Skylanders: The Beginning

Into Darkness

Chapter Six: Into Darkness

Deathmatch was put into a large sphere-like structure. As Cynder watched, she couldn’t help but think about what she would be saying to him. How she would force the information out of him. She wanted to know where Emily had been taken. When the interrogation began, she would be ready for what would be coming. Nothing would dare to stand in her way as she searched for Emily and the rest of the Mabu who had been taken.

As she and Spyro waited outside for their cue to go inside and begin, Spyro looked to Cynder and asked, “Will you be okay?”

“I think so,” she said. “I’m so angry at Deathmatch for what he and Kaos have done. They will pay for this crap! Emily was such a sweet little girl, and they just took her!” Spyro saw the tears in her eyes. “My life has been filled with so much pain, and I just want it all to be over. I thank you for all you’ve done to help me. It’s been a hard road so far, of course, but if we get past this, I think I’ll make it. I don’t know if I want to become a Skylander just yet, though. It’s a lot of work, I can see.”

Spyro nodded. “I understand,” he said. “I understand if you want to go back to what you did before. It’s your choice, of course.”

Cynder still didn’t smile. Spyro wanted her to, as he believed it was the way he knew he was getting through to her. But it seemed that whenever he or someone else came close to doing so, Cynder only half-smiled.

Finally Cali and Eon came out of the interrogation cell. “He’s ready for you guys,” Cali told them. “Just be careful. He is chained to the chair, but he might still be dangerous. I don’t want either of you to be hurt. Do you both understand me?” Spyro and Cynder nodded.

As they entered the interrogation room, the door closed behind them. Deathmatch looked up at them and smiled.

“It’s good to see you again, Cynder,” he said.

Cynder became frozen in her place. She breathed in and out deeply and slowly. Spyro knew she was trying to be careful.

“Cut the crap, Deathmatch,” she finally said. “Where have you taken the Mabu?”

“Why should I tell the either of you?” he asked. Deathmatch stared into her sapphire eyes with his dark gray eyes. “I don’t think you should know. Either way, you will be too late when you arrive, even if I do tell you!” Deathmatch laughed, causing Cynder’s blood pressure to spike and her blood to boil.

Spyro saw Cynder’s tail was flicking back-and-forth, the blade on the end scraping the stone ground. He could see Deathmatch was getting to her. He just hoped nothing more happened.

“Fine, so you wish to know where the Mabu have been taken?” Deathmatch asked. Both Spyro and Cynder nodded. “Okay. So I will tell you. Kaos and I found this abandoned castle near here. When we took it, we decided to use the dungeons to torture the Mabu to learn of their plans, and that was when we found out you all would be coming. We were so happy, because we wanted to see who had joined. When I learned you had come along, and with Spyro, I was surprised. But that’s beside the point. So we imprisoned the Mabu who had not been tortured and who were too young. Of course, once the torture was finished for some, if they did not die of blood loss, we put them there in the dungeons, anyway. The castle has many tricks up its sleeve. If you go there, you will not know what to do. The world is full of many strange things. You would be one of them, Cynder.” He winked at her, and she suddenly growled. “I must tell you, I am not someone to mess with, and neither is Kaos. He may not seem to be a formidable opponent, but he has many tricks up his sleeve. It is best to tread lightly. If you step on the head of the snake, do not be surprised if it strikes at your heel.” He laughed once more.

Spyro looked to Cynder. Her eyes were blazing with Electricity. He just hoped she was careful.

“Cynder,” he said, “I think we might be done here. Can I see you outside?” He made his way to the door, and Cynder followed him.

Once they were away from the cell, in a place where they believed Deathmatch would not hear, Spyro said to her, “Is he getting to you?”

She nodded. “I can’t take it too much longer,” she admitted. “You know how I am. It’s not easy, being me. When it comes to Deathmatch or someone else like him, I feel I want to kill them. But something holds me back, of course. I know I shouldn’t do it, because something bad could come out of it. You’re helping me a lot, and once more I thank you for it.”

