Hope's Bright!

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Fake Smile

Hidden in a dark room, the mastermind watched four large computer monitors closely. The room was completely silent, so quiet that only the mechanical whirring of the computers’ hard drives could be heard. Each poorly pixilated screen displayed different videos of everything that had occurred since Twilight Heart entered Asteria Cathedral. On the top left monitor replayed the fight against Pennie Raynhart and her uncle, the CSOG tyrant. Below it was the battle between Brayden Valero and his surprising victory against the Earth Elemental Dimetrios Tuff.

“Two failures already?” the man sneered. “Well this is unexpected, a little disappointing too. Though I must say those two have impressed me. They fought so valiantly, and their motives were pure too. It such a shame they’re on the wrong side, they could have been useful to me.”

The man turned his head to the two monitors besides the first two. One displayed the members of Regal Night waiting for their next orders and the other had a current streaming Lynx McMarne and Kaela Mason running down the halls.

“Honestly, can do anything right? Letting the enemy run around willingly is a sure way to let them defeat you,” the man growled. “Without Dimetrios Tuff, Regal Night is useless. I’ll have to do something about those pathetic group of criminals.”

The man leant back in his chair with a heavy sigh. Although he had predicted that Twilight Heart had a chance and victory, he didn’t expect it to go so easily, especially with his vigorous planning. He knew that is he wasn’t victorious he would never hear the end of it. His mistake would be brought up no matter what conversation came up. He wasn’t the only one planning Twilight Hearts defeat, if he missed his chance someone else would step in with more vile methods than his own. There was no other choice but to make sure his plan succeeded if he ever hoped for his wish to come true.

“Well, I suppose there’s still Master Ackerman, but I have very low hopes for him,” the man stated coldly. “He was much weaker than I anticipated. Regal Night really is nothing more than a disappointment.”

With a click of the button, the mastermind shut down the computers. The black and white images warped before the screens went black.

“It looks like I will have to take matters into my own hands after all,” the man smiled evilly, getting to his feet as complete darkness filled to room. “Prepare to meet your end, Twilight Heart.”

Pennie, Ray and Noah blinked in surprise. When they arrived at the centre of the cathedral to find Master Isaac, they discovered him standing over a defeated Master Ackerman.

“What the hell!” Ray shouted.

Master Isaac looked towards them, “Oh hi kids. You’re earlier than I’d thought you’d be.”

“Seriously?! We came here to save you, but you apparently didn’t need us!” Ray sighed. “And we missed out on your epic battle. What a disappointing turn of events.”

Pennie agreed. She knew that Master Isaac who was ranked as the tenth Starlight Knight was an expert at Magic Particle manipulation. It was a power that let you control the magic of another person and use it against them. In master Isaac’s case, the magic particles he stole was often used to create explosion magic.

“Oh well, maybe next time,” Master Isaac laughed.

“Hey, guys!” Lynx called as he and Kaela ran towards them.

“You guys didn’t take on all of the other members of Regal Night on your own?” Brayden said with shock.

“Actually, there was no one around. We haven’t come across a single Regal Night person since we got here.” Lynx complained. “It was quite boring really.”

Pennie sighed in relief. It seemed that Kaela and Lynx had more luck than they did. She found herself feeling kind of annoyed that they got off so easily, especially when Lynx complained about it. However, it did seem a little odd that they hadn’t run into anyone.

“Master, thank goodness you’re okay,” Kaela said. “I see you’ve taken down Master Ackerman. We also found Mr Raynhart taken out as well.”

“Did Regal Night rebel against him or something?” Lynx asked. “Did they all get bored of him and leave?”

“No, I defeated him myself!” Pennie spat.

“Oh, so I guess that’s the last we’ll see of him.” Master Isaac smiled, giving Pennie a congratulatory pat on the back.

“That’s right!” Pennie smiled, “I’ve made sure that he will never bother us again.”

“Well, then we’d best be off,” Kaela stated. “We have accomplished our mission.”

“Not quite. We still have to find Blaze, any ideas of where he could… Holy shit Brayden! What the hell happened to you?! You’re covered in blood!” Master Isaac shouted, finally noticing Ray’s appearance.

Pennie sighed as everyone stared at Ray in shock. Ray’s hair and clothes were covered in blood and dirt; he also had dark bruises along his arm right arm. Pennie thought he looked like he had been hit by a car, which was understandable after being hit by Dimetrios’s rocks so many times.

“He had a battle against Dimetrios Tuff.” Noah pointed out.

