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THE BETRAYAL
by Cyberwolf and Gamer


Part Six: THE GATHERING

Riiya summoned up a strong wind that carried him after the magicians, fully as fast as their brooms, which were going at turbo. The wind manifested itself as a small cloud with a comet like tail, which Riiya rode like a skateboard. (like Gokuu in DBZ)

Riiya raised his index finger and pointed it at Chacha. "Teacher, I can't fly anymore. It's too hard.." she said, all her hope gone. Seravi looked behind him, frantically thinking of a plan. 'What if I make a shower of rain to kill the fire.' He thought, while thinking of dozens of other solutions to save them. At once he hypothesized out that he could use magic to create physical things that would destroy or counter the elemental powers Riiya used.

But before Seravi could test his theory, he heard Riiya curse, "Shoot!" Seravi turned around to see the boy wheel around sharply and head away. He called over his shoulder, "This isn't over yet, Seravi!" He snapped his fingers, and the dragon disappeared.

Seravi was surprised, though relieved. He might have tried to go after Riiya, but he couldn't leave Chacha alone, and besides Riiya's wind-skateboard-thing was traveling at a velocity Seravi wasn't sure he could match.

He sent up a magical beacon, which would send Dorothy and Shiine to them-if they were still alive. Seravi shuddered. He was used to dark threats...but not one coming from one of them. Especially a dull, unoffensive one like Riiya.

Meanwhile, Dorothy and Shiine were resting inside a hollow tree, wondering if Seravi and Chacha were okay. "Shiine, darling, do you think that they're...they're.."Dorothy couldn't finish her question. But Shiine finished it, his eyes watery like they were ready to let loose a shower of tears. "Dead?"

All of a sudden, a sudden sparkle of magic caught both magicians' attention. It was a beacon, showing the way to Seravi. Shiine and Dorothy summoned up their brooms and followed. They soon met up with Seravi. Chacha was standing beside her teacher. She looked tired, and swayed on her feet. "Chacha!" Shiine cried, hopping off his broom and starting for her.

Seravi shook his head, and Shiine froze. "I think we'd better get back to the cottage. Chacha needs to rest," Seravi said. He looked around wearily. "The forest isn't all that safe. Dorothy, can you bring Chacha to the cabin? Shiine, come with me. We need to gather all the magicians we can to help us. That includes your classmates."

Shiine was startled. "Umm... Teacher Seravi, how will my classmates help?" "I'll explain later," Seravi said impatiently. "Right now let's concentrate on the mustering, okay?" The two magicians set off, in hope of finding a way to stop Riiya. Drake went with the witches, and was their scout for anything that might be dangerous to them.

Meanwhile, Riiya was teleported back into the dark castle. "Master, I know you called me back for some important business, but what can be more important then destroying the magical princess?" Daimarou could see the obvious anger in Riiya's cold face. He gave a small, secret smile. Thorough indeed was his brainwashing!

"I know I sent you on a mission, Riiya, but my intention was merely to show those annoying do-gooders that you-whom they regarded as a pathetic, unthreatening klutz-"He watched as Riiya's face flushed with embarrassment, but mostly anger, as he knew it to be true. "Are now my soldier, someone who can...and will...wreak havoc on their miserable little lives."

"But I called you here because I made a very important discovery. After I found you, with your elemental powers, I decided to do a little...research."

"About what, my lord?" asked Riiya, curious.

"As you know, the nobles of the Highlands all possessed this power. But these nobles died out centuries ago, thanks to a coup d'etat by Yosef of the Lowlands. Now, there are only two bloodlines pure enough to inherit the elemental powers. You are the last descendant of one line-the Huntsilver line. And now, I have found the last of the elementals..."

Daimarou gave a grand, sweeping motion. "Riiya, my brave warrior, I would like you to meet your new partner... Ariel, last surviving member of the House of Shadowstride."

