linger,” He protested.
“Fine, stay out here alone, maybe another wolf will find ya,” She grinned and vanished into the darkness.
“On second thought,” Karasu said looking behind him, then horridly rushed into the cave with Eria and Nanon. They were swallowed by the darkness. Karasu took his staff and waved his hand around it and a bright shimmering green light flickered to life. The companion’s shadows were casted upon the earthen walls of the cave. Nanon’s looking more frightful.
“Where does this thing lead?” Karasu asked.

“Who knows, but it looks manmade, or creature made wither way,” She said looking at the walls. The walls were built strong, and upon their surface strange symbols were displayed.

“What are these markings, Sushini perhaps?” Eria asked.

Karasu came over and examined the letters.

“I think so, but I’m not sure, they look different then Sushini,” He said.

They continued on in silence. The only thing that was heard was the raspy breath of Nanon, and the sound of his claws scraping the earth. They went deeper and deeper into the cavern not knowing where it would lead.

“Maybe we should go back up,” Said Karasu feeling claustrophobic.

“Ah come on, this is a good place for Nanon to stay while we’re at the Healers hut, then we can go and get him back and hope that he is human again,” Encouraged Eria.

“Fine, let’s just see where it leads and if there is any form of a den then he can stay,” He said muttering. The darkness was getting to him, he wanted to go back up into the moonlight.

They continued down into the cavern. Suddenly something began to illuminate far off. Karasu blocked his eyes and looked downward and saw that the light was coming from some sort of gem stones.

“Come on, let’s go,” Karasu said walking forward and then they were in a large cave like structure with thousands of beautiful crystals.

‘Wow, it’s a mine!” exclaimed Eria looking around in amazement.

“An uncharted mine, surely because I know where all the mines are located,” Karasu said examining the crystals. They weren’t Mooncrystal, for they did not have that texture no appearance.

“Okay Nanon, you stay here and we’ll be back as soon as we can,” Said Eria

“Come eon lets go,” Said Karasu heading back towards the exit. Nanon looked up at him and whined softly. He hated being alone, and did not want to be alone.

“You have to stay Nanon, what was the point in coming down here when you…” The wolf’s eyes grew wide, and almost produced a tear. They were emerald green, and beautiful. The expression on the wolf was so heart warming…..

“Fine,” He cursed slightly.

“But do not harm or do anything,” He demanded. Nanon let out a bark of excitement and wagged his tail and jumped around. Suddenly a strange cracking sound began to fill the cave.

“What was that?” Asked Eria.

Suddenly a strange black figure came out of nowhere.

“Who dares enter my mine,” Came the voice of a strange looking figure. It almost had an alien feature. The creature was two meters tall, very thin and covered with a hard pale exoskeleton. The head is long with a strange long mouth that looked like a pipe. The creature had an irregular nose and wore a strange hat. It wore a cape behind it and had a scarf around its neck. It had three toes at the bottom of its feet and was rather pale.

“What are you?” Demanded Karasu aiming his staff at the creature.

“What the question should be is, what are you doing here, these mines are forbidden,” said the creature.

“I won’t ask you again creature, what are you!”

“I am a Nunem,” Said the creature. It had a mechanical voice that sounded like grinding gears. Its mouth was a small metallic slit that opened and closed like a puppet.

“We are miners of crystal and we harvest it every moon fall, and we don’t like visitors,” He said.

“We don’t mean harm, we were just passing through finding a place for our guest to stay the night, but we were just leaving,” He said.

“Not likely,” Said the Nunem.

“Enough Norged,” Came an old withered voice. The creature turned around, his cape fluttering in the air as he looked towards where the voice had come from.

There stood a tall young man with long white hair and his eyes were a slight hue of blue mixed with a gray steely color.

“Why master, it’s you, I was just telling these intruders away from your collection sir,” Said the creature bowing slightly.

“No not at all,” Said the man with a smile.

“Greetings my dear friends, my name is Kedlerios, or otherwise known as the Healer,” He said.

“I thought you said,” Karasu glared at Eria whom nearly shrugged.

“I was just going off of what I knew, I thought he was a woman myself,” She said honestly.

“Ha, many think I’m a woman, however I’m not, I’m a male, and I’m known by many names but please call me by the one I just introduced to you,” He said smiling.

“Yes of course sir,” Said Karasu.

“So what brings you to my peaceful place?” He asked.

“We have someone that is gravely ill and is in need of your assistance,” Said Karasu.

“Come with me to my island and we shall talk over tea,” He then vanished into the darkness, as did the strange creature.

Karasu took hold of his staff and continued walking down the tunnel, Nanon at his tail, and Eria tailing behind.

The light of the moon was a welcoming sight. It was cool and illuminating. And Karasu was glad to see it again.

They traveled towards the island, passing by the beautiful fields of flowers that Karasu had produced earlier.

“Lovely flowers wizard,” Stated the Healer smiling softly examining them.

“Sorry, I kind of got out of hand with it, considering what the rest of the world looks like,” He said.

“Clearly understandable, I’m surprised my magic is holding so well, but then again I have the spirit of this province to thank,” He said.

“Spirit what a spirit?” Karasu asked

“Haven’t you heard of the four spirits that occupy this kingdom?” Asked the Healer.

“No I have not,” Said Karasu.

“Well for a fine wizard such as yourself, you should know,” He said.

“What are the four spirits?” Eria asked in puzzlement.

“They take the shape of different entities, they are powerful and are the ones that keep the darkness away from here, each area is protected by the light, and that is why the evil Queen stays away from here for she knows that she has no power over the beings,” he said smiling.

“But why can’t they help us fight off the darkness then?” Karasu asked.

“I sometimes wonder that myself, but the laws of the spirits is this, they cannot take sides,” He said.

“They are religious figures in many cultures,” He said.

“I see,” Said Karasu sighing slightly.

They had at last reached the lakes edge. They stopped and were silent. There appeared to be no way across, not a boat or even a river.

“How do we get across?” Eria asked.

