Standard Issue Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VIII is the property of SquareEnix. Naruto is the property of Shouen Jump. Dragon Ball Z is the property of Akira Toriyama. All characters, locations, and concepts except for original creations belong to them. This disclaimer will not be repeated.
Champion of the Guardians
Book 1: The First Sorcerer
Chapter 1: Gotta Love Customisation
I just had the most fucked up day in my life. For those of you reading this, my life is probably sugar-coated compared to yours, but, what the hell. I'm normally a very easy going guy, but even I have my limits. Going from getting up late due to studying late the night before, failing the exam that you were studying for, then be late for work, again, and getting your ass fired because of it and then realising you have to go back to government benefits again to try and find work again. Then coming back to realise that you needed to take back several videos that were a few days overdue and you're too broke to catch a bus to the store. Then you spot three bills that need to be paid by the end of the week and its Friday. That sums up my day. Go on, say it. My day is one of the worst.
Of course Naruto has had it worse than me so it's hard to feel sorry for myself. And all the kids more unfortunate than me in the world makes it almost impossible for me. But somehow I manage. I lay on my bed, feeling sorry for myself. Yeah, call me ungrateful and all the rest. At that moment those words would fall on deaf ears.
Deciding that it would be better to remove said anguish at the moment; to escape the harsh reality I live in, I sit up on my bed and look at my 46 inch LCD TV. I know I should sell it, but I bought it for gaming and so that is what I'll be using it for. I know what you're thinking. You're probably thinking 'Where'd he get the money for that?' Well I got some inheritance money awhile back worth to about ten grand. So I used said money to buy the TV, PS2, PS3, X-Box 360 and a nice pile of anime, mostly Dragon Ball Z, Naruto and a few other series.
Well I guess I should introduce myself. My name's Josh Ryu Kitsune and I'm 22 years old. My second and last name used to be Cade Anthony but I never really liked those names. After I got the money I changed them to the Japanese translations of my favourite animals; foxes and dragons.
My likes are to listen to music, hang out with my friends, foxes, dragons, anime, good food and travelling. Thanks to the second last one I'm slightly chubby. My dislikes are people who disrespect my friends, spiders, snakes, pumpkin and arrogant people. My hobbies are sword fighting, enjoying sunsets and thunderstorms, and playing video games. And my dream for the future is to become a rare sword collector.
Now, back to what I'm doing; relieving stress. Wait, that's not right; if I wanted to relieve stress I would play Burnout: Paradise. No, this was more a need to 'escape reality without using you're imagination much' and 'I need to experience a story because I feel very lonely'. Books require you to use your imagination a little more than when you are playing an RPG or Role Playing Game. Not that I don't like reading, not at all. I just feel lazy right now. Anyways, who cares! And since I don't have a girlfriend I can hold on to so the hole in my heart will disappear, I have to go with alternative ways of patching up the hole for a few seconds. Yeah, I sound pathetic, but being alone changes you. Especially when you know what it was like to have someone to love. I did. Least that's what I thought at the time. But I'm getting off track.
I reached for my PS2, it was the old bulky version, and opened the lid. Seeing something that I didn't want to play, an earlier version of Burnout, I removed the disk and fumbled in my bookshelf for the cover. Finding it I started the task of choosing what to play. 'Something in the good old Final Fantasy series,' I thought as I sorted through all the games to pick out all the FF games I had. I had VII, VIII, IX, X, X-2, XII, XIII and Dirge of Cerberus. I didn't have the internet so I couldn't use XI on the computer and besides, that one doesn't seem right. An FF game shouldn't be a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game or MMORPG for short; maybe with just another player or three, not thousands. Yeah, call me old-fashioned.
I decided to go with something I hadn't played in a while. Final Fantasy VIII it is then! I opened the case and popped the first disk into the drive and closed the lid. I then turned on the TV and set it to the right channel. "Ah, my PlayStation 2, my dear electronic friend that provides me with many hours of entertainment," I said as I turned on the PlayStation 2. I skipped the opening FMV before the New Game/Load Game screen. I chose to go with New Game. The prologue cut scene comes on, starting with the water and the beginning of one of the best songs from the whole game, Liberi Fatali. I just love choir music. If only the song was a hybrid of choir and rock, like One Winged Angel in FF7: Advent Children Complete.
I watched the beautiful scene between a few of the main characters. "Ah, the ballad of Squall Leonhart and Rinoa Heartilly. I wish I was in it. Then I'd soften up Squall and totally kick Ultimecia's ass! And Rinoa sucks." I said passionately as the sequence had almost finished. It's true, Rinoa is a wuss, always hanging on to Squall as if she's an eight year old. Even if she's kinda cute.
But then the whole place darkened. Not just the screen, but my whole room darkened to black.
