[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Chapter Twenty-Seven

" Is this the way to where they are being held, Tundra?" Rune asked, quietly. Tundra nodded, slowly. He was covered in bandages and very weak but he had to come. He knew where Kyra and Rika were being held. Raja remained with the Dezorian President, helping with the defense plans. Yakkara had also remained, considering how he knew about Ancient Esper tactics. Well, that is what Rune told them. In reality, he thought they were too much a pain in the rear to tag along on such an important mission. Tundra lead Dazzle and Rune through the dark forest. The night sky made the forest even more foreboding and shadowy. As they walked, Tundra paid extra attention to everything around him. He was incredibly jumpy, though no one could blame him. After what he had been through, he had every reason to be edgy. According to Tundra, the thieves had tried to skin him alive. They weren't very successful only because the kitten had incredibly sharp claws and knew exactly where to scratch to cause the most damage. Tundra would speak no more of his ordeal and no one pushed the subject. They quietly stalked through the snow. Finally, they reached a clearing by a cliff shooting upwards. The thieves had carved caverns in the cliff side. Fires burned brightly, illuminating the camp. Tundra gazed about. He slowly slunk towards the camp. The others followed. Suddenly, Tundra ducked out of sight. Everyone quickly hid. A tall, filthy man walked passed the very spot where Tundra had previously stood. Another man, equally filthy, approached him.

" 'Ello, Jak! What'z new wit' yew?" the first man asked.

" Nuttin' but sum scratchees. Dang that thar Eeeesper Witch sure can fight!" Jak growled. " I dun tried to lay sum o' my charm on 'er agin and she cut me wit' her nails!" he said, irritated. The first man shook his head.

" What yew do tuh her for that?" he asked.

" Smack'd her 'round a bit. Didn't bother her much. She's a tuff one, she is," Jak growled. Rune growled. Tundra looked as though he was about to attack.

" What about th' freak? Yew know, the one wit' the bio ears?" the first asked.

" Nuttin'. I ain't touching her. I don't want anthin' to do wit' freaks like her! The boss's prolly gunna throw her to his beasties," Jak said as he spat. Tundra couldn't contain himself. He leaped and clawed at Jak's face. Jak screamed. He grabbed Tundra and threw him to the ground. He was about to crush the kitten's skull when Rune leaped to his defense. Dazzle shook her head. So much for the element of surprise. Soon, more thieves came running to help their comrades. Rune was outnumbered. He began casting spells but when he killed one, three more came. Tundra fought valiantly but soon the two were brought down. Finally, Dazzle had had enough. She walked in to view.

" STOP THIS IMMEDIATELY!" she screamed on the top of her lungs. All the thieves whirled and stared at her. She glared at them, threateningly. The thieves gawked and mumbled, staring at her. They immediately stopped their attacks and bowed before her. Rune and Tundra blinked, surprised. A large shadow fell over her.

" Long time no see, my dear," someone said from behind her. All the thieves gasped and dropped to their knees. Rune was forced to his knees. Dazzle turned, calmly. Behind her stood a monster of a man. He was huge, height wise and width wise. He obviously hadn't shaved or bathed in days. He had raven black hair and brown eyes. He wore a black tunic and pants. Around his waist was a brown belt made from bio monster hide. His vest and boots were of brown leather, most likely also from bio monster hide. The right side of his face was seriously scarred. Over his right eye was a black eye patch. The man slightly moved the eye patch, to get a better look at Dazzle. The eye was completely white. " My, my! You certainly have grown in to a fine young woman!" he said. Dazzle looked at the man.

" Hello, Lord Odd Eye," she said.

---------------------------------------

" Chaz! Are you allright?" Farsight asked, worried. The Ancient Esper guards threw Chaz in to the cell and locked the door. Then, they walked off. Chaz glared at the guards, then turned to Farsight.

" Yes, I am allright. Did you fix Wren?" Chaz said.

" Yes. I am fully operational again," Wren said as he approached Chaz. Chaz nodded. " How did your 'meeting' with the King of the Ancient Espers go?"

" I discovered something. He has one of the pieces to the Elsydeon hanging around his neck on a golden chain!" Chaz answered. " We must get it from him, then get out of this horrible place! We need it and I doubt King Levitain will be willing to give it to us. We must think of how to get it away from him!" Farsight quickly ushered for silence as an Ancient Esper guard walked by. He walked up to another guard and spoke to him, in their Ancient Esper tongue. The prisoners in the cells watched, terrified, as the two guards conversed with each other. Farsight narrowed his eyes.

" They use our language as a tool of intimidation! None of the other races understand what we say when we speak it so the guards use that. The prisoners don't know if the Captains are giving some horrible orders or not! The cruel monsters speak in front of the prisoners only to make them wait, frightened, in their cells!" he hissed, his voice as cold as steel. Chaz gritted his teeth.

" What is it they say?" Wren asked, listening to the guards speak in menacing tones. " It doesn't sound good..,"

" All they speak of is the weather. They speak of how hard the wind blows and complaining about how the ice caps are still increasing, even though they already passed their usual boundary. They now speak of how each other's families are. No orders at all," Farsight answered, disgusted. He turned to Chaz. " I cannot stand such cruelty anymore. I will help you..... but I must warn you. That will be next to impossible to accomplish...," Farsight said.

