Still not getting many reviews =/ Come on people, pretty please?
The only one I got was about the length of the last chapter. I'm sorry, I forgot the name of the commenter, but this chapter is a good 3000 words less than before. I really can't wait to get more into the story.
Disclaimer: I do not own le Digimon nor le Final Fantasy.
The light sound of footsteps was enough to wake Hikari from her sleep. The sun was up, and it was her first real day in this world. She had hoped the events that passed were only a nightmare that she would now wake up to, she was still their, sitting by an extinguished campfire, next to the group of people that she was lucky enough to run into in Evil Forest, especially considering it brought her to one of her friends. As she stirred from her own slumber, her hand touched at the digi-gear bow, the one Tailmon had become. It was a little saddening to see her like that, after all they'd been through.
She shifted her attention to the princess that they had rescued, as she stood before the petrified forest. Hikari walked over, next to the girl, who seemed to be heavily focusing from her hands, much like the boy, Vivi had done to cast his magic.
"It's no use..." she muttered, looking down sorrowfully.
She looked over to Hikari, a little surprised.
"You are Miss Hikari, are you not?" she nodded, "Steiner explained to me your ordeal. I apologize for your experience. You are not hurt from your fall?"
"Luckily no. I was a little sore at first, but I'm feeling better, thanks." she decided to change the subject, "What were you trying to do?"
"I know of some White Magic, the healing arts. I was hoping I could undo the petrification, though I've never had to practice undoing stone. I regret to say I've had no success."
"It's probably better that way." the girls turned around to see Zidane standing their. "Evil Forest is better left petrified." he sounded upset when saying it, but he also couldn't deny it either.
"But your companion- "
"Blank." he answered, "I know, but I doubt he'd want to be revived if it meant the revival of this forest also." The princess bit her lip, not knowing what to say. "Garnet?"
"Where were you planning to go after we kidnapped you?"
"To Lindblum. Would you be able to take me there?"
"If that's where you want to go, then that's where we'll go. What about you and Koushirou?" this time directing his question to the Chosen Child of Light.
"Well, we're trying to find out friends, wherever they've gone. I'm fine with going to Lindblum."
"Perfect. Well then, let's get going. We've got a lot of ground to cover."
"You know where to go?" asked the princess.
"Blank pushed me out of the way of one of the spiders. Before he was petrified, he toss this for me to catch." Zidane revealed a map of the continent, which he briefly unscrolled.
After scrolling the map back up, they walked back to the camp site. Vivi and Koushirou had just woken up, now stretching; Steiner was snoozing, having been awake all through the night. Hikari retrieved her bow, which folded up allowing her to strap it to her belt.
"We ready to go?" Koushirou asked.
"W-we head to South Gate." Steiner spoke, trying to wake.
"We can't go through South Gate." Zidane responded, apparently a statement shocking enough to fully awaken the knight.
"Yeah, South Gate's closed. We won't be able to cross through for a while."
"How do you expect us to get above the mist! You! This is your fault!" he spoke, getting in Zidane's face.
"How could it be my fault! And relax, there's another way to get above the mist. Ice Cavern."
"You expect the princess to traverse a dangerous, unknown location such as that!"
"Aldebert Steiner!" Garnet scolded. He looked at her like a sad puppy. "If it is the only way to the top of the mist, than that is the path we shall take."
You could tell he wanted to protest, but that he also knew he was wrong, as there was no other way up the mountains with South Gate closed.
"If it helps, Rusty. The easiest way to find Ice Cavern is to follow the mountains. If we do that we should pass South Gate, and if I'm wrong, and it's not closed, than we'll pass that way."
He huffed, and moved forward, with everyone else right behind. The fields wide and open, though it was hard to see through the dense mist surrounding the area. It was rather curious how the others had talked about this mist, both Chosen Children thought so. Steiner fell back to the rear of the group, to watch for monsters and to keep his eye on the blond thief who led the group as they hugged the mountain range.
With Hikari and Garnet...
"So what are your friends like?" asked the princess.
"Well, the first is actually my brother, Taichi. He's got a head of really messy, brown hair. You couldn't miss him in a crowd. The other is less loud, Takeru, he really a sweet guy. He's blond, like Zidane, but almost always wears a hat."
"You say he is sweet. Would he happen to be your..."
"No, it's nothing like that." she sighed, "Seriously, I don't know why everyone thinks we're together."
