Something Beyond my Search
All ownership claims go to Squaresoft and the appropriate developing staff. Direct quotes from the game are used.
MAJOR UPDATE (25/09/2014)
The Chapter has been completely revised- some things were taken out, and some were added. In short, it doesn't suck nearly as much as it did when I wrote it about three years ago. REJOICE!
I will continue to revise the other chapters and post on them WHEN they have been revised. I look forward to revising Flame of Hope the most. God damn Sproutling from hell .
Only when I finish revising will I be posting the other chapters, so please be patient! I have some in store, but I don't feel they're quite good enough for publishing just yet.
If he had to describe her in one word, the first thought that popped into his head would have been nosy. The thought teased at the back of his mind as he walked beside the slim and petite figure, as she chugged down an extra-large chocolate-springanana milkshake as if she were a vacuum. Her golden hair fell over her shoulders as a waterfall, only to be sucked into odd tubes engraved with all sorts of elemental runes—surely accessories that enhanced her magical execution, much as the gems encrusted into his rock glove did for him. Her dress fell elegantly over her slender and well-shaped form, arm and leg warmers complimenting the outfit boldly. Her carefully-tanned skin was adorned with a pleasant and constant natural blush upon her cheeks, a small nose carefully placed in the middle of her face, and wide green eyes, which brought slight nostalgia to his core, occupying the centre of attention on the oval face. She was a beautiful girl, to be sure, and despite his serious nature, Elazul could not help himself as he snuck a couple of inconspicuous glances her way.
The girl stopped drinking just long enough to let out a loud burp, and with an insincere apology, proceeded to take an indecent bite out of her caramelized Squalphin fin. Elazul twitched at the rudeness, noticing that she had bitten off more than she could chew. She reminded him of something between a squirrel and a Boink instead of a pretty girl. He grimaced as he looked away, no longer taking any gratification from the sight. The silent walk (save for the quiet chewing of the girl) allowed a few more thoughts to creep into the young man's head. . .
Elazul had been arguing with a curious creature, albeit no more curious than those he had encountered during his long journey. Tiring of the short warrior, he turned to walk into the homey tavern; it was then that he heard the onion-kiddish creature sigh, demanding in defeat "Hey! At least give me your name!"
The Jumi stayed quiet for a few seconds, considering walking away without responding. "Elazul." He gave in without so much as turning around, and walked into the pub with a tense set to his broad shoulders.
Just before exiting hearing range, Elazul managed to overhear the short man, "Jeez. . . he makes me sick."
'/iAt least my smell doesn't make people want to cry.i' He thought, allowing himself a sole thought of amusement. He then returned to the task at hand. Granted, barging into a random household to interrogate a Model 1 Teapo may not have been the brightest idea. He scanned the establishment to search for somebody to ask about his lost companion, only to realize that the place had been emptied when a rabbit. . . creature had walked out.
No, that wasn't right. There was a fae girl cleaning the table the rabbit-cat-man was sitting at before. He knew the girl to have spoken to Pearl once or twice before, and he was sure to have seen them together just before Pearl went missing. Surely she had to know something. He approached her, the intimidating walk that always seemed to stick to him like gum on a shoe taking over and frightening the poor wench.
"Spit it out. I know you know where she is." He cornered her, a shade of surprised fear creeping into her features and rendering her silent. The double doors to the pub swung open, but Elazul was far too preoccupied with his mission to bother looking back.
The knight then heard a sharp intake of breath behind him, along with a delicate voice asking "What are you doing?" He supposed the visual of him towering over the barmaid did not put him in the best light, but he couldn't bring himself to care. The safety of his guardian was his first priority, after all.
"Silence!" He spoke as he turned, "Do not interrupt!" He glared coldly at the new figure—a girl, shorter by a head and a half than him, with blonde hair, bright as the sun in the darkened tavern. She didn't seem like she would be much of a problem; in fact, she seemed rather easily intimidated. He turned back to the fae "Speak up! Don't make me angry. . . "
The girl shivered once more, looking away with fear plain in her eyes; it was the stubborn set to her otherwise frightened eyes that would have provoked a certain degree of admiration in him under other circumstances. His glare intensified "What are you hiding?"
