Chapter One: The Girl in the TavernThe story began fourteen years after the fall of the five center kingdoms. Some members of the royal families had managed to escaped the horrible fate of the curse. Thankfully luck was on Clarus' side and all the children escaped unharmed. Each grew up normally in special safe havens. That changed though, because it was time for several birthdays. A girl named Nightingale Astrophel's was marked clearly on the calendar by all families. It was time for the kingdoms to be saved.
She had received one of her coming of age gifts that very morning from her mother, Sri. That night some "old friends" were coming to congratulate Nightingale on her fifteenth birthday. Little did Nightingale know that this was no ordinary party.
The wooden door to a shabby little tavern opened with a labored screech. "The Lucky Angel" was one of the few surviving taverns on the outskirts of the Outer Kingdoms. It's owner washed a tinted blue glass as a young lady walked in.
This young lady was hardly a woman, and was taller than the average teenager. She was no more than fifteen, dressed in simple styled clothing, and would hardly stick out from a crowd. Then again she did have a very strange attribute. Her eyes were an odd shade of violet and seemed to burn a hole through someone.
Her name was Nightingale and she was the daughter of the owner. The girl stopped in front of Sri and sighed, "You said the amulet would bring good luck, Mater."
"Be patient," Sri whispered as dark hair fell into her face. It was almost time for everything to begin.
"Really now? You said it would bring instant good luck and frankly the only good thing that happened to day was that... it didn't rain." By this point Nightingale was irked. Her birthday had been awful, and not one thing had gone correctly.
"Relax, go outside for some fresh air and things might get a bit better."
"Right, whatever." Nightingale shrugged as she walked over the the creaky door. She was quite surprised to run straight into an elf boy. At least he seemed to be a boy. With long blue hair of many hues, bright green-blue eyes and pale skin it was hard to tell. If you were to put Nightingale next to him, he would be pale as a ghost in comparison to her nicely tanned skin.
The boy blanched for a moment, "Um... I'm Horatio Heliodoro. Could you tell me if I'm in the right place?"
"It depends on where you're trying to be or who you're trying to find."
"I'm trying to find a girl by the name of Nightingale."
"You're looking at her."
"Good then, your mother invited me here today. I hope you are having a happy birthday," Horatio said as he invited himself in. He gave Nightingale a kiss on the hand and seated himself on a near by bar seat.
Nightingale grinned. Maybe today would be better than she thought.
Someone cleared their throat.
Nightingale raised an eyebrow as she turned to face another stranger. This one was taller than her, his right eye was red and his left was blue, and his hair was multitudes of purples and blues. He gave a wink and handed Nightingale a lavender rose.
"You must be Miss Nightingale," he said with a grin.
"I am, but who are you."
"It's Akio Primdeamon. I hope you're having a splendid day, because I know I am!"
"Right... you can sit next to the elf. Have a cup of tea while you're at it." Nightingale motioned in the direction, and began to close the door.
Needles to say that Nightingale was surprised when the door stopped on someone's foot. She peaked around the corner and found herself looking into unnatural pastel blue eyes. She watched hair slowly slide over one of the eyes, and the hair seemed to shimmer with an magical glow. The pale person tilted his head to one side and questioned, "May I come in? This is 'The Lucky Angel', isn't it?"
Nightingale still kept the door where it was, "You would be?"
"Aziz Fadl, and the two people behind me are my mother and father, Rei Fadl and Esmond Fadl respectively. We--"
"Were invite by Sri. Make yourselves at home over there." She watched them walk by. They all seemed quite strange to say the least. Quickly she shrugged that off and enjoyed some male attention for about twenty splendid minutes.
Then there was that awful knock on the door.
Sri waved for Nightingale not to get up. Before anyone had the chance to go and open the door someone, a very blond someone, poked their head in. As Sri waved her in the blond hair glinted with a metallic silver. Her dress--oh my--her dress could barely be called that. It revealed far too much, and it was pink.
"I'm Nyx Yadira... and the husky man behind me is my father."
Nightingale cursed men, and the girl as well, when all of the mail attention was focused on her. Why was it always the girl who looked pretty, and not the girl with amazing magical talents? "It would be wonderful if teenage boys weren't so shallow, but that's the way things go." Nightingale whispered to herself.
Sri cleared her throat, "I have an announcement to make now that everyone is here."
"You have the floor, Mater."
