• My neck was stiff with irregular pain, and I sat up straight and stretched. I looked around a moment.
    I was under a tree, in the shade of the rising sun. There was wildlife singing nearby, and I looked around me more thoroughly.
    The horses were still tied up to the tree, grazing in the corner like last night. Kilunar was sitting beside me, sleeping softly. He shivered once.
    I got to my feet.
    “Fire, I need you to keep him warm. But don’t hurt him.” I asked of the element, and then walked off to Lunar. I stroked her mane.
    “Morning Lunar.” I told her, and searched in the pack on her back. I took out a few carrots and started to feed her.
    Good morning. She told me, eating the first carrot I gave her.
    “How did you sleep?” I asked.
    Well, I slept well. She ate the last carrot, and started at the grass.
    I heard something stir behind me, and I snapped my head back up, startled. I turned my head around.
    He stretched his arms over his head, and opened one blue eye. His dark hair was in a mess around his face, and he saw me look at him, and grinned.
    “Not the best way to fall asleep.” He sighed, scratching his arm. “What did you do for that to happen?”
    “For what to happen?”
    He walked up to me, and poked his finger on something on my head. I felt it twitch.
    “That. You have two black cat ears.”
    I turned sharply to Lunar, my eyes scornfully watching her.
    I thought you knew!
    I turned around.
    “Anything else that my ‘faithful’ horse won’t say?” I asked, arms crossed.
    Lunar huffed.
    “You got a cat tail, I should say.”
    “Oh goodie.” I muttered.
    I turned around and put my hands on Lunar’s saddle, mounting up onto her back. I looked around the camp as he mounted up.
    “How’d you make it go away?” He asked, and our horses shot out into the dirt path.
    “What are you talking abo-”
    I looked to where he said I had a “tail” and saw what he meant.
    It was gone.
    “Must’ve been a wacky thing then.” He shrugged.
    “Or maybe it was a sign.” I shrugged along, and paid attention to the road.

    “I still don’t think that’s it.” I said, tying up Lunar’s reins.
    “Well… whatever it was, we can’t check much about it.” He was waiting beside me, and once I was done he put an arm around my shoulders, smiling.
    “So… what are we doing here again?”
    “Well, the thing the Queen found, it told us a bit about the four Powers.
    “One from the village with the spark of flames,
    One from the crest where two worlds collide,
    One from the place where the winds blow at heart,
    And one where the magic has died.
    Lost Princess, girl of magic,
    With the four and magic at their side,
    Bled, coveted, and lied,
    Together the five can die.
    “So… my guess the water Power is in here…” He shrugged. The prophecy that Amaterasu had found gave me the chills.
    “Let’s go in, then.” I heaved a giant sigh. “What does ‘crest where two worlds collide’ mean?”
    “I’m guessing it’s the family crest of the Soharia clan. And the only one legitimate enough to qualify for this role is the youngest heir, Airahos Soharia.” He walked to the door of the inn, and opened it for me, letting me pass through. I ducked out of under his arm and looked around as I waited for him.
    The walls were dull beige, lifeless and unemotional. There were two loveseats in the parlor of the lobby, and a hallway that led to two elevators and a staircase. A woman in her thirties – I guessed it by her eyes, because she looked no more than twenty (that’s what being immortal did to you) – waved us over after serving a customer, and we stepped up to her.
    “Hello. We are here to see Airahos Soharia. Is he in?” Kilunar asked the woman. She shook her head sadly, her hair whipping out. I saw her start to twirl her hair, and I held my calm.
    “I’m sorry,” she said in a way that made me want to puke, “he’s not in. He’s probably at the Arena by now. Mr. Airahos goes there often.”
    “Thank you.” He said, and took my hand. We walked out the door, and I felt like someone was glaring daggers at my back. I shrugged it off, and once we were both outside we sighed.
    “I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to notice that, aren’t I?” I laughed once without humor as we walked down the dirt road. This village was a little more organized than the fire village.
