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- A Friend In Need is A Friend Indeed -

 Guatemala City, Guatemala - 22h

Maya finally arrived home; her aunt, Soledad Altahuela, was waiting for her, sitting on a couch with an unpleased countenance. Soledad had about 1,60 meters in height, and weighted about 50kg. She had long, dark, straight hair, which was tied in a long French braid. Her eyes were hazel colored; her mouth was small and thick, and her nose was slightly wide and round.

"You are really late, miss!" Said Consuelo. "Don't you know streets in Guatemala are as dangerous as in Tegucigalpa? Have you thought on what might have happened to you out there?"

"I am sorry, aunt." Replied Maya timidly. "I have had some problems... I had lost the notion of time. I won't let it happen again..."

"I hope you don't..." Said Soledad, coming closer to Maya and hugging her. "I got so worried about you... Your uncle is sleeping upstairs... And you should do the same, mi amorcito."

She kissed Maya's forehead and let her go upstairs; Maya saw her aunt coming right after, for she was hiding behind her door. Maya's room was small, but very organized. Her bed was made out of mahogany wood, and it had a light pink linen on top of it. Her desk was made of white wood with some pink floral details on the drawers. The desk was full of books, notebooks and different kinds of pens, pencils and inks.

"Very well..." She whispered, opening her dresser and taking a large lilac sleeping gown out of it. "I think it is my turn to do something to help Melchior.

She rapidly changed clothes and went to a darker part of her room, in which she kept a small chest. She opened it and removed a dark grimoire from it.

"Well, Eclipse said I cone could summon and undead army which even she couldn't master." Maya said to herself as she cleaned the grimoire with a small handkerchief. "In this case, naturally, I don't need to summon an undead, but help him deal with his undead condition."

She slowly walked to her desk in order to grab her cellphone. While talking to herself, she tapped a number. An specific number.

"She is the only one that, aside myself, can deal perfectly with undead, specially Vampires. Alas, Eclipse trained her with them!" She discretely laughed, sitting on her bed an putting her phone near her left ear. "Well, I hope it is not too late in Jamaica..."

It took three calling noises for her to pick up.

"Hello there." A slightly rough female voice answered from the other side of the call. "Jasmine Waterfall speaking."

"I had no idea you'd be up until this time, dear Jamaican Thunder." Maya said, trying to hide her emotion as she spoke to her .  "Oh, who am I trying to fool?"

"Maya!" Jasmine screamed pretty emotional. "Oh my Lord, I missed you so much! How you doing? Are you in Honduras or with the Knights? Tell me everything!"

Jasmine was a tall, dark-skinned girl with dark blue eyes and medium, dark curly hair. She was 1.70 meters in height and once had an extremely muscular body. Yet her arms and legs kept as strong as they were in the past, her arms became less muscular and more feminine, and the same happened to her legs, though her abnormal strength remained untouched.

She was wearing a small, baby blue pajamas while listening to Maya's report. What she heard brought her many memories back, along with many surprises.

"Call down, lil' witch!" Jasmine said, surprised. "Are you saying Melchior is... What?!"

"A Vampire." Maya replied worried. "And one of the strong ones. Apparently, he doesn't know the full range of his powers and these guys, Mirabelle and Ushuriel, who is another Vampire as well, are hunting Melchior with the intention to kill him."

"Why?" Jasmine asked, slightly confused. "This doesn't make any sense! Like, thought I fought Melchior for a brief time, he had never had any signs of vampirism! Well, I don't know much about Maya mythology, but I can see what I can do here in Port Royale."

"Can you help us?" Maya asked quite curious.

"Well..." Jasmine sighed, clearly frustrated. "Because of what happened in the past, I'd say no. However, two out of three Eclipse Warriors still remained alive... Thanks to them. Therefore... I will offer my services only because of you, lil' witch!" Jasmine finished her sentence with a discrete laughter, which also made Maya laugh.

"Very well!" Maya replied quite happy. "Is there anything I can do for you?"

"Bring me Melchior." Jasmine said mischievously. "Since you guys have to keep this Dynamic Duo as far as possible for him, I'll be your best choice of how to deal with this problem. Bring him here as soon as possible. Oh!" She paused with a discrete, mischievous laughter. "Don't tell him I am helping you guys out. I want him to discover that on his own."

