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Luna Star, Part 23

There was the loud flapping of wings and something flew over them in the darkness. There the was a soft cracking from just outside there side. They paused afraid to take a few more steps when a voice came out of the darkness at them. “So you have returned. You ignored my warning and came back after everything. Why would you do something like that.” The voice was harsh and involved multiple clacking.

Then Sibyl began to walk to the voice and Joy followed her. Soon the light illuminated a broken form of the tree rising out of the water. On the three was perched a large black bird that looked like it was dripping darkness. The stared at them with black formless eyes.

“This time I am not going back.” Said Sibyl. “There is somebody I must find and I won’t leave until I do.”

“Searching for somebody? In the Ocean of the Lost? A foolish endeavor. You will find nothing but fear and horror here. Then you will never be able to escape. Is that what you desire? Return back where you came, return to the safely of the caves and do not come back. This will be your last warning.” Said the bird.

“Then you are done here.” Said Joy, “Given a choice I would rather not visit this place but we need to find Luna. We are not going back until we find her.”

“You heard her.” Said Sibyl, “We have made up our mind and there is nothing that you can do. Now if you are not going to help us then leave.”

The bird cocked its head, “You seek the harbinger of madness, the uncontrollable one. To seek such a beast if folly that could end in the destruction of not just you but all of your world. Yet,” The bird brought its head town toward the two of them. As it got closer they realized how big it really was. Its head was at least twice the size of theirs. “You believe differently though. How unusual. Are you the allies of the beast, the world, or both? Who will you side with when the madness is unleashed.”

Sibyl and Joy mulled over the birds words, trying to make sense of them. Joy finally managed to said, “Luna, the Harbinger of Madness? What do you mean?”

“You do not truly understand that which you seek. The darkness wraps you up and conceals you from the truth.” The bird raised its giant wings, “Then follow the path that you seeks. Find the island of madness where the beast sleeps. Read the Prophesies of the Phases. Then you will understand the truth.” It flapped its giant black wings and lifted into the air.

As it began to move Sibyl yelled at it, “How do we find Luna and this island?”

“You already see the path. It moves before you and shows you the way. Follow it and you will learn everything that you wish you never knew.” Then it flapped again and was gone, leaving too quickly for them to answer any more questions.”

Sibyl watched the bird leave now with more questions then answers. Finally she voiced one of her questions to Joy. “What do you think the bird meant? Was it really talking about the same Luna that we know?”

Joy rubbed her shoulders to keep warm even though Ouroboros was keeping her plenty warm. “I don’t know but all that talk about madness is creepy. Do you think that Luna really is on this Island of Madness and what do you think that we will find there?”

Sibyl raised her arms in equal confusion and shook her head, “I don’t know any more then you do. However we should continue to follow Luna’s presence. If she really is on the Island of Madness then we will reach it before we find her.”

Joy could only nod in agreement. They left the crumpled old tree in the water and walked off toward the feeling of Luna. Neither of them spoke while they walked because they feared that they might speak some unspoken worry about Luna and about what they were doing. They didn’t want the other to question their believe in Luna. So instead they worried alone, suffocating on unspoken fear.

After what felt like an endless eon they felt the water levels lower and realized that they were stepping onto what must be an island in the water. This one was covered in strange white foliage which must have somehow grown despite not having even seen the light of day. Tall white trees and vines made the island look like a jungle. Joy couldn’t tell how far the island extended too or even if it was really an island. It could have been the beginning of some lightless continent.

“The feeling of Luna is close.” Said Sibyl, “Luna must be close. But I feel something else on the island too. Something that is,” She paused trying to describe the feeling, “Trying to hide its presence. However I can’t determine any other details.”

“Strange, I can’t feel anything other then Luna and I can feel her quite clearly, Are you certain you feel something else out there.” Asked Joy.

“Yes, I am certain. I think the reason that I can sense it is because it is on the same wavelength was me. It seems to be come kind of magic that dampens the feeling of the caster’s presence. The muffling part is similar to my projection form so it was weaken against my detection. We should be extra careful. While I can sense there is somebody there I can not tell how powerful that person might be. Let us avoid a fight if we can.” Said Sibyl.

Joy nodded and the two of them began walked onto the island. As soon as they stepped into the jungle they could feel eyes on them. There were things out in the white jungle watching them, lots of things. Sibyl and Joy could hear whatever was out there breathing.

Once the two of them were out of sight from the water the creatures decided to strike. Out of the shadows came six large silver animals. They had the raw might of wolves combined with the sleek movements of panthers. Together they rushed at Joy and Sibyl before anyone could thing to response. But not to quick for Ouroboros. It was a sword in an instant and skewered one of the animals.

One of the creature bit deep into Sibyl with what would normally be a fatal wound but Sibyl simply stared the beast in the eyes and there was a pulse of energy and then the sound of thunder. The beast collapsed on the ground next to Sibyl, charred by an enormous electrical burn.

The remaining four group together and made a joined assault against Sibyl who already seemed to be wounded. Two of them never reached their destination as green arrows sprouted from their heads. Ouroboros had shifted faster then the beast could react. The other two reached Sibyl but she was prepared this time and she faded as they reached her. They passed directly through her. By the time they realized what had happened Sibyl had reformed and the hair on the back of Joy’s neck stood on end.

Blue lightning arced from Sibyl to one of the beast and then the other. There was a sizzling sound as the lightning passed through the beasts. Then the moment was over and the lightning was gone. The beasts had one moment to turn and realize that something was terribly wrong with them and then they collapsed.

As Ouroboros returned to dagger form Joy whistled at Sibyl, “Wow, electricity. I can’t say that I was expecting that. Seems quite dangerous though.”

“Sure, it would probably kill me to channel that if I was alive.” She looked down at the large bit wound the beast had made on her leg. As soon as she turned her attention to it it began to rapidly heal. “One of the many advantages of not having a body to harm.”

Then without further chatting the continued farther into the jungle, leaving the dead corpses of the beast behind. They could tell Luna’s presence as getting stronger so they must be right on top of her. They stopped just as they caught a glimpse of a golden light. They still couldn’t tell anything through the trees except the light.

“Do you think that is Luna?” Whispered Joy.

“Maybe. However lets not get to excited. It could be the person with the hidden presence.” Whispered Sibyl back. They began sneaking through the jungle toward the light, trying to make as little sound as possible. As if sensing their minds their costumes’ glow dimmed and then died out leaving them in the dark.

They reached the edge of a clearing where the golden glow was coming from. The first thing that caught their eye was a giant stone statue on the other side of the clearing. It was of a giant crouching beast, huge, imposing, and invisible.

Beneath the giant statue was where the light was coming from. There was a older woman kneeling. She had brilliant glowing golden hair and an equally golden dress. Laying on her head in the woman’s lap was Luna. Luna seemed fast asleep and the woman was running her fingers through Luna’s hair.

Time passed at Joy and Sibyl waited, watching what was happening. Yet nothing changed. Finally as the wait became wearing the woman spoke, “Come out, there is no need to hide. Since you aren’t attempting to hide your presence I was able to sense you the moment you stepped foot on the island. Please come into the light so that I can see you.

Joy gulped and then the two of the stepped out into the clearing. The woman looked them up and down like she was trying to find a fault with them. Then she smiled and beckoned. “Please come closer. It is time that you took Luna back to her home. She has spent long enough time here in my company.”