Hello, Cuttingmoon57 here, and he's back with another story. First one, this isn't a Naruto for those who are wondering, but from another series that I love, The Final Fantasy Tactics Advance series, more specifically A2.

I've been looking through the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and I've noticed that there are not a lot of stories in that particular section. I've enjoyed many that I've read through and I wanted to try one of my own. The prologue may be a little long but it's necessary, coupled with the fact that I wanted to get it out of the way in one shot.

And for the record, no I haven't stopped production of On the Wings of Destiny, just taking a much needed break due to writer's block.

P.S. If anyone knows how to submit a request for a new section in the games category, it would be much appreciated.

With that said, I present to you my second fan fiction. Hope you enjoy.


A short figure wrapped in a black cloak that covered most of his features walked at a leisurely pace down a dank and dimly lit hallway, his face completely shrouded in darkness by the hood of said cloak.

Following closely behind him was a somewhat taller woman. Her hair was a short darkish blue color and stopped right above her shoulder while a particularly predominate bang covered her left eye. She wore an ornate, long sleeve shirt that resembled much more of a blouse with purple shorts that had long, narrow tentacle like appendages dangling from the ends. A black, though ornately designed katana firmly nestled in its sheath hanged from her side, securely fastened to her waist by a duo of belts. Although the strange part was that the handle of the katana was pointed in a downward slope with the end of the sheath reaching diagonally upward.

Both figures gave off an eerie sense of dread as they strolled down the hallway in complete silence; the only sound being heard was that of their footsteps.

They soon reached the end of the hall and their destination, a large wooden door guarded by two guards, both of the Bangaa race and the templar class. Both looked like they've fought their fair share of battles, if their scars were any indication, the small cloaked figure noted inwardly.

It was then that said two Templars noticed the presence of the mysterious figure and his blue haired companion.

"No one is allowed into this room, let alone in this part of the palace. State your name and purpose." One of the Templars commanded as he trained an eye on the two unknown visitors, holding out his spear at the two of them as his fellow templar mirrored the action.

The two intruders made no effort to move at all, simply staring at the guards with vacant demeanors.

"Did you not hear me? I ordered you to state your name and…" Before the guard could finish barking the commanded, he was swiftly silenced by the blue haired woman. The last thing he could make out was the sound of her sheathing her katana, before him and his comrade fell to the ground defeated.

The two Bangaa screamed out in pain as they tried to stop the flow of blood that spurted out like a fountain from both of them. The blue haired woman calmly walked towards the door and gave a small tug on the handle, only to find that it was completely shut tight.

The Bangaa smirked.

"That door is…reinforced behind all that…wood, and a magic cancelling spell of the highest order is…set upon it. Only a power akin to a judge could get into that room." The templar explained with a smirk, finding it harder to breathe by the second as he still clung onto life by sheer willpower.

The blue haired girl and the cloaked figure remained unfazed. The shrouded individual moved slowly to where the door lied as his cohort moved to the side.

With one swift punch, the cloaked figure penetrated the door handle, his arm completely reaching through the other side; and without a hesitation, pulled it back just as forcefully. Electrical impulses seemed to surge around the spot where the figure had pierced before branching out all across the door.

"Illua," The figure whispered in a surprisingly deep voice for someone with such a small stature.

The blue haired woman, now known to be Illua, stretched out her hand effortlessly, opening her palm wide as the cloaked figure stepped aside to avoid whatever was coming.

"Blizzaga." She whispered silently. What was once a simple, although magically enhanced, wooden door became coated in a solid sheet of ice. She clenched her fist almost instantly after, the pane of ice shattering and the door along with it.

Both of the Bangaa stared in awe and fear as the hooded individual slowly walked into the previously untouchable room. After a few moments, the same person exited the room, carrying a wooden, metal clad box.

"How…how did you get past the door? Even without the magic canceling spell, that door is strengthened by eighteen defensive spells. There's no human alive that could get through that door." One of the Templars asked trembling as he looked on at hooded figure that began to leave, followed by his subordinate. The figure paused at his question, before turning around.

The individual set down the box ever so slowly and removing the hood that shrouded his face.

Both Bangaa let out a gasp of shock.

"YOU? IT'S NOT POSSIBLE. YOU'RE…"

"Blizzard!" Illua whispered once again as small bolts of ice magic escaped both of her outstretched palms. Instantly, both of the lizard-like Templars were completely covered in a thick encasing of ice.

