Hope's Bright!

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The First Week and a New Adventure

Pennie sat at one of the Twilight Heart tables, thinking about her week. It was hard to believe a whole week had passed since she became a member of Twilight Heart. She had found the perfect apartment not far from the Luna tree. It was a one-bedroom loft with a separate bathroom and kitchen. There was an enormous personal bath, ideal for a relaxing bubble bath. She felt so comfortable in her new bed that she felt as if she had never slept better in her life. But the highlight of her week was getting the Twilight Heart emblem tattooed on her lower arm, just above her elbow. Sure, it hurt a lot but it looked so amazing that it was worth it.

She spent the rest of the week introducing herself to the other members of Twilight Heart. She also attempted to ask all the questions she could to find out more about the guild she had joined. Most people were happy to explain everything apart from Zander. Whenever she asked him anything, he always complained.

“You ask too many questions Raynhart!” he would often shout.

Zander, who Ray called Zippy due to his fast pace, was a hamara that took the form of a black panther. Just like Noah, he was also quite small. It amazed Pennie to see how little they were; she had always pictured them to be a lot bigger. According to Benny, Zippy was once a familiar to a Phoenix-class warrior during the Eighty-Year-War. After his death, Zander became very sour and resentful.

Benny Caruso claimed he couldn’t use magic. Although according to Brittany Ashes, it was just an excuse that he made up. Benny would often share old war stories. From what time, Pennie never asked. She did once ask about his former powers and why he never engaged in battle, but when he said he couldn’t with a solemn look; she never asked again. Benny was also working part-time at a TV network called “Cometz.” Apparently, it was a popular variety show that discussed the extraordinary views and cultures of Le Alba. As it was hosted in Asteria, Twilight Heart would often appear as a guest on the show. Although Brittany would complain about how lucky he was, Benny always stated that it was just a job to help him pay for medical school. It was his dream to become a doctor so he could help people in need. It seemed to be something very personal to him, so Pennie never questioned him further. Of everyone in Twilight Heart, Benny usually hung around Brittany. However, they would often get into fights when Brittany would try to match Benny up with the perfect boyfriend.

Brittany Ashes was one of Twilight Hearts lead singers and one of Pennie’s favourite idols. She had pale brown hair with the ends pulled to the back of her head by a bow and often wore some shade of purple. Brittany was quite a bit taller than Pennie. From what she had read in Galaxy Moon, Brittany was twenty-five years’ old could utilise support magic, which meant she hardly ever engaged in battle. Pennie was also mesmerised by her blue eyes and found herself kind of jealous of Brittany’s beautiful features. Pennie looked nothing like the amazing Brittany, making Pennie hate her freckled face even more. It surprised Pennie that Brittany often worked behind the bar, tending to every member of Twilight Hearts needs. The fact that she was a magnificent cook and an amazingly kind person made Pennie even more jealous. Blaze had noticed this, so he smiled at her and said that sometimes perfect is overrated.

Pennie had hardly seen Blaze since she joined Twilight Heart, as he always seemed to be off on important missions. The older members said that Blaze was just avoiding everyone and claimed that he was very ill-tempered and cruel. Pennie didn’t see it. Despite all the nasty rumours, she thought Blaze was very kind and thoughtful. When she joined, he offered to show her around and answered all of her questions, not to mention how he comforted her when she was on the verge of having a panic attack. Ray also seemed to feel the same. Pennie often caught him enjoying a long conversation with Blaze. However, Pennie hardly knew anything about the Air Elemental. Whenever he was around, she would try to ask him something about himself, but he would always laugh awkwardly and then change the subject. She often wondered if there was something that Blaze found too difficult to say, it could have even been the reason he was hardly ever around.

Pennie was extremely disappointed to discover that the one person she wished to meet had disappeared off the face of the earth. When she asked Master Isaac about it, the old man stuttered and tried to avoid the question. He eventually told her that Liella had left on a job and never returned.

While sitting at the table drinking a smoothie, Pennie wondered where the infamous Liella could have disappeared to. She concluded that she must have died in the past five years. Pennie sighed as she heard footsteps coming towards her.

“What’s up?” the man named Lynx came up to her and sat in the chair in front of her. “I’m Lynx McMarne by the way.”

“It’s nice to meet you; I’m Pennie Raynhart,” Pennie smiled. “I’m a Summoner Oviri, what about you?”

“I can create water to attack,” Lynx explained.

“You’re an Elemental like Ray?!” Pennie asked in surprise.

