In this chapter I will introduce Pawe. He comes off as a jerk in Sain's eyes, but he will prove to be a strong ally eventually. I guess I tried to incorporate as many different types of people with spiritual powers as I could, and this is one of them. Eventually we'll also met Angels, Slayers (as discussed in the intro chapter), mediums, and demons. For now we will see Pawe's Shaman ability and we'll see a bit of his story. And I tried to get Mina and Sain closer because I'm trying to make them a couple pretty fast because its pretty close to a year since they met, and its necessary for the next part of the chapter. Well anyway, enjoy. Oh and the Eagle spirit will turn out to be someone important, but I won't spoil it. However I will say that there is a reason why it knows of Sain and Mina, so its not like its talking about a prophecy or anything.


Chapter 8
It was the last days of our sophomore year and we had 3 days left before our finals. Mina and I traded in our hanging out for getting together to study. She often scolded me because I didn’t pay attention and was distracted too easily.

It didn’t take much to distract me. One time I was trying to balance my pencil on my finger, and tried too see how long I could get it balanced. She smacked me for ignoring her and I apologized rather harshly because she didn’t need to hit me. As we went over our history review, I caught a glance of some paper clips. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to get a rubber band and curve the paper clip so that I could make a bow out of it. Using the other paper clips as arrows, I quickly launched one across the library, and hit an unsuspecting student who didn’t seem to know what hit him. Mina just glared at me and didn’t say anything. I knew I had to start paying attention or else. I bet she felt like she was taking care of a child.

The first two days of studying went rather smoothly, and it was the third and last day before exams already. Mina had the patience to get me indulged into studying again and I really appreciated it as I cursed myself for having a short attention span. It was five in the afternoon when I decide to call it quits.

“I’m so tired of studying, I feel dizzy.”, I told Mina.

“You’re right; it has been a pretty intense day. Three days of constantly studying is a bit too much, even for me.”, she said smiling.

I grew to love her smile now, especially because it was contagious and made me feel like smiling. But being me, I dared not show her that expression; it would be creepy.

“So what do you say we head out and go somewhere?”, she asked me.

“Let me guess… you want to go to the arcade.”, I said in a tone that told her I already knew what she was thinking.

“N-no… I mean… okay fine we can go somewhere else, but it better be fun,” she said very demanding.

“Well we can go to a small renaissance fair that is being held here in the public library later today”

“Will there be a lot of people?”, she asked.

“I guess,” I shrugged, not sure of the answer myself.

“But I kind of want to do something more relaxing today,” she started thinking for a bit “Oh I know, how about we go on a picnic. I’ll make some lunch and we could head out to the park or the hill and just talk while getting some fresh air. I heard about how people’s moods enhance when they spend some time in nature.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s only when you go to a forest. I don’t think a little grass is going to have the same effect as being in the wilderness,” I mocked.

“Well if that’s the case, then lets go to a forest and have a picnic there?” she said gleefully.

“What kind of picnic is that? Isn’t the point of a picnic to be out in an open field?”

“Jeez, you don’t have to be so technical about everything. Besides, it will be fun,” she said and began dragging me off, causing me to almost lose my balance.

We walked over to the house she was staying and kindly asked the elderly couple if we could use their kitchen. They were pretty nice people; they hadn’t had any kids of their own, so maybe that’s why they accepted Mina with open arms. We made a couple of sandwiches, but that was it. There wasn’t anything else we could use since they didn’t have much around that we could take on a picnic. As a way to thank them, Mina decided to bake cookies for them before we left and I decided to help out.

I grabbed the bag of flour and opened it, but lost my grip and it fell on the counter. Luckily it didn’t spill all fall out, but my face and hair was covered in flour. Mina saw what happened and was laughing hysterically.
“I didn’t know you could be such a klutz,” she said as she continued laughing.

I grimaced, grabbed a handful of flour, and threw it at her. She suddenly stopped laughing and just stood there staring at me with an angry look, and this time I started laughing like an idiot. She got her revenge by throwing an egg at me, while I retaliated by spraying water on her. This went on for a bit until we realized that we were wasting ingredients and that we were using someone else’s kitchen, so we returned to our task. We cleaned up our mess and eventually finished baking the cookies. Mina decided to take a shower seeing as how we had dirtied ourselves, but I had to wait. We were going to stop by my house next so I would have to tolerate the wretched egg smell until I got home. We left the cookies inside a basket on the table and we apologized to the couple for making a mess, and quickly headed our way.

