This is it! The finally chapter to this story! I am done! But for you who want more don't worry, I'm in the middle of making TWO more stories for this series! Hurray! But I'm on vacation so I won't have a laptop to update on, so just bare with me! I hope you enjoy the last chapter!
Layton paced frantically, thoughts racing, mind going through everything he had learned so far, but came up with nothing. The true Rasler stated that he found the village somewhere down the river, but without any directions, Layton doubted they'd be as lucky. But he's the protector; surely the light would just let him wander around without some sort of help!
Layton groaned weakly. Surely he didn't just ask for help from a dying inanimate object. Arura frowned as she watched him pace.
"Sir, you're making me sick."
"I'm sorry Arura, I'm just nervous. We're so close to getting him back…. Yet there's enough room to lose him all over again."
"We'll find him Layton, I know we will."
Layton shook his head and looked at her. "You sure you remember nothing else, nothing that could help us?"
"No, I've been rattling my brain, but nothing…."
Letting out a large, almost defeated sounding sigh, Layton walked onto the balcony, griping the cool metal railing. The sun had just started to sink into the horizon, the sky painted a light pink. They had returned to their room after their meeting with Rasler and remained there, hoping something would come to them to find this village. But nothing, not clue came to mind and Arura could remember nothing else. Layton was losing his nerve, not even tea was able to help which worried him slightly.
"Professor, you must have some sense of what to do."
"Arura I have nothing…. I wish I could say otherwise, but that would be no help…." He griped the railing and shut his eyes tightly, demanding to learn something new. "Please… please, give me something, anything…. I need a sign…."
To bluntly put it, something that felt like a gunshot suddenly pierced Layton's right temple. His vision blurring, he staggered back, heard Arura gasp, then the world around him went black. In his mind's eye, he saw the night sky stretched above him, most of the stars shining pure white. The rest, however, were blood red, which made a crocked, but sure enough line drawn away from the town and down the river.
It pain and picture faded quickly, Layton sitting strait up, temple throbbing slightly. "W-What on Earth…. What happened?"
"I-I don't know," Arura looked slightly pale, "You were standing by the window, you gave a small gasp and collapsed. Are you alright?"
Layton blinked, remembering the map he saw. "Better than that, I know where to go."
He bounded up and ran out the door, a slightly startled Arura following him. "I-I don't understand, where are we going?"
"I'm not sure, but I know which direction we need to head. We just need a boat."
"Where are we going to find on at this time of night?"
"I don't know, but we need to."
With great relief, they were able to secure a boat quickly, though the owner seemed slightly confused. They hoped on and took off down the river, Arura positioned up front, Layton manning the wheel.
"Are you sure you know where you're going?" Arura frowned, seeing nothing to guide the way for them. Layton however, was looking up, towards the sky, seeing a faint trail of blood red stars.
"I'm positive Arura, just trust me." They made their way slowly, the sun soon setting, leaving the oil lamp they had as their only source of light. Layton frowned, the stars suddenly dulling into the white shine. Frowning, he turned towards the bank and docked, stepping off.
"Why are we stopping?" Arura followed.
"The trail I was following died, I assume that means we're here." Layton lead the way into the small village, the small mud houses had smoke curling out of what was assumedly chimneys. The village was quiet and peaceful, but that worried Layton. "Where is everyone…."
"I can't see anything…." They jumped back in surprise as the fire pit suddenly roared to life, a fire blazing happily before them. Layton kept Arura close as he heard voices mummer around them.
Layton blinked as his eyes adjusted to the light. His heart thumped in surprise as members of the tribe surrounded them. A tall man came forward, clearly the chef of this village.
"O-Oh my…." Arura shrunk behind Layton, eyes wide with fear.
"Protector, you have finally arrived…."
Layton frowned. "I'm glad you all show interest, but I'm in a hurry. Where is my light, where is Luke." The air went from excited to tense, members stepping away from the pool of light.
"Your light…. He has been taken again."
Layton frowned. "What do you mean again?"
"He was here, your light and his captor. We attempted to keep them here for when you arrived, but they fled into the night."
"What!" Layton had never felt angrier then he did now. The fire beside them roared, the flames reaching high into the air. Some villagers ran back into their huts, screaming in terror. The chef, however, held his ground.
"Please calm yourself, we know where they are."
Layton attempted, but was too focused on getting Luke back to really care. "Where, where did they go."
"The save haven, the temple. That is where you will find him and where this nightmare will end," the chef pointed to the sky, "Follow your path."
