Chapter 7: The Grand City of Zaphias

This city is fucking huge.

No, really, it is.

I could just be saying this due to the massive amount of walking we've been doing so far, through said city. But usually when you do a lot of walking through a place, it's because it's very large, so I'm going to keep that statement.

For quite a while, we were walking through what they call the Noble Quarter, which is where all the rich people stay, apparently. Of course, you would be able to tell anyways, as everyone there was wearing these ultra-fancy clothes. Including these disgustingly fancy dresses that made me want to barf.

Along the way, we happened to pass by the castle that we were just in. It was then where I was actually able to see the sheer size of the thing. Obviously, I hadn't seen the full extent of the castle when I was in it.

I was also surprised to notice a giant, sword-like spike, jutting up into the sky. It was about as tall as the castle itself…possibly larger. And I noticed that those rings I saw earlier were centered around it. When I asked, Demitri explained to me that it was the barrier blastia that protected the city.

Of course, it was after that noble trek that I met up with my current problem.


Apparently this city is built sort of like a giant pyramid/cone, with the castle at the top of the formation. So in order to get anywhere else in the city, you need to climb down these massive stairs placed all around the city…which are incredibly long.

And with no rails so you don't fall down them at any point.

So you can imagine why I am practically glued to the wall as I'm walking down. I think you've read far enough to realize that I am a massive klutz, and would have fallen down those stairs in three seconds otherwise.

"Just how long are these stairs?" I call out, so my companions can hear me, still clinging to the wall as I walk. My voice is kind of squeaky from how scared I am. "Honestly, it's been like twenty minutes already!"

"Relax, will you?" Yuri replies, sounding slightly amused. I throw a glare at his back really quick, as he's ahead of me (along with Estellise), and then go back to concentrating at my feet. "We're almost there. And there really isn't that many stairs left…which you would know if you would actually look where you're going."

"Yyyyeah, not gonna do that." I reply, still staring at my feet. "If I look up, then I'm gonna trip and fall down these damn stairs. And if that happens, since you two are right in front of me, I'll end up crashing into you two on my way down. And I don't think you want that."

"Yeah, I don't. But it doesn't matter since we're at the bottom now."

"Huh?" I stop walking at this, and when I look up, sure enough, Yuri and Estellise are at the bottom of the giant staircase. Up ahead, I can tell there's a giant marketplace, as I can see some shop stalls and people yelling out prices for things.

My face goes red for the third time today. "Uh…yeah. I knew that."

"'Course you did." He doesn't comment further.

After I slink off the stairs, all embarrassed-like, we begin heading away from the market place area, past a small little shop around the corner. I take a second to look around the area, and I'm stunned by the architecture of the buildings. It kind of reminds me of a city from the Renaissance.

I'm marvel at the impressive water features lining the walkway (it's like mini rivers), when I notice we're heading towards a walkway leading…somewhere else. I'm guessing it's this Lower Quarter Yuri's been wanting to get to so bad.

However, before we manage to reach the area, we're stopped by someone calling out.

"You there, fugitive! Halt, I say!"

"The jig is up!"

Oh goodie, more trouble.

The three of us turn around to see a trio of knights at the foot of the staircase we just got off of. One of them is wearing a different uniform than the knights I've been seeing recently, so I'm gonna take a guess and say he's the leader of the trio.

The other two, though…oh dear lord. They're wearing the regular outfit that I've been seeing, but they look so ridiculous it's not even funny. One is tall and gangly, with a pair of bulbous lips and a strange mustache. The other looks like an Oopma Loompa, except without the orange.

Either way, they're knights. With weapons. Which means trouble for us.

The one in the red uniform starts yelling at the silly pair. "Fooools! Enough grandstanding - arrest him!" I recognize his voice as the knight who shouted Yuri's name in the castle.

Hm. Small world.

Estellise backs behind Yuri a bit, along with me, staring at the knights. "Wh-what should we do?"

Without even looking back to her, he kneels to the ground for a second, and I see him pick something up. He tosses it around in his hand a bit as he stares down the knights in front of us.

"First you pick up one of these…"

The two weird ones begin to charge towards us, and Yuri throws his arm back.

