Vay: Vicious Circle
Prologue Part 2 - Sealed Away

Helplessness.

That's all Elynthia felt right now. How long was she going to sit idly by while this monster destroyed her land? "It's been three days," she thought wildly, "and this destruction hasn't ceased!" She was sick of the elders telling her that the problem was just going to solve itself, it WASN'T going to solve itself. Those "scholars" haven't seen that beast. They haven't gazed into it's red eyes and seen the devastation left in its wake. If they weren't going to let her go, hell, she'd just go herself.

She was almost prepared for the journey too. She had a small satchel with the bare necessities, water, food, a couple of gold coins, some magical charms, her staff, nothing out of the ordinary. She knew her master would never let her go out if he saw her, so she'd just have to sneak out the back way. Master Belthasar was a master of soul magic, a magic that involved the 'non elemental' basics. It mostly dealt with healing, mind, and psychic powers, and since Belthasar's psychic powers were very acute, he ALWAYS seemed to know what you were doing, and when you were doing it. Elynthia then thought with panic, "Maybe he already knows my plan."

But she was too far to stop now. She could have laughed at her impetuous actions. Hell, she knew she had no chance at that thing. For all she knew, the second she walked up to that silver monster, it could wipe her off this mortal coil with one single blast of its fiery hand, but she knew it would be better to go out trying, instead of waiting for death to come to her. With the last of her provisions packed, she slung the bag over her shoulder, and tiptoed out the door, only to find someone barring the way.

Dammit! Master Belthasar can't be THAT fast!

But no, it wasn't Master Belthasar, it was the little girl who picked flowers with her three days ago, Jessica. Jessica was a soul magician in training, much like Elynthia was, but while Elynthia was nearly done with her training, little Jessie only begun. Jessie idolized Elynthia, and although any other girl might have been annoyed with this flattery, Elynthia cherished it. She viewed Jessie as the sister she never had, she always was glad to see her.

Except now. Now WASN'T a good time.

She shyly stood in the doorway, gazing up at Elynthia. "Where are ya goin' Elynthia? Master Belthasar said we can't go outta the shrine..."

Elynthia put a finger over her mouth. "I know, but I'm going out for a little while, I'll be..back soon."

The little girl prattled on, undaunted. "But where are you going? Can I come too?"

Elynthia was in a rock and a hard place, she had to tell the girl the truth, even though she had a history of babbling important, secretive information. "You know that nasty monster we saw the other day?"

"Yeah."

"Well, I'm gonna stop it. And when I come back, we can go outside and play together! I promise! Gotta go now, bye!" She wanted to get out of there as fast as possible, she was wasting valuable time. Every second she wasted here meant more and more landscape getting torched.

Jessie's eyes grew huge, and she began to cry. "Nononono! You can't go Elynthia! It'll hurt you! I don't want you to get hurt...WAAAHH!"

Elynthia quickly scooped the child into her arms. "Oh please, don't cry, you have to be brave, you know how to be brave, right?"

The little girl sniffled and nodded.

"Good. You see, old Master Belthasar-"

"You mean Master Fatty?" she interrupted. It was her nickname for him.

"Uh..yes..Master Fa-um..I mean Belthasar, he wants everyone to stay here, in the shrine, but I want to do my part and help save the world. If I stay here, that monster will come here and kill me anyway, and it'll kill you."

Big mistake. She shouldn't have said "kill you", for that sent Jessie into another fit of hysterical sobs. "I don't wanna die!!!"

"I know, sweetie, but if no one stops it, we'll all die. That's why I must go. I need you to be a big girl and not tell Master Belthasar about this, all right?"

"*Sniffle* Ok.."

"Good, now I must go. Good-bye Jessie. I'll miss you."

She took about five paces forward until one of the older priestesses stood in her path.

Oh WHAT now?!

"Hello, Miss Elynthia-"

"Um, listen, this ISN'T what it looks like..."

The Priestess looked confused, "Doesn't look like what? Oh well, it doesn't really matter. I bring onto you disturbing news.."

