Stepping to Geo was like a breath of fresh air, a much needed break, Elazul greeted the shop keeper and then ran out a bit panicked, insisting they went elsewhere. Imu shrugged and took him to the harbor, where a flamboyant mermaid sang and a ghost soldier freaked out the people quite well. Oddly enough, Inspector Boyd was there to investigate it, though originally claiming he was on vacation. Elazul was relieved to see the little mouse man.
Elazul didn't believe his bogus story about being on vacation, and berated the creature with questions till he finally admitted that he was there about one of Sandra's notes to steal the Blue Eye after mentions of a soldier at the harbor the basket fish. Boyd immediately left to investigate the strange soldier, warning Elazul to be careful.
Teaming up with Thoma, Boyd interrogated the BasketFish about a jewel that could see under the ocean. Which was promptly stolen by a running ghost, before anyone could react. Elazul looked disturbed realizing the stone was a Jumi Core.
Finally Elazul was willing to step foot in Geo again, and they wandered about with the students, accidentally interrupting a class about magic, only to realize a Jumi was in the midst's of the students. The lapis heart resonated with her emerald one, and he overjoyed, introduced himself rather loudly. The teacher, Nunuzac remarked for her to be silent, and said she was dirt.
Esmeralda, as she was called, tried to ease the tension easily, telling Elazul to calm down, despite Nunuzac's deliberate taunts with birds and such. She pleaded for them to come to library on a Gnome or Undine day, when school was out of session. He reluctantly agreed, even more so to staying in Geo for the few days.
The two slept nearby, only able to obtain one bed, Elazul opted for sleeping on the floor, but Imu insisted they could share the double bed, it was big enough. She slipped off her shoes and took her hair down, after a quick bath in the inn, much deserved and she felt hundreds times better. Elazul stared at the window as she dried out her golden tresses, the hair ornaments aside.
"The bath is open if you need one," she said to him.
He nodded, and continued staring out the window before vanishing into the bath room. Imu looked out the window realize he was staring at the jewel shop. He was probably horrified, fearing for his life and core, as well as Pearl's. Where was Pearl anyway?
After a few minutes, Elazul remerged from the bathroom, a bit awkward without his sultansilk cloak and heavy mail armor, he was completely disarmed and weakened. It seemed to bother him, wearing only thin pants and a light shirt, ripped down the center to not touch his core. She looked at his vulnerable expression, the blue eyes seemed to amplify his distress. To make him feel safer, Imu laid her spear to the side of the bed, resting against the wall, and removed her lighter outer layer of armor. A thin camisole underneath, and shorts that showed off her adventuring legs. She hardly felt herself so exposed.
He smirked at this, sitting on the edge of the bed, as if ready to run. Imu finally noted the real color and texture of his hair, as well as his crystal arm, which was usually decently hidden. His hair was short and choppy in the back, as if cut with a knife or sword by someone with lesser skill, the bangs hanging into his face like a darker turquoise curtain, it appeared so much brighter when light struck it, appearing a sea glass colored blue green.
She flushed as she realized he was staring back at her. "Is something wrong?"
"No," Imu muttered. "This is the first time I've ever seen how short your hair is. That's all." He smirked.
"Not too great of a cut, Pearl did it," he said with a wry smile, running his human fingers through the dark tresses.
"I can see why you always wear a hood."
He chuckled at that. "Yes, I suppose that could be used an excuse."
Imu wiggled onto the bed, her side, and laid back against the pillows, letting out a soft sigh of happiness. "A bed," she muttered softly, wiggling on the sheets.
He laid beside her, and instantly noted why she was wiggling, feeling the urge to do the same on the super plush, soft surface. "Its be decades since I was on a bed…" he remarked.
"I read that Jumi age slowly, how old are you anyway?" she asked, rolling onto her side.
He gave her a warning look, saying not to be so loud about what he was, despite the fact it was blatantly obvious at the moment. "I'm around seventy seven or so in human years."
"You…?" He blinked at her.
She stammered for a moment. "I'm barely the age of twenty four!"
He couldn't help but smile at this, ruffling her hair with his crystal hand. "Such a child."
She scowled. "Such a pedophile."
He scowled back, a wry smile crossed her lips, and he knew she was kidding, returning it. "I'm not touching any young humans like yourself, so I'm not a pedophile."
"You can't keep a straight face. You liar. You want to touch me don't you?" she almost slapped herself for this comment, where had that came from? Elazul TOUCHING her? Was she INSANE?
He chuckled at first and then just started to laugh, unable to help himself. Imu wasn't sure to be flattered or insulted. "No-No…" he snickered. "No." he became more serious in tone, as if convincing himself of this reality. "No not at all Imu."
Again, she wasn't sure to be flattered or insulted, hitting him in the face with her pillow. "Shut up and get some sleep old man, don't want to get cramps."
He pushed the pillow off easily and chuckled again, "and it is past your bedtime child."
She rolled her eyes and rolled over, hugging her pillow and nuzzling it closing her eyes. Despite her mental protest, it wasn't long before she fell asleep. Elazul watched her, not needing sleep as a human would. She looked so different with her hair down, the golden curls falling around her shoulders and cascading over her pillow like golden silk. He resisted the urge to touch it, it looked soft and comfortable. He looked down at his crystal hand, and then at his Jumi core. What would it be like to be human he wondered, thinking about her soft finger tips on his core again made him twitch, and he sank down into the bed, closing his eyes to will himself to sleep.
Imu awoke before he did, the shop was closed for another hour, so she wasn't able to leave just yet. They'd have to spend a day or two in Geo, she wondered what they would be doing? He desperately needed the break tho, and sleep, she noted looking at him. She finished clipping in her pipe shaped barrettes but didn't arm herself just yet. Nothing said good morning like a fully armed spear weilder standing over you.
He looked so peaceful when he slept, the Jumi core on his chest shimmering slightly in the dim light from the window, peeking through the shades. Perhaps she should leave her armor off today… and just mull about the town with him. See the palace perhaps?
Elazul made a soft sound, and then opened his eyes, so much deeper a blue than normal, then he looked at Imu and tensed. "It's just me, door and windows are locked."
He released a breath of air, had he forgotten where he was for a moment? "I apologize… it's not often I can…."
He nodded. "How did you sleep?"
She'd had a dream, Deana and Escad fighting… she didn't want to fight either of them, and Deana had attacked her, and he had killed her. Matilda spoke of a great Wyrm that ate a volcano… it was so real... "Alright I guess," she lied. She didn't feel rested in the slightest.
Elazul gave her a strange look, as if reading her face for the lie, but didn't say anything, sliding his legs over the bed.
