You're a What?!
Dannie and Edmund blinked as they gawked at him. Did they really just hear him right? Or was it their ears playing tricks on them?
“Uh, I'm sorry,” Dannie pointed at him with an arched brow, “did you say, Eardian?”
“Did I stutter?” Duzell snorted before he added, “I'm the Animal Eardian to be exact.”
“What?!” Edmund gaped out, he opened his mouth to question the blue-haired man.
Laughter suddenly burst out of Dannie, causing Edmund to jerk and look at her. Both him, Duzell and the blue-winged hawk eyed the brunette maiden with very perplexed expressions.
“What the heck's with you?” Duzell quizzed roughly, not too fond of her laughter.
“No, no, no you,” Dannie laughed nervously, still not believing what she was hearing, “you can't be an Eardian. That's just not possible.”
Duzell's ears twitched when he heard the anxiety in her tone. He grunted, getting a hunch of what was going on with her. Exhaling loudly, he countered, “Alright,” Shifting his body to stand more comfortably, Duzell crossed his arms and eyed her, “then explain to me why I look the way I do and how I could have done all those tricks you saw me do?”
Dannie fidgeted when he reminded her of that. “O-Okay, so you're not exactly a normal human. B-But that doesn't necessarily mean that you are an Eardian.” Snapping her finger at him, she shouted, hoping to hide the squeak in her tone, “You could be a sorcerer of some kind!”
“Seriously?” Duzell replied blankly, overlooking the squeak in her tone. 'Okay, I guess one could call an Eardian a sorcerer of some kind but there's still one major feature she is forgetting about.' He closed his eyes with slight irritation, “You do realize that doesn't necessarily explain one thing,” He gestured his hands towards himself, Duzell reopened his gaze to glare at her, “why I look the way I do.”
The brunette maiden groaned in dismay as he pointed that out to her once again. “B-But, you can't be. There just has to be another reason.” She shook her head, “The Eardians...they are just a story, a myth!”
“Yet here I am.”
“But that just can't be!” Dannie practically yelled. Her heart raced with anxiety, her face wrinkled with worry. 'The Eardians can't exist! They just can't! If...if they do then....'
The blue-winged hawk took notice of the girl's expression and was ready to step in.
“Prove it!” Edmund abruptly demanded right out of the blue.
Duzell, Dannie and the blue-winged hawk snapped their attention towards the teenage ghost.
“Edmund?” Dannie whispered.
Edmund had his gaze narrowed and pointed at the blue-haired man, “Prove to us that you are who you say you are! Like, Dannie, mentioned just because you can pull of some fancy, abnormal moves and have an odd ball appearance doesn't mean you are an Eardian.”
Duzell scowled softly, not appreciating his “odd ball” comment. However, he stayed silent.
“If you can prove that you are the Animal Eardian, then we'll believe you.”
Tilting his head, Duzell took the ghost's words into consideration. He then moved his golden amber eyes to Dannie, “Would that confirm it to you, Dannie?”
The brunette maiden swallowed hard before she slowly nodded, “Y-Yes.”
Duzell cast the blue-winged hawk another questionable glance. The hawk noticed and nodded, causing the blue-haired man to sigh and move away from the hawk.
“Alright,” Determination gleamed in Duzell's gaze, “I'll prove it.”
Dannie's heart sunk and became nervous. 'He sounds way too confident, but that just can't-'
“Say, Dannie?” Duzell called out to her, snapping the girl out of her thoughts. “Remember when you were asking me about that huge wild cat?”
Dannie stiffened, “Y-Yes?”
“And I told you that he was fine and you gave me that odd look, which I'm guessing was your way of asking how I knew that?”
“Y-Yeah?” 'Oh, oh boy don't tell me-'
Edmund's eyes widened, 'No, there's just no way-'
“Well,” Duzell went on as his orange aura reappeared around his body, “allow me to show you how I knew.” He closed his eyes and focused on his energy that gradually became more and more intense as it circled around him. Soon the orange energy burst out of him and engulfed him, hiding him from the brunette maiden and the ghost, only allowing his shadow to be seen.
“Whoa!” Edmund gaped out with raised eyebrows when he saw the orange light, 'That must be the orange light that Dannie had mentioned early. But wait!' He cast the girl a puzzled glance, 'How was she able to see that, but I wasn't until now?'
The orange light shined brighter, which snapped the teen ghost out of his thoughts. He averted his interest back on the blue-haired man as the wind blew around the man. Dannie and Edmund's eyebrows rose as they witnessed the blue-haired man's form change from a tall, human figure to a short, furry, four legged creature with cat like ears. Once the form was complete the orange light blew away, instantly vanishing from their sights to reveal the huge panthetah like lion with sabretooth tiger canines.
Both Dannie and Edmund gasped in shock at the sight.
“He was that cat the whole time!?”
Dannie's eyes narrowed as her heart shook, “Say something!”
Duzell fidgeted at the girl's loud demand, he definitely wasn't expecting that type of reaction out of her.
“Say something,” The brunette maiden repeated, “so I can hear the voice to make sure that you are indeed-”
He grunted, now understanding what her angle was. “The cat.” Duzell watched her flinch when he finished her sentence, he raised a brow, “So does that clarify it for you?”
Edmund and Dannie gawked at him. Now that they saw both forms and heard his voice in both of them, it had finally sunk in and registered to them that Duzell and the huge black lion were in fact the same exact being.
“Well,” Edmund spoke up and looked down at the girl, “that definitely clarifies things. Now we know why he was so odd compared to most big wild cats, because he wasn't a real wild cat.”
Dannie didn't respond, instead she walked up to Duzell and very cautiously held out her hand.
“Dannie?” The teen ghost said her name in an odd tone.
She gulped as she now stood directly in front of the big black lion, with her hand shaking she held it out towards the lion, motioning to touch it. Her action caused Duzell to snort softly, knowing what she was trying to do. So he met her halfway by bumping his head into her hand, allowing her to rub his head.
Her eyebrows shot up, not just at the fact that he allowed her to touch him but at the thought that she could feel him. He was real, this huge, lion like cat was the real deal. 'Can he really be....?'
Duzell observed the girl as she stayed silent as she continued to rub him, but took note that her hand was shaking. 'Why is she getting to fidgety about this?' “So,” Meeting her gaze again, he went on, “does this-”
“Change into something else!”
Duzell flinched, jerking his head back, “Wh-What?”
Hardening her gaze, Dannie clenched her fists to her sides. “Change into another animal!”
“L-Like what?” He questioned, completely taken back by this girl's abrupt response.
“L-Like....” She thought about it before her face lit up and snapped her finger at him, “a platypus!”
Edmund and the blue-winged hawk eyed the girl, very perplexed with her reaction.
“Yes! That's right,” The brunette nodded with self-assurance, “change into one of those!”
“What! Are you freaking kidding me right now?” Duzell challenged her, eyeing her like she had gone completely crazy. However, he saw the determined gleam in her gaze and also took notice of the anxiety that still lingered in her expression. Exhaling with minor irritation, Duzell gave in. “Oh, alright. Although, I honestly don't know how much more doing this will prove, but you want a platypus you're going to get one.”
Dannie gulped at his self-assured tone and stance. However, she stayed silent as she observed the black lion close his eyes and just as he closed them they shot wide open and his eyes flashed a bright, orange color. His whole body began to glow as he transformed from the huge cat into the short duck, beaver like creature.
The brunette maiden gasped softly as her eyes went wide. The light soon faded to reveal that Duzell had indeed changed into a full blown platypus. Dannie let out a shaky breath and swallowed hard, but didn't say a word.
Once the transformation was complete, Duzell raised his golden amber eyes to meet the girl's. He merely snorted smugly when he saw her thunderstruck expression. “So, does that-”
“So, you can transform into animals that actually exist?” Edmund intervened, not hearing the low growl that came out of the platypus. The teen ghost now stood next to Dannie and crisscrossed his arms, “Is that something that an Animal Eardian can do? Transform into both non-existing animals and ones that do?”
