TURN BACK IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE WANDERER! THIS IS A SEQUEL, AND WILL MAKE NO SENSE IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE ORIGINAL! GO NOW! GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What's up, guys?! How awesome are you feeling today? Awesome? Not so awesome? I know I'm doing pretty good. After all... I'm releasing another story!
*confetti and party balloons start raining down to the beat of Lady Gaga's "Just Dance"*
It's a new experience, a new reading sensation, a new ADVENTURE!
All corniness and partying aside, this is pretty cool. I've got several ideas that I have to share with you. How Wander and Mono got to know each other, where they lived, the lands north of the Colossus Valley, and how the Colossi's characters will progress and grow. I hope you stick around to see these things happen!
Now... please read and review!
For You a Thousand Times Over
As this is now an original storyline, I could really tell you anything.
I could tell you all the Colossi are going to live happily ever after. That Mono will eventually marry Wander and they'll repopulate the Colossus Valley with their cute little babies. Even that people will begin to return and everything in the land will become the way it was before the Quake. Oh yes, I could tell you all of that.
But it just wouldn't be satisfying, would it?
See, the Colossi... and Mono... and Wander... are in a bit of an odd situation.
The last we left them, the Colossi were "Semi-mortal". Their bodies were vulnerable, their scars were visible, and most of them were just happy to be alive with their friends.
That hasn't changed, I assure you.
But the Colossi being this way does not really make things odd. In fact, Mono is the one responsible. Remember when the Colossi contemplated Emon's "Promise Keeping" blessing? They were quite right to worry. Because, as Mono and the Colossi quickly figured out, there was one promise Wander made that would vastly impact everybody's lives.
Wander shakily stepped into the darkened temple.
He fumbled for his spark stone, before grabbing a nearby torch from the wall. With a swift scrape across the stone of the wall, sparks were sent spraying. They landed on Wander's outstretched torch, causing it to burst into flames. Carefully, so as not to cause noise, the boy closed the door behind him.
All of the pews and statues held no interest for Wander as he walked to the back of the temple. At the back was a simple wooden table. Above it hung a wooden depiction of Shikyo, who was the Horou* death goddess. But these things also held no interest for Wander. Instead, it was what was on the table that caught his attention as the torch light fell upon it... and caused him to fall to his knees.
Ignoring the torch clattering out of his hand, sputtering out on the stone floor, Wander stared with horror and burning grief at Mono's body. Instead of being laid on her back with hands crossed on her stomach, as was proper for pre-burial, the girl was crumpled haphazardly on the table. Lying face down, her right arm was hanging off the table in front of her head, and her left arm was under her stomach. Her right leg was hanging off the table behind her, and her left leg was bent so that her foot nearly touched her rear. It was as if the person tasked with laying Mono in the temple just threw her on the table and turned away.
On almost non-operational legs, Wander dragged himself back up to standing position, using the table as support. With tears starting to pour down his cheeks, the boy gently reached out and turned over Mono. He quickly fell back though, letting out a grieved cry, when he saw the poor girl's eyes were still open. A shaky hand eventually found itself again, reaching up to carefully close her eyes.
His own eyes blurring with tears, Wander crossed Mono's hands over her stomach... but kept a hold of one hand. He tightened his grip on it, hoping that maybe it would stop being so limp and cold. That it would return his grip and he would look up to see its owner smiling reassuringly. But Mono's face was emotionless and pale, from what Wander could see in the literal and figurative darkness.
He stared at her face, as memories of what they had flitted about in his mind. Wander remembered riding together through the pastures... how Mono would wait for him patiently as he finished his warrior training... how beautiful she was in the sunlight as it shone off her hair like a halo... and how the moonlight made her skin glow. He remembered her quiet straight-forwardness, how she glowered when she was angry, and how she grinned when she was happy. And he remembered...
It was Wander's own hoarse voice that cried out as he suddenly remembered something that fit into one of his favorite memories. Among his memories of Mono showing him her latest find from the temple's library under their special elm tree... always an amusing and fascinating experience... was a memory of her showing him a scroll on someone named Dormin. At least that's what he thought it was called. Wander didn't remember what Dormin looked like, what he had to do when he met it, or any of the specifics Mono told him... but he did remember two important details.
That this Dormin had resurrection powers, if you were willing to do what he pleased.
And that this Dormin was in the Forbidden Lands, what used to be the Colossus Valley, on the other side of Shi-ku* territory.
While he still cried... Mono's death was still too much to bear... a weight was lifted off of Wander's heart. He stood to full height and, with shoulders shaking, reached up to forcefully pull down the Shikyo depiction. Wrapped around it's shoulders, to symbolize death's cold but comforting embrace, was a simple black cloak. It was thick and long... Wander hadn't noticed it actually hanging so far down it touched his head. When he unraveled it, the cloak was large enough to wrap entirely around a small body. Wander did just this, gently lifting Mono's body so he could wrap her in the cloak. With a last blurred look at her face, Wander covered it with the soft darkness.
