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'Four years have passed since that day. The day he saved my life. He taught me everything I know and disappeared two years later. Malcolm Robins, I know I owe you a lot, but why did you disappear? I guess it doesn't matter much at this point. Right now, survival is my only concern. I will get my revenge. I swear on my name.'
October 9th, 9:30 PM: Star Lake - The Brew
The Brew coffee shop, a small jazz club for coffee lovers and travelers alike. The shop was located on the eastern end of the town in the quiet part of the area, making it a nice place to relax and get a good cup of coffee. The inside of the shop was lit by a few lights and candles while the sound of smooth jazz echoed through the whole shop. The entire time Adrian was sitting inside, he could only smell coffee beans and the faint scent of mint since the five other people scattered around the shop were sitting and eating breath mints.
The boy sat at his table in silence, watching his Spirit, Stein, drink his coffee. He knew that some Spirits didn't understand the concept of taste and wondered what Stein thought of the drink, taking constant glances around every few moments in case any Faction of Light members showed up. None of the people sitting around the small shop seemed to have any relation to the Faction of Light.
"So, this drink you call coffee is suppose to be good?" Stein asked, setting the cup down.
"You wouldn't really get it, Stein. Just finish your coffee and let's get out of here. We need to keep moving." Adrian answered.
"Unless you want to wait an hour. I hardly understand how this is suppose to be any good." Stein pointed out, getting a sigh from Adrian in reply.
"Then don't drink it. We didn't come here to enjoy drinks, you know. I thought maybe this would help you rack that head of yours for a reason why the Faction of Light is after us." Adrian pointed out.
"We've wasted our time here, then. Nothing comes to mind regarding the Faction of Light or their reasons for hunting us." Stein replied while Adrian stood up.
"We're leaving. We'll try something else." Adrian said while he left a small tip on the table and began walking towards the door. Stein followed closely behind him, abruptly stopping when the front door of the shop slowly opened up.
"Stein, into my shadow." Adrian whispered. The Spirit nodded and sank into the ground when nobody was looking, taking the place of Adrian's shadow. The door to the shop opened up and a Faction of Light member entered the room. He glanced around the room while he took a sip from a coffee mug he was holding in his hand. Adrian froze for a moment as he watched the Faction of Light member walk by without saying anything. He had hoped that the man didn't recognize him.
"Good evening." the man said to the employee behind the counter on the other side of the shop, flashing him a smile and taking another sip of coffee.
"Good evening, Commander Goodman. You on patrol again tonight?" the employee replied, pouring more coffee into the man's cup while he took his wallet out of his pocket.
"The guys who are normally on night patrols have tonight off. It's been pretty quiet tonight. The lack of action is making my coffee cold." Goodman said, while he set a few dollars down on the counter. Adrian slowly started walking towards the door, listening in on Goodman's conversation with the employee. When he heard that Goodman was a commander, he froze up.
'That guy is a commander? No way. He doesn't even look the part outside of the suit.' Adrian thought.
"It's as they say. Looks are designed to fool other humans into false security, then they strike." Stein said, talking to Adrian through his mind.
"Stein, that's not the way the saying goes." Adrian quietly corrected Stein, slowly walking towards the door in hopes the commander wouldn't stop him. Goodman saw Adrian starting to open the door in the corner of his eye, flashing a small smile while he pulled out a pistol. He aimed towards Adrian, tightly gripping the weapon while he aimed. He took a breath and his pistol became shrouded by a golden light.
"C-commander, what are you-" the employee questioned until Goodman put a hand over his mouth and shushed him, returning to aiming at Adrian. When he saw the boy starting to walk out, he fired off a strange shot of light from his gun, attracting the attention of the entire shop when the shot left a small hole in the door near Adrian's head. The boy stood there, still as a stone until he felt a bit of blood run down his cheek. He moved his hand towards the side of his face to find a small cut that wasn't there before.
"Oh, I'm so sorry. I was only trying to show my good friend here something with my powers." Commander Goodman quickly apologized, setting the gun down on a nearby table next to his coffee mug and walking over to Adrian, putting a hand on his shoulder.
"Come, I'll get you a cup of coffee as an apology. You can never go wrong with a good cup of black magic." Commander Goodman added, leading Adrian back over to the table he was sitting at before heading back to the employee to order some coffee.
"We're in the lion's den now, Adrian." Stein said.
"What should we do, Stein?" Adrian quietly asked.
"For now, we wait. Clearly, he knows who you are. He can hide the truth from a human, but he can't fool my ears. The lies were easy to spot." Stein answered.
"So you want me to stay here and drink coffee with the crazy, pistol wielding commander?!" Adrian loudly whispered back to make sure nobody else could hear what seemed like him talking to himself. He didn't notice that Commander Goodman was standing in front of the table, giving him a weird look.
"Are you talking to yourself?" Goodman asked. Adrian quickly looked up at the commander, seeing the two coffee cups in his hands. One of the cups was unusually large for a coffee mug, making Adrian question where the man even got it from.
"No. You're just hearing things." Adrian responded after a moment of silence.
"That's a pretty weak coverup, Adrian. You were clearly talking to yourself." Stein mumbled in Adrian's head.
"Shut up." Adrian whispered back before he returned his attention to the commander who was now sitting across from him.
"So what was the big idea? Is it common for Faction of Light members to go shooting at innocent people with firearms the way you did." Adrian questioned.
The commander sat and drank his coffee, waiting for Adrian to stop talking before he picked up the pistol.
"Sorry, but I have no idea what you're talking about. This gun has no ammo. I've never touched a single bullet in my entire life. This pistol has never held a single bullet as long as I've owned it. How could I fire something from a gun without any ammo?" Commander Goodman replied, taking another sip of his coffee.
"He's lying. He fired something from that pistol, even if it wasn't an actual bullet. He's a Spiritmaster, so he must have some kind of ability that allowed him to do what he did." Stein pointed out. Adrian smirked, picking the weapon up and observing it a bit.
"You say this weapon has no ammo in it, but that's nothing more than a lie." Adrian said, standing up and aiming the gun at Commander Goodman. The man didn't seem bothered by the fact a boy had a gun aimed at him. He calmly took a sip of his coffee, watching Adrian pull the trigger of the gun only for nothing to happen.
"What was that you said before? The weapon having no ammo was a lie? If you really think I'm lying, take a look for yourself." Goodman commented, snatching the weapon from Adrian's hand. He opened up the weapon, showing Adrian that the weapon really did have no ammo in it.
"Are you ready to retract your statement? Come, sit down and drink your coffee before it gets cold." Goodman added, setting the pistol back down on the table. Adrian glared at Goodman, a bit frustrated that he had outsmarted him, sitting back down and taking a sip of his coffee.
"Black coffee." Commander Goodman simply said.
"Black coffee?" Adrian and Stein both questioned even though the commander couldn't hear Stein.
"Deep darkness in the cup. A bit of cream brings some light to this black sea lurking in my mug. It is similar to our world, but in this situation, your Spirit is the darkness in the coffee mug that is life, Mr. Rivers." Commander Goodman continued. Adrian tried to keep his cool, knowing that Goodman was trying to get him to crack. He was ready to make a run for it, but he noticed right away that Commander Goodman wasn't aiming on arresting him on the spot for apparently harboring a Spirit turned to the darkness since he would've done it already. Adrian still had the feeling that the commander was up to something, though.
"You're not going to run? Smart boy. Go on, enjoy your coffee. I simply wish to have a little chat before we skip ahead to the part where you run away." Goodman said, taking a sip from his mug. Adrian was a bit hesitant, hoping that Stein had could come up with any bright ideas while he stalled for time with a talk.
"Start talking." Adrian replied, watching Goodman set down his coffee mug. He took a glance at the pistol that sat in the middle of the table, keeping a close eye on it just in case Goodman had any ideas.
