Chris: Yo, this is my first Atelier Iris fic. About the Knights of Alkavana! They are awesome. Also, this occurs after the game, where they're all reformed and stuff. So there might be spoilers. Not in this chapter, but later ones, maybe.
Disclaimer: Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is not mine. Nippon Ichi Software is not mine, however much I would want it to be. Cause if it was, I'd make them send out more copies of Disgaea so everyone can realize that it's the best SRPG in the world.
Chapter 1: Aftermath
"Listen up, Knights of Alkavana!" Beggur's loud voice echoed inside of the temple where the Knights had set up their headquarters. The fierce, brown-haired leader pointed his wide, double-edged sword at his knights. "It is our duty to protect this city, especially after the disaster that occurred! We must be forever vigilant, understand?"
"Yes, sir!" Ein, a fiery teenager with bright red hair, saluted. His bright blue eyes glinted with anticipation and he patted his bastard, or hand-and-a-half, sword that was attached to a belt on his side.
"Of course." Zwei, Ein's unofficial partner, saluted as well. The calm and collected knight adjusted his open faced helmet and checked to make sure that Ein didn't get out of hand. Since Ein was easily tricked into doing something stupid, Zwei was often tasked into getting Ein out of trouble. The blond-haired knight took his duties in stride, but he still didn't like being Ein's partner.
"Mmm…Yep." Drei munched on a small roll that the owner of the magic shop, Veola. People might have wondered if the knight was suicidal, but it turned out that the roll that Drei had bought was one of Veola's good ones. As you could probably guess from his plump figure, Drei loved to eat. In fact, his traveling pack was filled with food, instead of important things like medicine and weapons. But, as the brown-haired knight was wont to say, food heals people too and if it gets too old, it can be used as a weapon as well.
"Anything you say, Beggur dear." A woman with long, silver hair stretched and slouched in her chair languidly. She was Vier, and she joined the knighthood for the simple fact that Beggur was in it. Hell, she'd have been a janitor if Beggur was her boss. Vier wasn't that fond of doing knightly work and often concentrated more on trying to capture Beggur's attention. And failing miserably at it.
"I'm right on it!" A young girl said enthusiastically, adjusting her glasses. "And Tonta is gonna help too, right?" She looked at a small bristle-haired pig lying on the floor. The pig grunted happily. "We're all set!" Neun, the youngest member of the group, was also the most enthusiastic about the whole knight thing. While Ein and Zwei were also dedicated to the idea of knighthood, Ein was too hot-blooded and Zwei was too resigned. Unfortunately, however, Neun was also the unluckiest girl around. Bad things just happened when she was near. It didn't faze the sandy-haired girl however.
"I'll do my best!" One of Alkavana's new recruits, a black-haired boy named Kalin, saluted and dropped the small book he had been holding in his hand. Kalin had joined after the earthquake that had devastated half of Kavoc and was instantly overwhelmed by all of the work he had to do. Still, he admired the knights for all of their hard work, although earlier it could be said that the Knights did absolutely nothing. Kalin was an easygoing and light-hearted boy and could be said to be the complete opposite of Ein. He was also immensely interested in the workings of alchemy and magic and read any books he could find on the matter.
"Huh? What? Sure!" Silve, another new recruit, yawned and put her hand to her mouth to cover it, only to have it clank against her helmet. Scowling, she took it off and began rubbing her eyes sleepily. As you could probably tell, the auburn-haired girl was usually very sleepy and one could often find her sleeping on duty. Sure, she was committed to the knightly duties, but that was only when she was awake. She adjusted the long-handled axe that was strapped to her back and settled down to fall asleep again.
"Stay awake, Silve!" Beggur roared and Silve jumped in her seat, muttering excuses. "Now, everyone knows your assignments? Then let's move!" Grabbing his giant two-handed sword, he pointed it towards the door. "CHAAAAARGE!" The leader of the Knights of Alkavana ran at full speed and crashed through the door, yelling battle cries at the top of his lungs.
"I thought we were going to help clean up the city." Kalin looked at Zwei, who shrugged.
"Let him have his fun. He's the commander, after all." Zwei removed his helmet and set it on a chair. "Think we need these? I mean, it's just manual labor."
"Of course we need them!" Ein shouted. "Who knows when we'll be under attack by the forces of evil! We must always remain prepared!"
"Earlier, we were the forces of evil, remember? Come on, hotshot, let's go." Zwei sighed and grabbed Ein's arm, dragging the fiery knight along with him.
"Let's go, Neun. Maybe we can find Beggur somewhere. That would be a dream come true…" Vier sighed dreamily and walked out of the church in a half-daze, searching for her one true love.
"W-Wait for me, Vier!" Neun scratched her head nervously and followed after the silver-haired knight, Tonta following after her.
