When Lacey started walking away from the group she realized a few things that were always hard for her to forget. It was something about her past, but she didn't wanna think about that, so she turned on her heel and faced the group.
"Alright, so, the next trial is teamwork correct?"
She had asked the whole group and they stood in front of her, looking down a bit as they nodded their heads.
"Good. This trial shouldn't take long, but the way Sanders is handling things it may be a little difficult. We all make a pretty good team so like I said, it shouldn't take long. First rule is to look out for each other, and the second rule is to be cautious remember these while in combat. We ready?"
The group nodded their heads and she nodded her head back and spoke.
"Alright, let's get this over and done with."
After walking for what seemed like ages, the group stumbled upon a small balcony and once they made it to the balcony the doors behind them shut with a loud thud. The whole group turned around and Terrance quickly placed his hands on the handles and began pulling.
"It won't budge!" He exclaimed as he continued to try for a few seconds.
Then Saya spoke up and said.
"It's not gonna budge Terrance! This is the trial and we don't need you wasting your energy on that door."
Terrance looked down and sighed and once he let go of the handles something pierced his right shoulder. He yelled in pain as he knelt to the floor.
"Terrance!" Saya had exclaimed as she rushed over to him.
Saya placed a hand on his back and looked at him and said.
"Are you okay?"
Terrance thought for a moment and began thinking.
"Yeah, I can still fight."
"Good." Lacey had said as she backed up with her sword in hand and Percy on her left shoulder.
"I've got your back Terrance if you need me."
Terrance slowly stood up and looked down at Lacey and spoke.
Her eyes slowly turned silver when she had noticed something in front of her. She quickly held up her sword to block the item that was pointed straight for her. She looked down at the weapon and began saying.
"It's a... Crap, what are they called?"
Saya had placed her hand on the bow that was launched into Terrance's shoulder and examined it.
"It's not a Bow Raniston..." She had said as she examined the details in part where the blade was which was quite large for a bow. Then her eyes widened in realization as she spoke.
"It's a Hawk Raniston."
A few more arrows were shot towards the group and Ryder and Cyrus did everything they could to protect Jax and Luna who were only able to shoot magic with their weapons. As Cyrus blocked the arrows he turned to look at Lacey and said.
"Lacey, what do we do?"
Her train of thought was interrupted by another large arrow and she quickly blocked it as she looked around for somewhere to go. Then she looked up and saw how the roof was shaped and said.
"On to the roof, we have more moving area there. But just keep your balance!"
Luna and Jax backed up a bit as they shot the arrows that came their way and eventually they jumped up on to the roof. Saya jumped up and grabbed the edge of the roof and hauled herself up then she looked at Cyrus and said.
"Cyrus I need your help with Terrance."
"So demanding." He had responded quietly as he ran and jumped up onto the roof with ease.
Saya and Cyrus reached their hands down for Terrance he quickly caught their hands and they both used all their muscle to get him on to the roof. Once he was there they all stood in a circle with their backs facing each other as they looked at the now stormy sky cautiously. Cyrus brought out his bow and arrow, Terrance took out his machete, Jax and Luna held their guns in hand and aimed them at the sky, and Saya stood their with a staff in hand that was just as red as her hair. Eventually Ryder made it on to the roof and walked towards the circle, that's when Luna looked at him and asked.
"Oh, she's too short to get up here on her own and she refuses me to help her."
"I can get up there on my own even if I am short!" Lacey had said as she was still on the balcony.
"You keep telling yourself that." Ryder said as he rolled his eyes.
On the balcony Lacey looked at Percy and they both nodded their heads at each other. Percy closed his eyes as his forehead glowed and the symbol of a leaf appeared, next thing Lacey knew she was floating in the air as if she was flying. Once she leveled with the edge of the roof she snapped her fingers and landed on top of the roof gently.
The whole group turned around to look at Lacey with furrowed eyebrows, then Lacey drew her attention to Ryder and said.
"See, I told you I would make it up here. We are a team after all."
Ryder just shook his head and then once he looked to his left he saw an arrow coming towards him, he quickly ducked just in time as he looked up at the direction in which the arrow came from. Ryder and Lacey joined the circle the others were still in with Percy still perched on Lacey's shoulder. Then in the midst of concentration Aria peeked her head out of Jax's pocket and she said in a soft voice.
"Jax, what's going on?"
Jax looked down at his sister and said.
