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Prologue When the world was young the deity, Subete, grew tired and bored. With her power she gave birth to time and space that she named Jikan and Supēsu. The three of them lived together for over a millennium until Jikan and Supēsu grew bored of having no toys. So Subete created four children for her son and daughter to play with. The toys were named Chikyū, who ruled the forestry. Hia and Mizu who created fire and water. The last of the toys was named Kaze, a restless toy that created and lived in the winds. With the four toys in hand the two children slowly formed a perfect sphere, with each toy working side-by-side. Years past and the two children lived happily, however Subete was dying and she was aware of it. With her last breath she created a bright light and a dark shadow. She said that both must exist for the other to strive for life, and then perished from the world. Now the light and dark hated each other so much that they could not stand to see one another. The two children called the light Hikari and the dark Kurai, though the two never saw one another they communicated through the toys and Jikan and Supēsu. Kurai fell in love with Mizu, who gave birth to iceKōri. After awhile Hikari also fell in love, with Hia. The two gave birth to lightning and named him Inazuma. The ages past and the ten elements lived in the sphere and around the sphere. However one day Kurai grew jealous of never being allowed to go

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inside the sphere, so he attempted to enter. The affect caused a large scale war. Hikari and the other elements had come together and sealed Kurai in a form, along with themselves. Now imprisoned within the sphere the deities waited, the only trace of their existence rests in a book with the words " Subete no harō wa sakerarenai wakare kara wazuka purorōgudearu”. Thousands of years past and man began to thrive, the women inferior to men. The deities sought pity on the women and gave them magic to harness. The royal bloodlines had male members capable of using magic as well as the women. Kurai still had a part of him which was jealous, which escaped into the world and lay dormant inside of a stone. This jealousy was named Jaakuna.

Chapter 1: Max Yaragado

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“This morning is another great day to start with. Yesterday was the seventeenth annual winter festival for anyone who didn‟t know.” “That‟s right Marcus; to me the dancing was the best part. But enough with the past; let‟s get the morning started with a new start, just like this year.” “Then let‟s play the top ten songs of last year. Here‟s number ten…” Elspeth smacked the „off‟ button on her alarm clock and rustled around her bed. Hearing the voice of a congenial woman from outside of the room and down a set of stairs “Elspeth it is time to get up! You start your testing today, you shouldn‟t be late.” “I‟m coming, Yoko,” she replies, sliding out of the side of her bed. “K. and stop calling me Yoko; mom is just fine.” “Oh, right, sorry!” Elspeth said in a melodious tone soon followed by a sigh. She pulled her green school uniform shirt over her head. Her golden-brown hair flowed down her back and settled nicely from shoulder to shoulder. She pulled a green skirt to her waist, zipped it and twirled in a circle. When she stopped, her feet helped her keep balance, her joyous hazel eyes opened. At the same moment she smiled. “Elspeth! C‟mon, we‟re going to be late. Let‟s go!” a deep voice echoed after a knock at her bedroom door.

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“Ok, I get it,” she replied in the same tone as before. “You‟re always late anyway, so don‟t go blaming me,” she said to herself as she threw a book over her bed. A crash came from behind her, as the book hit her balcony window her eyes widened. “Shit” she said walking over to, the now broke, window. A long sigh came from her lips as she knelt down to all the pieces. “Hey, what are you doing up there?” the boy‟s voice echoed from a farther distance. “Nothing… I just dropped something. Don‟t worry, I‟ll clean it up. You go on ahead, I‟ll catch up,” she said, laughing and

trying not to sound like she was lying. A moment passed and a door slid shut and Yoko yelled something outside. „Well at least I can fix this faster now that there outside.‟ She though as she stood in front of the window, and took a deep breath. “I ask Kori to summon thee to grant me the power if ice, help me grant my wish today.” Her hands began to glow a teal color, the glass started to move.”I did it!” Elspeth clapped her hands and then stopped with entire disappointment. “Why can‟t ever do anything right when it comes to magic?” She sat on the balcony floor, away from the glass. As she lay back, her eyes flew open. „What is that? It wasn‟t there before. It feels soft and smooth, almost like fur. But how did an animal get on my balcony?‟

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“God she‟s heavy! That idiot, this is his fault.” A deep rumbling voice snapped. Elspeth‟s head slowly turned toward the animal, until her eyes met and comprehended the features of the animal. All Elspeth saw at the moment was a pair of deep amber eyes staring straight at her. The animal straightened itself and started at Elspeth. “It‟s a wolf?” she stuttered quietly. Steel gray claws extended from the wolf‟s large black paws. Black fur with silver tips stood straight up. The wolf‟s long snout cringed. His lips were tight and pulled forward. Its ears were pointed slightly forward. The wolf‟s forehead, neck hair and hackles were raised. Ivory teeth appeared between the jaws, its tongue moved around its mouth, and saliva dripped from its lips. “At least you know what is going to kill you. So I can kill someone smart for once.” The wolf snapped stepping closer to her. „What do I do? Somebody, somebody help.‟ Elspeth‟s heart beat faster with each passing second. The wolf lifted its right paw partly above ground; its claw sparkled from the rising sun. „My voice won‟t work!? Why, why won‟t it work?‟ Elspeth closed her eyes and blocked her head with the back of her arms. “Kedna down!” a deep voice beckoned toward the wolf. Elspeth opened her eyes to see a guy standing between her and the wolf. There wasn‟t anything wrong with him; he appeared normal; well

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as normal as a well toned guy could. Her eyes moved across his backside, he wore a school uniform. „Maybe he‟s a knight trainee, I should ask.‟ She thought. „No!‟ shaking her head and returning to her senses. Kedna stepped back and retracted his claws as much as he could. “Are you ok?” the guy asked scratching his scruffy copper colored hair and looking away from her. „He‟s got a strange energy aura around him; I‟ve never seen one like that before.‟ Elspeth though as she stood up and wiping the dirt off her skirt. “I‟d be better if your pup didn‟t try to kill me.” “Did you just call me a pup, girl!” Kedna snarled almost went after her again; however the guy interfered-again. “I told you not to go around attacking humans.” The guy yelled at Kedna in the same tone as before. “Yeah well I‟m not the one who used magic to win a sparring match.” “I didn‟t cast that spell and you know it. You‟re just trying to win that match.” “As if, I could beat you any dame day!” Kedna growled back. “Um…excuse me.” Elspeth started until the guys voice covered hers to yell at Kedna again. Her checks puffed out and turned red, like a small child when they get upset. “Hay, I‟m trying to tell you something, now listen will you.” As the guy turned

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toward her she fell quiet and stared for a moment. His jaw was strong, his nose fit perfectly between two deep sapphire eyes. He also had a devilish smile from his lips, which only made his face more kissable. Elspeth felt his wrist slipping out of her hand. “O‟ no you don‟t.” she said tightening her grip. As he stopped moving he spun his hand and grabbed Elspeth‟s wrist. In doing so she stumbled forward landing on his chest, which felt very well toned. Elspeth heart began to pound faster with each passing second. “Well at least you find me attractive.” He said with a teasing smile. “What are you talking about?!” She stuttered stepping back and pulling her hand away, rubbing it. “That‟s very interesting.” He muttered while looking at the palm of his hand. Kedna sat down next to him annoyed at both of the humans. “O yeah it is very interesting.” He replied in a half yawn. “Sorry but what‟s interesting?” Elspeth asked with an

intriguing sounding voice. The guy looked down at her, which was normal for him but strange for her. Seeing how she was as tall as most 17 year old guys. His strange colored eyes made Elspeth smile and her heart slowed back down. They seemed very calming, yet

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complicated. Like a puzzle that‟s hasn‟t been solved or a game without a set end. “What?” he asked with confusion on his face and irritation in his voice. “Nothing.” She said closing her eyes and smiling more. As she stood there the guy‟s face began to warm, and his stomach started to hurt. “I was just thinking how…” Elspeth‟s voice trailed off at the sound of bell chiming.” The school bell! We‟re going to be late.” Elspeth said grabbing and pulling him into her room. “Hay, wait a minute.” He said as his face finally turned a different color, he could have almost pulled off being a demon or vampire with is pale face and motionless posture. Elspeth turned and pointed her index finger at him. “It‟s your fault that I‟m going to be late in the first place. So there are no waits or buts until we get to the school and in class so let‟s go.” Elspeth pulled him though the door, down stairs and threw the front door yelling back. “I‟m leaving now.” Yoko leaned over the corner with a confused look on her face. “What‟s with her?” a large, in muscle, man asked Yoko. “I bet its love.” Yoko answered finishing her dishes as the man started choking on his drink. “Love!?” he yelled in anger and disbelief.

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“Yes dear, it‟s when two people like each other. Well maybe just one person, but it always involves two or more people.” “I know what it is dear. But why does Elspeth have to fall in love first. I don‟t know how to deal with lovey-dovey girls.” Yoko smiled with entertainment as she sat down with a wet plate in her hands. “Honey, Von fell in love with a girl many years ago.” She laughed as her husband‟s face fell deeper into depression. She whispered as her hand turned a green teal color and all the dishes dried at once.”Cheer up honey, Von has yet to figure it out, so you have plenty of time.” As Elspeth ran she heard something behind her and skidded to a stop. “Did you say something?” she asked turning and huffing. “Max.” the boy said barely breathing heavily. A confused look crossed Elspeth‟s face. “My name is Max.” as he finished his sentence a second bell rang. Max‟s eyes glanced toward the school and sighed. Elspeth started toured the school; as soon as she did Max grabbed her hand and pulled her into his chest. “I ask Ton to summon thee to grant me the power of time, and help grant my wish today.” He raised his left hand straight above them. Little gold lights appeared from his hand. The leaves stopped in midair, the air stilled, and all the noses

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silenced. When Max re-opened his eyes they weren‟t the same as before, they were darker now. They had a certain loneliness shimmer in them. “We don‟t have a lot of time, no pun intended, so come on.” His hand reaching toward Elspeth‟s, who was starring at all the things that were still in the air? Her hand twitched back, but she reached her hand up to his. It was a strange thing but she always had a trust problem with anyone, male or female. Their hands intertwined at the wrist, Max‟s warm hand engulfed hers making her hand warmer, until their hands were the same tempter. Max‟s hand tightened and they started toward the school. As they ran Elspeth saw everyone‟s face expressions, and almost giggled. She hit her head on Max‟s back. She stepped back and rubbed her nose. “That hurt! You're supposed to tell someone when you‟re going to stop.” “Did you say something? Anyway class is going to start.” He said dropping her hand and walking off. Elspeth turned as she heard Von and Scarlet. Everything returned to normal as though it was just a dream. A dream where Elspeth was held twice by the same tall, dark, and extremely hot guy. “Elspeth how in the world did you, never mind. Just make sure you get to class on time will yeah,”

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“Yeah I know. Or someone might notice that I‟m weird. I‟ve heard it a thousand times Von.” “Good then I don‟t have to tell you, right?” Von said leaning over her, his ash mauve colored eyes looking deep at her. It was always the same; people never look to others they look at them with no wonder what are in them. Didn‟t anyone wonder what made each person different? “Yes I understand Von” “Great, then I‟ll see you in class.‟‟ He said leaving with Scarlet hitting and yelling at him, again. Elspeth slowly followed them listening to the people whispering down the hallway. “Hay it‟s the elite class members.” “Von‟s so hot!” “Hey do you like Scarlet or Elspeth more?” “Elspeth, but whoever wants to date her has to go through her brother.” “Yeah that‟s pretty bad; I think our best bet would be Briaday.” Elspeth always heard the same thing every day, and they were always right. Von had been protecting her since they were little, and for that she did what he said. That and he was suppose to be the next knight commander after graduation, and getting beat up by a girl was not what the Knight Quadrant was looking for. But only at school was Elspeth the angel all the

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guys liked, once they got out of the building and away from people Von was going to get it.