"Then go like this!"

His arm makes a sharp zip as he throws his makeshift weapons, and I see they're some pretty good sized rocks. They whiz through the air in a high arc…before whacking both of the charging knights in the heads.

They go down instantly.

I stare at the fallen knights, gaping. "What th- Why did you do that?!" I turn to look at Yuri…only to see he's not there. Neither is Estellise. It takes a second of me turning my head to see them running towards the Lower Quarter. "Hey!"

"Hurry up!" Yuri yells back, not even turning around to look at me as they disappear down the slope. I stand there for a second, before running after them.

I skid to a halt at the top of the slope, though. Why would I do that when there are some knights about to chase us, you ask?

Because there aren't any stairs this time. Just a long…flat…slope of stone.

With no railing.

"…Aw hell no."

My butt hurts.

To explain the random statement above, I finally managed to will myself down the path to the Lower Quarter when I saw those knights starting to get up. I didn't do so badly, until about halfway down, where I…fell on my butt. And since it was a slope, I ended up, uh…sliding the rest of the way down.

You get the idea.

"Ow." I groan, finally coming to a stop. I'm sort of crumpled up at the bottom of the path from that. My bag is sprawled on the ground in front of me, as it fell off my shoulder when I fell on my ass. The sword is still tied to my side, though, and it now uncomfortably stabbing me in my hip with the hilt.


"Um…" I look up from my position on the ground to see Estellise standing over me, a worried expression on her face. "Are you all right, Cassie?"

"Super." I mumble back, pulling myself up onto my knees. "Nothing like a tumble down a slope to wake you up, right?"

She looks confused at my statement, and I snort. "It was sarcasm, Estellise. I'm fine."

"Well now, who's this young lady?"

I startle slightly at the voice, and I turn in its direction. A foot or two away, Yuri stands next to an old man, who I'm guessing is who just spoke up. He's currently giving me an inquisitive look.

"Uh…Cassie." I reply after a second, and I glance over to Yuri for a second, to see an amused look on his face. I scowl at him, and then turn my gaze back to the old man. "Nice to meet you."

He nods, then turns his head to look at Yuri. "Well, you're certainly popular with the ladies today, it seems."

Yuri just half-shrugs at him.

"Er, anyways," The old man starts, walking back towards Yuri. "About those Imperial Knights…"

As they begin to converse, I dust myself off and begin to pick up my things off the ground. Some of the stuff Demitri gave me fell out of my bag when it dropped to the ground, mainly little bags of stuff and some odd looking clothes. I tune in to their conversation as I pick up a small jingling sack (possibly a money bag).

"They've been so busy looking for you, they haven't paid any attention to our fiasco down here." The man says to Yuri.

Fiasco? Stopping for a second, I look around to see what he's talking about. I notice that there's a bunch of soggy looking sandbags piled around what looks like a fountain. No water is coming from it, so I'm assuming it's broken. I guess it flooded or something.

I glance back to the pair, and I see the old man giving Yuri a stern look. "So you've really managed to tick them off, huh?"

"It looks that way." The swordsman replies. I go back to picking up my things, still listening. "Has Repede come back yet?"

"Sure did. And he was carrying some bag with him."

"What happened to it?"

"It should be up in your room."

"Go pick it up later. Give it a shake. It has a nice ring to it." A pause. "Mordio liked it too."

"So you met Mr. Mordio!" He sounds surprised.

Obviously, this conversation isn't getting anywhere. I don't understand anything their talking about. Sighing under my breath, I pick up the last of my things, stuffing them haphazardly into my bag.

Just as I'm about to snap the claps on the bag, though, the old man says something that grabs my attention again.

"…don't think those knights will be too concerned about you right now, though. Something much more interesting's got their attention."

"Oh really?" Yuri's tone is neutral. "What could be possibly be more interesting than me?"

"What, you didn't see it?" He sounds surprised. "Some giant comet fell right into the Middle Quarter!"

That stops me dead.

"…Giant comet?" Yuri sounds weirded out. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"I saw the whole thing when I was up there doing errands." A new voice. I glance out of the corner of my eye to see a young man walk up to the pair. He gestures with his hand. "This big…comet-like thing just fell out of the sky and landed right in the middle of the place. Freaked everyone out!"