Our next stop was at my house were we decided to stock up on more things to take on our ‘picnic’. We grabbed some fruits along with bottled water and some other snacks. She thought it was childish that I had animal crackers, but in my defense dad was the one that bought the groceries.

“So where is your father?” she asked.

“He’s probably working. He goes to work at ten and doesn’t come home until around six or seven.”, I told her.

“It sure doesn’t seem like you two see each other often,” she said a bit worried.

“Ever since we moved, he’s been working harder than before. He said he wants to make sure that he can always provide for me, but I told him that it’s alright if he works less,” I sighed. “I guess I can’t complain since we both do our own thing. And it’s not like we don’t ever spend time together. Every Sunday we talk and go to the cemetery to visit mom. It’s like our special day together.”

“I see, so that’s why you are always busy Sunday mornings. That’s great; at least you and your father get along well.”

By the time we left my house it was already six, so we decided to hurry up and go to the nearest forested area. We walked around for a bit, and I felt more and more relaxed as we walked further in. I guess those people were right, nature does lift people’s spirit. There were trees and bushes of different shapes and sizes everywhere. I was amazed as it felt we had walked right into the Garden of Eden. After a bit more walking we found a clearance that was surrounded by trees, so we decided to eat there. I was laying down the blanket when all of a sudden I heard Mina’s stomach rumble. She bit her lip and smiled.

“Sorry, I haven’t eaten since breakfast. I was too caught up in studying that I forgot to eat.” she explained.

“Don’t worry about it, just make sure to eat properly, otherwise-“, I began to say when all of a sudden my stomach grumbled as well.

“You were saying?” Mina mocked and giggled.

“Shut up.”

We began to eat our dinner and talked about many different things. I gave her some facts that I knew on how to survive in the wilderness, and she told me about a field trip she took one time to a forest in England. I was eating a piece of sandwich and some of it got on my cheek. Mina grabbed a napkin wiped my cheek clean.

“Let me get that for you,” she said while wiping the mayonnaise of my cheek.

“What are you doing?” I said extremely shocked that I even stood up.

“What, I’m just wiping you clean. It’s not my fault you were eating like a pig,” she said.

“Yeah, whatever,” I replied as I took a seat.

I was still startled at what had just happened, but Mina didn’t even seem fazed by it. Maybe I was just making too much of a big deal. She wasn’t very good at socializing, so perhaps she didn’t understand what was acceptable and what wasn’t. In the end I would have to teach her, but deep down I didn’t mind so much. I watched as she began eating, and was captivated by her grace and gentleness, as if radiating from her being. I shook my head and quickly grasped a hold of the situation. There was a thought that had been in my mind for a while now, and at that moment I got the courage to ask her, even though I wasn’t sure what to expect.

“Hey Mina, are you going to go back to Germany?” It had been crossing my mind as the end of sophomore year got closer.

“Hmm, the contract does say that I have to return to Germany near the end of June so that I could do a report on what I learned here in America,” she looked kind of sad, but suddenly cheered up. “But since I’m a US citizen I can come back here once I’m done,” she finished and then continued,” but only if I feel like it.”

She turned her head away from me and pouted, almost as if to tell me that she wouldn’t come back as a punishment to me.

“You would really come back?! That’s great!” I said in a loud tone that was very unusual for me.

At that moment she turned her eyes towards me and looked shocked. Perhaps she wasn’t expecting that kind of reaction from me and I suddenly felt embarrassed.

“Wow, you sure sound excited,” she said nervously. I just turned my head and didn’t say anything.

“But there is one problem though,” she continued. “I don’t have anywhere to stay in here. So even if I wanted to return, I don’t think I would be able to. I would ask the elderly couple if they’d let me stay with them, but I don’t want to impose.”

“They really seem to like you; I’m sure they wouldn’t mind. And besides, if you need a place to stay, you can always come stay at my hou-“, I was about to finish the sentence when all of a sudden we heard a loud eagle screech in the sky.

