Sigh, such a melancholic atmosphere, I thought as I stirred the broth simmering inside the pot slowly. I eye my fellow kunoichi inconspicuously as we all perform duties in preparation for tonight's supper.
With it being Sunday, Sensei Wu brought forth a new tradition to further unify our group as a whole. We would take turns every Sunday preparing a large dinner, the Ninja on one Sunday and the Kunoichi the following week. This Sunday was our rotation and we were preparing a nice delicious meal of hamburger stew, cornbread, and seasoned baked chicken breast.
Usually this day brought forth joyous talk and laughter from my three comrades with me adding as much as I could to the conversation. Now the air is thick with tension and indignation, caused by the invasion of privacy conspired by the Ninja only a few hours ago in Sasha and Ayane's quarters.
The kitchen had been transformed as well from Amaterasu's blessing, with quality wood-lined floors and exquisite granite counter-tops the whole decorum shone beautifully in colors of cappuccino, taupe, and leather.
I turn my head slightly to the left to see how Ayane was faring with slicing the vegetables. She had finished cleaning a medley of them a few moments ago and had stationed herself to my left where the cutting board and assorted knives were.
She was slowly but surely completing her task for the potatoes lay sliced thinly on the board to the right. However, her eyes were red and slightly puffy from the tears she shed earlier and her bottom lip quivered every few seconds as she began to cut the carrots.
My brow creases in concern as her hands begin to tremble and I call softly to her.
"Be careful Ayane, stop if you need to."
Her hands halt immediately at my words and she whips her head in my direction. A few tears slip from her moist eyes and when she opens her mouth, her words are surprisingly strong.
"I'm okay Ebony, I can finish this."
When she resumes her work, my thoughts roam to how once only a few months ago I would've called her weak and feeble.
I shake my head and turn my attention back to the simmering brown broth below me, letting the flavorful smoke and steam caress my face with its tantalizing touch.
I know better now, but I still find it difficult to believe that Ayane is my elder as well as Sasha and Nya. I am the youngest of us four, but according to Nya I have the mentality of a forty-year old making me wise beyond my years.
I glance once more at the bright blonde huntress from my peripheral and watch as she furiously using the back of her hand to wipe the tears from her eyes.
I remember her sharing the story of Zane teaching her how to prepare spaghetti and how he confessed to her about being a "nindroid".
"After my mind cleared and the haze lifted, I realized I was still in love with him and my feelings had not changed…and I don't think they ever will."
She had spoken so fondly about the Ninja of Ice and continued to gush and persist on how extraordinary and fantastic he was. How he found her gorgeous without flaw calling her scars "marks of perseverance and valor" while she thought her looks were mediocre at best especially with her blemishes marring her flesh.
I remove the large spoon from the pot and place it down on the counter to my right then turn to give Ayane instructions.
"When you're finished, simply add the vegetables in with the broth. The hamburger meat is already cooked, so you can add that in as well then cover the stew and let it fester and get thick."
She nods her head in confirmation and I turn around to check on Sasha who was sitting at the island in the center of the spacious kitchen seasoning the raw breasts of chicken with a contemptuous frown.
She mutters to herself angrily about how all men are self-righteous bastards who deserve to get knocked to "Kingdom Come"…wherever that is.
I cock an eyebrow as she wrathfully flipped each breast of chicken, with them landing with a hard smack against the large flat surface of a baking sheet. Her long fiery tresses spill obstructing her view, but she doesn't bother casting them to the side as she violently shakes the meat tenderizer to season the opposite side of the main course.
The argument that ensued between her and Cole weighs heavy on my mind for I didn't understand the core of it. It's true though that Cole has become highly protective of our Bo Staff wielding strategist and always inquires about her whereabouts if she had been out of his company for an extended amount of time. This behavior manifested only after Sasha had collapsed in the infirmary on my second day aboard the Bounty and had only grown since then.
The relationship between her and the Ninja's leader is broad and deep with many twists and turns leading to one ultimate destination.
True everlasting love…
"I like to call Cole a Jack-of-all-Trades. A man who you can count on to get the job done, he's dependable, caring, loyal, and can admit when he's wrong. I never thought I would see him again after all this time and now that our destinies have become intertwined…I never want to be separated from him…ever."
