Well, I just finished Crystal Bearers. Pretty short, but a good game nonetheless. The mini-games are probably the best part, but I did like the story. The throwing mechanic was cool too, and second play-throughs are always a good thing, not to mention third and fourth! I've had to do a complete rewrite of this fic, with new characters, plot, and everything, but hey, I only had a few chapters actually planned out anyway. Without further ado, I present to you: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Advent Miasma.
I do not own Final Fantasy or anything therein.
Layle, where are you? Belle sat at a table in the bar, exhausted after searching all day. Again. For the sixth day in row. Of the second week since that day. Keiss was trying to get her give up, saying that Layle had to be dead. But that couldn't be. They found Jegran's body, but never Layle's, if he had died he would have been there too. But... Jegran was just a charred corpse, they weren't even sure it was him at first. Keiss said that Layle, being so much smaller than him, must have been incinerated. But he couldn't be dead. She could feel it, she knew he was out there, somewhere. Besides, she thought to herself, he owes me, he wouldn't just leave a debt behind. He wouldn't...
She had searched everywhere, from Bridge Town to the Selkie Guild and back again. She had looked under every rock, in every nook and cranny, she had even been to some of the islands off the coast to look for him. That had proven a bad idea. Turns out there are a LOT more monsters out there than on the main continent, even some new breeds. She had made a nice 30,000 gil for the info, but hadn't found a clue to Layle. And she had found someone who said when her hat blew off on a cruise, someone grabbed it with magic and brought it back, it had to be Layle! There were a couple of leads like that, but they were always dead ends...
The bartender brought her the banana smoothie she ordered, and she was barely able to sip it. The bartender sighed and walked away. She glared after him, she didn't need his pity! Then she noticed something. This one Selkie way in the back. He had red hair and was wearing all black; he was looking around anxiously, like he was making sure he wasn't being watched. Then he just got up and walked out, looking over his shoulder as he did. Belle left some gil on the table and followed, this guy reeked of info. She followed him to some remote part of the Guild, a small cove behind the boat. He looked around again, making sure he wasn't being watched. Of course he was, Belle was very good at hiding, but he thought it was safe, so he took out a stone disc with a black jewel in the center.
He waved his hand above it, and miasma swirled around it, creating a circular window that glowed red. "Have You Found Him, Assassin?" A deep, demonic voice spoke to the Selkie, who shook his head.
"NO?!" the window flared as the voice bellowed. "You Said You Could Track Layle's Crystal! How Could You Not Have Found That Bastard Yet?!"
"Now hold on," the man said casually, apparently unfazed by the voice's anger, "I can track his crystal, but things have gotten... complicated."
"Oh? Now This I Must Hear."
"Since those Yukes have come back, so has the magic. Now anyone can use the stuff. But it takes years to learn spells, and those Yukes had a way around that. They showed the other Tribes how to make this stuff called Materia, crystallized magic. Just hold it and say a spell, and boom, instant gratification magic." He ran a hand through his hair before continuing, "and that's not all. There are two types of the stuff. Military, the kind I just told you about, and Economic. These are basically Crystal substitute, they can be used to run Crystal Reactors. Cid's steam engine isn't as popular it seems. Worse yet, they're using it for other stuff too. I've seen some attached to walls, just wave a hand over 'em and the turn on and off. They've replaced light bulbs. I can't believe that in just two weeks these things have gotten everywhere! I can't single out his crystal."
"... I See. Adopt Another Tact Then, He's Been Closing My Miasma Streams, Find A Big One And Wait."
"Uh, not so easy for me, I can't sit still that long. Just summon up a big bad monster to do it. Behemoth Kings would do well."
"I Will Work On It, Keep Looking In The Meantime." Then the miasma dissipated and the man put the disc in his pocket. He summoned some miasma and created a portal, closing it behind him. Belle just stood there, shocked by what she had seen. She had been right about info, but just what had she stumbled onto? She had proof now, Layle was out there. But he was being hunted! And by something that can control miasma no less! What the Hell is going on?!
Meanwhile, a Clavat in a gray coat was hanging from the ceiling of a cave, mostly bored and considering his options. He still had a good deal of Miasma Streams to close, but he had to find Jegran's crystal. The Hostile took it and disappeared into a Miasma Stream while he was off the monsters. He decided to call him "Blade", he had been carrying two short swords when he showed up. He was clearly a Clavat, but he had this weird aura about him. And then there was that Aegyl. The Aegyl, he hadn't even known they existed. They could easily be mistaken for a Clavat or Selkie, if not for one very notable feature: they had wings. After his fight with Jegran, Layle was sure he was done for. But then, as they grappled while falling to a certain death, there was a sudden blast of light. Next he knew he was surrounded by light, and could barely make out a figure clad in golden armor. At first he thought he was dead, especially since his wounds were gone, when the figure spoke.
"Layle, Bearer of Gravity," it was a female, "fear not, you have not yet left the realm of the living." Layle could just barely make out the knight in front of him, as the light was getting brighter. "I am one of the Aegyl, servants of the Lady Mio, Crafter of the Crystals. Time is short Layle, the Darkness grows ever stronger, and with the Principal of Magic restored, his power will be increased tenfold." Her voice was beginning to fade. "Close the Miasma Streams and find Jegran's crystal, I will contact you when the time arrives. Until then."
