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THE BETRAYAL
by Cyberwolf and Gamer


Part Five: THE REVELATION

Chacha and Shiine were in the forest, looking for Riiya, being led by Drake. Chacha was calling out Riiya's name. Shiine was a bat, translating all the things being said by Drake. "Riiiiiyaaa! Riiiiiyaaaaaa!" Chacha yelled, as the two bats flew ahead.

Riiya's ears pricked, swiveling on his head. His sharp sense of hearing picked up the sounds of his name. It sounded like Chacha! Riiya smiled, more of a rounded snarl than anything else. So, the klutzy fool decided to walk right into the lion's jaws, huh? Or should that be the wolf's jaws? Riiya began to run towards his two erstwhile partners.

He reached a small clearing, ringed with tall trees. His gold eyes, as telescopic as any hawk's, spied Chacha, Drake and a strange bat in the distance, heading this way. That strange bat was certainly Shiine. He transformed into human, and vaulted lightly into an oak tree, where he stood on a broad branch-twelve feet above the ground-hidden by the shadows.

Chacha, Shiine and Drake stumbled into a clearing. Chacha said tiredly, "Orange juice, appear!" What did appear was a can of root beer, but Chacha was too thirsty to care. She popped the tab and began guzzling down the semisweet brown liquid. The root beer was ice-cold; she was thankful for that. Shiine had transformed back and was drinking some water he conjured up. It was then they noticed Drake. The white bat was hovering in the air near the two children, his small pink nose quivering, his dark eyes darting nervously around the clearing. "What's the matter, Drake?" asked Shiine. Chacha and Shiine had finished their drinks, and their containers disappeared. Shiine transformed to bat. "It...it's Riiya," said Drake haltingly. "He's here..."

On the branch, Riiya's eyes-the only spots of brightness in the shadows-narrowed. The little rat had spotted him. It was time for the Princess to meet her doom.

CLAP. CLAP. CLAP. Shiine transformed back into human amid a puff of smoke at the slow, leisurely sound. "Very good," said a voice. Riiya's voice, realized Shiine with a shock. But it was different. It sounded older, no longer innocent and carefree...and so angry. So filled with rage it threatened to spill over, coloring the atmosphere in the forest glade with a dark fear. "You spotted me."

Chacha's lower lip trembled. "Riiya?" she quavered uncertainly. "Why do you sound so mean?"

Riiya leaped off the branch. He landed on his feet like a cat, with an ease of movement that scared Shiine and Drake.

"Crybaby," retorted Riiya. "Do you expect everyone to live in a world of flowers and sunshine like you? Well, wake up, you brat. Welcome to the real world. Too bad you'll be leaving it soon."

"You'll have to go through us first, Riiya," warned Shiine, moving protectively in front of Chacha. Drake squealed in agreement, fluttering over Shiine's head.

"Aww. Isn't that cute?" Riiya smirked, and Shiine was reminded that Riiya was older than he was. But Riiya had always seemed like a little kid, too stupid and too forgiving to be any threat. He'd grown up during those past days with Daimarou, catapulting him past Shiine and Chacha. He even seemed taller, his face more angular. "That isn't going to do anything, though," said Riiya, a smirk still on his face. "I have powers now-powers you can't do anything to stop. Powers I will use to destroy those who stand in my lord's way. Chacha's the one I want. You can still leave, and tell the doll-playing freak exactly what happened to his precious student."

"I'll never desert Chacha," vowed Shiine, staring the other boy in the eyes. As much as Riiya's voice had changed, his eyes had changed even more. Wild like that of a jungle predator, bright saffron. Black orbs floating in molten gold. They unnerved him.

"So be it," Riiya said, shrugging. "Can't say I didn't warn you."

He stretched out his arm, fingers unfurled, palm facing up. He extended his index finger, and made a come-hither movement with a flick of his wrist. The opal-like Lens on his hand started to glow, softly at first, but then brightening into an intense red.

At that small movement, the children felt a shuddering under their feet. With a roar, columns of fire burst from the ground. They were red, like lava, with lines of flaming white-gold swirling around them. The tops of the fire-columns were stylized dragon's heads. One by one, they exploded from the earth. One more, then another one, and another one, and another one... The columns hemmed them in, trapping them in a cage of blazing brilliance. They could feel the intense heat searing their chests and arms and faces.