“He wishes,” Ray scoffed, placing a plate full of food on the table as he sat in the seat next to her. “He’s just a ‘Semi-Elemental’, which means he can only create water, unlike me. I can also control other sources of fire.”

“You just love shoving that into my face,” Lynx growled.

“That’s because you are an arrogant prick who’s weaker than you think you are.” Ray snarled.

Pennie sighed as the two began to fight again.

“That’s enough!” A woman yelled.

Pennie turned to see Kaela Mason, a young woman with long ginger hair that was styled into dreadlock-like braids and several piercings along her left ear. She wore a purple crop top and black leggings with her Twilight Heart emblem tattooed on the left side of her stomach. Even though she wasn’t a Starlight Knight, she was considered to one of the strongest Oviri in Le Alba. She was an expert at weaponry magic, which allowed an Oviri to summon whatever weapon they desired. Kaela hit Brayden and Lynx on the head.

“You’re Kaela Mason,” Pennie exclaimed. “Oh my God. You’re like the best weaponry Oviri in the world!”

“So you’re our new member,” Kaela smiled while shaking Pennie’s hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Did you have to do that?!” Brayden yelled rubbing his head as Lynx growled.

“You were being disrespectful,” Kaela explained. “Besides I have a job that I would like you two to help with.”

“Work with him?! No way!” Ray and Lynx claimed in perfect unison.

They went to complain, but the look on Kaela’s face stopped them from saying anything further.

“Fine… they groaned.

While on the train towards Moonlight Stadium; a huge sporting arena in Acqua Stellata, Pennie tried to process the events that led up to that moment. It began when Kaela asked Brayden and Lynx to assist her on a mission. Ray and Lynx did not want to work together, but before they could complain, Kaela forced them to agree by using some violent threats. The matter seemed settled when out of the blue, Ray asked if Pennie could tag along. Originally Kaela was hesitant, but then Ray said:

“It’s perfect opportunity to teach Pennie the ropes of Twilight Heart the way you seem appropriate.”

Kaela became insistent that Pennie came along. So there she was, on a train to some dangerous job that she knew nothing about. She sat next to Kaela and Lynx while Brayden sat alone on the opposite seat with his feet on the chair and his head on his knees. He groaned when the ride became bumpy.

“He’s so annoying!” Lynx growled. “We should have tied him up and thrown him into the luggage compartment!”

“Lynx be nice,” Kaela ordered. “We need his power for this mission and knowing you; you’d probably leave him there on purpose.”

“Not a bad idea,” Lynx muttered, “but would you like to tell us what this mission is?”

“Yeah, it must be pretty risky if you teamed Ray and Lynx together,” Noah stated who was sitting on the window ledge.

“It’s not an official job,” Kaela explained. “I heard some CSOG soldiers talking about a man named Tony Cababa was planning to use mass destruction magic to kill off over fifty-thousand Oviri.”

“How powerful is this magic?” Pennie gulped.

“Have you heard of the book of Twilight?” Kaela asked.

“Isn’t that just a legend?” someone asked.

Pennie looked up to see Blaze standing at by the seat.

“Blaze what are you doing here?” Kaela asked.

“I received a mission regarding a suspicious meeting between some CSOG politicians.” Blaze explained as he sat next to Brayden. “I was just on my way to Acqua Stellata when I overheard your conversation. As we seem to be going to the same place, do you mind if I help out?”

“Not at all,” Kaela claimed, shaking her head. “I was originally hoping for you to help, but I thought you would have been busy.”

“Even if I was this sounds important.” Blaze smiled.

“umm, what is the book of Twilight?” Pennie asked.

Blaze turned his gaze to her. “It’s a book that was used by the seven elementals to defeat the Dark Shadow and sealed their magic within it to end the destruction of Le Alba. Although many believe it isn’t actually real.”

“I think it is possible for it to exist,” Kaela explained. “The rumour goes that it fell into the wrong hands during the eighty-year civil war and is filled with deadly shadows and destruction magic. The CSOG soldiers mentioned it, a spell called ‘Sweet Silence’. Apparently, it has the power to kill anything that hears it.”

“Hear it?” Pennie asked frightfully, “What kind of magic is it?”

“It is said to be a song,” Kaela replied. “Once activated your death is inevitable. They plan to play it while everyone at Moonlight Stadium during a football game.”

“That can hold almost one hundred thousand people!” Lynx claimed in shock. “Not to mention their public announcement system is so advanced it can be heard from miles away if a person wanted it to.”