Just then the Healer pulled out a small silver whistle that glistened in the moonlight and lightly blew on it. Soft musical note submerged from it, the tune however made Nanon’s ears flick in annoyance considering it was a high pitched sound.

Just then ripples began to appear above the surface of the water, and then suddenly out of nowhere large stepping stones floated up to the surface of the water. One stepping stone after another, leading towards the cottage. Each stepping stone had its own design. Some of them glowed, while some of them only shimmered. They looked like orbs of brilliant light.

The Healer took a step forward onto the first stone, then onto the next. When he was further away Karasu was next. Making sure to take careful steps as not to slip into the water that looked cold. Then Eria came after him, and after her came Nanon whom had to be extremely careful.

“I see your friend here has been into some wolf’s bane,” Said the Healer looking back at Nanon with a smile.

“I don’t know his story sir, as he doesn’t know ours, we just rescued him from a shadow,” He said.


“So I see, I do believe I can conjure up a cure for that curse if he’d like,” He said looking towards Nanon’s direction. Nanon showed no expressions, and did not answer.

“So I see, no matter we still have some time,”

They continued onward in silence for a while. The sound of crickets began to fill the night’s silence and the hoot of an owl was heard in the woods, and then followed by that a howl of a lone wolf. Nanon perked up his r and lifted his head into the sky, as if begging to reply back to the howl, but decided not to for fear of scaring his friends.

After a few minutes have passed the companions reached the Island.

“Welcome to the Island of tears, though its small for an island I still call it a little piece of paradise,” He said smiling. There was the cottage. It was beautifully made with gray stone, its ruff was made of flat shingles and it had two windows near the front oak door that obtained a silver and gold door knob.

The Healer placed his hand around the knob, and it began to shimmer brightly as it twisted and then the door opened up wide welcoming them inside. When the companions walked in they were greeted by the warmth of a roaring fire and the sound of a tea pot whistling.

“Ah the tea is ready,” He said rushing towards the kettle and grabbing a oven mitt and lifting it off the stove then poured it into two individual saucers and then pulled out some meat cakes apparently for Nanon.

“I already knew that you would be coming so I made these especially for you Nanon,” He then tossed the werewolf a large piece of meat cake and Nanon wolfed it down in one gulp.

Karasu looked at the Healer and took a deep breath. At first he was a bit surprised at how the Healer knew his friend’s name, however that was highly predictable for a Healer, for he too uses magic but in a different kind of way.

“What is his condition?” Asked the Healer.
***

Meanwhile, back within the Northern Kingdoms in the city in the Kaleidoscope Tower the seven Lords sat upon their thrones.

“Why is it that we are just sitting here, and doing nothing?” Exclaimed The second Lord with fury in his eyes.

“Calm yourself, we are resolving this matter differently,” Said the First Lord whom looked at the second.

“Why are we placing our trust in people we don’t even know, I mean why don’t we just burn the dead Prince’s body and be rid of our sorrow, the world is weeping of his death, yet you believe that he is still alive?” He asked.

“Yes,” Was all the first Lord had said.

“Well I have a different view on this,” Came a female’s voice as then the large double doors swung open and out came the very same woman that Yume had encountered before entering the platform.

“What are you doing here my Lady?” the Fourth Lord asked.

“You see my wise sages, you might have forgotten that we are in a new era of magic and rebirth,” She said.

“A rebirth to darkness you mean,” Said the Sixth Lord.

“Silence if you please,” She said.


“I speak for all of us members of the council of Seishin-Sekai, in fact I’m standing before you for all the citizens,” She said.

“Speak then woman, and be away with you,” Hissed the fifth Lord.

“Very well,” She took a deep breath.

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT
RAVENWOOD

“I ask you this, how do you know that these people aren’t out there gathering their own troops to attack you all?” She asked.

“She has a point,” Said the sixth Lord standing up in his chair.

“Yes, thank you my Lord, I say that we should lessen the time given to these pathetic people, if they get what they say they are getting, then they shall be safe, however if not, let’s just say that my mistress and the Darkness has won, and that you’ll be commanded to do what he says,” She said with a grin upon her face.

“We don’t obey darkness my Lady, no matter what laws, we make the laws here, there is

“Yes, I understand that, but however if you do not cooperate with the Queen’s orders, she will take drastic actions in which I shall not implore upon you,” She smiles.

“I offer you a proposition,”

“Speak it and get out,” Said the first Lord grinding his teeth as he looked at the woman.

“Okay, if you be rid of the body of the Prince forever, you and your other fellow Lords will be allowed to set new rules for a new world that shall be created in Darkness’s vision, in fact you’ll have control over both worlds, ours, and the human realm,” Another nasty smile soon spreads over her face.

“We’ll give them till midnight tonight,” Said the first Lord.

“Good,” She said and then vanished.

Back in the darkness, Harriet gasped in fright. She knew that it was bad to spy upon the meetings of the sages, but what she had just heard; she knew at once that she had to contact Karasu, two things now bothered her. Her missing daughter, and now the death of Yume which will take place tonight!

She made sure that the conversation was back in action and that the woman had vanished before she sneaked out back the way she came. She looked around taking deep breaths trying to calm herself, she looked at the large clock that hung upon the roof that ticked silently, the second hand moved slightly towards a new minute and the full uproar of the Lords filled the chamber once again.






Harriet had made her way out of the chamber and was heading downward along the staircase, she prayed that she would not encounter anyone on the way, for that would be breaking the law, she herself wasn’t even supposed to be here without full recognitions from the Lords themselves. Her nerves were shaken. The only time she was at last relaxed was when she had managed to escape the tower without notice. She saw a few guards pacing around the streets, and a woman screams as another guard had cornered her and forced her to be searched by other surrounding guards.
She then found a secluded part in the city and hid herself inside a very dark alley way where she was sure that no one else was around. She then took out a small artifact; it was a quartz crystal that glimmered brightly in her hands. She peered into the stone and hissed softly into the crystal.
“Karasu, Karasu can you hear me?”
***
Back in the Western Kingdom Karasu was about to explain the condition when suddenly his staff began to glow brightly.
“Karasu, Karasu can you hear me?” Came a voice of Harriet.
Eria lifted her head at the sound of her mother’s voice; she was relieved to hear it once again.

