A/N: Yo, peeps! I feel like writing another chapter, so here ya go!
After this, I'll upload both chapters 3&4... -_-''
Warning and Disclaimer in the first chapter, thank you very much!
Chronicles of the Drowned City
C.4: Entering the Yggdrasil Labyrinth
"Well, here we are," Adisa said, looking at the grand building in front of them.
After another visit by Zakharia and Yuki to Napier's Firm (which surprisingly the lady shopkeeper allowed), they decided that this would be a good time to head into the Labyrinth. So, they headed to the Via Senatus-where the government works.
Heinrich pushed the double-door open, revealing an -as expected- grand looking interior. It looks as if this place is paved with gold. Only it isn't. The walls are part brick, part wood. It's also very open -surprisingly, for a workplace-, and had some stairs leading to the second floor. Heinrich and the others went up the stairs –Zakharia stumbling a few times and Yuki and Cia helping her.
Once they got to the second floor, another set of double-doors greeted them, with a guard standing in front of it.
"Excuse me," Heinrich said. The guard turned, facing them, but just stood there, having the usual stern expression behind his mask. He then spoke with a deep, stern voice.
"What business do you have here?"
"We're here to see the Senatus," Adisa said, cutting off Heinrich as he was just about to say the same thing. The guard then nodded.
"I see. So your the new Guild I heard about," he began, then moved to the side and opened one of the doors ,"You may see the Senatus, then," he finished. Heinrich nodded and walked into the room, the others following him.
As soon as they got in there, they are greeted by an equally stern looking old lady. Her office -even though full of paper, still looks as grand as the other parts of the building. The old lady shifted her attention from the paperwork she's doing, to the people coming into her office.
"What have we here? Are you the new Guild I heard about?" The old lady asked. Her presence is intimidating. Or maybe it's more in the lines of commanding?
Zakharia crept a bit closer towards Yuki, her grip on his clothes tightening, her expression turning into a slight scowl.
"Yes," Heinrich answered. The old lady smiled a bit. She then stood up from her chair and walked towards them, stopping in front of Heinrich.
"This is the Via Senatus," she began ,"and I am the one which governs this place. Here, we separate the cowards from the true explorers," she explained. Heinrich nodded. So she's the one that looks after these things.
"If you want to go into the Labyrinth, first complete the mission I issue to you," she said, and walked back to her desk, opening the drawer, and grabbing a sheet of paper. She then handed it over to them ,"the mission is quite elementary. You'll get more details on it when you get into the Labyrinth," the old lady finished and sat back down on her desk. Heinrich nodded and gestured for the others to walk out of the room.
As soon as the doors closed, all of them heaved a heavy sigh.
"Oh wow... that was too much pressure for me to handle...," Adisa said, then taking a deep breath and releasing it.
"We'll be seeing more of her soon, I suppose," Heinrich said.
"That is, if we pass the test," Yuki said coldly. Zakharia's grip on him relaxed, but she stayed quiet.
"You ok, Zakharia?" Cia asked. Zakharia simply nodded, and Yuki gestured for her to start walking again.
"That lady was pretty cocky though, wasn't she?" Cia started, as soon as they got out of the building.
"Cia...," Yuki hissed ,"we're still in front of her office building," Yuki said and half-dragged her to the others, Zakharia, as usual, clinging on to him as she walked.
"Hey, Heinrich?" Adisa began. Heinrich turned his attention to her and let her continue.
"What would the Labyrinth look like?" Adisa asked. Heinrich sighed.
"We'll find out soon," he began ,"we are headed there right now, after all," he finished.
Once they got to the entrance of the Labyrinth, they went down the set of stairs there, and ended up on the first floor of the Labyrinth.
This place is beautiful. 'Nuff said.
"Whoa...," Adisa said, bewildered.
"I've never been into a Labyrinth before, but I've heard stuff about this place..," Cia began ,"It's hard to believe that a lot people died here," she finished.
"Don't let your guard down, though," Heinrich said ,"this place is still dangerous. Don't let it deceive you," he warned ,"now, c'mon," he finished, gesturing for the others to follow him.
Oddly enough, Zakharia stayed quite. Perhaps she's stunned enough by the sounds in the Labyrinth?
As they walked, they marveled at this place's beauty. The sky is a sea of green, as the trees are covering up the sky itself, but leaving room for sunlight to pierce into the Labyrinth like thin sheets, the Labyrinth looking as if it's shimmering slightly from the light.
