Golden Hills A Guardians Novel By Shyrill Silversong © 2012 by Shyrill Silversong All Rights Reserved.
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Life is so boring. I mean, why do I have to do the same things every day? Wake up, take a bath, cloth myself, eat breakfast, ﬁx my hair in a ponytail, walk to school, study at Hollis Academy, Greendale: House of Intellectuals(as if), go home, eat again, sleep. There isn’t a touch of adventure on those activities.
I want something new to come into my life. Something new that would stop Gino Graham (school jerk/hottie, the former one I agree, the latter, not a chance) behind me from throwing wads of paper at my back. It was so childish, especially for a sophomore like him. I need something new that would stop Madison Smith (the ‘it’ girl, a typical Hollis girl with a skirt three inches shorter than the one mentioned in the school handbook and with lots of jewelries hanging on her body) from retouching her makeup every ﬁve minutes.
I need something new that would stop Louise Craigg (one of Gino’s friends, so you get it, another jerk/hottie) from popping his bubble gum again and again. I need something new that would stop Jordin Orthon(Miss Perfect, as everyone calls her, typical Hollis girl who’s got the brains) from checking her nails from time to time to clean any microscopic dirt.
I need something new that would remove Mr. Gidson, our oh-so-boring history teacher, in front of us and that would turn this dull classroom into some fun haven!
I glanced at the clock. 5 minutes before the bell. Five more minutes was too long. Right, another something new I need is something that would make time go faster.
Great. Really great. These same thoughts again. I’m always wishing for that something new, but what? Nothing. I get nothing.
“And tomorrow, we will have a quiz.” Mr. Gidson announced. All of us groaned, except for Jordin. She loves quizzes. “That’s right, kiddos. Quiz tomorrow! Review everyone. Au revoir! ” Mr. Gidson has this fascination for French greetings. He even told us to greet him in French. So tiresome.
“Au revoir, monsieur! “, we greeted back wearily. “Bummer,” I heard Madison said. Being the ‘it’ girl and all, she could have said a more uncivilized word than that. But she wants to preserve her poise. She believes that swearing degrades poise. ‘The lips shall be used only for important things’, her exact words. Bet that important thing is kissing (for her of course). Another hit of paper broke my thoughts. “Oh for crying out loud, aren’t you going to stop?” I hissed as I turned around to face Gino. His blonde hair and red highlights shining annoyingly from the light, his brown eyes taunting me every second. He was wearing his cocky grin, the grin I hated the most. “What do you think?” he smirked at me, “I was just making lei out of these papers. Majority of them was trash, so I guess they need to join a blood relative.” One thing you should know about the two of us: we hate each other. It started on the ﬁrst day of classes for freshmen year. I was just a new girl then. Being newbie and all, he asked me out. I straightforwardly turned him down. That seemed to break his ego, so now, we’re clearly not friends. I picked up the wad of paper lying on the ﬂoor. “This is what I think,” I said more to myself than Gino. I shoved the paper inside his mouth. That’s more I like it.
The whole room burst into laughter, with the exception of Jordin and Madison. They’re probably sharing juicy stories with each other right now and they have no time for simple fuss like this. I grabbed my sling bag out of my chair and ran out of our room. I smiled to myself for what I did. Now that’s something new. “Hey Georgette,” an arm surrounded my waist and pulled me close to a body. Telling by the scent, which is gum scent, this body would be Louise’s. “A nice trick you did back there.” I pulled myself away from him. It doesn’t mean that I would like him even if he’s a hottie and girls practically stalk him and his friends on the way home. “George will do and stay away from me, thank you. You should support your friend back there. He might be choking on the paper.” I said coldly. “Why would I?” he asked, chuckling gently. He tried to hook his arm again around me but I stopped him ﬁrst. “Because I feel like smacking someone right now and I do believe you don’t want your nose to be broken.” I ﬁnished with a smirk. He just snorted, but otherwise, he retreated and went back to our classroom. Ugh. Boys.
They didn’t even try to show their love for me. Yum! I ate while I watched my favorite movie in my LCD TV. Right after that. he immediately took over the subdivision business here in Green Dale so that our parents will have more time managing other business abroad. Crap! It’s the twelfth of January! My sixteenth birthday! Why didn’t I notice this earlier? I quickly stood up and ran to our house. It’s situated on the middle of our subdivision. I went farther to the place where there are trees. These two are my favorites. That area is my safe haven.
. Breathe. I know my brother’s just twenty-to-be in four months. I rang the doorbell thrice before the house maid opened the gate for me. Kids playing. but he’s very. Our family is pretty rich.
Today. but I just gave him a wry smile. But my brother. very smart he graduated high school at the age of sixteen. No. She can kick the guys’ butts without difficulty. I wish everyday was as calm as this time. it had been like any ordinary day. why would I? The guard gave me a puzzled look when I came running. I grabbed my bike near the guard post and drove it towards our house. had been very thoughtful and gave me gifts every birthday I have. no one’s getting killed. Golden Hills Executive Residences. Maybe some gratitude. owned by Wilmington Group of Companies. there’s not an inch of love I feel inside me. Time to celebrate my own birthday by myself. What day is it today by the way? Something feels odd. Breathe. Now that’s calming. fortunately. he’s on a business venture with some big time people. I totally want to be like that and kick Gino’s and Louise’s butts by myself. No parents packing gifts. My hopes were not really that high that some party will be waiting for me in our house. Marcus. but love? Nothing.I decided to stay at the park for a few moments before going straight at home. I brought out the mocha ﬂavored cupcake and the frapuccino from the fridge. Very few people go there. our huge. I lied down on the wooden bench and gazed at the tree branches laying low above me. I ran past her and quickly retreated to my room. It’s just that every birthday of mine. and they will have less time for us. The park still looked the same. our subdivision. I ordered earlier this day. Yep. kicking each other’s butts. given that my parents own lots and lots of businesses around the globe. you heard right. No parents planning for party. Not long after. I ﬁshed my phone out of my pocket and checked the date. The lead girl was so cool. luxurious house loomed into view. yes.
The movie had ﬁnished and yet. thirteenth of January. You’re the best!” I said. until I drifted off to sleep. I quickly cleaned up myself before lying on the bed. I jumped with happiness because it contained boxed
A knock on my door woke me up from my deep sleep. always the same. Friday. He was holding a wrapped gift in front of him. I reached for the gift(it was pretty heavy) and then hugged him tightly. It was inside a box. Brother was standing there with a coy smile in his face. brother was still not home. My thoughts swam freely in my head. Great birthday. “Why don’t you open your gift now? Then you get ready because I’ll drive you to school. I glanced at the clock and saw that it was ﬁveﬁfteen in the morning. I dragged him cheerfully inside my room and opened the gift in front of him. Sounds like bad luck.” he suggested. The gift was pretty big. I sleepily walked to the door and opened it. “Good morning George! Belated Happy Birthday!” he greeted me. When I opened the box. “Thanks Marcus.
He’d got this day free (thankfully).” I said. he drove me to school. Marcus. “Cool. they better come with me.” Huh? Was she speaking in German? But otherwise.” I laughed and hit him with my pillow. Now you take a bath. “Do you need something. but that’s not what I need. I coughed silently. That was weird. He asked me to invite…some people. hi George!” she greeted. “Glad you loved it. I gave her my phone. He was really cute there. Everybody looked at her. Not that it’s choppy. “and hey. I ﬁshed out my phone from my pocket. thank you! I really. It’s a belated birthday treat for me. If it’s about your looks. It might be pretty boring if it’s just the two of us.” “My brother. I quickly covered by ears before she released a loud. Madison turned and looked at me. “Geez. Whoever that “them” was. Can you bring some friends?” Oh crap! Who am I going to bring? My chair? This is really bad luck. I ﬁgured you’ll love some outof-town trip. I want to bring you on an out-of-town trip this weekend.
. you’re pretty
enough to join our clique. “Tell me. You can also add a little bit of gloss on your lips. high-pitched squeal. But since I really need to invite her.” I told her. I saw her do this before.sets of my most wished books. “You wish. hoping I sound conﬁdent. I still involuntarily stroked my blonde hair. “Oh. I’ve got to admit.” I said. As Marcus promised. so he drove back to our house and prepared the basics. Jordin suddenly appeared beside her and peeked at the phone. Madison raised her perfect eyebrows. “Thanks.” I told him. mentally crossing my ﬁngers. A very amazing way to get someone’s attention. wanted to take me into a trip. Who am I going to ask? I walked nervously towards Madison.” My brother joked. but gloss sure makes someone’s lips more attractive. I’m a very big reader. I searched the picture of my brother taken when we hanged out at the beach during summer last year. “I’ll ask them. Just let your hair hung loosely and don’t strangle it with ponytail. George.” Oookay. “Do you have a picture of your brother? I don’t want to go with a nobody. but loud enough for her to hear. Marcus. really loved it.” Marcus said. I knew what was coming next. My nerve was tingling with hesitation as I entered the room. I saw her eyes widened with anticipation. You stink.
I just want to lay low.” “Coooool.” Louise suddenly appeared behind Jordin and wrapped his arms around her waist.” Jordin agreed. “Seriously? Ew Gino.” I answered. “Yeah. “Can we bring Jords?” “Uh. I’m warning you.” Jordin said with the same anticipation as Madison. everything will be peaceful. with George and her oh-so-hot brother. Honestly. “Life’s so unfair.“Oh. George.
“Louise is not going anywhere without me. “Ditto. “George. I already called dibs with Marcus. Gosh. “Sure.” Madison wrinkled her nose. Oh the nerve. Louise is almost my brother. make casual friends and maintain enemy-less. so did I.” I shrugged. yeah.” Madison exclaimed. almost pleading. Madison turned to her. you know. “Did you really think after what you’ve done yesterday. After what he had done yesterday. Right. “I am so going with you!” Madison told me.” Madison added. “Come on. she will still invite you to come with her?” Madison snapped at Gino before I even managed to reply.”
. he still had the face to butt into my affairs. “We’ve just been together recently. “But hey Jords. “Oh. waiting for my answer. My.” That was so corny. Brotherhood? Where were we? Sixteenth century? The four of them looked at me. “Okay. you can’t leave me out of this. Gino can come. can you?” Gino said. We must be together at all times. the crack between us will increase.” Jordin grunted.” Gino even spread his arms wide to show his tell-tale hotness.” Jordin commented. “And besides. giving me a puppy look. You’ve already got Louise. But of course. No one can resist this hotness. “I know. I let out a dramatic sigh. “Where?” Jordin asked. you’re brother’s soooo hot. man?” Gino called out.” She joked. I don’t want to make enemies. I just breathed a sigh. can we bring Louise too?” Jordin asked me. I’m sure if I turned Gino down. Talk about gross. “To an out-of-town trip. and I want to keep him close to me. ew.” “Hey ladies. or he might ﬁnd another one in just three seconds.
. I’ve got a big. red F on my quiz paper. I don’t have any idea why. I think I’m going to bring the whole set of books on the trip. I didn’t wonder anymore why I haven’t seen them. To my surprise. all of four of them were living at our subdivision. 'What have I gotten myself into? This will be a total mess. And they call this school House of Intellectuals.Gino and Louise gave each other high ﬁves while Madison and Jordin rolled their eyes. Guess what? History time. With the two of us plus my four classmates. out of hand. I was left standing there and thinking. Marcus was thrilled because I’ve brought four people. The bell suddenly rang. Though. I’m not really an outgoing person. or worse. that makes six. Funny. Only Jordin got an A+. Louise and Gino gave me their addresses so we can pick them up later in the evening. It’s good to have something to read when things get boring. Madison. I meant that ﬁguratively and literally. I can’t deny my excitement. And six is my brother’s favorite number.’
F. So does three-fourths of our class. Jordin.
“Hey. Since I sense that this will be a beginning of a beautiful relationship between us. Jordin sat beside me on the backseat just behind brother’s. “Hey everyone. Talk about gross. they even have their matching hot pink Hermes bags with them. Ugh. you’re the birthday girl here. Madison almost jumped with anticipation. pick them up! Be a nice hostess. Seriously.” I pointed out. When we came to their residence. thanks for coming. bad vibes. They’re practically gleaming with it.” he greeted us. can I ask some favor?” She batted her eyelashes at me.” I said slowly. brother. “Yeah?” “Can I sit beside your super hot brother?”
“Um. George?” Jordin turned to me. Both of them were dressed fabulously (as usual). “Your van’s so yummy!” Jordin exclaimed. I have a very bad feeling about that thing. I opened the door and tried my best to smile.” Madison sing-songed. “Oh. “You’re the host here. sure. Hop in the van. Excitement was obvious on her eyes. And that’s saying something. he was also carrying a paper bag with ribbon.” Brother greeted back.” Finally. His house was even bigger than ours. “Hey there birthday girl. we went to pick up Gino. Madison hooked her arm around mine. can she? Marcus is like nineteen and Madison’s just plain sixteen.” I sighed and went to the backseat at the van’s rear.” He answered. “I’m Marcus. Louise sat beside Jordin and gave her a soft kiss on her lips.” Seems to me that I don’t have any choice. “Well. “Hi guys.” I invited them. It would be a pleasure. I instantly knew what she was going to ask me. Louise came next. Like the two girls. Bad vibes. Suddenly. “Um. “I understand. He was waiting outside their massive gate. I went up to brother and asked him. They smiled when they saw me.We picked up Madison ﬁrst since she’s the one closest to us. He was carrying a messenger bag just like Louise’s. “Tell him I’m nice.” My brother nudged me. He was carrying a Jansport messenger bag. Jordin was standing next to her. but
. I noticed that they were carrying paper bags with them tied with a ribbon.” Madison winked at her. “Hello there. “And so is her brother. I’ve got to ask him about that ﬁrst. she cannot expect my brother to give her a chance.
Madison and Jordin were talking with each other at ﬁrst. Not at him. looking for a seat. I sneered at him before looking away to stare at the nighttime view along the way. Although I doubt it was good. What gifts? “Oh!” Jordin suddenly exclaimed. wake up!” I heard Madison squeaked as she slapped Jordin on her back. looking totally awakened. ”Hey there. mentally rolling my eyes. he ﬂashed his cocky grin. The length of the trip was shortened by the conversation going inside the van. “Am I really gonna sit there?” he pointed at the space beside me. he’s not carrying any paper bag with ribbon. What’s with guys and their way of greeting each other? He looked around. “That would be fun. “As a token of our gratitude to you for inviting us.” He nodded at brother’s direction. “Jordin. Ugh. “Hey.” Gino said sarcastically as he sat beside me. “It’s a surprise. especially with Gino here.” Jordin complained sleepily while Louise rubbed her back. “It’d better be good.” I said smugly. We’ve got to give our gifts. Brother just smiled and nodded back. It’s not good that he knew something about me when I don’t have a clue on his personal background. manners.fortunately. About ME.” Jordin muttered before she curled up and slept at Louise’s lap. “Of course. with a gleam of excitement in his eyes. the only available space was beside me. He ran to the door and slid it open. that hurts. you’re going to sit at the roof. Then Madison said something that made brother laugh and started
to launch his own stories about me. “Where are we going anyway?” Jordin suddenly asked at the middle of her yawn. “Dude. I occupied every space I could muster away from him. I quickly looked away and found myself staring at Gino’s brown eyes.” Madison said.” Brother replied. And that was totally embarrassing.” Brother scolded me from the front. “George. “No time to sleep girl. When he saw the van approached. Obviously. We drove out of the subdivision towards the city exit.” I muttered to myself.” He smacked his ﬁst with Louise’s. “No. the gifts.”
. “Oh no. Everybody seems to have that gleam right now. we will be giving you gifts. pointing upwards.” She cleared her throat then spoke again. Crap.
Shoe box means shoes or sandals.” I said in an awed whisper. I opened the paper bag and pulled out the black box inside.” Gino told me. She quickly turned to me and smiled. “Wow. If worse.” “Open it!” Madison urged me.Gino snickered beside me. Never. thanks” I muttered. Jordin shot him a ﬁerce look. Belated!” Madison said from the passenger’s seat. it isn’t. Suddenly. a diamondstudded headband appeared into view. “It’s no biggie to Louise. here’s mine. Jordin rolled her eyes. I reached inside and grabbed the gift. Gino tried to hide his laugh by coughing.” Brother smiled at me through the rearview mirror. When I opened the box. it was worse. I knew it. “I hope it would be. “Thanks. Their family makes that kind of things. “What the heck is your problem?” “You sound like an ancient woman or something.” Louise gave me his gift. I reached for the gift and tried my best to smile at her. But it could be from Vogue. belated happy birthday!” she greeted me and gave me the paper bag with ribbon. The paper bag was pretty big. Madison’s gift was even bigger than Jordin’s.” he answered with a chuckle. a black pair of 3-inch high stilettos was resting inside. Tentatively. That could look good on you. When I pulled it out. it was a rectangular box. a shoe box loomed into view. “Eh. It was smaller than Jordin’s and Madison’s. ‘Token of gratitude’? Modernize Jordin. George. When I pulled out the gift. “This must be expensive. A shoe box labeled Marc Jacobs. The sight of the sandals made me want to blanch. And my suspicion was right. high heels. which is a type of clothing I never ever wear outside house boundaries. But nope. “Well.
. “And. Judging from the size. It’s not Vogue. Jordin shoved to my lap Madison’s gift. I raised my eyebrows.
“That’s from mine. A black dress with purple shade here and there appeared right in front of me. When I lifted the cover. Madison smiled sweetly at me.” Gino said. Seriously? I was never the high-heels type. it must be above the knees. “This is not bubblegum isn’t it?” I asked him jokingly. What could this be? An archive of Vogue? When I opened the gift.
Just…kind of.” I told her.” Madison answered. “That would be fun. but no. who had been so silent driving. Put some make-up. Strike some pose. man. there’s no need to claw each other. “Hey. “You’re such a killjoy.” “I do not wear boxer shorts. Where’s Gino’s gift?” Jordin suddenly asked. Jordin?” “Absolutely.” He grinned at me. Since I can’t think of anything else to do. to my white sneakers.” She answered back. I’m sure George would not mind not getting one. a dress. her eyes narrowed into slits. I’m going to
. Madison straightened her posture again and looked very model-like. A pair of stilettos. She turned to Gino.” Jordin added.” Louise snorted. Thankfully. “Make-up kit?” Gino crossed his arms over his chest. then my faded blue jeans. failing to cover his laugh. It’s just a gift. Jordin went back at sleeping on Louise’s lap while Louise opened another bubblegum and chewed it. Right George?” brother suddenly said. Brother. so you should dress up as one. “I agree. “Where is your gift for her?” Gino shrugged. brother pretended not to notice. “-those abominations of the fashion world. “What would people think when they see a hot guy like me buying a make-up kit? They’ll think I’m gay. suddenly let out a laugh. “No one told me to buy her a gift. That sucks. “Party pooper. Show the fabulous teenager behind those -“ she eyed my red shirt with “NOT WORTH IT ” on it. rolling her eyes. “You should learn how to make the best of you stand out.” I muttered to myself. silencing the banter between my classmates.” I saw her smile sweetly at brother. Right. No need to ﬁght. “You’re a girl.I was pretty impressed by their expensive and outrageous gifts.” Now it’s my turn to look shocked. “That’s not what I mean. “Guys. “I’ve got to agree on them about that one. I grabbed my bag and opened it. And I told you to buy her that make-up kit from Cover Girl. sis.” Jordin agreed. “It’s a tradition you idiot.”
