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Spirit Bonds - Comments, anyone?
I've decided to post this here, too, while I keep looking for more places to post. This time, you can comment on this thread itself, unlike BH and it's second thread ;-; Although, I don't expect much comments from this crowd, knowing everyone...Sad


In a large castle, standing tall on a hill, there was a little-girl  sneaking around. She skips along the corridors, sneaking past the butlers. She enters the stockroom and pulled out a stool from under the table. She wipes off the sweat from her dark hazel hair and pulls down her shirt. She stands on the stool and reaches into the dusty shelf. She pats to the left, pats to the right, until she found what she was looking for: a carton of milk. She pulls it out and fixes her braids. She jumps off the stool and knocks it down, causing a lot of noise. The butlers notice it and they see the little girl, running off to the garden.

"Stop right there!" the butler shouted. He runs after the girl, who chuckled as she ran. She makes it outside, where she sneaks past the guards. As usual, they were sleeping at the job. She runs to the courtyard and saw the little dog, still waiting for her. 

"Alright, boy... here's some milk for you," the girl said  The little, white dog licks on the milk, poured out on the ground. The girl smiled and watched the little dog, obviously enjoying the drink. Soon enough, she was caught by the butler.

"Miss Cindy, you know that your safety is my responsibility.You cannot wander outside the castle at a time like this! The Apostles are out there!" the butler said as he fixes his long, white moustache. The girl laughs at him and pats the dog.
"Albert! I can handle myself. I'm not like one of those harmless and timid girls at school!" she replied as she raised her tone. The dog wags its tail and sticks its tongue out. "I mean, look at this dog. It was wandering in the streets. I had to take care of it." 

"I'll talk to Saber about the dog. You better get back inside  You really need to eat your lunch now," Albert replied as he carried the dog. "What should we name him?" Cindy asked. Albert looks at her and stares at Cindy, who was really eager to own the dog. She fixes her hair again and wiped off some dust from her shirt.
"It's up to you," Albert said as he walked away with the dog  Cindy smiled and walked back into the castle. The daylight shines bright on the sunny day. The clouds were covering the sun, but the light it gave still manages to pass through. Cindy makes her way into the dining room, where a big feast was prepared. There was nobody on the table, except her alone.

"Why can't mom and dad ever come home together?" Cindy mumbled to herself. She sighed and rested her elbow on the table and poked the food with her fork. She chews on the vegetables and pouted. "It'll be much better if we were all here, as a family..." 

Suddenly, someone pats her on the back and walked to a chair. He sat down and began to get his food. "Hey, dad, why is mommy always leaving?" Cindy asked. Saber smiled softly and took a bite. "Mommy's a traveller. She likes to find new places. Don't worry, she will come back soon, I already told you that," Saber said as he pats Cindy's hair. Cindy frowns and fixes her hair back.

"Dad! I told you already, don't mess the hairdo!" Cindy said with a loud tone. Saber laughs at her and continues eating. Still sad, Cindy eats slowly and was left alone as soon as Saber finished. Cindy pouts and finished hers, after nearly half an hour. She walks back to her room, where she opens up her diary.

"Dear Diary, Mommy's still not home... Dad said that she'd becoming home soon... but, when exactly? I miss her already..." she said as she wrote it down. She paddles her feet in the air and said, "I'm eight... but I haven't spent a full year with mom..." She closes the book and cuddles a pillow. "If there was only a way that I could move to Dairu... and follow her."

Suddenly, a large rumble began to occur from below. She peeks out the window and saw the source. It was the dreaded Shaucrus Apostles, charging towards the castle on their dark chariots. Right after that, the door to her room get slammed open by her dad, posing a very worried look on his face. Saber grips onto the doorknob with such a great force, like he was angered.

"Come now! We have to get out!" Saber shouted. Puzzled,Cindy follows and they went downstairs, running as fast as they could. Cindy nearly trips in the speed and her hair keeps covering her face. She fixes it and finds a clear view of their location, right by the courtyard. They get confronted by multiple dark magicians, all with odd faces.
"Harriah's Descendant... We've been waiting for long enough.It's time to claim our target," an old man said, who apparently was the leader. The man had a long, wicked hairstyle, colored in a mystical shade of red. He has a goatee on his chin, with a color slightly darker than his hair. Saber frowns and shielded Cindy from the man.

"Give it up, Rison! You will never get her from us! Not without fighting me!" Saber shouted. Cindy looked completely puzzled and cuddled to her dad. The wicked man laughs and dark magic began to surge from his hands. Saber's signature blades come out and Albert comes into the room. 

