Note: All standard disclaimers apply. Special thanks to Starlight Rose for beta-reading this despite being very busy.

[SD Sakura, Tomoyo, and Kero-chan appear. Tomoyo is excited.]

Tomoyo: Oh, I'm so happy Sakura-chan's still a magical girl!

Sakura: [Sweatdrops.] Tomoyo-chan...

Tomoyo: But it's true! You're the only one who can stop this latest evil!

Sakura: [Sighs.] Although Tomoyo-chan is exaggerating, she does have a point.

Kero-chan: Yeah, something evil is out there, and it tried to get Sakura's Cards and Key.

Sakura: You see, there was this evil clown called Psycho. He captured Yue-san, then told me he'd free him in exchange for the Sakura Cards and Star Key. I felt I had no choice, so I went to Tomoeda Yuuen to deliver them. In order to get to Yue-san, I had to enter Psycho's Funhouse.

Tomoyo: I overheard Psycho talking to Sakura-chan and I told Kero-chan and Touya-san. We followed Sakura-chan to Tomoeda Yuuen, but we ran into our own trouble.

Kero-chan: Robots, and a lot of them. Fortunately, I managed to defeat them in my magnificent true form. [Smiles.]

Tomoyo: Touya-san also helped battle the robots. He was great.

Kero-chan: [Snorts.] Whatever.

Sakura: Meanwhile, I was being challenged in the Funhouse by Psycho. I managed to survive his traps and made it to the end. I gave my magical items to Psycho, but he was going to kill me.

Kero-chan: Then we came in just in time to save Sakura-chan and cure Yue-san. Then we got a little surprise: Psycho was a robot, too. [Mumbles.] Oh, that was a big shock.

Sakura: Psycho threatened to kill otousan, so my Guardians went after him. Unfortunately, two more robots tried to kill me, but I managed to outsmart them.

Tomoyo: Meanwhile, Kerberos and Yue-san battled Psycho, who managed to overpower and defeat them.

Kero-chan: [Groaning.] Don't remind me...

Tomoyo: Everything seemed lost until Sakura-chan came on the scene. Oh, Sakura-chan, you looked so wonderful in your new battle costume!

Sakura: [Sweatdrops.] I fought Psycho, but my Cards seemed to have no effect on him. It was tough, but I defeated him. It looked like he was gone for good.

Tomoyo: Although Sakura-chan was magnificent, Psycho survived her attack and left, warning us it wasn't over.

Kero-chan: Not by a long shot. The next time I see that clown, I'll kick his teeth in!

Tomoyo: [Shows her camcorder.] Still, it made an exciting video!

Kero-chan: Ohhhhhhhh, that blasted gaki's gotta be laughing at me after seeing that video.

Sakura: [Softly.] Syaoran-kun...[Bows her head to hide the creeping blush on her face.]

Kero-chan: I, the Guardian Beast, got my butt kicked by a talking toaster oven! I'll never be able to live it down.

Tomoyo: Speaking of Psycho, he didn't seem like an ordinary robot. In fact, the robots we encountered were strange. Touya-san said when he threw one at another, it felt light. They seemed militaristic in organization. Also, they had the names of computer keys and terms. They do have a collective name: Cyber.

Sakura: We still don't know why Psycho wanted the Cards and Key and who created him and the other Cybers, but there's still a chance they'll try again. Even if they do, everything will be all right.

Tomoyo: Because you're Sakura-chan, possessor of the invincible spell! [Starry eyes.] Oh, Sakura-chan! Now that there's a new evil out there, you have to practice even more! [She pulls on a rope, and a rack of battle costumes rolls out.] I've got a lot of battle costumes ready and I have some poses and chants you might like!

Sakura: [Sweatdrops.] Tomoyo-chan...

The Enemy Revealed
Prologue: A Preview of Things to Come

"Wh-what's going on?"

Clutching her Star Wand, Kinomoto Sakura looked around her. She saw nothing. She stood still in the darkness, then reached into her pocket and took out the Light Card. "Release! Light!" she cried, striking the Sakura Card. "Illuminate this darkness!"

Light emerged and began to shine. Its luminescent glow appeared to overpower the surrounding darkness. Suddenly, the darkness reached out and engulfed Light. It struggled to break free. As it did, its glow started to falter. Sakura watched as Light faded away into its card form.

Sakura caught the card. "What's going on?" she asked. "Light is one of the most powerful cards."

A cruel laugh emerged from the darkness. "Why do you bother trying? Your magic is inferior to mine."