Heart racing, I sling my bag over my shoulder and stand up, walking over to Estellise as inconspicuously as possible. This sounds frighteningly familiar to me…

I notice Yuri cross his arms. "How do I know you're not making this up?"

"Now that you mention it…" Estellise perks up. I look to her, and I see a look of deep thought on her face. "I remember seeing something like that outside my window…"

I'm trying my best not to panic now.

"And that's not the most exciting part!" The boy speaks up again. "When all the smoke went away, there was a person where the comet landed!"


"I hear them."

Yuri has a stunned look on his face. "A…person?"

"Yeah, yeah." The boy responds eagerly. "I wasn't close enough to see, but I'm pretty sure that it was a girl. The Knights were freaking out!"

"Demetri, I am going to murder you." I seethe. "You dropped me there, didn't you?!"

"…Unfortunetly, yes."

I'm just about to rip him a new one in my head when Yuri glances at me. It only lasts for a second, but the blank expression on his face makes my blood run cold. I look away.

I regret telling him what happened now.

"…Really." Yuri's tone is disturbingly neutral. "Does anyone know where this girl is now?"

"I'm pretty sure the Knights took her up to the castle." The boy nods. "Probably threw her in the dungeon or something. Hey, did you happen to see someone like that down there? I heard about what happened yesterday."

Demetri, you are going to die. Slowly and painfully.

"So." I blurt, steering myself away from the topic. I turn to Estellise, gaining her attention. "This is the Lower Quarter? Looks kind of…different than I imagined it."

"Hm? How so?" Estellise asks me, tilting her head slightly. I half-shrug.

"Eh, I guess I thought it would look…y'know, poorer than this. Given it's the poor district of this city." I give another glance around. "Actually, it seems pretty nice down here. Has its' own…sort of charm to it."

"Hmm…" Estellise looks around, then nods a bit. "I guess so."

I open my mouth to respond, but I notice something before I can get the words out. Keeping my eyes in its direction, I walk over to it.

What happened to catch my attention wasn't anything special. Just a sign hanging on the wall of a building. I would have probably just glanced over it, but something on the sign has caused me to investigate.

Normally, you would find letters or some shit on a sign, right? It's kind of their purpose.

Then how the hell do you explain why this sign has weird little symbols all over it?

"Hey. Demitri." I say to the spirit in my head. "I know I'm pissed at you right now, but…what the heck are these little symbols all over this thing? I can't tell what they are."

There's silence, then I hear him groan. "Damn it, I forgot…why didn't I think of this before?"

I feel a little bit of anxiety penetrate my mind. "…Demitri? What are you talking about?"

"I probably should have mentioned this before, but…" I hear a sigh. "This world has a different writing system than where you're from."

I freeze, and I swear to god, I feel my heart stop for a second.


"…You heard me."


"Well that's just FAN-friggin-TASTIC!" I yell in my head, and I feel my face contort slightly in anger. "How the fuck am I supposed to blend in this world if I can't friggin' read?!"

"No need to panic," he replies, sounding exasperated. "I'll simply translate everything for you until you learn to read the language."

"Did you even plan out anything before bringing me here?" I groan slightly, both in my head and in the open. "First you drop me right in the middle of this goddamn city, then this? Honestly, you seem to just be winging it here."

"I didn't have that much time to plan." he replies, sounding a bit mad. "And I don't have the patience for it."

"Ugh…" I pause for a second, fiddling around with the hilt of the sword still tied to my side. "Well…at least you planned far enough to get me a sword. Otherwise, I'd have to smack you."

"…What are you talking about?"

That causes me to stop. "…The sword? You got it for me from my house, right? At least, that's what I assumed…"

"I did no such thing. I thought you got that sword by yourself."

Okay, this is confusing. "…Then were you the one who opened my cell door?"

"…No." I hear a creaking noise. "Tell me exactly what happened when you were in that dungeon."

I feel a sort of nervousness course through me, but I tell him what happened when I woke up in the cell. I stop at the part when I got the sword, telling him about the note from "X".

