Up to the Lake and Finding an Underwater Cavern...
Chapter 67: Up to the Lake and Finding an Underwater Cavern…
I’m finally done. I’m finally fricking done with finals. I laugh gently to myself as I drag my feet across campus towards my dorm. I’m exhausted from pulling an all-nighter to get that paper done, but I kept messing up and having to start over. I wanted to it be neat and clean. And then I had to do a multiple-choice test when we got there this morning. I think I had what was on that test spot on. It’s just the paper that I’m nervous about. Picking one of the mysteries of the spirit realm and then having to expand on it as if we were going to write a novel focusing on just that mystery I continued to keep changing ideas until I just had to pick one and stick with it.
“A nap sounds good right about now,” I mumble to myself. I can just hear Shiro now. “You wouldn’t have had to stay up all night if you were working on the paper a little bit every night since you were assigned the topic.” But I had other finals to study for. And it’s not like I wasn’t doing research on it. I was trying to pull what’s already known about the mystery I chose before going and starting anything. I’ve gotta have my facts right. I slap my cheeks a few times and stand up straight, “No naps. I’m finally on summer vacation with everyone else. I can’t be taking naps now!”
I pick up the pace and jog the rest of the way to the dorm. I slow down when I see Harley, Sean, and Nero all sprawled out in the grass between our two dorms. I slow down to a walk and walk over to them. Harley is on his side reading a book, Nero is laying flat on his back with his eyes closed and his hands behind his head, and Sean is laying between them with his left arm spread out and his right over his eyes as he is also laying on his back. The small circles of light dance across their bodies as the wind gently rustles the leaves in the trees.
“Well, you three seem to be enjoying the nice weather,” I chuckle putting my hands in my pockets and looking down at them.
“I am, those two fell asleep,” Harley said calming placing his bookmark in his book and closed it before looking up at me, “How was your final?”
“It was good. I just had to turn in a paper. But I kinda spent all night writing it and then going back over it, again and again, to make sure it was right. Then I had to go in and do a multiple-choice test after handing over my paper,” I laugh sheepishly and scratch my cheek.
“What was it about?” He sat up and placed his book in his lap.
“I had to pick one of the mysteries of the spirit realm and expand on it as if I was going to write a book about it,” I answer sitting down in the grass so he didn’t have to keep looking up.
“That actually sounds really interesting. Would you happen to have a draft of it somewhere? I would love to read it,” Harley questioned.
“I don’t, but I should be getting mine back by the end of the week when all the final grades are reported in. I can let you read it then,” I chuckle leaning my elbows on my knees.
“I’m sure that Jay would also love to read it. He’s just as much into reading and writing. I’m glad that I have friends in the house that have the same hobbies that I have,” Harley smiled at me.
“Same. I was told that I write really well and was told I should think about writing stories, but I don’t know about that,” I laugh sheepishly, “What about you?”
“Honestly, I would love to co-author on a book with Jay. And if you’re that good at it I would love to write a story with you too. Sometimes two heads are better than one when it comes to world building and character building,” He laughed lightly.
“That would be a lot of fun,” I smile back at him.
“Once we read your paper I may come running over to help flesh out the idea, or it’ll be me and Jay coming over to talk about it,” He shrugged happily.
“Sounds good. It would be a fun side project,” I chuckle as I look down at Sean sleeping soundly. “A nap sounds good right now.”
“You can take one, I don’t mind.”
“Na, it’s all good. I’ll go to bed early tonight. I don’t want to try to sleep during the day.”
“Ah, have a hard time like I do?”
“Yeah, the sun is up body is like nope, no time for sleep,” I chuckle but flop down in the grass to stare up at the small parts of the sky that’s dancing through the trees. “We have two weeks to do whatever we want. This is really exciting!!”
“Why do you act like it’s your first time getting a summer vacation here?” Harley questioned and I looked over at him.
“Because last year I was training the entire two weeks. I never went to explore or really had a plan to be able to do anything. This time I want to explore with everyone and we have to go visit the earth dragon’s because Sean and I promised Umo we would visit,” I explain.
“Well, then we’ll all have to go. I don’t want to be stuck at the academy for two weeks that’s for sure,” Harley laughed lightly and I look over to him to see that he began reading again.
“I’ll have to ask dad to let Umo know ahead of time when we head there. But, at that point, Umo may be too excited and rush to come and get us.”
“He sounds kinda like Jay in being excited wise.”
“I would say his personality wise he’s a mix of Jay and Aaron’s type of personalities.”
“I wonder how Jay and Umo will get along,” Harley said loud enough for me to hear.
“I think they’ll get along fine,” I chuckle. “Are the others in the dorms or out and about?” I ask.
“Kyo, Aaron, Gil, and Toshiro went to the headmaster’s office for something but said they would be back soon. Then the twins said they were getting their hair trimmed and re-dyed, but that was probably around almost two hours ago they left so they should be back soon. And Jay went in to take a shower just before you showed up,” He answered, “So, Jay should be back out here any minute.”
“They don’t have to go on a mission, do they?” My head started pounding and I quickly sat back up and looked at Harley. I’m ready to jump up and sprint across campus to my father’s office. A mission at the beginning of summer is how we lost Gil and Aaron the first time. I don’t want that to happen again.
Harley quickly shook his head, “No, no, I think last night Gil said something about them having to go take their yearly element exam and your father is the one that has to oversee it.”
“So, they technically still had one more final exam,” I sigh in relief and lean back on my hands.