The columns began to circle them, spinning around the frightened eleven-year-olds. Faster and faster, coming ever closer, till it seemed that they were surrounded by a wall of flame while red dragons roared at them from the top of the firewall. Though the trees around them withered at the intense heat, Riiya seemed unaffected by the fire.

He shimmered from the heat, his face and arms and the air around him colored red-gold through the flames, laughing at them.

Seravi and Dorothy were at the house in Mochi mochi mountain. Dorothy was looking through her crystal ball. "Seravi, darling, are the children supposed to be surrounded by red fire dragons, while Riiya laughs in the background with his eyes turned gold?" Dorothy asked. "What!?" Seravi shouted. "Get dressed, Dorothy, we're going out."

"I'm already dressed Seravi!"

"I mean dressed in good clothes!"

"Are you implying that I have bad taste in apparel?!"

"Dorothy, we have no time to argue!" said Elizabeth in her high, shrill voice. "Chacha and the others are in terrible danger!"

"Oh my, you're right!" Dorothy exclaimed, her hand flying to her mouth. Both summoned their brooms, and they flew away to the forest, ready to rescue their students.

Meanwhile, back in the forest, Riiya watched lazily while the magical now-duo worked. Chacha and Shiine were in anti-fire suits but there was no telling how long they'd last in this inferno.

"Shiine, what will we do?!" Chacha cried out. Shiine was still thinking of a way out of the flaming debris they were standing on. In the process, he was trying to make Chacha a little more comfortable with words of hope. "Oh, I don't know!" Shiine yelled out in frustration.

"Wait a minute!" Chacha said. "Maybe we can dig our way out," she said with doubt in her voice. Shiine knew she thought it was crazy, but it might work. Shiine cried out "Alakazam!" With a puff of smoke, a great big shovel appeared. "We need one more!" Shiine said to Chacha. Chacha gestured Shiine to not do the magic spell. "I'll do it." she said excitedly. 'Now they'll know I'm not a klutz' she thought to herself. "Great big shovel, appear!" she yelled. All of them, including Riiya, stared at the place where Chacha had gestured the magical item to appear. "Soooo, where is it?" Shiine asked with a little impatience.

"She can't do anything right. She's just an airhead with no sense of magic, even if she was trained by that so-called greatest magician in the world. More like weirdest kook in the world, if you ask me," Riiya piped in. He seemed to see and hear them perfectly well through the fires, with no hint of discomfort, though all he wore for protection were his usual green shirt and gold-yellow pants. He laughed scornfully at the two.

Shiine was angered by Riiya's words. "You take that back!!" he cried, shaking his fist.

Chacha collapsed on the ground, ashamed of herself. Her big chance to show Riiya and Shiine that she was not a helpless klutz and she blew it. But wait! On the grass lay a miniature shovel, hidden by the tall grass of that area. It strongly resembled a teaspoon, but it was still a shovel. "Oh, I did it!" Chacha screamed, her arms swaying back and forth. "What? Did you make a flower to smell?" Riiya asked as Shiine attended to Chacha. Once Shiine was with her she whispered to him, "Start digging."

With that, the two went to work.

"Oh, Seravi, do you think we'll be able to get there in time?" cried Dorothy, as they sped above the forest. Seravi didn't answer, his facilities fully engaged in scanning for his student. His green eyes spied a glimmer of fire-red, and the head of a dragon briefly appeared before it twisted down into the forest again. "There!" he cried triumphantly. Their brooms angled down, diving through the tangle of thick emerald leaves. "We have to get to them before Riiya burns the life out of them!" They sped down to the kids.

"We're almost there Chacha!" Shiine cried as he dug frantically. The fire dragons were getting closer and closer, ready to kill them by engulfing them in their flaming bellies. Chacha cried out as the serpent like creatures came even closer. Shiine dug as fast as he could, with Chacha doing more of the work.

Riiya looked at Shiine and Chacha. He shook his head slowly.

'What a waste.' he thought. When the fire dragons united, Chacha and Shiine were inside their safe little burrow. 'Now they'll just drag out their agony in trying to defeat the dark Master. With me at his side, and them not able to form Princess Holy-up, they have no hope.' He grinned, a slow feral smile. 'But now...I'll have more time to play...'

Seravi and Dorothy landed, their brooms disappearing automatically. "Riiya, what have you done?" cried Dorothy. Unlike Riiya, the two magicians could not see through the blazing dragon-column. "Oh, it's the witch," sneered Riiya, showing his fangs deliberately. "And the freak with the doll fetish."

