Chapter Five (Book One: Dragonfly)

By Anonymous Author

Let's make a deal.
Is there something you'd like?

How about...
My torn voice for your pure one.
My money for your diamonds.
My toxic blood for your blue.

Or maybe...
Your madness for my peace.
Your anger for my calm.
Your sadness for my happiness.

Do those sound nice?

Something that I have,

Something that you have,
we both can deal.

Neither of us can be trusted.
With such a deal.

So, let's try this...
A deal where we cannot break.
A deal where we can see no lies.
A deal where we can say, 
"I agree to these terms."

Your life...
For mine.

After all, you brag so much,
about yours.
Why not be in mine,
for a little bit of
YOUR time?

Do we have a deal?
I thought so.



When Elodia came into the room, she simply just sat between Cyril and me with Colver on her lap. She did glance over at me, but she turned over to Cyril as Colver tried to sign something to me.

‘She mad.’

‘I know.’ I mouthed before quietly sliding him my shot glass that had about a centimeter of whiskey in it.

A weaker brand of whiskey, but still enough for me to get pissed after a bottle full.

I watched as Colver took the shot glass and took a sip after checking that no one was really watching.

At first, I expected him to cough, but then I remembered that Anastasio Jr., Elodia’s dad, used to dip Colver’s sippy cup tip in some drink to make easier for him to sleep when he was younger.

He slid it back to me, now only half a centimeter or so left in it.

There was just normal talk. Travis got pissed at Kamryn and Jonathan planning a show without him knowing… Again.

Kenta is hosting Anisa’s birthday in a month and Nathaniel is going to perform there.

Julio has yet to confess to Luis still. He can take his time though, Kamryn already has the party planned.

My brother and I will be visiting our dad soon.

Atlas would be leading a riot in downtown Barken, Astren.

Nigel is talking about how proud he is of Elvia and Hanita for not waking him up in the middle of the night because of a fight they had.

Cyril and Elodia have a thing today.

“So Angel and Visage are taking me out to the villages today. You should join us, Sunshine!” Ashton called out, “They got invited for one of their fights.”

“Traditionalists hate my guts.” Nathaniel grumbled, “I went once and apparently I didn’t bring a gift for the tribe and their elders. How was I supposed to know that it was insulting!?” Throwing his hands up, he crossed his arms over his chest, slouched in his chair and pouted.

“What a child. Honestly…” Luis clicked his tongue and sighed, “If you want to make it before the fight begins, you better leave now.”

“Right. Come on Py, Angie… You too, Sunny n’ kids, if you wanna join.” Cyril got up and left the room with Ashton, waving us goodbye.

“Ugh… I love those guys, but they’re too traditional for me. Let’s go.” Elodia sighed as she got up with Colver and took off.

“We’ll join them I guess… I don’t really know a lot about this place.” Joshua, Jordyn, and Kyson took off after the others.

“Well, I have to get going. I was gonna let ‘em know that I was gonna join ‘em. Oopsie. Bye bye everyone!” Kamryn quickly sped off.

“I guess that we should split then. Corbin should be waiting for me at Haunt’s Station so we can train. He wants us to win this year.” I chuckled, “And it’s gonna happen.”

“In your fucking dreams!” Nathaniel shouted as I walked out of the room and into the street.

Haunt’s Station used to be a bus station, but became unusable as Davenmen took over the Hour territories and had some places remove their cars due to casualties during street races. But, he let that go, a few months ago.

“Devil!” Corbin’s voice called out as he ran up towards me from the broken bench.

“Hey, Raven. You ready to practice?” I asked, reaching out to ruffle his head, but he dodged last minute.

“Deeevvv!” Corbin whined, “You know I hate it when you do that!”

“Too bad sproggy. Come on, let’s practice your temperature control.”

Walking into the station, we made our way to the broken circle of bushes in the middle. Someone planted these as a memorial, but when the guards came through to get a wanted criminal, they destroyed it.

“Right, give me a flame.”

Holding out his hand, flames started to grow at the palm. I watched as he closed his eyes and the flame got a little bit bigger.

