11 July 2036 Sunday Santura Midday Jamalie Island Nessie's Carven
Ray glared at the intruders as he stood in front of Gill and the twins. The two large ones were getting off their bikes until the small middle one held his hands in front of them, telling them that he would handle this. He took off his helmet, showing that he was a purebred Cat Sìth with grey fur and red eyes. He disembarked and walked toward Ray & Co.
"Hey there, kids! Sorry for our spontaneous entry. I'm Aloysius; a member of infamous Svart Kráka." Aloysius introduced himself.
"I heard about that. You guys are an illegal guild, poachers that hunts rare monsters so you can sell their body parts to the black market, am I right?" Ray asked, keeping his guard up.
"I prefer professional hunters if you don't mind." Aloysius said, as he stopped walking. "But enough of that; we came here for the rare monster here. If you kids know something about it, it would be great if you tell us where it's hiding."
"Sorry, don't know what you're talking about. My friends and I came here to have fun in the water." Ray lied. "Also why do you think there's a monster here?"
"From our anonymous client, of course. He or she was kind enough to give us the info to where a rare monster is hiding, and with the large amount of money we received from our client we were happy to apply." Aloysius snapped his claws and his grunts started their water bikes. "Now, if you kiddos don't mind. My friends and I will have a look around. Just pretend we aren't here and-"
But before he could finish his sentence he saw Ray's arm covered in wind that almost reassembled a claw. Ray clenched his fist and thrusted it forward, releasing a strong gust of wind. Aloysius was able to dodge it, but his mates and the water bikes got blown away, hitting the walls and falling into the water.
"Well, that explains why the smoke came out." The Cat Sìth mumbled, dusting the dust off his armor. "Now you're really testing my patience, Kid. So how about you tell me where that monster is or are we going to do it the hard way?"
Ray gave him a stare that told him; 'You'll have to fight me to get what you want, A-hole.' He turned his head to his friends. "You guys go find a place to cover. I'll handle those grants myself."
"B-but are you sure?" Luca asked worriedly. "You're fighting someone who's older than you. Who knows what kind of tricks he has."
"Don't worry, Luca. Ray fought a lot of bandits like him back in Essen Woods; fighting one adult will be a piece of cake for him." Gill assured her.
"I like to see him try!" Aloysius leap toward Ray, but the teen dodged the opponent's punch and laid on the ground to double kick him up into the air.
"Now's your chance!" Ray back flipped up onto his feet, and the poachers fell on the ground. "Go! Now!" The twins nervously nodded and hid behind a large rock as Aloysius fell down to the ground.
He slowly pulled himself up and saw Ray taunting him with his finger. "If that's how you want to play, brat! Then so be it!" Aloysius drew his knife and tried to stab him. Ray dodged all of the poacher's attack and punched hard into his guts, Aloysius gasped for air as he dropped the knife and got kicked in the face, knocking him out to the ground.
"No way! He beat him with just like that?!" Lua gawked.
"See, what did I tell you? Ray can handle him easily. Heck! He even didn't need to use his power to kick his ass." Gill said with confidence when they saw Nessie resurface from the water.
"Nessie-chan!" Luca hugged Nessie when she arrived at the shore. "Thank goodness you're safe! Are you hurt?" The aquasaur shook her head and nestled Luca's cheek.
"So… What are we going to do with them?" Rua looked at the Svart Kráka members floating unconsciously on the water.
"We bind them and give them to Hans." Ray said, binding Aloysius with a rope. "Like I said before; those goons are working for an illegal guild and they need to go to jail."
"Where did you get a rope?" Lua asked.
"From my backpack. I always keep a couple of ropes with me just in cases like this." Ray replied, finishing with binding the poacher.
"Wait. If they are an illegal guild, shouldn't we ask them about the Bloody Ravens? Maybe they know something about their plans." Luca suggested.
"Sorry, Luca, from what I know the Bloody Ravens have no interest working together with other illegal guilds." Ray explained.
"So in other words; we won't get info from them." Lua sighed. "Well, at least Nessie is alright so I can't complain."
"Couldn't agree with you more." Ray agreed. "I'll just get those two knuckleheads out of the water before..." He turned his head and saw that the other two were nowhere to be seen.
"They are gone?!" Gill shouted.
"Where did they go?!" Lua was as surprised as the rest. "How did they disappear out of nowhere like that?"
