Some short time later after finishing my portion of dinner I went up the stairs to the third floor, and with the assistance of the cleaning staff I made it to the door to my temporary room. It was nightfall by the time I finished, and with everyone settling down for night it was the perfect time to get out unsuspectingly. The conversation with the royal family might be to blame for it since it didn’t take me long to finish eating. Although I wonder if this world changes when I come and go, like if I were to leave and then come back, would everything be the same as it was when I left. In fact; has there been much change in the real world? I’m partially surprised Audrey hasn’t say anything at all since the meeting. I learned instantly that the princesses were in the room two doors ahead of mine because they were still awake screaming and playing with their door open, or it could be Laurie keeping Crystana awake with her screaming.
I found the answer to my question when one of them hugged me from behind after I merely placed a hand on the door handle to my room. I only made a quiet gasp to it. “Day!” Laurie, being the one on my back, yelled my name and the echo of it lingered through the hall for a couple seconds. “Laurie? Are you here to say good night?” I asked looking down at her. She let me go and shook her head. “No. I cannot get to sleep. Could we play for a bit?” She asked and now even Crystana had shown up. “What? No, it’s getting late, Laurie.”
“Mother would usually let us stay up for a little bit longer, so we do not go to bed at this time. On top of that I have homework so I cannot play with her.” Seriously? I guess I could get around them staying up. That was none of my concern. The problem was them choosing me to be with them at a time like now. Sure, I became their friend today, but I have things I need to do. I don’t want to make them sad but I do want to go home. Even if that wasn’t the reason, there was always me being tired after a long day and wanting rest. After a small sigh I gave in to them anyway. “Fine. I’ll play with y-Hey!” Before I could finish the girls grabbed both my hands and dragged me towards their room, giggling on the way. Why was I putting myself through this torture? It wasn’t that the girls were bad, but I don’t have time for this. If it would get them tuckered out then yes, by all means, I’ll do it. Just don’t let it be too long.
Upon entering their room I felt a pinch of familiarity; this was definitely the room where I was found by Laurie upon my arrival to this world. Everything out of the closet was just as I remembered it, which I didn’t get much of a look at earlier; the left half being the side with the closet I came out of had a medium sized dark blue bed and blankets with light blue pillows decorated with several stuffed animals of multiple species, a wooden dresser by the closet holding three drawers, a work desk next to the bed with a white cup containing art tools, a small stack of paper beside the cup, and a small white box decorated with many tiny sapphires on the lid. There is a closed toy box at the foot of the bed labeled ‘Laurie’s Popersy’ written in crayon, which I guess is supposed to be translated as ‘Laurie’s Property’, but I wasn’t going to pick on her about it. The right half had mostly the same things but colored white, pink, and yellow and without the toy box. Instead there were drawings taped to the walls and a plain old clock.
“Who made those?” I asked pointing to the drawings. Clearly it had to be them but which of the two is why I asked until both of them contributed to answering. “Me! Me!” Laurie answered energetically as she bounced and raised a hand. “I made most of them, even some for my sister. She has some of her own up there, too.” Laurie ran over to the wall and pulled down two of the drawings without damaging them. “This one is of father talking with the other tribe leaders. He is the biggest because I think he is stronger and better than all of them put together. And this is of mother and me in the garden saving a squirrel from drowning in a pond.” Laurie explained to me showing me the pictures as they are being described. I saw from the corner of my right eye Crystana point at one of the pictures on the wall. “That is one I made during recess at our school.” Unlike some of the drawings Laurie was showing me this one was one I could describe well enough; what looked to be Crystana was retrieving a ball from a tree while four kids were watching in tears. “Ha!” I wanted to burst out laughing, but I kept enough control to merely grinned at the humor of it. “And that one would also be mine. I only have a few of my drawings up here so other than the one I showed you, that one and that one, the rest belong to Laurie.” Crystana explained pointing to the remaining two pictures she mentioned. “And there are a lot of them.” I replied.
Looking back to the ones Laurie continued to present to me, I felt a pinch of sadness as I examined them for some strange reason. I guess it made me sad because I could see Gwen drawing some of these looking closely, if not identical, to the princesses as I slowly panned from one picture to another. Although they used a little more variety of colors than Gwen did. Suddenly I felt Laurie tugging on my arm. “Can we play ‘Horse and Rider’?” She asked. That question struck my mind making me completely confused. “What is ‘Horse and Rider’?”