"Come with me!" Albert shouted as he pulled Cindy away.The dark magicians tried to block them but Saber's quick reflexes took them down. Cindy screams as the magicians burst into flames. Saber and Rison began to prepare for a big match while Albert brings Cindy to a secret route, leading to a split path outside the castle. 

The dog was in a carriage, alongside a former Biohazard member."Get on! We have not much time!" Logan shouted from the carriage. Cindy came on board while Albert guarded the carriage. Saber flies out of the castle and rushed to the carriage. "Move faster! They can arrive at any time!" Albert shouted. Saber gets on and the carriage began to move. Suddenly, two dark chariots came from the split path and Rison emerges from the castle, still in pursuit of Cindy.
"Go! Move fast!" Saber shouted. The carriage driver began to accelerate but the chariots were still on their tail. Saber growled and fired his magic pulses at them. They dodge it, dealing no effect to the distance. Logan and Albert get impatient and suddenly, just as the chariots were getting left behind, Logan said, "We're not going to lose them like this... We have to go offensive..." Saber gets shocked and said, "No! Don't do this! We can get out of this without having to sacrifice!" Logan and Albert jumped off and Saber shouted.

"No!" Saber shouted. Cindy just kept crying in the carriage when suddenly, Saber also jumped off. Cindy's wails grew louder but she could not change the events. Saber has been left behind and the carriage gets far. Cindy tries to reach out for her dad, but her attempts are useless. She was helpless and she was brought farther away, away from home.

"Saber! Why did you follow!?" Logan shouted. Saber grins and put on his mask. "Let's show them how Biohazard used to do it!" Saber shouted. Albert smiled and said, "I may not be a member of the crew, but I will help in the best way I can!" The chariots speed up but Logan blocks the path with stones by simply punching the ground. Rison flies above the barricade and began to attack. Albert uses his psychic abilities to throw stones and logs at Rison, which came from the forest. Logan continues blocking the chariots while Saber took lead in the duel with Rison.

Saber and Rison are evenly matched, simply because Rison has blessings from a true god, Shaucrus. Logan struggles stopping the brute force exerted by the chariots and soon enough, the barricade breaks and Logan gets pushed back. Albert fights the chariots back but the out from the chariots came out soldiers with weapons. They were extremely outnumbered and they had nothing left to do but to surrender. Albert gets angered and said, "You will never get Cindy!" Rison laughed and wrapped Albert with his dark magic. Albert was squeezed extremely hard, until he ran out of breath and fell down lifeless. Saber frowns and stared into Rison's menacing eyes, filled with evil.


As you can see, Chapter End isn't really needed here anymore... even if I loved it back then... t'was the signature of Biohazard
Constantly dying yet never dead
this thing is just too long to read
[Image: tO3jDrM.png]
(2013-01-09, 11:37 AM)staff vidyasagar Wrote: this thing is just too long to read

Psssh. Don't be lazy. An average day of mine requires me to read 7000 words, studying, the forum, proof reading, reading other people's works... 
Anyone else thinking that it's long? It's a thousand four hundred words, even the Terms of Services is longer than this ;-;
Constantly dying yet never dead
The whole story is almost above average, not counting any grammatical errors. Wait, they're no grammatical errors at all.
And THIS is long? Seriously? 1443 words ain't long 0.o
"A man who's lost his pride can never be free" 
- Ramza Beoulve
Grammatical errors with the fluctuating past and present is still there; I can't really pay razor-sharp attention to those types of errors... they pass by extremely fast... [He fixes (present) his hair and said (past)]
Chapter One, posting this before bed... Early to sleep, late to rise... it's my motto XD

A New Journey

Ten years after the tragic attack on the Guardian's Castle, Cindy began her journey at the great archipelago of Dairu. She stands up off the bench and goes straight to the mirror to do her 'signature braids' to her hair. She takes out her finest pieces of clothing, a soft cloth top, her signature leather pants and her favorite necklace, the very same her mother gave to her when she was a child. She closes her closet and smiled, seeing her one and only picture of her family, taped on the closet door.

"Mom... Dad... I hope you're doing fine," said Cindy as she gently touches the photo. She walks downstairs and sees Kason, fixing up a meal for them. Kason wipes off his sweat with his favorite blue towel but it accidentally gets dipped into the sauce, staining it with the red soup.

