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Chapter Three

" There's the camp!" Rika whispered as she pointed. Dazzle crouched next to her, fingering her slashers. She looked up and grinned.

" You stay here. I'm going to sneak in. Don't worry. They don't call me the master thief for nothing!" Dazzle said. Her face shone with excitement. She quickly leaped up and was gone. Rika blinked in wonderment. It was as if Dazzle had disappeared! Shaking her head, she watched the camp. Inside their tent, Chaz and Hahn chatted quietly. Gryz, on the other hand, just stared out the tent flap. Outside, the soldiers talked.

" Fiaco said we're going to kill the Motavian," one commented.

" I think he said we're going to use our swords to kill it. Easiest way. Though it's kinda messy. But, at least we know it's dead. After all, if you chop the head and he's dead," the other said.

" Chop the head, he's dead! That rhymed! Hahaha!" the first said. They both began to laugh. Chaz gazed at Gryz.

" We've got to do something!" he said. Suddenly, Chaz grew silent. He gazed around. " You hear that?" he quietly asked the others. Dazzle quickly popped up from under the tent's wall.

" Tents can't keep thieves out!" she said as she winked. " Who do I get out first?" she asked.

" Gryz! They're getting ready to kill him!" Chaz whispered as he eyed the soldiers. They were sharping their swords. Dazzle nodded. She grabbed one of her slashers and cut the ropes. She then shoved Gryz out the same way she came. She managed to get him to Rika. Rika handed Gryz his axe.

" Wait here! I'm getting the rest!" Dazzle said as she once again disappeared. Gryz gasped, surprised. He turned to Rika, who shrugged. Inside the tent, Chaz and Hahn waited for Dazzle's return. Fiaco had returned and found Gryz gone. He and the rest of the soldiers were searching for Gryz. Chaz winked at Hahn as they were interrogated.

" Where is he? You know where he is! You were in the same tent!" Fiaco said, his voice quivering with rage. Chaz stared at him, calmly.

" Maybe we do, maybe we don't! What's it to you?" Chaz said. Hahn stifled a chuckle. Fiaco regarded them for a while.

" We'll find him! Don't you worry! When we do, he'll be as lifeless as YOU when Zio is done with you!" he hissed. Chaz didn't reply. Fiaco stormed out of the tent. Hahn gazed over to Chaz.

" Where is this Dazzle you talk about?" Hahn asked, quietly.

" Right where I should be," Dazzle answered. Chaz and Hahn stared in fascination. Dazzle shrugged and moved up to cut them loose.

" Aha!" Fiaco screamed as he leaped at Dazzle. Dazzle quickly turned and jumped out of Fiaco's sword range. Fiaco charged and slashed at Dazzle. She grabbed her slashers and threw them. Luckily for Fiaco, another soldier entered the room and got the blades instead of him. Fiaco grabbed Chaz and Hahn, who kicked and yelled, and dashed out of the tent. Dazzle grabbed her slashers that were buried deep in the other soldier's flesh and chased Fiaco. Gabi and Dolic saw her and ran after Fiaco. Dazzle screamed to Rika and Gryz, who came charging over from their hiding place. All the soldiers ran after Fiaco.

" What are they doing?" Rika exclaimed as they chased the kidnappers.

" They're going to go through the passageway to Kadary! They wouldn't dare go to Aiedo with Chaz and Hahn. People would know they were kidnappers," Dazzle answered.

" Kadary? That must be where Zio is! I heard they haven't taken down his temple! He must be living in it now!" Gryz snarled. Rika nodded. Ahead of them, Fiaco was having great difficulty controlling his two captives.

