Disclaimer: Do I have to keep repeating it? Is there any point now?
Summary: Weakened and sealed, a different yet older version of Lloyd is forced to travel with the chosen's group in order to regain his powers but he's keeping more things to himself then he's saying, a lot more.
N/A: I'm going to change a few things and skip over a few parts but those that have played the game will know what had happened
Chapter 6:Spider Queen
"So this is Palmacosta!" Lloyd jumped for joy as he stepped onto the planks that seemed to spread out across the area. The docks all had a boat on it with plenty of space for extras. People were running off and on the boats, either taking stuff out from below or putting things on. Everyone was moving around, no one standing still for too long and not too far away was where the town was located. The twin swordsmen could feel the wooden boards shift slightly at the waves and he wobbled a bit in his footing. Everyone had gotten off the boat while Max remained onboard, hanging over the railing to peer at the group. Raine, upon hitting the wood, had instantly run to the shore and when she planted her feet on the hard surface of safety did her personality switch back to the calm and collected one. Genis sighed at his sister's fear and Death couldn't help but chuckle in amusement. Lloyd glanced up to the blond-haired man with a hand on his face to cover his eyes from the blinding sun and waved with the other. "Thanks, Max. What are you going to do now?"
The man looked thoughtful. "I'll probably request an escort for a Palmacosta warship or something…well take care."
"Sorry for making you take us all the way out here. Be careful on your way back." Lloyd grinned while Colette, who was standing near the edged, waved.
Death shook his head and started for land. His balance along with Kratos' was unaffected by the swaying of the boards and was able to walk as if nothing was wrong. Lloyd, Colette and Genis, however, had to hold onto each other but even though there were three of them, they still managed to fall over a few times. Sometimes taking Kratos or himself along with them, and if things got messy, all five of them. Raine stayed in the distance and refused to turn their way because of the water. Death sighed and looked around the area or market place as it appeared to be and took note of a few things. A large lighthouse was on the opposite side, no light on at the moment, but he could tell from this far away that it was vacant. Voices crowded his mind as they entered the center, so many people were wandering around that for a moment he thought he had lost himself from the group. As his red eyes turned to the side, he spotted the dark clothes of Kratos and the bright red ones of Lloyd's at a shop. He mentally sighed in relief.
"Where to?" Death asked as he went closer, wanting to see what was going on.
Lloyd twisted to him with a grin but Kratos was the one that answered. "To an inn I suppose. I think we're all a little tired after that ride."
"I see." The look-alike noticed that the Sages and Colette was just to the side, looking over some gels and ingredients for foods. He watched the three carefully before turning to a different direction.
A shiver ran up his spine.
His red eyes widened at the feeling and snapped his head up.
"D-Death?" A voice called out to him and it took him a second to realize that it was Lloyd. "Is something wrong?"
"No, its nothing." Death gave a smile, fake, but no one could tell the difference. His eyes darkened when Lloyd went back to Kratos. It had been a faint feeling but it was enough to concern him, he was being watched, being followed, and as went away, it was still with him. The man growled to himself, he'd have to search for the person…or creature later.
As everyone wandered around, it didn't take long for them to gather what they needed like Lloyd getting a new piece of armor by the request of Kratos, and a few other things. Death did notice an odd old woman in the seafood section, staring at them. He returned it with a glare but the woman didn't stop instead she continued. He waved it off after all. As they headed up the ramp to the next level, they passed a little dog that was on the side, wagging his tail, and Colette instantly named it Teddy, everyone just sweatdrop after that.
Death placed his hands into the pockets of his jacket and closed his eyes, hearing the soft sounds of the wind and ocean. A small breeze fell over his face and he could hear the group chattering beside him. He knew they went around a few corners, traveling until they recognized a sign that stood for the inn. They came to it but as they turned, he heard a startled yell and something shattering onto the ground. He opened his eyes to see the Chosen and another girl, this one with short blue hair, on the floor. A bottle next to them was smashed open, the glass of the container scattered along the ground with its pinkish looking liquid spilling out. Death shook his head, he should have known better than to let her go in the front, he should have even remembered this incident. However, his memories of this time here was still a little fuzzy, it was getting clearer by day, but it wasn't going fast enough for him.
The girl stood up the same time with Colette, who had help from Lloyd. The person turned to the blond in rage. "Oww! What did you do that for?!" She screeched in fury, stomping her foot on the ground.
"Oh, I'm sorry." The Chosen apologized instantly by habit.
However the girl didn't care for that. When she took a look at the potion that had fallen to the ground, she brought a hand up to her lips. "Ahh! The Palma Potion that we just received!"
The guy next to her, who Death couldn't help but sneer at when he spoke with such a tone of voice, stepped forward and narrowed his eyes. He had red hair that was spiked up towards the air and wore armor. It wasn't hard to tell that he was furious. "Hey, lady, that was a valuable potion! How are you planning on making up for this?" Kratos instinctively placed his hand on his sword in defense while Lloyd clenched his fist.
Colette seemed unaffected and clapped her hands together. "I'll buy a replacement potion right away!"
"…Replacement potion?!" His face turned red and took another step forward and screamed. "Do you think that'll ease my anger?"
Lloyd had enough. "Oh, come on, now you just sound like an idiot."
"What-did-you-say?! Do you know who we are?!"
"And I should care because?..." Lloyd shrugged his shoulders, not looking scared at the threat. Death had to congratulate him in keeping his cool but his eyes couldn't help but catch a large book that was hiding in their pack that was slightly obvious to the eye. He turned to Kratos who noticed it as well, though he was hiding that fact that he did behind his emotionless mask. Death knew he was the only one that could act at the moment but not at this very second. He had to wait until the right time to attack and steal it back.
The girl with short blond hair in their little group of four come forward, wearing witch clothes all blue in color. "Stop. I'd like to leave here as soon as we can. Don't start any unnecessary trouble."
The other girl nodded, turning to her group, trying to calm the red head's anger. "I agree, lets just have them replace the potion."
