Chapter 10

Ana Bray passed through the Courtyard, her mechanical dog at her heels. "Happy Festival of the Lost, Eva!"

"Oh, Ana dear!" Eva called back and held out a small package. "I thought Archie deserved to celebrate the festival in style with his own costume this year."

Ana gasped softly with delight as she unfurled a tiny cloak. "Look at you, Archie! I always knew you were a Hunter at heart."

She bent to secure the cloak just as a Ghost came zipping in from the direction of the Hangar, a rage-filled chicken hanging off his shell.

Archie's cloak flapped over the Ghost's eye. Unable to see, the Ghost skipped and skidded along the floor of the Courtyard, landing in the abandoned pile of candy beneath the Ironwood Tree.

Colonel's beak shook loose on impact. She expertly bobbed and weaved around the candy, her pecking focused on the Ghost's eye.


Mechanical barks sounded, and among the candy wrappers, Immaru saw a flurry of feathers fly past. Eventually, the squawking faded into the distance, Immaru sat motionless until he felt the dog's nose nuzzle softly against him. Only then did the flustered Ghost emerge from hiding.

"Aww, look at that! Archie saved that little Ghost from Colonel's wrath! What a good little Hunter!" a Guardian cooed. Immaru watched in awe as every Guardian in the Courtyard simultaneously forgot about the candy, their attention devoted exclusively to the dog.

"Incredible," he mused with fascination.