The Wanderer

Ripple of Thunder

Ripple of Thunder

"You giant lump, this is important!"

When Kuromori got no reply, he growled.

"Basaran! Basaran the Turtle! Come out so I can show you how much my aim has improved over the centuries!"

Rumbling erupted from underneath his feet, and the Gecko ran partially out of the cave in surprise. When the dust cleared, the mighty Tortoise stood before him, leering. In a booming, hissing voice, Basaran spoke.

"That's Basaran the Tortoise, foolish lizard. What brings you here to my lair?"

Regaining his usual confidence, Kuromori sneered up at the Tortoise.

"Guess what, lumpy? I've been promoted! That's right; I've gone from a mere Colossus to a great and powerful messenger!"

Basaran growled. "If you don't actually tell me why you are here, trust me lizard, it is you who will be seeing how much my aim has improved."

Kuromori gulped. He decided then and there that he didn't want to fool around with someone four times bigger than him.

"Celobia has a proposition. He says that the Wanderer is in love with the dead girl he brought to the altar in the Great Temple. The reason for bringing her is not clear, but our Lion is sure it has to do with bringing the girl back to life. He wants to know what you think."

Basaran thought. And he thought. And he thought.

An hour passed before the Tortoise startled Kuromori by walking over him into the geyser field. Basaran centered himself in the middle of the field and looked up at the greenish sky. In a slow, calm voice, the Tortoise spoke again.

"Humans… are strong creatures. Their skin is the most horrible of armor, their bones break like twigs, and their lives are short. And yet the will and intelligence they have is almost equal to that of the Colossi. Their hearts, though easily corrupted, always carry some grain of good inside them. Their emotions, though wild and hard to control at times, drive them to do the near impossible… including trying to kill Colossi. And as we have seen, this boy is successful in his endeavors. To me, this clearly shows that he is driven by the most powerful of human emotions. Love. Love is driving the Wanderer to do the unthinkable and impossible."

Kuromori said nothing. He made no comment on how corny Basaran sounded. And when the Tortoise turned and walked back into his cave, Kuromori did not move. Instead, he did some thinking of his own.

That that reminds me of woah

In a daze, the Gecko began to head south-west, slowly picking up speed as his thoughts cleared.

That is something to think about at a different time...

Meanwhile

"Urg. I despise resting on the bottom. It's so muddy…"

Hydrus had been told by a hawk to stay hidden on the bottom of the lake, so if the boy came he couldn't see her. Turning her head to look at herself, the Sea-Serpent snorted, sending numerous bubbles to the surface.

"Hidden? Oh, yes, a splendid idea. Especially when I have electric spikes that glow…"

Looking up at the sky, Hydrus sighed, causing the silt in front of her to billow.

"There are so many columns in the heavens these days… so many Colossi have passed…"

The Sea-Serpent always talked to herself. Loneliness was not something she was accustomed to, unlike her cousins. Hydrus was beginning to reflect on her deceased friends, when a presence made itself known. The Sea-Serpent had horrible hearing, but like fish, her lateral line gave an excellent sense of the life around her. A horse with a human being riding it was beginning to cross the main bridge towards the central tower. The tower had originally been the base for all other bridges in the city, but was now more than half-way submerged in the water.

Hydrus became alert when the horse stopped at the crumbled end of the bridge and a boy jumped off.

The Wanderer

The boy jumped onto the spiraling walkway that wound around the tower and began running down. When Hydrus sensed the Wanderer enter the water, she rose off of the bottom. Swimming slowly past the tower, the Sea-Serpent began pumping energy into her spikes. That way, they would glow more to try and intimidate the boy, and also so they would be especially lethal if he came close. The Wanderer seemed confused though, as he swam out over the lake and crawled onto one of the floating bridge pieces. Keeping an eye on him as she swam past, Hydrus noticed that he was taking out some sort of wooden thing.

What the?

