And here I am, back with another story, not the one I was planning to start but I thought I might as well get this one over and done with. This does mean that those who gave me suggested names I need to apologise, as I'm still not using them. No offence, but there's no need for other characters. Anyway here we go.
The group stood there, staring at the horrific sight that lay before them. After believing for weeks that breaking the mana links would save the worlds, they were extremely surprised by the arrival of the large tree. Only Kratos didn't seem surprised, he was still horrified beyond believe.
This tree was nothing like the one in legend. The Giant Kharlan Tree was supposed to be breathtakingly beautiful, and so grand. This one was breathtaking of course, but in a cold terrifying way. There were no leaves on any of the branches, which were really jagged. They seemed to be waving in a menacing way, as if each were a live snake. There seemed to be no vital stem where these branches came from, but the whole thing seemed to be made entirely giant, deadly thorns. Its roots seem to be reaching as far as the eye could see, and, at the gradual appearance of thick, black smoke, they had attacked a village.
"What is that!" exclaimed Lloyd, eyes widen with fear.
"I was afraid this might happen." Growled Kratos fearsomely.
"What you mean you KNEW this would happen?" yelled Yuan.
"As I tried to tell you back in the tower," began Kratos, "the Derris Kharlan computer predicted that the removal of all four links would lead to a catastrophic result."
"Are you saying." Gasped Raine in alarm, "that, that...THING was trapped within the mana links."
At this, the look of horror on Sheena's face seemed to double that of anyone else's as she cried, "But that would mean that it's all my fault that thing broke free!"
"Calm down, Sheena." Answered Kratos, who still seemed somewhat relaxed about the situation, "The only things that was concealed within the links, were the Great seed and Martel."
Everyone gasped, as they looked again towards the tree. Sure enough, in the centre of the many thorns, was a relatively small cocoon, and inside, was a female body. Before anyone could make any announcement of this unexpected fact, Yuan had shouted.
"But Kratos, the links were suppressing the growth of the seed so Martel's soul can survive. Their removal should've allowed the seed to grow."
"Yes, but I believe you ordered all available ranches, and, I assume, the Renegade Base, to fire mana towards the seed."
"Of course," Yuan replied, obviously, "we needed the seed to grow as fast as possible so it could supply mana for both worlds."
Kratos took a deep breath before answering again, "And that, I'm afraid is were you messed up. By adding so much mana in such little time, it caused the seed to grow out of control."
"So what you're saying," said Genis, "is we're up against a huge tree made entirely of mana?" Kratos simply nodded.
"That's crazy!" yelled Zelos in alarm, "How are we supposed to beat something like that?"
"The first thing you must do Yuan," Kratos continued, completely ignoring the other two, "is stop the flow of mana to the tree. That will at least stop the it getting bigger."
"But STILL!" yelled Zelos, who obviously didn't like being ignored, "How the hell are we supposed to beat that thing!"
"Wait," said Lloyd, "that tree's full of Sylverant's mana, right?" Both Yuan and Kratos nodded. "Well, couldn't we cancel it out by blasting it with Tethe'Alla's mana, you know like the two ends of a magnet?"
Everyone was completely surprised by this, did Lloyd just have a good idea? "That's not exactly how it works," said Raine still dumbfounded by Lloyd's proposal, "but it's a good idea."
"Yeah, especially coming from Lloyd!" laughed Genis.
"Hey, shut it, Genis!" shouted Lloyd.
"But how are we going to get Tethe'Alla's mana here." Asked Regal curiously.
"Yes, and how are we going to fire it at the tree?" added Presea.
"Sheena?" Asked Lloyd, "You up for a challenge?" He was showing her his regular, encouraging smile, the one she loved so much.
"Yeah," she replied hesitantly, "But how...?" and then it dawned on her. She would have to summon Tethe'Alla's spirits, and use there mana to fire, "The Mana Cannon?"
"Yep!" said Lloyd still smiling.
"Of course!" exclaimed Yuan, "That should work." He pulled out a small communicator, and said clearly, "All posts, cease supplying mana towards the Great Seed." Several voices were heard replying, "Affirmative" or "Confirmed." But Yuan started to shout again, "Damn, there's no reply! They must have been eliminated." He turned towards the group, "My team at the Iselea Ranch have been found. The ranch is still supplying mana."
