Tales of Pleinair
Episode 1: A Mysterious Girl
Snow continued to fall in the Snowy City, as it always had, but something was coming in the latest blizzard that no one expected. A young girl, appearing no more than thirteen or fourteen years old and holding what appeared to be a patchwork stuffed rabbit, collapsed in front of the gates to the city. The doctor was called for, and she was rushed to his clinic, where she was soon being treated for hypothermia. Although nothing the doctor did could get her to release her hold on the rabbit doll or the strange pendant she wore about her neck.
Flying over the ocean...
"Man those Gnomelettes were weird," said Lloyd.
"We kinda established that, Lloyd," replied Zelos. "Like, back at the one that ate the potion in the Troize Mines."
Genis shrugged, "Or the one that didn't know what 'spicy' was."
"Well you showed him, huh, Genis?" laughed Sheena.
"I still can't believe you didn't let me cook," muttered Raine
"There was a seventy-eight percent chance of fatality had Professor Sage cooked the curry," intoned Presea.
"I confess, I, too, would have liked to make the curry, perhaps I can make us dinner tonight?" asked Regal.
"Sure, I don't have a problem with that, what about you guys?" Genis replied, looking over the other seven members of the party.
There was a chorus of various ways to say "go ahead," as the group didn't mind whether Regal or Genis cooked. Just as long as Raine, the woman who could fail at making a bread sandwich, didn't. Sheena even occasionally made Ramen or Rice Balls for them, though she called them Onigiri. They were nearing the city of Flanoir as it started getting dark. They would have to stop in town to rest for the night before moving on to Celsius' temple to form the next pact.
After seeing Sheena make the pact with Undine in Sylvarant, they had travelled back to the other seals and she had managed to make pacts with those Summon Spirits as well, the only one from Sylvarant they had not yet visited was the Spirit of Light, but even those four had made Sheena slightly more confident in her summoning skills.
Unfortunately, this did not help her with Volt, as she had been paralyzed with fear over what had happened before, and her partner Corrine was lost to the wrathful Summon. Now they were travelling around Tethe'alla to break the links of mana between the worlds, and had recently finished with Gnome, the Spirit of Earth. Next was Celsius of Ice, then they would take care of the Spirit of Darkness, Shadow, then return to attempt a pact with Luna and Aska of Light.
They landed at the edge of Flanoir and Lloyd read the sign at the entrance: "Flanoir ~ The Snowy City." They entered and looked for the inn, though on the way they were stopped by a man who appeared to travel frequently.
"Excuse me, do you, by any chance have any Celsius' Tear?"
"Celsius' Tear? What's that?" answered Lloyd in confusion.
"Celsius' Tear is a famous ice flower in Flanoir. It has the mysterious power to freeze anything."
"Freeze anything... I don't know of anything like that, sorry."
"I see. Well, if you find any please let me know. I'll pay whatever you ask."
"Okay." The group turned to continue on to the inn, when the man added, "Be careful when handling the Tear. If you touch it directly, you'll be badly burned."
"Then how do we get it?" asked Genis, while wondering how something that froze stuff could burn someone.
"You'll be fine if you have Penguinist Gloves. The old man at the Snow White accessory shop should know about them."
"Alright, thanks for the warning." They finally made it to the inn, and had a good night's sleep. On the way to the accessory shop, Colette overheard someone mentioning a young girl with severe hypothermia at the doctor's clinic.
Colette dashed up to the Professor, careful not to slide in the snow. "Professor Sage, there's a girl with hypothermia in the doctor's clinic. Do you think you could heal her?"
"I don't know, Colette. We are in the middle of a quest," replied the Professor.
Lloyd overheard this and turned back to them. "Come on, Professor. It's just like what we said back in Palmacosta. If we can't help the people right in front of us, how are we supposed to help everyone else? And if our quest is that big of a deal, then why are we going to talk with the old man that traveller mentioned?"
Raine conceded the point after Genis and Zelos joined in, though Sheena accused Zelos of just wanting to flirt with her when she got better. He complained about the accusation, but didn't deny it. As they approached the clinic they saw an extremely long line ahead of them. Apparently, the doctor was famous and there was a massive waiting list for people to get checked on. The rest of the party stayed outside as Zelos used his status as Chosen to get himself and Raine in to "assist the doctor."
The doctor was rather disgruntled that the two of them didn't think he could heal the girl on his own, but acquiesced to the Chosen's request. Zelos was slightly disappointed in the fact that the girl appeared to only be around thirteen years old, though he did find her light blue hair to be rather cute, the way it was tied back with a red ribbon, as well. Raine cast Purify on the girl, and was confused when she saw the healing energy affect the doll she held as well.
