“Man…. I really don’t want to do this!” Ray complained, sprawling himself across the seat.
The ride had been uncomfortable sitting on the long hard chairs at the back of the helicopter, especially with Kaela being tense and Pennie shaking like a leaf. He hated everything about the plan; they were in the middle of nowhere, and the beeping Magic Person Tracker was beginning to get on his nerves.
“You seem to be in a bad mood,” Pennie pointed out, “Is something the matter?”
“I just can’t be bothered!” Ray growled, “I mean we finally get a break, and now we have to go back into battle again?!”
Ray just wanted to stay at home and do nothing. He did not think that resurrection magic was even possible. From the books he had read over the years, he knew that any research regarding the dead ironically ended in a deadlock. Therefore, he believed it was to be a pointless fight. However, for some unknown reason, he felt uneasy about the whole situation. He thought that it was that the name Darkyn made him feel…strange. It was a feeling he couldn’t accurately pinpoint, and it really annoyed him.
“Why did it have to be us anyway?” Pennie sighed gloomily, as Ray looked towards her, “I mean Dimetrios is so powerful it’s frightening. If he and Ray were to do this on their own, it would be over in a jiffy.”
“My guess is that Master chose based on the type of magic, not its measure of power.” Kaela stated, “He probably chose you for Shadow Buster’s ability and Brayden for his willpower.”
“I guess that makes sense,” Ray yawned stretching out his back. “With Sean around, we’d be able to nullify that Visola’s ability.”
“That still doesn’t make me feel better. Sean’s ability can only work a certain amount of time depending on the person.” Pennie sighed again, “And if she is anything like Ray it means it won’t work at all.”
“What do you mean by that?” Ray asked, unsure if he should be offended or not.
“I don’t know… Sean just told me that his magic wouldn’t work on you,” she explained. “We really should have left it to the MLC…”
“I don’t know about that. I only said that we shouldn’t go because of my own personal concerns,” Ray pointed out. “Under normal circumstances, I would be willing to engage in a battle because I can assess the enemy as we fight, but because this Oviri had announced her plans to everyone, it could mean she has something extremely dangerous prepared for anyone who interferes. In fact, it is even possible that she knows just who would try to stop her. Therefore, leaving the MLC to handle it would be a safer bet.”
“Wow, you really thought this through,” Pennie stated with a hint of surprise in her voice.
“Of course I have, this threat is no laughing matter,” Ray replied.
“Then why didn’t you refuse?” Pennie asked. “When Master Isaac assigned this to us you should have made him rethink his decision. If it is safer to rely on the MLC, then why are we going?”
“That’s because there’s no guarantee that the MLC would do anything,” Ray stated. “I mean did they do anything to stop the CSOG when you worked for them, Kaela?”
Kaela sighed, “Not in so many ways. Sometimes I even wondered if they would ever fight against the wrongdoings of the CSOG.”
“I’ve also wondered about that…” Pennie stated, “they never seemed to do anything to stop the CSOG in Acqua Stellata.”
“I assume they’re afraid of going to war if they were to step in,” Kaela continued. “The War lasted for so long last time that they don’t want another one. So they avoid most conflict with the CSOG. However, there was this one time a group I once knew was suddenly attacked one day. They came back in terrible shape as if they only just managed to survive. From what they said it was just one person, so powerful that they shook violently with fear just by speaking of it. The MLC’s most powerful weapon next to Stellatrium. Someone called the Phoenix Hunter.”
“No way! The one no one has ever seen…” Ray shouted standing out of his seat, “The one whose identity is a complete mystery?!”
“Wait, I thought Starlight Knight Rank One would have been the strongest. The one they call A.V,” Pennie stated.
“No, the Phoenix Hunter is said to be more powerful. Rumours say that those who see it never live to tell the tale.” Brayden continued.
“S-so-sounds scary…” Pennie stuttered.
“A Phoenix Hunter, a warrior who is known to be able to kill the indestructible Phoenixes. Apparently, it travels around doing the most dangerous and horrific jobs for the MLC. Some believe that the Phoenix Hunter may even be a Dark Oviri, walking in the path of light until the time comes for it to destroy the world. Naturally, that team was executed for their failure.” Kaela explained, through pursed lips. Ray noticed that her eyes started blinking more rapidly as she spoke, revealing Kaela’s distress of the matter.
