Chapter 7 - Serpens, Solar & Funnel Cake
Twilight and Spyro were in one of the ground level tunnels of the stadium. It was mildly dark except for the light coming from the end of the tunnel that led out into the arena and it also partially blotted out much of the noise of the crowd. Twilight leaned against the wall and her expression wasn't a good one. She was angry but felt extremely bad as well for Spyro. She glanced at her brother. He was sitting on the floor, his arms crossed around his knees and his head held low. He looked distraught. There was a loud reaction from the crowd and she turned her attention towards outside. They were currently finishing up and the fire breathing test which Spyro refused to participate in. He had convinced himself it'd be a wasted effort. Twilight could just make out Garble getting a nice reception from the crowd. He must have just showed out yet again in the competition. This made her even more mad.
"What gives him the right..." She thought to herself.
Her attention quickly went back to Spyro when he called her name.
"Yes Spyro?" she said almost cautiously.
Spyro sounded very lackluster when he spoke, "...Do you know anything about me before I joined your family?"
Twilight was caught off guard by the question and hesitated to answer him so he continued, "Do you have any idea about where I came from or who I really-"
"Stop. Just stop Spyro. If this is about what that jerk said to you then don't let that get to your head. His opinion doesn't matter and nothing he said affects who you are!" Twilight rebuked him.
*15 Minutes Prior*
"Who told you that you could talk to me you no blood scum?" Garble sneered at him with disgust.
Spyro was completely unprepared for the sophomore's almost instantaneous change in attitude and tone. The way he said "no blood" with such contempt seemed to get under Spyro's skin and Garble's entire demeanor sent a chill down his spine. The other Serpens around them, even the instructors fell silent. Only the restlessness of the crowd, who couldn't tell what was being said, was heard.
"Wipe that stupid look off your face would ya." Garble continued, "You're a complete disgrace, a failure to our race. It's no wonder your family left you behind. You would have only been a burden to them like I can only assume you are a burden to whatever sorry saps decided to adopt you."
Spyro's eyes widened, he didn't know exactly what he was feeling at the moment but Garble's words were like venom. He slowly began to back away as Garble approached him closer.
"All you've done today is embarrass yourself and show the world what it means to be a second rate Serpens. Quit trying while your ahead. You'll never be like us, you'll never be able to get into a school like Serpens Collegiate."
"Look at you! You're practically wetting your pants!"
"SHUT U-whoa AAAAAH!" Spyro yelled right before he took another step back and found nothing solid to support his foot. He lost his balance and fell over the edge, towards the pit of lava. There was a large gasp heard from the crowd as everyone's heart skipped a beat.
"Spyro!" Twilight yelled when she saw him fall. Luckily one of the Magus instructors quickly caught him with their magic and safely rested him onto the side of the pit.
"Ladon. Zu." Garble snapped his fingers and his 2 followers both took deep breaths, their chests expanding as they inhaled and then they let flames erupt from their mouths and cascade over Garble. The two colliding streams crackled over and completely engulfed him. Everyone behind them had to jumped back and even the instructors had to cover themselves in some form or way from the heat the flames were giving off. It was so intense, the people on the first couple of rows were feeling it, including the council members who were braving it as if it were nothing. Zu & Ladon stopped and a flaming Garble took a step forward and dived into the lava pit. His entry caused a huge splash and fire danced on the lava's surface. The ripples of the lava stopped and about 20 seconds had passed since Garble submerged himself. Restlessness grew amongst the crowd and instructors when he failed to surface.
"You! Drain the lava this instant!" the head instructor commanded the Magus. Right before they could, an arm emerged from the orange magma and grabbed onto the side of the pit. Garble began to pull himself out of the pit and stood covered in lava. He wiped his face off and stared directly at Spyro.
"Take a good look. This is what a true grade A Serpens looks like. Don't you ever dare forget nor don't you ever show your face to me again." he belittled him.
Spyro stared at Garble wide eyed as he walked past him without giving a second look.