“I guess we can put it that way. I don’t think they see it as a test, but more of a checkup of sorts. To make sure they are keeping themselves in check and there’s no signs of them snapping. We all have that switch in us, it’s just making sure that we don’t hit that trigger that will set off the switch. That’s what Gil told me when I asked him to explain it to me anyways.”
“That makes sense. We all have a rare ability and the first time it’s triggered is if our bodies are in danger our we’re running high on emotions or it could be both,” I comment.
“How did you release yours, if you don’t mind me asking,” I look over at him and smile softly.
“Not in the best of ways,” I chuckle, “Sean or one of us told you what happened right?” He nods, “Yeah, it was during while Aaron, Gil, and I were captured at the E.C.U. Andy wanted a match with me and he was fighting dirty. He put me in enough danger that my body activated my rare ability for the first time. It’s also the day we found out Andy was half dragon because his scales came out and protected him from my heat. I burn Sean pretty bad though. Thankfully, Otto was able to heal him. I don’t know if he has any scars from the burns. I haven’t asked,” I look down at Sean as he sleeps soundly, “But, I don’t know if he would have them. When my blood activated in him it took him back to when he first activated a trait from his element.”
“He told me he looked different and that he was older, so did Aaron and Gil,” I look up at Harley and he has his book closed and resting in the grass next to him. “I guess, personally I would love to see a picture of what he looked like during this time that you four tell me about.”
“Have you asked Gil about it?” I tip my head to the left a little.
He shook his head, “No, but why would Gil have a picture?”
“I mean he may be able to show you what he looked like…unless…” I look down at Sean and notice this his phone is in his hand. Reaching over I slip it away from him and he doesn’t wake up from it. Pressing the home button the lock screen shows up and I slide my finger across the screen to open it. Good, he doesn’t have a lock on it. I go into his gallery and go right to his albums. I hover my finger over the album labeled Past I click on it and there are pictures from the E.C.U. that show up. Chris sitting across from Sean when he was taking the picture. There were papers spread across the coffee table between them as uncle was reading very intently. The next picture was Andy holding Aaron out at arms-length and drinking from his smoothie. Then it was Abel getting a selfie with Sean. Aaron was jumping into the pool in the background while Gil sunk in up to his mouth and I was sitting on the edge of the pool with my feet in the water. “Here’s one. If I keep looking I should be able to find one where one of us stole his phone and took a picture of him.” I answer and turn the phone around and hand Harley Sean’s phone.
“Oh wow,” Harley whispered as his eyes grew wide looking at the photo. “He looks really good with this haircut too. I like the chuck of hair shaved on him. He looks a lot stronger too. He only looks slightly older, but I think it’s because of the muscles he has in the picture,” He handed Sean’s phone to me. “I’ll ask him if he has some pictures he can show me later if he wants to.”
I close his gallery and get it back to the messaging app that he has up then locked his phone before setting it on the ground next to his hand like he accidentally let it slip out of his hand. “Sounds good. It’s probably the better way to do it. He’ll probably tell you some stories too,” I chuckle a bit and look down at the two of them.
“Heeeeyyyyyy!!!!” Jay’s voice rang out and I look over to see him jogging over to us. He tossed his hair up into a messy bun as he’s wearing tan cargo shorts, a black tank top, and his sneakers. “Oh,” He lowered his voice when he noticed Sean and Nero were sleeping. “I didn’t realize they were still sleeping, sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it. This is one of those times where Sean is sleeping like a rock and Nero has been sleeping like a rock too,” I chuckle. “I think all of us need a good sleep after these finals.”
“We do,” Jay sat down with us, “Maybe all of us should take a nap or go to bed early tonight.”
“Depending on what we want to do we may have to go to bed early anyway,” Harley added in.
“Obviously, the others are still in their test?” Jay asked noticing that it was only us five.
“Yep and the twins aren’t back yet from getting their hair done,” I answer, “I’m assuming they should be home soon if they were getting their mom or my mom to do it.”
“They should be,” Jay nods in agreement and looks down at Sean and then back up at me. I can see the wheels turning in his head and a smirk slowly spreads across his lips as Sean rolls onto his back. “Sean wake uuuupppp,” Jay flopped on top of Sean and Sean spazzed and brought his legs up and arms up at the same time practically cradling Jay in his stomach.
“Dear mother fucking god Jay,” Sean flopped his legs back down onto the ground flopped both arms over his eyes, “Don’t scare me like that.”
“Hehe, sorry Sean I just wanted to make sure you were still breathing,” Jay snickered.
“You’re a brat,” He groaned not even bothering to move his arms from his face.
“Can I play with your phone?”
“Do what you want. If no one else is back yet let me keep sleeping. I was up to stupid late reading last night and who the fuck knows what we’re doing today anyway,” He grumbled.
“Cool!!!” Jay picked up his phone as he continued to lay on Sean’s stomach. It fell quiet between all of us again as Jay played on Sean’s phone, “Hey Sean, can you get your hair cut like this again? But, also leave a section and let it grow out so I can braid it and we can have matching braids?”
Sean lifted his arms and looked at his phone and hummed, “You realized that’s back from Earth, right? Why are you in my past album?”
“Because I haven’t looked through it and I wanted to. I wanna know more about the past. We started having a fun conversation about it and I want to know.” He answered simply.
