"I cannot thank you enough, Medjay!" Tears of joy were streaming down her face as she embraced her husband.
Embarrassed, Noctis rubbed the back of his head and mumbled, "It's no trouble."
"Did you find Bayek?"
"Ah… no, unfortunately."
"I am sorry. May the gods guide…" she trailed off, staring at the sky.
Following her gaze, Noctis looked to the sky and saw a meteor falling. "Whoa…"
"Medjay, you should follow that meteor. I believe it will lead you to what you seek." The woman was dead serious and had grabbed his arm. "The gods are speaking to you."
Noctis nodded — it wasn't like he had any better idea of where to go. Mounting Kaa, he chased after the meteor and his destiny.
The meteor had landed in front of a temple in one of the Nomes, as far as Noctis could say. Nearby, a sundial was lit up with strange pulsating blue beams of light. Vaguely, he could remember this puzzle — he was supposed to shoot openings in the pillars at the right time to trigger… something.
If he recalled correctly, it had been a crossover with King's Knight, which was similar to his own life, as Prompto had pointed out once before. Assuming everything he mused was correct, it was possible he would find a way back to his own world.
Eventually, a few attempts later, Noctis managed to properly complete the puzzle.
As one, the beams shot up to the sky before the light died out as if nothing had happened.
"O…kay?" Noctis muttered.
A crash sounded near the temple in front of which the meteor fell. Running over, Noctis found that the stones blocking an opening had been cleared somehow, leaving entry to a chamber in which he could see a mysterious glow. Slipping in through the crack, he found himself in a hall lined with torches. At the end was a large room containing a golden portal of sorts.
For a second, nothing happened as he stood there, staring at the waterfall-like construct in the center of the room.
And then, there was a blinding surge of light that faded to reveal an all too familiar figure.
"Hello, Noct," Ardyn purred.
"Oh, hey, guys," Gladiolus greeted, walking over when he caught sight of Ignis and Prompto. "What's up?"
"There have been… complications with the prophecy," Ignis informed him, gesturing to Bayek. "This is Bayek of Siwa. He emerged from the Crystal a few hours ago, and we believe he and Noct have… traded places somehow."
As he had done before Bayek held out his hand. "Despite the circumstances, it is a pleasure to meet you."
Returning the handshake strongly, Gladio introduced himself, "Gladiolus Amicitia. Call me Gladio."
They relocated to a room in the Leville which they'd reserved for private conversations. Though Hammerhead was the official hunter outpost, the Leville had more space and was therefore taken by the hunters - well, more like given to, actually; as a result, Ignis had managed to procure the room for himself, Prompto, and Gladiolus despite the slight crowding in the city.
"So, what's the next move?" Gladiolus broke the silence which had formed once they'd settled in.
Prompto glanced at Ignis, the designated strategist.
"Well, first, I figured we ought to compile our knowledge - in the best case scenario, we find a way to bring Noctis to this world and send Bayek back to his own in time for the prophecy to remain intact."
Taking the pause as his cue, Prompto continued, "And, we were hoping you could help, big guy; you're always reading those ancient books: have you ever come across anything like this? Connections between worlds, I mean?"
"Hmm…" Gladiolus stood and walked over to the window, thinking. "I don't remember anything like what we're experiencing now, but - and I was meaning to mention this - there was one myth that stood out to me." He paused.
"What? What is it?" Prompto prompted, making Gladiolus smirk a bit.
"Well, it's better if I show you." Strolling over to a nearby bookshelf, he muttered as he scanned the titles, "I'm pretty sure I put it in here… Aha!" Pulling a thick green tome from the shelf, he leafed through the pages, searching. "Here."
Laying the book open on the table, he indicated a depiction in the center.
The drawing was of a man dressed in a white woolen tunic of sorts, healing an ailing person. Even though the color had faded, there was a definite hint of red in the hair, which was in an immediately recognizable hairstyle, at least… to Prompto and Gladiolus.
"No way… is that Ardyn!?"
"That's what I figured," Gladiolus agreed, moving to explain, "I came across this painting in a work written by one of the Roman senators who helped assassinate Julius Caesar, which happens in the world of Assassin's Creed: Origins, the video game - should I still call it that? - Bayek is from."
"Then that confirms our original theory that Ardyn is behind this turn of events," Ignis murmured.
"Which means it's likely Ardyn is the only one who can reverse the change."
"It seems to me that we should go and see this Ardyn, then," Bayek suggested.
"True enough. I mean, it's not like we have any other options, ri-?"
A commotion outside interrupted Prompto, and all four men hurried over to the window.
"That can't be good."
From the Citadel, a large beam of blue light shot up into the sky.
A/N: Thanks for reading! We'll try some more fight scenes after this; hopefully, it'll turn out all right. And maybe the chapters will stop getting shorter, which I've noticed as a trend.
Disclaimer: I don't own FFXV or AC: Origins or any of their characters.