Angels of Cruxis
by: Fehize ---
Outside, there were whirls of snow, but it was a sign of something ending, not something beginning. The small fire roaring near the entrance of the fireplace allowed the heat to be spread amongst the sleeping forms of the group. In one corner were the figures of the two half-elves. Their history was something of much sadness, as well as pain. Banished from the city where it was believed they were nothing but trouble; that they were something beneath the others. The lives of these two depended on this journey. Otherwise, what if others discovered their secret?
The dust was also settling down on the sleeping figure of a certain white and green animal. The Protozoan was wrapped up around the figure of a certain brown-haired teen, who was acting like he was asleep as well. He was doing a rather good job of it as well, allowing for the small trace of drool to fall down his face with an occasional foot twitch. Or it could have just been that the Seraph was really sleeping, once again.
Plopped on the farthest edges was the Chosen One herself, looking away from the fire to face a blank wall. Her inner feelings were not exposed to the world, except for the mask of happiness she placed there for others. He blue eyes were open and vast, staring at the grains of the wood. She could see each one perfectly, yet this also brought to her a hidden sadness; but she knew she had to be strong. She had to. The world depended on her. Though her smiles were certainly to help others, sometimes she needed them back.
Sitting in an area far away from others was the stranger whom they had picked up earlier from the fakes. Her long, green hair and her outfit were still the same ones they were earlier in the day, and she had not said much aside from her introductory meetings. Well, at least, most of the group believed she said nothing aside from her warnings about the ones called 'Renegades'. Already, a short series of talks had gone on between her and the Aurion man. Who was she, and what was her purpose? Where did she really come from? A lone fortune-teller from Triet? It was true that her face was that of that area, but the pass of which they were in was far away. To allow oneself to travel to this area and catch up, she would have to have been traveling only days after they left.
Lastly, standing near the entrance was the wooden door was the figure of the other holy being. His red hair looked almost black there, hiding among the shadows. His gloved hand was where it always was; resting atop the hilt of his sharp, metal sword, which was ready to be drawn at any approaching/impending attack. This man's name was Kratos Aurion, a hero in an ancient war, long since passed away into the memories of the people of the two worlds. He was a hero, but hero no-longer, for he had fallen from grace - as one might put it. This man had helped set up a series of events that had left many innocents to die for a crazy man's - no, child's - ambition to save an elder sister.
Cruxis...it is true that what we are doing is to save the world, but... Have you already forgotten the drive that made you leave them to begin with? Have you forgotten the reason as to why you abandoned Cruxis to begin with? Did you let yourself become disillusioned with the sayings of your dead wife? Could you have mistaken those last, crucial words in the same sense that Mithos mistook those last words of his sister? Think about it, Kratos... The world is not as simple as white and black. If that was true, there would have been no trouble with the Ancient Tree to begin with. There was, and always will be, those intense shades of grey. Grey so dark that it can turn almost black before gleaming in the light to become the purest white.
Those thoughts...He could no longer turn his mind away from those invading sentences. With each passing day, and each passing hour, he was thinking more and more irrationally. Or should you mean, 'rationally', Kratos? You stopped the war to prevent any more innocents from being hurt, as well as prevent any more unnecessary killing. Yet, you went ahead and stopped your plans at the fall of your beloved... With a small sigh, he turned his head around to face towards the window. The pure, white flakes were coming down. No longer did they have their fury or intensity as earlier.
A man's saddened, red eyes watched. Angels do not cry.
"Father… I have brought you your medicine. Please allow me to administer it to you."
With soft sounds, the pattering of a lost soul could be heard across the empty, decaying room. Cobwebs and dust had long since covered everything with an inch of grey. This heavy, dead weight turned the whole building into a sense of decay. Holes were within the wall, allowing a view of the outside. However, it seemed as if a strange presence prevented even the most reproductive of all plants from residing indoors. The oaken woods, that had created these cabins, also looked as if they, too, were dead. The only spot of color was the child: the child with the flaming pink hair.
Her eyes were blank, a glassy grey-blue set in place. On her neck was the result of hours of research from the nation's hardest working, yet most secret, scientists. Hard work, however, did not mean noble work. What was placed on her neck sapped away the life of a child, turning her into nothing more than a tool to be used. Now, this child was stuck in the endless monotone pattern of listening to orders. She had no will to realize that she was supposed to be a woman.