“We’ll see if I do my hair like that again. I liked the haircut, though,” Sean said putting a hand on Jay’s head. “And what part of the past are you talking about? There’s a lot that happened. And a lot of questions that I feel never got answered for me. There were plenty of rough patches, more than I want to count. I wish a lot of things could have been changed in my past, but if that would have happened I wouldn’t be where I am today I think. Honestly, if I would have said no to Chris on his offer I would probably just be slowly losing myself in the library, holding onto the one thing that kept myself knowing that Sasuke and snowflake were real and not just a figment of my imagination and trying to somehow some way be able to meet Sasuke again. It’s all I wanted. Back then, when they suddenly left, I felt the most alone that I have ever felt in my life. Feeling like I found my family again after so long and then they vanish into thin air. Though, we didn’t know I was a blood relative at the time either.” Sean chuckled.
“You know Sean,” I speak up and make Sean hum and sit up. The look on his face tells me he didn’t realize I was here the whole time, “The day we left, I finally got permission from dad for me to be able to tell you everything and I wanted to be able to take you with us, somehow I want to convince dad and thought maybe if we both talk to him we can get you here too. But, that was when the E.C.U. found us and I got shot. Dad and mom did the fastest thing they could and got us out of there and we were brought here.”
“Oh, god you looked so miserable here and just buried yourself in your studies. It was hard to get you to crack, but since Sean’s been here you’ve been much happier.”
“Minus those downward spirals, I had until I was summoned to the council,” I smile a little bit. “But, yeah, I really missed having Sean around,” I looked over at Sean, “Even though your right and we didn’t know about us being related, I felt like I lost someone really important to me and I wanted some way to be able to see you again and explain things. But, when dad said that people on earth forget about you when you come here for the first time if you didn’t make a big enough impact on their life, I was worried you wouldn’t even be able to recognize me if we did see each other again. Even with the circumstances that we met under again, I’m just glad you didn’t forget about me.”
“Let’s not include that fact that I kicked your ass and on top of it got Aaron and Gil into the same mess and there was nothing I could do about getting you all out unless we all wanted to be killed,” Sean groaned.
“But, we did get out, it was just the long way around,” I smile softly at him.
Sean sighs heavily and his arms fall back on over his eyes, “I know, but it still weighs on me. Not physically, but more so mentally.”
“We know, and it’s just something that you can work with and strive to get better. You can get stronger from what you’ve learned and experienced. That’s how we live and grow,” Jay said looking back and forth between me and Sean with a smile. “Yeah, sure it would be great to learn from our past lives mistakes, but only one of us can really do that. But, if we all had that then how boring would things be for us? Wouldn’t we just fall back into the same ruts that we used to have?” Jay sat up on his knees so Sean could sit up himself, “That’s what I think at least.”
“Says the person who bonked their head and knows their last past life,” Sean comments and looks away from us with a resting bitch face and looks down at Nero. Moving his foot, he put his foot on Nero’s ass and pushed him so he rolled over onto his stomach.
“Wait you remember your past life, Jay!!??” I ask whipping my head to look at him and Jay just starts laughing sheepishly and rubbing the back of his head with his left as he holds Sean’s hand in his right.
“A fair bit of it yeah,” He laughs and waves at me, “It’s not like it changes anything for me knowing though. It is cool, but I can tell you that the biggest thing was he was very involved in his books and writing them to the point where he would shut himself in. I know for a fact that I don’t want that. I love being able to explore and know more about the world. Yeah, I love writing and reading, but not to the point where I’m going to become a shut-in.”
“You aren’t and that’s honestly not something that I could see you ever do. Even if you broke a leg you would somehow get up and want to move around,” Harley laughed as Nero sat up looking half sleep with drool coming from the side of his mouth. His hair was even messier than usual as he blinked slowly and seemed to be trying to process everything around him.
“Welcome back to the living,” I chuckle.
“What’d I miss?” He asked wiping his mouth to get rid of the drool and then running his fingers through his hair to get the grass out of it.
“Not much, I got back from my final and Jay went and took a shower,” I chuckle.
“How’d it go?” He asked rubbing his face and trying to wake up.
“It went fine. I was just stupid and didn’t work on my paper bit by bit and just cranked it out last night. The test that went with it I thought was pretty easy, though.”
“That’s not so bad. You know snowflake is going to notice and chew your ass out for pulling an all-nighter,” Nero chuckled.
“I know,” I sigh heavily.
“Hey, guys!” I look over my shoulder when I head Tate’s voice. Most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in Tate and Hale’s voices, but there is a difference. It’s only when you know them is when you can start to tell them apart. That’s not including that the clothes they wear because there are days where they will switch to fuck with people.
“Hey!! Your guy’s hair is blue again!! Oh, Hale, you changed your bangs and got a softer blue than Tate!” I comment.
“Yeah, but we asked mom to not have it the same color we wanted to change it up a bit,” Hale chuckled and sat down with us.
“But, we figured this will be the last time we do it and we asked mom to use the softer hair dye so it comes out faster,” Tate explained further and sat down next to Hale, “Also, we figured it was kinda mean of us to screw with your guys that you needed a bit of a breather,” he chuckled.
You can now see both of Hale’s eye and he has a small part of his bangs shorter than the rest that is between his orange eyes. Tate still has his left eye covered but he got some layers into his hair and with it, up in his high ponytail it looks a bit messier than Hale’s. “Thanks for making it easier on us,” Nero chuckled.
“If you work with Hale’s bangs enough you can get Tate’s, so it’s not really helpful if they decide to play which twin am I?” Harley pointed out and the twins looked at each other with a smirk.
“You two are terrible,” I laugh, “But it wouldn’t be as fun if you two drastically changed your hair from one another.”
“Exactly!” They said in unison.
“Though, it still won’t work because Tate has that brighter blue now,” Sean adds in.
“It all depends on how fast the bright blue comes out. And it’s not that much brighter.” Tate states with a shrug.