"I was thinking we could find a barber and get your hair fixed today… I'll be right beside you if they try anything."
He let out a wry laugh. "That would be nice."
"I'm going to leave my weapon here today… Geo is a peaceful place, there should be no reason to take it."
"Actually I'd like to stop by Domina… and check on Pearl before we meet Esmeralda if that's ok…"
"Alright, we can come back next week then."
He nodded, putting his armor back on. She followed suit and they exited the city to Domina. Elazul stepped into the tavern and looked around. "Pearl?" there was no response, not even in his core until they started to leave, the door flying open and Pearl crashing roughly into Imu.
"You! Elazul!" She looked between them.
"What?" Elazul said calmly.
"Oh… I just felt like I might get left behind," she said softly. "Are you going somewhere?"
"Yeah…" he said bluntly.
"Should I stay here?" Imu frowned, she looked so sad at this.
"That's not fair," she complained.
"You must! Outside is perilous! Right Imu?"
Imu thought back to when she saw Sandra in the inn, and shook her head. "So is this place."
"Perhaps you're right…" he seemed to be thinking of a solution, she couldn't come with… but couldn't stay either.
"You can stay in my house," Imu said calmly. "Bud and Lisa need someone to watch after them after all, I'd rather not have more crabs in my study."
Pearl seemed to lighten up instantly, like flipping a switch. "Thank you!" She bounced a little excitedly. "Thank you! I'll be off now!"
Elazul seemed estranged from her running off, but swallowed his fears, the road to Imu's house from Domina was short and harmless. "She is in need of things like a home… a family…" he swallowed his sadness. He looked at Imu, "thank you."
"Its no problem," Imu said callously. "Back to Geo?"
"yes yes of course, I can meet Esmeralda with no guilt now."
She nodded and they made their way back, it took a full week and a couple days to make the journey, and upon entry, Esmeralda was seen escaping her classes, happily exclaiming her success, Nunuzac appeared to drag her back, once again calling her dirty. Elazul grit his teeth at the insult to her core. Esmeralda walked back to him with no real argument however, Elazul's core responding to her emerald one.
They found her in the library, it was a gnome day, just as planned. Esmeralda was overjoyed to see Elazul, Nunuzac scolding her for yelling, once again, calling her dirt.
This time Elazul directly responded, "Dirt?" he stepped closer.
"Useless dirt! Jumi cores were once valued for their magic. The mages vied with one another for these cores, but they were all useless!"
"Wait not in front a guest," Esmeralda pleaded.
"the ancient texts talk of their incredible powers," he went on. "Such as great magical forces and powers of healing. This is my sweet little apprentice, but shes justa worthless clod of dirt."
Clod was lowest type of Jumi the in strata, if Imu remembered correctly. Elazul lunged at the glass creature, "Why you!"
It shook for a moment and vanished. Esmeralda sighed in relief.
"Are you really a Jumi? Why don't you defend yourself?" Elazul asked her, exasperated.
"Because it's the truth," she said smiling with a soft blush, "and fewer people will be after my core!"
Elazul turned with a huff, crossing his arms.
"there is something I want to ask," she continued. "In your travels, Elazul, did you see anyone that looked like me?"
He shook his head, turning to look at her again, "No… how about you Imu?"
Imu shook her head, "I'm afraid not."
Esmeralda looked defeated suddenly, as if hearing terrible news. "Oh…"
"Looking for someone?" Elazul inquired, not meaning to be rude.
She looked away, "I'm sorry… let me be alone for a while…"
Elazul nodded , "Alright…" he walked away, Imu watching the exchange quietly. Their cores gleamed in tandem. "If there is anything I can do, just ask…"
She covered her face, as if crying, but as all Jumi, no tears or fluid came at all. Just a dry perpetual sadness.
The two exited the library, "She'll probably be okay by morning, she has class." Imu said softly. Elazul nodded. "Let's browse the shops for a while before returning to the inn for the night." He nodded again, and followed her closely.
Imu checked into their room, the same as before hilariously, and dropped off all her weaponry, stretching lightly. She even took down her hair and tied it into a loose ponytail for once, the golden curls swaying behind her. Elazul smiled softly at her lightness, and took off all his armor but sword and cloak, feeling overexposed without them.
The two wandered about side by side, eventually Imu spotted a barber shop, and instantly got Elazul's hair fixed, he walked about the rest of the night with his hood down, the now even cut worth showing, the glass clip was on his hip instead, shimmering in the light of the bright sun as they mingled with the harmless students on their day off.
Finally the clock in the school donged, cerfew for the students and the two meandering adults made their way back to the inn. Imu graciously flopped onto the bed and wiggled on it again, curling up easily. Elazul set his cloak to the side and laid beside her. "Imu?"
"Hmm?" she hummed in response, looking over her shoulder at him.
"Do you… think…"
"what is it?"
"That my kind is doomed?"
"No of course not," she rolled over to face him, a hand on his shoulder. "Don't say such moronic things."
He nodded, but didn't seem to believe it. "Goodnight Imu," he said softly, laying on his side facing the opposite direction.
"Good night Elazul…" she nuzzled the pillow and fell fast asleep quickly.
She awoke to see furrowed deep teal eyebrows, and matching hair, very close to her face. Elazul had apparently rolled over and was breathing the same air as her, but had a sour expression on his face. She blinked, blushing slightly at how close he was, swallowing deeply. It took a moment to notice, but his hand was very close to hers, as if supporting her without touching with his body. She flushed a deeper color and tried to inch away, but instead woke him. He blinked dreamily at her, making a soft noise. "Hmm…?"
"Yes?" she asked, a delicate pink on her face.
He just stared at her, not fully awake, but grabbed her closer and cuddled into the pillow. Her head was on his shoulder now, and she began to panic slightly, noting how close she was to his delicate core, and how awkward this entire situation was. He probably thought she was Pearl, and acted on impulse to keep her close. They did both have blonde hair and green eyes after all…
She felt a strange twinge of jealousy. He fell back asleep casually, his face touching the top of her head, timidly, she put her arm around his waist and waited. Maybe he'd wake up soon?
She was wrong. He was out cold. Listening to the rise and fall of his breathing, Imu had dozed off as well, comfortably in his arms. She woke up entirely when he did, like jolt of energy suddenly struck him, he yawned loudly and went to rub his face with his hand, but instead found it trapped under Imu. He looked down blearily at her, then registered the situation they were in, resisting the urge to yelp and jump away. "Oh my goddess I'm so sorry!" he began to repeat this over and over.
Imu yawned in response, at least she had slept well tonight. She slipped on her shoes easily, rubbing her face where she'd laid on his shoulder for the past hour or so. Over and over he repeated his apologies, flushed and standing up awkwardly.