"Seriously..?" muttered the princess.
"Let's change the subject." Hikari blurted. "What's this about you wanting to be kidnapped?"
"Well, if you must know. I want to speak with my uncle."
"Your uncle lives in Lindblum? If you're royalty, than he is as well?"
"Yes, my uncle, Cid, is the Reagent of Lindblum. I wanted to see him and discuss..." her eyes looked distant, "family matters. Rather personal actually, I am sure you understand."
"I see. Steiner seems to think we're taking you to Alexandria. I'm assuming that's where you guys came from before you crash landed in Evil Forest."
"Correct. Steiner is a tad protective I suppose. I shan't discuss my ordeal with him. But I just hope Zidane is able to take us to Lindblum without a struggle from him. I must apologize to Steiner after, but I cannot do this with him trying to return me to Alexandria."
"Zidane seems sly enough to solve your problem."
"Yes, he is a thief after all." she said with a bit of distaste in her tone, "though he is quite the actor."
With Koushirou and Vivi...
"This valley seems really nice. It's too bad all this mist is blocking so much sunlight. And it makes the plains look almost like a cemetery."
"Yeah, the mist is very dense below the mountains. That's why monsters are much more dangerous here. Not many people come down here for anything. There aren't any towns or cities."
"You know a lot about the geography here. Have you been down here before?"
"No, but I read books about the mist, and my grandpa was the one that taught me about mist, and how it spawns the monsters. He said that almost all the towns and cities on our continent are on the plateaus because it's harder to keep the people safe in a place with a lot of mist. Besides, I doubt a lot of people would want to live where it's always misty."
So... that's what the mist does... It spawns monsters. But how? And why? What is this "mist"? Maybe our being here has something to do with this. Perhaps those Evil Digimon want the mist somehow.
"What are you thinking about?"
"Oh, sorry, Vivi. I was just thinking about the mist and the monsters. I find them rather strange you see, I can't help but get curious. One of my bad habits you might say."
"Mist is pretty strange, but it's what powers airships too, remember?"
"Y-yeah..." So it's what enables those large ships to fly as well... fascinating... "Funny how something like the Mist really carves the world's society."
"I didn't think of it like that. You're really smart Koushirou."
"Thanks, Vivi. You are too."
"May I present to everyone," Zidane spoke up, "South Gate."
The massive, mechanical gate was sealed shut, just as Zidane had said earlier. Smoke was rising off in the distance, with flags waving into the misty air. Faint sounds of clashing swords and metal was echoing from beyond the walls.
"A battle?" wondered the princess, "And those are Alexandrian flags."
"What in the world is going on!" Steiner demanded.
"Quit it, Rusty. Isn't it obvious?"
The knight glared at Zidane, "If you think you can bad mouth the Queen-"
"Steiner, please..." Garnet spoke, asking for him to stop, "I know what is happening. We must hurry out of this valley."
She walked off, without time for anyone to respond. Zidane muttered a "Yes, Ma'm," in a bit of a surprised tone, and the group wondered from South Gate, continuing to hug the mountain edge.
The walk towards Ice Cavern was a bit more dangerous, as the group was attacked a couple times, first by Mus, dark-furred rodents with surprisingly sharp claws, as Koushirou noticed when one lunged at him. It was by reflex that he punched with his glove and electrocuted the vicious squirrel and kept his face intact. Zidane effortlessly slashed through two, and Steiner had no problems cleaving the last in half with his large sword.
The pythons were a bit more surprising, surrounding the group and attacking from all sides. Vivi defended himself with spells of thunder, that crashed down onto a few snakes all at once, frying them. Zidane took care of one, and Hikari shot through another, but was bitten by the last, in which Steiner dealt with cold steel. The bite was somewhat painful, but with the Princess Garnet's magical aid, the poison was quickly cured and the wound was reduced to nothing.
It was then that the group reached the opening to Ice Cavern. The inside was full of a deep blue and white, with cold mist pouring out like an air conditioning unit.
"So this is Ice Cavern." Garnet said, walking in.
"Princess wait for me! You need your royal escort." she ignored the knight and knelt before a strange flower.
"It's absolutely beautiful! Better than anything I've read in books."
"Don't touch anything! You don't know what it is!"
"The wind that blows through at the top of the cavern channels all the way down here, creating snow and ice. That's what my grandpa told me."
