|Dragon Quest IX: Arianna and Trent's Journeys
Author: Mike AZ 2 PM
A Dragon Quest IX fic from the eyes of a heroic Adventurer and a young Celestrian. Mostly follows the Dragon Quest IX plot, and may extend into the Post Game. Rated T for safety.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 30 - Words: 93,485 - Reviews: 42 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 04-11-13 - Published: 05-17-11 - id: 7000702
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Here's another chapter for my Dragon Quest fic.
Disclaimer: DQ is created by Squaresoft.
Chapter XXVI: The Granite Tunnel of Woe
Arianna and her friends headed back to the Starflight Express, having somehow found a fygg which enabled the Celestrian to regain her powers. Stella happily chatted with the purple haired heroine as the group went to Newid's blue tree, where the Starflight Express hovered just above the ground.
As the group got on board, Sterling greeted Arianna"Hey there, it's been a short time."
"Same to you, how are things?" inquired the purple haired Celestrian.
The older man shrugged"Well, now that you mention it, have any of you heard of the secret underground caves which are called grottos?"
"I don't think any of us have" frowned Sasha.
Sterling elaborated"These 'grottos' I'm talking about are well hidden, you need maps to locate the general location of a grotto. There are powerful monsters dwelling inside them, the strongest ones seem to be getting restless. Least that's what I heard."
"A grotto hunt, eh?" wondered Conrad.
Sasha's eyes lit up"Oh, I just remembered, I still have the map that Christopher Collapsus gave us."
"Really? Well, maybe we can get somewhere" mussed Sterling.
Sasha reached into her bag and pulled out the unknown map. Upon unfolding it, the female Paladin gazed at a familiar landscape with an X marked west of the outline of a city"The writing on the map is somewhat faded, must be quite old."
"Let me see it" said Arianna.
The female Paladin handed the map to the purple haired warrior, who glanced at it for a minute"The writing is written in a dialect that hasn't been used in a long time. The X marks the location of an underground passage called the Granite Tunnel of Woe."
"Granite Tunnel of Woe? I used to hear ghost stories about that place, the urban legend was passed through my ancestors" said Alicia.
Arianna shook her head"There are still some places on the Protectorate I've yet to visit, the ancient underground grottoes are among them. No Mortal or Celestrian has ever been to such a hidden place."
"Shall we get digging, then?" said Conrad.
"That won't be necessary. If we locate the approximite coordinates on the map, I can use my power to reveal the entrance to the Granite Tunnels" said the Celestrian.
"Where does the X on the map point to?" piped Alicia.
"Approximately west of Stornway, we should get going if we want to return to Quester's Rest inn by dark. I have a feeling there is more to what we learned about the grottos" frowned Arianna.
Sterling nodded"It's settled, then. Oh, and Arianna, I have something I want to give you."
"What is it?" inquired the Celestrian.
The starflight express captain removed his necklace (which had a silver whistle attatched) and showed it to Arianna"This whistle summons the Starflight Express. I am turning command of the express over to you."
"That sounds handy and all, but how does it work?" inquired Trent.
Sterling replied"The Starflight Express has a special device that picks up the sound of the whistle when you blow it. But you have to be out in the open for it to work, it won't do any good in buildings or caves."
Arianna nodded as she accepted the whistle"Thank you, Sterling."
The man nodded"Just take care not to lose it, all right? Stella, show her how to pilot the express."
Stella acknowledged her captain's words and showed Arianna the Starflight Express's controls"Well, now that you're vice-captain and all, here are the levers and panels for the train."
As Stella explained to Arianna how to move the express, Raymond addressed Alicia"It all sounds quite mysterious, I say."
"The grottos? Yeah, and I only heard stories. The monsters don't sounds like they're much of a threat, but still I am a bit concerned about how this will affect the world" shrugged the female sage.
"We don't know too much about rapportals either, and I'm sure neither has any impact on the world. Now let's get on with the investigation" said Arianna.
The Celestrian prepped up the controls while most of her team mates sat in the passager car. Below them, the land and sea had become a blur as Arianna flew the express high above. Trent stood at her side, studying the world map.
"Stornway was just a stone's throw away as far as the Starflight Express is considered, not that I mean to rhyme" remarked Arianna as she slowed the train before lowering it south of the castle town.
"You know where to look, right?" said Sasha, as the group disembarked from the train.
Arianna nodded"The granite tunnel is supposedly to the north west of our landing point. If I study the geography around there closely enough, I might be able to figure out where the tunnel is."
The group headed north west from the castle town's entrance, where the violet haired Celestrian glanced around the surrounding fields for the hidden grotto entrance.
"What would the entrance look like?" wondered Conrad.
Sasha shrugged"No idea, but if the treasure map's any proof, we'll find it eventually."
Arianna studied the treasure map a bit more"The grottos must hold some kind of secret, the entrance wouldn't normally be visible."
"No kidding, I don't see anything so far" said Conrad.
Upon further inspection, Arianna spotted a ancient incantation written in on the map"Of course, the Almighty wouldn't want the protectorate's greatest secrets found so easily. There's a spell which will reveal ancient secrets like the underground grottos."
"Can you read it?" inquired Alicia.
The Celestria nodded"It's written in an ancient dialect which was not used in a long time. If I cast the revelation spell in the right place, a portal to the grotto should open."
"Can't hurt to try" said Trent.