“It is when one person acts like a horse and the other plays the rider. Really, it is just being a regular horse rider.” Crystana explained yet it still confused me a bit. So basically; Laurie wanted me to be her horse and she rides on me? Although she was hard to hear, I could hear someone from the intercom in the real world, most likely Audrey, snickering and in response I released an audible groan. “Sure. Let’s play.” I said halfheartedly. Oh, the humility. Crystana let me go to attend to her homework while Laurie dragged me to her toy box. For the span of an hour we played horse and rider, and to the best of my ability pulled myself through it and even found myself enjoying it somewhat. Then we role played with dolls since we didn’t do much of it at the tiny hut, and she somehow got me to draw a picture for the king and queen with her until she was close to passing out. She fell asleep on her drawing, and Crystana had fallen asleep on her desk with all of her schoolwork appearing to be done. As for myself; I was heavily drained of energy from having Laurie riding on my back for the majority of our time. Even lying down on the floor while drawing didn’t recover much energy, and Laurie isn’t even that heavy. With the little strength I could muster I carried the two little girls to their beds, tucked them under the bed sheets, and turned off the lights. Doing all this woke only Laurie up. “Wait.”
“Could you… open my music box, please?” She asked pointing to the white box from earlier. “So that’s what it is, eh? Alright.” I went back to the desk and opened the box. Inside were two figurines, one being someone in gray knight’s armor and the other a woman in a white dress holding each other’s hands while a mechanism was spinning them clockwise, giving the illusion of them dancing. The melody that played along with it was soothing and somewhat melancholic. “That’s a nice tune. Did your mother give you that?”
“No, father did two years ago. He said it was a tune passed down from my great grandmother. He was nice enough to add on the gems to the lid for me. I cannot get to sleep without it.”
“That is nice of him. Well, since it is playing now, you get some sleep.” After responding with a nod she finally closed her eyes. Quietly I made my way to the door but had not exited the room when the younger sister muttered one last time. “See you in the morning, Day.” I shook my head and successfully fought off a laugh. I was far too tired from playing the role of her horse anyway. “That’s if I’m there, Laurie.” After shutting the door I went back to the room given to me. I inspected the room carefully for no viewing people. The room itself was mostly plain; a brown desk, drawer, and dresser, a bed only fit for one person with red bed sheets, an open window with the red and orange checker blinds and a matching circular rug on the floor. Seeing as the comfy small space was clear I sighed in relief that I was finally going home, but I wasn’t completely at ease since the window was open. Did one of the staff members leave it open or was it always like that? It held no meaning to me, though. Everything would be alright when I leave. That is all I was looking forward to. “Alright, Audrey. It’s time for you to let me out.”
“I know, but before I do, what did you think of your first time in the Dream Drive?”
“It was fine.”
“Anything you have to say about your day there? Did you suffer any side effects during your stay?” Seriously, I wanted to just yell at her right now. I didn’t even hide the irritation in my voice. “I found the people to be fine, there are no ‘negative effects’ or ‘Illness’ that I can note of - but I’m not in my real body right now so of course not - I’m exhausted and I am going to kill you if you don’t let me out.”
“OK, OK. Don’t get violent. Do you plan on coming back here in the future? It doesn’t have to be tomorrow if you don’t want to.”
“If you keep this up, I will come back here once I’ve fed you to some sharks.”
“Oh, stop being such a downer, Day. I’m letting you out already.”
”I got the rudest awakening imaginable from Polly Poppy and I’ve been forced to test out your new machine. You must not know me well enough.” I waited all day for her to do this. I did everything she wanted and more. Of course I was going to be a little mad at her; she used me as a test subject to try out her new machine and kept me in here longer than we agreed on. I only needed to wait a few more seconds and… “OK, Day, you should be coming out now.” She told me. We waited for a couple seconds but nothing happened. “Audrey…” I called out to her as my impatience rose. “I’m working on it. Just give me a second.” She replied. Deciding to wait instead of replying I took off the cloak I actually forgot I was still wearing. Then I closed my eyes and stretched my arms towards the ceiling for my body badly needed it after all the horse role playing. There it was; that tingling feeling throughout my body again. This time it felt worse. Along with it the left side of my face felt hot, most notably my eye. I fell to my knees, holding my left eye and breathing heavily through my mouth. My eyes were hurting more than the tingle was bothering me. I began to realize that I should have closed the window; through my squinting right eye, it was blurry but I saw the silhouette of someone creeping up on me. Before I could register who the attacker was the shadow engulfed my vision with one hand, and its voice was the one last thing I could hear before losing consciousness. “It has been long enough. You will set me free.”
- Audrey’s Perspective -
This time I had the correct code ready to get him out. Previously I had three of the nine numbers wrong in the code. I only made it recently and for some reason didn’t think to write it down in case I forgot or ask one of our friends to remind me after telling them it. Geez, I must be tired. With him at the correct coordinates and the right code to free him, I was ready. Eagerly I typed in the code, and then waited for him to transfer out of the dream world. It shocked me to see an error message pop up again. “What? I put in the right numbers and Day is in the right place. Why isn’t it getting him out?” I continuously typed in the code to release Day, and even tried different codes after multiple failed attempts, finding none of them to work. All I was getting from the control monitor was the same error message. What shocked me even more is that it wasn’t displaying what was causing the error in a clear descriptive way, but instead a small text box with three question marks. Previously it showed me exactly what the error was when Day wasn’t in the castle, so why not now? “What is going on?! Why is it not working?!” I screamed in utter panic. I inserted more codes. I even started smashing the keys in desperation. Obviously that wasn’t working either. “Audrey, what is happening?!” Diane cried. “I don’t know! I don’t know!”
