Chapter Three

Train engines roar in Mei's ears as she stands in the Twilight of the platform. Her stuff is scattered around her in a vague semicircle shape. She just said goodbye to her parents; now she watches their- her- car as it drives away, back to the Dayside. She has a train ticket in her hand. She is early, too early for her train.

Mei blinks at the black obsidian trains that rush along here, levitating, flying even. She's only ridden on Star Rail train once before, and certainly not alone. Again, she is confronted with the strangeness of it all.

Mei shakes off the feeling of tininess and puts on a smile. She will NOT be the dumb new girl who goes all wide-eyed at everything, she will NOT, she will NOT, she will NOT.

"Big, aren't they?"

Mei turns around. Standing behind her is a jackal-boy with bright yellow eyes that shine out of his face like twin lanterns. He is a Nightsider. He smiles shyly at her.

"Um." says Mei. "Yeah."

She is quietly a little surprised that he spoke to her. Normally, Nightsiders kept to themselves. Long ago, the Daysiders and the Nightsiders had fought endless wars, but things are calmer now, and the two sides share something like friendship, or at least tolerance.

"Name's Jinn, what's yours?"


"Mmm. Daysider, yeah? You look it."

"Yep, born and raised in Solaria. You?"

"I'm from Lupos."

Somewhere far off, a bell rings. Magenta sparks flicker in the air as the train glides into the station. Mei checks her ticket. Blue Mountain Star Rail- Yep, this is her train.

"This one's mine." says Mei.

Jinn looks at her for a moment. "Wait, you're going to DRA?"


Jinn nods. A smile slips onto his face again. "Okay. See ya round, Mei."

Mei hauls her stuff onto the train, finds a seat, and sits down. The train whizzes off, out of Shadelight's atmosphere, and it's only then that Mei realizes she's never heard of Lupos.