Arc the Lad: Arc of Touvil
Welcome to Arc the Lad: Arc of Touvil. This is the first volume in a rewrite of the Arc the Lad trilogy. I do hope you enjoy reading this tale, as much as I will enjoy writing it.
Legal stuff: I do not own the Arc the Lad games or any of their related games, just this trilogy and any ocs I might throw in.
It was an average night as a woman and her companion walked through Touvil, snow crunching beneath their feet as they reached a mountain gate. The woman had long purple hair drawn into a ponytail, matching purple eyes that burned with resolve, and was clothed in a red kimono that was secured by a purple sash. Hanging from the kimono's shoulders were matching blue extensions, accented with gold colored patterns on the ends, and a single ball of blue fabric dangling by blue string on each of the corners. On her feet were flat footed shoes that matched the color of her kimono. All in all, the ensemble portrayed the woman's noble lineage well.
"Here we are at last. From here, you must continue alone," her companion said, his hands clasped behind his back. "It is said that only those of the Sacred Clan are permitted to walk with the Guardian."
"You speak that which I already know. My only wish is that I did not have to leave my village, my home." the woman said, not looking at him.
"Yes, yes, it is regrettable, my dear. But you are aware of the legacy you have inherited," the man said. "Your path is clear. For the prophecy to be set in motion, you must climb the mountain and..."
"I know," the woman said, cutting him off. "I am prepared to do what I must. You needn't speak it again." With that, the woman started walking again, climbing the mountain. After a while, she reached a shrine, where a flame burned.
"Legend says that the Flame Cion has burned for 3 millennia," the woman muttered, staring at the flame. "If I could only remember why it burns, then perhaps I would more readily embrace my assigned destiny. No, this is no time to doubt myself. I have cast aside the sacred writings. Upon the dawn of the new year, I will be summoned to Palencia Castle, in the tradition of my clan, to be joined with the prince in marriage. All because of some archaic nonsense that my lineage is divine. "...the Sacred Clan of priests and sages." I don't feel very sacred," she said, scoffing at the notion. "The only thing keeping me from the freedom of choice I deserve, is this accursed flame. I have come to loathe its very existence, and the light it shines upon the village." As she continued her monologue, she slowly approached the flame. "Now I shall embrace my new destiny and free my clan from its chains of tradition by extinguishing this flame. They will thank me eventually." With that, she raised her hands and raised a barrier around the flame, cutting off its air supply and making it go out.
"Hmm...strange... I thought it would..." her musing was cut of my the area plunging into darkness.
"The Flame is extinguished and the seal broken! After three millennia in the abyss, I am FREE!" a dark voice said, rending the air with a cold, emotionless laugh that sent cold chills down the woman's spine.
The woman turned away from the shrine. "I certainly wasn't expecting that," she said as light returned, and snow began to fall.
At the mountain's base, the woman's companion waited, looking at the snowfall.
"The Flame Cion, protected for all these centuries by the Sacred Clan, now extinguished by a silly girl. One of its own guardians, no less. So greatly ironic," he muttered as the woman came into view. "And here she is," he muttered as she reached him. "I've been waiting, my sweet trifle," he said to her, drawing a questioning look from her. "What's wrong?"
"A voice," she said. "I heard a dark voice. I...I feel sick. Like something terrible is about to unfold."
"I didn't know you were so sensitive," the man said. "I'm sure it's nothing you should worry yourself about. Trust me, sweet child, come morning, it will be forgotten."
The woman nodded. "I will trust you. Though I cannot shake this feeling of impending doom," she said before walking past him, into the night.
The man watched her depart, quietly chuckling. "That went rather well. I will no doubt be handsomely rewarded by Andel," he muttered before following her, as the first snowstorm in a decade began tearing at Touvil.
In the village, in a small house, a man stood in the back room, looking at a locked chest.
