Yeah, sorry that I had to keep on explaining it. I posted this in a forum where SF isn't that popular, so I did that to get them familiarized with the world of SaGa. From now on, I won't be explaining it.
The neon signs mounted on the buildings of Koorong are a wondrous sight at night. People from about ever region have come here to set up stalls and sell their goods despite of the crime rate in the Koorong Backstreets where it is less crowded. Alright, I'll have to buy some equipment here. Since I don't have my backpack with me, I'll just go to the guns shop.
I know it's around here some- There it is! I lift up the sewer lids in the busy streets as some people stop to look at me. "What's he doing, is he insane?"
"I bet that guy's just trying to make a living. It would be best for us to stop gawking at him." If only those ignorant fools knew that the Koorong Sewers was just as intricate and complex as Koorong itself. In fact, the sewers connected to Natural Cave where I acquired the Hide Rune. There are different entrances to different parts of the Koorong Sewers, but right now, I have business here. I lift up the lid and climb down.
Using my robe to cover up my nose to avoid the stench of the sewer water, I carefully walk along the metal path while avoiding getting wet. I wait for my eyes to slowly adjust to the dim amount of light before I increase my pace. The brown soles of my blue boots make a crunching sound with every step I take. There doesn't seem to be anyone here, maybe it's been far too long since the last time I've been here and who I'm searching for has already moved…
"A weak gun is powerful with great technique, but the great guns I sell will be unbelievable with great technique." I can still remember that mechanical voice despite the fact that it's been so long since I last heard it. I turn to face the wheeled car-like mech that I've been looking for. "Blue, it's been a while since the last time I saw you. Are you looking for a job again?"
"You can still remember all of that?"
"Of course, I like to keep my more interesting memories in my databanks and the two of you did do a good job for me back when you were ten years old. Well, how can I help you then?" It feels kind of good to talk to a normal mech. T260G is interesting and everything, but he talks like some of the first generation mecha that were made a long time ago. Whether that's due to his scrap parts or his core programming, I'll never know. After all, I'm a magician, not a scientist.
"I'd like to purchase some of your weaponry."
"Of course." The mech's engines rev and its wheels turn. It rams itself against the wall many times before stopping. "Would you mind getting that for me, Blue?" Alright, how did this thing work again? Oh, there it is. I search the wall with my hands before feeling a bump. I press the bump and a part of the wall flips around, revealing guns of all different shapes and sizes hanging on the wall.
"If you're looking for a bargain, then I'd recommend the AGUNI-MBX, it's the second best gun I have and costs one thousand five hundred and fifty credits. It can also hold twenty shells at once so you won't have to worry about gun techniques that require heavy bullet usage." Sounds tempting, but second best won't be good enough. I just hope I brought enough credits.
"What about the strongest gun?"
"Ahh… you want to know about the LethalGun. This weapon is contains the very essence of art. The material is light the smoothness of its surface is almost unmatchable. Its firepower is almost twice as powerful as the AGUNI-MBX. Able to wield five shells at once before needing to refill, although most of the time not even half the amounts of bullets are needed to end a battle." That sounds like just what I need! This is perfect! "However, all this doesn't come cheap. One LethalGun costs four thousand and twenty credits because of the materials that are used to create it."
How much money do I have? Let's see… five thousand, six thousand, seven thousand… that's all. I need at least two LethalGuns to take advantage of the TwoGun style that I recently learned. "Is it okay if I give you seven thousand credits for two LethalGuns and then write an I.O.U.?"
"No, I'll just give you a special discount since you helped me back then." We proceed with the exchange and I feel the handle of the LethalGuns. These will definitely do quite nicely. "By the way, that reminds me, where's your brother?"
These are the rare times when I wished that I was a mech. I would be able to erase all my unpleasant memories permanently instead of dwelling on the past. The only thing that truly matters is the present and the future. What's done is done and should stay buried.
"Is anything wrong? I didn't mean to bring up any bad memories." For a moment, I consider telling him about the turmoil I'm going through right now, but decided against it. What could a mech possibly know about the laws and inner workings of Magic Kingdom?
"It's nothing. I'll have to face this sooner or later." It doesn't question the meaning behind my words and I bid farewell before moving back the way I came. A wave of nostalgia hits me full force. I guess I was taking that chance when I came here, but it's better to face this sooner than later. I climb out of the sewers and put the lid back on before taking a good look around. This place doesn't look that different since the last time I visited.
