Disclaimer – All characters and dialogue present in the game are trademarks of SCEE and Level 5 entertainment.
A/N – For a while I've been wanting to do a write-up of the Dark Cloud game, with a whole lot of ideas plaguing every moment of my waking hours. For a very long time I was wondering, how does Toan ACTUALLY build the villages, if he was real and didn't have the 'magic' Georama? How does he interact with the villages around him, how does he interact with his allies?
This story will expand on the game, giving more depth to dialogue and maybe more to the characters. That is, if I can manage it. Any constructive feedback is more than welcome here, and any small ideas for one-shot-like events beyond Nolun Village are wanted!
Anyway, this first chapter remains pretty faithful to the opening of the story…
Edit 9 th May, 2010: For meta, discussions, updates and previews, head over to my LiveJournal. The link's on my profile!
Prologue – Everything Is Nothing
A book was found in some old ruins.
All the scholars who decoded it puzzled over the mystery of the book.
A world with two moons illuminating the sky…
The many dazzling adventures of a young boy…
But whether or not this is a true story…
Do you believe in the story woven in the book?
Maybe it's a fantasy that existed only in a boy's heart…
Let me tell you this story. This ancient book tells of a magical and magnificent fairy tale… and the hero of this wondrous tale, whose name is Toan.
East, Dark Temple
The temple was cold and dark, the torches lining the walls barely able to dispel the lingering blackness. A beat, like a giant, hammering heart, filled the air. The beat of music… music fed by blood. The young man strained around the corner of the pillar, desperate not to be seen, but needing to see what was going on in this cursed temple enough that he was willing to risk it.
His breath caught as he spotted a giant, black cauldron, steaming furiously in the very centre of the temple. No, not a cauldron, but an urn. The urn…
I guess it's true. Flag really does have it!
But what was he going to do with it? Was he really going to release the horrors inside? Was he going to release Pandora's Box on the world – after what had happened last time?
The drums thrilled in his blood, their beat tribal and mystical. He closed his eyes, and flattened himself against the cold stone pillar, almost gasping for breath. The drums seemed to be right in time with his heartbeat, lulling him… His eyes snapped open.
He craned around the pillar for another look. People – rows upon rows of them! – were crouched before the giant black urn. All, but one, were dressed in loincloths, tribal blue paint and snarling and feathered masks. The leader – the one at the very head of the group, right before the giant urn – was dressed differently, with no mask and no blue paint. He watched her raise her head, then roll it around. The others, as if caught in a trance, followed, their movements so completely unified that they seemed to all be one, puppets controlled by the same person.
This dance! His blood ran cold, and his hand began to shake. They were really doing it…? They were going to bring him forth? Were they really going to revive him… again?
The dancers bowed as one, the leader slowly rising to her feet and rolling her head again, her eyes shut. The other dancers followed standing and rolling their head around. He was hypnotized by the strange, primal dance – so very basic, yet so very –
The doors to the giant dark temple cracked open, light flooding the area for a moment before they were slammed shut again. The young man blinked, shook his head and darted back to the safety of the shadows. Footsteps filled the air, barely audible of the pounding of the drums. He felt like he was at a cult's sacrifice…
A voice, cold and hard, spoke over the music. "You took a good while to find all of these."
The young man stiffened, and his eyes narrowed. Flag. The man who owned the urn, a general of the East's army, and a man who craved total dominance in the world. He could see the man – dressed in a long, military trenchcoat and sported a long blond moustache – swaggering along beside the roly-poly priest who had put this whole – the young man's mouth twisted – ceremony together.
The priest of the temple sighed. It was a wet-sounding, pathetic gasp of air. "I hard a hard time finding dancers with the right qualifications."
Qualifications? This is a foul witches' dance! Where could you get people who know this dance?
He watched the two men – so very unalike, yet united in their quest for him – stroll towards the black urn. It was steaming more fiercely now, black smoke rising from the pot. The stench was overwhelming – what was this man using to break the seal?
The priest paused in his walk, staring at the dancers as they began a series of complex twirls, looking like circling birds.
"Look at them." He breathed, as if awed. "Their dance of blood… Mixing the blood of witches with that of humans is the key to breaking the seal."
