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 Justice Hearts (novel)

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Custom User Title : Iris Heart ~ Plutia Join date : 2013-02-26
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PostSubject: Justice Hearts (novel)   Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:22 pm

FOREWORD

This story is a spin-off from Shane's Cave Story / Dragon Riders. It tells the tale of how Team Justice Hearts came to be. It is also the prequel to my first Cave Story mod, known as Reach for the Stars, Justice Hearts. This novel is rated TEEN for violence, potentially language and who knows what else.

Use the comments thread that is used for Shane's Cave Story 0 for comments to this.

...

What else can I say?

- Taylor
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PostSubject: Re: Justice Hearts (novel)   Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:23 pm

CREDITS / TABLE OF CONTENTS

CREDITS:
Shane: For allowing Taylor to post the story here.
Taylor: For writing the story.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Chapter
No.
Chapter NameChapter
Link
Chapter
Author
iForewordLinkTaylor
iiCredits / Table
of Contents
LinkTaylor
0PrologueLinkTaylor
1Dawn of SorrowLinkTaylor
2Two Stories, Two SidesLinkTaylor

...



Last edited by Taylor on Fri May 24, 2013 4:49 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Element: Poison
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PostSubject: Re: Justice Hearts (novel)   Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:28 pm

PROLOGUE


The door opened slowly, ominously. A young lady in a revealing maid outfit walked in. The man sitting on the chair smiled. "You came."
"Yes, my lord," she replied. "I have come as you have asked me to."
"Where are your friends?" the man asked.
"They're all putting on their outfits, my lord," the lady answered. "They will arrive shortly."
"Can I offer you anything? Tea? Coffee? Coke?"
"Tea would be nice, my lord. But if I may ask, is there a reason why you're offering to make tea?"
"You usually made the drinks, Mia," the man answered. "I figured it's time to make the drinks myself and let you do nothing for a change." The man walked to the girl in the maid outfit, and placed a gloved hand on her bare shoulder. "You know I won't poison you, love, but I will have to do so to the others. And please, call me by my name."
Mia smiled as she hugged the man. "I understand, Edward. Yet why kill the others?"
"You told them my plan," Edward said coldly.
"I honestly thought you were merely dreaming," Mia replied.
"Regardless, we're both going to take over the world, and rule it as I have ruled this province," Edward said.
"Really?" Mia asked. "Y-you mean...?"
"Yes, us together, as husband and wife," Edward answered. "That is, if you accept my marriage proposal."
"M-marriage proposal?" Mia asked, in shock.
"Yes," Edward said, getting on his knee. "Will you marry me, Mia Kimberleykoznihauen?" He held a small jewelry box in his hand, containing a diamond ring.
"Yes," Mia said, blushing as she put the ring on her left hand. Edward got up. "Are we to tell them?"
"We're not telling anybody until after the girls die," Edward said. "You do know that we can use that forbidden spell to bring them back, right?"
"I do," she said. "After all, if we're going to kill them, then I guess we may as well break all the other laws."
"You look cold," Edward said, removing his coat - he was wearing two coats simultaneously for some reason. He handed the coat, and a pair of black gloves, to Mia. "Put these on. And if you were wondering, Mia, I can't kill the woman I love, because then I'd lose all reason to live. That's why you're going to remain alive. I hope you understand."
Mia put the gloves on as Edward made them tea. They almost came to her shoulder, and they were warm. "Thank you, Edward. And I understand. I know that I couldn't bring myself to kill you."
"No problem, Mia," Edward replied as Mia pulled on the coat. "Although it doesn't look as though they're coming yet."
"They're probably struggling with getting Amy's outfit to fit," Mia said. "Amy's the shortest, after all."
"Well, tea's done," Edward said. "Here's to our future together!"
After the two drank their tea, the door opened and five girls, also wearing maid outfits, entered. "Corine, Bea, Amy, Diandra, Elena, you're finally here!" Mia said happily. Her happiness was fake, however.
"Follow me, girls," Edward said.
"Yes, my lord," the five girls who had just entered responded. They, along with Mia, followed Edward into a secret passage. They ended up in a shower room.
"Are we going to... shower?" Corine asked as Edward closed and barred the door behind him.
"It's just a purification thing," Edward and Mia said simultaneously. They looked at each other, surprised to have thought of the same thing.
"So the real thing is still ahead?" Bea asked.
"Yes," Edward replied. "I've already shown it to Mia." Mia blushed as Edward went behind a curtain, signalling her to go with him.
"Mia? What is the real thing?" Elena asked.
"That, friends, is a secret," Mia answered. "You'll have to see it for yourself." Mia slipped behind the curtain, and Edward handed her a gas mask.
"Put it on," he whispered, "before they get executed." He donned his own gas mask, waiting for Mia to put hers on.
She smiled as she put it on. "I am ready."
"So? When's the purification gonna happen?" Diandra asked impatiently.
"Right about now," Mia said as she pulled a lever on the ground.
"Goodbye," Edward added when he pulled a lever on the wall.
"IT'S NOT A SHOWER ROOM, IT'S A GAS CHAMBER!" Amy suddenly shouted. "DON'T BREATHE!" The room started to fill with a toxic gas. Within minutes, the five girls were starting to cough, and withing several more, they fell to the ground, dead. Edward and Mia dragged all of their corpses to a trap door that opened when the room was full of toxic gas.
"Sorry, girls," Mia said. "My life with Edward comes first."
"And vice versa," Edward added. The two lay on the floor, waiting for the gas to vanish. Eventually it did, and the duo left the gas chamber to go to a secret room nearby. They removed their gas masks. "I love you, Mia," Edward said.
"I love you too, Edward," Mia replied. The two kissed.

*****

"GAAH!"
A young boy suddenly leapt up, his hand on his forehead as though it was burning. The rest of the classroom was looking at him.
"Is something wrong, Jaden?" the teacher asked.
"N-no, I just had a nightmare, that's all," Jaden replied. The rest of the classroom laughed. The teacher shook his head.
"Jaden, how many times do I have to tell you NOT TO FALL ASLEEP IN CLASS?!" the teacher boomed. Part of the ceiling fell on top of his head as a result, knocking him out.
"Oops," a girl next to Jaden whispered. "He forgot yet again, didn't he?"
"Looks like it," Jaden replied. "Why didn't you try to wake me up? Why didn't you tell the teacher?"
"Oh, I dunno," the girl replied, blushing slightly. "Could it be because I'm your only friend? Or perhaps I think you're cute when you're sleeping? Or maybe it's because I didn't notice? Who can tell..."
"Ha ha, very funny, Alexis," Jaden said, smiling. "You always give similar answers when I ask you the same question. It must be, what, a record? Five hundred fifty-fifth time today, right?"
Alexis giggled. "Yeah. I guess we'll just leave it triple five, then," she replied, blushing. "The true reason is..." She leaned towards him and whispered into his ear. Jaden blushed. The bell rang as Alexis and Jaden got up. "Please keep it secret," she requested.
"I promise," Jaden said, smiling. Then a black monster appeared. Everyone in the classroom screamed, except for Jaden. His bravery made him stand out from the rest of the people of the Elvanian school of Roai City. "Everyone! Get back!" he shouted as he ran towards the monster. It lunged at him with sharp talons, but he evaded with a backwards spin.
"JADEN!" Alexis shouted.
"I... will... FEED... on... YOUR... darknesssssssss," the creature hissed. It disappeared into the shadow of the walls, and reappeared next to the teacher. It then struck the teacher, who also turned into a monster.
"PROFESSOR BARNARD!" Alexis shouted.
"Oh, NOW you've done it!" Jaden shouted. He focused his energy towards his left palm. "Everyone, get down, now!" he shouted.
"Jaden, don't do something stupid!" Alexis shouted, crouching behind her desk.
"Don't worry, Alexis," Jaden said confidantly, "I won't." He waited for everyone to get behind their desks. "Now... LET'S SEE HOW YOU HANDLE THIS!" He leapt upwards. "NEEDLE OF LIGHT!"
From his left palm, several needles suddenly came flying out. They struck both monsters in the eyes, causing them to disappear in a cloud of thick black smoke. It smelled like burning rubber. As the smoke dissipated, the monsters were gone. So was their professor, however.
"Professor Barnard," Jaden muttered. "You were full of darkness all this time?"
Alexis rushed to him as tears started trickling down his cheeks. "Is he..."
"Yeah, he's gone," Jaden said. Alexis hugged him tightly.
"I don't understand," Alexis replied. "Why did they attack us here?"
"No idea, but... I want to go home," Jaden said.
"Don't worry, I'll take you home as usual," Alexis said. "Let's tell the headmaster about this, though."
They went to the headmaster. He didn't believe them, or the testimonies of the other students, however, so everyone got detention for the coming Friday.