"Not again... I just had this cleaned!" shouted Kason while he puts aside the towel. Amused, Cindy chuckles at him and catches Kason's attention. "So you've come down now, huh? Would you like some soup?" he asked.

Cindy shakes her head in reply and smiled. She gets to the door and stated, "I'm headed to the town center now, see you soon!"

Kason realizes the occasion and stops her. He turns off the cooker and asked, "Are you really going to join the Adulthood Pilgrimage, just because Maryse is also coming?"

Cindy smiled and nods in reply. "Of course I will. It will be fun!"

Kason smiled and gave her a pendant with a bead in the center."Rylee made this when I was teaching her how to make bracelets. You should wear it, I know she'd love that."

Cindy smiled and thanked him as she walked outside, seeing the bright and sunny day. The town plaza is crowded with teenagers, all eager to join the prophetic pilgrimage. She approaches the scene when her best friend, Maryse, comes in and calls her. 

"Cindy! I knew that you'd come!" Maryse said as she shook her hand. She smiles at Cindy with her golden locks and her favorite polka-dot bow. Cindy smiled at her cute attire and nods in reply.

"Let's go. The ceremony could start in any minute,"Cindy stated as she covers her eyes from the gleam of the sun's rays. The two girls got into the crowd and saw the emcee readying his microphone to begin the speech.

"No time to waste, give us the money we deserve!" a thug told a man, who looked innocent and young. The man looks around and sees a garbage can filled with trash. He takes off the lid and slammed it onto the thug's face, staggering him temporarily. The man runs away and evades him, escaping the alleyway. The thug grunts and calls for his other gang members. The chase begins for the pursuit of the young man.

"Welcome, young adults. We all know this time of year, when teenagers grow into responsible, civilized adults. This is the time when young prodigies like you go on and travel around the country, growing and coming closer to the gods, and especially Rione. We wish you good luck, on the fifth annual Adulthood Pilgrimage in Heathon City!" the emcee announces as the participants cheer and shout. Four authorities began to take the applicants' names one by one, and who their partner will be.

"Hey! Let's take this line! It's the shortest out of all " Maryse said. Cindy smiled and they got into the long line, but honestly, shorter compared to the other lines. Minutes have passed and finally, the two girls get their chances at signing up.

"You go first," Cindy said. Maryse smiled and signs her name onto the paper, Maryse Clera. The prophet blesses Maryse with Rione's blessings and finishes her registration. "It wasn't hard, wasn't it?" 

Maryse nods to the question and fixes her hair. She smiled as she said  "It's your turn now, good luck." Cindy nods and got to the registration. She puts in her name, Cindy Aces, and was given the same blessing. She is now authorized of entry to the event. The two girls high fived and went back to the plaza to prepare for the partner assignment.

"So, who do you think your partner will be?" Maryse asked. Cindy's eyes suddenly dilate and she was shocked.

"You mean, we don't get to choose!?" she shouted loudly. Maryse smiled and laughed loudly. She finishes and breathed in, nearly losing her breath as she laughed.

"No, you cannot choose your partner. It's part of the Pilgrimage  where you must be with a stranger to get more experiences and bond with each other."

Cindy pouts and twirls a part of her hair around her finger."I don't know... whoever gets to be my partner, I hope that he, or she's responsible..."

The long wait is finally over, when the assigning has been completed  All applicants grouped to the center and the partners were announced, one by one. "This is it! Can you feel the excitement!?" Maryse said as she shakes and pats Cindy's shoulder. Cindy smiled at her and waited for their names to be called.

"Maryse Clera and Evan Stronghold. Please come up the stage " the emcee said as he claps for the duo. Maryse smiled and lets go of Cindy's shoulder. She gets on stage with her partner, a reasonable boy with his hair pointed forwards. The two shook hands and they were bonded with an emblem, the main symbol of the pilgrimage. Each duo is given  a pendant which is blessed under Rione. They must travel around Dairu to collect blessings for them nine shrines, one for each of the nine gods that Rione made friends with.

Cindy smiled and clapped for her best friend as the duo went offstage. Maryse and Evan come to Cindy and they began to introduce themselves. "I'm Evan Stronghold, I am nineteen and I like to surf," he said as he offers a handshake to Maryse. Maryse gladly accepts it and introduced herself.

"I am Maryse Clera, I am eighteen and I like to keep things simple but fun. This is Cindy, my best friend. She is also in the pilgrimage," Maryse said. Evan nods and looks at Cindy, who was still anxious of  who her partner was.

