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Chapter 7 - Chapter 7

Upon her tutor's return Alexia is suddenly thrown headfirst into an adventure. She visits elves, fights demons, and unearths lost secrets. Will she be able to discover the crystal shards in time to stop an evil sorcerer, or will the world fall into chaos?

Chapter 7 - Chapter 7

Chapter 7 - Chapter 7
That night Sarah barely slept. Her mind was busy plotting. She knew Kyla was not going to stay in Anvalia forever; the time would come when she would be needed elsewhere, and Kyla’s friends would eventually have to return to work. She feared that even Ash and Matt would tire of the city. It was time for her to make a move, whether to rot away here or to find a way to leave this boring life. If only I could find Felix… would he come with me if I asked?
Morning came swiftly and though she was only functioning off a few hours of sleep her excitement and determination had her wide awake. To her dismay, by the time she woke up everyone else had already left to spend the day in the city, but maybe this could work to her advantage. She quickly got dressed in the clothes Kyla gave her on the day they started their adventure. Suddenly she realized she would need something to hide her face with, a hood maybe? She searched the room but couldn’t find a hooded article of clothing, so when in need make your own. Swiftly she stripped a sheet from one of the beds. She glanced in the mirror as she draped it over her head and shoulders, then pinned it around her neck. She twirled around examining her work. As childish as it looked it would have to do.
The time had come for her to attempt her escape. She had her disguise and her weapons securely in a holster around her waist, she was ready. Sneaking to the door she glanced around, there wasn’t a guard in sight. She swiftly darted across the hall to another hiding place so she could look around some more, but there appeared to be no guards on this floor. This was strange. Taking in a deep breath she started skulking down the hall careful to keep an eye out in case a guard suddenly appeared. The elevator was in sight. Taking one more look around she dashed into it and pressed the button for it to go to the ground floor. That was strange usually there are a few guards on that level. Where could they all be? Oh well better not look a gift horse in the mouth. She pondered as the elevator clanged to a halt. She walked calmly to avoid drawing attention to herself. When she walked past a group of guards she was careful to hide her face inconspicuously. Her disguise appeared to be working as she walked right out the door without anyone stopping her.
Yes I did it! Sarah congratulated herself. “Good Job!” A voice called out to her. Great why did have to go and jinx myself. She scolded as she turned around slowly. “Don’t worry I’m not turning you in.” The voice said. It was Kyla; she was leaning against the wall as if waiting for Sarah to come out. “You’re lucky security was messed up since someone broke into the Sid’s office as well as the upper levels where the manufacturing goes on.” Kyla said walking over to Sarah. “You didn’t-” “It wasn’t me… I considered it to give you a chance to break out… but someone else beat me to it… this was someone else with different intentions.” Kyla looked up to the top of the large building her eyes shinned purple with curiosity but worry was darkening her gaze. Suddenly she shook her head as if chasing off dark thoughts then looked up at Sarah with a smile. “You don’t really need that any more so you can toss it.” She said referring to the makeshift hood. “Right…” Sarah whispered unpinning it and walking over to place it in the waste basket. She noticed something in Kyla’s smile. She knew that something was troubling her but what it was she could not guess. “You ready?” Kyla asked when Sarah got back to her. Sarah nodded.
“How did you know I was going to leave today?” Sarah inquired as they walked down the street. “You were kinda plotting out loud this morning.” Kyla replied. “Oh so you were awake for that?” “Yep…” “Then you know that I want to continue adventuring. There are so many things that I want to see and learn.” “I know… And I’m here to make it possible.” “Does everyone else know?” Kyla nodded. “Yeah… They’re in town picking up some last minute things.” Things went quiet. Kyla seemed lost in thought. This silence threw Sarah to her own contemplations as she began to worry about Felix once more.
Suddenly Kyla froze her eyes shooting wide open as something caught her attention. Sarah stopped next to her wondering what was wrong until she heard the same things Kyla was hearing. “On your knees girly and beg for your life. If you’re lucky we may let you live. It depends on what you can do for us.” A gruff voice said. Sarah and Kyla both glared down the alley next to them. There was group of seven men gather around a girl. One of them was tall and muscular, obviously the leader from the way he spoke. The girl was on the ground crying. “Don’t make me hurt you!” She screamed desperately as she tried to slide backwards only to run into the legs of one of the goons. She weaved her fingers through her bright red hair as if struggling to prevent from losing her mind.
