As the others got back from picking up the luggage, Anubis decided to check on Cale. Mia had fallen asleep in his arms and he quickly left the room. She slept peacefully and didn't notice anything.
A pool of water came from under the door and seeped into the room. It stopped just next to her bed and started to gather more volume. The water defied gravity and started to build upon itself. It built up to the shape of a little girl and started to solidify. Colors swam within it and started to reconstruct the pigmentation and clothing of the girl. After a few more seconds of forming, the sprite in blue stood next to Mia's bed.
"You are not the girl that my Empress speaks so highly of but she wants you captured nonetheless," it whispered ever so softly. "Your guardian is not here right now so I would hope that you stay asleep to make this go quicker."
She held her hands over Mia's sleeping form and began to form a water bubble around her. Before almost covering her, the bubble burst and the sprite stared down, confused.
"You gain new knowledge each time you use your powers, no matter how much it drains you. No matter. That will hardly stop me. You are still asleep. How about a stronger spell?"
The sprite concentrated even more, sure that she would be caught for using more power. The bubble formed even quicker around Mia and it didn't burst. She smiled as it started to levitate. At that instant, Anubis rushed into the room.
"You again?!" He went after it and tried to grab its shoulders. He passed through her, hands wet.
"I'm just here to take her, nothing else."
"Like I'm going to listen to that." He tried to tackled it and passed through it. He landed under the floating bubble, soaking wet.
"You like getting wet, don't you?"
"Umm...What's going...?" Mia stirred within the bubble and began rubbing her eyes.
"See what you've done now? You've gone and woke her up. Say bye-bye to your honey then."
Before Anubis could get up, the blue sprite turned liquid again and splashed down. The bubble popped but no Mia fell out of it. Anubis sat up in bed and looked around. The blue sprite was gone.
"What happened now?" Cale asked as he showed up next to the door.
"They've taken Mia." Anubis got up from the bed and almost pushed Cale aside to get out of the room.
"Where do you think you're going? You're soaking wet."
"I have to..."
"Go back on the bed and change clothes."
"You heard me. Get changed will you."
Cale pushed him back as footsteps came down the hall.
"What was that?" Ryo asked as he got to the door followed by Sage and Mira.
"Did you happen to bring his clothes?" Cale asked.
"Well, they're here..." Mira held up a bag.
"Good. Thanks." He pushed the bag into Anubis' arms. "Now change."
"Will you just do it? You'll get out of here quicker if you do what I say."
Anubis opened his mouth to protest but immediately closed it. He turned to the bed and opened the bag. Cale pushed the others out and closed the door.
"What happened in there?" Sage asked. "It looked like a monsoon went through it."
"Almost. One of those girls showed up and took Mia."
"And I'm getting her back," Anubis said as he opened the door. "I don't care what any of you say."
"You'll get no argument from me," Mira told him. "But don't you think you should wait until everybody is healthy?"
"When will that be?!"
"I can go talk her into doing it now." The girl went down the hall and down the stairs.
"What is she talking about?" Ryo asked. The others just shrugged.
"Mia? Mia?" A voice called out to her. She slowly opened her eyes and looked up to Kayura's face.
"Kay?" She tried to get up but was stopped.
"Stay down. She won't come around until she knows you're awake."
"Who? Where are we?"
"We're at Tyra's castle. I'm not even sure where that is. She keeps calling it her Netherworld so I'm guessing this is where Talpa banished her."
"I was not banished." Both women turned and found Tyra standing not far away. "My father just sent me to my room."
"This is some room," Mia said as she slowly sat up.
"Sorry about the accommodations though. This was such short notice that I didn't have time to put you up in a room."
"Will you just get to the point?" Kayura said. "What are you going to do with us?"
"Very impatient. Nothing like your sister. Anyway, since you want to know, I'll tell. I plan to keep Mia as you would probably have already guessed. As for you, you're not exactly the bait but you will be the string."
"Everybody thinks that Royda doesn't feel a thing. Guess what? She's probably the most sensitive out there next to your other sister. She's just better at keeping to herself than anybody."
"You're blackmailing her with me?!"
"You catch on quick! With you on my court, she'll have to do anything I tell her or you die. Big price, huh?"
"She won't do it!"
"Really? We'll see. She is fiercely protective with family and friends. If you didn't fall into either category, you're the enemy."
"What about me?" Mia asked.
"The child within you is enough consolation. But I don't think I can take care of it when it comes so you're staying along."
Everybody in the real Netherworld gathered just outside of the castle. They stood there, trying to formulate a plan.
"Will you guys just leave that to me?" Mira said, pushing everybody aside. She stood at the front of the group and fell silent.
"I thought she's supposed to be the normal one around here?" Sage asked Ryo.
"What's he talking about?" Rowen asked after Sage turned away from Ryo.
"She said some things right before we came down the stairs," Ryo answered. "We still don't understand what she's talking about."
They turned to her as she started to move around. Her eyes were closed and she walked with her arms out in front of her. Kento looked at Cye, made a face, and indicated that she had lost her mind. Cye elbowed him before Royda could see what he did.
Anubis stood apart from the group. He could tell that the plan of using Mia's power to locate that back door was coming in handy. Mira was taking her place but hopefully with greater results. He watched them all horse around, truly amazed that they were calm.
"No matter how angry you are," a voice said from behind him, "we can't plunge headfirst into anything."
"I know that." He turned around and confronted Royda.
"There is too much at stake to make even the slightest error."
"You're blaming me now?"
"We have to be extremely careful with everything: Mia, Kayura, even the baby. That is the only reason why Tyra would want her. The child is very important to them or else..."
Royda stopped in mid-sentence as Anubis came at her. He grabbed the collars of her shirt and lifted her, their faces inches form each other.
"What do you think I'm doing?" He gritted his teeth as he looked down at her dark blue eyes. "I am as controlled as can be. I don't need you to tell me that. It might take no effort for you to keep your emotions hidden, but it's different for others. You act like nothing is wrong but there is. I'm sick and tired of this mask you have on." He let go of her shirt. "That fight with Kento was a true you. Maybe we need to see that more often."
"I found it!!" Mira shouted. The little girl pointed to a direction that the others just looked at. "Well, what are you guys waiting for? Let's go get Kayura and Mia back."
Anubis backed away from Royda and he continued to look at her. A mixture of pity, anger, and sadness were in his eyes. Nothing was in hers. It made him wonder what events help turn this girl to a steel-hearted woman.
"I don't think you want to see a 'true me'," she whispered. "I've tried it once and it brought nothing but heartache. Both for me and my family. I promised never again." She clenched her fists as a flame of anger flared up behind her eyes and quickly died.
Ryo had turned back and caught Anubis looking at Royda with so much sadness, he misread it for something else. There was more going on than anybody is letting them into and the Ronins were just following. The whole picture was getting clearer and only a few clues shed some light. They really needed to get this over with so they would all get some answers.