Welcome to the newest chapter of ToS: RD! From last chapter's reviews, the fangirls are wanting this chapter badly! XD Well, I hope I live up to expectations! I present the newest chapter!
Chapter 12: Master of Wind
After defeating the MEG for a second time and vowing to free the unicorn from it's watery prison, Lloyd and company resumed the Journey of Regeneration. According to Ike, Luin's head priest is somewhere within their next destination: Asgard, the City of Ruins. He holds the only key to the Tower of Mana, which holds a book that the group desires to get their hands on, not to mention that they suspect there is a seal there. Asgard is an ancient city, containing many ruins and artifacts, many of which may contain clues to the past, making this a popular place for many people. However, the city has been besieged by a threat, a threat that Lloyd and company must now face…
"Finally! We're in Asgard!" Lloyd shouted out.
"Everyone out of my way!" Raine shouted, her eyes sparkling.
"Oh, no…" everyone groaned.
Raine immediately bolted from the group to who knows where inside the city.
"Should we go after her?" Sheena asked.
"She'll eventually tire herself out, at which point she'll go to an inn. Until then, I think she'll be fine," Genis assured them.
"So, what should the rest of us do in the meantime?" Colette asked.
"I suggest we go and search out the priest. Finding the Tower Key is our top priority right now," Kratos suggested.
"Agreed. We should divide into pairs and search the city," Ike added. "When one pair finds the priest, let him know who we are and wait for the others."
And with that, the group split off into smaller factions. Ike and Mia went back towards the city entrance, where they would begin searching Asgard's western half. Lyre and Colette began a systematic search of the inns. Sheena and Genis were searching out the shops. Ranulf and Decus were searching the eastern half of the city. Lloyd and Kratos began to search the caves, much to Lloyd's disdain.
"I suggest you take a look at these cave-paintings, Lloyd. A lot of history can be found on these walls. You would do well to learn from them," Kratos lectured.
"Aw… Come on, Kratos! I expect that from the Professor, not you!" Lloyd moaned.
"Lloyd, if you just focus on your sword skills alone, a smart warrior will defeat you with minimal effort. Therefore, the mind must be exercised along with the body. If it helps, think of the mind as another muscle that needs to be buffed up and reading and learning as 'exercising' that muscle," Kratos compared the two different activities.
"Really? So, by learning, I get stronger as well, not just smarter?" Lloyd asked.
"Yes, you would."
"Then, when we have the time, I would advise you to do some learning, like reading that training manual I gave you long ago. However, we have a task to complete right now."
"You're right. Let's keep going. We have to locate that priest."
The two swordsmen continued their exploration of the caves, hoping to track down the elusive priest. They spent hours traversing Asgard's caves, occasionally encountering tourist, but neither of them had any luck tracking him down. Eventually, Kratos decided that the two of them needed a break, so they sat down on a large, flat rock within the caves.
"What is it, Lloyd?"
"Can I ask you something personal?"
"Well, feel free to ask, but don't expect an answer."
"Okay… Well, twice now, I've had these weird dreams."
"Dreams? What kind of dreams?"
"Well, twice now I've dreamt of what would happen at the end of this journey. And both times, well, I find myself…"
"Find yourself doing what?"
"I… I find myself with Colette and we're getting closer and closer and…"
"You two are about to kiss when you are abruptly woken up?"
"Yes! How did you know!?"
"I had those kinds of dreams in my youth. Instead of the Chosen, it was someone very dear to me, someone I truly loved."
"Are you saying that I love Colette!?" Lloyd blushed.
"Not necessarily. I know that you care about the Chosen, that much is certain. However, you're going to figure exactly how much you care about her on your own. No one can tell you how you should feel about someone or something. Until then, stick by her, protect her, be her friend, and support her. And even after you figure everything out, still stick with her as have so far. Got it?"
"I think I understand, Kratos. Thanks for that," Lloyd smiled.
"However, I do have one other question. Who's that woman you loved?"