“Mother is that you?”
“Oh darling, it’s so good to hear your voice, why did you leave us?” She asked in a low whisper.
“I had to help Karasu find the Healer, which we have, we’re just getting ready to explain to him the condition Yume is in,” She said.
“Good for I have dreadful news, they are going to burn Yume’s body at midnight tonight!” She said.
“What?” Karasu asked in a loud voice.
“Some woman whom works for the Mistress had come into the council of the Sages and convinced them that it is now completely useless to keep him, so they agreed to burn his body tonight if you don’t get back to the kingdom with the cure for his ailment,” She said in a paniced voice.
“Damn it!” Karasu shouted growling slightly eyes glowing bright.
“Karasu calm yourself, there is still time, you just have to bring the cure here before midnight,”
“We can’t afford to board the train for its heavily guarded, I myself have almost been caught, and I used my most powerful spell that weakens me terribly, and we used a mirror to get here,” Said Karasu.
“There has to be another means of transportation, a quick way at that,” Said Eria.

“I do believe I have a way,” Said the voice of the Healer.

“You do?” Karasu asked.

The Healer nodded his head.

“Okay, get here as fast as you can, before it’s too late,” Said Harriet.

“Darling stay safe,” Then her voice faded away.

Karasu cleared his throat and then continued on to what he was going to say.

“The nature of the Prince’s condition is a traumatized coma or the Dream-state as we call it sir,” He said.

“So I see,” Said the Healer.

“If he is in that kind of state, only time will tell whether or not he’ll wake up, however I do have a peculiar brew that can awaken him,” The Healer then arose from his armed chair and began to rummage through various cupboards and drawers that obtained thousands of potion bottles and vials that obtained strange liquid substance, some glowed a different color, while others were just a plain simple clear color.

A few minutes seemed like a few hours. At last the Healer pulled out a strange looking tear drop shaped vial containing a strange liquid that obtained a rainbow colored substance.
“Here we go, immediate awake elixir, sometimes rumored to even awake the dead, use it wisely my friend,” He said handing the bottle to Karasu.
“No charge sir?” He asked rising an eyebrow reaching for his belt.
“The only thing I ask of you is to save the world,” He said with a smile.
He then looked at the clock and saw that it was nearly 5:30 in the morning.
“We best get you to the Northern Kingdom before the time is out,” He said.
“Follow me and I’ll show you your transportation method,” He said and then grabbed a walking stick that rested against the door and he then grabbed a strange curled hat that was perched on a wooden coat rack that almost looked like a tree.
The others followed him outside and did the same procedure with the stepping stones until they had reached the beach of the lake. Then they began their decadence into the strange woods. The companions then reached a part of the forest where they had to squeeze through some dense undergrowth, until they had reached a faint crooked path that snaked its way through the labyrinth of trees. Karasu knew that animals had made this trail for the foliage had been disturbed.



Nearby an old gnarled tree with thorny leaves and black bark stood separate from the other trees. As they progressed upon the trail the undergrowth began to get denser. The tall trees seemed to stand close together, while some formed strange exotic clusters as if they were gathered for a social gathering. The gnarled black tree vanished behind them. A hint of sunlight was being diffused by the leaves which turned the golden light into a strange emerald glow that began to illuminate the path.
Something rustled in the thick bushes, the travelers paused and stood there in silence. Karasu noticed that some of the trees had the usual moss and lichen that decorated the base of the trunk in a lime green hue.
“What was that?” Karasu asked his eyes peering through the forest. Suddenly the path separated forming a fork. One trail led north, while the other led south.
“North,” Said the Healer whom continued down towards the North fork. The companions looked at each other. Nanon kept walking when a beam of light had at last broke through the leaves and shed upon his skin. A beam of light flooded over him and he once again resumed human form.
“Welcome back pup,” Smiled Karasu.
“You sure you don’t want a cure for that sir?” The Healer asked rising an eyebrow as they continued down the bath. The shrubs were clinging to the edge of the path; they were wet with morning dew. Birds began to sing their morning requiem as the travels then came to a large opening in the woods.
“Stay still,” The Healer ordered freezing in his tracks as a gust of wind brushed its invisible fingers across the skeletal branches. The wind grew stronger, beginning to whale and howl. Suddenly another sound was heard.
“Welcome to my woods,” Said a soft voice. Just then the caw of a crow startles the group. Nanon looked at a nearby tree and saw a raven perched on a branch, its slick black fur shined in the dim green light.
Just then out of a clearing in the woods, a young woman steps out. She was wearing floursent black silk gown, and attached to the gown looked like raven feathers. She wore a strange makeup around her eyes that looked like the wings of a butterfly. She peered at the group of wanderers in curiosity as she approached. Perched on her left and right shoulder were two very old ravens that fluttered their wings nervously.
“Why wonder in the Ravenwood my darling?” The woman asked.
“We only wish a safe passage to the fields of the Bartos,” Said the Healer in a calm manner.