“Sick bastard…” Sarah hissed drawing her guns and charging at the guys. She slid to a stop and pressed a gun to the leaders head. “Leave her alone if you wish to escape with your life.” Sarah threatened. There was a soft click as she pulled back on the hammer. “Wow….” Kyla gasped. She had never seen this side of Sarah. “She is starting to truly see things… and realizing she has strength to do something about it… I just hope she isn’t getting in over her head.” Kyla whispered taking in the full situation ready to assist if she needed to.”So another brave girly who dares to cross me, boys show her how we deal with heroes.” The leader said grinning smugly. His six comrades quickly drew their weapons; they each carried a large knife and a hand gun.
Sarah gritted her teeth as fear started to grip her. What did I get myself into? She pondered raising her other gun trying to keep an eye on all seven men. One of the men shifted up behind her and there was a soft click as he prepared to fire. Sarah wanted to close her eyes in fear of the shot by managed to resist. But nothing happened except a sudden loud thud as the thug fell to the ground. “Don’t worry I got your back.” Kyla said now standing next to Sarah. “Do I even want to ask about what just transpired?” Sarah suggested a smile stretched across Kyla’s face.
Only seconds had passed after the man prepared to shoot. Kyla saw this as the most opportune moment to step in. She ran forward and leapt. The man had felt her presence and turned only to be kneed in the face and sent to the ground. Kyla then took her place at Sarah’s side.
“Follow my lead” Kyla said waiting for the moment to strike. She heard one of the goons shift his weight, readying his weapon. Now! She noted leaping forward and grabbing Sarah’s hands. She pulled Sarah with her just in time for a bullet to speed by without hitting her. “Weapons energy mode.” Kyla commanded. The guns began to glow as they transformed. Kyla pulled Sarah with her almost like they were doing a dance. Bullets flashed by them as they moved just in time to evade. They rotated to where they were aiming at one of the men. Sarah felt as Kyla pressed her finger into the trigger shooting a ball of light at one of the men, knocking him out. A grin came to Kyla’s face as a familiar scent reached her. “Switch partners!” She announced releasing Sarah and running to the girl on the ground in order to shield her. Another figure swooped down taking Kyla’s place. He wrapped one arm firmly around her waist and took her hand fitting it to hers where his finger was also on the trigger. He led her around in a graceful waltz easily avoiding bullets and firing when they had a clear shot. It was an easy trick knowing when the other men were going to fire and when to dodge. There was almost a pattern to it, a rhythm to the sound of the bullets. They danced to this rhythm.
Two men, three men, four men, five men, it didn’t take long till they had shot the final 6th man leaving only the leader to be dealt with. The dance had now ended with one final spin. Sarah now took the chance to look up at her dance partner. Instantly she recognized the white hair and the light blue eyes. “Felix!” She squeaked happy to see him. He smiled down at her causing her to blush. When she thought about it she couldn’t really remember him smiling. She saw him smirk once but not an actual warm smile. Is this a dream? She wondered.
Felix looked over at the brat who was shielding the red-haired girl. He had no idea why he had smiled at the princess, he didn’t think he was able to truly smile any more. His change in attitude was going smoother and quicker then he would have imagined.
“Felix… so that is your name. Are you ready to finish what you started at the restaurant?” The leader of the small gang said. Felix now recognized the jerk from a few nights ago. He was at the restaurant when this man stupidly got angry because the women there appeared to pay more attention to him. When the man confronted him about it, yelling and spitting in his face, Felix replied with a smug, “I can’t help it if I am better looking than you…” Felix always knew that his mouth would get him into trouble and that was when the man pulled a knife on him. Felix didn’t care he continued to disregard the challenge, it’s not like it would be a difficult fight to win. The man was more bark then he was bite. Felix sipped his coffee as the man stabbed at him, easily dodging each attempt. Suddenly something caught his attention out the corner of his eye. It was the brat’s friends there spying on him. It wasn’t the first time he noticed them, but this time they were inclined to interfere. They started to run over to help Felix but somehow they tripped into the waiter and were covered in the orders the waiter was carrying. IDIOTS! His mind screamed as he became fully distracted, the gang leader took this chance and sliced at Felix’s chest, he managed to dodge in time for the main casualty to be his shirt and obtaining a small cut along his chest that drew only a small amount of blood. Felix growled this was his favorite shirt but he couldn’t allow himself to be drawn into a fight, not with the monster’s lackeys here to watch him and possible screw it up. Instead he pulled all the strength he had and ran, it was harder to run then it was to fight but at least now that they were distracted he could escape them for good. Taking this chance they would never be able to find him.