"Now, before we begin, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Timothy Goodman, commander of Star Lake's Faction of Light branch. The reason I'm here is simple. You're harboring the Dark Spirit connected to The Harrowing, and I ask that you hand him over." the commander said.
"Why should I bother releasing Stein to someone like you?" Adrian questioned.
"You didn't let me finish talking. Allow me to explain." Goodman responded.
"You've been on the Faction's radar for almost four years, and all because we found out you were the Spiritmaster of Stein. You've gone through quite some daring escapes, and put yourself pretty high on our list. There is a way out for you, Mr. Rivers. How about we strike up a deal?" Goodman started while Adrian raised an eyebrow.
"If you choose to surrender Stein to me right now, you will be free to go. I'll make sure all of your little incidents with the Faction of Light are wiped off the record. You'd never have to worry about being on our radar ever again." Goodman finished, taking a sip of his coffee while Adrian considered his options.
"What if I refuse?" Adrian asked. Goodman smiled a bit upon hearing this and set down his coffee mug.
"Easy. That coffee you're drinking will be the last thing you'll ever enjoy. You will be arrested and put on trial for harboring the source of our world's current state. The odds you'll face a punishment that isn't execution is almost impossible. So, what will it be?" Goodman explained.
'So it's either give up Stein to save myself or keep things the way they are?' Adrian thought.
"Something about this whole thing seems a bit shady. Don't you think it's a bit odd that this commander would give you such convenient options? In fact, it's a bit strange how a commander would just happen to come by a coffee shop at this hour when you're here." Stein pointed out.
'So you think someone here set us up?' Adrian thought back.
"It's not a matter of thinking. It's a fact. Plus, I don't think this man is very trustworthy. Something in his words don't ring true. His weapon and erasing your incidents off the record. The lies in his voice are very faint, but I can sense them clearly. It's time we left, Adrian." Stein replied. Adrian nodded in reply and stood up.
"Sorry, but I'm not giving up my Spirit. I don't care what you say. Stein isn't a Dark Spirit as you claim." Adrian finally said, watching the commander slam his hands on the table and reach for the pistol. Adrian wasn't expecting the move from Goodman and went for the gun a few moments afterward, but he was too slow.
"I tried to play nice, kid. Looks like we're going to have to play the hard way. Give me the Dark Spirit, now!" Goodman demanded, aiming the pistol at Adrian. The boy glanced around, noticing that the other customers were watching the scene unfold. Adrian flashed a bit of a smile, taking a few steps back. Under the table, a shadowy hand rose from the ground, flipping the table and causing Goodman's coffee to fall onto his lap. He let out a shout of pain while Adrian turned around and started making a run for the door.
Goodman didn't pay notice to the table flying across the room and breaking upon contact with the floor, taking aim at Adrian. He took a breath and the pistol became shrouded by a golden light once again. Without taking a moment to check his aim, Goodman fired another shot of light at Adrian, shooting him in the shoulder. The boy let out a cry of pain as the bullet pierced straight through him, causing him to crash into a few tables.
'What the hell was that? Whatever it was, it hurts...' Adrian thought, finding himself unable to move.
"Divine light. My powers are extremely weak to divine light. He must be fueling his power into that gun to fire off shots of divine light. In any case, you need to get up." Stein responded while Goodman slowly approached, clearly in pain from having scalding hot coffee spilt onto his lap. Adrian tried to stand, getting to his knees before getting kicked back down to the floor by Commander Goodman.
"You really like to make things difficult, don't you? I try being a nice guy and giving you a choice, yet you have to go and screw up my night. You damn teenager." Goodman said, taking aim at Adrian. The weapon became shrouded by a golden light once again and Goodman took aim at Adrian's head.
"If I kill the Spiritmaster, the Spirit will be forced back to the Spirit World, and they can deal with it from there. I'll kill two birds with one stone." Goodman said. Adrian growled a bit in anger, causing another shadowy hand to rise out of the ground and grab a piece of one of the broken tables from when Adrian fell, knocking the pistol out of Goodman's hand and following up by throwing a large chunk of a table at the commander, knocking him away from Adrian.
"You play pretty dirty for a Faction of Light commander." Adrian simply said once he stood back up, keeping a hand over where the blast of light pierced through his shoulder. Goodman stood up shortly afterward, sighing a bit.
"Does it really matter in this day and age? Nobility and honesty are dead in this world. No matter what way you look at it, lies and deception are all around us. The darkness from one hundred years past has infected us all. Some more than others. While some of the commanders may try to seem all high and noble, it doesn't matter anymore! The end justifies the means when it comes to dealing with people like you and Spirits like Stein. If I need to go against the book for a few missions to get things done, so be it." Goodman explained, laughing a bit. While he spoke, there were a few quiet conversations coming from the other customers. While Goodman was rambling on, Adrian decided to jump on the chance and make an escape. Using the shadowy hand from before, he grabbed an undamaged table and threw it the large window of the coffee shop, shattering it and jumping out once the glass was broken.
"Commander Goodman, aren't you going to go after him?" the coffee shop employee questioned, who was hiding behind the counter while the fight was taking place.
"He won't get away. No matter what he does, I'll find him." Goodman confidently replied before he took out his cell phone and dialed a number.
"Goodman here. Stein is here in Star Lake. The Spiritmaster was here at The Brew less than thirty seconds ago, and he's heading your way towards the lake. Bring him back dead or alive, along with that Dark Spirit. I'll be on the chase with Aeon soon enough." Goodman ordered, hanging up the phone and laughing a bit.
'No matter where you go, I'll find you, kid. No Dark Spirit gets away in my town. I will be the one to eliminate the monster who ruined our world.' Goodman thought.
Adrian dashed down the road, paying no mind to the occasional car passing by on the road. He took a glance behind him every few moments to see if he was being followed by Goodman.
"Why isn't he following?" Adrian questioned, getting no reply from Stein. While he ran, he saw a young girl walking towards him. He growled a bit and pushed the girl out of the way with a shadowy hand, paying no attention to who it was he had pushed. He took a sharp right turn onto the next street, hoping to make his way towards the town's lake to find a hiding spot, but on his way there, he stopped in his tracks when he saw a large line of white cars blocking the entire road. In front of the row of cars was a group of armed Faction of Light members, almost like they were all waiting for him.
"Are you serious?" Adrian growled, taking a step back when the armed line of white suited men and women took a step forward.
"By order of the Faction of Light, surrender the Dark Sprit or else!" one of the men in the line ordered.
"Or else what?" Adrian questioned. The same Faction of Light member pointed up towards an approaching helicopter with a minigun attached to the side of it.
"Or else you'll be shot up into swiss cheese. There's nowhere to run or hide, kid. Just give up now and your prison time may not be as bad." the man responded.
"You know, when you mention prison time, it doesn't exactly make me willing to give up." Adrian pointed out.
"Shut up! There's nowhere to run or hide! Just give up your Dark Spirit or face the music!" the man shouted, taking aim at Adrian. He growled a bit in anger, taking a look around the area for any escape routes before the helicopter arrived, but he saw it was nothing more than a straight road. There were no alleyways or other paths to take. The road was straight and the only possible routes of escape Adrian would've had was the way he came, but he was too late. He could hear the helicopter in the air behind him, set to fire the minigun if he failed to cooperate.
'This is just great. There's no way out of this one now.' Adrian thought.
"There is one way. We may need to resort to using that technique." Stein added.
"How long would we have?" Adrian asked.
"Forty seconds. Maybe less. We'd need to be quick." Stein replied. Adrian gave a nod of reply, taking a look around the area, trying to find a place to go. When he found a good location, he started making a dash for the side of a building.
