"Do I sound like I'm kidding?"
Celobia sighed. "No. You don't. But… that is so…"
If Kuromori had eyebrows he would have raised one.
"Silly? Preposterous? Unbelievable?"
The Lion shook his head. "No. Actually, if we could figure out what 'Mono' has to do with this, it would make a great deal of sense."
The Gecko scoffed. "Do tell, Celobia. I'm dying to hear your explanation of the girl."
Celobia jumped down from his temple to look Kuromori in the eye.
"Don't you see? The Wanderer is obviously in love with Mono. He brought her here for a reason, and I strongly believe it has to do with why he is killing us."
Kuromori huffed. "Well, what are we going to do about it? What does he want?"
The Lion appeared thoughtful. "He wants the girl's life back, I think. It's the only explanation I can think of."
Celobia proceeded to pace, going into leader-mode.
"Go talk to some of the wiser Colossi that still stand. Tell them of my theory, and ask of their wisdom."
Kuromori grimaced. "As your messenger boy, I'd prefer a list."
The heavy sarcasm in the Gecko's voice bounced right off of Celobia with no effect.
"Very well. Basaran, Dirge, and Argus if he will come up from his ravine. Phalanx will probably not want to come out again, and Celosia, well… try speaking to her on your way to Argus."
The Lion huffed. "After talking to her earlier, she will most likely not be in the best of moods."
Suddenly, Celobia stopped and looked up suspiciously at the Gecko.
"Avion mentioned something a while back, when she was… err… in a fury about you. She said you know the order the Wanderer is killing us in. Is that true?"
Kuromori grinned, starting to climb out of the Mountain City.
"Of course not, Celobia. I was just trying to get on the feather-bag's bad side!"
Before the Lion could reprimand him for his disrespect, Kuromori was gone.
"Urg… I feel like Quadratus. Why do I have to hide too?"
Barba was annoyed, and there was a cramp starting to twinge in his leg from standing so long. There was no room to sit in his secret cave hidden behind the north wall. Normally, standing in a "cozy" sized space wouldn't bother the Bearded One. But since he had been standing there for around 5 days, he was starting to become ticked off.
"I was free to stay outside in the temple, but no! Valus, Quadratus, and Gaius all had to get themselves killed and make the stupid dove come back to tell me I had to hide in my secret cave like a coward! And now I'm hungry, thirsty, and tired, too! If I could, I'd-"
Barba went quiet. Listening closely, he could hear horse hooves cantering then coming to a stop above and behind him. The sound of hooves was replaced by light foot-falls, coming closer. After a while, the sounds stopped as whatever it was came to a halt directly above Barba. Peeking through a crack in the wall, the Bearded One was startled to see a boy come down in front of him. Taking a mistaken step back, Barba bumped into the stone behind him, causing the feeble wall in front of him to shake. This shaking caused the door-opening mechanism to react, slowly lifting the wall. When the wall was totally up, the Bearded One finally saw with great anger who his intruder was.
Stepping forward, Barba aimed to crush the Wanderer with his feet. The boy began sprinting away from him, heading towards the closest barricade-like wall. The Bearded One smirked.
That little pest is trapped, with nowhere to go. Now I can avenge my brethren…
However, Barba was annoyed to see that the Wanderer simply used shelf-like parts in the wall to climb over and continue running in a southerly direction. Not caring for the condition of his temple, the Bearded One smashed through the barricade, continuing the chase. But to Barba's increased anger, the boy repeated the process with the next wall, and the next one, and the next one. By that time, the Bearded One was infuriated to the point of insanity. Through his haze of anger, though, Barba saw with satisfaction that the Wanderer had nowhere else to go. They had reached the column-filled south wall. And the Bearded One was ready to pound the Wanderer with his club until the boy screamed for mercy, of which he would never give.
He deserves death, and I will be the one who gives it to him.
But before Barba could smash the intruder with his club, the boy ran behind the columns, out of sight. Confused, the Bearded One kneeled down and tried to look behind the unhelpful obstructions. Suddenly, the Wanderer ran out and leaped onto Barba's beard.
The Bearded One stood and started to shake. He would never admit it, even to himself, but Barba had heard the Fallen Ones' stories and was terrified. Now that the Wanderer was on him, he knew that it was no time to be cocky. The Bearded One shook his entire body in an attempt to get rid of the boy starting to climb up to his head. Despite this, the Wanderer managed to climb to the top of his head. Barba shook ever more violently when blinding pain began erupting throughout the top half of his body. He shook for all he was worth, and eventually the stabbing stopped, leaving a numb feeling behind. For a few moments, the Bearded One was relieved.
I have finally ridded myself of that nuisance…
But then, Barba felt the boy climbing down his back. Afraid once more, the Bearded One shook, trying to get rid of his attacker before they could take his life. It was to no avail. As the Wanderer stabbed Barba's second and final vital, the Bearded One felt more and more heavy. When the pain stopped, Barba collapsed, the world turning dark around him. His final thoughts were,
At least… I know my brothers will avenge me…
Kuromori yelped and fell down the small cliff face he had been climbing. Wincing, he looked up at the sky to see another light had been added to the heavens. The Gecko continued his journey, but this time,