As Joe fell through the sky on his quickly shrinking piece of earth, he noticed that he was headed straight for a large temple. Not the entrance of the temple, mind you, the roof of it. All he could think to grumble out was, "This is gonna suck." before the dirt crumbled beneath his feet and he plummeted into the tiles, trying to swing his arms up to cover his head. The tiles and rafters gave way, and Joe fell into the open lap of the biggest statue of Buddha he'd ever seen. Nearly fifty feet high and nearly thirty across, made entirely of gold, its legs crossed and hands resting palm up across it's lap. The young man lay there for several minutes, flexing each and every joint cautiously to see if anything had broken before finally sitting up. "How the magikarp did I survive that..." he wondered as he rubbed the back of his head. He may not have broken anything but it still hurt like hell falling onto pure gold from the ceiling. Nobody should've lived through falling out of the sky, through the roof, and onto something that hard, let alone him. Then the voice started. "Great. Juuuust great. Knocked my head in, and here come the voices. Yup. Head injury leading to psychosis. But then, after all this, might as well go with it. YES SIR, MISTER STRANGE VOICE IN MY HEAD! WHATEVER WILL GET ME OUTTA MONOCHROME LAND!"
He eventually slid down the leg of the statue and climbed down to the floor. The room was well lit from the abundance of candles, same with the room ahead. Better then crawling around in the dark. "Finally, solid ground. Gotta love them rocks." He leaned down to pat the stone tiles that made up the floor then set about to explore the place. Or at least, that was his plan. He was about to employ said plan when he stepped onto something wet. Joe looked down to discover it was the arrow leading him back to the others. It may have been smudged, but it definitely pointed straight ahead of him. Right past the ominous looking entrance hall and out the front door, which again, was very ominous looking.
Joe stood there at the head of the stairs that lead to the next room, and listed off his options on his fingers. "Well... I could sit here. Wait to be spiritually eaten by the knock-off Dynasty Warriors character. Or.... I could act like one of those horror movie idiots and walk towards the obvious trap." He shrugged, cocking his head to one side as he did so and started down the stairs, leaving a one sided trail of ink left over from his shoe towards the entrance hall. This room was even larger then the one storing the Buddha, large columns on each side of the hall, standing proudly every five feet. Some had sections missing, disposed by stone statues of once fierce warriors, most of their features and detailing now crumbled away. They each had their arms extended upwards, holding up the second part of the pillar that came down from the ceiling. He looked at each one as he passed, counting up to six, each a unique design with equally unique weapon hanging from their backs and hips.
He was getting closer and closer to the threshold of the temple. "Almost there... This is usually when things start attacking. Or the doors shut by themselves. Or somebody jumps out and yells 'I'M GONNA KILL YA.' Here's hoping i'm just being cynical." An arrow, as long as a lance and made entirely out of stone, embedded itself into the floor tiles a few feet ahead of him. He stopped, his heart immediately racing now, and looked back. It was the first statue, a slender archer with a big quiver of arrows on it's hip. "Nope. Not cynical. RUN!" He exclaimed, entirely to himself, and broke out into a sprint. Each stone warrior burst to life and started after him, the ones ahead, a burly looking one with a studded club and another with a long naginata, swung at him in unison while the others gave chase. Joe ducked just underneath the two weapons, another arrow wizzing past his left shoulder. Another thunk resounded and he was stopped in his tracks. His baggy pantleg was caught by a kunai the size of a sword. "OHSWEETGOOGALYMOOGALY THANKYOUFORBEINGABETTERSHOTTHANTHEOTHERGUY." He yelled and started ripping at the cloth. But it was no good. After a few seconds of effort, he looked up and the statues had formed a circle around him, their weapons inches away from his head.
A booming, contempt filled laughter echoed from the first room, making Joe turn his head in surprise. It was the Buddha... It was laughing at him. Bastard. Then it began speaking in the Drawing Warriors voice. "Do humans really have no courage anymore? Face your death like a man! All i've seen you do is run like a mouse!"
"YOU'D BE SCARED TOO IF YOU WERE IN MY POSITION AND HAD NO FREAKIN' POWERS!"
"Must you yell so much? I thought the Emporer whined alot..."
"So this is how you kill me? With puppets? What happened to taking my soul?!"
