Tunnel of the National Institute of Notalium
|“||"The puzzle is solved..." "This is, indeed, astonishing..."||”|
|“|| Fisica and Ritmo could not believe their eyes when the two strangers appeared in front of them.|
"Our town should have been the only place spared from Al Niente in the entire world......"
The same thought came into both Fisica and Ritmo's minds.
However, the two outsiders were without a doubt standing right there.
"Excuse me, I know you have a lot of doubts," said the redhead girl with a ponytail,
"but could you please move away from where you are first? That object is extremely dangerous."
Ritmo and Fisica hurried down from the high platform.
The two strangers went closer to observe the status of the device.
It seemed that they were checking its stability. "Follow us." said the long-haired man in white.
Ritmo and Fisica had no choice but to follow the two into a deep and endless tunnel.
|“|| "Where are we..." Fisica questioned as she walked along.|
"Don't you know?" Replied the red-haired girl, "This is the tunnel of the National Institute of Notalium."
"National Institute of Notalium..." Ritmo and Fisica exclaimed at the same time.
"Who are you two exactly?" Ritmo could not help but ask. "It does not matter who we are," said the red-haired girl.
"Her name is Rossa." The long-haired man spoke suddenly, breaking the silence.
"Hey, don't reveal any information unnecessarily, Nero!" Rossa complained.
"Rossa and Nero..." Fisica murmered. "Humph!" Rossa appeared to be a little upset.
|“|| Feeling slightly awkward, everyone remained silent as they moved further into the darkness.|
In spite of their apprehension, Fisica and Ritmo followed obediently, without a word.
In fact, they both vaguely sensed that they would not have gotten any answers no matter what they had asked.
The four of them walked in the dark for what seemed like an eternity, and finally, Rossa stopped.
"Here we are." said Rossa, "Show me how good you are."
|“||However, the Notalium appeared to be somewhat different to the ones Fisica and Ritmo had seen before.||”|
|“|| After tuning, the Notalium released a blinding beam of red light, while the stone door slowly opened.|
"Well, well...No wonder he was able to open one of the seals of the 'Apocalypse'."
Rossa said as she stepped inside the stone door.
"Open the 'seals'? The 'Apocalypse'?" Fisica secretly wondered,
"The 'Apocalypse' should refer to the device just now, but to open the 'seals' through 'tuning'?"
Nero quietly stared at Ritmo and Fisica, as if urging them to keep up.
Fixed by Nero’s gaze, Fisica, though puzzled,
had to suppress the idea of further investigation and carried on with Ritmo into the further, deeper darkness.
|“|| Rossa led Ritmo and Fisica into a circular room with no exit.|
A piece of disordered Notalium was in the room, "Here we are." Nero said.
"To reach the end of the tunnel, we need to overcome a series of hurdles."
"The stone door was the first, and this is the second." Rossa explained.
"Perfect, so in short, all the puzzles need to be solved!"
The wide-eyed Ritmo immediately wanted to show his talents after the explanation.
Though with a slight hesitation, Fisica gently nodded.
|“|| After the tuning completed, a deep flute sound was emitted, and then another path revealed.|
Fascinated by the changes in the room, Ritmo looked around,
while Fisica took the opportunity to explore the room.
"It's time to move on. There are a couple more hurdles to overcome," Rossa called.
"......" Nero stood silently aside, appearing very inquisitive by Ritmo's tuning device.
|“|| The four of them walked along the tunnel.|
Ritmo became very excited, probably owing to hearing the words "hurdles" and "challenges",
while Fisica was on alert due to her suspicions.
Before long, the four of them arrived in the next room.
"Hey, check this out!" Ritmo took his tuner out and walked towards the disordered Notalium in the room,
without even any prompting from Rossa and Nero.
"Rit-" Fisica was about to say something to stop Ritmo,
but soon let him go upon seeing his high spirits.
|“|| After tuning, a high-pitched sound started to ring out, but nothing significant happened in the room.|
"Well, there is still no new passage…" Rossa felt the wall and explored.
The horn-like sound continued,
Fisica sensed the vibration under the soles of her feet getting stronger and stronger. All of a sudden-
"Watch out!" Fisica shouted and rushed towards Rossa.
|“|| Bang-! A huge rock rolled down from the top, falling right where Rossa had been standing.|
"Fisica!" Ritmo also ran over. "Is everything all right with you both?"
"Um……" "That was close……"
"......" Nero also rushed over, pulling Fisica and Rossa up from the ground.
Ritmo immediately supported Fisica, who was slightly light-headed.
"You-you saved me……" Rossa was blushing,
looking like she she was at her wits' end and a little embarrassed. "Well… I, I…"
Nero stared at Rossa with concerns, without saying a word.
Rossa looked at Nero and turned to look at Fisica, who had not yet fully recovered.
"......Thank you." "Uh-huh……"
The four of them looked at each other in silence, taking some time to recover from the shock.
In their hearts, a sense of togetherness.
|“|| "Ah, look up!" Ritmo suddenly pointed upwards.|
A hole appeared above where the rock had fallen from, with a shabby rope ladder hanging from it.
"So is has been above us all the time!" said Rossa.
"Was the passage not open before then?" Nero asked.
"What are you talking about?" asked Fisica.
"No, nothing. Let’s go." Rossa got up and dusted her clothes down.
The four companions’ spirit climbed again, as they clambered up the rope ladder and carried on with their journey.
