13 Infested Part 2
Sarari awakes from her bed to put her gear on and heads out the door, she begins to inspect the ground to make sure it's clear so they don't get any injuries from tripping, she goes out to the item shop to buy heals and herbs, she buys Akane plenty of Tikete potion, she goes to the weapons shop to buy Akira a more powerful tome of lightning magic, she heads back to the hotel and heads to the hotel's kitchen, she gains access to it through watch projection since she is a maid, she then begins to cook food for breakfast for everyone.
Hajime gets out of bed and puts his gear on to go out, he goes down to the lobby and sees that Sarari is pushing a cart full of food for everyone to eat. (Hajime was gonna go out to get everyone some food and get some items.)
Sarari: Good morning, Hajime, I've made you all breakfast today.
Hajime looks in surprise.
Hajime(Puts hand behind head): Oh, haha, well I was gonna go out to get some items for us.
Sarari: I have already taken care of that for you all, I don't want your food to get cold as I have made the final preparations on them already, I will head upstairs now.
Sarari heads to the elevator and Hajime looks in shock.
Hajime(In mind): S-she beat me to it...I-I may as well go back upstairs…
Back upstairs Eiko, Akane, Fudo, Yuko, and Daisuke wait for everyone else.
Akane: They're still sleeping?!
Yuko: Haha, Akira calls this time too early, Rin likes to sleep in and so does Toki, I'm guessing Hajime will be the same, I think Sarari might be getting the sleep she needs from her work, so I might be the only morning person in Celestial guild.
Eiko: I see, I'm sure they'll wake up within an hour, it was Rin's idea to get up before 10:00 am after all.
There is a knock at the door.
Sarari: It's me, Sarari. I have brought us all breakfast food to start off our day today.
Eiko opens the door and Sarari is standing there smiling softly with her eye closed, Yuko slightly blushes.
Yuko: Heyy, I told you you could sleep now that you're with us.
Sarari: I'm sorry, Yuko but I cannot do that, I made a promise that I will serve you all to the best of my ability, I have also have went out to get everyone items for today. May you wake those sleepyheads please? I know Akira will be happy that she is receiving food.
Yuko goes to knock on Akira's door, Akira gets ready and puts her gear on, and she heads out.
Akira(Whine): Could I at least have 30 more minutes…
The aroma of the food passes through her nose and she wakes up completely and heads to the living room.
Akira: Never mind, wake up Rin and Toki for me.
Yuko knocks on Rin and Toki's door and they begin waking up.
Rin:...We'll be out soon.
Yuko goes back to the living room.
Akira: Where are they?
Yuko: They'll be out soon.
Toki starts waking up.
Rin: Good morning Toki it's time to start our day today.
Toki: Good morning Rin...uh my things are in here so I'll get ready.
She gets up and goes to get her gear across the room.
Rin goes to put his gear on in the bathroom and once he finishes in the bathroom he heads out.
Rin: Alright Toki you can head in-
Toki has her night clothes off but she isn't nude, she is putting her skirt on.
Rin grits his teeth, blushes slightly, he turns around and begins to head back into the bathroom again.
Toki blushes and continues to put her things on then she goes to the bathroom door and knocks.
Toki: I'm all dressed you can come out now.
Rin opens the door.
Rin: Sorry about that I-I didn't know you were changing..
Toki: No, Rin it's fine...
Toki looks to the side and blushes.
Toki: I-I...didn't mind, we can go to the living room now if you want.
Rin: Phew. Sure, we don't wanna keep them waiting do we haha.
They walk out and begin heading to the living room.
Rin: Hey guys!
Daisuke: Morning Rin! You two sleep well? Man I wish I had a cuddle buddy at night…
Rin(Sweat drop) Uhh...is Hajime awake yet?
Sarari: I last saw Hajime down in the lobby but I do not know where he may have went. I have prepped all the food I have made for us onto the table, you may eat if you feel like it.
Akira is already at the table chowing down on her plate.
Akira: You're the best cook ever Sarari! This is great!
Fudo(In mind): She's looks fit but she sure has an appetite.
