The next day, the group divided into pairs to search the abbey for clues as to Abbot Jack's whereabouts. Adelle and Matt had the task of asking everyone who worked in the abbey for information about the abbot. Jin and Caitlin teamed up to search the Abbot's room. They stood outside the door to the Abbot's room. Caitlin tried to open the door, but found that it was locked.
"Son-of-a... Guess I'll have to break it down." Caitlin said as she took a stance to kick in the door.
Jin set his hand on her shoulder to stop her. "No need. I can open it."
He then plucked a bobby pin out of Caitlin's hair and went to the keyhole. It took less than a second for him to pick the lock and open the door. He returned the pin to her hair and stepped inside.
Caitlin raised an eyebrow as she followed him into the room. "You opened that way too easily… Just how many bedrooms have you snuck into?"
Jin rubbed the back of his neck. "The time calls for work, not insinuations." He quickly busied himself with scouring the room for clues. He first checked all the places where people usually stash items of importance. Caitlin examined a bookshelf and a desk.
"So, where did you run off to yesterday?" She asked. "Trying to make a date with that girl who passed us?"
Jin scoffed. "It'll be a cold day in hell before I'd date that…" Remembering his current occupation, he stopped short and cleared his throat to begin his sentence again. "Er, I mean that I decidedly shall not associate with such a… uh… disreputable young woman."
Caitlin laughed. "Are you so sure that she would be the disreputable one of you two?"
Jin looked her dead in the eyes. His expression was grave. "Yes. I hate her. She is vile, and she will stop at nothing to get what she wants, and what she wants is the fygg."
Caitlin stared at him a long time before speaking. "The fygg…? How does she know about that? And do you know her?"
"She has an extra pair of eyes and ears, you might say. And yes, I have met her a couple of times before." Jin answered.
Caitlin was about to press him for more details, but her focus shifted to a book in one of the Abbot's desk drawers labeled "diary". She snatched up the book and flipped to the most recent entry. Her eyes lit up.
She began reading part of the passage aloud. "It seems that the fruit that young man gave me has bestowed upon me some miraculous power. Truly, this is a sign that the Almighty wants me to become stronger and lead my flock to divine salvation. With this new found strength, I shall journey to the Tower of Alltrades and open the door with my bow first thing in the morning."
"So… The Tower of Alltrades… That's not too far from here. That's good." Jin said with a smile.
"But it means that he ate the fygg." Caitlin grimaced.
"Yes, but he has its magic now, so he could be of use to us." Jin replied.
The two then left the room to meet up with Matt and Adelle. They filled their friends in with what they had discovered. They set out immediately for the Tower of Alltrades to the east of the abbey. The great tower stood at the base of a mountain range. The once glorious architecture was overgrown with vines and sections of the tower were in obvious disrepair. The vines around the large wooden door had been cut recently to allow access into the tower, the only sign that the abbot had truly gone inside the tower. When the group tried to enter, they discovered that the door didn't have a handle. They pushed against the door with all their might, but it refused to budge. Jin searched for a lock, but there was no sign of one.
"Well, looks like I finally get to kick down a door a today." Caitlin said with an eager grin.
She readied herself and then struck the door with a powerful kick. There was a loud crack as her foot collided with the door. She suddenly sprung away from the door and hopped around on one foot. She clutched her now injured foot as she spewed forth a stream of profanity which managed to impress Jin. However, the door didn't have so much as a scuff mark from her kick. Jin went over to Caitlin and used a spell to heal Caitlin's foot as Matt stepped up to the door.
"Heh, a wood door, huh? It should be no match for my inferno blade." Matt said with a smirk.
He drew his sword, and it burst into an intense flame. He then slashed repeatedly at the door. The door remained intact, un-singed, and decidedly still closed. Matt finally gave up and put away his sword. When he turned to the group, he noticed that Adelle was missing.
"What the?! Where did Adelle go now?!" He exclaimed.
Adelle laughed as she returned to the group from behind the tower. "Just seeing if there was a back entrance we could use."
Caitlin groaned. "Why didn't we think of that?!"
"IS there a back entrance?" Matt asked.
"Nope. No side entrances or cellars. And there are no windows on the first two floors, only on the third floor and up. If only I had my wings…" Adelle sighed.
"So, now what do try?" Caitlin asked.
"There is one more thing we haven't tried… But I don't think it will do anything…" Adelle said.
"Right now, we should try everything." Caitlin replied.
Adelle shrugged. "Okay…" She stood in front of the door and held out her arms. She cleared her throat and shouted, "Open Sesame!"