The redness of her cheeks, as well as the red on the doll's, which everyone had originally thought to have been dyed on its cheeks, faded away, and she slowly blinked her eyes open. Zelos heard a sharp intake of breath out of Raine, and when he moved over to investigate, he saw the girl had red eyes. As in her irises were a stunning red colour, not that her eyes were bloodshot.
Zelos decided to greet her with a smile. "Hey there, cutie, how are-" Everyone in the room jumped back as the rabbit doll jumped up and pointed a rounded hand at Zelos' face.
"Don't speak to Miss Pleinair in that familiar tone, buster!"
Zelos and Raine both leapt back from the surprisingly deep voice of the animated plush. The girl grabbed the doll and pulled him back, before bowing to the two. She looked the doll in the eyes and he whispered something to her, which Zelos could barely make out as "you sure?" before it turned to them.
"I am Usagi-san, and this is Miss Pleinair. She wishes for me to apologize and ask where we are," he announced. Zelos was about to reply when the doctor said, basically, "now that she's better, make room for my paying customers," and kicked them out.
Usagi-san, rather than walk out, was picked up and carried out by Pleinair. And once her hand was away from her pendant, they saw it to be a strange green jewel that glowed with an inner golden light. After leaving the clinic the group decided to put the trip to the old man on hold for a while and talk to the girl.
They returned to the inn and sat in the lobby. As they sat, Lloyd asked Pleinair a question.
"So are you feeling any better?"
Pleinair nodded. Presea looked at her with curious eyes. This new girl seemed to be acting like she had before Lloyd made her a Key Crest. She was just as surprised as everyone else, however, when Usagi-san climbed onto the table and bowed to them.
"I'm afraid Miss Pleinair doesn't talk very much around people she's never met, so you'll have to direct your questions to me."
Colette squealed in delight. "Oh, you're so cute! What's your name?"
"I am Usagi-san. And you remind me of Miss Flonne back at the castle, what is your name?"
"I'm Colette Brunel," Colette replied. Then she went around the table to introduce everyone.
After introductions were done, Zelos piped in with, "I don't know anyone named Flonne in Meltokio. You sure you know someone at the castle?"
Usagi-san put his "hand" to his chin. "Hmm, it seems that we may be talking about two different castles. Especially as Overlord Laharl's castle isn't in a place called Meltokio."
"But there aren't any other castles in Tethe'alla or Sylvarant. I haven't heard of an Overlord Laharl, either."
Pleinair squeezed Usagi-san's arm. "Oh, yes, I forgot. You never did tell us where we are."
"This is Flanoir in Tethe'alla," replied Sheena. "Why?"
"Well it seems that the Gatekeeper somehow managed to screw up. We were headed for Jotunheim for training and we ended up in a different frozen wasteland entirely." Pleinair suddenly had a panicked look on her face and hugged Usagi-san close, before nibbling on his ear. Usagi-san sighed. "Miss Pleinair..."
Pleinair blushed cutely and stopped chewing on his ear, before suddenly reaching into his mouth and pulling out a bar of chocolate, eating that instead of her more talkative companion, while setting him back on the table. Everyone blinked at the nonchalant way she had done this before Raine yelled a word that sent Genis and Lloyd running for cover, before wondering why she hadn't reacted before.
Raine and Usagi-san were suddenly engrossed in a deep conversation about what he was and how he worked, and other things like that. Sheena joined them in the conversation, only her questions centred more along the lines of his being a Summon Spirit like Corrine used to be. Zelos took advantage of the rabbit's distraction and sauntered over to Pleinair.
"So... Miss Pleinair, is it? I'm the beautiful Zelos Wilder, and I must say you're not too far from sharing the title. Say, maybe in five years or so we could get to know each other better. A lot bett-" Zelos knew he was in trouble when he heard the strange clicking noise and felt pressure under his chin. He didn't know what the item she held there was, save for it's circular shape, but knew from the anger in her eyes that it was some form of weapon.
Zelos wasn't the only one to hear the click, as everyone's attention turned in their direction. Usagi-san literally got in Zelos' face (though no one saw him move) and punched him across the room. "I told you not to address Miss Pleinair in a familiar fashion, didn't I? And how DARE you suggest something like that? Miss Pleinair is engaged!"
"Engaged?" cried Sheena, who would have belted Zelos herself, but he had yet to recover from Usagi-san's attack. "But she looks only thirteen years old! How can she be engaged?"
