Standing in front of the school, Cray and Yorvick catch
their breath from the run. Ten feet from the door, they seem reluctant to head
inside right away. Cray keeps the bottle clenched in his hand.
Yorvick looks to Cray and says, "Do you think
Cray nods, "I’m sure of it. If I were it, I
would head straight for the body holding a piece of me."
Yorvick takes a step forward. "We might as well
get this over with," he says, as if he were fully confident.
"Let’s not be hasty," says Cray. "This thing
won’t be any happier seeing us than we will be seeing it. You have to keep in
mind that not only is it frightened being in an unknown plane, but it doesn’t
know if we pose a threat."
Yorvick turns to Cray, "Well what do you suggest
we do? It’s not like I’m going to just sit here and wait for morning. Who knows
what else its doing in there. Others stay in that building."
"I know," replies Cray, "but running in isn’t
the best plan. We should go in quietly, throw the bottle at it, and hope this
works. That’s all we can do."
Yorvick doesn’t truly like that plan, but he
doesn’t know of any better plans. His only assurance is the fact that Cray knows
more about what they’re up against. He doesn’t find that to be absolutely assuring,
but there aren’t any other options presenting themselves.
The two walk into the front entrance, being
careful not to make much noise when opening the doors. The small room is very
dark, but they can’t hear anything, so they figure it’s not hanging around the
door. Yorvick softly whispers, "I can’t see anything. Can I raise an aura for
Cray shakes his head rather pointlessly. Just
after doing so, he realizes how futile that is and whispers back, "I can see
everything in the dark. Just leave it to me. If I desperately need your help,
I’ll yell. Hopefully I won’t have to."
Cray slowly creeps down the hallway, nearing
the door containing the Kougra. Light from the moon illuminates the hallway
from the window in that room, but not by much. It is, however, enough to allow
Yorvick to follow behind Cray.
Cray stops just short of the doorway and rests
his back against the wall. Yorvick does the same beside Cray. The two can both
feel their hearts pounding against their chests. They both take in a deep breath
at the same time. Cray peeks his head around the corner for just a second and
pulls it back. He turns his head towards Yorvick and whispers, "Okay, this isn’t
good. Someone apparently found the Kougra in the room."
Yorvick replies, "If it’s empty, then were should
Cray slowly shakes his head. "No, the shadow
and the Kougra are still in there, but so is someone else. And from the looks
of it, they got on the shadow’s bad side."
Yorvick’s eyes widen and he rushes to save the
person. He jumps in front of the door and darts in with his arms extended. His
hands shine with an aura of light immediately after moving through the doorway.
In the room is the Kougra where they left him in the middle of the mat. Against
the wall to the right of Yorvick is the shadow. Rather than two-dimensional
as it was before, it is a pitch-black creature of three-dimensional form. Its
arms and legs bend without joints, much like tendrils. Overall, it stands ten
feet tall, almost touching the ceiling. At its feet rests Ryshu. He is unconscious,
and the shadow has its arms extended into Ryshu’s chest.
In response to the light, the shadow pulls its
tendrils out of Ryshu, leaving his body undamaged, and throws out its arms towards
Yorvick. He lands on the ground and rolls forward, dodging the tendrils as they
pass over him. After the tendrils hit the ground, the shadow pulls them back
and whips down at the ground. Yorvick jumps back and brightens the aura around
his hands, keeping the shadow at bay for the moment.
Cray jumps in the doorway and yells to Yorvick
sarcastically, "Good thinking! Just run in and hope for the best! Do you even
know what will happen if you get hit by that thing?"
Yorvick sidesteps over to Cray as the shadow
gives off a hiss. He says to Cray, "I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking clearly. The
whole point of me coming to you was to keep it from hurting anyone else."
Cray sighs and says, "I hope you can hold it
long enough to let me use the bottle."
Just after finishing those words, the shadow
side-swipes with both arms, swinging from both sides. Cray jumps above it while
Yorvick ducks below. The shadow’s arms clap together and are brought back to
its sides. Cray and Yorvick both run to their left to have more room to work
Yorvick keeps his eyes on the shadow while he
asks, "By the way, what happens if we get hit by it?"
Cray keeps in a defensive stance as he answers,
"We become the same as the Kougra and Ryshu."
The shadow spawns its legs across the floor,
engulfing it in shadow. The only place not covered in darkness is the area around
Yorvick. Cray slowly steps closer to Yorvick in response to this. The shadow
then shoots off four tendrils from the ground. The front and left ones heading
for Yorvick while the back and right ones move towards Cray. Yorvick flaps his
wings as he jumps up. The tendrils shoot past his feet and tail while he digs
his claws into the ceiling.
