The footprint of human activity is relatively light in the Yandang mountains. Mostly, it consists of Taoist and Buddhist religious structures neatly tucked into topographical recesses or built literally inside cracks and caves. When I realized that these crack-inhabiting Buddhist structures were usually dedicated to a female patron deity—Guanyin to be precise— it suddenly dawned on me that something powerfully “yonic” was going on here.
For the non-literary critics among my readers, “yonic” is the female symbolical counterpart to the imagery called “phallic.” I guess, everybody knows what phallic symbols are—swords, towers, spires, and the like. For some reason, the term “yonic” is far less well known. In any case, it refers to things that call to mind female gender-specific anatomical features, i.e. cracks, tunnels, and caves—you get the idea.
Now, quite a few philosophies are built on the idea that life is structured by the dynamic and fruitful engagement of male and female principles. One of the more well-known applications of this principle originated in China, exemplified by the Taoist theory of yin and yang, with yin standing for the female principle and yang for the male element. The mutually interdependent and complementary natures of these two principles—with none of them dominating the other—is emblematically encapsulated in the iconic yin-yang ball.
I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to see a connection between phallic symbolism and yang and between yonic symbolism and yin. Which brings me back to the Yandang mountains. Indeed, on first sight, the whole Yandang region appeared to be in the thrall of the yang spirit because it looked phallic to boot: wherever one turned, there were all kinds of tower-like rock formations and isolated pillars sticking up.
But on a second look, after one penetrated deeper into the scenery, one soon came across many fissures, cracks, caves, and hollows that constitute textbook illustrations of the yonic element. Here is one.
The Taoist and Buddhist monks who flocked to the Yandang Mountains long ago must have been fascinated by the powerful yin-yang dynamic that puts its stamp on this landscape. Although the two religions should not be easily lumped together, they do share some common traits. In essence, the Chinese form of Buddhism, known as Ch’an (Zen in Japan) has emerged from a blending of Taoism and Buddhism. So, it should not surprise that ideas of non-duality originating in Taoism were taken up and given a Buddhist slant in Ch’an. Specifically, the Buddhist principle of non-attachment can be interpreted as an imperative to move beyond duality.
Despite the philosophical tendency to overcome dualism, the devotees of both religions in the Yandang mountains express a strong preference for the yin principle. Not one temple, shrine, or monastery was built to sit perched atop one of the soaring rock spires, although this would have been technically possible. Instead, religious dwellings here were built to fit snugly into the cracks and hollows.
Following this preference for yonic locations, the faithful have built structures that were textbook examples of vernacular architecture: using local materials, notably hewn rock and timber, they erected buildings that responded naturally to the forms of the land.These structures seemed to be cradled by the the landscape, adjusting the human need to the lay of the land, rather than the other way around. Here, nature was primary, and human activity a beautiful and respectful afterthought.
Respect for the environment and love of the natural world are inherent elements of Buddhism and Taoism, to the point that one could consider them quintessentially ecological religions. Along the paths in the Yandang mountains, I saw sign-boards that read “Every tree, flower, or bird is pervaded by Buddha nature.” Based on this philosophy, the faithful had build sustainably constructed, “vernacular” dwellings. Trash was sparse along the walkways and gullies surrounding the monasteries, and the streams here flowed crystal clear, quite an achievement given the multitudes of tourists that this place attracts and given the widespread lack of environmental awareness among Chinese in general.
As indicated above, the most frequent object of religious veneration in these parts is Guanyin (or Avalokiteshvara), i.e. the goddess of compassion and mercy. One cavern featured a Guanyin figure that reminded me of the Virgin Mary statue in the grotto at Lourdes. Some ideas do seem to be quite universal, such as the pairing of the benevolent female deity and the cave.
Next to this statue of Guanyin, we found a tunnel that led to an underground cave with a positively “amniotic” pond gently illuminated by greenish backlight, with colorful flower cups–the insignia of Guanyin–floating on its surface. Here was an instance of yonic symbolism raised to the third power: cups floating on a pond inside a cave located at the end of a tunnel!