The mysterious figure gently slipped the hood of his cloak back over his head and retrieved the box he had previously set down without a sound

In the same manner as before, Illua clasped her hands together, causing the glass-like ice, with the two Bangaa Templars residing in it, to collapse and shatter.

"Illua, I have a job for you." The hooded figure spoke as he turned to Illua.

"What is your bidding?" She asked emotionlessly.

"It seems one of our own is planning on defecting. How does that old saying go…a house divided cannot stand." The man spoke as they strolled back down the hallway from whence they came.

"You want him eliminated?" The blue haired woman asked in a monotone voice.

"Yes, he's outlived his usefulness as it is. Plus, He has a lot of information on us, that I'd prefer didn't get in the hands of the judges or government." The cloaked person replied as both came to a halt at the end of the tunnel, both staring up at fairly tall ladder leading upward. "Now go,"

In a flash of light, Illua had completely vanished, with the cloak sporting man mimicking her after making sure she had disappeared. Seconds later, he appeared on top of an unknown roof. Setting the eerie box down onto the ground, he joined the object, taking a seat beside it, while looking down upon a small crowd of people that were aimlessly going about their own business.

A light raindrop fell down on his hood, which further evolved into a torrent of rain. All of the civilians on the ground scurried to find shelter anywhere they could.

The shrouded man raised his head towards the sky with the hood still blocking his face from view, as the raindrops gently patted down as they made contact with his face and cloak hood. A large, full moon shone out from a pocket in the thick bedspread of clouds that permeated the sky. After a few seconds the clouds moved to cover the light of the moon, shutting off almost all of the light and leaving nothing but darkness in the area.

Cuttingmoon57 presents…

"Even the heavens weep at the present state of this great continent called Ivalice…" He spoke with a sorrowful voice. "But when the time comes..."

"…I will be the one to dry those tears."

A Final Fantasy Tactics A2 Fanfiction


The book that would change his fate forever

The opening of the world-spanning adventure!

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: The Tainted Grimoire


Chapter One: Know Ye His Name?

Tick...Tick...Tick...

"Come on already..."

Tick...Tick...Tick

"Can't this thing go any faster?"

Tick...Tick...

"...Now that's just rude..."

"MR. CLEMENS. WHEN I AM GIVING MY LECTURE I EXPECT YOU TO PAY ATTENTION TO ME, NOT THE CLOCK!" A stern, slightly agitated voice called out, followed by the sharp smacking sound of a yardstick being struck on a desk.

"Ah!...uh...yes sir!" The boy, more commonly known as Luso, answered back in a mix of surprise and embarrassment.

"Look, son. I understand that this is the last day of school and what not, but you need to..."

Suddenly, the loud ringing sound of the school bell permeated the classroom and all of the other students leaped from their respective seats, throwing cheers and yelling as they exited the classroom.

"Finally!" Luso called out. "Well, I'll see you in two months Mr. R..."

"Oh no you don't!" The teacher retorted, grabbing the boy by the collar of his school uniform and jerking him backwards in the process. "You've forgot one very important detail Mr. Clemens. Someone hasn't finished his book report yet."

"But it's the last day of school! Can't I finish it over the summer or something?"

"No, I can't leave until all grades are put in. Come with me."

"Where are we going?" The brown haired boy asked as he was dragged down the hallway by his collar. The teacher failed to reply, only continuing on with his trek with Luso in tow. Finally reaching their destination after a minute of fighting the traffic of kids eager to escape the previously dubbed "prison with fluorescent lighting", the fairly young, blonde haired educator opened the doors hastily.

"Since I'm not going to live here all summer for you to finish a paper that honestly you wouldn't even do anyway, you're going to do this report right now, and you're not leaving school until it's done." The teacher exclaimed.

"But...but I have a kendo match tomorrow morning and I need to practice as much as possible. Can't I finish it after that?" Luso queried again, hoping to strike some sort of deal with the teacher...but again, to no avail.

"Do you actually listen when I'm talking to...you know what? Don't even answer that. I already know the answer. Anyway, I can't leave until it's graded and done Luso!"

The boy sighed in defeat. There was no getting out of this one it seemed.

"What book should I get?"