"What is he doing? He's up to something. Fire away!" another person in the group ordered before the line of Faction of Light members began to open fire on Adrian. While he ran, more shadowy hands rose out of the ground, changing into walls of darkness to protect him from the hail of bullets to the left of him. Once the minigun from the helicopter started firing, Adrian was forced to speed up. He was getting close to the side of the building, but the flurry of shots from the minigun were closing in at an extremely quick rate. With no other option, Adrian sucked in a breath and took a dive, sinking directly into the ground and avoiding the minigun's assault.
"He got away again! The commander isn't going to like this." one of the people in the line said. The head of the group, the guy who was shouting at Adrian earlier, took out his cell phone and called Goodman, ready for whatever criticism he had in store.
"Commander Goodman, we have some bad news." the man started to say.
"He got away again, I'm guessing." Goodman replied, standing at his car across the street from The Brew.
"Y-yes, sir. The boy sank into the ground." the man added, wondering how Goodman would reply.
"Don't worry about him. For now, tend to the people. Check and see if that boy harmed anyone. If there are any questions, give them the truth. I'll take care of the boy." Goodman responded, feeling something cling to his leg while he was talking.
"I'll call you back." Goodman finished before hanging up the phone and turning his attention to a young girl who was holding onto his leg as if her life depended on it. The girl was wearing an angel Halloween costume, but there was dirt on a few spots, as if she had been pushed to the ground recently.
"Aeon, there you are. Did something happen to you?" Goodman asked while he put his cell phone back in his pocket.
"A bad man pushed me, Mr. Goodman. A bad man in a brown coat." the young girl replied, keeping her grip on the commander's leg. Goodman thought it over a bit, clenching his fists when he remembered that Adrian was wearing a brown trench coat when he was at the coffee shop.
'I swear, Rivers, if I learn that you were the one to push Aeon, you'll wish you had turned yourself in years ago...' Goodman thought, returning his attention to Aeon.
"I think I may know who the bad man is. There's a similar person that's going around and causing problems in town. We need to find him and bring him to justice." Goodman said, opening up the passenger's side door for Aeon.
"We'll take the car. I know where he's going, so it won't take long." Goodman added while Aeon let go of Goodman's leg and got into the car.
"How do you know where he's going, Mr. Goodman?" Aeon questioned.
"I have my ways." Goodman responded, getting into the car and starting it up. He smirked and took his cell phone back out, opening up a radar app and handing the phone to Aeon.
"Keep an eye out for a red dot on that radar. The bad man is that dot." Goodman stated before slamming on the gas and speeding away from the coffee shop.
October 9th, 10:43 PM: Star Lake - Empty House
Down in the southern side of Star Lake, a safe distance away from the chaos involving the Faction of Light in the eastern part of the town, Adrian emerged from the shadows inside a house. The moment he got out, he was coughing and trying to catch his breath. Stein stepped out shortly afterwards, taking a glance around their new location.
"So this is where the shadows led us." Stein simply said, walking around a bit until Adrian finally got back up.
"Where are we?" Adrian questioned.
"Still in town, without a doubt. As for right now, it seems we're in a family's former residence." Stein answered.
"Some family's old house? Well, that explains why it's so empty." Adrian added, walking over to the window and taking a look outside. He could see distant lights from other buildings in town, but at the same time, he saw a searchlight flying around in the air.
'They're still looking for me. Getting out of here today may not be possible without that technique again. Forty seconds may not be enough, though.' Adrian thought, punching the wall in a fit of anger.
"This commander relies on his underhanded tactics to get an edge on us. How he's getting away with doing this, I wonder." Stein pointed out, dodging a blast of light that came flying in from the kitchen.
"It's because this is my town, Dark Spirit." a familiar voice responded. Adrian quickly turned and saw Commander Goodman walk into the room, aiming his pistol at Stein. Following close behind him was Aeon. The moment she saw Adrian, she pointed at him.
"That's the one. He's the bad man that pushed me." Aeon interrupted, causing Goodman to change his target to Adrian.
"I had a feeling you were the one who pushed little Aeon. You cold monster. If I had known you were the type to push around people weaker than you, I would've killed you at the coffee shop.." Goodman angrily said, sounding like he was only concerned about Aeon.
"How the hell did you even find me?!" Adrian exclaimed, completely ignoring what Goodman was saying. He avoided a shot of light from Goodman's pistol, watching him smile a bit and take his cell phone out.
"The beauty of tracking technology, Mr. Rivers. You didn't even notice I planted a tracking chip on you back at the coffee shop." Goodman replied.
"Isn't that suppose to be illegal?" Stein pointed out.
"The end justifies the means, tall, dark and creepy. As long as Mr. Goodman finds the bad man and brings him to justice, we can break a rule." Aeon responded.
"Oh great, now he's got the little girl thinking like he does. That's just fantastic." Adrian sarcastically said, rolling his eyes.
"I'm not a little girl! I'm probably older than your great, great grandfather!" Aeon shouted back.
'Older than my great, great grandfather? That must mean...' Adrian started to wonder.
"She's a Spirit. Goodman's Spirit by the look of things." Stein added.
"That little kid?" Adrian asked.
"Spirits don't grow older with age. To you, Aeon may look like a little kid, but in reality, she's probably thousands of years old. I question why she chose to take on such a childish form," Stein answered. Aeon smiled a bit, brushing her hand through a bit of her golden blonde hair.
"Call me a kid all you want. We'll see who the kid is at the end of this!" Aeon said.
"That makes no sense in this situation." Adrian pointed out.
"Shut up!" Aeon shouted, turning to face Goodman, who was quiet because he was drinking a cup of coffee.
"Mr. Goodman, can we teach them a lesson?" Aeon asked, waiting for Goodman to finish his drink. Once he took his last sip, he threw the plastic cup on the floor and put his cell phone away.
"We'll teach them more than just a lesson, Aeon. Prepare yourself, Mr. Rivers." Goodman answered while Aeon became shrouded in a golden light and shot up into the air. After a few moments, a radiant light shone down on Goodman, bringing him up into the air. The light soon covered the commander, brightening up the entire room. Adrian had to block his eyes to avoid being blinded by the light while Stein stood still and watched.
The light faded away and Goodman landed to the floor, but when Adrian saw him, the boy was unsure if he was even facing the same man. The commander was no longer wearing his white suit and was instead wearing strange white robes. His greasy black hair had become a light brown and his eyes were as golden as the light he represented as a member of the Faction of Light. Floating above his head was a golden halo and his pistol was replaced with a bow.
'So this is his true power...' Adrian thought, taking a step back. Stein stood in place, almost like he was observing Goodman's actions. He watched as Goodman took a deep breath and cleared his throat.
"Art thou ready for combat?" Goodman questioned, sounding like a different person. Adrian stopped in his tracks, wondering what part of Goodman's sentence even meant.
"Art thou ready for combat? If thou art prepared to die, come hither." Goodman repeated, getting Adrian angered with the comment.
"If I want to die? Are you really that overconfident in your skills to think you can kill me?" Adrian questioned.
"You know, I thought you were planning on chickening out." Stein said. Adrian growled a bit, clutching a heart shaped necklace he was wearing.
"I'm not giving up. I made a promise that I would avenge her. I will get my revenge, and no Faction of Light member is going to stand in my way. Stein, let's show him what we're made of." Adrian responded, his tone growing serious. Stein gave a nod of approval and sank into the ground. A pit of shadows opened up around Adrian and a large number of shadowy hands grabbed him and dragged him under. Once it seemed like Adrian was gone, a hand rose from the pit of shadows, and Adrian rose back up. His trench coat had changed from brown to jet black, and he had a white streak in his hair like Stein.
"No weapon of choice? Quite a saucy fool to think thou can defeat me, especially with no weapon." Goodman said. Adrian smirked a bit, snapping his finger. The pit of shadows he was standing in changed into two large, shadowy hands, each of them with one large eye in the palm.
