"I thought you would have gotten over it by now…"
Celobia was once again pouring out all his feelings of self-doubt to his sister. Celosia, as you can imagine, was annoyed.
"I mean, seriously. Dirge himself said your ridiculous feelings about what happened mean nothing."
The Lion blinked up at his sister with confused and sad eyes. "But Celosia, he didn't say that."
The Boar growled and paced away.
"It doesn't matter! All I know is that you have done nothing wrong. Guess what? Kuromori probably deserved that big slap in the face before he died!"
Celobia spoke up.
Celosia spun around, snarling.
"Let me finish."
Celobia shut up.
The Boar sighed with irritation then continued.
"But guess what else, my brother? Kuromori… he…"
After a few moments, she slowly walked back over to the Lion to look him directly in the eye.
"Kuromori couldn't have possibly died without having peace. Remember what Malus told us long ago?"
Celobia shook his head.
"He said that someone who is good, pure, and knows it, must come to terms with what is actually wrong in the end. Someone who goes through so much inner turmoil and doesn't know what to make of themselves must come to terms with what is actually good."
The Lion looked confused.
"What? Oh whatever, Celosia. I might as well go back to my city and wait."
As Celobia tried to walk around his sister to go to the exit, she stepped in front of him.
"What will it take to make you know the truth?"
The Lion sighed.
"You could make Argus take back his words. At least that would make me feel a little better."
The Boar rolled her eyes.
"It's not like you to be swayed by bullies. What could he have said to get you back in this mentality?"
"Why do you always ask about things that are said?"
Celosia huffed in irritation.
"Just tell me what he said."
The Lion looked away.
"He said I'm a no good murderer, and that I should go back to my city where none of you will have to suffer from my attempts at nobility any longer. Quite frankly, I agree with him."
Almost as soon as those words left his mouth, Celobia was cuffed over the head.
"I'll tear him apart! I'll rip him limb from limb! I will!"
In her anger, the Boar smashed her head into one of the fire-holding altars that lined the walls, causing an aflame stick to clatter to the floor. As Celobia replied, he didn't notice his sister flinch from the fire near her paws.
"Celosia, it wouldn't be very masculine of me to let you fight my battles for me. And besides, Argus would probably just step on you."
Shaking her head, the Boar grimaced at the Lion.
"Hmph. Men. But seriously, stop being such an idiot. I know you're good, and despite what Argus said, everyone else knows it too. So pleaseaccept it. I hate seeing my brother so confused."
Celobia searched Celosia's eyes.
The Boar nodded, relieved that he seemed to be coming to his senses.
The Lion squared his shoulders and cocked up his head into its usual confident position.
"Good. Well then, I have business to attend to. Celosia, I have a theory as to why the Wanderer is here, and it is now backed by Dirge and Argus."
The Boar instantly looked solemn.
"I don't know if I should listen to anything that rotten sentinel has approved, but go on."
"Since I've said it a few times now, I'll put it into short terms. The Wanderer is doing all this so he can bring his dead girlfriend back to life. Dormin has incited a ritual. There is absolutely nothing we can do but fight back."
Celosia was silent for a few moments before speaking.
"I agree with everything. But…"
The Boar shook her head.
"That is one lucky girlfriend, I have to say. Very lucky. Despite the evil he is committing, I can't help but admire the boy's devotion."
Celobia nodded and slowly went on to his next subject.
"Also, Celosia… I know the order."
The Boar stared at him for a second before acquiring a strange glint in her eyes.
"I'm next, aren't I?"
The Lion gaped at his sister in shock before sputtering.
"I could tell from your voice. And don't worry, I'll be fine. Think, Celobia. How did the Wanderer get on the others?"
The Lion cocked his head to the side.
"He tricked them so he could climb on their fur and stab their vitals."
The Boar nodded.
"Exactly. Do you see any fur on me?"
Celobia shook his head.
"No. It's safely under your armor."
Celosia nodded again.
"Exactly. And how could the boy break off my armor? I mean, it is weaker then it used to be, but not so weak it can be broken off by a mere human! So don't worry. I'll definitely get him before he gets me."
The Lion couldn't help but feel doubt, but he nodded anyway.
"You're right Celosia. Maybe you'll win, and the Wanderer will be felled instead."
The Boar's eyes practically glowed blue.
"That's the spirit! And the girl deserves a proper burial. It's not her fault the boy loves her enough to kill… how many is it now? Oh yes, ten. Ten Colossi. To think, our number has gone from sixteen to six…"
Celosia was quiet again, and Celobia decided to leave his sister to her more somber thoughts. He stepped up to her and nuzzled her, making the stone of their face armor scrape.
"Be safe, my sister. Be safe."
The Boar chuckled.
"I said don't worry, dum-dum. I'll be fine."
The Lion sighed, nodded, and turned around to walk towards the exit. After taking one look back, he leaped over the crevice in the middle of the floor and exited onto the side path that left the temple. As he waded through the lake to the canyon wall exit, Celobia glanced up and back to see Celosia gazing after him at the open end of the temple. When the Lion was out of the canyon, he looked down one more time before starting to run westward over the desert. As he picked up speed, he muttered to himself,
"What am I so worried about? She'll be fine… I hope…."