"Hoe?" Sakura scanned the area for the speaker. "Who said that?"

"I did." The voice came from Sakura's front. The Cardmistress made out the outline of a person. She made out a cape and thought she saw a crown sitting on his head. Although the darkness hid most of his details, Sakura thought he was wearing armor. The outline was possible because of a faint glow from his crown and chest. It was a light blue and in both locations, shaped like a small egg. A red circle shone where his left eye was.

Sakura went into a defensive stance, her Star Wand out like a sword ready to strike. "Wh-who are you?"

The stranger grinned. "Your superior, Cardmistress."

"You're the one who sent Psycho, didn't you?" Sakura pressed.

"Well, a working brain. Too bad it won't do you any good," the stranger said. "My power far exceeds yours."

"What do you want?"

"What you have."

Sakura looked at the deck of Sakura Cards, then at her Star Wand. "I can't. I promised Clow-san and Eriol-kun!"

The stranger laughed. "Foolish little girl! You don't know who you're dealing with!" He waved his hand, and Sakura heard an explosion.

Sakura stared at the figure cloaked in darkness. "You won't get my Cards and Key," she said, determined. "I'll fight you if I have to!"

The glow of the red circle intensified. "You'll regret that decision, Cardmistress," the stranger said threateningly. "You can't defeat me. The beautiful night will come, and all the laughter will go away."

"Beautiful...night?" Sakura whispered.

The stranger chuckled. "The beautiful night's coming, Cardmistress, and you can't stop it. Defy me and you'll die."

With a laugh, the stranger disappeared in the shadows. Sakura stood alone, wondering what he meant. She heard more explosions around her, then voices behind her.

"Hey, don't worry. We'll be there for you."

"Yeah, we can take this bozo on!"

"If we stick together, we cannot be beaten."

"You're not alone, Sakura. I'll return to protect you."

Sakura recognized the last speaker. "Syaoran-kun?" Just as she was about to turn around, a loud ringing broke out.

* * * * *

The alarm clock went off. Sakura grumbled and got up. Near her, the toy-like Kero-chan awakened. He joined his friend and mistress in yawning and stretching.

"It was him," Sakura said.

"Huh?" Kero-chan flew to Sakura's lap. "What are you talking about?"

"Syaoran-kun spoke to me in my dream," Sakura answered.

The small winged lion groaned. "Great, now he's showing up in your dreams. Yeesh, were you two in some romantic setting?"

"Actually, it wasn't like that," Sakura said gravely. "I think I saw him."

"The gaki?" Kero-chan asked, annoyed.

Sakura shook her head. "The one who sent Psycho after me. The one called the User."

Kero-chan got up. "You saw the User?"

"Not really. Everything was dark," Sakura admitted. "I tried using Light, but the darkness overwhelmed it."

"Light got overwhelmed?" Kero-chan could not comprehend that. "But it's one of the more powerful cards."

"I know. After Light returned to its card form, the User spoke to me," Sakura said. "I couldn't really see, but he was probably wearing a cape and maybe a crown."

"Go on," Kero-chan prodded.

"He said I couldn't defeat him and that the beautiful night is coming," Sakura said. "Whatever that means."

"Anything else happen?" Kero-chan asked.

"After the User disappeared, I heard four voices tell me they'll be there for me. The last one was Syaoran-kun's, but I couldn't recognize the others," Sakura recalled. "However, two voices belong to girls and the other one was a boy's." She looked at the Guardian Beast. "Psycho was right. The User is coming here."

"So? You can handle him," Kero-chan said.

"I barely beat Psycho three days ago," Sakura said. "The User has to be more powerful than him."

"Maybe, but you have more important things to worry about," Kero-chan said.

"Like what?" Sakura asked.

"Like getting ready for school," the Guardian Beast replied.

Sakura gasped and looked at the time. "Hoe! I'm late!" She got off her bed, sending Kero-chan tumbling off her lap.

"Some things never change," Kero-chan groaned, his eyes all swirly.

* * * * *

In Hong Kong, a young boy was on his way to school. It was early for him (it was around six in the morning), but he promised one of his teachers he would see him about something before school opened. His thoughts started to dwell on a girl with green eyes and auburn hair.

"Syaoran, wait up!"

Snapping out of his reverie, Li Syaoran stopped briefly to allow his cousin Meiling to catch up. He heard her catch her breath.

"I was shouting at you to stop," the young girl managed to say between breaths. "Why didn't you?"

"I...was thinking of something," Syaoran answered.

