We Get to go on a Trip!
Chapter 27: We Get to go on a Trip!
“Again Sasuke.” Dad said in a stern voice as he walked back and forth slowly in front of me with The Basics of the Elements open.
“Dad, it’s ten at night, can’t we call it. The tournament is tomorrow.” I complained dead tired and sliding my back down the wall so I was sitting.
“Not until you get this right.” Everyone else had off from classes during this week, except myself. I have my private lessons with mom and dad that I had to do every day around five at night. Mom was one of the instructors for fire elementals so it was only natural that she wanted to work with me instead of sticking me in a class.
“Water elementals, what are their common traits and explain what each trait is.” Dad ignored my plea, but he didn’t stop me from sitting on the floor we were in the hall at my dorm upstairs.
I groaned a bit racking my brain trying to remember the common traits of water elementals. Kiyoshi Unido was one of the founders….no that’s not what I’m looking for. I put my head on my knees. “Amazing swimmers, Breathing underwater, and um…”
“Ultra sound,” Hale whispered to me as he was bored so he was sitting in on the lesson. Actually everyone was wanting me struggle through this lesson.
“No helping Hale,” Dad scolded and then sighed.
“Um…headmaster Kaisai…” Tate said as he sat on the railing. I looked up to see him raising his hand a little. Nero was sitting on the railing on the other side of the stairs, Shiro was sitting on the stairs, Kyo was leaning against the opposite wall somehow still standing, and Hale was sitting on the floor next to me.
“Yes Tate, what is it?” Dad looked up from the book.
“Sasuke has been working really hard at this and we all know he knows the answers to this, but with the festival and all the preparations we all feel like this is kinda over doing it and a bit unfair that he still has to have his private lessons even when the rest of us don’t have classes.” Tate said.
“Come on Headmaster give your kid a bit of a break and let him have some fun. How’s he supposed to get far in the tournament tomorrow if he’s dead on his feet?” Kyo added in.
Dad closed the book and held it out in front of me. I took it from him slowly, “I understand what you all are getting at and I do appreciate that you are all supporting Sasuke. But Sasuke has more responsibility as a moon elemental. That is why his private lessons were not canceled throughout this week. He has a total of eighteen elements that he must learn.”
“But doesn’t he only have four elements?” Toshiro questioned.
“No, I actually have seven so far,” I answered quickly.
“When did ya get six of em?” Nero asked.
“Fire is my base element, then there is my actual element that is the moon element, ice, light, dark, and lightning,” I answered.
“When did ya get lighting?” Kyo tipped his head slightly to the right.
“I got it when I was trying to get Nero to talk to me before he moved in.” I answered.
“How the hell did ya do that?” Nero asked shocked.
“He made prolonged skin contact with you.” Dad answered simply taking a few steps over to Nero and grabbing his wrist in the same way that I did when I obtained his element. “About this length of time is enough to copy an element for a moon elemental.” Dad said letting go of Nero’s wrist.
“Fuck, that’s not long at all is it?” Kyo whistled.
“Kyo…” Dad looked at him with his disapproving frown.
“Sorry,” Kyo quickly apologized.
“Sasuke,” I got up off the ground. “Please read the water elemental section once more before you go to bed. I’ll quiz you on it Monday.”
I nodded and he pulled me into a hug. It wasn’t a long hug, more like our good night hugs that we use to do when I was younger, “Good night everyone.” Dad said.
“Night.” We all said as various times.
“Good luck to you guys. I’m sure that you’ll all make it far.” Dad encouraged us and then disappeared in a blink of an eye.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get use to him doing that.” Nero commented.
“I think we should all get ready for bed to be honest. It is late and it is an early start tomorrow.” Kyo said pushing himself off the wall.
“Good idea.” Shiro said standing up. Nero hopped of the railing and headed down stairs,
“Night you guys.” Nero said with a wave, “I’ve got the lights down stairs.”
“Thank you Nero.” Tate said getting off the railing as well.
“Not a problem.” Nero responded.
Hale and Tate went to their rooms, Kyo and Shiro did the same. I went to my room and set the book down on my bed and stripped down to my boxers like a normally do before flopping down only my bed and picking the book back up. Sighing I flipped back to the water elemental information and started to read it once more.
Water is one of the base elements. Kiyoshi Unido, one of the founders of Amoura. I will discuss the role in which he played with the finding of Amoura in another book. Water elementals have water based attacks. Though, this should be considered when going against an ice elemental considering that a water elemental can take an ice elementals attacks and transform them back into their liquid state to be able to use it against them. The same goes for a water elementals attacks being turned against them by an ice elemental. Legend states a human saved a water nymph and as a sign of gratitude the water nymph granted the human the ability to control water. Though I wish I could continue to talk about the lore of what has been passed down I do believe in both sides of the lore. Perhaps I will discuss these theories in a different book as well. For now though, here is the breakdown of water elementals.
·Amazing Swimmers- As to be expected from someone who plays with water all the time. They are amazing swimmers. They can use the water to help propel them faster through the water with every stroke they take. Even when they are not using their abilities to help them swim they are naturally fast in the water. It seems when they are passionate to beat something or get somewhere within a certain amount of time they as able to push themselves to do so.
·Breathing underwater- As much as all of us who can and cannot swim would love to have this gift on a daily basis I am quite sure, this is a common trait of water elementals. Just as the name suggests they are able to breath underwater. It is not just water they can breathe in. As long as there is some form of water in any substance they will be able to breathe in it.
·Ultra Sound- This is a rare trait. It allows the water elementals to communicate with marine life. I have only ever seen one water elemental that has acquired this trait.
·Hydro- This is the main ability of all water elementals. It allows the water elemental to control and manipulate water in its liquid state.
·Dehydration- This allows the elemental to absorb water at a faster rate than the average person.
·Water Glide- This allows a water elemental that is trapped in ice to be able to glide through the ice. The ice that is surrounding their body will melt to its liquid state and the water elemental will be able to create a path through the ice.
·Bubble- Bubble allows the elemental to create a pocket of air for those who are not water elementals to swim long distances under water.
·Water Healing- The ability to heal by using water. This skill comes in handy for a quick heal in combat. Longer sessions will heal wounds better. This takes quite a bit of practice to be able to heal for long sessions.
·Water Walking- Allows the water elemental to walk or run on top of the water without sinking in. From what I have seen this ability is a hit or miss with some water elementals. Some can obtain and master this skill within months of starting to learn it others can take years.
