Chapter Ten: Initiation
The next morning, the sounds of the villagers moving around woke Spyro and Cynder. As they opened their eyes, they found themselves not far from where the Mabu were rebuilding some of the homes destroyed by Deathmatch and his soldiers. Now that the Dark Elf was gone, the villagers no longer had anything to fear. He’d been the only threat the Mistlands had ever truly had. Any other threat came from animals and other types of things. But now, after the demise of Deathmatch, everything was back to normal. Now everyone could live in peace, which had been the plan all along.
After Spyro and Cynder had eaten breakfast, they went to where Eon stood. He was standing by where the portal that had brought them there had once been. “Well, this has been quite an adventure, it seems. And now, we must go home. Yes, it is sad, but what matters is that we accomplished our first mission together,” Eon explained. “When we return, we shall have one more day of rest, and then we shall have our initiation to see who was put into each Element. And of course, we will learn who will become the Captain of that specific Element. Now, let us go!” He tapped on one of the rocks, and suddenly a portal appeared. One of the Elders of the village appeared, as did Emily and her family. As she and Spyro left through the portal, Cynder looked one last time back at Emily, who was smiling and waving at her. Cynder smiled back and winked. She hoped she would be able to see Emily again one day. That was her main hope.
When they arrived back at the Ruins, Eon told them to rest for the remaining hours in the day. He explained how there was a time difference between the Ruins and the Mistlands. The difference was four hours. That meant it was already afternoon there at the Ruins. There wasn’t much time left in the day. But Spyro and Cynder didn’t care. They decided they would be spending the rest of their day together in peace. Of course, Sonic Boom and Sunburn soon joined them, and so did Hex, Trigger Happy, and Gill Grunt. Cynder guessed they were allowed to do so. She still wasn’t completely used to having friends like that, but she told herself it was best that she got used to it.
As the time in the day wore on and it became much later, Eon returned to the Skylanders and told them as he stood on the cliff above the beach, “We will be having our voting for who you wish to be the Captains for the Elements. Once you are done with that, you can vote for who belongs in which Element. Once this is done, I will look at the ballots. The results will be told in the morning. I will now be retreating into my quarters for the night.” He waved at them and then departed.
Cynder looked to Spyro. She seemed a little scared. “Do I really have to vote? I don’t know who I should vote for!” she exclaimed. She obviously wasn’t ready for what was coming. But Spyro just placed a paw on her shoulder and smiled.
“Don’t worry,” he said. “You’ll be fine. I will go in there first, and then when I come out, it will all be fine. You just need to trust yourself, Cyn. Okay?” He smiled, and then went into the voting tent.
She smiled back and nodded, although she was still nervous. It was hard for her not to be, she believed. She didn’t know who she was supposed to pick and who she wasn’t. She knew she wouldn’t be choosing Slam Bam to lead the Water Skylanders. She put that thought behind her. She tried to remember how many Skylanders there were. She saw Sonic Boom and hurried over to her. “Hey,” she greeted. “Do you know exactly how many Skylanders there are? I just need to know.”
Sonic Boom thought for a moment. She finally came up with her answer. “There are about thirty-four of us. At least, that is what I think. I’m pretty sure, and I’m almost always right,” she explained. “Do you trust my answer, or not?”
“I trust your answer,” Cynder told her. She finally thought of something she could have done without asking someone. “I just realized I could have looked at the ballots themselves. They would have given me the name of all the Skylanders, anyway. But thanks for the help. It’s good to know you’re one of my greatest friends.” She smiled at Sonic Boom, and Sonic Boom returned the smile. Slam Bam saw them smiling and rolled his eyes. He hated seeing Cynder so happy. He still blamed her for giving information to Deathmatch.
When Spyro came out of the voting tent, he was with Sunburn. When Spyro looked at Cynder, he told her, “There are thirty-four names on that ballot. We are on the ballot, too. Just go in there and vote for whatever you think is right. I believe in you.”
