Night had swept over the land. In the sky stars and a crimson moon illuminated the air between the clouds.
”So, what do we think?” Gill asked staring at the castle.
”Nightfall as soon as it mysteriously appears from thin air? I think we’re looking at the real thing.” Taegrus answered, rubbing his chin again.
These four, who each started out on separate journeys had been pulled together and at last reached their common goal. To have been auspiciously pulled together like this, certainly something had drawn them together.
”I wonder...is it a test?” Gill though aloud.
”But for what purpose?” Kirik added.
”I suppose we’ve unknowingly been brought this far so that we may find out.”
“Just don’t do anything foolish. I don’t feeling like saving you again.” Kirik grinned.
”Do what you want, I’m going.” As Gill pressed forward to the castle he felt the presence of a powerful aura wash over him. Even so, he pushed on to the castle doors, pushing them open.
”Alright, what do you have waiting for me.” Gill entered the hall of the castle and felt the density of the aura intensify. When he peered ahead, he could spy the form of a beautiful girl standing just ahead of him. Though beautiful, Gill could immediately recognize her intense personae. This was not merely some servant. This was the master of the castle. Or so he thought. Gill felt the fleeting sensation of a something unusual pass over him. Deja vu, perhaps? But he was certain he had never met this girl before. A trick of the castle’s aura perhaps.
”Alright, leave this to me.” Gill said.
“Don’t forget, we need to find the people that disappeared.” Kirik reminded.
”I know.” Gill said, irritated. He took a step forward and called to the girl. ”Let’s not waste any time, what exactly are you? Things may go bad for you if you aren’t honest.”
“Hey!” Taegrus objected, but Gill dismissed him. The mysterious girl’s expression did not change, even in the slightest. There was a strange, almost otherworldly quality to the way she carried herself, as though she was not truly interacting with the surrounding world.
”This is not something that can be explained so easily. First, I think I’ll have you all show me your power.” The girl spoke finally, confirming Gill’s suspicion of a test.
”As you wish. Taegrus, fight me.” Gill made a gesture to Taegrus, urging him to attack.
”Don’t joke around, Gill. There’s no reason for this.” Taegrus said.
”Shut up you fat old panda.”
”What did you say?!”
”Ah, they’re fighting again. Kirik, what should we do?~”
”Let it be for now, Shaela.”
Gill and Taegrus glared at each other. The presumed lord of the Dark Castle, however, continued to pay this no mind. Behind her, several other forms appeared, servants most likely.
”Panda, truce!” Gill called out.
”It’s Taegrus, not panda!” The king of Sasaru corrected, but noticed the offensive advance of the girl and her servants.
”I”ll take the girl, keep the others off of me.” Gill said.
”Looks like I’m saving you again.” Kirik groaned.
”I’m fine with it~.” Shaela said.
”Good. Come at me with the intent to kill.” The mysterious girl said at last.
Gill had learned a long time ago not to hesitate when in battle, regardless of the opponent. A ring of shadow formed around him and the girl, but made no further movement to suggest any danger. Not an offensive magic, perhaps some sort of defensive spell? From the ring of shadow burst a swarm of small fluttering objects.
From the fluttering wings of the butterflies spread a thick blanket of darkness.
”I can’t see!”
From within the darkness, the girl made her attack against Gill. The force was so strong it knocked Gill into the air. Thankfully he had been able to reduce the actual damage of the attack, with some defense magic of his own, but for the remaining force to push him so far suggested that this girl was exceptionally powerful.
”Tch. What are you?”
”Is that all you have to say?” The girl seemed to show no sign of letting up her attacks. If that was the case...
”Now it’s mine turn!”
Gill summoned several leaf like creatures, the leaf fighters. The small creatures trotted towards the girl, only to be quickly defeated with hardly any effort.
”What...is the purpose of this?”
”Ha! How’s that!”
”If you don’t get serious, you’re going to die.” Again the girl conjured a surge of butterflies that fluttered like a powerful gust of wind.
”It’s my original magic.” Gill explained. “By using my elementals as catalysts I can use magic without expending my own energy. Cuts down on the time needed for complex spellwork. So don’t blame me if you die!” Gill extended his hand and opened his palm. A powerful blast of wind rocketed forth, blowing through the girl’s body. He was certain the attack would strike her heart, a fatal blow.
”Now then.” Gill looked around the hall to see that the others had beaten back the strange girl’s servants with relative ease.
”Well done, you all pass.” The girl opened her eyes and spoke. Gill couldn’t believe she was still alive. It should have been a fatal wound, had she been resurrected in some way? As the girl stood up Gill noticed a sword stuck in her body that had not been there previously.
”Test or whatever, I’d like some explanations. By all accounts you should be dead, and why is there a sword sticking out of you?” Gill demanded.
”Don’t worry about it. I have a condition that makes me tough to kill. More than that, you have an impressive power. Take good care of it.”
”Every time you speak things only become more confusing. Wait! At least tell me your name.”
”Reiya. Mikage Reiya” With a smile, Reiya’s form became a swarm of batsthat took flight into the sky.
”Wait, Reiya!” Gill called infutility.
”Well boy, I hope you’ve got some idea of what just happened, because I don’t.” Taegrus rested a heavy paw on Gill’s shoulder.
”No idea. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her though.”