“Max your acting weird, weird for you. What‟s wrong?” Kedna grunted walking across the school building‟s roof ledge very carefully. “It‟s nothing Kedna.” Max said leaning over the roof‟s railing. „That girl was weird; I mean she didn‟t even act like a girl. Her aurora was strange to; it was two colors not one.‟ Kedna jumped off the ledge he had been walking across and sat next to Max. “You‟re thinking of that person from this morning.” “I‟m not thinking of Elspeth, who can‟t stop talking for a minute!” Max spat out in one quick breath turning his head to Kedna. Kedna stood up, turned and simply walked toward the door. “I never said which person it was.” His tail wagged back in forth in amusement. Max stared turning red as he figured out Kedna‟s trick. “That little bastard, I‟m going to kick his ass. Just wait until I get my hands on you Kedna!” Max said slamming the roof door, stomping down the three flights of stairs. Knowing full well Kedna would not be there no matter how fast he was Max was not going to be able to catch Kedna in front of his classmates. As he walked down the hall the girls whispered and giggled, the

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boys talked to. But no matter whom it was they never got in his way, except Von and Scarlet-who pissed him off for some reason. He noticed there weren‟t very many people today and those who were there all headed toward the arena. Max opened one of the class doors to find no one there. “Maybe I‟ve got the wrong room.” He said sighing heavily. “No it‟s the correct room you just didn‟t go to the ceremony that‟s all.” Max turned to see Elspeth standing behind him. As he noticed she was right, the classrooms were empty and every human was in the arena or making their way to it, a smile crossed his face. “So you skipped it to. How lucky for me.” He said leaning his back to one side of the doorway. “No I finished my speech so I came to the class room, it wasn‟t luck just a coincidence.” She said walking over his legs and into the room. The room was standard, one chalkboard, a counter in the back, and a wall of windows. The desks were arranged in rows of three and columns of five. Elspeth took the first row next to the window. Max sat two desks behind her, ready for a nap he leaned back. Unfortunately the chair wasn‟t attached to the desk and Max fell backward. As his head hit the floor he heard a small laugh from above. When he opened his eyes Elspeth was laughing and looking over his desk.

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“Are you ok?” she asked trying not to laugh, which wasn‟t working. “Yeah I‟m fine.” He said slightly glaring at her in annoyancemore toward the chair then her but he didn‟t care. She walked over to him, now stand a few feet from his fallen chair. “I didn‟t mean to laugh but it was really funny.” She said reaching her hand to him. Max looked at her, she was definitely different from others. She seemed more open and not scared of much, including saying what she wanted when she wanted. Max took her hand, and she helped pull him up. “Glad you‟re easily amused.” He said setting the chair on all fours again. “So why did you and that dog show up on my balcony this morning?” „That is a good question, he didn‟t cast a transfer spell and Kedna never ran. The only other person who could have done it would have had to be at the location of Kedna‟s destination.‟ Max was puzzled until it hit him. “Hey can you use transportation magic?” The look that crossed Elspeth‟s face told Max she couldn‟t. “Not really, I can cast spells but something else always happens. If I try a water spell something always flies at me. Fire spells usually cause storms, and don‟t make me tell you about my earth spell.” „Three elements most teachers can pull that off.‟

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“By the way I‟m Elspeth Kyodai. I don‟t think I told you before.” She said smiling up at him. He smiled, already knowing her name he found it cute that she introduced herself in such a simple matter, until he noticed they were still holding hands, and he let go quickly. “O I was wondering if you wanted to be on my team for the tests.” She asked sitting in her desk. Max‟s eyebrow lifted as he replied. “How do you know we are going to be in teams?” “Being in the student council has its benefits.” She said in an over happy voice. “I‟ll think about it.” He said with that teasing smile. Elspeth blushed and turned to the front. The sunlight danced a crossed her golden-brown locks and tiny little face. Max just sat there watching her and ignoring the sharp pain in his chest. He wasn‟t worried about it, since it couldn‟t be his heart. Seeing how he hadn‟t had one for the last nine years. Max and Elspeth sat in silence for over twenty minutes before the other members of the R.B.S.A. entered. Bria-day was short and wore glasses. She always had a book in her hands and never forgot anything. Her pale blue hair was always in a braid and almost touched the ground. She had the same uniform as Elspeth but hers was tan not green. She also wore a deep sapphire green cloak.

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Myith was as tall as Bria-day‟s shoulder and had a gift for animals. He took a baby formu lizard with him everywhere he went. It was about five feet long from head to tail, had two small legs with four claws on each. A three foot long tail, two horns on its head and could change its shape at will. Myith had short black hair. He was a year younger than most of the other examines. He did everything Bria-day said, not for any real reason except he wanted to. The twins, as they were called, were in there own little league. The both stood 5” 4‟ with dark brown hair. They always finished each other‟s sentences and were never separated. They both wore knight uniforms and had bright green eyes. Scarlet had very unique hair, the top and roots were crimson red, however the length was a blend of black hair and poppy red colored hair, it was all natural to which gave her a very dangerous look. Her hair was always loose and reached the middle of her ass. She was also the only girl that Von still hung out with, besides Bria-day and Elspeth who were like sisters. She wore a red uniform like Elspeth‟s and Bria-day‟s. She was the best Fire Sage at the school, and was the only girl that had a special uniform made because of her large breast size. The last of the group was Von, he was known everywhere in town. He had a natural way with the sword, or so the knights all said but that did not stop him from always practiced. Every girl

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liked him, except Bria-day and Elspeth. And all the guys though it an honor to fight him in a practice match, except Max. Each one of them was of royal blood, except Von, Elspeth and Myith. Von‟s dad was a great knight and Myith got in because Bria-day said so. Elspeth only hung out with them, she didn‟t want to be part of the group but everyone believed she was. Besides the seven R.B.S.A. students there were three other girls, four guys, and Max in the class. After everyone entered the class they continued talking. The girls circled Von, the guys talked about fighting techniques, and Scarlet practiced her finger fire balls mostly on Von though. “I believe the bell rang some time ago.” A tall lady spoke in a clear voice and waiting for them all to sit. “I will be taking role and then explaining the testing rules once.” She said loudly so all the students heard her. “Miss. Charlotte Abington?” “Here” “Mr. Samuel Barker.” “Accounted for.” “Mr. Zak and Mr. Jak Chik?” “Were here” they said together “Miss. Scarlet Hian?” “I‟m present.” “Mr. Tyler Hind”

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“Present and accounted for.” “Miss. Bria-day Kazen?” “Here” “Mr. Von and Miss Elspeth Kyodai?” “Were both here mama.” Elspeth spoke out. “Miss Clover Narik?” “Present.” “Miss. Victoria Prescott” “Attending.” “Mr. Myith Roiyaruhi?” “Here” “Mr. Gale Smith?” “Present” “Mr. Link Torsh?” “Here” “Max Yarugado?” “Yeah?” “Alright then there are two rules for your test. First you must pick your own team of five.” Von stood as others talked about the rule. “Why only five. That seems a little small for beginners.” “If you‟re too scared to only have four guards you could always stay behind.” Max blurted, more of a grumble, out at him. Von glared at him at sat back down cursing him out.

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“The second is you must stay alive.” With that all the students fell silent and looked up at her. “What‟s that suppose to mean?!” Victoria yelled with a wince in her throat. The teacher went to her desk and grabbed a piece of chalk and went to the board. “Miss Kyodai who would you like to be in your group?” “Why does she go first?” Two girls said together. “She will pick first because one she hasn‟t spoken out and two she is sitting in the first seat. That‟s why, now Miss. Kyodai.” “Just a moment I didn‟t know I was going first.” Max smiled to himself at that comment. „That‟s why she left earlier than everyone else. She‟s smarter than most would think. Plus she can use three different elements I wasn‟t expecting her to learn so fast.‟ Elspeth looked around thinking about everyone‟s weaknesses and advantages. „The twins are great for defense but talk too much, they would give use away. Bria-day knows a lot about plants and can use wind magic.‟ “First is Bria-day Kazen.” The teacher wrote her name under Elspeth‟s. „Let‟s see Myith does what Bria-day does and has his pet so that would help if we get into trouble.‟ “Next is Myith Roiyaruhi.” „After that is Von and Scarlet they are formidable but I don‟t want Von on my team if possible, so that takes them both out. I‟m not sure I should have girls I don‟t know on my team, they won‟t leave Max alone. I guess out of the guys I‟d pick Gale because his father and he

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run the blacksmith together so that would be handy.‟ “Third I would like Gale Smith.” As his name left Elspeth‟s lips Von became confused and mad at the same time and she could tell by a glance. “Alright one more please.” „This one‟s simple as long as he does not mind.‟ She glanced to Max for approval but he was not paying attention. “Last would be Max Yarugado.” She said and the girls started talking out again. “Why those four it makes no sense. Make her explain her picking.” The teacher sighed and nodded toured Elspeth, as a queue to explain. “I choose Bria-day because of her knowledge of plants and animals. Myith will help with defense and Gale can fix weapons and make tools. Last was Max because he is a good offense.” „Good, I‟m the best offense fighter in the school you idiot. Although if you knew that little bit I think it would freak me out.‟ Max though in the moment Elspeth finished. “Good enough for me. Jak you're up next.” “Zak, Von, Scarlet, and Link please.” He said quickly and proudly. “Ok then that leaves Clover, Tyler, Samuel, and Charlotte. You are now ready to take the exams.” “Wait I‟m not on a team?” Victoria blurted out again.”

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“Maybe I should put her on my team and get her injured enough to shut her up for five minutes.” Elspeth whispered to herself. The teacher sighed “Miss. Prescott, you were not forgotten about you have the job of keeping score of the three teams. This guarantees you a place in the graduation.” She said smiling and breathing in and out. Victoria sat back down in an upset manner that was supposed look lady-like. “In the gym you may take any weapons or items you want. When you‟re done go the courtyard and the magic teachers will transport you to your testing area.” She took a breath. “Future knights and sages or casters I give you your levee.” She finished with a small bow in their direction. After she finished bowing in respect everyone headed to the gym in their groups. Von kept his eyes on Elspeth as she talked and smiled at Max, the bastard could go straight to hell as far Von was concerned.

Chapter 2: A Fight with a Dragon “Quickly now.” An older woman kept repeating to students in the gym. Elspeth stood almost shaking with

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nervousness as the teachers started sending groups to the testing arenas. “You ok, El.” His deep voice almost took off her little neck hairs. “Fine. And why‟d you call me El?” She asked tipping her head back to see those sapphire eyes shimmer with amusement. “It‟s a shorting of your full name you spell it E.l.s.p.e.t.h.” as he finished she giggled. “The „l‟ is silent. You pronounce it Espeth.” The minute they stared at each other felt longer to Max, He wanted to grab her little ears and pull her closer to him. He didn‟t really care if she grew taller of scooted back two feet; either way was fine with him. His eyes looked up when a teacher came over. Elspeth turned her face to the woman and bowed her head slightly. The woman just smiled and pulled a small piece of paper out of her blue cloak. “Are you this group‟s captain?” She asked her with a slight bow of her own head. “Yes.” She stuttered out. The women just smiled at her and continued her speech. “This paper must make it through the exam along with everyone in your group. Now if you are all ready I will send you to take your test.” Elspeth looked back to check everyone‟s facial expression. Myith looked excited while petting Goku, his formu lizard, who sat on one of his shoulders with his

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tail hanging down Myith‟s back. Bria-day was reading with her ever stern and expression less face-her and max could have a staring contest. Gale‟s face looked more scared than anything but Elspeth knew he didn‟t like fighting, which was why he was a blacksmith not a knight in training. As her eyes fell upon Max, well in this case they looked up, but he wasn‟t looking at her at all. „Ignore me will ya‟ she though turning back to the teacher with a smile and slight nod. The teacher raised her hand above her and spoke clearly. “I ask Uchu to grant my wish of Transportation!” as she finished she touched Elspeth‟s forehead, Elspeth grabbed Max‟s hand, Max grabbed Gale‟s, Gale grabbed Myith, and Myith grabbed Bria-day‟s. Everything went black.

As Elspeth opened her eyes she was tugged behind a rock, a little too fast and she became dizzy. “What was that for?” she asked Myith before noticing him pointing up and a finger on his mouth, telling her to be quiet without words. Elspeth looked up to see iron bars about fifteen feet above them. She gasped as a warm presence slid next to her.

Max had to get his breathing back down and quickly, though it wasn‟t helping that he sat next to a golden haired angel that was staring at him with those big emerald eyes, the eyes that

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looked so full of life and always seemed to be looking in his direction. “Are you ok?” He asked breathing normally, as normal as a heartless person could breath anyway. “I‟m fine but I thought we were supposed to be taking a test. Not fight in an arena.” “This is the test; I already dragged that guy over here and shook him till he woke. That lizard thing was acting weird.” “Goku sensed something unfriendly. I can‟t read it so it‟s not a creature of my ability.” “That means its strong right.” Myith answered with a nod before remember about Bria-day. “Wait what about Bria-day and Gale?” he looked horrified “There fine, she‟s smart isn‟t she?” That‟s an understatement if there was ever one, Bria-day‟s IQ level at age 10 was 295 and she never forgot anything. Elspeth guessed that Bria-day probably had an IQ of 400 or more by now, but she was trying to guess low. Max leaned over the rock they had been hiding behind. He caught sight of the thing they were supposed to fight. The creature had two large front paws, each with three sharp claws; it also had a huge tail with scales lined on the top and sides. It had two horns on its head right above its ears. Under its jaw was a line of large white crystals attached like fur. As it raised its nose Max ducted back behind the rock.

