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-Awakening-

The Dragons had always been worshiped by humans either as evil creatures who seek no more than destruction and havoc or as powerful, good and protective creatures which would reward those who really worth it…

A couple of months had passed since Anael and his friends went to Brazil to stop Zoe. Life has become regular for the Knights: their lives were organized regarding their school, their free time and saving Guatemala. The Guatemalan President had given them safe conduct to act wherever they thought necessary, working with the police in order to help public security as a reward for their actions in Brazil.

It was October, finally; a very special month for two Knights: Anael, well-known as Elite Dragon, and Altagracia, the Lotus Flower. October was Anael’s month, for his birthday was on October 31st, the Halloween day. His mother would finally have a day off to organize a party for him and give more attention to her children, for she didn’t do that on Altagracia’s day.

On that day, things were working as they normally did: at precisely 5 of the mourning, Anael was already awaken, sitting on his bed, ready to start the day as he usually did. He stood up and looked at his drawer, taking a sleeveless, turtleneck white and turquoise shirt with a light turquoise baggy pants and a light blue and yellow cord. He rapidly changed his clothes, folding his pajamas carefully. Then, he took a few steps to the western part of his bedroom and took a small stereo and one CD with him.

Anael was a capoeirist. Capoeira is a well-known Brazilian martial art which mixes dance with fighting moves, and it was created by slaves in the senzals (places in which the slaves slept and stayed if they were not working on the sugar cane plots) and they played it as a form of protest to the abuse they suffered; however, they couldn’t get caught fighting, so they under covered the style making it a dance. Anael had a master, Madam Thunder*, who started teaching him capoeira at the age of six. Madam Thunder was a man on his 40’s who went out of Brazil to discover the world and fell in love with Guatemala. He was a transvestite, who fought as well as he could make himself pass for a woman without being discovered. He was as serious as funny, and for that Anael loved him and his lessons, making him a great capoeirist.

The Guatemalan was outside of his house stepping on the grass. The watch on his right arm marked 5:10 a.m.; he smiled, for he was on schedule to start his first round of training. He put the stereo on the ground and opened the place in which he could put the CD, and so he did. Then, he lowered the volume in order to avoid waking his neighbors up, yet he could hear the music perfectly. He smiled and prepared the dummy; the cool winds were blowing on his face, making his smile even bigger and more beautiful. When everything was set, he looked at his training target.

“Let’s start the day!” Said the Guatemalan doing the rhythmic moves of capoeira, hitting the dummy with his feet and elbows in the rhythm of the Brazilian instrumental song.

The music made him remember some events. As he made the fighting movements following the track, his mind was going somewhere else, some days not that far from the present day…

Some Weeks before…

Anael and Altagracia had arrived home through Kaiser’s vortex. Their mother was expecting them with a raging face, and they knew he was going to lecture them. The Moon’Seeker siblings entered on the house slowly as their mother guided them to the living room; she did not allow them to transform into their civilian clothes, for she wanted to see their undercover.

“Sit down. Both of you.” She said sitting on a dark green armchair next to the sofa. Anael and Altagracia sat on the sofa with worried countenances “You two owe me explanations. Especially you, Anael.” She couldn’t keep such calm countenance; she started screaming “How could you do this to your sister?! Don’t you realize how dangerous it is?! You’ve been lying to me for a long time! Why didn’t you tell me the truth?! Why haven’t you trusted me?! Am I not your mother?! Answer me!”

Altagracia held Anael’s arm with strength, showing how scared she was at that scene. Their mother used to be calm and quiet, so it was scary to see her so enraged. Anael took a deep breath and prepared to answer her in calm and controlled tone.