At first I thought it was just a blackout but another thought stamped the first out. The first reason was that the room had darkened gradually. A blackout doesn't do that. Then I felt myself float, yes that's right, float, out of my bed.
"Oh shit! What the fuck is going on?" I shouted out into the black void that was in front of me, for it looked like that. Then I start feeling funny, kind of like I'm about to faint. I close my eyes briefly, and open them when I start feeling wind whooshing past me. I'm blasting down a tunnel that appears to be made of pictures of Squall, Riona, Zell, Quistis, Selphie, Irvine and all the other characters. Looking at one of the pics (Squall and the others were on a train) and realised that they didn't look like pixelated dolls but like real people.
"What the hell… is going on?" I said as I came to the end of the tunnel. I come face to face with a rectangular blue semi transparent shape roughly the size of my TV. Behind it seemed to be the words 'FINAL FANTASY VIII' Then characters and words formed on the screen. I read some of them out.
"Name… Nickname… Age…? Height…? What is this?" I said before I realised how stupid that question sounded. It seemed to be some sort of Character Customisation screen. But why? It didn't seem like anything more was going to happen so I thought 'What the hell. I'm dreaming anyways.'
The first option was name. Next to the text box was the words, 'Say Name and then speak your name.' "OK, whatever. Name: Josh Ryu Kitsune." I said clearly. The text box glowed and them my name appeared in the box. I then continued. Soon all the details were in the boxes. It went like this.
Name: Josh Ryu Kitsune
Height: 6 foot
I then saw a small light blue square pulsing in the bottom right corner. I figured that was the next button and so I pressed it. My finger touched something that felt like glass but the next screen showed. This looked like it was the cosmetics and physical changes tab. I then input all the details.
Skin Colour: Light tan
Hair Colour: Black with gold streaks
Hair Style: A ponytail that reaches down to my lower back in thick spiky locks. The top and fringe area is short and spiky. The gold dye streaks are in the tail only.
Eye Colour: Violet
Tattoos: A pair of black traced angel wings on back
Additional Extras: Angel Wings that can appear and disappear at will
There were sliders for body mass and muscle mass with small pictures to show what it looked like. I aligned the sliders so I looked buff, but not like a bodybuilder. As if I had the body and muscles of a ninja. The next tab was clothes. I went through it all, looking at the pictures of the items. I settled on an outfit similar to what Ragna wore in BlazBlue. A black shirt covered my torso with a black leather trench coat over the top. The coat had a gold belt wrapping around my upper back, two belts wrapped around my waist and two gold straps connecting the two sides just above the belts, clipped together with gold clips. There were several gold metal plates on the coat, two on each arm and two on each side of the lower sides. The coat also had a high collar. The pants were a pair of slightly loose cargo pants with many pockets. Instead of a belt, I had a strip of tough but flexible piece of felt, like an obi sash that was coloured gold. On the back of the coat was a beautiful and elegant gold fox. The design was exquisite, clearly made by a master of art; the very essence of beauty. A pair of black boots similar to Cloud's boots in FF7: AC. Slipped onto my hands were tight black leather gloves. I included a necklace like Vincent Valentine's but instead of a Cerberus dog, it's a fox.
Now done with the new look, I saw myself in a projection with all the changes I made so far. Wow… Who's that handsome demon? This was turning out to be a great dream. The next tab was for weapons. It seemed like I could choose a Primary and a Secondary weapon. So for primary I chose a Zweihander that was sort of a hybrid between Zabuza's Kubikiri Houchou and Cloud's Buster sword. The overall length of the sword including the handle was the same as Kubikiri Houchou but the blade itself was the same as the Buster Sword. And the blade itself wasn't grey steel colour but was ebony black. Along the blade was a beautiful etching of an elegant red nine-tailed fox that almost covered the entire length. On the opposite side was a blue Japanese style dragon. Both etchings were excellent, as if only a master were capable of such art. My Secondary weapons were two handguns that were almost exact replicas of the guns wielded by Dante in Devil May Cry except for the pictures on the handles and the barrels were slightly longer. The barrel of the first gun was white, while the handle was light grey. The trigger and hammer were gold. And written on the sides of the gun, there were the words 'Ascend Into Heaven' in azure blue Calligraph421 BT font letters. The barrel of the second gun was black, while the handle was dark grey. The trigger and hammer were gold like the opposite gun. The text on the sides of this gun was 'Descend Into Hell' in the same style as the brother gun, only it was in blood red. I was able to name my weapons as well. I smiled as I supplied the info.