Spyro didn't reply to her at all, instead he continued to sit there in silence.
"Oh Spyro..." Twilight sighed, not knowing what more she could say to him. She thought back to when she first found Spyro as a young child, little more than 10 years ago.
*10 Years Ago*
An extremely young Twilight wandered around her city's huge public park aimlessly. Her family had taken her and Shia on a family picnic this afternoon and she couldn't help but wander off and explore nature. Twas the curiosity of a 4 year old girl that was the outdoors. She was wearing a small lavender colored dress and her hair was just above the middle of her back. Her violet eyes were large and curious plus she was carrying a book. Her small, delicate and bright frame contrasted from the rough underbrush of the park that was hidden off from the world. She was however still curiously looking about.
"Hmm, I wonda if I can fwind anyding intwesting out here. My bwook did say dat I shood fwind a bunch of neat dings in da fowest." she said in difficult to understand preschooler dialect.
She looked at her book which read, "Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them".
"I tink I can fwind a unicorn..."
A sudden unidentified noise brought her attention back to the world around her.
Something began to cause the brush to rustle. Twilight cautiously took a step back as whatever it was continued to draw nearer until out popped a small boy. He stumbled out into the clearing in front of her. The first thing Twilight noticed was his crazy looking green spiky hair. He was practically swiming in a baggy purple shirt too large for him and wearing green shorts.
"A boy?" Twilight thought to herself as the boy stood up rubbing his knee.
4 year old Spyro stood up sniffling and with watery eyes and then for the first time noticed Twilight standing there looking at him curiously and he returned the gaze. The two stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity before she finally stated something.
"Your hair is cwazy."
Spyro blinked at this and began to pat down on his head as if to feel for something.
"Yes but I like it. Its diffwent." Twilight smiled.
Spyro wasn't sure what to make of this. He had forgotten why he was just extremely sad a minute ago and found in it in himself to smile back. Although he wasn't entirely sure why.
"Twilight! Twilight where are you!" Shia could be heard calling in the forest.
"Big bwotheeeer! I'm over here." Twilight called back.
Shia came into the clearing and sighed in relief, "Thank goodness you're alright. What do you think you're doing wandering off by yourself? Mom and Dad are worried sick."
"I'm sowwy. My book said dat I might be able to fwind a unicorn in the fowest." She said innocently.
He sighed again and then hugged her, "Why is it impossible to stay mad at you...huh? Who's that Twily?" he asked referring to the little boy who was looking at both of them with his wide green eyes.
"Oh that's... Hey you neva told me ya name." Twilight said
"My name is Spyro." he squeaked.
Shia went and squatted in front of him so that the two were now eye level.
"Hey there Spyro. I'm Shia, Twilight's older brother. Thank you for looking after my sister but you shouldn't be out here by yourself either. Where's your mommy and daddy?"
Spyro looked at him for a second before hanging his head down and sniffling again.
"Hey, what's wrong Spyro?"
Spyro looked up at him with tears streaming down his face, "I-I don't know. I'm all alone and I can't rememba anything."
Shia and Twilight looked at him with shocked eyes as he began to sob in front of them. Then with a determined look on her face, Twilight approached him and grasped his hand.
"Don't cwy Spywo. I pwamise that we'll find your mommy and daddy, no matter what! And if we can't, you can come and live with us." Twilight declared.
Spyro had to forcefully stop himself from crying in order to get out a, "R-really?"
Twilight nodded her head repeatedly and Shia nodded his head too. Spyro smiled, feeling happy and relieved again, "Okay."
"Eh?! You're joking!" Mr. Sparks exclaimed
"No I'm serious. There isn't much to go off with this case. No reports of a missing child, nothing in our data banks and the kids loss of memory doesn't help us at all. Unless someone comes in and says that their child is missing with a description fitting Spyro's or he remembers who he is, there are no leads." the receptionist of the precinct informed them.