Duzell scoffed softly, not appreciating the interruption. However, he answered, “No, I can only transform into animals or creatures that exist, at least as long as they have a photo to show what they look like. I can't transform into an animal that I haven't seen for obvious reasons.”
“What?” Edmund's raised a brow, “Then what the hell was that cat from? There's no way a huge, wild cat like that exists in real life!”
“That's because I altered the form a bit in order to help me fight that beast. But every part of that cat form I have seen before so it was easy to change it.”
“Whoa!” The teen ghost gaped in amazement, “So you can alter any animal's appearance?”
“Pretty much, as long as it assists me in some way.”
The sound of something falling caught their attention. When they turned their heads, they saw Dannie now sitting on her knees with the most distraught expression they had ever seen.
She didn't hear the teen ghost as she went off into her thoughts, taking in all that she has heard from the blue-haired man. 'He said all that nonchalantly with no hesitation or pauses. There's also been no hesitation in his expression or body language either. Is he...is he really telling the truth?'
“I take it by your body language,” Duzell spoke up as he reverted back to his original form. “That you have finally accepted that I'm indeed an Eardian?”
Dannie gave him a quick look before she shied her eyes away from his. “I don't know.”
“What!” He gaped out and barked, “What do you mean you don't know? Seriously, what more proof do you need!?”
“Hey, this isn't exactly an easy thing to process!” Dannie shot back with a glare, “I mean, come on, I've spent my entire life being told that the Eardians was just a story, then today I get told that they do exist!? Come on, give me some slack here! B-Besides,” Clenching her capris, she stuttered out with a new found fear, “if-if the Eardians actually do exist then...then that would mean that Serica really did have war that involved demon dragons, a-and if the Eardians are now showing up again then that would mean...that Serica....” Dannie trailed off and lowered her gaze to stare at the green grass.
Furrowing a brow, Duzell tried to decode what the girl was talking about. His face immediately lit up when the meaning of her words struck him. 'Oh! Now I see why she was getting so touchy about this.' “It all makes sense now.”
“Huh?” Dannie met his stare as he eyed her intensively.
“I take it that you understand in full depth of what it means to have the Eardians suddenly showing up right now, correct?”
The girl inhaled deeply before releasing it, in order to calm her shaking heart. “Yes, it means that Serica is in serious danger.”
“Well, I wouldn't say serious danger.” Duzell corrected in assurance. “But it's still enough to get on our radar.”
“What?” Edmund and Dannie chorused with furrowed brows.
“How can it not be serious if the Eardians are showing up?”
The Animal Eardian cast the teen ghost a glance, “It's still at the beginning stages.” He caught a glimpse of the blue-winged hawk land on his shoulder, but averted his focus back on the two. “So the enemies aren't all that powerful yet, however, they're popping up a lot more recently. That's why the Eardians are getting called on again so this new evil can be stopped before it even gets to another war like the one 800 years ago.”
In slight relief, Dannie sighed, “I see. So then that dragon monster thing that chased us,” She pointed at him, “I take it that's the evil that's starting to show up?”
“Well,” She eyed him strangely, “he seemed pretty powerful to me.”
“Yeah, same here.” Edmund agreed, shifting his gaze from the brunette to the cat eared man. “I mean, come on, he was chasing us and shooting that disgusting poison breath at us.”
“To a normal person he would be and he would definitely be something you wouldn't want to see in reality.” Duzell lifted his finger, “However, compared to what the Eardians faced 800 years ago he really wasn't that powerful. Heck, the attacks he threw at us were honestly the only moves he knew and I would think you would need to be way more powerful than that to cause a war. The only reason why he was a little more difficult to defeat was because he was being persistent and aggressive.” 'Although, that's pretty alarming, considering the last one I faced did the same exact thing.'
“I guess that's a good point.” Dannie rubbed her chin as she expressed her thoughts, “Now that I think about it, when I think of an evil powerful enough to cause a war I think of Zentall and Yasuno who created a whole army and it took the Eardians a long time to defeat them. While with that dragon beast,” She waved her finger at Duzell, “once you were able to face him one on one you were able to defeat him with ease.”
“Exactly, and with us being on guard and prepared this time around we'll be able to keep it contained and completely defeat them before they can even get to that level of strength.”
“Yeah, hopefully.” Dannie replied, silently praying to herself.
“Well,” Duzell grunted out before he stood back on his feet. He met her gaze, “I think I spilled enough information for you to get an idea of what's going on.” He then shrugged his shoulders, “But whether you believe me or not is truly up to you, however,” Duzell gave her a firm stare, “the one thing I want you to get from this is...that I'm not the bad guy here. So as long as we have that settled into your mind then that's enough for me.”
“I pretty much figured you weren't the bad guy.” Dannie assured now back on her feet. 'It would be hard not to assume that after how he protected us.'
“Good.” Duzell gave a satisfied nod. “Now,” He propped his hands on his hips, “let's get you back home.” His head flinched when a thought came to him, hastily he pointed at her, “I assume you live in Janeswater, correct?”
Dannie nodded, “Yes, I do.”
“Then it shouldn't be that far, but,” Duzell turned with his back facing the girl. He then bent down and cast her a glance, “I'll still take you, since I doubt you'd know the way back.”
“Well, we are at the Jane's bridge, so-” Her face lit up with a sudden thought and tossed Duzell a questionable look, “We are at the bridge, right?”
Duzell nodded, “Yes, this is just a dimension inside of the bridge in order to keep us hidden.”
The Animal Eardian shook his head when he noticed her puzzled complexion. “That's a conversation for another day. But as far as the bridge is concerned, sure you might just be able to follow that until you get to Janeswater. However,” His gaze hardened, “I'd still prefer taking you home myself, it's quicker and who knows if another dragon monster will show up. So I at least want to make sure you get home safely.”
Dannie gawked at him, ignoring the slight flutter in her stomach. 'Yes, he's definitely not the bad guy here.'
“He has a point, Dannie.” Edmund agreed, her eyes now on him. “So for today, I'd say we stick with him until we get into Janeswater.”
The brunette nodded, “Okay.”
“Good, now get on.” Duzell instructed as he gestured her to get on his back.
Dannie's eyebrows shot up, “Get on?!” She pointed at him, “On your back?”
“No, get on my imaginary horse that I have crouched down behind me.” Duzell rolled his eyes sarcastically at the girl. He shot her an obvious stare, “Of course get on my back, where else would I be motioning you to go?”
“B-But are you sure?”
Duzell arched a brow, “Would I be asking if I wasn't?”
“W-Well, no, but-”
“Will you not worry about it and just get on.” Duzell snapped gently, causing the girl to flinch. “I want to get you into Janeswater before it gets dark.”
“Uh, r-right, sorry.” Dannie quickly nodded and carefully moved towards him. 'I know he's right. However, I've never rode on someone's back before, so how do I...?' She now stood just a few short inches behind him, spread her legs a bit and placed her hands on his shoulders.
Once Duzell felt her hands on his shoulders, he grabbed her legs, pulled her closer and lifted her up. Dannie let out a loud, surprised gasp as she instinctively wrapped her arms around his neck while being careful not to choke him. When his hands were firmly under her thighs and once he made sure that Dannie was securely hanging onto his back, Duzell began to walk towards the barrier.
His gaze flickered towards the teen ghost when he noticed the boy following them. “Oh, Edmund, right?”
Edmund fidgeted, but gave the blue-haired man his full attention, “Uh, yeah?”
“If you want to keep up with us you better hang onto me.”
Recalling how fast this man was, Edmund hastily grabbed onto Duzell's shoulder. “Okay, I'm ready.”
“Alright!” Duzell announced before he crouched down with his determined gaze on the barrier. “Let's move!” Without another word he sped off through the barrier and made his way through the woods.
The sun was starting to set as Alex sat on the equipment at the abandoned playground. His intense gaze was on the forest, tapping his leg against the wood panels hoping to see his live friend and ghost friend return.