A smirk crossed the instructor's face as he seemed to be getting through to the otherwise stubborn adolescent.

"Tell you what. Since it is the last day of school, I'll let you pick the book and you can just give me an oral report." The teacher said with a warm smile.

Luso's demeanor instantly changed to a sinister one as he began to scan the shelves for the shortest book he could find.

"...But the book has to be two hundred or more!" The adult added in a tone one would mistake as being malevolent.

Luso continued a frenzied search for an easy book.

"...Without pictures!"

At this, the boy finally realized his defeat and trudged towards another shelf with larger books adorning its racks. He began to scan a certain shelf with books of the fiction and fantasy nature. Being the free spirit that he is, he was more inclined to read a book of this type.

"Hmmm...Let's see...how about something magical..." He muttered to himself as he passed book after book not meeting his selected criteria. He passed an old, tattered book that looked more akin to a journal than a novel. On the front and back were large golden rings beautifully adorned with intricate designs; perhaps too intricate for such a worn and plain book. He thought about choosing it, but something from the book just screamed "stay away" to him, so he opted to follow that thought pattern.

The brown haired boy switched to a bookshelf in the far back, hoping to find something that met his specifications. His eyes roamed up and down the shelves when suddenly came across something very unnerving.

That same book with the plain design and the intricate golden adornments was sitting on a shelf just within his reach, almost as if it was beckoning him to choose it. For a minute, he was perplexed at how the book got over to this shelf, but soon brushed it off as nothing more than multiple copies of the same book...though he couldn't help but receive an eerie feeling from it.

"Well...what's the worst that could happen?"

"Hey, Mr. R! I found my book!" Luso called out to his teacher, who was lazily sitting back in the librarian's reclining chair.

"Okay," He replied back. "Just go find a spot over there and get to reading. I have a lot of papers to grade so I won't be able to keep an eye on you so just make sure you keep quiet."

With a reverent nod of his head, Luso located a medium sized table and dropped the book on its wooden surface, flipping it open only moments later. As Luso read through the few pages that he actually read, skipping over many, his interest began to pique more and more with each chapter. The book described tales of warriors with large swords and unearthly stamina, hunters and archers with unbelievable skill and precision, and all powerful mages with devastating spells beyond comprehension battling each other as well as colossal monsters with strength unimaginable; the typical fantasy story. But this particular book seemed to draw the boy into it more and more, almost as if it had him spellbound.

Although, his excitement ended as halfway through the book, the pages became blank. Luso was slightly peeved at the fact that the story cut out right in the middle, but he set his anger aside, more focused on the fact that he had to give an oral report about it to his senior. Just as he was about to close the book, a small dim light began to shine on the first blank page that he encountered, before fading into text on the page. Luso watched intently at the entire scene, not believing his own eyes.

"One is fated to fill these barren pages...Know ye his name?"

"Hey, Luso. I'm finished grading. How far have you gotten?" The teacher, known as Mr. R to Luso, called out from the other side of the library as he stood up from the librarian's chair. Luso, on instinct alone, immediately slammed the book shut, the light from the page cutting off as well. Though, he placed a nearby pen in the book as a page marker.

"Oh...um...I'm about half of the way through." Luso answered with a nervous laugh.

"Eh...that's good enough for me. Give me a report of what you read and we'll get out of here." The adult replied.

"Good to hear...because that's all there is..." Luso thought in a sarcastic tone while heading towards his assigned instructor.

After Luso's...vivid...description of the events and occurrences in the story, 'Mr. R' had no choice but to give a suitable grade. Luso considered protesting C- that he received, but counting the fact he couldn't leave until his teacher permitted it, he decided against creating any more cause for conflict.

"Hey Mr. R, do you think I could keep this book over the summer? I kind of want to finish it now." Luso asked in a charming manner, intent on discovering the secret of this strange book.

"Sure, why not. Just fill out the library card and be on your way. I have things to do." Luso, once again, avoided making a comment about his teacher's social life, though just barely, opting to complete the library card and escape to his home.

Once the card was finished and he received approval to leave, Luso took off in the direction of his house at his fastest speed, Mr. R watching him off from a distance.

"I wonder what that book was anyway." The teacher thought out of curiosity. "Eh, forget it. I couldn't have been too important anyway."

(The Clemens Household)

"Hey, Grandpa, Sis! I'm home!" Luso called out, the door flinging open upon his arrival.