Eiko: It would be best if we all ate something before we left out, now let's enjoy this.
They all sit and eat.
Akane: Wow Sarari this is amazing! I'm glad we have you here with us!
Sarari: I appreciate all of your kind words.
Hajime comes back in.
Yuko: Hey, where'd you go?
Hajime:..I wanted to go out and get some things for us but Sarari got to it already.
Rin: Well there's plenty of food left, help yourself.
Sarari: I will now transfer you all your items since we will potentially need them, one moment please...you may check your gift boxes now.
They look to see that they have 3/3 big heals and 3/3 potent cure herbs.
Rin: Woah these are the more expensive herb, how did you get them?
Sarari: I have saved up a decent amount of brass from working as a maid in House of the Mark. I have also gotten you a higher grade of lightning magic Akira and I have gotten you a keychain Yuko.
Akira and Yuko check their gift box and both go to hug Sarari.
Akira: You're literally the best, thanks but this must have cost you a lot of brass though.
Sarari: Do not worry I have a little over 100k brass left. I have also awakened at 5:00 am today…
Hajime(In mind): 5:00 am!? Well there goes my chances...
Sarari: To make sure any potential hazards such as pebbles or cracks on the ground that could sprain our ankles were dealt with, I have thoroughly cleared a path for us, once we are finished eating I will return all of this kitchenware back from where I have retrieved it from.
Yuko: Sarari don't work yourself too hard.
Sarari: Nonsense, I feel more happy and of use to do this now that I am here with you all; I will not push my limits as you have asked of me and will "sleep in" later tonight through the morning.
Yuko: Thank you.
Fudo: You sure are-
There is a knock on the door.
Eiko: I'll get it.
Eiko checks the camera to see who is outside of the door. It is a short man about 5'2 dressed in silver royal armor with aquatic designs on it.
???: I am a royal knight of the Puritan palace, I wish to speak with you all.
Akira: Open it, if he tries anything he's dead.
Eiko opens the door.
Puritan knight: I am sorry to disturb you all brave warriors, but I come bearing news from the Queen of Puratis herself.
Puritan knight: Indeed. Queen Aphrodite herself has personally chosen me with this message.
Akira: Get to the point already!
Puritan knight(Shaking)(Fast): R-right. The queen wishes to see you all regarding the monster you all defeated in the canal last night, she wishes to tell you more, I am transport you all to the palace via carriage!!
Akira walks up to him and reaches for his neck with purple magic.
Akira: Pull something stupid and off with your head, got it?
The Puritan knight gulps then nods.
Puritan knight: You may follow me when you're ready, I will be down the hall until then.
He walks away.
Hajime(In mind): Yep. I'm dead if she finds out I climbed into her bed last night, great.
Eiko: Too harsh, Akira?
Akira: We're trying to get out of here remember? This is the faster way.
Fudo: Hmm..the palace he may be referring to could be the one on that one rock formation behind town.
Rin: We can go since if we're all finished.
Sarari: Very well.
Sarari quickly puts everything back onto the cart so she can return it and they walk out to the lobby.
Sara: Please enjoy you day in Puratis city today, we look forward to your return!
They go out the door and see a pretty horse pulled closed carriage big enough to seat them all, it is white with some aquatic golden designs in it.
Rin: Talk about fancy.
Puritan knight: Our arrival time should be within the hour, until then please enjoy the magnificent views.
He opens the carriage doors and they all get in and he goes to the front and they begin moving.
Akane: I've never ridden inside of a carriage before! These seats are so comfortable and the ceiling has an animated blue type of camo! This would be so much more amazing if I we were on our way to meet my Tikete prince...aww.
Eiko: It is nice haha, but I wonder what this Queen wants to tell us.
Rin: I wonder how they know we've dealt with that monster; but I guess it can't be anything bad she'll tell us, that would be a bad welcoming for us all.
Toki: Maybe she'll reward us with shells.
Rin: Ha-ha very funny. I just wanna relax until we get there.
Sarari: This is all elegant scenery, I will take photos.
