The moment Vincent had withdrawn their arm, the trap had triggered. A wall of magical energy barricaded them away from the others that withstood their attempts to break through. After attempting to deceive it with a makeshift filler which failed, they relented, placing their arm back inside to disable the barrier. The compartment for the bow once more opened, empty now, and with it, the barrier dissipated again.
Catching the crystal deftly, Ro nodded. It seemed as if this would be a place that would require each of them to stay behind while the next went on ahead. Will that little girl really be able to make it all the way to the end? Perhaps it’d be better to leave her here or at the next and have the lizard girl or I finish it off...
Fen had just made it across as well, pulling herself up with a great amount of effort. She went over to Ro’s side, asking what they should do next. He stared at her, with something between curiosity at the weakness of normal humans and… the slightest hints of… concern.
He shook his head. As part of a guild now, he needed to get used to trusting his guild members. Ro glanced towards Fen, struggling. Sure, they were just a normal random human that would die in less than 100 years anyways, but… He couldn’t shake the distasteful feeling that crept upon him when he considered it might be his fault they could be injured or even die. He looked once more to the remaining series of columns ahead, which only grew more difficult to traverse, then back at Vincent.
“You sure you want me to have that little girl be the one to jump into the pillars ahead of us? Wouldn’t it be better to leave her here with you?”
His normally teasing, playful tone was gone, his eyes deadly serious.
“We have no idea what the upcoming traps might be, if they’re the same as yours or worse. I don’t want her blood on my hands either.”
Ro could see Vincent weighing the options in his head. Eventually, he responded, asking Fen what she’d like to do. Ro turned to face her as well. Fen answered back that she only wanted to help, and if that was the plan the two agreed on, that she’d follow it. Nodding, Ro turned back to signal to Vincent that he’d leave Fen close. Turning back to Fen, he motioned at the obelisk right in front of them.
“Trigger that one. You’ll be cloer to Vincent if anything bad happens.”
With a swift motion, Ro slung the bow over his shoulder. Pointing towards a pillar around the same height, he spoke.
Pivoting, Ro went into a leap, going across to the pillar behind them, skidding to a halt
“Toss the gem over here when you’re done.”
Once Fen would do that, Ro would turn to face the next obelisk. Unlike the others, it was on the entirely opposite side of the entire abyss, standing by itself with no other pillars next to it. It would have to be either him or Kasayee. A quick glance at Kasayee proved to Ro she was still lazing around at the entrance, watching bugs or something. He sighed. She’d be of no help, but with one of the two gone at the third pillar, she would have to. Mustering up his voice, he called out loudly to the druid.
“Lizard druid! One of the two of us is going to have to trigger the third obelisk over there.”
Ro pointed at the obelisk on the far side of the map, standing by itself, next to three equally other taller pillars.
“The other’s going to have to get the door. Given what happened to Vince, it’s a safe bet to say that whoever triggers it will be stuck until the door’s opened. Do you want to do it or should I?
Either way, both of us will need to take the same path, unless you want to go for the door by flying straight across to it!”
She stared at him blankly, much to his annoyance. With a deep, exasperated sigh, he had to hope she’d just go for the door eventually. Hopping across over to the next same level pillar, he glanced back and forth. He could either climb up a tall pillar or jump over to the next. The jump would be shorter distance overall but more risk. Not willing to risk it at this point, given it seemed every member was critical, he started to climb, grabbing onto the crannies and nooks he could find tightly.
After what felt like an eternity, he finally climbed up, sitting down to rest a bit and catch his breath. Waving to Vincent and Fen to show he was still okay, he went into a running leap to go to the equal height pillar directly across, grinding his heels in to catch himself. With a small hop, he went to the directly adjacent pillar.
“Two more jumps to go...”
Ro took a deep breath. His hands were starting to tingle, an aftereffect as the buzz was slowly wearing off. Going into a low stance, he leapt high, overshooting the jump by a bit, and having to slam his hand into the pillar to grab it. His feet dangled above the chasm, and a heady rush filled his veins. The sensation of being so close to death, finally...
I could just let go...
He dispelled the thought. If nothing else, his teammates were relying on him. His hand burned from the stinging sensation of roughly smacking it into the rock, and he slowly climbed back up, lying down on his back and taking several deep breaths.
“One more jump...”
Sitting up slowly, he stared ahead. A strange feeling filled his body that he couldn’t quite place. It wasn’t unpleasant, nor was it pleasant. It just… was. Closing his eyes, he breathed in and out deeply several times, letting the feeling of the place fill him. Preparing himself, he went into a running start, jumping less strongly this time. Landing perfectly, he turned around and waved to Vincent and Fen once more, moving his arms widely to show them, given he was far away.
Gritting his teeth and bracing himself, he plunged his arm into the obelisk with the gem. In his mind, a saying floated upwards. He wasn’t sure where in his memory the phrase had from, nor what language or meaning it held. It was none he could recognize amongst current times. But for some reason, there was a familiar feeling about it, as if it was from a warm past.
“Que será, será.”