"With mana constantly being added, there's less chance for this plan to succeed." Stated Kratos, still keeping annoyingly calm.
"You'll have to go there and take Forcystus out, he's too strong for my renegades." Said Yuan, talking to the group again.
"But, we can't take out Forcystus and fire the Mana Cannon at the same time!" inputted Colette worriedly.
"There shouldn't be any more Desians left near the Mana Cannon, should there?" asked Sheena.
"No, there shouldn't be." Answered Yuan, "But why..." but before he could finish, Sheena was talking again.
"You guys go on and stop that ranch, I'll stay at the Mana Cannon and wait for your signal."
"NO!" exclaimed Lloyd, "You can't go on your own, it's too dangerous."
"We've already said there's no more Desians there so I should be fine."
"We're not completely sure, there could be dozens there."
"I'm sure Yuan doesn't trust me going on my own," Yuan grunted, obviously annoyed by this remark, "so he'll send Renegades with me anyway. Besides, you should get revenge for your village. You need to take him out, I know you want to."
Lloyd knew this was true, both he and Sheena had talked to each other about their pasts during the long nights of their journey. "Ok, fine." Said Lloyd reluctantly.
"All right! It worked!" Yelled Lloyd excitedly. They had just witnessed the giant, grotesque tree being blown to bits.
"The plan worked," said the voice coming from the small communicator in Lloyd's pocket, "The tree is gone and the seed remains, although it still contains Martel, which is good news for you, Kratos."
Before he could respond to this, a strained voice hollered, from behind them, "I will not...be defeated...by you inferior beings!" and Forcystus, whom they believed defeated, fired a beam of mana towards Lloyd.
"No!" yelled Colette, as she ran in front of the attack, and was knocked to the ground.
"Colette!" yelled Lloyd, "You bastard!" and he charged at Forcystus, thrusting one of his swords through his chest. The look on his face was a mixture of pain, fury, and horror, as he fell to the floor...dead.
Meanwhile, Genis and Zelos had rushed down to Colette and were lifting her up, when Zelos suddenly shouted, "What the hell? Colette!" For Colette's sleeve had been torn by the blast, revealing her arm to be covered in, what seemed like emerald scales.
"What's wrong with her?" asked Genis anxiously.
Raine, however, seemed worried herself, which obviously meant something bad, "I honestly don't know, but we should take her back to Iselea so she can rest."
"But sis, me and Lloyd were banished, remember."
"Iselea's her home, and besides it's the closest."
"The Professor's right Genis," stated Lloyd, "she deserves to be home right now." Genis nodded. Lloyd lifted the communicator, which Yuan gave them and said, clearly, "Yuan, can you...?"
"Don't worry, I'll contact Sheena to let you know to meet you there." Answered Yuan, before Lloyd even got chance to ask."
"Well then, lets get going!" said Zelos, lifting the unconscious Colette onto his back."
"Ugh, man," grunted Lloyd, as yet another group of angry villagers had insulted them, "this is hard work!" Both he and Genis knew that people would not be overly pleased to see them, and that returning would be hard for the pair, but neither expected it to be like this.
They were expecting people to yell, insult and threaten them to get out of town, but what surprised them the most, is that they were treating Colette exactly the same, if not worse, and she hadn't awoken yet, but was simply asleep at her house.
"Why is everyone having a go at her though?" asked Genis agitated, "She didn't cause the Desians to attack Iselea."
"It is because she is alive." Answered Raine bluntly, "The Tower of Salvation is gone, meaning she has failed. All other Chosen have paid with their lives, whilst the only deaths were the innocent people that monstrosity attacked."
"Well that's not really her fault. If anyone's fault it was Sheena's."
A nerve in Lloyd's head pulsed at this statement. "Shut up, Genis! How could you say that?"
"She was the one who formed the pacts with all the summon spirits, not Colette."
"In case you didn't notice, Genis!" yelled Lloyd, anger growing within him, "She didn't want to form any pacts at all! She was too scared that what happened to her village years ago happened to us...her friends!" he put a lot of emphasis on these last two words. "The only reason she did was to help her friends when they needed it. In case you've forgotten, she formed a pact with Volt, the spirit and thing she feared most, so we could save Colette. So don't you dare blame Sheena for what happened."
