OOC: Wow, the content of these last few posts was totally unexpected to me!
Schwarzein Village, Winters
"ding!" came the triumphant cry of a Mr. Saturn with goggles on his head. Pilot Saturn stood there atop a pile of rubble with a screwdriver in his foot, holding his nose high. "fixed! now can sky runner mark two fly! call chosen ones i must. boing."
"Well, uh, glad we could help with it." This remark came from none other than the Fake Pork Trooper who had caused the Chosen Ones so much trouble yesterday. "I may not be the real Pork Trooper, but it's nice to know I can do something for once." A group of Pigmasks holding various tools or machine parts oinked and squealed behind him.
"Hey, do you think you can give us a ride in this thing real quick?" one of the lesser Pigmasks requested.
"Ooh!" another one shouted. "Me! Me! I wanna ride too!"
"Me three!" shouted a third while jumping up and down. About six or seven more Pigmasks joined in one after another, and soon after all fifteen or so had joined in.
"sorry so," Pilot Saturn replied, sounding unphazed by any of this. "can only be five. normally would be six but piggy guys too chubby for all ride."
"All right!" one of the Pigmasks said to another. "I called it first, so I'm goin'."
"And I called it second, so I'm goin' too!" shouted another.
"And I'm goin' three!" shouted the jumpy Pigmask who apparently called it third.
"That's not fair!" shouted one of the younger ones. "I may have called it seventh, but I'm the lightest of any of us. I'm not chubby like the rest of you! So I can count as half a Pigmask!"
This remark seemed to tick the other Pigmasks off, and soon a massive fight broke out among them. Pilot Saturn shook his head in shame as he watched, deciding instead to take another look on the newly renovated Skyrunner Mark II that the Pigmasks at least graciously helped to fix. But then something black caught his eye.
"is black cultist?" he asked the person. "but wearing blue jeans."
"Oh shut up," the teenage girl replied. In fact, it was Amanda. "Between my shirt, my makeup, and my lizard, I'm certainly black enough to be in the cult." Nearby, a Black Cultist who also happened to have dark skin shook his head in as much shame as Pilot Saturn had done.
"oh, is chosen one," Pilot Saturn replied. "is early, boing, as usual."
"Oh, I didn't come here for a ride," Amanda commented. "In fact, none of the Chosen Ones are. Their animal familiars are all teleporting them to Sunrise, to it appears your services are no longer needed, boing. I guess now your only option is to go back to Saturn Valley. Perhaps Dr. Andonuts can have a second look at it to make sure it won't malfunction again. But anyway, the reason why I'm really here... Sorry, but I can't tell you that. In fact, you'd best be thankful you're not coming with me..."
In fact, Amanda's destination was a lonely corner of Schwarzein village, where various translations of the word "black" were being sung by a black-clad girl who was slathering black paint on a wall. Visibly interested, Amanda watched her, while remaining hidden in a shadowy space between buildings. As she watched, she took out her wand, holding its devil-winged charm close to her lips.
"PK Hex," she whispered to it. And from the charm, a stream of dark gas wafted in Luvina's direction. After a few seconds of it hovering around her, her musings of dark adjectives became increasingly replaced by coughing sounds.
Amanda was pleased. "PK Fire, she continued. From the same source, five purple will-o-wisps emerged, making a circle around Luvina. They spun around her for a moment, and then all at once engulfed her, not burning her like normal fire would, but instead darkening her very being. Luvina sank to her knees, feeling drained and full of sorrow. It was around that time that Amanda finally energed from her hiding place.
"It's you..." Luvina said to her, though there was no emotion behind what she said. "Why have you come back to Schwarz Village?"
"Because I wanted to finish what I started," Amanda casually replied.
Meanwhile, someone else had made the short list of people who entered Schwarzein Village undetected. This time it was a girl in a purple cloak--perhaps one of those exotic enchanters from Dalaam or something. She had entered from the back end of Schwarzein Village, where normally only Luvina stood on patrol for intruders. However, this time all that seemed to be present was the place where the newly fixed Skyrunner Mark II sat, and a few Pigmasks in the background.
But then there was a flash. Far off to the right and behind some buildings, a black thunderbolt came crashing down. Nearby, Amanda stood safely away from where it struck. When it cleared, the purple-robed figure could see another girl, probably one of the Black Cultists, lying on the ground where the thunderbolt had struck.
"Is this how it's supposed to feel?" Amanda said to herself, sounding oddly dissatisfied. "Then again, I suppose this is why my favourite PSI technique is called PK Pain rather than PK De..."
Amanda suddenly turned around: she had heard the approaching purple-clad figure's footsteps. After scowling for a brief moment at the sight, she pointed her wand at the newcomer.
"Hmm, I don't suppose you're from the Cult of Purple over in Dalaam," Amanda said to her. "Either way, you know this is the Cult of Black, right? For some reason you look a little familiar... but nevertheless, the rule of Schwarz Village is that all intruders must be exterminated. PK Fir... wait." She paused, lowering her wand and instead stroking her chin. "You are familiar. I think. Right? Who are you?"
Behind her, Luvina lay motionless on the ground, burn marks about her from where her PK Thunder had hit, a stab wound in her chest.
Podunk Park, Sunrise
As Gon gazed around in the area near the abandoned shrine, he wondered where Aqua and Kyornik were. He knew he saw both of them teleporting, so they must have been here somewhere, right? As Gon wondered this, he caught pieces of the conversation between Gale and Diego not too far away. Most notably the part where Diego's raven asked Diego if he was going to go on a date with Gale. When Gon heard that, his face turned almost as red as Diego's... though it was more a scarlet pink in his case. To hide this expression on his face from the two, he backed up into the entrance into the abandoned shrine...
