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Old August 29th, 2013 (10:31 AM). Edited October 8th, 2013 by WhiteKnightL.
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WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
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    Leon's world was that of bittersweet memories. He had fallen in love as a young man with a girl who immediately loved him back, but passed away months after she went back to her hometown. Fighting off depression for years, he had finally achieved success as an adult. But a chance encounter with an elderly man would reignite his nearly forgotten memories, and set him off on a journey across many worlds with hopes of seeing his long-lost-yet-not-forgotten love one more time.


    Sci-Fi, Romance, Comedy, Supernatural


    Rated PG-13 for violence, mild language, and some suggestive themes.

    I do not own anything here except my own characters and locations. Some were borrowed by friends, but for the most part the story is original.


    Friendships come. Friendships go. Some stay forever while others last for a minute. But no matter how long they last, they are eventually torn asunder. Death is neither cruel or understanding. It matters not how much someone means to you. No matter how strong your bond with your friend is, it is quickly cut by the Grim Reaper's dreadful scythe. All that is left is an excruciating amount of pain for the soul. The stronger the rope that bound you to your loved one, the greater the pain becomes. Think of it as a vein, or a limb.

    But what does make this experience worth it? If we make no bonds with people and remain alone, then we can avoid pain. What makes humans take a chance with others until the inevitable occurs? Why are people hurt when Death comes to collect? And what connects these two scenarios together?

    Love. That is the answer. The feeling of loving someone and being loved in return far surpasses the pain we feel of losing someone. Be they friends, family, or a spouse. It definitely surpasses that feeling of sadness we get when we become lonely. Yet it is precisely by love that we feel hurt and lonely when your loved one passes on. Some people can deal with being alone. They grow strong by their independence. They grow strong because in time they learn to rely on themselves more and grow more confidence within themselves.

    But not me. Not after I lost the one person that meant the world to me. I may have been young at that time, but it was then when I grasped the meaning of love's gentle touch. Its powerful presence. Call me a fool. Call me naive. Call me what you will. But never call me a quitter. Because feeling alone has a different meaning between a person who has loved and lost and one who has not loved at all.

    My Leon. And this is my story. This is my pursuit of the same joy I experienced with her. My Melody Weaver....

    Chapter One: Another Night. Or is It?

    In a great kingdom, long, long ago, there was once a country that was agonized by the terror of a dragon living in the land. Many knights have challenged it, but have failed. Some came back alive and lived their lives in shame. Others died honorably, but their remains were never found. The worst part was that the dragon would burn villages with hardly anyone to oppose it.

    And yet it was prophesied that one day the dragon's head will be cut off one day. And weeks after those words have been said, that is precisely what happened. A young, mysterious knight challenged the beast and killed it, saving the kingdom. And what was happening now at the castle was a feast to celebrate the man's victory. And what's more, the entire kingdom had agreed on making this new citizen their king. After all, he claimed he was nothing more than a traveling wanderer. The former king was dead, having been mauled to death when the brave man decided to challenge it. Without a king, the people thought their hero should become king.

    "And now I dub thee, Sir Leon" the former king's magistrate shouted "The new king of our land!"

    "And I kindly accept!" The young wanderer stood up after receiving the crown. The crowd cheered, for they saw good times ahead. But Leon was quick to shush them by slightly raising his hand. "First order of business!" The young man pointed his sword at some of the knights in the audience. "To the brave men who came with me during my quest. I shall let you command the knights of our kingdom! In honor of the men who gave up their lives for their kingdom, I'm sure you will do a great job!" At their new king's signal, the men quickly stood up and ran to their friend. It was then when they received a standing ovation from the people present.

    But the new monarch was not done. "And also! Any working man who goes home to a loving family will have an increased salary in their jobs! This will be thanks to the cuts I will impose on the rich nobles who have perverted this land with their bribes." Cheers immediately followed. The poor would no longer be harassed by the efforts of the rich, who believed there truly was a price for it freedom or the law.

    "All hail King Leon!!!!" Leon shyly looked down as he heard the villagers, the knights, and everyone else chanted his name. "Leon! Leon! Leon! Leon! Leon! Leon-"

    "Wake up, you dolt!"


    But in the end, it was all a dream. This story wouldn't take place in a kingdom where its issues were already in the path of resolution. No. It takes places in a small town in the US. And our hero, Leon, being the dreamer he was, truly wished he was somewhere else. He wanted to go back to sleep, but the guy who woke him up (with a punch to the face) wouldn't allow it.

    "Leave me alone, Malric. I still have an hour before I open the bakery." Leon uttered as he closed his eyes again. But moments later, his eyes widened as much as they could and sat up. One would think he finally felt the sting of Malric's Atomic Punch (as he called it) but that wasn't the case. "How did you break into my house?!!!

    "Yeah, about that...." Malric began. "I don't think leaving your upper lock unlocked and your KEYS on the doorknob wasn't such a good idea." The red-haired boy tossed a set of keys at Leon, who was slowly getting dressed for the new day.

    "Ah, my bad." Leon put his keys away, still feeling mellow despite what Malric's told him. But he did have a question. "Why are you here?"

    "I saw that you were selling a lot of your things online, and just so you know I won the bid." Malric handed over a copy of the website he followed so Leon could look at it, and Leon quickly saw that Malric was speaking the truth. "Don't get me wrong. It's not like I wanted to actually play them."

    "Then why did you buy them?" Leon asked with a puzzled look. "If you don't want to play them, then why did you waste your time and money on them?"

    "If you have to know." Malric quickly glanced at a nearby bookcase. "You're throwing away our memories. Remember when we played all these games?"

    It all came back to Leon at that moment. He and Malric have been friends for many years, and they met around the time the Playstation 2 was a big thing. What Leon was selling apparently held a lot of memories for Malric.

    "Chill out, Malrence." Leon said casually.

    "Stop calling me that!" Malric angrily utter through his teeth.

    "Oh, right." Leon got closer, now sporting a sly grin. "Only Yumi's allowed to call you that, right?"

    That was enough for Malric to punch Leon across the room. He was living with a girl named Yumi, and every time Leon would bring up the subject or romance in front of them, Malric would be the first to act flustered. Yumi had been fighting depression for the last five years, the main reason she needed Malric around.

    "And for the record, she IS feeling better today. So she'll be at the bakery on time today." Malric pointed out. To make ends meet, Malric would head out to his job at a convenience store in the morning while Yumi helped out at Leon's bakery. Sometimes bills would be a problem for them, so Leon would occasionally help out his childhood friends when Yumi's depression got the best of her.

    "That's good news." Sporting that sly grin of his, Leon just couldn't help himself on making Malric a little more flustered. "If she's feeling better, why don't you ask her out, ya wimp?"

    This time, Leon witnessed a different reaction from Malric. As he suspected, he DID like Yumi in that sort of way. "I....can't."

    "And why not?"

    "Because.....well, I always thought it was cowardice to ask a girl out when she's vulnerable."

    "You got a point there." Leon crossed his arms as he thought for a moment. He completely agreed with Malric on the subject. Waiting for a woman to let her guard down was no better than a thief waiting for the owner of a house to go to sleep, he thought. Yumi had always been a strong girl. That is, until tragedy hit them all in the heart. It was Yumi who got hurt the most. Even though she seemed happy a lot of the time, all it took was one bad day for her to go back to her depressive state, which was hard to get out of each time.

    " really plan to move out of this town, huh?" Malric said, hoping to change the subject.

    "Yeah. Both this house and the bakery hold many great memories, but I think it's time I moved on to something big." Leon looked around his house, and Malric saw that a lot of his things were already packed. Leon had one week left to move out, and he wanted to spend that time giving it his all at the bakery, which he opened up three years before. It took some effort to draw the town's attention, but the locals come in every day to see what kind of goods he had prepared. Yumi had become his apprentice, even though she has baked and cooked a lot longer than he has. "You see, Malric. Sometimes, you just have to move on. I know we all felt the same way Yumi did before, but you and I are getting out of it. There's not much I can do, and if I stay here I won't really be able to move on. So I'm going to a school in Wisconsin to get away from it all. At least for a couple of years. Then, when I come back, I'll build an even greater bakery!"

    Malric was really disappointed in what Leon just said. "But, Leon.....what about the bakery?"

    "Oh, that's easy. I'm giving it to Yumi. I'm sure she'll take care of it on her own." Leon replied with a careless tone in his voice.

    "By herself?! Have you gone mad?!" Malric was having a hard time absorbing everything Leon was telling him. It sounded to him that the guy didn't really plan much of it.

    "I'd hate to see it closed down when I come back, you know?"

    "But what if she says no? Then what?!"

    Leon then looked out the window for a moment. He already knew what to say. "I seriously doubt it. Malric, you never stopped by the bakery, have you?"

    "Um, actually....I haven't....."

    "When Yumi starts baking, she really gives it her all." Leon stated. "It's like she becomes an entirely different person. No. More like she goes back to the way she used to be."

    "You're kidding...." Malric couldn't believe what he was hearing. He couldn't remember the last time he saw Yumi smile.

    "Not at all. And you know why that is?" Leon asked. And before Malric could answer, he had already pulled up a picture from his digital camera. It was a book. "It's your sister's recipe book. She was so young, and yet she came up with a few things. She was truly magnificent."

    That was a subject that no one has touched in a long time. The recipe book belonged to a young woman named Riddel. She was the connection between the three friends. She was Yumi's best friend. She was Malric's big sister. And she was Leon's last relationship. The main reason she is rarely mentioned was because she lost her battle with cancer five years ago. As a result, Yumi fell into depression. While Malric and Leon were also affected by her death, Yumi appeared to be the only one who couldn't get out of it for long.

    "Yeah...." Malric said softly. His sister meant a lot to him. While he was not as affected as Yumi, Malric still missed her. He wanted to avoid this subject as well, so he prepared to leave. "So, um. Yumi will be on time today, so get ready. You hear?"

    "Will do. Thanks-" But Malric had already shut the front door by the time Leon tried to thank him. "Malric." Leon quickly pulled a stack of papers under his bed, and for a couple of minutes he gazed at them. "How could I forget? There's not a day when i don't think about her. But that is precisely why I have to move away from here. If I can go through with it, then that means I moved on. Right?" Leon didn't have much time left to get ready, so he neatly stored the stack of papers away. Once he was ready for work, he leaves the house and, looking behind him, he nods. "I'll be back later." He closes the door and begins his walk down to the bakery.


    With minutes to spare, Leon was able to make it in time to open up the bakery. Some people would wonder why a man, who should focus on either "manly" jobs or studying, would open up a bakery. And whenever Leon heard people asking those questions, he would simply answer with "To make the best smiles I can possibly make!" Some were satisfied with his answer, while others would secretly question his masculinity. In any case, there was something almost everyone could agree on: whatever way Leon used to make his pastries seemed to be working. People of all ages came to his shop every day. Kids would want the cupcakes while while otakus and gamers would come in with special requests. Adults, as expected, came in mostly to get birthday cakes for their children.

    Leon was relieved that Malric was right, and saw a girl come in the doors a minute after he did. "Glad to see you, Yumi." Leon didn't really expect Yumi to dress nicely, and today was no different. She wore a black sweater and jeans, something Leon would immediately object to if wearing an apron didn't make her look a little like a maid.

    "Morning." Yumi answered with a smile. She seemed to be more like herself each passing day, Leon thought. Of course, it could also be because of the news Malric told her earlier. "I....hear you're leaving for Wisconsin in a week."

    "Yeah. I was trying to make a decision on my own, so I really didn't want to tell you guys til I made up my mind. Which was last night." Yumi hadn't heard wrong at all. Leon was leaving town all of a sudden and the thought of taking care of the bakery frightened her. Sensing this, Leon tried to calm her down. "I'm sure you'll do fine, Yumi. You've already been trained, so there's not a whole lot I can teach you. All you need now is some time alone so you can grow independent!" After saying this, Leon then muttered to himself. "Just like me....."

    "I-I don't know if I can do it!" Hyperventilating, Yumi sat down by Leon's suggestion. He was worried that Malric would be right about Yumi not wanting to take care of the bakery by herself. But after calming down, she gave her answer. "B-but I'll do my best! I'll take care of the bakery for you!"

    "Hey, I didn't expect your answer so soon! You want time to think about it? Because-"

    "No, it's totally fine. I thought about it on the way here, and while I'm scared I think it would be nice for you to get out there some more." Standing up, Yumi then grabbed her apron and put it on. She glances at all the different baked goods that have already been made. She didn't want it all to go down. "I remember you telling Riddel you wanted to see more things out there. How everything in and out of this world fascinated you."

    Riddel was brought up again. This was the second time in a while since she was the subject of the conversation. And Yumi was right, Leon did want to see more things out of his hometown. Even if it's just a college in Wisconsin for two years. And though Malric didn't seem to approve of his decision (as Yumi later pointed out), Yumi was behind Leon's decision 100%.

    "You go do what you think it's best! I'm sure Ri-chan is smiling up above of your decision!" Leon smiled at hearing those words come out of Yumi. He was proud that she could mention Riddel twice without crying. She really seemed to be feeling better, and believed she would be back to her old self eventually at this rate.

    It was now 9 in the morning, so the bakery was now open for business. Throughout the day, thanks to a sign on the door, word spread fast that Leon the baker was moving out of the town in a week. Some wished him luck while others urged him to stay in town. But his mind was already made. Yumi's eyes would well up when the people practically begged him to stay, but nevertheless she remained supportive of Leon's decision.

    It was 6 in the afternoon and the bakery was about to close. An elderly man, with the help of his cane, rushes to the doors and stops Leon from closing the doors. "Pardon me, young man. But your bakery is the closest one to my house that is open right now. Could I please come in?"

    "Sorry sir, but it's already 6." Leon sadly replied. "We're fixing to close right now.It's been a busy day."

    "Please, sir. I beg of you. I woke up from my nap about 45 minutes ago. This body can only move so fast." The old man insisted. As often as Leon refused, the man persevered and continued to ask until Leon finally caved in.

    "Alright. Come on in." Leon opened the door for the man, who quickly went inside. Leon was never too fond of last-minute shoppers, but he thought he wouldn't have to worry about it for a while so he decided to cut them some slack for the rest of the week.

    Yumi, as cheerful as she has been today, attends the customer. "Hello, sir. How can I help you today?"

    The elderly man smacked his lips a little, looking at all the pastries that were out. "Ah, yes. I was wondering if you kids were carrying so banana nut bread today."

    Leon, already with the loaf in his hands, quickly hands it over. "We always do, sir. That'll be $2.50, please!"

    "$2.50? For that big thing? I don't think I'll be able to finish it, but I'll take it!" The old man shouted in glee and left the store. Leon was relieved at how easy that was while Yumi got ready to go home. A few moments later, Malric parked outside in his car.

    "There's my ride." Yumi said, also relieved that their shift was over. "Are you sure you don't want to come with? He's taking me to a pizza buffet and I was wondering if you wanted to come with us?"

    Leon remembered his conversation with Malric in the morning, so he immediately thought on turning down his offer. And with a good reason, too. "Sorry, Yumi. But it's going to have to be you and him tonight. I still have things to do here so I won't be able to join you."

    "R-really? Just me and.....h-him?" Yumi replied nervously.

    "Well, yeah. What's wrong with that? You guys live together, right?" Leon thought about what he just said, and then it hit him. Why else would Yumi be nervous about being alone with Malric, even though they live with each other? "You like him, don't you?!" Leon pointed at Yumi, whose face got red with embarrassment.

    "What?! W-why would you say that?!" That was all that Yumi managed to blurt out, though her facial expression was enough for Leon to believe he had just hit the bulls-eye.

    "Why are you so surprised?"

    "I just didn't think Malric would like me! Goodness, he's my best friend's little brother! If anything, I figured you'd go after me again, Leon." Leon stood quiet for a second. Before Riddel came along, Leon had attempted to ask Yumi out and even managed to get the words out. Unfortunately for him, she was seeing someone at the time but she felt so guilty about it that she introduced him to Riddel. Yumi's been single ever since her ex turned out to be a cheating lowlife, and Riddel's death during the breakup was a ton of salt to her wound. But she managed to move on from her relationship with her ex. Leon was surprised about her thinking of him before Malric, who lived under the same roof as her.

    "Give it a rest, will ya? You know I moved on from you a long time ago, so I don't see you that way anymore. And you know that." Leon crossed his arms, knowing that he had just disarmed Yumi off her only excuse. "So spill it. You like Malric, don't ya?"

    Closing her eyes, Yumi could only hope for the best. "So what if I do, huh?! He hasn't made a move at all so why should I even bother?!" Right from the horse's mouth. In the end, Yumi was waiting for Malric to have made his move. Having been living together for four years should have been enough time to get to know each other. So she wondered what the hold up was. All she could conclude was that Malric only saw her as a big sister, like Riddel was to him.

    "Those two will never find love at this rate." Leon thought. It was up to him to give them a push, otherwise they'll never now of each other's feelings. "Well, Yumi...." Leon began. "Maybe he's just as scared as you are. Probably more so than you."

    "You may be right, but why would you think that?" Yumi asked. She was suspecting that Malric may have told him something.

    "Look at it this way. You have been sad for these past few years. If I was Malric, I would think it is insensitive to ask a girl out when she's most vulnerable. Because then she will act out on her emotions and not her brain. He'd probably be afraid you'd make a wrong decision without thinking it through, so maybe he's just waiting for you to feel entirely better." Malric was still outside, and was honking the horn of his car. He was getting impatient. "I'm not asking you to make the first move. I'm just saying encourage him to make it. If you guys like each other, then what's the use of beating around the bush?"

    Yumi thought for a moment, now feeling rushed. But she smiled at Leon confidently. "You know what? Maybe I should. I'll let you know if anything happens when I can." With a slight bow, Yumi then rushes out the door. She looks back and waves at Leon goodbye. "See ya later!" She then hopped on Malric's car, and moments later they drove off. Leon walked outside to see if they would come back, but they didn't.

    It was then when he decided to close the store when he saw the old man from earlier crossing the street. The light was turning yellow, but one of the cars was attempting to rush through it. Without thinking much about it, Leon rushed to save the man from the oncoming vehicle. Thankfully, his bakery was on the corner so he managed to save the old man before the worst-case scenario could happen. He pulled the old man instead of pushing him. Oddly enough, the elderly man dropped his cane but didn't drop the loaf of banana nut bread he bought. Leon then jokingly thought it was more important than walking.

    "Are you okay, old timer?" Leon sighed when he saw the man was smiling the whole time.

    "Hahahaha, never better!" The old man yelled in excitement. Either he had gone insane or he was just so happy he was still alive. Leon was seriously hoping it would be the latter. "But you did save my life, sonny! Maybe there's a way I could return the favor!"

    "Yeeeeeah, I'll call you back when I'm dying. I just need to close my store and then I'll head home." Leon then walked away even though the man called out to him. But suddenly the man said something that caught Leon's attention.

    "I can see it in yer eyes, son. You're already dead inside." Leon stopped dead in his tracks. He turned to face the old man, who continued. "Oh, yes. Something about you tells me that you've given up on life."

    "You're really going crazy." Leon turned around and began walking again. But the old man wasn't ready to give up.

    "It's because of her, isn't it? Riddel, right?" Leon stopped again, but this time he rushed to the old man and grabbed him by the shirt. "Ohoho, it looks like I'm right!"

    "Listen, old man." Leon stared at him menacingly. "I don't know how you know, but even if you tried to help me she's gone now. Try not to joke about these things."

    "And who said I can't help? I'm not an ordinary old coot." The man then grabs Leon's hand tightly, prompting the younger man to let go. I can help you see her again, you know?"

    Leon was starting to regret saving the old man's life. He didn't want to hear a stranger talk about someone important to him. "You really are crazy. How do you plan to do that? How would I see someone that has passed away and moved on from this world?"

    The old man then walked towards the bakery. Leon was amazed how fast he was able to walk without his cane. "I can't tell you here. Let's have a chat in this lovely place, shall we?"

