"The White Mountain? I can't see a white mountain around here", Neku said while scratching the back of his head.
"I've seen one a while ago. We have to go to the west", Joshua commented. He stood up and pointed toward his right. "The west is over there"
"I can' see it, yo!", Beat sighed after trying to find it among the trees.
"I don't think we could see it from here. There are too many trees, and it's really far from here, so we just would see a little sugar mountain. We have to be quick: we've got twenty four hours to defeat the GM of this Day"
"Wait, this mission lasts for a day? ", Neku asked her, after shaking his head surprised.
"Yea, Phones, the message said it"
"The Game gives us a whole day to go to that point because it's hard to find, very far and almost impossible to arrive on that time, or even both things at once!", Sanako started to run while talking. "C'mon, we have to hurry up!"
The group passed through the trees, fighting against the Noise that came out. They had to rest a few times, due to the distance and the difficulties that the place itself had for the teenagers. They found a simple bridge built on a high valley, very old and made of wood which didn't look to be very strong. If it broke, the fall would be enough to kill them.
"What should we do?", the leader of the group asked his partners.
"Neku, I think we must cross it, but one by one. When the one who's crossing reaches the other side, the next one would do the same, and
", the sound of a person running on a wooden surface made Sanako stop. They turned and saw that Beat was already on the bridge.
"Beat, stop!", the three partners shouted at the blond boy.
"I'm okay, yo, don' worry!", and having said that, he stepped on a cracked plank, which couldn't resist his weight and broke. The skater wasn't able to grab one of the planks of the divided bridge; he just could wait for the hit when he fell
"FOR GOD SAKES, BITO!", Sanako raised a hand quickly and caught Beat before he was out of her telekinetic power's reach. "What the fuck are you doing?"
"Damn it, Beat! Why the hell did you do it?"
"Don' know, man
Thought I could cross
", he stayed quiet for two seconds, and shouted. "BWAAAA! Don' say that name, yo!"
"Don't act this way again, then!", Sanako replied. Meanwhile, she brought him back slowly. He was far, so she had to be concentrated and careful. Finally, the boy wrapped in icy blue energy stepped on solid ground.
", he murmured with a hand on his shoulder, looking at his feet, "Sorry, yo
"It's ok, but don't do anything before we've got a plan"
How will we go there?", Neku questioned his friends.
"I could levitate to the other side without problems, but you may have more trouble
", Joshua commented. "I could take Neku with me, and you two take another way
What do you think, leader? I would hold you tight
", he chuckled and smiled at him. He had an arm around his body, and a hand covering part of his face. Neku looked at him with a disgusted face before answering.
No, I think I pass
", Neku said with a voice as neutral as he could.
"Man, I blew it
", Beat said to himself so low that no one could hear him. Nevertheless, the blonde girl could hear him, and patted his shoulder while smiling, to make him feel better.
"Don't worry, I've got a solution!", Sanako said after thinking for some seconds. "I don't know if this will last as long as we need, but I could try it. Otherwise, we would have to return and take another way, which will make us waste a lot of precious time!"
"C'mon, do it!", Neku told her.
"Ok. Put yourselves near to the edge. You'll have to run: this won't be easy to keep
", immediately after, she crouched down and put her hands on the ground. From them, a pulse of purple energy came out and flew in the air, until it got to the other side of the valley. Suddenly, a dark purple bridge appeared in the air, connecting both points. "Hurry up! I've never created such a big thing, and it consumes a lot of energy!"
All of them ran on the new temporary bridge. It was safer than the wooden one, but they still were unsure of crossing it, because of the fact that she had to resist the whole time, including the one she had to spend to cross it herself. She said they had to go first, so they wouldn't take any risk. When they eventually arrived, she stood up and ran, while the energy bridge vanished gradually. She was close to them when the surface disappeared; fortunately for her, she could jump before she fell. Sanako landed next to them, looked at her back and sighed. "Wow, I thought I wouldn't do it".
"Ok, let's go! There's no time to waste!", Neku said, and all the Players followed him.
Minutes later, they had to go across a wide but not very deep river, fight more Noise and climb up a high cliff. They spent almost three hours, but they could finally see on the horizon their objective: the White Mountain. It looked like sugar, as Sanako said, since the trees and the roads were white as well. When they continued, they saw there were two things in front of them: a fork and a Reaper waiting for them. They prepared themselves for a possible attack, but they realized soon that he wasn't going to do so, as he was there just to indicate them what to do at that point.
"You have to divide the group and go through these two roads. You must do it, but I don't care how you manage it", were his only words.
"Ok, I choose the left road, so you'll have to take the right one", Sanako said.
"Wait, are you going to go alone?", Neku asked her, not very happy with her decision.
"Don't worry, I'll be ok. Anyway, I think there are things that you have to talk over with Joshua
Isn't that correct?"
Yeah, you're right, but
"Ok, then. Bye!", she waved at them and ran away. They couldn't catch her; they just watched Sanako going into the dark and thick woods.
"Dude, hurry up!", Beat continued running, followed by Joshua and finally Neku.
It wasn't until a few minutes that Neku started a conversation. "Joshua, why did you do that to Sanako?"
