Late at night, in a certain city…
Three figures were moving stealthily through a remarkably large mansion.
Their movements were quick, and made minimal sounds. One step after another they tip-toed, their back bent down low as if they were crawling on the ground.
Lined up together, the three figures’ formation wriggled like a snake as they went on their way.
A little thump sounded in between the figures in the back and middle, prompting the middle figure to stop in her tracks.
“Ow- hey, that hurt…”
The figure in the middle whispered, holding her head in pain and holding in her anger.
“What can I do? This thing is long and hard, and it’s black, so I can’t exactly see where it goes.”
The large figure in the back explained nonchalantly.
“You don’t realize at all how serious this is, do you? Well… just be quiet – you won’t want to alert anyone.”
“…Good God, these two…”
The figure tip-toeing in front heaved a heavy sigh.
His steps were somewhat lacking in energy.
“What’s wrong? Did something happen?”
“…No, nothing. It’s just… are you sure you want to commit to this?”
“Absolutely. Even I’ve decided I’m going to do something, even the Devil King won’t be able to stop me.”
Seeing how enthusiastic the middle figure was, the front figure grumbled.
He heaved another sigh before quietly reaching his hand out to the window.
The time now was two o’clock in the morning, and almost all of the mansions’ lights were out.
The window opened with a slight creak. A light breeze blew in at the trio, but what actually made an impression on them was the dead silence… and the temperature of the air.
The middle figure shivered, discomforted.
“Even in spring, this IS in the middle of the night. It’s perfectly normal.”
“Hmph- get on my level. My feather coat’s power is over eight thousand…”
The figure in the back spread his ‘coat,’ causing his silhouette to look much larger than the two others.
The way he spoke suggested that he was not quite human.
“And it makes you reek of the stinky outdoors, you oversized chicken…”
The figure in the middle groaned up her nose.
The figure in the back, hearing that, moved his face in closer and taunted her,
“Keep complaining, and I won’t let you ride on me, hmm?”
“Hmph, fine, I’ll stop!”
“You two, be quiet.”
The figure in the middle hurried to shut her mouth, and then she turned to look at the door of the nearest room.
All three spend a moment in absolute silence, internally panicking. And when that passed without incident, they quietly exhaled a breath of relief.
“Both of you have to be more careful. Remember, we’ll be in big trouble if we’re caught…”
“Hmph, of course.”
“Hehehehehehe… Now this is an adventure. I can hear the world calling me…”
The figure in the middle shivered, this time with excitement.
“Actually, I think that ‘call’ was wholly unintentional…”
The figure in front grumbled to himself.
The figure in the middle turned to him, seeming to have heard at least some of it.
“Oh? Did you say something?”
“No, I didn’t. Are you sure you weren’t imagining things?”
The figure in front feigned ignorance as naturally as he breathed.
“Hmm… well, all right, then.”
“Come on, let’s go already.”
The large figure said to the two others before climbing onto the window sill.
The moonlight shone upon his large body as he spread his arms… which turned out to actually be wings. His violet feathers gleamed in the darkness.
“Chappieeeeee Mask! Hath arrived!”
The large figure – Chappie – struck a hero pose, facing the moon with his wings crossed.
“Oh my God… do you have to do that every chance you get?”
The figure in the middle – Ferris – stared blankly at Chappie.
“I much prefer him over Ferris’ shenanigans, at least…”
The figure in front – Bright – grumbled to himself again.
“Hmm? Did you say something, Bright?”
“No, not at all. Surely the wind is playing tricks on your ears?”
“I’m quite sure I just heard something, though?”
After a year or so since they had parted ways with Asley, their Instructor of arcane arts, the two children had grown somewhat… at least physically, but their general appearance remained the same.
Chappie, on the other hand, had gone through quite a change. His size was now comparable to that of the fully matured Violet Phoenix he had met in T’oued.
Bright hopped onto Chappie’s back, and then Ferris did the same.
“Hehehehe… this is like we’re on a late night date, Bright!”
Ferris said, sounding childishly romantic as she wrapped her arms around Bright’s waist.
“Just to get this out of the way, you do realize that everything ahead could be life-threatening, yes? And it won’t be easy. We might not be able to eat good food – or any food at all – and we’re ABSOLUTELY NOT going to look OR dress pretty. This isn’t a pleasant stroll we’re looking at.”
Bright calmly replied, unaffected by Ferris’ attempt at misdirecting him.
“Well, I’m sure as hell gonna eat – because I want to!”
“Of course you do, you oversized chicken! This is a big journey we’re heading out on! We’re going to eat the best food there is, we’re going to overload ourselves with swag! And most importantly-“
Bright turned halfway around, curious of what Ferris was going to say after that pause.
“-We have to do this now, because there won’t be another chance ever again!!”
Ferris shouted out at the top of her lungs.
And at the same time, Chappie spread his wings, kicked the outer side of the window sill, and flew off at an incredible speed, and exclaimed,
“Father and mother… they’re waiting for me!”
High up in the sky of Brunnera was filled with bold exclamations and merry laughter.
…Except for Bright’s, who only quietly looked down at the Fulbright estate below.
Ferris, noticing that, proceeded to ruffle up Bright’s hair.
“Wha-?! W-what are you doing, Ferris?!”
“You don’t get it at all, do you? What is it that you want out of your life, Bright?!”
“O-out of life…?”
“Big houses! Mountains of gold! Power over people! Is that all we live for?! NO! No way in hell! I won’t become an adult! Not one who has to trade her sense of wonder and curiosity for self-protection! Now you see, Bright… I want to have FUN! To enjoy what the world has to offer!”
“That’s right, Bright! And I aim to be the strongest hero of justice! Because I promised to father! That I will protect the weak and destroy all the evils of the world! Chappie Mask will see that the peace is achieved… and kept!!”
Those were not only their desires, but something more – ambition – with which they filled Bright’s ears, prompting the edges of his tightly closed mouth to subtly turn upward.
His black hair flowed in the wind, and his black eyes reflected the lights on the night sky.
The villainous boy, Bright, reached his hands toward the moon and grinned.
“I…… I want to see the future! The future of the world! To see if my efforts will make a difference, or if it will bend to the Devil King’s will! And above all!! To unravel the secrets of Instructor Poer’s strength!!”
“Good! That’s the spirit, Bright!”
“HAHAHAHAHAHA! Bright!! Ferris!! Hold on tight, don’t let yourselves fall, ’cause Chappie ain’t gonna stop for no one!!”
“Our destination is settled!”
“”To Sodom we go!!””
The two pointed forward, and Chappie soared through the sky.
Was it hope or despair that awaited them in the deep south? Was this the right path to achieving their ambitions?
Whatever the world had in store for them, it remained unchanged that these young ones – students and family of the Holy Warrior Poer and Familiar Shiro – had taken the first steps of their grand journey.