Rage of the Red Dragon
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"I'll show you what happens when you cross the line."

This article, Nightmare in the Mist, is the sole property of Ripcord, and as such this article cannot be mentioned, used, or even edited, without permission. Thank you for your cooperation.

Previous Chapter - Legend of the Island

A short while later, the boat had entered the black fog and slowly pulled up on shore. The sunlight was dimmed because of the mist, but not so much so that it made it hard to see. A small cottage sat not too far away, but the broken windows and run down appearance indicated that nobody had lived there for quite a while. Shadows where also visible through the dimmed sunlight in the distance, but judging from their profiles, they where just more buildings. The place certainly looked creepy, definitely explaining all the roomers, that's for sure.

As Isa stepped off the boat, she took a quick look around. The beach they landed on wasn't made of sand, bit tiny stones that made a distinct clacking sound when stepped on. "Are you going to be ok here?" She asked their pilot.

"Good as I'll ever be." he said, throwing a small anchor onto the beach and clutching a rifle.

Hino fell onto the stoney beach still sick as he was when he was on the boat. "Ugh when are we gonna get dying." He said trying to holding back his puke.

"Poor Hino. Its been one vehicle after another with you." Spirit said, comforting Hino.

"Geez! You can be so pathetic Hino. I don't know why we brought you along." Kana said getting off the boat.

Esca and Reed got off the boat and looked around. "Whoa look at this place. Its really foggy inside as well." Esca said looking up

"Ah man what horrible sight. Not a single life anywhere not even in the plants." Reed said looking around seeing what is around them.

"Be careful everyone." Isa said, kicking a rusted piece of metal that was to corroded too be identifiable. "Even if there's nothing here, old buildings can still be real dangerous." Everyone nodded in response, save Kana, who huffed and rolled her eyes. But they all set off after her, heading deep into the fog.

At first there was nothing, no indication as to direction, once the ocean was out of sight. Even the sun was just a blurry ball of dim light in the sky thanks to the fog. Stranger still, it was deathly silent. Other than the sounds of the stones under their feet, there was no noise, so the sudden metallic creek accompanying a short gust of wind set them all on edge.

A shadow drew closer as the stones gave way to a dirt path, and they soon spied a small shack sitting alone in the mist.

"What is a shack doing here? That blazing thing looks run down." Reed said looking at it.

Esca walked up to it to investigate. "It looks like its really old, it must be centuries." She said getting a close look.

"Umm guys i don't know about this, its getting pretty scary here." Spirit said hiding behind Hino shoulder.

"No joke, I mean just looking at that shack gives me the creeps." Hino said who finally started to feel better.

"Well we cant turn back now so you'll just have to suck it up." Kana informed him as she stood there not looking scared.

"Quin told me this place was an old whaling station, build almost fifty years ago." Isa said, glancing in one of the windows. "But it was abandoned when whaling was outlawed, so I guess they just left all this stuff here." She looked around again, taking a few more steps down the path. "C'mon, we'll probably find more farther in."

Just s they where all about to set off again, a sudden voice made them all jump. "So how's it going?"

Isa's heart skipped a beat, but she quickly grew annoyed when she realised it was their pilot. "We're fine!" She called back. Though they couldn't have guessed for the fog, they hadn't ventured more than twenty yards from the boat.

They continued on, watching mounds of grass pass by on either sides of the path, until they came to a half opened gate hanging cockeyed from it's frame. They passed through it, and found themselves standing in what they guessed to be entrance of town.

Everyone glances around trying to clarify where they are. "Where are we? Some sort of town?" Esca said cautiously.

"Hmm. It looks to be as old as the burned out shack, could this town be where the whaling station happened?" Reed said looking around until he thought he noticed something strange. "Hu? Hey wait is it just me or this fog getting thicker?"

"Your right is getting to dark to see anything. Stay close everyone." Esca declared not wanting everyone to get separated.

Kana braced herself for anything that might appear and attack. "Ok I'm really getting freaked out here, whats going on." She said a little frightened. "Hu, wait did you guys say something?" She said franticly.

They all froze, straining to hear whatever Kana had heard. A low whistle emanated from the fog, followed shortly by a gentle breeze. "Just wind." Isa sighed in relief, despite her voice shaking slightly. "It's just the wind."

Everyone was frantically looking around, carefully watching for anything that might move. Then suddenly on the corner of Esca's eye she sees a shadow moving out of sight. "Hu? What was that did you guys see anything?" Everyone shook there heads no but were a bit more terrified now and all looked around again.

