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

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Felis

Meow?
Right, good point. My first thought was that asking who Clara is off the bat might come across a bit odd, but there is a chance that saying we aren't Clara would end the conversation straight away (especially since Clif's father seems to be a bit more emotionally fraught than Sia expected). So I'll second asking who Clara is. I hope I'm not just blanking on someone we've met or heard of, but the name doesn't ring a bell right now.
 

Irakma

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While I did read through the entire story to catch up to you guys, I don't remember a Clara. I also agree that we ask who Clara is, though something tells me that we may have a sobbing man on our hands soon. Plus, something tells me that when we find out about Clara, we're gonna need to be ready to get the tissue boxes. It feels like the story about Clara is going to be a sad one.
 

Minako

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Rosalina Chandra


Oh boy. Where's Senku when you need some revival fluid.

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I vote that we ask who Clara is. We definitely want that information, and saying that communicates that it's not us anyway (though I do suspect that it's either a nickname for the Empress or someone related to her). Just saying we're not her could end that part of the conversation right there, and it would be awkward to only after ask who she is (though it is kind of awkward to ask it at all, but that's just the unavoidable amount of awkwardness after being mistaken for someone else).

Right, good point. My first thought was that asking who Clara is off the bat might come across a bit odd, but there is a chance that saying we aren't Clara would end the conversation straight away (especially since Clif's father seems to be a bit more emotionally fraught than Sia expected). So I'll second asking who Clara is. I hope I'm not just blanking on someone we've met or heard of, but the name doesn't ring a bell right now.
While I did read through the entire story to catch up to you guys, I don't remember a Clara. I also agree that we ask who Clara is, though something tells me that we may have a sobbing man on our hands soon. Plus, something tells me that when we find out about Clara, we're gonna need to be ready to get the tissue boxes. It feels like the story about Clara is going to be a sad one.
Ask "Who's Clara?" First

You totally blank out, unprepared for this man to start getting misty-eyed at just the sight of you and, like a true genius IQ-having person you are, blurt out as stupidly sounding as possible:

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"Uh, Who's Clara?"

You uh... You MIGHT have forgotten that you are the actual definition of that sound one makes when one strums their fingers between their lips when you're put on the spot...


The man, baffled by your foolishness, is stunned for a moment...


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And then stifles a chuckle...

Ah, good, at least it kept him from bursting into tears!


"Hahahaha!" A hearty laugh escapes him and then he shakes his head as if to revert back to normal.

"Forgive me... You... You just reminded me of my late wife for a moment..." He mutters while clearing his throat, and his demeanor quickly does a 180 as he does so.

Wait, late wi--

Oooooh...

OOOH...

Clif's mother...

Ernest is talking about Clif's mother...

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Aw... Clif and Clara...

How cute...!



"At first I thought I was a boy again meeting her for the first time... She looked just like you when she was thirteen..."

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He mistook you for a thirteen-year-old when you're sixteen and you don't know HOW to feel about it...


Sia places a hand on your shoulder and you jolt your head up to meet her gaze and smile at her.

She smiles back while rolling her eyes, and gently nudges you forward, most likely so that everyone else can come in.

"Lieutenant Brownside," Sia greets him formally while saluting and then bowing slightly, however, you can tell isn't out of formality, but rather RESPECT:

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You can tell Sia greatly looks up to this man.

"Ah, Elysia!" Ernest raises his brows but then shakes his head while raising his hand, "Please, I haven't been Lieutenant since I retired... It's just Ernest now. Ernest Brownside..."

"I think you'll always be Lieutenant to Sia, Sir," You chirp, also addressing him with respect since you hold Clif and Sia in such high regard.

"Mmmmm, sentimentality doesn't suit a soldier on the battlefield," Ernest cautiously warns while offering seats at his table, gently shaking his head in disapproval, adding, "But it also doesn't do to have the General not be with their men: What are you doing in my humble home instead of training the soldiers, Elysi--"

"It's just Sia now, Lieuten-- Er, Ernest... Sir," Sia interjects, shifting uncomfortably as she takes a seat, frowning and then shaking off her meekness while adding, "And that's actually why we're here."

"Oh?" Ernest asks, a few steps away by his stove, turning it on after filling a kettle with water.

What service!

"Sia, being the fifth crest-bearer that needs to accompany us in order to summon Celosia, has GRACIOUSLY granted the title of General Interim... To YOUR SON~!" You cheerily announce with your chest puffed out.

"OH?!" Ernest gasps, clearly not prepared for what he just heard, but you aren't sure if it's the "Sia is a crest-bearer" part or the "His son's a General now" part.




Ernest clears his throat, looks like he's in deep thought, and slowly takes a seat.

There is a bit of a moment of silence as Ernest takes it all in, and everyone is waiting on his reaction with bated breath.




"So... The... The crest... Is... Is that why you're so--"

"Yes, Sir. My... My father didn't really... He wanted me to--"

"I know. Every parent wants what is best for their child... Even if they have to... Even if they have to hide things from them..."

