A/N: Now, if you haven't guessed already, this is an AU fict in which our canon Luke and Asch basically switch places. So, Luke is with the Oracle Knights, while Asch is in Baticul. But, unfortunately, Asch would still be called Luke, and Luke would probably be called something else. I have a few ideas for Luke's name, but I'm still undecided. So, if anyone has any suggestions, please tell them to me! Thank you in advanced for reading, please review, and enjoy!
Warnings: Slight OOCness (I have trouble with this. Please tell me if a character is too OOC) and swearing.
ND2000: In Kimlasca shall be born one who inherits the power of Lorelei. He will be a boy of royal blood with hair of red. He shall be called the Light of the Sacred Flame. And he will lead Kimlasca-Lanvaldear to new prosperity.
ND2002: The One Who Would Seize Glory shall destroy the land upon which he was born. A land by the name of Hod. War shall thereafter persist between Kimlasca and Malkuth for a full cycle of seasons.
A lone woman stood in a dark room. Her long, sandy hair cascaded down her back and fell into her face, giving her an alluring mysterious aura. She stood in front of a glowing blue glyph, which provided the only light in the room, with a determined yet sorrowful look.
"So, the time has come. Prepare..." she said forlornly as she stepped forward. The glyph activated, enveloping her in light. And then, she was gone.
Chapter I: Dominos
Luke slowly cracked an eye, a lone beam of sunshine annoyingly working its way past his curtains and onto his face. He really didn't want to get up. The bed was comfy... the floor was hard... the blanket was warm... the air was cold... But, he to get up. He didn't need to give Natalia more reasons to call him lazy.
He kicked off the blanket and hurriedly got dressed. However, his morning activities were quickly halted by a splitting pain.
"Damn headaches," he muttered, pressing his temple. Ever since his kidnapping seven years ago, he'd always had strange headaches. It probably had something to do with all the weird things they did to him during that time, but for the life of him, he couldn't remember most of it. The doctors said he was just blocking his memory. However, he still had his reservations.
Luke... fragment... of my soul... head... voice...
And now he was hearing voices again. He needed some fresh air before he succumbed to insanity. Oh, wait, too late.
Once the headache subsided, he exited his room and made his way out to the courtyard. But on his way there, he was stopped by Ramdas, the head servant of the Fabre Manor. Ramdas was stiff, old, and stern. There was never a fold out of place on his suit, never a crumb on the floor (at least on his watch), and never the slightest thing out of place. The man was a perfectionist, nearly to a fault.
"The Order of Lorelei Maestro, Dorian General Van Grants is waiting in the drawing room with the Lord and Lady." Ramdas bowed respectfully.
"That's strange. Today's not a training day, so what's Van doing here?" He wondered aloud.
"I've heard he's here on urgent business."
Luke nodded in acknowledgment. "Thank you. I'll head there now." With a wave of his hand, he dismissed Ramdas. There went his fresh air. He quickly closed the distance between him and the door, entering the drawing room.
"Ah, Luke, glad you decided to join us," Van smiled as he entered the room, Luke making sure to send his trademark glare at his master. He didn't even bother trying to hide his hatred of the Dorian General anymore.
"Luke, take a seat," his father gestured to an open seat next to Van. He frowned, opting to take the one next to his mother instead. Much safer there.
"Van, what's wrong? Why are you here?" Luke inquired curiously.
"Luke! Show some respect. He's your teacher," Duke Fabre scolded.
"Shut up! You have no right to correct me!"
"I'm your father! Of course I do!"
"Then start acting like it!"
"Luke, so help me I'll-" the duke was stopped by a soft tug on his arm. He turned to look into his wife's pleading eyes.
"Please, calm down," she begged. The yelling matches between her son and husband were quit frequent, but she hated them all the same. She understood why they fought. She really did. But that didn't mean she had to like it. It was normally up to her to stop their fights. But at the very least, it meant that they were acknowledging each others presence.
"Forgive me," Van said. "My presence is partly to blame for this."