Cray, on the other hand, jumps back to dodge
the tendril coming from the right. Not seeing the one behind him, he gets hit
in the back. The tendril burrows into him without breaking the skin. His eyes
widen as the darkness of them fade, revealing green eyes. A deep breath is taken
and he stands idle for a moment, gazing blindly into nothing. His grip loosens,
and the bottle drops on the ground beside him, but doesn’t break. He releases
his breath and falls limp to the ground.
Yorvick stares down at Cray with his teeth clenched
tight. His pupils dilate and glow with white energy. He jumps at the ground,
radiating light all around him as he moves down. As he hits the floor, the shadows
flinch back from around him. He leaps over Cray and grabs the bottle of darkness
as he lands. Narrowing his eyes, he looks at the shadow beast with the bottle
held behind him.
The shadow takes three steps closer. A hiss
comes from its form as the tendrils making up its arms split into three one
each side. The six appendages extend and curve around Yorvick, stopping at different
lengths. The only thing keeping them back is its fear of the light.
Yorvick moves his eyes to the sides. The bottle
is being gripped tightly in his hand. Placing his right leg back, he sends his
right arm forward, releasing the bottle with a forceful throw. The bottle hits
the floor in front of the feet of the shadow and shatters. Hardly seeming possible,
the shadows on the ground grow darker in a circle. Though the shadow flinched
from the breaking of the bottle, it looked at the darkness for a second before
pulling back its arms. A sense of joy emits from the shadow, and it dives into
the abyss without delay. Following behind it is the rest of its form, which
is covering the room. In a quick wave, the shadows vanish into the tear between
planes, and the planes then mend themselves as quickly as they tore.
Yorvick stands still for a moment, staring at
the spot where it left. Rather suddenly, his thoughts reorganize and he kneels
down to Cray’s side. Shaking his shoulder, he says, "Hey, you alright?"
Cray slowly opens his eyes, the darkness once
again covering them. He jumps up in shock and looks around the room very quickly.
Not seeing the shadow, he looks at Yorvick and says, "What just happened? I
remember dodging a strike from the side, then I saw the room, but differently."
Yorvick grabs Cray by the hand and helps him
back on his feet. After giving a sigh on relief, he says, "It’s done. It left
back to its plane. I assume that since you woke up after failing to watch your
back that the others should be alright."
Cray walks over to the Kougra and kneels down
beside him. "Well, his body seems a little lighter than before, even in the
moonlight," he says. After checking the Kougra’s eye again, seeing his pupil
and no other darkness around the retina, he continues to say, "Yeah, he’s fine.
Of course, he won’t wake up so quickly. Give him a day or so."
Near the corner of the room, Ryshu gives off
a weak moan as he pushes himself up. One hand gets placed on his forehead as
he says, "Why do I have such a headache?"
Yorvick walks over to Ryshu and offers a hand
to him. Ryshu’s only response is looking up at him in confusion, so Yorvick
says, "I know, you want to know what happened."
Pushing himself to his feet, Ryshu responds,
"You certainly know I do. What is going on? I was walking around the school,
found a Kougra on the floor in this room, and then I felt a sting throughout
my body. Now, all of a sudden, I wake up and you’re here."
Yorvick says, "Well, I could give you the long
story, but I’ll tell you the essentials. The thing I was worried about was a
shadow creature. Cray, knowing about these things, helped me to figure it out
by examining the Kougra affected by it. Then, for safety, we took the Kougra
from the Battledome and brought it here. Then we got something to send it back
home, but then night came and the shadow returned to its chosen host, and that’s
when we came here, found you, fought the shadow, and sent it home."
Cray stands up and walks over to Yorvick. Resting
a hand Yorvick’s shoulder, Cray says, "Good job with keeping the story short."
Ryshu looks at them both with discontent. Still
looking at Yorvick, he asks, "You took the Kougra, brought him here without
telling anyone, and left him alone?"
Cray takes a small step forward and says, "Actually,
I brought him here. Yorvick didn’t like it, but I didn’t listen to him."
Ryshu says to them both, "This is unacceptable
of you two. There were ways to keep the Kougra safer. There were those of us
you could have and should have told. I shall speak with the Master about your
punishment. Now take the Kougra to a bed and return to your quarters, the both
of you. We shall continue this in the morning."
The two bow their heads as Ryshu leaves the
room. After rising, they walk over to the Kougra and lift him onto Cray’s back.
Cray says, "Well, at least we got the job done. So, what do you think will happen
Yorvick replies, "Well, if it’s like any other
punishment, it’ll be chores. I guess we should get ready to clean the building."
Cray and Yorvick leave the room with the Kougra.
As they walk out the doorway, they laugh together for the first time.