The young man's eyes widened.
Human… witch… blood…?
He clamped his hand over his nose, fighting the urge to throw up.
Fairies of Terra, they really are serious!
Father Morholt rubbed his hands together, as if debating something. Flag could barely stand to look at the greedy, fat slug.
Disgusting man… but necessary. He is the key to unsealing the urn. He just wished it would hurry up and release what was held inside. Would it be as powerful as the legends around it claimed? Flag was counting on it. He'd spent billions of gilda on this urn. It was his right for it to be worth it!
He watched Morholt look slyly at him out of the corner of his eye. Flag could have almost sighed. He almost knew what was going to come out of the priest's mouth before he even said it…
"However, I do have some problems." Morholt's lips smacked together, faking deep thought.
Predictable scum. However, he needed the priest's co-operation, so with great reluctance that he didn't let show in his voice, he demanded,
The priest nodded empathically. "In order to produce good material, you do need adequate…" He trailed off, letting Flag fill in the blanks. Flag saw a flash of silver out of the corner of his eye, then frowned. No, it couldn't be… it was probably just a bat, or a dancer late to the ceremony. He'd have her kneecapped for that…
Suddenly, he remembered that Morholt was waiting for him to say something. He quickly tracked the conversation back in his mind, and then gave the priest a false smile.
"I see. I'll pay you extra. That should solve your problem, huh." He laughed hollowly.
At this rate, what I'm paying the man will be worth more than the gain I'll get from using the power in the urn!
Something had to be done about this thorn in his side.
Morholt didn't look phased. After all, this wasn't the first time he had demanded more money. "Yes sir. Thank you."
If you weren't necessary… Flag snarled internally at the greedy little priest. After the ceremony is complete, don't expect on gilda of payment.
Another flash of silver, this time closer. Flag's eyes followed it to the next pillar along, then a smile quirked the corner of his mouth.
They continued up the aisle, watching the dancers. Flag doubted the lack of decent clothing was actually a part of the ritual. Morholt was a disgusting man…
They stopped before the giant urn, silently watching as the dance slowly began to get more elaborate. Flag clenched his jaw, watching them twirl around and around, and their hands caressing their bodies and twisting through the air. Morholt looked like he was enjoying the sight. Flag could care less. So long as it worked…
Minutes passed, and Flag's leg was beginning to cramp. It was an old injury, gained when he'd scouted near Muska Racka when he was a corporal in the East's Military. Apparently those Sand Warriors didn't enjoy being watched…
"So when will it happen?" He hated to display weakness – weakness was for the underlings, not the most powerful man in the East. But if this whole thing didn't hurry…
Morholt didn't take his eyes off the dancers, and Flag allowed himself to wonder if Morholt had to take a vow of chastity or something before he became a priest.
"Very soon, sir." Then, completely oblivious to Flag's pain, Morholt stated, "Let us enjoy the ceremony till it is time."
The dancers twisted and turned, bowing to the urn over and over. The music began to beat faster…
"Flag, sir. Do you know the legend of the Dark Genie sealed in the urn?"
Was this man a total buffoon?
"Of course. Do you know how much money I've poured into acquiring this urn?" Flag let the question lie. Morholt knew exactly how much – he'd added a considerable amount in fees to it. No time for that now, it would be taken care of later.
"I've been waiting for this for years, and now its legendary power is mine." A thrill of excitement ran through him, and Flag had trouble keeping his composure.
That power will be mine. All mine. And none will be able to stand in my way. Not the East, not the Terra Fairies, and certainly not any in the West!
"400 years ago it appeared in the East." Morholt's voice was far away, as if recalling something. Flag let him talk. He'd heard this story thousands of times.
"It almost destroyed the entire world. What do you intend to do with such frightening power in your hands?"
So now you ask, pathetic little man? On the eve of awakening, you ask what I intend to do? Your greed truly has blinded you.
Flag allowed himself to chuckle. "You'll see…"
The music climaxed, the dancers' twists and twirls going faster and faster… and they suddenly tensed, as if getting shaken by some enormous force.
