142 Second chances
"Young miss... This is a bad idea..." Detra said while following a young girl with a plush toy frog above her head.
"Don't worry Detra... I know what I'm doing!" said the girl while strolling thought the city moving towards the direction her toy stated.
"Wouldnt it be better to wait for your aunt's friends to recover before going after Mia?"
"And give her the chance to send more monsters after us? No way... Besides... Who knows when Daren, Lilith, or Marcus might wake up..."
"I just feel this is a bad idea and you should try giving it some thought... You're basically charging into the lion's den just because some dead mage complimented you a bit..." Detra said while giving a very deep glare at Xadi.
"Please don't call me a dead mage..." Xadi said while glaring back at Detra with his frog eyes, "And stop doubting her so much, she will be fine! She's the daughter of the crossbow girl after all!"
"Niece" Detra corrected.
"Whatever..." Xadi mumbled, "My point is... If she is half as determined as her mother-"
"Aunt..." Detra corrected again.
"Whatever..." Xadi continued, "Then she can definitely take down that annoying girl with ponytails while having one arm tied behind her back! You'll see."
Detra wanted to grab the plush frog and just shove it into a sewer manhole. She was aware that the mage inside of the toy could absolutely not be trusted under any circumstance, but it didn't look like Ellie was in any rush to listen to the woman who used to be her aunt's sworn enemy.
"Young miss, could you please at least tell me why you are so eager to trust this man?? You know how dangerous he is right? He tried to kill your aunt many times! He was part of my Mia's team to hunt her down!"
"Yeah... A team that you helped to create..." Ellie reminded her.
"Ugh!! That... That's not the point!!" Detra said.
"Wait, what...? Helped to create...?" Xadi whispered now looking at Detra with an intrigued look and dropping his glare, "Who is this woman exactly??"
"That's the goddess of the East..." Ellie explained.
"... .... ... Excuse me!!!???" Xadi yelled while enlarging his eyes.
"Yeah... She's the one who created the living weapon and became enemies with my aunt's friends after turning them into statues for two-hundred years..." Ellie continued, "Isn't that right, Detra?"
Detra simply made a grumpy face as if she was not enjoying where this conversation was going, "Yes... That's me..."
"She is the mother that Marcus wouldn't shut up about??" Xadi said.
"Yeap... That's her..." Ellie added. She then stopped walking for a second and looked at her, "And my aunt decided to give her another chance..."
Detra also stoped and undid her annoyed face to now look at Ellie with bewilderment.
"If my aunt can give a second chance to someone like you... Why can't I give a second chance to someone like Xadi?" Ellie asked.
Detra didn't know what to say. She needed to convince Ellie that Xadi could not be trusted, but who was she to talk about such a subject considering her history with Evlin and her team.
"Your aunt didn't give me a second chance, young miss..." Detra said, "She took me in because she wanted to keep me away from Marcus. She brought me to this place to imprison me here! And she only did that because I was powerless to stop her!"
Ellie herself began to glare at Detra this time, "You don't know what you're talking about!!"
"Yes, really!! Do you know how many times my parents told my aunt that she should have fired you? How many times they complained about how all you did was complain, and whine, and break stuff when you tried to clean the house? All while keeping that face of someone who wanted to throw herself out of a building??"
Detra looked at the girl in silence. She knew Daren and his group disliked her, but she was unaware of how much Evlin's family disliked her as well.
Ellie approached the woman and pointed at her as if they were in an interrogation, "They hated you, everyone did! Everyone always told aunt Evie that she should just try to find someone else... But she never did! You know why?"
"Because... She doesn't like to give up on people who look like they have no one to rely on!" Ellie said while placing her hands on her hips and leaning forward as a mother lecturing her child.
"My aunt... Doesn't abandon people... Ever!" Ellie continued, "She told me she was abandoned once, and that it was the worst experience of her life! She told me that she would never let anyone else go through the same thing as her under her watch!"
Detra kept looking without knowing what to say in response. Even Xadi had gotten quiet as well.
"And I wanna be just like her!! I won't abandon anyone, be it some weird mage stuck inside a frog doll or even my own aunt when she is being hunted by some psychotic dual-colored eyes freak!" Ellie declared while turning around and continuing to walk.
Detra looked as the girl kept walking without any indecision on her mind of who she wanted to be. But she wondered if this girl had what it takes to be who she wanted to be.
"What about Mia?" Detra asked.
Ellie then froze in the middle of her walk, "Mia...? WHAT about her?"
Detra started to look at Ellie with evaluating eyes as if wondering what her response would be to the question she was about to make.