Meiling noticed the light blush on Syaoran's face. "Don't you mean 'someone'?" she said.

Syaoran bowed his head. His face was beet red. "What are you doing here? School isn't officially open yet."

"I said I'd come with you so you wouldn't be alone, remember?" Meiling reminded him. "Anyway, don't change the subject. You miss her, right?"

Syaoran sighed. "That and I'm worried about her."

"It's the video Daidouji sent, right?" Meiling asked.

Syaoran nodded. "I should've been there. If I were, Sakura wouldn't have gone through all that."

"Much as I hate to admit it, she handled herself pretty well," Meiling said. "Not as well as I would have, but she did okay."

"I wish I was there to protect her," Syaoran said. "I wish I stayed in Tomoeda."

"But you didn't," Meiling said. "Syaoran, you still have family obligations here in Hong Kong. Maybe after you've fulfilled them, you can stay in Japan with the one you love."

*The one I love...* Syaoran recalled how it took him a while to realize Kinomoto Sakura was the one for him. When he arrived in Tomoeda, they did not get along at first since he was determined to claim the Clow Cards for his own. As they worked together to capture the Cards, Syaoran saw that in spite of his resentment of her abilities, she still treated him kindly. As time passed, their relationship changed from being rivals to being friends. Soon friendship blossomed into love for the young magician. However, the object of his affection was blissfully unaware of his feelings, and his many attempts to tell her how he felt ended in failure. It was only after Sakura's final challenge with the reincarnation of Clow Read did he confess his love to her. Without any reason to stay in Tomoeda, he departed for Hong Kong. He could not bring himself to tell his beloved he was leaving, but Daidouji Tomoyo informed her best friend, and the young Cardmistress made it in time to the airport to say goodbye. They exchanged teddy bears and farewells, but he hoped to see her again. He did in the following summer, and during the capture of the final Clow Card, after it seemed his feelings were taken away, Sakura told him she loved him. The embrace they shared afterwards was forever etched in his memory. After controlling the crimson blush on his face, he faced his cousin. "Thank you, Meiling."

"For what?"

"For making it possible."

"I knew how you felt about her. I wanted you to be happy," Meiling said, remembering the promise she made to Syaoran to end their engagement if he found his true love. "Besides, I doubt your mother would've wanted me as your wife. It's my lack of magical ability, you know."

They reached their school. Syaoran found the entrance open, just like Mr. Deng said. They entered. "It's different when the students aren't here," Meiling commented.

Syaoran nodded and led the way to Mr. Deng's room. They heard their footsteps only as they walked through the deserted hall. They reached the correct room. Syaoran found the door was unlocked. He also sensed something strange, but he could not figure out what it was.

"So, what did Mr. Deng wanted to see you about?" Meiling asked.

"I'm not sure," Syaoran said as they went inside. "He was very vague on the phone yesterday."

They looked around and found the room empty. "Huh?" Meiling said. "No one's here."

"I wouldn't say that."

Syaoran and Meiling watched as two figures appeared before them. One was large and had five spikes shooting out of his dome head. The other had a triangular head and a cape.

"Robots?" Meiling said.

"Like the one in Daidouji's video," Syaoran said. He glared at the newcomers. "Who are you?"

"I am Hacker and this is my associate Cracker," the robot with the cape said, motioning toward the giant beside him. "I apologize, Mr. Li. I don't practice such dishonorable methods, but one of my fellow Masters was responsible for the phone call."

"Yeah, and you fell for it. Hook, line, and sinker," the towering robot said.

Syaoran and Meiling stood their ground. "What do you want?" Syaoran asked.

"Your sword, Mr. Li," Hacker answered.

"Yeah." Cracker gestured towards Syaoran. "Fork it over, kid."

"Never!" Meiling shouted, glaring at them.

Syaoran eyed the two robots before him. "Is that it?" He made his sword appear in his hand. "I'll be glad to give you a demonstration of its power!"

"Ah, a duel." Hacker pulled out a rod from his back, then willed it to shoot out an energy beam. "Well, I accept your challenge, Mr. Li."

*What is this, Star Wars?* Meiling wondered, looking at the lightsaber-like weapon in the robot's hand.

"Let's waste him, Hacker!" Cracker declared, ready to charge Syaoran.

"I will battle Mr. Li on my own, Cracker," Hacker said firmly. "It would be more honorable if we clashed blades like true warriors."

"Honor, schmonor," Cracker grumbled. "Guess I'll just crush you instead, little girl," he said to Meiling.

