Finally, I got to another chapter of Sapphire Rose. It's been hectic, lemme tell ya! Anyways, so Diana's trapped somewhere and well somebody has gotta rescue her! Enjoy Chapter 12, faithful readers!

Chapter 12 – the Invasion on Daelin's Castle Begins

Diamond Dust mewed loudly and painfully when she felt Diana slipping away. Xiao and Jun jumped away from her when this happened. They were only children and didn't understand the concept of a pooka bounding its soul with a human's soul. But Nuri understood and rushed to Diamond Dust's side.

"What's wrong, lovely? Is it Diana?"

The silvery gray pooka was trembling and making such pitiful noises that Jun began to weep with worry. Nuri gestured for them to leave at once. Xiao took his sister away as Nuri nudged Diamond Dust onto his back. He carried her towards Daelin's throne room. Both pookas heard a whirl of commotion outside. Nuri carried his love outside and gasped when he saw Daelin being carried out of a big black thing in the sky by a Blue Eyes White Dragon.

Fin and Melisanne ran outside too and they immediately went to assist Daelin. Fin was the first to reach his friend followed by Melisanne.

"Dark Shadow, you okay?" Fin asked as he helped Daelin out of the Dragon's claw. Melisanne watched as the Dragon looked up at the black thing in the sky and gave a growl that sounded more mournful than threatening. What did this mean?

"I won't forget this day, Fin." Daelin said. "I was actually saved by the same Dragon I've come to loathe all these years."

Fin looked up at the creature. "That's Diana's Dragon, isn't it? Where is she?"

Daelin looked around and saw Buster Blader standing nearby. "She didn't make it out, did she?"

"No Daelin. She ordered her Dragon to save you and that's the last I heard from her. I tried to contact Valkyria, but there was no response."

Daelin looked at Fin. "I…Diana risked her life to save mine. If we can find her, I owe her a great debt."

Nuri came over, still carrying Diamond Dust. The gray pooka lifted her head up to Daelin. Her eyes were clouded with pain and misery. "I d-don't know…where Diana i-is, but…she…she's a-alive…barely…"

"Don't talk, Diamond Dust." Daelin said. He looked up and saw Melisanne staring at the Dragon. "Melisanne!" The girl snapped back to reality and bowed. "Go get me another blindfold, please. You know where I keep my spare ones."

Melisanne straightened and went back to the castle. Daelin looked up at the Blue Eyes. It wants to find its mistress, he thought. Daelin turned back to Fin. "There must be somebody who can find Diana."

"I know someone." Nuri said.

Both Fin and Daelin looked down at him. "Who?" they asked in unison.

"My Druid, Ryou. The one I was separated from. He knows Bakura's magic better than anyone else. He can find Diana, I know he can." Nuri replied. He was hoping Daelin would agree to find Ryou. He wanted so badly to see his companion again.

Fin looked at Daelin and said, "He has a point. Ryou and Bakura were lovers once, but then Bakura severed the bond between Nuri and Ryou."

"And Ryou's a White Druid." Nuri added. "You can't get a more powerful Druid ally than that."

"Good point." Daelin said under his breath. "All right. Fin, I have no doubt Ryou is with King Henry and Jhada right now. Go and bring Jhada and the White Druid back here to me. We've got a Rose Duelist to find and rescue."

Fin nodded and left. Melisanne came back minutes later with the blindfold and handed it to Daelin who tied it on immediately. "Thank you, Melisanne."

"Sir, forgive my asking, but why do you wear a blindfold? You have such nice eyes." Melisanne said, timidly.

Daelin walked passed her. He stopped for a brief minute and said over his shoulder, "That's a surprising question. It would be like me asking you why you keep your whole body covered."

Melisanne flinched at those words and responded, "Forgive me, Lord Daelin."

———————

It was dark…and cold. Diana couldn't feel anything. All she saw was darkness; like the night sky without stars or moonlight. She couldn't tell if her eyes were open or closed. She couldn't even feel herself blinking. Where was Val? Did Valkyria make it out safely? And Diamond Dust! No doubt the pooka was feeling whatever Diana was feeling. No doubt everyone was worried about her. At least Daelin was safe and could hopefully lead the fight against those awful Immortal Thieves.