Seravi frowned, but then Chacha and Shiine burst from the tunnel and ran for their teachers. "Teacher Dorothy!" sobbed Shiine as he threw himself into her arms. Chacha did the same.

Riiya sneered again. "Isn't that just precious." He flicked his hand. The column of fire suddenly coalesced into a huge dragon. It was long, nearly a hundred feet, and the same lava-red with lines of flaming white-gold swirling around its body. Its tail ended in a spike, and its draconic face was perfect, sharp with a red crest and two curved horns, and a mouth of dark, obsidian fangs. Its forelimbs, in reality six feet long, looked puny set beside the powerful serpentine body. In spite of its size, there was nothing clumsy about the beast as it hovered in the air, twisting and writhing. The fire of the dragon, its aura, gave off enough light to rival the sun, yet the little group could look directly at it. It roared, a huge noise like an explosion of gunfire and bombs and other abominations of war. "Attack!" commanded Riiya, pointing at the magicians with his hand.

Seravi looked at the monster Riiya had just created. Seravi pointed at it, expecting the dragon to disappear. But the dragon just continued towards the group, snarling, its body rippling as it flew through the air. "You don't get it, do you, Seravi?" and the way Riiya spoke the name, it was a curse. "This isn't magic. You just can't wave a hand and spell it away. Y'see," and Riiya's voice changed, as if discussing something over dinner, or in class. "I don't exactly understand it, but Lord Daimarou was kind enough to explain some of it. My power's INSIDE me. I'm born with it already in me. See this?" He pointed to his Lens. "This is a focusing device for my power. It isn't magic, like your magic crystals or bracelets or whatever; it's actual technology designed to use real, physical energy.

Magicians are born with the potential to tap magic, but not with the magic in 'em. From what I can make out, there is a dimension filled with magical energy. You guys can tap into it and use that energy for other things, like your spells.

Ultimately, it will go back to that dimension-let's call it Kril, for the moment-but the stronger the spell, the longer it will stay in this world. Some spells are so strong, they will last for countless generations-forever, in our eyes. Sometimes, a spell can stay longer than its caster needs it, so the magician will dissolve the spell, and it automatically pops back into Kril.

So, you bring things or use energy from another dimension into this one. I actually change the currents of power in this dimension. Like, the most basic part of me, I change the currents so I become a wolf. If I want to, I can make 'em go back to normal.

You magicians have power over the currents in Kril, but you can't do squat over anything I do. It's twofold- I can't do anything to your spells-but YOU are of this dimension, and I can do plenty to you."

Seravi was a bit shocked. Riiya sounded a lot more knowledgeable than the dull, dense, thick-skulled kid who couldn't pass the exams in Urara school. He'd discussed the whole thing thoroughly, in a cool, scientific matter. And he'd known a lot more than Seravi would ever credit him for. What he was elaborating on was Higher Magic Theory. And he'd known a lot of things privy only to the most respected scholars on magic.

Like the most ancient, most archaic name for the 'magic dimension'...Kril.

The green-haired man's musings were cut short as he observed the red dragon chasing after them. 'How can I stop this thing?' Seravi thought. He was sweating profusely, as were Shiine, Chacha and Dorothy. Drake still hovered above Shiine's head, squeaking in fear.

"Run!" yelled Seravi, running out of ideas. They set off. Riiya just yelled after them, "You'll never get away from my dragon!"

After a while, Seravi had an idea. "Let's split up! That dragon can't follow us if we're not all together!"

They ran off in opposite directions, Shiine with Dorothy, Chacha with Seravi.

It didn't work. The dragon gave a noise, like a sigh...and he split in two. One was white-gold, the other dark red. The white-gold one, slightly smaller than the dark red one but brighter, followed Dorothy and Shiine.

The dark red one set off after Chacha and Seravi. They summoned their brooms in the brief second while the dragon(s) were splitting, and now they zoomed over the green, shadowy forest landscape, dodging trees.

"Teacher Seravi!" called Chacha, exhaustion in her voice. "I can't fly much longer..."

"I know!" replied Seravi. 'I can change the currents of power in this dimension...' Riiya's voice echoed in his mind. Seravi was used to facing anything calmly...but that was when magic actually affected the thing he was facing.

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