Flag watched them, the prickling of curiosity beginning in the pit of his stomach. Was this part of the ceremony?
A dark beam – a beam that seemed to suck all the light from the temple – shot from the urn, like a giant jet of black steam. The temple began to shake, and the dancers froze. All in the building stared at the massive urn, the red liquid covering the surface of the seal beginning to bubble and spew over the edge of the urn. The smell of hot blood filled the air, sickeningly heavy.
The dancers fled the temple.
Flag watched them go disgustedly. Cowards…
"So now is the time…" He stepped forward, staring at the urn. It was nearly time – he was so close!
Morholt nodded, following him. "Yes sir, so it seems."
The black steam solidified, and Flag's anticipation of this moment was almost too much to bear.
An arm… another arm… two legs… and a giant fat purple head.
The giant figure of the horrifying Dark Genie of legend – the being who almost destroyed the entire world, had formed.
A giant, purple pig-cat?!
The Dark Genie stared down at the two before him, allowing himself to land on the ground with a resounding smash.
Flag stumbled, but caught himself quickly on Morholt. Morholt's sweaty hands pushed him away as the Dark Genie roared. The earth seemed to tremble beneath their feet.
He honestly couldn't believe it. He stepped forwards again, this time not with anticipation but disbelief. "Wha? This is… the Genie? The Dark Genie?"
They both stared up at the giant, fat pig-cat.
Morholt recovered quickly, frowning up at the creature as it scratched its ear. "Well…"
Say the wrong thing and I'll…
"It's quite different than I imagined," the priest finished.
The Genie took hold of it's giant pot-belly and wobbled it around. Flag felt slightly repulsed at the sight of the foul, quivering purple skin.
The creature yawned, licking its lips and staring around the temple.
The silver-haired young man froze as he felt the Genie's gaze on him.
"The ancient Dark Genie… This is it?!"
The Dark Genie blinked a few times as if to clear its eyes, then spotted the two humans below him. He looked surprised.
"Hey! Who are you guys?" The creature demanded in a bellow.
Flag and Morholt were silent, looking at one another.
You first, Morholt's beady black eyes were saying, and the priest wiped his runny red nose on his sleeve, his white eyebrows shooting up to his hairline.
Flag took a deep breath, not showing any fear. The creature fed on fear. He was not afraid!
"Welcome Dark Genie. I broke the seal and released you. Therefore, I am your master." He walked forward, addressing the Genie confidently.
The Dark Genie frowned, then shrugged. "Oh, is that right…? Whatever. Fine."
There were a few moments of silence. Flag could have sworn that the Genie was deep in thought -
Flag had never seen anyone look so stunned or horrified as the Genie did at that moment.
The Genie's mouth fell open, revealing four, sharp, cat-like fangs. Flag wondered just why the Genie needed teeth… "I haven't eaten in 400 years! Darn, I have to eat something! I need food… food…"
The creature began to look around the temple desperately.
Flag frowned. Surely Genies – and one as powerful as this! – didn't need to eat! Perhaps he should have brought a heard of cattle with him. Not eating in 400 years would surely kill anything!
The Genie's small red eyes rested on the two humans below him – and on the roly-poly priest beside the man who called himself the Master.
"Got you!" He roared, pointing one pudgy arm at the priest.
Morholt's eyes widened. "Huh?"
The Genie reached out and grabbed the fat priest in one hand. Flag stepped back carefully, making sure that he wasn't caught up too. He hid a small smile behind his hand. Everything was working out so perfectly…
Morholt was screaming. "Waaaa, ugghhhh, stop it. Heeeeelp!!!" he begged Flag. Flag smirked and shrugged, not bothering to even waste the effort to save the man. If that was what the Genie wanted, the Genie would get it. So what if it also got rid of a potential problem? Two birds with one stone.
He was starting to like this Dark Genie.
The Genie dangled the screaming, priest over his gaping maw, his blue tongue stretching out. The priest was shrieking, begging for Flag's help. The Genie swallowed the man in one gulp, then looks at Flag. Flag's stomach plummeted in fear.
He's not going to eat his… master?
Flag gulped as the Genie laughed evilly, its long blue tongue darting out to lick its lips.