"…That was a long time ago, Lloyd," Kratos glared at the ground.
"Don't worry about; it was my fault for bringing it up."
As the two sat there and stared at the cave paintings, they began to hear voices.
"…Are you sure this is the right spot?"
"Yes, I'm certain that we're directly under the stone dais."
"Are you sure this is going to work?"
"Yes, I'm positive this'll work. After all, this bomb was crafted by the best."
"Kratos, did you hear that?" Lloyd asked.
"Yes, I did. Let's get closer, but be quiet and careful," Kratos whispered.
"Listen, are you absolutely sure that this bomb will do the trick?"
"I'm positive that this'll work. After all, this was crafted by Mind, the smartest of the Four Humanities."
"Well, as long as this'll stop that monster and save my sister Aisha, it'll be okay. Still, I feel bad for what we have to do to the dais."
"You idiot! It was your meddling that released that monster in the first place! Be lucky that the MEG has decided to help us or your sister would be the next sacrifice!"
"I know… but still, all that history…"
"Both of you shut up and keep watch as I set this up."
"Fine… Just tell me how this will work again."
"I set the bomb up here. Seven minutes after I trigger it, it will explode, causing the dais to collapse and destroy the monster."
"Good. Ever since Linar here screwed up and released that… thing, Asgard has been plagued and innocents have been sacrificed to it. And Aisha's next on the list!"
"Listen, Harley, I'm sorry, okay? But there were etchings on the dais depicting humans that could transform into animals. How was I to know that the Summon Spirit of Wind itself was sealed within the dais itself?"
"Well, if you weren't such an airhead, then we wouldn't have had this problem!"
"Will both of you shut up before I decide that you should die for releasing Sylph's wrath upon this city!?"
"They're going to blow up the dais!? That's not good." Lloyd uttered.
"Many innocents will wind up dying from the explosion, not to mention the resulting cave-ins. And if Sylph is destroyed, then the universal balance will shift, causing mass catastrophes across Sylvarant," Kratos added.
"Not to mention that if this is where Sylph is, then this is a seal! If it goes, then we cannot complete the journey and Colette can never become an angel! We have to stop them before it's too late."
"Agreed. We jump them on three, got it?"
Lloyd nodded in agreement.
"Ready? One… two… three!"
Lloyd and Kratos jumped out to confront the three men. One had red hair tied up in a bandana. He also had pointy ears, signaling he had elven blood. Another had blue hair and glasses and was holding himself timidly. The third man was clad in blue cloak and hood, hiding his face.
"Hold it right there!" Lloyd shouted.
"Who the hell are you!?" the elven boy shouted.
"…Lloyd Irving. I must say, I didn't expect to see you here," the cloaked man sneered.
"Who are you and how do you know my name?" Lloyd asked.
"I am a senior officer of the MEG. My name is of no importance to monster-lovers like you. All you need to know is that you now have the MEG's full attention and that our leader is especially interested in you, Irving," the man sneered.
"Like hell. I'd never want to meet someone who's so blinded by hatred that he'll cause mass destruction!" Lloyd shouted.
"I suggest you three surrender. We are companions of Colette Brunel, the seventh Chosen of Regeneration. You do not stand a chance," Kratos warned.
"Y-Y-You're with the Chosen!? Harley! Did you hear that!? They're with the Chosen! We don't have to blow up the dais after all! The Chosen is more than capable of handling this!" the timid man suggested.
"Linar, shut up! I'm not about to take a chance on the Chosen defeating Sylph if this plan is guaranteed to work!" the elven man, now identified as Harley, shouted.
"So, the Chosen is here in Asgard? Then that would mean those demon freaks are here as well. It's a good thing I've planned for that. Guess I get to put plan B into action after all," the cloaked man laughed.
"And what's plan B?" Linar asked.
The cloaked man scooped the bomb up and glared at the four men. Lloyd and Kratos drew their swords, ready for anything.
