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— Bring the Gifts —

“And so one battle ends and another one begins. Seven are the keys for one to unlock the doors to unknown. However,how can one be sure that the price to pay for such keys isn’t the most painful and expensive to pay? Will it be worth the troubles and sacrifices?”

October 31st,2013 -- Guatemala City, Guatemala

Anael's 15th birthday arrived, at last; it took a few days for Melchior to fully heal from his injuries and most of them became light-skinned scars difficult to hide in plain sight. He started to wear long-sleeved shirts because of that; also, his vampiric side gained strength as Melchior was being fed with blood more frequently to accelerate his healing rate.

The Salvadorian Half-Breed was sitting on the balcony outside his manor as he waited for his friends to show up. He was looking serene, yet gloomy to the horizon ahead. As the sun began to fade out in the horizon, he noticed some familiar figures approaching his home.

First arrived Kaiser and Kimi; the Finn brothers came to Melchior with the saddest, yet most determinated countenances, giving him a strong and assuring hug as they sat down in the balcony and waited for the other Blue Moon Knights to arrive.

"So... It is settled, then?" Kaiser asked.

"Yes... It is." Melchior replied. "At least I want to do it. I hope all you guys join me as well."

The Finn twins nodded; soon Anael and Altagracia showed up at Melchior's; both of them greeted Elemental Alchemist, Ice Guardian and DarkStalker with the warmest of greeting hugs. Anael sad beside Melchior and Altagracia sat in her brother's lap, looking at Melchior with empathy.

"Are you sure you want to fight again, Melchior?" She sweetely asked.

"I am, little Gracia. I can assure you of that." He replied as he looked at the little Guatemalan. "I am sorry I missed your birthday, anyways. Ten years old, huh?"

"Yeah... I am getting pretty old, ha,ha,ha!" Altagracia replied with a gracious wink. "Wish you were here... I missed you."

As she said that, she left her brother's lap and hugged Melchior; Elemental Alchemist retributed the gesture by embracing the youngest of all Blue Moon Knights. At that very moment, Thalas and Maya showed up in the horizon.

"Dios mio... Melchior!" Maya exclaimed as she rushed to hug him. "Oh my god... By the gods and goddesses, I thought we lost you!"

"Me too, Maya... Me too." Melchior replied as he briefly hugged her back. "I thought Death had me back there."

"Melchior?" Thalas inquired. "How... How are you?"

Altagracia and Maya backed down as Melchior stood up to face Thalas; the French Guatemala crossed his arms and looked at Melchior expectantly.

"I am... Fine, given the circumstances." Melchior replied in a numb way.

"Good... Good." Thalas replied as he slowly uncrossed his arms. "I... I got worried. All of us were."

Melchior interrupted Thalas with a hug; the French Guatemalan closed his eyes and retributed the gesture as he tried his best to hold the tears back from rolling through his face.

"I am quite indestructible, you know? He,he,he!" Melchior commented as he hugged Thalas and soon tore the hug apart. "It's great to see you. I began to think you wouldn't back me up on this!"

"I was actually considering not to." Thalas mischievously replied. "Manly because your ideas and schemes tend to be stupid."

"Hey! I am offended!" Melchior mischievously protested.

"Heh... But then I realized we are talking about justice and getting rid of a crazy old lady who wants to live forever and rule an undead world." Thalas replied as he crossed his arms again. "I find legit we strike her back and stop this insanity."

Melchior smiled and looked at everyone. The Sun was making its final journey towards the Underworld; Elemental Alchemist took a deep breath as he saw the determinated countenances of his friends, waiting for what was to come.

"Guys... This year has been the greatest of journeys of all my life." Melchior began. "As you know, I have always been an outcast in my life. A freak who didn't know his place or his background. Thanks to all of you, I could finally find my place into this world and discover more and more about myself than ever. I am stronger and better because of you. All of you."

Kimi, Kaiser, Anael and Altagracia stood up and came closer to Melchior, who held an amazing smile in his face. He looked at his Elemental Bracelet and decided it was time to do what he wanted to do all along.

"I never properly paid back for all you did for me. So, today, before this epic fight we'll have, I want to share with you everything I accomplished so far in my magical studies." Melchior continued. "I want to make Elemental Lords out of some of you."

The other six Blue Moon Knights looked at each other surprised and intrigued; Melchior showed them the bracelet attached to one of his arms.

"Here in this Bracelet lies the proof of all Elements I tamed." Elemental Alchemist stated. "I want to begin with our leader, Elite Dragon."

As he heard his codename, Anael went two steps closer of Melchior, who raised his Bracelet arm's hand slightly above Anael's forehead.

"Well... First timer here, I hope it works. heh!" Melchior stated. "Well... By the powers invested on me, I grant thee, Anael Nathaniel Moon'Seeker, The Elite Dragon, The Elemental Gift of Lightning, Air and Thunder, being hereby now proclaimed as Elemental Lord of Lightning, Air and Thunder of his age."

Melchior touched Anael's forehead with his thumb and concentrated his Mana in the effort to make his words true. As he did it, Anael felt his skin slightly electrified and somewhat dryer; as Melchior proceeded with the ritual, the Lightning Seal appeared in Anael's forehead, with some lilac circular patterns in his thighs, ankles, shoulders, chest and neck. Anael opened his eyes, which were fully covered by a lilac membrane, disappearing shortly after Elemental Alchemist stopped pressing Elite Dragon's forehead.

"So... How do you feel?" Melchior asked slightly worried.

