Disclaimer: I do not own Legaia or any of its characters. Daya is my creation, however.
Wings of Freedom
Chapter One: Reach to the sky--
A dark, moonless night had fallen upon the Soren camp of Karisto. The sky was cloudless and a light breeze blew, allowing only the faint murmurs of the storytelling of travelers around the inn's fire to be heard if one listened closely. A small dark shape stood alone in the night, clinging to the shadow cast by a nearby shed, watching the streets and bridges for any sign of activity. Seeing no one there, she dashed out under the faint starlight, her steps light and the ends of her long tunic trailing with her movement, following the shadows of the tented buildings as she went.
As far as she could tell, the night was perfect.
At the end of her dash she arrived at an empty cliffside where a few stubborn clumps of grass grew, clinging to small bits of soil that lay in cracks in the rock. Looking around her once more to make sure no one was nearby, she crouched to the ground and slowly lifted up the corner of a single stone in a large pile. With her keen eyes she could catch a tiny glimpse of the golden object that lay beneath--
The girl froze, dropping the rock loudly back into its place. She spun around, looking up to meet the intense gaze of the Soren Tribe's Elder, Luctes, looking at her with a largely unhappy expression. Still crouched to the ground, instinctively she began to back away, but a rough hand gripped her shoulder, preventing her from trying to leave.
"Explain this to me. What are you doing out here alone during the night?" His voice was low and stern. He had squatted down to the ground beside her, but he still towered over her. Daya tried to shake her shoulder free, but Luctes' grip remained firm. Her mind was racing, she had to think of a good excuse fast.
She faced him, trying to look in his eyes but instead ended up staring at his forehead. "I came to look at the sky."
Luctes' expression remained the same. "Oh?"
"It's a new moon, right? When I was still little, Father used to tell me that new moons were just the best. Everyone would fly high over the sea in the middle of the night… it was so dark that you almost couldn't tell the sky from the ocean, all you could see was the glow of wings like rainbow stars in the sky, and--" She noticed his sudden glare and abruptly stopped, running her free hand through her hair down to the base of her neck.
"Daya. We are not that kind of people anymore. That world does not exist. The Seru have been gone for many years. Those stories my brother told you are only stories now. You should know this."
Daya bowed her head, gritting her teeth.But those things did happen, her mind protested. It took all her concentration and fear of her uncle's anger to keep her from speaking.
"You should also know that you're not allowed to be out alone at night. New moons are especially dangerous. Come. I'll take you back to Kotaka's tent."
Reluctantly, Daya stood, and he released her shoulder and began to walk forward.
"Why do I have to live in that orphanage?" Luctes stopped and looked back at her. She swallowed. "I'm almost fourteen now. Noa was younger than me when she helped clear the Mist!"
"Yes, and she has never lived alone in her life. I'm sure you wouldn't rather be staying with me; you wouldn't stand a chance sneaking out at night like this." He faced forward once more. "You're too young to live by yourself. Come along."
Daya bit her lip. "Yeah, well, you're too young to be an elder!"
As soon as she said the words, she immediately regretted it, even before Luctes had slowly turned to face her with the worst expression she could remember ever seeing on anyone besides her mother. He looked furious; but at the same time she knew her words had hurt, even if she couldn't see his eyes from this distance in the dark. Before she knew it he had crossed that distance, grabbed her by the arm and had begun dragging her back towards her home.
"You act like that was a choice I made? Just like you had chosen your father's death and your mother's suicide so you could come and live here, in an orphanage, with us pathetic flightless Soren? I know you hate us, despise us even, for the fact that we look down now. That we don't dream aloud of flying again, above the rest of the world, like the proud Soren we used to be. Well, you know what, you ungrateful child? You need to learn something. Dreaming hurts."
The flap of her tent blew shut in her face.
She started crying, and didn't stop for hours.
Somewhere in the midst of her silent tears, the idea came to her. She didn't have to stay here anymore. She would go back to that cliffside again, and then leave. Everyone in the camp was definitely asleep by now… Yes, she could do it. She wiped her tears and gathered up some wrapped food from the kitchen, making sure to stay as far away from the sleeping room as she could (she couldn't risk trying to take her belongings, she just knew she would wake someone with her sniffling), and slipped outside the tent.
"Close your eyes and hold out your hands…" Cara said to the little amethyst-haired girl, smiling, her hands holding something behind her back. The late afternoon sun filtered through slits in the windows' blinds, and the floor gently swayed with the motion of the lake.
"Oh, can't you just give it to her the normal way? It's her birthday…" Grantes protested from across the room, looking at their daughter's eager face with a bit of pity.