Central-Western Region, Nolun Village
It was night time. Drums, easy-going and punctuated with flutes and guitars, fill the night air. A girl ran across the village, searching for somebody important. Her footsteps crunched in the dirt of the road, her breath was short and choppy. The night was warm, so the girl only wore a simple brown dress, her hair caught in four brown braids. She paused for a moment to stare up at the sky, trying to catch her breath.
The two moons shone down like to friendly eyes on the small village, and all around them sparkled tiny silver stars. The mayor used to tell her that Dran, the god who watched over the village, had placed them in the sky so Klikk Nolun, the founder of the village, was able to find this place and set up a home here. That had been before the mayor had become obsessed with tinkering with the machines he got from the far-East, anyway.
The Summer Festival was held in thanks of Dran, for the magic he gave them to grow crops and the protection from monsters and evil he provided them. Paige sighed, still gasping for breath, and ran on. The festival had started already! If he didn't come quick, he'd miss watching all the villagers dance!
She spotted Toan's house, the lights of the kitchen still on. She groaned.
"Toan!" He was probably still eating dinner at this rate! Toan wasn't exactly the quickest person in the world. If he did something, he did it well. The only thing that was wrong with this, however, was that he took his Terra-damned time about doing things right! She could hear the music getting more involved, and people were starting to dance.
There was a wave of laughter from the bonfire in the centre in the village. Paige groaned again, craning her neck so that she could see what was so funny, but gave up when she noticed Dran's Windmill in the way. She had to find Toan quickly, before they missed out on more!
Toan carefully buttered his slice of bread, trying to get the spread even. The warm bread began to melt the butter, yellow liquid running into the fibers of the bread. He folded it, then took a large bite. He grinned as he swallowed it in a gulp. Perfect. Just the way he liked it. His mother was almost finished with her meal, only a few small slices of fruit left. He grimaced and looked at his own full bowl of soup. He guessed he shouldn't have been helping himself to the bread…
"Toan, shouldn't you be hurrying?" his mother asked, sliding a slice of apple into her mouth. She was always telling him to eat more apples – apples were good for gaining strength. Toan really didn't see the need. He wasn't a dungeon junkie, unlike the Macho Brothers who lived across the town. Since the Divine Beast Cave on the outskirts of the village was a safe place with Dran's magic protecting it, the Macho Brothers went to visit Matataki Village in the West to fight in the Wise Owl Forest. They used to bring back all kinds of stories about the forest – ones about monsters that looked like treasure chests, werewolves and gnomes with names like the days of the week. Toan wasn't sure how much of this was really true, but they made for good stories.
Maybe Komacho would tell one tonight. But Toan wasn't like the Machos, or his father. His father had been the great warrior Aga, and Toan had no intention of following in his footsteps. He was happy in Nolun Village.
He shrugged to his mother's question, answering softly, "In a bit."
Renée gave him a smile, motioning for him to take an apple. "So you get big and strong."
Like my dad? He could tell she missed him… so he gave her a smile and grabbed one of the white apples from the basket in the middle of the table and slid it into his pocket. His orange poncho hid his wiry frame from sight, but everyone knew it – he was not cut out to be a great man like Aga. He was too careful.
Renée nodded, then finished her meal. Toan smiled down at his bowl, grabbed a spoon and dipped it into the hot brown liquid –
A knock barely had time to register in his senses before the door to his home slammed open, and Paige burst inside, gasping. Toan dropped his spoon in shock, the tool bouncing onto the wooden floor of the kitchen. He made a face, attempting to bend down to grab it, but the girl, having asked his mother how she was, yelled explosively at him,
"Toan! It's already started!"
He winced as his eardrums complained from the treatment, then abandoned the spoon. Maybe if he looked at her she wouldn't feel the need to yell so loudly…
His mother laughed. "See, I told you. You should have hurried."
Paige nodded empathically. "C'mon, we're late! I'm a staff member this year, so…" Toan could hear the pride in her voice. It had taken her quite a few years before she'd been able to join the staff for the Summer Festival. Paige bit her lip. "…so I have to go. Sorry…"
She ducked out of the house and shut the door quietly. Toan blinked, watching his mother begin to pile the dishes up.