"Bravo, Master Vivi! Your Grandfather must be quite the scholar."
"He died." no one said a word, "Don't worry, I'm not upset."
"Well," Zidane spoke, breaking the quiet, "It's definitely colder than I thought it would be." while no one noticed, the blond gathered some snow into his hand and balled it up, before lightly tossing it at the perplexed princess.
"You scoundrel!" Steiner shouted.
"What on Gaia was that for!" she said, placing her fists on her hips.
"Relax, it was a snowball. You've never played in the snow before?"
"No, why? Is this what common people do! Throw snow at one another?" she spoke angrily.
Koushirou giggled, which got everyone's attention. "It's called a snowball fight. It's supposed to be fun."
"Yeah," Hikari joined in, "Like this..." she hurled a snowball at Zidane, and hit him in on the side of his head.
"Hey! You didn't have to hit me in my ear!"
"Well you stuck me on the back of my head!" Garnet proclaimed, balling up her own snowball and smacking him in the face with it.
"Ouch! Now you're just being spiteful!"
"Well that's what you get for-ahh!" Garnet got hit with another snowball, though only on her arm. "You too, Vivi!"
The boy laughed before getting hit in the shoulder from Koushirou, who felt a tap on his shoulder from Hikari, who then slammed a pile of snow in his face when he turned his head. Hikari was then hit from the side by none other than Garnet, who's upset face now had an uncharacteristic grin.
"That's the spirit, Princess now you're-" Zidane was hit in the face with a snowball from Vivi before he could finish.
The little mage was now laughing hysterically, really enjoying himself.
"Princess, while I can see you are having fun. I must interject that this is a dangerous place and our main priority should be reaching the top of this cavern!"
"Alright, Steiner, I understand. You are right."
"Thank you," he turned to Garnet, "I am glad to hear-" she threw a snowball at his face.
Steiner became silent as the rest of the group laughed joyously. For the next few minutes or so, their laughing continued as they walked up the slopes inside the cavern, with only Steiner staying silent, as he led them through the passages. Mist blew like ice, and everyone was shivering; Steiner maintained his momentum, though held his arms close to his body and bit his lip to endure the cold, but the farther they progressed, the colder it got. There was a path of ice across a large gap from the group that had numerous blue creatures with large tusks walking in the opposite direction.
"Monsters?" Koushirou asked.
"There's so many of them." Garnet added.
"Wyerds." Vivi answered, "Now I remember. Grandpa said Wyerds mainly live in the cavern. The mist starts at the top, and blows aaalllll the way down to the bottom where we came in. These monsters are born from the wind at the top of the cavern, and follow the blowing mist all the way to the bottom where they die. That's all they do in their life, travel from one end of the cavern to the other."
"How tragic..." Garnet spoke, sounding rather solemn.
"They're just monsters." Zidane tried to add.
"I suppose... It just sounds very sad to spend your life following the wind, only to die when you reach the end."
"Princess..." Steiner muttered.
"Let us carry on. We need to get out of here, do we not?"
She pressed forward, quietly, the others not far behind. The mist was only getting colder the father they traveled, and the slippery ice roads started becoming a problem, especially when Steiner slipped and slid across the walkway. At the end of the icy roads came a long, open tunnel where the blowing mist was the strongest of the entire cavern. Everyone was shivering, rubbing their arms for warmth, but the cold was so strong. Vivi was breathing onto his gloved hands, trying to get a little extra warmth; before he realized he he walked off a ledge and fell unconscious into the snow.
"Vivi?" Koushirou asked.
"Master Vivi, we must hurry out of this cavern. You can rest later!" Steiner called, looking over the ledge.
As he turned around, his eyes grew tired, and he fell backwards off the edge as well. He was out cold.
"Oh Rusty... Now's no time to sleep!" Zidane leapt off the edge, and tried to wake the sleeping knight and mage.
Hikari knelt over the edge to make sure the were alright as well, but despite the thief kicking at Steiner's armor, there was no response except for snoring. "Oh dear. There's no way we'll be able to carry him out of there. If it were just Vivi it would be no problem. What should we do?" she turned to the others behind her, only to find they had fallen asleep as well.
"Not you guys too!" Zidane shouted as he climbed out of the ditch.
"I... I think I'm..." Hikari couldn't finish before falling asleep herself.
"No! Crap... Now I'm feeling..." and with that, everyone had fallen asleep...