"Val? Valkyria?" Diana called out to her faithful magician.

No answer.

"Oh Val…where am I?"

Then there was a stinging sensation surging throughout her entire body. Diana wanted to cry out in pain and fear, but her voice didn't work. Then she heard a menacing laughter float through the air. She recognized that laugh as Bakura's. Then a light came from somewhere, though it was hard to see the source. Diana saw strange tentacle-like things wrapped around her body. They were feeding off her power! It looked more like grape-flavored taffy than tentacles.

"That's right, Rose Duelist." Bakura's voice hissed. "Surrender your power so that my Knights can grow stronger."

Diana tried to struggle against her bindings, but she didn't have the strength. Finally she found her voice. "Let me go, you ungrateful bastard! If it weren't for my help, you would still be under Rosenburg's command!"

"Ha! I could have killed Rosenburg any time I wished. You see, Rose Duelist, I have been planning this invasion for years now. Ever since I met Ryou and he told me of the torments and tortures life has thrown at him, I have wanted to create a world where Ryou and I could live in peace and he would have no fear of anything."

"I realize you love Ryou and I have nothing against such love, but Ryou wouldn't—and couldn't for that matter—approve of this plan!"

"But he does. He is confused by every lie that everyone else has told him."

He's a complete loony, Diana thought. "You promised your army would stay out of Tanna Undome if Daelin and I won the duel."

"I have kept my promise. Besides, there is more immortality to steal in Thar Amrun."

Diana groaned. Instead of helping Thar Amrun, she just made everything worse. "What exactly does the immortality do? Provide your Knights with everlasting life?"

"No. Immortality is merely particles in the air and in everything we see. I bet you didn't know that, Rose Duelist. Immortality attaches itself to a being. When enough immortality attaches to a being, then that being becomes unaffected by time and aging. When immortality is taken away from a being and collected together without being tied to a living creature, then the immortality becomes energy. What a powerful energy! Powerful enough for me to create living, breathing orgasms."

"And your Knights have no emotions…"

"That is because my Knights are not human or animal or anything. They are simply beings of energy. And your power…" Bakura laughed. "…is making them stronger."

———————

"Beings of energy?" Joseph repeated. At the same time, Bakura had explained the creation of the Knights to Diana, Ryou was explaining the exact same thing to Yugi and the others back in the British Empire.

"Yes, Joseph." said Ryou as he spread a scroll out on the table in Yugi's council chamber. On the scroll was a drawing of a Knight standing at attention and little notes that only Simon, Jhada and Ryou could understand.

"What's all that dribble on the side?" Rex asked, pointing at the notes.

"It looks like an ancient form of Celtic writing." Yami said.

"It is." Ryou answered. "These notes are actually chants and spells that can be pieced together into a conjuring."

"A conjuring!" Simon exclaimed. "So that's how you created the Knights, Ryou."

"I didn't do it alone. I never studied this kind of magic. Bakura helped me and I gave him the power he needed to create the Knights. I feel so foolish."

"Hey, hey!" Weevil snapped. "Let's focus on destroying those Knights."

Jhada waved a dagger at Weevil. "Shut up, you!" She placed a gentle hand on Ryou's shoulder. "Time's wasting, my friend. Tell us how to destroy those things."

"Well, there are two weaknesses that the Knights have." Ryou replied. He pointed at the drawing of the Knight. "I never told my Kura this, but when I fashioned the armor for his Knights, I made two weak points in the armor, should this plan of Bakura's ever go too far. One of them is easy to find, but the other is not. The easy one is here." He touched a spot in the middle of the Knight's left shoulder plate. "Stab there and you'll destroy the Knight instantly. Unfortunately, it's easily detected by magical beings."

"Where is the other one, Ryou?" Yugi asked the White Druid.