“You’re welcome,” Spyro told her. “I am doing my best to make sure Deathmatch doesn’t get to you too much. There are times when I might not be able to do it, especially if we have to interrogate him again. I’m doing my best to find where the Mabu are, where Emily has been taken. He’s told us about the castle, and while that’s a start, we don’t know exactly where the castle is located. We need to continue this on a little more, and when it’s all done, I’ll allow you to rest. How does that sound?”

“Good. It sounds good,” Cynder said, still not smiling. Spyro had been hoping for one, but he guessed he’d have to wait a little longer.

They went back inside the room. When Deathmatch saw them, he smiled a little more.

“I thought we were finished,” he said. “I thought it was all over. What’s the matter? Do you just want to keep hanging out with me? I know, I’m an interesting guy. That’s how we Dark Elves are. I believe there’s a Dark Elf on your side. Isn’t her name Hex? Ah yes, I believe so. I’ve heard of her before, most certainly. Let me ask—”

He was cut off by Cynder.

“Tell us where the castle’s location is!” she exclaimed. “We have ways of forcing you to tell! I have the blade on the end of my tail. That would be a good start, now wouldn’t it?”

But Deathmatch said nothing more for another five minutes. As time ticked on, Cynder became more and more agitated. Spyro kept shooting her glances to make sure she wasn’t allowing her dark side to show through. He was fearful of that outcome.

“Okay, so I will tell you,” Deathmatch finally said. “I don’t believe I can hold it back much longer. It is near the swamp. The Mistlands are strange, and so is the swamp. There are many things there, hidden in the darkness. When you go there, you must be very careful. The castle is just at the end of the swamp. You will see its outline in the mist just before you get out of the swamp. The castle has many defenses, so don’t be surprised if something attempts to kill you. You both are young enough to understand that you must be careful when around things you do not understand. It’ll be hard for you both, I am sure. And that is what I am counting on. I want it to be hard for the both of you. I want the both of you to see how painful it is to live a life like this!”

Cynder turned her head away. Spyro decided it was best to end the interrogation. He wasn’t sure if Deathmatch was completely telling the truth, but he could guess there was some type of the truth in there. Or so he hoped.

“Alright,” Spyro said with a tone of finality. “We’re officially done here. Come on, Cynder.”

She followed him as he left the room. Spyro knew Deathmatch was beginning to get to her. He wanted to get her out of the room before something bad happened.

Both of them went to where Eon, Cali, and Bly stood. They had obviously been waiting on them.

“How did it go?” Cali asked.

“It went fine,” Cynder said. “We learned most of what we needed to know. We now know where the Mabu have been taken. Now I know where I can find them…”

Cali noticed something was going on with Cynder. But she didn’t open her mouth, knowing that it was possibly the stress.

Spyro quickly explained it all to them, and when he finished, Sunburn and Sonic Boom came running to them. Both of them had surprised expressions on their faces.

“What is it?” Spyro asked.

“We need you to come with us!” Sunburn finally told him as he caught his breath. “We think we might have found something.”

As Spyro, Cali, and Eon started following them, Cynder attempted to do so, but Spyro turned around and said, “You should watch Deathmatch for right now. I know it’s not something you want to do, Cynder, but it’s the best thing to do. Okay?”

Cynder wanted badly to protest against him, but finally she decided not to. She decided it was best to do what he said. If Deathmatch were to find some way out, someone would have to be there to watch him and make sure he did not get too far.

Cynder nodded at him solemnly, and made her way back to Deathmatch’s cell. As she did so, Sunburn said to Spyro, “You didn’t have to do that. She could have come with us. I could’ve stayed here to watch Deathmatch. She looks like she needs a break.”

“I know,” Spyro said. “But Slam Bam will be there with us, won’t he? If he’s there, I don’t want him to speak to Cynder the way he has been. I’m sick of it.”

Sunburn noticed something was up with the way Spyro was speaking. But he didn’t want to get into it. He knew it was something only Spyro and Cynder should be involved in. But he hoped something would soon happen in their favor.

As Cynder went back into the interrogation room, Deathmatch looked up at her and smiled once more.