Guanyin was also on display with hundreds of helping hands at the topmost temple built into the mountainside far back in the valley.
But the most impressive manifestation of Guanyin that we came across was inside the largest cave in the mountains, at the base of “Spiritual Peak.” One first had to climb up a steep set of stairs to reach the base of the crack where the temple to honor Guanyin had been erected. Then, the pathway narrowed to a tunnel-like passage which one followed up another 60 feet or so until one emerged into the womb of the mountain, a vast cave at the center of which sat a regal, golden Guanyin surrounded by countless smaller deities gleaming in the shady nooks and crannies of the cave. The water dripping down from a hidden source deep inside the mountain completed the yonic associations of this place.
This site exerted a magnetic force that attracted not only tourists. Some serious religious activity was going on as well. For instance, in front of Guanyin one woman frantically shook a cylinder with rattling divination blocks inside, agitating the container until one of the blocks fell out; then, she scrambled after it in the semi-darkness, trying to see whether the message from the Goddess of Compassion contained reassuring news or perhaps a warning to avoid a dreaded outcome.
From the topmost terrace of this temple inside the crack, one looked outside toward a blinding mix of sky and rock. After one’s eyes had adjusted to the sharp contrast, one began to see a number of phallic spires that constituted the perfect yang complement to the shady, dripping interior of the yin cave.
Call it yin & yang in action or good feng shui or simply manifestations of dramatic geological activity. In any case, the contrasting landscape sent a powerful symbolical appeal, i.e. that we should consider opposites not necessarily as antagonistic but as complementary aspects of a larger whole, and that observable dichotomies were merely forces interacting in a dynamic system. It is a message that our world today could be heeding more often, especially the leaders who try to exploit opposition, division, and exclusion for their own gain.
Of course, Taoist and Buddhist monks have been drawn to unspoiled, remote natural locations for millennia. It is in such pristine settings that devotees of these religions develop their fullest potential, i.e. in close proximity to nature and away from the distractions and temptations of urban life. As indicated above, Buddhism and Taoism are innately ecological religions, teaching the interconnectedness of all things and emphasizing compassion with all phenomena, both natural and man-made. In that regard, eastern religions have a leg up on the monotheisms which tend to treat ecological considerations as an afterthought. Pope Francis is frequently the object of vituperation by conservative Catholics because of his ecological stance on global warming and his critique of capitalism’s environmental toll…
Anyway, I recently read an article in the New York Times (“What a Buddhist Monk Taught Xi Jinping”) about the relationship that Xi had built with a Buddhist monk during his formative period as a young party functionary. The article speculated that Xi might be a closeted Buddhist. It would be nice if the innate ecological respect of Buddhism had somehow rubbed off on China’s Premier. If that’s the case, then perhaps it is not so surprising that Xi Jinping has started to act as a global leader in the fight against climate change and as a staunch supporter of the Paris accord. At least it is nice to entertain this thought for a moment.
An image of Mary nursing the Christ Child in a mother-of-pearl frame, from the so-called Milk Grotto in Bethlehem, where the Holy Family are supposed to have stopped before setting out to flee to Egypt.