Cara scowled at him. "Of course not!" Grantes sighed an "okay" and she turned to face the girl again with a smile. "This makes it special. Go on, Daya…"
"Okay!" Daya grinned, holding out her hands, her eyes tightly closed. After a moment of anticipation she felt a heavy weight being placed into her outstretched palms, and she opened her eyes. She looked at the object with a glittering amazement. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. "What is it?"
Cara laughed her high, lilting laugh. "It's… something of a good luck charm. Well, Noa said it was an egg, and when the monk Gala gave it back to us he called it a talisman, but… whatever it is, it's very special." Cara crouched down. "Without it, your daddy and I might not found each other again. We might not have had you! So it's very important that you take very good care of it."
Daya's eyes widened, and she looked at the object in her hands again. "So this thing makes babies?"
Grantes and Cara looked at each other for a moment and their faces cracked with laughter.
Once she stopped laughing, Cara spoke. Grantes was still chuckling softly by the window. "No, it doesn't do that. But it does protect you, and keep you safe. Long, long ago, when we still had the Mist… I kept it with me, and I could go anywhere I wanted to, even if there were Seru there, and still be safe. So, even if someday you go far, far away all by yourself… as long as you keep it with you, you'll be safe no matter what."
She looked up at her mother, confused. "But I don't want to go away by myself!"
Cara placed a hand on Daya's head, playing with her hair affectionately. "Of course you don't want to be by yourself. And you don't ever have to be alone if you don't want to. You're only six now, but someday, when you're two or three times your age, you might want to go somewhere by yourself. I'm giving this to you so that you can take good care of it until that day comes. It's a very special responsibility. Do you think you can do it?"
Daya nodded, and looked down at her gift. It was some kind of stone, or jewel, or something… it almost felt alive, and it was set in something gold with all these golden vines twisting around it like roots holding it in place. The vines arced out from it and twisted together on two sides out from it in opposite directions. Her mother lifted it from her palms and clasped the ends of the longest golden vines around her neck, and though it felt heavy on her chest, she knew she would take care of it better than anyone could.
Grantes stood beside her, and both of them hugged her. Grantes ruffled her hair. "Just make sure not to let any other Soren see it, it might make them feel sad."
Daya looked up at him. "Why's that?"
Cara scowled at Grantes again, and gave her daughter another hug, speaking into her hair. "Because they're not as pretty as you!"
Daya knelt before the rock pile at the grassy cliffside once more and lifted up the center stone. As she set it gently beside her, she could see a golden shimmer where the rock had been. Quickly she removed three more rocks from the pile, setting them beside her as well. She lifted the golden object up from the rocks, feeling its familiar weight in her hands. It shone brilliantly in her hands as she hooked its clasp around her neck.
"I'm sorry I couldn't take care of you today," she whispered, running a finger across the stone's smooth surface, "I hope you will still protect me anyway."
Stacking the rocks back up neatly, Daya took one last look around the darkened camp, pulled her pack of food over her back, and began running towards the stone steps that would take her away from the Soren camp.
Author's Note: Phew! It's been quite a while since I've written ANYTHING, and this just sort of came out of nowhere! It's about 3:30 in the morning as I'm writing and posting this, and I'm not entirely sure if what I've written is any good or not. I haven't written a fanfic with an OC as the main character since I was in middle school and wrote Pokemon Mary Sues for fun, so I don't have any experience with writing actual good OCs within a fanfic, but I hope all my writing for my own stories has helped :P
Most of you are probably wondering "Wait, where the heck is the next chapter of Sightseeing?! What is this OC-filled story doing in my inbox?!" and honestly, I don't know. I just kind of wrote it. These things just happen with me with no real explanation. I'd like to be able to say "Oh, yeah! I'm writing the next chapter of Sightseeing tomorrow afternoon, so I should have it up by Friday!" but honestly, I have no idea. I can say that the reason why it's not done yet has been because there is a TON of shit going down in my life right now (like usual, but it honestly is different stuff each time) and for the past year as well, so I haven't had time for writing. I don't really have time to write this fic either, but it sort of wrote itself, so… yeah. If you want the next chapter of Sightseeing to happen soon, your best bet is to scream really loud "SIGHTSEEING CHAPTER TWELVE, COME FORTH! CHANNEL YOUR SPIRIT THROUGH THIS LOWLY ARTIST WHO ALSO CAN KIND OF SORT OF WRITE!!", because that's honestly how my writing happens. I don't sit down and think "hey, I should write the next chapter of that fic" and write it. It just kinda comes to me. Otherwise stuff comes out forced, which usually means it sucks.
I'm gonna be really busy the next couple weeks making figurines at the speed of light to sell at a craft fair, but if somehow your shouting really does channel the spirit of Sightseeing Chapter Twelve into me, well, then goddamnit, it's gonna be written. Otherwise my guess is as good as yours. I'm sorry Dx
Thus concludes another overly long Author's Note.