Sarari begins taking photos with her eyes and opens "Screenshots" on her watch projection.
Sarari: So many memories to be made, I must indulge in my first big adventure as if it were my last.
Yuko: Woah Sarari you have a camera? These images are pretty, we should take one..
Sarari: Very well, please move closer.
Yuko scoots closer to Sarari to the point where they are touching shoulder to shoulder.
Sarari: You are out of view, I will assist you.
She uses one hand and places the side of Yuko's face on her chest and raises her other arm to take a selfie of them with the watch projection.
Sarari: Our first image together, I will remember this well, it is too adorable and funny to forget.
We see the image and Sarari had a nice soft smile while Yuko was blushing and had wide eye.
Yuko lifts his head and places it on Sarari's shoulder and he goes unconscious on Sarari's shoulder.
Sarari: Aww, poor kitten must be tired.
Daisuke: Hey Sarari mind if we get a picture together!?
Sarari: Do not worry, I will capture images of all of us on our adventure together; I will leave no one out, I also do not wish to wake Yuko up in this moment.
Yuko's eyes are dizzy.
Akira(Under breath): Cute.
They soon pass by on a bridge and to the left side is the beautiful large cup like tank with the spray of each fountain from outside city misting down into it, it is also very lively below as well.
Akira: Woow...I bet there's a lot brass that comes here, I see attractions and more shops down there...a tour that goes above that cup thing too? Ok, I actually wanna go up there now.
Fudo: Don't lose your focus ever so soon we have a mission at hand.
Akira gets a cross popping vein.
Akira: I meant later, did you flambeau your brain before we left out or should I do it for you?
There is a fire background behind Akira, she holds purple flames in her hands.
Fudo(Sweat behind head): S-sorry.
Rin: Don't get us kicked out of the palace please.
Akira slightly blushes and looks away.
Akira:...Ok, ok. Hmph.
Fudo exhales in relief.
Approaching Aphrodite's palace.
They travel down a pathway that has cherry blossom trees, the leaves fall down beautifully, soon there is an ocean to the right with a huge brown white and red palace on a rock formation, there is a dove designed into the rock formation and there is some vegetation on the rock formation as well, the palace also has some cherry blossom trees on it. (The palace is also inspired by old japanese architecture.)
Rin(To the knight): Where's the bridge to get across?
Puritan knight: In due time you will see, I want it to surprise you all further.
Daisuke: The Queen sure is living large, I can already tell she'll be really pretty!
Fudo: Don't go assuming she'll want your autograph now..
Daisuke: Aw you're just jealous that I'm better with the ladies and better than you!
Fudo: What? I'll have you know that I'm more advanced in technique-
Eiko: Hey, let's all settle down now it's nothing worth to fight over, let's keep our minds sane and enjoy this time away from monsters for now.
Fudo: Grr..fine. (In mind): Who does this big fool think he is? I'd wipe the floor with him in no time; if anything I am not 2nd fiddle to him.
Daisuke(To Fudo): Aw, c'mon man it was just a joke haha, you gotta lighten up sometimes.
Fudo: Yeah yeah.
They reach a gate, the knight inputs something on a screen that displayed in front of him, a bridge soon starts to rise from the sea to form a pathway to the front of the palace, the gate opens so they can travel across, they make it to the front entrance and the knight opens the carriage doors.
They all get out and start walking to the big closed door that begins to open and we see the inside, they are on a large balcony, the inside kind of resembles Aquarium Park from Sonic Colors, the roof has the same hint of blue as it, there are many different red palaces all around with light white lights on them, there are big pools of water with sea rock formations in them, white doves fly around in the air, there are gardens with ponds, bonsai trees, and fountains in them.
Yuko: Woah. This is unreal, it's just so pretty…
Toki: I have to agree with that, this definitely beats anything in real life.
Puritan knight: Just ahead in that red and white palace is the Queen's, we may walk down the steps whenever you're done gazing.
Sarari: One moment please, may we all get in a group? I wish to take a photo of us with the scenery in the background.