Mari as Milo Thatch, she left Paris to pursue a career in fashion in London, but she was drawn to the wonders of the museum his uncle got her a job at
She ended up switching majors to linguistics
And getting slighty obsessed with his uncle dream of finding the lost city of Atlantis
After he passed away she continued his studies and tried her hardest to get taken seriously at the museum to found (their) her research
They never did
One night, after being rejected once again (more like her presentation being canceled without her knowledge) she arrives home looking for his cat Chaton and hoping to drown herself in icecream and old movies but that’s not what she founds
Instead there is this gorgeous woman sitting in her couch, long brown hair, deep green eyes in red dress, speaking in a distinctively sober italian accent, Lila Palladin (in the role of the awesome Helga Sinclair)
She tells her that somebody she works for is intrested in her studies
And most important, that he is willing to found raise her
Intrested by this proposal she lets her take her to this hella big mansion
And there she finds this lil od man in suit and tie that looks super fancy at first sight
But in less than five minutes talking he changes into a kimono saying “okay I have a Karate Class to give in an hour we have some time” and starts rambling about Mari’s uncle
If you haven’t guessed it yet, yes, “Master” Fu Hou is Preston Whitmore
Old time friend of Mari’s uncle, he reveals to her that he paid for his research for the Diary that was the key to find the city of Atlantis when he was still alive (and that they found it exactly where they thought they would)
He tells her that he knows all about their research, and asks her if she wants to pick up where her uncle left off
He tells her that they have the team, and everything is set
All she has to do is say yes
And although Mari could hesitate, she ends up accepting it
Before she knows it she’s in a giant ship that carries the submarine that will take the crew to wherever she leads them
(Here comes the fun part)
Nathaniel is Whilermina, except that instead of being an old man he’s a teenager who took tha job because he needed money and talking though a speaker announcing the daily meals and some other memos that get to him inside a giant subarine was the easiest and best paid job he could find. He spends most of his time talking through the phone with his friends back home and smoking and drawing in his cabin, he’s nice and Mari gets along with him but he usually doesn’t talk to anyone because the rest of the crew likes to play pranks on him for being the youngest member of the team.
Nino is Sweet, doctor on board, deffinately the liveliest person on board, he always has a smile on his face and some tune playing on his stereo, he’s the one who’s always asking Nath to play some song on the radio and sometimes he convinces him. He gets along with everyone with his funny attitude, especially with Alya (whom with he bets on practically everything)
Alya is Aubrey, a butch-ish mechanical engenieer Mari befriendes almost inmmediately although she’s always bothered when Mari tries to mess with her things to help. She’s hella nice until you mess with her. She’s also a curious lil shit and tbh Mari loves it because she’s always asking her about the Diary and what it says although she doesn’t understand much
Plagg is Mole, he comes as super lazy but it’s mostly because he is super smart when it comes to his area. He has a temper when people mock on him but most of the time he’s chill as long as he has his cheese. He loses it when the submarine sinks and they are stuck in the tunnels. He half loves it because it’s dirt but he also hates it because there is no cheese
Tikki as Cookie. She’s the cook of the crew and also a bit of everyone’s crazy old grandma. She’s very sweet although she seems to have no clue of anything and she jumps into conversations telling crazy anecdotes. She has a badass tattoo of the states on her back that she talks about and nobody believes it until she shows it off. Her food is great, the thing is that they eat the same things for days on end. It’s like a never ending post-thanks giving.
Hawkmoth is obviously Rourke, with the whole secret plan going on and most of the time giving off that weird vibe that he’s being too nice
Chloé is Vinny. Hands down. Loves to make fun of Marinette, and loves to blow things up, wether it is with rumours or literally. She’s a little mean but it’s not like she’s evil. Of course there is a big part of her that wants the money (she comes from a family that went from wealthy to poor in a boom, literally) but she can get to be pretty nice.
Adrien of course, because deep down we all know he is a disney princess even if he isn’t recognized as one is Kida. Heir to a throne he’s not sure he wants, but also a rutheless warrior.
