Chapter 1: The Great Awakening
It was as though waking from a dream…
In the distance a school bell rang, waking a young man from his daydreams. He could hear the teacher dismissing the small class of four boys and warning them of dangers outside of town, and that if they needed their parents with them if they planned on leaving. One left, reminding the others to meet at the usual place, as they always did after school. Another stated he needed to head home first, and jabbed at the third for having to stay in detention. The third mumbled something back, but then whispered something to the fourth about meeting at the Seaside Cave. The fourth absently nodded, already lost in thought again, before making his way up the stairs to the roof. He either didn't notice or ignored the concerned stares from both his friend and teacher.
The school was like the rest of the coastal town—small. It was comprised of a single room for teaching, which had a wooden floor along with a few wooden chairs and desks. The walls were stone and had a couple of lamps with candles in them. The majority of light, though came in through stained-glass and glassless windows. Behind where the teacher would stand was a small altar, and a large statue of some patron saint stood on a shelf embedded in the wall. Off to the side were a couple of offices for the staff. On the roof was the bell tower that would ring every hour. The bell itself was ordinary enough, but the jewel that was embedded in the wood above it shone a ruby red in the sunlight. And if the sun hit it just right, it would look like a small, beautiful flame of energy was dancing inside. The roof was the single place that he could look out for hours across the ocean and lose himself in his thoughts. He would notice the seagulls fly into the horizon and listen to their cries on the same cool, ocean breeze that would roll in. The town itself wasn't very large, and the population wasn't any more than a couple hundred people, most of which went fishing to provide for their families. However, the boy had lived here with his family for as long as he could remember…and he had a lot of memories.
'My name…is Will,' he thought, as if reminding himself of the fact. 'A year ago, I went with my father, Olman, and his team of explorers to the Tower of Babel. I don't remember much after we got inside, but somehow the team was lost and I alone ended up back here, in South Cape, and at my grandparents' doorstep no less.' The wind from the sea whipped at the blue tunic, which he wore over a white T-shirt along with matching leggings and green knee-high leather boots, and at his blonde hair, which would've fallen over his eyes if it wasn't for the blue headband he constantly wore. 'I still can't believe my father's gone…it just doesn't seem real.' A tear escaped his eye, but he quickly brushed it away.
He had lost his mother, Shira, a few years earlier, and the grief was incredibly difficult to bear. He no longer had his father, and he didn't know if he was still alive. He was determined to stay strong and make the best of the situation, just like his parents had taught him.
"William!" a man's voice cut through his thoughts. "I thought I told you to stop coming up here," he stated, as he approached. He was middle aged, had a head full of curly black hair, and wore a brick red suit. His face was beginning to show its age with wrinkles from years of stress and slight amounts of worry.
"Sorry, Principle Matayka, I forgot," Will replied sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head and accidently bumping the foot and a half long wooden flute that hung from his back. It was something he had found from his trip to the Tower, and it brought him back to what he was thinking about before.
"What am I going to do with you?" the principal sighed. "I swear, you must be half lemming; you have this bad habit of jumping from here to the ground, along with so many other buildings in town!" That was enough to bring a small smile to Will's face.
"Oh, you mean like this?" Before the principle could stop him, he jumped from the small gap in the fencing around the roof down to the ground below.
He looked back up in time to see the principal's face contort in fear, then irritation, and then resignation with another sigh. Will knew it probably wasn't nice to give him a heart attack like that, but it was still fun to see the reaction every time. As he walked back around to the front of the school and headed off to his house, he could swear he hear him mutter, "And yet you somehow manage to land safely."
Will's house was only across the street, which was convenient if he was running late to class, but irritating when the teacher decided to visit. As he entered the house, though, he could smell the pie that his Grandma Lola was cooking. "Grandma! Grandpa! I'm home!" he shouted.
"Oh, Will, welcome home," Lola replied, turning from the meal in the kitchen to face him. She was about as tall as he was at a little over five feet, though in a few years she would be shorter if he hit a growth spurt, since he about fifteen years old right now. Though probably in her fifties, she still had her curly brown hair that fell down around her shoulders and brought out the shine in her caring face. She wore her typical green dress and a white apron was tied around her waist. "How was school today?"
"If the time is any indication, it probably means he had to stay after school!" his Grandpa Bill interrupted jokingly. He was probably a couple of years older than Lola, but had natural looking blue hair with streaks of white, and the moustache he wore was the same. He wore a yellow button down shirt underneath the blue jacket he always left open, as well as matching blue pants and leather shoes. "Even if he can't study, he can still show a little mischievous initiative!" Will chuckled, but his grandmother could see the look in his eyes. When he met her eyes, he could tell she knew he had gone to the roof to think again. Fortunately, she didn't say anything.