She looked up at him like he was off his rocker, and shook her head. "It's fine, you probably are just used to Pearl is all."
He nodded, "yes. Yes that's exactly it! Pearl, I thought you were Pearl." Had she just fed him an excuse.
She stood up, putting on a light robe. "Well let's go, Esmeralda is probably in class, we should check on her."
Elazul agreed and put his cloak and shoes on, the hood up due to the bright sun. He covered his core with a thin topplecotton shirt, too soft to harm the delicate surface. After Imu fixed her hair, the two went up the paths to the school room, finding Esmeralda in class. She waved at them as they stepped inside and over to her. "You look troubled," Elazul stated bluntly.
"Yes…" she said softly. "I have a favor to ask… of this person," she gestured to Imu.
"come to the library, Elazul, on a Gnome of Undine day, I can't explain in the middle of class." They exchanged nods.
The two got a fully cooked meal from the bar in the western section of Geo. "Elazul…?"
He looked up from his slab of meat, he was simply staring at it in awe, "Yes?"
"Are you really seventy seven?"
He nodded taking a bite and swallowing the meat. "I'm a bit older than Pearl, but still very young in the terms of Jumi, not many are born younger than me."
"Born? How are Jumi born at such a high age? Aren't you ever children?"
Elazul paused, he'd never really thought about it. "I cant honestly say I know… it was before my time when the city fell… they would have known."
She nodded. "I know it has to do something with choosing your partners, but I was curious as to how that all started."
Elazul shrugged, as if trying to change the topic. "I don't know."
Imu took a long sip of her drink, looking at him. He was so casual it was insane, maybe even attractive? Long eyelashes, a strong face, deep blue eyes… there was no denying he was attractive to begin with, but the casual atmosphere almost made him seem more so… more human. "You seem so relaxed… You relieved you know where Pearl is right now?"
He nodded, "you have no idea. Thank you again. There's not a day that goes by I don't worry about her, but I know she's safe in your home and it brings me peace of mind."
"All of my pets, Bud, Lisa, and Trent are there if something happens. Anyone would probably get obliterated by a failed spell, smacked by a tree, and the carcass eaten by my pets. No one would even know what happened."
He laughed lightly at this. "So very true."
"Elazul… what happened to your arm? I've never heard or seen Jumi with one like it."
He froze, as if a horrid thought crossed his mind. "I don't want to talk about it."
They finished their meal with idle chit chat, and overlooked the waterfall at the edge of the city, staring off into the sky and clouds. "I could get used to this…" Elazul said softly.
"Not having to worry, feeling safe… peace."
Imu nodded, crossing her arms. "I'll be here to help you achieve that dream…"
He nodded, "I am grateful."
The two returned to their room at the inn, and laid down. "Imu?"
"Yes?" She asked, staring at the ceiling.
"I know this is probably horribly awkward and strange of me to ask but…"
Without him having to ask, she nuzzled up to his side, her head on his shoulder.
"Thank you, I'm just used to having weight there… feels normal to me."
She hugged his waist, humming softly in tiredness, they'd been out all day in the sun and it'd wore on her barely protected frame. Elazul smiled at her and happily nuzzled into her hold, feeling at peace and safe. He no longer doubted her intentions, and trusted her to keep him safe if someone came for his core in the night. …And he was right, her hair was a soft and fine as silk strands on his skin. With that thought in mind he fell asleep.
The next school day off was well prepared for, Elazul and Imu, now closer friends than ever, descended into the library.
"Thank you so much for coming!" Esmeralda greeted them eagerly.
"What can we do for you?" Elazul smiled at her, so much at ease.
"First, let me explain. I ran away from the Jumi city and was taken in by the academy."
"Why did the Jumi city die out?" he asked. Imu remembered Rubens that day in gato… a traitor…but she said nothing.
"Florina, the only one who could heal, was kidnapped."
"It was too risky to stay together in the Jumi city…" she continued. "Because the power of healing was no more… in the chaos I was torn from my sisters."
Elazul smirked and looked at Nunuzac, "so that Nunu-magic-guy… He's been interfering eh?"
"No, Mr. Nunuzac has taken me in," she said smiling, a soft blush on her cheeks. "In exchange for is instruction in magic… I promised I would stay until a knight appeared."
"So I should be your knight, eh?" Elazul asked, intrigued.
Imu chuckled softly at his cocky expression.
"No, Elazul. You already have a guardian, right? Mr. Nunuzac says that's two-timing."
Elazul sent the glass creature an odd look, "but knights and guardians aren't lovers or anything…."
The creature wiggled, "The most one can do is protect himself and one other. Stop showing off Jumi boy."
"You underestimate me. Well, what now?"
Esmeralda smiled and looked at Imu, "Mr. Nunuzac said maybe I should ask Imu."
"Of course!" he chirped in the background. "I do like those exotic hair-pipes!"
Imu chucked, a brilliant smile on her lips.
"Well, what do you say Imu?" Elazul looked at her, curious to her response, as was Esmeralda and Nunuzac.
She instantly agreed, receiving the thanks of her new guardian of emerald. Elazul smiled, relieved. "I'll be in the jewelry store looking at the texts Alex has, call me if you need me. I hope we can find her sisters."
Imu nodded and he walked out easily. "Where are we headed Esmeralda?"
"Don't worry. My sisters will soon be drawn to my core. We'll see them soon." Imu nodded, somehow she had the feeling they weren't leaving the city.
The two wandered about Geo, Esmeralda stopped and stared at the local inn Elazul and Imu had stayed in, the Teapo Dove behind the counter was shocked, when the duo entered the room of the lobby. "Say, do you have anything that looks like this?" Esmeralda gestured to the emerald core on her chest, it shimmered in greeting.
"Who… Who the heck are you?" The dove said, startled.
"Do you have any?"
"No! Of course not!"
"I thought you might, just a hunch I guess…." Esmeralda and Imu exited, going next door to the jewelry shop hoping for better results. Elazul was inside, mulling about, looking uncomfortable. Imu followed Esmeralda up to the owner, Alex, who scolded her for running in the store.
"I'm sorry, I'm in a hurry? Do you have anything that looks like my core?"
Alex shook his head as Elazul overhead, "Wait! So your sisters are…" he didn't want to say it.
"Only the cores are left. They were taken by the Deathbringer's army," she explained calmly.
"Oh, so you're looking for the mementos of your sisters…"
"No, there might be some magic left in their cores. If I had some tears of healing, I could bring them back!" she seemed hopeful, Imu simply watched the exchange.
