• I just defeated a team of monsters, when a blonde girl showed up.
    “Hey! What’s up?” she said.
    I looked at her book. “…So you’re a Magician, huh?” I asked.
    “Um… yeah. What about you?”
    “I’m a weapon master." I shrugged.
    “Wow… what weapons can you use?” she asked.
    I sighed. “...Weapon masters can use all weapons. Is it that hard?”
    “Sorry. …Hey, why are you soloing?”
    “You ask too many questions…” I said. “…I’m just fine on my own. I am fairly capable of surviving alone.”
    “Well… here.” She handed me member address.
    “I said I’m fine on my own.”
    “Keep it, just in case.”
    “Fine…” I thrust it uninvitingly into my pocket.
    “By the way, my name is Kannin.” She said.
    “Hm… well, I’m Akiko…” I said.
    “Cool! …Well, I have to get going… bye, Akiko!” She ran off and teleported.
    “Whatever…” I looked around.
    “Well, well, well… Look who it is! I thought you were a soloist, Akiko.” There was a voice behind me.
    …Kamino… what do you want?!” I showed my dual swords, and they glinted in the sunlight.
    “Whoa, easy! I’m not here to fight.” He held up a card. “See this? I found it outside your house. What is it?”
    I snatched it from him and read it.

    Member: Ai
    Address: 10937
    Level: 78
    Weapon: Dual Swords

    “Ai…?” I said quietly.
    “Oh? You know her?” said Kamino.
    “…What’s it matter to you?” I stuffed the card in my pocket, and then shoved my way past Kamino.
    “Whoa, there. Tell me about it.” He grabbed my shirt.
    “Let go…” I said.
    “No, tell me who this Ai girl is.” He tightened his grip.
    “Do you want to die?!” I grabbed his hand and cut a deep gash in it.
    “Easy buddy!” His grip remained on my shirt.
    “Let GO!” I twisted, freeing myself, and cut him in his stomach.
    “Anger-issue much…?” he said
    “…You are so lucky.” I said, and teleported back to town.
    I looked up and saw Kannin rushing to me. “Hey Akiko!” she said.
    “…Ai…” I took out the member address.
    “Oh… Nobody.” I said, putting the card away.
    “Okay…” said Kannin, “well, I was wondering. Maybe we could go train tomorrow!”
    “…I told you I don’t need help with anything.” I glared at her.
    “But… it’s not help. I just… want to train with you.”
    I looked at her card.

    Member: Kannin
    Address: 10948
    Level: 65
    Weapon: Light Magic

    “…Fine. But don’t get in my way!” I went to my house… well, if you can call it a house. It’s more like a mansion to me.
    The walls were strewn with curtains. The symbol for Dark, Light, Water, Fire, Wind, Earth, and Wood were printed on them. The roof was high—about 100 feet from the floor. I had gold and silver railings, and of course, a large chandelier hanging from the ceiling. There were four more rooms. A slightly smaller room for a bedroom, inhabited by a desk, computer, large bed, wide-flat-screen television hanging from the wall, and hundreds of thousands of games strewn across the floor. A kitchen, much smaller than the bedroom, containing a fridge, counter, dining table, sink, microwave, oven, toaster, and dishwasher. A bathroom, with just the casual items needed. And a washroom, to wash clothes.
    I went into my room and threw myself on the bed. “Wow…” I said. “Ai… I remember her… she used to be my best friend… until she…” I faded into sleep…

    I could only see blackness for a fair amount of time. Eventually, a blue and white blur obscured my sight, and then my surroundings became visible. It was storming… lightning was streaking across the sky almost every second, followed by loud, almost deafening thunder, and a tornado raged in the distance. Ai was in my arms, unconscious, and I was unable to move. The tornado eventually came closer and closer.
    Move! My mind told me… but it was futile... I suddenly turned fell. I quickly got up and began running, and thought: Thank God I can move! …Ai… you’ll be all right. for I was unable to speak. The tornado drew closer, and the winds picked up. A metal pole slammed into my arms, and I immediately let go of Ai and fell as another struck my legs. I staggered up, and watched the horror as Ai…

