As they stopped inside the fog and ascended to the next floor. The scenery around them changed once again to a new setting. Oliver paled when he recognised the place they were in. It was the orphanage he grew up in after the Invasion.
They could see the apparitions of dozens of native Amedian children running throught the hall while the caretaker went from one child to the others trying as best as she could to please every children and keep a control on them.
Oliver tried to hide his creeping discomfort and turned to the two other members of his group. ''Let's find the staircase before something else jump at us.''
Xofamai and Clara nodded and followed him and they crossed the first doorframe they saw. Oliver instantly regretted his decision when three very familiar children came into view. A young girl with bright chocolate eyes with a ponytail, a slightly younger girl with long flowing black hair and emerald green eyes that shone brightly despite how she tried to hide them behind her hair. And finally there was a younger version of Oliver himself.
Maikoh's apparition was the first one to talk. ''So Mika you said you wanted to show us something?''
The girl in question made a nervous squeaking sound when the two other kids looked at her, but summoning her courage she nodded and took a small bag in her hand before revealing what was inside. Much to the surprise of the two other kids in the room a cat-like creature poked it's head from the bag.
It was a very fluffy white cat with blue eyes and pale blue stripes that ran down all it's back. As a bit of dust hit it's nose the cat-like creature sneezed and create a small frosty mist in the air. Past Oliver recoiled and jumped away from the creature and pointed at it with a shaking hand.
''That's not a cat! That's an Elestia! What are you doing with it Mika?! it's going to kill you!'' The shy girl seemed downcasted at Oliver's reaction and looked down at the ground.
Maikoh on the other hand scoffed and took the feline Elestia in her hand. ''You're being a baby Oliver. Look at it, does it look threatening in the slightest?'' The Elestia stared at Oliver with wide innocent eyes and mewled softly at him.
''Keep that thing away from me! It's going to freeze me to death!'' Oliver said before backing further away from both Maikoh and the Elestia in her hands.
Maikoh shook her head in exasperation before giving the feline back to Mika. The Elestia curled up in her lap and fell asleep while purring. Then without warning the apparitions vanished leaving an empty room in their place.
Then a shadowy figure emerged from the corner. It had the same form as the small feline as earlier except it had a black mist surrounding it's body. Oliver glared at it. ''Oh no you don't! Take this!'' Oliver produced a beam of bubbles in the direction of the apparitions. The feline yowled as bubbles popped on it and teared hole in it's body. It took only a few seconds for the creature to lose form and vanish like the others. Oliver smiled confidently. ''I think I'm getting better at this.''
They quickly crossed into another room and found themselves outside in what looked like a very small village. Oliver lost his breath as he caught sight of familiar buildings. ''I never thought I would ever get to see this place again...'' He said with a nostalgic look in his eyes.
But all too soon the peaceful was ruined by a group of people wearing big clunky armor. They walked into the middle of town as if they owned the place. The natives of the villages gathered around them curiously and they could see the apparitions of Oliver, Maikoh and Mika hanging in the back of the crowd.
''Hear ye, hear ye! Our great Queen Roxanne Dreemara has concluded a negotiaton with the leader of this town who has requested the protection of our kingdom! From now on you won't have to worry about Elestia or traitorous Chosens attacking your village! Anyone found with an Elestia in their posession will be punished severly for the security of this village!''
The people in the crowd muttered to each other some excitedly while other looked worried about the development. For the trio of children however it was as if their whole world had crumbled. Oliver and Maikoh looked at Mika with worried frowns on their face.
Then just like the others the apparitions all vanished without a trace. Oliver felt the need to exit this place more and more with each new memories being shown. They soon found the exit to this 'room' and stumbled back into the orphanage. This time they were in a room full of bunk beds a younger Oliver could be seen stuffing all his things in a backpack in a hurry. The boy nearly jumped out of his skin when someone else banged the door open.
