Chapter 1

The Discovery

"In the world of the spirits lies a great palace from the days of knights and kings. Inside lives a mysterious man whose name no one knows. He is only known as the Emperor a being of great power. He plays as the judge and also the guide for souls who haven't or are not passing on to the afterlife. He is also the protector and balance keeper of the living and dead souls who may be threatened by beasts known as Soulidia. Monsters, which take hideous, terrifying forms, and eat human souls."

"That has to be the weirdest book I have ever heard so why do you have it again, Eleanor?"Michel said pointing to the large leather bound book with the words Spirits Guide written in gold on the front. She wore a pair of black dress pants, dress shoes, white dress shirt, and an unbuttoned black vest.

"Well my mom believes in the whole spiritual world myths and legends. So she gave it to me saying something about me being a special child or something. I humored her and took it for a good joke read or something. You know," she explained in her charming voice.

"No, I don't really know. You know how I feel about that ghost and spirit stuff, not my taste," he explained in his calm voice.

"I know you don't like it, but I know of one thing you do like," said she as she fell back into his arms and her blue eyes meet his green. She slowly pushed his raggedy red hair away and placed a smooth kiss right on his lips. She pulled away and asked, "Well did you like that?"

"Yeah it was nice," he said setting her back on her feet.

"You know I don't like it when you remind me I'm shorter than you."

"Then stop wearing those little dress shoes and wear heels or something."

"Or you couldn't wear those boots of yours around me and make me feel taller," she suggested giving a puppy dog look.

"Fine if that's what you want I will stop wearing my boots around you," said Michel giving a quick kiss on her cheek.

"Ok, so let's get going home. If we're late my mom's going to be mad." He was about to follow his girlfriend when he looked up and saw something strange. Looking back she noticed him not moving, "What's wrong? What are you looking at?"

"I think there's a person on top of that building over there," said Michel pointing up at a strange figure on a building top.

"What? No way, nothing that exciting ever happens here in Salem. Well you know since the Witch Trails," she joked taking a closer look at the figure.

Then before Michel could think of a comeback the figure jumped from the building top high into the sky. "That person just jumped from the building!"

"What?" In that instant the shadowy figure landed in between Michel and her. "A…girl?" was all she could say as the stranger tripped her. She hit the ground hard as the girl grabbed and slammed him into the wall.

"Nice outfit weird-o," Michel choked out as he was lifted slightly off the ground. The person holding him up wore strange clothes for someone in a town like this. A cowboy hat covered her eyes, out the back hung long, dirty blonde hair. From what he could see she wore a brown vest under a black short sleeve coat, with black jeans and black boots. Bandages wrapped her hand. "What do you want form me, girly?"

The attacker held him up silent, not budging and she seemed not to breathe. "At least answer me before I die from not breathing," choked out a still gasping Michel.

"First, don't call me girly again," said the attacker in a stern but still feminine voice. "Second, better tell your girlfriend not to even try it," said the figure turning her head towards Eleanor on her knees ready to jump. "Third, you're coming with me to see a very important person."

Quickly Michel struck the arm of the attacker forcing her to release him to the ground. Michel used this chance to get by Eleanor's side as the attacker ended up against the building holding her arm. "You punk, I guess if you won't come with me quietly I'll have to use force." The attacker then moved back her coat to reveal two shotguns strapped to her waist.

"Now, now, Samantha, no need to get violent. The old man said to bring him back by his choice." Samantha turned to the wall beside her as a black haired, green eyed teenage boy walked through it. "Edward, what are you doing walking through walls in broad daylight?" asked Samantha sounding very angry.

"Making sure you don't kill the man who is supposed to be an honored guest at…oh look, they're gone."

"What!" Samantha turned to see that Michel and Eleanor had left the spot. "Thanks a lot, you stupid spirit. If you didn't go walking through walls every second they probably wouldn't have run!"

"There is no need to yell at me Miss Psycho, I'll track their soul wave frequencies," said Edward as he slipped a silver ring onto his fingers. It had a green stone that seemed to glow without any light hitting it. "Now who do you want found the girl or the boy?" he asked as his hand began to slightly glow the color of the stone.

"Find me that little punk who messed my arm up," she said rubbing her sore arm.

