Here we go with the sequel ladies and gentleman, hope you're ready for some more twists and turns, including a very big one later on.
Previously on Trails Of Cold Steel
Who in Aidios are you?!
Refer to me as Revelio The Vengeance, the demon lord who once ruled the world of Erebonia!
Everyone was in silence the moment they heard the name. Only one of them knew, but there was no confidence to say.
"Revelio?" Elliot asked.
"Demon lord?" Gaius added.
"I've...I've never heard of this demon lord before." Laura said.
Revelio laughed. "That's because those who once encountered me and survived vowed to never tell the tail! For many centuries, I once casted fear and destruction into the minds of the mortal lives! But I was then defeated by the army of witches and magicians, all of which sacrificed their lives to stop me!"
"This is insane!" Machias said.
"To think that Alex was keeping this from us all this time." Jusis added.
"What have you done to him?!" Fie exclaimed.
"Oh, you mean Alex...the one who is your precious friend?" Revelio responded. "I have taken control of him, for his mind can no longer hold me back, his body now belongs to me!"
"Hic...no!" Emma sniffed.
Revelio then saw Crow. "And what is this? A mechanical might with supreme power? Foolish mortal, you can't hide behind that abomination!"
"You...you're talking to me?" Crow asked.
"Even Crow is intimidated, but he's trying not to show it." Elliot said.
"I am...and since you seem to be in awe of my appearance, why don't I bring forth a brief moment of my true power." An aura appeared around Revelio and suddenly, his eyes fired out a powerful beam.
"Woaaaaaaahhh!" Crow and his Soldat was knocked back severely. "Nggggghhhh!"
Gaius gasped. "Unbelievable...Crow's armored knight was taken down so easily."
"Hah...not bad, demon freak." His Soldat struggled to get back up. "Looks like I've got no choice but to retreat, taking over Trista will have to wait. Scarlet, get Vulcan, we're getting out of here."
"Understood, Crow." Scarlet replied.
"Oh and one more thing, mister demon. Do give Alex his body back, it's not nice to possess a man's body without permission. The next time we meet, I won't let my guard down like that again."
Crow's Soldat grabbed Scarlet's Soldat by the arm and then flew up before they both retreated.
"Well...Crow's gone." Alisa said.
"But now what do we do?" Laura asked.
"What a cowardly foe! It feels my first taste of real power and chooses to flee!" Revelio exclaimed. "What about you, mortals? Will you lay your lives down for the demon lord?"
"Absolutely not!" Emma wiped her eyes and walked towards Revelio.
"Emma?" Fie asked.
"What are you doing?!" Elliot added.
Emma was now standing several feet away from Revelio.
"Ahhhh, you must be the one that Alex has devoted his heart to." He said. "What a pitiful attempt, to use his heart to try and suppress my power. But with you, I sense that power from you as well. Disclosing your true self to Alex was a foolish decision, for I heard it as well. What a shame that the other mortals here don't even know that you are a witch!"
"A witch...is he referring to Emma?" Machias asked.
"How dare you!" Emma exclaimed as her face grew angry. "How dare you use Alex's body to spread the most darkest of secrets! Alex, I know you can hear me in there! Snap out of it! Don't let Revelio's power take over you! You need to come back! For everyone's sake...and for my sake!"
Revelio snarled. "Did you not see, witch? Alex cannot regain his senses, so what good is it to prove otherwise?"
"Because I made a promise to him...I made a promise to his father!" Emma now stared right at him with tears falling down. "Alex, please get a hold of yourself...I swear to you, all of our friends will listen to your story, we won't hold this against you! Everyone, you believe me on this...right?!"
"Emma..." Alisa sighed before shaking away her nerves. "...you're right, Alex needs our help and we're going to help! Listen to us, Alex!"
"Don't let that demonic monster win!" Elliot called.
"You are a friend who never gives up, remember that!" Gaius exclaimed.
"You have a responsibility to uphold the reputation of our class!" Jusis said.
"Get back up and fight swiftly, you can do this!" Laura added.
"Come on, Alex! Get your body back!" Millium yelled.
"And do it with style, like you always do!" Fie said.
"Get back up, Alex! We're not letting you give up after we've gotten this far!" Machias said.
"Do you hear that, Alex?" Emma asked as she cried. "Those are the voices of our friends, they're calling for you! I'm calling for you...come back to us and come back to me! For I will always love you!"
"Nggggghhh...what is happening?!" Revelio exclaimed as he clutched his chest.
