A sudden gust of wind blew me backwards and someone caught me.
“Are you all right?” the person asked.
I looked up to see who it was. It was a man with black hair and black eyes with pale skin in a black tuxedo. He looked about 20, and he was extremely handsome. I found him terrifying. I yanked away and backed up.
“Who, who are you?” I asked, my voice trembling a little.
“My name is Hisii.” he said.
“Who might you be?” Hisii asked.
'This guy gives me the creeps.' I thought. 'But why? I suppose there's no harm in telling him my name. Then I'll make an excuse to get away.'
“My name is Ayra, Hisii-san(literally Mr. Hisii).” I said. “Listen, I need to get going. Thank you for preventing me from falling.”
As I turn to leave, he grabs my hand. I immediately yank it away.
“Won't you please honor me with your presence for a mid-day meal?” Hisii asked.
'Why does he talk so formally? No one's talked like that since the Chaos Era.' I wondered. 'I don't know how I can decline this. Okaa-sama(mother) always said to accept any offers gracefully. Sigh, guess there's no helping it. All I have to do is find a way to get away fast.'
While I was pondering all this, Hisii was thinking as well.
'She seems wary of me.' he thought. 'This won't be as easy as I thought. Though this conversation is more proof that Ayren's soul is in her. She doesn't realize that she and I are speaking in Ancient Alternion. I'll have to tread carefully if I want to get her to lower her guard.'
“Okay, I guess I have time for a quick lunch.” I finally say. “But only a quick one.”
“Thank you very much.” Hisii said.
So we walked over to the restaurant. I kept as far away from him as was polite. I just can't lower my guard. I don't know why, but he scares me. I need to get something seriously small and leave as fast as I can. What I didn't know was someone else saw me and was hurrying towards where I was.
We got into the restaurant and were seated at a table. The host offered to take my cloak off, the one Okaa-sama made to hide the Proofs of my powers. Naturally I declined. Soon a waitress arrived and brought menus then left. I looked at the menu and decided that a small fruit salad would do. When she came back, I told her I wanted the small size fruit salad. Hisii, on the other hand, ordered a large, medium rare prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes, a large salad and a bottle of wine. The waitress then left with the order and took the menus. She soon came back with Hisii's wine and a glass of water for me, as well as bread, butter, and a butter knife. Hisii cut a piece of bread, put butter on it, and looked at me, while eating the bread.
“So, Ayra-san (miss Ayra), would you be so kind as to tell me about yourself?” Hisii asked. “I do wish to know. Besides, that is polite conversation, is it not?”
Sadly that was polite conversation. So I suppose I'd have to be truthful without revealing anything.
“Well, I grew up in the Thunder Mountains.” I started. “My mother then decided I should make a pilgrimage to the Shrines.”
'That's not a total lie.' I thought. 'Okaa-sama did say I needed to go to the Shrines, but not for a pilgrimage. He doesn't need to know that.'
“I went to the Shrine of Lightning and prayed to the Warrior of White Light.” I continued. “I then made it past the Storm and went to Inaz, then to Honhi. There I met someone who needed to go to the Forest of Fire. Since I had to go there too, we went together.”
'That's not a total lie.' I convinced myself. 'I did activate the Shrine and asked Ayren to give me his powers.'
“I then went to the Shrine of Blazes and prayed there.” I went on. “I then went to the Snowflake Mountains and prayed at the Shrine of Frost. I then stopped at Excleve to replenish my supplies. I then came here to get the gear I would need to get to the Shrine of Stone in Boulder Canyon so I can pray there.”
“I see.” Hisii replied. “You are quite courageous to go to the Shrine themselves. The vast majority of pilgrimages only stop at the markers of the Shrines.”
“Okaa-sama said I would gain, uh, more meaning in my prayers if I went to the Shrines.” I thought up quickly.
Thankfully the food then came. I gulped mine down as quickly as I could. I then gave Hisii the amount of money my food cost.
“Thank you for treating me to this meal Hisii-san.” I said. “But I must be going.”
“Then allow me to walk you to the door.” Hisii said.
I couldn't refuse that, so he walked me to the door. Then, once I started to push the door open, something struck the back of my neck and I blacked out.
When I came to, I was in a huge bed with black sheets, which was in a huge room with all the things girls, including me, love everywhere, and black furniture. I then realized that my cloak was missing. I looked around and saw it hanging on a black hook next to the door. Thankfully, my bag was still on my back, since Okaa-sama enchanted it so that only I could take it off. I started to get out of the bed when I felt like someone was watching me. I turned around and saw Hisii was staring at me.
“Hisii-san, where are we?” I asked.
“This is the Hell Palace.” Hisii said.
“The Hell Palace?!” I exclaimed. “Then we'd better get out of here quickly before the Hell Dragon comes to kill me-, us!”
“Why would the Hell Dragon come to 'us'?” Hisii asked.
“Because, um, because, he's a monster that kills anyone.” I thought up quickly.
“You're a very bad liar, do you know that?” Hisii said. “You're afraid the Hell Dragon will kill YOU. After all, you are Ayren's reincarnation.”
“Ho-How do you know that?!” I asked, panicking. “Wait, 'hisii', 'hell', you're the Hell Dragon!!”