·Hydroportation- Teleportation across short or long distances through water. Short distances are what most water elementals are able to do with this ability. Again I have only see Kiyoshi be able to travel very long distances with this ability.
·Water Mimicry- Water mimicry allows the water elemental to turn themselves into liquid water. This comes in great handy for getting out of sticky situations. Or if you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
·Blood Control- A very rare ability. I have had this ability used on me once before. Blood control is the ability to manipulate the blood of an opponent. It forces the elementals opponent to do whatever the elemental wants them to do. This ability is forbidden to be used in any tournament.
I had just finished reading when someone knocked on my door. Looking up I saw that it was Toshrio, “Bathroom’s free if you want to brush your teeth.”
“Thanks, hey Shiro,” I said.
“What’s up?” He asked walking into my room.
“Are you related to Kiyoshio Unido, or do you just share the same last name?” I asked a bit curious now.
“I’m related to him. He’s an ancestor of mine actually.” That’s amazing that I know someone who’s related to a founder of Amoura.
“That’s so cool!” I gasped as Toshiro came over to the bed and sat down.
“Mhm, he was a founder of Amoura, according to a book that I’ve read he helped Lucian Fey the one who wrote all those books and that one in your hands as well. Kiyoshio helped edit them for him. They were best friends. Kiyoshio had a rare ability for water elementals,” Toshiro said and I accidently cut him off.
“Blood Control right?” I asked and Shiro nodded.
“I guess there’s been no other water elemental that has obtained that ability since him,” That’s actually really surprising, but I guess that’s why it can be considered a rare ability.
“How did you end up on Earth though? And being the only one in your family that’s an elemental?” I was curious. I closed my book and put it on my nightstand.
“That I actually don’t know. And the fact that no one else in my family is an elemental is also confusing. But, when I got here I heard a lot of adults talking about maybe I ended up being an elemental is because I’m just Kiyoshio’s reincarnation. When I asked headmaster Kaisai about the Unido blood line he actually was told to keep a book for safe keeping,” Dad has a lot of books in his office, was it just passed down to him when he became the headmaster?
“So what was the book about then?” I questioned.
“It’s been almost one-thousand years since Kiyoshio was alive. By the Unido blood line it’s only been males that have been born in the blood line. From what it looks like only water and ice elementals have been born in the bloodline. Though, it just cuts off around one-hundred years ago…”Shiro paused thinking. His expression was soft as he ice-blue gaze was locked on his lap. His left arm was against his torso as he played with the ends of his hair. It was getting decently long. It was almost to the middle of his back when he didn’t have it draped over his shoulder. “Maybe during that time Haru who was the last one of the family tree went to Earth and fell in love with a human but when they had a kid the child didn’t receive any element to call their own…and the elemental bloodline didn’t kick back in till I was born? That’s what I think anyways.”
“Do you think you’re Kiyoshio’s reincarnation?” I questioned.
He looked over at me and our eyes locked for a moment before he flopped down on the bed and looked up at the ceiling, “If I was his reincarnation I feel like I would have been a water elemental instead of ice. Though…I don’t think if you’re a reincarnation you necessarily have to end up in the same bloodline that you were born in…that’s my theory anyways,” I looked at him and he shifted his gaze from the ceiling to me, “What do you think?”
“I do believe that someone can be reincarnated, but I think that your right and it doesn’t mean that person is bound to be reincarnated into the same family. But people can believe whatever they would like. I’m sure that there are lots of people out there who would disagree with us,” I shrugged and Shiro laughed as he sat up.
“That’s for sure, you never know who you’re going to run into and what their beliefs are,” He stood up and stretched, “But, I’m going to head to bed. We can talk about this more after the tournaments if you want. Maybe during the festival itself?”
“Sure, I don’t see why not. I enjoy talking about this kind of stuff.” I like talking about a lot of things and I’m always willing to listen and be someone to bounce ideas off of if Hale has a story idea or if Tate needs someone to stand in a pose so he can draw it. I try to help out with all of my friends. Anything to see them smile and look like they are having fun, I think that’s what’s one of the most important things to me.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, good night Sasuke,” Shiro smiled happily at me, but I could tell that he was tired.
“Good night Shiro,” I said moved the book back over to my desk as he left my room. I then went and brushed my teeth really quick before heading back to bed. With turning off the lights it’s different from just hitting a switch, when I hit the switch a black cover slides over the luminous moss and makes the room dark except what light is coming into my room from outside. I crawl into bed and stair out the window. I have the window close so the cold air can’t come in. It’s a clear sky and all the stars are out. My room is on the backside of the dorm so I don’t have to worry about the luminous moss disrupting the view of the night sky. I wonder how Sean’s doing…I wonder if he’s graduated by now…were him and Liz about to stay friends even after I left…has he said anything about elementals to anyone else? I have so many questions that I don’t think I’ll ever get the answer to. But now’s not the time to be thinking about this and worrying about it. I need to sleep. I have a tournament that I’m going to be participating in tomorrow. Laying down I stair up at my ceiling before closing my eyes and falling to sleep.
I don’t remember if I dreamed of anything I just remember being woken up by Nero and having to rush around to get ready. The opening ceremony for the tournaments were going to be starting soon. The elements only tournament was up first and started at eight in the morning. The soul weapon tournament will begin at noon. That way whoever chose to be in both tournaments can get a chance to participate in both and won’t be disqualified for not showing up at one.
As a contestant I had to stand in the center of the arena. It wasn’t too bad. The total roster was fifty people in all for the elements only tournament. I guess most people would rather watch to see other’s potential and what they have to go up against if they ever enter in a tournament themselves. Kyo, Jason, Aaron, Nero, Hale, and Tate were all standing with me in the center of the arena. Kyo was the only one between him and Toshiro to enter in both tournaments.
We had no idea where we would be in the brackets. It’s cold enough to see out breaths this morning. You can tell that it wants to snow. There are dark gray clouds covering to blue sky. It didn’t take long for the arena to start to fill.
“You cold or nervous?” I heard Kyo ask and I looked over at him to see that he was looking at Hale and Tate.
It was very difficult for Toshiro and myself to get cold from this kind of weather. Me from having a base of fire and Toshiro from being an ice elemental, “If I knew it was going to be this cold this morning I would have grabbed a heavier sweater.” Hale said with his hands shoved in his pockets. Tate had his arms crossed over his chest. A lot of people around us were bouncing and trying to keep warm.