“Well if I wasn’t scared before I am now!” Pennie muttered, bitting down so hard on her bottom lip that it was close to bleeding. She kept her arms close to her body which gave Ray the impression that she was trying to minimise her presence. “May I asked…why are we going to the location in a helicopter?”
“An aerial attack would be more unexpected, plus we have Lynx and Brittany in another helicopter to keep a look out for us,” Ray replied.
“While it is a safer bet to beat Visola’s predictions, it also avoids Brayden’s weakened state after riding a train.” Kaela pointed out.
“Did you seriously have to say that?!” Ray snarled, really pissed about that last comment.
Getting anxious around trains pissed him off as much as everyone else, but he couldn’t help it. He guessed that it was because a train caused his loss of memory or something happened in his past to make him so afraid of them.
“Wait a minute…” Pennie turned pale. “By aerial attack did you mean…”
“Yep! We are going to launch a surprise attack by jumping out of this helicopter!” Ray said with a devilish smile.
“What?!” Pennie yelled in fear.
On the outskirts of Aqua Stellata a woman waited, impatiently tapping her phone as she waited for her disciple to return. There was a lot to do and a lot of information that had to be found. As her cape blew in a rough patch of the cold autumn wind a mass of dark energy caught her attention.
“Hmm, could it be that something is going to happen tonight?” she muttered. “I wonder just what interesting events are going to unfold this time.”
“Milady, we have big trouble!” her disciple yelled running up to her.
She did not turn to face the man, keeping her focus on her phone. He was an older man with black hair and glasses. He was one of the lower ranks of the Starlight Warriors, someone who more often than not kept her waiting for longer than she appreciated.
“Really? Is that why you took so long?” she growled. “Care to explain yourself, Zeke?”
“Someone is preparing to perform resurrection magic!” Zeke yelled.
“Oh…” She turned to him, but her expression did not change, “Is that so, I thought the magic in the air seemed sinister.”
“If we hurry, we might make it back in time to help!” He said nervously, “The only issue is we don’t know what kind of Oviri we’ll be against!”
“I have a vague idea.” she said walking away from the cliff. “I’ve been expecting this to happen, I just didn’t realise it was happening so soon.”
“I don’t understand; how can you be so calm? This situation is perilous!” Zeke exclaimed. “We should hurry, we won’t make it in time if we don’t.”
“No… we’re not going to do anything,” she claimed as she walked past him.
“But why?!” he yelled nervously turning to face her again, “Your strength is our only hope! If the information I have gathered is correct, she could be trying to resurrect the Dark Oviri Darkyn or worse, the Dark Shadow himself! If we don’t do something…”
“I’m aware of the situation at hand, but I’ve decided to become a witness instead of being involved,” she turned to him once more, “I want to see just how well the world of light can deal with this disaster.”
Her disciple looked at her with surprised. He then bowed with a sigh, “If that is what you wish.”
“Let’s go…” she claimed walking away. “Resurrection magic is unpredictable and almost always leads to failure. Which means this woman might not revive the person she desires, or she’ll just create another mindless monster. I wonder…Just who will she end up resurrecting.”
“There is no way I’m jumping out of this helicopter!” Pennie shouted.
“Come on, it’s only going to be a two hundred feet drop!” Ray claimed, patting her shoulder.
“That’s not humanly possible!” Pennie yelled. “Are you some kind of monster?!”
Ray just turned to her and laughed devilishly. Pennie wondered just how much of a demon Brayden actually was. She found that he could be really frightening sometimes.
Kaela sighed, “It’s not like we’d expect you to jump without any assistance.”
“Huh…but Ray said…”’
“I was only joking!” Ray claimed with a cheeky smile, “I was bored! Don’t take everything I say so seriously!”
“Why…you!!” Pennie growled angrily.
“That’s enough! Here these are for you.” Kaela said handing her a small box.
Pennie opened the box to find a sneaker-like pair of shoes and gasped in joy.
“No way!” she exclaimed excitedly, “My own pair of Light Shoes?!”
