The Origin Stones

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Epilogue - Adventurers

The group had split up.

Jomiko refused to travel with Kazuki, and it wasn’t like he was hanging around Bellhall for any longer than he had to. Soon, Sanpu and Fuun’na got well and went off by themselves to deliver Fairgrifen’s stone back to them as it had been agreed.

They walked out into the jungle, hand in hand, almost dancing as they went on their merry way like nothing had ever happened. Like they hadn’t nearly died.

Pixa helped Kazuki run away, all of them fully aware Bellhall was no place for him, especially so soon after the horrible battle. Where the two were, they didn’t know, but they said they were heading towards the nearest Lan territory since Skullerbee had put out an edict saying Rei were welcome in Lan territory.

Arata had mixed feelings about Kazuki, but not about Pixa. Pixa had been invaluable…she had brought down one of the bodyguards single-handedly and then woke up when Persephonai said she wouldn’t, and gave Arata and Jomiko and Kazuki the win over Katsuryu. Her motivations were pure and sincere, and if she believed Kazuki, or believed she could help him, then Arata would respect her wishes to the fullest.

Jomiko warned her to watch her back, and threatened Kazuki she would kill him if anything happened to Pixa, and lifted no further protest.

The two of them taxed themselves to deliver Spellgate’s stone back to them. All of the group would, though, reunite back at Aellea. Sanpu and Fuun’na were picking up part of the reward on behalf of the group, and so were Arata and Jomiko. They would have to meet to share their winnings, Pixa and Kazuki would then also get their cut.

As to the forbidden couple, Persephonai and Danatcia just vanished. Kazuki said he never saw the winged boy, and the tunnels had caved in by the time Arata returned there, probably done in by Danatcia’s tribe, who would open some other entrance somewhere else.

During their voyage to Spellgate, Arata and Jomiko often talked about the adventure they had had. About Persephonai, and Danatcia, and even about Agathon and Shinyaki. Now that everything was over, they laughed about this and that, boasting and praising each other for their performances.

How Arata climbed the wall of Fairgrifen so quickly, how Jomiko constantly bested Agathon. How screwed up things got on Spellgate, and how close to dying Arata got in Aellea. They shared their emotions and thoughts on the whole thing, under slow breezes and shy sun-lit days, as well as under rains and sun-clouded days, in their trip across the lands.

And sometimes there was silence. They would sit against each other’s backs, to sleep under a tree as rain poured down, or as they watched the sea while they sailed across, leaning on the balcony of their vessel.

And twice did they fight, having sparring matches.

The most amazing thing was that it was not over.

Who was Katsuryu working for? Who were “they”, that were so interested in pitting the cities against themselves? And even outside that story, others that would emerge. There are always others…more quests, more monster hunting, more traveling, more walking, more watching and talking and fighting.

It was overwhelming to think that, after all, they had gone through, the world just kept moving. Jobs kept popping up, even though they weren’t taking any. The world was there, with its infinite amount of adventures to be had. Each of them as likely to be a boring flop as to be a life-risking venture of the likes they had just experienced, which could affect entire nations.

From saving some farm-animal from dying of thirst to witnessing the rise and fall of an empire… as much as it was a day or a week-old empire, they still witnessed it and took part in it.

It was overwhelmingly amazing to think about.

But that was the life of the adventurer. There was no retirement until you turned weak. No rest until you turned dead.

“We are true adventurers,” Arata remarked.

“How do you mean?”

“Some people might stop after they hit some motherload. But we don’t. We won’t.”

She smirked, proud of the fact, “no we won’t. This is the life we have,” she held a hand towards the sea, towards the horizon, “and that is the life we can have.”

“And that is always there…”

“For those few who are willing to go,” Jomiko added.

“Those adventurers few,” Arata smiled.

Jomiko looked at him, and then abruptly spasmed a punch at his shoulder.

“Whhaaa!” He fell flat on the floor.

Jomiko laughed as she turned her back on him.

“Arata, you’re such a dork.”

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