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Sage Advice

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"Oh Isaac, you never told me you had such a cute friend," Trista sighed. She cradled her face in her hands, looking back to the direction where Leonard had disappeared. Isaac raised an eyebrow back at her as he walked on, trying to be mindful of where he stepped. Parakeru had flown on ahead on Isaac's request to scope out the area in case anymore trouble was ahead. However it seemed the only trouble was the going up the path to meet the Sage of Water. The narrow trail heading up to the Master of the Curtain Mist wound around the cliff side, threatening to crumble at any time.

"Cute? Maybe. He's only been around to tell me about monsters really."

"Oh, he's the one that taught you how to use those monsters in battle? You've got a good knack for controlling them. I bet he's just a really good teacher though," Trista said. She turned back to Isaac, who was struggling with his footing on the rocky face of the trail.

"Actually... he just showed me the Rune. It's dark magic, I think." Isaac leaned his staff over his shoulder, leaning close to the wall of the mountain that housed the waterfall. Trista tagged behind him, walking with more confidence and nimbleness. She giggled at how much trouble he seemed to be having navigating the trail.

"The Sage of Water has been here for eons, Isaac. The pathway isn't suddenly going to crumble," she chided. She walked past him, tossing her head back over her shoulder to keep an eye on her companion.

"You don't know that," Isaac said cautiously. Nevertheless he took a half step away from the wall. He couldn't let Trista show him up. The two of them walked in silence for a while, the crashing waterfall becoming more and more distant as they passed.

"You said you met the Sage of Water before, right? What's he like?" Isaac asked, kicking a stray rock in his path over the edge.

"Hmm?" Trista's walk slowed as she reflected on the question. "Well... he's a really esteemed Sage. He's probably the oldest of all of us- I wouldn't be surprised if he hadn't been with all of our predecessors either. The Master of the Curtain Mist knows a lot of different techniques and magical theory too. I'd hate to think about trying to face him when he's got so many advantages."

"Whoa..." Isaac said in quiet awe. "He sounds too powerful to be taken over by the Diva of the Twilight."

"Let's hope so."

"How do you know he lives all the way up here anyway?"

"We Sages try to live as far spread out as possible. It's for the best of humanity. Too much power concentrated in a single area can lead to problems. It's like with the Diva and her Wands- since she has almost all of them, she's upsetting the balance of magic.

"We also take up where our powers would benefit the most. A waterfall is a perfect home for a Sage of Water- you're surrounded by its power and ferocity. The only better place you could live is next to the ocean probably."

"Do you live next to the windmills then?" Isaac asked.

"You could say that," was Trista's only reply. Silence fell between the two of them again. The two travelers neared the top of the waterfall, the sound of water surging becoming closer. Isaac's heart began racing, thinking of meeting the grandiose figure Trista had portrayed for him. He tried thinking of another conversation piece to ease his mind.

"So if Sages live where their element is strongest, would my dad live somewhere really sunny?"

"Possibly. If I was the Bishop of the White Night, I'd live on a mountain. All the snow would reflect off of the snow caps. Plus you'd be close to the sun and the moon."

"Do you think we'll find him on a mountain then?" Trista became quiet again, unsure of how to answer. Isaac could wince from the tension that stemmed from that one question. He was starting to regret his decision to bring up a new topic.

"He... he was the only one who stood up to the Diva," Trista admitted quietly. "Again, if I was him, I'd hide somewhere dark. You'd expect him to stay where his powers are strongest, so you wouldn't expect to find him in a cave or a gross swamp or-"

"The Wet-Wood Forest?" Isaac asked.

"...Yeah. It's dark there. That's probably why he left you there, you know. No one's going to expect the son of the Sage of Light to be in a little forest in the middle of nowhere." The girl slowed down until she could walk beside Isaac, and slung her arm around his shoulder as a comforting gesture.

"He wouldn't have done it if he didn't love you, y'know," she said. Isaac said nothing, leaning into the girl's touch. The two of them kept in silence together as they neared the top of the waterfall, readying themselves for what may come.