"The only one of us who can shed tears is Florina, and she isn't with us," Elazul said quietly. "Isn't your safety more important? Let me handle it and get back to class."
The green decorated girl frowned heavily. "What's that sword? If you're a knight, don't talk like a sissy!"
Elazul chuckled softly, looking away, "You're so different from Pearl."
Alex interrupted with a simple gesture to fix his glasses, "Um, excuse me. We don't deal in Jumi cores here."
"Well how rare! A courteous shopkeeper! And here I though jewelry stores were the same as morgues." Esmeralda and Alex exchanged delicate smiles. "Alright Imu, let's go to the next one."
Imu nodded, giving Elazul a soft look and he smiled in return as they rushed past. Once the shops were searched, they began to look elsewhere, starting in the teachers lounge and offices, the two had a wait for the principle to leave his room before searching it entirely.
Esmeralda let her core respond to the lost sisters, and found her in a drawer under paperwork and dust. "I found it! But uhm…" she flushed and looked at Imu, "Does this make me a theif?"
Imu shook her head, "Wouldn't he be the theif, or rather kidnapper? This is your sister, not an object of value or possession."
Esmeralda smiled brightly. "You're a wonderful knight." She seemed taken aback by what she had said, flushing and smiling like daylight sun, "I… always wanted to be able to say that. Thanks!"
She smiled back, "anytime Esmeralda."
They continued their search in the palace, Kristie looked horrified at the Jumi in her household, being very superstitious of their bad luck. Realizing she had one in her warehouse made her extremely uncomfortable, and she graciously said they could have it if they found it.
In the warehouse, they discovered something far more valuable, Esmeralda gasped in shock. "What's this? Lady Diana? What are you doing here! Diana!"
The fellow Jumi, of diamond it appeared, open her eyes, a deep lavender color. "Do not call by that name. I am no longer a jumi."
"Why!" Esmeralda asked, agitated by this.
"The Jumi are doomed. You should give up being a Jumi as well…" she said calmly.
"Never! My sisters call me even without their cores! The others are the same! They're all waiting for tears of healing!" She put her hands on her hips, standing strong. Imu watched in amazement at the exchange.
"the last jumi with the power heal, Florina, is dead." Imus heart stopped for a second. "there is no way to bring us back…"
Esmeralda shook her head stubbornly, "I wont give up!"
"Take your sister's core and leave this place! The jewel hunter will come!"
"Because," she said calmly and collected, "I told the theif to come steal my core. I must deiced this once and for all as the leader of the race."
Imu looked up at the shining elegance of Diana standing on the pedestal.
"I hope this all comes to an end with my core."
Diamonds, Imu remembered, where the most valuable on the scale of things in Jumi strata.
"No! I can't let you do that!" Esmeralda yelled.
"If you still have hope, then live on as a Jumi…" she reached behind her and lifted up a large green gem, emerald as well, "Your sister's core is here."
Esmeralda took the jewel delicately and held it close. She now had two of the three. "Sis…"
The gem responded to Esmeralda with a gentle sparkle.
"I wont give up! The jumi will cry again! I believe it!" Esmeralda, no longer able to face Diana, ran out of the warehouse, it was just one more and the four sisters were together again.
They stood in the center of Geo. "There was the shed, the principals office… and one more place where cores respond." She said softly. "I bet its in that inn… Let's go see!"
Imu nodded and the two walked back to the inn. Walking back in, Emseralda's core sparkled brightly, as if being called by someone lost. "I knew it was here!" she dashed over to a plan and began digging its base.
The dove began to scream and panic. Esmeralda held up the large gem of her sister's heart. "It's here!"
The teapo dove was furious! "Me Emerald!"
Imu looked agitated at this, as did Esmeralda, who held the gem close. "this is my sister! And I want her back!"
"wot's 'at gibberish yore sayin? You must be out of yore bloody 'ead!" the dove yelled angrily. Imu frowned heavily, but was glad Elazul wasn't here. The dove would be cracked somewhere by now.
"why you sure say mean things for a dove!" Esmeralda said, clinging to the emerald. "Come on! You're my knight! Fight for me!"
Imu nodded and went to reach for a pretend knife in her pocket. "I have no problems with this."
"You mustn't strike a lady! S'truth!" the dove screeched. "Use yore noggin for once! If you got something to say, I'm listenin!"
Esmeralda began to tell her story, and the Dove listened reluctantly at first but became entranced by the story. At the end of it, the teapot was bawling, nearly spilling all her water. She apologized furiously for the horror and begged for forgiveness, letting Esmeralda take the core. Esmeralda held her three sister's core happily as a note hit the ground. Imu grabbed for her but she had already picked it up. "It says, 'The Lucky Clover will be mine.'" She turned to Imu. "What are we gunna do?"
"Stay beside me Esmeralda, don't leave my side."
"Thank you, Imu, but I should go back to the academy," imu went to grab her but the girl had dashed off already, leaving Imu stunned. "Tell elazul to be careful! And you be careful too!"
On a whim, she rushed into the jewel store next door, "ELAZUL!"
He looked startled, "Where's Esmeralda?"
Imu stammered for a moment, but finally managed to tell him a note came and Esmeralda went back to the academy.
"WHAT! We should go find her NOW!" he looked like he was going to punch something, running to the door. "Let's go!"
Imu nodded and raced up the academy stairs, her heart sank and stopped for a second when she saw boyd, exclaiming Esmeralda was kidnapped. Elazul's core gleamed, "You have to find her Imu!"
They exchanged frantic looks and dashed all around Geo, finally coming to Kristie's palace basement, she had grabbed her spear in all of the chaos from the inn, having a feeling she'd need it. They saw Esmeralda speaking to Diana, screaming that she wouldn't give up hope and something was terrible before vanishing, Diana unable to stop her.
Diana addressed Elazul directly, making him choose if he could save Esmeralda or not, he instantly agreed, she sighed and left it to him, teleporting them to the same location.
A jewel beast was in their way, Imu's rage made it quick work and it died instantly, Elazul's core responded and he pointed, the way. "there!"
The two dashed in to see Sandra interrogating Esmeralda, she looked like she would be crying, but as with all jumi, tearless. "I cant shed tears… not even for myself. Not even for my sisters!"
Sandra smiled, "looks like you're too late…" She ripped the core from esmeralda's chest and the girl instantly faded into nothingness, given no time to say her goodbyes.
Elazul cursed loudly, tensing completely. Imu reached out for him, "Don't touch me…" She frowned and retracted her hand, he trudged up the stairs looking defeated, looking up at Diana… "I'm sorry…"
The leader of Jumi looked emotionless, "I knew it would happen… I believe the jewel hunter wants to have revenge on all the Jumi."