Layton looked back up, a trail of red stars above them. With a curt nod, Layton cleared a path into the thick forest, Arura close behind.
Arura shook softly as they entered in further, Layton looking as if he was in a trance. They stepped and slightly stumbled over the terrain, the air becoming colder.
"Do you feel that?" Arura asked nervously.
"Yes, I do…. I believe we're getting close."
"To what, that temple? There's nothing out here but jungle."
"There was once something here, once upon a time."
Arura frowned. "You mean like a city?"
"More of a village. Brilliant place really, if you think about it."
"I…I don't understand."
"I believe that this civilization built their life here. Thick jungle and unknown animals, only those who lived here could make their way though unharmed. And being near the river, they had everything they needed to survive…. And I'm beginning to understand why the light chose here."
"What?" Arura stared, "Are you saying that the light… Is a living thing?"
"Impossible to believe, yes, but that's the theory I have now. Something that chooses must have the ability to think for itself, there for in some sense alive. Such a power must have known the danger it was in and sought out people to protect it."
"Then why did it disappear?"
"That… I don't know…." Layton stopped short, Arura bumping into him lightly. There, in a moonlit clearing, stood a tall man-made temple, crumbling slightly from the wear and tear of time. Gasping slightly, Arura looked around.
"This has to be it…. But where's Luke and Paolo?"
"Inside…. We have to hurry."
"But how do we get in?" Arura humphed as Layton set off and followed, "This place looks sealed up, how do you intent to get in."
"It's sealed to those not marked as welcome."
"Like Dr. Rasler… the real one."
"But if that's true, then how did Paolo get in?"
"He had the mask, that has to be it. No doubt it would have let Luke in no matter what, but that mask was Paolo's proof, even if he did steal it."
"Then I have to ask again, how do we get in? We don't have the mask or Luke."
"But it may let me in, after all, I am the protector." Layton looked around, hoping for a piece of rock to move aside for an entrance. But the temple remained motionless and the night was still.
"Or not…. But something doesn't feel right…."
Layton looked back at her. "You feel it too?" Arura nodded, "Hmm, that's no comfort, who knows what that could mean…. Well, maybe there's-"
The silence was broken with a loud roar of rage and a quake, the temple starting to fall apart again. Layton gripped his top hat and fell to one knee, covering Arura, feeling as if that world was going to split in two at any moment.
Then, as suddenly as it started, it stopped, the night calm again.
"W-What was that?" Arura asked panicking.
"I don't know…. But if that was caused by Paolo, Luke's in danger. We need a way in now." In response to Layton's fear, rocks moved aside, showing a large archway that went deeper into the temple. Layton stood, helping Arura up, and they stared in amazement.
"It… I think it heard you…."
"I believe it did…. Come inside, quick, before it closes." Layton lead the way, Arura keeping close.
The entryway closed as soon as they entered, Arura jumping in surprise. "It's sealing us in?"
"No, it's making sure Paolo can't escape. This light, no doubt, wants this mess solve, and unfortunately Paolo plays a role in this." Layton looked around, three tunnels stood before them.
"Now what? We'll become lost before we can help anyone."
"This way." Layton headed down the left tunnel.
"Are you sure? They all look the same to me." Arura frowned.
"I'm positive, trust me. I'm not leaving Luke behind."
Arura sighed and, with nothing to really lose, followed Layton. They made their way slowly, not really sure what the temple would throw at them, Arura gripping Layton's arm tightly. Paying no mind to the searing pain, Layton kept him mind focused, seeing no end in sight. Where would this tunnel lead? Would he find Luke at the end?
"Professor," Arura whispered, "I think I see light ahead."
"Yes, I believe you're right…. It might be a room…." Arura shook her head, showing she didn't know. Layton held his breath in anticipation and entered.
It was indeed a room, large and tall, the only source of light found was from an opening in the ceiling. The light fell down onto a podium of sorts, but nothing to out of the ordinary. Layton looked around, feeling that something was off, that it didn't belong there.
And then, he saw it. Huddled in the far corner, a light slightly torn blue ball was shaking.
"Luke? Luke is that you?"
Instantly, the ball uncurled showing Layton's slightly pale assistant. "P-Professor!"
Layton dashed over, Arura frozen slightly from shook, and collected Luke in his arms, comforted to feel the familiar form close to him. Pulling Luke away, Layton frowned seeing the damage his assistant was in. His clothing was torn and worn down, Luke looking tired and very ill.
"Luke… what happened?"
"Paolo…. H-He's in here somewhere…. He wants the light for himself…. I-I feel ill."
"It's alright, he's not going to hurt you again, I'm here."
