"Hey, Emma, Maddie!" Krystal called as Emma followed the crowd of Theurgists rushing out of the Life school after class. "You guys want to go questing? It would be good practice."
"Sorry, I can't," Maddie answered, struggling to hold her stack of writing notebooks and supplies. "Professor Wethersfield said he needed me after school today ASAP! Maybe later though." With that, the red-headed sorceress turned and left with a quick "bye!" Krystal turned her gaze to Emma.
"Uh," she considered. "Sure, I guess."
"Great!" Krystal said. "Anna and I do this all the time. It's actually a lot of fun. Speaking of which, Anna is probably already waiting for us."
"Ok," Emma nodded and trailed after Krystal as they weaved through the groups of students gathered around Ravenwood following class' end. They found Anna standing against one of the light poles waiting just as Krystal had guessed. She smiled brightly upon seeing Emma. "Is the newbie coming with us this time?" She inquired, standing up straight.
"Sure is," Krystal confirmed.
"I guess we should go to Unicorn Way, then," Anna suggested. "I heard that Ceren Nightchant needed some help with a little ghost problem."
"Let's go then," Krystal agreed. "Ceren is a nice guy, you'll like him, Emma." She nodded quietly and followed along silently. They left Ravenwood and made their way across the Commons. "How was your first day, Emma?" Anna asked, turning to look at Emma.
"Good," She answered nonchalantly. "It was enjoyable."
"It'll get old soon," Krystal said. "Singing everyday isn't as fun as it seems."
"I never thought I'd hear the great Krystal Ravensong say such a thing!" Anna gasped sarcastically. The tall blond rolled her eyes and chuckled. They came to Unicorn Way's tunnel and went inside, shade consuming them completely.
"Singing is really annoying when you aren't in the mood." Krystal stated. "But it's the thing I'm good at, so I'll never give up. Besides, it's never given up on me."
"I've been dancing for years and I'm still not tired of it," Anna said as they entered Unicorn Way. "Disliking the very thing your good at sounds pretty crappy to me, even if people admire you for it. " She cocked a brow. Krystal shrugged.
"It wasn't my first choice," She admitted. "But I have grown to love it." Emma gazed up and around at her surroundings as her friends went on chattering. Unicorn Way was very green with lively plants brighter and happier than Emma had ever seen. To their right was a single building labeled "Arena" and ahead was a beautiful statue of a unicorn standing tall and proud in the center of a round park bordered by several small ponds of sparkling water. Beside that was a gazebo where a green-hooded wizard stood. Emma guessed that it was Ceren.
"And besides, you're Anna," Krystal continued. "You never get tired of anything." Anna snickered. Emma smiled.
"Hey, look, there's Ceren!" Anna pointed at the wizard that Emma had spotted a few moments before. Krystal nodded.
"Let's see what he wants," Krystal said. They went into the park area where the gazebo sat and approached the staff-wielding wizard. Ceren Nightchant wore a green robe that brought out his emerald eyes, but covered most of his head, only leaving his face to be seen. A matching sachel hung at his side and he smiled at the girls softly.
"Greetings!" He said. "It's been a while since I've seen you, Ravensong."
"Too long," Krystal nodded. "It's good to see you again, Ceren."
"Same to you. And you as well, Miss Tatianna," He nodded at Anna.
"Stop being so formal, Ceren," Anna chuckled. "Just because you're working with the Wizard City police doesn't mean you have to be so stuffy and mature."
"I apologize, Anna. I'm only trying to be professional for my job's sake," He said. He then turned his gaze to Emma and they locked eyes for a second. Emma looked at the ground shyly. "And who is this?" He stepped closer to her.
"That's Emma," Krystal answered. "She's a novice Theurgist and today is actually her first day."
"Oh?" He took her hand and she looked up at him awkwardly blushing. He seemed to hesitate before shaking her hand.
"So what was it you needed help with Ceren?" Anna inquired. Ceren turned to her.
