And so, after well over year, the third part is finally here! Sorry for making you wait, real life interfered with this one. I hate it when that happens! Anyway, this is the final part of this story. To be honest, it needed to end, as I go through heavy periods of writing, followed by much longer periods of nothing!
Enjoy, and I hope you're not too disappointed!
I do not own Golden Sun or any of its character.
"It's… complicated, Isaac."
Isaac turned and glared at the one eyed monolith that floated impassively beside him.
"What do you mean: complicated?" These dream/visions always frustrated him. The Wise One would always come bearing bad news, and yet would never offer any suggestions as to how to fix it. No, that was always left to Isaac and his friends, and all of Weyard knew how that turned out the first time. "Half of Weyard has been plunged into infinite darkness, and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of monsters is currently wreaking havoc in said darkness. All of this you tell me, and yet you tell me the reasons for it, and the mechanisms in which to fix it are… complicated!? Is that it?"
Rant over, Isaac stalked across the chamber, leaping from island to island, before he slumped against a statue. Glancing up, he noticed that it was the statue that had once held the Mars Star. The Wise One loved to have these psychic meetings here, right in the heart of Sol Sanctum. Isaac didn't. This place served as a reminder of a time when he thought he had lost Jenna forever…
"I'm sorry Isaac." The great stone floated gently beside the seated warrior. "The only thing I can tell you is that this is one problem you cannot fix. That task has been left to others."
"Who? Felix? Piers?" Isaac sighed "Never mind, you probably can't tell me, right?" The Wise One hovered silently, confirming the Adept's suspicions. "Can you at least tell me whether or not my wife is still alive?"
The silence continued for several minutes before Isaac heard the Wise One's voice again. "All I can tell you, Isaac, is what you already know. Jenna is proud, strong and wilful. She would never give her life lightly." The blonde warrior sighed and stood, hopping back to the main island.
"Not what I asked."
The Wise One floated after him.
"There is one last thing I must tell you Isaac; something very important. It concerns you, Alex, and the Golden Sun."
Golden Sun? The two words echoed in Isaac's thoughts. An idea began to form, and then in a flash of the usual Isaac brilliance, the idea became a plan; a workable plan at that, with a good chance of success.
"Wise One, you're a genius!" Isaac exclaimed excitedly. "I know what to do now!" Isaac spun around and ran for the exit.
"Wait Isaac, this is very important! It concerns the Mars… Star…" But it was too late. Isaac was gone.
Isaac eyes flared open and he leapt out of his bed, running over to Garet, and shaking the Mars adept roughly.
"Garet! Garet! Wake up! I know how we can save everyone!" Garet's eyes opened groggily, and it took him a few seconds to register where he was, and a few more to understand what Isaac had said.
"What?! You know a way out of this mess?" Garet's eyes widened. After all the years they had known each other, Isaac continued to surprise him.
"Think about it for a second." Isaac said patiently. "Ok, the darkness has been caused by the moon covering the sun right?" Garet nodded, nonplussed. "And these monsters appear in this darkness. They spawn from the darkness, right?" Garet nodded again, still unsure where Isaac was going with this speech. "And so it stands to reason that these monsters cannot survive in the light, right?"
"Yes Isaac, but you've already said that the sun has been blocked by the moon." Garet said testily. "Where else are we going to find a large… light… source… Oh." Realisation dawned on Garet's face, and an impish grinned formed on Isaac's.
"That's right Garet." He said devilishly. "We're going to take these people up the mountain to the Lookout Cabin. That way…"
"They'll be under the light of the Golden Sun! The monsters won't be able to attack us there!" Garet yelled in excitement.
"Exactly." Isaac's smile faded slowly. "But it's not going to be easy, persuading the people to go out there, in the darkness, up the mountain. Especially when there are plenty of monsters outside."
"Oh yeah…" Garet looked dejected. "What are we going to do?"
Isaac's devilish grin returned as he headed for the door. "Just leave it to me."
Garet had no idea how Isaac did it, but amazingly, less than half an hour after he had left the room, everyone was packed and ready for the climb. Isaac sure had a way with words, Garet thought with a chuckle. It hadn't always been that way; when they had started their first journey, there were periods where Isaac wouldn't talk for days. A sharp pain in his toe and a stumble brought Garet out of his reverie, and he focussed on the narrow path ahead of him. It had been decided that Garet was to lead the group up the mountain, and that Isaac would follow, covering the rear. Garet sighed as he continued to lead the group up the narrow mountain path. At least the enemies could only come at him in pairs, he thought grimly. A collective gasp from behind caused Garet to look up, and sure enough, Cursed Soldiers were marching down the path before him.
