Chapter Twenty One

Sean had come back for me and when we met up he was concerned and worried. He examined me up and down (more thoroughly then necessary) and during that I told him I'd found our last Spirit Warrior as well as that Jessica wasn't evil. She bitched me out for even thinking about that, but it was only half heartedly because she was still so excited and hyped up over what she saw I could do and that she might be able to do that herself. To be honest, I wondered what she could do too, as well as everyone else. The only powers that I knew the others had were the abilities to see spirits and go into the Spirit Realm. Then there was the other powers that I had on top of being able to enter the Spirit Realm, which was my eerie fire and my bow made of light. From what I gathered from the book, it was clear I had more power then just that, and that my friend's power also extended further then what they knew of.

It sucked I couldn't say anything to them about it, that I had to hide all these secrets and important information inside of me. I didn't like holding important stuff like this to myself. It was even worse because they knew that I was holding all these secrets and they weren't allowed to ask me anything about it. Tessa's driver drove us back to her mansion and when Jess took one look at it, she freaked.

"You've been staying here?! Here?! That's insane. Holy mother." She said in a rush under her breath as she gasped and awed. I stifled a laugh and felt weighted down by Sean's hand in mine. It seemed by boy problems hadn't gone away yet, and I almost couldn't believe there was a time not too long ago that I'd have laughed in someone's face if they'd told me I'd be in this kind of mess.

"Calm yourself. Jesus. Yeah, me and the others have been staying here. It's easier for all of us." I told her.

"But, like, what about your rents?"

"Well my dad is in the hospital constantly so he's actually glad I'm with my friends instead of in an empty house. Everyone else kinda just keeps making up things like studying, parties, sneaking out in Cam's case, all that kind of stuff. Everyone's parents are strangely cool about it really. It's a bit concerning when you think about it, but it works in our favour so I suppose it's better not to question it too much." I told, my mind working as I kept talking. It was weird how everyone's parents seemed to accept this entire thing. We'd been at Tessa's for weeks now, if I was a parent I'd have put my foot on the breaks awhile ago. Yet...there wasn't an issue.

It was odd, strange, maybe worrisome, but I figure unless trouble arises, best not to tread into that water.

"My parents aren't really in the house anyways since they travel a lot so it's not so weird to me. Cam's a trouble maker so I would guess his parents are probably used to him. Although Mark's is the only weird one. I've met his parents and they're pretty strict, I'm surprised they haven't come taking him back by his ear already." Sean inputted absentmindedly. I shrugged and sighed.

"Well whatever. So far everything is working in our favour. No Shadow Demons, no angry parents, nothing."

"Hm. Whelp. That all sounds pretty funky to me. But if you guys seem cool with it then whateves. You're the experts at this stuff." Jess said as the car pulled up to the doors and came to a stop. Jess jumped out of the car and pranced towards the door. I thanked the driver and walked hand in hand with Sean, following behind Jess.

I could feel my hand claming up and my heart going heavy. My hand felt like it wanted to fall off and run away. I could feel my heart dropping, making everything seem so much heavier. Jess's talking had distracted my feelings up until this point, and now they pushed into the forefront of my mind. When I looked at Sean's lips, I saw Cam's as well. When Sean touched me, I felt Cam's warm and tight hug. When I kissed Sean, I also tasted Cam on my lips. It was disturbing and gross. I loved Sean, I could feel that deep inside of me. So why was I thinking about Cam? Didn't I just...really like him? There's no way I could love him, it's impossible to love two people evenly. So if that was true...why was I seeing Cam so suddenly?

"Melanie?" Sean's voice suddenly rang through and woke me out of my mind, but for some annoying reason I was comparing it to Cam's deep and husky voice.

"Uh, yeah?" I asked, acting like I heard him before.

"Is something wrong? You've been acting weird. And I mean even before you thought Jess might be evil."
"Rude. Still Rude." Jess's voice piped up as she kept banging on the door. I tried to look him in the eyes but it was so damn hard.

I somehow knew that if I did, I wouldn't see emerald but misty blue.

"I'm...well, I'm not completely fine. I won't lie, I have stuff I need to work out. I can't tell you what, but there it is." I said honestly. He looked at me a moment longer but looked up as Tessa opened the door and looked dreamily up at Jess. Tessa was a short little thing, and that was coming from someone who was pretty short themselves. She really was like some little doll. You just needed to sit her on a shelf.

