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Story 04 – The Unexpected (Part 2)

As time goes by, the hot air balloon they created together is finally away from the ground. No more forests in sight. No more mountains could be seen reaching the sky. Right now, all they could see is the ever-expanding horizon with the soft cumulus cloud surrounding them.

“Brr… It is starting to get colder…” Toyu said, shivering as he tried to warm himself.

“Of course. From the book I have read, the higher we are, the colder it will be.” Jun was unfazed as he spouts fact from one of his encyclopedias.

“I can make a small flame for you if you want it, Toyu!” Ryu offers her fire to Toyu, but Toyu shakes his head.

“Hmm… How about I hug you?” Ken suggests.

“Yeah! Let Ken hug you and you will all definitely feel warmer!” Hana adds.

However, Toyu politely shakes his head and declines. “T-this is just……… a-another new e-experience!” Toyu tries to fight the cold but to no avail, as he is still shivering.

“Quackkk. Hi there. Quackkkk.” Suddenly, from behind their hot air balloon, a group of big white birds greet the group of friends.

“OOOOHHHH!!! A group of funny looking birds!” Toyu feels excited, and suddenly forgot about the cold he felt earlier.

“They are called pelicans, Toyu.” Jun corrects Toyu.

“Oh, oh! I have read about pelicans before! They eat fish, right?!” This time, Ryu was the one to jump around lightly while wagging her tail.

“Quack! You are right, dragon lady! I am happy someone knows who we are! Quack!!!”

Just as the group of friends was chatting with the flock of pelicans, suddenly a strong gust of wind blew at them. The wind was quite powerful, but it was not enough to blow Toyu’s hot air balloon.

“Whoaaa what was that???” Toyu asked with a hint of excitement and fear in his voice.

“Quack!!! Lately, the weather has been really unpredictable!” One of the pelicans from the flock answers to Toyu’s question.

“I think I have read about this phenomenon in one of Jun’s books! If I am not mistaken, it has something to do with… global warming, right?” Ryu looks at Jun, who simply nods, giving his approval.

“Quack!!! We do not know for sure! However, if you are going to travel further, you might want to take the extreme weather change into consideration!” Another pelican chimes in as Ryu finished speaking.

“Well, that is all the information we can give you! Be careful, colorful friends!” With a friendly tone, the leader of the pelican flock starts to fly in another direction. As if giving a parting waving, the pelican waves one of its wings toward Toyu and friends.

“O-oh no, will we be okay???” Hana was the first one to panic, which is surprising even to Jun.

“Calm down, Hana. We will be okay, hopefully.” Jun tries to calm her down, followed by Ken hugging her tightly.

“That is right, everyone! No matter what happens, we will be able to pull through as long as we are together!” Toyu tries to lift everyone’s spirit. However, just as Toyu tried to lift the spirit, a shining bright light rips the sky and makes a very loud sound.

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