Elynthia felt her heart sink, bad news was, obviously, never good. She gulped. "What is it?"

"Your Master, miss, tried to help with some of the relief efforts in a neighboring town today, but that strange metal monster came back and attacked the town again. Your master..he was gravely wounded. He won't last much longer."

No, this couldn't be happening. Sure, she had some quarrels with the old man, but he was kind to her, and cared for her like a granddaughter. This couldn't be happening, not to dear Master Belthasar. It just couldn't be.

But it was, and she had to deal with it.

"If he has only moments to live, then I must see him right way. Please take me to him." The priestess nodded, and they were on their way.

***

"Ah, Elynthia, I'm *Cough* glad you have come..Come, sit next to me, child."

It was true that Old Master Belthasar was on his deathbed. The silver monster had blasted him with its ray of fire, and he was completely burned on his left side, not to mention the numerous cuts that lined his face. His voice was a raspy whisper as he continued to talk. "Now, my dear, I fear my time on this world is ending."

Elynthia felt hot tears well up in her eyes, and quickly took hold of his hand, "Oh please! Don't say that! You'll be fine..."

Belthasar laughed. "Ah, don't worry *Cough!* about me dear, I've lived a long life, I have no regrets, the only regret I will have is letting that thing live, but I feel I can fix that.." Elynthia's head shot up, and she looked at him with surprise. "What do you mean? It can be stopped?!" She began to get excited, holding his hand tighter, "What can we do, Master, what can we do?!"

"*Cough!* Don't talk so loud dear, you're making my head spin! Ahem, anyway, we have discovered that this....monster doesn't seem to be...oh, how shall I say this..It doesn't seem to be alive."

Elynthia gasped. "But that's impossible!"

"I know, but we feel this is the case. Also, we have found it to be vulnerable to magic, powerful magic. Now, I could have taken it on, with a fair amount of success, but, as you can see, I can no longer do that. So, I have organized a plan, with several other leaders, two days ago."

"WHAT?! You knew of it's weakness two days ago?! Why did it take you so long to attack?" Elynthia was appalled.

"We had to make sure, we couldn't afford to lose any more lives than we already have. But now, we are sure. So, our *Cough* plan is to have the five countries, you know, Lorath, Kerzalt, Penan, Marwick, and Ossayk, send the five best wizards to combat this fiend, and I choose you for Marwick."

"ME?!"

"Yes you. You are the most powerful soul magician here. You have a pure heart, child, and I feel you have a chance against this beast. But, you must work well with the other four wizards, no matter what their personalties may be like. If you are against each other from the beginning, then the world is doomed from the start. You understand this?"

Elynthia nodded and rose out of her chair. "I understand, Master. I will make you proud of me."

Belthasar coughed. "Ah, now I can die a happy man. Remember child, in spirit or in flesh, I will always be with you."

Elynthia smiled and walked out the door. It wasn't until later that she learned Master Belthasar died twenty minutes later, with a smile on his face.

***

This is taking too long. Time for action..

The entity smiled to itself. She had to rest in order for her power to recharge, but that was finally completed. She couldn't wait to destroy something else.

There was a certain thrill in seeing so many people disintegrating into nothing. There was a satisfaction in seeing towns burned into ash. Why, just today, she had the honor of raising a small village, and was now gazing over the charred remains. The inhabitants there were an odd folk. They were similar to these...what did they call themselves? Oh yes, humans, but they were squat, heavy set people. Not more than four feet tall. She heard eons ago that they called themselves "Dwarves". Of course, it didn't matter if they called themselves. Dwarves, humans, or monkeys, they all met the same fate.

She started flying over the landscape, a landscape she made charred and barren, and noticed a patch of green.

"This simply will not do!" she murmured to herself, and landed about thirty feet away from the entrance of a town. She didn't attack for a minute, for she noticed the inhabitants, now fleeing in terror, were not human as well. They weren't short like the dwarves, but they were pale, willowy, and had long pointed ears...

