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After several more crescent-arced tunnels, the pathways in the Cave of Sylphs becomes sharper, and more sudden, so I have to be careful with how I Float around, or I'll bump into a wall. Shiva follows behind me, looking perturbed, while Ifrit blasts ahead of us, and Rob sputters between me and the fiery Eidolon.

Then I see her.

Trancy, clinging to the ceiling of a tunnel, her hands and feed intertwined in the blue-glow of moss, its poisonous sinews a mere webbing for her fey-feet, a source of sustenance for her.

I've a renewed respect for her human-like size after seeing the small sylphs earlier; still, this is the person who wracked me with growing pains for days, leaving me to wandering through the Dark World while strapped to an ethereal stretcher called Haste.

"Stop," she mutters.

So I stop.

Oh no.

This is black magic.

I try to turn around, to look at Shiva; but my body won't move. Rob putt-putts along ahead, into the brim and smoke of Ifrit's wake.

Trancy flutters in front of us, her gossamer wings like a blue-green kaleidoscope, refracting the glow of the bioluminescent tunnels. "All right, ladies," she says. "Now we're alone."

When the Stop spell releases its grip on me, by body jerks awake. 

I start to descend, but Shiva's hands grab my shoulders, and her chill brings me back. Unable to cast Float again, I'm at Shiva's mercy to hold me suspended in the center of the tunnel. As I exchange glances with Shiva, she smiles ever-so-slightly at me, with one of those it's-going-to-be-fine nods, then her expression sobers. She looks over my shoulder, fixing her gaze on Trancy.

Shiva's voice is low. "You aren't supposed to use your spells on Eidolon."

The deep pores in Trancy's lime green skin retract all at one, like eyes pinning. "You would've freaked out if I hadn't."

I open my mouth, prepared to demand she release the Haste from me.

Then I realize she just called me an Eidolon.

"I'm human," I protest, and Trancy laughs.

"Half-human," Trancy says. "But you know how it goes; whatever mixes with the human whitewash is what everyone's going to see."

"It's true," Shiva says. "You're an Eidolon to me."

"I need your help—," Trancy starts, but I interrupt her, "Are you kidding me? Do you know what you did to me?"

I knew Mom was an Eidolon; but I thought she turned into one, later in life, after she gave birth to me. Which means I should been human, like Dad. Shouldn't it? 

Trancy rolls her eyes. "What I did to you? You must be referring to how I saved you life. Had I not Hastened you, you would have been echnida food before you ever found the Land of Summoned Monsters."

Now I'm pissed. "I was fine before you—"

"I asked if you planned to die or live," she snarls, and her lime glow brightens. "You choose live. So I gave you the means to do so."

To say I'm flustered would be an understatement, but Shiva's cold, strong arms continuing holding me up; keeping my temper cool. 

"There's more," Trancy says. "I needed you to get your shit together A.S.A.P., Rydia of Mist, since Golbez is coming here to take the Dark Crystal." 

"Who?" I stammer.

"He's what?" Shiva blurts.

"Golbez is a Lunarian." Trancy's wings flutter faster, the more and more she talks. "And he's going to attack the Dwarf Castle and take their Dark Crystal, if you don't do something about it."

"Golbez," I repeat. "Ohholyshit. I know that guy."

Shiva exchanges glances with me. "You do?"

I nod. "He invaded Fabul."

Trancy asks, "Where?"

"The Light World," Shiva tells her.

"Well, yeah," Trancy replies, "but where in the Light World?"

"Eastern side of the Great Continent," I say. "Near Mt. Hobs. He took the Light Crystal from the Fabulians... and he kidnapped Rosa."

We're quiet for a time, until Ifrit comes crashing into the twinkling cavern with Rob riding on his head, screaming, "Yeehaw!"

"We realized you weren't following us anymore, so—," Ifrit starts, but when he sees Trancy fluttering in front of us—Shiva holding me aloft—his booming voice fades to nothing.

"I can't go to the Dwarf Castle," Trancy continues, ignoring Ifrit's fiery, hulking presence. "No full-blooded Eidolon can; the dwarves have an aura of protection that keeps monsters and Eidolons out. But you can pass through that force field—you can save the Dark Crystal."


First draft: July 18

Second draft: August 18

Word count: 747

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