'Gosh, what's taking them so long? They're usually back by now. Just how far did Edmund make Dannie run?'
“Hm?” Alex cast a glance down towards the small, soft voice. Down below he met the eyes of a young ghost girl who appeared to be around five years old, “Oh, hey, Yuna. What's up?”
Tilting her head cutesy like, Yuna asked, “Are you sure you don't want to play with us? You look lonely up there.”
Alex shook his head, “No, I'm fine.” He shifted his interest back towards the woods, “I'm just waiting for Dannie and Edmund to come back.”
“I don't think they'll be coming back anytime soon.” A ghost boy pointed out as he appeared next to Yuna. The boy looked to be around nine years old, “You know Edmund, Alex. He likes to make people run as far as he can make them run.”
“I know that, but Dannie's not a normal person. Usually she would have caught up to him sooner or later, retrieved her hairband and they would have been back by now. So the fact that they aren't is making me worry a bit.”
“Well,” The boy shrugged, “maybe Edmund is being sneakier this time around.”
Alex sighed, “I guess.” 'But why do I feel so uneasy about it.'
“Why aren't you running along Jane's bridge?” Dannie questioned the blue-haired man as he continued to run through the forest with her on his back. “Wouldn't it be faster to use the bridge?”
“Yeah.” Edmund agreed, still keeping his tight grip on Duzell's shoulder, “Since all you would have to do is follow the bridge and you're in Janeswater and not have to do all these jumps and turns to get to the other side of Janeswater.”
“Duh of course that would be faster.” Duzell snorted out, “But everyone is using that bridge, even the living. So don't you think it would freak people out if they saw me, a guy with cat like ears and blue hair, running along the bridge with a girl on his back? The last thing we need is people getting a whiff that there's a strange being running through the woods.”
“Even though it's true.” Edmund pointed out indifferently.
Duzell cast a glare in his direction, “Don't start with me kid! Look, I don't anyone knowing that I'm around. I don't want anyone even getting the hint that monsters are gradually appearing on our land, like I said we are trying to contain all of this so people don't panic. That's the last thing we want, since that would be exactly what those monsters want and I certainly don't want to give them that satisfaction.”
“Not to mention if you manage to defeat them before they can even cause any damage to the living you don't want them to be panicking for nothing.” Dannie added, assuming that was another reason.
“Yes, that's another big reason.” Duzell nodded assertively. He then glanced back at the girl, “So, I'm going to tell you here and now, do not and I mean DO NOT tell anyone about this.”
Dannie grunted, “Heh, you don't have to worry about that.” She looked away to stare out into the forest, “It's not like anyone's going to believe me, not unless I had proof. But I also don't want anyone to panic about it either.” She met his gaze and added softly, “Seeing people panic is never an enjoyable thing.”
Duzell hummed, feeling satisfied with her answer. He then peered over at the teen ghost, “What about you kid?”
“Don't worry I won't say anything either, not until it's something worth panicking about.”
“And hopefully that won't be the case.”
“I agree.” Duzell concurred with the brunette.
Something blue caught Dannie's attention only to spot the blue-winged hawk soaring up next to them. She furrowed a brow when a thought came to her, “Uh, hey, Duzell?” She heard him hum again and received his interest. “That bird, Emiko, right? Is she an-”
Dannie flinched, not expecting him to guess what was on her mind. But she nodded nonetheless.
“No, she's not.”
Now baffled, the brunette eyed him strangely, “Then what is she?”
“Yeah.” Edmund voiced in roughly and peered over at the hawk. “She's obviously not a normal bird.”
Duzell met the hawk's gaze before he answered, “That's because she's not a bird.” He noticed their perplexed expressions, he exhaled and shook his head, “Unfortunately, that's not my story to tell you. However, I will say that Emiko basically helps me out, since I am the only Eardian that's around right now.”
“Really?” Dannie gaped out, “You're the only one?”
“Why haven't the others been unsealed?”
“Again this stuff just started so I guess they thought only one Eardian would be needed.” 'But I wonder how long that will last, since I doubt these monsters will stop appearing any time soon.'
Tilting her head, Dannie raised a brow, “They?”
Duzell merely shook his head, “I won't get into that right now. But enough about me here,” It was his turn to eye her questionably, “what about you? You're a ghost seer, right?”
“For how long?”
“Since I was four, at least that's as far back as I can remember.”
“And how old are you now?”
Her face wrinkled in confusion, “Um, I'll be turning sixteen on Friday, which is tomorrow. But what does that have to do with anything?”
“Just figuring out how long you've been able to see ghosts. So you've been able to see ghosts for twelve years?”
“Um, yeah that's about right.”
“Hm.” 'So she's been able to see ghosts just as long as I have.'
“Hey, look!” Edmund pointed in the direction that they were heading.
Duzell, the hawk and Dannie followed his finger to notice that they were almost near the end of the forest.
“We're almost there!”
Just as those words left Edmund's mouth, Duzell zoomed past the trees and now stood outside of the woods and in front of river known as the Rockchun Riverpass. The Animal Eardian raised his gaze to find himself staring at the cozy town of Janeswater, which was literally right across the river.
Dannie sighed in relief, “Thank goodness, we made it back with no major incidents.”
“Think you can take it from here?” Duzell asked with his eyes now on her. “I don't want to go any further into the town if I don't have to.”
“Oh, yes.” The brunette nodded, “I can get home from here.” She aimed her finger to her right side. “The abandoned bridge is just over there and it's not too far away from the looks of it.”
“Okay, good, then I'll let you off here.” Duzell bent down and allowed the girl to get off of his back. Once she was off he turned to face her, he eyed her sternly, “But be careful on your way home.”
Dannie's eyes widened, disregarding that flutter again in her stomach. “U-um, I will...thank you.” She cast Edmund a glance, “Come on, Edmund, let's go.”
Edmund nodded, “Alright.”
With that the two went past Duzell and made their way towards the abandoned bridge. Dannie suddenly stopped as a thought came to her, “Um.” She turned only to find that Duzell had already left, her eyes scanned the area but could not locate the superhuman. She exhaled, “Guess I'll never know if I'll see him again.”
“Dannie?” She heard Edmund call out, she cast him a glance as the teen ghost waved her down. “Come on, let's go.”
“Alright, I'm coming.” Dannie turned again and followed Edmund towards the bridge.
Off in the woods, sitting on one of the tree branches was Duzell with the blue-winged hawk, Emiko, perched on his shoulder. His eyes followed the girl and the teen ghost, making sure they made it to the bridge in one piece, which luckily they did.
“Do you think it was wise to let her go off on her own?” Emiko questioned the Eardian with concern.
“She'll be fine.” Duzell assured her before he peered over at her. “I haven't caught the scents of any new monsters so I think we are in the clear for now.”
Emiko sighed in relief, “Yes, you're right. I don't smell or sense any new enemies as well. Oh, thank goodness.”
“So,” Duzell raised a brow with curiosity, “what's your verdict on the girl?”
“Wondering if she's an Eardian or not?” Emiko replied, knowing that was what he was referring to.
He nodded, “Yes.” Duzell peeked back towards the bridge to discover the girl and the teen ghost were still there. But furrowed a brow and eyed the two strangely as they appeared to be talking to another boy ghost who looked be around ten years old. “She's definitely giving us signs.” 'Must be another ghost friend.'
“She certainly has.” Emiko agreed, “Well, there's only one way to find out.” She flew off of Duzell's shoulder, catching his gaze and motioned them to run off into the woods, “Let's go while things are quiet for the moment.”
Duzell gave her a quick assertive nod and stood up. However, he cast a quick glance towards Dannie and the two ghost boys and sniffed the air one more time. 'Blueberry and lavender, eh? Need to remember that scent.'
He then crouched down and jumped off of the tree and ran into the forest with Emiko flying right beside him.