Ernest speaks solemnly... And then suddenly looks pained for a moment as he stares a hole into his empty tea cup...


Before you could open your mouth to comfort Clif's father, he then looks up and looks around at everyone in the room. You can tell this man is no stranger to strategy as he seems to be scanning everyone in the room with his eyes as if he was a robot.

"So then... These people... They must be--"

"Crest-bearers. Yes. All of them," Xander takes this one, adding, "Well, all except me and Rosie, sir."

"I'm the Hierophant!" You cheer happily.

"Heh... I see..." Ernest almost chuckles and smiles at you.

You smile back and KEEP smiling because as his smile fades you can see hurt and pain behind his eyes...



You really MUST remind him of his wife, huh?



"You've done an excellent job then, Hiero--"

"A-ah! Please, sir, call me Rosie...!" You awkwardly interrupt, hating to do so, and add meekly, "I-I'm not big on titles, aha..."

"Forgive me, Rosie. I shan't err referring to you by your title again," Ernest nods approvingly, also adding, "In either case: You've done an excellent job having gathered five out of seven of the crest-bearers already."

"Mmmhmm," You nod vehemently, and smile and add, "You've done an excellent job too! Clif is WONDERFUL, Sir, and any mother and father would be proud to call them their son!"

Heck, YOU were practically thinking of him as YOUR son back there, despite being younger than Clif!

"Heh heh... Thank you... I... I taught the boy everything I could..." Ernest at first plainly states, but his voice trails off near the end as, you assume, he trailed off.

Probably thinking of Clara...

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!!!!!!!!!

"Ah," Ernst remarks as he hears the kettle and gets up to attend to it, "One moment."




"I'm surprised you just gave the position to him, Sia... I thought you wouldn't give it up without a fight, and I know my boy is powerful, but surely not as powerful as
a crest-bearer?" Ernest asks as he walks around the table and begins pouring tea into everyone's cups.

"Actually, I HAD assigned him as entry guard--"

"HA!" Ernest gets a kick out of hearing that and it does your heart good to see the man smile.

"...Buuuut Rosie insisted he showed me his sketches and plans and..."

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"Well, I wouldn't be much of a General if couldn't see clear potential and talent, now would I?"


"I suppose not," Ernest mutters, "He's soft, despite everything... But..."

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"I gather he got it from his mother... He... He got more from her than me... Even now..."

...Clif's more like his mother than his father...

It must have been hard... When Clara passed on he still saw his late love so much in his son...


"I'm so sorry for your loss..." You mutter, and as if you lost control of your mouth, you hear yourself asking, "She... She died of a plague, did she not...?"

Ernest winces and eventually nods, taking a seat and a sip of his tea after blowing on it.

"Yes... We... We went around the Isle trying to bring herbs to everyone in need, eventually settling down in Auran and having the Emperor add them to the trades other villages and settlements might need..."

Right... With the policies the First Emperor put in place in regards to trade it would be prudent to add medicinal herbs to that...

"When she got sick, she begged me not to return to her from the plains, for fear she would infect Clif and I, but--"

"You went anyway..."

"We were there for her last day... She passed away in my arms... The physicians heavily monitored us for fear she might have infected us... But... She... She left us without infecting us..."

"I'm so sorry..."

"Mmmn. It's alright."

"Clif said you had a vision shortly after she died, right? A vision... Of us?" Elias asks and you wanna slap yourself for not noticing he was sitting right next to you until he took your hand in his from the chair next to you.

"...Yes... I... I was distraught... I clung to everything of hers I could, but there were laws about items of the deceased being burned should they pass from plagues..."

Right... Germs... Everything Clara might have had or touched after getting sick could have been contaminated... And there are no cleaning solutions in medieval times...

Man, that first Emperor was one smart cookie!


"I kept a portrait of her, and the dress she wore when we were wed... but..."

Oh, he lost her AND mementos of her... Oh, poor Ernest!!

"Ernest, Sir, I am SO sorry..."

"Mmmn, No. There is no need for that," He shakes his head while raising his hand in a "STOP" gesture while adding, "There was nothing for it, and the most important thing my wife left behind was happy and healthy guarding the castle with his new friend who later became HIS wife."

You smile and quietly exhale in relief Clif had Cora after his father had to go back to Levi Plains after Clara died.

"You remind me so much of her when she and I first met," Ernest repeats himself from the first time he spoke to you.

"Oh?" You perk up, wanting to know more.

"Her hair was lighter than yours, but aside from that, you could have been her duplicate... Especially when you smile... It's like going back in time to when we first met... She was just moving to Auran with her Physician parents and I was just the son of a Guard... She was the most adorable girl I'd ever laid eyes on..."

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You turn away and blush and you don't really quite know why...

"She told me to have hope and to keep living and help our Son... That someday we'd be with her again, by Celosia's side... But it couldn't be now..."

"If you left when she did, you wouldn't have met your adorable grandson, Synne, don'tcha know?" You state, matter-of-factly.

