Level 24: A Tense Departure

***Act I: The Rumor***

Akira walked beside Clow, Olivia, Alicia, and Yuji as they made their way to the Chronosian Sanctuary. It was a three mile walk and they were nearly there with the walk itself having only taken forty minutes so far. Crossing her arms, Akira spoke to Yuji over telepathy. It's been a long time since I've seen Luna and Aerith. How have they been?

Thinking about it for a moment, the auburn-haired knight replied, They've been well. Luna's still as goofy as ever and Aerith's still Aerith. That aside, why did you want to tag along today? After that, Yuji took a moment to take a small cream sphere out of his backpack and popped it into his mouth. After all of that commotion, the boy felt as if he deserved a snack.

Snickering as Yuji ate his small treat, Akira answered, Is it wrong for a girl to be curious about what her big brother's up to these days?

Sighing, Yuji shrugged his shoulders. She had a point there. Fair enough, conceded Yuji, But somehow, I don't think you're here just to pay a visit.

Akira's composure suddenly grew tense. Yuji raised a curious eyebrow as the girl's eyes moved round and round. Eyeing her brother from the side, Akira sighed happily. Fine, you got me. What do you want to know?

Are you here to assassinate Luna and/or Aerith? asked Yuji.

Putting a hand on her hip, Akira answered, Me? Kill them? You're joking right? I couldn't do that even if I tried. I'm actually here to confirm a rumor that I've been hearing lately.

Yuji raised an eyebrow, curious about this rumor of Akira's; however, just before he could ask his question, Clow interrupted him.

Tapping the auburn-haired knight's shoulder, Clow said, "Hey man, sorry but I gotta go home. I need to check something at home."

The auburn-haired knight stared at Clow curiously. As far as Yuji knew, Clow didn't do much at home so whatever it was that Clow was going to check out seemed incredibly suspicious to him. Not only that, Clow looked like he was in pain. After a moment of silence, Yuji replied, "Alright. See ya when we get home." While Yuji did want to ask about what Clow was doing, he figured that it was best to leave him be.

Alicia soon joined the conversation as well. "I have to leave too. I just remembered that Claus wanted me to meet up with him at the National Library today!"

Olivia and I eyed the two suspiciously. "What's at the library that we don't have at home?" asked the blonde brawler.

Shaking her head, Alicia answered, "I honestly don't know myself. He said it was really important and that I'd find it 'really interesting.'" The silver-haired bruiser put "really interesting" in air quotations to prove her lack of enthusiasm. It wasn't that Alicia didn't like the library, it was that her idea of interesting was usually very different from Claus's. Alicia enjoyed classical music while Claus enjoyed rock music. Alicia enjoyed spicy foods while Claus enjoyed cold foods. They were almost like night and day.

"Hmm," Olivia hummed to herself, probably trying to figure out why Claus wanted to see Alicia. "Am I invited?"

The silver-haired bruiser was silent for a moment. Whipping out her teal-colored cell phone, Alicia replied, "That's the weird part. He said to come alone if possible."

Clow suddenly eyed Alicia curiously. The look in his eyes was a little unusual. He seemed suspicious, maybe even invasive would have been the right word for it. Looking at Alicia, he said, "Well, I guess we'll leave together then."

Alicia nodded. "Y-Yeah. See you guys later!" With that, Clow and Alicia were gone.

Olivia and Yuji looked into each other's eyes for a moment, eventually turning their attention to a dumbfounded Akira. Noticing their stares, Akira asked, "W-What's up you two? Is there something on my face?"

Crossing her arms, Olivia muttered, "I smell a rat."

Nodding, I added, "Me too."

Akira stared at us confusedly. "W-What are you two talking about? Wait, you don't think I did something do you?"

Yuji and Olivia shook their heads. Staring into Akira's eyes, Yuji spoke over telepathy. Consider yourself part of the group as of today. There's something that I want to investigate and I'm gonna need your help to do it. You know this city better than we do and you were always better at digging things up. You in?

Eyes wider than the planet itself, Akira ceased all movement. She was silent for several minutes before revealing a brilliant smile. Sure, but you may want to tell your girlfriend though. Something tells me that she's not happy with you staring into my eyes like this.

She's not my girlfriend, argued Yuji. The auburn-haired knight then turned to Olivia, who was staring at him with an unusually pensive look on her face. "W-What's up Olivia?"

