"What happened to you?..."
Lacey looked up once Ryder had asked her that, but all she did was ignore him and look up at the ceiling.
"So, what's the first trial Sanders?"
"Oh, I didn't think you knew I was watching. Anyway, the first trial is courage. Would you like to know the rest of them?"
Lacey shrugged her shoulders as she said in a pissed off tone.
"Yeah sure, why not?"
"Alright then. Courage, strength, teamwork and individual combat." Sanders chucked just a bit, and then he spoke again.
Aria came out of Jax's pocket and she flew towards Lacey and asked.
"Hey, are you alright?"
Lacey nodded her head as she sighed and then looked at Aria with a gentle smile.
Lacey looked away from Aria and Drew her attention towards the group.
"Alright, so the first trial is courage I'm not exactly sure what we are gonna be up against but we need to be prepared. Everyone partner up and just stay together."
Of course Ryder was with Lacey, Jax kept Aria as his partner and Luna was with Terrance, and Cyrus was with Saya.
The group began walking as they all followed Lacey. The underground building they were in was the exact replica of the mansion they were once in before. The moon was out and it was shining through Victorian style windows, but the moon gave off a blue light instead of a white light. It was a completely different world from their own.
The group was completely silent as they walked, Cyrus sighed as he put his hands behind his head and said.
"Ugh, why are we even walking?"
Saya looked at Cyrus and shrugged her shoulders and said.
"I don't know-"
"I wasn't asking you."
"Alright then, just trying to make conversation."
Saya rolled her eyes as she looked away from him and out the window, her hazel eyes gleaming just a bit in the blue moon light. Cyrus barely looked down at Saya and her head turned to look at him as she asked.
"Why are you looking at me?"
It took a while for Cyrus to hear what she had said, but when he comprehended it he looked back up and said.
"Nothin', it's just that..."
Cyrus but his arms by his side and said.
"You remind me of someone I used to know."
Saya furrowed her eyebrows and asked.
"Is that a good or a bad thing?"
Cyrus put his hands in his pockets and shrugged his shoulders.
"I don't even know."
"You're strange..." Saya was gonna say a name but nothing came out since she didn't remember his name.
"I'm sorry, but what's your name again?"
Cyrus looked down at Saya with disbelief and said.
"Wow. I told you my name."
"Well I'm sorry I'm not very good with names."
Cyrus sighed again, but he smiled just a bit as he looked at her and said.
"My name is Cyrus. I don't recall hearing your name."
"I'm Saya, Saya Miscovski."
They both smiled just a bit at each other and then the ground beneath the group began to break into pieces. Luna screamed from it being unexpected and then the world before them began changing. They were in the clouds now as the floor beneath them broke apart ever so quickly. In front of them, in the direction they were going, was where they were and Lacey realized that that's exactly where they needed to go. Eventually everyone in the group was standing on a piece of concrete that was strong enough to hold them up. Lacey turned around to look at the group and saw that there were other pieces of concrete here and there and some lead to where they once were. So she looked at the group and said.
"Alright guys this is what we are gonna do, we're gonna be slow and steady, these pieces of concrete can support us but we still need to be cautious. We have partners for a reason so stay with your other half and have them help you out when you're in trouble. Incorporate your magic if it helps, alright?"
Everyone looked at each other and nodded their heads and then Luna asked.
"What about Jax? He has Aria and, no offense, but I don't think she's strong enough to help him."
Ryder looked at Lacey and she looked at Jax and asked him.
"Can you make it by yourself, or do you want Ryder to help you?"
Jax began thinking as he looked at how far away he was from the destination point, and then he said.
"I'm gonna need Ryder's help."
"No problem buddy."
Lacey took a deep breath and asked.
"Is everyone ready?"
They all nodded their heads once again and Lacey nodded her head and said.
"Okay, help each other out, we are a team after all."
Lacey looked in front of her and took a deep breath as she jumped forward and safely landed on the piece of concrete in front of her. She let out a sigh of relief as she looked ahead again and then she paused as she heard something to her left. She threw her pocket knife in the air as Percy perched himself on her shoulder and her sword landed in her hand. She placed a foot behind her and held her sword just above her lips as she looked to her left, waiting for something to happen. Then suddenly, out of nowhere a medium-sized bird that looked like a raven came at Lacey. She quickly ducked and shouted.
"Keep your balance!"
Jax looked at the bird that attacked Lacey and quickly pulled his gun out and shot it with a bullet enchanted with lightning. It quickly bursted and dissolved into the air. Terrance took out his machete and swung it towards his right with the blade enhanced with fire. As he swung the machete to his right it quickly and easily sliced through two birds that we're flying beside them.
Meanwhile, Cyrus was helping Saya get across to the next concrete platform. But as Saya was reaching out for Cyrus' hand, a Raniston flew towards Cyrus and he quickly looked up and took his now out and loaded it with a fire enhanced arrow. The arrow pierced through the bird and it dissolved into gray smoke, but as Cyrus looked down he noticed that Saya was slipping.
"Cyrus!" She had shouted as she reached out for him once again, hoping that he would catch her in time.
Her hazel eyes were wide open with fear, and her dark red hair was a mess, and then all of a sudden her right hand which was holding on to the concrete slipped and she began falling. Cyrus' eyes widened as he reached out for her when it was already too late. He closed his eyes and squeezed his right hand into a fist and he furiously moved it to his right, and when he opened his eyes Saya was laying down on a platform of ice. Saya looked up at Cyrus with a surprised look on her face and all they did was smile at each other as they both took a sigh of relief. Cyrus reached out for Saya's hand and she jumped up to grab it and once she jumped off the ice below her dissolved into water. Saya and Cyrus looked at each other thinking the same thing, so then Saya shouted.
