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While Okami was busy playing ball with Sniff Tora saw the wave coming and panicked. Dante however saved the cats.
"Oh no Dante-san your pretty castle!" Tora exclaimed warming up to the boy with a gentle heart, "thank you!"
the little orange exceed hugged the boy's leg, "Let's make a big castle that no wave could take on!"
"sure" Dante said. He dug a deep hole and began to widen it. Then he started to build the foundation of the castle. The hole would be the moat. It was gonna take a lot of time he thought.
'Agh!' screamed Sniff as Okami and Dante splashed him with water one after another. 'You guys are mean!' he jokingly complained. As Dante saved Tora's sandcastle from being knocked over, he and Okami batted a beach ball back forth between each other. 'About that ship-castle thing,' he said as he thwacked the ball over to the Dragon Slayer. 'My grandparents live round the corner from here, so I've been to this beach more times than I can count. That ship seems to come and go; some of the times I've been it's been moored there, but just as many times it's nowhere to be seen. Some people say it's a ghost ship, and others say it just belongs to some fancy-pants billionaire. I don't know if either of those things are true, but I've always liked the look of it - when I was a kid I used to imagine exploring it.' Just then, a thought occured to Sniff. After thinking about it for a moment or two, he expressed it out loud. 'Hey, er, I don't suppose you'd like to go see what all the rumours are about?' he asked the others, an impish grin on his face.
Dante gave Sniff a slight nod. Even though he couldn't swim, he could definetely use his magic to his advantage. Looking back up at the boat or whatever it was, he couldn't wait to go see it.
"Well, as long as it doesn't move it..." Okami made a face, "It would be an awesome way to take my mind of...you know, life,"
"I'm scared, I hate ghost!" Tora whimpered.
"No worries I'll protect you Tora," Okami smiled at her exceed.
"I want to stay with Dante!" the exceed said gently landing on the boy's shoulder, "He's m y new best friend,"
Okami smiled apologetically at the boy and took no offense her exceed was still very young and childish.
Hearing that Okami wanted to take her mind off 'life', Sniff became a little worried - was Okami unhappy? He put it to the back of his mind and smiled indulgently at the antics of the others. It was nice to see everyone bonding and getting along. 'Come along then!' he said, 'Herbivore Soul: Grey Manatee!' A moment later there was a splash as he transformed, full-body, into a large, roundish, grey animal with a large flipper on the end of his tail and two smaller ones where his arms had been. A goofy-looking face popped out of the water. 'Race you there!' he said and began swimming in circles in the shallows, waiting for the others.
Aboard the ship, in one of the upper rooms, a middle-aged man looked out over the sea. The room was decorated to resemble an office. It had a huge desk that looked like three people could sleep on it and a chair that looked more like a throne. Various expensive sculptures and paintings decorated the room. The man was probably forty, with short silver hair, chiseled features and dark, set eyes. A single scar ran from the bottom of his right eye down to his mouth. He wore expenseives robes, including a silver cape that nearly reached to the floor. 'Today,' the man thought, 'It must be today.'
'Sir,' came a voice from behind him. He turned to see another man, even older and more chiseled. This man's hair was also grey, save for a single thick streak of black hair that ran down the middle. His hair was long and he had it tied in a ponytail. He was dressed like a butler.
'What is it, Gerhart?' asked the cloaked man.
'The heroes are getting restless, sir,' replied Gerhart, approaching.
'Tell them that it will definitely be today. Before the sun sets, the Heaven Magic will be mine,' the cloaked man said confidently and definitely.
'And their bonuses?' Gerhart inquired.
'Either way, they shall get their bonuses,' the cloaked man replied, a tone of cynicism in his voice. 'No doubt they are wondering whether we have any contestants for today's performance, as well.'
'Well, yes, sir.'
'I sense three, or perhaps four, magical beings approach,' the cloaked man said, smirking and turning back to the window. 'I think they will be most suitable "villains".' For a few moments he continued to look out, but he still sensed the precense for Gerhart. 'You have something to say?' he inquired, returning his gaze to him.
'Well sir, I was wondering again whether it is really necessary to go through with this plan...'
'Gerhart, you may have been my father's butler and most trusted friend, but it is not your place to question me. It is your place to support this family in all endeavours, is it not?' the master replied acidly.
'I understand perfectly,' the butler said, bowing and leaving the room. 'Then I know what I must do,' he thought as he walked down the castle's shadowy corridors.
"Celestial dragon takeover wings," Okami said invoking her blue scaly dragon wings and flying close to the water were Sniff was waiting for her partner and Dante. she was ready to follow him.
"Dante-san if you want I'll carry you!" Tora offered having noticed Dante wasn't much of a swimmer.
Okami looked at the boat suspiciously, "How weird for a moment there i felt an ominous presence, i really must be tired huh?"
"That would be fun", Dante said nervously. He had never been this close to someone in the guild thus far.
"Well what are you waiting for, Let's go!!" Dante screamed as he took the skies with Tora.
The four of them set off for the ship. Sniff paddled hard to keep up with the faster fliers. At the speed they all went, however, it didn't take them long to arrive. The huge monument loomed so high over them that even as they approached they realised that the altitude they were flying at wasn't even as high as the top of the hull.