    Leon just stood where he was, dumbfounded at what's happening. Is the old man really helpless? Was using the cane just a ruse for pity? Is this man just crazy and ignoring the pain his legs would feel without a cane? Whatever the case, Leon was still curious about what he wanted to say. "This better be good....."

    To be continued...
    "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
    -St. Augustine

    "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

    I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

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    Old August 30th, 2013 (1:55 AM).
    Nolafus's Avatar
    Nolafus Nolafus is offline
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      Okay, we have an interesting story about love, loss, and getting the heck over it. I'll save for what I liked about it for the end, as I like to end on a good note.

      Think of it as a vein. Or a limb.
      You need to replace the first period with a comma, since "Or a limb" doesn't make sense by itself.

      Many knights, have challenged it, but have failed.
      The first comma doesn't need to be there.

      And yet it was prophesied that one day the dragon's head will be cut off one day. And weeks after those words have been said, that is precisely what happened.
      A couple things, on the first sentence, you said "one day" twice. This is a little repetitive and I would recommend getting rid of one of the two. I wouldn't start both sentences off with "And". It's fine to start off one with that, but change the other one.

      The former king was dead, having been mauled to death when the brave man decided to challenge it.
      This sentence is vague. Who was the king mauled by? Who did the brave man challenge? I know that the brave man challenged the dragon, but I would switch out "it" for "the dragon" because the way it's worded right now, it sounds like the brave man challenged the king.

      No. It takes places in a small town in the US.
      Replace the first period with a comma.

      He wanted to go back to sleep, but the guy who woke him up (with a punch to the face) wouldn't allow it.
      Replace the parenthesis with commas.

      "I saw that you were selling a lot of your things online, and just so you know I won the bid."
      You need a comma after "know".

      No. More like she goes back to the way she used to be."
      Replace the first period with a comma.

      Once he was ready for work, he leaves the house and, looking behind him, he nods. "I'll be back later." He closes the door and begins his walk down to the bakery.
      Here you switch over to present tense. It's awkward and I would recommend sticking with past tense, since that's the way most of your story is written.

      Kids would want the cupcakes while while otakus and gamers would come in with special requests. Adults, as expected, came in mostly to get birthday cakes for their children.
      What do you mean by "otakus" and "gamers"?

      "You go do what you think it's best! I'm sure Ri-chan is smiling up above of your decision!"
      Replace "it's" with "is". Also, the second part of the dialogue sounds weird. Try saying it out loud.

      It was 6 in the afternoon and the bakery was about to close. An elderly man, with the help of his cane, rushes to the doors and stops Leon from closing the doors.
      You switch over to present tense here as well.

      "We're fixing to close right now.It's been a busy day."
      You need a space between these sentences.

      "Ah, yes. I was wondering if you kids were carrying so banana nut bread today."
      Replace "so" with "some".

      With a slight bow, Yumi then rushes out the door. She looks back and waves at Leon goodbye.
      You switched over to present tense again.

      The biggest, consistent, grammar mistake I'm noticing is that you put in periods where a lot of commas should be. I didn't point out every case where you mixed them up, but it's something you should watch out for when writing future updates.

      I wouldn't recommend commenting on the severity of each person's reaction to Riddel's death. To me, it was extremely offensive to Malric when you said that Yumi was the one that was affected the hardest. As her brother, I expected Malric to be affected the hardest. All because they don't show symptoms on the outside, doesn't mean that there's nothing going on inside. In fact, it makes perfect sense that Malric is affected the most, without changing any of your story. Girls, in general, are more likely to be more emotional about their feeling, while guys, in general, are more likely to bottle up their feelings.

      It was then when he decided to close the store when he saw the old man from earlier crossing the street. The light was turning yellow, but one of the cars was attempting to rush through it. Without thinking much about it, Leon rushed to save the man from the oncoming vehicle. Thankfully, his bakery was on the corner so he managed to save the old man before the worst-case scenario could happen. He pulled the old man instead of pushing him. Oddly enough, the elderly man dropped his cane but didn't drop the loaf of banana nut bread he bought. Leon then jokingly thought it was more important than walking.
      "Oh crap! The old man is about to get-, wait. It's over? That's it? Well that was anti-climatic." Those were my thoughts after reading this section. This section needs fleshing out if it's going to stay, and by the looks of things, it's a pretty vital part.

      As far as the story goes and how it flows, it's nice. The story is extremely easy to follow and makes sense, for the most part. I like the concept and I'm interested on how the plot will turn out. It was an enjoyable read and I look forward to the next update.
      PairPC sister
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      Old August 30th, 2013 (7:07 AM).
      WhiteKnightL's Avatar
      WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
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        Location: Anywhere I want to live. Wonderful, isn't it?
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        Left ya a comment but just in case I'll also make a comment here for everyone.

        First of all, thanks for catching those errors! I would usually attempt to write for other forums but those are always filled with unfinished works that I probably will not get back into. So while I felt stung (for lack of a better word) by the criticism, I see it as a good thing as it shows I have much to work on.

        I just want everyone to know that English is my second language. I have gotten quite good (10+ years since learning it) and yet, as you have seen, I make mistakes. That shouldn't be an excuse for me to get away with awful punctuation, so I'll be more careful with later chapters. Feel free to point out any more mistakes, but as far as the plot is concerned I'd say I have most of it planned out in my mind.

        Hope to hear your future comments!
        "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
        -St. Augustine

        "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

        I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

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        Old September 17th, 2013 (1:48 AM).
        WhiteKnightL's Avatar
        WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
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          Chapter Two: The Chance of a Lifetime.

          (Reread this a few times and honestly it looks good. I hope this looks better than the first chapter)


          "This better be good." Leon muttered as he approached the door to his bakery and opened it. The old man goes in first, followed by Leon who closed and locked the door behind them. The old man looked around the store, took some pastries, and placed them on the counter. Leon was already irritated on the inside, but it was not him to get mad at someone who was possibly 50 years older than him. "What are you doing now?"

          Smiling, the old man replied. "Oh, before I show you your reward I wanted to get these. I'm hungry." Leon would have yelled at the old man had it not been for his seemingly endless patience. After all, he had already bought a loaf of banana nut bread during closing time. As if having read the young man's thoughts, the elderly man shockingly said "I'm saving that loaf for later. I want some of these now." The old man indicated to the small cupcakes he had placed on the counter. Leon reluctantly obliged after opening the cash register, proceeding with the transaction, and closing it again.

          "Aren't old people supposed to be diabetic?" Leon wondered out loud.

          "Ohoho, not me, kid!" The old man said. He quickly unwrapped the cupcakes he bought and proceeded to eat them.

          Leon patiently waited until the old man finished eating two of them before he finally spoke again. "You mind telling me why we're here? I seriously have to clean this place - again - and go home. My show starts in an hour."

          The old man composed a serious aura around him, to Leon's surprise. It looked to him he was finally going to explain everything. "Very well. But first, I want to ask one last thing." He pointed at the blinds that covered the windows. "I needed you to cover those windows completely. I don't want anyone peeping in." Once again, Leon gave in to the old man's demand. Doing so with understandable reluctance, but still without objections. One by one, the window blinds dropped down, robbing the bakery of the afternoon's sunset light. It was almost entirely dark inside. It had already crossed Leon's mind that if the man were much younger, he could have been planning to rob him. However, he wasn't prepared for what he was about to witness.

          Leon could feel wind inside the bakery pushing against his face. "What's going on?!" He could barely speak thanks to the winds being pushed on his face. Unable to see anything, there wasn't a whole lot he could do. He tried to get a feel of the bakery, but the spot where the counter should be was empty. "Is he a thief?!" Leon thought as he suddenly realized that his bakery was disappearing. He touched the walls and couldn't feel the decorations. "What kind of thief is this?!" He then tried to find the old man, but the darkness shielded him from Leon's eyesight.

          "I'm almost done, kiddo!" the old man exclaimed. Leon jumped as soon as he heard the voice and tried to grab the old man, but all he felt was his nose almost breaking from the impact on the floor. Leon felt a little bit of blood oozing from his nose, but the damage didn't seem to be great. Leon tried using the rest of his senses to locate the thief, but all he could hear was the wind and the old man's occasional burst of laughter.

          The winds were finally dying, allowing Leon to focus more on his surroundings. But before he could do anything, a clap suddenly turned the lights on. Leon couldn't believe what he saw. The room was completely empty. The counter was gone. The merchandise was gone. The cash register was gone. Even the door and windows were gone. The strange part was that there was no hole anywhere in the room. The walls had no entrance or exit. It was just the ceiling and the floor, surrounded by four walls. All Leon could find was a man - close to his age, judging by appearance - smiling at his dumbfounded look.

          "Woo. It's been a while since I have done that." The young man then bowed politely before Leon. "The name's Cronus. At your service." But the politeness the young man - who called himself Cronus - was hoping to exude was met with a punch to the face from Leon and his built-up frustration. Getting up from the blow, Cronus smiles. "Okay, I deserved that."

          "What did you do to my bakery?!!" Leon shouted in anger. "Everything's gone!! Are you the old man from earlier?! What's going on?!"

          "I don't see what the big deal is. Weren't you leaving your bakery behind?" Cronus said nonchalantly.

          Leon was angered even more at hearing such insolence. After all, he had owned that bakery for three years after his parents left it in his care, and had planned to do the same for Yumi. "That's none of your business!" He shouted.

          "Alright, alright." Cronus said, in an effort to calm the baker down. "Try to calm down a little."

          "Don't tell me to calm down!"

          "Then get some muck out of those ears of yours and listen. Aren't you curious about that reward of yours?" Cronus said, still smiling.

          That was enough to calm Leon down, or shut him up for a moment anyway. This was indeed the same old man from earlier. The same man who could have been killed by a speeding vehicle. The same man who went to the bakery at closing hours just to get some bread. And the same man who beat around the bush and tested Leon's patience once they had both gone back to the bakery. "So....your plan wasn't just to rob me?"

          "Rob you? Puh-lease." Cronus said. "I have waaaay too many possessions to rob some small-time bakery." Before Leon could punch him again, Cronus quickly vanished and reappeared behind his attacker. "By the way, you have to quit punching people when you're angry."

          "How did you do that?" Leon wasn't so surprised after seeing Cronus's vanishing trick, especially after what has happened already. But he was still curious who Cronus really is. All he could decipher was that Cronus was the name of a god in Greek Mythology. Father of Zeus and husband of Rhea, overthrown by his own children. Leon thought there was no way an old Greek god was talking to him. And Cronus quickly dismissed the theory.

          "How I did that? Well, that and many other things come with being a master of time and space." Cronus replied to Leon's question.

          Master of time and space? Leon stood in place, thinking for a while. He eventually came to terms that Cronus was telling the truth about the space part. He could warp to a different location in the blink of an eye, and his bakery was nothing more than an empty room now. This was no illusion. He still couldn't figure out how Cronus could also be a master of time, though he had to admit that the man's name had been used in anime, and at some point or another it was affiliated with something or someone with powers over time.

          Cronus had materialized a table with a coffee maker on it. He already knew he could be himself around Leon, who still thought hard on everything around him. Nothing surprised the baker at this point. "Don't be so surprised. Here, have some coffee. It goes well with the sweets you gave me." Cronus had poured some coffee on a cup, but Leon turned it down.

          "Cronus, if what you're saying is true....then why are you telling me all this?" Leon pointed out. "If you really are someone who keeps this stuff to himself, why are you telling me? What made me stand out out of all the people you could have talked to?"

          Cronus chuckled, wondering if Leon really had to ask. "Don't you see? I took the guise of an old man on purpose to test you and see if you had a kind heart. You put up with me right when you were about to close your bakery. That's perseverance."

          "Is that the only reason you did this?" Leon asked, still unsure of what Cronus wanted to say.

          "Nope, there's more." Cronus went on. "You also waited a considerable amount of time before I showed you who I really was. That's patience."

          That was reason number two. Leon's hunch was telling him that Cronus definitely had a third reason. And he knew exactly what it was.

          "And finally, you had the courage to save me from a speeding vehicle that came towards me. That, my friend, is called courage."

          "No, I call it stupidity for saving someone who had the power to teleport!" Leon sternly pointed out, much to Cronus's embarrassment.

          "Ah, yes. I could teleport. But then I wouldn't have found another way to test you, my boy. But really, you possess the three most wonderful qualities a master of time can have. Perseverance, meaning being able to put up with hardships, no matter how small or great they are. Then there's patience. A master of time can wait for centuries if he had to. And finally courage, the willpower to face death head on and grab it by the horns!"

          "Uh, excuse. Did you say "master of time"?" Leon hesitantly asked. He didn't like where Cronus was going now.

          "Leon, I came to you because I have a problem!" Cronus, with a simple "poof", pulls out a large book and turns the pages until he finds the desired one. "Page 743. Read it."

          Leon then began to read the page, which was written in English. "If a master of time gets dirty underwear over time, he can use his powers to reverse the "unclean" process to make them clean again." Cringing in disgust, Leon turns to Cronus. "TMI, guy."

          "Oops, my mistake." Cronus grabs the book and flips the pages again. This time, he hands over the book after having reached page 912. "Here we go. Read this."

          "If a master of time and space has only 100 years or less left on his lifespan, he is free to pass his powers on to someone else. The reason matters not." Leon's eyes widened as he read this. It was obvious now that Cronus wanted Leon to take his place. But for what reason? Leon may possess the qualities, but what would that mean for his daily life?

          "Leon, I must see whether or not you can help me with a little problem I have. You see, I'm not the man I once was."

          "I have a life, pal." Leon bluntly stated. "I don't care about your reward now. There are things I must do."

          "Like what? Abandon your bakery?!"

          "That's none of your business!"

          "Why did you build it?"

          "That's also none of your business!"

          "Very well! I know exactly what you want the most, and I shall grant it to you if you help me." Cronus shouted as Leon walked away, successfully making the man stop. He turns to face the 'master of time' slowly, as if he couldn't believe Cronus was desperate.

          "Really? You know what I want the most in my heart?" Leon carefully rephrased what Cronus just said.

          "Yeah." Cronus said with a sigh. "You want to see her again, don't you?"

          Leon thought for a moment. He knew that Cronus was talking about Riddel again. Riddel was gone, and he had to move on. There was no way she could be alive after the doctors declared her death five years ago. What he wanted the most was see her again, at least one more time. He knew that if he ever did that, he'd be able to move on for sure.

          He doubted that Cronus's power was that grand, so he thought it would be best to tread carefully around his words. After all, how could he see someone who was already dead? "Tell me, Cronus. What can you do? What can you do so I can see her again?"

          "Haven't you figured that out yet? I'm a master of time." Cronus said. "Do you have any idea of what I'm capable of?"

          "I may have a clue, but please go on."

          "Then brace yourself for this, because I have power over time. I can control time and have powers over it. And Leon, I can even send people across time and space. You could travel to new worlds outside your own, and you'll have a chance to travel through time."

          "So, that means-" Leon began before Cronus continued.

          "That's right! You can take a trip to the past and see Riddel again!" Cronus exclaimed as loud as he could, forgetting the fact that they were in an empty room and Leon could hear him just fine.

          "I....I don't know what to say, Cronus. For one thing, I could definitely see Riddel again. On the other hand, I'd be leaving everything behind for this one thing. Is it really worth it?"

          "It's worth a shot, and I'll explain why. If you were to leave now, I can use my powers over time to bring you back at this exact moment when you finish your journey."

          "That helps. Then tell me another thing. What will I be doing?" Leon made sure to ask everything he could to Cronus. He was wary when making deals, and always tried to avoid any possible loopholes.

          "It'll be a journey to test you if you are capable of becoming a master of time." Cronus replied without hesitation.

          "But if I pass, doesn't that mean I'll take your position and be locked away in some dimension forever?"

          "What? No. Is that some fantasy people have these days? Please." Cronus took a sip of his newly brewed coffee. "You'll be free to live your regular life once you become a master of time. As for me, I'll finally be able to retire. The job just comes with stress, but in the end it really is worth your time."

          "Then there's one more thing I have to ask." Leon went on. "What will you have me do, if I accept your offer?"

          "Glad you asked. You see, there are some troublesome people out there who gained access to travel across other worlds. And they won't stop until they get to me."

          "And why would they come for you?" Leon asked.

          "I made a weapon of my own and they have mistaken it for something that belongs to them." Cronus said in a nonchalant tone, taking another sip of his coffee.

          "Why don't you give it to them? Are they that bad?"

          "It's not that, Leon. It's just that this weapon was made for my successor. Someone like me can get by pretty well on his own, but my successor is likely to have little to no experience out in the battlefield."

          Leon gave it some thought. He's starting to realize how dangerous this journey would be. He would have to get rid of Cronus's enemies, from the sound of it, and if he was running away then Leon would definitely stand no chance against them.

          He had to be sure of his objective. "I have to get rid of them, right?"

          "Or get them to stop chasing me. Whatever works." Cronus answered.

          "There's something I don't get. If you say you can get by, then why can't you deal with them yourself?"

          "It's because I can't fight. It's been a while since a master of time has had to fight. I made the weapon myself so future generations would stand a chance against their enemies." Cronus finally puts his coffee mug down and makes everything disappear. "The only way I could actually get by is by shapeshifting. Disguising myself was the only way I could avoid my enemies for so long."

          Leon then witnessed Cronus shapeshift into other forms. He at first shifted into various animals, then into comic book characters (namely Thor and Iron Man). This was enough to convince Leon of Cronus's powers.

          It was then where Leon made his decision. "Cronus, if it means seeing Riddel again then I'll do it." The answer made Cronus leap in joy. Leon knew that this was the chance he had wished he ever had. The chance to see his girlfriend again was enough to make his eyes well up, but he was quick to wipe them so Cronus wouldn't see him.

          "Splendid! Then you know what you must do. Convince my enemies that I haven't stolen anything, and you'll be fine!"

          "There's something you haven't told me yet, Cronus. Who exactly am I dealing with?"

          But Cronus had already started walking away. Leon was quick to follow, to which Cronus responded. "Leon, I'll answer that in a minute. First, I have to show you the weapon I have kept from them. I call it.....the Horologium Vest!"

          To be continued.
          "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
          -St. Augustine

          "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

          I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

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          Old September 17th, 2013 (11:28 PM).
          Nolafus's Avatar
          Nolafus Nolafus is offline
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            Alright, I must say. A big improvement over the last chapter. All the mistakes I caught were more stylistic issues, and there were only a couple of them.

            "Alright, alright." Cronus said, in an effort to calm the baker down. "Try to calm down a little."
            You indicate that Cronus is trying to calm Leon down twice, very close to each other. I would get rid of one of them because it gets a little repetitive.

            Then brace yourself for this, because I have power over time. I can control time and have powers over it.
            Once again, it gets a little repetitive. you say "I have power over time" and them immediately after "I can control time and have powers over it." They're basically saying the same thing, but worded differently. I would replace the second half, with examples. The beginning more leads into specific details, than a large overview.

            You do repeat yourself sometimes and other times the scene sometimes feels dragged out. Not anything major, and it could just be a personal preference. It does get frustrating, and tiring, on how much Cronus feeds around the bush. I wish that he had the ability to give a straight answer right when Leon asked a question. I would recommend, in the future, to have at least one answer giving directly. I can understand having a quirky character like that, but don't push it.

            Like I said before, a big improvement. I can tell you put a lot more thought and time into this chapter. Even the critiques I did give, were more personal preferences than anything. The story really picked up and I'm curious on how this entire thing will play out. College starts in a week, so I don't know if I'll have enough free time to read later chapters, but you can be sure I'll at least try.
            PairPC sister
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            Old September 18th, 2013 (7:15 AM).
            WhiteKnightL's Avatar
            WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
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              Thanks. Now that I know what some of my flaws are, I'll avoid being less repetitive and dragged out. With that said, I'll have to put even more thought into the next chapter. I might have to scrape a few things x_x
              "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
              -St. Augustine

              "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

              I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

              Black 2 file
              FC: 3483 3007 8236
              Feel free to add me to trade and/or battle! Could really use some friends in BW2!

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              Old September 30th, 2013 (5:14 AM).
              WhiteKnightL's Avatar
              WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
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                Chapter Three: Off to a New World!

