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Tomorrow Is Another Day

Chapter Nine

"I think she's waking up!" Four people leaned over the body on the small cot.

Noah slowly opened her eyes. She saw the faces of Alis, Myau, Odin, and her uncle. She looked around and saw that she was in the throne room of the palace of Paseo. "What happened?"

"We won!" Alis told her. "Soon after you collapsed, we defeated the being."

"'We'?" Odin smiled. "Noah, the truth is that Myau and I didn't hold out much longer than you did. Alis did most of the work on her own."

The teenager blushed. "You know that's not true. I don't know where I'd be without your help."

Noah suddenly remembered. She turned to her uncle and said, "Where were you when we came here? This room was empty!"

He sighed. "I'm sorry, I must have been possessed, body and soul, by evil." He looked at the four heroes. "You rescued our world just in the nick of time! If you had come any later, it might have been too late. We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

The governor turned to Alis. "There is something you should know," he told her.

"What?" She looked confused.

"Alis, your father was once the king of Algol. The Dark Castle has been destroyed, Lassic killed..." Alis' eyes grew wide. "Do you, Alis, wish to ascend your father's throne and become the Queen of Algol?"

Alis gasped. "Yes! Yes, of course, anything to preserve my family's history."

"Good!" The governor was beaming once again. "You are now Queen of Algol!"

* * * * *

Noah sat at the top of Baya Malay. Now that the monsters had disappeared, Alis had worked to make the tower her castle and home. The new queen had told her friends that they were welcome at any time, but Noah knew that she would be leaving soon.

She thought of the events of the past years and considered the future. Tajima wouldn't let her stay with him, claiming that she could do so much better than his small cave. Her uncle wanted her to stay with him in Paseo, but she didn't want to live in the big city. And then there was Odin...

Almost on cue, she heard the familiar footsteps behind her. "Palma is an amazing world, isn't it?"

She smiled. "Yes, it is. So many forests, and oceans, and...It's very different from Motavia."

"I know it is." Odin looked uncomfortable. "But I'm sure you'd be able to adjust to living here..."

"You want to know if I've thought about what you said the other night." She turned around to face the huge warrior. "I have thought about it. I've thought about it quite a lot, actually."

He didn't say anything, but she knew that he was waiting for an answer. "I've decided that I can't go with you. I want to set up a permanent home somewhere, a 'place to call my own', if you will. And although traveling around Palma with you does sound exciting, I'm afraid I need something a bit more stable."

Odin did his best to mask his disappointment, but he knew that the esper could see right through it. "It doesn't have to be that way, you know," he started. "I could settle down, see about getting my old property back in Scion. And I would do it, too."

Noah smiled, but it was a sad, sympathetic smile. "I know you would, and I'm flattered. But you wouldn't be happy, and I don't want to prevent you from doing what you want to do."

He looked down. "I guess I'm not going to convince you."

She shook her head. "I'm sorry, but I really can't go with you."

"I suppose I understand. But where will you go?"

"I don't really know yet. I may go back to Motavia for a while. I can stay with my uncle until I decide what I want to do."

He nodded. "When are you leaving?" he asked.

"I don't know that either."

"Will you ever come back to Palma?"

"Maybe." She knew that once again, her answers weren't very satisfactory. "I'm going to go inside now and get some rest," she said, standing up.

"Wait!" He stopped her. "Just watch the sunset with me, we've never seen it from here before."

She agreed and sat down next to him. They didn't say anything more, but just sat in silence, watching Algol sink below the horizon.

* * * * *

Noah sat in her room until she was sure everyone was asleep. She scribbled a short note to Alis, gave it to one of the guards, and left Baya Malay. I was never good at good-byes, she thought to herself as she made her way to Camineet. She planned to go to Gothic and leave on the Luveno that night.

"Where are we going?" Hapsby asked her.

Noah started to say "Uzo", but on impulse, she told Hapsby to go to Skure instead.

"We are heading for Skure on Dezoris?"

She paused before answering. "Yes."

