That night there was a vast amount of the pointing of fingers, the ambassadors each assuming the others had attempted an assassination; the Agrax accused the Croix as it was one of their merchants who had been found summoning the foul creatures that attacked the school. The Croix claimed that the merchant had either acted alone or was really from the Xiang or Agrax disguised as a Croix merchant.
At the end of the day no one could prove a thing. Tyros and Jasma did all they could to calm everyone, however an observant individual would have been able to tell from the silence and knowing looks between Tyros, Jasma, Jinron, Bast-Tet, and Ahm, that they knew something. That night with the ambassadors in their secured rooms with more guards than the night before, these five would leave their quarters to meet in a secluded room in the west wing of the school.
Two masked soldiers for Bast-Tet, these two clearly Kuhrai as well, carried between them on a pair of poles fitted through slots a large lacquer box with veiled windows; a box that was really transportation for someone who needed no food or drink other than clean water for the visit. They left the box in the room, bowed their heads in silence and left.
"This," says Tyros to his father Jinron, "box contains the most powerful oracle on any of the worlds of the Makai Cluster. We went to great lengths to find her."
"Yes," says Bast-Tet, "She is of the Sidhian, a fairy like race, or rather something akin to what you call a vampire. Her kind are secretive, I was only able to even approach her to ask her to come here thanks to the boon of the ruler of the world of the Five Mountains."
Tyros remembers, his mind flashing back to that strange sight. Aboard the Kuhrai's metal wedge shaped craft he could see amidst the ethereal clouds the circular radar dish shaped world known to the residents of the Makai Cluster as the Five Mountains Region. Four mountain ranges made up the edge rather than a normal magitian border, each separated by an un-natural mist coming from the valley between them like white serpents from the purple rippling sea that is what they called the Mystic Valley. The Northern Mountains were covered in ice and snow with steep slopes, the White Mountains. In contrast the southern mountain range was on fire, red rocks glowing amidst an inferno with trees that burned yet did not fall known logically as the Red Mountains. The East was a most strange place, the Blue Mountains, a place where all plants had blue foliage, and even the locals have blue skin, a land whose people, blue skin aside, and buildings looked very similar to those across the great ocean to the west of his own home continent of Ravashira on Aesperia.
He was told they had to approach from the west directly in line with the Green Mountains, the most natural looking of the four that are the home land to the secretive Sidhian people, as well a humanoid dragon race known as the Tia, who are just as secretive, and most certainly not on good terms with their plant fairy like neighbors. The residents of the North are beings of mist who feed on warmth, those of the east life devouring vampires, those of the south fiery fallen angel like creatures who burn their victims and devour the ash.
Standing as a spire amidst the purple sea, the Mystic Valley is a single mountain peak, higher than any other Tyros could imagine, the Black Mountain, home of vicious war like beings with pale skin, red eyes, blade shaped like wings adorning their heads like horns, and black shape shifting armor covering their bodies. Atop the mountain's peak is a massive castle that floats above connected by massive chains he was told were made of magitian, carved into chains by the goddess of their universe herself, or so the story goes.
The ruler of that castle, a bat-winged humanoid cat-person was someone he was told they most certainly did not want to encounter; she is said to be the patron goddess of that world. The locals attribute their creation as part of its creation mythos to her.
The trek through the forest with his wife, Bast-Tet, and Ahm flashes briefly, the meeting with the Sidhians and their agreeing to help them, the oracle however refused to say anything. He remembers that she had said she needed to go to their world to see anything as she could not see the fates of a world so far away from her own.
Now in the room she steps out of the box, her lithe yellow-green legs parting the veil of the door. She stands from the box, her short thin naked frame standing in contrast to the large Kuhrai Bast-tet bowing to her, even head dipped she stands much taller than the top of the Sidhian's green hair. The small woman dips her own head, green eyes closing in turn. From her back unravel like the awakening coils of a sleeping snake are her plant like wings. Their bases like wood and the membrane thin and leaf like. Unraveled they look to be a cross between the wings of a fly and the leaves of a delicate flower. She yawns and stretches her arms, despite the serious faces of her patrons she seems aloof, as well she is. Her kind don't really care, but her curiosity has gotten the better of her, as well they are bound to any promises they make and she did say she would see what she could for them.
"Okay," she says in her delicate almost childlike voice, "The mist is clearer here. But, this world feels weird. It's not at all like the worlds your people call the Makai Cluster. So alien, so un-natural, yet…" her voice trails off.
