Good lord, I'm back! After it being...what, two years I've finally returned to with a new story, and then some. First off, there s this. Then there s the re-writing of BOTH the previous fan-fics (Summon Night: Joshua s Journey will be retitled as Summon Night: Craftlord Chronicles or something like that...) which will feature both Cleru, Rasho, Pratty & Kutty, along with there being more storyline and characters to make it more than a simple re-hash of the game while the sequel will obviously have Edgar, Dinah, Aera, Loki and the rest of the cast along with a few new characters.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this. Hopefully it's good enough for everyone to make up for my absence.
Part 1: Devastated Realm.
[In a world enveloped by Darkness and destruction...]
Chapter 1: Will.
A few days ago, the world came to an end...while it's not OUR world, but you know what I mean. The entire planet was stricken by a series of natural disasters, when one struck and eventually came to it's conclusion, the next came straight after, causing even more destructive power making some think that it's impossible for the amount of devastation caused. Entire continents were flooded by massive tidal waves, others torn apart by howling tornados and hurricanes which ripped apart miles of landscape, houses into splinters and reducing mountains to dust.
Storms raged on for days, lightning crashing down from the heavens, earthquakes ripped massive fissures in the earth, yet it still continued. Yet, this tragedy could've been prevented. A single life could've stopped millions from losing theirs. But it was far too late now. His hesitation to act meant he couldn't have done a thing. And people had died because of his inability to do anything.
An eerie silence...and that single life was in the shape of a middle-aged boy, who was glancing out across the empty horizon that had once being a proud kingdom, all of it was now in ruin...some of the survivors didn't worry about doing away with others to simply gain their possessions and instil fear in those who are who still alive. Yet rumours were common among the people that these people had actually created artificial monsters to help in slaying the helpless and raiding villages.
There were a continued number of strikes against small, scattered villages full of helpless survivors and the one-sided fight resulted in many more casualties. Barely able to defend themselves from such brutal conditions, they were outnumbered by these vicious creatures. It seemed that all who tried to cling onto life were slowly losing their will to even stay alive. As if they no longer had a reason to exist. Probably similar to what the young adult was feeling now.
Guilt. The fact that he'd failed to protect the people of this kingdom from a disaster that could've been averted, yet he acted too late...yet there was still a small scrap of hope left. He'd managed to rescue someone who'd be close to him for a long time. He didn't do this simply out of friendship and his emotions towards her, but for hope she represented for this world and the people in it, even if they didn't know. Sadly, the feelings of pain in his heart refused to heal even though he'd saved the life of the one close to him.
"...It's all my fault. If I'd done something before that day...none of this would've happened. I've got no right to be called a 'hero'. But...what should I do?" the boy sighed sadly to himself, staring back the way he'd come.
His thoughts were interrupted when a doctor from the medical bay below raced up from behind him, covered in dirt and sweat, dressed in a tattered white jacket and jeans. Barely able to get the words out that a huge amount of monsters were already coming their way, breaking through the damaged outer defences of the city. Everything seemed hopeless. They had no means to defend themselves...none of the 'people' were capable of combat; many were too old and frail, or too young and inexperienced. The only one who could actually fight was the young boy.
Getting to his feet and dusting off the dry mud on his torn black trousers, the teenager reached for his swords that were in their sheaths. Only now, they had lost their previous lustre...instead of housing a illuminating glow that had a brilliant radiance. The fact that there was no light emitted from the blades...it was almost as if they responded to their owner's emotions.
"Where are you going? There's nothing out there expect a few 'Summon Spirits' and the enemy heading towards us! You can't hope to fight them off alone!" the middle-aged man shouted.
Turning around and giving a grim expression, the teenager knew these facts very well. But this wasn't going to stop him.
"...I failed the people of this world once when I the disasters wiped them out. I'm not about to let the same mistake happen again. It's time for me to act, doctor. To do what I can to save other lives...even if I'm the only one who can save them, because simply hoping for a miracle isn't going to work now. Make sure all of the civilians that are inside this building are safe and since I'll be trying to get those outside some time...get them inside sure when they reach the doors. I want no-one to be left behind."
He kept silent, something else burning inside his mind. If he were to fall...that promise he made would be broken. And any chance of a future for this world would perish with him...unless...Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a simple envelope and tossed it at the middle-aged man.
"...If I don't come back, give that to the girl who's in the medical bay. Please, I don't want anyone to read it except her. There's...something important that she will need to know if I don't make it back."
