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Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Symphonia.
All three were crouched on the roof a few minutes later, looking through the skylight into the throne room.
"How do we get in there? We can't break through the window; everybody will hear!" Genis exclaimed, kneeling and pressing on the glass. "And I don't think it will swing open…"
"There has to be another way in…You guys wait here for a moment," Lloyd said, pulling out his wings and taking to the air. Circling the roof, he spied a balcony, and landing on it, he gently tried the door, and to his surprise, it opened. He figured he would have to pick the lock or something. Leaving the door ajar, he scaled the wall back to the roof, poking his head up. They started when he called their names, but they both quickly looked over at him.
"There's a door that's unlocked over here. Come on!" Colette grabbed Genis' hand and they half flew, half dashed over the roof and dropped down to where Lloyd was waiting.
"We're going to have to be quiet, though. I have no clue where this opens up to. It could be a bedroom where somebody is sleeping. Colette, hold my hand so I can catch you if you trip." Lloyd grabbed Colette's hand and they carefully filed through the room on tiptoes. Nobody was sleeping in there, but they had no idea where they were, and didn't want to wake anybody up. Once outside, Genis carefully closed the door behind them.
"Okay, Lloyd, do you remember which way the library is?" he asked, looking down the corridor both ways.
"Genis, I don't even know where we are, much less where the library is," Lloyd said, exasperated. "We'll just have to pick a direction, and walk. It's not much of a plan, but…"
"Lloyd, you never have a plan." Genis closed his eyes for a minute, and thought. "We were standing on the roof above the throne room before we came in through the window. We traveled diagonally across the roof, from a bit south of the window, so… The throne room is that way," Genis said, pointing at the wall. "So, if we go down the southern passage, and make sure we make at least one turn, we should be able to reach the throne room, and from there, we should be able to find the library."
"…Genis, you're awesome. Now come on, you two." Lloyd motioned down the hallway, and they both followed him, Genis muttering all the way.
"Lloyd's always the leader, why don't I get to be the leader?"
After getting lost about three times and wasting at least a half hour, they were standing in front of the door to the library. Lloyd pulled out the key, inserted it into the lock, and gently opened the door. He winced slightly when it squeaked, but nobody came running. They were fortunate there were no guards stationed around the library, though Lloyd could hear a night watch coming down the hallway with his clunky armor. He quickly ushered them both inside, shutting the door.
Genis went over to an unlit candle, and lit it with a tiny fireball. He then walked around, lighting the others to give them a bit of light. Colette moved over to the table when Lloyd retrieved the book, setting it on the table in front of Colette and pulling over chairs for the two of them. Genis hopped up on the table, sitting cross-legged.
"So, that's the book? Wow, it really is old…" Genis said, poking the plain leather cover. Colette nodded, opening the book.
"Parts of it are in an old form of elvish, I think, from what I've seen of the Professor's notes. I can't read those parts, but I can read some of it." She smoothed out a page with angelic on it, and started to read down the page in her head, mouthing the words as she did. Her brow furrowed, and she stopped.
"This…this an old form of angelic. I can't make some of it out. But…here's a word I think means 'angel', it's rather similar to the one I know," she said, pointing at it. "And here's a word that means 'crystal', I think…Do you think they mean a Cruxis Crystal?"
"Maybe. What's the word next to angel?"
"I…I think it means 'fake'. It looks like the word in regular angelic," Colette told him, her hand sliding down the page.
"'Cruxis Crystal' and 'fake angel'? So…is Lloyd really a true angel, and you're not, Colette?" Genis asked, his head poking in front of Lloyd's vision, obscuring the book from him.
"…It seems like it, from what they've written. Lloyd doesn't have a Cruxis Crystal, but he's still becoming an angel." Her eyes scanned down the page, pointing out more words. "'Hereditary', 'lineage', 'wings', 'trials', 'loss of senses' …I'm not exactly sure if they mean Lloyd's type, or mine."
"…Well, being an angel isn't hereditary for you, Colette. You get your powers from a Cruxis Crystal. I think Lloyd believes he was born this way, and I agree with him. Right, Lloyd?" Lloyd wasn't paying attention. He was listening intently.
"Genis, shut up. Colette, do you hear that?"
"…It…sounds like footsteps, coming this way! Oh no! We've got to get out of here," she said, looking at the door.
"No, that's the only entrance. They'll see us! …Hide behind those books!" Genis pointed at a heap of books that looked big enough to hide all three of them. He hopped off the table and scrambled behind them, Lloyd right after him. Colette paused for a minute, before grabbing the book and hugging it to her chest. She kneeled down next to Lloyd, and they waited. The footsteps got louder, and paused at the door. Then the door was opening, and in stepped Kratos Aurion.
"Hm… The door was unlocked. That's peculiar…" He walked over to the table, looking at the candles. "And the candles have been lit. Someone has been here lately. But…I haven't the time to worry about that now. I need to research…" He stopped talking as he went over to one of the shelves, scanning the titles.
"It's Kra-Mmmp!" Lloyd quickly covered Genis' mouth and hissed into his ear.
