The Forbidden Song
When they first arrived at Moonlight Stadium, everything seemed normal. As a child, Pennie thought that the old stadium looked creepy. It was almost like an old coliseum used for killing games, where barbarians either fought animals or each other to the death. It was a dark grey oval shape made from concrete. The lights that lit the stadium at night were tall and black, reminding Pennie of tall cloaked evil men from horror movies. There were hardly any plants or anything that would potentially make the stadium look less sinister and the only colour present was the flags of each spot team that trained there. Usually, she’d be calmed by the warm, buttery smell of popcorn or the cheerful screams of the crowd. However, she could smell or hear anything, which made it even eerier. Moonlight Stadium, the CSOG had already begun capturing people. They had emptied the people from their seats and began rounding them up on the green playing field. Screams filled the air, and the smell of gunpowder was potent. As far as Pennie could see there was yet to be any casualties. However, the amount of CSOG soldiers was overwhelming.
“Great! It looks like it has already begun. Thanks a lot! You stupid Hot Head!” Lynx yelled when he realised they could have stopped them earlier if it wasn’t for Ray.
“Don’t blame me. Blame that train!” Ray yelled.
Thanks to Ray and Lynx shouting at each other, they were immediately noticed by the CSOG. The screams became louder as the soldiers came hurtling towards them. Blaze sighed with a somewhat cold expression on his face and told the bickering Ray and Lynx to focus on the task in front of them. At first, Pennie stood back and watched as the fight began. Ray used his martial arts skills with his fiery fists, punching the CSOG soldiers, blocking their attacks and dodging the captured citizens. With each attack, a CSOG soldier fell to the ground. Lynx made a sword out of his water, which bore a resemblance to a Piandao sabre. It was a long, curved blade with a sharp edge running from the slightly arched handle to the sharp tip. Holding the sword in one hand, he slashed multiple enemies at once. A soldier snuck up behind Lynx and prepared to attack him. However, Ray was fast enough to kick the guy right in the gut, sending him flying and hitting the ground with a crack.
“Don’t be too slow now! I can’t always have your back you know!” Ray shouted, placing his back against Lynx’s.
“I never asked you too! This time I’ll be the one on top.” Lynx yelled as he ran away from Ray. Without hitting any vital spots, Lynx slashed down any enemy who came his way.
Kaela who was using tranquilliser darts had knocked out more enemies than Pennie could count. As a whole bunch of soldiers ran towards her, she spun around as she shot and took down every enemy in her path.
Then there was Blaze, who was moving so fast Pennie’s eyes couldn’t keep up. He moved even faster than Ray, which Pennie thought was impossible. Blaze seemed to be only relying on hand to hand combat, as far as Pennie could see he appeared not to use any magic what so ever. It was a slight disappointment as Pennie was excited to see just how powerful the Air Elemental.
“I can’t just sit back and watch!” Pennie claimed, preparing her stance for her summoning. She crossed her arms in front of her body, swung them out to her sides then clasped her hands together and began to sing.
’From the darkest part of life, we’ll bring some light.
So the shadows can dance
And the people can sing
Summon the hope who is quick and can kill the darkness eight times over.′
“I summon thee; King of the Arachnids!” Pennie shouted, “Spiderbait!”
A giant spider appeared in front of her and bowed to her. Spiderbait was a shadow that had been with her for a while and was one of the strongest she had. He was dark brown and his underside was a light grey colour with white markings. The size of his dark grey jaw with a small bright orange raised spot often caused people to be alarmed when he appeared. However, it was his hollow black eyes that stared down his enemies made the CSOG shake in fear.
“Okay, Spiderbait!” Pennie ordered, “wrap up those CSOG soldiers so I can evacuate the citizens!”
The black and brown spider followed her orders by wrapping up the CSOG soldiers in a web. While the enemy was distracted, Pennie and Noah attempted to lead the citizens to a safer place.
“Everyone follow me” She shouted as loud as possible so that they could hear her over the fighting, “I will lead you to a safe place.”