And now that stupid gorilla of a man stood before him, the only thing between them was the kid and a girl he did not care about. Another grin came to his face as he thought of something worse for the man to bear, losing his pride. Kyla looked over a Felix who motioned his head toward the leader. She smiled. This could be fun. “No I think I will deal with you.” Kyla interfered taking a fighting stance. The red-haired girl glimpsed up at Kyla before sliding back against the wall of the building where Felix and Sarah were standing. “Hiding behind this little runt!? What kind of a man are you.” The man asked. “You’re not even worth my time, besides it will hurt more when you are beaten by a child.” Felix retorted. “Come on I’m only two years younger than you.” Kyla groaned. “Fine kid, if you really want to challenge me… Your funeral.” The man sighed ignoring Kyla’s statement, after all she looked like a ten-year-old, if that.
The man charged at Kyla and like her usual fights she leapt into the air doing a flip over him in order to avoid. The man stopped, drew a knife and thrust upward hoping to stab her, or that she would at least land on the blade. Kyla was millimeters from the tip when she froze in midair. “Not bad… This may prove to be interesting.” She said rising higher into the air. She can fly!? Everyone’s minds shouted. “So that explains how she managed to get from place to place so quickly.” Sarah stated watching as Kyla flew backwards and softly landed on the ground. “Ok let’s try this again.” Kyla said taking a different stance. Suddenly Sarah glimpsed Kyla’s cast and remembered that the girl’s arm was still healing. “Kyla what about your arm!?” She worried. “Don’t worry, I have another arm and two legs to work with.” Kyla chirped glimpsing over her shoulder at her friends. The man took this as a distraction and took the chance to attack. I’ve got to watch closely. Felix told himself paying close attention to Kyla’s movements not wanting to miss a single twitch. The man went to stab her but the blade went straight through Kyla, but something was wrong. It appeared as though he had attacked a hologram and now the image was fading. After image!? Felix recognized the move. He read about it but had never seen it; he should have known that the brat would know such a rare technique.
The real Kyla appeared behind her opponent. She quickly did a flip building up momentum in her heel as she brought it down hard on the man’s shoulder. The man’s shoulder cracked beneath the pressure very audibly, it was obvious she broke something in it. He was forced to his knees by the power of her blow as he groaned in pain. “You ready to give?” Kyla asked glaring at him. He chanced a glance back at her and was mildly frightened by what he saw. The shadows of the buildings were thrown over her, her eyes glowing demonically in the darkness, her sharp fangs visible as she grinned. Is she a demon!? He questioned as he turned back forward glancing up at Felix. Felix had that smug look on his face as if pleased with the man’s fear, defeat, and humiliation that were all wrapped up in one. “You son of a dog!” The man screamed angrily snatching a gun off the ground and raising it at Felix. “Idiot.” Felix critiqued looking down upon the man, unfazed by the gun, he knew the kid wasn’t done why not let him suffer some more defeat. Kyla swung her hand using her telekinetic powers to send a knife through the man’s hand forcing him to drop the gun. She walked forward and pressed her foot into the nape of his neck. She applied light pressure at first but gradually pushed harder and harder forcing him to kowtow. “Are you a demon!?” He squealed trying to fight against her. “Yes… and I am simply one hell of a tutor.” She replied bending down to where she could whisper it into his ear. He began to tremble due to the fact she admitted she wasn’t human, he thought that her tail was just a decoration at first, but now he realized she was a survivor of the monkey-demon clan. “Now, how about you and your little gang run along? If you ever do anything else villainous, then next time I won’t hold back.” She threatened straightening her back and crossing her arms over her chest in a heroic pose. She let up on his back allowing him and his lackeys to scramble down the alley, some off the stumbling in their hurry to escape.
“Did I overdo it?” Kyla squeaked prancing over to Felix with her hands clasped together. “In my opinion you should have done more…” He muttered. She smiled up at him and he looked down at her, but not in his cold, malicious way, but almost a friendly way as if amused by her childishness. There was a new understanding between them. But how? Sarah pondered wondering what had changed between the two. “Hey are you ok?” Kyla asked kneeling down at the red-haired girl.