A young girl stepped from behind Daimarou and smiled, a bit shyly, at Riiya. She was tall, for a girl, only half-an-inch shorter than Riiya, with a slender body. Her face was pretty, with rather sharp, elfin features. Her eyes were gray; her hair was a rich auburn, tied into a ponytail, but a few strands recklessly fell into her face. Like Riiya, there was a crystalline Lens embedded in the back of her right hand. While Riiya's Lens was surrounded by dark silver metal, Ariel's was rimmed by a circle of faceted gold.

"H..hi," Ariel said skittishly. "Now, Ariel, no one who works for the Netherworld dark god is that shy," Daimarou said to her.

"But master," Riiya asked, a little concerned, "How will that girl help me in destroying those magicians?" Riiya asked. The Netherworld god smiled. "She has the same powers as you; don't underestimate her." Riiya looked at Ariel doubtfully. 'Can she really help me?' he thought.

Chacha and Dorothy were at the cottage, waiting for Seravi and Shiine to get home. "I hope Seravi and Shiine are okay." Dorothy said with worry in her voice. Chacha was on her bed trembling with fear. "Miss Dorothy, why do you think Riiya is so bad to us? There was no mark of a skull and bones, so Daimarou did not possess him, right?" Dorothy looked at Chacha, "I don't know."she said bluntly.

The door opened and in stepped... Teacher Rascal. " Hello everybody!!" he yelled, snapping his two whips all around. Behind was Seravi and Shiine, and the whole Section Banana.

"Well, Riiya, Ariel, time to destroy those annoying do-gooders," Daimarou called to them as if it was no big deal. "Master, they must have formed a big army of magicians by now." Riiya said.

Ariel stepped forward and smiled, "Not that it would be a problem, though." Daimarou teleported them back into the forest. "Do you use a broom or what?" Riiya asked as he summoned his ride, the wind. "I use ice," she said, as a 'bridge' of ice began to carry her over the forest floor. Riiya grinned, and used his 'wind' to chase after her. Together, they rode to the little cottage near Mochi mochi mountain, which now contained forty or more magicians.

" Do you really think this will work, teacher?" Chacha asked Seravi. "Well, we have so many magicians, Riiya will give up the second he sees us."

Shiine came in with Dorothy. "No sign of him," he reported.

"Is Riiya possessed?" Chacha asked Seravi, with what seemed like sadness. "Yes." Seravi replied, not knowing if it was true or not. He just said it because it would make Chacha feel better. Aside from the Section Banana, Marin, Riiya's admirer, was in the cottage.Yakko was beside Seravi with hearts swirling around her, and two giant ones replacing her violet eyes. She clamped on to Serevi's leg, but was roughly pulled away by Chacha. Afterwards, Serevi hid from her.

"Wait a minute," Teacher Rascal started, "Why are we fighting him?"

"Because he's possessed by Daimarou." Seravi replied.

'I'm going to enjoy this.' Shiine thought.

"This is fun!" Riiya yelled as they closed in on the house. They were racing to be the first one to reach the small cottage. "It won't be fun once I beat you!" Ariel replied, not quite the shy person of an hour ago. "You wish!" Riiya shot back.

They stopped riding when they were only a few hundred feet away. Ariel had won the race.

Riiya said sulkily, "I let you."

"Yeah, right."

"Well? Ready to kick some magician goody-goody butt?" asked Riiya, sulk forgotten.

"Ready and willing!" replied Ariel, grinning evilly.

Riiya returned her smile, baring his teeth in return, and said, "On the count of six... uno dos tres..."

Ariel caught on quickly and completed the sing-song chant with her partner- "Quatro cinco cinco seis!"

"You have the honors, Ariel," said Riiya.

Ariel pointed her thin finger towards the house.

Suddenly the ground began to shake. "He's here!" Seravi pointed out the obvious, getting ready to fight.

An ice griffin appeared, ice body crackling as it formed, drawing particles of water from the air and freezing them. Its reptilian eyes glittered coldly, an intense glacier blue. It blotted out the sun with its massive wings. "ERAAARAW!" it cried angrily.

