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Multiple Settings The Mysterious Play: Hierophant of Skies (Accepting votes!)

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DreamBeat

Two Thousand Club
I'm just nervous about visiting grandparents in general >_<
Nonetheless, looks like we're going! XD
Onward~
 

Minako

🎮Super High School Level Gamer: Chiaki Nanami🎮

Rosalina Chandra


How did I only just realize the "tide" in the name...



Y'know, this is really the sort of thing they should have thought of earlier... just saying that you went on this journey expecting to bring new people in to begin with, bringing more supplies with you would just be common sense at that point?



Well, we don't know how much longer it will take to find the rest of the crest bearers, so I think we can afford a bit of time more than we can afford to loose money, especially when we're already apparently going to double expenditures without being prepared for it.

Plus, this poor Adrian boy deserves closure.

Visit the grandparents!
I'm all for visiting Adrian's grandparents, too! I think we should share the news with them firsthand, and you never know - perhaps they do have a horse, or know where we could buy one without losing too much time or money.
Wow, that was a lot. Not only did we injure our shoulder (which was healed), we also lost Carbuncle... Looking back on it, that's kind of depressing.

A little late to the party and I'm outvoted, but I'm kind of against visiting his grandparents. Sure, it's nice for Adrian to have closure, but shouldn't we be trying to find crest bearers? We can either take more time to visit the grandparents and hope they have provisions for us, or take less time and get provisions but for a higher monetary price. I think we would have a better chance asking Helen for support when we get the chance.

In any case, it looks like we're going to visit the grandparents. It'll probably turn out okay.

I say visit the grandparents-

Visit his grandparents 3 to 1!

"I know it might take some time to visit Adrian's grandparents AND negotiate to buy a horse, but, I think we need to. Marianna was their poor DAUGHTER, they deserve to know she's at peace now, AND that Adrian's going to be gone a bit," You point out, thinking all signs point to giving Adrian one last goodbye with his grandparents.

Elias smiles brightly at you and nods.

"That's a good idea, I agree, Rosie," Elias cheers and agrees with you.

"It might take a bit to get to Ashton, but the lad should tell them, I also agree, sweetie," Papa also seems to be on the same page as you and Elias.

and you never know - perhaps they do have a horse, or know where we could buy one without losing too much time or money.

"And who knows? Maybe they'll have a horse they can lend us!" You pipe up with optimism.

"Hey yeah, maybe!" Elias continues to cheer back.

"Hah!" Papa snickers, "Well, Celosia willing we should be so lucky!"

True, not everything hasn't exactly been tied up in a nice, neat bow... BUT! You can't go on saying Celosia hasn't cut you several breaks either, and she may just throw you another bone, too!

As you finish the last of your bread you drink a little bit of water from your own canteens (not as pretty as Adrians, of course) you yawn a pretty loud yawn, and Papa and Elias chuckle while nodding to themselves.

"Your tent is already set up," Elias points out while motioning just a bit left of the carriage where, true to his word, there stands your tent.

"Mmmm, yeah..." You sleepily mutter, the toll of the day quickly sapping up the last bit of your energy.

"Goodnight, Rosie," Elias smiles and waves at you, and even when you are bone-tired you still can't help but wish you could at least give him a hug good night.

Naturally, you settle for merely smiling and waving back.

"Goodnight, dear," Papa also wishes you a fond good night, and PAPA you can hug!

"Good night Papa, Good night Elias," You wish them both a good night, knowing they were probably going to stay up longer to wait for Adrian and Xander.

You suspect it will be Papa... In your tired state, you almost didn't notice he's holding his ancestor's journal...

Confirming your suspicions a moment later, as you enter your tent and change out of your (extremely dirtied and muddied) dress and into your nightgown, you hear Papa and Elias talk.

"Boy, why don't you also rest?"

"Eh? Are you sure?"

"If I grow weary, I'll awaken you, but both you and Adrian exerted yourselves a lot today, You also deserve a well-earned rest."

"Well... I am pretty tired myself... Alright! Thanks, Kaine!"

You hear footsteps as you lay down and yawn one last yawn before settling down inside your sleeping roll (It hurts to sleep in here again when you think this is where you first met Carbuncle...) and letting sleep overtake you...

But as you drift off, you hear:

"Are you sure you're going to be alright staying up so late and possibly all night?"

"Don't worry, Boy... I have plenty to keep me occupied..."


"Hey... Are you sure...? That's pretty heavy, isn't it?"

"Yes, I know, but..."

"Doesn't Rosie deserve to know this?"

"Well if I had more solid evidence, I'd show her, but it's just speculation from the past version of our language, and--"

"Still, though, even if it's just a theory... We should at least tell her... Right?"

"I don't want to scare her... I don't want her to be worrying about this entire ordeal... She's been through enough, She IS from another world after all..."

"Yeah, but..."

"Plus, if it really was just a misunderstanding, we'll have fretted her for no reason, when she's already shouldering everyone's fates..."

"Mmmm..."

You hear Papa and Adrians voices outside your tent talking about... You don't really know what...

"I'm not going to let anything happen to her. That's all that matters," You hear Elias' voice from outside your tent.

"Seconded," Comes Xander's voice and you can hear the footsteps getting louder and louder... Closer and closer...

"Mmmmn?" You mumble and moan as you awaken more, and you're hardly opening and rubbing your eyes before Elias and Xander are opening up your tent gate.