This didn't make the man happy but he complied. "Bah. You got off lucky this time, kid. Hurry up and go buy that potion."
Everyone in the group wanted nothing more than to kill that pompous bastard, even Death was getting tempted by the idea. He wanted to decapitate the idiot with a quick swing of his sword, however, he kept that urge inside. But Colette just agreed to the brut, ignoring his rude behavior with a smile and decided to go and get the potion by herself. Lloyd gaped and groaned. "There's no need to bother Colette! We'll help you!"
"No, I ran into them so I have to pay for it…"
"Now, now Colette." Death started, yanking the girl back so they could leave. "We all need to pitch in since we made the situation worse than it already was. Lloyd made that red-haired guy start to scream-"
"No, I didn't!"
"-and Kratos made a threatening move on their lives behind your back." This earned him a glare from the red head beside him since he was lying through his teeth. It was one thing he was good at. "So we really all should help pay for the potion. By, I don't know, using our fund."
Colette being Colette agreed instantly with a smile on her face. "Oh, I get it! Okay!"
'No, she doesn't!' Everyone else screamed in their minds and turned to Death in question. He shoved Colette forward to get her out of the way and leaned over to them to explain.
"Look we're all going to have to use the funds to pay the thing off anyway. It's an expensive potion. I saw the sign for it. And I doubt getting Colette to work or do anything will actually benefit us. She's more likely to cost us then earn money instead." Death sighed. "Not only will we have to pay for Colette's strange tripping but for the potion as well."
"But why did you have to lie?" Genis questioned, raising an eyebrow.
"Would she have let us help if she thought this was all her fault? You all should know the answer to that one."
It didn't take long before everyone agreed but as they headed off to a shop, Death paused for a moment. This caught everyone's attention and they turned to him in question. The look-alike blinked and looked out to the sea. He had caught the staring again and he could still sense it leaving faintly. "Hey, I'm going to head back to the market for a little while. I'll meet up with you guys at the inn. Just tell the front desk for me."
"Huh? Wait a minute!" Genis called out. "Aren't you going to come with us!?"
"I'll be right back, it's too late right now to go anywhere else and many places are starting to close. You better hurry and get that potion and give it to them. I need to see something in the mean time. Anyway, you guys have most of my money so no worries!" Death started away, not bothering in listening to the rest of them and waved his arm. As he went, he could feel Kratos' glare on his back until he disappeared behind the building with a grin.
His feet knew the way there and he stepped down the ramp once more but not before passing the group of four on his way. He didn't say anything and snuck past them with ease, he wasn't searching for a conflict especially out in public. After that, Death sighed in boredom. He had lost the target and he glanced around the area he was currently in for any sign or sensation of the being that had been watching him. He wandered half-heartedly and peered at the items without any interest. The look-alike went to one of the carts, dodging people and groups alike, and seemed to blend into his surroundings with ease. It was until a set of objects caught his attention. His red eyes peered at the knifes that were in the back of the row and went closer, reaching out to touch them.
The merchant finally noticed that he had a customer, and possible buyer, came around with a wide grin on his face. "Well, did something catch yours eyes, sir?"
Death blinked, leaning up with one of the throwing knifes in his fingers. He ignored the merchant temporally, holding the blade. He flipped it around in his hands before slamming it down onto the cart.
The seller wasn't happy about that and stared at the dent. "Hey, are you trying to pick a fight?!"
A few people surrounding the area stopped to watch, curious and perhaps nosy. Death shook his head and looked up. "No, I'm not. I was just checking the durability of these. The metal is weak. It hardly made a large or deep dent against the wood. It's not ever sharp enough. A knife regardless of how small or big should be able to cut through things like butter, not stand still. Throwing knifes need to have a sharp tip when piercing someone." Death lifted the blade back up and fingered it in-between his fingers. "The grip is horrible, you can sell this to those that don't know much about knifes but you can't fool me." Death tossed the thing back and moved on, not caring about the startled expression of the merchant. He had partly lied to his little group about his money. Sure they had most of it but he had gotten some more over time. He was a little bit of a thief, not that he would tell anyone. And pick-pocketing just happened to be his specialty. The people surrounding the area wandered off into the distance. A couple of them decided to follow him, wondering where he was going to next.
Death ended up stopping at the next cart and lifted up a throwing knife. He twirled it slightly and with ease. "Not bad, this is quite nice. How much?"
"500 gald for the whole set." The dealer stated, watching his store materials carefully. There were always those with sticky fingers and he didn't want anything stolen from him.
The look-alike muttered a few things under his breath. "I see, I'll take it." He took out the money and handed it over, retrieving the knifes in return. The whole set of six went into his fingers and up his sleeves, the box not included. He returned that part to the owner and disappeared into the crowd. His red eyes glanced around the area, trying to see if he could spot anyone familiar but alas, he didn't. Everyone here was all mashed up together, bumping bodies at each other. Death wandered further, bored again and could feel the mass of the knife in his sleeves but it wasn't weighting him down. He glanced up at the sun and grumbled, not liking the light that was shining down on him. The scent of ocean water was okay to his nose but he wasn't used to its strong smell and it started to annoy him after a while. It was too blue, too brilliant and he hated that brightness. Death grumbled louder, heading into an alley so to be comforted by the darkness.
He flipped down on one of the scattered crates, watching as people go by. He leaned against the hard yet cool wall, hiding himself in darkness, far away from the lights. His blood red eyes examined the people and in it emerged a little girl, probably seven or eight. She glanced around as if searching for something then came upon him with her large eyes. A smile broke out on her face and ran up to him. He stared in wonder, unmoving.
"Hey, mister, what are you dong here? Are you okay?" The girl asked, grinning with sunlight shining on her back. Death sighed heavily, straightening himself up.
"I'm fine, I just need to get into some shade. You, on the other hand, should head on home. You're parents are worried." The older man stated, examining the kid over.
"I will after I see something." The child jumped.
Death shook his head. "I understand but I really believe that you should go home and look at it later, you'll regret it if you don't."