“I still can't believe that guy lost your hairband!” Alex complained as he flew next to Dannie as they made their way down the street. Crossly, he met the girl's gaze as he continued his rant, “Seriously, that punk makes you run practically all over the forest and he ends up losing it? How stupid is that!?'
After Edmund and Dannie had returned to the abandoned park, Edmund had flew off to relax after the eventful afternoon. Alex and the ghost kids, on the other hand, wanted to play around some more, however, Dannie decided against it. Even though she hated to disappoint Alex and the rest of the ghost children, she too had enough excitement for one day and wanted to get home before her parents got worried. So once she had said her goodbyes and made a promise to play with the faded children another day, she made her way to her home. As she left Alex decided to go with her in order to make sure she got home safely, he also wanted to get home as well so he could check up on his mother and sister.
“Alex, I told you, it's really no big deal.” Dannie reassured him, hoping to calm the young ghost down. “It's just a hairband.”
Alex tossed her an odd, startled expression, “How can you say that when you yourself made it a big deal?”
Dannie exhaled loudly, “Yes, I did, which I really shouldn't have. I should have learned by now to not react like that when Edmund does that, since he only does that to get a reaction out of me. I mean, if I stop reacting like that maybe he'll stop pulling those stupid games on me.”
Eyeing her with doubt, Alex replied, “You really think that'll work?”
“It's worth a try, it's better than just letting him continue to do it.”
Alex grunted, “I guess.” His eyes abruptly flickered to the street that Dannie's house was on and looked to his left to spot the Heart household.
It was a split level home with a gray roof, golden yellow siding, white windows and brown shutters. From the front door to the edge of the big front window, the builders of the house had white stones paved in, instead of the yellow siding that made up the rest of the house’s exterior. They also had flowers and flower bushes in front of the front windows. The backyard had a brown fence around it and in the backyard was a wooden picnic bench and a little playground with a sandbox.
“Well, this is my stop.” Dannie announced once they reached her driveway. She turned to face the ghost boy, she smiled, “Thank you for walking me home, Alex.”
“Not a problem, although it's a shame that Edmund ruined our hang out plans today.”
“I know, but hey we still have plenty of time before school starts.” Tilting her head happily, Dannie continued to encourage, “We'll figure something out, don't you worry.”
Alex gave her a warm smile and nodded, “Right, I'll hold you to that.” He turned and waved, “Well, catch ya later.”
“Yup, see ya!” Dannie returned.
Once the ghost boy was out of her sights, Dannie strolled up to the front door and entered her home. When Dannie entered the living room she slipped off her shoes and placed them in the slide door closet that stood a couple feet away from the front door. On the right side of the front door was another door that led into their parents’ bedroom. Then behind the closet was the stairs that led up to Dannie’s room, her brothers’ room, the guest room and a bathroom.
To the left was the living room and straight ahead from the living room was the kitchen and dinning room. There was also a bathroom to the right of the dinning room. Between the kitchen, dining room and the upstairs was another flight of stairs that led into basement area, where the family room, office, laundry room and where the last bathroom was.
“I’m home!” Dannie called out as she instinctively strolled into the kitchen. She sighed pleasantly when she smelt the aroma of stir-fry fill the room.
“Oh, Dannie, sweetheart you're finally home!”
Her gaze landed upon her mother, Mrs. Heart, who was over by the stove frying up the vegetables and meat. Mrs. Heart was the exact image of Dannie only older; she had an average, voluptuous body, had shoulder length brown hair and hazel green eyes. She also wears glasses, but the majority of the time she wears contact lenses.
Mrs. Heart smiled at her daughter in relief, “For a minute there I thought I would have to send Aaric after you. You usually get home around 5:50pm at the latest and it's five minutes past six o'clock.”
Dannie gave her a weak smile, “Sorry about that, just got so caught up with what I was doing that I lost track of time.”
Yeah, my mother, Juliana Heart—sometimes people call her Julie for short—, is an absolutely amazing mother. She’s kind, friendly, wise, can easily make you laugh when you want to break down and cry. She’s basically every child’s dream mother, minus the fact that she can’t bake very well. She knows how to bake, but there are days where the baked goods never turn out the way she would want them to. But my mom has one awesome talent that sets her apart from the typical moms in this town. My mom is actually a famous tailor at a tailor shop in Ardea, Eceap. She’s been into that since she first began to sew when she was 13 years old and she’s been working at the tailor shop since my older brother was born. Her amazing talent made her well known throughout Eceap, so thanks to her, the tailor shop gets a lot of business.
“Oh my goodness!” Juliana suddenly exclaimed with utter shock as she turned to completely face her daughter.
Dannie jumped, startled by her mother's abrupt reaction, “What! What's wrong?”
Juliana merely shook her head and chuckled lightheartedly. “Wow, you must have been playing hard today.” She propped her hands on her hips and nudged her head towards the young girl, “Since you certainly weren't that dirty when you left here this afternoon.”
“Huh?” Dannie finally took that time to inspect herself only to discover that her mother was right. From neck down she was completely covered with dirt, there was even some fragments of grass and leaves stuck to her clothes. “Wow.” The brunette chuckled at herself while she rubbed the back of her head. “I guess I did, although I'm surprised that I didn't notice my appearance until now.” 'But I guess no one can blame me, after what happened today my appearance was the last thing on my mind.'
Eyeing her daughter questionably, Juliana asked, “Just what on earth did you do to get that dirty? Did you, Chasie and Mylan have another dirt war with Chasie's siblings or something?”
“No, no, we didn't, Chasie had ice-skating lessons tonight so we couldn't do anything like that.” Dannie answered as she approached the counter, “But once I was done hanging with Mylan and Chasie I went the abandoned playground.”
“Oh.” Juliana's face instantly lit up with realization, “I see, so you and those ghost children got a little rough did ya?”
“Well, not really rough, we just ended up playing all sorts of games that got us all a little dirty.” 'Of course I can't tell her the complete truth, but at least it's not too far-fetched, considering that does happen a lot.'
“A little? Dannie, darling, I'd say that's more than a little dirty.”
Dannie shrugged, “It's less dirty than when I had that dirt war with the girls and our siblings.”
Juliana bobbled her head in agreement, “True.”
“So is dinner almost ready?”
“Just about, I'm waiting on the egg rolls. Once those have been cooked through we'll be all set.”
“Oo, egg rolls, one of my personal favorites.”
“I know.” Juliana tossed her daughter an amused smirk, “I truthfully wanted to do just the stir-fry, but I had some egg rolls leftover from the last time. So I figured to cook those up just to get them out of the fridge.”
“Sounds good to me.” Dannie glanced around before she furrowed a brow at her mother, “So, where’s dad, Aaric and Felix?”
“Your father’s downstairs paying some bills. Aaric is downstairs as well fixing Leon LaDave’s computer, and Felix is also down there playing video games.”
“Haha, at least they're all gathered up in one place.”
“Yup, that's right. Now why don't you go wash up, so you'll be all fresh and clean for dinner.”
Dannie nodded, “Okay, will do.” She then turned and rushed upstairs to clean up.
“Amen.” The Heart family finished their prayer. Once the prayer was finished Dannie and her family smiled brightly as they passed the food around.
“Ah, this smells wonderful, Julie.” Mr. Heart complimented his wife, filling his plate with the vegetable and meat stir-fry.
Juliana gave him a pleased smile in return, “Thank you, dear.”
Dannie had showered in order to clean herself up, she had also changed into a pair of pink pajama pants with white kittens on them and a plain, pink t-shirt. She also had her white kitten slippers on to keep her feet warm. She peeked over at her parents as she took two egg rolls. Her father was six feet and one inch tall, was a bit muscular, but it was gradually turning into fat because of age. He had chocolate brown eyes like Dannie and dark brown hair that was buzz cut.
That’s my father, Wyatt Heart; he’s the top writer for Eceap Newspaper, which is located in Itzel. He’s a sports writer, but he also writes regular news columns as well. So whenever there is a sport event going on or just regular news breaking material, you can expect my father to be there. My dad is a very intelligent man; I swear I feel like he knows everything—well anything to do with math, science, history and those types of subjects. He’s also a very athletic man, he had played every sport imaginable in his younger years and he still plays a couple of them to this day. But of course he only plays those sports with his close friends and family.
