11 July 2036 Santura Morning Sunday Jamalie Island Port Town
It had been a day since the twins got stranded in Santura and were saved by Ray and the Scale Hearts. During their time at Jamalie Island, they learned a lot about Ray's home world. They also knew about the basic thing about Santura, the history, its cultures and about the Ascenders; a group of people with unique power to control and gather the neutral energy that existed inside the elements into their bodied. But there were others who were constantly absorbing it with no control of it. Because of that they were unable to control the flux of power, so there was a chance that they could go berserk or die by the very same element they controlled.
The twins were surprised to hear that Ray and Gervaso were both Ascenders. But Ray reassured them by telling them that both him and Gervaso could control energy with no problem.
Right now Ray, Gervaso, Luca, Lua, and Gill's family were heading to the Scale hearts main guild as the twins wore Santura's clothes to make sure that people like the Bloody Ravens wouldn't be able to find them easily.
Lua was wearing a white shirt under a light blue overcoat, lined with dark blue accents, a pair of white cargo pants with a chain dangling on the right pocket and black shoes for foot wear, and his hair was pulled to a high ponytail.
As for Luca, she was wearing a bluish-pink sleeveless dress with golden markings connected to a light red choker worn around her neck. On her arms she wore long red sleeves that wrapped around just below her shoulders. She also wore red and pink shoes with gold on the heel and a single, big gold orb at the tongue, along with tall white socks. She had her hair down instead of her usual hair style.
"Whoa… It's so huge!" Gill gawked, as they reached at the guild big red door. The building consisted of three floors and incorporated several architectonic styles, the building's roof was pitched, and from its front, central part sprouted a clock tower with a symbol of a scale in balanced with a sword on the left side and on the right a heart.
Ray walked towards the front door and opened it. Everyone walked into the building and just like seeing the outside; they were a bit more amazed by the inside.
The inside of the building highly resembled a huge restaurant or pub, mainly constructed of woods. The room possessed a stone floor, and several, rectangular tables coming with matching benches at both sides, paired with some chairs. In the right side of the room was a bar counter, complete with a sink and several bottles, which had a wooden platform in front of it with some more tables and chairs sitting on it, plus some round bar stools by the counter. Behind it was a staircase with its landing sitting on the only structure of bricks in the inner part of the building, a massive, rectangular column. Leaning against the walls were some bookshelves packed of books, and at the entrance's sides were a pair of plants kept in jars.
"This place looks so cool!" Lua marveled at the place.
"Oh. But this is just the first floor." Gervaso smirked. "Wait until you see our newly swimming pool on the backyard."
"It's even got a swimming pool here?!" Lua and Gill said in surprise at the same time.
"Heh. You sure have remodeled the place a lot while I was gone, huh?" Alut asked, smirking.
"Gotta go with the time, right?" Gervaso answered as the gang sat down by one of the tables.
"You used to come here, Alut-san?" Luca asked.
"I used to be a member of the Scale Heart in my youth before I married Sterl." Told Alut.
"Still it sure is lively around here." Lua said looking at the rest of the guild members. "Is there a fire, or something?"
"That's probably because we got new jobs on the job board." Gervaso said.
"How do these jobs work?" Luca asked.
"I can answer that." Ray said as he started explaining the rules. "The Jobs here are all vary in difficulty and are divided in different ranks, based on the mission's possible danger or level of importance."
"But isn't it dangerous if someone who's new accepts a high rank mission?" Luca asked.
"That's why we have this." Gervaso pulled out of his pocket a silver badge version of the Scale Heart's logo. "Everyone who enters a guild will get a white version of this Guild Badge. A white means that you can only accept D ranked job. And in order go to the next level you'll have to go on trial that the Guild master chooses."
"And who's the Guild master?" Lua asked.
"That would be me." Said a familiar voice behind him as he and Luca turned around and saw Hans.
"Hey, I remember you! You're that guy I saw before I woke up!" Lua said pointing at him.