Primary Weapon's Name: Ragnarok
Secondary Weapon's Name: White - Oathkeeper; Black - Oblivion
Satisfied I clicked the next button. Items. In here you could choose what starter kit to use. The Beginner Kit consisted of 20 health potions; 10 of each status remover medicine like Eye Drops, Antidotes and the like; 5 Remedies and 5 Phoenix Downs. The Advanced Kit was, in the same order, 10, 5, 3, 3. The Expert Kit got 5, 3 and no Remedies or Phoenix Downs. And the Master Kit got nothing. I chose the Advanced Kit. I don't know why.
Next were skills. I could choose up to 4 skills. Underneath were the Limit Break and Special Skills. I could choose 3 of these.
First: Advanced skills in martial arts
Second: Master skills with a Zweihander sword
Third: Master skills with handguns
Fourth: Able to understand and play any musical instrument by picking it up
First: Supersonic flying capability with the angel wings
Second: Kage Bunshin no Jutsu
Third: Henge no Jutsu
(An: Limit Breaks will be seen throughout the story, to be kept as a surprise.)
Underneath this is what looks like a drop down menu. It was labelled Limit Break Type. I assume it's on what circumstances is the Limit break active. I scroll through the options and found '1/40 attacks'. I deducted that I could initiate my Limit Break every one in forty attacks. Fair enough.
After this was Special Item. After thinking about this I thought of a good one. A physical projector that could create most, if not all, musical instruments ever made. This also came with a laptop so I could select which instrument to create. This would be useful for me to play songs. I was starting to speculate that this dream was going in the direction of me being inserted into the world of FF VIII. If so then I'll be the band that plays at the inauguration party for the new SeeD's and also for the Garden Festival. I'll play better songs than that annoying song at the ball that just loops over and over. Same for the Garden Festival.
The next screen was called Character Background. I guessed that this was how I was going to be inserted. A description was already there. No doubt based off what I had filled in.
'Character Josh has completed his SeeD training at Galbadia Garden. He has been transferred to Balamb Garden to enter the SeeD Exam and to play at the inauguration. He will be under the authority of Balamb Garden from now on.'
"Sound's about right," I said as I pressed the next button, only to see in big letters the word 'PROCEED?' with underneath 'YES or NO'. 'This is it,' I think as I say clearly "Yes."
As soon as I said my answer I heard the music song 'Starting Up'. Lights flash around me, getting steadily brighter and brighter until all becomes white. I shut my eyes to keep myself from being blind. For a few seconds it's like this. I then feel myself falling slowly backwards until I land softly against something soft, like grass.
I open my eyes to see the bluest sky I had ever seen. Since I've lived in the city most of my life I know that you only see skies this blue in the country. However this sky was even bluer than that. Soft white clouds pass overhead, lightly dancing on the wind and sunshine. I move my head to the side to see that I really am lying on grass. And this grass is emerald green, as if it had plenty of water to grow with. A few white flowers swayed with the grass in the soft wind. I look back to the sky. "I think I'll stay here a little longer," I mumble whilst looking at the sky. That is, until someone's head blocks my view.
"Hi," he said. I blink before siting up to look at him. He seemed younger than me but not by much. 20 maybe? His cargos were black and his shirt was white. He had bright sky blue hair, with white streaks through it, which was long and tied in a loose ponytail. On the shirt was the PlayStation logo.
"Uh… hi," I answer, realising I had been looking him over for several seconds. I stood up and wobbled a bit, before becoming steady.
"Ho, watch out. The first step is always a bit woozy," the guy said in a young bright warm voice, probably referring to my instability. "You'll feel better soon."
"Um… not to be rude but, who are you?" I asked. I had never seen this guy before in my life, and yet I felt a strong familiarity with him.
The blue haired kid smiled. "I'm you're PS2."
I blinked, and then I blinked again. "You're my PS2?" I ask incredulously. Such a thing was mind-boggling.
"Hard to believe, eh?" he says, still smiling. I eventually calm down enough to ask him if I'm dreaming. "No, you aren't."
"Whoa…" I breathe out and fall back on my bum. He, my PS2, sits down next to me. "Easy now, take a deep breath," he says in a calm voice, as if he expected me to act like this. I do as he says and start to feel better. I then turn to him and ask the loudest question that's yelling in my mind. "Why?"
He sighed. "Well I've been watching you for a while. And over the years I've grown quite attached to you. And then when you bought that PS3 I thought you were going to throw me out. I was dreading that. But you held on to me, for what ever reason. I wanted to thank you for that. And so, here you are." He then looks at me, wondering what my reply would be.
"Oh," was all I said. It was all I could say. I would say that there was a second reason that I held onto the PS2, that my PS3 couldn't play the old games, but thought that would be inappropriate. "Well thanks, really," I said after a few moments. He smiles again. "Are there more like you?" I ask. He nods. "Yes, but only in a select few. We enjoy being gaming consols for it's where imagination is expanded beyond books, one of the few inventions really worthy of the human race." Now it was my turn to smile but he wasn't finished. "Unfortunately there is a drawback to this. I only have enough energy to bring you here. You have to finish the story in order for me to send you back. That is, if you want to go back. For this is not a game, but another dimension created out of this game." That threw me for a loop.