Eyeing the boy curiously, Olivia asked, "Did something happen between you two? She was trying to blast you to pieces yesterday. Now you two are walking around as if it never happened. Am I missing something here?"

Yuji and Akira froze. The auburn-haired twins internally cursed. They hadn't expected Olivia to notice, but perhaps they were a tad too careless about how they interacted with one another.

Shaking his head, Yuji replied, "No. We just talked it out and I guess things are sort of alright now."

Nodding, Akira stepped forward. "What I did yesterday was wrong and I apologize for that. I guess I was just a little surprised when I found out that he didn't remember anything about me, but he's still my brother and I intend to make sure he stays out of trouble. If you're okay with it, it'd actually be kind of nice to be friends."

Olivia looked at the auburn-haired girl curiously. Sounds legit enough, but something about this just seems off, thought the blonde brawler. Remembering Akira's offer, Olivia replied, "Yeah, you know what? That'd be great!" Offering her hand, Olivia thought to herself, Sometimes, it's best to keep your potential enemies right where you can see them.

Akira eyed Olivia's hand suspiciously before shaking it with a smile. She obviously doesn't trust me, but that's fine for now. At the moment, I have some investigating to do.

Watching the two shake hands, Yuji asked, So what was this rumor you heard about?

Having parted hands with Olivia, Akira took the lead, making minimal eye-contact with her brother. Finally, she replied, I'll tell you after we make sure that Rein isn't around.

***Act II: The Hidden Room***

Having warped to the library to prevent herself from walking any further, Alicia found herself surrounded by shelves upon shelves of books. This library was almost endless and it contained nearly every book ever written. Wandering about, she eventually found the lobby towards the eastern wing of the gigantic building. It was there that she found Claus.

Waving to her, Claus said, "Hey, how was school?"

Alicia smiled nervously. "W-Well, about that," she began sheepishly. The silver-haired bruiser wasted no time in telling Claus about what had happened at school today.

Shaking his head, Claus muttered, "I didn't expect that we'd run into the other Synchronizer so soon."

Alicia, having not heard his comment, asked, "What was that?"

Claus immediately perked up. "Nothing! Anyway, I have something to show you today," said the older Ingvol.

Raising an eyebrow, Alicia replied, "Like?"

Striking a pensive pose, Claus walked over to the northern edge of the library. His pace was brisk and Alicia had to walk as fast as she could to keep up with him. Eventually, she found herself beside Claus under a small black threshold. It appeared as if there used to be a door here, but now it was all sealed up with a metallic sort of structure. There was a strange black pad in the center of it.

Staring at Claus, Alicia asked, "Why's there a random threshold here? Shouldn't this be a door?"

Claus chuckled a little, patting his little sister's back. "That's because it is a door Alicia. Here, watch." Stepping toward the door, Claus placed his hand over the strange pad on the metallic surface. A beeping noise filled the air.

Alicia watched in awe as the metallic surface slid to the left, revealing a flight of stairs that led underground. The staircase led far beyond what her eyes could see, spiraling downward into the darkness.

Ushering her in, Claus said, "Ladies first." He hurriedly shoved her onto the stairs and closed the entrance behind them. Soon after that, he grabbed a small candle and lit it- their one source of light in the darkness. Motioning downward, Claus said, "Where we're going's pretty far underground. We're gonna have to walk quickly to get there within the next five minutes."

Unsure of what her brother was talking about, Alicia simply nodded and followed behind him. The Ingvol siblings traveled round and round the seemingly endless flight of stairs. As they descended, Alicia couldn't help but feel as if they were descending towards an endless abyss of darkness. As they made their way down, the silver-haired bruiser soon noticed that the area was incredibly cold. It wasn't the kind of cold on Mt. Dragnor. She was used to that kind of cold. This was a much more sinister feeling.

At last, after what felt like hours, they finally arrived at yet another mysterious metallic wall with a black pad on it. Assuming it was another type of sliding door, Alicia shakily stepped forward and curiously paced around the door. Looking back at Claus, Alicia asked, "Just what is this?"

Grinning, Claus ran his hand over the door's black pad, opening the door. "Come on inside and I'll show you."

***Act III: Time's Running Out***

"Kuh- Ugh!" groaned Clow as he fell to his left. He grimaced as his shoulder collided with the bookshelf in his room. Shaking, he slowly pulled off his shirt and assessed the black tattoo on his left arm- the mark of the black angel. Struggling to maintain consciousness, Clow forced himself to his feet. "I-I won't be able to keep this up for much longer."