"Um? Ah, now I remember
Well, Neku, Sanako is a girl that I don't like very much. That's all; anyway, she wants me dead
Didn't you see it?"
"You treated her like a piece of garbage! It's normal that she got angry!"
"Maybe I did
"Neku, I don't trust that girl. I don't like her. She's
strange. I don't know why, but I don't want Sanako with us"
"She's much better than you
", Neku murmured. "No matter if you don't like her or not, you mustn't talk to her that way ever. She's a member of our party, and we have to work in group to get out of here. You just make us feel worse than we already are. So just
shut up. Don't open your damn mouth unless you have something useful to say. She's not the only one who's pissed out
I can try it for you, but I can't ensure it'll work", he laughed shortly and grinned.
Beat had to keep his laugh at the end. He didn't have anything to say or comment, so he just listened to them and watched what surrounded them. They had to face a group of big ten Noise, a Rub Rhino included, twice; one near to the beginning of the road, and one at the end of it. The second group was easier than the first one, but they were a bit tired after being running during the whole day. The needed two hours to reach the point where the two roads met; Sanako had already got to the final of her road when they arrived. However, her face and her frantic breath revealed she hadn't been waiting for a long time..
"Bouf, I had to erase
a lot of Noise, but I
could get here! Wow, I'm so
", she sometimes needed to stop to take a breath.
"Hey, what's that thing over there?", Beat asked his partners, pointing a distant light.
"That's a house, probably", Joshua replied.
"A house? Here? Are you kidding me?", Neku asked, not being very sure of his answer.
"Well, it could be a cabin, so
It's possible. Let's have a look!", the teen girl suggested.
They ran toward it, and saw that Joshua wasn't so wrong: it was a building, made of wood and metal, but it wasn't a house. It looked more like a kind of junk room. Inside of it, there weren't any lights shining.
"Dude, I saw lights! I'm sure, man!"
"Do you want lights? There you have them", Sanako was looking at whatever was at his back. Beat looked at it: there were fireflies, a lot of them. She walked slowly into the amount of those animals; at first they flew away, but she sat down and waited. The other teens watched how they returned to their position in the group, and eventually flew as they usually did, with Sanako in the middle, lying on the grass happily, with her eyes closed.
"Wait, if there are fireflies
What time is it?", Joshua asked Neku. He just shrugged and shook his head. They looked at the sky, and noticed that the sun was coming down; it was getting darker and darker.
"Wow, I wanna join yo!", Beat told Sanako. He tried to the same as her; although, the fireflies got scared and flew away fast. "Maaaaan, not fair
", and he sat down, disappointed.
"You have to wait, Beat. Lie down, like me, and stay there. Hey, you two! I suggest that you try this as well! You surely won't have another chance", she waved at them, and invited them with a gesture.
"Well, we can do it
Come, Neku. It'll be fun
", Joshua looked at him with a grin that made Neku feel shivers.
Both proceed to repeat Sanako's actions, to end up lying down among all those little lights moving and shining around them. Their heads were together, making a kind of circle; Neku had Sanako at his right and Joshua at his left, so Beat would be behind him. The four teens felt good watching that nature spectacle, relaxing and seeing the sky turning black with a lot of stars twinkling. Neku also took out his headphones to listen to the sounds of the animals of the woods, the leaves that were being caressed by the wind and the crickets. Nobody had a single thought about the Game or the Reapers in their minds, they just wanted to enjoy a summer sunset on the mountains, and sleep under that beautiful sky.
"We need to sleep, since we're alive", Joshua yawned and stood up. "I'm to see what that wooden building hides. Maybe I'll find there something useful"
"I'm gonna go too, yo!", Beat said and followed him. Neku, who retrieved his headphones, and Sanako eventually did the same, due to their curiosity.
"The door is open. Let's see
", Joshua pushed the door, and the teens found out what that junk room had: a big tent, two more smaller than the first one and four sleeping bags. There was a sign, which told them that they couldn't take everything they had in front of them, or else they would be erased.
"Oh, a Game's present
", Sanako murmured.
"We can take the big tent. There's room for everyone there", Joshua suggested.
"I dunno, man, it'll be weird
", Beat said; he didn't like that idea very much.
"Let's take the two smaller tens, then. We'll have to sleep in couples", Neku said to solve Beat's problem.
"Ok, BUT I won't sleep with Joshua", Sanako commented with her arms folded. Her voice showed she wasn't going to change her idea.
"Man, I ain't going to sleep with a dude, yo!", Beat added. When he thought about the idea of sleeping with a girl made him blush so much that he had to go out of the room before his partners notice it.
Neku felt a look on him. He turned and saw that Joshua was the one who was staring at him, with a smile and a look that revealed his intentions. When he realized that he would be the one who would sleep with Joshua
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!", he shouted so loud that even Beat freaked out. Sanako looked at him, confused. "The sleeping bags, the sleeping bags!"
"Ok, we'll take the sleeping bags, but calm down, please
You're pale", the girl said while blinking, surprised. Sanako didn't understand what was going on, while Joshua's face showed his disappointment.
They took out of the junk room the sleeping bags and went to sleep. They would need to get their energies back if they wanted to be able to reach the White Mountain and face the Reaper.
[Flash animation; WATCH THIS]