Madison looked like she was ready to claw Gino’s guts out.” Madison hissed at him. Like what I planned. “And they all left my side. a headband…which will sum up to a model’s outﬁt! “Are you guys trying to make me an America’s Next Top Model?” I asked them.
lurking in the dark. the river water followed her hand. The woman in front of me suddenly raised her hands. They are still here.read my book when things get out of hand. Everything was beautiful. It was so hypnotizing.
I found myself in a riverbank. It was a long time ago since they hid from the modern society. It was because of it that they have driven away the fortress. This must be a dream. And this gift thing was really out of hand. A woman was standing on the other side of the river. It spoke again. I glanced around me. I was about to ask her who she was when somebody spoke. I’m really starting to get nervous here. But the woman didn’t speak at all. I look around me.
. No one was here except for me and the woman. waiting for the perfect moment to attack. Amazingly. Who could have said that? Water cleanses and puriﬁes.
“Uh-oh. revealing a ball of ﬂame between his palms. At ﬁrst. She stopped in midstride. He was holding up his hands in the air. The wall of water surged towards me. and then faced me. A man was sitting in front of me. It is the perfect defense. I landed with a thud in the middle of nowhere. Metal is the sturdiest of all the elements. Cold and strong. The ﬂames roared. The heat became more intense. creating a great big wall of water. After a while. The man in front of me raised his hands and made them meet in the air. The ﬁre had already consumed the logs. I ran at a speed I have never done in my whole life. I was still trying to stand up when I found myself on the top of a mountain. no remnants that I have been hit by a wall of water. a tree grew right where I was standing. Okay. He threw the ball of ﬂame on the chopped logs and set it ablaze. After that. the ﬂame grew bigger.” I muttered. Between us was a pile of chopped logs. I turned around. See? I was right.The woman moved gracefully. making me plummet down the mountain. A sudden gush of heat met me. but it was still powerful. vast forest. The voice will speak again. With the right hands. A ﬁgure of a man loomed in front of me. creating a dense. I sprang up and started to run away from the man and his sprouting metal spikes. I was in front of another man. It is destructive in nature. Before I knew it. Fire was the main element used to ﬁght the fortress. ﬁre can be the most helpful element of all.
. Wood symbolizes life. like she was dancing with the river water. Simultaneously. I know what will happen next. I was aware that I was getting sweaty all over. It nurtures and shelters. he parted them. the heat of the ﬂame was comforting. his eyes closed in concentration. those were the attributes the guardians had used to defeat the fortress. Suddenly. metal spikes suddenly rose from the ground. making me fall down and wet all over. Fire is a strong element. She moved her hands above her. She moved her hands forward. shooting sparks of ﬁre up in the air. They have used this to protect themselves against the fortress. Trees were growing behind him. When I looked up.
The man raised his hands. and then the river water followed. the air blew towards me. I was dried up. A rumbling sound came directly below me.
“With the right persons. Earth is Life’s most important foundation. at the same time. I mean. Before I was completely covered. ﬁve essences. each carrying the essence of their…things. whatever. Just a grassy meadow with swaying daffodils. I heard the female’s last words. all I felt was comfort and security.” The female in white dress spoke. No more man.I can’t take the heat anymore. these ﬁve elements shall bring forth peace and balance. Her smile was very sweet. “Life dwells on earth. it really came from another person. “Earth is home. the sound was real.” Someone said. “Five elements. they shall call you. Except for this time. Though metal is sturdier. Her face was so lovely and peaceful. It was the same voice I’ve been hearing. green vines rose from the earth. I dropped to my knees and allowed myself to relax. ﬁve foundations. It wrapped completely around me.” She raised her hands gracefully sideward. Although this scene may sound like a nightmare. No more ﬁre. thick.”
. young guardian. “Guardians. I whirled around and saw a woman in ﬂowing white dress in front of me.”
The vine crept towards me and entwined itself on my ankles and worked its way upwards. abilities.” As if by magic. Guardians. the four other people I saw earlier suddenly appeared beside her. Life shelters on it. I turned around… and I found myself in the middle of a meadow. earth has more essence. “Earth is the protector. Metal came from the earth itself. they call themselves. This place feels like home.
“Would you mind blindfolding George? This should be a surprise for her.” Jordin blinked at him. believe me. “You dreamt of weird. I can feel brother’s guiding hand on my back supporting me. “Well.” I threatened him. “You dare try anything stupid. Louise stretched his arms. “No worries. that was a crazy dream. really.”
. “Gosh. Nothing new. My classmates were all stirring.” Madison said.” Gino answered.” “Same here. this place sure is rocky. “Remember? I helped you choose which high heels were better between the purple one and the blue one when we were eighthgraders. While me. “Shut your mouth close Gino. I can say that I have some. I think I look like crap.” He said as he pulled a handkerchief from his bag. I blindly searched and grabbed my bag. yawning loudly.” Madison said. you’d ﬁnd my feet kicking your butt. backing-up Jordin. Blindfold me? “A pleasure.5
I woke up in time as the van stopped at a woody area. “Gino. right?” brother called. It smelled of a men’s perfume. “High heels are not your area of expertise. that’s absurd. “Why not try walking barefoot?” Gino suggested from the back. “Yeah. Wake up!” Brother called form the driver’s seat.” Gino argued. Gino and brother helped me out of the van. “Man.” Gino answered mischief evident in his eyes. “Why do I have a hard time believing that?” I said as he covered half of my face with his big hanky.” I heard Jordin complained. “Here we are sleepyheads. I’m a noble gentleman. also waking up from their deep reverie. too?” “Yeah. Marcus. Special Force maybe?” “If you’re talking about expertise.” He said. I cannot walk comfortably with my heels. Madison and Jordin woke up still looking like their usual selves: gorgeous.” Louise commented before stepping out of the van.
If I had opened my eyes hastily. “This place is paradise.” “Ooh.” Madison grunted. but I can’t disagree with her. After a few more minutes.
“So after we have arrived to this place I want you all to see. By tomorrow. I cannot describe the whole beauty of this place. We walked in a comfortable silence. There were more mountains below us. I could have been blown away by the extreme beauty of this scenery right in front of me.” “Ditto. you know. brother decided to interrupt their argument. “Where Jordin is. I didn’t see it. “Wow. I even heard her giving Louise a kiss on his cheek. It’s just the same.” Madison commented. you’re so sweet. I’m sure she’s just trying to gain some brownie points from brother. I felt brother lowering my blindfold. I slowly opened my eyes. “Where’s the surprise in that?” he said. that sound’s fun. we will go back to the city and eat at a restaurant.Eighth-graders? Have they been once in some kind of a relationship? “That does not count. Lucky me. Still at school. “It’d be more fun if I’m not blindfolded.” Louise started. Yeah right. not total silence because I can hear Jordin and Madison giggling. With all the stress in the school. Words are not enough. I guess we really need some break. We’re on the top of the mountain.” “You’re not even stressing about school. It was sunrise. “I’m stressing about the latest fashion trends that I can wear at school. I can almost imagine her rolling her eyes. “we will stay on a…town here. and I was grateful I did it that way. We’ll spend the whole day there.” Jordin said. At that time. “It’s lovely and relaxing. “So.” Jordin said sweetly at Louise. where there are people.” Madison defended. You’re stressing about the latest fashion trends. everyone. fun is there.” “Aw. “Well. Well.” Madison interjected before I can answer back.” brother started to explain. brother’s idea sounds fun…and relaxing too. Mads.” Jordin agreed. we halted to a stop.” I complained at him. how are you liking this trip?” he asked.
. and the rays of the sun made the sea and the hills beside it golden. a sea located far below. “Well for me.” Madison said in an awed whisper.
I turned away from him and gazed outside the window.” Brother explained to us. thus. the lake.” “Glad you did. Since I’ve been blindfolded on the way there. I want this place to be etched in your heart and in your mind. when we walked back. “And I want you to see it George. He placed his hand on my shoulder. How rude. “None of your business. There were squirrels and rabbits too. Golden Hills. I hugged him warmly. George. I went in ﬁrst. Crickets were chirping from somewhere.“This place inspired our parents. and I know he’d be there for me. This could be the place where Princess Aurora from the Sleeping Beauty lived. Golden Hills Executive Residences.” I’m sure of it.
We walked back towards the van after some time. Gino had been unusually quiet after our viewing of the Golden Hills. I want this place to inspire you. “What’s up with the silence?” I asked him as he sat beside me. Finally. I really cannot imagine how this place looks
. you will think of a safe place that will comfort you. You will think of this place. the hills. “Thank you. and then Gino followed. we reached the van.” A smile crept on my lips. Birds of different varieties were chirping and humming. But his love for me was so great I cannot compare it to others. there’s only one person in this world that cares for me. I love you. Marcus had always loved me. Always. Sure. and the way the sun shines here during sunrise.” he said ﬂatly. you know that?’ “I know. I was enthralled by the wildness of this place. I love it. so that if the real world becomes troubling enough for you. This place is so lovely.
Gino suddenly clutched his head and screamed in pain. noticing his unusually silent phase. Puzzlingly.” Louise said as he went to Gino’s side. They’re wearing silver-hooded
. I scooted nearer to Gino and cupped his face in my hands. “Of course. “Hey bro. Brother stopped the car. “I call upon the Earth. Louise seemed to notice too. Jordin and Louise were talking about how gorgeous the place is. Brother automatically put his index ﬁngers on Gino’s temple. sounding like the bestestbestfriend in the world. sounds like they really have a good relationship. any problem?” Louise asked Gino. “Now.very untouched in spite of the fast modernization of the cities outside these mountains. They tried to insert me on their conversation. “It’s nothing. “You’ve been so quiet. Well. I thought it’s just for popularity. Gino hesitated before replying.” He said. They’re running towards our location. I can tell it. Brother stepped out from the driver’s seat and went to us. it’s time for us to settle down. “Calm down Gino. Louise. just as Gino spoke. bro?” He said. More puzzling was the next course of words Marcus spoke.” Jordin said. You’re my man. what’s wrong? What’s happening?” I asked him. speak up. “There are seven of them. “Hey. “You’ve got any problem. ‘ya know you can tell me.” Gino replied silently. “Dude. brother closed his eyes. He’s eyes were rolled up that we can only see the white. but they only received one word replies from me.
Without warning. We’re going to the town center.” Brother informed us.” Then they did this ﬁst bump thing. “Unnatural. but it seems to me that Louise and Gino have this brotherly connection between them. The Soothsayer needs clarity. Let it ﬂow through you. Something’s off. confusing the remaining four of us. Louise stepped aside to let brother check Gino. I call upon its warmth. or what they call here as the Centropolis.” Madison added. Madison.” He opened his eyes. Let him see his mind. Madison and Jordin looked worried. Cute. As we travelled on the rocky path. Relax. Right. He was breathing hard like he just ran a hundred miles.
. He looked so exhausted. the person on the other line answered. you heard right…Soothsayer…I still don’t know…Just. stop.” His voice was back to normal.jackets. Gino was breathing a little easier now.” He turned around and looked behind us. What are they talking about? “Silver Shore. My three classmates and I exchanged looks.” brother spoke to the phone. I saw her frantically stepping on the gas. “What happened?” Jordin asked her. Good. “I already have them…Yes…Look. All of us were silent while brother called. hurry up. whoever’s coming after us will catch us” Madison yelled back. When I glanced at Madison. he closed the door and ran back where we came from. I’ll see you at the Centropolis. “Yeah.” she answered quickly.”
With that. We need to get out!” “No!” Gino yelled. Before Gino had the chance to answer.” She answered in a panicked voice. I can sense that…that they’re a threat. like he was expecting some murderer to spring out from the side. Silver Shore’s coming…I have a Soothsayer here…yes. His eyes were darting frantically from side to side. can you drive?” “Yes. but what was that about?” Louise pressed on. They’re going to help you. “I’ll follow you there.” He touched the end button at the screen then turned to Madison. If you meet some people wearing trench coats.” “Just go George.” Brother said under his breath. “This is freaking crazy.” He said in a monotone. After a while. “Them…the enemies. “Anderson. “Drive the van. Something’s preventing the car from moving forward. I’m just going to ﬁx something. and drive faster please. the van suddenly lurched to a stop. Just follow the path. I’m staying with you. “No way. “You know I hate Undertaker. “I don’t know. Gino snorted.” He walked out of the van and looked at me. Madison suited herself on the driver’s seat and started to drive the van wickedly fast. “What happened dude? Why did you acted like you’re Undertaker?” Louise asked Gino. “If we don’t step out of this freaking van. “They’re just outside!” “Who?” Louise asked.” “What?” I exclaimed. I promise. He pulled out his cell phone from his pocket and called someone. “Madison.
Suddenly. He looked at Madison. Jordin spoke. “I think if we’re going to run. The path seemed to stretch longer and wilder taking unexpected curves here and there. “I call upon the Earth. “Ready. The remaining four of us got our own bags and went out of the van. “Say every line then I will repeat it.” “I call upon the Earth. Gino fell to his knees and writhed in pain. and brother chanted some words to make him calm down. We’re pretty
high on the mountain which could have been a good view. wicked fast. This thing happened with Gino earlier. Then we ran. I’m sure even before ‘the enemies’ catch us. you two girls need to remove your high heels. grabbed her bag. “Dude. his voice returning to normal.
.” He said in a monotonous voice again. This doesn’t look like we’re nearing a town center. Right on cue. Louise and I automatically went to his side.“Madison has a point.” Louise suggested. I noticed that several logs had blocked the wheels of the van.” I told her. “I will try if it will work. I don’t think so. “Yeah.” Jordin and Madison chorused as they removed their footwear. I scooted closer to Gino who was still in his thrashing phase. “Jordin. “Marcus is holding them right now. worry evident in his face.” Jordin nodded again. “Fair point. There were no signs of nearby huts or anything indicating that civilization somehow inﬂuenced this area.” We all answered. I’m sure as hell that I cannot and will not remember what he said. but I knew someone who does.” she nodded.” Gino closed his eyes momentarily. his forehead creased in a frown. “Besides. what’s wrong?” Louise asked frantically. do you remember what brother had said earlier when this thing happened to Gino a while ago?” I asked her. but with our lives in danger. we may have a chance to outrun them.” Madison nodded. How far do we have to run anyway? I doubt that Madison and Jordin have the stamina to run long distances. “If we get out right now. I put my index ﬁngers on his temple. Marcus said someone will meet us on the way. and then stepped out of the van.” I repeated with my eyes closed. those who will meet us will have already found us. We ran and ran as if our lives depended on it. “Ready?” Madison asked us.” Jordin added.
” “But-“ “No.” “I call upon its warmth. They’re coming for us.
Gino glanced at me worriedly.” He said in monotone. “Some of them passed through your brother. we need to escape. “Why do you keep on thrashing around like that? Why do you keep on babbling about enemies following us and so on?” Gino hesitated for a moment before answering. half-ran in order to catch up with the others. “Let’s go. Gino was able to stand on his own. “Let him see his mind.“I call upon its warmth.” Something rushed out from me to my ﬁngers. ‘kay?” I said.” Gino whispered in a hoarse voice. Go now.” He said. “C’mon. leaving Gino and me there not sure if we will survive. he nodded and grabbed Jordin’s and Madison’s wrist. How do I expect for us to outrun those ‘enemies’ in this slow speed? After a few seconds. I helped him stood up and supported him as he balanced unsuccessfully. “I’m on it.
.” I told him. again. We’ll follow in no time.” “The Soothsayer needs clarity. I groaned mentally. the girls need someone to protect them.” Louise looked as if he’s not sure if we will make it. “I’ll take care of Gino. to Gino. Now!’ “You go with Madison and Jordin. Try to help me. and then they took off running.” A tingling sensation crept from my feet to my ﬁngers. Louise swore. “What’s happening to you?” I asked him while we were running. We started with walk slowly. but otherwise.” “Let him see his mind. “We need to go now. His eyes ﬂew open and stared straight at mine.” I felt heat building up on the spot where I touched Gino. “The Soothsayer needs clarity. Gino nodded meekly. We half-walked.
That someone stepped out from the shadows. It’s too long to narrate it all to you. but still. I learned from my dream that these vines didn’t moved by themselves.” “I had a dream too-“ Both of us tripped on something.” He paused for a moment to catch his breath. I thought it was just a trick of my mind. an oracle. I kept seeing these things in my head. but when your brother led us to the Golden Hills. I was vaguely reminded by the last scene from my dream. The ‘someone’ was wearing a silver hooded jacket. I know I wished for something new. if I make it out through this. Soothsayer. cutting me in midsentence.
Another vine appeared from Gino’s side and whipped him. The vines led me to a big tree and tied me around it. I think I’m like that. Thorns and sharp stems from the wild plants kept on cutting my arms. “Well. but I didn’t wish for this kind of new. I saw beautiful scenery in front of me. The vine that attacked Gino wrapped itself on his waist and pulled him away with such strength that he ﬂew to the side. a seer. He quickly stood up and grabbed my wrist to run. Where are those people in trench coats? Why are they still not here? Why didn’t they come on the time they’re badly needed? I was lying on my back as the vines pulled me. I tried to pull it away too but to no avail. I found a vine lying on the ground. The force was pretty strong because Gino groaned in pain. “Gino!” I screamed before the vines pulled me towards the deeper part of the woods. it was on my dream. “They found us!” he whispered loudly to me. When I looked behind. he tried to remove the vines on my ankles which were spreading in an alarming rate. but the vine lying on the ground suddenly came to life and wrapped itself on my ankles. Somehow. I knew the dream was not just a sick joke. Gino’s eyes widened with surprise. “When I woke up. a prophet. “George!” Gino shouted while trying to yank away the vines. but the man in my dream told me I was some kind of a Soothsayer. Someone’s controlling them. I didn’t saw the van. Somehow.“You remember when Marcus said the word ‘Soothsayer’?” I nodded. I
. The ﬁrst time I saw something. I felt guilty about all of this. I seriously need treatment after this.
“Time to bring you then. A metallic odor rose in the air. “Whoa. Easy there. Wow. A prickling sensation of something powerful engulfed our surrounding.” He introduced himself. “What? Aren’t you going to say something nice?” He said after a few minutes of irritating silence. They must be waiting.” He pulled the hood and showed himself to me. “Silver Shore. that’s when I knew that the speaker is a guy. Wood Guardian. He has a tousled brown hair which goes well with his territorial stance. Shouldn’t keep them that way too long. but I need to follow orders. huh. entangling itself from the tree but still keeping me tied up. He cocked his head to one side as if waiting for a response from me. “Shit.” He worked in silence as he grabbed me from the tree. He carried me on his shoulders and walked cautiously around. “Where’s my brother?” The hooded someone held up its hand and spoke.
.” When he’s words sank on my mind. “Shit.” Did I just call Gino my friend? “Sorry to hurt your boyfriend. just like what Grandpa said. “Somebody help me!” “Shut up!” Michael hissed at me. I was agitated more as ever. A rustling noise from behind made both of us looked at the source of the noise. Big sis will not be happy. “Michael Blake. but I knew better.” I snarled. They’re here. I’m not going to hurt you. “Ah.” He raised his hands and moved it in a circling motion.” He said in a reassuring voice. “You just hurt my friend back there. “Gino’s not my boyfriend!” I snapped at him. He’s got a nice choice for words.” Michael swore again.
“You’re pretty tough.” He swore. A sense of familiarity hit me when I looked at his piercing blue eyes. “Put me down!” I screamed at the top of my lungs as I pounced on his chest. “Says who?” I said back. “Like you deserve it?” I said. Turns out that I’m right. so Gino’s the name. The vines surrounding me followed his movements. as if sensing for something.remembered Gino saying that the enemies were wearing hooded jackets. Michael closed his eyes.
