Chapter 11 - Prince Of All Ghosts
I was only freefalling for a few seconds before Clockwork caught me. I have really got to stop being hit with weapons and getting metal stuck inside me. I thought groggily. Clockwork had his arm around my back and my arm was thrown across his shoulder
"Time out!" Clockwork's voice sounded so much louder now. Looking down I saw my parents below us, Mum had a victorious look on her face and Dad was cheering. My heart sank as I realised they were happy about shooting me.
"Don't fret Daniel, they do still love you." Clockwork said as his time portal opened. I sighed then cringed as it caused pain to radiate down my body. We were moving into the portal when I spoke.
"Yeah, but they only love half of me." I replied. "They hate the other half." Clockwork sighed as he helped me sit down on the couch he made appear out of thin air. I groaned as I followed Clockwork's instructions and lay back. He let go of his ever-present staff and held his hands together. The staff just hovered next to him as if it were still being held. My attention was drawn from the overing staff (which shouldn't be so distracting for me considering half the stuff I've seen…) and back to Clockwork as a glowing blue light appeared in-between his hands.
"What's that?" I said quietly. Clockwork raised his red eyes to me and smiled.
"Time heals all wounds." He said as he pressed his hands against my injury. I cried out as pain rolled up and down my body. Suddenly, a cool chill began to form from Clockwork's hands. It spread out across my body, down to the tips of my fingers and the ends of my toes, and with it was peace. I felt calm flood my limbs as I relaxed and the pain receded. In a matter of moments Clockwork moved his hands and in them was the small metal disk. Lifting my hand to my side I discovered that it was completely healed, even my costume was fixed. I sat up and took a deep, pain-free breath. It's so sad how I'm used to that pain and how much I relish the pain-free breath. I thought to myself as I stood.
"So why am I here Clockwork?" I asked him, stretching my muscles as I did. Clockwork smiled.
"Remember what I told you last time we spoke?" He picked up his staff and floated towards the giant screens that showed scenes from the future. I nodded. It's pretty much all I can think of. "Well it is time for you to meet the Council and be officially recognised as the future King of the Ghost Zone." Clockwork's words sent chills down my spine.
"Huh?" Wow that was intelligent. The voice in my head said.
Why do you always appear when I don't want to talk to you?
I'm part of you, you moron. I can't control it. Anyways, you're the idiot talking to yourself. It replied, its voice filled with sass. I hesitated.
Damn. I returned my attention to Clockwork.
"You will be meeting with the Council and then undergo the ceremony that will formally recognise you as the heir." He repeated. I swallowed nervously.
"Ceremony?" I said quietly, my mind reeling. Clockwork nodded.
"It's only something small. You will be presented to several witnesses of the Human World and the Ghost Zone and the head Council member, which is me, will then proclaim you the heir and you will say a few lines and then you are done." Clockwork shrugged. "It is merely a small gathering to make it legal." I took a deep breath.
"When is it?" I asked.
"In five minutes." He answered, floating back over to me. I gaped at him.
"Seriously?" The Master of Time nodded.
"Yes. And we must go now." He said, turning to leave. "It is being held at the Council's Chamber. Luckily for us, it is just around the bend." Clockwork moved towards the door of his lair and waved his hand in the air in front of it. Without a noise it swung open and he floated through the gap. I flew after him, following him outside into the familiar landscape of the Ghost Zone. After a quick glance around I saw Clockwork ahead of me.
"Man, for one of the oldest ghosts in the Zone, he sure is fast." I muttered under my breath.
"I may be old but I'm not hard of hearing Daniel." Clockwork said amusedly when I reached him. My cheeks flushed pink.
"Sorry." I said sheepishly. Clockwork shook his head.