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“Shit. This isn‟t going to be easy.” He said taking off his school jacket. Elspeth peered across the arena to see people outside the iron bars. Her eyes finally caught a glimpse of Yoko and Hed. Next to them sat Von, Scarlet and the twins. „They finished already? Of course they had, they had Von and Scarlet, and they also probably got an easy test and started first. “That thing is going to need to be caught not killed.” Max said to Myith and Elspeth as he drew a resemblance of the arena in the dirt. “It‟s called a sagi dragon, for anyone who didn‟t know.” “Aren‟t those things dangerous even for people with experience?” Myith asked letting Goku loose to find Bria-day and Gale without giving their position away. Goku curled into a ball and slowly turned into a small beetle bug- a beetle that was as hard as diamonds and blinded into almost every environment. “Yes, but if you know there weakness then they aren‟t hard to take down. The problem is Bria-day uses ice, earth, and water magic right?” Elspeth and Myith nodded as a response. “The sagi dragon has white crystals not black which is going to make this a lot harder.” “What does it matter if it has light or dark crystals?” Myith said looking confused. “A sagi dragon can only hurt if its crystals are on the opposite side of the elemental table Myith.” Bria-day said as she

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appeared out of thin air with Gale holding on and Goku, who jumped into Myith‟s lap. “You should know that.” She said glaring at him. “That‟s correct. And since Bria-day can only use elements on the light side of the table it will only stun the dragon not hurt it.” “Wait what elements would work on it then?” Gale asked checking on the dragon. It was now sniffing were him and Bria-day were moments ago. Max sighed and drew a circle and then ten smaller circles, eight on the large circle and two circles overlapping in the middle. “There are ten elements in the world; space, ice, earth, water, light, time, wind, lightning, fire, and dark. Everything we know can be made by these ten elements.” Everyone shook their heads giving Max the okay to finish explaining. “Starting with the top left circle.” He said pointing to the one he was talking about. “This is where space goes. Going down the left side we have ice, then earth, and finally water. Each one of these is considered a light element. Now on the opposite side are the dark elements. Starting at the top it goes time, then wind, lightning, and finally fire. In the center are the elements of light and dark. Now if you match the dark elements with the light ones directly across from them you can find that elements major weakness.” Max took a breath and checked their timing on the dragon; it was

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still busy with digging up the same spot. “Each side has its strongest and its weakest elements; water and fire are the stronger of the two sides. Next would be lightning and earth; ice and wind; the weakest are space and time, these are also the rarest. However if someone can posses the elements light or dark they would be stronger than any of the elements on the same side, but not necessarily stronger against the other elements or more than one on the same side, any questions?” Max asked looking at everyone. Each of them shaking their heads, as to tell him no. “Ok so if we don‟t have the right elements how do we kill it?” Gale asked scratching his head. “We‟re not. We need to catch it and I‟ve got a pretty good idea on how.” Max said looking at Bria-day. “First thing we need is rope, and lots of it.” “I have some in my workshop but none of the contestants are allowed to leave.” Gale said disappointment until Goku jumped to the ground and shrunk into a four inch tall puffball with wings and an earth type tail. “Kyōshitsu ni idō shi, rōpu o shutoku!” Myith said smiling at

Goku, who replied with a little yep. “He‟ll be back in four minutes.” Max faced Bria-day and put his hand on her book until she looked back.

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“I need you to distract that thing for ten minutes.” Bria-day closed her book, handed it to Myith, stood and walked toward the dragon. “Is she crazy?” Gale and Elspeth said in unison. Max held back a smile that tugged at his lips, he wasn‟t sure.

While the two guys were busy watching Bria-day, Max grabbed Elspeth‟s hand. “Come on we have something else to do before that lizard gets back with the rope.” Elspeth stood, more of a crouch and followed Max to another part of the arena with a group of trees and brush. “Okay what is our part in all this?” Elspeth asked kneeling in front of Max, who was also kneeling. “We need to use magic to make that thing injured enough so it doesn‟t break through the rope.” “But I though it couldn‟t be hurt by light elements.” “It can‟t but you said earlier that you could cast fire spells…” “Yeah but I always screw them up.” She interrupted “Yes but that means you have the ability to cast dark elements.” He said with a sigh and a glance away. “What does that matter?” Elspeth asked more confused now than before.

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“You know about Galade Magic right.” He asked looking down at her, and thinking she didn‟t from her facial expression. This was odd because every magic user was required to know of it. “Galade Magic can only be used when two people with the ability to use the same type of elements channel their magic together.” “In other words they become the same person with more power for a time being.” Elspeth pointed out felling smart with her conclusion. Warmth crept up Max‟s neck as she finished. “Yeah that‟s one way of looking at it. Anyway, that‟s how where going to hurt it.” “But Bria-day can‟t use dark elements only light ones so it won‟t work.” “I can use dark elements.” He muttered quietly. “What!” Max covered her mouth and told her to shush. “That‟s how I could stop time earlier and how I showed up at your house to grab Kedna.” Elspeth eyes flipped from left to right putting everything together. “But guys can‟t use magic. Not unless they have royal blood.” Max scratched his copper hair and looked away. “I‟m aware of that Elspeth. I get reminded every day. But we need to forget about the little details and hurry it up. That lizard should have come back already.” Elspeth looked over to Myith and Gale who were busy tying rope to one of the iron bars

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on the side of the arena. Myith smiled at her to acknowledge he saw her. “So how do you do Galade Magic?” she asked her complete attention on Max now.

Bria-day approached the massive beast as it continued sniffing and digging at her previous earth spell. She removed her glasses, placing them on her shirt between her breasts. Her pale blue hair loosened and circled around her person. Her purple eyes turned a pale teal color, almost like mist. She placed her right hand in front of her, her index and middle fingers standing up and the other two were curled. Her thumb pointed away from her hand. She then placed her other hand in the same position and made a triangle out of the thumbs, middle and index fingers. “I Bria-day Kaze first daughter of the royal blood line of the wind goddess summon and call forth the three elements of protection. Mizu, goddesses of water. Chikiya, goddesses of earth. Kori, goddesses of ice. Come to my aid!” As she spoke blue, green, and pale blue lights surrounded her hands. The sagi dragon‟s ears perked back and it turned its head. Staring at Bria-day its eyes narrowed, its mouth opened to show a drooling tongue and sharp teeth. As its tail rose Bria-day brought one hand to her lips “Bring me aid.” She whispered as she sliest her

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hand across the air. At the same time the dragon slammed its tail down on top of Bria-day.

Myith watched Bria-day walk toward the dragon and Elspeth walk off with Max. Gale‟s face was as white as a ghost as he sat scratching one thumb with the other. “You ok?” Myith asked. Gale looked up and stopped scratching. “I‟m not used to fighting everyone else seems so normal at this.” Myith laughed “That‟s not true. Bria-day doesn‟t show very many emotions to begin with. She‟s also really confident in her spells. Elspeth is more of an encourager than a fighter so you‟ll never see her not smiling. I don‟t scare easy because I have Goku and Briaday. Don‟t know what Max‟s story is but he seems like he was born to fight. You just haven‟t gotten experience in fighting.” Gale‟s face looked worse after Myith‟s little speech. “Don‟t worry though if we didn‟t have you we never would have known where to get rope from. Elspeth is excellent at figuring peoples weaknesses and strengths just by looking at them. So if she picked you that would just mean you have something she figured we could use or need.” As Myith finished Goku burrowed up between them with a bag full of rope. The three of them ran to the closest bar. Gale tied the rope on before realizing the type of iron

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“Make sure you tie them in French knots or else they won‟t hold. They made the bars from fire iron, it‟s strong but if the ropes aren‟t tied right they will fall off with the smallest pull” Myith nodded and told Goku in the same language as before “Hey I got a question.” Gale asked climbing up another bar. “I‟m listening.” “If Elspeth picked use because we‟d be helpful why didn‟t she pick Von instead?” “O, that‟s because Elspeth does everything Von says. Like me with Bria-day, we don‟t have to we just do. So she wanted to do the test herself instead of relying on Von for everything.” “I guess that makes since. What are Elspeth and Max doing anyway?” Myith looked over at them to see her looking back. He smiled at her to signal he acknowledged her. She then had her full attention on Max. “I‟m not sure but we need to get down and to the other side.” Goku changed into a small griffin and flew them to the ground. As they got to the other end Myith turned to see the sagi dragon‟s tale slam on top of Bria-day. He dropped to his knees and froze, his eyes dilated.

The crowd stood with whispers and gasps in all directions. Dust covered a good portion of the arena as the dragon‟s tail laid were Bria-day once stood. Elspeth‟s, Max‟s and Gale‟s eyes

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all watched to see if she was hurt or not. The dragon removed its tail and stepped closer to its prize. Its nose sniffed, but only sneezed from all the dust. “It‟s not polite to hit your guest.” Bria-day yelled as she rose from the ground in a large ball made completely of water. Clearing the arena of all the dust she landed back on her feet in a small puddle of water below her. The crowd settled down and clapped at her ability to protect herself with such a difficult spell. Gale shook Myith until he came back to his senses. “She‟s okay Myith. That was a close one though.” Gale said helping Myith onto his feet. “How much more time do you guys need?” Max asked as he reached them with Elspeth. “I‟d say ten maybe fifteen minutes.” “Fifteen minutes!” Max yelled in frustration “Yeah we need to finish this side and the top. If we rush it could screw everything up and we don‟t really got a second chance.” He had a point and Max couldn‟t argue it. “Fine but work quickly. We‟ll try and by you guy as must time as possible. Come on Elspeth.” He said running toward to dragon. “Good luck, Elspeth!” Gale said blushing after she smiled back. “Come on lover boy.” Myith laughed as he climbed.

Elspeth caught up with Max in no time.

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“Okay you remember how it works?” Elspeth nodded and held her hands up in front of her chest. Max place his hands inches away from hers. “Okay, just summon one of the dark elements. And remember it doesn‟t matter which one.” Elspeth breathed in and back out she saw Von watching her and her hands feel. “What is it, hey?” Max yelled trying not to provoke the dragon‟s attention. “I never told them I could use magic.” Max looked confused until he turned to see what made her upset. He glared at Von, like he knew it had to be Von. “Elspeth.” Max grabbed the side of her shoulders. “Elspeth!” She looked up at him almost ready to cry. “Your brother is not fighting, you are. And no one in this arena is going to be able to leave unless we fight it with magic. Don‟t even think about them okay.” Elspeth nodded and stood straight up. She replaced her hands in the correct position. Max‟s hands touched hers, just the pales. “I ask Kaminari to summon thee to grant me the power of lightning and to help grant my wish today.” As she finished small sparks came out of her hands and around Max‟s. “I Max Tsuki second son of the royal blood line of the dark god summon the ability to grow and concur.” As he spoke Elspeth stared at him with disbelief in her eyes and a hint of

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curiosity. When he finished Elspeth‟s vision turned white until she found herself in an endless room. “You wish to bond to the one call Max Tsuki correct.” A deep grumbled spoke from behind her. As she turned she saw a pure black wolf with the occasional white streaks of fur on its jaw line. “Yes I do.” The wolf sat with an appealing look in its eyes. “You understand you cannot make a second contract nor use magic with anyone else of the dark elements.” “I understand the laws of Galade Magic and I except all terms.” She said placing a hand on her chest. The wolf stood and started circling her slowly. “Interesting well then if you can give me the answer to the riddle I will give you the ability you seek.” Elspeth took a breath and looked at the wolf in the eyes. “Very well your riddle is this. What is cold, yet warm? Hard, but soft. Stone and wax. Hope, as well as destruction. Is visualized as red but rarely seen.” Elspeth watched as the wolf lay down. “My answer will be the human heart.” The wolf raised one of its eyebrows. “What makes you so sure, princess?” “Because it changes so much that it is possible to be all of those things, and we believe it to be red because that is the

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color of our blood but most never see one there entire life.” The wolf stood in front of Elspeth within seconds. “I congratulate you in the correct answer. Your reward is the ability you require. But remember my little princess, those with the possession of wings will not have that of my riddle and you can never gain what has been lost.” “Another riddle?” the wolf jumped and placed a paw on her chest, where her heart would be. “Perhaps, but this one will not be so easy to figure out young princess.” As the wolf‟s voice faded she heard a more familiar voice. “Elspeth walk up. Elspeth!” Max‟s voice echoed in her ear. Her eyes opened to find Max‟s head inches away. “What the?" she started as she realized she was see threw. “Great job on the lightning spell by the way. We have successfully created Galade Magic. O, and don‟t stand up a lot.” Elspeth almost asked why until she realized everyone could see her bare chest. She turn bright red, well would have it she had color to her, and hid her chest behind Max‟s shoulder. “So how does this work again?” “Simple your magic goes through my body and into my weapon. Making you untouchable and me able to hurt that thing, ready?"

