"Well, what am I supposed to do about it?"
Kuromori was becoming annoyed. Why was Celobia asking him to talk to that overgrown worm with wings? If she wanted to hide underground, that was her problem. Not his.
The Lion sighed. "Maybe some… provocativewords will get our Dragon to speak."
"Hmph. I don't see how that will work. She can't feel negative emotions, remember? I believe annoyance falls under that category."
The Gecko noticed that Celobia was starting to become annoyed himself.
"Well, somebody has to talk to her. It can not be me, since I have to go talk to my sister. Who else can you think of that could possibly rouse Phalanx?"
Kuromori grimaced. He could not think of any. "Fine. I'll try and talk to her. Happy?"
The Lion sighed sadly and began to ascend the staircase out of the arena.
"Far from it, my dear Gecko, far from it."
An hour later…
"Bleh. I hate the desert. Too much sand."
Kuromori had made the complaint-filled journey across the mountains and was now trying to find his way through a sand-storm in the Southern Desert.
"How am I supposed to find Phalanx in this blasted weather? This stupid place is irritating my legs…"
Out of nowhere, a small, battered shrine appeared. Desperate for shelter of some kind, the Gecko practically ran to it. It was a cramped fit, but Kuromori managed to curl himself inside the circular structure. After a while, though, the Gecko noticed something. Peeking his head through one of the broken openings, Kuromori called out.
"Who's there? I can feel your presence!"
Oh wait… duh…
The Gecko stepped out onto the sand, hardly noticing that the storm was over.
"Phalanx? You there?"
"Oh come out, will you? I did not come all this way so you could give me the silent treatment! Do you want me to blast you out?! Because I will!"
The ground shook. Kuromori stepped back, startled as Phalanx burst forth from the sand, taking flight immediately. In a booming, scratchy voice, the Dragon spoke.
"There is no need to threaten me, Kuromori. I was going to come out in due time."
The Gecko hissed, watching Phalanx circle above him with suspicious eyes.
"You foolish coward! Five of our own have been felled, and you hide under the sand like the worm you are!"
The Dragon stared down at Kuromori calmly. "It is you who is the fool, my poor Gecko. Such unseemly behavior will not get you what you desire."
Kuromori growled. "Enough lessons on my morality! What do you think we should do to rid the land of the Wanderer?"
Phalanx appeared thoughtful. "Hmm… go to the Great Temple. The boy will not be there right now, so you can do some investigation. Afterwards, go to Celobia and report your findings. Malus is currently not taking any visitors."
The Gecko huffed. Somehow the Dragon had managed to answer all of his likely questions in one breath.
"Hmph. I'll be on my way then."
Phalanx nodded. "Good luck, my Gecko."
With that, Kuromori turned tail and ran out of the desert, not caring about the loud rumbling noise behind him signaling that the Dragon had dove back into the sand.
Another hour later…
Kuromori had scaled the side of the Great Temple and was inching his way to the front.
"Hmph. How does she know he's not here? That worm doesn't exactly get out much."
Peeking through the large, arched opening, the Gecko saw with annoyance that Phalanx was right. He climbed down and began to look around, then froze when his eyes fell on the altar.
"No way… It… It can'tbe her…"
Kuromori slowly walked up to the altar and stared in wonder at the girl lying there.
"But… Arna is dead… and she was old when she died… it isn't possible!"
But there she was, a teenage reincarnate of the High Priestess, laying there before him.
"Her name is Mono."
The Gecko flinched and looked up at the light in the ceiling.
"What are You planning, Dormin?"
The Light Colossus chuckled. "Always quick to get to the point, you are. We shall not say anything, but a small hint would not hurt. That maiden is dead, yes?"
Kuromori growled. "Obviously."
"Look upon her dress, our Gecko. What do you see?"
Kuromori looked closely at Mono's dress, and his eyes widened.
"She is of the Wandering people!"
"Yes. Now who else can you think of in this land that is of the Wandering tribe?"
Dormin sounded almost amused. This annoyed Kuromori greatly.
"You demon, the boy who has been killing us!"
"Can you think of any connection that two people of the same tribe of similar age and opposite gender might have?"
"What are you-"
Wait… of course!
The Gecko laughed. "Thank you for Your assistance, Dormin! I'll be off to tell Celobia now!"
The Light Colossus sounded shocked. "You are not just going to keep this information to yourself?!"
As Kuromori left, he looked back and grinned up at the infuriated Colossus.
"Of course, Dormin. I'm not all bad!"