I reached into my pocket and pulled out a cigarette and used his flames to light it before flashing him a smile, “Didn’t feel the heat on my fingers. Doing better than last time.”

“Alright!” Corbin happily shouted the flame grew large and burnt half of my cigarette before I could even bring it to my lips, “Oops… Sorry, Devyn…”

Sighing, I let the half cigarette fall from my fingers and twisted it out with my foot, “It’s alright bud. I needed to cut down on these fa-” I quickly corrected myself, “cigarettes anyways.”

“Oh okay.” Corbin flashed me a grin before attempting to set the flame down on the ground in a controlled manner.

Within seconds, it went out.


“I did that too, bud.” I reached out to pat his shoulder as my free hand reached into my pocket to take out a pill bottle, the half-pills inside rattled, “Just take a deep breath and try again.”

Walking back to the edge of the circle, I opened the pill bottle and took out three TAME half-pills and quickly tossed them into my mouth and swallowed.

I know that I shouldn’t be overdoing it on the pills, but I do anyway.

Coughing, I brought my attention back to Corbin. I watched as he focused on his flames. He has yet to summon a weapon, but we’re working on that.

“Don’t force it. Just give it time and it’ll come to you.”

“I know… It’s just stupid.”

“Calm. It’s perfectly fine that you can’t summon a weapon. Many illusioners can’t even use their ability completely. You can just use your flames.”

“But… I want be like you.”

“No, you don’t.”

“Yeah, I do.”

Damn kid is too much like me…

“Corbin… I’m not stable. I’m a DP. I can’t even keep my own anger under control. You should aim to be the best you can.”

“And the best I can is to be you… You saved me when I needed help and I wanna return that!”

Sighing, I shook my head and reached my hand out as flames wrapped around my hand, turning into my claw gauntlet, “Look see this?”

Corbin nods.

“These weapons take energy and focus. They weaken us. That means, if we can’t summon our weapons, we have to focus on hand to hand. Many of us rely on our weapons, so we forget how to fight without them.” I flashed him a dull smile, “Us leaders got lucky, we taught ourselves to fight without our weapons and abilities. It’s the only way we can even live in this world.”

“Is that why we always practice punches and kicks whenever we’re with the gang?”

“Yes. I want you to learn that if you can’t summon a weapon.”

“We’re actually creating weapons, not really summoning anything.” A familiar voice called out.

“Didn’t you get stuck on show duty, Grim?” I turned around to face Travis.

It didn’t take long for Travis to tell me why he was here. I just guessed that Kamryn annoyed him to a point where he needed his smoking buddy.

As I took a long drag of my cigarette, Corbin was trying to manifest his flames into a weapon, much like how I do.

“Cor, give it a rest… You’re still young, so you still need to know your limits.” I said, “Just chill out alright.”

“Says the one who reaches that limit.” Travis teased, lightly punching me on the shoulder.

“Bug off, Mr. Grumpy-Pants.” I teased back using the nickname that I learned from Kamryn.

“Says the grumpiest to wake up.”

“Says-” I was interrupted by Corbin groaning.

“Can we please get back to training?” He begged.

“Sure sproggy.” I chuckled, reaching out to ruffle his hair.


“Wanna know what’s weird?”

“Here they go again…”


“No, no! I’m serious. Why ship the cinnamon roll with the grump when you can ship two grumps?”

“We’ve been over this, Kam… In that weird puppet show, there are two grumpy puppets.”

“Isn’t one of ‘em married though?”

“It’s literally the other in drag… So yeah.”

“I never knew that!”

“Really? You watched that all the time when we lived with Doctors Vienna and Talin.”

Kamryn merely brushed my comment off with a hair flip and slapped my shoulder playfully, “Says the one who watches nothin’, but horror.”

“Hey! I watch other things.” I retorted before turning to Joshua, “Before you ask, Vienna and Talin raised us when that law was placed. They were against the law with a few others.”


“Yeah. And by us, She meant herself and me. Cy here came five years after the law and this little sighter-illusioner here, just got here last year.” Kamryn flashed me a grin as he

“Oh. So, uh can you explain what’s a sighter-illusioner?”

