Chapter 19

The Portal

Spyro, Sunburn, and Sonic Boom could only watch as the final stranger's body disappeared underneath the surface of the water.

"Oh my God," Sonic Boom whispered. "I can't believe that this just happened!"

Spyro couldn't believe his eyes either. The swirling blood soon disappeared too, and then the cloak of the stranger popped up in the water.

Spyro looked down. His cheeks stung from unexpected guilt. Why did he feel this way?

He realized now that he was one step closer to finding Cynder. He longed so much to be with the dragoness he loved again.

He hoped that she was alright. All he had to do now was fly across the sea to a castle near the realm of Concurrent Skies. He knew the realm well because he had faced Cynder at her fortress there.

Sunburn and Sonic Boom started walking away. Spyro noticed and soon followed them back to the camp.

Otoro stood at the head of the island, watching as the three made their way into the camp. "What happened? Was he able to perform the blood price, or were you able to stop him?" he asked.

"We were able to stop him," Sunburn answered.

"And so where is the stranger now?" Otoro continued.

"He died during the battle. While we were fighting, I threw a knife at the edge of the dock out there by the Shrine, and when the stranger went to get it, the leviathan jumped out of the water. It snapped the stranger up and killed him. All that was left of him was his black cloak."

"So what will you do now?" asked Cali, coming up beside Otoro. "Because those that can't fly to the castle near Concurrent Skies will have to be taken back now that the battle of Leviathan Lagoon is over."

It was Spyro who answered. "Yeah, we're going to leave in a few minutes for Concurrent Skies. Do you guys think that's a good idea?"

"Yeah," Sonic Boom told him. "But we should first see who's going to be coming with us."

Spyro nodded and walked into the full part of the camp. The other Skylanders were sitting around a campfire.

Those that Cali had brought with her were Zook, Hugo, Flynn, Eruptor and Ghost Roaster.

"Okay, so me, Sunburn, and Sonic Boom have decided to go across the sea that links Leviathan Lagoon to the realm known as Concurrent Skies," Spyro announced. "And we're going to be looking for a castle that we know Cynder is being held captive in. We're going to save her, then come back to the Ruins with her. But before we leave for the castle, we wanted to know: Do any of you want to accompany us to save Cynder?"

Hex raised her hand. So did Camo and Whirlwind.

"The only problem with you going, Hex," said Sonic Boom, "is that you cannot fly, get what I mean?"

"Yeah, but being a witch, I can make myself fly," Hex explained.

"And Camo," Sonic Boom continued, "you can't fly either."

"He can be on my back," volunteered Whirlwind.

"Anybody else?" said Sunburn.

Drobot raised his hand. "I am only going because I believe that no Skylander should be left behind," Drobot told them all.

Spyro nodded. He knew that nobody else could (or would) go. Although Trigger Happy and Gill Grunt trusted Cynder, and so did the rest of the Undead element, none of them could fly, and they were too heavy for any of the others who could fly to carry.

"Trigg, Gill," Spyro said to them, "you guys won't be able to come."

"We know, Spyro," they both admitted.

"We'll just wait for you and Cynder and the others to return," Trigger Happy told Spyro.

Spyro smiled at his best friends and then turned away. He was ready now, to save the dragoness he loved, to end the monster who took her from him, and to restore peace in Skylands that had been taken away when the strangers had begun the siege on Leviathan Lagoon.

He went back over to Cali and Otoro. He announced to them, "I think, if it's alright with the others, we're going to leave for the castle right now."

"Now?" said Cali. "But it'll be dark soon. Why go now, Spyro?"

"Because we'll be able to get a little way over to the castle before stopping. The less time there is between us and the castle tomorrow, the better."

Cali sighed. "If you wish," she told him, then walked away.

Spyro went to the campfire again and told those who would be going with him of the time that they would leave.

"I agree with you, Spyro," Hex told him. "What about the rest of you guys?"

They all agreed and nodded, signaling their approval. Spyro then went on with, "I guess we're going now, aren't we?"

Already knowing the answer, Spyro turned and took flight. He heard the flapping of wings behind him and knew that the others were following him to the castle.

He smiled for a moment, then the smile faded as he thought of the cruel way in which Cynder had been taken away from him. How the troll had punched her and knocked her unconscious. How Kaos had laughed and then insulted her and Spyro's love for her. And finally what the two strangers had said about her and the true kidnapper.

He was finally going to get her back, and he was finally going to be able to find out why the kidnapper had taken her in the first place.

He saw that Hex was flying next to him on his left. Sunburn and Sonic Boom were on the other side of him.

They flied for what seemed like hours, and soon the sun set. It was very dark when Whirlwind suddenly called out, "Can we please stop for the night? My wings are tired."

"Yeah, sure," Spyro called back to her. He looked for a place to land when he saw an island rise out of the darkness. He began to land when he saw the sun beginning to rise.

The sun's light illuminated the island like a beacon. He saw that the island had a castle on it and his heart skipped a beat. But then he saw that the castle was nothing but ruins.

What probably had been the walls now hung limply from the remaining rafters. He searched the ruins of the castle for a small black body. But no matter how much he looked, he saw nothing but broken pieces of stone and glass. Spyro wondered what in the world could have done this. It had to be something big, he knew that for sure.

Whirlwind and the others landed beside him. They stared in awe at the ruins of the castle.

Camo jumped down from Whirlwind's back. He also stared at the ruins of the castle. Spyro hung his head and knew that he was too late. Cynder was gone, and there was nothing that he could do about that.

Then he saw a glimmer of light in the corner of his eye. He looked to his left and saw a large portal open up. It was a swirling vortex that lead to where he knew not.

A tiny bit of hope flared up inside his heart. He motioned to the others. "Come on!" he urged. "I'm not sure if Cynder's gone yet! Let's go through that portal and see if we can find her!"

He swept up into the sky and dashed to the portal. He entered the portal and saw what he now thought was a never-ending vortex. Rocks flew past him from both ways. That was when he saw the ending of the portal. He flew faster. The sound of furiously flapping wings told him that the others were not very far behind. As he went through the end of the portal, he blinked his eyes in true amazement. He was somewhere that he never thought he'd see again.

He was in the mysterious realm known as Convexity.

Hope flared inside him more than ever, not knowing the reason why. But his hope died when he saw the purple beam. And then he realized what the beam was coming from.

It was an altar.