    I awoke to a loud banging on the front door. “Akiko!” it was Kannin. “Akiko, wake up!”
    I slowly sat up. “Come in, it’s open!” I said. I listened as the front door creaked open, and then light foots steps trailed toward my room.
    The door opened, revealing Kannin’s head, and then the rest of her body. “Akiko!” she said, “Why were you asleep? You promised we could go train!”
    I forced myself over to the computer and turned it on.
    “Will you listen?!” she said.
    “We just met, and you are becoming too reliant on me. I said we could train tomorrow.” I said.
    “Which was yesterday.” She snapped.
    When the computer loaded, I looked at the time. 4:32PM it read. “What?! How was I asleep that long?!”
    “Can we go, now?” she asked impatiently.
    “…Yeah.” I left the room, and looked behind at her. “You coming?”
    “Oh, yeah. Sorry.” She walked over to me and smiled.
    “So, where to?” I poked the air, and a holographic list came down.
    Kannin scrolled it. “This one!” She poked the one that read Land of the Twilight. She teleported, then I touched it and teleported as well.
    We came upon a team of monsters. “Well,” I said, “let’s see what you got.”
    Kannin recited a spell, and a thunderstorm began to form. Lightning struck down on them, and the storm disappeared.
    “…Okay, then. Now, let me show you how it’s done.” I lunged forward and grabbed one by the neck, then slammed him into the other and surrounded them in darkness. The cloud soon got larger and the enemies vanished.
    “…What level are you?” asked Kannin.
    “I’m a level 127. You can learn a lot from me. So, I currently view you as an apprentice, and only that. I will teach you, and you will behave like a student at school. Do you understand?” I said strictly.
    “Fine.” She replied.
    “Excuse me?”
    “…Yes, Akiko.” She gave me a fake smile.
    “Very well. Go demonstrate your best attacks.” I said.
    Kannin backed up and her book levitated in the air.
    "Aun ain mout lei… on lei prais en on lei aunleai… maun lei mei yael, en neu noeu mein leiw oans… aeis… onilami!!!” Her eyes began glowing white, and a giant white fireball surrounded her, and grew larger, then exploded. I put a shield around me. The explosion turned into a mushroom-shaped cloud. Shockwaves pulsated out of it, and eventually it died down.
    I disposed of my invisible shield, then stepped out of the smoke and clapped, slowly. “Very impressive. Now, witness true power.” My eyes glowed a dark, evil color. Everything went pitch-black and freezing. I put a shield around Kannin and I. “On lei prais wai oan ey lai li hai… oan ela woa loae… aeis… ou slae oans eain! Laow oans aiet loae!” Nothing was visible inside the shield, but I knew what the attack did. All enemies in the area were destroyed, but at the price of no experience points.
    “…Okay, what did that do?” said Kannin.
    “Look around. Do you see anyone still alive?” I glanced at her.
    “…No. How did you do that?”
    “You cannot use this skill,” I said. “It is a dark skill, and you are light. But I do have light powers. I am able to use both. So, we must go elsewhere so I may teach you. You will be my student for quite a long time, so I intend to teach you as much as I can. When I am through, all that I know, you will know. The extent of my knowledge, is the highest level you will be taught, but do not think I will let you off the hook if your grades start slipping.”
    “Grades?!” she dropped her book.
    “Why are you surprised?” I picked it up, dusted it off, and handed it to her.
    “…What, now am I going to have to wake up at a certain time, now?!”
    “Patience is necessary.” I said. “You will not have curfews, and you may wake up whenever you wish, but remember this: the longer you sleep in, the longer we are outside. For example, if you wake up at 6:00, then you will have three hours until we train. We train for five hours, and then we are free to do what we please. But if you wake up at 9:00, you will only have one hour until we train. Then we are out for five hours. Do the math. The longer you want to sleep in, the less time you have to prepare for training. And training is an important task in life, for you will do much of it if you wish to survive. Now, we will not begin this process for one week, so until then, do what you want… I see you have not been paying attention. Do you want to start immediately?”
    “No, Akiko.” She said.
    “Let us return to town.” I teleported.
    She teleported as well.
    “How can you use both dark and light?” she asked once we arrived.
    “Because of you.” I said. “When two people are on a team, one has the ability for light, the other dark, then they are able to use each other’s power. But you are not yet a high enough level to use my magic. So, when you are, then you can use my magic.”
    “…Don’t dark and light oppose each other?”
    “Yet at the same time they attract each other. Light must fill the void of darkness, and darkness must overpower light. When they are mixed, it becomes the most powerful weapon in the galaxy.”
    “That is so cool! Can we try it?!”
    “No, it can-“
    “It has the power to destroy the world. First, I must teach you how to control it so we do not destroy our planet.”
    “Oh… fine. Well, I’m heading home. Bye, teacher!”
    My pocket began glowing. I pulled it out, and Ai’s level changed.
    “Hey, what’s that?” Kannin came back over.
    “…She’s… alive. I have to go find her!” I rushed to my house and ran into my room.
    “What’re you doing?” Kannin came in behind me.
    I turned on the computer and opened the messaging system.
    “…Who're you messaging?” asked Kannin.