“I… I couldn’t tell you the truth…” His hands were trembling “I thought that it would risk your life… I didn’t want to make you worry about us…”

“It was not Anael’s idea to make me one of the Knights!” Interrupted Altagracia with tears in her eyes “Please mom, don’t punish him!” She closed her eyes and let the tears roll over her face as she kept holding her brother’s arm “He is good to me, and he didn’t want me to become a hero as he is… I made my way to become one of them so that I could still be close to him…”

“You knew you couldn’t allow her to do so” Said the mother to Anael in inflexible tone “It is an unnecessary risk you guys have been taking. “ She put two of her fingers on her head as a signal of headache “Why you, my children? Why? Isn’t it enough the fact that your father died because of his heroic deeds?”

This time Anael got angry.

“Don’t talk this way!” Hissed the Guatemalan Dragon with anger in his eyes “You know it was his job! ...” A tear rolled over the left side of his face “For me, being a Knight is not ‘fooling around’ or risking my life for nonsense! We are­­­ committed with the security of this country and others on Central America and the world!”

Maria Moon’Seeker, their mother, stood up with a serious countenance; she walked two steps near them with apathy.

“Then you should realize that secrets have a price; they are not for free.” She left the room and went upstairs in order to enter in her room; Anael was still angry, and his eyes changed to the reptilian form.

­­­“So, this is the way she’s going to end this conversation?” He hissed angrily and low “Then it is fine to me.”

***

The Guatemalan Dragon stopped his practice for a moment to sit on the grass; then, he put his arms over his knees. His eyes were half open and his countenance showed regret.

“Why does she always end up her conversations like this?” He whispered to himself “Couldn’t her be just more comprehensive? ... Talking about Dad… With Altagracia nearby and crying as she was… That was not fair. Not at all…” He slowly stood up “Better get going… It is precisely 6 of the morning, and I have to wake them up…”

Anael turned the stereo off and grabbed it; he entered on the house and went upstairs to reach his room. When he arrived there, he put the stereo where it originally were and opened his drawer again in order to get his school uniform: a short sleeve white shirt with the school emblem and a pair of jeans; also, he got a pair of black sneakers with light green details in it, gray socks and his underwear. After that he went straight to the shower.

He got out few minutes later, dressed up and ready for another day of classes. Then, he got out of the bathroom and went to his sister room. Altagracia was sleeping with a small smile on her face. The Guatemalan smiled at his younger sister and touched her face smoothly with his left hand. Then, he put the same hand on her right shoulder and gently shook her.

“Time to wake up, my darling” He whispered in her ear “We have school today…” Her sister mumbled something her couldn’t understand. He just smiled, kissed her forehead, passed his hand through her long, wavy brown hair and left the room. Just a few steps to the north laid his mother’s room, and Anael went there; however, he stood up in front of the door. Even though their discussion had happened almost a month before, he was still feeling bad about that. He gently knocked on the oak door and slowly opened it. Instead of going near his mother and wake her up as he did with Altagracia, he kept distance at her.

“Mom, time to wake up” He said from the door, leaving afterward.

The diplomat slowly sat on the bed, preparing herself to do the same ritual Anael did before. The two children were downstairs at the spoken moment; Altagracia was watching TV with her backpack ready for school while Anael made their breakfast. A regular mourning at Moon’ Seeker’s house had started…

***

The classes went as regular as they could be – no sign of awkward activities or such. As the teachers were speaking, explaining their subjects to the students and giving them the according assignments, Anael kept his mind somewhere else; his day was brighter than usual, even though he had remembered some unpleasant events: it was his birthday. His body copied every single note down, and just part of his consciousness was active in class – the other part was thinking about getting older and much more dreamer than usual.

The school bell rang; it was their break time. The Guatemalan had a dreamy smile on his face, and his eyes were looking to the ground. He seemed so distracted that he hadn't noticed a hand touching his right shoulder. He looked up a bit surprised. It was Thalas.

Bon anniversaire” Said the French Guatemalan, congratulating Anael for another birthday “Here, this is a little gift for you...” He gave Anael a wrapped package “It seems that there's nothing in the stores that is suitable for you... Don't be shy, open it!”