When the submarine sinks because of the leviathan and they have to go through the underground more than once the crew find themselves in tricky situations
And more than once Mari notices that they get out of them rather quickly
As if they were extremely lucky
As if something… Or someone was helping them
Nobody really takes her serious when she mentions this
Mostly because nobody thinks there can be anything but rocks in the grottoes
But Mari sometimes sees these shadows that just look so strange and they move so fast she’s not sure if she has seen them
She convinces herself she is probably just overwhelmed with the journey and the fact that, you know… It’s working and they are finding the things that the Diary talks about
Although she notices it’s strange that there seems to be a missing page and it unnerves her
And then the whole ordeal with the killer fireflies happens and she ends up stuck and hurt away from the crew
She’s unconcious for a short while but when she wakes up she’s not alone
The first thing she sees is a pair of green eyes, a blinding light peeking through the cravings on an giant dark wooden mask resembling a panther or perhaps a tiger
And it’s coming closer to her which is not really a good sign considering the person behind said demonic mask has a lance on his hands
And Mari is on the verge of tears and praying because OH GOD WHY ME he’s coming closer and she can’t move and she tries to move back to put more distance between the two of them
And it hurts and she winces, loudly enough for someone to hear her and call her name
The stanger doesn’t seem to mind the call when he lifts up the mask to get a better look at Mari’s wound
And oh who would have thought such pretty eyes would hide behind a terrorific mask
Anyways you all know he’d cure her with this strange green crystal hanging from his neck and he’d give her the cutest/flirtiest smile ever before he puts on his mask again and flees just in time for Mari to be found alone by the crew
And Mari would of course shut the hell up about it because honestly who would believe her
OKAY BUT imagine them finally arriving to the city and this bunch of guards with mask similar to the ones the “demon” who saved Mari had
And Mari tries to see if any of them have it but none of them do
Also she’s pretty scared when one of them starts speaking in an autoritary voice -she assumes he’s a comander or a general- asking what are they doing there rather harshly and Hawkmoth orders her to translate
Especially when she feels like she’s running out of words and she starts slipping into french
But then she notices the ‘general’ sees it and he slips some words as well and she gets an idea
With a smile on her face she takes a step closer confidently to the general and asks “Parlez-vous françoais?” Holding her hand out invitingly.
And he hesitates for a second before taking off the mask and saying “Oui Madmoiselle”
And Mari’s soul drops to her feet because holy crap it’s the guy from the grottos and he’s grabbing her hand and kissing her knuckles w h a t
Pretty sure when Adrien takes them to see the king he avoids calling him ‘Father’ because now he’s sure Mari understands him and maybe he doesn’t her to find out that he is the prince
Because you know he helped them get there
And he knows what his father is going to say at first
“THEY ARE NOT WELCOME IN OUR HOME”
Adrien’s face going to hella hopefull to ‘this bs again god dad’
Mari is to say the least surprised whereas Hawkmoth is pissed off when Mari translates
So he takes control knowing now that they fully understand English and saying that he is thankful for the heartwarming welcome
When King Gabriel speaks back saying that they are not well recieved at all he keeps pushing forwards saying that the trip has been so long, they need a couple of days to regains their energies before starting the trip back
After a bit of pull and push the King finally agrees and conceeds the crew some days of rest
And proceeds to send guards to escort em away from the palace
And then Adrien has the mandatory talk with his dad
And just imagine that Mari, being a sneaky curious linguist as she is, she can avoid the guards and makes her way back to the throne room to see if maybe she can talk to the king
Maybe in his lenguage she’ll make him understand
But she is at the door when she listens the king say some pretty distinctive words
“A thousand years ago you would have killed them, Adrien”
Wait but it gets even weirder when a few phrases later she can’t completely translate 100% -because they speak hella fast and it’s not the same reading a language than speaking it- she hears Adrien call the king “Dad”
Oh boy what the hell? What else is this guy hiding?
She gets the hell out before listening to anything else, already scheeming a plan to get Adrien alone and talk to him
Well, if she doesn’t faint first
Casually Adrien also wants to know things about her and her peculiar crew
So they kinda make a deal on asking one question each and they totally hang out for three days in a row just trying to get to know as much of each other’s world as they can
Adrien has moments in which Mari hates him and moments in which she loves him
She loves when he gets all solemn talking about his home and his people, although he had lied to her about being a prince, she can tell that he is someone with a deep fondness for the city that he will have to rule one day. He is someone kind and loving, extremely selfless and just.