"Don't worry, mister. I'll be fine. Bye!" And with that she left, disappearing into the mess of people. Colors of different kinds were blended collectively, people were chattering endlessly with voices of all kinds growing, and he just leaned back to the side. His eyes closed and he listened to the soft sounds of the sea brushing against the sandy surface.
"That poor girl, you tried to warn her but she didn't listen." A voice called out from the darkness behind. Death didn't move, taking another long breath. A woman appeared, forming from the shadows itself with long black hair flowing down to the back of her knees. Her crimson eyes glowed dangerously and she licked her rosy lips, gliding her body forward as if floating. Stray bangs tickled across her forehead with one side of the pale face covered in cracks that appeared to be spider webs. Her dress was a bit showy, the top hanging low enough to show about half of her large breasts. The sleeves were extremely baggy and when she extended them out, designs of dark red webs were engraved into them. Her fingernail, painted black, slid across Death's shoulder's seductively. Spiders crawled over his body from that one contact but they remained moving on her body, in her hair and clothes, but it didn't spook the other one bit. "Tried to keep her from her fate but she didn't listen. That's too bad."
Death pulled away, turning to the woman. "Mur, why are you here?"
"Looking for you, of course." She smiled, showing off her pure white teeth. "It was easy too, my spiders were able to track you down and tell me. Don't worry, I haven't told anyone else yet but I'm pretty sure that they already do."
"Of course, they always know."
"Though, I find it a bit odd for you traveling with these sort of people. They're not very smart, now are they? Can't even tell lies from the truth but I guess you're an expert in that now." Mur giggled, bringing her hands up. "Telling the truth from both lives, both only temporary, and never saying much about the one right now, the present you. Not only that, you know the future of this one just like that of the little girl's."
"This is coming from the Spider Queen that devours people after tricking them and that had played the role of the mysterious creepy one that fools everyone in many worlds." Death retorted, not really bothering in swatting any spiders that were crawling up his neck, some were small, others were a bit larger like they could fit into the palm of his hand. "Plus, you really need to stop changing your clothes, can't you just stick to one dress or outfit?"
"Ah, come on Lloyd, I'm just having some fun. I've lived longer than you have, much longer then this planet and galaxy. I don't really want to act my age. As they say, new excitement each day."
"Who's they? Your previous meal?" Death sneered, shaking his head and reached up to pat a spider. "Anyway, how is everything back home? Did my disappearance do anything drastic?"
The Spider Queen folded her arms and sat down on the crate next to Death. Her slim body was so thin that the hair seemed to overlap her. "Not really since you've been known to disappear for months. Only Luc and Sync noticed it the most but they know that you're safe and can take care of yourself. They're the ones that are the least worried."
"I see, they have so much faith in me. And my dad?"
"He hadn't noticed it, neither has your god-father. Of course, that can't be said for your other father. He's already noticed it long before anyone else had and is probably keeping a close watch on you from afar. It's quite nice to have such a parent willing to go so far to help his child even if they're not related by blood." Mur flicked her hair behind her shoulders and folded her legs. "I don't even remember what my parents were like or if I had any."
Death smiled lightly, glancing up into the sky. He could see the large puffy clouds shattered along the great blue, imaging his father watching down on him. He could just see it. At least, the man was giving him privacy. He had another foster father long ago. Dirk, was his name, but he could no longer see him. The dwarf should be dead by now as well as all his friends from his previous world. It had been a long time. Everyone should have faded out by now, Raine and Genis were perhaps the only ones still alive since they're half-elves but he wasn't going to hold any hope onto that. Maybe when this was all done, he would go back and at least visit their graves. Death smiled sadly.
Mur smiled. "Lloyd, how much longer do you think you can lie to them, knowing full well what's going to happen in the future. Like how Kratos is going to betray all of you?"
"I'm not going to say anything related to it. I'll use my second life to keep things hidden. That way no one will know my identity unless someone comes forth and tells but before that happens, I'll have killed that person." Death stood up, dusting himself off and straightened his scarf. The spiders that were crawling on him ran off, heading back into Mur's dress, blending in with the color. "I'm going to head back to them, I think I've been gone long enough. See you later, Mur." He headed into the crowd, stepping back into the light. But then he remembered something. He turned back to the woman who was still standing in the darkness. "I need you to do something for me. Do you remember a little group that forced us to pay for their potion? I know you were watching me the entire time. You were that presence that I kept sensing."
"Of course, Darling."
"Well, with them, they have a book. Could you do me a favor and get it back?" Death had a dark grin on his lips. "You can scare them anyway you like."
Mur giggled. "Of course. I'd love to." She took a step backwards and disappeared, her eyes glowing before that too had to succumb to the darkness. But the grin never left the place and he could still hear her cruel laughter and the crawling of her spiders.
His hands were in his pockets, strolling past a store where a shout was suddenly called out. He glanced to the side and paused for a moment with everyone else. In the middle of the scene was the same little girl that had talked to him. She was lying on the ground, smashed underneath a large sign with her body all mangled up. Blood was spreading out from her corpse with her eyes wide open, staring into the distance. People crowded around her, whispering things and he knew that if the people weren't careful enough in removing the body, she would split. He shook his head. 'She didn't listen, stupid girl.'
He walked away, unaffected by the horror as his black scarf flapped behind, passing people that wanted to see what had happened. All eyes were turned to the group and he quickly went by without stopping until he reached the place where everyone was staying at. He momentarily looked at it, eyeing the building and could sense the group inside in one room. Death titled his head as he felt the wind blew and sighed, stepping towards the building.
Death opened the door to the inn and glanced around the opening area. The front was empty save for the receptionist that was supposed to be watching the door. She made a little smile and waved before glancing back down at her own book. He made no response and climbed up the stairs to the room and opened the one he was supposed to enter. He didn't bother asking the directions nor knock on the door. He just…slipped in.
"Hey, Kratos, do you know where Governor-General Dorr's place is?" Raine asked, looking over the map of the city.
"It should be in the dead center of the town, right next to the church there and the academy, if I remember correctly."
