Chapter 1: Chapter 1-1
*Plot Arc: The Crystal's Will*
*Part 1: Luneth*
I never really understood what Topapa meant when he called me reckless until it nearly killed me. But we'll get to that. First, a little bit of a back-story. A few weeks ago, a massive earthquake shook the entire continent. Our elder, also my adoptive father, Topapa, wrote a letter to the nearby town of Kazus to see how their city had faired. No reply had come back. That had been nearly five days ago. Kazus was only a day's journey, so if information was coming back, they had either gotten really lost, or attacked by the monsters that came with the earthquake. Luckily, the monsters around town were extremely weak, and some of them dropped some pretty useful stuff if you killed them. So I highly doubted that the message had gotten intercepted.
Skip to today. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping. The children were playing. And I was bored out of my mind.
That's not to say nothing interesting happens here. There is a weapon shop where you can test out some of the gear. Since the monsters had arrived, everyone in town had been given a knife to defend themselves, and I was itching to try mine out. So, I did the logical thing: told Topapa I didn't feel good, then snuck out my bedroom window, and, quietly, crept out of town. A few days ago, I had heard Topapa say to my mother that the cave to the north seemed to be holding secrets, so, of course, I had to go check it out.
Standing in the middle of a carnivorous room, I could understand what Topapa had been talking about. I could almost feel the raw energy coming from this place. Whatever secret this place was hding, I was getting less and less sure I wanted to find out what it was. Maybe I should just retreat, I thought to myself. If the Gods don't want me here, send me a sign.
The Gods are obviously fond of practical jokes. Because at that very moment, a loud crunch reverberated through the room. The ground around me started shaking, and I fell to my hands and knees, hoping not to get crushed by falling rocks. Aftershock! I thought to myself, screaming my lungs out. And then, just as suddenly as it had started, all was silent. Bending down, I notices a small crack forming in the ground, slowly growing bigger and bigger. I realized to late that the ground was hollow underneath me.
There was a sickening crunch, and the ground beneath me crumbled, bringing me with it into the dark abyss.
*Plot Arc: The Crystal's Will*
*Part 2: The Wind Crystal*
When I finally regained consciousness, the first thing I noticed was how dark it was. Within seconds, my eyes adapted to this strange darkness, and the realization finally hit me: I was going adventuring, whether I liked it or not.
My hand groped around for a second before it grasped the hilt of my knife, which was miraculously not dented. Getting up was a bit challenging at first, but I had a feeling that if I were to stay there, I wouldn't last that long.
Walking through the spacious cavern, I heard a high-pitched around from behind me. Thinking it was just bats, I continued on my silent procession. Realization dawned too late as a razor sharp knife flew into my left shoulder.
It would have hit my head, if I hadn't had the idea to dive out of the way at the last second. Pulling the knife out my shoulder was excruciating, yet I knew what this was. A goblin blade. Pulling out my other knife, I could see from the corner of my eye that there were three of them, and they had me surrounded.
"Damn," I muttered under my breath. This was answered by more chattering from the beasts. Praying for the best, I grabbed the blade of the goblin's knife and threw it as hard with my remaining arm as I could at the one nearest to me. By the will of the almighty prank-pulling gods, the blade hit its target, ramming itself down to the hilt in the beast's stomach. It stumbled back, groping at its chest, which was spewing blood, before it collapsed to the ground and was still.
There was a long silence as the goblin slowly began disintegrating into dust, as all monsters do when they die. I turned to the other two, grabbing my knife with my good arm. One of the two charged me with his blade out, and I jumped to the side to avoid his strike. I landed on my bad shoulder, which sent a jolt of pain up my arm, but I quickly got up and sliced the goblin across the back. Blood coated my hand, though I couldn't tell if it was mine or the goblins. Not bothering to check if the beast was dead, I spun around on the spot and stabbed the last goblin through the stomach.
As it joined its brethren in the afterlife, I began running in the direction I had been going, knowing I had to get out as soon as possible. Dark spots began buzzing around the outside of my sight, and I had a sinking feeling that if I blacked out, that would be the end of me. I was running so fast I didn't see the chest until I had basically run into it. Praying for some medicine, I opened it, and pulled out a wooden shield and a bottle of a strange blue liquid that seem to be glowing faintly. Uncorking the bottle, I took a tentative sip, and almost immediately regretted it. It burned going down my throat, and my shoulder felt like it had exploded. Strangely, though, the pain in my shoulder faded almost as soon as it had come, and I looked down, expecting the worst. I couldn't believe my eyes. Where there had been a gaping wound, there was now only slightly pink flesh. There were still remnants of blood, but the wound looked infinitely better than it had a minute ago. Spurred on by this development, I continued my trek through the strange cavern.
