|The Meaning of Birth
Author: Takeda Chiyo PM
Luke fon Fabre - heir to the throne of Kimlasca, son of a Duke and... Angel? When Luke runs into an interesting man, he learns that his life is worth more than he realizes. Follow him on his quest to save Auldrant and discover the meaning of his birth.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Kratos A. & Luke - Chapters: 6 - Words: 20,528 - Reviews: 25 - Favs: 28 - Follows: 35 - Updated: 01-05-13 - Published: 06-22-10 - id: 6075472
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Meaning of Birth – 武田地夜
Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Symphonia or Tales of the Abyss or the characters and story lines pertaining to it. They belong to their respective owners and Namco Bandai.
Chapter 4: Dreams of Memories
Running. Always running. That seemed to be the norm for me now.
The rain fell hard, soaking my clothes, chilling me. The child in my arms cried fiercely, sobbing for his father that was now dead. His sister ran beside me, her small hand swallowed by my own. She was trying hard to fight the tears, but she couldn't hold them back forever.
I didn't blame them; I wanted to cry too. I wanted nothing more than to just wallow in my sorrow, in this depression from losing such a dear friend. But I couldn't. No, I made a promise to him. I would keep it. Maybe then, after the children were safe, I could cry.
And then I would hunt. I would chase down and kill the men that took their father's life. I would avenge him.
I glanced back at the village. At least the fire's out now, I thought. Good. No one else can get hurt.
I slowed down, the child's cries suddenly louder. I knelt down and hugged him and his sister close to me, whispering soothing words in their ears. Where is he? they asked silently. Where's daddy?
I started to rise but stopped when I felt cold steel pressed against my throat. I held still, not daring to move.
"Why are you here?" a voice asked. A young male. Fourteen, perhaps.
I remained silent.
"You know you're not supposed to be here," the voice said. "Why'd you call me out? Didn't you see the attack?"
I nodded slowly. "I needed your help."
I glanced down at the terrified children in my arms. There was a gasp as the blade left my skin. The boy stepped around me, looking down at the small girl and her brother, his eyes wide in amazement. He swallowed and nodded, motioning for me to rise. I did.
The boy looked around, and then silently mouthed, Follow me. I nodded and we took off running again.
It felt like we were running forever. Maybe we were. The rain only worsened, and I could swear it was starting to hail. Was it winter already? No… no, it couldn't be. It was still midsummer. So why is it hailing…?
The boy directed me to a hidden clearing and I sat down underneath a rocky overhang, slight shelter from the strange weather. The small boy was still crying loudly, holding on to me for dear life. I glanced at his sister. She was no better off, but I could tell she was trying to be strong. She was, after all, the only family her brother had left.
The boy gazed at me, eying the child in my arms. I could see the fear held in his eyes, but there was also… hope?
"Yes." I hugged the child, trying to quiet him. "They're like you."
"Like… me?" The boy sat down and pulled off his hood, revealing startling blue hair. I'd grown used to it after a while – after all, strange and bizarre hair colors were normal among his kind. "I thought… they had killed all the others…"
I shook my head, water droplets spraying as I did. "No. Not them, at least."
"Who are they?" the young teen asked me, edging closer. He was looking at the girl now, marveling at her moss green hair.
"They're… Catherine's," I answered, using their mother's name. It was dangerous to reveal who their father was. If anyone knew of their noble lineage…
"Catherine's?" The boy nodded. "I remember her… She was kind to me. I never knew she had children like this, though."
"She was a good liar." The child was finally quieting down, so I decided to ask the question that had been on my mind since the attack. "Yuan… Can they stay here?"
"What?" Yuan leapt to his feet. "Stay here? No! I can barely take care of myself out here. I can't take care of a little girl and some baby, too!"
I sighed, trying to ignore my growing frustration. "Please, Yuan. They have nowhere else to go. I can't take them back to the capital, they'll be killed. You know that prejudice is strongest there. This is their only chance."
