Chapter I: The White Sphere
Within the vast wide endless plains there was a thick forest lying somewhere in an unknown terrain. At the end of this misty forest was an enormous bastion where a knight resides, a cold-blooded swordsman...
Tidus was his name.
Now this swordsman was heartless. He never gave a care in the world except for himself. Even his servants and godfather were treated like lesser beings even though they became a part of his life since his years of childhood.
Tidus' heart was empty and merciless. He slashed and wounded several travelers who happened to stumble upon his bastion. He would almost resort to slaughtering them if his godfather and the others weren't there to stop him. He still hasn't slain a single human being, yet he would still consider mortally wounding his victims.
Some time passed...and Tidus' never changed his ways. Still he slashed and nearly killed countless people. He became known as the cold and merciless knight living in the darkness.
The Heavenly White Mage Yunalesca heard of this swordsman. She had heard stories about the cold-blooded slasher residing in a colossal bastion at the very end of the forest. She looked beyond Tidus' heart---there was absolutely no love in it. Yunalesca could not bear this any longer...she decided that it was finally time to change his cold-hearted ways.
One fateful rainy night...Yunalesca glided down before the bastion's massive doorways. Before she knocked, she disguised herself as an old beggar and with her magic, she created a white glowing sphere from the dusty wisps of light which swirled from her hands. The sphere was the size in which it can be easily held in one's hand.
This White Sphere is the artifact that will decide whether Tidus' ways are unforgivable or not.
Yunalesca ,now disguised as an old woman, slowly and limply knocked on the massive doors. The rain was starting to pour harder and colder but still, the door did not open.
Again, Yunalesca knocked and this time, the door unhurriedly opened. She was greeted by a tall man with blonde hair and a strikingly handsome face, yet he did not seem approachable. His blue eyes were cold that one look could make the watcher feel as if his eyes were being pierced.
The blonde-haired swordsman had a muscular body which perfectly matched the strong cobalt sword he always held in his hand. He called the sword Caladbolg.
"What do you want?" Tidus expressionlessly asked the shivering Yunalesca under the appearance of an old woman.
"I wish for a night's stay in this impressive bastion of yours, lad." She answered. "It's raining hard. Surely, you'll let a poor old woman like me rest in your warm fortress."
"I don't care who you are, even if you're just a crazy old woman who didn't have enough sense to think of not walking around in the rain." Tidus coldly and offensively replied. As he spoke, his hand tightened around the handle of his Caladbolg.
Yunalesca was surprised as to hear a response like this from Tidus' mouth. She did not feel offended or threatened for the true test lies ahead.
"Please reconsider, lad." The old woman replied. "I'll even give this to you in return."
She took out from under her wet robes the White Sphere and it flashed throughout the vicinity of Tidus' bastion. The sphere blazed almost as brightly as the sun that Tidus had to shield his eyes to prevent them from being blinded.
Nevertheless, Tidus still did not reconsider...
"Your useless sphere does not interest me, woman." He firmly and coldly answered. His voice was beginning to get hinted with fury. His grip around his Caladbolg tightened and became more compact.
Not a single wave of fright flowed through Yunalesca. She remained standing there under the heavy rain, her hand holding the glowing White Sphere still outstretched towards Tidus.
"Take it... In exchange for a night's stay."
Tidus was even more enraged the moment Yunalesca spoke. He raised his Caladbolg swiftly and he pointed it directly towards the old woman's face.
"Get you and your useless sphere out of my sight before you regret risking physical pain." Tidus threateningly replied, his Caladbolg still pointed straight at Yunalesca's eyes.
It continued raining...and neither Tidus nor Yunaleska moved a single muscle.
"If you don't want Caladbolg to spill your blood, then leave this place. Say another word and I'll probably thrust Caladbolg through your flesh."
Yunalesca was now insulted. She straightened her body up and withdrew the White Sphere. She then drew a long staff from thin air and just as Tidus pointed his sword towards her face, she positioned her staff with the tip pointing towards Tidus' eyes.
"You dare speak to me like that?"
Now Yunalesca's voice didn't sound like that of an old woman's. Her voice changed into something that belonged to a maiden's. Followed by the change of her voice was the appearance of a beautiful White Mage in place of the old woman who was standing there before.