"We might as well go now." Kalin muttered. He grabbed his halberd and was all set to leave when he realized he was the only one. Grumbling curses under his breath, he shook Silve by the shoulder. "As in today!"
"What? What is it? I was sleeping!" Silva, startled by her abrupt awakening, jumped from her seat and immediately saluted the air in front of her.
"Over here." Kalin tapped Silve on the shoulder and the auburn-haired knight spun around. "Come on, while we're still young."
"Right, right." Silve checked to make sure her axe was still attached to her back and set off with Kalin.
"Mmm….Yum, yum. What else do I have in my delicious pack of mine?" Drei reached into the leather sack and felt around. What he found shocked him to the core of being. He. Had. No. More. Food. Stifling a gasp, he immediately left to restock his supplies, even intending to walk all the way to Arcose so he could grab all of its famous bread and candy. As it was, however, he had to be content with Norman's and Veola's food, since he wasn't allowed to leave the city.
"Huff…Huff…Sometimes I wish that Ein was right and that monsters would attack the city. I'm tired from all of this rock lifting." Kalin panted as he slumped down on a rock. "It might be easier if someone would stop sleeping!" He pushed Silve and the girl woke up again.
"Heh…Sorry Kalin. I was just thinking about how pretty and peaceful the sky was and….Zzzzzz…."
Kalin pushed Silve again. "Hey! Wake up!"
Silve's eyes snapped open and she flushed, embarrassed. "Maybe I'd better just…Go help pick up some of the rubble."
"That'd be nice." The black-haired knight gave a sigh and rested on a rectangular piece of stone. "What made you join the Knights of Alkavana?"
"Why do you ask?" Silve muttered, heaving a small piece of rubble onto a pile that was slowly increasing in height.
"Just making small talk."
"Well, fine." Silve wiped a hand on her sweaty forehead and settled down on the floor. "I actually have no idea why I joined. I guess it's just that I was looking for something to do in my life and the Knights seemed to have the most allure. Other than that…" She shrugged. "What about you?"
"Well, my mother told me stories of the knighthood. You know, when they were valiant and served the cause of righteousness. Not like earlier, when they were a pain in the ass. When they changed…I just decided to see if I could make my own dreams in the stories. To be one of those Knights that served for good. Call it idealistic or stupid, I don't care, but being a Knight was one of my goals in life." Kalin sighed and pushed himself up. "Even though this isn't really…knightly work, I must do my best, knowing that what I do benefits all."
Silve stared at the black-haired knight for a while, slightly confused by Kalin's dedication. Shrugging mentally, she got back to her work. Silve tossed aside a piece of rubble and blinked when she saw what lay underneath. "Yo, Kalin. Do you know what this is?"
Kalin moved over to her to see what she had found and his eyes bugged out. "Silve, do you know what you found?"
"Uh…No…" Silve stared at the glowing piece of stone, shaped in the figure of a piece of chocolate candy.
"It's a Mana Stone! Oh wow! I can't believe this!" Kalin picked up the stone almost reverently, holding it above his head. The stone pulsated with a blood-red light. "Man, if I was an alchemist, I could synthesize this stone and turn it into pure Mana energy! This is so cool!"
Silve stared at the overexcited Kalin, looking at the knight as if he had gone insane. "Oh…right. You like alchemy and magic…"
"It's so awesome how people can do stuff like that! I wish I could…" Kalin slumped to the ground. "But maybe I will be able to someday!" He pocketed the glowing stone and stuffed it into one of his pockets. Kalin returned to his work with vigor, eager to see if he could uncover any more Mana Stones that might be buried within the rubble.
"Sure, why not? I mean…What does it take to be an alchemist? Other than lots and lots of study and a connection with the Mana elements…" Silve joined Kalin in removing the rest of the stones. Sure, she wasn't as interested in the Mana Stones, but it certainly was amusing to watch Kalin as he found one.
"Ein, that's a dog!"
"It is not!" Ein's voice rang out. "It is hideous spawn of evil that has come to destroy our fair city!" The flame-haired knight drew his sword and waved it at the puppy threateningly. "Leave, foul demon!"
"Heh heh…Sorry folks, my partner's just…Yeah." Zwei chuckled nervously and pulled Ein away from the dog, muttering threats under his breath. He turned back to the people who had gathered around and waved them off. "Nothing to be worried about."
When the remaining people had departed, Zwei whirled on Ein. "Dude, what the hell are you doing?"
"Sorry, Zwei! I was just trying to protect the city!" Ein said sorrowfully. "I didn't mean to cause a commotion.
"Yeah, yeah…I know. Sheesh…Can you at least…You know, keep it reasonable? We're Knights of Alkavana. We're here to keep the peace, not destroy it." Zwei ran a gauntleted hand through his blond hair.
"Yes, Zwei…" Ein looked at the ground, shamefaced.
"Sigh, come on. Let's go check to see if any bandit gangs want to attack the city. Maybe that'll cheer you up." Zwei patted the younger knight on the back and smiled as he watched Ein immediately cheer up.