“Ah yes, the Bartos, half horse half dragon am I right?” She asked.
“Yes madam, a rare breed that only live in the valley near the mountains,” He said.
“The only way across is of course a challenge, a challenge in which many have attempted, yet failed to pass,” She said.
“What is your challenge?” The Healer asked
“The challenge that I propose to you this day, is this, a simple flower lies within these woods, but could cure any ailment, even the poisoning of blood, find me this flower before the sun reaches the mountains, and I’ll grant you passage to the valley,” She said. Then a raven cawed and then a whole flock of the black birds burst out from a nearby tree and flew around her. Soon the wind began to pick up and then, she vanished.
“I sure hope you know this Healer,” Karasu said with a hostile glare.
“I think I do, what she means like Lycanthropy or Vampirism, I know this I do for I keep harping Nanon about it,” With this he smiles at Nanon, who glares in return.
He cleared his throat to ease the tension. He took a deep breath.
“The only problem is, they do not grow around here, in fact they grow underground,” He said.
“Great so that means we have to find some sort of cave that leads underground,” Karasu cursed softly to himself as he kicked dirt. He began to loath begin trapped behind rock walls.
“Right, so let us head towards the mountains away from the valley, we don’t want to be turned into a raven,” He said.
The companions wondered through the undergrowth of the woods that seemed to have gotten denser, and a dark storm cloud must have blocked the sun for now their path was black as pitch. Karasu knew they were waisting desperate time for this stupid challenge and wondered why they couldn’t avoid it without becoming ravens. He looked around the woods, looking for any signs of the peaks. They seemed closer now as they kept walking, but then again they looked further off.
“Isn’t there a faster way?” Complained Nanon who’s feet were getting sore, and was worried that nightfall might come upon them yet again and cause the curse to inflict upon him.
“Well if we’d gotten to the valley yes,” Said Karasu sighing slightly. He was getting impatient. The range was only a few hundred or more yards away from them and it appeared that the sun was teasing him for he had no chance of seeing it because of the clouds so there for he was unable to tell the time.
A clap of thunder darkened the mood even better once a sheet of rain broke loose from the lingering cloud. The companions have treaded over the woods, not encountering anything which was unusual. But their luck had run out on that, for in the distance something growled which made Karasu stop in his tracks.
“Hold still,” He hissed slightly in a low voice browsing the foliage of the trees.
“Not a sound,” He added as Nanon snapped a branch.
Another growling sound echoed through the trees, it was threatening, almost like a dog or wolf. He held his staff in preparation for attack. For a long moment nothing happened. Nanon looked around nervously, when suddenly something black and large collides with him, sending him spiraling towards the ground and onto his back. A large paw with claws sticking into his chest was placed upon him. He yelped and looked into the eyes of the beast, they were two colors. One eye was white, and the other eye was silver.

“HELP!” He shouted as he struggled. The beast itself had to weigh over a ton for it was heavy. He noticed that the wolf had strange looking spikes around its tail, and that his fur glistened in what was left of the morning sunlight.

“Don’t touch it’s fur, it consists of various spikes and thorns that contain Nightshadow, a poison most fowl, you won’t even see the lights of Asrengard,” He said.

“Looks like no one will see the ghost world today my friend,” Said Karasu taking hold of his staff and rising it into the air. Soon the tip of the staff came hurtling downward and the emeralds on top were glowing brightly as they then smashed right into the side of the wolf.

The wolf lets out a yelp as it leaps off of Nanon, a large bloody streak now on its pelt. He licked its wound and then glared at the attacker and suddenly its teeth grew longer, as did its claws and the spikes that decorated its fur also grew sharper. The beast rose it’s large shaggy head and then howled.

Before Karasu realized what was going on, his staff had managed to wrap a protective shield around the companions protecting them from the sharp needles that were shooting towards them at a fast rate. The wolf growled slightly as it eyes glared at Karasu whom had blocked its best attack that usually never failed. Its fangs bared as it approached him.

“Foolish wizard, attempting to take my pray,” Growled the wolf in a mincing dark voice of a male aspect.

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE
SHADOWS AND ECHOES

The beast lowered its head in triumph, his eyes glowed with anger and depression as it then sluggishly vanished into the rainy wood not to be seen again.

“Thank you Karasu, if those needles had gotten into all of us I’m afraid I’d not have enough antidote to cure all of us,” Said the Healer with admiration. They finally were able to continue. What seemed like hours of waiting, large rocky formations began to decorate the terrain and the woods were getting less dense and lichen and other types of colored moss decorated slabs of stone that rested upon the ground. Karasu noticed that the stones held the Sushini language which meant that the ancients had been here.

Karasu looked and sighed with relief. There in front of them was a large slab of stone that towered over them. It was gray and withered with age. A Small waterfall fell from its surface creating a tiny river that leaked its way down the woods. Near the west side of the rock, was a gaping mouth of a cave. Large stalactites decorated the tops making them look like jagged teeth.


“Be careful, we don’t want to run into any wolves or Abura-Sumashi or Gashandokuro skeleton men, and a spirit,” He said.


“That just sounds dandy,” Karasu scoffed as he waved his hand around his staff and the emeralds brightened up shimmering slightly as then they began to enter into the cave.

The companions walked inside the cave, being engulfed by its ethereal darkness which they were all to use to by now for that was what the world was covered in now, nothing but pure darkness that could never be lifted, not even with a vial of light. They continued onward with their search, examining each wall.

“The plant has a strange skeletal stem structure, its petals are a light lavender mixed with different hues of purple and pink, it should look also like its glowing,” Said the Healer examining the walls.

“It’ll be more than likely in a moist place , so look for signs of water,” He added.

“Karasu, what if we run into that dragon?” Eria asked looking at his dark shadow.

“I don’t know, if we can’t wait up Yume who knows what’ll happen,” He said.

Nanon tensed and took a deep breath. He hadn’t spoken in a while, not since after the transformation.

“My elders use to tell me of a good dragon that lies somewhere in the Eastern Kingdom of Allea,” He said.

“A good dragon, I thought all dragons were extinct sine after the last great civil war,” Said Eria.

“Not necessarily extinct my lady, but went to sleep,” Said the Healer still examining each rock. He then stopped a low hanging root that was attached between two different rocks. He looked at it closely.

“I found it!” He then tugged at the root and it pulled out, there was the flower, the one that was supposed to cure all ailments.

Suddenly a noise stirred in the darkness, the sound of a tumbling rock. He froze as he heard the grunting and moaning of a beast.

“Run!” Shouted the Healer placing the plant in the pocket and rushed out towards the exit of the cave. The rest followed as then the grunting and moaning of the beast grew louder. As the group hurtled towards the entrance Karasu looked back and nearly fell over. There towering over them was a large Arctic Troll with white fur and red eyes that glared down at pray.

Karasu grabbed his staff and then took a deep breath and then slammed it to the ground screaming out.

“Vocturnious Blethord!” The sound of his voice was so different, so strange. The echoe of it flew across the air as if it were a sonic wave. The beast moaned in pain as it stumbled backwards and then fell down upon the ground, its head smashing onto a rock, cracking it open, spilling fresh blood upon the rocks.