"Simple. I'm going to head straight for the stone dais and tap into the dais' mana and channel it through the bomb, tripling its destructive power. Originally, I wasn't going to do that cause I wanted this to be clean and fast, but this is too good of an opportunity to pass up," the man announced.
"What!? But that kind of power will not only take out the dais and Sylph, but over half of Asgard as well!" Linar argued.
"You can't do that!" Harley shouted.
"If it means destroying that lowly monster, the sympathetic Chosen, and those beasts, then I, as a member of the MEG, will fulfill my duty, no matter the consequences," the man solemnly vowed.
"You'll have to get past us first before you can do that!" Lloyd shouted.
"Then I'll just do this," the man grinned.
He held his free hand up and blasted the cave ceiling with a spell, causing a cave in, separating him from the other four.
"Damn. We gotta stop him!" Lloyd shouted.
Kratos turned his attention to Harley and Linar.
"You two. Which is the fastest way to the dais?" he demanded.
"Um… follow us," Linar replied.
The four rushed off to try and stop the man from destroying Asgard.
The stone dais was located at Asgard's highest point, in the center of the city. It was a large, square slab of rock with etchings all over it. Statues depicting fairies were at each of the dais' corners. In the center of the dais was a large circle. Inside the circle was the symbol of wind.
Currently, Raine was on the slab, inspecting all the intricate symbols on it. Ruin Mode was in full force, and she was enjoying every moment of it.
"Marvelous!" Raine chirped. "There's so much history on this dais! I can learn so much from this!"
As she continued to inspect the dais, several etchings caught her attention. She closely looked at them and gasped.
"What in the… How is this possible? If these etchings are right, then…"
Before Raine could finish her thought, a mysterious man clad in a blue cloak appeared, clutching a weird device in his hands.
"Out of my way, woman," he ordered as he pushed her aside.
The man slammed his device onto the dais and began tinkering with it.
"Who are you and what do you think you're doing to this historical artifact?" Raine demanded.
"That's none of your business. Now, stay out of my way, or pay the price."
"If you're going to defile this place, then its my business to stop you," Raine warned as she clutched her staff.
"I warned you," he glared as he finished his tinkering.
At the call of her name, Lloyd and Kratos lept onto the dais with their swords drawn, ready for combat.
"Damn! How did you two catch up to me so quickly!?"
"Lloyd! Kratos! What's going on?"
"Professor Sage, he's going to blow up this thing along with Colette, Lyre, Ranulf, and half the city!" Lloyd informed her.
"What!?" she yelled out. "Oh, hell no! No one is destroying all this rich history or the Chosen on my watch."
"Too late. The bomb has already started. In seven minutes, all of you, along with Sylph and this city are going sky high! Good luck trying to stop it!" he grinned from under his hood.
In response, Lloyd and Kratos charged the blue-robed man, attempting to make him pay. However, before they could reach him, a gush of water erupted from the dais, stopping the charge. When the water disappeared, a second cloaked figured, this time in white, had appeared.
"Can't let you do that," the new figure spoke.
"You… You're that woman from Lake Umacy," Kratos recognized her.
"We'd love to stay and play but I think you have more pressing concerns," the white-robed woman responded. "You have six minutes and twenty-five seconds to stop the bomb, if you can."
With that, the two cloaked figured were basked in a bright light.
"Stop!" Kratos called out, but it was too late; they were already gone, having teleported away.
"Damn! They got away!" Lloyd cursed.
"Forget them! We have to take care of the bomb!" Raine chastised Lloyd.
The three ran up to the bomb in an attempt to defuse it, but the moment the three of them entered the circle at the dais' center, a large amount of mana shot out of the circle, forcing them back.
"What's going on!?" Lloyd shouted.
"Mana is coming out of the dais! But why?" Raine wondered.
At that moment, Harley and Linar had caught up to them and were out of breath.
"It's… Sylph… He's coming for his sacrifice," Linar informed them between pants.