“Hey everyone! We’re back!!” Aaron calls out to all of us.
“I didn’t expect to see everyone sitting outside,” Gill says walking next to Aaron.
“It’s a nice day and Sean and Nero took a bit of a nap while we were waiting for everyone to get back,” Harley answered closing his book again.
“Which reminds me. Jay, why didn’t you have to go with them? Or Nero for that matter.” I question looking at the two of them.
“We took our earlier this week since we were both done super early with all our finals,” Nero answered my question twisting and cracking his back.
“Why didn’t Sasuke have to take one then?” Sean spoke up. Considering him and Harley took their finals to have them announced as the prodigies of their elements they don’t have to worry about it this year.
“I did ask, headmaster, says since Sasuke had his other elements taken so it was best not to strain it with a test and since he hasn’t had any break down since then. It’s safe to say his element is under control and he’ll start taking the extra test with you two next year.” Shiro explained to us and then looked at me and pointed t my face his cold pointer finger just touching my nose, “You mister didn’t sleep last night did you?”
My shoulders slump and I look up at him with the saddest face I can muster, “No,” I answer very quietly hoping that he wouldn’t really hear me.
He sighs heavily and sits down next to me, “You know better than to push things back to the last minute.”
“I know, I’m sorry,” I stick my hands between my legs and look down at my lap.
“You’re going to bed early tonight.”
“Yes sir,” I mumble and I hear Sean and Nero snickering and I look up and glare at them.
“Now that we’re all together, let’s talk about what we wanna do!!!” Jay said happily handing Sean his phone back.
“Well, at least Sean and I have to go to the Earth dragon roost at some point over these two weeks because we promise Umo. We just have to let him know when we’re coming so he can let his father know,” I look over at Sean and he nods.
“I wanna hang out with everyone first before we go to the roost,” Sean said and I nod in agreement.
“Oh!!” Harley spoke up, “I read that there’s a lake not too far from the campus right?”
“There is!” Jay perked up, “That’s a great idea! Let’s got to Foster Lake. Make the day of it! It’s not even that far away.”
“Damn, we haven’t been there in years, now we have to go!” Kyo agreed with Jay in an instant.
“I’m down from some adventure,” I smile and laugh.
“And you’re coming in the water too,” Sean snickered and gently kicked my leg.
“And I’ll come in the water,” I sigh a bit.
“What about everyone else?” Kyo asks.
“I’m down for it!” Tate smiled.
“Same, some fun in the sun will be a great way to relax.” Hale agrees
“It’s like a half an hour walk from campus right? I’m totally down for it,” Nero says.
“It’ll be fun,” Shiro smiles happily.
“I’m in!” Aaron says.
“Me too,” Gil nods.
“Then it’s settled! That’s what we’re doing!!” Jay put his hands up in the air.
“When do we want to go?” I ask looking around.
“I totally say tomorrow if it’s good weather,” Nero offers.
“Agreed. If it’s nice then let’s go. But we should try to get it in this week and start off this vacation right,” Shiro says, “It will help us feel better I think we’re all really drained.”
“I agree with you Shiro,” Kyo nods and leans back.
“Hey, what if we see if Abel and Torin want to go. If they’re busy then they’re busy,” Sean offers.
“It never hurts to ask,” I smile and agree. “They need to relax a bit and get away from work too.”
“Yeah, I also want to do something to thank Abel for putting up with my ass,” Sean chuckled.
“You know you can always keep training with him. You can just ask him about it,” Jay offered.
“Yeah, he’s a friend, we should at least try to get them to tag along,” Nero agrees.
“Alright, I’ll shoot Abel a text and ask if they two of them want to come with us.
We sat there and talked about how our finals went and just a bunch of random stuff. Then went into who was in charge of what for the trip to the lake. After that, we split up into three groups and then wandered into town and got what we would need for food for us to make and whatever else we were going to need then it was back to the dorms to put the stuff away for the moment. Then all of us end up wandering up to mom and dad’s house and hanging out there and goofing around.
I started dozing off by the pond while everyone else was playing in the water and then I felt myself picked up then cool water was around me. Coming back up out of the water I gasp and cling to who’s holding me. “Sean!! What the fuck?” I ask clinging to him like my life depends on it even though we’re in the waist-deep water.
“Just keeping you awake,” He snickered and I was glaring at him so hard you can hear the water sizzling off of me, “Don’t stare too hard you’ll set your clothes on fire,” He snickered and let me down so I would stand on my own. I take a deep breath and calm down. Jumping I feel something graze my leg and Sean cackles as I look down to see one of the koi came over and was swimming around me. “Meme says she likes how warm you are. Also to not be so afraid of the water and she’ll protect you from it when you need it.”
“Thanks, Meme,” I chuckle and stick my hand in the water and she swims up and brushes along my fingertips before swimming off.
“Now, come on, I’m making sure that one day wasn’t a fluke. I’m making sure you can actually float,” He pats my back as the others are laughing and splashing around deeper in the pond.
“What if it was just a fluke?” I ask him and raise a brow.
“Then we keep going with this before we go to the next step,” Sean answered and patted my back. I sigh and lower myself into the water. Slowing my breathing down I lay my head down and let my feet off the bottom of the pond. Sean has his hands on my back as I raise my feet so that I’m pretty much level. Taking slow, calm breaths I focus on the blue sky above us. “I’m going to pull my hands out from under you now,” He said and did just that. Instead of sinking like a rock I actually was floating there. I stayed floating for probably a minute or two before I felt myself sinking. Instantly breaking out of the calm state I was in my body sinks and I just manage to take a breath before I go under. Getting my feet under me I come back up and release my breath as I wipe off my face. “Okay…” I deadpan stare at him as he crosses his arms over his chest and thinks, “When we get you to stay calm you can float, but as soon as you feel yourself sinking you panic and you sink like a rock.