"Oh, she left you. Toan, hurry up."
She gave him a small smile, took the dishes to the sink and began to wash up. Toan shrugged, then looked about for his spoon.
Rats. Can't find it…
So instead, he picked up his bowl of soup and slurped it down. He grabbed his favorite green hat and stood, grinning at his mother's frown for slurping his soup. He adjusted his gloves, then waved goodbye to his mother.
"I guess I'll see you at the bonfire?" He asked quietly.
Renée turned on the tap, smiling over her shoulder. "If I ever get through all these dishes, you will! You'd never think you ate this much, looking at you Toan. I guess that means you'll never be the size of Claude," she told him with another laugh. Toan moved to help, but Renée waved him off. "No, Toan. You go have fun for once." Then, cryptically, she told him, "Good luck!"
Toan ran down the high stairs of his home, and took a deep breath of warm air. He could smell the roast chicken from the bonfire, spiced so wonderfully he felt his mouth begin to water again. But that chicken was for Dran when he finally arrived. But it was strange. Usually Dran was at the Village much earlier than this…
He could hear someone playing the flute to the sounds of drums and guitar, then he laughed.
Last Summer Festival, Komacho had made a bet with Odd Gaffer, the village shopkeeper, that he'd break Pike's Gobbler fishing record of 154 cm. Komacho had lost – badly – with one Gobbler fish of a mere 101 cm. Gaffer had laughed and told him that he'd be playing the flute for the next Summer Festival.
Komacho actually didn't sound too bad, but Toan was willing to bet that Komacho's bigger, younger brother Macho wasn't going to let him live it down any time soon.
The entire Village Square was decked out in ribbons and banners of celebration, with the large bonfire placed squarely in the middle, in front of the mayor's house. Toan grinned and took another gulp of the warm night air, watching two boys run towards the fire, giggling as they went.
Toan had never been so happy to be alive. He ran after the boys, stopping on the outskirts of the celebrations. All around the central bonfire there were people dancing, everyone laughing and having a good time. Toan saw Alnet, a good friend of his, leading the dances, while her younger brother Carl clapped and cheered from the sidelines.
Around the other side of the bonfire, Toan saw Macho. He was ridiculous moves to the music, posing and showing off his hard, suntanned muscles. Toan burst out laughing, then saw Claude – a man who seemed to be little more than a fat, candy-eating machine – doing the same moves. His flabby arms tensing didn't seem to have the right effect, but as the villagers around Claude began to clap, Claude gave everyone a good-natured grin and a bow.
Across the bonfire, Komacho waved to Toan and shouted breathlessly,
"You're late, little man!"
Toan nodded, and Odd Gaffer gave him a grin as Komacho resumed playing.
Looming high above the earth, in the light of the two moons, an ominous figure hangs, waiting.
The Dark Genie growled deep within his throat as he saw the people laughing and dancing in their puny little festivals.
Flag stood in his palm, his hands clasped behind his back, watching the tiny people.
Fools… don't you know the end has come?
He laughed as he noticed the murderous look in the Dark Genie's eyes. Excellent…
"Look at the insects squirm about."
The Genie grunted affirmative.
Flag smiled cruelly, imagining the horror that would soon take place with a relish. "Start there. Heh, he he he…" He gestured to begin, like he was signaling a charge on enemy forces, not on innocent villagers.
The East will rule…
The Genie smirked at Flag, and pointed down at the village and the people crawling about it. A giant purple beam erupted from his finger, powerful enough to spin the Genie around and around. He levels his finger again and sends another beam down, one from his other hand, one from his feet, beam after beam down on the festival and the world itself…
The Genie roared, savoring the essence of destruction as the world burned.
Explosions were going everywhere. People were screaming. Everyone was running, there was no time to lose –
Toan stood in the centre of the chaos, watching in horror as his village went up in flames.
No… no! What's happening? WHY?
The bonfire vanished in an explosion, engulfed in a burning, purple light. The ground trembled, and the bonfire exploded outwards, debris flying everywhere, burning wood and smoking meat landing around Toan.