“Both I guess,” Hale answered.
“Same,” Tate replied soon after his brother.
“It’s not that bad to wear lighter clothes. You don’t want to be drug down and get over heated while you’re fighting. Besides if it gets too chilly the dome will kick in and cover the place.” Kyo explained.
“If you want one of you can wear my beanie I don’t mind,” Jason took off his beanie and his hair fell down. I was shocked with how much hair he has. Even with it being up in his beanie it gracefully cascaded down to his tail bone. Just how long has he been growing out his hair? Why does he hide it in the beanie?
“Shit Jason how do you get all that hair up into the beanie?” I couldn’t help but ask. This is the first time I’ve ever seen his hair that he didn’t already stick out of the beanie.
“It’s pretty simple actually,” He smiled happily at me. “Of course, I’ve been doing it for a long time so that’s probably why it’s so easy.”
Kyo took the beanie from Jason and put it on Nero’s head. Nero was shivering slightly to begin with.
“What the hell? I don’t want this,” Nero protested but couldn’t get it off with Kyo still holding onto it.
“Just wear it. Jay will be fine,” Kyo commented, “Besides think of it as a good luck charm for the tournament.”
“Let’s all try to get to the semi-finals together!” Jay exclaimed as he pulled his hair up into a ponytail then wrapped it around the pony-tail to make it into a bun.
“We’ve got this!” Arron added in and slung his arm over Jason after taking his hair clip that he puts his own bangs up with and stuck it in Jay’s hair to make the bun stay.
The six of us got into a small circle and high fived each other as a promise to do our best.
“Ha, how cute looks like our little thunder buddy made friends,” I turned to look at the person who said that. The guy who the voice belonged to looked to be about 5’9-10” in height, he looks strong, like he was one of those weight room jockeys, He has sandy blonde hair that went everywhere and cropped bangs that he slicked up. His eyes were what stood out the most. One was a vibrant purple and the other was a deep blue.
“Benno…” Nero said with a very flat tone.
“What’s wrong Nere, don’t wanna greet me properly now that you’re out of the dorm?” He snickered showing off his teeth to us.
I stepped in front of Nero, along with Kyo and Jason, Benno clicked his tongue and turned away, “You won’t be so lucky if we go against each other in the tournament Nere, you can count on that one. You won’t have the Grim brothers and the headmaster’s son to protect you in there,” Then he walked away from us.
I looked back and Nero and he was looking to the side. His face was tense, was he afraid of this guy? Just what happened in his other dorm?
Aaron slapped Nero on the back and smiled, “Don’t worry about it. I’m sure that jerk won’t make it that far in the tournament. You have all of us that he would have to get through if he tried anything fishy.”
“Thanks…” Though it doesn’t sound like Nero was very convinced.
“Hey,” Kyo poked Nero’s forehead and made him look up, “It’ll be a cold day in hell before we let the dick do anything to hurt you anymore got that?” Nero nodded though he still looked upset.
“Goooooooooood mooooorrrrrrnnnning Amoura!!” A man’s voice came over the loud speaker interrupting our conversation. The cheer of the crowd erupted around us. It was a mixture of people from around Amoura and the academy students. “It’s your loveable Leigh Cross here with you this morning! Quinn’s going to be covering the soul weapon tournament today so she’s not here in the booth with me today. So what do you say we get this thing started!” Cheers erupted once more. “Without further ado here’s Headmaster Kaisai!”
In a blink of an eye dad was standing on top of the booth he then jumped off and teleported to the stage that all of us students were standing in front of, “Good morning everyone.” My dad had switched to his sound element to project his voice. “We all know the rules of the tournament they are the same as every year, so let’s get this started!” Dad flung his hand up to where there was a see through monitor and all fifty headshots of the student who were participating in this tournament showed up on the board. There was a line down the center separating all of us into two different brackets. Jason, myself, Hale, and Nero were in the same bracket. Kyo, Tate, and Aaron in the other. It means that not all of us are going to make it to the semifinals, but I think that we all already knew that.
“Once the first two fights are selected only the four that will be fighting will remain on the arena floor, everyone else must head to the stands.” Dad explained. But how are we going to have two battle going on at the same time without us running into each other? “Random selector start!” Four images that said ET on it spread across the screen, two on each side of the line. Then the images of the students started flashing quickly then all at once four images were stuck on the screen.
“And the first four have been chosen. Sasuke Kaisai vs. Benno Dieter and Kyo Grim vs. Adel Miller!” Dad said what I noticed in the bottom right corner of each picture it held a symbol for the persons element. Mine was a crescent moon, Benno’s were a black and white feather that looked to be forming a yin yang circle, a metallic smooth stone that represents metal, and clouds for wind. I knew these symbols from the book that dad’s making me read. Each element has their own symbol that represents them. The feather’s, when both are together it means the person is a twilight elemental. It means they were supposed to have a twin but the other was consumed in the womb. I haven’t gotten to reading up on them yet so this will be a trial run. I just hope that I remember what I caught when I skimmed through the light and dark elements.
Nero put a hand on my shoulder and looked down at me. “He will pull tricks, keep on your toes and switch elements so he can’t keep up with you.” Nero said and I look a breath, I wanted to say something but he walked away with everyone else and soon enough the four of us were left.
“Let’s kick some ass,” Kyo held out his hand and high fived him.
“You’ve got it,” I nodded with a smile. He then stepped away from me and closer to his opponent. Then a giant metal wall shot up between us. Leaving Benno and myself on one side and Kyo and his opponent on the other side.
Dad was standing at the top of the metal wall with his arms crossed. “I’m counting on seeing some great fights.” Dad said and looked down at me. I showed him my hands to show that I was wearing the gloves and he smirked and rose his arm up.
“Thank you headmaster Kaisai for the epic entrance!” Leigh started speaking once more, “And a couple of bad ass match ups for just the first round of this tournament! We get the older Grim brother and the headmasters son to watch for the first time! All in the first match. Damn this is going to be hard keeping track of both of these by myself.
“Sorry I’m late!” A girls voice was in the background.
“Quinn!” Leigh sounded ecstatic.
“Hello everyone Quinn Fitzgerald hear and ready to help!” Her voice was really cute and chipper.
“Now, you four, get ready and to fight,” Dad called out.
“Apart from the standard set of rules Sasuke, as a moon elemental has a few extra rules that he has to abide by in this tournament.” Leigh said as I got ready in a fighting stance.
