Rise of the Hero

A Legend of Mana Fanfiction

Chapter 1

A New Home?

A/N: This fanfic is a first person telling of the story of Legend of Mana told in the perspective of the male protagonist in this story named Leif(pronounced Layf)

As I rested, I dreamt. In this dream I saw before my very eyes what appeared to be a battlefield. Bodies lay slain on the ground as the sound of enemies yelling assaulted my ears. The ringing of weapons clashing added an eery harmony to the chaotic melody of war drums and shouts. I watched for what seemed like ages as more and more combatants arrived. I noted that they were not just human. There were faeries, demons, and many animals that seemed as capable of fighting as any human was. They all seemed to be fighting at the base of what was obviously an ancient tree. The massive trunk and branches rising up well into the clouds.

Suddenly the tree began to catch fire. The flames licking upward from the roots as they began to engulf the tree. My attention completely shifted from the battlefield below to the sight of the magnificent tree burning. As the flames enveloped it my view yet again shifted as the battlefield and the tree were surrounded by a bright green light. Everything fell still then, as if the battle had stopped and the tree had stopped burning. The tree floated above the ground before me, undamaged and unburned. It was as if what I had just witnessed hadn't happened at all. That was when I heard a woman's voice. It sounded beautiful and peaceful, much like the sound of a gentle breeze, or perhaps the flow of water in a stream. However, I could feel a deep power behind the voice as it seemed to come from nowhere and yet everywhere at once. It was as if the voice was speaking directly to me… to my very soul. The voice said:

Nine centuries ago, the Mana Tree

burned to ashes. The power of Mana

lived on inside Mana stones, enchanted

instruments, and artifacts. Sages

fought with each other for control

of these last remnants of Mana.

Then, after hundreds of years of war,

as the power of Mana began to wane,

those who sought it grew scarce,

and the world returned to peace.

After that, mankind grew afraid to desire.

Their hearts filled with empty emotions,

and grew estranged from my hands.

They turned their eyes away from my

infinite power, and were troubled by their

petty disputes.

Remember me!

Need me!

I can provide you with everything!

I am love.

Find me, and walk beside me.

After that the voice faded away, my vision became blinded as the tree became surrounded by light. I wanted to reach out to the tree, to touch it's trunk. I wanted to yell out to the voice I had heard, I wanted to hear that beautiful voice again! The next thing I heard was the sound of soft birdsong. I slowly opened my eyes and shut them again at the sunlight that shined into the room. I blinked a few times, trying to adjust to the light. I slowly sat up in the bed where I laid and my senses went on high alert. I had no idea where I was, or how I had gotten here.

'What is going on here? Did someone bring me here?' I thought as I looked around the room.

I got out of the bed and noted that I was barely covered and quickly looked around for some clothes. Right next to the bed I found some, they were an interesting mix of cloth and armor. Much to my surprise they fit me perfectly, as if they had belonged to me the entire time. It took some time for me to figure out how to put on the breastplate that seemed to be made out of braze. Once it was on though it completely covered my chest and stomach. However, I was sure that I would get used to it. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a slight movement coming from a nearby wall. My attention quickly toward it and there I saw what looked to be a flowering cactus in a pot. I made my way toward it and as I got closer, I realized that it had eyes and a mouth. I cocked my head to the side slightly as I looked at it. The cactus appeared to be asleep.

'Huh… I didn't think cacti slept.' I thought, looking at the plant.

"Master?" came a high pitched male voice from out of no where, or so I thought. Until I realized that it had come from the cactus.

"Aaah!" I yelled in surprise as I jumped back a few feet. 'It talked…? Cacti don't usually talk do they?'

When I came back to my senses I realized that the talking plant had raised his arms up to cover his eyes. I noted that he was trembling, so much so that his pot was practically vibrating. I quickly came to the conclusion that my reaction had scared him a lot more than he had me. I just hadn't really expected my first conversation that morning to be with a cactus.

"Hey little cactus, sorry about that. I didn't mean to scare you," I said, doing my best to try and console the plant. "I just didn't expect you to be able to talk, that's all."

"Li'l Cactus?" the plant said as if questioning it, "Name?"