“She’s not referring to that! Look!” Poppy screamed. I immediately stopped to look at her, but when I turned my head to face her, my eyes caught sight of something else. Something that terrified me as it did to everyone in the room: a dark mist was enveloping Day’s body, the source oozing from his eyes like a waterfall. The mist spread through the room and his face becoming completely covered in black markings coming from the eyes. We knew what this was and it chose a horrible time to activate. “The Vizer is activating?! Why?!”
“On the screen he was attacked by someone and then the screen went off, then the Vizer began to activate!” Tim informed before he charged at Day’s body trying to ram him. “Not on my watch!” He yelled. Upon looking up at the display screen, I saw what he meant; the screen was still on but there was an error message on it, too, and the display of the dream world wasn’t there. And as for Tim; upon being a mere five inches away from Day’s body, a barrier blocked Tim’s advancement, pushing him away and sending him flying several feet in the air landing on his face. “Tim!” The rest of our friends cried. “Master!” Katrid and Zei, and even Mayple , Syera, and Brayl, Diana’s spirit companion, attempted to free him but they ended up sharing Tim’s failure. Looking back at Day’s body, the barrier had not faded but instead it steadily grew in size. It grew so much that when it completely filled the Dream Chamber it exploded, sending us back into a wall on the other end of the basement. Thankfully very few of us were knocked out from the explosion. Shortly after the explosion the alarm system in the machine went off and the error message on the screen above the chamber changing to static, signifying that it was either disconnected or broken. The lamp and ceiling lights went out, so the only two sources of light we had was the big screen on the control monitor and the static from the display screen above the chamber. It was still very dark, though, because of the whole room being covered in the dark mist. “NO!” I screamed whilst getting up and rushing back to the controls. I started inserting codes again, internally praying that something would work. Again it was only error messages for the first minute, but then the next minute the control monitor shut off. “No! No no no no no no no no no no no no no! Why is this happening?! Why now?! Day! Please, answer me! Say something! Day!” I began to sob as I smashed the keyboard multiple times with my hands. It hurt my hands tremendously but the pain didn’t matter to me at all.
I promised him that nothing would go wrong. I promised him testing the Dream Drive would be simple and everything would turn out fine. Why did this happen? I repeated the last sentence out loud until I finally fell to my knees sobbing. I didn’t even hear Dodger come and ask everyone what was happening. It wasn’t that the machine was broken that hurt me. It wasn’t that all of the promises I made were broken. Those did affect me greatly. But what hurt me the most is that his life might have been over from this. The mere thought that someone might have lost their life because of me hurt the most. I repeatedly asked myself why I didn’t just test the machine myself and had someone else operate the controls instead. At least then we wouldn’t have the Vizer to deal with. I felt Dodger hug me from behind but I didn’t care. I could only cry where I sat.
- Day’s Perspective -
My body began to hurt badly. It felt like I was being burned all over my body by several people at once. I was rolling on the floor in agony. This pain, though. I knew what it was. I was familiar with the intensity of it. The ‘Vizer’ is what we call it because when it activates it forms a visor-like mask, and when I put it over my eyes I… change, for the worst. No one, not even me, knows where it came from or why I have it. To this day we still have not figured it out, but what we did know is that it is very powerful and destructive. More destructive than even the Cybrons themselves.
In an analogy, you could say it’s like having a Cybron living in my body that I was probably born with. But the question is: what triggered it this time? Usually it triggers when I get really angry about something, something like being stuck in one place while someone is being harmed, turning mere irritation to pure boiling rage, but I was nowhere near mad at Audrey. Sure I was steadily growing irritated with her stalling, but I wasn’t in any shape or form angry, and even if I was it wouldn’t be anywhere near this point of anger. The other possible reason, and most likely the more believable choice, is the shadowy being that attacked me. It did make that tingling feeling grow worse as it got closer to me. That would be the only reason why it is activating now. I felt the mist, the ‘Enigma’ as we call it, seeping out of my eyes like a torrent of water rushing out and a male voice yelling that it will be freed soon. I tried holding the Enigma back as much as I could but it was all being released through every gap of my fingers. This has never happened before.