"Now is not the time Aria, go back in my pocket."
"O-okay... Be safe brother."
With a worried face Aria closed the pocket and stayed there with her knees to her chest as she closed her eyes, in worry of her brother.
Jax looked back up and then he asked.
"So, where are they?"
"They tend to stay hidden in the clouds. Hawk Ranistons are exactly like hawks, the have infrared vision so they can see our body heat and that's how they locate us. But, if we piss them off enough they'll come down here to where we can see them so we can easily kill them." Lacey had answered as she held her sword above her chin, her eyes darting from left to right.
"So,..." Cyrus began saying and then he continued after he heard thunder in the distance.
"How do we piss them off?"
Lacey tapped her chin and then said.
"Shoot a ton of magic towards them... Or, we could block every arrow that comes our way and send them back."
"Like, swinging a bat?" Terrance had asked.
Lacey nodded her head.
"Yeah. Alright, Terrance, Saya, and I will be sending the arrows back. The rest of y'all shoot your magic anywhere, but make it fast and take turns. They'll get frantic and confused, then they'll get frustrated and they'll swoop down here to try and attack that's when we'll execute as many as we can until the doors are open on the balcony."
"Got it!" Luna had yelled with excitement as she began shooting, then Jax began doing the same thing.
Ryder raised both of his hands and sent a large wave of fire into the dark and gloomy clouds. Cyrus then began firing bows that were enhanced with water into the clouds and the sky looked as if they were hiding fireworks in the gloomy clouds because of all the magic that was being used. Lacey, Terrance, and Saya kept their weapons in hand and waited for the arrows to come flying at them.
"So Lacey, how exactly is this going to work?"
Lacey squinted her eyes as she continued looking into the sky, trying to see if she could find a figure hidden in the clouds then she clenched the hilt of her weapon a bit tighter and took a step forward once she saw a large arrow flying towards her.
"Time it perfectly."
Then Lacey swung her large sword, sending the arrow into then clouds, once she sent the arrow back more arrows came towards them. Terrance gripped his machete and ran a bit forward as a fire enhance arrow was shot towards him, he swung his weapon as if it were a baseball bat.
"On your left!" Saya had shouted as she stood a bit to Terrance's left and swung her staff to the left.
The series of swinging weapons and making the sky light up continued for a while, but then then arrows stopped coming and so the whole group stood in a circle with their backs facing each other as they looked up in the sky to see nothing.
"It's not over, is it?" Luna had asked, no one in particular.
Then Lacey shook her head and spoke.
"No, we just pissed them off."
Once Lacey had said that, a screeching noise of a hawk echoed through the sky and then it just, stopped. Lacey stood on her toes just a bit and said.
"Alright team, get ready."
They stood there for a few seconds in the eerie silent, but then rain started pouring down on them out of nowhere. Lacey looked to her left and then once she turned her head to its original position and then a Hawk Raniston stabbed her in the stomach once she turned. She quickly closed her eyes, trying to ignore the pain as the arrow stuck in her abdomen. She then opened her eyes to look at the Hawk Raniston that looked like half-man and half-hawk.
Ryder turned to look at Lacey knelt to the ground and along with a couple of other people they said.
Lacey's vision was slowly fading away as she looked at Ryder and the others panicking, and then next thing she knew they were floating in the air with the Hawk Ranistons carrying them away.
Lacey had said softly as she passed out into oblivion.
Lacey slowly woke up in a dark room where the dim blue light shone on her. When she tried getting up, she felt a sharp pain in her side, she looked down to find the arrow still in her. She got the arrow and slowly pulled it out, squinting her eyes in pain as she looked away from what she was doing. Once it was out she slowly stood up and said.
"I bet you enjoyed that. Huh, Sanders?"
"Oh, I did. It was fascinating Ms. Heart."
Lacey rolled her eyes as she held the side of her stomach and looked around, noticing that her teammates weren't there.
"So, are we on the last trial?"
"Well..." Sanders evil voice had began.
"Not necessarily... The others are on their last trial. You aren't."
Lacey furrowed her eyebrows in confusion as she spoke.
"Then what am I doing?"
"You are determining whether or not the others will survive."
"I don't understand..."
"Ugh. Peasants...Let me explain."
Sanders sighed into the intercom and then began explaining his devious plan for the fates of people that aren't even in his control.
"You are going to fight the main Raniston for this trial, and if you beat it then you are all free to go. So, it isn't like last time since that wasn't as fair."