"Don't worry yourself," Susanne smiled. Luke and Duke Fabre remained silent.
"Back on topic, what are you doing here Van? Ramdas told me about some urgent business," Luke asked.
"I'm here to inform you that I'm returning to Daath. The Fon Master is missing, so I've been called on to look for him," he explained.
"Fon Master Ion? Why haven't I heard of this?" Luke asked, slightly annoyed he wasn't informed about such an important matter.
"With everything that's been going on, matters of Daath have taken a back seat," Duke Fabre provided.
"Alright, are there any clues yet?"
"Luke, this matter doesn't concern you. You should prioritize Kimlasca matters. Your country is on the brink of war," Duke Fabre said.
Luke remained silent, glaring at his father, who returned it with equal intensity.
Trying to ease the tension, Van said "Luke, would you like to train with me before I leave?"
"I think I'll pass," Luke said as he stood up to leave.
"Wait!" Duke Fabre's voice was laced with annoyance and anger. "Luke, I've taught you better. Do not be so rude and arrogant as to refuse extra training from your instructor. Do you wish to become sloppy?"
Luke's eyes flashed dangerously. "I don't need either of you to be strong. I can do it on my own." And with that, Luke stormed out of the room, leaving the sound of the door slamming as a final testament to his anger.
Van watched with mild amusement as his... pupil left. Honestly, he had hoped that the boy would have forgotten everything about the general's involvement in his kidnapping, but apparently not. And, subsequently, the young noble had little faith in him.
He needed Luke on his side, the stupid replica just wouldn't do.
It was a problem.
And there was nothing Van hated more than problems.
But, at the very least, it would be fixed soon.
Luke, still fuming, made his way to the entrance.
Maybe he was over reacting, but his father was so infuriating! He didn't even know why, but something about the man just graded on his nerves.
Visiting Natalia would calm him down. She would tell him he was being stupid, and then give him a bunch of different ways to fix the situation which he would ignore. Then, they'd go on a walk and greet their future subjects. Finally, they'd visit the cliff where they made their promise and watch the sunset, successfully wasting most of the day.
But, a his plans would have to wait.
"Toue rei zue kuroa ryuo toue zue."
For, the manor had an unexpected visitor.
"Hey, what do you think your doing?"
The red headed replica cursed under his breath, and sheepishly turned to see his best friend. The blonde had caught him red handed with his packed bag and traveling clothes while trying to leave the city, and of course, him sneaking off without even telling his best friend was inexcusable. "Fresh air?"
"Not even close. If you're going to lie, at lest make it convincing."
"Alright," the red head sighed. "Van ordered me on a solo mission. I wasn't allowed to tell you because you'd want to come with me, with or without Van's permission."
"Damn right," he smirked. "He knows me too well."
"Are you going to try and follow and then I'll have to tie you somewhere until I leave, or will you be nice and stay here on your own?" the replica joked.
"Hm..." the blonde though for a moment. "How about I just come with you? We all know you can't take care of yourself."
"No, this time, I need to go by myself," he said glumly. "There are some things that you can't get involved in, and this is one of them. If I have to, I will call the Oracle Knights."
His best friend snorted. He had obviously lost this battle, but the war was far from lost. "Fine, all stay."
"Thanks, Guy," the replica smiled gratefully.
Guy shrugged, and left in much the same way he had the other night.
The red head turned and started down the road that lead out of Daath. In truth, he would have much preferred to have Guy with him. Guy was good at navigating, so he would have had to worry about getting lost. (Of course, he had factored in an extra week for 'lost time'.) Guy was better at bargaining, and cooking, and setting camp up. He would've made this trip much easier.
But he couldn't endanger Guy like that.
The first domino was already falling, and the others would soon follow. One after the other, they'd all fall into place to complete Van's plan.
Guy wouldn't become a domino. The replica wouldn't allow it.
Because Van's domino's were just that: tools to be discarded when they were no longer needed.
"And so, it finally begins."
To be continued