Symphonia: Regeneration Revisited
A/N: Characters may be a little ooc but hopefully not too badly. I think it works for the story. I honestly don't know what brought this on…I haven't played Tales of Symphonia in a while, but playing the sequel has given me the urge to revisit the fandom. This plot bunny hit me out of nowhere and I felt I needed to write it.
Pairings will remain primarily canon, I don't plan on adding anything else, though I may add either Yuan/Raine or Mithos/Raine depending on where the story goes, though that won't be for many, many chapters, if ever.
I also won't cover the entire game. Just the parts that have been drastically changed---for example, the next chapter will probably be where they meet Sheena, though I have no plans set in stone at the moment.
Please enjoy, and if you would, review.
Four thousand years…
Had it really been that long?
What had he accomplished? A lot, when you thought about it---he had separated two worlds, stopped a war, created a religion…all in all, not a bad existence.
But what had he really done?
Martel was still dead. Yuan and Kratos, his only true friends, had both rebelled against him before. At the moment, they were both loyal to him and his charge, but how long would that last, he wondered?
And in both worlds, half-elves were still being discriminated against.
Nothing had changed. Not really.
But still, hope still lived on.
The girl---Colette Brunel, Chosen of Mana. She had the closest mana signature of any of the previous Chosens to Martel…If anyone stood a chance at resurrecting Martel, it would be this girl.
The problem that arose, of course, was the world the girl hailed from. She came from diminishing Sylvarant, the fading world. It was dangerous there. The past five Chosens had failed. His Desian cardinals ruled over that land, inspiring terror and fear into all in the land. It would be a perilous journey. There was a chance this Chosen would die as well.
Normally, he would just send Kratos to protect the Chosen---being human, Kratos could easily disguise himself as a mercenary and keep the Chosen protected until the time was needed to use her as Martel's vessel…but Yggdrasill was unsure. Kratos had…changed. And maybe he was simply being paranoid, but the last time he had allowed Kratos to go to the surface world alone, he had openly defied Cruxis, broke into a human ranch, stole a human woman (the Angelus Project, nonetheless), married her, had a son, and then when they died (as pathetic humans tend to do) he had the gall to say it was Yggdrasill and Crusix's fault they died!
No, sending Kratos alone to the surface world end rather badly. Despite losing his family over fourteen years ago, Kratos was rather…sensitive about the subject. But who could he send with Kratos, to make sure he didn't snap?
He could send Yuan. But that thought was even more dangerous than the concept of sending Kratos alone. Yuan was a rebel. Yuan was dangerous. Yuan was a liability.
Yuan was Martel's fiancé, and that was the only reason Yggdrasill hadn't killed him yet.
So sending Kratos alone was a bad idea. Leaving Yuan here alone was undoubtedly an even worse idea. Sending them both was a guaranteed disaster.
Hmph. If you wanted something done, you'd have to do it yourself.
"You," he said to the nearest angel, a prototyped lifeless being. "Send for Lord Kratos and Lord Yuan. Tell them it's urgent, and they are needed immediately."
He had a plan.
The plan was fundamentally simple. Kratos, Yuan, and Yggdrasill would go down to the surface world together, disguised as a mercenary trio and offer their surfaces to protect the Chosen. There were several advantages to this plan. The most obvious was the fact that the Chosen would be protected---with the three of them, the Chosen wouldn't even get a scratch on her. Kratos wouldn't be alone; Yuan would be under constant supervision. Neither of them would be in Derris-Kharlan while he wasn't.
"And who will look after Cruxis, while we're away?" Yuan asked grumpily. He didn't like the plan. That was okay, though: Yggdrasill didn't quite care enough to make Yuan happy.
"Pronyma." He answered, as though it was obvious. There was no argument. The three Seraphim all knew that the Head Desian Cardinal hadn't gotten as far as she had in order risk it all through rebellion.
The angel-turned-god shifted in his clothing: the dark slacks and vest were not what the man was use to wearing, but it could not be helped. They were to pose as mercenaries, not gods.
It made him feel a little better, though, that Yuan looked uncomfortable in his new clothing as well. In fact, the only one who looked completely at home in his new look was Kratos, who wore the dark garb like a second skin, looking every bit as natural and comfortable as could be.
"And if they figure out we're half-elves? What will you do then?" Yuan asked pessimistically.
