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    Rescue in the Crystal Caves

    Velvet Skydancer
    Velvet Skydancer

    Lineage : Rage of the Soul Torn
    Position : None
    Posts : 155
    Guild : Sabertooth
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 3,300

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Sky Dragon's Dance of Life
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Rescue in the Crystal Caves Empty Rescue in the Crystal Caves

    Post by Velvet Skydancer 25th March 2020, 4:27 am

    This was Kara’s first time in Sakuramori and it most likely wouldn’t be the last; the place was visually stunning! So many cherry blossom trees of various shapes and sizes - and even a variety of colours much to Kara’s surprise - reached out to the heavens. And yet each tree seemed to be mindful of one another, giving just enough space for the tree beside them to bask in the sun’s rays. And then there were the people, dressed in light, comfortable wear the likes of which Kara had never seen. She’d heard of Sakuramori and its people before of course; a city of trees where powerful beast tamers reside and make pilgrimages to. It was like a holy land for them and now Kara truly understood why; the books gave no justice for the beauty of what stood before her.

    After taking perhaps a moment too long soaking in the sights, the Sabertooth newbie stepped off of her bike and, as usual, dissolved the key she used to start it before pushing it into a small clearing nearby, mostly out of sight but close enough to get to it should she need to make a swift exit. She also removed her jacket today; the air was damp and humid, as was to be expected here, and she’d inevitably end up sticking to her jacket otherwise. She made the same decision with her red biker boots, swapping them out for a pair of sandals, a decision she hoped she wouldn’t regret. Once satisfied that her bike was safe and she was appropriately prepared, the violet-haired maiden made her way to the city proper.

    The walk took considerably longer than expected given the path was fairly direct and mostly downhill. The trees that had looked so close were in fact quite some distance away, and thus made Kara feel like an insect by comparison as she walked beneath their shaded canopies. All in all it took about an hour before she reached the center of the city, the location where she was due to meet a family. It didn’t take her long to find them either; they’d been sitting on their doorstep - did the grass outside their door count as a doorstep? - and immediately stood up and waved at Kara, signalling for her to come to them. Naturally, she obliged. ”I’m so sorry for making you wait…” she began, but was immediately put at ease by the gentleman before her. ”Don’t be silly child, we are just glad to see you have arrived. We didn’t think anyone would come.” he spoke softly, but even that gentle tone couldn’t hide the urgency and despair that hid behind his eyes. ”It’s our son. He’s been taken by the creatures in the Crystal Caves on the outskirts of the city. They’ve been awfully erratic of late and we don’t understand why. They are normally so peaceful, and will often share their bountiful crystals with us. But these kidnappings are becoming more and more frequent. Usually we can claim our children back with an offering. But this time is different - our boy...he’s been taken to the very depths of the caves! It’s rare for the creatures to allow humans into their caves at all, but to take him so far in bodes ill, very ill indeed!”

    As Kara soaked up this information and the man now taking a breath, his wife took the opportunity to speak. ”What my husband is asking of you is to save our boy. But please do not harm those creatures; they are sacred beings who mean us no harm. They act this way only when they themselves feel threatened or are suffering. Their actions are a sign of suffering on their part. So please, if you can, find our boy but also find out what causes these creatures to suffer so much that they must act this way. Prevent more pain and suffering for all of us living in this city.”

    Kara put a finger to her lips and thought for a moment; how in the blue hell was she supposed to find this kid and somehow not end up hurting the creature who was holding him captive? What if the creature attacked her? Would self-defence be a viable enough reason to harm them, or would she cause more harm in doing so? She put these thoughts to the back of her mind for now - she’d handle those questions as and when the time came. The priority right now was to make sure the boy was safe right? ”Okay so you said your kid was in the Crystal Caves. Those are...to the East of here right?” she asked, desperately hoping she’d remembered correctly. Both parents nodded. ”Yes, far to the East. As the city begins to thin out, the forest grows thicker. Be careful and...thank you. From the bottom of our hearts. Go safely Wizard.”

    Kara was surprised at the man’s genuine gratitude for a moment, then simply smiled. ”Don’t thank me until the job is done.” she replied softly, before heading eastward. But as she left the couple her smile left her face, those questions returning to the forefront of her mind. But how the hell DO I get the job done…?


