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Author's Chapter Notes:
Part four has come!
Saturos' group moved swiftly,and determinedly,charging into Ancient Ruins with a will. It didn't take them long to get entirely lost. The group wandered,in a sort of daze through the Lighthouse,and Saturos and Menardi's tempers were beginning to fray.
“This is a fine mess you've gotten us into Saturos!” Menardi snapped quietly,“We have no idea where we are and Isaac and his group are approaching fast.”
“I do NOT want to ask help from Alex again! That cocky smile of his when he gives us directions drives me insane!” Saturos whispered fiercely back.
“Why,Saturos,Menardi! Would you happen to be talking about Moi?” Alex asked,walking around the corner in front of them.
“Ahhh!” Menardi jumped in shock,“A-Alex!? What are you doing there!”
“Why,going through the Lighthouse. I've completed the puzzles,all the way to the Aerie. We should be able to move on quite easily now.” Alex smirked.
“We were perfectly able to solve the puzzles ourself,Alex!” Menardi barked at him.
Alex raised an eyebrow,looking at the exhausted,disheveled group,all of which carried a faint look of hopelessness,“Oh yes,I can REALLY tell.”
Menardi stepped forward angrily,ready to shout at him,or attack him,but Saturos grabbed her arm,holding her back. She turned sharply to face him,her face red with anger.
“Saturos! It's about time I put this slimly little worm in his place!” she snarled.
“No! Menardi,we still need him. His uncanny knowledge of the Lighthouses is essential! Not to mention he is an incredibly powerful Water Adept. While I don't doubt your strength,you would have the disadvantage against him.” Saturos advised her sharply.
“Saturos knows what he's talking about. If you truly must have a duel of some sort with Alex,can you at least wait until AFTER we've lit the Lighthouses?” Felix asked,slightly sarcastically.
“Grr... fine. All the more reason to light the four...” Menardi sighed.
Alex smirked,“Come on,we're wasting time.” and walked off,his stance being that of a cat who's just seen a bird so fat it can't fly.
Saturos watched him go with a distasteful grimace,then whispered to Menardi,“Remind me to help you after we light the Lighthouses.”
After the strange exchange the group followed Alex,who was getting more impatient by the moment. At last,after traversing what felt like miles of ruins,Alex finally stopped in one room,“This is as far as I went. I must say,this puzzle stumped me.”
Jenna,Kraden,and Sheba peered inquisitorially around Saturos and Menardi,looking into the room. The room was different from the others they had been in. Here,the normal cold stone and dustiness of the ruins met warm green stone at the far eastern side. In the center of the room were five holes,in the shape of four statues in the room. The statues looked like many others they had seen,when they had entered the exit of the Lighthouse,all women with long dresses and turbans,but with one major difference. The others had been made of marble,or some similar stone,made to last the ages. These were made with crystal of five different colors. One was green,one was orange,one was purple,one was blue,and one was red.
“How unusual!” Kraden exclaimed,looking curiously at the statues.
“How annoying. I pushed these stupid statues all over the place and could not figure out which of these holes they went in. Fortunately,they're easy to slide back out.” Alex said,mildly annoyed with Kraden's child-like excitement.
“They're very pretty. Whoever they were modeled after was a very beautiful woman.” Felix said to himself,aloud.
“Yes,though I know not who she was,she was a very noble-looking woman.” Saturos conceded.
“The question here,is how do we solve the puzzle? What is the secret of these statues? There are all too many combinations,it could take us hours!” Menardi pointed out.
“Hmm...” Sheba stroked her hand over the side of one of the statues.
'I go to the east of red.' a voice said into her head.
Sheba screeched and lept away from the statue,“Th-The statue! It speaks!” she shrieked.
“What did it say!?” Alex inquired eagerly.
“I-It said,'I go to the east of red.'” Sheba told him,confused.
“How interesting... Sheba,go to the red one.” Alex ordered.
Sheba reluctantly touched it.
'I go to the north of purple.' it told her.
Sheba shivered,“This goes beyond creepy.” she said after telling them what it had told her.
“Yes,but it's given us what we need to know.” Saturos told her.
Saturos pushed the red statue into the upper right left corner of the holes. Alex pushed the blue statue to the right of it,and Felix pushed the purple one below it.
“Of course... the red statue is Mars Lighthouse,the blue is Mercury,the purple is Jupiter,and the green is Venus. The orange statue is Sol Sanctum. The statues correspond with the geographical locations of the Lighthouses and Sol Sanctum.” Kraden said,cleaning his glasses on the edge of Jenna's cloak.
“So,then Venus goes here...” Menardi muttered,pushing the green one into the lower right corner.
“And Sol Sanctum is the center.” Felix said,using his Move Psynergy to push the orange statue into the center.
There was a brilliant flash of light from the five statues and a loud whispering sound began,filling the room with hushed voices. There was a slight gust of wind,and then the door with the tree that was the emblem of Venus Lighthouse opened,vanishing into the wall.
((Note from Author: I'm afraid I don't remember the exact position of the statues in the game,or what they say when Ivan uses Mind Read on them. I hope no one hurts me for that T_T))
“Incredible...” Alex said,“It seems that to get through to the Lighthouse of Earth,you need an Adept of Wind... opposing elements...”