When the light disappeared, a purple monster had appeared. Its' top half appeared to be that of a demon, complete with horns and wings. The bottom half appeared to be a blade one would find on a pendulum.
"No! Sylph will kill us all!" Harley yelled out.
'Sylph' quickly charged past the three heroes and went straight for Harley and Linar. Before it could reach them and behead them, a plume of ice shot out at it, knocking it over.
"Who did that?" Lloyd asked.
"I did, and this is not the one known as 'Sylph'; it has a demonic presence around it."
Everyone turned to see that leaning against one of the statues was a young man. He wore a white mage's robes with black symbols adorning it. He had black hair in a ponytail and cold, crimson eyes. He had an odd red mark on his forehead. He had a book in his hands and a staff strapped to his back.
"Who are you and what do you mean by 'its not Sylph'?" Raine asked. "If my logic is correct, then the Seal of Wind, where Sylph resides. If it is not Sylph, then it has to be the seal guardian, at least."
"I can assure you that this 'thing' is not Sylph, nor is it a guardian. However, there is no time to explain. Take care of the bomb now. I'll handle this demon," the man ordered.
"He's right. I estimate we have five minutes left, according to the original time we were given," Kratos agreed.
"Kratos, assist the man in fighting Sylph. Lloyd and I will handle the bomb," Raine ordered.
The demon suddenly got back up and swung its lower half at Lloyd. However, Kratos was able to block the blow and pushed it back.
"Hurry you two! Time is of the essence!" Kratos barked at them.
As Lloyd and Raine rushed to the bomb, the young mage ran up to Kratos.
"I hope you know how to do more than wildly swing that sword of yours," the mage glared at Kratos.
"I hope your bite is better than your bark," Kratos glared right back.
"Let's take care of him."
The demon got back up again, bloodlust radiating from it. Soren and Kratos braced themselves for what was to come. The demon lunged at them again, but both of them ducked to avoid the blow. Soren quickly chanted a few words and a gust of wind shot out of his hand, knocking it back slightly.
"So, it's resistant to wind…" he muttered.
Before he could act on that, the demon swung its lower half at Soren. Soren grabbed his staff and used it to block the pendulum. Kratos took the opportunity to sucker punch it, following it up with a slash at the wings. The demon recoiled at the blow, stunning it.
"Hold it off while I prepare this spell!" Soren ordered.
A magic circle began forming around Soren as he slowly began to chant. Kratos didn't know what spell he was going for, but he was going to have to buy Soren all the time he needed. Kratos went at the demon again. He slashed at it repeatedly, attempting to deal a fatal blow. However, the demon proved to be quite adept at dodging. All the slashes he made at the demon only managed to make scratches. He then lunged at the demon with all its might.
Kratos managed to run the enemy through with his sword and a blast of lightning shocked the demon, injuring it. He yanked his sword out of its body, but was caught off guard when it punched him in the gut, knocking him to his knees.
"This thing's tougher than I thought," Kratos spat.
"Get out of the way!" Soren ordered.
Kratos rolled out of the way just in time for Soren to unleash his might against the demon.
"Rest in a merciless embrace! Absolute!" he chanted.
A white magic circle formed around the demon, glowing brightly. In the blink of an eye, ice shot up, trapping the pendulum-like demon in a chilly prison.
"Let's finish this," Soren added with an icy glare.
Soren took a hold of his staff again and Kratos gripped his sword tight as they both ran at the icy-encrusted demon. Their weapons sliced through the ice, cutting the demon into three pieces. The pieces shattered upon hitting the ground and the remnants faded into smoke. The smoke then formed into a battleaxe. The axe handle was purple, like the demon was. The blade was shaped like the demon's pendulum half. On the blade itself was an etching of a dragon's head, colored crimson like blood. Kratos carefully examined the axe.
"If that demon became this axe, then that would mean that this is…" he thought to himself.