When it finally stopped my body went limp, weak from the release of a lot of my power, and my breathing trying it’s best to recover into a steady pace. I held my hands on my eyes. It hurt like heck and all of my energy had been depleted from me so I could barely stand. After a few minutes when my body could function at little better I stood, having a lot of trouble doing so. All around me the room was covered in the dark mist. “A… Audrey! Audrey, let me out!” I called out while struggling to stay on my feet, using the bed to support me after nearly falling. I hoped she would respond but I heard nothing from anyone for over ten seconds. “AUDREY! ANYONE!” I shouted with more anxiousness than anger, but still no response came. “Darn it! Why are they not responding?” I walked to the door to exit the room while still holding my eyes with one hand.
Upon opening it I found the hallway to just as bad; there were people running for their lives left and right, yelling and screaming as if there was a monster on the loose. All of the room doors were open with, from what I could see, nobody inside and everything either destroyed or had fallen on the floor shattering if the material was fragile enough. I exited my room and ran towards the princess’ bedroom. “Laurie? Crystana? Where are you two?” I called for them searching through their closet, under their beds, and Laurie’s toy box. They were nowhere in sight and their voices weren’t present in here either. “No no no no no no! Where are they?!” Just as I yelled that I heard another scream closer to where I was outside of the room.
Upon running out I found one of the cleaning staff members being chased by monsters materializing from some kind of swirling portal created by the mist. “What the heck are those things?” I asked watching them carefully. I ran down the stairs in pursuit of the monsters but only when I reached the second floor did I catch sight of my attacker on the first floor heading to the corridor on my left. I quickly came to notice how it looked similar to me, only without any clothes to note of. “You…” To my right I heard yelling and clinging metal from a couple of guards trying to fight off the creatures that were attacking them. I knelt by the lone guard who wasn’t being attacked; he was lying on the ground because his left leg was injured. “Where are the princesses, the king and the queen?” I asked. Unfortunately, he was already unconscious. I cursed under my breath before looking up at the creatures.
There are only three of them. They are the shape and size of goblins with three fingers, long ears, and little hair if any under their chin. They have no mouth; in fact they have no face, yet made a deep snarling sound. Although they are small, and small as in they only reach my waist in height, they seem to be fast as well seeing as they were taking out the guards swiftly and effectively. Finally I was able to fight something. With the advantage of me being able to use my hunter powers here I took off my gloves and began taking out a crayon I snagged from the girls’ room, using it to make the same crest on the carpeted floor as were on my hands, and then put my bare right hand on the fresh drawn crest when it was complete. When it began to glow I slowly raised my hand attempting to create a weapon, but not nearly halfway through a violent pain shot through my body from it. “Darn it! I must have limited life force to use here, or maybe it was taken from me by my attacker? Either way I have to fight them off somehow.” I thought breathing heavily from the piercing pain. Getting rid of the unfinished weapon I got my used energy back from it. It seemed I could only rely on my physical strength now. I charged at the creatures with an angered roar. I jumped over the first one and grabbed it by the shoulders, then threw it in the air using my feet after planting them on its back, and finally landing with a somersault. I front flipped to the second one on the left of me, kicking it downward in the head then kicked it again doing a reverse cartwheel. Landing on my hands and feet I bent down, extended one leg and span in a full circle to knock down the third creature then stood up and kicked the second creature that was behind me in the head. The first creature landed on top of the third. Using my powers to create a small electrical surge in my right hand I jumped onto the second creature and threw my fist into its chest, destroying it. At least I’m able to use some of my powers still, how little of it was available. The creature turned into the mist that was surrounding us and went into my eyes. “Ahh…!” I groaned in pain, but it didn’t hurt too badly. The pain of when it left my eyes lingered which made the returning of it hurt slightly. Otherwise it probably wouldn’t have hurt at all. I didn’t need to look back to tell the other two were getting up. Their snarling gave it away. Using my left leg I kicked the one on top in the head harder than the second in a downward arc, causing it to be destroyed and also return to me. Dealing with the last one was simple; picking it up by its legs I threw it at a wall and dashed towards it, thrusting my fist into its abdomen.
Once it turned into mist and returned to my eyes I faced the guards. “Now, where are the princesses, the king and queen!” This time I demanded an answer. My anger was reaching its peak and if the Vizer wasn’t already active it would be slipping out at this point. I ignored the terrified expressions the guards gave me. “T-The throne room! They tried to get out with Adviser Radicchio through the front hall when the princesses got abducted by those monsters!”
“And the throne room is where?”
“It is on the first floor at the far back end of the castle. When thou head to the first floor, go on the right side of the two corridors; at the end of the corridor go left, then straight until you have passed seven windows. The doors will be to your right once you are there. It is impossible to miss it.” The right corridor? That is exactly where my attacker went! There was no mistaking it! I began my descent to the throne room without wasting another second, not even to thank the guards for the information. On the way there even more of those creatures sprung out of the mist. They were no match for me. I could beat all of them with ease, but they were clobbering the guards. It wasn’t until I reached the throne room doors when I was confronted face to face with a giant wielding a halberd. It was two times bigger than the average Hume and only slightly bigger than a normal grown-up Dragonis, and yet it could somehow still fit inside the halls of the castle and stand on its laughably small legs.
