DISCLAIMER: Soul Calibur 2 is the intellectual property of NAMCO, all rights reserved. Distribution of concepts, artwork and any other form of multimedia, without the permission of the appropriate bodies, is strictly forbidden. I, gruesomedaath, am not the creator of Soul Calibur 2. No such permission has been acquired from NAMCO, and as such, am liable for copyright infringements. This fan fiction will be removed upon request of appropriate bodies.
I hate disclaimers, so I copied the one I made up in TFT.
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Cry of a Valkyrie
Chapter 1: On a Wing and a Prayer/ The Journey Begins
I would've hated to see Sophitia see me this way, staggering across the pier like some drunk, but I couldn't help it. Four days on the high seas began to take it toll on the boardwalk as I fell to my knees, vomiting the eggs and pickles I ate for the last four days straight. As I got up, I cursed Poseidon for the huge swells I had endured, making me seasick even on land. This made getting up even harder, not that it was already gruelling with the weight of both shield and sword bearing on my back. I wondered how she wielded them so gracefully when I struggled to even carry them. The gods must truly be with her. Again I cursed the gods.
Ahead, I can see a few vendors, smelling the sweet scent of newly baked bread wafting through the salty air. My stomach grumbled hungrily. I needed to eat. I noticed a few fishermen pass me by, discussing something in a language I didn't understand. Come to think of it, I didn't understand anything. The signs posted all over the harbour, the chatter of old seadogs, nothing. Egypt was nothing like Athens. I halted in front of a food stall, hungrily eyeing the fresh loaves on display, but how do I say what I want? I've handled foreigners at the bakery back at home; they would always use their fingers. With nothing to lose, I followed their example.
Pointing to the loaves, I held up four fingers in my other hand. 'Can I have four of these, please?' I added in. The merchant probably understood, if not my words, then my actions. He moved towards the items and retrieved four loaves and rested them on the counter. He said something in a foreign language I didn't understand, most probably the cost of the bread. I shrugged. 'I'm sorry, I don't understand?'
'He said four silver pieces,' a voice answered behind me. I turned around to thank the man when I noticed him holding a dagger pointed directly at my heart. I froze with fear. 'Give me all your money or I'll kill you.' I didn't move. Three years of training in the Athenian academy was useless with a frozen mind. 'Hurry up! I don't have all day!' Obeying through fear, I reached for my pouch, but as I offered it to him, he didn't accept it. He fell to his knees with a glazed look in his eyes before falling face down in the dirt. A trail of blood ran down his back.
'Rather distasteful stabbing someone in the back is,' the man standing behind him said as he sheathed his sword. The long blade gleamed in the morning light before it disappeared in his casing. He casually stepped over the cadaver and extended a hand to me. 'It's quite rude to threaten ladies,' he commented as I clenched his hand, 'and what an enchanting lady, might I add.'
Sitting by the counter on the tavern, I spent the next few hours talking to the gentleman who saved me earlier that morning. It was a relief to talk to someone so charming as him, all in my language. 'It's nice to talk to a countryman,' I shot over a cup of steaming coffee. 'Especially someone who isn't trying to rob me for my money.'
He lowered his cup and beamed me a smile. 'Well actually, I'm not Greek,' he told me. 'I'm from France, but don't tell anyone.'
I laughed somewhat in disbelief. 'Really? But you speak so fluently…'
'You can blame my father for that,' he joked, but I couldn't help but feel dark undertones in his voice. 'said that Greek was an ancient language. I concluded that he was ancient, and wanted me to be one too. Had I known back then that I would be meeting one of the most charming girl I've ever seen, I would have spent more time doing homework.'
I could feel my face flushing flush. 'Well what brings you to this part of the world? Saving me wasn't part of it, was it?'
'No, just a perk a guess as I begin my quest.'
'Quest?' I asked with an inquiring eyebrow.
'I am on a quest for the legendary sword called Soul Edge. Have you heard of it?'