While taking Jaden home using her hoverboard, Alexis tried to cheer him up, but it didn't work. She later gave up the attempt when they were twenty kilometers away from the school. The distance between the high school of Roai City and Jaden's house in Hiara Village was approximately five hundred kilometers, so the two had to get up very early and got home very late.
"Alexis?" Jaden suddenly asked.
"Yeah?"
"What do you think of the new school uniform?" Jaden asked.
"I liked the previous school uniform," Alexis answered. She took a deep breath. "But I prefer the new ones just as much." She smiled. Jaden must have gotten over what happened earlier at school.
The previous school uniform was mostly red. Boys and girls wore a white sleeved/short sleeved shirt. The girls wore a red V-necked jumper with a maroon tie, a maroon skirt with black tights, stockings or knee-high socks and black Mary Jane shoes. Girls from years 8 and above were allowed to wear black trousers instead of a skirt. The boys wore a red V-necked jumper with a red-and-white striped tie, black trousers, grey socks and school shoes. Both girls and boys from years 8 and above were allowed to not wear ties, and to wear red, maroon, grey or black gloves as well, if they didn't take biology. If they did, they were to wear rubber gloves instead.
The current school uniform, however, was compulsory. All pupils had to wear a dark green blazer featuring lime green detailing on the sleeves and pockets, and the school logo emblazoned on the left breast pocket. The school tie was also compulsory, which was red in colour and also imprinted with small white Japanese symbols, depending on what element the student can control - students that were unable to control any elements were allowed to not wear a tie. Girls had to wear a green pleated skirt, a white blouse, and either black tights, black thigh-high stockings, grey knee-high socks or white ankle socks. Girls were allowed to wear at least two or three pairs of socks or stockings as well, if they so chose to. During the winter, girls were also required to wear black or grey elbow-length gloves, and during the summer, grey white wrist-length gloves. Girls were also allowed to wear black high-heeled shoes. Boys wear black or dark grey trousers, a white shirt, and black or dark grey socks and gloves. Boys also wore black low-heeled shoes, although girls who didn't want to wear high-heeled shoes were allowed to wear low-heeled shoes as well. An emerald green V-necked jumper was also allowed. Students who take biology classes also had to wear yellow, pink, green or blue rubber gloves over the other gloves, a gas mask, and a white blazer instead of a dark green one. The white blazer had no detailing whatsoever, but the school logo was emblazoned on the right breast pocket instead. Biology students were also not allowed to wear shoes during biology class, for some reason.
"Even if they make the biology students look scary?" Jaden asked.
"Yes, even then," Alexis replied. "Besides, gas masks are important during the war we're in."
"Yeah, the war against the Aliatunians," Jaden said slowly. "But I hate gas masks."
"I do, as well," Alexis confessed. "Yet... there's something about them that compels me to like them."
"Like?"
"Having one's face hidden," Alexis answered. "The previous masked ball that the school held?"
"I was unable to attend because I had no date and I had pinkeyes," Jaden replied. "Wait, you didn't!"
"I did wear a gas mask, but I got a detention for it," Alexis said. "However, I asked Professor Buttersmash earlier today if gas masks were allowed due to the war, and she said that it's allowed, so I can wear it this year."
Jaden sighed. "As if it's not bad enough that they're scary, they're allowed at masked balls now?"
"You're scared of gas masks?" Alexis asked.
"Yes," Jaden answered softly. "And... I had another vision today, back in class..." Jaden told her of the dream he had.
"Lord Edward killing five girls like that? And proposing to one of his maids who was in on it?" Alexis repeated. "That is creepy and fishy at the same time, but who'd believe you? They don't believe us. They used to believe me, but that was before we became friends. Man, people's minds can be twisted."
Jaden smiled as he hugged Alexis. "You're the only one who's there for me, Alexis. For that, I thank you."
"Anyway, if you haven't gotten over your fear by the time of the next masked ball, I promise I won't wear a gas mask," Alexis said. "And friends are there for each other."
"And if I get sick again?" Jaden asked.
"Oh, I dunno," Alexis said. "Maybe I'd take care of you?"
"And if it's contagious?"
"I'd wear a biohazard suit. My parents always force me to wear one if they want me to go to the stables. Stupid toxic swamp."
"Huh? There's a swamp between the stables and home?" Jaden asked in shock.
"Yep. The stables are in the middle," Alexis answered. "The horses from this continent are all immune to poison, apparently. It'd be a good place for you to get over your fear of gas masks, but I won't torture you like that."
"No, you should," Jaden said bravely. "I have to get over my fear."
"Wow, aren't you courageous today?" Alexis asked, smiling. "Are you sure? I can be relentless."
"I'm very sure," Jaden answered. "Be as unrelenting as you need to, I don't mind at all. Besides, after we leave school we're expected to go fight the Aliatunians, you heard what Professor Hayes said last week."
"And we'd have to wear gas masks then," Alexis said slowly. "I forgot. It's as though they're deliberately wanting us to die!"
"But we won't," Jaden said. "Not if we're to survive the intense war... Hold on."
Alexis' hoverboard slowed down. "Whoa, look at all these people," Alexis said slowly. "They're all... dead?"
"This looks bad," Jaden replied. "As though..."
"As though they were killed with poison gas?" Alexis whispered. She quickly reached into her bag and pulled two gas masks out. "Just to be safe." Jaden closed his eyes from fear. "Don't worry, Jaden, I won't hurt you." She put her own gas mask on after she forced the other gas mask on Jaden.
"T-thanks... I guess," he slowly said.
"No worries," Alexis replied, taking his hand. "Looks like this is the small town of Forsieksnaain, so we're halfway there. Let's hope Hiara Village is still fine."
The hoverboard slowly began to gather speed and soon it was going fast. The journey was this time in silence, mostly. Jaden almost fell asleep when Alexis said something that sounded like a muffled swear word. "Huh? What?"
"Open your eyes," Alexis replied. "Just open them, don't complain or anything. You'll have to see it to believe it."
"But..."
"JUST DO IT!" Alexis shouted.
"Fine," he replied. Jaden slowly opened his eyes and gasped in horror. "NO! T-this can't be!"
"Looks like the Aliatunians struck here," Alexis said softly. "Everybody here... dead... It's unthinkable that they're..." She started crying, although the tears merely vanished. Elvanian tears always vanish the moment they hit something that isn't the skin of an Inhuman, and if it hits the skin of a person, the person's wounds are healed if the person still lives. She made ready to remove her gas mask when Jaden stopped her.
"Don't remove it," he whispered.
"Why not? I may as well," she replied, still crying.
"How are we going to avenge everyone of Hiara Village, huh?" Jaden asked. "How are we going to get the Aliatunians back for what they've done? I can't do it on my own, and I'd rather die fighting them than let you kill yourself!"
Alexis looked at him, and hugged him. "Thanks... I needed that," she replied. "Let's go to Zianati Town, first, and hope that they're still alive there. Arilari Castle is right in the middle."
"Let's hope they'll allow us to enter while we have these scary things on," Jaden said.
"Yeah, and that they don't mistake us for Aliatunians," Alexis added.
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PostSubject: Re: Justice Hearts (novel)   Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:20 pm