                "Horologium Vest?" Leon asked Cronus.

                "Yup. It's the latest form of weaponry I have created. I've tried so many different ideas, but in the end I'm sure you'd prefer hand-to-hand combat."

                "I'm not even gonna ask how you know that." Leon interrupted. He stared at Cronus in suspicion, now being able to recall his days as a small-time boxer when he was younger. When he saw that Cronus would not reveal anything, he continued the conversation. "But I'm still curious about what this "vest" does."

                With just a snap of his fingers, Cronus managed to materialize a silver-coated box. The box itself appeared to be made of some sort of metal, and once Cronus opened it a light shone from it. The contents slowly rose by themselves: in the form of a pendulum clock. The clock itself was entirely blue, with the exception of the pendulum and the numbers, which appeared to be coated in silver.

                "It's a clock." Leon was quick to point out the obvious.

                "It's more than just a clock! Just take a closer look, my boy! This is the Horologium Vest! I got the name after the Horologium Constellation, which was formed and named in the 18th Century." The ceiling of the room quickly turned into a sea of constellations. Cronus carefully pin-pointed a constellation in the form of a crooked L shape, flipped and turned on its side. "Someone in my position has to represent the stars, and to that extent the concept of time and space itself! And what better way to base a weapon on a group of stars? Even better, a group of stars that are named after a flipping CLOCK!"

                "And this particular one, that you made yourself, was made for me?" Leon continued to stare at the clock.

                "You are right again." Cronus said with a smile. The pendulum then disperses into many pieces with one hand motion from Cronus. The pieces all shot themselves towards Leon, who wasn't prepared for something like that. All the pieces attached themselves to Leon and fit him perfectly well. Piece by piece, the clock that was taken apart in one split second began to look more like armor. The cuffs. The shoulder pads. Every single piece was part of the vest. Even the pendulum itself, which was the last thing that was attached to Leon and latched right into a holster in his back. When it was finished, Leon could feel that the vest was no longer metallic, and felt more like fabric to his touch.

                "With this, my boy, you are now a master of time in training." Cronus was amazed at how Leon looked with the vest on. Each individual piece played an important role in the vest, mainly protecting many of the vital areas of the torso and the areas above it.

                "So all I have to do is beat up some bad guys that are after you and I can see Riddel again?" Leon asked while he stared at the cuffs on his wrists.

                "That's right." Cronus began. "The enemy here is an evil regime that calls itself Nocturna."


                "Yes. An empire that uses its military might to take over the Otherworlds, the worlds that exist across the universe. Nocturna, having a world of their own, was blessed with resources that could easily outnumber the Earth's at least three times. But instead of using their materials for good, Nocturna decided to invade underdeveloped worlds and take over."

                "Hold the phone." Leon interrupted his time traveling acquaintance. "You're telling me you pissed off an ENTIRE EMPIRE, and now they are looking for you?"

                "Leon, it had to be done!" Cronus felt he needed to be stern with his answer. He felt that Leon would back out of the deal if it was more than the guy could bear. "I can't save these people by myself! Nocturna's methods of oppressing their foes are beyond of what most people can imagine!"

                Leon could see it coming together, piece by piece. Nocturna's military might made Cronus nervous. The elderly time traveler, who could only disguise himself as a younger man, had to hide until he found his successor. He could not face Nocturna, at least not alone. Someone else with great potential had to help, even if it took ages to find someone so selfless.

                "I....don't know." The young man failed to come up with better words at first, but after something thinking he continued. "If I get captured-"

                "Don't even think about saying it!" Cronus stared at Leon with his eyes wide opened, knowing exactly the words Leon was about to utter. "Nocturna will not capture you, simply because you MUST succeed! Besides, do you know what you'd be going up against?"

                The young man thought about it for a while. The more he thought, the more he wondered. What IS Nocturna? It was a different world that made it its mission to invade others, perhaps doing so to build a greater regime than what it already had. But what else did he know? And more importantly, would they invade the Earth? From the sound of things, Earth was underdeveloped compared to them. The planet's military would stand no chance against the invaders if they came.

                But if even the military forces of Earth wouldn't stand a chance, what made Cronus think that Leon could do it? He either has too much faith, or Leon actually carries the potential to pull it off. One thing that would put Nocturna at a disadvantage was the fact that Leon was only one man. If he gradually took down Nocturna's vital points while he remained undetected, the mission would be a success and Nocturna would be no more.

                "If I'm going to do this," Leon began with understandable hesitation, "you need to tell me what you know about Nocturna."

                "Very well." Cronus dematerialized his coffee mug, pot, and table while he thought about what he was going to say. He began on how things went on in Nocturna. "Nocturna has no ruler, so the head of the military has called all the shots so far. He has appeared on television in his home world in an effort to appeal the masses. So far they all think he's a benevolent leader, but don't be fooled. He only stages otherworldly attacks in his home planet. The truth is, he lies to the people in order to obtain reasons to either wipe out or enslave the supposed 'invaders'."

                "So there are TVs in other worlds, too?"

                "Yes. A lot of worlds are similar to yours, Leon. But they all have their differences, and if you plan to travel through time and from world to world you're going to have to find out what sets them apart." Cronus became a bit irritated from having to answer such a silly question, so he went back to the topic. "He is Party General Derringer, and he commands his troops as well as his subordinates with an iron fist. With no head of government in Nocturna, I'm afraid Derringer has appointed himself to lead Nocturna and takes down anyone who wishes to challenge him."

                "How did he manage to pull that off? No man can rise to the top just like that...."

                "That is because he plotted the assassination of the previous President." Cronus answered in utter disgust.

                "He killed a President?! Shouldn't the people arrest him or something?!

                "I'm afraid they didn't. He had help in plotting, executing, and covering up for the murder. You see, Leon, the only people who prosper are the citizens of Nocturna and anyone who inhabits the worlds it has yet to invade. Derringer has personally executed his political opponents, criminals, and Otherworld leaders in live broadcast in order to impose his perverted view of justice on his people. If he is not stopped, billions upon billions of people will suffer and continue to suffer. I need your help!"

                Leon remained hesitant at Cronus's request. It definitely meant danger. Would he risk his own life just to meet someone whom he believed was dead for a long time? Then he remembered a phrase from a letter she had sent him before her death.

                "Strive to be the best person you could possibly be."

                The phrase rang so many times in his mind. And this wasn't just an ordinary piece of motivational advice. It was Riddel's motto. After much thought, he had his answer. "I'll do it, Cronus. It all sounds crazy, but if it means seeing Riddel again AND perhaps even helping all those innocent people, then I just can't stand here doing nothing."

                "That is excellent news, my boy!" Cronus leaped in joy. He was relieved that simply pleading with Leon would be enough to convince him."But tell me something. Why would you help me, a stranger, out in this predicament? Do you realize I could be cheating you or something?

                Leon was more than ready to respond. He didn't give a lot of thought about his answer, as if he knew instantly what to say. "You're right. This isn't something you do overnight. But when innocent lives are in danger, do you just sit around thinking on whether or not to save them? No! You go out and help them, and you start at the first possible moment you have a lead!"

                "Then we don't have a moment to lose. I have to train you ASAP." Cronus tries to grab Leon's hand, but the latter quickly pulls it away.

                "Not so fast." Leon said with a smile on his face. "How about we come up with a term to describe my new job?"

                "Is master of time not a good enough title?" Cronus was confused about Leon's odd request.

                "It's good! It's good, but I think it is better suited as a job description."

                "You got a point there." Cronus pondered for a while. "How about Time Traveler?"

                Leon shook his head. "Definitely....not."

                "Time Master?"

                "You just switched the words."

                "Time Magician?"

                "Too childish."

                Cronus grew exasperated. "Then what do you want?!"

                Leon thought about it for a moment. He eventually came up with the best word he could come up with. "I want you and the citizens I call me The Wanderer."

                Cronus thought about the name for a moment, and at a certain point he began to smile. "That's a great name for you! It is simple, but I like it!" An exclamation point quickly appears above him, having made a sudden realization. "Leon, your training will have to begin now. We'll start by first traveling to our first destination."

                "Where are we going?" Leon smiled, unable to contain his curiosity.

                "To a land where magic is the fountain of wisdom for many. The inhabitants call it...Planet Io!"

                "Io? A planet named after one of Jupiter's satellites?" Leon asked, while also attempting to show off his knowledge in astronomy.

                "That's right, Leon. That planet used to be peaceful, but Nocturna has begun its invasion on it. While Io has been able to hold its own, their forces are slowly deteriorating while Nocturna's reinforcements seem to be never-ending." Cronus creates a holographic map of outer space with one snap of his fingers, and using his hands to zoom in on a certain galaxy, he pinpointed a green-colored planet. "Here it is. You certainly can't miss it."

                Upon closer inspection, Leon saw that several spaceships were scattered around the planet. "Is that....Nocturna?"

                "Those are Nocturna's smallest spaceships, the Scout Ships." Cronus said, confirming Leon's suspicion. "These are simply Nocturna's means of easy takeover. Scout ships, as their name implies, go on ahead of the main force and investigate which planet's level of development is inferior to their own. Naturally, only a few are able to match Nocturna, but Derringer has placed priority on those that are easiest to invade."

                Leon stopped looking at the hologram for a moment and turned to Cronus. "Easiest to invade? Cronus, does this mean that Io's level of development is much lower than Nocturna's?"

                "They excel in magic and the summoning of powerful monsters, but I'm afraid they are not prepared for Otherworldly invasion from a colossal, ultra-fascist regime." Cronus replied with a melancholic tone in his voice."

                "You make it sound like there's no hope for them." Leon raised his fist and began to shake it. "We're going there for a reason, aren't we?" If Nocturna hasn't invaded yet, then there's a good chance we can stop the invasion before it begins!"

                Cronus was quick to drop the melancholic expression on his face. "There's positive, Leon! But once we depart, there may be no going back."

                "I know that! I'm gonna miss Malric and Yumi, but if I want to see them again-" Leon quickly stares back at the hologram of Io. "I must succeed!" Turning back to Cronus again, there was one thing Leon wanted to know. "How do we get there?"

                Cronus points to the sheath behind Leon, the one containing the large piece of the pendulum that came with the vest before it came apart. "Pull it out." Without question, Leon quickly grabs what appeared to be the handle and pulls. The pendulum was shaped like any other. A circular weight was on one end, while the handle was on the other. The handle itself was coated in rubber, a modification Cronus would later point out was necessary for handling it without problems. "I call it the Gateway to Time."

                "Okay, Cronus. I got it in my hand. What do I do now?"

                "Next, point the pendulum at the hologram and close your eyes." Leon immediately obeyed. He pointed at the hologram of Io and closed his eyes. "When you do that, think about already being there and focus on that thought." Cronus saw Leon stand still as he continued to point to Io. Leon maintained focus, but out of fear of not being able to maintain it for long, Cronus revealed the final step. "Finally, at the top of your lungs....yell 'GO'!"

                Moments before Leon lost control, he yelled at the top of his lungs just like Cronus instructed. "GO!!!!" The pendulum then shot a small ray of light in front of Leon. In a matter of seconds, the ray created a portal that had a lush, green landscape on the other side.

                "You did it! I knew you could do it!" Cronus shouted in glee.

                "And now we have to cross it?"

                "Yes, Leon! All you have to do now is jump and you'll be there!" Cronus pointed out, getting ready to jump.

                Leon felt an odd feeling inside of him. He knew his journey was about to begin, and once he made that jump there would be no going back. This was not only a test to become Cronus's successor, but also a mission where the outcome would determine the fate of the Otherworlds. He was about to depart for a world he hasn't seen before, and if he were to fail then Malric and Yumi would eventually realize he was missing. They would search for him, yet he would never be found.

                But Cronus's smile reassured him that success was possible. Without further thinking, Leon jumped towards the portal.

                To be continued...
                "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
                -St. Augustine

                "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

                I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

                Black 2 file
                FC: 3483 3007 8236
                Feel free to add me to trade and/or battle! Could really use some friends in BW2!

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                Old October 7th, 2013 (3:23 AM). Edited October 15th, 2013 by WhiteKnightL.
                WhiteKnightL's Avatar
                WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
                  Join Date: Aug 2013
                  Location: Anywhere I want to live. Wonderful, isn't it?
                  Age: 27
                  Gender: Male
                  Nature: Calm
                  Posts: 211
                  (Author's Note: While the names of states and cities may be displayed, many locations will be entirely fictional. Anything with the same name in the realm of Reality is purely coincidental)

                  Like crayons in a box
                  We're all so different
                  Some purples
                  Some greens
                  Some crazy extreme
                  Not a one in the box
                  Is the same thing
                  We're all only crayons
                  A cool breeze flowed through the window in the St. Raphael Hospital. Morning had arrived in Oregon, but it was far from sunny. The sky seemed completely light gray, though storm clouds were far from the cause. It was spring, yet the entire state was experiencing cold weather.

                  This was the kind of weather that Riddel loved so much. She could calmly go on about with her business, whatever it could be, with a smile on her face and a peaceful mind. Today, she remained in her hospital bed trying to come up with a crayon drawing. While her drawings - all scattered throughout the room - showed just how good she could be, it was today that she wanted to do something simple. She picked up a blue-colored crayon, just like her eyes. She smiled as she colored the sky in her drawing, confident it would come out neatly.

                  She was blissfully oblivious of the conversation between her father and a doctor outside her room, just a few feet away from the door. The middle-aged man wore a facial expression of sadness, thinking that whatever Riddel is going through could only get worse.

                  The doctor sensed the distress that was wearing down the man that stood in front of him. Knowing the news must be delivered at once, he could not beat around the bush. "Mr. Mizuno, I have bad news but you must remain calm."

                  "How is she, doc? Will she be okay? Please tell me that she will at least be okay!" Mr. Mizuno kept his eyes on the doctor the whole time. Hardly blinking, he had held on to hope that Riddel would at least be okay for the time being. Wrinkles had appeared below his eyes, indicating his lack of sleep.

                  "Your daughter will be fine for now. The blackouts are less frequent than before thanks to the treatment we've been able to give her." The doctor's statement was interrupted by a sigh of relief from the patient's father. That relief, however, would not last for long. "Unfortunately, that is all we can do for her."

                  Silence. Mr. Mizuno's relieved expression quickly changed to despair. His mouth was agape, unable to say a thing. What he could deduct from the doctor's words was that despite Riddel's condition getting a tiny bit better, there was nothing left that could be done.

                  "The cancer cells are growing at a rate that surprises even me. I'm afraid an operation now is out of the question." The doctor slowly said, hoping Mr Mizuno would understand everything that was being said.

                  Mr. Mizuno was now angered by the apparent lack of compassion from the doctor. "I don't understand! You're a doctor! You swore an oath heal the needy, didn't you?!"

                  "I did. However, the cancer cells are consuming everything quickly. Even if we get the word to operate the girl now, it would only endanger her life. My job is not only about saving lives, it's about keeping them alive, too!" The doctor's unwavering voice was enough to calm Mr. Mizuno down.

                  "My apologies." Mr. Mizuno said. "It's just wife....." Quickly readjusting his glasses, Mr. Mizuno quickly cleared his throat in order to prevent his voice from breaking. "My wife is the reason Riddel came into my life. She...died in an accident. I just can't bear to even think what would happen if Riddel-"

                  "Try not to speak much on the subject." The doctor interrupted. "Given all the things that you have told me about yourself, it is quite possible you could suffer from a stress-induced heart attack." Turning to leave, the doctor had just a few more words to say. "If I were you, I would arrange for her family to visit within the next three days. Based on our predictions, that is how much time she may have left."

                  Mr. Mizuno could only kneel, as if defeated. He was already overwhelmed by sadness, but by the doctor's instructions he decided to remain outwardly calm. "Yes, doctor."

                  Chapter Four: Discrimination? What's That?

                  Riddel quietly colored the sky as her father enters the room. A heartwarming smile towards him was the first thing she gave him. "How are you, Dad? How's work?"

                  Feeling distraught from the news the doctor had given him, Mr. Mizuno tried to look composed by standing up straight. "The office can be taxing on the mind, but I always look forward to seeing Miss Dizziness."

                  Riddel quickly crosses her arms. "Dad, we talked about this."

                  "I know, I know. 'Only Yumi can call me that.'" Leaning in to kiss his daughter in the forehead, Mr. Mizuno tried hard holding back the tears. "I just....I just don't like seeing my little princess like this. You look so pale!"

                  "Dad, it's okay. I'll be fine. I have always been pale." Riddel continued to smile. She quickly overcame an urge to cough to reassure her father that what she was saying is true. She tried her best to look healthy. "Besides, the nurses here seem to like me. They always want to see what I'm drawing. I like it here."

                  "Oh, that reminds me. What are you drawing now?" Mr. Mizuno quickly snatches the drawing Riddel had on her lap. After staring at it for a moment, he looks at Riddel in disgust. "Is it that boy again, dear?"

                  Riddel slightly blushed at her father's question, knowing fully well that she couldn't lie to him. "Mmm-hmm. I want to send it to Leon in an envelope. I want him to have my drawings when I leave the hospital."

                  "That boy is nothing but trouble and you know it." It was apparent now that Mr. Mizuno did not intend to give Riddel back her drawing. He kept it right our of her grasp. "He gave me a black eye!"

                  "That's because you provoked him, remember? You were mocking his boxing skills and dared him to punch you." Riddel said before crossing her arms again, pouting.

                  "Right. My mistake." Mr. Mizuno slowly gave Riddel back her drawing. "I'm just worked up from all this stress. I'm sorry..."

                  "It's okay, Dad." Riddel smiled again, as if nothing happened. "I love you and nothing is going to change that. But.....I love him, too."

                  "You love him even when your father disapproves?" Mr. Mizuno stared at Riddel, waiting for an answer.

                  Riddel couldn't help but note that, despite her father's apparent stress, he still finds room in his mind to criticize her boyfriend. "I thought moving to another state was good enough for you."

                  "Well? Aren't you going to give me an answer?" Mr. Mizuno said before sitting down at the edge of the bed.

                  " know I do." Riddel said, shedding a single tear. "Out of everyone in my immediate vicinity...he was the only one who was there for me when Mom passed away." Riddel quickly hides her face in the blanket as she began to sob uncontrollably.

                  Mr. Mizuno was quick to react. "Riddel, I'm sorry! I-I didn't mean any harm! I j-just wanted to know for sure. Please don't cry, sweetie." The guilt he had was instantly rushing in.

                  He always felt that way whenever Riddel's mother was brought up in a conversation. He could not always be there for her because of his job, and it was only after Riddel had met Leon that Mr. Mizuno realized just how lonely his daughter was without her own father. Malric did what he could, but words always escaped him when his sister was in distress.

                  It was for this reason that Mr. Mizuno tried to be a better father for his children to the point of overprotecting them. He even dreaded Riddel's 18th birthday, which was less than a year away. And now that Riddel was deeply in love with someone she met one year ago, how long would it be before she accepts a marriage proposal?

                  He had to be a good father, he thought. And to him, that meant even saying no when his inner gut told him to. He waited for his daughter to calm down when he said "I'm really sorry about what I said. You know I'm just looking out for you."

                  "It's okay, Dad." Riddel wiped her tears away. "I'm not little anymore. If that's really what you think, then it's okay to tell me." She looked down at her drawing. A bit of her sadness left her just by staring at it, and a little bit more when she smiled. "But it's like Mom used to tell me:" Riddel turns to face her father once again, wearing a genuine smile on her face. "'We're all only crayons, and this world is our box.'"

                  Mr. Mizuno could only smile, as he had also heard his wife say that exact same thing on occasion. "She would always joke about how she wasn't picky when she dated me."

                  "Aw, but then you wouldn't have had me if she was!" Riddel giggled. "Mom always said to love everyone as they were. As for those who hurt us, we should just dust ourselves off and try again." She began to color the sun with a yellow crayon. As kiddy as the drawing looked compared to the rest of the ones she had done, she did not waver and continued. "Leon is so different from us, and yet I accepted him because....because....."

