Spirit of Fall

Chapter 18 Burned to Cinder

~Sandy’s Side~

The situation for the Guardians was looking pretty bad. Not only was Lantern being used by Pitch Black, but the Nightmares just recently stole Lantern’s teeth. All the guardians were all anxious and confused at what Pitch would want with it. What could a person do with teeth? It was known that Tooth’s teeth held memories, but from what they knew, Lantern was born an ordinary child until his untimely death.

Sandy did find traces of black sand at the Tooth Palace, so he was also worried that his own creation was being used against him again. The sand that was meant to give dreams and happiness to children was now being used to bring nightmares and fear instead. It was already heartbreaking for Sandy to see his own dream sand being misused, but to find one of the people he cared about being used as a weapon against them was even harsher. The thought of restless children experiencing the pain of nightmares instead of a place to get away from reality left a bitter taste. It hurt to think of his children tossing and turning in their beds with such unpleasant thoughts. Although they were not related to him, he always viewed them as his own.

Since Lantern’s teeth was stolen, what did Pitch want with Lantern’s memories? His teeth were nice, according to Tooth, but Pitch was unlikely to appreciate the perfection of his teeth. That was the only reason that Sandy could come up with for why Pitch would want the teeth. Even more curious was that the fearful creature sent messages to Lantern through nightmares. Why do such a thing? He was practically handing out hints to them. Very vague hints. Was it all part of his idea of fun by watching the guardians become frustrated with this puzzle? This worried Sandy very much. The other guardians also felt something ominous about this as well. They were starting to get nervous and unsure on what to do next. The tension around them got so bad that they were all arguing in the hall room right now.

“We have to go find Pitch fast! Who knows what’ll he do with Lantern’s teeth,” Bunny said with a hasty tone.

“I know how important it is to find Pitch and Lantern, but ve don’t even know vhere zhey are?” Reasoned North.

“Then what are we supposed to do? Wait until something happens?!” Demanded Frost.

“Zhen tell me how are ve supposed to find zhem zhen? ‘Cause I sure can’t,” retorted North, getting annoyed.

“Pitch could be using the teeth to get to Lantern’s memories. If he does that, then he can manipulate...” Tooth started to blurt out in panic. The small fairy fidgeted in midair as she came upon that disturbing thought. She flew around the air with the guardians giving her a wide eyed look.

“Tooth! Not helping!” North cut her off, starting to get very annoyed.

“Wait! Tooth might be right!” Frost realized. He remembered the first few times he met the dark creature. Pitch stole the teeth and used it against him, who had no memories of his past life. His lack of history never bothered him until Frost found himself questioning his existence. “Pitch could be using the teeth to manipulate Lantern’s memories, so Lantern would be under his complete control. Then he’ll use Lantern against us!” Frost declared.

“You mean like what he did to you the last time?” Bunny had a puzzled look, “But unlike you, he remembered his past. He still remembers being human. Why would stealing his teeth bother him so much?”

“Remember, teeth holds memories,” the tooth fairy reminded the rabbit. “He may remember his past, but taking away those teeth is like taking away evidence of him ever being human.”

She looked sad. Taking the teeth away may have made him feel vulnerable, naked. She remembered bits of her past, but after so many centuries have gone by, they were getting fuzzy. Going back to look at her own teeth was reassuring. Catching fragments of her childhood calmed her and told her that everything was going to be alright. The past could show so much about a person’s personality. A nagging feeling told Tooth that Pitch could easily use that to his advantage. The Nightmare king could very much dive through Lantern’s memories and find a weakness of his, which he already did.

“Then the more reason that we should hurry,” urged Bunny.

“Vhy von’t anyvone listen to me! Ve don’t know vhere zhey are, so zhere is no vay ve can find him!” Shouted North, now completely furious.

While the guardians were still arguing over the issue, Sandy noticed something was happening to the globe again. The lights in Europe were flickering like crazy. They were going out even faster than the ones before. Sandy tried to catch the other guardians’ attention, but they were so wrapped up in their argument that nobody noticed him. Being silent and all wasn’t easy. He tried to point at the globe with some sand arrows, but nobody even bothered to look at him. He tried waving his arms around. Still ignored. Then he tried to pull on their clothes, but he only got brushed aside.