Sasha had told me this when I had asked her what thoughts she had on the matter of romance and her desire to be with Cole. I wanted clarification on the matters of my own heart…and whether not to let a certain "untamed flame" illuminate through my shadows.
I kept Sasha's words locked away for thorough dissection in the future and that is when I had begun to make my pro and con list about being with Kai.
Even though I am naïve about the matters of the heart, I know that there is no such thing as a "perfect couple". Not in the world we live in…trials and tribulations will always occur, but it is the ones that can persevere through it and still be together at the end are the ones whose love is the strongest.
"Dinner should be ready in another hour or so."
Sasha's stern voice rouses me from my musings as she speaks without lifting her eyes from her task.
"Nya, wait a little longer before putting the cornbread in. Let me put the chicken in first and you can use the bottom oven for the cornbread okay?"
"Alright," the quiet answer Nya gives makes me shift my attention from the Kunoichi of Water to the Kunoichi of Wind.
She was on the opposite side of the kitchen in her own space near the sink with her back to us, stirring a large mixing bowl which I presumed to be the batter for the cornbread.
Every night since the announcement of her engagement to Jay, she's been giving me an earful about numerous arrangements that would have to be made before the important event…even if I wasn't fully paying attention.
"I'm so happy Sasha agreed to be my Maid of Honor. I have to make sure the bridesmaids' dresses are stunning. I'm not one of those shallow women who think she has to look better than everyone else in the room. Just think Ebony…soon I'll be Mrs. Jay Walker *sigh*."
"Hn…" was my only reply to her blissful words.
I remember being halfway asleep as she cheerfully segued into future occurrences when I had an epiphany. I asked her…how she knew Jay was the one she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.
Having had to study under him for the past two months, I knew him to be playful and a cunning trickster. Qualities I found exuberant and refreshing, but also lacking in a way that would prove…high maintenance in the future.
She had smiled so gently before responding, her words bearing fruits of inquisitiveness to my once withered tree of doubt and hesitancy.
"There is much more to Jay than just the wise-cracks and silliness he displays. When he had begun to open up to me and share with me his secrets, the earnest and sincerity of his words made me curious to find out more and the more he shared…the more I fell in love with him. It is different for everyone, but for me…when a man is willing to reveal a side to himself that only I am permitted to see…words can't describe how special I feel or how special he makes me feel."
It seems my "Sensei" has more character in him than I can see and Nya's words brought further insight on what I should do about Kai.
Speaking of which, he and the other men should be through cleaning Sasha and Ayane's quarters by now.
I calmly formulate an approach as to how I can get everyone on the road to reconciliation. I turn around and begin to walk towards the exit.
I'll have to adapt to the role of pacifier and enlist the aid of the one who started this unfortunate turn of events.
"Ebony, where are you going?"
Sasha's curious voice stops me and I turn back around to address her and my fellow kunoichi.
Despite my element, I am not one for deception and subterfuge, so I give a candid answer to her question.
"To speak with Kai."
The exotic Brazilian rolls her storm grey eyes and gives a snort of derision at my chosen response.
"Hmph, I thought you would at least wait until after dinner tonight to castrate him, but I won't keep you from your business. Have at him girl," she says with a wave of dismissal, but I shake my head negatively.
"I have no intention to remove Kai of his manhood, only speak to him as to why he would commit such an act."
He seemed too flabbergasted when I spoke to him earlier, so I didn't hear about his motives.
"What do you mean "why"!?" Sasha explodes aggressively and stands up from her seat at the island.
"Who cares "why" they did it! They shouldn't have done it in the first place!"
"Ebony, aren't you upset at all?" Ayane questions quietly with a look of fret and bewilderment, covering the stewpot to let it simmer.
Nya turns to glance at me as well, "Yeah, I expected you of all people to seek swift vengeance for what those idiots did."
I look from one female to the other with calm deliberation. It's true, the "old me" would've sent my doppelgangers in under the cover of night to murder each of them in their sleep, but surely they've noticed my metamorphosis since Ayane's Trial.
Also, did they forget about what they told me?
…I guess I'll have to remind them.
"My personality has altered somewhat since the experiences I've had to endure and I have learned much from each of you. I would never give advice on a subject I know hardly anything about, so please look at my next words as mere observations if you wish."
The ladies before me are quiet and still as they each give me their full attention.