Oh Terra – what about the people around the bonfire? Macho? Odd Gaffer? … Alnet! Carl! What about Mom?
In panic, he turned to where his home was. It was sitting quietly where it always had, but –
"NO!" He screamed as he saw the purple light heading for his home. "NO… please!"
He watched the door crack open, his mother staring open-mouthed at the chaos all around. His eyes widened.
"No! Get back inside!" He knew she couldn't hear him, and his house vanished in white light. Toan felt like his heart was getting ripped from his chest where he stood. His mother… she was…
Gaffer stumbled by him, tripping on flaming debris. He fell to the ground with a pained moan. Gaffer struggled to get up for a few seconds, and Toan blinked back his tears furiously. Maybe she had survived... maybe. He helped the old man to his feet, looking around the town desperately.
Nobody was there anymore. They were all… gone…
What was he supposed to do? Everyone was screaming, dying, vanishing in the white light. The sound of breaking wood brought his attention to the windmill closest to the Divine Beast Cave. It was burning, slowly falling… and Paige was trapped beneath it.
"Toan!" she screamed, scrambling to get up.
There was no time. The windmill was falling, he was too late. A few seconds earlier, he might have been able to save her. He'd die along with her if he went now…
"Toan!" Paige begged again. Toan's will galvanized, and he shot off across the ground. His feet barely touched the dirt as he bolted for the windmill. It was falling, getting so close to her now… Toan roared definitely and leaped for her hand and caught it, just as they were engulfed in painful, white light.
The flaming windmill crashed to the ground, the Genie landing on the wreckage with a vibrating crash.
It turned to Flag, looking satisfied with the destruction it had wrecked. Flag nodded.
The Genie had done well.
"Hi there… Can you hear me…? Open your eyes. Wake up! Hey!!"
Toan winced and slowly opened his eyes, clutching his head. Terra, he had the worst headache. Maybe he'd drunk more at the Festival last night than he remembered…
Wait a second. His back was sore, small burns and cuts covered his arms. They had not been there yesterday – how had he…?
His head jerked up, and he stared around into blackness.
Where was he? And what had happened to the village? All he remembered was the explosions, and Paige…
Paige? Is she alright?
Then, with a start, he noticed that he was not alone. Before him stood an old man, his dark eyes friendly and his beard long, grey and flowing. A long staff of grey wood was clutched in his hands, and he was dressed in yellow robes.
Toan's jaw dropped. He'd heard stories about this man, but he never actually thought it was real –
The old man coughed to clear his throat. "I am the Fairy King… I'm the entity that unites all of nature's spirits."
Toan's mouth fell open even further. So he had been right!
The Fairy King sighed, rubbing his head. "Listen well young one. Something bad has happened… Men blinded by greed have revived the "Dark Genie". This Dark Genie is terribly powerful. Its power it so great that it could destroy the entire world. You saw it… your own village being destroyed right before your eyes."
Toan's shoulders slumped. So it really… it really had happened. Everything was gone. Was he the only one left?
The King nodded in understanding. "Not just your village. In a flash, many villages and towns were destroyed. In one night half of your world was annihilated."
---The bonfire vanished in an explosion, engulfed in a burning, purple light. The ground trembled, and the bonfire exploded outwards, debris flying everywhere, burning wood and smoking meat landing around Toan. ---
---In panic, he turned to where his home was. It was sitting quietly where it always had, but –
"NO!" He screamed as he saw the purple light heading for his home. "NO… please!"
He watched the door crack open, his mother staring open-mouthed at the chaos all around. His eyes widened.
"No! Get back inside!" He knew she couldn't hear him, and his house vanished in white light.---
---Toan roared definitely and leaped for her hand and caught it, just as they were engulfed in painful, white light.---
Everything was gone. Everything. Toan felt rage bubbling through him. All of it… everyone. All his friends, his family, his life… it had all been taken away. He closed his eyes, praying for control.
The Fairy King sighed, grinding the tip of his staff into the ground. "It must be the men from the East that performed the resurrection ceremony. Probably thinking to use its black demon power for war, without realizing how frightening it is…"
Toan felt disgusted.