"Turn back..." A sudden and eerie wisper voice appeared behind them. Everyone was scared as they looked behind them, only to see a cloaked figure hovering just off the ground surrounded by an eerie dark aura.

Everyone was paralyzed in fear as the gazed upon the floating figure. "A GHOST!!!!!!!!" Everyone screamed at once.

"Run!" Isa called, sounding less panicked for someone who had literally just seen a ghost. She grabbed Kana by the arm on the way past, dashing down the closest road and into the fog.

"Hey! what the!" Kana said as she was grabbed and taken away. "Isa! Damn it, let me go!" She called as she was being taken away.

Isa ignored her, moving with the determination of a solder. The two of them slid around a corner, with Isa peering out to check on the others. Kana stepped up to look too, but Isa held out an arm to stop her. "Wait there." She said quickly, still looking down the street.

Kana was getting irritated and wacked Isa on the head. "Don't treat me like some sort of defenseless child." She said with angry look on her face, feeling like she's being treated as a burden.

"Sorry." Isa said sharply, waving her hand to ward of the pain. She kept her eyes fixed on the street around the corner but the phantom they had seen was gone, leaving only the thick gray mist in sight. "We need to get back to the others." She said, walking past Kana down the ally.

"I wonder who's fault that is." Kana said rudely following her as if she was trying to pass her.

"I don't like dealing with curses. And if that's what this is, I'd rather run away and deal with it on our own terms." Isa said, the kindness returning to her voice. She increased her pace to keep up with Kana, and offered her a gentle smile. "Sorry if I startled you."

"Are you kidding me? Our job is investigating a curse island, and now you say you don't want to deal with it? Ugh why do i have to be stuck with someone as useless as you." Kana said in an irritating tone as she looks away from her.

Isa stopped abruptly, trying her best not to look hurt. "W-well... That's not what I meant." Kana increased her pace, so Isa figured it best to just save her breath. Kana apparently wasn't in much of a listening mood right now.

The two of them continued through the fog, dodging back and forth from building to building in an attempt not to be caught in the opened. Unfortunately, with Isa trying to not get separated from Kana and Kana trying to get away from Isa, their attention as a little too divided to search for the others. They couldn't even hear anything, like the island had just swallowed up their friends.

What they could hear though, was the occasional whistle of wind making it's way through the buildings. As they were wondering through the fog Kana suddenly had a strange feeling and stopped where she was and looked around. Isa stopped as well, pulling herself away from her thoughts. "What is it?"

Kana didn't bother listening much less answer her. As she was looking around it became dead quiet, they heard nothing but the sound of the wind and Kana was focusing on what was around them until she heard multiple eerie whispers. "Turn back. Turn back. Turn back." The whispers repeated. Kana lost her focus and frantically looked around and out of no where Kana and Isa were surround by floating spirits all repeating the same thing. "Turn back."

"WHAT THE HECK!?" Kana screamed in panic as she looked around.

A book appeared in Isa's hand with a bright flash, which she held out towards the swarm of ghost. "Explosion!" A blazing fireball dissipated the spirits for the moment, creating a gap big enough for them to get though. "C'mon, run!" She shouted, pulling Kana along by the color.

"Wait! Hey!" She called while being pulled away. They didn't get very far when even more spirits appeared in front of them cutting off their escape. They kept repeating the same thing over and over again. "Turn back."

Kana got annoyed by their chanting "Ugh shut up!" She shouted angrily and jumped towards them. "Requip!" A brightness began to glow from her hand as a black Mace appeared and grabbed ahold of it. "Turn back to this." She swung at the nearest spirit as her mace phased right through the spirit. "No way." She said surprised.

A long, shadowy hand reached out from the ghostly cloak, but Isa yanked Kana away just in the nick of time. "Don't let them touch you!" She said, pulling them down another ally. The phantoms all began to pile in behind them, following almost in a single file fashion. Just as the two of them made it out onto another road, Isa spun around and her book disappeared, only for three more to take it's place. They hovered before her in a triangle formation, and each opened with a wave of her hand. "3 Spell Formation - Thunderstorm!" A flurry of lightning shoot down the ally, dissipating the ghosts in a plumb of smoke.

As soon as the dust cleared even more spirits started to appear in the same spot. "They just keep coming, theres no end to them." Kana said worriedly as she held up her mace.

Dispite the adversity, Isa kept a cool head. "Then we keep running too."

