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Chapter Ten

Darkness covered Kadary. The sky was starless and the town shadowy. The only light came from the torches that surrounded the temple of Zio. A group of shadowy figures crept through the town, dodging behind buildings. One of the figures bumped in to a trash can and cursed.

" SHHHHH!! I can't take you anywhere!" one of the figures hissed.

" Gryz! You will get us caught!" another whispered.

" If he hasn't already," another said.

" Shut up Shorty. Don't be so pessimistic. I am the greatest thief in the world," the first figure snarled. The shadows snuck closer to the temple. One of the figures stepped in to the light radiated by the fire. It was Rune.

" If you're so great, why didn't we sneak in earlier?" Rune asked.

" Think about it, moron. Why not sneak in when they are busy with the ceremony? Daystar has told me that, traditionally, they always sacrifice precisely at Midnight. It's 9 o' clock. We have three hours to sneak in, save Chaz and Hahn, and kill Zio and Questar. All the while, they'll be distracted! I've learned not to go busting in. That's how we got in trouble last time," Dazzle snapped.

" We?" Rune asked.

" Shut the heck up and move," Dazzle said, her patience snapped. She shoved Rune and ran quickly to the temple door. Dazzle reached to open it but her hand was flung backwards. Zio had moved the force field! It surrounded the whole temple. Rune took out the Psycho wand and removed the force field. Dazzle pressed her ear against the door and listened. She pulled out a weird shaped wire from a pouch on her belt. She began to pick the lock. The rest of the group crouched by her, their weapons ready. She opened the door and motioned for silence. At the far end of the room was Questar and Zio, oblivious to their presence. Zio and Questar stood in front of a clean stone table which had small cracks at the edges, to drain the blood spilled. Rika shivered at the thought. Soldiers stood around the room, all standing at attention. No one spoke except Questar, who was chanting something. A huge statue of Corrosion had been dragged out from Corrosion's temple and set before the stone table. Fiaco stood by Zio. Dazzle motioned for them to sneak closer. She clutched her slashers and inched her way towards Zio and Questar. Daystar was behind her followed by Fenrir and Rika. Rika grabbed Rune and pointed. Chaz and Hahn were being dragged to the stone table.

" LET GO!!!" Chaz yelled as he kicked the soldier that held him. Screaming in pain, the soldier grabbed his knee. Another soldier went to assist him. They dragged Chaz, who fought viciously all the way.

" We've got to help them!" Rika whispered. Dazzle slammed her hand over Rika's mouth and watched Questar. Questar turned slightly and looked around. They froze as Questar's eyes roamed. Finding nothing, Questar went back to chanting. Dazzle waited for a few seconds until she was sure Questar was no longer listening for them. She then began to inch her way closer. Suddenly, Questar stood and pointed for Chaz to be put on the stone table. The soldiers obeyed.

I don't believe it! He's throwing away custom!! a voice said in their heads. At first, Rune was surprised. Then, he remembered that Daystar was an Ancient Esper and had telemental powers.

Isn't this kinda stupid? Questar is an Ancient Esper too! Rune thought.

He may be an Ancient Esper, but I shielded our thoughts from him. He could probably break the shield if he knew it was there, but, he wasn't expecting an Ancient Esper to be helping you, Daystar answered as she stared at her accursed brother. Dazzle nodded and inched closer. Soon, she was so close, she could slit Zio's throat. She would have, if Questar had not spoken.

" Great Corrosion! Come to me!" he yelled. The statue's eyes began to glow.

What is it you want? it said.

" Zio wants the Profound Darkness revived in exchange for this life!" Questar said. Zio couldn't help but notice that Questar spoke his name very sarcastically.

It shall be done, Corrosion hissed. Questar took out a jeweled dagger and raised it to kill Chaz.

" No, you don't!" Dazzle yelled as she leaped up and brought a slasher down on Questar's back. Hissing, Questar turned around and glared at Dazzle, who smiled impudently.

" Kill her!" Zio screamed. The rest of the group leaped up and went to Dazzle's defense. Daystar leaped between Chaz and Questar and hissed.

" I will not allow you to harm him!" she growled. Questar stared. Then, he smiled menacing.

" Sister! What a surprise! I didn't know you would be here!" he said, dangerously pleasant. Daystar narrowed her eyes. Rika leaped behind Daystar and cut Chaz loose.

" Go! He is mine!" Daystar hissed. Chaz nodded and ran to help Hahn. Rika stood by Daystar, unsure what to do. " Go!" Daystar said, very forceful. Rika nodded and ran. Questar glared at Daystar. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Chaz's back. Quickly, he turned and slammed Chaz in the back. Daystar roared with rage and leaped at Questar, knocking him down. She then ran to make sure Chaz was okay. Questar leaped to his feet, eyes glowing red. Fiaco and Zio stood next to him.

Where is my sacrifice? Corrosion asked, sounding impatient.

" What are we going to do now, great Questar?" Fiaco asked, very sarcastically. It was the wrong thing to do. Questar whirled around and grabbed Fiaco. Then, without another word, he slammed Fiaco on the stone table and stabbed him. The statue roared and the ground began to tremble.

" DAMN!!" Daystar cried as she looked towards Questar. Corrosion had his sacrifice.

Far off, in space, Rykros began to tremble. The Silence Temple was shaken violently. Some of the walls to the Strength Tower caved in. Le Roof knew instantly what happened.

At Algo, a giant portal opened. Inside it, a heap of dead rotting mass began to twitch. A heart beat, slow but steady, began to echo through the darkness. The heart beat began to speed up. Short, wheezing breathe could be heard. The breathing began to grow steady and the creature stood up. It smiled wickedly and gazed at Algo. The portal began to close. A bright flash of dark light flew out of the portal just before it slammed shut. The energy divided in half. One half went flying towards Dezoris. The other went to Motavia. To Kadary.

Back on Motavia, the ground shook violently, then instantly stopped. Everyone gazed around, surprised.

It has been done, Corrosion stated. Everyone was instantly hit with a terrible feeling. Rune fell backwards, while Rika shivered.

" The Profound Darkness is alive," Rune whispered.

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