I can hear them...I hear them loud and clear. They are so right...what am I doing, just laying here and letting this demonic big-shot walk all over me! No, that's not me at all, I don't just lay down like a coward, I always push onwards. Alright, I've calmed down and recovered enough...I'm gonna get my body back!
"Arrrrrggghhhh!" Revelio roared. "NO...Alex is...fighting my control?! How is this possible?!"
"It is possible when you think about it!" I exclaimed in my head. "Sure, you have the power of chaos and destruction, but I have one power that you don't. I'm not going to say it though, cause everyone present already knows. Now give my body back!"
Revelio roared in horror as I started to fight back and regain my body. Once I had all of my senses restored, my demon form began to transform back into my normal form. I was not the giant sized demon now, I was back to my normal self. I panted heavily and I felt my dark self's power severely weakened, it won't be able to do that again anytime soon.
"He's back to normal everyone!" Millium exclaimed.
"Hah...hah...you people...are incredible..." I panted in complete exhaustion. "...I heard you all...and I will always love you...too...Emmaaaaaaaaaa..."
I suddenly fainted, losing all conscious. The last sounds I heard were the rushing of footsteps and Emma's voice.
One Month Later...
Dateline, November 30th, 1204.
Darkness and silence were the only company I had in my mind. I had no clue on how much time has passed or where I am ever since losing consciousness. But in some strange way...this felt...kinda different. With all the recent events that had been happening in the months gone by, maybe I needed this moment to get around. There had been no word or any action from my dark self since I regained control. I remember their voices...they were right there with me, but still... now they know about my demon power.
But what about Rean...where in the mountains did Valimar fly him and Celine to...are they even alright?
Suddenly, I began to regain consciousness and start moving slightly before opening my eyes.
"Mmmm..." I moaned as I sat up slowly. "...huh...where am I?"
I looked around to see that I was no longer at Trista, I was in a room and I was sleeping in a warm bed. I saw another bed nearby, I assumed that I was at a hotel or a hotel inn, it had to be one of the two. I stretched my arms and I felt the struggle to move them around. I then sat on the edge of the bed and moved my legs till they were okay.
"Well, at least the bed was comfy...but why am I aching all over?" I asked myself. "How long was I out for anyway?"
I then heard a tap on the door before it was opened.
"Hm hm hm hm..." A cute voice hummed before closing the door. "Hmm?"
I gasped as who it was. "Wait...Princess Alfin?!"
She was holding a tray and she gasped when she saw me. She placed the tray near the table and smiled happily.
"Alex? You've woken up at last!"
I nodded. "Yeah...I've finally escaped from my slumber...but...hic..."
Alfin came on over and when she was standing in front of me, I suddenly hugged her.
"Ah! Alex, that surprised me."
"Sorry, Princess Alfin...I just wanted to hug someone so I could let it out..." I let my tears fall. "...I turned into an awful monster, it forced me to stand against my friends...sniff. I scared them...but they all came through for me in the end. But...where are they...where are my friends? Where is Emma? Where's my love?! Hiiiiic..."
"Alex..." Alfin replied sadly before she hugged me. "...you don't have to apologize for anything. What's most important is that you're awake and back with us again. I was told about everything that happened a month ago, so I completely understand why you're feeling this way."
I then pulled away and gasped. "What...it's been a month? I was out for that long?!"
"You were. Everyone of us were worried sick for you, when we heard what happened, we feared the worst." Alfin cried as she smiled. "But it's a miracle that you've survived after being unconscious for a month."
"I guess it's because of my part-demon powers that I don't have to be worried about food as much as a normal person would." I hummed. "So you're saying it's been a month, what's actually happened while I was in a coma of sorts?"
"Well, as sad as it is to say, since the takeover in Heimdallr, a civil war has broken out between the Imperial Army and the Noble Alliance."
I sighed... "I had a feeling it was gonna lead up to that. What about my friends?"
"I'm afraid I don't know the details."
"But I'm one guy who does." A voice intervened.
I looked at the door to see a familiar guy walk in.
"You're finally up, you're one lucky guy."
I blinked. "Toval...is that you?"
"Well, I'm glad you didn't lose your memory." He replied. "Good to see you back up. I suppose I should let you know what's been going on."
Toval took a seat and I listened carefully.
"Princess Alfin's already said this, but Erebonia's now caught up in a war and the Noble Alliance has taken control of several cities the closest to Heimdallr. So places like Trista, Roer, Bareahard and Celdic are under control of the Noble Alliance." He explained. "But thier influences are beginning to spread to other places, even as far as the Nord Highlands. Also, Garrelia Fortress is still a smoldering wreck, the only thing there is the view of Crossbell in the distance."
