“I Can Hear a Rainbow” (Part V)

Vorithas awoke the following morning with a nudge from the Moogle who watched over his house, and the sunlight streaming in from the window finished the job. His body ached, and fought him every step as he got ready for the day. His mind, however, was already contemplating the day ahead. He hoped in his travels that he would find the final two elements required to unlock the gem he carried with him. After a light breakfast, Vorithas strapped his sword to his belt and shouldered his bags — to which his shoulders protested loudly. He winced slightly, pushing the pain to the back of his mind, and made his way out to meet Seraph.

Seraph was waiting for Vorithas at the Eastgate. This would take them to the east side of Ronfaure and then to Ranguemont Pass. The trip to the entrance took little time, and as they approached the gaping mouth of the cave, Vorithas shivered from the blast of cold air coming from the tunnel. He tried to draw his tunic around him tighter, stepping inside.

Once in, several groups of bats flew by them, disturbed by the loud echoing of their footsteps on the stone. The soft glow of torchlight illuminated the tunnel to their right, and upon following it, they entered a room very much out of place in the stone tunnels. The rough floors and hewn stone walls gave way to cobblestones, great tiles set into the floor. The walls were smooth, cut out of the stone in the caves and six pillars supported the ceiling. Two Elvaan stood at the northern end of the room, one before a dais that held a map and several cube-shaped objects.

Once the two adventurers approached, one of the Elvaan announced herself. “My name is Myffore. If you’d like, I can open this gate for you.” Simultaneously, they turned to look at the great stone door which was tightly shut at the north end of the chamber. Two more torches burned brightly on either side of it. The Elvaan continued, “I can open it for you, but once you’re through, I must close the door and it cannot be reopened.” That isn’t ominous at all, Vorithas thought to himself. The two adventurers shrugged and nodded to the Elvaan, who picked up the cubes and set them into four pegged holes in the dais. Each one glowed with a soft red light as they were set into the surface and, when all four were in, the door grated open slowly, throwing dust from the floor and pebbles from the cracks. Beyond the doorway, the caves were illuminated by an eerie blue light.

One more glace to each other, and they stepped through the door. It fell moments later with a great thud, and Vorithas immediately began casting Sneak on himself, followed by Seraph’s Invisible. Completely hidden, Vorithas laughed and began following Seraph as he led the way. At the first fork they went to the right, entering a room with a stream of water running through the center of it. Several oozes were actively moving through the water and despite being completely hidden, Vorithas took care to cross in a place they were far away from. Once across the stream, they took a left at the next fork and walked past a giant scorpion! Vorithas had never seen a creature so large. He could have walked beneath it, and almost not touch its underbelly. Of course, he didn’t.

He had gotten ahead of Seraph, quickly scurrying past the scorpion — despite the face that it couldn’t find him. When he rounded the right corner to continue the final stretch, he came in contact with a foul-looking creature with a single eye, tiny arms and legs and great wings which kept it aloft. He froze. This must be one of the creatures new to the caves. No wonder the Goblins had been scared off.

Seraph rounded the corner behind him, as seemingly unconcerned for this new creature as he had been the others. The monster gave out an otherworldly screech and charged him. Startled, Seraph barely had enough time to react. He drew his twin blades, and began casting his Blue Magics. Vorithas moved to aid him, but before he could Seraph shouted for him to run. Almost as if he could see the invisible Taru. Seraph was looking badly hurt and Vorithas hesitated for another moment before he turned and began running at full speed. He could hear Seraph’s screams mixed with the otherworldly voice of the creature now inhabiting the tunnels.

As he ran, he nearly crashed into a group of bats hanging on a wall, and tripped, sliding. His previous soreness came roaring back to the front of his mind. He moved slowly, turning himself over and looking down the tunnel. There was no sign of Seraph or the creature as he looked, and he made his way gingerly to his feet, dusting himself off. He whimpered slightly, realizing he was now all alone. The only good part of the whole trip was that he was nearly to Beaucidine, the eerie blue light intensifying at the end of the tunnel. For what felt like an eternity, he stood at the entrance to Beaucidine and debated going back to check on Seraph. He shook his head. As much as he wanted to, his invisibility spell would wear off soon, and he didn’t know the spell to renew it. He would have to press on, as much as it pained him to leave his friend down there. He sighed, and turned to look out into the blizzard developing just outside.

Stepping into the snowdrifts covering the glacier, Vorithas didn’t feel cold or numb, as if something were insulating him. He reached into his pouch and pulled out the gem — which was now bathed in an indigo light. This gift was now all he had of Seraph. If nothing else, he needed to see this through for him. He may not have known the Elvaan for long, but Seraph had been of great help to him. The glow faded, and he placed the gem back in the pouch. Just one more color was needed. Reaching into his bag, he pulled out the scroll he’d purchased earlier and began reading. The scroll would return him to Jeuno. The last vision of Beaucidine as the darkness of Warp enveloped him was the sun cresting over the walls of the glaciers, setting the snow ablaze with light.

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