And, of course, the door remained shut. Caitlin whacked the back of Adelle's head. "What was that?!"
"That was trying everything…" Adelle said, rubbing the back of her head. "How did the Abbot manage to get in?"
Caitlin ignored the dirty look Sir Frederick was giving her for striking Adelle. "I don't know. The diary mentioned something about opening the door with a bow."
"A bow? Like in archery?" Matt asked.
"Well, that sucks, none of us have a bow." Adelle said. She then turned to face the dirt path leading up to the tower. "Finley, can we borrow your bow?"
Jin, Matt, and Caitlin followed her gaze to the path, but saw no one there.
"Adelle, are you alright? There's no one- What the hell?!" Jin shouted as Finley and his group suddenly appeared in the path.
Robin stared at Adelle in shock. "How did you see through Finley's vanish spell?! No one can see through it! Not even monsters or magical beings can do that!"
"It wasn't obvious…?" Adelle asked, tilting her head.
"So you are one of them." Finley said, not looking the least bit surprised that Adelle had seen through his spell.
"She's one of who?" Gina asked.
"Only the eyes of those under the spell or a full blooded Celestrian can see through Vanish." Finley answered, his gaze not leaving Adelle. His eyes narrowed as he spoke. "I suggest you return to the Observatory now. The fyggs are mine."
Both groups of questers stared at Adelle and Finley in deep confusion, except for Chloe who seemed entirely disinterested as she played with a yoyo. Adelle suppressed her own feelings of bewilderment and returned Finley's gaze. "The fygg is no one's right now. The abbot ate it and he is in the tower of which we have no means of getting inside. Will you use your bow to open the door or not?"
"We tried opening the door earlier, but nothing worked. That's why we followed you when we overheard you guys talking about the tower. Finley's bow has nothing to do with opening the door." Chloe said, completing a yoyo trick.
Adelle frowned. "Well, that's no good…" She looked at Jin and Caitlin. "Are you sure the diary said 'bow'?"
Caitlin nodded. "B-O-W. Bow."
"Maybe it meant a bow like a ribbon?" Gina suggested.
Robin was in deep thought, but suddenly his eyes lit up. "B-O-W… That is not bow as in archery or a ribbon. It is bow as in the masculine version of a courtesy."
"I hate our spelling system." Jin and Caitlin grumbled.
Robin walked up to the tower door and took a deep bow before it. There was a loud creak as the door swung open. The rest of Robin's group entered the tower. Finley left his wolves at the door of the tower, giving them a single order before following his comrades. "Don't let them follow us."
The door closed behind Finley, and his wolves stood before it, snarling at Adelle, Matt, Caitlin, and Jin. The wolves' fangs were bared and their fur bristled. Matt drew his sword, prepared to fight his way past the wolves. However, Adelle stepped toward the wolves before he could move. Her arms were folded and she stared sternly at the wolves.
"You two should be ashamed of yourselves!" Adelle scolded. The wolves stopped snarling and turned their full attention to her. She continued. "The fyggs your master is after are very important to me. I don't know what he wants them for, but I need them desperately. It is shameful of you to block our way! Besides, we need to make sure that the abbot isn't hurt!"
The wolves' ears went flat and they laid down at her feet submissively. She smiled kneeled by them and scratched behind their ears. "Good… Now, I need you two to watch over Sir Frederick for me. I don't want him getting hurt while we're inside the tower."
She set Sir Frederick down in between the wolves. She then stood back up and opened the door with a quick bow. She ran inside the tower with her friends following close behind. She took off down a corridor in search of stairs.
"I can't believe that worked!" Matt exclaimed.
"I'm pretty sure they were meant as a scare tactic, not as an actual weapon. If Finley knows that I'm Celestrian, then he knows that those wolves would have a difficult time trying to injure me." Adelle responded, finally finding a stair case.
She ran up the stairs two at a time and reached the second floor quickly. However, she had to stop to catch her breath. Her companions stood around her to wait for her to stop panting.
"What do you think those guys want with the fyggs?" Caitlin asked.
"I'm more curious as to how he knew about the Observatory… And how he knows that there are more than one fygg…" Adelle panted. "We better hurry and find the abbot before they do." She regained some energy and resumed traversing in search of the next flight of stairs.
On the fourth floor, Finley led his group into a room and shut the door. He took a seat in an old chair near the door. The others followed his lead and settled into some seats as well.
"Now we wait." He said.
"For what exactly?" Robin asked. "They shall catch up to us soon."
"That's the point." Finley replied.