"Crossbell?! So my home city is still okay?" I asked.
"Yeah, the city's safe for now, especially when its old time rival city is protecting them."
"I see...so whereabouts am I anyway?"
"You're in one of the rooms in the Phoenix Wings hotel in Ymir." Alfin answered. "I'm staying here for the time being."
"Ymir...wait, that's Rean's home village, right?"
"Yep and he's the reason why we're here as well." Toval said. "I received a call from an anonymous client sending a location of where Rean fled to, when I did, I got here as fast as I could."
"And how are you here, Princess?"
"I was on board the courageous with my brother Olivert." Alfin smiled. "He and I were the only ones in our family who wasn't at the capital."
I smiled back. "So Olivert was able to avoid being taken, that's good news."
"Oh yeah, another thing to let you know." Toval continued. "After you passed out, the Courageous arrived to save the rest of your class and they were able to get away."
"Oh, thank Aidios for that...I'm so glad they escaped. So where are they now?"
"I'm afraid that's all I know...can't help you there."
I hummed. "Well as long as I know they're safe, I can concentrate on finding Rean."
"Actually, we found him yesterday..."
My eyes opened wide. "Wait...you already have?"
"He's currently resting in his family's home." Alfin answered. "Elise was so worried for him...ahhh, what wonderful love between siblings."
I frowned. "Ummm, I don't think you should be saying those things outright. But anyways, how is he?"
"He's just woken up, currently having a meal to get his strength back." Toval replied. "We also told him to come here and there's someone who wants to meet him."
"And that someone is me, yeah, I got it. I won't move out of this building until he sees me then."
"Good, now eat up this fine food on the tray and we'll see you later." Alfin said as she brought the tray over to me.
"Alright...and thanks, I'll need to recover anyways..."
Toval and Alfin left the room whilst I dined on my late breakfast...and when I was done, I put the tray on a table and moved my body around just to get my movement back into shape before putting on some casual clothes that was left for me. Since its been a month, I'll need to get my fighting abilities back up to speed if I wanna keep up with everyone else. Everyone else...I bet they're just as worried for Rean as they are for me. After a few moments of silence, I heard the door being opened.
"Hello, I was told to come here and...huh?!"
I then turned around and saw him...Rean...and he looked alright and well recovered. I couldn't help but smile back at him and feel relieved that he was alright.
"ALEX!" He called happily.
"Well...it's been a long time, Rean." I replied. "But as you can see, I'm back to normal. It's also cool to see your face again, old friend."
He rushed over and suddenly hugged me.
"Woah! Guess I should've seen that coming..."
"I'm so relieved that you're okay. When I saw you as that...thing, and when I was forced to leave you and everyone else, I..."
"Yeah...me too." I hugged back. "Honestly, I never felt so scared in my life when I was...that. What you saw was a power that I had tried so hard to keep hidden until I couldn't do it anymore and I flipped out."
Rean and I pulled out of the reunion.
"So, does that mean that was your true power?"
"Yeah, I'm afraid it is, and since everyone else in our class saw it happen, there's no point in me lying about it anymore."
"Then, would you be alright in telling me the whole story?"
I shook my head. "Not until we find every one of our friends. Once we do, then I'll tell you everything about it, no more secrets."
"Okay, I'll remember to hold you to that."
I sighed. "So, what is our plan for the moment?"
"Well, it's clear that the both of us still need to recover before we can even think of leaving."
"Not surprised, I may be back to normal, but my full strength hasn't. I can only handle small fry for now."
"It's the same for me. We're gonna be travelling up the north to where Valimar is."
I blinked. "Oh yeah, whereabouts did your knight fly off to?"
"To the Elsguard Range, Celine's currently at the village square."
"Ah, I was wondering if she was with you. At least I'll be able to talk to her when I have the chance."
"We're also going up there to deal with a monster Toval thought he had defeated. There's no way I'm letting it go anywhere near my home."
"Well, sounds like a job for me to get involved in. Good thing my gauntlets are with me, so it's just us?"
"No, we're about to have a quick meeting outside my parent's home."
I nodded. "Got it, then let's get going."
We left the room and I gave my regards to the manager before leaving and heading over to Rean's family home where Rean's parents, Alfin, Toval, Elise and Celine were waiting.
"Well, looks who's decided to finally wake up." Celine said. "It's about time."
"Hello Celine..." I replied. "...I assume you're fine with talking to others now?"
"Of course, Rean's parents have especially been generous with milk."
"Good to see you again, Elise."
Elise nodded, smiling. "Yes, thank Aidios that you woke up. Class VII wouldn't be the same without you."
