Chapter six: in which the twins enter Falling Stars and make some new friends
Harrison jumped through the trees while the twins walked on foot. Ever since they had been attacked, there wasn’t any sign of Brie or Richard anywhere.
“Honestly Harrison, you can just walk,” Desmond pointed out. “Nobody’s going to hurt you if you walk along with us.”
“If you say so,” Harrison complained, crawling down a tree trunk like a squirrel. “But if you guys are wrong, I’m going back up!”
Harrison hopped onto the ground and walked leisurely behind the twins. As they headed over to a patch of small shrubs, a nearby bush shook rapidly back and forth.
Danielle gasped in fear, and Desmond’s eyes grew wide, but Harrison jumped in front of them protectively, the claws on his hands slid out by at least 1 inch.
“I’ll keep you guys safe!” Harrison growled, spreading out his arms and blocking the twins. “No shadow-ninja-man will get you!”
The bush rustled one last time before the leaves parted and Brie stepped out, covered in vines. One snagged on the bush, and Brie shook it off.
“Where have you guys been?!” Brie cried angrily. “I thought those Rebel Sage ninjas got you! And who is this with you???”
“This is Harrison, aka the ‘Hangman’,” Danielle said. “He saved us when we were being chased by the ninjas. He may be a monster, but he’s no murderer, and he’s the nicest…um…person that we know of who lives in these woods.”
“They promised to take me with them to Falling Stars,” Harrison whined. “Please can I come? I know the way to the town, since I like to climb the mountain there at night. I can show you the way if you let me tag along!”
Brie stood rigid like a statue, but after a moment she nodded her head. “You can join us, but we have to find Richard first. He’s the twin’s uncle, and he’s pretty hopeless.”
“Over here, by the shrubs!” a voice called. Everyone turned to see Richard struggling to pull himself free from a group of vines that had him ensnared and attached to the shrubs. “Could someone cut me out? The ninja guys knocked me out cold, and when I woke up, I was tangled in these vines, wrapped around this shrub!”
“I’ll get you out, sir, do not worry,” Harrison said. He raced over to Richard’s side, and raised his hand. He slashed at the vines with his claws, reducing them to shredded plant bits.
“Thank you very much…er…who are you exactly?” Richard asked as he pulled himself from the plant.
“My name is Harrison, and I’m…well…the Hangman-but I won’t hurt you, I swear! And anyways, I know where Falling Stars is, so you shouldn’t just leave me out here by myself! I know important information!”
Richard looked very surprised, but it wasn’t because he was talking to a monster; it was because of Harrison’s outburst. “Uh, I never said anything, but if you want to come along I suppose you can,” Richard muttered.
“Yes, I can come along!!!” Harrison cheered. He ran over to the twins, and they danced around in a circle.
“Ok, that’s enough celebrating,” Brie barked. “Harrison, keep your part of the bargain and show us the way to Falling Stars town.”
“Sure thing Miss Tailless Blue Dog!” Harrison cried happily, spinning around and marching away to the north. He held his tail high in the air like the way Monquistadors hold their tails.
Danielle put Brie on her shoulder and followed Harrison while Desmond followed behind silently, straightening his vest.
“Hey, wait for me now, I’m the adult here!” Richard yelled, running to catch up with the rest of the group. “I should be the one leading you all! I’m an important person! Slow down!!!”
Harrison climbed a nearby tree, crawling his way to the very top. He squinted his eyes and peered out over the forest, and then he smiled broadly. He climbed back down the tree and ran over to Brie excitedly.
“Falling Stars is just up ahead!” Harrison exclaimed. “Try and keep up with me! I’m going to run on ahead!”
Harrison took off like a bullet down the dirt road, kicking up clouds of dust and tiny twigs.
“Follow the monster’s trail!” Richard cried, running after Harrison. Danielle and Desmond took off after their uncle, with Brie holding on to Danielle’s shoulder with an iron-like grip.
“If only that Kookeram didn’t run away,” Desmond complained as they ran. “Then we wouldn’t have to run like this; we could just ride it after Harrison’s trail. I mean, Kookerams are technically giant dogs in a way, just with huge teeth and claws, spikes running down their backs, and a lightning-bolt pattern on their bodies.”
“That’s true really, about what you said,” Danielle panted. “Riding the Kookeram into town would be so much easier.”
“Hey, we made it!” Brie exclaimed, pointing ahead.