“Enough, Sandy. Can’t you see ve’re busy arguing?” Told North. The jolly old man put on hand on his side with an annoyed look.

Getting frustrated that nobody was noticing him, Sandy decided to do what he did last time when no one heard him. Sandy began looking around the room to look for what he needed and he spotted what he was looking for, which was skipping away with a red cupcake.

“Bunny makes tunnels, right? So he should be able to find PItch’s lair!” Suggested Frost.

“Don’t you think I tried that before! I’ve been doing for years and I still can’t find his place. It’s like he has some kind of magical barrier to keep me away,” explained Bunny.

“Now calm down you two. This is starting...” Tooth was about to calm the men down when she heard a frenzy racket of jingles.

Jingle! Jingle! Jingle! Jingle! Jingle! Jingle! Jingle! Jingle! Jingle!

All heads turned towards the sound in surprise.

It was Sandy, who had this really annoyed look on his face. In one of his hand, he was grasping on an elf. It seemed that Sandy used the elf’s bell to get their attention... again. Then he released the poor and dizzy elf, who fell to the floor with a loud ‘Thud!,’ and pointed to the globe.

All the guardians looked at the globe and finally saw the lights flickering.

“Zhe lights flickering! Vhy didn’t you say somezhing sooner, Sandy?” Cried North.

Sandy stared at him with an ‘Are-you-serious?’ look and then just shook his head in an ‘Oh forget it!’ expression. Being the silent man wasn’t easy.

“This time it’s Europe,” stated Tooth, staring at the flickering lights. The small continent connected to Asia had blinking lights similar to Christmas lights. Cities with concentrated light were slowly drained of energy before moving on to the more spread out areas. Half of the globe was now dark with only the most isolated places still shining, barely noticeable from the vast blackness.

Then Bunny sensed something as his nose started to twitch around like he smelled something. “Hey! Does anyone smell that?” Everyone stared at Bunny, confused by what he said.

“Smell what?” Frost asked.

“It smells like something is burning!” Bunny realized that the scent he smelled was smoke.

“Vhat?! Did zhe yetis burn zhe cookies again?!” Gasped North, shocked. “Yetis!”

“No! Wait! There’s smoke coming from the globe!” Spotted Tooth, pointing to the said object.

At the globe, smoke was simmering out in random areas. Then red burning cracks were appearing around the globe like it was breaking. It almost look terrifyingly like the world was breaking apart like those ‘end of the world’ movies. The globe was cracked in the middle like an over ripe cantaloupe with red lava like substances flowing out from the big cracks before getting swallowed by the darkness. Steam simmered a few inches above the globe and clouded above the continents. The globe was hot to the touch.

“What’s happening to the globe?!” Cried Frost with horrified eyes.

Then the smoke that was floating out of the cracks began to form together into a shape. At first, it wasn’t apparent what it was forming into, but after a few seconds of silent shock, the smoke was forming into a very ugly and deformed face of some sort. Its empty eye socket stared at the guardians for a while before it opened its toothless mouth wide and came at them with a chilling wail. It was like the face from The Scream painting!

“Blimey! It’s coming at us!” Cried Bunny with wide eyes.

Everyone was about to pull out their weapons, but Sandy conjured up a wall of sand and blocked the freaky and ugly head, which burst into smoke on impact and spread around the room. The whole hall room was full of smoke and everyone was coughing like crazy.

“Oh crikey! Is everyone alright?” Called Bunny, coughing through the smoke.

“I’m fine,” replied Tooth, still coughing through her breath.

“What in the world was that!?!” Shouted Frost, shocked with what just happened.

Finally, the smoke started to clear out, but everyone was still coughing and gasping for clean air. The first one to get back his composure was North. The twinkle and playfulness in his eyes were completely gone and was replaced with this serious gaze that he rarely showed.

“It vas no doubt message from Pitch,” announced North in a dark tone. “He has once again return.”