“I swear,” A young boy chimed in. The family looked over towards a young boy who was ten years old. He looked almost exactly like their father, same hair and eye color. However, his hair had more length to it and he also had some facial features that resembled their mother. He averted his smile from his egg roll towards their mother, “this is the best way to have vegetables, and you know me, I'm not a veggie kid.”
“Which is precisely why I make stir-fries and egg rolls.” Juliana lifted her fork up towards her mouth. “Or how else would I get you to eat healthy once in a while.”
The boy continued to smile before he went back to eating his dinner.
That boy is obviously my younger brother, Felix Heart. He’ll be turning eleven in February and he’s a very athletic kid. He’s the one that got the majority of my father’s athletic genes. Right now he’s on one of the Little League Soccer Teams and he’s really excellent at it. So something tells me when he gets older he’s going to either be on a national sports team or have a career revolving around sports like my father.
“So,” Another male voice began as he caught his family’s attention. He met his sister’s gaze and questioned, “did you hang out with that ghost friend of yours today?”
This boy was seventeen-years-old, six feet and one inch tall, and he was pretty thin for his height. But he was a bit muscular, not really enough to impress anyone though. His facial features also resembled their father, more so than Felix. He had shaggy brown hair, hazel green eyes, like their mother, and wore a pair of glasses.
That’s my older brother Aaric Heart, he’s seventeen, but he’ll be turning eighteen in November. Aaric is the one that inherited my father’s intelligence and he is literally what you call a brainiack. Seriously, he’s like the smartest guy in our school. He gets straight A’s in practically everything without even trying or even opening a book. I swear sometimes I feel like that he could teach every single class, which is insanely amazing and creepy. He’s like a walking computer, which I would love to be right now it would make my high school life so much easier.
“Alex?” Dannie quizzed curiously after she swallowed some of her food. She answered, “Yes, I did hang out with him for a little bit.” She sighed loudly, “But then Edmund came along and grasped the majority of my attention and I wasn't able to do much with Alex.”
“Edmund?” Her father recited in an odd tone and lowered his glass of water. Tilting his head, Wyatt asked, “The ghost boy who likes to pick on you?”
“Yup,” The young teen nodded and aimed her fork at him, “that's the one.”
“Oh dear.” Juliana voiced in with minor concern and lowered her fork, “Did that boy play another keep-away game with you?”
“Yes, he did, he took my hairband and ended up losing it in the forest.”
“Oh, so that's why you didn't have your hairband.” Her mother replied, “I was beginning to wonder why you didn't have it on you when you got home. But, honestly!” Juliana huffed up and eyed her daughter strictly, “I just bought you that hairband last week to replace the one he took last time.”
Dannie hunched her head down with guilt. “Sorry, about that. It's not like I'm trying to get him to take my hairbands.”
“I know that, sweetie. But that boy's gotta stop doing that, even though they are just hairbands, but I can't keep buying you new ones if he's going to keep on doing that!” She waved her finger at her daughter, “So you tell that boy next time that he better stop doing that or else your mother is going blow a casket!”
“And trust me no one wants to see that.” Aaric commented bluntly.
“No kidding.” The younger siblings chorused in agreement.
“I'll try.” Dannie shook her head, “But whether he'll listen to me or not is another question.”
Juliana exhaled, “Not a very good listener I take it?”
“Sometimes, but it's always hard to tell with Edmund.”
“Have you been able to learn anything about that ghost boy?” Wyatt quizzed his daughter curiously. He arched a brow, “Maybe something that can help you figure out why he does things like this? There must be a reason, correct?”
“Oh, I'm sure there is.” Dannie assured him with a quick nod. She then sulked and propped up her arm on the table and leaned her cheek on it, “Unfortunately, I still haven't learned that much about him.” Her head suddenly fidgeted and her eyes lit up when a memory flashed back to her. “Although,” She raised her head and looked over at her father, “he did mention that he used to live in Malric.”
“Malric?” Juliana repeated with raised eyebrows.
“Wow, that's quite the distance.” Wyatt commented in astonishment.
“Yeah, considering it's like,” Felix pointed behind him towards the living room, “a bazillion miles that way.”
“Felix, it's not that far south.” Aaric corrected, “Malric is more like a couple hundred miles away, maybe close to a thousand.” His expression became emotionless before he added, “Also there's no such number as bazillion.”
“So, doesn't mean I still can't use it.” The young boy argued, “Since that's how far it feels like to me.”
Aaric eyed him before he exhaled, “Kids.”
Felix merely grunted crossly at his older brother, but didn't say another word.
“Where exactly in Malric was he from?” Wyatt asked, now very intrigued by this turn of events.
Dannie shrugged, “Don't know, he didn't go into much details.” 'And if that stupid dragon monster wasn't chasing us and if we weren't trying to figure out what the heck was going on, I would have asked him more about it.'
Her father let out a rough sigh, he closed his eyes and replied with slight frustration. “Such a secretive ghost that one is.”
“Tell me about it.” Dannie grunted out with a quick eye roll.
“Well, at least you got something out of him.” Aaric reminded with slight praise. He took a drink of his water before he suggested, “Now you can do some research on him.”
“Research?” The young teen tilted her head and eyed him questionably.
“Yes,” Juliana chimed in and gestured her fork and her daughter, “now that you know what region he was from maybe you might be able to look him up and get the full story on him. Like if he was murdered or was killed by some type of disease, I'm sure there must be some type of information on him.”
“Yeah, now that you know where he lived maybe it will be a lot easier to find out more about him.” Wyatt agreed before taking another bite of his food.
Dannie groaned with uncertainty, “I'm sure it would, but I don't know I feel kind of weird doing it that way.”
“How come?” Felix asked and arched a brow, “It's not like he's going to tell you anything any time soon.”
“I know, but I think I'd rather have him tell me when he's ready to. I mean, who knows, maybe it's still a sore topic to him and he doesn't want to talk about it. If that's the case I really don't want to go sticking my nose into something and end up having him mad at me.” Dannie then empathized, “And believe me you never want to mess with an angry ghost, unless you truly have to.”
“That is a very good point.” Juliana agreed as the worry appeared in her expression, “I certainly don't want you to get in any sort of danger, we've already had a couple close calls with you and I don't want there to be another.”
Dannie rolled her eyes, “Although, it's not like Edmund would really put my life at risk. I just don't want to deal with an angry ghost right now, maybe at some point I will if his harassment gets any worse. But for right now I'll leave it be for now.”
Her parents and Aaric exhaled, knowing there was no way of talking her out of that.
“Alright,” Aaric merely shrugged, “you are the ghost expert.”
Dannie hardened her gaze on her brother, taking note of the sarcasm in his tone. She opened her mouth to say something.
“Just be careful, Dannie.” Her father spoke up, catching her attention. His gaze was gentle and sincere, but his expression was stern, “That's all we ask, is that you are careful and don't take on anything that you can't or shouldn't handle.”
Her anger vanished when she saw that worry in her parent's gazes. She nodded and assured, “I will, don't worry.” Dannie then went back to eating her meal.
Juliana groaned in dismay as she watched her daughter. 'Why am I getting the feeling that she's giving us an empty promise?'
“Ugh!” Dannie grunted out as she plopped down on her bed. “Dang, I used to be so good at the Dragoman video game. But it looks like Felix is becoming the master of it.” 'Which is kind of funny considering I'm the one who taught him how to play it.'
As she lay down on her bed, Dannie stared up at her ceiling and began to drift off into her thoughts. Constant memories of the events that happened today played through her mind, causing the girl to sigh loudly.
“I still can't believe it, the Eardians actually exist? That's still such a hard concept to wrap my head around.” A thought suddenly came to Dannie as she sat back up and drifted her gaze around her room.