    The walk through the rest of the city was relatively uneventful. Kara gawped at various sights that caught her eyes and the people she passed gawped at her in her odd clothing. Wearing a red tanktop, blue denim shorts and sandals made you stick out like a sore thumb when compared to the simple leather clothing these people wore. But apart from that there was nothing unusual about the walk for some time. But after about half an hour of walking, Kara came to an abrupt stop - the city just...ended. The treehouses that had lined the paths she’d walked down just came to an abrupt stop. The trees themselves seemed to become suddenly thicker and more imposing too. The sudden change in temperature was notable too, akin to walking out from the sunny day at the beach, directly into a freezer, the thicker trees creating so much shade that the sun struggled to reach down to the grass below. It was as if she’d walked into a completely different world altogether. Thankfully the change in temperature was actually a welcome one given the heat so far, but that was the only welcoming thing about it. She gave a slight shudder. ”What have I gotten myself into?” she muttered, before releasing a sigh and stepping forward, progressing deeper into the shade.

    Thankfully it didn’t take too long to find the cave she was after. There weren’t all that many rock formations in the forest as it was, let alone a rock formation that glimmered as much as this; the entrance to the cave was practically shimmering as the few rays of sunlight splashed against its surface, creating a rainbow of glowing stones. Kara naturally noted the absence of purple in there, cursing her luck that she wouldn’t be able to manipulate any amethyst to make her job easier. With another sigh and a quick warm up of her arms - This isn’t hesitation, this is preparation. she entered the cave.


    Kara’s eyes widened as she began to get deeper into the cave. The entrance had been beautiful in its own right, but in here was something else; the walls were quite literally glowing in a myriad of stunning shades of colours, lighting her path more than any torch ever could. Aquamarine and ruby crystals intertwined along the roof of the cavern to create a blended purple hue, whilst a mixture of emerald and topaz created an almost alternating splash of green and yellow on the ground. And every now and again there was the occasional, splashing out pure white light that fractured into a rainbow of colours at the edges that, in turn, blended back into the colours emanating from the crystals that surrounded them. If there was one thing to be taken from this job, it was that Kara would never, EVER forget this sight.

    Just as she was getting used to her surroundings and progressing deeper into the cave she came to an abrupt halt. Something moved. She could’ve sworn she heard it. She looked around but there was nothing. She looked forward again. ...did that diamond just move…? She was certain of it; there had been a white light directly in front of where she was standing, but now it was a good two or three feet away. She looked up - and immediately yelped and jumped back just in time to avoid a diamond dropping directly upon her head. And then another dropped. And another. And as soon as they hit the floor, Kara saw something she never thought she’d see - they had eyes.



    She shouldn’t have said anything. As if her reply was a verbal cue, the diamond creatures seemed to rush towards her at a speed that shouldn’t have been at all possible. She was about to cast magic but immediately stopped herself - she couldn’t! She’d promised not to harm the creatures here! What can I do?! Think Kara, think! The creatures were almost on her now even as she attempted to backpedal away. Then it clicked - she couldn’t hurt the monsters, but she could at least shield herself right? She created a pool of magic in her hand and threw it down on the ground in front of her, jumping back just in time as the magic spread and burst up into a cage, trapping the creatures. They hit the bars and stopped for a moment, looking at the sudden obstruction.


    They each looked out at Kara almost in sync with each other, then looked back at the cage, then back at her. This went on for a few moments and even Kara was still frozen, still trying to grasp what had just happened, and trying to work out what to do next. Then the impossible happened - the creatures seemed to get excited for a moment, bouncing slightly before they then began munching on the bars of the cage. Kara watched stunned - she hadn’t seen anyone eat her magic since Kaligos had years ago, and that was an odd sight then. It was even weirder to see it happening now. And they were making damn quick time of it too. She quickly snapped herself out of her trance - if they were distracted with eating, it gave her time to slip past. And with how quickly they were getting through those bars, she didn’t have long. She darted around the remains of the cage and bolted down the corridor in front of her.


