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Chrysalis - Chapter 405

Published at 16th of November 2019 10:45:04 AM

Chapter 405: 405

[I do not wish to burden you with knowledge that you may not be prepared to understand . My order has spent much time plumbing the mysteries behind this place and despite centuries of effort, we have only been able to learn a portion of the whole truth . Even that limited understanding came largely through the intervention of an outside influence . ]

I have a feeling I should pull up a chair and whip out my spiral bound notebook as the teacher is about to launch into lecture . So naturally did the lizard slip into a lecturing tone that I presume he's actually well practiced in it .

[Master! What is happening here? Do we need to fight?] Crinis breaks into my thoughts .
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[I think we're okay . He seems to want to explain something to us . Stay alert, just in case . ]

[Of course, Master . ]

[I do have a name,] the Kaarmodo drawled .

[Well… if you never tell me what it is, you can hardly complain that I don't use it . ]

[That… is true . Hmmm . We tend not to share our names with outsiders, but this may be a special circumstance . It is truly rare for one of my order to have such an opportunity . Hmmm . My name is Ivran'tep, second scholar of the tower at Gold Peak . ]

[Nice to meet you champ . My name is Anthony… . I'm an ant . ]

[Hmm… Indeed . You are . ]

An awkward pause develops as Ivran'tep examines me slowly, his large angular head turning slight fractions this way and that .

[Hmmm . . . As I say, we don't tend to have the opportunity to talk with those such as yourself, especially when you are in fit state to speak coherently back . Too often, the process of being inserted into the Dungeon and left to fend for themselves is too much for your minds . Garralosh herself was almost completely lost by the time we became aware of her . I have been with her for many years, but I was rarely was she able to speak with me . ]

I'm taken aback by how up front he's being with me .

[So you know all about us then? Humans from Earth, inserted into the Dungeon as monsters to spice up the place?]

[Hmm . The records of my order go back over a thousand years and we have encountered less than ten of your kind across the entire globe . We have heard of this 'Earth' before, but we know precious little about it . We also do not know why your kind is brought here . Do you have some clue?]

I think I might keep the fact I can talk to the Dungeon itself quiet for the time being .

[Who knows? Maybe the Dungeon gets bored . ]

[Hmm . Perhaps so . Perhaps so . There may be some merit in this suggestion . I will ponder on it later . For now though, are you in possession of Garralosh's core?]

HUCK!! I don't want to think about that stupid gem . Don't even want to remember it exists!

[I am . Not here with me, obviously, but … yes . ]

[That is a rare treasure . I would be very careful that the knowledge of what you have doesn't travel far . A core of that type is exceptionally rare and exceptionally powerful . ]

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I can't help but shrink back from Ivran'tep at those words .

[Your saying you don't want it?]

He blinks slowly .

[I do not . We are not interested in the core, we are interested in those with the power to absorb it . ]

[You say 'we' . I presume you're referring to your order? Is this a Kaarmodo sorcerous cabal of some sort?]

[No . My order is not limited to the Kaarmodo, although we are quite accepted in the mountain empire . We are found across the face of Pangera among those with great knowledge of this world and the courage to face it . ]

[Does this collection of esteemed scholars have a name?]

[The conclave of the Red Truth . ]

[That doesn't sound ominous at all . ]

[Hmm . It does sound ominous . Deliberately so . We bear dangerous knowledge and must act as such . ]

Well that makes me nervous .

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[Look . I'm not sure I want to have any part of this 'dangerous knowledge' . Please tell me what it is that you want to say, but try not to… you know… unleash any eldritch truths on me . ]

[I can do this . Hmm . You have heard of the Ancients…?]

Thinking back, I do know that Formo the Sophos mentioned something about them .

[Vaguely . Very old monsters that live very deep in the Dungeon . That's about all I got . ]

[It is sufficient . There are many old monsters who live deep but the true ancients number only nineteen . They seek to make that number whole, they wish for another to join their ranks . ]

I do not like where this is going .

[My order seeks to assist them in this endeavour, indeed, it is our sole purpose . There are many who would prefer that such a thing never came to pass . There is conflict, of a sort . ]

[So that's why you were following Garralosh around? Keeping her alive when others were trying to bottle her up and kill her?]

[Yes . ]

[And when you met me you decided to back off a little because… You feel you might have found a better prospect?]

[Yes . ]

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[Nards . ]

[I do not know what this word means . ]

[It's uh, never mind . I don't really think I'm down for this . I'm happy just doing my thing . ]

[It is not intended that we would force this arrangement on you . There are many candidates for the final seat at the highest table . I am but one agent, and the charge with whom I worked has now fallen . I will return to my people now, it has been many years and we yearn for home . Should you choose to make use of that core, then perhaps, there will come a time that we meet again . ]

There's a note of finality in the communication from Ivran'tep . It's clear he wants to leave . He said as much, but also left many questions .

[Just one thing,] I break in before he can turn to leave, then I hesitate . [I-If I were to reconstitute her core . Garralosh's core, then would … she … come back?]

The narrow eyes of the Kaarmodo blink slowly as he processes my words .

[No,] he responds . [I do not know where your souls go, when you die here . But they are not contained in the core . She is gone . ]

[Alright… Thanks for that . ]

[Farewell . Good luck to you, Anthony . I hope that you find it within yourself to ascend . Only then will you have a chance to break free . ]

With that, the Lizard and his entourage turn and walk into the forest . It isn't long before they are gone completely from my sight . Mind abuzz with concerns, I begin to walk back to the nest . I have so much to think about, I'm not even sure where to start . I can't wait to go hunting in the Dungeon .
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