It was a decent sized room with walls the upper half being a beautiful light blue color and the lower half being white wood panels, it also had white carpeting. Her single bed was placed on the left side of the room with her desk right across from her. In between her bed and her desk was a white window with light blue curtains. On her desk was a computer with a shelf hanging on the wall over the computer with dolls, knickknacks and frames of her family and friends. All over the walls were posters of Serica Jane, a few popular singers and bands, and some portraits of flowers.
Dannie's eyes landed on her end table to spot a brown teddy bear with a light blue ribbon. Instinctively, the brunette grabbed for the bear and brought it onto her bed and sat it on top of her pillow. She then positioned herself on her stomach and raised her gaze to look at the bear.
“Hey, Connor. What do you think of all of this?” She paused, expecting an answer even though she knew she would get any. Another sigh escaped her and her gaze shifted to her window. “To be honest, I'm still in shock by the whole thing. I mean, to even witness a being like Duzell and that dragon monster in reality is a major shocker in itself. But then to find out that the whole Eardian story is true? Even though there is a small part of me that still doubts it, but when I remember his face and how sincere he was and how knowledgeable he was about the whole situation makes me question my own small doubts.” Dannie groaned, lying her chin on her arms and turned her interest back on her bear, “Well, regardless of what I think about it if monsters like that dragon beast are starting to show up then we most definitely need someone to stop them. Otherwise this country, no maybe this whole world, will be in serious trouble. So having someone like Duzell around will no doubt benefit us, especially with him knowing how to fight them and of course him having those amazing powers most certainly helps.”
A bright smile suddenly appeared on her face, “And on another plus side, I now know someone who can see ghosts like I can. So now I don't feel like such an odd ball and that's definitely a good thing.” Dannie's smile quickly faded as she sighed again and rolled onto her back. Lying her arm over her forehead, she stared up at her ceiling, 'Wonder if I'll see him again. Probably not, he'll most likely be busy fighting those beasts, especially if they want to keep it all a secret.' She closed her eyes, 'Not that I would want him to visit me or anything. However, it would be nice to be able to at least talk to him for a little bit, just to learn a bit more about him. I mean, it's not every day you come across someone like him.'
In a large room stood three beings, who have gathered in front of a huge computer screen that showed an image of the unaware brunette maiden with her arm draped over her forehead. The room looked like a high tech security room with computer, TV like screens all over the walls with keyboards or buttons to help operate them. On those screens were various places in Serica, from towns in every region to the forests and mountains, there were even some screens that showed what was going on in the lakes and oceans. The huge monitor, the main computer, was placed in the center of the large room with a large piano length keyboard with multiple buttons and triggers.
One of the beings that stood in front of the main computer was a tall man, who looked to be around six feet and six inches tall. He appeared to be middle-aged, maybe older and he was a muscular man with light blue, purplish skin color and gray, silverish colored hair. His attire was a white tunic, long sleeved shirt with a brown belt that wrapped around his abdomen and a pair of black pants and black boots. He also wore a gray, royal like cape with spiky, armor like shoulder pads.
The other being that stood beside him was a female who appeared to be younger than the man, but not by much. She was shorter than the man, appearing to be about five feet and eight inches tall. The female also shared the same type of skin color as the male, only it was more of a grayish blue than a purplish blue. Her hair was long that reached the middle of her back and it too was a silverish color, her figure was thin and fit, but was voluptuous. Her attire was a dark blue tunic dress that just went past her knees with a light blue ribbon that wrapped around her torso and wore a pair of black boots.
The tall man drifted his gray colored eyes the third being that stood behind him. The being had himself leaned up against a wall with his arms crossed. The tall man pointed at the monitor, “Is this the girl you two told me about, Duzell?”
Duzell raised his interest to the monitor. Once he saw the girl he nodded, “Yes, Lord Idris, that's her alright.”
“That's correct, sir.” The female voiced in with her own gray colored eyes meeting his. “She has given signs that she could be another. However,” Her expression narrowed with determination, “I want to double check something, just to make sure it's not just a coincidence.”
“And what exactly do you want to check, Emiko?” Duzell quizzed the woman. “I mean, how are you going to determine if Dannie is an Eardian or not?”
“By looking for the crest.” She simply answered.
“Yes, the crest of the Elemental Dragons and the Heavens.” Lord Idris explained, “If she has that crest than she is in fact an Eardian.”
“Oh, right that crest.” Duzell returned, but then eyed him strangely. “I know you told me about it when I became an Eardian, but you guys never really explained in full detail of why a crest would be the thing that says if one person is an Eardian or not.”
“You see, Duzell,” Emiko spoke up, receiving his attention as she strolled up to him. “When the original Eardians had their powers sealed the Elemental Dragons and the Heavens formed a crest to put onto the seal. The crest was to show that they and only they can unseal the Eardians if it was deemed necessary, it was also a way for them to determine who the next Eardian would be.”
“Okay, how does that necessarily work?” The Animal Eardian continued to question, “I mean, I know the legend says that the powers lay dormant in the bloodline of the original Eardians. So wouldn't the crest show up in every single person in the bloodline?”
“No, the crest will only show up in the person whom the powers have chosen to be the next Eardian.”
“Huh? The powers choose the next Eardian? How does that work?”
“That's a feature that the Angels had put into the powers.” Lord Idris answered, “So in a way, the Heavens are the ones who are choosing the next group of Eardians. As the powers go through the bloodline, because of the Angels' influence, the abilities will choose the next hero based on the qualities that the Heavens are looking for to be the next person. So I would imagine it has something to do with the heart of the person and where they're personality will fair in the future. Something along those lines.”
“Hm.” Duzell hummed, taking their explanation in to consideration.
“What also helps us narrow down our search for the next Eardian is that the powers will give us small hints of who that person is.” Emiko went on with their explanation.
“How? The powers are sealed.”
“They are, but like I said the powers reveal small hints like being able to see ghosts or to see or do things that no normal human can do.”
“Like being able to understand animals?” Duzell assumed questionably.
Emiko nodded, “Yes, exactly.”
“So, let me get this straight. When the powers pass through the bloodline, the powers choose who the next Eardian will be and when it has chosen the next person it will reveal the crest? It will also give small hints of the next Eardian, by them being able to see ghosts or being able to do small things to reveal what their element is. So when it would come time to unseal them you Elemental Dragons and the Heavens will know who to unseal?”
“Yup, that's basically it.”
Duzell merely grunted as he stored the new information into his mind.
“Anyway,” Lord Idris turned his interest back onto the computer screen, “Back to the task at hand, so let's look for the crest shall we.” After pressing a few buttons on the large keyboard, the scene on the monitor changed from the girl to a new screen. The screen now looked like some sort of hi-tech x-ray that could be moved or angled in a specific way to get a better look at the body.
Once the screen had switched to reveal the inside of the girl's body, Lord Idris scanned it. Fortunately, he didn't have to look for long because right there right on the heart was a glittery gold crest. The crest was in the shape of a shield and carved inside the shield were two heads with a pair of angel wings behind the heads. One had was in the shape of a dragons while the second head appeared to be the shape of a human's with long hair and a halo above its head.
Lord Idris' eyes lit up, “That's it!” Hastily, he tapped his finger on the monitor, “That's the crest!”
Duzell and Emiko gaped at the sight, but were pleased to know that they were right about the brunette maiden.
“Well, that was easy.” Emiko praised and gave the blue-haired Eardian a small smile. “But who knew we would unintentionally run into another Eardian?”
“Yeah, right.” The Animal Eardian lowly murmured. 'Good, now I have someone else to help me other than Emiko. Sure, I don't mind Emiko, but having another fighter is always good. Although, I was sincerely hoping we wouldn't get that girl any more involved than she already has. But I guess that thought went out the window when she revealed she could see ghosts. When you're a ghost seer you always tend to get involved with the ghosts no matter what the situation is. I know from my own experiences.'
“So, Duzell?” Lord Idris caught the Eardian's attention and cast him a curious glance. “Do you think you need another partner?”
