Note to all…I do not own Tales of Symphonia and related locations

Black Roses

CHAPTER SEVEN

He glanced at the others a bit before racing off in the direction the scream had come from. He felt guilty that Raine and the others saw him as an alcoholic.

You should feel guilt… there was that voice again.

'I do' He thought back

Why don't you stop?

'Because…I don't know what else to do! How can I live with my memories?'

With courage and self-respect…

'Easier said then done' he thought darkly

Yet somehow you were able to live like that a hundred years ago…

He shook his head snapping himself out of his thoughts. He needed to focus on the situation. He stopped when he saw the danger and drew his swords. It was another creature from Gardoon Dahami a world that had long ago fallen to darkness. The creature resembled a horse except this horse had its left eye dangling out of its socket; blood seeping from its mouth and its hide had been removed exposing the muscles, bones and organs. It reeked of decay.

"Oh my god!" Raine muttered. He shrugged.

"Its only a horse."

"It's a horse?" Kratos asked narrowing his eyes "Well I'll be…it's a horse"

The horse turned and let out a high pitch neigh running at them. Lloyd sighed and raced at it excepting the danger. It appeared that they would run head on but Lloyd side steps at the last second and ran his blade across the animal's legs. The horse fell screaming, its legs twitching. It struggled to get up but with no success. Lloyd calmly walked up to the creature and finally stabbed it in the heart. The horse died and Lloyd wiped the blood off his blades with a rag he had taken from the bar. Dodage blinked and grabbed the bottle that Raine was holding taking a deep gulp.

"What. Where. How. Since when…" Raine struggled to find words.

"Where is this creature from?" Kratos asked…he was the only one besides Lloyd who was calm enough to speak.

"Gardoon Dahami." Lloyd muttered putting his blades away and throwing the rag on the carcass of the animal.

"I've never heard of this Gardoon Dahami…" Raine whispered finding her voice… "Where is it?" Lloyd glanced around at the crowd that was starting to form.

"Let's talk somewhere private. Where we wont be overheard."

"What about-" Dodage began pointing at the carcass.

"Someone will take care of it."

They entered the hotel and Ashley glanced at them as they made their way to their room.

"Lloyd!" She called. Lloyd paused and glanced at her. She threw him something and he caught it. He glanced down and saw a key. He smiled.

"Thanks."

"Yeah…no problem! I need that room empty by the afternoon!"

"And it will be." Lloyd replied.

"This isn't the room we had last night." Dodage noticed as they entered a door near the back. Lloyd nodded as he pulled the key free from lock. "What I need to talk to you guys about could cause a panic if someone overheard."

"Important eh?" Dodage whispered "Evil Even and Gardoon Dahami?" Lloyd nodded and Dodage entered first followed by Raine, Genis, Kratos and lastly himself. He locked the door behind and turned staring at the others.

"Ask away and I will see if I can answer your questions." Raine spoke first.

"Where and what is Gardoon Dahami?" Lloyd walked away from the door and took a seat. The others awaited an answer.

"I'm not sure where exactly it is but I do know that it's not anywhere near here…Hmm maybe in another galaxy…That is a question I often find myself asking Risk…he's usually just like. 'How am I suppose to know?' or 'not here'."

"Wait Risk knows about this?" Genis asked.

"Yeah…as well with Ashley…it's a long story of how they found out… so lets just leave it at that." They nodded…

"Please continue…what is Gardoon Dahami?" Raine asked pulling out a book and taking notes.

"It was a world that was much like ours. The sun shined on it during the day and the two moons at night…the living went to sleep and woke up to embrace a new day…The main species there was called the Ophigt and they were equal in intelligence as we are. They used weapons similar to swords but they called them something else…uhh…I can't remember the name…" Lloyd closed his eyes as he tried to think. "A war started hundreds of years ago between the Ophigt and a group of…I'm not sure what to call them. But Evil Even led them…The Ophigt fought for two hundred years before they lost and became extinct…The rest of the living things were twisted into evil, hated creatures that still to this day don't know right from wrong…" Lloyd opened his eyes and stared at his companions. Dodage took a deep breath. "God I hate Evil…I've served under him for a hundred and eight years and I never got use to his cruel nature."

"You served under him for that long…why aren't you dead?" Genis asked. Dodage shrugged.

"I have no clue…"Lloyd looked at them.

"Anymore questions? Or can we leave?"

"Yes…actually." Kratos said "Why and for what purpose are they here and how did they get here?"

"They are here for the Eternal sword…it's the only power that's able to achieve whatever Evil Even is after…I know somehow that this is connected to Rose Bellflower but I just can't figure out how…" Lloyd pondered for a minute before giving up and continuing his explanation. "They get here through a sort of a rift between this world and Gardoon Dahami I'm not sure how it works but it does…"

"Where is this rift?" Raine asked. Lloyd stared at her…

"Its in the Tower of Mana…its creepy…you can see the other world."

"Is that where we are heading?" Kratos asked.

"Hell no…" Lloyd hissed "Not now anyway. Were going to meet up with Risk in Luin…"

"Why Risk?" Dodage asked twirling the empty bottle on a desk.

"I have to ask him a thing or two."

"About what?" Dodage wondered staring at him.

"THAT is none of your business." Lloyd said coldly.

"How did you achieve this information?" Dodage asked

"I went willingly into Gardoon Dahami to get at the very least an idea of what was held on the other side…" Lloyd shivered "It was indeed a risk with many consequences but in the long run it was worth it."

"…Let me guess you took up alcohol after you got back?" Dodage whispered "Hell, I was only there for a day and it drove me to crime."

"Five months was the time I spent there before I felt I had the information to leave…" Dodage dropped the bottle he was holding.

"Are we talking about the same place? The blood red seas? The trees that kill anything near? The decaying ground? The buildings made of bones? The trapped tortured spirits that walk the surface and thattake the soul from your body upon contact? The venomous water and-"

"YES!" Lloyd snapped, "Yes that place!"

"That doesn't sound like a happy place?" Genis whispered "Its sounds horrible…"

"Don't worry if you need a guide to get through that place I know it better then my home." Lloyd smiled. "I wandered wherever I could and memorized everything I saw…I willing to bet that I know that place better then Evil Even." They didn't looked comforted about that news…

-

Another chapter bites the dust and kisses the ground! I don't know if my story is heading in the right direction…and I beg people to review! It encourages me beyond words…Please…I need your words to help me keep my feet on the ground.

Special thanks to the Reviewers who have reviewed me up to now…THANKS!