"Ohhh, I knew it." Alfin clapped her hands. "You fancy both of them, don't you?"
Elise gasped. "Your highness, please?!"
"Anyways, we have some serious work to do." Toval said.
"Yeah, I need to get back into it if I wanna fight again." I agreed.
"Well, this monster might give you that wish." Celine said. "It's a magic knight and Rean was in trouble. We thought we defeated it, but it seems it's back for revenge."
"Are you certain, then?" Rean's dad asked. "That this magic knight or something is coming over here."
"I'm certain. I can sense its mana moving towards us. It's still a fair distance away for now, but it's getting closer by the minute. It's coming from the direction of the valley behind the village."
"Bah...I thought I finished it off." Toval sighed. "I should've made sure."
"Well, we have a chance to right that wrong." I replied. "Sounds like the perfect target for me!"
"Just don't end up knocking yourself out." Celine sighed. "Your powers are severely limited for now, you still need more time before you get it all back, but we're short on time."
"Still, I wonder why it's coming here." Rean said.
"My guess is because you're here. Or more specifically, because the Ashen Awakener is here."
"It's after Rean?" Alfin asked.
"No worries, I'll protect all." I answered, boldly.
"So these magic knights may have some connection with the Divine Knights?" Rean asked. "Well, that makes this easy. If it's after me, then I should be the one to go out and stop it."
"But you'd be putting yourself in danger." Elise said.
"That's why he isn't going alone." I responded. "We'll be with him."
"Right and if I can't do this, what hope do I have of getting Class VII back together again?" Rean asked.
"Alright, we'll leave this in your hands." Rean's dad said.
"We'll have all of the villagers ready to evacuate as a precaution." Rean's mom added. "Take care, Rean."
"Let me come with." Toval suggested. "I doubt I could compare to Sara, but I ain't too shabby in a fight."
"That makes three of us going into the battlefield, sounds cool to me." I nodded. "Now then onwards to-"
"Actually, there's one more." Elise said. "I would like to come with you."
"Sure...wait what? How do you know how to battle?"
"She saved me and Her Highness from more than a few tough spots on our way here." Toval said.
"Teehee, that she did." Alfin added. "And I'm sure she'll be more capable of even more with her beloved brother at her side."
'Damn, she's more devious than before...I feel sorry for her brothers.' I thought. "Personally, it sounds reckless, but if Elise has an ARCUS, then I have no complaints."
Rean sighed. "Fine, you can come with us."
"Oh yeah, Prince Olivert had a few spare ARCUS units, so I gave one to Elise and showed her the ropes." Toval said. "With that settled, let's get going."
We left the village though the north valley path whilst Rean's parents and Alfin stayed. The place was on the cold side, but the casual clothes I was wearing was very warm and comfortable, when I was able to tell that the size was correct, I had to ask.
"By the way, who got me this casual outfit?" I asked.
"Her Highness bought them for you." Elise answered. "Apparently, she wanted to show her 'appreciation' in another way that doesn't embarrass you."
I suddenly had a flashback of when Alfin was trying to hit on me in some way back at Heimdallr during the field study.
"Well, they are a perfect fit and the style's good too. This black vest, the white sleeveless jacket, grey gloves, black jeans and matching trainers make me look like a badass. I'll be sure to thank her as soon as we finish the more serious business."
We then entered into what was my first battle in a month. Time to shake the rusty cobwebs off my body. Rean and Toval got a link forming and eliminated one of the three floating stars. Rean switched his link to me and we defeated a second one. Elise and Rean formed a link and they finished off the third one.
"Whew! That was a nice warm-up." I said. "Just a few more and I'll be up to date."
I was glad that my combat links had not rusted and I do have some of my strength back. We resumed climbing upwards and across a bridge before turning to a higher path and then seeing a large icy area with some kind of stone monument at the far end.
"Wow, I've got the chills and they're not multiplying." I commented.
Rean laughed. "Well, looks like that part of you hasn't changed."
"This is the monument that caused all the trouble you brought up before, right?" Toval asked.
"Even now, I can sense some spiritual power." Celine answered. "And as far as I can tell, everything here's in order."
Suddenly, we heard a loud roar from a while away.
"I wouldn't say it is." I said. "Cause look over there!"
Marching towards us was a giant knight that looked very different from the armored knights I saw.
"How could it be perfectly fine after falling off a damn cliff?!" Toval exclaimed.
"Ancient legends mentioned that they had the power to regenerate." Celine replied. "But I didn't think it held that much merit."
"We have to stop it from reaching Ymir." Rean said.