"Well, dinner's not ready yet, dear," she said. "Why don't you go out and play with your friends for awhile? Just be back before it gets too dark."
"Okay, Grandma!" Will replied, taking off again.
He was on his way to the Seaside Cave, but decided to make a few stops along the way. The first was to Erik's house. Erik came from a rich family, and his house was easily the largest in town, with Erik's mother needing to hire a couple of housekeepers to maintain the place. Many folks, Will sometimes included, were envious of the large house, but the village was a tightly knit society, so there were never any real problems. Erik was the youngest of the four boys in his class by about a year or so, and slightly a whiner at times. Still, with very few teenagers in the village, all of them tended to hang out together from time to time since the school grouped them together in the same class. His younger sister tended to be more spoiled and demanding at times, and her friends would play the games she wanted to play for hours on end.
After making sure Erik was either on his way or gone already to the cave, he decided to check on Lance's mother, as he would do from time to time. Lance's father had also been lost during the expedition, although Lance had stayed home at the time. When delivered the news, Lance concealed his true emotions, but Will could tell it was a hard blow for him as well. His mother was still grieving, but since a body was never found, she held out hope that he would return someday. "Hello, Will," she said, answering his knock.
"Hello, ma'am," he answered politely. "How are you doing today?" She smiled sweetly at him, though her golden hair was slightly disheveled underneath the scarf she wore, and her dress was slightly dirty.
"Oh, we're getting by," she answered. "I'm glad you stopped by today. I was going through my husband's old things, and there was something he wanted you to have."
"Me?" Will asked, slightly confused. "Shouldn't it go to Lance?"
"No, there was a note in the bag that explicitly stated that it was supposed to go to you," she stated. "I guess it was something of your father's that he asked my husband to hold onto. Anyways, let me get it for you; it's down in the basement."
As she went to retrieve the item, he took the moment to look around the room. Most of the houses in South Cape were designed the same way: one or two rooms, including the bathroom, on the first floor, and had either a second story or basement. The floors and were made of wood while the walls and outsides were made of brick. Since most families were poor, all they could afford was a few simple items like a bed, table and chairs, a potted plant, and a couple of lamps for candles. Other things like pots and bookshelves and rugs were extra.
"Here it is, Will; sorry it took so long. I haven't had much time to clean up. Nowadays, it seems I'm always lost in the past." A smile was on her face, but Will could see the deep sadness in her eyes. He felt the same feeling in his own heart, but gave a sympathetic nod and thank you before deciding to head to the cave.
As soon as he was out the door, he opened the bundle she had handed him and noticed it was the same beautiful jewel that adorned the school bell. He had thought it was unique, but apparently there was at least another in the world. Placing the item into the small bag he carried at his waist, he walked onto the nearby pier, which would wrap around to the cave that was dug into the cliffside of town.
Before he got too far, though, he heard a loud crash as a pot came flying out the door of a house a little further down the street. 'Looks like Seth's parents are at it again,' he thought grimly. It was no secret that they were having martial problems. Seth's dad would gamble away all the money he earned, and his mother would yell about it. The only way for Seth to avoid the fighting was to stay out of the house as much as possible. In a way, Seth had lost his parents as well.
"I think you're friends are waiting for you," a man's voice said. Will turned to see a lone man fishing on the edge of one of the docks. "I saw a couple of them walking by here earlier."
"Thanks, Rob," Will replied. "Is the fishing any good?"
"Well, I've been working at this for almost fifteen minutes, but I can't seem to get my line back out of the water," he replied.
"Really? Here, let me give you a hand." Using their combined strength, they gave the rod one good tug and managed to loose whatever it was latched onto. The fisherman reeled in the line as Will manually pulled it up until a single pot broke the surface of the water. "Wow, that must've been buried pretty deep. Well, hopefully you catch a fish this time!" he chuckled.
"Ha, ha," he replied with a slight sarcastic tone. "Thanks again, but I think you'd best be moving along." With another laugh, Will rushed to the opposite end of the pier.
The town council had tried to board the cave up, but that hadn't stopped them from the teens using it as their special place. For some reason a strange statue, seemingly a relic from older days, was already there, but they had added a wooden table and a few chairs. A lone puddle of water had pooled on the floor from a drip in the moist dirt ceiling. "Hey, guys, I'm finally here," he stated.