Cynder nodded. She swallowed hard, and then continued on into the voting tent. The tent was dark, and the only light came from a lantern at a desk that had the voting ballot on top of it. Seeing the voting ballot made Cynder’s heart jump for some strange reason. She looked down at the voting ballot and saw the thirty-four different names. But there were technically thirty-three, as she did not count her own name. She decided she wouldn’t be putting her own name where the Captains would be voted for. The first thing she saw was the place where she would put her vote for the leader of the Magic Element. She saw Spyro’s name, and decided as soon as she saw it that she would choose him. She smiled as she picked up the pencil near her and scrawled Spyro’s name. Next came Earth, Fire, and Air. When it came to Earth, she was unsure who she was supposed to choose. She finally decided on Bash even though it seemed he did not trust her. When it came to Fire, she easily chose Sunburn over everyone else. When it came to Air, Sonic Boom was the only name that came to mind. She saw Whirlwind’s name, but ignored it. The next two Elements were Life and Tech. Looking at the names under those Elements, she saw Stealth Elf’s under Life, and she saw Trigger Happy’s under Tech. She chose the both of them for the respective Elements. As she looked down at the last two, her heart skipped a beat. Sweat trickled down both sides of her face. The last two Elements were Water and Undead. She looked at the names for Water, and decided it was easier than she’d first thought. Gill Grunt’s name was there, and so she put his under the choice of nominating him as the Water Element’s Captain. But now she had the Undead Element to worry about. As she looked at the names, she saw her own name there. She wondered how that was possible. She didn’t know if Eon had made this ballot or not, but she wanted to have a talk with whoever did. Looking down at the Undead Element’s list, she found Hex’s name and scrawled it as quickly as she could. She was ready to get out of the tent. Her sweat was dripping profusely from both sides of her head. She couldn’t take it too much longer. She went running out of the tent, only to run into Spyro. When he looked at her, the expression on his face became that of concern.
“Cynder, what’s wrong?” he asked. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” she said, attempting to brush it off. “Just one of those kinds of last-minute jitters, if you know what I mean. I’m a little scared to know who exactly made the cut and who didn’t. I mean—” She was cut off by Spyro.
“Don’t worry,” he assured her. “I know what you mean. Let’s just go get some sleep. It’s getting late, and I know you’re probably really tired.” He looked to Sonic Boom and Sunburn. “We’re going to sleep,” he explained to them. “We’ll see you guys at the initiation in the morning.”
As Spyro and Cynder walked off, Spyro said to Cynder, “You didn’t want to be chosen as part of the Undead Element, did you?”
“How did you know?” she asked.
“Because I know you well enough to tell,” he told her. “It probably doesn’t make sense, but I just know. Sometimes it isn’t hard to read what you might be thinking.”
Cynder sighed. “Well, in this case, you would be quite right,” she admitted. “It’s just that I didn’t want to see myself as a member of the Undead Element. I’d rather be with you in the Magic Element. It isn’t fun having to be part of something that reminds you of your past. That’s what happens to me when I think of the Undead Element. I suddenly remember my pst, and it really isn’t the most fun.”
“I guess it’s not,” Spyro said. “I wish I knew some of what you’re going through, Cyn. Hey, at least, when this is all over, we can remain together. Know what I mean?”
Cynder nodded. She retreated into her thoughts for a moment. If I become one of the Undead Skylanders, it wouldn’t fit well, because I’m not dead yet. I’m still very much alive It just feels weird to think I’ll be the only Undead Skylander who is not undead.
As night came to an end, Spyro and Cynder woke to find themselves together near the Core. After getting themselves ready for the initiation, they looked for Eon. He finally appeared, smiling brightly. He was obviously in a good mood. In his hands were the ballots.
“Good morning!” he greeted cheerily. “I am ready for this. Aren’t the both of you?”
“Sure,” Cynder said nervously. She laughed a little. “I mean, I’m nervous, because…you know.”
Eon smiled. “Do not worry, Cynder,” he assured her. “Everything will go just fine, trust me.” In the next twenty minutes, all the other Skylanders appeared. Although thirty-four of them had voted, only thirty-three votes would be counted for each Captain, as that Skylander could not have their own vote for themselves. “Now, here we are!” Eon said to them. “This is the time we’ve all been waiting for. When I mention your Element, I will speak all the names of those in it. Since there are eight Elements, not all of you shall have even numbers. Now, it is time for us to start. For Magic we have Spyro, Wrecking Ball, Voodood, and Double Trouble.” Spyro left Cynder’s side and went to the line formed by the other Magic Skylanders. “Now, when I went through the votes for who the Captain will be, the answer was nearly unanimous. The two candidates for Captain are Spyro and Wrecking Ball. Now, this will go quickly. Wrecking Ball, out of the thirty-three other Skylanders than yourself, you had only six. Spyro, you had twenty-seven votes. And that means Spyro, you are the Captain.” Eon smiled at Spyro, and Spyro returned the smile to both him and Cynder. “Now, on to Water. We have Gill Grunt, Slam Bam, Chill, Zap, and Wham-Shell.” After they’d lined up, Eon