"This chest holds father's armor and sword," he said. "I must find a way to break the lock," he said before turning at the sound of the door opening, finding his mother in the doorway. "Mother!" he said, surprised. "Just like before, the blizzard has come!" he said. "Perhaps I can learn father's fate if I go to the mountain tonight."
His mother looked at him. "Your father died years ago. You must accept that, Arc."
"I refuse to believe it!" Arc exclaimed. "I refuse to believe that he died so needlessly."
"Arc, there is no way of knowing the circumstances of his death that night," his mother said. "That mountain is home to all manner of beasts. One of them must have slain him."
Arc would not be deterred. "I must know what became of him. Tonight is the night. I can feel it. And if I come across the person or beast that killed him, I will claim vengeance. I must know the truth."
His mother sighed. "Oh, Arc..." she then approached the chest and opened it.
Arc looked at her in surprise. "Mother..." he muttered as she left the room.
"It begins, ten years to the day. Just as he said it would," she said, thinking back to that day.
Arc's parents stood near Arc's sleeping form.
"Must you go?" Arc's mother asked. "Can no one go in your place?"
"My love, if there were another way, I would take it," Arc's father said. "This night, our world's future hangs in the balance."
"But, why?" she asked. "What will Arc and I do after you leave?"
"Live. Carry on. Give meaning to my sacrifice," he said.
"No!" she exclaimed. "Why do you torture me so? I never meant to marry a martyr!"
"The path we must walk is never clear from the start," he said. "The path we have traveled has led to this road. All I can do now is buy time. In ten years, on this day, the seal will be broken, and the mountain will tremble. Arc will have grown strong in your loving care, and depart."
"The mountain will tremble?" she asked, confused.
"The black seal will be broken, and the terrors released once more," he said.
"Such talk. My boy Arc will... no! Stop this madness!" she exclaimed, growing ever more confused and distraught.
"Polta, until that day, you have nothing to fear. Raise Arc well. Help him grow strong. Prepare him for that day," he said. "I leave Arc in your hands now, my love. Know that I will always love you both. Farewell." With that, he walked out the door.
As Polta left Arc alone in the room, he approached the chest and removed its contents. "At last! My father's armor and sword!" he said, donning the equipment and leaving the room, meeting Polta in the main room. "Mother, please don't worry."
"Oh Arc," Polta said, getting several things from a cabinet. "Take these with you," she said, handing him a Kaiser Glove, a Revival Tonic, an Energy Fruit, and a canteen of Sacred Water. "Take care of yourself, Arc," she said as he walked out the door. "Yoshua, protect Arc."
Arc left his house and stopped at the bridge, looking back at his house. "Mother, please take care," he muttered before running over the bridge toward the mountain's base.
The woman who extinguished the flame stood at the mountain's base, a torch in hand.
"This blizzard started after the flame was extinguished. I am responsible for this, and must undo the damage before something terrible happens," she muttered as Arc came up behind her, the snow crunching under his feet making her turn to him. "Who are you? Why are you here?" she asked.
"My name is Arc," Arc said. "Why are you out in this storm?"
"My name is Kukuru," the woman said. "I am a guardian of the Shrine. Or rather, I was supposed to guard the shrine. I was upset because my clan was going to send me out to marry the prince. And I, put out a 3000 year old flame. Once I did, I heard a voice, and the snow started. I think I have to reignite the flame."
"Indeed, the flame must be relit," Arc agreed. "But I will do it," he said, moving to take the torch from her.
Kukuru resisted. "No! I extinguished it. You have no idea what dangers are on that mountain. When I was up there, that terrible, creepy voice came out of nowhere! I know putting out the flame had something to do with it. I won't let you go in my stead. I should..."
"If there are monsters up there, then they must have killed my father 10 years ago," Arc said, cutting her off and keeping hold of the torch, his hand right above her's. "I'm going, with or without the torch. So you may as well hand it over." He again pulled at the torch. This time, Kukuru relented and let go, watching him go down the path. "Trust me. I will restore the Flame."
