by Glarryg

Chapter 3

Quietly now. Can't let that fool soldier find you in here. He might want to take you to a prison if he thinks you're up to something. Funny; the door's open. Lock must have rusted after all those years. No matter; Lumina has to be in here. You'd have seen her leaving, she's so bright. How could somebody sneak her out, anyway? Nobody even knows she's here, except for those idiot chemists. Make a new lock to keep them out later. Hope Plonus-- Ploto, or whatever-- doesn't hear the door close; he'll bring the rest to come get me.

Fools, all of them. Thinking I can't get my gold back. They're jealous, that's their problem; they don't want me to have my gold. It makes them look like lesser beings. Too bad for them. Maybe they are, maybe they are.

Dammit, it's eerie in here. It used to be so pleasant, so much brighter. I'm too used to the outside light; it'll get brighter soon enough. Empty treasure chest; how did that get in here? Who put it there? It is empty, right? Yes, nothing left inside. You're here to find Lumina; that's how to regain your fortune, and your island. Twisting palace; I should redesign it so it has more staircases, or put the staircases in better spots. Later; get the gold now. Get the Spirit now. Get Lumina. She'll help me. She must know how to make gold without Mana.

Colder in here than outside; good thing I brought my best cloak. Best outfit, to mark my triumph. I'll be the most famous king in the world again, and my island will show that.

Stairs slip. Too slick, and cold. Cold? Why is it so cold? Better tie up the cloak. Careful, the banister for this fell off. Old, rickety building.

Big room on this floor-- what in the name of the gods is that? A tiger? Some sort of animal corpse; looks like its head was cut off. No, two heads. One neck, but there are two skulls here. Odd. Looks like it's almost totally decayed, but the smell isn't that bad. Like a steak, raw. Raw steak. Not much left but the hide, though. Disgusting. Move on; she's not here.

Careful; don't slip on the stairs. Like ice, it's so cold in here. Like winter. My gold will fix that; my island will be warm again, and I won't have to come in here ever again. Island. Kingdom. My kingdom will be warm again.

Must hurry. Protus might notice you're gone. Get up the stairs. Don't slip; hurry. Lumina must be nearby; she has to be. This tower can't be that tall. Is it taller than my mansion? I'll make sure it's not; maybe I'll take a few floors off when I'm done here. No, make my own house taller. Add floors. Add security, too; my own security. Make sure nobody else can send their armies over here. Keep Plots and all the rest out of my kingdom. My own army.

I'll do it right this time. Keep everything to myself, only let people in when I want them in. My own security, my own rules. That's why I have to remake my golden island; so I can redo everything and fix the problems. Of course. That's why I have to find Lumina again. That's why I have to remake my golden island. Golden kingdom. My Golden Kingdom.

Gold City; I'll name it after myself this time. Manmon City, on the Island of Manmon. Manmon's security, Manmon's gold. My gold. Once I find Lumina. She'll restore my gold. She'll help me.

She must want me to do this; she thinks I should have done better. She's giving me a second chance; a chance to rebuild, redo things and make them better than they were. Must improve on my kingdom if I'm to have the title of Most Famous King of the World. She'll help me fix everything. This is a test, to see if I can do better. I'll do it without Mana, and it'll be better this time. She wants me to become better than I was, better than all the rest. The rest, who think I'm a fool. They're the fools.

Don't slip on the stairs!

They think I'm some stupid old man; that's why they're telling me to give up. They want me to give up my kingdom, and my gold. If I'm going to own the world, I can't let them tell me what to do. I'll make it right on my own. I did it on my own before; now I'll do it better. Lumina has shown me what to do.

Fix the security, fix the gold, fix my home. Make it better, in my name. They'll all praise me, the great Manmon, King of the World. Then I'll show them all what fools they are. The chemists and the family and Plotos and all of them.

Wow; another big room. Another corpse. What was this? Like a bull or something. Clothing? Odd. Decayed, just like the other one. Somebody gutted this thing. Putrid; smells rotten and filthy. Body odor. Horrid beast.

Lumina must be close; this tower can't be that much taller. Can't be that much taller than my home. My mansion. Make the new one ten stories tall. No, thirty. Taller than anything ever built by the Empire. Make them all shameful; they'll think twice before laughing at me again. Never laugh at the King of the World again. After I make my gold come back, I'll show them all. Lumina will show me how to prove my worth to the world. I'll do it without Mana this time, and I'll make them sorry they laughed at me and my gold. Fools.

This is it; the Seed. Lumina can't be far from it. She lives here; she can't leave. I'll go up to the stage and make her come and show me how to get my gold back. So dark here. Where is she? It used to be so bright in this room. It's a test; she wants me to prove my courage. I'll go right up to that seed and she'll appear and help me. I have to do this on my own.

Watch the stairs; these feel like they're angled down. Like they don't want me to climb them. I'll prove myself. Then Lumina will help me. Watch it; here we are. Now touch the Seed.

Wow; cold. Colder than anything I've ever touched. Hand hurts, it's so cold. Wait for it. Wait. Nothing's happening. How long does it take? Maybe I have to show her my patience. I can be very patient. I'll wait for you, Lumina. I'll wait.

