|Deceptive rules:Vermillion skies
Author: TechNomaNcer28 PM
HIATUS!It wasn't easy getting tangled in an adventure to save Auldrant,least of all finding herself getting attached to a colonel.Friends & foes alike,they're trapped in a world of deception and unwanted revelations.Lukear,NataliaAsch,JadexOCRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Jade - Chapters: 26 - Words: 130,070 - Reviews: 69 - Favs: 25 - Follows: 22 - Updated: 09-28-09 - Published: 03-10-08 - id: 4122931
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Oh my!!!It's been like more than a year i guess, it didnt feel like it thogh. try forgiving meokay??!!!^_^.this is quite short compared to my last chapter but i will update the next one soon.
Chapter twenty five
"I'm sorry." Shu looked at Sylvia sadly knowing full well that she was reaching her time. The only thing that had kept her going was the prospect of seeing her husband or her daughter one last time, the chance to at least talk to any of them would be enough. Shu was glad for her; she hadn't struggled to live for so long in vain. Even so nothing could reduce the anguish in his heart as he felt their parting coming close after all this time. What was it, almost eighteen years now?
She didn't look anything like the woman he had met then, almost a young girl still but in so much pain from the loss of her child. Her husband hadn't been home then and no one could calm her down, not even her own mother. He had been assigned to take care of her health after her delivery bringing over medications to her small house. At the time he had been a doctor of little importance but once, after Sylvia's incident he had prescribed medicines anonymously for Duke Fabre's wife through Spinoza who had been the Fabre's family doctor, she had begun regaining her health and Spinoza had revealed Shu's name not wanting to take the credit for himself. Immediately Duke Fabre had placed Shu in one of the high ranks of doctor in the Belkend lab which he owned and Shu had secretly brought Sylvia along with him from their previous one-room flat.
Sylvia's mother reported her missing to Doctor Shu when he arrived according to his daily schedule to give her some tranquilizers so as to keep the young woman in check till her husband arrived. Shu immediately checked every possible area in the lower area of Baticul and wished that it would have been smaller. When he reached the sea wondering if perhaps she was running away by sea, he saw a huge group of spectators surrounding and shouting. Making his way to the railings he saw a brunette pulling out a woman from the depths of the sea where the water had become red. Shu took a careful look at the woman in the brunette's arms and realized her as Sylvia. The brown haired man looked like some sort of important man Shu understood when a few Oracle knights came behind him and asked for orders. The brunette handed over Sylvia to Shu who had indicated that he knew her and looked at the doctor seriously.
"This young woman here." The brunette motioned to Sylvia's body to the doctor, "It was the Score that caused her untimely death." Shu refused to believe that his patient was dead and didn't quite realize the strange manner of the brunette's speech.
"I shall see to it that she's tended." Shu said and readied to carry her away as fast as he could to Sylvia's house. The brunette stopped him with a cold look and Shu was puzzled.
"Let her be dead." The stranger told him; almost ordering him and Shu frowned at him.
"Sir, I do not know who you are but I have a duty to see to her health. At the moment she needs all the treatment I can give her so please excuse me." Shu's speech wasn't rude, just straightforward. He didn't have time to waste on this stranger and hurried away from the crowd. The brown haired man stared coolly and decided to send one of his guards to keep an eye on the doctor. The woman's life could be a danger to his plans and there was no way he was going to let anything stand in his way of gathering an army against the Score. Legretta and Dist alone wouldn't do.
"Locrian Colonel Grants." An oracle knight saluted Van and the brunette nodded and gave him the instructions to follow Shu. The doctor had to know how serious Van really was. Either he would give up his patient to the oracle soldier or he would flee to save both their lives. Van would give that choice to the Doctor. Either way was fine as long as Badaq only knew the fact that his wife was dead because of the Score. He had luckily found out that this woman happened to be Badaq's beloved wife. Badaq had talked about his wife and the new born girl all the time Van had been with the man on a journey last week.
"You shouldn't be." Sylvia held his hand with a smile, "I should thank you, thank you for everything. For taking care of me, for bringing Meryl to me when I had lost all hopes of ever seeing my daughter." Shu nodded feeling saddened. It was only natural he had fallen in love with the woman since the earlier days. He had done everything he could think of to keep her happy and wished he could've given her more in her short lifetime but Van had threatened him with Sylvia's life and he wasn't one to go against a man like him and jeopardize the woman he cared about the most.