Oh well, she wasn't going to concern herself with race anymore. She raised her cannons, and let the inferno engulf the town.

***

Elynthia waited on a hillside for what seemed like hours. She checked the map Master Belthasar gave her before she left. "I wonder..am I in the right place? Is this where I meet them?" She asked herself. She checked the map again, and sighed. "Yes, this is the place, all-right..."

Then Elynthia shook her head. No, this couldn't be right. Maybe she read the map wrong. She went to check it again when she heard a soft thud behind her, with some soft cursing:

"Ah! Dammit! I really should watch where I'm going. That's the fourth time I fell. Damn, damn damn."

Elynthia spun around to see a rather plump youth, although he wasn't much younger than she, picking himself off the dusty ground. His dark hair was tousled and his cheeks were as rosy as his robe. He adjusted his spectacles and gave Elynthia a goofy grin.

"Heh-heh. Sorry 'bout that. I'm not, how shall we say, coordinated as I'd like to be..hehe..."

Elynthia couldn't suppress the giggle rising up within her. "Oh dear, we've got a live one here...."

"Eh? What did you say Miss?" The boy's smile melted and he peered at her suspiciously.

Elynthia didn't realize she said that out loud, and quickly covered up her poor choice of words. "Nothing! Um..what are you doing here anyway? Don't you know that there's a wild monster on the loose?"

The boy nodded. "Yup, I do. Actually, I need your help. You see, I got this map here, and I'm REALLY lost! I'm supposed to meet these five people.." He trailed off, searching his pockets for the map.

Five people? Oh no, don't tell me he's....

"Yeees! Found it!" he cried happily. Sure enough, the same map Elynthia received was now resting in the boy's hand. He smiled and opened it up. "Yeah, well, I need to find these five people. Can't tell you why though, that's top secret...mwaa hah.." He grinned mischeviously.

That's it, Elynthia thought, There is NO way I'm working with that boy. If this is the best magician that country can send, then we are all in deep trouble. I'm going without him! But, something was nagging at her mind. She struggled to remember what is was, and then, suddenly, it became clear.

But, you must work well with the other four wizards, no matter what their personalties may be like. If you are against each other from the beginning, then the world is doomed from the start..

They were Master Belthasar's last words, and she wasn't going to disappoint him by not obeying his last wish.

Elynthia sighed. "Well, I think one of those magicians may be me. I received this map as well." She pulled the map out of her satchel.

The boy's amplified eyes went wide, and he whooped for joy. "FINALLY! Geez, you don't know HOW FRIGGIN long I've been wandering this place!" He ran up to her, and nearly tripped over a rock. "Nice to finally meet you! Um..and you are...?"

"Oh! I'm sorry! I'm Elynthia DeArmond, from Marwick. And you?"

The boy shook her hand and cleared his throat. "I'm..."

Just as he was about to introduce himself, a voice broke in. "He's Romrus. Earth magician of Lorath, slightly tipsy, overly annoying, and the perfect guy to blame if something goes wrong."

The boy turned to the man standing behind him and pouted. "I can speak for MYSELF, Solon."

The man started to run up to Romrus, and Elynthia could see him much more clearly. He was about the same age as she, wore a white cape and shirt, and brown suede breeches. The most striking thing about him was that he wore a stone around his neck that matched his eyes, a deep azure color. He was taking great delight now in holding Romrus in a neck choke and giving him the world's worst noogie.

"Hah! Don't take it so hard Rommie.."

"Hey! I TOLD you not to call me that!" Romrus whined.

Solon laughed. "Ah, c'mon, I'm just having a little fun with you!" He turned to Elynthia. "Who's the lady?"

Romrus adjusted his glasses for the umpteenth time. "She's Elynthia, from Marwick. Master magician of...of....fire?"

"Soul." Elynthia corrected him.

"Oh yeah, that's it! Soul! I knew that!" He grinned proudly, like he knew all along.