                  Mr. Mizuno noticed that his daughter began to blush uncontrollably. "I understand, sweetie." Mr. Mizuno stood up and made his way to the door. "I still don't approve of you dating him, but the least I could do is honor your mother's advice.....and let you two go out when we go back to him."

                  "Really? Oh thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!" Riddel shouted as loud as she could, taking her father by surprise.

                  "Since you look so healthy right now, I'll go ask Nurse Sarah if she can check up on you." Mr Mizuno said as he headed out the door.

                  "What?! Aw, no fair!! She always makes me take my medicine. Yuck!" Once Riddel saw her father was gone, she continued to add the finishing touches to her drawing. Using a black crayon, she drew five stick figures and labeled them.

                  Once he had left the room, Mr. Mizuno sadly stared at the floor. "Riddel. I'm sorry. I didn't have the heart to tell you how long you had, and did it just to see you smile again. Forgive me."


                  Winds blew calmly on the grasslands, creating a soothing sound that made Leon smile. The sky was green, just how he pictured it after seeing Cronus's hologram back home. The clouds were the same as those on Earth. A tall building, similar to a castle, could be seen in the distance.

                  "Welcome to Planet Io! It looks like the world hopping mechanism was a success!" Cronus exclaimed, happy to see that his own creation had worked.

                  "I can't believe it." Leon slowly stepped forward, gazing everything around him. The grass was green. The sky was green. And the water from a nearby lake also gave off a green reflection from its surface. "There's nothing like this on Earth. I'm really in another world."

                  Cronus gave Leon a nudge from his elbow. "Shall we proceed? This isn't the time to dilly-dally, Leon."

                  "I'm ready to go. The question is, where are we going?" Leon was hoping Cronus would at least know how to ward off the invaders.

                  "Right. Judging by our current location, there should be a city to the north of here." Cronus then walks for a moment towards a certain direction. "If we head in this direction, we'll make it in a couple of hours by walking. I'm not sure how long we have until Nocturna invades, but if the number of Scout Ships is of any indication then we should have more than enough time to alert the entire planet."

                  "Won't they be suspicious of us since we look...human?" Given that they are in a different world, it was natural for Leon to believe that the inhabitants looked very differently than him or Cronus. How would they react if they saw Leon or Cronus?

                  "Relax." Cronus raised his right hand to shush his companion. "Planet Io may be underdeveloped, but during my travels I noticed that most, if not all, alien races look humanoid in nature. Since humanoids may co-exist with creatures that may/may not walk on their hind legs depending on the planet, I doubt they'll be alarmed if they see us." Cronus had it all planned out, and even Leon admitted how useful he was in the journey so far.

                  "Then the sooner we warn them about Nocturna, the better." Leon had begun walking in the direction Cronus pointed earlier. "So every creature lives together in harmony?"

                  "Not necessarily. This planet is not without its war history. Wizards and warlocks warring against each other is a common squabble that has been witnessed here for centuries." Cronus then stopped for a moment, wanting to give Leon some info before continuing. "However, there are all sorts of creatures that live in harmony with their humanoid brethren. Just like how your people live in harmony with other races yet war with other nations, the Ioans are made up of not just humans but other creatures as well. Everyone is a citizen of their respective nation, and outsiders are treated with respect."

                  "Really? That's pretty cool." Leon's eyes beamed with delight. He was in a world where discrimination was uncommon, perhaps even nonexistent. "You think they'll welcome us?"

                  "I don't see why not. I've been here many times and nothing happened to me." With a smirk, Cronus then continued on his way to the city.

                  Leon, however, wasn't finished. "Don't you think it'll be much faster if we, oh I don't know, warp there?"

                  Cronus came to a halt once again. "Leon." Cronus turned around to face his companion. "You just started wearing the Vest. You're not ready to use the Warp mechanism I installed on it."

                  "Then there must be something we can do! I would hate to go there on foot!" Leon not only wanted to get there to meet the inhabitants, but he also wanted to hurry in case Nocturna's forces were to invade soon.

                  As always, Cronus knew what to say. "Don't worry, Leon. The Vest instantly grants you many powers that normal humans usually don't carry." He then points at the pendulum attached to Leon's holster. "For instance, that pendulum is the gateway between time and space. You can use it to instantly travel to a certain time period in any planet, and visit a certain planet in any time period."

                  "Is that so?" Leon grabbed the pendulum and stared at it. "Then in case Nocturna ever decides to go nuclear on any planet that we're in, we can use this to travel back to about a day before, right?"

                  "That is correct." Cronus then pointed at the shoes Leon was wearing. "And thanks to the last-minute touches I added to the Vest, all of your garments are affected by the Vest's powers. For traveling purposes, you have also gained the power of super speed."

                  "Super speed?" Leon said in surprise. "I have wanted to run fast ever since I was a little boy!"

                  "Then your childhood wishes have come true, because thanks to the Vest we can get to the city in no time." With a smile, Cronus wasted no time in inciting some excitement on the young man. "Want to try them out?"

                  To be continued...
                  "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
                  -St. Augustine

                  "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

                  I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

                  Black 2 file
                  FC: 3483 3007 8236
                  Feel free to add me to trade and/or battle! Could really use some friends in BW2!

                  Poetry thread (please check it out!):

                  My trade thread:
                  Reply With Quote
                  Old October 15th, 2013 (3:45 AM).
                  WhiteKnightL's Avatar
                  WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
                    Join Date: Aug 2013
                    Location: Anywhere I want to live. Wonderful, isn't it?
                    Age: 27
                    Gender: Male
                    Nature: Calm
                    Posts: 211
                    Planet Io. Beautiful landscape. Abundant plant life. Peaceful wildlife. That's right. The only thing herbivores had to fear were their natural predators. Only monsters were to be feared besides the wild carnivores that lurked in the shadows. Predators in the wild were at the top of the food chain because no humanoid dared to defile their territory with their presence.

                    That's a rule Leon had broken in the first twenty minutes of his visit. Cronus had previously suggested the young man to use his newly gained super speed ability to get to the closest town quickly. Two steps on the ground with a certain rhythm would do the trick. And it worked. Leon could run at blinding speed. He was super excited to test out his new power, like a child trying out his new toy.

                    But there was one problem. On his way to town, Leon had knocked down several trees and a deer-like creature on the way caused him to stop to a screeching halt. At the speed he was going, he was fortunate enough not to have killed the creature but he still crashed on to it. Many villagers had seen Leon crash into the startled creature, who made a mad dash back to the wilderness after regaining its composure. Having been spotted by the inhabitants, Leon climbed up a nearby tree. He remained there while more of the locals were arriving in order to see what had happened.

                    Chapter Five: Capture.

                    "Mother, did you see that?!" A young man, probably a farmer or shepherd, tugged at his mother's shoulder as he pointed at the tree. "There was a man there just now! He just bumped into that animal and knocked it to the ground like it was nothing!"

                    "Hmph." The woman scoffed, unwilling to believe what she and her son had just witnessed with their own eyes. "It looked more like a mischievous spell! The kind those northerners use!" Seeing her son walk forward, she quickly grabs his hand. "Don't even think about it!"

                    As more and more locals made their way to the scene, Leon sat carefully on his tree branch and hoped it was strong enough to hold him. As he heard the conversations that surged thanks to him, he asked one thing to himself. "These guys are aliens. Why can I understand them?"

                    "That's easy! The Horologium Vest has a built in device that allows you to communicate with any non-Earthling life forms, thus getting rid of any language barriers you might face!" Cronus had emerged right above Leon, holding a small branch while hanging from another one upside down.

                    Cronus's sudden appearance nearly made Leon fall down from the tree. "Why the hell did you do that for?!" he bellowed, and with understandable frustration. "I nearly fell off this tree!"

                    One of the villagers quickly rushes to the tree. "Did you hear that? There's someone up there!" The villager placed both hands to each side of his mouth and shouted. "Hey! Are you okay up there? I heard you nearly fell off!"

                    "Did I forget to mention that they can understand you as well?" Cronus smirked, having fun as Leon got startled each time he learned something new. But judging Leon's facial expression, he didn't seem too happy to hear it.

                    Minutes became hours, and day became sunset. Leon had waited the entire time for an opportunity to jump down and escape. But he kept in mind that wizards and warlocks lived in this world. He came up with many mental scenarios, all of them ending with him getting zapped by lightning as soon as he touched the ground. And just like that, he was afraid to touch the ground, even when it had occurred to him he could use super speed. "Super speed was what got me in this mess in the first place."

                    "You can't really blame super speed when the driver just stinks." Cronus yawned, seemingly bored with this turn of events. "You know, the longer we stay here, there's less time left to warn these people of their impending doom. Have you thought yet on how you're going to relay the message?"

                    And then it hit him. Leon didn't even know what he was going to say to them had he arrived at the village without trouble. And with that in mind, he also realized that he could have stayed on the ground to explain the situation in the first place. Had he not climbed the tree, he could have reached the ruler of the city by now.

                    Now it was too late. Several men had marched down to the area and shoved the villagers away from the tree. The brutes were almost six feet tall and wore metal chest plates and shoulder pads. Below their waist, they seemed to be only wearing their boots and undergarments, which were made of straw and other unidentified materials that kept them in place. They all carried a broadsword with one hand as proof of their strength. Leon and Cronus had just realized that the military was getting involved, meaning they were now seen as a threat.

                    "Your fighting skills haven't gotten rusty, have they?" Cronus nudged Leon with his hand, who nearly fell off the branch again. "Think you can take them?"

                    "There's a lot of them. I count 20 in total." Leon once again surveyed the area around him. The barbarian-like men had surrounded the tree and had scared some of the villagers off. There was no escape. If he jumped off he would definitely be seen. It was the sole tree in the area, about a quarter of a mile away from the city walls. The area around him was an open field with no rocks or logs in sight. It was all grass and the occasional herbivore that was just passing by, foraging for food.

                    "If you don't feel confident in your abilities yet, then may I suggest talking to them?" The nonchalant tone in Cronus's voice made Leon scoot back a little.

                    "You say that like it's easy! You think they'll welcome me with open arms?!"

                    "They certainly won't tear you to shreds if you make your presence known to them peacefully. The Vest will let you communicate in their language."

                    Leon could feel the certainty in Cronus's words. Then he remembered his conversation with Cronus earlier. "I've been here many times and nothing happened to me." The words echoed in his mind again and again. Leon had just realized that Cronus could be right. "So you have been here before..."

                    "Don't you pay attention to anything I say?" Cronus continued to survey the area around him before turning to Leon and look at him in the eyes. "Of course I've been here before. I go anywhere and everywhere. You could say I'm a time tourist."

                    "You said earlier that nothing happened to you when you came here. Do you think I'll be fine?"

                    "Maybe, maybe not. But if you do nothing, this planet will be taken over and the people will stand no chance."

                    "You're....right, Cronus." Leon stood up and grabbed the tree. "I just remembered why I'm here in the first place. These people, as ferocious as they look, need us. And Riddel needs me, too." Leon slowly started to climb down the tree. The barbarians quickly shouted when they finally got to see what terrorized the people so much, but their shouts did not startle Leon one bit. He was very determined to make it to the city, and made up his mind to fight if necessary.

                    Cronus started climbing down as well. "You sure about this?"

                    "Yeah." Leon nodded at Cronus. "And we better hurry before Nocturna arrives." Leon wasn't sure how he was going to tell them to prepare for war. Unless the people had interest in astronomy, there was no way they would believe another world was coming to invade their land. For now, he just planned on reaching the ruler of whatever kingdom he stepped on, and once he found a way it would be then that he planned to come up with a way to alert the kingdom. After the kingdom was alerted it wouldn't take long for the others to be alerted, too. A flawless domino effect, he thought. But only if he could pull off the first step.

                    The barbarians held on to their swords tightly as Leon and Cronus finally reached the ground. What they had come to see turned out to be a man almost as tall as themselves. He was unarmed, but one of the soldiers observed that the man's fists were nearly as big as his own. They all concluded in their minds to never let go of their swords if they planned on fighting. Even if they outnumbered the man and his companion 10-1, something about the unknown man made them think twice about charging in.

                    Leon saw that none of them were moving. He pulled out a small donut from one of his pockets, held it up and said "Greetings, men! We come in-" But one of the barbarians shouted at the top of his lungs and knocked Leon down with his steel-plated head. The impact was not only enough to bring Leon down but it had also knocked him out cold.

                    Cronus, as the barbarians closed in on him as well, could not help but add one remark. "I should have added a helmet to the Vest."


                    The door opened, allowing several men inside the large room. They spotted a man staring at the window. Night had arrived. At this time, curfew was in place at the city so all the man saw were guards patrolling the streets.

                    The group of men that had entered marveled at what they saw in the man. A blond-haired figure with blue eyes, wearing white robes. "He looks just like his father." One of them said.

                    "It's true, then. The king is sick and the only person who can step in for him is this boy." A rough-looking man among them said.

                    "Prince Nicolae." Another man in the group called as the young man turned to face them.

                    In elegant fashion, the young man extended his left arm, pointing at the table in the middle of the room. "Take a seat, my loyal subjects. You're in the conference room, and a conference you shall have." The men took their seats around the oval-shaped table. Nicolae sat on the end closest to the window. "As you all know, my father is sick so it is up to me that we decide on the fate of those intruders. But first, please introduce yourselves to me."

                    The rough-looking man stood up and went first. "Prince Nicolae, it is an honor to be here with you. I am Augustus Bleu, Captain of the Legion of the Netherwolves, at your service!"

                    "The Netherwolves? Heh. That group of merciless men my father employed, which can camouflage themselves in the snow." Showing lack of interest, Nicolae placed his left elbow on his chair's armrest and using his hand to rest his head. "You are invaluable during the winter, but I'm afraid the land hasn't received any snow yet."

                    "We can still hold our own in combat, sir." Augustus tersely said, disgusted by Nicolae's behavior.

                    A slender figure stood up. Despite having the smooth skin and even the hair length of a woman, it was in fact a man. "Captain Antares, sir. I preside the Legion of the Scorpionites."

                    "The Scorpionites are a mutated group of men with the features of a scorpion." Nicolae sat up, making it obvious he showed more interest in Antares. "A freak accident centuries ago turned a group of people into those...things. The rest, as they say, is history."

                    The rest of the men, all soldiers, politely introduced themselves to Nicolae. They were the ones who admired the prince ever since they laid eyes on him.

                    Once the introductions were done, Augustus looked around and noticed something was amiss. "Where the hell is Demetrio?!"

                    "He's overseeing the torture of the prisoners we just captured." Antares leaned back on his chair and placed his feet on the table. "He said he was going to be late."

                    "Just a little, mind you." An elderly man had just entered the room and walked all the way to Nicolae's right side. "Sorry I'm late, lad."

                    "No need to apologize, Demetrio." Nicolae smiled. "I'm sure you had your reasons."

                    "This is an outrage!" Augustus stood up. "Count Demetrio, you dare to be late at your own meetings?! You show disrespect to the Kingdom of Thule as well as the Legion of Necromancers you supposedly lead!"

                    "That's enough, Augustus." Nicolae raised his voice. "Demetrio is not only a Captain but he is also a veteran of several wars. I'm sure your little outburst means nothing to him."

                    "No need to defend my battles, lad." Demetrio placed his hand on Nicolae's shoulder. "I was killing Northerners long before this pup could even piss away from his own loincloth. I'll be fine."

                    "They say you were overseeing the torture of those intruders." Nicolae stood up and placed both hands on the old man's shoulders. "Did you find anything?"

                    "Only that those two don't scream very easily." Demetrio chuckled at the thought of his own sentence. "One of them even laughed as one of our inquisitors whipped him, but the younger one passed out after three hours."

                    "We're not going to be getting results if we keep torturing them. Shut down the torture chamber for today. I'll speak to them myself tomorrow." Nicolae sat back down while Demetrio remained standing. "Any objections?"

                    Before Augustus could say a word, everyone else that was present quickly said "nay." Feeling humiliated, the Captain could only look down and mumble. "You'll pay for this, old man. I promise...."

                    To be continued...
                    "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
                    -St. Augustine

                    "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

                    I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

                    Black 2 file
                    FC: 3483 3007 8236
                    Feel free to add me to trade and/or battle! Could really use some friends in BW2!

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                    My trade thread:
                    Reply With Quote
                    Old October 26th, 2013 (9:56 PM).
                    WhiteKnightL's Avatar
                    WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
                      Join Date: Aug 2013
                      Location: Anywhere I want to live. Wonderful, isn't it?
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                      Posts: 211
                      The dungeon was a long hallway, each side having an equal number of cells to hold their prisoners. Cronus watched as an unconscious Leon was tossed into his cell. The man was glad that his companion was also his cell mate, eliminating the need to teleport out of the dungeon just to search for him. Minutes later, Leon woke up and quickly realized where he was.

                      Chapter Six: Kurai.

                      "Oh, you're finally up?" Cronus leaned against the dungeon wall as he saw his companion regaining his consciousness. Cronus was shirtless, and revealed several wounds around his chest and back.

                      Stench and mildew emanated from the dungeon walls. There was one bed and a small pillar. The pillar had a hole on top, which Leon assumed was used as a toilet for prisoners. He knew he was alive, but now he was locked up as a prisoner. There was no need for the young man to speak. He knew he was in huge trouble and did not know what to do.

                      Cronus couldn't stand the silence that followed for several minutes, so he spoke up. "Nothing to say after getting tortured for three hours, huh?"

                      Leon turned to him, frustrated. "We've been holed up on a tree for hours and now we're holed up in this cell. What do you think I feel?"

                      Cronus grinned. "Just look at me, Leon."

                      "I'd rather not."

                      "Everywhere I go, whipping seems to be a way to torture heathens and prisoners." Cronus slowly placed his hand on some of the wounds. "And trust me, some hurt much more than others!"

                      "You sound like you enjoyed it." Leon turned his head away from Cronus and sees a small window close to the ceiling. Barred, but he was able to see some lights coming from outside.

                      "I actually did!" Cronus's grin became a huge smile. "And what luck! My inquisitor was a beautiful lady!"

                      "Please stop talking...."

                      "She was awkward and did not seem to be pleased with her job, but I encouraged her and just asked for more and more until the torture chamber shut down."

                      "I thought I told you stop!" Leon roared, causing some of the prisoners and guards to be alarmed. The prisoners quickly went back to their own business while the guards kept a close eye on him.

                      "What a killjoy." Cronus placed a bandage around his chest before putting his shirt back on (finally). "You do realize we can get out of here at any time, right?"

                      "The Pendulum!" Leon said as he tried to reach for the blade. "Then let's go home. This place has been fun, but Nocturna can have this hunk of rock after the way it's treated us."

                      "And abandon these people and leave them at the mercy of Derringer? Hmph. Suit yourself." Cronus got ready to leave while he left Leon to do his business. But nothing was happening. Once he looked at Leon again, he saw the young man patting himself all over his body as if he had lost something.

                      "The Pendulum is gone!" Leon searched the cell for the weapon, with no results. "They must have confiscated it when I was out cold."

                      "It would make sense." Cronus said. "The Pendulum looks like a blade. Even if it just serves as a gateway, the local inhabitants will see it as an oddly-shaped broadsword."

                      Leon slams his back against the wall and just drops to the floor. He was feeling a bit sad now that their only means of going home is gone. He suddenly turns towards the exit when he and Cronus hear shouts coming from the hallway.

                      "I'm telling you I am not a harlot!!!" A woman's voice shouted.

                      Leon got closer to the bars of his cell and saw a woman getting tossed inside a neighboring cell by a large man. Leon stared at the man for a moment, and noticed he looked just like one of the barbarians that knocked him out earlier. The barbarian merely scoffs before walking away.

                      The woman seemed to be in her mid-twenties. She had long, curly brown hair. Leon could not tell how big or thin she really was, as her long, red dress covered most of her features. Judging by her height, she was nearly 5 1/2 feet tall. Remembering her shouts from earlier, it was hard for Leon to believe that this neatly-dressed woman - almost looking like royalty - was being accused of something so degrading.

