AN: I don't own Soul Nomad or any of the characters included. Also, since I know someone's going to ask, the reason Gig's hair is dirt brown is because he was giving me a headache with his reincarnation form. It was either that or his usual grey but I decided to base his appearance off the drama CD cover for this since the ending illustrations seem pretty inconsistent with it. Chances are this will remain a one shot (though, who knows?)
Soul Nomad: Being Closer
"Gah, what a pain!" Danette grumbled. The Sepp turned and gave Revya a dark look. "C'mon! You're eighteen already! Isn't it time to shape up or something? Where'd that warrior go who saved the entire world? We only succeeded because of how hard you tried!"
Danette let out a 'humph' and added, "This is why Lady Lay-er-Virtuous won't take me seriously! It's cuz you can't act mature! I mean, I'm already grown up so it can't be me. You can't just sit there all day!"
"If it makes you feel better I was thinking of leaving for awhile to do some training," Revya answered from her perch on the wall.
"Oh really?" Danette asked, suddenly perking up. "Then I'll come with you and we can have our two thousandth-"
"Actually, I was thinking of going off on my own," Revya interrupted.
"What!? So you mean you'd rather go off on your own then have me keep you company? You're ditching me?"
"No, really it's not like that," the other girl said with a nervous smile. "I just...really need to work on my swing. It's probably going to take awhile."
"Grrr, Fine!" Danette said indignantly. "But next time I'm really expecting improvement! After all you're a town guardian, right? If you can't keep up with me it's no wonder you're so unreliable."
"All right, I will," Revya promised.
She had almost slipped away when she heard Danette ask, "Wait-don't you need your sword?"
The redhead pretended she didn't hear and walked a little faster. It wasn't like she didn't like Danette or anything (after all, the Sepp was like a sister to her) but she had an appointment with someone who said he wanted rather talk to her alone. If she had told Danette that she'd probably insist on coming with her.
Revya wore a content look as she walked to the village's entrance. It had been close to year since the defeat of Drazil and things didn't feel like it had changed much. With the repairs done she had almost forgotten how severe the damage had been when the Thurists had attacked. It almost felt like those days she and Danette had spent when they were training to be appointed town guardians. It had been a year and this is where they found themselves again and ready to move on to a life other than saving the world. And naturally, everyone else they had traveled with had moved on with their lives as well.
Vitali, the enigmatic cleric, had given up his profession as a spy and did what he always wanted. With a bit of financial backing for Christophe he opened a popular restaurant that specialized in hotpod dishes. From what she heard, the place is always busy and he sometimes received challenges from other chiefs. Last she talked to him he said something about his ingredients coming alive...
Juno went back to the coast to where the Nereids have been extremely busy over the past year. Since the influx of souls to Drazil was returned to a normal state the Nereids had been having many children. They would sometimes receive letters from her, mostly about Penn, but from the sounds of it with the settlement humans there the racial prejudices between the races seemed to be swelling down.
Odie...well, he was himself. Now that Dio had perished, the rest of the Dio family had taken Odie's new self into consideration and named him the new Dio of the clan. He now worked as Queen Diness's advisor. From what Revya heard Odie was still a little clumsy but he really was helping out now that Orviska was focusing on agriculture. Not only did Queen Diness had a better reputation among the people now and her 'advisors' were now on short leashes). Her Majesty was still hard on him but it sounds like she's coming to respect him...maybe.
Grunzford had returned with them home to the village. He helped anchor everyone when they were rebuilding the village and was the person they could always expect lectures from. From what she heard he was planning on traveling out to pay respects to fallen comrades in the near future so it would be a real shame when he went.
Tricia, always willing to stick up for the people, managed to form a group called the Good Day Gang (Revya had done a double take when she heard the name). They were a resistance group that stuck up for the people. Tricia managed to impress upon her followers and enemies/victims alike with her personality (in fact, someone's yet to put a wanted poster up for her). Revya had visited Tricia recently and while she was doing well it looks like she misses Levin...
