Hope's Bright!

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The Reason I Fight!

Pennie was in a pinch. Spiderbait had disappeared after Shadow Buster knocked him out. She was out of shadows and was utterly exhausted. She tried to catch her breath as her uncle laughed maliciously. He hadn’t summoned another shadow since they began fighting. She looked towards Shadow Buster, who had a few minor injuries. He may have been invulnerable, but as shadows such as him lose their energy, the effectiveness of their powers begins to run out. She felt sorry for the shadow.

“Do you give up yet?” Uncle John asked, standing in front of the throne.

“No, as a member of Twilight Heart I can’t give up!” She replied.

“You’re pathetic,” her uncle growled, slowly walking towards her, “I can’t believe those losers let you into that stupid guild.”

“My friends understand that I’m weak.” Pennie yelled, “If I wear out, they’re there to help me. We work together, unlike you. How could you sit back while your shadow suffers?”

“Oh please, he is nothing more than a puppet; just like how you are your friends’ puppet.” her uncle scoffed. “They say that they believe in you, but they’ll dump you as soon as you are no longer useful to them. Just like I did.”

Pennie shook her head. She knew that they believed in her and her uncle was just messing with her head. She had to believe in herself just like Ray did. Even if she was sore, even if she was losing, she had to keep fighting.

“No! Ray believes in me, so I will too!” Pennie shouted, “as long as I draw breath, I won’t let you have your way. I won’t let you hurt my friends, endanger the people of Asteria, and force Shadow Buster to suffer. I won’t stop fighting until I win!”

“You don’t have the strength to defeat me!” her uncle yelled, “You’re pathetic and weak! You don’t have a chance of winning!”

“Maybe so, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying!” Pennie replied with a desperate yet determined tone.

She turned to Shadow Buster and prepared to fight him head-on. However, the shadow just smiled.

“You’re a brave and admirable person.” he said, “the way your friends believe in you and you in them is quite magical. I wish I had a master like you.”

That’s when she felt it. Pennie realised that Shadow Buster was beginning to side with her. An Idea came to mind. It was a huge gamble, and it possibly wouldn’t have worked. However, her fear was diminished by the strength she found from Twilight Heart. She took a deep breath until her lungs felt warm and erratic and then she 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 strong and bold.′

“I summon thee,” She shouted.

Glowing magic power began to circle Shadow Buster. It moved around him like a tornado until the shadow was completely enveloped in the light. It was working. The Shadow was allowing Pennie to gain control of him.

“What?!” her uncle growled with a shocked and agitated look on his face. “That’s impossible!”

“Shadow Buster!” Pennie screamed, finishing the summoning.

As the light burst into tiny particles, Shadow Buster appeared in front of her. His image had changed. He had dark brown hair with stunning blue eyes. He wore blue jeans and black armour with yellow stripes across the arms.

He turned to Pennie and smiled. “Thank you for returning me to my true form,” he said. “As a reward, I’ll help you defeat this monster of an uncle.”

Pennie smiled as she fell to her knee’s in exhaustion. “Thanks, I’m counting on you.”

Shadow Buster turned to Uncle John who looked frightened.

“Stay away!” her uncle said with a shaken voice, “I am your master, you should do as I say!”

Shadow Buster did not stop, “Not anymore.”

He began to run towards Uncle John, who attempted to summon another shadow.

“That won’t work!” Shadow Buster shouted as the magic emanating from Pennie’s uncle disappeared, “My true power lets me dispel my opponent’s magic!”

Uncle John could do nothing except stand there frozen in fear as Shadow Buster hit him. He was sent flying into the throne. As it fell on top of him, Uncle John lost consciousness.

“That’s for the pain you’ve inflicted upon Master Pennie and for keeping me trapped all of these years!”

Pennie sighed in relief. She did it; she defeated her uncle. Shadow Buster walked towards her and held out his hand. She grabbed it and stood up with a smile.

“Thank you so much for helping me,” she said.

“No, I should thank you, you have freed me,” he said as he got to one knee and bowed to her. “Your strong faith in your friends and yourself inspired me. From now on I vow to serve and protect you.”

“Please stand, from now on we are comrades, not master and servant.” Pennie explained, “So I’ll also call you by a name that will prove that we are now friends who fight as equals. How about it… Sean Shadowbuster?”

Sean stood up and smiled, “Very well, from now on I will be Sean Shadowbuster. I will look forward to working with you.”