Thinking back to the day that Claus and Aerith had discovered his secret, Clow remembered Claus's grim words. "There's not much we can do about a mark this advanced. Clow, try not to use the powers of the mark until we can find out more." Placing a hand on Clow's shoulder, Claus had said, "As of now though, I'm very sorry Clow. For now, all I can say is that there is little that we can do for you."

Clow clenched his fists, gritting his teeth. In his frustration, he slammed his fist against the wall. "Damn it!" A wave of silence washed over the room before a barely audible sob echoed through the room. Clow cursed and cursed, but every time he'd look at the mirror, the mark of the black angel was still on his arm. He remembered that day clearly. It was painful to remember.

"Tch, and here I was thinking that I was finally free after I'd escaped from there," muttered Clow. "It's not fair... It's not fair!" Clow's crying grew even louder.

Badump... Badump!

Clow cried out as a familiar pulse coursed through his body. The pain within him was intensifying, ripping through his core at sickening speeds. The raven-haired boy's hair fell over his eyes. "I probably don't have much time left."

As Clow's anxiety towards being unable to solve the mystery of the black angel grew, so did his resentment towards his friends. Feelings that were not-so-unfamiliar to Clow began to surge forth, mercilessly tearing open some old wounds from his past. Yuji was strong emotionally, nothing ever fazed him. Olivia was powerful and brave, nothing ever scared her. Alicia was level-headed and calm, nothing bothered her. And what was he? In his mind, he was just Clow.

Weakly wandering over to a small, black dresser beside his bed. On the dresser was a small group photo of Olivia, Alicia, Yuji, and Clow himself standing with Claus beneath a tree a few paces from their house. Staring at it sourly, Clow muttered, "Why am I even here?"

An unexpected answer reached Clow's ears.

"That's a good question. Why are you here?" asked a familiar voice.

Out of reflex, Clow immediately turned around with his halberd at the ready. He paled when he realized that he was pointing his weapon at Aerith, who didn't seem particularly fazed by his strange behavior. In fact, Aerith stared at the boy pityingly, her body still leaning against his open door. She smiled for him, her silent way of greeting people.

After a moment of silence, Clow asked, "Why are you here?"

Giggling cruelly, Aerith answered, "Well, I was here to give you some good news; however, since you seem so grumpy, I suppose that I could just come by some other-"

"I get it!" Clow yelled impatiently.

Aerith said nothing for a moment. Eventually, she answered, "It hurts doesn't it? After doing some research, I found out that that marking on your arm isn't really a marking at all."

Clow cocked an eyebrow. "What?"

"It's a very rare and ancient type of weapon that is naturally created and used by special demons called Wraiths. Their mission is to reap the souls of immortal beings who have either evaded death or committed terrible crimes. It's a loose connection, but I think that these demons just might be the 'black angel' that those imps were referring to. For some reason, they apparently thought that you were a Wraith yourself," explained Aerith.

Something about that didn't make sense to Clow. For as long as he could remember, he was human. "That doesn't make sense! I'm human. How would a human have managed to get their hands on a weapon like that-"

"My guess? Your family tree probably has a Wraith somewhere in its branches. A Wraith will appear and live as a normal human until either a near-death experience or an encounter with some kind of immortal being awakens their powers. I may be wrong Clow, but I think that you may just be a Wraith yourself," interjected Aerith calmly.

Clow was taken aback. He had never considered that he might actually be a demon of some sort. He took a step back, bumping into his dresser. "W-Wait, you can't be serious-"

"Don't be ashamed Clow. It's not that terrible. You might not have figured it out yet, but Yuji himself is-"

"Why are you bringing him into the conversation?" yelled Clow.

Aerith raised an eyebrow, her smile still unwavering. "What's the matter Clow? You seem awfully-"

"Don't screw with me Aerith! I know what you're really up to," warned the raven-haired boy.

"What I'm 'really up to' huh? That's interesting. Tell me Clow, what am I really up to?" teased Aerith.

Crossing his arms, Clow answered, "I've been doing a lot of snooping and no offense, but you might want to work on how you hide top secret information. Apparently after Silver and Aura leave, the Five Guardians are meeting on Celestia for a possible way to semi-permanently return to their true form; however, the conditions for the ritual possibly involve-"

"Not bad," interjected Aerith. "You're a lot smarter than I thought. You'd make a worthy general."

Scowling, Clow replied, "Sorry, but I don't really wanna take orders from someone who wants to make my best friend her personal firearm."

