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Cursed Snow

Author: Birdpaw
Rating: Explicit
Status: Completed
Series: Wolf Heart
Preceding: None
Succeeding: None

The old gods do not interfere, and nor do the Fates

but do something against your nature

They will be called upon.

But remember

Everything has a price

Even love...

Prologue

The White Wall

The border of two warring countries

Will soon fall.

It was a dark and snowy night, the villages around the white wall were anything but at peace, Grealach, a heavily armed kingdom was attacking Yapry, the other warring kingdom, and added to that, the king and queen of the white wall were sick, unable to move from the castle. Not that it would change anything, the war would still go on. It seemed almost never-ending.

The villagers looked at the Mountain of Fates silently, wishing that the Fates would at least help them, they didn't do anything, why did two warring kingdoms have to battle on their lands? Soon, the land won't be able to handle the never-ending war, it would break and crumble, just like all the others that have broken.

One villager sighed, shaking her head silently, not sure what to do with the task she was given, the Queen had given her a strange child, told her to hide it, and soon shut her out of the castle. She was worried that the queen was already lost to the sickness ravaging her people.

She looked at the nine year old child, it's eyes wide open and curious, but where would she hide such a small thing? Certainly not at her house, since it was cramped already. No... She had to find somewhere else, somewhere where the warring kingdoms wouldn't dare go, even if all they cared about was to get a way to each-other.

Maybe that hut out in the forest... That's the best bet for the child... I'll leave her enough provisions, and when she's old enough to take care of herself, I can go back to the Queen, but for now, I'm going to have to visit regulary. The women thought absentmindedly, looking up at the mountain.

Why aren't you doing anything? We've always believed heavily in that you were a major part of our lifestyle... Yet you ignore us, leave us to this fate, to be crushed on both sides? She thought sadly, and sighed, walking into the forest.

She could hear the sound of cannon fire, but it was far off, which meant they only wanted to fight it out in the villages, much to the annoyance of the villagers... If they survived the attack.

She finally found the hut deep in the woods, where another child was working, she looked up, her eyes as blue as the midnight sky, and she asked, "Huh? A child? What are you doing with a child in this place? It wouldn't survive."

She nodded, "Yes, Nixsi... And what are you doing here? Your father in Yapry will be worried, you should get home." She scolded the younger woman.

Nixsi shrugged, "It's okay, I don't think he'll notice, I want to be somewhere safe, for now, I'm staying here, I can help you take care of the child, but I have to go to the mountains soon, I'm going to camp out there until this war is over." She said quietly.

The women asked carefully, "Will you go back to the kingdom after?"

Nixsi tipped her head, and said, "I don't know... It all depends, I'll go where my heart takes me, Fates willing... maybe I will go home someday, if it's not ruins before then." She continued working on the plants. Not bothered by the chilling wind of war.

The women nodded, and stepped into the house, sighing at the candles, and she muttered, "You will be safe here little one." She looked down at the child

The child looked up at her, and she put it down on a bed, and shook her head, and walked out, furthur ignoring the child.

The child just stared after her, too young to understand about the Great war, and didn't know that her life was about to take an ugly turn.

And even though she didn't know, she believed that someone would come back for her.

So she just sat there, and waited.

For 10 years, she sat, and waited, hoping the women would return for her.

She never did return.

Chapter 1

Be alert

Be ready

But don't be afraid.

The girl jumped through the forest, bow at hand, her eyes narrowed in concentration. She stopped when she heard an animal in the bushes, looking for a meal, she smiled sweetly, Too bad it's going to be their last! She stiffened, listening closely.

She readied an arrow, smiling as she waited for the chance to ready her bow.

She perked up when a rabbit bounced out of the bushes, it's little pink nose twiching curiously, looking for food, it must not have smelled her, because it was too busy looking around for food.

She readied her arrow onto her bow, eyes narrowed slowly, and she was about to let go, but she felt that she was being watched, she looked past the rabbit, she had to hold a gasp, because what she saw, was what most of the people that were part of this land feared.

It was a big black wolf, it's stormy grey eyes narrowed at the rabbit curiously, but in an almost waiting fashion, the same way she must have been looking at it.

She snapped at the wolf, "Hey!"

The wolf looked up, and she stopped her angered pose, something about the wolf... Calmed her scared nerves, she kept her bow at the ready though, just in case the wolf did anything funny.

But the wolf didn't do anything, it just watched her and the rabbit curiously, as if it wasn't planning to take the rabbit.

She didn't feel right, killing a rabbit while a wolf watched, it probably was going to take it as soon as it was killed, or attack her and take the rabbit that way.

But she let the arrow fly anyways, and was surprised when the wolf still didn't move from it's spot, so she walked up to the rabbit, picked it up carefully, watching the wolf with narrowed eyes.

The wolf finally moved, it finally left the shadows, and she was taken aback on how big it was, it was almost the size of the bear, but not, it was certainly bigger then a dire wolf, she almost had to look up at it.

She backed away a bit, but the wolf didn't look that interested in attacking her, it seemed more curious than anything, she backed away some more, allowing the wolf some space.

The wolf just tipped it's head curiously, staring at the rabbit. She realised this, and she grumbled nervously, "But... it's my kill, you're a wolf! You're part of a pack, go hunt bigger game!" She waved her bow towards the wolf in a threatening way

The wolf didn't move, and she growled, "I'm not giving it up, I need to eat too!"

The wolf kept it's pose, it's eyes narrowed, and she swore that there was something human in it's depth. Something more then wolf flashed across it's calming stormy grey eyes.

She stood up straight, and asked curiously, "You are a wolf... Are you?" She kept her defensive stance as she stared down the wolf.

It didn't answer, she rolled her eyes, Of course not... Wolves can't talk! She thought, and shook her head, and warned the wolf anyways, "People don't take kindly to wolves around here, I'd run away if I were you." Even if she felt silly telling a wolf to run.

She turned around, and froze when she heard a soft voice in her mind, Good thing then, I don't like running away anyways...

She whipped around, and the wolf had taken two steps forward, and it's eyes held amusement. "Y-You talk?!" She exclaimed, clutching her bow to her side carefully.

The wolf tipped his head, then shook his head, Oh no, not in this form I don't, it's called telepathy, I'm talking to you through your mind. He shrugged, and blinked.

"Bu-But you're saying you have other forms? What? How can you? Wolves don't have other forms, they're just wolves, but I'm not sure about the telpathy part." She murmured.

The wolf sighed, It's because I'm not a wolf, well, I am, but only in this form am I a wolf.

"Well then? What are you?" She growled, backing up in caution.

The wolf tipped it's head, I'm what you think of me, your unconcious mind at least, your soul will percieve me for what I really am.

"Is that why you're a wolf?" She asked, thinking hard.

He shook his head, No, I control my forms, it's just when I'm human is when it's different for different people, depending on what they percieve. The wolf looked like it would have been smiling.

"Then... Turn to human." She muttered, disbelieving.

He tipped his head, Okay.

She gasped when a white light enveloped the wolf, she was blinded for a second, and when she blinked, it was no longer a wolf standing there, but a boy about her age, his silver hair almost matching the snow that fell, and stormy grey eyes.

She just stared, and he said calmly, "You did tell me to turn into a human."

She just stared, and said in awe, "I-I didn't know wolves could turn into human."

"They can't." He muttered in an amused voice.

"Oh." She muttered, looking embarrased.

He just shrugged, "It's okay, that's always the initial reaction, and usually, people would usually faint in fright if they saw me, but I guess you're different." He muttered, smiling sweetly.

Holly tipped her head, "Why would they be afraid of you? You don't look so dangerous," she said, then jumped, "I'm Holly by the way!" She laughed nervously, knowing it was impolite to not introduce yourself.

The boy looked down, he finally looked back up again, then she froze, starting to think.

"You'd be surprised." He uttered cautiously.

She finally growled, "Prove it, I've seen a lot of dangerous animals, and you're not one of them, you only looked dangerous in wolf form."

He smiled sweetly, "That's because none of them are as dangerous when it comes to me." He said, in a calm tone.

She gasped when his cloak started to turn from white to black, a scythe appeared from his hand, and he put his cloak hood up, and his hands turned skelatal, her eyes widened when his face completly disappeared, and was only replaced with darkness, and red eyes filled with hatred.

"Does this look familiar to you?" He asked cautiously.

Holly said nothing, and she finally understood, "You-You aren't the Grim Reaper, I know that, that's a childs tale, but I know one thing that is always percieved as so..." She murmured.

He muttered, "Then why don't you say it, what are you afraid of?" He asked, looking at her calmly.

She was about to say something, but wasn't sure, Am I afraid of him? She thought.

"You're... The Fate of Death..." She muttered, trying not to sound scared, and she suddenly bowed her head a bit, knowing of how the people of this land respected and believed the Fates were part of their life-style.

He nodded, "Yes." He muttered, and looked at her, confused at her sudden bow.

"Does that mean I'm going to die?" She asked suddenly, after a minutes silence.

He looked confused, "What?" He asked, curious on why she would ask such a question, even in that scary form, he was still himself.

"It's said that if you see the Fate of Death, you're going to die very soon, does this mean I'm going to die?" She asked curiously.

She realised that his cloak started to turn to white again, and he took his hood down, and he looked shocked, the scythe had disappeared, and his hands were no longer skelatel, but she was confused on why he was so shocked.

"Er? Did I say something funny?" Holly asked nervously.

He looked like he was thinking, and he shook his head, "No... I cannot see your death." He muttered in a confused way.

Holly tipped her head, "Does that mean I'm going to die? Or not?" She asked quickly.

He looked up, "As I said... Even in this form, I cannot see your death... Even in the form of the feared Grim Reaper, I still cannot see it, it's like you aren't going to die at all." He muttered in deep thought.

Holly exclaimed, "But everyone dies!"

He looked up, just as confused as she was, "I know..." He muttered.

They just stared at each-other for a couple minutes, when he just looked up, looking concerned.

"Is there something wrong?" Holly asked curiously.

He tipped his head, "I'm not sure, I don't know whether it's good or bad that I cannot see your death..." He sighed, and shook his head in defeat.

Holly asked, "What's your name?"

He looked up, "Flynn..." He muttered, looking lost.

She was about to say something, when she heard cannon fire, she gasped, pushing Flynn into the darkness, and joining him, they sat there, Flynn confused, and Holly worried.

"What's going on?" He whispered quietly.

"A war." She muttered darkly.

Another cannon shot sounded, closer then before. She saw Flynn stiffen, and his eyes widen, and she muttered, "What's wrong?"

"Now... That was a lot of deaths in a couple seconds..." He muttered, looking tired, and stood up.

Holly pulled him back down, but she started to smell smoke, and she grumbled, "Great, do this anymore and they're going to destroy the forests."

She finally realised that along with the burning wood, it smelled like burning straw, and she murmured in horror, "Oh no!" She stood up, running out of the darkness.

Holly didn't even check to see if Flynn was following her, she stopped in the clearing where her house was, and was horrified to see her only home was up in flames.

She wracked her brain, and realised that her necklace she had since she was a baby, the only thing she had of her family, was still in the burning building.

She finally ran in, not hearing her name called as she ran into the burning building.

~*~*~*~

Holly looked through the flames, trying to conserve her oxygen, she finally entered her bedroom which was up in flames, she dodged the flames, and finally grabbed the necklace she treasured so much, and leapt through the burning door way, and toward the front door

She gasped when the wooden plank fell in front of it, she froze, thinking quickly, but realised she was stuck, the flames getting unbearable.

Holly gasped when the building started to collapse. She closed her eyes quickly, but was surprised when nothing came.

She opened her eyes, and saw a huge black wolf standing over her, looking like he was holding up the building, even though it seemed to be draining him of his power, but he kept his stance.

Holly stood up, staring at the wolf, she turned around to see the plank was also raised, and the door opened, and she heard the wolf, I won't be able to hold this for long, Holly...

She nodded, running out of the door, jumping onto the grass, and cleared the building.

She saw the wolf jump out, and run toward her, he looked around to watch the building slowly burn to the ground, and finally crumble in on itself.

Holly just sat down in shock, "Great..." She murmured in shock, "Now what am I going to do?"

The wolf turned back into a human, and Flynn look exhausted, "I haven't used that kind of power for a long time..." He murmured, also sitting down.

Holly looked at him suddenly, "Why'd you do that? You could have gotten killed!" She snapped.

Flynn just looked at her with a distant look, "I didn't think it was your time to die..." He murmured sadly, looking away from her.

More cannon shots fired, and Holly asked, "That's my question, you can't see my death, yet you are the Fate of it, it doesn't make sense..."

Flynn looked up, "I have-" But he was interrupted by a large noise.

There was another cannon fire, and he jumped up, staring around in concentration, the scythe returning to his hand.

Holly jumped up also, "What's wrong?" She asked.

He didn't answer, but he finally relaxed, "Deaths, the spirits are getting angry..." He murmured.

"Spirits?" Holly asked.

He nodded, "People are dying in this war, too many to count... If this goes on..." He faltered, and shook his head, "Listen, we have to get out of here," he added, and asked quietly, "Do you know where we could go?"

Holly tipped her head, and jumped when there was another cannon shot, and she said excitedly, "The path of echoes, there's caves there, I know someone there that would help us!"

Flynn muttered, "Okay, do you know where it is?" He asked, but Holly soon realised that he was hiding something, like he already knew it where it was.

Holly nodded, ignoring the feeling, and indicated for him to follow her, and she turned away from her home, fighting back the tears, and was determined not to show weakness. Flynn must have sensed her sadness somehow, and he said gently, "It's okay to feel sad you know..."

Holly whipped around, and asked hotly, "Hey! Who said I was sad?"

Flynn didn't flinch away, and said gently, "Your mind, it's quite obvious, I don't even have to search through your mind to find out what you're feeling, which I don't like to do much, people like the privacy their sheltered minds give them."

Holly just rolled her eyes, "I'm not sad, I'm prefectly fine!" She lied, and continued to walk.

She jumped when Flynn suddenly appeared in front of her, his arms crossed, "You're lying, it's so obvious..." He murmured.

Holly just sighed, looking down at the ground, "That was my home... But I wasn't born there, I don't have a family... They abandoned me at a young age I guess..." She murmured.

Flynn tipped his head, "Abandon you? Why would they abandon you?" He asked.

"How should I know! I can't search through my mind!" She snapped, and sighed, "Sorry, I wish I had a proper home instead of a shack."

Flynn just looked at her sadly, "Sorry to hear that... I wouldn't know what that would feel like, I don't have parents, I have siblings." He murmured.

Holly tipped her head, and asked, "Are you the youngest or something?"

Flynn nodded, "Yeah, I'm the second youngest... My little sister is the youngest." He murmured.

Holly just stared at him, surprised on how he could stay so calm talking about situations like these, and she asked curiously, "Do you know... Why I was abandoned?"

Flynn looked up at her, he was silent for a couple minutes, then said calmly, "I don't know, I can't see anything, it's like your mind is blocking me or something..."

Holly looked confused, and laughed, "I'm pretty much inviting you to search through my mind, I can't be the one blocking you."

Flynn looked thoughtful, "No... I guess not." He murmured.

Holly just looked at him, confused, she thought the Fate of Death would be a bit meaner and more cruel, but he was just as human as the warring kingdoms, if not having more compassion then said two kingdoms, he wasn't the one going around wrecking everything. Flynn looked at her, "Is something wrong?" He asked.

Holly just shook her head. "No... I was just thinking." She said, shrugging.

Flynn looked a bit disbelieving, but Holly knew that he couldn't search through her mind, because something was blocking him.

He waited until Holly continued to walk, she decided that the closest land-mark was Lake Iris, a usually frozen over lake.

They continued to walk, and she felt a chill descend over her, she looked over at Flynn, but he didn't look like he felt the same thing. "Don't you feel weird?" She asked, stopping.

Flynn looked up at her, "What do you mean?" He asked.

She didn't answer, but she felt suddenly like something was holding onto her soul, and was controlling her, but she was confused on what was going on. And she tipped her head, Eh? Why do I feel so cold all of a sudden? She thought.

She looked at Flynn, confused, but the way he reacted surprised her, like she had suddenly changed in front of his eyes. He walked up towards her, and clutched her arm softly, which sent chills down her spine, and he murmured, "She cannot help you, she doesn't know where you want to go..."

Holly was confused, but the chill went away, and she asked curiously, "Eh? What was that?"

Flynn had let go, and murmured, "Hmm, interesting, I cannot enter your mind, but spirits can..." He walked forward cautiously.

Holly looked at her hands, confused on what just happened, and followed Flynn, and she asked, "So, if you were to enter my mind, you could control it?"

Flynn tipped his head, "Yes, but I don't, living things should still have the option of freedom of thought, and not have things controlling it," he said, then added calmly, "Besides, my brother says it's morally wrong and if he catches me doing it I'd 'regret it a lot' or something like that."

"So, I was possesed?" Holly asked, horrified.

Flynn must have sensed her fear, "Oh, it's okay, it was nothing to be afraid of... It was just a mild spirit, you're lucky... The spirits around here are usually quite vicious." He muttered gently.

Holly sighed, and took the lead, walking beside Lake Iris, which was surprisingly full of water, and not frozen over, since The White Wall was usually cold and snowy.

Holly stared at the beautiful lake, surprised that for once, it was not frozen over, the ice seemed to glimmer in the sunlight.

Holly realised that she was being watched, she looked across the small lake, and saw a pitch black spirit, watching her with blood red eyes.

She backed up quickly, right into Flynn, who seemed confused.

Flynn looked at the spirit also, and sighed, "Now that's a war spirit, vicious they are, they attack with swords, and trust me. Those things hurt..." He smiled.

Holly gasped when the spirit just walked over the water, heading toward them, anger filled it's eyes. Holly hid behind Flynn, a bit afraid.

Flynn just tipped his head, "Well, a war is going on, and I don't have time to gather the spirits... So I guess we'll have to send this one the hard way." He muttered.

Holly asked, "The hard way?"

Flynn looked at her, "When a spirit is no longer able to go freely to the spirit world, and are too angry with their deaths, I have to send them by force." He muttered.

Holly seemed worried, "It won't hurt them?" She asked, horrified.

"I'd be more worried about them hurting you." He said with a smile as the ghost got nearer.

Holly didn't know what he meant, but she asked, "What about you?"

Flynn hesitated, and shrugged, "I don't usually get hurt when sending these type of spirits, it's the really strong ones that resist when I have to worry." He said with a flat tone.

Holly couldn't help but smile, the spirit was slowly nearing them, it's eyes flashed red, and suddenly, it rushed to where they were, causing Holly to fall.

"Ack!" She gasped.

Flynn didn't seem affected, the sword appeared in a breath of black smoke, and he blocked the spirits attack.

The spirit didn't seem bothered, because he rushed around Flynn, Holly knew that if Flynn didn't turn around, he would get attacked in a vunerable spot, but she gasped when Flynn jumped away, and turned to face him.

The spirit seemed confused, but that moments hesitation, Flynn slashed the spirit with the sword, and the spirit's eyes widened, and it disappeared in a breath of wind.

Holly was still sitting, gasping on what just happened, Flynn was still holding his sword, but when he saw the look on Holly's face the sword disappeared, and he turned away from her, which confused Holly. "Is something wrong?" She asked, standing up.

Flynn shook his head, and turned back, "No, not at all!" He said in a too cheery way.

Holly couldn't help but laugh silently, He's as bad as a liar as I am... She thought.

Flynn asked, "Shall we continue, my brother likes to water twister lakes in this area, he thinks he's funny." He rolled his eyes.

Holly giggled, "I wouldn't mind meeting your brother, he sounds like he'd be the funny one."

Flynn sighed, "I guess when you put it that way... He usually comes to this lake around this time to cause some sort of trouble..." He said quietly.

"What Fate is he?" Holly asked, but realized that was a stupid question, and started to stammer.

Flynn answered though, "Collin, the Fate of Freedom, change... You name it." He smiled sweetly.

"Wait? Change?" Holly asked.

Flynn looked at her, "Apart from being the Fate of Death, I'm also the Fate of Dreams and the sleeping world, and one of the Fates of Time," he answered, smiling, "The other Fate of Time is my older sister, Anima."

Holly understood, and nodded, and she realised the sky had suddenly darkened, and Flynn smiled, "Speaking of..."

Holly jumped back when there was a large bang, and a flash of white light. She blinked, and she saw a boy a bit older then both of them wave, "Hey! I didn't know you'd be here! What are you doing?" He asked curiously.

Holly took a closer look at him, and realised that he looked much more menacing then his brother, with stormy grey hair, and dark grey storm clouds in his eyes, but his eyes shone in the playfulness of a bird flying freely in the sky.

"Huh, who's this?" Collin looked down at Holly, confused, "A mortal?" He asked curiously, and poked at her, at which Holly just stared at him confused.

Flynn grumbled, "Obviously."

Collin looked at his brother, and started poking him instead, "What's wrong with you? You've been acting funny lately... What's wrong?" He asked.

Flynn looked at his brother, and Holly watched them have a silent conversation, and she saw Collin's eyes go wide, but he didn't say anything.

Flynn only nodded, and Collin said, "That's really weird," he looked thoughtful, but that stayed for only a second, and he sighed in a cheerful way, "I'm sure it will wear off though."

Flynn rolled his eyes, and Collin made a face, which confused Holly, because it looked like they were talking, but she couldn't hear them. Holly said in a loud voice, "I guess I'll just sit here while you two talk telepath- how ever you say it!" She rolled her eyes.

Flynn looked at her, and said calmly, "Telepathy, and sorry... We were talking about-" But gasped when Collin held his mouth, his eyes flashing in anger, and he shook his head.

Collin let go, and Flynn looked at him angrily. Collin laughed as if nothing happened, "Well, it was nothing, really, nothing at all!" He said quickly.

Holly looked at him disbelievingly, and Collin stared at her in a cheerful way, and she blinked, looking away. Unable to keep her gaze with the cheerful Fate.

Collin asked Flynn, "Where are you two going anyways?" He looked at his brother curiously.

Flynn eyed him dangerously, "Why do you want to know, Collin? Shouldn't you be in Hostrich, causing trouble there?" He asked flatly.

Collin sighed, "It's fine, the..." He looked at Holly suddenly, and once again, Flynn and Collin conversed silently.

Holly face-palmed, finally standing up.

Flynn finally said in exasperation, "Fine, if you really believe he won't cause trouble this time around." He rolled his eyes, pushing past his brother, and stared into the darkness.

Both Collin and Holly stared at him, and Collin asked in an annoyed tone, "What's eating you?

Flynn just looked at his brother dangerously, and Holly said, "I'm sure he doesn't want to say." She jumped in front of the two brothers, because she sensed that it was about to get heated.

Flynn just turned back, and said gently, "It's nothing, we better keep going." He turned to face them.

Holly laughed, "Heh! Okay, it's a couple days to the caves, but I'm sure the person there will help us." She turned away from the two Fates, and looked down at the ground, sad.

She then started to walk, but turned around, and was almost scared to death to see two large wolves following her, eyes flickering in curiousity.

"Can you please pick a form and stick with it?" She snapped.

The stormy grey wolf's eyes flickered in amusement, and he shook his head, It's fun to change and scare people, they're so jumpy.

Holly made a face, "Well, not to them, it's quite terrifying." But she couldn't help but laugh also. She rolled her eyes, and continued to walk.

But what she didn't know, is that no matter how much she tried to hide her feelings, someday she was going to snap.

Chapter 2

This land would be cursed

Because of something

More powerful then the land itself

Holly was getting tired of walking, she turned around, hoping that the two Fates she was leading to the caves were still behind her, and they were.

Collin tipped his head in curiousity, Something wrong? He asked curiously.

Holly shook her head, "No, I'm just getting tired from walking." She said tiredly, stopping.

Collin perked up, Oh! I know just the thing that will wake you up! His eyes flashed in mischief, and he flicked his tail.

Flynn rolled his eyes, I don't think she wants to get a cold for your entertainment and her misfortune. He bared his teeth in a warning way at his brother.

Collin looked at his brother, Hmph, if she gets a cold, it's not like it's going to kill her. He bared his teeth at his brother also, but in a more playful way.

Flynn put his ears back, You'd be surprised, he snapped back, rolling his eyes.

Collin rolled his eyes too, and they had a silent stare down, and Holly broke in, "Why don't we have something to eat? Maybe I'll get more energy." She laughed, trying to stop the fighting.

Collin and Flynn looked at her, and she said sheepishly, "It's just an idea of course," and waved her hand in a dismissive way. She turned around to get her bag, which she brought with her, and looked in it, "I'm sure I've got something in here the last time Nixsi left... Which was a day ago..." She muttered, and finally got what she was looking for, "Ah, chocolate!"

She turned around to see Flynn and Collin as humans, and they were looking at her confused, and Collin asked, confused, "Erm... Chocolate?"

Holly looked at him confused, "Yeah, chocolate, it's good." She said cheerfully.

Flynn and Collin still looked confused, and Holly gasped in shock, "Don't tell me you never had chocolate," she laughed, "Chocolate is the best, especially when it comes from Grealach, they have the best chocolate, although the chocolate made in this land can be made into this really nice stuff, it's really soft, oh, it's hard to explain."

Collin took a piece from Holly, and stared at it as if wondering it was going to kill him, but Flynn had already eaten the piece he was given, and said quietly, "Hm, okay..."

Collin finally ate his after hesitating, and his eyes widened, "Woah! This is great! Mortals can make good stuff like this?!" He asked excitedly.

Holly wasn't sure how to take it, so she shrugged, and asked pointedly, "What do you guys usually eat?"

Collin looked at Flynn, who shrugged, and Holly asked quietly, "You do eat don't you?"

Collin tipped his head, "Of course?" He said, and smiled.

Holly just narrowed her eyes, and continued walking again, and she looked up, the mountains were still a bit away. She realised that there were no longer foot-steps behind her, because Collin and Flynn had stopped. She turned, "What is it now?" She asked.

Collin was looking nervous, while Flynn looked concerned.

Collin said quietly, "This is where those spirits hang around..." He edged forward.

Holly asked, "What spirits?"

Flynn answered quickly, "Erm, blood spirits, they hang around where there's been much blood-shed, hence why they're called blood spirits, and..." He faltered, looking straight ahead, as if searching for the blood spirits, he looked around the tree line suspiciously.

"And what?" Holly asked pointedly.

Collin piped in, "If they manage to get through you, you will experience a lot of pain, and for a couple seconds it will look like you're bleeding, and trust me, it hurts, been run through one too many times for my comfort..." He laughed.

