Dream a Little Dream: Book 1: Chapter 4

When Anubis defied them and sided with the monk and the Ronin they were surprised. Anubis, General of Talpa's army would dare defy his liege lord? As they advanced on him to take him back by force they were halted by a soft thud and the appearance of a golden arrow standing in the ground before them.

The fight for Anubis was brief once Talpa stepped in, and when the light cleared from their eyes, they found that Anubis and the other Warlords were gone. They had lost that battle.

Mia was getting worried. She knew that Crys was able to take care of herself in most situations and had shown a unique understanding for the situation they were all in at the moment. But she didn't think that Talpa would let her off easily. Mia was certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that Crys was going to prove to be more trouble to the demon lord than her worth, that would put her in that much more danger.

As she voiced her worries to the Ancient One. He reassured her that Crys was, for the moment, safe. It wasn't too reassuring to Mia and the guys, but it did put their planning into high gear for getting her out of the Dynasty.

The pit was dark now with out the artificial lighting of the Nether Spirits. She was tired and couldn't move and she couldn't lie down to get some much-needed sleep. She was wearied beyond belief and only her stubborn pride kept her on her feet at this time.

A small noise near by brought her to bear on the direction of the sound. Her tired voice was barely able to squeak out her defiance as her voice had almost been lacerated by her screams of agony. "Cale, Sekhmet, if you think it's play time you are sorely mistaken."

She felt armored hands reach for her in the darkness with a surety as if the owner was a cat. "I am neither of those two mongrel war dogs."

As the calmly sure voice reached her in the darkness her knees almost collapsed. It was all happening, as she knew it would. Different reasons this time around but it was all still happening. "Anubis?" Her voice squeaked out as she collapsed against him.

"Shhh, you have quite the fighting spirit to have withstood Talpa this long. Rest now, as you have quite possibly saved my life, I will watch over you." His voice was calmer, more self-assured than when they had last met. It reassured Crys as the tears of pain slid down her cheeks even as she was turned to lean with her back to Anubis. "Thank you." She whispered before letting her mind and body rest for the short amount of time they would have for such things.

~For one as young as the woman that travels with the Ronin Warriors, this one has seen much pain and fear in her life. I can only wonder where she is from that would produce such a strong mind and spirit from such adverse conditions.~ He held to his word and made himself comfortable so that Crys would not have anything to fear as they made their stay in the pit.

Little did any one know, that the Warlords had taken on another of the Pits and the Nether Spirits for the power they had seen in Anubis. Their greed and desire to fulfill Talpa's wish for the Ronin armors lead them down this path and now in that pit they were discovering just how much pain also went into gaining this new power.

In the Mortal Realm the warriors were planning and trying to figure out what it was that Talpa was after in taking Crys and then taking Anubis back. As the Ancient answered some of their questions he also informed them that he would be the bridge for them to cross directly into the Dynasty.

The next day as the sun came up, the time came for them all to prepare. Once they got into the Dynasty they weren't coming back out until they had Crys back and Talpa was destroyed. Mia and Yulie were to stay behind with Whiteblaze due to the amount of danger that they would be in.

After thanking the Ancient for his sacrifice to get them up to the Dynasty they took the bridge and let it take them up to their destination. Even as Talpa sent the Nether Spirits to destroy the Ronin on the bridge Anubis and Crys were fighting the Nether spirits that were working on infusing them with their power.

Crys was getting weaker and no matter what she did to fight, Anubis realized that she would cave in soon. He started to protect her as much as possible and as the spirits left to do Talpa's bidding Crys leaned against Anubis for support as she tried to regain some of her strength.

Anubis only quietly put his arms around her and rested his chin on her head as they rested. He still did not know why this woman was sad for him, but he had an idea that she would tell them as soon as they had a moment. As it was, it was all he could do to comfort her as her fears about being taken into the Dynasty and made into a Dynasty Soldier slowly were revealed.

She was no longer driven by pride and faith, but was now being driven by fear and hope that she would be allowed to leave before she could no longer fight. She had confided many of her fears and a few of her dreams to Anubis and he supported her and tried to help her as much as possible.

They didn't know why, but they felt a connection through their suffering at the hands of the dynasty and the feelings of attraction weren't far behind. Crys attributed it to being in a confined space and having to depend on Anubis for help in her defense of self.

Anubis on the other hand had spent the time while she had been asleep and analyzed his feelings. Both for the girl that had saved his humanity and situation that he would soon find himself in. He knew that the Ronin Warriors would soon be coming for the woman he was protecting from the nether spirits and for his former master. He took the time to understand himself and knew in the end where he would stand in the fight with Talpa.

His feelings for Crys were harder to define though and he knew that if he survived the battle, he would be contemplating those feelings for a long time. For the moment, he was content to help protect her.