"Are we going to be able to stop at the academy? I want to look at the school there." Genis' voice cut in, sounding excited. Death didn't bother answering and went towards his bed in the distance, though he wasn't sure if it was really his (though there's no stuff on it), he just wanted to rest his feet. No one but Kratos noticed his entry and nodded to him. The look-alike didn't bother returning it and flopped down on the bed, laying down, snuggling into the pillow and sheets. He let out a contented sigh and turned to face the group of four that had gathered into this one room.
"Why not?" Colette's voice spoke up. "I think it'll be a lot of fun."
"Do I have to go, Professor?" Lloyd moaned, his shoulders falling at the thought of having to study. His face had a whipped dog look while Genis seemed a little depressed that his best friend didn't want to go with him. Raine, however, wouldn't hear of it.
"Lloyd, you're going and that's final. It'll be good for you." She had her staff in her hand and it seemed potentially dangerous to Lloyd's vision. He backed up slightly afraid that it would be used to cause him pain. He shuttered under her vision and kept quiet about the whole thing quickly, he didn't want to get killed yet. Lloyd groaned and looked around the room before noticing Death.
"Huh? When did you arrive?" Lloyd crawled closer and peered into Death's red eyes. "Weren't you out taking a walk a little while ago?"
Everyone but Kratos turned to the other man in the back. "Was asleep you know…" Death grumbled but lifted himself off the comfy pillow to look at everyone. "I came back while you were talking, I didn't bother in notifying you. There was no need."
"Then you were listening. Are you coming too? The school I mean."
Death blinked and looked at Raine, who had a fierce look in her eyes. "Yeah, have no choice. But it shouldn't be all that bad, right?"
Lloyd grumbled. He couldn't get out of it now since everyone had agreed to go. He sighed depressingly. "Ah man, now I can't get out."
"I don't think you ever could."
Lloyd groaned louder.
The death of that little girl caused a uproar among the citizens of the town. They cried out to the Chosen of Regeneration and Colette had to be kept in the dark since everyone knew that she would instantly rush out to help the family. Death could only watch in amusement, his lips twitching. He wanted to bring them up into a curl yet resisted or tried to resist. The look on his face couldn't be anymore than a frown but inside he was grinning.
In the morning, the group got up early to head towards the church. They wanted to pray for this city and offer their blessings. Death grumbled as he rubbed his eyes tiredly, he had hardly gotten any sleep last night as usual. He scratched the back of his head and continued to walk down the pathway the others were going. In the plaza, they could see three people, two of them kids. Death zoned out at what they were talking about but he could see the tall man holding what seemed to be his daughter's hand. The child was saying something, almost in tears, but the father and daughter calmed him down. He ignored it some more and looked around the area, watching the ocean move and glitter with the sun above them, heating up the top layer of the water. There was a better view of it when he got onto the bridge and the group couldn't help but overhear the conversation.
"Who was that?" Lloyd asked, snapping Death out of his dream.
An old man who happened to be close by twisted to him with his cane in his hand. "He's Governor-General Dorr. He's recruiting soldiers and resisting the Desians. He's a wonderful man."
The woman beside him, who appeared to be his daughter or a fat version of his granddaughter, spoke next. "After losing his wife to an illness, he's raised his daughter Kilia all by himself…"
"As long as Governor-General Dorr is here, we won't submit to the Desians. Even if we're taken off to the ranch. Dorr with come and save us. We believe in him."
Colette smiled. "Wow! The people of this city are all so strong!"
Lloyd nodded. "That Dorr person must be a great man." He pumped his fist into the air, suddenly all full of energy even though everyone had to drag him out of bed. Death had to help in that, he had been awake before they noticed and literally pulled the teen onto the floor.
Raine gathered the group together for a huddle, trying to get their next destination clear. "Alright, let's head to the church first then to the academy for Genis. We should get some information about the next seal there and hopefully our next destination." No one had any arguments on that plan, that is if Lloyd's voice of disapproval was ignored and not taken in. Death sighed in pity for his younger version and rubbed the top of his head affectionately, pulling him along. Lloyd could only blush at the touch, his voice silenced and followed along like a lost puppy. Kratos noticed this and couldn't help but make a small smile. If he didn't any better, he would be saying that both were his sons and that they looked so cute side by side like that. Death smiled in return to Lloyd's, shaking his head as they approached the doors. He suddenly stopped and stared at them before stepping back.
"I'm going to stay out here. I don't believe in your religion so I think its best if I remain out here." The look-alike went to the side and sat down on the stairs, having his back face the group. "Its better this way, trust me."
Colette and Raine looked a little hesitate in going in without Death but then Kratos repeated close to the same thing. He went to the side and leaned against the pillars, folding his arms. Lloyd looked between the two people he looked up to and twisted to his remaining friends. "Why don't you guys go ahead? We'll stay outside and wait. Plus, Kratos and I can get some training done, it'll be better this way." He gave his infamous grin that could make any situation better and gave a thumbs-up. Death watched as the Sages and the Chosen, the only ones that really believed in Martal, enter the church. When the doors opened, he heard mutters of voices and singing inside. He just hoped that Colette wouldn't find out about the girl…
Lloyd sat down on the stairs beside him and poked him at the side, getting his attention. "Hey, Death, what religion do you believe in?"
"Me?" The look-alike tilted his head. "Nothing really…I don't believe in anything."
"How come? I have my Dwarven vows to go by."
"I just don't. I'm more of a person to destroy religions then to follow them."
This suddenly confused Lloyd, who tilted his head. "Huh? What?" Death smirked and shoved Lloyd to the side, forcing him to sit by Kratos.
"Now, go play with Kratos. I'll keep watch of the others. No need to worry." Death waved his hands, shooing the two swordsmen away. When the two didn't respond, he sighed and knew he was going to take some drastic measures to get them to leave him alone. His eyes had a dark gilt in them and he instantly reached for his guns and aimed them at the two. Their eyes widened at the sudden attack, Kratos reacting the fastest, reaching for his sword. Lloyd wasn't as fast and stumbled a little with his feet. Death smirked and fired.