"Hikari!" it was Tailmon calling. "Hikari, wake up!"
"Hikari, you can't let this beat you!" she shook her partner as hard as she could, "Please, wake up!"
Tailmon's voice continued to echo in the back of Hikari's mind.
"Tail...mon?" Hikari's vision came back to her, and she could see the snow she'd been laying on, but for how long? Her body felt cold from the snow and the wind, but that coldness seemed to be so numb now.
"Hikari?" It was Zidane calling her.
They were the only two standing up, the others remained knocked out. With the wind blowing so cold, Hikari wondered how they couldn't feel it.
"What is that noise?" Zidane asked.
"Sounds like... a bell?"
"It's coming from that direction." she said, pointing farther up the cavern.
Just past the tunnel where the rest of the group remained asleep, as a large, frozen waterfall with mist pouring out as cold as it would get. Standing above the ice was a hunched over mage with blue wings extending from his back.
"Why didn't you fall asleep?" his voice was somewhat raspy yet relaxing, almost wanted them to fall back asleep. "You both should be dead by now."
"So you're the one who's making this storm and making us fall asleep!" Hikari spoke.
"Hmph... Ice Giant, Sea lion! Come before me!"
Out of the frozen waterfall burst what was certainly a large sea lion, being almost the size of the waterfall. It had massive wings bladed with ice and very sharp tusks reaching down its chest. Almost immediately, it swung its wings, flinging magic in the form of ice shards at the two, who both instinctively leapt out of the way just in time.
"Why are you attacking us!" Hikari tried to yell, but the mage gave no response.
Zidane unsheathed his daggers and charged up to the sea lion, swiping at the body and cutting out chucks of it. The body seemed to be made completely of ice, a golem? Hikari readied her bow and shot through one of the blades of the wing, causing more harm, though the ice soon seemed to regenerate itself. Both kept trying to attack, but every time they cut off a piece of ice, it just grew back. The tides turned when it started casting blizzard magic at Zidane and Hikari angrily. Icicles were flying all over, and dodging them was becoming a burden, Hikari even felt her arm or leg get grazed by the ice several times.
"Why isn't it affected by out attacks!" Zidane shouted in frustration.
There had to be something regenerating this monster's ice. The Chosen Child of Light looked around for the mage. Why wasn't he attacking? He stayed high above the frozen pathway up the cavern, far out of their reach, but she could see his face clear enough, and he had the same look of concentration that Vivi had when he was casting spells.
"Of course! Zidane! That man is using ice magic to repair the monster whenever we hurt it! I have an idea, distract the sea lion!"
"Whatever you say... Hey ugly!"
Zidane threw a dagger towards the sea lion's head, the dagger going through the forehead of the monster, though it remained unfazed due to the mage's blizzard spells. Hikari was given enough time to fire an arrow at the mage himself, piercing through his chest.
"Urgh! Sea... Lion... Kill the... for me..." without the constant casting of ice magic, the wind stopped blowing, and the mage fell forward and crashed threw the ice lake below, taking the sea lion down into the water as well.
As it cried out, water burst from the frozen lake, and flew at Hikari and Zidane in an unavoidable wave of cold. Just like that they were both washed into the frozen whirlpool flying around the waterfall room.
Hikari... Tailmon's voice echoed in her mind.
I have to...
"Aahhhhhh!" Hikari's body encased in light. Her clothes turned to a light shade of yellow, and her body turned into a light pink. This feeling, it wasn't Tailmon's power, instead it felt like Angewomon's. She stopped in the torrent of ice water, readying her bow, and an arrow formed, stronger than anything she'd used thus far. She fired that arrow, and it pierced right though the sea lion as it cried out. The icy water crashed down, back into the lake as the ice monster's body crumbled into chunks of ice now splashing into the water below. Hikari hovered down with Zidane in her arms, his consciousness returning. When she touched down, the light of her body faded, revealing the same Hikari as before.
"So you tranced as well." Zidane spoke, coughing up some water.
"Is that what it's called?" she set him down on his feet.
"Before, when the princess was captured by the plant monster, and we fought it, it grabbed me and started draining my energy. When I thought I was about to die, I did the same thing, and broke free."
"Guys?" it was Koushirou who spoke.
Standing with him were the others as well, now all awake and looking at the two with curiosity.
"What happened here?" asked Garnet.