"Speak of the bloody devils." He muttered to himself as he pulled his axe from his belt, before giving an almighty bellow and charging straight at the oncoming monsters. Ducking under the first attack, Garet heaved his axe into the Cursed Soldier, sending it careening into others behind it, causing several to be knocked off the path. Seeing the skeletal warriors shatter against the mountainside, Garet quickly unleashed the Djinn Flash and Kindle, and then charged at the Cursed Soldiers once again. Blades and gauntlets bounced ineffectively off of Flash's defensive field, and with Kindle's added strength, Garet threw many more Cursed Soldiers off the narrow mountain path, and the mountainside was soon littered with broken bodies.
Garet leapt back, away from a particularly vicious slash from a Cursed Soldier, before swiftly beheading it. Progress had slowed considerably since the monsters had arrived, and there was still a long way to go. With the effects of Flash and Kindle beginning to dwindle, Garet blocked an overhead slash from a Cursed Soldier, hammering it backwards into its allies with his gauntleted fist. More monsters fell, but more kept advancing. Garet swayed to his left, his axe slashing down on yet another Cursed Soldier, before raising his arm. Searing Beam should do the trick, he thought as he aimed for the oncoming monsters.
Then he hesitated.
The path was treacherous enough as it was. Any psynergy or offensive djinn unleashed on this path would only serve to hamper the escape efforts of those Garet sought to protect. The warrior came to his senses just in time to avoid a wicked slash, countering it with a horizontal slash of his own, sending another two Cursed Soldiers down the mountainside. So it looks like we're doing this the hard way, he thought grimly, tightening his grip and advancing on the oncoming horde. As his axe shattered the ribcage of yet another Cursed Soldier, Garet's thoughts started to drift to the rear of the escaping group, where his best friend was holding off the monsters that were attacking from behind.
Garet could only hope and pray that Isaac was alright.
The monsters had cleared the ravine created by the inhabitants of Patcher's Place soon after the settlement had been abandoned, and had caught up with the escapees at the base of the mountain. With a short command to Garet to lead the villagers up the path, Isaac had leapt at the Cursed Soldiers and Death Scuttlers, slashing left and right. The monsters had fallen back from his frenzied assault, and Isaac used the space to retreat swiftly, making his way to the mountain path. Isaac quickly unleashed Granite and Ground. With the defensive boost of Granite, the Death Scuttlers that leapt at Isaac were quickly brushed aside and dispatched, while Ground temporarily held the advancing Cursed Soldiers in place.
I hope Garet isn't facing any Death Scuttlers… Isaac thought with a grimace. For all of his strength, Garet would not be able to cope with Death Scuttlers leaping at him between attacks from the Cursed Soldiers. Sooner or later one would break through. Casting his doubts of Garet aside, Isaac cut a Death Scuttler in half mid-leap, spinning swiftly on his heel to slash at two Cursed Soldiers that had broken free of Ground's effect. The narrow path did make it much easier to defend against the seemingly insurmountable number of foes, but Isaac also noted very swiftly the psynergy would be a bad idea; especially his psynergy. The Venus Adept frowned in anger. Avalanches caused by tremors from his psynergy would not go down well with Garet and the fleeing villagers. With a frustrated sigh raised his sword, and blocked another leaping Death Scuttler, before flicking his wrist and sending over the edge and down the cliff face.
Unwilling to advance too far, Isaac found himself slowly but steadily retreating. With each step he was forced to take backwards, several Cursed Soldiers and many Death Scuttlers fell, either to his blade, or off the edge of the path. I hope Garet is advancing quicker than I'm retreating, Isaac thought grimly, otherwise this plan is not going to work. Isaac skewered a Death Scuttler, and flung it into the faces of the Cursed Soldiers. In doing so, several of the monsters lost their footing and fell, temporarily halting the advance. With a moment of respite, Isaac unleashed Sap, drawing energy from the fallen Cursed Soldiers. Revitalised, Isaac ducked away from a leaping Death Scuttler, his sword following his movement and slicing the Death Scuttler as it passed through the space his body had just been.