                      "Are you okay, ma'am?" Cronus got closer to the bars that separated their cells.

                      "Those meat hooks of his left a bruise or two, but I'm fine." The woman stood up, dusting herself off as she stares at her neighboring cellmates. "It's not often I see men in a Thulian dungeon."

                      "'Not often'? Are you saying you've been imprisoned before?" Cronus said.

                      "I've only come as a visitor before, but I had to dress up as a man in order to do so." The woman nonchalantly pointed out.

                      "What do you mean that you don't see men in here?" Leon gently pushed Cronus aside, having heard the woman's remarks.

                      "Have you two been living under a rock?" The woman smiled. "I can see why you're imprisoned. Ignorance to the town's customs can land you in the dungeon."

                      "You're making fun of us, aren't you?"

                      "I see you're not dense, either." The woman giggled at Leon while the latter punched the bars in order to silence her, only to get painful results. "I guess I spoke too soon....."

                      "Never mind her, Leon. It looks like she's just wasting our time." Cronus started walking back deeper into the cell, but the woman's words quickly stopped him.

                      "Alright, alright. I'm sorry." The woman cleared her throat as Leon and Cronus got close to her again. "I just figured you'd know that men are glorified way more than women here."

                      "They are?" Leon wondered out loud.

                      "You are in the Kingdom of Thule, after all. Women are imprisoned for breaking even the smallest laws. It is widely known around the world as the kingdom that oppresses women." The woman stared coldly at them. "Men get away with even the most disgusting crimes here. For the two of you to be here means that you either murdered someone or kissed each other in public. And seeing that you have been imprisoned together, I'm leaning towards the former."

                      Leon and Cronus briefly stared at each other, disgusted and relieved at the same time that the woman didn't assume something else.

                      "Then I'll make one guess." The woman stared at Leon's eyes. "The two of you aren't from around here, are you?" Silence followed, which led the woman to assume that she had hit the nail right on the head. Leon stared back at Cronus, but Cronus simply shook his head. "I'm right, aren't I?"

                      "You're right. We're not citizens of Thule. The soldiers mistook us for a threat so we were stuck up in a tree for hours before they got us." Leon slowly said, embarrassed that he had to remember the mistake that landed him in the dungeon in the first place.

                      The woman's reaction was different from what Leon expected. "I knew it! Whatever you are, you were threatening enough to rustle little Nicolae's robes!" The woman laughed out loud, alarming a nearby soldier. "That's it, then. Time to bust you two out of here."

                      "Bust us out? But didn't that soldier lock you there good?" Cronus pointed at the locks that kept the woman's prison cell from opening.

                      "Oh, please." The woman moved her right hand up and down. "I got myself thrown in the dungeon on purpose to find you two and break you out of here. You'll be useful for my cause."

                      Cronus could not help but give off a smile of his own. "You are a clever girl. What's your name?"

                      The woman held the left side of her hair, and with one quick backwards motion she waved her hair back behind her shoulder. "My name is Kurai, and I'm a proud citizen of the Northern Kingdom of Mesarthim. And since you boys can't stop staring at me, I'll have you know that I'm eight-years-old."

                      Leon quickly rushed to the back of the cell, dragging Cronus with him. "Cronus, a word!!"

                      "What is it? It's rude to leave when someone introduces themselves."

                      "You seriously believe that girl is eight? Look at her." Leon points at Kurai, who only waved back at them. "She has to be at least three times that age."

                      "Exactly, Leon." Cronus pointed at the sky, a blue star shining in the direction Cronus was pointing at. "Planet Io is in orbit around a blue star. Because blue stars are extremely hot, the planet was formed far away. It takes three Earth years for Io to completely revolve around its star. So this girl has lived for about eight of the planet's revolutions, and if you multiply that by three then that would make her 24 in Earth years."

                      "Then, why did she tell us her age....?"

                      "Who knows. It's clear that she despises the prejudice in this kingdom, so maybe she's proving her point by being our equal. Men normally tell each other's ages without making a big fuss about it, so in her mind why should she?"

                      "In any case, should we really trust her?" Leon looked at Kurai carefully. She was inspecting the bars, possibly thinking how they were going to escape.

                      "Personally I'm going to miss the inquisitor that gave me that whipping, but if she's our way out then I'm taking my chances with her. Besides, we have to look for the Pendulum. It can't be far. I can sense it."

                      Leon sighed. He was mad because Cronus was exactly right. There wasn't a whole lot they could do without the Pendulum, and Kurai offered to help them only if they helped her in return. Leon also thought he felt a sense of security whenever he got close to Kurai. As if he could trust her.

                      "I'm right, aren't I?" Cronus smiled. He felt it as well. He somehow knew that the woman could be trusted, at least for now.

                      Leon walks up to Kurai as close as he could. "Fine. But first, tell us what you want us for."

                      "Gladly." Kurai smiled, happy that Leon was willing to hear her out. "Mesarthim and Thule have been at odds for ages ever since Thule's warlocks and Mesarthim's wizards all died in the Great War."

                      "The Great War?" Leon said, listening intently.

                      "Yeah. It was a huge war for world domination, and in the end they all wiped each other out. Thule was left without warlocks and Mesarthim was left without its wizards. Ever since then, Mesarthim's women have tried their best to rebuild their kingdom. Thule, threatened by the capabilities of Mesarthim's women, decided to oppress every single woman in their kingdom."

                      "Oppress as in?" Cronus asked.

                      "Every woman here cannot find work outside of their home, they can't leave their home without an adult man accompanying them, and other silly things." Kurai sat on the floor, saddened by her own words. "Men here are the worst. Women have become nothing more than objects for them."

                      "I can see why you might need some help." Leon said. "But what do you expect us to do?"

                      "Right now, Mesarthim and Thule are in the middle of a political war. They are going far and wide to reach other inhabitants of our planet and bring them to their side. Thule started it all, and I'm afraid they are aiming for supremacy over the world." Kurai sighed, her facial expression turning into what seemed to be one of fear. She made no effort to hide her frown. "That's why Mesarthim is doing its best to bring people to our side, but I'm afraid our women are simply too proud to seek the help of men."

                      "And since Thule is the enemy, you assumed you'll have better luck with us." Cronus quickly leaned in to Kurai. "If that's the case, then why didn't you use your own men?"

                      "Mesarthim is a land of equality, but I'm afraid Thule has left a bad impression for men everywhere." Kurai looked at Cronus and gently let her fingers touch his chin. "Our women are too rough on them and as a result they have turned into a spineless congress of baboons. It's not so bad, though." Kurai giggled again. "They do anything we ask of them. I even have my escorts wrapped around my little finger." Kurai quickly saw that Leon seemed unimpressed by her words. His eyes showed an expression that was yelling at her to shut up, so the woman changed her tone of voice pretty quickly. "It's just silly things, mind you. Like opening doors for me. I assure you, the good women of Mesarthim stand for equality and will not manipulate a man in a malicious manner."

                      "What about you and your escorts?" Leon said tersely.

                      "They're spineless around women like everyone else, but they'll lay down their lives for me." Kurai let out a smile. "That's what separates them from the rest. However, they can be incompetent at times so I can't trust them with a mission so big."

                      "Hold on a sec." Leon raised his hand. "Why do you need escorts in the first place? Are you someone important?

                      "Hey, hey!" Kurai wagged her finger. "I do the questions around here, and here's the last one: Are you guys in or not?"

                      Leon and Cronus stared at each other for a moment. Both of them knew what this agreement would entail. They would be stuck with Kurai until the planet was at peace, and with Derringer's troops in the process of scouting the world left them no choice but to agree. They needed the planet to be at peace in order to warn them, as it was just bad timing that they got stuck in the middle of a political battlefield.

                      Leon grabbed the hand that Kurai had offered and shook it. "You have a deal," he began.
                      "but on one condition."

                      "Anything!" Kurai smiled, unable to control herself while she shook Leon's hand with both of hers.

                      "I'm going to need my weapon if we're making this journey." Leon refused to let go of Kurai's hand, not willing to set it free just yet. "The guards must have confiscated it."

                      "Not a problem at all." Kurai managed to free herself from Leon's grasp after he heard what he wanted to hear. "They confiscated my weapon, too. Once I break you out of your cell, we'll have to be careful from attracting unwanted attention."

                      Leon and Cronus stayed where they were as they witness Kurai place her hands in the bars. In just mere moments, the steel bars that separated them dissolved as if they were melted. Hardly a trace of them was left.

                      "What did you just do?" Leon asked as Kurai made her way inside their cell.

                      "Didn't you know? Fire melts steel." Kurai said nonchalantly as she prepares to do the same thing with the cell door.

                      "I see." Cronus walked up to Kurai. "The wizards may have died out, but you managed to learn a few tricks somewhere!"

                      "Actually, I was born with this power." The cell door quickly bursts open, something Leon had not expected the woman to do. She stares at them, having not expected them to be quiet so suddenly. "I learned to control it while I was growing up. Now will you boys get a move on? The guards will notice any minute now."

                      It took only a moment before Kurai's words kicked in, prompting Leon and Cronus to lead the way out. Some of the prisoners had fallen asleep, but others began to shout and beg to be freed as well.

                      "Leon, wasn't there another guard around here?" Cronus said as he looked at the prisoners.

                      "Now that you mention it," Leon carefully surveyed the area before confirming what he knew, "one was right around here when I made that outburst earlier..."

                      "Can't trust men to do a simple job around here, huh?" Kurai chuckled. "I suppose it does have its advantages."

                      The group was making their way out in a certain order, each person looking for any sign of their weapons. Leon was leading the way, ready to face any guards that might notice them. Cronus was right behind him, unable to fight but simply too curious to remain behind. Lastly was Kurai, who expected to be noticed any time soon and let Leon distract the guards while she came up with a plan should the need arise.

                      Leon noticed that the prisoners, as hinted by Kurai, were mostly women. They all looked dirty, perhaps having spent too much time in the dungeon. Unable to muster the courage to say anything, Leon looked away. It was moments later when he heard Kurai whisper "I'm sorry." several times.

                      They had finally reached the end of the long hallway where they noticed a table next to the exit, which seemed to be a reception desk. On the table, Leon spotted a staff with a very thick end.....and the Pendulum. "There's my weapon!"

                      "And mine as well!" Kurai shoved Leon, silently urging him to recover their weapons. But as they carefully approached the table, the exit door slams open. One of the guards pointed at the group, and in just moments several barbarians from earlier march their way inside.

                      "Seize them!" The guard shouted. "Throw them all in the furnace in the name of the King!!"

                      "Sounds like the furnace isn't the happiest place in the world." Cronus said as his group backed away slowly.

                      "Nicolae's Champions." Kurai stared at the barbarians that kept coming in. "They are Nicolae's last line of defense, and thus always stay in the town. They only leave when Nicolae visits another kingdom."

                      "Bodyguards, then?"

                      "Pretty much."

                      "We need a plan, and fast!" Leon shouted at Cronus and Kurai, hoping they would at least keep quiet for a moment. The Pendulum may be out of his reach, but Leon realized he had his Vest on. Ideas were starting to come to him at once, but he only had time to execute one. "I hope this works!"

                      To be continued...
                      "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
                      -St. Augustine

                      "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

                      I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

                      Black 2 file
                      FC: 3483 3007 8236
                      Feel free to add me to trade and/or battle! Could really use some friends in BW2!

                      Poetry thread (please check it out!):

                      My trade thread:
                      Reply With Quote
                      Old October 30th, 2013 (9:13 AM).
                      WhiteKnightL's Avatar
                      WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
                        Join Date: Aug 2013
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                        "Dad, Malric, Umi, Leon, and me!" Riddel smiled as she gazed at the final touches of her crayon drawing. Five stick figures, colored in black. As frail as she seemed, it took hardly any effort to get up from her bed and hang it on the wall.

                        "Hey, Riddel! Looks like you're feeling fantastic today." A woman in pink entered the room with a flat device in her hand. The woman was tall, perhaps around 5'9''. She had long black hair and brown eyes. And as soon as Riddel saw her, she jumped back into bed and covered herself with her blanket. "You're not fooling anyone, little lady."

                        "Sorry." Riddel made a few fake coughs. "I feel too weak to take any medicine right now..."

                        "That's funny. The doctor said you were feeling good enough to walk around." The woman set her device on a nearby chair and grabbed a bottle of medicine. She opened it and took a quick look inside. "This bottle's half empty."

                        "I've been taking my medicine, Nurse Sarah." Riddel sheepishly uncovered her eyes from the blanket. "I don't want to take anymore."

                        "This girl shouldn't be walking around after what the doctor said." Sarah thought to herself. "It's only two spoonfuls a day, sweetheart."

                        "But it tastes awful!"

                        "You're a big girl now, aren't you?" Sarah smiled at Riddel. "Part of being a grown-up is doing things you don't want to do. Like paying taxes or having to sit through a political debate marathon with your significant other."

                        Riddel's attention was caught by the last two sentences. "You're dating someone?"

                        "'Was' is more like it. I can only handle so much ignorance from another man. He wouldn't even listen to me." Sarah sighed.

                        "I'm sure you'll find someone else who would appreciate you!" Riddel gave Sarah a smile, in order to reassure her.

                        "Oh, it's all grown up stuff. You wouldn't understand yet."

                        "Try me."

                        "Oh, Riddel. Are you telling me you're dating someone?"

                        "Yes..." Riddel blushed at the thought, but had no problem admitting it.

                        Sarah looked around the room and gazed at the drawings Riddel had made. In some, she had two people holding hands in several situations. There was even a drawing of a wedding. And when she saw a picture of Riddel and a boy next to her, Sarah dropped the bottle of medicine she was holding. "It can't be..."

                        "Amazing, isn't he?" Riddel gazed at the picture Sarah was looking at. "I can feel my heart beat and my blood flow throughout my body just by thinking about him...."

                        Sarah slowly backed away from the picture and made a grab for the flat device she had brought with her. "Hey, Riddel. I have something to show you."

                        Chapter Seven: Escape.

                        The barbarians that had arrived to capture Leon and company were all down for the count. There was seven, and not one moved an inch. Even the guard that had ordered their capture was down and out.

                        Cronus and Kurai had their eyes on Leon the whole time. The man had his right fist extended towards his enemies and hardly showed remorse for what had just happened. The barbarians - which Kurai called Champions - didn't even twitch. They were completely still, as if their nerve systems were paralyzed.

                        "Hey, Cronus." Leon finally spoke, still staring at his fallen enemies. "You said the Vest's power could be transferred to any part of my body, right?"

                        "I said it would transfer to your garments, but I suppose there's truth in your statement." Cronus said.

                        "So these gloves weren't added by coincidence." Leon looked at his black leather gloves, which had metal pads on the knuckles. "When you made the Vest, it wasn't just the Vest. It was an entire outfit that drew its power from the torso."

                        "Which is why I called it a vest!" Cronus smiled. "Power from within. Neat concept, huh?"

                        "So it's not just the shoes that draw the power, but also the gloves." Leon checked the rest of his body, looking for anything he might have missed. "I also have elbow pads, a belt, a handkerchief, and a No. 2 pencil. If the shoes granted me super speed, then my theory on the gloves was correct." Leon then turns to Cronus, who sported a curious look on his face. "Lightning fists."

                        "Enabling you to launch punches faster than the eye can perceive." Cronus held Leon's hand as he stared at the gloves. "I was lucky I found someone who knew a thing or two about boxing."

                        "How do you know about that, anyway?"

                        Before Cronus could answer, however, Kurai had pressed her newly-recovered staff against Leon's back. "I demand that the two of you explain yourselves! Who the hell are you?!" Leon tried to turn around to face the woman, but that prompted her to press her staff even harder. "No funny games, mister! I knew you boys weren't from around here but now I'm starting to think you're out of this world!"

                        Cronus, sensing that Leon didn't know what to say, shoved the man aside and placed himself right in front of Kurai. "I guess we owe you the truth, little lady. Thing is, we're world hoppers."

                        "Cronus!" Leon showed a rabid expression, revealing his teeth in an angered state. "Doesn't that violate a pan-galactic law or something?"

                        "I say, you watch too many sci-fi shows, kid." Cronus said while staring at Kurai. "We travel to different worlds, lady Kurai."

                        "Different worlds?" Kurai scoffed. "You really expect me to believe that there are different worlds out there? The dungeon mildew must have made you mad!"

                        "It's the truth!" Leon yelled. "We have come here because your planet is in danger!"

                        "Now you're just being ridiculous." Kurai lowered her staff, seemingly convinced that neither man posed a serious threat. "Why should I trust you?"

                        "Because we're your only chance!" Cronus's words seemed to have affected Kurai somehow. She showed a blank expression, as if she couldn't believe anything she was hearing. Outrageous, she thought. "If it makes you feel any better, our goals are the same. We must bring peace to all lands so we can fight off the danger that approaches."

                        "And the two of you are serious about this?"

                        "We are." Cronus continued. "We can explain later. Right now, we must focus on getting out of here."

                        "Not sure how long the guards will stay down." Leon stared at the Champions, who were still down. "I hit them pretty good so I must have bought plenty of time."

                        "And my lady." Cronus knelt as he kissed Kurai's right hand. "To ensure we're not fooling you, I volunteer to become one of your escorts until your planet is at peace."

                        Leon looked at Cronus in disgust. "Oh you sicken me, you masochistic old man...."

                        "She likes to to toy with the boys, and I like a woman like that!" Cronus whispered to Leon. He then faces Kurai again. "What do you say, my lady?"

                        Kurai pulled back her hand, smiling after Cronus made his proposition. "If someone is so willing to be my slave, then who am I to say no?"

                        "I can't decide which of the two of you is worse than the other...." Leon mumbled.

                        "Very well. Cronus, you're my punching bag. And Leon, you're the muscle." Kurai then runs off. "Follow me! I know the way out! Cronus and Leon waste no time in following Kurai out of the dungeon, both of them running in order to catch up with her.

                        "Is that why you're wearing butler clothes?!" Leon asked Cronus.

                        "I live to serve others, my boy!" Cronus laughed. Kurai was far ahead of them but they were close enough to keep up. "Especially the ladies! Just be glad we're lucky everything's going according to plan!"

                        "Just leave me out of your little deals and I'll be okay!"

                        "Duly noted. Now, keep up with her!" Cronus and Leon were able to keep up with Kurai. They ran past many people, all of them confused as to what was going on. It wasn't until they reached a flight of stairs when Leon felt a tingling feeling on the back of his neck.

                        "Keep up, you slowpokes!" Kurai shouted as she made her way up the stairs. "Or you'll be left behind."

                        "Why the hell are we going up?" Cronus stopped and looked at the stairs, noticing they also go down. "Shouldn't we be going down?"

                        "Never mind that! Look!" Leon pointed at the direction they had come from. He and Cronus spotted Champions running towards them, prompting the duo to head upstairs. "They're following us!"

                        "How did they find us so quickly?!"

                        "I don't know! Just keep running!" At this point Leon was panting heavily, growing physically tired of running. And going up the stairs didn't make it any better. His legs were aching, ready to give in at any minute. But seeing Cronus ahead of him - showing no signs of stopping - Leon pressed on and continued.

                        Once he reached the top of the stairs, he saw Kurai staring at a blond man in front of her. He had blond hair and blue eyes, wearing a white trench coat that was buttoned all the way up. He didn't seem to be pleased with the way Kurai was staring at him, but the woman remained unafraid.

                        "Nicolae. It's been a while." Kurai said, not taking her eyes off of him.

                        "Lad, this girl was also sent to the dungeon today. She was taken in for lewd behavior." The old man standing next to Nicolae said.

                        "All I had to do was raise my dress a little - just all the way to my ankles - and your guards took me in. Just as I predicted."

                        "She has some dignity, I'll give her that." Leon whispered to Cronus.

                        The blond man, or Nicolae, looked displeased. "My father has killed for less than this."

                        "Oh, so you demand respect?" Kurai revealed a frown. "Looks like daddy dearest hasn't taught you how to earn it, yet..."

                        "How dare you speak ill of my father!"

                        "How can I respect the man who ordered the death of so many women?!!"