“I heard about that, the biggest rule is he has to stick with only one element throughout the tournament.” Quinn added in.
“I wonder what element he’ll choose. And how many elements does he have now? I’m quite curious. I haven’t seen him in any base element classes. Kinda upsetting really. Just what are you trying to hide from the rest of us headmaster?” Leigh laughed.
“Leigh, now’s not the time to be picking on the headmaster and getting him to spill the beans. I’m sure that he has his reasons.” Quinn said obviously wanting to get to the point. “Now, let’s get this thing started headmaster?”
“Ready!” Dad rose his right arm fully into the air, “START!” His hand went down and my eyes instantly snapped back to my opponent. He had a very cocky smirk on his face. I want to wipe that damn smirk right off his face…no, no, I have to stay calm. I can do this. I’m not going to lose.
“DAMN KYO GRIM IS STARTING OUT WITH A BANG!” Leigh’s voice rang out. Kyo didn’t hesitate with his battle, neither should I.
I talked about this with my parents I know which element I’m going to use for this tournament. I have to stuck with my base element. Kicking off the ground I sprint towards Benno. I try a round house to start it off but Benno blocks it easier. You can just see the different in years between us. I was in experience and still had a long way to go. But I wasn’t going to let that worry me. Spinning in midair bring my other left heel down on his shoulder and erupt a huge burst of fire right on him. The sudden fire made him lose his focus and I pushed off of him and landed back on my feet on the ground.
“WHAT A WAY TO START IT OFF SASUKE! It just goes to show you that he is in face the headmaster’s son. He was fast. I wonder just how fast he is.” Quinn’s voice called out.
I exhaled blocking out the sounds that were around me. I can do this. I spent time with both mom and dad working with my fire element between everything else. I’m not going to let them down.
“IT’S OVER KYO HAS WON IS BATTLE WITH A SWEET KNOCK OUT!” Leigh was so loud he instantly broke my concentration. Damn it.
“You’ve got this SASUKE!!” Kyo’s voice echoed over the wall.
“Not if I can help it.” Benno said pissed. I locked eyes with him and his shadow stretched out from under him and directly towards me. Starting off with a dark ability. This was going to be tricky, just like going against two people at once. But he can’t use the elements at the same time. I took off running to get away from the shadow. It followed behind me quickly. I can’t let this connect with my own shadow. He can force me to forfeit if he wants if that happens. I threw some fireballs towards him but he retreated into his shadow itself! Son of a bitch, he wasn’t using it to make me forfeit he was going it to get closer to me. His shadow took a huge turn to get in front of me and then he leaped out of his shadow with his leg stretched out. I dropped to my knees and slid with a back bend, just barely avoiding his flying kick. It didn’t take long for him to come back and try something else. He let out a huge ball of light and I had to cover my eyes from it. I was then punched right in the gut before I could even react he started rapid punching me and lifted my body into the air and then I felt a swift kick to my side and I went flying. I opened my eyes to see a shadow racing across the ground to get behind me. I let out a huge burst of flame knocking him out of his shadow and I landed had on the ground and the dust extinguished all the fire that was on my body. When using a bright enough light source is used it can wipe out a shadow.
I started coughing when I came to a stop, but I didn’t have too much time to catch my breath as he was back on top of me. Hs nicked my shoulder as I rolled out of the way. It was something sharp. I got back up onto my feet and placed a hand on my shoulder, when I pulled my hand away there was blood on my glove that quickly soaked in.
“Sasuke’s bleeding. Did Benno pull a dirty trick like he tries to do every year?” Quinn’s voice rang out over the crowd.
“He’s been caught cheating before so I wouldn’t be surprised if he has something up his sleeve or in his shoes for that matter.” Leigh added in. Why does dad let this guy keep entering into the tournament then? I don’t have time I have to stop the bleeding. I bit down on the tip of the finger of the glove on my right hand and pulled it off. I then placed my hand on the wound and started to cauterize the wound. Benno jumped towards me. He wasn’t trying to punch or kick me though. He was actually just trying to land an open hand on my skin. Does he know that prolonged skin contact and I’ll obtain his element? But will that work? I already have the light and dark elements.
“Sasuke’s gotta be careful if he ends up using another elemental he’ll be disqualified.” Leigh said, “Benno’s goal must have been to get Sasuke to take off one of his gloves this entire time.”
“That’s right, no one knows what elements Sasuke already has under his belt. If he doesn’t have the light or the dark element already Benno will affect him and force him to take the other element. Thus this will cause a switch and make Sasuke lose.” Quinn sure knew a hell of a lot about moon elementals.
“But he does have a chance that Benno won’t be able to affect him if he already has both.” Leigh added in.
“Back off.” I snapped at him and took in a deep breath dropping my glove to the ground and exhaled a huge stream of fire so fast and hard that Benno didn’t have time to react and he went stumbling back. Letting go of my left shoulder I sprinted towards him and threw a punch with my bare hand. He caught it and a huge smirk was on his face.
“Check mate squirt,” He snickered.
I smirked right back, “Take this you dick.” I engulfed my fits in fire and he was shocked quickly pulling his hand away from mine. I didn’t let him get away and threw two quick fireballs at him before hitting him once more with a stream of fire and running towards him. Then using the combination that my mom taught me with rapid and graceful movements I kept him off his balance as I hit him time and time again. The final move of landing on my hands and spin kicking him finally did the trick and sent him flying into the metal wall knocking him out. Out of breath I place my feet back on the ground. Breathing heavily, I watched Benno’s body flop down onto his ass unconscious.
“SASUKE WON IT!! SASUKE KAISAI WON HIS MATCH!” Quinn screamed with pure joy over the loud speakers. I looked up at dad and he smirked down at me, but he also gave me a that was reckless look. I went back and picked up my glove and put it back on as Kyo came running over to me and hugged me.
“You can tell that Sasuke’s made some good friends here that’s for sure. Some strong ones at that too.” Leigh laughed. And Kyo put me down and we high fived once more. “Let’s get the next round going! Who’s up next?”
When I looked up at the screen I saw both mine and Kyo’s images move to the next set of matches in our brackets then it went to the four screens again and the images started flipping through quickly. Kyo was motioning me to follow him out of the arena so the next set of matches could start right away.
“Jason Grim vs. Úna O’Byrne.” Quinn said.
“And Aaron Strife vs. Kenta Inoue!” Leigh finished as Kyo and I entered the tunnel. “How were we graced with have one grim brother right after the other?”