Yuan crossed his arms. "What about their dad? Or Catherine?"
Yuan was silent, instantly regretting his words. "Oh… They were in the village, weren't they?"
I nodded. I looked at him, watching the indecision in his eyes. They were an interesting shade of blue and matched his hair perfectly. I stood, still holding the baby.
"Yuan. If you cannot take them, they will die," I said. It wasn't to make him feel bad – it was fact.
Yuan thought for a long while. He sighed. "All right. I'll do it." He walked over to me and took the baby from my arms, cradling him. "What are their names?"
"Mithos and Martel."
I heard voices in the background, dim and muffled. There was a strange sound as light suddenly filled the room. I groaned and sunk deeper under the covers, unwilling to wake up. The voices started again, louder and more chaotic than before.
I opened my eyes a crack, surprised at how raw they felt. Had I been... crying? In my sleep? I raised a hand to my cheek and felt a trail of dampness. Yes, I had been crying.
I sighed, suddenly remembering where I was. Grand Chokmah. The name was foreign, yet familiar at the same time. Could it really be...? But then, there was Guy, that blonde man from the forest that attacked the redhead, Luke. There was no mistaking him. If he really was a Gardios, then I wondered... could the others be the same as well?
There was a shout, followed by a heavy weight crashing down onto my bed. I was up at once, arms held up in a defensive stance, ready for anything. Then I saw who it was. I relaxed, glaring at Zelos for waking me.
"It wasn't my fault!" he shouted, reading my expression. "The guy pushed me!" He pointed to Jade.
I glanced at the man in question. "Jade did?" I found this hard to believe, yet surprisingly easy, too.
Jade just shrugged. "If you had gotten up when I told you to, then we wouldn't be in this situation, now would we, dear Zelos?"
Zelos glared. "You're the most annoying old man I've ever met, you know that?"
Jade smiled. "Why, thank you."
I chuckled quietly, knowing full well that Zelos had likely deserved it. I reached for my jacket that was draped over my bedside table. My sword was leaning beside it, and I grabbed it after putting on my jacket.
"It's good to see you're up, Kratos," Jade said to me. Perhaps I was mistaken, but I could have sworn there was a tone of disapproval in his voice. There was also... suspicion? "You seem to have had a rather late night."
I stayed silent. I hadn't even been here for a whole day and already one of the most influential members of this group didn't trust me. I was not off to a good start.
"I wanted to get the lay of the city. This place is... strange to me. I wanted to be ready in case we were attacked again," I said. And it was true in a sense. Mostly.
Jade didn't look like he believed me, but he shrugged, putting the topic away for now.
"Man!" Zelos exclaimed. "I can't believe I let Sheena talk me in to coming with you guys." The man walked up to us as he threw on his vest.
Jade retorted with a nasty comment, but I ignored them. I left the hotel room, relishing in the peace and quiet of the hallway. It was short lived, though.
"Give that back to me! It isn't yours!" I heard a voice shout. It sounded similar to the voice of the assassin from Ossa Trail. Sheena, was it?
Laughter echoed through the hallway, followed by Sheena chasing a girl in pink; Anise was her name.
"This bell is so pretty," said Anise. She stopped running to ring the bell tauntingly.
"Give it back. That bell was Corrine's," Sheena growled dangerously.
Anise stuck her tongue out and took off again, Sheena following close behind.
I sighed at their antics and heard a door open across the hall. The blonde man from yesterday stepped out, staring after the two girls.
"And that is why I hate women," Guy said. He was messing with his sword, trying to tie it onto his belt.
"You hate women?" I asked.
Guy nodded. "Well, not 'hate'. They're just so..." he shuddered, "scary." He looked up at me. "It's Kratos, right?"
"Are you, um... all right? You left really suddenly last night."