War? Burning unarmed and innocent villages is not war.
"It is darkness… pure darkness itself. Long ago this so-called Dark Genie almost destroyed the entire world. Its malevolence is that great. The bad thing is that it has the same type of magical power as us, spirits. Unfortunately, we aren't powerful enough to destroy it."
Toan's fist clenched. So there was no way to put an end to it? In all the stories he'd heard, the evil was always vanquished? Why wasn't life like that?
"Young man… I see that you have a strong will that could withstand the evil power. And also a clear, kind heart. You might be able to fight against the darkness it generates."
Toan looked up in surprise. So… the Dark Genie could be stopped? Even if his village was gone, there were other villages, other people out there. What about them?
The Fairy King nodded to himself. "I decided to stake our fate on you. Let me bless you with power." He waved the long grey staff.
Silver light shot out of the tip and circled Toan. It flowed to the back of his left hand, and seeped into his glove. Light blinded him for a moment, and suddenly a glowing, blue gem was anchored there.
Toan jumped, immediately trying to pry the stone away.
Oh Terra, it's not coming off!
The Fairy King laughed as Toan gave the stone a look a woman would give a spider. "There, surprised? That's called Atlamillia, it's a stone with a magical power. Oh, don't look that way, boy. I'll explain now. It might get too bright for your eyes for a moment."
White enveloped Toan, and he had to shield his eyes with his hands. The blue stone… Atlamillia… was cold against his cheek. Slowly, the light faded, and Toan blinked. They were in a flat, empty place of grass. There was a building at the far end that Toan couldn't really make out…
The Fairy King walked forwards, gesturing to the empty flat. "Do you know where this is?"
Toan squinted and looked around. It did look vaguely familiar…
"This is no simple empty lot. This was your village."
Toan's eyes widened. There was nothing. No wreckage, no… no … bodies, no nothing. Then that building must be the mayor's house! Toan's heart went wild. So he wasn't the only one to survive!
"Do not lose heart. As long as you have that stone, you can return it to its original form. You see, just before the village was destroyed by that Genie, I saved the buildings and people by sealing them into spheres called Atla."
The Fairy King waved his staff, and an image of a large sphere appeared in the air before Toan. Toan reached out hesitantly, Atlamillia on his hand glowing furiously. He twitched his hand back, unsure of why the stone was reacting so furiously.
"It seems that these Atla were scattered all around by the tremendous magic power. They were probably blown to different places around the world. It probably thinks everything is destroyed. You must restore the world before it realizes what happened. Absorb that which I sealed in Atla, using that Atlamillia, and bring them back. Then you'll be able to restore the world to its original form."
No pressure or anything…
The Fairy King chortled as if he could hear Toan's thoughts. "You may even be able to create an even better world than before."
Toan stared at Atlamillia. Was it really possible?
"Hmm, you don't seem to understand anything I'm saying… Oh well, I'll give you another lesson when you acquire some Atla. Then again, next time I come back, you might not need it!" The Fairy King laughed again.
Toan felt confused. So it was possible to get everyone back? His mom? Paige? Macho? Carl?
"So long!" The Fairy King bowed to Toan, and vanished in a stream of light and shot across the sky. Toan stared after the Fairy King in shock. What had just happened…? What had he just gotten himself into?
Two butterflies floated down from the sky, circling Toan, brushing him with their wings, and two lone flowers, growing despite the hell that had happened in this place, caught his attention. The butterflies of light fly off into the sky, and Toan watches them go.
He felt… strange.
Toan, can you hear them? The Fairy King's voice asked him in his mind.
Toan nodded, a smile coming to his face.
You should be able to hear them.
Voices of the wind…
Voices of the trees…
Voices of the animals…
And the voices of earth. They are calling for your help.
Toan set his shoulders, looking down at the flowers.
Toan, you will probably meet and say goodbye to many people. In talking to these people you may receive clues to defeating the darkness. Look for them.
The sun was high in the sky, and Toan began to walk towards the mayor's house. He would do it – for everyone.
Now Toan, your adventure will begin!
A/N – And yes, Toan does talk. What really got to me in the game was that he never really talked all that much. So he will talk, just not much.