Ernest wasn't prepared for that remark, as indicated by his raised eyebrows, but then he smiles and stifles a chuckle and nods.

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"Ah. That's true."






"...Hope dies last," Ernest suddenly mutters.

"Hm? What?"

"Her last words to me were "Hope dies last"," Ernest elaborates, smiling at you and adding, "I cannot begin to describe to you how fitting it is that the legendary Hierophant of Skies looks like the first time I saw my late wife when she smiles."

Hope dies last... Your mother used to always say this to you whenever you were ready to give up...

"I promise you, Ernest, I won't let anything happen to this Isle. I WILL gather the remaining two Crest-Bearers. I WILL summon Celosia. I WILL save Cion Isle. I promise you. NOTHING is going to keep me from saving Cion Isle so you, Clif, Cora, and Synne can continue to live happily."

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"Haha, I have every faith in you that you will."

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"Oh! Right! Before I forget: Clif also told me to tell you--"

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"Not to worry and that he'll do you proud!"

"Heh heh... I already am very, very proud of my son..."

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"As you should be~!"




"Thank you for the tea, Ernest," You bow and thank your host for having you and your party over so suddenly.

"Not at all, it was my pleasure to have you all here. It's not every day legends knock at your door," Ernest graciously sees you all out.

"Are you sure you don't think there's anyone here who might be extremely powerful and harbor strong magic that's hidden?" Xander asks as the last of you are exiting Ernest's house.

"No, I'm afraid not, Captain... My brother knows more about passers-by and the locals given he runs the Inn... But I haven't seen or heard anything lately..."


"Da**. Alright, thanks..." Xander mutters, clearly NOT a happy camper you guys aren't closer to Crest-Bearer #6.


"Capita tutute! Nane lu lo?" Xannie sweet-girl "says" as she exits the house, on all fours, and then... Hops forward and points...

...To, and you can barely see it in the distance with all the people walking and passing by, the end of Sagemarsh: With its border having a mini guard station occupied by three men in uniforms not unlike Xanders...

Oh boy...

Why do you get the feeling Xantarra wants to know when you're going there... Because THAT'S where the voice is coming from....?


"I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help, and thank you for my son's message," Ernest mumbles bashfully as you give him a hug goodbye.

"It's ok! Thank you for everything!" You chirp as you let go and make your way to Elias, your group now walking away from Ernest's house.








"So..."

"The compass is still pointing North... Steadily as ever..." You sadly deliver the tragic news as you motion for everyone to gather around and look at the compass...

"S***..." Xander mutters as soon as he lays his eyes on it.

"This isn't good..." Adrian whispers worriedly.

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"...I'm gonna kill 'em," You hear Sia SEETHE through her teeth.

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Your worst fears are confirmed!!!

"A-ah! Ah! WAIT! WAIT! Let's not assume the worst in them YET!" You beg and plead with Sia to calm down before she gets too heated and storms start plaguing the place!

"Despite everything, they ARE asking for help... They don't even know where they are... Perhaps there's a good reason they're there?" Papa poses a good question.

"There IS NO GOOD REASON TO BE THERE. EVER. How do they NOT know where they are, anyway!? They're powerful enough to figure it out!" Sia begins to raise her voice in anger.

"Catate! Batatope!" Xannie whines, again pointing forward...

"Oh boy," You mumble exasperatedly as your group walks through Sagemarsh.

"I-...I-it'll be ok, don't worry," Elias reassures you, and you squeeze his hand as you two walk hand in hand closer to the guard station.


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Will it...?

Just what plan does Elias have?




"Gentlemen," You hear Xander greet the three guards stationed at the guardpost, taking the helm as Captain.

"Sir!"

"Captain Xander!"

Xander moves closer and as the Guards spot YOU they give you a "Don't I know you?" look...

Still not as good as Damorris' look, though.


"We're looking for the sixth and second-to-last Crest-Bearer... We have reason to believe they may be around here... OR beyond here..." Xander begins, and with each word spoken his tone gets grimmer and grimmer.


The three men looked shocked at first (who wouldn't be?), and then huddle together, mumbling to themselves for a moment, and then separate to face the Captain of the Royal guards.

"But sir, no one is allowed beyond this point... EVEN a crest-bearer! Only those of the bloodline of the first Emperor and the holy cleaners during their time of year may pass! Are you SURE?" One guard asks.

"Weeelll...." Xander hesitates, and you sigh as you know you're gonna hafta rip the band-aid off at some point...


"Yes..." You mutter while showing the Guards the irritating Compass that dutifully points North unmovingly...



There is a collective gasp from the trio.


"No SIR! There's NO WAY---!"

"We've been as attentive as we can sir, even when switching to the evening shift--"

"There's NO WAY ANYONE is beyond this point... I-it's forbidden!"

Yep...

This is about how you expected this would go...


"Wh-what if their power was time-manipulation or something...? Woulda been easy to just stroll on through with time on PAUSE, right?" You meekly ask as you tug on your big brother's cape to get his attention and whisper your question in his ear.

"Stiltson," Xander says a name after he nods at your question, "Sense anything different? Anything strange?"