“You two are pretty popular aren’t you?” I questioned.
“It’s because the two of us are ruthless especially together. We like to get things done quickly and put a lot of pressure on our opponents,” Kyo explained to me happily.
“Big brother!” Jason ran over to us and jumped in Kyo’s arms.
Kyo caught him and gave him a hug, “Good luck.” He laughed setting Jason down, I high fived Aaron and the two of them headed in the opposite direction to where we just came from.
“Your fight was pretty good for your first fight. I could tell you were off balance and it took you a bit to just into the grove of it,” I looked up at him and he was smiling down at me. “But ya got it and did great.”
“Thanks. I wish I could have seen your fight,” I stated as I followed him up a set of stairs that led up to the stands.
“It wasn’t much of a fight really,” He chuckled and we were greeted by Toshiro how jumped on both of us.
“Congrats to both of you!” Shiro laughed happily. Shiro was participating in the soul weapon tournament only this year.
“Thanks Shiro,” I smiled as he stood in front of us now.
“It was nothing really,” Kyo shrugged.
“That’s because your ruthless and never seem to put on much of a show,” Shiro commented.
“Hey, the kid should have been more graceful, he was a wind elemental,” Kyo shrugged putting his hands in his pockets and it made Shiro and I laugh.
“Come on I’ll show you two where we’re all sitting,” We followed out white-haired friend to where everyone else was sitting. Gil wasn’t participating this year in the element tournament. He was part of a “host club” in the festival that some of his other friends wants him to be a part of and that opened up around eleven.
“Way to kick ass Sasuke.” Nero smiled up at me form his seat.
“You were lucky that I gave you my element earlier this week,” Hale slightly scolded me, though he still had a smile on his face.
“You both did amazing in your fights,” Tate added in.
“Thanks,” Kyo and I said in unison before we sat down in the empty seats that Gil and Toshiro had saved for us. Aaron and Jason’s fights were already underway. Well at the same time Aaron using a sound wave and Jason using a solid sheet of rock they both sent their opponents into the metal wall knocking them out at the same time. Both of them took no time at all to finish their fights.
“WAY TO SHOW WHAT SOUND ELEMENTS GOT AARON!” Leigh sounded proud of Aaron so I’m guessing that Leigh himself is a sound elemental.
“And naturally Jason will be joining his older brother in the next round of matches. Way to go kiddo!” Quinn chirped. A couple of people from the infirmary were here today and they took the two that were unconscious and got them out of the arena quickly.
The matches continued on Hale, Tate, and Nero all made it to the second round with us. Nero knocked out Hale in their match. I beat my opponent and same with the others. Kyo knocked out Tate in the third round. Jay beat Nero, and Aaron and I beat our opponents. It continued this way till the semi-finals. It came down to me going against Jay and Kyo going against Aaron. Jay was ruthless, now I understand what Kyo was talking about and why the two of them are so popular when it comes to these tournaments. I had to be quick on my feet. Not staying in one place for two long. If I did Jay would turn the ground under me to sand and start to pull me in. Or he would try to trap a foot or hand. Whatever was on the ground.
It sounded like Aaron was having a rough time with his match too. There was a lot of clanging on the other side of the wall. I had to keep using whatever quick movements I could to even land a blow on Jay. He knew that I didn’t have to get close to knock him out, but he know that if I didn’t have a moment to get a good stance I couldn’t build up enough energy to blast him and knock him out.
“Fucking spider money,” Jay spat out. I couldn’t help but laugh, at times like these he sure did sound like his brother.
“Hold still will ya, god fucking damn,” Kyo said on the other side of the wall. But we were all friends we know how these two are or course we’re not going to keep still.
When was in the air and flipped over so my head was towards the ground I took in a depe breath and I cupped both my hands in front of my mouth and one in front of the other. I had one shot at this. While Jay was turned around I exhaled and made the strongest stream of fire that I could and propelled it forward hitting jay square in his back. With the impact of my attack I ended up making him jerk forward and bash his head off one of the walls he made. As that happened I crashed into one of the multiple pillars and fell to the ground seeing stars. But I managed to get back up and Jay was still leaning against the wall.
“Sasuke wins it! He beat Jason Grim!” Quinn exclaimed and I quickly ran over to Jay making my way through all the obstacles.
“Jay, Jay!” I called out to him when I finally got to him. I pulled him away from the wall and slapped his cheek lightly. He looked like he was in a daze, but snapped out of it and looked around. “Good, you’re okay.” I sighed in relief.
“I can’t believe I just lost,” He laughed lightly and placed a hand on his forehead. “The only battles I’ve lost have only been to big brother.”
“You put up one hell of a fight though,” I smiled at him and held out my gloved hand, “Still friends?”
“Of course,” He laughed and hugged me instead. One of the earth elemental teachers fixed our side of the arena before the people from the infirmary could make it over to us. They checked both of us and Jason as Leigh announced that Kyo won. The metal wall dropped back into the floor and showed that Aaron was laying on his side and not moving as he was tangled in the wire that Kyo always carries with him. Kyo himself was sweating and breathing heavily. Both of us are exhausted. He lets Aaron out of the wire so the infirmary people can take care of him and the two of us lock eyes.
“No hard feels when I kick your ass Sasuke, you took out my little brother so,” He swallowed, “Paybacks a bitch.”
“Don’t worry, I know it’s going to be a hell of a fight,” I smirked standing up myself.
“You can feel the tension in the air,” Quinn said.
“Damn straight the sparks are flying between the two of them. The headmaster’s son and the older grim brother, this is going to be one hell of a match. Is it going to be a show like that last two? Or are these two at their limits and is it going to be over quickly?” Leigh said. “Guess we’re going to find out!”
Dad walked between us and smiled, “This is the final match, no matter who wins, I’m proud of both of you for making it this far,” Dad rose his arm up singling for us to get ready. There was no break for us, it was right into the final match.
The worst part is, I’m almost at my limit. That last fight took a lot out of me. Damn…my dad’s arm dropped and the match as started. I instantly back away from Kyo. There’s something different about Kyo in a battle. It’s like he’s a completely different person. He gives off a very terrifying vibe. No, I can’t let him get to me. I’ve got this.