"I take it as a compliment." He said with a grin. I returned his smile and we then flew on in silence. Sooner than I thought, we reached our destination. I couldn't help but stare as we approached the giant building. It looked like a mix between Pandora's Parthenon and City Hall back in Amity Park. It was a rectangular building with giant columns and was a peachy-cream colour. It looked very impressive. Written on the giant doors in fancy writing were the words:
And underneath in brackets was:
(NO ADMITTANCE UNLESS ON COUNCIL BUISNESS OR WITH AN OFFICIAL INVITATION)
"This place looks cool." I said as we approached the doors. Clockwork nodded in agreement.
"Inside is far more impressive." He replied. I soon discovered he was, as usual, correct. Inside it was all columns, marble and carved stone. I found out from Clockwork that the entire island was made of the exact same substance, a special type of stone that was only found in this part of the Ghost Zone; they called it Spectrelite. We flew quickly through the room that I could only think of as a super-large foyer and through one last archway that lead us back outside. There space was huge, about the size of a football field. There was green grass that covered the entire area, except for a small section about the size of my kitchen that was higher than the rest and resembled a mix of a stage cross hill. The area was surrounded by a giant fence that reminded me of the Parthenon. But what astounded me most was the feeling I got from the place. It was a feeling of power and peace. But the power wasn't controlling, evil or even good, it was neutral. Clockwork didn't hesitate as he flew towards a large table shaped like a crescent moon with comfortable, and yet dramatic looking chairs, that was atop the small hill. I hastily followed him, hesitating only when I saw the ghosts who were seated at said table. On the outer left seat was Walker and on the outer right was Kitty. Hovering just behind Kitty I could vaguely see Johnny 13's Shadow watching over her and I hid a smile. On Kitty's left was Frostbite who was looking very happy as he chatted away with Kitty and on Walker's right was an empty chair which I assumed was for Clockwork. In the middle of Frostbite and the spot in which Clockwork was now seating himself, was an empty chair, but this chair looked different than the others. Instead of looking like a regular chair like the rest, it had a larger backrest that rose up higher than the ones on either side of it. All the chairs were black with intricate carvings and looked like they belonged in Dorathea's castle. I lowered myself to the ground until I was standing in the shade of a large tree so that I was hidden from sight. I felt Clockwork's mind reach for me and I instinctively opened mine up.
Wait there until I call you Danny. He said. I nodded once to show him I understood and he turned back to face the other Council members. Walker shot me a filthy look before listening to Clockwork and I knew he still held a grudge against me breaking out of his jail. Just as the Council members stopped talking, ghosts began to file into the area. I slunk back further into the shadows. In the oncoming crowd I recognised almost everyone I saw. In front was Johnny 13 walking with Blaize, Ember, Skulker, Technus and Desiree, followed closely by Spectra, Bertrand, Nocturne, Box Ghost, Lunch Lady and I even spotted Vortex somewhere in the mass of ghost entities. Soon I saw a trio of people that brought a smile to my face. Jazz, Sam and Tucker had shown up in the Spectre Speeder. More and more ghosts began to file in, so many that I lost count. The tide of ghosts stopped only when there was barely any room left in the Council Chamber's giant backyard. I swallowed nervously.
This is several witnesses?! If this is his definition of several I'm scared shitless what his definition of 'crowded' will be…The little voice in my head was back and for once we were in complete agreement. Clockwork cleared his throat and everyone stopped talking and looked to him.