I immediately began to cough uncontrollably. Did he just say Soul Edge? The same soul Edge that has plagued my family for years? How could he possibly know about it? Shaking my head as I snapped back to reality, I turned to him with a vacant glance. 'Well I've heard of it,' I admitted, 'but thought they were nothing but stories made to scare naughty children.'
He almost fell off his chair laughing. 'Dear god that is precious,' he said. Slowly his amusement subsided as he turn to me. 'No my dear, Soul Edge is as real as you and me- … er, forgive me, my lady. I seem to have lost myself. Enough about me, tell me more about yourself. What are you doing in Alexandria?'
My heart immediately fell in my chest. How was I supposed to answer that? I looked to his sheath and imagined his sword running through me as soon as I tell him I'm supposed to destroy Soul Edge. But what do I tell him? A lie. '… I'm… a… an antique dealer… here on my sister's behalf.' That's probably as close to a truth as I can get.
'Really?' he asked with a sincere sense of curiosity. He pushed himself off his chair and moved behind me. I heard a metallic slither as he drew my sword from behind me. 'Is this for exchange?'
'No,' I bit bitterly.
He scoffed behind me as he inspected the blade. 'Then this must be an acquisition, and a rather fine one at that.' He slid his finger along the grooves studying the engraving along the cutting edge. 'Magnificent, as if forged by the gods themselves.' With this, he returned the sword to its hilt behind me and heaved a heavy sigh. 'It is with great regret that I leave you when I'm just starting to know you, you…' he stopped with confusion evident on his face. 'I apologise, madam. I seem to have forgotten your name.'
'Um… Cassandra. Cassandra Alexandra,' I said as I stood up, holding back a nosebleed.
'Uncanny,' he said as he bent down to reach for my hand. Of course, I didn't resist when he took it. 'Alexandra, like this place, Alexandria. Our meeting was not by coincidence, but providence, my lovely Cassandra,' he cooed as his lips touched my hands. 'My name is Raphael Sorel, and I believe that fate will bring our paths together again.' He lowered my hand before bowing to me a final time then turning around, leaving me speechless at the bar.
Night broke later than I hoped, my aching back demanding rest. I remembered Sorel telling me something about this part of the port. This place was supposed to be riddled with hotels for foreigners. They all seemed the same to me, so I headed for the nearest hotel, but not before feeling something odd. I shot a look over my shoulder, only to see a shadow to disappear in the darkness. I must be more tired than I thought. Shrugging the thought aside, I pushed the door to the closest building.
This couldn't be right, I thought, as I brushed against a woman at the entry. This had to be a brothel. She barely wore anything at all. The skimpy outfit revealed more than it conceal and revealed everything but her most intimate regions, and what proportions. I must've been staring at them because when I looked up, I met her angered gaze.
'What do you want?' she demanded. She produced a hilt of a sword from her outfit, but strangely it bore no blade. 'Hasn't your mommy ever told you not to stare?' Suddenly, as if by magic, shards of light flew through the air from the counter, forming a blade around the hilt. The tip was then raised to my eye. This was definitely not my day.
'I'm sorry, ma'am, I thought this was a hotel…' I staggered, my hands still quivering.
That sorry explanation somehow convinced her to lower her sword… magic thing… whatever it is she pointed at me, then flashed a wicked grin. 'My dear girl, this is a hotel.'
Without a doubt, today was the worst day of my life. I had been nearly robbed, threatened twice, and worst of all, I still had no leads as to where Soul Edge was. How Sophitia ever tracked it down and destroyed it was truly the work of the gods. But that had to wait. Falling upon the delicate sheets of my bed, my skin felt brushed softly against the satin covers with a sensual touch, allowing my troubles to melt away in the night air. This was what the Elysian Fields must be like. A knock rapped against my door, shattering the silence and my blissful rest. 'Who is it?' I grumbled. This was answered by a louder more insistent thumping at my chamber door. Reluctantly, I got up from my bed, grabbed my sword and marched towards the door opening it. There was nobody there. A prank? Do people in this hotel derive pleasure by depriving others of it? I swore to the gods to pay back those pranksters if I ever catch them. Wit malice still in my mind, I closed the door.