“What’s wrong?” Kyo questioned snapping me out of my thoughts. The look in his eyes are emotionless. It’s so strange…I’ve never seen this before, “Come on Sasuke let’s give everyone a good show.” Kyo laughed and brought out his wire. I have to get that off of him. He’s fast, I just barely dodged the wire and shot a fire ball at him. Not that it did much good. He’s so fast I didn’t see him coming. His knee feels like I just got hit with a baseball bat. I can’t breathe…
“Oh, that one had to hurt,” I can hear Leigh’s voice over the crowd. “Looks like this may be a quick match folks. Sasuke’s looking like he may not have much left.”
I landed on the ground and rolled, somehow I manage to get back onto my feet as I’m coughing. I form a fire blade in my hand. My blue flames are flickering a bit, this isn’t good. At least with this I can block his wire…maybe I can cut it. I feel my body pulse and my head is pounding. I know I hit my head, but it didn’t hurt when I initially landed. No…no I didn’t hit my head. “Don’t lose focus,” Looking up Kyo’s right next to me and his wire is wrapped around me.
“BACK OFF!” I yelled and engulfed myself in fire. Thankfully using shield worked. Though this is a slightly modified version of it. It’s where I keep the wall of fire close by my body instead of spread out. My blue flames are too hot for other’s to handle. Thankfully it makes Kyo back off and I actually started to melt his wire from the heat.
“God damn…” He said out loud with a scowl on his face. I can see it in his eyes he’s coming up with different solutions to get around my flames.
Again the pulse…this time though I stumble and my shield dissipates. “What’s…I can’t…” I can’t keep steady…shit… taking a quick breath I make some daggers and start to throw them at Kyo. I have to keep going. I can’t give up. When Kyo dodged my daggers and got close I charged an attack and at the last second I hit him with a charged fireball right in the gut. I heard his breath escape from his lips just a moment before he went flying back.
“OH, that one looks like it hurt.” Leigh’s voice rang out, “Who knew that Sasuke already knew some advanced abilities.”
I fell to my knees then to the ground. I can’t move my body. “Sasuke’s down!” Quinn’s normal cheerful voice actually sounded a bit worried.
“And Kyo’s not getting up either. They both have two minutes. One of them needs to get back up to their feet. Otherwise it’ll end up in a draw. Unfortunately, there won’t be time for a rematch if it ends in a draw.” Leigh explained.
I was able to see Kyo’s body. He was at least moving. “Geez, what a pathetic final fight this turned out to be…” I muttered to myself. We were both exhausted there was no way this was going to be a long fight. “Ha…looks like you win Kyo…” Kyo had gotten an arm under himself and started to push himself up. I could see that I actually burned his clothes and by the looks of it his body a bit at well.
“Kyo’s getting up! Looks like he’s going to win this one.” Quinn said, she almost sounded disappointed.
Kyo did in fact get all the way onto his feet and the crowd cheered. Dad came into my view, “This fight is over, Kyo Grim is the winner of the Elemental Tournament.” The crowd erupted in cheers and dad came over to me and turned me around and lifted me up so I was sitting up. “You did great, you made it so much further than I did my first tournament,” Dad smiled down at me.
“Thanks dad.” I smiled up at him.
“You okay man?” Kyo got over to me holding his stomach.
“I, just can’t really move anything,” I answered.
“You almost went through a mind down. It’s where you use so much of your energy that your mind literally shuts down and you pass out.” Dad explained.
“I didn’t mean to burn you Kyo, I’m sorry.” I apologized as the medic’s finally made it out to us.
“Don’t worry about it man. Even though it was short, you showed me moves I didn’t even know you knew. It was pretty sweet actually.” Kyo smiled down at me.
One of the medic’s opened a bottle with some weird green liquid in it and had me drink it. It tasted disgusting, but I got my energy back. Well enough to be able to have my body function again. I stood next to Kyo as dad raised his hand as the winner and then he was handed a piece of paper. I didn’t ask what was on the paper, I figured I would ask him later. Kyo’s not being allowed to fight in the first two matches of the soul weapon tournament and the two of us had to follow the medics to the infirmary to be checked out and we were given more of that weird green stuff. I guess it’s called elixir like in the video games. My burns to Kyo’s skin weren’t too bad. Only first degree. The water elemental that was on duty was an older student and was able to heal the burn with ease. Then Kyo was off. Aaron and Jason hung out with me till the medic’s said that I could leave and we then went up to the stands and joined Nero, Gil, and the twins. The six of us didn’t have soul weapons so we couldn’t enter this tournament, but we were allowed to watch.
Toshiro looked just as fierce as Kyo does when he battles. Is it just from experience? He never looked like that when we were training back on earth. It’s so strange to see him look so intense.
“Toshiro is so beautiful.” I heard a girl close by sigh in content.
“I wonder where he gets his looks from,” the girl next to her said.
I looked form the girls to Toshiro as he moved around elegantly. He’s changed a bit; I didn’t notice it till now…he seems more confident in some way. Is this was getting your soul weapon does? You end up being more confident in yourself?
Before I knew it his match was over and they were on to the next one. There weren’t as many people who joined in on this one. Surprisingly Kyo and Toshiro made it to the semi-finals. Though the tournament before did take its toll on Kyo and Toshiro ended up knocking him out of the tournament. Toshiro actually ended up winning. I’m so proud of him for winning! That means that I have two friends that are reigning champs in the tournaments.
Time was flying by, Gil had to run right after the tournament to go to his host club thing. Aaron teased him and said that we were going to show up and bug the crap out of him, but when we did come Aaron got dragged into it as well. Kyo and Shiro had to go somewhere so I’m walking around with Jason and Nero considering that the twins went off on their own.
“Why do I have to told that stupid bottle that you bought?” Nero complained as the three of us walked. The academy was filled with activity. It’s nice to see the towns people wandering about in the campus. It wasn’t something that happened that often.
“Because you’re the one that brought a backpack~” Jason chirped happily.
“That shouldn’t mean that I would have to carry it,” I couldn’t help but chuckle at how Nero was putting up with it though.
“Sweetie please don’t cry we can get you a new one.” I turned my head to see a mother and a little girl. The little girl was crying. I walked towards them to see there was a shattered crystal on the ground.
“But mommy…” She sobbed and rubbed her eyes. I was still wearing my gloves from earlier squatted down to where they were.
“Everything okay?” I asked the mother.
“M-mommy got me the crystal f-for my birthday…” The little girl answered me.
“She’s upset because I left for three days to go and ask for that crystal. She knows it wasn’t easy for me to get it and she loved it. But she tripped and with it being so fragile it broke when it hit the ground.” The mother explained.