As they were about to run the ghost spirits appeared in the direction they were going and were completely surrounded as they kept chanting the same thing. "Turn back."

Isa skidded to a halt, watching the seemingly endless wave of phantoms swirl around them. "This is pointless..." She huffed. "We can't seem to hurt them, and we can't out run them. Kana, we need too..." She stopped when she glanced back at her companion, who had frozen in place and turned deathly pail. "Kana? What's wrong?"

As Isa was struggling with the ghosts around here and Kana's sudden trance. Not far away a dark figure is shown standing on a tree branch watching their struggle from a far.

As the two girls were surround, Kana was pulled in by the gaze of one of the phantoms, standing frozen like a statue. She could faintly hear Isa calling her name, but so transfixed she was it was it sounded more like a distant echo. Questions began to form in the background of her mind, and before her eyes the Phantom began to change shape.

Meanwhile far away on another part of the island, the remaining members of Warrior Angel where dealing with some trouble of their own. They ran threw the woods while being chased by phantoms as well. "RUN GUYS, JUST KEEP RUNNING!" Hino shouted while running ahead of his team.

"I cant believe this, no matter what we do we can get rid of them." Esca said, looking back over her shoulder.

"This is one troublesome wisp we're dealing with." Reed mentioned while running beside them.

"What do we do?" Spirit asked flying with them with his wings out.

"Ah screw it, lets take them out." Hino said as he stopped running and turned towards them. "Lightning Dragon Wing Attack." He called as lightning was released from his hands and waved it around like wings, attacking the phantoms and dissipating them. "Hehe, thats how we do things in the Warrior Angel Guild." He said grinning in excitement, however more phantoms appeared in the same place which shocked Hino for a moment. "RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!" He yelled running again causing the others to run after him while being chased again.

The group rounded another corner, and found themselves on a path that lead out of the tiny island town. Rocks occasionally darted past on their sprint, and a large shadow running along the side of the path indicated that they where near the island's mountain. The group all began to grow tired after a few moments, and stopped to rest just as the fog began to clear, albeit only a little.

Everyone stopped running and tried to catch their breath in exhaustion. "I don't.....think I" Hino said breathing in and out.

"Well good news is we lost the phantoms, but i think we're lost." Spirit said worriedly while looking the path they ran from.

"Yea your right but judging by the area I'd say we're somewhere around the middle of island. I guess those rumors about the phantoms living there are true. I doubt thats the last time we'll see them." Esca responded.

"So lets burn up and keep moving before we're found again." Reed said.

Everyone took a few more moments to catch their breath, as Esca's warning reminded everyone that they didn't want to be caught short again. Just before they sounded off however, they heard a voice cut through the fog. It was almost inaudible at first, a mumble here, a whistle there, maybe some laughing if they listened close enough. But it wasn't the phantoms again, this sounded different. Angry, mocking, arrogant. But most importantly, human.

Suddenly the murmurs became louder. "C'mon, the hell's takin' so long?!"

There was a brief pause, then another voice said. "I'm trying, boss. This thing's..."

There was a swift snap, the unmistakable sound of skin hitting skin, and the first voice returned. "Quit complainin' and do you're job, wimp."

"Those sounded like people, and they don't sound like Kana and Isa." Spirit whispered just loud enough for the others to hear.

Everyone discretely heads towards the voices and sees 3 people through the trees as they hide behind them so they be noticed and checks them out. "These guys look like a burning pair if you ask me." Reed whispers

"And judging by their sent their not from the island but they've been here for a long time." Hino whispers back after sniffing the air.

"Shhhh quiet lets here them out." Spirit whispers trying to listen to them. Everyone stops talking and over hears the 3 people.

The first, and loudest, of them was a man with shaggy red hair in what looked like a military uniform, similar to the ones worn by the solders at the magic council. The next was shorter, a boy looking to be in his mid teens, currently in the proses of using a winch to lift a large fallen log. The last was a woman in an upscale dress who had yet to make so much as a peep, apparently to engrossed in her book to be interested in what was going on.

Another snap echoed against the mountan they where all huddled under, and the log crashed back to earth. The redhead grunted in annoyance, yanking the teen back to his feet. "Dammit, the hell're you doing?" He drew a long sword from his belt as he approached the log, and swiftly drove the tip into the bark. Instantly the tree lifted off the ground, and with a small yank it began to glide across the grass like it was ice.

The youth grew an annoyed look in his face. "If you could do that, then-?"