CHAPTER 1
Dawn of Sorrow

She finally found the house, rumored to be the site of a thousand and one murders. She shivered. She knew she wasn't allowed to be here, that she was supposed to be at home studying for her exams, but she didn't want to let the deaths of her friends go unavenged. Slowly she got off her bicycle, pulling on a pair of warm, thick black leather gloves. She took off her backpack and crouched on the ground, starting to search for something inside. She later gave up, however, as she noticed that she had forgotten to bring along rubber gloves. She took out a gas mask and closed her backpack. Then she put the backpack on again, and got up from the ground, straightening her stockings.
"Don't worry," she said softly. "I won't forget."
She took a deep breath, and donned the gas mask. She slipped off her shoes and tied them by their shoelaces onto her bicycle. Then she crept into the yard of the mysterious house where people were killed. She came to the front door and looked at the sky. It looked as though it was about to rain. She covered her head with the hood of her jacket, and put her hands in her pockets. She sighed.
"Looks like I'm about to find out who's behind your deaths," she muttered quietly.
She opened the door. It appeared to have been uninhabited for ages, because there was a lot of dust everywhere. The ceilings were full of cobwebs, and as she stepped on the carpet, she could clearly hear the wooden floor squeaking. She must have stepped on a loose board, she had guessed. Then the door suddenly closed itself. She quickly turned around and attempted to open it, but it was locked tightly. She was trapped inside the house. No escape. Trapped without a way out. She turned around again, facing three doorways. The left one appeared to lead to the kitchen. The right one appeared to have led to a library, but a shelf was blocking it. The middle doorway went to what appeared to be a basement. She slowly crept down the stairs, taking care not to alert anyone to her presence. Ignoring the doors that she passed, she continued straight down.
"How many stairs are there?" she asked herself softly, after what seemed like the fifteenth time. She took a piece of chalk and drew a cross on the wall. She continued walking downwards, deeper and deeper down, until she spotted the same cross again. She turned around to find the doorway still there. "Ugh, moving staircases, much?" she angrily muttered.
She went back up, and this time went into the kitchen. She opened the fridge and found a lot of stuff that would make even a starving man lose his appetite. It would be enough to make a glutton run away from the fridge and stop eating for some time. The food was ancient and moldy. She guessed that the cheese would smell so horrible that she'd pass out if she hadn't worn the gas mask. If the military had known, they'd probably try and use it as a chemical - or biological, she wasn't sure which - weapon in the war. She closed the fridge slowly, then turned around. The only room left she hadn't tried exploring was the library, but luckily, there was another doorway to it. She went through the kitchen, into the library. She nearly stumbled over something, however. She quickly looked at it. It was a corpse of a soldier from the planet of Aliatu. The soldier was wearing a gas mask as well, but his chest was completely cut open. He must have bled to death.
"Well, well," the girl said softly, smiling to herself. "What have we here?"
She took the gas mask off, and giggled. Somebody had drawn smiley faces on the man's face. They appeared to be animated. The girl got up and turned around. There was a couch, so she decided to sit there for a while.
"This is pretty uncomfortable," she muttered slowly to herself, for the couch was as hard as concrete. She got up again, and spotted a door next to the shelf. She went through.
The room she found herself in this time appeared to be the living room, but there were skeletons lying everywhere. Either those were the people killed by the unknown foe in the building, or they starved to death. Whatever it was, the girl thought, she didn't care. She wasn't going to let anyone kill her. She took a step forward, then heard a loud crashing sound behind her. She turned around. The door was locked tight! She attempted to open it, but she couldn't. She sighed.
"Another one? By the looks of things, this place is haunted by ghosts," she said softly. She walked to one of the skeletons. "Well, guess I'm stuck here forever." She knocked on every wall, until one of them sounded hollow. "This should do."
She pushed the wall hard, and slowly, it opened up. She entered the room behind the hidden door, and the door slammed shut. Then she noticed someone rushing towards her - a mysterious person dressed in white, with a white hood covering his face! He struck at her with his sword, but the sword's blade broke on contact with her head.
"What the?" the mysterious boy asked.
"Nice try," the girl replied, "but I'm immortal." The girl quickly bent down and pulled a knife out of her socks, and plunged it through the heart of the boy. He staggered, and dropped dead. She pulled the knife out, and smiled to herself. She took another step forward, and then heard a hissing sound. She hated snakes... but there wasn't a snake in sight. In fact, the room was filling up with poisonous gases.The girl sighed. Everywhere on Elvania, there appeared to be gas chambers in every building, and this ancient building was no exception. If rumors were to be believed, this building had existed for nine hundred ninety-nine years, and each year a person explores the building... and ends up dead. However, three of her friends had died here three weeks ago, and their corpses weren't found - people always chose to presume those people as dead instead of doing everything they can to find them. Then the girl gasped. She saw a familiar face near a door. She ran to the body. It was that of her friend Lexi Carmichael. The girl checked Lexi for a pulse, but found none.
"Lexi, don't worry," the girl said, "I'll avenge you. I promise."
"Is that you?" the corpse asked suddenly. The girl leapt back.
"Y-you're still--"
"No. I'm dead."
"But you--"
"I managed to cast a Final Life spell on myself which would activate if anyone of my friends found me," the corpse of Lexi said. The girl took out a ring from her pocket and forced it on the finger of Lexi. "What are you doing?"
"Preventing you from dying again," the girl replied quickly. "I'm not gonna let you die. Not now." The girl placed her left hand on Lexi, and placed her right hand over her own chest. "Surge, surge a mortuis, sicut vita ad solem, et vivus factus iterum!" the girl muttered. A bright glow spread around Lexi and the girl grunted with pain as Lexi turned skeletal, yet alive.
"What have you done?!" Lexi demanded.
"I... I resurrected you as undead," the girl replied. "Retinere vestri tergum, retinent vestra personalitatem, et retinere tua priore ipse! Dimittam vobis mando, ut ego cum luce, et hostes sub umbras!" Lexi's skin grew back, along with organs and everything else.
"AARGH! It hurts!" Lexi shouted in pain.
"Per virtutem Riku! Per virtutem Sora! Per virtutem Kairi! Per virtutem Lea! Per virtutem Ienzo! Et revertere et invulnerabilis ad omnia elementa, et aspici vestra veram destinationem!" the girl chanted. "Partem reducere sanguinem trado a mortuis! Quinque sapientes vi! Ego resuscitabit te!"
A bright flash of light and Lexi looked as though she had never died. "... That hurt."
"Yes, it did, but you'll be safe from just about anything that can harm you," the girl replied. "Your life is restored and you won't be killed unless you get struck by a Void-based technique, but we all know how much strain that puts on the body."
"And I don't look like a zombie or a skeletal monster?"
"Nope, that's how the Elvanian Resurrection Spell works. The Draconian one is useless as it's been too long since your death, and you'd have died instantly," the girl explained.
"Honestly, that makes no sense," Lexi replied.
"Well, not my fault," the girl replied as she helped Lexi up. "So, are you ready to help me find Clover and Sami?"
"Geez, you just brought me back to life using a forbidden spell--"
"What do you mean, forbidden?" the girl asked suddenly.
"Oh yeah, you were absent that day, because of flu. The president of the Arilari continent said that any use of the Resurrection Spell is prohibited," Lexi answered.
"Shoot," the girl said slowly. "Well, we'll just say that the Five Sages resurrected us. I know them all personally, you know."
"Riku, Sora, Kairi, Ienzo and Lea, resurrect us?" Lexi said indignantly. "You'd have to be mad. Even the Five Sages aren't immune to poison gas or what lurks in this building!"
"Speaking of which, what was it?" the girl asked.
"I dunno, I inhaled the gas for far too long and died because of it. Dunno where Clover and Sami are, though, they had oxygen masks with them." Lexi sighed. "They told me I had to bring mine along, but as usual, stubbornness got ahold of me, it did."
"So you have absolutely no leads on those one thousand and two murders, the most recent one being caused by yours truly?"
"No," Lexi said. Then she suddenly added, "What?"
"Someone tried to kill me and failed, so I just killed him," the girl replied nonchalantly. "No big deal, it was self-defense." The girl held her knife out to her friend.
"This... isn't blood," Lexi said. "It's... milk."
"What? I thought it was ichor!" the girl replied. "What was that thing?" She turned around and rushed to the corpse of the mysterious boy, checking it. It wasn't Inhuman, it was a robot. "So I killed a machine?!"
"Looks like it," Lexi replied. "Somehow it's pretty humanlike, but then it'd have worn a gas mask - like you are - to be entirely human."
The girl removed the white hood of the android, and found that the android was faceless. "What?"
"Huh, interesting," Lexi said. "I'm taking this android with me."
"ARE YOU INSANE?!" the girl said angrily.
"It'll give me chance to analyze it, you know."
"True," the girl said slowly. "Then we'd better hurry if we want to find Clover and Sami."
"They went on deeper, to my knowledge," Lexi replied as the two went through the door Lexi was found at. "Just hope there aren't any more gas chambers in here."
"You're immune to poison, remember? Poison's a Draconian element, like Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Light, Darkness, Blood, Fabric, Sun..."
"Yeah, yeah, I get it," Lexi said impatiently. "Void's the only thing I'm weak to, right?"
"Yep," the girl said. "Void is pretty much little-known. Even the elements of Spacetime and Anti-Matter are weak to it."
"Let's hope there's no Void-using people here," Lexi said.
"Otherwise you're in trouble," the girl added. "But I won't, since I'm invulnerable. Good thing the Draconians decided to enchant clothing to be able to make the wearer immortal."
"Yeah, yeah," Lexi said. "You don't have a pair of gloves with you, do you? My hands are frozen."
"Sorry, no," the girl answered. "Although your right arm is bandaged. Or does the chill go through it?"
"Apparently so," Lexi replied. "At least it's only my hands that are cold, though."
"Yeah, otherwise I'd have resurrected an ice sculpture," the girl said.
"Hey!" Lexi retorted, smiling. She brushed her hair away from her eyes. "Some friend you are."
"Watch it," the girl said. "There's a loose board in front of you."
Lexi stopped quickly. "Thanks, Thomas," she said. "Almost alerted everyone here to our presence, no?"
"You almost did," the girl said quickly. "Wonder where Clover and Sami are lying?"

*****

Elsewhere on the Arilari continent, a young boy was honing his skills with the sword of Jason Horton, a legendary hero of Elvania. He was getting ready to fight in the war. While training, it had started raining, but he wasn't going to let that get him down. Later he saw a light approaching him.
"Who's there?"
"Relax," a voice said. It sounded feminine. "It's only me."
"Who is there?" the boy repeated.
"Arna," the voice replied. The boy let out a sigh. "You shouldn't be out in the rain, you'll catch a cold and end up in hospital. And we all know how paranoid those people are."
"Arna," the boy said, "I have to train. I have to fight in the war! It's my duty as a citizen of Arilari!"
"Even if I've got bad news?" Arna asked.
"Huh? What are you talking about?"
"Daniel," Arna began, then she started crying. Daniel went towards the light and found her holding a tissue to her face. Daniel went under the umbrella.
"What's wrong, Arna?" Daniel asked.
"Your father, he passed away," Arna said quickly, as though this would lessen the shock Daniel would receive. In response, he dropped the sword in shock.
"What? How?"
"Heart attack," Arna answered.
"Oh man," Daniel said slowly. "He was just twenty-nine!"
"And you're just nine years old," Arna said. "We both are. And more bad news. Your mother has taken to the bottle, too."
"WHAT?!" Daniel said in shock. "Darn it! I have to stop her--"
"Too late," Arna interrupted. "I've already seen her go out to get even more alcohol. She mentioned going to the bank and getting all the money so that she can buy more drinks... Sounds as though she's actually trying to celebrate..."
"I have no hope, then," Daniel said. Arna hugged him.
"I'm there for you, Daniel," she said softly. "My entire family is there as well. If you need anything, just say it."
"Thanks, Arna," Daniel said slowly, picking up the sword and sheathing it. "No doubt Mom mustn't know, in case she wants me to get money so that she can take that to use for alcoholic abuse."
"True," Arna said. "Come, let's go someplace out of the rain. You're probably hungry, aren't you?"
"Yeah, but I can't eat anything, not... not yet," Daniel said slowly. The shock of hearing about his father's death was enough to wipe his already large appetite entirely out of existence. Sure, his father was abusive sometimes, but in truth, he actually liked it. He knew it would toughen him up enough to make him ready for war. He had loved his father more than he had loved his mother, since his mother was more interested in poker and her daughter than in her own son.
"Daniel?" Arna suddenly asked.
"Wha?"
"Are you okay?" Arna asked.
"Of course not," Daniel said angrily. "My dad just died, didn't he? Why would I be alright?"
"I meant, did you accidentally hurt yourself while training," Arna said cautiously.
"Oh, er, no," Daniel said softly. "Sorry for snapping at you, Arna, it's just..."
"I understand," Arna said. "After all, your father just died, so it's obvious that you'd be easier to anger - even if you don't want to. It's just one of those things that come in the way of life."
They went to the local restaurant where they always went to if they were hungry and neither of their parents were available. They ordered bread with black tea. After dinner they went to their homes and immediately went to bed.

