February 9, 430 AR
7:00PM – The Mayor's Residence, Mattoi
This morning marked my first sunrise outside Aleria after a long three months. As well as the first day of being an actual Halophate member.
That's right. Not merely deputized as part of our field study group. A true Junior Halophate member, as of today.
We woke up to Dovan scanning the sea for the journey ahead. He's spotted a bright light constantly pulsating far offshore that spells big trouble. An Aboleth; an ancient giant creature known to play illusions on human minds using its pulsating light. These things may be normally docile, but they will attack if provoked with merely being in its vicinity. Dovan figured it won't be much of a problem should we have taken a longer course to avoid it with the yacht. Then Forte shared that there's a way to open the Spirit Path from Preed Island, by diving into the ruins WHERE THE ABOLETH SUPPOSEDLY RESIDES.
We had split decisions at first, but eventually agreed to explore the ruins. After all, opening the Spirit Path to us can prove helpful in the future as well as provide faster travel, even for the yacht. I had a sinking feeling that made me change my mind twice before agreeing…
With some help from Forte's magic, six of us (we left Dovan stuck with his yacht. He was very vocal about wanting to take it back anyways) went down to the ruins in these magical air bubbles. As we approached the place, a school of deep sea fish seemed to approach us, as if inviting us to the place. We've were greeted by a seemingly grand room upon entering the ruins, with water flowing through canals, and its whole structure surprisingly holding up despite its well-aged condition. The walls were inscribed with a phrase concerning something about "praising gods-" no, "rising gods?" – that Aboleth's right hook must've jogged it off of my memory. I felt uneasy about it being possibly connected to Those Guys, but Forte dismissed it as me merely overthinking things.
Moving deeper into the ruins, we found ourselves in a high atrium with a big cliff dividing us from the other side. The only way across were wooden bridges- surprisingly sturdy even for their age, supported by three pillars. Totems appeared guarding the place but the others quickly took them down. Art tried to take some scraps, but I suppose our host doesn't take lightly to guests who simply take.
The Aboleth roared at us as if we were mere thieves. An ancient creature with no concept of time, it appears he has a great disdain towards humans, blaming us for the Moonfall Incident and loss of mana; for Vattos' own wrongdoings. I know we're prone to our own mistakes.. but is it right for someone to be punished for the sins of the ones before them, merely because someone had to pay? Seems Sigma thinks otherwise as well. The Aboleth warned us, but we decided to proceed nonetheless. I've steeled myself but the restlessness didn't leave me one bit.
And sure enough, my gut feeling was right. On the next door, we met an eccentric man who knows way more about us than the average person- Art's life as part of an experiment, and the thieving of a relic from Dragon's Descent three years ago. The mere mention of it made my blood boil- even worse when he mentioned he was behind it. "The Akashic Order, Inquisitor no. V: Novarthis, The Howling Researcher," as he declared. This was the very person who almost got the seven of us killed down the Descent. The next thing I know, I was charging at him full stride with Clarent in my hand, ready to shoot him down, with every movement intent to kill. I was blown back with a punch from a device of his. He claimed to want to help us by killing the Aboleth himself, but we know he's been looking to kill the Aboleth all this time. The Aboleth's words may have been uncalled for, but he's done nothing but protect his own home.
After a minor hold up from the Inquisitor's totems (one seems too similar to the Divine Hunter Valtz… could it be a creation of The Divergent Blacksmith but using Gabriel as base instead?)- including a totem as large as Valtz, we rushed in to stop him in his tracks. In the Throne Room, the Aboleth sat calmly, dismissing the Valtz copy totems like they were no threat at all. And indeed they quickly fell to the giant's blows. Meanwhile, we got the Inquisitor's attention away from the Aboleth. I was ready to call on Prometheus in case he did another stunt with the totems on us, but decided to deal with us himself.
That's a lie. I was too reckless the entire fight. If it wasn't for the help of the Alex and Art, I would've probably been dead already. We held him off with the best of our abilities, but even Sigma's sharpshooting couldn't knock him off. With the Aboleth destroying all his Totems and us still standing, he took his leave, but not without further humiliating me and Art by detonating bombs on the two of us.
The Aboleth seemed surprised by our actions, in spite of his threats. He tells us how he remembers a man from Aleria; Seyren, from us, hoping to hear from him sometime, unaware of how much time has passed already. Seems he's gained some respect for us, as we had for him. To think such a creature would be so wise yet so alone. I hope he does get some good visitors.
After he enabled the Spirit Path, we made our way back to the yacht tand caught Dovan fishing. By fate would've had it, he manages to fish out a bag of "The Dreamers" album CDs from the water. And to think that they disbanded before I saw a second concert in my life… but I suppose the intense shock of Mariabelle being a slaughtering figurehead for the Liberation Army must've started to cut their ties apart.
And so, Alex, Art, and Raphael opened the Spirit Path, allowing us to travel almost instantly to Mattoi…. in the Mayor's Residence courtyard. Much to her shock, we at least returned her yacht in one piece, although in the wrong place. I suppose Prez and I can get it out to shore using Prometheus at her request.
Its.. really been a rough first day returning to Corseria for me. I shouldn't lose myself to my own emotions. How does Clementine manage to do it, anyways? Is it the tea..?
I don't wanna cause them any more trouble than I already have.
I'm gonna go out and take an evening stroll across the city. To Mariabelle Ruins, maybe. I don't know. Sometimes I think even I need a break.