I could feel Guy's scrutinizing gaze on me. I didn't want to tell him why I had left last night – he couldn't know the real reason – so instead I asked, "Did they tell you about me?"
Guy seemed surprised, but nodded. "Yeah, they did. Mind if I ask what happened? Why did you betray them?" He leaned against the wall, crossing his arms.
I glanced down at the carpet. How should I answer him? Lloyd already hated me, and I was sure that the others in his group did too. Jade apparently disliked me as well, no doubt due to the information Zelos and the others had given him. Would Guy hate me if I told him? Would Luke?
My eyes widened in pain and I fell, gasping for air that my lungs couldn't seem to catch. My head hurt so much it felt like it would explode. I was sure it would.
I felt Guy's hands on me, his voice asking if I was okay. I couldn't respond.
Answer me, dreck!
That voice... Why was it so familiar?
Though my eyes were open, I couldn't see anything but a swirl of colors, mostly blacks, reds, and violets. My head was throbbing and I didn't register anything going on in the real world. All I could focus on was the pain.
Damn it, answer me! ...About time. You need to get out of Grand Chokmah right now. ...Don't ask me why, just go!
I felt like I was listening to one side of a conversation, and the other side seemed to be lost amid the pain and colors. A high pitched ringing started, increasing by the second. And with each decibel it increased, so too did the pain. I was sure I had screamed, but I didn't hear it.
And then... there was silence. The pain was beginning to fade and I started to breathe again. The sound of Guy's voice came back. I could feel his hands clenched against my shoulders and back. I took a moment to regain myself before answering Guy, telling him I was fine.
"Don't lie to me! You were screaming! What the hell happened?" he demanded.
I tried to stand, ignoring his question. Though the pain was gone, I still felt extremely light headed and dizzy. I swayed to the left and Guy caught me, wrapping his arm around my waist for support. I blinked, surprised at how quickly my vision was returning.
"Guy!" The door in front of us shot open revealing a very concerned-looking teen staring out at us. "We have to leave, now!"
Guy looked up at him. "Leave? Why, Luke? Kratos needs to rest and – "
"He can rest later," said Luke. "Asch said we need to get out of here. Something's going to happen."
Asch...? I wondered, suddenly recognizing the owner of the voice. That name...
I tried to stand on my own, pushing Guy away. It took a moment, but I was able to stand without swaying. I saw Genis walk into the hall way behind Luke.
"I think we should go too. We have to go to St. Binah anyway, right?" the half-elf asked. He saw that I was present as well and shot me a glare that Yuan would have been proud of. "Why is he still here?
Luke and Guy looked at me, neither really knowing how to answer.
"You're going to St. Binah?" I asked. "All of you?"
Luke nodded. "Yeah. The city's in trouble, so we're going to help."
"I see... I would like to accompany you as well, if it isn't too much trouble." My hand clenched around the handle of my sword, my trusted Flamberge. Traveling with them may allow me a chance to find Lloyd. My son...
Luke had no hesitation whatsoever and said, "Sure. The more help we can get, the better."
"What?" Genis gaped at Luke. "You're letting him come? Even after what we told you?"
Luke shrugged. "Maybe he's had a change of heart. I didn't used to be all that good... I think we should give him a chance."
Guy nodded. "Me, too." He glanced at me, numerous questions barely hidden in his eyes. I could tell that my time with them would be interesting, to say the least.
Genis sighed. "Fine. Don't say I didn't warn you though." He took off towards the girls' rooms.
Luke began following him. "I'll go make sure the others are ready, okay?"
I nodded and looked at Guy. He was tense, that much was obvious. Likely, it was because I had failed to give him a reasonable answer for that painful attack. I turned toward the exit.
"If it's all right, I'm going to wait outside." I heard Guy hum in agreement and I walked outside.
I leaned up against the wall of the hotel, staring out at the serene seascape that was visible. But no matter the pleasant surroundings, I couldn't help but wonder: Why here…?