Saturday, March 17, 2018

Page 1613 -- CLXXIV.

((The 17 pages of St. Patrick's Day + Triple Saturday -- Page 17 of 20))
Royo looked around again, perhaps waiting for someone to answer him, but when no one did, he kept talking. “Allow me to expedite your journey for you.” He turned to Malast, who was going back to his chair. “Might I borrow the Staff of Unso for a moment?”

Malast had rested the Staff against his chair earlier. After he sat down again, he shrugged, grabbed it, and flung it over to Royo.

Royo caught it with one hand. “Much appreciated, old friend.”

And it was fleeting, but for a moment, Hector thought he saw Malast actually smile.

“Now.” The pendant around Royo’s neck began to glow along with the tip of the Staff. “Should you ever decide to return to the Higher West Layer, seek me out. I will give you a hero’s welcome.”

Arcing sparks jumped from the Staff to the four corners of the chamber, as they had done previously, and Hector’s vision started to distort familiarly as well.

“Ah, but if possible, I would prefer you not bring your Dragon next time. Farewell.”

Everything blurred and smeared into itself, and Hector lost all sense of direction and space.

The floating sensation lasted noticeably longer this time, however. It was disorienting, to be sure, but Hector was almost able to regain his bearings before it finished. And when it did, he wasn’t nearly so confused as he might have otherwise been.

He saw sky.

For the first time in what felt like ages, he could see stars, twinkling in the night, and a full, lustrous moon.

“What in the--?” someone said. Elise Garza, Hector recognized after a moment.

“Where the hell are we now?” said Diego. “Oh, hey, I can talk again.”

Hector?’ said YangĂ©ra. ‘Do you know?

He wasn’t sure why she had singled him out to ask, but in fact, he did know. While the Scarf of Amordiin wasn’t revealing their exact location in a GPS-like sense, it was revealing the shape of a familiar, two-pronged monument that was standing behind everyone’s back. Hector might not have remembered it so clearly if Garovel hadn’t reminded him of it only a couple days ago.

“...We’re in Atreya,” said Hector.

Chapter One Hundred Seventy-Four: ‘An untimely arrival...’
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It took a while for everyone to get a handle on what had just happened. The lingering blue sparks around Rathmore’s Gate seemed to help them conceptualize it, somewhat, but even so, the fact that they had apparently teleported over such a tremendous distance was no small matter.

Hector might’ve been right there with them in their confusion, if he wasn’t so distracted with something else--or rather, someone else.

Eleyo. Or, no. Not Eleyo. Royo Raju. Reborn with the remains of the God of Growth.

The fact that it was Royo who had teleported them all just now was what concerned Hector. Granted, he’d used some sort of magical artifact or something in that “Staff of Unso,” but would he have been able to do that before?

And the way he spoke...

It had certainly sounded like Royo had some sort of plan. Hector wondered what it was.

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