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Chapter Eight

Rika screamed as she saw it come. Rune turned quickly but not quick enough. He flew across the air, wand in hand. He landed with a thump across the room. Dazzle gasped in horror at what was before her. It was a giant spider! It it was twelve times larger than any of the scorpion bio-monsters. It was black and yellow and it had the tail of a scorpion. It was covered with spider webs, hides and carcasses of dead bio-monsters, and slime that oozed out of it's flesh. It's faceted eyes were blood red and poison dripped from it's pinchers. Rune stood up, rubbing his neck. Thankfully, the monster had not bitten him. Rune clenched the wand and stared at the beast. Dazzle gazed back at him.

" What IS it?" Dazzle demanded.

" It's some sort of mutation!" Rune said. Rika gazed at him.

" It's UGLY!" Dazzle said. The monster roared in anger. It jumped at Dazzle. She quickly leaped out of the way and threw her slashers. One stuck in to the monster's thick hide while another came back to her.

" Rune! Do some magic!" Rika cried. Rune began to chant.

" Nafoi!" he screamed. The monster was struck by a blast of fire. The monster screamed in pain, then roared in fury. It charged Rune. Dazzle grabbed Rune and pulled him out of the creature's way. It screamed, angered that it had been deprived of it's victim. It turned quickly and hissed. It struck with it's scorpion tail, barely missing Dazzle as she leaped out of the way. Rika dashed in and plunged one of her claws in to the spider's eyes. Screaming, it sent Rika flying. Dark green blood poured from it's wounded eye. It's good eye flashed red, mad with pain. Quickly, it spat acid at Rika. Rika leaped out of the way but some of the acid touched her skin. Screaming in pain, Rika collapsed to the ground. The spider screamed in triumph as it leaped to kill her.

" NO!!!!" Dazzle cried. Rika closed her eyes and braced herself. Just then, a scream echoed through the tower. It wasn't Rika, it was the spider! Rika opened her eyes and gasped. The spider was two feet away from her, writhing in agony. Rika saw why. A woman was on the spider's back! The woman had the ears, teeth, wings, tail, and claws of a dragon! The woman's claws were sticking in the spider's back. The woman ripped and scratched with a vengeance at the spider's back. Rika was quickly pulled to her feet and dragged out of the way. She looked and saw Gryz.

" What's going on?" she asked.

" Later!" Gryz said. Dazzle leaped with her remaining slasher and her sword and dug both in to the spider's back. The spider screamed with every sash, desperately trying to get her attackers off her. The spider's blood covered the floor. Rune chanted quickly and the monster was struck by lightning. Screaming, it collapsed to the ground, still kicking and moving. Then, after a few seconds, it stopped. Dazzle pulled her weapons out of the monster. The woman yanked her claws out of the spider's flesh. She gazed at her bloody hands and wiped them on the carcass of the monster, disgusted. A black wolf approached them.

" Well done! Though it was incredibly stupid. What gave you three the idea to attack a spider that size?" the wolf said to Rika. Rika gazed at the wolf, speechless.

" Oh! I beg your pardon. I forgot to introduce myself. I am Fenrir. This charming woman is Daystar. Nan told us you were going to save Chaz Ashley. Is that true?" the wolf said.

" You must be Ancient Espers!" Rika exclaimed.

" Indeed. We wish to assist you in this venture," Fenrir said. Rune approached them, holding the Psycho Wand.

" Why would you help us?" he asked. Fenrir was about to answer, but stopped when he got a cold look from Daystar.

" They just do, you got a problem with that, Shorty?" Dazzle snapped. She gazed down at Rune, causing him to shift uncomfortably.

" What Chaz wouldn't give to see THIS," Rika thought. " We have no time for squabbling! We must hurry to Kadary if we are going to save Chaz and Hahn!" Rika said, out loud. Daystar nodded.

" We must go at once!" she said. She began to chant and everyone was teleported outside of the temple.

" Why can't you do Ryuka?" Gryz asked.

" Never been to Kadary," Daystar said, bluntly.

" Aiedo? Zema? Mile?" Daystar shook her head at all of those town names.