"Up until now you've each given me the idea that being in a relationship is magnificent. Showering me with words of adoration and fondness about your partners, leading me to brood intensely about Kai's…proposition. Have you all forgotten those words? Ayane, have you forgotten you told me Zane stayed awake with you all night on the deck two weeks ago when you had a nightmare about your Trial. How he held you in his arms as you rested against him and played your mother's golden flute."
The blonde huntress fidgets under my stare and rubs her left arm with her right hand as she turns her head away with torn retrospect.
"You told me that while playing your flute does calm you, it was the warmth that Zane gave you that settled your mind as well as your heart."
I turn to the irate aqua-clad kunoichi next.
"Sasha, if memory serves you told me how Cole would come to you sometimes to discuss strategies and tactics. How delighted you felt that he was coming to depend on you…just as you do him."
Sasha's soft rain eyes drift shut as she places her hands on her hips.
I open my mouth to say more, but decide against it.
Her secrets are her own, it's none of my business, I thought as I finally face Nya.
"And Nya, the ring you wear on your finger," at this Nya looks down at her left hand and a small smile graces her features.
"You know you still love Jay and want to marry him, faults and all. I witnessed first-hand how thoughtful he could be when you were suffering from the rhinovirus last week and he knocked on our door. Don't you remember? I opened it and he came strolling in with a tray in his hands, chicken noodle soup, crackers, orange juice, and cold medicine of both liquid and tablet."
Nya giggles lightly at my words and her soft brown eyes mist over causing her to cover her face with both hands.
"I stayed in the room to observe the interaction between you two and how Jay took care of you. He made you smile, he made you laugh…it was the quickest recovery of the common cold I ever did see."
Sylph's advocate removes her hands from her face and smiles happily while gently nodding her head.
"In conclusion, they're men and they're going to screw up. Perfection is an illusion when trying to find a life-mate which means one day we ourselves will be at fault…maybe."
They laugh softly and I continue.
"This mishap is a mere "stepping stone" that we must traverse an obstacle of many I'm sure. Though of course it's not to be taken lightly for "trust" has been breached, so deal with it in your own way just…understand that…there are going to be pros as well as cons in being in a relationship…there is no such thing as a perfect man…and no such thing as a perfect woman."
During the end, my mind had begun to race. Sending me images of amber gold eyes and spiked dark chocolate hair…
"Ebony, I want your heart. I want your love…"
It sounds like his voice is right near my ear. Why am I thinking about this now?
Sister Ophelia…is this what you meant…?
I should leave now.
I turn and continue on my way out the door when Nya's voice stops me.
"Ebony, are you willing to give my brother a chance?"
I keep my back to them as I answer carefully.
"When I speak to him…I will discover his motives and then…we'll see."
All is quiet as I depart from the kitchen and enter the dining room. To my shock I find my uncle and little brother sitting at the table. Sensei Wu was sitting at the head while Lloyd was situated on his right.
"Watashi no mei, anata no jikan no shunkan." (My niece, a moment of your time)
"Mochiron oji no," (Of course uncle)I reply and walk over to sit on his left. Lloyd smiles as I sit across from him, but his eyes are troubled. He must've heard the commotion earlier and wonders what happened.
"Soko ni watashitachi no ma de hōchimin no midaredeari, roido wa gen'in o shitte ireba watashi ga motomete itaga, kare wa shite imasen." (There is a disturbance in Chi among us and I was asking if Lloyd knew the cause, but he does not.)
From my peripheral, I see Lloyd's shoulders sag somewhat and his smile replaced by a frown as his brow creases in vexation before I answer my uncle.
"Hai, migi no ojidesuga, wareware ga hanasu yō ni watashi wa sore ni sagashiteimasu shinpaishinaide kudasai. Baransu ga watashi wa sore o kakushin mamonaku fukugen sa remasu." (Yes you are right uncle, but don't worry I'm looking into it as we speak. Balance will be restored soon I'm sure of it.)
My uncle nods his head gravely as his wise onyx eyes locks with mine.
I hold my countenance as best as I can under his scrutiny, but I know it is futile.
He can read me like an open book.
"Anata ga ryokō tī o hitsuyō to sutikusu shin'ainaru mei no kawa ni ochinai yō ni ki o tsuketemasu. Watashi wa anata no kotae o mitsukeru koto o negatte imasu." (You will need Travelers Tea and be careful not to fall in the River of Styx dear niece. I hope you find your answers.)