"We're having a few problems with the lost souls from the haunted cave," He started. "They're coming here and disturbing the peace with Unicorn Way's residents. I just need you to clear a few out. Think you can handle it?"
"I don't know, Ceren, seems like a big task," Krystal said. "Pfft, I can do this in my sleep."
"Great then get to it," He said. "Good luck!"
"Like we'll need it!" Krystal scoffed.
"We'll see you later, Ceren," Anna waved good-bye and they all started in the direction of a small neighborhood where the lost souls roamed. "So, Emma," Anna nudged her. "What'd you think of Ceren?"
"He's cool," Emma shrugged, blushing and not meeting her eyes.
"I've never seen him shake hands like that with someone," Krystal teased. "It's like he went to hold your hand and forgot to shake it."
"Emma's got herself an admirer." Anna jeered along.
"N-no, he was probably just nervous or something," Emma denied it, ears burning.
"No, I know Ceren," Krystal said. "He and my sister went out for a little while before she moved on to bigger and better things. He has only acted like that around her."
"O-oh," Emma said. Krystal chuckled.
"Let's just get those lost souls for him," She said then hurried into battle with one. Anna followed shortly after. Emma looked up at the souls, hesitating. As they wandered the streets, they moaned with a painful, sad shrill that sent chills down Emma's spine. They seemed so hopelessly despaired she almost felt sorry for them, but they weren't human, just mindless monsters. She quickly joined her friends.
Two more ghosts appeared to make the playing ground even, groaning all the while. Krystal went first, amazing Emma with the strength of her deep voice. She sang a few simple notes, but they crescendoed rapidly, causing a small imp to appear. At Krystal's call, it began to play a tiny harp and strike the ghost with earsplitting notes. It died instantly, disapearing with a loud wail. Emma could almost feel the creature's anguish in defeat.
Anna stepped up and in a movement quicker than Emma could process, she danced a short little dance and shrank in size, transforming into a vampire bat. She flew at her ghost with her leathery wings and with a single bite, the lost soul was gone.
It was Emma's turn and her first time ever participating in battle. Thinking quickly and doing her best to control her nerves, she began to sing the first note of the song she learned in class earlier that day. Her voice was much quieter and smaller than Krystal's, but it had the same magical impact sending a burst of green energy through the ghost and causing him to grunt in pain, but he wasn't dead yet.
Emma felt small and weak as her opponent launched itself at her, managing to slap her arm with its ghostly hand. She grimaced and grabbed it, chills running through its nerves.
"Do you want us to pass so that you can go again?" Krystal asked Emma, stilling moaning in pain.
"Uh," she hesitated, uncertain if she wanted to try again. "Yeah," she nodded and just as quickly, it was her go again. She sang the same few notes and sent the lost soul wailing into oblivion.
Emma smiled. She felt a small satisfaction in defeating her first enemy using her newly learned skills. "That was fun!" Anna said enthusiastically. "I'm so proud of you, Emma." The brunette blushed.
"We should get a few more," Krystal decided. "Then it should be fine. Hope this helps Ceren."
"Wonderful!" Ceren said thankfully. He reached inside his sachel and pulled out a small sack of coins that Emma could hear jingling with his movements. "Here you go, for all your hard work." He handed it to Krystal. "Thank you so much for all your service. Now the people should be at peace, for now that is."
"Hey, call us if you ever need help again, Ceren." Anna told him.
"Will do," he agreed then turned his gaze to Emma. "It was very nice meeting you, Miss Emma. I hope that we can see each other again some time." Emma's cheeks burned.
"I-it was nice meeting you too," she stammered awkwardly.
"C'mon, let's go and divide up the money," Krystal said, a glint of amusement in her blue eyes. She turned and the others followed her toward the Commons' tunnel.
"Congrats, Emma," Anna said wrapping an arm around Emma's shoulders. "You survived your first day at Ravenwood!"