Breath of Fire 2: Prologue


All he could see was darkness, until an eye, monstrous and frightening opened up. Strangely, he did not feel any fear.

"I do not have enough strength."

"Give yourself to God. Pray to God! Praise God! You must become God's strength."

He awoke from his nightmare, which seemed so appealing, yet so frightening.
* * * *
"Hahaha!" laughter rang out, no different from the sounds of wind chimes. The blue-haired boy smiled to himself. Yua had tricked their father again, avoiding yet another afternoon nap. Though barely a toddler, Yua sure was clever or rather, cunning.

"Yua! Time for your nap!" Ganer Bateson, preacher of the St. Eva Church in Gate and father of Yua and Ryu Bateson shouted. A sigh followed and the boy with azure hair grinned to himself. His Dad was never going to succeed if he did not watch his younger sister more closely. He counted down silently. 3.2.1.

"Ryu! Could you come down for a minute?" Ganer's voice traveled to the boy's room just as he jumped out of his bed, finished with his daydream. Grinning to himself, Ryu Bateson sauntered down the stairs to meet his sheepish father.

"Yua's gone off again, Ryu. Could you go get her for me again? She doesn't like naps, it seems." The silver-haired preacher said with a sheepish expression on his face. Ryu nodded quickly and rushed out towards the mountains, where he knew his sister would go to.

* * * *
" Where are you, sis?" Ryu called out as he trekked through the greenery. After ten minutes of searching, he finally saw his sister standing in front of the legendary sleeping dragon.

" Hey sis." Ryu had barely made a move when he suddenly sensed danger. A monster with a blue spike ball for a body leap out from the bushes to confirm his suspicions and he immediately attacked the creature that was advancing slowly on Yua, a tree branch his trusty sword. The thing simply knocked him aside and attacked him viciously with its beak.

" Watch out, Ryu!!" Ganer's voice rang out and three thick tendrils of electricity crashed directly onto the monster, leaving it charred and blackened. Ryu watched wide-eyed as he stood up, battered and bruised and struggled to his feet. " That was close, wasn't it?" His father said, relief obvious in his voice. "You fought for your sister's safety, regardless of your own. That was very brave, Ryu. I'm proud of you."

" Thanks Dad. But Yua's my only sister after all." Ryu replied with a childish grin. He pointed a dirt-filled finger at the pint-sized girl in front of the dragon, " and there she is."

"Yua! Geez, why did you come here for?" Ganer asked. Looking at the massive dragonhead.

" Yeah. Coz I see Momma in my dweams when I sleep 'ere."

"Your mother, huh?" Ryu swiveled his attention on his father as he felt the intense emotion in his voice. Was it..regret?

" Yeah, coz I see Momma in my dreams when I take a nap 'ere."

" But Yua, Momma's..."

" I know! She's gone to a better place above.."

" Hmm.the dragon is special, isn't it? After all, without its help that day when demons invaded this town, I wouldn't have been able to be standing here, let alone defend the town. If only I had more power your Momma would be still here, with us."

" That isn't true, Daddy!" Yua cried out before Ryu could open his mouth to object to his father's words. " Everyone knows both you and the dragon defended the town together!"

"....Together, huh?" Ganer said thoughtfully, his eyes holding a strange glitter as he stared up at the dragonhead. "Together." He laughed softly and nodded as though accepting the statement as a fact. " Hopefully your Momma shares that feeling too."

" Dad?" Ryu asked with concern. He had never seen his father so.strange before.

"She does! She does! The dwagon told me so coz I can talk to it! Well, sort of." Yua's exclaimed.

"..Let's go, Ryu, Yua. Let's go back home, then we can talk all about Momma, Yua." Garner seem to snap out of his momentary trance and carried Yua back towards Gate. " Come on home before it's dark, Ryu."

"Okay." Came his reply as he watched his father and sister walk away and watched as his sister came running back to him.

"You might dream about Momma too if you sleep here, big brother!" Her words faded as she ran off and Ryu somehow could not shake off the feeling that he might not see his family for a very long time.

But that thought could wait. All Ryu felt was fatigue and he wanted to sleep and rest up, even with Garner's healing. "Mother." Ryu said before pleasant darkness engulfed him.

Darkness. Total, complete darkness. Ryu looked about, trying to find any bit of light.

All he saw was the eye again. Horrendous and ominous, it finally managed to strike the stake of fear into Ryu's heart as he felt the eye stare into his own, looking into his emotions, his memories, his weaknesses.

Ryu woke up with a start, sweating profusely. That couldn't be Mother, could it? He shook the thought off and decided to rush back to the church, seeing that daybreak had already had a head start on him.

* * * *
The curious stares unsettled him as he made his way towards the church. Something was very wrong here. He could sense it. Ryu went up to one of the villagers to enquire about their strange behaviour. " Excuse me, miss. You know me, Ryu Bateson, right? Have you seen my father Ganer or my sister Yua? My father's the preacher of the church."

"Ganer? Ryu? Yua? Never heard of you before, and what do you mean your father's the preacher? Father Hulk has always been the preacher of the church!" The woman exclaimed, genuine surprise shown on her face.

Having no other choice, Ryu decided to enter the church to look for answers. He went up to the Father Hulk and before even opening his mouth, the preacher spun and saw him.

" Young child, welcome to the house of St. Eva. What can I do for you?" The balding man said with a kind voice. Ryu felt the warmth projected and felt hot tears coming out, which did not go unnoticed by the preacher.