Leaving Mono behind, the boy walked towards the side of the temple. He walked through the flapped door there to find a small, bowl shaped room adjacent to the main worship area. It was entirely empty except for a wooden stand in the middle. On the stand was the village's most prized artifact... the Sun Sword.
Supposedly it had been crafted by some great man from the Forbidden Lands, before it mysteriously emptied. How it got in the hands of the Horou, no one quite knew. Or remembered. But these things did not matter to Wander. What mattered was that he needed a weapon... a good weapon... if this Dormin creature asked for something that would require his warrior skills.
Grabbing the sword, and entirely ignoring the odd tingling sensation that ran through his arm, Wander hurried back to Mono. He lifted her cloaked body off of the table and placed it on the closest pew. Turning back to the table, Wander drew his simple warrior's sword from its sheath. He bowed as he placed it on the table.
Removing the Sun Sword from under his arm, the boy replaced it in the sheath.
"I have my new sword... and my bow and quiver are with Agro... I think it's time to head out..."
Wander turned to kneel next to Mono. With a heavy sigh, he gently pushed aside the darkness from her face. Staring at it, Wander spoke in a soft voice.
"I promise you, Mono... I will save you. I will find this Dormin, and bring you back to life. And when you awake, you will be as beautiful, young, and wonderful as you were before Emon... the putrid bastard... took your life. And you will be so when I embrace you and kiss you and tell you I love you... and thank the Gods for giving you back to me... and me back to you."
With a bit of a chuckle, Wander added,
"... and Agro too..."
With a quickly fading small smile, the boy proceeded to lift Mono once more, one arm under her knees and one around her shoulders. Kicking the cooled torch aside, Wander walked back to the temple entrance. With a clumsy hand, he opened the door. Not bothering to close it behind him, Wander stepped the few paces over to Agro, who was tied by the reins to an oak. She snorted at him, her mane shining in the moonlight that managed to trickle through the shadows of the trees.
Wander heaved Mono onto the back of Agro's saddle. After checking to make sure his bow and quiver, as well as his small pack of possessions, were secure on the saddle, the boy mounted the mare.
Looking behind him, at the village he called home, Wander sighed again. Though the trees covered them in shadows, homes and shops and storehouses were still decipherable. A barn owl cried out from the top of the temple, it's claws audibly scraping into the stone statue of Tentei*. Wander continued staring sadly at the village, thinking deeply, until Agro impatiently started pawing her hooves in the dirt road. The boy turned his attention to her, and leaned forward to pet the mare's neck reassuringly.
After checking on Mono and his things one last time, Wander clicked is tongue to quietly set Agro in motion. She walked forward, going down the road slowly, her hoof-steps echoing off the trees and buildings... penetrating the literal and mental quiet. Soon, the village was behind them, and the sounds of the forest became loud. It would take a while, Wander knew, before the sounds of the forest vanished and he was in the more barren foothills. He dreaded crossing the border into Shi-ku lands, and traversing dangerous mountain paths... but it was necessary.
Holding his head high, and trying his best to keep the ultimate goal in mind, Wander kicked Agro into a canter.
He had a promise he needed to keep.
You see the problem?
Didn't catch it? Weren't paying attention? I don't blame you. But let us recap.
"... you will be as beautiful, young, and wonderful as before Emon... took your life... And you will be so when I embrace you and kiss you and tell you I love you..."
I cut some stuff out, but that's basically the thing you need to know. Do you see it now?
*annoyed voice* "You suck. Go f-"
Yeah, I'm interrupting that one. Anybody else?
*happy voice* "Wow, I get it now! Oh, nightlight, you're so smart and wonderful and-"
Yes, yes, I know. Anybody with the question I'm looking for?
*confused voice* "Well, I still don't get it. Can you spell it out for me?"
Awesome. In fact I will.
Until Wander says to Mono that he loves her, in the romantic "I want to be with you forever" sense, she will not age. She will stay the way she looked when she awoke from her deathly slumber.
"Oh God, nightlight. That's so corny!"
So, until that day comes, Mono will physically be the same. And Wander? Well, that's a completely different thing. And it's very obvious. Wander is going to have to start his life at square one. He's going to have to grow up all over again. Oh, and he's not going to remember a thing about his past life.
"You've created quite a difficult situation to write yourself out of."
Eh, not really. I've got a plan.
But I think I've shattered the fourth wall enough. All of the Colossi have their own complications, but that's something to save for the actual story. You will all know what I've got in store... soon enough.
The future is bright. Trust me.
First off, I should explain the asterisks.
Despite what I've lead you to believe, the names of the tribes are not what they've been shown. Those are the Colossi's terms for the tribes. In reality, the Wanderers are really called the Horou, and the Seekers are really called the Shi-ku. Two more tribes will come to light very soon (both were sort of mentioned in The Wanderer. One was called by name in one chapter, and one was highly mentioned, but without a name, in another chapter.). I worked hard to find and create the lands that are sure to be described.
Now, since I don't have much else to say... please review!