"Don't know. I bet either one of them must be a Mage and use their powers to turn themselves invisible." Ray theorized, keeping his guard up.
"How can you be sure that this isn't the work of an Ascender?" Lua asked.
"Because I didn't sense any natural energy being used. If they were using it, I would notice it in a heartbeat." Ray pointed out, reminding Lua that Ascenders could not only sensing natural energy but also sensing other Ascenders.
"Don't move." a male voice said behind them. Ray turned around and saw the two muscled Svart Kráka appear behind the twins, placing a strange high-tech gun on the back of their heads. "Or the twins get it."
"R-Ray." Luca stuttered, feeling the gun's barrel on her head.
"Everything is going to be okay, you two. Just keep your cool, okay?" Ray reassured them and asked the Svart Kráka. "You bastards. How low will you go just to get Nessie in your hands?"
"We are not interested in the Aquasaurs. We're here for another business." One of them said.
"Huh? But your friend said something else? What other business do you want here?" Gill asked.
"We came here because our princess ordered it, nothing more." Ray then realized who those thugs really were.
"You two aren't working for the Svart Kráka, but for the Bloody Ravens! Only those creeps call their Guild Master princess. I'm even willing to bet that this hunt came from her as well, right?"
"Correct. Our princess ordered us to infiltrate the Svart Kráka and wait until she gave them false information and money to lure them here." The left grunt looked at the frightened Aquasaur, hiding her head behind Ray's back. "Never thought there is one here."
"You guy do realize this island belongs to Scale Hearts. If Hans or any of our friends get here, you'll be in big trouble." Gill pointed out.
"That's exactly what we want. Our mission is to assassinate the Guild Master Hans Silverhand." The right grunt said. "Now stay put and don't do anything funny." Ray bit his lips in frustration.
"Damn it!" Lua cursed in his mind. "If we weren't caught by them, Ray wouldn't have to hold back and kick their ass to last week!"
"There has to be something we can do to help Ray." Luca thought. "If only I..."
"If I just..."
"Have the power to stop them!" They said in their mind at the same time, when suddenly the twins heard a gentle and powerful female voice out of nowhere.
"Do you two desire power?" The voice asked, startle the twins.
"What the?! Who said that?" Lua asked as Luca was surprised when she also heard her brother's voice in her mind.
"Did I just heard Lua's thoughts?" Luca wondered. "Lua! Can you hear me?"
"Luca?! Why is your voice in my head?" He asked, but was interrupted by the voice.
"I'll ask again, do you two desire power? The power to summon spirit at your will?" The twins' eyes widened.
"Summoning spirit?!" Lua gawked. "You're saying we can summon spirit if we said yes?!"
"That is correct. But I shall warn you that the process of becoming a Spiritual Caster will be a painful one."
The twins looked at each other with their eyes and both of them nodded to each other. "If it helps our friends then we'll accept." Luca answered to the voice.
"Very well." At moment the twins felt something pummeled inside of them and winced of the pain they felt.
"So let me get this straight. You're going to use us as hostages just to kill Hans?" Ray asked.
"Scale Heart is a thorn to our princess's side for far too long. We're here to destroy the guild with anything means necessary." The left Bloody Raven grunt explained.
At that moment Ray saw the twins looking to each other with their eyes and nod. "Looks like they are planning of something. I better get those bloody goons distracted." He said to himself and laughed.
"What's so funny?" One of them asked.
"Sorry. Sorry. It's just too funny! That you think you can stand a chance to kill Hans." Ray held his stomach and kept laughing. "Your boss must be really stupid."
"What did you just say?" The right one asked, getting a little pissed.
"I said that your boss is a big fat dumb trying to pick a fight with us. Isn't that right Gill?" Ray asked his childhood friend.
"Eeh?! Ray, what are you-" Gill asked, but then got what Ray's plan was. "I mean yes! They boss is a completely dumbass. I even bet she's ugly as hell itself."
"Like she's really fat, have ugly and uncaring hair with enormous lips?"
"Yeah, precisely like that!" Both of them laughed hard, making one of the Bloody Raven tremble in rage.
"You little brats!" The grunt aimed his gun at them. "How dare you talk of our princess like that!?"
"And things you guys do under her will? Killing the innocent, kidnapping children, brainwashing and blackmailing?" Ray asked, glaring at them with rage in his eyes. "Those acts are what only someone that we called a demon would do that neither Scale Hearts and the whole world would forgive the things you're doing to us! And we will bring you to justice. No matter where you're hiding!"