Without warning, the light of my candle blew out of existence, sending a cold chill to shoot up my throat, only it wasn't the wind. The sharp edge of a blade bit deeply into my neck, threatening to break the skin with any further pressure. For the third time today, my life was threatened. 'What do you want?' I whined, fingering the hilt of my sword. I prayed for one moment of hesitation, that was all I need to turn the tide. I didn't get it.
'Who did you steal that from?' a woman's voice answered through the dark.
'I didn't steal anyth-' finding the blade cut through my skin, I stopped immediately, my sword falling from my grip.
'You lie!' she insisted bitterly. 'I know who owned this sword and shield, and it certainly isn't you, antique dealer.'
'Alright, alright, I don't own either,' I conceded with a blade against my neck. 'I stole them from my sister.'
'You lie again!' she screamed, yet she didn't cut my throat off. 'What is her name?'
I struggled against the duress. 'Alexandra… Sophitia Alexandra. I'm her younger sister, Cassandra Alexandra.' All of a sudden, I fell on my knees on the cold wooden floor, wheezing and rubbing my free neck. I turned to the shadow that held me in the corner, but the silhouette was indistinguishable. 'How do you know about the sword and the shield?'
A moment of silence passed before she could answer in an anxious tone. 'She destroyed Soul Edge, and I helped saved her life… what is she doing sending out an amateur to battle against evil in her stead?'
I grit my teeth. How dare she call me an amateur!? It took everything I had to restrain myself and focus on her question. 'She's doesn't know anything. I said I stole the weapons. I have to do this for her.'
She scoffed mockingly. 'Why? Why would you do this?'
'She has a family of her own to take care of, and if you were a mother, you'd know that it is in itself a battle of its own.' She didn't answer for a long while, so I pressed on with my reasoning. 'The gods are cruel to send her thrice. Her old wounds burn every time she gets near one of those shards, how can you expect her to fight?'
'You are not ready,' the shadow repeated. 'Just stay out of my way, I'll destroy Soul Edge on my own.'
With this she began to move towards the open window, but I quickly got up and blocked her path. 'I just can't stand and do nothing!' A glint of moonlight lit her saddened face. It was as I remembered a long time ago, reflecting the same pain.
'Fine,' she gave up, heaving a sigh. 'Meet me at the temple ruins by midday. A holder of a shard lies there. You will just observe me fighting, you will not interfere, otherwise I'll have to take you home and bury you. Is that understood?'
The next morning began with a promising aura. I knew where I had to go, the only problem to that is how do I get there? The temple ruins were two day's walk away, I had to be there in half. I needed a horse, only I didn't know how to ride, or to ask anyone for help. Looking around the local stables, I began to lose hope. 'Is anyone heading to Giza?' I asked. There was nothing to lose by asking, and as fortune would have it, there was someone who heard.
She was young, probably younger than me. She wore a blue dress that flowed like water, and sat atop a horse as large as any I've ever seen. She approached me with a huge smile across her face. 'Yeah! I'm headed for Rome, I could drop you on the way.' She said, extending me a hand.
I grabbed it and pulled myself up. 'Thank you,' I told her.
'So what are you doing at Giza?' she asked, whipping her horse to motion.
I held tight against the horse's mane as it began to gallop across the streets, taking massive strides. 'I'm meeting an old friend of mine.'
'Me too!' she said, holding tightly to the bridle. 'We haven't met in seven years.'
'So what's your name?' I asked with the wind in my face.
'You can call me Chai… Chai Xianhua.'
'My name is Cassandra,' I paused, slow to realise something. 'How come you know how to speak Greek?'
'I've been there before, seven years ago in fact.'
This seemed to upset her. 'I was looking for something, but it seems that I failed…'
Riding a horse for half an hour was like riding a boat for four days. If there were a god amongst horses, I would curse him until the day that I die. My butt ached long after I waved the rider goodbye, and was deep within the catacombs. This place gave me the creeps. The ghosts of its keepers my have stayed long after their corporeal forms rotted with time. But there was someone else, I could swear I heard the distinct sound of metal clashing against each other. My heart began to race as I ran towards the sound.