Now that things had settled down they finally got a chance to actually examine her. She was a cute girl, 15 in age and 5’2” in height. She was sporting an orange jumpsuit with a white ruffled shirt and brown boots. Her fingernails were a bright green color that matched her eye color. As an accessory she had brown fingerless gloves that were carefully fitted with retractable claws, doubling it as a weapon. She had a white smile with cute tiny fangs that hadn’t fully grown yet. Freckles were splattered across her face, but her most astonishing feature was her orange-red fox ears that peeked out o her hair and her matching tail.
“So you’re the fox-girl everyone’s been talking about?” Kyla said sounding disappointed. “I guess; you were expecting someone else?” The girl asked climbing to her feet and wrapping her arms around her back. “Yeah someone with black and pink hair with matching ears and a tail…” Felix replied. I think this is the most I have heard him talk in one setting. Sarah noted paying more attention to the changes in Felix rather than the conversation. A dark-look flashed across the girl’s face for a split second, it was such a tiny spark that Kyla doubted anyone other than her noticed it. “What did this fox-demon do?” The girl asked appearing to be merely curious. “She Attacked Calm… breaking my arm in the process.” Kyla sighed looking at her casted arm, her latest reminder of just how weak she was. “What were you to do if you found her?” The girl asked. “You know what… I don’t even know… I haven’t thought that far ahead… You don’t need to worry about it… We probably should be going.” Kyla said motioning for Sarah and Felix to follow her as she began to walk away. “Wait!” The girl called lunging forward and gripping Kyla’s good hand. “What are your names?” She inquired looking Kyla in the eye. Kyla was thrown off guard, too shocked to answer. “That’s Kyla, my name is Sarah, and this is Felix.” Sarah answered for Kyla. “My name’s Star… Please let me come with you.” Star requested releasing Kyla’s hand and bowing deeply. “Can we?” Sarah asked glancing over at Kyla pleadingly. Kyla turned to where her body was completely facing Star and placed her hand on Star’s lowered head. She was questioning whether they could trust her but now she knew without a doubt, it was fine to bring her along. She nodded. “Thank you! Thank you!” Star squeaked throwing her arms around Sarah. “You are coming with us too right Felix?” Kyla asked looking up at him. “Why not…” He sighed. It had to be more entertaining than hanging around Anvalia waiting for a new bounty. He was just wondering how he was going to be able to handle all the noise as their group seemed to constantly grow.
“We better hurry the others are probably wondering where we are…” Kyla sighed leading them into town. “Rain I’m telling you that I didn’t do it on purpose!” Rikku screamed dashing in front of the group. Rain chased after him soaked head to toe. “And I say that there is no way in HELL that you can dump a whole bucket of water on someone ‘accidentally’!” Rain retorted catching him by the throat and starting to slowly choke him. “You’re really going to kill me this time!? If you do I have witnesses for my murder trial!” Rikku screeched pointing desperately towards Sarah and her entourage as it became more and more difficult to breathe. “Pointless…” Felix sighed walking ahead; he didn’t see a point in listening to their asinine squabbling. “What was that!?” Rain hissed releasing Rikku and turning her rage over to Felix. Rikku quickly made his escape and ran over to his sister. “I thought she was actually going to kill me that time, did you see? I swear that girl is going to be the death of me one day.” Rikku wheezed rubbing his neck. There were red marks there from where Rain’s fingers were wrapped around it. “Shut up!” Rain growled snatching up a loose brick from the road and hurling it. It smashed against his head sending him to the ground. “See?” He choked out. “You hang out with her.” Kyla sighed before breaking into laughter. He glared at her as she pulled him to his feet. “Come on we need to catch up with Felix.” She told him running.
“So where is everyone?” Kyla asked. “Britt and Domon are at the weapon shop… we kinda left them there. And Ash and Matt should be around here somewhere.” Rikku told her. “I’m going to go change clothes trusting this moron didn’t get ALL of my stuff wet.” Rain said with a harsh tone as she gripped the strap of her backpack and walked away on a safe place to change. “You mind explaining what you did to her?” Kyla asked quietly until Rain was out of sight. “We were just standing there I was helping a lady carry a bucket of water when this guy bumped into me knocking the water out of my hands and onto Rain. The thing was the guy seemed terrified and even more so after he ran into me.” He explained. “Let me guess it was a large muscle bound guy with a bleeding hand, favoring a shoulder, and had about 6 other guys with him.” Kyla said. “Yeah how did you know?” Rikku inquired. “Because that is the guy I just beat up.” Kyla smirked. “I’m not even going to ask.” Rikku frowned.
