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Chapter Twenty-Five

Chaz slowly drifted back to consciousness. His head ached terribly. He tried to move but pain shot through him. So much pain that he closed his eyes and remained still. He felt a cold, damp, wind blow against his body and a foul odor reached his senses. He again attempted to open his tired eyes. They slowly opened. Chaz glanced around. He was in a dark, damp cell. The walls, roof, and floor were made of black rock. Chaz couldn't see well in the cell, for shadows covered up much of it. The cell was very filthy but no weeds grew in the cell, not even moss. It was as if nothing could. Chaz groggily sat up. He was incredibly sore and his body was hesitant to obey him. But, after a few minutes, his body gave. He gazed down and saw that he had been laying on a bed of hay. He looked about him and his eyes caught sight of a cell door. He walked to the door and peered out. To his surprise, he was surrounded by cells. And almost all of them were full. Palmans moaned in dismay. Motavians, usually strong willed, weeped with despair. Dezorians prayed and cowered in their cells. Chaz felt a lump in his throat.

" Horrible, isn't it? Our captors are monsters," someone said from in his cell. Chaz whirled. He glanced in to one of the shadow filled corners and saw Wren sitting on the floor. Wren looked at him, unmoving.

" Wren!!" Chaz cried. Wren gave no answer. Chaz approached and saw that he was turned off. He obviously wasn't the one who had spoken. " Then who spoke?" Chaz asked, confused.

" I did," another person said. Chaz felt someone place their hand on his shoulder. Chaz turned and gasped. Behind him was a golden eagle Ancient Esper. His feathers were a shining gold, though incredibly dirty. His eyes were an emerald green. He wore tattered clothes, which appeared to have once been orange and yellow. Around his neck was a locket on a gold chain. Chaz gasped. " You have nothing to fear. I am not a follower of the King. That is why I am here. I am against King Levitain's decision to destroy the other races. So, I was thrown in here to rott. The King has decided that I should spend the rest of my life here. And, considering that not one Ancient Esper has yet ever died of old age, it is a fate worse than execution," the golden eagle said. Chaz nodded. " I am Farsight, the Golden Eagle. And you?" the Ancient Esper said as he extended a claw.

" I am Chaz Ashley," Chaz said, slowly, as he gripped Farsight's hand and shook it. Farsight looked, surprised, at Chaz. Then he shook his head, his eyes full of pity.

" Oh my.... I feel sorry for you, Chaz Ashley. The King has a deep grudge against you. He blames you for Princess Daystar's disappearance!" Farsight said. Chaz gawked at the eagle. " I hear that she is the only heir to the throne now that Questar is dead, which is why King Levitian wants her home so badly. If she dies, there will be no one to take the throne if Levitian goes," Farsight said. Chaz stared at him, shocked. Farsight looked at Chaz, thoughtful. " She is again among us, though I hear she is not pleased. I wouldn't be, either. After what he said to her 16 years ago....," Farsight began.

" What happened? I heard something concerning a Palman.... What has this to do with me?" Chaz asked. Farsight stiffened. He glanced at the cell door.

" Something tells me you are soon to find out," he whispered. The sound of footsteps echoed through the halls. Silence descended over everyone. All the prisoners hid in their cells. Two guards, a giant Minotaur and a fox, approached Chaz's cell. Farsight ducked in to one of the shadowy corners. " Chaz! They come for you! Hide!" he whispered. Chaz refused to. He stood, tall and defiant.

" If they take me somewhere, Farsight, please do one thing for me. Reactivate Wren! He should have a repair kit on him!" Chaz whispered. Farsight looked at Chaz, sorrowful.

" You are a brave person, Chaz Ashley. Foolish, but brave. Please be careful. One wrong word to King Levitain and you will die. Count on it! He has no love for you and would be all too willing to kill you. Don't let your pride clog your judgment...," Farsight whispered. Chaz nodded. The guards opened his cell door and glared at him.

" Chaz Ashley! The King demands audience with you!!" the fox snarled. The Minotaur walked in and roughly grabbed Chaz. They dragged him out of the cell and locked the door. Farsight rushed to the door and watched as Chaz was dragged away.