Eh?

"No, Captain, surely not," They respond, shaking their head, "It's regular to sense great power coming from the Ruins, but surely nothing has been amiss beside that..."

"Da****," Xander mutters angrily.

"What's wrong, big brother?" You ask.

"Stiltson's a MAGIC USER, so if anyone used any power here--"

"He would have sensed it..." You mumble, disheartened.

"Right," Xander sighs.

Great...


Just great...


You glare daggers into the compass that STILL points North steadily and sigh exasperatedly.



"This isn't good... No one's been through here, magic or non-magic user..." You mumble as you make your way towards Sia to stop her from blowing up on the guards.

"I'm about to whip these whelps if they're lying or covering for anybody!" Sia grits angrily.

"L-let's not do anything rash here!" Adrian tries to calm Sia down again.

"Catite tu! Lobato!" Xannie whines while yet again pointing forward... Like a little doggie pointing the way to something it wants...

Or in this case, hears...

"Yes, we KNOW somethings there, Munchkin, but it's not as simple as GOING THERE--"


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"...I have a plan..."

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"Great! Well, What is--"

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!?!?!

Why did he take your hands in his--

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"I...I can go get Hellie..."

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What...?!

...THAT was his plan!?


"Are you INSANE?! Do you have any idea how long it will--"

"I didn't mean take the Caravan all the way back to Auran... I meant ME... ALONE... BY MYSELF..."

"Elias..."

"Love, I'm as fast as the winds and can bring her here by sunrise tomorrow, if not sooner. Flying to Auran by myself and carrying her back here wouldn't take much longer than first light by tomorrow..."


Right...

That's probably true...

But...

But--

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You...

You don't like this plan...

You KNEW you wouldn't like his plan...


"I-I... I-I--"


"Well, then, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Go FETCH the Empress right away!" Sia demands.


"N-no---!" You hear yourself shout.


Everyone pauses and looks at you...

"I-I... I-I don't... I-I---" You begin, but can't finish the sentence.

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"I PROMISE I'll come right back to YOU..."


"I'll pose as Hellie..."
You again hear yourself mutter.

There is a hushed yet collected gasp amongst all your party members...

"Are you insane?! Look, I know you're just as important, and you look like her to boot, but don't forget the actual fact that YOU'RE NOT ACTUALLY HELLIE! You wanna get smitten as soon as you step foot beyond this station?!" Xander tries to reason with you.

"I couldn't forget that fact even if I tried," You grumble bitterly more to yourself than your big brother, but go on with, "And if I'm just as important, what's the problem? I may not have the blood of Celosia's descendants in my veins, but I AM CHOSEN BY THEM! I'm the Hierophant of Skies! Doesn't that mean anything?!"

"It sure as sugar doesn't mean YOU CAN GO AROUND BREAKING THE LAW, RO!" Adrian wheezes out of pure shock and disbelief at the words coming out of your mouth.

"So what, we just stop here for a whole day waiting and twiddling our thumbs?!"

"As opposed to sacrilege?! YES!"
Sia exclaims.

"B-but... But I--" You mutter, your bravado in... whatever THAT moment was... quickly running dry.



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Oh Celosia... Oh jeez...


You know you're being selfish and immature NOT wanting Elias to carry Hellie for hours into the night...

But...

Oh for goodness sake, you TRUST Elias...!

He... He wouldn't BETRAY YOU...


Right?


Time is of the essence: Waiting until sunrise tomorrow is a whole day LOST when you coulda just pretended you were Hellie...

But that's blasphemy, right?
You won't lie to yourself, you KNOW you don't want Elias to go because...

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Because you JUST CAN'T... Your poor achy breaky heart CAN'T stomach Elias carrying Hellie the entire time...


No!

No!

This is BIGGER THAN YOU!

BIGGER THAN YOUR FEELINGS!



So your boyfriend is gonna spend several hours up in the air with the former woman of his dreams in his arms... SO WHAT!?

You NEED Hellie to get through this blockade!!!!!!


...BUT...



It MIGHT be sacrilege, BUT you could always just impersonate Hellie...

You could do that right now and be THAT much closer to Crest-Bearer #6 all the sooner...




One day won't be the difference between succeeding and failing your mission... Will it?

>>WHAT WILL YOU DO?

-IMPERSONATE THE EMPRESS
-LET ELIAS RETRIEVE THE TRUE EMPRESS?<<

 
Last edited:

Irakma

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OOooggh.. this is a big one. First off, I think that bringing her here is the better idea, but she's pregnant. I can't say that to them though so that can't be explained. However, it would be worse to impersonate the queen in any way, shape, or form. Its just wrong AND Celiosa might blast us with some bad juju. I'm more for bringing her here, but I really don't want those two to spend all that time together. Argh, this is so frustrating! I will still vote for the queen to come here, though I absolutely loathe the idea of those two spending that much time together. I love him, and I don't want to lose him to his former crush. That sounds really selfish when I put it out there like that.
 