The next morning was more colder - and chaotic - than it had ever been in Daniel's life. His mother ended up in hospital after getting in a car accident. Arna had stopped wearing her usual purple clothing, instead donning a black outfit instead, after Daniel told her about it.
"Well, it's her own fault that she got in the hospital," Daniel heard the police say early in the morning when he pretended to be asleep. "She's always had a problem with alcohol. Even grapes, apparently."
"Can you blame her?" another officer said. "Her husband just died, and her only child was preparing for the war. Speaking of which, is it true that they're descendants of Jason Horton?"
"I dunno, we do have DNA samples of Jason, so we can try to find out if it's true," a third officer said. "Driving under the influence of alcohol is a bad idea, after all. Anyway, I'll go wake him up to tell him the news."
It was then that Daniel decided to sneak out of the house by using the window, and getting on the roof. Then he climbed down a ladder at the back of the house and ran off to Arna's house. He had told Arna everything before she had even gotten up. It was then when she went to put on her black outfit.
"Honestly, Daniel, I think your mother is trying to kill herself deliberately just to be with your father in the afterlife," she said cautiously. "Please don't take offense."
"Don't worry, I won't," Daniel replied angrily. "Point is, if she continues like that I'll end up an orphan!"
"You won't," Arna said, hugging Daniel tightly. "I won't let anyone take you away from your home. I'll try my best."
"Thanks, Arna," Daniel said softly. "You're... squeezing me too tight, though..."
"Oh, sorry," Arna said, blushing as she stepped back from Daniel. "Didn't mean to."
"I know you didn't," Daniel said softly. "You're just trying to cheer me up." Then Daniel started coughing.
"You shouldn't be outside in the rain," Arna said. "You've probably got a cold."
"Yeah, I guess you're right," Daniel replied, lying on a couch nearby a window looking out over the sea. Arna covered him with a blanket. "Thanks."
"Guess that means I'll have to stay here the whole time, then?" Arna asked herself.
"You don't have to," Daniel replied before he started coughing again. Arna sat on the chair directly opposite Daniel, covering herself with a blanket as well.
"Look, Daniel," she said, "you're ill. As a friend, it's my responsibility to take care of you."
"Amun?" Daniel asked.
"Amun," Arna said. "Why is it that it's the only Draconian word you know?"
"Eh, too lazy," Daniel said, trying not to laugh. Arna giggled as she covered her face with a gas mask. She took her slippers off. "W-what are you d-d-doing?"
"Oh, don't worry, I'm just going to try and make some medicine," Arna answered as she got up again and walked, in her stockinged feet, through an open glass door. She shut it tightly.
"Arna?" Daniel asked. He was worried.
She ignored him as she began working on a medicine. Elvanian medicine was basically requiring cauldrons and ingredients, something that Surfacians would consider witchcraft... although some of them even went on to write books. A series of books Daniel had once heard Arna reading were Surfacian books - about a ten-year old boy who didn't know he was a wizard until a half-giant told him, and how he became the one who stopped a guy called He Who Must Not Be Named. Daniel wasn't very attentive back then, so he didn't understand anything about that. He was more of a fighter than a reader. He started dozing off...

"Are you guys ready?" a girl asked.
"Ready as ever," another girl replied.
"Of course we are!" a third girl answered.
"I wanna know what's so important that you dragged me away from the salon!" a fourth girl said disappointed.
"Yep," a girl looking similar to Arna added.
"Oh yeah!" a boy - Daniel had the strange suspicion it was him - shouted.
"Of course," a steel-blue-haired boy said. "Why else did I come here?"
"Come on, don't keep us in suspense!" a pink-haired girl replied.
"No," a purple-haired girl added. "I can wait for this. Please don't hurry up."
"Okay then!" the first girl said, and she opened a curtain. Hanging on the wall was an impressive-looking logo reading 'Justice Hearts'. "As of today, us nine guys and gals are the founders of Team Justice Hearts!" A massive applause followed.

"Daniel?"
"Gaah!" Daniel suddenly came upright. He had been dreaming. "What? Who?"
"Sorry," Arna said, "didn't mean to startle you."
"Oh, darn," Daniel said, "what's that smell?"
"The medicine," Arna replied.
"What? By the Sages, there's no way in Haheria that the medicine make me better!"
"I take that as an insult," another voice said from nearby. Daniel looked around to find a brunette girl looking at him. "It smells horrible, sure, but it'll make you feel better by tomorrow evening, if you drink it now. I made it after your friend's attempt failed - thankfully she had the smart idea of contacting me before she gave you the medicine, otherwise you'd probably have ended up worse than you are now."
"Ugh, fine," Daniel said, knowing full well that he had no chance against two girls who are trying to help him-- wait, two? Arna's the only one who is kind to him, Daniel thought, so who's the new girl? He couldn't stop himself from asking. "Who are you?"
"Oh, sorry, haven't introduced myself to you yet. Arna told me your name was Daniel and that you're a descendant of the Horton family," the girl said. "My name is Kairi. I'm one of the Five Sages."
Daniel's response was a flat "What."
"What do you mean, 'what'?" Kairi asked.
"You're too young to be a sage!" Daniel said. Arna covered her face with her palm.
"Daniel, haven't you learnt anything yet?" she asked.
"Huh?"
"The Sages are young, sure, but that's because Kairi here makes Potions of Youth for them all," Arna explained. "That's the most difficult potion to make, since the important ingredients are all over the planet."
"For your information, I'm really seven hundred years old," Kairi added. "I always drink a Potion of Youth every ten years. So does the other four Sages."
"Oh," Daniel said slowly. "Sorry if I offended you in any way, ma'am."
"Please, call me Kairi," Kairi said angrily.
"Sorry, Kairi," Daniel said.
"Apologies accepted," Kairi said with a smile. "Now, drink up. You'd want to feel better by the day after tomorrow, don't you?"
Daniel nodded as he forced the medicine down his throat. It tasted worse than it smelled, if that was even possible, and he felt as though his organs were going to stop suddenly and turn into mud. "Yuck!"
"Daniel, what were you moaning about?" Arna asked.
"Oh yeah," he said suddenly. "I was dreaming. About some Team Justice Hearts thing."
"Were you among them?" Kairi suddenly asked.
"Yeah," Daniel answered.
"Was Arna there as well?" Kairi asked.
"Yes, she was," Daniel answered.
"I see," Kairi said slowly.
"What?" Arna asked.
"Daniel and I both had the same dream," Kairi answered. "We should wait until after the funeral of your parents before we can go to Ienzo, though. He'll be able to--"
"My parents?" Daniel asked. "My father's dead, but my mother--"
"Passed away a few minutes after you fell asleep," Arna interrupted. "Sorry."
"So now I am an orphan," Daniel said, lying down again.
"Don't worry," Kairi said. "I arranged for you to live with me, Daniel. As well as you, Arna."
"What?" Arna said. "M-me? As well?"
"Trust me," Kairi said happily. "Besides, Arna, you want to become better at potions, and Daniel has no home left, right?"
"I see," Arna replied. "You'll be teaching me?"
"You bet! And Daniel can train peacefully inside an empty cave, without having to worry about rain!" Kairi concluded. "My house is connected to said cave, so it'd impossibly to get wet. And, unlike most houses in Elvania, the Five Sages don't have gas chambers as part of their houses. So there's nothing to fear!"
"Anyway, you were talking about Ienzo?" Arna asked.
"Oh yeah. He'll be able to interpret our dreams and say what it means," Kairi said. "Let's wait for the funeral, okay?"

