A great adventure with Raven and Sunset in the Series part one of The Black Dragon...
I stood in front of the elder’s log cabin. I wasn’t that happy about being a warrior, though it was a very honorable thing to be. I slowly opened the hard wooden door. The elders were sitting in front of a big fire and I bowed to show respect.
The weird thing was there was no smoke emitting from the blazing fire. Only a wisp of white…of white….I didn’t know what it was.
“That’s magic.” Jin-Jinn said, as if he could read my mind. “Yes, but only a tiny skill we can do.”
He waved his hand and he was holding a bow and on his back was slung a quiver of perfectly sharpened arrows.
“Show-off.” Quai-Wren muttered. That was amazing.
“I came about being a warrior.” I mumbled.
“Ah, yes, and you are not happy about it?” Jin-Jinn said. How did these people know that? That was so cool and mystifying at the same time. “I want to become a ranger, sir.” I said, keeping my tone even. “I don’t want to fight in a war.”
The war had started when my dear mother and been found slumped on the ground next to the well of happiness. She was supposed to get two pails of water, but the Samurai had ambushed her from the East Woods. She was carrying my little brother, Xiao-Flames. She had no chance of living after that. Her soul fled into the heavens.
No one knew where my brother went. He was only four when he left with my mother. Everyone…or at least, everyone that I know, thinks that his soul has gone to the heavens. The Elders all say he is captured, not dead, not being tortured, and just captured. But to where?
“But you shall not fight in the war.” Quai-Wren said. What? Not fight in the war? Was he crazy? The war needed too many new recruits and a lot of doctors to heal the wounded.
It was too big of a fight to know who was winning at all.
“What do you mean I’m crazy? You will not fight in the war, but you will be on a mission, a mission no ninja has ever returned from, young friend.” I was stunned, too stunned to answer.
The Quest of the Eagle? Only the smartest and quickest of the ninjas could be able to go onto that quest. I had only been trained for ten months, even though I had learned all the special moves, except for The Black Dragon, The Sacred Tiger, and The Portal Shield.
“I believe you shall be the one to wield the badge of the Black Dragon. “You may pick one accomplice.” Said Tai-Sun.
“Sir, I don’t think I’m ready.” I said with doubt, my eyes wide. “Yes you are. Come with me.” Quai-Wren said and all three of them floated up and stood up. They gestured for me to follow them, and I did.
It was greatly disrespectful to disobey the Elders.
They led me to the arena, where the trained ninjas were tested on their badges.
“Show me your Water-Crane skill.” Tai-Sun ordered. That was easy. I crossed my legs and spun twice, then, and said, “Watexplumice!” I yelled and the floor turned to water. I was part of the water, now in the shape of a crane. I shot a blast of water into the body of the dummy. WHAM! It knocked the body right off.
“Bravo! Good work,” Quai-Wren said, standing up, “Now, I will now let your young ninja eyes see the Black Dragon.”
“Final stance first, before you do anything.” He said and crossed his arms. They turned black. Then he threw them out, like both arms throwing ninja stars. “Dronkuails!” He bellowed and then he was black mist. The air turned into a blur. Then, all I saw were giant wings, enormous claws, and the dummy being turned to shreds.
I was STUNNED!!! That was the Black Dragon? No way! That must have been one of the Ancient Temple Scrolls! That was way too powerful for a ninja like me. We ninjas had to be generous, and not greedy.
“Now that was the Black Dragon!” Jin-Jinn said with a smile. “Will you stop reading his mind!? It’s driving me nuts!” Tai-Sun yelled.
“Well it’s fun!” Jin-Jinn said laughing crazily. “So…” I started, “You want me to do it?” “Not ‘do it’ but to use it.” Tai-Sun murmured and he waved his hand and the dummy rebuilt itself. “Use it, young one. Use The Black Dragon.” Quai-Wren said and sat down on the bench.
“If you watch it, you can only be amazed. But if you look deeply into the Stance, you can learn it.” Tai-Sun said. Then, with all my stamina, repeated The Black Dragon, almost perfectly.
“Well done! Well done!” Jin-Jinn said, “You haven’t learned it yet!”
“He HAS!” Tai-Sun scolded, “He just repeated it!”
“That’s what I mean! He just repeated it.” Jin-Jinn said, certainly dissatisfied.
“He knows how much Stamina is used! Raven, tell him!” Tai-Sun replied.
“It uses 95% of your Stamina and 60% of your Mana.” I answered.