Chloe answered Robin's confused expression. "The fyggs aren't meant to be consumed by mortals. If the geezer ate one, then it is gonna have some nasty side effects. It'd be just plain stupid to rush into such a dangerous situation. We're going to let them test the waters for us. They'll be in such a rush to make it to the geezer before us that they won't even notice that they passed us."
"That… strikes me as… well… unethical to say the least…" Robin stammered, a bit shocked at Chloe's bluntness.
"That girl is a Celestrian, one that the other Celestrians sent to retrieve the fyggs. She should be more than able to handle herself." Finley replied.
"So… We're going to let them risk themselves to get a fygg and then take it from them?" Robin asked.
"Yes." Finley answered.
Robin stared at him in disbelief. However, it was Gina who spoke next. "But she's a Celestrian! Should we really steal from her?"
Finley scowled. "Celestrians aren't holy beings. They are selfish creatures out to exploit those more helpless than themselves. They mustn't be allowed to have the fyggs."
Gina and Robin examined Finley's face carefully before slowly nodding their assent. Finley had always led them right before, why should now be any different?
Eventually, Adelle and her friends reached the top of the tower. The roof was flat except for a turret in each corner. At the north end of the roof was a glowing portal.
"I'm going to assume that Jack went through there." Jin said, eyeing the portal.
"Hey, anyone see that jerk's group on the way up?" Caitlin asked as she looked around the roof.
"No… Do you think they went through the portal as well?" Adelle asked.
Matt shook his head. "My bet is that they'll let us do the dirty work and then try to steal whatever success that we have."
Jin nodded. "Sounds like something I'd do if I were them… Uh… I mean… How despicable!"
"Well, we have to find Abbot Jack, so let's get going." Caitlin said as she entered the portal.
The others followed her into the portal. The portal transported them to a large, gold and red platform that seemed to be suspended in the air. The surroundings appeared to be made up of swirling pink clouds with orbs of light floating about. There was a large spell circle drawn in the center of the platform. In the middle of the spell circle stood an old man with long white hair and an equally long beard. He wore long white robes with purple accents. Upon his head was a large, rounded, white and purple hat.
He stood with his arms raised to the sky as he called out, "O' winds of change! You who have granted me the power to lead lost souls to the path of righteousness, allow me to lead even more along the path of salvation!"
Adelle slowly approached him. As soon as she stepped into his spell circle, he whipped around and glared at her. "Who are you?!" he demanded. "You had better not interfere with this sacred rite!"
"Abbot Jack? We've come to take you back to the abbey…" Adelle said softly.
"Not now." He returned to what he was doing. "O' mighty spirit, grant me more power!"
The spell circle suddenly glowed a dark purple. Dark energy shot up out of the circle and engulfed the abbot. The energy knocked Adelle out of the spell circle and onto her back. Electric currents ran through the mass of energy. The abbot couldn't be seen through the darkness, but his voice could be heard.
"Yes! The power! Let it consume me!" He cried maniacally.
"Oh man… This never means anything good…" Caitlin muttered, readying her staff.
The darkness swelled until finally it dispersed. Abbot Jack stared down at himself in shock. He had grown considerably in size and his skin had been turned to dark blue and blood red armor-like scales. He had grown a long tail with a spear like tip at the end. A large white spike protruded from each of his hands.
"Wh-what is this…? This is not what I wished for!" He shouted. Then slowly, a demonic smirk spread across his face and a dark laugh escaped his throat. "I see now! With this power… I am to lead the masses to salvation through tyranny! I am no longer Abbot Jack of Alltrades, but am now the Master of Nu'un!"
Adelle stared at the Master of Nu'un and muttered to herself, "So this is the kind of person who eats radioactive fruit…"
As she slowly got to her feet, the Master of Nu'un turned his focus to her. "You! You tried to interfere with my attainment of divine power! For that, you must suffer my wrath!"
A loud crackling noise filled the room as he lifted his hand to the sky. As he brought his hand back down, a tremendous bolt of lightning came down at Adelle, Caitlin, Matt, and Jin. Jin sprang to the side to avoid the lightning. Caitlin, being the swiftest, grabbed the much slower moving Matt and dove out of the way of the bolt. Adelle leapt forward toward the Master of Nu'un just in time to dodge the lightning. However, she was so focused on the bolt that she didn't see his second attack. He threw a punch consumed in dark energy that hit her directly in the stomach, the spike on his hand goring her.
Adelle's eyes widened, the color draining from her face. When he drew back his hand, she collapsed to her knees and curled around her stomach, crying out in pain. A sense of sheer horror spread over her as she realized what she was up against.