"Mmmmmmmm, morning..." You are able to groan out as your tent entrance opens and Xander and Elias are there smiling at you.

For just a moment, you almost didn't notice there is a bit of a sad and concerned effervescence to their smiles just a split second as their eyes spotted you.

Huh?

"Morning, Ro--" Xander begins amiably, "C'mon, let's get some breakfast. We've got a lot to do and maybe not a whole lot of time to do it!"

"Right!" You agree and nod back, yawning and getting out of your sleeping roll (and adding a few stretches for extra alertness while you're at it!)

"How did you sleep?" Elias asks you as your exit your tent, handing you some warm bread, a canteen, and a bit of meat and fruits.

"Good! I was dead tired, so I was just OUT!" You answered him happily while all too hungrily beginning to eat your breakfast.

"Haha, I know! Yesterday was something else! BUT! We did find and befriend Adrian, and we're ready for the next crest-bearer!" Elias cheerily reminds you of the good that came from yesterday despite the bad.

He looks super extra happy, though you could have just sworn he sounded a bit grim as you were waking up, but it couldn't possibly be because you're up now--

Oooooh, of course! He is among ONE MORE crest-bearer, and it's a boy around his age!

Naturally, he's happy to have more friends, and friends LIKE HIM to boot!

Well... Powers yes, and (sadly) Parentless yes, but while Adrian probably did learn to use his powers fast to save the girls of Loredge he was definitely not raised all his life being told he had to protect Hellie and master his powers to fulfill the prophecy and save Cion at the tender age of five or so, though...

Marianna might be looking down on her son happily now, but this train of thought is quickly taking you to the conclusion that Elias's mother and father probably aren't...

"Rosie? You okay?" Adrian suddenly snaps you back into reality as he checks up on you.

"Huh?! O-oh yeah, I'm fine! Sorry!" You answer semi-truthfully, once again continuing to feast on your food.

"I don't mean to rush ya, but if we're going to stop by Adrian's grandparent's house, we need to leave pretty soon... We already spent the whole night digging graves when we coulda been traveling and need to make a move. Especially if we're gonna head to Loredge to buy a horse afterward," Xander informs you, and Adrian's head kinda pops up in glee as Xander mentions this.

"Really?" Adrian asks, clearly not expecting being granted a grandparents farewell.

"Yeah, but we need to get going, like, five minutes ago if we wanna see them and have time to get our bearings in order for crest-bearer number 4," Xander reassures him, and you can't help but gobble down breakfast faster so as not to slow things down.

"Right!" Adrian smiles (and though he is happy, you can tell he was probably up all, if not the majority, of the night because of how weary his and Xanders faces look)

You smile at Adrian and are happy for him (as much as you can be, given the circumstances), then finish up your food and help everyone pack up camp and get going!



As you and your boys leave (the now restored) Crystal Lake you see that there are several graves, marked with pretty, large rocks.

One of them is marked with a slightly bigger rock, and has a carving on it, you're guessing marking Marianna's grave.


"There it is!" Adrian calls out, pointing to an old house that looks pretty well kept all things considered. You aren't sure, because you really don't have a real way to tell time, but it seems like it took you half the time to get here from the lake than to Loredge.

Upon a second glance, your eyes light up as you don't miss a mini-farm... And a stable!

Do you dare hope?!

(Actually... On second thought, it makes sense... They aren't IN the village, they're at about the halfway point... They of all people WOULD have a stable with a HORSE for transportation... The question is they they have a horse TO SPARE???)

As you and your crew leave your carriage, you hop off (Papa helping you down as opposed to Elias) and almost beat Adrian to the door to his grandparent's house.

He chuckles as he knocks at the door, and--


Older Marianna?!

Oh... Oh dear...​

The woman answering the door, peering just out of its doorway, MUST BE Adrian's grandma because she looks like... Well, there is no easy way to put this to yourself: She looks like Marianna if Marianna got a chance to live beyond 17 years old...

"Yes, Hello--- OH, ADRIAN!" The older woman pops out of the doorway to scoop up Adrian in a loving embrace and Adrian happily hugs her back.

"Hey, Nan..." Adrien mutters, you can't tell whether his tone is exhaustion due to everything that happened yesterday or his lack of sleep but figure he's earned the right to both.

"We were so worried when you didn't come back...! We thought--" She explains, and then finally notices you, and she perks up just a second, "Oh! We didn't know you brought a guest..."

"Well, actually, Nan..." Adrian extrapolates while stepping out of the way, revealing Elias, Xander, and Papa as well, "I've brought several..."

"Birney, what--" Adrian's grandfather is first heard, then at the door, surprised and relieved to see Adrian... and his guests.

"Hey, Paw-paw, I uh... Brought some friends..." Adrian sheepishly scratches his head while informing him.

"I can see that..." He chuckles while examining all of you, his brows rising higher than ever when he looks at YOU particularly, and you have a hunch Adrian's Paw-Paw is starting to add 2 and 2 to get 4.

"Please," Birney smiles and welcomes you all in warmly, "Come inside..."



"I see..." Birney laments the death of her own daughter after everyone comes inside, settles a moment, and Adrian explains everything, turning to her husband and embracing him for comfort, "Oh Caspian... It's been so many years... We finally have a grave to pay respects to our daughter to..."

It just breaks your heart even further when you see how devastated Birney is.