Before he could continue his thought, he remembered that the bomb was still a threat. He ran over to the bomb, where Lloyd, Raine, and now Soren were tinkering with it.
"Did you disarm it?" Kratos asked.
"I managed to disconnect the bomb from the dais and drain the excess mana from it, but this thing is still going to blow in ninety seconds unless we do something," Raine caught Kratos up.
"This bomb is so complicated! Normally, I could handle this, but whoever made this really knew what they were doing!" Lloyd sighed.
Kratos quickly thought and came up with an idea.
"Lloyd! Throw the bomb as high into the air as you possibly can! Raine, Soren! When it's as high as it can go, attack it with magic!" he ordered.
"Not a bad idea…" Soren commented.
"What? But I…" Lloyd stammered.
"Now, Lloyd!" Raine shouted at him.
Lloyd, not one to refuse the Professor's orders, quickly grabbed the bomb and threw it into the air. His Exsphere-enhanced strength sent the bomb flying several hundred feet into the air. As the bomb began slowing down, Kratos signaled to Raine and Soren to blast it.
"Take this! Lightning!"
"Strike! Wind Blade!"
All three spells hit the bomb just as it reached the apex of its climb. The bomb exploded in mid-air, but the blast was bigger than Kratos had anticipated. A blue shockwave was coming right at them!
"Oh, crap!" Lloyd spat.
"Brace yourselves!" Kratos and Soren shouted.
The four warriors braced themselves for impact. The shockwave struck with more force than predicted and knocked them off the stone dais and into the cowering Harley and Linar, which sent all six of them on a gruesome tumble down the granite stairs that led to the dais.
Colette and Lyre were busy searching for the priest when a pillar of light shot out from the center of the city. This sent the citizens into a panic, forcing Colette and Lyre to abandon their search to calm the mass mob. When an explosion occurred minutes later, Colette was worried, but it was her job to help the people. As she tried to help calm the people, someone grabbed her by the shoulder. Colette looked over her shoulder to see a white-robed woman standing behind her, a hood covering her face.
"Leave the crowd control to me. Lloyd needs you now," the woman informed her.
"What!?" Colette gasped.
"Lloyd was right where the explosion occurred. I have no doubt that he survived, but I suggest you get to him fast before it's too late," the woman warned.
Without batting an eyelash, Colette's wings sprung from her back and she took off to the skies. The woman looked to the sky, watching Colette. She removed her hood to see Colette better. The woman had short, brown hair, hazel eyes, and her face seemed much softer than the other battle-hardened members of the MEG.
"You're just like Anna…" she smiled as she ran a hand through her hair. "Let's just hope you don't meet the same fate as her."
With that, Heart, one of the Four Humanites, set out to help control the chaotic crowd, just as she told Colette she would.
High above Asgard, Colette flew, desperately searching for Lloyd. She found herself hovering above the city's center. She looked straight down at the stone dais and saw that it was miraculously undamaged. She continued to scan the area and saw six figures at the bottom of a nearby flight of stairs. She floated closer and noticed that three of the figures were Kratos, Raine, and Lloyd. She gasped and quickly flew over to them.
When she reached them, she quickly saw what the explosion had done to them. Two men she didn't know were sitting on the ground. They had scratches and a few bruises, but overall, seemed okay. A third man she didn't recognize seemed to be worse off, clutching his arm like it was broken.
Kratos had a couple of slashes on him, but they were minor. The worst injury he had was a deep gash on his head and its bleeding blinded him in his left eye. However, he would recover just fine.
Raine seemed to be just fine except for some exhaustion. She was busy trying to heal Lloyd. Lloyd had broken some ribs and his leg and was the most injured out of the six.
"Lloyd!" Colette cried out.
"Chosen One, please, give the Professor some space," Kratos requested as he began to heal his own wounds.
"Oh, of course," she complied.
Colette gave Kratos a blue bottle full of medicine to help with his wounds. She then went over to the two men.
"Are you two okay?" she asked.
