Hitomi the Witch:Part Eight
PART EIGHT: WON'T YOU DO THE HONOURABLE THING FOR ONCE?
"Are you really a wizard, Kyuske?" Hitomi gasped.
"Does this mean you can poof us up some cupcakes?" asked Erika.
Kyuske shook his head. "I have yet to receive access to my powers. I’ve actually been waiting for the past four years, but unfortunately, nothing has happened yet." He sighed. "The only thing I’ve been able to do is use my sword-fighting skills to combat any evil witches I encounter—I can sense their presences, yet I’ve always been unsuccessful with defeating them since they can wield their magic towards me."
"What about their victims?" Hitomi asked. "Do they lose their Spell Charms?"
"I’m afraid so. And they’re willing to give them up in exchange for their own safety," Kyuske explained solemnly. He turned to Hitomi and added, "I apologize for arriving too late to assist you. The day of your coronation was the same day I returned to Shenkuu. If I had been able to warn you…"
Hitomi placed a hand on his shoulder. "It will be okay, Kyuske. After all, it’s not like any of us could have predicted Kirara’s actions." She nodded firmly. "The only things we can do now are continue with our lives and push forward."
Kyuske shook his head. "Kirara will most definitely strike again," he insisted, "and her next attack will be far more unpredictable and reckless. She’ll never leave you alone until she gets her hands on your Spell Charm—regardless of what happens to you."
"I understand," said Hitomi, though her heart was pounding wildly. She knew that Kyuske’s statement was true: Kirara would do [anything] to get her Spell Charm, and she would surely use more brutal attacks the longer Hitomi resisted. Although she was afraid of Kirara, she also had to admit to herself that she was still hesitant about the thought of attacking her former friend/mentor. [But I can never bow down to Kirara,] Hitomi told herself. [I will have to fight her someday…hopefully not anytime soon, but sometime in the future.] She gulped. [Hopefully I’ll be a more experienced witch when that dreadful day comes.]
After school, Hitomi headed to the hospital to visit Shingo. She hoped that her cousin would have gotten over his initial shock of her powers, and that they could go back to being friends again. [I hope Shingo believes in miracles now,] Hitomi thought as she entered the hospital.
Hitomi froze and scanned the area around the information desk. Doctors and nurses scurried past, and the pink Bruce receptionist was busy filing her nails. "Who was that?" Hitomi murmured, looking around. Was a patient in need of assistance? Were they calling out for a nurse?
"That voice again…" Confused, Hitomi scanned the area a second time, but found nobody in peril. It wasn’t until she heard the voice again—fainter this time—that she recognized who it belonged to. "Shingo!" Hitomi gasped, running down an empty hallway. Her heart was pounding fiercely as she made her way to the opposite side of the hallway, looking frantically for her cousin. "Shingo, I’m coming!! Where are you??"
[I’m on the third floor…hurry!]
Not wasting a second, Hitomi made her way up two flights of stairs until she reached the third floor. Hurrying her way down the empty hallway, she continuously huffed and puffed until a blue Elephante nurse stopped her. "I’m so sorry, ma’am," Hitomi huffed, "but I need to find my cousin! His name is Shingo and he’s in trouble—"
The nurse smiled and snapped her fingers, revealing herself to be a satisfied Kirara. "Why, aren’t [we] in a hurry today?" Kirara sneered. "I didn’t know you cared so much for a doubter."
"But…Shingo…" Hitomi gasped. "He…he spoke to me! I heard him! He needs me!"
"No, he doesn’t," Kirara insisted, "but I’m sure he’ll be ever-so-pleased if you handed over your Spell Charm to me. That is, unless you [want] something terrible to happen to your beloved cousin." She poofed up a blue orb and sent it towards Hitomi, who immediately dodged it.
"Watch it! You’re in a hospital!" Hitomi exclaimed.
Kirara poofed up two more orbs. "Like I care," she scoffed, hurling the orbs towards her target.
Hitomi headed down the hallway, all the while avoiding Kirara’s explosive orbs. She was initially surprised that the hallway was so empty, but now she was grateful that no innocent patients were in harm’s way. [I can’t believe it! This was just a trap!] Hitomi thought, her mind racing. [Kirara’s going to get me if I don’t hurry up and reach the stairs!]
At last, Hitomi reached the stairway door and grabbed the knob. Trying to ignore the nearby explosions, Hitomi struggled to open the door, her sweaty palms continuously slipping as she attempted to pry the door open. When the door continued to remain shut, Hitomi poofed up a small fire orb and, making sure she was alone now, threw it towards the doorknob. "I did it!" she cheered.
"Finally, I must say." Kirara appeared a few feet away and threw two more orbs at Hitomi.
Instinctively, Hitomi poofed up a shield and used it to deflect the orbs. She heaved a sigh of relief, but then had to raise the shield again to deflect two more orbs. "Thank goodness," she sighed.
"So, aren’t you going to hand over your Spell Charm yet?" asked Kirara. "Or must I poof up more orbs?"