“It honestly wouldn't hurt.” Duzell replied with a mere shrug. “Besides,” His tone became serious, “with how fast these beasts are showing up and with them becoming stronger to the point that they are actually putting up some resistance, having another set of hands might be worth it.”
“We agree.” A new male voice voiced in loudly.
Duzell, Emiko and Lord Idris averted their attention towards the male voice. There at the doorway stood a small group of tall, muscular men with skin colors ranging from grays to blues. They all wore white, scaly type armor with black boots, they also had their staffs and swords tucked at their sides. The one who spoke stood in front of the group, his armor was a bit fancier with spikes and a gold tint in the white armor along with a gold belt and boots. He also wore a black cape.
“Ah, Sir Rimard.” Lord Idris acknowledged the man in the cape. “So you all have returned and I take it you have more to report?”
The man in the cape, Rimard, gave a quick bow, “Yes, my lord.” He narrowed his gaze on Lord Idris, “It would seem the situation with these dragon demons is becoming more of a problem than we originally thought.”
Lord Idris grunted, not liking the sound of that. “How so?”
“Well, for starters, it would seem that more of them are showing up. It's not just two showing up in one specific place, they are now popping up in many more places now and it's not just one or two at a time. Lately, it's been five, sometimes ten at a time and sometimes they are grouped together and other times they are just a few yards apart from each other. They're also not just showing up in Serica, they are also starting to appear in our own territories, even the other Elemental Dragons are having issues in their lands as well.”
“Oh dear.” Emiko gaped out with immediate fear.
“Have they been getting more aggressive?” Duzell quizzed Rimard. He eyed the group of soldiers firmly, “Since I don't know about you guys, but with the ones I've come across lately they've become more persistent and aggressive and they certainly weren't like that before.”
“Ah, so you've noticed that as well, Duzell?” Rimard commented, thankful to know they weren't the only ones developing new issues with the enemies.
“Kind of hard not to.” The Animal Eardian scoffed out indifferently. “What's also concerning me is that these demons are starting to pop up close the human towns.”
“Yes, and that's most certainly a problem.” Rimard agreed, “We don't want any casualties with the beings who aren't even involved in this issue and we trying to make sure they don't ever get involved.”
“Has anyone been able to figure out the root of this sudden invasion?” Lord Idris questioned the men.
“Unfortunately, no, sir. Everyone's been far too busy making sure that the humans don't find out about this, even the other Elemental Dragons are being kept busy as well. So no one's been able to find any leads to who started this whole invasion.”
Lord Idris grunted.
“So the verdict, sir,” Emiko spoke up, meeting his gaze. Her eyes narrowed with a new resolve, “Is that we unseal this young lady, find the rest of the Eardians and unseal them as well. If this situation is going to grow into more of a problem we are going to need all hands on deck if we want to continue to keep this from the humans.”
He gave an assertive nod, “Agreed, but if I unseal this young girl,” Lord Idris snapped his finger at Duzell, “you're going to have to keep your eye on her, Duzell.”
“What? Me? Why me?”
“I'm going to be arranging a huge meeting with all the Elemental Dragons to determine our next move.” Lord Idris explained firmly, “We need to figure out a game plan before things get too out of hand with these beasts.” He peeked over at Emiko, “That will also mean that Emiko will be present as well.” He met the Eardian's gaze again, “So that means there won't be anyone available to keep an eye on her.”
“Also,” Emiko eyed him with sincerity with a hint of worry in her face, “you've experienced this transformation as well and these changes will no doubt frighten the poor girl. So it's always good to have someone beside you who's gone through it to make things easier.” She then spread her hands, “She'll also be your new partner so I think doing this will give you chance to get to know her a little bit more.”
Duzell groaned with slight irritation, not liking the fact that he basically has to babysit a girl. However, he finally exhaled in defeat, “Alright, fine I'll keep my eye on her.” He hardened his gaze and gave him the notion to continue, “Now, proceed.”
Lord Idris nodded and shifted his attention back up at the large computer screen. He raised his hand and held it in front of the main computer, his arm then lit up with a wavy, soft white light. Once the light had engulfed his arm, the tall man motioned his hand around, making a circle and star shapes in the air.
He then spoke a verse, “Ahkomen nah koro shinjin mahtomin tomin keion.”
'Ugh, ancient dragon language.' Duzell complained gruffly to himself, 'The one language I don't think I'll ever understand in a million years.'
Following Emiko and the soldiers' gazes, Duzell watched the monitor, waiting for the spell to affect the brunette maiden. He groaned with regret, 'Sorry, we have to do this, Dannie. But we don't have any other choice.'
A soft, wind like sensation began to emerge from the pit of Dannie's stomach. The girl flinched slightly at the sudden feeling and opened her eyes halfway and gazed up at the ceiling questionably. 'What's this?'
To the chains that bind, unleash the powers within. Awaken the destiny that awaits this child, awaken the child of their deep slumber.
A sharp gasp escaped Dannie as her eyes went wide open and shot up when the sensation intensified. She sat on her bed while her arms immediately wrapped themselves around her abdomen. “Whoa!” Dannie lowered her gaze to eye her stomach, “What...what is this?” 'Did I eat something that my body's not agreeing with? No, no this doesn't feel anything like that!'
“AH!” She yelped painfully as her whole body became abnormally tense. “Okay, definitely not an upset stomach feeling.” 'But what in the world is this feeling? I swear, I don't think I've ever felt something like this before!'
The wind like sensation whirled around faster and faster and began to thick as it traveled throughout her veins. The crest that was on her heart suddenly began to glow as a small barrier revealed itself around the organ. This caused the wind feeling blow even faster and harsher. Her body had tensed up from the sensations that it became extremely uncomfortable where it was moderately painful.
“Ah, what's happening!? It's like-” Dannie immediately grimaced sharply and wrapped her arms tighter around her torso, “Ugh! It's like a wind storm is blowing around inside of me!”
Suddenly the wind sensation formed around her heart and gently squeezed it.
“AH!” Dannie let out a soft, quiet scream, immediately placing her hand over her heart. “What is this?” She grunted as the wind began to tug on her heart, causing her to grip her shirt tightly. “It's like...something is groping my heart.”
Although we wished it wasn't so, the time has come. The evil must be vanquished so the peace can remain. Unleash the child, unleash them I say and bring forth, the new Eardian.
The sensation tugged tighter and tighter, making Dannie wince sharper and louder with every squeeze. Then suddenly the wind sensation blew itself through her heart, causing the crest and the barrier that it had produced around the heart to expand and lit up. The brunette maiden cried in dismay as she began to rock her body back and forth, hoping her actions would subside the strange feelings. However, to her disappointment the sensations continued until the crest and the barrier exploded.
Dannie let out a startled yelp at the feeling, but cautiously looked down at her chest and placed both of her hands over her heart. “What...what was that?” Swallowing hard, her anxiety grew, “It's...it's almost like...something popped.” 'But it obviously wasn't my heart, otherwise I would be dead right now. So what-'
Another loud, sharp gasp escaped her as Dannie felt her body pound. “What...what was-”
Dannie gasped again when her body throbbed for the second time. Utter terror erupted within her as her body continued to pound like someone beating on a drum, but after each pound it became more frequent, more violent. The wind sensation also hadn't gone away, but instead of drifting away it intensified, blowing harsher than ever before and it suddenly felt like little needles poking through her bloodstream.
“AH! My God what is this!?” She asked herself in a loud, terrified cry. Dannie let out another distressed cry with her eyes squeezed shut, but something blue caught her attention.
Opening her eyes and instinctively looked down only to learn that a bright blue light had emerged around her arm. “What?!” Dannie raised her arm to inspect the light, “What's this light?” Another blue light caught her interest as she looked down at her other arm to discover that it too was engulfed with the light as well. “Oh my God! What-”
The wind, like needle sensation abruptly turned into a wave electricity as it shocked it's way through her.