"I can't do anything now." Shu bowed his head and Sylvia smiled through tears in her eyes. What hadn't this man done for her? But even so, her heart belonged to him only…The lion of the desert. Badaq.
"I'm happy. Tell Meryl I'm proud of her." She whispered her final words and with a content smile passed away from the hellish life on this world to somewhere Shu hoped was a much better place than this. She deserved it after all. Shu stood and turned to go back to his office in the laboratory.
"So…." Anise looked at Ion who looked upset about something, "What's up?" she asked. Ion looked at her and shook his head.
"I'm fine Anise." He smiled and Anise wished he didn't trust her so much. Why were they all such idiots. All of them. They didn't hesitate to include that old man Spinoza in their plans and they never realized her acts although the Colonel sometimes seemed to guess that Anise had some ulterior motive than just being Ion's guardian for the whole journey. She just hoped this journey would soon be over and she could finally stop tagging along with Ion just to report everything back to Mohs. Ion didn't deserve this but she had no choice either. She remembered the last Thanks giving day with her parents so long ago, before Mohs had disturbed their entire life. At the time she would still get mad at Papa for giving away money like candy but now that she remembered those times something hurt deep inside. She hadn't spent a Thanks giving or any other occasion for that matter with her parents. They would hardly get to exchange greetings and a hug at the most now.
"What do we do about Tear though?" the teen asked Ion who looked sad at the subject.
"I wish there was some kind of cure for it but you heard the Doctor." Anise nodded, "Unless…" Ion looked deep in thought and Anise continued to look at him. What would happen to her if something went wrong with Ion? She couldn't imagine guarding any other Fon Master than Ion.
"Hey. Here you are." Guy came in looking around as if looking for something, "You guys saw Natalia around?"
"Now that you mention it." Anya commented following Guy into the room, "I didn't see her for over an hour now." Guy looked scared and Anya looked puzzled, "What?" she asked.
"D-don't follow me around." Guy whispered shakily and Anya rolled her eyes as she realized his problem. Purposely she went past him making him jump a mile backward and cause a table with some papers to topple over. He hurriedly picked up the papers and remained turned the other way when he heard Anise snickering.
"Well well." Jade's voice came through the door, "I never expected to find you in General Grants' office of all the places."
"What?" Anise looked around, "I didn't realize that. The rooms here all look the same." Jade shrugged.
"Or maybe you're just careless." He replied with a smirk and Anise stuck out her tongue at him. "Asch has come all the way here." He waited for everyone to take it in.
"What?!" Anise looked surprised again, "But why?"
"Apparently Van came too so Asch followed him here." Anya told them and they looked worried.
"What does Van want here?" Guy thought out loud, "If it's a fight he's looking for I don't think we stand a chance."
"Let's not jump to conclusions yet." Jade told him and then looked up at the others, "Has anyone except Luke met Tear after the check up?" They shook their heads and looked at each other.
"Is that why Van's here?" Anya asked, "Maybe he knows about her condition."
"But how?" Anise asked and Jade thought on it.
"If it is the miasma from the passage rings we have been activating or rather Tear then maybe General Grants has been having similar effects." He shrugged, "Well that's only an idea."
"But they're both Yulia's descendants." Ion reminded them, "If they both are capable of controlling passage rings then Van's no exception to the side effects of it all."
"If that's the case." Anya looked at Ion, "Then he doesn't seem to care much about his health. Is destroying the world really so important that he'd throw away his life like this?"
"It's scary when you put it that way." Anise shuddered, "But why?"
"Exactly." Guy answered coldly, almost angrily, "How is this revenge for Hod? That's what I'd like to know." Jade pushed his glasses up.
"You both had a little chat recently, didn't you?" Jade asked Guy in a knowing tone and the blonde sighed.
"I guess there's no point trying to hide anything from you." He replied and then looked down, "Yes, Van talked to me. And so did Freya." At that everyone exclaimed surprise.
"You can't mean you know her, do you?" Anya asked Guy who only looked away.