"Kirara, you don’t have to do this!" Hitomi insisted. "Why don’t you stop pursuing my Spell Charm and…uh…well…"
"You really are as naïve as I thought." Kirara shook her head. "Oh well. I suppose beggars can’t be choosers." She poofed away her orbs and, with a sincere look on he face, inched towards Hitomi. "Listen, Hitomi. Unlike you, I am actually in a much greater need of your Spell Charm. Without it, I’m afraid that my life will remain to be in jeopardy—that is unless a kindred spirit, someone like [you] decides to hand over her Spell Charm to help a poor, unfortunate soul as myself." She faked a sob and asked, "Won’t you do the honourable thing for once, dearest friend?"
Hitomi shook her head. "I can’t. If I do, then you’ll just track down another girl, wouldn’t you?" She gripped her Spell Charm to her chest. "I’m sorry Kirara, but I can’t and I won’t do it. And it’s not for me: it’s for all of the other up and coming wi—"
Kirara poofed up two more orbs and hurled them with a snarl. Just as they neared Hitomi, a pastel Xweetok sprayed the surrounding area with a fire extinguisher. Hitomi coughed and, as the mysterious stranger escorted her down the hallway, she gasped, "Rina?? Is that you?"
Rina nodded. "Hurry! If we can reach the opposite stairway, that’ll get us out of a back exit!"
"Wait for me!" Shingo called, pushing his wheelchair fervently as he caught up with the girls.
"Shingo?? What in Neopia are you doing here??" Hitomi demanded.
"I was brought up here for an examination, and then I met up with Rina," Shingo explained. "She heard the commotion from downstairs and she came up to investigate."
"Then I met up with Shingo, grabbed this floor’s fire extinguisher, and…well, that’s pretty much it," added Rina. "Oh, and I told Shingo to use a wheelchair for easy transport."
When they reached the stairs, Hitomi kicked the door open—only to find Kirara on the other side, smirking victoriously. "Why, what a pleasant surprise," she sighed.
"Who's that?" asked Shingo.
Kirara extended her hand towards Hitomi and grunted, "Now then, are you going to hand over your Spell Charm now? Or," she poofed up two glowing red orbs in her other hand, "must I blow this hospital up into a pile of chopsticks?"
Hitomi gulped. "You wouldn’t!"
"Well, I’m not the idiot who decided not to use transportation spells," scoffed Kirara. "Seriously, were you paying attention during my lessons or not??"
"Uh, Hitomi," Rina whispered. "Now what?"
"Maybe I can use a spell," Hitomi replied, "though I can't decide which one!"
"Tick-tock, Hitomi," groaned Kirara. "Are you going to surrender yet or would you rather continue this stupid game of Wocky and Miamouse?"
Before Hitomi could reply, Kyuske appeared behind her and lunged towards Kirara with a golf club. After a quick scuffle, Kirara hurled the orbs at the group and poofed herself away. Hitomi immediately poofed up a purple bowl and used it to catch the orbs, then created a lid over it to keep everyone safe from the orbs’ concealed explosions. "Phew! That was a close one," she sighed with relief.
Erika ran towards Hitomi and squeezed her tightly. "THANK FYORA we made it in time!" she exclaimed.
"How’d you know she was here?" asked Rina.
"Oh please, like Hitomi’s very best friend in the world doesn’t know of her weekly hospital visits to Mr. Ungrateful," said Erika, waving her hand. "Besides, Kyuske here was the one who sensed a dark aura from the hospital."
"Did you really?" asked Hitomi.
Kyuske nodded. "Thank goodness I was able to get here in time. If I was even a second too late, who knows what Kirara would have done?"
"Yeah, that psychopath is really scary," Erika said, shuddering.
Shingo turned to Hitomi and asked, "But why was she attacking you?"
"Because she wants this." Hitomi held out her Spell Charm towards her cousin. Then she instinctively pulled it back towards her. "That girl you met today is evil, Shingo. And she’ll do anything—and I mean anything—to get her hands on this."
"Let’s hope she’s done attacking you this month, at least," Erika sighed.
Rina gave Hitomi a supporting smile. "As long as you have your friends by your side, I’m sure you’ll be a-okay! Then you can continue being our school’s premier witch!"
"Speaking of witches," Shingo said sheepishly. "I’m, uh, really sorry for what I said to you a while back. I shouldn’t have lashed out at you and called you a freak." He gave Hitomi a determined look and added, "And if I can help you in any way, then just say so. I’ll do anything to help my cuz when she’s fighting against an evil witch!"
"Be careful though," said Rina, blushing. "We, uh, want you back in Neoschool in one piece, okay?"
Shingo smiled and nodded. "Sure thing, Rina. And thanks for visiting me today!"
"Eh, no prob," said Rina.
[My friends mean everything to me, and they’ll do anything to help me,] Hitomi told herself. [But I’m afraid that, in the end, this battle will only be between me and Kirara. So for now, I’ll do everything I can to make sure my friends remain safe. I’ll definitely protect them!]
To be continued…