Anael was looking to the floor as he breathed uneasily; he slowly began to look ahead as a response to Melchior's question. The circular markings disappeared and only the forehead symbol could be seen. His eyes were fully reptilian and he was smiling at Elemental Alchemist in a confident, yet slightly scary way.

"I feel... Amazing!" Anael replied slightly breathless. "This... Is great! I am ready to fight alongside you, my friend!"

Anael looked at the rest of the crowd; he soon began to breathe normally and the traces of draconian features disappeared. Melchior then proceeded to the next chosen one.

"My next choice... Is another obvious one!" Melchior stated. "Come over here, my beloved friend Ice Guardian! Time for you to get an upgrade!"

Kimi smiled and came closer to Melchior, who repeated the same ritual he did to Anael; this time Elemental Alchemist was forced to stretch his arms a bit more, for Kimi was much taller than Anael.
"Well... Let's do this!" Melchior declared. "By the powers invested on me, I grant thee, Kimi Das Vaali, The Ice Guardian, The Elemental Gift of Water and Ice, being hereby now proclaimed as Elemental Lord of Water and Ice of his age."

As he did before, he pressed his thumb into Kimi's forehead and the same thing that happened to Anael happened to Ice Guardian; instead of feeling his skin dryer and static, Kimi felt his skin colder and damper than usual. The patters in his skim were also circular and located in the same spots as Anael's. As before, Kimi opened his eyes and revealed an icy blue membrane fully covering them, which disappeared slightly after Melchior backed away from him.

"This is true power indeed!" Kimi commented as he breathed uneasily and looked to the palms of his hands. "I am ready!"

Melchior mischievously smiled and signed towards his next chosen one.

"Mayacita... Get over here!" Melchior mischievously asked.

"Me?" Maya asked, confused. "Unless you studied Darkness, I don't see any reasons for you to choose me!"

"Heh... Well, fortunately for us, I do!" Melchior replied as she came closer. "Look, since you joined us, you've been feeling like I did all my life. Yet, you never gave in... Even when you became a semi-goddess villain who almost brought havoc, chaos, ruin and pain to everyone! Heh, heh!"

Maya shyly smiled back, slightly ashamed for the stain on her past. Melchior put his hands on her shoulders and gave her a sweet smile.

"Hey, don't worry! I live in the present, not in the past." Melchior said. "I see in you something I have always seen ever since we met, ages ago: this ever blazing heart, willing to take everything bad away from the world and reduce sadness to ashes. You are a phoenix, Maya. You are always in the process of rebirth, and thus I admire you for that and I see none fitting than you to carry Lunia's legacy." He then moved his bracelet's hand towards Maya's forehead, pressing it with his thumb. "By the powers invested on me, I grant thee, Maya Altahuela, The Black Witch, The Elemental Gift of Fire, Ignition and Power, being hereby now proclaimed as Elemental Mistress of Fire, Ignition and Power of her age."

Maya muffled a scream as she felt her skin getting hotter and hotter, as if she was boiling inside out; her circular markings appeared in amber colour, resembling Lunia's aura. As she opened her eyes, a mixed membrane resembling lava patterns was covering both her eyes. When Melchior stepped back, Maya opened her eyes, breathless as the two other before and amazed with the new powers received.

"Ay, Dios mio!" Maya puffed. "Melchior, thank you! Thank you, thank you thank you!"

Melchior bowed to Maya in respect and let the newly branded Fire Elemental Mistress  get back to her spot on the circle. Melchior now had to do his last choice, and he already knew who was up to the last Elemental Gift he was going to award.

"This last Gift..." Melchior started unusually shy. "In fact, I should have given it first, but I wanted to make some kind of surprise first." He mischievously looked around the crowd surrounding him. "See, this person and I really didn't get along at first. I think we still have problems to agree from time to time!"

As they all started to giggle, Anael and Maya pointed straight out at Thalas, who looked at them feeling slightly embarrassed.

"Even so, this person has always taught me to step up my game." Melchior continued. "This guy had everything to be the worst person alive: and he is not. In fact, he is the most generous, hard-working loyal guy I've ever met."

Melchior smiled and came closer to Thalas, raising his bracelet hand above his forehead, as the ritual demanded.

"Yes, Thalas! It is you, my friend!" Melchior happily stated. "See, my mentor Cynthia reminded me so much of you... And I noticed that you always had to take and extra effort from all of us, even when empowered by the Shaman-Stones. I just realized on my journey that you are resilient, yet ever-changing in a way which is true to your stubborn, strong and proud. For that, Thalas, for always keeping us focused on our path,  I grant thee, Thalas-Juan Dharalion, The Electro Archer, The Elemental Gift of Earth, Stone and Wood, being hereby now proclaimed as Elemental Lord of Earth, Stone and Wood of his age."

As he did before, he pressed Thalas' forehead and the ritual was made; circular patterns ran across Thalas' neck, chest, thighs and ankles. His skin darkened and brittle like mahogany bark; a light green membrane briefly covered his eyes. When Melchior stepped back for the ritual to be complete, Thalas' appearance returned to normal as his eyes recovered their true colours and the Earth marking remained in his forehead.

"Altagracia and Kaiser, I haven't forgotten you." Melchior stated to the remaining couple. "However, I didn't receive any proper training in Light or Darkness, so I cannot do the same for you. Even so, I consider you two very powerful on your own, for many reasons."

Kaiser and Altagracia nodded with a smile. Anael than took a step forward to Melchior.

"Now that we have new powers... Where are we headed, Melchior?"

"To the Necropolis." Melchior replied. "To the final assault against the Danish Demon!"

To be Continued...


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