"Yeah, we're fine," the red-head spat.
"Please excuse Harley, he tends to be rude to everyone. I'm Linar. Excuse me, but are you the Chosen?" the blue-haired one introduced himself.
"I am. I'm relieved everyone's okay," she smiled.
"I am too," Linar sighed. "Aisha, us, these guys who risked their lives for Asgard, and the city itself…"
Colette nodded and went over to the other man that was clutching his arm.
"Are you okay?"
"I've had worse," the man replied.
"Is your arm broken?" she noticed.
"If it is, healing magic will fix it up as soon as I regain my mana," he answered.
"Oh, okay. In the meantime, I suggest you drink this. I've been told that this helps with wounds," Colette suggested as she pulled a blue bottle from her bag.
Soren's eyes widened and he grabbed Colette's arm with his good one.
"Hey!" Colette gasped.
"That bottle! It's an Elixir! Where in the goddess' name did you get that from?" the man interrogated her.
"Ike gave it to me; he said it'd be helpful for dealing with wounds and exhaustion."
"Ike!? You've seen him!? Where!?" he demanded to know.
"He's traveling with us," she replied.
"And he's standing right behind you."
The man turned around to see Ike standing behind him, looking over the scene.
"I'm glad to see you, Soren. Although, I've never seen you this run into the ground before," Ike grinned.
"That's because I'm not usually on the front lines, unlike you, who would rush in to grab the enemy's attention just to save one ally," Soren smirked.
"True. But I do what I must to protect those dear to me."
Soren could only shake his head.
"Oh, you're Soren!? I've heard so much about you! It's a pleasure to meet you! I'm Colette! I'm happy you survived and now you can be reunited with all your friends and all will be good!" she introduced herself.
Soren looked over at Ike and mouthed, "Is she always this perky?"
Ike gave a slight nod and Soren deeply frowned, a headache already beginning to form, much to his displeasure.
"Why don't you go check on Lloyd, Colette? I'll take care of Soren," Ike suggested.
"Okay! I hope Lloyd's doing okay," she replied as she ran over to Lloyd.
Ike looked back over to Soren, who had gotten up, and his face was cringed, like he had a migrane.
"Soren, I know she's the total opposite of you, but could you grin and bear it, for me?" Ike asked.
"Fine. But I'm going to need some sedatives to deal with the headaches to come," Soren frowned.
"Don't worry about that; we'll have that covered," Ike put a hand on his good shoulder.
Mia ran up to them, a purple axe in her hand. She seemed to be struggling to hold it and her face seemed to be in pain. When she reached them, she slammed the axe into the ground and let go and gripped her hand in pain.
"Mia, I see you're here as well," Soren noted.
"Soren! Good to have you back. Although, it looks like you took a beating," Mia greeted.
"Not as bad as I've seen the beatings Ike gives you in training," Soren smirked.
"Oh, come on! I've never been beaten that bad!"
"As I recall, the stats of your spars with Ike were 238 losses, 74 wins, and 18 draws," he recalled.
"Well, sorry to disappoint you, Soren, but I've racked up sixteen wins and six draws since we've been separated," Mia grinned.
"Not one loss? How can that be? What happened?" a confused Soren asked.
"Well, Mia has gotten better. Besides, I can't help but hold back against my girlfriend," Ike blushed.
"Girlfriend? Wait. You mean you two are… together?" Soren was stunned.
"Yeah, Boss and I are now an item. Got a problem with that?" she glared.
"Only one: It's going to be a long time, if ever, before I can collect from Shinon."
"What's that suppose to mean?" Ike wondered.
"Shinon and I had a bet: We bet to see if you two would ever enter a romantic relationship; I said yes and he said no," Soren replied. "Now he owes me two White Gems and a Blue Gem."
"You wagered 25,000 on us getting together!? Soren, I'm touched," a tear fell from Mia's eye.
"I only went with logic. It dictated that you two would eventually be together; besides, I can never side against Ike."