They shook hands as equals as Sean disappeared. Pennie was over the moon. She had a new shadow and friend to rely on. She decided to let him rest and enjoy his freedom. She was also free, and she had found new peace.

“Be Careful…” her uncle coughed.

Pennie spun around in fear. She watched as her uncle looked up and laughed.

“This is far from over… you are rushing in for no reason. You are all being tricked…” He muttered. “I want to see that despair you feel when you learn the truth.”

“What are you talking about?” Pennie asked apprehensively.

“Be careful… of who you trust…” her uncle laughed again before falling back into an unconscious state.

Pennie sighed with relief. She closed her eyes and tried to think about her uncle’s warning until she was interrupted by Noah.

“Pennie, I need your help!” he cried. He flew up to Pennie who was surprised to see him away from Ray and bursting into tears.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“It’s Ray!” he explained, “He’s in trouble!”

Pennie couldn’t believe it. After following Noah hastily, she found Ray struggling in a battle against Dimetrios Tuff. The Earth Elemental was completely overpowering him. Pennie arrived just in time to watch Ray be sent flying backwards into the wall behind him.

“Ray!” Pennie screamed as she watched him struggle to get to his feet.

“No! Stay back!” he yelled at her when she tried to run to him.

Shaken, Ray began to walk towards Dimetrios with weak flames circling his wrists. Pennie was shocked to see Ray in such a poor state. His clothes were ripped, revealing dark bruises on his right arm and his face was covered in dirt. In split seconds Dimetrios created another which Ray attempted to smash with his left fist, but it rotated and crashed into him instead.

“You don’t know when to give up do you?” Dimetrios laughed at Ray’s pitiful state. “If you surrender now and gravel at my greatness, I might just let you live.”

Ray looked up at Dimetrios with the blood from his head running down his face and staining the ends of his hair. He glared angrily at Dimetrios. It was a dark and menacing look that sent shivers down Pennie’s spine.

“No… I’d never surrender to an arrogant dick like you!” he growled.

“Just give up Valero!” Dimetrios yelled creating a hand from the earth.

Pennie watched in horror as the hand grabbed Ray by the leg and swung him around like a doll. As the hall that they were in was a T-shaped intersection, the earth hand smashed him into all three walls that surrounded them eight times. The hand then threw Ray up into the air as another one was formed and smacked Ray down like he was a ball. He fell to the ground with a massive crash. Tears began to fall down Pennie’s cheeks. She couldn’t stand seeing Ray being beaten like that.

“Pennie…help Ray…” Noah cried.

“I… I don’t think I can…” she stuttered.

Ray continued to get up. He barely managed to stand. Pennie feared that one more hit would kill him.

“No! I’m never giving up!” Ray shouted, “I’m going to keep fighting until the very end!”

“Just die already! You stupid cockroach!” Dimetrios yelled creating a large boulder above Ray.

It came crashing down on top of him. Dust and dirt went everywhere, blocking Pennie’s view of Ray. Once the dust cleared, Pennie saw that the roof and walls had collapsed, cracking the marble floors beneath it. She looked all around, and Ray was not in sight. Knowing that he must have been buried in the rubble, Pennie ran towards it to attempt to free him.

“Ray!” she screamed.

Before she could get close enough, a large stone flew towards her narrowly missing her face. Frightened Pennie turned her head to see Dimetrios walking towards her with a demonic expression on his face.

“Don’t bother no one could survive that,” he laughed. “Now then, let’s see. Which one of you should I kill next.”

Pennie looked towards Noah. His eyes were filled with tears and snot dripping from his nose. Like Pennie, he was also frozen in terror. When she looked back towards Dimetrios, she realised that he was very close to her.

“I know, I’ll kill the annoying little girl with the annoying scream,” Dimetrios claimed, reaching his hand towards Pennie to grab her.

Suddenly there was a loud explosion. Flames burst out from the ground and darted towards Dimetrios. He narrowly missed getting hit as he jumped away. Knowing only one person who could pull of such magic, Pennie turned to where she last saw Ray. As the cinders and ash cleared, Pennie saw Ray standing tall and strong. He no longer seemed in pain as a faint mark on his hand began to glow.

“Impossible…” Dimetrios growled, “You should be dead…”

“Really? I feel quite fine,” Ray stated, stretching out his arms. “Your power obviously isn’t as effective as you think it is.”

Pennie was relieved. Ray was back to his energetic, confident self. The smile his face made Pennie smile. If Ray could move freely again, there was no chance of him losing.

“Now…” he said glaring at Dimetrios as his flames burned stronger and brighter as they circled him, “Shall we continue?”