Rodyle knew exactly what he wanted to do with such a little 'girl'. He had found out earlier that his Mana Cannon would ONLY work with something out of high energy concentrate. A normal Cruxis Crystal would never work! Or, at least, it would not work as great as his wondrous Cannon could at its highest potential. A normal Cruxis Crystal - the ones used by the lesser angels of Derris-Kharlan - left nothing but a mere shadow of possible, extractable power. To enhance this weapon with normal Exspeheres was OUT OF THE QUESTION! Even though he loved to see those puny Humans get hurt and tortured, and whatnot, there were not enough pathetic, inferior beings to power what one petty, lower-angel Cruxis Crystal could do.
After much experimenting, he had come to the conclusion that a higher level Crystal could be powerful enough for his wonderful Cannon. At least, powerful enough to topple that foolish thing of a tower if striking the right spot. Once that was done, HE could claim himself as the new leader of Cruxis! Yes, and then I will finally show Yggdrasill my true power, as well as Pronyma! Unfortunately, it seemed that even that foolish 'leader' of those so-called 'angels' managed to delay his plans by a slight bit. He kept strict control over what types of Crystals were handed out, and it seemed to be that there was no upper-level Cruxis Crystals around anymore for the taking. Rodyle was no fool. He knew he could not simply waltz up towards the body of Yggdrasill, OR the Seraphim, and take the Crystal away from wherever they were wearing it. That would bring upon him a death that was reserved only for pathetic, inferior beings; though the Leader of the Desians deserved to see the true might of he himself, that blond man was still someone who deserved more respect than those water-bags.
"Ah, Presea. Come here!" he ordered her.
The small 'child' blinked towards the rotting pile of meat before placing a towel upon the skull.
"Father, this will help you lower your fever. Lord Rodyle is here to help me some more. I will see you later," she said with her short and monotone voice. It was just the inner mind of the 'Lord' Rodyle that prevented him from jumping up and down with glee. She's already so far advanced in the Project! I am ever so grateful that Kvar was idiotic to leave those plans as unprotected as they were all those years ago!
"I am here, Lord Rodyle. How may I be of service to you?" her face kept that same, blank stare ahead as she spoke. Giving forth a small smirk, he turned his head to get a better view of the red gem resting in her collarbone. Normally, one would never dream of giving a Key Crest to someone that was ready to produce Exspeheres, yet here was the small 'girl' wearing one.
Only, she was not growing an Exsphere.
"Ahaha...Yes...Great JOB, Presea. It seems to be that this Angelus Project is doing even better than I thought it would. Who would have thought manipulating the Pope like so would give me my greatest desire?" With a glint in his eyes, he took a note at the red gem. His future.
The Angelus Project, unfinished as it was by the fool, Kvar, truly was a sign of SOME sort of minute genius the torturer had inside his brain before he passed away by Kratos' hand. After all, Kvar was a THIEF! Rodyle had believed that the black-eyed man was only planning to make this project a present to Yggdrasill, but Kratos' slaughter of the man had shown that that DAMNED man was taking HIS Cannon idea from behind his back! The nerve! It was fortunate that no one could discover that using the Mana Cannon was his idea to begin with. He would destory that Yggdrasill with the very weapon of the ancient times, under his supervision, of course.
Naturally, this old, sinister man did not know that the Seraphim Kratos lied. He didn't know that the redheaded angel twisted the truth to save his child and destroy the man that dared to lay a finger upon his family. No one knew the truth, except for the man called Kratos Aurion.
This red, shinning gem was to be the most powerful Cruxis Crystal ever to be made! Was to be; the main words. It was still in its minute, infant stages, sapping the soul out of the wearer. What had angered Rodyle at the beginning was the SLOWNESS of the Project! However, after some random chance, he had discovered that Presea's caring over her corpse of a father had advanced the Crystal to a point where it was beginning to improve! It seemed emotions were the most powerful food for the parasite. Sure, future-most-powerful-Cruxis Crystal or not, it was still related to the Exsphere.