"Lua! It's rude to point at someone." Luca scolded her twin brother.
"It's alright; I don't mind that at all." Hans said, sitting next to them. "I hope you two are enjoining here at Jamalie Island?"
"We are." Told Luca. "Sterl-san is even kind to us to give her one of the clothing she made."
"I see. Anyway, I got a couple of thing to tell you." He looked at the twins. "I just got word that some of the people you traveled with are awake right now."
"Really?!" Lua said. "That's great news!"
"But unlike you two, they kinda freaked out when they saw one of our Reptilian doctors and tried to attack him." Hans scratched the back of his head.
"That's understandable. They did come from another world so seeing a Reptilian would scare the hell out of them." Gervaso said.
"But is the doctor okay?" Luca asked worriedly.
"He's alright. The patients did panic for a minute. But eventually they calmed down after we told what happened two days ago," Hans explained as the twins sighed in relief. "Also I have a mission for you, Ray. If you success you'll be promoted to Bronze."
"Are you serious?!" Ray gnawed, standing up from his seat and slammed his hand on the table.
"It's not a danger mission, is it, Hans?" Sterl asked.
"Na. He only needs to babysit Nessie for a while." Told Hans.
"Babysit?" Ray tilted his head confusedly. "Are you saying that I have to take care of someone's baby? I've never babysit before. I don't even know how to take care of a kid."
"Why not ask someone to help you?" Sterl asked. "Wasn't there was a rule that Ray can bring three other member with him to complete a test mission?"
"Yea. But he can only bring someone who has the same rank." Hans explained. "And since Ray's rank is white he can only ask a fellow white ranked member, but sadly every white ranked member here are already promoted to bronze this year so he have to do it alone."
"Then is it alright if I help Ray with his mission?" Luca asked all of the sudden.
"Sorry. But you'll need to be a member to help Ray with his mission." Hans said.
"Please make an exception just this once. It's the least I can to for Ray." Luca pleaded.
"Me too! Please let us help Ray!" Lua also begged, clamping his hands together.
"Well…. You two did say please." Hand rubbed his chin. "Sure, why not. I'm sure Nessie would like some extra company."
The twins looked at each other smiling and looked at Hans. "Thank you very much!"
Hans smiled as he turned to Ray. "So are you going to accept the job, Ray?"
Ray thought this for a moment. "Yea, I'll do it."
"Great! Go meet me at the docks around noon and make sure you guys bring swimsuits." Hans said before standing up and exited the guild.
"Swimsuit?" Everyone said at the same time, confused.
11 July 2036 Santura Midday Jamalie Island Port Town
"Why do you think we have to bring our swimsuits with us?" Lua wondered as Ray, Lua, Luca and Gill were waiting for Hans at the docks with backpacks on their backs.
"Who knows?" Ray shrugged. "Maybe we can swim in the ocean after the job is done?"
"If that's true, then it will be the first time we'll swim in the ocean." Luca said.
"You two have never swum in the ocean in your world before?" Gill asked.
"No, never." Lua answered Gill question.
"There aren't any beaches in Neo Domino City. We have to travel for a couple of hours to get there and our parents are always busy so we never had a chance to go to a beach." Luca explained.
"You guys must have a rough time without your parents, huh?" Gill asked.
"It was. But we were never alone when we met Yusei. Because of him we met many new friends and so more." Luca explained while smiling.
"Sounds like this Yusei is a real nice guy." Ray put his hand behind his head. "I hope I will meet him someday."
"Hey!" They heard Hans's voice as they turned their heads and saw said man with a bald elf with a large mechanical hand wearing black pants and a blue shirt, over which went the strap that held his mechanical arm onto his body. He also wore a knife attached to the left side of his belt. "Sorry to keep you kids waiting."
"It's okay. We just got here." Gill said.
"So those are the brats you referred to, eh?" The elf asked, glaring at the teens. "The boy in red looks capable, but I have my doubt about the twins and the Moonchi."
