The journey had begun, and the addition of another Gold Tribe member, Hoodhide, made Zane feel all the more confident. He didn't truly know what awaited him in Poseida. The words of the Breloom Kivir still resonated in his ears. He was certain that it was indeed General Belas's handwriting, but pieces of the puzzle were still missing. Zane hoped the end of the journey would reveal the missing pieces. For example, how is it that the Silver Tribe found Liberty Town to begin with? Was it an informant, a spy amongst them? He did not know.
Taking shelter from the heavier rain, the group stopped for a while. Hoodhide would be their guide through the rainforest, but Zane was more concerned about the well-being of the non-Gold Tribe companions as they would make their journey through the wasteland.
Zane took a look around at the resting group. Sword and Shield and Defender rested closely together. General Hazone spoke with the other Alpha Alliance soldiers at a distance. Lucian "Hoodhide" sat closeby, appearing to calculate something in his mind. Kivir was in the middle of reading a book. Speculum lingered around as well. Calamity was out of Zane's sight at the moment. As Hanso, known as Truestriker, sat, Zane noticed he had a slight limp. He probably still had an injury. Zane wished he could help him recover more, to make his brother's journey easier, but they lacked many of the necessaries to provide that aid. There would probably be some medical aid available in bulk at Poseida. Hanso would have to hold on until then. But, he is a Gold Tribe member after all. Zane knew he would be alright.
Zane walked over to Truestriker, giving him a spare Berry he had, extending his arm with a smile. He looked up to see the rain appearing to clear up enough to continue the journey.
"All right, everyone. The rain has subsided. We should move on." Zane said, as he stood up. Zane noticed something interesting as he said this. It seemed as though he had been the one that was giving the bulk of the commands to the others Gold Tribe members, when he never truly was the elected leader. He never thought of himself as much of a leader to begin with. He had led smaller parties on a few missions in the past, but it was under the extended supervision of Adam "Rey" Reed, the true leader of the Gold Tribe. Zane silently wished he was still alive so that he could lead them. He was a true leader. Zane sighed, wondering if someone else among them would be better suited for the job. Even Hazone, who had much experience in the art of war, was better suited. However, for now, he would adapt to the given situation. Perhaps when they reach Poseida, and meet with the other Gold Tribe members, if there really are any, a rightful leader may be chosen.
The group made their way past the extending rainforest, with Hoodhide showing them the fastest way. His knowledge of the trees here helped much. However, another problem arose. The deeper they went through it, the more humid and dense the air got around them. Even the rain didn't calm the intense heat, and only seemed to add on to it. The group had to rest another time deep in the thickets of the rainforest. If it had gotten any more humid, the path may be unreachable.
However, as they walked through for hours on end, the humidity slowly died down, a sign of perhaps the end of the rainforest. True enough, the trees became less and less, until eventually, the light of the intense sun shone through the cracks of trees. Zane exhaled in relief as the group found themselves at the edge of the forest, in front of them a vast sea of pure nothingness.
It was the wasteland, known as the Wastes of Will. Very few would attempt to cross this deserted area, many travelers to Poseida or Eternity City instead choosing a different path that crossed around it for many days. It was a safer path, but not one the Gold Tribe and company had the luxury for. They would have to endure it.
Zane smiled slightly as he recalled something from his days at the Heroes Alliance School. To members of the Gold Tribe who attended H.A.S., the Wastes of Will had a different name: Final Exam. As the final exam for those who wished to become Gold Tribe members, students were deposited right dab in the middle of the Wastes with nothing in their possession, not even food, except a few other students with them. There, they had to remain for two days, until the instructors would pick them up. If they had remain conscious and intact, they had passed the exam. The purpose of this was the bonding of brotherhood the Gold Tribe have with one another, where together, weak and starving in the middle of nowhere, you support your comrades no matter the cost, even your own life. It also tested one's endurance. It was one of the hardest days of Zane's life.
Zane wondered if the others recalled similar memories. A few of them had also attended the H.A.S. as well, he believed, so they were most likely put through the same examination. However, as Zane heard, it was only done in the H.A.S. Other Gold Tribe schools, such as the Gold Tribe Academy (GTA) and the Gold-Alpha Academy (GAA) had different tests.
Hazone noticed the grin on Zane's face. He spoke.
"What is so funny, Vigil?" Hazone asked, curious.
"Oh, nothing, General." He said, as he began walked into the Wastes, the smile still on his face. "Nothing at all."
Scar, Beserker, and Ignitus arrived once more in the throne room of Silver City. Auron sat where he had before, as if the entire time, he had not moved a muscle.Frostbite, The Inferno, and the Deceiver were already there, standing to the side of the room. The three bowed before him. Scar spoke.
"Sire, the, uh, Gold Tribe have rescued the prisoners. General Hazone has escaped."
Auron was silent. He neither spoke nor looked at them. Beserker added something else.
"Because of this, we've been getting reports of all sort of Alpha Alliance movement. Something big might happen soon, Lord Auron."
Again, Auron did not speak. The three Sentinels waited to hear the bidding of Auron, but nothing came. Finally, Beserker spoke up again.
"...Eternity..." Auron finally said.
"...Sire?" Beserker said again, confused.
"...Ignitus, Beserker, Frostbite...go to Eternity City..." Auron said in a low, yet booming voice.
"Err, yes sir." Beserker said, still confused.
"...Deceiver, Inferno, Scar...a matter in Cape City requires your attention...."
Scar bowed and headed away. The Inferno, followed slowly afterwards without a word. The Deciever was not far behind.
As Beserker left with Ignitus and Frostbite closeby, he spoke to them.
"I wonder why Auron is sending us to Eternity. Well, whatever. I'm sure Noxious and Sentry will brief us once we're there anyways...GRR it doesn't make sense!! WHY AREN'T WE PURSUING THE GOLD TRIBE?!!" He yelled.
Beserker sighed and followed Ignitus and Frostbite. From a distance, he saw the other three Sentinels, Scar, Inferno, and Deciever, go the other direction towards Cape City. Beserker spoke again.
"Well, whatever. But this time don't run so fast!"