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Von stared as Elspeth‟s body lit up and then disappeared. He stood along with his mother, Yoko. “Isn‟t that Galade Magic?” He said more of a question than actual statement. “Yes, but how did she learn to use it? We don‟t let her use magic let alone talk about Galade Magic.” Von watched as Elspeth‟s body changed into a ghost-like-mirage attached to Max. Von clenched him fist and grinded his teeth. “I know who told her about it and when there finished I‟m going to kill him for it.” Scarlet leaned over her seat to see Elspeth freak out about her very much visible breasts she giggled and pulled Von back into his seat. “Just watch to see how it ends, Von. You never know she may surprise you.” Von slouched in his chair and watched Elspeth fight in the arena. Scarlet blushed as Von‟s hands covered hers, he did not do it on purpose just folding his arms, but she still liked it.

Max ran toward the sagi dragon as Bria-day used earth magic to pull one of its paws to the ground. Vines wrapped around it cutting into the beasts flesh, but its crystals healed it moments after every cut. “Bria-day we‟ll take care of it from here. Go help Myith.” Elspeth said as Max grabbed its tail and hung on. While the

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dragon clawed and ripped at the vines in its paw and fur. Max carefully jumped from scale to scale. “Where do we need to hit it Max?” “The crystals are best but anywhere without scales will work.” Elspeth looked around its body. “So basically we need to get to its head.” “Yeah, pretty much.” He said jumping off the last scale and onto its fur. The dragon stopped and looked over to see Max in its shoulder. It screeched at them and pulled its paw off the ground. Shaking its body ferociously Max grabbed tight onto its fur and slowly climbed toward its horns. “How are you going to hurt it if you don‟t have a weapon?” Max couldn‟t help but smile at Elspeth‟s question. Since he didn‟t have one in hand he didn‟t blame her for asking. “I‟m going to use an elemental blade made by my father.” “What‟s an elemental blade?” “You‟ll have to wait and see. Missy” He said clenching the dragon‟s right horn. The sagi dragon stopped moving long enough for Max to grab a sword hilt from his waist. “Okay Elspeth I need you to think of the way a blade looks.” Elspeth closed her eyes trying to remember what Von always practiced with. When her eyes opened a sword appeared from the hilt, it curved toward the inside and had a wolf carved along both sides.

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“Nice imagination.” He grinned at her, who just smiled timidly. “I didn‟t mean for it to look that way I can try again.” “No this will be just fine.” Max jumped onto its nose as the dragon thrust its tail crazy over and around its back. Max pulled its fur right above the nostrils. Standing on his feet Max waited for the dragon‟s paw to come and scratch its nose. When the dragon raised its paw, Max jumped onto the paw, as the dragon lowered it Max jumped toward to jaw line. “Now's when you need to use your magic.” Elspeth put her hands together “Kaminari.” She whispered sending lightning from her fingers, through her „body‟ into Max‟s arm and out of the blade, which was gouged in one of the dragon‟s crystals. Max fell to the ground and ran for cover. “NOW!” he yelled to Myith as loud as possible. Myith grabbed Goku and whispered something to him and let him go. Goku yelped at such high frequencies no one heard him except the sagi dragon. The pain and sound made the dragon shake its head and run in circles until it finally ran into the ropes. Myith, Gale, and Bria-day pulled to hold the ropes until the sagi dragon finally calmed and collapsed from exhaustion.

As the dragon breathed one last heavy breath Myith jumped onto Goku‟s griffin back and caught Gale in Goku‟s claws. Bria-

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day walked to Myith as he slid off Goku and made sure Gale was ok. “I guess that wasn‟t too hard.” Bria-day said taking her book back and running her hand across each line. After he placed the hilt on his waist, Max put his hands together. His index and middle fingers stood straight up, while his other fingers intertwined with each other. “Release.” As he spoke Elspeth became visible and clothed. Her lower body slowly pulled away from Max‟s back. She stumbled at first, grasping the strong arms that held her shoulders. “Well done, for your first magic trick.” Max said trying to make Elspeth smile, and it worked. Myith, Gale and Bria-day came running toward them, reaching them right before the crowd applauded, whistled, and hollered to them. Max let Elspeth‟s shoulders go and took his jacket from Gale, who still looked terrified. “Hey, don‟t look so down. You passed didn‟t you.” Max said to him patting him on the shoulder. Gale thought about it for a moment until Myith jumped on him from behind. Laughing and waving Myith seemed the most excited. The top of the iron cage opened as three griffins with riders flew in and landed in front of all five of them. The largest griffin stood upfront and was taller than an average full grown man. All three of them had golden feathers and lion paws and tails. Their heads were that

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of eagles, the most common type of a griffin. The front griffin‟s rider climbed down, like a rider on a horse, and grabbed a scroll from the saddle bag. He wore a teal green armor with the Kazen symbol; three stars diagonally separated a butterfly wing from swirls and curls, on the chest plate. “As the Kaze knights co-captain me, Sir Dalis, hereby congratulate your team on their victory. As request of their majesties you and your families are invited to enjoy this evening‟s festivities. What is the answer of all members?” Elspeth started to answer until Max stepped forward and looked Sir Dalis in the eyes. “We will attend with honor to meet their royalty.” Sir Dalis glared at Max until the griffin‟s made noises in agitation. Sir Dalis remounted his griffin and pulled up on the reins. The griffin‟s wings stretched completely out and flapped slowly until their back paws were off the air. Winds wrapped around the arena as they raised the front claws curled in and within moments the only trace of their presence was the dust still settling down.

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Chapter 3: Keep To Yourself Idiot Her eyes wondering across the open arena court room. Looking, almost seeking for someone or something. As her eyes settled on one place, Max followed her line of sight, grinding his teeth as he set sights on Von. “There‟s no way the two of them are related. They don‟t look alike at all.” Max grumbled under his breath as Kedna‟s front

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paws appeared out of the wall‟s shadow, followed by the rest of the wolves body. “Perhaps there, what‟s that word humans use all the time?” Kedna paused as he sat next to Max‟s left leg. For a wolf he was fairly tall, his head reached Max‟s waist at a sitting stance, at a height of 4” 2‟. “Ah! I remembered, maybe there dat…” Kedna could not finish before Max shoved his head down. “Shut up dog!” with Max‟s statement Kedna snapped. “Watch your mouth boy! I‟m a wolf and you know it.” Kedna snarled at Max; leaning against the wall, Max folded his arms against his chest, and continued watching Elspeth. “What did you find out anyway?” “What makes you think I found something?” “Because you hate humans, that‟s why. Know what did you find out?” Kedna‟s lips curled as best he could, almost a wicked smile, knowing Max was right. “The demons are hiding. Which means there moving?” Max‟s head snapped toward Kedna‟s very serious, very stern face. Kedna sighed heavily. “Calm down Max HE won‟t show up unless they can‟t do the job. You know that.” He said turning his snout up toward Max. Max clenched his fists aggressively. “Tell me what you know about the guy over there.”

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“The guy over there?” Kedna sarcastically grunted at Max. Max smacked the back of Kedna‟s head. “The one talking to Elspeth. MORON!” he replied through his teeth. Kedna nodded and spoke as he eyed his ‟pray‟. “Von, number one swordsman on the schools records-since you were sick the day they tested student‟s skill level.” Kedna started with a glance up. Max simply grunted his companion‟s obvious rude remark toured him. “He is Elspeth‟s brother- not by blood as you are already aware; you also know how she came to be in the family, correct.” A node from Max‟s head suited as an answer for the wolf. “He has a reputation of dating any girl that asks him out, I have heard that he‟s dated the entire school-girls only of course. I have a suspension that he and the red head can use magic together, like you and that girl used during your fight earlier.” Kedna growled. “Saw that did you.” Max grinned at the satisfactory of making his companion angry once more. “Yes and it‟s not amusing, she can barely fight and she is not the best at magic either. Why the hell did you pick her, and don‟t you dare say it‟s because it was convenient for you.” Max stepped away from the railing and started walking toured Elspeth.

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“I picked her because she was close by.” Kedna yowled at Max with frustration over him. „She‟ll be the death of you, idiot.‟ Kedna thought disappearing into the shadows once again. Her laugh echoed through his ears, rubbing his chest he stopped a step away from Elspeth‟s back. “I need to talk to you.” He whispered as nice and calmly as he could while glaring at Von. Something about him set Max on edge. Elspeth spun around, almost bumping into Max. “What do you want?” Von said pushing Max‟s shoulder and stepping between them, glaring back at him. “Like I said I need to talk to Elspeth.” Von arched an eyebrow. “Alone.” Max said slowly. Just as Von clinched his fists Scarlet placed her hand on his forearm.

Bria-day slowly watched as a shadow turned into a dog, no a wolf. That means it was a demon. „Why is it with Max, I wonder is that the piece I have yet to figure out?‟ Myith looked from Bria-day to Max and back. “What is it Bria-day?” She closed her book and handed it to Myith. “I need a moment alone.” Myith‟s facial expression got worse by the minute. Bria-day sighed and rephrased. “I NEED a moment to do that thing I do with Goku.” Myith‟s eyes widened as she finished. He handed Goku over to her.

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“Why do you have to do this now? Who changed the book enough to have you use that spell?” Bria-day simply walked away from Myith and the other examinees and guests. She walked to the hedge maze in the garden and took Goku into the main area of the maze. She placed him on the ground in front of her. The concrete had the royal family‟s crest placed in it. Blue roses grew around the circular crest. A wolf statue stood in the center-it was carved to look like it was running to the left, its tail turned into ivory colored wind, as well as its chest. The statue had always been there and very few still knew its purpose of being there. One of which was Bria-day. “Alright Goku I need your ability.” Bria-day placed her hand on Goku‟s forehead. He rubbed his nose and the side of his lips on her index finger. His ears feel back as he purred. “I summon the god of time and goddess of space, give me the ability to change what may acquire” As she spoke Goku‟s fur and scales glowed, changing him into a small foxtail pup. “Allow me to change the threads of fate and weave my own design from small moments which you may allow me to see.” When she finished her eyes turned a copper color and images flashed on Goku‟s fur and into Bria-day‟s mind. Bria-day closed and re-opened her eyes, returning to the present. “Thank you Goku.” She said lifting the passed out creature into her arms and running back to the arena.

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Myith spotted Bria-day rushing back to him. As she reached him she handed him Goku. “Where‟s Scarlet?” “What happened to Goku?” “Where is Scarlet Myith?” She repeated grasping his shoulders. Myith pointed toward Von and Elspeth, sure enough Scarlet was there. Bria-day kissed Myith‟s forehead, thanked him and ran off again. “Scarlet.” Bria-day said from a small distance. Scarlet looked up but ignored her after a moment. When Bria-day reached them she pulled Scarlet by the forearm. “Hey!” Scarlet said yanking her arm out of Bria-day‟s arm. “What is it Bria-day?” “You need to keep Von away from Elspeth.” “What are you babbling about?” “I have SEEN something that has yet to happen do not ask why or when. What I do know is that Elspeth needs to talk with our new friend over there.” “You mean Max.” Scarlet asked clarifying, answered with a nod from Bria-day‟s head. Scarlet sighed and turn her head back to Von. “I‟ll do my best.” She said patting Bria-day on the shoulder.

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“O and Scarlet.” Bria-day said grabbing one more minute of her attention. “I am truly sorry.” Scarlet‟s brows crunched in confusion as Bria-day walked back towards Myith.