    “No, you’re not. For a moment I wanted you to fry her.” He shuddered.
    “I wouldn’t have done that.”
    “Yeah, and I’m the Queen of Spain.” He said sarcastically.
    “No, I don’t see you wearing a dress dancing the Samba.” I laughed now, but with more humor as I pictured it.
    “Ha, ha.” He stuck out his tongue at me. I smiled. “I saw what you were thinking, you know.”
    “Crap. I’m letting you slip in.”
    “Just a bit.” He smiled, and opened the door in front of us. Immediately we walked to the front desk. I read a sign that said ‘Soharia Arena.’
    “We’re looking for Airahos.” I told the receptionist. He nodded.
    “Right this way.” He shot me a look, and I felt his hand clench mine tighter.
    This is gross. I told him telepathically.
    I’ll say. This is even sicker than the girl.
    I smiled, and we followed the man down the hallway to a large door.
    “Master Airahos is in here.” He said, shooting me another look before leaving. Kilunar lifted up a fist to knock.
    “Door’s open.” Someone said from the other side. We opened the door and walked onto a plush carpet – well, maybe I could tell because I was barefoot.
    “Can I help you?” A teenager sitting on a leather loveseat asked, watching us and no longer watching the big screen TV.
    “Airahos? We’re the royal children from DarkNite.” Kilunar told him.
    “Oh. What do the king and Queen want?” He sat up straight, and I got my first glimpse at him.
    He had grey eyes that seemed to be bottomless and blonde hair that fell in his face. He wore a green shirt, and as for the pants and shoes, I was not sure. He had fair skin and a small tattoo on his arm. There was another one at the corner of his jaw line.
    “They need you to go to them, for they need your help in the Darkness that will come soon.
    “Oh. Is that the Lost Princess?” He asked, eyeing me up and down.
    “This is my twin, yes.”
    “You don’t look anything alike.”
    I shrugged. I wouldn’t talk. Let the men do the talking. I’d most likely cause a squabble or something.
    “She changes, and doesn’t talk much.”
    “Interesting. So, how you been Kilunar?” He asked, giving him a best friend-ish grin.
    “I’ve been good. Busy, but good. But we must leave soon. We need to go to the Sand village, and the Wind village.”
    “Alright. Is this all you needed? I can leave right away.”
    “One more thing.” I finally spoke. “The amulet, brother.”
    “Oh, right. They king and Queen give you this, and ask that you go to them immediately.” He took the amulet from the pack on his back, and handed it to him. He examined it a moment, shrugged, and tied it around his neck.
    “What’s your name, Lost Princess?”
    “Yumi Nereza Keiko.”
    “Nice voice. You’re lucky you have her as your sister, dude.” He grinned and got up, rummaging through a drawer.
    He and I both blushed, and started to stammer.
    “Um… I really don’t know what you mean.” He said after we’d gathered our thoughts. I looked out the window in silence.
    “I think you know what I mean.” He looked at Kilunar, sighed, and zipped up a backpack.
    “I’ll get going. I’m sure you can see yourself out.” He left the room, the door ajar.
    We both let out our held breath at the same time.
    “That was… awkward.” I finally said, my face still red. I took a deep breath.
    “I’ll say. Don’t mind him; he has a weirded out mind. That’s what he gets for living with two perverted parents.” He laughed once without humor, and we walked out of the Arena with the receptionist bidding us good bye, and walked to our horses. He saddled up, and I watched him, my hands on my saddle.
    “You’re telling me he pretty much guessed, huh?” I asked, mounting Lunar. We set them off at a trot, and left the village.
    “Yeah, pretty much.”
    I groaned.

    I was cuddled up tightly in my blanket the following morning, it was over my head. I yawned and stretched. The blanket flopped with the movement.
    Everything seemed so big.
    “Nereza we have to get moving. It’s noon for crying out loud.”
    I wanted to tell him ‘On my way,’ but I couldn’t find my voice.
    “Come on, you-”
    He lifted the blanket from me, and his eyes grew wide.