"Today we have gathered because we have a special announcement to make. Two years ago, Pariah Dark was released into our world from his Forever Sleep. Two years ago, a remarkable individual challenged him to single combat to save us all. And that individual succeeded in defeating Pariah Dark, a feat in which no known ghost or human has survived, especially in hand-to-hand, single combat." Clockwork had everyone's attention now. "This person was not an adult and hasn't even reached his 100th year yet. He is merely a teenager. Although this sixteen year old is still considered a child, he has shown maturity and responsibility far beyond that of many millennium old ghosts I know." Clockwork hesitated. If he was human I'd say he had to catch his breath, but he was a ghost. "This young boy is a rarity among ghosts as he is not only a ghost but also a human, and for that he is unique. He is a Halfa, but no ordinary one. He is a Pure Halfa; a half-ghost with pure intentions, an open heart and the courage and determination to do what is right by all." Clockwork took a breath before continuing his speech. "This boy is one we have all come to know, and respect in our own ways for his spirit, honesty and his bravery. When we all turned and ran from Pariah's darkness, he turned and faced him. Because of this, we owe this boy our very afterlives and I for one know that I will never be able to repay him for all he has done for us." But you have. For saving my family and friends from Dan…and myself. I replied in the privacy of my own head. Clockwork began speaking again and I cut of my depressing memories about that awful day and returned my attention to my old friend. "When his remarkable boy challenged Pariah Dark, he ultimately did not realise what challenging the King of All Ghosts would result in." Clockwork paused once more to let the information sink in (and to create dramatic affect was my guess, for a Master of Time he was very fond of theatrics). "The young Halfa who defeated Pariah Dark immediately became the one, true heir to the throne of the Ghost Zone. The name of this individual is one we all know. The name of our protector and future king is Danny Phantom." Once again I felt Clockwork reach for my mind.
Come forward now Daniel. He said. I took a deep, unnecessary breath and stepped forward, pushing myself up and flying towards the Council of Ghosts. Everyone fell silent as soon as I appeared, their chatter stopping like someone had flicked a switch. I knew if I were human my palms would be getting sweaty, but in my ghost form it took a lot for me to sweat. I landed on the ground in front of the Council table and bowed my head in respect. Each of them in turned bowed their heads to me, most with smiles, especially from Kitty and Frostbite. With a prompt from Clockwork I took another breath and turned to face the crowd behind me. The first person I made eye contact with was Sam. Her violet eyes were sparkling with pride and I couldn't help but smile at her. Soon a thundering noise reached my ears and it took a moment for me to realise it was applause. They were clapping for me. I bowed to the crowd on an impulse and by the sense of approval I felt from my mental link with Clockwork I knew it was the right thing to do. I turned around once more and faced the Council. This time it was Frostbite who stood and spoke.
"Danny Phantom, Great One, you are the heir to the Throne, the only one who is able to take up the crown and rule. Do you understand this?" He asked me, his deep voice serious. I nodded.
"I understand." I replied.
"You are the only half-human child of the Ghost Zone and thus the first Halfa who will ever take the throne." Kitty said, standing up as Frostbite sat down. Her voice was light and soft as usual but it held the serious tone that the other Council members possessed. Never been called Child of the Ghost Zone before, I guess it makes sense as my ghost self was created by the pure essence of the Ghost Zone. I mused. "As the succession of the throne is hereditary, your first born child will be the next ruler of the Ghost Zone. Do you understand this?" Kitty asked me. I hesitated. Was I ready to condemn my entire future family line to this? Yes.
"I understand." I said confidently. Even though this was a huge responsibility, Clockwork was right, it's pretty much the same thing I do already, just official and I can help ghosts even more this way. Kitty smiled fondly at me before sitting down. I automatically turned to Walker, knowing he would be next to speak. I was correct as he stood up and glared down at me.
"Punk – I mean, Phantom." He corrected himself at a sharp look from Kitty before continuing. "Once you agree to become the king and say the vows, it is binding and irrevocable. Once you are officially pronounced the heir, it is for eternity. Do you understand this?" Walker asked me, his voice deep but loud.
"I understand." I replied once more. I looked to Clockwork who nodded at me. I turned and faced the crowd again and repeated the words that Clockwork said in my head. "I swear that I will do everything in my power to protect every ghost that enters and leaves the Ghost Zone. I solemnly swear to be a just and fair king by being impartial and honest in all that I do." I said. My voice rung loud and clear through the air even though I was speaking at a normal volume. "I accept the responsibility that has been bestowed upon me, and upon all of my descendants for today, tomorrow and for all eternity." When I repeated the final line, I felt a zap of energy run through my body. My back arched and I collapsed to the ground. I heard several cries of alarm from the younger ghosts and my friends even though the energy hadn't hurt that much. It still left me gasping for air and laying on my back on the ground. Even though Clockwork had warned me about the Ghost Energy it still shocked me. I pushed myself to my feet and shook my head slightly. I heard whispers begin and I frowned in curiosity.