The Celestrian walked over to a random patch of grass and becan reciting an ancient spell discribed on the map. Within moments, a staircase was revealed.
"Amazing" whispered Conrad.
Arianna turned to address her group"We don't know what we'll find down there, so let's be careful."
The six descended down the steps, finding themselves in a dimly-lit cavern. Trent gazed ahead"Never thought this was under Stornway, but why is this called the Tunnel of Woe?"
"Just a time, I reckon" shrugged the Ranger.
Arianna squared her shoulders"This place is ancient, we must take care. Who knows what monster we'll encounter in this dank place."
Time passed as the group tread through the long tunnel. Arianna studied the surroundings, which were different then the other caves that she and her friends had been to.
"Hey, listen to this, echo!" called Conrad, his voice reaching slightly into the depths.
"Careful, someone might answer" whispered Sasha.
"I see some stairs up ahead, let's go deeper" said Trent.
The stairs led them down into a narrow passageway, which took them to a room with another set of stairs. Alicia sighed"Why would the Almighty create a place like this?"
"No idea" muttered her brother.
The team went down the stairs, which led to a small passage with a large room up ahead. Arianna tensed for a moment"I sense a powerful force up ahead."
"Could be one of the monsters Sterling talked about" said Trent.
The team went to the grey and red chamber up ahead, where they saw a black and green horse-like creature pawing in one area. As Arianna got closer, she sensed an otherworldly aura about the monster.
Oblivious at first to the intruders, the creature seemed to neigh"Why did I get locked here? The above world is where I pasture, it's denizens merely my grooms!"
"It spoke?" gasped Alicia.
"Hush" whispered Sasha to the female sage.
The creature turned to face them"Eh? Intruders, I see. Well, have a taste of my might! I, the mighty Equinox, will tear you asunder!"
"That's what you think, horse face! I'm gonna send you back to the barn!" jeered Trent.
The Equinox darted forward and trampled over the swordsman. Alicia healed her brother while Raymond cast a strong Boom spell on the monster. Equinox countered with a quick weakening wave before charging at the Sage. Conrad knocked Raymond out of the way, only to get trampled.
Alicia cast haste on her allies, enabling Trent to take a stab at Equinox. The nightmare steed retaliated with dark breath and unleashed a thunder spell. Alicia healed her allies while Raymond cast Kaboom. Trent followed that up with Falcon Slash. Equinox cast two thunder spells before charging at Arianna.
"I don't think so" Trent got in front of the Celestrian and stabbed at Equinox's head with his spear. The monster reared back and struck downward with it's hooves before unleashing Dark Breath. Alicia cast another multi-heal, while Sasha threw a knuckle sandwhich at the nightmare steed. Equinox dodged and countered with thunder.
"He's not horsing around, that's for sure" said Conrad, shooting at the Equinox with an arrow.
"Mock me if you wish, for I send you to oblivion" snarled the Equinox, unleashing Dark Breath and thunder. Alicia barely kept up with her healing spells while Trent double slashed the monster.
Raymond and Alicia began to concentrate their spells into a dual Kaboom, blasting Equinox. Trent and Arianna hacked at it with their swords. Equinox jeered as it countered with more subsequent thunder and dark breath attacks"Is this the best you could do? You're no match for me."
Trent slammed his lance into the Equinox, while Sasha threw a mighty succession of multi-punches at the monster. The Equinox shot another dark breath at the heroes, while Raymond cast Ka-Crack on it. Arianna unleashed Gigaslash on the Equinox as it reared back for another thunder spell.
Conrad shot another arrow at the Equinox, while Arianna got the hang of it's attack patterns"I think I know it's weak point. Conrad, attack the monster when it rears back."
"Clever girl, but you cannot match me!" growled the Equinox, unleashing dark breath and trampling the Celestrian. Alicia healed her while Trent slashed the monster with Falcon Slash.
Infuriated, the Equinox reared back for another devastating thunder strike, when Conrad fired an arrow"Good night, sweet prince!"
"Uh-oh" muttered the Equinox as the arrow pierced it's heart. The mortally injured nightmare steed countered with another Dark Breath, just before Arianna unleashed one last Gigaslash. The Equinox collapsed from it's injuries and vanished in a flurry of light.
"That's the last time Equinox nagged us" gasped Conrad as he put away his bow.
"Best not joke about that anymore, Conrad" said the Gladiator, retrieving his lance.
Trent glanced past the spot where the Equinox previously stood"I see something up ahead." The Ranger took the Gladiator's cue as he raced to a nearby dead end to find a treasure chest.
"I figured it was guarding something" frowned Arianna.
Conrad opened the treasure chest and turned to the Celestrian"It looks like another treasure map."
Arianna went to inspect the chest's contents and took out an old map"Hm, this one discribes a cave called the Ceramic Tunnel of Joy, it looks like it's near Angel Falls."
"What next?" frowned Conrad.
"Let's get back to the Quester's Rest, this whole trip probably took us half a day" said Arianna.
Sorry for the wait, but this next chapter is up. The next one will cover Patty's side quest, and I will do another grotto chapter following that. Huh, am I the only one who think the Equinox is the easiest grotto boss?
I may not remember the exact names for Dragon Quest IX's treasure maps, so please bear with me.
Please feel free to review.
My apologies for the wait, I'll post another chapter soon. I just kind of have writer's block, that's all.