Solon laughed "Suuure you did! Anyway, I'm Solon, from Kerzalt. Dunno WHY they sent me. I'm just an amateur water magician, but since we're running a little short on wizards lately, they HAD to send me off." He chuckled. "I'm ready to kick that silver freak's ass.."

Elynthia nodded, and then her attention was drawn to Romrus, who was whining, "I really DID know she was a soul magician. Honest!"

Solon whispered in her ear, "Don't worry. His annoying antics grow on you after awhile..."

Elynthia groaned. "That's what I'm afraid of!"

***

This was getting rather annoying...

The entity soon found out that the armor it thought was "invincible" had one major flaw. After so many rounds of fire, it had to recharge. Although she was still able to use the jagged sword in her attacks, it didn't give her the quick, colorful explosion she so desperately craved. Not only that, it was slowing her down. She didn't plan to spend this much time wiping out the planet. If she knew it was going to take this long, she would have attacked it from space, like she did to Kychaka and the surrounding planets, but she didn't have enough power to return to space, and she might as well finish what she started. Just because it was taking longer than she wanted it to didn't mean she wasn't having fun.

"Attention: Power systems recharged.."

"Ahh...excellent..I was getting bored of this "waiting game..." she laughed. She soon shot up into the sky, and was flying over the land once again...

***

"King Marwick! King Marwick!" The King, who was sleeping in his bed, woke up as soon as he heard the cry. "Wh..what is it?!"

The soldier who called him shot into the room, "It's that..monster sir. It landed about a mile away from the castle. We have to escape as soon as we can!"

The King waved his hand in annoyance. "Bah! Nonsense! How tough can this thing be? Marwick has the strongest army. Send out the strongest men we've got!"

The soldier gulped. "B..but Sire! Many other countries have tried the same thing, and it only produced disastrous results! Why, Lorath is nearly dust, and the same goes for all the other countries as well! We'd be throwing lives away! Please, Sire, reconsider this..."

The King stood tall, shook a finger at the man, and bellowed, "Listen you, I am YOUR king! Your only job is to fight and follow orders! Do you want to lose your job?!"

"I..I...*sigh* no Sire."

"I thought so. I want you to lead our men into battle, and into victory! No excuses!" The king sat down on the bed, glowering.

The soldier said nothing more. He turned around, and began to gather as many soldiers as he could, knowing that any resistance they gave would be futile...

***

Strange bedfellows..

Elynthia couldn't believe what kind of people a country would send in a crisis. She couldn't believe that they, people who seemed so different from one another, would be the only hope of saving the world.

In the past hour, the last two wizards arrived. One of them called himself Ardor. Quite a mysterious man. He was older than the rest of the wizards, but not by too much. He wore armor, while the rest of the team wore magician's robes. He wore his long blonde hair down, his blue eyes twinkled in the sun, and he wielded a strange staff, with two insignias. One had a carving of the Danek flag, the main tribe on the Isle of Oyssk, and the other side had an icon of Flamuria, who was the spirit of fire, his elemental magic. She, despite herself, found herself rather attracted to this man.

The other man, who called himself Krager, was also quite unique. He was a race in which she had never met up close, an elf. It was a known fact on her world that elves and humans didn't mix. Tales from long ago told of wars elves and humans had for power, although the wars eventually simmered down to just avoiding each other. His white hair was fine, and blew gently in the wind as he hung his head down in pain. He had just found out, upon his arrival, that his town was destroyed by the metal monster..

"It's not fair, what will I go back to? I have nothing..nothing.." he moaned over and over again.

Ardor gently put a hand on the mourning man's shoulder as Romrus took the man's hand. "Hey, I'm really sorry this happened..really..I wish there was something I could do.." Romrus seemed to be at a loss for words.

Elynthia raised an eyebrow at the boy. He may be annoying, but he seemed to have a heart as big as his belly. Maybe she misjudged him.

"I think," Solon began, "That the only way to truly get over this pain you have Krager, and actually have something to go back to, is to kick that silver sonnabitch to hell and back. You all with me?"