Night had fallen by the time the two reached the house of the Douglass family. It was a nice two-story home in the backcountry of Salem. A light was on in the room that rested over the garage and nowhere else.

"What took you so long to find this place Mister Master Tracker?" she asked with a tip of joking in her voice.

"Shut up little Miss Annoying. His frequency kept changing on me like it didn't want me to find him or something."

"Is the girl with him or…"

"No she is not with him; they must have split up as soon as they reached where I'm standing." He then looked up at the window and focused on it. "I can feel it from here by the way."

"What are you talking about, you stupid spirit?" She sat down on a tree near the street.

"His power of course, he might not know what he can do yet, but I can just tell it will be powerful," said Edward still staring hard at the window as the light went off.

"Whatever, by the way, if you couldn't tell it's late and humans need sleep. So, I'm going to break into one of those empty houses and sleep," she said getting up.

"Fine, but don't get caught by the cops or something while you sleep." She just gave a wave and walked away to get some sleep for the night.

Edward went to the same tree where she was just sitting, climbed to the top and sat admiring the beautiful home. "I can sense you, you dirty beast," he said leaning back slightly in the tree. Behind him he heard a soft growl and the shuffle of claws on the ground. "I'll warn you now, little beast, you take even one more step forward and I will kill you in a blink!" Then there was a crack and a large boom as the beast in the shadows ran away. "Huh, I hope you're happy Michel, I just saved your butt from a Soulidia." Edward then rested on his tree and faded away into the land of sleep for the first time in a while.

"Hey wake up; wake up, you stupid little spirit, before I push you out of that tree!" Edward's eyes slowly opened as he heard the screams of Samantha from below. He sat up and looked down to see his smiley partner tapping her foot impatiently.

"What do you want from me anyway?" He asked still a little sleepy.

"I want you to get down here so we can go and keep an eye on those two from yesterday."

"Fine I'm coming just give me a minute, my master," he said as he lowered himself down. "So where did they go exactly?"

She just turned her head, eyes still covered toward him and said, "Odd shouldn't you know mister tracker."

"Very funny, just tell me where."

"Where do you think they went moron? They're sixteen-year-old humans. They went to school for the day, one Salem High, which is about four miles from here."

"Well then, I guess we should get going our we'll be late for school," he said as he and Samantha went off for the town's local high school.

The parking lot of Salem high school was packed with hundreds of students from freshmen to seniors. Luckily their looks allowed both of them to blend in to the crowd well, kind of.

"Hey weirdo great outfit for freak day," said some large boy in a lettermen's jacket as he passed by the two.

"Can I kill him later when no one is looking, please?" asked Samantha as she moved for her guns.

"No you may not, our mission is too important right now for you to beat up some annoying human idiot."

"What did you just call me you little punk?" said the large senior heading back at the two.

"Oh you heard me, did you? Well that is just great, now I don't have to repeat myself," said Edward looking right into the senior's face. Already a group of students had formed around the two due to their fuss.

"So tell me you little pest, are you ready to die?" asked the senior as he threw a punch right at Edward.

"Sorry already did once, don't want to do it again big guy." The punch missed barely and Edward quickly grabbed his arm and flipped the player into the ground. Everyone ran forward to help the player up as the two walked away, both with small smiles on their faces.

"What happened to 'no beating people up' and 'the mission is important'?" she asked

"Sometimes you have to go against the mission's orders and do what's needed. Now today you watch after the girl and I'll keep an eye on our boy." Samantha nodded and walked away to begin her watch duty as he did the same.

The day moved slowly as Edward kept an eye on Michel. It was already lunch and nothing exciting had happened but that was changing. "Look at this, a good old fashion fist fight," said Edward as he watched a large fight involving Michel beginning below. It was clear to see even from he's tree branch Michel was out numbered four to one. Surprisingly though, he was winning quite nicely with every blow he landed.

"What are you doing sitting in this tree, Edward?" asked Samantha landing on the branch next to him.

"Looking after Michel over there, just as we agreed," he answered gesturing at Michel still fighting.

"Wait a minute, how many people is he fighting?"

"It was six, but two ran off a few minutes ago after just one hit," said Edward with a laugh.

"He's getting pretty lucky for an amateur, isn't he?" she asked as she watched Michel deliver the final blow to the last opponent.

