Ic: Ambages and his remaining escort wasted no time in traversing the jungle and swamp of Le-Wahi. There was little doubt as to which direction to go: The path was virtually laid out for them and made permanent by the intermittent but incessant traffic it endured. More a trail than a road, it was created by the soles and claws of matoran and ussals to avoid the most dangerous parts of the wahi and lead to the understories of Le-koro. While it wasn't in tip-top shape and required both matoran to pause a few times to dismount and maneuver their vehicles around minor obstacles. There wasn't anything they couldn't manage; a felled tree here, some erosion there, the odd large rahi blocking the way. In any case, those pauses allowed the two men to have short conversations as they traveled.
"You didn't tell anyone else that I was there?" Ambages asked on one such occasion before he grunted and lifted a burly trunk out of the trail.
"We—at least, I— didn't leave the keep, Ambages," Ardor said, obviously impressed at the Hand's show of physical strength. "We didn't speak to any of the villagers. But..."
Ambages laid the broken tree alongside the trail and clapped his hands free of dust. "Yeah, Ardor?"
"There was another toa in the keep. He told us his name, but... I can't remember what it is. He seemed genuinely concerned about Antrim. He's the one who sent Zurec up to check on the situation. Everything in the keep was just... weird. Zurec probably has a better grip on it than I do."
"Huh," Ambages said as they got back on their scooters. He leaned back in the saddle and folded his arms as he thought. "Another toa? This could be... interesting." They sat in silence.
He's asking questions. He has to be. I can hear it in his eyes.
It's his job to doubt and I don't blame him for having concerns over the event. That's what Korzaa sent him to do.
He could relay his thoughts to Korzaa. I bet she'd freak if she found a legendary toa-hero died in your presence and there was another guy who somehow knew something was going on.
He won't leak word out. I won't give him the opportunity. He's a lone wolf now with no chance at expanding his web.
Korzaa could track you down...
She can try, but I doubt she will. She chose these two because of their skills—she trusts them to do the job well enough to not need outside help.
Good point. But that just speaks for Ardor's potential. I advise you rid of him soon.
Soon, but not yet. Not so quickly on the journey. It would be too tidy.
Ga-Koro, perhaps? Or maybe in the lava around Ta-Koro?
Ta-Koro would be preferable. No trace that way.
Hmmm... Wait, no, I want to leave a trace. No trace is, well, again, too tidy.
I suggest Ga-Koro it is, then.
It's a plan.
"We should go. We need to reach Le-koro by nightfall." The rate was much faster on the level swamplands than in the alps of Ko-Wahi and they tended to push their scooters as fast as they could go safely on the trail. It would be close, but Amages figured they could do it, and so they continued their breakneck pace.
With a nod, the architect revved his machine and they blazed away.
They made it by dusk. Barely. It was already nighttime in the undergrowth.
Their speeders idled up to a patch of dirt next to the elevator to Le-Koro. Both men knew they were being watched by the ever-invisible Gukko Force and they made it clear that they were not threats. "My name is Ambages," he declared to the dark forest around them. "I am the Hand of the Akiri of Ko-Koro and I'm here for diplomacy."
Sergeant Boreas dropped down a few branches into the lighter areas of the jungle, still elevated above the ground, "I have heard there is turmoil in Ko-Koro," his deep voice filling the trees, "Kongu will wish to speak with you while you are here."
There is a pause, "How many accompany you?"
"Just my singular escort here," he said, pointing to the silent warrior beside him, "sergeant Ardor of the Sanctum Guard."
Boreas turned, reaching up into higher branches. He vanished into the trees. A disembodied voice sang from the trees, "Welcome to sing-song-Le-Koro!"
The elevator dropped down into view as another guard stepped out of the jungle to operate it.
With a grateful nod, both Ko-citizens slung their rucksacks on their backs and stepped into the elevator.
"Oh, and one more thing," Ambages chirped congenially, "please look after the machines for us. I'd greatly appreciate it."
The elevator rose.