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Anza Qi PaperBack

114 "The ceremony has

114 "The ceremony has been rescheduled for another day." Relieved, Xandr asks, "How do we find the Crest?" "Gray Wolf took it when I was thrown from my horse." Anza looks unhappy. "What do they want with it?" Payta inquires. "They believe it will bring great wealth. They plan to sell it to the highest bidder; the one that promises the best opportunities for them." "What about that awful Raven and Carl Drinkwater?" Xandr asks. "The Raven wants to return here and be a Land Baron with riches, and more. Carl wants the same on Planet Earth." "What is so special about the Crest"? Payta asks. Nous has been listening to the kids and decides it's time to clear up the situation. "The primary function of the Sacred Crest is to unlock the secrets of the Tome of Legends and the Chronicle of Unchangeable Changes." Nous sees the bewildered look on the cousins faces. "It is not for you to understand. But, you can help Anza and Xandr." "How?" asks Yellow Flower. "We're just kids. How can we get it back from those bad guys on the other planet?" asks Little Bear. Nous speaks softly, "Deception." "Deception, but ---?" questions Little Flower. "Deception and ... MAGIC." Nous waves and the Stellar Bubble Craft appears in the sky swooping into the opening. It encompasses Nous and slowly moves through the forest creating a safe path surrounded by lavender leaves. The Stellar Bubble Craft rock-

115 ets away when it reaches the outer edge of the Forest of Understanding. Payta asks Anza, "What did that guy mean when he said deception and magic?" "That's not just some guy. He's the balance keeper of our worlds," answers Xandr. "Oh yeah. So, if he's the balancer, why doesn't he just wave his hand and get everything back in balance?" "It's not that easy. We're gonna need your help with the deception so we can get it back." "Yeah? What about the magic?" "Leave that to me. You guys better get on home." "How do we get outta here?" "Follow the path that Nous created." "But ---" "No buts. We'll see you tomorrow." The cousins run down the safe pathway as it closes in and disappears behind them. With Bow and Cane in their hands, Anza and Xandr fly above the Forest to the Softwind farmhouse. They land and walk into the house. "Where I'm gonna stay, is it near your Chamber Obscura?" "Yes. It's down the hall and through the parlor." Later that evening, they walk through the candlelit parlor where Moonshadow, Xandr's mother, is sewing a quilt and Lone Eagle, his father, is smoking a pipe and reading. Xandr stops at his mom and dad giving them childlike kiss-

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