Bad move. For the next thing he knew, Gon was engulfed in darkness. As soon as Gon realised what he had done, he began looking around frantically, his heart starting to pound inside his chest. What kind of freaky haunted house was this?
"I-I-I didn't mean to come in here!" Gon stammered to whichever eerie-voiced girl had told him to come in. "I-i-it was an a-a-accident! I-I-I just got embarrassed and..." He was interrupted by a giggle, which sounded eerie enough to send chills down his spine. And then...
"Watch out!" came a tiny, high-pitched voice Gon knew to be Aki. Turning around for like the millionth time, he could finally see the little dragonfly glowing in a corner near the ceiling. That corner contained lots of cobwebs, just like the abandoned shrine it typically was, but there was something else. A sign. Gon took a pace closer, squinting to read it.
"Pole...star...pre...school..." he read aloud. And then he shook his head. "Preschool? How does this make any..."
He was silenced by the giggle again. Nervously, he backed up... right into something big and fluffy. He turned around and there was the hugest teddy bear Gon had ever seen! The sight made Gon jump backward, trip on a piece of red ribbon, and fall on his back. As Gon lay there, catching his breath, he looked up and saw her. Just like his reaction to a similar sight two days ago, he felt his mouth fall open at what he saw.
Minutes later, Gon came running out of the shrine, not seeming the least bit scared. In fact, he was running after Gale and Diego and Tekina and Kyornik, waking the latter up from his nap with a show of PK Fireworks.
"HEEEY!" Gon called. "I found the spirit who's been haunting the shrine! But she's not an evil ghost at all!"
She drifted out after him, landing gracefully (and, thankfully, weightlessly) on his head. A cute little angelic girl, perhaps eight or even five or so, with red ribbons in her curly blond hair. Transparent wings of no interesting shape fluttered about behind her back, and a halo reminiscent of the one Hinawa had hovered over her head. She wore a pink dress with little poofy sleeves and a few modest frills on the side, tied with another ribbon in the back. And in her arms she held a teddy bear--a normal sized one, not the huge one Gon had for whatever reason encountered back in the shrine. The Do Not Enter sign had reappeared on the outside of the shrine, but the mysterious "Polestar Preschool" sign also now appeared above the entrance.
"Aha!" the girl chirped. Her voice no longer sounded eerie--in fact, it was pleasant and almost innocent in nature. "So here are the rest of the Chosen Ones! Well anyway, I'm sure you probably haven't heard of me, but my name is Paula. I'm one of the three Archangels. I heard you have already met Hinawa, right? In fact, I just had a talk with her, and in fact she was just talking about how wonderful you all are! And... aren't you missing someone? Wasn't there another girl with you? Well, hopefully she'll arrive soon, because I have something rather important to tell you all about PSI and about the Aurora Mysteria. But meanwhile..."
Paula took off once more, flying upward for a while, and then pointing at a sight far off in the distance. Above the tops of some Japanese maple trees, there stood a tall cone-shaped mountain with an icy cap at the top that extended into the clouds. Its slopes looked dark and slippery and overall practically impossible for much of anyone to climb.
"There is Mt. Itoi," Paula continued. "I don't really know much about that mountain, but I do know that the area is strictly off-limits to most people now because of numerous monster attacks there. And that the next music box piece you'll have to find is very certainly at the top of that mountain."
At the top of Mt. Itoi?! Gon thought, having just realised that Paula had been standing on Gon's head for the past minute or so--strange that he didn't feel anything. People have died trying to reach the top of that mountain due to all the blizzards and gusty winds there! And not to mention the monsters, now!
"I think there was a story I read once where a group of children climbed to the top of that mountain with the help of a giant robot," Paula mentioned, "and once at the top they had to sing a song to calm the monster that lived at the top of it. I don't really remember the details. And... hey, that book..."
Paula had just noticed the old-looking book Kyornik was holding, and hovered over to him to get a closer look.
"I remember this book. I think it was in the possession of my best friend's mother once, back when I was living. I don't remember what happened to it afterward... But I do remember looking at it once. And I think one of the things I want to talk to you about is in this book... may I see it for a moment? Well, maybe not yet, as your other party member has not yet arrived. But... wow, this time there are six of you? It must mean that whatever threat faces this world is much bigger than anything else that has threatened it before. I have a definite feeling that a force much more evil than the Starmen caused the Aurora Mysteria. Oh, and speaking of the Starmen, I can tell you all about them too! My friends and I managed to discover their secret hideout long ago, which happened to be beneath Stonehenge in Winters. I doubt it's still there though."
"And is that how you died?" Gon asked her.
"Hahahaha, no," Paula replied. "I could actually use PSI back then, and a couple of my friends could as well, so we actually were able to make it out of there alive! But yeah, when that other girl I can't remember the name of arrives, we can all gather around in my shrine if you'd like. I'm sorry if it seemed creepy... it was the only way I could prevent normal people from wandering in there all the time and messing up my toys. It should be much brighter in there now."
Paula was right, as Gon found out when he took a peek inside. Not only were there shelves with various toys on them like Gon thought would be typical of a little girl (many of them were torn-up teddy bears), but there was even one room that held a quaint little altar, with a bell hanging above and strings of prayer beads hanging around the perimeter of the room. It was this room that Paula had invited everyone to gather--to offer a prayer to something, was Gon's guess.
OOC: Your options here are pretty much open if you're not controlling Aqua. Continue conversing with each other, ask questions to Paula, explore the shrine, etc. Speaking of Aqua, it might be a good idea to have her arrive in Sunrise soon... like within the next two or three posts.