"We marked her grave with a carving of her name, and some flowers you told me she used to like... Now every time you fetch water at the newly restored Crystal Lake, you can pay her some respects..." Adrian tries to console his grandmother, but really... What can one say to someone who has had their child buried?

"Thank you... Adrian... And thank you... Hierophant..." Caspian nods approvingly at you while revealing he knows exactly who you are.

Elias, Xander, and Papa are all immediately on high alert, as it was never stated who you were, just that Marianna had become a vengeful spirit, was killing off the girls of Loredge, and was now finally laid to rest.

"Be not alarmed," Caspian gently snickers and raises his hands in surrender to show he means no malevolence, "We knew our Grandson was something special. When Marianna told us she would not let her village die of thirst with her son's power... We knew... And when he grew into a man... A man who chose to use his power to save those around him, There is no way Celosia hadn't chosen him..."


Elias has a look of sheer relief and Xander and Papa look like they had just started breathing again.

"This moment was inevitable... We knew someday the Hierophant would be here to recruit our grandson... I just wish... His mother and father were here to see it..." Birney nodded, and it seems both of them accept and understand the journey Adrian must now join you all for.

"Did you guys get to meet Tidus?" Elias asks, curious.

"Yes..." Birney answers, "He was a good man. Though he sold leather flasks, they were at more than reasonable prices, and he was saving up to make even more flasks but when he found Marianna he was more than happy to settle down and use his savings to help us... "

"He... Sounds like a good person... They seem so common here but back in my world they are so few and far in between..." You mutter while hanging your head and gluing your eyes to the ground.

Hey!

You feel bad and you wonder if your one new party trick might lighten the mood... Caspian is kinda already giving you a suspicious look like Damorris was giving you back in Tarrin Village.

"A-ah, that's right... The Hierophant is a girl from another world..." Birney mutters, letting it sink in you are from another world.

"Well, technically... buuuuuuuut I have a sliiiiiight feeling you may have seen my face before..." You tease Caspian and Birney while winking, "I'm not supposed to do this, but--"

They exchange glances and then look at you quizzically. Adrian kinda knows what's coming, what with what you pulled with Cassius and all, but then you remember that he never REALLY got a good look at your face when you did this.

You giggle and take off your glasses... Then pull your bangs to the side. Adrian's jaw DROPS and Caspian and Birney almost drop to their knees that same moment.


"I figure I can trust you guys."


"Uncanny!" Adrian yelps, clearly not prepared to see the Empress in you... Or well, in your FACE, at least.

"H-h-highness, but--"

"I'm NOT Hellie," You explain bashfully, "I just look like her. My name is Rosalina Chandra... And I am the Hierophant of Skies... I was sent here to gather the seven crest-bearers of Celosia, and I got a little help from the Captain of the Royal guard. I have already acquired the Crest-bearers of Wind and Fire."

More and more, you feel accustomed to the role. At first, it was so foreign to you that it sounded like you were talking of some stranger, but now... With every crest-bearer that gets added to your party, it feels more... Well, YOU.

"My word... So you had already gathered two before meeting our grandson?" Birney asks, bewildered and... Do you detect a hint of being impressed in her tone?

"Hierophant of Skies--"

"Er, Please, there is no need for formalities... Call me Rosie," You correct Caspian.

Caspian and Birney look at each other, not believing you would rather be called your name than your title no doubt, but their confused expressions quickly turn into acceptance.

"...Rosie, thank you so much for all your hard work... We have no doubt you will save us all... Please, take good care of our grandson while he is with you," Birney begs you.

"Of course!" You chirp in response.

"Would you like to stay for something to eat? Is there any way we can help you...?" Caspian offers you any aid.

"Mmmm..." You begin to ponder, knowing pretty much exactly what you need, "...You guys got a spare horse?"





"Her name is Dewdrop," Caspian introduces you to, quite honestly, one of the prettiest pure white horses you've ever seen!​

"Oooh!" You gasp and cry, clapping your hands together in delight as you see her, "She's the most beautiful, pure white horse I've ever seen with the loveliest silver hair!!"

"...She was Marianna's... Our little Mari raised her from a small foal," Birney chimes in, and you don't miss the sadness in her voice, "I think... I think she would have wanted her to go with you..."

"I'm glad," Adrian softly mutters, more to himself than anyone else, "I... Feel close to my Mother whenever I take care of her..."


You get a feeling you can see why.​

"I hate to just come here for a few moments and then leave, BUT--" Xander begins, and Immediately is interrupted by Caspian meekly.

"No, no! Please, we understand how important this is! The Hierophant--"

"ROSIE--" You sternly correct Caspian.

"Er, Rosie," Caspian corrects himself, "Is doing her best, and as a part of Cion Isle, even if it's a small part, I should do everything in my power to help her AND the crest-bearers as much as I can."

You smile at Caspian, glad he understands the (dire) situation at hand.


On the way to Ashton, as Elias predicted last night with Papa, Adrian and Xander are in the back of the cart, with you, falling asleep. Xander basically laid down and was out like a light, but Adrian was hanging on just a bit longer.

You smile at both of them and rustle Adrian's hair (he's closer to you than your big brother) as you get your school bag out from the supplies and get out your binder and a pencil, taking a sheet of lined paper from it and returning your binder to your school bag. While Elias is busy and distracted, you figure now is the best time to give back to him: Since you kinda still have a picture of what his mother looks like fresh in your head, now is the perfect time to draw it and give it to him once it's finished!!! You know you're not a particularly good artist or anything but... You gotta TRY, right?