Idea

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"OH?!" Ernest gasps, clearly not prepared for what he just heard, but you aren't sure if it's the "Sia is a crest-bearer" part or the "His son's a General now" part.

Honestly, probably a bit of both.


"I'm the Hierophant!" You cheer happily

I don’t know why, but that just sounded like when a little kid is being left out, so they just barge into the conversation with something random and everyone goes “awww, yeah, that’s nice.”

That kind of tone.


Man, that first Emperor was one smart cookie!

It’s almost as if he came from some, I don’t know, other world or something that did have more advanced medical understanding of things.



WHAT WILL YOU DO?

Going through with impersonating her in this case is for sure going to lead to a lot of trouble and cause division within the group. I also think our thoughts are currently clouded by envy, so we ought to have the real empress at least give permission, if not come.

That being said… The day of waiting is ominous. But I think I’d rather take the chance of trouble over the guarantee of trouble. So I’ll go with retrieving the princess.


That being said, while we wait we might want to learn about the law and see if we can find a loophole. Something like sending an animal inside or observing from the sky.
 

Felis

Meow?
I also think we should let Elias retrieve Hellie. I'm a bit worried, too, because she's pregnant, but we can't let our jealousy get the better of us. If we lose the faith of our crest-bearers because we were only thinking about ourselves, that won't do at all.

That being said, while we wait we might want to learn about the law and see if we can find a loophole. Something like sending an animal inside or observing from the sky.
That's a good idea! Even if we don't find anything, at least we won't have to sit around doing nothing while we wait.
 

Minako

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Rosalina Chandra


OOooggh.. this is a big one. First off, I think that bringing her here is the better idea, but she's pregnant. I can't say that to them though so that can't be explained. However, it would be worse to impersonate the queen in any way, shape, or form. Its just wrong AND Celiosa might blast us with some bad juju. I'm more for bringing her here, but I really don't want those two to spend all that time together. Argh, this is so frustrating! I will still vote for the queen to come here, though I absolutely loathe the idea of those two spending that much time together. I love him, and I don't want to lose him to his former crush. That sounds really selfish when I put it out there like that.
Honestly, probably a bit of both.




I don’t know why, but that just sounded like when a little kid is being left out, so they just barge into the conversation with something random and everyone goes “awww, yeah, that’s nice.”

That kind of tone.




It’s almost as if he came from some, I don’t know, other world or something that did have more advanced medical understanding of things.





Going through with impersonating her in this case is for sure going to lead to a lot of trouble and cause division within the group. I also think our thoughts are currently clouded by envy, so we ought to have the real empress at least give permission, if not come.

That being said… The day of waiting is ominous. But I think I’d rather take the chance of trouble over the guarantee of trouble. So I’ll go with retrieving the princess.


That being said, while we wait we might want to learn about the law and see if we can find a loophole. Something like sending an animal inside or observing from the sky.
I also think we should let Elias retrieve Hellie. I'm a bit worried, too, because she's pregnant, but we can't let our jealousy get the better of us. If we lose the faith of our crest-bearers because we were only thinking about ourselves, that won't do at all.


That's a good idea! Even if we don't find anything, at least we won't have to sit around doing nothing while we wait.
Bring forth Hellie! Unanimously!
That being said, while we wait we might want to learn about the law and see if we can find a loophole. Something like sending an animal inside or observing from the sky.
Rosiethinking1.png

Hrmmmm...


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The only animal you had in mind was kinda lost to you right before you got Adrian...



And you don't think this will ACTUALLY work (and you're not gonna impersonate the ONE person they WOULD bend the law for) but...

Eh, it's worth shooting your shot for, isn't it?


"So, What are the odds we could... like... Send an animal or watch from the skyyyy...?"

Xander raises his brow.

"What animal did you have in mind?"

"Errrrr... Uh..."

"And Even if we DID watch from the sky FROM HERE we wouldn't see much FROM the GROUND LEVEL as we would UP HIGH. We can't pass the barrier regardless of not touching land..."

Aw, nuts!






You take a moment to sigh a long, heavy sigh and massage your temples, while you're at it.


You... You CAN'T let jealousy dictate your actions.

You've done so already so, so many times...


No matter what...

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...You don't wanna act outta envy...

Not again...

NEVER AGAIN...




You and your party are about to lose a WHOLE DAY due to this decision...



But the alternative is worse, so...



This time, it's your turn to take Elias' hands in yours...

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"...Elias..."

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"...I trust you..."

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"...Go get Hellie... Please..."

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"I'll come right back to you, I promise..."

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"...I know you will..."

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>>ELIAS TEMPORARILY LEFT THE PARTY!<<

And with that...

You watch as the possible love of your life... Rides off on wind and a whim...

To bring the TRUE EMPRESS and FORMER woman of his dreams over here...


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You uh...

You don't take it particularly well...







"EH?!" You hear Sia's surprised gasping at your sudden sobbing and she continues worriedly with, "Wh-what's all this?! I know you two are lovers, but surely you can bear to part for A MERE DAY, can you not?!"