"Don't be rude, Alberico." Hans scolded him a bit. "Sorry about him; he has trust issues. This is Alberico Leonardo; your client for this job."
"So you're the guy who wants to keep an eye on your kid?" Ray asked.
"That's right. But Nessie is not my child or a person." Alberico explained, making the group a bit confused. "I'll explain along the way. Let's get to my ship first then we'll talk." He then started to walk towards a blue fishing boat.
"Geez! What's his problem?" Lua asked, irritated by Alberico's behavior.
"Like I said; he has some trust issues." Hans said before laughing sheepishly. "But it would be better if we talk about your mission in his ship. This mission is actually very special, only the higher-up know about Nessie's existence." Hans explained as everyone got on Aberico's boat.
"So can you finally tell us who this Nessie is? And where are we going?" Ray asked as the ship sailed close to Jamalie Island shore.
"If you want to know. We're going to a sea carving where Nessie and I live." Alberico answered the question while piloting his ship. "And like I said before; Nessie is not a person. She's a baby Aquasaur."
"An Aqua-what?" Lua asked.
"An Aquasaur." Hans corrected. "It is a rare and gentle creature that lives in the sea. They have the ability to sense hostilities and usually travel in packs."
"But why is there an Aquasaur here in Jamalie?" Gill wondered.
"That's because I found her wounded in a ship graveyard a couple of month ago and brought her here for safety." Alberico told the group. "But I have to go to Palma de la Frontera to gather supplies for Nessie today and it will take a while."
"So Alberico came to me yesterday, asking if I can watch over Nessie. But I thought it would be best if you kids keep an eye on her." Hans explained.
"Still thinking it's a bad idea." Alberico groaned.
"Don't like that." Hans put his hand on the elf's shoulder. "Beside I think it would be good for Nessie if someone of Ray's age plays with her. I even brought some stuff for them to play." He pointed at a bag full of beach toys.
"It looks more like you're preparing a beach party to me." Gill sweat dropped.
Alberico turned on the lights as the ship entered a sea cavern. They passed through the cave until they arrived at a large open area with a couple of holes in the ceiling letting the sunlight in.
The teens went to the deck and were admiring the surroundings as the ship docked to a piece of land with a stone house on it. But suddenly Luca felt a chill through her spine as she sensed a powerful and unfamiliar presence somewhere nearby.
"What is this feeling?" Luca looked over her shoulders and saw nothing. "Is there someone… watching us?"
"Hey, something is over there!" Luca snapped out of her thoughts as Gill pointed to a dark blue plesiosaur-like figure in the water, with its two small horns on the back of its head just above the water as it stared the teens with curiosity in her silver eyes.
"If I have to guess, that would be Nessie." Ray said.
"You guessed right." Hans said, coming out of the bridge and leaned against the edge as he looked at Nessie. "Hey there, Nessie, how are you doing?"
Nessie make a happy squeaking sound that was almost identical of a dolphin's squeak. She rose from the water before swimming to the boat and nuzzled Hans. "Yes, yes. It's good to see you too, girl." Hans laughed, petting on the Aquasaur's head before turning his attention to the teens. "So who wants to pet Nessie?"
"You're sure, Hans?" Ray asked. "She won't bite, right?"
"Don't worry. Aquasaur eat only fish, and she's quite tame; hardly hurt a fly. Isn't that right?" Hans scratched under Nessie's chin as she squeaked in delight.
"Then I'll like to try." Luca said, as she walked to Nessie. Nessie looked curiously at the teal haired girl as she slowly put her hand on Nessie's head and petted her. Nessie squeaked and moved her head and nuzzled Luca's cheek. "That's tickles." She giggles.
"If you brats are done, I need to explain to you of how to take care of Nessie." Alberico said who also came out of the bridge and stepped out from the ship.
"He really starts to get to my nerves." Lua said.