" Gabi! Dolic! Grab these two MONSTERS!" Fiaco yelled as Chaz dug his teeth into Fiaco's arm. Screaming, he threw them down. Gabi and Dolic grabbed them. Dashing through the passage, bio-monsters watched their every movement. Fiaco glanced back nervously and watched their pursuers. He motioned to the soldiers and they knocked Chaz and Hahn unconscious. Then, they dashed down a corridor and hid behind rocks and in dark crevices. Dazzle, Rika, and Gryz ran right past them, though Dazzle did seem to glance uneasily down the corridor. Fiaco quietly giggled. When he was sure that the pursuers were far away, he reorganized and continued on their way to Kadary. Gabi was feeling rather confident. He was at the rear and he was carrying Hahn. He began to laugh loudly, singing too. Fiaco turned around quickly. He tried to silence Gabi but he ignored him. Suddenly, Gabi not only stopped singing but walking as well. He stood still for a moment. Then, he fell face-first into the dirt. A slasher was sticking out of the back of his head. Fiaco grabbed Hahn and ran. Dazzle ran up and pulled the slasher out of Gabi's head. Then, she gave chase. Fiaco and his companions ran towards the town of Kadary. The guards of Kadary saw Fiaco and his problem. They sounded an alarm. A full squad of soldiers, twenty in all, came charging from the temple and dashed out to help Fiaco. Rika gasped in horror and gazed at Gryz, then to Dazzle. Gryz was shocked and his confidence was smashed. He gazed at Dazzle. She showed no sign of defeat. Her eyes sparkled and her face shone with determination. As Fiaco got in the town, the squad attacked. Dazzle skidded to a stop and threw her slashers. They soared through the air, killing one soldier while wounding another. By the time her blades came back to her, they were dripping with blood. Two had fallen victim to the blades while three were wounded. Gryz swung his axe and decapitated a soldier. Rika drove her claws through a soldier's chest.

" We're not going to make it!" Rika yelled as she clawed a soldier's face. Dazzle grabbed her by the collar and lifted her, just as a soldier leaped. His sword stuck in to the ground just where Rika had been a second before. Then, Dazzle brought her slasher down on the soldier. SWOOSH! Dazzle stared Rika in the eyes. When in battle, Dazzle was a completely different person. She was savage and her eyes were so cold that Rika felt herself shutter. It was as if bloodshed made her crazy.

" We ARE going to make it!" she said. Setting Rika down, she threw her slashers and killed four more soldiers. Gryz killed two more with his axe. Rika sliced another one while Dazzle used her slashers as knives. Soon, only four remained. Gryz and Rika stared in surprise at the brutality Dazzle showed when she fought. The remaining four fled to Kadary in fear. Dazzle wiped the blood from her weapons and nodded towards Kadary. " Let's go!" she said. When they got into the town, they found the streets pretty much deserted. People stared at them through windows. Dazzle went to the tool shop while Rika and Gryz tried to get information. They went to the bar, where all of the soldiers hang out. It was dangerous but Rika was figured it was worth the risk. Inside, there wasn't a single soldier. Only the bar tender. Rika approached him.

" What do you know about Zio?" she asked. The bar tender seemed to wince.

" Him? You want to know about him?!" he asked. Rika nodded.

" He's responsible for the kidnapping of two of my friends. I want to save them!" Rika answered. The bar tender regarded her.

" All right. He's now living at the top of his temple. He had it remodeled. It's almost like his old home but much more complicated. If he has your friends, I'll bet it has something to do with that monk that visited the temple. He's there now," the bar tender said.

" Monk? Have you heard of Corrosion?" Gryz asked.

" Yes. He's some powerful dragon that got created back at the first battle against Dark Force. Zio wants him to grant some favor. That's all I know," the bar tender said. Rika thanked him. They then went to go meet Dazzle in front of the temple. When they were inside, they were shocked. The walls and roof was gold, decorated with gems of all colors. There was tapestries everywhere and pillars. There was an alter draped with black curtains and there was a stain glass window above them. There was a balcony that was about three feet from the wall and wrapped all around the room. There were doors on the balcony and stairs heading up to towers and other places. On the ground floor, in the far left corner, was stairs heading upward to the balcony. Dazzle motioned to the stairs. As they walked to it, Rika felt as though she as being watched. When they got to the stairs, Gryz tried to walk up. He was instantly knocked back.

" A force field! Just like the one Zio had guarding Nurvus!" Rika exclaimed.