They ran with her to the nearest exit. If Brayden, Lynx, Kaela and Blaze were unable to stop ‘Sweet Silence’ at least, she would have been able to save most of the people within Moonlight Stadium. However, when she went to open the doors, she realised that they were barricaded shut by some kind of magic.
That was when the mastermind of the plot, Tony Cababa appeared on platform other the other end of the stadium and his image projected onto the large LED screens that surrounded them. He was tall with dark curly hair. He had a deranged look in his black eyes that made him seem insane.
“There is no escape, I have blocked every single exit!” Tony Cababa laughed. “It’s pointless to resist. Once I activate ‘Sweet Silence’ everyone will die!”
Tony Cababa activated the spell by pressing a button on the remote in his hand. Noticing that nothing had happened yet, Pennie looked around at the people who were screaming and crying in complete silence. There was only one answer. The activation of ‘Sweet Silence’ had robbed them of their voice, and all sound had been removed from Moonlight Stadium. A countdown until the song filled the stadium begun, projected across every screen
They only had ten minutes.
No sound existed in the area. Ever since the battle had begun, Ray couldn’t help but feel he had heard about the cursed song before but the thought had quickly faded from his mind. He continued to fight with his fiery kicks and punches as he attempted to reach the villainous Tony Cababa. However, there were so many CSOG soldiers; he couldn’t break through. Kaela, who had changed from guns to swords, was beginning to struggle with the amount of CSOG soldiers. Even the extraordinarily large spider that Pennie summoned was struggling against them. Blaze had given up on fighting and went to help Pennie calm down all those who were trapped inside the stadium with them.
With five minutes left to go, things started to look dire, but Ray knew that they had to keep fighting. He couldn’t give in; he had made a promise, a promise to never give up, a promise to save people. At that moment everyone in that stadium needed his help. Suddenly, he remembered where he had heard about the cursed song. The only reason he hadn’t noticed before was that it used to be known by a different name.
Nevertheless, he was aware that the magic’s power, effects, requirements and most importantly its weakness. As Brayden knocked down another bunch of soldiers, he looked towards the screens. He watched as the numbers continued to count down and smiled wickedly.
Three more minutes. That was all the time Ray needed.
It was hopeless. There was no way out, and they were completely overwhelmed by the CSOG soldiers. Spiderbait was also out of magical power and had disappeared, and due to the void that stopped all sound, she could not summon another shadow. Once again she was unable to do anything. She had to perform the moves and sing if she wanted to summon anything. It was a Summoner Oviri’s worst weakness. The only thing she could do was attempt to comfort the distressed people while cradling the injured Noah in her arms. It was impossible to tell them it would be okay when she didn’t believe it herself. It was horrible, not only were there scared adults but frightened children whose lives had only just begun. There were so many lives that were going to end too soon. Blaze was doing a much better job at looking after them. Pennie found herself watching him as he patted a crying child on the head and smiled. Seeing his smile, the small child stopped crying.
Pennie looked towards Brayden, Kaela and Lynx. They were severely outnumbered. Not to mention they looked exhausted. Even Ray, who seemed to have lots of energy, began to move slower than he usually did. She thought that he’d be able to break through all of the soldiers and stop Tony Cababa and ‘Sweet Silence’, but with one minute to go, it was no longer possible. Not even Ray, who was the strongest class of Oviri; an Elemental, never had a chance. Pennie became distraught; she was going to fail her first mission. She had originally wanted to be recognised for saving the people, even if she died doing it. However, as the doors barricaded shut, she was unable to save anyone. She was too naïve; she didn’t realise that although they never fought to kill their opponents, the CSOG stopped at nothing to kill them. What upset Pennie the most was that due to the advancement of the PA System it was impossible to tell how many casualties there would be outside of Moonlight Stadium.
As the numbers went from thirty to twenty, Pennie began to stress. The situation was too dire; there was no chance of survival. Even some of the CSOG soldiers stopped fighting to watch their lives come to an end. It was their first and last adventure. Pennie was disappointed that it had come to an end so soon.
