A young couple who are madly in love with each other are being forced to break up. Each of them is the son and daughter of one of the great Yaidratian Elders; they are not allowed to be together. You must convince the two Yaidratian Elders with a gesture that these two are meant to be together.
Reward: +300 zeni, +2 DP, +20 all stats, +2 RP Credits
The galaxy seemed quiet as of late; almost ominously so. It was almost like every living creature collectively held their breath in anticipation of… something. It left a dull ache at the back of Dende’s mind which he did his best to ignore. He’d left the Emperor’s ship behind a few weeks back and he wasn’t ready to return just yet. Despite the excitement he felt it was blemished by a dash of worry. He’d left some very delicate experiments in his room.
The last thing he needed was for some foolhardy crewman to go in there to satiate their curiosity that was Dende’s presence on the ship. Many would be harmless to the unwary but there was some fungi he’d gathered on Mortoseth that could cause an outbreak if their "biome" was breached. Certainly the lock would suffice in deterring all but the most daring. Right?
“Bah,” he muttered as he checked navigation for what felt like the hundredth time in the last minute. Dwelling on things he couldn’t change only distracted him so he brushed his worry aside. In its place his excitement began to go wild. During a rather diligent night of study he’d discovered a book that briefly detailed Kingdoms of fungi he’d never heard of. None of their properties or possible applications had been documented. As far as Dende found at any rate.
The navigation array displayed the coordinates and image of a planet called Yaidrat. It was an arid world dominated by seas of sand and jagged mountain ranges. To the unlearned masses the planet wouldn’t appear to possess much life. However, that was simply not the case. Nary a thought was spared for the planet’s inhabitants despite its rich subterranean civilization. Dende’s thoughts fell upon the plethora of flora he could discover there.
His research detailed various types of fungal and algae based lifeforms. The sheer volume of research he could do within the cave systems that ran under the planet’s surface like veins was vast. In his mind it was potentially unlimited even though he knew that wasn’t the case.
He sighed dejectedly. What good could all this do him? Dende could sit here and let all of his worries weigh down upon him. The only thing that would accomplish is to ensure he was a nervous wreck when he finally arrived. If that happened there was no way he could truly enjoy all this planet had to offer. His hand moved over to a small panel on the navigation console. The ship was set to navigate to Yaidrat automatically. All course corrections would be handled by the ship’s computer.
An alert was set to trigger when the ship reached a set distance from the planet. That way Dende would be able to make any final preparations without delay. All those worries had taken their toll. Now that he’d taken a moment to relax he felt the tension in his muscles. Fatigue began to set in. When he stood up Dende had to hold onto the edge of the chair briefly for support. He began to rub his face as if that’d fix everything. “Great,” he muttered as he lifted his weight off the chair.
Once he left the bridge he immediately made his way towards the ship’s core. It was far enough away from the engines and the bridge to block out most of the noise common on such crafts. It was a relatively unadorned room. The walls were painted dark grey. The only light in the room was from the open door. Several candles were lit to give the area an ominous glow. There was a small circular rug in the room’s center. It was there that Dende sat down and began to shift his limbs to loosen up his muscles.
The remainder of the journey was spent in that position. Everything in his mind was cast out until all that remained was a sea of darkness. In that darkness Dende found solace. All of the worries and problems that plagued his waking mind didn’t matter here. In the silence that settled upon the room the young Namekian dropped into a deep meditation. It wasn’t until he became aware of a soft alarm playing on a small speaker near the door.
His eyes slowly opened but he only saw darkness. “How long,” he asked before his voice trailed off. Even when he raised his hand up it was completely concealed. Dende closed his eyes as he focused his energy. It flowed down his arm and settled in the center of his palm. A soft glow emanated from where the energy gathered. The room was barely illuminated. Even so one of the candles he’d lit could be seen. It burned out as it melted down to nothing more than a stump.
“That’s odd,” he thought as he stood up and walked towards the door. The small sphere of energy was held away from his body as its soft glow illuminated his way.
Light poured into the room as the door slid open. Dende let the ki in his hand disperse. Slivers of blue energy spread out as he shook his hand. It didn’t take long to reach the bridge and he went directly to the navigation console. The alert cust off once it was disabled. The display that showed the ships coordinates left him shocked. The young namekian’s ears twitched as he checked it again. The ship was nearly at the planet. Concealing his approach and landing was practically impossible.
