Monday, December 25, 2017

Page 1456

~~((The 12 Pages of Christmas + Double Monday = Page 10 of 14))~~
Diego waited for Jasirok to elaborate, but when it seemed like he wasn’t going to, he asked, “Why not? What stopped him from getting his treasure back?”

Jasirok opened his mouth, then shut it again.

Is that when the Hun’Kui rose up?’ said Yangéra.

Jasirok looked at her. After a moment, he gave a solemn nod.

So the Paradise Vault, which was meant to save mere treasure, ended up saving hundreds of lives, instead.

“Yes. In here, I am told, the Surajj’Byok could not reach us.”

That caught Diego’s attention. “The what could not reach you?”

“Ah...” Jasirok looked up at the ceiling, then at Yangéra. “I do not know how to translate that word.”

She seemed at something of a loss as well. ‘Uh... some sort of sickness? Byok means sickness, doesn’t it?

“Yes,” said Jasirok. “That is right. The great blight could not reach us in here.”

Diego tilted his head. “This is the first I’m hearing of any illness.”

“It was the wicked tool of our ashen thralls,” said Jasirok lowly. “In their madness, they unleashed it upon us and brought ruin to the world.”

Diego wanted to ask more about it, but a specific question was eluding him. And moreover, Jasirok did not look especially receptive at the moment. This was the first time Diego had seen what looked like anger on a Hun’Sho’s face. The molten man’s glow had noticeably intensified, illuminating almost every corner of the apartment now.

Yangéra came up with a question, instead. ‘What became of Guong Seyos and his treasure?

Diego blinked. He definitely should’ve thought of that.

Jasirok’s glow settled, though it took a minute. “...Guong Seyos survived, though he was Guong no longer. His treasure, however--I do not know what became of it, though I believe it may be the Sosho’Diyu that Carver and his companions were searching for.”

Diego’s heart sank. “Do you mean to say that the treasure never even made it to the Vault in the first place?”

Jasirok bobbed his head to the side. “Perhaps, but...”

Diego perked back up a little.

“Others may disagree with me,” said Jasirok, “but I am of the opinion that the treasure is here. Somewhere.”

You sound confident,’ said Yangéra.

“Would it not make the most sense?” the molten man said. “If Guong Seyos built the Vault of Paradise to protect his remaining wealth, then the very first thing he would have done upon completing it is move that wealth into it, no?”

Diego liked his logic. “Makes sense to me.”

You don’t think he might have removed the treasure afterward in order to make more room for your people?

“That would... also be a possibility, yes.”

Yangéra allowed that stinging bit of rationality to sink in.

“But if it were here,” said Diego, “where do you think it might be?”

“I can hardly hazard a guess,” said Jasirok, “but I do think that there may still exist areas of the Vault that remained unexplored, even to this day.”

Yangéra gave a huff of obvious disbelief. ‘Really? Your people have been down here for a thousand years. How could you have not found every little nook and cranny by now?

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