Alexa walked over to Duncan and pulled her to her feet. "Come on, you two, we have to hurry." Alexa said, "We'll get our stuff later."

Lee opened the door to the room they were in and rushed outside, quickly followed by the other four. What Duncan saw outside was most unusual. The dry, chilly Colorado air had been replaced by a thick, humid, and oriental atmosphere. Paper lanterns hung from the roofs of shops, and every once and a while, you could see a man or woman walking the dirt streets with a robe or dress.

The purple streaks of dawn in the sky had just appeared as the five approached the palace gates. It was something that Duncan would've imagined seeing in a postcard. A smooth whitewashed stone wall stuck out of the landscape like a rose in a field of daffodils. On top of it stood two men looking down at the scene.

"Chang! We have them, open the walls before the villagers come out!" Inga yelled.

One of the guards nodded and said something to the other one. In perfect synchronization, the two mirrored a form of numerous martial arts manuevers. At the same time, the forty foot tall, monstrous, white stone gate opened up, revealing a grand oriental garden with a large pagoda in the middle. As they walked on the stone path inbetween the various flowers and plants, Duncan first caught a glimpse of what Inga and Lee really looked like.

Inga, probably twenty one or so, had a long, pretty face, but wore her emotions were hardened and stern. A smile wouldn't escape her lips very easily, if one could at all. Duncan could sense that she and Lee shared a very strong bond, one that had been earned over time. Also, Duncan could sense that although Lee and Inga weren't related by blood, Inga acted as an older sister to Lee in more ways than one.

Lee was younger, around twelve, and was much more fun-loving and daring than Inga. She, unlike her older friend, was much more innocent and happy-go-lucky. As Duncan sensed, Lee had much less of a horrid past than Inga, but she had her troubles too.

The End

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