Looking up head tilted she says, "I see, the voice of this world speaks, yes. But I cannot tell you all now, no. Two more must be present, the fate of this world is tied to them it seems."
"Who?" asks Tyros eager to learn of the true nature of the threat to their world and how far it extends, his dealings with Ahm and Bast-Tet, he had done many deals he normally wouldn't have by his father's request to learn just this.
"They are watching us." she says with a smile. Looking up she says, "Please come here. I'll wait." The small yellow-green woman plants her naked butt on the floor.
Not far away the image of the room can be seen slightly distorted in the curves of a crystal ball sitting on a small wooden table on a bed, on either side of which sit none other than Rhulan and Hollia, with LinLin head crooked stares at it while laying on a pillow at the head of the bed next to Hollia.
"Well, well," comes a woman's voice from all around the five, plus the oracle.
"That voice?" says Jinron, "Miss Rurona?"
A cyclone of blue and white sparkling energy illuminates the room, when it settles Rhulan and Hollia stand facing them, with LinLin on Hollia's shoulders yawning.
"Miss Rurona." Says Jinron harshly, "and Holly, if you don't mind this is serious. Were you two spying on us?"
"Silence please." says the oracle.
She looks at the pair, "Holly-Lia, Hollia. I am Faeshin the oracle of the Green Mountains of the Five Mountains Region. Of the group of world you call the Makai Cluster. What I have to say I have to say to you, and your associate…associates."
She narrows her eyes and thins her lips looking at LinLin, tilts her head to the right and then back to the left, "what…are you?" she asks
*cheee-ke-ke* chirps LinLin.
*huh-humm!* interrupts Tyros, "what is the meaning of this?"
"So serious," says Rhulan, "so different from the little boy who would run around the school."
"really?" asks Hollia.
"oh yeah," says Rhulan with a smile, "you should have seen it, in fact I remember this one time when he was three, oh it was too funny, he actually streaked down the halls."
She and Hollia giggle, "Oh he was such a little rascal, he gave Marianna no ends of grief."
"My wife?" asks Jinron, "hold on, how do you know about that incident? No one saw that, there were no students, and you're hardly old enough to have been a student at the time."
Hollia chuckles a little, "I am sorry grand-father. I have kept a secret from you."
"I'll handle this please." says Rhulan, with arms out her cloths flow about as shadow reforming to that when Hollia first broke the seal to an extent, the gloves, the boots, the pants, the armor top over her black cloths, and the cape with the red under side.
"If you don't recognize me," she says, "I am Rhulan…yes, THAT Rhulan."
"Seems I was right." says Ahm, "I never forget a face, especially not one belonging to someone who once blasted me in my face with a ball of lightning."
"Really?" she says, "That was so long ago, all I really remember is teaming up with some thief, you were trying to use some magic scarab thing to control the minds of the masses and enslave some Earth or another."
Everyone's eyes turn to Ahm and then back to Rhulan, Jinron is dumbfounded at this revelation.
"Excuse me everyone." says Jasma, "but ancient legendary empress aside, I am a bit interested to know why the oracle we brought all the way here who is having a staring contest with LinLin, said that my daughter is tied to the fate of our world."
Tyros groans looking at Rurona, no Rhulan, for the first time really. He had thought her some tutor, the back story panned out for a wanderer but this made no sense to him, "well," he says, "I am curious about that too. But first things first."
He turns to Hollia, "Young lady, how exactly is the ancient enslaver of our world standing in this room, and came to be your tutor?" he looks around with his eyes not moving, only his head, "Also, speaking for my father I imagine, how does she know about our past?"
Rhulan laughs, "Calm down, First your daughter found me in the ruins of the Metal Castle, she practiced her spells out there. Well long story short one of those spells was the Supreme Detoxification spell. And bango bongo I'm back. And as you can see I'm not trying to take over the world, if nothing else I get the feeling I'm about to help save it. Now shut-it."
Hollia had never heard anyone talk to her father like that; in fact no one has ever dared to cross the people in charge of the school as far as she could remember.
"Second," says Rhulan, "I could astral project while I was a garden ornament. Now if you're all done being stupid, I do believe the fact that we, me, your daughter, and one other guy, having killed a Dah-Hoth able to summon other Dah-Hoth, and finding out what's actually behind all this takes precedence. Don't you?"
Jasma nudges her husband who shakes his head, he too had been raised on stories about ancient times when his honorable ancestor Gyro-Lee saved the world from Rhulan, but now, with her standing in the room, acting all buddy-up with his daughter just rubs him in a way that he feels like he is going crazy.
