Meanwhile, the other kids were speaking to Faye's mysterious saviour.
"Thank you for saving her," Melody told the saviour. Cody gave them a big hug and Percy gave them a nod of approval.
The saviour smiled but did not speak.
"YEAH, YOU RULE!" Brayden said brightly, lightly punching the saviour on the shoulder. "You're the best, punk!"
"Nice to meet ya," Clover said, shaking the saviour's hand. "Thanks for saving my friend back there. Golly, we sure do appreciate it, don't we, Faye?"
The stunned blonde-haired girl nodded in response.
Clover grinned at the saviour. "Yeah. What's your name, by the way?"
The saviour shrugged, not moving their lips or eyes. They weren't very talkative.
"Are your eyes closed?" Brayden asked. "How can you see?"
The saviour shrugged again.
"Not much of a talker, are ya?" Clover asked, raising her brow.
The saviour shrugged one more time.
"Well, talker or not, they're a hero," Melody said, folding her arms.
Clover faced the saviour. "Whoever you are, thanks again."
The saviour nodded and turned away. Suddenly Percy gasped, observing his book. He ran over to the nameless child.
"You look disturbingly similar to the child in this book," he told them, showing them the book.
He himself looked a bit like the kid, too: he had short, black hair (like them), pale skin and a striped sweater. And long pants. But the saviour was far more similar. They looked almost identical, besides the fact that their sweater had two stripes and the child in the book only had one. Percy's purple sweater had black two stripes on the arms and one on his chest. He also wore glasses, and as far as he could tell, neither the saviour or the child in the book had those. The saviour stared at the book for a moment, like they were contemplating something.
"It could be just a coincidence, but..." Percy began taking down notes. Suddenly, the nameless child ripped all of Percy's stuff (including the book and Percy's notebook) out of his hands and ran away at top speed.
"Hey!" Percy didn't like it when people took his notebook. It was his precious. He didn't run very much (he didn't like running) but this was an emergency.
No one stole his precious. He chased after the eighth human. Wait, why was he suddenly he referring to the saviour as that?
... somehow, it made sense. Where had he heard it before? He couldn't put his finger on it...
"Holy crap, Percy can run!" Brayden exclaimed. "He never runs!"
"We're not gonna stand around and watch 'em, are we?" Clover asked, folding her arms. "This kid's up to something. We'd better find out what, y'all!"
Soon she joined in on the chase.
"WHOOO!" Brayden yelled, also running.
He was easily the fastest runner out of the group. Melody eyed Cody and Faye. She stared at her pink ballet shoes. She could run, but she was better at jumping. Running sort of sucks when you're wearing ballet shoes.
"We should keep them out of trouble," Melody told her friends.
She flattened her light-blue and dark-blue striped shirt out. It was pretty much her ballet uniform, since she was wearing her pink tutu as well. She wore these over her dark brown hair and dark skin.
"Let's go," she snapped.
"Coming!" Cody said, racing after Melody, his apron flowing in the wind.
Faye didn't run. She hated running even more than Percy did. She only ran in two (technically three) situations: life or death or for physical education. And most P.E lessons she didn't run anyway. She was not good at any sport whatsoever. So she stuffed running.
Although Faye knew Percy really cared about his stuff, she suspected he would be fine. I mean, the eighth human had just saved her life a few minutes ago. They must have something good in mind. So she trailed behind, looking at all the random stuff around her. It really was a nice day today.
Meanwhile, where all the action and cool stuff was happening, the kid with a stick and Percy's stuff was still running. Percy didn't care where they were going, he wanted his stuff back. Clover and Brayden were catching up.
"Why are you taking it from me!?" Percy yelled, clearly annoyed. He leaped over some kids on their iPads. "Stop running!"
The eighth human didn't stop running. They just kept going, turning here, turning there, kicking people out of their way, etc.
"So... tired..." Percy groaned, his legs feeling like fire. He glared at the kid running off in the distance. "But I can't... give up!"
"I dunno what that kid's doing, but I don't like it," Clover commented, appearing next to Percy. She was tired too.
"Give me back my stuff!" Percy yelled, running after the kid again.
"YEAH! RUN PERCY RUN!" Brayden cheered him on.
The kid eventually led everyone to this big mountain called Mt. Ebott. The mountain Percy wanted to study. They finally stopped running there and began walking instead. Climbing up the mountain like they did it for breakfast. Shoving past all those annoying trees and bushes.
"Stop!" Percy croaked, extremely tired.