They pushed their way through town, their best bet would be to go to the weapon shop first, and they were bound to run into Ash and Matt on the way because it would be so convenient. “Ummm Kyla… Who is the fox chick that’s following us?” Rikku asked whispering in Kyla’s ear. “Oh that’s Star, she’s going to be traveling with us. Star this is my brother Rikku. The angry girl from before is our friend Rain.” Kyla introduced. “It’s nice to meet you.” Star chirped. “Pleasure...” Rikku replied.
“Hey guys!” Ash and Matt yelled spotting Sarah and Felix’s heads over the crowds and knowing that Kyla would be right there with them. Sarah paused and looked for who were calling out to them. “Hi!” She shouted waving as she saw the two boys forcing their way over to them. They were standing right outside of the weapon shop now, how convenient. “Hey Ash, hey Matt.” Rain greeted as she rejoined the group in a fresh change of clothes. “Hey.” “Yo.” They greeted. “So we’re finally ready to get outa here?” Matt asked excitedly. “Yeah we just have to pick up Britt and Domon then we can leave. We’ll have to hurry if we want to reach the top of the mountain by nightfall, since we’re having to go on foot.” Kyla informed them. “What why!? Why can’t we ride the horses!?” Rain groaned. “Ya’ll are too pampered as it is; don’t you think those horses deserve a break? Besides it will be too difficult to navigate them up some of the steep parts of the path.” Kyla told them laughing as she led most of the group into the weapon store. “Hello there, who might you be?” Matt asked noticing Star. Only She, Matt, and Ash remained outside at this point. “My name is Star. I’m a fox.” She introduced herself. “I’ll say.” Matt said smiling charmingly and giving a slight chuckle. Ash sighed as he hit his friend in the back of the head. Ow! Matt prevented himself from saying it out loud as he glared at Ash. “My name is Ash and my silver tongued friend here is Matt.” Ash told her. “I am very pleased to meet you.” Matt added taking Star’s hand and bowing to kiss it. “Hey Star come here real quick!”Kyla called coming to the door. “Coming.” Star chirped pulling her hand away from Matt and joining Kyla in the store. “Damn cockblock…” Matt sighed. “Hahahaha as if you were getting anywhere. She looked like she was more attracted to that fly then she was to you.” Ash criticized. “Oh yeah!? Is that a challenge!?” Matt questioned. “Who said anything about a challenge?” Ash pondered confused. “That sounds like a challenge. Let’s see who will be the first to win over Lady Star’s heart!” Matt ranted. “Whatever you say dude… I think you’ve finally lost it…” Ash sighed strolling inside. “You’ll see! I’ll beat you and make you eat your words!” Matt shouted chasing after Ash.
Everyone was now finally together inside the weapon shop. It was a large building with many sample weapons decorating the walls. The owner and blacksmith stood behind the counter surprised to see such a large group. On the counter in front of him was an adorable black and white kitten. Rikku walked up to the counter about to ask the man’s price on a custom decorative shield. He opened his mouth to speak when he suddenly spotted the cat. He froze as fear began to grasp him and sweat began to roll down his face. Suddenly the creature meowed at him. Rikku let out a scream as he fell onto the floor. Everyone turned to look at him “I didn’t do it!” Both Kyla and Rain shouted. They gave each other a confused took before Kyla ran to her brother’s side. “Are you ok? What happened?” Sarah asked. “Yeah… I-i-i-it’s n-nothing.” He stuttered. His face was pure white as he glimpsed over at Rain who only appeared to be slightly worried. Great why did this have to happen now!? His mind squeaked. His attention was taken once more as the beast hopped off the counter and came closer to him, causing him to tremble. Kyla knew better then to believe nothing was wrong and looked in the direction he was looking. “Oh…” She sighed spotting what was terrorizing him, a cute little kitty-cat.
Rikku has always been terrified of cats ever since he was young. And for the most part no one can explain why, he has had no traumatic experience with them as far as he knew. This fear of cats has always made things difficult for him. For one it is not the manliest of fears and two ever where he turned there always seem to be a cat. At work his good friend who is also his supervisor and landlord has a large pet cat. Then there is Rain. Rain’s associated animal is a cat which probably lends to why he is so terrified of her. But one of the most inconveniences is that he has to hide this fear from her. If she was to learned that Rikku was afraid of a “itty-bitty-kitty-cat” she would torture him for the rest of his life, refusing to let him live it down.