"They won't." The blonde angel said with a smile. "Humans can't read mana-signatures, and if we keep our ears hidden," He moved his hair over his ears, hiding their obvious point. "They'll never know the difference."
"I still don't like this plan." Yuan grumbled. "It's going to end badly. I can feel it."
"I'm not asking for your feelings, I'm asking for your obedience." The high angel snapped. "Also, when we're on the surface world, call me Mithos, remember? We don't want to arouse too much suspicion."
"Have I ever called you anything else?" Yuan snarked.
"I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to Kratos!" Mithos growled. "Got it, Kratos?"
"Hmph." The mercenary grumbled. "Let's just get on with it. To Iselia, correct?"
"Right. Today is the day of prophecy. Let's meet up with the Chosen at the Temple."
"Iselia…" The blue-haired half-elf murmured. "That's where Anna and Lloyd died, isn't it?"
Kratos didn't say anything; he didn't have to, the expression on his face said enough.
"We should hurry on, then, or we'll be late." Mithos had never liked speaking of Kratos's family---he never quite knew what to say.
The trip to Iselia was filled with quiet thoughts and memories. After four thousands years, you tend to run out of things to say to one another. Without the need to eat or sleep, they traveled quickly and silently, like shadows in the night.
Yuan hated the silence.
"So, what was she like? Your Anna, I mean." Yuan finally asked, to break up the quiet that seemed to lurk around them.
"…You've met her."
"Yeah, once." Yuan snorted. "I know that she's insane, and that she made a mean pot-roast. But that's about it."
"She wasn't insane." Kratos murmured.
"She had to have been—she married you, didn't she?" Yuan let out a small smile, one that seemed almost contagious. "So tell me about her."
"No." Kratos said sadly. "I---I can't."
"Well, not talking about her has been doing you a lot of good for the past fourteen years! So come on, tell me something. How did you meet? What was she like in bed? You know, the good stuff."
"You know how we met. I broke her out of Kvar's ranch, we fell in love, got married, had Lloyd, and then Kvar killed them." He turned to Mithos silently. "Speaking of which, if we go to the Asgard Ranch while protecting the Chosen, I'm killing Kvar."
"But Kvar is my best researcher!"
Kratos's eyes narrowed into small slits of red. "I'm gutting him where he stands."
Mithos could see that there was no arguing with him. "Very well. Kill him if you must. But I'll leave it to you to find me another Cardinal."
All was silent once more as they passed through the forest that surrounded Iselia. Yuan grumbled his dislike of the quiet, but otherwise all was silent as they continued to make their way to the temple.
"Oooh, look at the light."
"The Oracle." Mithos supplied. "Looks like we'll be a little late after all."
The quiet came once more, until suddenly Kratos let out a little smile. "Lloyd's first word was Noishe."
Yuan cackled. "Noishe? Seriously? That's hilarious. You had a funny kid, Kratos."
"Noishe…I forgot about him. I suppose he died when your family died, didn't he?" Mithos asked.
Yuan didn't give Kratos a chance to respond. "I bet you were upset, though, weren't you? I mean, aren't most kid's first words suppose to be dada?"
"Oh, I was devastated. I thought it meant I was a terrible father." Kratos smiled, the first time in possibly fourteen years. "Anna just laughed, though. His next word was Dada, though."
The trio laughed for what felt like the first time in centuries. It ended, though, with what felt like a choked sob.
"I'm---I'm sorry." Kratos croaked, holding back a sob. "Can we just…head to the temple now?"
"Yeah, we're almost there." Mithos said quietly, unused to seeing his usually stoic friend so distraught. It was then when he heard it. Fighting. "There's fighting going on at the Temple!"
Yuan looked at him confused. "Are you sure? I don't hear anything---"
Kratos's eyes widened. "No, I hear it too---let's go."
If Yuan had begun to swear up and down like a sailor because his plan failed, then neither of his two angelic friends were close enough to hear it.
They arrived just in the nick of time. Three kids—a brown haired human boy, a white-haired half-elf, and the Chosen of Mana—were on the ground, exhausted from fighting a grotesque man in a Desian uniform. Renegades. Damn, I should have known.
It didn't take long for the three angels to defeat him, and soon the giant began to retreat, their leader with him. "Damn, I never thought you three would show up. Retreat!"