Ritmo took the lead, followed by Fisica, while Rossa and Nero were at the rear.
As they moved along, Fisica heard some whispers from the two behind.
Even though she started to feel connected to Rossa and Nero, there were still doubts in her mind.
The only thing she heard clearly was Nero muttering, "No wonder there had been no way to find it before."
|“|| Following the rope ladder, the four of them reached a circular platform. Another hefty door came into sight.|
As usual, Ritmo got the tuner out, feeling eager to take on the challenge, as if no one can stop him.
Fisica, however, was carried away by what Nero just said and the conversation between him and Rossa.
She was determined to ask for an explanation after Ritmo’s tuning.
|“|| After the tuning was finished, there came a loud sound of strings. "Wonderful, let's go!" Ritmo said happily.|
"Wait a minute," said Fisica, "Rossa, Nero, what do you mean by 'No wonder there was no way to find it before'?"
"Why are you here? And, where is this tunnel leading us to exactly?"
"Alright," Rossa finally broke the silence, "I will tell you now."
"We came here," Rossa said, hesitating slightly, "to stop you."
|“|| "In short, the alarm was triggered when you opened the first seal of the 'Apocalypse',"|
"...and that’s why we rushed here." said Rossa.
"We are members of the Silence Border Guard," Nero said, taking a badge from out of his cloak.
"The Silence Border…" "Guard?" Fisica and Ritmo said in unison.
"Alas, I know you are not able to digest it all at once, especially what is related to 'the outside world.' "
"But we are running out of time for more explanations." Rossa said.
"Here, take this manual. You can find the map of the tunnel."
|“|| "There are many paths leading to various places in the area via the tunnel of the National Institute of Notalium."|
"The path you were taken on was the shortcut to the Silence Border Guard Second Precinct."
"We were ordered to take you back for investigation."
"It is a very serious matter to open the seals of the 'Apocalypse'," Nero said.
"However," Rossa said, looking at Fisica, "you don’t appear to be hostile, and you even saved my life."
"Legend has it that there is a great secret at the end of the tunnel."
"The two most crucial tasks of the Silence Border Guard
have always been to protect the seals of the Apocalypse, and to find the way to the end."
|“|| "You're unique," said Rossa, looking at Ritmo.|
"It seems that your tuning method has given the device a special resonance which then opened the passage."
"For more details, wait until we reach the end. My apologies for being unfriendly at the beginning."
Said Rossa, "Thank you for saving me."
"The next set of mechanisms seem to be one after another, without a break." Nero said.
"Let's get ready before we head off."
|“|| "I'm ready, let's move on!" Ritmo said, all geared up.|
The four companions moved along to the room opposite to the passage.
|“|| Rapid drumming sounds filled the air, like some kind of warning.|
"This is not a place to linger around. Let's get out of here as soon as possible." Nero said.
|“|| The sound of hasty footsteps could be heard mixing with percussion.|
The four companions came to another similar looking room.
"Rossa, after all of these, be sure to tell me about 'the outside world'," Ritmo said.
"No problem. Let's begin!"
|“|| Thundering sounds filled the tunnel.|
"What happened?" Ritmo asked.
"Should be the passage to the end of the tunnel opening. Quick, rush to there!" Nero said.
|“|| After the tuning was completed, a loud and deep noise filled the room, making the four of them cover their ears.|
"Such… such a horrible noise!" The stone walls began shaking as the noise continued.
The magnitude of the vibrations increased, making the stone walls crack and bits of stone fall down.
The fragments of stone were showering down, causing the edge of the organ device to partly collapse.
The four companions panicked and ran for shelter, hiding inside with hands wrapped tightly around their heads.
An even larger piece of stone wall cracked down,
hitting the ground with a great thud and setting off a cloud of sand and dust.
|“|| The four of them passed out briefly due to the strong vibrations and dust storm.|
-Finally, everything slowly returned to calmness.
After what felt like an age, Ritmo, covered in a pile of rocks, opened his eyes.
"This… this is……"
|“|| On the stone door, a shimmering line of text faintly emerged,|
"Those who enter through this portal shall restore all melodies."
|“|| The sound of a flute in the room became soft and sweet. A shimmering passage of text faintly emerged,|
"Melody is harmony. Melody is order. Melody is the infinite light. Melody is the source of life."
|“|| A high-pitched sound in the room formed pleasant and uplifting melodies.|
A shimmering passage of text faintly emerged,
"Sound is all things merged together on earth, all energies flourishing;
it turns light into rainbows, the spring into torrents."
|“|| The noise of strings gradually turned into harmony, with seamless high and low notes. A shimmering passage of text faintly emerged, "Here lies a bumpy road ahead. Do not be hasty."|
"May the blessed ones finally fly free."
|“|| The fast beating sound slowed down, turning into a soothing rhythm, casting the feeling of danger away.|
A shimmering passage of partly-missing text faintly emerged,
"Melody is a divine gift, whilst silence is a divine revelation."
"Thou shalt listen to silence......"
|“|| The peaceful rhythm had changed.|
At this moment, it seemed that all the melodies from the previous rooms were playing.
A shimmering yet blurry passage of text faintly emerged,
"...those things which are not to be controlled shall not be controlled;
those things which are not to be disobeyed shall not be disobeyed;
Do not dream in vain ... ... for the Notalium ... ...
|“|| The organ had stopped making any sounds.|
After careful investigation, a few small words were found carved in the corner of the organ,
"Wait for me, Ena."