Torches lit the walkway as the sound of shoe tips echoed into the ears of two Minotaur, each standing on one side of the dark oak door blocking it with two iron clad axes. As a women came into view the two Minotaurs straightened their stance and bowed slightly at her, not some much for royalty but more for respect. The axe in each of their hands made an X in front of the door. “My Lady. We didn‟t know you were on your way.” The one on the left said looking slightly up to her face, keeping his head down as he bowed. She had a scar on her left check and dark mauve colored eyes. Only when bowing did the Minotaur race have to look up at her. “Yeah well I can go anywhere I please. Remove you weapons from the door.” The Minotaurs exchanged looks before they did as the women requested. She pushed the doors open and walked into the lighter part of the round room. Moonlight glistened from her shoulder armor; the only thing she was wearing was a red and black tailcoat corset and a black rose skirt that was shorter than her knees, as she walked across the room and up the steps.

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“How are you doing? Does it still hurt?” The women asked as she lend across a gold trimmed chair with black fabric. “His he still alive, can you see where he is.” A man from the chair spoke in a deep solid voice. The women knelt on one knee and lowered her head, pulling all her long black hair to her left shoulder. “Her majesty, I know where he is however.” “No buts Iku, I want him here now!” The man stood from the chair and grabbed Iku‟s hair and pulled her to the floor. “Bring him to me! You know I need him to be here.” “Majik, I will be sending a spy to bring you your request.” A man spoke up from the shadows. Majik lifted his head up and released Iku‟s hair. Iku glared at the man, as though he had done something wrong. “Good. Iku ride Garth‟s spy and make sure it does its job. Soon I will be out of this powerless body and in one that has the strength to hold me.” Iku rose from her place, bowing in respect with Garth before leaving the room. As the two walked farther away the Minotaurs returned to their original positions. “I had everything under control! You shouldn‟t have interfered, Garth!” Iku shouted toured him as they went down a corridor. “He had you to the floor; if you weren‟t soft for Majik you could have avoided all of this.” Garth protested. Iku‟s right hand lit up purple and gold for a moment, then she had Garth

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pined to one of the solid brick columns with a four foot long staff. The staff had a sphere of moving energy in the center of one end, which resembled an hourglass. The circle was surrounded by a gold colored metal in the shape of a diamond. Two crescent moons, that never touched, surrounded the metal. The staff‟s three foot long rod went straight through each shape and twisted into a point at the top. “Don‟t start with that again. You want to stop Majik go ahead and try it, I don‟t think you‟ll get too far past me.” Iku warned with the look of death shimmering from her eyes. Garth sighed and put his right hand to his throat, a vow of respect in every elemental realm. Iku released her grip, allowing Garth air. She placed the staff vertically in front of her chest, placed each hand on one side and whispered “Ton”. A moment passed and all was the way it had been but moments before. As though nothing had happened. The two of them exited the building into a large open forum. All the plants had died and withered, except the center which had one bush of roses surrounding an empty fountain. Garth removed his leather jacket with shoulder spikes and his navy blue T-shirt and laid them on an old stone bench. Garth‟s entire chest and arms were completely covered in tattoos. The dim light that shimmered through the storm clouds lit up Garth‟s face to show tattoos from his chest ran up his neck. His face was inked

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to look like a hawk‟s face. No tattoo repeated and each one was an animal. Garth placed one hand on a tattoo, which resembled a dragon, and spoke clearly. “Tsuki I, Garth last heir of the dark elf clan, call you to do my bidding and give my body the power of shadows and demons. Give me the strength I was born with but will not use.” As Garth spoke he slowly pulled his hand off the tattoo. The tattoo ink lifted off of Garth‟s skin and slowly came to life. Standing nine feet tall with black scales lined on its back and throat and crimson scales covering its underbelly the dragon looked like a volcanic death with eyes that lit up like fire from the pits of hell. Iku re-casted her staff, slammed the bottom into the hard concrete, making her jump high above the lying beast, and landed standing upon the beast‟s back. “When your heart is okay with you moving normally meet me at the bridge.” With a wave of her hand the beast lifted its wings and flew out of the courtyard and over the castle‟s walls.

Scarlet crossed the floor to where Von and Max stood. Von clenched his fists as he went to punch Max, for being Max, a warm hand stopped his own from going any farther. His eyes glimpsed to the left, which made him blush more than a guy of his stature usually would. Scarlet was wearing a deep crimson dress, body tight and extremely short.

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“Let‟s all play nice children. I‟m sure the royal family doesn‟t want blood all over their backyard.” She glanced up at Von, who did not seem happy in the least. Von lowered his arm slightly, and whispered in Max‟s ear. “Touch her and you‟ll regret you met her.” As he realist his grip Max grabbed Von‟s dress shirt collar, his sapphire eyes narrowed as he glared at Von. “Careful, you might regret you ever threatened me.” A small grin reached Max‟s lips as he realist his hand from Von‟s shirt. Elspeth glanced nervously between the two guys. As she went to ask Max what he needed to say a man spoke over everyone‟s conversations. “Thank you all for coming to the royal family‟s place garden. There is one last item of entertainment for this evening.” The man took a parchment from the prince‟s hand. “Will the following people stand in the center of the floor please?” He cleared his throat as attendees cleared the family‟s crest- that was imprinted on the cobblestone floor. “Von Loki and Scarlet Hian. Bria-day Kazen and Myith Roiyaruhi. Jak Chik and Jak Chik. Max Yaragado and Elspeth Loki. Zane Kazen and Ire Zumi. Please stand next to the person your name was called with.” Everyone paired up. Elspeth watched Max who was eyeing Ire, someone Elspeth did not remember from the school, she might have been royalty but her last name was wrong.

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“Now that you are all sorted his majesty has a few rules for this tournament.” The speaker bowed at the man standing. He was tall and a little pudgy, he had strong looking arms. He was wearing the traditional knight‟s uniform, a pale green cape held in place with two shoulder guards. His chest plate had the kingdoms wolf insignia carved into it. He was wearing heavy, fire-proof boots and normal pants. As he rose his arm to silence the crowd chain-mail showed under his tunic. “Ladies and gentlemen, the ten of you showed great passion and/or skill. However your battle is not over, only one of the ten of you may receive the title Knight of Kaze or Caster of Kaze. Now you must work in teams in order to complete the first eight fights. If you are too injured to continue or your magic does not work anymore, a medical sage will remove you from the field. One other thing. During this battle my son, Zane, and my daughter, Bria-day, are not part of the royal blood line. With that you may fight your heart out with anyone you like.” He nodded to his wife. She stood and whispered a spell; her hand moved toured the family crest. The floor started shifting, seconds later the floor dropped one-hundred feet. She then struck her hand horizontal and placed a pale green summoning circle across the drop. “You will not be able to summon creatures during the fight unless you can break her majesty‟s Spyrionial circle. So without

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further ado. Let the real tournament of Kaze begin.” The king finished with his hands in the air and the audience applauding. The wind rustled through the trees and across Scarlet‟s face. She slowly opened her eyes to see a massive jungle around her. As she began to move she felt something touching her chest. „I swear if it‟s one of those perverts I‟ll kill them‟ she though angrily as she turned and looked behind her. Von laid still unconscious and holding Scarlet in a very lewd way. Scarlet smiled softly and whispered “Idiot.” “You know your heavy right.” Von said with a smirk on his face. Scarlet‟s face looked like it was going to fly right off her shoulders before she slammed Von‟s face into the large oak tree behind them. She stood and started walking east. “What the hell was that for anyway?!” Von yelled rubbing the back of his head. Scarlet turned her head with her fingers intertwined behind her back and looked at him, “Nothing.” Von slowly lowered his hand into his lap, as though he had lost a bet, as he watched Scarlet turned her head around the sunlight caught her eyes with its glare. A crimson glisten sparkled right before her hair covered the side of her face. Von half smiled, “That‟s what I wake up for” “Hurry up or we won‟t find a stone.” As she walked father ahead Von stood and ran to catch up.

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“You still didn‟t have to throw my head against a tree.” “Yeah well you deserved it.” Scarlet replied turning a pale rose color in remembrance of Von‟s sleeping face. “Why?” Von asked confused looking at Scarlet‟s „ignoring you moron‟ face, “Come on; at least tell me what I did this time.” “Why does it matter anyway?” “Cause I…” Von looked to the left as he finished the rest. “I wanted to apologize if I hurt you on our way down.” Scarlet stopped in her tracks and both her hands shaking. “Von you didn‟t do anything at all.” “You sure?” Scarlet nodded as she picked up the pace. "We should hurry or we won't get a stone, and I'm sure you want to graduate right." A sign of sarcasm was rolled into the last bit of Scarlet's speech.

Chapter 4: Everything About Him Is Strange Elspeth started moving her legs to try and find her footing. When her toes stretched all the way out she realized she was not near the ground. She was being held by her arm and dangling from a huge redwood tree. Elspeth looked up to see Zak and Jak holding her with everything they had. "What are you two doing? Let go or we'll all fall." "No way." Jak squeaked out. “Yeah and besides Von would kill us if we let you get hurt without trying to help.” Zak said with short breaths. „That stupid brother of mine is going to get more

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people killed then saved.‟ “Ok I understand let go I‟ll be fine. I promise!” “Yeah but…” Jak started. “Its fine Jak I have never broken a promise, and I don‟t plan to start now.” Jak looked like he was about to cry. “Fine but if you get even a scratch I get to beat Von up later.” At that moment Elspeth was thinking of getting hurt on purpose just to see Von get beat up by Jak. Though the twins were short for their age they both knew what stealth was and the meaning of swift like a leaf. Zak and Jak released their grip from Elspeth‟s arm, and as soon as they did they began descending the tree as quickly as possible.

“Your majesty one of the contestants has been eliminated.” “Was it Zane?” the king asked in a husky voice. “No my lord.” “Very good” “Are you not worried it is Bria-day.” The messenger asked as he was leaving. “Of course not. She is one of the only seven that I find capable of finishing this test.

All though she knew she had fallen at least 70 feet she didn‟t hurt, anywhere.

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“I don‟t particularly dislike the fact that you‟re in my lap, but having this much weight on my groin is not as pleasurable.” Elspeth heard a deep voice, familiar in a way but she couldn‟t make out who it belonged to. As her eyes meet two sapphire shaded eyes, she realized who it was. Max! “Sorry!” she spat out quickly and scrambled to her feet. Max stood and brushed the back of his jeans and fixed his shirt. “You aren‟t injured are you?” as soon as the words escaped her lips, such soft looking lips that Max wouldn‟t have minded moving them himself, she realized of course it hurt. “Not really. I‟ve had worse, trust me, besides if the worse part of my day is you landing on my groin I‟ll live till tomorrow.” He grinned with his comment.

It was always dark, since Garth could remember that is, and the sun was hidden well be the kingdom‟s walls of stone. He gazed at the bloody colored eclipse and sat in the silence. His aches had long since past but keeping his distance from Iku without making anyone think he was up to anything. His loyalty didn‟t lie with the Hikarin realms but not doing as he was told would cost him more than his life. Garth stood with his left hand touching his right shoulder blade. “Tsuki I, Garth last heir of the dark elf clan, call you to do my bidding and give my body the power of shadows and demons. Give me the strength I was

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born with but will not use.” He said yet again, however this time a phoenix stretched its wings out of Garth‟s body and sanding seven feet tall. Garth petted the massive bird and placed his head on its beak. “To Inazuma Island.” As he spoke the bird turned his back to Garth and awaited his rider. Once Garth was settled upon the fiery bird its feathers turned to bright red flames and its tail turn blue, flying faster than the dragon previously. Garth leaned with the bird at every turn, as one being, and never burned from the phoenix‟s flames. I seen he would be seen as a shooting star about to crash. Chapter 8: Welcome to Myth Island Although they jumped as fast as they could and even fell part of the way down the twins knew they wouldn't beat Elspeth down. Their stomachs sank as they heard the sound of Elspeth hitting the floor moved faster toward the forest ground. Jak moved down from the left and Zak from the right, in such perfect unison that they both touched the ground together. “Elspeth! Are you okay?” Jak asked running toward her. Elspeth‟s face flushed as she jumped to her feet and straightened her uniform. “Um.” She replied glancing around as to hide something. “We won‟t tell Von that this guy had you saddle style to brake your fall.” Zak spoke up with a snicker and Jak‟s laugh not far behind. Elspeth smacked both of them across the backs of their heads with her palm.