“Me and Rikku are going to step outside, try not to take too long.” Kyla said pulling Rikku to his feet. His legs were wobbly making it difficult for him to walk. “Awww a Kitty!” Rain cooed picking up the kitten and cuddling it in her arms. A shiver shot up Rikku’s spine as he quickly made his way out the door with Kyla, almost tumbling on the way out.
“Are you going to be ok? You look scared out of your wits.” Kyla said worriedly as Rikku worked to catch his breath. “Yeah thanks for getting me out of there.” He replied wiping the sweat from his face then glancing over at his sister. “Are you sure you never get even a tiny bit scared around cats?” He asked. “I’ve never been scared around a cat. I love cats, though I often have to resist the urge to chase them.” She informed him, a grin stretching across her face. “That’s kind of creepy…” He sighed. “I can’t help it. Some of us are more like our spirit animal then others.” She giggled. “But you got a cool one, a winged wolf while I got the lame rat. How does it even make sense for us to be twins and be so different!? Besides, why does there have to be so many cat variations: Rain is a regular cat, Britt a white tiger, and Domon a lion…” He groaned, he always seems to get the short side of the stick. “Awww don’t feel bad, the spirit animal doesn’t make the monkey-demon you know.” She encouraged patting him on the shoulder that goofy grin of hers lighting up her face. He just sighed as he looked away from her.
All monkey-demons have a spirit animal, something unique only to this species. A spirit animal is basically a monkey-demon’s inner animal that often influences the demon’s personality or other characteristics. Some are more influenced then others, such as Kyla who often runs around on all fours like a wolf and has a canine’s intense sense of smell, while Rikku’s is limited to his wit and his fear of cats. There are other interesting attributes to having a spirit animal such as how they are influenced by the different colored moons.
“We’re done here if you’re about ready to start leaving.” Britt informed Kyla as she led the parade outside. “Ok… I already have the supplies for our trip. We should get going… It’s already noon.” Kyla replied pulling a strange electronic device from her pocket in order to check the time. “Right… We will have to travel wisely. If we’re lucky we’ll get to the top at nightfall.” Felix sighed. Everyone but Kyla, Sarah, and Star glanced at him in shock that he had said so much and with such an even tone. He disregarded everyone’s looks as he turned on his heel and led the journey out of town.
It wasn’t difficult for them to get out of town and find their way to the base of the mountain. Now the challenging part would begin. For the most part no one climbs the mountain anymore. If they wanted to cross they would take a hover-car, but the group was too large for this, and the only thing large enough to accommodate them, the hover-ship, was destroyed. There was no other choice for them but to make their way up the steep paths to the top. All of the demon characters had no problem transcending the rocky terrain. Felix also appeared to climb with ease. Even Matt and Ash managed to keep up, having a small race every now and again. But then there was Sarah who was proving to be the weakest link.
“Hey are you ok back there?” Kyla asked as she and everyone else stopped to look back at her. “Y-y-yes… I am afraid I am not used to so much walking. I’m getting quite tired.” Sarah panted as she slowly reached a small stretch of flattened land where everyone waited. “We’re still pretty far from the top…” Kyla informed growing worried. She started back to leading everyone up the path as Sarah continued to struggled along behind them. Soon her legs began to wobble with each step she took and her vision started to blur due to the heat. She was trying hard to pull her own weight but due to her sheltered life she wasn’t used to this, and finally everything clouded over and her legs gave in. She fell to the ground with a soft thud on the brink of unconsciousness. “Sarah!” Kyla shouted as she and everyone crowded around Sarah. She tried to make out their blurred shapes as even their words became inaudible as everything went black.