"Yeah, sure if you want it to be. My name is Leif. It's a pleasure to meet you Li'l Cactus," I replied with a small smile to the plant. It had taken me a moment though to understand what the cactus meant. It seemed he could only say a few words.

"Leif!" the cactus replied energetically. "Pleasure."

"Why do you keep calling me master? Doesn't someone else live here?" I asked, curious as I tried to figure out how I had gotten here. [i]'Surely someone found me and brought me here'[/i] I thought, taking another small glance around before returning my attention to the plant.

"Nope," Li'l Cactus stated plainly.

"I see, well I am going to go look around. Bye Li'l Cactus," I said with a small wave as I walked away.

I got a better look around the room that was obviously intended to be the bedroom. On a support beam in the middle of the room there was a small mirror. Below that I saw what looked to be a number of small leaves nailed to the beam. Looking at a few of them, I realized they must have been Li'l Cactus' random thoughts. My attention had turned briefly to the plant, who seemed to have gone back to sleep.

'Though there are a few more plants in this room, he's the only one that seems to be talking,' I thought with an amused smirk.

I knew that Li'l Cactus had no reason for lying to me. Regardless though, I had to check and see if anyone did live here. It made no sense whatsoever for this place to be so well furnished and yet uninhabited. The wooden stairs creaked with each step that I took as I made my way into what appeared to be the main part of the house.

"Hello! Anybody here!" I called out, almost wishfully by now expecting some kind of response.

Of course there was no response. So I continued on my previous agenda of looking around. Right at the base of the stairs there was a door that had a sign above it saying "WC". Curious, I opened the door and found that it was a bathroom, or water closet as the sign had specified.

Closing the door my attention turned back to the rest of the room I walked into. There was a large fireplace at the back of it. A large table with enough chairs to seat a family and a few guests was in the middle. I walked up to it and ran a hand across the surface. Pulling it up revealed a layer of dust, a sign that things hadn't been cleaned in awhile.

'This entire house is probably covered in dust…,' I thought looking around at the rest of the furniture in the room. 'Cleaned up though, it wouldn't be a bad place to live at all.'

I opened another door and found what appeared to be a library. There was another table in the middle of the room and a chair that was obviously meant to sit at while studying. The shelves were loaded with many different books. I walked over to the shelf and pulled down one of the large books. I dusted off the cover and opened it, this particular one seemed to be a history book of a world called Fa'Diel. I tried to read through it, but it didn't really make any sense to me. I closed the book and put it back on the shelf.

'So this place is called Fa'Diel?' I thought as I exited the library and walked back into the main room.

There was only one more room to explore in the house itself. Behind a beaded curtain was the kitchen. It had a sink, a gas stove and an icebox. Opening the icebox revealed that for now it was empty. Pots and pans hung from a rack on one of the walls, and a large counter was obviously meant as the place to prepare food. In drawers and shelves was everything else needed to prepare most meals, cutlery, silverware, plates etc. I left the kitchen and returned back to the main room.

My attention turned to a small chest that was next to the fireplace. Opening it up, I found a bag. As I picked up the bag I heard the distinct jingle of metal. Pulling the string on the bag revealed that it had coins in it. Very interesting coins the likes that I had never seen before. I closed the bag and tied it to the belt around my waist. I figured if I found out that someone did live here I would return it and pay them back. No matter the situation though, when money was involved, everyone needed it.

I made my way toward the door that led outside and I saw on a rack next to the door what could only be a sword, sheathed in an intricately designed scabbard. I picked up the weapon by the hilt, admiring the weight of it. It was a bit heavy, though definitely able to be wielded one handed. The hilt though was barely large enough to wrap both hands around. Removing it from the scabbard, revealed the blade to be about three feet long.

'So this would be a Bastard Sword,' I thought, examining the finely forged blade.

I sheathed the blade again and fastened it around his waist by the belt attached to the scabbard. Attached to the belt was also a small pack. I was as prepared as i thought I would be so I finally opened the door and stepped outside of the house. The first thing that caught my eye was a strange looking plant sitting in the middle of the path leading to the road. As I approached, the thing looked up, revealing it had a face. Next to it, was a pile of blocks that the weird thing had arranged to look like a town.