It was flying above where we were, and I swear that it literally looked in our direction. Mina and I were both captivated by it and we kept staring during its flight. Eventually it started to swoop down to rest when I felt my arm being tugged by Mina.

“Come on, let’s go see where it landed,” she said excitedly.

We walked faster and faster around the area we had seen the eagle swoop down. We came into a smaller clearing, and the eagle was perching on a branch. It went down and we thought it was going to go on the ground, but it was at that moment when we realized there was a person standing in the middle of the clearing, as if waiting for the eagle. In response, the eagle lowered its speed and landed right on the person’s arm. We were both intrigued at what we had just witnessed. Mina walked up to the person while still tugging on my arm, so I was forcedly carried over to where the person stood. That person turned around and we quickly realized that it was a guy that appeared to be our age. In fact, I bet we had even seen him in school.

He was wearing black shorts with multiple pockets and a white t-shirt. He had a tan vest over his shirt, and it seemed to be pretty old. I’m not pretty tall myself, in fact I’m barely taller than Mina who is five foot four but this guy could easily have been five feet eleven inches, perhaps even six feet tall! We had to look up to see his eyes, and unlike most people around our age he had a pretty well defined body. His facial expression made it look as if he could crush us any second, and I got in front of Mina just in case that did happen.

“I didn’t think there would be anyone here,” he said in a voice that wasn’t as low as I would have thought. He turned around without saying anything, and then he began talking again. “My name is Pawe,” he continued, “I usually come here to relax. If you want you can continue watching; you seem to be impressed by this eagle here.”

“Yeah, it looks magnificent, what’s its name?” said Mina coming out from behind me. She didn’t seem scared at all. I was pretty shaken on the other hand, but it wasn’t Pawe who was causing my uneasiness, and that only made me worry even more.

“It doesn’t have a name. Ever since I started coming here it swoops down and talks to me,” said Pawe.

“It talks to you?”, Mina and I both asked at the same time.

“Yes, it talks to me. After all, it is embodied with the eagle spirit.”

This guy just introduced himself out of nowhere, and he was also telling us things that no other normal person would believe in the first place. Surely there was something off about this guy. And yet deep down I felt like we were meant to find him.

“Eagle spirit? Maybe that’s why we were so captivated by it before, Sain,” Mina continued as she snapped me from my train of thought.

“Wait a minute, you guys can detect spirits too?” said Pawe a bit confused and startled.

“Well… Sain can’t detect them as good as me, but yeah we can,” Mina explained.

I just stood dumbfounded. If anyone else was listening to this conversation, they would think we’re crazy or something. At one point I even felt like I was watching a movie or a play, but meanwhile Mina and Pawe continued to have their weird conversation.

“I’m glad. Now I have two less people who think I’m crazy. But I didn’t get your names.” asked Pawe.

“My name is Mina Daminski and this is my friend Sainto Daye. We were having a picnic a somewhere close,” Mina said while shaking his hand.

I was about to decline his handshake offer, but decided against it. This guy was easily twice my size and I didn’t want to be rude to someone like that. Besides, we were all weird so might as well get along together.

“Pawe, these are the two we have been searching for. Remember, they will need your help and you must be there to answer their call,” said a weird Godly voice not too far off. Where had that voice come from? Surely I wasn’t the only one that heard it since I saw Mina looking around as well. What was going on? Was it the eagle? Had it just talked? Everything just stopped making sense.

“Then I guess you were right, eagle spirit. It matches up, you said that they would both have something in common with me, and that one would be a beauty and the other would be a snotty troublemaker,” said Pawe while facing the eagle.

I suppose the snotty troublemaker was me, and I just made a tchh sound at the remark. But Mina and I were both lost, why would we need Pawe’s help? Would he help us pass our exams or something?

“I must go now, Pawe. I taught you everything I needed to teach you, and you must pass it on to them. Make your ancestors proud,” said the eagle as it began to lift off his arm.