"He has angelic hearing! He will be able to hear you…"
"Who's there?!" Lloyd glared at Genis, who shrugged apologetically. Lloyd did not want Kratos to find out he was here. Because he was with Colette and Genis, and that could get…complicated, if they were trying to conceal their relationship. Lloyd mentally groaned. More lies. He was seriously getting tired of lying. Then he noticed that Colette was no longer beside him.
"Ah…Mr. Kratos?" She was standing there, out in the open, leaning forward inquisitively, her hair drifting in front of her face. The book was still clutched tightly to his chest.
"Cho-Colette?" Kratos didn't even bother to mask his surprise. Lloyd groaned for real this time, wondering what exactly he had gotten himself into.
"We need your help. Right, Lloyd, Genis?" she asked, looking over her shoulder with a smile. Lloyd sighed, standing up, and pulling Genis with him.
"Colette, whoever says you are too nice, has never seen this side of you," Lloyd said. Colette smiled again, giggling.
"…You need my help?" Colette looked back at Kratos, who was raising his eyebrow and looking in between the three of them. Lloyd crossed his arms, and just stared back.
"And so…" Here Colette dropped the heavy book on the table, making the candles jump slightly off the table before settling. She flipped open the book to the page. "…Maybe you can translate it? I'm not sure, if I can't…" She bit her lip.
"Move, please," Kratos said, making a shooing motion with his hands. Colette moved away from the table, and Kratos placed himself where she had been standing mere second ago. All three crowded around him, peeking at the book page.
"So…?" Genis asked, trailing off and gesturing towards the book.
"It's a very old form, but I can read some of the phrases. It will take a while to translate all the way, though," Kratos said, staring down at the book. Lloyd bit his lip. They didn't have all the time in the world. He was thinking of calling this entire thing off, and going back to Zelos' house.
That's when they heard it. Or at least the three angels did. Footsteps of a guard trekking down the hallway. And they stopped at the door. Lloyd realized that they could see the light from the candles underneath the door a split second after Kratos did.
"Quickly, put out the candles!" But it was too late. The guard didn't even open the door, just started shouting.
"Intruders! Intruders in the library!" And then the castle was a cacophony of sound, guards yelling and footsteps sounding and armor clanking. Lloyd quickly pushed Colette and Genis towards the door, but Colette tripped, knocking against the table. Lloyd stopped to pull her back up. Genis kept running forward, opening the door with Kratos hot on his heels. Just as the door closed behind them, Lloyd could hear the call of 'Explosion!' and the crackle of fire on the wood and the floors.
"Lloyd! The book!" Colette said, pointing from her place safely in his arms. Colette knocking into the table had upset a candle. It had fallen onto the book, and now it was in flames, the crackle that Lloyd had thought was outside coming from the age-old paper as it burnt. Colette tried to reach for it, but Lloyd pulled her back.
"Colette, it doesn't matter, we've got to leave!" he said, pushing her towards the door. Genis pushed it back open, beckoning at them with his kendama out.
"C'mon, you guys! We're going to be surrounded, and I don't know about you, but I don't exactly want our wanted status back!" Colette nodded at him, and both her and Lloyd ran to the door, Colette letting go of his hand, taking off behind Genis. Lloyd lingered for a minute, half in and half out of the doorway, but he didn't feel the heat from the burning hallway, with tapestries and drapes handing from the ceiling in flames. Funny how the fire even danced on the floor, obscuring the guards' path to the library. He watched for just a few seconds as the rest of the book went up in a poof of flames, and all that was left was a smoking binding. So much for that.
He turned to leave when a hand caught him by the shoulder. He drew his sword and turned, about to strike, but it was Kratos, his own sword out. Something red gleamed on the blade, and Lloyd thought it was blood for a hint of a second, before he realized it was his imagination. The fire danced in his eyes, and for a second there, Lloyd was actually afraid of him. It soon passed, though, as he spoke.
"Lloyd, you have to leave before the fire gives out. Go, I'll be fine." Lloyd crossed his arms, and didn't move.
"Are you going to tell me what you meant by I'm turning into you?" Kratos actually groaned, covering his face with one hand.
"Lloyd, this isn't the time!"
"Then when is the time?! Tell me that, Dad!" It came out harsher than he expected it to come out, but he was mad, dammit. He couldn't just go around saying things like that and not explaining them. "I know you like to be cryptic, but I'm not going to put up with it! If you're going to say something like that, explain it!"
Kratos sighed. "I deserved that, but that changes nothing. Now is not the time, Lloyd. Now, leave before the fire dies down." Lloyd glared at him, before turning and leaving, sparks from the fire swirling around him. He didn't look back.
Back at Zelos' mansion, Colette and Genis were waiting for him on the balcony.
"Lloyd, you're okay!" Colette said, reaching out for a hug. Lloyd brushed her aside.
"Of course I'm okay, Colette. But right now, both of you should go to bed." They looked at each other, and couldn't find any argument, and so left for their respective beds. Lloyd balanced with one foot on the balcony railing and one foot in the air, before sighing.
"Why does he have to be so difficult?" he said, before leaning forward and falling over the side of the balcony, the wind ruffling his hair before his wings caught him and he flew away, over the city, for another night of wide skies and endless stars.