“The ancients that sealed Alchemy were the ones that put the traps in the Lighthouses. They made it so the Lighthouses WOULDN'T be lit. I'm sure what they expected the least was a Wind adept to attempt to to light the Earth Beacon. I'm sure you need Earth Psynergy to get through Jupiter Lighthouse at some point,and I'm sure you'll need Water Psynergy to get through Mars. If I remember my history lessons correctly,there was a very great deal of enmity between the Tribes at the time of Alchemy's sealing. I'm sure the ancients did not expect it to fade so greatly over the centuries. Now,very few remember it,as very few remember Alchemy even existed.” despite their need for haste,and their disagreements with Kraden,even Saturos,Menardi,and Alex listened attentively to his words,the group hanging onto his every syllable.
“Hmm... that does make sense.” Menardi nodded after a moment's pause.
“Yes. I'm sure he's right.” Alex agreed.
“We must get moving again,I sense our pursuers have entered the Ruins.” Saturos told them.
“Then let us be going. As a scholar of Alchemy,I must say that being one of the first people in Venus Lighthouse in centuries will be most exciting.” Kraden said.
“If I didn't know any better I almost would thing you aren't just exploding with curiosity to see the inside of the Lighthouse.” Jenna teased him.
“I warn you,you two and Felix are not coming to the Aerie with us. The larger our group,the slower we'll be. Simply keep out of our way,and keep from contact with Isaac and his group. Unless you wish to fight him Jenna?” Alex raised an eyebrow,“Remember that now you are a part of this quest to light the Beacons,for your family's sake. Thus: you are seeking to do the very thing that Isaac is sworn to prevent.”
Jenna sighed,“Alright alright. We'll head strait for Idejima. That's where your boat is,isn't in?”
“That's right. Once we've joined you after lighting the Beacon,we can set sail for Contigo,and the Jupiter Lighthouse.” Saturos told them.
Sheba's eyes looked momentarily misty,“You're going to Jupiter Lighthouse...”
“Of course.” Alex said,mildly astonished,“We ARE going to light all four.”
“Of... of course. Shall I go to Idejima with Jenna and Kraden?” Sheba asked.
“Absolutely not. You,my dear,aren't bound to this quest as they are. We can't have you fleeing us. Once we get Venus lit,we may free you,and we might keep you. We'll have to think it over. You're coming to the Aerie with us.” Saturos told her.
“... Yes Saturos.” Sheba said with a sigh.
The group advanced through the final room of the ruins,marveling at how the stone from the ruins blended with that of the Lighthouse. The group marveled as they entered Venus Lighthouse. The walls and floor were oddly warm. Menardi said it had to do with a relationship between Venus and Mars,Earth and Fire.
Alex warped off. The two Fire Adepts agreed that it would be best if he completed the puzzles throughout the Lighthouse so they could move with all due speed. Alex could complete them faster than any of them,and speed was of the essence. It did not take Alex long to return.
“The Lighthouse was simple,easily mastered. Come along,we don't have much time,if we wish to avoid the confrontation we all know must happen at Jupiter.” Alex told them.
Sheba looked frightened.
“What's the matter Sheba?” Jenna whispered.
“I... I'm afraid of Saturos and Menardi... without Felix with me... I don't know what I'll do if they won't let me go...” Sheba said.
“Don't worry.” Felix said from behind her,surprising her,“I promise,that no matter what it takes,I'll get you back to Laliviero somehow,if I can.”
“Thank you... Felix...” Sheba said.
“Let's go! We're wasting time!” Menardi growled,pulling Sheba along after them.
Menardi and Saturos broke into a trot,rushing through the Lighthouse as quickly as they could. Any monster that dared to get in their way was swiftly and mercilessly destroyed,with them barely pausing for a breath. Alex awaited them in one of the rooms,deep into the Lighthouse.
“Alex!? What are you doing here!? Move on! We don't have all day!” Menardi snapped.
“There's no where else to go. Once you jump down here,” he pointed at a hole and a slide in the ground,“You will land on a platform large enough for about six people. It will carry you to Aerie. I'm going back down,to keep an eye on Jenna,Kraden,and Felix. I don't want them getting any second thoughts.”
“Good plan. Are you warping or walking?” Menardi asked.
“Warping of course,or can you not sense the four in the Lighthouse? I have no desire to encounter them on their way up,and my way down.” Alex told her calmly. “Ta ta.” he waved cockily and vanished from the room.
“Here Sheba,since we trust you SOOOO much,you may hold onto the Jupiter Star for us.” Menardi said,thrusting it into the girl's arms.
“I don't want to have to deal with the thing while lighting the Beacon. It may react rather violently when the beacon is lit. Not enough to harm,but enough to cause discomfort. I want to be focused when I see the beacon rise.” Menardi explained to Saturos when he gave her a doubtful look.
“Let's go.” Saturos said.
He carefully held onto Sheba as he jumped down the ramp,making sure the girl wouldn't fall off and down the Lighthouse. Menardi was right behind them,her hands holding her dress down to maintain her dignity. The three landed,rather painfully on a platform,floating in a chasm that was far too large for anyone to jump,even one propelled by Psynergy.
Saturos dragged Sheba upright and Menardi stood,trying to keep her balance as the platform began to slowly move upward. The platform moved up,past the room where they'd slid down the ramp,and then through the roof of that room. The platform carried them all the way up,through many floors of solid stone,the long dark of the tunnel finally giving way to sunlight as they neared the top.
The platform emerged into the light,the trio instantly shielding their eyes from the bright light of the sun,their eyes having been accustomed to the dark of the tunnel. The moment they got off,the platform went back to the room in the Lighthouse they had come from.
“We... we did it,Saturos! The Venus Aerie! Soon,the Beacon's light shall radiate across the land!” Menardi cried triumphantly.
“Yes... we made it. At last!” Saturos smiled.
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