==== We move forward finally ====
[One of the meeting halls of the Kirins lay upon a lonely hill, far from any well-trodden path. Constructed of white marble, its circular outer wall ended in a dome. Inside this shrine, Extreme knelt at the altar in meditation.]
Sometimes, when she was in the haze of waking from a dream, Extreme thought she could hear the goddess speaking to her. Not words exactly, more the feeling of words, a connection perhaps. She knelt now at the altar in the middle of the shrine, pale blue light shining down in a thin slice from the coloured glass in the top of the done.
Speak to me. Extreme willed herself to clear her mind, to look deep within herself for that part of her ancestry that was Kirinis.
Speak to me. She closed her eyes and let her mind reach out. Out from the shrine, into the fields and grass and trees. Up into the sky and yet deep into the earth at the same time, she extended her mind into all of these areas, searching.
Upon Extreme's hands the mark of Kirinis began to glow softly and she inhaled a sharp breath, her eyes open now as she felt another presence in her mind. A brief flood of images, and it was gone. An emptiness now in her mind. Slowly she raised herself from the floor and left the shrine. There is much to be done.
[As Extreme left the shrine, Wisp was becoming more and more agitated. Little reminders of what would happen to him if he failed popped into his mind at various intervals. Like being roasted alive for example...]
Wisp's scream pierced the pre-dawn. The nightmare was so vivid he could smell his flesh burning. The door to his room shot open and a dishevelled looking Pinky looked at him worriedly.
"Wispy? What's wrong? No, don't look at me, I haven't any make-up on." She shielded her face with her arm as she moved towards him. Even so, Wisp saw the concern in her eyes and felt comforted by it. He shook his head in dismissal and looked around the room.
Pale blue light shone from the slits in the window shutter, casting its light onto Pinky. She looked wonderful, even at this hour and state of unreadiness. They were face to face almost, Pinky standing up, still shielding her face, and Wisp, half raised from the bed with his elbow.
Slowly, Pinky let her arm fall from her face and they gazed intently at each other. Almost imperceptibly their faces moved closer to one anothers. Their lips were now a hair's breadth apart.
A loud scream emanating from Wisp's mouth shattered the moment as another scene of horrid torture flashed through his mind. Pinky reeled backwards, a look of shock on her face.
Pinky recovered herself "Wispy, whats wrong?"
Wisp had a strange look on his face... almost fright? "Me go."
The Nordein language meant nothing to Pinky. "What? I dont understand."
Wisp frowned and tried hand gestures.
After a few minutes or two of guessing, Pinky realised what he was trying to say. "Oh. You have to go?" A pause. "I'm coming with you. And I think Nadzilla and Aphetoros will want to come too. Naddy won't let me go anywhere with you alone and Aphetoros is still trying to make up for sticking you with his arrow." Another pause. "But where are we going to go?"
Wisp shook his head in ignorance of what she was saying.
Pinky retrieved a piece of paper and quill from her room and came back with a crude drawing of the continent and a big question mark. She gave it to Wisp.
Wisp looked at it first one way then upside down. Grunting he turned the paper over and drew something on the other side. He handed it back to Pinky.
"What is this?" She frowned. "A... chicken? A house?"
The noise Pinky and Wisp were making had aroused Nadzilla and she grumpily stepped into the room. "What's all this abou... why are you in his room, girl?" Nadzilla frowned at Pinky."
Pinky looked at Nadzilla with eyes of pure innocence as she pushed the paper into Nadzilla's hands. "Naddy, do you know what this is? I think it's where Wisp needs to go"
Nadzilla frowned again as she looked at Wisp's crude drawing. "Hmm. Could it be? It looks almost like the ruins of Tumba. It has a very distinctive design. It was built centuries ago to house the remains of Maero and Ani-Amor..."
Just then Aphetoros came in. "Are we going somewhere?" He asked.
Nadzilla looked at Wisp and Pinky. "I guess so."