It was Maikoh and when her eyes found Oliver her lips turned into a scowl. ''Oliver, have you not heard that Mika got captured by the Knights of Humanity?! They found her Elestia and now they're threatening to execute her. We have to do something!''
Oliver looked at her with a disbelieving stare. ''Do something? What do you want us to do?! Have you seen the Knights using their armor to wipe out wild Elestia in the woods?! We don't stand a chance! I wish we could help Mika but it's too late for her. Come with me we should run before they realise we were with her!'' He said while extending a hand at her.
Maikoh growled and slapped his hand away from her. ''You coward! I'm going to get Mika and you better come along too. I don't care about how scared you are, Mika is our sister! Remember the pact we made? We are a family and family don't abandon each other!''
Maikoh stormed out of the room and Oliver looked down on the ground guilt clear on his face. ''I'm sorry Maikoh... I really wish i could help, but I don't see any ways to survive if I follow you.'' With tears in his eyes he opened the window and jumped out of it with his backpack. They could hear the sound of rapid footsteps as he ran away from the village.
The real Oliver clenched his fist angrily and walked away. Clara looked at him with a worried expression. ''Are you alright Oliver?''
''I'm such a pathetic excuse of a human being huh? I can't believe I ever thought someone like me could change the world, how could I, when I walked away from the most important people in my life?''
''Oliver...'' Clara said with a frown.
''Let's just find the exit... We'll talked about this another time. We still have a mission to acomplish.'' They found another door and this time they found themselves in a wide open field covered in snow. Thankfully the maze did not seem to see fit to make it as cold as the scenery would suggest.
In the distance they could see the small town of Xilo... And it was burning down to the ground. They could see Knights surrounding the village and throwing fire at any building in their path. ''Why are they burning the village?! Weren't they supposed to protect it?!'' Clara asked in shock.
Oliver shook his head a few tears escaped from his eyes. ''I never really found out why, all I know is that Xilo is just a distant memory now.''
Xofamai frowned. ''I know why, I investigate this incident as a member of the Resistance. The villagers tried to rebel against the Knights when they found out they wanted to execute a child. So the Knights responded by razing the place to the ground. I thought there were no survivors but obviously a few people made it out if your tale about that Maikoh girl is any indications.''
Oliver hit the trunk of a tree but he growled in frustration when his hand passed throught it. ''I Should have been there. Maybe I wouldn't have survived but at least I would have died with some honor, trying to protect the people I care about. Maikoh is right, I deserve to die!''
Clara gasped in horror. ''Oliver don't say that!''
Oliver looked away. ''You must think I'm pathetic right Clara? If you knew just what type of person I was. I bet you would have never approached me that day in Melody Town.'' Before she could responded Oliver walked into the next door.
It was soon followed by a surprised yelp from Oliver. Clara and Xofamai quickly ran after him and saw another apparition covered in a black shadow. This time it was a familiar form, she had a pistol in both of her hands and her hair swayed in an invisible breeze as she walked toward Oliver who looked much smaller than her in his otter-like form.
''Oh great, it's not enough we just dealt with her in real life, now we have to deal with an apparition of her.'' Clara said with an annoyed expression.
The shadowy figure scowled as it looked down at Oliver. ''How many people must you abandon before you're satisfied Oliver?! First your dad, then us! How much longer before you abandon them too?!'' She said while pointing at Clara and Xofamai.
Oliver gritted his teeth and looked down in shame. ''Don't listen to her Oliver! She's just trying to feed on your misery! Just like the other apparitions!'' Clara said to him.
''You know I'm right Oliver. Clara filled your head with the idea of being a hero and getting rid of the Dragons once and for all. But we all know you were never made for the Resistance! You're not even doing it for the people! You're doing it for yourself just like everything else in your life!''
Oliver tried blew a stream of water toward the fake Maikoh but she easily shrugged it off and smirked at him. ''You're angry because you know I'm right! You're just a selfish and cowardly scum. You should have died with every other people the day of the Invasion!''