"Oh, I know who you are. Freya told me you were coming with Melanie and Sean today. Welcome." Tessa said with a dreamy smile and a slight wave into the house. Jess gave her a weird look and then walked in. I broke away from Sean and followed her inside, glad for the intrusion. If I was to talk to Sean further about this, I had to talk to Cam. I had to understand why this was happening, what was going on.

Sean's footsteps followed behind me but I didn't dare look back. Now that I'd placed most of the cards out on the table, I had to live with it. We followed Tessa into the library where Mark and Cam were sitting with their Spirit animals, Bantam laying lazily on the table in a sunny spot and Fargo sitting inside of the hood of Cam's black sweater. Reine suddenly came out of no where and began to circle my legs and at the same time Alex came rushing in and followed behind Sean and kept slightly pawing at his pant leg in a way of trying to get affection. Freya came from a cushion in the corner of the library and hopped over to Tessa as she came in and Tessa easily scooped her up and petted her soft fur as Lola flew through an open window and landed on Jess's shoulder, much to my amazement since Jess was bobbing up and down crazily like an excited gopher.

We were all finally gathered together. All united as one. Mark and Cam looked up and looked quizzically at Jess.

"Who's the spun out nerd?" Cam asked. Jess shot him a death glare.

"Who's the snotty toilet coloured eyed punk?" She shot back. I had to hold back a laugh but quickly composed myself.

"Geez, come on guys. Let's not start our first ever union with insults." I told them and walked in between them before Jess launched herself over to attack him.

"First union? Are you saying shes-"

"Yeah, she's the last one of us." I said, cutting off Mark. He looked at Jess and extended his hand out to her.

"Nice to meet you, I'm Mark. The brains of this group." We all snorted (minus Tessa who just smiled) as Jess took his hand and shook it.

"I'm Jessica, Jess is what I prefer. Nice to meet someone decently normal." She turned around to Sean and me. " No offence, but I like you both and I like your not normalness." I shrugged and I wasn't sure what Sean did because he was behind me, but I guessed something similar.

Jess brought her attention back to the others.

"So who else is all here?" She asked, eyeing Cam evilly.

"Well, that," I pointed to Cam. "It Cam. and over there," I turned my finger towards Tessa. "Is Tessa, the owner of this house that you're drooling over." Jess's jaw dropped and she bounced over and took Tessa's hand.

"Nice to meet ya. Love the house, you're so friggin lucky." She said. Tessa laughed softly and shook Jess's hand lightly back.

"Oh it's not all luck. It isn't like I own this house for myself, I was just raised her. and it's lonely anyhow, I'm glad I have friends in here all the time now, it's more lively." Jess clapped a hand on Tessa's back, causing her eyes to widen in surprise.

"Whelp, if you ever need some to come over anytime i'm your girl. I'll even convince my parents to let me move in here if that's what it takes. It'll be rough, but i'm sure they'll deal."

Tessa got over her surprise and laughed loudly. It was the first time i'd seen her act so...not dreamy; seemed normal.

"Well I'll have to certainly think about your offer." Jess winked at her and then looked around at the group. I was just amazed that poor Lola had stayed attached onto Jess with all her wild movements. Suppose it came with the job of being Jess's Spirit Animal. I looked over at Lola and saw her (coloured) eyes fixated on me. I looked into them and found a clarity rushing over me, as if something was unlocking or being freed. No images came into my mind, it was just a feeling of a lock inside of me being opened up. When the feelings subsided, I saw words forming in my mind. They said:

FEEL WITHIN YOU. YOU WILL KNOW WHAT TO SAY. IT IS YOUR DESTINY TO LEAD.

The connection snapped out and I looked at Lola again. Her attention was away from me now and she seemed indifferent and bored. I sighed internally and looked inside of myself. I felt lighter, different. Something seemed to have certainly been done to me. Whether that was Lola's doing or another power that was accessed because of her, I wasn't sure and I didn't care. But I felt my intuition heightened, that I just simply knew things. Like I knew what I should do now, and I knew what direction we needed to go in now. I stepped up, cleared my throat and clapped my hands together. All the chatter died instantly.

"Well, okay. Now that all the introductions are over with, I have some important things I have to tell you. Things, that I can now share. Things I found out in the book. I can't tell you everything, but I can tell you what I learned about what we have in store for us."

Their eyes all became serious as I took a seat at the table that Mark and Cam were sitting at. I felt I needed to sit in order to be able to tell everyone the news.