The bullets barely missed them since he was half-heartedly aiming and fired another round. Lloyd merely tried to dodge them, running around until he got into a safe spot. Kratos deflected a couple but he still had to jump around the others.
"W-What the hell, Death?!" Lloyd cried out, hiding behind a wall from the raining bullets. "What are you doing?"
"Hmm? Trying to get you to learn how to dodge properly." Death had a cruel smile on his lips and continued to fire. Kratos ran towards the wall that protected his son, using it as cover and glanced momentarily to see Death only to duck again. Suddenly, he stopped.
The two cautiously looked over the bricks and saw that Death had put his guns away and was walking back to the church as if nothing had happened. He slumped on the stairs, leaning over to rest his head on the pillar, looking like he was going to fall asleep.
"Now you two stay over there and play around. I'll be here." Death called out, watching the two with a stern eye. He folded his arms and slowly drifted off while keeping himself on full alert, just incase the family wanted to get some revenge on him. He kept his fingers on the gun handle and he closed his eyes, however, he was far from sleep. His voice came in a whisper. "Did you find them?"
"Yes…" Behind the pillar was a dark shadow with long fingers creeping out. They wrapped around his side but he didn't move. His eyes opened by a little slit and looked ahead.
"Well? Did they still have it on them?"
"Yep, they hid it in their bags in a piece of cloth." Mur giggled, wiggling around so she could smell the man's rich scent, the mixture of cinnamon, chocolate and blood. "I haven't taken it yet since they're always around it."
Death growled. "I thought I told you to scare them, perhaps injure them a bit. I don't really care for what you do to get it but I want that book. I refuse to meet that coney old man and have to deal with him again."
Mur sighed and kissed the back of his neck but he didn't care much for it. "Alright, Darling Lloyd, I shall. I'll give it to you when you arrive at Hakonesia Peak."
"Also, please don't do that again. I don't care much for it but Luc and Sync won't be happy if they catch you." Death smirked, opening his eyes a little more but he was staring at the ground. "And my father may come after you, both of them."
"Alright, alright, I'm going. Well then, I'll see you later." The woman gave one last smile before vanishing and Death could only sigh at the quiet he had gotten in return. He remained where he was at and closed his eyes fully.
After the so called pleasant visit with Governor-General Dorr, everyone realized that the book had been stolen by the group yesterday. Raine grumbled to herself, wanting to look and probably study the thing and cursed out to that group. Death sighed, he knew that this was gong to happen and Kratos wished that there had been an opportunity to steal it back without getting caught. So in the end, everyone, except for Lloyd, decided to visit the school in the mean time. Genis grew real excited as they got closer and had an extra bounce in his footsteps while Raine was already looking over the building. Death didn't really want to go in but he'd rather do so then become Raine's next target for anything.
"This place is so small…" Death whispered to himself, not wanting to catch anyone's attention. He saw some people hanging some white sheets to the side and noticed a door that went to a restaurant. Who ever heard of a school and a restaurant together? Well, he does now.
Lloyd opened the door to the building, heading in first before turning to the group. Kratos was last, grunting along and Death couldn't help but express his laziness by moving to the side to lean against the wall. Lloyd stalked over, grumbling, and poked his older version at the side. "Hey, don't fall asleep."
"I'm not going to…no matter how tempting it is." Death yawned, stretching his tired body until he heard a satisfying crack.
Lloyd puffed his cheeks and dragged the other closer, grumbling some more. But then there was a flash of concern. "Hey, do you feel better? You know…" His eyes trailed to where the cut had been at.
"Yeah…" The look-alike came back. "I'm already healed up, no worries."
The twin swordsmen nodded his head.
Colette took this time to speak to the little mage with a smile. "Hey, Genis, you were supposed to go to this school, right?"
Lloyd paused in his worries to listen in but he kept Death close by with a firm grip. Kratos couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at this, wasn't the oldest supposed to take care of the youngest? He was finding Death's sudden switch in personalities a little odd. Genis rubbed the back of his head, not liking the attention on him. A couple of students were in the hallway, passing by, probably trying to get to class on time but a few turned to him.
"Ah…yeah…I was given a recommendation…"
"Yes, he had such good grades that the school found him and invited him here." Raine continued for him, seeing as her younger brother wasn't willing to give out the total truth.
However, this add-in seemed to draw more of the students in the hallway. A young man, a book-worm obviously, by the way he dressed and acted as he pushed his glasses up his face, turned to Genis. There was a disbelieving scold on it. "You? A child this small was recommended for the elite Palmacosta Academy?"
Another one, this one with brown hair, the friend, sneered next. He tilted his head to the side and laughed at half-elf. "He's bluffing. It took me six tries to pass the entire examination."
Death snorted. "That's not something you want to admit to the world you know. And you know what? That's just plain sad to take six tries."
"At least I'm in here, that's all it matters to me. You couldn't get in here even if you tried!" The brown-haired student laughed harder.
"What?! Don't make fun of him! He's better than all of you! And so is Genis, he can even say his multiplication table." Lloyd yelled. Everyone else couldn't help but face palm at that remark and Death instantly yanked the teen closer to him. He tightened his grip on Lloyd's arm, warning him not to say anything else that was stupid.
"Wh…What kind of low example is that?!" Genis cried, feeling embarrassed and had a look of shock on his expression. He turned to Lloyd looking furious, his white hair scattering.
"Well, its high level for Lloyd…" Raine couldn't help but remark in the background. Death could only sigh, knowing that it was true.
The brown-haired one couldn't help but find this whole argument interesting. He grinned in amusement. "They say birds of a feather flock together." He pointed to Genis, almost touching the face. "I'm sure that this runt is on the same level."
"Wh…What?!" Lloyd snapped and ran forward after breaking out of Death's grasp, slapping the hand away. His eyes burned with rage. "You're nothing compared to Genis!"
"…Interesting. Will you challenge me, then?" The blond one asked, looking quite smug like he had already envisioned his victory.
