022 Those Who Watch the Sky - 22

22 – Children Wandering Under the Sky 6

“Melody, what are you talking about?”

Elliot could not keep the panic out of his voice as he tried to comprehend what Melody was saying. It was little surprise however as behind him a pyre of black flame raged violently and unapproachably where Link should have been kneeling down next to water. Melody was just as anxious as Elliot though and was hopping from one foot to the other with a confused and anxious expression on her face as she too tried to wrestle with how to say what she was saying.

“I don’t know how to better explain it Elliot. But really, the wind is singing and saying that the water says that Link is okay.”

“How can she be okay You see her don’t you Melody

“Not really…”

Looking crestfallen Melody could not confirm that she could see Link through the raging black inferno and Elliot’s reaction to her words were not favorable. His face became one of utmost horror at the prospect that Link could possibly be gone and Melody decided to believe the song in the wind to battle that possibility.

“…but, I’m going to believe the wind! I know it doesn’t make sense but how much really has? We’ve got to believe Elliot ~ And the wind says that the water says Link is fine so I’m going to ~ Though I am worried about what it means by be ready…”

“Be ready? Be ready for what?”

“I don’t know. But the wind is saying that the white one has woken and that Link may not be enough to kill it on her own…”

“That white one…?”

Looking back over his shoulder at the mass of black flames that marked where Link should have been Elliot could not make any sense of Melody’s words.

“What exactly is happening Link?”

Deep inside the liquid walled cave within Ambrosia, Link had no way of answering Elliot’s question or even knowing that he asked it. Had he known that she was shamelessly enjoying herself however he might have scolded her, but as she was alone save the finger length mermaid version of herself keeping her company she was free to relish in childish glee.

The Ambrosial cavern was a world of wonder teeming with life that all took its form from the river from which Link entered it from. Unlike the fish that swam through the river of the physical world though those within the cavern tunnels were colorful beyond compare darting in and out of river grasses and battling with crabs along the floor for seemingly no reason at all. Not all of the life present within the Ambrosial cavern was so docile however as more of the jellyfish monsters awaited Link as well as monstrous crabs and electricity crackling snakes that swam through the air. The snakes were of particular note to Link as they converted the water aspect of the Nectar into an electrical aspect and grew more numerous as she followed her mermaid self.

For as troublesome as the monsters were however slaying them was cathartic to Link who was smiling like an idiot as she knew she protected the other mermaids that inhabited the caverns. She was having so much fun that she had taken to skipping and dancing as she loosed arrow after arrow from her bow of Nectar willing it into a sword when needed.

“Confused we are ~♪ Killing should not be so joyous as exploring, yet grateful we are as well ~♪ The monsters die and the others are made safe while we see sights most beautiful and new ~♪”

 “It’s not that the killing itself is fun, it’s partaking in an adventure and seeing things that I’ve never seen before. Killing monsters and protecting my client is just part of that and I probably shouldn’t enjoy it so much… but it’s part of the dream I’ve always had–.”

Thinking on her dream to be an adventurer a slight melancholy descended upon Link and she came to a stop.

“I wish I could have brought Elliot and Melody along though. They would have enjoyed this just as much as me… I hope I’m not causing them too much worry being down here without them…”

“I’m sure that our companions are fine ~♪ Though the plan we’ve devised may put them in danger from the white one ~♪”

“Hm? What plan?”

Tilting her head in confusion Link looked upon the smaller her as she questioned it.

“It is too early to discuss the plan ~♪ First we must proceed to where water becomes tingly and then face the white one ~♪ We have surprised ourselves already so maybe the plan will not be necessary ~♪”

“Well if you insist. Though now I’m wondering what you mean by the water becoming tingly.”

“It is just ahead and soon ~♪ There is no need to explain as we will experience it shortly ~♪”

“If you say so…”

Though Link was unsure she had no reason to doubt her mermaid double. She had followed it this far already and if she were to save the other mermaids from the beast that frightened them so she would need to continue to do so.

[Maybe I’m just too mature for my own good… It’s almost like talking with Melody. I know she’s smart as can be but she keeps everything so simple and has a difficult time expressing her thoughts in her world view. I wonder though if I could enjoy life even more if I simplified myself like that. The mermaids did say something about this one being them in me and me in them so if she’s me maybe I can be that childish and free…]

As she mused over her own nature Link relaxed and place her hands on the back of her head as she continued following her tiny counterpart. It was dangerous with the presence of monsters to relax so much but she trusted her instincts to keep her ready though they did little to prepare her for the change in the cavern. In fact the word cavern could no longer be used to describe the tunnels she ventured through.

