AN: After playing Animal Parade multiple times and marrying all of the immortals, it make me think that it's not very fair, since it seems as if it's just one soul being recycled everytime the world needs saving, that the four immortals would have to share it. If you chose one immortal, then the other is heartbroken, and if you chose neither, then both are. It's not very nice. Anyway, I hope you all like it!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harvest Moon: Animal Parade.
Exiting the mine onto the top of the mountain, Gale could do nothing but shiver as a burst of cool air swept across the back of his neck, despite the sweat that still clung to his brow from his trip. All around him, billowing clouds covered the land below, hiding him from any onlookers that might just happen to catch a glance of him as they raise their eyes to the sky, hoping to sight the one to whom they all prayed.
Of course, their hopes were in vain, for it had been many years since the Harvest King had permanently inhabited the top of the mountain, but he just couldn't bring himself to break their mortal hearts.
Letting out a sigh, Gale drew his cloak closer around him as he made his way to his final destination, the stone circle he had come to visit quickly coming into view, as untouched by time as he was himself. Lowering himself onto the highest of the stone steps, he settled in to wait for his companion to arrive, his mind swiftly sinking into the pool of thoughts that had plagued him during his trek through the mines.
Surprisingly, he arrived much quicker than last time.
Before too long had passed, an ethereal shimmering of light began to condense besides him, each mote of sparkling illumination leisurely floating into its proper place before joining with the whole. Averting his eyes out of respect for the deity, it took a long while before Gale heard the heavy sigh that always preludes their conversations, telling him that it was safe to look upon his old friend's face once more.
What a face it was.
Although Gale had always understood the implications of immortality, it was only in these few moments every couple hundred years or so that he truly saw what would become of him millenniums from now, trapped in the same flesh and blood meat suite that he had been born into almost seven hundred years ago. Meeting the almost glazed amber gaze of his friend, Gale knew for a fact that, just like he was every other generation or so, the man besides him was waiting for that one moment that made all of this worth living.
Just like himself, Ignis was waiting for her.
"You asked me here Gale," Ignis stated softly, his wandering eyes turning towards a hole in the cloud cover that gave glimpse to the patchwork farms below. A deep sadness seemed to permeate them as he gave the world a fleeting search, hopefully searching for the one without a true hope of finding them. The stifled sigh that followed only confirmed his thoughts. "Why?"
"Vivi has informed me that the world is beginning to fade, and Sephia has confirmed that Finn is beginning to stir. His memories of last time have already been erased, so it should only be a matter of time before the newest of our saviours comes to restore what has long been lost," Gale said in a monotone mutter, his voice soft as he imparted the much needed information to Ignis.
"And," Ignis said impatiently, eagerly awaiting what he knew was to be the most important part of this narrative, seeing as how the wizard that sat besides him had gone through the effort to visit him instead of just allowing him to sleep away his days in his own world. "Do they know?"
Gale nodded slowly as his eyes wandered across the ground before him, a sudden seed of deceit welling up within him. If he lied, that would give him a few more years to secure his place, but automatically the guilt hit him. He had already taken joy from the pain that had seared itself into Vivi's and Sephia's hearts. He could no more cause the pain of the Harvest King next to him then he could to himself.
"It's a girl."
After a long moment of silence, a slight laugh fell from the lips of the deity sitting besides him, his normally stoic face slightly twisted in a small smile that on anyone else would have passed for a grimace. Leaning back so that his face was tilted towards the sky, Ignis allowed a fleeting stab of happiness to enter his heart before he banished it away, his cold eyes turning towards Gale with a calculating look within them, one that was easily reflected in the Wizard's. Both knew what the other was thinking, already remembering the many moves that had been made in the past that had spelled either success or defeat in this twisted game of love that was played between the four immortals. It was the sole problem none of them had yet to figure out the answer for, the single thing that forced them to twist and turn as they tried to gain the favor of the one who was to come.
When one soul was constantly reincarnated into a different body, and that one soul was equally loved by four who could never forget it, things tended to get messed up.
"Do you know what she's like," Ignis asked quietly after an appropriate amount of time had elapsed, his eyes remaining focused upon the clouds above. Of course, he knew the answer, for this was a ritual the two had played many times over in the past, a constant series of unanswerable questions that always had the same answer, for no matter what body she inhabited, the woman who was to come was still the same one they had fallen for generation after generation before. For a single moment, Ignis couldn't help the feeling that, perhaps, this time, he could change things. There were things he knew he could do that would tilt the world within his favor, perhaps guarantee him her love, though in his heart of hearts he knew he would not.
There was something about gaining her freely given love, of her choosing him over all the others out of her own free will, that pleased him.
"Of course. Do you," Gale replied easily as he stood, his question both innocent and a challenge. This time, this life, neither was going to allow the other even the slightest chance at winning the heart of the one they both desired. Rising to his full height, an entire head towering over Gale, Ignis locked eyes with his friend and foe, his voice deep with promise as he spoke.
"Of course. She's my wife, after all. Now, let the games begin." With that, Ignis allowed his form to fade from sight as Gale turned to once more make his way back down the mountain, his lips pressed into a tight line. Neither was going to lose her again, but just like with every lifetime before, there had to be a loser.
"Let the games begin, Ignis. Because this time, she'll be mine."