“Because me staying calm in water is super easy to do,” I sigh and pull my almost dry hair out of my face, “On top of it Sean, I’m wearing my clothes so it just makes my body heavy when I try to float.”
“You’re wearing shorts and a tank top. That’s not much extra weight. Plus, it’s not going to always be ideal swimming conditions or in your swimming trunks.”
“I know, I know…” I look down at the water and bring my hands up out of the water and watched it quickly evaporate from my skin. “I was hoping that when I got over my fear of water that I would be able to at least float, but at this point, I question if there’s some sort of weight in me that is stopping me from getting past the first step to swimming.”
“But what? There’s no danger of you snapping, the stress from finals are over,” Sean starts and I look away from him as there’s splashing coming closer to us. Jay and Aaron are coming over to us along with Gil close behind them.
“What’s up you two?” Aaron asked.
“Not much, just trying to figure out what’s holding Sasuke down from being able to float and learn how to swim,” Sean replied.
“Gil, would you be able to figure out why?” I question as he comes to a stop next to me.
“I probably could try at least. But not while your this exhausted. If I start diving into your mind you might fall asleep and we’re defiantly not doing that while we’re in the water. Plus if you fall asleep it’ll cause me to do the same thing and that could potentially be bad for the both of us.” Gil smiles at me and puts a hand on my shoulder. “We’ll try tomorrow or the next day. You need sleep before we do anything like that.”
“But I thought you could enter dreams?” I blink.
“I can yes, but when it comes to being in your mind trying to find something and you fall asleep there’s always the chance that something very bad could happen and I’m stuck in your conscious for a couple days or longer. It’s not worth the risk,” He explained further.
“Fair enough,” I chuckle, “That’s the last thing we need is to be chewed out by my father on top of it because he would have to be the one to get us unstuck more than likely.” He slides his hand off my shoulder with a nod.
“He would yes,” Gil laughed a little, “Why not get out and relax. I think that all of us should think about getting out so we can get something to eat and head back. We have a lot of prep work that we have to do for tomorrow.”
“On top of we have to get up early if we want to make it to the lake at a good time tomorrow,” Aaron pops in.
“And then we can do all the swimming and have a great day. Oh! Should we pack a couple tents too? Or are we just doing our sleeping bags?” Jay asks.
“Honestly, I think sleeping bags will be fine. If it looks like it’s going to rain you can always make a structure for us to sleep in for the night right?” I smile and Jay perks up.
“I can! It would be a lot less stressful than putting up a tent too.”
“And more waterproof,” Sean points out.
We all laugh and then we call the others over and get out of the pond. I dry off the fastest and is naturally the one that has to run into the house and get everyone else towels so they can dry off. Then it was back into the house and Sean and I made everyone food and when we were just about done mom and dad came home. We hung out for a bit and talked about the day. Told mom and dad that we were going to head to the lake and mom ran through a list of things that she wanted to make sure we had before going. After that, all of us wandered back to campus and to our dorms.
We split up what we need to do and then get to work. It took us a few hours but we were able to get everything packed and we settled down for the night. I went and took a shower because I was dosing off again and then I just went to bed for the night.
I’m up earlier than I want to be this morning honestly. I’m still tired but not as tired as I was yesterday. Throwing on the jammers that Sean gave me I then put on my cargo shorts over them and through on a muscle shirt. Grabbing a pair of socks I go to the bathroom and do my morning routine then go downstairs. Kyo and Nero are already up and are both drinking coffee.
“Morning,” I greet them with a small wave and walk into the kitchen to get some water.
“You ready for today?” I ask the two of them.
“I’m ready to get out of campus and be able to stretch,” Nero chuckled.
“Same. It’ll be nice to not have such a heavy pressure of everyone on us for a day or two,” Kyo chuckled. I turn around with my water to see him taking a drink, “What about you Sasuke?”
“It’ll be nice to have it just be us where we don’t have to worry,” I answer coming and sitting down at the table with them.
“I don’t understand how you can just be awake in the morning sometimes,” Kyo chuckled.
“Especially after not sleeping for over twenty-four hours, I was sure you were going to ask for coffee,” Nero chuckled.
“I’m just as surprised that your drinking coffee Nero,” I smirk at him.
“Kyo offered and I wasn’t going to turn him down for the coffee. I also didn’t want to wake everyone up with making a smoothie this morning,” He answered as he just played with his spoon that was still in the coffee.
“To be fair you put a fair bit of honey in your coffee,” Kyo commented.
“I know and it helps a bit with that bitter taste,” Nero chuckled and picked up his cup and took a sip of it.
I pull my phone out of my pocket and make sure I didn’t miss a text from Sean or anyone saying we’re late. “Sasuke, it’s fine we still have three hours before we planned to leave. We’re not late,” Kyo comments and I look up at him and he’s smiling at me.
I know,” I yawn and lock my phone again, “I was just making sure there were no last minute things someone forgot.”
“We’ll figure it out in a bit. Let’s let everyone get up first before we do anything,” Nero chuckled and leaned more on the table.
“Oh, did Sean get an answer if Abel and Torin were coming with us?” I ask before taking another drink and grabbing Kyo’s coffee to heat it back up for him.
“Yeah, Torin shot me a text late last night asking what time he and Abel should be here. I let them know.