Meiling tensed up and faced her foe. "I'll show you what this little girl can do, you overgrown tin can!" she shouted, getting into a fighting stance.

Syaoran glared at Hacker. *These robots tried to kill Sakura! I'll make them pay!* he thought angrily, remembering the video of the battle between Sakura and Psycho.

Hacker stepped forward. "Well, Mr. Li, shall we begin?" he asked.

* * * * *

In England, Mizuki Kaho was driving home. "That was a wonderful day of shopping, wasn't it?" she asked the girl with frizzy red hair sitting next to her.

A smile formed on the freckled face of Regina "Ready" Brighton. "It sure was! Thanks for taking us out, Miss Mizuki."

"It was no problem, Ready," Kaho said. "I needed some help with the groceries."

"And with navigating the streets," Ready added, grinning and pointing. "We turn here, Miss Mizuki."

Kaho looked ahead and blinked, then made the turn. "Thank you, Ready-san," she said, laughing a little. "I nearly missed that."

"No problem," Ready said. She watched the other cars pass by. "Man, I still can't get used to people driving on the left side of the road."

"Well, we drive the same way in Japan," Kaho said.

"Any reason why?" Ready asked.

"I don't have a clue," Kaho answered. "Too bad Maya-san didn't come along with us."

"Well, Maya loves Eriol's library," Ready said. "She loves books so much."

"She certainly does," Kaho agreed. "During your time here, she's read about one-third of Eriol's library."

"Hey, are we there yet?" someone groaned from the back seat.

Ready turned around to face a pile of shopping bags. "We're almost there, Brandon."

The head of Brandon Darque shot out of the pile, sending a variety of hats to the floor. "You said that about fifty times!" the dark-haired boy shouted, his brown eyes meeting Ready's blue. "I've been trying to breathe underneath all these hats you bought for a long time now! Why'd you have to buy them?"

"Because I just loved the designs. You know me and hats," Ready said, pointing to the black beret decorated with gold and silver glitter on her head.

"I prefer this one," Brandon said, referring to the black and purple baseball cap sitting on his head. A skull with a thunderbolt on it stood out on the front.

"Sorry it's crowded back there," Kaho said apologetically. "There wasn't room in the trunk for those and the groceries."

"You are lucky, Shadowwalker," a thin, pale man with dark hair told the boy. "At least you are not holding Miss Mizuki's purchases." He pointed at the bags on his lap.

"And what is wrong with what I bought?" Kaho asked teasingly while keeping her eyes on the road.

The man looked into one bag and saw women's undergarments. "Nothing," he said hesitantly.

"Good, because I needed new ones," Kaho said. "My old stuff's getting holes in them. Curse that washing machine."

"Umbriel, are you blushing?" Ready asked the man, noticing the red shade spreading slowly on his face.

"I do not blush, Mistress," Umbriel answered, bowing his head. Unfortunately, he found himself staring at panties and bras. He looked out the window. Ready smiled and faced forward.

Brandon chuckled at Umbriel's discomfort. "What's wrong? Can't take the sight of women's underwear?" he teased.

Umbriel glared at the boy. "Care to explain why you volunteered to hold Mistress Ready's hats?" he whispered.

Brandon gulped, his cheeks turning crimson. "Wh-wh-what are you talking about?" he whispered back. "She made me take this stuff. Heck, she ordered me."

"'Brandon, can you please hold these for me?'" Umbriel said, recalling his mistress's words. "That did not sound like an order to me."

Brandon looked out the window, his face still red. "Leave me alone," he grumbled.

"Hey, what are you two talking about?" Ready asked her friends.

"Um, I was complaining about the hats you bought," Brandon said quickly. "You really shouldn't have bought so many."

"No prob for me," Ready said. "Being rich helps."

"What about your parents? How would they feel if they knew about this?" Brandon asked.

"Mom and Dad wouldn't mind. They'd understand," Ready answered. "Money doesn't mean much to them."

"Oh," Brandon said. He looked at a small blue top hat with shooting stars and comets. "This blue matches her eyes," he whispered. He sighed involuntarily.

"By the way, thanks again for holding those," Ready said.

Brandon felt his face heat up. "Um, no problem."

Umbriel watched Brandon . *Unthinkable. A Shadowwalker with a Starlighter. An impossibility in the past,* he thought. He looked at his young mistress. *Ready, if you only knew.*

The car drove through the suburbs. "Too bad your training's almost done," Kaho said to the two kids. "Eriol says you three have been progressing well. He estimates that after one more month of training you'll be returning to America as better magicians."

