The door opened and the dragon sighed, then disappeared back into the flames.
Merlin walked in and sat the tray down. "I got everything for your shoulder." He turned and faced her. "Az, what's wrong?" Merlin ran to her side and caught her just as she fell. "Az? What happened?" He gently laid her down on the rug and propped her head up on a pillow.
Az gasped for breath. "There was a seer-dragon in the flames."
"What did it say?"
Azkedelia looked up at Merlin. "It said that to defeat Cambio I would have to look in the heart of the flaming moon under the waves."
"And what could that possibly be?"
"I don't know. But whatever it is, we need to find it, soon."
Merlin nodded. "And we will."
Azkedelia watched the fire, then laughed.
Merlin looked up from a jar of herbs. "What's so funny?"
"Cambio's the dad I've never met, he wants to kill me, and in order to protect me, my two sisters, Cambio's other daughters, are coming. If he can kill me, what's to stop him from killing Nix and Atlantis?"
"Nix and Atlantis can take care of themselves, just like you can. That's why Merlin left you."
Azkedelia looked at Merlin. His skin seemed patchy with a darker tone showing through.
"Who are you?"
Merlin shuddered and convulsed. There was a flash of oily black light and Pyro was there.
Pyro grinned. "Hello there, pigeon. Your dad's been wanting to see you for quite some time, but he's willing to wait a little longer till the lunar eclipse."
Azkedelia scrambled back. "Cambio's not my dad."
Pyro stood. "Of course he is. And although I don't approve of him showing himself to you tonight, I can't blame him. DJ was incompetent, and Cambio had to be sure it really was you."
Azkedelia slowly got to her feet. "DJ was working for Cambio?"
"Aren't you a little slow?" he snarled. "Of course he was. Everyone smart is, because they know Cambio's doing something right."
Azkedelia took a step back. "What do you want?"
Pyro reached into the fire and pulled out an orb of flames. "Well, sadly, I can't kill you like I want. Cambio wants you alive for the main event, but he didn't say just how alive he wants you, and I just so happen to have a score to settle."
Pyro hurled the fire at Azkedelia. She expected to feel pain as the orb bit her skin, but instead she felt nothing. She opened her eyes and saw a flaming barrier standing between her and Pyro.
"How the hell did you do that?"
Azkedelia glared at Pyro through the screen. "You're not finding that out."
Pyro grinned. "That's where you're wrong, sweetheart. I can find out anything I want to from you. See, Cambio's already insanely powerful, more powerful than you can imagine, and he gives those who please him some of those powers, and now there's nothing I can't do."
Azkedelia looked at the door. The doorknob rattled as someone started opening it.
Pyro jerked his arm back and the door slammed shut and locked. "Come back later, Azkedelia's busy!"
Azkedelia glanced at the door again. She had to stall. "If you can do anything, then why can't you hurt me? Could it be that I'm stronger than you?"
Pyro growled. "No one is stronger than me, especially not a stupid little half-breed!"
Azkedelia felt a deep growl run through the framework of the building. "Not even Cambio?"
Pyro laughed, too power-mad to notice the trap Azkedelia had set. "Cambio's nothing but an ancient shape-shifter, of course I'm more powerful than him!"
Azkedelia fell back as the building shook again with another angry growl. Chandeliers rattled, tinkling madly, threatening to fall.
Pyro stopped laughing and seemed to realize his mistake. "Cambio, I didn't mean it! She tricked me!"
A deep laugh shook the building. "That is a lie, phoenix. You meant every word, and I cannot let someone like you live."
"Cambio…!" was all Pyro could get out before he was consumed by black oily flames.
Azkedelia felt an evil unseen presence turn its gaze to her. "I think you are too much of a risk to be far away from me, daughter. I think you shall stay with me."
Azkedelia screamed as she was consumed by a black light.