The sun was already starting to set when Sarah woke up to find she was still moving. She groggily lifted her head to be greeted by a mop of white hair. “Felix!” She squeaked blushing. “You shouldn’t overwork yourself like that; you know… all you do is make the kid worried sick.” Felix told her. He was carrying her on his back until they reached their destination. They needed to keep moving and though they wouldn’t tell her they were moving faster now that he was carrying her. “I’m sorry to worry… I just wanted to do my part.” She whimpered. She rested her head against Felix’s back once more as her head began to ach. “But each of us has limitations… and you have to realize yours. You’re not like the kid and them; they are used to strenuous activity. Even me, Ash, and Matt are more built for this. You grew up in the lap of luxury, you are not used to doing this, and you can’t take it all on at once, it doesn’t work that way.” He lectured, and of course he was absolutely right. “You are more talkative.” She noted out loud then added, “You seem less angry as well.” “Let’s just say that I have some inner demons that I am starting to work out.” He told her with a sigh. He had come very far in a short amount of time but he knew he was still having problems letting everything go. He has lived so long with nothing but his anger and hate acting as though he didn’t care about the world or if the world cared for him, what does he have left if he abandons all that. He decided not to think on it, it would only give him a headache. I’ll just take things as they come… He told himself as he repositioned Sarah slightly.
“Are we there yet?” Matt groaned as night had gathered around them. “That makes 47 times you have asked that… You ask one more time and I WILL kick your @$$.” Felix scolded. “Scary.” Ash and Matt squeaked. Kyla broke into laughter. They had made it up the very last hill. “Don’t kill each other yet. We’re here.” She told them turning her eyes shining a bright blue in the dark. They had finally managed to make it to the top of the mountain without much more incident. There was a little cottage there nestled between a few trees. “Does someone live here!?” Sarah asked amazed as Felix carefully set her on her feet. She glanced around at the star filled sky that surrounded them; she doesn’t see views like this often. “Not anymore. The previous owners died, but the place is said to be haunted. I hope that doesn’t scare you off though.” Kyle replied with a small snicker as she walked inside.
The cottage appeared much larger on the inside then it did on the outside. It had a living area that was opened up to the conjoined dining room and kitchen. In the back there were about four rooms plus a bathroom. Kyla and Domon were working in the kitchen trying to get dinner ready as everyone else took the time to relax. Rikku, Rain, and Britt played card games on the floor. Britt appeared to be winning most of the time. Matt sat with star on the loveseat determined to learn more about her and try to warm his way into her heart. Felix did as he always did and sat there alone, in silence, reading his book. Lastly Sarah and Ash sat on the couch resting their feet. “Are you ok?” He asked as he took his shoes off. “Yeah… just tired and hungry.” She replied pushing her hair behind her ear. “Don’t worry dinner will be done soon!” Kyla yelled peeking through the kitchen archway. “Wow she has good hearing.” Ash noted. Sarah just giggled as she looked over at Felix. I wonder what book he is reading. She pondered wishing she could glimpse the title but his hand was covering it. Felix glanced up at her. She quickly turned away as her face started turning red. Something about her reaction brought a smile to his face as he returned to his book.
“Food!” Kyla called. Everyone quickly piled into the dining room eager to eat after the long climb they had that day. “Wow this looks delicious, thank you!” Star chirped picking up her plate and piling some food on it. “Don’t thank me; Domon did most of the cooking.” Kyla replied with a smile. Domon blushed slightly as he gave a nervous smile. “A guy who can actually cook!? Are you sure this isn’t poison?” Matt asked taking a spoon full of food and sniffing it. “Don’t worry Domon is actually a good cook. He does all the cooking back home.” Rain told them taking her seat with her plate. “Yeah because you want do it.” Rikku criticized. “Like you should talk!” She hissed back. “Well at least I don’t burn everything I touch.” He shot back. Everyone else broke into laughter as the two continued to shoot insults back and forth.
After dinner Felix and Sarah washed the dishes as everyone else enjoyed their time together. “It’s nice being together like this.” Sarah said out loud not really expecting a response. “It is…” Felix breathed making her jump in shock. “Y-yeah. It is almost like we’re one large family.” She chirped handing Felix another plate to rinse. She always had a concept of a family always smiling and spending time together, like her friends were now, though her own family wasn’t always like that. “A family… interesting thought…” He sighed rinsing the dish and adding it to the stack to dry. In a way she was right. This was the closest he had come to having a family in a long while, and though he would never admit it, he liked how it felt… but… “Don’t get used to it… it won’t always be like this. Things change.” He added taking the last dish from her, rinsing it, and placing it gently with the others. He looked over at Sarah who had fallen silent after his last statement. He looked deep into her mismatch eyes. They gleamed with her innocence, how he wished he could have the same pureness. He had seen too much in his time to see the world the same way she did. She blushed as she gazed back into his eyes noticing how they no longer stabbed at her with coldness, but almost had warmth to them.
