Black and White

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 3

After another three hours of talking Saluka decided to call it a night. Lance looked like he wanted to protest but the rich food the servants had prepared was getting to him; his eyelids were starting to droop and he looked like he was about ready to pass out at any moment. After giving Rail a meaningful look the blunette helped Lance lay down on the nest of pillows she had created on the bed. As soon as his head hit the pillows the teen was unconscious. It was actually kind of cute, to be perfectly honest. Saluka smile and gave Rail another meaningful look before pulling the covers up and heading for the door.

"Saluka, are you sure it's alright to leave him alone in this room all night long?" Rail's soft question stopped her in her tracks.

She turned around, one hand on the door knob, "Yes, I think he will be fine. If he needs me you can come get me. I'll be in the next room over. Good night, Rail."

"Alright then. Good night, Saluka."

Smiling softly she turned and left the room, closing the door softly behind her. As she walked down the hall the young woman thought about the day. At first it had been totally normal for her; going to class and then going to spend the rest of the day at the library. Then Rail had shown up and totally changed her routine. Not that she really minded, that is. It had actually made her life far more interesting. It wasn't every day that a possessing spirit came to you asking you to save the life of one of the rarest creatures in the Outside. That was totally a once in a lifetime thing. Saluka smiled at the thought. She was either really special or weird things just loved happening to her when she least expected it.

“I just hope things don't turn out like they did with my parents..." she mumbled, her good mood instantly fading a bit as she thought about her parents and their unfortunate accident.

It had been almost three years ago to the day that they had come across the strangest thing in the world. It was a creature unlike any other in the Outside. It had the horns of an Onijin, the fire mastery of a Maro, a body like that of a Polarus and the flying ability of a Cevalin. This thing had literally dropped out of the sky in front of them. They had immediately pounced on the chance to take it home and study it. Unfortunately, later that day, they had gone out to eat dinner and a minor stampede of carriage horses trampled them while they were on their way home. They died instantly. At least it had been a painless death. It still hurt to think about though.

The creature that they found disappeared shortly after they died and was never seen again. Some people actually wondered if the thing actually existed in the first place. Now this disbelief mad her parents seen far less credible than they actually were. Their little rumors alone were enough to make Saluka seriously consider taking up some kind of fighting style just so that she could put a stop to the rumors. The only thing stopping her was the fact that her mother had raised her to be a pacifist, to not take things out on other but to help them instead. She was determined to keep to her mother's teachings so she tried her hardest to look for every little fact or detail about the creature they found so they could prove that her parents were right and that it did exist. So far she wasn't having all that good a luck. It was nothing but dead ends as of right now. With a soft sigh she slipped into the guest bedroom.

"Maybe Lance can help me look for some of this thing. He may have a different perspective on all of this. I'm probably just way too focused on clearing my parents good name to actually see what I'm looking for." she murmured to herself as she changed into her pajamas.

Climbing quickly into bed she was asleep in moments, images of the strange animal circling though her head. In the other room Rail was watching over Lance. The teen's sleep had been undisturbed for the first maybe twenty minutes he had been asleep. Then it seemed like a nightmare had started to take over. Rail frowned as the teen's face contorted slightly. The spirit was only able to deal with the physical things assaulting the teen. The mental things were a whole other story. They didn't even exist in the realm of things he could even remotely contemplate any more. He would just have to wait until the young man woke up on his own. As it was Rail was practically beating himself up over not being able to help him at all. It was tearing him apart inside; he just hoped Lance would wake up soon and put an end to his practical self-torture.

While Rail was freaking out over what his master was going through Lance was having the most realistic nightmare he had ever had. Or that he remembered, anyway. He was running through a dark forest all alone. The forest was slightly familiar to him but he couldn't place where he had seen it before. As he ran he could have sworn he heard a howl of some kind as he ran. Branches whipped past his face as he ran, his breath came in short labored pant and his legs felt like they were on fire. There was no way that he could keep running from this thing for much longer; his body felt like it was ready to give out on him at any moment!

"Keep going! You have to keep running! Dagarin needs you! You have to help him!" a strange voice called out to him.

Lance didn't know where it came from but somehow he was able to find the strength to keep running. Forcing his legs to go even faster Lance crashed through a thorn bush, his face, arms and legs getting all scratched up in the process. There was no time to stop and assess the damage though, he had to keep moving. Dagarin needed him, whoever he was. Lance continued running until it seemed that fate really just wanted to screw with him. A tree root seemed to just appear out of nowhere in front of him. The toe of his shoe caught the raised root and he tripped, falling flat on his face with his limbs splayed out all around him. Rolling over all the teen saw was a flash of black and white as his pursuer leaped on him. Suddenly he sat bolt upright, a near silent scream clawing its way up his throat.

“Master!” Rail’s voice followed by the subtle chill that accompanied his hands pulled the teen back to reality.

“Rail? Is that you?” he asked, voice shaky.

“Yes, it’s me. Are you alright?” the spirit asked, sounding really concerned.

"No, no I'm not alright." Lance whispered pulling his knees to his chest.

"Master..." Rail looked sadly at the teen wishing he had a physical body so he could at least try and comfort the distraught teen.

As it was the spirit moved a bit closer and put his arms around the teen anyway. Lance appreciated the gesture, leaning slightly into Rail's only half way visible form. It may not have been exactly what he needed but it did help at least a little bit. After a few moments the spirit asked if he should get Saluka but Lance just shook his head.

“Why not, master?” Rail asked silver eyes showing his confusion.

“She has done so much for me already today. I don’t want to burden her with anything else for a while.” was the simple reply.

Rail nodded even though he didn’t really agree with the teen’s thinking. If he was allowed to give his full opinion he would have gone to get Saluka. She would have been better suited to comforting someone affected by a nightmare. Unfortunately, Lance’s word was absolute. If and only if he changed his mind could Rail be able to fully help him master. The pair sat there in silence for who knows how long. In that time Lance was able to calm his racing heartbeat and return his breathing to normal. Taking a deep breath the teen pulled away from Rail, shivering slightly as the spirit’s arms passed through his body. The spirit looked at him a little concerned but the teen shook his head and laid back down. It may have been only a nightmare but it really tired him out.

As the teen fell back to sleep Rail made a silent promise that if he woke up again with a nightmare that he was going to get Saluka, no matter what the redheaded teen said. It practically tore the silver haired spirit apart to watch his young master suffer from the nightmare and he was totally unable to help him at all. It really put his being a spirit into perspective for him. Realizing that he was getting a little off track he shook his head and refocused on Lance. He bit his lip after a few seconds, hoping to whatever deity was out there that the rest of the night passed peacefully.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.