Lloyd, however, didn't like this and nudged his best friend forward. "You'll do it, right?"
"That's easy for you to say!" Genis yelled, furious that he wasn't able to make any decisions for himself and puffed his cheeks. In the end, he reluctantly accepted, nodding his head in the student's direction. The teens in the hallway whispered to each other, spreading the word that there was going to be a competition.
"You should know that I'm the highest ranked student at this academy. You're gonna regret it later."
"I'll prepare the questions. When you're ready, come to the classroom in the back on the second level. We'll all be waiting for you there. This way we'll show you just how tiny you are! And don't you dare try to get out of this!" The brown-haired student pointed again and it was getting on everyone's nerves. Death couldn't help but notice that no one was saying anything against this strange predicament, much less the friend of the enemy, to allow them to make the questions. Were they really this dumb?
All eyes were on Genis, who was starting to panic mentally. "I haven't been studying lately, so…" He looked nervous but there was no way he was going to back out now, not after agreeing to that stupid test.
Raine nodded her head. "Yes, let's do a little intense training." Lloyd glimpsed at that, and gulped quietly. His face paled at the thought of having to study, he really didn't want to.
Death followed along, quietly listening to the kids around him. His hearing was strong enough to hear a few teens in the back, talking about taking some medicine but what it appeared to be helpful was that he was sharing the stuff with his fellow friends. There were also the girls talking about the hottest boys in the school but he knew that a few of them was looking at his and Kratos' way. As their group came closer to the stairs, one girl shoved the females of the group aside and nudged herself in front of Kratos. "Um…what's your name?"
She looked a little shy since she was squirming her feet and looked at the floor only glancing up when he thought he was going to answer. Death snickered to the side, finding this amusing since Kratos was beginning to look pale. Lloyd and Colette tilted his head, not exactly getting on what was going on while the Sages could only gaped in shock. Kratos didn't answer, staring, almost to the point of glaring but the girl didn't get the message. "…That's none of your business."
The girl blinked then swooned. "You're so cool!"
Death and Kratos both swore they could see hearts in the girl's words. Really…
Kratos tried to push the girl, who was coming uncomfortably closer, away. "I need to go now…"
However, the teen had other ideas, she shrieked. "Ah! He's touching me!" She wrapped her arms around her body and blushed. This action made Kratos become lost on what to do. Another girl came forward grabbing Kratos' hand, it looked like she wanted to hold him but Kratos snapped it back, folding his arms. "You're so handsome! So dark and gloomy!"
The male students in the back couldn't help but shoot death glares at the mercenary. Death continued to laugh, not out loud, but it was to show his amusement to this whole ordeal. That was until he felt a tug on his sleeve. He turned to see another girl, looking up at him with interest. He cursed his luck. "Hey, what's your name?"
"It's Death." He didn't smile and kept a blank face.
"Such a dark name…You look handsome! I bet you'll be a real killer underneath all that clothes." The girl flirted, letting her finger rub up his arm. Death twitched but kept his face up and yanked the girl away. He stepped back, almost hitting Kratos but as the girls got closer, and when they touched, the two men glanced at each other and sighed depressingly. Death caught sight of the others. He grinned suddenly having an idea.
"Hey, why don't you attack my brother over there? Remember if I look like this, what will happen when he grows up?" The group paused for a moment. Only the ones in his group seemed to think, muttering to themselves before turning to Lloyd then to him. Half of them decided split and run after the twin swordsmen, who in turn, ran for his life by going upstairs to try and get away. Lloyd let out a shrieked and his boots clattered against the wood. Death laughed even though the girls around him were getting closer. "Hey, Kratos, we should probably get out of this mess soon."
"Have you thought of a way out?"
Death thought for a second that there was a slight tone of fear in Kratos' voice. "Maybe…"
Kratos turned to him in confusion.
"It can go both ways but are you willing to take the risk?" He didn't need to get an answer since he didn't want one and turned to the girls. "Hey, who do you think is better? Me? Or Kratos, here?"
Suddenly, the fighting for the men stopped. The girls turned to each other. "I think Kratos is cooler."
"No, Death is! He has such a wonderful face!"
"No, Kratos is! His cold attitude makes him so attractive!"
"You just like him for his baggage! The dark gloomy I-cut-myself type! Death is cheery instead! I bet he could light the sun with that smile!"
"I bet that Kratos could put out that sun with a swish of his sword!"
"I bet that Death could take your Kratos out with as swift kick in his head. He'll beat Kratos hands down."
"They're gone!" A girl suddenly screamed, sounding like she was crying. Multiple shouts came soon after then the rushing of feet, everyone splitting off to try and to find their crushes. Death and Kratos looked at each other then below where they could see the girls and slowly went towards the stairs from the ceiling. They were using the wood to get around and jumped down when the coast was clear.
No one said a thing.
"…Well that was scary." Death chuckled, stepping forward, heading up the stairs. "At least they aren't as bad as the ones at home." Kratos was right behind but he refused to say anything on the subject and found Raine waiting for them with the classroom door open. It was a spare classroom so that Genis could study quietly or as quietly as possible seeing as the girls of the school was making so much noise. Lloyd was inside breathing fast, his shoulders shaking and with his head on the table. Colette looked confused as to what had happened and was silently studying one of the many books in the room. Kratos dragged himself to the back and sat down, taking this time to rest up since his heart was still pounding while Death just sat to the side, looking out the window in boredom.
No one wanted to speak about the whole ordeal, not even Genis. Everyone kept quiet and studied or somewhat studied if taking in Lloyd's snoring in the background as studying. Soon it was time for the test and everyone left to head on over to the appointed room. Kratos, Lloyd and Death kept themselves away from the wandering eyes, almost to the point of hiding themselves, and couldn't help but sigh in relief when they arrived at the room still knowing that there were prying eyes in the background. Death was the first to move and slammed the door on the girls' faces. He really had enough at home already, he didn't want anymore now. But that didn't mean he was popular from where he came from, no, he just attracted too much attention to himself with his abilities…and maybe with a little of his looks.