"Fie! Thy darkness radiates worse than I had expected. It appears I will have to show thee the light." Goodman stated, aiming his bow at Adrian. In his free hand, a golden arrow appeared in his hand. Adrian had a bad feeling about what Goodman was up to, charging forward and throwing one of his shadowy fists forward. Goodman jumped back, ducking once he landed to avoid Adrian's fist, causing him to punch a large hole in the wall as a result.
While Goodman was preparing to fire his arrow, he tried to kick Adrian in the back, but the boy's other shadowy hand slapped the man away, causing him to release the arrow. The moment the arrow touched the ground, it exploded in a bright flash of light, lighting up the entire room. Adrian turned back around, but the light destroyed his large shadowy hands in moments.
"It appears thy foolish weapon did not serve thee well." Goodman laughed, creating another arrow in his free hand.
'What is this light? There's no way it should've destroyed my shadowy hands the way it did. In fact...why is the room still lit?' Adrian thought, taking note that the light from the arrow still lit up the room. He growled a bit, knowing that he wouldn't be able to make any new shadow hands without any shadows. He took a look around until he noticed the lack of light near and up the stairs. He took a quick glance at Goodman before making a dash towards the stairs.
"Wherefore dost thou flee to? Thou art quite the fool for running, especially when I have a special gift for thee," Goodman questioned before firing off his arrow in Adrian's direction while he was running up the stairs. The arrow exploded upon contact with the steps, completely eradicating the stairs caught in the small blast radius of light. Adrian was lucky enough to get away from it and up the stairs, taking a sharp right turn down the hallway and into a darker area where he was able to weave more shadows together to create two more large, shadowy hands exactly like the first two.
'So, the commander likes to play with underhanded tactics like using tracking devices. Two can play at that game,' Adrian thought, punching open the door to a room with one of his shadowy fists and walking inside. Even though it was dark, Adrian could see the light blue walls and yellow flowers painted all over the room. Adrian decided to take to the shadows and hide on the roof, waiting for Goodman to arrive. He kept his breath slow and quiet, listening for any footsteps or noise from the hallway. When it was nothing more than eerie silence, it began to bother Adrian.
"Something's wrong. Why hasn't he come yet?" Adrian said to himself. He lowered himself from the roof and moved over to the doorway, but the moment he reached it, he saw a small ball of light attached to the nearby wall. Once Adrian got close, the ball started to grow brighter, as if it was ready to explode.
"Oh sh-" Adrian managed to say before the ball of light unleashed a large explosion of light, blowing apart a part of the house and sending Adrian flying outside into the front yard. A large group of Faction of Light members waited for him along with Commander Goodman. A searchlight shone on Adrian from a helicopter flying in the sky while the other Faction of Light members had their weapons focused on Adrian.
"Doth thou see now, boy? My divine light can destroy all thy tools of the darkness faster than thy can make them. Thou had no chance of victory from the beginning of our encounter," Goodman said, laughing a bit. Adrian got back to his feet, taking a look around. In his eyes, everything was very blurry, almost to the point where he was completely blind. He moved his hand in front of his face a few times, but he couldn't see it at all.
"My eyes...what did you do?" Adrian questioned.
"Sight is an important thing for a Spiritmaster to have. Although, thou shouldn't concern yourself with sight any longer. It ends here!" Goodman answered, getting an arrow ready to fire at Adrian until a distant laugh broke the moment of silence.
"It's a bit too early to put the show at it's season finale, Commander Timothy Goodman," a voice called out from close by. Some of the members of the group of Faction of Light members looked around, trying to find the source of the laugh until the searchlight from the helicopter shone up towards the broken roof. Standing on the roof was Zex, wearing a strange squid mask.
"Commander! Isn't that the masked man from the museum heist report?" one of the men in the line of members asked.
"So, thou chose to reveal thyself now? Thou art quite the fool, for now I will bring the justice that Ms. Seers failed to bring," Goodman said, completely ignoring what he was asked and taking aim at Zex.
"Ha! Justice? Coming from a man like you? You wouldn't know justice if it beat you over the head! If you're so confident you can beat me, though, I'll humor you a bit, then take what I came here for." Zex laughed, moving his hand towards his mouth and spitting out an inky black ball from his mask into his hand. He waited for Goodman to fire his arrow before he threw the inky ball, causing a large explosion in the sky when the arrow and the ball collided.
'Here's my chance,' Zex thought, spitting up another inky black ball and jumping up into the air. When he was above all the Faction of Light members and Adrian, he threw down the ball, causing it to explode and spread ink all over the area. At the same time, the ball exploded in a way like a flashbang, giving Zex the chance to extend a tentacle from his mask and grab Adrian from off the ground before he landed behind the group.
Once he got behind everyone, he dropped Adrian, who had fallen unconscious from being so close to the inky blast, and touched his mask to change it to his bird mask. In an instant afterwards, he transformed into a large bird and picked up Adrian in his talons, flying away from the scene while the Faction of Light members were unable to see.
Goodman rubbed away the ink from his eyes, taking a look around to find Adrian was gone along with Zex. He growled in anger shortly before he was shrouded by the same golden light as before, returning to his normal form. He fell to one knee, panting and dropping his pistol.
"Mr. Goodman, are you alright?" Aeon asked once she reappeared in front of him, hugging the commander, but moving away after a few moments.
"Why are you all covered in this gooey stuff?" she asked.
"It's nothing, Aeon. The bad man got away, though," Goodman responded, smiling a bit to make sure Aeon wouldn't be too worried. He stood back up, turning to the line of ink covered Faction of Light members.
"All of you, get yourselves cleaned up and find those two! Search every inch of town for them, even if it takes all night! We must keep the peace in our world by destroying the Dark Spirit Stein and that masked man. You're all dismissed!" Goodman ordered, watching as the helicopter started to take off and the rest of the group started walking down towards their cars, talking among themselves.
"Mr. Goodman, what should we do?" Aeon asked before Goodman put a hand on her head.
"We can let the others handle this one. I need to rest before I fight again," Goodman replied, picking his pistol up from off the ink covered ground.
'So that anonymous caller was right. Adrian Rivers is involved with the masked man who robbed Crown City's museum. This is going to be huge at the next meeting,' Goodman thought.
October 10th, 7:18 AM - Mysterious Log Cabin
Adrian groaned and opened his eyes. He still couldn't see anything, but he could feel he was in a bed of some kind. He had no idea where he was, and trying to feel his way around didn't help him much at all. He jumped a bit when he heard a door creak open, wondering who was entering the room.
"Looks like my ink bomb didn't kill you. I'm impressed," an unfamiliar voice stated.
"Who are you?" Adrian questioned right away. He got nothing more than a laugh as a reply, listening to the approaching footsteps and noticing his sight improving when a pair of glasses were slipped on him. Once the glasses were on, Adrian could see that Zex was the person he was talking to, wearing the same bird mask as he wore to escape the scene the previous night.
"A friend. You can call me Zex. Before you ask, those glasses are made for your current condition. Seems that what happened to you isn't a rare case. That commander plays pretty dirty for being one of humanity's lights," Zex pointed out before Adrian could say anything. Zex turned around, making his way towards the door.
"Eight o'clock, sharp. There's a bus going towards the direction of Maury City. You seek power. Power enough to gain revenge. The power of darkness is on your side, and there's a special place in Maury City that will put you on the right path. The ticket is on the table. As for your Spirit, he's on lookout for any Faction of Light members. The entire town is on high alert after what happened last night," Zex continued, stopping at the door.
"Getting back into town won't be simple. I have a disguise prepared for you. It should get you to Maury City with no real problems. Come on. You should eat before you head out," Zex added before walking out of the room.
'Last night...I'd rather not think about that for now,' Adrian thought, remembering that he was nearly killed multiple times that night. He followed Zex out of the room into a small room where only a small wooden table and two chairs sat in the center of the room. A single sandwich sat on a plate next to a bus ticket.
