Chapter 6:

Orpheus Yurike

Beyond Light

On the faraway town of Lyrena Pond lies a gigantic mansion owned by the prestigious Yurike family. Dr. Kenichi and Dr. Elizabeth own the mansion alongside their three children Orpheus, Marcus and Catalina. 

Ring Ring Ring. Ring Ring Ring. An exhausted hand goes to slap the alarm clock shut.

"Yawn. Welp, that's one less day before I die." He stumbles out of bed and looks at himself in the mirror. Orpheus is 14 year old boy, 5'4", fairly slender and meek, has glasses and a full head of messy brown hair. He dresses up with an elegant attire, usual black on white suit. and fancy shoes.

"Good morning Catalina, yawn. Big day today?" 

"I wish! Another day of studying and practicing Medical Threading for me. How about you?" replied the younger sister, similarly dressed in elegant attire.

"Pretty much the same thing. Although I'll let you in on a little secret."

"A secret? Tell me, tell me, tell me!" 

"I'm gonna sneak out tonight in search of the legendary Golden Frog, don't tell Mom and Dad! You know how they don't like us going out to the wild." 

"Big brother but isn't that the frog that can kill even the strongest Spirit Threader? Scary..." 

"That's only if you don't know what your dealing with and intake its poison. I know what I'm doing, trust me." 

"Just promise me you'll be back!" 

"I will, I will." 

"KIDS! You have 43 seconds to get down here." said a powerful male voice from the first floor of the mansion.. 

"EEP! Run!" said Catalina as she grabbed Orpheus' hand and ran downstairs.

"After we finish breakfast your Mom and I are leaving for Zimadra. A group of Spirit Threaders was found yesterday outside the Sacred Ruins. They say it's one of the most horrific scenes anyone's ever seen. Cryogenic frost burns spread across what little skin remained on their anemic flesh, their poor faces locked in horror and as pale as the Zimadra winters." 

"Darling, please... Can you please not be so graphic for the children." says Elizabeth Yurike as she stares daggers into him. 

"No! That sounds amazing, Dad! Are you gonna cure them?" excitedly asked Marcus. 

"Well... If we were to take the Evertrain we might not make it but a helicopter should be arriving shortly so... hopefully, we make it in time." 

"A helicopter? Daddy, can I go?" Asked the other excited daughter.

"Haha not this time sweetie. We'll be off for quite some time, you'll need to stay here and study your threading."

"Sir, the Helicopter has arrived." says the butler at Kenichi's side. 

"Right. Well, time to go. Orpheus, don't forget to continue your spiritualist training since you still can't manifest your spirit animal."

"You STILL can't do even that? Even Catalina can do that! When I was your age, little bro, I could already do this." A spectral green lacewing appears from his back and flutters about the kitchen. 

"Stop teasing your brother Marcus, we all develop at our own pace. You're doing just fine, Orpheus." said the mother as a spiritual swarm of weaver ants skitter and gather her things. "We have to go, mwah! mwah! aaand mwah!" The elegant mother kisses her children on the forehead and struts hastily towards the door on her high heels. 

"Goodbye." hastily replied the children.  As soon as the parents leave the home, Marcus quickly takes the chance to sit in his father's chair. 

"Seems like I'm man of the home now. Constance, bring me my morning milk, piping hot." 

"Right away Master Marcus." 

"Sigh." The sight of his brother was an annoying one yet he knew a small part of him would miss him when he's gone. 

"What are you looking at freak?" 

Well maybe not. 

After a full day of tedious chores, Orpheus grabs a whip made out of beautifully interwoven silk that's as strong as steel, grabs some fruits, medicinal ointments and stacks it all in a backpack. He removes his fancy clothing and sports on some very loose fitted comfortable clothing. 

"Catalina, I'll be going now, make sure Marcus doesn't get too full of himself okay?" 

"Mm!" nods the young sister. After a nice warm hug, Orpheus jumps out of the window, avoiding the glance of his staff and runs out into the Lyrena Ponds' wilds. 

He scoured the muddy ponds all night excitedly. Apart from the unrelenting mosquito bites, it was a perfect night for frog hunting due to the constant rain. The sounds of the rainforest always made him feel so alive. The gentle tapping of rainwater against the thick leaves of the towering trees, the symphony of croaking and chirping from his beloved little frogs and the crickets, the occasional monkey howl and the nocturnal songs of the birds. It was truly as if he belonged here.

"I wonder what Dad and Mom don't like about the forest." thought Orpheus to himself before the beautiful melody of the forest was interrupted by a gruff voice. 

"What are you gonna do about it, huh? Your parents aren't here to protect you freak." 

A chilling sensation ran up Orpheus' back being reminded of his brother's torment. He needed to find out what was going on and so he ran. He ran as fast as he could to this frightening situation. 

 "Please... Why are you doing this?" questioned a young girl, lying helpless on the floor. 