"I hope so," Kukuru said. "For all our sakes."
Arc ascended the mountain, reaching a cliff and seeing something in the distance.
"What is that? Who's there?" he asked as a winged demon hovered in front of him.
"Are you the one who broke the seal?" the demon asked in a dark voice that seemed to echo.
"You... you killed my father!" Arc exclaimed.
"I have killed many," the demon said. "Your father may have been among them. But if he was, his death was so unremarkable that I do not recall it. But enough talk. It is time for your death, boy," he said before easily striking Arc to the verge of death, the torch getting stuck in the snow, still burning. "That was too easy. He can't have freed me," the demon said before flying toward the mountain base.
Arc barely clung to life. "It can't be my destiny to die like this," he muttered, holding his wound, his blood seeping into the snow. "I can't fail in shame."
As he lay there, the snowfall stopped as a beam of light shown on his body, healing his wound and restoring his strength.
"What?" he muttered, looking up. "My strength is returning."
"Rise, Arc," a gentle, female voice said.
"Who's there?" Arc asked.
"I have kept watch over the Flame Cion, which maintains the Ark's seal," the voice said. "Ascend to the shrine and light the Flame once more. Once it burns once more, the Ark Ghoul shall vanish."
"I was going to do that when it attacked," Arc said.
"Very well. Ignite the flame," the voice said. "But at a later date, you will return to once again extinguish it."
"Why?" Arc asked.
"It is your destiny," the voice said.
"My destiny?" Arc asked.
"Mankind is rushing toward destruction," the voice said. "To avert that fate using the Ark's power is your destiny."
"I can save mankind?" Arc asked.
"To prevent your race's extinction, your father made a pact with us," the voice said. "That your reason for being here this day. We have awaited your coming for a decade. In honoring that pact, I bestow upon you the power to slay all manner of creatures."
"What are you talking about?" Arc asked. "I don't understand!"
"Not yet perhaps," the voice said. "But you will. Good luck, Arc"
Arc stood as he healed completely, feeling great power within him as he picked the torch up, heading further up the mountain, finding a number of Green Slimes blocking his way. After striking down several, he on instinct called upon a power that conjured a lava flow to kill several others, instinctively knowing its name. "Burn Ground!" After killing the slimes, he made his way to the shrine.
At the mountain base, the Ark Ghoul appeared next to Kukuru.
"Are you the one who extinguished the Flame Cion?" the Ghoul asked, getting Kukuru's attention.
"Be gone!" Kukuru exclaimed, backing away from it.
"I wish only to thank you," the ghoul said. "Now I must kill you to complete my release from confinement."
Arc reached the shrine and lit the flame.
The ghoul prepared to kill Kukuru. "Consider this my love letter to your clan. Their suffering of 3 millennia begins with you!"
"Noooooo!" Kukuru screamed, trying to shield herself as the ghoul began glowing.
"What! That flame has been lit once more!" the ghoul yelled before vanishing.
Arc returned to find Kukuru shaken.
"You saved my life," Kukuru said, breathing heavily. "That demon would have killed me if you had not lit the flame when you did. Thank you."
"You're welcome," Arc said, going over to her. "Are you alright?" he asked, looking her over for signs of injury.
"I'm fine," Kukuru said, feeling a light blush stain her cheeks at his concern. He hardly knew her after all. She then saw the blood on his clothes. "You're injured!"
"I was, but I was healed by the Guardian, I think," Arc said. "The Ark Ghoul gave me the wound."
"At least you're alright," Kukuru said. "I should be heading back."
Arc nodded. "As should I," he said, walking her to her clan's compound. "Good night, Kukuru."
Kukuru smiled a bit. "Good night, Arc," she said before entering the compound, feeling a small stirring in her heart.
Arc headed toward his house, a similar feeling in his own heart.
So, what do you think of the first chapter? This rewrite is also serving to flesh out what we did not see in the games. Hope you like it. Until next time. I bid you all a most respectful farewell.