Legend of Legaia – Chapter 5
Following the river to the north, Vahn noticed that the Mist was getting thicker the closer he got to his next destination: Drake Castle. When he reached the front gate, he took a deep breath, mentally preparing himself for what he'd find inside. Mist had engulfed the entire castle and an eerie silence hung about. The iron gates of the actual building opened slowly with and with loud creaking. Vahn entered, not knowing what to expect. Observing the entrance hall, Vahn saw that Seru and other monsters were roaming freely inside the once well maintained hallways. Grabbing the hunting knife he had gotten from his father tightly, he started on his way of finding the king and a way to rescue the people of the kingdom.
Vahn soon found out that the monsters that had infested the castle were really no match for him. The went down easily enough, while he himself didn't feel like it was costing him too much energy to do so yet. Going at a steady pace, he made his way to the first door in the hallway and witnessed a horrible scene. Humans, possessed by Seru and turned into monsters by the Mist, seemed to be locked up inside a wooden cage. He approached the cage cautiously, to get a better look and one of the humans rushed towards him and grabbed the bars. Looking into the creatures eyes Vahn saw a sense of sadness in them.
"Vahn," Meta spoke to him in his mind. "Take a good look. This is a human possessed by a Seru. I have looked into this person's mind, the same way I spoke to your mind. But the Seru controlling this person's spirit is too strong and I couldn't make out any words. The only way to return these people to normal is to drive away the Mist."
"It looks like this is just a normal room though," Vahn said. "No sign of the king here, let's press on."
Opening the door to leave the room and continue his search, Vahn was suddenly ambushed by a Seru attacking him. It started to peck at him, with it's long sharp beak. Vahn jumped out of reach and raised his knife, ready to attack the Seru, when it raised it's tail and suddenly shot a fireball at Vahn, which hit him square in the chest. Flying backwards and slamming into the cage, Vahn groaned as he felt fiery pain spreading. He looked up and saw that the Seru was charging at him again, ready to stab him with its beak. He got back up his feet as quickly as possible and moved out of the way, just before the moment of impact. The momentum of the Seru caused it to be the one slamming into the cage this time. Raising his knife, Vahn thrust it into the back of the Seru with all his strength and watched as the Seru fell collapsed onto the ground.
Dropping the knife, Vahn bent over and clutched his stomach. He knew he had to find a place to rest soon, or he would faint and who knew what would happen then. Looking around, he was shocked to see the Seru getting up again, but it then dissolved into thin air. Vahn picked up his knife and hoped that he would soon come across a room suitable enough to rest in. On the second floor of the castle, the monsters were less plentiful and easily avoided. He also found a deserted bedroom.
"Vahn," Meta said. "The door to this room is quite strong. If you shut the door tightly, you should be able to rest peacefully here. Do you want to rest?"
Vahn nodded. "I need to," he said. He then pushed the heavy door shut.
"A wise decision."
Pulling off his hunting clothes Vahn examined his chest. It wasn't as bad as he had expected, the equipment Mei had made him was surprisingly sturdy. He decided not to take any risks, though, and applied some of the home made ointment that Nene had given him before he left. Lying down on the bed, he pulled the covers over his body, closed his eyes and drifted off into a light sleep.
"Vahn," Meta said. "I apologize for interrupting your dream. There is something I must tell you about the Seru and my powers. That's right, the Seru. They are horrible creatures. But the Seru themselves are not at fault. The Mist is responsible for all of this. I have special powers to use against the Seru. I can assimilate with a Seru that the Mist has made mad. The special powers of the Seru will combine with my own, making me a powerful weapon. I have already absorbed the abilities of Gimard, the Fire Seru you have fought. It is not always possible to absorb the abilities of a Seru by fighting it. Nevertheless, let's try to fight as many Seru as we can, and hope we absorb its power. You can use the Seru abilities by expending Magic Power. When to use it is up to you. Just remember that your Magic Power is limited and can be exhausted, just like yourself."
Feeling refreshed after a good while of sleeping, Vahn explored the rest of the castle's rooms and found that most of them were occupied by similar cages as in the first room he found, filled with humans possessed by Seru. He couldn't help but wonder what happened at the castle and why these creatures were locked up. At last, he reached the throne room. There was also a cage in this room, but this one was occupied by a single creature, one that seemed oddly calm when compared to the rest. Walking up to the cage, the creature growled at Vahn.
"I have a feeling this Seru is King Drake," Meta said to him. "Look. There's a small key around its neck. That must be the key to the Water Gate."
Noticing the elaborately decorated treasure chest in front of the royal cage, Vahn knelt down and opened it. Inside he found a letter.
I am Drake III, King of Drake.
I know not who will read
But anyone who makes it through
the Mist must have powers
greater than the Mist.
No doubt you have seen the
Seru monsters in this castle's
Those monsters are in fact
my dear retainers and the people
of my kingdom.
When the Mist approached we tried
many ways to drive it back.
We even prayed at the Genesis Tree
of Mt. Rikuroa to the north. Legend
says the tree has the power to
save the human race. In the end
we decided to lock ourselves in
the dungeon and wear Seru,
surrendering to the Mist.
As Seru monsters, we should
survive on Drake water until the
day the Mist goes away.
We locked ourselves in the
dungeon so the Seru madness
would not force us to harm anyone.
So, traveller, I ask you to
drive away the Mist, as we
were powerless to do so.
You are our only hope for the
future - the hope that
Vahn put the letter back into the chest and hurried to the courtyard at the back of the castle. Pushing through the gate he set route to Mt. Rikuroa. As he reached the summit of the mountain, Meta stopped him.
"Vahn," she said. "I sense the presence... of a Ra-Seru like me! Let's hurry to the top of the mountain! Our friends... Our friends must be there!"