Raising her eyebrow, Aerith also crossed her arms. "Oh, so you know everything." She clapped her hands. "Congratulations Clow. You've outsmarted me, but what will you do now? Do you really think I'll let you leave now that I'm aware that-"

"Sorry, but I've got some top-secret information to leak," interjected Clow with a harsh tone of voice.

Aerith casually summoned her weapon- a gigantic, white chain that was moving on its own. At the ends of the long chain were spear points, decorated with golden orichalcom. She smiled at the boy, daring him to make a move. "If you think that you can beat me, you're getting ahead of yourself Clow."

In response to her words, Clow only twirled his halberd. Just as he was about to lunge, the mark of the black angel began to glow on his arm. Grimacing, Clow immediately went for the kill. While Clow's speed was certainly above average, the boy hadn't expected that Aerith's chains would pin him to the ground. Faster than sound, the chain had divided into five living chains, piercing Clow's hands and feet with the sickening sounds of splashing blood and shattering bone. The boy cringed, trying to hold in his pain as the chains immediately forced him onto the ground.

Standing over him, Aerith watched as the chains divided even further until they had perfected a well-made web of chains to hold Clown down. Noticing that the boy was still trying to struggle, Aerith sighed dejectedly. "Give it up Clow. Those chains also suck out the magical energy of their victim. Struggle anymore and you'll just hurt yourself."

Growling, Clow said nothing. Eventually, he ceased his struggles and lay on the ground calm and defeated. Aerith's right on one thing- I can't escape this way. Looking at his arm, the raven-haired boy thought to himself, Well, there might be a way. Struggling to focus all of his energy into his arm, Clow was surprised when mysterious black tendrils burst forth from the mark on his arm and forcibly ripped the chains that held him into pieces.

Aerith stared down at the boy with an unusually surprised countenance. Not bad. I was careless to use my weakest binding spell on him, thought the magenta-eyed guardian. Looking at Clow's bleeding hands and feet, she grinned. Still, Clow's heavily wounded. He's not going to get very far from here.

Noticing her smug grin, Clow returned it with a grin of his own. Aerith watched in annoyance as gigantic, black wings formed on the raven-haired boy's back. "You didn't seriously think that I'd try to run away on foot did you?"

[Schwarzen Fl├╝geln]!

Flap! Flap!

With a mighty flap of his wings, Clow was already well near the ceiling of his bedroom. Raising his halberd, he summoned up a gigantic barrier of energy and surrounded his body with it. "See ya later Aerith."

[Rote Spirale]!

Boom! Bam!

Spinning like a drill, Clow took advantage of his newfound speed to drill his way out of the house with his halberd. Thanks to his magic, keeping his momentum while easily cutting through the wooden house was of little difficulty for the young man. Watching him escape, Aerith thought to herself, Might as well let him go. He just might make things interesting for me.

Finally reaching the clouds, Clow sped forward as he soared through the afternoon sky. He looked around, noting that Aerith was not tailing him. Surprised, the raven-haired boy took a moment to catch his breath and pull out his cell phone. When he determined that he had signal, Clow sent Yuji and Olivia the following message, "Guys, I was attacked at the house. Don't come home tonight, find somewhere else to stay! I hate to say it, but you might wanna ask Akira for some help Yuji. I'm worried about Alicia, so I'm gonna go look for her. I'll tell you guys everything later, promise! - Clow"

***Act IV: The Ride to the Airport***

Unaware of Clow's current struggle, Yuji sat between Akira and Olivia in the back seat of Luna's car. While the three of them were sitting in the back, Luna was currently playing her GSP in the passenger seat. The driver, an unknown man of elderly age, occasionally stole glances at the three teens every now and then but that was about it.

Crossing his arms, Yuji asked, So what is this rumor you've been hearing? Must have been pretty bad if you wanted to investigate the Guardians of all people.

Akira sighed, leaning into the car's unbelievably comfortable chairs. Supposedly, they've found a way to return to their original form.

Yuji raised an eyebrow and tilted his head. That doesn't sound like a bad thing to me.

That's not the entire story. Supposedly, there are two possible methods. One requires a Resonator as a sacrifice, and the other requires that one of them permanently absorb the others and become the dominant one. Essentially, the other four would die, explained Akira.

Paling, Yuji thought to himself, Aura's a resonator! Looking at Akira, he asked, Wait, we're meeting a Resonator at the airport. You don't think-

We haven't seen the Guardians in several years. Perhaps they've changed for the worse in the time that we haven't seen them, replied Akira.