Since it was already too late he moved over to a different panel. The ship’s sensors were realigned as he scanned the planet’s surface. A small three dimensional map was displayed over the console. He rapidly searched the terrain and located several entrances to the underground caverns. It wasn’t until he found the right one that he disabled the ship’s autopilot and guided the ship into the planet’s atmosphere.
It came as a surprise but no ships attempted to intercept him. There wasn’t even a call from the planet’s inhabitants. Surely they didn’t leave their airspace unprotected? Even if they lived underground that was a risk. Dende hastily gathered some supplies before he walked down the exit ramp and made his way into the darkened caverns. He’d taken time to study the planet’s topography. Many explorers and traders with shady business practices had mapped out many passageways beneath the Yaidratian surface.
It was thanks to those maps that Dende was able to navigate his way through the darkness without too much effort. His ki was suppressed as low as it would go. He didn’t ignite his ki in fear of drawing some unwanted attention. It wasn’t that he was afraid he’d be discovered. The truth was Dende simply didn’t want to be disturbed. He’d rather explore and study the planet’s flora and fauna without having to deal with… people.
In spite of his desire to remain unnoticed he couldn’t simply wander through the darkness all day. Eventually he was going to have to take that risk. It was next to impossible to study the local flora and fauna while he couldn’t see. Dende let out a low grumble. Why wasn’t he able to see in the dark? That would make things so much easier. With reluctance he fished out a small lantern from his pack. He flicked a switch and its soft glow revealed his surroundings. A small patch off to the left of the passage caught Dende’s attention almost immediately.
Without first checking the area he rushed over and knelt in front of it. It was a group of fungi that he’d never seen before. He wasn’t a fool. Dende knew everything here was already discovered and heavily cataloged. The thing was it was all new to him. He’d gone to lengths to avoid learning anything and wanted to learn it all first hand. The lantern was placed on the ground at his side. He quickly unshouldered his pack and placed it on the ground. With his hands free he secured a leather bound journal and pen.
Dende began to take notes. He’d occasionally mess around with the fungi and record his findings. He was so absorbed in his work that he failed to notice the sound of someone sobbing further down the tunnel. When he did become aware of it a look of annoyance flashed across his face. “Dammit,” he thought. So much for not having to deal with anyone. Now he could have just walked away and pretended he didn’t hear anything. That would have been the wise thing to do but the crying pulled at his heart. Dende sighed softly as he placed his journal and pen back in his pack.
He stood up and lightly brushed off his pants. Dende shouldered his pack and picked up the lantern before he turned to seek out the person in distress.
If the situation wasn’t already awkward Dende found out that it was a Yaidratian crying nearby. There was another there that was attempting to console her. Dende cleared his throat to announce his presence though they must have already noticed the light from his lantern. He spent some time talking to them. It turned out they were both children of Elders. Dende’s brow furrowed. These two were lovers but their respective parents didn’t approve of their coupling. Far be it for Dende to interfere with their mating habits and rituals. This was the very reason he preferred to deal with plants and animals. They were less complicated.
He asked them more questions. As it turns out the two Elders were something akin to rivals. They both pined after the same woman only to both lose out to yet another. That rivalry turned bitter over the years. This actually surprised Dende. He assumed the people of Yaidrat were more disciplined but in the end they weren’t very different from the humans he grew up around. The two lovers appeared astonished when Dende offered to talk to their fathers. The two refused outright which annoyed Dende but he managed to remain calm.
The last thing he wanted to do was alienate two Elders of all people. Besides he was attempting to remedy this situation quickly so he could return to his studies. Ultimately Dende managed to make the two see what they were putting their children through. They were reluctant but they ultimately agreed to let the two continue with their romance. The two lovers were overjoyed upon hearing the news and insisted on trying to hug the young Namekian. Dende politely refused and quickly retreated further underground.
He grumbled the entire way. Even when he found a different patch of fungi and subterranean ferns he grumbled. He only hoped that was the last distraction. He had to admit he did feel relieved that things worked out for them.