The blonde girl's voice came in as a surprise—Elazul was sure he had shut her up and driven her away (the fact that he didn't realize she was still there being more embarrassing than he would care to admit). "Hey! Stop that!" He turned back to glare once more, finding her face contorted into a displeased look.
"Leave us alone!" the Jumi commanded angrily.
Just as he turned back to the fairy, the girl moved protectively in between them, putting her arms to her sides as she mirrored his glare. "Leave her alone! She's shaking with fear, you bully!"
Had she really just used the word 'bully'? He shook the thought off "This is none of your business," he tried to reason roughly, "could you just go away?" He went up to her, looming over her figure threateningly in the hopes of scaring her away.
"I'm not going to let you treat my friend in such a way!" She replied hotly, tilting her head back to look at him coldly, surprising Elazul when he could identify no sign of fear in her body.
"Friends, you say?" The knight leaned back, crossing his arms, "I don't believe you." The girl was speechless, yet refused to back down. He knew that there would be nothing to make her do so. He sighed as he looked at the quiet, scared girl behind the feisty one. They locked gazes, his glare and certainty wavering. "Don't you have any idea?" He frowned with concern, a tightness concentrating at his core, "Are you sure you don't know where she is?"
The girl looked away from him, shame or sadness painted into her already-frightened and pale expression. "Dammit! I've wasted my time!" Elazul exclaimed as the fear and worry for his guardian were once again replaced with anger and frustration. He stormed off as quickly as he had gone in, knocking an un-tucked chair aside on the way.
His core was blazing and pulsing. Elazul was panicking, the thought of harm coming to his guardian knotting his stomach. As much as he would have wanted to run around looking for her some more, he knew he needed to calm down and meditate on the situation. He headed for the Church of Mana, the only place where he knew he could find a bit of comfort in his time of need. Perhaps the Goddess would show him the way.
Elazul opened his eyes abruptly, a frown once again staining his handsome features. He stood from his kneeling position furiously and stormed out, making the priest nearly drop the sacred Book in surprise.
'Dammit!' Elazul thought to himself once more as he passed the rodent of a detective that hung around the Church. When he was out of sight and hearing range, the green-haired man spoke to the Goddess from his position, ignoring the fact that even he felt rather ridiculous. "I can't afford to waste any more time! I already prayed to you for twenty-five minutes and you cannot so much as give me a sign?" He picked up a rock in rage and threw it into a nearby bush, "What the hell does it take to get a bloody clue around here?" He clutched his head. As he was turning in exasperation, he noticed the frisky girl from before walking out of the market area and into the lonely road. It was then that he noticed the halberd hanging on her back. He stared for a few seconds to make sure that she hadn't seen him, turned to throw another rock, and froze with a twitch. 'Alright, I've got it, I've got it. That's the hint? Fine, I'll play along.' He cursed his luck and the Goddess's sick sense of humour as he realized that that irritable person might well be the only one who could help him. He sighed as he called out, "Hey!"
The girl looked about her, turning wildly in every direction to pinpoint the voice that had called out. "Over here!" the Jumi called more loudly than before, hoping to focus her attention on him.
When the blonde finally spotted him, she grimaced. He ran up to her despite her look of dislike. "What do you want?"
"Take me with you." He said plainly. For some reason, after a few seconds of silence, the girl's face changed from a look of hatred to one of wonder. She opened her mouth as she tilted her head slightly, much to the Jumi's confusion.
She closed her mouth and furrowed her brow, twisting her mouth to one side. "What is it that you need?"
His mouth went dry. How could he possibly communicate the urgency of the situation? "I'm looking for a precious lost friend." He croaked out, unable to voice his deepest fear.
She sighed and closed her eyes in defeat. "Alright, I'll help you."
Elazul's core shone brightly in glee for a second. "I won't leave you alone until we bring her back!" He almost grinned, "I promise!"
"On one condition." The girl said, holding up her index to the side of her head. A load seemed to have dropped into Elazul's uneasy stomach. He listened for her request—he was willing to do anything. "You have to buy me a snack."