Heh, the foolish Kvar. Sure, he may have started the project, but I know how to finish it and make it great. Kvar had taken the host, A0-something, and attached the Angelus Project directly onto the skin. Though starting, it was bound to have given that man troubles. Rodyle had dug a bit on his OWN, finding out that attaching the Angelus Project to a host with a Key Crest was the best was to make it grow. Why?
1) Applying it directly onto the skin made it into a weak Cruxis Crystal if it even MANAGED to get out of the Exsphere mode. There was not enough Mana control in the host to make the gem turn into its next phase. 2) Too many compatible hosts were killed if it was applied to the skin. That failure of a woman, Alicia, proved that to him. Rodyle had applied the Project onto her skin, yet she was an utter FAILURE. She did not provide him with the perfect Crystal. Finally, 3) the Key Crest enabled the gem to - in a sense - merge with the very conscious of the host. Most Exspheres did this as well, yet only Cruxis Crystals could entrap a soul into the very core of the smooth surface. Exspheres left faint, shadow 'souls' - pitiful wastes. Cruxis Crystals trapped the very being. It made Rodyle snigger with glee as the thought of Presea's soul entrapped in the gem that would be able to fire his WONDERFUL Cannon! After all, why steal one from the Seraphim when he could make an Angelus Product, which was better?
What better way to destroy that accursed Tower of Salvation!? However, one had to make sure that it was a regular Key Crest, and not one of those Rune Crest things. Or whatever. A Rune Crest could limit the parasitism. He was glad that the pope was power-hungry and wouldn't DREAM of telling those scientists to reverse the effects on Presea - as she was still at a point where his precious Project could be stopped...But to get his hands on that Crystal to work his Cannon...
Naturally, though, I would like to have my own Cruxis Crystal... I wonder if I can fool that waste of a woman, Pronyma?
"Well done, Presea!" he began to praise his wonderful host again. "Now, run off to tend to your precious father. I am sure I just heard him ask for more water..." With a flick of his hand, he pointed off towards the door.
"Father, I am coming with more water."
The door slammed shut a few seconds later as the foolish 'girl' went on ahead to care for her 'sick' father. His men rallied around him to get ready to ride the dragons, the beautiful creaturess were all set to go when his right hand man turned to face him.
"Sir! We have reports that the Renegades are on the move in this area from our spies. Should we stay here for a while and make sure they do not pick up the girl?"
With a white gloved hand, he thought for a few moments. "Renegades...I can't wait until I destroy them as well. Nevertheless, I will go back to my Base before anyone realizes that I have been missing. You, Znaril, can stay here. I trust you to protect the Project."
His man nodded before asking a simple question, "What if they enter the area?"
"Well, than you just say you are her father. Hide your Desian gear and act. Now, I must be off..."
There were sounds in the bushes. Rodyle had already left, leaving behind the man who called only dubbed as 'Znaril'. After a few moments, he took off his helmet, revealing dark brown hair and slightly pointed ears. "What a job hassle..." he muttered.
A sudden noise in the background appeared as two - no, three - figures waltzed in from the shadows. They were hiding there all along, waiting for the proper signal. The man called 'Znaril' brought forth his weapon before plowing it down into the ground.
"Lord Yuan! I have managed to secure the area, and I made sure that I was the one chosen to stay behind with the girl! Rodyle to be expected back for another three days." The man looked up towards the figures of his heros: Lord Yuan and Botta. But who was this last figure? Wasn't that the Chosen…?
Night had arrived. The brown, blue, and red haired figures were all huddled around a small fire, discussing future plans. After all, they were about to get ready to destroy the entire structure of the world within a few months.
"So, here we are. I thought you wanted me to do this on my own, you old hag?"
"Quiet, Zelos," ordered Yuan as the fire danced in front of their eyes. "Now, back to what we were talking about...
"According to our spies, it seems that almost everything has fallen directly into place. It seems that Presea's body is almost getting ready to enter stage two of the Angelus Project. Once it is complete, we will be able to make sure that Rodyle takes the gem. Right before he finishes entering the password to the Cannon Firing Mechanism, you are needed to kill him, Botta. Three-fourths of the Underwater Base - aka Palmacosta Base, Zelos - is already under Renegade control, though he knows nothing, yet. We are all set towards taking over that Cannon ourselves. That is Phase One.
