As the portal closed behind them, the group stood in awe at the sight before them. Green, green grass and rolling hills dominated the landscape, but all descended like a ramp, leading down to a lake the size of a city in the middle, and, resting on top of it, was a huge, flat slab of jagged stone, and what looked like a huge, well-structured city built upon it, large, thin waterfalls spilling their contents into the lake below. Nina pointed to the sight, as if everybody wasn't transfixed already.
"That," Nina said, "Is Kyuuryuu, the Lost City of Water."
"Yeah, you...never told us, though...why is is the Lost City?" Shinji asked curiously.
"Because it was hidden away by the Wyrms themselves. The great water Wyrm, Tsunamikawa, summoned a titan, a great stone golem, to uproot the city and bring it here, where the Lake of Eternity would be safe from Shinkaiyami and his war efforts. The golem is said to have 'become one with the city'. What that precisely means is quite the enigma," Nina answered confidentntly, the gentle wind snagging on the tails of her hair, her cold emerald eyes still gazing wistfully upon yonder city. Shinji then turned to the newcomers of the pack.
"By the way, you never told us your name. You... do have one, don't you?" she asked gingerly, beaming and scraching the back of her helmet awkwardly. The group forgot that they wore armour sometimes.
"Yeah, course I do! I'm Helyna. And this poor girl is Tsubaki," Helyna said, pointing to the unconscious and rather pasty looking girl (she had lost allot of blood when the Nightstalker attacked her) in Arashi's arms. Makoto swanned past Shinji and touched tsubaki's cheek with the back of her hand.
"Goodness, she's cold! She's lost alot of blood! We must take her to the City immediately!" Makoto said, flustered.
"Are your serious!? We don't have any transport, and there's no way in hell we're gonna make it on time if we're walking!" Roux moaned. She had been so quiet for a while now, that the others often forgot that she was even there.
Before anybody could think of a reply, Altair's voice interrupted."LOOK OUT!" he shouted, drawing his starnge, four-barrelled pistol and firing rapdly at the sky. The other looked up and frantically moved aside, as a huge Ancient Rathian came swooping down at them, poised like and eagle ready to cacth prey. It screeched as it missed the mark narrowly, flying back up into the sky again. It hovered in the air, drew back it's neack, and fired three fireballs at the hunters, before diving to the ground, creating a cloud of dust and grass, sending all the hunters flying away, all slumping indignified heaps a few metres away from the beast.
The hunters found this rather unusual, as firing from the sky was a Rathalos characteristic. Ah well, expect the unexpected, I guess, Roux thought as she swiftly rocovered and ran at the sinister monster, swinging her huge, spikey and cruel-looking black-scarlet hammer at it. The cruel fangs of the weapon dug deep into the Ancient Rathian's left leg, causing it to shriek with agony. It kicks its leg behind it, the full force colliding with Roux's chest and knocking her away. It turned about, blood dripping from its wound; not enough to make it limp, but enough to make it annoyed. It's red eyes flared with ire and it schreeched again, charging toward Roux. As it approached, Altair swiftly jumped into its path, stood still and fired his pistol continuously, taking advantage of its almost impossibly large magazine. He kept firing despite the swiftly closing gap between him and the monster. At last, a bullet pierced straight throgh the creatures eye, causing it to become disorientated, tripping over its self and sliding to ground before Altair. As Gigas stalked over to stab his Long Sword into the creatures brain to finish it off, a graceful yet desperate voice cried out.
"NO! Please don't kill her!"
Everyone looked up to see a woman riding what looked like an Akumagoka, the Hellfire Wyvern, that attacked Gale's dad's airship on their way to Chikyuu. But it was blue, and it's eyes were golden yellow, and more docile. The woman riding it wore long, dark blue kimono, and carried a pait of Katanas around a belt that sat on her waist. Her eyes were blue and her hair was wavy and a fair brown colour, and reached down to her shoulders. She must have been in her mid-thirties, or something close to that age. The Akumagoka (clearly a subspecies of its fiery and rather short-tempered counterpart), swooped lower, gusts of wind being caused by its massive wingbeats. It slowly calmed itself, until it gently fell to the ground with a *thud!*. The unfamiliar woman stepped carefully off of her sapphire blue steed.
"I appear to have startled you. My apologies," the woman said, quickly, lifting her kimono with her hands as she ran over speedily to the wounded Ancient Rathian. It whined like a sad puppy as the ran her hadn gently over its face, and winced when she touched its eye, which had been goiged by Altair's bullet. It's breathing was short and rapid, as if it was struggling to do so. The woman sighed with dismay.
"You've wounded it too badly. The best thing to do is put it out of it's misery," she moaned sadly. She unsheated once of her katana's. The Ancient Rathian squeled with terror at the sight of the blade, but the woman shushed it kindly. She hummed a sweet tune as she slowly pressed the blade into its brain, and the creature slowly closed it's eyes, and at last its body became limp and flacid. She pulled her blade out, cleaned it on the grass, and sheated it away. She stood up to address the group.
"I'm sorry, my manners escaped me. My name is Tamari. I come from Kyuuryuu, just over there. No doubt you are here for the Lake of Eternity. You carry a corpse with you," Tamari said informatively, gesturing to Gale, who Mizu still carried. She then ran back and climbed back onto the blue Akumagoka.
"Hop on!" she called over the noise of its steady wingbeats. The twelve comrades clambered onto the back of the aquatic mount, and the best took to the sky with a proud roar and excited eyes.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________Everything looked so beautiful from up in the sky, even more so that it did on land. The wind on their faces and the soothing, rhythmic sounds of the Akumagoka's wings. Shinj clung to Jinsoku (whom was sat infront of her) and sighed, closing her eyes to take in the sounds around her. Everybody eles was even more awestruck than they had been minutes ago. Even Nina had ditched her melancholy demeanour and looked down in amazment, as what could just about pass for a smile crossed her lips.
After a few blissful minutes of this, Tamari announced their arrival, as the others looked down as the city-sized lake that was now ahead of and below them. They could see the Lost city clearer now. It was beautiful.
"Welcome, everyone, to the Lost City of Water!"
To Be Continued in: Fate and Freedom XV: The Lake of Eternity