“AHHHHHHHHHH!” Dannie immediately screamed as the electricity burst out of her body and formed itself around her. Suddenly a golden shield crest appeared where her heart was and it lit up in a silvery, blue light.
Lord Idris gasped at the sight and hurled his attention to Duzell. “Duzell, go get her!”
“What?!” The Animal Eardian practically yelled, flabbergasted but his abrupt order. “Why-”
“We can't let her complete her transformation there, if we do she could end up destroying that whole house!”
Duzell gaped, 'Can these transformations really do that much damage? But then again my transformation happened outside.'
“And when you grab her,” Lord Idris went on with his order, he narrowed his expression, “bring her to your hideout underneath the bridge and begin her training there. We need to at least have her in complete control of her powers before we have her go on any missions!”
The Animal Eardian's face lit up with realization before he returned the determined gaze. He then nodded, “Yes, sir!” He jumped off of the wall and charged out of the computer room and sped off down the hallway of the huge building they were in.
His gaze flickered up when he saw the transportation room and burst through the doors. The room was filled with at least five portals in the shape of test tubes, but they were big enough to fit five human like figures on the platform.
“Ah, Mister Duzell.” A male voice greeted him.
The Animal Eardian darted his interest towards a man that was an inch shorter than him, which was six feet and three inches tall. His skin color was a dark gray with silverish hair with some light blue tint mixed into the hair. He had sky blue eyes and wore glasses.
The man smiled at him, “What can I help you with-”
“No time for slow chitchat Horzin!” Duzell cut off and raced towards one of the portals. He hurled a glance at the man, “Send me to Janeswater, Ecaep pronto!”
Horzin flinched at the sudden urgency in the Eardian's tone. But quickly recovered and raced to get the destination in place, getting the hint this was a major emergency. “Alright!” The man shot Duzell an affirmative glare, “You're all set!”
“Thanks.” Duzell returned as the portal suddenly lit up and in a flash the Eardian was gone.
Above the Janeswater town hall a portal appeared and Duzell jumped out of the portal and landed on the rooftop of the hall. Once he had landed, he crouched down, he immediately scanned the area with his nose up in the air, sniffing the breeze.
“It's a good thing I kept her scent in the back of my mind.” 'Come on blueberry and lavender. Blueberry and lavender....' His eyes suddenly lit up and hurled his attention towards the left. “There it is!” Once his nose was locked onto the brunette's scent, he sped up and jumped from rooftop to rooftop in order to get to his destination as quickly as he could.
'I hope I can make it there in time!'
Dannie groaned loudly in distress as she hugged herself. The electric shocks intensified while her whole body began to glow a bright blue color, the wind sensation emerged again and whirled itself around in her body. Warm tears began to form in her eyes as the fear and agony increased. 'AH! What the hell is going on?!'
“Dannie!?” She heard her mother holler up from downstairs. “Are you alright up there?”
With intense pain the brunette shook as she raised her gaze to her closed bedroom door. 'Mom!' Then without a second thought she moved her body and motioned to run towards the door. However, just as her foot touched the floor her body throbbed once again, causing her to lose her footing and fall on the ground with a loud thud. She grimaced, but another sharp gasp escaped her when her body vibrated violently once again.
She subconsciously pulled herself into a fetal position as her body fidgeted. The poundings and the sensations continued to the point that Dannie could barely move. As the throbs became more frequent to the point that they were only a second apart from each other, some of Dannie's features began to change. Her hair went from a chocolate brown to a silverish, white color and her hair grew longer to where it laid right on top of her bottom. The brunette maiden panted heavily and would grit her teeth when the pounds vibrated throughout her body. 'God! This hurts so much!'
The electricity started to become wild as it traveled throughout the room and caused the lights to flicker.
“Dannie!” She heard her father hollered up with sudden alarm. “What's going on up there!?”
Grunting, Dannie clenched her teeth and pulled herself out of the fetal position. Slowly, she began to pull herself towards the door, 'Mom...dad...someone....' She squeezed her eyes shut as tears began to fall, but then flashed open to reveal her eye color changing from brown to a bright blue, 'Help me!'
Something suddenly crashed through her window.
Her eyebrows shot up when she heard the familiar male voice call her name with urgency. 'No, that...that can't be!' She peered over her shoulder only to her shock to find Duzell in her room, crouched down on the floor in front of the now smashed open window. 'No way, Du-' “Duzell?!” Dannie managed to say through her painful grunts.
Duzell gaped, his eyes wide open when he saw the girl's appearance. But more so at the electric current that had formed around her slender body and had caused every light and digital device in the room to start flickering. 'Whoa, never seen something like that before.'
Dannie gasped sharply as realization hit her, “Duzell!” She cried out loudly and used every ounce of her strength to pounce herself up and turned towards him. The girl leaped herself towards him and grabbed onto his vest tightly, “Help me!”
The Eardian flinched, startled by her quick reaction. He looked down at her just as she raised her tearful gaze up at him.
“You gotta help me! I have no idea what's going on, one minute I'm relaxing on my bed and then this! My own body's shocking me and hurting me and I have no idea why!” Clenching his vest tighter in her fists, Dannie practically screamed in dismay as the tears ran down her cheeks, “Please! Help me!”
Duzell listened and watched her with wide eyes and could honestly feel his heart sink at the sight of her. He grunted as he recalled what Emiko had told him just a few moments ago.
“You've experienced this transformation as well and these changes will no doubt frighten the poor girl. So it's always good to have someone beside you who's gone through it to make things easier.”
His face softened with sympathy towards the girl, gently he grabbed her shoulders. He then told her tenderly in assurance, “Don't worry, this will be over soon.”
Dannie jerked her head back while her eyebrows shot up at his response. 'This will be over? Soon? Does he know something that I don't!?' Her eyes went wide and suddenly let out a, loud, agonizing yelped and hastily wrapped her arms around her torso, “AH!”
Her body vibrated hard against her, which caused the electric current around her to produce more. The current vibrated along with the pounds and looked like it was getting ready to explode.
Duzell eyed it wearily, “Don't like the looks of that.”
However, before he could move into action the girl suddenly screamed as the electricity burst out of her. As the currant exploded out of her, all the lights and digital devices either burst into pieces or blew a fuse and began to produce some smoke before those devices suddenly exploded.
“AH!” The Animal Eardian yelped, jerking back slightly as the electric current shocked him.
His attention still on the girl, he watched her as Dannie's eyes flashed, engulfing the whole eyeball into a light blue light. Once her eyes lit up, her body was soon emerged in the blue light as well and continued to scream at the top of her lungs.
“Damn it!” Duzell cursed out, hovering his hand over his eyes slightly at the blinding light, 'That escalated a little too quickly!'
Just as her body lit up the electrical currant grew larger as it burst out one last time before it started to die down. When the electricity slowly began to vanish, so did the blue light, the girl stopped screaming and panted in exhaustion as the sensations gradually disappeared. As the sensations finally stopped, Dannie's eyes began to flutter before they finally closed and she was about to fall backwards.
“Whoa!” The Eardian quickly caught her so she wouldn't hit the floor. When he caught her in his arms, he let out a soft sigh in relief, “Is it finally over?”
Duzell gasped and silently cursed to himself when he heard a man and a woman holler before hearing them practically running up the stairs. “Shit!” Hastily, he lifted her up in his arms. “Sorry, but I have to do this!”
With Dannie now in his arms, Duzell jumped out of the window just as her parents burst through the bedroom door.
Unfortunately, they didn't see the blue-haired man, but both Wyatt and Juliana gasped in horror when they stepped into Dannie's room. Their eyes scanned the room, taking in the damage that they were seeing.
“What in the hell happened in here?!” Wyatt demanded loudly.
“Where's Dannie?” Juliana immediately asked while her eyes went around the room, but found no trace of her daughter. She then gasped when she saw the broken window and ran towards it, hastily she looked out and scanned the area, but again did not see Dannie anywhere.
Tears immediately formed in her eyes and she screamed, “DANNIE!”