"It's about time to. School got out early today, so where were you?" A beautiful, sixteen year old girl asked from the kitchen as she moved on to the next batch of dishes in the stack. She had short but vibrant red hair that stopped above her shoulders, as well as a vivid pair of blue eyes that matched Luso's own. Her figure was relatively slender and full of curves that a woman around her age should be gaining, not to mention that she was taller than an average sixteen year old girl as well. Though, the apron and rubber gloves didn't exactly compliment with her appearance.

"Had to do a book report." The brown haired lad responded. "Where is my..."

"Your gear and wooden sword are in the closet." The girl answered before he could complete the question.

"What about..." He continued with another question, searching through the closet she had mentioned and finding his kendo outfit, which he quickly began to throw on.

"Mom went down to the bar again. Don't know when she'll be back...or if she'll come home sober. You remember what happened last time."

"Then where..."

"Grandpa's in the back waiting for you. Seriously Luso, you make this too easy."

"Whatever sis, well I'll see you in a few." The boy retorted with a cocky smile as he dashed out of the back door and into the backyard.

As he rushed onto the grass that was his backyard, Luso tossed aside his backpack and gripped his bamboo kendo sword without ceasing his sprint. He aimed his charge at a mid-sized older man who stood directly in the middle of the grassy patch of land.

"Gotcha now, grandpa!"

"Too slow, boy." The man instantly pivoted on his foot and swung his sword in an upward arc, knocking Luso's own bamboo blade out of his hands. The brown haired youth fell to the grass below and rubbed his hands in pain.

"Luso, you're gripping the sword too hard, try loosening it a tad." An elderly man called out as he tapped his own practice kendo sword against the grass and dirt beneath him. He sported the normal armor for a kendo duelist, including the vest as well as the face mask and the traditional kimono with a dark blue hakama worn over it.

"Yeah, yeah, I got it already." The adolescent male responded agitatedly, standing up and gripping his sword. He also wore his kendo armor, though his was slightly darker.

"Good, now close your eyes," The old man said in a soft voice, with the boy complying only seconds later, albeit reluctantly. "Remember Luso, the sword is an extension of your arm. The way of a kendo master is waiting for the right moment to use that extension in conjunction with the rest of your body."

"Right, extension of my arm." Luso whispered to himself as he shifted into a more comfortable position, his eyes still locked shut.

"Alright, now come at me with everything you've got." The man ordered as he also readied himself for the impending charge.

Luso remained in place for a few seconds as he envisioned and planned out his next few movements. From his earlier bouts at attempting to subdue the old man, he had noted the style of his form and the way he moved.

The boy rushed him relentlessly, bringing the polished, wooden sword behind him, attempting to bring it down on top of the aged man.

"I've got you n…" Luso's sentence was instantly ceased as his foot tripped over the hem of his hakama, causing him to fall flat on his face right in front of the old man's feet.

"Looks like you need a little bit more practice, boy." The old man declared as he let out a hearty chuckle.

Luso only groaned exasperatedly.

…..

"No, but really boy, that had to be the sorriest performance of kendo I've seen in my entire life. I'm not sure if you'll be ready by tomorrow." The elderly man said as another belly laugh escaped his throat, infuriate the brown haired boy even more. Their kendo practice had just ended and the two were currently resting in two identical chairs at their backyard porch table.

"I might not be the best grandpa, but you have been teaching me since I was practically born. I'll be fine. Besides, I was just distracted today, that's all." Luso said with a slight hint of embarrassment in his tone.

The old man snickered once more. "Oh really? And just what seems to be ailing ya?"

"Well..." The boy sauntered over to the backpack he had thrown in the grass hours earlier, and brought it over to the table. "I found this book at school today."

"Oh, would you look at this..." His grandfather exclaimed as he received the book from his grandson. "This book looks even older than me." The elder gentleman began to flip through some of the pages, taking note of the fantasy elements that had kept Luso so interested.

"Yeah, but the strange thing is..." Luso began, before he was interrupted by the old man.

"Do you mind if I read through this, Luso? It seems pretty interesting to me." His grandfather asked, Luso giving him a nod of approval seconds later. Now that he thought about it, it wasn't likely that anyone would believe him on the book actually 'speaking' to him anyway.