"Hold on, Will, I'm in the middle of a hand here. All in," Lance said. He was the oldest of the group, being only about a month or so older than Will, and he was the most headstrong. He was easily the biggest risk taker in the group, and it showed from the frequent visits to detention, but he was a loyal friend. He had slightly darker blonde hair than Will and emerald green eyes, which matched the green pants and shirt he was wearing. He wore a white undershirt and brown leather shoes with yellow socks. While Will would wear a brown belt around his tunic, Lance wore a green one to match his outfit. "Gotcha! Full House! Read 'em and weep!" Sure enough, he had three aces and two eights in his hand.
"Not so fast! My four ladies would disagree with you," Seth replied with a smirk, turning his hand to reveal four queens along with a six. While Lance was the biggest risk taker, Seth was easily the smartest of the group. He thought everything through logically, though even he conceded there were some things that couldn't be explained. Out of the group, his emotions were the hardest to read as he tended to stay to himself, even when he was with his friends. Other times, though, he would be open and insightful. All in all, it depended on the situation. He sported a lavender overcoat and matching shorts and leather shoes. His eyes were a light blue and hid behind thick glasses, but his hair was dyed as purple as his clothing. "Well, that should be enough to buy a trip to the observatory I've been wanting to do," he said, collecting the money that was in the middle of the table. "A friend of mine mentioned a strange star that's showed up in the sky recently and I've wanted to take a closer look at it."
Will shook his head and smiled as Lance sat there in shock. "Nice to see you guys are still playing with the deck of cards I found in the tower," he remarked.
All of a sudden, though, Erik rushed into the cave as though the sky was falling. "Hey, guys, listen! They say that Princess Edwards ran away from the castle and came here!" The three boys just stared at him.
"And…?" Seth prodded.
"What does this have to do with us?" Will commented.
"I bet he's excited because of that crush he's had on her since she visited with her family all those years ago," Lance teased, causing the other two to snicker a little.
"I do not!" Erik protested. "I just thought it would be cool to see the soldiers! I've always wanted to wear armor like they do."
Knowing that Lance would prod Erik about his slightly babyish tendencies, Seth decided to head it off beforehand. "Well, anyways, sit down and let's figure out what we're going to do today. I'd rather have an adventure than talk about girls all day."
"Hey, Will, why don't you show us your powers," Erik suggested. Will sighed. Shortly after he had returned from his trip, he found he could exhibit strange abilities. Moving certain objects with his mind and being able to jump from great heights without getting hurt were a couple of his more useful abilities, but he had a couple others as well. He didn't know why they kept asking to see his abilities almost every week, but a part of him didn't mind showing off a little.
"Okay, I'll start by moving the statue in the corner of the cave, like I always do," he replied. He put out his hand in the direction of the statue and began to deeply concentrate. Slowly at first, and then faster, the statue began to move inch by inch towards him until it finally got caught on some rocks that jutted out from the floor.
"Man, no matter how many times I see it, I'm still amazed!" Seth proclaimed.
"Okay, now try to find the Ace of Diamonds," Lance challenged, holding up the four aces before shuffling them and placing them on the floor facedown. Again Will concentrated on the four cards until only one seemed to stand out among the others. Stepping up to it, he picked it up to reveal the correct ace.
"He hasn't missed once," Erik said. "What do you think, Seth? Is this some kind of psychic power?"
"I can't really explain it," Seth answered. "Most people only have five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Will's abilities seem to be some kind of sixth sense."
"I don't know how I do it," Will added. "I just…kinda…do it."
"Well, it's too complicated for me to grasp," Lance claimed simply. "It's beginning to get late. How about one more game and then we should head home. Erik, you in?"
"Sure, what are we playing?" he asked.
"Eh, we'll just play poker for fun…since someone took all my money!" he replied with a vengeful smirk.
"Well, if you're still begging for more humiliation, who am I to decline? I'm in as well," Seth responded with a smirk of his own. "Will, how about you?" The use of his powers had brought his earlier thoughts to mind, but he couldn't quite push them away.
"I think I'll pass this time, guys. I'm going to go home, but I'll probably see you during the weekend," he replied. He waved goodbye, again missing some looks of concern, and exited the cave.
Time had passed a lot faster than he thought and it was already dusk. The rays of light were beautiful as the gorgeous reds, oranges and yellows reflected off the ocean water. As he was heading home, he noticed Rob sitting on the edge of the pier just in front of the cave. The pot they had fished up together was sitting next to him. "Oh, Will, good! I was afraid I was going to miss you," Rob declared, opening the pot. "I wanted to give you something for helping me out!" He pulled out another ruby-like jewel, similar to the one Lance's mother had given him.
"Rob, I can't accept this! This thing must be priceless, depending on how rare it is," Will replied, trying to decline the overly generous gift.