“Well, that worked out nicely,” Said Karasu with a grin as he then took off out of the cave. He wanted to get out as soon as he could.

“So you said that there is another dragon out there that can help us fight the evil dragon right?” Eria asked.

“Yes, he lives in the Eastern Kingdom, there is a shrine underground somewhere that he meditates at, no one has ever seen him, only a third few have, the ones that seek his knowledge of magic and purity,” Said the Healer.

“So if no one has ever seen this dragon, how would we know if he even exists, I mean I’ve heard fairy stories about him, I think his name is Ashlor, I believe,” Said Eria.

“Correct,” Said the Healer.

“Ah our little companions are back with my flower I presume?” the Raven woman asked as she stood there, her hand out.

“Yes my lady, here is the flower you’ve wanted,” Said the Healer and placed it upon the woman’s hand.

She smiles.

“It’s rare that anyone passes this test my lord, normally people always are either eaten alive by the troll, or don’t even know what plant to look for, I now grant you passage into my valley,” She said.

“Thank you madam,” Said the Healer.

“Come on we need to hurry, we barely have time left,” Said Karasu looking at the lowering sun knowing that it was somewhere between six or seven o’clock.

The forest began to get less dense every moment as they approached an opening valley. The sun had at last broken through the trees casting its dim light upon the travelers. This worried Nanon for he knew that night would be descending upon them soon, and he did not want to go back into his beast form again, for the transformation was always unexpected.

They had at last made it to the valley, and what met their eyes was absolutely spellbinding. Tall grass decorated the hills, and flowers of various sorts floated gently in the breeze. There was a sweet fragrant in the air that was mystifying; it was like this place was placed under a spell.

“I see that the darkness hasn’t touched this place,” Said Karasu looking around at the wild flowers.

“Because this is a part of my land, I placed a darkness rebound spell upon this place,” He said smiling.

The next moment, strange creatures began to appear upon the plains. They were in the shape of horses, but what was odd about them were that the horses looked like

“We need to hurry guys, find a horse and be prepared to lift off, we need to hurry!”
***

Harriet sat there for the longest of moments that she has ever sat in her whole life. Her legs had fallen asleep, and her muscles were aching and screaming in pain. But she still waited in silence and in curiosity. The Lords had argued for five hours straight forward about Yume, and whether or not if they should cancel the cremation.

“We can’t stop now, I’m sure the announcement has already been made to the public, and that all of the Northern Kingdom citizens will be showing up any moment now, to witness the saddest event of our history,” Said the seventh Lord.

“Yes it is the saddest moment, he awoke as one of the guardians of the relics, and now with his lose, the others can’t awaken either, for it is said in the old legends that only the guardian can recognize the other two guardians of the artifacts, and that when he sees them, he’ll know what the artifact would be for him, or her,” Replied the fourth Lord.

“Perhaps we could withhold the cremation of our lost Prince until dawn, that might give them time,” Said the third Lord with a heavy sigh.

“No, we made a deal, that by midnight tonight, he will be cremated into ash, and then he shall be spread upon each kingdom, to provide aid to us in the Shadows,” Said the sixth Lord.

“You have no say so in this matter, it is up to our Supreme Lord,” He then looked towards the first.

“Midnight,” He simply said, and there was no more talk about it.

“What about the dragon, how would we destroy it do you suppose, its killing off the villages, burning the crops,” Says the fifth.

“I’m very well of that, I to had read the recent reports,” Said the first taking a seat in his chair.

“I have heard of the old legends of the dragon Ashlor hiding in the underground shrine dedicated to the Dwellers of the Sky, the good dragons,” He said.

“And I suppose you want to go find him and awaken him?” the sixth Lord asked.

“It is possible, but the only problem is, he speaks in dragon tongue and no other language,” He said.

“That is a problem, whom here can speak dragon tongue?” the seventh Lord asked.

“Only the King and Queen were capable of such a language, maybe it has passed down in their blood,” Said the third Lord.

“Wonderful, so we’re killing the only one who knows dragon tongue then,” Scoffed the fifth Lord.

“The proper term for dragon tongue is “Draconian,” Said the sixth Lord.

Harriet was now interested when they were talking about the dragon Ashlor, she remembered the fairytales that she had once read to Eria when she was only a little girl, before the incident. She remembered that the dragon Ashlor had once brought down his evil brother Kaldorth after the last war, it seem that Ashlor wasn’t successful since Kaldorth still roams the skies turning them red with flame and turning clouds into ash.

She sighed and decided that she needed to get the heck out of the room before she got caught. She almost got into trouble five times already when she had to climb up that god forsaken staircase pretending to be a servant of the tower cleaning things.
***

Yume was staring into a blank mirror. The mirror was taller than him, had a flat plane surface that casted no reflection. It was a finely made mirror; its wooden frame had strange designs etched into its wood.

“Something within time, has been broken,” Spoke a voice.

“A fragment of the darkness has managed to escape its death,”

“What do you mean?” Yume asked looking at the mirror.

“The fragment, was of a spell that sent the dark shadow into the future, and now it lies here in this time, to finish what it had started a long time ago,”

“What is the darkness?” Yume asked.

“The Shadow, the king of darkness and shade itself, though he may take upon the form of a demonic human being, his true form is that of a shadowed dragon, dragons have a very important part to play in this story Yume Ame, and you as well as the other guardians have the power to awaken all of them to aid you in the war that is to come,” Said the voice.

“I thought that the dragon I had awoken was the only one?” He asked.
“That was not the only dragon to ever exist in Seishin-Sekai realm, not in the least, in fact the dragon Ashlor the eldest of all the dragons is in the far Eastern Kingdom awaiting you to wake him up,” He said.
“Me?”
“Yes, you, because only the Guardians can awaken him from his paralyzed sleep, he lurks in the underground realm within a secret shrine,” Said the voice within the mirror.
Yume pondered over this. His brain was racked up with information that he could not contain.
“Where would I be able to find the key, and its owner,” Asked Yume.
“You might be able to find the key within a world that is not our own, within a realm where the imagination is strongest, yet the most weakest,” Answered the voice.
“You mean my world?” He asked.
“Perhaps, or another realm entirely, but there is a good place to start,”
“You do not have much time left in this place Yume, you’ll be awaken soon, are you ready to fight the darkness?”