A large chain extended from a square gap in the side of the hull to the water; presumably attached to an proportionally large anchor. Sniff swam up to it and activated another Spell; 'Herbivore Soul: Golden Monkey!' Now in the form of a blue-faced, small furry simian he clambered out of the water onto the anchor chain. Shaking himself dry, he caught the attention of the others and pointed to the gap in the hull to say "We'll get in that way". Then he began to climb, nimbly and quickly. The metal was slippery and wet, but it was as nothing to the extra grip and balance this Take Over form lent him.
At the top of the chain he hopped inside the hull of the ship, meeting the others there. The room they were in was small dark; its main feature was the winch the length of chain was connected to. The walls of the room were damp and wooden. There was no one around to be seen. The only sounds were those of the creaking of the ship. Unlike most ships sitting in water, however peaceful, it didn't rock at all, making it feel hardly like they were on a ship at all.
'This is so cool,' whispered Sniff, still in his monkey form. They went over to the doorway and glanced outside. The corridor outside was dark as well, and the walls were also made of wood. At the end was a set of stairs that led only upwards. They went up and found themselves in the middle of a large corridor that looked like the inside of some kind of palace. There were ornate wooden bannisters, red carpets and rows of suits of armour. On the walls were old-fashioned oil paintings. 'Woah, this place sure doesn't look haunted...'
Okami followed landed waiting for Sniff and unconsciously deactivated her wings, "Ha this place must be so big it's not even moving, I feel perfectly fine!"
Tora landed just a few seconds later tired and slumped on dantes shoulder, 'We made it!"
'This is so cool,' whispered Sniff, still in his monkey form when he reached them.
"Cool? This is spectacular!" Okami exclaimed her passion for the ancient surfacing, while studying about the dragons she had developed a love for history and this place seemed filled with the stories of the past.
"You're not scared are you guys?" Okami smiled at them hearing Sniff mention the place looked haunted.
Finally landing, Dante thanked Tora for the ride. The room was covered in strange objects that he didn't know. The place was really huge.
"I wonder if this is a castle",he thought
'Scared?' Sniff said, turning back into his human form. 'Not of ghosts - I'm more worried about what happens if someone catches us here. It's not like we have any right to be.' Despite these words he didn't suggest they go back; they headed further down the corridor. Round a bend they came across what looked like some kind of landing; several sets of stairs led off from it, some going up, some going down.
Suddenly, the clang of footsteps all around them started simultaneously. Seconds later dozens of people - guards - with spears and shields began running towards them from all directions. In a moment they had them surrounded. 'Freeze!' yelled the apparent man in charge.
In another part of the ship, the butler was addressing another group of Mages 'Mr Doppel assures you that today he will claim the Heaven Magic,' he told them. 'What's more, you will have opponents for the performance.'
'How can he be so sure?' objected one of the listeners. The tall man who spoke was stretched out on a sofa, long arms across the back of it, long legs crossed in front of him. He had a look os self-assurance on his face. He wore large, orange tinted sunglasses that wrapped around his head, making his eyes seem very large. He had thin green hair that lay flat on his head save for two strands that pointed upwards.
'Several contestants are approaching now,' Gerhart replied.
'I knew I could smell something!' said a feisty looking, attractive girl with plenty of curves. She had coffee-coloured hair cut to give her bangs that framed her face. In addition, it was long at the back and tied into a thick, almost spiked, ponytail. She grinned triumphantly at the others. 'Told you all!'
'I wish I could smell some fish,' a dark green tom cat that sat in her lap said dryly.
'Well I'm glad we have some opponents,' said a grumpy-looking teenage girl who wore a gothic black dress with white frills. She had electric blue hair held in two pigtails, too much make up and large jackboots. 'Anyway, I hope the Mages here in Seven are stronger than the ones back home,' she continued. 'None of them were at all fun.'
'I told you, my father wouldn't let you down,' said the calm-voiced young man. He rose and turned to the group with a smile, his silver cloak swishing as he did so. He was good-looking with curly blonde hair, but seemed somehow too pacific, too placid, to be of any threat. However, one would be altogether wrong in making this assumption. 'We should prepare.'
'Master Michael,' Gerhart said, eyes averted, 'May I speak with you alone for a moment?'
'Certainly, Gerhart,' Michael said cordially, speaking as one would to a friend, not to a butler, and followed the man from the room.
'"We should prepare",' said the young girl, mockingly. 'That guy is so up himself.' The long-legged man began to laugh, a little mockingly.
'So cynical for one so young,' he said. As she began to argue with him, much to his amusement, the brown-haired girl sniffed the air.
'Smells somehow... familar,' she thought, though she was sure it was a new smell. It confused and itnerested her in equal measure.
Last edited by Tame; July 22, 2012 at 04:26 PM.
Tora squirmed behind Dante's back in fear. "I'm not going down without a fight", he said. Charging at the first guard, he performed a very powerful uppercut and quickly followed with a roundhouse kick.
Tora held on to Dante as best as she could and cheered.
"Oh, we're attacking?" Okami questioned as Dante leapt at the first guard, they DID look menacing.
"celestial dragon wings," okami smirked aiming at a bunch of guards with the blue star like flames that ignited her arms in the likeness of stars.
Okami stopped and sniffed the air, 'What is that familiar smell'
"Hey guys, i think this place does belong to someone I smell others, four or so, i think," Okami reported to her nakama.