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“Let them assume whatever they want. We probably did far worse.” Max slipped in as he rose to his feet, taller than anyone present Elspeth was aware but the twins looked up at him as though he was a giant about to smash their ant sized house. “Don‟t encourage them Max!” “What aren‟t we encouraging?” Scarlet‟s sharp voice was heard before they were seen. “Those two.” Elspeth said pointing to the twins as Von and Scarlet emerged from a thicker portion of the forest. “Yeah please don‟t encourage them; there a pain to begin with and no one wants more issues.” “Speaking of issues.” Jak spoke up with Zak finishing. “When did you to get so friendly?” Von and Scarlet looked confused until Elspeth pointed at her hand trying not to bring up the topic any more than it had to be. At first Von tightened his grip on Scarlet‟s hand but shortly let go as if she carried the plague. “Von.” Scarlet said in a rough voice with her eyes closed and irritation showing on her brow line and Von trying to laugh it off as a sort of bad joke. “Go bald!” she yelled hitting him with her fist and magic, sending Von flying about six feet and him landing with his butt in the air. “Why is it always me?” Von asked himself out loud. Scarlet turned around and folded her arms under her chest, making them visible more than before. Jak and Zak sneakered but soon broke out into a full laugh. Von stood up and leaned over them cracking his knuckles. “You two think this is funny do

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you.” He said with an evil smile on his face and the twins faces turned from laughter to terror in a flash. Von started hitting them, gently, with his fists on their heads. “How about now, still think it‟s funny do ya?” “No! Quit it.” Jak said trying to block his head. “We‟re sorry we won‟t do it again.” Zak said “I don‟t believe that for an instant.” Von replied picking Zak up and spinning him from his ankles. “I don‟t know how they can be so laid back.” Max said as he walked away from the group. “Wait, we should stay in a larger group!” Elspeth yelled to be heard over the loud racket. Von stopped as he heard Elspeth‟s voice and the twins stared at her. Max turned his head to reply until a girl they didn‟t know came running out of an area and into Max. “I‟m so sorry, hiccup… it‟s just there was this hiccup…black monster and my comrades where, where. They all died!” she spat out clenching Max‟s shirt and crying. Her hair was a dark blue and very long, similar to Scarlet‟s. She was small and looked fragile. Elspeth glared at her, she wasn‟t sure why but she didn‟t like the girl. She started walking toward the two when she noticed something on the ground. „A letter?‟ she thought as she pick it up and opened it. Please excuse this late letter of introduction, by now you have probably met up with your comrades or

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people you do not know. The color on your uniforms will tell you and other candidates what type of magic you use. The boys in the tournament only have the Kingdoms colors so you will need to find out what weapon works best for them. You have one objective; obtain an elemental scroll. These scrolls are colored and each has a guardian. Although you may think this is a simple one against many type of deal but there are many other creatures wandering around in the forest? As a form of introduction I would like to welcome you all to Myth Island. Elspeth‟s eyes widened as she finished reading and dropping the paper. The thudding on the land got faster. “Run.” She whispered. “What?” Scarlet asked looking at her. “Run!” she yelled grabbing the paper and clenching her hands into fists. “Why?” Von asked trying to settle the girl back down. “This island is Myth Island which means it can inhabit any creature from the Kori tundra‟s to the Hia lava shafts. Which is also why only seven people get to become knights and mages every sixteen years? Everyone else is pulled out due to injuries.” “That‟s ridiculous. The school wouldn‟t send in kids to a place like that.” Von said as a Leviathan‟s head suck out of the brush behind him. “There‟s something behind me isn‟t there.” Von said

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looking disappointed and picking up the girl. “I guess it‟s times like these we run for it!” he said suddenly running past the tree Elspeth had previously fallen out of. The Leviathan followed him, without any legs the massive beast used its silent wings to hover over the land and swing its thirty pound tail left and right, trying to hit its pray. “You know I think that‟s a Leviathan. And if I‟m right it doesn‟t remove its eyes from its pray until dead or it‟s caught it‟s pray.” Max said running just behind Elspeth. “Its karma if you ask me.” Scarlet said her eyes staring at Von like two daggers. “O shut up.” “It‟s probably after the girl!” Myith hollered from above causing them all to glance up. Myith was sitting on Goku‟s head that was a huge 170 pound griffin. “Sagaru to, sorera no subete o eruga, chūi shite kudasai” Myith whispered into Goku‟s ear. Goku growled and flew down to the same level as the Leviathan. His claws opened and he screeched next to the dragons head. The dragon slowed down and shook its head; Goku grabbed Von‟s shoulders and rose up quickly. Goku got about 20 feet into the air and threw Von up, the girl screaming the entire time. Von positioned himself in a seated position and a moment later landed on Goku‟s back. “Yoku daun no hokanohito o shutoku shi, koko kara demashou” Myith said to Goku. “I was wondering for a while but what language do you talk to him in Myith.” Von asked holding the terrified girl against his chest.

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“It‟s the ancient language of the elves. Bria-day taught it to me.” Goku repeated the same maneuver twice, once with Scarlet and once with Elspeth. “Thanks for that Myith.” Scarlet said standing on Goku‟s hind legs. “Can I use magic while on him?” “Technically yes, but he sometimes freaks out around magic so are best bet would be to wait.” Scarlet looked more annoyed then unsatisfied and glared at the girl who was STILL holding Von. „I‟ll burn her when she‟s save once again‟ the thought seemed to settle her anger. “Myith after you get the twins grab Max.” Myith looked at Von from Elspeth‟s request. “Don‟t double check with him! Max helped me and you get through the first round we owe him. No go get him!” Elspeth snapped as she stood between Von and Myith. Myith gulped and nodded as Goku lowered once more. “O Leviatã saiba que o uivo agora entón só tes que ir despois de Zak e Jak” Myith said. “entón necesitamos incorporarse Max para Elspeth” Goku cawed and flew faster and hit the Leviathan‟s face and grapping Jak with his left claw and Zak with his right. The twins held onto Goku‟s claws. “Hey Elspeth I don‟t think we have room for anyone else.” “We are NOT leaving him.” Elspeth said grabbing Myith by the shirt collar. “Hey I don‟t think we have to worry about him.” Scarlet said leaning over Goku‟s side. Elspeth leaned over to see Max ridding Kedna about 30 yards ahead of the Leviathan. Elspeth smiled and released her grip on

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Myith. “Sorry Myith.” She said putting her hands together and lowering her head at him. “It‟s fine, as long as everyone is okay.” Myith said, more afraid then happy, and returning to Goku‟s head. “You to okay?” he asked Jak and Zak. “Better than before.” “But we‟ve had better days!” they replied as Goku flew above the tree line.

Max watched the gryphon rise once more but this time it wasn‟t falling back. „So glad I‟m important.‟ He thought as he place his fist over his chest and whispered “Beast of my soul, creature of the night that protects me, I summon you to heed my call. Kedna come!” the last part he spoke out and removed his hand as his shadow twisted below him. From it a snout appeared followed by Kedna‟s mussel and head. “Need some assistants?” Kedna barked placing his front paws on the ground and pulling his hindquarters out of Max‟s shadow into a full on run. “You know when I said we should run in the mornings; this is not what I had in mind!” He snarled as Max grabbed the fur between Kedna‟s elbow and shoulder, allowing himself to get on top of Kedna‟s back. “You can sue me later for the damages.” Max replied lying as flat as possible to allow Kedna to run as fast as he could. “Well in any case could you tell me why there is a leviathan behind us?” Kedna grunted as he weaved through the trees and trying to avoid the dragon‟s razor-like wings and

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sharp fangs. “One of the other candidates was followed by it.” Max answered rummaging through his small pack. “Male or female?” “What?” Max asked with confusion in his voice. “The candidate was it a boy or a girl.” Kedna restated. “It was a girl, why?” “If she was from a different country then it‟s possible for her to have summoned the leviathan.” “Why would she do that? It doesn‟t make since.” Max paused in the middle of his thought. “She‟s from a different country.” “Probably. That would be the logical thing-get you separated and let your pet do the rest. It‟s actually pretty smart thinking. By having her look helpless you all lowered your guard-didn‟t you?” Kedna explained with sarcasm drawing out as he finished. Max glared at his companion as he pulled a knife out of the small bag. “It doesn‟t matter how she did it, we need to focus on not dying.” Max said looking back and slightly sitting up. “Wow you‟re so smart; did you come up with that idea all on your own?” Kedna barked back dodging the dragon‟s snout once more. As Kedna weaved through the trees and dodged the persistent dragon he noticed a light in the sky above him for a single second. “What is it?” as Max asked Kedna stopped and through Max off his back. Max hit the ground; his arms guarded his head, not

completely aware of Kedna‟s actions. “What the hell bastard! If you wanted to fight we can do it later.” Max said while sitting

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Indian style and rubbing his head. Max looked up to see Kedna down with a dagger in his left hind leg. As Max ran to guard Kedna he remembered he didn‟t have a weapon. Max stood between the dragon and Kedna. “You‟re an idiot what you going to do talk it to death.” Kedna snapped as the dragon flapped its 40 foot wing span and pulled its head back in an offensive stance. Mac raised his arms in defenses, but as he did the dragon‟s face was lit up with flames. “Since when can you use fire magic?!” Kedna questioned standing with his injured leg lifted off the ground. Max shook his head in a reply and watched as Scarlet quickly, yet gracefully, landed between Max and the dragon‟s jaws. Both of Scarlet‟s arms were engulfed by red flames, the fire moved with Scarlet as she moved her hands in front of her to keep the fire around the dragon‟s face. “Are you two okay?” she asked trying to keep her concentration. “We‟ll live.” Kedna winced backing away from the dragon. Scarlet moved her hands in circles slowly while moving them horizontally a crossed each other. Each time the dragon went to strike with its head Scarlet slid her forearms together and another layer of fire lit the dragon‟s its face. wings She and continued lowered this its until the a

Leviathan

retracted

head

into

submissive stance. Scarlet lowered her guard as she saw Von land on the ground with Bria-day‟s help.

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“Glad you could make it.” Scarlet said waiting for Goku to land next to Bria-day before approaching them.”Somebody has to keep you out of trouble.” Von smirked while helping the twins down, who now sat on Goku‟s back. Goku rose off the ground and began to hover. “I‟ll go look for Bria-day! Try and take care of the Leviathan while we‟re gone.” Myith yelled as loud as he could so the others would hear over the creature‟s yells and Goku‟s wings. Von waved his hand slightly, while running toward Scarlet, to signal he heard. “Where‟s that girl you guys had?” Max asked Elspeth as Von

stopped behind her. “What‟s it to you?” “She‟s the one who summoned the Leviathan so it will be faster if we knock her out instead of fighting that thing.” Kedna

snapped back at Von. “She‟s with Myith, we left her on Goku. Guess you‟ll have to fight it.” Von said glaring at Max. “Don‟t worry.” Kedna said with a half grin. “I‟ll catch up to them quickly. I‟ll be off then.” Kedna said run at a half dash through the forest toward Myith‟s direction. Max watched his companion leave. „Be careful Kedna.‟ A screech interrupted Max‟s thoughts.

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Von grumbled to himself as Kedna dashed off and Scarlet snickered about his lose in the conversation. As Von turned to look at Scarlet‟s smiling face, god he loved her smile, her hair flowed perfectly and the loose flesh on her strong checks always looked cute when she smiled. He noticed she had lowered her hands for the moment. That‟s when it hit him; the only thing keeping her save from that beast was the fire magic she had been using with her hands. „Shit!‟ his mind became clouded with that one thought. He sprinted towards her as the great leviathan screeched and its wings went toward Scarlet in diagonal slashes. Elspeth, Zak and Jak all froze where they stood. Blood dripped from the leviathan„s wings, Scarlet‟s legs shook from shock. In front of her Von stood with his arms stretched out and torso guarding her. The twins ran to Von‟s side and attacked the leviathan„s wings with their acquired daggers. Elspeth ran to catch Von from falling. “Von!” Scarlet screamed, not a girl scream but her vocals where high enough Von looked at her strangely. “Just don‟t move. The school will send medics, just hang on ok.” Each of them took a shoulder and arm as they dragged him away from the twin‟s fight. “He won‟t make it without some kind of bandage.” Max cut in as Von was laid down at the edge of the forest, against the base of another large tree.