“What do you mean about the fragment within time?” Yume requested.

“A long while ago, another great war had plagued the land, and the great dragon Ashlor had be rid of it, or so he thought. However the darkness was only sent within a time warp, there for sending it into space and into the future, which is now, and the darkness is bringing forth its revenge,”

“Revenge for what?”

“For creating the light, it hates the light with a passion,”

“You need to retrieve both the dark and light relics, or the Stars and Shadows and reawaken the light’s power, then the war shall begin and the Gods and Goddess shall aid you, as well as the Sushini, the army of Forever Light,”

“That is what Sushini means?” Yume enquired.

“Yes,” Then the voice gradually vanished into the thin air.

Yume sighed and looked at the blank mirror. Suddenly it began to crack. He backed up hearing the glass cracking, like broken thunder etching across the flat surface. He backed away from it as then it rippled and exploded. Shards were sent flying everywhere. He put his arms in front of him to block the shards and fell. He fell so far that he thought he fell off some sort of cliff. That feeling that you get inside filled him, that falling feeling, that rush of adrenalin seeping through his veins, then CRASH!
***

The sun was already vanishing from the skies, turning the world into twilight. Karasu’s heart was racing. His pocket that obtained the potion for Yume felt unrealistically heavy. The large creatures that the companions were riding flew higher and higher into the skies. The earth was below them a good thousand or more foot. He could see the mountain peaks as they zipped passed by. Thunder echoed in a group of dark clouds as the companions flew over the kingdom. The wind chilled Karasu to the bone, and rain began to fall.

His heart kept thudding against his chest. His staff was held up high into the air a beam of brilliant light shimmered through the dark and damp clouds. Karasu sighed knowing that time was running out to quickly he examined the moon and noticed that it was creeping towards the center of the sky, and that would signal midnight.

“Come on guys, we’re almost there!” He shouted. A beam of light shot towards the city. A leap of joy shot through his heart. But suddenly an ear piercing roar filled the air. Just then a large burst of flame shouts through one of the thunderclouds the flame hurtled towards the companions

“Split up!” Karasu shouted grabbing the bottle of potion.

“Eria bank a left and come towards me!” He shouted.

“Nanon go downward towards the city and find a good landing place outside of the walls!” Karasu barked out the order as then Eria came flying towards him.

“Take this Eria to Yume; I’m going to the other realm to bring his Grandmother, so that he can have a sense of home, and to make him comfortable.

“The Healer had said before we left that he should have some form of a family member there to be with him, for he might not remember much when he awakes, everything will come in a sort of flash!” He added.

“Take this and wait for us to return!” He tossed the bottle to Eria whom caught it and then followed Nanon and Karasu took off in another direction entirely.

CHAPTER THIRTY
BLOOD & Steel
Karasu took his horse and swooped down extremely low to the ground; he had made it towards the edge of the island and had located the railroad. He began to follow the tracks knowing that it would lead straight towards the human realm. His mind was set on this task and this task only he knew not to worry about Eria, for he knew that deep down inside Eria loved Yume, though she did not show it.

The tracks suddenly appear as a clash of lightning shot down from one of the thunderheads. The bolt struck the train tracks sending out sparks which flew everywhere. He took a deep breath and steadied the horse as it flapped its large dragon wings and gained more leverage.

“Follow straight forward,” He ordered the beast as it tried to buck him off as another bolt of lightning cracked against the tracks. He looked behind him to make sure that the train wasn’t behind him. It seemed like hours and suddenly a sphere of light catches the corner of his eyes. He knows this light; it is indeed the entrance to the platform. The horse whinnies and shoots past through the clouds like a speeding bullet towards its destination.
***

“Although I can’t fully arise my army, I however can do this mistress,” Said the shadowed voice approaching the balcony of the castle, though the light of the silver moon still bathed the land, he remained within the shadows. He took ahold of an ebony black staff and grasped it. On top perched two purple amethysts that shimmered dimly in the night.

“Now my dear, is the time to witness true black magic,” He said and then rose his staff into the air.

“Malahestonya, Dlevoriostyniaha, ovestonrina, Akyna mordo!” He then rose the black staff into the air and a brilliant beam of purple light shot into the blackness of the lingering darkness. A roll of thunder was then heard as pelting rain began to fall from the sky. A strange cold wind began to lick at his heals; his eyes stared out into the openness.

“Nothing had happened my lord,” Protested the mistress.

The dark figure raised a hand to silence her. Just then a bolt of purple lightning shoots down towards the ground, barely illuminating his face, which was all mad of bone, the only thing you could see were his two red eyes that glowed like scorching coals.

The lightning in which had fell from the sky collided with a nearby rock that rested upon the mountain side. Then another flash came crashing down, this time in a different location. Then more lightning bolts began shooting down towards the earth like missiles. Each one hit a different area. Soon the whole night was lighted up in a purple glow because of so many bolts of lightning flashing all at once. Thunder boomed and echoed like the roar of a dragon. And just as soon as it had begun, it all vanished.

Everything was still, silent. Not even an animal dared to make a sound. Suddenly the earth began to shake, as if the ground began to tremble in fright. A loud snap sound was heard. Just then a jagged crack began to form upon the ground causing it to tremble as loose dirt and soil began to collapse upon each other making a large cavern.

Just then large dark creatures began to submerge from the depths of the ethereal darkness. Large black leather wings extended towards the black sky, and glowing eyes of various colors began to peak through the depths of the nocturnal. The black nightmares that arose from the ground had a grotesque appearance, even if described they would leave an imprint of nightmares upon one’s mind for the rest of their lives.

“Amas tornonis, Glachita!”