"How did you know about my revenge plan? In fact, who or what are you?" Adrian questioned, Zex didn't say anything in response, tossing a backpack sitting on one of the chairs at Adrian, completely ignoring his questions.
"There's a few things in there that should help you get by for a few days. The disguise is in there too. Don't do anything stupid and you should survive the trip," Zex started to explain without bothering to answer Adrian's question. The lack of answers to his questions was really starting to get to Adrian.
"Listen, why the hell aren't you answering any of my-" Adrian began before Zex was in front of him with eagle claws at his neck.
"You'd best not get on my bad side. I don't care about your questions at all. You're here because I chose to save you. I could end you in an instant if I want," Zex pointed out, brushing his eagle claws around the side of Adrian's neck as a sort of threat before moving away towards the door.
"The train will be leaving soon. Don't screw this up," Zex added while he opened up the door and walked outside.
"Hang on, who am I supposed to be looking for?" Adrian tried to ask, but Zex had already closed the door before he could finish the sentence. Adrian let out a sigh and took a seat in one of the chairs, looking over to the bus ticket that sat on the table.
"Stein, you can come out of the shadows. I know you were listening," Adrian called out. The Spirit stepped out of the shadows in the corner of the room, sitting down in the second chair.
"There's something about that Spiritmaster. Something evil. You felt it too, didn't you?" Adrian stated.
"Impure darkness in his heart. He was a Dark Spiritmaster. Although, why would he go out of his way to rescue you?" Stein replied, looking over to the backpack Zex had left for Adrian to bring with him.
"That's something we'll need to find out later. We should get going before the train leaves. We'll have to trust this Zex guy for now," Adrian said, opening up the backpack and pulling out the disguise that was prepared for him.
'The power of darkness is on your side, and there's a special place in Maury City that will put you on the right path...' Adrian couldn't stop thinking about Zex's words while he changed into the disguise. Stein stood a few feet behind Adrian, watching him, thinking Zex's words were having some kind of influence on Adrian's reasoning for getting more power.
'Don't let yourself sink too far into that masked man's influence, Adrian...' Stein thought.
October 10th, ??:?? - Mysterious Chamber
"It seems the first act is ready to start. The time to put our grand work into action has come at long last," a mysterious voice stated. A large green tube sitting in a small metal room began to glow, lighting up the room a bit. Standing in front of the tube were two men. One was wearing a suit while the other was dressed for a trip to the beach instead of an important task.
"You know what you must do, my children. Dispose of the ones with powers. The ones the humans call Spiritmasters. It is time that we took control," the same voice continued. The men got on one knee and bowed.
"Yes, my queen," the two men said.
'Now, let's see how the humans fare against my soldiers. It will give us plenty of time to continue our search for what had been left on that rock for us.'
October 6th, 10:45 PM: Crown City Museum - Curator's Office
Two men sat alone in the curator's small office, deep in a talk about an artifact found several days ago. The room was big enough for a few shelves and the curator's desk, but not much else. While the talk had begun civil, things got bad due to the curator's refusal to cooperate. A man wearing a strange bird mask had the curator, Mr. Adam Houston, pinned down on his desk with a hand around his neck. The curator was struggling to break free, but the masked man's grip was far too strong.
"I've given you a friendly offer, Mr. Houston. I'm not suppose to get violent with you, but you leave me no choice. I ask you one final time. Give me the machine you have in your Alien Artifacts exhibit, and I'll leave," the masked man stated.
"I told you ten times already, Mr. Zex. The Faction of Light has already purchased that artifact from me. In fact, one of their agents is on their way here as we speak to collect it," Mr. Houston replied, trying to get some air in his lungs while he spoke. He only got a cold laugh from the masked man, but felt the grip on his neck loosen a bit.
"Faction of Light? Those pathetic weaklings? I'm not concerned with them in the slightest," Zex said, turning around and starting to walk towards the door. Mr. Houston sat up, getting some air in him and glancing around. He saw a chance to strike and decided to take it, grabbing a wooden cane he kept close by his desk and sneaking towards Zex. Once the curator got behind the masked man and prepared to swing, Zex turned around, thrusting eagle claws into Mr. Houston's neck.
"Did you honestly think a powerless human like you could pull a stunt off like that. My Eagle Claws aren't to be taken lightly, Mr. Houston," the masked man stated, ripping the claws out of the man's neck, watching as blood sprayed across a bit of the office. Mr. Houston fell to the floor, gasping for air and trying to stop the blood from flowing out of his neck in a way similar to a waterfall, spilling onto the carpet.
"Dark...Spiritmaster," the curator managed to say. Zex put a foot on the curator, staring down at him.
"Now do you see, Mr. Houston? This is why I don't need to bother with the Faction of Fools. If you had given me the artifact, I wouldn't had to do this. It doesn't matter, anyway. I would've ended up killing you whether you gave me the artifact or not," Zex said, making his way over to the desk and taking the master keys from off the curator's desk.
"Say hello to the death dealer for me. Tell him that he'll be having a Faction of Light member joining you soon enough," Zex added while he walked out of the office, leaving the curator to die. The museum was a ghost town, making Zex's task of taking the artifact much easier. He began moving towards the exhibit where the artifact was being stored when he heard a crash up ahead and the sound of an alarm going off.
"An alarm? Don't tell me he-" Zex started to say, turning around and running back inside the curator's office to find he had used the last of his strength to break the emergency glass and sound the alarms to alert the police before he died.
"That damn curator!" Zex growled, running out of the office and making a run for the exhibit, hoping to get what he sought before anyone showed up. The alarms echoed through the halls of the museum while Zex rushed towards the exhibit. Once he got to the Artifacts of Space exhibit, his anger only grew with what he saw.
Parts of the crashed saucer from four years ago were in various glass cases all over the exhibit. Several pictures of odd beings with three eyes and four tentacles had been hung up on the walls, and in the center of the room was a broken open exhibit. Glass was scattered all over the floor, showing Zex that someone had broken into the exhibit. Zex took a look down at the floor, taking notice of a tag that read 'Mysterious Space Ring.'
"Looks like someone got the same idea..." Zex started to say as he heard approaching footsteps. He laughed and turned around to face the person, finding nobody but a teenage girl holding a doll. When he noticed the girl was wearing a white suit like a Faction of Light agent, he began to laugh even more.
"You're the Faction of Light agent they sent to retrieve the artifact? They must've thought this would be an easy retrieval job for a rookie. Why don't you go back home to mommy and daddy? It's past your bedtime, kid," Zex continued after he stopped laughing. He noticed the doll started moving on it's own once he finished insulting the girl, a curious look on his face behind the mask.
"Don't you dare talk about Lucy that way, you masked freak! She'll beat you into next week!" the doll shouted.
"Belle, you don't have to shout. I know these types. They go around and threaten museum curators to get what they want, then murder them if they don't listen. I can sense it in his heart. He's not a normal person, either. He has Spiritmaster powers," the girl said. Zex smiled a bit, taking a step back.
'For a pathetic looking teenager, her senses are sharp. It doesn't matter, anyway. What I came here for is still somewhere in this museum. The thief couldn't have gotten too far, and I can always kill this one once I get the artifact,' Zex thought, taking another step back.
"Belle, he's up to something. Make sure he doesn't get away," Lucy said, knowing right away Zex was planning to flee. She set down the talking doll and let her do her work. Belle took a deep breath and stomped on the ground, making the shards of glass scattered all around Zex form a wall around the exit, preventing the masked man from escaping.
'A Spirit in the form of a doll. This one may prove to be a bit more annoying than I thought,' Zex thought, growling a bit when he heard a quiet laugh come from the Spiritmaster standing in front of him.
"Something wrong, masked man? Angry because you've run out of escape routes? Don't worry. I'll have one all set for you. A nice and lonely jail cell will suit you," Lucy questioned.