" Nayal?" Daystar froze instantly at the sound of that town's name.

" I have never been to Nayal! NEVER!!" she yelled. Her reaction shocked everyone. Except Fenrir. He nodded in agreement.

" Let's go! We have no time!" Dazzle said. She stopped. " Could we just pass Termi this time?" she asked. The shadow passed over her eyes again and her voice caused Rika to shutter.

" What is it with you and Termi?" Gryz asked. Dazzle didn't answer.

" We have to visit there, to get more antidotes. I used the last one for my leg. You can wait for us on the outskirts of Termi...," Rika said. Grandfather Dorin nodded. Dazzle smiled at the idea.

" Let's go!" Daystar said. They walked to Termi and while Dazzle waited for them, they entered the town. Rika entered the tool shop while the other waited outside. As they waited, a man approached them.

" Excuse me! You were here earlier, am I right? Who is that woman that was with you last time? Is her name Dazzle?" the man asked.

" It is! How do you know her?" Gryz exclaimed. The man smiled.

" We go way back. Could you bring this message to your friend? She's lucky I didn't catch her here the last time! Tell her to watch her back! Tell her 'Edwin' sent it," the man said. He then turned and walked away. Gryz and the others were very quiet. When Rika had exited the tool shop, they told her what the man had said.

" Let's ask her about it!" Rika said. They found Dazzle sitting on a rock. She was cleaning her slasher and she smiled when she saw them.

" Back so soon?" she asked.

" Dazzle, do you know a Edwin?" Rika asked. Dazzle shuttered. She was silent for a few minutes. She then looked at Rika.

" Yeah, I know him," she answered.

" What's going on?! Why is he threatening you? What did you do?" Gryz demanded. Dazzle looked at him.

" You really want to know?" she asked.

" Yes!" Gryz snapped.

" Fine. It happened about five years ago. I was a young, amateur thief. I traveled to Termi to see the statue of Alis Landale. When I got there, I met a man named Edwin. He was a thief and kinda good at it. But, he wasn't perfect, like how I am today. He recognized me from a wanted poster in Mile. He came to me and asked me to help him with a theft of a laconian shield. He planned to steal it and sell it. I agreed to help. I should have known it at the time, but the only reason he wanted my help was to take the blame if he got caught.

"That night, we snuck in to the house. He was prowling around looking for the shield. I was by the door, being the look-out. I merely stood there while Edwin did all the robbing. Edwin, being an idiot, wasn't being careful and he broke a lamp. Dropped it on the floor. The owner of the house, an old man, came out of his room and saw Edwin. Before I could say anything, Edwin took out a knife and threw it at the man. I demanded to know why he did that, and Edwin just shrugged and said that the man shouldn't have come out. I said that we were robbing the man's house and that it was HIS fault the man came out. After all, he dropped the lamp. I then said we should use some monomate before the man dies. Edwin said he didn't care if the man died and that he intended to kill him anyway. The man would have seen that the shield was gone and hired a hunter to find it. Angry, I demanded that Edwin use some monomate. He only laughed. I got angry. I could not believe he would murder an old man.

"So, I ran outside and called for help. I screamed and yelled that a thief had broken in to the house and had attacked the owner. Edwin ran and vowed to get me for it. I then used monomate on the owner. Neighbors came running and I pointed in the direction that Edwin ran. The man lived. I know it sounds weird. You know, me turning in Edwin because he had thrown a knife at the man. I just don't believe in murdering those who can't defend themselves. He was an old man! He wasn't armed and I doubt he could use a weapon! The only type of people I kill are those that can defend themselves. Such as those soldiers that attacked us when we were trying to get in Kadary. Edwin obviously remembers me," Dazzle said. No one spoke. Dazzle stared at Gryz.

" You happy now?" Rika said.

" I guess," Gryz said, sheepishly. Dazzle stood up.

" Let's go! We still have to save Chaz and Hahn!" she said. Everyone nodded. They headed towards Kadary.

" Now that we have the psycho wand, we can save Chaz and Hahn and teach Zio a lesson!" Rika said.

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