“A subcategory of illusioners. They can see the inner self of others. Every illusioner has one and sometimes they take animal form. Py-Py, care to explain?”

“Well, not really. Some choose to, some choose not to, so they’re just spirits. There’s dormant, resting, and active. Dormant is self-explanatory, resting means the person is a DP but isn’t actively doing anything much. Active is also self-explanatory, but it also means that the inner-beast took over.” Pyro explained quickly.

“What about the animals?” Joshua asked.

“It depends on the beast. Fun fact that Py told me.” I started, “Some have multiple forms. Like Pyro! But, my inner-self shows itself as a fox. Pretty cool, huh?” Flashing him a grin, I ruffled Colver’s hair and continued, “Dove is a bunny. Anyways, we’re almost to the village.”

After another hour of walking and talking, Joshua got to learn more about illusioners and how we work on Veskia. Like how we got three big-name mafias on Veskia; Davenmen, Lenzi, and Kubo. Honestly, they do more damage to the other lands since they will protect any illusioner. Though we tend not to interact with them outside of the gangs.

But, that didn’t matter much since we were in a Traditionalist territory that isn’t under any of the big names.

“Angel’s Shadow, Dove! Visage! It is wonderful to see you and we see that you brought some friends.” We brought our attention to the elderly man approaching us; Amil.

“Yup. You already know Selkie and Pyro, but these three here are from the Shining Hearts, leader Sunshine with Dusk and Dawn.” I flashed Amil a smile, “Guys, this is Amil, he’s one of the elders in this village. How is it anyway?”

Amil merely nodded towards the trio before turning to face me, “We had some trouble with the guards, but our men fought well.”

“Good to hear.” Cyril spoke up before reaching into his pocket, “We brought some coins for trade in the towns. And I am having some of my guys bring the paint over soon.”

“Brilliant! Please, come. Come! We were just about to eat.”

We followed Amil further down the path and into the small village.

Colver slowly started to slink behind me. He never really did like the traditionalists. Found them to be scary.

Shaking my head, I turned around to talk to Kamryn when I noticed them missing.


“Saw the fighters.” Ashton interrupted.


“They’ll meet us for the feast. Selkie can never resist the stew from what I’ve heard.” Amil chuckled, “Say will they be fighting?” He pointed towards Joshua, Jordyn, Kyson and Ashton.

“No. Angel’s Shadow and I will be fightin’,” Cyril spoke before I could.

“Of course.”

Once we reached the village’s center, I could swear that I saw Kyson drooling at the sight of the food spread on top of large blankets. People were already seated on the ground.

“Wow… That’s a lot of food.” He said.

“Most of it is not for eating Ky. They give most of it to the burial grounds further up.” Jordyn explained, “Learned that through Masque.”

“Any other facts to give us before we sit?” Joshua asked.

“Did you know that .”

“Just sit.”

I know that this is going to work with him…

When we sat down, I could see that everyone was excited. It has been a few weeks since the last fight and I was happy to see them again. Kamryn came over and sat between some guys.

“Right, before we begin, we would like to give our thanks to our guests for coming to join us today. It has always been a gift to see you and always enjoyable to watch the fights and dance. So, thank you.”

As if on cue, there was a chorus of thanks you’s before the chatter of voices talking all at once. I laughed as Colver gave me some puppy eyes for some crackers that were being passed around.

“Fine. Only one though. Those crackers are pretty heavy on salt and you’re not pretty fond of salt crackers.”

Nodding, Colver snagged two crackers; the second one was for me, as the plate reached us before passing it to Joshua.


Honestly, I find the feast to be exhausting as there’s so much and people are talking all at once to each other. Reminds me of Arkala at Damario’s fútbol team dinners.

It didn’t take long for the food that was being passed around to be gone and for the elders to get the other food ready to be sent to the burial grounds.

I was getting my face painted along with the other warriors while Cyril had to switch his gas mask out with an actual mask. It reminded me of Luis’ masquerade masks, except full coverage on the face and heavily detailed with their village symbols.

“You ready?” He asked as I walked out of the hut.