" Do you have no family, child? Don't worry, the church will never turn you away, regardless of who you are." The voice seemed to inspire more tears to flow and finally, Ryu's resolve laid in pieces as he wept uncontrollably, thinking of his father and sister.

" Think of this place as your home and rest. Don't worry about anything else."

* * * *

Ryu lay awake, unable to sleep, thinking about his missing family. Where were they? Were they dead or did they travel someplace else? His thoughts were interrupted by another orphan, a dog tribe boy who jumped out of bed quietly to steal the only source of light-a candle from the table. "Sheesh, this place is cheaper than a garbage dump. This are the only things I can find that are of any value at all!"

Ryu's sense of justice overtook him and he jumped out of bed to confront the "orphan", only to be greeted by a smile. " Hi! Don't say anything, now, cause you are probably just like me, right? Act like a poor kid and get into this place then you steal any valuables that can be found, right? But this place is worthless, so we need to get to a bigger village, which is where I am going. You coming?"

Ryu was shocked for a while, but recovered his composure enough to utter a "No." To which the thief replied, "So you think stealing is bad, huh? Well, we gotta do bad things sometimes just to stay alive, ya know. The small crime of stealing isn't gonna put us anywhere in God's bad books, right? I guess you could stay put here and pray to the Almighty! See ya sometime!" And in a flash, the thief was gone.

Ryu frowned hard and began to think. He had nowhere to go, but his family could still be out there, somewhere and he wasn't much of a pious boy. Furthermore, going with the dog-boy could let him travel about and see the world, which was something he always wanted to do. He made up his mind and walked towards the stairs.

Where the dog-boy immediately came up. " Haha, I knew you would change your mind! No old village like this one's gonna hold you in one place, right? Thieves don't belong in churches anyway. Name's Bow. What's yours?" The youth extended a paw, waiting for Ryu to accept his friendship.

"I'm Ryu. Ryu Bateson, Bow." The azure-haired boy took the paw and shook it firmly, smiling as the Dragon Tear around his neck shone a pale green colour. A gift apparently from his mother, Ryu cherished it more than his life. The green colour only meant that Bow was going to be a good friend.

The duo snuck down, Bow snickering at the snoring Father Hulk before Ryu elbowed him to shut up. They stole out of the village like a couple of rats and ran out to freedom. Bow smelled the air as a side reward to their newfound freedom, only to smell rain.

"Argh! There's going to be a heavy downpour, Ryu! Make for the nearest shelter!" He shouted over the thunderstorm, which threatened to drown out his voice.

"Over there!" Ryu hollered, pointing to a cave even as they ran towards the mouth of it. Bow shook his fur furiously as they got into the pitch black cave.

"Hooo, its so dark here. Maybe the candles oughta do the trick." Bow voice rang out in the ominous slience and darkness as the soft light of the candle illuminated part of the caverns. "Let's go, pal!" Bow said as the pair set off deeper into the cave, hoping to find an exit.

"Hey Bow, where did you learn to steal-Whoa!" Ryu tripped over something bulky and uneven and saw a flash of purple skin, unpleasantly alike to the skin around the eye in his dreams.

"What was that? Let's follow it!" Bow exclaimed and ran off in pursuit of the strange thing that had moved off into the cave before Ryu could protest. He sighed and ran off, even as a sense of foreboding advised him otherwise, Ryu couldn't help but feel curious about the "thing" he had disturbed.

The duo walked along, following the "thing"'s trail and finally arrived at a unusually large cavern. In the dim light projected by the candle, they got a close look at the thing they had been following. It was a tail.

And it belonged to the terrifying demon that stood erect at the center of the cavern.

Ryu heard Bow gasp in complete horror at the majestic and yet monstrous being, barely crying out the words 'watch out Ryu' and 'it's a demon' before a flick of the demon's tail sent him crashing into the cavern's walls. He slided down the walls, unmoving.

"Bow!" Ryu cried out and he tried to rush to his friend and help him. But without the candle, the only way he could see was by the unholy purple light projected by the monstrosity. He turned to face the being, trying not to show fear.

"Are you telling me you are the one??" The sinister, whispering voice resonated throughout the cavern, stunning Ryu with its words. At the same time, the Tear flared up with a black colour. " The child for the mission?.Very well, show me what you can do, then!" The demonic being roared and Ryu automatically switched to a defensive stance.

.And found himself flying backwards and grabbed by a what seems to be the claw of the demon. "Open the gate, Ryu. Open it destined one and you will then know the true power of GOD!!" The demon roared as he threw Ryu down, sending mental demonic blast, tearing apart Ryu's soul. He screamed, ignoring all the deep gashes on his body. He screamed and screamed again, tortured by the demonic energies torturing him.

All Ryu felt was extremely excruciating pain, red, then black in front of his eyes. Then, by some miracle, he managed to open his eyes and the last thing he saw was the claw descending upon him with frightening speed.

Then, he knew no more.

As he floundered in the void of his unconsciousness, Ryu felt as though he had awoken from a long dream.

But both his father and sister have disappeared and no one recognized him.

He dreamt of a horrific demon who ripped his heart and body apart.but it remains as a dream.

Yet, he could not deny the existence of the vision as he hears its call within the corners of his mind.A different world.A world of silence and darkness.

He felt himself drawn to this world and moves towards it, feeling both fear and exhilaration. He succumbs and the darkness welcomes him with open arms.

"You are the one!" The demon screeches. Although Ryu denys this, deep within the hidden depths of his heart, he knows that it is true.

His dreams began to take form as reality is left far behind him.

How was it? Please R&R!