I only give a nod in reply and stand up to perform a bow of respect to him. I then turn around to leave the dining room to resume my search of Kai.
"Ane wa matsu!" (Older sister wait!)
I turn my head slightly to see Lloyd run to me and halt to block my path. His looks up at me with eager determined eyes and shouts pleadingly to me.
"Anata wa otōsan o mite watashi ga kimasu yō ni! Tabun... Tabun watashitachi wa kare o sukuu tame no hōhō o mitsukeru koto ga deki—"(Let me come with you to see dad! Maybe…maybe we can find a way to save him and-)
I place my head on top of his head and ruffle the soft platinum locks. He snaps his head up and his words die in his throat.
The texture difference between his hair and Gabriel's is astounding. While Gabriel's hair is pliable it lacks the wavy consistency of Lloyd's hair.
Regardless of that though…I love them both…
I bend down and place a soft kiss to his temple and whisper in his ear.
"Kore wa, watashi wa anata no otōto nashi de okonau hitsuyō ga arimasu monodesuga, umaku ikeba, watashi wa hitoride wa dekimasen. Jikan wa migi no anatadeari, watashi wa issho ni watashitachi no chichi to taiketsu shimasuga, sonotoki wa ima denai toki. Koko ni taizai shi, watashi ni totte Mydnyte no sewa o shite kudasai. Watashi wa sugu ni modorimasu." (This is something I must do without you little brother, but hopefully I will not be alone. When the time is right you and I will confront our father together, but that time is not now. Please stay here and take care of Mydnyte for me. I will return soon.)
I straighten up and pull him to me for a hug. He wrap his arms around my middle while my own are loosely around his body. I reach up and run my fingers through his hair once more before stepping away from him.
"Anata wa watashi, otōto no tame ni sore o okonau koto ga dekimasu ka?" (Can you do that for me, little brother?)
An easy grin lights his face as he replies stalwartly, "Hai!"
I smile at his boisterous attitude and step around him and depart from the dining area into the hallway. I make a right at the cross section and venture to the Ninja side of the Bounty. The journey is much longer now with the expanse of the ship, but soon I reach the rooming quarters of the Ninja's elemental-colored doors.
I approach the red door and knock lightly. There is a rustle of movement from beyond the barrier before the door swings open revealing a disconsolate Kai.
Before he can continue, I place my hand on his chest and push him back inside his room, closing the door behind me.
He backpedals a bit then steadies himself as I turn back to him. Even though I've never been in Kai's room, I don't take time to observe my surroundings, but his scent is substantial here.
I must not let that one factor distract me from my objective.
"What were you hoping to accomplish by eavesdropping on us?" I question stonily as I tip my head to meet his gaze.
"Ugh," the embers sizzle and spark as he obviously struggles with an answer. He shakes his head despondently and replies.
"I wanted to know what was going on and why was it so important to be kept a secret. I don't approve of you all going on dangerous missions without us, but I understand that you all have trained just as hard as we have. I respect your strength and courage, plus team unification is important I only wish…it's difficult to explain…I…"
He exhales heavily and closes his eyes tight in frustration.
Curious, I step closer and place my hand on his chest. The rhythm of his heartbeat is frantic and sporadic, I must calm him.
"Take your time Kai, what is it?"
"I have to fix this Ebony," he seethes out and opens his eyes. The fire within them burns bright with resolve and fortitude.
"Even though Cole says it's not my fault, I still feel responsible for all of this. I have to talk to the rest of the Kunoichi especially my sister."
He tries to go around me to leave, but I halt his advance with a firm hand.
"Even the bravest of lions would not enter a den of lionesses whose scents were hostile. Though I have calmed them somewhat, it is still not wise to approach them just yet. Dinner is almost ready; when everyone is together…we shall see how things play out."
He looks at me in confusion then dips his head to see the palm of my hand settled over his heart.
His much larger black-gloved hand rises and covers mine.
"Ebony, so…you're not angry with me?" He asks quietly and lifts his head to capture me with his eyes once more.
His expression was apprehensive yet encouraged and I step even closer to him.
"You bared no ill-will although your method of confrontation was stupid…I am not angry. You still have a chance," I say in a soothing undertone.
Instantly, a smirk appears and the flames in his smoldering golden-amber eyes ignite.
