Everyone in this hall crowds up around Tara's parents: Jason and Calypso.

It's nice to see Calypso again. For one thing, she's nice to me (Unlike the other Kaiyans I know). Another thing, she'll help us keep track of time, since no one has a watch (Tara and I have checked our phones too, but they're broken from a recent and unfortunate flood…). Calypso stays for twelve hours after all. When she disappears we'll know one day has ended.

That means today is the first day of the Dealer's three-day-deadline.

My ears snap into focus when I hear my name.

"…Chase," I hear.

I look up, pretending that I am listening.

"YEAH!" the ghostly crowd roars.

I get a lot of fist pounds and high-fives from these strangers, some harder than others. I fall on my knees when Brock pats me on the back, saying, "Don't let your guard down, champ."

I give out a half-hearted laugh as I struggle to my feet. "Too late," I say.

I catch the sight of the Kaiyan family showing me which way we are about to go.

"All right, let's go!" Wesley shouts to the crowd.

I walk with the Kaiyans, realizing the number of people around me has decreased. I turn back.

The whole group of ghosts and competitors are marching their way through the hall, singing an unrecognisable song. They are an awesome group. But I feel bad for not telling them that they were walking in the wrong direction (Which was back to the casino room).

Tara whistles. Everyone stops marching and goes silent.

"Guys," My classmate says, her voice clear in the quiet hall. Tara points to the direction her parents, Wesley, and I are walking. "This way."

I'm positive their expressions went blank for a few seconds before they began trudging towards us.

At the end of the hall, we discover a sign that reads: This room prohibits those without a life. Turn back or get one.

"Awww…" I hear from the ghostly people.

They flick their wrists and disappear, except for Calypso and Alice.

"Good luck!" Alice says and waves. She materializes into thin air.

"We'll be back," Calypso says, giving Tara and me a hug first. "It's not a day yet, so get as far as possible." She winks at Jason. "Bye, honey bear!"

The rest of the guys and I try hard not to laugh…until after Calypso's gone. Jason frowns and avoids everyone's eyes.

"Guys," Tara rolls her eyes. "You're so immature."

The sign flips over without anyone touching it. On this new side, it says: Poke me if you're the leader.

Jason immediately pokes the sign.

"Jason Kaiyan. Error. Confirm your real leader or I'll be…:-( and I'll explode."

I frown. That was harsh to hear.

Jason comes back and pats my back. "The Dealer specifically challenged you." he says, disappointed that he couldn't lead.

I step up and poke the thing cautiously.

"Chase Adams. Affirmative. :-)"

I am stunned to see the card melt into the wall in front of us. It makes no sound of it though, unless Tara's gasping blocked it.

Shortly after, the wall forms a hole in the wall.

The guys follow me through the long and narrow tunnel.

When I get inside, I notice Tara hasn't walked in. I turn to face her on the other side of the hole. She seems hesitant.

"You scared or something?" I smirk.

She glares at me. "Chase," she says my name with disgust. "I don't like how that sign treated my dad. I'm just trying to think of a way to—"

An idea looks like it sparks into her mind. "Hi-yah!" She kicks the wall.

I run to her side to make sure she didn't get hurt. Then I realize Tara isn't the one I should be afraid for.

The wall with the melted-in sign breaks like a mirror.

"Error, Error," it says. "Enemy, Enemy! Activate explosion sequence!"

Just then, the floor shakes and pieces of wood start to drop. Tara and I look at each other in shock.

"C'mon!" I shout to her, dragging her through the tunnel before it becomes a barricade.

I end up tripping over some debris. Fortunately, Tara still stands and takes over by lugging me along.

My footing gets back to normal, so we keep running for the exit.

At the last second, Brock and Wesley pull us through.

My classmate and I end up rolling onto the floor. When we stop, I start to laugh. Tara's smile might not be the only contagious thing in the Dealer's House of Spades, since she laughs along with me.

"The look—the look on your face when I kicked it!" she starts to say.

I grin. "And your face when it (The sign) said it was going to explode," I crack up.

"You two really are kids," Brock cuts in, holding back a chuckle.

Jason scurries over to his daughter to help her up. "Tara," he scolds. "What were you thinking?! You could've gotten yourself killed!"

Tara's smile fades. She turns her head to the side that only I can see. A small frown forms. "I'm sorry, dad…"

"Mr. Kaiyan," I decide to speak up. "It was my fault." I didn't know why I was lying for her. Maybe my mind's thinking that Jason's overreacting too much. "I dared her to kick the stupid sign."

Jason's eyebrows rise. Tara looks astonished. I play my 'I'm dead serious' face. Everyone else stares at the three of us.

