After my close encounter with the spiritual world that first time, I often spent more of my days just sitting there and thinking, trying to answer so many of the questions that were alive and needed answering. I found it somewhat hard though, not because the questions had no direct answers, but due to the fact that Dante wouldn't leave me the hell alone to get on with it.

When I fell back in to consciousness that day I returned from my talk with Syndelle, I was sprawled on the floor with a terrible numbness throughout the whole of my left arm. On looking upon it, I got quite a shock. The knife I was holding before I blacked out had cut my wrist, strangely on the very same place where I tried to commit suicide before.

That alone had me wondering for a whole day. It was obviously not by any weird coincidence that the knife had cut me there. If you ask me, I'd say it was more of a sign, a sign to let me know that everything about this spiritual world is genuine. I begin to fiddle with the bandage around my wrist, the atmosphere peaceful except for that familiar stomping rhythm…

"Aki, Aki, Aki-doodle-doo!!"

The wind is knocked out of me as my brother dearest pounces on me at full force whilst I'm sat on the sofa and I have to fight to push him off. "Gah! Tay! Off me now!"

"I didn't know you could travel to Kadaray!" He throws his arms around me in a tight hug.

"What? Tay, let up, I'm suffocating!"

"Kadaray, the spirit realm! Why didn't you tell meeeee?!"

So that's what it's called. I wondered about it earlier since I never asked the name of it. Well, I guess I know now.  "Um, yeah." I choke in my bro's restricting embrace.

"I didn't even know you had Kadarain powers! This is so cool!"

"Get offa me!" I shout and push Dante off, watching him roll comically onto the floor.

"Akkiiiiiiiii! You know this means we can both transfer to Kadaray together and cause total havoc!" Dante's face beams total excitement. Why does he never quit?

"Shaddap!" I stress loudly, pressing my hands to my face.

"And we can totally mess up Miala's things and piss off all the elders and swap all Acacia's gems around so that when she transports she ends up in the wrong place and-"


"I'm not holding anything." Dante blinks sweetly at me from his place on the floor. "What am I holding?"

I cry out in frustration and throw a nearby pillow at Tay. "Shut up!!"

"Okie dokie."

"Right, take a deep breath, and lets start from the beginning…."

Tay takes a massive breath of air and cracks his fingers. He's strange, I swear. "Well, ok then. When I went to Kadaray earlier, Opheliath told me that you were present there earlier and-"

"Whoa, whoa," I interrupt. "Who's Ophe- Opheliath?"

"Oh! Um, you might know her by a different name: Unexia?"

I shake my head.




"Yes! That's her, the girl with the blonde hair?"

Dante smiles widely. "Yep, that's her." He gives a small cough before carrying on. "Anyways, she told me about her conversation with you and I just freeeaaakkeeddd out man, 'cos this is so awesome! And she said that I should answer any questions that you also have or anything."

I blink and try to take in all Tay just said in the last three seconds because it all seemed like a top speed recording of a really fast song. "Right. Lurvely." I wipe my face with my hands and watch Dante stand up (in an amusing way, of course) and rush towards his bedroom.

"Oooooone moment!" He shouts, disappearing behind the door.

I sigh heavily. Why does this all seem as if it's going to change my life forever?


A few days later…



"Why did I agree to do this?"

"'Cos you're my sister and you love me lots and lots like jelly tots."

"Ugh…" I grunt in disapproval as I follow Dante through Karaday, watching him change the surroundings of white into the colourful world of elegant castle gardens. "But that's not the point, I don't want to take a test! I've just about grasped the concept of using my powers anyways! You've been a great help and stuff, but I'm ok with everything!"

"Liar. I want you to take this test to prove to me that you've properly learned to control ya powers then, if you're that confident you have?" I struggle against his hand as he grabs my arm and drags me along a pale gravel path towards a beautiful castle.

"I am confident, but you know that if I fail I'll be banned for a year!" I attempt to prise my brother's hand from my arm, but to no avail. I cry out in frustration.

"That's why you won't fail me though isn't it? Because I have massive faith in you and I will be absolutely shattered if you fail."

I raise an eyebrow. "And….?"

"And besides, if you pass, you'll receive a spiffy talisman, like mine." I watch as he reaches his arm into his shirt. For a moment, I thought he was going to take it off and I stuck my tongue out in disgust. But then I realised that he was pulling out a necklace.

He took it off and handed it to me, letting me study it carefully. It was a gorgeous crystal in the shape of a unicorn encased against a golden symbol. "Hmmm, not bad." I smiled handing it back to my brother. "Now lets go home."