Rin: Sounds good, but I actually would mind taking pictures if I had the option to buy a camera.
They all group up and the Puritan knight also tries to get in.
Akira: No, you're our guide, now get out.
He walks away in shame, Sarari raises her arm and tells everyone to say "Memories" and she snaps the photo.
Sarari: Excellent, thank you all. This a moment not even words can express, I look forward to more of this, we may move now.
Rin: Alright! To the palace!
Puritan knight: As you wish… (Still in shame)
It is a beautiful white and red palace with some small pink designs in it.
Akira: Was there not a faster way to get here?
Toki: It's still a video game so I guess it's locked since we've never been in here before, but like someone has said, walking is better for you.
Akira(Slight smile): Toki, be quiet please. (In mind): Aww, I'm surprised she isn't with Rin yet.
Puritan knight: We may enter; just be careful not to touch anything.
They walk up the steps of the palace and enter, the interior is white and red, there are two pools of water on the side where a path lays in the middle, there are bonsai trees and gardens in here as well, in the distance there is a big flight of stairs with a whitish throne at the top of them and there sits a woman.
Queen Aphrodite has feathery short white hair with a part of her hair covers her left eye, she has a sharp eye shape with pink colored eyes, she wears a blackish watery shoulderless dress with blue watery ends, her skin shines a bit, she has patches of aqua blue on her skin, she has a blue water drop mark that lights through her neck, she has icy blue fingernails, and she has no shoes on.
The guilds walk closer to the steps and she begins to stand out of her throne to speak, there is a slight echo to her voice.
Aphrodite: Welcome warriors from afar, I am Aphrodite, I would like to personally thank you for handling that troublesome monster in the canal last night.
Rin: You're welcome, Umm...how do you know that we killed it?
Aphrodite walks forward and walks down the steps, she creates a ripple like water effect where ever she steps.
Aphrodite: It is quite obvious; one of the locals you rescued happened to be a royal knight sent to deal with that creature, I give many thanks to you for saving all who were captive, but there still lay an issue.
Rin: What is it?
Aphrodite: If you may not have know, Puratis supplies a good portion of the Final realm with purified water, but our systems have been breached and contaminated turning the surrounding sea and some canals toxic, we are unaware of what may be causing it as it happened about 4 weeks ago and it has gotten to the point where we are using up our last purified water reserves, once the fountains outside stop spraying water, the cup purification tank will eventually deplete from the usage of our Puritans, that will likely stir up lots of chaos everywhere, I cannot harm my people as I am not a ruthless monarch which is why I ask for your help to check what may be below the canal system that is causing all of this.
Akira: We'll do it.
Aphrodite: This all will not go without reward; I have sent many people and soldiers to investigate the system deep in the underground canals but none have returned. I will hand you over a card now.
Rin: Oh, what is it for?
Aphrodite: It is used to gain access to the lower levels of the canals to reach the potential point of contamination.
Rin places it in his inventory.
Aphrodite: Return to me once you have found out what is causing the issue, I have granted you all access through the palace gate once you do, I wish you all a safe travel brave warriors.
Rin: Right, you can count on us, let's go everyone.
Puritan knight: I will escort you all back to your hotel.
They walk back out into the carriage and go back to the hotel.
Outside of Lagoon.
Puritan knight: Take care of yourselves now, whatever is down there isn't friendly-
Akira: We already know, what monster do you know is friendly? Just leave already or else!
The Puritan knight wishes them well and speeds off on the carriage.
Akira: I want to be in my bed early since I had to get up early, we can go to the underground canals now.
Rin: Uh we're moving at least; we can go if we're ready.
They walk back to the canal system where they originally entered with the bully and go back to the pod area with the green canal water.
Daisuke: She'll definitely want my autograph after we get back!
Fudo: Oh just hush already, she is already 90x above your league and that's being fair.
Eiko: Guys we don't want to make too much noise because we don't know what's in here, just save it for later
Yuko: Hey do you guys hear multiple footsteps nearby or is that me being paranoid?
Akane: I hear it with too, it's coming from that room up ahead..