The Guatemalan obeyed his friend's command and tore the present apart; the package contained a Judas Priest's “Screaming for Vengeance” shirt and three CDs from this band – 2008's “Nostradamus” and 2010's “Live in Japan (Screaming in Japan)” and 2011's “Epitaph World Tour”. Anael's eyes started to glow in overjoy and excitement.

“You said you regretted not going to their live concert which took place on Guadalajara, Mexico” Said Thalas with a discrete smile “Considering that and also the fact that Judas Priest is the soundtrack of your life, I decided to buy you those souvenirs... Yet I think they are far from being what you really deserve...”

“Of course not!” Said the Guatemalan with his eyes slightly wet “Cut it out! You gave me simply my dream back! You are the best friend in the entire world, thank you so much!” He gave him a friendly hug. Then, Melchior entered on the class, followed by Maya and the Finn twins Kimi and Kaiser.

“Are we interrupting something?” Asked Melchior in his joker tone “Happy birthday, man!” He gave his gift to the Guatemalan, which was a mini-Anael puppet. '”I suck at gift selection, I admit it! I had no other idea in mind.” Said the Salvadorian in a mocking, yet embarrassed tone “However, I think you will like it!”

Anael smiled discretely at Melchior; then, he put the doll on his right hand and changed his voice tone in order to fake the puppet's speech “Awesome! I like being as handsome as my new owner! What do you think?” This act of Anael made all the Knights, including Anael himself, laugh out loud in the empty classroom.

“Watch out, we've got a bad-ass over here!” Said Kimi and Melchior in a mocking tone between laughs. The, Kimi took a deep breath and approached Anael.

“My turn now.” The Finn long-haired said with a discrete smile “Hyva syntimapaivaa” He congratulated Anael in Finnish, giving the Guatemalan a cyllindrical present box.

“What is that?” Asked Anael with a happy and curious countenance.

“Figure it out yourself” Answered Kimi politely “The only hint I can give you is that its sound is one which you love the most...”

Anael opened the box rapidly and took a beautiful flute out of it. The musical instrument was icy blue with some detalis in white; when Anael blown a C note on it, the sound was different from a standard wooden flute: it sounded more crystalline.

“What kind of sorcery is this?” Asked Anael impressed.

“This flute is unique; I've made it myself using everlasting ice. That's why the timber seems different from the regular flutes, but is still close to them. I made it this way so that you'll have a customized version of your favorite instrument. I hope you have like it...”

“It is impressive, completely astonishing!” Answered the Guatemalan with happiness “I can't even describe how I feel right now. Thank you so much!”

Ei kesta” Replied Kimi saying 'you're welcome' in Finnish “I'm glad you like it.”

Then, Kaiser approached, faking an arm-bar on the Guatemalan, scaring him a bit.

Hyva syntymapaivaa!” Said Kaiser with a big smile “Relax, I'm not going to tight my arms on your neck, I'm just fooling around.” He gave Anael a book with some cheap Chemistry experiments “In tribute to your scientific curiosity and love for Chemistry. You can even make gunpowder with this one!” Said Kaiser with a smile “I hope you make good use of it!”

“I'll use it wisely...” Anael gave a mischievous smile to all Knights “...Mythbusters time!” He screamed, making his friends laugh once more.

Then, it was Maya's turn. The Honduran seemed too shy to approach and give her gift.

“Come on, Maya” Said Anael with a smile “I want to see what you have for me. I'm sure I'll like it...”

Then, Black Witch gave him a brief smile and offered the package, which clearly had the shape of a book. When the Guatemalan opened, both happiness and surprise appeared on his countenance.

Herpetology is actually my favorite part of Zoology, as you may know” she said with her faces blushed “However, your favorite part of the Animal Kingdom concerns the two-life: Amphibians! So, I've found this book which is completely related to them,and only them, for you to read when you are free...I h-hope you enjoy it...”