Minutes and minutes have passed. The long wait continues, and only three people remain. Cindy keeps on being nervous and sees the remaining eligible partners. "Daphne Swan and Leon Griffin. Congratulations and enjoy your pilgrimage under the name of Rione!" the emcee said, leaving Cindy as the only person left without a partner. The emcee sees her and said, "Miss, please get on stage."

Cindy does as asked and looks at the crowd, anxious and shaking."Is there still anyone without a partner? This young lady here requires one!" the emcee stated. The crowd remains silent and Maryse looks at Cindy, who looks very scared. Cindy closes her eyes and thought to herself, could I be removed from the pilgrimage? I waited by whole life for this; I don't want to wait another year!

Suddenly, a man stumbles onto the stage. He stops and sees the crowd  all staring at him with their confused eyes. "Excuse me, sir... what is your name?" the emcee asked. Puzzled, the man looks at the emcee.

"I am Lars Bridgewater. Why?" he replied. The prophet stood up and blessed him, with the exact blessing given to the previous participants. "Cindy Aces and Lars Bridgewater! Let's give them a round of applause!" the emcee said. The two look at each other with very confused faces. Suddenly, the thugs appear and shouted, "Lars! We aren't done with you!"

Lars sees the three and jumped off, diving with his hands both on fire and on ice. He knocks the two grunts out and the leader is left, shaking with fear. "Alright... you can go now... forget about how much you owe me... just please don't do it!" he said as he cringes. Lars lets him go and the thug ran away, crying like a baby.

"Wow... I'm paired up with that!?" Cindy said to herself as she stares at Lars, who was breathing heavily. The emcee was amazed and said, "Well, that is all for this year's pilgrimage! You are all blessed by the spirit of Rione, and we hope that you accomplish your mission to find all of the shrines and get closer to him!" The crowd cheers and claps, for both Lars's performance and the pilgrimage's closure. 

"What did I get into now?" Lars asked Cindy, who was tightening her bracelet. Cindy smiled at him and replied, "You joined me on a pilgrimage for Rione. You have to come with me." Lars gets shocked and sighed.

"Whatever... just don't expect me to be all serious about it .. I'm not really into religious things," Lars replied. Cindy smiled at him and the pair of Maryse came close to them.

"Good luck! Let's just talk on the phone, okay?" Maryse said. Evan joins in and suggested, "Why split? All four of us could do the mission together, am I right?" Maryse nods and approves the idea. Cindy smiled and soon, Kason also came, ready with a farewell.

"Good luck on your journey. I hope you guys have fun and get closer to Rione!" Kason said to the four. They thanked him and they waved goodbye. Maryse opens her map, looking for their destinations.

"The first shrine is at Wayward Shore. It's fairly near, so let's go!" Maryse said. Cindy smiled and she was ready and hyped to go, while Lars is still lax, but he has to embark on the big journey.

1,621 in this, it's apparently 400 words short from the average 2000+ word count of the prequel :/
I know, it's not really hooking... not yet... the adventure and the fun begins sooner Sad
Constantly dying yet never dead
The best stories always have build ups so don't worry :p
whoaa Big Grin
First Frontier

The quartet first approaches the city exit; of course, you can't start the journey without leaving the city. This is the first time that any of them would walk outside Heathon for such a long time, except for Cindy,who has been to Falrun. Of course, she lived there for eight years. Evan seems very calm and carefree about the mission while Lars is still in slight doubt of starting the pilgrimage. Cindy notices his attitude and walked closer to him.

"Are you alright?" she asked. Lars nods as a reply and places his hands in his pocket. "Honestly, why don't we use cars for this journey? Or better yet, a plane?" Cindy asked them as they reached the end of the slope.

"We could, but does anyone know how to drive? I don't think so," Lars said as he yawned. He has a point; none of them have the slightest idea of how to handle such vehicles. They moved on and met the first obstacle, Quingu Road, connecting to Quingu Highway, the large road that leads to either Wayward Shore, Baltier- the capital, and Newwood Forest, the only forest in the western coast of Dairu.

"The second shrine is through Newwood, which is north.If we take the left path, we'll end up in Wayward. We better rush, before sundown. It's not fun to travel in Quingu Road while it's dark..." Evan said as he looked at the sky, with the sun still bright. They ran faster, dashing onto Quingu Road, where some other pilgrims are also crossing. They smiled and joined them in the long walk down the road.

