[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Chapter Nine

It was the day of the sacrifice. Zio's men had been preparing all day. The sacrifice hall, on the bottom level, was being made ready. Questar stood and watched as Zio ordered his men around.

" You want me to sacrifice them both, right?" Questar asked. Zio nodded.

" When will the sacrifice be?" Zio asked, after a few minute's silence.

" Tonight, when the moon is up," Questar said, then walked away.

" Sir! Do you really think that Corrosion will revive the Profound Darkness?" Fiaco asked, carrying some candles and black drapes.

" Moron! Of course! He as the power. Go back to work!" Zio snapped as he kicked Fiaco. Grumbling, Fiaco went back to work. In the tower, Chaz and Hahn were growing very worried.

" Where are they? Shouldn't they have rescued us by now? Zio must have been telling the truth!" Hahn cried. Chaz stared out the window.

" They can't be dead. They just can't be!" Chaz said. He gazed down at the town. At such a high altitude, the view made him kind of dizzy. He gazed at Hahn, who had buried his head in his knees. Sighing, Chaz gazed back down at the town.

" Lovely view, isn't it?" a voice hissed. Chaz whirled around and saw Questar staring at him from the door. His eyes were hard. Hahn cringed as Questar walked towards them.

" Who are you? Why do you want to kill us?" Chaz demanded.

" I only want to kill YOU, Chaz Ashley," Questar hissed as he smiled viciously. His fangs glistened. Quickly, he leaped over and grabbed Chaz by the back of the neck. Chaz stood perfectly still. Questar's claws tickled his throat. " Vengeance is so sweet," he hissed in Chaz's ear. Questar's voice was so cold it caused Chaz to shiver.

" What have I done to you that you want revenge on? I have never seen you before in my life!" Chaz managed to say. Questar chuckled.

" No, you wouldn't be able to remember, would you? Well, I have no intention of revealing anything to YOU. So, all I will allow you to know is that it has something to do with when you were a baby," Questar said as he released Chaz's neck. He then walked out the door and slammed it. His horrible laughter echoed through the tower. Hahn stared at Chaz.

" That guy gives me the creeps," he said. Chaz nodded in agreement.

The group arrived at Aiedo. Grandfather Dorin was to stay at Chaz and Rika's home. They dropped him off and headed for the cave. Dazzle, who had carried Grandfather Dorin all the way to Aiedo, lead the way along with Fenrir. As they marched through the cave, the bio-monsters stared at them from behind boulders. Not one attacked the group, which made Dazzle nervous.

" Why won't they attack? I smell a trap," Dazzle said. Fenrir nodded. When they reached the end of the cave, they were horrified at what they saw. There were at least 40 soldiers there, waiting for them to exit the cave. Rika stared in terror, while Dazzle smiled like a demon.

" We've been waiting! Master Questar told us you would return, though Zio swore you drowned. I guess you must have nine lives, like a cat! Well, you've all run out of lives!" the leader soldier, a man with a long sword and flashy armor, laughed. The soldiers laughed along with him.

" We can't survive THIS battle! There's just too many!" Gryz exclaimed. Rune looked at him.

" We've got to!" he snapped. Dazzle giggled.

" How many do you think my slashers will kill with just one throw?" she asked. Before anyone could answer, she threw her slashers. Screams came from the soldiers and five fell dead. Dazzle caught her slashers and frowned, disappointed. " I could have gotten more," she said, unhappy.

" Try try again!" Daystar said as she leaped at the soldiers and began to slash them. Fenrir followed her.

" Yep! Try try again!" Dazzle agreed as she threw her slashers again. Gryz shrugged and followed their lead. Rune began to chant.

" NAFOI!!!" he yelled. Several soldiers got caught in the blast of fire and were torched.

" You call THAT magic? THIS is magic!" Daystar yelled. " FIRESTORM!!!" A huge blast of swirling fire shot down from the sky, incinerating four soldiers. Rune grunted in anger. He did not like being outdone.

" Gee, Rune! You can only do that when Chaz's helping you!" Rika exclaimed, awed. Rune mumbled something about HIM being the great Lutz then continued fighting.

" What's going on out there?" Chaz exclaimed. Hahn leaped to his feet and rushed to the window.

" Where?" he asked.

" By the tunnel to Aiedo! I saw Firestorm!" Chaz exclaimed.

" Could it be...," Hahn began.

" I think so!" Chaz said, happily. He looked at Hahn, who smiled brightly.

Back at the battle, Rika was busy tackling three soldiers who seemed to think she was an easy target. Beside her, Dazzle was fighting a soldier, sword against sword.

" Hey girlie girl! Wanna go for a date?" one asked.

" Go back to the mall!" another mocked.

" Don't break a nail!" a third one said.

" Go back to the kitchen!" the one fighting Dazzle said. Dazzle narrowed her eyes and gritted her teeth.

" In my time, I have heard people call me a monster, a jerk, and even a two faced rat. I can tolerate that. But no one, and I mean NO ONE, talks to me like that! IT MAKES ME MAD!!!" Dazzle screamed. With extreme quickness, she be-headed the soldier before her. She then leaped at the other three and did the same. She kicked one of the heads, sending it flying in to an incoming soldier. " Sheesh! It's nothing to lose your head over!" Dazzle exclaimed. She looked at Rika, and they both laughed. Fenrir and Rune were also side-by-side.

" My my! These people need a better leader! Such sloppy tactics!" Fenrir said. The Captain grew red in the face.

" I will not accept that from a mangy bio-monster!!!" he yelled. Fenrir growled and leaped at the Captain. The Captain found himself lying on the ground. Fenrir was on top of him, growling.

" To set things straight, I am not a bio-monster. I am an Ancient ESPER!!" he hissed. The Captain's eyes grew big. He tried to grab his sword, but his hand didn't make it. Wiping the blood from his teeth, Fenrir kicked dirt on the Captain's corpse and went to help Rune. Rune had a bloody lip and was being beaten by ten soldiers, who were ganging up on him. Fenrir dug his claws in to the back of one soldier and turned to Rune.

" Does his majesty, the mighty Lutz, need some assistance?" Fenrir asked, smiling. Rune coughed up some blood.

" Some assistance would be appreciated," Rune managed to say. He was hit again. Fenrir leaped up and bit in to the arm of the soldier who just hit Rune. Angry, Rune began to chant. " GITHU!" he yelled, instantly slaying all the soldiers around him. Fenrir stared at Rune for a moment.

" You know, you're kinda good. For an Esper," Fenrir said. He then ran off to fight some more.

" Thanks," Rune grumbled. Suddenly, a soldier slammed him from behind. Rune lay on the ground, dazed. When he managed to regain his senses, he saw a soldier about to drive a sword through him. before this could happen, Dazzle leaped in and drove a sword through him. She stood over the soldiers body and looked at Rune.

" You okay?" she asked, sounding worried. Rune stared at her, startled. Dazzle seemed to realize what she just did and quickly frowned. " It's not that I cared! I just didn't want to have to drag your dead body around!" she said. Dazzle looked completely embarrassed. She quickly turned and walked off. Soon, not one soldier was left. Daystar smiled and wiped the blood from her claws.

" That felt good. Now, for Questar," she said. At the mention of her brother's name, Daystar mellowed out a bit. She walked towards Kadary, not speaking another word. Dazzle daintily stepped around the dead bodies and gazed at Kadary.

" Time for a rematch, Zio," she said as she smiled viciously.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]