106 The Return
Astrid covered her eyes when another wave of cold air blew their way. The higher they climbed, the lower the visibility. They were almost at the spot Wen instructed them to wait at.
The map view was deceptive. What was shown to be a forest area appeared to be a snowy land with an endless snowstorm.
"It's starting to get very chilly," Lyria said when they were about halfway up the snowy mountain. Although they were dressed for the weather, the temperature wasn't something their winter outfits were built for.
Astrid considered turning back. The conditions were getting extreme the higher they went. "I hate to say it, but we might have to consider turning back if it gets too dangerous. We might not be prepared enough for this."
"We can't turn back now! The others are counting on us!" Luna objected.
Lyria cast a layer of protection. It didn't help much, but at least it shielded the girls from the frost a little.
Astrid noticed a silhouette of a large boulder up ahead. "Perhaps we should take a break at that boulder? I'd also like to check our supplies and see what we can use to get all the way up."
The boulder moved.
"Astrid, I don't think that's a boulder," Luna said with a gulp.
"If we have to fight that thing, we have to avoid getting separated. It's going to be hard to find each other again in this fog," said Astrid.
The boulder thing started moving closer to them at a fast speed.
"Run!" Astrid shouted.
The girls screamed and ran away from the approaching mysterious creature. Its appearance became visible the closer it got to them. It was a giant brown boar with large tusks. It was ready to crash into them. However, instead of hitting them, it slammed into a wall of rock and snow which triggered violent tremors.
The portion of the mountain underneath them crumbled, sending the three of them falling. If it wasn't for Luna who instinctively used her sword to thrust into the side of the mountain, they would have fallen all the way down into the void.
Luna was hanging on desperately to her sword's hilt. Lyria was hugging Luna and Astrid was holding Lyria to keep herself from falling. The cliff was too slippery to climb.
"I don't think this sword can hold us for long," Luna said.
Lyria tried to cast an earth spell on the mountain, but nothing happened.
"I'm gonna try to cast a wind spell," said Astrid.
"Will that even hold our weight?" Luna asked.
"I don't know, but we're going to have to use it eventually when your sword can't hold us anymore."
Astrid attempted the spell to lift herself all the way up. The wind spell didn't work. At the same time, Luna's sword gave in and sent Lyria and Luna falling after Astrid. All of them screamed.
Is this where it all ends? Just like this?
Sometimes you get caught in the moment of living that death suddenly comes out of nowhere when you least expect it.
They were already so close...
"What the hell are you doing!?" They heard a voice they hadn't heard for a long time.
The wyvern Rune swooped in to catch the three of them before they fell even deeper. Riding the wyvern was a face they knew well.
"Amelie!?" The three of them exclaimed together.
"It's Chris!" Amelie angrily shouted back. "I thought you finally got my in-game nickname right!"
Amelie was looking chipper like usual, minus the part where she was annoyed at how her friends still didn't call her Chris. Her clothes were totally brand new, suitable for the winter terrain. It was as if she was never beaten up and thrown into a deep dark pit.
"I was going to save my grand appearance for an epic battle, but now I wasted it here!" Amelie lamented. "You were all supposed to be shocked like you've never been shocked before!"
"Honestly, we're all pretty shocked right now," said Astrid.
"Yes, but not as shocked as how I imagined it."
"How did you survive?" Lyria asked, still unable to believe that Amelie survived all that. "We thought Vi killed you."
"Vi didn't kill me. He threw me down where Rune was flying below the bridge. He somehow figured that Rune would catch me," replied Amelie. "I don't think he planned to end my life."
Lyria couldn't believe it. Was this really true? Was Lyngvi not totally heartless afterall?
Amelie had Rune land on more stable ground. All of them dismounted.
Luna suddenly punched Amelie. "Why didn't you appear sooner!? You had us worried!"
"The nerve! You know dramatic reappearances are always important to time!" Amelie returned her punch.
The two were in a heated brawl on the snowy ground. Astrid and Lyria just stood by waiting for them to stop. Eventually, the two stopped fighting.
"Welcome back, Amelie," Luna said with a smile.
"I'm glad to be back." Amelie paused. "And it's Chris!"
Lyria held up the sheep hat she and Epsilon picked up when they first returned to Aries. "I think this is yours."
"My sheep hat!" Amelie happily received it. "I thought I lost it forever. Thanks, Lyria!"
"Hold still," said Astrid. She took out her menu tablet to apply a skill and stat amplification hack on Amelie, but was surprised to find that her stats were already maxed out. "Amelie... How did you get your stats all the way up?"
"Oh, I met this mysterious glasses guy after Rune saved me. He healed me up and said he would make me more powerful. I didn't see him anymore after that. I don't know his name. And... it's Chris!"
"That might have been Elris."
"No, Elris." Astrid paused. "Anyway, do you think Rune can get us all the way to the top of the mountain.
Amelie did a mysterious pose. "Rune isn't just ordinary Rune now..."
"Rune is... Super Rune! Rune alpha version! Thanks to my awesome magic attack boosting pizza diet which I came up with randomly. Copyright 2018 Christina Amelie Chrosse."
"Amelie, you can't copyright a game mechanic you don't even own rights to."
Amelie pouted. "It's Chris!"
Lyria checked the map. The spot they were at wasn't too far from the original spot they were supposed to camp out at. They decided to just wait at their current location for Wen's signal.