“One fight each. We got this.” I said as we went to the frozen lake, where the fight was held this time.

Frozen over is an understatement. It was actually a giant ice block to everyone else, just in the shape of an average lake.

Cyril and I went over to line up with the other fighters. The one I was supposed to fight isn’t here yet. Colver sat with Kamryn, Joshua, the twins, and Ashton.

“As per tradition, the fighters fight from shortest to tallest. Leaving Justin Aslin to fight Angel’s Shadow and Tyde Olsen to fight Visage.”

“Aslin isn’t here yet, elder Amil!”

“Ah well, Angel’s Shadow could fight An-”

“I’m here! I’m here!” Justin came running onto the ice, slipping and sliding before crashing headfirst into me. We fell backwards, with him landing on top of me.

“Looks like you got here Justin time.” I chuckled as I combed my hand through his wavy orange hair.

“Angel!” Justin groaned, burying his freckled face into my chest as I laughed, “Can we just fight now?”

“Well then get off of her and get into position!” Amil snapped.

Cyril helped me up as Tyde helped Justin up.

We got into our respective positions and waited.



I watched as Elodia stood still as Justin ran at her. She didn’t move until he was about a foot away from her.

She kept jumping back, hands behind her back as she dodged effortlessly.


“Ain’t she awesome? But she can’t keep the dodging up forever. She has to attack sooner or later.” Jordyn stated, “She manipulates shadows, blood, and can mime others. Even has a chess theme. And if Justin creates his weapon from the ice, she can mimic it for half the power for a limited amount of time.”

“Waiting for the right mo-” Kamryn was cut off as they saw Justin slid across the ice, just barely missing Elodia’s shadow knight’s blade, “When did she summon the knight?”

“A few seconds ago. That’s why her hands were hidden behind her back.” Ashton explained.

Elodia followed after the knight as it chased Justin before he spun around and a axe formed from the ice below and hit the shadow. The knight fell apart as Elodia held up her hands.


“This was rather qui-” The axe kicked out of Justin’s hand and Elodia started to throw punches. She was fast and light, easily blocking most of Justin’s retaliations.

I can see why she’s a gang leader…

“Fun fact about Angel,” Kamryn whispered, “She is also the leader of a smaller gang called Calaveras de Azúcar or CDA, but we just call them SOS or Skulls of Sugar. But, only us, Masque and Hatchet know about it. Funny huh?”

“Really?” Kyson spoke up, in awe of the fact that a gang leader can lead more than one gang.

“Yeah. She says that she might split from The Vanished, but she might keep her gang name. Depends really.” Kenta added, “I mean she made a promise, who knows what will happen.”

“Oh…” I said, as I went back to watching Elodia and Justin fight.

There was no use of abilities or weapons and it continued on that way.

A punch there, a kick there, dodging and running. It seemed like an acted fight, as if it was rehearsed a thousand times. Everything seemed perfectly timed, or at least it did until it looked like Justin whispered something that caused Elodia to miss her target and get hit pretty hard, leaving her on her back, sliding on the ice.

“What hap-” I was cut off by Ashton placing his hand over my mouth, his eyes trained on the fight.

Elodia rolled over to dodge Justin’s axe as it reformed during the span that she was hit and when she was on the ground. She continued to do so until swirls of shadow wrapped around her and suddenly expanded to push Justin back as Elodia got up.

I couldn’t see her face very well, but when Ashton pulled his hand away, I could tell something was wrong by the sharp intake of breath that he took.

“The fox is tense. I can see it. It doesn’t look too happy.” He whispered, “Dove, go let Visage know about. He may need to run in and we might have to go.”

I watched as Colver walked off and I brought my attention back to Elodia, who now held a chain with a blade on one end. Justin had a new weapon in his hands, a mace.

“This is starting to get fun!” Justin shouted as he barely dodged the blade as it made it’s way towards him, “Made a bet with a friend where if I won, I’ll get some of those mushroom cakes that he made earlier!”

“Oh? He sounds like a fungi.”

Groans from the crowd and some laughter. I couldn’t help, but shake my head as I myself, laughed.