"Mmmm, whatcha doing?" Adrian asks groggily, yawning and stretching as the sandman quickly approaches him.

"I'm just drawing something for Elias," You whisper back to him, hoping your crush can't hear you.

"Ooooh, that's nice of you," He continues to mutter.

"Mmmhmm," You hold back a giggle, finding sleepy Adrian kinda adorable.

"Is that when you're gonna tell Elias you like him?" You then hear him ask, and begin pondering if your feelings for Elias are biblically inscribed on your forehead or something (or, more likely, it's just THAT obvious)...

"Aha... Well... Uh..." You begin, trying to gently explain you gave up on him before you even began, really, in a tone not too far off from a parent beginning to explain harsh truths or sensitive topics to a child.

Adrian snuggles up against you and you can't help but smile at how cute sleepy Adrian is. Kinda like a little brother or little cousin you wished you had when you were very little (your mother was the youngest among her siblings and you are the youngest among your cousins, so on all fronts, you are the "baby" of your family)... Even though he's older than you...

"It's complicated..." You manage to mutter to answer him.

"Why? You both like each other," He points out lazily.

You bite your lip and look away, not having the heart to tell him it's not really YOU Elias likes.

"Aha... Maybe I'll tell him later..." You lie to Adrian while smiling and mussing up his hair again.

"Mmm...That's good," He smiles sleepily and nestles next to your lap while yawning cutely and settling into sleep.

"Little cousin," You coo and smile while placing a gentle hand on his shoulder as he quickly loses consciousness and your heart just melts as he places a hand on your hand and replies with:

"Big cousin."

You and your (ever-growing) crew finally arrive at Ashton, and before you can even put your binder, pencil, eraser, pencil case, and drawing away already somethings up and, for lack of a better term you can think of, you "smell a rat"...

You hastily shove everything into your school bag and rush to peek your head out because you ALREADY hear yelling and arguing.

Elias notices your stirring and smiles at you, causing you to smile back sheepishly.

"Everything alright?" You ask as the cart comes to a full stop and Papa and Elias get off, then proceed to help you off too.

"It's fine, it's just that old couple bickering loudly," Papa almost chuckles as he brings them to your attention when your feet finally touch the ground.


Now, normally, you don't consider yourself a nosy nancy, but something about their conversation compels you...

As Elias and Kaine check the back to see how Xander and Adrian are fairing, you take a few steps closer to the old bickering couple---


"Ha! That stupid moving land is keeping all the kids safe! Celosias blessings know no bounds!! MUCH BETTER than her inferior sisters Neptnea and Terra!"

"Ah! Blasphemous old fool! Don't you know not to take the names of Celosias sisters in vain?!" The old woman scolds.

Celosia's... Sisters....????

Aw, GEEZ! You have been meaning to ask more about Celosia and what her... uh... well... religion... is like...?

But who are---

"And so what?! Celosia is the kindest and most loving of them! And she doesn't rely on blind faith! Just look at our floating isle for proof!" The old man replies back just as snippy.

"THIS is why Neptnea and Terra's believer's tried to wipe us out! Because we thought we were better than them! Celosia and her sisters are equal! Even in her teachings of love and in the words of HER OWN SON we are EQUAL! Thank goodness our Goddess of Love and Sky raised this isle!" She continues to argue back.

Ha... Looks like the religion back in your world isn't the only one where a Deity and their childs teachings were ignored or misinterpreted by their people... Poor Celosia, Terra, and Neptnea...

Oh!

Right... You remember when you asked about the previous Hierophant you learned the name of the deity they were the Hierophant of is Neptnea.

...The Hierophant of Tides...

You wonder what happened during her journey and where she is now...

"HA! Neptnea!" He shouts back, "Her people had to rely on their Hierophant to save them from their own goddess! SOME GODDESS OF OCEANS AND PEACE!"

...What...? Neptnea was the Goddess of Peace...? Oceans and Peace....?



"It wasn't HER fault her people ignored her teachings! Just like it's not Terra's fault her people are so unhappy despite Terra being the goddess of happiness! She gave them everything they needed to be prosperous from the very soil itself!"

So if Celosia is the Goddess of Skies and Love... and Neptnea is the goddess of Oceans and Peace... That means Terra, the third goddess filling in the last gap, would have to be the goddess of EARTH and Happiness!

You've GOT to be kidding...

"The irony isn't lost on me!" The old man waves the old womans point away, "If Terra wanted her FILTHY, MUD-DWELLING people to really be happy, she shoulda done what Neptnea did and blessed her people with a Hierophant!"

You frown as you don't miss something that clearly sounds like a derogatory slur...

Hmmm... You've always thought the people of the land were unhappy ever since you learned Elmiel told Elias they're responsible for Aesop's death... And they're why the military is training in dangerous plains... but...

Why do you get the feeling Terra hasn't chosen HER hierophant yet? Why are you now suddenly very sure you AREN'T the last hierophant getting sucked into this book????

"WE don't even have our Hierophant YET!" The old woman yells in irritation.

WEEEEELLLLL...

"Any day now..."
The old man responds expectantly.

If only they knew...

You take this time to sneak back to the cart and grab a spare cloak off one of the several bags of extra clothes the Empress gave you, put it on, and drape its hood over you.