    Ai… you’re still alive. It’s Akiko! Where are you?! I haven’t seen you in a long time! I saw your level just go up… tell me where you’re at, and I’ll come!

    I clicked send, and waited impatiently.
    “…You OK, Akiko?” Kannin said.
    I was quiet for a while, then I got a message.

    Akiko?! Oh my God! I miss you so much! How have you been? It’s been so long since we were separated… And… I do not believe I am anywhere near you. I am in Amstanger. And you said you saw my level go up. You still have my card. I’ll update the address so you can find me.

    “She’s alive…” I said.
    “…I do not have time to talk, I will see you in a fair amount of time. Until then, farewell.” I said.
    “Um… Okay. Bye, Akiko.”
    The card began glowing again, and I pulled it out.

    Member: Ai
    Address: Amstanger 27859
    Level: 79
    Weapon: Dual Swords

    "Well... I'm off to find Ai." I walked out of town.
    "Found you!" Kamino...
    "Go away. I do not have time for your foolishness." I said.
    "Whatever." He rested his head in his hands and started to leave.
    I continued walking and glanced back, he was charging at me, ready to attack. I pulled out my scythe and sped up.
    "Tell me who she is!" Kamino slashed at my arm, but I quickly dodged and grabbed his.
    "You just made the wrong choice..." I held the scythe up to his neck.
    "You're making a worse one!" he said
    I quickly pulled it across his neck and slit his throat.
    He fell to the ground, and I walked away.
    Ai's card began glowing again.

