As my death came I felt no fear. I knew he would be waiting for me on the other side. It had been so many years since I had seen that gorgeous face, stared into those beautiful bright green eyes. This release is more than welcome for me.
As my body sinks into the Depths of Lazuli lake I see a bright light shining above. For a moment I do not understand what is happening. I should be dead now, my lungs are full of water. After a few moments I feel an invisible force pulling me to the surface. When I break out of the water I see him.
He is more beautiful than I remember. The same gorgeous face and the same green eyes, but his hair is a corona of platinum and he has broad crystal wings. He reaches out to me and I smile, saying those words we had been accustomed to all those years ago.
“To the secret door?”
His smile is blinding as he responds with certainty, “To the secret door.”
~ Part I ~
- Animi City -
- Animi High -
~ 10 years prior to the Events of Bk 1 ~
Its day four at my new school and things are looking worse than ever before…
Dante sighs, lifting his pen from his journal and looking up and down the halls before turning back to the page to write more.
“Ive been through seven schools in the last month, each one worse than the last. Tough rules, uniforms, all sorts of outlandish policies. And jocks, always the jocks, picking fun at “vulnerable” twerps such as myself. I thought things were at their worst at my last school, where the football team had planned to fake an assassination attempt on me, but it wasn’t. Things here are beyond terrible. Absolutely unexciting, horrifyingly perfect. Its been four days and no one has bothered me. No one has tried to act out in cruelty. No fights, no drama, just peaceful perfection. It bothers me more than any strife ever could. I fear that trouble is brewing.”
With a huff Dante closes his journal and takes off his backpack. He freezes as he hears laughter in the hallway, looking up expecting the worst, but no one was standing over him. No burly freaks in Letterman jackets. The laughter was not directed at him. As a matter of fact all of the students in the hall had their backs turned to him, their attention focused elsewhere
Dante flinches as another wave of laughter erupts from the crowd of students.
“So David, whats it feel like running from the cops?” calls a brazen voice from the crowd.
“W-what do you mean?” a smaller timid voice replies.
“You know its illegal to be what you are!” jives the first voice
“I’m illegal?” queries the second.
“Yes, you are illegal.” Came the reply.
“Since when?” The timid voice responds with a bit of an edge.
The owner of the first voice chuckles, amused by his victims apparent stupidity. The crowd murmurs excitedly, things were about to heat up for sure.
“C-mon kid, are you really that slow?” the perpetrator groans, “How about this? I use my fist, to show your face the price of being a freak.”
“What?” replies the timid voice.
Dante growls at what he hears. Who were these kids, thinking that they could pick on such a small defenseless sounding kid!He clenches his fists as the perpetrator laughs again.
“Let me show you!”
That was it. Dante shoves his journal into his bag and jumps up, shoving through the crowd of students. When he reaches the center he immediately identifies the bully, a tall black furred wolf boy in a Letterman jacket, standing over his victim, a considerably smaller wolf with silver fur and bright green eyes.
The silver furred wolf is dressed in a pink blouse and has a flower nestled in his short blonde hair. Dante stares at him for a moment, deeply confused by his appearance, but he quickly changes his focus as the taller wolf lifted his fist.
“Look at me little Danny” The black menace growls, “Feel me!”
The calm on the smaller wolfs face evaporates. The small creature cowers down to the floor.
“But Conor, I thought you loved me!” he whimpers in a panic, “You told me nothing would change that!”
“Shut up freak!” the jock shouts dropping his fist.
The silver wolf, Danny, screams shrilly. A sound that is covered by the furious roar that erupts from Dante and he leaps forward between the jock and his victim.
The impact of the black wolfs fist threw him back on top of Danny. The crowd gasps as Dante pulls himself up dizzied by the blow. The black wolf, Conor, was staring at Dante with a horrified expression
“Whats your problem?” Dante gurgles, “Why are you bothering this kid?”
Conor shakes his head clearing his startled expression and growls, “Who the hell are you?”
Dante shrugs, pulling the hood of his Cowl a bit lower, “I was about to ask you the same thing.”
Conor growls, “Whoever you are you need to get out of my way. This is between me and the freak!”
Dante laughs, “I'm sure any other sap would fall for that but sadly I've decidedly involved myself in this little dispute.”
“You're decidedly gonna get your ass kicked!” Conor bellows with rage.
Dante growls, “Watch your language kid. I don’t like profanity.”
“Who the fuck do you think you are?” Conor growls.
Dante looks up at him and smiles, “Better than you.”
Conor roars and punches him in the chest, “Get out of my way!”
Dante takes the punch with barely a shudder, “Is that all you got tough guy?” he murmurs, “doesn't seem like your made of much to me, which is obviously shown by your choice of victims.”
Conor roars again throwing his fist at Dante, “Ill show you!” he punches Dante again and again three for four times. When he stops Dante is unfazed, “Done yet?”
He grins as Conor raises his fist for another blow. As he throws it forward Dante reaches out blindingly fast, grabbing Conors fist.
“I believe it is my turn.” He says. With an easy twitch of his arm he flips Conor over and pins him to the ground, digging his claws into his arm. Conor screams and Dante smiles, “Now what have you learned?”
Conor spat in his face, “You're messing with the wrong crowd!”
Suddenly Dante is pulled away from Conor by two burly jocks, a fox and a raccoon. They shove him into the lockers and hold him fast as Conor slowly gets to his feet.
“Now” Conor murmurs, “Lets see who this hero really is shall we? Boys, remove his cowl!”
“I wouldn't do that if I were you,” Dante growls to the two.
“Shut up!” Conor barks
Dante smiles as the two jocks grab his hood, pulling it back to reveal his face. The crowd gasps.
“Yes, yes,” Dante murmurs, “I know I'm handsome. Keep your excitement to a minimum if you'd please.”
“You’re the presidents son.” Conor murmurs.
“Uh, yeah,” Dante replies, “What about it?”
Conor smirks, “Remove the cowl, all of it.”
Dante freezes, “What do you think your doing!?” he bellows, beginning to struggle, “Let me go you insolent fools!” He hols furiously as they begin to pull at his cowl, “NO!!!”
With a furious jerk of his arm he sends the raccoon flying through the window on the other side of the hall. As the poor wretch smashed through the glass the students begin to panic.
Dante turns to the fox and narrows his eyes, “If you know whats good for you…”
“Do it!” Conor roars hoarsely.
The fox clamps down on Dante's cowl and tugs. Dante roars and hurls the boy down the hall and his heart skips a beat as he hears the sound of tearing fabric. In a panic he shoves into the milling crowd of students, who were far too concerned by the goings on to notice his departure, all but one.
“Wait!” Dante turns around to see the little silver furred wolf stumbling after him, “Wait don’t leave me!”
Dante ignores him and pushes his way to the outside of the group. He breaks into a run, skidding to a halt and turning around when he spots two teachers approaching for the end of the hall. Going in the opposite direction he keeps running until he is out of the school building. Then he continues to run through the back alleys of the city. He doesn’t stop until he makes it home.
Only then is he safe from prying eyes...