"It isn't luck, dear Samantha, he was using the style of mixed martial arts to fight," explained Edward as Michel fell to one knee and started coughing blood.

"Why is he coughing up blood? He was barely hit from what I saw happen."

"Well yeah Samantha, but before you got here two of the guys hit him hard with a pair of brass knuckles. Hey, wait one minute, why are you here? Aren't you supposed to be watching Eleanor or whatever her name was?"

"I still am keeping an eye on her. You see, here she comes right now," she said pointing at Eleanor running to Michel with a first aid kit.

"How did she know to come to help him?" pondered Edward out loud.

"I don't know, maybe she just got lucky or heard him fighting and knew he would need help."

"Yeah, that's probably it," agreed Edward with a small smile on his face.

They watched Eleanor help Michel stand and walk away towards the eating area.

"I'm going to keep an eye on them. You stay here and keep a lookout for you- know- what's. All right Samantha?" He asked as he jumped to the next tree.

"Fine Mister, I'm now in charge, just get going before you lose them," she said as she gave him a wave. Edward slightly smiled and quickly jumped to follow his targets.

When he was finally out of earshot, Samantha grabbed her hat, leaned back and let out a great big sigh. "That girl has the most boring and average life I have ever seen. I swear to the great Emperor of souls if I had that life I would blow my brains out."

"From my point of view that would be pretty nice if it happened," said a beastly voice from behind Samantha. She turned to see the source. First came two large black claws each with six long fingers. Next emerged the head of the beast, its sharp long features unmoving, teeth and red eyes made it seem like a mask.

The body was long and thin covered in so many blades they scraped together when the beast walked. The back legs were just like the front and the tail was thin ending in a three-point spear. "Nice to meet you Samantha the Soul Huntress," said the beast inching ever closer.

"I take it you're the Soulidia that has been stalking this town for the past few days, and the one I felt outside Michel's house last night."

"Correct. My name is Spearrado, the spear and blade Soulidia, and I'm here to spear you."

"Finally something fun to do around this town!" screamed Samantha as she quickly drew both guns from her belt and fired at the beast. The explosion could be heard up to five miles away.

"What did Samantha blow up now?" said Edward as he turned to and ran to where he left her no more than five minutes ago. When he arrived all he could do was look at the new formed, massive crater in the ground. "Samantha what the heck are you doing shooting your guns here?"

"I was shooting at that thing!" she shouted pointing at the Soulidia now clinging to the only standing trees in the area. "It's a Soulidia that has been attacking the town and stalking our two new friends."

"Great, a Soulidia that's one giant spear, and if you look here comes, oh I don't know- everyone!" yelled Edward with nothing but anger in his voice.

"We'll settle this later, little girl. Enjoy explaining this to all those kids and teachers coming," joked the Soulidia as he jumped away ripping apart the tree he was on.

"Let's get moving, Samantha, before the cops show up and throw handcuffs on the two of us," said Edward as he jumped to a nearby tree branch. Samantha didn't move from her branch as Eleanor and Michel arrived at the crater area.

"Hey you two, long time, no see," she joked with a smile. Michel gave her a look of death as she jumped to the next branch. "We'll be seeing each other real soon, got that."

"Next time we meet I'm getting answers from you," said Michel with a stern look on his face. She waved and vanished with two more quick jumps.

As the two figures vanished into the distance, all the other students and supervisors arrived behind Michel and Eleanor. "Students we need all of you to go back to the lunch area," said the school's cop as he waved everyone away from the crater, but no one was leaving from the spot where they stood. "That was nothing more than a gas explosion from the pipes underground. Just please, go back to the lunch area." The students finally started to move away as the cop examined the crater closer.

Eleanor and Michel walked away and exchanged looks of concern and worry. "It was the two from yesterday, they caused that explosion," He said as he walked holding his side.

"You're right. Are you okay Michel? You look like you're in pain."

"I'm just fine, they barely hit me back there. Do you have that book from yesterday on you right now?" he asked as the two of them sat down at a table. She nodded her head and from her bag took out the large book.

"I read it more last night after that experience with that hunter girl and the supposed spirit boy. While reading I found out a lot, like for a spirit to seem human they must have a special item on their person."

"That guy's ring seemed to glow slightly yesterday," remembered Michel as Eleanor nodded in agreement. "But, what about that girl in the hunting outfit?"