“Hey thank you for doing the dishes.” Kyla said walking into the kitchen. Sarah quickly turned away from Felix, stuttering out a “you’re welcome.” “Did I interrupt something?” Kyla teased looking from Sarah to Felix and back again. “N-n-n-no of course not!” Sarah stammered her whole face going red. Felix gave her a smile amused by how she was acting. The sight of his smile made her begin to tremble. Why am I so nervous? She pondered hugging herself and rubbing her hands up and down her arms. “Is there something you need?” Felix inquired looking down at Kyla. “I was just going to suggest us going on to bed. They’ve all crashed already, plus we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow to get back down the mountain.” Kyla informed them leading them into the living room. Star was asleep on the loveseat, Ash on the couch and Matt on the floor between the two pieces of furniture. “Everyone else are in the back rooms there should be enough room left for the two of you.” Kyla told them. “Where are you going to sleep?” Sarah asked. “In front of the door, I feel safer there.” Kyla replied walking towards the door. “So you of all people are afraid of the dead?” Felix questioned giving a slight smirk. “It’s not the dead I fear… it’s the living. Good night.” Kyla said waving them off. Both Felix and Sarah traveled to the back of the cottage, and picking separate rooms went to bed.
Kyla curled up in front of the door. If someone was to try and break in they would have to go through her. “But he was right… there is nothing you fear more than the spirits of the dead haunting you.” A voice said sending a shiver up her spine. It was a male voice, one she didn’t recognize. “Shut up.” She commanded out loud wrapping her tail around her as she tried to curl up in the tiniest ball possible. She didn’t have the time to feel guilty for what she has done, not now.

It was late at night when a loud bang and Kyla’s growls rang through the house waking everyone. Those in the back rooms came rushing in. Felix had he sword drawn ready to strike though it was too dark to see. “Kyla are you alright!?” Sarah called worried due to being unable to find Kyla’s glowing eyes. “Yeah they kicked dirt into my eyes. Don’t worry I got this.” Kyla replied. She thought about the layout of the room. She was around the middle of the room; their two visitors were right in front of her. Ash, Matt, and Star were gathered at the wall trying to grasp what was going on, everyone else in the hallway with Felix leading the group. It is time to put that technique to the test. She told herself. She had been experimenting with a new ability for the last couple of months but she hadn’t had a chance to test it yet. “HOLY!” She started as she focused her energy. She crouched down with her right leg out. “Wait! Kyla!?” A voice shouted but it was too late. “CIRCLE!” She finished twirling clockwise making a complete circle with her sweeping leg. A light shot up around her from the circle she made. There was a thud as the attackers were sent flying to the floor temporarily paralyzed as the holy magic shot up through their bodies. The light rose up of the ground and dispersed, shooting around the room to all the candles and lanterns, lighting them.
Kyla sat on the ground rubbing her eyes. Everyone else closed in on the intruders now that they could see. In front of her laid two boys: one with long black hair and a red headband and twin swords on his back, the other with spiky blond hair. “Yup that’s Kyla.” The blond one said. Kyla sniffed the air. “Tie!? Vinny!?” She shouted excitedly as she recognized their scents. “Wow imagine running into you two here.” Rikku greeted. “Us!? We’ve been here for two weeks. Imagine all of you here.” The black haired one replied. “Two weeks?” Domon pondered. “Yeah Vinny wanted to do a training trip so we came up here.” The blond, Tie, said sitting up now that the paralysis was wearing off. “What was with the sand?” Kyla asked managing to get to her feet and going to the sink to wash the dirt out of her eyes. Domon walked with her in order to help her. “Sorry. You kinda scared me when I opened the door and BAM you were there.” Vinny, the brunet apologized with a slight giggle. “Yeah… as heartwarming as this little reunion is, we have a long trip tomorrow; I’m going back to bed.” Britt yawned, trudging back to her room. “Well Hey to you to Britt.” Vinny barked. She waved back at him.
“Britt’s right. We should be going back to bed. We’ll continue this in the morning.” Kyla said walking back over her face wet but her eyes clear. “Right. I understand. We’ve been crashing here, if you don’t mind sharing.” Tie said climbing to his feet. “Sure. There should be enough room.” Kyla replied curling back up in front of the door. Everyone else settled back into their sleeping arrangements as well. Now that everyone was comfortable Kyla used her magic to send a soft breeze around the room, stronger at the flames, blowing out all the candles.


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