“Hey Nero can you get out that bottle please?” Jason asked and I looked up at him and he squatted down and picked up the broken pieces of the crystal. “Hey, do you wanna see a cool trick me and my friend can do?” Jason asked the little girl.
She was still crying, but she nodded all the same. Jason made the crystals float into the air and spin around his hand a few times before making them rest back in his hand. There was a small crunch sound when he hovered his other hand over the one holding the crystal. The crystal turned into a fine sand. “Nero can you give this a charge please?”
“Um…sure…” Nero handed me the bottle and held out his hands, Jason let the sand drop into his hands and little sparks of electricity crackled around the crystal sand.
“Okay now put it in the bottle please,” Jason instructed and I took off the cork to the bottle then Nero carefully got the sand in. I corked it back up and the crystal sand was glowing. It was iridescent and beautiful. “Here, hold onto it tight now and don’t let it drop again okay?” I smiled handing the girl the bottle.
“It’s so pretty…” her nose was plugged but she had stopped crying, “Thank you.”
“Thank you, I never would have thought about doing that. How did you even know that would work?” The women asked.
“That particular crystal comes from the Loran cave right? The crystals there are especially fragile when they touch light. But they are also amazing conductors of electricity. I know, my parents had some friends that would make night lights just like that. They called them the little fairy lights. And no matter how scared I was I knew I was say because they would always guide me back to where it was safe if I was afraid.” Jason, has a way with words and making people calm down. Did he learn that from Aaron and how he uses his songs to calm others?
“I promise I won’t drop my fairies mister,” The little girl said as she took her mother’s hand.
“Thank you again,” The mother laughed, but it was kind and gentle.
We waved them good bye as they walked away. “Did your parents really do that for you when you were little?” I asked and Jay smiled at me.
“They did something like that, but it wasn’t with the crystals. Heck, I just learned about those crystals last week actually,” He laughed and gave me a piece sign.
I sighed and Nero smacked his forehead. Jay kept laughing and as we were joking around the twins found us then we all went on a hunt for Kyo and Toshiro. We found them with Aaron and Gil. The host club thing must have ended. Turns out that it was for both men and women, but the hosts could choose if they just want women or men or a mixture of both. It sounded like they had fun though, that’s the important thing.
When we all got back together Toshiro and Kyo took us the where the older fire elemental and earth elemental students were going to be putting on a fireworks display. They were beautiful to watch. The fireworks signaled the end of the festival. It was really enjoyable and we got to see a lot of different things and people bring out their abilities to entertain the crowd and make crafts. I didn’t realize how tired I was till we got back to the dorm. Once I got changed and laid down on my bed I was out like a light.
The next day though I was up early and I was on the cleanup crew so I had to help take down a lot of the stalls and clean up trash around the festival. Thankfully, Hale and Tate are also on the cleanup crew with me.
“What are your plans for after all this is done?” I asked the twins as we put some boxes from the sports clubs back into the storage shed for them.
“Go back to the dorm and relax more than likely,” Tate shrugged.
“I’m almost done with the book that I’ve been reading and I want to finish it tonight,” Hale responded.
“Makes sense, what are you at a fight scene or something in it?” I asked curiously.
“I’m just at a really intense part of the book,” He answered after a moment of thinking about it.
“Hale, Tate, Sasuke!” I blinked a few times when I heard Quinn’s voice. I looked in the direction that we heard the voice.
Quinn had dirty blonde hair that was tied up in a side pony tail and was wearing a crop top. She was dragging Leigh along with her. Leigh has burnet hair that looks like he always keeps short. He seems much taller than Quinn. When they stop in front of us Quinn is shorter than I am. She looks to be around 5’1-2” while Leigh was around my height 5’8-9”.
“Leigh and Quinn right?” I asked.
“Good observation,” Leigh smirked and Quinn slapped him in the stomach.
“I’m glad we found you three. First I just wanted to say that you all did an amazing job yesterday and I didn’t know there was such a thing as blue flames that a fire elemental could produce.” Quinn chirped clapping her hands together.
“You would know if you payed attention in the headmasters’ class from time to time. It’s a very rare trait among fire elementals,” Leigh added in and again got smacked in the stomach.
“So are red eyes, but what brings you two on an adventure to find us three?” Hale questioned obviously wanting to get right to the point.
“Oh right, headmaster wants to see you three for something. He didn’t tell us for what though,” Quinn answered.
“I’m going to assuming that you three may be testing something out.” Leigh said with a smile, “Lucky you three, you get to go on a mini vacation. Wish that would have happened to be in my first year here.”
The three of us looked at each other than back at Quinn and Leigh, “You might want to get going. He said he would be in his office,” Quinn said.
“Thanks you two,” I smiled and waved then headed off in the direction of my father’s office.
When we got there I knocked once like a usually do and then we headed in. “Dad, we’re here,” I called out.
Dad came out of the library with what looked like bracelets in his hands. “Good, I’m glad that Quinn and Leigh were able to find you three so quick.”
“What’s up sir?” Hale asked.
“I actually want you three do help with a little experiment. The research and development created these bracelets. We need to field test them. They are supposed to help us keep track of the elementals that are sent to earth and talk with new elementals and their families and bring them to Amoura,” Dad explained.
“Why do we need to have bracelets?” I asked confused as dad clipped it onto my wrist.
“There’s multiple reasons and we also hope that we can develop them further to be able to do other functions, but for now we just need to see if they will work while they are on Earth. So I’ll be sending you three back to earth and you’ll be staying with Hale and Tate’s parents for a few days Earth time. You’ll be back here this evening actually. I already discussed this with Jack and Sharron and they know that the three of you are coming,” Dad finished clipping on the bracelets to Hale and Tate.
I know for a fact that the twins aren’t going to let an opportunity to see their parents again pass up. I should just go along. I do miss their parents anyways; it would be nice to see them again. “Now, it’s only been half a hear for us here, but it’s been two and a half years on Earth, so things are probably going to be a little different.”
“So how many days are we spending on earth then?” Tate questioned looking at his bracelet, it turned purple and Hales turned white. I looked down at my wrist and my bracelet actually turned red. Were they reacting to our elements? That’s a pretty nifty trick.
“It’ll only be two days there. Jack knows when to create the portal to send you back. Now it’s going to be late when you get there so your parents may already be sleeping by this time.” Dad said.