"It seems I underestimated you because of your age and gender. You may-"
"Hold on a minute! You underestimated me because I'm a girl!?" Lucy interrupted while Zex shook his head.
"There's a lot for you to learn if you wish to defeat me. Allow me to show you," Zex replied as he put his hand on his bird mask. In an instant, his current mask transformed into a black panther mask.
"Get ready, Lucy," Belle said while Lucy nodded in reply. The three stood in silence for a few moments, waiting to see who would make the first move. Lucy could see a dark aura all around Zex as they all stood around. She didn't understand why she could see it or what it was. A few moments passed, and Zex transformed into a black panther, making a dash towards the path Lucy had come from even though it was blocked.
"That path isn't going to help you. If you try to break through that wall, the glass will shred you apart before you even get out of the exhibit hall," Lucy stated, watching as Zex ran towards the wall of glass without stopping. He smashed straight through it and ran towards the exit without a scratch.
"Are you serious?!" Lucy and Belle questioned, watching Zex dash towards another exhibit of the museum. Lucy growled a bit and began running after him with Belle following behind her.
'How the heck did he do that? That wall of glass should've sliced him to pieces,' Lucy thought. While she was looking towards where had Zex run off to, a man stepped out of the shadows. He put a hand over Lucy's mouth and he pulled her into a different exhibit. Belle took notice and followed Lucy to wherever she had been taken.
October 6th, 11:13 PM: Crown City Museum - Dinosaur Exhibit
Lucy was struggling to break free from the grip of whoever had grabbed her while trying to get a look at his face. Due to how dark it was in the exhibit she was being brought through, she couldn't see anything around her.
"Please, do not worry. I simply want to be at a quiet place where the police won't investigate," the person whispered while he moved forward.
'A quiet place? Why, so you can try some kind of funny business with me? I don't swing that way, buddy,' Lucy immediately thought, struggling to break free.
"You must be wondering who I am. The most I can say right now is that we met before. You don't remember ever meeting me, though. There are important things that must need to be discussed, and I can't have anyone I can't trust finding me," the person continued, stopping for a moment to listen for any noise.
"This should be far enough," the person simply said, releasing his grip on Lucy, but getting a swift elbow to the chest right after he released her.
"Start talking! I want you to explain everything or I'll have you arrested for trying to have your sick way with a teenage girl," Lucy shouted. The person sighed and opening up the palm of his hand where a small ball of light appeared to brighten up the dark exhibit. The dinosaur exhibit was pretty small compared to the Artifacts of Space exhibit. While there were a few fossils and pictures from what Lucy could see, there wasn't much else around.
"My name is Malcolm Robins. I am simply a man searching for the truth," the person replied.
"Lucy Sears, Faction of Light member," Lucy responded, picking up Belle once she finally caught up.
"I'm guessing that is your Spirit, Belle," Malcolm noted.
"Yeah. Not sure how you know that, though. Anyway, what are these important things we need to discuss, and why did you have to drag me to this exhibit to talk to me?" Lucy answered.
"While there are some things I can't explain yet, the important matter at the moment is this..." Malcolm started to explain, taking a rusty ring with words carved on it out of his backpack.
"This is what that Dark Spiritmaster was after. This is the alien artifact you were assigned to retrieve from this museum," Malcolm continued.
"Wait a minute, that masked man was a Dark Spiritmaster?" Lucy quickly questioned, cutting Malcolm out.
"He was. A very powerful one as well. He must've consumed the soul of his Spirit a long time ago and adapted to its powers," Malcolm replied. Lucy didn't respond, her grip on Belle tightening as she remembered something from a past mission she had taken on.
"Lucy, are you feeling alright?" Belle asked, getting no response from her.
"He was after this ring for some reason. I came here to take it and destroy it before that man gets his hands on it," Malcolm continued, completely ignoring Lucy's silent state.
"Destroy it? Why would you want to destroy the ring, Mr. Malcolm?" Belle asked. Malcolm took a deep breath, almost like he was trying to think of something he should say. He was about to come up with a good lie, but turned around when he heard slow clapping coming from behind him.
"Well, look who made the job of finding the artifact thief that much easier. I owe you one, little doll. Following you was easier than killing the curator. Humans are so fragile," a familiar voice stated, hissing a bit like a snake. Stepping into the range of the light was Zex, wearing a snake mask with glowing green eyes.
"Damnit! He's here already! I thought we'd have more time," Malcolm growled a bit, taking a few steps back while he stuffed the ring into his backpack.
"'l'll make this simple since I'm in no mood for games right now. Give me the artifact or die," Zex demanded, his hissing voice echoing through the quiet exhibit. Malcolm didn't move at first, but after a few seconds, he shook his head and held his backpack, keeping the ball of light in his left hand to keep the room lit. Zex laughed a bit, looking up at Malcolm and extending his neck as if he were a snake, rushing right at Malcolm. While the masked man rushed for his prey, the mouth of the snake mask opened up, revealing two sharp yellow teeth.
"I'll take a nice bite out of your neck, then have a taste of that Faction of Light girl!" Zex shouted, opening up his mouth and getting ready to bite down on Malcolm's neck. Before he could land the killing blow he was aiming for, a glass wall stopped him dead in his tracks. He stopped his attack before his face smacked into the glass wall and got back while Lucy took a step forward.
"So, you murdered the curator? You killed an innocent man for a stupid metal ring?" Lucy questioned, standing between Zex and Malcolm with a glass wall blocking Zex's path. She took Belle in one hand and clenched her fist. Lucy put her free hand on the glass wall and pushed it at Zex. The wall flew at him with incredible speed, hitting Zex in the head. The force of the blow pushed him back and managed to break one of his teeth.
'So this is the extent of her own power. Maybe she's one of the selected ones I'm looking for,' Malcolm thought. Zex's extended head flew back a bit and hit the floor, nearly knocking over one of the exhibits.
"Belle, it's time. Let's teach this freaky Dark Spiritmaster a lesson," Lucy said, sounding extremely serious unlike how she was only a minute ago.
"It's time to merge? We haven't done that in so long," Belle chimed in, freeing herself from Lucy's grip and landing on the floor, transforming into a ball of light after her landing.
"No! I can't have that Spiritmaster merge with her Spirit. Now's the time! I'll kill her here and now!" Zex growled, spitting up a bit of blood and going in for the attack on Lucy. The ball of light floated up in the air a few feet, flying into Lucy and covering the girl with a strange white light. The mouth of the mask opened up, ready to tear open Lucy's neck, but Zex had been knocked away by a blinding light coming from Lucy. He ended up getting knocked head first into a wall, leaving a large hole in it.
'This power. This is a Spiritmaster's transformation. It's been quite a while since I've last seen one of these. The merging of Spirit and Spiritmaster. The two forms become one. What kind of powers do Lucy and Belle even have together?' Malcolm thought, trying to get a good look at what was going on without being blinded by the light.
Lucy's eyes were closed when the light faded away, revealing her new form. She was in a white dress and carrying around a parasol that had a reflective surface like a mirror. Her brunette hair had become a bit longer, and the color of her eyes had changed to brown. While she was the same person, Malcolm could feel that something was different about Lucy now.
"Good evening, Mr. Malcolm," Lucy said with a small smile. Malcolm was confused, wondering why she sounded so different. Her actions were nothing like how she was moments ago, and he had thought that she wasn't up to whatever it was she was up to in such a state. A loud roar broke the moments of silence as Zex emerged from the hole in the wall with his head and neck back to normal. Dark energy radiated from his body, invisible to the naked eye, but now in plain sight around him.
"You humans are starting to piss me off! Give me the artifact! Now!" Zex ordered, slashing open a bigger hole in the wall with bear-like claws. Part of his snake mask was broken and was replaced with a bear mask, revealing a part of his face. Yet, the dark aura around him made it impossible to see the segment of his face His anger only grew when he heard a quiet giggle from Lucy.
