Interlude: Lost in a Maze
[BGM: In the Catacombs]
Ash swallowed hard at the twisting and turning corridors before him--the Faithful Maze certainly lived up to its name. "It certainly would take an act of faith to get through here." he mused as he tensely took a step inside the room that appeared to go on forever.
"What do you see?" Brock asked as he too stepped inside the entrance corridor. Dawn followed after him before the door closed behind them.
"I've seen the brief flash of the correct path, but all I managed to remember is we take a left at the first fork." Ash replied before motioning for his friends to follow him down the path.
Dawn sighed when she saw that there were three routes to take after following Ash's direction. "Now where do we go from here?"
"Would Wandering Eye be any help?" Brock wondered as he pondered digging out his harp.
"No--that would only scramble up the maze--the idea is making it out with no outside help to guide you; in essence, by faith." Dawn replied.
"But a few seconds isn't going to be enough to map this place out!" Ash complained. "Unless you have the memory of all the gods and their guardians combined..."
"Well, there is such a Pokemon like that...Alakazam." Brock started.
"But where would we find them?" Ash demanded.
Brock sighed in defeat. "They are only in the possession of archmages, and I'm not sure one would be brave enough to come down here to us."
Ash sighed. Milina, I wish you were here...
"Since we have three choices, and only one is the right way, let's find the correct route the way a scholar would do it--deduction." Dawn suggested. "We'll each take a route through the maze, and see where each leads."
"Mm-hm." Ash nodded.
"Our destination is the Hall of Reflection--the room before the statue of Anima." Dawn continued. "You do know a teleportation song?"
"I do--the Song Magic spell Time Hole." Brock replied. "All I would have to is specify where I wanted to go in the incantation and who to take with me before playing the song. However, it takes more strength the more people you bring with you."
"This doesn't include you?" Ash asked. Brock nodded. "So what is the incantation to Time Hole?"
"Beacon of Anima, guide me to...wherever you need to go." Brock replied. "'Or, Beacon of Anima, guide us' if you have more than one person with you."
Dawn charged a ball of blue-white energy in her hands. "To make our exploring a little less tedious, I'm going to use one of the powers I learned from the Codex." With that, she called "Time's current, place us in your whirlpool...Haste!"
BGM: Haste to the End of this Part!]
Suddenly, Ash felt a blue aura surround him, followed by a sudden burst of speed! This power...I feel like everything's going very fast! He watched as his friends raced past him in a magical blur. But if Dawn sped us up, this will definitely make finding the correct route a little less tedious!
With that, he dashed off down the right route, the twisting and turning passages a mere blur around him. He could feel himself traveling in all directions, even going upside down, but at the same time, he was going too fast to see anything!
He thought he could see his friends racing around him in the same network of twists, turns, loops, and dips, but they were mere blurs to his line of sight! Wherever we end up, I can at least say I harnessed a dragon's speed--if only for a few moments.
Before long, he emerged in a small room just as the Haste magic wore off, breathing heavily all the while. "What a ride!" he wheezed, still giddy from his supersonic exploration.
"I'll say..." Brock heaved.
"It turns out...that all three routes...ended up...in the same place..." Dawn gasped before collapsing on the floor. "But...let us rest before we enter...the hall..."
Brock winced as he heard a vaguely feline yowl pierce the air behind the door. "Good idea--whatever's in the next room doesn't sound friendly at all!"
To Be Continued...