chapter eight | brother keys | waterfall

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The black dragon towered over us as we all slowly backed away from it. "W-what do we do?!" Lyra cried out in panic, the strong wind whipping her ponytail around.

"It must be guarding the key!" I shrieked.

"Stand back! Grim and I will take care of this!" Reaper yelled. All of us except for the two brothers crowded together. Hikari cast an ice barrier to prevent the dragon from attacking us. This was their fight.

Reaper teleported behind the dragon as he unsheathed his twin katanas. He attempted to slash through the dragon's scales but failed. The dragon remained undamaged. Knowing where his prey was, the beast turned towards Reaper to seize him.

Reaper's reflexes were quick. That was expected of him. He was a lightning mage, after all. He used momentum to bounce off the dragon's claw and into mid-air.

"Judgment!" Multiple flashes of lightning crashed down from the clouds in the sky, striking the dragon's head. One bolt of lightning struck a diamond jewel on the dragon's head. Wailing in agony, the dragon stumbled for a few steps but quickly regained its balance. A cyclone took form from the dragon's cry towards us, the nearby rocks were drawn towards it.

"THAT'S IT! The jewel on its head! That's it most vulnerable part! YOU HAVE TO DESTROY IT!" Akuma hollered.

Using the confusion, Grim dashed towards the dragon. "Capere!" Grim took control of the cyclone and redirected it towards the dragon. Meanwhile, Reaper landed on the dragon's scales. Running at what seemed like the speed of light, he directed his next attack toward the dragon's jewel.

However, the dragon was not blind. It noticed Reaper. The dragon grabbed hold of him and threw him off its body. "Propel!" A blast of wind from Grim forced Reaper towards the dragon's jewel. He struck out his katana in front of himself and stabbed the jewel in the dragon's head as hard as he could.

Giving one final cry of loss, the dragon slumped onto the ground, the rocks trembling under the tremendous impact.

The dragon's body turned into black dust, the particles floating into the sky. One by one, they slowly disappeared. Except for the purple jewel.

Cheers of relief from us were expressed as the brothers advanced towards the gem. Before any of them could grasp it, the jewel split open and in it were two keys. Seeing this, Reaper and Grim each took one key and walked back over to us.

"Let me see those keys!" Kaito exclaimed while Sienna melted the ice shield.

The rest of us crowded around the brothers, marveling at the keys. Reaper's key had rather bold features- a tiny yellow lightning orb was placed just on its top, a lightning bolt striking all the way to the bottom of the key from the orb. A golden chain wound around its stem.

Grim's key had a small contrast compared to his brother's key- a pair of silver wings emerged from each side of the key, as well as four grey spirals. This key had more of a calm aura coming from it.

Reaper tossed his key from hand to hand. "Well, we got two keys," he noted.

"Be careful with handling it and make sure to not damage it, it's for the Queen," said Asurma. Sienna nodded, agreeing.

"Yeah," Reaper replied, Grin remaining silent as we all exited the barrier which contained like what seemed to be a whole different world.

~

"Here are your room keys, miss. Have a nice stay at Hotel Botanica!" The receptionist smiled while I took our room keys, smiling back towards the lady in an act of politeness.

We had decided to book a stay at a hotel since as the sun was making its way down the horizon. Akuma, Lyra and I had decided to sightsee and shop a little bit before meeting the others for dinner.

So far, Lyra had bought another flute, as she had left her old one in the orphanage. Akuma had bought one new stash of candy. And I had bought a comfortable kimono for casual wear, as well as a pair of white gloves and blue boots. I had never spent this much amount of money before... The feeling felt foreign...

Ding...

The three of us looked up to the town's clock tower. Seven in the evening. "Let's head back to the hotel and meet the rest there," I said. The sky was turning a dark blue, and the stars were starting to come out.

Grasping our newly bought goods, we walked back to the hotel.

Two keys down.

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