*****

Back at the mysterious house, Thomas and Lexi were still searching for their friends.
"Seriously, where are they?" Lexi asked. "It's as though they didn't want to be found!"
"We've explored the entire house, except for the basement," Thomas said. "Let's go there once more..."
The duo went downstairs to the entrance, and started a slow descent down the basement. The stairs didn't move this time. The entire house was now full of poison gas. Whoever lived in this house didn't want them to get out without releasing the gas into the Arilarin air - that would most certainly make the job of the Aliatunians much easier, if everybody suddenly died of inhaling poison gas mysteriously. Lexi opened a door and gasped.
"What?" Thomas asked.
"Clover!" Lexi said softly. The girl named Clover fell out of the closet, as dead as a doorknob. Her oxygen mask was in her hand, but what was unusual was that it was gloved. Clover hated wearing gloves.
"Take her to the top of the staircase," Thomas commanded. "Wait with her until I find Sami. And remove those gloves she's wearing."
"Gotcha!" Lexi replied, grabbing the corpse and dragging it up the stairs. Meanwhile, Thomas ran downwards, determined to find Sami. At the bottom of the staircase, however, she had found someone who was still alive. It looked like a girl her age, although she was entirely clothed in black and had black wings. Her hair was covered with a hood, and she stood with her back to Thomas. Thomas couldn't see her face.
"So, you finally came," the mysterious girl said. "I've been waiting for you."
"Who are you?" Thomas asked.
"My name is of no importance, Nadia Thomas," the girl replied. Thomas gasped.
"So you know my name," she said, smiling - not that the girl would notice.
"You are here to get your friends Lexi, Clover and Sami out and avenge them," the girl said. "I know all about you four. It has been foretold that destiny wants it to happen."
"D-destiny?!" Nadia stuttered. Then she continued in a confident voice "Oh, so you're one of those weirdos."
"You come from this continent of Arilari. You left home to come here, you're supposed to be at home studying..."
"HOW DO YOU KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT ME?" Nadia shouted. "HOW DO YOU KNOW?"
"As I have said, destiny has told me," the girl answered. "In ten minutes, your friend Lexi will have come down dragging Clover with her, while you will continuously try to strike me down, not being able to land a single hit."
"I'm going to attack you right now!" Nadia shouted, taking her dagger. She struck at the girl, who merely dodged. She threw the dagger, but the girl merely spun on her heel, avoiding the dagger - only then did Nadia notice that the mysterious girl wore a gas mask that isn't Elvanian, Draconian or Surfacian in origin. The dagger collided with a lever, which opened a trap door above. Sami's mutilated corpse dropped out, stained with mud. She had worn her oxygen mask, however.
"... I didn't foresee that," the girl said in shock. "Looks like destiny has only foretold part of the future."
"SHUT UP!" Nadia shouted. "ENOUGH WITH YOU AND DESTINY! BURN IT! I DON'T GIVE A CHLORON ABOUT DESTINY!"
"Let your anger flow free, Nadia," the girl said. "Let it all out."
"Y-YOU EVEN LIKE THIS?!" Nadia shouted. "YOU ARE SO DEAD!"
Nadia continued her relentless assault, with the mysterious girl evading every attack. Eventually, Nadia heard movement behind her. "I was right," the girl said. "There they are."
Lexi had dragged Clover downstairs. "I heard shouting-- whoa, who's that?"
"Surge, surge a mortuis, sicut vita ad solem, et vivus factus iterum!" Nadia began chanting, focusing her energy on both Sami and Clover. "Retinere vestri tergum, retinent vestra personalitatem, et retinere tua priore ipse! Dimittam vobis mando, ut ego cum luce, et hostes sub umbras! Per virtutem Riku! Per virtutem Sora! Per virtutem Kairi! Per virtutem Lea! Per virtutem Ienzo! Et revertere et invulnerabilis ad omnia elementa, et aspici vestra veram destinationem! Partem reducere sanguinem trado a mortuis! Quinque sapientes vi! Ego resuscitabit te!" A bright flash of light and both Clover and Sami looked as though they were merely taking a nap.
"What's going on?" Clover asked as she got up. "And why'm I gloved?"
"I feel... odd," Sami said as she got up. "And why's there dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane in the air?"
"Dichloro-what?" Lexi asked confused.
"It's not insecticide," the mysterious girl said. "Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or DDT as people shorten it, is an insecticide that's also toxic to people. This building is full of chlorine."
"Oh," Sami said softly. "I'm so dizzy I can't even think straight..."
"You'll get over it," Lexi said.
"Why're we alive?" Clover asked. "We're not wearing gas masks, yet we're acting as though there is no poison gas!"
"Your friend has used an impressive spell upon you," the girl replied. "Plenty of ominous Latin chanting, but even then, using a forbidden spell to bring you back from the dead almost entirely immortal, at the age of thirteen? Her spell skill is already beyond that of a twenty-five year old half-elvish Keyblade wielder from the planet of Irova." The girl turned to face Nadia. "You wanted to know my name earlier. I am Paine. Paine Sorcerichard. I shall ally myself with you four."
"What?!" Nadia exclaimed. "Oh no, you don't!"
"She's on our side," Sami said. "She deliberately killed us three to test you."
"WHAT?!" both Clover and Lexi exclaimed.
"You killed them deliberately to test me?!" Nadia exclaimed angrily.
"Indeed," Paine replied. "Poisoning Lexi with chlorine gas was the first thing I did once they came here. The second one was hypnotising Clover into removing her own oxygen mask and put herself in that closet to suffocate to death in an enclosed space without oxygen - she wore special Aliatunian gloves that removes oxygen from an area."
"As for me," Sami said, "she strangled me with my scarf. She knew you'd be able to bring us back from the dead, since the staircases only move if there's no undead nearby."
"You were in on this?" Clover asked. "I thought you were my friend!"
"So did I!" Lexi shouted.
"Hold it!" Nadia exclaimed. "Maybe Paine was right about destiny, although I won't admit it. From where is your gas mask, Paine?"
"It's Hauralian," Paine replied. "Hauralians tend to make gas masks by order instead of mass production."
"I've never heard of Hauralians," Lexi said.
"They live on a moon of Draconia, Huaralio," Sami said. "While Paine and I were talking about Nadia's test, she told me a lot about her home. Everyone there is required by law to wear gas masks at night, much like several continents on Elvania. They make gas masks only when requested to - so that the gas mask will fit the requester. Paine's is unique in that it's a prototype Aliatunian gas mask, though, since her other gas mask was given to me."
"She had two?" Clover asked.
"Uh huh," Paine replied. "The Aliatunians are responsible for this war, and I'm an Aliatunian who hates war, so I rebelled and joined the Elvanians using the prototype gas mask that I stole from them. They can't recreate it either since I stole the blueprints. It's impossible for them to be immortal, as a result, since Aliatunian gas masks have a limited oxygen supply, unlike Draconian ones. Let's get out of here, anyway. We have a lot of things to do to stop the Aliatunians from building their doomsday device."
"Where to?" Lexi asked.
"Zianati Town," Paine replied. "Once there, we'll be safe from hazards like poisonous gas, provided the Aliatunians haven't broken through the dome yet."
"Zianati Town is where I used to live when I was younger," Clover said. "I miss it."
"We'd better hurry up," Nadia said. "Whether I like it or not, if they're planning a doomsday device, we'd better find a way to stop them."
"Agreed," Sami said. "So how are we getting there? Walking?"
"Hoverboards?" Clover asked.
"Cars," Lexi said. "Right?"
"You're all wrong," Nadia said. "I know a teleportation spell."
"Actually, hoverboards is best," Paine said. "If we just teleport into Zianati Town, won't people freak out?"
"True," Nadia said. "And maybe we'll be able to go through the castle of Arilari."
"Impressive idea," Clover said. "I always wanted to meet the continent's lordship."
"I'm hungry," Lexi said. "Is that normal for an undead person?"
The girls laughed. "Yeah, even the dead can't stop you from being a glutton," Sami said jokingly.
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Custom User Title : Iris Heart ~ Plutia Join date : 2013-02-26
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Nickname : The Eternal Oblivion EX, Cos

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Element: Poison
Limit Breaks: Toxic Flower / Toxic Sun / Poison Gas Explosion