    Member: Ai
    Address: 10948
    Level: 119
    Weapon: Dual Swords

    "...What the hell...?" I jammed it back into my pocket and ran back to town.
    "Hey! Why are you back?" I rushed past Kannin as she tried talking to me.
    "10948..." I said. I approached the door and froze.
    I slowly raised my arm, and knocked... no answer. I knocked a bit harder, and it opened.
    "Akiko!" Ai hugged me.
    "Ai... how did you get here...?" I hugged her back.
    "I sent you a message telling you I would teleport there, instead. Didn't you get it?"
    "I was already gone... and, how did your level shoot up to 119?" I stroked her hair.
    "Secret... I went on the computer and hacked card, then altered my level." She let go of me.
    "Nice..." It was quiet for quite some time.
    "Hey. I've been thinking a lot for the past... two years," she laughed. "And we've been through a lot together. So, I was thinking. You wanna... you know, be my boyfriend?"
    I looked up at the sky and watched the clouds sail by for a moment, then said "...Why not?"
    "Yay!" she hugged me again.
    "...Oh, God." I said as Kannin came over.
    "Hey! Who's this, teacher?"
    "This is Ai... now go away, please." I said.
    "Why?" she pestered.
    "I haven't seen her in two years, I thought she was dead... please go away so I can talk to her." I said.
    "Okay, sorry." she slowly walked off.
    "So, Akiko... how hard has it been for you?" Ai asked.
    "...Very." I said. "I pretty much lost my personality when we were separated. It was just plain hell for me. But, now that you're back, I guess I can manage."
    "Good. You wanna just go to some places and search for treasure?" she asked.
    "Yeah. Where do you want to go?"
    "I don't know..." she poked the air, making the list come down. "How about... The Eternity of Darkness?
    "Sure." I replied.
    She teleported.
    "Teacher! Where are you going? Are you done talking to her?" Kannin again...
    "Look... for once, can you leave me alone? You have a week until we begin training, go level up or something!"
    "Okay, then. See you later!" she left.
    I teleported.
    "So, wanna test our powers? It's been so long... think we can still pull off our special attack?" asked Ai.
    "In case we can, save it for later." I said.
    "Alright. Hey, there’s a team of some people, wanna go see what they know?" she said.
    "Hey! You three." I said approaching them.
    "Can we help you?" asked the big one, who was apparently their leader.
    "Actually, yes. Do you know if there's a treasure in this place?" I asked.
    The skinny one took out a purple gem with black smoke swirling around in it. "You mean like this...?"
    "Yeah... where'd you find it?" Ai questioned.
    "Last one, you can't find anymore."
    "...How much?" I asked.
    "What?" he put it in his bag.
    I winked at Ai. "Nevermind." she said.
    We shoved our way past them and I glanced back.
    "Now." I whispered.
    We turned around and ran towards the one with the gem, I grabbed him, and Ai took the gem.
    "Hey!" He reached out, and the big one grabbed Ai.
    I did the same attack I did when I was with Kannin... my eyes began glowing, and then the smoke covered the field. I brought out a scythe and slashed at his arms. I caught Ai, she was coughing because of the smoke. I covered her mouth and said "Don't breathe so heavily, it can kill you." I set up the shield around us, and Ai began panting.
    "You alright?" I asked.
    "...Don't ever do that again without warning me!" she laughed.
    "Sorry... Hand me the gem for a minute." I said.
    She gave it to me, and I examined it. "Oh... I'd say about two, maybe three... million."
    "Million?! Are you serious?!"
    "Yup... well, that didn't take long. Let's go back and sell it."
    A dark cloud covered the ground up to my knees, and then what looked like a shockwave rushed towards us.
    "Dammit, Kannin!" I said, and grabbed Ai.
    I countered the light attack with my own spell, and it lifted us into the air.
    I saw the mushroom-shaped cloud and the shockwaves coming out of it. I teleported, Ai still in my arms.
    "...Okay, what the hell was that?!" Ai said, a little in shock.
    "That's one of Kannin's attacks..." I said.
    "Oh... that girl is... scary." she said.
    "Forget about her, let's go sell this gem." I said, setting her down.
    "Okay." We walked down to the store and rang the bell.
    "There you are, Akiko!" Kannin was running up to us.
    "What are you, a stalker?!" said Ai.
    I ignored Kannin.
    "Can I help you?" a man stood behind the counter.
    "Yeah, I have an offering. How much for it?" I handed him the gem.
    He took it and said "...I can't put this at a specific price, but how's five million sound?"
    "Deal!" he handed me a bag filled with money and took the gem.
    "Are you serious?! Can I have some, Akiko, please?!" Kannin said.
    "Go away! If you want some, you should go find something on your own." I said.
    "Come on, please?!" she pestered.
    "...Fifty-fifty?" said Ai.
    I handed her the bag. "No. Keep it. It's all yours."
    "...Okay, now I know you're joking. Seriously, how do you want to split it?" she asked.
    "I'll take it if you don't want it!" said Kannin.
    "Go away!" I said.
    "...Fine." She left reluctantly.
    "Ai, I'm serious. Keep it." I said.
    "...Akiko, this is fifty million... I can't take this from you." she said holding it out.
    "Oh well. It's yours now. You can keep it." I said.
    "...Thank you so much, Akiko!" she hugged me.
    "You're welcome." I hugged her back.
    "This is the greatest gift, ever..." she said. Then, we briefly kissed.
    "Mmm... it's getting late. I should head on in before Kannin comes back." I said.
    "Okay." She giggled. "Bye, Akiko, I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"
    "Bye." I said, and walked back to my house.
    "Akiko! You done talking to her?" Too late...
    "Don't you have any other friends, Kannin?" I said.
    She fell silent.
    "...You don't, do you? Look, I'm sorry, but I have to go in for the night." I said.
    "...Let's start tomorrow, Akiko. I'm ready." she said.
    "You sure?" I asked.
    "Yeah, I'll be good."
    "Okay, we'll start tomorrow... you can wake up whenever you want, though... I'll lay off some of the rules. We'll start at five O'clock, okay?"
    "Thanks, Akiko." she said.
    "Yeah, 'night." I went into my house and shut off the lights.
    I suddenly saw a kind of light go up the wall... it was an orb.
    ...It's you, again. I thought.
    The lights turned back on. An apparition appeared in front of me. Yes... have you fulfilled you mission?
    No. I cannot find him, Kumimo.
    Well hurry, I see you have two new people, ask them if they know of his whereabouts. If they have information, report back to me. I tried contacting you before, but you were asleep. It is very hard for me to enter your thoughts, I did, but I am afraid I gave you nightmares... I apologize for that. You awoke, but Kannin was with you, so I could not communicate with you. When you ask for information about him, make sure to keep my presence secretive.
    I will try my best.
    Good, now rest up, you have a long day ahead of you.
    I shall see you later.