"He's a great teacher," Ready said. "He's good with magic."

"He's the reincarnation of the most powerful magician in the world. Of course he'll be good with magic," Brandon said. "But did he have to make his Guardians attack us when we showed up?"

"Eriol needed to make sure you were worthy," Kaho said. "As members of two of the world's most powerful magician orders and the heir of another, you three needed to prove yourself. He wanted to see if the Grand Illuminator and the Darkmaster were correct in their assessment of your abilities."

"And we did prove them right," Ready said proudly. "We made our dads proud."

The car pulled up to a large Victorian house in an isolated part of the suburbs. It contrasted with the modern houses they passed. Eriol, his Guardians, and Kaho moved there in order to have more privacy and room for Eriol's growing library. In the late night, it looked spooky, but Ready knew its inhabitants were friendly.

"We'll miss you after you leave," Kaho said. "You and Nakuru have really gotten close, Ready. You even made friends with Suppi-chan."

"A miracle in itself, considering your little 'problem' with cats, Ready," Brandon teased.

"Well, there's an exception for everything," Ready said. "You prove that, Brandon."

Brandon felt himself blush again. "Me?" he said, keeping his head down.

"You're very kind for a Shadowwalker," Ready said. "Of course, I saw that after getting past the whole 'trying-to-kill-me' thing."

"We were members of feuding magician orders," Brandon said. "I was told to kill you by my leader."

"Thank goodness that feud is over," Kaho said as she parked. "Imagine, a centuries-long feud because of a simple misunderstanding."

"A simple misunderstanding that resulted in many casualties on both sides," Umbriel pointed out. "Many conflicts have similar starts."

"Well, I'm glad our parents got together and stopped the feud," Ready said as she got out of the car. "I mean, now we're both working to keep the world safe."

Brandon got out with Ready's bags. "That's a good thing," he said, trying his best not to drop the bags.

Umbriel stepped out, holding Kaho's bags and avoiding a look at their contents. Kaho walked to the trunk. "I'll get the groceries. Umbriel, can you help me?"

"Of course," Umbriel said. He placed the bags of underwear on the ground and followed Kaho to the back of the car.

"I hope Eriol will like what I'm making for dinner," Kaho said. "I also hope he doesn't mind eating around 10 PM. It took me forever to find that spice he started liking. He needs a good meal, especially to get his mind off whatever's been bothering him recently."

"Eriol has been acting strangely," Umbriel agreed. "He keeps talking about some new presence. A malevolent one. He watched that TV report from Japan closely. The one on that amusement park..."

"I still can't believe she and Eriol are together," Brandon whispered to Ready as they watched Kaho and Umbriel talk. "I mean, it's a little...weird. She's older than he is."

"Technically, Eriol's older than her," Ready whispered back. "Besides, he can change his body into something more mature."

"Yeah, but he does that only with other people," Brandon said. "He sticks with the kid form when he's around us." He looked at Kaho, who was opening the trunk with Umbriel watching. "Does she have a thing for younger guys or what?"

Ready punched Brandon lightly on the arm. "Hey, keeping in mind he's way older than her, I think it's cute."

"Well, then it's just an older guy-younger woman thing." Brandon winced from the punch, but strangely he found himself liking it.

"Ready, you ring the doorbell and let Eriol know we're here," Kaho said as she and Umbriel started taking paper bags out.

"Right!" Ready said.

Brandon watched as Ready bolted up the stairs. *She's so fit. Not to mention a little pretty.* The thought made him blush again. He felt his stomach churn. *What the heck's wrong with me?*

Umbriel watched the young Shadowwalker closely. Shaking his head, he walked towards the stairs.

Ready was about to ring the doorbell, but she froze. Brandon dropped the bags and joined Ready at the door. "What's wrong?" he asked.

Ready stared at the door. "Something's wrong. Can't you feel it?"

"Yeah, I'm feeling something." Brandon checked the doorknob. "Hey, the door's unlocked." He turned it and opened the door. "Eriol always keeps the door locked."

Umbriel sensed something. "Wait here," he told Kaho before rushing up the stairs. "I will go in first," he told the two kids.

"Suit yourself," Brandon said.

With Umbriel leading, they entered the house. They made their way to the parlor. Once they got there, they froze in their tracks. "Oh my..." Ready began.