"That's so odd. We spent hours searching the park and neighborhood but we didn't find anything nor did anyone seem to know anything. When you take into account that Twilight and Shia found him in the park forest, you'd think this kid appeared of nowhere." Mrs. Sparks stated.
"Indeed." the receptionist commented.
"Well what happens now?" Mr. Sparks asked.
"I'll have to make a file for him and send him into foster care until someone comes looking for him if someone ever does."
"Alright, I guess that's for the best."
As the receptionist began to create the file, Mr. Sparks scratched his head. "This whole thing is indeed odd."
"Honey, look." Mrs. Sparks almost whispered.
He turned his eyes and followed the direction his wife's finger was pointing to. Shia was sitting on a chair waiting for his parents but he had dozed off, it was a long day for all of them. Twilight was on the chair to his right, her head resting on Shia's lap as she slept as well. Spyro was on Shia's left, his head resting against Shia's arm. Mrs. Sparks found the sight incredibly cute and loveable. Spyro didn't look out of place, in fact he looked more at peace and like he belonged somewhere right now than he he had all day.
"Hey Nigel...do you think it would alright if we were Spyro's foster parents for the time being?"
"Wha? Are you sure Velma? I mean we already have one 4 year old girl to watch over and give it another 4 years and Shia will be right in the middle of those teenage years. That's gonna be a lot to handle as it already is without having another child to watch over as well, a Serpens at that too." Mr. Sparks warned her but Velma seemed too fixated on the 3 kids to care about such things.
"Your mother did say she wanted 3 grandchildren and it's not like we can't afford to adopt him. Plus you're gonna have to explain to a very upset little girl why she wasn't able to keep her promise to her new friend." she said almost tauntingly.
Nigel sighed with a smile on his face, "You basically already decided on this haven't you?"
"Of course not. I wanted my loving husband's opinion first." Velma smiled.
"Excuse me ma'am, do you think it would possible for us to become the boy's foster parents?"
Twilight sighed, remembering that day. Since then she has done everything in her power to protect Spyro. They've always supported each other and knew how to cheer one another up. But right now she had no idea how to comfort him.
"And thus ends the Serpents Collegiate physical examinations. We thank all of you for participating and we've enjoyed watching so many of the brightest and youngest Serpens the world has offer come and display their skills. We will take each of you into consideration but for now we ask that you please exit the arena in order for the Star Swirl School of Magical Studies exams to begin." the Serpens Collegiate instructor announced as a Magus instructor took her place.
"Come on Spyro, we should head back to Mom and Dad."
As Spyro got up, someone walked by him, catching his attention. He perked up as his eyes followed her. Her indigo hair, sapphire colored eyes, unblemished white skin and everything else almost completely entranced Spyro, making his heart beat at 100 miles per hour.
"She's beautiful..." Spyro whispered.
"Huh? What was that Spyro?" Twilight asked but found that she was ignored as Spyro almost instinctively began to walk towards the girl's direction. When he was right next to her he spoke.
"Erm, excuse me."
Spyro began to rubbed the back of his head while he blushed, "I was j-just wondering what your name was?"
"Oh, I'm Rarity Mr?"
"Sparks! Mr. Sparks...well no wait that's my Dad but I am a Sparks. I'm uh... Spyro, yeah. I'm Spyro." he replied a little flustered.
"Well it's nice to meet you Spyro." Rarity smiled at him as she continued to walk out of the tunnel and into the stadium with other Magus students behind her. Spyro paused and watched her as she walked.
"...Rarity..." he said to himself, "...what? What are you looking at me like that for!?" he said embarrassed while Twilight looked at him with an extremely mischievous look on her face.
"Oh nothing Casanova."
"Wh-what do you mean Casanova!"
"It's good that you're are feeling like your usual self again Spyro." she said relieved, completely ignoring his question and hugging him much to his confusion.
"Alright you two, good luck on finding her while I'm gone." Bella waved to Florice and Bloom as she walked into the stadium.