Rouge is picking at his food and not eating. Why isn't he stuffing himself like usual right now? The two of us are occupying a table in the cafeteria as always. Once in a while Doll sits with us but other than that, we're pretty much alone. That's fine with me since Doll, Rouge and I are the only ones who can tell the difference between PsychicPrison and PsychoArmor.
"I hate this food. We always eat the same thing over and over again. Can't we at least decide our food like everyone else at this school? Why do the schoolmasters always force us to eat this?" He complains about the food once a month it's almost like clockwork. He's a few days earlier this time around and I thought something important was bothering him.
"Hey, sorry I'm late. I had to take my C.A.T." I guess Doll decided to sit with us today. "By the way, what did the two of you get on the test?"
"We had to dissect cats for a test?" Why has the world cursed me to be the brother of this moron? It's not that bad, I guess, he is still skilled at studying magic no matter how much he slacks off. Perhaps he'll take things more seriously once we graduate and actually learn to use magic.
"I meant the career amplitude test. Don't tell me you skipped class again, Rouge." Career amplitude test? I don't remember taking one of those.
"Actually, I don't believe I got one either."
"You skipped as well!?" I send him a glare and I guess that's enough of a message to make him stop talking. I just love the peace of silence, but unfortunately, I need to break it.
"What was the test about?" I should find out just in case it turns out I somehow managed to miss it. I'll have to study for a retest if that's the case.
"It's just to determine what careers that you'll be suited for in the future." Why would anyone want to do that? Why would they be here studying magic if they weren't planning to be magicians? Well, I suppose about half the school's population is filled with no talent half wits with the other half being mediocre. "Mine says I should join law enforcement. That's actually quite accurate considering that I've been thinking about joining IRPO when I grow up."
"IRPO? I've never heard of that before. Want to swap lunches? I have the usual eggs and salad." Doll pushes her lunch towards Rouge and he absently pushes his tray to hers before rapidly wolfing down a sandwich of some kind.
I'm not hungry, as usual, but I'll need to finish eating this for energy. I don't understand why Rouge always eats for pleasure. The enjoyment he gets from eating will only last for a few seconds. Food is only good for energy and nothing else.
"IRPO stands for Inter-Regional Police Organization. It's the central base for official law enforcers. Even though some officers may spend most of their time at different regions, chances are they are a part of IRPO. I expected Rouge to not pay attention in class, but you too, Blue?" Doll starts eating the salad that she traded from Rouge. "Come to think of it, I didn't see either of you in class that afternoon."
"Oh we had a private class. I thought that we had an enriched course but our teachers never talked about IRPO. Come to think of it, the only regions they ever talked about were Luminous and Devin. What other regions are there outside Magic Kingdom?"
"Well, Koorong is the central region where almost all the other regions are connected to. You'll be able to get to any region from there except Nelson. They call Koorong the region of a thousand tales." Interesting, how come I never heard of Koorong before? Rouge is finished eating already and listening to our conversation as well.
I think something caught his interest because he has that 'I'm going to do something entirely reckless and irrational'-look in his eyes. "Koorong sounds interesting. What gifts of magic can be acquired there?" That's exactly what I was thinking! I guess Rouge and I do think alike from time to time.
"You don't. Koorong isn't known for magic." Doll answered simply. "Koorong is a place where humans, mystics, mechs and monsters gather to do business. There are all kind of shops, restaurants and other businesses there."
"Damn, I'm late for a test I couldn't take earlier. Well, I need to go to class now." Doll waves and leaves our table and Rouge looks around as the other people leave for class also. After everyone's gone he stares at me intently like a cat eying it's prey before attacking.
"What do you want now?" I stab the last piece of lettuce in my salad with my fork and swallow it.
"Hey, Blue, don't you every wish that we could see the outside world?"
"No." I answer without thinking for a second before wiping the scraps onto my tray. Rouge takes the last bite of his sandwich.
"Come on, even you have to be curious about other regions. Let's see what else the regions have to offer other than magic."
Other than magic? "Are you talking about food, because I don't share the fascination with food that you seem to have."
"I'm not just talking about food! We'll be able to see what people in other regions are like. Aren't you always reading books about that?" I read books about people once in a while, but mostly I spend my time studying the history of Magic Kingdom and Realm Magic.
