ஜ۩۞۩ஜChapter 8ஜ۩۞۩ஜ

ஜ۩۞۩ஜ Preparations ஜ۩۞۩ஜ

Once his daughter was out of sight, the man with icy grey eyes walked the opposite direction down the beach, he hummed fireflies by owl city as he did so. About halfway around the island he looked at the fire island, on top of the mountainous mesa that shadowed the western half of the island. He stood there and waited, in till the moon was at its highest. At exactly midnight he turned to the dark jungle. It emerged from the darkness, seeming to materialize from the shadows.

The creäture was large and covered in scales, its diamond hard armor was celestial purple-red that seemed to have no name, but that of space lights. It's eyes glowed with the light of the moon, its bat wing membranes the pale blue of frost bite. Spikes crowned its head and left a trail down it's back down to its tail that ended with a fin-like frill. The end of the wing's third finger sprouted large crab claws, the symbol of its own name. All of its grandest helped to overlook its shorter front legs, only inches from being the same length as the back.

This beast strolled up to the tree line and looked down at Andrew from its towering height. Ice bowed to his ruling lord, "Cancer." The name held much respect and pleased the dragon, who showed this with a nod. Drew continued "I have tried to contact you before, I was not sure if you heard me." Cancer snorted and began to make strange clicking and whistling noises, many of the clicks made with his claws. This lost language was now only spoken by a few of Cancer's descendants, the crabs. Ice was one of the few who could understand it. 'Oh, I heard you alright, you spoke to me just about every night. You have forgotten that anyone may speak to the stars, but only in this world may we speak back. With many, even speaking to them they hear nothing.' Ice bowed again, "I am sorry for my forgetfulness, but I was desperate to hear from you." Cancer nodded 'Have I never not responded to you unless I was unable? You are after all the holder of our contract.' Cancer's eyes softened 'I know what you seek, and I shall help you with the other Contractors and their Elementals.' Andrew grinned at the contractor Cancer, "The people have named you justly Cancer, loyal, caring, dependable, adaptable, and responsive. Thank you, there is no way for me to ever fully express my gratitude for this."

The dragon held his head proudly ignoring the fact that if the people had truly named him justly then he was moody, self-pitying, oversensitive, and self-absorbed along with all the good Ice had just pointed out. Andrew also opted to ignore the flaws as well.

The giant beast seemed to hop and made to land on Ice, but as he moved Cancer shrunk to the size of a squirrel. Ice didn't even flinch at the act of Cancer but held out his elbow for the Contractor to land on. The small dragon perched on the man's shoulder as he walked down the path to Ember Island, and the Fire Mistress.

An aura welcomed the pair into the main room, up the stairs, down a hall, took a left turn, down another hall, to a giant ballroom. The floor was Kronborg slot style, the dark wood shining along with the black and white tiles. The rest of the room was bare, excluding the millions of candles everywhere. Five women stood in the room, four of which had dragons the same size as Cancer of their shoulders.

Temperance saw him first, she came to him and smiled. "Well, the moving target lives to try another day." She wore a red cloak with black trim and flames sewn into it. Ares coiled loosely around her neck, like a burgundy scale scarf. He resembled a snake with even legs, thin ram horns, and flame red hair starting at the base of his skull and trailing down his back to end in a small fire-ish way. His eyes glowed like red stars. Also he had no wings so to speak.

She waved and walked away to the center of the room and snapped her fingers, at once all the candles in the room lite. Andrew looked at the women and wasn't surprised to see the four Elementals in their traditional colors, red, blue, purple, and green. The girl in the pink cloak stood out painfully with the darker colors of the room and other women. He strolled up to her and tugged her hood down, Lilly jumped and spun around. "Papa! What are you trying to do? Give me a heart attack? That's it, you're trying to kill me, put me in my death-bed before I can make a contract with the zodiac!" Ice smiled "So that's what this is all, you're getting your contract. So, who are you hoping for?" She looked down at the floor and blushed, "Don't laugh, okay." Drew nodded encouragingly, Lilly huffed "Right, I was hoping...for... maybe...I don't really know... I guess I was sorta wanting..." He voice dropped to a whisper, "Leo." Andrew thought about it. "Not a bad choice generous and warmhearted, creative and enthusiastic, broad-minded and expansive, faithful and loving. Of course it is also pompous and patronizing, bossy and interfering, dogmatic and intolerant."

She looked up at him with big eyes, "You're taking me seriously?" Ice nodded again and Cancer chattered on his shoulder ''She's crazy, Leo doesn't make contracts, he gains servants. He'd walk all over her pretty pink clad body." Ice scowled at his passenger, then looked back at his daughter. "Well, the best part of gaining a contract with the zodiac is you never know who you're going to get, but in the end you get the same abilities." He winked and then added, "I have a surprise of my own for later." Curiosity lit Lilly's big blue eyes and she looked at her father hoping he would tell more. He just smiled and strolled over to a corner to wait in till the right moment.

(See The Corner for more)