In a province, right by the serene mountains, two men walk around a crushed structure. One of them was Saber, who walks by the fallen castle. The grand castle used to stand at the very same mountain he is looking at, Piletrail, until The Apostles changed it. "Those Shaucrus Bastards... exactly a year ago... they took her from me..." Saber mumbled as he growled, staring at the rubble that remained from the castle, which has been fully demolished and relocated. He then receives a pat on shoulder from someone, apparently with big hands.

"Good thing we blew their faces off, huh? Prisons can't hold us down... But my fists can break them down!" Logan shouts as he laughs, pounding his fists together.

"Cindy... I must ask Kason on her condition..."Saber said as he walked to the van, reaching for his phone. He dialled up Kason's number and waited as the phone rings. Kason picks it up and greeted.

"Hello? Kason... I just like to get an update on Cindy's condition .. Is she alright?" Saber asked as he feels anxious on his daughter's condition, did she get hurt? Is she sick? Saber feels really nervous.

"Oh... Cindy just left... she joined the pilgrimage this year  She will be gone for so long, I'm not sure how long, though.”

Saber gasped and felt sad, but Kason continued, “but wait, I have her phone number. Just wait, I'll tell it to you." Kason replied as he dashed to check his phone. He dictates it to Saber and Saber was very happy.

"Alright, thanks a lot! Keep safe," Saber said as they ended the talk. Saber smiled and looked at the number. "Cindy... I hope you're okay..."

The quartet continued their journey down the road, but they have arrived at the entrance of the Quingu Highway, the start of an even longer trip. "I'm already exhausted... and it's so hot..." Maryse said as she fixes her bow, which is bent down after the long walk.

Lars laughed and raised his fist, which soon began to generate coldness. They all came closer, wanting the coldness of his ice powers. Evan laughs and them and said, "This is the way of the surf; take all the heat and feeling no fatigue. It's my virtue, to be honest."

They envy him and Cindy said, "You're trained to take the heat; of course you can last longer than we do!" Evan laughed and twirled a bottle of water around his hands. He smiled at Cindy, who seemed to want the water very much.

"Who leaves on a journey without bringing food and water  Seriously, why didn't you bring any?" Evan asked as he drank. Cindy pouts and says, "We were too caught up bringing our gadgets and things like that, we totally forgot to get supplies!" Evan laughed and pointed to a sign. "That's our cue to keep left..."

Maryse clasps her hands together and smiles. "We're near!" she shouted. They get into the path, where a lot of pilgrims have taken a break. "Let's keep moving! I want to rest at the destination itself!" Maryse shouted. Lars sighed for he nearly readied himself to sit down. They continue into the path, continuing the trip further by a few minutes. By the time of sunset, the team finally reach the city.

"Time to get rest!" Evan shouted as he ran ahead to an inn. "Finally..." Cindy murmured as she looks around the seaside town. The waves are flowing; the city town is on an elevated stone platform, where multiple structures stand, including a supermarket, a convenience store, an inn, an apartment, a town hall and many more. She smiled at the simple design yet very organized and tidy.

"Let's go, Dee-Dee! We don't have much time left! I wanna get to the shrine by today, so let's hurry to the store! Let's eat, drink...whatever!" Maryse said. Lars laughed at the two and turned off his ice power.

"What's wrong?" Cindy asked.

Lars laughed a little more and asked, "Dee-Dee?" He chuckles a little more while Cindy’s face goes reddish.

Cindy nods and said, "Why? It's my nickname, because that's how my name sounds... Cin-dy..."Lars laughs loudly and left them to head to the bay. He watches the waves hit the shore, something he inherited form a certain someone.

“He likes your nickname...” Maryse said as she laughs. Cindy blushes more and pushes Maryse gently.

“I like the nickname Dee-Dee... there’s nothing wrong with it  right?” Cindy asked, tapping her fingers together. Maryse simply nodded and her golden hair bounced with the motion.

The girls get to the convenience store to get drinks and some food  Cindy walks by the magazine stand and sees the newspaper, with her mother on the cover. She smiled and took it, looking at the picture. "Eleven years and she stays with her purple highlights? Why won't she get them changed?" she asked herself as she smiled. She went to the cashier to buy the newspaper while Maryse got five bottles of water. Maryse saw the newspaper and smiled. The duo leaves the store and began to regroup.