Surprisingly, they received a letter from Euphoria of all people. They didn't quite know or understand how it was possible but there it was in her writing. According to her she had a dependable person helping her and that they had a child recently. Though Euphoria never mentioned who this 'dependable person' was Revya had a good idea who he was. She sometimes went to deliver Danette's replies but she never could actually find Euphoria in person (but they always got replies as well as a drawing) however she had a feeling they were doing well. If Endorph didn't want to be found, chances are they wouldn't find him and Euphoria easily.
Then, about a few months ago, the greatest miracle appeared.
They didn't receive the full details but they didn't care. Under the will of Haephnes, Lady Virtuous was reincarnated into the body they knew and loved. According to Virtuous, the world still needed a Master of Life but she planned on living a quiet life befitting an old woman. She has communication to Drazil so on occasion they'll hear how Layna and Drazil were managing now that Gamma and Joules had been overthrown.
However, when Virtuous returned, someone else came back with her...
"Hey kid, I see you managed to ditch the cow," a hauntingly familiar voice commented as she reached the outskirts of the village.
Any normal person would have jumped but hearing his voice come out of nowhere had become habit for her at this point.
"Hey, Gig," she answered as she turned to face the former Master of Death.
He had come back, just like he promised.
Granted, it was several months late but he was back.
From what she could tell, Gig was...human now. She had only seen his actual form twice in person and through their dreams but despite the changes it was definitely him. He no longer had the blue streaks that had trailed down his eyes and his hair was more of a dusty brown than grey. However, he still wore that god damn cocky expression on his face that made one want to sock him.
Actually, that's what Danette attempted to do when he came back.
Revya sighed in relief as she walked up the curving road. Home.
She was just getting back from an errand for supplies and all she wanted to do was flop down on her bed and sleep. However, as she walked past the entrance Gatekeeper Nei stopped her.
"Ah, Revya! You're just in time!" Nei said with relief flashing across her features.
"Why? Did something happen?" Revya responded with a frown.
"Well, not necessarily, but Danette's acting really odd."
"Odd for Danette at least. Some traveler appeared, saying he had a message from someone named Virtuous to pass on. Grunzford's out right now so I told him to wait and-"
"Wait, did you say Virtuous?" Revya demanded. Virtuous? That wasn't possible. Levin-Raksha-had murdered her and ate her soul for dessert...
"Well, I'm pretty sure that's what he said," Nei answered offhandedly. "But anyway, Danette was passing by and when she saw him she freaked out. I'm not sure what happened between the two but she looked like she wanted to kill the guy. Gadius tried to break it up but Danette accidentally beamed him in the crossfire..."
Revya winced. Poor guy. "Where are they now?"
"Danette's still trying to hit him, they were in the commons last," Nei sighed. "You and Danette are close could you see if you could break it up before we have to do more repairs."
"Will do," she promised.
Revya ran, her heart pounding in excitement. Virtuous...Lady Layna...
"You jerk! You liar! Do you have any idea how worried we were!?" Screamed a girl's voice: Danette.
"I heard you the ten times!" Taunted a male's voice. "You really should try getting someone to read you the thesaurus, it'll do wonders on your vocab."
Revya's run slacked. That voice...
"You promised you'd come back with us!"
"I was a little late!"
"A little!? It's over half a year later! And another thing-it's you!" Danette exclaimed, finally noticing Revya from over the traveler's shoulder.
Revya just stared. There was only one person she knew with such an arrogant voice. She didn't trust herself to speak so she just glanced him over. Features were different but she definitely recognized him. He was back...it was really him...
Unconsciously she stepped forward, barely hearing what Danette and Gig were saying. When she was about an arm's length away she finally spoke, "Gig..."
Her eyes narrowed.
And she hammered him across the jaw.
She apologized later (after a long shouting match complete with flying objects) but she couldn't help it at the time. It was just a little much for her to take in. She had given up on the idea of him being alive and remembering his lying laugh had clinched it for her. When he disappeared she couldn't feel him at all. He was just...gone. Revya had missed the annoying bastard (God knows why, she still didn't know) and just seeing him show up so casually had pissed her off.