As Bloom watched her friend walk away, she sighed, "Heaven knows we need some luck right about now."
"It seems that no matter where we search, we can't find her. I wonder if she really is in the area." Florice pondered.
"She has to be! I just don't believe that Ms. Solisia wouldn't be here on such an important day."
"Well we've been looking for over an hour now and there's still no sign of her. It really is odd."
"We should go find Apphia and the others. Ain't no sense in keeping up this game of find the needle in the haystack by ourselves."
"Yes, it doesn't seem like we'll get anywhere searching for her this way."
Raine and Scotlyn sat on a bench with their heads down as a dark cloud seemingly hung over them.
"6 times...we've scanned the festival 6 times and did not find a sign of her at all." Raine groaned.
"Ugh, I'm hungry Raine." Scotlyn cried lifelessly.
"Stop talking about your hunger dummy, you're making me hungry too."
"I can't help it if my stomach is calling to whales."
"Well you're driving me crazy you know and it's not cool."
"Eh. Can we go get food?"
"For the last time-" Raine started but was interrupted.
"It's not much but here." said a young man as he handed half of a funnel cake to Scotlyn.
Her mouth watered and her eyes sparkled when the treat was presented in front of her. Raine stared at the cake in disbelief and then looked at the boy who handed it to them. He was wearing a silver jacket with a neon blue trimming and a neon blue shirt underneath. His pants were also silver colored and he was wearing black, gold and teal boots. He was wearing white gloves with huge gold gauntlet like cuffs. Each had a neon blue circle and line running from the circle back to the cuffs on either side, the cuffs also had a neon blue line running around them but there was and actual indentation for the line. The boy's eyes were a dark golden color and the back of his silver hair was long and silky down to his mid back while the top was styled into 5 spiked large locks of hair that went into 5 different directions.
"Who are you?" Raine asked confused.
"Does it really matter who I am? Just trying to help out is all, I mean, I heard you both were practically starving so think of it as a kind gesture." he replied.
Raine blinked at him surprised, "Wow... that's really cool of you and don't mind if I... SCOTLYN REALLY!?"
Scotlyn licked the sugar off of her fingers with an empty plate on her lap.
"What? It's your job as an older sister to prioritize my wellbeing first." Scotlyn said with a self satisfied expression on her face.
"Like hell it is! Come here you runt!" Raine pounced on and began to wrestle her on the ground.
"Ow ow! Stop it Raine!"
"You had better have something edible on you!"
Sweat ran down the back of the boy's head as he stared at the tussle awkwardly, "I think I've done more harm than good."
"By the East entrance, that's where I want you to meet me."
He perked up once he heard the voice in his head.
"Well, I have to get going now. It was a uh...pleasure to meet you two."
"Wait, there has to be some way for us to pay you back." Raine said.
"Oh, there isn't any need."
"No, I feel like I owe you one now and I don't like owing people, especially a stranger. Please let me pay you back." She insisted.
"Seriously, there's no-"
"No, I want to."
Raine wasn't budging and the silver-haired boy sighed, "Alright. Come with me but do not ask any questions at all, got it?"
"By the way, what's your name mister?"
"Silvester. It's Silvester."
"Alright, all I need you to do for me is make sure no one comes through this entrance." Silvester instructed Raine.
"Huh? Really? That's it?" she blinked at him confused and slightly disappointed.
"Yes. It would mean a great deal if you did that for me."
"Ugh, sure thing man."
"Thanks, I'll be out in a few."
Silvester walked into the dimly entrance and vanished into the darkness, leaving Raine and Scotlyn wondering to themselves what he was doing. Halfway through the entrance tunnel, he could barely make out a woman. She was tall, just a little taller than him and was wearing a tight all white form fitting dress that covered her ankles along with white long gloves that went up to her biceps. She was also wearing a large collar sun pendant. Her long, rich colorful hair seemed to sparkle like her dress. The locks of her light cerulean, turquoise, sapphire and magenta hair was ever so softly flowing from an unidentified source. She leaned against the wall with crossed arms but she smiled and let her grayish-magenta eyes fall onto Silvester when he walked closer to her.