“See? You’re too crazy!” Tai-Sun said furiously, “and you just stand there saying he hasn’t learned it yet.”
“How dare you call me a c-word?” Jin-Jinn bellowed, his face red, “Duel me if you have to!”
“Brothers, stop fighting! If you do duel, make sure I put on the Charm of Life on you. You’ll get killed if I don’t.” Quai-Wren said, then he turned to me, “They sometimes get into fights, but don’t worry, it won’t hurt them.” He smiled and patted me on my shoulder, “Practice young one.”
When I returned home, my sister was cooking a meal that smelled delicious. My dad was on the bed, sharpening his blade. “Brother! Where were you?” Sunset called to me, her hands on her hips, looking blankly at me with her hazel eyes. Then she gave me her best you-are-so-dead stare.
“I’ve been tested,” I said, sitting down on a chair and taking off my headband. It felt so good. “To have the badge of the Black Dragon.” My dad gaped at me. My sister rolled her eyes at me. All she said was, “Yeah, and I got the badge for Sun Eagle.” Even though my sister was really annoying, I couldn’t blame her. She had to take care of the whole family and the whole house because of our mother’s death. If you did everything on time (like what my mother would love us to do) she’d be really nice. And once in a while, she’d make us a batch of ninja cookies!
“Sunset, believe what your brother says, he doesn’t tell jokes that easily.” My father said, smiling. Then he looked at me, “Are you serious, Raven?” “I mean, I didn’t earn it yet…” I said, wanting my sister to be quiet.
Then, she went to her cooking again, muttering stuff about mice and rabbits. “Father,” I began, “I’m going on the Quest of the Eagle. With somebody I trust. Maybe Sunset could go. Dad, are you fine on your own?”
Sunset looked at me pleadingly. “Please can I go?” She asked, giving her best smile. “Sure, but do you have the Nature magic to work…”
“Yes!” she begged, “I do! But I do not have the magic to charm a robin yet, is that fine, Raven?” “You’re on your last one till you will be a healer, but I don’t know when we will be going.” I replied. Then, Father wasn’t there.
“Where’s Father?” I asked the jumping and hopping Sunset. She froze. “I don’t know. I can send a couple of butterflies to find him.” And with that, Sunset hopped outside and I followed her. “Come here butterflies! Juniper!” She said. Four or five butterflies swooped down to her and a bunch of pink fog surrounded the butterflies.
“Go find Father!” She commanded and with that, the butterflies were off, flying everywhere. Nature magic could be so useful. “There, now can I get back to my cooking?” She asked me. I said yes, but I had that tingly feeling that Father was very far away…
Sunset was serving two bowls of lamb stew onto our table when I came back inside. “No response yet, but they’ll find him. I know it.” She said, her voice cracking a little. Then we sat down to eat.
The stew tasted so good after so long after lunch. The potatoes were a bit mushy, and the meat was delicious. And the stew had Sunset’s own grown tomatoes in it. “This is good isn’t it?” I asked Sunset. “Yes, I didn’t know it was this good when I tasted it.” She answered. She looked up with teary eyes.
“You never knew Father was a Samurai, did you?” She said, sniffling.
“What?” I said, standing up. Big tears were streaming down Sunset’s face. My eyes turned red with rage, but then I calmed down. Rage couldn’t solve this problem. Plus, it wasn’t Sunset’s fault. “Then why didn’t you tell me earlier?” I asked.
“He told me when I was six, but then he said not to tell you until it were the right time.” She said and buried her face in her arms.
“I will confront the Elders.” I said, heading for the door.
“NO! Don’t tell them! Please!” Sunset sobbed, “NO!”
“I must, Sunset! It’s the only thing I can do from keeping this village from another attack. Father knew all our plans.” I replied.
I opened the door and I was running directly to the door of the Elder’s cabin. Sunset was after me. “Go home, I must be alone.” I said and opened the door. Then I stepped inside.
I bowed, but no one was there. “Oh, they’re at the arena.” I muttered. I ran to the arena, Sunset still following me. When she caught up to me she asked, “Why are they in the arena?” I looked at her. “You’ll find out. It’s a bizarre reason.”
When we stepped inside the arena, a crowd was sitting on the balcony. Jin-Jinn and Tai-Sun were staring at one another like they were going to punch the other one to the end of the world. I ran up to Quai-Wren. “Did you put on the Charm of Life yet, Sensei? I asked, bowing. Sunset did the same. “Oh, indeed. I wouldn’t forget. My brothers are so odd sometimes.”