Eiko: At least it's opened so it saves us the trouble of having to peak in, just stay sharp when we go in.
They walk to the door and enter another big open room and are shocked at what they see, there are some disfigured reanimated corpses walking back and forth. (Some of them twitch.)
Fudo: What the hell? They're walking around in here like they're guarding something.
Daisuke: Whatevert these things are doing, I wanna play!
(Daisuke charges and runs through them easily, one necro monster tries to cut him from behind but Daisuke's armor is tough, Daisuke turns to jump up and he smashes the necro monster into pieces.)
Daisuke: Aww, they're as fragile as they looked!
Fudo: Those are obviously the weaker type necro monsters.
Daisuke: Whatever man I still had my fun!
Eiko: Guys not now we have to keep moving.
Akira: That stuff really stinks, where do do we go now Rin?
Rin: The map just says to explore the room.
Akira: I hate having to find things…
They walk around in the room and find a door.
Akira: Well that was easy, a bit too easy.
Rin: It seems like this is the only path available at the moment, I don't trust it as much as you do.
Eiko: I will kick the door open, have your weapons ready.
Eiko kicks the door down and there's nothing in there, it is a smaller canal room the canal water goes under a gate which is closed, there is a closed door ahead as well.
Eiko: Hmm, nothing out of the ordinary here, we're good to go.
They walk in and soon after the door closes behind them and the room begins to flood.
Eiko: It's rising fast! Place a barrier over Akane now!
(Akira quickly places a barrier around Akane and they soon go underwater, Eiko swims over to Akane who is sinking downward because she can't swim forward, Akane reaches low enough and is carried out by a current and the area she passes closes, Eiko looks in anger and turns around, he turns around and they see that the canal gate is open and swim under it into another room and climb up onto the floor.)
Rin: Where's Akane?
Eiko: I tried to swim to her, a current carried her away and a gate blocked me from also being pulled by it..grr; this'll be my fault if she is gone, I was too slow…
Rin: Don't beat yourself about it Eiko, we'll save her, but we have to get out of here first.
They look around this larger room and there are appendages and muscle tissue on the wall that leads to somewhere, there is a necro monsters in the distance with half of its face skull visible, its hands and forearms are purple, its body is decayed, one foot is turned around, its mouth is dislodged.
Rin: That thing might be poisonous so we should be careful.
The necro monster looks around and sees them, it shrieks then it begins to gag violently, it projectile vomits red and green onto the floor, it steps in it and places its hands in it and sprints fast toward Yuko's direction.
Yuko gets terrified, Sarari jumps in front of Yuko and throws knives into its dislodged mouth but it keeps running, Sarari front flips over it and slashes its head down the middle into two and they flap down, it then it starts to bloat.
Akira places a barrier around everyone, the monster explodes lots of purple shards everywhere, they dissipate and it disintegrates.
Fudo: That was close, but know we now for next time it'll be better to deal with it from a range.
Rin: It's still risky because of those shards it explodes, it'll be more dangerous since we're in an enclosed space.
Akira: I'll block them for us, don't worry.
Toki: I wonder where all this tissue and muscle came from, it's like something from an alien horror game.
Rin: That could probably be the source but we don't know yet.
Yuko: Haha I'll keep patrol out here while you guys head in..
Akira: You're coming with us, remember?
Yuko looks worried.
Sarari: Do not worry, Yuko, I am beside you.
She smiles at him which calms him down.
Yuko: Thanks Sarari.
They follow the appendages and muscle tissues on the wall and soon there is a large wall of muscle tissue blocking their progression forward, Eiko tries to slash through it but it doesn't work.
Eiki: That wall is really tough, there's no other way around it.
Rin: I guess I should launch Fallaflame. (5 uses that recharge one week after all 5 have been used, Rin has used 1 already. 4/5)
Eiko: I think I'd be best not to waste it on this, maybe there is another way but there's nothing that shows so this is a dead end.
Rin: Hmm...the guide objective is gone, this is all too strange, but we should head back to the surface to find Akane, we can worry about this later.