"My claws are sharp, I've gone through every trick he could use, I'm so ready."
Celosia had decided to wait in her stone den that was carved into the upper wall inside the temple. Most people never knew about it, because they never bothered to look up. The Boar looked out through the open end from where she lounged, keeping her eyes fixed on the wall path. Since she didn't have extraordinary hearing or feeling, this was the only way she would know when the Wanderer came.
Finally, just as Celosia was starting to feel sleepy, a dot leaped the small way down from the desert ground onto the wall path into the canyon. The Boar was instantly wide awake, and she watched closely as the boy made his way down the path. She was amused when the Wanderer looked suspiciously into the lake water before shrugging and jumping in. As the boy swam across the small lake, Celosia thought to herself,
Hmm… He's become cautious of water… Can't blame him, I'm sure his encounter with Hydrus was quite a "shock"…
It was then that the Boar noticed that the Wanderer had disappeared. She stood and listened, waiting for the sound of footsteps to enter her temple. When they did, she also heard a voice.
"Hmm… This place is small for a Colossus. Maybe it's hiding somewhere…"
Celosia snorted quietly.
"Well no duh."
Suddenly she saw the boy under her, and watched as he jumped over the crevice into the main part of the temple. The Boar decided it was time to get this over with.
Leaping down over the boy into the temple, Celosia ran to the open side. She heard her intruder cry,
"Wow! This one's small!"
And turned around to careen towards him.
As the Wanderer leaped behind the fire altar to his left, he shouted,
Angered by his cowardice, the Boar stuck her paw into the crack and tried to claw him into the open. She heard him cry out in pain but he stayed safely where she couldn't really reach him. Backing up, Celosia started to pace in front of the boy's hiding spot. She was satisfied when the Wanderer jumped up to the top of the fire altar, muttering to himself,
"I'll be safe here!"
The Boar backed up further then proceeded to ram into the altar. The boy cried out but held on. As Celosia shook the stars from her eyes, she noticed that once again a stick had fallen from the fire. Unlike when she was talking with Celobia, though, its flame had been put out by the fall. Unbeknownst to her, the Wanderer also noticed the stick. Feeling infuriated at the boy for having the nerve to not fall, the Boar repeated the ramming process. This time, as Celosia was shaking her head, the Wanderer jumped down and grabbed the stick before running back to safety. The Boar glared up at the boy as she backed up again.
What is he up to…?
Instead of clinging for dear life to the altar like before, the Wanderer dipped the stick back into the fire, thus relighting it. Just as Celosia was going to ram the altar again, he jumped down mumbling to himself.
"Maybe its armor burns. Why else would Dormin supply fire?"
Dormin?! They wouldn't care about giving me fuel for my altars!
But as the boy shoved the flames in her face, the Boar no longer cared about his silly theories. Instead, memories of the fire-keepers burning as the very flames they tamed everyday turned on them and fell on them, burning them alive in the quake. Celosia remembered struggling to stand as the same fire fell on her and chinked off her armor as she watched in horror.
Ever since the Death Quake, the Boar had been absolutely terrifiedof fire. She could manage giving her altars fuel every once and a while, but she still flinched at getting so close. Now Celosia blindly backed away from the Wanderer and his flaming stick, groaning unintelligibly in fear. The boy quickly figured out what was going on, and advanced on the Boar from a safe distance. In her desire to stay away from the fire, she did not watch where she was going. Slowly, the Wanderer backed Celosia toward the open end of the temple.
Just as the Boar was about to back off the edge, the flame went out.
And her fear vanished in an instant.
As Celosia growled and once again ran forward, the boy's cry of,
Was cut short. Though he still held the stick, he was flung behind the fire altar closest to him. The Boar followed him, and prepared to once again ram the altar when he woke. She heard the Wanderer groan and stand up before seeing him jump to the top of the altar and relight the stick. Celosia had no time to think before she was once again backing away in fear. This time though, she wasn't caught in fear for long.
The Boar frantically tried to hold on to the edge as she fell, but she had been moving with such momentum that it wasn't possible. She hit the secondary ledge with her back before sliding off that edge and landing on her stomach on the ground in front of the lake. Celosia was knocked unconscious, and had no idea that when she had slid, her back armor had broken off. When the Boar awoke, it was to a blinding pain in her back as the Wanderer landed on her sword first. Knowing in her daze that one more stab would finish her because of her size, Celosia quickly stood and shook. She ran around to the side path, but in her short pause to make the turn, the boy was able to put in the second and final stab.
The Boar slowly stumbled to a stop, and then fell on her side. She knew, as blackness closed in, that Dormin would be respectful enough to move her body to the center of her temple where it could be properly mourned by anyone who came. And as Celosia took her final breath, she thought to herself,
Yes… That is averylucky girl…
Celobia gasped in surprise.
He looked skyward from where he stood and gazed blankly at the column that had been added to the clouds. The Lion blinked and looked back down at the long, mossy island that floated in the lake. Bowing his head respectfully, Celobia muttered sadly,
"I'm sorry Hydrus, but I have someone else I must go and honor now."