What I saw next would be burned into my consciousness for eternity. I stopped deep within the catacombs where a pit surrounded an arena. There, two warriors clashed fiercely. One was the strange woman I saw last night. Seeing her blaze with the light of day was a humbling sight, I was glad that I didn't fight her last night. I would have died. However I wasn't sure she was going to survive against her opponent. The second warrior was neither man nor woman: a beast ablaze with flame with an ominous eye dwelling where one's stomach should be. It moved like Taki, bore the same weapons.
Both warriors moved with amazing speed. The warrior girl, the one named Taki began to circle the creature as if stalking it. This didn't work as the beast drove its foot deep within her stomach, winding her. I couldn't watch, she was sure to die with the next stroke. I should have had more faith. As the beast waved blade across, aiming at her chest, but only found empty air. Taki had jumped above the blade her feet striking the beasts head. It crumpled to the floor like a sack of flour. She moved in for the final blow.
Lightning coursed through her body as she crept up to the monster before she reached behind her, grabbing both blades. 'Evil…' she began with low voice. 'BEGONE!' Her swords were covered in flames, tearing through the thick hide of the beast, crumpling lifelessly onto the floor. It didn't move. Casually, she bent over the cadaver and reached within the incision. I cringed for her. Her hand stayed within the beast for another second before taking out a familiar shard that glowed a brooding evil. It was a shard of that loathsome Soul Edge.
'That's fantastic!' I screamed to her. She shot a look of caution in my direction. 'You're awesome!'
'And you're late,' she added to my disdain. My face flushed immediately with embarrassment.
She began to walk towards the pit. I screamed in shock. 'No! Watch out!' I should have trusted her more.
With a leap that shamed our greatest athletes, Taki jumped right over the pit, landing a few centimetres in front of me. 'These were one of the easier fighters; you cannot fight against other more powerful warriors. Your sister dealt with them easily, you on the other hand couldn't even handle a simple thief.'
'You were at the pier?' I gasped!
'That man you were talking to was charming, but he too will die, as will you if you carry on. Your sister couldn't go on the quest, neither could you, so I'll destroy the blade myself.'
'No. End of discussion. You will leave on the next ship sailing for Athens.' She grit her teeth angrily before turning around. 'Pitiful.' With a nod of her head, she raised a fist into the air and slammed it into the ground. A puff of smoke and she was gone, leaving me alone with the corpse of the monster. I sighed with disappointment and began my long trek to Alexandria, when I heard something. A loud crash behind me. I quickly turned around. The cadaver was gone. My heart began to race in my chest. Shards of flaming metal flew across the antechamber and in the lead was a large ominous eye, flying in my direction. I quickly rolled to my sidee, narrowly dodging the spiralling wraith. It stopped a few meters away, giving me time to draw my shield and sword from my back and readied myself in a fighting pose. The thing began to spin, then exploded with light, blinding me for a second. By the time I saw it, my jaw dropped.
It was standing in the same pose at me, more surprising though, were the weapons it bore, exactly the same as mine. What is this thing? I only knew one thing, it was going to kill me. My eyes narrowed as I moved in to make the first strike.
'Watch out!' I screamed as I charged in slashing my sword through the air, aimed directly at the monster's head. I should have known better. I would have stood aside and watch me hurtle to open space. It did just that. My head turned to track the beast as I rushed by, my sword finding only empty air. I promptly ducked, missing the blade by an inch, cutting a few strands of my hair. This wasn't good at all. It knew everything I knew, this was both its strength and its weakness. Nobody knows my strengths and weaknesses better than me, or did I? I decided to wait for it to make the next move. This was my second mistake.
It ran with blinding speed to me, just as I did. Was it going to do the same thing as me? I decided that it was and raised my sword to strike it in it's weak spot. It didn't however. Instead it ducked beneath my sword and slashed across my body. I reeled back, clutching the slash across my left arm. Crimson trailed across my white gauntlets, finding its way to my shield. My teeth grit. Taki was right, I was going to die, but if I were, I'll be damned if I died without a fight.