As he sat in contemplation he realized that the Nether Spirits had not returned yet. An explosion rocked the palace down to its very roots and the shuddering earth woke Crys from her sleep. "Anubis?" She whispered.

"I do believe that the Ronin Warriors just knocked on Talpa's door." Smirking slightly he wondered who it was that sent one of the Warlords into an earth shaking connection with the palace. Reassuring Crys gently he asked her to go into the breathing pattern he had taught her the last time they had a long period of time to work together.

Crys knew what he was asking and as she struggled with her bruised ribs and other injuries she found that the breathing helped to alleviate those pains as well as help to clear her mind of the recent influences.

Looking up she saw that her protector was in deep meditation and that the Kanji of Loyalty was flared on his forehead. She could only hope that her friends were doing ok. As she dropped back into the breathing she realized something else. Talpa had sent the Nether Spirits to destroy the bridge to the Dynasty, They must have failed as every once in a while they would feel a small quake or hear an explosion.

With only a few guard spirits around to keep them there she wondered what was keeping Anubis here. She knew that he had the strength to get out, she could only wonder at his reasoning for him staying.

As the Ronin battled on they found themselves on the receiving end of a rather nasty welcome. As they were drawn into the traps set to split them up they found that the fight wasn't getting any easier. Ryo and Rowen were sent on ahead to scout out Talpa and try to take him on while the others were busy with the other three Warlords.

As they were instructed to watch they discovered that their friends were all right. Stronger than they looked they were actually giving the newly juiced Warlords a beating.

As Talpa called off the attack he called the armors of Venom, Illusion and Corruption back to him. He regained his corporeal form and in doing so started to beat the Ronin Warriors.

It was at this time that in the cave, Anubis took hold of Crys and leaping to the first ledge he paused a moment to change his hold on her to one that was easier for both of them and then continued onward to destroy his captors and escape from the pit.

Once they were out Anubis reclaimed his weapon and they both ran in the direction of the battle. By then Mia, Yulie and White Blaze were already there and in more trouble than they could handle on their own.

Anubis gave Crys a knife to fight with, it wasn't Cye's blade but he promised that he would try to recover it if at all possible. Until then she had something to fight with and dropped her next to Mia and Yulie where she started dishing out the damage.

Mia, Yulie and White Blaze could only watch as the pair darted about the soldiers laying waste wherever their weapons made contact with the soldiers to damage them. It was a deadly dance and Mia caught a glimpse of the look in Crys's eyes. Having done so she made a note to tell the other Ronin that letting her get captured by the dynasty was not a good thing, especially for the dynasty.

When the courtyard was cleared Crys and Anubis walked forward to make certain that Mia was ok and then Anubis took off to assist Ryo in his lonely battle with Talpa.

Looking to Crys she asked, "Wasn't that Anubis?"

Simply nodding she smiled. "Yes, He has changed since the meeting with the Ancient One. His heart is changed for the better and he saved my life while Talpa tried to gain control of me through the use of his nether spirits." She explained and then gestured. "Come on. The others will be needing us soon."

Having thought things out she knew exactly when she would act. The Ancient One had told her that Mia did not know everything in this world. Looking back at Mia she caught the puzzled glance the other threw her way. "Talpa has regained his corporeal form. If I'm not mistaken he already has seven of the nine armors required for him to have his full power."

Mia, Yulie, and White Blaze all looked up at the tower of the Castle to see that She was right, there were only two armored figures fighting against an armored monstrosity that could only be Talpa. As they watched, Talpa took Anubis and all that was left of the warlord was the jacket of his armor.

"ANUBIS!" The cry rang out from an already strained throat as Crys caught the jacket. Clutching it close to her, the tears fell. She knew that they would all survive, but that did not make watching him get taken into that monster any easier for her. She mustn't act. Not yet.

It took everything in her to keep from calling on the powers of the staff to join the fight. She knew that she had a part to play in these battles and it wasn't her turn yet.

As Mia and Yulie surrounded her Ryo was in trouble. Alone Talpa taunted him into inaction. Hearing that he might kill his friends stirred his loyalty to them despite their calls to him to not worry about them.

Even as Yulie asked Mia why Ryo wasn't tearing Talpa apart Crys answered. "He can't Yulie. There is one more lesson that he must learn yet before he can take Talpa down. He is about to learn it here, but you must have faith in them all." Her soft voice was scratched and hoarse from her call to Anubis, as it had irritated her already lacerated and healing voice.

Talpa was now fighting against Ryo and Whiteblaze as the two women and the young boy watched. It hurt Crys to have to stand by and watch but there was nothing more that she could do until Ryo had been taken. She knew what was about to happen, but she couldn't afford to kill their fragile hopes by telling them that as dark as the world looked moments ago, it was about to look darker.

Ryo had just thrown away his chance to take Talpa out and as Talpa defeated the now battle weary Ryo easily and took his armor she could feel the pain and hurt radiate from the small boy.

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