PostSubject: Re: Justice Hearts (novel)   Fri May 24, 2013 4:48 pm

CHAPTER 2
Two Stories, Two Sides

Looking at the map, she began to think. Was the best course of action to strike while the kingdom is in chaos? She breathed loudly through her gas mask. The sound it produced was scary to other people, but she didn't care. She liked it. It was the one thing that made her relax, the other two being her boyfriend, who also wore his gas mask all the time, and her younger sister.
"Dorlanx."
A boy rushed into the room. "What is it, Xylorta?"
"What do you think? Shall we head from Xylon Town to Arilari Castle and kill the current lord and lady?" Xylorta asked.
"Are you crazy?" Dorlanx replied. "That guy is scary with a capital 'scare'. And he hasn't gotten married yet."
"I know, but walking there takes several weeks due to how the roads are built," Xylorta said. "Eh, whatever, let's just see what locations we can attack."
Dorlanx walked to Xylorta. "How about Ziar Town?"
"No way, that's my hometown," Xylorta said angrily. "I won't be attacking this town either, this is where you grew up."
"True," Dorlanx replied. "So, let's just... explore a bit, without these gas masks."
"What?!" Xylorta exclaimed. "Without... Are you out of your mind?!"
"Look, it'll be easier to find a weak place to get rid of," Dorlanx said.
"And what about the Aliatunians using poison gas to kill people with?" Xylorta retorted. Dorlanx scratched his head.
"Oops, I forgot about them," he admitted. "Let's just use the civilian gas masks instead."
"Alright, fine," Xylorta said, knowing that she wouldn't be able to convince Dorlanx to give up the idea. "The map's coming with us, though."
"Obviously," Dorlanx said happily. "So, where to first, princess?"
"How about..." Xylorta traced the route from Xylon Town to Kransdorp. "Kransdorp? I hear the view from the top of the bell tower there is unbelievable."
"Kransdorp it is!" Dorlanx replied. "But what about our names? We don't want people to--"
"Relax. It's taken care of, Arnold."
"My name's not Arnold... wait, that's--"
"I know," Xylorta said happily. "The names of our Somebodies... although Taylor has two Somebodies. Let's go, soon."
"Okay," Dorlanx replied. "Hopefully my skills as a cordon bleu will come in handy!"
"As a what?" Xylorta asked angrily.
"Cordon bleu. Chef. Whatever you want to call it."
"Oh. Well, I hear that the people over at the Haheria continent serve scorpions, centipedes, snakes, frogs, and other disgusting stuff, apparently," Xylorta replied. "Maybe, oh, I dunno, we could go there and have a bite?"
"NO WAY!" Dorlanx said, shivering with fear. "Those things could be toxic to us!"
"So what?" Xylorta replied. "That's why we've got rings of poison immunity. Honestly, the Elvanian Congregation ought to make THOSE the official anti-poison gas thing, instead of gas masks, then us Organizationites can wear gas masks freely while people cower in fear. I mean, seriously, EVERYONE wearing our uniform?"
"We are not the only Organization who wear gas masks and black clothing as part of our uniforms," a serene voice from behind Xylorta said suddenly. Xylorta gasped.
"Xidana! You startled me!" Xylorta said angrily. "Don't do that!"
"I apologize," Xidana said courteously and serenely. "I was merely stating what is on my mind."
"We should change your name to Serenity," Dorlanx jeered. Xidana calmly walked to him, and her left hand began to glow white. "Hey, since when were you wearing white gloves--"
"Think fast!" Xylorta quickly said.
"What?" Dorlanx asked. Then Xidana slapped him, the glow fading from her gloved hand. He fell to the ground, his hand on his cheek.
"Warned ya," Xylorta said. "Xidana's one of those unique girls who can harm the immortal ones. She'd be able to kill us both if she wanted to. Heck, she can kill the entire Organization if she wants to!"
"Just like that Somebody?" Dorlanx asked, slowly getting up.
"Exactly," Xidana answered. "You asked for it. As a Nobody, the X is very important. Hence, Serenity would be useless, considering that there is no X in it. Besides, you forgot about the Guardian of Jason Bond. She is named Serenity, and she is obsessed with rainbows." Xidana turned to her older sister. "Also, the rings of poison immunity would be entirely useless against nerve gases."
"Why? Is it because you're a smart aleck?" Dorlanx asked.
"Nerve gases are basically different kinds of poison gas, isn't it?" Xylorta asked, ignoring the comment of her boyfriend.
"Correct," Xidana answered. "But nerve gases appear to bypass immunity to poison because you would need to prevent the gas from coming into contact with your skin. After all, it can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, thus causing harm to the nervous and respiratory system. Also, I was spying on the Aliatunians yesterday..."
"So that's were you were," Dorlanx said.
"Shut it, jerk, before I break your neck," Xidana retorted coldly. "How else do you think I prevented the previous boyfriends of Xylorta from messing with her?"
"Wait, you didn't!"
"Yep, she killed them all," Xylorta replied. "Anyway, you were saying?"
"I was spying on the Aliatunians yesterday, overheard their leader saying that they would have to start using sarin, soman, tabun and VX gas to get rid of the Elvanians," Xidana said. "Sadly, they discovered me so I executed them with the Death Gas technique."
"Death Gas?!" Dorlanx said in shock. "You don't mean..."
"Yes, she does," Xylorta replied. "She could prove it, if you don't believe us. Since she was four, she had trouble breathing, and eventually was on the verge of dying. She is actually allergic to oxygen. Thankfully, I was determined enough to do anything I can to save her, so I made a deal with that Xishiro girl who calls herself the Goddess of Death. I... I asked for her to save Xidana - and her Somebody, who was also suffering from the same illness that baffled those Surfacians - and Xishiro did. I offered my life to save Xidana."
"WHAT?!" Dorlanx shouted. "But..."
"I know, I'm still alive. Xishiro did save Xidana and her Somebody... but Xishiro took our parents instead, saying that she can't take the lives of girls younger than she was when her parents died. Apparently they died when she was seventeen years of age, so she will try to save any girl under the age of seventeen if she's asked."
"So where does--"
"She is still busy, birdbrain," Xidana said angrily. "Or else."
"Anyway," Xylorta continued as though she wasn't interrupted, "since then Xishiro raised us. I was surprised. Nobody expected a Goddess of Death to have such a heart. Eventually, Xishiro decided to take a tiny part of her own soul and merge it with Xidana's. Since then her blood has become toxic - so if I were you, Dorlanx, I'd stay away from her blood unless I'm wearing a HAZMAT suit or something similar. And she can breathe poison gas if she wanted to. She is also immune to Death Gas due to Xishiro's soul being a part of hers. As a result, she can also breathe Death Gas because Xishiro is the one who created it in the first place."
"You're not joking, are you?" Dorlanx asked. Xylorta shook her head.
"Nope. If she was to breathe it now, you'd die. I also have a tiny portion of Xishiro's soul in my own." Xylorta sighed. "Xidana, have you gained control over the toxicity of your breath?"
"Sadly, I have not," Xidana said. "I still exhale highly toxic gas instead of carbon dioxide."
"Darn," Xylorta said softly. "So you're gonna have to keep wearing that gas mask."
Xidana smiled; unlike the gas masks of Dorlanx and Xylorta, which covered their faces entirely, Xidana's gas mask is made in a way that allows people to see her face. "I do not mind wearing it," she said. "I kind of like wearing it, if I had to be brutally honest. Along with the great uniform. All hail Xeshan and Kimx."
"You have the Aliatunians to blame," Xylorta said. "After all, this stupid war started on your eighth birthday, and you're, what, fourteen now?"
"If my own sister is unable to remember my age, there is no hope for her," Xidana replied, with a hint of sarcasm in her voice. "But yes, I am fourteen and a half years old at the moment. If you cannot remember your own age, sister, you're seventeen now."
"I wonder how Xeshiro is doing at the moment?" Xylorta asked, sounding worried.
"D'you know where she is?" Dorlanx asked. Xylorta shook her head. "We'll try lookin' for her when we get the chance, okay?"
"That'd be nice," Xylorta said. "Where are you going, Xidana?"
Xidana shrugged. "I merely fancy a walk in the poison rain," she replied in a serene voice, not looking at her sister. "Even so, I've a lot to do afore we leave for Kransdorp, including getting control over my toxic breath, that'll kill thousands of people if I don't." She opened the door and walked out.
"She's acting really strange, you know," Dorlanx said. "Stranger than usual."
"For once, Dorlanx, I agree," Xylorta replied. "She never goes out into any sort of rain unless the Organization commands it. And the way she spoke... It's very... unusual."
"Not to mention she said 'I've' and 'that'll' and 'don't'," Dorlanx added. Xylorta gasped.
"I didn't even notice!" she exclaimed. "Something must be up!"

Outside, a girl was talking over the phone to somebody. "You know that Ninja Academy? Put them all to sleep, and make sure to kill that Sashimi kid. I'll be there in four days, unless my sister's travel to Kransdorp begins soon." The girl smiled as she drew a red X on a door nearby. Part of the crayon broke, but she didn't mind. The toxic rain would make the crayon toxic to the touch, forcing HAZMAT workers to do something about it. She turned around and began to walk at a brisk pace. Then she bumped into a girl younger than her. "Hey! Watch where you're going!"
"Sorry!" the young girl said, coughing blood. The gasmask-wearing girl quickly got up and ran to the little girl.
"Why're you coughing blood?" the elder girl asked. "Who are you?"
"Shirley," the young girl whispered, "Shirley... Adams." She coughed even more blood, then fell limp, eyes closed. The other girl quickly caught her and checked for a pulse.
"Still alive, but barely," she muttered. "Judging by how tired she looked, she must have been running from something. What could have chased her this much?"
The girl picked Shirley up and carried her to a room under the ground. Once inside, she placed Shirley on a bed inside a gas chamber with glass walls, removing her shoes and putting it on the ground. She pressed a button on a control panel nearby, and the chamber filled with a lime green gas. Then she walked to a table with a notepad and began to scribble. Xidana smiled. If she was lucky, she could make Shirley into her ally. If not, Shirley'd end up a heroine. Either way, Shirley'd still become important to her plans, and Xidana wasn't going to let anyone interfere. If anyone tried, they'd end up brutally murdered in ways that not even the Organization would allow.

*****

Meanwhile, away from Xylon Town, someone was in deep trouble, though not as deep as Shirley was.
"SAMUEL SASHIMI!" a voice boomed.
"Oh, man, what did he do this time?" one of the girls standing at the Hiragakashi City Ninja Academy doors asked.
"Trouble, as always," a second girl replied.
"RIN AMARATSU AND SAKURA TAMELINEN!" the voice boomed again.
"Oh, those two as well? This is going to be good," a third girl said. The girls rushed in, unaware of what was watching them...