Holly looked at Flynn, who was looking around, and she asked quietly, "Are they near?"

Flynn nodded, "They always tend attack, people will experience the pain they felt before their death if they rush you through, though they tend to be very easy to send to the spirit world." He said quietly.

Holly shivered, and she realised it was almost sun-down. Collin looked at his brother, and asked, "Well, we're kind of stuck here, so what do we do?"

Flynn didn't answer, but just as he looked like he was about to, red looking flies started to come out of the darkness, and Holly asked quietly, "Would that be the blood spirits you were talking about." She looked at Flynn, who tensed up.

Collin laughed in a nervous way, "Unfortunately... Yes." He smiled, but Holly could tell that was because he was nervous, Huh. She thought.

Holly gasped when the red spirits rushed at them, she dodged some, while Collin suddenly made two small swords appear from thin air, and started blocking the angered red spirits.

Holly dodged another one, and snapped, "What's their problem?" She waved another one away, much to its annoyance, as it circled around her, but didn't attack her.

Collin called back, clearly enjoying the fun he was having, "They have none!" He laughed, and dodged a red spirit that tried to flank him.

Holly glanced at Collin, "Yeah, well, I do, I have no means of defending myself!" She exclaimed. She dodged another red spirit, which disappeared when it smashed into the ground.

She looked down where it smashed, and was surprised when the area turned a dark red. She went to take a closer look, but she heard a yell, "Don't touch it!"

Holly looked up to see Flynn push her away, glaring at her, "Trust me, don't touch it." He growled, staring down at her. Holly nodded, and realised that their numbers were thinning, but that just made them even angrier, and determined to rush the group through.

She gasped when there was a red spirit heading straight toward her, and she had no time to get up and dodge the angered spirit.

Holly gasped when Flynn jumped in front of her, and Holly saw the red spirit go through him, and disappear as soon as it was fully through.

"Mmph..." he muttered, almost keeling over in pain. But kept his balance.

Holly rushed toward him, asking, "Why would you do that?" She snapped in a worried way.

Flynn looked like he was in a lot of pain, and he answered in a rasp, "I don't think mortals would be able to handle a blood spirit rushing through them, especially not a powerful one like that."

His eyes flashed, and he growled, "So let's even the odds."

He brought out his sword from black smoke, and he hit the ground with it, and Holly gasped when she felt the area around them start to shake, the red spirits turned into a menacing black, but she realised that this is where they start rushing them, all at once.

Flynn smiled, and sighed, "Now, after all this trouble..." Holly realised his eyes looked black, but it didn't scare her.

The black spirits froze in mid-air, Flynn's eyes were a pitch black, and they disappeared in a breath of wind.

His eyes turned back to their calming stormy grey, and he sighed, "Now that was a lot more difficult then it should of been. This is not good." He looked at Collin, who seemed to get what he was saying, and he nodded in agreement.

Holly asked, "Why? What's happening?"

Flynn looked at her. "This war is giving the blood spirits more power then they could handle, which is making them harder to get rid off." He said gently.

Holly thought, and asked, "Are you sure you're all right?"

Flynn nodded, "As Collin said, it only lasts a couple seconds." He said, smiling sweetly. Collin nodded, and he looked up at the sky, and Holly realised it started to rain.

Holly looked at him. "Is that needed?" She asked curiously.

He nodded, "I have too, might as well since I'm here now, spirits that can possess people are attracted to blood spirits." He said.

Holly nodded, but she felt a chill come over her, but that might have been the rain. She looked up, the sky was filled with dark grey clouds.

She realised that the edge of her vision was starting to blur and blacken. She was confused, and she looked down at the ground, which seemed to be rippling.

Well, that's weird... she thought, and she blacked out.

She was suspended in a black space, and she realised there was a cracking sound, and she realized that her dream was starting to break to let something in.

It finally shattered in her face, and she woke up in a misty clearing.

She sat up, holding her head, "Oh... What happen'?" She grumbled.

"Hm, they were faster then I thought." She heard a familiar voice. She looked up to see Flynn sitting across from her, but he looked hurt.

Holly seemed confused, "Are you all right?"

Flynn laughed, "I figured out what was blocking your mind, it was a spell, an old one, no wonder...." He muttered in a weak voice.

"What did you do?" She asked.

"Nothing that hurt you." He said gently, smiling.

Holly looked at her hands, and realized that she was perfectly fine, it was obvious he wasn't, and he muttered, "That was a smart move your mother did, to protect you from spirits, but it was too powerful to block lower level spirits, but it was powerful enough to block me..."

Holly edged near him, and realised he was bleeding from where the blood spirit rushed him, and it wasn't going away.

Flynn didn't seem to care, "Well, I broke the spell a little bit, but not enough, but you shouldn't be possesed anymore, I added a little spell of my own, to strengthen the actual purpose of the last spell," he looked down, "But I don't get why she put it there..." He murmured quietly.

She asked as she looked around the dark, yet calming clearing, "Where are we?"

Flynn looked around, and said calmly, "I think the lower spirit world, or the dream world, if you're alive," he looked around, "And I say that because the spirit world will alter to your mind, causing some things to shift to the persons mind." He replied.

Holly asked, "Are you all right?" She crouched towards him.

Flynn smiled, "I'll live, this is nothing, really..." He murmured, and stood up.

Holly followed after him, and asked, "Do you know where you are going?"

Flynn nodded, "Yes, we need to get to the centre, that is where we can get out." He said, and turned to Holly.

Holly didn't say anything, but continued to follow him closely looking down at the ground. She then thought of something, and asked, "I heard of a legend, about the end of the world.... Do you know anything about that legend?"

Flynn froze, and Holly swore he tensed up, he shook his head, "No, I know no legends about the end of the world, because the world can't truly end." He said quietly.

Holly asked, "How about the life of the souls on this world?"

Flynn didn't answer that time, he looked like he was thinking, and he finally sighed, "Souls can only die by one thing, either me sending them to their own dreams, or if there's too many rebelling spirits, there is a chance for the Day of Darkness." He said in an almost strained voice, as if it was painful to talk about.

"Day of Darkness? What is that?" She asked curiously.

He didn't answer, he only growled, "We better keep going.."

Holly was about to ask again, but thought better of it. They continued to walk, and they stopped next to a long river.

She shivered, she had no idea how to swim, she was about to tell this to Flynn, but realized he was already across.

"Hey!" She snapped.

He looked back, and asked curiously, "What's wrong?"

Holly looked down at the river, and called, "I can't swim!"

Flynn seemed confused, and smiled, "Who said you had to swim?" He asked.

Holly seemed confused, and headed towards the river, she closed her eyes, but was surprised when she didn't feel wet.

She looked down, and realised that she was walking across the water, she continued, and finally reached the other side.

Flynn nodded, and continued to walk, and she finally piped up, "You still haven't answered my question from earlier."

Flynn ignored her, and she ran to stand in front of him, arms crossed, "What's so bad? It's just a day of darkness, a day, it can't be that bad." She snapped.

Flynn just glared at her, and disappeared into the shadows to only be in front again, and continued walking.

Holly snapped, "Come on? What have you got to hide?" She ran to catch up with him.

He said grimly, "There's nothing to hide, just look around you." He was frowning, and continued to walk.

Holly stepped in front of him again, he stopped, and she asked in a cautious voice, "Just tell me, don't you trust me?"

Flynn said sadly, "It's not that." He continued to walk, lightly pushing Holly aside.

Holly then called, "Then what is it?" She asked.

Flynn stopped, and looked down, "It's nothing, nothing that will happen anyways, it shouldn't even be spoken of..." He murmured quietly.

Holly grabbed the back of his cloak, and almost begged, "Just tell me!" She murmured in a soft voice.

Flynn didn't move a muscle, and didn't say anything, but he finally sighed, "There is nothing to tell, it's not important, and nothing you should worry about." He continued to walk.

"If it's not important then why are you being so secretive about it, what are you afraid of?" She asked, not letting go.

Flynn growled in frustration, "I'm afraid it's not as easy as that."

Holly seemed confused, and finally let go, and allowed him to continue walking, and kept a bit behind him. She looked around, feeling that she was being watched, and she asked, "Are there spirits here?"

He nodded, but didn't say anything.

She heard a voice, and looked back, something inside her willed her to follow the voice, she blocked out everything else.

But she was stopped, she looked back to see Flynn, and he was shaking his head, and he led her away from the voice.

They continued walking, and soon they were in a misty clearing, and Flynn looked at her, and she asked flatly, "Yes?"

"You're the only one that can get us through the spell." He muttered.

She asked in shock, "And how am I supposed to do that?" She raised an eye-brow, and crossed her arms in annoyance.

He was about to answer, but the mist started turning into a pitch black, she gasped when Flynn disappeared into the darkness, but he seemed only confused as he looked around.

Then her whole dream went black as night.

~*~*~*~

Holly blinked, looking around in the darkness, she asked, "What's going on?" But she got no answer, and she called, "Flynn?!"

There was still no answer from him.

She started seeing blurred images form out of the mist, what she saw was a land, draped in darkness and red, the sun was pitch black like the mist, and the moon was red as blood, the sky's clouds reflected the moon, causing them to have a blood red glow. She just watched as the land tore itself apart, not caring about the people living on it's surface.

Holly realised that a bigger shape was forming out of the mist; a cloaked figure was rising out of the mist, it had skeletal hands, it's face hidden by a black void, the only thing that she could see was blood red eyes, and it's scythe reflecting the red light.

She was confused on what she was seeing, but another shape flew threw the mist, shattering the image, and she realised it was Flynn, and he asked, "Are you alright?" He crouched towards her.

She shook her head in confusion, and nodded, "I'm fine..." but she was more distracted by the image as it rebuilt itself, the familiar shape raising the scythe as if to slash through the land.

She gasped, "Flynn, what's that?" She pointed.

Flynn looked around, and she felt him stiffen, and she asked curiously, "What's going on?"

He stood up, and growled, "We need to get out of here..."

Holly stood up too, and watched the scene with keen interest, but she realised her vision was starting to blur again, and she felt herself being pulled out of her dream by force.

She heard something snap into two, and the image disappeared, and so did her vision.

And she was sent into a neverending blackness.

Chapter 3

You cannot judge

What you cannot understand

But you can see

What others fear

Holly woke up suddenly to see Collin standing over her, and he tipped his head, "You all right?" He asked, poking her.

She sat up with the help of Collin, and she realised Flynn was sitting by a tree, looking down at the ground with flat eyes, she seemed confused, and looked at Collin, "I'm fine." She answered.

Flynn looked up with flat eyes, "Well, if you're all right, we should keep going." He stood up, walking past them, looking like he lost his best-friend.

Holly hung back, and asked Collin, "Do you know what the Day of Darkness is?"

Collin didn't seem to be as unnerved by the question like Flynn was, he shrugged, "Well, it says Day of Darkness, but really, it can last as long as 100 years, or at least, that's what I've been told." He said cheerfully.

"What causes it?" Holly asked.

Collin didn't answer, but after a minute of choosing his words carefully, "It's you mortals that cause it, but if there's one thing that can control it..." He faltered, then turned to look Holly, "Well, nothing can really control it of course..." He muttered nervously.

You too, Collin? What's so bad about it? Holly thought in curiousity.

Collin just laughed, "Well we better to keep going, we don't want to get stuck again." He walked ahead, leaving Flynn and Holly in the back.

Flynn made a face, and went to catch up with him, leaving Holly in the back to catch up.

What's gotten into them? Holly thought, concerned how the two were acting because of her question, like it had unnerved them in some way.

She just shrugged, and continued following them, not sure where they were going, but she decided to trust them. She sighed, rolling her eyes.

Flynn stopped, and Collin followed suit, staring at his brother curiously, and asked, "What is it?"

Holly bumped into Flynn because she wasn't paying attention, but she didn't seem to push him.

Collin seemed to get unnerved when Flynn said nothing, and asked nervously, "What's wrong?"

Holly was about to say something, when she heard a cannon fire she whipped around, but almost fell on her side, but caught her balance, and stared ahead.

Flynn was looking at the sky though with a confused look on his face, Holly gasped when there was another huge bang, and that time, she had lost her balance, and just stared upwards.

Collin exclaimed, "What the heck?!" He looked around.

Holly stood up again, "It's the war! They're going to tear this land apart!" She gasped, holding her ears as the cannon shots got louder.

Collin smirked, "Tear it apart huh? Well how about we fix that?" He asked, a sword appeared out of no where in his hands, and he smiled at Flynn, who was still concentrating on the sky.

"The White Wall will fall someday, but we better make sure that doesn't happen yet!" Collin laughed, and smashed his sword into the ground.

Holly gasped when the ground started to shake, and there were flashes of white light, lightning went from cloud to ground, cloud to sky, and cloud to cloud.

Collin pulled his sword out of the ground, and Holly blinked when there was another blinding flash of white light. She gasped when she was pushed over by wind. She opened her eyes to see Collin was gone, and the storm was getting more longer and vicious.

Flynn snapped out of his thought, and yelled at the storm, "Are you crazy, Collin?!" His eyes flashing in anger, and he was starting to disappear to follow his brother.

"Ack! Don't leave me here!" She jumped at Flynn, grabbing his cloak before he got the chance to disappear, and they both ended up falling.

Flynn just shook her off, and said softly, "I'll be back, I promise." He looked at her, as if trying to reassure her, and finally disappeared, she reached her hands out to grab his cloak again, but it was too late.

He was already gone.

She wasn't sure whether to scream in frustration, or just sit there. But she just chose to sit there in shock, but she finally decided to move after another cannon shot shook her out of her shocked state.

She stood up, and ran toward where she thought they headed too, but she wasn't really sure.

Holly continued to run, calling. "Flynn? Collin?" She soon gave up, but she didn't stop running. She gasped when wolves padded out of the bushes.

Holly gasped, because there was a black mist rising from them, she shook her head, not sure what to do, but she couldn't back up, she was stuck in place.

The wolves headed towards her, she gulped, not sure what to do, but was surprised when a large shape flew over her.

She realised the wolf was pitch black, but it had no mist rising from it, and it looked seriously angry, it was slightly terrifying to watch as it growled at the misty wolves.

The wolves looked taken aback, and backed up a bit, eyes narrowed at the wolf. The leading wolf's eyes turned into a menacing red, and turned into the reflection of the wolf protecting her.

The wolf seemed unnerved, and attacked. The misty wolves that didn't take the reflection dispersed, but the one that did dodged, and seemed to be enjoying it.

But when it hesitated, the wolf attacked again, making it disappear.

The wolf stood up straight, and glared at Holly, who fell over as if she was pushed. "Ack!" She gasped.

And what do you think you were doing? You could have gotten killed! The wolf scolded her, and when she recognized the voice, she stood up, and headed towards the giant wolf.

She wasn't sure what to say, so it continued, Nevermind I- but he didn't get a chance to continue when Holly hugged him, "And why did you leave me alone? I can't defend myself!" She growled.

He finally stiffened, and said in realization, Oh yeah, that's right, your bow can't harm spirits... He put his ears back in sadness.

Holly hugged him tighter, "It's not your fault, I would have forgotten too..." She murmured in reassurance.

She stepped back, and blinked as the wolf transformed, she realised Flynn was shaken up, and she asked quietly, "What happened?"

He shrugged, "Nothing much, I lost Collin, I should have known that he'd do that." He said quietly, and smiled in a nervous way.

She asked, "Is he all right?"

He nodded, "He's fine, he usually does this in Hostrich." He said, smiling.

Holly just stared at Flynn while he looked around, and thought sadly, He saved me... Again... I'm worried that someday he might lose his life saving me...

Holly finally piped up, "How are we going to get to Collin?"

Flynn was about to answer, but a lightning strike interrupted him, and Collin appeared. "Well! That was fun! I'm glad I do that constantly in Hostrich!" He laughed. But stopped when he saw Flynn's face.

"Ah! Okay! I shouldn't have jumped to that!" He said, jumping back, clearly afraid of his brother, and backed up quickly.

Flynn sighed, and turned away, Collin seemed confused, but Holly looked at him when he stiffened. Flynn must have sensed the change, because he turned back around.

"What's wrong?" Holly asked.

Flynn must have known, and he glared, and snapped in annoyance, "I thought you said it was under control!"

Collin flinched, and looked down while he shook, "I-It was..." He said flatly.

Flynn looked up at the sky, which was now turning into an ominous greenish black, and he murmured softly, "This isn't good..."

Holly turned to him, "What's not good?" She asked.

Flynn ignored her, and walked to Collin, and asked in a low voice, "How much time, Collin?"

Collin hesitated, then answered, "I-I don't know..."

Flynn looked like he was in deep thought, and he said, "I think... We have a couple weeks... If we're lucky, we might have a month," he added, "How powerful, Collin, please tell me you know at least that." He said in exasperation.

Collin hesitated again, and finally said, "Same amount, but he's very angry..." He managed to stand up, but he looked dizzy, and he looked up at the sky, "From..." He faltered, and looked at Flynn, and said quickly, "It's not safe here..."

Flynn seemed to get the point, and turned to Holly, she asked, "What?"

He ignored her, and looked at his brother questioningly, and he nodded.

Flynn had suddenly got a grim expression on his face, and he said to Holly, "I'm afraid we have to take a little detour."

Holly asked, "To where?"

Flynn looked at Collin, and turned back and said gently, "It doesn't matter."

Holly realised that Collin was staring up at the clouds, and muttered quietly, "If I'm right... She won't be safe if we do take her..." He looked back at Flynn and Holly.

Holly jumped in, "You're not leaving me here again!" She snapped.

Flynn smiled, "I never said we were going too." He said gently.

She wasn't sure what to say, so Flynn sighed, and turned to Collin, "What choice do we have?" He asked quietly.

Collin didn't say anything, so Holly took that as a 'we don't have a choice' she sighed, and said to Flynn, "Okay, you both can disappear, but I can't."

Flynn smiled at her, "That's right, we can disappear." He said.

Holly realised that they can disappear, it's just the fact that she can't, that means they're going to have to help her. But how?

Flynn seemed to be thinking, and looked at Collin, "Your way is faster, and if I'm honest, a lot safer." He said in a matter-of-factly tone.

Collin smirked, "Of course... But it might... Be a shock at first... No pun intended." He laughed, and looked at Holly with a smile.

Holly just stayed where she was, Collin walked up to Holly, and turned to Flynn, and Flynn said quickly, "I'll catch up." He quickly disappeared into the shadows.

Collin nodded, and looked at Holly, "What I want you to do is close your eyes." He said gently.

She thought better then ask why, so she did what she was told, she felt her whole body surge up-ward, as if she was being pulled up-wards by an unexplainable force.

When she opened her eyes, she was in a clearing, it's grass waving in the powerful wind, she saw Collin looking around, confused.

Holly asked, "What'd you do?"

Collin smiled, "Well... Let's just say we landed somewhere I wasn't planning on us landing," he laughed in a nervous way. "It's strange... It's like the destination shattered or something..." He rubbed his head in confusion, and looked around.

Shattered? Holly thought, and asked in worry, "Will Flynn be all right?"

Collin turned to her, and shrugged, "I do not know, my siblings have their own ways to get to a destination quick... But I've never had my way interrupted by a shatter." He growled, annoyance in his voice.

Holly asked, "What's a shatter...?"

Collin answered, "A shatter, or a better term for it, a block, is when spirits can't get to their destination, that's why Flynn is around, to help them get past the block on the Lower Spirit World, or, if the spirits are alive, he can put or remove the shatter from their dreams to reality; If you're alive when he does that, you'll go crazy... But it's strange, the lands are usually not blocked for us... It takes Flynn or a super powerful spirit to create a block, if a spirit did this... Flynn might be in trouble." He murmured.

Holly just asked, "What do you think happened to Flynn?"

Collin answered, "My way is quicker, but it can cause... Shock the first time around, Flynn's way is slower, but even more dangerous... If his route shattered... He's going to be having a very bad day, if he's lucky, worst he'll come out with is a head-ache."

Holly asked, "What's the worst?"

Collin hesitated this time, and he smiled nervously, "Let's just say... If worst is what happened... We need to find him, and fast." He said quickly.

Holly just shivered, and Collin tried to reassure her, "I wouldn't worry though, Flynn's quite the fighter, if it did go that way, he has a chance without us."

Holly asked, "Aren't you worried?"

Collin didn't answer that time, but he said flatly, "Well, if you're that worried, I guess we could try taking his way... But I'm not really good at it, I always needed him around to take that way," he looked at Holly, and added, "But in this instance... We need to take the spirits path."

Holly tipped her head, and Collin smiled, "We can get to the spirits path by taking my way, but I'm warning you, Don't stray off the path without Flynn, your soul will get lost forever within it's depths." He muttered darkly.

Holly nodded, and closed her eyes again, she felt herself surge upward again, and she opened her eyes to see herself standing on a path, only lightened by glowing mushrooms, the rest was dark, she saw spirits of people and animals alike, all talking, as if they weren't dead.

Collin muttered, "Follow me."

As she followed Collin, she started getting a sinking feeling in her stomach, she stuck close to Collin, wishing that Flynn was also with them.

Collin looked around, and sighed, "This way is slow, but this place can't be blocked, I think we should start where we all started." He turned to Holly, and she didn't have a chance to close her eyes, she gasped when her eyes flashed white, and was surprised when it ended so quickly, and it was where she saw the reflection wolves.

Collin was a wolf, and he was sniffing the air, he looked at Holly, How weird...

She asked, "What?"

Collin commented, It's like... I don't know... He was never here...

Holly seemed confused, and Collin shook his head, The only lead I have is the sky. He looked up sadly, and he howled.

Holly gasped when the sky started to clear, and what she saw shocked her. The northern lights were shining brightly.

Collin said calmly, That's what the Spirit Path looks like to you mortals.

Collin seemed to follow the lights, and Holly followed him. When Collin stopped, she asked, "Is something wrong?"

Collin seemed deep in thought, and said, "No, at least... I don't think so." He continued walking, Holly followed him, unsure if he knew where he was going.

Holly gasped when she heard a screech, Collin jumped also, and they both jumped when a huge black wolf jumped out of the bushes, bleeding heavily, and turn sharply, a white light enveloped the wolf, and Flynn was standing, staring into the darkness.

Collin had transfomed too, and asked quickly, "What was that?!"

Flynn didn't answer, but only pushed Holly away when a pitch black spirit crashed through the bushes, and Flynn had to block the strong attack.

Holly landed on the ground, and Flynn turned to her, and waved his hand, she soon felt herself feel sleepy, and soon her world went black.

She felt as if she was floating in a never-ending space, she heard cannon shots, people battle yelling, and talking, and one last voice.

Love is the highest price to pay.

She suddenly felt herself drop, like the feeling when you're in a dream, and you suddenly wake up as if you had fallen from a great height, but you didn't.

Holly opened her eyes, it was a bit foggy in her vision, and the sky was overcast, a stormy grey, she sat up, and grunted, "Wha' happen'?" She asked groggily.

Collin and Flynn were sitting in front of her. Flynn seemed slightly concerned, while Collin looked amused.

Holly suddenly realised what happened, and she asked Flynn hotly, "What did you do to make me drop like that, and why?"

Flynn laughed, and rubbed his head, "Erm, well, that was a dangerous spirit, but if you're asleep, it couldn't hurt you, I think I blocked your mind and soul a little too much, you looked like you were having a bad dream." He said sheepishly, and he looked up.

Collin seemed more interested in a passing bird, and he said absentmindedly, "That spirit was nasty."

Flynn nodded, and Holly suddenly remembered, "Is that what could have caused the block?" She asked Collin, who turned to look at her.

Flynn cut in, "No, it was strong, but not that strong, only a really powerful spirit could have done that, because I know I didn't do it," he said, looking dazed, "I have no idea how, but at one point, I'm just walking, and soon, I find myself lying on the ground, half unconcious, no, this was a really powerful spirit." He murmured.

Holly realised he did look a little dizzy, and she asked softly, "Are you okay?"

Flynn nodded, "I'll live, head-ache, that's all." He replied gently.

Collin said in a smug fashion, "What'd I say?" He looked at Holly.

Holly rolled her eyes, and looked back at Flynn, who was looking down at the gound.

Holly asked, "So, what should we do next, it's obvious it's not safe to travel to where ever you're going..." She leaned closer, "Where were we going?" She mused.

Collin answered, "Just taking a detour to my home, Hostrich, something I have to do before we continue on," he stood up, and he looked at the clouds, "I hate walking." He muttered.

Flynn stood up also, Holly followed, she said quickly, "Maybe we should have a rest first."

Flynn shook his head, "We don't have much time for that right now, with both the war and..." hhae faltered, and looked at Collin, who nodded quickly.

Holly raised an eye-brow, "You know, you can tell me what you guys are thinking, I'm not going to scream, or die, or anything like that." She pointed out jokingly.

But she stopped laughing when she saw Flynn's face, and she went quiet, and he sighed, "It's nothing, it's probably what's blocking the block, once Collin deals with it, we should be fine to continue on." He shrugged, but he looked at Collin disbelieveingly, Holly stared at them as Collin met his gaze.

Holly nodded, and followed Collin, he seemed a bit more jumpy then usual, a couple times he jumped at the slightest noise, and when Holly stepped on a twig. At one point he stopped, and Flynn had to flick him in the head to get his attention.

Collin just glared at Flynn, who just shrugged, Holly ran up to stand beside Flynn, and she asked in a low whisper, "What's wrong? Why he's so jumpy all of a sudden?"

Flynn seemed to think about it, and he finally answered, "Well, Hostrich is quite a dangerous place, the border between the White Wall and Hostrich is quite dangerous, but we're on the border right now..."

Holly nodded, because the tempature had risen a little bit, it was raining when they entered a clearing, some trees were leaning precariously on each-other, while Collin seemed to relax.

Collin turned to Holly, and he said calmly, "Welcome to Hostrich, the place of storms, or better known to wolves and other spirits, The Forests of Hamark."

She could only watch, as trees swung precariously in the wind, thunder boomed in the distance, and to Collin, it was quite relaxing to stand in the pouring rain.

Even Holly had to admit, the soft patter of rain-fall, and the loud thunderous booms were quite relaxing in the situation they were in.

Especially since Holly had no idea what the situation was.

Chapter 4

Some people won't tell you the truth....

Not because they don't trust you...

It's because they think you'll judge them...

Collin sighed, "Finally, off the border of the White Wall," he looked up to the sky, and said quietly, "Good to be finally home."