Regardless, I slid under the creature when it swung its weapon at me. Before I went past it I extended one hand, took hold of one of its tiny legs and spun around it, causing the giant to lose its balance and fall towards me. This time it is imperative that I use my hunter powers for my survival; otherwise it could kill me with its weight. Quickly I took out the crayon to make another circle on the floor, and then placed my right hand on it to take enough life force from the floor tiles to hold the giant. It took all my might to keep it from crushing me, though it was still very heavy since I couldn’t take too much life from the tiles before being crushed, just enough to survive the giant’s weight. I took a couple deep breaths preparing myself to make my next move before doing it. “Ready for a lift?” I quickly removed one hand from the giant and put it on the circle. It gave off a blinding glow for a very short time. When it faded, four rock pillars formed out of the floor, lifting the giant off me. Afterwards I pressed my hands on the circle again, but expecting a different reaction. It released a blinding white glow like last time. “You made the mistake of challenging me!” I yelled making more pillars but with sharp ends come out to impale the giant while all of the pillars together crushed it on the ceiling, destroying it. I waited for the Enigma to return to me before getting rid of the pillars.
I started to understand something; whenever I beat one of those monsters and they returned to me, I get a little bit of my strength back. So whatever my attacker did, he must have taken my powers and unleashed it on the castle. I used a lot of my powers with those little creatures alone but I sense an even greater danger looming from within the throne room. With what I discovered I would need to continue borrowing the castle’s life force in order to fight it, but I’m risking it crumbling even further. “This is seriously bad. I need to get everyone out of here as quick-“I was interrupted by the terrified screams of, who I knew well enough to recognize, Laurie and Crystana. I shoving the doors open and what stood before me was the largest of these creatures in the castle by far; an octopus-like creature with the ten or so tentacles but no head and two cages dangling off of two of the arms, holding Laurie and Crystana hostage. Instead of a head, the giant creature had a mouth constantly opening and closing.
To the right of me was the king, the queen and Radicchio, all dressed in white bed gowns. The king was trying his best to fend off the giant threat with only a sword to help him save his daughters. His focus on the monster kept him from noticing me but he was clearly having a very hard time fighting it; the sword he had was fazing right through it like it was attempting with all its might to harm a shadow. I was a little surprised by it. The queen wasn’t awake by the looks of her but more like she fainted, not fell asleep. And as for Radicchio; only he acknowledged my presence. He looked terrified beyond belief. The only one I didn’t see anywhere was the figure who attacked me. “You again?! Why are you not escaping with everyone else?!” Radicchio exclaimed at the sight of me. I too had much of my focus on the creature to look at him. “Radicchio, do not stay in here any longer! I will get the girls and the king! I want you to take the queen and help anyone you encounter out of the castle!” I ordered. “But wha-“
“No buts! Hurry up and go!” I shouted. I could sense him hesitating and instead of leaving he asked ‘Who are you’, his delivery being stumbled. Slowly I turned my head to him and answered. “My name is Day. Now, go! Don’t make me tell you that again! And take the queen with you!” This time he flew away without speaking another word with the queen on his back. Laurie from whom I heard screamed again. “I’m coming, Laurie! You too, Crystana! Just hold on!” Upon looking down I noticed the king was lying on the ground, defeated. I almost didn’t have time to dodge the oncoming attack coming towards me. I somersaulted to avoid the attack.
I evaded it, but the king was hit when he tried to stand. His sword was thrown in my direction, landing in arms reach of me. I exchanged looks to it and the large creature, deciding if the sword in my hands would even affect it either. There wasn’t much time given to me so I took my chances and grabbed the sword. “Yah!” I swung it at one of the incoming tentacles, actually managing to slice it in half. “It… It actually worked?!” Now I was genuinely shocked. When I inspected the sword I could see that the whole thing was giving off a dim but noticeable white glow. Could the sword have been special like the Excalibur, or was it me causing it? Whether it was the sword or not didn’t matter as long as it could save everyone.
Standing up I evaded another attack, this time jumping onto the tentacle that came at me. I hopped on each tentacle that got me closer to Crystana’s cage, and on the last one I ran up it until I was close enough to the cage. I threw the sword at the tentacle carrying it, causing the cage to drop and break when the throw was successful in impaling it. I jumped down after her, pulled her out of the shattered cage, and carried her to the entrance of the room where the king laid. “I have to get your sister! Stay here!” I ordered. Crystana complied with a nod. It was then when I noticed her carrying Laurie’s music box but made no comment about it. Upon looking around I found a whole assortment of weapons dropped by the guards. In light of my curiosity to see if it was the sword or me that was making the glow I picked up a spear. It was definitely me. I kept hold of the spear, acquired a jagged dagger and stuck it in my mouth, and then took one more spear in my other hand. “You chose the wrong time to get on my nerves!” I seethed viciously through the dagger as I waited for a tentacle to charge at me.