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“Don‟t say that. You don‟t know how strong he is.” Scarlet said her face flustered and her hands trembling with blood on them. Max watched as Scarlet turned to cry and wipe her hands off. “A Leviathan‟s wings have a poison on them that can cause the same reaction as poison only slower. If he isn‟t treated in time he make never walk again, let alone move.” Scarlet starred as Von began to sweat and grunt his teeth from the pain. Elspeth pulled a bottle of water and a piece of cloth from one of the bags and dampened it. “Try and clean him up as much as you can.” She instructed Scarlet. She ripped Von‟s shirt; exposing the large wound. “I‟m going to try something I have been practicing on animals so it may not work on humans the same.” Elspeth said as she rolled her sleeves and placed her hands above the injury.

Jak ran around to grab the dragon‟s attention and allowed Zak time to go around the beast. “All good here!” Zak yelled to Jak. “Don‟t forget to hit the mark and we‟ll be fine.” Jak replied sprinting into a roll and pausing behind a bolder. Zak placed the dagger into his mouth and started climbing the leviathan„s back scales. He used the lightest pressure possible on each scale. Zak waited until he was at the dragon‟s neck to sit down and place pressure on the beast. Zak held the dagger into the air; the reflecting caught

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Jak‟s attention. The leviathan began turning its head around to check its back. Jak hollered and yelled to distract the beast, which worked the leviathan followed Jak‟s movements closely. Zak stood on the leviathan‟s back and walked across its neck until he could straddle it with ease. Zak used his dagger to work a scale off the leviathan„s neck. As the scale came off it feel, around 15 pounds in weight hit the ground in front of Jak‟s feet. “Hey! I said not to kill me.” Jak complained dodging the scale and trying not to get eaten at the same time. Zak smiled and waved his hand to apologize. The leviathan‟s head turned its attention toward Zak. “Down here you over grown lizard!” Jak yelled trying to regain the beast‟s attention. “Che” Jak‟s disappointing noise caused the leviathan to turn its eyes down at him. Zak saw the opening and took it. Zak climbed up the beast‟s neck and jumped onto its long snout. The leviathan shook its head trying to shake Zak off, as Zak flew left and right and back again, Jak aimed his dagger at the beast‟s snout. The dagger flew throw the air and landed on Zak‟s pouch. Zak, still being tossed around, pulled the dagger out and shoved it between the leviathan‟s diamond colored eyes. The moans and howls of the great beast masked the voices and sounds within the forest. Its neck fell to the

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ground, causing Jak to scurry, and its wings flattened a large amount of trees. Zak jumped of the snout and ran to Jak. “Sorry about the scale, leviathans are hard to find but their hid is the second strongest material in Valhalla.” “Don‟t worry about it. Just make me cool armor with it and we‟ll call it even. Okay” Jak said to his twin with disturbing smile across his face. “You knew I was going to drop one didn‟t you!” Zak yelled in frustration. “Hey!” Myith‟s voice called out from above. “Looks like you guys didn‟t need our help.” He laughed as Goku, still in the form of a white griffin, settled his paws and claws on the ground. “yeah well we are…” “the best double blade wielders in the kingdom.” “I believe you mean you‟re the only double blade wielders in Kaze kingdom.” Bria-day replied as the twin‟s faces turned sour. “Yeah yeah; it still makes us the best.” Jak mumbled. “Yeah so there- miss know it all!” Zak blurted out as Jak held him back. “Calm down you to. We need to get Von to a doctor and quickly.” Elspeth said from Von‟s side. “Yeah but what about the scrolls and the test? I mean we aren‟t permitted outside the city without either a knight‟s badge or a mage‟s cloak.” With Myith‟s realization everyone‟s face became puzzled. „We can‟t leave Von here to die but he wants to be a

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knight more than anything. Isn‟t there another way?‟ Elspeth thought, along with the others until Max broke the silence. “If all you need is a scroll to pass the test Kedna went to get them.” “All of them!?” the twins faces lifted with their questioning statement. Max nodded and watched the ground as if at any moment a monster would come out and kill everyone. “Who?” Myith asked. Max didn‟t answer, which caused Bria-day to speak up. “Kedna, he isn‟t simply a pet for companionship. I assume from all the information I know that he is what they call am Ookami Demon.” Myith looked frozen and Elspeth looked up from Von‟s aching moans. “However because Kedna does not have a chain around any part of his body this is not plausible. If he had wings I would even be okay with assuming he was a Hypaolf, but once again it doesn‟t add up. So the only option left is to say Kedna is a d…” “That‟s enough.” Max said glaring at Bria-day who didn‟t seem to be phased by it. As the tension grew, Kedna appeared out of the forest with missing fur, wet spots and scratches all over. “What‟s with all of you? Never mind I could care less. These are what you wanted me to get right?” Kedna asked with reassurance in his voice and dropping six scrolls in front of Max‟s feet. “Yeah, thanks.” Kedna half grunted, half snorted as a reply. “With these we can leave right?” Max said looking at Elspeth.

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“Yeah but there are eight of us and only six scrolls.” “Seven.” Bria-day corrected Elspeth. “Zak and Jak killed a monster that gives us seven.” “Yes but we‟re still short one.” “Don‟t worry about it, besides your brothers going to die if he goes without treatment any longer.” Elspeth quit arguing and lit a flare to signal they were finished with the test. “We need a medical unit over here!” the teachers and parents watched as Von was carried through the corridor and to the hospital. The soldiers cleared a passage way for the men carrying Von. “Alright settle down everyone. It‟s just a small causality.” One of the higher ranking officers yelled to calm the hyped up crowd. Elspeth and Bria-day held Scarlet, not to help ease her pain but to ensure no one would get hurt by her. Scarlet watched as Von was taken from her arms into the hospital and into the emergency care section. “Von Kyodai!” A woman called out in the waiting room. “That‟s our son.” Yoko and Hed said simultaneously while standing. “I have good news and not such good news. Which is first?” “Good, please.” Hed said squeezing Yoko‟s shoulder for comfort. “Your son will live without any issues or needing his organs removed or changed- lucky if you ask me.” The lady paused “He is however undergoing extreme pain from the surgery and for his safety we used elfish water. This causes his body to temporarily shut down and heal faster. The only side affect is he won‟t be conscious

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for a little over a month.” “A month!” Scarlet snapped causing the doctor to step back with a startled expression in her eyes. “You are welcome to visit him anytime the hospital it open, however this is the fastest and safest way for him to recover.” The woman bowed her head and walked past them to another patient‟s room. “I think Von should be looked after every day. He is stronger than most, so he may wake-up earlier. I have to work and you have work as well.” Yoko said to her husband. “Scarlet would you mind looking after him each day. It would be a great help.” Scarlet‟s eyes watered as she turned to see Mrs. Kyodai, Yoko, smiling. “It would be a pleasure.” Scarlet walked toward Von‟s room. “I‟ll catch up with you, I have to do something first though.” Elspeth said running away from Yoko and Hed. “Now what‟s that all about?” Hed asked as his wife pulled him after Scarlet. “Never you mind that dear, Von‟s been badly injured. We should see to him.”

Elspeth quickly walked down the corridor until see saw what see was looking for. “Max! Wait.” She ran down the hall to were Max stood. His hands where in his pockets and his hair was still the messy copper color as before. He looked down at her with a confused yet

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satisfied look. “Can I help you?” He replied in a standard tone. „Well isn‟t he being nice!‟ Elspeth thought „No, now is not the time to be you.‟ “Have would like to ask you something.” Max‟s expression didn‟t change. “And.” „How rude, here I am being polite and he doesn‟t even know how to keep from being rude. Control yourself Elspeth.‟ “I wanted to know if you could teach me.” “Teach you what?” „Well now he‟s acting just plain stupid.‟ “To fight of course.” Max folded his arms across his chest, as if she was asking him to kill someone. “Why?” Elspeth curled her fists and turned red from embarrassment. “I tried asking nicely and I even tried to make it a normal conversation but no. You can help but be rude and act like an idiot; I bet all guys are like this.” Elspeth blurted out. Max grinned “Well living with the town‟s number one playboy you would know every side and part of a guy, Elspeth.” Elspeth‟s face turned as red as tomato and stepped forward with a solid punch to Max‟s shoulder. As she did her face turned pale. „O my god what the hell did I do, after all these years and I screw up when Von‟s unconscious.‟ Elspeth‟s thoughts were broken by Max‟s laughter, a deep laugh but southing at the same time. He rubbed his shoulder. “I won‟t teach you anything.” He said walking passed her, but as he got to her side he placed a hand on her shoulder. “Every

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morning at 5am I will spend five hours training you. Meet me at the gates that go toward Reikon City. Don‟t be late.” Max finished walking away. Elspeth‟s face lit up as his words sunk into her mind, she spun around just as he opened the doors. “Thank you Max!” she yelled to him and excitedly running to Von‟s room. Max grinned as he passed through the doors. “What‟s so funny boy?” Kedna asked walking next to Max down the stone stairs. “Nothing. So how do you fell about teaching one more time?” He asked place his hands in his pockets and closing his eyes and then looking at Kedna‟s face.

Chapter 5: A Month Later “Remember to complete the following each day- weather I show up or not.” Elspeth read aloud staying quiet as her eyes gazed at the list of painful and complicated exercises. She had become accustomed to doing them in Max and Kedna‟s presence. For the last three and a half weeks Max woke her up before the sun rose and dragged her to the training court within the schools property. Elspeth walked down to white corridor until she came across a crossed door on her right. She peered though the small window. Scarlet was still there, awake at the moment, had been since he was placed in the room. The antidote was given to Von

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immediately; even so the medical sage said he was in a comma state and his body would fight the antidote constantly along with the poison. They kept him on constant watch. Elspeth stepped in and smiled as Scarlet turned to the noise. She had be crying again, it was pathetic to see someone lay helpless knowing how much fighting sprit they had left, she felt completely responsible for Von‟s accident. Elspeth opened the windows and tied the curtains up. She place new flowers in the vase and lightly kissed Von‟s forehead. “He‟ll wake up, I promise Scarlet. You know him always waiting for the perfect moment to surprise us all.” Elspeth said leaving the room and closing the door behind her. She looked down, still holding the knob, and sighed. Shaking the ill thought from her mind she happily walked back outside, strangely it seemed longer than when she had come inside. When Elspeth got outside she subconsciously began stretching, she had been told to jog at a steady paste every morning from the hospital to the school. Max once told her that it was a good warm-up distance but she knew it was so she could check on Von everyday without worrying. After she finished stretching Elspeth started with a light jog, however after Max and Kedna‟s training it looked like a full out sprint to anyone standing still. As the town blurred past and the sounds were blocked out Elspeth‟s mind wandered to her first day of training.

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Max was resting his arms over one of the training rings ropes. He was sweating and drinking water as Elspeth ran into the training grounds. “I‟m sorry I‟m so late.” She gasped out placing her hands on her knees and breathing heavy. “I went to cheek on Von earlier and thought I had mor…” “Shut up!” Kedna‟s growl came from behind her. Elspeth moved out of Kedna‟s way and stared at the six foot wolf that walked up to Max. “I still don‟t think I should have to train this human.” Kedna grunted up at Max with eyes of detest at Elspeth. “We‟re teaching not training.” Max corrected Kedna setting his canteen on a nearby bench and wiping the sweat from his forehead, neck and armpits. Although he didn‟t wipe the towel across his stomach Elspeth‟s eyes trailed every crevasse on his body. Max‟s stomach was different from Von‟s, weren‟t they all the same? Von‟s stomach was firm and never jiggled like some of the older men‟s due to their drinking. Von had “abs” from what Scarlet had said that‟s what they were called, they were high on his stomach and the rest was smooth. Max‟s stomach wasn‟t smooth. His abs started almost at the bottom of his rib cage and ended a little under his belly button. Before she knew it Max was next to her and staring. “Did you get enough sleep last night?” Here face felt warm as she stepped back and shook her hands horizontally. “Um, I got

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plenty of rest don‟t worry about me.” She said smiling up at him. “Let‟s go idiots.” Kedna barked in their direction as he scratched a line into the dirt. “What are we doing?” Elspeth asked looking at the line. “A small run.” Max grinned “Go at your own paste, we‟ll keep up with you.” He said as he stretched his legs and then arms. Elspeth followed his lead. They both stood on the line and waited for Kedna‟s mark. “You‟re to run to the castle bridge, run completely around the castle. Following that you should run behind all the buildings at the edge of town until you reach the graveyard. Once you reach that point make your way back to the school.” Kedna explained sitting in front of them and watching their feet. “I catch you taking a detour and I won‟t show up tomorrow. Understand!” He spoke up standing and letting out a loud bark. Elspeth jogged toward the castle. Max jogged beside her, he didn‟t seem to have any trouble. As Elspeth saw the school once again she looked about ready to cry. “I finished!” she yelled landing on her butt and breathing heavy. She swore sweat ran from every part of her body. “How far did we run anyway?” she asked wanting to look up but her head didn‟t allow it. Max drank water and handed it off

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to Elspeth. “Each lap was about .043 miles and we did 8 of them so about.” Max paused as he calculated. “Two miles!” Elspeth blurted out before Max reached an answer. Kedna walked in yawning and stretching his legs as he slowly walked to them. “Well done. Now we start the teaching.” “Wait a minute.” Elspeth said finally standing. “What was all the running?” “Warm up, get use to it.” Max answered for Kedna, who seemed irritated. “Just do as you‟re told. You wanted to learn so you‟re getting taught. If you don‟t like my methods find someone else who is willing to teach you.” Kedna snapped at her. Max sat on the large mat in the ring, Elspeth followed his lead. “Do 20 sit ups, then pause and then twenty more. So you have a total of 100 sit ups. Can you do that much?” Kedna ordered mocking her. After the third set of 20 Elspeth felt a sharp pain in her stomach. “Hey you okay?” Max asked as Elspeth grabbed her side and held her stomach. “It hurts.” She replied confused. “It‟s normal, don‟t worry after a few days it won‟t. We have another two sets to do.” Elspeth ignored the pain as she finished a little behind Max.