Curious what else you'll learn from this old couple, you sneak back to eavesdrop on them more, but to your surprise, the old man is dancing and leaping for joy, laughing merrily while the old woman is waving away.... someone...


They, like you, are also wearing a hood...

They're running away in a hurry...

Who is that person?​

...The old man is holding a pretty nice-sized bag of what you safely assume are, from the jingling and jangling you hear that sounds A LOT like coins in a bag, TALLONS...

Wait a minute...


You look to the carriage and Papa and Elias are still checking the back with the sleeping bodies of Xander and Adrian...

You'll definitely lose the figure if you don't go after them NOW!

>>FOLLOW THE MYSTERIOUS FIGURE?? Y/N<<




code by @Satanic Nightjar
 
Last edited:

DreamBeat

Two Thousand Club
We got a nice horse with a pretty name XD
But what happened in that time we went to get our hood? It looks like a lot of money but... what if it's dangerous? Should we approach the old couple and ask if they saw something instead? I'm not sure what to do, but I guess if I had to choose I would choose with following.

If something bad happens, I'm going to hope that Xander and Adrian wake up to help.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
"...She was Marianna's... Our little Mari raised her from a small foal,"

Oh boy, the horse ain't long for this world... unless horses have a different life expectancy there.

Why do you get the feeling Terra hasn't chosen HER hierophant yet? Why are you now suddenly very sure you AREN'T the last hierophant getting sucked into this book????

That does remind me, there was this other parallel story wasn't there? Another girl, Rose's friend? Maybe we should switch to her perspective sometime soon.

>>FOLLOW THE MYSTERIOUS FIGURE?? Y/N<<

They definitely feel like the thief type. Of course, that seems so evident at first glance that it might just be too obvious to be true, but hey, better safe than sorry. Let's go after them!
 

Felis

Meow?
I don't like the idea of running after a suspicious stranger, but if I'm reading this right, that person paid the couple? That's even more suspicious, and I can't help but feel there may be a trap of sorts set up. So I'll agree that we should follow the mysterious person, since they may not expect us to do so.

That does remind me, there was this other parallel story wasn't there? Another girl, Rose's friend? Maybe we should switch to her perspective sometime soon.
I've had the same thought, good idea!
 

Funnier President

Funny Dojya~n
Same, the suspicion stranger is kinda shady.... But the same could be said for literally anyone.

I say follow the stranger, ignore the danger!
 

Minako

🎮Super High School Level Gamer: Chiaki Nanami🎮

Rosalina Chandra


We got a nice horse with a pretty name XD
But what happened in that time we went to get our hood? It looks like a lot of money but... what if it's dangerous? Should we approach the old couple and ask if they saw something instead? I'm not sure what to do, but I guess if I had to choose I would choose with following.

If something bad happens, I'm going to hope that Xander and Adrian wake up to help.
Oh boy, the horse ain't long for this world... unless horses have a different life expectancy there.



That does remind me, there was this other parallel story wasn't there? Another girl, Rose's friend? Maybe we should switch to her perspective sometime soon.



They definitely feel like the thief type. Of course, that seems so evident at first glance that it might just be too obvious to be true, but hey, better safe than sorry. Let's go after them!
I don't like the idea of running after a suspicious stranger, but if I'm reading this right, that person paid the couple? That's even more suspicious, and I can't help but feel there may be a trap of sorts set up. So I'll agree that we should follow the mysterious person, since they may not expect us to do so.


I've had the same thought, good idea!
Same, the suspicion stranger is kinda shady.... But the same could be said for literally anyone.

I say follow the stranger, ignore the danger!

Follow that stranger!
Yeah...

That stranger does sound a bit odd... You're almost sure that they just gave that old couple money...

Not that you're not thankful they did... During these times the more any wealth going around the better, but still... How and why?

You HAVE TO KNOW...

Without another thought, you decide to follow that mysterious figure!


Whoa--- Before you can take another step forward, you feel a tug on your cloak!


Aww... Dewdrops worried about you.

"Don't worry, girl," You reassure Dewdrop while petting her, "I gotta make sure we don't lose that person. I need to know what their deal is. I'll be back soon, okay?"

Dewdrop stares at you pleadingly a moment before letting go of your cloak, and you give her a kiss on her forehead before running off to follow the figure...

As you rush by the old man and woman, you hear the old woman finish shouting something as she waves off the figure: "Goodbye! Thank you very much!"

They then both gasp as they finally notice you rushing by, but don't really say or do much else aside make confused sounds.

The mysterious figure hasn't quite noticed they're being followed, but you still feel a bit bad ditching your crest-bearers and big brother again... Even if you're following a potential lead with seemingly little danger... (They just gave a whole bag of money to an old, and seemingly needy, couple... How dangerous can they be??)

They sneak into a small alleyway between the houses, and you follow cautiously...

>>STORY SWITCH<<


 

Minako

🎮Super High School Level Gamer: Chiaki Nanami🎮

Cornelia Robinson



And so, the little Hierophant followed the mysterious figure deep into the dark alleyways of Ashton alone... Curious and a bit afraid... But the hierophant had found, after everything she had been through, that her heart was not held hostage by fear as much as it once was...


What?!

ARE YOU KIDDING RIGHT NOW?!!? ROSIE SHOULD BE MORE AFRAID IN THIS BOOK THAN EVER!!!

Jesus, Rosie, haven't you ever heard of stranger danger!?