"I know," Luke's face shined with happiness, "I-I knew you wouldn't leave me."
"Never, you know that." Layton pulled Luke back in.
"I-I wanna go home."
"Not so fast Layton!"
They both jumped, Layton turning behind him, holding Luke closer. Paolo stood before them, Arura his hostage, a mad gleam in his eye. The eyes of the mask shone brightly, flashing a dark red; Luke went limp.
"No Paolo stop! You don't know what you're doing!"
"Don't try to pull one over on me Layton! I've come this close and I'm not losing to you again!"
"You don't understand," Layton shook trying to reason, "You touch that power and you'll destroy us all."
"Stop telling me lies!"
"H-He's not lying!" Arura yelped, "You bother it and-"
"Enough of this," Paolo tossed Arura to the side, who fell to the ground and laid limp, "Luke come here!"
Layton kept his grip, even as Luke attempted to break free. "No Luke, please, you have to fight it!"
"Back off Layton!"
A surge of what felt like electricity shot through Layton and his grip went limp, Luke able to break free and follow Paolo up to the offering table. Layton panted, unable to move, as Paolo laid Luke on the platform, his eyes as red as the masks.
"With this symbol of ancient times, I clam the light as my own!" Layton watched in horror as Paolo brought the mask down and placed it over Luke's face.
The temple instantly began to shake, the foundation starting to crack, some stones tumbling. From between the crack, light shone through, making Paolo whoop in triumph.
"Yes, yes! It's mine, I control the light!"
But his triumph did not last long. The light faded quickly, what looked like small thin puffs of smoke came crawling through, along with screams and moans of terror and pain. The air became thick, making it almost hard to breath, and Layton knew Luke couldn't last much longer. He stumbled over to Arura helping her up.
"Wait… wait!" Paolo looked around frantically, "T-This isn't supposed to happen!"
"Arura… Arura, stay with me, we have to end this now."
She nodded. "We need to get that mask away from Luke."
"Then we need to get Paolo away from Luke."
As if on cue, a huge blast of energy swept through and knocked Paolo down. Taking the opportunity, Layton dashed up and past the falling form of Paolo, somehow able to keep his hat in place. Reaching the top, Layton grabbed the mask and, with great force, forced the mask off. The air cleared, the smoke was gone and it fell silent as it was before.
"W-What… what was that!" Paolo howled in anger and pain at the foot of the steps.
"What we said would happen!" Arura snapped, "You almost killed all of us!"
"Impossible…." Either from insanity or fear, Paolo turned and ran out.
"Wait! Professor, Paolo's getting away!"
"I'm not worried about that."
"Luke's not breathing."
Layton was walking down, Luke resting in his arms. But he wasn't moving, pale and limp, his eyes were closed and he didn't appear to be breathing. Arura placed her hand over her mouth in horror as Layton laid Luke down.
"How did this happen," Layton whispered in disbelief, "Why…."
"The mask…. I-It was used incorrectly…. I-It must have done the opposite of it true purpose and…and drained the life out of him…." Arura choked out weakly.
"No… this isn't happening! I-It can't be!" Layton collected Luke's limp form in his arms and rocked him, "Please don't take him…. Please Luke wake up!"
"P-Professor…." Arura sighed softly, not knowing if she could even say anything to make Layton even feel remotely better. Looking up, she gasped, eyes widen from what she saw. "Professor….Professor, l-look up…."
Layton stared at Arura then looked up, mouth slightly agape. Millions of blinking lights shined above them, some starting to fall lower towards them, the air suddenly feeling calm. "W-What are they?"
"I have no idea…."
"Do you think they're dangerous?"
"They're not attacking…. I wonder…." Keeping an eye on the slowly falling light, Layton reached out and grabbed the mask. Instantly the lights stilled and even started to vibrate. "They seem excited about something…."
"But w-what are they?"
Layton frowned, looking from the lifeless form in his arms back up to the sky. "…Luke?"
"Professor? Where are you, w-where am I?"
"Oh…." Arura gasped again, "I-Is that really you Luke?"
"I-I think so, but I don't know where I am or how I got here! What's happening?"
"Luke, I need you to calm down, we'll figure this out, don't worry." Layton turned to Arura, who looked back slightly pale. "Any explanations come to you?'
"W-Well… I-I did say that it's possible that the mask drained him of life…. But that wasn't its true intention, since Paolo attempted to use it for his personal gain…."
"That is true…. We also came to the conclusion that the light is in fact alive…."
"So is it trying to help?"