"Nothing." Zidane answered, before Hikari had a chance to respond. "The storm stopped, and it's gotten a little warmer.
"Nothing? Zidane you're drenched. Please tell me you did not try to take a bath in that lake?"
"I just fell in is all."
"Zidane! You could get very sick from that!" Koushirou scolded, "Vivi, can you use some magic to warm him up?"
"I'll try." the mage walked up to a protesting Zidane, but nevertheless, he started using his fire magic to warm and dry the blond at least a little.
Hikari didn't say anything, as she assumed Zidane figured it would be best not to worry the others now that he was dealt with. Steiner ushered them to move forward while Vivi warmed up Zidane, as to get out of the cold cavern once and for all. At the very top was a cliff overlooking the fields below. For the first time in hours, they had seen sunlight, at it was refreshingly warm.
"Ah, it is marvelous to be out in the sunshine again." spoke the princess.
"Look down there," Hikari pointed, "looks like a town."
"Ah, that must be Dali." Zidane answered. "It's a small farming town. Pretty cozy place. Maybe we should head there for the night. It wont be much longer before the sun goes down, and it will take a while to walk that far."
"I never imagined climbing that cavern would take us so long. Perhaps it is best to rest there for the evening."
"I agree, we should go as soon as possible. Last thing I want it to be out and about with the monsters at night." Koushirou spoke.
Before the group could walk down the cliff, Zidane stopped everyone, "Wait! Princess, you can't just waltz right into town. People are looking for you, and we're still in Alexandrian territory. What you need is an alias."
"You heathen! How dare you propose such a thing!" Steiner spoke, pushing Zidane and causing him to drop his weapon, of which Garnet picked up.
"Steiner, Zidane is right. I should change my name while we are in town. We do not want to draw unwanted attention, no?" Steiner pouted, but said nothing, "Zidane, what is this called?"
"That? It's called a Dagger. Longer swords are called short swords which are easy to use, and even bigger than that are broadswords like Rusty-"
"That is enough." he hung his head in shame, "From this point on you shall address me as 'Dagger' if you please."
The Chosen Children looked at one another in a bit of confusion.
"Ah... Sure! It's a great name." Zidane answered, lying a bit.
"Princess! You cannot be serious!"
"Of course I am serious, Steiner."
"Well, next we should work on how you speak. No offense, but you talk to formally, it's a dead giveaway."
"I think I understand."
"That's all wrong! You should just say, 'I get it'."
"I get it? I get it."
"Princess, please!" Steiner complained.
Dagger looked to Hikari, who gave a questionable look. "Steiner, seriously!"
The boys, excluding Steiner, all stifled a laugh, whereas the Knight hung his head in defeat.
"Alrighty everyone!" she tried, "Shall we... er... let's mozy!"
"Mozy?" Zidane asked, "Dagger... where did you learn that word?"
"I read it in a book."
"Well we'll work on that..."
The group laughed again, much to Dagger's chagrin, but they carried on down the cliff before they wasted anymore time. The travel to the small village of Dali was much more peaceful and cheerful. With the mist much less dense on top of the mountains, there were no monsters in sight. Some roamed around, but there were much fewer than at the bottom where mus and pythons wondered. And with a less dense mist to see through, the sunlight made the atmosphere feel more like day. Dagger began practicing her common speech right away with Hikari.
"So instead of 'I apologize,' just 'sorry' is alright?"
"And 'Exactly' means that something is correct. I think I... I get it."
By the time the group came within the town limits, the sun had already set, and the sky was dark. Zidane let the group to a small building labeled "Inn" Inside was another customer, surprising to everyone. He had a shaggy bush of brown hair and was on his knees, begging the innkeeper.
"Please, I don't have money, but I really need a place to stay!"
Till Next Time...
Woo! Another Chapter finished. Who likes the background info added about the Wyerds? In-game... if you walk into blowing mist, you trigger a fight the the Wyerds who attack you and say things like "The wind lays my path!" and "Get out of my way!" which is kind of strange for monsters to be talking, but they do. I'm surprised Square didn't provide some information about them in the game itself, maybe why they follow the wind the way they do.
This chapter isn't as big as the last, thank goodness. So now we may have found another Chosen Child! But what's he doing in Dali? And what lies to come?
Next chapter, "Active Time Events!" if you remember those. I'll explain more next chapter.
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