    The apparition disappeared into the air, and I walked to my bedroom.
    "...Is it the devil...?" I heard faintly in a robotic, ghostly voice.
    I tried to ignore it, but it said it again, and again... and it was getting louder. Then I heard it right in my ear. But now in a whisper... "...Is it the devil...?"
    I looked over, and a bloody figure was standing there next to my bed. "Run... it is the devil, he will get you." it said.
    "Get out!" I leapt out of my bed and got ready to fight.
    It disappeared into the air...
    I finally fell asleep after quite a while.

    The sunlight came in through the windows, enhanced by their magnified design.
    "...Is it the devil...?" I repeated.
    I heard a faint knocking. I got up, changed, and walked to the front door and opened it.
    Ai poked her head in, her hair dyed red. "Hey!" she laughed.
    "Cute." I replied, stroking it. I walked back inside and gestured for her to enter. "By the way... do you know of someone named... Isolade?"
    She suddenly looked pale. "...Is it the devil...?" The voice came from her...
    "...Dammit! What do you want with me?!"
    "It will get you. Run. Run for your life. It is the devil. If you do not run, Ai will slowly be drained of her life. Run."
    She returned to normal, then fainted and fell into my arms.
    "...Ai... Ai, wake up." I said.
    She slowly stood up, holding onto me for balance.
    "Ai, we have to get out of here. Go pack all you need, and I will explain later."
    "Trust me..." I looked directly into her eyes.
    I walked her home. "Wait here." I said. " I have to go tell Kannin that we're leaving."
    "Okay, Akiko."
    I walked to Kannin's house and knocked on the door.
    "What?" she said.
    "It's me... open up." I replied.
    She opened the door. "What's up?"
    "Kannin, I have to-" suddenly I heard Ai scream.
    "What was that?!" said Kannin.
    I dashed off, Kannin following behind. Ai lay motionless on the ground outside of her house.
    "Ai...?" I said, getting down on my knees. "Ai, get up!" No response... "Ai, come on!" I shook her.
    Her chest began moving, a sign that she was still breathing... Good. I thought.
    "Akiko... what's wrong with her?" asked Kannin.
    I put my ear against her chest, and felt her heartbeat. Heartbeat, too... I have to get her out of here.
    Her eyes opened and she tried speaking. Then I heard her voice in my head. ...Akiko. Why can't I talk?
    "Ai, we're leaving. I have to get you out of here." I said.
    She nodded and closed her eyes.
    I pulled her bag over my shoulder and picked her up.
    "Akiko, where are you going?" asked Kannin.
    "...I can't say. I can only tell you I have to leave here, and I may never return." I set Ai down. "Watch her. I must get the gem back."
    I ran back to the store. It was beginning to close for the day. I snuck behind the counter, reached in the man's bag, and pulled out the gem.
    "Hey! Give that back!" He grabbed for me. I quickly ducked and hurried back to my house.
    I opened the door, rushed to my room, and grabbed the red gem. I ran back to Ai and stuffed them in her bag. I faced Kannin. "If this may be the last time we meet, then farewell."
    Kannin hugged me. "Bye, teacher..." she said.
    I picked up Ai and left...

    I was about a mile and a half away from the town. I was getting tired... Ai groaned and opened her eyes. "Shh..." I said.
    She smiled up at me and sighed.
    "Why did you scream, were you hurt?"
    "...No. I saw something... scary... it was a ghost... and his face was... bloody. Then I fainted..."
    "Well, you should be safe for now..."
    "Where are we?"
    "I don't know. All I know is that I have to keep you safe from whatever's trying to kill you."
    A tear went down her cheek and she mumbled something.
    "What?" I asked.
    "...I love you." she answered.
    "Ai..." I stroked her hair again. "I love you, too."
    "I think I can walk... I haven't moved since I fainted, though,” she said.
    I set her down on her feet. She held onto me for balance, then let go and we continued walking.
    I sighed and looked up into the sky. Then, something caught my attention. A red light was shining through the clouds, following us. It suddenly brightened and a laser shot down in front of us.
    "Move!" I grabbed Ai's hand and ran as fast as I could. Then, another laser shot down and drilled into me. I fell on the ground and lost consciousness.