    Kara didn’t stop running until she was certain she couldn’t hear the sounds of those creatures anymore, although even that didn’t settle her mind - no sound meant they might have finished eating and would come back for her. And how did she know there wouldn’t be more? Even as she was running she’d been checking the roof of the cave to ensure she wasn’t about to get dropped on all of a sudden. She’d heard a couple of cracks that were inevitably the sounds of more of those creatures hitting the floor, but it seemed they’d either not seen her, or were more interested in other things as they’d seemingly not followed her at all. Finally, after a good five to ten minutes of constant running, Kara came to a halt and attempted to catch her breath. This job was beginning to seem less and less like a good idea - living rocks and crystals that charged you down, and you couldn’t attack them back? She should have just said no. No sooner did she think that though than she mentally slapped herself. Don’t be so stupid, I wouldn’t have done that. Marick taught me better than that...there’s a workaround here somewhere. I just need to figure things out…get my head together, come on...

    She regained control of her breathing just in time to realise she was at a junction; five different pathways were in front of her, each lit up in a different colour - one in green from the emeralds, one blue from aquamarines, one yellow from topaz and one white from diamonds. The last path on the far right was purple from amethyst, but the glow was considerably weaker than the other paths. It was also the first time Kara had seen any naturally growing amethyst since she’d entered the cave. Even the entrance to the cave didn’t seem to have any. A quiet snuffling noise prevented her from pondering any further. Lost in her thoughts, Kara hadn’t noticed a small, fox-like creature had approached her, its fur glimmering and protruding with the various crystals that littered the floors and walls of the entire cave around her. She yelped and jumped back again, only for the creature to immediately slam into her, knocking her down. She rolled through, skidding to a halt - something she immediately regretted as the ground cut into her now bare feet. She winced from a combination of the pain and the sudden warmth that was now emanating from both feet before glaring at the creature. It matched her glare with one of its own, its head lowered and ready to attack at a moment’s notice.

    Surely this counts as a damn exception to that stupid rule!?

    She put both her hands out on either side of her and magic immediately began to collect magical energy in them.

    ”Amethyst Make; Ame-fists!”

    The magical energy immediately reacted, spreading and solidifying around both of her hands. The creature watched for a moment, it’s gaze bouncing between Kara’s two amethyst gauntlets. Slowly, very slowly, it eased its stance and raised its head, curiosity now replacing the aggression that had once been written in its eyes. It gingerly approached Kara, watching her closely. She remained completely still, but tensed and ready to strike if necessary. The creature could seemingly sense this and came to a halt, watching Kara closely. After a tense few seconds she finally released that tension, though very much against her better judgement as she suddenly felt defenceless should this creature make another attack. But the creature seemed to have no interest at all in her, but rather the gauntlets on her arms, as it approached and sniffed them with intrigue. It was an awkward few seconds as Kara simply stood there, unsure of what to do next. She didn’t dare move in case the creature attacked again, but staying still made her uncomfortable to say the least. Finally, after what felt like...well, far too long, the creature bounded around Kara - causing her to jump in surprise at the sudden reaction - and headed down the right-most path; the amethyst one. It ran about twenty meters away before turning around and looking back at Kara as if beckoning for her to follow. ”You attack me and now you want me to follow you? Are you crazy?!” she spoke in response, receiving a very judgemental look as a counterpoint. She released a defeated sigh and began to follow, albeit grudgingly, mumbling to herself as she did so. ”Why couldn’t this just be a normal job…?”


    The amethyst pathway was long. Really long. The duo of violet-haired mage and crystalline fox-thing walked for at least 30 minutes. Kara attempted to talk to the creature as they walked, mostly saying whatever came to mind and seeing how the creature reacted - which mostly resulted in the creature either completely blanking her, or glancing up at her as if questioning what she said for a moment, before going back to looking in front of it. Finally though the duo came to an opening and Kara was mesmerised once more; the cavern they now entered was a huge dome-like room that was completely coated in amethyst crystals, giving the room a stunning ethereal purple glow. In the center of the cavern were two figures laughing and seemingly having a great time, although it was hard to tell who or what the figures were from the current distance. As Kara approached however she could make out that one figure was slightly smaller than the other and was human in shape. The voice gave it away as a child, and it was then that Kara realised that it was the boy she’d been asked to save. She broke out into a run at this revelation, much to the surprise of the fox creature beside her who was now running ahead towards the child and the other figure. By the time Kara had reached them, they were both more than aware of her presence and had turned to face her.