The flames that circled him were more powerful than ever before. When the small scars on Ray’s hand began to glow a pale blue colour, he felt all of his pain disappear. Even though they didn’t make any particular shape or still looked like random little marks that were spread across his hand, they made his body feel lighter and his power stronger.

“You annoying cockroach! Why do you keep getting up?!” Dimetrios growled, gritting his teeth with an irritated expression on his face.

“I already told you.” Ray replied, “I refuse to lose this battle. I have to protect my friends that you have hurt. Besides, I made a promise that I’ll keep fighting until I’ve destroyed all evil.”

“What’s the point?” Dimetrios growled, “You’re going to lose!”

“We’ll see about that!” Ray exclaimed running towards Dimetrios.

As they fought in hand to hand combat, Ray realised that he was moving faster than before. Each of Dimetrios’s attacks became slower and easier to read.

“Even if you win some battles there will be others that you can never win. The corrupt world will take everything away from you! They’ve taken everything from me! My family; my home! Fighting evil is pointless. If you join forces with evil, you will never get hurt!” Dimetrios continued to yell.

“You’re wrong!” Ray shouted as he dodged a flying kick, “They won’t stop hurting you. As soon as you lose your worth, they’ll take everything until there’s nothing left!”

“Why bother

Dimetrios created a rock glove and punched Ray hard. However, he blocked the attack and slid back slightly.

“I fight because I have hope!” Ray shouted, “As long as my friends can smile there will always be hope because they are my world. Therefore, I’ll do anything to protect my world.”

Ray began to attack again. His fire burned as Dimetrios failed to block his attacks. Ray jumped into the air as Dimetrios staggered in pain. He started to create several piles of rocks that were at least three times bigger than Ray, with a flick of Dimetrios’s hand, the rocks flew towards Ray. He managed to dodge every one as he ran up to the Earth Elemental. Ray jumped on the walls to make himself leap higher. Ray swung his hands over his head and created his fireball. He few it as hard as he could and watched the obedient flames grew hotter rather than bigger. The flames hit the floor where Dimetrios had been standing, and Ray landed on his feet. Clicking his fingers, the flames disappeared on command. He waited for them to fade away, hoping that he had managed to defeat Dimetrios without causing major damage to the cathedral. Once the fire had completely vanished, Ray could clearly see Dimetrios lay flat on the ground. From Ray’s view, he was no longer able to move. He sighed in relief. It was a fierce battle, but he pulled through.

“Aren’t you going to kill me?” Dimetrios asked, not removing his gaze from the roof. “I lost, therefore my life is forfeit, I don’t even care anymore.”

“No, I don’t do things like that,” Ray stated. “I believe in atoning for the trouble a person causes, death isn’t going to fix peoples mistakes.”

“That’s foolish, “Dimetrios snarled. “What’s to say I won’t return to attack you again.”

“Well, even if that happens, I’ll just have to beat you once more,” Ray said as he walked away from Dimetrios. “Besides, that was an interesting fight, it’s been a while since I’ve had such a challenge. Maybe once you sort things out, we can do it again sometime.”

After getting far away from Dimetrios, Ray took a deep breath. It was finally over. He didn’t think he was going to make it, let alone win. He sighed in relief as Pennie ran up to him.

“Ray you did it!” she said tearfully.

Ray turned to her, “Oh Pennie, Noah. I forget you guys were here!”

He was so caught up in the fight he completely forgot that they were watching him and worrying about him. Pennie looked as if she wanted to hit him, so he chuckled nervously.

“Seriously? You really are a stupid Hot Head.” she smiled with a sigh.

“Ray!” Noah cried flying into his arms. “I was so scared. I thought you were going to die… I was so worried!”

Ray held Noah close. He was worried himself for a while, but everything ended up okay.

“I’m alright.” he said, “I’ll be more careful next time. Sorry for worrying you.”

“On the bright side that makes two down.” Pennie stated, “I was able to take down my uncle.”

“Congratulations! I knew you could do it” Ray smiled, “Alright how about we go find our Master?”

Leaving Dimetrios behind, Ray, Pennie and Noah, ran down the halls. Ray felt a little bit of pride as he continued the search for Master Isaac. Not only did he defeat a powerful enemy, but he was able to do it without causing any major damage to his surroundings. All that they had to do was rescue Blaze and Master Isaac and everything would go back to normal. Little did he know that there was a security camera hidden disguised as a wall lamp watching their every move.

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