"So, I can actually die?" I ask in slight fear. He nods sadly. "I'm afraid so." I'm suddenly afraid. But then I remembered a saying. 'Life is a risk.' That made me feel better. I smile at the human representation of my PlayStation 2. "There's a saying. 'Shining brightly for one second is better than living a dull grey life for eternity.'" He smiled back. "That's from King of Bandit, Jing." I nod, surprised. "How'd you know?"
"I scanned your mind after you said yes to proceed. I know everything you know."
"I see," I said as I looked at myself. Sure enough, I look exactly like the representation of me back at the start. I flexed my fingers through the leather gloves and look down at the leather trench coat spread out around me. The heavy pants are nice and comfortable, and have plenty of pockets. The outfit doesn't constrict my movements, which is good as I need to move if I sword fight. And even though I'm wearing all black, I don't feel hot. Next to me are two cases, completely different from each other. The first is very long, about 70 inches long, and black. On the front is a red fox etching with the words in red squished Times New Roman to make it look like a FF title, 'Ragnarok'. The second is way smaller, about 18 inches. It's a stormy grey colour. In black is an etching of an eastern style dragon. Underneath in blue is the word, 'Oathkeeper' and underneath that in red is 'Oblivion'.
I look at my PS2, as it to ask permission to open them. He nods, as if he read my mind. Probably did. I opened the big case first and gasp. The sword is magnificent. Beautiful and sleek. Exactly as I imputed. I run my hand over the nine-tailed fox and feel a pulse underneath my fingertips, as if it's alive. I grasp the handle and lifted it out. It felt so light. Either I was super strong, or this was made out of very unique metal. I had a feeling it was both. I practice a few swings to find that I handled the blade quite expertly. I smile and place the sword back into the case.
I then opened the small one and gasped again. The handguns were just as beautiful, sleek and magnificent as the sword. I picked them up and twirled them in both of my hands like a veteran cowboy. I did a quick draw and fired a bullet from each one. Two streaks, one white and the other black, shot out of the barrels and streaked off into the distance. I looked at the guns again, marvelling at the way they handled. There was almost no recoil. Perfect. Checking the ammo cartridge in the handles I see that the bullets are actually energy charges. A small display on the bottom of the cartridge showed that at full charge could shot 300 shots before needing a reload. The guns would recharge over time. Looking at the side of the gun I saw a small knob attached. Taking a closer look at it I saw the words 'semi-automatic' and underneath was 'manual'. Next to that was a second nob but this one looked like it could be turned to four spots, however there was just one word next to the top spot, 'Normal'. Seemed that these guns could be upgraded for different types of shots. I wonder what new levels I would see in the future. I slid the guns back into the fitting and closed the case. I turned to the PS2.
"Fucking wow! This is awesome!" I yelled out, grinning like a little kid on Christmas day. "Thank you… um… what do I call you?" I ask, slightly embarrassed that I didn't ask sooner.
"I don't have a name so you can call me whatever you want," was the reply. I started to think. I went through all the good names before I found the perfect name.
"Sora. Cause your hair looks like the sky. So from now on your name is Sora." I smiled. He nods, also smiling. I then remember something that Sora said. "What do you mean 'If I want to go back'?"
"Well this isn't the first time that this has happened. Many people have been brought into situations like this. We give them a choice at the end, when we have the energy to send them back. Most go back, but a few have stayed. Their circumstances are varied but the core of it all is that they hate their life so much that they wish to start over. That or other things," I fall silent as I try to imagine those circumstances.
"Other things?" I asked.
"Well you know love has a way of changing the rules," said Sora as an explanation. I nodded, knowing that when love was involved, all you could do was hang on for the ride.
"Well, I think you should start now. I've changed a few things so there will be surprises for you. For now, just have fun. If you need me, just call out in your mind and depending on where you are, I'll either pop up or answer in your mind. See ya! Oh and your transfer papers are in your pants. And you're also the first male Sorcerer in this world," and with that, Sora disappeared.
I stared at the spot where Sora was a few seconds before. 'First male Sorcerer?' I think to myself. I then get up and realise that I have a black backpack strapped behind me. I look inside to see the two special items I requested and the items from the Advanced kit. Smiling to myself, I pick up my two cases and start walking.
Yes, this was going to be very interesting.
(AN: Chapter has been updated as of 23/11/2011. Some of Josh Kitsuné's skills have been rearranged and removed. Hair style and eye colour have also been changed. Age is now one year older.)