Grass covered the ground, while beds of flowers decorated the passages with different colours-red, pink, and maybe beds of blue flowers at some places that they discovered marked secret passageways -shortcuts, you might say.
And all this makes passages, and more branching passages: trees forming walls, the grass making the ground they walk on, flowers becoming markers, forming a beautiful, naturally made maze that no one could ever dream of making.
This place is simply marvelous.
"Oy! I found another one," Cia said, pointing at the bed of flowers in front of her. Heinrich walked over to where she is and pushed the bed of blue flowers gently to the side, inspecting it.
"Hmm... I don't think we'll be able to get past this thing from here," he began, then pointed at Zakharia ,"well... maybe Zakharia can, but as you said Yuki, she's blind," Heinrich finished. Zakharia nodded-though not looking at exactly where Heinrich is. Heinrich then marked the passageway on the map, and all of them continued onwards. They then came across the clearing, which Heinrich drew after doing some quick calculations (surprisingly he knows how to draw maps very well), while the rest took a look around the clearing.
"I'm surprised that monsters haven't attacked us yet," Cia said. Adisa nodded ,"but this place is still beautiful. I've been into forests before, but never into anything like this," She explained ,"it's no wonder explorers are attracted to this place," she finished. Cia nodded ,"I completely agree with you," she said. They all then proceeded though the narrow passage east of the clearing -Cia spotting yet another bed of flowers in the clearing that they nearly missed (which they can't go though yet).
As they walked down the passage, they came into a crossroad, with a guard blocking one of the passages -north of where they're facing right now.
"Stop," the guard said, and Heinrich and the others did just that.
"Are you the new guild I heard?" He asked. Heinrich nodded and let him continue.
"Alright. Then, welcome to the Yggdrasil Labyrinth. This place may seem beautiful, but it's hazardous at the same time, so stay on your toes," the guard warned.
"Yeah, like we didn't know that..." Cia muttered. Yuki then nudged her hard on the sides.
"Oww! What was that for?!" She said, but Yuki shushed her. The guard then started explaining about mapping in the Labyrinth-tools, signs, etc. Even though Heinrich is amazingly good at mapping, he still listened, and so did the others. After he's finished, the guard marked an area on the map with his pencil.
"Now, all you have to do is map this part of the Labyrinth. Once your done, come back here, and I'll check the results. If you get even the smallest details wrong, you'll have to go back and re-map the area," the guard explained briefly. Adisa sighed. Well, this is a pain. At least Heinrich will draw the map, right?
"Alright all of you, let's go," he said, walking in front of the others, going towards the west route first.
They only took a few steps into the area, when they're suddenly attacked by... a giant (well maybe not giant, but it certainly is big) toad, and a red fish which... only has a head and feet?
Ok, the Labyrinth is beautiful... But the monsters are certainly weird looking.
None the less, Yuki charged at them. Seeing as how weak they are, Yuki easily killed them with a few swipes of his sword.
"Yeah, I may have jinxed our trip just now...," Cia said, and Yuki sighed, sheathing his sword. Heinrich then drew on the map (Adisa correcting him a little), while Zakharia stood there, closing her eyes.
"Alright then, let's move on," Heinrich said, motioning for the others to follow him. Soon after, he stopped. Adisa bumped into him.
"Ow!" She yelped, but Heinrich shushed her. His spear is on the ready, and he stood there, motionless, trying to pick up a sound. He then heard rustling noises from the bushes. A toad then jumped out, and Heinrich immediately stabbed it with his spear, the toad dying soon after. Adisa sighed.
"What's with all these toads? I thought they only came out at night," she said. Heinrich then took out his pocket watch.
"Wait, your carrying that in here?!" Adisa asked, pointing at the gold pocket watch.
"It''s 6 o'clock. No wonder...," Heinrich said. Adisa's mouth gaped open. "We've been here for that long?!" she exclaimed. Heinrich nodded.
"Well, time does fly when your in the Labyrinth," Heinrich said and walked on. Adisa then remembered. Toads like these do come out at night. She heard this while they're at the pub.
After a few monsters and abusiveness of Cia's healing skills, they finally finished mapping the western area. They found some treasure: A Medica and 200 en.
Ok... did those belong to past explorers?
They then went on to the eastern end. Zakharia's eyes are still closed. Yuki noticed this and shook her shoulders a bit.
"Zakharia? You ok?" He asked. Zakharia then opened her eyes, empty looking as usual.
"Beware of the red-eyed beast."
