Disclaimer: I don't own Mana Khemia, Gust and other actual legal owners do. No profit made nor infringement intended.
This was born of yet more musing on the actual nature of the book-series-breaking talent of Bink (MC of Xanth when it was actually interesting) & reading that Vayne's Japanese name was actually Vain. The Other Vayne is never given a name per se: it's "???" on his dialogue until the end. The similarities were mounting up a bit, and I was already thinking about how it would be kind of awesome if their two sentient powers compared notes (and copy of 'The Prince' in Bink's case) and Vayne's actually was a Magnificent Bastard. Not that this is a crossover. One would be kind of fun, but would lead to unstoppable force vs. immovable object problems if handled badly.
I want to add more to Felis too, but I want to write that while playing through the game again. Timeline and the order things, including missable scenes, happen in are going to be quite important.
Vayne had changed his mind again, and almost apologetically said that he wanted to stay with his friends, and it made Vain wonder if it was ever going to be possible for them to have what they wanted.
No, they had, before Isolde ruined everything. They'd had friends, a home, Sulpher, a happy school life. Like humans had, like people who hadn't killed their fathers. Weren't, perhaps, too dangerous to live.
If only he'd been able to destroy her knowledge of the truth, or maybe even kill her. She thought he was willing to kill, it would have proved, served her right.
But he didn't want to kill her, and Vayne had wanted to know the truth, not make her forget. No one had wanted her to forget, (and she didn't truly want to die as much as she had dared him to kill her and send her to join her love) and they could only grant what people wished for. And Vayne was the only one of them who could have wishes of his own, Vayne who had forgotten what they were and learned how to think like a human.
First Vayne had wished to keep everyone safe and with him. If people would attack Al Revis, if the world would go to war over his power, then enclose the school in a fortress. Because he loved it, he'd wished to imprison it. So his friends couldn't run away, couldn't graduate and leave him behind.
But he didn't want to be hated. And once the school was let free, word would spread of his power. So the best thing was to disappear, let everyone think Theofratus' creation had been slain, and try to make friends somewhere else.
Yet they'd been chased out of too many villages as a demon child, rejected too many times before coming here.
Before too long Vayne, they, would have wished to disappear. After all, if that was everyone else's wish… But once word spread? And Isolde had almost succeeded in rounding up a mob, one that would pursue them even if they fled, and how could he stay with everyone as long as he was the Mana of Wishes?
Vayne couldn't stay unless he could prove he was safe, "But without you to harness this power…" Hadn't he been paying attention to Isolde's description of what killing a mana had unleashed? Vain could try to release the power harmlessly, but at absolute minimum?
Their power was the power of prayers. The power that humans drew on to gain their heart's desires. If it was lost, or weakened? Al Revis itself was a dream built of stone and mana power, something that existed because humans wished it to.
Did Vayne want Jess to die, despite everything? Did he want to live knowing that he was the reason why his friends would never be able to gain happiness? If he'd realized that.
Vain had created him not to realize those things. Theofratus and Sulpher had both wished for him. Theofratus, in his saner moments, had wished they would understand what it was to be human, what it was to be unable to have what you wished for, how precious their power was. And Sulpher had wished for him to be able to be happy, to be normal and have normal friends.
They were both Vayne, but he was the one who remembered that Theofratus had spelled it Vain. A wish made in vain, a power of infinite potential that would have no result but death.
The professor had heard 'Vayne' and there had been no reason to correct them.
No reason to reveal the truth when it would destroy everything that had been wished for.
"I'm sorry, but I don't want that power anymore. It's useless to me now." Worse than useless. This power and the knowledge of it had the potential to destroy everything Vayne had grown able to wish for.
So he had to agree it was the right choice. "Okay, as long as you know the consequences." Because did it matter if no one else was able to have what they wished for ever again as long as they had what they wished for? Yes, it did matter to Vayne, but he didn't understand the consequences, didn't know them. They had been created to mindlessly grant Theofratus' last wish, after all, and he started to grow angry. "Without a harness, the power will go out of control." But to Vayne, that was a good thing. He believed what Isolde had said, that this was a power that the world was better off without.
After all, if it was a power that had already existed, then why wasn't there already a mana of it?
But what if there had been?
What if it was their power that had gone out of control, so long ago?
There would be nothing left of Al Revis.
Vayne's wish was to stay with his friends, and he couldn't do that unless he gave up this power. Or, at least, unless people once again thought he was normal.
Vain had been created to grant wishes without understanding the consequences, otherwise he would have refused Theofratus. Otherwise he would have been able to pick and choose who was able to gain what desires and become the despot Isolde had wisely feared.
He was supposed to be desire, be the embodiment of the hearts' desires of the entire world. Theofratus had thought that would make him vain, surely.
But then, he'd given up all responsibility and become self-hating because he was thought too highly of and had come to believe it himself.
Vayne wanted to attack him now. Well, not him, this power. Destroy it so everyone would be safe, but that would just repeat the tragedy. The easy thing would be to grant that wish, but he didn't want that.
Yet they all wanted to live, wanted Vayne to be happy.
They had been so happy before, needed to use their power so rarely because they had all that anyone could wish for, when they had thought he was human.
When they had believed he was human.
When they hadn't known.
There was really no need for another fight, except for the catharsis it offered. To have slain the beast so people would believe they were safe. Would believe test results showing that Vayne was now human, even though of course he couldn't have become human without this power and was capable of wishing for their senses to be fooled.
But Vayne was too honest to wish for that.
If Vayne believed he was human he would be happy, could have all that he wished for, know that his friends were safe. And Vain could ensure that it was so. Just like he'd watched over this power as his other self peacefully dreamed that he was a human with a father and a future.
Vayne wouldn't want to deceive the world.
Vain wasn't supposed to have desires of his own.
Yet they were one and the same, and Vain had watched as Vayne learned how to wish.
So now, instead of picking among the wishes of humans, he could have a dream of his own.
Vayne wished he could still understand Sulpher, but he didn't wish for the power back, not yet, and after spending so long in Vayne's mind, just watching, it was nice to have Sulpher all to himself.
None of those who examined him, not even Vayne himself wondered why he could still use all his techniques without a mana.
Isolde still suspected – the lack of suspicion would have been suspicious in and of itself, alchemists weren't that sort of fool. But the thing they all watched, the true test, was Jess' approaching death.
He would have to allow them to succeed or fail on their own. Jess had already proved she didn't want to live at Vayne's expense. Yet they all wished her to live.
Roxis wanted to know the truth, was almost trying to beat it out of Vayne by challenging him, trying to force him to wish to defend himself.
Well, if it became impossible to live in this world they did have a standing invitation to move to another.
It's actually possible to fit all the endings except the bad ending into a single continuity.
Roxis and Vayne traveling together, researching a cure for Jess and visiting Anna during those travels. Vayne staying with Jess at the end, then marrying Nikki and living a semi-peaceful life interrupted by Flayvor of Evil trying to take over the world.
Eventually, they'd all die of old age, and at that point traveling to hide his lack of aging would be a good idea, and perhaps Pamela would be ready to tag along.
And if Pamela finally moved on and he no longer had anything tying him to Earth either…
Yeah, this has the too little dialogue/action issues of my recent work. But ah well. I hope it at least provokes thought.