Chapter 8

"Sounds to me like you cannot be a Temple Guardian anymore, Tranquility," spoke the Water King. He and his queen sat in their thrones of sea shells and looked down at the group with their shimmering blue eyes.

"But I…" Tranquility tried to speak but was cut off by her queen.

"You do this time and time again," the woman said. "We've warned you about this."

Kite looked to the Water Queen in confusion. "She's done this more than once?"

The boy heard Tyson sneer from behind him. "Oh yeah. As soon as she became a Temple Guardian and I began training her, she claimed she was in love with me. I tell her that I'm married and she challenges my wife like some sort of lunatic."

Tranquility felt her face heat up in embarrassment. "I…um…"

"And each time she goes on one of those trips across the sea, she finds some poor boy and claims to be in love with him…" The Queen started.

Her King finished with, "And each time, the boy has a girl he cares about more and she can't handle it!"

Emi looked to Tranquility. "Oh my…"

"We greatly apologize for her actions Snow Princess." The King said to Emi.

"Huh?" Emi blinked her big mismatched eyes and turned to him. "Oh. Um…Don't worry about it."

"You may reside her in our palace if you wish." The Queen offered.

Emi nodded her head. "Thank you."

The King returned his stare to Tranquility. His shimmering eyes were filled with foreboding. "As for you, Tranquility. The Temple Sentries wish to see you so you may relinquish your power."

Tranquility felt as though time had stopped. She swallowed the lump in her throat and nodded her head slowly. "I understand…" she managed.

"Talk about drastic," Tac whispered to Noa.

She nodded in response.

"Tyson," the Queen addressed, "won't you please escort the Snow Princess and her party to their rooms?"

"Yes your majesty." Tyson accepted. He turned to Emi and the others. "Follow me."

Tyson led the group of five from the throne room. As they walked off, Emi couldn't help but look back at Tranquility. 'She made me realize something. I shouldn't try to rush my friendship with Night like I have been,' she thought. Her gaze shifted to the Dark Kingdom boy walking ahead of her. 'I should cherish the time we have together.'

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The twelve-year-old Night was the darkest thing in the palace. He sat in the Light Palace garden and watched the numerous gardeners work. They all had golden hair and golden eyes and the boy really felt like he stood out amongst them.

The walls were white but the light from the candles gave off the illuminating glow that made the walls look like they were made of gold.

A man with short blonde hair and squinted eyes for he was reasonably old, approached young Night. "Prince Night," he said to the boy. Night looked up at him. "Your mother says your father wishes to speak with you." The Dark boy sighed.

The man led Night through the large glowing doors that took them back into the palace from the garden. They walked down a corridor and up to a large set of doors at the very end. They prepared to enter, but the man grew hesitant when two voices could be heard from beyond the doors.

"You'd better make this fast," spoke a woman's voice with venom.

"That's a little rude, Nova," responded a man's voice with much confidence.

"No," the woman, Nova, said. "Rude is showing your face here."

"I haven't seen him in a year!" cried the man, yet he didn't sound too distressed about anything. "What do you want me to do?"

"That's inconsiderate. Always thinking of yourself before anyone else, huh Eclipse?"

"Excuse me?"

"He came here with me because he didn't want to be with you. Do you honestly think he wants to see you?"

"Of course he does! I'm the boy's father. Now where is he?"

"Cool your jets. Irah went to get him."

Irah, the old man that had escorted Night to the doors, knocked on them. The voices grew silent.

"Come in," called Nova after clearing her throat.

Irah opened the door and bowed his head to the woman that stood beyond it. "Queen Nova, I've brought Prince Night."

A tall and beautiful woman with flowing golden hair and golden eyes stood before the two in the door. Her clothes and crown were golden and glistened as she moved. Her fair face was scrunched slightly with agitation but it grew soft when her golden eyes fell on the boy behind the old man. "Thank you Irah. Let him in," she said sweetly.

The old man turned to the boy behind him. "Prince Night," he gestured for him to enter the room. Night, without a word, walked straight past him. He crossed the threshold into the room, but stopped moving once he was on the opposing side of the door which closed behind him. He stared at the two adults he'd been sealed inside the room with.