“Oh yeah, I forgot about that!” Ray claimed. “Man, that hurt a lot! But I’m totally fine now!”

“I can’t believe you won!” Lynx laughed, “You look like you should be dead!”

“Of course I won, I would never lose to someone like him!” Ray growled.

“Which reminds me,” Pennie wondered. “How were you able to recover so easily? One minute you could barely stand then the next you were beating the crap out of Dimetrios.”

Ray turned to her and shrugged. When he did, an odd sight came across Pennie’s eyes.

“Wait a minute…” Pennie said grabbing Ray’s left hand.

“W-what are you doing?” he asked.

Pennie remained silent as she studied his arm. She was amazed to find no a single scratch on it. He seemed to be injured everywhere except for that one arm. Pennie was sure that it had sustained just as much damage. She had seen all of Dimetrios’s attacks, and not a single on had missed.

“A-Amazing,” she stuttered. “Unlike the rest of you, your left hand is completely unharmed… how is that even possible?”

Ray snatched his arm away from her, “Don’t ask me questions I don’t know the answers to! My left side has always been more resilient. There’s nothing special about it.”

“Are you sure you are okay though Brayden? You should probably lie down or something. Just take it easy,” Kaela stated.

“I’m fine,” Ray growled. “There’s nothing wrong, and I don’t need to rest. Honestly its more of a pain having all of you make a fuss about it.”

“Honestly, you are just like her…” Master Isaac sighed.

“Huh?” Ray asked. “What do you say?”

“Nothing…” Master Isaac said quickly. “We should be getting a move on now.”

As they began to walk away from Master Ackerman and prepared to leave the building, Pennie felt uneasy. Her heart still beat fast in her chest. She felt as if something was missing that the battle was far from over.

Pennie looked around at the others. None of them seemed to be feeling the same way. They had big smiles on their faces which made Pennie believe she was only paranoid. She turned to Ray. Unlike the others, he frowned and seemed to be deep in thought. Pennie did a slight jog to walk by his side.

“Ray is something the matter?” she asked.

“Something’s not right…” he replied.

“What do you mean?” Pennie said, shocked that Ray seemed to feel the same way she did.

“Don’t you think it’s odd that we haven’t come across anyone else from Regal Night? And what about Blaze? Why hasn’t anyone come across him yet?” Ray stated.

Pennie’s thoughts came to a halt when they entered the next open area. Her eyes widened in shock. Every single member of Regal Night had been defeated; almost every member lay dead on the tiled floor.

“What happened here?” Lynx said, his eyes just as wide and shocked as Pennie’s.

Pennie’s eyes darted to the centre of the room. A man stood there, his strawberry blonde hair covered in blood. Blood was also dripping from his hands. He turned to look at them with a cold expression.

“Blaze, so you decided to help us after all. Why didn’t you tell us you were planning a coup?” Lynx said with an anxious laugh. “I knew you wouldn’t just betray us just like that.”

“That wasn’t possible because of the situation he was in.” Kaela sighed.

“It looks as if you all have been in quite a mess. Are you all okay?” Blaze asked.

“What about you…” Pennie said. “It looks like you’ve been through a lot worse.”

“Oh? It’s nothing…” Blaze said blankly.

“It’s definitely not nothing. We should really get you to a doctor,” Pennie claimed, beginning to walk towards Blaze. Ray put out his arm to stop her.

“Don’t get any closer Pennie; he’s not on our side,” Ray stated.

“Huh, what are you talking about?” Pennie asked.

“I don’t know… I just have this hunch,” Ray muttered.

“Don’t be ridiculous Brayden,” Lynx yelled. “Did you hit your head that hard or are you just an idiot? Of course, Blaze is on our side. He probably only killed those guys was because it was the only way he could survive. Right Blaze?”

After a long moment of silence, Blaze smiled demonically and laughed. It was a long evil laugh that echoed through the halls.

“You’re as perceptive as ever Ray,” he said as he brushed his hair out of his eyes. “I should have known that I couldn’t fool you.”

Blaze continued to laugh as Pennie’s eyes widened in shock. Things just took a turn for the worse. Their troubles truly were far from over.

Ray had been a little distracted when they reunited with Master Isaac. So distracted that he forgot about his fight with Dimetrios and missed everything Master Isaac had said. While everyone had been celebrating the battle being over, he felt uneasy that their troubles were far from over. It was too suspicious that no one other than Dimetrios, Mr Raynhart and Master Ackerman had attacked them. It was just too easy. His suspicions were confirmed when he saw Blaze amongst the bodies of the Regal Night members. Lynx had been quick to jump to the conclusion that he had helped them, but the murderous glint in Blaze’s eyes gave Ray the impression that Blaze was their enemy, not their ally.