"So, your mom is making a name for herself again,huh?" Maryse asked. Cindy smiled and saw her mom, holding the head of a red Harukage, a large sea monster that lurks underwater. "Rylee, wife of the guardian, saves villagers from Harukage attack," read the newspaper headlines. She smiled and looks at the bead pendant. Soon, Evan comes back outside, with the reservations done.

Lars is still not with them, until then, he was still by the bay  Evan tries to call for him, but he was already on his way back. The two boys meet up and return to the plaza where they get back to the team, ready to head to the shrine. "Let's do this!" Cindy said as she held up the emblem. They get to the coast, where they went uphill to get to the shrine.

"This is Eldin's Shrine, the God of Honor. Eldin presents good sportsmanship in every battle, and notably, a lot of skill," Lars said as he read a 'God Handbook' that he got when he was still young.

"So, let's go! Maybe Eldin can brush off some honor tour journey!" Maryse said as she clapped. They get higher and higher up the hill, until finally, the first shrine is in sight.

"Let's go, guys!" Cindy said as she ran ahead, very excited for their first milestone, the first shrine. Lars and Evan laughed as Maryse ran ahead as well. The two boys walked behind and shook their heads softly.

"Girls... why are they always so hyperactive?" Lars asked.

Evan laughed and said, "I don't know... it must be in their natures." The two continued walking and all four have finally reached the shrine, where three pairs of pilgrims are also waiting.

They wait patiently and saw the shrine glow after every blessing  "Wow... Eldin looks like he can crush a Marukage with his bare fists!" Maryse exclaimed.

They all laughed and Evan said, "Nothing can grasp that huge of a beast in their hands..." Driven away by their chat, they lose focus and didn't notice that it was their turns.

"Alright! Here we go!" Cindy says as she swings the emblem in her hands. She places it onto the shrine, on an altar by the statue. Suddenly, the light glows, and everything darkens into black, except for Cindy and Lars. An orb of light emerges from the shrine, which splits into two and flew towards the two. The orbs fade and they glow with a bright aura. The emblem then glows as well, glowing in a bright and light shade of blue. The blessing ends and the two regain vision of everyone.

"That was... amazing!" Cindy said as she jumped in joy  holding the emblem. Lars was amazed and remembered the light, passing around them. "It's your turn!" Cindy shouted as Maryse and Evan took out their emblem. Maryse places it on the altar and the same blessing occurs to them.

"Wow... everything was like... black! Then this light...flew onto us... that was... amazing!" Maryse said as she is speechless after the amazing blessing. Evan took the emblem and they went to the side to take a break.

"It was a new experience... it was spectacular!"Maryse said. Cindy smiled and said, "It was amazing... I can't wait for the next shrine!" Evan looks at the sky, bright orange, the moon was visible, but the sun is still setting.

"Hey guys, let's get to the inn now, we have to take a rest .." Evan said. Lars stretches and smiled. They got downhill and went straight to their room, a medium-sized, cozy and cool bedroom. The beds are big enough for both pairs, but there are only two beds.

"Well... we have to sleep together, then," Evan said  Maryse’s face suddenly changed in expression.

Maryse gets shocked and shouted, "What!?"

Cindy gets shocked but Evan said, "Partners, right?Partners sleep with each other." Maryse sighed and she lied down on the fluffy bed. "Let's leave our things here and have dinner; my treat," Evan said. They smiled and thanked Evan for his generosity.

They eat dinner at a small cafe, with classical music playing in the background. They find a table and they all had dinner: a small steak with rice, some soup and a glass of juice. They had little talks while they eat, but soon enough, they finish. Evan paid for the meal and they went back to the inn.

They take a shower, one by one. There is only one bathroom,and they have to wait for a long time, especially for Maryse, who took fifteen minutes to choose a bow to wear. They finally finish and got to the beds to take their sleep.

"Who will turn off the lights?" Cindy asked. They all groaned, for they have found perfect spots on the quilt. Evan sighed and used his technopath ability to shut it off.

"Wow... so that's what you do!?" Maryse asked. Evan nods and closes his eyes to sleep.

"Goodnight guys..." Cindy said as she began to sleep  Lars is still seated on the bed, breathing calmly. He lies down, feeling content for the great day. He strokes his golden hair and relaxes. Lars looked at the ceiling and smiled on their first day as pilgrims as he headed to sleep.

Welcome to the Roster

Birds fly past the shore; waves clashing in the seas; the sun rising across the horizon, morning is surely beautiful at Wayward Shore. The citizens begin harvesting their crops while others begin to head to the harbor, hoping for the fish to be in large numbers. Everything is calm in the town, without threat or evil.