~Frost’s POV~

We quickly flew to Europe to where the lights were flickering out the most: Britain. The sky was dark with stars twinkling and the moon was in its crescent form. It was night in this part of the world, so most people would be sleeping already. We flew into London where the city was still full of lights. We flew pass the Tower Bridge and Tower of London when we started to spot something strange in the distance. Over at where Big Ben stood, there was a large dark cloud brewing above the clock tower.

“Are zhose clouds?” Wondered North.

But when I took a closer looks, something about those clouds didn’t seem right. It was too low in height for a normal cloud should be and the sky was clear tonight. Not a single cloud insight except for the one over Big Ben.

“There’s something strange about that cloud,” I thought out loud.

That’s when I noticed something streaming out from the dark cloud and slithering towards the city below. The way they moved was as if they were alive. That’s when I realized something about the ominous cloud. The way it was moving was odd. It wasn’t a cloud. It was some kind of smoke or smog!

“It’s not just any cloud. It’s a cloud of smoke!” I told the other guardians.

In true Hollywood fashion, Pitch made his presence obvious and grandeur. He sure wasn’t one for subtleness. Cracked open world globe with catastrophic imagines? Check. Horrified good guys? Check. Kidnapped victim? Check. Hostages? Double check. Ominous smog shaped like skulls? Right on the dot. I was starting to see why the Black Plague was always portrayed so dramatically...

“It looks similar to the one that came out of the globe,” realized Tooth.

Just when things couldn’t surprise us enough, Bunny’s ears suddenly perked up, alert from something.

“Duck!” Bunny shouted and pulled out his boomerangs.

“What?” I gasped, confused.

Because I didn’t duck fast enough, Bunny shoved my head down forcefully with his hind legs and threw his boomerang at something behind the sleigh.

Hiiiiiiii! Poof!

“Ha! Gotcha!” Bunny cried out in victory. He managed to get rid of a Nightmare that came flying from behind the sleigh, but I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate about it.

“Ow! Did you seriously have to use your feet!?!” I cried out in pain. I think I pulled something on my neck, because it was hurting like crazy. Couldn’t he just pushed me down normally?!

“Sorry, mate, but you didn’t duck fast enough,” apologized Bunny, but why did his sneer say otherwise. Then his ears perked up again. “More are coming!”

“Guardians! Ready your weapons!” North called out loudly. “We’re about to have another battle with the Boogeyman.”

Hiiiiiiiiii!

And right on cue, several Nightmares appeared around us. The black beasts came charging at the sleigh, but Sandy and Tooth already flew towards them, ready for an attack.

Sandy whipped out his whip and slashed at the Nightmares. Tooth was darting in every direction, confusing the horses with her speed before slashing them with her two blades without them realizing it. North also pulled out one of his swords and swung it at any oncoming Nightmares while still holding onto the reign with one hand. Bunny sent his boomerangs flying in every direction, taking out one to two Nightmares every few seconds.

I also flew off and blasted the black horses with my ice powers one by one, but dodged away when they came from behind. There were so many of them!

“North, I think the Nightmares might be stalling us! Get to the clock tower quick! Me and Sandy will deal with these Nightmares,” told Tooth.

Sandy also nodded that he agreed.

“Alright,” agreed North. “Frost! Come vith us. Ve’re going to go check vhat’s up at Big Ben.”

I agreed and we were off towards the clock tower, leaving Sandy and Tooth behind to fight off the Nightmares.

When we got closer to the clock tower, I noticed the stream of smoke were flowing into windows of some buildings and houses. They were slithering into the bedrooms of kids that were asleep. Making them squirm and groan in their beds.

“The smoke clouds are doing something to the kids,” I told the two guardians.

“It must be Pitch’s doing. Ve have to get rid of zhat cloud,” said North.

We flew straight towards the large cloud of smoke. I was ready to send a large blast of ice energy at the cloud when the cloud started to move. The cloud was changing its form and turning into the same horrifying and hideous face that we saw at North’s place. Oh god! Why that face again!?!