As Yuan cast a gentle healing spell over the fallen youngsters, the three children began to stand again. "Wow, you guys are really strong!"
The white-haired boy laughed. "Stronger than you at least, Lloyd!"
The brown-haired human blushed. "Shut up, Genis!"
Lloyd, Lloyd, Lloyd…Wasn't that the name of Kratos's brat?
"Your name is Lloyd?" Apparently, Kratos had had the same thought.
The boy turned around smugly, crossing his red arms together. "Who are you to ask for my name?"
Why that little--!
"His name is Kratos, my name is Yuan, and this is Mithos. We're mercenaries. We saw that bright light and decided to investigate what was going on. You should be glad we did, too, kid, or you'd be toast right about now."
The kid in red snorted. "Whatever. We totally could have taken him."
"Lying on the ground bleeding isn't most people's definition of 'winning' but I suppose I may just be old fashioned that way." Yuan responded coolly. "Now, who are you brats and what the hell's going on?"
The red-clad boy, presumably the leader of the rag-tag group answered. "Well, I'm Lloyd. This guy is Genis, and the girl is Colette. We were investigating that light as well, when these Desians--" Renegades "--attacked us."
The girl wiped her face quietly. "They killed most of the priests…"
Mithos, feeling a small stab of pity for the girl, knelt down beside her. "It's okay…I use to be a priest…They're in a better place, I promise."
"COLETTE!" a frantic cry came from beyond. "What are you doing here?? You're suppose to be at school until the priests come!"
"Grandma!" Colette cried out. "We came because we saw the Oracle!"
"Yes," the grandmother said. "But then the Desians attacked out of nowhere…they killed most of the priests who were suppose to be your escorts…"
"That's right---Grandmother, I need to go receive the Oracle now!" The girl answered, as though she had suddenly remembered.
"Oracle?" Yuan asked, feigning confusion. "Oh. So this girl must be the Chosen! Nice."
"That's okay, I'll take the job of protecting Colette!" The red-clad brat volunteered.
"Lloyd?" The old woman pondered. "I'd be uneasy if it were just you…"
"Ma'am." Mithos interrupted smoothly. "My brothers and I are mercenaries. We'd be more than happy to escort the Chosen though the Temple to ease your worries."
"So long as we get paid." Kratos interrupted coldly.
Yuan laughed, picking at his thread-barren clothes. "Yeah, getting paid seems like a good idea. We haven't had any decent jobs recently…"
Phaidra smiled, a look the Chosen clearly inherited. "Well, you three seem like nice gentlemen to me." What a load of… "Please, be of service."
"It's a deal then." Kratos answered for the group.
"Wait, I want to go too!" The boy, Lloyd, answered swiftly.
Before either Yuan or Mithos could respond, Kratos answered with a resounding "No. You'll only get in the way. It's dangerous in there. Be a good boy and go home." He sounded almost…paternal, though few outside of his close friends would have caught that.
"Oh stop being such a stick-in-the-mud, Kratos!" Yuan argued. "Let the kid come along---"
"Gotcha." Lloyd responded with a cheeky grin. "I'll just follow you on my own, then."
Kratos's thin lips curled in the mockery of a smile. "Heh. You're a stubborn kid. Fine, come on then. Keep up, or I'll leave you behind."
The boy nodded. "Alright. Come on Genis, let's go!"
The events at the Temple and thereafter happened swiftly and efficiently thanks to the Chosen's three newest guardians. The Chosen accepted the Oracle, the Tower of Salvation appeared in Sylvarant, and most importantly, the Chosen's grandmother had invited the trio back to her home for supper, and to discuss the detail of the upcoming journey of Regeneration.
For once, everything was going according to plan.
Kratos easily played the role of the haggler while the other two played the roles of the sympathizers. After settling on a decent amount that wouldn't draw suspicion nor would it rob the church blind, the three began to settle in for the night. It wasn't until after dark did anything interesting happen. The Chosen asked to escorted through the forest in order to say goodbye that boy, Lloyd Irving. Seeing no need for everyone to go, Kratos and Yuan volunteered, and the three headed out to the boy's home outside of the village.
Which was how Mithos found himself cornered by the professor, Raine Sage---the archeology expert who was also to accompany them on the journey tomorrow.
"You're a half-elf." She said, halfway between accusing and awe.