Flynn just rolled his eyes, and said cooly, "I prefer the mountain."

Collin made a face, "Well, that's you." He muttered, and rolled his eyes, he looked around, staring up at the sky with a distant look.

Holly stood beside Flynn, "Do you like Hostrich?" She asked curiously, looking at him.

Flynn shrugged, and said cooly, "It's not bad, I don't-" But Holly jumped towards Flynn when they heard a smash, Flynn looked up, so did Holly, as Collin stared down at a tree, looking like he shocked himself, he smiled, "Oops..." He shrugged.

Holly realised that she was clutching onto Flynn's arm, but he didn't seem to notice, as he was shaking his head at Collin, and Holly was surprised on how cold Flynn seemed to be. She backed up, and shook her head, Collin called, "It wasn't my fault."

Holly wasn't even sure if he had noticed her jump, since he slightly was shocked himself, and he walked up to him, "Only you would knock down a tree." He said, and folded his arms.

Collin shook his head, "It fell by itself! It almost got me too!" He snapped.

Flynn rolled his eyes, "Yeah, sure." He smiled, shaking his head.

Collin growled, "No! Really! It fell!" He jumped up and down in frustration in front of his brother, for the older brother, he sure seemed like one of the little brothers, and he was, to the oldest Fate, he huffed, and crossed his arms too.

Holly walked up to Collin, and poked him, and she thought grimly, They're both cold as ice... If they were human, it'd mean they were dead.

Collin asked curiously, "Is there a reason why you're poking me?" He looked down at her with a curious and amused expression.

She looked up, and asked quietly, "A-Are you both hurt somewhere?"

Flynn and Collin looked at her curiously, confused, and Flynn asked, "Can you repeat the question?"

Holly shook her head, "I mean, are you okay?" She asked quietly.

That just made them more confused, and Collin answered, "We're both fine, why?" He asked.

Holly turned away from them, "It's nothing." She muttered.

Flynn asked pointedly, "If it was nothing, why would you ask?" He looked at her curiously, looking as if he was confused at her question.

Holly turned to look at him, and said nothing, she looked on, "It's nothing really." She muttered, but was caught off guard when Flynn walked towards her.

"You know, humans are really bad at hiding stuff." He joked.

Holly looked down at the ground, "I mean it, it's nothing." She said, and looked back up at Flynn.

She knew Flynn didn't believe her, but he didn't press it farther, he sighed, and said calmly, "Okay, whatever you say." He shrugged.

Holly felt bad for not revealing why she was so concerned, and she decided to just tell him, "It's just that, you both seem very cold, if you were human, that would mean you were dead." She said quickly.

Collin seemed confused, even making a confused face, while Flynn didn't answer, and he tipped his head slightly, "I thought it was everyone..." He said in a confused, sweet voice, but there was something hidden in his voice, Holly wasn't sure what it meant.

Holly shook her head, "Erm, humans tend to be warm, unless they're dead, or freezing," she said, shrugging, "But you're not human, do either of you feel cold?" She asked quietly.

Flynn looked at Collin, and shook his head, "Not really, or, I don't feel any different." Flynn murmured.

Collin shrugged, "I don't really notice." He said cheerfully, and smiled.

Holly shivered, "I'd notice if I was freezing cold," she shook her head, "Oh, fine, don't mind me! I'm just a human, ignore me! I have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm confusing myself." She huffed much like Collin, and crossed her arms.

Flynn just continued to stare at her in a confused fashion, like he really didn't know what she was talking about, and Collin asked, "What did we say...?" He faltered.

Holly didn't answer, and only continued to make a huffy face, and when it was clear she was throughly annoyed with everything, Collin walked up, and flicked her in the head, and she gasped, "Ow!"

Collin asked, "Real enough for you?" In a sarcastic tone, as she rubbed her head, and she nodded. He muttered, "Good, don't want you to get uneasy around here." He looked around.

Holly asked, "What?"

Collin turned to her, "I said, it's best if you don't get uneasy here." He said, drawing up to his full height, and looked down at Holly, who jumped back in shock. But Collin was soon flicked in the head as well, and he gasped, "Ow!" He made a huffy face.

Flynn crossed his arms, scowling, "There's no need to terrify her." He growled.

Collin whipped to face his brother, "Well, it's not safe in this land with..." He just shook his head, and said angrily, "It's not safe for any human to get uneasy around here!"

Flynn just took a step toward his brother, also huffing, and looked almost as scary as Collin, "She won't be facing it, you are, and it's not even fully awake." He pointed out.

Holly stepped in front of them, "Fine, let's go on a different topic, one, we obviously need rest, we're all extremely moody." She said quickly.

Both of them looked like they wanted to argue, and she snapped, "Don't bother arguing with me, because I will give you tons of reasons why we should rest!"

Collin sighed, "I guess so..." He turned away from his brother, but Flynn didn't seem fazed. Holly wasn't fazed either, since he's known for his temper, and Flynn seemed like he wouldn't be the one to anger easily. She muttered, "Well, if you want to stay awake, be my guest, I'm not, I'm only human after all, I can't stay awake for days on end, and not feel tired." She turned away, looking around for a place to sleep.

Collin just laughed, "I guess you're right, you wouldn't be able to stand up if you were awake for days on end," he looked at his brother, "I'm not tired, are you?" He asked.

Flynn shook his head, and Collin sighed, "Well, this place is known for spirit activity, should we set up the barrier?" He asked, Flynn nodded, and decided to do something around them, but it made Holly feel dizzy, but she ignored it, assuming it wasn't going to hurt.

Flynn nodded, buy Holly ignored it, finally finding a softer place, she leaned against a tree, watching as the brothers talked, she felt herself slowly drift off into sleep, the brothers nodded to each-other and looked around the perimeter.

She wasn't sure how long she was sleeping, but she heard a soft buzzing sound, she sighed, trying to block it out, but it only got louder and louder and more annoying until suddenly it stopped, and then there was a large noise. That scared her in her dream world.

A sharp noise like lightning and thunder mixed together echoed in the dream world.

She gasped, jumping in her dream, and looking around, she was confused when it suddenly stopped, she relaxed, but only woke up when there was another sharp noise, and a blinding flash of light.

~*~*~*~

She woke up, and her eyes needed to get adjusted to the light, but she immediately figured out who woke her up. Collin was sitting across from her, trying not to laugh, while Flynn was sleeping a bit farther aways, as if not bothered by the ruckess Collin was making.

"You guys have been asleep for hours, I know my brother won't wake up that easily, but you did!" He said with a laugh.

Holly was speechless at what to say, she just stared at him as he laughed, "You humans can wake up at the smallest of things, it's quite amusing."

Holly stammered, heart pumping out of terror, and she was shaking, Collin frowned, and asked quietly, "Are you okay? It wasn't that scary..."

There was another bang, it made Collin look up, but Holly jumped toward him out of fear, hugging him tightly in reassurance that she wasn't alone, he looked back, and asked in a stammer, "Eh? W-what?" Obviously flustered.

Holly realised what had happened, and she let Collin have his space, and she asked quietly, "What was that?"

Collin looked up, obviously still flustered at her, and he said, "Hm, I think it was the storm." He looked back at his brother, who still didn't seem bothered by it.

Holly said quietly, "He must be tired."

Collin shook his head, "Actually, he's always like that when he falls asleep, only wakes up at small things, silly really." He said calmly.

Holly sighed, and stood up, the storm had calmed down, she walked over to Flynn, and crouched down, she snapped her fingers, having to do so multiple times before he would stir.

"Wha'?" He murmered softly.

"Wake up." Holly said gently.

Flynn blinked, and asked curiously, "What's going on?" He looked up at the sky in confusion.

Collin said, "A storm, that's it," he stood up, and growled, "I'm going to look around, see if there's something wrong." He walked away, leaving Flynn and Holly alone.

Holly muttered pointedly, "You actually slept through your brother terrifying me."

Flynn asked, "He didn't scare you too much I hope?" He looked at her, amused.

Holly shook her head, and muttered in an almost sarcastic tone, "No, not really," She looked up when she heard a familiar ringing, in notes, she tipped her head, and stood up, and she murmured, "Huh?" What is that? It sounds... Familiar... She thought, and walked towards the noise.

Flynn looked at her, "Hmm?" He was surprised when she walked away from him, he stood up quickly, "Hey, wait!" He called, and followed her.

She ignored him, continuing following the noise, she stopped, watching carefully as some kids talked, listening to a icy music box, Holly gasped inside, immediately recognizing the sound as the lullaby she grew up with, the music box was a piece of magic, and the icy texture was actually purified snow from the White Wall. She could only watch as the kids walked away with the magic box, and she felt sad inside.

"I... I totally forgot, the last thing I ever had from my parents, was a music box... Specially made... No necklace can be as special as that... My parents had it made for me, it's the only thing I have from them..." She looked down, tears welling up in her eyes.

Flynn asked quietly, "An icy music box?"

Holly nodded, not looking at him, "I wasn't even thinking about it at the time... And I totally forgot about it... I left it in the burning house, it's probably gone now," she said, tearing up, "When I was little, I couldn't sleep without it."

She saw something glimmer from in her vision, and she found herself facing Flynn, he had something clutched in his hands. and he said softly, "Some things can never be lost, they'll find their way to you again, nothing can never be truly lost."

He held his hand out, and took Holly's hand, and gave her an icy object, shaped like a music box, Holly clutched it, and asked quietly, "How...?"

Flynn said quickly, "I saw it before the house burned down, I knew what it was, and I thought it might have been important to you." He shrugged.

She wasn't sure what to say, and he said quietly, "It still works, I checked."

Holly was speechless, she opened it, and immediately recognized the melody as icy figures spinned around in a circle, holding a circle together, she knew what it symbolized, the two people resembled the humans, while the circle resembled the sun, it pretty much meant that no matter what, the sun would always shine on the humanity in others, in reality, the circle was so heavy, one could not hold it by itself, so the two people were holding it up.

Together.

She finally said, "I... I don't..." She looked up back at Flynn, who seemed nervous, and he said quietly, "That's powerful magic, more powerful than anything in this world."

Holly looked back at the music box as it continued it's melody. She finally looked up, and said, "Thank... Thank you..."

Flynn said, "It's nothing really..." But couldn't say anything more when Holly hugged him, who said, "I'm really grateful, you didn't need too, but you did, even though it was dangerous..." She faltered, tears welling up in her eyes.

Flynn obviously felt awkward in the situation, and he said quickly, "It was nothing... Really..." He repeated himself, flustered.

Holly stopped hugging him, and muttered thankfully, "Thank you, Flynn, it did mean a lot to me..." She looked up at him, and he looked uncomfortable.

It was quiet, until there was another noise, a bit loud, Holly turned while Flynn looked up, and she asked, "What's that?"

Flynn stood up suddenly, and he growled, "Not good." He stepped around Holly and went back to where they had laid down.

Holly followed him, and they looked around the clearing, Flynn followed where his brother had gone, and Holly followed behind, not really sure if she should be scared or not.

They heard a voice, "What are you doing leading around mortals, Death?" Suddenly a misty shape appeared, and stopped Flynn from moving any furthur.

Flynn looked around, "Where's my brother?" He asked sharply.

The spirit looked up, and didn't answer him, he only said coldly, "Ah... Freedom, a fickle thing, freedom..."

Holly noticed Flynn had tensed up, and the spirit asked, "How about you mortal, are you free? To do your own actions, or is your path set out for you when you're born?"

Flynn repeated, "Where's Collin?" He growled even more fiercely.

The spirit laughed, "Come now, mortal. What is freedom? Is one human ever truly free, even in death?" He asked curiously.

Flynn had finally went quiet, and Holly stammered, "Freedom, with freedom... Order is not there, to have order, there must be control, and could easily lead to..." But she faltered

The spirit smiled coldly, "A mortal who seems to understand, good, the world needs more mortals like that." He sneered.

Flynn finally spoke up, "Where's Collin... Horias?" He snapped

Horias shrugged, "Hm, he could be anywhere, he is as unpredictable as the storms that hang around here, who knows, maybe he... Got caught up with something." He examined a feather as he said this, he then let it go into the wind.

Flynn seemed to think about what he said, and he looked up, but it wasn't raining heavily, it was slowly turning to snow.

Horias looked up, "Snow... Yes, I believe your brother has been indeed... Caught up with something. Or, better, something has caught up with him," he said, then looked back at Flynn, "I say, if you do try chasing after your sibling, your mortal friend won't live to see the sun rise." He said calmly.

Flynn didn't say anything, so Holly asked curiously, "What's that supposed to mean?"

Horias turned to her, and said cooly, "Let's put it this way, if you go after Collin, you're in for a nasty surprise."

Holly went silent, and Horias shrugged, "You will find him, just not in the state you would think he'd be in, good luck, you two." He then disappeared in a breath of a wind.

Holly and Flynn were silent, and Holly asked quietly, "Who was that?"

Flynn answered flatly, "A spirit, and an annoying one, likes to talk in riddles usually." He turned away, and looked around.

Holly asked, "Do you know where your brother is?"

Flynn said coldly, "If what I'm thinking is correct, it's bad... Yes, I think I know where my brother is, but we have to go to Lake Twister to get to him."

Holly shivered, "Lake... Twister?" She asked.

Flynn nodded, and murmured, "It's our only way, in truth, it's just another path to the mountain, except, like Collin, it's as confusing as he is, I can barely enter it, let alone navigate it." He grimaced.

Holly asked, "You can do it can you?"

Flynn frowned, "Honestly? I'm not sure, I've only been through once, and it was with Collin, if I was alone, I'd get us lost, and his little riddle would come true, you would never see the sun rise again, you'd be stuck in the path because of me." He said sadly.

Holly said quietly, "You've got to try."

Flynn sighed, "I know, and I don't want you to come."

Holly said flatly, "Well, if you get lost, I'm going to be stuck, alone, with no where to go, I'm coming with you." She said more firmly.

Flynn nodded, "Well, we better get going, we're not far from the lake, and, hopefully, Collin is not in trouble, then again, when isn't he in trouble?" He asked, rolling his eyes, and led the way.

Holly thought, Freedom...

Is that what you really are Collin? Not Tradegy, like everyone was disillusioned to believe so long ago, even your own siblings, did they forget your real self? Are you not Tradegy... But freedom? Do you give everyone the freedom to do what they wish in this land? Is that why there has been that civil war, and all these storms? Horias seemed to be hinting at that... Holly thought, thinking deeply.

Holly finally came to the conclusion, that Collin was not only the Fate of Change, but also the Fate of Freedom, just like Flynn had said. Which is why he was so laid back, in a more playful way.

This was bad.

Chapter 5

Twists and turns

Confusing, but...

It makes sense.

To only lead you, the right way.

As they walked, Holly asked gently, "So, how exactly do you enter the path?"

Flynn had stayed silent, and he said, "Well, what people don't know about the lake, or ocean, since it is that big, is that it's a path, not a danger, it's only a danger when you don't know how to enter it." He shrugged as he walked.

Holly and him stopped by a river, he looked around, and said quickly, "We have to follow the river, but be careful, if it rains, it'll flood, and the current is really powerful."

Holly nodded, following closely, she listened to the river rushing over the stones, and spashing against the rocks. She sighed, calmed by the river. Flynn seemed tense and suspicious though, as if something was going to jump out at them.

Holly asked, "Is something wrong?"

Flynn stopped, and said, "Last time I was here, both me and Collin were heading to the path, and we were both attacked, and when we woke up, we could barely stand, I actually felt kind of sick, and Collin looked like he was going to fall over."

Holly asked, "What was it?"

Flynn shrugged, saying nothing, after what felt like a long time of walking, he stopped, and said, "You can sit down and have a break, mortals can't walk for long distances without getting tired," he turned to face her just as she was about to say something, "And don't bother saying you're not tired."

She made a face, and she asked, "What about you? Aren't you tired?"

Flynn hesitated, and said, "Not really."

Holly raised an eye-brow, and said, "Well, fine," She sat down by a tree, looking up at the sky, while Flynn looked around, and she asked, "Have you ever just watched snow fall?"

She looked at Flynn, who was looking at her confused, "What do you mean?" He asked.

She said, "Have you ever just... Stopped and watched?"

Flynn seemed to be thinking about it, but finally decided that he wasn't sure how to answer, and Holly said, "I find watching snow relaxing."

Flynn seemed even more confused then ever, and said, "Okay."

Holly sighed, looking down at the ground, and said, "Everything is less confusing when you just stop and watch."

She looked up at Flynn, who seemed uncomfortable, and he said, "I guess so." He sat down also, sighing.

Holly asked suddenly, "What do you think happened to Collin?"

Flynn looked up, "I don't know, usually when he's mad he just goes somewhere alone to relax, but... I don't remember him being super angry, best chance is he might have gotten into some sort of trouble." He said, rolling his eyes.

Holly asked curiously, "I take it that happens a lot?"

Flynn nodded, she shook her head, and stood up, Flynn murmured, "I-" But was interrupted by Holly, who said quickly, "Well, let's go!"

Flynn sighed, and stood up, as they continued walking, night fell, Holly shivered, "It's cold."

Flynn hesitated, then said quickly, "Ignore it."

Holly muttered, "I don't know... I'm freezing, like, I know the climate at the White Wall is like this, but I heard Hostrich's climate was more temperate."

Flynn said, "It is, ignore it."

Holly suddenly felt angry, and snapped, "Easy for you to say, I'm only human!" She shook her head.

Flynn turned to face her, and said softly, "Holly..." His gaze softened

But she continued, "When people get cold, they might get a cold, or the flu, or worse! It's dangerous for humans to be freezing!" But she was confused, she no longer felt frozen, but she felt angered, but at what?

He murmured, "Holly..."

But she continued, even though she tried to stop, "I'm only human! I can die more easily then you can! Can you even die?" She said in a growl.

As she was about to continue, Flynn murmured, "Holly..."

Holly asked angrily, "Yes?"

"I can die." Flynn said flatly.

Holly was taken-aback, and she stammered, "No way, you're supposed to be immortal, immortal means you can't die." She pointed out, horrified.

Flynn smiled, "My soul is immortal, I am not," he said, "Or, some humans think I'm not alive at all, but undying, if that makes sense, which it doesn't." He laughed.

Holly stayed silent, and Flynn asked, "Feeling better?"

Holly asked, "Wait, your soul is immortal? So my soul, being mortal, will slowly disappear?"

Flynn frowned, "I... I honestly don't know. Maybe every soul is immortal as it passes through one life to the next, and slowly grows weaker until it must stay in the mountain." He said flatly.

"But wouldn't that... Make you human?" She asked quietly.

Flynn said flatly, "Depends." He looked away from her.

She asked, "On what?"

Flynn asked, "What do I look like to you? Very few people can see my true human form, and fewer more know my true form."

Holly said, "You look human." She said quietly.

Flynn smiled, "Hm, then you're one of the few then, if you're seeing what I think you are seeing," he said, then sighed, "I'm not purely human, neither am I purely just a spirit, you can say I am in between." He smiled.

Holly looked confused, and Flynn said, "Let's keep going, and try to ignore the cold." He continued on, with Holly following closely behind.

Holly asked, "Can you tell me something?"

Flynn said, "Yeah."

"What Horias said... About freedom. Was he talking about your brother?" Holly asked.

Flynn said, "Yes, sadly, many, including my two sisters, have been disillusioned by mortal text, that Collin is the Fate of Tradegy, but, that's not the right way to say it, he's more the Fate of Change and Freedom." He shook his head.

Holly was about to say something, but Flynn had looked up, and said coldly, "Listen to me, Holly, you humans are right to think of us as anything other then humans." He turned to look at her, and Holly was surprised his face had suddenly darkened.

Holly tipped her head as he continued, "We're far from humans, it is dangerous for us to come in contact for so many reasons, your souls are so much more fragile then ours, and sometimes that's a bad trait, especially when it comes to us." He frowned.

Holly asked, "I don't get what you're trying to say, what's suddenly bugging you?"

Flynn made no noise, and he said quietly, "I don't think you should come with me to save my brother." He stared down at her.

Holly wasn't sure how to react, so she asked, "Wh-What?"

Flynn murmured, "This has gotten so dangerous for you," he murmured, and turned away, "We never should have met, if we didn't, you'd probably still have a home, your friend still might visit you, everything that has happened to you wouldn't have happened."

Holly backed away a bit, and said, "But what if it did happen anyways? What if you weren't there to save my life?" She then asked, "You trusted my souls strength enough to lead you to where you want to go, but you don't trust it enough to fight hostile spirits?"

Flynn muttered, "I-" But faltered when Holly took a hostile step toward him, "That makes no sense! If I'm going to die, then isn't it nice to know that my soul lives on?" She asked, a bit hotly.

Flynn replied back upset and in the same tone, "I made a horrible mistake!" He looked away from her.

Holly stopped, and asked quietly, "What?"

Flynn sighed, "Listen, that time when we first met, I was able to see your death, but now, after I talked to you right then, I couldn't see it anymore, it's like something clouded my vision, and I didn't understand what was going on, so instead of doing what I was supposed to do, I not only put your life in danger, but your own soul in danger as well, if you come with me to save your brother, neither you or your soul will make it, and it will be my fault." He said hotly.

Holly looked at him, "Wait, what do you mean?" She asked quietly.

Flynn snapped, "Your soul is now in danger because of me, you have amazing luck to be alive right now, back in the Lower Spirit World, you don't understand how many times you could have died, especially when you saw that vision, that vision could have torn your soul apart." He closed his eyes, not saying anything for a long while.

Holly asked, "Flynn... Do you cause the Day of Darkness?" She reached a hand out.

Flynn looked up at her, saying nothing, and Holly knew that once she knew the truth, she wouldn't be able to back out.

Flynn only nodded, frowning.

Holly wasn't sure what to say, and Flynn turned away from her, "That is my dark side, the side of me that makes me what you percieve in the stories of myth, the Day of Darkness, I cause it, and it's only ever happened once, and it's horrible, even though I barely remember it, you think Collin's magic is powerful?" He turned back to her, "Think of that ten fold, and not in a light, playful manner."

Holly wasn't sure what to say, "People fear me, and they have a right to be afraid, I can cause more destruction then my brother, the side I don't like I hide, so it isn't as bad as it actually is, because of what I can cause, that's the only reason mortals fear me so much. Because I'm not human, because I'm something they don't understand, but they understand enough to know that no matter how nice I may seem, I'm really not." He said quietly.

Holly said gently, "I don't think you're mean. You're just like us, except well, with an immortal soul, no matter how you look at it, even if you try to hide them, your emotions equal ours, you're not like the unfeeling monsters in stories, or hate the mortals like it is said in story books, if anything, your emotions is what makes humans fear you and your siblings, because you have that ability to feel emotions, it's what scares them, because they hate to think of you as human, it makes them feel safe to think that you're not human, and not just the same as them," she continued quickly, "And if you're the same, they don't like to think that when you're the same, you still have the power of the old gods, even if you're not god, it makes you a daemon. Not totally human, but not totally abnormal either."

(Note from Authour: Daemon is pronounced like 'Dae-min')

She turned away, "That's what daemon means, in our land anyways, say a Dire wolf, they're also called daemon wolves in some books, because they're wolf, but also not. They are too unnaturally big to be wolves, but they are, no matter which way you look at them, they have the same wolf characteristics, they're just bigger, and more powerful, doesn't make them not wolf." She said quietly.

She then turned back, "Listen, I don't hate you, far from hate actually, I owe you my life, you have saved me so many times, you brought something that I thought I lost back to me, no matter how bad your dark side is, it's not going to change that fact," she said gently, and looked up, "Humans, especially fragile ones, have dark sides, think about it. You don't start wars, we do, you don't fight the way we do, we fight just to take, just like the war is doing right now, we seem a lot more destructive compared to you and Collin, it makes you seem more human then us. These wars kill people, and why?"

Flynn finally spoke up, "That's because humans take what they want, and think they can get away with it, but they don't know that a fight doesn't have a winner, so if they win a war, they can celebrate, and cheer, but they know that they got some losses of their own, and won't be able to forget it, it doesn't matter if you won that war, you never did win it, not in the sense anyways."

Holly nodded, "You're far from being not human, Flynn, I've seen the stuff you can do, or what I've heard about in true books," she said, "You can heal too, right?"

Flynn nodded, and Holly said quietly, "I don't see that as bad, I see that as a part of who you are, and if the Day of Darkness is a part of who you are, then why should I judge? I'm not exactly all fluffy either, I was trained on the wild, I knew how to hunt when I was 10, and I only did it to survive." She smiled.

Flynn sighed, and asked gently, "Are you sure you want to come?"

Holly looked back at him, and smiled, "Of course, I'm not that defenseless." She said calmly.

Flynn smiled, and took out a dagger, "Well, against spirits, you've got nothing to defend yourself." He said, and passed the dagger to her.

She looked at it, the hilt was that of a bird, and wind spirals carved on the edges of the blade, and the metal work looked soft, but sharp, and there was a rune inscription, that said, Over the edge, over again.

"What does that mean?" Holly asked.

Flynn smiled, "It means that you must always go back to where you started to get where you want to go." He said quietly.

Holly looked at it again, and said sarcastically, "Don't tell me that I have to go back to the White Wall to get where I want to go."

"Isn't it there anyways?" He asked.

Holly rolled her eyes playfully, "I guess you're right, but could it mean other things?" She asked.

He only nodded, and they continued walking.

~*~*~*~

They finally broke through to a small clearing, there was a statue, the same one as her music box, but it had more, there was rocks with incitricate patterns surrounding it, and 4 small stone carved twisters surrounding it, and the circle was holding up a golden carved sun in it's centre.

Holly looked at the inscription, and she asked, "Does this have anything to do with the path?"

Flynn looked up, and muttered, "I don't know, maybe, I always waited for Collin by the ocean side before he came, I guess he was doing something here, so maybe it does."

He just walked past it, while saying, "But, I can't do much with it right now, I'm not exactly sure how it works."

Holly looked at the inscription, and it said, Let not your eyes decieve you, and let not your own strength open a path, let so, that together, you can make it so.

She looked up at the sun again, and she climbed up onto the statue so she looked up at the golden statue of the sun, Flynn looked behind him, confused, while she looked around the statue. She jumped off the statue, and backed up so the golden sun was in line with the real sun, and she gasped when there was rune writing on the golden sun.

It said, Only together, ever more, will the path open.

Holly shook her head, It doesn't really make sense, but it's something to work with. She thought.