"We were friends." He said, "Van, me and Freya. It was all back in Hod." He stopped and looked at his hands, "But after Hod was destroyed, we lost contact and when we finally meet up, things have changed so much." He looked at them, "She's the new God-general." Everyone save Jade looked a little worried.
"Well, that's one more opponent to face." Jade said grimly but Anise puffed up her small chest.
"It's going to be just fine." She told them, "It just means one more win for us." Jade chuckled and Anya smiled at Anise's attempt to lighten their moods.
"If you put it that way, even I can't resist a fight." Jade told her and motioned for them to go out of Van's office room. He looked at Guy who kept glancing at the papers behind him, frowning a little.
"Is something the matter?" Jade asked Guy who shrugged and was about to look over the papers when Ion suddenly shouted out.
"Asch!" The Fon Master alerted the others and Guy stopped to look back with his hand an inch from the papers. Ion threw a worrying glance at the papers and was glad that Asch had come at the moment.
"And Natalia." Anya announced when she came from behind Asch looking frazzled somehow but she managed a smile at them.
"How's Tear, everyone?" she asked and Anise answered that no one had visited her yet. Jade looked at Asch who glared a little at the colonel and then turned to the others.
"What are you all doing in Van's office?" the red head asked and Anise grimaced a little at the fact that everyone else seemed to understand that this was Van's office and Anya smiled at the girl.
"Looks like you really were careless." She told Anise who smiled at her sweetly.
"Don't go siding with the Colonel now." She told Anya in a chiding manner. Anya smiled to match hers and returned.
"You're talking? I'm surprised Ion still doesn't notice the way you look at him-" Anise hissed and Asch glared at her so she quieted down.
"Did you find Van?" Guy asked Asch who stared at the blonde as if surprised by his good-natured behavior towards him.
"As if I'd tell you anything?" the red head answered, "I have personal business with Van." Guy didn't look too surprised by the attitude. It was probably a payback for the time he had left the redhead noble for Luke who had been unconscious in Yulia City after Akzeriuth. The thought of it sometimes still made Guy wonder if they had been a little too harsh on the seven year old.
Asch turned to go but Natalia reached out a hand and stopped him by the arm. He looked back at her and she stared at him with a pleading look, both looking as if the others had disappeared.
"Asch." Natalia said in a shaky voice, "Come with us. I-I don't think I can take it all on my own." Clearly she was talking about something that only the two of them knew about so the others decided to leave them alone when Asch wrenched his arm from Natalia's grip.
"Leave me alone." He shouted and was about to walk away when another flurry of red arrived and the next second Asch was held by the collar.
"Luke!" Natalia looked in shock and so did Asch. How had this replica-what gave him the right to lay a finger on him? HIM?? When Luke realized his own doing, his grip slackened and Asch threw him with a force only his hatred could give him.
"Asch-" Luke looked up at his original, "I'm sorry-" Asch heaved him up by the collar this time and glared into his eyes, eyes that were the same as his….everything that was his. How dare this second-rate-
"Asch stop it!" Natalia's cry rang out and the two red heads looked at her. Things were getting so tense and Anya hoped some kind of diversion would arrive when Jade finally stepped in.
"I doubt this is the best place or time for a dispute so serious. So if you would please-"
"Shut up with your speech already." Asch snarled at the colonel and then turned to Luke.
"Now look, you replica." He emphasized his last word, "Don't ever think for a second you can do as you like with me, you inferior-"
"This is the last thing I expected." Came Van's voice from the doorway that had just opened and everyone turned to look at the man in apprehension.
"Van!" Asch left Luke and charged towards his former instructor who easily braced Asch's 'Fang blade havoc' and had the red head cornered.
"You're still weak." Van told him without any expression and sheathed his sword back to its original place. "You haven't thought about my proposal?" he asked Asch who replied with a 'hmph'.
"I' not joining you for your crazy dreams if that's what you mean." He answered, "Why are you here?" he asked and Van smiled.
"I suppose it will be a while before Tear-"
"Nothing's going to happen to Tear." Luke interrupted Van, scared by his own impudence but he just couldn't stand the thought of Tear not being there, not scolding him for the littlest things, not cuddling Mieu when she thought no one was looking….What in the world would happen to him if she was to die? Van looked at the replica.