"As are you." He answered calmly. He had been expecting this ever since he had come in contact with the woman.
"Kratos doesn't judge people." He answered calmly. "He accepts them for who they are, not their race. I've---I've known him since I was a little kid. He taught me how to use a sword. He and Yuan have known each even longer."
It wasn't a lie.
"You aren't a Desian." She said, relieved. "Every other half-elf I've met has been a Desian. You—"
"I'd have nothing to gain." He answered quietly. "To be honest, I hate most humans. They are responsible for the death of my sister, for my own personal exile…But I've learned not to judge. Kratos is my friend, like a brother, and he's fully human."
"And the other half-elf? Yuan?"
"He loves them more than I do. He's known Kratos since he was about your brother's age. Kratos was the only human in our home village to accept us for who we were…the rest of them cast us out."
"Have you ever considered it? Working for them, being around your own kind…"
He frowned. "I---considered it. Once. My brothers and I disbanded for a time…I had no where else to go…I ended up at the church, becoming a priest. That's how I know the angelic language."
It was surprising how easy the information leaked out, how easy lies were formed…he'd have to be careful around this one; he could tell she would be tricky.
"Why did you disband?"
"Kratos." The closer to the truth the lies were, the easier they would be to remember. He remembered that much from his mortal days. "He got married. Wanted to settle down, raise a family. He's only human; he doesn't have as much time as the rest of us do."
Miss Sage blinked. "That's…surprising. I didn't take him as the marrying type. I'm surprised he's left his family, then, to go adventuring with you two—"
"His family is dead, Miss Sage." He interrupted curtly. No need for her to be so interested, anyway. "His wife and his son died a few years ago."
Her mouth shaped into a small 'o'. "—how?"
"Desians." It was a generic enough of an answer. "That's why Yuan and I will never join them…it destroyed Kratos when they died…We never want to see anyone suffer like he did."
It was quiet for a moment, then: "I'm glad you're coming with us." She said quietly. "My brother—the only other half-elves he knows of are Desians. Meeting two half-elves who are also against the Desians will help him, a lot."
"Glad to be a help, then. Good night, Miss Sage."
"Good night then, Mithos."
"Hey, Mithos, are you awake?"
"Of course." The blonde answered curtly, pulling the covers off of him. "What is it, Yuan?"
The blue-haired man bit his lip nervously. "I—I think Kratos needs to stay here. In Iselia."
"What?!" Yggdrasill growled. "What for?"
"That boy---the one we went through the forest to find—the boy from earlier…"
"Get to the point." He snapped.
"He's Kratos's son!" Yuan whispered.
The silence that followed echoed throughout the house.
"…What? How? I thought he died—"
Yuan nodded. "So did I! So did Kratos…we all thought…But we found Anna's grave outside the house, and, go figure, the kid's adopted, raised by a dwarf who found him and Anna…that's why Kratos never found their bodies…they'd already been found." Yuan shook his head anxiously. "We can't separate Kratos from his kid. Not again. You and I are more than capable of protecting the Chosen. We should let him stay here with his kid. It's only right."
Mithos frowned softly. "What does Kratos want to do?"
"I dunno…he was still talking with that dwarf when I left with the Chosen."
"Then we'll let him decide what he wants to do, then."
"I want to go with you," was the first thing Kratos said once the sun had risen.
"Are you sure? I mean, this is your son. The one you thought you lost. Are you sure you want to leave him?"
The look on Kratos's face was pure torment and guilt. "I—he has a life, already. A family. Friends who care about him…He doesn't need me to show up and screw it all up."
Yuan stared at him blankly, his mouth gaped open in shock. And then, suddenly, he understood. "You're afraid. You think he'll reject you!"
Kratos stared at his feet like a child being scorned. "I—I don't want him to think I abandoned him. Anyway, he's happy now, so why ruin it? I thought about it for a long time…there's no need for him to know. He'll be happier this way."
"Well, I think you're making a mistake, but what do I know?"
Mithos sighed, inwardly relieved at Kratos's decision. For a moment there, he thought he was about to lose his dearest friend once again. "Anyway, if we're ready, we should collect the Chosen and head out of here.
The three men nodded in agreement, and headed out to Iselia, unknowingly beginning the last great adventure any of them would live to talk about.
END CHAPTER 1