"Forgive me, I forgot humans age faster. Miss Pleinair isn't thirteen, she's one thou-" Usagi-san stopped talking as he found the weapon Pleinair had pulled on Zelos sticking into his mouth.
"Humans age faster...? Is Miss Pleinair an elf?" Regal asked Usagi-san.
"No," replied Genis, who had come out of his hiding place on seeing Usagi-san belt Zelos across the room. "And she's not a half-elf either. Her aura's all wrong for it."
Usagi-san looked Pleinair in the eyes and she sighed, nodded, and pulled back her mysterious weapon before gasping in alarm, showing the device to her patchwork companion.
"What happened to your gun, Miss Pleinair? It looks like an RQ22 Common model. I thought we were travelling to Jotunheim with the Etiole model to... train... with it..." His eyes suddenly blazed with fury. "When we get back, I'm petitioning Overlord Laharl to fire that Gatekeeper! She made us lose our best weapon! I just hope it's somewhere on this world, or we may very well have to do something worse..." Pleinair and Usagi-san both held a nasty glint in their eyes that sent shivers down the observers' spines. Pleinair's smile alone would have been enough to give Zelos nightmares for weeks, had he been concious enough to see it.
"Um, about our question?" asked Genis, tentatively.
Usagi-san nodded and answered with: "Miss Pleinair is a demon. And so am I."
Everyone, with the exception of Pleinair and Usagi-san, paled at the statement. Zelos didn't either, but that's because he was now out cold. Colette shrank back in horror as Lloyd stepped protectively in front of her, hands on his swords. Regal, however, quickly assumed a thoughtful look, before announcing his thoughts.
"Remember who our enemies are. Since we are fighting angels, would it not make sense for us to have demons on our side?"
"But what about Colette? She's an angel, too!" protested Lloyd. "What if they go after her?"
"She's an angel, eh?" interjected Usagi-san, which promptly reminded Lloyd he was in the room. However, almost nothing could have prepared him for the next sentence out of the rabbit's mouth. "That makes her even more like Miss Flonne, especially if she's fighting angels as well. But we have a treaty with the angels of Celestia, so we can't really start fighting them without causing an inter-world incident."
"Celestia?" questioned Raine. "I've never heard of a place called Celestia. The angels we're fighting are from an organization called Cruxis."
"Then we can fight alongside you against these angels. May we? Travelling with you might help us find a way back to the Netherworld, not to mention find our missing weapon."
Pleinair then handed Usagi-san a piece of paper. "Weapons? You mean you brought more than just the Etoile and an RQ22 Common? They must be around here somewhere, too... Very well, you have yourselves demon companions. What's our first task?"
Usagi-san: The journey into Celsius' Temple starts off without a hitch, when things suddenly go terribly wrong!
Lloyd: Hmm? What are you doing, Usagi-san?
Usagi-san: A group of monsters called Yukidarumon emerge from the snow, and, using their Sub-Zero Ice Punch technique, freeze the party solid!
Lloyd: What? H-How?
Usagi-san: As the party struggles valiantly to free themselves from their icy prisons, a new voice calls out a mighty attack, raining Judgement Bolts across the enemy.
Lloyd: I've heard of Judgement before, but never Judgement Bolts. And how do you know this?
Usagi-san: After being freed from the ice, the band of adventurers turn to find their savours, only to be shocked at who they discover! Next time, on Usagimon: Digital Monster, Episode 2: Matrix Shinka Activate! Reveal Your Ultimate Form, Usagimon!
Lloyd: That's not the name of the story. It's Tales of Pleinair. And you never did answer about what you were doing.
Usagi-san: Master Etna's not here, so someone's gotta do the Episode Preview.
A/N: My first draft of this chapter originally had it split in two chapters at the point where Usagi-san reveals himself to be alive. I was also tempted to stop at the point he reveals Pleinair to be engaged, then again after the revelation of them being demons. For those of you who don't know, this is a crossover with Disgaea with some minor tweaks tossed in of my own creation. Such as Pleinair's actual age, her greater lack of speech, and her being engaged, though I'm wondering how long it will be before I finally crack and show just who she's engaged to.
It's actually kinda tough to write a story that diverges in the middle of a particular journey, as opposed to most, which go AU at or before the beginning, or soon into Tethe'alla or the second disk.
As for the next episode thing, I just had to do it as part of a long-standing Disgaea tradition.
Oh, and I don't own ToS in any form, but I do own Disgaea DS. Although, that's just in cartridge form.