How can Michael see his chance of winning against six of these people? “Nice try. making me dizzy. Anderson?” Michael asked in a challenging tone. thick. people in golden trench coats circled around us. I cannot see what was happening behind but I’m pretty sure it would be something surreal like sprouting metals and trees and those sorts of things. After that. “Since when did a Golden guardian knew what was good for a Silver one?” he asked. he snorted. something in his voice told me that there’s a threat lying under his words.
“I dare. They were all in ﬁghting stance. “That would be fun. Unfortunately. Michael took another sharp turn to the left right before a large wall of metal rose from the ground that could have served as a barrier. a Golden guardian was already waiting for us. “Put her down Blake if you know what’s good for you. The Golden guardians quickly sidestepped to avoid getting whipped by the vines. wouldn’t it?” he grinned and then took a sharp turn to the right. “I repeat. Blake. his voice dripping with sarcasm.” A deep male voice said from the shadows. When he ran to the right side. Michael suddenly stopped. There were six of them. “Don’t even try to ﬂee now Blake. but soon after. blocking Michael’s way of escape. You’re chickens. emphasizing each word. One… two…three…four…ﬁve…six.” The boy said. but surprisingly.” Michael scoffed. He was holding two swords and was pointing it at us in a crossed position.” “What if I don’t want to. When he swayed his swords to the opposite sides. my head swayed to the right too. threatening with numbers as always. you can’t go alone. I expected him to cringe because of fear. not following orders from others.'' “You dare underestimate us!” a female from the circle snarled. “Are you crazy? Do you really want to get kicked on the ass?” I yelled over the gush of wind coming because of the speed of Michael’s run.
. he took off running with me bouncing crazily on his shoulders. As if on cue. thorny vines following behind our trail. they followed pursuit after us.” Michael spoke slowly. He has a shoulder-length black hair and it was braided Indian style. a metal wall surrounded us. in case you’re deaf or you’re stupid enough not to understand a single sentence: Put her down. His eyes were the same color of the metal surrounding us. You’re surrounded. “You Golden guardians are like school girls who go to the comfort room.Although I’m a rebel type of person.
“It’s either my Coven Members are controlling the Earth from outside. I think he has a tendency to copy other people’s line. or your Alpha Element is backﬁring on you Blake. The boy. but the pain must be coming from his foot because he fell down. and it is inevitable. He lowered his hands. seemed unperturbed. He was even wearing a smug smile. “Just put her down. Anderson took that opportunity to get me real fast. Michael grunted in pain. When he’s done. We don’t need to submit to violence. Anderson helped me walk away from Michael. Could someone be outside? Michael and Anderson must be still in their staring match because no one seemed to notice the earth climbing up to Michael’s ankles. Good for him. that hurt. the metal walls surrounding us shook. Who could be controlling that? Michael’s a Wood Guardian.” Michael’s grip on me tightened. the soil beneath Michael’s feet started to sink slowly. Obviously. His jaw was clenched. “Look who’s talking. He tried to stay in his position. For all those things that you’ve done.” “Says who?” Michael answered.” Michael said as if speaking to a friend.” Michael managed to smirk. When he raised his arms. Anderson (I think it’s his last name). His feet were still attached to the soil. He won’t even let me down. “I must have underestimated you. Anderson looked pretty amused himself. he’s an enemy. but found that his hands were stuck to.
. I was toppled to the ground when Michael fell. Anderson’s controlling Metal. who was still stuck.” Anderson pulled me up and unbound me from the vines. However. simultaneously. Mind you. but still you had time babbling nonsense. I wished that the soil would swallow Michael. my guts are telling me that we will meet again. the metal walls sank to the ground. Michael tried to raised his hands. I looked at his feet because staring up at the two of them was tiring. Suddenly.“Anderson.
Not long after. landing on his butt.” There’s no way I’m gonna miss the sarcasm in his voice. Ha. I found bruise marks on the place where the vine was tangled. You know you have no way out. “You’ve always been the calm one Blake. I really hope we never cross path again. but his shoulders were relaxed.
. and last quarter. The metal wall has a mechanism that it will open when somebody needs to enter. Metal. they were grouped into Covens. together with his team. Zac also informed me that back-ups have been sent to help brother. The Sabat is the festivals that indicate the cycles of the year. “You won’t see any gates here. They have adapted to the ancient Chinese Elements which were Earth. ﬁrst quarter. “Guardians descended from the Ancient Witches. new moon. too. “When it was their reign. Zac must have read my mind. Air. where my classmates were staying and being taken care of. Wood and Fire. which is a big comfort for me. That is if that somebody can be trusted. changes have been made to strengthen the Covens. We drove slowly to the Treatment Hall. It was made
of gold metal. Earth. We drove to the path we have taken earlier. When it was reinstated. but I cannot see anything. The Covens on the past always meet up every Esbat and Sabat. “Every time they meet up. Golden Guardians stood guard on the opening. The Esbat is the cycle of the moons. Brother wouldn’t be alone ﬁghting the enemies.” Zac explained to me to kill time. there weren’t any meetings for many years. who introduced himself to me as Zachary Anderson (Zac for short). After the Witch Trials. whether it is full moon. He said that his Coven Members have already removed the logs which came from Silver Shore. guided me walk towards the van. Water.8
Anderson. I sat on the passenger seat while Zac drove. the metal wall opened when our van neared it. Water. That’s what we call our teams. they invoke the First Four Elements. Not so long. a massive wall loomed into view. His Coven members settled themselves on the backseat. and he told me it was a necessity.” True to his words. I scanned the walls to ﬁnd an opening. Zac informed me that my classmates have already been ‘taken care of and in satisfactory condition’ except for the one who has been on a ‘physical pain as well as emotional’ because he thinks that ‘he has failed the vital mission of protecting me’. Fire.
I wanted him to clarify things. let me check on your wounds. the name changed from Witches to Guardians. My classmates were inside.” I told him. The whole place feels…right. We walked the wooden steps going inside. “I think I am. I merely nodded and then went out to follow him inside the Treatment Hall. A girl with a shocking purple hair was bent over Gino’s wounds. every one of them turned to look at me.” I wanted to ask him questions. Who would in their right mind believe that? But before I had the chance. “If you have some news about brother. Then I remembered brother. Madison was reading a teen magazine. Protector of Balance. “C’mon. “George. let’s get you ﬁxed. Gino was on the other end of the room.” She said
. together with your friends. magic and stuff. The Coven Members automatically stepped out of the van leaving Zac and me inside. I wanted him to tell me that this was all part of a dream. It’s in the blood actually.” Zac informed me.“Those elements are what we use now.” “Thanks for helping me. Jordin was curled up in the bed with Louise sitting at the edge of it.” I said quietly. Witches. please tell me immediately. You’ll ﬁnd Lynden there. As time passed. elements. A Healer Guardian is a guardian possessing healing abilities. “You must be the one got by a Silver Guardian. Our version of doctors is called a Healer Guardian. They seemed like comforting each other. I glanced at my right and saw a large structure made of wood. away from the Metropolis. The Guardians have resided far away from the civilization of humans. Sentinel of the Elements. He stepped out of the van and opened my side of the door. The girl with the purple hair (I think it’s Lynden) went to me. It feels like a safe haven for me. “That’s the Treatment Hall.” He said. Gino’s eyes widened with surprise and relief. the car stopped already. The truth is. I wanted him to tell me what I am actually doing in this place.
Zac lead me towards the upper ﬂoor to the room numbered 2D. At the sound of the door opening.” Zac nodded then opened the door for me. She’s the Healer Guardian assigned to you ﬁve. “Your friends are inside and are already taken care of. You’d be taken care of there. His arm was covered in a bandage. you’re safe!” he exclaimed as he tried to get up. Come on.
I was amazed to see water ﬂowing from my temple to my arms. “Water I call upon you. Symptoms are silence. “See? You’re all better now. so mote it be.” A chilling sensation of something crawling in my skin startled me.” “Oh. Right after Lynden
. The fear I should have felt a while ago just came.” “Aw. it’s all part of my job. heat builds up.” I muttered.” Lynden reassured me. it calmed me. you’d be healed in no time. you’re shaking. The warmth spread from my stomach throughout my whole body. His eyes looked worried. she gave me another warm smile then went out of the room. Her English accent was evident on the way she said her words. “Sorry.” She applied some herbs on the faint line of my wounds. I can't believe it! Something warm built inside me. insomnia and sometimes. and then she closed her eyes.” Lynden agreed. I didn’t realize I was shaking. don’t you worry girl. Lynden prepared a basin of water and some herbs. Lynden opened her eyes and smiled warmly at me. It occurs to people who experienced an incident like yours but never in their life had they seen those kinds of things. “It’s known here as First Experience Syndrome. Calm down. “I think I’m in some kind of a trauma or something. “But the insomnia will not fade quickly. Words are true. Calm her down and stay that way. I noticed that where ever she touched me. But you don’t have to thank me.” She told me.” “Thank you Lynden.cheerfully. don’t believe what I said.
Cleanse the wounds of yesterday. and true to Lynden’s words. Heal this girl. trembling. My shaking subsided. “And. I call upon the magic granted to me. With a piece of white cloth. “Girl. I must be positive then. she wiped clean the dirt on my arms and face. I almost felt normal again. I made it up.” She told me. You might experience it for two to three days. you’re so sweet. nausea. That must be the magic of healing. sure. Come with me and heal her true.” I told her. The bizarre incident must have taken my body now. From my forefather. “Aw. When she was done. ease her pain. they bequest. Gino’s eyes never left me. When I looked at it. With my magic touch.” “Yeah. I followed her to the bed next to Gino.” She laid her hands on my temple. And I mean it.
” She said wearily.” Gino and Madison mumbled at the same time. “I can’t believe I was caught in the middle of this. guys. you’re the one in pain. What did they want. I launched on telling them the story that Zac told me on the way here. Guardians.” Jordin sank to the chair next to my bed. one at a time.” “Well. “Well. I held up my hands in surrender. The whole guardian thing baffles me as much as it baffles each one of you. “Guys.” She shook her head. elements. “Are you hurt?” Gino asked me. It’s not just you.” Gino tried to protest but I cut him off.” “We can’t believe Jordin.” I snorted. “And that was one crazy dream.” “Sorry. Gino hurried to my side as well as my three other classmates. I even inserted the information the woman in my dream told me I got wary and amazed expressions from them. We all nodded.” Jordin snapped back. it sounds like a fairytale or something.S. abilities.” Madison commented. I hope he’s ﬁne. It was my fault you’re hurt. It deﬁes the laws of science. but he didn’t hurt me that much. yes. I’m hurt. I was supposed to do that. I have no idea. I think. I didn’t succeed on protecting you. “What? They didn’t tell you the history of this whole mess?” “Nu-uh. Jordin still believes that it deﬁes the law of science but makes sense. Madison thinks it’s cool and fun. is still ﬁghting the other Silver guardians together with the Golden guardians.went out of the room. Gino said it is B. we don’t actually know the ‘whole guardian thing’. “Enough with it already. “Sorry George. No one’s to blame. “This is unbelievable. “I don’t know Gino. Marcus. Gino turned to me and looked apologetic.
. “No one said you should protect me. healing magic. Louise agreed with Gino.” Madison said. calm down. And by the way. right?” Louise interrupted. The Silver guardian tied me a little too tight. “Did that Silver guardian they call hurt you or something? What do they want?” “Where’s Marcus? Is he ﬁne?” Madison asked me too.” Gino pointed out. We all had the dream. “It all started with you when you writhed in pain on the van!” “It wasn’t my fault I got these damn visions!”
anyway. The woods that made the structure provide comfort well. and then we know that life is based on ﬁve foundations or elements.” The ﬁve of us nodded at each other.“But you saw the vines moved alone! You even see these damn visions. who is a Metal Guardian. which annoyed me and somehow deep inside. Gino still helped me.” Josh told her. “Awakening is the process of activating the dormant abilities of a
. welcome to the Centropolis of Golden Hills. A teenager about our age came through the door. you know. we know life as made up of food. Josh cleared his throat. “Hi everyone. He was wearing a golden trench coat with a black shirt and faded jeans underneath. He had the same black hair and gray eyes as Zac.” “Right now?” Jordin asked in a complaining voice. “Come in. his arms wrapped around my waist in a comfortable manner. Josh lead us outside to a carriage being drove by two white horses. I’m not an invalid. It almost feels like home. “So. When the carriage started to move. I absently stroked my blond hair. “I’m Josh Anderson.” I told him. “One day. luxuries. I was sent here by my brother. All of us looked at him. My head hurts because of the tight ponytail. Gino helped me get off my bed. But nonetheless. sleeping. Gino was supporting me. I tugged out the ponytail and let my hair loose for a while. He ﬂashed me a boyish smile.” “I did. I’m surprised on how quickly we have understood each other. “I told you it will look good on you. home and school. “You’re funny. which I believe is totally unnecessary. The Treatment Hall was peaceful as we walked. He was wearing a pair of black combat boots. warmed me. with Josh being the last. “I believe so. This guy was fairer and had shorter hair. I stuck my tongue out as a reply. although it was tousled. We climbed up the carriage one by one. “But how can we all believe it?” Gino countered. I suppose you have already met my brother Zac. This day came. right?” I argued. the Master Guardians wish to see the ﬁve of you for your Awakening. I’m an Earth Guardian.” Madison whispered to my ear.” Madison pointed out.” The ﬁve of us chorused. It sounds so…so unreal!” I was about to argue again when a knock came on my door.
We all walked out as Josh led the way. He told me to tell you that the Master Guardians wishes to see the ﬁve of you. “Well.” He greeted.” “We’re not asleep.
we will also know if one of you has a special Place in the Guardian Community. Soothsayers are very rare these days.” Josh said.” “But my parents are not guardians.” Madison muttered.
.” Gino muttered in a low voice that I was the only one who had heard what he said. “A Soothsayer’s ability is already active once he had received The Dream.” Louise said. They are the best ﬁghters. even you are a child of two guardians. The Orthons are a family of healers. one of you will know that you’re actually a healer. “In the Awakening. but he can work with them. They could also have one Soothsayer if they can manage. but Warriors are the front-liners. Each Coven is required to at least have three Warriors. that’s why Zac’s Coven consists of six people. yes. They’re managing the biggest resort there near Waikiki Beach.” Jordin continued. “Yes. The Dream must be the dream the ﬁve of us have dreamt. “My parents are in jewelry-making business. your Alpha and Omega Elements. “during the Awakening. what a nice surprise. they are guardians.” Gino added.” Josh answered. even tracing back to the ancient times.” “Oh. I always knew my parents were up to no good. The Omega Element is the element that destroys your element…” “…according to the Chinese Elemental Cycle. you’re ability won’t show unless you are awakened.” Josh said. The Alpha element
is the element that created your Element according to the Chinese Elemental Cycle. and two Regulars. In real life. See.” Josh started.” “My mom works with her mom and my dad is a doctor. For example.” “That’s me. one Healer.” Jordin added. “Mine are living themselves in luxury at Hawaii.” I remarked. “Another Place is a Warrior. Another Place could be a Soothsayer. “A guardian cannot control his Alpha and Omega Elements. All of the Guardians are supposed to ﬁght.” “Smith? As in me Smith?” Madison asked. Josh nodded. steering us back to the original discussion. “those professions are just their cover. At least she knew something about her parents! I don’t even know what my parents are working with right this moment. “Well. you will know there what is your Element. “My mom’s a fashion designer and my dad’s a businessman.guardian. I bet Jordin is a healer.” Madison pointed out again. “Well. “Going back to our topics. The Smiths are very inﬂuential in Golden Hills.
“A Fire Elixir made that.” “But why do you ﬁght with Silver Shore?” Madison asked. “Well. The place was made of shining golden metal with intricate carvings. Josh opened the door. There’s some kind of magic in it!” Josh looked amused at Jordin. The Elemental Cycle occupies the high ceiling. I’ve never seen anything as grand as this place. The Elixir is the giver of life. it is. Inside the circle is an inscribed star. its points matching the points on the circle. “Everyone. welcome to the Poliaxis. It is a Circle with ﬁve points. the elegant sign with the label ‘THE GREAT HALL’ welcomed us. He can also control his Alpha and Omega Elements. The old man in the middle stood up as we entered the Hall. it’s too good to be real.” We entered the Poliaxis. It is Silver Shore. We went up the stairs then turned right. At the end of the hallway.” “Really?” Jordin suddenly went to gleeful mode. the most powerful guardian of all when his skills are trained properly.
Before Josh had the chance to answer. “Yes. That’s why no one in the Metropolis knows the exact materials to create a Greek Fire. Josh opened the stylish double doors of the Great Hall. an Elixir is born every one score. giving us the view of the city hall-like place. welcome to your Awakening. “That’s awesome. Five old men were sitting on a throne-like chair in the dais. “Young guardians. the guardian had created a very powerful weapon that destroyed their enemies. When the two elements worked together. Do you remember the Greek Fire?” We nodded. They are not Guardians.“The most important Place of all is Elixir. the carriage screeched to a stop. Water is the Omega Element.” The ﬁve of us chorused. They also have their own Elixir. Water destroys Fire.” “Cool. I have always wondered what the ingredients were.”
. The Elixir’s element of control is not just one but three. I should have known it before. I guess you already know that we have an enemy.
“Let me introduce myself.9
I know staring is bad. A very powerful combination. When all the lights have died down. Really? Does he really have to mention that in front of everyone? I walked towards the center nervously. I can practically see the power emanating from his body. Please step forward. I mean it in a way that he’s a powerful old man. “Yes Master Hallor. A faint outline of a sword was evident on the place Louise was standing on. It’s the golden light on the point representing Metal. He mouthed the word awesome at Gino. Might as well. “It’s an honor to have so many young. The lights. A bright light formed around Louise as a strong force ﬁeld formed around the circle. the force ﬁeld and the points.” Louise bowed slightly then went to us. Shall we start with the Awakening then?” Josh answered for the ﬁve of us.” Hallor announced. This is better than any light show in the world. I noticed that he’s standing exactly at the middle of the Elemental Cycle.” The same thing happened with me.”
Louise glanced at Gino helplessly. “Awaken the Guardian. I don’t mean it in a way that he’s an attractive old man.” “Excellent.” Hallor’s voice boomed inside the Great Hall. That’s gross. I ﬂushed at the mention of my ﬁrst name. Hallor announced “Awaken the Guardian. A warm fuzzy feeling
. the old man was worth staring. “Let us start with Louise Craigg. “A Metal Guardian and a Warrior. He walked forward. The points of the stars are radiating gold light. When I reached the center. powerful guardians before us. This ﬁgure could be described as tremble-worthy. but hey. I’m Hallor. “Next. Welcome Guardian. only one remained. we shall have.” He said.” Hallor remarked as he clasped his hands together. Georgette Wilmington.
he was staring daggers at Josh. I prefer George. Welcome. what’s her best weapon? Stilettos? Mascaras? Perhaps.
. Why is it that I’m the only one without a Special Place? It was so…I don’t know. “Um. The same process happened with him. but none appeared. She was declared Water Guardian and a Warrior.” Hallor said. I expected that a symbol for Soothsayer will appear below him. None. “Really? You’d teach me? As in one-on-one?” “Of course. the only light remaining was the light in the point representing Earth.” “For what?” I asked. I checked the ﬂoor below me to see if there is any outline evident.” I told Josh. Something inside me was saying this was all wrong. I’m an Earth Guardian. Something ﬂuttered guiltily inside me. “Doesn’t ﬁt you. I want to offer my help. I looked back at Gino with a feeling of triumph inside me. maybe I can teach you the basics. The lights were bright as always. When he reached us. He’s just a Regular like me. “I thought you were a Soothsayer?” Jordin whispered. But he had visions right? “A Fire Guardian.