    I opened my eyes and saw Ai chained up against a wall. I tried to move, but I was chained up as well.
    "Ai." I said. She didn't respond. "Ai, wake up." I kicked a rock her way.
    She slowly opened her eyes. "...What?"
    "Ai... did you see what happened?" I asked.
    "A red light... and then darkness..." She tried breaking free.
    I looked at the chains on my wrist. "...Ai, once we get out, we have to run. This is only a part of what we must escape. And now there is time to explain... There was a ghost... the one you saw... He... it told me we have to leave. Something is after you."
    "Oh... But, how are we going to escape?"
    "Like this..." I focused on her chains, then recited something. " Aueas Eslrea!" The chains broke and she dropped to the floor.
    "Thanks... but, what about you?" she said.
    "Can’t use magic on myself. That’s a disability all people who use dark magic have. But, your element is fire, right?" I asked.
    "Yeah... Oh, wait! I think I know the spell.
    Um... Heat-"
    "Wait. Have you found out how to change your fire magic to light magic?"
    "Okay... Fire is extreme heat. Light can create heat. If you can find the path between fire and light, then you can use both. And since we are almost the same level, your light magic will be of my control as well. And my dark magic may be in your control. Then, I will be able to unlock fire if I am able to. And... since our bond is... strong, it will be easier for me. I tried to unlock fire with Kannin's light magic without telling her, but it was no use. It only came out as light. And I have not found out what dark magic links to, but I have an idea that it is water. Because dark has to overpower light, water must overpower fire. It will be difficult, but if we can figure all of this out, we will be able to use four types of magic."
    "Wow... sounds complicated."
    “It is… so we’ll have to work together to do it.”
    “You want to try and get fire magic?”
    “Yeah. I’ve made a list of spells to try to make light into magic, so first off try this one. Celestial Swap—Fire and Light.”
    “What do stars have to do with magic?”
    “That is where we get the energy from. Fire and light can replace each other, so nothing will be affected except our powers. Just try it.”
    “Okay. Celestial Swap—Fire and Light!”
    “Now try a light spell… um…Aunleai Eslrea. The opposite of Aueas Eslrea, but they have the same effect.”
    “Aunleai Eslrea!”
    The chains on my wrist moved slightly, but did not even crack.
    “Focus, Ai… Keep your mind on light energy now, not fire. And focus on the chains.” I instructed.
    She tried once more. “Aunleai… Eslrea!” Light surrounded the chains. They broke and crashed on the cement.
    “Well done! You can now use light and dark. And I can use light and fire.”
    “I just learned an entire new element. In less than five minutes!” she exclaimed.
    “Well, I do not like to brag, but I’m a pretty good teacher, aren’t I?”
    “Let’s just get out of here.”
    The door swung open, and five guards rushed in ready to attack. “Freeze!” one of them men in the back said.
    “…You freeze!” I tried connecting water and dark. It felt like a strong enough link, so I tried. “Celestial Swap—Water and Dark!” I felt moisture flowing through my body. “Insat Gaunst!” Water shot out from my palm, freezing the one in front. “Anybody else?”
    They backed up. “Retreat!” They ran off, locking the door behind them.
    “…I know four elements. And now so do you! We learned four entire elements. It’s hard to learn only two! Now, we have to find a way out.”
    “I’ll try to blast a hole in the wall.” Said Ai.
    “Good luck.” I said. “That’s concrete over steel. We might be able to do it together… but what’s the spell?”
    “Steel, huh…? Hm… Unlai Raies Ailosei!” Ai attempted a spell. The walls bent inward, but did not brake. “Akiko, I need your help.”
    “Okay.” I stood next to her and grabbed her hand.
    We recited the spell at the same time. The wall burst open, the sides flaming.
    “Run! Now, these guards are sure to be coming!” Ai rushed through the opening, and I closely followed behind.

    We stopped about a mile away, panting.
    “Did you pack the materials we needed for camping and stuff?” I asked.
    “…Dammit! I packed it, but we left the bag back there!”
    “What?! …We can’t go back. Not now.” I said.
    “We’ll freeze out here, it’s almost winter, and it’s like 40 degrees. We have to go back.”
    “Alright… but if those guards are there, I’m not holding back.”
    We turned around and hurried back to the prison. There were guards standing on the outside of the hole, and many were coming from the inside. One pulled out the bag.
    “…The gems are in that bag. Dammit, we need those! It powers up the magic in the stars so they don’t run out of energy.” I said.
    “If we had the dark gem, I would be able to absorb the light around me, making me invisible.”
    “You don’t have enough energy?”
    “No… I have only about two-thirds the amount needed.”
    “Well, I may be able to help with the other third. Since I know dark now, this could be my first spell. Wanna try it?”
    “…Yeah, it could work. Okay, the spell is simple. Light Assimilation.”
    “Okay… let’s do it.” She grabbed my hand and we recited the spell. Everything suddenly turned bright. Then it faded down. I looked at what would be my hands, but were just empty spaces.
    “Okay, I’m ready.” I snuck up to the guard with the bag; luckily going unnoticed when I almost tripped. I snatched the bag out of his hands, and suddenly everything went bright and I was visible.
    “Hey!” One guard grabbed for it, while the others tackled me.
    I suddenly yelled something that was horrifying even to myself. “Enaulest Raun Aueas!”
    A dark cloud appeared, and expanded out, obscuring my sight. I heard yelling, and stampings of feet, I knew were the guards trying to run. And the first thing I thought about was Ai. Will she be all right? She has to run… but how do I tell her? Dammit, this is so annoying! I was the only one safe.
    I heard Ai yell something. “Enaulest Raun Aunleai!” A flash of light burst through the darkness, and all was visible.
    The guards all lay motionless on the ground. I thought they were dead, but one twitched his leg.
    “I have only paralyzed them, let’s go!” Ai grabbed my hand, and we took off.