“Arise my friends arise from the black abyss in which you’ve slept, now is the time to take back the lands that have been taken from us, now is the time for war!”
***

Once upon land, Eria and Nanon had to rush through the chaotic city that was aflame. The large dragon was hovering above the sky spewing flames upon the glass buildings, causing them to shatter into millions of shards. The screams of citizens and the crying of children were painful to hear. Her heart was thudding against her chest; the ground was all disheveled from the large quake that happened not too long ago. A strange stillness had begun to overcome the world, as if death were approaching.

Eria had managed to smuggle out a sword and was holding it in her hand which was shacking for blood had already been shed upon it. Over twelve guards had made their attempts to kill her and Nanon. Nanon was in his werewolf form, armed with deadly claws and sharp teeth, he too had blood stained lips. The Kaleidoscope Tower’s entrance was just a few feet away. Fire blazed across the streets, and battle raged between man and demon.

Eria had crashed through the glass doors of the main chamber of the tower after flying through the flight of stairs. Her eyes looked and gasped seeing that all of the seven sages were lying upon the floor dead. There stood two figures, both female. One wore a strange black exotic dress, and the other had armor on and was holding a torch.

“My poor nephew, we never did get to know each other,” Spoke the woman in a low hiss. Suddenly a monk came into view, holding a strange bottle of black liquid.

“The poison mistress has you requested,” He said offering it to her and bowing slightly.

“Ah, perfect, and your positive this will reassure his death?” She asked.

“Who is here to witness the death of a Prince?” the Mistress hissed she then turned around.

“Ah, a werewolf, and a girl,” She smiled.

“And us,” Came Karasu’s voice as he then stepped inside the room with an elderly woman, Yume’s Grandmother.

“Get away from my Grandson,” Growled Natsu.

“Now have we met?” the Mistress asked.

“Let’s just say that you were my apprentice, just like Karasu was Yume’s,” She said.

“Ah, is that why I remember you, the dead woman’s memory still seems to work apparently,” She said.

“And it better by the time we’re through with you,” Natsu said.

“The only thing that can stop me is the Stars, and the only way I can stop you is with the Shadows,” She said.

“Yes, and we already have one star here!” She then took out the stone from her pocket. It was glowing a radiant bright blue light that shimmered. It casted a strange light anomaly upon the glass walls of the room.

“So I see, and the dark relic, did he find that as well,”

“As a matter of fact he has, but there is no way in hell you’re getting it,” Said Karasu.

“I’d watch your tongue, as if you don’t remember I am the Queen of this realm,”

“Your no Queen, you’re a demon from the depths of the shadows,” spat Karasu.

“Ha, that’s rich coming from a wizard,” She replied.

“Let’s get this over with,” She said to the monk whom bowed. She took hold of the bottle that obtained the black liquid and uncorked it. A strange black mist began to form out from the tip, and a foul smell made the air reek.

“Step back away from him,” Growled Natsu as then strands of light began to form around her hand taking the shape of a long sword with jagged dragon tooth like edges and a handle with a dragons head. She then lunges herself towards the woman yelling the blade rose for combat.

The mistress chuckled then pulled out her own weapon. A black blade with silver Celtic designs. Both of the blades clashed with each other

“You think you can stop me old woman, hu?” She withdrew her blade; both of the metal scraps against each other making a loud screeching sound making Eria, Karasu, and Nanon plug their ears, the windows and glass shudder as well from the sound.

“You honestly think that an old woman like yourself can defeat someone as powerful as me?” She pushed herself back then raised her hand in the air.

“GLAHTHEDIS!” Just then a burst of black and purple shadows burst out of her hand and hurtled towards Natsu.

“Step away from him,” Ordered Natsu.

“Fine,” The woman hissed and backed away from him.

Natsu glared at her, as if finding this a humorous trick.

“Give me the potion child,” Hissed Natsu whom reached out her hand.

Eria obeyed and handed her the potion.

Natsu quickly uncorked it and smelt the soothing fragments of the liquid. She took a deep breath and moved the bottle towards her Grandchild’s lips and slowly allowed the liquid to drain down into his mouth.
***

A strange sensational feeling began to overwhelm Yume’s body. At first it felt like static electricity, but then it began to grow.

“Good bye my child, good bye,” Said the old voice as it then faded into darkness. Yume then began to see a strange light, and staring at him, were a pairs of green eyes. That was all that could manage to see, and a strange five pointed star pendent necklace. It was odd to be seeing, this, was this a sign of the barrier for the next artifact? Suddenly something pushed him, and he screams. He felt as if he were falling. He then sees the inside of the chamber of the tower, he then saw a group of people, and then his own body. He collided right onto himself, and his eyes shoot right open.

He gasped breathing for air; his body goes into slight shock as he franticly looked around. It was blindingly bright as his eyes adjusted to the light. His heart thudded rapidly once more as he regained his conscience.

“Yume, your alive!” A familiar voice exclaimed as then arms wrapped around him hugging him tightly.

He moaned slightly feeling weak, hungry and thirsty all at the same time.

“W…where am I?” He asked dumbfounded and flabbergasted.

“Back in the tower, you took a rather nasty hit with that dragon, thank you my Prince for saving me,” The voice of Karasu reached his ears. He had gained enough vision to notice that his friends were bowing.

“Yume we most get out of here…” Suddenly the sound of a knife could be heard slicing the very skin of Grandmother Natsu. She gasped, eyes growing wide, as then all life drained from them, and her face grew suddenly pale. She fell to her knees, and onto the floor, body now limp. Yume’s eyes gazed upon her assassin and yelped. It was her…his mother.

“There now, that is settled, your awake and all,” She said.

“You killed her…” Yume growled looking at his now dead Grandmother. Tears began to swell in his eyes, his heart aching.

He glared at the woman and grabbed his wand from his pocket and growled slightly.

“You evil Witch,” He said hissing through his teeth. The Sushini letters upon the wand began to glow a strange glow, for on the base of the wand was stained with the blood of his Grandmother. He growled rising his wand he thrust it into the air and a blinding bright light flooded the room. It was as if rays from the sun had erupted from the tips of his wand. The woman shrieks in pain and crashes through the window and flies off and was never to be seen again.