"Ohhh, I don't need to be there personally to deal with you. You're not worth that much trouble. Now, let's end this shall we?" The Buddha waved its hand lazily in their general direction and the statues reared back to swing down their weapons. Joe's mind swam back to all the things he'd never get to do. Travel, meet a great woman, read a lot more books, beat Earthbound, or play Diablo 3. "...Really?? Those are my last thoughts!? I'm such a nerd!!" Joes eyes shot open as he said this, remembered his position and covered his head while kneeling down. Now all he could do was wait for the end. "Please. Somebody help me." He whispered as he heard the whistle of blades cutting through air.
A heavy thud fell onto his head, a rattle of metal and a 'boomf'. He opened his eyes. It was a book. Just laying there on the ground in front of him. A REALLY thick book with a chain running through its binding. He looked around, his arms still up to protect himself. They'd frozen in place, mid-swing even. The Drawing Warrior was clutching the Buddha's belly with his head thrown backwards in haughty laughter. He was frozen too. Was this his power? Messing with time? No... This all happened when the book showed up. He reached and picked up the tome, rather light in his hands for its size, and looked it over. Leather covers and binding, no writing or symbol or anything to speak of on each side. He opened it up.
'Nothing makes one feel so strong as a call for help.' was emblazoned upon the first page. "If you say so." Joe flipped to a random page. There was a picture of a young woman in strange clothes with her arms held wide, as if to embrace someone. Ice spread from her feet and snow flakes fell from her hands. There was a section underneath for her backstory, but it was empty, the title at the top named her Undine. "Waitaminute. You're from Final Fantasy!" He skimmed to a random page near the middle of the book, this time the article was on a Baroth, a large reptile from Monster Hunter. He did so a few more times, showing characters and monsters he'd created or seen during his life. "So? Doesn't mean I can't help you out." A melodic voice said from a few feet away. There stood Undine, just as she appeared in the book. "All you have to do is ask." She smirked at him as she crossed her arms.
"Uhhh... Ok. Can you please help me live through this really traumatic experience... Undine?" Joe said hesitantly. There was no way this was going to work. Nothing is that easy. "Alright. Since you asked nicely." She said simply, and time began to flow again. Undine formed an arch of ice above Joe, blocking the stone weapons. The noise of stone hitting ice made the Warrior stop laughing, jerking forward to see why there wasn't a pile of Joe-bits on the floor. The warrior statues pulled their weapons away, backing away a few feet to see Undine perched on the arch she'd created. She blew a soft breath towards the three in front of her, the air chilling to almost twenty degrees in a few seconds. The statues recoiled as they struggled against the ice that was now spreading across their bodies while the icey woman did the same to the other three.
Joe looked dumbfounded. He breathed out a "Whoa...." as his body quivered and his teeth chattered, but he didn't care. It was amazing and he couldn't take his eyes off her. "Undine? Could you get rid of this thing for me?" He pointed to the Kunai still stuck in his pantleg. "Sure." She slipped from the arch and landed softly onto the handle of the weapon. The knife immediately froze and fell into pieces. The Drawing Warrior growled angrily, which in his large form sounded more like a small roar. "SO IT WAS AN ACT?! YOU WERE HIDING SUCH POWER FROM ME?!" He yelled and slowly stood up, the Buddha's body barely contained within the building at that height. The Warrior began charging forward, crashing through walls and pillars until he was almost ontop of them. Undine took a low stance and slammed her open palms into the falling foot of the Buddha and stopped it in it's tracks. The Buddha slowly froze over, it's now dull gold being glossed over with shining permafrost.
"I UNDERESTIMATED YOU, BOY... I WILL SEPERATE YOU FROM THAT BOOK, AND TAKE YOUR SOUL!" The Warrior let out as the mouth of the statue froze in place. "Not today." Undine said with a smile, and gave the foot she was holding a heave. The great work of art fell backward and shattered into a million pieces. "Now if you don't mind, i'm gonna take a nap." She poked the still dumbstruck young man on the nose and vanished back into the book.
Joe stood there blinking for a bit, still amazed, still lost for word-"THAT WAS AWESOME." Never mind. He turned on his heel, the book up to his face and finally emerged out of the temple. He kept on walking, his nose ever in the book to see what else he could bring to life. It was a long walk, but who can turn down a good book?
"So all I gotta do is ask, huh?"