"I swear, Sensei, I have absolutely no idea what this l-lunatic is talking about," a girl with long black hair said. She wore her hair in twintails and she generally wore her forehead protector around her neck instead of on her forehead.
"Neither do I, Sensei," another girl added. She had long violet hair although she often wrote 'violent' instead by accident.
"Samuel, are they telling the truth?" a balding old man asked, looking at a boy who looked as though his food was taken from him by a herd of man-eating cows.
"No, they are not, Hajime-sensei," Samuel answered, his ivory hair shining in the sunlight. "Rin was the one who asked me to put the bucket on the door so that it would fall on Hinata-sensei's head when she opened the door. Sakura is the one that constructed the chalk cannon trap thing."
"Liar!" the black-haired girl said angrily. "Sakura and I were busy t-talking about c-cute boys!"
"Silence, Rin!" Hajime shouted. "You're as red as a tomato and you've been since you came here!"
"Actually, that's paint," Sakura said softly, holding a water pistol towards Rin. She squirted water in Rin's face and the paint slowly came off.
"Did you have Art class again?" Hajime asked angrily. "How on Elvania did you manage to cover your entire face in paint?"
"I lost balance and fell over, and knocked a paint bucket over," Rin answered. "My entire face got painted. You can ask Akiko-sensei."
"Samuel," Hajime said, "you're on detention. You too, Sakura and Rin."
"What?!" Rin and Sakura exclaimed simultaneously. Rin rushed up to Samuel.
"You blockhead!" she shouted, hitting him hard in the face. Samuel collided with the blackboard of a different classroom. He had crashed through three walls.
"By Kairi, Rin," Sakura said. "You actually punched him across three rooms."
"Double detention for you, Rin," Hajime said angrily. Rin groaned. "By the way, Samuel's hospital bill will be YOURS to pay." Rin groaned even louder. "And if you don't stop groaning your detention's going to triple!"
The office doors opened as three girls came in, surprised. "What happened here?" the third girl asked.
"Rin punched Samuel through three walls," Sakura replied. "Hey, Arcueid, Aoko, Sara."
"Arcueid, Aoko, you two stay here. Sara, you get N, Roan and Arnold," Hajime said quickly. Sara nodded and ran off as Arcueid and Aoko stepped into the classroom.
"What's this about?" Arcueid asked.
"Is this about Samuel's stupidity?" Aoko added.
"No," Hajime said, and then the door opened again. This time, a boy with long green hair came in. "Cut your hair, N, you're starting to look like a monkey!"
"Sorry, sir," N responded flatly. His hair was actually floor-length, yet it had never hindered him in his abilities to jump. Then another boy came in, with blonde hair. He wore a green tunic and blue shorts, although those who aren't observant would think he was wearing a dress. The newcomer was famous for wearing white knee-high socks with black shoes, however, since most of the fashion-conscious girls kept mocking him. He merely ignored them, however. He left the door open.
"Sara said you called, Sensei?" Roan asked.
"Yes, I have an important announcement to make to you eight."
"Us EIGHT?" Rin exclaimed. "You mean Sashimi's also--"
"Yes," Hajime answered. "Ah, Arnold's here too."
A third boy entered the room. "Sensei?"
"You eight are to train on your jutsu for homework, instead of the other homework. Tomorrow, you eight are to come to classroom 9 directly after assembly. This is very important, you got me?" Hajime asked. Everybody nodded, except for the unconscious Samuel. "Oh, and by the way, Samuel's an imbecile, but even then, he's important for this as well. You'll find out soon." With that, Hajime vanished in a puff of smoke.
"Samuel? Important for something?" Rin laughed loudly. "That'll be a first."
"I agree," Sakura replied. "Hajime-sensei is up to something."
"That hurt," Samuel muttered, getting up slowly. "I don't mind though, like they say, no pain, no gain..."

Evening came and went, and in the morning, the four girls and three of the boys came to classroom 9. They started to talk among themselves, not noticing their sensei appearing behind them. "Amaratsu, Rin!"
The class was startled by the sudden voice. Everyone turned around. "Yes, sensei?" Rin asked, scared of something.
"Ah, you're present," Hajime replied. "Edgeveil, Arnold!"
"Sir, yes, sir!" Arnold said proudly. Rin shook her head. Arnold was known as the Pizza Elemental Master in Hiragakashi City, for his ability to control pizza of all things. "I am present while--"
"Good, you're here as well," Hajime said. "Genkai, Arcueid!"
"Present," Arcueid said in a bored voice. "Where--"
"Hardordain, N!"
"Present," N replied. "Sorry I couldn't cut my hair, sir. My grandmother wouldn't allow it."
"What's it with Akiko? She's even more stubborn than a pack of mules!" Hajime said. "Realroad, Roan!"
"I am present, sensei," Roan said. "But it--"
"Tamelinen, Sakura," Hajime said. His voice was louder than Roan's soft voice. Roan always had to use a loudspeaker when he had to do orals.
"Present, sensei!" Sakura replied quickly. "Sam--"
"Torokopachikan, Aoko!" Hajime boomed. Literal explosions could be heard, as Hajime's loud voice could actually cause land mines to explode several miles away.
"P-present, sensei," Aoko stuttered, "b-but Sa--"
"Too-Dumb-To-Live Sashimi, Samuel!" Hajime boomed. More explosions could be heard, but no answer came.
"He's not here, sensei," Roan said.
"TOO-DUMB-TO-LIVE SASHIMI, SAMUEL!" Hajime boomed, even louder. The boys had to cover their ears, although the girls were prepared for it by wearing special earmuffs. Still no response came from anyone. "WHERE IS THAT STUPID IDIOT?"
"I-I could try to s-see if he's at h-home, s-s-sensei," Aoko stuttered.
"DO IT!" Hajime boomed. Aoko disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

She ran through the crowded streets, hoping that she would find Samuel at home. However, when she came to his home, Aoko found an ambulance outside, taking Samuel into the van. Samuel's uncle and aunt were standing there, as though they didn't care. She ran to the ambulance van.
"Samuel!" she called. Samuel's uncle walked to her.
"Found 'im unconscious at the kitchen," he said, "and 'is 'ead was burning 'otter than a candle fire."
"I-is he g-gonna be okay?" Aoko asked worried.
"Let's hope so," one of the medics replied.
"C-can I c-come with?" Aoko asked. The medics nodded as Aoko leapt into the van to be beside Samuel. She sent a message with her cellphone to Arcueid.

"Damn," Arcueid said loudly. "Sensei!"
"WHAT?" Hajime boomed.
"Something's wrong with Samuel, sensei!" Arcueid said quickly. "Aoko sent me a message stating that Samuel's being taken to the hospital by an ambulance as we speak!"
"What?!" Hajime said, this time visibly disturbed. "How?"
"They don't know yet," Arcueid said softly. "Maybe Rin punched him too hard or something?"
"Hey, leave me out of it!" Rin exclaimed. "If it was my fault, he'd be in hospital yesterday!" Her expression then darkened. "Oh shoot. I'm going to have to pay the bill, won't I?"

*****

She woke up on a soft, warm, comfortable bed, feeling entirely rejuvinated. She didn't know why, she was badly wounded earlier... She got up, putting her shoes on, and she left the room. "Huh, I don't remember being underground." The girl turned around. She could see through the walls there. She gasped. "One-way walls? Is that even possible?"
She tripped over her own feet and fell on the ground, hitting a table with her elbow by accident. It felt as though someone was electrocuting her, but she ignored the pain - she spotted a letter falling to the ground. She quickly grabbed it and read it.

Dear Shirley Adams (if that is your real name considering how identity theft is common these days)

I've decided to help you out. Coughing blood is a serious problem. If you were older than 17, I'd just leave you there (since the Elvanian Goddess of Death saved my life when I was four) but you look exactly seventeen-years of age. I hope you don't mind if I put you in a gas chamber and filled it with a healing gas that I was secretly working on and testing on animals - if you should die, however, I can just bring you back to life. Xishiro taught me how to do that, so don't worry.

I don't know how you are coughing blood, but I do know that it's serious. I'll be leaving to go to Hiragakashi City, so I'll be away for about nine days. There's food in the fridge, of course. However, you won't be able to leave, for obvious reasons. Wouldn't want you accidentally revealing my secret hideout's location now, would I?

By the way, there should be another girl somewhere in here, she's wearing a gas mask and is in the room next to the gas chamber. If you need anything, just ask her, okay? She'll be taking care of you until I return. If she's not there, then she's probably out murdering someone out of boredom. Somebodies can be strange people to Nobodies, but that's just my opinion.

Signed
The girl who you bumped into


Shirley sighed. "So that girl is a murderess, then," she muttered to herself. "Looks like I've trouble... yet a murderess helped me. I do not understand..."
"Who's there?" a sudden voice shouted. Shirley gasped and turned around. A girl wearing a black dress with a gas mask stood there. "Oh, you're awake. I thought there was an intruder."
"Stay where you are!" Shirley said bravely. "I know judo, aikido, jujutsu, karate, kung fu, ninjutsu, tae kwon do, and tai chi, and I am just a 16-year old Surfacian girl!"
"No worries," the gas-masked girl replied, "I'm not going to hurt you. Hold on, did you say you're a Surfacian?"
"Why so worried?" Shirley asked. "Aye, I am a Surfacian, from Ireland."
"No wonder that accent sounded familiar," the girl responded. "My cousin's Irish too, although she's an Inhuman."
"Who is she?"
"Erin Lauren du Toit, her father's from South Africa there," the murderess replied. "Why do you fear me, I'm not going to hurt you!"
"LIAR!" Shirley shouted. "I WON'T LET YOU KILL ANYONE ANYMORE!" Her hands began to glow red. "Come, Fenrus! Let's go! Flame Form!" Shirley's skirt turned red and her blouse turned orange. Her shoes turned into red knee-high boots, and her black socks turned into yellow stockings longer than her boots. Her brown hair turned orange and caught fire while her green eyes turned red. An orange mouse appeared in a burst of flame next to her.
"Lemme at 'er!" the mouse squeaked in a German accent. "I'm gonna burn your world!"
"What is this?" the gas-masked girl asked in shock. "Look, I am not going to harm you! Xidana told me not to!"
"Who is this Xidana jerk?" Shirley asked. "Is he your brother?"
The gas-masked girl laughed. "No, silly," she replied, "Xidana is the girl who saved your life." Shirley stared at the girl with the gas mask. "What, you thought Xidana was a guy?" Shirley nodded slowly.
"'Ey, will you stop chatting so that I can give 'er something to chew on?" the mouse squeaked.
"Fenrus," Shirley replied, "we are to get answers first, afore we attack. WHO ARE YOU?"
"Elma Loretta du Toit," the gas-masked girl replied. "But I'm not going to hurt you, I promise. If you even think of attacking, I'll just ignore it. Say, you want some pizza?"
The word 'pizza' reverberated in Shirley's mind. The mouse sighed. "Oh, boy. Surely this means I'm outta 'ere, doesn't it?"
Shirley's clothing returned to normal - black ankle shoes, short black socks, a white blouse, and a blue skirt. Her hair turned back to brown, and her eyes turned green. The mouse disappeared in a burst of flame. Shirley looked surprised. "Pizza."
Elma looked surprised. "Are... are you okay?"
"Pizza!"
"Oh, great," Elma responded sarcastically. "Looks like this one's a pizza maniac, to the point of being hypnotised just by saying 'pizza'." Elma removed her gas mask. Her face was covered in several scars. "What kind of pizza?"
"Pizza! Pizza!" Shirley said. "Bacon pizza, please! Pizza!"
"She's not even afraid of me!" Elma said with a sigh. "Okay, then. Bacon pizza it is."