"revenge?" elazul echoed.
"Bring your guardian here with you. I shall tell you then…" she closed her eyes. " I shall give you this as proof of my promise, I will return you to her."
The two closed their eyes at the distortion of space, suddenly standing in Imu's home, Bud and Lisa scampered about and Pearl was seated by the fire, head on her arms.
They lingered in the doorway. "I must tell her about Esmeralda and Diana…" he said softly.
Pearl noted him there, "This house is so… nice… Elazul, over here~"
He looked away. "Not yet… she looks so happy for once."
Imu frowned the two walked outside, and busied themselves tending to the tree and pets outside. Finally it happened, Elazul took off, not wanting to be seen for a while. Imu followed him slowly, finding him in the back of the instrument creation room, curled into himself, shoulders shaking as if crying.
She knealt down carefully, putting a hand on either of his shoulders…. "Elazul… it's not your fault…"
"SHUT UP IMU."
"It's not your fault."
"Shut up… why won't you just shut up…"
She sighed, hugging his shoulders awkwardly. "It wasn't your fault…"
He just shook, like a small child, finally he put his hand over hers, and just leaned into her for support. Imu hummed a song from the back of her mind, one of life and promise, instead of the deathly grim world Elazul had became used to. "It will be okay elazul…"
"How can you say that…"
"I just know."
"how…? How Imu….?"
"I don't know…. I just know everything will be okay in the end."
"You're a horrible liar," he muttered, still leaning heavily into her. She stood and helped him rise to his feet.
"Let's go on an adventure, no Jumi, just more people in shitty conditions like you are…"
"We'll let pearl enjoy her peace."
They found themselves at Gato again, Matilda spoke differently to escad, deana gone. She seemed to be trying to tell him something, but Escad didn't listen, saying they would talk after this was over. This being a final battle between him and Irwin on Lucemia, the creature that swallowed cities and died swallowing a volcano. Irwin wanted to bring it back to life to destroy the world.
Elazul stayed eerily silent, but followed Imu to the great wyrm's corpse like shell, the Cancun bird assisted them in climbing onto the creature's scales. The two climbed up the hardened shell, the inside hollow and filled with strange wonders. Creatures had came to reside in its fossilized flesh, but none stood to Imu's spear. Sevla appeared with mental challenges for Imu at every intersection of the snake's great plates.
Higher and higher they rose. Until they finally reached the head, Escad was on his kneeds, sword still grasped in his hand.
"I've always done my best, but I guess this is it…." He began to fade, the underworld calling him. "be a hero, Imu… I know you can do it…."
She flicked her spear, Elazul made a soft sound behind her as Escad died before them.
"I am here to eradicate this world the ugly seed called humans," Irwin's deep voice declared. "It is your fate to Perish!"
"Imu!" Elazul turned to her, she gripped her spear, arming herself.
"You, who have stolen so much from the land."
Elazul looked at him, and said only one word, pulling out his sword, "fool…".
And thus Irwin assumed a full demon form, ready to fight. Sparks flew from his claws, raining upon the duo fighting against him. Imu dodged most of the skills easily, Elazul just barely missed most, it worried her how he would fare the fight.
With a howl, Irwin unleashed a tremor of lightning energy through the scales of Lucemia, shocking the Jumi Knight. Imu's world went mute as she watched him fall… something deep in her memory, awakening… this was so familiar…
In her mind, in only this split second, she saw a hand, tearing through Elazul's chest, with an eclipsing moon behind them… and then it was gone, leaving her stunned and in euphoria just before a massive claw struck down on her. She held it off with her spear easily. "Elazul!"
He didn't respond, his core exposed on his chest as the wind fluttered his dark bangs. Imu sprung to her feet and pressed Irwin off of her, with a massive force unbeknownst to the world and herself. She flung his claw aside and spun around, the bladed tip searing through his sensitive flesh. He howled in response as blood pooled form the wound, turning the blood into bloody explosives at her feet. She dodged them, fighting back his array of claws and magic, cutting it down with her spear.
While parrying his attacks, Elazul began to regain consciousness, looking over he saw Imu, glowing with a brilliant blue, moving like fluid motion itself as she struck down the demon. He couldn't help but stare, the golden sun, setting the distance, illuminating the blood and rage she had within her. Irwin had managed a few attacks, cutting her arm and cheek, blooding streaming down her face in thick streams.
With one simple misstep, Irwin left himself exposed, and with no mercy, Imu stabbed the demon through the chest with her spear. It was over.
A massive explosion of energy and light streamed around them, the captive powers of matilda freeing themselves from Irwin's body. The wyrm began to collapse, and the cancun bird grabbed Elazul and Imu, circling as the pieces of the great creature fell into ruin, returning to Gato after it was over.
Elazul grasped onto her, afraid she'd fall if anything in her awe. Finally the bird landed in its great nest, and preened itself. After lowering themselves from it, a nun appeared, proclaiming that abbess matilda had passed away.
Imu could feel it, the rifting mana in the world as a new wisdom was born, Matilda. She wondered if Matilda had found Irwin in the underworld, and they were at peace at last. She was now the universe, she could be whatever she pleased.
"it is ironic…" elazul said, looking over gato from the terrace. Imu looked at him curiously, standing beside him. "That I would help save a world, where my own kind cannot thrive in."
She nodded quietly.
"This was quite an adventure Imu… but I need to return to pearl and tell her what has happened…"
Imu nodded again. "Let's go home…"
He nodded, taking one last look at the waterfall of gato. Upon arriving at the house, Imu found her resident sproutling collapsed, as if in a trance, surrounded by three others. Cactus inquired if he was dead and the sproutlings babbled about a tree. "get pearl, I have to check something in domina, will only be a few minutes."
Imu nodded and walked inside. She was shocked when Pearl was no where to be found. Frantic, she began to search the house, finding her no where. She panicked. Where could she have gone! Walking downstairs, she found three problems. One bud was , Elazul was pacing outside. Three, her sproutling was kidnapped.
She decided to ignore the problem with bud and sproutling for now, Lisa could handle bud and a sproutling was self sufficient. The one that drastically worried her was Pearl. Elazul asked if she had came or not, but Imu shook her head. His eyes widened. "So then… this note! DAMMIT!"
He paniced, started hyperventilating, the jewel hunter had captured pearl! How! She must have left the house, there was no way to pass Bud and Lisa, as well as four sproutlings, and a talking cactus, tree, and several pets without being noticed. Pulling the succubus Elysia from the corral, Elazul and Imu rushed into the first place on the list, where they had truly met, Mekiv Caverns.