As the Synchronizer twins stared each other down, Olivia sat on Yuji's left, thinking to herself, What are those two up to? It's obvious that they're speaking telepathically. Narrowing her eyes, Olivia thought to herself, I need answers.

There was silence. Finally, Yuji spoke. You have a point, he admitted with defeat.

Akira nodded. Probably, because that's only the first part of the rumor.

Yuji's eyes lit with interest. There's more? he asked.

The younger Synchronizer said nothing for a moment. Finally, she said, I heard that the four landmasses are going to war with each other in a few months from now.

Yuji's face fell, his entire composure shattering with shock. "W-What did you say?" He internally gasped when he realized that he had said that aloud.

Olivia quickly turned to face the auburn-haired knight while Luna's earphones had apparently tuned out what he had just said. She sat there, continuing to play her game without a care in the world. Meanwhile, Akira groaned irately.

Staring at her brother, Akira said, Calm down. You're drawing attention to yourself.

Still a bit shaken, Yuji's face was still twisted with worry. After a moment, he finally leaned back into his chair. A feminine giggle reached his ears. I never was very good about hiding my worries.

Giggling, Akira chimed, And apparently, you still suck at it.

Yuji ignored her, option to lean into his chair and close his eyes. Sighing a little, he asked, So what do you plan to do if we can't confirm whether or not this is the truth?

Shrugging her shoulders, Akira replied, I'm not too sure. We'll just have to wait and see.

Right... replied Yuji quietly.

The two twins nearly spun in their seat to find Olivia tapping on their shoulders. Laughing at their reactions, she said, "We're here guys." With that, the blonde brawler quickly heaved the car door open and moved aside so that the Synchronizer twins could exit the vehicle. Grabbing Yuji's hand, Olivia said, "Let's go. Luna already went on ahead while you two were zoning out!"

As Olivia dragged the male Synchronizer away, Akira watched the two with relief-filled eyes. Her brother was laughing and joking with someone again, something she hadn't seen in a long, long time. Following after them, she yelled, "Wait up Olivia!"

***Act V: A Tense Departure***

At last they had made it to the lobby of the airport. Since the floating landmasses all have orbits, most of the planes were more-than capable of reaching super-sonic speeds. What was more interesting was that most of the check-in desks were operated by robots in Chronos. While the other countries did things more traditionally, Chronos enjoyed being more technologically advanced.

Aura and Silver were waiting for the group of four beside the check-in for Vaizen Airlines. Waving, Silver yelled, "Hey, Luna!"

Immediately hearing the silver-haired guardian, Luna immediately turned left and sauntered over to her. Yuji, Olivia, and Akira quickly followed behind her. "Hey Silvy! You ready for today?" asked Luna cheerily.

Silver snickered at the girl's enthusiasm. "Totally."

Since the two seemed to be in the middle of a conversation, Yuji, Akira, and Olivia strode past them to where Aura was standing. "Long time no see," said Yuji.

Smiling Aura nodded while keeping her hands behind her back. "No joke," she replied. Noticing Akira, she asked, "Say, who's that girl? She looks a lot like you Yuji."

Laughing a little, Olivia swung her arm around Aura and whispered, "That's apparently his twin sister- Akira."

Aura seemed surprised by the turn of events, but quickly shook it off and extended her hand. "It's nice to meet you then, Akira."

Giggling, Akira accepted the blonde swordswoman's offer and cheerfully shook her hand. "Nice to meet you too, but I have to say: you're really pretty. How do you get your hair to shine like that?"

Aura flushed a little at the praise, but managed to come up with a reply. "O-Oh, I-I tend to use the shampoo my mother buys. I think it's called 'Evergold.'"

Yuji grinned as he crossed his arms. "To be honest, I'm kind of surprised that you two are taking the plane. Wouldn't using the terraport be better?"

For those who didn't want to take the plane, the other option was terraporting, but it was a dangerous method and required a full-fledged guild license to do it. Given that terraporting involved traveling through a space-time dungeon that occasionally has incredibly dangerous monsters, it's option that's usually only taken by professional demon busters.

Aura shook her head. "I'm a little tired, so Silver's giving me a rest by letting us take the plane today." The blonde swordswoman let out a tired sigh, stretching her arms skyward as she did so. As she blinked, Yuji noticed that she had bags under her eyes, which was odd since he didn't remember Aura having any when they had first met. She was also a tad more pale than he remembered.