"Firstly, we are called Spirit Warriors. It only makes sense since our destiny and our powers are centred around Spirit. Now, here's the heavy part," I looked at them all, I was even able to look Sean and Cam right in the face. This wasn't the time for romance and love, this was our destiny, what we were born to do. "We are meant to save the world. We were born to stop a war, a war between the Queen of Light and the Demon King, also the ruler of the dark part of the Spirit Realm. The Demon King has decided to take over Earth Realm, our Realm. The Queen of Light resides over our Realm with a council as well as the rest of the Spirit Realm. We were destined to help her, to push back the Demon King, to save our world. We have powers which are buried inside each of us. Powers we don't know. I can't say how to unlock them, but we're destined to."

I stopped and let them sink in my words. I felt that I shouldn't say anything about the Dumnonos, not yet anyways. I felt that it was too soon. That, that was still something I had to work out alone, being as that was my own little puzzle.

"So, when does this Demon King start this war?" Mark asked, breaking the silence. I frowned.
"It didn't say. It said that it varies. but I assume that because we're gathered here now, in this time and in this place, that it's soon. The attacks of the Shadow Demons on Earth Realm also enforce that."

"But they haven't attacked in a long time, not since the incident at your house, what if the Demon King is pushing back for a while?" Cam said and I shook my head.

"That is just more reason why. I feel like that was the Demon King's way of testing us, of feeling us out. As well as to show us that he's ready. The fact that he hasn't sent anymore is concerning because it means he got what Intel he wanted and now he's either beefing them up or just waiting for the right moment." I said. I felt like some military sergeant, planning for battle. Which, in a way, we were.

"He's only attacked you so far though. Why is that?" Sean asked. I paused trying to figure out exactly what to say and how to say it.

"He targeted me specifically because of another part of the war that i'm still working out. I honestly can't elaborate further then that." I told everyone and they all nodded in understanding. They knew there was something about me specifically, something different from them and they knew that because of our situation, that even if they really wanted to know, I wasn't allowed to say anything.

"Well there's got to be something about getting our powers in the prophecy or something! I want to shoot fire arrows like Mel can!" Jess whined slightly and pouted. Everyone's eyes instantly went to me.

"You've already been able to harness your powers?" Mark asked. I sighed.

"Some, yes. It happened right after I found Jess. It kinda just...snapped into place. I'm not sure if the same can happen to you all, or even if it's possible. I think it was...more a me thing." I said honestly. I wouldn't dare hide a thing from these people, my trusted friends and partners. If I was leading, I wanted to be as honest as I could.

"Could you show us?" Tessa asked. Everyone's head snapped up to her, including mine. Was she crazy? Fire arrows! That didn't sound like such a good idea, and they were my fire arrows!

"Um...I-" Another sense gripped at me. It told me to follow her, to go with it. I wanted to battle against and tell it that it was crazy, but I didn't think that was smart. I sighed and stood up. Everyone snapped their heads back to me in shock, except for Jess who was bouncing with excitement.

I walked over to Tessa and frowned.

"Do you feel that weird thing too? That gripping intuition?" I asked her. She gave me a bright smile and giggled.

"Well of course. With Freya as my Spirit Animal, is it such a surprise that I would come into such a power before you or the others?" She asked. I shook my head and smiled.

"No, it makes perfect sense actually." I walked over towards the large open window that lit the library (besides the lights I mean). I turned back around to Tessa.

"I hope you don't mind." I told her and she waved her hand away.

"Oh don't be silly. Daddy will just fix it later." She said without any worry. She knew. She trusted me. I smiled and nodded. I brought up the same power inside of me that I felt when I was with Jess not too long ago.

I could feel it brimming just under the surface, waiting to be let out. Once I reached for the handle to open the door, it was already waiting on the other side. and when I opened it, it was like everything turned on all at once. The unlocking thing that happened inside of me before seemed to make everything easier. And I noticed that everything was so much clearer then back with Jess. I thought it was extra clear back then, but compared to now it was a dull comparison. Every fibre, every particle, every single sound and movement. I could hone in on any sound I wanted by just tuning my ears. I didn't need to use a microscope to look at cells, I could just adjust my eyes and use them like that. Even the smells were new and heightened. I could smell the Chinese food place 5 blocks down the street, as well as everyone in town who were enjoying the same Chinese food from that place.