There's a long, long silence. I've only just begun to fidget before, just barely, I hear him murmur something to himself.

"Dammit, Xerxes."

Uh, what?

"…Who's Xerxes?" I ask, feeling even more nervous.

"Nobody." he replies quickly. I hear a creaking noise again, as if he's getting up from a chair. "I have to go somewhere. Try not to get yourself killed while I'm gone."

"Whoa-wait, you're leaving? What are you talking about?" Silence. "You're not really leaving me alone, are you?!"

More silence.

…He actually left.

He actually fucking left.

"Well that's perfect." I mumble, and I cross my arms over my chest, which I always seem to do when I'm annoyed. I stand there for a few seconds, staring at the un-intelligible sign, before sighing, turning around on my heel, and walking back over to the others. I manage to hear the rest of Yuri and the old man's conversation as I approach.

"…aren't thinking of following Mordio beyond the barrier, are ya?" The old man says, and I perk up when I hear the unfamiliar name. I have to start paying attention to what these guys say, seeing as I have no knowledge of this game's plot.

Yuri kind of waves a hand at him. "Don't worry. I'll be back before you know it."

The man 'humph's, looking away. "Who's worried?" He shrugs. "It's a good opportunity for ya. No need for ya to hurry back here."

"Huh?" Yuri just kind of…looks at him. "What do you mean by that?"

"What I mean is," the old man replies, crossing his arms, "we can get along just fine without you." He looks back to Yuri. "Even Flynn used to say, 'I wonder how long Yuri plans on living this life.'"

Ah, another mention of this Flynn guy. I begin to walk away as Yuri sighs, hanging his head a bit.

"Flynn needs to learn to mind his own business."

I make it back to Estellise as the pair finish up their conversation, and I stand next to her as we wait for Yuri. "We should be getting a move on. Those knights will probably be down here any minute."

By the looks of surprise on her face, I can see that she had forgotten. I turn to mention this to our swordsman, but to my surprise, he's already standing behind me.

"You're probably right. C'mon, let's go." Yuri says, motioning for us to follow. However, I notice him give me a look, sending a message to me silently.

We'll talk later.


Giving a short sigh, I fall in behind him with Estellise, trying to think of possible excuses in my head. However, we're only able to get a few steps before a booming voice echoes across the plaza.

"Yuri Looowell! You've given my two lackeys a headache! Now be a good boy, and turn yourself iiiin!"

Oh look. The calvary has arrived.

"Well, that's our cue." Yuri exclaims. "Looks like I won't be coming back here for a while."

The old man chuckles a bit. "Never a dull moment with Yuri around!" A young girl runs up to him, looking excited for some reason. "After this, I'll be even with you for getting that money back!"

Suddenly, I notice a lot of the residents down here looking towards the lone knight…and looking veeeery prepared to fight. Uh-oh.

Yuri doesn't even look fazed. He simply gives the old man a stern look. "Just make sure you don't kick the bucket blowing it all on some crazy party!"

The man gives a short laugh. "Same to you. Make sure you don't go dyin' in any ditches."

With that, Yuri begins to run off. Startled, I begin to follow him, while Estellise hangs back for a second. After a short talk with the old man, she catches up to us. However, we're stopped short by the next sight we see.

As the knight comes running towards up, a massive crowd of people comes out of nowhere, swarming him in a massive mob. A flurry of statements rises up from the crowd.

"When are you gonna fix the fountain, sir Knight?!"

"Hey, cool, a knight!"

"Hooray! Hooray!"

"Won't you help this old man find his dentures?!"

…Okay, that one was a bit weird.

"Fooools!" The knight shouts, drowning in the sea of voices. "You're in my way! Do not interfere in the affairs of the empire!"

I hear Yuri chuckle to himself slightly. I look towards him, but do a double take when I see what's coming up from behind him.

Another massive mob. This one heading right for us.

I don't even have time for a "HO' SHIT'" moment before we're swept away by the massive crowd.

For a few minutes, there's nothing but a massive sea of people. My feet aren't even on the ground – I'm being carried - , and I'm being hit on all sides by random elbows and hands to the face. At one point, a flash of dark enters my vision, and I end up knocking into Yuri, before he's swallowed up again.

