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THE BETRAYAL
by Cyberwolf and Gamer


Part Four: THE JOURNEYING

"Teacher Seravi! Do you know where Riiya is? I have not seen him since this morning," Chacha asked Seravi.

"Why Chacha, I was about to ask you the same question," Seravi replied. Just then Shiine appeared in the doorway. "Shiiiine," chirped Chacha, "Have you seen Riiya, Shiine?" "Yeah, his fist was right in front of my face," replied a bruised and beaten up Shiine. 'Where could he be?' Seravi thought.

BOOM! One of the zombies said, "It is done, my lord," Daimarou smiled. 'He will be very useful' "Very good," Daimarou said. 'He's very powerful.He can beat Chacha and that annoying friend of hers, now that he is trained to tap his powers. And since his powers aren't magic, Seravi cannot block them or take them away from him. And without him they cannot transform into Princess Holy up.'

Riiya got up from the Brainscourer. Daimarou asked him a few questions. "What is your name, boy?" repeated Daimarou.

"Riiya, sir," answered the wolf-boy without hesitation.

"With whom do your loyalties lie, Riiya?"

"With you, my lord. You are my master, my king, and my liege. You taught me to be powerful."

"Do you still like Chacha?"

"No."answered Riiya, calmly, coldly.

Drake looked at his friend. 'What!He doesn't like Chacha?!It says in the documentary of the soldiers of love that he loves and cares for Chacha very much.' Drake was frozen for a few seconds. He couldn't believe that his new friend was evil.

Another question was asked. "Do you still like Shiine?"

"No.I never liked him anyway."

"Will you destroy them?" was the Netherworld god's last question, asked in a voice ringing with triumph.

Riiya grinned. "Of course I will."

Drake could not believe the answer of the former champion of Courage.

And then he saw the eyes.The eyes showed the power and hatred of the evil Riiya.They were gold, like the eyes of a predator, and glowed in the darkness.As Riiya set off on his mission, Drake followed him. 'There might be a way to stop him or make him the good again.' Drake shuddered at the thought of destroying Riiya.

Daimarou took Riiya on a tour around his castle. He showed him the magic blue flame that burned in a brazier in the middle of his throne room that showed Daimarou whatever he wanted. He showed him a room where he kept the petrified bodies of his enemies (but he did not tell Riiya of the royalty he kept there) He showed Riiya a vast stable full of destruction-causing robots, man-eating wildlife such as giant tigers and bulls, and other assorted villain paraphernalia. "Riiya...you are now my second-in-command. Save for me, there is no one in my empire you must bow to or obey. All my resources are yours for the completion of your mission; to kill Chacha and all those who oppose me."

Riiya halted and bowed before his lord, tipping his head forward so his spiky bangs completely overshadowed his eyes. "You honor me immensely, my lord," he said respectfully. "But..."

"What is it, my young soldier? Do not be afraid to speak." Riiya looked up at Daimarou's face. His hair still fell into his face, veiling his eyes until you went close and looked through the spiky curtain. "Why me?"

Daimarou smiled and nodded. "I have been expecting this question. As you know, Riiya, the wizards of the Magic Land hold the only thing that you can call power. But it was not always so. There used to be another source of power...held by a rival race; the Shapeshifters, the Halfbreeds...the Bastard Races, as the wizards used to say. YOUR ancestors, Riiya.

They held a power that was equal to, and sometimes more, than magic. It was similar in some ways, but different in others. But not everyone had it; it was only accessible to those of the Nobles of the Highlands, which is what you now call the region you descended from. The mark of those who held the power was... a lens, I suppose you could call it. It was on their hands, a part of them that was as essential and as natural as...as your legs. It was presented on a cushion before the candidate, who held out his hand. If the candidate was suitable, a bright light would flare, and when the onlookers could see again, it was on the candidate's hand. From then on, whenever he used the power, the Lens would glow. The more powerful he was, the brighter it would glow. The lens was a sort of focusing apparatus, apparently."

"Wow..." Riiya breathed.

Daimarou held out his hand, and an ornate jewelry box materialized in it. "The lucky few were the Highland's elite warrior corps...and they were called Lensmen. And you are one of them..." Riiya watched breathlessly as the jewelry box's lid slowly opened. There, resting on a cushion of blue velvet, lay a smooth blue, spherical crystal, almost as big as his palm. It was rimmed by a circle of dark metal. It glistened in the light of the blue flame, and as the wolfboy watched, it shifted colors in the firelight, blue to purple to green and back again. "Hold out your hand, Riiya," commanded Daimarou.

Mesmerized, Riiya could do little but obey. The crystalline-No, thought Riiya, it was more like an opal-Lens stopped shifting colors, blazing instead a pure white. In that instant, Riiya's eyes began seeing with a sight beyond sight. It was like suddenly putting on 3D goggles and watching as the previously flat movie exploded into the third dimension.

*ENTER CGI SEQUENCE*

He seemed to be in a landscape made up of glowing blue lines extending endlessly into the horizon. Random blocks of color and glowing lines fell from the sky, sinking into the ground. Seemingly random, but as Riiya watched, he could feel they made some sort of pattern...