They begin walking out and Eiko looks sadder than usual.
Rin: Eiko, no one from us is leaving, we'll find her I promise, there was nothing different you could have done.
Daisuke: Yeah man I'm sure she's alright, we'll get her back.
Eiko:..Thank you guys, I've just suddenly gotten a lot of negative thoughts from her worried face I last saw..(In min): I can't even remain up during times like these? How am I to lead us...please be ok, Akane..
Eiko snaps back to life.
Eiko: Huh? Sorry, what did you need?
Rin: Where was her last pinpoint?
Eiko: Oh, right….she's somewhere on the other side of town but she's still being pulled by the currents it seems.
We go to Akane who is being pulled by the currents in the canals traveling through many passages before she is pushed out of the underground canal system back onto the surface where she floats in the barrier in the water.
Akane(In mind): I can't even breathe correctly right now because of how scary that was, I have to climb back onto this platform now…
Two people walk over to her and they get surprised. (NPCs)
NPC 1: A Tikete? And surrounded by water? Looks like it's our lucky day.
NPC 2: We'll be rich, haha finally.
NPC 1 takes out a barrier breaker weapon and hits it against it which breaks it, Akane falls into the water and begins to sink; but she is immediately pulled out by the two men and carried off as she is very weak now.
Akane awakes very weak inside of a cell, she manages to get up to walk forward, when she views out there are also multiple cells with people in them, there are multiple levels within this facility with people in cells.
Akane: W-where am I?
The NPC who broke the barrier comes to cell.
NPC: Aw you're woke, nice to see, I thought you died but you aren't poisoned fortunately. Well right now we're somewhere deep in the underground canals, we sell people to good buyers of the Final realm, it's really good brass and since you're a Tikete you'll be worth a fortune and I'll be rich! We're gonna hold an auction in about 2 days since we've gathered just enough people to do another one, this might be the best one yet; oh don't worry about breaking out either because there's a set amount of water in your cell roof that'll dump on to keep you weak oh and we put a water collar on you neck to keep you in check, toodles big money.
(Queen Aphrodite is unaware that a trafficking facility like this is being operated, this facility has 3 levels divided into general (Level 3), profit (Level 2), and rare (Level 1). The auction will be held in an auditorium which is on Level 2 in the facility, but these NPCs do not know about the canal contamination as they have attracted lots of necro monsters made by embedders that are nearby, they aren't close by any means but they are close enough to navigate their way to the multiple gates of the facility just outside and break them down.)
Back outside on the surface the combined guilds make it to her final pinpointed area where she was picked up out of the water before she disappeared.
Toki: This doesn't make any sense, why would she stop pinpointing her location?
Eiko(In mind): S-she dead? All because of me- no! Focus Eiko there's still a ray of hope left.
Eiko: We should question the locals in this surrounding area, hopefully they know something, we should all split up so we can ask multiple locals, we'll meet back at this point when we're done.
They agree and begin to spread out to ask the locals, Rin and Toki are grouped.
Rin: Excuse me sir have you seen a Tikete around this area recently?
Local: A Tikete in this area!? No, I haven't but I'd sure love to meet one
Rin: Thanks anyways.
The walk to ask another local and they show a picture of her profile pic.
Local: Nope, I've never heard of a Tikete purposely ever wanting to come to these parts, but I'd be an honor to meet one.
They walk off and question a few more locals but they get no results or progress.
Toki: I wonder why these people are interested in meeting a Tikete.
Rin: Could be a spiritual thing, but it seems like no one has seen anything.
Toki: There's no way she could have walked far on her own if that barrier broke, I just hope she's ok.
The rest get no luck after hours of questioning so they decide to meet back.
Fudo: We should keep this area on high alert and come back tomorrow, maybe we'll have better luck tomorrow.
Eiko: ..Tch. Fine, rest should be fine for us. I am mentally drained so this should help me a bit better-
Rin places his hand on his shoulder and looks at him stern
Rin: We'll get her back, I promise.
Eiko slightly smiles and a tear runs down his face.
Eiko: I have so much to learn from you all..