Her hunch was right, a mad mallard directing them to the sproutling, and the sproutling to a strange fish like creature. He was marveling a stone, and it made Elazul uneasy that he addressed Sandra and Pearl by name, so casually. He hesitated, his core clouded and losing its luster on his chest. Imu looked at him as he shrugged it off, but he verbalized how he had a bad feeling, it had never been so clouded before.
Dashing through the tunnels, they found Pearl and Sandra at a stand off. Elazul approached slowly, muttering her name.
"Well, have you remember your true purpose?" Sandra inquired.
"How many times are you going to ask me? I don't know what you're talking about!" Pearl shouted.
"Why you…!" she went to smack the girl and Elazul grabbed her wrist.
"Get away from Pearl!" He threw the Gem Hunter back, knocking her off balance.
Pearl yelled his name, surprised and happy to see him. Sandra only smiled, "hehe, I've been waiting."
"Hand over Pearl NOW!" he snarled at her, reaching for his sword.
"Do I look like a woman who would listen to you?" She said smirking.
"I'll make you listen," he unsheathed his blade. "With this sword!"
Something flashed by him in a moments notice, "Ha! Too late!" Imu almost screamed as Elazul collapsed to the floor a obvious scratch formed across his core.
Pearl dropped down beside him, the paralyzed knight braced one knee panting heavily, she clung to him delicately. "Elazul!"
Imu stood shell shocked, unable t move, staring at the floor in front of her.
"Pearl… your dear Elazul's core is scratched!" Sandra stated bluntly.
Elazul shook violently, "Pearl…."
"what now my pretty?" Sandra mocked, circling him. "will you not save your knight with tears of compassion?"
"Don't… listen… to her…" Elazul pleaded, Imu stepped forward, standing near his side with her spear, the succubus behind them licked its lips.
"Elazul…" Pearl said softly.
The strange man from before, the fish guy, appared in the room, "Sandra stop that."
"The King…" she whispered.
"It's pointless to hurt eachother…" he said calmly, a constant frown on his face.
"I cannot stand this girl… and all the Jumi!" Sandra hissed. "Why do you not cry! Answer me Pearl!"
Pearl stood beside her knight, a hand on his shoulder delicately. "No matter how sad… I cannot shed tears. We can't cry!"
"you're incapable of healing! You are just a princess!"
She stood up and faced Sandra completely, proudly. "that's right. We jumi lost our tears many ages ago…."
"The jumi did lose something, but tears it was not…" Sandra hissed in response. "Listen to what your core tells you!"
Pearl placed her hand on the gem in her chest.
"Still you fail to understand. Even you, heiress to the memories of antiquity…"
She faced Sandra once again.
"jaded stones which lost their clarity. Elazul the Knight and Pearl the Guardian! Both your cores are mine!"
Elazul glowered up at her, but was overwhelmed with pain, unable to move or comment. The strange fish man touched his back, making him hiss.
Pearl's core sparkled brightly, as if up to the challenge. "I don't need the power to heal…" she said covering her core with her hand. "Just give me the power to fight!"
Blackness filled her core, a strange and ancient light overcoming and wracking her delicate frame, the whiteness was deluded and dark now, her pearls black.
"BlackPearl!" Sandra gasped.
"Pearl…." Elazul muttered softly.
"Do you really wish to battle with me? Sandra?" the newly reformed pearl's voice was deeper and more threatening, seductive in a way, mocking with the way it said Sandra's name.
"No! I would never do such a…" She staggered back, then fled behind another Jewel beast. Imu prepared herself but watched it was PEARL who destroyed it with ease, wielding a massive hammer. As if died, Sandra fled, facing Pearls new form.
"I cannot believe she would just throw away someone who is like a sister to her," Sandra muttered, staring at her from afar.
"Is Florina alive?" Blackpearl asked darkly, crossing her arms.
"Didn't she always say, "Always find the answer yourself?" Sandra shot back.
Imu looked between them, then at elazul and the strange fish man.
"I remember," Blackpearl muttered.
"I'll be going now… We'll meet again, Jumi Knight…" Blackpearl moved forward to catch her, but Sandra jumped over her, with a graceful moonsault and landed before dashing away with amazing agility.
Elazul quivered, trying to stand… "Pearl…"
"Pearl is gone. You are now free, Lapis Knight," BlackPearl said simply, stepping away. "I'm sorry for the pain I caused you."
"Aah…" Elazul nearly fell on his face trying to reach her.
The "king" as Sandra called him, stared at Elazul's quivering, form, Imu approached, spear still in hand. "We mist not let this beautiful stone die…" he said simple. With that space distorted. Imu found herself with Elazul at her doorstep, quickly she grabbed him and put his arm around her shoulder, lifting his strangely light body and carried him inside and up the stairs. Gently, she tossed him down on her bed, moving his legs and arms so he was completely on it, and wouldn't fall off. He hissed in pain, and Imu moved everything he was wearing away from his damaged core, the scratch was painful looking, breaking the otherwise smooth surface of the Lapis Lazuli.
Bud and Lisa moved around upstairs, Lisa suggested medicine, but Bud concluded it wouldn't work on Jumi… the only thing Elazul seemed to focus on, was Pearl. She stayed with him that night, but went out for a few days searching for the lost Pearl, to no avail.
Imu sat beside him, wishing there was something she could do… brushing the hair out of his face, he jolted awake, blue eyes staring at her with pain and sadness. "Pearl…?"
"No… Imu…" she said softly, his vision must be clouded…
He seemed to shudder, as if crying a bit to himself, but there was no way to tell for sure. "Imu… she's gone… where is she?"
" I don't know…"
"Must… find… Pearl…" he muttered, trying to sit up.
"You really shouldn't talk…." Imu said softly, trying to put him back in his place to rest.
"Imu, I'm sorry… but it's too late… Stones take… thousands of years… to be formed…. Only Jumi tears… the teardrop stone…can heal instantly…" he panted for a second, catching his breath… "But Jumi cannot cry.. Jumi tears… are really…"
He shuddered in pain, the motion only hurting him more and he passed out from the lack of energy.
Imu went out and searched again, for anything, a sign, a clue… but found nothing. Returning home, Elazul was slightly awake again… looking a bit better. "What about… Pearl…."
She slid onto the side of the bed, frowning softly and looked away, he needed to heal. "She's alright."
"So…. You found her… Thank god… Pearl… is attached to you…." He said softly. "Please… protect her … for me…" his blue eyes focused in and out on her… "I… must rest…"
She nodded and pulled a blanket over his legs as he fell asleep… Carefully she slipped into the bed with him and laid her head on his shoulder, as a comfort if nothing else, listening to him breathe.