"I-it's... It's not that..." You mutter, almost chuckling at how messed up it all is now that you've gotten some time to REALLY think about it and probably have to explain EVERYTHING TO SIA right now...

"The boy is absent-minded and naive, but I do not think of him as unfaithful... He will surely come back to you with integrity," Papa interjects, trying to comfort you.

"Y-yeah, Ro! Besides, It's you and Elias, LITERALLY NOTHING could break you two apart!" Adrian also chimes in to help.

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Well... If there ever WAS a person who COULD break you two apart it WOULD be Hellie... But...


You DO trust ELIAS...

Time to (unfortunately) put your money where your mouth is!


"Alright, Everyone, come on," Xander sighs after putting his hand on your shoulder and giving you a look, "We aren't going ANY further than the outpost TODAY, so... Let's head to the Inn... We'll go to bed early so we can greet Elias and He-- Er, Her highness at sunrise."

RIGHT.png

"Right!"




With Elias gone (and a whole day to waste now), since there are now an EVEN number of males and females in your group, Xander rents only TWO rooms and divides them by gender.

Looks like it's a Girl's Night-- (Oh wait, crap, You're not gonna actually leave the room til tomorrow morning)-- Uh, In!

Oh, oh! Wait, wait!

Rosiejokestoomuch.png

Or should you say... Girl's Night... INN?! HA!



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...You joke to hide the pain...



"You can take the bed solo, Sia! I'll sleep with Xannie on the other one!" You offer as you enter the room and notice there are only TWO beds in this room (though there IS a comfortable couch in the corner).

"You sure? The wild girl can sleep on the couch--"

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"...Or, you know, the floor..."

"NONSENSE!!!! Xannie sweet-girl LOVES comfy beds, don't you, Sweetest of sweet girls?"

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"See?"

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"...If you say so..."


"Hah~!" You huff in relaxation as you throw yourself onto the bed closest to the window and start spreading yourself around like you were making a snow angel on the sheets.

"So... What do we do now?" SIa asks, almost disappointedly, like she was expecting SOMETHING happening right now for some reason.

"Er... Good Question!" You compliment her astuteness and hope it covers the fact you have NO CLUE what you girls should do now!

Feed-Xantarra.png


"Oh! Good Idea, Xannie! Let's have a snack!" You chirp as you grab a (probably enchanted) bag and pull an apple from it and hand it to Sia.

She looks at it and then at you and then Xantarra, confused and you clarify, "Could you please duplicate that for us?"

"You want to eat a... duplicated apple? Why would you do something as stupid as THAT?" Sia then asks.

"I'm sorry, what?"


Siasays2.png

"Rosie, You should ONLY duplicate food in an EMERGENCY. Like when you're running low on rations OR live in a place where food is scarce and you HAVE TO. You should never willingly duplicate your food!"

"Wh-what?! Wh-why?! I-is it poisoned?!" You ask in a panic, then think about it a sec, "...Wait..."

"No!" Sia exclaims and then sighs, adding, "Listen, You just can't MAKE food out of thin air! When you duplicate an item you take HALF of the original item's essence and split it in TWO. Half the quality: Half the nutrients!"

OH! THAT MAKES SENSE: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY!

Yeah, no wonder Sia would look down on duplicated food: Feeding the troops wouldn't do with food at HALF its nutritional value.


"Er, ok! Makes sense!" You reply while getting two more apples and handing one off to the begging Xannie.

"Is that why Elias is such a whelp? You've all been feeding him duplicated food?" Sia asks, half-jokingly of course.

"Haha! Heh, HEY NOW!" You chuckle, "You know there's an Isle-wide famine! Some people can only get precious little ACTUAL food! No wonder people have resorted to duplicating food! and stuff!"

"...Yeah, I know..." Sia sighs disheartened and then just leans against the wall.

You viciously take a delicious bite out of your blood-red apple and make a satisfying sound while Sia eats away at her apple bite by bite and Xantarra sweet girl...

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...Does not.

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OH! OH HEY! YOU ALMOST FORGOT!


"Wh-what was that!?" Sia shouts, now on high alert.

"Ah! Ah! C-calm own, it's ok! It's just my phone!" You cry to calm Sia down.

"Your... what?" Sia asks, confused.

...Right, nothing like that in this world, better get to explaining!!

"It's a device in my world used to communicate with people you love and care about!" You explain, looking at your phone and---

Rosieshomescreen.png

Ah... Right...

What were you thinking?


Elias doesn't even really KNOW what a phone is... Of course it isn't him texting you that he arrived at Auran ok...

How... How could he...?


"Rosie?" Sia pipes in, now confused by your sudden sadness.

"Ah! Er! Haha, Silly me: You can also play games on it, and sometimes those dumb games give you notifications and stuff th-that are easily mistakable f-for a text message or something!" You backpedal as fast as you possibly can.

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"I understood almost NONE of those words cohesively ..."


Rosieteaching.png

Er, right, you've got a lot to teach BOTH OF THEM, you just recalled..!