Tidus' heartbeat quickened as the old woman was slowly replaced by the young White Mage. Yunalesca was emitting a gentle yellow glow around her now willowy body. Her staff did not change position since it was still pointed towards the swordsman's face.
"Wh-Who are you!?" Tidus demanded. He held his Caladbolg strongly behind him and shifted to his fighting stance.
"I..." Yunalesca answered in an imposing yet angry voice. "...am your punishment! Over the years you still haven't changed your heartless and merciless ways, and still you resort to bloodshed!"
Yunalesca slowly closed her eyes, withdrew her staff away from Tidus' eyes and raised it to the air.
She began to spin and wave her staff magnificently with her hands. As the staff danced gracefully around her, the rain drops began facing the other direction. The black rain clouds were being blown by the strong wind as if they were swirls of black mist. Bright little spheres of yellow light began flying around Yunalesca's body.
"It's time that I bestow upon you a Black spell. A spell only the most powerful mages such as I can perform."
The rain was now much heavier and colder. The black clouds began to swirl faster and the little orbs of light danced quicker and more swiftly around her.
"YOU WOULDN'T DARE!"
Tidus now raised his Caladbolg and attempted to attack Yunalesca with a slash---
"It is futile..."
---a bright solid disc of light flashed before Yunalesca a second before Caladbolg made contact with her flesh. The sword was deflected with a metallic sound the moment it hit the white light.
"You'll regret approaching me," said Yunalesca
Time stopped and the black clouds slowly and gradually cleared away, leaving an opening for the night sky to see through. It has suddenly stopped raining and the wind abruptly died down.
Through the wide clearing in the sky, a flash of lightning shot through and blasted Tidus with full force.
Tidus screamed in pain. The impact was so powerful that he felt like his bones were on fire. He clutched his whole body as to stop the intense pain from spreading through his body. He felt such agony that his body wasn't strong enough to support him. He slowly got to his knees and he still didn't stop screaming in pain.
"Wh...What are you trying to do to me...?" He weakly breathed out. His voice was faint. He couldn't stand up anymore...
"I'm here to change your ways. You have been cold-hearted and heartless even towards your most faithful servants, and most especially to your godfather. I cannot bear this cold-bloodedness any longer so I have come."
Yunalesca raised her hand and a bright sphere of light generated from the tip. The sphere of light then drifted away from her hands and soared towards Tidus' face.
"Your pain begins...and ends here...Tidus."
Tidus' eyes suddenly flew open.
"How…How did you know my name…?"
"I know everything there is to know."
Before Tidus could say another word, the hovering sphere of light came in contact with the area between his eyes. The pain searing across his body was now gone, only to be replaced by a pain...a pain much more intense and much more agonizing and he could feel it between his eyes.
Tidus was too weak to get to his feet that he had to use his Caladbolg for support. He felt as though a sharp knife was cutting a scar through the skin between his eyes. He touched that spot...only to feel that there was a deep scar etched through the skin between his eyes.
The rain started pouring again. The wind was once again blowing but not as strong and as violently as before. Yunalesca was still standing before Tidus except that there were no little glows of light flying around her body now.
"Starting tonight," Yunaleska began. "that scar will remain on your face. Until you change your heartless ways will that scar exist."
She once more took out the White Sphere her robes and offered it to Tidus.
"This Sphere will decide your time."
Small orbs of yellow light began revolving around the White Sphere like a planets revolving around the sun.
It was not a common sight to see Tidus kneeling on the ground, helpless. He was still clutching Caladbolg to help support him. He was breathing hard and fast after experiencing such pain and agony. Yunalesca's heart softened for she felt a little sympathetic for the swordsman.
She knelt down in front of him and lifted his chin with her fingers to let him look at her face.
"Tidus..." Yunalesca spoke as she looked at Tidus into his weak blue eyes. "You must learn to love and earn that woman's love in return in order for you to break the Black spell. Your servants will also bear the same misery but yours will be the worst..."
Yunalesca spoke more gently now.
"You must succeed in giving and sharing love and embrace them as one of the most precious gifts in life.
Tidus still couldn't stop breathing. Yunaleska still had a firm grip on Tidus chin with one hand and used the other to hold the White Sphere towards him.
"Until this sphere fades into black...it's going to be too late..."