*END CGI SEQUENCE*

Riiya's eyes snapped open. On the back of his right hand was the lens... embedded like it had always been there. Around it, lines glowed brightly for a second, looking for all the world like wires in an overheated circuit board. They stopped glowing after a second.

Wonderingly, he stroked the Lens with a finger. The deep blue changed into a stormy gray, and as he watched, things deep inside the lens seemed to move, as if he were up in space watching a storm on the cloudscape of a planet far below...

Riiya walked and walked, and for a little change of pace, he walked some more. He stopped at places to rest and eat, hunting his food ruthlessly in forest, field or city. It would take Riiya at least a week to get to Mochi Mochi mountain. He moved with the smooth, unwavering lope of the wolf on the hunting trail, whether in human form or wolf. 'Chacha, I'm coming for you.' he thought, full of determination.

He got into some fights with big brutes who happened to see Riiya. They thought they could get his money by simply threatening his life with knives or guns. Big mistake. Riiya, who would do whatever it takes to stop them, beat them up pretty bad. And after he would taunt the helpless bullies. Him, Riiya, almost as friendly as Chacha, who was too honest to tell a lie, became purposely mean and vindictive. He always walked away after a few minutes of taunting.

Drake saw Riiya a couple of times during his trip to the Mochi Mochi mountain, home of Seravi and Chacha. He tried to stay in small caves to rest, but too many bats were on the ceiling. In other words, occupied. For Drake, it would take only a few days to reach Mochi Mochi mountain. More than enough time to warn Seravi and the others. He just flew and flew all the way. One time he was able to rest in a cave. But after a few minutes, he was evicted by the older bats, like Riiya was by older bullies. But unlike Riiya he was not able to protect himself. So he just ran from the bullies, his wings flapping madly. He was starting to wish that he had never been involved in this crazy situation. But he was doing it for a friend. That made him feel better. 'For you Riiya.' he thought to himself. He flew as fast as he could towards the mountain. 'Riiya, give me some of your courage and strength'

By nightfall, he was able to see Mochi Mochi mountain from a distance. Unfortunately, he could also see Riiya at a distance behind him.

Seravi was worried about Riiya, 'Where could he be?' He didn't mention Riiya to Chacha or Shiine, it would just worry them. By now, Drake was already a few miles from Seravi's house. "Riiya's coming as fast as me! This could be trouble." He said to himself.

Riiya was already trying out his new-found abilities .He concentrated slightly, that little expenditure of will sending a ball of ice-blue energy right through a strong, century-old oak with a motion of his extended palm. In a flash, the tree was frozen stiff, crackling coldly as tendrils of ice extended from the orb in the tree's center. The Lens on his hand glowed the same icy blue as the orb of energy.

'Cool,' Riiya thought. He spun around on his right leg, extending his left in a tornado kick that knocked the frozen tree off its stump. The kick was too fast to be followed with the human eye, and done with the grace of a seasoned martial artist. It seems that aside from revealing his psychokinetic abilities, the dark god also crammed several years worth of martial arts training and experience into Riiya's head. His weeks-long trip also primed Riiya's young body so that he was a match for the Magic Land's best athletes.

"Finally!" Drake cried out before resting at the side of the house. He knocked politely on the door. But when Chacha opened it, "Ahhhhh! It's a rat with wings!!" She quickly grabbed a broom and started to whack him with it.

"Hey, wait, stop! I'm trying to tell you something!" Drake cried out. But what Chacha heard was 'Squeak! Squeak!'

Seravi quickly came to Drake's rescue. "Chacha, wait a minute! He's a white bat. That means he's good." Seravi examined the rare bat carefully. Then suddenly "Squeak! Squeak!" "I think he's trying to tell us something! Shiine, can you transform and talk to him?" Seravi asked.

"Sure. Traaaaansfooorm!" said Shiine dramatically. With a flash of light and a puff of smoke, a black bat stood where Shiine once had. Despite herself, Chacha shivered. They still looked like rats to her! Shiine asked the shaken bat some questions. Shiine transformed back. " His name's Drake, and he ran away from Kula some time ago. He came to tell us that Riiya's coming."

"Hooray!" Chacha yelled, overwhelmed with joy. "Unfortunately, this bat is saying that he's bad now. I mean baaaad," Shiine said.

Chacha protested strongly to the bat's comment. "Riiya can't be bad! He's good! You don't believe the rat, do you?!"

Drake resented the last part.

" Riiya's good. He's always been. He can't even tell a lie."

"Well," Seravi started, "better to be safe than sorry. Chacha, I want you and Shiine to go to the forest and look for Riiya. Bring Drake with you."

" I can't believe this!" Chacha said, but she followed her teacher's orders anyway.

A few miles away from Mochi mochi mountain, the subject of their conversation was moving through the forest, slipping through the dense cover of trees like a shadow. Little animals like rabbits and squirrels scurried away in fear. He was currently in wolf-form, which had grown darker as if under a shadow. His snow-white, fluffy fur had turned into a shaggy dark gray.

A while ago, deeper in the forest, he had killed a deer, a proud young buck who had just gotten his first antlers, to eat. All the other deer had run away.

His fangs seemed to have grown bigger, curved and sharp like a pair of sabers.

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