Seeing one do so I impaled it with the spear in my left hand downward. I held onto it waiting until the injured tentacle stopped wiggling so much before climbing up and running up towards Laurie. I blocked any incoming attacks with the remaining spear in my possession. At some point in blocking I was pushed off the tentacle with enough force to nearly send me flying halfway across the room. I landed on another tentacle then ran up to the highest point where it took me. Upon looking down I saw that the spear in my right hand had been broken in half. I took the dagger in my mouth out and twirled both weapons for a good two seconds before sprinting towards the creature. My plan was instead of going to Laurie directly I’ll go above. I jumped over the tentacle that tried to halt my advances and then jumped onto one of the chandlers. Upon finally getting above the cage I threw the weapons downward. The dagger missed and the spear went partly through the top of the cage and thankfully it didn’t hit the youngest princess. “Laurie, move away from the spear!”
“Day, I am really scared!”
“I know, Laurie, but I need you to be strong for me! I’m coming to get you out of there! Just move away from the spear and stick one hand out of the cage for me to see!” I instructed. When she stuck her hand out with a thumb up I nodded and began making my move; using my hunter powers again, I put my hands together above my head, slid them down and twisting them when they were leveled with my chest, and then opened them making a circle with my hands. Within the circle an electrical field steadily formed. It emitted a bright light spreading ten meters in distance. Within the ten meters rainbow polka dots appeared moving in random directions along with the electricity building up in my hands. When the lightning and polka dots returned to my hand it formed an electrical orb the size of my head. “Okay, Laurie, now put your hand back in and get down on your hands and knees!” She responded with an ‘OK’. I stuck my right hand through the electrical ball, taking control of it.
As the one controlling it the orb cannot hurt me, but it will do massive damage to whom or what I make it touch. “Here I come! Lightning Ciel!” I announced jumping down and throwing my electrified hand down at the cage instead of the creature. Upon reaching the spear I took hold of it, removed it, and jammed it into the tentacle holding the cage deep enough for the electricity to be touching it. It destroyed the tentacle completely in an explosion.
With the remains of the spear in my hands mid-fall I threw it at the creature’s face, piercing through one of its cheeks, causing it to screech in pain. I landed first before Laurie, catching her in my arms while the cage changed into the black mist and returned to my eyes. Her eyes were closed so she didn’t see it happen. “Day!” She cried wrapping her arms around my neck. “I’m here, Laurie. You’re gonna be OK, now. We need to get your father and sister and then we can leave!” We glared ahead at the exit where Crystana was with the king who was trying to stand with his daughter supporting him. The path to them was being guarded by the creatures remaining few tentacles wiggling in front of us. I waited for an opening for at least ten seconds. When a path had finally showed itself I held nothing back as I ran through it. Almost the entire way I went by foot until the last bit which I had to slide through. Once we were through I put Laurie down to help her sister with the king. “He can barely stand. I tried to help him up but his wounded leg is keeping him down.” Crystana stated the obvious. His bleeding left leg was so noticeable it looked like it was sloppily painted on. “I know. You two wait out there, and don’t move from there unless something is coming towards you.” I ordered. They left the throne room silently. “Your majesty, we need to leave quickly!” I took him by his right arm and swung it around my neck. To be honest he isn’t that heavy, either. “Day, I must thank thou when this is over.” His voice spoke very weakly but yet withheld a decent amount of composure. “Save it for when we get out, OK? We’re-“I was silenced by two tentacles taking hold of us. Looking back at the creature, it was taking a longer amount of time for it to fade than the others, using the last of its tentacles to try taking us down with it.
To my surprise the king managed to remove his arm from my neck and pry the tentacle off of me only. He shouldn’t be able to touch or see it, so how he did it must be because of me. “What are you doing?!” I yelled grabbing his arm. From outside I heard Laurie and Crystana shrieking. “Take my daughters and escape. Leave me.”
“Don’t be an idiot! All four of us are getting out of here together!” The tentacles pulled him towards the fading creature as I pulled back. “I must do this… for my kingdom. I will hold… it off from here. Do not worry. I do not have that long to live anyway. I will only be alive for a remaining two years, or even less if this fiend decides to put an end to me.” He grabbed my right arm with his free one saying one last thing; “Protect… My daughters… and the entire kingdom… With thy life! I am engraving all my faith in thou!” In between pained grunts he leaned towards me and muttered his last words before being pulled away, letting me go before I was dragged in with him. “No! King Saben!” I tried to reach for him but another tentacle took hold of me and threw me out of the room, sending me hurling into a wall. “Day!” I heard from the girls as my body slid down and landed unpleasantly on my face. “Where is father?! Where is he?! Day!” I heard Crystana ask while she shook my body. I raised my head to look at them, and although I could see them my vision was very blurry. What I could make of their expressions were absolute terror and misery. Laurie looked close to crying.