Clara couldn't take it anymore and she took a handful of coins and throw them in the air before blasting them at the apparition with her mind. The shadowy figure was sent skidding on the ground after the attack but it looked no worse for wear.
''Oh? Did I anger your little girlfriend? This is another reason why you're a scum. You find her attractive and telling her as such would probably give her a much needed boost in confidence. But you're too scared of what people will think of you if you admit you find an hybrid attractive! What a sad little loser!''
Oliver had tears streaming down his cheeks now. ''Shut up you liar!'' He said before throwing another beam of water at her but once again she shrugged it off with no efforts. Then she raised one of her gun toward Oliver and fired a bullet.
Without hesitation Clara putted herself in front of Oliver. But the bullet wasn't stopped by her hybrid body this time. Fortunately it only grazed her cheeks and left a cut in it's wake. ''Clara are you alright?!''
She responded with a nod and glared toward the fake Maikoh. ''I thought I could block the bullet as usual. But I should have guessed an apparition would work differently than a real weapon.''
''Don't protect me Clara I don't deserve it!'' Oliver said in a weak voice.
But that only made Clara glare turn harsher as she stared at the fake Maikoh. ''I can't forgive that thing for all the thing it said. I'm getting rid of it right now!'' Clara fired an enormous beam of blue energy toward the shadowy being.
The fake Maikoh cackled as she blocked the attack with her hand. ''Haven't you learned anything yet? You can't beat us as long as Oliver is still hurted by our words.''
Clara scowled angrily. ''We're trying to stop the Dragons it's not a little bit of negativity that will stop me!'' She said before firing an even larger beam of energy.
''You stupid girl! You're wasting your power! We're indestructible as we are!'' The apparition taunted confidently.
Clara growled, hot anger course throught her veins, but she also felt something else building up inside her too. It was a feeling she hadn't felt since that day she had escaped from the cult. Without warning her eyes lit up brightly and her whole body started to slowly levitate in the air. Much to the surprise of the apparition, Clara's attack suddenly doubled in size, and also created a huge shockwave in the process. The apparition could feel her hands slowly burning from trying to contain the attack. The fake Maikoh stared in horror as she saw her hands burning away and the rest of her body soon followed.
''That wasn't supposed to happen! How dare you change the rules of the game?!'' The apparition screamed before it exploded into a huge shockwave of dark energy that sent everyone in the room tumbling in the ground.
As soon as it came the sudden surge of power suddenly cutted off and Clara was left trying to catch her breath. After she recovered Clara smirked at the spot where the fake Maikoh used to be. ''Screw you, I'm making my own rules.'' She then turned to the otter-like form of Oliver, took him in her arm and gave him a hug.
''W-what are you doing?'' He asked in a flustered voice.
''You looked like you need it.'' She reponded simply before lowering him back to the ground.
Xofamai stared at Clara with an unreadable expression. ''...Be careful about your emotions Clara, as I said during your training the power of an Elestia is tied to their emotional state but it can be a double edged sword, you don't want to turn out like me earlier... Anyway I feel like we're reaching the end of this maze. Be on your guard whatever conjured this place could be on the next floor.'' Both teens nodded at him before taking the next staircase.
They were now on the next floor, it did not looked like this floor was made of one of their memories this time. Instead this looked like a regular floor of the old mansion. In the distance they could hear the sound of an organ playing an ominous tune. The sound of thunder reverbated throught the mansion as they followed the sound of the music.
They found themselves in front of an old wooden double door. With trepidation Clara turned the door knob and opened the doors. They found themselves in a large bedroom. In the middle of the room they could see a king size bed with velveteen sheets.
On the left wall they could see the three missing young women attached with ropes and much to their horror all of them were completely naked. The girls all looked pale and sickly and they could see their bones throught their skin with how thin they had become. On the right corner a caped figure was busy playing with the organ. With one last note he finally stopped and turned around to greet his new guests.
