The Scorching Summit
"Yeah, thanks a ton, Uncle! Looks like you don't go out into the soot fields much." Megumi's clothes had a light dusting of volcanic soot on them from the trek up here.

"To tell you the truth, I haven't got much to do these days besides guard this old temple." Uncle Marrow replied. "Gives me a good excuse to pop these old bones back into place. As promised, the Obsidian is quite a rare sight. It only forms at the outer surface. You probably won't find them growing in the cave systems down here since there isn't enough cooling going on for that to happen. As you can see, it's rather toasty in the cavern." The skeleton explained. "The temple does have a tunnel that leads to the top of the summit fairly safely compared to the dangers of just hiking up the mountain, but you ought to prepare for some less-than-friendly monsters being possessive over it."

"Prepared is my middle name!" Megumi said confidently. "But I bet once they catch sight of Lava Girl, they might change their minds. She's too cute to go up and fight against without a guilty conscience."

"You humans are so weird. I know nothing about this "cute" you speak of," Marrow said with a clenched jaw.
Lava Girl blushed. "Um, I'm not cute! I'm a scary monster! See!" Lava Girl tried to mimic a typical stance a monster would do when they spotted someone to scare, but it seems to bring out all her cuteness even more. "But wouldn't the monsters flee from the mere sight of you, Mr. Marrow? Unless it's been so long they become confident of their skills?"
"I haven't come out of my little hole in so long, I'm not sure I'd even be remembered. Those who do recognize me however, they perhaps would be wiser than the other young monsters on this Summit. But this old bag of bones still has plenty of strength to fear." Marrow responded, while Megumi giggled at Lava Girl's display.

"Still, it would be best to be on your guards when we come to that." He began to lead the girls down a set of stairs that lay beyond the curtain behind the throne of the Fire Temple. "This way."
"Right..." Lava Girl. "I'm not very useful in terms of combat since my people often tried to avoid confrontation with humans... especially those swordsmen that come here and kill for sport. But, I'll help out whenever I can!" Lava Girl pumped her chest out. "Right Megumi?"
"Totally! We can kick their ass, no problem." Megumi said with a haughty tone, hands on her hips.

"Spunky kids." Jack Marrow mutters. As they walk down the corridor, it was obvious this passage hadn't been accessed in a long time, being lined with sooty dust. Any illumination would reveal the air full of specks of dust and volcanic ash.
Lava Girl looked around, examining the foundation of the passage. "Mr. Marrow... you say that there are people that aren't kind to visitors... but it looks like this place hasn't been touched in years."
"We haven't made it out yet, child. You'll see what I mean once we reach the end." Jack responded. "This passage is too inaccessible for most of the monsters on the other side. Even then, the Fire Temple is nothing of interest for a long while now."

Megumi wondered what he meant by inaccessible, but kept quiet for the time being, as she was trying to keep the soot from getting in her nose.

"Does this place always smell like a coal mine?"

"Sometimes it smells of burnt flesh. That's what I hear, since I don't have a nose."

"Oh. Right."

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