“Has there been any headway at allowing mom to be able to move here?” Hale asked, he had a hopeful look in his eyes.
Dad on the other hand looked away from the three of us and his face was very grim, “I’m trying, I really am. All of are trying our best, but convincing the elders is proving more difficult than we thought it would,” Dad sighed.
“Can’t you have the elders meet Mrs. Snyder. I’m sure that if they question her and meet her that they may change their mind,” I offered hoping dad may actually take my advice.
“Considering that dad and us are elementals I don’t see why she shouldn’t be allowed to come here. She can obviously keep it a secret.” Tate said a bit frustrated.
“Once I send you three to Earth I’ll going and talk with the elders again and see if I can’t set up a meeting.” Dad then snapped his fingers and a golden vortex looking thing formed next to dad. “This will send you right to your parent’s house on earth. Try to enjoy yourselves. I’m getting you out of having to help finish clean up.” Dad smiled at us.
Hale went in first then Tate, I went in last. It was a strange feeling. We were walking, but it felt like we were getting nowhere, but at the same time we came out the other side in what felt after only two minutes of walking. It was dark outside and the place was quiet. The three of us ended up in front of the Snyder’s house. It hasn’t changed much at all. The front porch light was on. I watched the twins instantly go to the door and I followed shortly after. I felt like a bit of a third wheel, but it can’t be helped. I looked outside the door and saw a figure running. It was too dark for me to be able to see who it was. But at this point it’s probably better to not know if it’s someone I know. I close the door and slip off my shoes.
Their parents were still up. It’s apparently Friday night here on earth. We went from it being cold and constantly threatening to snow to warm and slightly humid. It’s early July here on earth. It’s insane that we’re just getting into the winter season on Amoura and it’s already summer again here on earth. The Snyder’s were happy to see me along and I told them that dad was going to go and talk to the elders about setting up a meeting. They were quite happy to hear that. Even though we weren’t really all that tired we still went to bed when their parents did so that way we weren’t causing a ruckus and we could also get up early and go explore a bit. See what changed. No one should remember us. I never really made an impact on any of my old classmates for them to be able to remember me. The day we went to Amoura their minds should have been wiped of me. Hale and Tate don’t have to worry about that problem. They never enrolled in the school when they moved back here. They just told people who asked that they were being homeschooled while we were still here on earth.
Their parents were up before us surprisingly. Mr. Snyder explained to us that traveling through a portal will actually take more out of you then you think. So that makes sense that we all slept in. They made breakfast for us and told us that dad wants us to go into town and wander around a bit. He knew that the twins would probably want to get some stuff so they gave them some money just in case we stop in a book store or art supply shop. And knowing those two we will be stopping on both those stores.
We ended up heading out around noon. Just like I thought we stopped at the art supply store first. Tate got a couple of sketchbooks and a new set of pencils.
“I want to go to the library first, just to see if they have any new books, that way I know what I’m looking for when we go into the book store.” Hale said as we closed in on the library.
“I’m fine with that,” I shrugged.
“Good idea, otherwise we’re going to be stuck in that store till they close and we won’t be able to hang out with mom and dad,” Tate teased his older brother.
It’s nice to see them so close to each other still. I think it really helps that they live in the same dorm. Though, they take different classes at school and they seem to have some different hobbies, they are two different people, they don’t always have to do things the same. With that the three of us went into the library. It was nice and cool in here. They installed central air. That’s really nice. A few years ago it would get so hot in here it was nuts. Not that it really bothered me, but it bothered a lot of other people. Hale and Tate wandered into one of the sections and I found myself wandering into the fantasy section. I ran my finger across the bindings of the books and stopped at a random one and pulled it out. It was A book called Change. I’ve never seen it before so it must have been published within the last two and a half years. Flipping it over to the back I read the back. It sounds interesting. It’s about brothers and a friend then some curse that’s on the boy’s family. It’s written by two girls. “I’ll go show it to Hale and see what he thinks.”
I start walking and accidently run into someone. I stumble back and whoever I ran into fell to the ground with a thud. “I’m so sorry,” I instantly apologize and when I see who it is my eyes grow wide. It’s Liz.
“Sasuke…” My name escapes her lips.
“Um…h-hi…” I wave a little. She remembers me?
I help her up onto her feet. I’m a fair bit taller than her now. She’s let her hair grow out and she has a bit of a wave to it now. She has it thrown up into a pony tail. “Where did you go? Why do you still look so young? Please tell me what’s going on.” She spewed out at me and I instantly had a headache from the questions. I can’t tell her, I really can’t.
“I-I um…ahhh…” I panicked, “Y-you see um…” I rubbed the back of my neck with my free hand and then I felt something on my shoulder. I looked to my left and Hale was now leaning on me with his arm on my shoulder.
“Sasuke, I think we should head out,” Hale looked over at Liz and it almost looked like he was glaring at her.
She stepped back a bit from Hale and myself. Tate took the book from my hand and handed it to Liz, “Would you mind putting this away please. I’m sorry, but we really need to head out.” He said very calmly.
Before I could even say good bye to her or say anything Hale pulled me away and Tate was following close behind. “What was all that about?” I asked as the two of them as they pushed me out of the store. Though they made me jog with them.
“You realize that it’s bad that you met up with someone that remembers you right?” Hale said.
“But I didn’t mean to, I was just going to find you two and ask if you wanted to see if you liked the book that I found. Besides I didn’t know that she worked there.” I answered flustered.
The streets were pretty busy and loud I could have sworn that I heard my name be called out though. The twins decided that it would be best if we went back to the house for now and that we’ll go back out later to the book store. Their parents asked why we were back so soon and I had to explain why. They said that it would probably be best if I just hung out with them as the twins went out. It was pretty upsetting I wanted to go to the sports store. I know that Nero is into soccer and I wanted to get him a soccer ball while we were here. I know that going to the sports store would have risked me running into someone else that I knew, but I just wanted to do something nice for a friend. Instead I told Hale about the book that I found and told him to check it out when him and Tate go to the book store.
It wasn’t bad hanging out with Mr. and Mrs. Snyder. I helped them make dinner and the twins were back in two hours after they left. Hale actually picked up the book. And he told his parents if there’s any other books that go along with it to pick them up for him. It sounded interesting, I’ll have to borrow it from Hale when he’s done reading it and when I have the time. Though, I do wonder now if I would have been able to actually answer Liz’s questions, I guess I’ll never know and those questions will have to be left unanswered.