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Old November 23rd, 2010, 09:19 AM
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EmeraldSky
Make the Colors in the Sky!
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: At the arcade, playing DDR with Ash
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Episode 9: Visions of a Memory

[BGM: In the Catacombs]


The Lady's light will show you the way... Ash had been pondering the riddle before the three doors for some time now. I still think it means that if we go through the right door, part of the star will light up...but how do we know it's the right door?

He sighed as he listened to the thuds of Dawn's shoes meld with the rhythmic jig Brock was playing on his harp to pass the time. The star has to be part of it somehow...

Then it dawned on him--what if the riddle had something to do with the doors instead of the star marking?

He got up, walked over to the doors, and bent down to examine the tiny gap between the door and the entrance. "I think I've got it!!!!"

"Got what?" Dawn asked.

"The riddle..." Ash motioned for Dawn to join him by the doors. "The first and third door have no light, so we'd just be looping back forever--the correct way likely has a torch inside, creating the light you see in the crack!"

"Very good, Ash..." Brock smiled as he put his instrument away. "Now you know what I mean when I said that things aren't always what they seem."

"And what I meant when I said that not every puzzle has an obvious answer." Dawn agreed as she led the way through the lit door.

After winding through the maze of doors, the group came upon an ornate fountain depicting a long haired girl in a flower and vine print dress that appeared to pour out water. A small sliver of sunlight from above made the sun shaped jewel in a circlet adorning the girl's head sparkle, projecting several tiny suns on the catacomb's earthen walls.

"Our Lady Anima..." Brock gasped as he knelt before the fountain in awe.

"There are fountains and statues of Anima here to reward those that survive the catacomb's many traps." Dawn explained as she drew some water from the fountain. "The water is free for all to drink." With that, she offered the bottle to Ash, who happily gulped the contents down.

"So how exactly can you see visions of Anima?" Ash asked as he wiped his mouth. "Do you have to ask Anima to appear or does it happen with no warning?"

"It depends--sometimes, She appears when I have not called to Her, and sometimes, I have to ask." Dawn replied. "Was there something you wanted to ask Her?"

[BGM: It Is I, Anima]

"Not at the moment, I was just curious!" Ash assured Dawn, but gasped when he felt a soft breeze rippling his cloak, never mind that he was inside a building. "What's happening?" he gasped, but found himself kneeling in awe as the breeze began to take the shape of the girl in the fountain!

"My lady..." Dawn gasped at the long brown haired girl before her. "Why do you appear to us now, when we are already searching for that which defiles the catacombs?"

"I came to tell you about something deeply toubling in Sindura, to the south." Anima replied, her voice calm and melodic. "One of Kione's minions is there, claiming to be one of my children...he has swayed many to his side by a lie." Another wind gust gently rippled Anima's pale blue dress for a moment. "When you have reclaimed the catacombs from the darkness, I want you to travel there and guide the people of Sindura back to the light--Kione must not gain a foothold in this realm! If that happens, my children, you may not have a chance at unleashing the song of many colors."

"Where you lead, my Lady, so shall we follow." Ash replied, his voice trembling a little.

"But how do we show the people that this prophet is a lie?" Brock wondered. "I do not possess a cleric's skill..."

"Ah, but you do have a wandering eye, Sir Brock...use that to drive out the darkness." With that, Anima faded away in a rush of wind. A wry smile appeared around Brock's face as he took his harp and began playing a brief hymn of thanks for the vision.

[Cut BGM]

"I think he knows what Anima meant by Her last words to us before Her return to the heavens." Dawn smiled.

[BGM: In the Catacombs]

"Is Marista's tomb protected by--"Ash started as a growl got his attention in the next room. He whirled around and saw a giant purple mouse creature staring back at him, blocking passage into another hall of rememberance. "I guess that answers my question..."

"Giant Rattatas are child's play--you can engage in close quarters, but its better to use a ranged attack, just in case the giant Rattata is protected from melee combat." Dawn replied before firing an arrow in the Rattata's stomach.

"Do you need me to help at all?" Brock asked.

"Not at the moment, but thanks!" Ash replied as he formed a ball of blue energy in his hands. "Drifting breeze, come down with fury! Blizzard!"

"That's a clever idea to get rid of giant Ratattas..." Dawn mused as the giant Ratatta quickly succumbed to the swirling ice and snow surrounding it.

"Before we got a new wing for apprentices to study at the lodge, my mentor told me that was the fastest way to take down giant Ratattas." Ash explained. "They would roam the halls at least once a week, and we were all called in to drive it off."

"Judging from what you have told me about Milina, she sounds like a nice person." Brock smiled before dashing over to one particular tomb in the hall that read "LAIRE" After wiping away some dust obscuring the first name on the tombstone, he smiled--this was Marista's tomb.

Ash walked over to the tomb in the corner, where Brock was silently whispering a prayer of rememberance about his mentor, and knelt down before the tomb in respect. Although he had never known Marista Laire in life, he felt compelled to support the one she had mentored in his quest for the ultimate Song Magic--a quest she never got the chance to go on.

Some tense minutes passed before Brock spoke again. "Ash, the ring..."

"Here..." Ash handed the ring to Brock and watched as Brock gently laid it among the flowers that had apparently just been laid on the tomb.

"You will live on in my heart, Marista, and I will keep my promise to unleash Rainbow Symphony for your sake." Brock mused before finally getting up. "My task here is completed, and I am ready to move on."

"Let's go..." With that, Dawn lead the way out of the hall and down another curving hallway.

"Do the catacombs have any treasure?" Ash wondered as he studied the many torches lining the hallway.

"We keep a few items here, but only one can be used by other travelers--the Codex of Runes." Dawn explained. "If anyone skilled in magic reads it, they will learn a new spell or two."

"Even Song Magic?" Brock was piqued. "I remember Marista saying she learned a spell from reading the Codex once..."

"Even those that sing magic can learn a new spell song--Dawn started before a low moan got her attention. "Oh no...not zombies..."

Ash looked around him and saw what looked like sickly gray-green humanoid creatures that were not quite living, and not quite dead lumbering them from both directions. "What do we do now?" he asked, trying his hardest not to scream at the approaching zombies. If he did, that would spur them to attack. Zombies are more likely to attack when they know the living are afraid. he reminded himself.

"If we don't do something, we'll be trapped!" Brock shuddered in agreement--zombies were coming from both directions of the hall, leaving the group with nowhere to run...

To Be Continued...
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