Mr. Kaiyan looks between me and Tara a few times. His expression makes me think he doesn't know what to say next.

He clears his throat and puts a hand on his daughter's shoulder. "Sorry Tara. I didn't mean to lose it…and Chase…" I look him straight in the eyes. He shows a faint smile. "You're an idiot."

Now it's my turn to be startled. "What?"

All around us is hills…no, mountains. However, replacing the rocks is dark and bright brown poker chips. Piles and piles of them. There's as much chips here as every grain of sand in a desert. The whole room seemed endless, wherever we looked; up, down, and side to side. Everyone, including me, couldn't believe it.

Tara shakes her head. "Guys," she says, almost fully snapped out of it. "We need to stop gawking."

A voice pipes in. "She's right," Jim sputtered, the foam dropping out of his mouth.

"Any idea what to do?" Wesley asks me.

I have to say: I zoned out.

Getting back to normal happened after I feel someone shaking me. "Chase," she says.

Tara lets go of my arms. I watch her look down. "Umm…" she kicks the ground with her hands behind her back. "Do you still snowboard?"

I'm taken back. When did she notice that? And why is she so nervous all of a sudden? Is it my fault?

My brilliant response happened to be, "Uhh…uh-huh."

She loses the shyness. "Good," she holds out a card; the two of hearts. "Tread some chips…Grande."

Just then, her card splits into two (So we're sharing this spell? Makes sense since its suit is hearts) and enlarges in size.

I wonder why Tara would ask me to share a card of all people. But that feeling leaves when I see everybody else had Tara's idea too. Guess she had no choice.

We step on our card boards (Ha, ha).

"See you at the bottom…Taranutula." I say, taking off.

"CHASE ADAMS!" she yells, heading towards me. "YOU'RE SO DEAD!"

I stifle a laugh, speeding down the mountain.

I hear a rumbling, and it's not my stomach. "Adams, I think I want to chop this area." The Dealer says. "Try to make your team's get away."

I almost fall off my board. Half a mile in front of me, the ground breaks up. Through my sights, loose chips fall in. What worries me is I don't hear any indication that the drop is short.

As the mountain creates its crevice, I ready myself for the jump.

For an extra boost, I look through the spells on my cards.

'Cat Fight'? No. 'We All Fall Down'? Is that supposed to be a joke? 'Flip Out'? No. 'Sticky Situation'? Wait—

My left hand pulls out the third card I checked. I pray in my head for my plan to work, as I get closer to the fissure. Then I chant my spell.

In the nick of time, four clubs shoot out of the card. While I'm in the air, they hit my skin and dissolve. Before I could understand anything else, my mouth is forced into a maniac-like smile.

My spell makes me whirl upside down, then right up. "YAHOO!" I yell, against my will.

The other side of the crevice gets closer after every flip I make.

At the ground, I land sloppily.

Then I take out my blank card and say, "Umm...Dispel?"

My card's clubs flashes back to my hand, and the tension on my mouth lifts.

As awesome as it was to make it across the crevice, I couldn't help but fear how everyone else did.

Some of the guys on my team don't make it. I had to watch as a few dropped to the wide hole below.

On the bright side, I am not the only one who got to where I am. Tara, Jason, Brock, Wesley, Jim, Marty, and a couple more than twenty get here safely.

Tara turns away from the crevice. I'm betting she couldn't handle this sort of thing.

"Let's keep going," I say.

All of a sudden, I hear a guy's voice shout in my head, Deaf to Death!

I cover my ears and look around. In the sky, it looks like a flock of seagulls are closing into my group's area. Instead of birds, I actually see a group of spades, the size of CDs.

My team leaves quickly. I want to move, but my ears are ringing with the same three words, causing me to stay in one spot.

I crouch down into a kneeling position.

I'm the only one who seems to hear the piercing spell, making me look stranger than Jim and his...tooth paste foam...

The speeding spades turn, directing to me.

"Chase!" I hear Tara shout.

A few seconds later I hear the men of my team shout louder, "CHASE!"

For a brief moment, I believe it's the end. However, someone gets in front of me, holding up a shield. He turns his head back and I see the stranger's like my twin, but with jet black hair, instead of brown.

I hear him whisper, "Dispel."

The repeating words stop.

It's now when I realize, he's the one who tried to deafen and kill me. But I wonder why he stopped it all.

I look to the side to see Tara running closer.

The guy in front of me stares at Tara then smirks. "I'll kill her if you tell anyone what I just did." he says.

He faces Tara, hitting me with his shield.

I fall to the ground, and listen to him lie, "Oh man," he says in feigned shock to my classmate. "I swear, I didn't mean to hit him!"

My eyes roll up in my head, and I black out.