"Mia is no different from me or Xadi..." she said, "She also had no one to rely on and was abandoned by the people she trusted or loved..."
This time Ellie was the one looking without knowing what to say.
"And right now... She's trying to steal your aunt's power, awaken a group of sleeping demons, and create chaos in this world... All while keeping your family under her chuckles..." Detra continued, "Are you going to give her a second chance as well?"
"..." Ellie pondered about that for a moment. She felt Mia was a whole different situation compared to Xadi or Detra, but now that she thought about it, would she be able to give this girl another chance as well? What would her aunt do?
She then remembered the look on her aunt's face when she made her resolve on how to deal with Mia. 'I'm going to kill her!' were her words.
"I... I..." Ellie tried to give Detra an answer... But the words would just not take form.
Detra raised an eyebrow while looking at the young girl, "You don't know... Do you?"
Xadi noticed that Detra was starting to win her over. The more they talked the more Ellie started to lose her resolve and began to form second thoughts about this whole idea. He needed to get her head in the game again before she just dropped everything and ruined his plan.
"Look!! We are here!!" he said while pointing with his hand made of plush.
Detra and Ellie turned their eyes and spotted what appeared to be an abandoned amusement park, a few blocks away from their current location. The place was completely deserted and filled with deactivated rides. Rollercoasters, giant teacups, Ferris wheel, all looking like they had seen better days and could fall apart at any second.
Ellie took another look and spotted the name of the park.
"The magical world of Dracoland?" she said while noticing that the place was themed after a fantasy medieval setting of knights and magic. Most of the rides had the shape of dragons and the walls had paintings of kings, princesses, and witches.
"This is where Mia is?" Detra asked while gazing at the place as well. The group started to approach the entrance gates continued to observe the area completely overcome with different tones of gray, as if the entire color of the park had been sucked out over time.
"She's inside that big colorful tent over there." Xadi explained while pointing at a huge circus tent.
Ellie read a sign written on the outside of the tent and got really annoyed with Mia's sense of humor, "Where magic becomes reality... And the impossible becomes possible...", and right under the sign, there was a smaller sign that looked like it had been added recently with the words 'Special guest: Stick-girl and her amazing stick! Tickets for half the price for those under the age of twelve!'
Ellie just looked at that and stared confused at Xadi, "What's that supposed to mean??"
"She was planning to release a new monster to attack your aunt every day..." he explained, "And then finally reveal this location when the week ended... It was part of her silly game..."
"... I see..." Ellie wasn't really sure of how that was supposed to work or what Mia's intentions were, but the fact of the matter was that they finally found out where she was hiding, so now all that was remaining was to defeat her. She looked at her mirror-shield that showed her own reflection on the diamonds created by her aunt.
"Young miss... Do you even have a plan?" Detra asked while noticing that Lance was starting to wake up from his nap.
"A plan...? Well..." Ellie said while holding her chin. If she was going to fight with Mia, she needed to be extra careful and make use of everything her aunt taught her. She needed to be warry of each step she made and make sure she had what it takes to engage in combat with that girl.
But as she continued to wonder about her strategy, she spotted a group of figures moving towards the circus tent.
"Huh...!? Are those...?" She leaned her body forward and took another look at the figures. A bearded man with brown hair and a long black-haired woman with glasses, both wearing red hooded robes. Ellie realized that she recognized these figures and started to shout, "MOM!! DAD!!!"
The scream was so loud that Lance was forcibly awakened from his sleep and started to cry even louder.
The two figures were alerted by the baby's cry and spotted Ellie and her group. Both of them with a red glow in their eyes.
"Uhh... " Detra took a few steps back, "Are they ok...?"
Ellie started to dash towards her parents with tears on her eyes and with open arms ready to hug them, "Mom!!!! Dad!!! I missed you two so much!!!"
The figures in red robes then raised their arms and revealed that they each had a wooden staff carrying a large piece of absorbing crystal.
Ellie saw the staff each was carrying and froze in the middle of her dash, "Mom...? Dad...?"
Her parents then began to channel energy from their weapons, and released a massive blast of raw magic at Ellie.
"Young miss!!!" Detra screamed!!
Ellie raised her shield to block the blast and was pushed away by the impact. Xadi was dropped from her head while her body continued to be propelled away until she smacked her back against a trailer, making her groan in pain, "Guahhhh!!!"
She landed on the ground and took another look at her parents while Detra rushed to her side. Her mother was now emanating magic in the shape of water from her staff while her father had magic in the shape of ice.
"What the...?" the confused girl whispered as her parents started to charge at her and while preparing to attack with their magic.