Lacey took in all the information as she stood there, crimson blood dripping slowly from her wound and onto her hands. Then, she spoke after some realization.
"So you wounded me to make it fair?"
She had asked him in a pissed off tone. But then Sanders answered.
"Why yes Ms. Heart."
His voice emphasized the 'H' in her last name as he spoke in a devious voice.
Lacey shrugged her shoulders as she rolled her eyes and said.
"I guess it is better than last time..." She closed her eyes as she shook her head and looked down, reminiscing on her terrible memory. Then Sanders, hideous voice interrupted.
"Well, enough with this chit-chat you have a Raniston to defeat!" He said it as if it was a good thing and then he continued, but in a dark tone now.
"Good luck,... Ms. Heart."
Once Sanders ended his sentence Lacey looked around releasing her hand from her wound and turning her pocket knife into a large sword. Then Percy appeared from nowhere and perched himself on her shoulder, his head turned to look at Lacey's wound and it made a sound as if it were worried and Lacey patted his head and said in a soft tone that sounded as if she was going to cry.
"I'm okay Percy,... But you can't heal it until later. Okay?"
Percy nodded his head, clearly understanding why Lacey said that.
Lacey then stood up straight and looked in front of her to see more dim blue lights light up in rows. Once the last dim blue light lit up it shone on two large double doors, she took a deep breath and began walking towards the large double doors. Her feet made no sound, her breathing was shaky, and the air felt eerie. Eventually, after a long terrifying walk, she made it to the large double doors. With shaky hands she reached for the handles of the door and took a deep breath, she looked down at her feet that were dirty and blemished. She gripped the handles tighter and then, she took another deep breath and pulled the doors open and inside it looked like ruins. There was nothing to be found and then the scenery all changed. Her eyebrows furrowed after noticing the change, then her eyes widened as a gasp escaped her lips.
"Yes." Sanders voice had sounded into the air.
The area was the outside of another mansion and the building was almost completely destroyed and the clouds were shaped in a weird way, as if it were going to create a storm or some type of natural disaster that has never existed. Lacey stood there shaking her head as she looked around, her breathing was heavy as she turned to look around.
"No, no, no..." She had said over and over again as she continuously looked around in fear, she stuck her sword into the ground and ran her hands through her hair as she continued to panic.
"Oh calm down Lacey. All you have to do is execute your sister."
Lacey's eyes widened as tears began forming in her eyes as she looked around for her sister, and in the ruins of the building she remembered from long ago, stood her sister that was actually dead.
"No,... No, I can't do this. I can't do this again."
She murmured under her heavy breathing as she clenched her hands into fists as she continued to look at her sister. Long brown wavy hair, light brown eyes, and a kind smile. As Lacey continued to look at her sister she noticed that she was actually making her way towards Lacey. Percy looked at Lacey with worry and rubbed his head against her cheek as she continued to panic, but all Lacey did was continue to have the feeling of consternation as she looked at her sister in disbelief.
"Execute your sister and you shall be free along with your friends."
She looked down as she shook her head, closing her eyes as teardrops slowly made their way down her face, and onto the sacred ground.
"Lacey..." A calm female voice had said.
Lacey looked up to see her sister with her hand resting on Lacey's left cheek. She nodded her head, as if to say it's okay. Lacey then shook her head and tried to look away, then her sister spoke again.
"Lacey, just do it, you have to survive. For the sake of the Emprestons."
Lacey's head quickly shot up as she looked at her sister with widened eyes, it was the same exact words she had said to her the day she died. So then, Lacey reluctantly lifted up her sword and held it up, she gripped the hilt tightly and as she closed her eyes she continued to cry and spoke.
"I'm so sorry..."
She pulled her sword back and thrust it towards her sister making the sword impact her abdomen. Her sister looked down at the sword of Lacey's that went straight through her, then she looked up at Lacey, her hand still on her cheek as she spoke.
"You have to save the world, Lacey..."
And just like that, her sister disappeared, the place Lacey was once in disappeared and she was outside of the mansion they had invited them to. Lacey opened her eyes which had slowly turned back to their dark brown and let out a silent cry. She knelt onto the ground and covered her face as she let her sword fall on to the ground with a loud thud and once it landed, it transformed back into a pocket knife and Percy disappeared with a silver leaf left in his place.
After a minute or two the rest of the team came up to Lacey and Ryder looked at her with concern.