"I am called by many
names and recognized by many people," the monk
started to say. "But you can call me the Ancient One."
asked. "As in old?"
warned his brother. Sometimes he was just too forward.
The monk only laughed.
"Yes, perhaps I am."
"You don't look very
old." Kiefer stepped forward. "Why do you keep
your hat over your eyes?"
"So many questions
and such inquiring minds. However, I have a question
for the both of you." He watched if either would protest then continued. "I
need to know your names first." Both of them hesitated and looked at each
the younger of the two said, the one with his mother's eyes.
the other boy said, the brash one.
"Now that we have introduced
each other, I need to ask you both this
question. Are you happy?"
Kiefer snorted and started
to laugh. He had expected his brother to be
doing the same thing but he wasn't. There was a seriousness in his eyes that
had never been there before.
"Kier?" He passed
a hand in front of him.
snapped out of his reverie.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I
was just thinking about the question."
"What is there to think
about? Of course we're happy. Papa and Mama and
even Unky Cale are there for us and help us. There is nothing to think
"Is there?" the
"Look, Ancient or whoever
you are, we are very happy! You might be able
to confuse Kieran but you don't fool me."
"All I'm doing is asking.
And your brother decides to think about it."
"Well I'm answering
for him. We are happy!!" He turned to Kieran.
"I don't know,"
he answered with uncertainty.
"Are we really happy?
Sure Papa and Mama seem happy but Unky Dais are
always against them. Master Talpa gives Mama whatever she wants but a way
here. There's so many people that want to hurt us, even we don't see it.
There's so many people that want to hurt Papa, he ignores them all. I don't
think we're very happy right now!"
"But we are,"
Kiefer said quietly. "We're all together. That's all that
matters doesn't it?"
"I don't know anymore.
Everybody back home hates each other. And down
here it's no better. Five of them are really good friends and we try to ruin
that." Kieran shook his head. "I just don't know!"
Kiefer turned his angry eyes to the Ancient. "Kier warned
me not to talk to you, and what do I do? I talk to you!"
"It is not my-"
"Yes it is!!"
He turned to Kieran and found his brother sitting on the
ground, his face buried in his hands. "Kier, what are you doing?"
answered so quietly, Kiefer almost didn't hear him.
"No, no, no!"
He turned back to the Ancient. "You stay away from us or
The Ancient took a step
back at the tone of his voice. His eyes had
flashed red when he shouted at him. If he had suspected a hidden power
inside those kids, he just saw a little proof of it. For just a second, the
air was thick with power.
"Follow us and I will
make sure you're a dead Ancient!!" Kiefer had an
arm around his brother's waist. Kieran didn't look like he would protest and
just clung to his brother.
Kiefer carefully held his
brother as he jumped up to a branch on a tree.
His eyes never left the monk, still angry. Without warning, Kiefer raised a
hand and started to gather enegry. He let out a yell and quickly threw the
ball at the Ancient. He jumped out of the way and watched the boy jump away
from him. There was commotion not far way. All five Ronins burst from the
foliage but found nobody there. All they found was a steaming hole in the
"You okay Kier?"
Kiefer looked at his brother. There were back at the
clearing again. Kieran sat against the trunk, head down. Kiefer watched him.
"We shouldn't have
left," he softly said.
"I know, I know. I
should have known better." Kiefer scratched his
head. "Well? Aren't you going to yell at me?" A russtling sound from
behind caught his attention then he turned. Kieran slowly stood up, head