Mighty, the blond-haired student's name, looked so energetic about the whole match and instantly shouted. "Let the match begin! I'll beat your sorry butt!"
"I'm not going to lose!" Genis glared and the two went to find their seats which happened to be close to each other.
An old man shook his head, pushing up his glasses further up on his nose and gathered the papers on his desk. He was the dean of the school and looked over the group as well as the two students. "I've heard what's going on. In the interest of fairness, I prepared the questions. Now take your seats."
As Raine headed up the stairs so she could get behind the two students that were competing, she spoke to the others. "The rest of you go ahead and take the test as well."
Lloyd definitely didn't like that idea. "What? Me, too?" He appeared to be trying to back towards the door but before he could make an escape, Kratos blocked it off. He groaned.
Raine sighed at her student's behavior. "Well…just try it out."
Death helped in pulling the struggling twin swordsmen to his seat and Kratos took a seat behind him while Death was on the same row but three seats away. Colette sat close to Lloyd with a smile on her face and Lloyd groaned louder.
"Just put up with it, Lloyd. We're here to encourage Genis not make him nervous." Death commented from the back. "So just take the damn thing. It's not as if the paper will come alive and eat you."
"You never know! It could!" Lloyd cried out, now looking panicking.
"Just shut up and take the fucking test!"
The dean passed out the thick papers and Death stared long and hard at the sheet of paper or booklet… This was going to take a while. "Begin!"
Death glanced around the testing room. He had just finished one section and felt like taking a break. His eyes wandered around the room, watching everyone work and then towards the front of the room where he could see the dean of the school watching the group intensely especially Mighty and Genis. He managed to catch eyes with the gruff man and waved, looking bored. The teacher narrowed his own and turned away, looking down at the stop clock. Death went back to looking around, not paying a single amount of attention to the test and finally rested on the window where he could see the seagulls and ocean. The birds were flying around, squawking loudly in the sky which was clear and blue, not a single cloud was up there. He sighed, glancing back down at the papers with boredom. His gloved fingers ran over the pages and flipped to the next section, math and science. The previous one had been about language, mostly grammar and spelling. It had been too easy in his mind and had finished it (all 100 questions) within 30 minutes that is if he could count the first hour that he wasted by going to sleep. 'Well, better get back to work' Death thought as he lifted up his pencil and began working the problems with a dozy look.
The cough came through the chattering class. The dean had collected all the papers and was grading them in a different room, leaving the group by themselves. Lloyd chatted with Colette and Genis while Kratos gazed over the classroom, finding nothing anything interesting. Death just kept his heed down and slowly picked it up as he heard footsteps and yawned when the door opened. The dean came back in with all the graded papers and everyone instantly turned to the front for answers. Genis and Mighty were at then edge of their seats in anticipation.
"I will announce the results. First last pace is Lloyd Irving with 25." The dean pushed his glasses up in disappointment. "Lloyd just to let you know, the answer to what type of species of a lily is not a rabbit…"
But this didn't seem to cut down Lloyd's happiness. "Whoa! I got a 25!" He seemed to be too happy with that grade. Genis and Raine couldn't help but throw a look and Death drummed his fingers in irritation. Kratos narrowed his eyes.
Colette, however, seemed to share Lloyd's cheeriness. "That's your best yet, Lloyd! Congratulations!"
Death sent a pitying look at his younger self and slammed his head on the table. Lloyd ignored everything. "Heh heh."
The dean continued. "The next one in Death Irving with-"
"Hey! Wait, my last name isn't Irving…" Death muttered out loud, cutting off the old man.
The man glared and went on. "Death with the score of 200."
Lloyd looked shock at this. "Huh? It's not out of 100?"
"…It's out of 400." Genis whispered from the side, feeling embarrassed for his friend.
The red-clad teen grumbled then turned to Death. "You got more than I did…"
"As well as lazy." The dean commented up front. "You answered only the first two sections and not the other two. Everything was correct, not a single answer wrong but you didn't bother in finishing the rest of them. If you had you might have gotten a higher grade. However, by the looks of it, you just put down an answer without doing any work and got them all right. That's amazing. You could be a genius if you could get over that lazy attitude. I saw you sleeping the entire time." Death threw a smile in his direction. "Now the rest are Colette Brunnel with 210."
Death blinked. "Hmm…that's mean Colette got a 52.5 in grade, me a 50, and Lloyd with a measly 6.25. Funny…"
The three adults in the room turned to him but the dean continued. "Kratos Aurion with 380 and Raine Sage with 400."
"Not like we expected anything but perfection from the Professor." Lloyd groaned but still happy in his teacher.
"Now I shall announce the scores of Genis and Mighty. Mighty Washington: 398." The blond-haired student was looking quite smug at that. "And Genis Sage: 400."
There was a sound of cheers from Lloyd and Colette. Death blinked his eyes and placed his head back on the table, drowning out the rest. He didn't need to listen anymore, it's not as if it's being directed to him. Kratos nudged him at the side, trying to get his attention and mouthed a few words, meaning 'Pay attention'. Death could only smile in return and looked at the group but didn't listen in on what they were saying. He had a feeling he was going to get lectured for his laziness after this.
"Lloyd, you're an idiot." Genis sighed. "How could you only get 25 out of 400, that's impossible unless you did it purposefully."
"Yes, I'm very disappointed in you." Raine looked rather sad but she should have known better than to believe that all her teaching would have had an effect. Then she turned to Death, who didn't look concern about his younger self. "And you! You purposefully skipped over the last two sections, didn't you? The reading and history one. I can't blame you for the history but why didn't you do the other?"
"I wanted to sleep." Death yawned, stretching his arms. "It takes too long to do that one and I did look at it but all those passages weren't really good so I didn't go any further."
"You're just lazy! And you even got all the others right! You didn't miss a single one! You could have gotten a much better score!"
"Why go through the trouble when there is nothing in return for me. Anyway, I was tired."
