The Geraptiku Two: Part Four
Sivus abruptly fell to the ground. He attempted to level himself in the air by waving his wings but couldn't. He screamed my name. I didn't know what to do even if it seemed obvious. I raced for Sivus, but my legs moved too slow in the water that was more like molasses.
The wall was only a few seconds from closing, and I was only a few seconds from Sivus. I wondered how easy--or difficult--it would be to jam a fragment of the ceiling in the corner of the wall and then make sure Sivus was safe all in five seconds. I judged it was impossible.
I caught Sivus in my arms in a blur. I hadn't known how heavy he was, and the impact made the weight worse.
"Kyra... wall...," he gasped.
"I'm on it," I said, but I wasn't sure if I was. I carried him in one arm and forced water behind me with the other. I tried my hardest to make it to the other side of the wall.
"Runt...." The monster was the last thing on my mind, but I still didn't see him. I hoped he hadn't been caught in the torrent.
I slid right through before the door made its full circle.
The amount of water on the other side was comical compared to what I'd just escaped. I dropped Sivus on the ground and fell to my hands and knees, coughing and spluttering. The room was oddly illuminated by an amber glow. I turned to see if I had truly left behind the ocean that chased me. I saw one thing skittering on the wall.
Runt, the semi-cute, semi-ugly ghost Crocalu that saved my life. He'd probably activated the door's rotation. I smiled at him as he came over to playfully jump on my arm. Sivus was right; he was harmless, helpful even.
I turned again to see the Korbat looking fine and coughing. He stared at what I'd managed to not even notice for some reason: a huge, glorious temple. It was the source of the golden light.
Again I wished I had wings so I could fly up and grab it all. All of it. All the treasure that stood in front of us. I'd stuff it in my shirt and laugh all the way home in victory. Anxiety surged through me, but I couldn't move.
"Is... this it?" I numbly murmured to Sivus. Awe is the weakest word to describe my feeling at that moment. I still only stood there.
Sivus moved his head in a vague motion I took as a nod and gulped. He coughed lightly and mumbled, "It is. It really is."
"I'll give you the honor," I said to him and gestured my hands outward.
The ceiling rumbled, probably about to collapse again. But I didn't care. This was the treasure.
Sivus took a deep breath and ascended. He reached the top of the chamber. An enormous, opulent box sat at the top. Sivus laughed in artless joy and pushed the box over. The riches cascaded down the temple. Hundreds of thousands of Neopoints, codestones, which were things I'd occasionally only come across, trinkets, toys, and even jewelry descended from the air. Runt and I attacked the hoard. How spectacular could this become? I didn't even think it would happen.
Sivus flew around the room and proudly announced there was even a door behind the treasure. He was overwhelmed by laughter.
We eagerly grabbed what we could manage to, stuffed codestones in our shirts, shoes, socks, and behind our ears, celebrated in the overabundance of wealth, and then strutted out of the desolate tomb, rich. Triumphant. We walked down another flight of stairs. I didn't even feel the need to complain.
Outside it was nighttime. The city of Geraptiku was quiet in the hum of the midnight air. The city was not frightening and sinister as it once had been. It had been tamed by Sivus and me, the two conquerors of the tomb. And Runt, but did he really count?
I looked to the little monster. He saved my life. Yes, he counted.
"We won!" Sivus bellowed as if it were all a game.
Laughter and success filled the silence of the night. The natives of Geraptiku stirred in their sleep; some threw us dirty looks. But what was the point? They lived in a terrifying place near a desolate tomb. Two people could rejoice, could they not?
Sivus walked me to my house. We both inched on in silence. The only noise was an occasional trill from Runt, the clinking noise of the Neopoints, and the natural sounds of the night.
Once we reached my house, we stood on my porch. I took a deep breath. "Take this," I said to Sivus. I handed him the majority of my Neopoints and codestones.
"What?" Sivus said, all too humble. He shook his head. "Never. You and Leven need this."
I shook my head. "Sivus, where would I be without you? Seriously. You were awesome that whole trip. I owe my life to you. Really!"
Sivus groaned but still smiled. "I can never repay you for this, you know," he warned.
"You don't have to."
We hugged, and Sivus and Runt left. Before I could call out for a final goodbye, Leven came out through the door. "Kyra!" He hugged me as though we'd been separated for years. I couldn't explain how great it felt to see him again. "I was just so worried. Where have you been, and... what is that smell?"
True, the tomb hadn't smelled so great. "Well," I said and sighed. "Do you want the truth?"
"Kyra," Leven said, his face turning into stone. "What did you do?"
We went inside and sat down. Over a dinner of gourmet roots, I told him everything that had happened. I was careful to include every detail and every mishap. He turned out to forgive me for not telling him exactly where I went. He even said that he had gone to Geraptiku once but didn't get any treasure. I couldn't help but feel some skepticism toward that; I was sure he hadn't been chased by a flood and rampaging Crocalus.... Leven said that we'd maybe eat more luxuriously after finding that treasure. But we both knew it didn't matter. Leven seemed pleased to have me home, safe, and happy. I was glad to be home myself.
That night, I didn't have many fears at all. I hoped I wouldn't have any anymore. True, sometimes Crocalus that weren't Runt or oncoming arrows would have startled me and maybe invaded my dreams, but I would have overcome those.
The mystic, indifferent and bizarre as ever, yawned and stared Sivus right in the eye. "You," he purred, "will reveal a golden Juppie at the food shop."
Sivus looked back at me with an unsure look on his face. "Er, your turn, I guess."
I approached the mystic. He smiled as though we were close buddies. I wondered if he remembered me; I sure remembered him. He winked. Okay, he did remember me. I shot him a glare and he only chuckled. He spoke softly and grabbed my hands--which had barely healed. "You will have horrible fortune in Mystery Island."
What?! I suppressed the impulse to scream. I only thanked him and left. More horrible luck? Again in Mystery Island? I grumbled the whole way home. Sivus could only convince me the fortune wouldn't come true. Runt could only run around my back. Who could believe them? I reminded Sivus that both of our fortunes came true last time--I had awful luck, and his luck turned amazing in a flash. I couldn't explain his Juppie situation, though.
When we got to the main island, I calmed down a bit more. We walked our way to the stunning beach. We passed Geraptiku silently and didn't even glance at it. It was a thing of the past; it's eeriness was a ghost of what it had been days ago. At the beach, there were so many other beachgoers. They were enjoying the balmy temperature and the gentle wind, and they sat around and bathed in sunlight. It was really a beautiful day. Sivus and I sat side by side on the shore, our toes dangling in the seawater. The sun beamed down from the sky, less violent than normal. The waves brushed across our feet as Runt struggled to stay afloat in the ocean. Ah. I loved a place where a Kyrii could just sit out and be in awe of her home.
"Runt, come back here." I reached for the little rodent who stood on the shore. He crawled right into the sea. For some reason my instinct followed, and I fell head first into the water. Sivus was laughing, and Runt was making his warbling noises. If this was my terrible luck, falling into the ocean while chasing a ghost Crocalu, I'd take it any day over a trip to the tomb.