"Wake up! Wake up!" a small, squeaky voice shouts, right in the middle of the room. Cindy opens her eyes, reacting to the annoying voice. Snores are heard everywhere, from both the boys. She finally finds the source of the annoying sound, Maryse's alarm clock. She sighed and turns it off, obviously failing to wake up its owner.

"Time to wake up, the shrines are waiting for us!" Cindy shouted as she jumps up. Everyone wakes up, all obviously wanting more sleep. Cindy smiled and rubs her eyes, also showing signs of sleepiness.

"The second shrine is so far away... do we have to walk all the way there?" Maryse asked as she slowly stood up, getting into her bunny slippers and wearing her big red bow, right on the center of her curly, golden hair.

"We could go there by vehicle, but getting through the forest on a vehicle isn't easy. We might have to get on a professional transportation service, like a bus," Evan said as he pulls off his socks. Cindy sighed and opens the curtains.

"So, what time will we be heading off?" Lars asked as he got up and took off his sweater. Cindy looks at the clock and shrugged at him.

"Any time, as long as we keep in schedule," she responded. Lars smiled and took off his shirt to change. He reveals multiple scars and burns around his back.

"What happened?" Cindy asked as she grew curious. Lars shook off the question and coughed.

"It's nothing."

Lars goes downstairs, wandering off to a random place as usual.

"Always off to the bay... What's up with that?" Evan asked. Cindy shrugged and began to get her clothes to change as well.

Later in the morning, they get together at the cafe to have breakfast. They have a simple breakfast, eggs and bacon with coffee; juice for Maryse. They eat swift and get back outside, planning on their schedule.

"Hey Cindy! Let's go stroll around for a bit! Let's get to see the places around here before we leave!" Maryse said as she smiled cheerfully and jumps around. Her big red bow bobbles on her head, making a cute reaction. Cindy couldn't resist, so they began to wander off while Evan gets left behind and joined Lars.

"Hey, look at that!" Cindy shouted as she pointed at a blue center. It had a round base, an automatic door and a crowd inside of it. The tall structure looks like a service station. "Let's check it out!" Cindy urged. Maryse smiled and nodded as a response and they got inside to check on the situation. As soon as they enter, they get greeted by the receptionist, right beside the door.

"Welcome to Wayward Shore Hi-Pass Center! This the only place where you can get your roster updated; don't listen to those scams!" the receptionist said as they entered. Her voice echos around the room while travellers are grouped up by some machines, doing something. Their hands are moving, as if they were typing some things on a keyboard.

"Hi-Pass? What is that?" Cindy asked. Maryse looks around the center, where a lot of pens, papers, documents and cards are placed on a desk. Everything is organized, like a small office center. The receptionist smiled at them and clears her throat.

"Hi-Pass is a systemized way of traveling designed by the Baltier Hi-Pass Services, or BHP Services. Hi-Pass is used to make 'rosters', or how groups of people travel together. It's a new way of traveling in Dairu!"
Cindy smiled. "That's amazing! We can do all sorts of things with a roster!"

"How do we make a roster?" Maryse asked curiously. The receptionist grabs a long stick and points to a location on the large map, positioned behind her.

"Baltier, the big capital, has the central station for all Hi-Pass users. From there, you can register an roster and begin travelling. When you meet someone who would like to join your roster, they can join you until you reach the nearest Hi-Pass station, where you send the new member's data to the database. As you can see, that is what the people over there are doing."

"That's amazing... how many people can join your roster?" Maryse asked.

"Four people can be in a roster, but it never has to be full. You can travel in a roster of three or two, but never five. Once you already have four, and one of you left, you have to change the roster members at a station. If ever a new member comes before you could remove them, you will just have to replace their name. It's really simple and beneficiary!"

"Benefits? What kind of benefits?" Cindy asked with a strange tone, as if she wants to hear something big, like free food and drinks.

"Rosters can get free supplies, free inn stays and others, there's lot's of things you can do with a Hi-Pass account!"

"We have to sign up... now!!!" Cindy told Maryse with a huge smile.

"Let's go to Baltier quickly!" Maryse responded as she jumped up, making her ribbon bobble once again. Maryse was about to bid farewell to the receptionist but Cindy was excited and pulled her away and straight out the center. The receptionist smiles at them and giggled softly.

"Evan! Evan! We have to get to Baltier right now!" Cindy shouted as she ran to Evan, sitting by the bay with Lars. Cindy's impact nearly knocked Evan into the sea, but luckily Lar's hand was quick enough to block him.