Elazul was taken out of his reverie by a loud exclamation, jumping slightly between steps. He vaguely noticed the scary and humid cave just a few yards away- Mekiv Caverns, he believed. He had heard a couple of children in Domina trying to scare their friend with stories about it.
"Oh!" The girl exclaimed, stopping in place, "By the way, what's your name?" She turned to him. Clearly she seemed to be in a better mood. "I'm Imu!" She grinned.
The Jumi knight had to blink a few times before he realized what happened, then said in a stupid daze "Uh. . .Elazul." He hadn't realized that he had stopped until then.
"Elazul?" The girl stared straight ahead with a confused look, incredulity colouring her voice. He supposed she didn't like his name. "Nice to meet you Elazul! So, this friend of yours, what's his or her name?" she smiled back at him, somehow wiping the previous thought from his mind.
Elazul wondered why she was taking so much interest in the search when she had already accepted it, but decided it couldn't hurt, "Her name is Pearl."
"Cute name." She smiled, then looked at the Jade Egg that Rachel, the girl at the pub, had given her when she handed them her milkshake. Clearly, it was a way to show them the way to Pearl. After all, Elazul had said that it smelled like her (a fact which Imu had scrunched her nose at). They both seemed to notice something different from the egg: it was glowing! The man stared around frantically, his eyes setting on the cave he had seen before. A determined look set on his features; before he could say anything, he was already being dragged along by the wrist. "Come on! Let's go find Pearl! She must be in that cave!" She grinned back at him as she hauled him along, her smile far more excited than it had any right to be.
After battling several monsters that had stood in their way, Elazul was certain of two things. The first: Pearl was nearby; his core was resonating nonstop in response to the similar jewel her guardian bore. The second: Imu was the complete opposite of Pearl— her exceptional fighting skills made her the first person in a long, long time that could fight on equal footing with him. It was, in fact, kind of scary how perfectly she was able to complement his movements.
As they entered a wide open space in the cavern, Elazul noticed a red-haired woman with wide flowers decorating her hair ostentatiously. Despite a slight trembling of his core, which in his worry was disregarded, he and Imu went up to inquire about whether she had seen Pearl.
"You sure are late," the woman said, "Pearl is this way. Hurry, go help her. "
Elazul became defensive, "Who are you? Why do you know Pearl's name?"
The stranger ignored him, turning towards the blonde, "One more thing," she smirked, "You'd best stay away from these people."
"Hey!" Elazul groped for his sword in case that he would have to use it suddenly, "How is it that you know of us?"
The woman continued to ignore him, "I hope you don't get turned to stone or anything. . ." her hand hovered by her mouth, doing a poor job of hiding an amused grin.
The knight noticed Imu looking at the woman in confusion, words dying on her lips over and over. A sense of alarm enveloped him. As his companion was about to say something, a piercing scream broke the silence. "Pearl!" Elazul screamed, breaking into a run in the direction of the scream- he vaguely noticed Imu following after him. Entering the next section of the cave, Elazul looked frantically around.
"EL, WATCH OUT!" Imu screamed, tackling just in time to get him away from a giant fist, swinging in the spot the Jumi had stood a moment before. "We can worry about Pearl after we take care of this big guy." The shorter girl grinned mischievously, adrenaline radiating off of her like heat off a canyon. He nodded in agreement, and took a fighting stance as the girl took out her halberd excitedly.
The fight, Elazul had to admit, would have been incredibly hard to overcome had it not been for the blonde fighting by his side. Within a matter of minutes and several well-placed and well-timed blows from both their parts, they had defeated the giant. He looked at it as he panted slightly, stretching his rock-gloved arm as if he had gotten some sort of cramp.
Imu wiped sweat off her forehead with her arm warmer as she stared at the spot where the enormous monster had once lain lifeless, as a few sparks of mana dissipated on the spot.
Elazul wasted no more time with contemplation, "Pearl! Where are you!" His core resonated strongly, a soft shine emanating from it. A similar shine was produced nearby a big boulder.