Slowly everyone else started to come down the stairs and wake up. When everyone was among the living and downstairs I shot Sean and text asking if everyone was up over there too. When I got the reply back that they were we double checked to make sure everything was packed. Once we were all gathered up in front of Sean’s dorm we then decided to head out. We let Kyo, Jay, and Shiro lead the way since they’ve been there more than once.
It was a nice peaceful walk. There weren’t a lot of people out and about this early in the morning. Everyone was probably sleeping in since it’s the first day of summer vacation. Either way, it made it a lot easier to move through campus and make it to the north exit of campus. The walk to the lake was nice and it felt shorter than it actually was.
“Oh wow,” I gasp at the sight of the lake being surrounded by trees. The crystal clear water was reflecting the crisp blue sky. The smell of pine surrounds us as we stand up on the hill that leased down to the tree encompassed lake below.
“Come on! Let’s pick a spot and get set up!” Jay exclaimed jumping off the hill and sliding down the still damp grass.
The rest of us followed after him. Some of us walking and the others jogging down we find a natural cave entrance on the side of the hill. All of us making sure there is no one or nothing inhabiting it first we decide to set our things down and make camp right in the cave. Kyo, Jay, Sean, Torin, and I go and collect wood as everyone stays behind to unpack.
We make sure that we have plenty to make it through the night. Jay makes a decent sized fire pit and then we make a teepee out of sticks and some dry dead leaves that we found. Not starting it right now we all decide to instead go and enjoy the water since it was starting to get stupid hot out for everyone other than me and Shiro. Shiro and I join them anyways but I don’t go in any further than waist deep water just to make sure that I was going to be able to stay on my feet. Everyone stays pretty close to me so I can stay involved and I’m not just standing there alone or go closer to the shore and sit in the water.
“God damn, I’m hungry. Hey, let’s get out and make something to eat,” Torin laughs and pats my back before heading towards shore.
“Sounds good. I’ll come with you,” I chuckle and start heading towards shore.
“Where are you two going?” Sean called back to me.
I turned around to look at him, “We’re gonna go start making lunch,” I laugh and suddenly I felt my right leg gets pulled out from under me and I fell into the water. I’m able to get a breath in before I’m completely submerged. I feel myself being pulled deeper into the lake. When I open my eyes to see what’s got my leg there’s nothing there. But I feel something around my ankle and it’s not letting go. What is it? I try my best to slow myself down but whatever rock I grab onto the force that I’m being pulled I can’t get a good enough grip in time.
Shit, I can’t hold my breath much longer. This pressure is getting to my head. All of a sudden there’s a huge drop-off. And I’m in a huge open water but I’m still being pulled down. I can’t hold it anymore and I let the air out of my mouth and accidentally suck in water. I feel something grab my wrist and pull on me but the force on my ankle just gets stronger. I can’t breathe…
I feel something move up my throat and out of my lungs. Opening my mouth I look up to see Sean has a hold of my wrist and is pulling his hand back as I feel hot liquid rush out of my mouth and I take a deep breath somehow and start coughing.
“Why can’t I pull you with me?” I heard Sean’s watery voice say I look back at him as I start to calm down with coughing.
“Something has my ankle,” I answer him but can’t get my ankle out of whatever has me in its grasp.
I see something blitz past us and then the pulling on my leg stopped and a what looks like a strand glowed for a moment before disappearing. “You okay Sasuke?” Abel asks as floating up in front of me.
“I’m okay, thank you, both of you,” I look between them, “What was that?” I ask as Sean lowers down and puts my arm over his shoulder.
“I wonder if it was a spirit trying to show you something,” Abel commented.
An orange, black, and white koi came swimming towards us, “Um…” I look at Sean.
“Meme! How the fucking hell did you get out of the pond?” Sean asks just as surprised. He paused and Meme must have slowed down and was talking with Sean, “No, it was not okay for you to do that to Sasuke. How did you do that to Sasuke? You could have killed him Meme, he can’t swim.”
“This conversation feels very one-sided,” I comment and Abel’s snort was a bit fuzzy because of the water.
“You’ve got to be kidding…” Sean groaned.
“What?” I ask and Sean looks at me.
“She says that she’s been wanting us to come here so she can show us something. But figured the only way she could get us to come is if she drug you down. Also, she’s really sorry about doing that to you.”
“But how does she know we were here?” I question really confused.
“First of all can we figure out where she wants us to go?” Abel mentions.
“That would be best so we can get Sasuke out of the water,” Sean nodded, “Okay Meme, where are we going?”
Meme spun in a couple quick circles clearly happy and then swam in front of the three of us. Sean propelled us through the water and kept behind Meme as she swam. I looked around, “She’s taking us into an underwater cave?” I mutter a little bit confused. As we enter into the opening.
She swam up and I was able to make out a glowing from blue crystals like in the water dragon roost. We break a surface of the water and. Helping Sean kick to keep us up I look around, “Oh wow…” I mumble looking around.
There was a loud pop and then a young looking girl with orange and white hair with twin braids resting on her shoulders as white fins pop out of where her ears should be. Small patches of scales are all over her thin and delicate body. A simple wrap was binding her chest down and then she has black looking short shorts on as she sat up on the ledge of the water. Her legs are crossed and she’s leaning back. Her bright orange eyes look down at us and a huge shit eating grin is on her lips. “Meme?!” Sean and I say at the same time.
“Figured it would be easier to talk if I was like this,” She giggled happily.
“What are you?” We ask in unison again.
“No way, you’re a water nymph aren’t you?!” Abel gasped.
“That’s right! You know your stuff, Abel!!” She laughed happily.