"You really think we care what the world thinks of us?" The left one smirked under his helmet. "Now shut your mouth before I shoot a bullet into your frien-" But before he could finish his sentence, to everyone's surprise they saw that Luca and Lua started to glow with a crimson color.
"What the!?" The right one shouted as he and the other Bloody Raven got blown away with by a shockwave from the twins as the glowing stopped and they fell to the ground.
"Guys!" Ray quickly went to their side.
"It…. hurts…." Luca groaned in pain.
"It feels….like my whole body….. is on fire…." Lua breathed heavily.
"Damn it!" Ray snarled. "Just what the bloody hell is happening to you?"
"They are becoming Spiritual Caster, young one." Everyone startled and looked around to see where the voice came from.
"Who said that?!" Ray demanded.
The young Santurians suddenly heard Nessie's cry. They turned around and couldn't believe their eyes. Next to the baby stood a beautiful white horse-like creature with yellow markings and had a female body on top where the head should be. She had glowing brown short hair, grey-golden eyes, and her clothing was consisting of a short sleeveless grey tunic decorated with many flower motifs, which had revealing openings on the sides and front, exposing much of her chest. These openings were held closed by a large, white obi, which had a thin yellow rope tied around it, sporting a wide closing ribbon on the back. What also closed the openings of the armor was a lighter and smaller white belt, which was wrapped around a pink, flower-patterned cloth circling its waist on the back and the sides.
"My name is Penthesilea." the centaur said and disappeared into thin air. "We shall meet again. When your powers are bloomed beautiful."
"What… was that?" Gill's jaw dropped.
"Could it be a spirit?" Ray said.
"What in blue blazes happened here?" a familiar voice shouted, as both teens saw Hans and Alberico disembark the ship.
"I'll explain later! There's something wrong with them. They need a medical check, fast!" Ray picked up Luca bridal style. "And take those guys as well. They may have the info we need about the Bloody Raven's plan." He explained as he carried Lua after he had placed Luca onto the ship.
"Seriously?" Hans gawked. "Then we better get going." He said, as he and Alberico carried the Bloody Ravens and Aloysius to the ship and sailed out of the cavern.
11 July 2036 Santura Midday Sunday Jamalie Island Hospital
"I see. So that's what happened…." Hans rubbed his chin after Ray told him what happened in the cavern. "Who would think there's a spirit living here?"
"I'm more worried about what she did do the twins." Gill said worriedly. "I hope nothing is wrong with them."
But before the guild master could answer Gill's answer, a human doctor came out of the twins' room. Ray ran to the doctor.
"Doc! How's Luca and Lua?"
"There's nothing to worry about them. Beside the unknown energy and mana in their bodies, the twins will make a slow but steady recovery."
"Unknown energy and mana?" Ray wondered.
"Correct. We discovered that both the twins possess not only mana, they have also another energy that's unknown to us." The doctor explained. "According to the data we collected so far, it seems that both energies are trying to collaborate with their life force."
"So….. They're going to be alright?" Ray asked, not understanding a word what the doctor said.
"On the contrary! If our suspicions are correct, they soon may have the power to use magic."
"Are you serious?!" Gill asked surprised.
"Dead serious." The doctor replied. "We only need to do more test just to be sure."
"Can we see them?" Hans asked.
"But of course."
They entered the room and saw the twins resting in their separate beds.
"How are you holding?" Ray asked.
"It hurts a little, but anything else is okay." Luca answered.
"You two really made me worried back there." Ray said. "Glowing all of the sudden and collapsing like that."
"Sorry…. We didn't mean to make you worry." Lua said.
"By the way, what's going to happen with the poachers?" Luca asked.
"They will send to prison after Alberico is done dipping them into the ocean a couple of times." Hans told.
"He dips them into the ocean?" Lua sweat dropped.
"It's his way in saying "If you ever going after my Nessie, I'll send you to the bottom of the sea"! Kinda like that." Hans explained as the young teens sweat dropped, imagining the elf doping the Bloody Ravens with his mechanical arm into the water. "So how long do they need to stay here, doctor?"
"If everything goes well, one week." The doctor speculated.
"I see… Thank you for your help." Hans thanked the doctor.