Before Link the liquid walled tunnels of the cavern suddenly took the form of sharp manmade shapes of smooth efficiency that seemed to control the flow of the Nectar around her. The new manmade-like very narrow and low ceilinged tunnels also scattered in countless directions though their structure was painstakingly organized. The visual effect was not all however that Link noticed and she flinched as she felt a charge come to the Nectar around her.

“I guess this is where things get tingly…”

“Most tingly ~♪ It will be most uncomfortable proceeding this way, but better this way than past the white one’s lairs ~♪ We will reach it regardless but it is better to go this way first in case our plan is needed ~♪”

“That’s not really reassuring…”

“It will be once we see the tool of our plan ~♪ Hopefully we won’t need it and it will just be a fun novelty to see ~♪”

“Now you have me wanting to see it.”

“We are ever so curious ~♪”

“Well that’s part of what makes adventuring so fun.”

Link pouted as she felt that her mermaid double was making fun of her. It did not seem like she would any argument with it though as its thoughts were still its own even though it seemed as though a great deal of her thoughts had become privy to the spirit.

“Hopefully then there will be joy to be had in vanquishing the white one ~♪ But we must hurry if we are taking this path ~♪ Should the white one leave it’s lair before we reach it then it will be troublesome bringing it back should we need our plan ~♪”

Tempted as Link was to complain about being left out of the plan that she was supposedly more than just the mermaid’s she didn’t bother. She was too ignorant to the nature of spirits and was at best just playing along as best she could. She understood it well enough as it was though so its need for urgency was anything but lost on her.

Letting it lead on save for where she needed to fend off more of the monsters that awaited them Link and her double proceeded through the unusual tunnels. The unusualness of the tunnels did not last for long however as their cramped and rigid structure started reminding Link of electrical wires and she began to ponder the form of Ambrosia. Her ponderings were soon given answer as they reached the first of their destinations and her mouth fell open in amazement.

“No way! Is that..? Is that a Dolmen

Beyond the liquid walls of the now much smaller tunnels Link could see a mass of Nectar that glowed an earthy gold in the rough shape of a person many times larger than even the largest man. Enamored as she was by the seated form though, her sparkling eyes could not help but notice a ring of swirling script within the center of the hulking mass. Even without recognizing the script she was intimately familiar with it and was not surprised by how small and closed the circle was.

“It has to be. That ring of script is definitely the closing spell for the Artificial Gate. I wonder… can I open it…”

“Don’t! ~♪”

Her hand stopping suddenly from moving to reach out for the golden glow and Link turned her attention to the mermaid her. As Link’s attention became directed at the mermaid it became visibly relieved.

“It is best not to open that Machine Gate ~♪ Opening any Gate of our own will here will surely return us to the world of flesh and then the white one will be free to feast without threat ~♪”

“Eh Really? Then I have to kill it here before I can open even the Artificial Gate for the dam?”

“If we can that would be best ~♪ But if we must return for aid against the white then this tool will be needed ~♪ However, if we must return for aid then we must bring the white one with us ~♪ This Machine Gate is not large enough for that task and we have not yet touched the white one with our desire to bring it back with us ~♪”

“Mmm… Well, now I’m getting nervous. If this thing may need a Dolmen to kill it I wonder if It wouldn’t be better just to pull it out in the first place instead of trying to fight it solo.”

“Regardless we must engage the white one to slay it no matter our approach ~♪”

“Ugh. The more I learn about this monster the more of a pain it sounds like it’s going to be.”

“Then it is likely that there will be no joy in vanquishing it? ~♪”

“Oh no, if it’s as much of a pain as it’s turning out to be it’ll be more than a joy to kill it. Besides, as troublesome as it is there’s a Dolmen here that still has a functioning Artificial Gate Generator and that will make finding and getting to a town that much easier. It’s just a shame I can’t turn it on now, though I guess getting the dam’s generator going and powering up the whole dam will be necessary to even get to it on foot no less to the top of the dam.”

“There is a lot that we desire to do ~♪”

“Sure is. But to do any of it we need to kill the white one first; right?”

“Of course! ~♪”

“That being the case let’s go kill the white one. I may have a lot of desires but there are a lot of things I don’t want either and it looks like killing it will help make sure none of those things happen.”

Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater


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