A few seconds later, though, the Sea-Serpent was gurgling with laughter.

Foolish boy! Trying to harm a water-dwelling Colossus with floating sharp-sticks!

The Wanderer seemed to realize his approach wasn't working, and after watching Hydrus circle around him for a while decided to pull out a sharp stone-like object. The Sea-Serpent was slightly startled when the boy dashed into the water and began to try and follow her. However, and to Hydrus' greater amusement, the Wanderer could not catch up, even though the Sea-Serpent was going relatively slow. Exhausted, the boy eventually stopped, and settled for just treading water until Hydrus came near. When she went below him, the Sea-Serpent growled. An ominous yet beautiful noise in the water. Hydrus turned and swam up to the surface, directly underneath the Wanderer. She heard him scream a few times with satisfaction, and then dived back down. Unknown to her, Hydrus' maneuver had made the end of her tail poke out of the water, much like a whale's. In his post-shock desperation, the Wanderer had grabbed onto the brown algae for dear life.

When the Sea-Serpent finally sensed something on her tail, she picked up speed. She knew with a slight sense of relief that there was no way the boy could crawl up her when she swam at that speed. But all good things came with a price, and Hydrus soon discovered that swimming at such high speeds drained her oxygen reserves. Coming up to the surface, the Sea-Serpent exposed her whole back to the air, and began gulping in as much as possible. In her desire for oxygen, Hydrus hardly noticed the sensation of something beginning to run up her, towards her furthest spike. When a sharp twinge ran through the Sea-Serpent's spike, she screeched and dove down slightly; trying to expose the spike to water so it could shock her attacker. But to her great dismay, Hydrus heard no screams, and instinct was driving her to the surface to receive more oxygen. When she surfaced, the Sea-Serpent felt the Wanderer run to her next spike. The same twinge ran through the spike, and Hydrus once again dove slightly to try and rid herself of the attacker. Once again, she had to surface, and once again, the twinge sequence occurred. But by that time, the Sea-Serpent's lungs were full, and she dived deep down into the lake. After a while, Hydrus felt the boy let go, and when she turned, she saw with relieved satisfaction that he was swimming desperately to the surface.

However, upon self-examination, the Sea-Serpent became frightened. Three out of four of her spikes had blackened, and blood was spewing from points behind them. For a while, Hydrus swam in a serpentine fashion just feet from the bottom, looking up at the Wanderer wearily. But soon, the angry Colossus within her drove the Sea-Serpent closer to the surface. Unknowing of her former mistake, Hydrus once again surfaced then dived in an attempt to shock the boy with her only working spike. Her attacker had become smart. He swam out of the way of the glowing spike, but went back into position in time to once again grab her exposed tail. Once again, the Sea-Serpent swam faster, and once again, the Sea-Serpent needed air. When Hydrus fully surfaced, the Wanderer made a break for it. Every time the Sea-Serpent dived slightly in a desperate attempt to drown her attacker, the boy simply latched onto her fur-like algae before continuing his sprint when she resurfaced. Finally, the Wanderer came to Hydrus' final spike, the one directly behind her head. A sharp twinge went through it, and the Sea-Serpent once again screeched and dived before having to quickly resurface. A blinding pain then shot though her head, and Hydrus screamed, her call sounding like that of an aquatic harpy. In frightened, confused pain, the Sea-Serpent ducked her head in and out of the water erratically.

Eventually, all of the functions in Hydrus' body stopped. Letting out one last final cry, the Sea-Serpent crumpled and began to sink. As the Sea Guardian died, a ripple of thunder spread through the land.

Kuromori stopped.

Looking up at the sky, the Gecko felt electricity go down his back. Mental thunder erupted through his mind, and Kuromori felt… strange. When the sound cleared, the Gecko noticed with a bit of remorse that sorrowful crying was drifting through the nearby cave entrance.

"My cousin! Oh, my cousin! She is gone! GONE!"


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