21st March 2009, 6:40 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna
The Moon Temple
"Very well, Ben." His hand going to his shining beard once again, you watch as Mensa closes his eyes, his brow deeply furrowed in reminescing. "No one truly knows where Saros and Rapa came from, but legend has it that they were borne from the moon, after the planets and the world were formed."
"The moon?" Ikira asks, though from a glance in her direction you can tell out of her feigned interest that she's simply saying this as if on cue; unsurprising considering her experience with her father's tale.
"Yes, Ikira. Saros and Rapa represent the phases of the moon, when it is full, new or somewhere in between," nods Mensa with a smile. "As the moon ebbs and flows between its phases, so does the waters flowing through Lacuna flow. We have much to thank the moon for, and as a result, we likewise have much to thank Saros and Rapa for."
"But then, why are we even deciding who should lead the city of Lacuna?" questions Ikira, and this time you can tell she's genuinely curious, as are you. "Doesn't the legend say that both Saros and Rapa were responsible for Lacuna's prosperity?"
"As does the moon and tide follow their cycles, so do the blessings of the moon, dear child," Mensa explains. "Prosperity and disaster, darkness and light, the full moon and the new moon. None can exist without the existence of the other. However... in recent times, we have been experiencing more frequent disasters and cataclysms," frowns the priest. "Sandstorms, wild Pokémon onslaughts, even the Laos River has been flooding more frequently and strongly than it should be. We're not even in the flooding season yet." Thinking back to the verbal exchanges between Kiru and Ikira earlier, you recall that something along those lines certainly has been mentioned.
"The priority of a city's leaders is, regardless of what may come, to protect its people and safeguard their interests," sighs Mensa. "Unfortunately, ashamed as I am to admit it, we have not been able to do so for the past few weeks."
"Is that why..."
"You are correct, Ikira. Where we have failed, the practitioners of Rapa have been successfully predicting all these negative events. Usually we would be both shouldering the city's governance; specifically, they would be handling the markets and defence aspects, while we championed diplomacy and order... but since we have not been able to secure order, the temple of Rapa has been stepping in." A displeased look now darkens Mensa's expression, and you can tell he's not very happy at the apparent intervention. "For the past few days the citizens have been in heated debate, deciding that only one temple may truly lead the city... and tonight, the people will decide, once and for all."
"I see." Gazing listlessly at nothing in particular, trouble starts to cloud Ikira's face. "What do you think, Priest Mensa?"
"I cannot say for certain, Ikira. As practitioners of Saros, we believe in peace, order and rejuvenation... but we can't simply let the members of Rapa do as they please." Deeply frowning as he says this, you notice Mensa now looks the most serious he's looked yet. "I can't shake off this feeling... that things are going to take an extremely dark turn. The very existence of Lacuna will be at stake tonight, and with this division amongst us... I fear for the worst, my children."
Stroking his beard in deep, troubled silence, Mensa closes his eyes, at which Ikira beckons to you to go with her. Running along the marbled hallway, Ikira leads you into a junction in the temple where it leads on into three different areas.
"So... what do you think, Ben? Do you think that's why they asked us to bring our Pokémon?" she asks you. "Do we have to fight it out?... I don't think I'd like to fight anyone in Lacuna. Especially not Kiru; he's tough." The silver-haired girl pauses at this, though from her expression you can tell Kiru's supposed battle aptitude isn't quite why Ikira's uncomfortable with the thought of fighting him.
"If anything, maybe we should have some battle practice. There's an arena in the temple for practicing; the priests do say that battling is a time to pacify the heart for bonding with your Pokémon, and if we're battling tonight we could use the workout," suggests Ikira, brightening up. "I'm sure Debra and Medeo would benefit from the practice, and we could always heal them in the Healing Grounds later. What do you say?"
It seems whoever the Ben Ikira really knows is, he seems to be a perfect parallel to you in your time. For now, though, nothing else seems to be of much priority, and if Ikira's guess is true you might be needing all the battle experience you can get.
What will you do?