chapter ten | orange | waterfall

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Our footsteps echoed through the cave we were walking in.

"See anything?" asked Akuma.

"Nothing so far..." Kaito responded.

"I hope we find the key and get out as soon as possible, I'm freezing in here," Lana grumbled, hugging herself in hope of receiving more warmth.

"I sense a life force..." muttered Lyra. She looked around in anxiety.

"I wonder where that life force came from?"

"Wh-" A sharp metal shard was sent towards Sienna, barely missing her and grazing her cheek.

The shard withdrew back to its owner. I took a look at the attacker.

It was the small boy who was drawing earlier on.

"I won't miss next time." The metal shard dissolved into thin air. A spear materialised from his back and made a loud clang when the boy planted it onto the ground, his fists clenched.

"You?! You're the guardian of the keys?" Kaito cried out.

The boy rolled his eyes. "Yes. My name is Leon. I am not just 'some boy'."

"I'm done talking. Fight us or leav-" A spear shot towards Hikari, her statement cut short.

She caught the spear just in time before it hit her. Teleporting behind the boy, the Ice mage slashed Leon. The boy ducked just in time. He kicked her in the ankles, Hikari being thrown on the ground.

"Flaming barrage!" A blast of fire from Sienna headed towards Leon, melting the ice in the cave. The boy smiled. Before the fire hit him, he grabbed Hikari and pushed her in front to receive the blow.

"No!" Kaito stepped forward. Hikari's expression changed to a look of spite.

"Glacies Ventus." Cold air dispersed the fire into thin air. "You-!" Hikari started but was interrupted once again. A shockwave was sent through the entire area, propelling all of us away from Leon, sending us onto the floor.

The boy's smile widened as he seemed to hold something in his fist, orange beams of light slipping through the spaces between his knuckles. Another jewel?

"Are you even human?" Sienna questioned.

Leon thrust his hand towards us, sending thousands of small glass shards towards us. "Barrier!" Lana commanded, a giant shield made out of what seemed like shadows deflected the shards back to Leon. Leon made a small motion with his hand to the right, his shards disappearing.

"Good question. I am not a simple boy," Leon explained, opening his arms, "I am a being created by our God, Arael..."

"Of course he is," said Kaito.

"And my job is to protect the keys and to destroy whoever attempts to retrieve them. A job that I'll do right now." In the blink of an eye, Leon appeared behind our guild's Metal mage, his spear a hair's breadth away from stabbing him in the back.

"KAITO!" Hikari shrieked. Bullets of darkness made their way towards Leon from Lana. The boy avoided it in time and materialised a huge metal shard through the cave's ceiling, bits of rock crashing down. He jumped through the hole he made to the outside. Suddenly, I felt a pulling motion from my heart... Leon was dragging us towards him so he could finish us off.

Looking behind me, I saw Kiran muttering something as Lana jumped towards a tall cottage's roof. However, before I could even process what he was doing, my thoughts were interrupted by a clash of metal against metal.

I looked up and saw Kaito who had lunged towards Leon with his iron sword, preventing him from impaling Hikari with his spear. "Don't touch my sister."

"It is my duty as one of Arael's creatures to kill whoever dares to obtain the keys." Leon used his inhuman strength to push Kaito away from him.

"And it is our duty to respect Queen Malika's request and retrieve the keys!" Sienna retorted as she raced towards Arael's creature with fireballs in her palms.

I turned back towards Lana and saw her drawing out her bow and arrow to nock them. Pulling back the arrow to its anchor point at the corner of her eye, she aimed towards Leon's orange jewel at his neck and released the arrow.

It felt like it all happened in slow motion. Leon was in the middle of dodging Sienna's fireballs- The arrow was heading straight for them. If Lana's aim was just a millimeter off, Sienna could have received the hit instead.

But it didn't hit Sienna. The arrow struck its way right into the orange jewel. It split into half and it's remains were sent to the ground.

"NO! Argh-" Leon wailed. He collasped onto the floor, holding what was left of the jewel. "I failed..."

His whole body turned to orange dust in the form of his body, and slowly floated upwards like what happened to the black dragon when Reaper and Grim managed to defeat it. With a clink, four keys slipped out of the orange jewel. Kiran must have used Illusion magic to change Leon's perception of where Lana was.

Sienna, Lana, Kaito and Hikari each picked up an elemental key that corresponded to their element. I approached them and took a look at the four keys.

The Fire elemental key's bow and bit took the shape of a blazing fire, a bright orange colour. Despite the cold environment around it, it still seemed to emit warmth.

The Darkness elemental key was completely black, except for the purple aura surrounding it. On the top of the key was a black sphere, a few thorns sticking out of it. Tied under it was a tiny piece of cloth that swayed in the wind.

The Metal elemental key looked like a machine- Its bow was made out of silver cogs and gears. In fact, all of it was silver. The gears turned stiffly as Kaito stuffed it into his pocket.

The Ice elemental key looked incredibly pure. Snowflakes hung all around it, swinging around at the slightest movement. A sky blue gem was placed right in the middle of the key's bow.

"So which keys are left?" asked Reaper, crossing his arms.

"We have Wind, Lightning, Fire, Ice, Metal and Darkness..." mumbled Sienna. "All that's left are the Water elemental key and the Earth elemental key."

Everyone turned to stare at Lyra and me. I should have realised that this would have happened.

"B-but we barely know how to fight!" Lyra protested.

"That's fine," Kiran said, "You two can use it as practice."

I started to feel rather unsure of whether Lyra and I would even be able to win in a fight using magic.

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