Author's Notes: Although I have written a few original stories this is my first attempt at fanfiction, so it may be a little rough.
This story is largely based on an observation I made when I watching the Tales of Phantasia OVA. In Tales of Symphonia the game went to great detail to explain why humans discriminate against half-elves, but the reasons why elves dislike half-elves is left rather ambiguous. In was not until I saw the OVA and read more about Tales of Phantasia that the relationship between elves and half-elves was better explained. As I thought about the elves' idealism this plot formed in my head and I decided to write this story that take place during the Kharlan War. I will try to stay as close to canon as possible and will keep clear of AU since I want this idea to be plausible in the current canon timeline.
This will have spoilers from Tales of Symphonia, Dawn of the New World, and a little from Tales of Phantasia. You have been warned.
Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Symphonia, Dawn of the New World, or Tales of Phantasia. They are all property to the people at Namco and Nintendo. I will lay claim to any OCs in the stories and I will take full responsibility for all the terrible things I plan to do with them.
Chapter 1: Heimdall
"A half-elf is a human that can use magic. Our abilities couple with the brutal nature of humans. Such creatures bring ruin to both races."
-Tales of Phantasia OVA, Episode 3
Kratos was anything but happy as he and his troops marched slowly in the forest that surrounded the elvan village of Heimdall. It was slow because the forest was thick with trees and branches that made walking nearly impossible.
He wished that he was allowed to fly here on one of the Rheiards, but the world's mana was currently too low to use the flying machines for anything beside military campaigns. Also, this mission was far too important to allow either of the warring sides to interfere.
With all of that, it meant over a week of hard walking through war torn country and thick forest. Their food was low and everyone was tire.
"Kratos, are we close to Heimdall?" Eric, one of the two soldiers that were allowed to accompany him, questioned. He was a fairly tall, dark skinned man with a lean built and greasy black hair that reached his shoulders. Although he rarely complains, everyone was at their wits end.
"We should reach the village just before nightfall." Kratos answered.
"Why don't we just make camp here and reached the village in the morning." Gem asked. He was the youngest of the troop at only sixteen and had a very lanky frame. He had light brown hair that covered half his eyes.
Kratos always wondered how the boy manage to see anything, let alone fight, with such an absurd haircut, but there was no questioning his skills. Next to him, he was next best swordsmen in the group. His only real flaw was the fact that he was predictable.
"Too risky." Kratos said. "Sylvarant and Tethe'alla's spies have been spotted in this area."
"No doubt to keep an eye on the elves." Eric said. "If they choose to help any side in this war, it will be a major turning point. However, the elves have remained neutral for over one-thousand years. It is very unlikely they will suddenly get involved now."
"Neither side would be foolish enough to take the elves for granted." Kratos said. "Any opportunity to persuade them to take up arms will be exploited. Which is why it is dangerous to stay in this forest for too long."
Eric nodded in agreement. "The sooner we reach Heimdall, the better we all will be."
"Lord Kratos, you never explained to us the exact nature of our mission." Gem said. "From what I have heard and read, Heimdall is neutral to the point that they won't even help an injure soldier. Even if Lord Zilveren is kin to them, I still don't see why they will help us."
Kratos closed his eyes as he remembered the last meeting he had with Zilveren. "I am not allowed to tell. What I can say is that Heimdall might have the key to finally ending this eternal war."
As predicted, they reached Heimdall just as the sun was beginning to set. Two sentinels were guarding the entrance to the hidden village and they immediately unsheathed their weapons upon seeing the three humans.
"No human is allowed in Heimdall." One of the elves stated coldly. "Turn back or we will use force."
Kratos bowed humbly. "Forgive our intrusion, but we are here on an urgent mission from Lord Zilveren."
The elves lowered their weapons. "You must be Lord Kratos. The elder has been expecting you for a couple of days."
"I am afraid we had been sidetracked." Kratos stated bluntly.
"It is too late to meet with the elder now." The guard said. "You will have to wait until morning. You can rest at the inn until then."
"That is more than manageable." Kratos said. He turned and nodded to his men, who followed shortly behind him.
The village was fairly empty, given that it was dinner time, however, there were still a few elves walking around. They eyed the new arrivals darkly as they made they way towards the inn, which wasn't too far from the entrance.
The innkeeper was polite enough, but she too had a cold look in her eyes as she watched their every move until they finally reached their room. The inn was small, so they all had to share quarters. However, it was something they were all used to since they traveled together for over a week.
"Man, these elves are cold." Eric finally said when he was sure they were out of hearing range. "Didn't know the elves here were such stuck up pricks."