Again the beast rushed towards me, but I stepped aside and watched as it's blade narrowly missed my legs. I had no time to celebrate; ducking beneath another blow, then raised my shield to block another. It followed with a flurry of slashes and stabs, all missing me. What is happening? What's going on? It's almost as if it wasn't me fighting. My blade came up to clash with the doppelganger's then I thrust my shield, slamming it into his face. It crashed to the floor a few metres away. I was winning.
I raised the sword effortlessly, it raised its shield accordingly, only my blade didn't slam into it, instead stabbing into its foot. Again it crashed into the floor, both of us confused at my sudden dexterity. That moment quickly passed as it rose with its wound healing before my eyes. This couldn't be good. I quickly regained composure, closing in for the kill. I stepped in, raising my sword. This time it ducked to block an earlier similar attack, only to find the edge of my shield in its face. It rose quickly as if nothing happened. This was getting worse with each successive blow. I had to end this, and soon.
Only turn your back on a corpse, I remembered my teacher saying. I was hoping it knew that. I waited as it approached me, waiting for the right moment. It came sooner than I thought. Immediately I turned around, turning as if dancing. Behind me, it began to thrust its sword, hoping to find my heart. Unfortunate for it, its sword found my shield instead as I deflected it, completing my turn by stabbing it deeply within its belly, right into the evil eye. The flame immediately died, the sword and shield fell lifelessly on the floor. I won. My first kill lay limply on the sand, and I hope for the final time, yet my blade glowed. It had something to do with Soul Edge. I was slow to realize it. It armoured hide was made of shard from Soul Edge. This couldn't be good. Even dead it caused me problems. The rare ore began to shrink, the eye melting onto the floor, leaving six crimson shards lying on the floor. Slowly I bent down and gathered them in my hands, these loathsome shards which I swore to destroy. What was I supposed to do? How was supposed to destroy it? All answers I desperately needed, all of which I had to wait for.
I suddenly felt faint, my arm was still bleeding. A metallic clatter sounded as my sword and shield fell to the floor as I clutched it. The monster's blade was coated with poison. My vision blurred, my mind went blank. I faltered to my knees with barely enough strength to fight the darkness. Another moment and I was breathing dirt. This couldn't be the way die. With the last of my strength, I turned to the clear sky, and cursed the gods a final time. 'Why have you forsaken me?' It was then the darkness took hold.
'You have turned against us, yet we turn not from you. We have been with you and will always be by your side. Our blessing will flow through you and your family for the love you have shown to them is boundless, as our love for you is boundless. Take your sister's sword and cut through the darkness. We will be there when you find the light.'
'Who are you?' I whispered beneath my breath. A surge of pain shot through my arm. Pain can only be felt by the living… my eyes shot open, finding a familiar face staring back at me. Another jolt surged through my arm, forcing me to bite my lip. I felt her hand fall upon my shoulders, urging me to lay back on the bed.
'I shouldn't have let you fight Charade,' she said as I returned to my initial position. A smile crept up to her features. 'How do you do it?'
Struggling with the sting in my arm, I crack an eye open to see the woman's raised eyebrow. 'I don't know…'
'These gods of yours are truly fascinating… sending the weak to strike at the strong.'
'Who are you calling weak?' I hissed through my teeth. 'I spent three years training at the Athenian Academy…'
'You spent your life baking bread,' she countered. 'Which makes things all the more confusing.' That made two of us, though I kept it to myself. She was right; there was no way I could fight like that. Which begs a final question: how did I fight like that. An eerie sense overcame me, one that told me that I already knew the answer to that question, that the gods were guiding me.
To be continued…
Author's notes: I recently bought SCII and think it kicks ass! I felt sorry for Cassandra upon reading her stuff, hence this fan-fiction. If there are any Charade fans out there, I apologise.
I only got the game a few days ago. Before that I bludged off my friend's house! Still I don't know much, like how many pieces of Soul Edge Charade consists of, so I took a guess and said seven. Anyone who has read my other fic should know I love the number seven.
Anyway, I hope the characters aren't too OOC.