He stopped his complaint cold when the redhead glanced back at him, deciding it best not to continue. "Yo Cybell, ten-hut." He called to the woman. "Up'n at um. Capitan on deck. You're up."

"Yes yes, I hear you." She moaned, snapping her book closed and getting to her feet.

She set about doing... something. But a more pressing mater was soon at hand. The log the redhead had moved hadn't stopped yet, and it was slowly but surly beginning to sweep past the bushes that the Warrior Angel group where hiding in.

"Uh its coming, look out." Esca whispered loud enough for the others to hear. Everyone but Hino gets out of the way.

Hino had no clue what was going on and stayed where he was and tried to listen to them, "Ugh." he was hit by the log and hit the ground with the log on top of him.

"This can't be good." Spirit said looking at Hino.

Hino burst out from under the log. "AHHHHHH I'M GONNA KILL THAT BASTARD!" He yells with static electricity running through his body. He running out from the trees towards the 3 people. "WHICH ONE OF YOU WISE GUYS THREW A TREE AT MY HEAD HU?!" He yells at them in anger.

Esca let out a sigh with a face palm. "Well no turning back now." She says in disappointment and everyone runs out after him.

The teenager and the woman named Cybell both looked surprised, but the redhead just lazily looked over his shoulder. "And... The hell are you suppose to be?"

Hino cracked his knuckles. "You'll know soon enough pale." He says in an angry yet calm tone.

The others looked to the redhead, not entirely sure what to think. "Look kid, havn't you heard the rumors? This island's haunted." He gave a creepy grin, though his tone became somewhat undecipherable. "Ghosts, hell beasts, who knows what's roamin' around this waters. So why don't you scurry back home before something bad happens."

"God, what's Kasuchi doing?" Cybell sighed in exasperation. "Wells, we can't just let them leave. They've already-."

"Shut up, I'm having some fun with this." The redhead interrupted. "Didn't you hear me kid? Boo! Scary ghost, run away!"

"Hear that, sounds like the phantoms and these guys are some how together." Esca mumbles to the others.

"It also sounds like big mouth there has a couple of screws lose." Reed points out mumbling back.

"Heh, As if that can scare me away, if your to chicken to fight then just stand there while I pound your face in." Hino said with an grin, and a glare like he's excited. Electricity appears around his body.

Wells grinned back and took a step forward, but the teenager stood up and grabbed his shoulder. "Hold on, may be we should think-."

Without skipping a beat, Wells grabbed the back of the teenager's neck and slammed their foreheads together, stopping his objection cold. "Grow some balls man. We'll kill them like the rest." Though the teenager dropped to his knees and clutched at his head, Wells seemed completely unscathed. He drew a pair of short swords from his belt, lazily whirling them around his fingers, and smiled again. "Well, come on then. Bring it on."

"He just mercilessly beat up his own comrade!" Spirit shouted in shock.

"With pleasure!" Hino yelled running towards Well's with lightning released from his hands.

"Hino wait!" Esca tried to stop him but was to late.

Wells grinned again, with the wave of his sword a cloud of debris jumped up from the ground. Sticks, rocks, dirt, all rose to his command, and it all washed towards Hino to intercept.

"Hu? What the..." He stop wondering what was going on but was interrupted by getting hit with Wells' attack.

"Hino!" Spirit called worried about him

"What the heck did he do?" Reed questioned.

"I don't know. Hard to tell." Esca wondered calmly.

Hino didn't waste anytime getting up and rushing towards Well's again. "Hahaha is that the best you got cause felt like a tap to me!" He shouted running towards him. He leaped up about to punch him with a fist of lightning.

Hino left the cloud of debris bearing down on Wells fist first. But the strange swell in the earth below caught his attention. Wells leered up at him, and a bright ligh geminated from the ground. "Not even close!" The ground erupted in a flurry of scattered rock. A shockwave rocked the entire island, scattering everyone in the vicinity.

Back where the 2 girls were, Isa tries to get Kana's attention when she could then feel the rumble of the shockwave, however Kana was to deep in her trance to even notice as she gazes at a the changing phantom with wide open eyes and a fearful look on her face. "Oh no" She finally spoke covering her mouth as she tries to back away but end up tripping backwards. "No! you cant be here!" She mumbles loud enough to be heard by Isa as she gazes at a figure standing in the shadows. "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Kana screamed in fear, her scream echoing through the forest.

Next Chapter - Recurring Nightmare

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