"Welcome back, Mr. Dark Spiritmaster. I see you're well," Lucy greeted as if Zex was a friend instead of a crazy guy trying to kill her and steal an alien artifact.
"Now you're trying to mock me, aren't you? Aren't you?!" Zex questioned, the hole he was standing in growing bigger from his angry shouting alone. Lucy wasn't fazed by the masked man's rage at all. She kept the same smile on her face, waiting for Zex to make his first move.
Zex let out a roar of anger and charged at Lucy, moving a lot slower than he was when he was wearing the snake mask. He raised his claws as he got closer, but Lucy already knew what he was up to.
"Belle, Copy Ability seven," Lucy quietly said to her parasol.
"Copy Ability?" Malcolm asked, watching as the reflection of a different Spiritmaster appeared in Lucy's mirror parasol. Lucy closed her parasol and aimed at the masked man, firing off a blast of wind at the masked man. He smirked, touching his mask while he ran. The mask changed back to the bird mask he wore when he killed the curator, but the broken piece of the mask stood the same.
"You're such a fool, Spiritmaster!" Zex shouted as large black wings erupted from his back. He flapped his wings to repel Lucy's attack, blowing her back a bit as a result.
"It seems Mr. Dark Spiritmaster has more surprises up his sleeve than I had thought," Lucy stated while she stood back up, watching Zex's movements. Malcolm watched the two stare each other down, knowing he should help Lucy, but he had to keep a low profile. He thought it over and crushed the ball of light in his hand to brighten up the entire room before he ran into the fray, making another orb of light as he ran.
"Rushing in like a fool, I see. How easy," Zex commented, spreading his wings and firing out razor sharp feathers from his wings. Malcolm stopped in his tracks, using the orb of light he had in his hand and making a large shield to protect himself. A few stray feathers landed some small cuts on him. Malcolm bit his lip while Zex took this chance to make a move. Zex charged towards Malcolm, aiming to steal the man's backpack, but a blast of wind from Lucy's parasol pushed him away. While Zex was a good distance away, Malcolm prepared another ball of light.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Dark Spiritmaster, but I won't allow you to take that artifact," Lucy said, firing off another blast of wind, "and I don't intend to let you get away with taking it." she added. Zex didn't say anything, opening his wings again. He began firing off more feathers, this time at Lucy. She used her mirror parasol to block the feathers to give Malcolm a chance to go on the offensive. He snuck up behind Zex while he was distracted with Lucy, but Zex was a step ahead and smacked Malcolm aside with one of his wings, causing the artifact to drop out of his backpack.
"There it is. Well, it's been fun toying with you," Zex said, flying off towards the artifact, watching as it was pulled away when he got close to it by a thorny vine. The artifact was caught by Lucy, who was holding a thorn-like whip in her hand instead of the parasol she had before.
"You humans only wish to continue pissing me off, don't you?" Zex questioned, turning to face Lucy.
"You know, I find your powers very interesting, Mr. Dark Spiritmaster. So interesting, I decided to copy them for myself. I hope you don't mind," Lucy said, completely ignoring Zex's words. She took a deep breath, opening her eyes after a few moments and smirking.
"Let's see how you feel going against your own powers," Lucy added, pointing at the masked man before trying to make wings come out of her back, but nothing happened. She tried to soar like a bird, but like before, nothing had happened. Zex took the chance to go for the attack while Lucy was distracted, tackling her and grabbing the artifact once it fell to the floor.
"You're still as pathetic as I thought you'd be. Even at the end of our little game, I still win. This is why gaining the power of a Dark Spiritmaster by consuming my Spirit's soul is the best way to get strong," Zex stated while he put a foot on Lucy's stomach to keep her restrained. With his free hand, Zex prepared to finish Lucy off the same way he killed the museum's curator.
"You've pissed me off for the last time. I'll end you here and now. Let your death be a reminder that you will never be stronger than me," Zex continued. Before Zex could land the final blow, Malcolm had gotten back on his feet and made his way over with a bow and an arrow made of light.
"Do you think you've won? I would call this checkmate, Dark Spiritmaster," Malcolm interrupted, walking a bit closer to Zex, ready to fire the arrow if the man made any sudden moves. Lucy glanced over at Malcolm, a bit shocked when she saw the weapon he had in his hands.
'Wait a second. That Spiritmaster power belongs to one of the Faction of Light's commanders. How can he use it?' Lucy thought.
"Give the alien artifact back right now and step away from the girl," Malcolm ordered, aiming the arrow for Zex's chest. The masked man laughed a bit, looking at the artifact he finally held in his hand.
"If you want the artifact, have it!" Zex shouted, throwing the ring at Malcolm, hitting him in the chest and following up with a smack with one of his wings. The impact of the strike from the artifact and Zex's wing knocked Malcolm across the room into a wall. He released the arrow upon hitting the wall, sending it flying straight into the head of the T-Rex fossil. The fossil broke apart after the arrow exploded upon contact with the fossil's head, scattering pieces all over the room.
In the confusion, Zex touched his mask to change it to his panther mask, changing his form into a panther once again. He jumped off of Lucy and grabbed the alien artifact with his mouth before he made his escape from the scene. Lucy stood up tried to give chase, but she knew she stood no chance without Malcolm. She instead helped Malcolm and out out of the exhibit as bones fell all over the floor. As the two made their way back towards the main hall, Malcolm clenched his fists. Before the two could reach the main hall, a series of lights turned on and blinded the two.
"Stop right there!" a voice called out. Several police officers stepped forward with guns trained on Lucy and Malcolm while a man holding a megaphone and a flashlight approached the two.
"You two are coming with us. You've got some explaining to do," the man said.
October 6th, 1:50 AM: Crown City Park
The police arrived on the scene in the time Lucy and Malcolm were dealing with the masked man. The curator's body was dealt with and the two Spiritmasters were taken down to the station and questioned about the battle in the museum. The entire museum was closed down for the police investigation and a warrant for Zex's arrest was made. Once the questioning was over and the two were sent away, Lucy and Malcolm headed to the Crown City Park, which was also the site of an incident in the past. Lucy and Belle were sitting on a park bench while they waited for Malcolm, who had left to go get something to drink.
"That fight really took a lot out of me," Lucy said with a sigh.
"You used a lot of your energy in that fight, Lucy. That guy was really strong," Belle replied while Lucy slowly looked up at the sky.
"That masked man is out of our league. Malcolm, too. He used a weapon I thought only Commander Goodman could use," Lucy went on, remembering when Malcolm had managed to make the bow of light during the encounter.
"Maybe Mr. Goodman taught him how to use it?" Belle asked.
"I don't think so. Malcolm doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would know a Faction of Light commander. Speaking of which, Belle, how come I couldn't use that masked man's power when I copied it?" Lucy answered.
"Well, this is only your seventh copied power. I wasn't thinking a case like this would ever come up, but when you copy someone's powers and try to use them, you're at that power's mercy. If you need to chant a magic spell like the original user has to or something along those lines, then I'll be positive," Belle explained, sounding a bit unsure herself.
"A restriction, huh?" Lucy asked, trying to think about what kind of restriction the masked man would have on his powers. Malcolm arrived while Lucy was thinking about the whole thing with a couple of water bottles in his hands.
"I'm sorry I'm late. Most of the stores around here are closed at this hour. Here, this one is for you. I assumed your Spirit did not want one since she doesn't need water," Malcolm said, handing one of the water bottles to Lucy. While Lucy opened up the water and took a sip, Malcolm sat down on the bench next to Belle.
"Dark times are coming, Lucy," Malcolm began.
"Dark times? What do you mean, Mr. Malcolm?" Belle asked.
"That ring the masked man stole from us. It's a part of something that will lead to the end of our race as we know it," Malcolm continued. Upon hearing this, Lucy spit up a bit of her water and stood up.