That's when he woke up in the ruins under the Victory Monument. He had been closing the streams, but still had no idea what was going on. He decided not to go find the others, whatever this was, it sounded pretty bad. He couldn't get them dragged into this. He used his powers to levitate to the ground, his powers were way stronger now that the Yuke Crystal had been restored. It was easier to focus now, and he could fly through the air whenever he wanted to. That had to be the greatest sensation in whole world. It was indescribable, you just had to feel it. He walked out of the cave and took off, careful that no one would see. He had to find more streams.
"I'm telling you, I saw what I saw!" Belle had been trying to get Keiss to believe her, but it was a little far fetched. A red-headed Selkie that could control miasma? Riiiight.
"And I'm telling you, that you've lost your mind." Keiss said without even looking up from the paper in his hands. "You've been looking for two weeks, and now you've gone and fooled yourself into thinking he's being hunted by someone who doesn't exist. I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner." Belle grabbed him by his hair and shook him around.
"I am not Crazy!!!" Keiss yelped in pain as she shook him with every word. Eventually he broke free, but she got a clump of his hair.
"It's not very convincing when you shake me by my hair you know! I'll look into it, but only on one condition. When no info comes back and you realize you're nuts, you owe me 100,000 gil." Belle smiled, she was going to be rich after this.
"So," she chirped, "when you realize I'm not nuts, I get 100K?" Keiss sighed, she was nuts alright.
"Yeah, that's right. But I'm the one who's getting rich off this." He walked to the railing over the Selkies that were searching the records. "Alright, listen up! Missing person, red-haired Selkie, can control Miasma, info's 3,000 gil. That's all." He walked over to Belle who was looking at him weird.
"Only 3,000? That Yuke was ten, wasn't she?" Keiss nodded.
"Yeah, but she was real."
A Selkic man in black walked through the endless trees of the Forbidden Forest, lead by the miasma surging from the stream deep within the heart of the woods. Monsters swarmed around him, but did not strike; they knew he served their master. The man put out his finger as a black wasp flew near; it landed on his finger and began making buzzing noises. The man nodded and the wasp flew away, off to look for the Bearer.
"With a stream this big," he mused, "Layle won't be the only one walking into an early grave." He signaled an Mythril Giant, a stronger variant of the Iron Giant, and stepped into it's palm, then climbing up onto it's head, made himself as cozy as one could on a giant metal head.
Layle walked through Alfitaria, looking for some sort of clue as to where Blade went. He had to be careful, if anyone recognized him he would never be able to explain this to the others. He had been to the Monastery and got himself a robe, it was unbelievably hot, but he did need to keep a low profile. And everybody knew not to bother a pilgrim, it was one of those unwritten rules that applied across the continent. There were a lot of Yukes living here now, most were back in that pocket dimension, but they were coming here soon enough. Just as soon as a replica Sky City can be made at least. He decided to take a break and sat on a nearby bench. He sighed, just what had he gotten mixed up in now? Things were getting tougher, that much was certain. The monsters coming out of the Miasma Streams were getting more and more powerful, but with the new materia they weren't that big of a threat. Layle had "borrowed" a couple, and they had been useful. He had a Cure, which was able to heal small wounds, a Fire, letting him shoot small fireballs, and a summoning materia for a Steel Wolf, a very helpful ally on the battlefield.
After a few moments of resting he decided to take a look at what was happening in the world. He walked over to one of the jumbotrons in the wall and sat in the bench by it. And when the news came on he could hardly believe his eyes. It was covering a story on a massive Miasma Stream in the Forbidden Woods, and a recent attempt to clear it out. "The Monsters that have been reported in this area are nearly all found in regions miles away from the woods, and have never been appeared here before. While no one is truly sure what this means, it is disturbing development indeed. What's more, the miasma has not cleared since it appeared, nearly 13 hours ago, and dose not appear to be thinning, but actually thickening. A full platoon of Royal Soldiers, armed with the military standard crystal rifles and experimental materia bullets, was quickly routed upon entering, with only a handful surviving."
Layle had his next target.
"I... Don't believe it..." One of the Selkies looking into Belle's Mystery Man handed Keiss a photograph one of the surviving soldiers took before escaping the woods. The picture was blurry, you try taking a good shot while running for your life, but it was clearly someone with red hair sitting on the head of one of the larger monsters. Belle heard him earlier and had come running, she knew she had won.
"Told you." Keiss let his head hang in defeat, now he was out 100,000! "So, the Forbidden Woods huh? Guess I'm off, see ya!" She was out the door before Keiss could say a word, what she didn't know was that the place was infested with powerful monsters.
"B-Belle! Wait!" She couldn't hear him from the other side of the guild unfortunately.
Well, there you have it. The first chapter of Advent Miasma, I hope you liked it! Leave a review telling me what you think, plus it's the only way I know someone's actually reading this. Criticism is welcome, If there's anything you think I can improve on, I'd love to know. Stay tuned for the next chapter!