Part 34: The Truth Comes Out4Yr. 8Mo. 2Wk.
As I hinted at in my last post, Rio and I headed to the Promiass Ruins last weekend.
These ancient stone buildings are surprisingly well preserved. No pit traps or giant rolling boulders, but these spiked floors did force me to take the long way around. (If I'd had Titan with me, I bet I could have flown over them, though.)
Here I was able to observe the mating dance of the Blocken, a ritual shrouded in mystery.
And, of course, I got to loot the ruins for fabulous treasures.
The trip was cut short, though, when we found some ancient writing, which Rio was kind enough to translate...
An Ancient Mural posted:
Daughter of King Tochika, born with a grave sickness. All the King's efforts to save her were to no avail. One day, the Lord of the Phoenixes, Suzaku, appeared before the King. Suzaku imparted his blood to the girl, saving her life. The prophecy states she will unite the souls of all.
I had a feeling I knew the answer, but if she isn't admitting it to herself, it's not my place to tell her.
Strangely enough, though, that wasn't the shocker of the trip. That was waiting when we got back.
Diehl had a tale to tell about events shortly after my victory in Grade B.
I'm not sure I believe him, but...
...if he's telling the truth...
...then I may have made a terrible mistake.
4Yr. 8Mo. 3Wk.
We went further into the ruins last weekend.
There was a chamber on the fifth floor with strange pillars and a sealed door at the far end. As we approached it, we were attacked by...
...the strangest Ducken I've ever seen. It was tough too; it took the whole team working together to put it down. When it finally stopped putting itself back together, the door opened, and we were able to proceed.
Just beyond it was another mural; Rio was able to translate this one as well.
Another Ancient Mural posted:
Human technology created the Dark Ones, and their Lord, who led all living things into the war of all wars. Man and monster--all fell into the hands of the Dark Lord. And thus began the Dark Age.
One day, a young girl and Lord Suzaku appeared. The girl, uniting all living things, led the battle against the Dark Lord. Finally, the Dark Lord fell, and dark turned to light. But Lord Suzaku crumbled, and the girl slept infinitely.
Strange that such a tale wouldn't have survived, even in legend; how bad was the destruction?
4Yr. 8Mo. 4Wk.
Apparently not all of the ancient lore was lost. We happened to hear Mockruji singing a song about Promiass and asked him to share it. Apparently a monster lives in Promiass that's so old, it knows just about everything about the ancient times. We haven't found it yet, but once we've finished reprovisioning and resting from our last two expeditions, we'll have another look...
4Yr. 9Mo. 1Wk.
We found a passage leading into the deepest belly of the ruins.
We'd never have found it if not for experimenting with these objects, which turned out to be giant switches that opened hidden passages.
At the end of a long tunnel, we finally saw... it. A body like a turtle, a nose like an elephant, and legs that seemed to be fused with the columns of the ruins themselves. I don't mind telling you, it was a bit intimidating.
Especially when it addressed us by name. Apparently its store of knowledge includes current events.
Unfortunately, it had some very bad news for us... news that could be summed up in two words.
"Black Arts". That which created the Dark Ones, and the Dark Lord Xevion. That which nearly led to the complete destruction of the world. And that which I've heard of only in one other place: in a forbidden room at Elives.
While I was realizing the true extent to which I might have screwed up, the creature had news for Rio too. The girl who helped Suzaku defeat the Dark Lord? The one who fell into a coma during the battle?
How convenient that her 'father' should happen to operate a shrine. Did he know that all of this would happen, or was he as much a pawn of fate as the rest of us? And what of the voice? It spoke of Rio's vision as a future to avert, but the murals tell it as a tale of the past; will all of this happen again?
Rio's in shock; she can't bring herself to accept the words the creature spoke. But I can. This isn't over.
It's time for the truth to come out.
It's time to confront Wit.