"Phase Two, Zelos, is where you come in. As you know, Cruxis is very powerful, but they would never suspect of a Chosen working for the Renegades. Especially since a Chosen such as yourself seems very vain and eager to place his own sister ahead to death, first. You are to sneak inside and try to do accomplish two things. One," the blue haired Seraphim began, holding up a finger, "you are needed to enter inside and spy on what Yggdrasill is doing. Try to see how close that Chosen of the other world is to the Mana signature of the Great Seed." The red-haired man in front had no idea that the Seed was the container of Martel, his sweet, dead, love... "Two: I need you to see if you can 'befriend' the one called Lloyd Aurion.
"Should Sheena fail, which might be highly possible, we will be very busy with our main concerns than to capture the Chosen at that point. She has already released three seals, and I cannot enter ahead to kill her for those Aurions are there. Despite our best efforts to stop them, we must plan in advance as if we were to fail! Zelos, since your sister is to go on ahead as Chosen, and should the Chosen of Sylvarant be 'successful', you must befriend the young son of Kratos...
"And betray him later. If you managed to get him as a friend, I am going to need you to capture him and bring him to me. I will deal with the rest.
"Lastly," Yuan began with a large sigh, "Botta. I need you to continue carrying about my orders, as usual. We need to distract Cruxis from our real plans, so find a way to attack the Palmacosta ranch later on. We have heard reports that the Chosen is heading down towards the Water Seal from Sheena Fujibayashi, so if you see them, attack, but don't get killed."
The taller man called Botta nodded before turning around to face Yuan himself. "Sir, what are you planning on doing?"
"Easy," came the fast reply as he stood up. His black and gold-trimmed cape billowed around him as the wind gave forth a clear night sky. "I am going to meet the dwarf called Altessa. He should know more about how we can use the Mana Cannon and how we could make it stronger. More importantly than that, there is a robotic doll there that I wish to see."
"Robotic doll, eh? Is it a GIRL figure? A certain WOMAN figure?" asked the redheaded Chosen as he tried to get nearer to understanding. The reasoning as to why this man decided to help the Renegades were unclear to almost everyone. That man, though happy behind a mask, was angered and filled with rage over the death of his mother, and his mother's last words. She wished he was never born, for because of his birth as a Chosen, his mother and father were forced to marry by Church law. Since Cruxis was an organization that brought nothing but grief to him, perhaps this was the basis of his betrayl?
"It's important, and none of you should be concerned with it as you have your own missions to accomplish. This new data I have discovered made this a higher priority than my past missions of chasing Lloyd Aurion personally, yet I will resume that soon after I accomplish this goal. Now that everyone understands, I guess it is time to leave."
With sudden swiftness and silence, the fire went out and the three figures were gone...
-smiles- Hey everyoneeeeee! How's it going!?
Good? Yes? That's GREAT!
How was THAT for foreshadowing plus plotty goodness, EH!?
YES, I am LATE. Now, I could say some story like 'Oh, I got sick' or 'Ah, I've been lazy.' BUT, I am going to be truthful here! -nods- What really has been delaying me these past few weeks was that I have been busy drawing. Yup. My love for ze arts have exploded even more. -nervous sweat-
Unfortunately for you readers, no new updates to the AoC doujinshi, YET. Why? I am guilty of loving my OCs too much.
HEY! Just 'cause they are never placed into writing in my fanfictions doesn't mean that I let them hang around and rot away! -big shock face-
So, yeah. Blame the tardiness on my OCs that were screaming to be drawn away. -sweats- However, if it makes you feel better, I have only one more picture left before I work back on AoC doujinshi. -cheers- Alright! Yeah!
-hears the crickets and the knuckles of angry readers-
-tries to throw in a distraction-
The Kranna will come out some time soon with more real chapters added even faster! -nods-
Comment pretty please! -nods- Do it for the chibi plushies! Do it for angel-Lloyd!!!
...Do it for more Zelos and Yuan? -sweats-
-munches on awesome Pocky- -happy heart-
Cruxis Crystals... -winks-