“The fox isn’t tense as much now… She’s okay for now.”

Elodia lunged at Justin as he was still groaning at the terrible pun and was pinned easily by her before she jumped off when some ice spikes were sent towards her.


“Damn… Why do you have to act so cold to me?” She joked as she continued to dodge the ice spikes. Some ripped her clothes and some of them even pierced her skin. I can see the red droplets fall onto the ice from the wounds.

“Wait. I thought that your aura protects you?” I asked.

“Only if we are paying attention.” Kamryn said, “It works around our focus… But, sometimes it does help when we aren’t focusing.”

“There’s a lot that goes into illusioners… “

“And Veskia!”

“Hush! Angel is going to finish him.” Ashton hissed.

As our attention was brought back to the fight, I watched as the shadows formed a scythe.

“That’s Baneful Reach. She’s about to do vanishing force.” Ashton commented.

I watched as Elodia flashed Justin a smile as he ran at her. She did the same, but then suddenly jumped to the side and swung Baneful Reach.

Justin swung his arms up into an X with ice spikes to shield himself, but fell to his knees seconds after.

Elodia was behind him, posed perfectly as if she was ready to do it again, “Maybe next time.” she said before the scythe disappeared and a sudden swarm of shadows overtook Justin, causing him to slide on the ice over to the snowbank.

An echo of cheers came from around us and I could see that Elodia was quickly out of breath as she suddenly fell down and started coughing.

“Vanishing force does take a lot of energy.” Ashton explained as we watched Cyril go over to Elodia and lift her up. He made his way to us and helped Elodia sit down. Colver followed like he was a duckling following its mother.

I couldn’t tell if Cyril was smiling or not due to the mask, but I could tell that he was happy. It didn’t look like he was all too worried about her injuries.

“Can we go get something to drink, Sunshine?” Kyson asked.

I looked at him and Jordyn before back at the others. Smiling, I turned back and nodded, “Go ahead. Just be back in time for Visage’s fight.” The two took off.

“Do I have to top that, Angel?” He asked jokingly.

“Fighting on ice? That’s my turf amigo, back off.” Elodia grumbled before shifting herself to get more comfortable. She looked at me as Cyril took a water bottle from some spector, “So?”

“You really deserve that title of gang leader.” I complimented.

“Aw thanks. But to be honest, you’ll be better than me.” Elodia pulled Colver onto her lap, “Go get ‘em, Vivi.”

“Got it, zoí mou.” Cyril replied before walking off.

I watched as Elodia rolled her eyes and turned to me, “I still don’t know what that means… Anyways-” I shook my head as Elodia started to list off all of Justin’s flaws in the fight, then started to list what Cyril might be doing with thoughtful smile. Ashton simply chuckled as we listened.

“And she says that I have a crush…”

“No, you have a type!” Elodia and Kamryn said with large smiles.

“I do not!”

“Blonde, taller than you, can bench press you, can envelope you in many cuddles, top of head kisses, leaning down to kiss, um…” Kamryn trailed off as if they were thinking about what else to say.

“Basically D-” Ashton slammed his hands against Elodia’s mouth.


Laughing, I shook my head before changing the subject, “So, um… When are we going to help me with being a dragonfly?” I asked as Cyril and Tyde got ready to fight.

“Well, we’re doing the Last Hour Rush first now. So very very soon.” Kamryn explained.

“Wait-” Elodia interjected, “we are?”

Kamryn nodded.

“Oh god… That gives us about-”

“A week.” Kamryn quickly spoke before Ashton could finish.

“Boy, this is going to be fun…” Elodia groaned as she placed a hand on my shoulder, “I’ll send you to the others for a few hours a day to learn some things about being an illusioner and how they run their gangs. Starting tomorrow!”

“And we’ll talk to the gang members and hope to god that Harper isn’t going co-leader. Such an ass.” Kamryn mumbled.

“We can have the others help set up Lady’s old place!”

“Oh, alright.” I said before sighing and listened in as Kamryn started to talk about some guys named Grim and Paradox and how they both backed out of doing some show.

This is going to be difficult.


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