The Wanderer

Odds Are Against Us

Odds Are Against Us

"This place gives me the shivers…"

Celobia had reached the Great Temple and carefully checked for the boy before walking in. When there had been people in their land, the three smallest Colossi- Kuromori, Celosia, and Celobia- had always enjoyed the advantage of being able to join their worshippers inside the Temple. But now, the Lion felt a strange sort of fright take over him as he glanced at the eight shattered idols. Looking away, Celobia's eyes fell on the altar, and the girl who laid there.

The Lion slowly ascended the small staircase to the altar, his stone paws scraping against the stone of the floor. Celobia took in Mono's appearance with a growing feeling of dread. When Kuromori had described her, he had said the girl looked like a dead girl should. Relatively pale, with slightly swollen features. But as the Lion took in Mono's state of being, he could tell that she had changed.

Her skin was pinker, and her face was much less swollen then the Gecko had said. Instead of looking like the dead girl she was, Mono simply looked like she was in a deep sleep. Celobia's mind raced.

Why does she look so healthy? When people die, they appear progressively worse, not better!

The Lion's eyes widened and he said his next thoughts out loud.

"And if Mono is getting healthier, then that means-"

"Our little Wanderer is becoming the opposite? Don't tell Us things We already know, Celobia."

Celobia looked up at the pulsating light in the ceiling. And was it just him, or was the light getting stronger?

The Lion growled. "Dirge and I know of the ritual, Dormin. And I personally plan to tell the Colossi myself what you're up to."

The Light Colossus sighed. "Oh my. You have caught Us. Whatever shall We do?"

Dormin then laughed. "Ha! We don't care if you tattle, Lion. Do you even understand how much the odds are against you? Especially since your 'Last Resort' is about to fall!"

Celobia glared. "What are you-"

The Lion stopped, realization dawning on him. Ignoring the dark chuckles from overhead, Celobia ran past the shattered idols and came to a literally screeching halt in front of the closest still-intact one. He recognized it clearly as Basaran's. The Lion walked slowly down the chamber, getting a good idea of who came after the Tortoise.

Dirge Celosia! Oh no then Pelagia Phalanx Me?

Celobia stopped in front of his own idol, and noticed with a shock that if the Wanderer got as far as him, there would only be two Colossi left.

Argus then Malus. Well, I had a strong suspicion that Dormin would place our Titan last But did he have to make the order so obvious? Actually going through the Colossi in the order of which the idols are placed in the chamber is so un-original! Dormin isn't like thatThey like to play complicated games

The Light Colossus spoke up, sounding humored.

"We know what you are thinking, Celobia. The only reason We did not want the Colossi killed in an order involving a more advanced sequence, is because it would confuse Our pawn. Humans are so simple minded."

The Lion growled. "You can't win, Dormin. Every being on this Earth knows that good triumphs over evil!"

Dormin laughed. "Poor Lion. You are stuck in a child's fairy tale! This is the real world. Only those who aggressively chase their desires get what they want! That includes Us, and Our little Wanderer!"

Celobia roared and began to run out of the Temple.

"Then that means that we will win also! Don't underestimate the Colossi, foul Light!"

As the Lion ran top speed towards the Desert Fortress, he left a chortling Dormin behind.

Meanwhile

"I'm beginning to become annoyed…"

Basaran had dug himself back into the dirt of his cave, and had enjoyed relative silence (except for the geysers, of course) until a strange pit-pattering started to sound from a long ways away. Normally he wouldn't have been able to hear something so far away, but being in the ground helped the Tortoise to hear even the faintest vibrations from a mile off. As the sound grew closer, Basaran began to recognize it as the footfalls of a horse.

The Wanderer

When the horse had crossed the geyser field, the Tortoise began to rise. As he rose out of the dirt he heard the horse come to a startled stop in front of his cave. When Basaran was fully above ground, he glared at the Wanderer. The boy was just sitting atop his horse, appearing to be deep in thought.

The others gave him time to think? Well, I knowIwill not give him such a luxury!

As soon as the last of the dirt was shaken off his feet, Basaran welled up energy in his mouth and fired it at the Wanderer. The horse stumbled from the first blow before galloping off to avoid the other blasts that came its way, hardly needing any encouragement from its rider. The Tortoise felt fury boil in his veins as he slowly went after the creature.

Coward! If he had no horse to carry him, he would be dead meat!

Basaran paused to fire off more blasts at the horse, hoping to make it fall and drop the boy. But it kept galloping away, skirting around the active geysers. As the Tortoise continued to lumber after the horse, he heard the boy egging on his steed.

"Come on, Agro! You have to keep running! If my plan works, you won't have to go on much longer!"

Basaran was just questioning what he meant when the horse took a sharp turn. The Tortoise stopped as the creature began circling around him at a distance. He was just starting to turn and fire again at the horse when Basaran felt the uncomfortable sensation of hot water blasting up at his furry belly. This blasting made the Tortoise feel extremely unbalanced, and he was suddenly relying on two legs to keep him standing, the other two flailing in the air. At first, this just angered Basaran even more.

Urg! How could I have been so stupid as to walk over one of my own geysers?!

But anger turned into blind fury as a piercing pain shot through one of the Tortoise's supporting feet. Immediately the sides of his foot slid over the soft part, protecting it. However, this just unbalanced Basaran even further, and when pain went through his other supporting foot, the Tortoise toppled onto his side. Basaran, being the wise Colossus he was, became frightened as the realization that he was now completely vulnerable hit him. As he flailed his legs in a weak attempt to stand up, the horse cantered around to the side where his belly was exposed. The Wanderer dramatically jumped off of his steed and shouted, "Good boy!" before beginning to scale the Tortoise's stomach.

Finally, Basaran managed to get back on his feet. He couldn't feel anything, but he was able to hear the boy running up his shell. The Tortoise shook, and since the Wanderer had nothing to hold onto, he was mercilessly thrown about until the shaking stopped. Basaran heard the boy desperately sprint across his stone shell, hoping to get to the fur on his head before being thrown off. The Tortoise began to flip his head around when the Wanderer reached it, but it was too late. Basaran was a very strong Colossus, so it took a while for the boy's blinding stabs to take affect. As his strength ebbed and his legs gave from under him, the Tortoise thought with despair,

If this poor, sick creature can defeat me, then the odds are truly against us

Celobia gasped and tripped.

The Lion had been running full speed to the Desert Fortress when the familiarly painful sensation hit his chest. Unfortunately, when Celobia tripped, he was sent partially into his sister's canyon. He gripped the edge for dear life, and was relieved to hear Celosia call out in alarm.

"I'm coming, you klutz!"

After hearing the Boar wade through the lake and come up the path out of the canyon, Celobia finally saw her standing before him. Looking annoyed, Celosia huffed.

"What can I do to help?"

The Lion glanced behind him and gulped.

"Well, it would be nice if you tried to pull me up…"

The Boar sighed and put her horns behind plates in Celobia's armor before pulling back. The Lion scrambled to his feet and bowed his head slightly to Celosia.

"Thank you."

The Boar looked pleased for a second before looking troubled.

"Celobia, I felt another Colossus leave us. Do you have any idea who it was?"

The Lion solemnly nodded. "Yes. I also know the order the Wanderer is going in."

As Celobia explained, Celosia's look of being troubled deepened. When her brother finished, the Boar asked wearily,

"And what did Dormin say?"

The Lion gazed toward the Great Temple, his eyes filled with despair.

"They said the odds are against us."

And Celosia said nothing.


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