Before I could answer Crystana I saw the mist coming towards us. “That will have to wait! Get on my back, Laurie! Crystana, you hold my hand tight!” I ordered as I forced myself onto my knees for the younger sister. They made no attempts to resist and Laurie quickly climbed on. With the certainty of them being secure in my hold we dashed to the gates. We only made it as far as the main hallway when we were blocked off by more of the creatures, so instead we headed upstairs. My thought process was that we would find a window to jump out of. I didn’t know how well that would work but it was all we had. Then I remembered something; there was a window that had a pond under it. If I remember correctly it is on the second floor, or if not the pond than at least the castle garden. I ran from one corridor to another peering out each window trying to find it. “What are we looking for?!” Crystana asked frightfully. “A garden with a pond or a thick bush we can jump into.”
“The garden? Day, we are going in the wrong direction! It is that way! To the right!” Crystana pointed to the corridor behind us. After a quick nod I took us in that direction, looking out of every window we came across. “How close are we?”
“Not too far, Day! Just go to the right of this corner!” Crystana instructed. I followed her directions and upon turning the corner we found the garden. “Finally!” The three of us looked out the window, spotting a pond below. It looked deep enough to ensure our safety and even if it didn’t the princesses had me to cushion them. “Okay, girls, we’re going to have to jump into that pond. Crystana, get in my arms and keep hold of me! Laurie, you hold on, too! Do not let go no matter what happens!” Crystana complied allowing me to carry her in bridal style. I took a few steps backward preparing to make the jump. I could see that Laurie was on the verge of crying and Crystana was merely shaking. We looked behind us, seeing a horde of those monsters charging at us. “Ah! Day, hurry up and jump!” Crystana screamed. Looking back to the window I scraped the floor with my right foot three times, positioned my body in a running stance, and then charged at the window, jumping out to our freedom. Thankfully we landed in the pond, and as I thought, the water level was only as high as my knees. “Are you two OK?”
“Yes. We have you to thank for it.” Crystana answered hugging me with her heavily shaken body. Laurie hugged me too but without giving an answer, and she, too, was very much shaken. “She must be too frightened to even speak”. I reasoned in my mind. I hugged them back and rubbed their backs softly to ease them. Suddenly we heard an explosion coming from the castle. Upon looking up we saw that nothing had blown up, but the Enigma had begun to spread from the castle to the sky, cloaking the sky in a thick black mist. It was close to impossible to see the moon through it. Black pillars formed in several different areas. Behind us the castle was also being enveloped by the Enigma forming a pillar, and inside the place was crumbling but not being completely destroyed. The Enigma was slowly spreading closer to us. I had to carry the girls far enough so it wouldn’t reach us, but it only went as far as to cover the entire drawbridge. While this was happening I heard the same voice as the one who attacked me chanting the words ‘Yes’ over and over until the Enigma stopped spreading. “What is happening?!” Crystana asked letting go of me and walking a few steps to my left. Laurie held me tighter and crying into my jacket.
This has never happened before. There have been quite a few instances when I’ve activated the Vizer and caused terrible things to happen, but this was on a whole different level. I took Crystana’s hand telling her that we needed to find Radicchio and their mother. Now that the king was most likely gone that possible war that he mentioned might actually fall through because of me. “There thou art!” We heard the voice of Radicchio yell and his wings flapping coming our way. He looked more out of breath than me, but in terms of who did more, I should be more tired than him. “Adviser, you made it out alive, too!” Crystana replied running to him. Even Laurie squirmed out of my hold to be with Radicchio. “Yes. Mr. Day helped me and the queen escape.” I let out a sigh of relief that he and the queen had survived. Obviously they must have had assistance, but my concern was if everyone got out alive. “Radicchio, has everyone made it out alive? The guards, servants, and the chefs?”