She soon followed Flynn, and said quickly, "Just seeing something."

Flynn only nodded, and soon, they were through the break again, and they were facing a vast water, an ocean. She was in awe, they only ever had small lakes in The White Wall, not really big.

But she noticed there were stones surrounding the lake-ocean from what they could see, and Flynn said quickly, "This is where the path opens," He walked up to straight in the middle of two stones, and said, "I'm not really sure how Collin does it, seeing as he's not here right now, this is going to be interesting."

He looked at the stones, and he said, "These stones were here, even before my older sister was, they were here when Garaos was still awake," he looked at the rune writing, "They say different things, the two ones in the front, the ones that are the entrance to the path, say Love and Strength," he looked at the two on the outside, and said, "Those say Hatred and Fear."

Holly murmured softly, "Spooky."

Flynn said, "Well, that's not their intention, the middle is supposed to be a guide, and the outside a warning," he looked on, "Now how to open it, that's the tricky part." He tipped his head.

Holly asked, "So, do you remember how?"

Flynn seemed deep in thought, and said calmly, "Slightly, it's kinda fuzzy though."

Holly walked up to the stones, and asked, "What do you remember?"

Flynn looked at the stones too, "I remember him doing something with the stones, that's all I do remember." He said quietly.

Holly looked at the stones, and she asked, "Maybe you can try using your power on the stones?" She looked at him.

Flynn looked on, "I could try." He said.

But as he was about to do something, Holly said, "Wait, wait." She walked up to the stones, looking at them curiously.

Flynn asked, "What?"

She murmured, "Maybe it involves two people." She looked at her music box, and tipping her head, That would be logical...

Flynn just looked at her, waiting for her to answer, and she said, "Maybe if we..." But she shook her head, reaching a hand out to touch the stone.

The stone felt smooth, not a single flaw on it, it was cool to the touch, but in a calming way. The inscriptions feeling smoothly written. She sighed, thinking deeply.

She thought she heard something, and she gasped when the stone started glittering in a white mist, she looked confused, and asked Flynn, "What's going on?"

Flynn seemed confused, but she saw his eyes flicker in recognizement, and he said quickly, "I think that's supposed to happen."

He went to the stone next to the other one, about 6 paces away, he looked at it up and down, and reached a hand to it, it also started glittering in a white

She noticed her vison starting to blur, and she gasped, but she must have moved to quickly, because her vision suddenly blackened.

~*~*~*~

Holly jolted up, and looked around, she realised she was in a maze, the tall hedges were a weird gray, she called, "Flynn?!" But there was no answer.

She looked around nervously, and called, "Flynn?!" But there was still no answer. She looked around, frowning, unsure of where she was, she knew she was absolutely alone in this scary maze.

Holly walked forward, looking around every corner before proceeding cautiously forward.

As she continued walking, she noticed the deeper she got, the darker the sky and the maze became, she shivered, feeling cold, and wishing Flynn was with her, but she was seperated from him.

As she continued walking, she felt like someone was watching her. She looked around, and asked, "Flynn?" She looked into the darkness.

There was no answer, and she frowned, keeping her hand on the hilt of the dagger Flynn had given her to protect herself. She thought grimly, I'm alone in here, Flynn can't protect me from whatever is watching me.

She felt calmed down knowing she could defend herself, but she had no idea what the spirits guarding this place was like, and she had no idea how to protect herself against strong spirits, but for now, all she could do was ignore the cold feeling, and hope it was nothing.

Holly shivered though as she continued on, red eyes started appearing into the darkness, she looked around, jumping at every sound. She asked, "Who's there?"

There was still no answer, but she did notice the wind pick up slightly, she looked behind her, and narrowed her eyes, bringing the dagger out.

She asked, more nervously, "Who's there?!"

The red eyes that were watching her, blinked once, and suddenly disappeared.

Holly stood straight up, confused, she kept her stiff posture though, she knew that if she called for Flynn, he wouldn't answer, and she didn't want to think about why he couldn't. The spirits here were obviously easily angered ones.

She started to get nervous, she continued going forward, a bit shakily, There's something wrong about this place... She thought, wishing Flynn was with her.

Holly jumped at a noise, she looked behing her slowly, and turned to see a huge shape, it seemed to have moved the bushes to get to her path, it looked up with red-looking eyes, Holly backed up in fear.

The thing looked up, registering what it was looking at, and it turned to face her, but before she could run, scream, or do anything, the thing barked.

She turned away from the wolf, and suddenly found herself sitting on the ground, staring up as a spirit launched another attack at her.

Holly gasped, and called in horror, "Flynn!"

The thing seemed to answer to her terrified call, because she saw it leap forward, eyes livid as the spirit was about to land the killing blow.

Holly thought that both things wanted to kill her, but she was wrong. The wolf leaped over her, standing in front of her, she stood up, as it kept it's aggressive stance in front of the shocked spirit. The wolf snarled, lashing it's tail back and forth, as the spirit seemed to recover.

The dog seemed to be protecting her, and it seemed to be forcing her to edge away from the spirit, while the spirit started to get angry.

She realised that the wolf was Flynn, as she could recognise the pitch black fur, she said quickly, "Flynn! We have to get out of here!"

Flynn only flicked his ear, and didn't answer, concentrating on the angered spirit. Even though his tail was flicking back and forth.

The spirit hesitated, and seemed to back off, Flynn seemed confused, even relaxing his stance as the spirit disappeared.

They stood there in silence, the wolf started to transform into a human, she was surprised to see Flynn wasn't relaxed at all, and he growled, "Stay behind me." He looked into the darkness, shielding Holly from the darkness.

She asked quietly, "What's going on?"

Flynn murmured, "I don't know, I think we got seperated because something happened with the actual entering, being alone in here is dangerous, especially for a mortal like you," he turned to look at her, and muttered, "But, I guess the spirits see more than one person as a threat."

Holly couldn't help but smile, she was only a threat with her bow, but that doesn't do anything to spirits, only the dagger can.

Flynn must have noticed this, because he said, "I suspect they think, for a mortal, you can be quite dangerous, you mortals can get pretty nasty." He smiled in a teasing way.

Holly only rolled her eyes, and was about to say something, but she saw the familiar red eyes, and she said quickly, "Flynn! It's back!"

Flynn whipped around, but saw nothing, he looked around, and asked, "Where is it?" He looked at the darkness.

Holly couldn't see very well in this darkness, and apparently, neither could Flynn, but he said quickly, "This darkness isn't natural, and only one person I know could control this path, it's not the spirits making it so dark, no, it's whatever has control in this land." Holly was shocked when he seemed nervous.

Holly seemed confused, and she asked slowly, "We're in the land of Hostrich, this lake is pretty much the spiritual centre of it, and, is there only one person that can really control this path?"

Flynn slowly nodded as the darkness got thicker, and they edged closer together, and Holly asked carefully, "And, what if that one person... Was to... Do this?"

Flynn muttered, "Then we're in trouble."

Holly nodded as the darkness stopped consuming the things around them, and they could see a little, they made no noise, and Holly only listened to the wind that was slowly picking up. Holly asked fearfully, "Would... The thing do this if he had a choice?"

Flynn shook his head, "No." He growled.

Holly asked, "So, Horias gave us the answer, and we couldn't understand?"

Flynn nodded, and said, "He never gives the straight forward answer, but he knows that it will be too late when you figure it out."

Holly said quickly, "We've got to hurry."

Flynn nodded, "It seems that way." He said flatly.

Holly frowned, "He wouldn't do this by choice..." She muttered.

Flynn heard her, but said nothing, he only led Holly safely into the darkness, and he said, "We have to be careful, there's a lot of angered spirits around."

Holly nodded, and followed him, she knew the spirits wouldn't dare attack, not with Flynn near her, but that doesn't mean they will give up an oppurtunity.

She asked, "So, would your brother be in the middle of the maze?"

Flynn nodded, "And I can tell by the darkness, that he's not himself." He pointed out, and looked at the darkness.

As they continued, the darkness got thicker and thicker, it was like a thick black fog that made you blind to your surroundings, and all you had to guide you is your sense of hearing.

Flynn made her stop sometimes, even though she couldn't see, but he seemed to know where he was going, even in the darkness, and she asked, "Are we close?"

Flynn stopped, and looked around, he muttered, "Yes, can't you hear water?"

Holly went quiet, and she could hear the soft waves of a ponds shore lapping at the bank, but surprisingly, it wasn't a calming sound, it was foreboding.

She edged closer to Flynn as the noise got louder, and they entered a light clearing, the darkness itself seemed to be scared of the calm looking centre, but Holly knew that looks can be decieving, this centre was anything but calm, it felt like a storm was coming, you don't know when, but it's coming.

Holly asked Flynn, "Do you sense anything?"

Flynn looked down at the waters surface, which was still, he frowned, not answering her question.

Holly stood beside him, also looking down at the waters surface, she bent down, reaching a hand to the water, and touched it, she was surprised when it was an icy cold, but as she looked up, she realised the whole thing was starting to freeze, she backed away, but Flynn seemed even more concerned.

The whole thing froze over, she asked, "What's happening?"

Flynn finally backed away, Holly looked up, and realised it had started to snow, she looked at the snowflakes, frowning. It's not the same as The White Wall... There's something wrong about this snow.

She realised Flynn was standing in front of her, he whispered, "Shh..."

He frowned, and Holly asked, "What is it?"

All was silent, but Holly edged closer to Flynn when she heard a voice.

"I thought it would have been longer for you two to come here, how disappointing." The voice was familiar, but the tone certainly wasn't.

Chapter 6

Everything you see

Everything you hear

Is a lie.

Flynn and Holly looked up, Collin was standing there, but he seemed different, his posture was no longer relaxed, it was tense, and his eyes were a scary pitch black, and Holly knew immediately, that there was something very wrong with Collin.

Holly took a step forward, and murmured quietly, "Collin...?"

But before she could do anything else, she felt Flynn pull her back. He shook his head, and Collin continued, "This maze is supposed to stop you from entering the centre, I guess you figured out how to work the maze." He said in a gruff tone.

Holly shivered, his voice was no longer his, it was filled with cold and hate, she asked Flynn, "What... Could have done this to him?"

Flynn growled, "Horias."

Holly looked up, Horias was standing beside Collin, who seemed angered by the very sight of a mortal, he looked ready to attack.

Horias asked, "Tsk, brother fights brother? Well, Collin? They would have left you all alone to fight the beast, and you're just going to throw verbal insults at them?" He stared at Collin, his eyes flashing.

For one moment, Holly swore she could see the menacing, yet friendly and playful gray eyes of Collin, but it had went back to their pitch black as Horias continued on.

"It's sad, when siblings turn on each-other over simple differences. Betray each-other." He said in a matter-of factly tone.

Holly then realised what was going on, He's messing with Collin's mind! She yelled, "Don't listen to him, Collin! He's lying."

She gasped when Collin looked up suddenly, and dashed across the pond, sword ready to land a blow.

Holly closed her eyes, but felt herself being pulled away from the danger, and she realised Flynn had pulled her back.

Horias laughed, "Storms; unpredictable, changeable, and destroys everything, destruction." He said.

Holly yelled again, "Collin, stop it! You're not-" But she had to dodge another blow from the angered fate, she knew talking wouldn't help, so she had to settle it the way Horias wanted, which she dreaded.

She brought out the dagger, and continued dodging Collin's quick attacks, but Collin also had another problem. Attacks from his brother.

Holly said, "You don't destroy, Collin," she had to dodge another blow, "You're much more then what Horias says!"

She was getting tired, when Collin was never tiring, he wasn't listening to her, but she could tell that something about her words was breaking through, since he seemed to hesitate.

Flynn suddenly got attacked by Horias, who yelled, "This is not your fight, let the mortal duke it out with the higher power."

Flynn had to protect himself, and Holly knew that she was alone.

She kept dodging Collin's attacks, refusing to hurt him, and she said quickly, "Collin, you don't just cause tradegy, the storms, you also heal, you give way for new life!" She dodged another blow, and tripped over a tree stump, and she stared up at Collin.

His eyes were a mix of black and gray, and she thought, He has been listening to me. But she knew that he wouldn't stop his relentless attacks.

But she noticed, he seemed to hesitate before killing her, she looked at her dagger, which was shining brightly, she realised that she wouldn't hurt Collin, not lethally anyways, but she had to do this, or Collin will be taken over by his greatest fear.

She stood up, taking his hesitation as a chance to do something she regretted even before she did it, she snapped, "You're freedom! Don't let your fear control you!"

She suddenly rushed forward, pushing the dagger into his chest, and pulling out, in a flash of white, both of them were on the ground.

She stood up, gasping, and rushed over to Collin, who wasn't getting up, but he seemed confused, his eyes were back to their normal grey, but he still seemed off, as if dazed.

Holly looked up, Flynn was having trouble, getting weaker and weaker himself, while Horias attacked, she ran toward them, and yelled, "Hey!"

Horias looked up, and that was the chance Flynn was waiting for, he ran toward Holly, and he said quickly, "Turn around!" They ran toward Collin, Holly realised that mist was starting to overtake them.

Flynn turned to face Horias, and the mist was overwhelming, and soon, Holly's vision blackened.

After what felt like hours, she blinked, and she was leaning against a tree, She looked around, and saw Flynn sitting down, he looked extremely pale.

Holly asked, "Are you okay? How did you get us out of there?"

Flynn smiled weakly, "I'm afraid that wasn't me." He murmured, and he signaled to beside her.

She looked to where Collin was, he looked weak also, and he waved playfully, "Hi!" He said cheefully.

Holly asked, "But, how? You seemed to dazed to do much of anything." She turned to look back at Flynn.

Collin laughed, "That's because that only lasted for a couple seconds... Ow, that dagger was sharp you know." He flinched, smiling.

Holly said, "Sorry, but you were going to kill me."

Collin frowned, "Sorry, after I left the clearing, I ran into Horias, he said that you guys intended to just leave me alone to fight off something big, and somehow, he toyed with something in my mind, and after that, I can't remember much." He muttered sadly.

Holly suddenly realised something was up with Flynn, but Collin, being too weakened to notice anything, she turned to Flynn, and asked, "What's wrong?"

Flynn sighed, and Holly realised he was hiding something under his cloak, she asked, "What happened?"

He frowned, and he moved his cloak, and Holly was shocked to see a pure green blade in his chest, and he didn't seem that much bothered, but he was, she asked worriedly, "It's poisoned isn't it?"

He said quietly, "Is and isn't, Horias is tricky like that," he pulled the dagger out, still looking like it didn't bother him that much, "I haven't seen this type of poison since Garaos." He murmured.

Holly made a face, "I haven't even seen poison, or at least, I have and didn't realise it." She said.

Flynn said, "It's not a lethal poison, I'm not sure how to exactly explain it, it's not made to kill," he tipped his head, "It's like a... Sleeping potion of some sorts, except well... Longer lasting effects." He murmured.

Holly asked, "Would it effect you?"

Flynn said flatly, "Not as it would against a mortal." He looked up at her.

Holly wasn't sure whether to believe him, but she decided not to worry about it, even though she had a feeling that he wasn't being completely honest with her.

Collin sighed, and said, "If you want lethal poison, get nightlock from the mountain, that stuff could kill a mortal in seconds." He looked around. He stood up, leaning on a staff, like what Flynn had, except it was incitricate.

It was a long gray pole, it had vines wrapping around it to the top, and at the top was a mix of types of weather, Collin noticed her looking at it, and he said, "Ah, don't mind this old thing, I barely use it," and it disappeared in a breeze, he said quickly, "Anyways, we should get out of here."

Flynn nodded, standing up, Holly looked around, suddenly recognizing where they were, and asked quietly, "Um, can we make a stop first?"

Flynn and Collin looked at her, and they both nodded, and followed her away from the clearing.

But they were stopped by a spanning lake, not as big as Lake Twister, but going around would take forever, and Holly was starting to get worried about Flynn.

They stopped, and she sighed, "We're going to have to-" But she stopped when Collin stepped forward, holding his staff, his eyes flat, he stopped at the waters edge.

Holly asked, "What are you-?" But went silent as he touched the water with the top of his staff, and it pulsated out, and went still, and Holly gasped when ice started to form, stretching out.

He walked onto the icy surface, not bothered, but both Flynn and Holly seemed nervous, Collin said calmly, "Come on, it's strong." The ice continued to pulsate with his staff.

Holly followed Collin, but looked back when Flynn didn't move, he was frowning, and he said in an annoyed tone. "I think it's safer to go around."

"That'll take too long." Collin said, stopping.

Flynn said nothing, and finally sighed, walking onto the ice hesitantly, Holly didn't understand why he got so bothered at the thought of walking on the ice.

They continued, Holly wasn't so hesitant now, since she was from a place where it was usually cold and icy, but Flynn seemed to not like the fact that he was standing on ice over cold, deep water.

Now that I think about it, it doesn't seem so fun. Holly thought, looking back at Flynn, who was pale, and was concentrating on the ice.

Holly said gently, "Come on."

Flynn looked up, he sighed, and slowly took another step forward, Holly saw the ice slightly crack, and he flinched and froze, Collin looked back also.

Collin said quietly, "It's the past, Flynn." He turned to face his brother fully.

Flynn took another step forward and he froze when the ice cracked again, and Holly understood that Flynn was truly afraid, but she didn't understand what Collin was talking about.

Flynn said quietly, "I'd still prefer to take the long way." He looked down at the ice.

Collin frowned, tapping the ice so that it grew stronger, as if in a way to reassure his brother, but it didn't help, he just stayed there, frozen.

Collin just sighed, and continued walking. Holly stepped towards Flynn, the ice cracking under her, even if she knew it wouldn't break, it would make anyone nervous.

She said softly, "It won't break."

Flynn still didn't move, and Holly asked. "What happened to make you so nervous on ice?"

He looked up at her, and he said quickly, "It's nothing."

Holly knew better then to ask again, so she said, "Well, come on, it's not that hard, I've done this millions of times back at home, and the ice over there wasn't reinforced."

Flynn said in a weird voice, "I know that."

Holly recognized the tone, she's heard it before in Nixsi, as if she knew something that terrified her, or angered her, either one. Or sometimes when she knew something Holly didn't.

Holly decided to do something that she usually did with her friends if one of them got scared that the ice was going to crack. She wasn't sure how well it would work on Flynn.

"Just pretend you're walking on solid ground," she took a step back, "Collin reinforced it, it's pretty much solid ground." She said calmly.

Flynn didn't move, so she knew she had to try harder, she murmured, "You've got to trust me."

Flynn looked at her, and said softly, "I do trust you." He looked like he was thinking, It's the ice I don't trust.

Holly smiled, "I'm not saying it's bad to be afraid," she said quietly, "I'm afraid of a lot of things."

Collin was still walking ahead, reinforcing the ice as he went, Holly murmured, "I used to be terrified of the ice, I did fall in, Nixsi was there of course."

Holly knew she struck a nerve, because Flynn took a step forward, the ice cracked more, which confused Holly, she took a step forward, confused on why the ice seemed ready to break.

Flynn said quietly, "Stop."

Holly froze, and whispered, "Collin's power must have been weakened in the Twisting path." As the ice cracked underneath them.

Flynn nodded, and he took another step forward, but for the first time in a long time, she understood why Flynn was so afraid, but she couldn't show it.

The water looked icy cold, and dark, if any of them fell in, it would be bad. The ice continued to crack slowly, as if ready to break.

Holly took a step back, and felt water, she jumped back, causing the ice to crack more.

Flynn seemed horrified, pulling Holly back from the cracking ice, and they both froze, pretty much standing on the edge of falling in.

"Thanks." Holly said calmly.

Flynn said nothing, and Holly slowly took a step forward, ignoring the sagging ice, she said, "Come on, it won't break any farther."

Holly continued to walk, she could hear the ice cracking, she could tell Flynn was right behind her, but she could feel water pour through the cracks, but they both tried ignored it.

Collin seemed to be having trouble himself, something was blocking his power, but the ice was stronger around him.

Holly stopped when the ice started to slowly break apart. She stepped over, and continued walking. Flynn following closely.

Collin turned to wait for them, Holly stopped, feeling weird, a chill went up her spine, she looked down, and realised their icy bridge was slowly sinking.

She moved a little bit quicker now, Flynn took his time though, wary of the water.

Collin took a step toward them, Flynn took the lead, reaching his brother, and looking at the ice with a flat expression. Holly was almost there, so close to her two friends, but she felt a sinking feeling within her, she wasn't going to make it, and this lake wasn't like the ponds in the White Wall. It was deeper, and colder, and if she fell in, she'd be in trouble.

She felt her vision blur, and felt colder then ever, until she heard an ominous crack, and she knew, she could never make it. But she was shocked, she didn't feel very wet, but she knew she was. But she was still afraid to open her eyes, and this time, it was her turn to be afraid.

~*~*~*~

Her vision was dark, it felt cold, and she felt like she was slowly falling, she wasn't sure whether to open her eyes or just float in spiralling blackness.

But she was surprised when she could hear the wind blow softly through what sounded like trees, there was no noise except for that. She finally fought to open her eyes, and found herself staring up at Collin and Flynn, who was wet. But he seemed more relaxed.

Holly sat up, and asked, "What happened?" She held her head, and realised she was soaking wet.

Collin hesitated, then said, "Well, the ice cracked, and you kind of fell through," Collin looked at his brother, "You would have easily drowned or died of the cold."

Holly looked at Flynn, who, like her, was soaking wet, he smiled, and said quietly, "I got you out of the water."

Collin said, "Yeah, I was too busy keeping the ice from cracking," rolling his eyes, and growled in frustration, "I don't get what's blocking my power, it's annoying!"

Holly felt woozy, and said, "We need to get to where..." She stood up, but had to lean on a tree before she felt strong enough to walk, and Flynn asked, "Maybe you should rest?"

Holly shook her head, "No, if we don't make it by nightfall, it'll get too cold, and I'm cold already. I'd die of hypothermia." She said icily, and started to walk.

She led them, having to take a break once and a while, Flynn said quietly, "Maybe you should rest, I mean, you're not helping yourself by pushing on."

Holly wanted to say something, but couldn't find the words, it sounded like Flynn was trying to distract himself from something. She turned to look at him, but he seemed normal, if a bit tired.

She just shrugged, and said quickly, "I'll be fine when I get there."

Flynn said nothing else as they walked, and she sighed when she saw the familiar wooden hut, and she said flatly, "We're here."

Flynn and Collin looked at the hut, confused, and Collin asked curiously, "Er, you led us to a house?"

Holly nodded, and said, "It's a friends." She walked on up to the house, but Flynn and Collin seemed hesitant.

She knocked, and a older girl walked out, her brown hair tied in a pony-tail, she asked curiously, "Holly, is that you?"

Holly nodded, "Yeah... Er..." She sneezed, and the girl said jokingly, "You look like you fell in a lake."

"I did." Holly said, Flynn seemed to be nervous, but the girl just smiled, "Well, come in." She backed out to let them through.

Holly came in, smiling at Sophie, her friend, Sophies' cat. it tipped it's head at the newcomers.

Holly turned to Flynn and Collin, who were looking around curiously, Holly turned back to Sophie, and scratched it behind the ears, and Sophie asked quietly, "What brings you three here in weather like this?"

Holly didn't answer for a bit, then she said, "I need to get to the path of Echoes." She turned back to look at her friend, who was frowning.

Sophia only nodded, but Holly knew she was hiding something, being a prophet and all, she would know more then she did.

Sophia turned to talk to Flynn, and Holly took that chance to ask Collin what happened at the lake. She walked up to him, and hissed under her breath, "Why was Flynn so scared of the ice?"

Collin frowned, and said quietly, "It was a long time ago, before Garaos went into an eternal sleep."

"Before Garaos... But there was no Fates during the time of Garaos, from what I've heard." She pointed out, majorly confused.

Collin said flatly, "That's right."

"Then, what were you during Garaos?" She asked, confused.

Collin looked at a picture of a mountain top surrounded by clouds, and he said, "It's all, kind of fuzzy, but we know enough," he smirked, and said, "The Fates have a true form, that shows us as we really are," he looked at Holly, and said, "This form we're in right now, it is our true form."

Holly asked, "But, that makes no sense, the Fates came in just before Garaos fell, and you guys take hold of the balance when he fell," and she asked quietly, "You guys... Were you human before you got turned into what you are?"

Collin smiled, and said, "Yes," he turned away from her, and looked at a picture of a map, "Yes, we were human, as human as you are, I don't remember much, but Flynn, he remembers a lot more then me." He said cooly, looking up.

"That still doesn't explain why he's afraid of ice." Holly said quietly.

Collin smirked, and said, "Technically, we show fear, we are human, just in a different way, if we didn't show fear, we wouldn't be human in that way," he frowned, and said darkly, "Flynn is afraid of the ice because of what happened before he became an immortal Fate."

Holly asked, "How did you guys become Fates?"

Collin looked at her, "That's the part I don't remember... All I remember is darkness, and flashes of light, people calling out my name, and it goes silent, next thing I knew, I was sitting on a mountain, my memory messed up, and well, I was a Fate. I dismissed any thing strange I didn't understand, even if it was my own memories. I honestly thought it was someone else's memory when I was younger." He said darkly.

Holly asked, "So you think Flynn remembers a lot more then you do?"

Collin nodded, "If he didn't, he wouldn't be afraid of the ice, actually, it's not the ice he's afraid of, it's the fear of it breaking," he said, "His memory probably gets fuzzy just before he becomes a Fate, that's where his memory gets limited."

Holly asked, "So, he does remember stuff from a long time ago?"

Collin nodded, "I wish I did, I still have no idea what happened to my human self, before I became a Fate, or how I even became one anyways." He said calmly, and he shrugged.

Holly thought, then asked curiously, "Darkness... White flashes of light... Are you talking about the battle of Guagamela?"

Collin just looked at her confused, and she said, "I learned about the battle from Nixsi, who taught me most history, the battle of Guagamela happened during a super destructive lightning storm, many people died, trees fell, whole loads of fire. Of course, Guagamela doesn't exist anymore, it's ruins now."

Holly thought she saw a flicker of sadness in his eyes as if that was upsetting to hear, but he said cooly, "I'd 'spect so, I mean, a war and a storm? It would bring any town or village to ruins."

Holly asked, "Do you remember anything else?"

Collin made a face, and said quietly, "Only the voices calling my name, white flashes of light, darkness and silence, It's all very fuzzy, I could tell it was during a super storm, that's all I really know though..."