"Here, let's take a picture!" You offer as you unlock your phone with facial recognition (that was a doozy to explain, but SUPER FUN to show off to Sia!) and open up your camera ap--

Huh...

Odd...

Didn't you have four pages of apps instead of two??

You coulda sworn your phone had MORE APPS on it...

Naaaaaaaaaah! You download and forget apps on the daily, so you probably grouped them together the night before you came to this world and forgot about it when you woke up for school the next morning or something!




Selfie1.png

You take some pictures with them, to savor the evening!




"Okay, And with that, our lessons are over for today!" You call out as you plop onto the mattress you and Xannie are sharing, exhausted as can be.

"Good night, Rosie. Good night... Wild girl," Sia murmurs lazily as you hear her plop onto her bed.

"...Her name is Xantarra, Sia," You correct her while yawning and stretching out on your mattress as you get under the sheets, adding, "I will ALSO accept calling her sweet girl or the sweetest of sweet girls~!"

"Ugh, don't BABY her now!"

"...Goo... Goo naigh...!" Xantarra wails while digging her way under the sheets and then popping her head out from them... like a whack-a-mole...


"Night everyone, Love you..." You sleepily manage to slur as you lay your head on the pillow after fluffing it up a bit.

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...He's probably on his way back here right now...

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...With Hellie in his arms...


You wonder what they're talking about...

You hope Hellie will be ok... Given her condition...



...You hope Elias still loves you... When he returns...


HE'S GOING TO LEAVE YOU.
HE'S GOING TO LEAVE YOU FOR HELLIE.

OF COURSE HE WILL.
ANY SENSIBLE MAN WOULD.
YOU ARE WORTH NOTHING.
YOU ARE NOTHING.




Dark, dark thoughts fill your head the more you think about Elias carrying Hellie...

You try to calm yourself down, so you can get some sleep and take some deep breaths...


It's gonna be ok!!


It's gonna be ok


It's gonna be ok...


It's.... Not... Gonna... be... ok....



Cloudier and cloudier thoughts start drifting through your mind, not unfamiliar with how it usually is before you're fully asleep, but suddenly, you hear the same voice from earlier:

Rosieeyepurple1.png

"It's you...! I couldn't tell then, You were so far away, but it's YOU! Please... Please help me! It's so cold... I'm trapped...!"

Rosieeyepurple2.png

"...Please..."

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"...Come to me..."

>>IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE<<

 
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Idea

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The only animal you had in mind was kinda lost to you right before you got Adrian...



And you don't think this will ACTUALLY work (and you're not gonna impersonate the ONE person they WOULD bend the law for) but...

Eh, it's worth shooting your shot for, isn't it?


"So, What are the odds we could... like... Send an animal or watch from the skyyyy...?"

Xander raises his brow.

"What animal did you have in mind?"

"Errrrr... Uh..."

"And Even if we DID watch from the sky FROM HERE we wouldn't see much FROM the GROUND LEVEL as we would UP HIGH. We can't pass the barrier regardless of not touching land..."

Aw, nuts!

44d5fdb90f923853bdea4e3ca100d47e62e82ca800dc58581addeb367f2d92cf_1.jpg


just kidding of course :P



RIGHT.png


What is Xannie doing?


Naaaaaaaaaah! You download and forget apps on the daily, so you probably grouped them together the night before you came to this world and forgot about it when you woke up for school the next morning or something!

Huh, weird. Like even for a goddess looking to eat us it's weird for her to delete random apps on the phone. It's probably a clue of some kind, but I can't figure out what just yet.


>>IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE<<

Since you make such a good argument, I reckon I'll vote IT'S THE VOICE
 

Irakma

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Agh... My heart is bouncing everywhere right now. But hey, I also agree. I think I'll vote IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE IT'S THE VOICE

Why did I do that XD
 

Felis

Meow?
IT'S THE VOICE!

Aww, Rosie. </3

But yeah, maybe we should take another look at our phone when we have the time to try and see what apps we're missing. Or even check the Tamagotchi app that gave us the notification (I don't know, maybe you can play with friends and it'll let us contact Cornelia?). Anyway, for now THE VOICE insists that IT'S THE VOICE it takes priority, I think!
 

Minako

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Cornelia Robinson



And so, the voice replied while slowly guiding the little Hierophant to them:

"Amongst people, I’m first,
In fate, I’m fourth,
King among kings
There can only be one,
Yet my father and son are the same"


The Hierophant seemed to be the only one who could free them from their prison.


Cornyconfused.png

What... What the hell is this bullsh**!?

What is this dude saying?!

WHY ARE YOU TALKING IN RIDDLES, YOU TW*T, DON'T YOU WANNA GET OUT OF--


Wait.

That's it.

That's EXACTLY what this is! A riddle!!!

Ok, then, wiseguy, Let's see who has the bigger brain here!!!

You're not gonna take Rosie THAT easily!!!