Sri hesitated. She had to do this quickly or something bad was going to happen. "It is my daughters coming of age. In fact it is more than her coming of age that we're all here for. This is what each of the forgotten kingdoms have hoped for fourteen very long years."
The majority of the room stared in shocked silence.
"Each of you will receive a gift today. Nightingale will be the only exception since she has one of her gifts and she has to receive the other from a priestess."
"Wait one moment!" Horatio stood up, and was about to say more when he was cut off.
"Horatio, here is the Lyre of your family. Take great care of it, it will be a most precise weapon. Even better than your magical bow." She handed him a tightly wrapped package, and she continued to the next person.
"Mmmm. You receive a pair of magical gloves and a rose shaped pendent. I haven't the slightest idea what these two things can do, but use them with great care. I do not want to hear about you being blown to bloody bits." Sri slapped the items into the young boys hands and slid over to the next child.
"Aziz, you're father's magical staff is now yours, and also a talisman. They may save your life or someone else's in the near future." They were carefully set in the hands of the pale boy.
She turned to the last member of the party. "Nyx, your gift is a shield of great power. Remember your family is bound to it by blood, so do not destroy it. Also your father gives you Adesse, the fairy dragon. She's going to inform us of all things you'll be doing. Good luck." A cage was handed to the small girl, as well as a very large sliver shield with a black dragon etched into it.
Sri moved to the center of the room as the teenagers took a minute to absorb all of what she had said. When they all gave her accusing looks, as if she was having some sort of moment of insanity she spoke to them again. "Go to the Gate of Time and Fate. From there you will travel to the center of this island where the halfbreed kingdom was controlled. Nightingale, take the map from the wall, and be off."
"Wait." Nightingale hissed through her teeth. "You're going to answer our questions first."
"Yes, Mother you are."
"Very well then. What's the first question."
Nightingale took a deep breath, "Are you saying we're a bunch of princesses and prices? You except us to believe this?"
Sri brushed her hand through her hand. "You're living proof. Each of you has a trait of the royal family. Look at my eyes Nightingale? They aren't even close to your color. Look at Akio! Only demons of high rank have eye colors like that. Nyx is most definitely not a normal human. Horatio has... a mark and Aziz has his hair. None of you are normal."
"All right. All right," Akio brushed back some hair. "How do you except us to defeat an ultimate evil? We can't go in there and wave magic wands! Do we fight or do we refrain from fighting?"
"Both," Sri said.
"How does that answer my question?" Akio looked to Horatio who shrugged.
Sri quickly changed the subject. "So, is there anything else that any of you would like to say?"
Rei, the pale long haired woman who had accompanied Aziz, crossed her legs and gave Sri a look of contempt. "You should never avoid a question Sri. Remember what happened the last time you did something silly like that."
"Heh..." Sri fiddled with the collar of her shirt.
"Is this some pointless quest, because it seems like it's going to be one." Nyx said as the little fairy dragon poked her through the cage.
"Of course not! The whole world is depending on you!"
"Oh, well we're all going to die then."
Nightingale threw a dirty look at her new travel mate. "Thank you for the vote of confidence. I have a feeling we have to go on this quest if we like it or not, so don't you dare drag your feet."
"Now that we have the leader of the group," Aziz interrupted when Nightingale paused. "Shall we establish the other parts of the team. Like a navigator and a hunter?"
"Since you suggested being a navigator you can be one," Horatio said in a singsong voice. He cleared his throat and said in a much more normal voice, "I'll be the hunter since I'm skilled with a bow."
Akio looked up from examining his gloves, "I'll be the scout."
Nyx blinked a few extra times. "Then what am I?"
The room fell silent. Nightingale looked at the oversized shield in the blonde's hand and snapped her fingers. With a grin she said, "You can be a pretty shield maiden!"
"And that involves?"
"Watching our backs in a fight."
"I can do that."
"Good." Nightingale smiled as she turned to Aziz. "Boy! Catch!"
A map was tossed to him and was gracefully caught. He paused and looked at the girl, who had not moved during any of the conversation. "How did you do that?"
"How did my Mater make things appear from thin air?"
"I hate to interrupt, but you all must be off." Sri said nearly choking over her words as she opened the door. They left, some gave good-byes others did not, but the result was all the same. The door slowly shut behind them.
The four parents were left in silence until Rei broke the silence. "Let us hope that Nyx wasn't right about dying. They have no idea how much the mean to us and this world."
Sri slid down the wall, "I don't think they ever will."