    ”Oh! It’s a person!” the boy announced cheerfully. Clearly his being stuck down here hadn’t been too bothersome to him. The creature beside him had a much more stern look on her face as she looked down at the fox creature in front of her. She was a stunning figure in her own right, a crystalline humanoid being whose bottom half was reminiscent of the creatures that Kara had seen at the start of her adventure here; rock-like except for the crystals that protruded around her. She had no legs to speak of, seemingly floating above the ground through the power of some unknown force. ”I see...very well…” the creature spoke, surprising Kara. ”Yes I speak your language. I speak many languages.” the creature spoke in response, before beckoning to the boy beside her. ”You have come for the child, yes? Humour me...you can create amethysts can you not?” she continued to ask, looking the Sabertooth mage dead in the eyes. Kara hesitated for a moment, unsure of why this creature wanted to know, but nodded all the same. ”Correct. Why does that matter?”

    The creature closed her eyes sadly. ”The amethyst in these caves are dying. If they perish, so too will all other crystals. Over time my subjects will perish, lacking the full diet they require to stay alive. And if they perish, the cave perishes, the people of the forest perish...I cannot allow this fate to befall us. As such, it is of the utmost importance to find a way of re-balancing the crystals. Usually I would maintain the balance myself, creating a small amount of the crystals required to keep the cave filled to the brim. But something...unnatural...has disturbed that balance. Amethysts have been disappearing faster than any other crystal. With this imbalance, my subjects in their blissful ignorance have begun to panic, eating more amethysts and pushing my lands into further imbalance.” The creature opened her eyes once more and motioned to the boy beside her again. ”I found this boy cowering outside of my cave. He speaks of treasure hunters invading my lands and harming my subjects, and threatening him when he attempted to stop them. These hunters will not go unpunished - of this I assure you - but I must replenish the levels of amethyst here first. As such I must make a request; I will allow the boy to return home. However, I require a promise - return here upon ensuring his safety. My subjects will not harm you. Upon your return, I ask...no, I BEG of you...to use your magic and assist me in rebalancing the harmony of the crystals.”

    The information was a lot to take in; this cave was in fact some kind of kingdom? The creatures that Kara had met earlier were subjects of this kingdom, and they’d eaten her amethyst simply because they had been starved of it? It all made sense when the pieces were put together, but it just seemed so...fantastic? Unreal? She’d clearly been thinking too long as she felt a sharp jab in her leg from the fox-creature. ”OW!...Sorry, um...right so let me get this straight...I can take the boy back to his parents so long as I come back here and help you. And to help you, I just need to use my magic to create amethyst crystals? That sounds simple enough, I suppose…okay...we have a deal.” she replied, smiling for the first time since she’d entered the cave. The creature - the Queen - smiled too, clearly very pleased with the response. ”You have my thanks human. My subjects and I will eagerly await your return.” She then turned to face the boy beside her. ”Thank you child for your patience and inner strength. Please do not forget your time here today, and send my apologies to your parents for keeping you overlong.”

    The boy nodded eagerly. ”I will! I’m sure they won’t mind when I tell them everything, and it’s been so much fun here. I’ll make sure everyone knows how nice you are!” he replied excitedly. The Queen smiled and released a sound that sounded almost like a laugh, but with a high-pitched sound that Kara couldn’t quite work out what it sounded like. With the goodbyes said and the promises made, the two humans walked out through the cave without incident - albeit with Kara nearly crying from the fact the boy WOULD NOT stop talking - and made their way back to the city. It was nearing nightfall by the time the duo arrived back, but the parents were still out waiting. After a wonderful reunion and a solid two hours of talking - during which the boy, named Caleb, fell to sleep out of exhaustion - the parents offered Kara a bed for the night. ”If you intend to return to the cave tomorrow, you will need a good rest. For them to take our boy out of desperation speaks ill indeed. I know you have made a promise to them, but I must also ask; please help them. We will do our part in finding the culprits who have created such a difficult time. Now...go and rest.”

    With the job done and another long day ahead, Kara wasn’t about to argue. She let out a huge yawn and nodded with a smile before heading to the room allocated to her. It felt odd having a day where she didn’t have to fight. But it was a nice kind of odd.


      Current date/time is 13th April 2021, 1:36 am