The griffin spread its eagle wings and flapped them once, twice. When it was about two hundred feet up in the air, it folded its wings and dived down, splitting the very air with its speed. Ten feet above the cottage, it sent a frigid blast down to the small adobe-and-stucco structure, encasing it in a block of bluish ice. It spread its giant wings, stopping its dive abruptly. It gave a great bellow, half leonine roar, half raptor scream, and used its leviathan talons to crack the ice...and with it the cottage.

Seravi sighed and said, "There goes my house, again." He looked at Dorothy accusingly when he was finished with his sentence.

Dorothy exploded, "Why are you looking at me like that!?!?!"

Seravi stared at the two teenagers, with Dorothy harassing him with her giant face and shark-like teeth. 'Wait a minute, two of them!'

Riiya whistled softly. "Nice job," he told Ariel admiringly. "Thanks," said Ariel, blushing. "Lord Daimarou let me watch your stunt with the fire dragon."

"It didn't work, though," complained Riiya, making a face. "Lord Daimarou called me away before I could do any damage."

"It's okay," soothed Ariel.

While the two 'elementals' were holding their conversation, the rest of the magicians had discovered that there was a new face...apparently allied with Riiya. "Two of them!" exclaimed Dorothy, dismayed. "Why, we could barely take care of Riiya earlier!"

"Yes, but there are more of us now," Serevi reminded her. "Besides, I figured it out...our magic can't affect Riiya directly, but we can affect or make things that will hurt Riiya."

Dorothy passed the message along, but though all the magicians acknowledged it, they were busy scrutinizing the new arrival.

Riiya looked at the surprised expression of the magicians. "Oh, that's right- you hoped to gang up on me, one to fifty. Oh well, I'd like you to meet my partner, Ariel."

He grinned and pointed his finger, moving it around in a semi-circle. In a flash, there was a frozen wall around the gaggle of magic users.

Riiya smirked, "You'd best give up now. You saw what I did to you in the forest. Only reason you escaped is because my master called me back."

"No. We weren't sure what to do, but now we are prepared for you," Serevi said quietly.

"Yeah, well, you don't know exactly what I can do...and I know what you can," Riiya reminded them coldly. "Besides, you didn't figure on me having a partner, didn't you?"

There was no answer from the group behind the wall of clear arctic ice. But in a flash, a white dot shot up through the barrier and charged for Riiya.

"NO!! Drake, come back!!!!" Shiine and Chacha cried.

' Forgive me Riiya, I helped in your brainwashing.' the young white bat thought as he charged down on Riiya. Riiya was about to use his power to freeze him, or perhaps burn him to a crisp, but something appeared in his mind- the echo of a conversation from long ago, yet barely a day past...between two new friends...

" Will you help me when I'm in trouble?"

" Of course I will, we're friends, remember?"

"Arrggh!" Riiya cried as the white bat came diving down.

"Riiya!" Ariel yelled in surprise as the boy took several hurried steps backward and lost his balance, avoiding the kamikaze bat.

Ariel used her own ice powers-for which she had a greater synergy than Riiya-to make an icicle spear that opened a gash along Drake's head.

Riiya got up, shaking his head violently. 'What's happening to me?' he thought. 'Weakling! You can't afford to appear weak in front of these arrogant popinjays!' he berated himself inwardly. He spared a look at Drake. The bat lay on the ground, barely moving. "Nice try, Seravi, but no go!" he said, trying not to sound shaken.

Riiya continued, "Now it's my turn."

"You'll never hurt Chacha as loong as I'm around!" Seravi retorted. Shiine and Chacha's other classmates nodded in agreement, ranging themselves around her in a discreet but unmistakable show of support.

Riiya cocked an eyebrow. "We will see," he said calmly. He let out a confident smile. He held his fist forward and clenched it tightly as if he was crushing something in his grip. A whirlwind went racing towards the magicians. But by this time, they were underground, with the help of Shiine with his gopher transformation. A fireball came out of thin air-conjured by one of Chacha's classmates- and crashed into Ariel.

Riiya was horrified. "Ariel!!" he shouted.

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