"So you care about what happens to Mystearica?" he asked, "It doesn't seem like it though. Look how you are ready to put her life on the line to save this worthless world." Luke shut his eyes at that. It wasn't like that at all. Master Van was wrong, he was just trying to change his heart, destroy everything him and his friends had been working for till now and the worst part was, it seemed to be working. Guy frowned at Van's approach towards the weakest prey there.
"Give it up Van, Luke's not going to follow you around this time." He answered with a steely look, "He chose this path on his own and we're all with him including Tear."
"Tear herself made the decision of taking you down and saving the world." Jade told Van fixing his glasses.
"The fact that Luke didn't back down after all of Tear's hard work just makes it obvious doesn't it?" Anya asked Van, "He's doing everything he can to make the best of it so none of our efforts go pointless, and so are the rest of us." Van simply glanced at her as though he didn't care. She smiled dryly, "But I guess someone like you wouldn't understand that." Anise looked up at her with a slightly worried but amazed look. Anya didn't usually talk in that older-woman manner. She had to admit, Anya could be pretty cool sometimes.
Van turned around without any hint of caring at all and was leaving when Asch decided to try assaulting him from behind. The red head dashed forward but his effort was once again futile as Van blocked his attack without a scratch. The brunette sneered and threw his former student easily and remained stationary. Everyone stared and wondered what he was up to now.
"Come with me Asch." Van asked once again but was forced to look the other way as Tear approached the group with an astonished look.
"W-what are you doing here?" she asked her brother. He sighed in an older-brotherly manner.
"I see you're not well." He commented and she frowned but he continued, "Tear, Asch. I ask you once more to come join me. Join me to save this world." Asch got up with a smirk.
"Save the world?" Van looked at him and he spoke in a controlled manner, "You're the one destroying it in the first place. If you hadn't started with this plan of yours my life wouldn't have gone messed up." He looked up, his eyes burning with hatred for someone other than Luke. He walked with his sword towards his master and pointed it at him when he suddenly cried out and collapsed.
"Asch!" Natalia ran to his side and began using some healing techniques and he looked up at Van barely able to keep his eyes open. Van smiled a little.
"It's started hasn't it?" he asked the redhead, "You won't be here for long." Anise looked furious and so did Natalia.
"What makes you think you could say something like that?" Natalia glared at him, "Just because-"
"I will defeat you." Asch interrupted and looking Van in the eye, "It's a promise." Natalia looked at him with large eyes as he stood up brushing her away.
"Asch." She whispered but he didn't look anywhere except Van before sheathing his sword and about to leave when Van spoke up again.
"You think I'd let you leave so easily?" he said lazily, "I won't allow anyone to interfere with my plans on destroying Lorelei." Almost everyone gasped at that. How was that even possible??!
"What are you saying?' Tear asked in that disbelieving tone, "What good would it do to destroy Lorelei?"
"Lorelei's existence hasn't been confirmed yet." Jade told him, "You're going forward with a plan that may prove useless."
"That is what you think Colonel." Van said, "Lorelei exists. He is the very reason for all these unwanted occurrences that have been going on for far too long. It's about time to put a stop to it."
"But if you are trying to create a world of replicas and Lorelei was destroyed, there wouldn't enough fonons to complete your plan." Jade tried again. How many loopholes had Van left in his plans? Was this what the commandant was really about to do? If so, then there was no way his plan could work unless…
"Moreover, the core's vibration would make it impossible for life to continue in this world." Anya stated and Jade pushed his glasses with an annoyed look.
"Ah, but we don't quite think alike."Van told them, "I plan to create the replicas, create a new land. A world without Lorelei or the Score."
"A new world?" Luke asked disbelievingly and Jade nodded.
"The data in Ortion Caverns." He said and they turned to him, "We were correct in assuming that the figures were the measure of lands but we never-"
"-Thought they were to be replicated." Asch finished and glared at Van, "You won't get away with this. I'll stop the core's vibration myself if I have to." He closed his eyes for a second in frustration and opened them when Jade spoke up.