The Dark Kingdom king, Eclipse, smiled when his blood red eyes fell on the boy. "Wow. He's grown."

Nova ignored that comment. "Come here, Night," she called to him with her arms out. Night walked over to Nova, but his dark crimson eyes did not leave Eclipse. He stood before the woman and let her gently take him in her arms. Both of their eyes were then on Eclipse. "Well Eclipse, here he is. Say what you had to say and be gone," Nova told the man, the hostility returned to her voice.

"Sure…" Eclipse nodded. He looked down at Night. "Night, I realize you must be very upset with me..."

Night's eyes filled with loathing, but he remained quiet.

Nova rolled her eyes. "That's an understatement."

"Your mother says you haven't spoken since…Now why is that?" Eclipse asked the boy.

Night remained silent.

"He's traumatized, of course!" Nova exclaimed.

Eclipse's eyes went to her. "Let the boy speak for himself."

"Fine. He can tell you to get out himself then."

Eclipse ignored her. "Night…Why won't you speak, huh?"

Night looked at the floor, his fists were clenching themselves and then loosening over and over again.

"Hard to believe you haven't done that in a year," Eclipse continued to incite some kind of response from his son.

"Cut the crap, Eclipse," Nova started. "Just get to why you're her. We're both getting annoyed with you, right Night?" She looked down at her son whose glare shifted up from the floor and returned to his father.

"Right," Eclipse chuckled lightly. "Well, Night, I want you to come back to the Dark Kingdom with me. That's where you belong."

Night shook his head.

Nova smirked with a sense of triumph. "I told you he'd say no."

"Wait a minute, I'm not done," Eclipse assured her. Nova sneered. "Night, despite how much you probably hate me, I'm willing to give you anything if you come back with me."

"You're bribing him?" Nova sounded disgusted. "That's just like you!"

"I'm willing to do whatever it takes for him to back with me."

"Unless you know how to bring the dead back to life, then I doubt he'll go with you."

"Let's let him decide for himself."

Silence fell over the family of three.

"…I'll come with you."

Nova was shocked by what the first words out of her son's mouth turned out to be after a year. "W-What?" she sputtered.

Eclipse smirked. He had just become the triumphant one. "If…" he urged on.

"…If Mars teaches me how to fight," the boy quietly said.

"Consider it done."

Nova knelt down to her son's level. "Are you sure you want to leave with him?" Night nodded to her. Nova bit her bottom lip. She reached her long arms around him and pulled him into a tight embrace. "You be careful then. Who knows what he'll try to do," she warned him.

Eclipse smiled. He reached a hand out to the boy. "Let's go then, Night."

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Night stood on the balcony of his room in the Water Palace. He wasn't technically standing. He was actually sitting on the rail that ran along the balcony itself.

It was nighttime in the Water Kingdom and from where he was, Night could see the sea and most of the kingdom. From above, he found that the kingdom actually resembled the sea itself, at night anyway. He sighed.

Emi approached the door of one of the rooms. She was in her nightgown since she had snuck out of her's and Noa's room while Noa slept. She opened the door and peered in. There was no one in the room or in the bed. She crept in and looked around with no remorse to entering without an invitation.

Night winced as he heard the sounds of footsteps approaching him. He didn't look to see who it was though. "What do you want?" he growled.

Emi jump slightly. She'd been startled. She hadn't expected anyone to actually be on the balcony when she stepped out there. "Oh! There you are!" She laughed when she recovered. "I came to wish you goodnight. I see you're not sharing a room with Kite and Tac."

Night shrugged. "Sometimes I like being by myself…"

"Oh…I could never be myself. I hate feeling lonely."

"Yeah. I kind of figured that," was Night's sarcastic reply.

Emi forced a smile. She'd let that one slide for the moment. "I'm sorry for being so clingy with you. I'll hold back from now on."

Night glanced at her out of the corner of his eyes. "That was random."

"I know," she admitted. "I'm a very touchy, feely person and you're not so…" She looked up. When she caught him looking at her, her face began to turn red. She looked away. "Um…anyway. That's it. Good night." She said hurriedly. She turned her back to him, prepared to head back the way she came.

"…Good night, Emi."

She froze in her place. Then, a smile appeared on her face.