It's like someone erased his last human memories, but why? In an effort to protect him? Or to wipe away something important? Holly thought, and turned to look at Flynn, Is it the same with Flynn? Except, his memory is slowly coming back.

She turned to look at Collin, who said, "I can't remember anything, and I feel like I'm missing something important, I think Garaos didn't want me to know something about myself." He frowned.

Holly only nodded, and Sophie came up to them, and said, "You should rest, Holly, that lake is cold these days."

Holly nodded, feeling safe in the house, she walked up the stairs, going into the last bedroom in the corridor, she looked around, it had a bed and a desk, and some paper, this was one of the bedrooms in the house, there was four or five in the whole house.

She yawned, and Sophie came in, and placed some new clothes on the ground, and said, "Your friend Nixsi came by a few months ago, said she had some clothes she never wore, they are about your size, I doubt you want to walk around in wet clothes." She nodded, and walked out.

Holly closed the door softly, and climbed into the bed, she fell into a peaceful sleep, no interruptions, but she could hear the sound of distant cannon shots and thunder.

She sighed, ignoring it, and fell asleep.

~*~*~*~

She woke up the next morning, it was slightly sunny, she quickly changed into her new clothes, and folded her old ones, and walked out, feeling a lot better.

She walked downstairs, Collin was looking out the window, he looked like he felt trapped in the small house, but he didn't complain.

Sophie looked up, and asked curiously, "Are you hungry?"

Holly shook her head, "Not really, I probably will later though..." She said, and looked at Collin, who seemed distant.

Sophia frowned, and muttered, "I think something is wrong, but even if I ask, he won't say anything."

Holly whispered, "Do you think it's the frustration of his power being blocked from Horias?"

Sophie shook her head grimly, "No, he has already voiced his frustration in a lot of ways... No, this is something else." She said quietly.

Holly seemed to think, I doubt it's his memories, he said himself he never minded them, no, there is something wrong.

Holly walked up to him, and asked, "Is there something wrong?"

Collin said nothing, he frowned, and he pulled out the green dagger, staring down at the ground, and put it on the table, and Holly immediately understood.

"Oh... No..." She said horrified, "He said it didn't effect the Fates like it did mortals."

Collin muttered, "That's what he wanted you to believe, the only difference is that it doesn't take an immediate effect."

Holly asked quietly, "How long? How long does it last Collin?"

Collin made no noise, but his eyes darkened, and Holly took that as a warning sign to back up, and give him some space.

He sighed, and shook his head, "I... Don't know." He murmured.

Sophia must have been listening, and she said quickly, "It depends on the spirit."

Collin and Holly looked at her, and she said, "If it's just a mortal, it would last a month or two, since those are weak souls, that would be enough to kill," and she growled darkly, "But if it's a powerful soul, it's going to take a lot more then a few months of never ending sleep."

Holly frowned, and went to check on Flynn, she knew that there was something wrong with Flynn, she just didn't know what.

He was still asleep, she tried shaking him awake, but he was not stirring, she knew that the poison had finally taken it's effect.

As she did this, she thought what could have possibly have happened, so long ago, that made Flynn afraid of the breaking ice, it confused her, but she always knew that the Fates were more human then everyone orginally thought, and that might be what saves Flynn.

She went back down-stairs, she shook her head when Sophie and Collin looked up, Sophie frowned, seeming to be thinking, she looked through a book, but it was strange, and it looked old. She seemed to understand something, and she asked, "Have you ever heard of Torian village?"

"Only in old stories." Holly frowned.

Sophia smiled, and held up the book, showing a picture of old ruins of what looked like a town, and she said, "The village of Torian, the peaceful lake side village, known for it's ice skating," she got another picture out, "And the necklace of Snow."

She also added, "It is by a lake, a lake smaller then the one you crossed to get here, look for where twin mountains stand together, shielding each-other." She smiled as if there was double meaning to this, but Holly shrugged.

Holly took the picture, and Sophie said, "I believe if you find that necklace, it will wake up Flynn," she hesitated, then added with a smile, "He is more human then others think, if the present won't wake him up, maybe the past will." 

Holly wasn't sure what she meant, but she looked at Collin, and said quietly, "Stay here, I'll be back." She walked out of the front door, putting on a coat, she looked at the dagger Flynn gave her, and was suprised when it was glittering slightly.

She walked out, trudging through the snow, she looked up, and sighed, There's mountains everywhere! But kept pushing forward, she looked up, there were two mountains nearest her, and they seemed about the same height, one a bit taller and looked a bit older then the other one, but she headed in that direction.

She kept her bow on her back, if she felt hungry, she knew that Sophia wanted her to find the necklace, but she also had the intent of having Holly learn of a secret.

And it would change how she saw Flynn.

Chapter 7

Seeing through the present's blindness to the past

You may learn things about others and yourself, looking into the past.

Holly continued to walk, she felt like it was hours after she left the hut, she wasn't sure what she would run into at the town.

She walked, but tripped, she looked for what tripped her under the snow, she finally found it was steppes, she was getting closer to the town.

Holly walked up the hidden steppes, she walked into a large ruin, houses were wrecked, but it seemed like all the people moved away, and was not attacked, something about the place gave her a secure feeling, like this place seemed familiar too her.

She walked up to the centre, where it must have been the marketplace, but there was a statue, of four people, she guessed it was the founders of the town.

Holly rubbed some moss off a plaque under it, she read the runes, and it said: Remember the ones that protected us when we were truly afraid.

It had only two names under there, one was Julius Harrak, the other she couldn't read clearly, she tried to read it, but failed, she decided to look around.

As she looked around, she blinked, seeing something out of the corner of her eye, she looked to see a bunch of spirits, half transparent, like they were a memory, and not an actual spirit.

There was a little girl with chocolate brown hair following who must have been her big brother, he was tall and lean, he had sparkling and friendly blue eyes, and his hair was a strawberry blonde, Holly walked up to them, the little girl was fighting to catch up to her brother, who was surrounded by kids his age, she looked closer at the boy, confused, the boy reminded her of Flynn, she heard a faint crash, as if someone tripped.

The kids looked behind, the little sister was on the ground, frowning, Holly watched as the big brother walked away from his group, helping his sister up. She smiled, and hugged him, he hugged her back, and nodded to his friends, who smiled, and the little girl joined the group.

The scene changed, and soon, she found herself in a lit village, voices surrounding her. As if the village was always busy.

The kids were telling a story by the fire, the one that looked eerily like Flynn, stood up, and said, "Hey! Julius! It's your turn!" He laughed.

Julius made a mock expression of horror, "Oh gods! No! I have no stories left, Finny!" He laughed also.

The sister, whispered, "Flynn, you know how I don't like scary stories."

Holly stared, Had I heard that right? Did she just say Flynn...?

The older boy smiled, crouching to be the same height of his sister, "Ellie, there's nothing to be afraid of, they're just stories, and Julius has no scary stories." He said the last part loudly, and the other kids laughed, including Julius.

Julius nodded, "Yeah, all I have is silly stories, if you want scary stories, ask your brother." He laughed, and fell off where he was sitting.

Another boy perked up, "Yeah, remember that story you told us last time, Flynn? That gave me nightmares for weeks." He laughed also.

The boy stood up, and laughed, "Ha ha, very funny." He smiled, and Holly shook, she recognized that smile anywhere, the boy was Flynn.

Ellie gave out a small giggle, Flynn looked at Julius, "It is your turn." He said.

Julius got a bright look on his face, "Ohh, I have this really good sad story." He said.

Ellie looked at him, "Not scary?" She asked.

Flynn shook his head, "No, just sad," he smiled at his sister, and sat down, "Hopefully he doesn't do it in a cheesy way."

"Since when have I done stories in a cheesy way!?" Julius asked, laughing.

Holly watched the scene, smiling, it seemed almost peaceful, sitting by a fire, telling stories by the night.

"Always!" All the older kids yelled, including Flynn, and they all laughed, Ellie just watched, with the same smile as Holly, like they were just observers.

Julius said, "Ugh, whatever," and he smiled, and was about to launch into his story. But a kid was hiding behind him, when he made a clapping noise, Julius jumped, "Eh!"

The kids laughed, Holly was surprised to see Flynn this cheerful, like he was just human. Ellie smiled.

Julius chased the boy around, until Flynn had to tear them apart, being bigger then both the guys, he smirked, "Don't kill each-other now."

Julius made a face, but made a mock angered face when Flynn pushed them away, and smiled.

"You're going to get it, you may have won last time-" Julius started, but was interrupted by Flynn.

"Well, I win again." He laughed.

Julius laughed, "Ha ha, want to test that theory?"

Flynn smirked, "Why should we?" He asked.

Julius rolled his eyes, punching Flynn on the shoulder, "Just because you're the better fighter..." He growled in a mocking way.

Flynn smiled, pushing him away, "If you payed attention." He laughed, sitting back down, his sister sitting beside him.

Julius shrugged, "Eh, now, can I get on with my story, without any interruptions... Karlin?" He glared at the guy who made him jump.

Karlin laughed, "Go ahead."

Julius waited for the fire to die down, then he said quietly, "You've heard of the pond right?"

Flynn said, "We live right beside it, of course." He smiled.

Julius smiled, but it was in a dark way, as if this was serious, it gave Holly shivers.

"Well, before our group moved here, there was another group, just like this one, except they had a terrible thing happen to them." Julius said.

Ellie asked, frowning, "What type of terrible thing?"

Julius frowned, "One day, the older sibling went to hang out with his friends on the outer edges of the pond, where the ice was strongest," he hesitated, then continued, "Except, he didn't know his younger sibling had followed him, and she went to cross to meet him, but the middle was where the ice was weakest, he had to stop his sister from moving any farther."

He continued, and said, "He slowly had his sister move toward him, and when she was finally in arms reach, he pulled her out of the centre, but he had to move to the centre himself to manage it."

Everyone was frowning, Ellie looked like her eyes were watering.

Julius continued, "He knew that the ice could not hold him, but his sister was more important, in the end, he fell into the cold lake, never to wake up to sunlight again."

No one said anything for a long while, Holly gasped, remembering what Horias said, If you go into the Twisted Path, your mortal friend will never see the sun rise again.

She frowned, the kids weren't looking at each-other, Ellie looked at her brother, tears in her eyes, and asked, "That didn't actually happen, right?"

Flynn looked at her, and smiled in reassurance, "No, Ellie, it's just a story." He murmured in a calming way, and hugged his sister in reassurance.

Ellie seemed to calm down, but Holly felt her spirit drop, something about the story scared her, like it was an omen of some sort, she was sure she heard of the name Julius somewhere.

Oh my... He's one of the first prophets! Suddenly remembering the name.

The scene changed again, this time it was day, Flynn and his friends were alone, and they were walking down to the pond.

Holly followed them, and she heard Flynn, "Sucks though, I hope the ice is strong enough."

Julius shrugged, "Usually is, this time around." He said.

Flynn just shook his head, "Can't be too careful." He said, his eyes had darkened.

"Calm down, Flynn, your sister doesn't like going near the pond since last months story." Karlin said in a calming way.

Flynn sighed, "I'm sure she has better stuff to do then hang out with older kids."

Holly followed them in silence to the pond, they had hushed conversations, and they finally got onto the pond, Julius and Flynn tested the ice, and Flynn said, "Outer edge can hold up, centre looks iffy though."

"Good enough." Julius said, and they hanged around the edge, laughing and talking.

Holly frowned, she stood beside Flynn, who was standing on the outer edge, and Julius said, "Carla told me something funny!"

Flynn laughed, "You're so smitten with her, what is it?"

Julius made a face, "Just because you never liked a girl, you get the eye from girls all the time." He muttered, glaring at Flynn.

Flynn smiled, "I noticed, now what did she say?" He laughed.

"She told me that if you can make a wish with a turkey bone." He said.

They all laughed, Holly smiled, but turned around when she thought she saw movement on the other side of the pond.

She looked at the bush, frowning, and looked at Flynn, who hadn't noticed.

She frowned, and said quietly, "Flynn..."

She poked his shoulder, but was confused when she didn't disappear through him, it was like she was actually there, but just an unseen spirit.

Flynn looked around, and finally turned to the bush, frowning also, Julius asked, "What is it?"

Flynn said, "Nothing." But he and Holly met eyes, it was like he knew something was there, but he just couldn't see it.

Holly wanted to warn him, but she knew he couldn't hear her, she felt so powerless.

She sighed, staring at the bush, and she saw a small shape slowly make her way toward them, the older kids didn't notice, as she stepped onto the ice, she flinched, and started making her way toward them.

Holly said, "Flynn!"

She wasn't sure if Flynn heard her, or if he heard his sister, but he turned.

The kids stood up, because they noticed the centre slowly sink as Ellie made her way toward them.

Flynn said quickly, "Stop!"

Ellie looked up at her brother, fear playing across her eyes, and he seemed to be thinking quickly, because the centre seemed to sink, but it looked like it was able to hold her weight.

Holly felt a rush of emotion in her, but it wasn't her emotion, she felt afraid for the little girl, but she had to push it away.

He crouched low, "Ellie, take slow steps toward me." He said quietly.

Ellie took a step toward him, but gasped in fear when the ice sunk a bit, and she said, "I'm scared!"

Flynn seemed to hesitate, then asked, "Want to play a game, Ellie?"

Ellie looked up at him, and he turned to his friends, "Let's play a game." He said, and smiled in a foreboding way.

He said, "Ellie, want to play a game of tag or something?"

She cried, "You always win!"

Flynn smiled, "If you catch me, you win." He said.

Ellie almost looked down at the ice, but Flynn said, "No, the ice isn't playing, you're it, come catch me." 

Ellie looked up at her brother, Holly could tell he was afraid, but she was amazed how he had pushed his own fear to reassure his sister.

Ellie slowly took small steps toward him, and he said, "Yeah, come on, you can win."

Ellie flinched when the ice sank lower, but she ignored it, and Flynn said, "Come on, you hate it when I win."

Ellie smiled, looking at her brother with new strength, Flynn smiled, and Ellie took strong steps, ignoring the ice best she could.

"You're almost there." He murmured.

Julius helped a bit, "Wow, Ellie! You're going to beat your brother at a game he's good at!" He said cheerily, that made Ellie smile even more.

Ellie was so close, Holly could only watch as events played out.

Flynn reached out his hands, Ellie made a grab for them, but she tripped, Flynn rushed forward, picking her up, and quickly placing her on the outer edge.

Ellie stood up, staring up at her brother, as his friends and Holly watched in horror, he smiled, and said, "Good job Ellie, you won."

Ellie said nothing, but she said, "Hey! No!"

Flynn smiled, Holly was surprised to see his eyes were watering, "I'm sorry, Ellie." He murmured as the ice cracked more quickly. He took his necklace, and passed it to her.

Holly felt her ears ring, she made toward Flynn, Julius had the same idea, while Karlin grabbed Ellie, pulling her off the ice.

Julius and Flynn gasped as the ice cracked, Flynn pushed his friend away, Julius regained his balance, and looked around for Flynn, but he was no where to be found, and Ellie said, "Flynn!"

Ellie ran to Julius, staring down where her brother had fallen.

She crouched, saying, "No..." She had tears in her eyes, "Come on, Flynn, stop playing tricks on me," she said. "I don't mind you winning."

Julius seemed to be thinking, and Ellie stared into the water, Julius said quickly, "Karlin, take Ellie away from the pond, keep her on the bank."

Karlin nodded, putting Ellie on the bank, as Julius disappeared under the water.

Ellie kept her face in her hands, Holly sat beside her, her vision blurred, she did what Ellie did, feeling like she was there, and had lost someone close to her, she let time pass, she felt movement.

The evening sun was glowing, Julius had managed to drag Flynn out of the water, but Holly knew it was too late, he may have been barely alive, but he would never again open his eyes.

Your mortal friend will never see the sun rise again.

She took out her dagger, which was shining brilliantly, she heard Ellie whisper, "You said it was a story..."

Julius and Karlin were frowning, Holly put her dagger away, but felt something in her other hand. She looked down, and was confused to see an older Ellie, she was almost an eerie reflection to Holly, she had a frown on her face, and she had given Holly the necklace, and she whispered, "I am no longer part of the mortal world, but to know my brother is alive, even if he isn't human, fills me with joy." She smiled, and she looked exactly like Flynn when she smiled.

Holly said quietly, "This... Was your memory."

She smiled, "It was all our memories, mine, my brother's, Julius, and Karlin." She murmured.

Holly murmured, "I understand why Flynn was so fearful..." Her eyes still feeling watery.

The vision seemed to blur, and Ellie smiled, "He still is human, he's just..." She said, a distant look in her eyes, but they were a stormy grey, something Holly didn't notice, and she said, "You are a good person, Holly. My brother hasn't cared for anyone as much as you since he was still fully human."

Holly smiled also, "Thank you, Ellie. You are such a brave person." She said.

Ellie smiled, "Not as brave as you." She said sadly. The vision slowly blurred, and Holly found herself sitting in front of the statue, the necklace in her hands.

She looked around, the town was once again ruins, she looked down at the beautiful necklace, she murmured, "Flynn..."

Holly tried to gently open, it, but there must have been a spell on it, she had a feeling it would only open to Flynn.

She stood up, looking around the town, she noticed a small clearing filled with 6 snow white stones, she walked to it, she realised it was a small grave-yard.

Holly looked around, feeling sad, she bent down to face one of the head-stones, it said, Julius Hakkon, she remembered the happy, fun-loving Julius from the vision, and it made her sad, she touched the stone with her hand.

She stood up, dipping her head down in respect for Flynn's old friend, she put the necklace around her neck with her music box, and she whispered, "Hope you lived well."

As if an answer, she felt more safer, Flynn's old home had showed her an answer that was special to it, and had trusted her with it.

Holly smiled, feeling the presence of kids her age around her, it was a happy feeling, as if their lives was the best time of their lives.

She could almost see Julius, Karlin, Ellie, and Flynn, smiling at her, and treating her like an old friend, like nothing had ever changed in the village. But the clearing was empty.

Holly backed away, feeling a lot more lighter, she said, "I hope you live well into the next, for we are never truly gone from the world, as long as you're remembered, you will never die."

She walked away from the grave-yard, feeling the gaze of happy spirits around her, as if she was always a part of them.

Holly walked down the steppes, and sighed, seeing the pond, she walked towards it, staring across, she blinked, and walked away.

~*~*~*~

Holly knocked on the door, and Sophie answered, and she asked, "Did you get it?"

Holly nodded, and she walked in, she saw Collin toying with Sophie's little instrument, and he asked, "What is this?"

Sophia walked towards him, and grabbed one of the small balls, and let it fall, and it hit the other ball on the other side without touching it, this repeated.

Collin looked amazed, "Whoa, this seems like something from Ishari." He said quickly.

Sophia said, "I had a... Friend from Ishari, he brought me all sorts of things like that." She walked away, while Collin watched the metal in curiousity.

She asked Sophia once Collin was out of ear-shot, and she asked, "How will this wake up Flynn?"

Sophia smiled, "You know the answer." She walked into the kitchen, Holly sighed, and walked upstairs.

She walked into Flynn's room, looking out the snowy window, she took off the necklace, and sighed, looking down at it, not sure how to open it.

But she narrowed her eyes when it started shimmering in a blue light, she put it down on the bed-stand, and stared curiously as it stopped, she wasn't sure what it meant. She picked it up again, fighting to get it out, when she heard movement.

Flynn was sitting up, looking confused and groggy, and he said quietly, "It won't open like that." 

Holly gave it to him, he looked at it, and frowned, as if remembering. He looked at it for a while, and Holly murmured, "Did you forget how to open it?"

Flynn smiled, shaking his head as it started shimmering in the icy blue light again, it slowly opened, and Flynn said, "Only I've been able to open it."

Holly made a face, and he stood up, and he asked curiously, "Where... Did you find this?"

She smiled, and said quietly, "In the past."

Flynn seemed to get it, and said, "Show me where."

Holly nodded, walking out, waiting by the front door, Collin was still interested in the metal, Flynn, wearing his cloak, nodded, and Holly asked, "Are you sure this is a good idea, Flynn?"

Flynn nodded, "I have to see for myself." He murmured, as if he still didn't quite believe his memories.

Holly didn't want him to see what was waiting, for fear of upsetting him, because all his friends and family were now dead.

But she finally relented after quiet bickering, and led the way. As they walked up the steppes, Holly glanced at the pond, and Flynn followed her gaze, and he asked quietly, "What's that?"

Holly murmured, "A pond."

She turned to look back, to see Flynn walking toward it, she said, "Hey!"

She followed him, and they both stopped at the bank, she frowned, and she couldn't read Flynn's expression, but she could tell that revisiting the place he died was upsetting.

Flynn finally frowned, and said quietly, "I died..."

"Saving your sister." Holly murmured.

Flynn said nothing, and Holly asked carefully, "What... Was it like?"

Flynn asked, "Dying?"

Holly cautiously nodded, he sighed, walking to the outer edge, closely followed by Holly, and he said, "I felt like I was falling, it was cold, dark, is was kind of terrifying in a way, it felt like I was never going to see the sunlight again, but then it gets fuzzy, and the most recent thing I remember after is being on a mountain, with my memory messed, but that wore off quickly." He frowned.

He turned to her, while the ice sagged, and he said, "Sometimes after, I thought I was still human, that I could die, but I started figuring out, that I couldn't," he hesitated then added, "I am afraid of the breaking ice because I almost lost my sister, giving into fear is human, but I could not do that at that time, not when my sister was so afraid, and could have easily died, I had to push away my own fear to save her." He looked down at the sagging ice.

Holly listened, and Flynn walked back towards her, and said quietly, "Show me the village..."

Holly nodded, and the walked back up the steppes, they entered the village, Holly looked at Flynn, who was looking around with a sad look in his eyes.

They stopped in front of the statue, and she asked, "Who are these people."

Flynn looked at the statue and said, "I think they're the people that led us here." He didn't look at the plaque, and Holly decided to leave it like that.

They went to the place where Flynn and his friends told stories, and she asked, "Did your friend really make cheesy stories?"

"The worst." He smiled in a sad way, and looked up, noticing the grave-yard, Holly followed him, wondering if this was the best idea.

Holly looked at the grave stones, only 6 were dead, not 7, Flynn was not here.

She noticed him stop in front of a grave stone, she was confused, because Julius's was on the other side.

She stepped beside him, and he was frowning, and his gaze was darkened in sadness, he was crouched close to the stone.

Holly looked at the grave-stone, and realised that it was Ellie's, but it did not mark when she died. She looked at Flynn, who was still frowning.

He knew Julius was dead, but not his sister... Holly thought, and she said, "We should go back..."

Flynn said nothing, she had to pull at his arm to get him to move, he finally nodded slowly, and stood up, and followed her back.

But as they passed the pond, Flynn said, "Hold on." He walked back to the pond. Holly caught up to him, and heard the sharp crack of ice breaking, and the clang of a sword, he had struck his sword into the ice, causing it to crack, he had an angry look in his eyes, and as he pulled it out, the ice seperated, and slowly sunk into the pond. Holly only watched.

Flynn frowned, and sighed, shaking his head, looking down at the ice

Holly murmured, "Feeling better?" She wasn't sure how powerless he must have been feeling, just like she had when she watched him die, it made her feel so powerless, like she could do nothing about it. The ice had ruined who he was, she didn't blame him for losing his temper.

Flynn looked at her, and said quietly, "Slightly."  

Holly frowned, and walked up to him, and hugged him, and she murmured, "It's over, your sister can't be hurt, she's safe now."

She backed away from him, and led the way back to the cabin.

They were quiet, Flynn had a darkened look in his eyes, and she asked, "Are you okay?"

Flynn hesitated, and sighed, "I'll be fine."

Holly stopped and turned to face him, and she said, "The village seemed peaceful."

Flynn nodded silently.

Holly looked at him, "Are you sure you're feeling alright?" She asked.

Flynn was expressionless, and said, "You go on ahead, I'll catch up with you, I... Need some time to think..." He looked up.

Holly frowned, unsure, but had no choice but to trust Flynn, and said, "Don't keep your emotions bottled up." She walked away.

She sighed, stopping in front of the house, unsure wether Flynn would be fine, she shrugged, and decided to sit outside, and make snowballs, and stare at the forest.

After what felt like hours, she started getting unsure again, Flynn would have been quicker then this, some time isn't hours. She stood up, deciding to back track.

She felt like she looked everywhere, she checked the village, and frowned, Flynn was no where in sight, she checked the pond, it's water making no movement.

She called, "Flynn?!"

There was no answer, all she could hear was the wind, there wasn't even the chirping of the birds. She frowned, and walked around, calling "Flynn?!"

Still no answer, but when she walked into a clearing, she heard a voice, "How sad."

She whipped out her dagger, and growled, "Horias!"

She heard the cold laugh, "Correct, mortal, but you're not trying to find me, you're trying to find Flynn." He said coldly.

Holly glared around, and he said, "Oh, don't worry, he's very well, but you're not." He laughed.

Holly saw a flicker of movement, and found herself on the ground, she stood up, looking around, and she growled, "Show yourself, Horias!"

She heard him laugh, "And why should I, mortal?" He asked in a cold voice.

Holly growled, "Coward."

Horias laughed, "You wouldn't be able to beat me." He appeared from a white mist that rose up from the ground, he appeared, with a cocky smile on his face.

Holly said nothin, and he asked in a light voice, "Tell me, Holly, what is your biggest fear?"

Holly made a face, and growled, "Why do you want to know?"

Horias smiled, "Curiousity," he asked, "Do you fear losing people you care about?"

Holly went silent, and she asked again, "Why?"

Horias smiled, and stepped toward her, she backed up, getting tense, and he said, "Oh please, I find no satisfaction in harming a mortal, but for me, it'd be interesting to see what would you do against someone you care about if they attacked you," he examined a flower, and asked, "Would you attack with no thought, or would you hesitate, maybe avoid attacking all together?"

Holly relaxed her grip on her dagger, and asked in a strained voice, "Wh-What are you saying?" She backed up slowly, not feeling so confident and brave anymore.

Horias finally found the vunerable side of Holly, his eyes flashed, and laughed, "You're afraid of losing people you care about, not only that, you fear hurting them, even if you had to hurt them."

Holly returned to her defensive stance, "For good reason, I haven't had many people to be friends with, I was abandoned in a forest in a house, all alone." She growled.

Horias nodded, "I know, then, on a day where you should have died from a misaimed cannon, you met Flynn, the Fate of Death," he laughed a soft laugh, "Funny, meeting the Fate of Death on the day you were supposed to die." He took a step forward.

