Shadowed Heart--Part 1

DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own FFTA or ANY of the characters, classes, races, etc. etc. Llednar is just such a cutie that he needs a hug. And I have set out to give it to him. (pats) Ghaleon, my muse, and Karst, his secretary, are not owned by me--just employed

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a reposted version of the story, hence some of the earlier chapters aren't so good and my old author's notes will still be hanging all over the place. Why? Because I am too busy and too lazy to fix them. So there. Don't want to read them, scroll past them.

She sent me to stop that kid. To keep him from breaking the world, and killing all the people inside it. She told me that she and the prince were depending on me.

I knew that according to her, my life was "dispensable". After all, I wasn't "real". I was an illusion to her, to the prince--she had created me. Even though she'd protected me with the most powerful law ever made in Ivalice, I was still just an old copy. It would be no loss to her, really, if I lived or died.

She--the woman I knew as my mother, Queen Remedi.

Sometimes it's hard to contain the bitterness I feel towards her. I know that she is responsible for callously creating me without the natural ability to be happy. But still, if it weren't for the queen, I wouldn't be alive. And so, in some sad, twisted, impossible way, I love her. Even as I hate her for what she has done to me. I still love her--she is the only parental figure I have ever known.

Still, it was Queen Remedi who sentenced me to almost certain death that day.

My name is Llednar Twem. Impossible twin to Prince Mewt Randell. Misfit of Ivalice. Created from all of the prince's hate, fear, depression, and uncontrollable power. He is no longer capable of such things in large degrees. I am not capable of shyness, happiness, or freedom.

I was created as a last defense against the boy named Marche, who wanted to take away everything that Mewt held dear--this world, the queen, his friends, even me. That was my "purpose" and what I existed for. So naturally, the other palace guards and myself were put in a position to defend Ambervale Chapel against his intrusion.

As the members of his clan fought the members of mine, we crossed blades. I should just have used my power of Omega to wipe him out in an instant, but I wanted to see his power. No... I wanted to be fair. Even though I was a biskmatar, I could still be honorable.

My mistake.

When I first felt that sword pierce my side, it didn't seem like anything bad. What the hell, I could still move all the necessary body parts to put up a fight. But I'd never been wounded in a battle before. I wasn't prepared for the loss of blood, the dizziness, the growing weakness. The laws of fortune always protecting me had kept me from physical harm.

I knew, now... I was in trouble. It grew harder to parry, to block, to strike. I couldn't tap the power needed to use Omega anymore. I landed fewer and fewer blows now. A red haze was beginning to block my vision.

Then... the last strike, glancing off my collarbone and shattering it. I gasped from the pain, falling to my knees. My strength was totally depleted. I was exhausted, but still, I had to drag on the power I could still use... the power the queen had given me... I struggled to get up.

"Ugh... my body... I feel so strange..." Even my voice sounded broken. "I have to keep on... I can't lose... have... to win..." Finally, I was getting the slightest bit of energy back! I could fight again!

The pain came back, sharper than ever, focused at my heart. Was that strangled, terrified cry mine? Something shattered within me, and everything went white.

---

Floating above the floor of the chapel. Couldn't move. Couldn't breathe. Didn't need to. Everything was fading into white. Why was I so afraid?

"So. You failed." It was Remedi's voice.

"Mother..." the choked gasp that escaped my throat was completely pitiful. Why couldn't I move? Why couldn't I see her? Everything was fading out into white now. Where was Mewt? What about the fight? Had I really... was it possible that I could actually lose?

Where was this terror coming from?

"You're dying." She stated it calmly, as though it were an everyday occurence.

What! Preposterous! Me, dying? Impossible! The fortune law...

Oh. Yeah. That. It had been disabled during the fight.

"Why do you think you can't move? Why you can't speak anymore? Why you can just barely see? I would think that you, of all people, should know."

An image formed in my mind, as though I was watching the end of the fight from far off. The replay of my own weakness was bad enough, but then...

After that last blow, my body turned to stone. Stone! Was that why I couldn't...? But it still wasn't over yet... the shell that had been me shattered into thousands of pieces.

My mind was numbed by that image. I could barely think. So that was it, then. But why... why was I still here, if out there, I was already gone...?

"Your soul will fade soon without a body. Not even I can keep you alive for very long. There is only one way that you will possibly survive."

Already the world was beginning to fade away from me. Everything was going white. Out of nowhere, I was given voice again. "NO! NO! Someone... help! I can't! I have to protect the prince! Mother... please! You have to...! Someone...!" Why did that white nothingness frighten me so? Hadn't I been wishing to die since I was born? "Please..."

Mama?-- Mewt! Where was he? That was his voice!

"Yes, dear?"

What's wrong with Llednar? I can't feel his power anymore! You have to help him!--

"I'm afraid it might be too late for that, Mewt..."

"Mewt...!" My voice was growing weaker. If something didn't happen soon...

I don't care! He's my only friend left!-- At least someone still cared for my sake. --Don't let anything bad happen to him, Mama!--

"Mewt, he lost the fight with that horrible boy. Are you sure that you really want such a weak friend?" Remedi's voice was wheedling, as though she wanted to be rid of me. It hurt. My own mother, the woman who had given me birth, was ready to throw me away like a broken toy.

A friend is a friend! Please... please help him!-- Mewt sounded as desperate as I felt. Did he know what had happened to my body...? --If he's hurt badly enough, he'll break, just like the crystals!--

In my blurring, fading vision, the queen was not herself anymore, but a swirling, glittering bluish entity. "If that is what you wish."

There was a heavy pulse in my chest, and I cried out in pain. I hadn't realized that my heart had stopped before then. Another heartbeat. Another. I gasped in a deep breath of air, wincing with the pain of my collapsed lungs reinflating. The white was gone, but my consciousness was spinning away into the darkness, spiraling down and down and down and...

I knew no more.