Richard and Harrison stood exhausted at the edge of Falling Stars, which was quite a beautiful town. The buildings were either brick or wooden cabins, with sheet metal or thatched roofs that fanned out, shading each house from the heat. Like the rest of Nightopia, Falling Stars was shrouded and surrounded by the giant cloud known as the Darkness, yet the stars in the Spiral were visible in the sky, and the view was amazing. Bioluminescent trees and lanterns lit up the town and about half a mile away a tall, grass-covered mountain was silhouetted by the starry sky.
“It’s obvious why this place is called Falling Stars, as you can see,” Harrison said with a sweep of his hand. “This town is the most beautiful place in Nightopia, and yet hardly anyone knows of its existence. I come at night when all the lanterns are put out and only the trees create light. I climb the mountain and just sit at the very top, watching the stars. I get lonely sometimes up there, but before I get too tired I head back to Red Dawn.”
“Let’s get into town, because I am really bored,” Richard complained.
The group walked into the town and was stopped by a rather strange-looking man. His body was a silver-gray in color, and he had no ears on his head whatsoever. He had a v-shaped, flattened horn sticking from his forehead, while the back of his head had three metal-like spikes poking out, like the spines on some lizards. The pupils of his eyes were gold-colored, just like Desmond’s eyes. He wore a white robe and white gloves, and had a gold sash pinned across his left shoulder down around his waist. He also held a large staff with a crystal ball on top.
“Ah Brie, I see that you have arrived at last,” the man said with a gentle smile. “You happen to have the Hangman and the children’s uncle with you as well, but the question I must ask is what took you so long to get here?”
“We were attacked by Rebel Sages in the woods, and Harrison here-aka the Hangman-saved my master and mistress from them,” Brie explained as she jumped from Danielle’s shoulder. “He showed us the way to Falling Stars, and therefore I have allowed him to join us. Is that alright with you?”
“It is perfectly fine with me,” the man replied with a nod of his head. “Oh, I forgot to mention-my name is Navajo Redd by the way, and I will be the teacher of the young hybrid children.” He looked over at Danielle and Desmond with another gentle smile. “Why don’t the twins come with me, and I’ll show them around the town?”
“That would be very kind of you,” Richard said happily. “Danielle, Desmond, go with this nice…man-’’
“Sage of Light,” Navajo corrected him.
“…Sage of Light I mean, and…well, just let him show you around. He’s your teacher after all, so just go, ok?”
“Ok, whatever you say…” Desmond mumbled, walking over to Navajo’s side. Danielle came over to Desmond’s side, and the three walked into the town square.
“I have quite a lot to show you two if you’ll pay attention,” Navajo said. “Like your uncle told you, I am your teacher after all!”
He led them over to a little fountain, with a statue of a swan in flight in the center. There were tons of miniature lanterns dotted around the fountain, all of them unlit and gray.
“This fountain is one of the first things I will be teaching to you two,” Navajo announced. “We Sages of Light live up to our name, by using our main power-the power of light. Beginning tomorrow, you and other young sages will be taught to control the light within yourselves. You must learn this power before learning any other powers; that’s how our ancestors helped the Aztecosaurs, by mainly using our light powers.”
“That’s really cool,” Danielle commented, “But where are the other Sages?”
“Hey Master Redd, are the new students here?” someone called. The twins and Navajo turned to see a young Sage come running over to them. The sage looked just like Navajo in physical features, but was wearing a different outfit. The sage wore a vest over a long-sleeved white shirt, and the sage wore a long skirt with a golden sash tied around the waist. They also wore short boots and had a small book in their hand.
“Ah, if it isn’t little my daughter, Sumatra Inuit Redd,” Navajo laughed, kneeling down on one knee and hugging his daughter. “Twins, my daughter will be joining you in class each day, studying alongside you.”
“Father, you don’t have to call me by my full name!” Sumatra pouted, but then smiled and turned to the twins. “I’m very pleased to meet you two, and I hope you have a fun time here in our little town!” She looked over at Danielle, and then over at Desmond. “So, you two are Danielle and Desmond, is that correct?”
“Yep, that’s who we are,” Danielle said, shaking Sumatra’s hand. “Where are the other sages?”
“Oh, they’re over in the large Rutger Ballroom,” Navajo told her. “In fact, why don’t we go there now and meet your fellow classmates? We have a surprise for you two!”
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