Toa Nokama shot through the ocean water like a bolt of lightning. Beneath the surface, the dim light illuminated the seabed in an eerie azure. As she sped by myriad rock formations, she took in some of the more interesting shapes: one was domed, like the Great Temple that had once been a symbol of protection to her; another resembled one of Makuta’s wings that she had beheld not long ago. After a time, she found the perfect formation: one shaped like a Dermis Turtle, a steadfast Rahi that was nearly immune to harm. Such a symbol of shelter would be the perfect place to hide a Kanohi.
Which one should I put here? she wondered to herself. The Hau would be too obvious. Hiding the Akaku in the dimly-lit sea might be a good idea, but I already hid it…somewhere? She paused for a moment, unable to recall what she had done with the Akaku. I must have put it…in the jungle? That’s right; it was in a grove just south of the volcano. Growing short of breath, she hastened her deliberations. I suppose the Komau would make sense; it works well on Rahi. Satisfied with her choice, she placed the mask in a secure-looking alcove and raced to the surface. Once she reached the golden shore, she retrieved a tablet from her pouch and marked off the Komau, noting it approximate location. As she did so, she noticed the Akaku hadn’t been marked off. Then again, it was the first mask she had placed, so perhaps she simply hadn’t been accustomed to using the tablet at the time. That must be it, she concluded. I’m not so careless that I could lose a Great Kanohi! Satisfied, she dove back into the sapphire waters and headed for Naho Bay.
Turaga Nokama was, for perhaps the first time in centuries, panicked. The village herald had just announced that Gali had returned. Normally, that would be welcome news, but today, it was a terrifying prospect. When Nokama last checked her stone tablet that recorded the location of each mask she’d hidden, she’d found that it had partially slipped through a hole in her hut’s floor, and as a result, the markings on the bottom section had eroded away. This section had recorded the location of the Great Akaku—the last mask
Gali needed to find. Nokama struggled to remember anything at all about where she had hidden the mask a thousand years prior. Just as the vaguest of recollections was beginning to form in her mind, Gali stepped into the hut.
“Greetings, Turaga,” said the Toa of Water, a Great Hau resplendent upon her face.
“Welcome back, Gali,” said Nokama, putting on her usual tranquil persona, intent on not exposing any hint of her inner turmoil. “I see you retrieved the Hau successfully. Now there is but one mask for you to retrieve: the Kanohi Akaku.” Nokama paused to draw breath. She was exceedingly pleased to find that Gali seemed content to listen without interjection. “To find it…you must travel to the border of Ko-Wahi and Le-Wahi.” She paused again—she needed to say something that sounded wise or profound that could also be interpreted in many different ways—that way, if Gali did manage to find the mask, she would think that Nokama had known where it was all along, and the Turaga’s reputation would remain pure as Energized Protodermis. “To find the Mask of Vision, you must first look within yourself.”
“Thank you, Nokama,” said Gali. “I shall go and meditate on your words of wisdom. I will return when I have the mask.”
“Good. You will find your way, as water always does. Farewell, Toa.”
As Gali left the hut, Nokama breathed a small sigh of relief. She at retained her dignity, at least for now. But she knew she would never be able to rest easily until she knew for certain where the mask was. Frustrated, she began searching every nook and cranny of her abode for a clue, any clue, about the mask’s whereabouts. After about half an hour of fruitlessly creating a mess, she decided to look underneath her bed. Sure enough, lying there on the lily pad floor was—What else?—a Great Akaku.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Ninja edit: I forgot to credit @Willess12 for the idea of Nokama writing down her mask locations.