“What happened?” Sunset piped up behind me. “Well, Tai-Sun called Jin-Jinn the c-word and he got very angry.” Quai-Wren replied and then he turned and looked down at Sunset. “And have you practiced Charming a Robin?” “Oh yes!” She said. “Can you test me?”
“Not now, young one, but after this ridiculous duel.” Quai-Wren said. Jin-Jinn and Tai-Sun were in their ninja suits, waiting for the battle to begin. Quai-Wren stepped onto the pavilion and in the announcer’s voice called, “WELCOME TO THE DUEL OF THE ELDERS! THE RULES ARE: NO TURNING INVISIBLE; NO MAIMING; AND NO DEALS! LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!”
Tai-Sun snickered and said, “Bring it on, idiot!” Jin-Jinn turned red with rage and threw a wave of ninja stars at Tai-Sun. Tai-Sun reverted the wave and it shot back at Jin-Jinn. Tai-Sun then took out a scroll and he read it: The sky and the Earth shall meet again. Now we will join in vain!
It was one of the Ancient Temple Scrolls: The Sun Eagle! Phoenixes came swirling down from the ceiling, which was now burning scarlet. “No fair!” Jin-Jinn said as he was engulfed fire and lava.
After the fire storm ended, Jin-Jinn snickered and then he crossed his fingers and lightning came striking from the ceiling. “Fro De Lightom!” He yelled and then, black clouds came swooping down and made the shape of a ninja. The Dark Ninja. The Dark Ninja turned to Jin-Jinn and looked up. “Master, you summoned me?” He asked.
“Oh yes, Dark Ninja. I would like you to attack that nasty little I-word calling Elder, over there. The Dark Ninja looked at Tai-Sun and smiled evilly. The Ninja melted into the shadows and then Tai-Sun was knocked on his back and four knives in his chest. The knives disappeared. “You little traitor!” Tai-Sun said, standing up. “Dronkuails!” He said and then performed The Black Dragon, but then, he said, “Molastrom!” Five Black Dragons split out of Tai-Sun, and then they surrounded Jin-Jinn.
“You little fool!” They screeched at once. Then, the air turned thicker and all of Jin-Jinn were shreds, but then he reformed. “How dare you call me a fool?” Jin-Jinn said furiously.
“FIVE!” Quai-Wren called, “FOUR!” After that Tai-Sun yelled, “Portallues!” The Portal Shield. A huge disc spun out of his hand and then he stepped into it. WHOOSH! The purple disc cut Jin-Jinn in half, and of course, the Charm of Life made him whole once more. “THREE!”
Jin-Jinn stood up and bellowed, “Deathel!” Ten or twenty grey skeletons with daggers and helmets came up out of the ground. “Ggeeettt Himmm!” They hissed and threw their switchblades at Tai-Sun, but he was quick. He dodged all of them.
“Fine then, Luma Fre Sonlar!” Tai-Sun shouted and four angels, bright and beautiful, spiraled down from the ceiling. They immediately saw the dark, filthy skeletons and shot beams of light at them, making them explode into puffs of dust.
“ZERO! THE BATTLE IS OVER!” Quai-Wren called with a grin. “The master of taunts is the winner!” (This certainly meant Tai-Sun) “Aw!” Jin-Jinn whined, and then held out a hand and Tai-Sun shook it. “I’ll win next time.” He said.
“I must test my Nature Apprentice, Sunset.” Quai-Wren said leaping off the steps and walking over to Sunset. “Show me in the forest, and Raven, you can come too.”
As we walked into the forest, a pack of white wolves howled. “They’re saying they’re something unusual about the weather.” Quai-Wren murmured and then he saw a robin. “Now.” Quai-Wren commanded. “Sycamore!” Sunset giggled as a wisp of blue tugged on a robin’s leg and it went fluttered down and it landed onto her shoulder. Sunset giggled some more.
“Quai-Wren, why are most of the Nature Spells always tree names?” I asked. “Because trees are a part of the world, and the world is Mother Nature!” Sunset said looking very offended. “Very good Sunset!” Quai-Wren said with a happy smile. “Now, you can learn the spells of a healer.
Sunset jumped up and down. Then Quai-Wren’s face changed, into a more serious mood. “Who have you decided to join you on your quest, young one?” I told him Sunset was. “Good choice, young one. You will leave on the next full moon.” Quai-Wren said. POOF! He disappeared in a puff of dust. “Wow.” Sunset murmured.