Then, suddenly, the mob vanished, and we're left standing on an empty street. I don't even have time to recover from the incident, though – Yuri grabs my upper arm and begins dragging me down the street until I can get my footing again.

We stop for a moment right at the end of the road, and Estellise and I both stop for a moment to catch our breath.

"Wow, Yuri…" Estellise begins, sounding a little breathless. "They're all going to miss you so much."

Yuri scoffs a bit. "Honestly, they're probably thrilled to finally get rid of me." He abruptly stops, a weird look coming over his face before reaching into his vest, pulling out a small bag. It jingles a bit as it swings in his hand.

"Hey, hold it!" Yuri exclaims, looking a little stunned. "Who put money in here?! I can't take this!"

Quickly, he begins to run back up the street, but abruptly stops. I only get a moment to wonder why before a familiar voice rings out.

"Haaalt! Get out of my way!"

Looks like our knight-friend escaped the mob. Yuri looks at the sack in his hand for a moment, murmuring something to himself, before sticking it back into his vest and running back around to us. Estellise and I follow quickly after, before another interruption stops us. This one a very loud thump, followed by what sounds like a bunch of metal pots clashing to the ground. I turn back to see what it is.

The knight is sprawled on the ground, looking stunned. In front of him, walking towards us casually…is a dog.

A dog with a metal chain around its' neck, a scar across its' eye, and a pipe in its' mouth.

…This world just keeps getting weirder.

"Nice one, Repede." Yuri says, looking down at the dog with a glint in his eye. The dog (Repede, I guess?) walks on a little further, past me, then plops himself down between Yuri and Estellise, looking up at the dark-haired man.

Estellise looks just as confused as I am. "A dog…?"

"Well, for now, it's north to Deidon Hold." Yuri completely ignores her question.

"What?" Estellise looks confused for a second, before realization hits her. "Oh, right."

"I'm not sure how long we'll be together…" Yuri starts, looking to the both of us, "But here's to the road ahead, Estelle. You too, Cassie."

…Hang on. Did he just-?

"Yes, I…huh?" Estellise seems to realize it just as I do. "…Est…elle? Estelle…Estelle." She works the name over her tounge a few times, before turning her attention back to Yuri, nodding. "To the road ahead, Yuri!"

I decide to add in, holding a hand in the air. "Same here!"

"Well," the swordsman sighs, turning one last time to the city behind him, "So long for now."

The newly-christened Estelle raises her hand like I did. "We hope to be back soon!"

"Hoo-rah." I chime in, fist bumping the air.

I linger back for a moment, taking one final look at the massive city in front of me. Then, nodding, I turn and run to catch up with the three, already ahead of me.

I guess this is where it all starts.

…Okay, NOW I will put my usual long author's note.

Good God, people, I am so sorry this took so long. Combined with procrastination and laziness, I just…completely lost motivation for writing this story. However, I went ahead and got back to playing ToV again, and that did the trick for me, so…here I am. Again.

Lot of stuff has happened this past year. For starters, I've been older than my S.I now for a few months now! *sob* Seventeen years old, and STILL slacking on writing shit. I gotta pull myself together…

I've also written another S.I! If you guys have been paying attention to my profile, you'll notice that I've been updating that fic a bit more than this one. It's a ToS fic, so if you like Tales games and reading my stuff, then…go ahead and check that one out.

ALSO! Due to me gaining a lot of rage towards the title of this fic, I will be changing it! I honestly that this new title will be a lot funnier than the one up now. And it will be now known as…

"Lousy Stupid Goddamn Spirits"!

(can you saaaaaay 'Homestuck reference'? XD)

For anyone who wants to check out what I'm doing when I'm NOT slaving my butt over Microsoft Word, you can go check out my Tumblr! The link is on my profile, but if you're somehow too lazy to do that, then just google 'The Nameless Author'. It'll be the first link up there.

NOTE: Do you guys think that I should change the script format that I use for the skits in here? I changed that for my ToS fic because someone pointed out how weird it was, but I'm not sure how changing it here would work out…let me know in a review what you think.