"Very well, Mr. Lightwalker..."
...It's JOSHUA. the teenager thought to himself, annoyed.
With that, he leapt over the wall (which was quite high) and landed with relative ease and without harm on the desolate ground below. From a single glance, he counted at least twenty monsters tearing through the rubble in the distance, searching for their next possible meal and anything that they could salvage. Walking forwards them without fear; he began to hear the shouts from someone in immediate danger. Quickly drawing his swords and racing other to the cowering family which consisted of a middle-aged man, woman and two children, he glared angrily at the small portion of misshapen monsters that had now focused on him, rather than the cornered prey.
"Get ready to run once they attack me. I'll buy you some time." Joshua whispered, before turning back towards the monsters.
They didn't look as intimidating as he thought. Considering he'd fought against monsters far more dangerous than this, their 'wolf-like' bodies were covered in night-black fur and two tiny red eyes began scanning him for any possible weakness. Razor-sharp claws jutted out of their paws before they snarled at Joshua, green drool oozing from their maws. Seemed they were hungry.
"Sorry, but since I'm here, you're all going without a meal today."
Finding one of the savage beasts had already lunged itself towards him, the boy remained calm, span his swords through the air with a powerful amount of force and slowly lowered them. A piercing, inhuman growl echoed through the empty plains around him as the creature fell to the barren ground. It's body was cleaved clean in half and disappearing in a cloud of mist, there was no blood or organs, the only thing that could prove it once existed was the black colored mist which vanished. With almost no time to prepare himself, three more were rushing towards him, well aware he had lowered his guard when he'd taken a quick glance to see the family race towards the 'base.'
Don't assume everything you see... the boy thought to himself, noticing the monsters in the reflection of his blades...and a split-second later, the teenager had simply zigzagged through the remaining beasts with incredible speed and had easily dispatched them like the first one.
"...is an opening." he muttered.
His facial expression had changed from grim and tense to somewhat calm and serious. Even some of his confidence was coming back...the realisation that he knew he could do this. A small, gentle breeze blew past him, rustling his white t-shirt and the exposed fair colored hair beneath his red cap. Lifting his face to give a small smile.
Now he'd actually begun taking the offensive now and giving watching more people in the distance flee to shelter as their 'captors' had decided to have something that was more 'lively.' The boy's swords seemed to move with a hint of elegance, as if he were actually putting in some effort now. Knowing that there were still more in trouble, he led the monsters away from the remaining helpless civilians until all of the foes had surrounded him in a circle.
But knowing that so far, lives had been saved...he realised that he'd only started what he was intended to do...and he wasn't finished yet. There was soon going to be many more lives that would need saving. Knowing that he had something to fight for now, the dying flames in his heart burst into life once more, determination and his former personality came back and drove away the despair that had once gripped his heart.
"I won't give up...! I've got something I need to protect!"
With this, his right-handed blade unleashed a surge of radiant light, blinding the creatures with the sheer illuminance. As they retreated from their once intended meal, the boy knew if they were to escape...more would come later. Even if they came in greater numbers, he'd refuse to let anyone else fall to the greed of another human being who couldn't care about killing others to get what they wanted. A few seconds later, his entire body was immersed in a glowing aura of light which rushed into his blades.
Plunging his blades into the ground beneath him, everything seemed to remain motionless...until small fissures formed in the ground around the monsters and below them. Without any further delay, many pillars of piercing light blasted skywards from the earth, enveloping the group in the white radiance...until it slowly died down, leaving no trace that the monsters had ever existed. Victory. Twirling his blades before throwing them into the air, the boy quickly did a small somersault and caught the weapons as they came down, swiftly returning them to their hilts. Perhaps he'd finally start to feel more like his normal self.
[Come in...All signs of the enemy...no longer in area...Preparing for...] a voice crackled from the boy's com-link that was around his wrist.
"I got it. If there was anyone injured, make sure that they get immediate medical attention, even if the situation they have is critical and their chances on pulling through aren't good. The wounded deserve a chance to live. I'm on my way back now."
Stepping back inside the run-down base, the youth was surprised to find that many of the civilians were actually unharmed, and that nearly all of them were cheering his name loudly. Going slightly red from embarrassment, he simply smiled and explained that he was simply doing what was right. Yet, he knew that part of this praise hurt more than making him feel better...he couldn't get over the fact that it was still partially his fault all this happened.