“Indeed I am.” Hisii replied. “I must say, your brother Alran put on a good disguise. It almost fooled me.”
“Alran? Is that my brother's name?” I asked.
“Yes, it surprised me that, despite his being 20, he had pink hair. Ayren's reincarnation was supposed to journey to regain all of his powers at 16.” the Hell Dragon said. “But the biggest surprise is that you, the most gorgeous girl in the world, have Ayren's soul in you.”
“What do you mean by, Ayren's soul is in me?” I asked. “I am Ayren. So his soul is my soul.”
“That isn't true.” the Hell Dragon said. “You have your own soul, but Ayren's soul is in you as well. That's how you can regain the essences of his powers, by transferring them into his soul inside of you. So, if I kill his soul, only yours will be left.”
The Hell Dragon walked towards me. The sapphire on my necklace glowed a bright blue and a blue magic circle appeared under me as I channeled an Ice spell.
“May the merciless embrace of frost be upon you.” I chanted. “Absolute!”
The Hell Dragon was then encased in a huge ice structure. I then grabbed my cloak and ran. I went through the seeming maze of the Hell Palace. I then saw the exit. As I ran towards it, the Hell Dragon appeared in front of me, in human form. Before I could run away, he grabbed me and kissed me smack on the lips. I then shoved him away and rubbed my lips.
“What the heck was that about?!?!” I screamed.
“I have to admit it was love at first sight for me when I saw you.” the Hell Dragon said.
“LOVE?!?!?!?!” I screeched. “I am Ayren, the Warrior of White Light! Your worst enemy! The savior of Alteran! How could you fall in love with your arch enemy?!”
“As I explained, you are you.” the Hell Dragon said. “Ayren's soul is inside you. If I kill it, you will no longer be the reincarnation of the Warrior of White Light.”
He then turned into a huge black dragon. I started running away but it did no good. He grabbed me and brought me to his open mouth. I thought he was going to eat me, but instead, he pierced my left shoulder with the tip of his fang. I felt something gush into me. Then I felt horrible agony. It was as if there was a battle raging inside of me. As I was screaming in pain, the Proofs of my powers in my necklace turned black. When all of them were black, I blacked out again. What I didn't know was someone else was flying to reach me.
When I woke up, I was back in that bed and the Hell Dragon, in human form, was laying right next to me. I backed away so far I fell off the bed. The thump of my butt hitting the floor woke him up. He got up and started walking towards me, while I was backing away. Then, the door blew up and Yuu came rushing in.
“Ayra, are you okay?” he asked.
“Well let's see, I've been kidnapped by the Hell Dragon, my first kiss was stolen," I said sarcastically. "The Ayren inside me-, ah ha ha ha, that last par-”
“Ayra, you don't have to explain to me.” Yuu said. “You are Ayren's reincarnation. The reincarnation of my old friend and partner.”
“Your partner?” I said. “Wait, 'yuu', 'jade', you're the Jade Dragon!”
“Yes, I came to save you.” the Jade Dragon said.
He then made a blinding flash of light, ran over to me, grabbed my hand, and raced to the entrance. Then, he turned into the Jade Dragon and sank the tip of his fang into my left shoulder. I screamed in pain as there was another battle inside me. Slowly, the Proofs of my powers regained their color and my powers returned. During that time, the Jade Dragon was flying me back to Gaiason. I then passed out again.
When the Jade Dragon arrived near Gaiason, but far enough away so no one saw him, I was still unconscious. So the Jade Dragon used that time to think of what to do.
'I should erase her memory of all this.' he thought. 'It's too soon for her to know this. I should also enchant her bag and tent to make sure the Hell Dragon can't find her.'
So the Jade Dragon, in human form, put his hand on my forehead and erased all my memories of all that had happened. He then took out my tent and enchanted it so that not even the Hell Dragon could find it. He then enchanted my bag so that, as long as it was within 2 kilometers of me, the Hell Dragon wouldn't be able to find me.
Once he was done, I woke up. I looked around and was confused. How did I wind up here? I then saw Yuu.
“Yuu? What are you doing here?” I asked.
“I was making my way back to Intellecton when I saw you passed out.” Yuu said. “I brought you over here so you wouldn't get stepped on in the big crowd.”
“Oh, well thank you.” I said. “Well, I need to get going.”
“So you're next stop on your pilgrimage is the Shrine of Stone?” Yuu asked.
“Yes.” I replied.
“Well, be careful.” Yuu said.
I went down the path to the Shrine of Stone and Yuu was left standing there.
'The spells I placed won't last too long.' he thought. 'I'll have to find ways to run into her so the Hell Dragon can't find her until she's ready to confront him. But I'm not sure when to tell her who I am. I think the best time would be when she heads to the Woods of Misdirection to meet the prophet. By then, both she and I will be strong enough to hold off the Hell Dragon long enough to escape. I have to protect her until then without her noticing.'
Yuu then started down the path to Umiton, the town where you can get a boat to get to Kaze Island, where the Shrine of Gales is.
Meanwhile, I was heading towards the Shrine of Stone, completely unaware of how much more danger I was in...