>>ANSWER???<<

 

Idea

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King among kings ---> likely refers to emperor.
Among people I'm first, in fate I'm fourth ---> What comes to mind is the possibility that the goddess ate 3 other people. This is totally wild and likely wrong, but what if the 1st emperor wasn't the first, but the 4th and the others were forgotten after being eaten?

There can only be one, yet my father and son are the same ---> these I have no idea yet, but they seem like they could contain big clues in interpreting the rest.

Edit: Also, the "their" prison being italized might be implying something as well.
 

Felis

Meow?
Alright, I'm not great with riddles, so please forgive me for not giving a straight answer...

Both "among people, I'm first" and "king among kings" do sound like the First Emperor. For the other lines, I'm less certain. I tried compiling a few things we learned so far and list my thoughts below.

"Yet my father and son are the same":
We don't know a lot about the father or son of the First Emperor. We do know he is the child of Celosia though (see quotes below). And also that his child was born shortly after he sacrificed himself, and the pregnancy was surprising. (I'm not making any guesses if that means a reincarnation of the Emperor's father in one way or the other is likely or not.)
"Hee hee! Well aside the prophecy of the Hierophant that was passed down upon us from the first Emperor, direct descendant of Celosia, there is one more legend spread about in which some people believe..."
Wouldn't that make her son a demi-god (if Celosia even produced her son with a human, because if it was with another God...)...?
Wouldn't that make him immortal?
Shouldn't they still be around ruling this Isle instead of Elmiel and Hellie?


Er... Well... You suppose, given the major religion in your world, and how the child of that God ended up, it's no shocker they're long gone from here... And granted that Celosia is a deity of love, and your worlds God also sacrificed their only child out of love as well...

Nevermind, of course they'd be long dead by now. Sacrificed in the name of love for Celosias other children. Her believers.

...Right...?
"The first Empress, in her heartbreak at losing her beloved husband... They say she only was able to look upon it once... And then couldn't bring herself to revisit the shrine ever again... That is why the once glorious Shrine of Celosia became the Ruins... Eventually, their child, when they came of age, wanted to honor their father and declared the laws and edicts regarding the cleaning of the Ruins... But..."
[...]
"I wonder if he knew she was with child..."
[...]
"Ah, forgive me, I was just remembering reading near the end of my ancestor's journal, and it seemed as if his wife being with child was a surprise... It was only a few months after his sacrifice that she gave birth, after all..."

"In fate, I'm fourth:" Are the Tritenas the people of Neptnea? Else we'd have four kingdoms in total, potentially also with crest-bearers etc., and Celosia Isle could be the last of them to get theirs. However, the Emperor wasn't a crest-bearer (as far as we know), but a son of the deity. We don't know if there were three others before him, but it is possible. He could also have been the fourth person to have spent all their magic and turned to stone, or to have sacrificed himself for the Celosians. These would all be fairly wild guesses, though.
"--Very first Emperor who gave his life to lift this Isle and save us all?
"When the word that the Celosians would have crest-bearers came about the Kingdom of Neptnea, prophesized by the Hierophant of Tides, of course, rumors turned into confirmation that Tritenas and all their forces, as well as the Terrains, would attack the Celosians... Seeking to WIPE THEM OUT--"
[...]
"The good Emperor went to his mother's holy shrine, Now ruins, and prayed as they released every bit of power they had in their body to carve out and raise the isle to save their people..."
[...]
"They say he was petrified... Forever sealed within the stone of the shrine..."
Idea Idea made a good point for the First Emperor being from another world, so maybe he was the fourth one to be summoned and we're the fifth (or an even later one)? Maybe not everyone summoned took on the role of Hierophant.
Man, that first Emperor was one smart cookie!
It’s almost as if he came from some, I don’t know, other world or something that did have more advanced medical understanding of things.

"There can only be one": I'm... really not sure about this line.

Also, the tomb is where the First Emperor and his family used to live before his sacrifice.
The holy temple WAS where the Imperial family resided before his sacrifice, but after THAT, The first Empress moved their kingdom to the opposite end of the Isle, in Auran."
That's honestly a reason I'm a bit reluctant to say for sure that the voice is the First Emperor, as the voice has been saying they don't know where they are. Of course that could be due to the petrification or lots of other factors, but... I'd have expected to the First Emperor to know his own palace, or remember his own sacrifice, if he can recall who he is.

In any case, there's probably at least some connection between the voice and the First Emperor. There oughtn't be a crest-bearer in the ruins who doesn't have Celosia's blessing, as some of the characters have pointed out. I just can't think of any good option we've learned of (besides the First Emperor himself), but maybe I've overlooked something.
"This doesn't look good for number six, being honest, but even if they DO end up being in the tomb, I have no doubt in my mind they're there for a GOOD reason. They wouldn't be there if they didn't have a good reason. Celosia chose them for a reason as well, right? They wouldn't choose someone who would BLATANTLY disrespect THEIR OWN SON, after all."

If no one comes up with anything else, I'll be seconding the guess for First Emperor, because there's some things we don't know and that information could end up fitting the riddle and making it clear. But I'm open to considering other options as well.
 

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