"Yes! For Alkavana! For Kavoc!" Ein roared a battle cry and rushed outside of the city limits, his sword held high above his head. Zwei watched him in amusement before shaking his head and following after the flame-haired knight at a more sedate pace.
"Why, hello, Delsus." Beggur glared at the dark-brown haired man. "What are you doing out here?"
"Sheesh, can't I guy just go for a leisurely stroll through the Kavoc sewers?" Delsus shrugged and adjusted his sunglasses.
"Not when Beggur is around! I repeat, what are you doing here?" Beggur pulled out his sword and pointed it at Delsus. "You better not be stealing anything!"
"ME? Steal? I am outraged that you would think that way!" Delsus gasped and played the wounded actor, placing a hand over his heart. "Sir, if you dare suggest that I would steal!" Delsus gasped again as he said the word steal.
Beggur's eyebrows contracted at the leader of the Knights of Alkavana glared at the crossbowman. "Don't think I haven't forgotten your earlier hijinks, Delsus!"
"No, no. Of course you wouldn't." Delsus smiled and placed a hand near his sunglasses. "Truth be told, I wanted to see if there were any treasures hidden in here."
"Treasures?" Beggur let out a haughty laugh. "Treasures! Delsus, this is even more ridiculous than usual!"
"Oh? What about this?" Delsus pulled out a small stone that pulsed with a yellow color. "I found it in a niche in the sewers. Think I'm lying about treasure now?"
"Foolishness!" Beggur spluttered. "Luck of the draw! But if you insist on searching, then go ahead! However, you must remember that all treasures belong to Kavoc, as this is the Kavoc sewers!"
"Right, hard head, right." Delsus muttered and walked past Beggur, who shook with indignation upon hearing Delsus' new nickname for him. The knight sheathed his sword and stomped his foot on the ground angrily.
"Remember, Delsus! REMEMBER!" Beggur roared.
"Hey Veola! Look what I found!" Kalin rushed into the magic shop, holding three Mana Stones, all different colors. His face was lit up with joy and Silve, who had come in a couple of seconds later, wore an amused smile on her face.
"Huh?" Veola looked up from the cookie she was eating. "Oh, Mana Stones."
"Yeah, isn't that amazing?" Kalin clutched the gems to his chest as if they were sacred treasures. "Oh boy, what if I see a Mana elemental? That would make this the best day of my life!"
Veola looked at Silve, who just smiled and shrugged. Sighing, Veola turned to Kalin. "Are you serious?"
"Well, of course! I mean, if I study up enough on the Mana elementals and alchemy and magic, I'm sure to be an alchemist someday!" Kalin's eyes widened, picturing himself as a famous alchemist or magic user.
"…It takes more than studying. You'll actually have to find an elemental first." Veola said, her pessimistic nature dampening Kalin's spirits.
"Yeah…I know…But still! This is just so awesome!" Kalin stared at the gems in his hands again.
Seeing as she couldn't make Kalin give up hope, Veola sighed. "Look, maybe a real alchemist can help you." She flushed slightly. "Klein's coming to visit soon…Maybe you could come."
"Klein? The world-famous alchemist? Oh, wow! That would be awesome! Thanks a lot, Veola! I won't forget, I promise!" Kalin dashed out of the magic shop, running to his quarters in the back of the Alkavana HQ. Silve stayed behind, still smiling.
"Klein huh…? I bet there's another reason you know he's visiting." Silve teased.
Veola flushed even more. "The store is closed! Get out before I have to bomb you out!" She picked up one of the bombs she created and held it menacingly.
"Okay, okay! I'm out!" Silve laughed and rushed for the door before Veola could throw the bomb. The magic shop owned sighed and placed the bomb under the counter. It was a dud anyway. Veola placed her shoulders on the counter and continued munching on her cookie. She remembered Klein's blond hair, with lightish red at the tips. His stubbornness, enthusiasm, and never-ending dedication to alchemy. And, sadly enough, his cluelessness. Sort of reminded her of Kalin, other than the cluelessness part. But then, the knight wasn't her problem. Kalin wouldn't help her with her experiments and her formulas. Only Klein would. And soon he'd be coming back.
Veola gave a sigh and wiped cookie crumbs off of her lips and fingers. She went to the back of her shop, where a strange machine rested. Made by parts that could only be gotten in the world of Mana and the Hidden Village, the device would allow her to travel to the realms of the dead and talk to one person. And who had helped her build the device?
Chris: There ya go! I hope you enjoyed it! And just to warn you, it might not be a constant updater, since I have more important projects, but it's still a fun story for me…So I'll keep writing! Review please!
And I just noticed that Klein and Kalin have similar names. It's just a freak coincidence, seriously. I wasn't even thinking about Klein until the end of the fic...Creeeeepy...