Nothing's happening. Where is she? Seed looks dead; too cold. Shouldn't there be a seal on it? Looks like it was thrown into a fire and burnt, but it's so cold. Did Lumina escape? Is the Seed dead? Did she leave it behind? Shake it. Still nothing. Chemist said Mana was gone. Does the Seed die when that happens? Lumina should know what to do; she should know. Why isn't she here? This is the top of the tower; where could she go? Search the place. Maybe she wants to test my intelligence, too.

I'll find you yet, Spirit. I'll make you show me how to make my kingdom better. Without Mana. We'll show them all how to do things better, and they'll never laugh again.

Torches used to be lit; must have gone out when it got so cold. Leave them; nobody will ever be back here after you fix your kingdom. Worry about finding Lumina. Finish your test. She'll be here. Waiting to help out. To make things better.

Maybe I passed her; maybe she was hiding on a lower floor. Maybe she wants me to be thorough; make sure I think of everything. That's what it takes to fix a kingdom. Fix it all and take my place as the King. King Manmon. King of the World.

Fools; it's not a great army that make a great kingdom, but a great ruler. That's why Vandole died. He thought his army could make him great. It takes a smart man, a wise man, to make a perfect kingdom. The Kingdom of Manmon.

Okay, she's not here; go back. Check everything; the stairs, the rooms. The corpses. The monsters; Lumina wants me to be thorough, and not leave anything overlooked. Check the hides of the monsters; a king must not be afraid to get his hands dirty.

There it is: the bull monster. Check the inside. Disgusting. Filthy beast. Must be all kinds of filth in here. Meat, organs. No, nothing. But it's so close to the Seed. Too close. Maybe that other thing has Lumina. Maybe she's hiding there. Go check it, and the rest of this place.

Careful with the stairs. Take your time; be patient. Didn't come all this way to slip and break a leg. Nothing around here; why would somebody hide in a flight of stairs? Lumina's not here.

Too many floors here. What a test. Climb up the building, climb down the building. I'd better not have to climb up it again. I'm patient, but I've proven myself already. I came in, and I know what to do. I've learned so much. Lumina has to accept me as the true ruler of this island. Of the World. King Manmon, who conquered the disappearance of Mana and made the world's greatest-- richest-- kingdom. The Kingdom of Manmon.

Nothing. All this way, and there's nothing here. Can't just leave this place; must find Lumina. Check that other corpse. The tiger.

Cold; why is it so cold in here? It's warmer outside. Must be part of the test. Lumina only wants the best man to be King. She'll let me know when it's time to claim my golden kingdom, and my place as King of the World. They'll stop laughing when I've found her. Ruler of Light. Goddess of Light. My Light Goddess.

There it is; don't slip on the steps. Tiger corpse; not quite as smelly, this one. Just as filthy, but a little more bearable. Mostly hide left over. Crusted blood. Check the whole thing; this has to be part of the test. Lumina must be here. I've climbed this tower and come back down to prove myself. Where is she?

Nothing; there's nothing here. Nothing. Lumina isn't in here. Where, then? The treasure chest. It's the last place to hide. Lumina's the treasure at the end of my test. She has to be there; where else can she be?

Now the whole floor feels slippery. Too polished; my mansion must be the most polished floor in the world. I'll see to that once I'm done with the rest. They think I'm too old and stupid to do this; they're all wrong. I'll show them. There it is. Careful; slippery. Dammit, don't slip--

Oh, Hell, my ankle. Oh, Hell, oh, Hell. Damn thing twisted under me. Hurts. Man alive. Keep walking; you're almost there. The treasure chest. Must be where Lumina is. You didn't check it well enough the first time. Must be smarter than this if you want to take your kingdom back. Lumina wants you to be smarter.

Ouch. Lean on the chest. Look closer this time. She's here; it's the only place she can be. Look at it. Every corner. Everything. Nothing. Nothing at all. I've proved it all: my courage, my patience, my intelligence. What else is there? What else do you want me to do, Lumina?

She has to be here. She can't escape. I need my gold back. I can't rule this island without it. They'll laugh at me again, and they'll never know that I'm fit to be King. I have to show them. All of them.

No; this isn't right. She's suppose to show up now. I did everything. I did everything I could. I'm the rightful King. Where is my Light Goddess?

Maybe I have to show how much I want this. I'll prove my dedication. There must be a way. The door. The door is still open. Somebody else could come in and try to claim my throne. I'll keep them all out. Then she'll come to me. She'll appear.

Push the chest. Forget your ankle; push it into the door. Block them. They won't get in. Ouch; hurts. Forget it. The chest isn't that heavy. Isn't that heavy. Must find something else. Something to lock the door. A new lock.

Ouch; keep walking. Grinding bones? Find something, quickly. Jam the door closed. Jam it. Old banister. That old fallen banister. Bar the door with it. There it is. Must hurry. Plotor might know I'm gone already, and he'll bring the other to take me away and laugh at me. Hurry.

If I can keep them away, then I can show my dedication to Lumina. I'll wait as long as it takes, and she'll show up and restore my kingdom even without Mana. She'll help me. Must keep the rest out of here. They'll see what a great King I am. King Manmon.

There we go; right across the handles. That should hold. They'll never get in. Now just have to sit and wait for Lumina. She'll come when she sees how dedicated I am. King Manmon. King of the World.

Tired. Got to sit down. Right here, by the door; I'll be ready when she comes. My Light Goddess. We'll show them all. All of them. There we go; foot doesn't hurt so much now. That's better. A seat fit for a king. The King. Manmon.

Now to wait.

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