“But, I thought-” Meme put up a hand and giggle stopping Abel.
“We’re still here, just very very few of us left. It’s why we took to hiding,” She smiles softly.
“But, what made you-” I started and she lifted her foot and put a toe on my toes.
“Go into hiding? Made us almost go extinct like the sun elemental and melancholy dragons? That’s why we’re here~” She chimed happily. “The older sparky boy is researching that kinda stuff yeah? You can go get your friends! I’ll stay here with Sasuke. If you need help finding the way just call and I’ll help you!! I’ll even get your guys out of here without using the lake~” She stuck her tongue out at us.
I look at Sean and he looks at me, “I should be fine,” I smile at him.
“Alright,” He sighs and helps me over to the ledge. Meme helps me out of the water as Sean pushed me up, “You two stay put. We’ll be back.”
I sit on the ledge with Meme and Abel and Sean go back underwater. It’s silent between me and Meme as I bring my legs up and wrap my arms my knees. “You dry really fast,” Meme giggled and I look over at her.
“I’m a fire elemental. I run at a high body temperature,” I answered her quietly.
“I am sorry for dragging you down here like that,” Meme apologized and put a hand on my back.
“I know that you didn’t know this, but before I came to Amoura I almost drown because I can’t swim and I was thrown into the deep end of a pool with my hands and Ankles tied. It took me a long time to get over being afraid of water after that,” I explain to her.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry Sasuke, I didn’t know. I didn’t mean to,” She pulled me into her and held my head to her chest.
I wrap my arms around her and hug her back, “It’s okay. You didn’t know.” She loosens her grip on me so I can sit back up, “Why did you want to show us this? Why were you disguised as a koi in the pond?”
“Your pond is one of the safest places that I can be. Your father does know I’m in the pond. As to why, well where we use to live, something toxic starts coming from the luminous moss. Now it’s something that to everyone and everything else that is not a nymph it doesn’t effect. And we never realized what was making everyone sick. Because of that a lot of us died. I was just a little girl when all that was happening. Momma was sick and she took me to your father and asked if I could stay in your pond as a koi. She also told him how everyone was getting sick and because of this the lion turtles were coming in and making our place a home. Us as water Nymphs are small and Lion turtles love to feed on us. We had a super strong barrier so they would keep out, but put two and two together and the lion turtles because of a serious threat again for us. And that’s how I ended up in your pond,” She has a soft but sad smile on his lips as she played with her hair and moved it out of the way long enough where I was able to see the gills that are on the side of her neck. “But, I wanted to bring you guys here because one time when I heard Sean and Abel over talking during a practice, Abel was telling him more in depth of what Sparky was working on. This is actually what used to be the roost for the melancholy dragon, and there are scripts in here that I thought they might want. I did some digging and searching around in here and I found them. It also has a fair bit of stuff that deals with the sun elemental as well. They don’t exist anymore right?”
“They aren’t in the Basic Of The Elements,” I shake my head, “So they were gone before Lucian wrote the book to help future elementals learn.”
“What’s that book!?” She asked happily seeming to instantly perk up.
“It’s a book that breaks down all the elements that are known for an elemental to have. It also tells you the main traits that an elemental would have and then if there is a rare trait that the prodigy would have.”
“Well,” I hold out my hand and make a small blue flame in my hand, “For example, I’m the only one that has a blue flame. I’m the fire prodigy,” I smile at her with how amazed she is with the small flame.
“It’s so beautiful Sasuke!” She gasped and put her hand by mine, “It’s so warm.”
“Blue and white ate some of the hottest flames known,” I chuckle and close my hand to extinguish the flame.
“So, does that mean you’re the only one with a blue fire?”
“Out of elementals yes,” I chuckle, “There are probably dragons that have blue fire as well. I haven’t been to the fire roost yet though. Sean and I were planning on going to the earth dragon roost this summer vacation.”
“Oh!! That sounds like so much fun!!” Meme exclaimed happily.
“How did you get here? Like to the lake?” I asked changing the subject.
“I can use the water and make a portal and teleport. The more I use it the better I get any further I can go from body of water to body of water,” She explained to me happily.
“Oh,” I mutter as I stare at her. Looking away from her I see someone coming close to the surface.
Sean pops his head out of the water first, followed by Nero, Torin, Shiro, Kyo, and everyone else. Meme and I helped everyone out of the water. I helped Torin and Nero specifically just to make sure they didn’t shock Meme on accident.
“Oh my god I’ve never met a water Nymph before!” Torin exclaimed looking Meme over.
“You’re a lot shorter than I thought Water Nymphs would be,” Nero snickered leaning down and getting her face close to hers.
“What were you expecting me to be the height of an elf or a dragon? Let me tell ya Sparky mc spark spark, it’s a hell of a lot easier being short than it is being tall. I can fit in more places than you can~” She giggled and patted Nero’s chest, “Now, come, come, let’s not dilly dally we’ve got things to see and places to go.”
She walks away from Torin and Nero and starts heading into the caves, “Come, one boy! You wanna see some surprises or not?”
I look over at Sean and then take a small jog to catch up to her. Everyone else does the same and we follow her deeper into the cave. Everyone was taking turns asking her questions and she kept calling Torin sparky and Nero sparky mc spark spark, no matter how many times the corrected her. We walked down then back up then back down, around turns and what feels like in a circle. I held out a flame to illuminate the walls more. There are intricate paintings on the walls of all the dragons and then finally we make it to a door. This door has been the only door that we’ve come across in this entire place since we’ve been in here. Making my flame larger we can see there’s a human male with closed eyes with their left hand out as the man on the right that is holding the human’s hand also has their eyes closed. This man is much bigger than the human and has long pointed ears with patches of scales carved here and there on their body. The detail of a kaleidoscope looking sun was behind them, but there was no color to it and an intricately carved arch that goes around the edge of the door.