The parlor was in ruins. Furniture were either broken or lying on the floor. Eriol's throne-like chair was among the latter. Burn marks and slashes dominated the walls. A table was in pieces. What got their attention was the two individuals lying unconscious on the ground. One was a teen-age girl and the other was a dark cat with little butterfly wings. Both looked badly beaten.

"Nakuru! Suppi!" Ready shouted as she ran to the fallen figures, people who befriended her and Brandon during their stay with Eriol. She knelt besides Akizuki Nakuru and checked the pulse on her neck. "She's still alive," she told her friends. Brandon knelt near Nakuru, allowing Ready to focus on Suppi-chan. "Suppi? Suppi?" she cried. Getting no response, she closed her eyes and placed her hands on the unconscious cat. Mumbling, her hands glowed, sending energy into Suppi-chan. When she was done, Ready addressed him again. "Suppi?" she asked, feeling a little light-headed.

The cat opened his eyes and moaned. "W-w-who's Suppi?" he managed to say.

Relieved, Ready hugged Suppi-chan. "Thank God you're alive!"

Suppi-chan gasped. "Not if you don't let me go, Ready."

Ready laughed and released Suppi-chan. "Sorry about that," she apologized.

Nakuru opened her eyes gradually. Seeing Brandon, she stretched her hand towards him. "Oooooooogh, did we survive the train wreck?" she asked as Brandon helped her up.

"Welcome back, Mr. Mom," Brandon said with a grin.

Nakuru wanted to stick out her tongue at the Shadowwalker, but could not. "Hey, I like being female," she said weakly with a smile. "The clothing's more appealing."

Kaho ran into the parlor and saw the damage. "What happened?" she asked.

Suppi-chan tried to fly, but could not do it. "We tried our best, Kaho."

"We really did, but it was no use," Nakuru said, trying to stand under her own power.

Umbriel scanned the area. "There was a fight here."

"You think?" Brandon said sarcastically, still keeping Nakuru up.

"Unfortunately, we were on the losing side," Suppi-chan said.

Kaho started to panic. "Where's Eriol?" she asked, looking around the parlor frantically.

"He was taken," Nakuru answered. "We're sorry, Kaho, but we tried to stop it from happening. He was too powerful for us. We couldn't even beat him in our true forms..."

"Who took Eriol?" Ready asked, amazed someone could defeat Eriol's Guardians and abduct him with ease.

"Yeah, who was the guy?" Brandon asked.

"We don't know who he was," Suppi-chan answered. "All we recall is that he wore a crown and cape."

"He also had this weird design on his chest and crown," Nakuru added. "It looked like a shiny blue egg."

Brandon let out a whistle. "One guy did all this? Dang."

"Actually, he wasn't alone," Suppi-chan recalled.

"How did he get in? Eriol had this place magically sealed against all intruders," Kaho wondered.

"Perhaps you should change the locks then," someone said from behind with a giggle.

All heads turned and saw a hunchback robot. On his shoulder sat a robot bird with two medallions hanging from its beak.

"What the...?" Ready's eyes widened.

"A robot?" Kaho asked, puzzled.

Brandon spotted what was in the bird's beak. One medallion was golden with an eight-pointed star on its face. The other was silver with the same design as the one on Brandon's cap. A closer look revealed a ring being held at the tip of the beak. "Ready, that thing's got..."

"Our medallions and Maya's ring!" Ready finished. "But if he has them, did he kill...?"

"Oh, they're just unconscious," the hunchback said, giggling maniacally. "Out like a light on the floor upstairs. They didn't really put up a good fight."

"How did you get in here?" Kaho demanded.

The hunchback giggled. "The young lady there was nice enough to invite us in."

All eyes were on Nakuru. "Well, I thought it was a makeup salesman."

Everyone sweatdropped. "I thought you left with your master," Suppi-chan growled, trying his best to fly.

"Oh, the User told us to go upstairs to get these," the hunchback said, pointing to the medallions and ring. "While he took Mr. Hiiragizawa, we remained behind."

"Where's Eriol?" Kaho questioned.

"Oh, the User's trying to get some information from him," the hunchback said, giggling. "Actually, you should be worried about yourselves."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Brandon asked, glaring.

His answer came in the form of flashes of light appearing around them amd forming portals. More robots, all thin and possessing claws, emerged from them.

Ready gasped. "More robots?"

"Okay..." Brandon said, eyeing the newcomers. Glaring at the new enemy, Umbriel stepped forward and shielded the others.

"Master Techno, what is your command?" one of the robots asked.

The hunchback giggled loudly. "Deleters, kill them."