She couldn’t believe her eyes. She had always wanted to own a pair of Light Shoes. The high-top sneakers, which were embedded with the Ikiru energy, were a necessity for any MLC guild. Light Shoes allowed the members of Twilight Heart to fly around the stage or walk on magical platforms during a concert or to assist them in battle. Receiving her own pair of light shoes meant that she was officially a member of Twilight Heart. She quickly put them on and looked down at them with a cheery smile.
“Remember, Light shoes don’t allow you to fly.” Kaela explained, “You can use them to glide, but you need to create a platform at least every minute to do so. In this case, we’ll be using the thrust ability to slow down our fall.”
Pennie nodded, “I understand.”
“Now that that’s settled let’s return to the task at hand,” Kaela continued to explain the plan. “As of now we should be right above Whispering Willows forest, where our sources have led us to believe is Viola’s current location. We are to fall right on top of her and launch a head-on attack. Pennie will use Shadow Buster to nullify Visola’s magic, while Brayden and I will hit her with all of our power. If all goes to plan, we should be able to knock her out and take her into custody.”
A loud beeping noise began to ring. It was so loud and high pitched that Pennie had to cover her ears.
“What’s that noise?!” Pennie yelled, her eyes wide with terror. She knew that the alarming beeping meant something was about to go wrong.
Something suddenly hit the helicopter, Pennie screamed as they began to lose altitude.
Ray ran up to the driver and attempted to wake him. The hit on the helicopter had made him hit his head and was now unconscious.
“It’s no good!” Ray said, yelling to be heard over the loud cluttering of the failing engine. “I can’t feel a pulse. Our pilot is unresponsive, and we are losing altitude.”
Pennie grabbed onto the back of the seat to keep her balance. She watched as Ray, checked the pulse of the driver, sighed and then shook his head. He looked towards Pennie and Kaela with a gloomy look in his eyes. Pennie knew right away that the pilot was no longer breathing. Despite the situation, Ray was calm and look towards Kaela and patiently waited for instructions.
“We’ve been found out! She knows we are here!” Kaela yelled, gritting her teeth in frustration as she bashed the wall of the helicopter with the side of her clenched fists.
“What do we do now?!” Pennie screamed.
“I don’t know!” Kaela yelled, closing her eyes tightly and stopping her right floor. After taking a deep breath, she looked towards Ray. “Brayden, what do you think? Can you come up with a plan?”
“We have no choice but to jump now,” Ray shouted. “We’re going down anyway; we should just begin our original plan immediately!”
“You’re right! Now’s not the time to get disheartened. Prepare to jump!” Kaela ordered.
They ran to the side of the helicopter, and Ray opened the door. Although she was scared, she did not hesitate to jump. As they began to fall, Pennie saw a beam of light hurtle towards them. It narrowly missed Ray, hitting the helicopter once more and blowing it up. Using their Light Shoes, Kaela and Pennie controlled the speed at which they fell, while Ray used his flames to decelerate slightly. The beams of light kept coming towards them as they narrowly dodged them.
“We need to find a way to stop these attacks; we can’t keep this up forever!” Kaela shouted.
“I know what to do!” Pennie shouted and began to sing to summon Shadow Buster.
“How may I help you today?” Sean asked as he appeared next to her.
“Can you analyse the enemy below and their firing patterns then send me a telepathic link?!” Pennie replied.
“Certainly…” Sean nodded, “I won’t be able to use my abilities from this far though!”
“How is that going to help us?!” Ray shouted.
“If we can figure out the pattern of the blasts then it is easier to dodge. If Visola is aiming for Kaela, it shouldn’t be too difficult to discover!”
“That’s brilliant!” Kaela praised her.
Pennie nodded. She might not be much help in the forthcoming battle so it was the least she could do.
“Uh…Pennie…” Sean said telepathically, “I have the information but…”
Once the information came to Pennie, her eyes went wide. What Sean revealed was so shocking that she couldn’t find the words to explain it.
“What’s the problem, Pennie?!” Kaela yelled.
“These aren’t random attacks. She’s aiming for…”
Before she could finish a beam of light came hurtling towards them, one that was almost impossible to dodge.
“Ray look out! She’s aiming for you!”
However, it was too late. The light beam hit Ray in the shoulder, knocking him backwards. The impact extinguished his flames, and he began to fall. Pennie tried to reach out to him, but the gap between them was too large. Ray fell rapidly towards the ground, disappearing into the endless abyss of the night sky.