“What’s the matter?” he asked. “Were you left behind? Did they decided they finally want to leave you behind because of the terrible things you’ve done in the past? It hurts, doesn’t it? To have no one in your life that trusts you, understands you, or loves you, I mean. If you decide on the right things, I can help you. I can help you come back to the right side. You might have left, but there are still some who remember you and would like to see you again. When I learned you were alive, I was shocked Malefor would dare to leave you in that strange world. Yes, he told us of some of his plans before he went away. He told us he would enter that world and do something. But I was so surprised he left you. It hurt me; and it hurt me more when I learned Spyro had turned you back to normal. It must be painful to have to give up the amazing power Malefor gave you. By doing so, you have decided to give up your true destiny. You’ve given up everything, Cynder.” As Cynder listened, her blood pressure spiked. She couldn’t take it for too much longer. She hoped it was almost over. “You’ve refused to accept the true role of those who have been given the most extreme form of power from Malefor! If you keep doing this, soon something terrible will happen. Maybe to one of your friends? Maybe to the Griffiness or the Hybrid? Hex? Or maybe even Spyro? Oh, I would love to just sink my claws into his—”

Cynder couldn’t take it anymore. She released her dark violet Electricity at him. However, as she did so, Deathmatch broke the chains binding his hands and caught the Electricity. Seeing this made Cynder’s eyes widen in deep horror.

“How—?” she began, but Deathmatch cut her off.

“I have abilities you could never dream of,” he said. “And now, thanks to you, I am free from here.”

“I can stop you!” Cynder yelled at him.

“Oh, I don’t think so,” Deathmatch told her. Using his other hand, he pulled the Electricity attack apart. He threw one at the door to the room, blowing it apart, and just as Cynder ran at him, he threw the other at her, hitting her right in her chest and into a wall hard, knocking her unconscious.

As Deathmatch left the room, he smiled at Cynder’s unmoving body and said, “I warned you, didn’t I?” He threw his head back and laughed, ready to make his escape.

Thirty minutes later, Spyro and the others found themselves near the room. They’d found what they’d believed to be something that could help them to be a hoax. Now Spyro, Sonic Boom, Slam Bam, and Sunburn made their way to the room. Slam Bam was only going with them to see about Deathmatch. Eon and the others were still looking over the area where they’d believed something had happened.

“I wonder if Cynder’s okay,” Spyro said.

“Why does it matter?” Slam Bam snapped.

“Slam Bam, please, don’t say that!” Sonic Boom protested. “We all trust Cynder, so if you distrust her, keep your opinions to yourself.”

As they came closer to the room, Spyro realized something was wrong. Smoke and dust billowed from the entrance. It made Spyro wonder what could have done such a thing.

When they arrived at the entrance, Spyro looked through the smoke and found Cynder lying there on the ground. He ran to her, all of a sudden afraid. When he got to her body, he checked her pulse and found himself relieved when he found she was only unconscious. He wondered what had happened before they’d arrived. Deathmatch was obviously gone.

Cynder stirred and groaned, then opened her eyes.

“Spyro?” she mumbled. “What—?” Her eyes widened. “Oh no.”

“Cynder, what happened?” Spyro asked.

“He somehow broke free of his chains and then he attempted to escape. I breathed one of my Electricity attacks at him, but he caught it,” Cynder explained. “I don’t know how it happened. It’s just so weird.”

Spyro knew she was leaving one part out, but he wasn’t going to make her say it until they were out of earshot of the others.

“So you allowed him to escape?” Slam Bam exclaimed. “Why, you piece of crap! It should have been me who guarded Deathmatch! I wouldn’t have messed up like this!”
“Slam Bam, get out,” Spyro commanded him.

Slam Bam spit on the ground, right at Cynder’s feet, and then left the room. Spyro looked to Sunburn and Sonic Boom.

“Would you guys mind leaving for now? Cynder and I need to speak alone for now,” he said.

They both nodded, and left the room as well.

When Spyro was sure they were gone, he turned back to Cynder. “Did Deathmatch provoke you?” he asked. Cynder looked up at him with surprised eyes.