“I love it, Maya!” Anael said giving her a hug “Awesome choice; all of you had made some awesome choices for me. You are the best friends ever!” All of the Knights gave Anael a hug and started clapping in a certain rhythm of a certain song:

CumpleaƱos felices,deseamos a ti
Que lo pases muy bien
CumpleaƱos feliz!

“Let's celebrate!” Said Melchior happly “We've got to go somewhere nice tonight! Your choice, Anael; wherever you want to go!”

“I'll think on something...” Said Anael with a smile “Once again, thanks so much for the gifts, you guys. This has been the best birthday of my live, and it hasn't even started!”

***

Anael went with his friends to a fair related to the All Saints' Day, which was going to take place on the following day. All the tents had nice articles which the Knights spent some time looking at. There were presentations, holy masses and all kinds of manifestations related to this holiday.

Times was passing fast, and Anael didn't notice. He only realized that it was late when the bells of the main church of the city started to sing. It was around midnight when that event happened.

“Are they going to sing the bells now?” Asked Anael out loud, concerned about time.

“Yes, sir!” Answered Thalas as loud as Anael “When they finish this, we can go straight to our homes!”

The emerald-eyed boy agreed and stayed close to his friends in the mass of people, waiting for the bells to sing strong as thunders in the raging storm. The counting began loud and kept the same tone until it was finished: 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1!!! The bells sang strong and beautifully, and people near the church started to scream and hold themselves in pure overjoy and excitement.

“Happy birthday, Anael!” Screamed the Knights for their leader “Happy All Saints' Day!”

“Thanks Lord!” Replied Anael happily “Happy All Saints' Day!”

***

Meanwhile, in another Guatemalan city, far from the capital, the Knights didn't know, but another threat was about to come.

Quetzaltenango was the second most populated city of Guatemala, and the administrative capital of the homonym department of that country. This city is also called Xelaju, the indigenous name to refer to this town, also known as Capital of Central America, for it has the largest amount of indigenous people in its population.

The city was also celebrating the holidays; however, the celebrating mood was replaced by awe and havoc when an enormous crater opened on the ground of the central park, releasing flames of strange tone of silver and purple. Some churches had its walls cracking and one was shattered by the abnormal phenomenon. The ones who stood up near the park could see, terrified, a trio of shadows on the flames

Three entities came out of the unholy passage; they were like humans, but they had dragon wings in different colors, and they were wearing plates underneath their clothes.

The one on the left was white and wore a black and violet mask; his hair was short, straight and navy blue, and his eyes were light blue. He was carrying a grayish blue sword which seemed to be carrying souls within, for it appeared to be screaming as its master cut the wind with it, shattering the nearest buildings and slaying innocent people who couldn't run away.

The one on the right was also white and wore a mask which resembled fire; his hair was short, straight and white, and his eyes were turquoise; differently from his colleagues, he was not wearing a plate: instead, his chest was nude, and had a red maple tattooed on it. He was also wearing a pair of gloves which allowed him to manipulate fire, using it to burn everything on his path.

The moon was glowing in a terrifying way, and that was caused by the last entity, on the center; he was copper-skinned, and his mask was turquoise and yellow. He had short, curly dark-brown hair and turquoise eyes. He was carrying a scythe that seemed to allow him to control light, revealing where people hid and slaying them as they were tracked.

“Let's go, boys!” Said the one carrying the scythe “Let's show Central America the power of the mighty Templar Dragons... And for the one they call 'Elite Dragon'... Let's teach him a lesson he will never forget...”

To Be Continued...

-----

*Madam Thunder: An allusion to Madam Satan, a transvestite capoeirist from 19th century in Rio de Janeiro, feared for his ability on Capoeira; he worked as a security guard from some cabarets while acting as drag queen. There is a movie made in tribute to this character, who was interpreted by Brazilian actor Lazaro Ramos.

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