                        "Um, Kurai?" Leon nervously said, having spotted the Champions coming up the stairs. "Can we save this for later?"

                        "Nicolae. Starting tonight, the downfall of your reign has begun! Tell the King I send my regards!" Kurai gave Nicolae a powerful slap. It was loud, and strong enough to send the youth tumbling down, allowing Kurai and her group to get through. As they climbed up the stairs, Leon noticed that the prince gave them an angered stare.

                        "Are you alright, lad?" Demetrio asked as he helped Nicolae stand.

                        The prince shook his head. The force behind the slap had left a noticeable red mark on his left cheek. "Never mind me, Demetrio." He then turned to the stairs, where he spotted his Champions. They all had a dumbfounded look on their face, confused and unable to come up with words to say. "What are you staring at?! They went up the stairs!"

                        With Kurai leading the way, Leon and Cronus continued to climb the stairs. With each passing moment they both wondered why they were going all the way up. But neither man would stop to ask questions, especially now that Nicolae's Champions were able to keep up.

                        It was when Leon noticed darkness at the top of a set of stairs that he realized their destination. "We're going to the roof!"

                        "What are we going to do on the roof?!" Cronus shouted at Kurai, who waited for them at the top of the stairs.

                        "I figured we'd take a lovely stroll on the roof. The stars are beautiful at night." Kurai said with a very sarcastic tone. "What do you think, you nimrods?! I told you I was breaking you out of there, didn't I? Just trust me on this!" The woman dragged both men by the hand to the edge of the roof. "We're going to jump!"

                        Cronus quickly slipped his hand away. "Are you mad, woman?!"

                        "I second that!" Leon escaped Kurai's grip as well. "This castle must be at least ten stories high! And you want us to jump?"

                        Kurai stepped away from the edge. She pointed at the direction they had come from. "Trust me, if they catch you now you WON'T end up back in the dungeon!"

                        The pursuers had finally made their way up the roof, but none of the Champions approached the fleeing trio. A strong breeze blew across the area as Nicolae made his way up. The Champions stood still out of respect. The youth didn't dare to make his way to Kurai but he ventured far enough from his group that he could be heard on both sides. "You could end this right now, you know?"

                        "And why should we?" Kurai shouted, standing in defiance.

                        Nicolae pointed at the two men standing beside Kurai. "These men have extraordinary powers! I'm sure you witnessed just how strong they can be." He then gave Kurai a smirk, a sign of confidence. "Do you really think you or your kingdom will be safe with them?"

                        Leon took a step forward. "The hell are you going on about?!"

                        Nicolae was quick to reveal a small crossbow, having hidden it inside his trench coat. "Don't you dare take another step forward. An arrow made in my land is sharp enough to go through your skull."

                        Kurai scoffed as Leon had no choice but to stand down. "Feeling tough after you cornered your prey. You people of Thule disgust me."

                        "And those men are dangerous unless we harness their powers for the will of our kingdom!" Demetrio stood next to Nicolae.

                        "Kurai." Cronus whispered. "Who is that man?"

                        The woman hardly turned to Cronus, still keeping her eyes on Nicolae. "That's Count Demetrio. Captain of the Legion of Necromancers and the king's second-in-command."

                        "Necromancers!" The words burst from Cronus's mouth. "Why would the leader of necromancers be here?"

                        A light bulb flared up above Leon, having an idea of why Demetrio was even there. "Remember what the old man said, Cronus. They want to harness our powers." He stared at Demetrio, who sported a wicked smile at them. "If this guy can bring back the dead with dark magic, then we don't necessarily have to be alive if we comply to their terms."

                        "And that's why you're coming with me!" Kurai shoved both men to the edge. Leon and Cronus nearly fell but managed to get back just in time.

                        "Don't you dare, woman!" Nicolae took aim with his crossbow. "If you insist on taking them then I would have no choice but to kill you."

                        "Then let me make it easier for you!" Kurai bravely jumped off the roof of the castle, much to the surprise of everyone present. "Suck on that, Nicolae!!"

                        "This girl is insane!" Leon shouted. Nicolae and his men wasted no time to close in on them. "If we stay or go, we'll be dead...." He looks down the edge of the roof, seeing no sign of Kurai. "Kurai, I'm going to trust you on this!" Nicolae was closer by the millisecond but Leon decided to take the risk. He jumps off the roof, following Kurai's example. "Geronimo!!!"

                        Only Cronus was left. Nicolae and his men stop to look at the sole man that was left. "Looks like they chose death over Thule." Demetrio lamented.

                        "It was a pleasure meeting you, boys! But those two are my new faithful companions!" Cronus was the most eager to jump off out of the trio, yelling excitedly "Djibouti!!"

                        Demetrio sighed. He looked down the edge along with the rest of the Champions. "Suicide. The enemy's most powerful tool. With it, it robs us of the honor of killing them ourselves."

                        "Hold on, Demetrio." Nicolae took a look as well. All he managed to see in the darkness was the water down below. "Our castle is surrounded by the moat, remember? I didn't hear a splash!" Demetrio and the Champions began talking amongst themselves, realizing they had been fooled. Nicolae, however, remained calm with only one question in mind. "Where did you go, Kurai?"

                        To be continued...
                        "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
                        -St. Augustine

                        "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

                        I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

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                        Old November 12th, 2013 (2:35 PM).
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                        WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
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                          The bushes closest to the moat rustled wildly. Kurai emerged from them and appeared to be okay save for a few bruises. Leon and Cronus followed from two other bushes that were scattered throughout the area. The men looked up at the castle, seeing the Champions scrambling about while Nicolae and Demetrio searched the roof carefully.

                          Kurai, on the other hand, smiled and whispered in the wind. "Looks like it worked. You can come out now, Charlie."

                          Chapter Eight: Charlie the Lightning Boy.

                          A blond-haired figure emerged from behind a nearby tree. The youth had brown eyes and wore a tan and blue sweater with black pants. His hairstyle was slightly different than Nicolae's, who had a round-shape all over his head. The youth, on the other hand, had some spiky hair.

                          Eying the newcomer before turning to Kurai, Leon managed to add one remark. "You seem to have a thing for blondes."

                          The blond-haired youth blushed slightly, prompting Kurai to speak up. "Hush, you. This boy just saved your lives."

                          "Saved our lives? How?" Cronus wondered out loud.

                          Kurai walked towards the youth, who seemed a little more flustered with each step she took. Giving him a playful nudge with her elbow, Kurai nearly made him jump. "He used his powers to bend the light in such a way that made us invisible mid-fall."

                          "Cronus, is that even possible?!" Leon turned to his time-traveling companion, who could only shrug.

                          "His name is Charles von Nystrom." Kurai backed away and extended her arms in the direction of the youth. "But everyone calls him Charlie. He works wonders thanks to his knowledge in science, but he completely shuts down when I'm around. I'm actually the first girl he's ever met in person." Kurai sighed. "Poor guy's mother never really wanted him to socialize with women, so he always ended up in all-male schools. Had to learn that from his colleagues."

                          "M-miss Kurai, p-p-p-please!" Charlie succeeded in making himself understood, but only barely. "T-that's p-personal...."

                          "Never socialized with girls, huh?" Leon asked.

                          "Easy victim for you, I'd say." Cronus added, staring at Kurai as he talked.

                          "Actually," Kurai began, placing herself between Charlie and Leon, "his friends chose to follow me. Poor Charles here was just dragged along for the ride." Kurai suddenly hugged Charlie without any warning, causing the latter to paralyze in fear. "Enough of that! You saved us from mean ol' Nicolae!"

                          "Charles, huh?" Leon whispered to Cronus, making sure neither the youth or Kurai heard him. "That's so Earthling."

                          Cronus immediately pointed to the Vest. "It's all thanks to the translator. It works on the alien language and shows the closest, possible translation for the name." Cronus then stares at Charlie, who by now has turned into a helpless puddle of infatuated alien. "His surname sure sounds very Nordic if you ask me."

                          "How many names does this thing know?" Leon pointed at his Vest.

                          "It knows hundreds, and it translates from language to language but by default yours is set to English."

                          Leon was marveled by the language features of the Vest. Just when he thought he had learned a lot, something else shows up as if to startle him. "So it can be set from English to Spanish, Spanish to French-"

                          "French to Ionan."

                          "That is so cool. How about Sanskrit to Ionan?"

                          "Doubt it. Sanskrit's so complicated because of it being so ancient."

                          "So it has its limits...."

                          "Hey, you two!" Kurai tried to get the attention of both men. While Charlie tried to recover from the shock he had received, Kurai kept calling for Leon and Cronus but they were both so focused in their conversation that she was ignored. It was only after a loud whistle that she managed to get their attention. "I would really love to stay and chat, but we're still dangerously close to the castle."

                          "Ah, yes. The moat." Cronus quickly pulled away from the conversation and closely inspected the water. "Just need to inspect its properties before we move on."

                          "We don't really have time for this." Leon tried to reach for Cronus, but noticed the man was in his own world at this point. Another question had come to mind, so he faced Kurai instead. "Where are we, anyway?"

                          "We are in the castle's garden." Kurai slowly spun around, pointing at everything she could see in the dark of the night. "There's a gate not too far from here that leads to town. We are not home free until we leave the town, but I rented a house that will provide protection until we leave."

                          "Won't the guards notice we're alive if we step into town?"

                          "I think they already know we are." Cronus chimed in. "Take a look at this.

                          Leon and Kurai then faced Cronus, who held a flower with large purple petals in his hands. While there was no wind, the flower moved its head around as if searching for something. "It's a Sound Trap!" Kurai whispered, not wanting to shout at the find.

                          "Sound Trap? What's that?" Leon tried to touch the flower, but it suddenly faced him and started twitching.

                          "Ah, the Sound Trap. A magnificent find!" Cronus carefully placed the plant back where he had uprooted it from, letting the plant continue living in the soil. "They are actually living plants! Even though they are rooted to the ground, they can communicate with each other by letting the winds blow some of their pollen away to others of their kind. The name comes from the fact that they can even carry sounds to other plans if they have an owner."

                          "Like a walkie."

                          "Nicolae." Kurai quickly walks away. "Hopefully they haven't found our location, yet."

                          Charlie ran to Kurai. "Ma'am, the others haven't shown their signal from the gate, so the guards must still be unconscious."

                          "Then out the front gate we go." Kurai continued walking, prompting Leon and Cronus to follow her.


                          "Something to show me? What is it?" Riddel asked the young nurse, now curious what she had for her. Was it a gift? More medicine? Some food? Riddel's mind was aloud with questions, but she kept it to herself.

                          Nurse Sarah showed Riddel the flat device she had came in with. "Oh, it's a little gadget I made on my own. Back where I'm from, I have a job creating these."

                          "What is it called?"

                          "I call it the Window." Sarah placed the device on her patient's lap, hoping for her to try it out. "Go on. Turn it on."

                          "What does it do?"

                          "Oh, you wouldn't believe me if I told you." Sarah grabbed a chair and placed it next to the bed. She removed her pink hat and sat down, making herself comfortable. "Go on, Riddel. You're not going to believe what you'll see."

                          "Oh, okay." Riddel sat up and set her art tools aside. She stared at the device, something she has never seen before. It was the size of an average laptop screen, and just as thick, too. On it she only saw two buttons, which filled her mind with more questions. "Um, what should I do now?"

                          "Just push that green button and think of one of the people you want to see right now." Sarah pointed right at the green button, hard to miss due to its bright color. "I know you have been lonely, Riddel. It's only you and your father here in Oregon."

                          "What is this?" Riddel thought. She suddenly felt an uncomfortable aura around here, thinking she was doing something she shouldn't be doing. The more she thought about it, the less she trusted Sarah. Nevertheless, she decided to tread carefully so Sarah wouldn't notice how uncomfortable she felt. "What do you mean, Nurse?"

                          "Oh, you can stop calling me Nurse. Just call me Sarah."

                          "Why do you want me to think of someone I really miss?"

                          "It's how the device works. It pinpoints someone's location and tells you where they are. It's very neat."

                          "But that's impossible!"

                          "Oh, Riddel." Sarah extended her hand and gently brushed Riddel's hair. "This is merely child's play! Tell me, who's your best girl friend in the whole wide world?"

                          Riddel had no trouble coming up with a name. "That has to be my friend Umi! I look up to her because she's so strong and she's very sweet, too!"

                          "Then let's pay her a visit, shall we?" Sarah quickly pressed the green button, so quickly that Riddel didn't drop the device in time. The screen turns on, greeting Sarah with a welcoming text on the screen. Riddel felt a slight twinge in her head, and soon after the screen reveals the girl she was thinking about.

                          What Riddel saw next surprised her. She saw her friend, looking slightly older, eating pizza with a man right around her age. "That's Malric! And he's eating with Umi!" Riddel no longer felt the uncomfortable feeling she felt before. She totally ignored Sarah, who sat next to her looking at the screen as well. Riddel noticed how the two ate, hardly saying anything to each other. It wasn't hate she felt between them. "They're so scared to talk to each other. But why?" The girl quickly faces at Sarah, who had a joyful expression beaming out of her face. "They look older."

                          "That's because you're looking at five years into the future!" Sarah pointed at the device. "The Window lets you look at certain points in time of the person you think about."

                          "Did you say the future?!" Riddel shouted as loud as she could.

                          "Could you be any louder?!" Sarah had quickly covered Riddel's mouth with her hand. "Yes, I said the future! Mankind hasn't achieved that level of technology yet, but you will in 200 years!"

                          Riddel had trouble absorbing it all in at once. What she saw was definitely real. She pinched herself to see if she was dreaming, and to her surprise she wasn't. She continued to ask herself so many questions. Who is this nurse? And why is she doing this? Is she from the future? Was it really Malric and Umi in that pizza parlor? And more importantly, why isn't Leon or herself in it? What was in store for her future?

                          Leon. Her mind focused on Leon. She quickly forgot of the questions she had asked herself. Her mind quickly focused on Leon as soon as he came to mind. She thought about her drawings with him in them. Dream dates. Adventures. Even her dream wedding. The future she hoped to have with him, helping each other in holy matrimony. The children they would have and the troubles they would face. Just thinking about it made her smile and feel warm inside. She wanted him at her side.

                          Sarah quickly looked at the screen. "Riddel, you might want to look at this." Riddel quickly snapped out of her day dream and stared at the Window's screen. She no longer saw Umi and Malric in it. She saw Leon, a little older, with five other people behind him. He stood on a wooden bridge, facing down a bull creature that was at least three times his own size. The creature had a nose ring, walked on its hind legs, and stared at Leon menacingly while holding a tree trunk with its right hand. They were all in a foggy, damp marshland.

                          Riddel was scared. Was this Leon's future? She did not find herself with the crowd behind her beloved man, which made her scared even more. But Leon stood there, unafraid of the challenge that posed before him. What does he have planned? And why is he in such a dangerous situation in the first place? Riddel didn't know what her tears would be from. She was so happy to see her boyfriend looking very much alive after months of having seen him, yet she was scared that he could get killed by the bull creature.

                          She was so confused. She didn't know what to believe. This had to be a dream, but she already tried to wake herself up. She gasped as the bull creature let out a loud bellow, a ferocious act that made three men cower behind their womanly companion. An elegant man only got closer, a crazed look in his face seemingly cheering Leon on. And Leon? He merely put his hands close to his face, as if getting ready for a boxing match.

                          "Leon! So your name is Leon, humanoid?" The bull creature roared. The voice Riddel heard could only belong to a monster, she thought.

                          "That's right, you lummox!" Leon swung his fists forward, showing off just how quick they could be. "And me and my friends are gonna get through this bridge! You get that, compadre?"

                          Riddel placed her hand in her mouth as she gasped again. He was only provoking the big monster, and it was only a matter of time before it struck. "Leon, please don't die...."

                          To be continued...
                          "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
                          -St. Augustine

                          "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

                          I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

                          Black 2 file
                          FC: 3483 3007 8236
                          Feel free to add me to trade and/or battle! Could really use some friends in BW2!

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                          Old November 18th, 2013 (5:05 AM). Edited November 18th, 2013 by WhiteKnightL.
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                          WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
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                            Leon was amazed to see the street lights as he and his party walked in the town. A small blaze was alight inside a glass container for each one, and all lights together were enough to light up the town. However, no one else was walking around at this time. Kurai had explained that the townspeople stayed inside because of the curfew, and anyone caught outside at night would be arrested immediately.

                            Cronus remained the same throughout the walk. Nothing surprised him as if he had already seen it before. He looked unamused the whole way, and only smiled every time he noticed Leon ahead of him. He stopped every once in a while along the way to inspect the stone roads, a habit he was quickly growing fond of.

                            Kurai led the way. Having explained before that she rented a house in the town, it was only logical that she should lead the way. Leon stood right behind her just in case she was ambushed by one of Nicolae's guards, but Kurai remained steadfast and continued without fear. She knew where she was going.

                            Charlie was on the far back, right behind Cronus. It was thanks to him that they managed to exit the castle's garden without trouble. He had knocked the guards unconscious when he entered, and they were still out cold when the party exited the garden through the front gate. It was thanks to him that the jailbreak was a success, but he knew it was far from over.

                            Charlie and Kurai both knew it was far from over. Leon and Cronus were their keys to win over people across the planet to the Kingdom of Mesarthim, but first they had to step out of enemy territory. Nicolae was very likely to send his troops across the town to scare them out of hiding, and even if that wasn't the case they didn't want to take their chances. They led Leon and Cronus to the house Kurai had rented to make their final preparations and leave town.

                            Stopping in front of a red house, Kurai searches her pockets for the key. She grabs it and inserts it in the keyhole. "Okay, you two. It's a long way to the capital city of Mesarthim." She turns the handle and pushes the door open, letting the warmth of the house greet them. "I suggest all of you get along pretty well."

                            Chapter Nine: The Escorts and the Bugs.

                            Leon noticed two more people inside the house. One of them was a red-haired teenager with a neatly-combed hairstyle. He wore an orange trench coat over his blue shirt and black slacks and wore an angered expression on his face.

                            The other one looked like a boy who had just reached puberty. He had short black hair and every single piece of clothing he wore was also black. The pants. The jacket. Everything visible. The only exception was his orange-colored shirt.

                            "Hello, boys." Kurai smiled and greeted the boys by waving at them. "Did you finish packing?"

                            "Almost." The red-haired teenager spoke with a rough voice. "We just need to pack some more food and then we're off."

                            "Miss Kurai!" The black-haired boy greeted his leader with a tackle-hug. "I was scared when the guards took you in!"

                            "There, there, Gareth." Kurai gently patted the boy on the head. "I'm back, aren't I?"

                            "Yeah! That means you brought the men that scared the whole town with ya, right?"

                            "Man, word travels fast around here...." Leon let out a sigh of disappointment. "Gossip should be left to the schoolgirls..."

                            "Oh, hush, you." Kurai faced Leon briefly before turning back to Gareth. "Did you find the map?"

                            "Yes, I did!" Gareth pointed to a parchment on a small table close to him. It was rolled up with a red ribbon wrapped around it. "Just like you asked!"

                            "Good!" Kurai stood up straight. "Oh, right. Where are my manners?" she gently shoved Gareth to Leon's direction. "Leon and Cronus, this is Gareth. He's a sweet little boy, but he's our eye in the sky."

                            Hearing the words of his leader, Gareth quickly expanded what seemed to be wings on his back. The visible membranes and even the pointy ends resembled those of a bat. Oblivious of Leon's fright and Cronus's amusement, Gareth stands on a table to show off, happy to reveal his true self to strangers.

                            "The kid had bat wings..." Leon spoke through his teeth.

                            "And this grumpy-looking one is Vincent." Kurai pointed at the red-haired teenager, who could only show an angrier expression after hearing her remark. "A gifted child with a power over earth and a temper to go with it." She then untied the ribbon and unrolled the parchment. "This is a map of Thule. With the help of all of you, we can breeze through these lands and reach Mesarthim in a matter of days"

                            "Is it, now? A map of Thule?" Cronus rushed past Leon and stood next to Kurai. He leans closer to the map with a magnifying glass, closing his right eye to get a clearer view. "Where are we on this?"