"Don't worry about it," he assured. "I've been catching fish right and left since you left. By the time I sell them all, I'll have enough gold to keep me going for months!" Seeing that he wouldn't win the fight, Will graciously accepted it before moving on.
Before he reached the stairs leading to the mainland, though, he noticed a man on the roof of Seth's house that he didn't recognize. Feeling it seemed a little odd, and still having a bit of time, Will decided to investigate. He found a gap in the stone wall in front of the school and leapt the short distance onto the roof, though the man didn't seem to be startled. "Who are you?" Will asked.
"I am the Jeweler, Gem," he responded. "I control the market on rare stones that are shipped on the Seven Seas. I like to travel, but am a master of disguise. If you saw me in another town, I highly doubt you would recognize me!"
"Why disguise yourself?" Will asked suspiciously.
"Boy, don't you understand that I'm very rich. Thieves and bandits would love to mug me. Of course, I'm more than able to defend myself, but that's more trouble than it's worth," he declared.
"Uh huh," Will answered, still not sure what to make of the strange man camped out on the roof of his friend's house.
"What business do you have with me…wait, I sense you have a couple of very rare jewels on you!" he said.
"Yeah, I just found these today," Will answered slowly, pulling the two Red Jewels out and showing them to Gem. "Do you know what they are?"
"Lad, there are only fifty of these jewels known to be in existence, and I'm trying to collect them," he answered. "I'll make you a deal. If you bring me these jewels, I will reward you with items that I have collected on my travels, some of which are even more priceless than these jewels."
"What's the catch?" he asked, instantly on guard. He knew that if anything seemed to be too good to be true, it usually was.
"No catch," he answered, pulling a bag full of leaves from his pack. "In fact, if you bring me one more, I will give you this rare medical herb. If you eat it, it's said to cure any injury. Here, go on and take a nibble."
"I…suppose so," he answered, taking a small portion and popping it into his mouth. Strangely enough, he did feel rejuvenated, but the uneasiness about the man didn't go away. He wasn't keen on giving the seemingly priceless jewels up to a stranger, especially since one came from his father, but he doubted a merchant would buy them off him even if was going to sell, and he didn't have any other purpose for them. "There's actually another one in the bell tower at the school," he said, pointing in the proper direction before handing the other two jewels over. "You'll have to talk to the principal about it, though."
"Oh, don't worry, lad," he responded with a laugh. "I'm sure I can convince him to sell it to me. Since you did hold up your end of the bargain, here's the herb. Now, it's getting dark so you should probably be heading home, shouldn't you?" Will looked out towards the ocean for only a couple of moments, but when he looked back at the man he was gone.
"Strange guy…" he muttered, placing the herb in his pack and jumping from the roof to the ground. Seeing as it was getting dark rather quickly, he put the thought to the back of his mind and headed off full speed to his house.
When he walked in, however, a new surprise faced him—a small pink pig was head deep into one of the kitchen cabinets. "Wha…?" Will exclaimed. "Hey! Get out of there! Shoo!" Unfortunately, he would only be able to get the pig out of one mess for it to go and create another in a matter of seconds. 'Where's Grandma and Grandpa?' he wondered. 'Surely they won't be happy about this.'
He thought he heard voices upstairs, but as he approached the pig seemed to noticed and dashed ahead of him, as if trying to stop him. "Oink! Oink!" it snorted at him, pushing him back with surprising strength given its size.
"Hamlet!" a female voice cried out, after reaching the bottom of the steps. "You know better than to snort at strangers!"
"Who are you? And what are you doing in my house?" Will asked, a little tired of surprises for one day.
"Oh, so this is your house; you must be Will," she said. "I'm Kara, and this overprotective little thing is my pet Hamlet." She walked up and began to circle him, seeming to look him over. "You're pretty athletic, but still a little shabby, aren't you?"
Naturally, Will was offended. "Well, excuse me, princess!" He had meant the comment to be sarcastic, but he didn't notice her face pale as she turned.
"Well…um…are these your parents?" she asked quickly, walking up to a picture that was hanging on the wall.
"Uh…yeah," he answered, a little confused by her change in demeanor. "My father's an explorer…"
"Olman, right?" she asked, and he nodded. "I've heard of him. They say he was lost on an expedition." Thoughts from earlier began to flood his mind.
"He'll be back someday," he replied in a hollow voice.
Kara seemed to pick up on it and tried to change the subject again. "Is there a piano here anywhere," she asked.
Will seemed to laugh at that. "No, but my grandparents love to sing, Grandma Lola especially."
Kara laughed back. "I know! I was upstairs with them; their voices are so loud! I wonder if they know you're home yet."