I drew out my gauntlets. "Alright, time for me to make up for the all the mistakes I've made!"
The battle began and I formed a link with Toval for the first time, I got in several direct punches before Toval pulled out his s-craft skill which looked kinda cool, dealing massive damage. Rean and Elise used their speed effectively, knocking it off balance, giving me the chance to finish it off with my craft skill, Pummel Time.
We knocked it down, but it then got back up with a darker aura and grew two more arms...Toval, Elise and I stood back as Rean called for Valimar, seconds later, it arrived. Rean and Celine ran to it and were teleported inside. The next battle began and we stood back as Rean dished out huge punishment on the giant knight before it vanished away, now it was gone...and it was over, for reals.
Rean and Celine appeared out of Valimar.
"Daaaaamn!" I commented. "You went all out and you kicked ass this time around."
"Thanks." Rean replied. "You didn't get hurt at all, did you, Elise?"
"I'm fine." Elise assured. "I'm more concerned about you."
Suddenly, I heard a distant noise of gunshots.
"What the?!" I exclaimed. "That did NOT sound good at all!"
"Wait...was that gunfire?" Toval asked.
"It sure was to me! We need to get back to the village now!"
"The village...right!" Rean nodded.
We rushed as fast as we could back to Ymir. When I got there first, I gasped seeing many parts of the village in smoke and some of the people running around in panic. I then saw a group of soldiers who had surrounded Alfin and Rean's mom.
I was about to rush in when I saw Rean's dad intervene. I took this as an opportunity to knock one of them out by pummeling the solider.
"Hah! How do you like that?!" I bragged. "What about you two?! If you wanna pick a fight, try taking on someone who can fight back!"
"Is that...the boy?" One of them asked.
"He must be the same one who has the demon lord's power." The other solider answered. "This isn't good."
"Then let's take him down first! He should be weak the way he is now."
I sighed. "You just saw what I did and you believe I'm weak? You guys aren't good enough to be lame comedians."
"That's enough, Alex." Rean's dad said. "I'll handle this, you make sure Her Highness is safe."
I nodded. "Alright...Alfin, stay behind me." I stood in front of her.
Suddenly, a fourth solider had snuck up behind Rean's mom and took her hostage. Rean's dad was annoyed by this...but turning his back was a fatal mistake, the guard I thought I had knocked out had gotten back up and fired his gun.
Rean, Elise, Toval and Celine finally caught up and they were shocked at the scene, Rean's Dad was on the ground in his blood and Rean's mom was on her knees. Rean saw it and he suddenly went crazy, slicing all of the four soldiers down.
"R-rean..." Alfin said.
"Don't get close, Princess." I responded. "Rean's just not himself right now!"
"Targets in sight!" An unknown voice intervened.
I sensed something was fast approaching, I quickly turned to the sky and saw a new foe sweep at me. I leaped back and turned back to see an unusual girl in a black attire with a very familiar floating metal bot, just like the one Millium has. The metal bot grabbed both Alfin and Elise.
"Dammit...you've got some nerve to pull a swerve like that." I said. "But you aren't getting out of here with them, not as long as I have the powers of my fists!"
"Hm?" The girl responded.
"Now, now dear." A somewhat familiar voice intervened.
That was when a flying bird appeared and stood on top of the baron family house before it turned into a woman with a long blue dress.
"There is no need to focus on Alex." She said. "His true powers have not returned to him yet, carry on with your capture."
"Understood, resuming objective." The girl nodded as she flew away with Alfin and Elise.
"Dammit!" I exclaimed. "I'll make sure you get rescued, Alfin and Elise, one way or another." I turned to the woman. "You sound familiar, are you the Misty I heard about?"
"Correct, but you can call me Vita Clotilde now." She answered.
"Grrr...get ready to feel the might of my-owwwww!" I cut myself off after feeling a pain when trying to get to my powers and coughed.
"You see, you haven't returned to full strength yet."
"I hate to agree with her, but she's right." Celine said. "You still need more time to recover."
Vita turned back into a bird and she flew away with the black girl and the captured girls.
"Heehee, our story is well underway." Vita said. "There will be many obstacles waiting for you, but struggle on and overcome them. And I'm sure that, eventually, you'll reach the stage where the Azure Chevalier awaits. Don't let me down, Rean Schwarzer. You too, Alex Lionheart."
'Oh, we'll show you, Vita...we'll show you and the rest of the Noble Alliance what we can really do.' I thought with determination. 'I hereby swear it!
Just to say as well, the reunion parts are gonna be my favorite parts to write.
Next time! The quest to find their friends begins.