"What?" Adisa asked.
"Beware of the red-eyed beast," Zakharia repeated. Heinrich nodded.
"A red-eyed beast, eh...? Alright, we'll look out for those," he said.
"Heinrich, what did she mean?" Adisa asked again.
"It means look out for one of the monsters here. That was a prophecy from the stars," Heinrich said.
"A... prophecy from the stars?" Adisa repeated.
"Yes. It's what Zodiaks do. They can communicate with the stars, and sometimes they'll say prophecies," Heinrich began ,"...or should I say warnings," he continued. Adisa nodded.
A red eyed beast... now which monster fitted that description best?
Oh wait, most of them do.
Well, that was a pretty vague warning. But a warning none the less, so they decided to keep that in mind.
And soon after, what the stars warned came true.
A cat of some sorts, with red glowing eyes and yellow fur with blue stripes on it suddenly came at them from within the wall of trees. It lashed at Zakharia and attacked her- but Yuki parried the attack successfully The cat stepped back, at the ready to attack someone again. Soon after, the cat went towards Adisa, who successfully dodged it, and attempted to stab it -failing, but ended up cutting it's shoulder instead. The cat, again stepped back, only to lash out at Adisa again, with her dodging the attack again, but not so good this time, because she ended up getting cut on her shoulders as well. The cat lunges at her again, but then Heinrich stabbed it from the back with his spear. Adisa clutched the wound on her shoulders.
"Thanks," she said. Heinrich nodded. Cia then rushed to Adisa and moved her hand gently away from the wound, revealing it.
"Mind if I take a look at it? Thanks," she said and started patching up the wound. Well, she was lucky to survive that one with just a minor wound! Very lucky, I might add.
"Alright, let's move on," Heinrich said, and mapped the part of the passageway they are in. From the distance, he could hear waterfalls. There are a lot here, so maybe they're headed into another clearing?
They then arrived at the clearing. Heinrich mapped it, while the others sat down.
"Whew, I'm tired...," Cia said, lying down on the grass.
"We could rest here, I guess... seems safe enough," Adisa said, leaning on one of the trees. She sighed. The Labyrinth is beautiful, but... she's... not really enjoying it as much as she should so far. Some things in here nearly killed her, while others just annoyed her. And it's not just the monsters either!
After resting, they finished the rest of the map, and headed back to where the guard is. Heinrich handed the map over to the guard. He checked it, and below the mask he's wearing, his expression turned cheerfull.
"Heh, you did a good job here!" The guard said as he re-examined the map. "Alright, then, you passed. Now report back to the Senatus and get your permission to explore the Labyrinth," the guard said.
"My work here is done, so I'll be going now," he said and left his post.
"We should head back, too," Adisa said. Heinrich nodded ,"I'll report to the Senatus. All of you, go to the inn and rent a room. Here," he said, and handed over what money he had left, plus some things he was holding to Adisa.
Adisa took it and handed some of it to the others. Zakharia then looked up at Heinrich.
"Are you sure? Shouldn't we just collect the reward first? It's usually money," she said. Heinrich sighed. "Well, you do have more experience in the Labyrinth than us, even if you only made it to the second floor," he began ,"Alright... all of you wait in the inn, then," he said, and walked off. The others sighed and followed him, going their separate ways when they got to the entrance.
They all waited at the inn, Zakharia already asleep on Yuki's lap. Cia chuckled at this, but then Yuki smacked her with the sheath of his sword.
"Shut up, you...," he hissed. He hated it when she does this.
"But you two just look so cute together~," Cia said, looking at him with puppy-dog eyes. Adisa chuckled as well.
"I'll have to agree with her on this one. You two just look amazingly adorable~!"she exclaimed. Yuki face-palmed, and at this Zakharia stirred awake.
"Hmm... wha... did I fall asleep...?" she said, half awake. Yuki sighed. "Yes, yes you did," he said. They then heard the distinct sound of footsteps, which only belonged to their Hoplite partner. And lo and behold, here comes Heinrich himself!
"Heinrich! What took you so long?" Adisa asked while running towards him. Heinrich smiled. "The Senatus decided to have a little chat with me, so, sorry if I took too long," he said, and pulled out a pouch, with what looked like...
"And here's 500 En," he said. Everyone's eyes widened. Really? That much? For a mission like that? Wow... and to think that that mission was only a test..
"A "little" chat would be an understatement, Sir Heinrich," Cia began ,"But then again... Look at all that cash! Now I can take my revenge against that cranky shop-owner...," Cia said, clenching her fists, but is smacked on the head again by Yuki.