What if they're a bad guy and hurt you!?


You dying means everyone else is ****'d anyway, right?!



Augh, you always were the one to talk sense into her whenever she threw caution to the wind... And it looks like, without you there, that's exactly what she's doing.

You sigh, look away from the book a moment, and massage your temples to try to calm down, pondering why your best friend delights in raising your blood pressure so.

"Rosie... How the hell did you get in there..." You mutter to yourself quietly, sighing heavily again while adding, "More importantly, how the hell am I going to get you OUT of there..."

You hate to admit this to yourself, but this Elias guy seems like Rosie's best bet to being safe again... Those wind powers give him speed and the sooner he realizes she's gone, the sooner he can scour this Ashton place to reunite with her.

...In your absence, You're relying on a character in a book you know next to nothing about aside from his wind powers and crush on this apparent twin of Rosies... This bodes well...

About as well as a hole in your head, you're sure.

You'd depend a bit more on this character who sounds a lot like Rosie's brother, Ceaser, in this book, but he's asleep after digging graves all night... so...

As the moment's drone on, you're afraid to look at the book again, for fear the next sentence may just present a new threat or danger you CAN'T protect your best friend from, and it's slowly killing you on the inside!

What can YOU do!?

You have to do SOMETHING!?

You frown and decide **** this stupid book and you ARE GOING TO GET YOUR BEST FRIEND BACK.

Somehow.

"Ugh! Come on, come on... There's gotta be a clue as to how to get you out of there or something, right!?"

No... Just the stupid title and author of this book...

Wait...! Hang on, you're getting an idea---!!

It's on the edge of your brain--!

It's a longshot, but, maybe---?!?!?!?




 

Felis

Meow?
Well, sure, following a stranger may not be the most prudent thing ever, but we know what we're doing! (Only that we kind of don't, actually...) It'll be fine, Cornelia!

But yes, I think it may be a good idea to research the book; though that took me longer than it should have (res-reach? reachser? cheesarr? I was stuck on that part for an embarrassingly long time)... Putting my guess in a spoiler so everyone can still enjoy the puzzle without distraction!
 

Minako

🎮Super High School Level Gamer: Chiaki Nanami🎮

Cornelia Robinson

research the book

Yeah! Research the @#%% out of this book!


It's a long shot, but--!

Maybe, just maybe, you might find a way to get Rosie back if you find out more about this book!

You close the book and walk back to the table that Rosie left her notebook on to reserve it, and head for the Computer and Media room of the library.

If there's anywhere here you're gonna find answers about this book, it's where there's a computer with access to the good ol' World Wide Web!



...Ah.

In your manic state of mind, you had forgotten that it is, in fact, FINALS season, and... That just about every computer is in use...

****! There's a two-hour time limit, so everyone might be on A WHILE!


****!! Double #$%!

Frantically, you look around the library to see if there is anywhere else you might find a free computer, but sadly...

The only computer free is behind a door locked with a sign that reads:



D***, and Mary's too busy at the front desk to even think about opening this door... ****!

You sigh in frustration and drag your feet back to the table (which you're surprised wasn't taken considering you took the notebook and the library is getting fuller by the second) Rosie reserved for you two... Trying not to be thoroughly defeated.

Rosie should be here. She should be here, beside you, reading some boring-*** history book and studying to get a good grade on her history final right beside YOU and not IN some weird-a*** fantasy adventure... Crushing on some weird-a** dude who controls the frikkin' WIND!!!


AUGH!

All this stress is taking years off of your life, at the tender age of sixteen you feel like a sixty-year-old that wants to rip their hair out.


With a (kinda loud) exhale, dreading opening the book again more than a doctors visit where you know you're guaranteed getting a shot, you massage your temples one more time, take a deep breath, and mentally prepare yourself for whatever the hell is going to happen to your best friend next in this accursed book...


As the Hierophant followed the mysterious figure down the alleys of the seemingly forsaken village, she was stunned to find they had stopped in front of a sickly looking person and, as before with the elderly couple, dropped a bag of tallons in front of them.

Stunned silent by their charity, the little Hierophant hardly notices when the charitable figure begins to speak.

They have a melodious voice, luring the Hierophant like a siren's song...

 

Minako

🎮Super High School Level Gamer: Chiaki Nanami🎮

Rosalina Chandra


"May Celosia bless you," The ill man thanks them as he takes the bag of tallons the hooded figure dropped in front of him.

"You are welcome, Celosia's blessings to you as well," They reply, and their voice sounds just incredible.

Even though from the sound of their voice, you think they seem to be an older woman, that doesn't stop her voice from sounding like she could be an opera singer or something!

It's a tad deep, but oh so alluring!

You are stunned in awe, and almost lose them when you stand still a moment, but you don't forget the task at hand!

As you keep following her, you're amazed at how many bags of tallons they can hold because they are just giving money away left and right!

What a charitable person! HOW?!

Continuing your sleuthing, you keep following them, until--




OH NO!


OOPS!


Ack, you wish you weren't so clumsy!!


You scramble to your feet despite your body kinda being a little pained from the fall (how many times has that been now?) so you don't lose them, and--



!!!!!!!
Welp. Looks like they found out you were following them...


Before you can say anything (as much as you can say with a sword to your throat) they stop and gasp. They're zeroing on the glowing compass (ah... You'd forgotten it was around your neck) and then they retract their sword and sheath it!

Then... She takes off her hood!