"In truth, I couldn't find anything on her or anyone like her in this whole darn book." Michel looked down at Eleanor's hand as she closed the book and noticed it shaking.

"Eleanor, are you okay with all that's happening?" asked Michel taking her hand in his.

"I'm just scared that everything in our world is not as simple as we first thought," choked out Eleanor, trying not to cry.

The school bell rang and he kissed her on the head and said, "Don't worry. Together after school we'll go to my place and get everything back to normal." She smiled, grabbed her stuff and with a quick wave ran off to her next class.

Michel stood up to go to his own class but froze as someone grabbed his shoulder. "Hey there Michel, how you been and all?"

"You're that Edward guy from yesterday right? I thought you left ?" asked Michel trying to turn around to see him.

"Correct, and I never left I followed you here. Don't turn around during this conversation of ours please. Now the fact that you can hear me speak is alone proof that you are a powerful human soul."

"What do you mean by that?" He asked starting to get annoyed by this conversation.

"That ring you and your girlfriend were talking about, I don't have it on right now. That makes me a true spirit at this moment."

"What does that mean to me exactly?"

"Well, only humans with high soul energy should be able to sense me and you're both hearing and feeling me right now." Michel's body relaxed slightly and Edward noticed. "By that I take it you finally get what I've been trying to say. You're a strong human, Michel, in body, mind, and soul. We will be contacting you soon. Stay safe, Michel."

He quickly spun around to see Edward but saw nothing except the empty lunch area. The late bell rang and Michel cursed under his breath knowing his teacher wouldn't be happy. He then gathered his things and headed for his next class mumbling under his breath, "I don't want my life to change, its fine the way it is."

The school day ended for Michel far sooner than he wanted it to. The last thing Edward had said rang in Michel's head throughout the whole day. "What's on your mind, Michel?" She asked from behind him.

"Everything is on my mind right now, my dear," he said as he turned and kissed her on her cheek. "You ready to go to my place and read how this whole thing may change our lives," he said taking her hand.

"Sure, and remember, whatever happens, our lives change together. I promise you that," she said, tightening her grip on his hand. The two walked away as Michel thought, I can't tell Eleanor that I saw a strange monster on top of the school, but I will suggest that we take the bus back to my place. The two then got on a bus headed for his home just as the beast on the school also started out for his house.

Night had fallen only an hour after Michel and Eleanor arrived at his house. The two of them were sitting in the living room of Michel's home. The room was nicely decorated with two leather couches, an entertainment center filled with all the goods, a round table, and a chandelier. "So does that book make any more sense than it did an hour ago?" asked Michel banging his head on the couch.

"No, none at all," she complained, her head hitting the book on the table. "I could read it so easily this morning, but now it seems it's in a different language."

"Well then, I say we stop for the night," he suggested getting off the couch.

"I guess we should, I mean there's nothing more we can do for now," said Eleanor sanding up and walking to the window to get her things. Outside, a rather odd noise of scraping metal started up. "That's a weird noise, huh Michel?" Before he could answer the sound outside got worse.

"Die you little punks!" screamed a beastly voice from outside.

"Eleanor, get away from that window now!" screamed Michel as he dove to get her to safety.

A blinding flash of light suddenly filled the front room of the house. When it faded away, a hole the size of a jeep was left in the wall, hundreds of swords sticking out everywhere. Holding Eleanor in hand and having two blades in his arm, he turned to see something stepping through the hole. It was a large dog-like beast covered in blades. "You're a Soulidia aren't you, freak?" he asked breathing hard.

"Correct boy, I'm Spearrado the spear and blade Soulidia, I have been sent to collect you for my master. I'm impressed by the way, you saved the girl and only received minor injures," said Spearrado gesturing to Eleanor unconscious in his hands.

Michel put Eleanor down on the couch and quickly pulled out the two blades in his shoulders. "You ugly freak, you hurt Eleanor," said Michel pointing at her blood running down her face. "So, I will kill you myself, Monster!" he screamed.

"I'm shocked you're not freaking out more. I mean I'm a giant monster."

"I don't care what's going on you hurt her I beat you!"

"Oh I see now you're the over protective type of friend," the beast said with a chuckle.