    We were far away enough to not even get a glimpse of the prison. And Ai suddenly fell.
    “Are you alright?” I crouched down beside her. “Did you trip?”
    No answer… I turned her head and saw the same empty face I had seen when she said “…Is it the devil?” …And it came again.
    I sat down, looked up into the sky, and waited.

    Hours passed, and she said nothing since, though her face was still pale. I took all the things needed out of the bag and set up camp. It took me a while, but I finally got it done, and just in time. It was pitch black. The sky was cloudy before, so it covered up the stars, and there was a new moon, so there was no light for me.
    I felt for Ai. I touched her arm, then picked her up and carried her to the tent.
    I laid her down on one sleeping bag, then rolled out my own and lay myself on it. I pulled the blanket over her and slowly drifted into sleep…

    The figure with the bloody face was the first thing I saw. A blood drop was sliding down his cheek like a dark red tear. And then I realized and wasn’t blood. They were tears… But, what could possibly be making this… thing… cry? And why was it crying red tears? Another tear slid out of his eye and down his cheek, then it dropped off of his chin.
    “Is it the devil…?” he said.
    “Who?” I asked.
    “The girl with you… is it the devil?”
    “No, she isn’t. Her name is Ai.”
    “Ai…” he whispered her name, then sighed.
    “…What is your name?” I asked him.
    “I have no name… I am nothing in real life, only able to speak to you through the ones closest to you, and your dreams.”
    “…How were you able to talk to me in my room?”
    “You were half-sleeping, so I was able to talk to you in your sleep.”
    “…Tell me, is there a way to escape what is trying to kill me, and more importantly Ai?”
    “I thought it was her trying to kill you. But now that I hear the name Ai, it is impossible. “Ai” means “holy.” Her name is just Holy, so she can’t be the devil… but Isolade. You spoke of him with Ai before, I have a feeling he may be the devil.”
    “How am I supposed to know where to go and what to do?”
    He let out a long breath, then disappeared.

    I slowly opened my eyes and turned to look at Ai. The blanket was covering both of us, and her arm was pulled over my waist. She was sleeping peacefully, her face no longer pale. I gently moved her arm then quiet got up and left the tent.
    I stretched, then noticed a sharp pain in my left arm and thrust it back. Frostbite had taken its toll on my arm. I stood, waiting for it to get numb. I lost feeling in it at last, then wrapped it in bandages. If I tried to heat it up too fast, it would be to quick for it to handle, and most likely kill me from the pain. I waited about an hour, then went back inside the tent. I pulled the other half of the blanket over Ai with my right arm, letting the sensation get pulled back into my left.
    I noticed something different, something I should have noticed before. Her hair was dyed blue, flowing down her back; which means she got better most likely right after I fell asleep.
    I decided to let her rest and left the tent.
    I stretched again, inviting the normal feeling in my arm. I watched a single cloud slowly go by.
    I heard a movement within the tent. “Ai?” I crawled in.
    She sat up and yawned. “Oh, morning Akiko.” She smiled.
    “Hey. Why do you dye your hair so much?” I asked.
    “I don’t know… I just like having so many different hairstyles, I guess.”
    "...Ai, I had a dream... the ghost—the one that we saw before, the 'bloody' one—said he thought that you were the one that was after me... but there's still Isolade."
    "Who's Isolade?" she asked.
    "...I fought him once. He stole my dark gem and got away with it... I found him and retrieved it, but the next day it was gone. Those three we fought before had it... I planned on taking it back from the store later, but much later. I needed to make plans. But I barely made it on such short notice. I wanted to tell you, but you might've had too many questions... so that's why I'm telling you now... now that there’s time."
    She fell silent.
    “Aw, come on. You, of all people, are speechless.” I said.
    “…Wh… what about the red gem…? What does that have to do with anything?” she asked.
    “You gave it to me. Remember? A little while before we were… separated, you gave this to me.”
    “And… you kept it all this time?”
    “Yeah… I did.”
    “Wow… that’s so… nice.”
    “No time for talk, we have to hurry.”
    Ai seemed a little disappointed, so I hugged her.
    We packed up everything and set out.