“Just what are you planning, Blaze?” Master Isaac asked, realising the same thing as Ray. “Explain yourself, just what is your role in all of this?”

“Well, I suppose there’s no point hiding it anymore,” Blaze stated. “It was I who told Mr Raynhart to invade Asteria, and it was I who allowed Regal Night to attack Twilight Heart. Of course, they all seemed to have their own personal vendetta against the guild, so it was quite easy to convince them. I am the ringleader of this masquerade.”

“No, it can’t be true… you were so kind,” Pennie muttered. “This is a trick, right?”

“Kind…?” Blaze said.

“You were kind to me. You told me that…” Pennie stuttered.

“Oh? You mean that everything will be fine. No one will care if your Uncle was a CSOG tyrant. Just be yourself, and everyone will welcome you into the guild.” Blaze said with a fake smile.


“Don’t worry; I’ll be there for you. If you need anything, I’ll be glad to help.” Blaze said mockingly before breaking into laughter. “Yeah, it was all a trick. As soon as I found out about your uncle, I went and made a deal with him. I mean it was just perfect after all.”

Ray watched as Pennie stood frozen in complete shock. He couldn’t believe that the Blaze he had known up until then had been nothing but a lie. Nor could he believe Blaze could play around with Pennie’s feelings. It made him slightly angry but he was still too shocked to act upon his emotions.

“Did you know about that, Brayden?” Blaze asked, his tone of voice turning dark again. “Did you suspect me from the start?”

“No,” Ray claimed honestly. “I thought…”

“Then what about the Forbidden song? Why did you help us then if you had planned to destroy us?” Lynx yelled, cutting Ray off.

“Oh that, that was only meant as a distraction.” Blaze claimed. “It was a plan of a lunatic within Mr Raynhart’s division. I just followed along to make sure your attention was away from Asteria. It dawned on me that with Kaela, Ray and Lynx out of the picture, destroying Twilight Heart would have been easier, and if by chance you happened to perish in that attack it would have made things easier for me.”

“But wouldn’t you have died as well?” Kaela asked.

“A stupid trick like that couldn’t kill me.” Blaze snarled with a glint of anger in his cold eyes. “Don’t lump me in with the rest of you losers.”

“Blaze, you can’t be this serious, right?” Ray claimed. “I didn’t mean what I said, not to this extent. I believed you were still under the influence of the CSOG and were ordered to kill Regal Night and us.”

Blaze laughed again. “You were smart enough to know that I wasn’t your ally, yet you were too naive to see the whole picture. And here I thought you were the clever one.”

“But they had injured you. And you were crying; you said you only sold out Twilight Heart to save everyone.” Pennie exclaimed.

“That was all an act, everything that came out of my mouth was a lie. And you all fell for it like the idiots you are! Hilarious! Even Master Ackerman and Regal Night fell for it. And here I thought that they might cause some trouble for you, worthless idiots.” Blaze cackled, kicking over one of the bodies. “But they were all useless. So I decided it was best to eliminate them all.”

Lightning suddenly filled the room. It was so bright that Ray had to shut his eyes. Once the loud sounds disappeared, he opened them to find the corpse turned into dust. With a sudden breeze, the ashes drifted across the room and disappeared.

“How could you do such a thing?!” Lynx growled.

“As I said before they were useless,” Blaze shrugged his shoulders. “They were supposed to break your spirits and keep you out of Asteria but that failed miserably.”

“Don’t you have any sense of loyalty. How could you just betray us like this?!” Ray yelled.

“You think that I care that Master Tooronga adopted me and gave me a home,” Blaze claimed coldly, “Tell me, Lynx, when was the last time you spoke to me without needing something? In fact, I think the only people who could even be bothered talking to me are the people in this room. I’d go as far to guess that most of the others were against rescuing me. From the very beginning, I’ve been shunned and despised by everyone. None of you ever accepted me so why should I care about whether you exist or not. The way I see it you’ll all only get in my way.

“No, it can’t be…” Pennie muttered.

“At last, I’m about to take my first step towards getting my revenge,” Blaze laughed demonically his voice echoing through the room. “I’ll destroy Twilight Heart with my own two hands. I owe it to the guild after all!”

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