“You know. “Georgette. Josh tapped my shoulder. right?” he asked.enveloped me while I was inside the force ﬁeld.” I was temporarily lifted from my sullen mood. Gino looked quizzically at us. but. I walked back to our small group with a feeling of disappointment inside me. it is. the ﬁve of us automatically stepped closer with each other. as expected.” I told him. a curling iron? Jordin followed her. leaving Josh standing alone. He beamed at me. “An Earth Guardian. “I can’t wait. I know it wasn’t a big deal. but anyway.” He answered. I mean. When I met Gino’s eyes. since you’re an Earth Guardian. Nothing more. An Earth Guardian. Madison was next. the only light left was the light at the point representing Fire. Ugh. She was declared Wood Guardian and a Healer. Devastating? Gino was the last. but for me. I can’t believe it! I got my own tutor! It may not be a big deal for anyone. While I was watching him walk towards the center. When the feeling stopped. When it was done. though I cannot fathom what it is. I don’t know…I just feel incomplete. I cannot believe she is a Warrior. Welcome. no. It means that I can get advance lessons from Josh.” Hallor said.
okay? We’ll wait for brother.” He answered.” I said. “again. Perfect Attendance Student.
“Don’t worry. “Again. the typical StraightA. “We know what we are doing. Master. welcome new Guardians.” Madison exclaimed.” He continued. Drew Harrison.” Hallor said.” Hallor said. and you must learn to trust us.” “Anderson will introduce you to the concepts about being a Guardian. “Going back. you will do ﬁne.” They nodded. “Your school principal. “have you got any news from my brother. “I believe you have already started.” Josh answered. Even though he’s a Fire Guardian. The other one who will join you is Marcus Wilmington.
.” I smiled. cutting our conversation. the ﬁve of us breathed a sigh of relief. let Anderson bring you to your Chalets.” I raised my hand tentatively.” Josh led us outside. “Um. sir. we do have our classes and we care about our grades. “But we should keep these to ourselves. He can explain this. “I mean. Wood Guardian?” Hallor asked.” Madison and Jordin let out a squeal of anticipation. Speaking of.” the other old man on Hallor’s right said.” “Thanks. That is where you are going to stay. He will understand. young lady that you should learn to wait.” Hallor continued. Wilmington. he’s still capable of giving away cold stares. welcome.” “Yes.” That shut me up and made my eyes widen. I believe you are a very powerful addition to our Covens.” Gino answered. too. “Good. But still.” “You have nothing to worry about. In the mean time. “What do we do now?” “There must be a reason for this. Or maybe I was just reading too many books. that was so…amazing. “I assure you. “Even without a Soothsayer. Once we are out. They really like my brother.“That’s what I thought. you’re brother is safe. Mr.” Hallor commented. Marcus?” Hallor looked at me with little interest. is a Guardian. “I believe.” Jordin raised her hand cautiously. “Yes. I like this one better. Yeah right. I don’t really think we could trust anyone about this. “Gosh. “How about our school?” Ah. “The ﬁve of you are already a member of one Coven. I nodded stiffly.
They don’t want to keep the title Guardians.” Josh continued. you and your Chalet mates will meet at the Common Hall for breakfast. I raised an eyebrow at her. what’s next?” Louise asked as he hooked his arm around Jordin’s waist.” Gino put up a mock disappointment on his face.” Gino said. They built their own city. and so is dinner. But still. They want to go back to being Witches. but they are divided. the Dark Fortress. “The perk is that there is no adult on your Chalet. There are no strict dress codes here. “This is not Libertyville you know. and they won. We reached the carriage again. blah blah. by the morning.” I heard Jordin muttered. but we hope you won’t abuse it. “Once. a group of rebel Guardians decided that they won’t want to go by the rules anymore. the Guardian Mountain. The Witches hid on the deeper parts of the mountain.” We nodded. Then I’ll bring you to your Chalets.” “No adults. “I believe you already heard of Silver Shore. a group of Regulars will take over. Lunch is optional.” Josh told Gino. “Louise. I guess. loud and clear.” Louise answered.” She joked. I am starting to think that this place is a disguised boarding school. The Chalets are the place where you are going to stay. huh?” Jordin said. “One day. All of us climbed in.
girls and boys are in one Chalet. But Hallor can get pretty scary. “So. “More discussions. They’re composed of the twentyone year olds. I think I have some ideas on my mind right now. The two most inﬂuential persons in the Guardian city argued.” Josh answered. Majority of the Guardians here in Golden Hills are young people.” “Wowzer. there was only one city. “Your Chalets depends on you’re a: Element and b: gender. They are in different wings of the Chalet. “Tomorrow.”
. Josh continued narrating. aging from fourteen to twenty-one.” “I can hear it dude. “It means ‘killjoy’ you uncivilized barbarian. Adult Guardians either live on the Suburban or on the Metropolis.” Josh interrupted. They will act as prefects. There is also only one Elixir by that time. They attacked the city from the inside.“I agree. All were at peace and unity. “I hope you’d be acting responsibly now that you’re Awakened already. ”If there will be any complications between the Guardians. “The Guardians fought well. huh. “Anyway.
crossbow. she decided to leave the Centropolis and moved below the mountains.” “Sure. There. Instead. “And about the school matters. she built Silver Shore. freeze arrows. “Back to the training. but it’s true.”
“Weapons can work with Elements?” Jordin asked in an awed voice. “Flaming swords. you will be considered exempted to all school activities. “Of course. longbow.“The Elixir and the Master Guardian?” Jordin asked. made a spell that made the divided cities have their own Elixirs: one for the original city which is now the Golden Hills.” I answered with a grin. swords. the Master Guardian was blaming the Elixir on the rebellion of the Witches. “The Elixir.” Josh turned to her. Louise and Gino exchanged high ﬁves.” “Whoopee!” Madison and Jordin cheered at the same time.” Louise commented. being fair as always.
. mace.” Josh ﬁnished. “Do you have a revolver or M-16?” Gino asked. “See. “Yes. I thought the training was the best part. I didn’t know that ditching school but still getting perfect grades was the best one. near the sea. “That sounds like a television drama. “Guns?” Josh said in a mocking tone. You will meet them at the Billet. the Elixir didn’t take the blame. you name it. one for Silver Shore and one for the Dark Fortress. Those three weeks at your school. Many Guardians followed her. lance. And George.” Josh said with a hint of pride in his voice. “Guns do not work against Guardians. spear. She didn’t want to blame someone either. the three cities have never really tried to reunite again. “Your training will start tomorrow too at the Billet. I can’t wait for training. “Yes. Of course. “I’ll meet you tomorrow. each Element has one trainer. You will be able to choose your weapons from. Guns also do not work well with Elements.” Josh nodded. If you’re lucky enough.” Josh smiled.” he looked at me. you will learn to control your Element. “Up until today. your trainer will teach you on how to work your Element with its Alpha and Omega. you’re right. “a newly Awakened Guardian will be given three weeks of training. There. Jordin.” Josh answered. thorny spears…it takes a good combination of the two to make a superior Warrior. and we have it.
and she’s the most powerful here. They all ﬂashed me sweet smiles.” I smiled. I don’t think you’re…bitches.” The one with layered hair said. though I suspect their lips are not natural. Hi. she’s such a snob you know. All Chalets were painted in gold. The insignia at the front door was in boring brown. I thought they’d do snobby things to me. “And I’m Irish. Maybe they’re not under B at all. or the most powerful. He or she could be the oldest. long lashes and full red lips. “I was hoping you could tell me where my room will be.” I introduced myself as they walked near me. In our case. actually. I gave a nod. the Head Guardian is a she. “Nice meeting you three.” Gwen pouted. I think these girls fall under the category B.10
We were all dropped off to our respective Chalets. We have our Head Guardian here. we’d love to. My bag was hanging at my back as I entered the Earth Chalet. Whoa.” The one with curly hair said. “Yeah. “What do we have here? Newly Awakened?” The one in the center asked me.” “Oh. Sweet and warm. “Well. “Yeah.” Irish said. The Common Hall was occupied by three Earth Guardians probably the same age as me.” Lucy added. A Warrior actually. “Oh.” I reassured them. They all have strawberry blond hair.
. I’m Lucy. or maybe they were made out of gold metal. They were wearing golden trench coats too. but what they were wearing underneath showed more skin than required.” the middle one introduced. But it isn’t our job. If you think we’re bitches. she’s bitchier. “We ought to warn you. But they seem friendly enough. I’m George. “I’m Gwen. You’re nice actually. The word’s hateful so I don’t want to say it.
“Seriously? George is your name?” The one in then right with layered hair asked.
A tan girl with long. “Yes. So this is the typical B. “If you weren’t a Wilmington. I’m so tired. She even has longer lashes than Lucy.” We stopped at room located at the end of the corridor. Yes.” She handed me a gold key than walked away with her usual hip ﬂip. I waved goodbye to Lucy and her friends and quickly followed Brianna up the stairs. I trailed behind
her and noticed that she ﬂips her hips side to side while walking.” Lucy whispered coldly. Third. That’s your room. “Follow me. She was wearing a tight black miniskirt. a window facing the east and a chandelier. I slip the key on the hole and opened the door. enjoy and remember the rules. Her lipstick was blood red and it was so thick. “First of all. You get it?” “So far. you have to respect everyone. If I thought Lucy’s clothes were provocative. jeans and sneakers. “You are?” “George. a chair and a side table. Inside was a bed. This whole thing feels like bogus. don’t disturb sleeping people.” She instructed after a while. “Brianna. black ﬁshnets and black pointed boots with heels. I know this must be exciting since I had once dreamt to be a part
. Her eye shadow was dark.” “Just what I expected.” The sound of stomping high heels got our attention to the stairs. I hate the tone of her voice. Next. black hair in elegant curls was climbing down the swirling stairs. a sink. “Any Special Place?” she asked. I bet you’d be staying at the boondocks. I threw my bag on the chair and sank myself on the bed. you’d think she’s Megan Fox. At ﬁrst glance. She started at my loose blond hair. a closet.” Lucy sighed with relief. Wow. “We’ve been here since we’re fourteen but other Guardians still think we’re bitches. “Good. I nodded.“Thank heavens you don’t. “Are you the new Guardian?” Brianna asked me. Underneath the girls golden trench coat was a red tube top showing more skin than Lucy had shown.” I answered. The thought made me shiver.” I said. “Nah. a door to a bathroom. a mini fridge. I guess I still really don’t know the meaning of provocative. She’s treating me like a dumbass. just a Regular. to my t-shirt. I bet you have that don’t you?” She told me as I walked by her side.” I answered. you’ve got to have discipline. B is for Brianna. She even eyed my bag disgustingly. Her eyes swept over my whole being.
feeling I’m part of the protagonists’ adventure. but it didn’t work. Great. I eyed the golden trench coat inside. What would I be like as a Guardian? Will my parents even care? A sigh escaped from me.” Madison rolled her eyes. I pulled out the book I was reading. Everyone looked uneasy when I arrived. Do you remember what you did back there in the van? The chanting?” I nodded. I settled down on the window and read. that’s why it took me a long time before I heard that my name was being called from the outside. the tingling
. “The vision won’t come clearly. I trailed my ﬁngers on its sleeve. Jordin and Madison. We moved closer to a corner where no one can hear us. I still don’t have any news about brother. “What is it?” I yelled. And speaking of dangerous. Was he in any danger? Was he able to kick some Silver Shore ass? Finally realizing that I couldn’t do anything while lying on the bed. “Jordin tried it earlier. My clothes and gifts spilled out on the process.” “Don’t worry. went out and locked the door. “Come down. “It seems like you’re the only one who could do it. we need to talk. Jordin recited the chant. Right on cue. I’ll try. I checked the window sill. I’ll repeat it again for you.” Gino answered. “What’s the vision all about this time?” I asked. girl. Perfect for reading purposes.” Gino answered.of a ‘whole new world’ but I didn’t anticipate that it would be this confusing and…this Guardian thing sounds really dangerous. I put my index ﬁngers on Gino’s temple. They were all wearing their own golden
trench coats. I hope I’m not disturbing anyone. “That’s why we came here. Now that I’m fully Awakened. As usual. “Don’t blame me if anything bad happens. Louise. Wide enough to be sat on. he mouthed. I closed the window.” Jordin said. “Vision. I lost myself to the book.” He continued. I’m not even aware of my surroundings. “Okay. Just great.” I shrugged. I stood up and opened my windows. and then I followed. Lovely. Might as well place them on the closet. wore my golden trench coat.” “It’s just a vision. I glanced below and saw Gino.”. Gino stopped calling my name when he saw me look at them. I put my few clothes on the closet together with my gifts and books.
” “Ah.” Jordin exclaimed. we were back to the real world. it was completely doused. All of them were as confused as we are. “Maybe we can visit the Artillery. We just got our private viewing of the
history of Guardians. Instead. There was a storm happening. “Mine’s anything but amazing. Gino felt pain when he received his ﬁrst visions. Gino seemed as disturbed as me. “Well. we were transported to the middle of the mountain. mine’s cool. A large triangle appeared before Gino and me. “He’s their school’s top student. but I didn’t come. “Well maybe. Then the black point dimmed. We discussed the Chaos Theory when we met earlier until Madison called me. debris were ﬂying everywhere. “I see your point Jordin. “Our Head Guardian said there is one. The tricolor of gold.” Gino deduced as he brushed his blonde hair with his hand. Is that right?” The four of them nodded. after a while.” Madison gained a raised eyebrow from Jordin.”
. Everything was confusing. I was glad Louise was there to block my fall. “is that how come Gino didn’t feel any pain when he saw this vision?” “You just want to punish me Jordin. the pain was gone. I saw his vision too. silver and black appeared before us.” I cut them off before Jordin had any chance to reply. Suddenly.feeling I felt when I ﬁrst did this was intensiﬁed and more powerful. They need you.” Gino said. We looked at each other’s eyes. After that. I’ve upgraded or something. Gino’s vision slowly became clearer. Each point was glowing with its own color: gold. swirling and swirling. She shrugged. I can feel the tremor and panic around me.” I told them. the Head Guardians. Go back. “The one thing that bothers me. The presence of war was very strong. I stumbled a few steps back. Aren’t they amazing?” Gino asked us. Although this version was puzzling. I know he realized it too.” Jordin said. silver and black. near the Billet. the gold light transferred to the place where the black light was once placed. “Why don’t we have a tour around here?” Madison suggested. That’s where the weapons are. There were two explosions on both sides. I expected Gino to speak in the monotone voice. “No. So we told the others about the vision. Then suddenly. “What now?” Louise asked. After the Awakening.
” Madison answered as if it explains anything. her hair moving with her with elegance. Everybody was on their rooms because they cannot bear to hear your genius talk. “Sorry.” He mouthed.” “You’ve got to share that one with me. “Are we going to the Artillery? Or are we just going to discuss the hotness of our Head Guardians? Because no one beats my Head Guardian. armors.” “Huh?” Jordin raised her perfect eyebrow. but when the Guardian guarding the Artillery saw us in golden trench coats. Madison tapped her foot loudly. But the weapons around us were very. “Now. let’s go the Artillery.” Madison said. “I never thought I would see weaponry for real!”
. arrows. cannons. “Well.“That’s why your Chalet was quiet. it’s amazing! I know it’s not a library or book shop with books at every shelf. bows. I can’t name them all! I can imagine the characters in my book having a hard time choosing weapons if they have tons of them.” I jumped with excitement. maces.” Louise patted his shoulder. Swords. dude. lo! — Instant access. they’ve got everything. his eyes sparkling with excitement.” Madison remarked. I actually though our entry would need a lot of security. whips. “So does my tastes. “I thought you’ve got the hots for Marcus?” “The weather changes. very gorgeous.”
The Artillery was cool. The ﬁve of us stared at awe at the sight of the weapons. She’s got the perfect curves. screw that. “Wow. stirrups. No. shields. Jordin cleared her throat. Jordin. “So what?” Louise asked. She turned around. I can already feel the Warrior blood kicking inside me. “our Head Guardian’s a total hottie. True to Josh’s words.” Gino said.
someone was already checking on the weapons. “Hey. Something inside me tells me it’s perfect. The dresses were so numerous and beautiful. “See these?” he asked. “That’s the problem with ladies. Just perfect. He was looking at the long bow too. I looked at Josh. A faint brownish smoke emanated from my ﬁngers. you should ﬁt the weapon. straight bow. Come on.” Madison commented. moon bow.” He greeted me. Not the other way around.Gino snorted. When I arrived. Problem is. Some are made of wood. When I looked at him. “Too excited?” “Madison is. some ﬁber glass. I stuck my tongue out at him. it’s on the top shelf.” “I see.” “That’s cool. some metal. The Guardian whirled around. “I think it’s the one.” I said.” I commented. maybe you can help me now. I’m not a lady.” I laughed.” I told him. they look for weapons that will ﬁt them. “I don’t think so. you think you’ll ﬁt with bows and arrows?” “Just perfect. Jordin.” Jordin answered. and short bow. “Hello?” I called tentatively. I inspected the different bows and arrows. “So. It was Josh. but it seems that he didn’t notice the brown smoke.” He led me closer to the bows and arrows. The long bow was decorated with a pendant hanging at the bottom. Madison and she ran to the opposite side of the Artillery with the whips and chain weapons. he smiled. mentally estimating their sizes and weight in proportion with me. like…ﬁfteen feet above. “This feels like a mall.” He hooked his arm around my shoulder in a friendly way. but it’s pretty high. “So. Show me the perfect one. I ran to the endless display of different bows and arrows.”
. With a ﬂick of her hair. We have different
types of arrows too.” He chuckled. I looked again at the brown smoke and saw that it was lingering at the long bow and its wooden arrows. “There are different types of bows: long bow. “But correction. The truth is. he was trying to hide a laugh. yet there’s only one that I can ﬁt perfectly. The arrows were shiny and sharp. It made its way to the rows of bows and arrows. what do we do?” “Fit it and hit it. “Hey George. I left Gino and Louise and went toward the bows and arrows. I thought. “So. cross bow. It looks so magniﬁcent. you like that one?” Josh suddenly said beside me. I feel like I’m in a dress shop. I nodded. I can’t seem to ﬁnd any weapons that will ﬁt me.
the bow was decorated more extravagantly.. Perfect. It was painted in gold and silver with splotches of black. It should be me. pulling then letting go. I reached the long bow and its arrows. I can imagine myself aiming. and then he started climbed the ladder next to the shelf that I didn’t know existed. practicing on their own. I’m alright. Louise was holding a lance while Gino was using a sword.” He chuckled. then Josh.. “And thank you for catching me. I pulled myself up. We found Gino and Louise already there. Because of my giddiness. Gino looked at me. Seriously. “Nice!” he hooted.” Josh greeted. after some few excruciating seconds. They stopped brandishing their weapons when they saw us enter. “Hey guys. “Would you mind if we use the Hall?”
. Continuing our trip in the Artillery.” He pushed through. then at me again.” “Sure.“Let me get it for you.” I told him. I closed my eyes in an attempt to not see my silliness. the arrow swishing past trees then hitting the enemy bull’s eye. I gathered the bow and arrows that was now scattered on the ﬂoor.” He smiled a smile that made my insides ﬂutter. “I’m the one getting it. Up I go. I missed a step below. Not in my imagination. When I opened my eyes. I felt myself fall to someone.