"Look I don't know what kind of twisted plan is running through your thick head right now, but I'm going to tell you that it's not going to work. First of all, if you plan to leave Magic Kingdom, where are you going to get the credits to travel?"
"Don't worry. I've managed to save enough credits over the years to buy tickets for the two of us to board a ship to Koorong and back. Don't you ever feel the hunger for adventure?"
I don't feel any type of hunger and Rouge's 'hunger for adventure' is no exception. "Nothing I say will get through to your thick head and make you realize that this is a stupid idea, will it?"
"No, probably not. If you don't come with me then it will be more credits for me to spend." Rouge throws the remains of his lunch into the trash can and stacks his tray. I do the same and we walk towards our next class. The halls are empty today since the two of us have a separate class from everyone else.
"Don't worry. I've created a schedule that will ensure that we won't get caught. We can leave tonight and none of the schoolmasters or anyone else in Magic Kingdom will be checking on us for a while. My plan's foolproof."
Alright, I suppose I can play along until he realizes just how idiotic this is. Maybe this will finally knock some common sense into him. "Alright, I'll come with you, but only to show you that this is completely stupid."
"Really!?" The look on Rouge's face is like an excited infant's. I nod and he opens the door to class. "You won't regret this, Blue."
Magic Kingdom Port
"We require some form of picture identification from at least one person in each group before traveling. Sorry for the inconvenience, but several robberies have forced all ports to take this precaution." Rouge desperately searches his pockets after hearing this.
"This isn't fair! I had everything planned out. Why does something so trivial crush everything so easily?" Rouge slams onto the table and a few people lining up slowly back away. He turns to me. "Don't you have anything with you? Why did you bring your backpack here?"
"I brought extra clothes, a map of Koorong and other things that we might need. Wait, I think I have something that just might work." I reach into my right pocket first but find zip. I go for the left pocket next and find what I've been searching for. "Will this do?"
I put my library onto the desk and after having it checked and paying the credits, the guards let us pass. We enter a room with a huge brown ship that could hold at least one hundred people. I'll have to admit, this looks pretty impressive.
"Sweet! We'll be traveling on that? Let's go!" After getting on the ship and finding our seats. I sit down and strap on my seatbelt, but Rouge is standing on his seat and looking out the window. "I wonder how fast this thing can move."
"If you don't put on your seat belt soon, you'll find out the hard way."
"Attention all passengers. The ship is getting ready to depart for Koorong Port. Please remain seated and put your seat belts on during takeoff." Rouge sits down and grabs his seatbelt, but unfortunately for him, the ship already started moving.
"AHHH!!!!" He fell backwards. Then forward. That repeated about six more times before the ship became steady. He crawled back to his seat and I removed the seat belt after everything seemed to be alright.
"Hey, look outside the window." Huh? I decide to listen to Rouge and find that we're surrounded in a strange place. There's no sky, no ground, nothing. It is almost as if we're in a black and blue vortex. This is the space between regions that must be crossed to travel. I guess it's worth it after all to experience this.
There's a hole that just opened in front of us and we're headed straight for it. I can see a dark blue sky similar to Magic Kingdom. Have we arrived in Koorong already? That was pretty quick. I guess it explains why this flight didn't cost a lot of credits.
"We're almost there."
"Really?" Rouge looked in the same direction that I'm looking at.
"Great! Tonight, we're going to live our lives to the fullest! We'll see everything that Koorong has to offer!"
"That actually didn't cost as much credits as I originally thought. I have more than enough money left over to buy some trinkets to bring back." Rouge starts counting the credits that he still has left in his wallet.
"We can't do that. If we buy anything from Koorong then we'll be caught easily once the schoolmasters find out." Does he have a single shred of common sense in his head? Well, to have had the sudden urge to come up with this plan, probably not. Still, I agreed to come with him for some reason that I'm not entirely sure of myself now. I guess I don't have as much common sense either.
"Well, that sucks. I'm sure we'll be able to find a use for it." The glass doors automatically slide open as we exit the port and see the region of Koorong for the first time.
"Wow…" Rouge silently says and I think I heard my own voice in there as well. This place is so… different from Magic Kingdom. Why are there so many people? Why is everything so loud? I can barely hear my own thoughts right now. The neon lights mounted on the dark buildings are blinding in contrast to the dark sky.