" Indeed," a new voice said. It was cold and distant. Rika and the others whirled around and saw a monk come from behind a pillar. He was cloaked in black cloth. He approached them. He looked up at them and Rika saw horrible glowing red eyes watching them.

" Who are you?" Gryz demanded. The monk laughed. It was very unpleasant.

" What does it matter? If you know my name or not? You'll die just the same!" the monk said. He began to walk towards them.

" If it doesn't matter, then why not tell us?" Dazzle said as she clenched her slashers. The monk stopped walking.

" If it will ease you, I will tell. I am Questar! So, you are friends of Hahn and... Chaz Ashley!" the monk spoke Chaz's name with a hiss. It was as though he knew the name and hated it. He pulled his hood down and gazed at them, through green eyes with red tint. Dazzle breathed in sharply. Gryz clutched his axe and narrowed his eyes.

" So! YOU are behind all this! Zio really is dead!" he said.

" I am most certainly not!" a familiar, hated voice said. Right above them, on the balcony, was Zio. He looked the same. He was still wearing black robes and he glared cruelly at them.

" ZIOOOO!!" Gryz screamed in anger. He tried to charge up the stairs but was knocked back. Zio laughed. Dazzle smiled.

" So he's the 'Great Zio'! He's nothing but a creep on steroids!" she said. She winked at her companions.

" Who is this dear lady?" Zio asked.

" None of your business!" Gryz snarled. Dazzle looked at Gryz. Smiling, she looked back at Zio.

" The name's Dazzle, the greatest thief in the world," she said. This time, she didn't bow. Zio regarded her. Questar approached them.

" Enough! I will not let you interfere!" he said. Rika and the others got in their battle positions. Questar laughed. He began to chant a few words. Suddenly, Dazzle, Rika, and Gryz were surrounded by fire. They were thrown backwards and hit the wall. Rika tried to get up but darkness quickly surrounded her. In a few seconds, she was unconscious.

High in one of the towers of the temple, Chaz was regaining consciousness. Beside him, Hahn was still knocked out. Chaz felt the lump in his head. He gazed around him and whistled. He was in a huge room. It was furnished with a bed, a dresser, and a table. Chaz got to his feet and walked over to the window. He caught his breath as he gazed at how high up he was. The temple had grown a lot. It was twice the size it was before. Chaz felt dizzy. He sat down and shook his head. Hahn moaned as he woke up.

" W... where are we?" he asked as he gazed at Chaz.

" I think we are on the top floor of the temple in Kadary!" Chaz answered. He looked out the window again. Hahn walked over.

" We're so high!" Hahn said, his voice full of awe. Chaz looked at him. He smiled wickedly. He began to gather his spit. Before Hahn could protest, Chaz spit out the window. Below, Fiaco was walking towards the cafe. He was hit by the spit wad. Screaming angrily, he began to beat the soldier next to him, blaming it on him. Chaz laughed aloud. He turned to Hahn. Hahn regarded him, disgusted. " Spitting out of windows?" he asked. Chaz shrugged. He sat back down on the floor. Fiaco's raving could still be heard, even at such high altitude. After a few minutes of hearing Fiaco's uncontrolled swearing, Hahn finally began to laugh. Smiling, he looked at Chaz.

" I suppose that was rather funny," someone said. Chaz leaped up and gasped. Zio was in the doorway, smiling wickedly. Chaz narrowed his eyes.

" YOU!!!" he snarled. Hahn was by Chaz, glaring at Zio. " What do you want?!"

" I just came to tell you that your friends won't be saving you any time soon. I've had Miss Dazzle and the rest tied and thrown into the ocean!" Zio laughed. Chaz stared at him.

" I don't believe you!" he snarled. Zio laughed.

" That doesn't matter! They are dead and you can't do anything about it!" Zio laughed. " Oh! By the way, Dazzle wanted me to give you THIS," he added as he pulled a blue bandanna out. Chaz caught his breath. Zio threw the bandanna at Chaz. Then, he walked out the room and locked the door back up. Chaz picked up the bandanna.

" He must be lying!" Chaz said. He studied the bandanna.

" But what if he's not?" Hahn whispered.

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