"Guys! Create a path of ice to get to the other side!"
Everyone heard what Saya had said, but they were too busy fighting off the Ranistons. So Lacey punched her fists together and frost began illuminating from her fists. Then she opened up both of her hands to spread ice from each and every one of the platforms for all of them to cross.
"Go! I'll hold them off!" Lacey had shouted.
The first to start running to the other side was Luna. Once she made it to the other side she began using her fire enhanced machine gun to shoot at the Ranistons that were keeping the others to go across. Once a few were out of the way Luna shouted.
Jax nodded his head and started shooting so that Ryder and the others could cross. After everyone had made it to the other side Jax turned around to see that Ryder and Lacey were still on the ice, Lacey furrowed her eyebrows as she stood on her toes and her large sword in hand.
"Ryder get out of here!"
Ryder turned to look at her and he stood at her side, his hands clenched into fists as he looked at her.
"Not a chance."
"Your as stubborn as ever."
Ryder smirked as electricity formed around his hands and Lacey's sword was engulfed in blue flames and her eyes were still silver. They both stared at the horde of birds that formed one giant monster in front of them and she spoke.
"Follow my lead, jerk!"
She jumped up into the air and slashed her sword across her and blue flames were shot towards the monster as Ryder spoke with the smirk still plastered on his face.
"That nickname is never gonna get old."
He aimed his hand towards the sky and brought lightning to his hand and then aimed it towards the monster just like Lacey did. Once Lacey had landed on the ground she stood in front of the monster and began realizing that the monster made of birds began disassembling itself. Ryder had already began running towards the other side as the group waited for them. Once Ryder noticed that there wasn't another pair of footsteps behind him he turned around and shouted.
"Lace! The ground is breaking, there's no time to fix it, so run!"
Lacey's eyes widened as the ground below her broke and she turned around, tripping over her feet a bit but she quickly regained her balance and began running faster as the ground below her began cracking faster. Ryder stayed where he was and shouted.
"Just do it!" He had shouted.
She quickly closed her eyes and lunged herself towards Ryder, he quickly caught her, spinning her around and throwing her to where the rest of the group was. She landed hard on the ground and she quickly turned around and saw that Ryder wasn't there. Her eyes started tearing up, she covered her face as a tear streamed down her face and then all of a sudden a voice said.
"Hey,... Turn around."
Lacey gasped and when she turned around she saw Ryder standing a few feet behind her with a smile and Percy at his shoulder. She smiled and quickly got up and ran towards him, quickly hugging him as if he had been gone forever.
Ryder's smile faded away and he said.
"Way to ruin the moment."
Lacey giggled a bit as she looked up at him with her tiny arms still wrapped around him, and then spoke.
"That was intentional."
She smiled and then she quickly shoved him away from her and said.
"Don't scare me like that again."
He laughed just a bit and said.
"Okay okay, I won't."
Luna quickly cleared her throat and she walked passed them and said.
"Keep going, we're not here."
For a moment Ryder and Lacey had forgotten that there were other people there.
"S-sorry..." Ryder had said as he rubbed the back of his neck.
Once the rest of the group began walking, Ryder stood in front of Lacey and bent down just a bit as she continued to wipe her tears away, then he spoke.
Lacey looked up at him with watery eyes and he continued.
"Don't waste your tears on me, use them when their needed. You knew that I was gonna be alive, so why did you cry?"
"U-um... It's hard to explain."
She walked passed him and caught up with Terrance and Luna, leaving Ryder still standing in the same spot. He stood up straight and stretched his arms as he sighed and looked at Lacey and smiled just a bit.
As the group continued walking Cyrus then said.
"Isn't the next trial strength?"
The group stopped in their tracks and Jax nodded his head to confirm Cyrus' question and said.
"Yeah, but how are we gonna know- Luna move!"
Luna turned to look at Jax running towards her, she then looked below her and saw that the tile was golden and was about to dissolve. Her eyes widened and Jax quickly shoved her out of the way and she fell to the ground as Jax fell through the hole. Luckily he grabbed the tile next to it, he furrowed his eyebrows as he struggled to hold himself up. Luna crawled over to Jax, about to help him up when Sanders voice echoed through the room.
"This is the strength trial, he has to survive this for at least two minutes. No one can help him."
Lacey puffed out some air as she looked at Jax with a bit of concern that he may not make it, that Sanders may have more in store for him for the next two minutes.
"Come on Jax..." She had whispered.
Aria flew out of his pocket and sat on Luna's shoulder, pep-talking him the whole time. But before the two minutes were up an arrow pierced through his left hand, he screamed out in pain and Luna sat there reaching her hand out towards him and quickly pulling it away remembering Sanders evil words. Then his voice echoed through the room once again and he spoke.
"Oh your no fun Jax." He sighed and continued.
"Well, your two minutes are over."
Luna quickly yanked out the arrow in his hand and pulled him up with the help of Terrance. Once Jax made it safely on to the floor Luna, Aria, and Terrance all looked at him.
"You alright Jax?" Terrance had asked with concern plastered across his face.
He nodded his head and spoke.
"Yeah... Hey Lacey, is it wrong to heal me?"
Everyone in the group turned their heads to look at Lacey, waiting for her answer and then she spoke.
"Yeah, if you do..."
Her words got lost in a trail of thoughts and then she snapped back into reality and continued her sentence.
"You'll get an unbearable punishment."
She folded her arms and walked away and then Sanders' voice made the atmosphere even more eerie than it already was.
"That was marvelous! Now, time for part three of initiation and then you'll be free to go."
Lacey continued walk away and snickered as she shook her head, and Percy silently landed on her shoulder, then she spoke aloud, basically responding to a question Sanders had hinted in the his previous sentence.