When the head opened up with large mouth as if to wail, something came flying out of its dark empty throat and came shooting towards us.

The things that came shooting at us looked like some kind of dark grey skeletons of animals that had smoke streaming behind them like a trail. They’re eyes were burning fiercely with fire, seeking nothing but the destruction of their enemies.

“Those aren’t Nightmares!” realized Bunny. “What are those things?”

“Well, whatever those are, we have to get rid of them,” I told him before I flew off towards the smog like creatures.

A smog creature that looked like the skeleton of a bull came charging at me with flames spewing out of its snout as if it was breathing out fire.

I blasted it easily with my ice blasts and the bull dispersed into smoke, but then another smog creature that looked like a skeleton of some large safari cat tried to pounce on me. I was able to dodge away and hit it with my staff like a bat.

Roar!

Apparently, Mr. Pussy Bones wasn’t very happy with being smacked from behind and tried to pounce on me again.

“Bad kitty!” I shouted at it before I swung my staff again plus some ice energy to chill it down. Upon impact, the smog creature immediately turned to ice and shattered to pieces.

A little worried for my friends, I searched for the sleigh to find out how the situation was for them.

At Bunny’s and North’s side, they were dealing with a pack of smog wolves. There were almost a dozen of them and they had the sleigh surrounded. The reindeers were starting to freak out at the sight of the fearsome predators.

“North! Get me onto the roof!” Ordered Bunny.

North nodded that he understood. “Hiya!” Cried North as he whipped the reins and the reindeers immediately dived towards the House of Parliament.

When the sleigh was close enough, Bunny jumped right off the flying vehicle and onto the roof of the large building. Now that he was on some solid surface, Bunny was able to move around more.

Some of the smog wolves decided to go after Bunny while the rest flew after North. They surrounded Bunny from all sides, growling hungrily at the large rabbit.

“You want a piece of this bunny, then come and get it!” Bunny yelled at the wolves, holding out his boomerangs, ready to fire.

Right after he said that, all six smog wolves came pouncing at him with their fangs and claws bare, ready to sink them into his warm flesh.

Then Bunny used his boomerang like dual blades and slashed at the wolves while kicking them at the same time. He went into a frenzy of slashing, dodging, and kicking like a mad hurricane. Within ten seconds, he already wiped out the six wolves.

“Heh, never mess with a Rabbit that mastered Tai Chi,” smirked Bunny.

For North, he had five wolves going after him. Since he was still holding onto the rein with one hand, North can only use his other hand to swing his sword around. When a smog wolf tried to pounce on the man of christmas, North would slashed them in a flash and Poof! They were nothing but smoke.

Then, being the guardian of wonders himself, his creativity kicked in and he put the rein in his mouth, using his teeth to hold onto it. Now with his other hand free, he was able to wield two swords again. He was slashing left and right at the wolves that came at him and not once did he loose his grip on the rein. Talk about some tough teeth for an old man. Which dentist did he go too?

Now that he took care of the wolves in the air, he landed the sleigh on the roof of the House of Parliament, where Bunny was now dealing with a group of abnormally large smog komodo dragons. But with two guardians, it shouldn’t be a problem to deal with them. Seeing how the two guardians had everything under control, I went back to concentrating on my own battles.

This time, a flock of smog crows came flying out of the mouth of the face and came flying at me like a black ominous cloud.

Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw!

Because I had the disadvantage of numbers from one to who-knows-what hundred skeleton birds, I got easily surrounded. The crows were clawing and pecking me like a swarm of bees. I waved my arms and staff around to chase them away, but it was no use.

“Hey! Ow! OUCH! Stupid birds!” I shouted in pain and frustration. I quickly blew a large amount of blizzard around me like a small bomb, enough to blow the crows away. Then I quickly flew away from the flock, hoping to get a good distance away from those savage birds, but more of the crows came flying after me, cawing loudly.

Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw!

Their cries were annoying me like crazy, so I tried to shoot several bolts of ice behind me, hoping that I can shut those damn birds up.

Zap! Zap! Zap! Zap! Zap! Zap!