Noah tried to sleep on the spaceship, but her thoughts kept her awake. What am I doing? she asked herself. She couldn't explain it, but somehow she was drawn to the icy planet. Even though she had lived in the desert for most of her life, there was something about the wind and snow that excited her, something that made her feel exhilarated and alive.

The underground tunnel was no longer populated with monsters because of the defeat of Lassic and the Dark Force, so Noah had no problems entering Skure. She headed to the hospital on the far side of town to see about staying for the night until she could collect her thoughts.

The nurse escorted her inside and set her up for the night. "Is there anything you need?" she asked.

"No, thanks, I'll be fine," Noah told her.

The nurse sighed. "I'm glad that the monsters have disappeared, but now there's nothing for me to do here. No one ever needs to be healed or cured, but those are about the only things I know how to do."

"I'm sure you could find another line of work," Noah tried to reassure her.

"I doubt it." The nurse shook her head. "I came to Dezoris because I thought that my healing powers could be of more use than they were on Motavia. Now, though, I'm feeling so...wasted."

"You're from Motavia?" She nodded. "That's where I grew up, too," Noah told her. "And what do you mean by 'healing powers'?"

The nurse looked around cautiously. "Don't tell anyone, but I'm an esper. Healing techniques were the first spells I learned and mastered, so I decided to use them to help people."

Noah's eyes widened. "You're an esper?"

She looked nervous. "I knew I shouldn't have told you..."

"No, it's okay." Noah took a deep breath. "I am also an esper."

"Really?" A smile spread across the young nurse's face. "That's wonderful. What are you doing her on Dezoris?"

"To tell the truth, I don't know yet. For some reason, I just feel drawn to this planet. There's something about the mystery of it that intrigues me."

She nodded. "I know how you feel." She stuck her hand out. "I'm Eva, by the way."

"My name is Noah." She felt a little uncomfortable. "I don't know what to say, I've never met another esper before, other than my parents and teacher."

"There are some others living here in Skure. And I know of others on the other two planets."

"My teacher told me that we are a dying race," Noah said. Eva nodded. "I want to help, but I don't know what I could do."

"More and more people are forgetting their esper heritage," Eva said. "I grew up with four siblings back in Sopia. Out of the five of us, only my brother and I still practice magic."

"It's almost as if they were ashamed of their abilities."

"Espers are sometimes looked down upon," she told her. "That's why I've done my best to tell only a few people here. It's hard being 'different'."

Noah sighed. "There must be something, anything, we can do. I can't just sit here and watch the art of magic die before my very eyes."

"I know how you feel, but I doubt that there's anything to be done. Everyone has gone their separate ways, forgotten their roots. There's nothing holding magic together anymore. People just don't seem to care as much as they used to."

Eva would have continued with her little speech, but she noticed that Noah had stopped listening and was deep in thought. After a few minutes with no response, Eva gently nudged her. "Noah, are you okay?"

"Yes, of course, I'm fine. Just something you said..." she answered.

"What? What did I say?"

"Something about the espers going their separate ways. What if, somehow, we could unite all of the espers? Bring them all together so we could all appreciate magic?"

Eva shook her head. "That's a wonderful idea, but I'm afraid it's impossible..."

Noah was excited now. "Maybe it isn't so impossible. You said that you knew some other espers here and on the other planets. Those espers probably know other espers. If we follow that chain, eventually we'd be able to reach most of the espers of Algol!"

Eva thought about this. "You do have a point. And I haven't seen my brother in quite some time; this would be a very good reason to go back to Motavia..." She smiled. "I suppose we could try."

Noah returned the smile. "Excellent, the spaceship I took here is probably still outside, you can leave in the morning."

She looked confused. "Aren't you coming with me?"

The smile turned to a frown. "No, I'm afraid not. It's just...well...I can't go back. I can't go to Motavia and I can't go back to Palma either."

Eva didn't understand her, but she decided not to press for details. "Then it's settled, I'll leave tomorrow. Meanwhile, here are the names of the other espers in Skure." She scribbled on a scrap of paper and handed it to Noah. "While I'm gone, you can contact them and tell them of our plans."

Noah took the piece of paper. Although there were only two names on the list, it was a start. Soon there would be others, and the espers would thrive for the first time in a long, long time.

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