“Oh wow,” I mutter as Torin comes up and gently touches the door. His fingers glide along the smooth carving as he looks the door over and seems completely lost for words.
“There’s no guaranty this will have all the answers you’ve had questions too, but it’s a start at least,” Meme commented and I looked down at her to see that she was looking up at Torin.
Torin looked down at her and put a hand on her head before kneeling down and hugging her, “Thank you. Thank you so much. This means so much to me.”
She giggles and hugs him back and pats his head, “See, there are somethings that you can’t get out of a dragon because they’re too stubborn, but let a Nymph do some snooping and we’ll come up with something for you most of the time.”
“I’ll figure out some way to repay you for finding this. I mean it,” Torin commented pulling away from her and standing back up.
“Don’t worry about it,” She pushes the door open and it opens up to a huge library like room.
We all slowly walk into the room looking around in awe. It was dim lighting in here, but there was just enough to be able to show just how tall these shelves are. “I think…we’re going to need some help…” I mutter and walk away from everyone and look around more with my fire. I find a small golden dish and it looks like there’s a liquid in it. Using my free hand I dip my fingers in and it’s a thick liquid. “Is this oil?” I lower my flame down and the liquid is, in fact, oil and it fills the pan. Quickly, my blue flames launch up a shoot and start lighting up other pans of oil little by little the room becomes lighter and we are able to see that this place is even bigger than I thought it was. There are rolling ladders looking like they were just used yesterday with not a speck of dust on them. Nero whistles, “Daaaammmnnn, this places is fucking huge.”
“Holy shit,” Torin said slowly.
“Is this a library or an archive?” Abel asked.
“I don’t know. But, it’s a start right?” I walk over to Sean.
“What do we want to do Torin?” Sean speaks up and getting him to come back to us.
“Right focus,” He said and ran his hands through his hair and looked around. Turning in a few circles he then focused on the rest of us, “Meme, is there a way out of here that is not requiring us to go back through the water?”
“There is! I’ll show you guys the way back up to the surface not a problem!” She exclaimed.
“Okay sweet! Then everyone grab a book or two and we’ll take them with us. Now that I know where this place is we can tell headmaster Kaisai about it! After we do that we need a way to extinguish the oil that Sasuke found.”
“My bad,” I laugh sheepishly.
“No, no, don’t be, it really helped light up the place,” Torin chuckled and I looked at him with a resting bitch face, “I just don’t want to waste the oil is all.”
“That’s not that hard,” I look over at Meme and she skips over to the same pan I started. “There’s string here that we can untie and this and it goes up to this thingy that I can’t reach but then that drops down and will extinguish the fire! I was checking out the place a little bit while all of you were ooing and awing and drooling over the books and what not.”
“Is it such a good idea to take books right now? We just found this place, shouldn’t we be taking pictures and taking notes because we move anything?” Shiro speaks up and Torin groans loudly.
“I know, but I really want to look through the books,” He whines.
“No, Toshiro is right Torin, we need to do this the right way,” Abel backed Shiro up.
“Fiiiiiinnnneeee,” Torin groans and put his hands on his hips, “We’ll do it the right way. Let’s extinguish the fire and get back up to the surface. We all need to eat.”
“Exactly, let’s get going,” Abel said and jogged over to Meme who was trying to get the rope unknotted. He got it untied and slowly lowers the lid. We wait to make sure that it’s completely out before we actually leave the room and shut the door. Meme shows us the way back up to the surface and the land entrance is actually where we had our camp set up.
Meme politely refused to let us feed her, but to be safe Sean, Abel, and I walk her back to the lake after she gets waist deep she goes underwater and then we see a koi at the surface of the water before she disappears. It wasn’t how we were expecting to spend our day, but it was worth it in the end. Who knew that the old melancholy dragon roost was right here so close to the academy. I can’t believe it and I was with Torin in wanting to grab a book and see what was inside. But, we do need to do it the right way. We have to let dad know we found it. I wonder if dad even knew it was here. How long have the sun elemental and the melancholy dragon been gone? There’s just so many questions that I want answered. Is it this kind of excitement that got Abel and Torin into this search to find out the mysteries behind them? What is the sun elemental? What could the do? I want answers, but I guess I’ll have to wait.
“What’s goin through that head of yours?” I hum when I hear Sean. I look over at him and he’s smirking at me. “You just as curious as I am about what’s down there?”
I nod and smile, looking out into the darkness of the night and hearing the crickets over the crackles of the fire. Lights flick on and off as the fireflies light up along with some glowing moss that kisses the bark of the trees. Everyone else is sound asleep as Sean and I are still sitting by the fire and keeping it going a bit longer before we head to bed ourselves. “It makes you want to ask Abel and Torin if we can help them doesn’t it?” I chuckle.
“Mhm, it does,” He smiles as watched the fire, “I’m sorry it took me so long to get to you.”
“Don’t be sorry, you made it and saved me again, that’s what matters and thank you again.”
“I told you I won’t let you drown and I mean it.”
“I know,” I got up and got some more wood and place it in the fire, “That should make it through the night.”
“Time to hit the sack then?” Sean chuckle and stood up himself. He gave me a hug and I hugged him back. We then crawled into our sleeping bags and I relax, “Goodnight Sasuke.”
“Good night Sean.”