“How did you know?” she asked.

“It’s just a guess,” he answered. “I know you well enough to know something like that, Cynder.”
Cynder sighed. “Yes, he provoked me. I couldn’t take it after a while,” she admitted. “He mentioned things that had to do with my past, and because of that, I just needed to make him shut up. I really wasn’t trying to allow him to escape. I thought my attack would hit him and knock him unconscious. But he broke his chains, caught the Electricity, and then somehow split the attack in half. He used one to break the door, and then he used the other to knock me unconscious. I’m sorry. I should have been more careful.”

“It wasn’t your fault,” Spyro told her. “I know you well enough to say that you normally would never do something like that unless someone did something that hurt you. From what you told me, his words did hurt you. I’m sorry about what Deathmatch might have said. It’s time we start on our way to that castle. When we get there, we can take Kaos and Deathmatch, save Emily and the rest of the Mabu, and when it’s all over, you can choose whatever you wish to do. I’ll allow you to choose whichever path you wish. I won’t hold you back, Cynder. I can see that it would be useless if I did so. You’re strong enough to get past everything. There was this one instance, but this is only a bump in the road.”

Cynder half-smiled once more. Spyro wished she would smile normally for once. But he still couldn’t blame her when it came to not wanting to do so. She’d gone through so much, he knew, and she had the right to do whatever she wanted. He still wasn’t going to dare to try to stop her. He believed it would be useless.

As they made their way out of the room, they found Slam Bam, Sunburn, and Sonic Boom, as well as Eon, Cali, and Bly standing around the corner. Slam Bam glared at Cynder.

“I accidentally let Deathmatch get away,” Cynder admitted. “He broke the chains somehow. I attempted to stop him, but he caught my Electricity and knocked me unconscious. I’m okay, but I feel terrible for allowing him to escape. I’m sorry, Eon.” She hung her head.

“It was not your fault, young Cynder,” Eon said. Hearing this caused Slam Bam’s jaw to drop. “You did what you could, but Deathmatch was stronger than we thought. We must leave tonight to find the castle. When the Skylanders confront Deathmatch and Kaos, I am sure you will all succeed. We are sending in all of the recruits we have. Yes, it is something we must be careful about, but it is the easiest way to save the Mabu.”

He smiled at them both and then walked away. Bly smiled at Spyro and Cynder and walked away as well. Slam Bam soon left, unable to understand what he was hearing.

Sunburn and Sonic Boom turned to Spyro and Cynder.

“So what do we do next?” Sonic Boom asked.

“We go on our first true mission tonight,” Cynder said.


A whole hour later, the Skylanders had been assembled. Spyro found that he and Cynder were at the front, with Sonic Boom and Sunburn behind them. It was obvious what Eon would be telling both he and Cynder. But he didn’t want to say anything about it just yet. He wanted to be careful with what he said, especially with the situation they were in now. He remembered Eon telling him and Cynder that he trusted them more than any of the other Skylanders. He wondered what the other Skylanders would say if they learned of that. That was one of the two main reasons he wanted to be careful with what he said. The other had to do with Deathmatch and Kaos. If he spoke the wrong words with them near, something bad would possibly come out of it.

He looked over to Cynder. He could see she was scared. It shone in her bright sapphire-blue, electrified eyes. He didn’t wish to say anything to her about that. He was doing his best to make her feel better. He didn’t know if he’d done too well so far. He believed she would most likely go off on her own somewhere else when this adventure was all over.

“Hey, are you okay, Cynder?” he heard Sonic Boom ask. “You seem to be shaking a little.”

“I’m okay,” Cynder lied to her. “I’m fine for now. I just want all this to be over. Do you know what I mean?”

“We all do,” Sunburn told her. “When this is over, I’m probably going to be resting for a couple of days back at the Ruins. I don’t want to be woken up when I do that. Okay?” He laughed, as did Sonic Boom and Spyro, but Cynder did not.