continued. “Out of all the votes for the Captains, it came down to Gill Grunt and Slam Bam. And the winner won by only one vote. So, the winner is…Gill Grunt.” Slam Bam’s jaw dropped open, while Gill Grunt smiled. “Now on to Earth. Step forward Bash, Flashwing, Terrafin, Prism Break, and Dino Rang. The votes for your Captain weren’t unanimous, either. It came down to Flashwing and Bash. But in the end, Bash won by three votes.” Neither Bash nor Flashwing smiled, nor did they show any type of emotion. “Now comes Tech. Come forward, please, Trigger Happy, Drill Sergeant, Drobot, and Boomer.” Once they were ready, Eon continued. “Truthfully, there were three candidates for this Element’s Captain: Drobot, Trigger Happy, and Boomer. Drobot and Boomer had the same number of votes, and that number is ten. As for Trigger Happy, he had thirteen votes. Of course, Trigger Happy, you should be happy to know that both of the other candidates voted for you. That’s the beauty of not being able to vote for yourself.” As he laughed, the other Skylanders looked at one another, not understanding completely. “And now we have the Air Element. Sonic Boom, Warnado, Whirlwind, and Lightning Rod. The votes for the Captains came down to Sonic Boom and Whirlwind. Whirlwind, you had sixteen votes. Sonic Boom, you had seventeen.” Sonic Boom couldn’t hide her happiness. She looked over to Spyro and Cynder, who both smiled back at her. “Now comes Fire. That includes Sunburn, Ignitor, Eruptor, and Flameslinger. The votes for the Captain were very close here. The role of Captain were between Sunburn and Ignitor. In the end, with a win of two votes, Sunburn has won the role of Captain.” Sunburn smiled at everyone present and patted Ignitor on the back. Cynder realized there were only two Elements left. “Life is up next!” Eon continued. “Please come up, Stealth Elf, Camo, Zook, and Stump Smash. When it came to the votes for Captain, it came down to Stealth Elf and Camo. Camo received fifteen votes, while Stealth Elf received eighteen. She is the Captain for the Life Element.” Cynder swallowed hard, realizing she was up next. “And now for our final Element, the Undead. Please get into a line, Hex, Chop Chop, Ghost Roaster, and last but most certainly not least, Cynder.” Slam Bam was about to say something under his breath when he heard Eon’s good comment about Cynder, but remembered the gold coin up his butt and stopped himself. “Now, the votes here came down to Hex and Cynder. But in the end, the winner won by one vote. Hex, you received sixteen votes. Cynder, you received seventeen. That means we have our final Captain. That means Cynder is the Captain of the Undead Element!” The Skylanders cheered, although much of the cheering went toward the other Captains, and not as much toward Cynder. But Cynder didn’t care. She still had Spyro and her other friends. And they were all smiling at her. Spyro was obviously ready to hug her. Suddenly Eon cleared his throat, revealing that he was not yet done. “The last thing we must go through is the choosing of the leader of Skylanders. I am sure you all saw the votes for the leader. And when I saw the votes, I couldn’t help but laugh at the many differing explanations. But in the end, it was one special Dragon who received the votes. Spyro, please come and stand next to me.” Spyro was obviously surprised, but Cynder was not. She was very happy for him. And it seemed many of the other Skylanders were, as well. “Now, you might have all noticed there was not a section to do with the choosing for the leader’s second-in-command. And there is a reason for that. I chose the second-in-command myself. And I would like to speak her name now. Cynder, please come to me.” He smiled. Cynder’s eyes widened. She went to where Spyro stood. “Spyro and Cynder both did very well during our mission in the Mistlands, and the fortunate thing is that they never gave up hope, either in finishing the mission and defeating Deathmatch or in each other. I present to you the leaders of the Skylanders!” He clapped, and while most of the Skylanders who clapped did so only for Spyro, Cynder still didn’t care. She saw all of her Element, including Hex, clapping for her, as well as Trigger Happy, Gill Grunt, Sonic Boom, and Sunburn. “Now, this is over. Thank you for your time!”
As he left, Sonic Boom and Sunburn came over to Spyro and Cynder. “Congrats, Cynder!” Sonic Boom said. “I’m so happy for the both of you!” She hugged Cynder.
“You really do deserve it,” Sunburn told her. “The both of you do.”
“Thank you,” Cynder said. “And if you guys wish to, you can call me ‘Cyn.’ It makes no difference now, since both Spyro and I are a couple. I guess I can extend that to my greatest friends now.” She smiled at them.
“Hey, Cyn, that actually reminds me,” Spyro said. He looked behind him to Stealth Elf, who came over to them. “Do you have it?” Stealth Elf nodded and took a package out of her pocket. “Cynder, I know this might be a little too soon, but I was thinking about this for a long time. He opened up the package and took out a sapphire jewel necklace. “Would you be my mate?” he asked hopefully.
Cynder didn’t know what she was supposed to say for a minute. At first many thoughts circled around in her mind. But she put all those behind her and remembered what Eon had said just before they had gone into the swamp. She followed her heart, and smiled. “Yes,” she said. “I would be very delighted. You are the reason why I am so happy, and I would love to spend the rest of my life with you.”
He smiled and kissed her. She returned the kiss. Their friends watched and smiled. Sonic Boom’s eyes filled with tears. When Spyro and Cynder were done kissing, they hugged, happy they had found peace.