With everyone now quite their eyes turn to the oracle, Faeshin, who has been ignoring them completely. Instead she is sitting on the floor having a staring contest with LinLin. Both look up at the people, "oh," she says, "were you all done, I thought that would go longer, you know you can never get enough exposition when one of the people used to be the last boss."
Rhulan sighs and shakes her head, "Any who, you were telling these people something, you know, danger that threatens the world and all."
"Yes," says Faeshin standing.
LinLin runs back over to Hollia who picks her up placing her back on her shoulders.
With wings and arms outspread Faeshin looks up to the ceiling with eyes
As she focuses something hits Tyros, "Supreme Detoxification?" he thinks. He looks between Rhulan and Hollia, "by the goddess! When did my little girl get that powerful?"
"The mist is thinner." Says Faeshin, "However I cannot find the astral thread of this world…wait…The voice of the goddess, yes, yes, yes, I see."
She opens her eyes and looks around, "As I told you all earlier the fate of this world is tied to these two. Rhulan the fate of the Aesperian people is bound to her fate, she is the link to their forgotten past the hero of old, the villain of old, nothing is black and white, penance served, a hero again she may be."
She looks to Tyros and Jasma, "I am permitted by the goddess, no given a message by her, I may only act as a sign as I have to ties to this world. Two messages from her first. Born the Holy Maiden is from the blood of three peoples; those who dance on the air and spin reality, those with fangs and claws of timeless strength, and those shining people who border good and evil."
She takes a deep breath, "this message is tied to your request of me. The spawns of destruction answer the call of the elder ones who would bring chaos from order."
With a sigh she says to everyone, "Aside from these two messages and the heroes bound to the task," she gestures to Rhulan and Hollia, "I can see nothing of this world's fate. However I could feel another, one here on this world who in regards to this world is a stronger oracle than I. Seek out the golden oracle of Los Rodos. She will be able to tell you the face of your enemy."
Rhulan looks around the room, "well, that's nice to know." She looks around again, "No remarks, no questions, it's not like she's a magic fountain spirit, she's just standing there now."
She looks around again with everyone silent, pondering the message, "whatever, Hollia, looks like you are finally getting that adventure you wanted; time to save the world."
"Hold on!" says Tyros, "I haven't given my approval."
"Tyros," says Jasma putting her hand on his shoulder, "I know what you were thinking, Holly was able to un-do a legendary spell, and helped fight off the monster that attacked the school. She has to go out and see the world some day. I think this adventure is perfect, it does run in the family after all."
Tyros thinks back to his own adventures around her age as Tyros of the Fire Fist, and the stories of his father Jinron the Mushroom Magician. "hmmm," he says, "Holly, this is a big responsibility, I mean" he straightens his shoulders, "Holly-Lia, of the lineage of heroes of Aesperia. Hmm, yes Holly you are sixteen now, and you've proven your skill in battle and your skill in magic." He eyes Rhulan and looks at his daughter's familiar, "Very well, as your father I give you permission, no I assign the task of finding the golden oracle of Los Rodos and attaining from her the answer to what threatens our world and is using these…whatever Rhulan called them, creatures."
Jinron-Lia says, "Holly, until you return I will officially suspend your classes, you can pick back up with your under-graduate studies when you return."
"Thank you." says Hollia hiding her underlying happiness given the seriousness of the situation, "I won't let you down." With a bow she leaves the room. Rhulan shrugs and follows after.
Outside the room Rhulan says, "That could have been shorter don't you think? I think I prefer when the oracle is some spirit or fairy that appears and then vanishes right after, it's so much more convenient and makes it less awkward, I mean she was just standing there, she says some cryptic shit and then just stands there. They went all the way to some alien world, brought her all the way back here on her request and then…that's it. Now they have to take her all the way back to her world. Probably some quite boring trip with her hanging out in that box thing."
Inside the office Ahm turns to Bast-Tet, "You know, I'm not used to being ignored. I got the distinct impression they all forgot we were in the room."
"Yeah," she says while looking at Faeshin, "either way, not that it matters to us. We did this for the trading deal."
She turns to Tyros and Jasma, "yes," they say, "As we agreed." They frown looking at Faeshin who yawns getting back in the box.
Jinron sighs, "I'll start contacting some captains. This isn't going to be cheap. The waters around Los Rodos are filled with pirates."