"Silvester, at last I meet the fourth Hedging brother. I've heard a lot about you from your brothers."
"The pleasure is all mine Council Member Solisia," Silvester said as he bowed his head acknowledging her authority, "but I'm afraid to ask whether my brothers told you good things or bad."
"A bit of both. You know how Scott is."
Silvester sighed, "I'd like to think he doesn't act that way when at the academy."
"Unfortunately not." Solisia giggled amused as she could see the embarrassed look on his face so she continued, "He's such a lively one that Scott. His code name at the school is even 'Scourge'. It's really quite interesting for the school with him there."
Silvester bowed his entire body in shame, "I apologize so much for any trouble he's caused."
Solisia began giggling again, "Now I've heard those words and seen that pose from three Hedging brothers. But enough of that Silvester, I've called you here more than just pleasantries."
"Yes, of course ma'am."
Solisia's playful demeanor had gone and she looked very serious, "You've obviously realized that I haven't made my presence at the festival today known yet."
"Yea, no one's saying it out loud but everyone is semi freaking out about it."
"Well there is a reason for that. Silvester, I pride myself in teaching kids how to better control their abilities, specifically Magus like yourself because magic can be a very dangerous thing that can stray the purest of hearts down the wrong path."
Silvester nodded keenly as if aware of what she was talking about.
"I take on very special kids who are gifted in magic to become my apprentices. Only a handful have ever caught my eye and most are good kids...except for one."
"An innocent girl named Adrienne. She's 15, the same age as you, getting ready to enter high school this year. She is very talented but also...very confused. Adrienne could never grasp a sense of right from wrong nor has she ever really had any type of morals. I took her on as a student believing that I'd be able to help her for the better and guide her down the right path but it was difficult. For every step Adrienne seemed to take forward, as she grew she seemed to take two steps backwards."
"What's wrong with her? She couldn't have been that bad."
"...Adrienne's personality is...peculiar. She doesn't realize it, but she's a very sadistic person." Solisia said grimly, "If I had never came around when I did, I fear what my have happened to those around her. Despite my best efforts and constant vigilance of her, I couldn't whole heartedly approve of her attending a specialized highschool or any public school in general with a clear conscience. I wanted to continue to mentor her myself, privately, until I deemed her ready. She didn't want that and tried to prove to me that she was ready through...unconventional means in front of the entire council. They all rebuked her and I had no choice but to agree with them. Adrienne ran away and hasn't been seen or heard from anyone since then."
Silvester looked deep in thought for a few seconds before replying, "And you think that she's here at the festival which is why you haven't appeared with the council yet; you're just looking for her."
"I knew you'd be bright. If Adrienne will ever show up again, it'll today and she'll surely do something that she hasn't fully thought out. It can be in an act to prove she belongs in a specialized highschool or in an act of revenge. I wanted to find her myself but I've had no luck and I doubt I can any longer without my absence being brought to verbal public attention."
"So why tell me?"
"Because, if you are anything like you're 3 brothers then you are one of the brightest and most talented students here today and I believe I can trust you with looking for her for me."
"What? But I don't even know what she look like! How am I-"
He stopped when Solisia projected a wave of magic over him. A mental image appeared in Silvester's mind. He saw a girl with long, straight scarlet hair that had black streaks running through it. Her skin was pale white and she had gray, silverish eyes. Silvester blinked to himself a couple of times slightly confused and then looked up at her in awe.
"You just used mind link magic to transfer a mental image...but how? I've tried that so many time with no success."
"You learn a lot of things when you're as powerful as me."
"Whoa! That's so cool!"
"I can see her in my head too!"
Silvester and Solisia looked behind them into the darkness and could just make out the silhouettes of Raine and Scotlyn.
"Oh crud...I mean, hey look. It's Solisia of the council with another not who we've never seen before."