"That is a good question…." Layton looked at the mask, "…If I am the protector as everyone claims, this mask was made for me…. So if I ask for Luke back…it may just do that…."
Arura bit her bottom lip. "This is a make-or-break deal, who knows what will actually happen…."
"We have to try…. Luke?"
"Whatever happens, just don't fight against it, alright?"
Layton gripped the mask tightly, frowning. Would this actually work? Arura was right, who knows how corrupt this mask was thanks to Paolo, but it rightfully belonged to Layton. But he couldn't lose Luke, not now, not like this. Holding his breath, Layton cautiously placed the mask back down onto Luke. The lights glowed brighter and descended, each disappearing into Luke's still body until the temple was dark again. Layton and Arura waited, but Luke didn't stir.
"Luke? …Luke please wake up…."
"It had to have worked, there's nothing else we could have done! Luke please! I just got you back, I'm not ready to lose you again, just open your eyes please!" Layton pulled Luke closer, shaking slightly. "I can't lose you…."
The room suddenly became warm and light, the temple glowing softly. Arura looked around frantically, as if this was some trick, but Layton just smiled. Pulling off the mask slowly, his heart swelled happily to see Luke's eyes open weakly.
"P-Professor? …I-I really want to go home now…"
Layton laughed softly and held Luke close. "Of course, I couldn't agree more…."
The sound of glass breaking made them look up, the mask slowly cracking, then crumbling into pieces. Luke blinked. "D-Does that mean this is over?"
"I believe so…."
They made their way out of the temple and forest easily, Luke leading them back, beaming. They never ran back into Paolo, each assuming that he made it out of the temple and was no doubt heading back to London in some contraption. The few rays of morning sun shone slightly, starting to chase away the blackened sky of night.
"I can't believe it's morning," Luke yawned, "Doesn't seem that ordeal was really that long…."
"Was long enough for me, but we'll need to rest before we make our way back," Layton smiled weakly, "I don't think I'll be able to navigate well with the lack of sleep I have…."
They parted the last bit of jungle and reached the small familiar tribe, where they were greeted warmly by the people. They were given a hut to sleep in, Arura in her own, the chief saying they needed to recover before they went anywhere, not that they really put up that much of a fight.
Placing his top hat on a separate cot, Layton laid down, Luke joining him instantly, yawning. Pulling Luke close, Layton waited to hear Luke fall into a deep sleep before he allowed himself to drop into a dreamless sleep.
"Arura!" The curator strided forward as the trio exited the ship slowly.
"Dad!" Arura smiled, "I'm alright, nothing broken or anything."
"Oh I was so worried, don't you dare do anything like that again!"
"Sorry, kind of had to."
"But why did you leave, what happened?"
Arura smiled back at Layton and Luke. "Nothing that can't be discussed in the privacy of a train car."
Chelmey walked past them and strait for Layton, Luke stepping behind him. "So…you found him."
"And where's this Paolo character?"
"I'm sorry inspector but the chase for him will have to continue."
"Blast, I figured," Chelmey looked them over, "No offence, but you two look absolutely terrible."
Luke frowned, but Layton laughed softly. "We can only imagine what we look like. We've only slept, nothing else."
"Yet you still look exhausted."
"W-We've been though a lot…." Luke yawned widely.
"If you'll excuse us inspector, we really should start making our way home." Layton smiled.
"Your assistant can barely stand, let alone walk to anywhere. I'll give you a police escort to the train station."
"Thank you inspector that's very kind of you."
"W-What about Arura?" Luke frowned.
"We'll get a taxi," the curator smiled, "You go on ahead."
Layton smiled softly as Luke dashed over to Arura, who bent down and held him close, smiling as well. "Bye Arura, I'll miss you…."
"I'll miss you too Luke," Arura ruffled his hair, "Take care… and keep an eye on Layton will you? He seems to get into a lot of trouble."
Luke laughed. "Of course, it's what I do as assistant."
"I can hear you two." Layton smiled, crossing his arms. Giving Arura one last good-bye, Chelmey allowed Layton and Luke into his car and drove off.
"You should get some rest Luke, it'll probably take us awhile to reach the station."
"I-I'm not really tired, more…confused really."
"Hmm, about what?"
"Well, why did the light chose us? I mean surely we're not the only ones who could have done this."
Layton frowned. "Arura did say that in some way I was chosen, but she never really fully explained it…. But this is a topic for another time Luke, we'll be going home soon and we'll need to explain to Flora where we've been."
Luke's eyes suddenly widened. "Oh no, we did leave her again didn't we! Oh she'll be furious!"