It was all so incredible. I didn't need to hear the gasps to know I was encased in my ruby red flames and that my eyes were the same brilliant ruby red. Reine came over and walked right into the flames, sitting next to me and matching with her own red eyes. held my hand up and with a single thought, my bow that shone bright with the essence of light itself materialized in my hand. I brought it down and pulled the string back, a single arrow made of my own fire appear instantly as I drew it back. Then I aimed for a tree outback in Tessa's garden and shot. It went through the glass, not breaking it in the slightest. But it hit the tree out back and it burst into a million flames. It only burnt the single tree though, the target it had been intended for. Once the tree was nothing but ash, the fire extinguished and died out.

I pulled all my power back into me, wishing my bow away and for the fire to return back inside of my body. It obeyed slowly, recoiling back into my heart just as it had in the dream. Then I was back to normal. I faced my friends and saw their expressions of shock, fear, and awe. Tessa was the only exception, she looked bemused and amused.

"Well, at least I won't need to explain broken glass." She said. I shrugged.

"I suppose I should have thought more about not destroying anything period huh? Sorry about that. I'll do better next time." I told her. We both seemed to share this little secret, this secret of knowing. We knew things would be fine, we knew that focus was key. Too bad I didn't have enough not to burn down her tree.

"...That was awesome. " Cam said. I smiled and bowed, trying to make light of the tension. I knew it scared them how powerful I was, hell it scared me. But I knew that I could control it, that soon they would deal with something similar.

"So...you say you don't have a clue as to how we get our own war helping, destroying Demon King powers?" Sean asked. I smirked.

"Well we can't destroy him, that would upset the balance of the world. We need darkness to exist so that light can. We're just made to stop him from destroying the other side of balance, the light side. And no, noth.." I stopped half way through. I thought back to the dreams. I thought of the prophecy:

Heed ye be hearing

Darkness, blood, pain, destruction

Star from above, heros.

Salvation or doom

Heros made from sky must unite

To defend us all...

Star from above...

Hero's made from sky...

The wheels in my head started turning. The star, a star. could it really be a legit translation? Was an actual star suppose to come down and unlock everything for us, to start the war in full motion? I bit my lip. Was it honestly as simple as that? And if so, where exactly was this star?

"Mel?" Jess asked. I looked up and frowned.

"I-I don't know. I mean, I have an idea but it...seems crazy."

"This whole thing is crazy." Cam said. I smiled nodded.

"Yeah, I guess that's true. Okay well in the original prophecy it talks about a star from above, and that we're hero's made from sky...well, what if that's it? What if it's literal? What if our powers that make us hero's, are created from a star?" The room fell silent.

"...But, if that's true, where is this star?" Mark asked. I sighed and walked over to a rail and leaned on it with my head in my hand.

"See, that's where I got stuck. It seems like a good lead, but it leads us no where. I have no clue where this star could be or when or how we're suppose to find it." The room went silent again. Then, Cam and Jess looked up at a space in the air.

"Huh?" They said at the same time. They looked at each other with surprise.

"You see them too?" They asked each other at the same time. Then they quickly gave each other death stares and their attention went back to the spot in the air.

"A spirit?" Sean asked, his question directed towards Jess.

"Yeah. She says that she heard something interesting in the world of the dead-I mean Spirit Realm." Cam answered.

"Well? What is it?" Mark asked.

"She said that she couldn't help overhearing our conversation and had to appear in front of us to say that there's a rumour that not too long ago a star crashed in the Spirit Realm. Other spirits are saying it's suppose to grant a wish to the people who find it." Jess said. Everyone in the room went still. The lead, the break we were looking for.

"Does she know where it is?" Tessa asked, in such a serious voice that it made me look over at her. She had completely turned a one eighty. She wasn't joking and she wasn't dreamy, she was completely serious. I swear she had multiple personalities, but I still loved her like a sister.

"Um...she's saying that it's suppose to be by a place they call "The Running River". It's apparently one of the few rivers that run in the Spirit Realm and it's the only one apparently in this area..oh, wait, she said there's two here. The other one called "The Whispering Water"...Now she says she isn't sure which one the star is at apparently. Well man, you sure give mixed information." Cam said. I waved him off, of course he'd be rude to our only lead.

"Thank you for your help, really." I said to the air that Jess and Cam were looking at. Cam and Jess looked there for a second more and then turned back to me.

"She said it was no problem. She finds our situation interesting and fun. Which, it totally is." Jess said with a bright smile, bouncing up and down while Lola still hung on.

I looked down at Reine and she looked up at me, her red eyes glowing bright. I looked back up and saw them with their Spirit Animals. They all looked determined and ready and I nodded to them all.

"Well, we all know what we need to do. Time for a trek in the Spirit Realm for that star."