Risking a glance behind him, Isaac was relieved to see that the villagers and Garet were out of sight. At least they were still moving forward, he thought with a tight smile. A scraping of bone on metal alerted the blond warrior to danger, and he turned quickly, sword raised. No sooner had he raised his sword, another clashed violently against it. Caught off balance, Isaac fell. Grabbing the ribcage of the offending Cursed Soldier, Isaac tucked his legs under the monster and kicked out, sending the skeleton over the edge of the path. Completing his backwards roll, Isaac planted his hands firmly on the ground and pushed up, flipping himself onto his feet, still facing the monstrous army that was attempting to kill him. For a second, no one moved, seemingly awestruck at the acrobatic display they had just been privy to.
With a bestial scream, several Death Scuttlers rushed at Isaac, but were swiftly cut down. This seemed to break the spell, as the Cursed Soldiers also let out an inhuman cry and charged at the Adept who stood in their way. Defending furiously, Isaac found himself once again being forced backwards. Every time he felled a monster, there was another take his place, and then another after that, and another and another and another. This is ridiculous! Isaac thought angrily. How can these monsters just keep appearing? Why wouldn't the bloody Wise One tell me anything?! The anger spread through his body, and with a great roar Isaac stopped defending and leapt at the Cursed Soldiers. Confused by the sudden change in aggression, the monsters hesitated, and the front rows were cut down before they could register the attack. Death Scuttlers leapt at the advancing adept, but were cut down as soon as they were within reach of his sword.
The attack did not last. Tiring, Isaac found his advancing steps shortening, until he was brought to complete halt. Shortly after, he found himself retreating once again. I hope Garet is almost there…
Garet was also hoping he was almost there. Sweat was dripping from his face, and his moustache was plastered against his top lip. It was very uncomfortable; Garet did not like it. It seemed to Garet like the fighting had gone on for hours, and that the top must be in sight soon. He set Flash and Kindle, feeling their strength coarse through him, giving him extra energy. He raised his axe, his arms burning with the effort, and charged at the Cursed Soldiers once again, barrelling through the front rows, and cutting into the ones behind. His vision blurred, and he belated realised that there was a sharp pain in his right shoulder. Somehow, a Cursed Soldier had managed to insert the tip of its sword into Garet's shoulder, and then remove it without Garet noticing. Fortunately, the Mars adept had prepared for this, and consumed a herb and an antidote he acquired from Patcher's Place before leaving. Can't be relying on Isaac to heal me all the time… The herb and antidote worked quickly and effectively, and Garet lurched forwards, blocking an attack with the shaft of his axe, before bring the blades to bear on the Cursed Soldier before him.
The monsters surged forwards again, forcing Garet backwards a few steps, as he struggled to contain the onslaught. With an angry bellow, the red-haired warrior surged forwards, his axe cleaving through the Cursed Soldiers, and sending the ones it missed over the edge to shatter against the mountainside. Angry at having been pushed back, Garet began to pick up his pace, and the Cursed Soldiers found there was little they could do to avoid the mighty swings of Garet's axe. Smashing the ribcage of one monster, Garet spun to crush the skull of another, before ducking under an attack and barrelling forwards to knock the attacking Cursed Soldier of its feet and off the path. Despite the almost berserker-like nature of Garet's attack, the Cursed Soldiers would not back down. In fact, it seemed to Garet as if they were attacking with even more frenzy than before. Why would that be?...
"Garet! Look! Ahead of you!"
Patcher's shout caused Garet's head to snap up, and sure enough, only a few hundred metres further up the path, rays of light could be streaming over the ridge.
The Golden Sun!
With their destination in sight, Garet's spirit soared. Reserves of energy long thought depleted surged to the surface, and Garet began his advance once more. The fighting got more and more frenetic, as the Cursed Soldiers desperately tried to stop the approaching warrior. Garet smiled, and broke into a run, slashing wildly with his axe, pushing the Soldiers back, closer and closer to the light. They were so close, Garet could almost feel the light on his face. Less than a hundred metres to go, and the Cursed Soldiers dropped all forms of defence, throwing themselves carelessly at the Mars adept in a desperate final attempt to stop him. With a great, booming laugh, Garet shrugged them off. He had come too far to fail now…
Isaac was tiring, and fast. His sword felt heavy in his hands, and he taken to dragging along the floor, and countering the attacks with big aggressive swings that would cleave through several monsters at once. A Death Scuttler leapt at him, but instead of retaliating with his sword, Isaac let go of the sword with right hand, and launched a ferocious uppercut at the Death Scuttler's exposide underside. The force of the attack sent the Death Scuttler flying away, down the mountain. Gripping his sword with both hands once more, Isaac planted his right foot firmly on the ground and waited for his enemies to approach. Spotting what seemed to be a lapse in concentration, the Cursed Soldiers leapt at the warrior blocking their path, swords raised. At the last possible second, Isaac's sword flashed up, and he pivoted on his foot, spinning round full circle. Many monsters were cut through, and the force of the spin sent them flying backwards, knocking several more off the dangerously narrow mountain path.