"I wonder though..." He took another step forward, but Holly kept her stance.

Holly felt nervous, she backed up a little bit, unable to face Horias, knowing she wouldn't win if he attacked her, but he said he had no intention of hurting her, But that doesn't mean he won't hurt me in another way. She thought darkly.

Holly growled in nervousy, "Get with it, Horias, I need to find Flynn." She took a swipe at him, but she went right through him, but she gasped who she did hit, or failed to hit.

Flynn had blocked her attack, his eyes were dark, and his gaze expressionless, Holly jumped back, and gasped, "Flynn!"

She had to dodge as he slashed the air where she was moments before, she asked, "What's going on?!"

Flynn didn't answer, he jumped forward, pushing her down, and she found herself staring at the hilt of the blade, and he looked down at her.

She could hear Horias cold laugh, "What are you going to do now, Holly? You know this is a fight you won't win." 

Holy flinched, she knew she wouldn't, and she looked up, and was surprised that Flynn was smiling, and his eyes were their calming stormy gray. But he signaled her to just play along.

Holly growled, "I see..."

Horias appeared behind Flynn, and he said, "I have no business hurting mortals."

She stared up at Flynn, he seemed to be thinking, while Horias continued, "How sad, you mortals are quite vicious as fighters, the war going on is making the spirits restless."

Flynn eyes darkened for real, and he nodded slowly, Holly understood that this was true, but Flynn wasn't going to hurt her, he had a different plan.

She asked, "Then why don't you kill me yourself?"

Horias sneered, "I can't, there's a block on your mind, I can only kill with the mind, since I'm a spirit in the mortal world, that's the only thing I can effect." He said.

She looked up at Flynn, he stil seeemed to be in thought, and Horias said, "But, Flynn can kill you, even if I can't."

Flynn took this oppurtunity to whip around, the sword turned into a scythe, and he slashed through Horias.

Horias seemed shocked and hurt, but it didn't completely make him disappear, it just made him angry. Holly took this chance to stand up, but before she could even regain her balance, there was a white blast, she felt herself fall again, and she closed her eyes.

Waiting until all was quiet again.

Chapter 8

Falling...

Into darkness

Holly blinked open her eyes, she sighed, and not sure if she could move, she blinked again, it was snowing, she sat up, and held her head, "Ow... What was that?" She murmured, looking down at the ground, which was spinning, she sighed, there were black spots in her vision, and she shook her head.

She looked around, everything was blurry, she groaned, and growled in frustration, she rubbed her head, feeling dizzy, and she murmured, "Ooh. Dizzy."

Holly shook her head slowly, trying to clear her vision, but the white flash must have done something temporary to her sense of balance.

She shook her head again, her vision seemed to clear up, but she still felt dizzy, she stood up shakily, and looked down at the ground, blinking a couple times.

Holly picked up her dagger, which had landed a few feet away from her, she blinked, and put it in it's sheathe, and called, "Flynn?"

When there was no immediate answer, she tried to think, but she heard him, "Over here..." He sounded hurt, like he was fighting to stay awake.

Holly blinked, her vision clearing, she shook her head, and regained her balance, and saw Flynn on the ground, he was bleeding heavily, she gasped, and ran forward, and she asked, "Are you alright?"

Flynn said quietly, "That was... A very interesting move he did there... I did not see that coming."

"Is he dead?" Holly asked in a soft voice.

Flynn seemed to think, and he only shook his head, "No, he's not dead." He murmured in a quiet voice.

Holly asked, "Are you okay?"

Flynn sighed, "Well... When he did that, I had relaxed for a couple seconds." He said, his gaze darkening, and he looked at the sky.

Holly frowned, "Is that a no?" She asked in a worried voice.

Flynn frowned, "Er..." Holly realised he seemed out of it, he was pale and shaky, and he was still bleeding.

Holly looked around confused, and she growled under her breath, "Ah... What do I do?!" She looked at the trees.

Flynn must have heard her though, and said in reassurance, "I'll live though." 

Holly looked at him in a disbelieving way, and she said, "You might live, but you're injured, and no one, not even you, can last long like that." She looked around, trying to think.

Flynn murmured something, then said, "There's... Nothing..." But he faltered.

She turned to face him, and she asked quickly, "Nothing?"

Flynn sighed, and said, "There's nothing... To worry about." He stared up at Holly.

Holly frowned, "Flynn, what did he do to you?" She asked gently, looking at him, she somehow knew something was wrong.

Flynn frowned, "Mm... I'm not... Exactly sure." He murmured, his eyes glazed, as if he could only really see the sky, nothing else.

"Even Collin would be impressed by something like that." Holly murmured in a joking way.

Flynn could only smile, and he said nothing, but he asked quietly, "How bad do I look?" 

Holly looked at him, "If you were human, you look like you're dead. But since you're not, you look horrible." She said softly.

Flynn said in a joking way, "Ow, that hurts." 

Holly asked, "Your injury or what I said?" She looked at him with a worried expression.

"Both." Flynn said quietly, his eyes staring up at the sky.

Holly looked at the trees, she looked down at Flynn, he looked worse then he did before, and his eyes were closed.

Holly panicked, "Hey!" She shook him gently, "You're supposed to..." But she faltered, he was unconcious, but he was alive, but she knew that if she didn't get him to Sophia, who knows what will happen.

She decided to use an age old trick of sending a signal, that involved a slingshot, and a rock wrapped in slowly burning grass, muttering a few words, and throwing it toward the sky, kids always used it as means of commmunication, problem was, everything else could see it.

Holly only intended Sophia to see it, and hopefully get the message.

After she had done that, she had gone back to Flynn, and looked up at the slowly darkening sky, and realised that Flynn looked sick, she tipped her head.

She checked his temperature, and realised he had a fever, and she murmured, "He's sick... Flynn..."

She wasn't sure how sick he was, or if he was going to get worse. Holly looked around, not sure what to do, I've talked with people who deal with sick people, but I've never actaully dealt with a sick person, but he's a Fate, and he's sick, what do I do? She thought hurriedly.

She thought she heard something in the bushes, she turned around, grabbing her dagger, she narrowed her eyes, she sighed, realising it was only a stray cat.

But when she heard something bigger, she whipped around again, and she ended up staring into the eyes of a large gray wolf, who's eyes were a menacing stormy gray.

She shook her head, and said faintly, "Collin."

The gray wolf tipped it's head, then looked around at Flynn, concern flashing in it's eyes.

"Yeah, Horias did this weird blast power that even you'd be impressed with." Holly said.

The wolf started to change, and soon she found herself staring up at Collin, who asked, "What?"

"Horias, he started toying with me, then Flynn attacked me, but he was tricking Horias, and instead turned on Horias, then Horias did this huge white blast thing-" Holly was interrupted.

"Hold on, the thing he used, it was a white blast?" Collin asked.

Holly nodded, and Collin paled, "That's bad." He said.

"He's not going to die?" Holly asked.

Collin frowned, "To an extent, I can use the same ability, if not in a more powerful way, but if Horias did it, this is... Yes, life and death bad." He said.

Holly looked back at Flynn, and she murmured, "He's sick, I don't even know what's wrong..."

Collin walked up to his brother, and crouched, and said quietly, "He's sick all right, but from the power, think of it as kind of like life draining."

"Does it continue to do that?" Holly asked, looking down at Flynn.

Collin seemed to think, and said, "I'm not sure," he shook his head, and asked Holly, "Where is Horias now?"

"I don't know, he disappeared with the white flash." Holly said, blinking.

Collin made a face, and said, "Ugh," he turned to look at his brother and whispered, "He never was aiming for you..." He shook his head and turned to Holly.

Holly looked on, Collin frowned, and supported Flynn as both of them stood up, that made Flynn look worse.

Holly could only follow as they returned to the hut, Holly opened the door, and went to look for Sophia while Collin put Flynn on one of Sophia's beds for injured people.

Holly couldn't find Sophia, she called, "Sophia?"

But there was no answer, she went back to where Collin and Flynn was, she asked, "Know anything about medicine?"

Collin said, "No idea, Flynn and my younger and older sisters know a bit." He sighed, looking frustrated.

Holly looked at Flynn sadly, and said softly, "He's just going to get worse..."

Collin nodded, Holly thought, and said, "What can we do?"

Collin didn't say anything, but he noticed her two necklaces, the one with her music box on it, and the snow necklace.

Collin said, "Horias would know, he always does, and the only way to reach him is in the Lower Spirit World." He looked down at his brother, his eyes darkened.

Holly asked, "Can you send me to the Lower Spirit World?"

Collin looked at her, and nodded, "But Flynn would kill me if he knew." He said darkly, 

"He doesn't, and won't, this might be the only way to save him," Holly murmured, and added sadly, "What other choice do we have?"

Collin only nodded silently, and sighed, "Close your eyes." He murmured.

She nodded, and closed her eyes, she felt her soul lift, and Collin said, "If you feel alone or lost, use your music box, it will show you the way," he added, "Don't stop, defend yourself with that dagger of yours if you have too."

Holly nodded, and finally felt her soul lift fully, and she felt like she was floating, she heard many sounds, voices, yelling, cannon shots, she felt like she was going to go deaf, but the pain of her soul was a lot, but she kept through it, even if she herself was being stabbed within her very soul.

The noises suddenly stopped, and she opened her eyes to a whole other world.

~*~*~*~

The world was dark, trees covered the sky, while she heard the whispers of spirits around her, but they seemed peaceful, there was a light gray mist that made her feel sleepy, she looked around, the trees bark was a black colour, and even the the leaves were darkened by the shadows. In general, the lower spirit world was a very creepy place, Holly didn't like it.

Holly decided to recollect what she knew about the lower spirit world, being taught by Nixsi, she knew that spirits that are angry with their deaths, or aren't finished with the world yet, or ones that refuse to pass on stay here, or were lost, spirits here were violent, and the centre laid where your heart's desire was, whatever that meant, and when Flynn had to take the spirits out the hard way, they would end up here half the time.

Poor Flynn... He must know this place too well... How many spirits are in here? Holly thought, looking around, she saw a spirit walking alone, but it oddly looked like...

She shook her head, the place was giving her the creeps, she decided that Horias would be in or near the centre, so she thought it would be wise to keep moving before she made the spirits anxious.

She felt like the whole spirit world was like a twisted maze, made just to confuse a mortals mind, there were many stories of the spirit world, none of them good, she tripped over a tree-trunk, and gasped, landing on the soggy forest floor.

Holly sighed, looking up, she still could feel spirits watching her every move, as if calculating wether to attack, she looked around in the darkness, and growled, "Leave me alone!"

This made the spirits annoyed, because she felt a rush of wind, she whipped out her blade, and the harsh wind stopped immediately, as if the spirits were scared of the dagger, she decided to keep moving.

She knew she was hopelessly lost, the spirits were toying with her, not bothering to attack, she growled in frustration, and sat on the ground, looking at the ground, and she said, "I feel so lost..."

She looked down at her music box, she opened it slowly, and winded it up, and it started to play the same soft tune.

She waited, and looked around, nothing was happening, but the music seemed to be calming the spirits, and eventually Holly's feeling of being watched disappeared.

But when she looked up, there was a misty shape, it wasn't facing her, she stood up, and when it started to walk, she followed it.

It soon disappeared, and she found herself in a clearing, she looked around, and said, "Hey! Why did you lead me here?!"

There was no answer, she sighed, and sat down, tired of the spirits watching her, the feeling was back, but it was stronger then before.

She stood back up, clutching the snow necklace, and she said, "I... I need Horias! Show yourself Horias! I know you're here!" She yelled.

She heard a low chuckle, but it seemed to echo around the whole forest, "Summoning spirits is dangerous, mortal." The male voice laughed.

"I don't care!" Holly snapped.

"Ooh, firey one, aren't you? Fine." The voice turned flat.

There was a white flash of light, and Horias appeared, he seemed weakened from him and Flynn's fight, but he still had that cocky smile on his face, he would have been like Collin if Collin was mean, but Collin wasn't mean, just mischievious.

Horias asked, "What do you want mortal, not many mortals seek the help of a spirit." He smiled even more, twirling a flower.

She brought out her dagger, "Tell me how I can save him." She said dangerously.

Horias looked up, "Who?" He asked in an innocent voice.

"Don't play dumb, you know who!" Holly snapped.

Horias smiled, "Ooh, fiery little mortal aren't you? Sorry to say, that attitude is going to make the spirits restless, and no Flynn to protect you, you're in a pickle indeed." He said.

"Tell me how to save him!" Holly yelled in worry.

Horias noticed the change in tone, and he appeared in front of her in a flash, causing her to back up, and he smiled, "Wierd, a mortal caring for an immortal Fate." He disappeared again, and his voice rang in the forest.

"Who do you care for most, Holly? Have you ever loved someone?" Horias asked.

Holly seemed to think, then snapped, "That's none of your business!"

Horias appeared again, and said, "Hm, well, why should I help the Fate of Death, I am dead, all these spirits are dead, and they are here because of him." His smile turned into a scowl.

Holly pointed her dagger at him, and she noticed a flicker of fear flash across his eyes, but it was so quick she nearly missed it, and he warned, "You would not win a fight against me."

Holly growled, "I don't care."

Horias smiled, and brought out a sharp dagger, and he laughed, "We'll see!"

He was so quick, that Holly found herself on the ground, she had to roll away as Horias went for another strike, she almost got hit, but her reflexes told her to swing just as he missed.

The dagger went right through him, but it affected him, he grunted in pain, and backed up, and said, "A mortal weilding that dagger? A mortal hasn't weilded that dagger in a millenia."

Holly pointed the dagger at his chest, and growled, "Tell me how."

Horias seemed to think that this battle was a lost cause, so he said, "You must look in the centre, for the moons reflection says all."

She growled, stepping forward, "What does that mean?!" She asked.

Horias smiled his cocky smile again, and slowly disappearing, he said darkly, "You will find out, mortal, but be careful on who you choose to care about, it could end up in your very own death."

He disappeared, and the spirits finally came out, they gave Holly watchful eyes, she knew she had to get out before they started to attack.

She ran instinctivly straight, she didn't stop until she was at a fallen tree, she sat under it, and looked at the snow necklace, unsure of what she was doing. After a moment, she clutched the snow necklace, and said, "I don't..." But she faltered.

She sighed, standing up, I wish Flynn was here... He knows this place better then me... She thought sadly, then continued forth.

The spirits soon became quiet, uninterested, as she neared where light was visable, she frowned, she walked up to the light, and found herself in a moonlit clearing, but the moon was hiding behind the clouds, and there was a small  pond right in the middle.

She walked up to the pond, and looked into the still water, but there was nothing, only her reflection.

Holly could only notice her raven black hair and her moon gray eyes, she was confused on what Horias meant on 'the moons' reflection' but she remembered he was a spirit of riddles.

She gasped when the pond started shining when the moon slid out from behind the clouds, Holly was surprised that the pond took on her eye colour, turning the whole pond a moony grey, sparkling under the moon light.

She expected to see a vision, but she did hear a familiar voice that she couldn't place.

Go to where the moon flowers grow.

Do not deny, and do not fold.

And death will come to pass.

Among the reflection in the glass.

She could only watch as the voice stopped, and the moon slipped behind the clouds, the pond turned a still blue again, and she growled, "That doesn't make sense!"

She turned around, and stalked away, and continued to walk the same path she took, even if it looked different.

She came upon the clearing again, she huffed, but realised she wasn't alone.

Horias was there, waiting for her, with a cocky smile on his face, and he asked, "Figure out my riddle mortal? You were the moon's reflection."

Holly growled, "Out of my way!"

Horias didn't seem too threatenened, "I'm afraid I cannot do that, mortal." He said darkly.

"Why not?" She asked darkly.

Horias scowled, and said, "You see, living mortals never come out of the lower spirit world without the fate of Death, seeing as he is... Busy, you cannot leave."

Holly growled, "I'll get out."

Horias smiled, "I knew you'd say that." He said. And before Holly could even react, he attacked, he slashed her shoulder, and she rolled away, grunting in pain, she didn't even have time to defend herself when he launched another attack.

She rolled away again, but got another blow to her arm, she gasped, keeling from the pain, and Horias laughed, "Not so tough are you?"

He looked like he was about to launch the finishing blow, but a white mist started to rise around them, even Horias seemed confused.

Horias glared at Holly, "What are you doing?" He asked.

Holly shook her head, the mist started taking shape, she recognized Julius and Karlin, and Ellie, surrounding her, all frowning.

Julius said, "You've got to keep going, Holly."

Karlin nodded, his eyes were a pale white, he was blind, but Holly was confused, he wasn't blind when she saw him when he was alive, but he said, "You can do it, Holly, you have something that Horias no longer has."

She looked at Ellie, who said, "You risked your life for my brother by coming here, Horias cannot win with what you have within you."

Holly looked around at them, and they all smiled, she stood up and said, "I..."

Ellie shook her head, "You can do it, because you are mortal, you are living, you can love, fear, hate, care, Horias no longer feels the good things." She said.

Holly took out her dagger, while the mist surrounded her, Julius said, "You can do it."

Horias seemed confused by all the mist, so Holly took her chance to attack, Horias gasped as the sword slashed right though him, and he disappeared, but Holly knew he wasn't dead.

She dropped the dagger, and keeled over, clutching her arm in pain, and she growled, "Ow."

The spirits smiled, and said, "Go back to your world, Holly."

The white mist eveloped her, causing her vision to go white, and then dark. And for a second, she didn't know what happened.

Until she heard a voice that said, "Holly?"

She opened her eyes to see Collin staring down at her, and he asked, "What happened? Why are you bleeding?"

Holly looked at her shoulder, which was red, and she groaned, feeling woozy, she was on a couch, and asked, "Any change?"

Collin frowned, "He looks dead, for real, in Fate terms." He said.

"We're running out of time..." She stood up with some pain, and said, "Moonflowers."

Collin said, "Moonflowers grow by that pond, are you sure you can make it with that injury?" He asked.

Holly nodded, "I'll be back, I promise." She said.

She ran out of the hut, running back to Torian, and back to the pond, but she bypassed the pond to the other side, she entered the thicket, and loked around, seeing some moonflowers blooming from last nights full moon.

"Okay, do not fold, like, don't fold the flowers?" Holly murmured as she slowly picked the flowers out of the ground, but it seemed to burn her hands.

Do not deny? Ow! She gasped at the burning sensation, but refused to let go, but she was surprised that the burning sensation stopped. She stood up, and murmurmed, "So that's what the voice meant by fold..."

She walked back away from the village, back to the hut, she wondered if this was going to work, and Horias's voice rang in her ears.

Who do you care for most, Holly? Who do you love?

She shook her head, refusing to answer the question, she shifted uncomfortably as she opened the door, where Collin was waiting.

Collin said, "I hope you know how to make Moon medicine."

"I don't." Holly murmured.

Collin took the moonflower from her, she felt woozy, and he said, "Guess I have to do it, but my sister says that I'm horrible with this stuff."

He rushed to the kitchen, muttering about mortal ways of making food and drink, and he disappeared.

Holly soon had to sit down back on the couch, her arm was still bleeding, and she felt flushed.

Collin walked back out, setting the drink on the table, he looked up, and said, "You don't look so good."

"Thanks." Holly muttered.

She laid down, feeling like she was going to be sick, Collin muttered something, but Holly didn't catch it, there was a ringing in her ears. She followed Collin to Flynn, Collin gave Flynn the drink, and both waited tensely.

"Why isn't he breathing?" Holly asked.

Collin looked confused, and said, "He... Can't be dead, I made it right..."

Holly felt his pulse and said quietly, "He isn't breathing..." 

Holly wondered if they were too late, until Flynn stirred, at which she sighed in relief.

"Mmm, what happen'?" He murmured in a confused voice, then asked, "How long was I out?"

"You sound horrible, and maybe a day or two." Collin muttered, as if he was thoroughly relieved his brother wasn't dead.

Holly looked up, "A day or two? How long was I in that creepy place?" She asked.

Flynn murmured curiously, "Creepy place...?" But he faltered, he decided that thinking was the last thing he should do.

Collin said, "A day, at least, time passes differently when in the spirit world."

"We were almost too late..." Holly murmured, looking at Flynn.

Flynn looked at her, but his eyes seem glazed, and asked quietly, "Creepy place?"

"It's nothing, don't worry about it." She said softly, knowing that it'd horrify Flynn that Collin let her go to the spirit world, and he seemed weak and sick, he needed rest, not be in the mood on how to choke his brother multiple ways.

Flynn seemed to dismiss it, and he sighed, but then looked at Holly, and asked, "What happened to your shoulder?" His voice seemed more clearer now, but he seemed concerned.

"Um, scratched it, on a tree branch. I'm clumsy." Holly laughed.

She got nervous when Flynn didn't seem to believe her. But he sighed, and said, "Whatever..." He drifted off into sleep.

Holly sighed, lying down on the couch, and said, "That was close..."

"You're pale, just so you know," Collin commented, "Is the wound infected?"

She murmured sleepily and weakly, "I... Have no idea."

She felt her vision blacken, but Collin called her name multiple times, before the ringing in her ears drowned him out.

~*~*~*~

She woke up in a shaky dream, her shoulder had stopped bleeding, but it felt numb, not a good sign, and she sighed, looking around the dream, it was empty, except for a couple rocks and trees in the clearing.

"I'm dead, that wound was infected..." She murmured, her vision blackening again, she heard cannon shots, voices she didn't recognize.

She thought, I can't be dead... I noticed a couple times Flynn wanted to tell me something important, I still needed to hear it.

Holly noticed that moonflowers also waved in the clearing, it was whispering the words of the pond, she noticed there was a small pool of water in her dream, and she walked towards it as the same words were spoken over and over.

Holly stared at her reflection, and had to agree with Collin, her eyes were dark, and she looked super pale, and her shoulder looked weird. She sighed, vision almost darkening completly, but then the pool broke, it shattered, and it disappeared.

She looked confused as her vision came back. She looked up at the sky, which was brightening, and she sighed, knowing that she was asleep, she was on the edge of death, but that pool shattering some how stopped it.

Holly blinked, and sighed, she said, "I need to wake up, I bet time passes faster here too..."

She felt her soul lift, and her vision blackened fully, but instead, everything came back to her as a world of colour, it made her feel disoriented.

Holly heard Collin ask Flynn a question, to which he answered, but Holly couldn't hear what they said.

She murmured, "Am I here?"

There was a moment of silence, and she heard Flynn whisper, "Obviously."

"I'm not dead?" She asked.

Flynn said flatly, "No, close though, cutting your arm on a tree branch? Worse cover ever."

Her vision was starting to come back, she noticed Flynn was still pale and sick looking, but he seemed better, but he glared at his brother as he said this.

Holly murmured, "I... Couldn't let you... Die..."

Flynn murmured in a soft tone, "It was still dangerous, you could have easily died... You almost did."

"What stopped me dying?" She asked, looking up at Flynn, his stormy gray eyes only showed concern, but also nervousy, and they seemed flat, as if he was still recovering.

Flynn seemed to think about that, and said, "I'm not sure, it wasn't me, for a moment, I thought you were dead." He frowned.

She noticed Collin seemed tense, and she murmured, "Don't choke Collin, it... Was my... Idea." She was suddenly feeling tired.

Flynn said softly, "Okay."

She heard Collin murmur, "He wouldn't be able to hurt me seriously anyways."

Flynn rolled his eyes, and Holly murmured, "Flynn... I... Need..." But she faltered, feeling too tired to finish the sentence.

Flynn said, "You should rest, I can assure you won't have a near death experience."

"How long... Was I out?" Holly asked.

Flynn tipped his head, and said, "Half a day."

"Oh..." Holly murmured, feeling woozy again, and slighly overwhelmed, it still felt like she was still in that weird dream.

"I'm not dead?" She asked quietly.

"No, you're not." Flynn smiled.

Holly looked around, she felt like she was floating, like she wasn't there at all, she murmured something, looking at Flynn, and said, "It feels like I am..."

Flynn sighed, "It's because you were near death, your soul is kind of woozy right now." He said.

Holly looked around, trying to find something that would confirm what Flynn was saying, not that she didn't trust Flynn, she did, she just didn't feel right. She felt like she was passing through the couch, Collin had left them to do something else.

She looked around, and before both her and Flynn could react properly, she grabbed Flynn's hand, and was relieved that she didn't pass through him like a ghost.

Flynn was the first to react, he murmured something, and looked at Holly curiously, but didn't move away, but he seemed nervous.

Holly let go slowly, and murmured, "Just making sure you're not just some weird dead dream I'm having, that would... Suck a lot." She smiled weakly.

Flynn smiled also, and Holly found herself clutching his hand again, because she still felt like she was a weird ghost thing. And she asked in a rasp, "I'm not dead?"

"No, you're not dead." Flynn said.

She murmured sleepily, "All right."

Her vision darkened, and found herself drifting off to sleep, she smiled, and thougt, It would suck if I was a weird ghost thing... I feel weird... Wait... What?

She found herself blushing as she floated in her dream, and murmured, "Wow, I'm not dead..."

Holly was aware of what happened before she fell asleep, it made her smile, she sighed, and said, "It'd suck if I died, oh well..."

And during her rest, she still felt like she was blushing, she smiled, and continued to wander her dream in peace.

Something that during the days that went by, would be hard to come by, peace was the best thing right now, because it would be rare to have soon.

The war would get worse, and darker powers will start to rise to get attention.

Chapter 9

Against the cold harsh rain

Stands an old god

Where the Storm must make his final stand

Against a life changing mistake

Holly looked around her dream frantically, there was a huge thunderstorm, lightning flashed the sky, she growled, "What's going on?"

She saw a vision of Horias, staring up at a dark shadow, she gasped, the shadow was huge, it had teeth that looked like it could slice through anything, it whipped it's spiked tail back and forth.

"I know you're impatient." Horias grunted, clearly annoyed with the dark shadow looming over him.

The thing growled, Holly could only watch as the storm grew worse and worse as the thing growled, baring it's teeth.

"You're powerful enough, I think you can deal with it yourself." Horias was scowling, and turned away from the thing.

Holly backed up, staring up at the shadow, the dream started to dissolve as the beast roared, it seemed to cause the earth to shake.

And she heard a low growling voice, Earth-shaker, storm bringer, I am the world eater!

"Holly?" A voice asked curiously.

She found herself staring up at Collin, she sat up, and sighed, her shoulder felt better, but it was still wrapped up, and Collin was staring at her in a nervous way.