"So you'd rather Colette take the blame?" shouted Genis. Everyone was silent, sure they heard the two argue almost constantly, but it was more jokingly. Now, they were eyeing daggers at each other.
"I didn't say that Genis, you're the one pointing the finger at Sheena, but we're the ones who came up with the idea of forming the pacts to cut the links not her."
As Genis was about to shout back, Raine butted in, "ENOUGH! Both of you! You're acting childish. Genis, would Colette want you to let everyone in Sylverant believe that it's Sheena's fault the tower's gone?"
"No." He muttered quietly.
"Lloyd, you need to calm down too, how'd Sheena feel if you fell out with your best friend because of you defending her?"
Lloyd grunted, "Sorry, Genis. I guess I got a little carried away."
"Me too, I forgot that we did kinda force her to make the pacts." Genis replied, "Besides, I guess she is the one who got rid of the tree anyway."
Lloyd chuckled in agreement. Though he had forgiven Genis, he could tell there was a little bit inside him still trying to attack him for his accusation. "Hey, guys. I'm just gonna go get my head cleared." And he left for the village entrance, where he had deciding to wait for Sheena.
After about ten minutes, he was, unsurprisingly, starting to get bored, yet he wasn't keen on having people insult him for a while. However, from where he was standing, he could see a small group of people, who also noticed him, and they decided to head towards him. Instead of threats, insults, and goodness knows what else, they greeted him as if it were back before the regeneration journey.
Surprised by this welcoming greeting and filled with curiosity, he decided to go further into the village, to see what had caused such a dramatic change in the village's beliefs.
After walking about five minutes, he was certain that it wasn't just that group that had forgiven him. Everyone he met had greeted him happily, some of them even apologised for their insults and threats from earlier.
When he reached the remains of Raine and Genis' house, he saw Raine, who appeared to have a few tears in her eyes. "Professor?" he asked hesitantly, "Are you...?"
But before he could finish the question, she said, "I'm just...so happy. Me and Genis, we've finally been accepted." But at the look of his confusion, she continued, "Oh, I forgot you weren't their..." and she explained how after he left, they met the mayor, who insulted them beyond belief, in front of the whole village, and how Chocolat yelled back at him, and said how everyone was doing nothing whilst letting Colette face perils beyond imagination. It turned out this opened the villagers eyes and they started forgiving the group, and yelling at the mayor.
"Hey Raine, SIS!" yelled a voice from behind. They turned to see Genis, Zelos, Regal and Presea walking towards them.
"Hey Genis." Answered Lloyd.
"Oh, hey Lloyd. Didn't expect to see you back so soon." Then, looking around, he added, "Uh, where's Sheena?"
"She hasn't shown up yet." He replied sounding a little worried.
"I wouldn't worry Lloyd." Put in Regal, who obviously noticed this, "From what I could tell in battles, summoning one spirit used a lot of mana, using four at once must have drained her somewhat. She might be taking her time due to this."
"Yeh, your probably right."
"So, you're really leaving?" asked Lloyd. He and Kratos were standing outside of Dirk's house. After meeting up with him and Colette, they had decided to go and talk to Dirk about Colette's condition, though it was with a very reluctant Lloyd, who seemed to ask everyone in Iselea to tell Sheena where they would be, before agreeing to come. "You're going back to Cruxis?"
"I must, Lord Yggdrasil will be waiting for me." Kratos answered.
"I don't get it! Why are you helping us if you're with Cruxis?"
"Maybe one day you'll learn, but for now, I cannot tell you." And without saying another word, he walked into the forest, and out of sight.
Instead of returning indoors, Lloyd decided to wait for Sheena. He waited for a couple hours, until it started to get dark. He decided that Sheena must have been too tired to travel through the forest, and simply stayed in Iselea over the night. This was a shame, as he was really hoping to talk to her this evening, to congratulate her on her great job, but mainly about Kratos. He didn't want to talk to anyone else about it, because he felt that he could confide with Sheena, anything on his mind. Besides, he enjoyed the talks he and Sheena had had alone.
And there you go. Much longer than I thought it would be for a first chapter, but I wanted to end it there. I hope you enjoyed it, and I'll try to update when I can. Please review, good or bad, I don't mind, just as long as I get them. See ya!