"Elazul?" A gentle voice asked, a tad bit of fright edging it.
The tall man ran up to a frail-looking dirty-blonde girl with a scalloped white dress. He took her by her delicate, thin shoulders and looked pointedly into her hazel eyes. "Is your core alright?" He asked, a degree of softness he had not expressed in a long time tainting his voice.
"Yes. . . " She replied, looking down in shame.
A bit of frustration returned to Elazul behind the relief, obnoxiousness once more seeping into his voice, "I told you not to go wandering by yourself!" He made her look directly at him, "How did you end up here?"
"I was. . . um. . .thinking about things. . ." She blushed as a pout formed on her perfect lips.
Elazul sighed, keeping his temper in check. He looked at her gently. "You don't need to think anymore. Right now you should just stay safe by my side."
"But. . ." Pearl tried to complain.
"That's enough!" Elazul said firmly, a tone of finality to his voice.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." Pearl exhaled as she looked down, her hands fidgeting with one another in a habit that she had picked up since she began to travel with Elazul.
"Now, wait just a second!" A voice that the knight had once again forgotten about exclaimed. "Don't be so tough on the poor girl! She's clearly been through a lot and—"
Elazul cut her off "You stay out of this!" He said, irritation filling his voice completely. He saw her mouth snap shut, a glare locked with his. His eyes, just for a fraction of a second, betrayed his gratitude.
Pearl looked from one to the other for several seconds, before daring to ask, "Who is that?" her voice was quiet, intending for only her knight to hear.
Elazul tore his eyes away slowly, softening them slightly when he looked at Pearl, "Just someone who helped me find you . . . a strange kind of person. " He added as an afterthought.
"Oh. . ." Pearl voiced, not knowing what else to say.
"Well then," Elazul rubbed his eyes, "Let's go." He began to walk, ignoring Pearl's beginning of a protest. He looked at Imu, stubbornly grateful, "See you around." He nodded as he passed her and kept walking, thinking Pearl would follow. The sprightly blonde, meanwhile, did not seem impressed by his attitude.
Pearl shyly walked up to Imu, who smiled at her widely, "Um. . . Th-thank you." She blushed deeply.
"No problem!" the response came happily. "I'm Imu, glad to see you're ok, Pearl!"
"We're going!" Elazul called as he looked back, annoyance in his voice.
"I'm sorry, I'm going too!" she replied urgently, and then reached into the pocket of her sleeve. "Thank you Imu. This is for all you've done for me." She handed her two items dripping with Mana. She smiled with a blush once more, and ran towards Elazul.
As she caught up to him, she turned to wave goodbye to Imu before speaking to her Knight, "She seems nice." A warm smile was drawn across her pretty features.
"I guess. . . she's certainly strong. She can take care of herself, that one." Elazul shrugged, looking out for the strange woman they had seen earlier, careful not to let Pearl notice.
Pearl blushed again, bowed her head, and looked sideways at Elazul. "Do you think we'll see her again?"
"With that damn nosy attitude of hers?" He raised an eyebrow, "I really wouldn't be surprised."
Pearl giggled, "Seems like you've met your match, Elazul."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Elazul glared with no hatred in the look.
"Oh nothing!" Pearl ran up ahead a little and faced him, walking backwards. "I just hope you're right. I'd like to get to know her, wouldn't you?"
The knight would not accept it. "A girl like her? No thanks." He feigned apathy, much to Pearl's displeasure. Her mood seemingly unaffected, she turned around to walk forward, humming a happy tune to herself. 'Though I guess a bit of annoying variety couldn't hurt. . .' he smiled lightly to himself. He nearly stopped when he realized something, 'Did she call me "El" before?'
There just isn't enough LoM fanfiction! I picked up the game once more and have been playing nonstop. I also found the manga, so I read and finished it. This story is not based on the manga, and very few references to it will be made. One of those few references is the heroine's name: Imu.
I don't know whether I'll be making all of it in Elazul's point of view or if I will switch back and forth. I want to cover all of the quests, preferably even the ones that Elazul doesn't necessarily appear in.
Hope you like it! Happy questing!