Finally they saw Eon coming with Bly and Cali toward them. They got on to a pedestal and observed the 20 Skylanders in front of them. Eon was half-smiling, Spyro noticed, just like Cynder had been the entire time since they’d come to the Mistlands and even before then.

“Hello, my friends,” he greeted them. “It is time. Yes, you are all going on an adventure together. It is time I put you into your respective Elements and tell you who will be leading you. The Captains I choose here tonight are not the permanent ones. I put the names together in my mind quite quickly. Magic, Spyro will be your leader. Air, you shall have Sonic Boom. Sunburn will have Fire. Tech will be led by Trigger Happy. Water will be led by Slam Bam. Earth will be led by Bash. Life will be led by Stealth Elf. And last, but most certainly not least, Undead will be led by Cynder.” Cynder blinked when he said her name, and that she would be leading an Element surprised her more than anything. “I trust all of you, and when it comes to this mission, I trust all of you even more than usual. I do not believe any of you will come into mortal danger. You are all too powerful and too amazing. Despite that, you must keep strong. You all have friends to help you. Never forget where your loyalties truly lie. The last thing I shall say before I conclude is this: draw strength from each other, and follow your heart. It will never fail you. It is now that you will set off into the swamp to the castle. Go now!”

The Skylanders cheered. Cynder remained where she was, as she was still surprised at the fact she’d been chosen to lead the Undead Skylanders. She had not wanted to do so, as just thinking of the word “Undead” caused her to remember her past. But she decided to put it all behind her. Turning around, she found the others. Hex was the only one she actually knew. But then she saw the one who’d called himself Chop Chop on the day she’d introduced herself to the others. The last one seemed to be like a skeleton. His head was a white skull, and he was dressed in a black and red cloak. He had a chain with a mace at the end dragging behind him.

“Who are you?” Cynder asked him.

“I am Ghost Roaster,” he rasped.

Cynder just nodded, knowing that was as far as she wanted to go. She was tired and wanted to get through the swamp and all the way to the castle already.

“So what do we do next?” Slam Bam shouted out impatiently.

“We need to go to the swamp and start on our way,” Cynder explained to him.

Slam Bam turned and glared at her. “I didn’t ask your opinion,” he snapped. “Is there someone else who has the right information?”

Spyro stepped up. “She’s right,” he said. “Don’t keep acting like this, Slam Bam. We don’t allow it when it comes to the Skylanders.”

Slam Bam growled. “You’re not the leader. The only reason I’m listening to you is because I trust you,” he said. He looked back to Cynder. “But I will never trust her.”

He stalked away.

“Hey, Cynder, I have something you might want,” Spyro said. He held out her cloak. Cynder took it from him. “I know you’re scared, and I’ll do my best to help you.”

Cynder nodded, and Spyro knew that for right now, that was the most appreciation she would give to him. “Thank you,” she said.

It was then that the Skylanders began making their way to the swamp. They got directions from Bly and continued on their way.

Close to an hour later, they were still walking to the swamp. It was slow and annoying, but Spyro and Cynder did their best to remain calm. Cynder was still shaking, but it had mostly been subdued.

To get her mind off the dangers that were coming, Cynder retreated into her thoughts.

When I find Emily, I need to tell her how sorry I am that I couldn’t protect her that day. Oh, what are you saying to yourself, Cynder? It wasn’t your fault. Deathmatch and Kaos caught you by surprise, and you couldn’t do much more after that. You need to think of yourself as a good person. There might be many things in your life that have been terrible, but as Spyro said, why not just leave it all in the past? It’s better to forget some of it and continue on with your life. If only I could. It’s hard to do so. When I attempt to get past everything, my memories return, and they’re those that I want to go away; they’re ones that I never even thought were still there. And Spyro told me I hurt him! I just can’t think of me hurting one of my greatest friends! It sounds weird, even now, to think of someone like me having friends, but Spyro and Hex are the two who understand me, and Sunburn and Sonic Boom are so friendly. They both have done a lot to help me, even though neither of them know my past. And I hope they never learn it.

She meant to keep thinking, but she was shaken out of it when Spyro placed a paw on her shoulder, trying to make her stop walking.