"Hey guys, dinner's ready. Come and get it!" The Luso's red haired sister called out from the kitchen and motioning for the two to join her at dinner.

"Well you heard the lady, boy. Let's eat. I'm famished." The old man said as he lazily entered the house.

"Right." Luso proclaimed coming in after him.

….

Dinner was the same as usual for the three of them, with the children's mother not being present and all. Though, the trio managed to make the most of it as they usually did. For the most part, Luso talked about how he was going to spend his summer, completely forgetting about the book for the moment, until his sister reminded them on their current lack of funds.

The brown haired kendo student had a kendo match early the next day, so he decided to turn in and catch up on some much needed shuteye. His sister, done with her chores for the moment, also decided to go to bed, since she had to work early tomorrow as well. After saying goodnight to the both of his darling grandchildren, Luso's grandfather took a seat in the living room's easy chair and propped his feet upon the footstool.

"Haven't had a good book to read in a while." The old man thought, grabbing the book and placing it on his lap. He glanced at the old grandfather clock in the corner, which read a little bit past ten o' clock.

"Isabella should've been back by at least nine thirty. That woman is really becoming a negative influence on her children."

Almost as if on cue, the sound of a soft knock originated from the front door as soon as the old man had begun to get comfortable.

"Don't chu...worry bout it. I gots a...key!" The sound of woman's voice called out from the other side of the door as she fumbled to insert her said key into its slot. After a few failed attempts, a steady and masculine hand guided the key in, and with a soft click of the lock, the door opened.

"Um...hello sir." A somewhat burly but average sized man remarked as he helped Isabella into the room, setting her down on the couch adjacent to the old man's easy chair. He wore a uniform similar to that of Isabella's, most likely a co-worker of hers.

"Ah, thank you again, Christopher, for making sure she got home safely." The Grandfather said to the man, who replied with a curt nod before exiting the door. As soon as he was positive that Frances was out of earshot, the old man turned to face Isabella slowly.

"This is the fourth time in the past two weeks that you've come home intoxicated, Isabella..." He pointed out with a stern demeanor about him.

"Yeah? So...what?" She asked with a slight slur of speech, taking a pack of cigarettes out of her purse and lighting one.

The man sighed as he trudged over towards the fireplace, taking the stick resting next to it and using it to push the logs and the blazing fire back.

"The two kids and I are moving out of this house."

"Whad did you say, you old geezer!"

"You know what I said, you're not that drunk. We're leaving as soon as possible. What you do after that, will no longer concern us."

"But you...can't do that! I gave birth to them..."

"And to me, that's all you did. Once the court sees how bad you are, they will most likely give custody to me. You stopped being a mother the moment you stopped caring for the welfare and safety of your children."

By this point, Isabella was fuming with anger. She grabbed the bottle of liquor that she had brought with her from the bar and slammed it down on the ground, the glass shattering every which way in a small radius, while the fluid saturated the wooden floor.

"You can't take them from me..." She yelled.

"I'm sorry, but it's settled." The old man remarked as he picked up the book that Luso brought home and began to head towards the stairs. He gave one last pitying look at her...

"Sometimes I wonder, Isabella, how you would have turned out if Francis had not of died." And with that, he headed downstairs towards his quarters in the basement.

After hearing his words the thirty five year old woman plopped down onto the sofa, taking a puff of her cigarette before rubbing it out in the astray next to the couch. She had a distraught look on her face as images of her late husband flashed through her mind. Though these thoughts were cut short as she noticed that the fire in the fireplace was growing out of control. She considered going over to correct the fire hazard, but doubted she could even stand up again with the effects of the vodka she downed taking over her body. Never less, she staggered over to the fireplace in an almost violent pattern, as if walking was the most difficult thing to accomplish.

The fire had begun to grow more intense as she did her best to stop it with her limited coordination. She opted to go look for water to put it out, but realized that a regular glass of water couldn't put this fire out and that all the buckets were locked up in the tool shed in the backyard. The sparks flying from the fire finally began to catch onto other objects in the room, as soon the whole mantle around the fireplace was ablaze as well as the floor directly in front, with the flames showing no sign of ceasing. Some of the flames had found their way to the vodka fluid that had spilled out when she had chunked the bottle at the floor, igniting into a much larger fire after contact with the alcohol.