She kinda hates the fact that he doesn’t seem to take anything serious, and the fact that his curiousness sometimes overboards his respect for personal space (he takes Mari’s books, sometimes grabs her clothes to see the material they are made of and how diferent they look from the tunics and uniform he has to wear), he is cocky, and can’t help to make awful puns when he gets the chance, wether it is in french or in atlantic
She only hates it half way because sometimes Adrien’s craziest side can have some good parts
Like taking her on a night walk to climb what’s left of an Atlantis vigilantee (an enormous statue in the middle of the city) and getting the most breath taking view she has ever seen, something so beautiful it brings her down to tears
Also I know this doesn’t happen in the movie like that but how about Adrien sneaking Mari inside the castle ruins and showing her around everything that used to be his home as she asks him about his story, and he talks about the bright light and how his mother disapeared inside of it
And Mari is kind of dumbstuck by all of the beautiful art inside of the palace but when Adrien gets to that part she kind of drops everything and looks at him
And she starts saying that she felt that way when his Uncle died since he was all the family he had in England
But then she just stops and goes “WAIT YOU’RE SAYING THAT IT WAS LIKE THAT BECAUSE YOU REMEMBER IT?!”
“but… That would mean you’re-you’re like 87… 88… hundred years old…”
And Adrien just goes “uh, yeah”
And Mari’s jaw just dropping before going mute for a second as she processes it and then she tries to fix it saying “damn, looking good,”
Also can we talk about Mari wearing glasses and looking super preppy and having messy pigtails and Adrien having badass black tribal tattoos on his arm that go all the way to his back that Mari stares at a lot? Or the fact that he’s probably the only one who goes kinda covered out of all of the warriors cause he has a bit of a higher rank but he surely hates that so his uniform is kinda ripped on purpose and when Mari asks why he lies saying that it got ripped on battle (a battle with who man you’ve been stuck in this rock alone forever)?
Can we talk about Mari being hella clumsy but also making all kinds of sassy comebacks when Adrien tries to hit on her -because it’s not to talk back when he acts like a child? Or how he really gets to her when he’s not trying to be funny and sometimes he says very nice things casually, without noticing because he is sassy but he’s naturally polite and well manered like “you look wonderful today”, “you are seriously smart, i love that”, “i think it’s fair to say i had never met anyone like you” (and I guess at some point he will realize that’s the best way to Mari’s heart)?
Or how about his name being hella long and complicated so he shortens it to “Adrien”, and Mari asking if he has any other nickname and he says “There is one but I think it translates to 'chaton’” And Mari being like “That’s the name of my cat”
“You have a cat named cat?”
And don’t even get me started on Mari explaining Adrien how to make the flying thingies work and him getting hella exited and wanting to prove them out right away and telling Mari to go for a ride and Mari being like “Hell no” after he hits one of them against a wall
Or how about the argument that he and Mari must have had on why did he lie about being a royal?
And most important why did he help them get there? Why did he have a different mask in the grottos?