She looked at him, and asked, "What?"

"It's nothing." Collin muttered, his eyes darkening, and he walked away from her.

She stood up shakily, she shook her head, and said, "All right." She looked around, and looked outside, and was surprised to see it raining, she stepped outside, and looked up at the sky, it was a dark gray, and she looked at Collin, who seemed distant, and his eyes were slightly unfocused.

She walked back in, and said, "Lovely weather, I hope my arm gets better soon, it's been a couple days."

Flynn looked up from a book, and said, "It's an injury, it's going to take a couple days, especially when it was infected." He looked back down at the book, but froze, looking up at his brother.

Collin was staring outside, Flynn then continued as if nothing happened, "It should feel at least better by tomorrow, maybe the next day."

Holly hated the feeling of not being able to not do much, Sophia was still missing, but she had a feeling that she wasn't coming back.

Collin turned around, Holly was confused when his eyes seemed darker then usual. She backed up a bit, and he asked, "What?"

Holly just shook her head, and said, "Oh nothing!" In a joking way, Collin smiled, but it seemed forced. He turned away, Holly went to sit beside Flynn, and she asked, "What's wrong with him?"

Flynn seemed to think, and said, "I'm... Not sure."

Holly looked at him, "Can you sense something?" She asked, and when he looked at her puzzled, and she rephrased the question, "Can you at least sense something about your brother?" She asked quietly.

Flynn looked at his brother, and he said, "Nothing out of the usual."

Holly looked at Flynn, he seemed quite sure of what he said, but Holly knew something was wrong, something must have been blocking Flynn's ability.

Holly said, "But, there has to be something wrong."

Flynn nodded, "He seems normal though, he gets like this a lot." He murmured.

"I know, but something's different." Holly murmured, looking at Collin, then looked back at Flynn.

Collin finally turned to them, and said, "We should get moving, Flynn, we need to go back to Hostrich, and head to the mountain."

Holly saw Flynn's eyes flash, as if he finally sensed something different about his brother, but he said nothing, he only nodded, and stood up, he looked at Holly, and asked, "Are you sure you're well enough for that type of journey?"

Holly moved her shoulder, and said, "If it's better by the time we get there, I should be fine." She looked at Flynn.

Flynn nodded, and looked around the house, Holly asked, "Do you sense Sophias' spirit?"

Flynn muttered, "No..."

They nodded, and put their cloaks on, she looked back at Sophia's cat, who was sitting there, watching them carefully as they left.

As they walked, the storm seemed to get worse the closer they got to Hostrich's border, and it was sunset by the time they got there.

Collin froze, looking up at the mountain in the back of Hostrich, he murmured something, and walked into Hostrich, his home.

Flynn seemed watchful of the mountain. Collin murmured, "There's an uneasy relationship of the west and the east, so we have to be careful."

Holly nodded, and continued follow him, she noticed he was a bit more tense then usual, as if he was waiting for something to attack them, he also looked pale, but a stressed out pale, not a sick pale. Holly walked up to him, and asked, "Are you all right?"

Collin looked down at the ground, and turned to face her, his eyes were nearly a pitch black colour, she didn't flinch or back away though.

He never answered, only continued to walk, she walked beside Flynn, and she murmured, "Something is up." Not looking at Flynn.

Flynn poked her shoulder, and pointed to the mountain, "Something is up all right." He said, pointing at the black storm cloud swirling.

"Eh?! What's that!?" She exclaimed.

Flynn seemed to think, and said, "That's the mountain Orias is in, he's the storm god, mortals call him the world eater, he has been asleep for thousands of years, during Garaos's time he was awake. Even asleep, he had control, but he's waking up," he looked at Collin, "Up there, is the ruins of Guagamela." He murmured

"Collin's old town..." Holly murmured.

Flynn nodded, "When I was human, even I heard of the tradegy that had befallen the town, Orias had woken up for a short time, and even as a human, Collin was the reason he went back to sleep, at the cost of his life, he saved the lives of many people, but they had to move, their prophet foretold Orias would wake up again, the reason Collin can't remember clearly, because it went too fast." He said, looking at his brother.

'You guys weren't related when you were still mortal right?" She asked.

Flynn seemed to think, "I have no idea, for all I know, maybe we were, distantly of course." He said, looking up at the mountain.

They stayed silent as they followed Collin, and Holly asked, "Is his power still blocked?"

Flynn was about to say something, but Collin turned around, and said, "Only some, but I still feel kind of weakened."

Holly noticed that his eyes were pitch black, she was about to step toward him, but Flynn held her back, and shook his head. Collin turned around, and kept walking.

Holly was curious on what happened to him during his mortal life, and how Garaos chose him to be the Fate of Tradegy, in a sense, since he was also the Fate of Freedom.

Collin seemed more tempermental and huffy, and it had something to do with the mountain, Holly looked up, and thought, What had happened up there?

She kept walking but was stopped by Collin, and he said, "You were about to fall into a ravine."

Holly looked down, and nearly gasped, she jumped back, and Collin said, "Nothing to worry about." He smiled, and turned to the ravine, but froze.

Holly went to see what was wrong before Flynn could react, she looked at him, and was surprised when his eyes were darkened, and he looked distant as he looked down at the ravine.

Holly jumped when he finally looked up as if nothing happened, wearing a smile on his face, and said, "We just have to cross the tree bridge!"

He lead them to the tree bridge, and Holly murmured to Flynn, "What was that about?"

Flynn seemed to think, and said, "I think his memory is breaking."

"Breaking?" Holly asked.

Flynn turned to her and said, "Assume you lose your memory, that means your memory has dissolved completely, what happened to Collin, he didn't lose it, it was completly wiped, but still whole, if his memory is breaking, everything from his mortal life is slowly coming back to him," he muttered darkly, "Which means Orias is waking up."

"Which means Collin is in danger?" Holly asked.

Flynn nodded, "I'm afraid Orias has a very whole and not wiped memory, Collin may not remember much about Orias, but he knows too much of Collin." He said.

Holly asked, "Why would Garaos do that? Do you remember?"

Flynn frowned, "I remember very little of him, if anyone would know, it would be my older sister, Anima, she's the Fate of Life." He said.

"Is she nice?" Holly asked.

Flynn sighed, "She used to be, not anymore, I don't know what changed that made her so... Weird acting, she used to be a nice person." He said.

Holly stayed silent, and looked at the tree bridge, and asked Collin, "Uh, isn't that slightly dangerous?"

Collin had a flash of doubt in his eyes, but it disappeared quickly, and said, "It's very safe, safer then the other way."

He climbed on first, and soon was on the other side, but both and Flynn and Holly both hesitated.

Collin said, "You can trust me, right?" But he wasn't smiling, that made Holly nervous.

Flynn looked at Holly, and said gently, "I'll go first, don't worry, if it falls, we'll have to find another way."

"It won't fall! If you trip, you will fall!" Collin called.

"That doesn't help." Holly murmured, slightly afraid of heights.

Flynn went anyways, obviously not afraid of heights, he soon met Collin on the other side, and turned to look at Holly, and he said, "Don't worry, Holly, it's stable."

Holly frowned, and climbed on, and made her way slowly, while Collin and Flynn waited tensely, and Collin muttered, "Just don't look down!"

Holly couldn't help but look down, it was a bit ways up, and she gulped, her vision going blurry, she shook her head, and kept going.

But she felt a head-ache, and stumbled across, she felt woozy again, but she was almost at the end, but the world felt like it was getting longer and longer.

"Woah, I didn't know you were afraid of heights..." Collin murmured.

"A few steps more, Holly, just don't look down." Flynn said.

Holly said, "Yes, I know," and kind of rushed her footing, but landed on the other side, and said, "Well that was terrifying."

Flynn said, "I didn't know you were scared of heights."

Holly nodded, but glanced at Collin, who was looking distant again, he blinked, and looked up, he asked, "Well, should we keep going?"

Holly nodded, and asked, "Where exactly are we going?"

Collin looked at her, and nodded to the mountain, "Up there." He said.

Holly paled, "Oh, You've got to be kidding me." She murmured dizzily.

Collin murmured, "Sorry."

Flynn said, "Maybe we should take a break."

Holly nodded, and sat down immediately, and closed her eyes, trying to rid her head of the images of the misty, seemingly bottomless ravine, even though she knew it was bottomless.

She opened and almost jumped back when she found herself face to face with a girl in her 20's and frowning.

"You? Really?" She asked in a critical voice. And sighed, she rubbed her head with hand, and said, "My brothers have an interesting sight of mortals, how weird." She shook her head.

"He-Hey! Who are you!?" Holly asked.

The girl finally came into focus, her hair was tied back into a brown ponytail, and her eyes were a deep moss green. She seemed tough and like she didn't like any nonsense.

"I'm called by many names, each as bizarre as the next," she rolled her eyes, and said, "You mortals know me by one name, and that is the Fate of Life, Anima."

Holly wasn't sure how to react, so Anima, smiled in a cold way, "Yes, I do not usually visit mortals in their waking worlds, but here, in your dream world, it is still full of life, which makes my presence more clearer then it would in a spirits dream world." She said.

Holly frowned, "Why are you here?" She asked.

Anima seemed to think, "I came to see a mortal, sadly, the choice you make later on will affect others as well as you. And like Horias said, you will not see the sun rise again if you make the wrong choice." She said.

"Oh no, not riddles..." Holly murmured.

Anima said, "Life is full of riddles mortal, it's just a matter of seeing past the words, and recognizing the meaning, this is what Collin had to learn the day he parted from his mortal self," she shrugged, "I would know, I was there when Orias woke up."

Holly asked, "What did happen back then?"

Anima smiled,  "The truth hurts, are you so sure you want to see another's life?" She asked, "You may see Collin in a different light, but depending on who you are, that'd be a good or bad thing." She said.

Holly stood up, "Well, I did see what happened to Flynn." She murmured.

"Yes, and my little brother almost lost his life because of it, how can you be so sure the same won't happen to Collin?" Anima asked.

Holly frowned, and Anima continued, "Mortals who watch someone die often lose theirselves, especially if they cared for the person," she looked on, "I'm sure you know that Collin risked his own life to save whole loads of others."

"From what I heard." Holly said.

Anima nodded, "Yes, for once, mortal text told the truth, how suprising." She said.

Holly asked, "Something is bothering Collin, what is it?"

Anima smiled, "I'm afraid you already know the answer." She said. But then noticed the snow necklace on around her neck.

Holly noticed, and asked, "What is it?"

Anima asked, "Where... Did you get that?"

Holly looked down at the snow necklace, and said, "When Flynn was poisoned, I found it in the village of Torian."

Anima frowned, "That's a memory pendent you got there, how did Flynn come across it? They only really exist in the dream and spirit worlds, every person's soul has one." She said. She looked at Holly, and she opened her hands to show a memory pendent of a different colour, it was silver, and interlaced with black spirals, and the end had a small dark orb being held by the spirals.

She murmured, "This is yours, every one's pendent is different, the use of it isn't quite known, I'm not even sure myself, but I think if you lost your memories unwillingly, or died, you'd get the pendent to remind yourself, or let your memories burst forth when you die, and they always stay with you, but to find one in the mortal world..." She looked suddenly nervous.

"Is this Flynn's pendent?" She asked.

Anima frowned, "Yes, and no," she said, "In his mortal life, it would have only showed his memories, but now that he's a Fate, that pendent can show our memories together, since we're connected in a way."

She looked at the pendent more closely, it closely resembled Holly's, but the spirals were like waves, and they were a sharp ice blue colour, the waves laced around the orb, which was a cloudy gray. She asked, "So everyone has one?"

"In the dream and spirit worlds, yes." Anima said.

Holly asked, "Did Collin have a pendent?"

Anima nodded, and said, "But, Garaos destroyed it, he destroyed mine too, he told me, he destroyed all of ours except that one," she nodded to the memory pendent in Holly's hands. "I think, if anything, our memories dissipated to that one."

Holly's memory pendent disappeared from her hands, and she said, "You will not be able to open it mortal, only the Fates can open that one, except, I can only access my memories, so I guess you can try." She looked at Holly expectently.

Holly looked confused, and looked down at the orb, she looked around, and asked, "How?"

Anima smirked coldly, "Mortals..." She murmured, and said, "Think."

Holly looked down at the orb, and thought hard, I need to know what happened so long ago, I feel a danger within this land.

She opened her eyes when there was a light blue light eminating within her vision, she looked down at the orb, and had started to float out of her hands, she gasped, and almost jumped away, but Anima said, "Do not be afraid, mortal, this is a healing type of light."

Holly stood still, and watched as the blue light started to change the dream world around them, and Anima smiled, "The dream world can manipulate so you can see the memories within the orb."

The trees started to disappear, and Anima smiled at her, "You might want to brace yourself, mortal." She said.

The scene started to shimmer, she found herself staring up at a mountain top, the clouds were slowly moving in the sky.

There were people bustling around, town seemed like an artistic place.

She looked around for Collin, but could not see him, she did see a guy sitting alone behind a rock, her and Anima stepped forward, and Holly looked at him more closely. He had pitch black hair and green eyes, he seemed to be staring into the clouds, as if in deep thought.

He sighed, and jumped when a girl came up to him, "I haven't seen you so deep in thought since Ora talked about that legend." She said, smiling in a amused way.

He blushed, but quickly hid this and said, "I was just thinking about how legends are only stories, Marla." He smirked, looking up at her, then stood up.

Marla smiled, "Legends may be stories, but they hold the tiniest of truth." She said.

He looked up, "Right, Marla, a big dragon is living in the cave we are currently living right beside, and is supposed to wake up and wreak havoc and destroy everything." He waved his arms as if to imitate the wreaking havoc, and he laughed.

She rolled her eyes, "That's the story, Collin, now, why did you want to meet here of all places?" She asked, smiling a little bit.

Collin bowed in a formal manner, and said, "Marla, you wound me." He looked up, and blinked, Holly couldn't help but stare.

Anima seemed to be entertained on how Holly was taking this, but Marla laughed, "Don't try to flatter me, Collin, it won't work."

Collin smiled, "Eh, no harm in trying, but I do have something that'll work just as well." He said.

Marla raised an eyebrow, he smiled, and took something out of his coat pocket, and opened his hands, both Marla and Holly gasped at the same time.

Marla asked, "I thought those type of stones were rare..." She took the shimmering red rock out of his hands, he smiled sweetly.

He said, "I went into the cave, a little forbidden exploring, and I stumbled upon that, I knew that you loved hearing about those type of stones."

Marla looked like she didn't know what to say, but that didn't matter to Collin, and he waited.

"Collin, I could kiss you." She said.

Collin's face went red at that, and said in a flustered voice, "W-Well, it-it was nothing." He looked down, Holly was surprised, she was surprised to see Collin like that.

Marla was slightly blushing too, "No seriously, this is amazing, Collin." She said.

Collin murmured, "I-It was nothing, I just thought you'd might like it." He seemed nervous, Holly almost laughed, but Anima was frowning.

She asked, "What's wrong?"

Anima sighed, "You'll see... What a horrible price for love." She murmured.

Holly could only stare at the scene, Marla looked speechless, and said, "Collin..."

Collin just smiled shyly, and Marla hugged him, "I didn't know you were this sweet." She murmured softly.

Collin said, "Yeah, I'm not used to this type of affection..." He seemed uncomfortable with being hugged, he blushed.

Marla smiled, "I thought you were." She said.

Collin smiled, in a cocky way, "No, 'fraid not." He said.

Marla smiled in the same cocky fashion, "Yeah, well, thanks, seriously," she laughed, and stepped back, "I'll see you later, Collin."

Holly got the horrible feeling that whatever that stone was, something had gone wrong, as soon as Marla left Collin, Collin frowned, and looked back at the cave.

Holly stepped beside Collin, staring at the cave also, she heard him murmur something, but didn't catch it, he sighed, and walked away from her. Anima grabbed Holly's arm, and led her behind Collin, who sat back on the rock, clearly sad and upset.

"Why is he upset? The girl that he likes hugged him." Holly said.

"He's upset, because he made a mistake, and he knows it." Anima said coldly.

Holly frowned, staring back at Collin, she only watched. He looked deep in thought, he looked lonely, he jumped off the rock.

He was about to take a step-foward, but the mountain shook, he caught his balance on the rock, and he sighed, and rolled his eyes, "Someday this whole mountain top is going to shake itself apart." He said.

The shaking stopped, and looked for Marla, she was sitting by herself near the edge, Collin seemed hesitent to approach the edge, but did so anyways, but stood far enough back, and said, "Marla?"

Marla turned, and said, "Quite a shake that was." She laughed, looking down the edge.

Collin eyed the edge warily, and took a cautious step-forward, "Isn't sitting on the edge a bit dangerous." He asked.

Marla laughed, "Not when you were born up here like we were," she stood up, and said, "Come on, it ain't so bad."

Collin looked like he was about to politely refuse, but there was another shake, Collin looked down at the ground, confused, and he murmured, "That's not the mountain..."

Marla asked, "What was that?"

Collin looked at her, and looked back at the cave, it emitted foreboding shadows, he turned to look at her, and he said, "Marla, I-I have to tell you something."

Marla asked, "What is it?" She seemed confused by the shake also, Collin noticed the pillars around their town had cracks in them, he grimaced, and said, "I-I..." But he faltered when there was a deafening crack, Marla lost her balance, and tumbled off the edge, but Collin dived for her, he grabbed her arms, and she stuck her shoes into the cracks of the mountain, gasping from shock.

Marla noticed Collin was shaking, and said, "Ah! What's wrong?!"

Collin said, "I... I don't like heights." He eyed the ground, and looked woozy, but he did not loosen his grip.

"Why didn't you say so earlier, Collin!?" Marla gasped.

Holly noticed the people in the town started to panic, but she and Anima turned to look at Collin again.

"B-Because I was too proud to say, and that you'd laugh at me." Collin frowned, and fought to pull up Marla.

Marla asked, "Laugh at you? Just because you're afraid of heights, not all people are fine with heights." She said, confused.

Collin said, "Because, we're expected not to be afraid of heights," he pulled her up more, "Living on a mountain top and all." He murmured.

There was another shake, Marla flinched, but Collin said in a reassuring voice, "I'd never let you go, afraid of heights or not."

This seemed to calm Marla, and he pulled her up from the edge, they both sat there, confused, Marla asked, "What's going on?"

"I-I need to tell you something." Collin said.

Marla asked, "Wait, what you wanted to say wasn't your fear of heights?"

Collin murmured, "No... Listen, those stories-" But was cut off from a villager calling out, "The dragon!"

Marla looked shocked, and Collin said, "The stories are true, after learning that from Ora, I didn't believe it, so I went into the deepest part of the cave and found that stone, there was nothing there, so I thought I was right, and brought it to you because..." And he faltered, and sighed, "Because I like you."

Marla looked at him, flustered, "What?" She said, even if she heard him quite clearly.

Collin didn't seem the type to repeat himself, and Holly was correct, and he continued, "B-But what I didn't realise, that stone, after I gave it to you, I realised what Ora said, something about a glowing red stone, and I realised I made a horrible mistake."

Marla asked, "Collin..."

"I made a horrible mistake... I woke up the world eater..." Collin murmured, looking down at the ground.

Holly could only watch as the situation went bad to worse, pillars started crumbling, and Marla said, "Listen Collin, the world eater was going to wake up eventually, I don't blame you, I wouldn't have been able to resist the caves evil power myself."

Collin asked, "You don't?"

Marla shook her head, Holly noticed a shadow seeping out of the cave, she edged back towards Anima, finally understanding.

"Collin woke up the world eater the first time." Holly murmured.

"Not out of hate, out of a different power, which is why Orias was so easily defeated the first time." Anima said darkly.

"Because Orias fed on the fear and hatred of people." Holly said.

Anima nodded, Collin helped Marla up, and Marla asked, "What do we do?"

Collin seemed to think, and said, "You need to get everyone out of here." He looked at Marla.

Marla asked, "What about you?"

Collin smiled, "This is my fault, I'm stopping it." He said.

"Alone?" Marla asked in a worried tone, "You can't face that thing alone-" But Collin cut her off.

"I know I can't, but I can give you and everyone else enough time to escape, I don't want people to die because of what I did." He said darkly.

Marla looked like she was about to say something, but Holly noticed a dark mist rising from the dream, she looked at it confused, and asked Anima, "What's this?"

"Orias." Anima murmured, her eyes looked weird.

Holly didn't notice this, instead asked, "Orias? But he's only a memory."

She watched as Collin nodded to Marla, who sighed, looking down at the ground, Collin said, "You've got to trust me."

Marla murmured, "It's not that I don't trust you..."

But the dark mist continued to rise, Holly knew something was wrong, she heard a deep voice in her head, What would you do to change events, mortal? Or would you not change them?

Holly turned around, Anima seemed distracted, Holly asked, "What's going on?"

Anima looked at the dark mist, and said, "He's coming, he's stirring." Her voice sounded different, Holly backed away.

She looked back where the cave was, she noticed red eyes, she turned back to Collin asked Marla, "What is it?"

Marla sighed, "What if you die?"

Collin smiled, "It's better for one to die, then more to die." He said.

Marla seemed hesitent, and said, "I don't want you to die."

Holly looked at them, but the dark mist seemed to be getting stronger, she narrowed her eyes, wondering if Orias could sense the memory from the mountain.

Holly murmured, "This is bad."

Anima stayed silent, and Holly asked, "Is this all we can do? Just watch?"

Anima smiled in a cold way, "I told you the truth hurts, mortal." She said.

Holly turned to Collin, and he said, "Listen, Marla, I need you to get everyone off this mountain, Orias hasn't flown in what? Thousands of years? I need to lead him the edge."

"You'll be cornered, Collin." Marla said.

Collin said, "That's what I'm hoping, if I'm cornered, so is he."

Marla sighed, looking down at the ground again, and Holly asked, "What made him a Fate? That's my question."

Anima seemed to ponder this question as Marla asked, "I can't stop you, can I?" Almost rolling her eyes.

Collin smiled in a cocky way, "Once my mind is made up, there's no changing it." He said.

Marla smiled, and before Collin could say anything, she leaned over and kissed him, she backed away before he could react, and she hugged him and murmured, "Good luck, and try not to die."

She ran off to the other villagers, Collin sat there, confused on what just happened. But he stood up, looking how Holly knew him, and he brought out two swords, staring at the cave.

Holly realized the dark mist was thickening, then realised what it meant, and it made her whole heart drop, she looked back at Collin, who had the hint of nervousy in his eyes.

Anima said, "He faced the end with no hesitation, he never did change."

The dragon was quite small, not as big as the cave entrance, it must have made itself to look young, or maybe because of the power that woke it up, but it had sharp scales, and it was ice blue, it would have been pretty if it wasn't so terrifying.

Collin seemed to think the same thing, he somehow got the dragons attention, and the dragon headed towards him, and he laughed, "I thought you were bigger."

The villagers were piling up, but Marla trailed behind, watching with horror.

The dragon didn't attack, but it's scales rippled, Storm bringer, long have I awaited your arrival, your mortal fold won't last long. It growled.

Collin seemed confused, and asked, "Storm bringer?"

The dragon laughed, Silly mortal, your soul is worth more then this whole village, yet you would risk your life to save it?

Collin growled, "This is my home, of course I would." He got into an attacking stance.

The dragon laughed even more, Then it is my honour to release your soul from your mortal self, storm bringer! He whipped his tail back and forth into the columns.

Collin backed up, and Orias followed him, Collin growled, "Yeah, that's right you lizard."

Holly wanted to scream at Collin to not provoke the dragon, but it was too late, Collin was forced to roll into a pillar, he smacked his head, and the memory started to shimmer, but it got back into focus, he looked up, and just as the dragon was landing the final blow, Collin moved toward the edge.

The dragon stared down at him, You're strong storm bringer, but not in that form, you're cornered. He growled.

Holly realised that Collin knew full well he was going to die, but he was going to bring the dragon down with him, he had struck his blade in the already weakened edge, and it started to crack.

The memory started to shimmer even more, and the last thing Holly saw was the dragons eyes, then the dream shattered like glass.

She gasped, jumping away, and Anima said, "Now, I saved Collin from his death, but at a price, his mortal self was dead, but I turned him immortal, knowing Garaos chose him, when I got him back to the mountain, he was unconcious, Garaos shattered his memory pendent, but Collin seemed to retain some of memories, even if Garaos didn't even know how, and he knew it was dangerous to wipe it, so you could say he... Blurred them together."

Anima continued, "I took care of Collin, and when he came too, I had to pretend that the tradegy at Guagamela never happened, he seemed hesitent, but in the end, he believed me."

Holly asked, "Flynn was different though?"

Anima smiled, "Oh was he... Yes, I remember, when Garaos couldn't find his pendent, he started freaking out, shut himself deep in the mountain while I tried to blur Flynn's memories together, but it didn't work, it just made him angry, I did manage to make his memories like a confusing path," she looked up at the sky, and said, "I saw his true power that day, I knew that Garaos had made a mistake with destroying Collin's pendent, and the prophecy had come true."

"What prophecy?" Holly asked.

Anima said, "A long time ago, there was a prophecy predicting the fall of Garaos, one of the lines was 'Destroying a fallen memory, death will see to his end of days.' I wasn't sure what it meant a while ago, but when I did, Garaos did too."

"Death being Flynn right?" Holly asked.

Anima smiled coldly, "Yes, and no, funnily enough, Garaos saw to it that he himself fell, indirectly, he was the death of himself. When he tried killing Flynn, Flynn retaliated, but didn't kill him, Garaos fell because of destroying our memories," she said, "And my little sister appreared as he fell, she managed to soothe both Collin and Flynn's anger toward Garaos, I remember it well, if she wasn't there, Flynn and Collin would have blew up the mountain." She murmured in an amused voice.

Holly wasn't sure what to think, and Anima said, "I'm afraid that if Orias wakes up, and if he stays that way, Garaos will too, and that will mean the end of me and my siblings." She shook her head.

Holly said, "That's bad."

Anima nodded, "I'm afraid so." She said.

Holly realised the dream started to shimmer, she asked, "Huh? What's happening?"

Anima smiled, "It seems you've been sleeping too long for my brother." She said.

Holly seemed confused, and asked, "How long was I in this dream?

Anima said, "Time passes differently here, so you've been asleep..." She tipped her head to the side, and said, "Two days, maximum."

Holly would have been worried too.