"The other is harder to detect by any creature. It would take a being of immense power, like me or the Rose Duelist, to see it. It's here." Ryou took a quill and drew a line near the Knight's private area. "You have to slash the Knight there. You can't stab or it won't work. Oh and you must slash to the right, horizontally."

"Why to the right?" Weevil asked.

"It won't work if you slash any other way. So, remember, slash where I've indicated and always slash horizontally right. Otherwise, you won't kill it."

"What about our monsters?" Joseph asked.

"Your monsters are immortal." Ryou told him. "They'll be drained of their life if you use them. That goes for Jhada too. She's part immortal."

"Oh well. If I get my immortality sucked up, I'll still be alive. It may cut my life down by a thousand years, but who cares?" Jhada shrugged.

Suddenly, Serena came in and said, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but an elf wishes to speak with all of you. He says his name is Fin."

"Fin!" Yugi said. Everyone hurried out of the council chamber and saw Fin standing in the throne room. The recuperating Bandits were looking at him strangely. Tea sat among them, holding a sleeping Catherine in her arms.

"Fin, what is it?"

"Your Majesty, forgive me, but…it's Diana." He explained about Diana and Daelin dueling two Immortal Thieves and about how the Blue Eyes White Dragon saved Daelin's life, but Diana had been trapped somewhere.

Yugi clenched his fists in anger. "I should have never left. I should have stayed to help her! Why did I hit her?" Suddenly, something barreled into him and knocked the King to the ground. He looked up to see Jhada standing over him, her amber eyes blazing with rage.

"You did WHAT! You damned bastard, how dare you hit the Rose Duelist! You blasted idiot! I could kill you!" Jhada ranted.

Ryou tugged at her arm. "Please calm down, Jhada. We need to save Diana."

"You're the only one we can depend on, White Druid." Fin said. "Nuri told me that you could find her."

Ryou's innocent eyes widened. "Nuri? Yes, I'll help you! Take me to the place you last saw Diana." He partly did want to help rescue Diana, but he partly wanted to see his pooka again.

"Then follow me, White Druid." said Fin and led the way as Ryou and Jhada followed.

———————

Bakura's crystal ball found Ryou the minute he entered Thar Amrun again. The evil Druid was enraged when the elf and half-elf took Ryou towards Daelin's castle. He has betrayed me, thought Bakura. They've filled his head with lies! LIES!

He went outside to the courtyard of his misshapen palace. Thousands of Immortal Thieves stood looking in the direction of Daelin's castle, ready for orders.

"Feed on the strength and power of the Rose Duelist, my Knights! March towards Daelin Gryphonia's castle and tear it to pieces! Bring my Ryou back to me!" Bakura shouted across the field of Knights.

Kura's Knights picked up their spears that stored the immortality and armed themselves with swords and throwing knives. Then, in huge columns of silvery, deadly white armor, the Immortal Thieves marched the long distance towards Daelin's castle for the ultimate deed of destruction.

Darn my cliff-hangers! Mwhahaha! Keep a scout posted and I'll try to get another chapter ready. Don't kill me, I've been extremely busy! Dx – Review Responses:

SG – erm…Diana's gonna be okay. Of course, who knows want I'll come up with next – teehee…

DarkShadow – Glad you approve…Daelin is gonna have a major duel with his sister. It's got something to do with a mind trick, but…erm, can you e-mail me a description of Daelin's sister and maybe…some duel suggestions. Since it's your character after all…

mariks – I'm getting there. Glad to know that all my readers are very patient.

Swift – heh…It's an addictive hobby. (That's a better term for an obsession) –lol–

Jaded – erm…Diana's trapped by Bakura. Does that count as "injure badly"? Unfortunately, Ryou and Nuri are gonna be separated forever. I'm still alive and kicking, yup. –lmao– I'm busy as heck these days…

Cat – Mind if I call you, "Cat"? I'm just lazy and would prefer not to spell out your whole name. O.o I didn't kill off Diana! –gasp– This wouldn't be called "Sapphire Rose" if I killed off the main character. – teehee