Krager stopped crying, and stood up tall. "You're right, it's time to end this."

"Wait, wait a second here. WHERE do we start?" Romrus asked.

Ardor gracefully brushed a stray hair back. " Well, since that monster just attacked the elven village up north, my guess that it is near Marwick. That is about as far north as you can go."

Elynthia moaned at the thought of her homeland being destroyed. It was then that Ardor put his hand on her shoulder, and Elynthia felt her heart skip a beat. He smiled, and winked. "Don't worry, we'll stop it in time."

"Well, If we are going to stop it, we'd better go now!" Solon said, as he picked up his bag and started running down the hill.

"HEY! Wait for me Solon! Waaaaaaaiiit!" Romrus cried, as he ran down the hill with him, tripping at least five times on the way.

Elynthia smiled, and picked up her own bag, and walked at a normal pace with the two other men.

"Strange bedfellows." Krager murmured.

Elynthia smiled and nodded. "Yes, strange all right, but I think we'll work well together."

Krager chuckled. "Sorry to say, I don't share your optimism.."

Ardor patted the fellow elf on the back. "Listen to the woman, she's got a point. We must work well with each other, no matter what happens. If we are against each other from the beginning, then the world is doomed from the start. We have to keep a positive attitude.

Elynthia stopped in midstep, and looked at Ardor in wonder "Why, that is just what my Master said! You are quite wise, Sir Ardor." Ardor shrugged. "I try."

Elynthia nodded. Yes, they would try, and hopefully, that will be enough.

***

This was too easy..

The entity laughed out loud at the sheer stupidity of these so called "higher mammals," these humans. Here they were, fighting a force they knew they couldn't be defeated, and yet, they just kept on coming! How pathetic! She wiped trough the Marwick army like a hot knife through butter, and the castle was now in her grasp....

"STOP RIGHT THERE YOU WORTHLESS PIECE OF CRAP!"

The entity whirled her mech around to see five humans standing right in the back of her. Two of them already seemed to be saying strange words in a foreign tongue, one of them, a female, was getting into a defensive crouch, another, who looked similar to the strange inhabitants that lived in the town she torched, was pulling out a bow an arrow, and the last one was pulling out his staff.

The entity smiled inwardly. How cute. More little lambs to the slaughter. She prepared to fire her cannons, ready to take them out in one strike. "Warning! Power level low. Must recharge. Power level low. Must recharge." That didn't please the entity one bit. She NEEDED that power, and it wasn't at her disposal at the moment. But, oh well, just a small crimp in her schedule. She wasn't concerned. Hell, she took on an entire army and won. What harm could five mortals do?

***

Elynthia felt her heart beating so fast she thought it would burst. This was it, the final showdown. She wondered if she was the only one who was truly terrified.

The minute they saw the metal monster, Solon and Romrus starting chanting spells, while Krager and Ardor pulled out their weapons, but Elynthia, who didn't really know quite what to do, tried to defend herself as best she could. Romrus finally finished his spell, and, with a cry, sent it hurtling towards the monster. Large boulders heavy enough to crush ten men fell right on the monster. Romrus watched his handiwork with delight. "Now, if that doesn't kill it, nothin' will."

But, when the rocks stopped falling, the mech still stood. Romrus was dumbfounded. "What the..." Solon finished his spell right about then, and he too, with a cry, sent it flying toward the metal giant. A large column of water appeared out of nowhere, and with a mighty crash, struck the monster head on. But, just as Romrus's spell was a failure, so was his. He just shook his head. "I don't get it. What are we doing wrong?"

Ardor quickly rushed towards the monster. "Maybe we'll have better luck with our weapons!" He ran as fast as he could, and struck the monster right in the chest, before she could react. Elynthia gaped, he was quite agile, but, unfortunately, it didn't really matter, for it left no mark. The monster countered to his attack by swinging her sword through the air. Ardor was able to avoid the blade, but the butt of the sword struck him straight in the stomach. He went hurtling towards a tree and hit it with a sickening crack.