" May Lifespark protect you, Chaz!" Farsight called. He watched until Chaz was out of sight and hearing range. He then turned towards the unmoving Wren. He leaned over and searched Wren for a repair kit. When he had found it he went to work repairing Wren, as Chaz had requested.

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Screams of pain and death echoed through the fields outside of Termi. The Dezorian Ancient Espers had charged the town while the Defenders ( as the Palmans and Motavians decided to call themselves) threw slashers and used techs on them. Many Ancient Espers were killed but it was but a small fraction compared to the size of the army. The Dezorian Ancient Espers learned a bitter lesson in that attack. They now knew that the destruction of Termi would be a lot more difficult than the destruction of Piata. The Dezorian Ancient Espers moved back a bit and started casting magic spells on the Defenders. Fenrir and Nan blocked as many as they could. A GiWat was send hurling towards a Motavian. Nan leaped in the way and shot a NaZan to counter it.

" Good shot, Nan! I just wish the Motavian Ancient Espers would get here!!" Fenrir said as he cast Legeon on a group of Dezorian Ancient Espers who were getting too close. A Hunter leaped up from the roof of a house next to Fenrir and threw his slasher with all his might. It dug deep in to the chest of an Ancient Esper. " Look out!" Fenrir barked as a slasher came soaring towards the Hunter. The Hunter leaped and the slasher struck him across the chest, scratching him badly. The Hunter fell from the wall. Fenrir grabbed the wounded Hunter and handed him to Nan, who ran him to the hospital. Fenrir turned towards the attacking army and growled. All the hair on his back bristled as fury swept through him. The Hunter's Guild Leader walked up to him. Fenrir turned to look at him.

" I have gathered many Motavians and Hunters who wish to go out in to the field. We wish permission to go," he said. Fenrir was surprised that the Hunter was asking permission of him. Fenrir peered out in to the field.

" I shall come with you. I need someone to remain in charge while I am out there....," Fenrir said as he looked around.

" I'll stay in charge," Nan said as she walked out of the hospital. Fenrir looked at her, stunned. " Go, Fenrir. I can do this," she said. Fenrir nodded. He climbed to the top of the fence and leaped down in to the field. He ripped and clawed his way to the main gate. He sunk his teeth in to the neck of a lion Ancient Esper and ripped with all he might. The lion screamed, then fell dead. Fenrir leaped over the body and stopped in front of the gate. He stood before the gate, panting and growling.

" You can't kill a veteran THAT easily!" Fenrir growled. He leaped at a bull Ancient Esper and ripped at his stomach.

" I'm going to clear the way so you can open the gate safely!" Fenrir barked to the Hunter's Guild Leader. The Guild Leader nodded. Fenrir turned. " Let's see what you think of THIS....," Fenrir hissed. His hair began to stand up. His eyes flashed a bright white. Then, he leaped in the air. " HOWLING HOLOCAUST!" he howled. The ground underneath him and around him uprooted, shooting upwards as blasts of white energy shot out of the ground. Ancient Espers screamed in pain as the blasts of white energy cut through them and incinerated them. Fenrir quickly turned. " Hurry! Open the gates!" Fenrir yelled. The gates flung open and the Defenders' army charged out to meet the Dezorian Ancient Esper army. Then, the gate was quickly closed and locked. Slashers soared through the air as swords and axes cut through flesh. Fenrir leaped to a Palman's aid as he battled a stag Ancient Esper. Fenrir sunk his teeth in to the back of the Ancient Esper. The stag jerked and tried to strike Fenrir. The stag raised it's weapon, an axe, and tried to bring it down on the Palman's head. Before he could, the Palman shoved a knife through the Ancient Esper's gut. At that moment, a war cry cut through the air. Fenrir howled in response. The Hunter's Guild Leader looked at Fenrir, surprised.

" What was that?" he asked.

" The Motavian Ancient Esper army is finally here!" Fenrir said, thrilled. As he said this, an army of Ancient Espers wearing green and yellow armor (the same colored armor as Nan and Fenrir) came bounding in to the fray.

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