Sweet-sounding music filled in the air in a ritual square. There was a petite figure sitting on a tall stone pillar. Closing her eyes, she conducted an orchestra with dancing hands; element followed her fingertips to strike the musical instruments around, performing a heavenly melodious movement. Suddenly, the music stopped.
“Who is it?”
“Zana, it’s me.” A shadow walked out of the corner——It was a bat-like beast Valencia.
“Bahamut needs my help?” Zana the elf said slowly. Despite her fragile appearance, her aura was intimidating even for Valencia.
“No. Bahamut released the dragon fire yesterday. It’s slumbering now. I came to ask you a favour.”
“Oh, what matters to you coming all the way up here?”
“I...am not sure of what that thing is. So I hope to seek your help.”
“The thing that even you don’t know
…” Zana leaped to Valencia lightly as a butterfly. “Bring me to it.”
Valencia nodded respectfully, then spread its wings to go deep into the ground. They passed through several regions before reaching a hidden open area, where was glittering gold.
“Is it the “thing” you’re talking about…” Zana frowned, because of the “thing”...Well, “thing” was actually not a proper word to describe as it was more like a gigantic cocoon.
The cocoon was coiled by countless metal tubes, as if it was wrapped up by layers of spider silk. It seemed to serve as a protection from something inside.
“Those tubes...are just similar to vessels, but they were different in some ways…” Zana could not get an answer.
“You stay here. I go take a look.” Zana cautiously head towards the cocoon in the center. Yet the metal tubes covered on the ground rejected her approaching. They came out to attack Zana from all directions.
She raised her right hand to compress earth element into a sharp blade, cutting them off instantly while walking to the cocoon. Guarding against the tubes, she conjured more and more elemental blades to cut the cocoon open.
A thick golden liquid came out in a gush at the moment when Zana cut it. Then, a metal body slid down——A Machina with a look of 7 or 8-year-old boy.
Shocked by what she found, she helped the Machina up to examine closely. At the same time, preoccupation made her drop her guard, until she heard Valencia’s voice. “Zana, behind you!”
As she turned around, she saw an unknown sphere twisted by metal tubes. The cracks on its rough surface gave out erosive black mist against Zana——
Clash! She blocked it with an earth elemental shield; Meanwhile, more blades were conjured above the sphere.
“Don’t look down on me,” groaned Zana. The blades stabbed into the sphere, which was down after a few twitches. However, more spheres were approaching.
“The situation is getting tough with this amount of enemies.” Zana looked around while pondering over every possible strategy.
“Zana, grab my hand!” Valencia flew to her and reached out.
“Right, there is no point in fighting with them.” Zana carried the Machina, took a leap and caught it.
Valencia flew away. The spheres tried to chase them down by sticking out the metal tubes, but Valencia’s speed beat them.
“I guess we’re safe here.” Valencia landed into a hidden cave. Then, Zana laid the Machina on the floor. His metal body, covering in golden liquid, showed a beautiful reflection of light, attracting Valencia’s eyeballs.
“He is a Machina...but way smaller than his kind I’ve seen before…”
“It’s because the power of Monesis is weakened…” Zana mumbled her thought.
“Monesis...you insist on creating life even you’re getting week...Is it some kind of new revelation you want to show us?”
“Leave him to me. Taking care of Bahamut has already drained you.” Zana carried the Machina on her back and returned to the ritual square.
She wiped out the liquid on his body, but the Machina was still fast asleep. Then, Zana took her time and picked up where she left off in the music performance last time. Surrounded by soft rhythm, the Machina woke up. He looked around in puzzlement until he saw Zana.
“I’m Zana, an elf.” She stopped to talk calmly.
“Zana...I like you name, and I like you.” The Machina showed an innocent smile. “But you’re very different from me. Do all elves look different?”
“It’s because you’re not an elf, but a Machina.”
“Machina...then what’s my name?”
“Your…” Zana recalled an innovative Machina who was responsible for the naming of their kind. And it made Zana sad to recall the perish of the fellow.
“Your name is Descartes.”
Descartes and Zana had been living together since then. She taught everything she knew to him, but still it was not enough to fill his appetite for curiosity. Descartes began to decipher some memory metal himself.
Nevertheless, Descartes was still thirsty for knowledge. Although Zana wanted to stop him, it was of no avail.
One day, Descartes packed up and decided to leave. “Are you sure leaving? The exit up there was sealed. You can’t leave the underground anymore.”
“Zana, you haven’t been there for a long time. Maybe it’s open.”
“It’s impossible,” she sighed. “Even if it’s open, there are still many dangers in the realm that could kill you. Are you willing to risk your life for the impossibility you’re pursuing?”
“Zana, perhaps it’s safer for me to stay here. But will you call it alive? Maybe I’m just your illusion.”
“Stop this nonsense! Of course you’re alive, Descartes.”
“Right, I think, therefore I am. I wanna know more about this world, and know more about my existence,” Descartes said with passion and vitality. The way he spook reminded Zana of someone long time ago, a Machina who had been chasing after his unachievable dream.
“You’re just like him …,” Zana smiled. “Go ahead. Even if you’ll regret it, or feel desperate, it’s still the path you’ve chosen.”
“Thank you Zana, for taking care of me.” Descartes hugged her for a while and tore himself away. Zana played a song with her harp, gazing at his back with love and pity.
“I can’t do anything but sing for you. May you seek what you want during your journey.”
Zana’s voice, once again, was echoing through the silent ritual square, lingering...