Even in this dismal place, though, there was hope and happiness abundant, at least now that he'd driven off the monsters. Children...Summon Spirits much younger than him and hadn't had a chance to leave their home were happily chasing each other down the long corridors of the base, while those who'd lost their 'masters' had returned to this realm and were discussing that they were planning to grow something...anything to help the population's shortage of food. Everyone now wanted to work together towards a better future. With someone to protect them, these people could live in peace and perhaps rebuild their shattered lives.
But his concern quickly turned to the other groups who were still scattered across the realm, many who had none to look after them. He couldn't simply abandon those here, more monsters could easily overwhelm them during his absence...but he certainly didn't want to leave others to die. It was a painful dilemma; however, the answer became clear. His ship...if he could get it functioning again, he'd be able to move the inhabitants to somewhere safe. Whether he had the tools to repair the damage it had taken, he'd have to make do with the things that were here. Smiling, he knew there was still one more thing that he needed to do...
Heading to the medical facilities, he wondered if the girl that he'd brought with him had woken up. If so, perhaps he could try and help her remember the past she seemed to have forgotten. It wasn't simply because of how important she was, but also the fact that they'd been through so much together before the world fell into ruin. It was somewhat ironic, before the disaster, the youthful girl who'd been his constant companion had quite the crush on him, actually saying that she would marry him one day and wanted him to rule this world as with her as 'King'.
Believe it or not, she was actually the PRINCESS of this world. Her affection towards him was annoying at times when he needed to concentrate on more important things, but he was deeply concerned about her just as much. Remembering something he told her a while ago...
...I'm not exactly the sort of person who can just settle down like you, Sugar. I can't stay firmly in one place. There's have so many things I need to do, people to protect...you'd be better off getting ready to look after your world than following me. The people here will need you to guide them. You're going to be the one leading them one day.
As it stood now, without any memories of her past, Sugar would have no idea of the power she held or how to use it. Hidden deep within the centre of this world was an ancient castle where the next-in-line to the throne would go through a series of trials to prove their linage and bring back a dazzling spear, handed down through the generations. But how could they find the location if it was impossible for her to do without the memories? Simply claiming to be the descendant of the Royal Blood-Line was quite a severe crime...and while there was no executions or death in this realm, (violence was actually close to non-existent) time was running out. Should someone stumble across the palace and somehow manage to get the spear...or even worse, the ones causing so much suffering found it, they could actually take the throne and would be unopposed in their misguided rule, free to plunder and plunge the world into further chaos.
I swore to her father that I'd protect her and if needed, rule alongside her. He said he could only smile at how much Sugar talked about my deeds, saving countless people...even entire worlds from the brink of destruction, he said he'd never regret in saying that I was the right choice. Yet, being me...and a 'King' just doesn't suit me. There's still so much that needs to be done before I can rest... the boy thought to himself.
Conflicting emotions, torn between the things he cherished and the duty his title and role represented. It wasn't something to be taken lightly, many relied on him to protect them from evil and Joshua quickly shook his head. This wasn't the time to look back on what his 'role' was. The future and survival of the people here came first. Finally shaking the thoughts aside, he found the person he was looking for, the middle-aged doctor from before, who was coughing slightly to get his attention.
"I have some good news, ..."
The boy groaned, partially from the annoyance of being addressed like that. Especially when he'd explained what he thought about it.
"I told you, there's no need to be so forward, . Simply calling me Joshua will do fine."
"M-My apologies. I had forgotten. Well, I'm happy to say that the girl has made quite a fast recovery, even if it was somewhat odd. Those injuries she'd suffered would've taken much longer to heal. But she hasn't talked much...barely saying anything except her name and yours. Asking simple questions confirmed that she has indeed lost her memory. I can't say how long it will take for her to get it back, but hopefully, seeing you might trigger something." the doctor explained calmly, adjusting his somewhat dirt-covered glasses and handing him back the letter he'd been given before-hand.
It's strange...Apart from myself, is the only human in Sapureth. Granted, everyone here is pretty much human in appearance and nature but...at the same time, they're not."
"Uh, sir. I just thought I'd remind you it remains unread, so you've nothing to worry about."
Breaking out of his thoughts and giving an embarrassed thanks, Joshua headed towards the room where Sugar was. Gently knocking on the door and walking in a few seconds later when he heard the reply, there was a breath of relief to see that his companion was indeed looking quite healthy, but was saddened by the somewhat blank look she was giving him, knowing that she wouldn't have much idea on who he was apart from what he'd told her before they arrived here.