"Don't rush... I ordered tickets for a bus. It will take us to Baltier across a highway built on top of this sea. It's over there, see it?" Lars said as he points to a faraway road, curving over the Wayward Sea.

"YOU bought it?" Cindy asked surprised. She was in disbelief. "You had enough money for all four of us?"
Lars nods with a little bragging grin. "Just wait for a while... in a few hours, the buses will arrive."

Meanwhile, in a meeting hall, multiple people have gathered together for an important conference. Notably, Saber is leading the ceremony, simply because he is the Guardian. He looks around; making sure that every seat is taken by its assigned member. He nods and clears his throat, then breathed in.

"Good afternoon. Today, we have gathered here to discuss about our plans against Shaucrus' Apostles. As we all know, The Equilibrium, Biohazard and the entire Balkry Army is ready to face the Apostles, willing to take them down one by one. Our first task is to find out the location of the Apostles, and their plans."

"Plans? They want to make everyone believe in Shaucrus, didn't they make that clear!?" Luke Bridgewater, leader of The Equilibrium. He sits on his chair with his smooth, dyed gray hair laid backwards. His menacing grey eyes stare intently at Saber. He tinkers with the buttons on his jacket as Saber nods.

"Indeed. They want to make us believe in a god we don't want to believe, I've known that since their organization started. But really, do you think that it is all they want? They must have bigger plans behind their 'religious change'. There is no doubt," Saber responded, fixing his famous mask and trenchcoat.

"The gods must have something to do with all of this. Shaucrus is their patron, they must have something else in relation to Shaucrus up their sleeves..." Axel, leader of Biohazard. He sits there with his blazing red eyes, concealed under his dark sunglasses. He wears his high collar coat, sitting like a villain in a children's show.

"Harriah's daughter... they must be planning on reviving Shaucrus!" Keith Grayson, former Biohazard member and well known wizard; head of the Wizardry Institute of Kains. He looks worried, his dark orange brows crossing each other as his green eyes look onto the table.

"Shaucrus... they will revive the fallen god..." Saber mumbled as he clenches his fist and looks straight ahead.
Back at the bay, the girls run around, chasing each other. Cindy skips quickly, wearing Maryse's large bow and mocking her funny walk. 

"Give it back!" Maryse said with a somewhat angry tone, but never serious. The two keeps playing around while the boys hold the baggage. Lars glances at the station, and sees the buses, taking passengers.

"Shoot! To the bus! Now!" Lars shouted in a panic, running ahead with Cindy and his baggage. The team dashes as fast as they can, hoping to make it in time. Evan and Maryse grouped with each other while the other duo were out of sight, lost in the crowd. 

"Where are they?" Maryse asked. Evan shrugged and saw a man in a jacket along with a girl wearing a bow, entering the bus. 

"They're on the bus; let's go!" Evan said as they entered. They find a seat to stay in while watching Cindy and Lars taking their seats at the back. 

"Why are they at the back?" Maryse asked. Evan looked and his eyes suddenly widened. The bus closes and they began to depart. Maryse notices Evan's reaction and he was confused.

"What's wrong?" Maryse asked. Evan points at the duo at the back, revealing that it wasn't Cindy and Lars. "No way!" she said. Evan sighed and leaned back.

"Welcome to the bus headed to Coriol, the land filled with history! Many wars have taken place at Coriol, so keep an eye out for ghosts!" the conductor said, holding a microphone in his hand.

"Coriol!? Aren't we headed Baltier?" Maryse asked Evan. Evan sighed and looks at the map.

"There's a shrine at Coriol; Baltier doesn't. We have to split with them now... besides, we have the advantage!" Evan said with a smile. Maryse smiles sarcastically in reply, leaning back to her chair and sighing, holding her hair. "My bow!"

"They boarded the wrong bus..." Lars mumbled as their bus progresses through the highway, heading for the large capital city. He looks out the window and sees the sea, filled with ships heading to shore.

"We're makign a roster as soon as we get there!" Cindy said in response to the conductress.

"The Hi-Pass? Wow, we sure do have a lot of aspiring travelers who wants to make a roster nowadays! Don't worry, it's not a bad thing!" she said.

Cindy smiled and puts down the red bow on her head. "I should return this... if we ever meet again..." The duo sits back and enjoys the trip, heading to their first adventure as a duo.

Chapter End
Constantly dying yet never dead

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