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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, '13, 5:10 am
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Chapter 8: Dezolis

Freyna whistled at the prince's tale. "Prince, I'm sure that you already understand this, but those magicians shouldn't be taken lightly. You're blessed to have survived that ordeal. Maybe after you visit with your mother we can request an audience with Lutz."

"Lutz?"

The android nodded. "Lutz is the leader of the Espers. He has over four thousand years of knowledge of the Algol star system and has always been able to find a solution to Algol's problems."

Searren noted, "It's amazing that a human being can live that long. Even cyborgs and androids struggle to function well for such an extended period of time."

"The Camineet Project isn't really an Algol-wide problem, though," Quincy added.

Freyna shook her head violently. "Oh, no, no, prince! This is very much an Algol-wide problem! History has proven that magicians and stone people are a precursor to a battle against the dark force!" At that, the prince's eyes widened. "Not only that," the android finished, "but it has often taken the form of mysterious cult. I'm sure that what you stumbled on yesterday should be presented to Lutz."

The three sat in silence, processing the words that were just spoken. The environment outside of the spaceship Landeel changed from the black of space to the near blinding white of snow. Freyna broke the silence by muttering, "What I don't understand is what's behind these occurrences since the Profound Darkness is gone..." She looked outside and her face lit up as she said, "We're here, gentlemen."

Searren and Quincy rose and followed Freyna into the spaceport. After a few seconds of breaking in his new clothes, the prince grinned widely and rushed outside in the snow. His feet sank deep into the slush almost immediately and he tumbled, laughing loudly. His voice echoed through the mountains.

"This is great!!!!" he exclaimed as he regained his footing, "I've never seen so much snow in my life!!!"

"Prince, you turned down numerous opportunities to visit Frigidia," the black cyborg responded as he caught up to the frolicking prince.

"Yeah, I'm pretty stupid, huh?!" the prince shouted, trying his hardest to distance himself from Searren.

"'Unappreciative' would be the proper word, prince."

Freyna assumed her spot as the leader of the group, then the two followed her to a nearby town. The prince looked around with amazement as Dezolisian penguins and green humanoids passed his field of vision. Eventually, his stomach growled, and reminding himself that he hadn't eaten since before his visit to Camineet, the prince roamed the town until he found a bar.

Much to his disappointment, the bars in Dezolis resembled those in Motabia. The only difference was that there were native Dezolisians instead of native Motabians. As soon as he stepped foot in the bar, the bartender shouted, "Kim, it looks like you got a new victim!"

Confused, the prince scanned the bar to see who Kim was. A younger looking Dezolisian woman looked toward the door and locked eyes with the prince. They held each other's gaze until the bartender yelled at him to shut the door. Embarrassed, the prince walked in, letting the door shut behind him as the people inside laughed at him. He made his way over to Dezolisian woman's table and sat across from her.

"Hello there, stranger," she said shyly. The prince didn't respond immediately as he was busy processing the sight in front of him. Like all native Dezolisians, she had no hair, not even eyebrows. Her blue eyes looked straight into his as she waited for an answer. Her green fingers fidgeted more and more as she grew more and more uncomfortable. She looked nothing like the people on the Alisa III, but there was still something that was appealing to him.

"No answer, huh?" the green woman asked. The prince quickly responded, "I couldn't help but notice that you're bald! That's cool! You're Kim, right?"

The woman shot a confused look at the prince, then looked at the bartender, who was laughing at the exchange. "Wow, Kim, you know how to pick 'em!" the bartender laughed harder. Kim sighed.

"So you are Kim!" Quincy smiled, "What did that guy mean by 'new victim'?"

Kim blushed. "I'm a tour guide. I usually show travelers around Dezolis. At least that 's what I thought he meant. But it sounds more like..." she stood up. "You think this is another boyfriend, don't you?!" Kim shouted to the bartender.

Laughing, the man bellowed, "Well, you're into those pink bellied men, aren't you? You come in every week with a new one on your arm!"

Kim's face turned a deep red. "I told you, I'm done with men!! I'm living on my own now!" With a snort, the Dezolisian plopped herself back in her seat.

Quincy smiled at her and said unashamedly, "Don't worry Kim, I think you're pretty. You'll find someone someday." The woman blushed again and sighed. "Can we just change the subject, now?"