"Ardor!" Elynthia screamed.

Ardor wearily got up and wiped a rivulet of blood that was running down his chin. "Ug..never doing that again."

Krager decided this was his time to strike, and raised his bow. With a loud twang, the arrow flew towards the silver beast, and struck it right between the eyes, but it bounced harmlessly off.

"Damn it all!" Krager cursed. "Nothing is working! What are we missing here?"

The monster seemed to be gaining momentum in it's attacks, for it took it's sword, and plunged it into the ground, causing a massive shockwave to drop the party right onto the ground. Elynthia was beginning to panic. She didn't know what to do! Nothing was working. But she wouldn't give up, she COULDN'T give up. The battle continued for quite some time. They threw spells and such at the monster, with it barely even making a dent, and the monster would strike with strange attacks of it's own, and massively wound them. It was hopless..simply hopeless.

Elynthia was starting to pass out by then, One more hit, and she would die, she knew that. Her newfound friends were no better off. She had to think of it's weakness. She had to..what did Belthesar say? He said it was weak against magic, yet magic had no effect on it. He said it wasn't alive, yet it seemed to her that it was. Nothing made sense...unless...

Suddenly, she knew...she knew how to kill it.

Belthasar's words flooded through her mind If you don't work together, you are doomed from the start...

"That's it," she murmured. "That's the key.." Quickly, she chanted a few arcane words as a bight purple dome enclosed the team, protecting them from attacks for a short while. She motioned to the others to come to her.

"What's going on, Elynthia?" Solon asked, rubbing one of his many wounds.

" I know how to kill it. You see, what if we were able to combine our powers? Get enough magical energy to seal this thing away?" Romrus blinked. "Seal?" "Yes. I have a strange feeling that my Master was wrong in one respect. I feel that, even though that metal monster is not living, that something deep inside it IS controlling it."

"That can't be proven. We-"

Elynthia didn't know who said that, but she cut him off. No way in hell was she stopping now. "It doesn't matter. The point is, if we sealed it's energy into some kind of power source, it would die!"

Krager nodded in understanding. "And, if there IS something inside that armor, it would be totally helpless. Yes, it IS a good plan. I say we go for it."

Romrus shook his head. "But..but..that kind of magic could kill us!"

"So?" Ardor snapped. "It's either death by our magic or death by that thing. Take your pick.

Romrus tried to think of a defense, but realized that there was none. He sighed, defeated. "Ok, let's do it."

Elynthia smiled, glad they all were going to work together. They all began to chant, in unison....

***

Now what was this..?

The entity stopped her assault on the humans to simply gawk at what they were doing. They seemed so just stand there, speaking in a foreign tongue. The entity, for the first time, felt uneasy, they were up to something....

"Attention: Power restored.."

"Ahh, excellent. Now to finish them." she purred. She had no fear, now that her power was back. She scolded herself for not killing these fools sooner. She raised her cannons, ready to strike them down, ready to pull the trigger...

But, thankfully, she never got that far.. It was then that she felt an excruciating pain searing all through her metallic body. She gasped, trying to fight it, but it was too strong to resist. She felt herself weakening, shutting down. It felt like someone was tearing her body apart.

Sealing it away...

"NO! This cannot be happening!! I am immortal! I cannot be defeated by humans! I am as old as the cosmos themselves! I CANNOT BE DEFEATED! Nnnnnooooooooo!!!" She let out a loud shriek, that would have curdled the blood of anyone that heard it, and felt her world melt into the darkness she so adored..

***

"Now!!"

Elynthia panicked. This is it..no backing out now. With a cry, she sent all the power she had in her, all the mana she had been feeding into the spell, straight at the beast, and the others were doing the same...

And felt a deep, jabbing pain for her effort. It was horrible, she felt like she was being torn from the inside out. It was to be expected though, feeding that much energy into the spell will certainly effect the caster, and she knew very well that this could kill her. She closed her eyes, feeding in more energy to the spell, she couldn't yield now.