As the numbers went from twenty to ten, Pennie looked to Ray to thank him for all he had done. However, he did not seem bothered by the unfolding events. He simply smiled a devilish smile when he saw her looking at him. It was as if he still had a chance or as if he saw a way to victory. It made her wonder if he knew something she didn’t, a small detail they had overlooked. His wicked smile frightened her but gave her a smidge of hope.
As the numbers went from ten to zero, Pennie knew that it was the end. Whatever plan Ray had, it was too late. Pennie held Noah close to her, closed her eyes and prepared for death.
The music began to play. The song was sweet and beautiful; it wasn’t a bad way to die. It was going to be quick and painless, almost like falling asleep. However, as the lyrics began, Pennie noticed that the vocals were faded. So quiet that she couldn’t even hear the words. Nothing had happened, she was still alive. She opened her eyes to see that nothing had changed.
“Huh,” Pennie said then gasped. She could speak again. Although this was a relief, it only confused her more.
The doors suddenly flung open. The citizens ran out as fast as they could. Even the CSOG soldiers ran out of the stadium.
“Our plan failed? No way!” one yelled.
“Let’s get out of here before the MLC captures us!” others shouted.
“thankgodthankgodthankgodthankgod!” one shrieked, somewhat thankful they managed to survive.
Once almost all of the soldiers and citizens had evacuated, Pennie ran up to Ray. “Nothing happened? How are we still alive? How come we can talk again?”
Ray’s smile became larger. “That’s because it wasn’t enough.”
“What do you mean by that?” Kaela asked, walking up to them.
“I thought I had heard about the cursed song ‘Sweet Silence,’ and it turns out I was right” Brayden explained, “It used to be called ‘Sweet Dreams’, and it only works when the song is performed live. So a recording would never work!”
“So why didn’t you say something before?!” Lynx yelled, storming up to Ray, “and how come you just happen to know the truth about this song?”
“How was I supposed to do that when we couldn’t speak?” Ray growled, “and I read, so I have heard about a lot of spells!”
“Since when do you read?!” Lynx scoffed.
“I’m not some kind of illiterate idiot you know!” Ray replied, pissed off at Lynx’s comment.
“So it was a dud…” Pennie sighed at the anti-climatic conclusion. She felt a little silly for giving up so quickly.
“Now’s not the time to fight, or reflect upon what has happened,” Blaze claimed, walking towards them with a serious look on his face. “It isn’t over just yet.”
They turned to see Tony Cababa stomping up to them.
“Impossible! How could this happen?!” he growled, “My plan was full proof. How could ‘Sweet Silence’ fail?”
“It’s your fault for not looking closely at the detail of the spell.” Lynx sighed in disappointment.
Cababa bit his lip and snarled, “Damn it.” His eyes began to twitch, and his muscles began to tighten.
“Give it up Tony Cababa!” Kaela said pointing her sword at the CSOG agent. “Surrender now, and the punishment won’t be so harsh!”
Cababa began to scream. It was loud and profound. Not human-like scream, but like the roar of a monster. “I will not be defeated by mere MLC guild scum!!”
The yell only became louder. The man began to transform into a beast. He reached at least twenty feet tall as his hands turned to claws. His teeth sharpened to a point as he continued to howl. His fizzy brown hair covered his body as he towered over the Twilight Heart members. Pennie’s eyes widened in shock. She couldn’t believe that such a spell existed.
“I may have failed at killing those civilians!” he said with a bellowing chuckle. “But at least I can destroy you Twilight Heart pests!”
“What the hell?!” Lynx exclaimed. “How did he turn into that monster?!”
“I don’t know, I’ve never seen this type of magic before” Kaela explained, stumped with how to describe the unfolding events.
Blaze narrowed his eyes and said nothing, Pennie assumed he was also trying to find a way to assess the situation.
“It’s called Alter magic; in this case, I suppose you could call it shape-shifting magic.” Ray explained, “it’s ancient magic that falls under the Enhancers category. It also allows the user to alter their form and enhance certain abilities. Choosing a beast-like form like that would probably favour strength.”
“And how did you know about that? Did you ‘read’ about that too?!” Lynx teased.
“Do you have a problem with that?!” Ray growled.
“Could you two focused on the monster please?!” Pennie asked nervously.