“Coward!” He shouted falling to his knees for the aura inside of him was very weak.

“Yume!” Eria shouted rushing over to him getting on her knees to help prop him up. He was crying. Tears fell from his cheeks and she knew that he was in two kinds of pain.

Yume walked over towards his Grandmother and placed his wand and pleaded to the Gods and Goddess.

“Please, wake, please,” He pleaded tears in his eyes as he looked at his Grandmothers’ dead pale face, that wasn’t wakening up. He looked at his Grandmother, praying, hoping that something would happen. He looked at her, tears falling from his cheeks as he looked at her dead body. This wasn’t happening, none of this was happening. It was just all a bad dream. He wanted to wake up from it, he wanted to just have it end and that they would still be there.

Karasu approached Yume and sighed.

“I’m terribly sorry,” Karasu said bending down and looked at him. He knew that this was not supposed to happen; he wanted his Grandmother to be there for him when he woke, not to die in front of him.

Yume sobbed unsettlingly, tears stained his cheeks as he looked around himself.

“This is my entire fault,” He said.

“No, no it’s not your fault,” Karasu said sniffling slightly as he sat there on his knees.

“I want to bury her,” He said taking a deep breath.

Karasu nodded and took a deep breath.

“What was her favorite place that she loved to be?” He asked.

“The old Oak, in the eastern Kingdom in the city of Telmador,” He said.

“Take us there then,” He said pleadingly tears still in his eyes.

Karasu nodded and grabbed his staff; he allowed Yume to pick up his Grandmother and motioned the others to come around them. Nanon had returned to his human form and Eria was crying as well. Karasu grabbed his staff and a beam of light began to appear from the tip, the beam of light grew brighter and brighter. The light was so bright, that everything couldn’t be seen, then the light vanished and there was no one left.

Suddenly the sound of tiny bells filled the air. It took Yume a while to realize what it was. It was fairy music. He looked and a swarm of glistening light began swooping through a broken window. Their light was shimmering rather brightly that Yume had to over his eyes.

“What are they?” Yume asked looking at Karasu.

“The Fey,” He answered in a hushed tone.

Suddenly three figures stood at the edge of the broken window. The Fey obtained a transparent like skin, and had long white hair. Each one held a different kind of staff within their hands. The only thing that made them different was their size, they were much taller than the finger sized Fey, in fact they were as tall as a human.

“We are the elders of the Fey, and we were informed that a friend of our kind has been terribly injured,” Spoke the firs Elder.

Yume still holding Grandmother turned towards the Elder and sniffled.

“You know my Grandmother?” Yume asked in disbelief.

“Yes, she has always come to our village to entertain our children and to stories, we’ve come to call her Mother Goose,” Said the second Elder.

“Can you save her, she is losing her life,” He said in a whimper.

“Bring her child,” Said the third Elder.

Yume brought his Grandmother towards the Fey. They still hummed; their voices were combining with each other like a medieval sound that rang in his ears. Yume had taken notice of all the various verities of wings each fairy obtained. Some had butterfly wings, while others had dragonfly wings, and some appeared to almost have glass for wings for when they fluttered towards the light of the burning embers that were being produced outside, they seemed to glow.

“Let them heal her wounds, and her soul,” Said the second Elder rising her hands into the air.




The fairies then began to flutter over his Grandmother Natsu’s body. Strange dust particles began to fall towards the ground and onto her skin, it almost looked like flower pollen. He rested his Grandmother upon the ground and took a deep breath and backed away so that they could do what they had to do. More particles of light had begun to attach to his Grandmother. It was so mesmerizing, a little too mesmerizing. His eyes were watching the fairies as they each placed a small elegant hand upon her old frail skin. The particles upon her body began to glow brightly, as if being ignited by the fairies touch.

“May the Goddess of creation and life, bring our beloved Natsu back from the Thresh Hold of Dreams, may she become whole once again with her body, and may health be bestowed upon her as a parting gift from the Goddess,” Spoke all three Elders rising their hands together. The whole room had suddenly begun to brighten. It almost felt as if the sun had managed to squeeze itself into the room to blind the companions.

Suddenly a gasp erupted from Grandmother Natsu’s body as her eyes slightly flickered open to gaze at Yume. Tears had begun to flow through his eyes as he looked at his Grandmother, breathing and alive.

“You shouldn’t have done this,” Grandmother Natsu breathed heavily looking at her Grandson, a smile covering her face. Her soft eyes were gray, slowly regaining a strange different color, she had now violet eyes.

Karasu, Nanon, and Eria had gathered around them. Suddenly a strange event began to occur. Strange lights began to shimmer around the dead bodies of the seven sages that lye dead upon the chamber floor. Soft golden light swarmed over their bodies, as they vanished. Taking their place was the figures of the Sages.

“This world is falling to the darkness forever, there is however one way to be rid of it forever,” Said the first Lord.

“One way that cannot fail,” Said the third Lord.

“If you are capable of retrieving the Stars and Shadows, you shall be able to recreate this world,” all of them said.

“Combine the three stars, and destroy the shadows,” they said in unison.

Eria, Karasu, Yume and Grandmother Natsu stared.

“Awaken the dragon of old, to bring the down fall the dragon of shadow,” Said the fifth Sage.

“Awaken the Gods and Goddess, redeem this world,” That was all that was said. The words faded from the Sages as then their spirits suddenly vanished without a trace, never again to be seen nor heard except in the old legends of myths hidden within.

“You have to save us all, Yume,” Spoke Grandmother Natsu in a weak voice. She looked at him pleadingly.

“But I can’t,” He whimpered softly looking towards Karasu for help. He approaches then and kneels down lower and examines Yume’s eyes.

The Lord of the fairy people stepped forward.

“The only way you can truly save this world, is when you believe Yume,” Spoke his soft and gentle voice.

“If you believe, the light shall once again be rekindled within the stars, and the shadows shall be extinguished once more,” Said the soft bell like voice of the Queen who came by her husband’s side and smiled.



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