Maybe he thought they could help Atlantis
Maybe there is a part of him that wants to leave Atlantis forever
Anyways while all of this faritale is happening the rest of the crew of course it’s intrested on finding what they really came to look for
And I guess y'all know where this leads to
Adrien taking Mari for a swim on the last day before they leave with the excuse he wants to show her something
Some murals underwater in the language that he speaks but no longer understands
Aparently Adrien wants to know about the light he saw
And Mari figures out is the same thing that the Diary talked about before the lost page, a bright light, a gigantic source of energy, a crystal like the one that hangs from Adrien’s neck
And when they come out the whole chivalry is waiting for them
Hawkmoth and most of the crew, completely loaded with guns
Asking about the gem, the miracle of atlantis and waving the lost part of the Diary in front of Mari’s face
Adrien of course resists, and probably knocks someone uncoincious right away, but what can he do when peopel star threatening him with pistols to his head
He orders Mari to lead them to where this gem is, since she now supposedly knows the location of it
It’s said that it is in the throne room
More precisely “on the eyes of the king”
This of course leads to Hawkmoth shaking King Gabriel until he gives him an answer
And when he doesn’t, he punches him and poceedes to sit on his throne in disgust, aiming at him with his revolver and threatening him to shoot if he doesn’t tell them where it is
It’s then that he notices a strange patern on the ground of the throne room, one that resembles a staircase
And before they know it they find themselves descending into a cave that leads into a giant cenote
Above which it shines a blinding green light, surrounded by rocks that gravitate around it, shining as well with drawings that resemble old faces
And the thing is just floating there
But of course all Hawkmoth is “well how the fuck do we get it down”
And he begins arguing with Mari and as they are too bussy yelling at each other nobody notices the fact that Adrien has been staring at the glow for a while now
And there is a smile on his face as he takes a step forward into the water mumbling “mom”
When they notice him he is already halfway through the cenote walking over the water and getting closer to the halo that lights down like a reflector underneath the thing -whatever it is-
And when he’s right under it, facing up to see it in all it’s glory, there is a spark of light flooding the place like a lightning and then he’s ascending into it
Marinette watches horrified how he merges with the crystal as the rocks spin faster, there is something gripping her heart as he sees Adrien’s body lose its shape, get undone and disolve himself into the light
Only for it to be resembled seconds later when it’s descending
But the body that touches the water can’t be his
As the rocks fall down into the cenote, no longer pulled by the miracle’s force, he makes his way back irradiating that unnatural green glow with every step he takes
And his face, it looks like him but Mari refuses to believe it. His pupils are gone, his hair dances around his features like he was underwater- having lost all knowledge of the basics of physics whatsoever-, and lightnings flow around him, but what unnerves her more is the solemnity of his expression. A calm in his face that it’s just unnatural in him
And the way he pronounces her name, the only words he utters in a voice that sounds like many and in Atlantic
“All will be well, Marinette”
People don’t dare touching him, but once he reaches the shore he seems to be inmobilized and having lost control of his body, as he has turned into a living diamond; which makes it easy to put him inside of a blinded kind of safe and drag him with the cars afterwards
Once that everyone is ready to leave that forgoten city forever to die and leave Mari behind
Mari of course is enraged, and in a final act of bravery she reminds everyone what will happen if they leave with the crystal, how it keeps the inhabitants alive and it will condemn them to their doom
She also reminds each and every member of the crew the reasons that had brought them there, the stories she had been told, the kind of people that they were
And the dissapointment she feels about them
“You will kill all of this people but you all be disgustingly rich; you will all get what you always wanted”
“That’s all that ever matters right?… Money”
And of course because Hawkmowth has no chill whatsoever talks back to her
Telling her to “Cheer up”, that “She’s the famous cientific who discovered Atlantis and now she’s part of the exhibition.”
And proceedes to punch her in the face just for the sake of her being a pain in the ass
He orders everyone to leave immediately
And Alya is the first to get out of the car and walk towards Marinette, chosing to stay on her side
And one by one each and every one of the members of the crew, do the same
Nathaniël of course takes a long drag of his cigarrete and murmurs “We’re all gonna die” before hopping off the car too, at last
Hawkmoth going “We’re this close to being millionares and y'all gonna listen to jimmy cricket now?”