"Watch your mouth." Kratos ordered firmly. "We are guests here."
Eric snorted in irritation. "You know it's true, they're treated us like we are a bunch of filthy half-elves."
Kratos' eyes narrowed, his ruby eyes burning in anger. This sudden change startled Eric. Although he hasn't known Kratos for long, the guy was an ice cube when it came to any emotion. Hell, even as he kills a man his face never loses that neutral, and somewhat bored, expression. Whatever he said must have really hit a nerve.
"If you were a half-elf, you would have not even been allowed to enter this village." Kratos said slowly. "If you did, you would have been executed without exception. So, I would suggest you do not compare your situation to a 'filthy' half-elf."
The words were delivered calmly, but there was no hiding the coldness behind each word. It actually chilled Eric to his bones as he kept himself from shivering.
"I will remember that, sir." Eric finally said after a long, uncomfortable silence. There was another long silence before anyone dared to speak.
"Well, I'm hungry." Gem suddenly said in a cheery voice, attempting to lift the mood. "Who wants dinner?"
Kratos broke his glare at Eric and nodded. "Yes, we have to turn in early for our meeting."
Mithos hated his life. Well, not so much his life as his existence in this village. Although he had lived in Heimdall ever since he was born, he was still treated like an outcast by the village children.
What did he ever do to them to earn their eternal hatred of him? Was all this grief given to him just because he was a half-elf? It was so unfair. It wasn't like he could help being born as one.
"Mithos?" A soft voice called to him. The young boy turned from his place by the lakebed to stare at a young female with long green hair that reached towards her knees. Her eyes were the same forest green color that sparkled with life. Although her face still looked like that of a little girl, her body had fully developed into a beautiful young lady.
Mithos couldn't help but smile. Even among elves, Martel's beauty was envy. Without the ability to sense mana, Martel could easily pass for an elf. Unlike himself, Mithos thought bitterly. He was short, even for his age, and had a frame to equal it. His hair was a dirty blond and always laid flat on his back. The only feature he actually liked about himself were his eyes, which were a crystal blue.
Martel frowned when she saw the large gash on Mithos' forehead, which was steadily bleeding. "Those kids picked on you again."
Mithos turned away from her and looked back down at the lake. "It's nothing."
"I am sorry they hurt you again." Martel said sadly as she lifted up a wooden staff that she always carried with her. "First Aid!"
Within seconds, Mithos felt a warm breeze brush over his face and the pain on his forehead was gone. Although, he could still feel the dry blood. "Thank you, sis."
Martel sat down next to him and wrapped one of her arms around his shoulders. "Mithos, I know it is hard, but you have to learn forgive them."
Mithos narrowed his eyes, but didn't look up towards his sister. "You always say that. Forgive them.............I don't want to forgive those bastards."
"Mithos." Martel scolded lightly.
"All they ever do is look down upon us and hate us because of our blood. Why should I forgive them? If anything, they should beg for our forgiveness." Mithos continued.
"Mithos, you cannot live your life hating others who have wronged you, no matter how justified that hate is." Martel began looked up towards the night's sky. The sun's final light had slowly faded away and the stars were becoming clearer. "I believe......when you hate, you only really hurt yourself. Since the people you hate either do not care or simply don't know."
Martel hugged her brother tighter. "I know it's hard, Mithos, but please do not allow your hate to consume you."
Mithos finally lifted his head to look into his sister's eyes. Her eyes had the first beginnings of tears, but she refused to let them fall. That just was the kind of person she was. She was too strong to allow her emotions to run her, even though she understood them so well. She was everything that Mithos hoped he would one day become. Someone in which people will look up to and respect regardless of his blood.
"It is late." Martel said sweetly as she gave him a warm kiss. "We need to get home." Mithos silently nodded in agreement and got up to follow his sister. Like he did every night, he pledge to someday become a person that his sister would be proud of. A person who would create a better world for all races.
It was a short night for Kratos and he woke with the sun, along with both of his companions. Kratos had volunteered to be the last one to use the shower, so he was the only one who hadn't finished dressing. This was fine with him; since he rarely had alone time these days.
As he finished putting the plate of his armor on, he looked into the mirror to make sure the equipment was straight. It wasn't the normal armor of a soldier, it was far too decorative.
It was also a silvery black, opposed to the gray colors that a normal soldier would wear. The armor was also special because it was made out of an expensive and rare light weight metal that made it stronger than steel. The armor itself was covered with several ridges to make the armor more sleeker. It also had overly large shoulder pads, which Kratos never liked. The armor was finished off with a long red cap that flowed down his back and reached his ankles. He knew that capes were impractical for several reasons, however, he always liked how he looked with one on, something that he would never admit to anyone.