“Exactly,” Kaela nodded. “That’s why our mission is to sneak into Moonlight Stadium and stop Tony Cababa before he sets of ‘Sweet Silence’”

“But that would mean fighting the CSOG!” Pennie said in shock.

“If that’s what it takes, we have no choice.” Lynx sighed.

Blaze smiled. “Our jobs are somewhat connected, so it’s the least I could do.”

“We can’t thank you enough,” Kaela said. “We’ll need all the help we can get.”

“Our jobs are somewhat connected, so there’s really no need to thank me,” Blaze laughed awkwardly. “I owe it to the guild after all.”

Pennie was amazed by how modest Blaze was. It was hard to believe that the older members of Twilight Heart hated him so much.

“You’re such a nice person Blaze,” Pennie stated. “I look forward to fighting with you.”

“I’ve meant to ask, why am I the only one you haven’t heard of? I mean I’m just as strong as the others, so why weren’t you the least bit excited to meet me?” Lynx asked, turning to face Pennie.

“It’s nothing personal.” Pennie explained, “I just had a lot of posters and concert videos of Kaela and Brittany. I only recently discovered that Twilight Heart had a combat team that took on missions like this. I mean, I heard of Ray because of all the news reports on how he always destroys everything.”

“Yeah… that little habit of his causes quite a bit of trouble for Twilight Heart.” Lynx claimed. His tone of voice was as if he was disappointed in her answer.

“I can imagine it would…” Pennie sighed in concern.

“I guess we should be thankful that Liella isn’t around at the moment.” Lynx chuckled nervously, “She was also so destructive that if we had both Brayden and her in the guild at the same time, Twilight Heart would have surely gone bankrupt from paying for so many damages.”

“Wait… you knew Liella?!” Pennie shouted in excitement, “she was my reason for wanting to join Twilight Heart. What was she like?”

“It’s not like we were close,” Lynx explained crossing his arms, “she left not long after I joined. But if I had to describe her in one word…perhaps…sadistic…or maybe…”

“I think I’d rather not know.” Pennie wondered nervously, “It would probably ruin my vision of her.”

“Don’t get me wrong, she was a lovely person and was very kind and reliable. But when she got mad…” Lynx explained, “She didn’t seem to like me, for some reason and she often distanced herself from most people.”

“I really wanted to meet her.” Pennie vociferated. “I wish I could have joined sooner.”

“Twilight Heart was larger with Liella around, and we had a group that was really strong. We were even nominated for the MLC competition. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to participate though. Now that I think about it, I believe Blaze used to be a part of that group.”

“I better call my employer and give him an update,” Blaze said dully.

As he got out of his seat and walked away, Pennie noticed he wore a dark expression on his face.

“Umm Is Blaze okay?” Pennie asked, “He seems a little down.”

“That’s a hard one to explain.” Lynx began. “I don’t know all the details, and it’s a very long story. Not one we really have time for.”

“Oh...” Pennie said, looking towards Blaze. Once he returned the strange expression Pennie saw was gone.

“I must say, I’m glad you’re Blaze, it is very reassuring. You’ll definitely be more helpful than that loser.” Lynx laughed, gesturing his head towards Ray.

“You talk way too much,” Ray snarled, looking up at Lynx angrily. “Perhaps I should tie you up then throw you under the train. See how you like it.”

“That’s a late response. Honestly, now that Blaze is here we really don’t need you.” Lynx sniggered.

“Oh yeah, and what’s that supposed,” Ray asked, getting out of his seat.

“Come on guys this isn’t the best place to fight.” Blaze said, trying to calm the two down.

“All I’m saying is that we don’t need you. So you can go home if you like.” Lynx continued, ignoring Blaze.

“If you have a problem with me, then come a…” Ray began to growl as the train hit a large bump. Ray turned pale and collapsed back onto the seat.

“You really are pathetic, just look at you,” Lynx laughed.

“How could such a fierce warrior became so weak against such a fear” Kaela muttered with a sigh.

“I can’t help it…I’m just…so frightened it makes me dizzy.” Ray whined, lying limp on the seat.

Pennie sighed, seeing Ray like that made her fear what was to come. Could five Oviri take on the CSOG and defeat the cursed destruction magic known as ‘Sweet Silence’? As the train hit more bumps, she became even more concerned.

“Why is it always trains?” Ray groaned, “couldn’t we have taken a slow-moving car instead?”

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