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by Cyberwolf and Gamer


Daimarou paced back and forth through the castle; it was a deceptively simple ritual until you noticed his feet weren't touching the ground.

His two elemental warriors arrived, with Riiya lying on the ground, passed out. Daimarou stopped his hovering/pacing, and cast a spell on the injured thirteen-year-old. A bandage appeared over Riiya's wounded eye. Furthermore, the pain receded enough that the boy regained consciousness. He stumbled to his feet, groggily awaiting the lecture he was sure would come. Strangely enough, Daimarou, though a cruel tyrant who had no hesitation in killing incompetents, was kind enough to his soldiers. All he wanted was that they learned from their mistakes.

All he did was ask, "Did you learn a lesson, Riiya?"

Riiya just looked down on the floor, feeling dishonored.

"Riiya, you must learn to restrain your pride. NEVER underestimate your enemy's power. And do NOT go off guard...ever."

"Yes, milord." Riiya felt frustrated at the mistakes he had kept making. Daimarou seemed to read the boy's mind. "No one is perfect, Riiya. Although they managed to harm my soldiers, I still have complete confidence in you. Make them pay for that wound. Go now, finish them off, do you understand?"

"Yes, my lord," they replied. With a wave of his huge hand, the Dark God sent his warriors off.

They were teleported back again. By that time, the magicians had evacuated the premises and nothing was to be seen except the debris from the battle.

The grass was blood red where Riiya had lain. Both transformed into their animal forms to track their enemies. (Ariel's was a wildcat) Riiya sniffed around the ground while Ariel bounced around the trees.

Ariel found some footprints from her high position. She called to Riiya and the two followed the footprints till it came to stone, where there was no prints. Riiya merely put his nose down to the ground and led off.

"Definitely them," Ariel reported to Riiya. The constant crackle of thunder made her nervous. Would they be able to beat the army of the magicians?

Riiya gave one final sniff, and then transformed back to human. "It's pretty obvious that they haven't got anyone with wilderness sense about them. Their trail is so obvious it might as well have neon signs."

Ariel snickered. She-like Riiya- had been born and bred in the mountains. She had spent her life tramping around forests. Even without her ability to take a wildcat's form, she had known enough to confuse any predator who thought to take her for his dinner.

So had Riiya, but when he met Chacha, he had started spending more times in towns and cities, where Shiine's courtesy stood in better stead. So he hadn't any opportunity to teach his two friends woodcraft...which he was happy for, now.

Ariel said, "We'll catch up easily." A gust of wind suddenly swept under Riiya, and he was 'windskating' on his way. Ariel summoned her ice bridge, and soon caught up. After a while, she said, "Hey, Riiya, they might be sleeping now." She pointed to her watch. "It's 9:00 in the evening already."

Riiya considered for a moment. "No, they know we're after them. At least, Seravi does." He grinned. "Chacha's too airheaded to appreciate the danger."

And with that, they dashed out after the magicians.

"Sigh." Seravi glanced at the pitch black sky. The stars were like bright lamps filling the black window of the sky. Their light did not bring any comfort, however. 'What should I do? I don't want to hurt Riiya, but he leaves me no other choice.' he sighed as he took to the safety of Chacha's cat house. The sky had turned cloudy, and was now raining. He did not sleep, however. 'Someone's gotta stay awake' he thought. He never suspected Riiya to be smart or witty, because of his immature behavior. Now he regretted it. For if he had suspected, he would have been prepared. Or so he thought.

Riiya knew his capabilities now. How he wasn't the immature brat everyone thought he was. Shiine always said that he was a dumb animal. And Chacha always hid what she was about to say. Stupid. It was a word he always heard. Everybody in the Magic Kingdom directed that word towards the wolf boy. Except for Chacha and Ariel. The two best friends he had ever had were the two girls in his life. Shiine was another story. 'He will die first!' A voice in his head pleaded him to stop and to return to his harmless and innocent ways, the ways he hid his innate danger by forcing himself to become too dumb to hurt. He ignored it. After all, who would listen to a stupid boy?

To Be Continued...

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