Alya yelling back “This ain’t fair and you know it”
Chloé going “We’ve done a hell lot of terrible things, stealing, grave robbing, kicking dogs; but we never had to kill anyone… well maybe we did but we didn’t know 'em”
Hawkmoth and Lila drive away carring Adrien with them, and as soon as they cross the brigde to the outskirts it’s innevitable to notice
The waterfalls have stopped flowing, the glow of the crystals dimmers, and it’s just the start
They are taking their lives away literally
Mari tries to run towards the vehicles but Chloé stops her right before it’s too late; the bridge is filled with explosives and Hawkmoth is quick to blow it down right away
Seconds later Nino is calling her from the throne room where the king still lies weak and keeps on asking to talk to her and her only
King Gabriel asks about Adrien, demanding to know where he is, and when Marinette explains that he has meged with the crystal he says it loud and clear
“He has been chosen”
And proceeds to explain how the miracle takes a royal as a sacrifice when the city is in danger to ensure its protection
And how it is somehow alive, and it grants power and longevity to the people who live under it’s light; and that it was in his selfish attempt to use it as a weapon that it lead to the doom of Atlantis
Marinette comes to the conclussion that that is the reason why it was hidden underneath the city
To keep the story from repeating itself
And then the king murmurs “And to stop Adrien from ever facing the same future my dear wife encountered”
“The miracle will swallow him whole once it’s too late”
Marinette’s pulse drops when she hears those words and she understands what the king is truly saying. Adrien is as good as dead right now
Before she can stop him, the king takes off his necklace and offers it to her, telling her that his son was the one meant to carry the burden of their people when the moment was right
But now that burden relies on her
With his final breath he begs her to get the miracle back and save his people
And above all, save to his son
Nino immediately asks her what are they going to do now
Everyone followed her, they are not just going back, she has to tell them what comes next
Mari just looses it, because honestly, it seems like her desicions have put them though nothing but trouble as she “led a bunch of thieves into the most important archeological discovery ever, causing them to rapt-and kill- the whole royal family, besides putting personally the most deadly and powerful force of all mankind in the hands of a lunatic merc that might just sell it to the military forces that pay the highest”
“You also burned the camp and put us into a whole”
“WELL, TANK YOU.”
But then Nino reminds her of something that his uncle said. “When you hit rock bottom, the only way is up.”
Queue to Mari freaking leading the troops go get Adrien’s cristalized ass back in the flying machines she and Adrien learned to use
And tbh what comes next is the most epic steam punk battle you had ever witnessed and if you hadn’t seen this movie I highly recomend it if it’s not obvious by now, even if it’s just for the sake of the battle sceene
Basically Chloé exploding everything
Alya and Nino arguing over whether a saw can cut a femur in 27 seconds as it can’t cut chains in that time
Tikki and Nath with riffles
Plagg just fucking shit up and laughing like a maniac about it
Lila shooting a revolver like a pro
Hawkmoth with a goddamn machinegun
And Mari talking to herself “okay Mari is there something you wanna say, any last words… yeah i WISH I HAD HAD A BETTER IDEA” before jumping from a flying fish to a military hot air balloon to take it down
Also Hawmoth dropping Lila out of the basket
Only for her to jump back and kick him right in the face
And then be thrown out of it again
And blowing the hell out of the hot air balloon for the sake of revenge
Plus Hawkmoth tunring into a monster made out of crystal due to Mari’s quick moves when she cuts him with a piece of broken glass that was touching Adrien and basically explodes when a couple of blades hit him and shatter him into a million pieces
Long story short the good guys win and they get to take Adrien back to Atlantis moments prior another catastrophe occurs
Nino asks her is if she really wants to stay, and she reassures him that this is her place to be
And then proceeds to hug her so tight that Mari probabbly won’t miss having a personal kiropractor ever
Nath of course is whining about leaving despite having to particularly handsome boys carring all of his stuff and escorting him
In the end they take a picture that gets out of focus and that seems to be, among others, all of the evidence from the journey
And about a month later they are all standing in fancy clothes in front of Fu telling him that they found nothing but the people and rocks.
Mari did however leave a package for Fu: an old picture of her and her uncle that she carried everywhere, a note thanking him, and a necklace with a gem just like the one everyone got
And while all of this is happening, Mari and Adrien probabbly already got married back in Atlantis