As we walked to our cabin, four butterflies came whizzing towards us. One made a squeaky sound like a mouse. “Father’s home!” Sunset said and darted towards the back door of our cabin. “What?” I asked and ran after Sunset.
And what did I see when I came to our backdoor? My father, his face pale and ghostly.
“Father!” Sunset was saying, almost yelling, “What were you thinking?” “I r-ran to the t-t-training c-camp.” Father stammered, as if he was cold. “You look sick.” I said. “Yes. It’s viper poison.”
“VIPER POISON?” Sunset jumped up. “How many hours after it bit…” “I think four hours, and I think about half.” Father replied. I stared. Sunset screamed. “Raven, get a healer!”
And I was off running to Grandma’s Cabin. “Father’s been bit by a viper. It has been four and a half hours!!!” I yelled. Grandma darted past me before I could say, “Come quick.” I turned around and saw Grandma down the path, turning to our house. I would have smiled. Grandma always was in shape, running everyday for four miles. That’s a lot. “GOOD HEAVENS!” Came Grandma’s voice.
I sprinted to the backyard of our cabin. Grandma was scolding Father. “What were you thinking when you crossed the Hidden Forest young man.” Personally, Father wasn’t that young. No offence, but I thought he was a bit old. Then Grandma got out some herbs and other bits and pieces. She put some into a pot and filled it with river water. “You could have-” Grandma began.
Father was gone. “AGAIN?” I hollered. Why is he so foolish? “For another reason, Raven.” Grandma said. “He went to the Holy Church.”
“Why?” I asked, a bit confused.
“To meet the pope.” Grandma said, looking over the horizon.
I pondered a bit. What could Father have to do with the… I scurried off to the church as fast as my legs could carry me. The church was in flames and Father was running out of it, laughing wildly. He attacked me with a knife. “FATHER!” I yelled. I took our my own, but he was too good.
A pain like no other spread through my chest and into my lungs. “How could you-” And I fell down to the ground
I heard voices alright, but my eyes wouldn’t divulge the concealed faces of…of… I didn’t know. “He’s still alive but he’s paralyzed by some magic.” One person said. Then, something more delicious than anyone that could imagine was put to my lips. It tasted like mangos and oranges and strawberries with ninja cookie batter. “It’s called Chutney.” One voice piped said.
“No it isn’t, you idiot!” Another voice shouted out which must have been Tai-Sun. “It’s called Mango Milkshake, or at least that’s what my mother said.” I could have smiled if I wasn’t paralyzed. Hello Elders!
“Hello, Raven, how do you feel?” Someone on to the right said with a bit of concern.
I’m fine, sir. Sorry I can’t bow. I thought.
“It’s fine. You’re paralyzed, as you can um…”
Which of you are Jin-Jinn?
“We can’t tell you, because you can’t see yet. Can you recognize our voices?”
No not yet, sir. It certainly is a good thing you can read my mind.
“It certainly is, Raven.”
I tried to move my arm, but a pain shot up my arm like a needle piercing a shirt. “Don’t try.” I opened my eyes and saw Jin-Jinn and Tai-Sun there, but not Quai-Wren. “Where’s the third one? And where is Quai-Wren?” I asked and I was flushed with relief that I could speak again. “To chase the Traitor.” Jin-Jinn said.
I closed my eyes and relaxed my neck and then I was dosing away.
The nightmare came at me like an angry leopard.
It was raining heavily, thunder with lightning coming from the ash grey clouds. “HELP!” a voice thought at me. I looked all around me, but no one was there.
Then I heard a terrible shriek, as if a person had seen a cockroach the size of the Statue of Liberty. I ran towards the sound and saw Sunset chained by spectral chains.
“So you did come.” A snarling voice came from the church tower. It seemed to be amused. Sunset looked so tired and weak, but I knew I couldn’t cut the chains.
“So, what about a deal, you go to dragon mountain and get you sister back?” The evil voice said as if it were about to leap out and crush you. It was as cracked as a pottery bowl that had gone through five hundred years of weathering.
I woke in a cold sweat. “Are you okay?” I opened my eyes and found myself in a blue cot. I looked around nervously and spotted a small boy, and he looked like he was ten or eleven years old.
“You’re up!” He said and darted next to me. His blue eyes looked like sapphires in a small pool of ink.
“I’m Sarid, a healer.” He began, unsure.
“You’re a healer? I thought girls were only healers…” I mumbled.
“Well,” Sarid said, clearly offended, “Master Raven, not all boys are devoted to killing monsters and raiding towns.”