When she woke up, Elazul was gone. She sat up from her bed to see lil cactus was asleep, as were bud and lisa… he must have crept out very carefully without much sound. Standing up, she began to look for her injured companion. And of all places, she found him collapsed at the gate of Ravens at Leires.
She approached him carefully, "You're not well enough to fight Elazul…"
"It's nothing," he snapped, standing up with a bit of difficulty he did well to hide, slowly he turned to look at the top floor. "Pearl must be in that room… Will you come with me?"
Imu nodded. "Of course Elazul. You know I would help you any way I could."
He nodded, feeling relieved at her assistance in case things got bad. "Let's go!"
Scaling the tower was hard on the Knight, which made Imu feel horrible watching him. That scratch wasn't going to get any better, and he was doing well to ignore the same pain that had crippled him only a night before. Once they past the teleporter to the eleventh floor, Elazul stood before the Room of Fate's great doors.
"Wait!" he said before Imu could touch it. "I heard the door of fate opens only to one who knows the person inside. Pearl is inside. I'll open it…" he moved up to the door, it was either his strength or the myth… either way… the doors refused him.
"resist me will you? My memories are not enough to open the door!... Pearl…." Imu placed her hand on the door, and it opened as if weightless. Memories….? She had so few…. The flash of Elazul being murdered on the night of an eclipse flashed in her head again as the doors opened.
Pearl and Blackpearl were inside, Pearl looked intimidated and frightened.
"That knight is…" Elazul stammered.
"Pearl…." Blackpearl addressed her innocent counterpart. "Your goal is to reach the stratum of the Clarius."
"yes…" Pearl agreed softly.
"Pearl… You will become the Clarius…"
"You will succeed Florina, and give your life to the race…"
"Pearl. You will shed your life as tears, and give it to everyone." Pearl did not respond. "You will continue giving your life until it is no more."
"No…" she whimpered.
"Listen to me… It is the best way. She will come back with the Mana Sword and the Power of the Mana stone…. You must persevere until then."
"No," Pearl whispered a bit louder. "I don't want to die…"
"You must!" Blackpearl shouted.
"No!" Pearl yelled back.
"STOP IT!" Elazul screamed them both, boldly running up to the two Pearls.
"Elazul," pearl said slowly, looking at the cut in his core.
"Jumi of Lapis Lazuli, you need not interfere," Blackpearl said slowly.
He put his hands on Pearl's shoulders and pulled her close to him. "Pearl is my partner!"
"Back off, or you will die," she stated blantantly.
"I promised I would protect her. I cannot 'back off'!"
Pearl reached for Imu. "Please! Help Elazul!"
As if there was a doubt in her mind. Blackpearl scowled at Imu, "foolish death-seeker…well fine. I do not wish to defile this place. Come, let us fight below…"
"very well," he stated darkly.
"Pearl," Blackpearl said, "You just wait here." She covered her mouth with her hand, drawing back. "Do not worry, your destiny is predetermined."
Elazul pulled her into his arms, as if she was a sister. "Pearl, it's alright. I'll come back for you."
"alright" she said softly… he released her and stepped over to Imu's side.
"When you are ready, leave and I will follow," Blackpearl stated simply.
At the base of the tower, Blackpearl fought the two, she could easily knock out Elazul, but Imu not as well, the spear was a similar reach of her hammer and she couldn't dodge as quickly. Lo and Behold finished her off quickly. "Most impressive Lapis Knight… Why don't you use the sword of fate, the sword that can cut through anything….? Answer me Knight of Lapis Lazuli. "
"I don't want to kill you."
"Aren't you Pearl's knight? How can you protect her with that attitude….?"
"I will not allow anyone to hurt Pearl. But I will not draw my sword on a fellow Jumi."
"You'll not be able to protect anyone…"
"I want to protect the Jumi!" blackpearl looked away…
"You say it like a friend…"
"We have a deal, you;ll leave Pearl alone…" he stated darkly, obvious the fight had done a toll on him.
"Yes, For a while…" blackpearl said whimsically, walking past him.
"I don't want to fight you anymore…" Elazul said softly.
"Pearl is mine. She will come back to me… face it."
Elazul shook his head, looking at the black knight.
"You remind me of an old friend of mine… You seem alike somehow…" she said to Imu softly before walking away." He who cries for a Jumi shall turn to stone. You be careful. The old saying is true… Imu. Stay away from them."
With her warning, she turned away and vanished, pearl stepping out of the shadows.
"Pearl…?" Elazul said delicately slow..
"Elazul…" she echoed with his name. "Is… is your core alright?"
"Not a scratch… You worry too much, how about you?"
"I'm fine," she said gently. "I'm alright as long as you're alright."
"alright.." she stepped over to Imu and gave her a hug. "Thank you…"
The two walked to the entrance and almost took separate paths.
Once again, Imu was alone in her world. She walked to Geo, still not having faced the reality of what happened to Esmeralda. She spent a few days there before returning to Domina, she wanted to visit the fortune teller. She told her something about fish, so Imu visited Polpota Harbor, speaking to the basket fish, she learned the "Blue Eye" jumi core was a gift from his friend, Saphoe… a Jumi. She wondered if the five year old fish knew what Saphoe had done for him to give that to him.
She walked along the beaches of the Madora, meeting Monique, Flameshe and their friend Elle in the adventure. Even after saving another wrongly hunted race, she felt a bit empty. With a heavy heart, she traveled to domina, part of Imu's soul seemed to hope. The tavern was empty, she sat down on the bench usually occupied by Elazul and stared at the floor. Her succubus pet hovered nearby, but did not give her an obligation to move.
Missing those two was a harsh reality. She walked up to the Fortune teller, humming to herself softly. "A friendship will suffer because of your mistake"
For some reason she wanted to rip apart the fruit lady. Had she made a mistake? Had she done something wrong? Was Elazul or Pearl dead? She wanted to hit something. She walked by the tavern again and head a tapping, looking over at the window, she saw two smiling faces waving at her. She brightly smiled back and waved, rushing inside. Elazul stood beside Pearl with a soft smirk, then it faded. He rest his hand on Pearl's small shoulder. "I want to visit Diana in Geo…. So… I was hoping perhaps you could take Pearl."
Imu smiled brightly, "of course I can Elazul."
He returned the brilliant smile with his own, "thank you! I feel safe knowing that you're watching over her."
Pearl smiled at how relieved he seemed.
"There is a place I must visit. You go on ahead. Pearl, be careful."
She flushed, "Okay. You too, Elazul." He clapped Imu on the shoulder lightly before rushing out the door, leaving the women stunned. "Elazul thinks it's his fault he failed to protect Esmeralda."