"Soren, thanks for having faith in us," Ike grinned.
"You are welcome. Now, could someone care to tell me what was going on? I heard mentions of 'Chosen', 'beasts', and 'Sylph'. I know a few things, but you probably have the info I need to make sense of things," he requested.
"We'll catch you up on all that in a little bit. Now, Mia, what's with the axe?" Ike asked.
"I found it not too far from here, probably swept away by the explosion or something. I have no idea why it's here though. I do know that it's one of the Devil's Arms; I could tell just by holding it," Mia explained.
"That thing was the monster sealed in the dais …" Kratos explained as he approached the three. "… was probably the soul of the person corrupted by that axe."
"We should get Colette to purify it as soon as possible," Mia noted.
"Devil's Arms? What are you talking about? Will someone please explain what in the name of Tellius is going on?" Soren demanded.
Raine, with Kratos's help, was able to fully heal everyone's wounds. Colette managed to purify the Devil's Arm, known as Dragon's Breath. The axe was given to Ike for safe keeping at the moment.
Once everyone had gathered together, Linar requested that they stay the night at his house. Ike, Mia, Ranulf, and Lyre were able to quickly catch Soren up with what happened and said he will contribute in any way he can. The next day, Raine had gathered everyone together at the stone dais to reveal some information; information that could change the perception of history.
"Professor, why did you drag us all the way here again? Last time we were here, we had to deal with that bomb freak, that Devil's Arm monster, and a bomb that sent us on one hell of a ride down the stairs!" Lloyd complained.
"I have to say that I no longer hold any love for this specific place. Is there a good reason you've brought us here?" Kratos added.
"Raine, are you about to give us a history lesson?" Genis asked.
"Yes, Genis, I am, but that's later. First, I wanted to show you all something," Raine answered.
From her bag, she pulled out a stone tablet. It appeared to have a map of Sylvarant engraved on it. There was an 'X' mark on the map and below the map were words engraved in an ancient language.
"Professor, what is that?" Colette asked.
"This is the Map of Balacruf. When the explosion occurred, I stumbled across this; it probably appeared at the same time as the monster, which I've dubbed 'Windmaster', appeared; it was probably sealed within the dais with the monster. This map tells of the true location of Sylph, and by proxy, a seal," Raine gave a detailed explanation.
"A seal? You mean one of those locations that the Chosen has to go and pray at to receive blessings from Cruxis?" Soren asked.
"Yes. It was believed for a long time that this was the Wind Seal, which is why when the Windmaster appeared, it was assumed to be Sylph. This map was to guide people to Sylph so that a summoner could Sylph's power to stop the Windmaster," Raine continued.
Everyone then looked at Sheena with knowing eyes.
"What? Are you saying that the Map was meant for me?" she asked.
"In a sense, it was. Regarless, I spent all night translating the map and I now know where the real Wind Seal is," Raine grinned.
"And where is the seal?" Lloyd asked.
"The Balacrum Mausoleum."
"A crypt!?" Sheena gasped.
"We're going to
"The place where the last of the known Sylvarant Dynasty were buried?" Genis asked.
"The very same; it is located on an island to the east of here. It will take us about three days to get there by foot," said Raine.
"That's awesome and all, but are we going to go to that seal now or are we going to track down that priest first?" Lyre replied.
"That does pose a problem. We need the key to access the Tower of Mana; however, we know where a seal is and can easily access it. Which is more important?" Raine mused out loud.
"If I may make a suggestion," Soren interrupted. "I suggest we leave a couple of people here to track down your elusive priest while the rest of us head to the Mausoleum to break the seal."
"That would make sense… but who would stay here? The two best people to stay here would be Colette and Ike, but Colette needs to be at the seal and Ike's fighting skill is most likely needed at the seal as well," Raine thought out loud.
"I'll stay," Genis volunteered. "I've been friends with Colette. The priest should at least know of me because of that."