I was able to blast several of the crows, but it didn’t seem like I manage to decrease their numbers at all. There were too many of them.

“Jack!” I suddenly heard someone calling out my name, so I turned around out of reflex to see who it was.

Tooth came shooting out of the sky and shot right into the flock of crows, swiping a good number of them. This caused the birds to dispersed from the group in surprise and scatter all over the place.

Then streams of sand came shooting from a random direction and wiped out a large number of the flock.

“Nice timing, Tooth! Sandy!” I called out to them. Thank god, help has arrived! I thought I was going to turn into bird food!

“Come on, Jack. We have to exterminate these pesky birds,” said Tooth, while darting at every crow and slashing them with her sword.

And this came from the bird lady. Wow, didn’t that sound ironic.

It wasn’t long before the number of the crows was noticeably decreasing. Looks like working in groups was definitely better than working alone.

“You two, I have an idea!” Announced Tooth. “Sandy make a trap for the birds. Jack, gather the birds and follow my lead.”

Tooth began to gather the smog crows behind her, so I did the same. When all the birds were following us, Tooth called out, “Get them in one group and fly towards Sandy!” So we joined up and flew towards the guardian of dreams, who was already ready for us.

Sandy created the largest golden clam I’ve ever seen with his dream sand. The clam opened wide as we got closer towards it. When we were close enough to the clam, we immediately split in different directions, causing the crows to be confused and unable to change direction fast enough, so they flew right into the clams mouth. Then the clam quickly closed shut, trapping the birds inside.

Once the birds were caught, Sandy made the clam crush or maybe chew the birds inside. When the clam opened its mouth again, puffs of smoke floated out, but no traces of the birds was found.

“What happened to the Nightmares?” I asked when I remembered that Tooth and Sandy were fighting a group of Nightmares earlier.

“They just suddenly retreated after we took out a good number of them,” told Tooth, unsure. “We tried to follow them, but they quickly disappeared into the shadows so we came after you guys instead.”

Just when we were still trying to figure out what was going on, an evil and chilling laughter echoed around us. But what bothered me the most wasn’t the sudden cold and evil laughter out of nowhere, but how familiar it sounded.

“Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Looks like you guardians are still tough as ever,” said the evil voice.

Without having to see the face of the person talking, I immediately knew who it was.

“Pitch! Show yourself, you coward!” I shouted into the air, angrily.

“And your as rowdy as ever, Frost,” replied Pitch.

Then a large swarm of black sand floated out of nowhere and massed together in the sky before us. The sand gathered together like a giant orb before dispersing into the air. Standing at the top of a platform made of black sand was the King of Nightmares himself.

He stood confidently with a smirk across his face. His eyes were burning with eagerness which, without a doubt, had something to do with getting his revenge.

“It’s been awhile, Guardians,” greeted Pitch.

“Pitch!” growled North. “It looks like last battle taught you nozhing.”

“Oh, don’t worry, North, I definitely learned something from that humiliating battle,” assured Pitch. “I learned that I had to be stronger and use a different means to beat you guardians. I even found some help from a talented fire spirit.”

“Help? You force him more like it!” I retorted back loudly at him. Out of anger, I flew at him with all I’ve got. My hands were itching to punch that smirky face of his so bad.

“Jack! Wait!” I could hear Tooth calling me from behind, but I was too absorbed in wanting to kick Pitch’s ass that I ignored her.

But before I could even reach Pitch, a cloud of smoke came out of nowhere and massed together between me and Pitch. I immediately break myself in time before crashing into the cloud. Then suddenly, a figure came shooting out of the cloud towards me, so out of instinct I held my staff up in defense.

Klank!

Something seemed to have hit my staff when I felt the force of the impact and heard that sound. Now that whatever tried to attack me was now pushing down, I was able to get a close look of my attacker. When I saw the weapon the figure was using, my mind almost froze from shock.

A lantern...?

That lantern and its pole looked really familiar, but at the same time different. The lantern itself looked more like a cage than a lantern and it had this sinister face on it. The pole also didn’t look any less creepy than the lantern as well.

