Ivan, Sheba, and Kraden accidentally put the whole world in peril while investigating the buried ruins of the Venus Tribe.
Ivan ran back through the streets, retracing his footsteps. Sheba was back here somewhere, and he needed to find her before it was too late.
He stopped dead in the middle of an intersection as he realized that not only did he not know which way they had gone, he didn't know which way he had come from. He wouldn't do Sheba any good if he ran off in the wrong direction.
He closed his eyes and concentrated. The creature was formed with psynergy. A lot of psynergy. It must have left a trail. He reached out with his own power and found it. Left. He opened his eyes and resumed running in that direction.
And he saw them, a few blocks down. Sheba was on the ground, fighting vainly to get to her feet. The thing towered over her prone form, reaching down and taking her by the throat. He raised her into the air as she kicked futilely and clawed at the misshapen hand gripping her airway.
"Let go of her!" Ivan yelled as he ran forward, but the creature paid him no mind. Ivan reached out to the air in front of him, and compressed it, forming it into three blades, which he sent spinning at the monster's arm. The bursts of air cut through the arm, which crumbled and fell to the ground. Sheba fell with them, her throat now free.
Ivan interposed himself between them, lashing out left and then right with the Kikuichimonji. His first blow took off the arm that was coming about to cave in his skull, and the second sliced clean through both the creature's legs. Astonishingly, the thing fell, landing with a heavy /thud/. It wasn't until it struck the ground that it began regrowing its severed limbs.
The ground, Ivan thought suddenly, staring at the regenerating mass, it needs to be touching the ground to grow parts of itself back. Suddenly he knew how to beat it.
"Sheba!" He called out as he leaped backwards to her side, "Make a whirlwind! I need as much sand in the air as possible!"Sheba was still coughing, but managed to hold out a hand and summon up a wind. A whirlwind of sand appeared around where the beast was pulling itself upright once more. Within minute there was so much grit in the air that nothing could be seen.
Then it was Ivan's turn. He reached up into the sky once more and brought the lightning down. Bolts after bolt crashed into the cloud of sand, until eventually he stopped to see his handiwork. The sand in the air had fused in the intense heat, creating a huge glass prison at the center of which was the elemental creature. Most of its body had become part of the prison, but there was a small core trapped at the center that was pushing against the imprisoning structure, gradually breaking through. In a few minutes it would push its way out and reform.
Fortunately, Ivan had no intention of giving it that chance. He grabbed Sheba's hand and fed her power. "Now! While the glass keeps it from regenerating, send it into the air!" Sheba was in pain, and short of strength, but with his power bolstering hers she managed to create a strong enough updraft to lift the glass structure into the air. With that accomplished, the fight was all but over. As soon as the small core broke free of the glass structure, Ivan struck it with a lightning bolt before it could touch the ground. It shattered, and when the remnents landed it did not grow a new body.
Suddenly exhausted, Ivan and Sheba both collapsed on the ground. Their breath was heavy and laboured.
"We have to stop him." Sheba said. Ivan nodded in agreement, but was forced to voice his doubts.
"How? How can we stop him? He's just far too powerful with that sword. He already killed Kraden, and if we try to fight him we'll be next. We barely beat one of his creatures-for all we know, he could summon up a hundred of them with one wave of his sword!"
"We've got one chance." Sheba said, biting her lip in that way which meant she was thinking. "All his power comes from the sword. If we take it away from him..." She trailed off, staring across the street.
"What do you have in mind?" Ivan asked.
"The sword was obviously kept in place by powerful enchantments. Otherwise, any idiot could come along and take it. They must have been hidden really carefully if I didn't see them, but when Donn took the sword I felt the edge of them, and it didn't feel like the power was released. It felt more like..." he trailed off again, searching for a way to describe the feeling.
"Like the click of a key in a lock." Ivan supplied. He'd felt it too; not a breaking, nor a removing, but more the shifting of a few components into a different alignment.
"Exactly! I think the enchantments are still there. Maybe, if we go back to the tomb, we can use them to seal the sword's power up again."
Ivan wasn't so sure. "That's more maybes and 'I think's than I'm comfortable with."
"It's the only chance we've got, and if this doesn't work, we're dead either way. If Donn wasn't crazy before they sealed him up underground, he certainly is now. I think he's going to destroy everything."
She was right. If there was a chance of stopping Donn, it lay inside that tomb. Ivan didn't want to go back into the heart of Donn's power, but there was no choice.
"All right," he said as he pulled himself to his feet, "let's do it."