But... after she calmed down enough (the punch across the jaw really helped), she realized just how relieved she was to see him. It was the same way she felt after the battle with Feinne when she wasn't sure if he was all right or not and heard him wake up. She had been so sure he was gone and then he turned up again. Sadly, he'd usually find ways to negate that feeling with his usual self but that was Gig. She couldn't expect or want it any other way.
The past few months her and Gig usually traveled around carrying out errands for the village (he'd sometimes help her deliver Danette's replies to Euphoria) but they also checked out information and checked up on friends and the world's affairs. He still caused havoc, though less in a 'destroy the world and everything in it' way. Several times she'd gotten requests from Odie and Vitali to keep Gig away from their hotpods or at least get him to pay for it. Sadly, that never turned out well...
"So what did you want to talk to me about?" Revya asked, cocking her head.
"Nothing much, except that hunk of rock we found," Gig replied with his usual smirk.
"You mean the tablet we found when we visited the Nereids?"
"Well duh, what other rock could I be talking about?" Gig shrugged and continued. "Anyway, aren't you interested to where it leads?"
"A little," Revya admitted.
"Heh, I thought you'd be," Gig reached into his bag and pulled out a book-sized tablet with odd symbols carved into the rock. "Look closely."
Revya leaned in close and began scanning the area Gig pointed out. While most of the words had been eroded by time, she could make out a few scant words. Among those words she read...
" 'Golden Hotpod'?" She said with a skeptic look.
"Bingo!" Gig grinned. "Think about it! This could lead to the king of all hotpods! Imagine sinking your teeth into something like that!
"Well, yeah, maybe-"
"And the best part is, it should be fairly close! The hag mentioned it once. Yuga Mountains, that's about a day's journey. If we find it that'd be the ultimate meal!"
"So, you're saying you want to check it out?" Revya asked. No matter how many times she saw it, it always amazed her how a reincarnated demi-god that blew up countries and slaughtered thousands could get worked up over something like hotpods.
"Jeez, is that cow's mentality rubbing off on you? Of course I do! The sooner the better!"
"So, is that the only reason you called me out here?"
"What do you mean 'is that the only reason'? I shared this with you because I thought you'd be interested in coming with me."
"To look for the 'Golden hotpod'?"
"Well yeah," he said off handedly. "You don't have to go, in fact, if you choose not to that just means all the more for me. It's just that it'd be easier to look for it with more than just me."
"Then why not just ask Danette or Grunzford to come too? Hell, I'm sure if you mentioned it to Vitali he'd close up shop just to see if it's true."
"Oh hell no! Mr. Big shot chef doesn't want me chases me out every time he sees me. And besides, I wouldn't want to have to split my hotpods with that many freeloaders. Especially not the stupid cow, heheh."
Revya sighed and stared evenly at Gig. "What's your scheme?"
"You just lied," she crossed her arms. "You always laugh like that when you're lying."
"That's just your imagination!" Gig said haughtily. "Look, if you don't want to go, fine. Don't. I'll go myself. I fact, I was thinking of leaving right about now while there's still light. Last offer before you miss out."
She fiddled with her side strands and glanced back at the village. "It's a days journey, right? How long do you think it'd take to find it?"
"Over night at least."
"Just the two of us?"
She paused. After a moment she sighed and said, "Fine, just let me tell someone where we're going first. And grab a little supplies."
"Heh, I'll be waiting," the former Master of Death smirked. "Just hurry up or I'll leave without you."
"Fine," the redhead rolled her eyes and hurried back to the village.
As she walked she remembered that she had told Danette she had gone 'training'. I wonder if she'll buy 'I forgot about my sword until I got there'.
Unfortunately, Revya didn't know this little trip would lead to the two getting...'closer' in more ways than one.