“What is it?” she whispered.

“I can see the castle in the distance,” he said.

Cynder squinted through the mist that had risen off the ground. A dark, fuzzy outline rose up between two large hills. Cynder could already see that the castle was huge. It made her wonder how long it would take to find Emily and the rest of the Mabu. It seemed to be a daunting task. But she hoped they would be able to pull through. That was all she could do, she thought. Hope was the best thing to do.

“Wow,” she heard Sonic Boom say behind her. “Even here, that thing is huge. How much farther should we walk?”

“I’m not sure,” Spyro replied. “I wish we could fly there, but there are a lot of us who can’t fly. So we need to continue on foot. Probably when we get out of the castle, we’ll find an easier path than walking through this swamp. The only reason we were never able to find it back at the start of the journey is because it’s so dark here. Anyway, we need to be really careful when it comes to here. It’s not fun and games. We need to be on top of things.”

As silence fell, Cynder stopped walking for a minute. Her leg was throbbing again, and this time, she couldn’t take the pain too well.

Spyro turned around to look to her. He was about to check on her when he saw Sonic Boom do so instead. He smiled, happy Cynder had others willing to help her.

“Are you okay?” Sonic Boom asked her.

“Sort of,” Cynder replied. “My broken leg—well, I’m not sure if it’s still broken—is throbbing. When it does that, I feel a lot of pain. It’s not helpful. If I get into a fight, it definitely won’t be.”

“Okay. I’ll stay next to you just in case. If this pain starts up again, just tell me and I’ll help you,” Sonic Boom assured her in a soft voice.

Cynder looked up at Sonic Boom. Her friend was smiling, but she didn’t feel like she could. It didn’t seem like something she wanted to do. She believed that if she even attempted to do so, she would fail.

Finally she said, “Thank you. For all you’ve done.”

“No problem,” Sonic Boom told her. “I can see something’s bothering you, Cynder, and while I’m not going to ask you exactly what that might be, I just want to know, how scared are you? If you don’t want to answer this question, I understand.”

“I’m terrified,” Cynder squeaked out. “I don’t know how much longer I’ll have to continue this. I’ve gone through a lot in my life, and it’s not fun. When I hatched and grew up—” She swallowed, trying to forget the way in which she was corrupted. “When I grew up, I didn’t have many friends. Until I met Spyro. He helped me a lot. And so have you. Both you and Sunburn have done so, as well, and I thank you both. Not many have given me so much as a chance, and yet you both have. It’s something I never thought would happen before Spyro came and found me again.”

Sonic Boom saw tears in her eyes. She draped a wing over Cynder, hoping to comfort her.

Spyro smiled, having heard the whole thing. He looked to Sunburn, who was looking at him. He, too, was smiling. It seemed that moment was the calm.

But then the calm broke.

Spikes suddenly jutted right up from the ground, nearly hitting Spyro. He’d stopped just in time to get away from them.

“Holy crap!” Sunburn exclaimed. “How did that happen?”

“I think it’s a trap,” Spyro explained to the Skylanders. “We need to run! Keep your eyes open and look around for whatever might try to harm you. If something does attempt to harm you, attack it. We need to get to the castle now! Come on!”

He starting running as soon as Sunburn released his Phoenix Fire upon the spikes, turning them to molten metal. Cynder and Sonic Boom hurried as quick as they could. Cynder’s limp made it harder for her, while Sonic Boom was trying to stay next to Cynder.

An arrow came whizzing out of the woods at them. Sonic Boom used her sonic scream to divert it. A howl shot through the woods, and a group of Death Hounds appeared. Cynder recognized them well, a reason for which she did not want to keep remembering. But it kept coming right back at her like a dodgeball.

One of the Death Hounds lunged at Cynder, but she was too quick and dodged away. When it landed hard on the ground, she shocked the Death Hound to death. Looking back to Spyro and Sunburn in front of them, she saw the Death Hounds beginning to circle around them. Cynder was about to do something, but then Spyro drew upon his strength, blasting Fire out at them, causing them to either be burnt, killed, or singed. As some of them ran off, Sunburn blasted his own Fire blast at them. It helped clear a path for them. However, none of the Skylanders present believed it would be over just yet. That was what they were fearful about. Spyro and Cynder both hated it.