"It's a good thing we haven't been eavesdropping this entire time. It looks like they were having a very important conversation that no one else should hear."
"Ahahaha, you sure said it Scotlyn."
The two continued to laugh awkwardly and nervously.
"...I thought I told you to bring no one else." Solisia turned towards him with the a more interested face then angry one, "Don't tell me that that's your girlfriend?"
"Ew! Of course I'm not his girlfriend!" Raine immediately rebuked the idea.
Some sweat ran down the back of Silvester's head, "Why couldn't you have just stayed outside Raine?"
The Starswirl School for Magical Studies physical examinations were going by rather smoothly. It was simple, 20 or so students would be called out of the bunch to the middle of the stadium and given 10 minutes to impress. "The most talented Magus are the creative ones." A philosophy that Elise Starswirl believed and one that was holding true today. One particular girl was capturing the attention of everyone in the stadium, including her fellow Magus. Rarity had been using her keen sense for locating gems to uproot some from the ground. She was better at this than anyone she knew and considered it her specialty as a Magus. Because of this, many of her designs for outfits included gems on them.
"There isn't much here, but just enough to make an impression." She thought to herself.
A huge pile of different gems had amassed near Rarity along with multiple holes in the ground around her. Then, her sapphire colored magical aura covered the pile of gems and they began to levitate. Then the pile sorted itself out into different colors and sizes.
"Hmmm. Yes, that seems like just enough for what I'm going for." she said as she looked at what she was working with. Then the gems rearranged themselves again and slowly descended to the ground in front of Rarity. The gems were arranged into a mural of the council members as they were seated today. Underneath the mural were a few sapphires that were slowly being arranged into a sentence saying "Please accept Rarity Delacour to your specialized high schools." The crowd was in awe with it. Such artistic creation with precision in a short amount of time and limited resources caught them all off guard. Out of the "ooo"s and "aaahs"s, there was a loud clapping. Everyone turned towards the source and there was quite a surprise. Standing next to her other council members was Solisia, clapping as loud as she possibly could for Rarity.
"Bravo Ms. Delacour. Such a fantastic piece if I do say so myself."
"That's my big sister!" Bella shouted as she began clapping
The crowd began applauding too and Rarity took a bow. The cheering wasn't for her alone however, it was for Solisia's arrival as well. The 8th council member took her seat and turned and greeted her fellow members.
"Hey everybod, I hope I didn't startle you all."
Vento looked at Solisia with a twinge of annoyance on face, "And just where have you been?"
"Oh, I was just handling some personal business is all."
"It couldn't wait until after the festival?" Elise asked.
"Oh you know how things are Elise, duty calls."
Sombra lightly chuckled to himself, "Sounds to me like you were doing something that you weren't supposed to be."
"You'd know all about that type of stuff, wouldn't you Sombra?" Solisia remarked.
Sombre had his hands crossed and eyes closed with a smirk on his face but did not reply. It was Chrysalis who did though, "Come on now you two, we have a festival to watch. No need to be at each other's throats."
"Good, now that the entire council is here, I can feel at ease." May sighed with smile on her face, "But you should really be more punctual Solisia. It's unbecoming of a young lady like yourself to be this late to such important events."
"Take the women's advice Solisia darling." Lucius added.
"Noted. Aren't you gonna give me some smart remark too Drocsid or...huh?!"
Drocsid was snoring in what look like a deep sleep as he sat on his chair.
"You know he's bored with this type of thing until the schools for all 5 races come up." Lucius answered.
"But to think he'd really fall asleep." Solisia uttered slightly in disbelief.
In one of the tunnel entrances leading in and out of the stadium, a hooded figure emerged from the darkness. They grinned when they saw Solisia take her seat next to the other council members. The hooded figure reached inside of their cloak and pulled out a book with and obscure and aged cover.
"Finally, you arrived my teacher. Now, I can show you and the rest of the world why I belong here more than anybody else. Hehehe..."