                            "Right now, we're in Ganymede. We're close to the capital city, but Nicolae has set up base here because this is where he grew up." Kurai had waited for Leon's opinion about the land, but he simply continued to stare at the three youths. "Something the matter?"

                            "A light-bender, master of earth, and a bat-boy." Leon directed his attention at Charlie, Vincent, and Gareth. "Kurai, how exactly do you know them?"

                            "What's this all of a sudden?"

                            "Mesarthim's wizards died out in the Great War, right?" Leon recalled his earlier conversation with the girl, back at the dungeon. "If these guys aren't wizards, what are they?"

                            "Now that you mention it..." Kurai muttered, quickly going to the three boys. Having the trio's attention, she stretches her arms sideways and wraps her arms around them, quickly bringing them much closer to her, and in Charlie's case, invading much-needed personal space. "These three are my babies!"

                            "Hold the phone." Cronus raised his voice to draw their attention. "Okay, I know this planet doesn't carry phones but bear with me here." Cronus walked over to Kurai, having grabbed her attention. "You are a little young, aren't you? I wouldn't doubt you and the little boy, but the other two don't seem to be that far apart from each other as far as age is concerned."

                            "I didn't mean actual babies, silly." The girl gazed at each of the boys, with Charlie falling over slowly when he was gazed at with her piercing eyes. "These three are orphans. When I saw their adorable little faces, I couldn't resist adopting them!"

                            "That answers one question." Leon spoke up, now leaning against the wall. "But those three have powers, don't they?" He noticed the fire that had been alight in the fireplace, perhaps long before they have arrived. Stretching out his right hand to the fire, he continues on with his theory. "All three coming from the same orphanage can't be a coincidence."

                            "Spotted it, too, haven't you?" Cronus closed his eyes and smiled, glad that Leon came to the conclusion he had. "Kurai, that orphanage must be very special."

                            "Indeed." Kurai said. "The orphanage is located in an isolated town in the Kingdom of Mesarthim, away from the rest of civilization." She quickly looks at the little window on her door before pulling a cord. A small blind was dropped, blocking the view of the house from the outside. "It's called Sheratan's House for Gifted Children." she whispered.

                            "Sheratan?" Leon wondered out loud.

                            Cronus took Leon aside and whispered into his ear. "A star in the Aries constellation. Perhaps the name is derived from there, just like Mesarthim."

                            Kurai was quick to come between them, pushing them apart from each other with both of her arms. "You heard right, Leon. Sheratan."

                            Leon was taken aback, not sure what to answer. Kurai already knew the truth about them, and the look on her face indicated a sense of curiosity. She waited for an answer or at least some sort of reaction. She retreated when she realized the futility of her goal of getting a word out of Leon.

                            "You jest, right?" Vincent, who had been quiet until this point, spoke up. "Surely you have heard of the legend?" Only silence followed. Leon could only muster the energy to answer with a negative response, and very weakly. A nervous grin followed. "You have to be kidding me..."

                            Kurai felt the need to break the ice. "Leon, relax. We'll be happy to tell you the legend." She quickly faced Gareth, who was eager to know what his mother figure would do. The answer surprised him. "Gareth, take it away!"

                            "Wha...? Gareth slowly pointed at himself. "M-me?"

                            "Well, of course you, silly! You were the one who excelled in history class."

                            "Um, okay then!" Gareth raised his fist with a determined look in his face, giving Kurai an affirmative response. He flapped his wings, and took flight to the direction of the bunk bed next to the fireplace. He sat down on the top mattress and raised his hands. "In the days of the Great War, Thule's forces used dark magic to fight against our ancestors. You guys know that at least, right?"

                            "Yes, we do." Leon and Cronus responded in unison, bring a smile to Kurai's face. She was relieved that they had at least paid attention to what she told them back at the dungeon.

                            "Well, even though Mesarthim wanted to stay true to their beliefs, their forces began to diminish." Gareth continued. His choice of words impressed Cronus, who assumed Kurai taught him to speak more formally. "They didn't want to resort to dark magic, yet Thule knew no bounds at that point. They believed in winning the war by any means necessary."

                            Leon's mind went back to his encounter with Nicolae. The things he had seen in the castle alone were enough to frighten him in a careless moment. Giant swordsmen who moved towards him by marching quickly. An old man who was rumored to command masters of the dark art of necromancy. Nicolae's crossbow. He welcomed the challenge, but what really frightened him was the fact that not one of them wavered, even with the possibility that they knew what he was capable of.

                            "But then" Gareth raised his voice, snapping Leon out of his dreamlike state. "Like a miracle, he came out of nowhere. A man wearing a golden fleece, an iron kilt, and a sharp lance. He had the helmet of a horned creature, and the horns themselves are said to be curled up."

                            "Like a ram."

                            "He introduced himself as Sheratan, but our ancestors quickly gave him the position of General. Even though Mesarthim had just a few hundred men to battle, General Sheratan was able to unite them against the thousands of troops Thule had. Despite outnumbering Mesarthim by the legions, Thule stood no chance."

                            "And legend has it that before the battle even began, Sheratan went on ahead and slayed three thousand of Thule's warlocks in their camp by himself, giving his own troops the edge in the long run." Kurai quickly saw the shocked reactions from their listeners, who were apparently amazed that such a warrior existed long ago.

                            "That is incredible!" Cronus's eyes beamed with excitement, inspired by the story Gareth had just told. 'Truly, this Sheratan fellow was a lot like William Wallace in the Battle of Stirling Bridge back on Earth."

                            "Earth?" Kurai asked with curiosity.

                            "Cronus, you may want to hold off on the info." Cronus quickly abandoned the subject after Leon's words. Kurai started to pout but Leon quickly changed the subject back to the original topic. "Okay, so the orphanage was named after this legendary general."

                            "There's more to it than that, Leon." Kurai quickly answered Leon's assumptions. "After the war was won, Mesarthim was left without its wizards. The people urged Sheratan to stay and rebuild their nation, but he declined. However, legend has it that Sheratan distributed his powers across the nations before vanishing from Mesarthim for good."

                            Charlie was next to speak. Kurai simply glanced at him, indicating that she was done speaking for the moment. "Ever since then, the people of Mesarthim had made it their goal to gather the powers Sheratan had scattered, in the event that Thule would rise from the ashes and strike again."

                            "So you lot built the orphanage to gather such powers!" Cronus suddenly blurted out.

                            "That is such an incredible deduction, Cronus. Especially after the little information we have provided." Kurai patted Cronus on the shoulder, congratulating the man for his accomplishment. "That is exactly why we are going from town to town, finding anything out of the ordinary. So far, we haven't had any luck but after meeting the two of you I still hold on to hope!"

                            The girl shook the hands of both men, wearing a very genuine smile. She was exuding happiness, more than she could stand. She was overwhelmed, and couldn't help but shed a tear from her right eye. Cronus quickly pulled a handkerchief out of his breast pocket, gently wiping off the tear that was leaving Kurai's eye.

                            Admiring the gentleness of her new escort, Kurai did not want to keep her eyes away from a subject that has been eluding her for hours. "I am glad to have provided you with answers to your questions, but I'm afraid you must answer mine, now."

                            "Anything for the sweet lady standing in front of me." Cronus put away his handkerchief and stared intently at Kurai. Leon, however, did not like where this was going.

                            "Where did the two of you come from?" Kurai did not beat around the bush and went straight to the point. "I'm not sure what Sheratan's powers were, but I have reasons to believe you don't hold any of them. And you admitted yourselves you are not from this world."

                            "And we're telling you the truth." Leon quickly went on the defensive. "We're on a mission of our own, and it looks like we share the same goals."

                            "Ah, yes. You did say that our planet was in danger."

                            Kurai's careless tone alarmed the three boys that followed her ever so loyally. Charlie in particular was shocked to hear such an announcement. "Our danger?!"

                            "Oopsie. I guess I should have warned you boys first."

                            "M-my l-lady, it just has to be a lie!"

                            "I thought so, too." The woman took her seat in front of the fireplace, crossing her right leg on top of her left one. She released a gentle sigh, preparing herself for what she was about to say. "But after seeing what Leon is capable of, I started to think that maybe there is some truth to his story."

                            "Kurai..." Leon said in response to her praise.

                            "However, I know so little of Leon's world." Kurai continued. "You have seen so much of my world in so little time, Leon. Don't you think it's fair that I at least saw proof that you're from another world?"

                            Leon was taken aback by her sudden request, but he quickly recovered enough to compose his answer. "That's a no, Kurai. I don't really think we have the time for this."

                            "Oh, yes we do. It's nightfall."

                            "And? If we move now, Nicolae won't be able to find us."

                            "Wrong. If we move now, the guards will surely come after us."

                            "She has a point, Leon." Cronus quickly chimed in. "Besides, just look at you. You're lucky the wounds you received haven't acted up yet. We both need rest."

                            Leon grabbed the right side of his chest in pain. He was actually holding it in until this very point, and now that Cronus pointed it out it was hard for him to ignore. "Why are you always right....?"

                            "You have no choice but to stay, you know?" Kurai uncrossed her legs and stretched them out as far as she could to reach the fireplace. The heat at the right temperature was enough to soothe her feet. "The guards won't be allowing passage out of town to anyone at this time, and if we go now we'll just look suspicious."

                            Leon was making more sense of the situation, but his patience continued to diminish. He wanted to leave the town now, but the injuries he had sustained would be too much for him at this point. He feared if he left now, the injuries would get in the way. He caught his enemies by surprise last time, but if he were to fight again there would be a chance of his injuries getting strained and possibly getting worse.

                            He recalled what Cronus told him about the warp technique. Cronus could go anywhere he pleased, but claimed that Leon was not ready for such a move. The man did not want to stay and risk getting caught anyway, and taking Kurai straight to her kingdom was the best option. "Cronus, why can't we go straight to Mesarthim?"

                            Kurai's eyes widen in surprise. She stands up from her chair and approaches Cronus pretty quickly. "Can you really do that?"

                            Cronus quickly looks to his left, suddenly feeling uncomfortable from being put on the spotlight. "I can't really take you to Mesarthim, but I can travel to places I have been in before." He then looks at Leon, focusing his eyes on the Pendulum secured in the holster on his back. "And the Pendulum parallels my power. It can only take you to places you have been in before or any place that you can picture in your mind perfectly, down to the last detail."

                            "If that's the case, then how come I'm here in Io? I have never been here before." Leon pointed out.

                            "That's why I showed you the hologram back at the bakery. It showed us the hologram from one of Derringer's ships. We could see them because I placed an Image Bug on their ships."

                            "Image Bug?"

                            "Derringer?" Kurai asked, now even more curious of what they were talking about.

                            "One question at a time!" Cronus first directed his focus on Leon. "The Image Bug allows us to see images that the bugged area describes. For example, if you're bugged and do so much as mention the Pope it would show pictures of the entire Vatican. Or at least show me, since I am the one who planted the bugs."

                            Leon leaned in closer, understanding what Cronus was saying pretty clearly. "You don't mean....?" An interrupting grin from Cronus would only confirm what Leon was about to say was right. "No way."

                            "Someone give the man a medal."

                            "So the hologram in the bakery was created from the Image Bug?"

                            "That's right! And not just that, but if the ship contains satellite pictures of the planet they are looking at, the Image Bug gets them as well." Cronus walked around the living room they were all in, explaining things as he did so. "I needed to keep an eye on Derringer's movements so the nearly-invisible Image Bug had to do the trick! Problem is, I didn't know which ship was Derringer's so I placed a whole bunch of bugs across Nocturna's ships."

                            "So basically words for the Image Bug are like tags for a search engine on the Internet."

                            "Exactly. And since we had a perfect picture of the land, we were able to teleport to Io with no problem."

                            "Io? Derringer? Insects?" Kurai shook her head in the middle of the conversation, interrupting the duo's exchange of words. "Please tell me what's going on. I hate being left in the dark about things!"

                            "Lady Kurai, I wasn't kidding when I said your world was in terrible danger." Cronus began, reaffirming his earlier conversations with the girl. "A military regime is on its way to your world for conquest, and from the things we've seen it'll be an easy invasion unless we rally all kingdoms against it."

                            "What?!" Kurai shouted in shock. "An army from another world? How strong are they?!"

                            "It would put Thule's Champions to shame, I can give you that. Nocturna is led by a madman in possession of thousands of battleships, and just one is enough to wipe out a town like this in seconds."

                            "Cronus, the only battleships I'm familiar with are the galleons from the Kingdom of Helix." Despite Cronus's attempts to hold her, Kurai quickly jerked away each time. Her hands were shaking uncontrollably but she summoned the courage to continue speaking. "The galleons can hold up to 100 men. But from what I'm hearing, this enemy of yours has the capabilities to hold more. And they don't even need to be in the water."

                            "I'm afraid so."

                            Kurai's faith in the duo was shrinking quickly. Instead of jerking away, she had started shoving Cronus aside every time he tried to hold her. "Why the hell should I trust you?! If this planet is doomed then why did you even come here?!"

                            "I wouldn't have come here if there wasn't any hope! Besides, I made you a deal! I'm your escort until your planet is safe and -- trust me on this -- I intend of making good on that promise!"

                            Kurai started to calm down. The three boys had kept quiet during the whole ordeal, having never seen their adoptive mother so upset. The girl then looks at Leon, who had kept quiet as well. "And you. Do you trust him in this?"

                            "Cronus told me that the people of this planet were in harmony with each other, but he was pretty wrong about that." Leon began.

                            "That is easily explainable, Leon! We must be in a different period of time!" Cronus explained.

                            "However, I trust him because I have seen Derringer's ships for myself. They exist and right now two of them are orbiting your planet for any signs out of the ordinary." Leon's words eased Kurai's nerves even more. "Cronus has said that I may be able to stop them, because they are also looking for my Vest. During my stay here I have realized that Nocturna won't stop conquering worlds after I give them the Vest, because if I do who knows what he'd be capable of doing with it."

                            "The Vest. You sure display a great aura when I'm around you, Leon." Kurai held a piece of the Vest that Leon wore, feeling the texture of the fabric. "The Vest does that, doesn't it?"

                            "Yeah. I'm not sure what Cronus or the Vest see in me, but I'll be happy to let them use me if it means the safety of Planet Earth."

                            "You would do that? But....why?" Kurai placed her hands on her face, wiping away the tears her eyes had started to shed. She had calmed down, but the thought of the entire planet in chaos brought her to the brink of weeping. "Okay. I can't say I trust you, but I suppose our lives are in each other's hands. We'll protect you from Nicolae and you protect us from those invaders."

                            Leon smiled. He immediately thought that facing Derringer with just Cronus was no longer possible. Now that Nocturna had plans to invade Io, Kurai would have to help them as well. He was not alone. "Kurai, you still wanted to see my world, right?"

                            "Huh? What's this all of a sudden?" Kurai was puzzled by Leon's sudden question, which was straying from the topic at a 180-degree angle.

                            "Cronus said that my Vest parallels his powers to some extent." Pulling out the Pendulum from its holster, Leon aims at the staircase by the fireplace and fires a beam of light. The light opens a portal, which had his bakery on the other side. The sun was still out.

                            "He didn't shout GO this time...." Cronus commented in his thoughts.

                            "I'm not expecting to wow you and the boys, but right now we can take a trip to my bakery and show you a portion of my life. It will also allows us to leave this town without alarming the guards."

                            To be continued...
                            "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
                            -St. Augustine

                            "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

                            I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

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                            Old December 16th, 2013 (6:31 AM).
                            WhiteKnightL's Avatar
                            WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
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                              "Cronus said that my Vest parallels his powers to some extent." Pulling out the Pendulum from its holster, Leon aims at the staircase by the fireplace and fires a beam of light. The light opens a portal, which had his bakery on the other side. The sun was still out. "I'm not expecting to wow you and the boys, but right now we can take a trip to my bakery and show you a portion of my life. It will also allows us to leave this town without alarming the guards."

                              Kurai was excited to hear such words from Leon, who had also left Cronus with his mouth agape. Kurai quickly turned to her escorts, who haven't spoken much ever since the legend was spoken earlier. The look on the girl's eyes hinted curiosity, which the three knew all too well. "We're going on a field trip!"

                              Chapter Ten: A Reason To Fight.

                              The group of six emerge from the portal that Leon had created. It was a quiet afternoon back home, and the party had found themselves in an alley close to the bakery. Leon was the first to act after their arrival, kneeling down and kissing the ground. Cronus was also pleased, happy to be away from the unpleasantness Io had left in his mind, body, and stomach.

                              Kurai and her escorts left the alley and marveled at the things they saw. Streetlights that haven't been turned on yet; public phones that were on the brink of disrepair; the paved roads, having potholes here and there; the traffic lights, which made Gareth laugh as they switched colors.

                              The young bat/boy was blissfully unaware of the scantily-clad women who walked across the street. The sight made Charlie and Vincent nosebleed, turning their faces away from mere shyness. It took them minutes to recover, and while they did Kurai decided to start a conversation. "Besides the women, I'd say your world looks marvelous, Leon!"

                              "There's no doubt about it." Cronus held his finger up before staring at it closely. "We're definitely on Earth. I'm impressed you didn't do much to get us here, Leon."

                              "I just did what you told me, Cronus." Leon puts away the Pendulum he held in his hand into the holster on his back. "My instincts just said to do it a certain way, so I did."

                              "This boy is learning quickly." thought Cronus. The way Leon summoned the portal was similar to the way he instructed, but it was not the same. It was more than instincts. Leon knew exactly where he was going, so it was no surprise for the seasoned time traveler that the boy had no problem calling up the portal.

                              Kurai continued to stare out into the world she had just hopped into. "The sky looks beautiful...." She squints her eyes at the orange ball in the sky, which illuminated this side of the planet. The orange-colored sky awed her, looking differently from the green-colored sky she was used to back home. Any doubts she had about Leon's world was gone. She was standing on different soil, and she loved it.

                              She continued onward, still looking at the sky. In just a matter of moments, Cronus pulls her back to the sidewalk. The girl had wandered aimlessly towards the street, and she could have been run over by a speeding truck had Cronus not pulled her back in the nick of time. The driver callously accelerates and looks back on the strange group of people that stared back at him.

                              Kurai was in complete shock, and thus did not realize that Cronus had not released her from his hold. The time traveler held the girl with his arms wrapped completely around her waist. The escorts turned completely white at the sight of it while Leon narrowed his eyes in exasperation. "Take every chance to cop a feel, huh?

                              Cronus didn't know what to do. His mistress was safe and sound, but he sensed that her body was limp from the scare she just received. If he let her go, she would just drop to the ground and maybe hurt herself. On the other hand, if he didn't let go he would have left the bystanders the impression that his intentions were merely perverted, and would label him as a pervert. This, of course, wouldn't surprise Leon.

                              The duo stood for a minute on the sidewalk, completely still. Kurai finally had the energy to muster a word, although weakly. "C-Cronus?"

                              "Yes, my lady?"

                              "What was that?"

                              "A red truck and, from the looks of it, it was 2 tons. A speeding hunk of metal that would have destroyed that delicate body of yours, had I not saved you."

                              "That is very sweet. I could have been killed, so I thank you for saving my life." Kurai continued to stare straight ahead of her, still in shock. "Oh and Cronus?"


                              "You can let go now." The time traveler swiftly releases the girl, who regains her balance as soon as she was let go. Kurai stands up and dusts herself off. "The bakery is across this paved road, correct?"

                              Leon noticed the bakery straight ahead, across the street. He saw Yumi leaving with Malric on his car, and noticed an old man crossing the street from the bakery's corner. "No way." An incoming vehicle was speeding towards the old man, but a youth from the bakery quickly pulled him to safety, in the nick of time. "Cronus, when are we?"

                              "What are you asking me for?" Cronus asked the baker. "You're the one who used the Pendulum. You should know."

                              Leon tried to think back on what he thought about when he used the Pendulum back at Kurai's rented house. He remembered the bakery but he had also remembered something else. He remembered the moment he saved Cronus from an oncoming vehicle, and sighed for the pointlessness in that as well. "Oh, boy."