"Oh... What should I say them?" Maya asked quite confused.

"Tell him you guys found an expert on the issue at hand." Jasmine calmly answered. "And... Send me the Ecliptic Grimoire, please. I think you still have it, don't you?"

"Yes, I do, soul sister!" Maya answered quite happy.  "I'll send Melchior with the Book, but I won't tell what's in it."

"Awesome!" Replied Jasmine with a mischievous smile. "I'll be waiting for him. Sleep tight, lil' witch; I've gotta go... Too many things to do and not so much time for them."

"Okay, I get it..." Maya answered with a smile. "Have you become a singer, Jas?"

"Oh! Well, kind of..." Jasmine answered serene. "I am still on school, but I sing just to help my parents make ends meet in the end of the month. If I get the right opportunity on the right time, I may become a singer for real. And you, still wants to become a teacher?"

"Yes, I do!" Answered a quite dreamer Maya. "I'd love to become one..."

"Wish Iracema was still among us..." Jasmine commented in a gloomy tone. "She was a model, you know? She had a whole career in front of her..."

A brief moment of silence took place. Then, Jasmine sighed and began talking again.

"Sometimes, I ask myself why. Why us, Maya?" Jasmine asked thoughtful. "Why?"

"I guess we won't know for sure." Maya said, gloomy. "Well, let's let past rest in hallowed ground. Right now, we have a whole life to live. And don't worry, everything is gonna be alright..."
Maya smiled and Jasmine hung off. The Honduran witch then put the grimoire inside the chest once more and laid down to sleep... And hope for the best.

***

At ten o'clock, Maya went to Kimi and Kaiser's. It was a sunny Saturday mourning, and neither the twins nor Melchior had any idea of what news Maya had to share on that day. She took a deep breath before knocking thrice on their door.

"Okay..." She thought. "I just have to convince them to give Melchior to Jasmine without any suspects. Will they trust her? Or should I keep her identity safe from them as well?"

Kaiser opened the door with a concerned countenance, and Maya felt something wrong on that scene.

"Good mourning, Maya." Kaiser said. He looked tired.

"Good mourning, Kai." Maya said with a discrete smile. "May I come in? I think I know how to..."

"AAAAAAAAARGHHH! GOOD LORD, KIMI! CLOSE THIS WINDOW! CLOSE IT! I'LL BURN TO DEATH! PLEASE, STOP IT!"

Maya and Kaiser looked up with fright and rushed upstairs. The screams came from the guest room and, of course, it was Melchior who screamed. When they arrived, Kimi was slowly closing the curtains. We has staring at Melchior with his eyes half opened, and they had a familiar turquoise glow in them. Melchior, on the other hand, had rapidly crawled to the darkest corner of the room, crying as baby. As Maya and Kaiser entered on the room, they could sense the smell of burning meat.

"Good lord..." Maya said, shocked. "What happened in here?"

"A shock of reality." Kimi said awkwardly serious.

Kaiser and Maya looked at each other. What had happened there?

***

Few minutes before...

Melchior had woken up almost one hour before Maya's arrival; his skin was paler than normal, and his fangs were slightly out of his mouth. Also, his aura seemed dreadful and his eyes had a strange, bloody red glow.

"Where am I?" He whispered, waking up. "Ouch... My head..."

He sat in the mattress with linen on top of him. He felt his eyes burning, so he covered them with his hands as if he was trying to get rid of the pain.

"What a mess I am!" He mottled. "Oh... I have to stand up and..."

He looked to his right and he saw a large mirror; this mirror, however, showed no reflection of Melchior. The Salvadorian mage widened his eyes, scared as he had never been.

"Not this again..." He said bewildered. "Not this again!"

He stood up and rushed to the mirror, trying to do something which would show his reflection on the mirror; he grabbed the linen and shook it in front of the object. As expected, the mirror showed the linen dancing... In the air, held by nothing. Melchior screamed in rage, dropping the fabric in the floor. He knelt on the floor and held his head with his hands, desperate.

He heard steps coming to the room with haste.

"Melchior?" It was Kimi's voice on the doorstep. "Are you alright?"