"The end of our race?! You can't be serious!" Lucy exclaimed.
"I am serious. It's our world's fate. However, fate is not absolute," Malcolm tried to say.
"Sure, for normal people like the police. For Spiritmasters like us, our fates are sealed the moment we're born," Lucy interrupted. A small laugh came from Malcolm while he dug through his backpack.
"You remind me of when I was your age. It was a simpler time. A good friend of mine thought the same way you did. Trust me when I tell you fate can be changed, even for a Spiritmaster like you," Malcolm went on. He pulled an envelope out of his backpack and handed it to Lucy. She opened up the small envelope and pulled out a single ticket.
"What's this for?" Lucy asked.
"Lucy Seers, I have a special request for you. The ticket in your hand right now is a round-trip ticket to a small town in the mountains. A few days from today, a person's life will be in danger. I want you to go there and save them," Malcolm began to explain.
"Why do you want me to do this? If you know someone is going to be attacked in that town in a few days, why don't you go yourself?" Lucy questioned. Malcolm froze up upon hearing Lucy's question.
"I can't show my face in that town. I can't give you the details, but I can never go back there ever again. I figure you're a reliable young lady, so I can trust you with this mission. You won't be alone. I've contacted an associate of mine to aid you in this request," Malcolm answered as he dug through his backpack for something else.
"Alright. Can I ask you one more question? Is this person you want me to save someone important to you?" Lucy asked. Once again, Malcolm stopped what he was doing to ponder on Lucy's question.
"At a time, yes. You could say this person is someone dear to my heart. Now, if you'll excuse me, I should be going. It's rather late and I must find a place to stay for tonight," Malcolm replied while he closed his backpack and stood up.
"Oh, alright. It was nice to meet you, Malcolm," Lucy said.
"The feeling is mutual. Don't worry, though. We will meet again. When we do, I would like to discuss something with you. For now, I bid you farewell," Malcolm replied before he picked up his backpack and started walking away, leaving Lucy and Belle alone in the park. While Lucy watched Malcolm leave, Belle hopped off the bench and pulled on Lucy's pant leg a bit.
"Lucy, we should hurry home too. Your parents will get worried," Belle pointed out.
"You're right. Come on, let's go!" Lucy said, picking up Belle and running off in the opposite direction of Malcolm. Once he was out of the park, Malcolm stopped and pulled a bright red notebook and a pen from his jacket pocket.
"Lucy Seers, a young girl who can generate glass walls from nothing and even copy the abilities of her foes. She seems capable for her age. If she met him, maybe he might open up more," Malcolm said to himself as he wrote details down on an empty page of his notebook.
"The one who doesn't follow the path of light, but instead slogs through darkness blindly. I hope he is well," Malcolm added.
By Kalvoras Vertal
"Well, the third chapter of Dark Descent has been released ^_^ Sorry for taking so long on it, guys..."
Dark Descent: Chapter 3 - Marvelous Misfortune
The time has come once again...for original writing that totally isn't a nuzlocke. So, unlike Red Moon Nightmare, I have progress on this one, but it's still very much a work in progress. Any feedback or opinions on how it is or what I can improve on would be greatly appreciated. Whether this prologue has nothing to do with the main story's events or not...well, I'll leave that to you, the reader, to figure out.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
One hundred years have passed since that dreadful day. The day the Gate of Darkness was opened, unleashing the powers of darkness onto our world. All because of one human who chose to go against the ruling made by the masters of the worlds of humans and Spirits. The opening of that gate changed him and made him the very first Dark Spiritmaster. That day became known to history as The Harrowing. Over time, that name has was forgotten. The public know of the change in the world as The Great Disaster. The near eradication of our world, and the split between the human and Spirit worlds.
Spirits are still able to come to our world, even with the worlds separated the way they are. As Spiritmasters, we are their partners. Our powers can only reach their max potential together. One is next to nothing without the other. That is the way this world has worked for hundreds of years. With darkness infesting our world, the order we once knew has begun to change. This has led to the making of the Faction of Light.
November 3rd, 11:15 AM: Faction of Light Main HQ - 100 Years after The Harrowing
"This brings us to our next order of business," a tall man standing in the center of a large room stated, pointing to an electronic screen. Over three hundred people were seated in the meeting hall, each of them with their own thoughts on the situation.
"Our battle with the darkness has lasted without end for one hundred years. We had thought that shutting down the source of the problem would bring peace back to the world. It has taken us a long time, but we have finally received new information," the man started, taking out a remote and hitting a button to make a picture of a person appear on the large screen.
"This is the Spirit known in our database as Stein. We have recently discovered evidence connecting Stein to the original Dark Spiritmaster, the cause of The Harrowing. This new evidence proves, without question, that this Spirit has a connection with the disaster's beginning. If any of you find this Spirit, you are to take care of him. The sooner we can erase this menace from the world, the sooner we can work towards rebuilding the way to the Spirit World," the man explained, pressing another button on the remote to make the picture on the screen disappear.
"That will be all. You are all dismissed," the man at the front of the room finally finished. He watched as the room full of people began standing up and walking out of the room, having their own discussions among themselves.
"Another hour in that room and I would've gone insane. What do you think, Chris?" a man asked the guy he was walking next to even though he was lost in thought.
"You would think the council would be more concerned about the series of Spiritmaster murders that have sprung up over the past several months. They seem more concerned about this Dark Spirit that may be connected to that day. It's quite odd, don't you think, Desmond?" Chris replied after staying silent for a few moments.
"Yeah, I guess. We don't have any leads on who this killer is, though. In any case, we should keep our eyes out for this Stein guy," Desmond replied while the two men walked outside and made their way to a white limousine where a young, pale boy stood waiting at the door.
"Grim, you didn't have to wait outside. Spirits are allowed to attend the Faction of Light meetings," Desmond said to the boy, putting a hand on his shoulder.
"My apologies, sir. I do not feel very safe in large crowds," the boy answered, opening up the door for the two men to enter the vehicle. Grim followed the two once they got in, closing the door and taking a seat next to Desmond.
The two men talked about a few things while the limo drove away from the headquarters. Grim looked out the window while Chris and Desmond had their discussion, watching the scenery like a curious child who didn't get out much. He took a look up at the morning sky and saw what looked like a shooting star. The fact that there were shooting stars during the day bothered him a bit, but he didn't want to bother Chris and Desmond with questions.
"Desmond, Grim, we got our clearance. I should've told you earlier, but the police are finally done investigating that crash site and I got the call during the meeting," Chris said, handing a few files to Desmond. The man read through the files, taking note of the police's notes and information and smiling a bit.
"So it's a saucer crash site, huh? This whole thing seems a bit odd, don't you think?" Desmond asked.
"It is. The police couldn't even get into the thing. That's where we come in. It's not official business, but there's bound to be some secrets in there to make it official business," Chris replied, taking the files from Desmond and putting them in a suitcase.
"There's something fishy about all of this," Desmond grumbled.
"You are right. With a case like this, you would think the Grand Council would've had an investigation started right after it began. It's not normal for them to ignore something this big," Chris replied with a nod.
"Exactly," grunted Desmond, arms crossed over his chest. He turned his head towards the window, suspicion glinting in his eyes as he watched the scenery pass by. "Have you had any new visions? One that might shed some light on all of this?"
"I wish there was. It's been a few months since the last one," Chris said with a sigh.
"The same one you've been seeing a lot of lately?"
"Yes. Three Spiritmasters who will come together and stop the upcoming disasters. At the moment, we can only hope they will be enough. The vision was not very clear."
"They normally never are until it's too late. If the Grand Council isn't going to step in, we may have to take action. We can't put too much stock in that vision right now," Desmond pointed out.
Chris clenched his fists. "Let's hope it doesn't need to come to that."