Previously: Yi Fan died fighting the Czar, after which Metalord used the Mask to take away the Czar’s powers and Twain declared himself the new Czar. The cave apparently thought that was funny, because it laughed. And now…
“What was that?” asked Twain, looking around the cavern.
“That was me,” said the voice of Ghost Dragon, reverberating from the crystals all around them. The cavern, always cool, grew cold.
“Dude, is he speaking Chinese?” Digger asked Cole, his breath puffing out in small clouds in the suddenly frigid air.
“Of course he is,” Cole said. “He’s a Chinese ghost.”
“Then why do I understand him?” Digger asked.
“Because I’m speaking to your mind, idiot,” said Ghost Dragon. “Mister Twain, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Yi Fan’s death has rendered her unsuitable to serve as my host any longer. Therefore, she is now free of my curse. The bad news is, these crystals taste delicious.”
The crystals flickered and flared even more deeply than before as the Ghost Dragon finished his statement.
“Wait a minute,” Digger said. “Is he saying…?”
One by one, ghostly blue flames flickered to life above every crystal in the cave and further, into the Grand Cathedral, though they didn’t raise the temperature even one degree. And in every frigid flame was the mocking face of the Ghost Dragon.
“That’s probably not good,” Digger said.
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]The flames flared higher, swirling and dancing until they joined together to form a massive fiery image of the Ghost from the waist up, hovering above the ranks of crystals in the Grand Cathedral, arranged in rows like worshippers sitting in pews…[/blockquote]The flames flared higher, swirling and dancing until they joined together to form a massive fiery image of the Ghost from the waist up, hovering above the ranks of crystals in the Grand Cathedral, arranged in rows like worshippers sitting in pews, or perhaps buildings lined up along the streets of a city. The Ghost’s laughter shook the ceiling as the air in the cave began to revolve around him.
“Freedom,” he said, and the crystals as shook in unison with the rumble of his voice. “Finally free of that tiresome woman after all these years. Without another host to sustain me, I might have faded into oblivion, but this is so much better!”
“You call this freedom?” Digger asked. “How is being stuck in the crystals better than possessing a human? Now you’re trapped in this cave.”
“As are you,” the Ghost said. His image rippled and distorted, making his smile seem mocking.
“Definitely not good,” Digger muttered to Cole..
“But yes, as you say, I’m stuck in these crystals. And the crystals are bound together,” the Ghost said. “All of them.”
“What does that mean?” Cole asked.
“Oh my God,” Digger said. He turned to Bogdan, the former Czar. “That crystal I took from you in Berkeley. Are there any more of those? How many people are walking around wearing them?”
“I don’t know,” Bogdan said, but the look on his face said there must be some.
In the Czar’s personal chamber, a small chest of teak burst open atop a table in the corner of the vast room. From the glowing blue crystal lying atop a lining of velvet inside rose a glowing miniature image of the Ghost. There was nothing miniature about the sinister laugh that echoed from the cavernous ceiling, sending a maid screaming from the room.
That was unexpected. Wonder how many more surprises the Ghost has in store. Be here for the next exciting episode and see!
To read from the beginning, click here…