                              "I know what you did. You didn't focus exclusively on the bakery when you created the portal. You also thought about the moment you saved me, didn't you?"

                              "It just slipped into my mind."

                              "That is dangerous, Leon!" Cronus grabbed Leon by the shoulders. "You must always focus when using the Pendulum. Letting your mind run free could have disastrous results!"

                              "Such as?"

                              "So far you have homed in on a certain time period and a location. If you didn't keep total focus on either one then you could end up transporting us and the bakery to the Roman Empire in all its glory. And believe me, Leon, they DON'T take kindly of anyone using the Caesar's dining room as their landing spot."

                              "I'll keep that in mind." Leon noticed that his past self and past Cronus had gone inside the bakery. "Let's wait a few minutes." He remembered that Cronus had changed the inside of the bakery into an empty room, so he expected the bakery to explode sometime within the next few minutes.


                              Ten minutes had passed until Kurai finally broke the silence. "Leon, can we go in now?"

                              "I think we can now." Cronus grabbed the doorknob and shook it a little. "We should have left the bakery by now."

                              Leon slapped Cronus's hand, forcing the latter to step away from the doorknob. "I still haven't heard you change the inside, old man." Cronus only tilted his head in reply, unable to recall what Leon talked about. "You know, that moment when I thought you were robbing me. You told me to shut the windows. And the winds!" Leon tried to imitate the whooshing sound of the winds he felt and heard that time he felt the bakery disappear. "You can't forget about the winds."

                              Cronus thought about it for a moment before replying. "Oh, that. We just teleported somewhere else. I just told you to shut the lights so no one had to see how I did it."

                              "You.....what?" Leon stepped closer to Cronus, ready to throw another punch. He thought against it at the last second, settling for a sudden movement that made the time traveler flinch. With nothing left to do, Leon grabbed a key in his pocket and unlocked the door with it.

                              Kurai was the first one to step inside. The first thing that caught her attention was a red-colored cupcake, having been put in display in a glass case. "Leon, what is that?"

                              "What? You haven't seen a cupcake before in your life?"

                              "Of course I have!" Kurai responded with a smile. "I meant what kind of cupcake that was."

                              "Huh. So there are cupcakes in your world, too." Leon grabbed the metal knob on the glass case and and opened it after unlocking it with a key. He grabbed the cupcake and held it close to Kurai. "Then that saves me an explanation. Tell me, what fruits do you have in your world?"

                              "Oh, I don't even know where to begin!" Kurai tilted her head against her left hand, thinking for a moment on what to answer. From the many fruits she was thinking about, she decided to name a few. "Mesarthim is famous for their orange cakes, while Helix draws millions a year to their kingdom with their apples dipped in death pepper pulp. Even Thule gets the world's attention thanks to their kiwi bombs."

                              "Kiwi bombs?"

                              "Yup. It's a delicacy named for its penchant of giving people a burning sensation after it is consumed." Kurai carefully sniffed the cupcake Leon was holding in front of her, tempted to simply snatch it and try it out.

                              "Amazing." Cronus quickly stepped between Leon and Kurai, distancing the latter further away from the cupcake. "The words are pronounced differently, but by some odd coincidence Io and Earth share the same fruits."

                              "Is that so?" Kurai gently shoves Cronus aside and quickly bridges the gap between Leon and herself by stretching her arm. "Io has so many dishes, but none of them smell like the cupcake you're holding. What's it made of?"

                              "This is a cherry cupcake." Leon carefully glanced at a recipe book on top of the counter before turning his attention back to Kurai. "The frosting covers the top, which has a hole used to insert cherry-flavored jelly. It is easier to see after you lick the frosting off, but most people prefer to see it after a few bites." He then places the cupcake on Kurai's hand, much to the girl's glee. "I don't always have friends over. The money from your world would do no good here, and it'd be a shame for you to leave without even trying one. So you can have this one on me."

                              "Are you sure, Leon? I won't owe you anything later, will I?"

                              "Nope. It's all yours."

                              Kurai slowly pulled her hand back, keeping her eyes on the cupcake at all times. She carefully inspects it before taking one bite. She closed her eyes as she slowly chews on the portion she had bitten off, and moments later she opens them as wide as she could. "Leon, I have never tried cherries before in my life. But after today, you can consider them to be my favorite fruit!"

                              "That is good news, Kurai." Leon rushed to a nearby shelf and grabbed a loaf of banana nut bread. "This one's for the boys."

                              "Thanks, but I'm not hungry." Vincent wagged his index finger, clearly indicating his negative response.

                              "Sorry, but I ate before Miss Kurai made it home." Gareth grabbed his belly, doing his best to respectfully decline the sweet treat.

                              "And I don't have a sweet tooth. My apologies." Charlie was the last to respond.

                              "I'll take it." Kurai gladly grabbed the loaf and placed it inside her bag. "We'll just eat it on the road." She made her way towards the door, but is quickly stopped by Leon. "What?"

                              Leon had grabbed her hand in order to stop her. "Where are you going?"

                              "Where else? I think it's time to go back home."

                              "Already? But we just got here."

                              "And I said I wanted to see your world." Kurai looked down in sadness, prompting everyone to brace themselves in case she wanted to cry again. This time, however, it didn't happen. "I can see what Cronus sees in you, Leon."

                              Leon was taken aback by what Kurai just said. He had never seen himself as someone special, but was curious why Kurai thought so. "What makes you say that?"

                              "Don't you see?" Kurai points at Cronus, who felt all the eyes in the room set their sights at him. "He's seen so many worlds, a lot more than you and I. He doesn't want some bully of a nation take over any of them."

                              "And it will stop once Nocturna is stopped. Don't worry about it, okay?"

                              "Leon, try to see it my way." Kurai held up the cupcake's paper wrapper in her hand, making sure Leon could see it. "Thanks to you, I just discovered some great food. I can imagine other places having something like this, perhaps having things that are even better!" Kurai then closed her fist, crumpling the wrapper in her hand. "They must make so many people happy. If Nocturna takes over this would break my heart."

                              "I-I'm with Miss Kurai on this." Charlie stepped up and held Kurai's right hand. Despite shaking uncontrollably, he did his best to speak. "We've made it our solemn duty to gain allies for Mesarthim. If travel across space becomes possible for us someday, I would love to be the first to greet the Earthlings when we come back here!"

                              "And you won't be alone, brother." Vincent stepped up and held Kurai's left hand. "I'm willing to place my life on the line if it means peace across the worlds."

                              "Don't count me out!" Randy leaped and landed on Kurai's shoulders. Despite the size of the boy, Kurai didn't even stagger. "I'll do what I can, even if it means little in the end!"

                              "Time's a-wasting, Leon." Kurai showed off yet another smile, this one glowing with the intensity of a reignited flame. "Every second counts, even for a time traveler!"

                              "She's right about that, you know!" Cronus placed his arm on Leon's shoulders, not wanting to be ignored. "Especially when you're with me! I can't always keep a good track of the time!"

                              "But you're a time traveler!" Leon shouted at Cronus.

                              But a reassuring smile from Cronus was enough to help Leon realize that the man was only kidding. Leon gazed at the smiles that were facing his way, which ignited something in his very being. It was not sadness. It was not loneliness. It was something he hadn't felt in a long time. He wasted no time in closing the bakery door and pulling out the Pendulum, confident he'll get things right this time.

                              "Right! We'll head back to your house for your bags and some rest. Once we wake up, we'll take the safest road to Mesarthim." Leon closed his eyes and forced his thoughts to concentrate solely on Kurai's house around the time they left. He fires the beam from the Pendulum, and surely enough the fireplace from the house could be seen across the portal that opened. "You trusted me once, Kurai. Please trust me again!"

                              The sensation that Leon felt in his spirit could now be felt by everyone else as well. With Leon's power to travel across time and space, Kurai and her escorts suddenly believed they had a chance. They were no longer afraid of Nicolae or his Champions, and while they understandably looked at the future with certain dread, the presence of both Leon and Cronus gave them a feeling that was more overwhelming than their own fears. Both men were confident that, somehow, Nocturna would fail in taking over Io.

                              The feeling, as we all know it, was hope.

                              To be continued...
                              "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
                              -St. Augustine

                              "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

                              I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

                              Black 2 file
                              FC: 3483 3007 8236
                              Feel free to add me to trade and/or battle! Could really use some friends in BW2!

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                              Old February 25th, 2014 (10:08 AM).
                              WhiteKnightL's Avatar
                              WhiteKnightL WhiteKnightL is offline
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                                (Had a writer's block for quite a while, and sometimes just felt unmotivated to continue. But anyway, here's the next chapter. Enjoy!)


                                It was a fine day in the plains of Thule. The grass was green. The sky was green. The water from a nearby lake also gave off a green reflection from its surface.

                                Wait a minute. Haven't we gone through this before? Ah, yes. Back in Chapter Four, where Leon and Cronus had just arrived to Io for the first time. A portal had begun to open, and from it jumped Leon and Cronus. Kurai and her escorts - with a wagon and a horse - jumped out moments later, as well.

                                "I say, the narrator's behaving a bit oddly today." Cronus stared at the direction of the screen, intent on finding something out of the ordinary. "Ah, he's back to normal now."

                                "What narrator?" Leon shrugged off Cronus's babbling, dismissing it as such. But seeing Kurai smile back at him prompted the man to focus on the matter at hand. "Shall we?"

                                "Yeah. Just follow my lead!" Kurai went on ahead of Leon, giving the group the direction they needed to go. They had just woken up back at Kurai's house in Ganymede, the town Leon and Cronus had been imprisoned to before she rescued them. She smiled because of the idea Leon had the night before.

                                Once they had enough rest, the group would travel back in time to moments after Leon and Cronus had arrived in Io. Not only did Leon buy time, but he also managed to avoid conflict with Ganymede's guards, who were most likely still searching for them back in town. The idea was so good that Cronus wondered how he couldn't come up with that idea sooner than Leon did.

                                The group traveled through the open plains of Thule on the wagon, making their way across with hardly any distractions. The wildlife the plains had was a bit dangerous, but it was nothing Leon couldn't handle with his lightning fists. Once a creature was spotted, Leon would stop the wagon and jump outside to confront whatever danger was ahead. The wagon was pulled by a horse-like creature, which Kurai would confirm that it was called a mustang, the name normally given to wild horses.

                                The group finally reached their destination about four hours later. "I'm probably still on that tree at this time." Leon thought as the wagon finally came to a stop. Everyone else got out to take a closer look outside. Leon was the last one out, but was the first to realize that their day was just about to get interesting.

                                They had arrived at the entrance of a swamp.

                                Chapter Eleven: The Swamp and Its Dangers.

                                The group had bravely moved on into the swamp, keeping am eye out for anything dangerous. Once they had gone far enough inside, they noticed the lighting was much dimmer than the plains they had come from. The thick, leafy branches blocked out most of the sun, robbing the plants of any sunlight. As a result, most of the plant life was damp and moist, thriving on the stench and moisture of the swamp floor.

                                Kurai and her kin decided to stay inside the wagon, but Leon and Cronus had decided to proceed on foot and ahead of the wagon. The mustang, as big as it was, had little defenses against any would-be attacker. It was already vulnerable enough with the wagon right behind it, making it unable to use its hind legs for kicking. Leon was more than willing to face any danger while Cronus was simply as curious as ever. The mustang - and its passengers - had nothing to worry about.

                                The swamp was one of two paths that led to the Kingdom of Helix, a neutral nation that wanted nothing to do with the affairs of either Mesarthim or Thule. A more formal path connected Thule to Helix, consisting of a route that went around the mountains. Traveling on that path was the safest way to go to and from Thule and Helix, but it would normally take days on a wagon.

                                The second path, if it wasn't obvious already, was through the swamp. It was located nearly two miles from Ganymede, and it was the shortest route to Helix. But stories have surfaced of people entering and never coming back, which have frightened the rich nobles and any other upper class member of society. For this reason, it was called the Ghost Swamp.

                                It was all that Kurai would explain to Leon and Cronus, both unafraid of the dangers they might face. The story got the better of Charlie and his brothers, so they were never in a hurry to leave the wagon. Kurai simply remained with them because her dress reached all the way to her feet, and did not want the mud to make it dirty.

                                The trip through the swamp was quiet until two hours in, when the mustang comes to a complete stop. It didn't take the group long to figure out that the mustang was tired from the trip, and slowed down until it was too tired to walk. Fortunately, they arrived at a clearing where it wasn't muddy at all so Kurai decided to get off and take a break.

                                "Hey, Kurai." Leon walked towards the wagon, wondering why Kurai was taking her time getting out. "How much more do we have to walk?"

                                "We are just about to reach the halfway mark." Kurai was finally emerging from the backside of the wagon, slowly trying to reach the ground with her feet. Once she got close enough to the ground, she threw herself with a leap as if to showcase her athletic ability. She then looks back at the wagon, waiting for Charlie, Vincent, and Gareth to make their way out. "Come on out, boys! We'll be safe!"

                                The boys carefully emerged from the wagon, slowly surveying the area around them. They had kept in mind the rumors and stories told about the Ghost Swamp and did not want to take their chances, now that the wagon has come to a complete stop. To their dismay, it only took a menacing glare from Kurai to quickly make their way outside.

                                Cronus chuckled at the silly scene, seeing the boys stumbling on their way out. Charlie, the natural-born leader of the trio despite the fact he was a wreck when talking to women, had gone out first, followed by Vincent and Gareth. They ended piling up on each other, not unlike a comical scene that would occur in cartoons.

                                Leon waited patiently for the boys to stand up, wondering what exactly they had to do as everyone else rested up. His questions were answered when he saw Kurai tossing supplies from the wagon to them. "I see, so we are going to camp here."

                                "We have no choice." Kurai got closer to the mustang, detaching the wagon from it and caressing its chin afterwards. "He's only one mustang, and he must be so tired from pulling all of us."

                                "Pulling the four of you." Cronus corrected the girl.

                                "While he rests up, we'll be gathering supplies.We don't know for sure how long it'll take us to actually reach Helix, so it won't hurt if we get what we can in the swamp."

                                Leon had one question in his mind. "What exactly are the boys going to be doing?"

                                "The boys will set up camp here." Kurai quickly answered. She then explained that Charlie would go out looking for berries, Vincent would gather firewood, and Gareth would set up the tents. Leon and Cronus had special roles to play, however. "Cronus, you'll scout the path ahead. You don't have to go too far, but check and see if there's anything dangerous up ahead."

                                "Dangerous?" Cronus wondered out loud.

                                "Like holes on the ground, poisonous plants and animals, things like that."

                                "I'm on it." Cronus walks away without much of a word, prompting a smile from Kurai, who felt confident she gave Cronus the right task. "I'll see you later, Leon."

                                "Huh? Oh, sure...." Leon said with doubt in his voice. He wondered if Cronus was going to be alright, but didn't seem to mind Kurai's decision much.

                                "As for you, Leon." Kurai continued. "You'll look for water."

                                "Water?" Leon asked. "In a swamp?"

                                "Yeah. I hear the Ghost Swamp has vast quantities of fresh water here. It is unknown why, but people who have made it out of the swamp have brought back buckets of water." Kurai grabbed a wooden bucket from the wagon and tossed it to Leon. "Bring back a sample so we can see if it's true what they said. Clean water should be easy to recognize, right?"


                                "Then hop to it!" The girl was quick to shove Leon away from the clearing and back into the forested land. "If it gets too dangerous, don't try to be a hero. Come running to us and we'll figure something out."


                                Leon didn't mind Kurai's sudden surge of bossiness, but searching for water seemed to be the easiest job he could think of. He felt his strength could be best used in setting up camp, or scouting the area around their encampment and getting rid of harmful creatures. But fetching water, as easy as it sounded, didn't suit him well.

                                The more he thought about it, the more he realized one simple fact: he was thirsting for danger. It was not too long ago that this simple baker began his adventure, and he was already wanting more out of it. He had remembered a conversation he had with Cronus earlier concerning the Horologium Vest, and the fact that Leon could fight so well despite not having much battle experience was in fact owed to the Vest.

                                "The Vest sees your potential, so all it does really is help awaken it." Cronus would say no more, as Kurai's watchful eyes were on them as well. Leon knew there was more to the Vest than Cronus had already revealed, but understood why he had to keep it short and sweet.

                                It had been less than ten minutes since he departed from the encampment, but Leon already heard water currents from a distance. He walked faster, hearing the noise growing louder the closer he got. He finally saw a exit out of the forested section in this particular part of the swamp and did not hesitate to jump into the clearing.

                                It was a river. It appeared to be at least six feet deep. The currents were strong, so anything that fell on it was likely to be carried off. There was a large bridge connected to the other side of the river, and it appeared sturdy enough to hold even heavy carriage. Leon was already curious about what was on the other side, so he decided to take a look at the bridge.

                                But loud steps could be heard as soon as he approached the bridge. Leon was startled for a moment, but then realized that his life could be in danger. "Good." He waited for the source of those loud footsteps to come closer, and there was no doubt at this point that they came from the other side of the bridge.

                                A massive shadow came closer and closer. If it wasn't for the cloud of fog that was ever-present in the swamp, the creature would have been revealed by now. But Leon waited patiently, and little by little he began to see what he was waiting for.

                                First thing he saw in the huge silhouette was a pair of horns on the creature's huge head. Next came the arms and finally the rest of the entire body. Leon saw that this creature resembled a bull back on planet Earth. However, this bull creature was standing on its hind legs. The arms had no hooves at the end, but instead they had hands. It was wearing a thick nose ring and an opened vest. There was nothing covering the area between its legs but there seemed to be no need for that at all. In fact, the creature was covered in thick fur which, along with its muscles, made up a large part of its bulk.

                                "Time to test the Vest's language capabilities." Leon took a step forward, grabbing the creature's attention. "Good afternoon, good sir." The baker began. "Tell me, is there a way you could let me get across? I'm in need of some fresh water and would sure love to see if there's any beyond this bridge."

                                The bull creature stared down at Leon and focused its attention on him. It seemed he understood what the man said, and it didn't seem to please it at all. "And who are you to make such a demand?" As Leon prepared to introduce himself, the bull creature let out a loud bellow. The sound was enough to keep Leon quiet, allowing the creature to continue. "I care not for names, humanoid. All of you are the same in your insignificance."

                                Leon did not know much about the threat that posed before him, but he did know two things. One, the creature was definitely male. And two, it was a proud piece of work that needed to be taught a lesson in humility. "I couldn't care less about your name, either. But you know something? This humanoid can knock you down in three seconds flat!"

                                The bull creature was intrigued at Leon's words, and definitely wanted to see if he could back them up. "Then I have a proposal for you. If you can knock me down, then I will gladly let you pass."

                                Leon accepted the challenge. "You'll be sorry." He made a bow before the bull creature, who simply stood where it was. Leon bent his knees, and at the count of three he leaped towards the creature as high as he could.

                                But to his surprise, Leon's feet were only inches off the ground. Despite putting everything on this leap, Leon only managed to land right in front of his new foe, who bursted out laughing. "Is that all you can do?"

                                "Eh, let me try again!" Leon walked away a couple of feet behind him and tried again. But this time, the bull creature swiped its enormous right hand on the man, which sent him flying away from the bridge and into the river. Leon was submerged in the water for a few seconds before his unconscious body resurfaced. The encounter was over as quickly as it had begun.

                                "Humanoid!" The bull creature gave off a mighty shout. The river had carried Leon off and away, so the bull creature decided to make every second count. "If you are are as great as you claim to be, then surely you'll survive this! Let it be known that it was I, Aldebaran of the Earth Hoof Clan, who defeated you!"

                                To be continued...
                                "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
                                -St. Augustine

                                "You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive." -The Ninth Doctor

                                I'm a Catholic Whovian who loves to watch anime and read manga, discovering my faith while still trying to to enjoy the things I love. Feel free to PM me for questions or just to chat!

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                                Feel free to add me to trade and/or battle! Could really use some friends in BW2!

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