“You okay?” he asked.” That’s a ﬁrst from another guy besides brother. he led me to the Practice Hall where I can practice my weapon. His eyes were full of concern. “Are you sure? I can bring you to Lynden. “Anything for you. in real life that is. “I-I think so…” I stammered. since it will be mine. “Got it!” I yelled at Josh. Anything for you. head down to cover my blush. I feel special. “Wait!” I called out. “No. Up close. You’ll never know. It has intricate carvings and runes of some sort. I cannot wait to use this! This is really something new. I found myself on top of Josh in a very awkward position. and then he narrowed his eyes at me.then I slipped. I might fall. I turned around to face him. I climbed the ladder slowly but surely. I hastily climbed the ladders down with excitement.” He told me. That was embarrassing.
a smile plastered on my face. “It’s a bull’s eye.” “That was amazing. “That topic sounds interesting even though it’s obvious you’re changing the previous one. “Sure. I didn’t know I had it in me. When he was completely gone. Like what I saw on movies.” I told him then walked towards the target board. “You’d better hone it more then. I removed the arrow from the board and put it back in my quiver. “Whoa! That shot rocks!” Louise yelled from the other side of the room. “That was wicked. “So what have you guys got?” I asked them.
I released. Put more weight to your left foot. “I think so. “Guess I’d be leaving you with your Coven.” I shrugged. Pull more. “You two dating?” I can imagine the cocky grin in his face when he said that that’s why I was surprised when I turned to face him.” I told him. Release.” I answered. Straighten your back. I let out a sigh. I did.Louise exchanged a look with Gino. I decided to follow her advice. He ruffled my hair then went out of the Practice Hall. then I pulled the string of my long bow. Since this was a long bow.” Louise said. I know it wasn’t Josh because the voice was feminine. I looked at him as he went out. placed it in the middle part of my bow. and then they both shrugged. See you tomorrow?” he asked me. someone whispered. it said. I saw a deep scowl on his face. A little higher.” Madison commented as they walked toward us. then I can copy them.” Jordin
. Josh pulled me towards the other end of the Hall with the target boards and fake dummies.” Josh said. I pulled one arrow. And I recognized the voice — it was from the woman in my dream. I concentrated my view to the bull’s eye and target my arrow there. I need to position this horizontally. “Go on. My classmates — my Coven Members — had already gathered on the Practice Hall. He released me and let me do my thing.” Josh told me. huh?” Gino said. I didn’t know I can do that. The arrow swished fast away from the bow towards the target then… “There!” Josh exclaimed. “Well. Trying to be as professional as possible. “Dreamy guy. “You know how to do it?” Do movie stars do it right? If they do. “Let’s try your aim ﬁrst.” I answered. “Piss off. A little higher.
the next day.” Louise shot a quizzical look at Gino. fourthirty in the morning. sleepyhead. “I got this pair of whips.” Gino grinned. Now wake up and do your job.” Brianna? I rubbed my eyes to clear my view.pointed out. what do we do next?” Louise asked. but when she wore it. “We should rest and return to our adventures tomorrow. “It looks petty. but when these pretty things strike. “Head Girl. huh?” Madison laughed. But still. I lay the rules. I checked the time at my phone.”
I woke up with a painful feeling on my shoulder. “Household duties are upon you sister. Jordin let out a yawn. and so on. Clean up. cook. poking my shoulder with her sharp.” Gino told us. they said I don’t really need a weapon since I’m a Healer. “Wake up.” I already know that Louise got a lance and Gino got a long sword. “You ate something weird today. it looks like the latest fashion item.” She was wearing a leather belt where numerous daggers where hanging. “We really need some rest after all the excitement we had this day. “Didn’t you hear me? I said you’re the all around maid for today. All of us did. “I guess. I hold the spare keys.” Madison showed us her weapon.” “What?” Brianna rolled her eyes. “Wake up. It looks deadly. “Anyway. Brianna was beside my bed.”
. “Now move it.” “Is that even allowed? And how did you enter my room?” Brianna pointed at herself. dude?” He asked Gino. before they declare curfew on us. “Now that we’ve got our weapons. they’re deadlier than daggers. I’ve got these awesome daggers.” Brianna greeted me with disdain. “I guess that answers your question now. rise and shine. manicured nail.
He makes me comfortable every time we’re together. And that’s like…two times? How stupid could you be George? A guy acts nice to you then suddenly you like him? That’s so not you. I wore the gladiator sandals I brought for the trip. “Wow. and there it is. I will learn things on how to kick butt. “Hi girls. Just let your hair hung loosely and don’t strangle it with ponytail. Josh’s admirable. I wrapped three pieces of chopped asparagus to the shorter strip of bacon then secured them with a toothpick. she’s gone. so I picked some asparagus from the garden. it was not so far from our Chalet. I took a quick shower and put on my green tank top and faded jeans. Guess she’s really serious with the maid thing. After almost an hour. I wish getting vegetables from the garden was allowed. I was about to tie my hair in a tight ponytail when I heard Madison’s voice inside my head.“Cook?” I ask with bewilderment. most of the Earth Guardians were already up. They all looked at me with surprise. asparabacon. Back to the cooking rituals. I checked the kitchen for the oven. So ponytail surely was dismissed. though. After a few minutes. it didn’t mean I don’t know how. Just the right vegetable I need. I cut the asparagus into pieces and cut the bacon in shorter strips. Toothpicks. What really thrills me is that I’m going to train at last. what do we have in here?” Irish asked as she entered the kitchen with Lucy and Gwen.” I greeted them. eggs and hotdogs. This one’s my favorite recipe. It’s yummy. When I complained to Brianna about cooking. “Yes. a delicious breakfast. there they are. Now do it!” With a ﬂick of her hair and a ﬂip of her hips. He’s kind. Then I put them in the oven. Perfect. You’re pretty enough to join our clique. I’m really excited for later.
. voila. I’ve got to admit it. I decided to take a different path. I was done preparing the food. Lucky me. and the kitchen smelled like heaven. so I tried to ﬁnd it. And there was asparagus. I did the same with the rest. In front of the mirror. friendly and very comfortable to be with. a Japanese sort of food. I quickly did my chores so I can prepare for my training later with Josh. This place should
have an herbal garden of some sort. I’m pretty knowledgeable about cooking because I used to cook before we moved to Green Dale. since the fridge at the kitchen only contained bacons.
“Whoa. there’s no wonder there will be no leftovers this time. “Hey guys.” I smiled. You cooking?” “Yes. All that time. it’s rude to stare and whisper.” He laughed.“You’re in the cooking duty?” Lucy asked me.” I told all of them. Just then. “Yummy. “If you want to know something about me.” I greeted them. Nod. awestruck.” “With this smell. “What?” I asked them while I ﬁxed my hair. “Be careful George. Josh appeared behind them. “Yup. George. “Okay gourmet chef. Gino and Louise looked at me at the same time. “And you were just here yesterday?” Gwen added. “I bet she’s already been screwed. Josh looked around then spotted me. whisper. I even heard someone said. “Out of my kitchen..” He ruffled my hair again. Nod. the trio was just looking at us. one syllable at a time.” They blew me air-kisses then went to the Dining Hall.” He tried to get one asparabacon but I quickly slapped his hand playfully.” Gwen assured me. Everybody was actually looking at me.” He walked towards the kitchen table where the asparabacons are. all you have to do is ask.” The three greeted him.
“You and Josh are that close?” Lucy asked. you must be crossing boundary lines.” I gave him a playful shove and pushed him out of the kitchen. What was that all about? Giving it a shrug. I carried the tray of asparabacons to the Dining Hall. I found Louise and Gino outside our Chalet. thanks to Josh. “Hey George.” That was the last straw.” They chorused. Gossips here and there.
.” With that. “I hope you like my cooking. “You know guys. mister.” I nodded. Everyone’s going to love whatever you’re cooking there. “See ya’ later. Stare. and then he went upstairs. “What heaven-sent food has fallen here on the kitchen?” “Hi Josh.” Irish ﬁnished while ﬂuttering her ﬁngers at me. “Thanks. “See you later. I’ll leave you to do your passion. deep in some conversation. Brianna assigned me to do this. I went out of the Chalet and didn’t return for breakfast.
“Oh, good. There you are.” Gino said. “You need to come with us.” “Where?” I asked. “It’s about your brother.” The guys brought me to Madison and Jordin, who were both engrossed in a thick book and a pigeon. They were huddled behind a big tree near the Poliaxis. When they saw us coming, they quickly breathed out a sigh of relief. “I thought you’d never come.” Jordin pointed at Louise and Gino. “What took you so long? Wait. Let me guess, you two debated who will ask for George, right?” The guys grunted, which Jordin seem to take as yes. “Well hurry up, the meeting will soon be over. George should hear the conclusion.” “What’s happening here anyway?” I asked her. “The guys didn’t tell you?” Jordin asked, annoyance ﬂashed on her pretty face. I shook my head. “Thanks a lot, you two.” She sneered at Gino and Louise. Then she turned to me. “Madison and I took a night trip to the library last night. We found this amazing spell book. We tried one. The Spying Spell. It is used to overhear things of some sort. I assume this
is illegal because this book was in the restricted area. But don’t tell anybody about that. “Anyway, the Spying Spell affects two animals of the same type. The spell hit two pigeons, the one here,” she pointed at the pigeon near Madison, “and the other is near the place where the Master Guardians and the Head Warriors of Golden Hills were having a morning meeting.” “They were talking about Marcus.” Madison continued. “Turns out that the ‘he’s totally safe’ is bogus and he’s actually held as hostage by Silver Shore.” My eyes widened at the news. “What?” “That’s what we heard. Here, listen.” Madison gave me the pigeon. The pigeon’s beaks were open, sound escaping it. “…will send the Anderson brothers’ Covens to do the retrieval. Wilmington is an essential Guardian. We cannot afford to lose him.” Hallor’s voice sounds clipped when it came out from the pigeon. “How about his sister? She should know about this.” Another man said. “No, it’ll only complicate things. She will only complicate things. Once she knew that there will be a retrieval operation for his brother, she’ll tag along. Not to mention her own friends. They’ll only slow things down.”
Is that how Hallor sees us? Tag alongs? Complications? I stopped myself. Yes, I am a tag along. And no matter what Hallor says, I am going to follow his retrieval team. One thing I’m going to make sure is that I’m never gonna be a complication.
I tried to act normal throughout that day. Act like we’ve heard nothing. After my meeting with my classmates — my Coven members, gah, I won’t get used to this— I went straight to the Billet. We have decided to follow the retrieval covens Hallor’s going to send. And they should not know that we are going to follow, so Gino and Jordin will be skipping training today, having an excuse of fever because of the sudden change of surroundings, and searching for invisibility spells of some sort in the spell book. Louise and Madison, on the contrary, would not miss the training. In fact, they will be training harder so that they can use their abilities if ever enemies will block us. More to prove that we are not complications. Me, training with Josh, and a spy. Sounds silly, I know. But since Josh’s coven will be on the retrieval
operation too, it only makes sense to gather information. But not that obvious since we already know mostly what we need. Time: ten in the evening, they said they’ll reach Silver Shore’s boundaries by eleven, then they’ll walk inside until midnight. Meeting place: the metal gate, we will trail behind. On how, Jordin and Gino are still thinking about that. We are to pack all our things since each of us only brought one bag. I have to remove their gifts from the boxes to ﬁt them on my bag though. Josh was waiting for me in front of the Billet. He was still wearing the thin shirt but thankfully, he replaced the shorts with a pair of jeans. His black hair was tousled, his lips in a lopsided grin. “Hey.” We greeted each other. “Ready?” he asked. “Deﬁnitely.” He led me away from the Billet towards the woods. My heart was thumping nervously. I know Josh isn’t stupid. If I did this thing wrong, he’ll deﬁnitely know we’re up to something. I actually think the success of this enterprise relies on me and my alleged spying abilities. We walked deeper into the woods. We stopped at an area where there were less grasses. The vibration
of Earth under my feet brought a sense of familiarity to me. “According to the Elemental Cycle, Fire creates Earth, Wood destroys Earth. A skilled guardian will be able to work around with his Alpha and Omega elements. Today, I’m going to teach you how to feel the Earth and how to control it.” Josh started. “A guardian’s thought is his source of power. The more concentrated and accurate your thought is, the more controlled your element will be.
“Accompanying the thought is the body movements. Your movements will be the manipulator of the element’s movement. A proper stance is the key to an apt movement.”
He started to demonstrate a posture appropriate for an Earth guardian. His left foot was in front of his right foot; his knees bent a little, his muscles rigid. His hands were open, ﬁngers apart.
I copied his stance, but it seems that I did it wrong because Josh went to my side and bent down to pat my right knee.
“Too low,” he said.
After some adjustments, he ﬁnally decided to start on teaching me on controlling the Earth element.
“Try to feel the Earth’s vibration under your feet.” He said.
the whole motion will be ruined. startled by the shout. “That’s deﬁnitely something. Next time?” He ruffled my hair again. I curled my ﬁngers into a ﬁst. He easily jumped away. “This is better. He pulled me closer. my knees on his. but he blocked it easily with an Earth shield. I took advantage of his surprise. Wilmington.
I did. His left hand went to my right cheek. ignoring my question. although I doubt it was his best because I am sure my best won’t stand a chance against his. and then landing behind me. He grabbed both my arms then pinned me to the tree. One wrong turn. surrounding his ankles and wrists. “Seems like you’re needed. Every step should be wellcoordinated. “Gino? What are you doing here?” “Did I disturb something?” Gino asked. Josh was now sitting beside me. his face was full of shock. This way. Closer and closer… “George!” I pulled back. “How about that one. Controlling elements is just like dancing. Blonde hair with red highlights. Someone called out for me. When he lowered the shield. When I turned around. Josh stood up and brushed the dirt from his pants away. I came free of Josh’s arms. he can measure how much have I learned and how great was it. I used that moment to run towards him. I was
above him. and then he ran.
We were so caught up in our battle that we were actually releasing our greatest efforts to ﬁght the other. After an hour or two. Standing just a few meters away from us was Gino. “That’s a good move. completely free of the Earth. wiping something away. “Nothing really. that’s what Josh said. Josh and I were already conducting mock battles.” He said. looking at me. The soil surrounding his left wrist dissipated.
.” His hand went to my hair. huh?” I asked a little breathily.” He cocked his head to the side. I released a shower of rocks towards him. I sent columns of spiked earth towards his direction. my hands pinning his biceps.” I twisted hard with a strength I didn’t know I own. I responded. To my shock. caressing it with the gentlest touch.” He grinned at me. His gray eyes were staring at my blue eyes. I didn’t give any sign of resistance. We were just training. I pushed him hard towards the ground. Anderson. I willed the Earth to keep him down. Soil rose from the ground. ﬂipping through the air. “But you’re a messy ﬁghter. Every move planned and measured.
“Training, huh?” His gaze followed the disappearing ﬁgure of Josh. “We were training, before you came.” I told him. “You were, before you decided to make out with him.” He turned to face me. “Really, George, you just met him yesterday—” I cut him off. “And I shouldn’t be throwing myself to the ﬁrst guy who ever liked me! I know that Gino. You don’t have to tell me. What do you want anyway?” His face clouded. “Jordin wants to tell you something.” He turned around, facing away from me. “It’s not true you know, what you said. He’s not the ﬁrst guy to like you.” With that he took off. I followed him silently, his words bouncing inside my head. Jordin was waiting for us in the library, thick, leather-bound books opened, scattered throughout the table. The spell book they have gotten hidden under the table. Jordin chose the table farthest from the library guard. At the sight of us, Jordin raised an eyebrow. “I brought her.” Gino muttered his gaze away from either Jordin or me. Jordin cleared her throat. “I…I just want to…ask if…” she cleared her throat again, then suddenly, her eyes widened, “if we could use your van to follow the Andersons’ coven!” She was smiling when she ﬁnished
her statement, as if she was very proud she had come up with a very intelligible sentence. “I found this Silence Spell that we can use in the van so that we could follow the retrieval teams stealthily.” I shrugged. “Sure. Anything. You don’t have to ask me that actually. It’s up to you what things are we going to use.” “Just making sure.” Jordin replied before she threw herself again on reading and copying spells. “So, that’s it?” I asked after a few minutes of total silence between the three of us. “Pretty much.” Jordin muttered, still busy on the spell books. I turned to Gino. “So this is all what you want me to hear that you actually interrupted my training?” “That I actually interrupted you from making out with Josh? Yes, this is all I want you to hear.” He snapped back at me. “We were not making out!” I hissed. “Even though, you were about to.” Gino argued. “What’s the big deal anyway?” “You were supposed to be spying,” he jabbed a ﬁnger at my shoulder, making me step back, “not ﬂirting. This is about your brother! You should be taking things seriously!”
“Guys, chill.” Jordin cooed as she put herself between Gino and me. “You don’t have to bite each other’s head off.” Ignoring her, I threw another argument at Gino. “I was taking things seriously. I was training with Josh before you came, I told you that!” “If I haven’t come, you two must have been rolling on the ground practically in each other’s throats, haven’t you?” That statement stopped me. Gino’s words stung. I could deny it, really. But if I think about it, we could have ended up like that. I should be spying, not ﬂirting. This mission is for brother. For his safety. For his rescue. I shouldn’t be acting like this. Gino must have realized the effect of his statement on me. “Oh God, George. Sorry, I…I didn’t mean to say that.” “No, it’s okay.” I muttered, bowing my head in embarrassment. “Of course you meant that, but you’re right. I should have been doing my job. I got carried away, I admit that.” I raised my head to look at him. “Forgive me?” Gino had a hint of surprise on his face but he quickly hid it with his trademark cocky grin. “Sure.” Jordin breathed a sigh of relief. “Well, I think everything’s okay now. Why don’t you help us out here, George?”
“I’d be glad to.” I answered, but Jordin’s words were not the one in my head. It was Gino’s. His statement earlier still bouncing inside my head, still confusing me.
After a few hours of researching with Jordin and Gino for spells, we have already collected a fair amount of handy spells to be used for our stealth operation. I left the two earlier so that I can practice with my bow and arrows. I went back to the Earth Chalet to retrieve them from my room. The trio was in their usual place when I arrived. They were huddled together, reading a teen magazine. The others were still not here, so I guess they must be still in training. “Hey girls,” I waved at them as I entered. “Hey,” Lucy greeted. “Aren’t you supposed to be in the Billet?” “Aren’t you supposed to be there too?” I countered with a grin.
“Not us,” Irish answered. “The three of us are healers. We already had our training for healing today. Billet training is for the day after tomorrow.” “How about you?” Gwen asked. “I…I already had my training with…with Josh.” I stammered, hoping that the trio wouldn’t see the blush creeping up my cheeks. The memory of our almost kiss rose again. “You did what?” the trio chorused in disbelief. “Trained…with Josh.” I repeated. The three of them exchanged looks between each other, as if they were sharing messages only the three of them can hear. “I’d better get going; I need to fetch something from my room.” I told them as I made my way to the stairs. “I’ll catch you later.” I ran upstairs directly into my room. The sight of my bow and arrows brought me wave of comfort. All the tension that was brought by my earlier experiences dissipated as I touched my weapon. I went to the Artillery to practice with it. Position, aim, shoot. That was my routine the whole afternoon I was at the Artillery. I was completely caught in the world of archery. I never thought it would be this good. “Been here all afternoon?”