"Just shut up and get ready to die, monster!"

"How do you plan to do that Michel, punch him a few times? He isn't that weak," said a familiar voice from outside. Both Michel and Spearrado turned to see Edward sitting on a piece of house smiling at them. "Nice to see you again Michel, and nice to meet you Soulidia. My name is Edward Vincent," he said stepping off the piece and bowing slightly. "Now I'm going to have to ask you to leave nice and quietly."

"I don't care what you want, I was ordered to grab this boy and get out of this town."

"True, but what if you also brought the body of, say, one of the Soul Soldiers as well. Then your master would be really happy with you and maybe even promote you," said Edward with a big grin.

Spearrado quickly charged at Edward at full speed screaming, "Die!" Edward in one quick movement and with two fingers sent the charging beast back out onto the street.

Michel stared at what just happened in total shock. Edward noticed him looking and said, "You should get her head and your arm looked at."

"How did you do that just now, boy?" asked Spearrado limping back to the building. "Was it some kind of magic trick?"

"Trust me, I'm not some magician, but I do have something up my sleeve that will make you disappear." Then out of his sleeve slid, a small seven inch long silver rod.

"Don't mock me, you little punk!"

"Katana Sword," was all Edward said as the rod he held became a curved black steel Japanese katana. He then quickly hit Spearrado in the face with the back of the blade. Sending the beast flying out the wall and into the street, yet again. "Stay in here, I'll be back in about a minute or so," he said as he ran out to face the beast.

Michal turned to Eleanor on the couch and checked the wound under her hair. "She'll be fine if you give the wound time and air," said a female voice from behind him.

"Samantha was it?" he asked turning to see her standing in the hole. "What is going on here? Why are all of you and that thing after me?"

Samantha walked in and sat down on the chair giving a slight smile. "Since you asked so nicely I will answer your questions. First, your soul, as far as we can tell, is extremely powerful and unlike any before. So the two sides of this soul war, you could call it, want you to join them. My people are known as the Soul Soldiers and want you to join us to stop the Soulidia threat.

"Our enemies, the Soulidia, want to eat you and make themselves stronger than ever before. So now that you know the basics of your situation, will you please come with me to safety?"

"Only if Eleanor can come with me," was all he could say to answer the question.

"What?"

"You heard me, didn't you; Eleanor is the one person in this world I care about as much as my family. So I won't go anywhere without her," he said with a stern unchanging face.

"Annoyingly, I will let her come along just so you will also come with us back to our base," said Samantha standing up and suddenly freezing. He turned to the hole and was shocked at what he saw.

Inside the hole in the wall was the Soulidia missing every sword on his body, its front left leg, and tail. Blue blood was leaking out of its mouth as he said, "I will kill all of you!"

"Well, I see Edward really did a number on you, Ugly," she said laughing a little.

"Shut up, you little witch!" screamed the beast as he charged forward. Samantha suddenly slammed her left shoulder into Spearrado's chest causing a star pattern to be burned into its chest. "What was that?"

Samantha took off her coat to reveal a large shoulder guard on her left shoulder. On it was the same mark as on Spearrado's chest. "But since Edward couldn't end it I'll have to," she said as she drew both her shotguns.

"Wait, if you do that the whole house could fall down on us all," interrupted Michel before she pulled the trigger. Samantha realized he was right and put away her guns.

"So you can't stop me now!" screamed Spearrado as he charged at Samantha.

"Great Kusarigama!" was the last thing heard before a large spiked ball crushed Spearrado! "Sorry I took so long to finish this guy off, Samantha." Suddenly the large ball vanished into smoke leaving just Edward holding his pole standing over the beast. The body of the Soulidia began to crackle and burn form the inside out, in the end leaving nothing but ashes. "So is our new friend, Michel, coming with us?"

"Yes but, we have to bring the girl too."

That instant Eleanor woke up and rubbed her head. "What happened here?" asked Eleanor looking at the wall and her blood covered fingers.

Michel wouldn't answer her; he just stared at Samantha and Edward who were smiling at him. "Well Michel, Eleanor, I ask that you rest for the night. Tomorrow we leave for New York, our home base, and your new lives in this world," said Edward with a smile, a bow, and a voice that a lawyer would think was sly. Michel just nodded, ready for what ever would happen.