"But fomicry isn't complete yet. Replicas that are created may disintegrate even faster if there's scarcity of Seventh fonons." That bit got Asch a little worried and he wanted to ask the colonel what he meant by it but it just wasn't the time. Luke hadn't missed that comment either and seemed a little scared.
"But why?" Luke managed to ask and Anya looked at him.
"Fonons of similar nature have an affinity towards each other. As long as Lorelei is there, it will continue to happen-" she stopped mid-sentence as they realized what Van planned to do.
"So this was what you were after?" Jade remarked with a small smile showing he was quite impressed. They were up against a very more-than-well-matched opponent.
"As Lorelei is destroyed, the replicas will persist and so will the renewed Hod. It will be the perfect reality of our dreams." Van said with a look that horrified the others. He really was delusional, Anise thought.
"Not if we stop you first." Guy told him and he laughed lightly.
"Legretta, Cantabile." He called and the two came from the doorway, the latter smiling.
"How'd you know we were here?" she asked and Legretta frowned.
"We don't have time to be wasting." She snapped and turned to Van, "Your orders?" They all were taken aback by the sudden change in the situation.
"It's time we take down the two remaining scientists." He told them and the group remembered that Henken and Cathy had been here all this time. If something happened to them, their operation wouldn't take place and everything they had done till now….
"Not a chance." Asch said under his breath and looked at Luke with a scowl. "Replica, you keep him occupied. I'll go and do the rest."
"Wait Asch-", Luke looked puzzled. What did he mean by the 'rest'???! Jade smiled a little but immediately had his weapon out when Cantabile turned to them with a smile.
"Sorry kids, it looks like Van wants me to take you all out." She unsheathed her sword as the other God-generals stepped out.
"Before you get in Van's way." Cantabile added and Anya couldn't help looking at the woman who had her eyes covered once again with a sneer.
"Sorry, but we already did." Anya replied with a shrug, "Don't try and stop the inevitable from happening." Cantabile turned to her direction pointing her sword.
"You're annoying." She told her, "I would have loved to kill you first." With that she charged at Anise who thankfully had Tokunaga ready in a battle position but still managed to shield somewhat. Natalia immediately shot her with a star stroke which she deflected with her sword and whirled around to slash at Luke who had thought of taking advantage of the situation.
Jade fixed his glasses, "You fight in the Albert style." He remarked and Cantabile rolled her eyes inwardly.
"You noticed? Boy you're smart." She told him in a sarcastic tone and Jade smirked.
"It's hard not to with an opponent as you are." He said and her mouth thinned to a line
"Well, I suppose somewhere around here you'd be sure to find Noir. Asch is here after all" Anya commented in a way trying to be nonchalant which only angered Cantabile. Natalia looked up at that with a frown.
"That woman?" she asked with slight scorn and a snobbish look as if Noir was trash.
Anise looked at her, "My Natalia! You really-"
"Enough!" Cantabile suddenly shouted as her sword clashed with Luke and Anya's simultaneously. Tear began chanting the incantation for 'Éclair de Larmes' while Anise remained in front of the healer to protect her from Cantabile's attacks. The God-general used a long distance ranged arte aimed at Tear and Anise which caused both the girls to defend themselves. Anise still got a slight cut and Ion looked worried.
"Well, she sure doesn't want to be taken lightly." Jade remarked and Cantabile smiled.
"Keep talking while you can old man." She told him and then fingered the bandages around her eyes. "See this? I'm going to take it off now." Everyone went quiet and wondered if it was just a hoax to let their guard down as they remained in position to attack should Cantabile try anything. She began unwrapping the bandages with a smile.
"Anya, I want you to me watch closely now." The referred woman frowned.
"Why?" she asked, "Do you happen to be drop-dead gorgeous-" she stopped as she clutched her head suddenly.
"W-what's the matter with her?" Natalia asked, eyes wide. Jade looked concerned but otherwise remained on guard.
"What the hell?" Anya managed, stopping between each word. Damn it. She couldn't keep her eyes open with the pain coursing through her head as Cantabile opened the bandages then the pain stopped suddenly. Everything stopped, her heart stopped for that second and everyone's eyes widened.
"But….why?" was all Anya could whisper as she stared at her mirror image.
That's it!!! if u guys still read this *sweatdrop*, then do review!!!They really save the day.