“Well.” Hallor entered my mind when I said that. If I try to kiss you next time. too.” He grinned at me and then reached out to ruffle my hair. “Yes.I turned around to see Josh leaning on the doorway.” “It’s a date.” Josh nodded. “And I am not pretty. “Josh told me I would found you here. stunned for a many minutes. holding my cheek when someone entered the Artillery. vaguely reminding me of Gino. but deep within me. “Is that all what you want to talk about?” I asked him. smiling at me. I need to be a good shooter. he planted a kiss on my cheek then went away. He walked towards me. Although he wasn’t sure if I will still reach you. “That was melodramatic. For some reason. “But I like it.” I answered ﬂatly. I’m feeling uneasy with him. It’s not because you are pretty. I just met you. but I can’t deny the truth that I like you.” I gave a short laugh. I admit I almost took advantage of you.” Josh said. We stood there in silence for a few minutes.” I told him. at the woods. I can’t help but smile. at least I should live up to some people’s expectations. that even one smile from you makes me smile too.” he started as he brushed his hands through his hair.” I caught myself before other things spilled out from my mouth.” “That means?” “That means I’m asking you if you want to have dinner with me.
. my face in a wide smile. closing the distance between us. “I just want to say sorry about what happened earlier. but because I know who you are and I like you for it.
“It’s a date. ”I like you very much. “It is. “I like you very much. since he said that you have plans with him later this evening?” I straightened myself up in front of Josh’s brother. I am dreading the conversation he’s trying to start. I know I should feel gratitude towards him. It was Zac. Later. He was wearing his lopsided grin. Getting to know each other. I was standing there. I didn’t actually realize what I was doing until your friend came. that every time we are together I feel comfortable. If I am really a guardian now. “Yeah. I’ll be expecting you at seven. where we have practiced.” With that. “I beg to disagree. I’ll have a very good reason to do it. I believe it has something to do with our earlier training. he looked at me straight in the eye.” Now I cannot really hide the blush on my face. “Is it a date?” I asked. It’s just that…”.
given that I had lots of experiences before. Don’t worry.” With a jerk. I was already at our meeting place.” Zac concluded. Sometimes. I didn’t ask for you to save me from Michael. I am aware of my blond hair ﬂapping with the wind. I was toying with my arrow when a vibration hit me. Josh’s vibration. Still carrying my bow and sheath of arrows. Anderson. He landed on his butt. I don’t think I can tolerate the presence of many people around here. I actually read books on the large tree planted on our backyard. However. staring at me wide-eyed. I have no idea how did I knew. “Ah. Who is the Soothsayer? How come when you and your classmates were Awakened. He was talking about Gino. You can bet that I’d be keeping an eye on you starting from now on. little guardian. “You’re a sly. it was a familiar one. The one about…the Soothsayer?” My eyes widened in recognition. “I want to talk about something your brother had said over the phone. and not just any vibration.” “You can expect the same thing from me. it was a pretty high jump. but I just did. Brother was talking about having a Soothsayer. I have no knowledge of the existence of a Soothsayer in our Coven. and somehow. if someone shows up. I easily climbed up the tree.“Not really. Memories of my running in the subdivision rushed through me.” I answered safely. He wasn’t expecting me to jump off a tree. Before I knew it. right in front of Josh. “So tell me. I released myself from Zac’s grip and haunting gaze. I don’t actually owe you anything. so you know. Josh was surprised in a different level.
. but not quick enough because he had grabbed my wrist and forced me to turn to him. Josh was nowhere in sight. And about the owing.” Zac answered. I was actually surprised. it made me feel free. I have too many thoughts in my mind to deal with these strangers. ” I walked past him. I know that phone call. no one was a Soothsayer?” “All I know about a Soothsayer is that he acts like an oracle. “However. I made my way into the woods. Wilmington. It had always been my private space. I decided to wait for him up in the tree. bringing me a sense of comfort and security. you owe me this one.
I decided to go straight to the woods. It made me feel almost normal again. I jumped down from the tree. I’ll let you know. Must be a perk from being a guardian.
“That.” Josh challenged. destroying a huge wall of stones. I haven’t realized that Josh had already stopped running. concealing the view behind. I thought.” I answered. In a ﬂash. the wall falling apart with it. shut up.”
. I lowered my hands. When all the dusts have settled down. Zac’s words were still ringing loud in my ears as I ran after Josh. “Yes. How about you? Are you okay?” he asked me. are we there yet?” Josh grinned. “Let’s see what you’ve got. making sure it wasn’t just a ﬁgment of my imagination. He gladly took it and stood up. I don’t know what the big deal is with Soothsayers. Steeper and steeper we go. “I didn’t actually expect you to give in to me that easily earlier this day.” I asked him. I rubbed my eyes. Follow me.” Josh pointed to the dinner.” I told him. “Anyway. “The ﬁrst dates I have known were all about watching the cinema.
“Sorry. I raised my hand above my head. Very memorable. strolling in the park and sharing a big ice cream bowl. And of course.” “It seems so surreal.” He ran deeper into the woods. “Yes we are. “is our ﬁrst date. there’s the tree jumping trick.” “How come?” “Well. I smirked at him.” I muttered as Josh helped me stand up. a candle-lit dinner came into view before us. He leaned closer and whispered in my ear. I hit his back. I did it.” But all I can see before me was a wall of stones. Bring that down. Thoughts come with movements. “You’re being unpredictable recently. a hint of smile still on my lips.“Guess you didn’t expect that move from me?” I asked him as I offered my hand to help him. Fall down. Stones? Ooookay. Smoke of dusts rose from the destroyed wall. With a slight shake of my head. higher and higher up the hill. “It’s okay.” “Oh. The wall of stones shook. “So this is our ﬁrst date. where’s dinner? I’m starving. making me stumble backwards. I do that regularly. I’m…I’m just…lost in my thoughts. somewhere more beautiful.” But nonetheless.” We both laughed at the memory. Pure selﬁsh reasons.” he grinned mischievously at me. but his statements are telling me that he may need one for something very important for him. I ran and followed him. “Not here. Oof! With all my thinking. “So.
It’s just that you turned him down. First day impressions.” My mind went back to my ﬁrst day of school at Hollis. Brother made me wear these designer clothes we bought that summer. “I have already watched it last Saturday. so I don’t really think I can go with you. Hollis was not a strict private school so we don’t have to wear a prescribed uniform. “You’re right. my mind going back to the present. It’s embarrassing that Josh has to know that. He made a gesture to his friends making them shut up. “But I assume someone has already asked you before.” he greeted me. You are?” “George Wilmington. about two star-crossed lovers I think.” “I happen to know that movie.” I lied. “Yes.“Those were your ﬁrst dates with other guys?” Josh asked as he pulled out the chair for me to sit down. the guy with red highlights has noticed me. No doubt I’m the only new student in this class.” I answered. Rich kids (like me) were huddled in groups.” With that. Gino turns away. “How about a simple lunch?” “I have plans this weekend actually. I slid into my seat. the one beside this group of boisterous guys. He brushed his hand through his hair. holding out his hand. What a gentleman.” I told Josh. “There was this someone I had turned down years ago.” I answered as I shook his hand. It was a week after that before someone informed me I was the ﬁrst girl to ever refused Graham on a date.
“Hi. “He asked me at the ﬁrst day of classes. “Oh. It’s just that I don’t really like going out with guys like him.” I told him. Unfortunately. perplexed at his boldness. My hair was in a ponytail with a purple ribbon tied around on the top acting as a hair band.” “Who was it?” Josh asked as he took his sit. Trying to be unnoticeable as possible. It was my freshmen year. “I’m Gino Graham. I…I have never been in any dates before. no. “Yes I am. I know every girl loves to see that movie.” “So you’re turning me down?” he asked. do you have anything to do this weekend? There’s this newly released movie at the cinema. There was this guy on their center with distracting red highlights who was telling a story about bikini-clad women in the beach they went for summer. “It was Gino.” I answered. ego broken. “So George.”
. The classroom I was about to enter was noisy. I sat on the only empty sit on the room.” I said shyly.
pointing the sight of the Metropolis in city lights. More inﬂuence. Actually. He was fun to talk with and comfortable to be with.” Josh said. “Gino? Jealous? Of course he’s not. just forget it. has brother already talked to you?” A cold shiver ran through me. To Zac.” Josh said.” I smiled back.” Then he smiled at me. The retrieval of my brother. “Yes.” “No.
. It was tonight. more power. corn kernels and a glass of iced tea.” I said. “Liked it? I loved it. I remember. sharing stories and facts about ourselves. But he doesn’t mean harm. My earlier conversation with Zac came back to me. Josh must have noticed my unease because he said. “You should have told me earlier. Josh said he had to go.” I told him. we have been enemies since that turn down scene years ago. Zac always talks like a Master Guardian when it comes to topics that can give him more inﬂuence. “Wait. The rescue mission was now already in my head. I decided that I really liked him. He removed the cover of our dinner. and lo!—beef steak.” I managed to say.” He told me. I can’t wait to see what you have prepared for me.” “Same for me. it’s completely okay. Sometimes.“Like him?” “Jerks. he tells me the new rules and policies he had planned that could make a better city out of Golden Hills.” “More inﬂuence?” “Yes.”
“Well then. “I’m glad you liked it. obviously proud. that explains the hostile glances I have been receiving from Gino. let’s start this thing. It was just recently that we are trying to be friends again. It’s just that he wants improvements.” Josh nodded. It’s really worth my time. rice.” He said with a laugh. he already talked to me at the Artillery. although that one’s not real. “Well. I shouldn’t have taken much of your time. “He must be jealous that you like another guy. “Wow. “Whatever he told you that is bothering you. “I nearly forgot that we had a mission tonight. when he’s in the mood. After an hour. this wonderful view before us.” The idea seemed ridiculous to me. Plus. We ate our food after that. Right.” I swept my arm sideway. It looks like the night sky fell on the land. talking with each other.” “Only the best.” “Maybe. “It feels like I’m eating in a restaurant with the dinner and…and the candles. being a Guardian is like politics.” I answered. “And I enjoyed it.
“Don’t cook too much. “So. relaxing after the
. Since I’m in a hurry. I have done my job. I decided to just fry the pork strips I saw on the freezer. We reached the edge of the woods in no time. telling me that the number of Earth guardian in the Chalet was twenty-three.” Holding hands. We need our guardians ﬁt. but I stopped him with my ﬁnger on his lips.” She told me with disdain.
I quickly ran to the Chalet to grab my bag. “Goodbye. “Deﬁnitely. Hopefully.” He ruffled my hair and then went away. and it was already eight-twenty when I reached the Chalet. and I still have to cook dinner. But tonight. I need to cook fast so that I can go to our meeting place at the exact time. We were now standing in front of each other. some guardians are still strolling around. no one has noticed me go out because everybody’s still in their room. Nine was our Coven’s meeting time at the tree where we have heard about the retrieval mission. “Deal.” then he kissed me on the cheek instead. not fat.“So there will be next time then?” he asked. Brianna checked on me while I was on the kitchen. we left the place. and then went out. grabbed my bag.” I started. I don’t really care. “Goodbye?” He turned to face me. gazing into each other’s eyes. He leaned in closer. “Not until the second date. Even at night.” He smiled at that. It’s a wonder who would remove the table and dinner wares. At eight-ﬁfty. I ran quickly to my room.
yet we were busted already. Lynden was right in front of our van. you know. aren’t you? Don’t worry. the ﬁre. Jordin stopped and the rest of us repeated. I ran fast towards our meeting place. Marcus was transferred with your Coven. Beng. nourish us. they already were. but still. Pao. I am terriﬁed. You are worried to be caught. always hiding in the shadows. Only a sleeping girl on the couch was around. We were all shocked to see Lynden. Even with the Guardians patrolling outside.”
Every line. probably exhausted. Gino and I arrived on time. Even without trying to silence our steps. waiting with a bag slung behind her. Give us the shield we need. The others were already there. of course. we’re done. Gino saw me too and ran towards me. Give us vigor. It was contradicting with my insides actually. Zuan. Vibrations tell me that there were only few guardians outside. Pi. Miraculously. Lynden suddenly gasped. I am with Marcus. We’re close. give us strength. I may have newly met Lynden. Jordin said “Repeat after me. relaxing myself. cover our heat. hide our tracks. Then. Purify our being. Heng. “You’re going to follow Zac’s and Josh’s coven right?” she asked us.” I straightened up. do protect us. the earth. I decided to join him. There’s no denying the change of air around us. but I already trust her. I am not of the Anderson’s covens. Personally. When we joined them. the wood. No one answered. no one has noticed us until we reached the van. We haven’t even made it to the half of our destination. But when the ﬁve of you came. I caught sight of Gino leaving their Chalet. the water. We made our way silently to the van which was parked outside the gates. Give us stealth. Jordin was carrying the illegal spell book. When she saw us. Give us essence. “Oh. the metal. which was only a stone’s throw away from ours. “We call upon the elements.” Then she started to chant.
. I know we can all feel the presence of the ﬁve elements around us.training. since my nerves were all tingling with dread and anticipation. she broke into a wide smile. Originally. We walked together silently. I need to be careful.
let’s go to the carriage. I was toying with one of my arrows that whole time. “We are your friends.“We’re going to follow the retrieval covens sent to rescue brother. it was Gino.
Lynden lead us away from the gate to the woods.” “You don’t have to do that. Don’t give up. I know inside me that we cannot help the Andersons’ coven.” Jordin interrupted. “That’s a secret I am not going to tell.” I answered.” “What?” “Raise someone’s spirits. but she quickly put a smile on her face.” Lynden answered. “It will be okay.” he assured me. “Thank you. All of us settled ourselves inside while Jordin. with the help of Lynden.” Jordin seemed sad that her van idea was declined. “and we still have to cast the Silence Spell for the van. “No worries. “I would never turn you in. “You told us you decided to join brother in this coven. I’m here to help you. Even with all the spells and training. the excitement and tension mixing into one inside me. “And I don’t fully trust the covens sent to rescue Marcus.”
. you can still rely on us. A hand squeezed my right shoulder.” “Not fully.” Then he lifted my chin up. we reached the carriage. “Well then. Lynden grinned slyly. “I brought a carriage for us.” She said. it’s not enough. I can’t believe you can do that. We have to rely on them.” “We don’t have much time. “And are we sure that you won’t turn us in?” Madison butted in. “I…I just hope they can save brother unharmed. Even though we haven’t been that close. which was parked a reasonable distance away from the path.” I told her. “The only people you really have to rely on are your friends and yourself. “I thought the only thing you can raise is someone’s temper. After a few meters of walking.” I tried to smile.” he answered. I also despise some of the Master Guardians’ decisions. It would also work better with guardian magic.” Lynden told her. and somehow managed a weak version. It will be better to use it. I would.” I gave him a smile. Anyway. casted the Silence Spell. When I turned to look. since carriages have been always used for battles.” “How did you know about our mission?” Gino asked Jordin warily. No time to lose. Did that mean you’re joining us in our mission?” “Of course. Like you. I bowed my head in gloom.” She said with contempt. We’re still…weak. given that you’re just beginners to this whole guardian business. George.
“Shut up. I transferred to sit by the door. It was so dark. Jords. “It’s not safe to yell. so mysterious. People who could be my friends if I let them be.“Or someone’s shirt for some cases. Just in time as Lynden entered the carriage.” “But still we have to be careful. With an internal sigh. “You’re friend volunteered to drive the carriage herself.” Louise added. Everybody laughed. Gino and his teasing. Come to think of it. “Oh yes. “Damn. “That’s gross. Of all my classmates. I guess I’ve overdone it. the moment he brought me to that place. Louise and Jordin. And it’s awkward.” Louise yelled back. “Marcus’ life could be depending on us. Madison and Jordin with their warm waves and smiles. I’m so pathetic. My thoughts went to brother. ”Of all animals. Louise. so terrifying. They won’t hear us. moments before he got captured by Silver Shore. “No worries. having the luxury of the view of the woods at night time. We were staring into each other’s eyes. alongside with Louise. Friends that could relieve me from being so alone. Madison.” She informed us. but here I am. “I saw her ride a horse one time. saying nothing. They might hear us. why do you have to compare me with a horse?” “I was comparing you with a goddess. what place should I imagine now? What in the world could bring me comfort now? I feel so alone without brother.” I laughed at him. just…staring. slipping
. you should have seen her. They were laughing to release the tension. The Silence Spell blocks any sound made within ten meters of diameter.” He grinned.” Somehow. The scene in front of the view of Golden Hills actually. And now that it is disconcerting me.” I told them. They’ve been around me ever since freshmen: Gino. my gaze landed on his brown eyes. She looked like a horse goddess.”
Silence followed after that. bringing everyone’s mood down. only the four of them had made the most number of attempts to interact with me. I looked away.” I argued. Gino’s attempts to ask me out whenever he was hit with ‘temporary amnesia’ of his ﬁrst attempt.” Apparently. Full of unknown creatures. except for me. The part where he told me that I should get inspiration from Golden Hills if ever the real world became troubling enough for me. I turned to look at the people behind me. my real world and the Golden Hills became one.” Madison said. Jordin can hear the conversation inside because she yelled an answer. Jordin is quite an equestrian.
Two Covens. “No.”
.” “That’s true. Friends. I quickly sat beside him putting my index ﬁngers on his temples knowing he was having another vision. I didn’t know Brianna’s in Josh’s Coven. “time to follow them. “I checked on her room per Josh’s order. She’s already sleeping. The person stepped forward. The moment I touched him. This time.” I called out. I thought it was old school. Zac’s and Josh’s.” Gino said in the monotone voice he had used when he received his ﬁrst vision. Guardians in golden trench coats were walking out of the gates. His breathing became faster. Has that always been the case? Am I just blind to see that? Some plan was forming inside my mind when Gino suddenly stiffened. tired. its destination is to Silver Shore. Twelve guardians all in all. “They’re about to leave. it came to him.” Brianna appeared. Josh and Brianna went inside a carriage.
“Then let’s go now. Neither did Gino need the words to see the vision. revealing Josh. Brianna made sure she has something to leave George busy with. “Are you sure Wilmington’s sister didn’t follow us?” Zac asked someone. I don’t need Jordin for the words. surely. and to me. “Jordin. that I can rely on them. “Wouldn’t want Hallor’s favorite guardian being harmed now. They were about to ride two carriages.occasional party invitations which I have always refused to come.” Good heavens I thought about leaving pillows under the blanket. Could I really have those? Would they accept me? Gino said they are my friends.” Zac said. but it still worked. hidden by the shadows. eh?” Zac muttered with disdain before we were pulled back to reality.
deeply like her. You’d better have the Warriors in the frontline. He answered. handsome and kind. “She’s right. when I asked brother if he was already courting someone. “I’m not sure if I should continue. the roof was detachable. “Maybe you should start on telling me about your relationship with my brother. We left it behind so that we can all see the carriages ahead of us.” I told him. “Well. you should. It’s also the ﬁrst time I noticed that Louise was chewing his bubble gum again ever since we arrived at Golden Hills. Somehow.” she told us. handsome and kind type of guy. Louise and I are the Warriors.” Lynden exhaled. Lynden was gnawing on her lips. George. She’s…unique.” I suggested.16
Our carriage silently followed the Andersons’ a few meters behind. I’m sure whoever she was won’t refuse you. “If you truly. unsheathing his sword and placing it defensively in front of him. Not the two of you. probably. Our carriage was the type that Cinderella might have ridden. Fortunately. which was Zac’s and the other Anderson’s coven. have to talk. you can say that I am his…” “Girlfriend?” “Yes. I was about to object when Lynden interrupted. including you Gino.” I remembered one time. perhaps many months ago. “Guys. You’re rich. Gino and I gave our positions to Louise and Madison. Madison found it funny.” “She’s not the type of girl looking for rich. not knowing where to start. who quickly pulled out weapons of their own. “It’s a fact only known by two Covens: our former Coven. I have to admit. however.”