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“Max did you bring the paper?” Kedna asked pasting. Max went through a small pouch and pulled out the sheet and handed it to Elspeth. “You said you watch Von practice so you know what the types of forms are.” It was more of a question then an actual statement so Elspeth nodded in response. She read over the sheet.
10 left and 10 right front kicks 10 left and 10 right back kicks 10 left and 10 right side-kicks Break 15 squats with 50 pounds on shoulder Break 10 left and 10 right forward punches 10 left and 10 right back punches 10 left and 10 right forward ridge hand 10 left and 10 right back ridge hand 10 left and 10 right forward hammar fist 10 left and 10 right back hammar fist 10 left and 10 right forward back fist 10 left and 10 right back back-fist

It was very well written for a guys hand writing. “What is this?” Elspeth asked handing it back to Max. Seeing Kedna almost smiling Elspeth wish she hadn‟t had asked. “It‟s what we are going to do. And we need to do it within an hour so the knights don‟t catch us.” Elspeth was completely taken be his statement. She had to finish that list and she had a time limit. She hung her head thinking of the pain. „There going to kill me, I sorry Von I won‟t be here when you wake up.‟ As she looked up from her thoughts she saw Max and Kedna waiting for her. She walked toward them. „O well, if I survive you‟ll

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have to be careful Von.‟ With her thought she smiled and started the first set of ten. Elspeth returned her mind to the present and slowed her speed as she came to the school‟s practice rings. As she approached she heard voices and quickly hid when she saw teachers working in the ring. „They shouldn‟t be here it‟s too early. What now?‟ Elspeth stepped out and casually walked to the lockers on the right side. “Hey! No practice until 7am, what business do you have here?” One of the teachers spoke up and watched her. “I came to see if my brother left anything, we really likes all of his equipment and I thought he would want it when he wakes up.” She said innocently and not smiling but looking ready to cry. The teacher looked sorry for her and ignored her mostly. “Just make sure to only take Von‟s things.” He said returning to his sparing with the larger teacher. Elspeth grabbed the equipment she had been using and quickly left, bowing just before the exit. „That was a close one.‟ She thought as she leaned against the outside wall of the school. „Well if Max isn‟t here than there‟s only one other place he would be‟ as the though came to her she put her equipment on and ran straight to the city gates. The gate was always open due to the constant in and out movement. The city was on the south end of the island; at the north was the world largest airship dock, and between the

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two was a farming town named Reikon village. Max had her run the length of the island once before, the first time she ran it took her three hours. The last time she ran it she finished just under an hour. As she reached Reikon she took the first right until she reached a dead end. She backed up and ran full speed at the wall. Looking at it from a distance it was a normal wall however if you knew the trick it was a simple climbing exercise. Small pegs were inserted into the wall, small enough that to slow of a person wouldn‟t have a chance of getting over it. Elspeth knew the trick; it took her an entire week to figure it out. As she reached the wall she jumped off the ground and quickly stepped on each peg with the lightest touch of her feet. Once she reached the top a sight that she loved to see and no one else, except Kedna, could see it. The rising sun glistened off of a pair of 5 foot long black bird wings. The only thing that made the sight beautiful to Elspeth was the fact that the wings were attached to Max‟s shoulder blades. When she saw them for the first time she almost lost consciousness but it soon became a normal thing to see Max shirtless with a pair of wings and sweat rolling down his body. He told her that the when his wings where out it was harder to practice but they had saved his live many a times.

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“Good morning guys.” She said happily sitting next to Kedna and watching Max. “You‟re late.” Kedna barked, he was still grumpy around her but she
felt he liked her a little more than when they first met.

Max stood on the roof of the run down building, watching as the sun rose. He knelt onto one knee, placing one hand across his knee and the other he raised in front of his forehead. “Fire; water; lightning; earth; wind; ice; space; time; light; and dark. I pray to thee to my soul in your sights through the day and the night, arigatōgozaimashita!” once he finished he removed his shirt, folded it then placed it on the roof. Max started moving each of his shoulder muscles, almost like dislocating them but without the pain. As his shoulder muscles moved two scars on his posterior trapezius slowly parted. When the scars had completely opened a pair of jet black wings stretched out. As the wings stretched to their full length clumps of blood and a few feathers feel to the ground. Max raised his head and watched the sun finish rising and took a deep breath. While concentrating he heard that cheerful voice that he heard every morning for the past month or so. He looked to his left to see Elspeth being scolded be Kedna, again. “Leave her be Kedna, she survived your training so she deserves some credit.”

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“You mean that‟s all there is!?” Elspeth spoke up with disappointment in her voice. “No. I still have to teach you how to use a weapon.” Max replied as he lowered to the ground and put his shirt back on, his wings already retracting. Elspeth watched in wonder as the wings disappeared once more. It always seemed beautiful to her ever since she first saw them. “Hey Max.” Curiosity escaping her lips and Max arched an eyebrow at her while walking over to sit down. “Have you always had you wings?” Max‟s eyes filled with hatred from the mention of his wings, but Elspeth so something else in his eyes but what was it? “No, I got them right after I turned eight years old. Kedna stay here I‟m going to go check on something.” Max jumped off the

roof and moments later flew toward the shipping yard. “Is it that bad.” Elspeth wondered, with her out loud voice. “Yes he doesn‟t like remembering those days, it makes him feel responsible.” “You know about his wings?” Elspeth ask Kedna in surprise. Kedna nodded and laid down on the warming concrete. “When we first met he was crying and his hands where covered in blood. He slowly explained everything to me- thought I already knew what had happened.” Kedna glanced at Elspeth to see the look of „a small child wanting to know more‟ in her eyes and started laughing. “You want to know that badly?” he asked in a

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husky voice. Elspeth nodded with too much exaggeration. Kedna thought for a moment and finally let out a deep breath. “Alright then from the beginning, as you know Max is turning 19 at the end of the winter. When all of this went down he had just turned 8 so it‟s been almost exactly ten years. I‟ll start with the events that led up to the night I first met him. Yaragado is not Max‟s actual last name, to keep those around him safe he changed it. Yaragado was the name the deity‟s called the world we live in now, thought through time humanity has changed it to Valhalla.” Kedna looked at Elspeth making sure she understood. “Now Max‟s real last name is Tsukin. He was and is the first born son of the dark king and queen that passed away ten years ago. The year before Max and his twin brother turned 8 they discovered something, something beautiful yet terrible.” “Like two sides of the same coin.” Elspeth butted in and stopped as Kedna glared at her. “Exactly” Kedna growled. “Two sides of the same coin. Now this object was known as the jewel of darknessevery kingdom has a jewel given to them by the deities. Max‟s brother touched the jewel and was slowly, very slowly, corrupted by something the deities themselves feared. Jealousy! The named this creature Jaakuna, meaning Jealousy in the ancient deity language. Jaakuna poisoned Max‟s brother‟s mined and eventually won the battle for his mind, body and soul. The night Max had turned eight he woke from the lightning and went to his mothers

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and fathers quarters, only to find his mother dead in her bed and covered in bloody. With fear taking over he called for his father and brother, who didn‟t answer. Max followed the inner castle wall until he came upon a worse sight then his dead mother. What Max saw was his two best friends sitting on furniture. In front of them stood his brother holding a blade, at the end laid his father choking on blood and taking his last breath. With his last breath the King of Tsuki entrusted the jewel of darkness to Max, thus giving Max a stone for a heart and a pair of dark as night wings to protect him. With this much to take in Max‟s wings protected him from his brother‟s dagger and flew him to the safest place. Know I meet Max in the early summer and taught him everything I just finished teaching you, but had more fun with it.” Kedna yipped with the memory of him torturing Max so many years ago. Elspeth tried not to cry but found it pointless effort. “Don‟t tell Max I told you, he doesn‟t know I know.” Kedna snapped at her. “I won‟t say anything. Promise.” She said still sniffling and whipping her eyes Kedna watched Elspeth„s tears roll down her face. “Interesting.” he muttered getting Elspeth‟s attention. “What?” She said whipping another tear from her check. “Nothing, never mind. We need to get to the airships.” Kedna snapped walking off.

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“Wait! I don‟t have my clearance yet.” Kedna grinned hearing her reply. “What do you think Max went to do, a morning stroll?” Laughing, sort of motioning her to follow. Which she did so, o so obediently. Kedna assumed it was due to having to follow her brother everywhere all the time for all these years.

Scarlet rubbed her eyelids, clearing sleepy dust and morning tears away, yawned and left Von's bed room. She walked down the almost empty hall passing a few doctors and patients on her way to the cafeteria. She held the door for three older gentlemen. “Good morning miss.” Scarlet nodded “What‟s a fine little lady like doing here at this hour of day.” “keeping an old friend company. Good day gentlemen.” “Did you hear that Zhan, she called us gentlemen?” The three men laughed as they continued their walk. Scarlet smiled and stood in the short line. “Same as always Scarlet?” a cafeteria lady asked. Scarlet nodded receiving a tray with foods and utensils on it. “This ones on us, sweetheart.” The cashier said waving her on. Scarlet sat in the Von‟s room once more- only ever leaving to retrieve breakfast and dinner. She was afraid he would wake up with no one around. She bowed her head and whispered. “Fire, water; lightning, earth; wind, ice; space, time; light

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and dark. I pray to thee to keep my soul in your sights through the day and the night. Arigatōgozaimashita!” She began eating the eggs and toasts, jelly and butter laid upon the two slices. Though she was still hungry she always saved Von a helping of everything. The hours passed and Scarlet sat in the room, occasionally visited by a doctor or one of his many „fan girls‟ so she called them. Scarlet locked the door around 2pm and sat next to the bed. She laid her head next to Von‟s lower thigh and fell asleep once again. Warmth covered Von‟s hand as he twitched it and finally held the object that was resting within it. A familiar feeling and warmth filled him, but he couldn‟t pin point where he had felt it before. Von‟s eyes moved as they were still closed, and slowly opened. WHITE. This is what Von saw, a white wall, a white window with white blinds, and white sheets. The one thing that caught Von‟s eye was the sunlight hitting a head of red hair. “Scarlet.” He whispered squeezing his hand, which was lying underneath Scarlet‟s hand. Scarlet slowly rose until she noticed Von was awake. Her eyes shot open as she stood and went to get one of the doctors. “Wait.” Scarlet stopped as her hand pulled against her and she heard Von‟s voice for the first time in weeks. “Are you okay? You didn‟t get hurt right.” Von‟s throat was dry

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and he wasn‟t speaking clearly at the moment. Scarlet smiled when she heard his questions but ignored them as she fled the room. „What does that idiot expect me to say? Am I okay? Of course I‟m not okay, idiot. You haven‟t been awake for weeks and I really missed that stupid smile of yours. And your comments. But you always make me angry and sometimes I even cry.‟ Scarlet‟s thought overflowed her mind as the doctors came to check on Von‟s status, she walked quickly down the hall to the exit with her hand over her mouth. It was raining outside and Scarlet was quickly drenched in rain water. As she stood in the falling rain streaks of water ran down her face and to her lips. The strangest thing was the way some of them tasted. Salty!