Oliver and Clara recoiled at the figure. It was a bipedal wolf-like creature with two large fangs. It had deathly pale grey fur and glowing red eyes. On it's back they could some bat wings mostly hidden by the black and red cape on top of them. They could see the faint remnant of blood surrounding it's mouth as it gave them a large toothy grin.
Clara took the G.E.E.K. out of her pocket and proceeded to scane the creature. ''He's something called a Bloodfangs and as we all guessed he's a Death Elestia.'' Clara said with a grim frown on her face.
The Death Elestia crossed his arm. ''Impressive, technology has come a long way since my time. I guess I should introduce myself. I am Henry Victor Dreemara. A pleasure to make your aquaintance even if you so rudely barged into my home.''
''Wait that sounded like a human name and Dreemara?'' Clara said while looking at Xofamai.
The man in black shook his head. ''I don't know him.''
The wolf-like creature chuckled. ''Well I'm not surprised after all I have been dead for the last one hundred and sixty years.''
''Wait so you were human? How did you turn into an Elestia?'' Oliver asked with a baffled look.
Xofamai was the one to respond. ''Death Elestia are formed by the spirits of living beings who have an overwhelming hatred for this world and can't make peace with the unfairness of their own life. But I had never heard of one made by a human this old before.''
''I suppose most sane humans would have moved on to the All-Mother by now. But I could not, no matter how many times she sent her lackey to fetch me I could not move on. This land was supposed to belong to only me and my family but these peasants decided they should move close to us and built a village! At first I came to accept it, I told to myself it's only a small community and it could be convenient to have a few stores close to us. But then these filthy villagers gave me and my family Influenza! I had to watch as my mother, my father and even my younger brother all died before me and then finally I was stricken with it too. These filthy peasants killed us!''
''And you stayed in this world for so long because of that? I mean it's not like they spreaded the disease intentionally, you should have moved on.'' Clara said with an incredulous expression.
Henry slammed his fists onto the keys of the organ producing a loud strident sound that made the trio winced. ''Move on?! Move on?! Never! Not until I wipe out Organu off of the face of the Earth! And to get the power necessary to do that I enrolled the help of these lovely ladies.'' He walked up to one of the girl with red hair and started caressing her cheek with a perverted smile.
''Mmph!'' The girl tried to protest but her mouth was covered by a rag.
''Leave her alone you creep!'' Clara yelled enraged.
Henry chuckled before turning back to the group. ''Don't worry I don't intend to violate them. Unfortunately this cursed body of mine is completely genderless. I can only use these girls for their blood an Ether so that I can become stronger. But that doesn't mean I cannot enjoy the view.''
Oliver responded by throwing a stream of high pressure water in his direction. The Death Elestia shielded himself with his arm and glared toward the trio. ''Mmph, I was considering letting you go if you left me alone. But it look like you arleady made your choice. Very well, your blood will serve as another stepping stone for the destruction of Organu!'' He threw his cape aside and extended his bat wings wide into the sky before rising up into the air.
''Marie I spent a lot of my energy with that last fight, are you ready to take over?'' Clara asked with a frustrated frown on her face.
''Y-yes... I-I am!'' The winged mouse still had some troubling talking normally but she rose in the air with a determined expression.
''It's a shame we don't have Sandy with us. But we'll do with what we have. Aqua come out!'' Xofamai cried out and the Water Kitsubi emerged from her Draconid Gem at her master's command and she glared down at the flying enemy.
Xofamai then turned toward Oliver and gave him a bottle of water. Oliver looked at it in confusion. ''You spent a lot of water these last few floor, drink this. Water Elestia need a good supply of water inside of them to create their attacks.''
Oliver nodded in understanding and with some struggle managed to uncapped the bottle before chugging it down as fast as he could. Meanwhile Clara and Xofamai had went to the offensive.
''Marie blast that freak out of the sky with a strong gust of wind!'' Clara exclaimjed to her best friend.