Anima waved, and said, "But remember mortal, I'm afraid you will have to end your journey alone." And the dream and Anima shimmered away.

Chapter 10

In the end

You will be alone

Holly blinked open her eyes to a world of colour, but something seemed different, the wind seemed faint, as if holding back, and there was a light rain, gentle, but foreboding, the clouds were a sad gray, she looked around, everything was still a blur, but she could make out Flynn's irritated voice, but it seemed distant, and he wasn't talking to her.

"Collin, that's not the best idea." He growled.

Holly rubbed her head, and asked in a tired voice, "What's not the best idea?" She looked at the two brothers, who were slowly coming into focus.

Flynn looked at her, looking annoyed, but said calmly, "It's nothing, about time you woke up." He narrowed his eyes, then turned back to Collin, who had his arms folded.

"It has nothing to do with you, it may not be the best idea, but as far as I can see, it's the only one." He growled back.

She looked at Collin, and remembered her dream, I wonder if the idea has something to with Orias... he thought, watching them.

When Flynn could not retort back, Collin narrowed his eyes in an almost sad way, and said, "I thought so." And he disappeared into the bushes, which made Holly leap up, startling Flynn.

"Hey!" She called.

Flynn held her back, and said in a tired voice, "Let him be, it's not a good idea to go chasing after him when he's in that mood."

Holly could only watch where Collin disappeared, in a desperate attempt to reach out to Collin, he was already gone.

She looked at the ground, and Flynn said, "He'll be back, just give him time, Orias is wakening, and it's taking his toll on him." He sighed.

Holly murmured, "That's what I'm worried about." She wasn't sure if Flynn knew Collins' past, but she had a feeling that he didn't. Something was wrong with Collin, and he was her friend, Collin was only acting like this because he felt alone.

She waited until Flynn was distracted, when he decided to look around, she dashed into the bush silently, looking around for Collin.

She called "Collin, are you here?" After more walking, she finally got an answer.

"Yes."

She looked up to see Collin staring up at the mountain, and what unnerved her most was that he was frowning, but he looked impatient.

"What do you want, Holly?" He asked, and turned around.

"I just want to know what's wrong." She said calmly, she could tell Collin was not in a talking mood, but either way, she wanted to find out.

Collin didn't answer, and said, "Orias is blocking my power, it's quite annoying really."

"That's not the answer." Holly said, in an almost irritated way.

Collin smiled, but it seemed more like a snarl, and he asked in an irritated voice, "What answer do you want, Holly? I do not have any answers to that question." But he wasn't angry. He was anxious, nervous.

Holly growled, "You do, I have the answer too, you may not know it, but you lost more then you realise. Your memory wasn't wiped, it went into Flynn's pendent, the rest of your memories are a blur, do you even know who you were before?" She asked quietly.

Collin flinched, and he said coldly, "I do and don't, Garaos was mad that Flynn was too powerful, so he tried wiping his memory another way, I remember that much."

Holly didn't want to know what the other way was, and she said softly, "Orias remembers stuff quite well, he's using that against you, that's why you barely have any power left, inside, you don't know what you're fighting for, and that's draining you."

Collin went silent, he finally sighed, "My memory feels like a blur, when I try to remember, I can't." He said, shaking his head.

Holly wasn't sure what was worse, remembering too little, or remembering too much, both Collin and Flynn were vunerable in that way.

But she didn't know much about Orias, Collin probably did, before his memory was lost. She asked curiously, "What are you planning to do?"

Collin said, "I want to get my memories back, and memories only ever come back if you go to the original place of what they are about, and sadly..." He looked back up at the mountain.

Holly said, "Orias is up there, waiting for you."

Collin smiled, "Yeah, well, he may be awake, but he's not all powerful as he used to be." He said calmly.

"But I saw-" But she was interrupted by Collin.

"I don't know what you saw, I don't want to know, this isn't your fight, this is the exact same thing I told Flynn, I might have cared for people in my past life, but they may be long dead. Flynn is my little brother now, I can't let him walk into and die in a fight that was never his." He said coolly, crossing his arms.

"He's stubborn, you and I both know that, he knows you're in danger of something, I just don't know what." Holly said.

Collin said, "He doesn't know either, that's what's worrying him, I don't know why he's worrying, I'm immortal, I can't die."

Holly remembered the time her and Flynn were chasing after Collin after getting tricked by Horias, and what he said, that he wasn't immortal in body, but in soul he was.

Holly murmured, "If you can't remember anything, Orias will have the upper hand."

Collin narrowed his eyes, then suddenly disappeared in a flash of light, Holly looked around, and called in worry, "Collin!"

She soon gave up, and went back to where they were resting, but was surprised to see Flynn was not back. She decided to look around for him.

She called, "Flynn?!"

The sky was getting darker, even the moon seemed darker, and she felt her very spirit drop, as if her soul was terrified of what it was seeing. She immediately knew something was wrong, and she broke into a jog.

She nearly tripped over a log, but something had grabbed her from behind and pulled her away, she nearly jumped out of her skin, and whacked the person with her dagger.

"Ow." The voice sounded familiar.

Holly asked, "Flynn, is that you?" She could not see in this darkness.

"Yes." He said calmly.

"Are you all right?" Holly asked.

"Yes, why?" He asked in a curious voice.

Holly felt like her soul was being anchored and lifted at the same time, she said quietly, "I can't see." She looked around, trying to peer through the darkness.

She could tell Flynn seemed hesitant, and he said in a tone of shock, "I-I don't know, it's not me..."

Holly hugged Flynn, making sure that he just wasn't part of the darkness, not that Flynn seemed to mind though, and he asked curiously, "Where's Collin...?"

"I found him, he seemed upset about something, and after he disappeared again, I came to find you, but then this darkness settled in." She said.

Flynn looked around, and said quietly, "Well, this ain't a dangerous darkness, but in a sense, it's quite terrifying."

"You sound like you're not scared at all." Holly growled.

Flynn said darkly, "I'm afraid this darkness I'm familiar with, it's an evil type of darkness, and is much like how Horias works, it will trick your mind, and drive you mad, and will do everything in it's power to make your soul fall." He murmured quietly.

Holly shivered, "Are you a trick on my mind?" She asked.

Flynn said, "No, I'm not."

Holly wasn't comforted because he said those words darkly, and she asked, "What's doing this?"

Flynn seemed to be in deep thought, and said, "I'm afraid this..." But he faltered, and seemed to be looking around from what Holly could tell.

"What's wrong?" Holly asked, backing away. Her eyes finally adjusting to the darkness.

"What is he thinking..." Flynn murmured, his eyes looking like Anima's did, very darkened and a light colour, as if he changed in some way, and it scared her.

Holly grabbed his cloak, "Stay with me Flynn! That's exactly what your sister did! And she didn't seem all right after!" She said quickly.

He didn't answer, his eyes still looking like that, so she shook him, "Come on, Flynn, we've got to find Collin!" She said in a high voice.

Flynn finally seemed to hear her, and he said quietly, "Yes..." But it seemed different, she knew something was wrong.

She looked at the mountain, but it was silent, she looked back at Flynn, and knew Collin was in trouble by just the way he seemed distant, as if seeing something far away.

Holly snapped, "Flynn, snap out of it!"

Flynn looked down at her, and said flatly, "Right... We need to get to the mountain." Holly knew something was happening, he seemed weakened and tired.

Holly murmured, "How...?" 

Flynn at that moment said calmly, "We need to take the spirits path."

"Oh." Holly murmured, not excited.

Flynn didn't seem that excited either, Holly took a step toward him, and grabbed his hand, soon she felt her soul being lifted without the heavy weight, and soon she opened her eyes to see a path lit by glowing blue lamps, but there were no spirits, and the whole place was giving her the creeps and a headache.

Flynn didn't seem better off, and he murmured, "Even here?"

He led her along, she dared not look in the shadows, and she soon found herself at the steppes near Guagamela, but Flynn looked like he got smacked over the head, he was leaning against the rock, and he said sadly, "I'm afraid this is as far as I can go when it comes to the path."

Holly said, "Maybe you should stay here and wait."

Flynn said, "I don't know, Orias could be waiting up there." He looked up.

"I think I'll be fine." Holly said gently.

Flynn seemed hesitant, and he said, "Fine, I'll catch up." He sat down, and took a deep breath, as Holly climbed the steps alone.

She shivered as she climbed the mountain top, often glancing over the edge in nervousy, but she only looked away everytime.

Holly frowned when she reached the top, she took a deep breath, and looked around.

The ruins were everywhere, stone blocks littered the mountain top, but the cave was virtually untouched. But the cave was emitting a foreboding darkness. She looked around for Collin, but she could not see him, she decided to look around more, she saw a small red stone, and she picked it up instinctivly, and kept it close to her.

She finally saw Collin, but she gasped when he was unconcious, and slightly bleeding, and deathly pale, she ran over to him, and she murmured, "What did this too you, Collin...?"

Holly tried to wake him up, but it didn't work, he seemed eternally unconcious. She jumped when she heard a sad voice, It has been a long while since a mortal stood on this sacred mountain top.

She didn't dare move, she only continued to look down at the unmoving Collin, and the voice continued, I see you're worried for young Collin, I wouldn't worry mortal.

Holly finally looked up, but could see nothing, and the voice said softly, Mortals... Anyways, you have no need to not believe me, for an old god, I am very honest, usually the old gods are tricksters, I can assure you I'm not.

Holly finally said, "Then wake up Collin." She glared into the darkness.

The voice laughed, Soon mortal, soon, but first, we have some business to attend to, I am Orias, but I'm sure you already knew that.

She looked up to see red eyes, and the darkness seemed to dissapate, and she found herself standing in front of a human, but something was unnatural about him, he had pure white hair, and ice blue eyes.

"Do not be so surprised mortal, the old gods had the power of changing." He smiled coldly.

Holly stood up, staring at him, as he stepped forward, "How interesting though..." He said, and eyed the dagger she was holding, "I'm afraid you're completely defenseless." He said in a calm, yet cold voice.

He took another step forward, bringing out a green sword, she guessed it was probably poisoned, but she didn't back down.

"A brave mortal, I see," he murmured, and took another step forward, but it was quick, and he said, "I'm afraid bravery doesn't help." He slashed downward with his sword.

Holly felt something make her lose her balance, and the sword missed. She looked up to see Collin standing in front of her, looking prefectly fine, and he laughed, "I can't believe you fell for that trick Orias. It was once your trick." He said.

Orias blinked, and said calmly, "Storm bringer, I only know of one reason you would come back to this mountain top," he smiled, "Garaos made a horrible mistake taking away your memories, we never were on good terms." He said with a genuine laugh.

Collin said with a scowl, "Yeah, well, I'm not on good terms with either of you." He narrowed his eyes.

Orias smiled, Holly noticed that there was something hidden in his eyes, "Understandable, but I'm afraid you take a little bit after me, hot-headed, reckless, although you were that from the start." He said cooly.

Collin looked at Holly, and he said quietly, "I'm sorry for running off like that, I got too proud."

"You have nothing to say sorry for." Holly murmured.

Collin only nodded, and turned back to Orias, and Orias laughed, "This reminds me of the time you defended your village, except this time, you're not mortal."

Holly knew that if Orias reminded him of who he was, Collin would be in trouble. 

Collin said in a weird voice, "I have no idea what you're talking about."

Orias was about to continue, but Holly stepped in front of them, and she said quickly, "Collin..."

Collin and Orias both looked down at her, she brought out the small red stone she found, and held her hand out.

Collin looked down at it, and Orias looked horrified, but said nothing, it was like something was keeping him from moving.

"What's that?" He asked, but he sounded like he already knew.

Holly said, "I can't let Orias tell you, it would destroy you."

Collin took the stone from her, and looked at it closely, and he murmured, "It..."

Holly said, "I saw what happened to you, Collin, that stone is what made you a Fate, you gave that to the person you cared for most, you sacrificed yourself to stop the destruction of many lives, even if you would die, you never hesitated."

Collin looked distant, and he finally murmured what Holly was hoping to hear, "Marla..."

"I'm so sorry, Collin, you lost everything that day, but Marla lost you, and I don't know what happened to her after, but I bet she wasn't happy." Holly murmured, knowing that she was protecting Collin mentally from Orias.

Collin looked like he was about to say something, but both Holly and Collin saw a shadow grow behind her, and Holly felt herself pulled away from Orias's sword.

Collin blocked another attack, and said to Holly, "I'm sorry, I messed up, I should never have brought you or Flynn here."

Holly felt Collin push her back as Orias launched another attack as he was aiming for her, but this caused Collin to get slashed across the arm, he flinched, but didn't back down.

"Collin, if you didn't, you'd be dead right now." Holly said gently.

Collin was holding Orias back, and he smiled, "Maybe, but it's better to make up for my mistakes, so you don't have to suffer for my mistakes." He said.

Holly wasn't sure what he was saying, and he continued, "Many people could have died that day, I had no other choice, and I still don't."

Collin continued sheilding Holly from Orias's attacks meant for her, but Holly was confused why Orias wasn't going for Collin.

Holly said, "Wait..."

Collin ignored her, "You and Flynn need to continue on," he went silent as Orias continued attacking him, Collin finally pushed him onto the ground, and turned to face Holly, "Without me." He growled.

Holly finally knew what he was saying, she said, "But-"

Collin shook his head, and Orias was finally going after him, he dodged, and said quickly, "You only ever needed my power in this land, and even then, my power couldn't help you in dangerous situations." His eyes narrowed in sadness.

Holly was silent, and he said, "I'm willing to risk it, if I don't, Orias will destroy this land."

Holly was about to say something, but Orias laughed, "Well, that's one thing you didn't get from me, being noble, but that gets a lot of mortals killed, and they don't get thanked for it in the end."

Collin smiled, "I'm not mortal, am I, Orias?" He said cooly.

Orias smiled genuinely, "No, Collin." He said, as if they were just frenemy's having a good go at each-other.

Collin turned to Holly, and murmured, "Tell my brother I'm sorry, and keep him out of trouble."

He finally turned back to Orias, and brought out a sword, and growled, "I'm going to get back what was taken from me long ago, I do not need help." He slashed downward, slashing Orias's chest.

Orias jumped back, but Collin wasn't letting up, Holly was forced to back up. 

She stood against the rock face, watching the two have a go at it, as they both edged near what was left of the mountain edge.

After what seemed like an hour, both Collin and Orias were both tiring, Collin was leaning against a pillar, it was obvious Orias had the upper hand, and he murmured, "You still have a lot to learn, storm-bringer."

His sword was pointing at Collin, but Collin said in a tired voice, "You... Don't know everything about this world... This isn't the same time when you woke up... So long ago."

Orias looked confused, but Holly gasped, the pillar Collin was leaning against was breaking, he smiled, and rolled to the side as it fell.

Orias jumped back just in time, but he looked dizzy, but there was dust everywhere. Collin looked like he was to pass out, but he shook it off.

Orias was showing his true form, he turned into an ice blue dragon, and he growled, Bad idea, storm-bringer.

Holly watched as Collin smirked, and stepped aside, and both Holly and Orias gasped as he revealed a gray sword, and there were cracks in the whole mountain.

Orias growled, You'll take us all down!

Collin smiled, "No I won't." He said, backing up.

Orias padded forwardteeth bared, but Collin stayed where he was, but he didn't look like he was about to attack Orias.

Collin nodded to Holly, as if in a final good-bye, and finally the edge started to crumble.

Holly closed her eyes, and she could hear cracks of thunder, and white flashes of light entered her vision. She thought she heard something smash into the wall face, and she could hear the small mountain peak above her crumble.

She opened her eyes to see Flynn. He stopped the mountain from crashing down on her, the rocks slowly tumbled away from them, and the whole mountain went silent.

Holly stood up, and asked, "Where's Collin?"

Flynn looked at her, confused, and whipped around to face the fallen edge, he walked towards it, and looked around, as if he didn't know.

Flynn sighed, "It worked..."

Holly walked up to him, and she asked, "What worked?"

Holly realised that the wind had stopped, there was no rain, no thunder, the clouds weren't moving, as if they were in a sleep. Even the trees were void of all movement.

Flynn said, "I... I put him into a dream, if I didn't, he would have died, I could sense it coming."

Holly realised he seemed upset, and said, "He didn't want you to die of his fight."

Flynn didn't look at her, he only continued to look at the edge, he frowned, and finally turned to look at her.

Flynn finally said, "I think it's best we get out of here, something powerful is stirring, and I don't like it." He walked towards Holly.

Holly asked, "What is it?"

Flynn looked at the Mountain of Fates, and murmured, "It's best we don't dwell on that."

Holly asked, "What could be more powerful then what Collin just defeated?" Sounding surprised.

Flynn smiled darkly, "I'm afraid if an old god is put to sleep, it's like with us, we can sense it, even if we're asleep ourselves." He said quickly.

Holly silently agreed, and followed Flynn off the mountain top, it was eerily silent, and Holly hated it, it was unnerving.

As soon as they were away from the mountain, Flynn said, "I think we need to return to the White Wall."

Holly nodded, and Flynn said quietly, "And I also think you need to see where you came from."

Holly asked, "You know where?"

Flynn said, "I didn't until a while ago." He looked at her cautiously.

Holly seemed excited, but that excitement quickly wore off at Flynn's face, and she asked, "Is there something wrong?"

Flynn shook his head, "Nothing of relevent importance." He murmured.

She followed him back to the border in an uncomfortable silence, There's something Flynn isn't telling me, it may not be relevent, but it sure is important, what is it that is making him so nervous?

When they reached the border, it was nightfall, the stars lit up the sky, as there was a new moon, and it did not light the darkness on the land below.

She continued following Flynn, who seemed to be acting like he was cornered to a wall, he seemed rushed and nervous.

They were treking through the snow, and it was snowing, Holly said quietly, "It feels like we've been walking for hours."

Flynn murmured, "We're almost there."

They stopped when they were under the shadow of a huge castle, and Holly sat down, and said, "This is a huge place."

Flynn only nodded, "It's a castle, where the queen and king of the White Wall reside, the queen is very sick." He said.

Holly stood up, "Well, that's all well and good, the real question is why did you bring me here." She asked curiously.

"The answer is etched on your ice music box." Flynn murmured, continuing to look up at the castle.

Holly took out her music box, but could see nothing, she finally put it upside down, and noticed something etched on it's glassy surface. A five pointed star with a moon in the middle.

She realised Flynn was moving again, and she followed him to the front gates, but there was no guards, and he pointed to the entrance top.

Holly gasped, there was the etching, the five pointed star and the moon, the exact same on her music box.

"No... No way." She murmured, backing away.

Flynn hesitated, then murmured, "I'm afraid it's true."

Holly asked, "How long did you know this, Flynn?" She tried to hide the anger in her voice, but she wasn't sure if she was angry at Flynn, and more at herself for not realising it sooner, but for some reason, it was not Flynn she was angry at.

Flynn noticed the anger, and seemed to become reserved, "When I got your music box, I saw it, and remembered the etching on the castle." He said.

Holly shook her head, "No... No, it can't be true, if I'm royalty, why was I living in such a small house?" She asked.

Flynn tipped his head toward the gate, and murmured, "Why don't you find out yourself?"

Holly said, "I'll be right back, Flynn."

Flynn said quiety, "I know..."

She walked towards the gate, and entered the court-yard, there were guards around a camp-fire, talking.

Holly snuck around them, and slowly opened the castle door, and entered the throne room, which caught her off guard. The whole room seemed to shimmer in a majestic light, and there was only one person in the room.

He had raven black hair, and he was pacing in front of the thrones, but he did notice Holly, and he looked up.

"Who are you?" He asked quietly.

Holly wasn't sure what to say, and she stammered, "Erm..." 

She brought out her music box, and showed him the etching, he tipped his head in curiousity.

"This was with me when I was young, I lived in the forest, in a small wooden house, I wasn't born there though." Holly murmured.

He frowned, "So you've come back, the prophet told me you would." He murmured.

Holly growled, "I just want one answer."

The king sighed, "I'm afraid at this point in time, I have no other choice but to give it." And he sat down, signaling her to approach the thrones.

Holly did so, in an almost defiant manner, and asked hotly, "Why would my own parents choose to abandon me?" She glared at the king.

The king frowned, "The Great War, the queen knew you were in danger." He said.

"Well, I can take care of myself now." Holly grunted.

The king smiled, "I'm sure you can, Holly," he said, and stood up, "I had my own doubts, I thought for sure you would die in that shack, but I guess the Fates work in funny ways."

Holly tipped her head, almost smiling from the irony, and he said quietly, "But, with this Great War, and if the Fates were in this land, I'm afraid they are in as much in danger as you are just standing here, talking to me," he murmured, "We've been cursed by this war and sickness, and I know the Fates can't do anything because they're having their own problems."

Holly asked, even more curious, "What problems?" 

The king smiled, "Holly, the Fates are feared and sometimes even hated, I'm sure that has nothing to do with their actions during this time, this war started out of our own hatred, we are like the barrier between two great powers, just like the Fates are four great powers, blocking an even dangerous power from waking, it is the same purpose the White Wall has, as long as we stand, this war will someday stop." He murmured.

"And if we fall... This war..." Holly murmured.

"Darkness will consume our land, and our souls," the king murmured, "We hid you to protect you, I knew someday you'd come back, but I have a feeling you have a bigger threat facing you then some simple greed of humans."

Holly murmured, "Flynn... No..."

She looked at the king, her father, she knew that they didn't have that relationship, and probably never will, and as much finding out who she was important, someone else deemed even more important then simply learning where you came from.

The anger had ebbed away, and she murmured, "Thank you, but I must go back to a friend, I have a feeling he might be in trouble."

The king smiled, "Be careful, Holly." He said.

She bowed, and knew this would be the first and last time she would speak to her father, she ran out of the hall, bursting out the door, her heart dropped when the guards weren't there, and she understood what it felt like to be cornered like prey.

She ran out of the gate, and called, "Flynn?"

There was no answer, and she murmured, "You wouldn't have gone if it wasn't important."

She continued walking, and finally came by a semi frozen stream, and she looked down into her reflection, and she murmured, "I hope you're safe, Flynn, my father was right, if the wall falls from this war..."

Holly heard a voice behind her, "Darkness will consume the land."

She turned around, and Flynn was standing there, and he murmured, "I'm sorry I scared you like that, just needed time to think."

Holly shook her head, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound angry." She said.

Flynn smiled, "You don't seem as angry anymore." He pointed out quietly.

Holly smiled also, and then asked curiously, "Flynn?"

He looked up, "Mm?" He mused.

"What did you want to tell me countless times, even if you were interrupted by other things before you could say it?" Holly asked.

Flynn laughed, "Eh, it doesn't really matter anymore." 

Holly smiled, and said quikcly, "It may not matter, but I would like to hear, or do you want me to go first, since I wanted to say some things too."

Flynn smiled, and said, "When I first met you, before the cannons of course, I was going to say that I knew where you were from, just not why it was needed to abandon you, but you never asked."

Holly said, "I think I needed to figure that out myself anyways." She shrugged.

Flynn shrugged too, and Holly asked curiously, "But the second time, it was obviously not the same thing, what was it?"

Flynn tipped his head, "I'm afraid I forgot what I was going to say that time." He murmured quietly, looking away from her.

Holly smiled, and said calmly, "Flynn."

He looked at her nervously, and asked, "Yes?"

"You're as bad as a liar as I am." Holly said quietly.

Before Flynn could say anything, Holly walked towards him, and hugged him, being reminded of what she did miss in family when she was little. She was always alone, and the odd time Nixsi did come by, it was mostly awkward silence.

I hate awkward silences... She looked at Flynn, who seemed confused.

"It's true, you're a bad liar." Holly said with a laugh.

Flynn just shrugged, and before either of them could realise what happened, she kissed Flynn, she felt like she was floating, and when she backed away, Flynn looked even more confused.

Holly smiled, and shrugged.

She went to turn away, but instead tripped, Flynn flinched, and she stood up fully, soaking wet.

She turned around, and realised Flynn was trying not to laugh

"Are... You all right?" He asked, trying not to laugh.

"Oh, shut up." Holly muttered, glaring at him. She wrung out her cloak, rolling her eyes, and she climbed out of the stream.

"That's one way to trip." Flynn finally laughed.

"You are worse then your brother." Holly growled, smiling.

Flynn shook his head, "Are you kidding? He would have pushed you in, and laughed." He said.

Holly said, "Yeah, and would have been throughly entertained."

As if in an answer, the wind smoothly blew north, and she thought, You can be quiet too. She rolled her eyes playfully, even though Collin wasn't with them, his sleeping spirit was.

Holly said, "I'm fine."

Flynn smiled, "Yeah, I see that." He said cooly.

Holly pushed him playfully, and said, "Right." And they both laughed as the north wind continued to move towards the high mountains

~*~*~*~

Holly led Flynn deeper into the White wall, being careful to avoid the villages Yapry controlled. Holly jumped when Flynn asked, "Is there something wrong? You seem jumpy."

Holly turned to look at him, his gaze showing only concern, and she said calmly, "It's just the war, we're getting closer to Yapry, not a happy bunch, if I'm honest. They won't differentiate between who's an enemy, and who's not."

Holly sighed, and said, "Its not like they're on good terms with the people of the White Wall either, we're like their break between Graelach, they don't care what happens to us, they just want Graelach, they want to win this war, that's all it's ever been about, no territory qualms, as far as I know."

Flynn looked around, and said, confused, "Well, there had to be reason, they seem pretty determined."

Holly smiled, "That just means they want to show off, intimidate Graelach, who is doing the same thing, it's not going to end if it goes on like that," She shook her head in defeat, and she murmured, "Nixsi didn't want this war to continue either, that's the reason why she left Yapry in the first place."

Flynn asked, "Did she leave before the war started?"

Holly stopped, and looked up at the sky, and murmured, "I don't know, I never asked her."

Flynn stood beside her, and said gently, "Maybe she left as the war began."

Holly shook her head, "I don't know, the war started when I was... Erm, ten I think, and she was at the house before I was." she said.

Flynn looked thoughtful, and said gently, "We better hurry then."

Holly nodded, and said calmly, "It's better if we try and avoid the villages, they aren't very pleasant either way."

Flynn stayed silent, and followed Holly.

Holly thought grimly as she stared up at the mountain, I don't like this feeling I'm getting from the mountains, something's wrong...

In the end

In the end I couldn't protect her when she needed it most

In the end I felt like I was to blame.

In the end I wondered if there was a way I could have prevented this.

But in the end, I didn't really understand what had happened anyways.

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