Zahara walks slowly through the Cascade, looking for Lucent Copper Haze, and testing the boundaries of her renewed soul by recalling memories both good and bad.
Colapso She does not find Lucent in the cascade... until being told he is on the grottos below the cascade. And there she finds him, surrounded by pillars of the cascade, with a river in front of him... in a little place that has been turned into a sort of shrine, with sunlight coming in somehow, touching the water, and incenses and gold about them.
Colapso Lucent is on the center of it, without his shirt, collapsed on the ground. Seven children with the light of the Incarna are around him. They look vaguely like they should... but sinister, somehow. And constrained. As if they were chained, chained by Lucent, as he was to them. And all about, there were things written with their lights...
Zahara does not approach, when she first sees him, but stays back in the shadows, watching.
Colapso 'I want to go back. I want to go back.' 'I want them back. I want to stop.' 'What has been will be. It has to be.' Alonealonealonealonealone'. 'Will it be? I failed. I think I failed. Have I failed?' 'Sarifen LOOKED AT ME.' 'I have been silent. I took the masks, and can't be silent anymore. I should be silent...' and more, written in light, around the grotto, around the sleeping Lucent.
Zahara activates her essence-sight, and studies the bonds between the children and lucent, who is not entirely a child.
Zahara frowns, and steps forward slowly, watching to see if the children can notice her, or if they are solely projections from Lucent
Lucent wakes up... and they disappear, becoming heavy gems, the orbs of the coronal falling heavily around him. The words disappear, their lights disappear, and everything is darker. Lucent wakes up a little dazed.
Zahara touches her finger to his lips, and whispers, "You should be silent."
Lucent blinks. "Zahara...?"
Zahara sits back on her heels, and picks up one of the gems. "You, Lucent Copper Haze, are a puzzle."
Lucent It shines on her hand. Jupiter, an emerald the size of her hand with a glowing symbol. "I try." He smiles, a little contrite, dusting himself as he sits up... but the Rosary on his bracer makes the dust just fall off anyway.
Zahara "You came to the Sunlands for help."
Lucent nods "I did. I needed help."
Zahara touches the chain on her amulet, looking directly into his eyes. "And you brought what you needed for me to help you."
Lucent looks at it... a little hopeful, not entirely confused. As a child in classroom who understands what he is being told... but not the details of how the equatiosn work! "Did it help...?"
Zahara "Where did you find it?"
Lucent looks a little contrite "You told me I should be silent."
Zahara "You told yourself that. I just read the words to you."
Zahara looks down at the gem in her hand, turning it over, seeking secrets in its depths
Lucent "How will you help me?"
Zahara "Answer my question. Where did you find it?"
Lucent "You told me where to find it." He nods. "Remember the game. That is all I can say."
Zahara "In another life or this one?"
Lucent "In another. In a sense, anyway..."
Lucent gets up, picking a stone from the ground and throwing it. It ricochets on the water, forming odd snowflake patterns. The hook Zahara had given him is resting close by, over a rock.
Zahara nods thoughtfully. "Does any part of you know what it does? A simple nod will do."
Lucent nods. "I do."
Lucent "Do you?"
Zahara picks up the hook carefully. "Yes, I think so." She balances the formerly unweildy weapon on one finger, and sets it down again, looking out over the water. "Tevezst is gone."
Lucent stops, almost missing the stone as it comes back, but grasping it on the last second before it would hit the back of his head. "... he is? Have you... did he..." He just throws it away. "How?"
Zahara smiles a little, and throws a stone of her own. it attempts to skip, but really just plops into the water. "Hard to say."
Zahara glances sidelong at him, "I freed him from his chains, deactivated the room, and looked into his eyes." she grins. "Three things I suggest you never do with a Raksha." she throws another stone. "But I found something there, that I had lost."
Lucent smiles... warmly, picking Luna's orb from the ground, watching the mark on it shift
Lucent "And that... what was that?"
Zahara "I have my own game." she looks at him. "I like to call it 'Find the Monsters.' "
Lucent "You found your own monster? The one in front of you... or the one inside you?"
Zahara "I'll tell you when the game is over."
Lucent laughs, mirthless. "I guess I know how you feel now."
Zahara plucks four largish stones of roughly the same size from the cavern floor. She molds them with her fingers, drawing in details with the edge of her nail. When she is finished, there are two figures, fully realized. Markuran, dead. Cerin, alive with his black bow, and the cruel smile. Two are only roughly humanoid. "Here is half the answer. Can you guess the rest?"
Lucent "... no. Those are monsters which we wanted to redeem..."
Zahara muses, "They each gave me something that I needed."
Lucent walks around Zahara, watching her and picking the trinity jacket to cover himself "And what was that?"
Zahara smiles again and points to Cerin, "The Chime." She points to Markuran, "The Path."
Lucent smiles... looking at them, foundly, hopeful "Is that... the path to your heart, Zahara?"
Zahara considers for a long time before answering, "It is the path that I walked." she decides on. "At the end, may lie salvation for us all, or despair. At the end may lie your freedom, or your death."
Lucent "It will be our salvation." He nods. "I know it."
Zahara laughs, and stands up, leaving the figures behind. "Keep looking towards the light Luc. And guard your dreams."
Lucent "... wait! Zahara... who... who are the other two?"
Tez "That's part of the game."