"I think I'll stay here too," Decus volunteered as well. "According to Soren, Alice was here in Asgard awhile back, but she wasn't here long and he didn't know where he went."
"You sure you two wish to stay here?" Lloyd asked.
"I think that's for the best," Genis grinned.
"Okay then. But you two take care of each other while we're at the seal, okay?"
"Don't worry, Lloyd. We'll be fine," Decus assured him.
"Now that we have that settled… Raine, I assume you brought us here due to the etchings at the center of the dais?" Soren interrupted.
"How did you know?" Raine gasped in surprise.
"I have been in Asgard for awhile now, reading up on the history of Sylvarant. I know some things, but I've yet to go over the city in full," Soren explained. "I think you should show everyone the etchings."
"What's he talking about, Professor?" Colette asked.
"Everyone come here and you'll see for yourself," she replied.
The group gathered at the dais' center and saw the etchings Soren and Raine were talking about. What they saw surprised them. There was an etching of a dragon, cat, tiger, wolf, raven, heron, hawk, and a few humans being swamped by a giant tsunami. A second etching showed two females, presumed to be deities, creating some sort of wall, separating the animals and a few humans from the rest of the humans and what appeared to be elves. The third etching showed the animals taking human form. The fourth etching showed an etching of two deities, three angels, a heron, a swordswoman, a dragon, and a lion facing off against a tidal wave, a child-like deity on top of the wave.
"Impossible!" Ike gasped.
"No way..." Mia mumbled.
"How can this be…" Ranulf questioned.
"Well, this changes a lot…" Sheena added.
"Um… can someone explain to me what is going on?" a confused Lloyd asked.
"A thousand years ago, the Goddess Ashunera, creator of all life, was split into two different goddesses: Ashera and Yune," Soren explained. "Yune went out of control and caused a great flood that supposedly drowned all the continents except for Tellius. The Goddess Ashera fought Yune with the help of the strongest Tellius had to offer: Lehran of the birds, Soan of the beasts, Altina of the beorc, and Dheginsea of the dragons. Together, they defeated Yune and sealed her in the item known as Lehran's Medallion, also known as the Fire Emblem.
"However, it appears that not even Goddess Yune herself told her the whole story, or perhaps she didn't know. It these etchings are correct, then your Goddess Martel, along with three of her angels, also got involved in that grand battle a millennia ago, siding with Ashera. After sealing Yune away, Martel and Ashera apparently banished all laguz and a portion of the beorc to Tellius and used their powers to seal them off from Sylvarant."
"However, this leaves us with questions than need answers," Raine added. "Why did Martel interfere with Ashera and Yune's conflict? Why has no mention of laguz or the other goddess been mentioned until now here in Sylvarant? Why is Tellius apparently void of any elves and why do they not know of Martel? Why and how was Tellius separated from Sylvarant? Why was Tellius led to believe it was the only continent left while any evidence of Tellius was seemingly wiped away from Sylvarant? If there really is a 'wall' separating Sylvarant from Tellius, how did Ike and his friends get here?"
"…Could you explain that again?" Lloyd scratched his head. "I'm completely lost."
"Don't worry, Lloyd; I'll give you the simple explanation later," Mia assured him.
"Those are some good questions. However, for now, I think we should focus on finding Ilyana and Alice, breaking the seals, and completing the Journey of Regeneration. Perhaps our questions will be answered along the way," Kratos suggested.
"Good point. Let's just work with what we do know for now," Raine agreed.
Everyone nodded in agreement, believing that the Journey of Regeneration was the best option at the moment.
Soren has joined the group! Lloyd has foiled another MEG plot and another Devil's Arm has been found. While Decus and Genis continue searching for the priest, Lloyd and company are heading to the Balacruf Mausoleum to break the next seal! What will happen at the Wind Seal? Who exactly is Heart of the Four Humanities and what is her connection to Anna? And if those etchings are true, then what are the answers to Raine's questions. Find out soon! Review, please!