"Just doing my job, sir. Now if you excuse me, I need to go do the next patient." The doctor said, leaving the room to themselves.
"You're kidding me! We have to stay here for a week?" Lua whined. "That sucks!"
"C'mon, Lua, it isn't that bad. We should be lucky that we don't have to stay here for a month." Luca then looked at the palm of her hand. "But in all seriousness, we were really lucky that Penthesilea came…."
"Yeah…" Lua agreed. "But what did she do to us? And what's a Spiritual Caster anyway?"
"A Spiritual Caster is someone who can communicate with spirit and can borrow their power." Hans explained, surprising the teens.
"Hans, you know something about it?" Gill asked.
"A little, yes. I got it from an archaeologist friend." He answered. "She told me that there was a tribe of people that lived together with the spirits. That was until they were wiped out from the map during the Twilight War 3000 year ago."
"Then there's no one to teach us how to use our powers?" Luca asked.
"Not in the spiritual department." Hans replied. "But there are a couple of mages in the guild who can teach you how to use magic."
"Wait, are you saying we can use magic? How is that possible?" Lua asked.
"According to the doctor, there are two energies inside your body that are trying to harmonizing with you. One of them is mana; it's the energy you need to invoke magic." Hans explained.
"And what about the other?" Luca asked.
"That we don't know. They need to do more tests to find out." Hans said. "After the test is done I can introduce you to the mages I was talking about, under one condition."
"And that is?" Ray asked.
"You two join Scale Hearts."
"What?!" The twins, Ray and Gill shouted in surprise.
"Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Timeout!" Ray made a timeout sign with his hands. "What are you saying, Hans? It's dangerous for them to join us! I mean, for crying out loud, they are civilians and outer-worlders."
"It is for their own protection, Ray." Hans told the boy. "They now have a power that has been lost for a very long time. If someone like the Bloody Ravens finds out, they will be hunted down like animals trying to abuse them for their own profits."
The room went silent after Hans told the teens the logic of his plan. After a half a minute Luca started to talk.
"Can we think about this?"
"Of course you can." Hans turned to Ray and Gill. "Come on, let's give them some rest." He said, leaving the room.
"Okay." Ray looked at the twins. "I'll see you two tomorrow." He waved and followed Hans outside of the hospital.
"I know you said it's to protect them, Hans. But are you sure this is a good idea?" Ray asked.
"It's the only way I can think of, Ray." Hans said. "I also have this feeling that the troubles we're facing are more than what it would seem."
"Why make you say that?" Gill asked.
"Think for a moment. Why would Penthesilea, a spirit that didn't show herself for 3000 years, appear now? And why choose Lua and Luca and not you two?" He asked.
"That's… a really good question." Gill crossed his paws.
"Maybe they have something special that we don't know about." Ray wondered.
"Perhaps. For now they need to learn controlling their new found powers. I'm sure Penthesilea will answer our questions when we see her again." Hans said. "But that's enough speculation for now. You two should go home and rest. Today was quite the eventful day after all."
"Yea… Maybe we should." Ray scratched behind his back as he and Gill took the left road to Gervaso's house.
"And while you're at it, you might get change back to your everyday clothes. You'll catch a cold wearing your swimsuit."
Ray stopped and raises an eyebrow to Hans. He looked down and saw he was still wearing his swimming trunks.
"Crap! Totally forgot!" He shouted surprised.
Hans laughed at Ray's reaction. "I'll see you tomorrow." And he took the opposite path to the guild.
"What do you think we should do, Luca?" Lua asked after their friends had left the hospital.
"Honestly? I think we should take Hans-san's offer." Luca replied.
"Thought you might say that." He smirked, but wondered. "Still why did Penthesilea give us this power? Did she sense we were Singers? Or maybe she sensed that you have a connection with spirits?"
"Who knows… She did say we will see her again when we get stronger." Luca said. "Maybe we can ask her if she knows a way to go back to our world."
"Then that's settled!" Lua said. "I can't wait to learn magic. It's going to be so awesome!"
"Just make sure you don't become very cocky, Lua. Or else you might get schooled like in the exam back home long ago." She stated as her brother almost fell off his bed.
"Come on, Luca! That hurts!" Lua whined, causing his sister to laugh. But what they didn't know was that a golden eagle with strange markings watched over them through the window outside, and flew away.
(Special thanks to my beta reader RaisingHeartExelion)
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