Celosia, She's beautiful, even past her thirties and well into her forties she does NOT look past her prime at all! Sure, in your world, there are creams and surgeries and moisturizers, but you're almost CERTAIN none of that is HERE! She's quite impressive for this time period! Her hair is cut short oddly stylishly, but it's such a lush, vibrant green, like fields of grass, and despite your first few seconds meeting her, she quickly radiates a gentle (and apologetic) demeanor. In her youth, you can tell, this woman would give a fairy-tale princess a run for their diadem. Not just for her looks, but her heart seems to be of gold as well: She was giving those poor, needy people money and asking and expecting NOTHING in return!

Your jaw gapes as you stare at her in awe and you almost forget that mere moments ago she just had a sword to your throat. You don't even notice you're holding your breath as she examines you up and down and stops again to gaze at your glowing compass in awe.


"I-I'm sorry! I thought--- That compass... It's glowing..." She begins slowly, "Where did you get it...?"

You're captivated by her voice, it's so soothing and lovely you want to close your eyes and really take in the sound.

Then you snap out of it when she gasps and her eyes dilate as she reaches for the compass around your neck as if she's pieced something together.

Your heart starts to break as you see her eyes welling up in tears and she asks, choking back sobs, "Wait... You... You are the Hierophant of Skies, aren't you?! Are... Are you here for the Celosian crest-bearer of earth!?"

She sounds desperate and tears are streaming down her eyes.

WHOA, OK, PSYCHIC! RIGHT DOWN TO WHAT CREST-BEARER YOU'RE HERE FOR TECHNICALLY BEFORE YOU KNEW!

You freeze in your fear as you can't believe how quickly you were identified by this stranger! They had a sword to your throat moments ago, but now they are about to cry and know exactly who you are!

Should you lie and tell her she's crazy and doesn't know what she's talking about, just in case this woman IS a bad guy and once you've confirmed you are the Hierophant she'll kill you?!

Or... Maybe...

This woman is desperate because she wants to find the Earthen Crest-bearer for a GOOD reason???

>>TELL THEM THE TRUTH? Y/N<<


 
Last edited:

DreamBeat

Two Thousand Club
From what we've seen of this mysterious person so far, I'd say that she probably doesn't have any ill intentions. Then again, I guess we can't be too sure...

In any case, we've got the glowy compass thing so no use in lying about finding the crest-bearers. What if we just tell her that we're looking for the crest-bearers and just kinda omit the part where she asked if we were the Hierophant of the Skies?
 

Felis

Meow?
Huh, perhaps her timing with the couple on the road was just coincidence, then? That would be reassuring if it was the case.

Anyway, she doesn't seem like a bad person, though it's curious that she would start crying at the thought of us looking for this crest-bearer. I also feel like there's a trend of crest-bearers being reluctant to come with us because they feel they are needed where they are, so... hmm. Well, we'll find out why she is upset sooner or later, I'm sure.

I like DreamBeat DreamBeat 's idea! Half-truths can be useful! Though I think if it comes down to it, we ought to tell her the truth. Unless someone has a good idea how else to explain the glowing compass, I don't think there's any point in lying.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
I think we can just tell the truth at this point.
I doubt Rosie's that good a liar anyway
 

Minako

🎮Super High School Level Gamer: Chiaki Nanami🎮

Rosalina Chandra


From what we've seen of this mysterious person so far, I'd say that she probably doesn't have any ill intentions. Then again, I guess we can't be too sure...

In any case, we've got the glowy compass thing so no use in lying about finding the crest-bearers. What if we just tell her that we're looking for the crest-bearers and just kinda omit the part where she asked if we were the Hierophant of the Skies?
Huh, perhaps her timing with the couple on the road was just coincidence, then? That would be reassuring if it was the case.

Anyway, she doesn't seem like a bad person, though it's curious that she would start crying at the thought of us looking for this crest-bearer. I also feel like there's a trend of crest-bearers being reluctant to come with us because they feel they are needed where they are, so... hmm. Well, we'll find out why she is upset sooner or later, I'm sure.

I like DreamBeat DreamBeat 's idea! Half-truths can be useful! Though I think if it comes down to it, we ought to tell her the truth. Unless someone has a good idea how else to explain the glowing compass, I don't think there's any point in lying.
I think we can just tell the truth at this point.
I doubt Rosie's that good a liar anyway

Tell the truth unanimously...!

Er, well... A liiiittle...?

You decide you won't spill the beans JUST yet, at least, until you know this woman is 100% on YOUR side and what her exact intentions are for finding the (apparent) Bearer of the Celosian Crest of Earth! It also wouldn't hurt to hold out until YOU know just how SHE knew that!

"E-er, uh, W-well, I AM looking for them... But... why are you?? And are you ok? Why are you crying?" You manage to ask her, not hiding some shock at her suddenly getting weepy on you.

You try to calm yourself down a little, as you can feel anxiety and a bit of panic shower over you, and this is a REALLY bad time to realize you definitely AREN'T GREAT as a people person but you know you have to ATTEMPT to be a decent person and TRY to comfort her.

Then, the next words that come out of her mouth hit you like a bag of bricks to your face, because she is now flooding tears and explaining exactly why she knows about and wants to find that crest-bearer:


"Please... Oh please, Hierophant... The Bearer of the Celosian crest of Earth... She is my missing daughter, Xantarra!"


OH CELOSIA!