One meal and introduction later, Kim and Quincy left the bar to locate the prince's cyborg companions.

Searren and Freyna were studying a weather prediction as Quincy and his new friend approached them. Freyna smiled, introduced herself to the stranger, then turned to the prince. "I'm afraid that the weather is too rough for us to walk over to Esper Mansion at this point. We might have to wait a few days."

The prince crossed his arms. "I've been through worse. I'm not going to let a few snowflakes stop me."

Freyna furrowed her brows. "Prince, this is not light snowfall. You could be buried within minutes. The weather has been getting worse since we landed here. It reminds me of--"

"Of the time when the dark force took over Garuberk Tower, " Kim finished.

"Exactly," Freyna said, surprised. "How did you know?"

The Dezolisian smiled and knocked on her chest. "I'm a historian. I give tour guides, so I'm responsible for knowing the history of Dezolis. I must say that it's an exciting history, too!" Her face lit up. "Hey, why don't I take you on a tour, and then I can drop you off to wherever you're going?"

Freyna and Searren exchanged glances. "There are some answers to problems that can never be predicted, calculated, or planned, it seems," the black cyborg mused.


*****************************************************************************

The tour guide led them briefly through her tour. In a matter of hours, Searren and Quincy learned about a cave of musk cats, the legend of Garuberk tower, the space pirate Tyler, the Ngangbius temple, the priest Raja who helped defeat the Profound Darkness, and finally the zombies of Reshel.

"About one thousand years ago, a mysterious plague hit the whole planet of Dezolis. Most of the citizens of Reshel perished. The survivors found refuge in the neighboring town, Meese. That wasn't the end of the story, though. Some of the survivors went back to Reshel to retrieve belongings and bury their dead only to find zombies! Many people had nightmares for years, even when the plague was over. Not many understand what happened those few years, but a handful of us know that it was the result of the black energy wave caused by the dark force!" Quincy squirmed at the mention of the dark force and the black energy wave. "But," Kim continued, "that's all in the past now. Reshel rebuilt itself and is thriving today! It comes to show you that no matter what misfortunes occurred in the past, there is always room for redemption and recovery. Please remember that in your lives-- when you face hardships and feel like giving up," The tour guide drove her Dezomoles to the entrance of New Reshel and gestured at the town, "remember this town's story, and keep moving forward with hope and endurance.

"And that concludes our tour!" Kim finished with a smile, as she's practiced numerous times. Searren gave a nod of approval and Quincy clapped and cheered. "So much has happened here! I thought that all people did here was hibernate because it's so cold!"

Freyna put her hand on her chin. "You forgot one place, though... Esper Mansion. That's where we're going."

Kim frowned. "I know about Esper Mansion, but they won't allow outsiders in. They won't even disclose their location, so I couldn't add them to my route. But, boy, would I love to!"

"I understand," the small android took the reins from Kim, " I know where it is, though. I can get us there from here." The android urged the moles forward through the woods.

The Mansion loomed over the visitors condescendingly. Kim shivered with excitement. "This is amazing!" she breathed, "I feel like I'm a part of history right now."

Searren looked at the sky. "It's not snowing as hard here," he pointed out.

"The Espers are very powerful magicians," Freyna explained, "they're probably using a protective spell." she pointed down a hallway. "Your mother should be this way, Quincy."

"Wait-- your mother?! Why is she in Esper Mansion??" Kim asked, shocked. She immediately understood when they entered her room.

The queen of Lachute looked worse than ever. Her face had become ghost white and covered her bones like wet paper. She breathed so faintly that it looked she wasn't breathing at all. Her eyes stared straight up, looking like nothing. The whole room reeked of death. Beside her sat her husband, resting his head on one of her bony hands.

Sensing their entrance, the king looked up. His face showed signs of sleeplessness. Quincy couldn't help but notice that he looked years older since the last time he saw him. "She's..... not getting better, is she?" the prince asked quietly. He knew the answer.

"The black wave," Kim whispered under her breath.

Freyna laid a hand on Quincy's arm. "My suspicions have been confirmed. She is definitely under the power of the black wave." She made eye contact with the prince. "I know you don't want to leave her, but we have to speak with Lutz. If we don't hurry, she will waste away."

"Or even worse," Kim added, "She could become a zombie like those in Reshel."
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