Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Page 1684

((Triple Wednesday -- Page 1 of 3))
There was something noticeably off about these warehouses, however. Hector couldn’t quite tell what it was at first, but as the group got closer, he realized that there was an odd sort of dark sheen to the buildings. He might’ve chalked it up to whatever weird construction materials they used down here in the Undercrust, but none of the structures that he’d seen thus far had been this way.

Voreese had already brought the group up to speed on this “Leo” guy. According to Roman’s information, he was a materialization user, and looking at the warehouses now seemed to confirm that. Roman hadn’t been able to identify the exact element that Leo used, but it was safe to assume that it was now being used to coat these warehouses and keep the Rainlords locked therein. Indeed, the coating must’ve been airtight, because Hector couldn’t use the Scarf of Amordiin to sense inside no matter how hard he concentrated.

Zeff stopped and held up a hand before the party got too close. “Wait,” he said. “There is something on the ground here...”

Hector hadn’t noticed. And hell, even now that he was looking right at the ground, he couldn’t really tell. It was just a bunch of brown dirt.

...Wasn’t it?

Hmm. The ground up to this point had been mostly black rock or gray metal. Brown dirt was different in that sense, but...?

“I don’t see anything,” said Manuel Dalaguna, for which Hector was grateful.

“Look closely,” said Zeff. “Why is there so much more dirt here than in any of the other caves we visited?”

Ah, so Hector was on the right track. He still didn’t quite follow, though.

“You’re worried about dirt?” said Diego. “I know you fought the Gargoyle, but I’m pretty sure she’s not here right now, so what’s there to be concerned about?”

“Hmph. It may not be dirt, is my point. We do not know this Leo’s element. It could be that.”

“Hmm,” said Diego. “But it seems pretty clear that the warehouses are coated in whatever his element is. And the coating appears to be blacker and shinier in color. So wouldn’t that mean this dirt is different?”

“Hmph. Let us see.” Zeff flicked his wrist and materialized a bucket-sized block of ice over the dirt and let it drop.

Everyone waited, but nothing happened.

“There, you see?” said Diego. “You’re worried over nothing.” And he started forward, but Zeff barred the man’s path with his arm.

“No,” said the Lord Elroy. “Not yet. That may not have been enough pressure.”

“Pressure for what?” said Diego.

Rather than answering him, Zeff dematerialized his ice and then remade it, larger this time, the size of a person. It dropped, and when it hit the ground, the brown dirt flailed suddenly and shot up all around it, coating it entirely as fast as Hector could blink.

“Goddamn,” said Diego with a sigh. “Why am I on such a losing streak, lately? I’m starting to get really self-conscious.”

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