Also, the figure before me was wearing a black jacket with a hood, dark blue jean, and black boots. The hood was up, so his face was slightly covered, but I can still make out his curly black hair.

Something about this black hooded guy made me feel suspicious, so when we both jumped back to send another attack. I sent a bolt of ice power while the black figure shot a fireball at me.

Boom!

A strong wind exploded everywhere and mist engulfed both of us. I’ve seen this reaction of two powers colliding before. When fire and ice clashed, a huge explosion always occur. I know only one person that can control fire.

When the wind blasted at the figure, his hood also flew off, revealing his face. I stared in awestruck when I saw who it was.

“Lantern?” I spoke out in shock.

It was definitely Lantern, but his hair and eyes were black as coal. His skin was pale as if it had never been touched by the sun... And his gaze... they were so cold and dark. A malevolent sneer ran across his face that made my body tense up, sensing the evil from his eyes.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The sudden change in Lantern’s appearance threw me off. What happened to his fiery red hair and glowing yellow eyes? What happened to him? Why did this Lantern before him look so... evil?

“Your fight is with me, Jack Frost,” Lantern said with the evil grin. Then he came at me in full speed. I was too shock to realize how fast he was until he appeared in front of me in a mere second. Then he sent a large flame thrower burning from his palm right at me.

BOOM!

I barely managed to create a small energy shield in time before the impact. The explosion from the impact blasted me right out of the sky and sent me falling towards the ground.

“Jack!” I could hear the other guardians screaming for me.

I immediately woke up from my shock and realized what was happening. I quickly regain my posture in the air and flew back up. I could see Tooth and Sandy trying to fly towards me to help, but a herd of Nightmares were blocking their way.

“Now now, adults shouldn’t interfere in a children’s fight,” chuckled Pitch.

“Pitch! You dirty rotten piece of... !” Bunny cursed furiously.

I didn’t have time to hear what other names Bunny was calling Pitch, because the evil Lantern was flying after me. I had burns all over my clothes and some bruises from the explosion.

Dark Lantern sent several crows made of skeleton and smog at me, so I tried to fly as fast as possible. Damn! Not more crows! The flock of smog crows followed close behind me, cawing like some kind of war cry.

Thinking quick, I dived into the tall buildings, hoping I could out fly them and maybe gain some advantage with the maze like alleys. To think, I have to fight my own friend again and in a situation that I never imagined would happen.


~North’s POV~

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The young fire spirit was no longer the bright and playful boy anymore. His soul and heart were twisted and full of darkness. I didn’t need my belly to tell me this since I could obviously see it with my own eyes. Not only did his appearance changed, the look in his eyes were filled with evilness.

I couldn’t do anything as I watched in shock as the fire spirit attacked the snow spirit before they both disappeared into the city.

“Vhat did you do to zhe boy, Pitch!?!” I demanded with a dark tone.

“Oh, I just tweaked around with his teeth is all,” answered Pitch, not fazed bu my outburst. “And about that name of his. Well, it was kind of complicated to call him Jack when there are two Jacks I know. Quite confusing really.”

“How DARE you!!! HOW DARE YOU MESS WITH HIS TEETH!!!” Tooth screamed Tooth furiously. Her feathers flared up furiously with her anger. If she was anywhere close to Pitch, she would be slicing the man with her two swords in a flash.

“What do you mean by that, you nutcracker?” Demanded Bunny, glaring fiercely at the black robe man. He must’ve caught Pitch’s last statement, because I too was confused by the boogeyman’s words.

“Well, since I gave him a new look, new memories, and a new identity, so I thought why not give him a new name as well. He is my henchman, after all,” explained Pitch. “So I gave him the name... Cinder... Like how he’ll burn his enemies to cinder.” Then Pitch laughed hysterically as if he finally achieved what he wanted.

“ZHAT’S ENOUGH!” I yelled out in anger. I had enough of his crazy and messed up mind!

The other guardians and i immediately went after Pitch. Sandy and Tooth went flying into the air while Bunny and I took the sleigh and flew after the two. I could see in their eyes how enraged they were. I, too, was not any different from them. My inside was burning with fury.