"Well, you just got something in return for being lazy. You now have to do homework just like everyone else." Raine scolded.
Death yawned again. "Okay, whatever. I don't care. You would have given it to me sooner or later." He let his eyes droop further, it was obvious that he looked like he was going to crash soon. The chosen tilted her head as she noticed the drooping eyes.
"You look exhausted. Are you sure you've been sleeping well?" Colette muttered, noticing the fatigue on Death's face.
"Yeah, just not well enough."
"Do you have some problems?" Raine questioned, her mind no longer on scolding but instead on worrying.
"Something like that but I don't really want to go into the explanation." The look-alike muttered, scratching the back of his head. "Death doesn't sleep after all."
This seemed to spark something.
"Hey, why do you call yourself 'Death'?"
Death paused. He wasn't sure of who had said it but it made him freeze. He turned back to the group that were all staring at him strangely. They wanted answers and he wasn't sure if he'll be able to give it to them.
"Why do you want to know?" Death asked, still not sure on how to answer.
"I found it odd that you would call yourself after such a scary being. Not unless you have some dark secrets." Raine answered, apparently, it had been her who had asked.
"I mean." Colette continued. "You're name is Lloyd, right? Why can't we call you that or even Irving. Wouldn't that be better? Death is kinda…"
"Dark?" He finished for her and then chuckled cruelly. "Hmm…don't know. People have been calling me that for a long time that it just sticks. Plus, my last name isn't Irving, it never was, perhaps a long time ago I was once called that but no longer." Death sighed, his shoulders slumping at the memory and slowly walked ahead, his scarf fluttering behind. He smiled sadly, his thoughts lost and he wanted nothing more than to disappear, than to leave this miserable planet. His red eyes turned to the group, watching their confused faces before continuing on, heading back to the room for some rest, not that it would ever come to him easily. He really wanted to close his eyes for a short time but that wasn't going to happen anytime soon and he knew that. Death groaned mentally and went on.
Everyone else looked at each other, wondering what had happened. They wanted to ask Death why his last name wasn't Irving but the dark look on his face had sent everyone into silence. They could always ask later when he was in a better mood.
Death woke up with a start, he sat up instantly and glanced around the area with caution. His red eyes surveyed around once more, feeling a cold sweat run down his back. He turned to the campsite fire and took a deep breath. Everyone was asleep except for Kratos, who was the night watch as usual. The red head looked over towards him in surprise from the noise he had created.
The red read blinked. "Is something wrong?"
Death didn't answer right away. "…No." His eyes closed and leaned forward to run a hand through his hair. He smoothed it back and tried to relax his beating heart that was currently pounding in his chest. His skin color was paler than usual and little droplets of water dripped down his checks and he looked so sickly. Death mentally growled, why had he been so startled? That had never happened before. His eyes darkened slightly and glared at the ground.
Kratos stood up from his spot and walked over to the other, kneeling down in front. "What's wrong?" He had apparently not believed him and glanced over the man before him with a slightly worried look.
"I'm fine." Death muttered with a slightly tired tone. He was so drowsy but with his body in such disarray, sleep wouldn't be coming to him anytime soon. He cursed this fact and groaned silently but Kratos could see his suffering. He placed a hand on Death's shoulder and for a moment, Death felt completely shocked. His father, well not exactly his own father, was showing kindness to him… His first reaction was to shove the hand away but reconsidered at the last moment. "Really, I'm fine. There's no need to worry about me."
Kratos kept quiet but he didn't believe a single word. "You don't look fine. You look like you're about to faint."
Death smirked. "No, I'm really fine." He waved his hand. He had succeeded in calming down his heart and sighed peacefully. There was really no way he was going to sleep anytime soon. Kratos seemed to notice this too. "I'm going to sit near the fire for a while." He stood up, pushing Kratos away and sat down even closer, feeling the warmth hit his cold limbs. His expression was blank and he watched the wood burn crisply. Kratos followed soon after, settling next to the man.
"You look pale."
"I'm always pale."
"Not this pale." Kratos stated, his hair covering his eyes.
Death looked over with annoyance. "Will you stop already? I said I'm fine. Why are you still pestering me?"
"Hmmm…" Kratos didn't respond and seemed to have ignored it. His eyes stared a head into the fire with the light coloring his face vividly. Death sighed, rubbing the back of his head, raking through his dark drown locks. "I believe…" Kratos suddenly started. "I believe that you already know the answer."
The look-alike growled, he should have never given himself away that he knew about Kratos being his father. "Don't expect me to start calling you 'Dad' or 'Father' cuz that's not my job, it's the one behinds us."
"I know that."
Death managed to catch a hint of sadness in Kratos' voice and exhaled. Damn his soft heart. He reached over and yanked Kratos closer to his body. This action threw the other off. "Even if we're not really father and son, you can still treat me like one. I don't mind."
Kratos chuckled, letting out a small smile. "Thank you but I don't think you'd be very comfortable with that. You look like you want to run away right now." He could tell by how tight the other was holding him and the twitching eye. Death was nervous.
The look-alike laughed quietly. "I know, I'm not used to showing this type of affection but I'm not that cruel." Death pulled away slightly, rubbing his arms. "I can not help you but I can only give you a push that wouldn't be a bad start."
Kratos glanced over, not sure at how to react. "Thank you."
Death remained still and watched the fire for the rest of the night with Kratos at his side, silently staring.
The list of attacks Death has used so far.
Negative Gate - It's the same attack that Anise in Tales of the abyss uses.
Barrier – It creates a powerful shield that seems to be made of some sort of glass or crystal that surrounds the summoner. It's nearly unbreakable and it shatters when its time runs out or when the summoner cancels it.
Reaper's Upbringing – This spell summons the dead and demons to arise from the underworld that spins in a spiral, hiding everything inside from those out. The souls of those getting punished scream in high pitch and bitterly while the demons are heard laughing. This attack is meant to scare people as well as use the spiral to cut anything within its hold in pieces. But since it was used on Sword Dancer, it merely destroyed the bones.