Xantus's solid black eyes easily cut through the dark shadows that engulfed the shadow zone. As he follows Iñaki, who blindly wanders without direction in the heavy shadows that cloud her vision, his every step assures him that Rashi would not be found until . . . He shudders at the thought. That thought would mean he has failed in preventing even more pain and suffering. He feels another sting as more good energy is sucked out of his home. He silently sighs, inaudible to Iñaki. In the face of such overwhelming odds, when even fate herself seems to be plotting against him, he returns to the past, to shelter himself from the pain . . . -------Inside Xantus's thoughts------------------- "Xan, where are you going?" "I'm going to help my father. Why do you want to know Cid?" "Because, I want to know what I have to tell Petrækä when she comes by looking for you." Xantus tried to hide his sheepish smile from his older brother, but it was useless. "I can see your smile, Xan. There is no need to hide it from me. Go help father with his duties, and I shall send Petrækä over to meet you for lunch, if she comes early enough." Xantus thanked his brother, and ran off to join his father in his daily duties of protecting the good that lived in the shadow zone. -----------Later, in the same flashback ----------------- "Xan, try to double around and attack it from the hind quarters. I'll try to distract it enough." "Yes, father." Ralf Muligos ran directly towards the Dryder, his Bronze sword and shield flashing brilliantly in the total lack of light. As he did so, Xantus used his brilliant mind powers to become one with the shadows. He silently slipped around the Dryder, who was busy trying to battle the elder Muligos. The Dryder, much faster than Ralf, struck him in the shoulder with its foreleg, and he yelled out in pain. This distracted Xantus, who was preparing an attack. The Dryder, unaware of Xantus being behind it, immediately lunged for the girl, whom they were protecting, who sat on the side of the road. Her solid black eyes widened in horror as the Dryder raised itself above her, bringing its crystalline blade down in a single chop. The girl fell limp. After that, Xantus blacked out. ----------------------Later still----------------------- Xantus awoke, the girl laying in his arms, his father lying next to him. The Dryder lie in scattered pieces all around the road in front of them, its crystalline blade buried deep inside its cloven skull. He looked down at his beloved Petrækä, her life blood flowing down her chest. He knew there was no saving her, as the Dryder's poison was irreversible. She smiled weakly at him. "Xan, please, do not allow villainy to destroy another loving couple like it hath destroyed us on this day," she said, coughing up blood. A smile returned to her face as he wiped it from her chin. "I promise, my beloved, while on my watch, no other shall feel the sting of villainy’s poisoned blade. No other shall share a fate such as ours," he said, as he raised her hand to his cold lips. She smiled. "Good bye, my dark prince. I love you." As a single ebony tear fell from his black eyes, he leaned over and kissed her goodbye. He lay there a good while longer, before standing up. He slung both his dead lover and his injured father over his shoulders, before taking flight. -------------------Present time --------------------- Xantus quietly wipes away a single ebony tear which lay upon his cheek. He silently reaches out to feel Iñaki’s arm band. She turns suddenly and angrily, saying, "What are you doing?" Xantus, suppressing the memories which poured out from the arm band, merely points to the left, saying, "This way." Iñaki’s anger quickly subsides, and she merrily says, "Oh, ok." As they walk on, a single word is silently mouthed by Xantus. "Sidney."

"NO!!!!!" the gypsy screamed as Rashi pulled out a glowing ball of black and purple. With a swish of DoRean's sword, the gypsy was dead, her body burst into fiery flames. "Damn shape shifters...." he sighed as the evil spirit within the gypsy screamed off into oblivion. He raised his hand with the energy in it towards the sky. "INAKI!! I GIVE YOU THE GIFT OF DARK SIGHT!! SEE THE UNSEEN IN THIS WORLD OF BLACK!!" the ball burst into the air and flew south, swiftly. Rashi drew his wand and called out the Demon card. He smiled as he remembered stumbling across DoRean's true soul when he came to this realm. He had used DoRean’s card soul to put him under his control, thereby gaining access and control over all of DoRean’s cards..... "Demon card - take a message to Iñaki and her partner." The spirit that was summoned looked like a dark shadow, with large wings of golden black and eyes of reddened bronze. It nodded and waited for the message. "Tell them that I will soon be entering the uncharted area of the shadow zone. Let her know that the gift I have given her will help them see in this realm as if it were a mortal night. Tell her to be careful and watch her back. In this realm--your best friend MAY just be your worst enemy...." the demon card nodded again, and flew off, following the same path as the ball of energy. Rashi turned and began walking north again. Toward a darkness that would scare the devil himself. Rashi smiled and remembered the beginning of this quest...walking north for no reason. He now knew the reason. This was the reason, this realm, this world…this...destiny. A silver dragon landed before Rashi. >>Lord Rashi, I have the requested item...<< the dragon held out a bag that Rashi received. "Thank you, Dallase." he smiled at the shining, youth of a dragon. "I'm afraid you've outlived your usefulness, though." Rashi opened the bag towards the dragon. >NO!<< the dragon imploded. A sick sight of its outside being sucked in through its own mouth. The dragon's heart landed on the ground with a sickening splat. Rashi picked it up and put it in his new messenger bag, witch stayed at his side since he appeared in their world.

Gift of Dark Sight