THIS POOR WOMAN!!!!

NO WONDER SHE ALMOST STARTED CRYING AS SOON AS SHE SUSPECTED YOU OF THE HIEROPHANT!

"Please... I KNOW... I KNOW it's YOU! That compass, it's to track the other crest bearers, right!? And you came here, surely, to locate HER, right?!" She begs, now fully on her knees and crying.

"I--"

Oh, who are you kidding? You can't LIE to a poor, GRIEVING MOTHER.

"...Y-yes... I-I am the Hierophant of Skies. I am here to find and recruit Xantarra, the Celosian crest-bearer of Earth," You hesitantly (and a bit fearfully) confirm her (admittedly correct) suspicions.

"OH! THANK CELOSIA!" She now clings to you and you pat her head slowly to try to console her.

"H-how did you lose her?" You ask, "How long has she been missing?"

"She was taken from my husband and I as a baby not long after we arrived in this village... A-an old friend of mine had been here before and helped here, but it seemed like they still needed more help, so my family and I settled here... but... My baby girl couldn't control her powers, and they took her from my husband and I!"

You gasp and shout on instinct, "HOW TERRIBLE! WHY WOULD THEY DO SUCH A THING!?"

Wow, despite what these people did to her she still gave them money because they need it! This woman's amazing!

"They thought if they could get rid of the Celosian crest-bearer of Earth the soil might be more fertile... They threw her off the ISLE!!!!!"

"WHAT?!"

Your ears can't believe what they're hearing and you're blown out of your FRIGGIN MIND THAT THIS IS THE SECOND TIME SO FAR THE CREST-BEARER ALMOST WASN'T ALIVE TO MEET YOU!

Wait...

"Hang on... But... If they threw her off the Isle... How is she alive...? She couldn't have possibly survived that as a baby..." You mutter, and you're not going to lie, a part of you is thinking she's either yanking your chain or telling you tall tales, but...

Well...

The compass glow speaks for itself...

...And the moving land nearby as well...

"That's what I've been trying to find out, too!" She explains (as best she can, anyway), "I've been trying to salvage whatever sprouts from the fertile soil and plant it to grow crops... Desperately trying to grow more food AND LOOK FOR HER at the same time... My baby girl..."

And, at this point, your heart just sinks as she now is full-on bawling on her knees in front of you and clinging to you for dear life!

"I know she's behind this... I know she is... She controls the earth... From the moist soil, the moving plains become more fertile and grow many greens... I know she's out there, somewhere... I leave food out for her every day, and some nights I see her shadow take the food, and then retreat back into the earth!"

INTO the Earth?! What in Celosia's name is going on?!

"A-ah! W-well I guess it does sound like it could only be her!" You agree, still not getting over how heartbreaking this all is.

"Please, Hierophant, I beg of you! That compass that glows around your neck... It is how you track her, is it not?" The poor woman desperately asks you with her puppy dog eyes, and you no longer have the heart (nor need, now that you know her true intentions) to lie to her.

Besides, she pretty much figured out your identity anyway.

With a long, heavy sigh, you bite your lip and nod... You trust this woman, and you feel for her, but you can't ignore an anxious feeling in your heart that perhaps you shouldn't be confirming this in a public place...

For just a moment, you could have sworn you saw something (or someone?) move out of the corner of your eye...

"Yes. As the Hierophant, I was given this enchanted compass to help me find the other Crest-bearers..."

You get a bad feeling showering you as soon as you say those words, not to this woman particularly... But you can't fight the feeling that "the walls have ears"... And you don't want this knowledge to fall on BAD "EARS"...

Nothing for it now... Cats out of the bag, so to speak...

"Please, You're the only one who CAN help me... I even am almost certain I know where another crest-bearer is! They're an old friend of mine! I used to live in the village where they do! Tarrin Village!" She pleads, and not only are you hard-pressed to deny a poor, grieving mothers plea, but her melodious voice makes it all the more---



Wait a moment...

Hmmmm...

Voice of an Angel...​

Charitable...

Knows the whereabouts of another crest-bearer who she is "old friends" with...

Who she used to live in the same village as, Tarrin...

Wait...

Wait...

>>CAN YOU GUESS WHO THIS WOMAN IS?<<



code by @Satanic Nightjar
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
I honestly don't recall at all who she could be. A few options come to mind, such as something to do with adoptive father or perhaps someone directly related to Celosia? But these are probably incredibly wrong guesses. Curse my poor memory.
 

Felis

Meow?
So I read all the way back to the conversations with Kaine after leaving Tarrin, and...
"...Well, I do recall overhearing about our nice road ever since my old friend, Caridad, had left the village with her family..." He finally reveals the true pondering behind his face.
"She must have been a very powerful magic user to pave this road!" You hear yourself chirp, "Like a--"

You and Elias both gasp as Kaine solemnly nods (more to himself than you two).

"CREST-BEARER?!" You and Elias both blurt simultaneously.
"Do you happen to know where she might be?" You ask, also now very interested in Caridad.

"...Celosia knows, dear," The Chief sighs while defeatedly shaking his head, "She left the village with her husband and child on a whim it seemed, only staying a month or so after my wife died to help my grieving, to wherever the wind and sky would lead her... She did say she was going to try to see if she could do anything for Havendell to start... but certainly by now her righteous journey would have taken her elsewhere sixteen years later..."
I think it might be Caridad?
 

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