And then, suddenly, the pain flared, as and she felt herself being thrown to the ground. Then, just as suddenly, the pain stopped, and all Elynthia could hear was the faint sound of her heart pounding, and her shallow breathing. She didn't know how much time passed since she felt the pain stop. A few seconds, a few days, it didn't matter. While the feeling she felt when draining the monster was totally unbearable, this one was just the opposite, it was a peaceful, floaty feeling. She wanted to indulge in it, bask in it. How peaceful she felt.

If this is what death feels like, then I'm not afraid....

"Elynthia...Elynthia..wake up. Take a look at this..."

Elynthia groaned, she didn't want to wake up. Did she have to?

"Elynthia? Elynthia!" The voice sounded a little more urgent. Elynthia groaned again. Apparently, she did. She slowly sat up, and opened her eyes. She felt something warm and smooth in her hands, and looked down. She couldn't believe what she saw.

In her hands rested a blue orb, which was roughly the size of a baseball. It glowed with such a lovely light that Elynthia could have stared at it all day. She could feel the energy, the mana pouring out of it. It was her power, and the monster's, contained inside it. She slowly looked up to see her friends had similar ones as well, and had the same looks of awe as she did. She then looked further up to see that the armor, the monster, once menacing and terrifying, laid smoking in a heap in front of her, unmoving.

"Is it..?" Elynthia breathed.

Ardor nodded. "Yes Elynthia. It's over."

Romrus started to get one of his goofy grins. "Hell, if I wasn't so beaten up, I'd be doing jumping jacks now..Whoo..."

Solon gave him a playful slap on the back. "And you would too!" He turned to the monster, and smiled. "I told you I'd kick that sonnfabitch's ass, but noooo! Did you all believe me then? Hell no! Haha! I can't wait to tell this to the suckups in Kerzalt!"

However, unlike the others, Krager wasn't smiling. He cleared his throat. "We..we can't go home yet."

Romrus frowned. "Why the hell not?! We deserve it!"

"Think! What are we holding here boy?" Krager peered at Romrus with his steely gray eyes.

Romrus gave him a puzzled look. "Um..Orbs?"

"Yes, but it's more than that," Krager sighed. "What we are holding here is not just our magical energy, but that monsters. If all the orbs are brought together, it's possible..that the monster could revive.

Elynthia gasped. He was right.

"So," Ardor said. "We have to protect them as best we can...make sure they don't fall into evil hands. We have to hide them, and have them guarded day and night. Then, " he smiled at Romrus. "We can go home."

"Ahh...man..this totally craps." Romrus crossed his hands over his chest and pouted.

"But it must be done, Romrus. We were lucky, we were able to defeat the monster..but...our descendants might not, if it was revived..." Elynthia sighed. "Don't worry, this should be the easy part."

"I know of a nice little place to put it too," Solon said dreamily. "A nice little water shrine..whoooo! This outta be fun."

Elynthia felt somewhat panicked, where was she going to hide hers? Since everyone seemed to be hiding them in places that matched thier element, she felt at a loss. Where did you hide an orb that dealt with the soul? She heard people running toward them, probably to congratulate and praise the newfound heroes. She walked away from the group for a moment, unnoticed.

She knew where to hide it, but didn't want the others to notice. She closed her eyes for a second, and placed the orb by her chest. The orb took on a strange, jellylike consistency and seemed to pass through Elynthia's body. She felt a quick jolt of pain, but nothing like she experienced previously, and opened her eyes.

She had just confirmed her destiny. She had chosen the orb's hiding place to be the depths of her very own soul. She didn't know if it was the right decision, but it was too late now.

"Hey! Elynthia! Come join the party!" Solon called. The other four were already surrounded by laughing and singing citizens, praising them.

Elynthia smiled. Yes, she did make the right decision. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and she had to make a decision then. As long as she kept her orb safe, and the monster never revived, the world would be safe.

Too bad Elynthia never got her wish....for the ghosts of the past would be felt by future generations....

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