"I still have a chance? That's good…I wish dinner was over, so I can hear what you have to say," he voices quietly and leans in more, his gaze flickering to my lips as he licks his.
Understanding his intent, I back away from the fire before I am burned, and turn my face to the side letting my fringe of hair shield my flushed visage from his view.
"Tell your brothers that the Kunoichi have calmed down and to use their words carefully so not to cause any more trouble."
I swiftly leave Kai's room and shut the door behind me. I lean heavily against it and try to quiet my racing pulse.
He almost stole another kiss from me, I thought as my breath quickens.
Am I…am I starting to fall for him?
Mistress, you already fell.
"Ebony," I'm startled from my internal conflict when I hear Kai's voice from behind me. Although the barrier of the door was still there, his voice carried through it and caressed my ear.
"I'll meet you on the deck after dinner…I look forward to it."
I right myself quickly and briskly leave the Ninja's side of the ship.
A deep androgynous chuckle resounds throughout my mind.
Silence you hermaphrodite!
If anything Oblivion laughs harder.
(Thirty minutes later, dining room 6:42 P.M.)
Alright, this isn't too morbid, I thought as I sipped my glass of sweet tea diligently.
I was wrong in my assumption to the resemblance of this atmosphere being that of a wake; no…this is the funeral itself.
Ayane was sitting on my left while Lloyd was on my right at the end of the table. Nya was next to Ayane and Sasha was sitting on the right of Sensei Wu who remained stationed at the head. Cole occupied the seat to the left of Sensei across from Sasha then Jay, Zane, and finally Kai across from me.
The echo of the silverware and soft chews of our mouths are the conversing techniques we've decided to utilize this evening.
I sneak a glance at Ayane to see her eating a spoonful of the hamburger stew we had both prepared. She glances up from her plate to peer at Zane across from her.
The white ninja seemed to sense he was being watched and lifts his eyes to meet Ayane's only for the blonde to avert her attention to her plate once more.
I give a subtle sigh at Zane's despondent expression and turn my gaze to the spiky-haired man in front of me.
(Did you relay my message to them?) I mouth wordlessly as I take a small bite of my cornbread square.
He lifts his eyes from my lips and simply nods back.
Then why won't they say anything? We've all been consuming dinner for ten minutes now, someone has to say something if reconciliation can begin…
"Ane, can you pass the orange soda?" Lloyd questions from my right and I look at him first then to the table to locate the bottle of carbonated liquid.
Kai scoots the bottle closer to me to grasp and I reach for it.
"You shouldn't drink so much of this otōto," I say with displeasure as I untwist the cap and take hold of his ice-filled glass.
"Why not it's good," he answers with a shrug while I pour some in then give it to him.
"Just because it's good doesn't mean it's good for you," I counter sternly and he cocks an eyebrow at my response.
"Hey, you didn't fill it up!"
"That's right I didn't."
"But, you're supposed to fill it up!"
"Keep complaining and I'll pour it right back inside the bottle."
He narrows his maroon burgundy eyes and I glare right back. After a moment, he looks down at his half-filled glass in a huff.
"…If you let me drink the rest of the bottle, I won't ask for anymore for a whole month."
"Give me your glass back Lloyd—"
"Okay, I'm sorry!" He hastily interrupts and downs his soda in seconds.
My brow creases as I look at his plate.
"Don't just eat the cornbread and chicken, the stew is healthy and full of vegetables, so make sure to consume the entire bowl."
"But, I don't like potatoes," he grumbles whilst stirring his stew with his spoon in discontent.
"You eat French fries," I clarify slowly with a hint of exasperation.
"So? What's your point?" He counters easily, unbothered by my growing aggravation.
"…They're potatoes Lloyd."
My otōto shakes his head and begins to eat his breast of chicken once more.
"They're not cooked the same."
Why is he like this when he eats? I was never a finicky eater when I was an adolescent; I just consumed what I was given and was appreciative.
"Yes, one is cooked in grease and saturated fat while the other is marinated and seasoned to add flavor while it is boiled."
Lloyd takes another bite from his chicken and slides the fork out of his mouth quickly. He then turns to me with a nonchalant look.
"Again, what's your point? Potatoes are still nasty when they're cooked this way."
"There…are potatoes in it," he mimics with a sly grin.