Isabella considered making her way over to the stairs to warn the others in the house, but doing that would require crossing the flames which were now blocking her path. Not to mention with her limited balance and coordination, it would take a miracle for her to cross without taking injuries from the fire. Turning around, she started for the front door in a bout to make an escape, but stopped dead in her tracks as she touched the door handle.

"I haven't been a good mother, but the one thing I can't do is leave them to die..." She said steeling her resolve as she charged for the door on the opposite side of the room. Though try as she might to keep her balance, the effects of the alcohol on her body and coordination resulted in her tripping and falling down onto the floor. When she had run through the flames, parts of her leg had been seriously burned by the intense fire, also adding to her predicament.

The flames were all around the room now, and the walls and ceiling were beginning to crumble from the fire's deterioration. Isabella began to crawl towards the door, doing her best to ignore the pain. Without any other options left, the woman, burns on her arms and legs and incapable of moving any further with her injuries, tried to yell out their names.

"LUSO! DAD!..."

But the roar of the flames drowned out any sound of her voice, not to mention the smoke clogging up her lungs and any attempt to speak. With all hope lost, she closed her eyes and laid her head down.

"Can you see me up there, Francis?"

"LUSO! WAKE UP!" A young female voice yelled from the other side of Luso's bedroom door. The boy awoke suddenly from the noise and hopped out of his bed.

"Sis…Sis, what….is it?" Luso asked bewildered as he answered back to his elder's calls.

"Luso, there's a fire. Come on, we have…get out of here."

True to his word, Luso could see the glowing light of the fire from underneath the door as well as the smoke billowing into his room from under the entryway.

Not hesitating a second, Luso violently turned the doorknob and exited his room.

"Luso, I'll go get grandpa. You try to find a way out." His sister commanded, the brown haired boy obeying without complaint. As the teenage girl headed downstairs to where her grandfather resided, Luso dashed down the hallway, dodging smoke clouds and falling debris wherever he could. He passed a few doors, though all were by now covered in flames and impassible at this point. He was running out of options and the intense smoke making it harder to breathe didn't help matters anyway. It felt like his lungs were the ones on fire.

With a stroke of genius and luck, the boy remembered that they owned a fire extinguisher located in the laundry room, not to mention a small window that they could escape out of. With this mindset, the boy practically tripped over his own two feet at the speed he was heading for that room, which was at this point their only hope for escape.

Ripping the extinguisher off of its support, Luso wildly sprayed around the room, dousing the fire with the liquid. In a matter of seconds, the room albeit small was nearly completely free of flames. The boy smiled at his success of creating a suitable escape route, but it quickly diminished once he remembered the danger he was still in. Not to mention, with the fire almost all around the house, this route wouldn't be accessible for long and the canister was almost empty.

Luso once again made a somewhat mad dash out of the room and into the hallway, finding it covered with flames. He aimed the extinguisher and let loose another blast of liquid from it, eliminating some of the fire in front of him and creating a path to follow. The heat and smoke from the remaining fire was starting to make him a little lightheaded, but he pressed on.

"Sis! Sis! Where are you?" Luso yelled out, hoping his sibling would reply, but to no avail. He sincerely hoped that nothing bad had happened to her.

At this point his extinguisher had run completely dry and he had tossed it aside. It would've been useless weight anyway without anything in it.

Within moments Luso had located the stairs to the basement, only to find the door covered with fire. The boy charged at the door without thought or hesitation, managing to swing the door open. In doing so, the fire on the door had left serious burns on his arm. The pain was near unbearable for the brown haired lad and he let out a wild scream, but he pressed on, thoughts of his grandfather and sister in danger swimming around in his head.

"GRANDPA!" Luso called to his elder in between coughing from the smoke surrounding him as he practically leapt down the stairs. "SIS! WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE!"

His eyes darted around the room, taking note of the small patches of fire dotted around the room. He also noticed that it was much harder to breathe down here than it was upstairs, even though the amount of fire was smaller in comparison.

"GRANDPA! GRAN..."

Luso stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes becoming wide with nothing but sheer horror. There in the corner of the room lay a pile of collapsed floorboards from the ceiling, a gaping whole above the pile indicating that the ceiling had collapsed. But jutting out from underneath it was the arm of an old man and from what he could make out, the body of a teenage girl. Neither showed any signs of life.

The boy was at a loss for words as he fell to his knees, crying and cursing loudly.