"Not so fast, Cia. I'm still here, you know," he said coldly, glaring at her. Cia chuckled a little bit, before it died down and she stopped talking momentarily.
Adisa on the other hand, just looked at that bag of money. That sure is a lot. Now what can they buy with that...? They then heard Zakharia yawn.
"W-Well, shouldn't we rent a room, then? We've got more than enough money now, right?" Adisa said, and then dragged Heinrich into the inn, the others, including a drowzy Zakharia, following them.
"Welcome to Amman's Inn!" The young clerk said, grinning widely at the new visitors, which almost creeped them out. They can't really tell if he's a she or a he. But they didn't mind.
"Here, you can rest up for the night, or just until the evening. Some guilds have their headquarters set up here, too. Of course, you need to pay to rent a room," the young clerck began explaining.
"Oh! We also have doctors here to help out with the wounded explorers! So if you need help, just ask them!" The young clerk finished.
"Alright. How much is it for a room? For one night," Heinrich said.
"5 En," the clerk replied. Heinrich nodded and handed the clerk 5 En. The others just looked at them. What? Well, that was cheap.
"Here you go!" The clerk said, handing over the room key to Heinrich. He took it and thanked the clerk, and walked off to the room, the others following him.
"Have a nice stay!" The clerk said, and continued his work behind the counter.
Once they got into the room, they're quite surprised by what they saw.
Yes, the price was unusually cheap for a room at an inn, but this...
Ok, I guess the prices do match the room's condtion.
There's a table, but it looks like it's about ready to break down. Also, there are only 2 beds. Both of which are only big enough for people around the size of Adisa and Cia to squeeze into. Heinrich, even though he isn't that big, is still big enough to occupy the whole bed. There's also a closet there, but the wood has rotted, it looks like it's ready to break down as well.
And that's basically what's inside this room.
Each of the beds are pinned against the wall, and when Adisa and Cia tried to squeeze in the space there, there was literary no space left. In fact, Adisa, who's pinned against the wall is practically suffocating.
"I don't think the oxygen is reaching my brain," she said, sitting up and gasping for some air.
"Don't push me off the bed when we're asleep, alright?" Cia begged. Adisa sighed.
"I won't be able to promise you anything, sorry," she said. Heinrich occupied the bed on the other side of the room. He took off his armor, revealing the tight clothing he's wearing underneath it. He sat down on the bed, pulling out his journal and writing his next entry.
Yuki, on the other hand, just stood there. He sighed. Where was he supposed to sleep now?
Well... he wouldn't mind sleeping on the floor, but what about Zakharia? He then saw some cloth poking out of the closet. He walked towards the closet, and opened it, revealing some –surprisingly- clean sheets, blankets and pillows. Just enough for him and Zakharia. Ok, good.
He then grabbed the sheets and set them on the floor, along with the blankets and pillows. Except this time, the blankets become the sheets and the sheets become the blankets. Zakharia then went over to where the sheets are set-nearly tripping-, and lied down on it. Yuki did the same.
"Well... I suppose you should be glad," Heinrich began,"you'll suffocate throughout the whole night if you were in Adisa's position right now," he said, while Adisa sat up again, getting some air into her body.
"I doubt I'll be able to sleep tonight," she said, and lied down again. Cia sighed and chuckled sheepishly at Yuki. "Sorry if I fall on top of you by morning," she said.
Yuki sighed. Really? He then looked to the side, and saw Zakharia being quite close to him...
She was alseep, facing Yuki. Wow. Has she really gotten that close to him?
Cia, on the other hand, chuckled,"Awww~ I told you the two of you look cute together~," she teased. Yuki glared hard at her before pulling the sheets up to his neck and closing his eyes, turning to his side, facing Zakharia. Cia chuckled one more time before going to bed herself.
Heinrich, still writing his entry, saw all this happen. He then sighed and smiled slightly.
"This should be one hell of an expedition, as the princess would say," he said to himself, wrapped up his entry for the day, lied down and closed his eyes, falling asleep soon after.
A/N: HUZZAHH! Hey, peeps! I think I'll upload after this one, so yeah! Look forward to the update(s)!
I know, I know, I suck at fighting scenes... GRAAAHH! *cries*
Also, Mad Father and Fragile Dreams (both of which are RPGs) gives me a load of feels, alright? That is all.
And now, I shall go take a shower... *creeps into bathroom*