"No..." Melchior replied quite angry and gloomy. "It has been some time since I have been this mess I am."
Kimi closed the door with a serious countenance. He took a deep breath and kept his countenance as serene as he could.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Kimi asked.

Melchior looked up to see Kimi's face. His hands were near his waist, and his eyes were glowing as if there was blood on them.

"I want an explanation!" He whispered in anger. "I want to know why me! Why always me, Kimi?! Why?!"

"I wish I had this answer, my dear friend." Kimi answered, slowly walking towards the window. "I wish I had it, but I don't."

Melchior stood up, looking at Kimi with rage. He then torn his shirt to show Kimi his chest.

"For God's sake, Kimi! Look at me!" He growled, as angry as he had never been. "I am from El Salvador, I am copper-skinned! How's that possible?! I cannot be a Vampire, this must be a wannabe-vampirism curse! You've got to help me figure this out!"

"You haven't noticed Ushuriel, has you?" Kimi said with his eyes half opened in a reproving attitude. "He is copper-skinned. And he is a Vampire, and a strong one. How can you explain that?"

"I don't know! I don't know!" Melchior screamed, desperate. "I want to understand, Kimi! I really do! I have foreseeing abilities, but my dreams show me nothing! I sleep at night and I don't rest, I walk on daylight and almost get killed by sunlight! God knows what would happen if I touch metal now!"

Kimi was standing near the window, with one of his hands on the red velvet curtain.

"Melchior..." He said, with his eyes closed. "Your life... Is a tough one. Your relatives seem to be afraid of you, and despise you for every single deed of yours, be it good or bad. Your magical powers, and now your vampirism, are a blessing and a burden on the same time. I think... You should not fight against your nature, my friend. Not until we find a cure or somehow we manage to give you a regular life, Melchior."

"This is wrong, Kimi..." Moaned Melchior.  "This is a divine curse! I am not a Vampire!"

"Really?" Now Kimi was both ironic and angry, looking at Melchior with his eyes glowing in turquoise colour. "What about Mr. Zelaya? What about your sudden no reflection in a mirror? And you sudden allergies towards garlic or metals as Silver or Palladium, so associated to holy rituals and purity?"

Melchior's eyes widened as he looked to Kimi's.

"No..." Whispered the Salvadorian. "It cannot be..."

"What about..." Kimi was holding the curtain, ready to do his move. "...Your weakness against... Sun light?!"

Kimi's final act was to rudely open the curtain, exposing Melchior's body completely. The results Maya and Kaiser had already seen, for Melchior's body was completely covered in burns, which almost deformed his body. It was almost as if Melchior's flesh became rotten so rapidly that it brought an excruciating pain to him.
Now, with the curtain on its place again, they were hearing Melchior moaning, crying in a low tone. Maya slowly came closer to him, hugging the injured Elemental Alchemist.

"Melchior..." She whispered. "You are coming with me." She looked at Kaiser and Kimi. "The news I had to share were that I found someone - a vampirology expert - who is certainly able to help us. He is awaiting for him in Port Royale, Jamaica."

"Interesting." Kimi said, reflexive. "And what's your plan to take Melchior out of here without attracting the attention of Ushuriel or Mirabelle?"

"We can use illusions to make them think Melchior is here." She said with a smile. Then, she pointed to her regular grimoire. "I am the one who controls undead. I may summon a creature who may behave like a vampire; then, I change its form to look like Melchior for a period of time. It is a safe process, and it disappears when I judge necessary."

"Well, if you are sure you can handle it, I say OK to it." Kimi said, serious. "To both parts of that plan. Well... I hope you and Melchior travel safe..." He looked to the ground, sad. "I hope you can forgive me for what I did, Melchior."

Melchior was too weak to answer, for the exposure occurred too soon and to widespread; Maya helped him to stand up and waited for Kimi to teleport them to Port Royale, Jamaica.

"Ympyra Elinvoimaa!" Kimi shouted, tapping his left hand on the wooden floor.

A large, turquoise, magical circle appeared on the floor, and Maya and Melchior were dragged into it; few seconds after it appeared, it vanished with Black Witch and Elemental Alchemist.


To Be Continued...

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