The room at this point was already crumbling apart from the fire. The stairs were burned down and cripple, preventing any escape. Without any ventilation, the smoke fumes would eventually cause him to die from suffocation. It was only a matter of time.

Knowing there would be no escape, Luso weakly stumbled over to the pile of debris where his grandfather and sister's bodies lay with tears streaming down his face. He noticed that the strange book he borrowed was lying directly in front of the pile, like it had saved itself from being destroyed. In fact, it was completely scratch, burn, and rip free and almost seemed to be glowing.

Deciding to just sit and burn to death, Luso picked up the book and placed it in his lap, turning to where he placed his pen. Once again, the words appeared magically like before.

"One is fated to fill these barren pages...Know ye his name?"

"One, huh?" The boy started weakly and with a slight cough. "How about...three?"

Luso decided to humor the book and with the pen wrote down his name as well as his grandfathers and sisters, albeit with some difficult due to the burn's on his arm.

"Luso..Clemens...António..Peixoto..Clemens...Frimelda..Rotiso..."

Just as he finished the last name, the fumes from the fire overcame him and he began to slowly lose consciousness as a tear rolled down his cheek.

Then...time seemed to completely freeze.

Everything from the fire to the smoke...everything in the room just stopped. The book began to glow brightly as the three names written down faded, as if the pages were absorbing the ink. The objects frozen in time then began to slowly circle around the unconscious Luso and the bodies of his sister and grandfather, the book growing even brighter as they did. The books continued to spin, picking up speed as time went on. The glow from the book surrounded the bodies of the three until all of them were glowing as bright as the book was, Luso's in particular glowing extremely bright.

In a matter of seconds, all three bodies vanished into thin air.

…..

Darkness.

No matter where he turned, that's all the boy could see...

That is...if you didn't count the blue, shiny, crystal like woman with glowing red eyes, a white aura radiating from her body and flowing, snow white hair directly in front of him.

But before confronting that mystery, Luso decided to check himself first. His arms and legs seemed to be alright, with the exception of a badly burnt left arm. Despite the fact that it looked like it needed immediate medical attention, it didn't really hurt all that much. In fact, the boy couldn't even feel the pain. This led Luso to believe that he was indeed, dead, and that the woman floating in front of him was an angel of some odd variety. But...didn't angels have wings or something?

"Who...are you?" Luso asked weakly, deciding to find out rather than just speculate.

She floated closer to him and halted directly in front of him, the boy watching her ever so carefully but unable to move.

"Tis matters not who I am. Only that he continues to exist."

"And who exactly is this 'he'?" Luso asked in a perplexed manner, while exuding caution.

"...the man who is to fill these barren pages, of course."

"...Wait! How did you know what the book..." Luso was caught off guard as the crystallized woman reached forward and kissed him directly on the lips. Luso, after a few seconds into the kiss, found himself able to move his body as his control was slowly but surely returned to him. A few seconds later she broke the lip lock, and faded away into the darkness. The brown haired adolescent searched around him for any sign of the mysterious female, when suddenly his body began to glow the same, white aura as she had been just moments ago.

In front of him, the book appeared magically as it always seemed to do. Luso instinctively grabbed onto it and within moments the two disappeared.

….

Luso Clemens lay unconscious, face down in a large patch of grass, surrounded by trees and bushes, as well as small forest creatures. Next to him lay the book, with its cover open and the pages turned to the very first page, which was now devoid of any previous writing. Though at the top of the first page, and written in a very elegant style of handwriting, four words were inscribed.

"And so it begins..."

Luso lies unconscious in the land of Ivalice, what will become of him and the mysterious book?

(End Chapter One)

A/N: And there you have it, chapter one of my newest project. I'm not even going to try and promise you I'll finish it, but I will get as far as possible. I really wanted to shorten this chapter, but most of the things that happened were necessary, so yeah.

I will try to keep Mary, Gary, and (whatever other names rhyme with those two) sues out of this fic. I will be going for realism more than action right off the bat. I even gave Luso eleven years of kendo training prior to the story, and he still will start off below average. That said, other characters might not always win important fights, even if the situation calls for their win in order to help the party.

And I'm giving the warning right here. There will be at least two non-enemy character deaths, depending on how you see it.

That's all I can think of right now. Anyway, looking forward to probably shorter future chapters.