Curiosity taking him over, Yuji decided to ask, "Are you getting enough sleep? You don't look so well."

Aura, having noticed that she had been caught, gave the boy her bravest smile. "I'm fine. I was just a little restless because of the trip."

Yuji wanted to ask why, but decided not to pry. Instead, he simply nodded his head with a relatively inquisitive countenance. Seeing his curiosity hadn't faded, Aura leaned in and pulled Yuji into an embrace. Akira's eyes lit up with surprise while Olivia's mouth nearly hit and broke the tile flooring. Blushing madly, Yuji asked, "W-What are you doing-"

"I need you to take care of Iris and my mom for me," interjected Aura quietly. It was obvious that she didn't want someone to overhear her.

The Synchronizer ceased his struggle to free himself from the blonde swordswoman's grasp. Instead, Yuji's eyes narrowed with concern. "I can do that, but tell me what's up. Maybe I can-"

"It's too late for that," whispered Aura, "I know that we've just met, but I can't trust Lady Luna or Lady Aerith right now. Is it a promise?" Aura's hushed whispers were becoming more and more desperate-sounding with each passing word.

There was silence.

After what seemed like years, Yuji finally sighed with defeat. "Very well... It's a promise. But I do have one condition."

Aura's grip slackened, putting some space between the two teens. "O-Okay, what is it?"

Yuji said nothing for a moment, instead revealing a mysterious crimson glow on his hands. "Come back alive. I wanna see how well I stack up to you when we next see each other."

There was an awkward pause as Aura silently stared into Yuji's blue eyes. She looked away for a moment, but at last returned the boy's gaze with an unusual kind of smile on her face. "I'm sorry, I'm not sure that I can keep that promise."

Before Yuji could ask why, Aura quickly made her way to Silver's side. The silver-haired guardian stared at the blonde girl knowingly, her face suddenly becoming guilt-stricken and tired. "It's time for us to go. Our flight will be leaving in about half-an-hour," said Silver calmly.

Waving, Luna said, "Take care. See you later." Luna's voice was lacking its usual liveliness. It was as if the life had been ripped from her very soul.

Silver and Aura returned her wave, only replying, "See you there." With that, the two walked away.

Turning around to face the others, Luna said, "I've gotta split too. Silver's returning to Vaizen to settle some paperwork with Aura as her assistant, but the Guardians are all going to Celestia tomorrow to talk about something super important."

Yuji smiled weakly. At least Luna was still able to talk the way she normally does. "They're letting you five back up there? Must be something amazing," I said quietly.

Luna laughed, her childish voice filling the lobby. "Yupperz! It should be totally tubular."

The group fell silent, the sounds of the bustling crowd drowning out anyone who attempted to speak. Finally, Olivia asked, "So what are you guys gonna do up there?"

Rubbing the back of her head, Luna let out a sheepish snort. "That's kind of a secret, but I've gotta go. Aerith needs me, see ya!" Before Olivia, Yuji, or Akira could say anything further, Luna wrapped herself in a mysterious gust of purple light and disappeared.

Akira clicked her tongue. "Damn, she used her teleportation magic."

Crossing her arms, Olivia asked, "So, what should we do now?"

Just before Yuji could say anything, he and Olivia felt a strange vibration in their pockets.

Bzzt... Bzzt...

The two looked at each other for a moment before pulling out their phones and reading what was apparently a text message. Akira watched as the two suddenly paled, looked at each other with horrified faces and quickly made a mad-dash for the lobby exit. It took everything Akira had to keep up with the two Velkan knights.

"W-Wait up you two! What's wrong?" yelled Akira.

As they ran, Olivia asked, "What should we do? Should we look for Clow and Alicia?"

Yuji's eyes narrowed as he remembered his conversation with Aura earlier. Growling to himself, he replied, "Yeah, but we have to go and pay a visit to the Lucianas first. I have a bad feeling about all of this."

End of Chapter Note: What is Claus going to show Alicia? Will Clow make it in time to find out? Will the others find him? Meanwhile, the Guardians are suddenly showing signs of being antagonists? What will become of this madness? Find out next time on the next level of Synchronizer: The Slayer of Gods!

Author's Notes: Forgive the length, I had to do it for this chapter! Pretty crazy stuff going down now huh? I can't really say that I had planned this from the beginning, but I really hope that you found this sudden new twist interesting! With that, I hope to see you on the next update!

Next Time - Level 25: Missing in Action