If Isaac had been hoping for a few seconds rest for his efforts, he was to be sorely disappointed. Almost as soon as he had completed his spin, Death Scuttlers launched themselves at him. He raised his sword, and several bounced off the great blade. However, one got past, and began to scuttle up the path. "You're not going anywhere!" Isaac muttered to himself, before launching his sword after the Death Scuttler. His aim was true, his sword piercing the monster, skewering it to the ground. Not waiting for the others to catch him unarmed, Isaac charged after his sword, aggressively pulling it out of the ground and turning to face the monsters chasing him.
Unfortunately, he wasn't quick enough. Halfway through turning, a Cursed Soldier slashed at him, scoring a light cut down Isaac's left arm. Wincing at the pain, Isaac thrust his gauntleted right fist into the monster's face, shattering the skull. As his vision began to blur and fade, Isaac unleashed Salt, to purge him of poison. I'm running out of time… Hurry Garet! Isaac backed away slowly as the Cursed Soldiers and Death Scuttlers continued to attack him, trying desperately to kill the warrior who was just as desperately trying to stop them from advancing up the path.
A small, squeaky voice cut through the clash of sword on sword, and out of the corner of his eye Isaac spotted a small red being sat on a rock on the cliff face above him. It was Garet's djinn: Spark!
"We've made it Isaac! We're at the Lookout Cabin, and you were right! The Cursed Soldiers disintegrated the moment they were in the light of the Golden Sun. Hurry and catch up!"
Isaac smiled in relief at the news, and watched the Mars djinn hop back up the mountain path. Isaac turned and faced the monsters on the path. There was no way he could outrun them, not in the state he was in. With a look of grim determination, Isaac raised a hand to the sky.
I hope the plateau is as stable as I think it is…
Garet let out a deep, relieved sigh, and smiled as he lay down on the ground beside the cabin. He was exhausted, and wanted nothing more than to fall asleep right now. But he couldn't. Anxiety gnawed at him, preventing him from getting the sleep he craved. Where was Isaac? Was he alright? Spark had just returned, and Garet had assumed that Isaac wouldn't be far behind.
A dull boom echoed from down the mountainside. No… He didn't… Surely not… The boom was swiftly followed by a bright flash of light and the sound of a crumbling cliff face. He did… The fool actually summoned Judgement… Garet's eyes misted up. He knew there was no way Isaac would have been able to avoid the after effects of Judgement's attack. This meant that he would have fallen with the crumbling mountain path; and that meant…
"What are you doing looking so depressed? Give me a hand over here!"
The familiar voice jerked Garet up, and he saw a hand and a face peeking at him from the cliff edge. Battered, bruised but very much alive, Isaac called out again.
"I wasn't joking Garet, I really need a hand over here!"
As if coming out of a trance, Garet rushed over to his friend, and hauled him up onto the cabin's plateau.
"What the hell were you thinking!?" Garet raged at his friend. "You knew summoning Judgement would causing a huge landslide. You're lucky to be alive!"
"Lucky?" Isaac gave an amused snort. "You think a mere landslide could kill me? I'm a Venus adept for crying out loud. Landslides are what I do!"
"Yeah, well I'm a Mars adept, but you don't see me walking through volcanos just because I can." Garet huffed grumpily. Isaac just laughed.
"You're quite right my friend. I'm sorry to have worried you."
Garet's face softened, and he smiled. The smile soon faded, and was replaced by one of confusion and fear.
"What is it, Garet?" Isaac asked puzzled. Garet did not reply, but pointed over Isaac's shoulder. Isaac turned, and his eyes widened and his jaw dropped. "Well; that makes things… complicated."
A psynergy vortex floated only metres away from the cabin.
A/N: Not 100% on this one. To be honest I kinda rushed it, so I could finally finish this story... Meh. Maybe it's just because I've been out of the game for too long. Oh well.
On a side note, I was thinking of doing some beta-reading. What do people think? I like the idea of being able to help other people write the stories they want to share.
Also, where do people stand on the whole college/university AU thing? Was contemplating it (focussing on the Dark Dawn crew, with cameos from the originals). I have a couple of ideas spinning around, but I'm not too sure.