. I hauled an arrow from the sheath that hung on my back and loaded the bow with it. Gino did the same. Maybe because of instinct. We. Lynden’s blush was noticeable despite the darkness of the forest. Madison looked deadly with her whips on her hands. Gino and I sat beside Lynden.”
basing on Lynden’s words. “Zac is leading the Coven that will retrieve Marcus. So cleverly.” Gino started. I know about you being a Soothsayer. but I told him to pursue asking you out. pulling me back to reality. I asked him if he had already courted the girl she was talking about.” Lynden said with a hint of a smile. “Marcus. Maybe they were together then. “Probably. Why would he want to rescue brother? Is it for the sake of impressing the Master Guardians? “But. “You and your brother. If I’m right. when in front of the Master Guardians. still. before he fought off Silver Shore. A few days after that. too. He also mentioned that someone by the name of Gino is a Soothsayer.” Lynden let out a quick laugh.” I told her.” She laughed at that.” Lynden said. telling that his sister were coming with a few friends. I’d tell him right away. But my mind was reeling in a totally different way.” “He does?” I asked. Joining a retrieval
. even Gino let out a snort. He… confronted me earlier. always intimidating Zachary Anderson. He texted me. “is one of the reasons why I came with you. I didn’t think Lynden to be of Marcus’ type. The earlier scene gave away.” He voiced out my thoughts. “Always. “He said that he’d be keeping an eye on me. Zac’s leading one of the Covens that would rescue Marcus. And if Zac was leading the Coven that would save brother…it sounds suspicious. “He didn’t tell me who you were. It’s a wonder the two have not killed each other yet. And. I told him I know no Soothsayer among us. he changed the topic.” Lynden remarked with emphasis. “we should talk about your Soothsayer. I didn’t know it turned out so well. Honestly. “but he doesn’t know who exactly the Soothsayer among us is.” “Anyway. Lynden and Marcus. But still… “You should know that I encouraged him to court you. actually. “Yes. He warned me to keep it as a secret.” “Zac also knows.” “By whom?” Gino asked.” I urged him.” “What did he said to that?” Gino asked. “That. I told him he can expect the same from me.“Give it a try.” I told Lynden.” she answered. I kind of told him sarcastically that if ever one appeared. “When in missions. Zac and Marcus hate each other’s guts.” She pointed Gino. when in trainings.” “What did he say?”
“He asked about the Soothsayer in our coven. recovering from her blush. But I have been informed before.
Madison.” I said out of nowhere.” She gave me a necklace too. Helps the vision from being tainted with negative energy. “How?” Gino asked.” “Unless he will beneﬁt from it.” She pulled out a necklace with pieces of stones as a pendant. And George. “Well. this is for you. “Those stones will help you whenever you are about to receive a vision. The idea made me smile and maybe. “It’s not just about boy-girl relationship.” “And saving Marcus. More inﬂuence. is to give Gino this. “Another reason. “Here.” Gino reached for the necklace reluctantly. The gesture seemed friendly to me. will give you wisdom. they have always put themselves on combat missions.mission is unusual enough for the Andersons.” “What would this necklace do?” Gino asked as he tied the leather lace around his neck. isn’t it.” Gino volunteered. “Dirty. it’s deﬁnitely not Zac’s safety.” Madison commented.” I hope the blush that rose to my cheeks were unnoticed.” she said. Marcus being the victim to be rescued is enough to raise my suspicions. too. A dude wearing a necklace. but the stones are different from Gino’s. “why I came with you. dirty politics.” Lynden concluded. that’s what I’ve heard. I have immediately thought of Josh almost kissing me.” “Let me help you with that. He grabbed the necklace from me and tied put it around my neck. The middle one is a hematite. The last one is apache tear obsidian. who is the most trusted guardian of the Masters. wear this. a hematite. The last one is rose quartz. it decreases the necessity of an Earth guardian putting their index ﬁngers on your temples. The moment Lynden mentioned relationship and love. can give him more inﬂuence.
Lynden didn’t seem to notice. “The left stone is a sodalite. helps with clear thinking. it made Gino act reluctantly. for relationship and love. more power.” Lynden said while rummaging something from her bag. being a Guardian is like politics. for protection. If Zac is thinking something about this mission. Lynden?” Gino suddenly asked. “Don’t let your guards down. The middle one is a moonstone. “To Zac. At least.
. “Shut up. “Those stones serve a different purpose for you. probably with an eye roll. The left one. My conversation with Josh came rushing in my mind.” Gino said.” “I know right. or maybe she just pretended not to notice Gino’s scowl.
It helps warriors achieve inner peace. People in ﬂowing black hooded robes were running in the woods. “George!” Gino suddenly grabbed my hand.” Lynden counted with her ﬁngers. Hematite was still present on the two necklaces. they cannot see us because of the spell we have chanted earlier. Lynden pulled out another necklace. The other one is a smoky quartz. No wonder the robed people were targeting them right now. Silver Guardians. His vision came rushing into me. he went to Jordin and tied the necklace around her neck. Fortunately. We rode the rest of the trip in silence. ﬁve fully accessorized Guardians. Friend relationships. And those vibrations were telling me that the Golden guardians were not the only one around. No wonder we have followed them easily. “Hematite for a healer’s wisdom. Those people vibrations I can feel were unfamiliar. I think you’re really ready for a battle now. But somehow.” She held out the necklaces to Madison and Louise. I gave it to her to help her make friends.
Even from the carriage. Jordin was keeping up well with the other two Covens but still keeping a reasonable distance away from them. Our two Warriors wore the necklaces.” Gino threw me a triumphant smile. Sodalite for protection. has not used any spell to conceal their carriages. The angle of the vision gives us a view of what they were seeing. I can still feel the Earth’s vibration beneath me. The two other stones were unknown to me. “Louise. give this to Jordin. and then while trying to keep his balance. I thought. “And there you have it. But the proud Zac Anderson. Apache tear obsidian against negative energy. We’re not the only people on the way to Silver Shore.” “I really hope we are. I already know the vibrations of Silver guardians.“Of course not. “That blue one is a blue lace agate.
. Louise reached for the necklace.” she instructed. for a warrior’s stability.” Madison muttered. Lynden pulled out two identical necklaces. as arrogant as he can be. that’s what George needs.
But it’s not impossible. she added. since the other one was assigned to getting George.” Jordin said.17
The moment Gino and I were back to reality.” Madison suggested. suddenly interested. probably sending me forward if Gino wasn’t there to get hold of me.
.” Lynden slowly said. “How?” Lynden asked. making them catch up with the carriages before us which were slowly gaining speed. we need to consider that —” Her statement was cut off because the carriage hastily stopped.
“Marcus must be a very powerful guardian if the Masters were in his favor. “What’s your point?” Lynden asked. they’re more than enough to beat Silver Shore. “I’ve been thinking about this: What if a different party had abducted both the Golden and Silver Guardians? Then they left one guardian from each party hypnotized to send a message to the cities they belong to? I’ve read about the Witches in the library. Jordin whipped the horses. Madison and Louise jumped to get down.” “That’s a…very complicated guess. he quickly alerted Lynden of the robed people.” More to herself. “But. “Or maybe this is all a trap. “Robed people. If you add the back-ups.” Jordin said out of nowhere. Why did they choose this moment to show up?” “Maybe Marcus is of importance to them. those are the Witches. “They’ve been quiet for so long. “They’re already attacking!” Jordin hissed loudly as she stepped down from her place. “All we have to do is wait for them if they will attack or not. “How did the Masters knew about Marcus’ abduction?” “I heard a Golden guardian came back alone.” Lynden said after a few minutes of thinking. Some of their forte is making people follow their will. telling that the others were abducted by Silver Shore.” Lynden answered. He could have handled single-handedly a group of six people. exhausted and wounded.
“We need to help them still. We should remain unseen!” “What are we going to do? Just watch here?” I argued. “If they try to abduct the two Covens. “I’ll take Zac. stay within the ten-meter diameter of the Silence Spell. You can try it now. After that.” I told Lynden.” I considered this for a minute.” Jordin suggested. “We
are concealed by the ﬁve elements.” I weighed her suggestion with my original. his vision ﬁlled me.” I announced. you are not. “And Lynden. “No one knows we are here. The Witches were ﬁghting full force with the other two covens. The Golden guardians were scattered. come with us. Then. “We won’t go until we’re needed. But after a few seconds. we’re the only one going to be left here. I think it would not matter now if we’re invisible or not.” “But you are not covered with the spell my friends used earlier before we met you at the van.
. “It’s your brother after all. “I can chant a concealment spell as you drag the Guardians within the ten-meter diameter. I held both my arms sideways.” she told me.” I said. “George. but I really hope they don’t. unspoken plan of attacking invisibly. barreling myself between the scene before us and my friends behind me. “It’s the best thing we could do. opening her illegal spell book.” I kept my eyes trained on the scene before us. pointing to Brianna. guys do not go there!” Lynden warned. George. black hair. If we defeat the Witches. and waiting for my decision. Jordin’s plan has a higher chance to succeed. we could follow them. Perhaps. we can force them to tell us where they are hiding the others. “Maybe we could save a few Guardians and pull them here. maybe half a dozen. “To Jordin’s plan then. “Lynden.” “I’ll take the girl with long.” Gino put his hand on my shoulder to get my attention. More Witches are coming. she nodded. Lynden pursed her lips at this. we were snapped back to reality. but I don’t think there’s enough time. since the Witches have been oblivious to us ever since they came.” “I am the experienced one here.” Lynden volunteered as she stepped beside me.” The moment he touched me. It’s hard to tell who was winning and who was losing. Everyone is looking at me.” Louise said. “More Witches are coming. ﬁghting off with one-to-one ratio.” Lynden told me.“No.” I told them.
I would have blushed. I thought. “Let’s do this. Josh was behind him. I hoisted myself up a tree where I have a good view of what’s happening below me. Zac had managed to thrust his sword to two Witches before he was grabbed by Lynden. looking surprised at the sudden sight of him. Trap them.” I said.” My friends and I ran towards the battling guardians the same time the other Witches arrived. I caught sight of Brianna being hit by the glowing orb before Louise had the time to take her. “He’s our head guardian. an idea formed in my mind. grab Josh as well. George.” “Josh’s mine. The sight of blood spurting from the Witches almost made me fall from the tree. If we were under a different situation right now. “Or else…just do it!” I focused my thoughts on channeling my power through the tree down to the earth. The Witches were not carrying any weapons. Wood. “Okay. “It’s not what I meant. soil-covered vines sprouted from the earth and entangled the Witches in its immediate vicinity. then Josh took off running towards Louise who was dragging an
.Madison volunteered to take the boy with the glasses who was ﬁghting alongside with Zac. A skilled guardian will be able to work around with his Alpha and Omega elements. But I don’t recognize him. you’d better work with Earth or else—“ Or else what. “Really.” I shook my head in frustration.” He reasoned out which gained him a scowl from me.” Madison told me with a mischievous grin. “Encircle them. Tangle the Witches. “She’s hot. And she’s our head guardian. A faint tingling sensation was ﬁlling my hand.” She said. Gino said that he will take the girl with two swords. Just as my friends grabbed the Guardians they volunteered to get. Gino mouthed something to him. but their hands were glowing with different colors of glowing orbs. He’s certainly not the woman who was speaking inside my mind earlier this day. “Gino. I scanned the scene and saw Gino struggling against a faint glowing rope of light entangling him. “What a nice choice of words. Suddenly.
I placed my hand on the trunk of the tree. and then grab the guardian!” I instructed.” Gino yelled an objection but I ignored it. by the way. young Guardian? No one has to tell me that the speaker was on my mind. I’ll try to incapacitate some Witches.
He merely nodded. "George?" Then I fainted. With all my concentration. Someone
walked towards me. then thought of the earth surrounding us rise and engulf the witches who were now coming towards me. It was shallow and ragged. "I call upon the Earth.
. vines following my trail. she was successful. It burned my whole being. It was like having the high waves of the ocean hit you. I fell to the ground. it was the rope of light that did it. I can hear it. my vision blurring.unconscious Brianna towards our carriage. I called my element. This time. With a push. I can even hear my own breathing now. So far. Obey my will. Just as the earth hit the witches. Madison was using her whips to hit the witches trying to block her way. There was a bruise forming on his left cheek." I chanted those words." I walked away from him towards the center of everything that is happening. something hit me back behind. "You okay?" I asked Gino. I didn't waste time. his arms clutching his abdomen. he was beaten. "Go. I hurtled the vines to the witch attacking Gino. But Gino was not in a good situation. I heard the scurrying footsteps of some witches fading away. I'll take care of what's left. For the second time. The surge of power that came over me was so strong. I jumped from the tree. The witch fell on the ground. robe tore in the middle.
The witch smiled mischievously." Gino had to grab his shirt and coat before we went to the tent right next to ours. I can feel the air around him heating up. Fire is destruction. and so was what felt like my soul." "Enough feeding her with nonsense. you wouldn't be hanging out with these golden fools. but I ended up falling face down. "I think I have an idea what that guy wants to talk about with us. Zac needs to talk to you and your coven." He looked away before continuing. Both looked okay except for the fact that they looked exhausted and depressed." "Shut up. Both of us exchanged looks. "Where are the others?" "They are in the carriage being reprimanded by a prefect wannabe.casualties on both sides. She looked at Gino directly in his eyes. I pulled Gino with me outside. I muttered silent thanks. At least he was walking. "And we've got a hostage. It felt like something was drilling inside of my head. black hair spilled on the ﬂoor. I tried to stand up. A girl of my age was inside a Metal cage with thorny vines. There were. It's so idiotic to include it when they made the elements.
I woke up with my head throbbing. He went beside me and helped me up. Lynden is in a conference with the other guardians. Zac shot both of us with dagger looks.." I snapped." When we entered the tent where Zac and the others are staying." Gino said with scorn. My back was painful. Long. You might set this whole place on ﬁre." the witch said. "She was the one who attacked you. "Tsk." Josh said without taking his eyes off from the witch. You don't know anything. "George.. She was
sitting cross-legged. You might want to see her. her head bent down." Josh entered the tent with Brianna trailing behind him. His chest was covered with bandages. shiny. "Chill guardian. "But do you? I believe that if you do know about the truth. "George?" It was Gino. Leave us alone.
Madison and Jordin looked like they were ready to slap Zac. She pulled Zac by his coat getting him off of me. I found on the ground with Zac above me. Zac was implying that I killed them because of my recklessness. The ﬁve of us left the tent the same time Josh and Brianna was about to enter it. Especially you. “I mean it.” With a toss of her hair."And who told you that you can already lead a coven which you are not even a leader of?” “Each of us came here because we chose to do it. trying to say something. We went ﬁrst to our tent before going here to grab our things and weapons. you and your Coven. “I’m sure he can explain it very well.” Zac glared at him. You caused their deaths. “Didn’t you realize that coming here without proper training is foolish? You could have been the one dead instead of my Coven members! If it weren’t for them.” I held Zac’s gaze.” Suddenly.” Gino came to my defense.” I growled back. “I think we should go before I lose my cool and rip you into pieces. The impact of my fall was too hard that it knocked the breath out of me. Anderson. “And I’m sorry they suffered because you didn’t lead them well. How dare he? “I am sorry for their deaths.” It was not a question. she stalked out of the tent with us following behind her.
“You didn’t mean what you said. Louise was opening and closing his mouth. You ruined everything.” Jordin remarked as we sat on a branch of a sequoia tree far enough from our camp so that no one can hear us. Graham. “Why don’t you ask your brother about what happened?” Madison snapped.” The gasps that came out from everyone were noticeable. you led these people here. “George didn’t lead us here. He was glaring at me. It was an order. Wilmington. Not to mention that I have a wound at my back. Every letter of it. “That was sufficiently awkward. we led ourselves here. you’d be ashes right now. forcing me to take back what I stated earlier.” Madison pointed at Zac. “What happened?” Josh asked when he saw us.
. My hands were clenched into a tight ﬁst. “Let her go!” It was Madison. I looked up at Zac. Gino helped me to stand while Jordin and Louise positioned themselves in front of me.
” We heard the witch spat. robed. I’m glad the feeling’s mutual” the witch answered. I guess everyone I need is here to make me talk. We crept around the tent wherein we would not be seen by others.” We followed him inside reluctantly.” It was Zac. too. we heard voices inside it. “Don’t you all think we should talk to the witch?” Jordin said. we climbed down the tree. You have no right to say those things. “Good. “Well.” We all stiffened and exchanged looks. “I just let myself be caught to warn all of you. I guess this needs another bandage.” I said. But slapping her right on won’t really do us any good. Thanks to Zachary. When I entered the tent.” “I’m getting tired of you. How did she know? After a few seconds. “Shut up! You do not know any of us. The witch looked at me. He looked stressed and disheveled. When he saw us.“I don’t think awkward is the word to describe what happened. The mere sound of his voice made me wanted to run to him and smack him real nice. “… still not believe me! Why? Because I’m a witch! A freaking. “Come on in. ex-guardian that you all despise!” We heard the witch shout from the tent. I quickly looked at the witch as to avoid seeing Zac. There was a change in the air around us. “And we are stronger
. her voice in a shrill. Josh came out of the tent. Some are waiting outside. you know. She raised her eyebrows as she looked at me. “and speaking of. We are coming back. I turned to my friends motioning them to shush.” She shrugged. If I know better. too.” I grunted.” “And we can slap her for hurting George.” Madison added. “We can get something out of her. She was looking deadly now. you won’t believe me! See? If you could just see your pretty faces and –“ “Stop!” It was Brianna. You’re part of this too. “I like that.” Her voice dropped. “You might want to call all your guardians. Your dirty little trick is outdated already. how’s your back?” “Don’t get me started on that. “Jordin’s idea that is. Just as we were approaching the tent.” Louise said. I’m tired of you. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.” One by one. George. you’re just setting
us against one another. We went to the tent where they were keeping the witch. “Then believe what you say. a faint smile touched his lips. “Even if I tell you that some of yours do not really belong to you.
You might want to consider that ﬁrst. “you should not be focusing on the fact that the witch knew George. I do not know her.” Suddenly.” The guy with the glasses said. and I will tell you again. Adieu. and second.
“You know her?” Zac asked me for the umpteenth time. It doesn’t mean that if she knew me. you’re still on a middle of a mission.” “And besides.” Then the ﬂame engulfed her. He was on the far side of the tent. too. lovely Georgette! Big things await you. Brianna next to him. Get ready.” “And she claims that it can defeat us.” I told him for the umpteenth time. the witch told of a power that is something very ancient. ﬂames as black as her hair surrounded her. To both of the Guardian cities. Something very ancient that your bedazzled minds would have forgotten by now.” Josh said. I also knew her. it will be death that we will inﬂict.than before.” Lynden added. “Someone must inform the Master Guardians so that research can be started as soon as possible. “No. my guardian friends. “Adieu. We have powers that you have never known of. We shall all meet again. “I told you before. and she was gone. for when we strike.
I might sound like a loser by saying this but…I don’t want to lose you. Not ever. Josh grinned back at me and quickly ran to his tent. They agree with my decision.” I touched her elbow and pulled her to my side.” Madison said.” “It’s almost the same thing. “And no. you know. I…I just don’t know how to show it.”