The young girl had a snake tail instead of legs, slitted eyes and fangs on her mouth. She was covered in bruises and blood was pouring from her mouth. Three teenagers took turns violently harassing the defenseless hybrid. 

"The monster's begging for its life guys, what should we do?" 

"I think we should put that thing out of its misery." 

"A freak like that will just kill us the first chance it gets." 

"WHAT ARE YOU ALL DOING!?" yelled out Orpheus with what little air he had left in his lungs. He immediately gets between them and the girl. "You need serious medical attention, we need to get you out of here." 

"Who is this guy? Don't you know that's a monster you see there?" 

"She's no monster you moron, she's a child." 

"Huh? Who are you calling a moron?!" One of the kids grabs Orpheus by his collar and throws him to the ground. The other kids start punching and kicking him in the ground. 

"Serves you right! Trying to save a monster! You're a disgrace." 

Blood started staining Orpheus' eyes. The melody of the forest now replaced with the violent thuds against his body. He wanted to muster the words, but his mouth could not produce the sounds, he thought to himself, "Why? Why is this happening? Who could be capable of this... That poor girl... I need to save her... I need to... I..." 

Orpheus' face was now stained with blood, mud, tears and snot. "I... need to save her... but... who... saves... me...?" His face, now expressionless, was laying in the muddy ground as he glances out to a hopping Golden Frog. "Ah... I saw it... before I died... What a beautiful creature... Maybe in my next life I can be like him... Free as a frog..."

"Hey, what's happening with this freak? Is this slobber around his skin? What is this?" 

"Whoa, he's glowing, step back." 

The shape of Orpheus begins to morph into that of a 4' tall frog with beautiful golden skin. An intense orange spiritual aura surrounded him and the other kids began screaming. 


The cruel kids ran away with poison seeping in their skin. Orpheus used what little strength he could muster to drag himself and his backpack towards the young girl. 

"Here... Put this on... It's... good... for... wounds..." These were the final words Orpheus said to the young kid before passing out. 

Several hours passed. 

"I think he's waking up mom!" said the young girl.

"Oh, darling come back! He's waking up!" 

"He is? My, what a strong will." 

"Where... where am I?" mustered out Orpheus. 

"Welcome, you're in our home. You're gonna be okay. Luckily we have experience dealing with Hybrids." 

"Hybrids...? What?" Orpheus glanced a bit of his reflection on a silver plate next to him. He wanted to freak out but was much too weak to do so. 'Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa, this is bad... Oh no, is that me? IS THAT ME? I mean I don't look half bad... NO NO NO NO. THAT'S NOT THE POINT. What am I? What happened? How am I gonna go back home now...' His thoughts continued spiraling on his current situation until interrupted by a hug from the slithering young girl. 

"You saved me! Thank you..." 

"Sweetie don't touch him! His skin is dangerous." screamed out the mother. 

"Huh? I'm all right." 

"Hmm... It's possible Jayleen's own venom has provided her with natural antitoxins... But you're mother is right, be careful. And you young man, you are the one who needs to be the most careful here. Your skin is exuding an extremely potent poison, you're very dangerous."

Orpheus was still barely holding consciousness. He thought to himself, 'Guess I can't go home any time soon... Not like this anyways... Sigh. I'm gonna have hell to pay by breaking Catalina's promise.' 

"Can I... stay here?" 

The parents looked at each other with concern... 

"I'll take care of him Dad! Look! He doesn't hurt me!" 

"Please stop touching him Jayleen! You don't know if it takes time to enter your bloodstream!" screamed the worried mother yet again, met only by a rebellious pout from her daughter.

"Sigh. You did save our daughter... I suppose but..." And those were the last words Orpheus heard before dozing off.

Years passed deep in the wilds of the Lyrena Ponds where Jayleen and Orpheus grew under two aspiring Sentinels. Jayleen's parents were powerful Spirit Threaders who frequently visited the Sacred Ruins of Juria to gather unique and exotic ingredients that only grow in areas rich with spiritual power.

"I've been thinking a lot lately Jayleen... What's the point of knowing how to cure someone's wounds? I want to be able to prevent people from getting hurt in the first place. I'm glad I came out here and found you and your parents. That day I found you, I had all the knowledge on how to cure you... But it was useless. I could do nothing but watch. I need the strength to be able to save people, not just the knowledge." 

"But you weren't useless Orpheus, you saved me! And you're plenty strong as you are now."

"It's not enough... I'm thinking of participating in the Spirit Threaders tournament in Tenmori. That should be a good place to start. It's a two vs two tournament so..." 

 "That's a great idea! You don't even need to ask! I'm gonna need to get stronger too to follow in my parents' footsteps y'know." 

Orpheus smiles and thinks about his own path in life... "I'm thinking of changing my name for now... At least until I can learn to shift back like you can."

"You don't need to shift back Orpheus, you look lovely as you are! That day you morphed into your new form was the happiest day of my life."

"The day I morphed huh? I think I'll go with that... Murph."