But before we could get to Pitch, several Nightmares appeared and blocked our way, protecting Pitch like his personal bodyguards.

We tried to break through their ranks, but when we were about to get through, several smog horse skeletons came to aid the Nightmares. This made the situation much harder to get through with the army of Nightmares and Smog horses before us.

“Damn ponies!” Bunny cursed in frustration.

Pitch just chuckled at our fruitless attempts in amusement, which made me want to slice that smirky face of his with my swords.


~Frost’s POV~

When I sent several ice bolts at the flying bird skeletons, I wasn’t able to hit all of them so I still had quite a lot of them still chasing me. I flew into a corner with a narrow alley, so when the flock flew in, I was able to zap them in a close space.

Zap! Zap! Zap!

The crows cawed loudly before bursting into wisp of smoke. With so many birds turning to vapor, it created a large fog of smoke that spread through the alley. Then I notice something flying right out of that large smoke towards me, so out of reflex, I lifted my staff up in defense.

And right on time, something came slamming onto the staff.

Clank!

“That’s all you have, Frosty?” Taunted Lantern, looking at me arrogantly with a smirk on his face. “And I thought you were stronger than that.”

“Lantern, what happened to you?” I demanded as I tried to prevent the lantern pole from pushing down at me. “What did Pitch do to you?”

“Do to me?” Lantern said it like this was a stupid question. “You should be more worried about what I would be doing to you.” Then he jumped back, spun around, and kicked me in the chest. The force of the kick knocked the air out of me and sent me diving to the ground.

I crashed into a pile of trash cans with loud clanking and banging of the trash cans scattering everywhere. I could feel my whole body bruising and aching already from that last attack. Why the hell was Lantern so strong? Or was I too weak because I couldn’t fight Lantern seriously? Even though I was getting my butt kicked, I still can’t fight Lantern. I didn’t want to fight Lantern at all.

“You’re pathetic,” I heard Lantern spatted. I looked up and saw Lantern looking down at me from above. Seeing those cold eyes made me even devastated to see my friend become like this. Why did this have to happen?

“Oh and for your information, my name isn’t Lantern. Who the hell would name themselves with such a retarded name, It’s Cinder, got it?” Corrected the dark spirit. “I hope you still can remember that after I beat the crap out of you.”

A malicious sneer ran across his face as he gathered a large amount of fire in front of him, forming a large fireball the size of a cannon ball.

I stared in wide eyes in shock as the fireball grew larger and larger before my eyes, but what really pulled my gaze was not the fireball that was about to roast me alive any second, but the vicious smile and evil glee in his eyes that showed how much he was enjoying this.

He was no longer the Lantern I knew.

“I hope you like crispy burnt. If not, well, sucks for you,” the evil spirit called Cinder laughed. Just when Cinder was about to throw the fireball the size of a car at me, a loud booming sound echoed loudly all over the city.

The clock tower hit midnight and the bells were ringing loudly throughout London.

DONG! DONG! DONG! DONG! DONG!


~North’s POV~

The booming of the large bell jolted all of us guardians to a stop. We practically froze at the same time from the sudden booming sound.

“It looks like it is time for us to go. Tonight was only an announcement of my return and also introducing my new partner. It was nice seeing you all again and I really look forward to my revenge,” he smirked. Then he yelled out loudly for his henchman, who was who-knows-where fighting Jack, to hear. “Cinder! It’s time to leave!”

Immediately, the dark and evil spirit appeared from a large amount of smoke that formed out of nowhere beside Pitch. Cinder flew to Pitch as ordered like a faithful dog. I tried to fly over to him, but the Nightmares and Smog horses were blocking my way.

“Lantern!” I tried to call to him.

Lantern didn’t reply. He just stared at me with that evil grin on his face.

“It’s time for us to go,” told Pitch. “Until next time, Guardians.”

“PITCH!” I shouted with all my anger pushed into it. Before my eyes, black sand swarmed around Pitch and Lantern and they disappeared into thin air. Once again, I couldn’t save the boy from the Nightmare King.


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