“Yes, everyone got out safely. It was only thou three and the king we were worried about. But before I ask about the king we must return to the queen. We may not be safe here.” That he was right about. We didn’t waste another moment in joining him back to the queen at a safe spot within the Quiet Willow Woods. With me being in the back of our line I could see the terrified expression Laurie was making since Radicchio was carrying her on his back while Crystana was walking behind him staring at the music box, not even opening it to check if it still works. Her expression was gloomy but not as much as her sister. It was Laurie whom I had a bit more concern for. She hadn’t spoken a word since we left the throne room and was sniffling a lot. It made me feel even worse about all of this happening. Earlier I wondered how it was triggered, what made me angry enough to activate the Vizer, and if that mysterious figure had something to do with it. The Visor was reacting to him or her like we shared the same power. It felt like the Vizer was trying to strip itself from me and onto the figure. But regardless of how and why, it happened and now everyone is in danger. And within the four of us, Laurie appeared to be taking it the worse. She only began to look somewhat better once we found the queen who was accompanied by the guards, chefs, and cleaning crew. Her white bed dress, as were the servants’ clothes, looked slightly torn in many areas, mostly beneath her waist, and her hair was a mess. “Mother!” Crystana cried dashing to Terrala’s open arms. Laurie went and joined them too but still didn’t utter a word. “My little girls! Both of thou are safe!” Terrala replied returning the hugs. “I was so worried.” She then looked up at me asking ‘Did thou save them?’
“Yes. You should have seen him take on that giant monster on his own! He was jumping really high and running along the monsters tentacles and used father’s sword to free me! And then used three spears to free Laurie! ” Crystana explained to the queen in a sudden happier tone. I felt somewhat flattered. “Is that all true? Then might I ask; where is the king now?” It was when she asked that when we fell silent. From here on I hoped she wouldn’t ask any questions I might find difficult, but I will be expecting it when she does. “The queen has asked thou a question, Day.” Radicchio rudely pressed. “I am fully aware.” I replied to him. To the queen I chose my words carefully before explaining. “After I had saved Laurie and brought her to Crystana and the king, we were about to exit the throne room when the king and I were grabbed by the creature. The king… sacrificed himself, ordering me to protect the princesses and the kingdom with my life. We both would’ve been dragged away, and probably the princesses too, if he hadn’t freed me. I’m so sorry.”
“It is true.” Laurie finally spoke, interrupting her mother but thankfully having my back this time. It took a little bit of time for me to realize why she spoke; it was because she was about to cry again and she was fighting it by speaking. “Big sister and I saw most of it, but heard everything. Day tried to save father when they were grabbed by the monster. We could not see anything after that because the black cloud was covering them. There was a lot of yelling and then… Day was thrown out… Without father.” The moment she finished was when she sobbed into her mother’s chest. Even some of the chefs and servants cried. If I wasn’t feeling at my worst before then I was now. He wasn’t only important to them, but the entirety of the Hume Kingdom and probably the others to some extent. Without him they only have the queen as a leader, and Laurie and Crystana had no father. And not only that, but I can’t leave now. The Enigma is most likely going to keep us out of the castle and I don’t even know if I can make contact with Audrey anymore. Nothing was going right today and it irritated me. But then it hit me; the Enigma is technically a part of me, it is the only other source of power I have besides my physical strength, nomalian magic and spiritual power, and I am the only one able to fight it. Sure, I refuse to use it but I cannot deny it being a part of me. Maybe, if the only way to get back to my body was by getting into the castle, then all I needed to do is get rid of the Enigma here and find the person whom took it from me and stop whoever it is. Which means keeping my word to the king is the only way out. “Laurie.” I called. I walked closer to her and the queen and then knelt to her level. “Since I am able to fight those monsters, I am going to keep my word to your father and do everything I can to get rid of the monsters. I do not know how long it will take but it will be done. I promise you that. I promise it to everyone. Just be strong for me, OK? Your big brother will fix this.” I told her gently placing a fist on her forehead. “Big brother?” She and Crystana said simultaneously. I nodded. “Yes. Your big brother will save everyone and get your father back.” I rubbed Laurie head softly after undoing my fist. “I may not know of your fighting abilities or powers, but if you are sure you can take on such a dangerous task then we have no choice but to leave our lives in your hands.”
“I’m sure. But I do request something before I set off.”
“A request? At a time like this?!” Radicchio asked in a dumbfounded tone. The queen held up a hand. “Whatever it is thou need, I will cover it. But before then, we must take this time to rest.”
“No! We cannot do that!” The girls cried. “And why not?”
“Should we not do that when we reach Steadystone? We must ensure the safety of the villagers, too.” Crystana argued. She actually had a point, though; if the creatures have been released into the world with the Enigma then Steadystone is possibly in danger now. That was good of her to point out. “Very good observation, Crystana. I agree.” I said standing back up. “Ensuring the safety of everyone is more important than us getting a bit of sleep. As a ruler of the Hume Kingdom you should know that.”
“Do not speak like that to the queen!” Radicchio yelled at me. “Adviser, that is enough!” The queen interjected. She released a sigh and stood with Laurie’s help before continuing. “He is correct. It was foolish of me to even think of such a selfish thing when my own people are in danger. Besides, we have taken enough of a rest for now. With the king gone I must take charge and lead as he would have. Everyone, we leave now.”