    After about three hours, Ai grabbed my hand and said “Akiko…?”
    “You know… after we were separated, I never stopped thinking about you.”
    “…If it wasn’t for Kamino, I would’ve never found out you were alive.”
    “What? How is that possible?”
    “He found your Member Address card and gave it to me… When I saw your level go up, I knew you must still be alive.”
    “Hm… that’s kind of ironic.”
    Suddenly her face went pale again. Then, a very familiar voice came from her.
    “Akiko…” it said. “You’ve just come to a dead end. Thanks to your foolishness, I was able to find you. But keep an eye out, you never know when I’ll strike!”
    “…I though I killed you. What are you still doing here?!” I said.
    “No, you didn’t kill me. You merely knocked me out. I was able to teleport away once you left. Now, if you’re smart, you will hand over the gems.”
    “You really think I’ll give them up so easily?”
    “Actually, yes.” Ai’s possessed body reached for the bag that held the gems.
    I smacked her arm away and said, “Just because you’re in her body, doesn’t mean I’ll hold back!”
    “Hm… to protect the one you love, you hurt her? Sad… very sad.”
    “Why don’t you just fight me yourself instead of hiding, Isolade?!” I drew my Dual Swords.
    “If you wish.” Ai’s face changed back to its regular shade, and smoke rose from her and floated to the ground beside her.
    “Show yourself…” I said.
    The smoke joined together and became a shadowy figure. First the face appeared, then slowly the rest of his body was visible.
    Ai jumped and grabbed my arm. “Akiko,” she said, “What is that?”
    “I believe I am a ‘who.’ Not a ‘what,’ little girl,” said Isolade.
    “Shut up!” I thrust out my hand, palm facing Isolade, and said “Insat Gaunst!”
    He caught the ice rushing toward him between his two hands. “You will have to do much better than that if you want to kill me…” he said.
    I looked at Ai and tried to talk to her with telepathy. Ai… can you hear me?
    …Yeah, is it time? She asked.
    Only if we really need it, we’ll use it, okay? Just use your basic magic attacks.
    “What are you two staring at each other like that for?” Isolade pulled out his bow and cocked an arrow on it.
    “Foolish little devil… you have no chance against us.” I said.
    “Oh, look who’s trying to act tough. Come on, hit me with your best shot.”
    I grabbed Ai’s hand. Well, he did say with our best shot, so let’s do it.
    Got it.

    She squeezed my hand and then at then said “Enaulest Raun Aunleai!”
    At the same time I said “Enaulest Raun Aueas!”
    The light and dark mixed with each other and then a loud rumbling sound came. The earth spilt open and started to separate me from Ai. “Ai! Hold on tight! I won’t lose you again!” The earth split wider, and Isolade fell down into the abyss. Ai and I began levitating in the air, and again, gravity returned too early. I fell with a thud, and Ai fell down into the deep hole. “No… Ai! I can’t let this happen again!” I jumped in after her, but I was going too fast. I dove past her.
    I looked back at her, and her eyes were closed, her arms were spread wide open… I guess she was admitting defeat. Isolade was nowhere to be found, though.
    The walls were closing in as I fell. They were narrow enough for me to stop myself, but scraping my hands in the process. Ai landed on my chest, sending me down a little further and scraping my hands more, but at least she was safe. My hand suddenly slipped and we continued plummeting downwards, into nowhere… into nothing… nothing but darkness. I held Ai in my arms as we kept falling, hoping we would just hit the ground soon and end it quickly… The walls stopped getting closer together and we just fell… and then suddenly a quick pain… and the taste of blood.

    I awoke on a hard, cold floor. Isolade was still unseen, but Ai… She was lying motionless beside me… her face covered in blood… but not her blood. I felt a sharp pain on the left side of my face. I put my hand up against it, and the unbearable pain almost made me faint. A flap of skin was hanging from my face… bleeding had subsided, but the pain was still there.