"Yeah, I probably should go check in with them," he said, making his way up the stairs, forgetting completely that she was still a stranger in his home. However, if his grandparents trusted her enough to let her, he supposed he could too. "Grandma! Grandpa! I'm home!" he said, reaching the single bedroom on the second story.
"Oh, Will, is it really that late out?" Grandma Lola asked energetically. "Whenever I sing opera, I just seem to lose track of time. Dinner's not even ready yet!"
"Dear, I haven't sung like this in a long time," Grandpa Bill added. "Will, if you must know, this was the reason I fell in love with your grandmother; I just loved the sound of her voice!" Will kind of blushed; he wasn't much for mushy, lovey-dovey talk.
"Oh, you!" she returned, blushing now herself. "You would bring that up in front of him! I'm surprised you didn't mention it in front of the young lady that was with us earlier…"
Suddenly, though, a screamed ripped through the air, coming from downstairs. All three had looks of concern on their faces, but Will was the first to dart down the steps. The sight that met him almost stopped his heart. Three soldiers were in the middle of the room. Two had trapped Kara and Hamlet in a corner, and one was keeping Will from helping her. "What is the meaning of this?" Grandpa Bill shouted, as he and Lola caught up with Will.
"Princess, we've been looking everywhere for you!" a soldier said, ignoring the newcomers.
"Go away! I don't know you!" Kara answered fiercely. Will would've jumped in there and then if it hadn't been for the soldier in front of him.
"Princess, if I don't take you back to the castle, to your father, I'll lose my head!" the soldier countered.
"What do I care?" she answered back.
The soldiers seemed to have had enough, and latched onto her arms. "Don't interfere," the third soldier stated, leaving his place and scooping up Hamlet.
"Will, I'm sorry!" Kara shouted, struggling as they were dragging her out the door. "I'm sorry that I lied to you and didn't tell you!" Before she could say anymore, though, the soldiers had dragged her out the door.
"So, she was the daughter of King Edward," Grandpa Bill stated in almost a whisper, almost to himself. "I guess that's the reason why she seemed so familiar when she first came," he added with a small chuckle as he took a seat at the table.
"What do you mean, Grandpa?" Will asked.
"There are underground tunnels underneath the castle," Lola answered. "Your grandfather helped build them when he was still an architect."
"The prison is there. They were designed to keep the prisoners from escaping, but people would go there and never be heard from again," Bill took up the story, a twinge of bitterness and regret in his voice. "That was a long time ago, but I've never forgotten about it." His face seemed to relax as he reverted to his old self. "The princess was a lot younger back then, but looking at her now, I should've known. She still had the fiery spirit she has today."
"Well, anyways, enough talk," Grandma Lola said, placing a delicious looking pie on the table. "I was going to save this for later, but I think everybody needs a pick-me-up today. It's an old family recipe: Snail pie with whipped cream!"
The name was enough to strike horror onto the men's faces, but they relaxed when they remembered that she was an excellent cook and it would taste great. Still, the last few nights had been strange recipes like Licorice and Rice, or Mouse Fritters. Naturally, they had to wonder if her mind was elsewhere when she came up with these recipes, but they still ate the food and were satisfied afterwards.
After dinner, Will climbed into bed and was instantly taken into deep sleep after a day of surprises. For some reason, he dreamt that he and Kara would take a trip around the world…
A/N: Okay, I realize I'm a little late with this. This chapter only covers one little scene in the game, and yet I made it into almost 5,000 words! I suppose I should be happy, but I had to revamp almost all of the dialogue and events so it would make sense in the long run. Plus, I had to explain things that would otherwise be lost in the translation, since this is a pretty old game and doesn't have any back story, like Zelda does. Plus, there is a built in time limit to the game from the beginning to the end, so I had to sit down and map that out. So, yeah, I probably could've had this out yesterday, but I wanted to make sure it was good. So go ahead and tell me what you think.
Probably one thing I should mention is that I'm going to be more liberal with this game than I am with Zelda, mainly because some things wouldn't be handled the same way as in the game (finding Red Jewels, for instance). Also, in the game, Gaia is a giant, talking stone head. I don't feel comfortable with that idea, so I'll have something ready by the time she shows up next chapter. Canon-wise, however, I'm keeping everything as close as I can to the actual game. So, even though I don't agree with the philosophies that the game incorporated, I'm not going to change them, either.
That's about it, I guess. Next week, I'm going back to Zelda, but now that I have this started, I might focus just on one rather than both at the same time. I don't know; we'll see. Catch ya next time!
Disclaimer: I own nothing! I'm just doing this for fun!