"Don't worry about him. He needs time to get use to new people." Hans answered as the gang listened to Alberico's instructions. After he finished giving the instructions, he left with Hans out of the cave.
The teens played with Nessie after they were done with the chores that the Elf gave them. Both boys were wearing swimming trunk, Ray had an orange one while Lua he wore a black swimming trunks. Luca was wearing a light pink one-piece bathing suit with her shoulders exposed as her back was also a bit exposed because the swimsuit was supported with a couple of strings on the back.
"I never had this much fun in a while!" Lua said, drinking a glass of orange juice with everyone else sitting on a blanket as Nessie drank a bucket of fresh water.
"Me too! I never had this much fun since the time we spent with our friends back home." Luca said, taking a sip of her drink.
"By the way, you two tell us more about your friends?" Gill asked.
"Well, we have Yusei; he's the one who brought us all together and work as a scientist for Neo Domino City. There're also his foster brothers; Jack and Crow. Both of them try to become Professional Riding Duelists, and lastly there's Aki-san. She's like an older sister to us and she went to a medical school to become a doctor." Luca explained.
"Sounds like all your friends are a bit older then you are." Ray said.
"Yep, they are around 20 years old." Lua said.
"And what about your dreams? What do you want to do when you all grow up?" Gill asked, using a straw to drink his juice.
"My dream is to become a Professional Riding Duelist." Lua pointed at himself.
"I don't have a dream, so I decided to study so I can figure out what to do with my life." Luca explained. "And what about you two?"
"My dream is to go around the world like my dad used to do." Gill said. "He always tell me stories about his adventures with Hans and with his friends. That's why I'm going to follow his footsteps and became an official member of Scale Hearts!"
"I think you're more qualified to be the mascot than a real legit member, Gill. Considering how clumsy you are." Ray smirked.
"Wha! I'm not clumsy!" Gill retorted as Ray laughed.
"Did you join with the same reason as Gill, Ray?" Lua asked.
Ray shook his head. "No. The reason I joined is because I owe my life to them." Lua rose his eyebrow as Ray explained what he meant.
"Hans-san found Ray in the ruins of a destroyed village years ago with no recollection of who he was or who his parents were."
"Seriously?!" Lua's eyes widened. "So you don't remember your time as a kid? Absolutely nothing?"
"Sadly yes. But I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for Hans and the rest of the guild members. So I joined Hans's guild out of gratitude and hoped to find a clue about my past." Ray told the twins.
Lua was quiet for a while when he suddenly realized something, and asked his sister. "Hey, wait a minute! How the heck do you know about Ray's past?"
"He told me about it last night on the balcony." Luca replied as Lua and Gill's eyes widened.
"You two were late up…" Lua said.
"On the balcony with no clouds in the sky filled with stars…" Gill added as the two looked at Ray and Luca, and Lua asks them. "You two didn't do anything funny back there, right?"
"No, we just talked, nothing more." Ray tilted his head. "And why are you two staring at us like we did something?"
"Nothing." Both Lua and Gill said, turning their heads to the other side. The two looked at each other confused. "Now, come on! Last one in the water is a rotten egg!" Lua stood up and ran to the water, when suddenly a big smoke came from the entrance, completely covering the cave.
"What *cough* is this?! *cough*" Luca asked with her hand over her mouth.
"Hold on! *cough* I'll blow the *cough* smoke away!" Ray gathered the natural energy around him in his arms as they were completely covered by wind. He slammed his fist to the ground, creating a big gust that blew the smoke away. "Is everyone alright?"
"Yea, we're okay." Gill said. "But I think I saw Nessie dive in to the water right before that smoke came."
But before they could look for the baby Aquasaur, three person wearing black light armor with black helmet riding water bikes with a harpoon-gun attach the left side, entered the cave.
"I think she need to stays in the water." Ray said. He saw the riders stopped at the docking point as the middle one with a grey tail glared at the teens. "Because my gut tells me this is going to be ugly."
(Special thanks to my beta reader RaisingHeartExelion)