"Hi there!" the strange plant thing greeted. "I'm a Sproutling. The world can be shaped by your imagination! Did you know that?" the Sproutling asked very energetically.

"Um hi… and no I didn't know that," I replied, trying my best to not show the confusion that I felt regarding what the Sproutling said.

"Pokiehl the Poet told me that the town of Domina exists because I think so. People say that this world isn't an illusion, but the Sproutlings know! Here use these!" the sprouting yet again declared with the same level of energy. It then picked up the colorful blocks and held them out to me. "This is the town of Domina."

Without even thinking about it I took the blocks from the Sproutling and looked at them, completely confused. Did it mean that it had called the town made out of blocks Domina? Or was there some other kind of deeper meaning to the Sproutlings words? At that time, I truly had no idea.

"Um thanks…," I managed with a small smile as I put the blocks in the bag on my back. "Hey, do you have any idea who lives here?"

"Don't you?" the Sproutling asked in response, as if it was the most obvious answer.

"No, no I do not. I just woke up here. I can't explain it any other way," I stated, doing my best not to become frustrated with the plant thing. That statement for some reason made me all the more determined to find the true owner, and maybe with them some answers.

I began to set off towards the road, not carrying that the Sproutling now seemed to be dancing around frantically. It seemed that what I had just said brushed right off of the Sproutling, not even warranting a thought from the plant.

"Hey where are you going! Oh… Don't leave!" it moaned as it tried to get my attention. "What do you like? I like wind… and when moss grows, and drinking water and stepping on leaves," The Sproutling listed off as I continued to head away from it until eventually I could no longer hear it's voice.

'Note to self… avoid Sproutlings if ever possible from now on,' I thought as I walked along the road away from my house.

I was rather surprised that the strange plant didn't follow me and hoped that it had gotten the message. I had a very strong feeling though that the Sproutling would still be out front when I got home. As I walked along the road it forked, to the right I could see a short distance away a town. My focus turned toward a person pulling a hand cart along the side of the road that was heading towards the town. I quickly picked up my pace to catch up to the person. I had a hard time seeing the person over the size of the cart though. He was very short, wore a large helmet and had long hair that practically fell down to his ankles. He seemed to wear nothing else but a fur loincloth and sandals, attached to a belt around his waist by a loop was a rather large hammer.

"Excuse me?" I said, trying to get his attention.

"Yeah? What can I do fer ya? I haven't got all day make it quick lad!" came the reply in a rough gravely voice that came from the short man. I noted that he only had a few teeth in his mouth.

"Um, do you know anything about that house up the road? Like who it belongs to?" I asked, my attention temporarily turning in the direction of it so he would get my idea as to where I meant.

The little man followed my gaze and looked up by the large tree that the house was built under. He looked at it, scratching his head as if deep in thought for a moment. His attention turned back to me, as if curious for a moment why I asked about it. Then his fist smacked his palm with a clap as he seemed to remember something.

"Oh yeah! That house! As far as I know nobody ever lived there. A person tried to sell it to me once though, claiming that there was a cave in the back that could be used to make a good forge! However, I turned him down. I am quite content to stay in the mines," he replied with a smug look on his face.

"I see, can you tell me who this man is? I need to speak to him," I stated, thankful to finally have some kind of lead regarding the house.

"I sure can. He is a rabbit-man by the name of Niccolo. Last I heard he was in Domina. If yer headin' there you might run into him. By the way, if yer interested in a new weapon or armor. Look me up sometime, the name is Watts the Blacksmith," he stated, grabbing onto the handle of the cart and pulling again. It was pretty obvious he was in a hurry as his pace seemed to double from what it was before. For such a little guy he sure could move fast.

"Leif, Pleased to meet you," I replied with a smile as I followed him on the path that led into the town of Domina.

A soft breeze blew through, tossing my curly blonde hair lightly and threatening to blow my hat off of my head. I raised a hand to my head to hold it in place. Before too much longer I walked up the pathway and into the town. Hanging from a sign post next to the entrance was a small sign that said "Domina" rocking back and forth gently in the wind. It was interesting to me that I didn't consider the thought of looking for a "rabbit-man" as Watts had put it, strange anymore.