It was well past midnight when Revya and Gig made it to the top of the Yuga Mountains. Most of their time had been spent getting lost, nearly falling from peaks, fighting bandits and monsters, listening to Gig grumble about his loss in power, arguing and of course just talking about whatever came to mind. As the sun began to set the mountains settled under a cloak of silence. Revya felt ready to fall asleep on her feet (which felt like she'd have blisters arise by the end of the night) and while Gig still seemed the opposite. When she almost fell over for the third time she settled on one of the rocks opting to inspect Gig's work while he continued scanning the area with fever.
It's like Grunzford said, he's hotpod obsessed and hopeless, she thought with faint smile. Who else is crazy enough to scale mountains for hotpods? I don't see why Danette was worried. He's just...Gig.
She thought back to what Layna said a year ago in Drazil about how Gig had 'mellowed out'. That was true enough. He was still a loud-mouthed jackass that deserved the worst of things to happen to him but...he seemed nicer she guessed.
Not that she'd ever admit that little fact to him. Knowing him he'd start yelling at her for insulting him.
That thought made her think about how their 'soul mate' relationship was now. The only thing that seemed to have changed much between them was the fact the no longer shared a body. And she no longer had the looming 'you scratch me back I crush yours' policy. Admittedly they were closer in the sense she trusted him...well, more than she used to but that was it. He still called her 'kid' under the excuse that he was still a few centuries older but she was used to that by now.
"You sure it's in the mountains?" Revya asked as Gig searched the far corner of rocks.
"You saw it for yourself, didn't you?" Gig said in a matter-of-fact tone. "That marble slab we found on the ocean floor was very clear...this is where we'll find the Golden Hotpod!"
If it exists, she privately added.
"But it's so late," Revya groaned, suppressing a yawn.
"Fine, you get your beauty rest," he answered dismissively. "But if I find it and your not there with me, you don't get jack."
"Whatever," She reached over and adjusted her lantern so the light spread across the plateau easier. Revya leaned back on her rock and sighed. The stars looked so peaceful...
She had nearly fallen asleep when she heard Gig's voice peak. "Oh hey, what's this do?"
"Hm?" Revya cracked open an eye. It took a moment for to make it out but she could make out a finely carved slab.
"Look at this tombstone...doesn't something look a little...off?"
Revya craned her neck. Faintly she could see what looked like a red marker turned in the opposite direction of the tombstone while the slab looked like it had been forced back.
"Maybe if I twist this here..." She heard him too late to stop him as he reached out and fiddled with the marker.
That's when she heard the thrumming...
And that light...it wasn't coming from the lantern...
"H-huh? Why am I glowing?" Revya said nervously. She jumped up glancing frantically at Gig.
Another thrumming filled the air, this time it was from Gig!
"Hah-what? Waaaah! Oh hell, kid, get out of here!" He yelled a little too late.
And with that a bright flash lit the night sky.
One word summed up their situation: Shit.
"I'll ask you one more time...who are you?" Danette asked slyly. "And don't give me anymore bull!"
"Danette...you've gotta believe us..." Revya pleaded.
"We told you already," Gig grumbled, pulling away from Danette's inspection. "Me and the kid got fused somehow and this is what happened. We didn't know what to do so we ran back here. We thought you'd actually want to help us!"
"Virtuous you foul wench! Stop laughing and get us out of this!" He growled, turning his attention to the Master of Life.
It was a nightmare when they woke up. They had been separated and in their own bodies for a year but now...
It was hauntingly much like their situation had been last year but this time whatever crackpot came up with this idea had fused their bodies too. It was Gig's body but the colour of his dusty brown hair and blue eyes was now Revya's red of each. The most notable change was the fact that his body now had a set of breasts...
They could both move the body but they weren't exactly coordinated. It helped that they already spent moths relying on each other's will but it only made a small difference. They almost fell off the mountain several times on the way down because one of them had wanted to go left while the other moved the body right. And to top it off, only one person could talk at a time (with their own voice) so when her and Gig started panicking it had been a major strain on their vocal chords. They agreed that it was better to accept the humiliation of appearing like this and ask for help than wander around aimlessly (or rather, Revya practically forced Gig into admitting they needed it).