" Well, we must try! I will escape with the shard or die trying!" Chaz said. Wren nodded. Suddenly, a shadow fell on them.

" I think I can arrange that," someone said.

-----------------------------------

" You do not understand,"

" No, father. It is YOU who does not understand!" Daystar screamed at her father, her eyes burning red with rage. She stood before him, in her room. She had been forcefully escorted there and now she was furious. And she planned on taking all her fury out on her father. In her opinion, it was no less than what he deserved. In fact, she felt that he deserved a whole lot more. " You are going to kill Chaz!" Daystar yelled, accusingly. King Levitain stiffened.

" What happens to that vermin is none of your concern!" he bellowed at his unruly off-spring.

" What happens to that CHILD is ALL of my concern!" Daystar screeched. King Levitain glared.

" You are out of line!" he growled.

" And you are out of your mind!" Daystar snarled. " If you want to kill Chaz, you must kill me first!!" Daystar threatened. King Levitain winced. " What's the matter FATHER? Growing weak??" Daystar hissed. King Levitain raised his claw as if to strike her. " Go ahead! Strike! The return blow will be a Megid to your face!" Daystar snapped as she began to gather her magic. Her father hesitated. He glared.

" Daughter! Do not tempt me! My wrath will be far worse than what you expect it to be!" he said. Daystar narrowed her eyes, unafraid of her father. " You are foolish and young! And you are also helpless! All the other races shall be destroyed and there is nothing anyone can do!" he growled.

" Don't be so sure, Levitain!" someone growled. Suddenly the door burst open. There stood a white tiger Ancient Esper holding a large wicked looking sword with a jagged blade. He wore a blue vest and had a blue bandanna around his forehead. Behind him stood Chaz, Wren, and Farsight. King Levitain gawked, surprised. Noticing his hesitation, Daystar quickly rammed in to him. King Levitain was caught totally unaware and fell to the ground. Daystar leaped out the door. She motioned for them to follow her. Chaz peered down at the stunned monster. He quickly swooped down to grab the glowing shard around the Ancient Esper's neck. He grabbed it and pulled. King Levitain, his senses returning, quickly grabbed Chaz's small hands. Chaz cried out in surprise. King Levitain growled, his eyes glowing. Chaz jerked and struggled to get free. King Levitain easily held on. Suddenly, the white tiger leaped to Chaz's side and sunk his fangs in to the dragon's arm. King Levitain screamed in pain and released Chaz. Chaz jerked the necklace off of the blue dragon's neck and ran. The shard felt warm to his touch. He looked at the shard, then back at the white tiger Ancient Esper. He smiled, thankfully, at the Ancient Esper. " No time for 'thank you' Chaz Ashley. We must get out," the tiger said. They dashed through the halls, following Daystar. She skidded to a stop and shot a GiFoi at an Ancient Esper guard who tried to stop them.

" Where are we going?" Chaz asked.

" Back to the dungeon and down the secret passage I came in from! We can't go through the gate! We'd have to fight our way out!" the white tiger Ancient Esper said.Daystar turned sharply and quickly opened the door to the dungeons. When everyone was through, she bolted and locked it. Wren grabbed a heavy table and propped it against the door. Then, they headed towards the cells. There, they found other Ancient Espers helping the abused prisoners of King Levitain. None of the prisoners were very willing to follow the Ancient Espers. A Motavian backed away from a cat Ancient Esper who tried to help it out of it's cell. The cat, knowing that they didn't have the time for coaxing, grabbed the Motavian and slung him over his shoulder. Then he ran down the hall, to what appeared to be a dead end. Before Chaz could cry out, the Ancient Esper walked right through the wall.

" A fake wall!" Daystar exclaimed, interested. The tiger nodded.

" We must hurry!" he growled as he gazed back at the door they had bolted. " King Levitain has probably already summoned his guards!" he hissed. Daystar nodded. She gazed around at the frightened prisoners.

" Please! Hurry! We must get out of here before the guards come!" she said, aloud, so everyone could hear her. The prisoners peered at her, frightened. She looked about her. " Do not judge all Ancient Espers in the same manner as you would King Levitain and his followers. I can assure you that all do not think or act like them. Please, we must get out of here. I know you do not like it here. We are trying to get you out! That fake wall is your escape! Take it before it is taken from you!" she said, pleadingly. The prisoners stared at her, suspiciously. Then, one by one, they ran to the fake wall and went through it. Hoping that there was freedom at the other end. Daystar turned to Chaz, who stared at her. She flinched. She motioned for Chaz to go to the fake wall. Chaz looked in to her eyes, thoughtfully. He clenched the Elsydeon shard in his hand. Then, he went through the fake wall to safety. Wren followed him. Farsight looked at the fake wall.

" Daystar, you must tell him. He has as much a right to know about his past as you do yours," he said, without turning to look at her. Then he too went through the fake wall. All the other Ancient Espers went through, only two remained. The white tiger Ancient Esper and Daystar. Daystar sighed. The white tiger placed one of his paws on her shoulder.

" He is right, Daystar. You must tell him. Tell him so he may know the truth and not the warped words of King Levitain," the tiger said. Daystar looked at the tiger.

" Thank you, Strider. I will," she said. Then, she went through the fake wall and in to the unknown.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]