While Ray had his back turned to Cababa, the beastly man stormed up to Ray and threw his mighty fists towards him. Ray managed to dodge the attack before it hit him, but Tony Cababa was faster. He launched a second attack that Ray couldn’t avoid. Ray, however, blocked the punch with his left hand. This shocked Pennie. Such a heavy blow should have sent Ray deep into the ground. However, Ray continued to stand tall, holding back Cababa’s attack. He then used his fire as a boost to move away from Tony Cababa.
“Just how strong is Ray?!” Pennie asked in surprise with a dropped jaw.
“It’s only natural to be shocked. I was surprised when I first saw his power,” Kaela explained. “As an Elemental, Brayden’s strength is multiplied. Elementals were once said to be the strongest type of Oviri there ever was. Sadly, there aren’t many left after Darkyn’s Occult followers killed them all off in the Eighty-Year Civil War. But that’s what makes Brayden adamant is his strong will. He won’t give up even if all seems hopeless.”
Pennie watched as Ray continued to fight. Even with his enhanced abilities, Tony Cababa was unable to keep up with Brayden’s attacks.
“I hate to say it, but that idiot can be very reliable in battle” Lynx sighed with a smile, “he may be a ditz, but his hot-headed stubbornness always pulls through at the end of the day.”
“Aren’t you guys going to help?” Noah asked.
“And risk getting hit by Brayden as well?” Lynx pointed out, “No thank you!”
“Yes, when he is really into the fight, Brayden can tend to go… well, a little overboard,” Kaela agreed, putting away her sword. “Besides ancient magic like Brayden’s fire magic will work best against another form of ancient magic.”
“I must agree with that,” Blaze replied. “I’m interested to see how things will turn out in this fight. I’m certain that if I sit back and watch something interesting will happen.”
Pennie looked towards Blaze who was staring intensely at the fight. His eyes examined the fight closely with a dull expression. Pennie wondered why Blaze didn’t offer to help considering he used a similar type of magic to Ray. When Blaze saw Pennie looking at him, he turned to her and smiled.
The monstrous Tony Cababa punched the ground so hard towards Ray that it fell to pieces, but Brayden was able to dodge every hit as he moved a lot faster than the large Tony Cababa.
“Stupid fire boy! Resisting is pointless!” he growled, his monstrous voice echoed throughout the stadium, “I will destroy you!”
Ray jumped against the wall and hurled himself into the air towards Cababa, “It’s time for you to learn your place!” he shouted as he created a large fireball above his head, larger than the one he had made in Acqua Stellata. So Big in fact it nearly covered half the stadium.
Tony Cababa screamed in horror as the massive ball of flames came crashing down. The blast caused the ground to shake as smoke went everywhere. Pennie coughed and tried to clear her eyes. As the smoke started to clear, Pennie found Tony Cababa back in his human form and unconscious on the stadium floor. Pennie felt nothing but joy.
“We won!” Pennie and Noah shouted happily, as Pennie held Noah up to her and span around.
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves…” Kaela sighed.
Blaze laughed awkwardly, “Yeah, looks like he’s done it again.
“Huh…What do you mean?” Pennie asked.
As the smoke began to clear a little more, she saw Ray, who was also coughing. His hair had gone slightly fizzy and was covered in soot. The blackened ashes were even matted into his hair.
“Oops!” he puffed, “I guess I went a little overboard…”
“Just a little?!” Lynx yelled, “You went completely overboard! Just look at what you’ve done!”
As the smoke finally disappeared, Pennie’s jaw dropped in shock. Brayden’s last attack had caused the entire stadium to collapse around them. Large boulders of concrete covered the ground were the stands once stood. Not even a blade of grass had survived.
“Yeah, sorry…” Ray smiled nervously. “It seems I accidentally destroyed Moonlight Stadium…”
Kaela and Lynx growled angrily, as Blaze laughed. It was at that moment that Pennie knew that there was always going to be trouble and extreme adventures being friends with Brayden. Not to mention she was going to get in huge trouble because of his mindless destructiveness. It made Pennie angry with him as well.
“You Stupid Hot Head!” they all shouted in unison.