"I'm just so glad to see you two have grown so close," Lady Virtuous said, still laughing. "I think you should stay like this for awhile. You two have formed a beautiful bond."
"Lady Virtuous, please..." Revya groaned, feeling the overwhelming urge to sink into the floor. She'd almost rather fight Drazil, Joules, and Gamma all over again, anything to escape this situation.
"Virtuous? More like Virtubitch! It's not funny, okay!?" Gig snapped. "The kid's body is gone and my hair is totally messed up! I do not approve!"
"Hm, you said you were in the Yuga Mountains?" Grunzford asked. "Then I think I know what happened. There's a Crimson Tear hidden near there that loves to play tricks."
Pretty funny 'trick' all right, Revya thought giving her-their body another glance.
"It houses the soul that died a gruesome death, betrayed by a loved one," the redflank continued. "As I understand it, the curse can be lifted through a display of true love and overcoming a series of tests."
"True love? Tests?" Revya asked with a confused look.
"Why, that's perfect: You and Gig," Grunzford announced.
If Revya were in her own boy, her jaw would have dropped. Suddenly, that urge to be anywhere but here, even fighting Drazil and Gamma and Joules all over again? That was gone. Now she'd rather be fighting them and the three World Eaters at the same time.
"W-what? Me...and her?" Gig said, voicing Revya's thoughts. "No. No way. Not happening."
Lady Virtuous let out a knowing laugh. "I was watching when you said you were going to the mountains. Just the two of you. Alone. Together. Honestly, their a perfect couple, don't you agree?"
Revya stared at Virtuous in disbelief. Not her too! Upon reflection she'd admit, fine sure, maybe with anyone else it could be seen that way but...
"But...me and Gig?"
"You know...he's seen eeeeeverything about you," Danette chimed in. Mentally Revya screamed 'Traitor!', "He know all your dirty little secrets. So make him be a man! He needs to take care of you!"
Revya swallowed. While when Danette said it that way it seemed to make sense but...no. This was Gig. That asshole had wanted to boot her out of her body when they first met!
But he let you keep your body when he could have taken it, a small, traitorous part of her whispered. He saved you, twice.
But it just didn't make any sense. Her and Gig, just the thought of it was creepy. Granted, they were closer than before but still...love? Did her feelings even count towards that?
Revya sucked in a deep breath, and before she realized it, sullenly answered, "I guess."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Gig spoke in a way Revya had never heard him speak before. Was he thinking the same thing?
No way. This was the Killer of Kings and Destroyer of Hotpods.
"Now listen," he said, leading their body away from the other three. He gave them a furtive glance before continuing. "It's not like I'm not into chicks, okay? So, fine, whatever. But I can't guarantee this is going to break the curse!"
Last chance. She could just say 'hell no' and try to squirm out of it. After all, you couldn't force someone to fall in lov-
Revya's face burned, or at least it would have had this been her own body. He hadn't rejected her outright like she was expecting but...this was the only way to break the curse, right? And besides...
"Fine," she answered carefully. God damn it, why was her heart beating so hard!? "I can live with that. It's not like we have a choice anyway."
"Heheheh, so, you fell for me, huh?" Gig replied smugly. Revya bit down, not trusting her mouth to reply. "Yeah, I figured you might. I mean, who wouldn't, right? But I guess it could be worse, at least you're not fugly. So, we gotta take a few tests, huh? Should be fun! Me and you, we can handle whatever that stupid jewel decides to throw at us. Let's just get it over with. Maybe we'll find the Golden Hotpod while we're up there."
Revya couldn't help herself, it was the last bit that did it for her. She smirked, speaking with a confident voice, "Okay, let's go."
"Sweet, let's do this!" They glanced back and Gig yelled, "Check ya later, chumps."
And with that they disappeared on their next journey.