Clockwork, why are they all whispering like that? I asked him in his mind.
The Ghost Energy may have several effects on your physical appearance and your aura. He replied.
Uh, what kind of effects? I asked suspiciously. Clockwork's mental chuckle echoed through my head.
Let's just say that people will be drawn to you even more so now. He sent me an image of what I looked like right now and I blinked in shock. I looked like I had actually grown a few inches and my hair was slightly longer, so much that it was beginning to hang in my eyes, but it didn't look bad, it actually looked really good. I looked a little more mature. But that wasn't the most noticeable difference. The biggest change of all was my eyes. They were still green, but they were glowing so bright that they seemed like they were lit up from the inside like lightbulbs. And if you looked closely, you could see that the green irises were moving slightly, like there was liquid green electricity trapped inside. The pupils were the second thing I noticed. Instead of being completely black they were a swirling mix of green and black, like the Ghost Zone, but you could only see that if you were up close. Huh, my vision must be sharper now. I thought to myself. Now that I thought about it, I realised I could hear things much clearer, see things much sharper and smell every scent. All of my senses were heightened and I had the strangest feeling inside of my head. The only way I can describe it was the feeling of knowing.
That is because the wisdom of the previous Kings and Queens is at your disposal. Since Pariah was a tyrant and usurper, his knowledge is not contained within that category. Although I am sure you are pleased by this. Clockwork said in answer to my unspoken question. I grinned.
Most definitely. I replied before turning my attention back to the crowd. I looked to my human friends and smiled reassuringly, knowing that my random collapse would have freaked them out a little bit. I was right as my new even more heightened sight could see the worry in their eyes and the tense muscles in their body. I smiled at all the ghosts who then began clapping loudly. Even Skulker, Desiree, Technus and Walker began to clap alongside their fellow ghosts. Clockwork then floated up beside me and smiled widely, a sight that most ghosts were unused to seeing, besides me of course and a few of his older friends. I felt a shiver of pride at Clockwork's next words.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, ghosts of all ages and eras. I am proud to present to you, our new heir to the throne! Danny Phantom, Saviour of the Ghost Zone, protector of Amity Park, Prince of all Ghosts."
The applause practically deafened my new super hearing and I flinched slightly as the sound reverberated through my head. I shook my head slightly to ease the ringing and felt the silky strands of my longer hair tickle my cheeks. Looking around at everyone who had come to see me become a member of the Council and be officially declared their future king, I couldn't stop another smile from spreading across my face. Many of these ghosts I had fought over the years; countless battles that had contained both loss and victory for each ghost. Even though we did fight, I felt protective of them. I knew that despite our constant skirmishes, there was mutual respect and at the end of the day we would defend each other – such was shown with the whole Pariah Dark situation. I was proud of what had been bestowed upon me and I knew that if I had the chance to change everything and be a normal teenager again, I wouldn't take it. I wouldn't change my life for anything. Who I am now is who I was supposed to be. Call it predestined or fate, but somehow I knew, deep inside me that what was happening was meant to come about. Looking out at all the ghosts that surrounded me, some with smiles and some with indifferent stares, I couldn't help but feel grateful that I had this chance to help ghosts and make a difference. The smile stretched so wide across my face I thought my lips would crack. I had had this responsibility on my shoulders for the past two years, protecting my town, helping ghosts and humans alike, defeating evil (no matter how cliché that sounds) and fighting for what was right, even if it cost me. Whether I liked it or not, I was responsible for all of these ghosts. But the weird part was, I didn't mind. Not one bit.
~ 115 ~
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