Before Kratos could stop himself, he had looked down to the middle of his chest where the golden crest of the Tethe'alla's royal army laid. However, several strike marks were now embedded into the crest he once wore proudly. A reminder of what he has given up.
Kratos quickly took his eyes off his crest and quickly stalked out of the room. There was no point in crying about the past. If everything today goes well, then he will be one step closer to finally concluding this part of his life.
Gem and Eric were already outside when they saw their commander. Kratos said nothing as he made his way to the elder's house. They both could tell that Kratos was in a foul mood, so they decided it was best to keep out of his way until it passes.
Thankfully, the elder's house was barely a five minute walk from the inn and it was one of the only houses in the area. Like all the homes in Heimdall, the house was small and simple. The only reason they knew it was the elder's house because it was slightly bigger than the others, but not by much.
Kratos politely knocked on the door and waited a couple of seconds before a young lady answered. She was obviously a maid of some sort.
"Who are you?" The woman demanded.
Kratos gave a short bow. "I am Kratos Aurion, I am here on behalf of Lord Zilveren."
The lady stared at them for a few more seconds before she finally relented and allowed the visitors in. They followed her until they reached a small study at the corner of the house. Sitting in a large chair was a slightly old elf with long silver hair and dark blue eyes. He was wearing a typical elvan robe with several ancient marking.
"Elder Johnov, the convoy that Lord Zilveren sent has finally arrived." The maid said to the older man.
He looked up from the book he was reading and gave small smile. "I see, please leave us." She nodded and left the elder alone with his guests.
"Please have a seat. There is no need to stand." Johnov said. They all quietly took a seat around the room and they were all arranged in a semicircle.
"So, you are Kratos Aurion." Johnov stated when everyone was settled. "I have to admit, I was a little surprise when I heard Zilveren was sending someone of your reputation."
Kratos' face remained impassive. "Is there a problem with such an arrangement?"
Johnov gave a short chuckled. "If there was, you wouldn't be here right now. I have known Zilveren for over one-hundred years and I trust his judgment. If he sees someone like you trustworthy to his cause, then I can at least humor him."
Kratos nodded in understanding. "There is little point prolonging this with small talk, you know why we are here."
Johnov gave another chuckled. "Straight to the point, very well. I have heard rumors for sometime now that Zilveren has been looking for a summoner."
Kratos nodded. "That is true. So far, we have been unable to find one. Anyone with any summoning abilities have been recruited by either the Sylvarant's or Tethe'alla's armies."
"And Zilveren has been unable to make either side part with their summoners?" Johnov questioned, although it was more of a statement.
"I am afraid asking anything from either side is out of the question." Kratos said sourly. "The war has intensified greatly over these last twenty years and neither side can barely mutter the word peace. If we even attempt to negotiate with any side, the other will see it as an act of war."
"They fear Zilveren's influence, as they should." Johnov said. "But, they are fools to think that he would choose to support this war. However, war tends to block the common sense of humans."
Eric looked slightly insulted by the claim, but quickly calmed down when he saw Kratos staring at him with the same intensity as yesterday.
"Even so, that is the box we find ourselves in." Kratos stated.
"Did Zilveren tell you why he needed a summoner so badly?" Johnov questioned further.
"I am afraid that I am not privilege to that information." Kratos said neutrally.
"I guess it does not matter too much." Johnov sighed. "In either case, I think I can help you. We have a summoner here." Everyone's eyes lit up with the proclamation.
"Really?" Kratos said as he attempted to keep a straight face.
"He is a little on the young side, but he should do." Johnov said.
This got Eric's attention. "How young are we talking about?"
Johnov closed his eyes before answering. "He is eleven."
"Eleven, he's barely old enough to hold a butter knife, let alone to be able to make pacts with Summon Spirits!"
"Eric." Kratos warned.
"You have to admit, even for war times, that is an extremely young age." Gem said.
Johnov gave a feral smile. "I suppose you could wait until he is a little older. However, he is the only one here with any summoning ability."
Kratos stared at Johnov intensely. Something else was wrong here. When the elder mentioned his ability to summon, there was a note of bitterness. It was so controlled he almost missed it, but it was there nonetheless.
"There is something you are not telling us about this summoner." Kratos stated neutrally.
Johnov's eyes noticeably narrowed. "Well, this summoner is also a half-elf."