. Josh was holding my hand. I can’t leave you alone. “So tell me Brianna. Faint. “I guess you just had your ﬁrst boyfriend. he’s looking straight into my eyes and he just told me that he cared about me.” I walked out of the tent with my friends behind me. you know. if you keep on holding my hand. George.” Brianna commented with a sneer. I turned around and saw it was Josh. Apparently. I’m going to blame myself forever. Madison has the opposite idea.“Well I recommend that George’s Coven send the message. “Well.” “The hell with that. you won’t be able to get your bag and go with us. This is the ﬁrst time I did this. I care about you. “Please. and be carried away by Louise and Josh away from the ﬁght. “Let’s go guys. “We just… like each other. but the nervousness was chased away when I saw that they were grinning at me.” I was beyond shocked. I looked at Zac. “Oh really. yet. Running footsteps followed us afterward. We deserve better than that.” He took my hand then. They are next to useless here. But it appears to me that you don’t need us. astonished by the possibility that Josh could be my boyfriend. “The only missing piece is the conﬁrmation.” I looked at my friends nervously. Might as well give them some purpose.” She paused to cluck her tongue. If something bad happened to you.
“What are you doing here?” I asked him.” I answered with a grin. “What? No!” I answered. so I have decided that we will not go the same way with you. who’s useless here?” “Mads. And what have you done exactly? Let me guess. Brianna? Well at least we fought when the witches attacked you and your Covens. let me come with you. we’re not the one sending the message. “Your brother might get angry with you.” Jordin piped in. stop it. They were ready to hit it. I am willing to let that one pass. And no—don’t stop me just yet. In front of everyone around us.
I can see it. “Where’s Lynden?” “Haven’t noticed her.“He’s such a dork. “Maybe she went away ﬁrst before we had the chance. We went to the carriage that our Coven used. And he agrees with me. Jordin was already on the horse. “We wouldn’t want those sucko’s from pulling us back there. “We’re going to Silver Shore. “Let’s go everyone.” “To where. “I agree.” Louise nodded. a body bag on his shoulder. he smiled.”
. exactly?” she asked.” Jordin shouted from her place. “Silver Shore. Gino went in ﬁrst. that’s when I noticed that we are missing someone. Then I went him. you jerks.” Gino told me. Saying something like that. When we were all accommodated. He understood. tell me if we can move now. Without saying anything. positioning themselves in front. She can handle herself. When I looked up at him.” I said. “Let’s go now Jordin. I looked at Gino at that moment. would we?”
I felt Josh ruffle my hair.” I answered Jordin. guys. “Shut up. I needed conﬁrmation. Okay?” “I guess.” The guys didn’t have the chance to answer back because Josh came back at that moment. He looked at me. Madison and Louise went ﬁrst. he knew what I was thinking. with Josh following me and sitting beside me.” I announced.” Gino commented.” Madison answered. “Don’t worry too much. “You’re just jealous because you cannot make girls swoon in that way. “I saw her slip out even before we went out. readying it up. I agree.” Madison said in a mocking tone.” “Well. Lynden’s almost an adult Guardian.
“Well. Many hours have passed before I talked to him. “Hey. “You cute little one. “I’m actually happy that I can come with you. Not until the second date. no cocky grin. are you alright?” I touched his hand. this area in the vision was inside the boundary of Silver Shore.” I nudged him. From what we can both feel. his eyes closed as if he was sleeping. “Let me talk to him.” I shoved him away gently. I still don’t trust him enough to tell him our secrets. even though that meant leaving behind my Coven. if you remember. He looked very peaceful then.
. I remembered our thing about the kiss. just like what Louise has said the night we left Golden Hills. “Nothing. and then I saw it. It was a very big tree in the middle of the forest. Which means…” Then he grinned at me. Plus. I pulled back from the same time he went back to reality. Josh was really quiet beside me.” I glanced at Gino. “Hey. “I hope you’re not regretting that you came with us.20
Jordin was riding the horse like a goddess. “We have an audience. Damn. He was sitting passively across from us. What did the vision mean? He seems to say. And even though I like him and such. But Josh is here.” “Of course not!” he assured me. I was beside Gino. “What’s happening to him?” Josh took notice of Gino. Another vision. Gino. no raised eyebrows. “If we become successful in this. Suddenly. I certainly know what this is about. She was graceful and conﬁdent.” he crooned.” I answered. I can treat this as our second date. he bolted upright and frantically looked around.” In a ﬂash. He was just hugging his bag to his body and was looking far away. He raised an eyebrow at me.” I can’t help grinning back. No scowl. then we’d have it.”
Josh touched the tip of my nose with his ﬁnger. “Shut up. He must have had a bad dream.
“Are you okay now?” I asked him.” I suggested.
. “I guess so. everyone. since he also had a sword. “We’re going to Silver Shore. “You drove us here pretty fast.” I grinned at him. It’s already dusk. Someone did something here. “Make sure nothing around us is out of place.” Josh told me. I went back to Josh’s side with the tree vision still in my head. “You shouldn’t be here!” I felt his breath on the back of my neck. “I am in the belief that we have just crossed Silver Shore boundary. Telling it to Josh…well. I loaded my bow with an arrow. Louise and Gino were looking at me. There wasn’t any moon in the sky.” Josh announced. “Something’s blocking the wheels. “Bad dream or something?” Please say yes.” Jordin said as she walked towards me.” I looked around me. We just have three Warriors here. Josh did the same. guys?” “Déjà vu-ish. and two are under-trained. willing him to not say anything about the vision. “Why are we going there exactly? We can’t just attack them head on. that’s not good. What’s that supposed mean? And the signiﬁcance of it being inside Silver Shore boundary.” I told him matterof-factly. I let out a sigh. The big tree in Gino’s vision was looming not far away from us.” We scattered around the place. I don’t think this place is as peaceful as it appears to be. It was becoming very dark. Madison. The theory that the witches might have abducted the guardians was only among our Coven. Gino followed quickly.” he looked around. although he made a show of
throwing it a few feet up in the air then catching it on its hilt. get ready.” Madison commented as she and Louise jumped off the carriage. unsheathing his sword. “Maybe we can scour the area before continuing.” “I sense magic here. “Show-off.” Jordin shouted. I was about to explain some things to him when the carriage stopped abruptly. will it directly affect us? “You’re tensed. There’s no knowing what was awaiting us in this forest. She was adjusting the leather holder of her daggers across her waist.” I told her. “Sounds familiar to you. I turned around and saw a familiar face. Whoosh! Something moved behind me. I jumped off the carriage and looked around. “Now.
I took a step back. It has a gigantic body and bulky branches.” Michael grinned.” I slowly walked towards the big tree. And I have the feeling it was placed to work against us. Michael climbed up with me. This is your territory. Michael looked at me. Smart guy. The tree itself was massive. The damn tree’s starting to move!” Michael swore. They were a set of intricate curves and rigid lines.
.” “Lead us to them. running from the root up.” “There. That conﬁrms it. And to see you inside our boundary? That’s spectacular. “Joshua King Anderson.” “I said stop. “Of course. Soon after.” Josh said the name as if it was poison. Gino and I exchanged looks. “Blake.” he was cut off when a dagger suddenly ﬂew past his ear. I found runes. “I have no idea. The runes were carved on the surface of the tree. “Training now.” He pointed his ﬁnger on the big tree that I have seen in Gino’s vision. “I saw a hell of runes there. Something very ancient that your bedazzled minds would have forgotten by now. And it’s not the usual runes that guardians from both cities use. I can actually see the runes. “You shouldn’t be here. “It’s dangerous out here. My bow and arrow was not pointing to him anymore. Wait. The others were inspecting the lower part of the tree. bow and arrow still at hand. not before I wrenched the dagger from the tree behind him. I don’t even know what they mean. When I climbed the tree.”
We have powers that you have never known of.” he repeated. The others are coming towards me. There’s–. “Any chance these could be ancient runes?” I asked Michael.“Michael?” I turned around to face him. it’s not just us. “It’s so nice to see you again. Shaking? “Shit. “I was sent here to inspect the area. I turned to Michael. they were following me. “I have never seen them before.” I positioned my bow and arrow in front of him.” I told Josh before he bite again into Michael’s tauntings. it’s dangerous. We were behind a tree.” he shook his head.” “Stop. concealed from the others view. “What’s here that’s more dangerous than you?” “Seriously? Don’t talk to–. But I’m not going down without a ﬁght.” I snapped. And it was shaking.” Michael let out a low whistle. huh? But listen.
Gino was accompanying Jordin towards the carriage with Madison and Louise protecting them from the tree. More accurately.
. since he is the only person with me on the tree.” Michael answered. And this tree’s too big to be destroyed that easy. I almost fell if it wasn’t for Michael’s vines that encircled my waist.21
“George. Michael was moving his hands in a circling motion. But I know that it’s useless. “I can’t do anything up here except hold you.” Michael yelled. Michael held to those vines.” I looked below me. It won’t feel pain. “Any chance we can immobilize this monster?” I asked him. “George!” It was Gino. Vines started to sprout from the tree. However. Josh was raising big rocks from the ground and hurtling them towards the root of the tree.
The tree stepped forward. Falling down at this height would leave me dead in seconds. He’s down there. “George! Duck. the tree rose from the ground. But I didn’t have the chance because the tree suddenly grew. This tree has no nerve endings. I thrust the dagger I was holding to the body of the tree to keep me from falling. “Don’t ask me. “Do something!” I yelled. a massive branch landed infront of her. it’s thick roots acting as its feet. “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” Jordin squealed as she jumped back. I followed him untangling myself from the vine to duck. Another branch threatened to ﬂatten them but Louise quickly sliced the branch into two with a tall metal spike that sprang from the ground. A branch hit the area where my head was supposed to be seconds ago. “Consult the spell book!” Jordin heard me and quickly ran to the carriage. “We have it!” I heard Madison shout. Suddenly. the tree moved again. get down there!” I heard Josh yell. I quickly hold on to the dagger stuck on the tree before I completely drop.
“Look. I looked at Josh and saw that he was now running away from the tree. Please catch me. soil-clad vines appeared from the ground. Okay. I landed with a soft thud.” I said. “Come on. I pushed with my arm. Michael took that moment to jump off the tree like a cat.” He shrugged. the spell book in front of us. “George!”Jordin ran to my side. The big tree seemed to creak as it toppled sidewards.I know you can catch me real nice. I raised my hands. “I’ll try to help from below. Josh suddenly appeared beside me.” Gino and I ran back to the tree. “Now. “Do you think you’ll survive the jump?” “How would I know if I didn’t try.” “Burn?” I looked at Gino. I thought of soft grass on the ground. When the vines were of hold of the tree. “I need to get down from here. Maybe you can work with Wood .“Search for something that says ‘destroy’ or ‘stop’!” I shouted back. I pulled the dagger out and then I jumped to Michael’s side. The vines pulled the roots downward too.” Gino quickly grabbed the book from Madison and frantically searched for it. The vines followed my
movement. right?” “I’m a Fire Guardian. I pulled.” Josh told Gino. entangling themselves to the roots of the big tree. I know you’re down there. The branch hit the place where I was from real hard that the trunk was destroyed. The grass actually appeared! I quickly stood up. bringing a lot of boulders around him. it says here that one can bring an unmoving body of life to motion with runes. “Anything that can discontinue this tree. It also says here that one can make it stop by burning the runes eteched into the surface of the body.”
. Wood. I saw another branch coming towards me. “You can burn up things. With a yell. although I doubt Fire would help in my case. When I landed. “You should take the opportunity while the tree is not moving. “I can help him. he brought down the boulders to the base of the tree. right?” I pulled out the dagger again.” I answered for Gino. stabbing the tree again for a better hold. Thick. Do you know how to climb a tree?” Michael inquired. The tree seemed to be dormant again. The others ran towards us. Earth.” Then I jumped. Michael made a face at me. It was completely still. “It starts from the root up.
” I awkwardly held his sword in front of me. “Do it.
Get the Soothsayer’s sword. the branches whipped around. One small branch whipped towards me and Gino. chanting words I cannot hear but seemes to shield the others. He put his hands on the area where the runes were etched. Gino. It only took a few seconds to burn a few runnes. his hair almost covers his eyes. This time. “It drives me nuts. The female voice spoke in my head. the branches swayed violently. we needed to climb the tree to burn the runes on the trunk and branches. grunting because the pain from jumping from the tree a while ago just took its toll. Louise. he was so heavy. The problem was there’s.” he smirked at me as he let out ﬂames again. Michael and Madison were ﬁgting them off while Jordin was holding on to the spell book.” I told him as soon as I hoisted him up on the tree. I blocked it with the blade of the sword. Use it whilst he burns the runes. “Josh! Get everyone ready.” I told him. I can’t really say.” Gino pushed harder. Josh. “Just continue with burning the runes. “Continue on what you’re doing.” Josh nodded and told the others to get ready. The other branches were accurately targeting the people on the ground.” I climbed ﬁrst. Darn. was in danger of falling down.Flames appeared on Gino’s hands. ‘a hell of runes’ here. Michael was standing a few feet away from them. In a snap. quickly burning the runes carved into the tree. I think the tree will be moving again. I returned my arrow in my quiver and hung the bow on my shoulders. After what felt like ten minutes. I thrust the sword on the trunk and held Gino by his waist.
. The branch was sliced off. “Hey!” “Shut up. You can use it. The tree shook again. “I hope that monster won’t move anymore. Without permission. I unsheated Gino’s sword from his back. The ﬂames became stronger burning the surface of the root. his eyes trained on me. I pulled up Gino next. The branches were still shaking. “It’s an after-effect!” Jordin shouted from below. however. “I should totally get something after this. As soon as the ﬂames touched the trunk. Or maybe on the tree. quoting Michael.” Madison said randomly.
sending me spiralling downwards. burning it. his face sweaty from the heat. alright. He pulled out his sword. “Gino! Get your sword! Get down from there!” I shouted at him. “It’s the only way to make this thing stop. the movement was slowing down. The ﬁre reached the branches and leaves now. but I kept on holding him.” He nodded at me. Wham! A branch hit me on the side. The tree was sinking. I closed my eyes and thought of the earth swallowing the tree.“Never mind the runes! Burn this whole tree. I opened my eyes. But still. He pointed it towards the trunk. Gino was still on the tree. Gino fell beside me. This could be our only chance of stopping this monstrosity. a sinkhole forming on the
ground.” I heard Gino exclaimed. Then the most unexpected thing happened: the tree exploded. Nonetheless. Smoke formed as the ﬁre burned the still fresh leaves of the tree. my hands forming ﬁsts. I breathed out. “Whoa.” I hissed at him. I can feel the intense heat as Gino burned the tree. I fell hard on the ground. I can hear the tree screaming in my mind.
. returned it in his sheath and then jumped. clutching my side. I felt the earth vibrate. I stood up. It wanted to kill us now. then the ﬁre scattered covering the whole trunk. it’s moving. Gino heard me and nodded. Huge ﬂames came to life again on his hands. the runes must have been destroyed by now.
really. She’s a natural healer. I guess I can heal minor burns.Jordin. It took a few minutes before all was over. “I feel like my body exploded. “How are you feeling?” “I was too near to the explosion. We were all covered in ashes. “Hey. they looked up at us. We did not capture him or any of his colleagues. She’s pretty good at it.” “Look. Jordin healed our wounds.” I told him. We were both covered with ashes. Gino stood ﬁrst before he helped me to get up.” I answered.”any chance that you can heal our wounds?” “Oh. everybody was up. The explosion made a ‘hell’ of a noise.” Madison commented as I helped her stand up. too. Josh was coughing hard on the side. my eardrums almost popped out. “You’re going to our city. I wonder what’s happening to Gino who was still above me and breathing hard. “I guess…I mean I read some things about healing. right?” “Yes. Some had a few blisters like me. I ran to them. “We think that the Witches are responsible for his loss. Pieces of burnt wood was ﬂying here and there.22
Gino was over me before I knew it.” One by one. my hand patting his back. “That was a hell of a blast!” Michael grinned.” I called out. “I need to talk to them about my brother. his body over mine to cover me from the explosion.” Josh answered. They were lying face down on the ground. Michael went to me as soon as he was healed. I heard Gino swearing all curse words he can muster. too. I immediately went to him.”
“It stopped moving alright. As soon as we reached them. We were both coughing. I looked around for the others.” He coughed again. We need treatment right away. Gino following me. He pushed me hard towards the ground face ﬁrst. Some even hit my arm and blistered my skin. too.” she answered in surprise. By now.” “We have that idea already.
he better be all those things that we asked. “Guys…” I rolled my eyes at them. incredulous that Josh was telling me this. “Let’s go then. “Well. but I have to choose my Coven ﬁrst before you.” Josh smiled at me. you are free to leave. “You can’t do that!” I faced him. Josh smiled. I looked at my friends. but I hope you think differently than those people. Michael? Can you bring us to your Master Guardian?” “You mean my grandpa?” he asked proudly. I guess Josh is a member of our Coven now and.” “Golden and Silver guardians are never meant to work with each other. if he wants to join our Coven. Well. right?” Michael looked hopefully at me. Blake. Maybe you can work with us.” “I guess I can.”
. “Don’t you think?” “Well. I decided to leave my Coven. Aren’t you? No offense. if you’re not up to the idea. “Can you be loyal and trustworthy?” Madison asked this. and they all nodded. I am of a different Coven. “You never fail to amaze me.” Josh suddenly appeared beside me. They were looking at me. Now. “Of course I can bring you to him. I hope you can accept me as one of yours. “Seriously. too.” I answered. “We are enemies.
“Can you keep up with our swag?” Louise added. Although I respect your idea. I know the two cities are enemies. “You want to be one of us?” Jordin asked. “Can you be cool and awesome?” Gino asked. My Coven got interested. Josh.” “One of mine?” I asked. I and my Coven members decided that we want to work with Silver Shore. George. “What?” Madison told me. too.” Surprisingly. Josh looked bewildered. They ﬂocked beside me.” I called out to everyone.” “But we can change it.” This was it.“The Witches captured some of ours too. I guess we can talk about it. “Look. “Let’s rock this city.
“We must have underestimated them a great deal if this was what they have done. Her nerves are tingling. “We shall go now.” A glow escaped her closed hand. let them enjoy their remaining days. One never questions the High Priestess. the ﬁve newly Awakened Guardians from Golden Hills.” She turned around and whistled.
.” Caroline told her as she picked a cracked dagger on the ground.
They have caught the brother of one of them. “but you’re observation did not help us catch them. We can try to remove it but it would be a waste of time. She was the last one to leave. “The ancients will bring them to us soon. we will go back and try to make the Guardians there spill their thing. here. I’ll make sure I’d catch you. The witch bowed and retreated to the other witches who were inspecting the area.” she admitted. the witches disappeared into the night. She almost had her. I can feel it. “The next time I see you. The other witches quickly gathered around her. Why? She did not know. “this place is full with ashes.” She smiled mischievously at her witches. did it? Now move and look for something that can help us!’ She snapped. they found out that the Elixir was among the ﬁve. or kill.” she announced. Upon closer investigation. “I’ll make sure you’ll be dead and not be a hindrance to us anymore. shall we?” She and her witches laughed menacingly. she did not know.” “But how about the Elixir’s Coven?” Caroline asked. She was tasked to catch. her blond hair ﬂying with the wind and her blue eyes glinting in the night. but what does she see? The tree that she worked on for weeks scattered into pieces and ashes. “For now. She was expecting to see ﬁve dead guardians when she arrived. the dagger was powdered. One by one. “We did. She was defeated. For now. Of what. But the Elixir was much stronger than she thought for a newly Awakened Guardian. And she hated the Elixir more for it. When she opened it.EPILOGUE
Everything was a mess when they approached the boundary.