Imu's heart skipped for a second. "Funny…. I was her knight."
Pearl looked away, fearing she'd stepped out of bounds. The two made their way to Geo with idle chatter, the pet startling the pure white girl several times. When they found the storeroom holding Diana, she had became a pureish white stone. Pearl gasped at this, "Diana… crystallized?"
The two exchanged looks.
"What should we do?"
Imu shrugged. "I don't really know, but let's not freak out about it."
"Don't say that… come on, let's go upstairs and asked what happened…"
Kristie and Sotherbee were lavishing over a cup of tea when they walked back upstairs. Pearl interrupting them boldly, "Do you know why Diana turned to stone?"
Krisitie hummed, "ahh the Diamond Venus statue? I don't know either…"
Sotherbee spoke up, "I once heard that Jumi who close off their hearts turn to stone."
The only Jumi in the room frowned heavily. "That's not right." She stamped her foot, hands on her hips. "It's a ceremony of choosing partners. One jumi first gathers keys of the heart, then the Jumi awakens a stone guardian to become her Knight."
Kristie blinked awkwardly, "She is acting weird."
Sotherbee eyed Pearl suspiciously, pausing on her Jumi core. "It's one of them madam. A Jumi."
Kristie's eyes widened. "She… is…?"
Pearl flushed and looked around, covering her face slightly and fidgeting awkwardly, "Uhhh… Huh? Me? You're looking for keys of heart right! Okay let's go!" She grabbed Imu's hand and pulled her out, blushing like a rose.
The group scoured the city looking for the keys, finding one at the entrance Geo, one in the principles office, and one in a store. Pearl identified each key as Hate, Pride, and Pain, Imu wondered what kind of heart Diana must have for these to be her keys. The duo looked around uncomfortably, discretely hiding the keys as they went to Diana again. Imu had not forgotten Diana had called the Jewel Hunter herself.
Kristie noted they had moved the statue into the arena as they walked by again. Pearl stood beside the statue, "What a lousy place…" she muttered, looking at the keys in her hands.
"Did you find the keys to her heart?" Elazul said softly, stepping inside.
"Elazul! Were you looking for them too?"
He nodded and stepped inside, "before Diana could meet us… she turned herself to stone to prevent being killed by the jewel hunter. Try a key."
Pearl nodded and did as told, Diana reviving instantly, lavender eyes opening with a smile. "You found my soul, thank you all for coming."
The three cores resonated together.
"What did you want to say? The truth about the jewel hunter?" Elazul asked, standing on the opposite side of Imu as Pearl, all three listening intently.
"Yes, but first I must explain the jewel hunter's motive, revenge against the Jumi."
"revenge?" Pearl echoed softly.
Diana looked at Imu, who seemed to intake a breath, not used to being included. "You too will listen right?" Imu nodded. "in ages past, the Jumi were once called the race of friendship. This was because they tried to preserve themselves by giving tears to the wounded. Tears composed of life itself…."
"Tears of healing… teardrop crystals," Pearl said slowly.
Diana hung her head, "but when the age of massive Jumi hunting was over… they changed to preserve themselves… so they could no longer cry, not give life to others. And so the Jumi cut themselves off from other races, and lived in a city of their own."
"The bejeweled city…" Elazul added.
"Yes," Diana concluded.
"And then she kidnapped Florina, the only Jumi who could still heal with tears…" a voice said from overhead, "and started a war with Deathrbringer!"
Diana gasped, covering her mouth. Pearl looked around wildly, "the jewel hunter!"
"Sandra!" Elazul unsheathed his sword.
"Quite a woman," Sandra's voice said above, "started total war with Deathbringer using Florina as a sacrifice… That's right. As long as we have florina's tears, the Jumi are invincible." Sandra's voice echoed in the room, "So… what will become of Florina?"
Diana released a sigh, "that must mean that Florina is still alive. That is wonderful. Bring her here immediately, these children will need her tears."
Sandra's tone changed, "why! Why must the gentle Florina have her life squeezed out of her, only to die!"
"Such is the Jumi's way of survival, Florina does not object…." Diana said softly.
"Shut up!" Sandra landed beside Diana a foot or two away. "I'll do the same to you!"
"Wait!" Pearl shouted.
Sandra glared up at her, poised to rip the diamond from Diana's living chest, the leader of Jumi did not flinch.
"we mustn't kill her. We still have to get our tears back," Pearl said boldly.
Elazul looked disturbed slightly, "Pearl."
"No one is saved through hatred. We must love eachother like we did ages ago," the girl stated bravely.
"If so , then why don't' you CRY! You'd become the sacrifice instead of Florina!" she pushed Pearl back and ripped the Diamond from Diana's chest, causing the injured woman to scream.
Pearl reached up for her leader, in agony. "Diana!"
Imu stood shellshocked, as if held by a mysterious force, not to move.
"Diana!" Elazul moved forward quickly, trying to grab Sandra.
"Impossible!... you couldn't even protect your OWN GUARDIAN!"
The words seemed to greatly disturb Elazul
"Diana!" pearl screamed for her, unable to move still.
"One light is hidden by another!" Diana choked out, still standing as the blood red pouring from her chest stained her white clothes. "Only blackpearl can stop her. Find her!"
Elazul went to catch the falling body of Diana only for her to fade and vanish… he stood there, empty handed for a moment, ripped off the ornament from his hood and smashed it to the ground. The enchanted glass pieces reformed back in their place at his hood before it even had the chance to fall. "DAMMIT!"
Imu helped Pearl over to where they were, the girl hung her head in distress, Elazul was knealed over where Diana had faded, a single stone her wake. "Look, pearl… see what Diana left…"
Pearl looked over at the green gem, the light of the arena changed, and so did the color, turning it purple. "It's a different color…"
One light is hidden by another….
"We need to think… about ourselves, Jumi, and the jewel hunter…"
Pearl nodded in agreement.
Elazul picked up the Alexandrite carefully with his crystallized hand, turning his back to Imu. "You should consider too… if you are going to cut us loose… do it now…"
Imu couldn't speak, appaled he would even assume she would. She remained frozen in place as Elazul approached her, his shoulder to hers. "I… shouldn't have brought you into this…"
He walked out of the arena, Pearl looked at Imu and said goodbye, before rushing out after him.
Alexandrite… was that stone. She had heard about it from… Alex… something didn't seem right now. She need to lay low for a while, return home, and talk to her cactus.
AN: do you realize how many times I had to reload my emulator to get ALL THE DIALOGUE possible? Bullshit. Its utter bullshit.