“How much farther should we go?” Slam Bam yelled out.

“Not sure,” Spyro yelled back. “But—”

He was cut off when the sound of crackling flames reached his and the others’ ears. He turned around to see a beast made completely of fire standing right there.

“What in the name of God is that?” Sunburn asked.

Cynder swallowed. She knew what it was, but she couldn’t remember exactly what it was called.

“Run,” Spyro said. “RUN!”

He went as quick as he could, the others behind him. Despite the pain in her leg, Cynder went up to Spyro and looked to him.

“I remember seeing those things before, but I can’t remember exactly what it’s called.” She went through her thoughts, and suddenly her eyes widened. “Spyro, if that thing steps in water, it will explode. And when it explodes, there will be a wall of fire. We need to get the heck out of here before it steps in water! Now come on!” She was trying to hurry him more, not wanting to die.

Spyro understood what she was doing, and was listening. He felt something wet underneath his paws. Looking down, he saw he was standing in swamp water. He groaned. Cynder realized it, too, and she was scared more than ever.

“KEEP RUNNING!” Spyro roared. “IF THAT THING TOUCHES WATER, IT WILL EXPLODE! NOW KEEP RUNNING!”

As they hurried across the swamp water, Cynder looked to Spyro. He saw the deep fear in her eyes. It was the most he had ever seen fear in her eyes. He wanted to comfort her, but knew that now was not the time, especially with the situation they were in.

Soon both Spyro and Cynder noticed their paws were touching dry land, and that helped them to calm down some. But their minds were on those behind them.

“Is everyone out of the water?” Spyro asked. He could still hear the creature’s heavy footsteps.

He didn’t hear a reply back, and the fear hit him terribly. He saw an opening in the crowd of trees. He looked to Cynder again, who was now running faster than he was.

And then…SPLASH!

The heavy footstep caused Spyro’s heart to jump. He felt as if he was about to suffer a heart attack. The explosion came next with a mighty BOOM. He and the others ran as fast as they could, attempting to get away from the giant wall of fire behind them, which no one dared to turn around and look at.

“Spyro, I’m so scared!” Cynder exclaimed.

“I understand!” Spyro said. He understood her deep fear. But he was unsure of what to say afterward. As he looked forward, he saw they were out of the forest. He saw two large walls. The opening was right there. He was unsure of the reason there were two large walls there, but he didn’t care. He wanted his team to be safe. He heard the flames rushing after them.

He heard someone yell out. Turning around, he saw Trigger Happy had fallen. He didn’t know what to do. He wanted to help his friend, but the fear in his heart was preventing him from doing anything.

But Cynder ran to him anyway. Spyro wanted to yell out to her, but didn’t. She was wanting to help him, and Spyro appreciated that.

As she helped him up, the wall of crackling flames came closer to them. Cynder closed her eyes, inhaled and exhaled, and took off with Trigger Happy next to her. Spyro went through the opening between the two walls, hoping Cynder and Trigger Happy were able to make it.

No, don’t think of that! he told himself. It doesn’t help in a time like this!

As they kept running, he realized the walls were closing. He looked to Cynder. She was still running. Trigger Happy got in before her, and then she entered. The walls closed quite suddenly, causing all the Skylanders to jump. The flames hit the walls, but nothing more than that happened, much to their surprise. This allowed all of them to take a deep breath and have some relief flow into their bodies.

“Oh my God,” Cynder said. She’d observed where they were now, and her eyes were wide.

“What is it, Cynder?” Spyro asked. “If it’s the flames, I understand, but—”

“No, Spyro,” Cynder told him. “This isn’t good. This is even worse than I could have imagined. Deathmatch and Kaos have led us into a trap. All of that was meant to happen. And now we’re stuck here.”

“What do you mean?” Sonic Boom asked. “What is this place?”

Cynder looked at her with worried eyes. “It’s a maze.”

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