The winged mouse nodded before flapping her wings rapidly and sending a blast of air toward the Death Elestia. But as the attack hit him something strange happened. Henry body turned completely black and then split into many pieces. It wasn't until the pieces started flying that the group realised he had turned into a swarm of bats.
The bats swooped down and started to harrass the group. Xofamai growled as one of them bit his ankle. He decided to unsheated his sword and started slashing at any bats that came too close. After the fourth bats that he cutted in half the swarm panicked and retreated further away in the room before converging together.
The bats turned back into the form of Henry but his left hand was missing and was bleeding. ''You will pay for that!'' He growled angrily before forming a giant ball of darkness with his remaining hand and throwing it at the group.
On instinct the group jumped out of the way before the orb of darkness could hit any of them. it impacted upon the double door and reduced them to splinters and created a shockwave that sent everyone crash unto the ground.
Henry slowly advanced toward the fallen form of Clara and took her by the neck. Clara tried to release herself from his iron grip but to no avail and she could fell her breath slowly dying away. The wolf-like creature licked his lips. ''You look a bit young for my collection. But I can smell such a strong scent of ether inside of you. You will become the centerpiece of my collection!''
''Leave Clara alone you bastard!'' Oliver screamed before unleashing a beam of bubbles at the Death Elestia.
Henry released Clara from his grip and yowled in pain as the bubbles exploded into his face digging into his skin until it became nothing more than a bloody mess. ''You! How dare you lay your filthy peasant paws on me! Your blood smell like mud, you're not even worth breathing the same air as me! I will get rid of your flithy mug right now!''
The Death Elestia body began to convulse and they could hear the sound of bones snapping as he became larger and larger until he developed vein popping muscles and his red eyes shone even more brightly than before. Then he sprinted on all three legs toward Oliver who had frozen in fear and delivered a devastating punch that sent him crashing on the wall so hard that it created a hole where Oliver's body had crashed.
''Oliver!'' Clara yelled in horror.
''Nevermind being a part of my collection! I will drink your blood after I splatter it all over the wall!'' Henry yelled in unadulterated rage. He opened his mouth wide an unleash a torrent of darkness toward Clara who could nothing but stare in fear.
But just before the darkness could hit her, Xofamai putted himself in front of her and took the hit. ''Xofamai!'' Clara yelled in concern.
''Don't worry about me, it would take much more than this to take me down.'' He said to her, but she could see that he was barely able to stand after that attack. ''Aqua I don't think we can last much longer against this thing unless we unleash our strongest attacks.''
''As you wish.'' The Kitsubi replied before her body began to glow brightly.
''Oh no you don't! I'm finishing this now!'' Henry yelled before he began to from another orb of darkness. This time it was so big it almost looked like a miniature black hole above his head. He threw his attack just before Aqua could begin her own attack.
A massive torrent of water hit the darkness head on but it barely managed to slow it down. Clara turn to her best friend with a frown. ''Marie to help them!''
The winged mouse nodded before unleashing a strong breeze toward the darkness. It managed to slow it down a bit more, but it was still coming toward them. But then there was another problem. Aqua's body was shrinking further and further with every seconds that passed.
''She won't be able to keep this up for long. Let's help them!'' Xofamai said and Clara nodded in response. Clara unleashed a blue beam made out of the energy of her mind while Xofamai created a wave of darkness. This managed to keep the orb in place but it was only a matter of time before one of them would run out of energy.
Oliver woke up with a groan and looked up in alarm when he saw his friends struggling with the giant orb of darkness. He was too far away to be able to help them directly but as he saw Aqua shrinking body trying to contain the orb with the others an idea formed in his mind.
Xofamai and Clara looked in shock when a torrent of water hitted Aqua. When they saw Oliver in the distance spiting out the water they understood his intentions. Aqua absorbed the water Oliver had given her and her attack was becoming much stronger than earlier. So much so that the orb of darkness started moving in the opposite direction.