She had light pink hair which was still tidy, flowing down to her shoulders, amethyst purple eyes...a sky blue shirt and shorts. Nothing about her had changed in appearance and many of the injuries she'd had taken had faded away. Even if she didn't exactly look like a princess in that sort of clothing, the royal blood still flowed inside.
"Umm...Joshua, right? You're the one who saved me...It's nice to see you alright after what the doctor told me. You must've been a bit afraid going out to fight those monsters." Sugar said calmly.
The hero was already feeling a bit unsteady, under normal circumstances, he'd be wrapped tightly in Sugar's arms and either lightly scolded for doing something dangerous as fighting monsters alone or trying to comfort her from crying for being worried. Of course, both usually led to him having difficulty breathing when she started holding him a BIT TOO tight.
"It's hard to be afraid when you realise there's something you have to protect. I just wanted to look after the people here, so they don't have to live in fear. Everyone deserves to have a chance to live and to have something to look forward to. Everyone's got the power to make their own future, they just need to believe." Joshua smiled.
"Even when the world looks like this? Everything looks so dark. It makes me feel...sad." Sugar said quietly, looking away.
Unsure on how to reply to that comment, Joshua simply sat down besides her, shaking his head. Explaining that there would always be hope if people kept believing that someday everything would be normal again and if they had dreams and continued to try to fulfil them, nothing wouldn't remain a simple fantasy. Something WOULD happen. Yet silence soon followed, broken by Sugar several moments later.
"Joshua? What do I have to look forward to? What should I do?"
"I wish I could tell you...but that's something you have to find out yourself. You're the one who decides on the path you'll take in life. The decisions you make have to be something you won't regret or think that they're influenced by someone else. Never give up, don't let your hope fade. That's all I can say and the only help I can give you with that..." Joshua sighed.
Giving a chuckle that he seemed to ignore words when younger. He was only human. Powerful, but still imperfect, as all humans are. Simply being the descendant of a legendary hero didn't make him invincible and the thing that made him most vulnerable was his emotions, not a physical weakness. Many things could happen and villains could easily cause something to occur that allowed them to exploit this...fatal flaw. Yet his thoughts were interrupted when he found Sugar holding his arm gently, looking up at him with her deep amethyst purple eyes.
"Then, can I stay with you until I figure out what I should do? It's so hard trying to understand so much I don't know. But...when you're here...I'm not so sad. Everything seems a bit clearer. Please. Don't go away."
Joshua moved his right hand gently through Sugar's hair and nodded. Watching as she closed her eyes and leaned against him and falling asleep, the hero have a small sigh. Even without her memories...having Sugar by his side brought a great deal of warmth to his heart. She still retained her sweet innocence and knew that if she stayed close, he wouldn't have to worry about the possibility of her getting kidnapped. Even better was that none knew about her being royalty, so it would be easier for them to fit in. Hopefully. The doctor came in and informed that it would be best to let Sugar rest for a while, Joshua agreed.
Later that day, he proposed his plan to the people of the base and while they were reluctant to leave their 'haven', when the mention of there could be loved ones or family still alive out there somewhere, many of the population agreed with cheers and applause...
Every passing day that followed, the repairs on Joshua's ship became easier for him as support came from those who lent a hand, even if most of them possessed little knowledge on how to actually FIX a ship for most hadn't left Sapureth to even know what a ship WAS. Regardless, the company was something he welcomed, hearing some of the plans certain people had in store making him more determined to see the world restored from it's desolate state.
When not spending time on the repairs, he often ventured outside with some of the adults who'd begun a bold attempt to grow some crops to help the ever-growing issue of the shortage of food. His presence was re-assuring for them, knowing that he'd be ready to defend them should there be an unexpected attack...yet there seemed to be none, as if the monsters were no longer interested in them.
The days continued to run by so quickly, yet through it all, Joshua was rarely seen without Sugar following him, keen to be with him to see if the sun would ever rise over the horizon. Even though it never did, the two didn't stray far apart and continued to draw closer. During the entire time they spent together, both were slightly disappointed that very few fragments of her memories had returned...she still couldn't remember anything about her past. It pained him to keep silent, but he couldn't rush. She had to recover on her own.
Well, that's the first chapter. Granted, the next two are already here but still, if there's anything you want to comment on, point out or even make a suggestion for this story or even the re-writing of my previous two, please do so.