Suddenly the eagle began to glow brightly and before it reached a high altitude, it disappeared out of sight. This was the first time I had seen a spirit and I was fascinated. I was still clueless as to what the spirit meant by “teaching us”. I really doubted it had anything to do with our exams which started tomorrow. This was rapidly turning into a sci-fi movie where nothing made sense, or where they tried to make sense out of nonsense.

“Hey, Pawe was it? What exactly did Tweety mean by ‘teaching us’?” I asked curiously. I was still having a hard time registering what had just happened.

“Well that is easy; I am here to help you develop your sensing ability further. Eagle spirit said it was necessary for what was about to come. It also taught me a pretty great technique as well, but I was told that the technique was only teachable to someone from my tribe”, explained Pawe.

I bet you guys are lost, but I assure you that you’re not alone on that one. Perhaps this is what happens when you study too much. Instead I decided to humor the situation a bit further.

“Okay but what did it mean when it said that you would aid us or something?” I asked still puzzled.

“That I am not sure of myself, but the eagle spirit did say that we would know when the time comes. Just empty all your curiosity and focus on the task at hand. Are you two ready for some training?”, said Pawe.

What kind of question was that? We barely knew this guy, and he wanted to train us for God knows what. I was ready anytime for some cameras to come out from the bushes telling us that it was all a joke.

“Sure I guess,” Mina sounded interested.

I grabbed Mina’s arm and pulled her away from the behemoth and began talking sense into her.

“Are you kidding me? You barely know this guy and you’re going to accept training for whatever purpose? You’re crazy,” I said trying to keep my voice as low as possible.

“Well you are right about that, but I don’t think Pawe is such a bad guy. At least he doesn’t seem like a bad guy. He kind of feels like you when I first met you.”

When she first met me I was a stupid jerk, so I didn’t have much faith in Mina’s “sensing”. But alas I couldn’t leave her alone; not with this guy anyway. I tossed all logic aside and decided to join in.

“Well…okay,” I said to Mina while being very unsure. Beside, how bad could it be?

Meanwhile she had other things in her mind.

“I guess it’s decided. We’ll train under you, Pawe. But first, can we see your technique? I’m really curious as to what it is,” she pleaded.

To be honest I was pretty curious myself, but I didn’t say anything. I did not want to sound like a little kid begging to see a magic trick.

“Fine I shall show you, but afterward you two must promise to come here when you are ready and train as hard as you can.”

“Sure, sure, we agree,” said Mina without taking my thoughts into consideration.

At that moment, Pawe closed his eyes and tried to focus. In the beginning nothing happened, and I thought it was stupid for the first two minutes. I was about to say something when all of a sudden a slight breeze came over the field and rapidly intensified.

“Spirit of the bear, come forth!!”, shouted Pawe and a loud bellow came from within the woods. A glowing bear figure materialized in front of Pawe and slowly started inhabiting his body.

I could feel a strong energy start to develop around this area and I had no idea what was happening. The air felt heavier as my lungs struggled to keep my body fueled with oxygen. I could barely open my eyes at this moment, seeing as how the breeze had turned into a gale of wind. The blades of grass were rushing past me and it felt as if I was getting multiple paper cuts.

Out of the corner of my eyes I could see Pawe standing just where he stood. His nails grew into claws, his teeth turned into fangs, and his body mass increased slightly. Then even his stance changed into that of a bears. It seemed the ritual was completed since the breeze that had come out of nowhere subsided and before us stood Pawe in that menacing bear-like stance.

“This is called spirit possession, the first level of us spirit shamans. Each spirit gives us a different power, but at my level I can only call on the spirit of the bear since it’s most compatible with me at the moment. We gain heightened senses and extreme combat maneuvers that help us overtake any foe, just watch,” said Pawe as he slowly approached the closest tree next to him.

He got ready to launch a punch and then suddenly thrust his fist with all his might against the tree. There was a strong shockwave of energy that nearly took us off our feet, and I struggled to keep my balance. We were surprised to see the enormous tree reduced down to size after Pawe managed to break the bark in half. He made it seem as easy as breaking a twig. Once he was done displaying his power, he closed his eyes again and immediately his body returned to normal size.

We were both bewildered by what happened in front of us, but deep in our minds Mina and I knew we had taken a training offer we couldn’t refuse.