After Shirley ate several delicious bacon pizzas, she was content. "That was delicious," she said. "One more, please!"
"WHAT ARE YOU?!" Elma exclaimed in shock; Shirley had eaten fourty-one pizzas already. "THERE'S NO WAY AN INHUMAN CAN HAVE AN APPETITE THAT LARGE!"
"Oh, I am not an Inhuman," Shirley sang. "I am an Eridian."
Elma gasped with shock. "Eridian? But that's..."
"Yeah, I know," Shirley said. "I am from planet Eris. The moon there's called Dysnomia."
"B-but there's no life on Eris!" Elma exclaimed. Shirley grinned.
"The buildings on Eris are all underground, with some sort of spell cast on them so that Eridians could survive there without having to wear space suits or oxygen masks," Shirley explained. "The air's toxic, but even then, people live on Eris underground in buildings with magic-made oxygen."
"You said you were Irish," Elma said. Shirley nodded.
"I am Irish, my parents are Eridians too," Shirley replied. "When my parents got married they went to Ireland for their honeymoon, and, well, long story short, I was born there. Sadly, since I was five years old they forced me to wear a gas mask. In fact, they said they'd kill me if I took it off."
"So, what, your parents were abusive?!" Elma exclaimed.
"You could say that," Shirley replied. "How's that pizza going?"
"Hold on, I'm still busy with it! HOW DO YOU EAT THAT MUCH?!" Elma exclaimed. "And why'd they force you to wear a gas mask?"
"I can't remember why," Shirley said, frowning. "I do know, however, that the Eridians had plans to rid the Earth of all life so that they can colonize it, but that's what the Eridian Magic Schools taught us. That's where I spent time since I was eight, until I was fifteen."
"And, what, you wore the gas mask for that long?" Elma asked.
"I wore gas masks until I turned sixteen," Shirley answered. "Then I left, teleported around, went to Elvania, and after almost a full year, I came here. In three days' time, I'll be seventeen. As for how I managed to get wounded... well, let's just say bandits are ruthless when dealing with teenage girls."
"Bandits hurt you that bad that you were coughing blood and forced to struggle outside in toxic rain?!" Elma exclaimed, her eyes wide with shock. "Wow, these guys just don't care anymore about anyone's lives."
"Don't worry, though," Shirley said. "At least I'm alive. And kicking. And breathing. And waiting for my pizza."
"Be patient!" Elma said angrily. "How did your parents hold out?"
"Huh? Oh, I never ate in the time my parents forced me to wear a gas mask," Shirley said. "They forced me to wear a black dress, similar to yours, too. Just, well, smaller, of course. Being a 5-foot 3-inch Eridian girl, I've a lot of normality to catch up on."
"So you were immortal, then," Elma said slowly. "And yet you grew. Do Eridians always grow even if they go without food?" Elma put a pizza on Shirley's plate.
"Yep." With that, Shirley began to devour the pizza.

*****

"Are y-you okay?"
Aoko was in Samuel's hospital room, sitting on a chair while the weak Samuel was lying on a bed, an oxygen mask over his face. He was gravely ill with blood poisoning, to the point of being unable to talk. Aoko took Samuel's hand. Aoko herself was so weak with sorrow that she herself had to wear an oxygen mask.
"I'm t-t-there f-for you," she said. "I-I will m-make them d-do s-s-something, I p-p-promise."
'Thank you,' Samuel said. Aoko gasped. Samuel was too weak to talk, and he never opened his mouth, so how did he say it? 'Don't worry, I've got telepathy, remember?'
Aoko sighed. "S-sorry, I f-forgot. I-I won't l-leave, I promise..."
The two stared at each other for a few minutes, before Samuel noticed something. 'I think this illness is making me hallucinate,' he said suddenly. 'Everything looks pink to me.'
"S-s-same here," Aoko replied. "N-n-not that it m-m-matters or anything, it's p-p-probably to help..."
Then, suddenly, the door barged open as a man wearing a gas mask entered. Aoko turned to look. "Pesky kids," he muttered. Aoko screamed. The man held a knife gleaming with poison. The door slammed shut. "This is going to be painful. And nobody can hear you scream, everybody's been knocked out with gas." He let out a laugh that made Aoko shiver. "So you're both wearing oxygen masks to stay awake, too. Impressively smart you two are... to die awake!" He laughed again. "Yet you're still alive, Sashimi. Impressive resilience you have, after I poisoned you yesterday!"
"W-what...?" Aoko said, visibly shocked. "Kn-n-nocked out...?! P-p-p-poisoned?!"
'Don't worry, you can do it!' Samuel urged her. 'I believe in you! Believe it!'
"With sleeping gas, yeah," the man replied, laughing again. "Are you a stupid girl, stuttering like that, you stupid stupid girl? Ha ha, stupid stupid stupid!"
For the first time, Samuel felt a burst of energy flowing through him that wasn't his own. "SHUT UP!" Aoko shouted angrily. "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP AND DIE, YOU--" she used a swear word - "MONSTER!"
The man stopped laughing. "What the--"
It took Samuel three minutes to realize what had happened: Aoko let go of his hand, created three clones of herself while slipping out of her knee-high boots, sent them to rush at the guy while rushing at him herself, use a powerful ninjutsu technique stronger even than the basic ones that they were taught at the Ninja Academy, and punch the guy with it so hard that his gas mask literally shattered apart. The clones disappeared as Aoko spun on her heel and kicked the guy in the neck with her left foot, grabbed him by his wrist and break it, before letting go and rolling backwards to the bed Samuel lay on, all in the space of thirty seconds. The man coughed for the remaining two-and-a-half minutes before falling unconscious from the gas. Aoko grabbed the dagger from his hand and stabbed him three times in the head. She plunged the knife into the man's chest, before stepping backwards and taking Samuel's hand again.
'D-did you do that?' Samuel asked in shock. Aoko herself seemed to be surprised.
"L-l-looks l-like it," she answered. "H-he wasn't l-lying about the g-g-gas, though." Aoko sighed. "W-well, it's p-p-probably t-time to p-put the kn-n-nowledge that I-I have f-f-from m-medical t-training at the Ac-c-cademy t-to g-g-good use."
'That's the first time I've seen you angry,' Samuel replied. 'You even used a swear word, and you said you'd never do it. And your stuttering just disappeared.'
"C-c-clearly, I l-l-lost sense of r-r-reason," Aoko said softly. "I w-was p-pretty angry."
'Well, you're a shy girl,' Samuel said. 'No wonder you killed the guy faster than anyone else. I could even feel your anger. That's some amount of chakra you have.'
"G-guess you're r-r-r-right, S-s-samuel."

Several hours passed since then. Aoko was busy making an antidote for Samuel, even combining several antidotes in hopes of helping Samuel survive. After Samuel took an entire bottle full of medicine, he fell asleep. Aoko took a deep breath. "I h-h-hope whoever's b-b-b-behind the entire t-town being unconscious isn't c-c-c-c-coming here...."
She sat on another, empty bed, and lay down, closing her eyes. She soon dozed off.
"AOKO."
She sat bolt upright. She looked around, but there was nobody there. "W-who's there?" she asked, terrified.
"IT IS I, ECHO," the voice spoke. "I AM THE ONE WHO HAVE TAUGHT YOU THE CORRECT MEDICINE."
"O-oh, y-y-you," Aoko said. "W-what is it?"
"YOU TWO ARE TO GO TO ZIANATI TOWN," Echo answered. "YOU SHOULD ALSO TAKE RIN AMARATSU, SAKURA TAMELINEN, ARCUEID GENKAI, N HARDORDAIN, ROAN REALROAD AND ARNOLD EDGEVEIL WITH YOU."
"B-b-but they're s-s-sleeping or s-s-something," Aoko replied. "And S-S-Samuel is s-s-s-still w-w-weak!"
"DO NOT WORRY, AOKO," Echo said. "RIN AND THE OTHERS HAVE FORCE FIELDS AROUND THEM, COURTESY OF EOS, LUNA AND JUNO. THEY ARE TELLING THEIR GUARDED AS WE SPEAK."
"A-and S-Samuel?" Aoko stuttered.
"HE WILL RECOVER WITH TIME," Echo said after a few minutes of thought. "HOWEVER, HE IS TOO WEAK TO WALK, SO YOUR FRIENDS WILL HAVE TO HELP HIM. YOU EIGHT ARE JUST EIGHT OF SEVERAL CHOSEN ONES. OR, IN THIS CASE, THE CHOSEN MANY."
"I'm trying to sleep here," Samuel said suddenly. "Go away, shoo, you know I'm allergic to you."
Aoko stared at Samuel, trying not to giggle. "HOW IS HE ALLERGIC TO HIS OWN GUARDIAN?" Echo demanded.
"H-he is j-just d-d-dreaming," Aoko said, still trying not to laugh.
"IN ANY CASE," Echo continued, "YOU ARE TO TELL SAMUEL HOW YOU FEEL. YOUR STUTTERING IS SCARY, YOU KNOW THAT?"
Aoko looked shocked. The fact that a Guardian thinks that stuttering is scary was enough to shock anyone.
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