The beginnings of a headache throbs against my temples, but I hold unfaltering to my emotions as I wordlessly take Lloyd's bowl of stew and patiently remove the sliced potatoes from it.
Ayane's giggle sounds from my left and I cut my eyes to her acidly.
What the hell is so funny?
"I'm-I'm so sorry Ebony, it's just that…you…"
Ayane could not finish her sentence however as she begins to laugh outright. Soon Kai joins her then everyone else…
The laughter is loud and robust all at my expense.
If this is the start of reconciliation for everyone, I have only one thing to say…
"Go to hell, all of you."
(Two hours later…)
I step out into the crisp night air and inhale deeply. I peer up into blanket of stars as they surround the moon in its entirety.
I walk towards the center of the deck and halt near the mast.
The remainder of dinner was much more tolerable after my escapade with Lloyd. Though it wasn't much Ayane had begun to converse with Zane and the other Kunoichi followed her lead. After dinner was finished, the Ninja had volunteered to do the dishes to my surprise and to the others as well.
Forgiveness will come, but at its own pace…
The question is…will I be around to see it happen?
I focus once more upon the glorious white orb and close my eyes as I feel the stirring in my blood.
Lord Diablos will summon you soon Mistress, during the lunar eclipse he will call for you to take your Trial.
Yes…I know, but first I must speak with my father.
I need to purchase Travelers Tea, but—
We are too far from any villages that sell the mystical brew, but we are close to something better. Something we can use in substitution for the Tea.
What is it Oblivion?
Yggdrasil's Citadel, it serves as a gateway, a portal, to not only the Underworld, but to all the Realms.
Where is it?
It is not too far from our location, however to get there we'll have to traverse the dense woodlands of Ramza for it stands deep inside the forest.
A forest…Yggdrasil's Citadel…? Is this why you wanted me to speak to Kai?
The Ninja of Fire is knowledgeable about such terrain though I am confident in your abilities Mistress you will need his guidance to reach your destination.
No Oblivion, it feels like I'm using him.
The spirit of the sais chuckle cruelly before replying.
Using him? My dear Mistress by asking for his aid you will be killing two birds with one stone.
…I don't follow your logic.
Haha, think of it this way then…by being alone with him for a few days you'll find out how deep your feelings for him are as well as have someone beside you when you confront your father. I could feel your troubled heart…you wanted someone to accompany you, do you not…and who better than the one who wishes to claim it.
I place my hand on the smooth chrome-colored post and lift my eyes to the moon once more. I relish the feel of the cool breeze against my face as it tousles my hair with soothing care.
I turn around and see the man of my thoughts as he exits the Bounty and joins me in the center of the deck.
For some reason…his eyes burn the brightest during the dark of night. I don't understand it…
"Dinner went pretty smoothly despite the obvious tension in the beginning. You and Lloyd really broke the ice," he voices with a smile.
The tenor of his voice is so wonderful…when have my feelings changed and should I accept them?
"That occurrence was not premeditated," I say gently, "Lloyd was being his usual stubborn self when he eats."
Kai chuckles and the winds decide to tousle with his hair as well, making him look even more handsome.
I hope he'll come with me and not try to stop me.
"Yeah, but still…you were amazing. I can see you being a great mother to Gabriel."
"Kai, the reason I asked you to meet me is…"
He reaches up and moves my fringe of hair away, tucking it securely behind my ear. His hand then cups my cheek in a tender touch.
I search his golden eyes for a moment before I begin to speak.
"My Trial will be upon me soon, but before it comes I wish to speak with my father. I want to know the entire story about him and my mother. I want answers now just in case I don't live through whatever Lord Diablos has in store for me."
Kai's hand falls listlessly from my face and I see his slack jaw expression.
"Kai please, I want you to come with me…to find the portal to the Underworld. I…I need your help."
His dumbstruck expression fades being replaced with a hard frown and narrowed eyes.
"Ebony, you cannot confront Garmadon. Listen to me, I know what he's like and—"
"I will go with or without you Kai," I interrupt with a clipped tone.
It's a stalemate as we glare heatedly at each other.
I don't wish to argue with you, please just come with me.
Kai releases a growl as he pulls me to him in a hug and I cling desperately to him.
"You're not going to die in your Trial. I'll die first trying to save you before I let that happen."
"I'll come with you to find this portal and confront your father, but if he tries anything…I'll kill him."