He followed the eighth human the mountain, panting. He hadn't done so much running since that torturous cross country at school. He wanted to collapse and sleep until next week, but his stuff was more important. That kid was determined, but so was he. He wouldn't give up yet.
"Hey!" Brayden shouted, reaching Percy.
The others (aside from Faye who was really behind) were there too, eyeing the scene strangely.
"That was awesome, Perce!" Brayden grinned. "Run like that more often!" He fist-pumped the air. "I heard there are monsters on this mountain! I bet I could TOTALLY beat up some monsters!"
"Monsters...?" Cody asked nervously, gripping his frying pan (yeah, he carried that around too).
"Oh, he's only trying to scare you," Melody told Cody, shaking her head. "Monsters aren't real."
"Yeah, that's 'cause you're too scared to admit they are!" Brayden teased. He made a stupid face. "Ooh, Melody! Watch out, I'm a monster! I'm gonna eat you alive!"
He raced back down to Melody and tried to fake-tackle her or something like that. She pushed him away, rolling her eyes. When he got too annoying she took one of his tough gloves off.
"HEY! GIVE IT BACK!" Brayden growled.
"If you stop annoying me I will." Melody replied. She gave him a serious look. "But you have to promise."
"Yeah, yeah, I promise, just gimme my glove back!" Brayden grumbled, trying to take the glove from her.
Melody let him have it back, sighing.
"Where are you leadin' us?" Clover asked the eighth human.
They'd given Percy his stuff back and were gesturing for everyone to follow them. They didn't answer Clover's question and kept walking.
"I don't like this path very much," Melody commented. "My mom wouldn't like us climbing this mountain."
"Just lay off your mom for ten seconds!" Brayden told her, giving her a look. "We're just following that kid! They're probably showing us something awesome like..." He made a scary face at Cody. "MONSTERS!"
Cody yelped and held out his frying pan. He ran up to his sister, who glared at Brayden.
The eighth human stopped in front of a cave. But not any old cave.
"Oh," Percy gasped, taking notes. "It's the cave in my book!" He eyed the eighth human. "Have you been here before?"
The child didn't answer.
"Are there monsters in there?" Brayden asked, running up to the cave. Cody grabbed his sister's sleeve and tried not to whimper. Brayden yelled at the cave, "COME OUT AND FIGHT ME YOU MONSTER WHIMPS!"
But nobody came.
"This is stupid," Melody grumbled, walking up to everyone else. They were surrounding the cave. Melody faced the eighth human. "What did you want to show us?"
They entered the cave. The kids followed them. Percy kept fangirling, because it was another place in his book. He kept taking notes.
"COME AND FIGHT ME, YOU MONSTER COWARDS!" Brayden taunted, parading around the cave like he needed to pee. There was a large, dark hole there that led somewhere. Percy remembered the vines and plants in the dark cave. Did the child trip and fall? He took more notes.
"Be careful, Brayden," Melody warned Brayden, holding his arm. "You'll trip and get hurt."
"I'll be fine, Mel." he groaned, shooing her off.
"This cave's a little creepy, guys." Cody commented, standing next to his sister, his brow creased.
"I wanna know why we're here." Clover said, eyeing the eighth human.
They were looking at the hole. They leaned down like they were trying to see something. Then, suddenly, they tripped. They fell into the hole. That was before Clover grabbed their hand. Cody yelped.
"Don't worry, kid!" she told them. "I've got ya! Just hold on!"
The kid looked down at their stick which was in their other hand. Then, for a second, they thought they saw something else in the darkness. Something shocking. Their heart stopped and their lip quivered. The blood rushed to their head. It was a child. Another child below them. The child in Percy's book.
They whispered a single word, "Chara".
Then they let go of Clover's hand, falling into the darkness.
"Kid!" Clover shouted. She adjusted her hat and jumped in after them.
"Clover!" Cody whimpered, terrified. He raced in after his sister. He didn't want to loose her.
"What..." Percy was writing down notes like a madman. Suddenly he tripped on a vine and fell in too.
"Percy!" Melody exclaimed, not wanting to loose her best friend. She jumped in, sweat beads covering her face.
"WHOA! MELODY!" Brayden yelled. "YEAH! THAT'S THE STUFF! GERONIMO!"
He jumped in after everyone. After he jumped in, Faye arrived.
"Oh... oh no..." she said sadly, her light blue eyes widening. "All my friends are gone..."
She looked around. She didn't want to jump into the hole. It was too scary. She thought maybe she could wait up here for her friends to return. She sat down on the edge of the hole and waited patiently. Until the ground under her butt cracked and she fell in too. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where our story starts.