Not much else interesting had happened in that time. I had gotten my hands on another one of the miracle drinks, a long sword that I instantly preferred over my puny knife, and a small, ornately crafted glass bottle with a pure white liquid inside. When I opened this one, a jet of cold nearly knocked my over, and I had the good sense to replace the top. The strangest thing I located, though, was the wellspring.
I had been running for what felt like days (Topapa later told me I was only gone for a few hours), and I was running out of steam, and fast. I was tempted to pull out the magic voodoo drink, but I didn't want to waste it in case I, you know, had another near-death experience. I stepped forward, ready to pass out, yet again, when my foot landed in something that was most definitely not ground. Looking down, I found I had stepped in a wellspring, which wasn't unusual. What was unusual was the way the wellspring shone. It seemed to shimmer every color of the rainbow, yet when I only glanced it out of the corner of my eye, it looked like plain old water. Taking a handful of it, I gulped it eagerly. It felt like the potion, running through my body and making me feel revitalized. Standing up with a newfound energy, I continued on my journey.
I got to the end, finally, and there was a door awaiting my arrival. Opening it, hoping to find the ending, I instead found myself in a giant room made of stone. There were three platforms, each connected by an unsafe looking rope bridge. I looked down the void that separated the three areas. Pitch black. And at the center of the middle platform, there was the most beautiful crystal I had even seen. I took one step towards it, and the entire room darkened. The shadows all crept along the floor and met in a spot right in front of me. They began warping, bursting, and sloshing like water into a large being of some sort. When the shadows melted off the most terrifying thing I had seen yet today (I would say in my whole life, but walking in on Arc taking a bath was still first.)
It resembled a large turtle, if turtles had spikes coming off their shells and had razor sharp fangs. Not to mention it was as big as my house. Drawing my sword, I said a quick prayer and charged into battle.
Things started going wrong almost instantly. When I charged towards it, the beast moved with surprising agility to intercept me. I barely dodged by changing direction and running to the left. As it ran past me, unable to stop, I tried to slash its shell, hoping for some damage. The sword bounced harmlessly off, throwing me off balance. I stumbled around for a second before regaining my footing. The beast turned quickly, smacking me with its tail. I flew back and nearly fell into the abyss. I grabbed on the edge of the platform by just my fingertips, and pulled myself up just as the turtle was getting ready for another run. Remembering the bridge, and how it looked like it could hardly support me, much less this demon turtle, I began charging wildly towards the abyss. It turned around and started charging me again, only this time I could only hear it catching up on me, instead of watching it with my own eyes. It was hardly an improvement. Remembering the icy liquid, I pulled the glass vial and threw it blindly behind me at the charging beast. At first I was afraid it wouldn't work. Then came the explosion.
When most people hear the word explosion, they think fiery and hot. This was the opposite. A wave of cold air literally picked me up and threw me. The Gods must have felt bad for what they had done, because they had me land on the soft stone of the next platform. I heard something snap in my leg and almost simultaneously felt a jolt of pain up to my shoulder. Then I realized what platform I was on. The one with the crystal. I looked behind me at the demon beast. Or, what was left of it, anyway. When the vial had shattered, it had apparently released several large spikes made of ice, along with the freezing air. The beast had been impaled by several of these, and was hanging a few feet of the ground, supported by the ice spikes that had gone straight through its rock-hard shell. It made no noise. Then, ever so slowly, it began melting, leaving only a pile of dust when it was gone.
Now that that was settled, I could pay attention to how much pain I was in. My leg was most certainly broken, I had several gashes and cuts along my body, among countless bruises. Trying to get up, I immediately fell to the ground, cursing several different beings. The second I finished, my head virtually exploded with pain. I could make out a voice through the splitting headache, but it didn't sound like one voice. It sounded like hundreds of voices, speaking in unison. The effect was mystifying, though also quite disorienting.
You have been chosen. Warrior of light from the land of darkness… you have been chosen as a bringer of hope. Darkness is threatening to engulf the world. When light is lost, the equilibrium will be no more. There are others who share your destiny. Seek them out. Once you find them, I will bestow upon you my last light—our last hope. Now, go!
"What? No, I don't understand! What are you trying to say?"
I didn't get my answer. There was a blinding flash, and for the second time that day, I blacked out.
Told you it would be longer. How to tell who's narrating:
X X= Ingus