Henry hadn't realised what was happening until it was too late and the orb was upon him. ''What?! No! Ahhhhhhh!'' The Death Elestia screamed bloody murder as the orb started tearing him apart from the inside. He could feel his body ripping apart as his own life force was violently ripped out from his body and was absorbed inside the orb. Then finally the ball of darkness exploded along with any traces of Henry with it.
Oliver, Clara and Xofamai all let themselves fall on the ground as they exhaled a huge breath of relief. ''Mmph, mmph!'' A voice said to them reminding them they still had people to rescue. They untied the three girls. Only one of them was still conscious the two other were passed out. They just hoped they hadn't been too late to save them.
But there was still one problem all of them were still naked. Clara bought her backpack and present the still conscious woman with some clothes. ''Well I'm not sure if it will fit you, but it's better than nothing right?''She said sheepishly.
''Thank you.'' The young woman said before she changed herself out of the room. Once she was done they covered the other two unconscious girls with sheets and made their way out of the Memory Maze. Fortunately exiting the maze proved to be much easier than entering it. The maze is if you could even called it that anymore, was now just a regular old mansion.
As they exited the mansion they saw that it slowly turned transparent as the sun rose above it. Until there was nothing of it left. It was as if the mansion had been nothing more than a mirage, it was now nothing more than a memory for anyone who ever witnessed it.
Oliver gasped as he saw his body suddenly flash. Then when the light died down he was suddenly back to his old human self. The first thing he did was check his pockets and he sighed in relief when he saw that all his Draconid Gems were still there.
''So? How was it being an Elestia for a day?'' Clara asked with a smirk.
''It was amazing being able to use these ability. But nothing beat having hands.'' He said while wiggling his fingers around. Clara chuckled and Xofamai rolled his eyes and with that they accompanied the three missing girls to the small village's hospital.
It took them until the next day for the trio to finally leave Organu village. After it was announced that the three girls would make full recoveries the mayor insisted they stayed for the party the town was throwing in celebration.
As they left throught the town gate Oliver groaned. ''I haven't felt this full in a long time.''
Clara patted her stomach and nodded. ''Yeah even the parties at the labs Professor Dogwood used to throw weren't as crazy as this.'' Xofamai only grunted in response and continued to walk. ''Aww come on don't tell me you didn't like it.'' Clara said with a raised eyebrow.
''I admit this is a weird feeling. You would have never seen a village this welcoming of Chosens before, even if we saved their village from a dangerous Elestia. I could see some young girls looking wistfully at Oliver all night.'' He said the last part with a slight teasing smirk.
The boy in question spluttered. ''You must have seen things. I'm nothing to look at.'' He said with a blush on his face.
''Don't sell yourself short Oliver. You look better than when we first met. Back then you had your skin on your bones and your hair looked like a bird nest. And your clothes looked like they came right out of the trash bin.'' Clara said with a teasing tone.
Oliver glared at her. ''Gee thanks for the compliment.'' He said sarcastically.
''But! since then you took some weight and look much more healthier! Your hair look fine and boyish and while you don't have the best fashion sense ever it is acceptable. Overall I would say you look average.'' Clara finished.
Oliver sighed. ''Average huh? Well I suppose it's better than ugly.''
''Keep in mind that I'm judging you by the standards of the Old World. By the standards of the New World you probably look way better than average.'' Clara said with a smirk.
''Okay now you're just messing with me right?'' Olive said with a deapan expression.
''Who know?'' Clara said with a smirk before running further ahead.
Oliver sighed, ''Sometime, I don't understand girls.''
Xofamai smirked slightly in his direction .''Welcome to the club kid.''
Entry from the G.E.E.K.
First and only Ageing stage
Bloodfangs are strange creatures that while looking like wolves have much more in common with the infamous tales of vampires. Like most Death Elestia they like to eat the life force of living beings. But this creature does it by sucking the blood out of it's victims. It protect itself by creating Memory Mazes so that people cannot reach it's lair. And as far as we observed all of them seemed to have formed from the souls of former humans.