"Let's move somewhere else."
"WHAT!?" Despite the fact that I have my fingers plugged into my ears, I can still hear Rouge and everything else. I can't tell if the noise is actually outside my ear or in my head anymore. My head is starting to throb.
"I SAID LET'S MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE!" Rouge nods and the two of us head off in the less crowded direction. After a while, the voice finally died down. Uh, that's a relief. I can still hear the echoes in my head. Maybe things will get better later and the streets won't be as crazy.
"Where are we right- ACHOOO!" Rouge sneezes as a large gust of wind passes him. It's getting a bit chilly here. Still, why were things so loud back there?
"I think we're in the Koorong Backstreets. We should try and ask someone where we are. Why's everything so quiet here? This sure is different compared to the crowd outside the port." Not that it's a bad thing, but still, it is pretty strange.
"Hey look, there's a building right over there." I turn to the direction that he's pointing and see a worn down dark building with cracked windows. A light flash illuminates the building for a moment before the sound of thunder follows shortly. "Whoa that was really creepy. It kind of reminds me of those horror movies that Doll forced us to watch."
"Would you rather stay here and freeze? Come on, let's go." I grab onto Rouge and pull him towards the building. We enter the door and Rouge slowly looks around. This place is dark and creepy with waiting chairs at the side. Must be some kind of doctor's office or something like that. There's an old clock with a pendulum swinging back and forth every second. At least it isn't as wild or crazy like that crowd outside.
"This place is really creepy. Just look at the people sitting in the chairs! They're completely lifeless!"
I take a look at the first person in line. He's sitting in a chair waiting and looking at the ground. His skin is a pale greenish color and resembles a zombie. I wonder what type of illness he has. Now that I think about it, all of them seem very strange and still.
"Hey, are you there?" Rouge pokes the person I'm looking at.
"Wait! Stop!" Rouge slaps the person on the back and then something really strange happened, something which I pray that I'll be able to forget. The person's head rolled off his neck and his empty eye sockets stared at us.
The face looked more skeleton than human, is this guy really alive.
"HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE!" The skeleton cackled as its jaws moved up and down. Rouge jumped up and his head almost hit the roof and then the skeleton disappeared. I turn to look at the body that's supposed to be headless now, but the motionless head is back there.
"Alright… Let's just pretend that never happened." The minute hand on the clock hits twelve and a bell rings five times. The door to the doctor's office opened and I can't help but notice that no patients have walked out yet.
"Next." A voice from the office called out. I manage to catch a glimpse of a long white lab coat before turning to make sure that the 'doctor' didn't see us.
"Rouge… I don't see a patient in there."
"I said next!"
"Damn, I think he saw us." I better think of a way out of this. I raise my voice so that the "doctor" hears me. "Actually, we didn't make an appointment. We got lost in Koorong and we were wondering if you could point us to the Koorong Port."
"Of course, just come in here and take a seat and I'll check the two of you for any illnesses that you may have. After that's done, I'll be glad to answer any questions that you have." The "doctor" turns towards us to reveal extremely pale skin. His skin is a creamy pale white color. He makes the patients who are waiting look normal. This person can't be human.
"But we-" Rouge begins to speak but he is abruptly cut off.
"Don't worry about money. I give free check-ups once in a while."
"Sounds tempting but we'll be going. Right now…" I focus on keeping my voice cool and even. I bolt for the door and hear the sound of Rouge running after me. After putting some distance between us and that cursed place, we take a moment to breath.
"Here, I brought us jackets in case it was too cold." I reach into the backpack and pull a red jacket and a blue jacket. After we finished putting them on two big burly guys have us surrounded. Damn, I didn't even notice them approaching.
"Alright, here's the deal. The two of you can pay up and we'll let you pass unharmed. We're feeling nice today, so we'll only be charging fifty credits per person." I don't have time for this. We'll just distract them and make a run for it.
"Rouge, we're going to-"
"Oh crap!" Rouge searches his pockets. Is he actually thinking of paying them? "I can't find my wallet!"
I should have seen this coming, but sadly, I didn't think about bring any money. It looks like we're stranded here in Koorong unless we find some credits soon. I knew this was a stupid idea.
I know this isn't that good, but I can't leave a fic unfinished. Hope this chapter is better than the previous ones that I wrote.