I yank his hand off my arm whilst its grip is soft and make a dash for anywhere. But I always forget this is Kadaray and a sudden fence surrounds me, locking me in, courtesy of Dante. And then the embarrassment kicks in when he starts laughing. I sigh and shake my head.

"Forget where we are?" He coos.

I try and shake down the bars of the fence. "Obviously… Now let me out, please!"

"One condition: you take this test."

I moan loudly. It's at times like this that I wish Dante's mischievous streak wasn't so mischievous. He always seems to make my life hard and it's just one big game to him. Always.

Tay sighs really heavily. "It's for your own safety, Aki. Remember, if you use your powers incorrectly, the results could be dire." Emphasis on the word dire courtesy of Tay.

"Gah… fine…"

Dante clicks his fingers with a colossal smirk on his face. The fence disappears and I think to myself 'I can't wait to be able to do that'.

My eyes open in awe as we walk to the gates of the most elegant and breathtaking palace I've ever laid my eyes on in my entire life. The walls are of clean white and roses with a red colour that none other could ever rival snake up them. True beauty seems to sway like an aura around the whole place and it's gardens.

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… and Aki, I welcome thee to the Palace of Tsuradia." Dante finishes with a bow.

I roll my eyes and follow behind him, still annoyed as we advance upon a great iron gate. Whilst letting my eyes wander upon the elaborate carvings in the metal, I notice that there are fifteen different pictures there, all of them laid against a selection of symbols. The one shaped like a unicorn catches my eye immediately. That one looks exactly like Dante's, it must be his. And then the one shaped like a noble dragon, standing tall and proud catches my heart in it's mystical beauty. I wonder if that one's taken?

I give Tay a shove on the shoulder to snap him out of his incessant mutterings that have begun. He sticks his tongue out at me before approaching the gate with a skip in his step and knocking upon it.

"Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaro!!" I watch, once again amused, as he sticks his head through one of the larger bars of the gate and bellows at the top of his voice. "Taro!! Come hither please!"

At once, a girl dressed in mulberry robes appears out of thin air and skulks over to my loud-ass brother. I find it entrancing when people and spirits just appear out of thin air right in front of my eyes. It's strange and looks unspeakable but Tay has told me that it's not that hard to accomplish once you get the hang of it. I should force him to teach me one time, I'm eager to learn.

"Dante Yamido. My, my, my what a pleasant surprise." The new girl present places her hands around a bar on to the gate and smiles sweetly at my bro'.

An innocent look that could melt anything sweeps across Dante's face in response. "Taro, my dear, would be good and let us in, please?"

"Ha ha, right. Well Mr. Yamido, I would love to but you see, you're still in trouble as am I, after that incident last month over Jai's headdress. I'm afraid to let you in incase you try and pull another fast one to get us both into even bigger bother with the elders."

"Ah, but Taro baby, you can trust me this time, I'm a good boy and I'll behave."

Oh God, spare me. I wonder if this is how my brother tries to get into everything, by using his sweetness charade. I fold my arms whilst I'm waiting. I watch the forenamed, Taro, burst into fits of laughter. Why I don't know, but she obviously found Dante's charade, like I did, amusing.

"HA HA, get out." She responds with a pointed finger away from the gate. She knows how to put things bluntly I'll give her that.

"But Taro!! I really need to see if-"

"Dante! Out! Now!"



"Taro! I-"


"Listen to me for one minute please!"

She sighs, looking very cross at my brother with a look that could kill. "Ok, your minute started ten seconds ago so get talking!"

"I need to see the elders to see if I can arrange a test for my sister 'cos she's just discovered she has Kadarain powers and wants to learn to use 'em properly, but of course she can't do that until she passes the Uthrane test! So please let me in! Or else I'll tell Elder Frae that it was YOU who took his faith staff and stuck it into the nostril of the carving of Queen Vaiselia last year!"

All that in one breath. Amazing. There are just so many different talents to Dante, one of the main ones obviously being able to talk someone to death in one go. Literally. I raise an eyebrow and observe as my brother and Taro begin what I think is a slanging match, as it's all spoken in the native Kadarain language. Hmmm, this could take a while.

An hour later…

"Fine then!!" Taro snaps sharply at the end of the match and swings the gate open before disappearing again before my eyes into thin air.

Dante turns to me with a smirk and holds out his arm to me. "Well then, shall we proceed?"

I take his arm gingerly and let him lead me further towards the great palace. Somewhere deep inside me, a part of me is screaming 'don't do this, you'll regret it', and another part is shouting 'come on, Aki, this is the chance you've been waiting for to finally feel special'. I'm confused, I don't know which one to believe, but by the way that Dante is dragging me along, I'd say he's happy for me.

Well, at least someone is. I've never felt this special for most of my life. Maybe it's finally my turn to receive some praise.