The Tale of Lawrence
A Skies of Arcadia Fanfiction
Prolouge: A Test of Will and Courage
Crescent Island was in peace this gorgeous evening. The ruby red eye of the red moon from Nasr was casting its protective gaze upon the island, cascading it with a very faint shade of crimson light. The evening whispers from the surrounding clouds were very loving this evening; whispering sweet nothings into the ears and hearts of the pirates and sailors who clambered for its sultry voice. And among the beauty and serenity of the surrounding vicinity, there was one restless soul that could not induce himself into the sanctity of the base. The attractive breeze from the winds and clouds poured over his violet maroon figure that silhouetted in the night. His hair drooped in-front of his face as always, hiding himself away from the rest of modern society; the hilt of his cutlass slept soundly at his side, ready to be drawn at all those who oppose him. He was the helmsman of the most powerful ship to ever sail the skies...Lawrence.
"...beautiful night..." Lawrence muttered to himself calmly, taking in and enjoying the evening winds. He gently leaned back and began to rest his spine against the flag that led the world to freedom.
Not much was known about Lawrence really, all of his stories and secrets were locked up tight by his cool yet intimidating demeanor as well as his silent embrace. All that was known about Lawrence is that he was both a mercenary and a very skilled helmsman. His cold, piercing gaze was said to put even the most fearless of pirates into a cold sweat. As the sweet evening air gently tickled his nostrils, his eyes slowly rose to the endless sky in-front of him. A soft purring sound from a ship nearby snagged a hold of his ears, making him very tense. All though he wasn't known to lose his cool, he was always on his guard, ready to strike down those who wish to test their luck. As the sounds from the rutters grew closer, his hand began inching even closer to his trusty cutlass. His cold eyes glared out into the night sky, now keeping watch like a hawk as the sound grew louder and louder. His hand was ready grab a hold his weapon of death until a small, merchant ship emerged from beside the island, probably on it's way to Nasrad. Since the destruction of Zelos and Soltis, Nasrad has had the chance to finally recover from it's catastrophe. As the vessel passed, his body once again relaxed, returning to it's calm, cool, and collected state. With a steady sigh of relief, he once again cuddled his back up against the flag pole once more then lowered his eyes, taking in the sweet, loving wind once more. Unknowingly to Lawrence, there was another member of the crew who also felt it was the perfect night to rest in. Light footstep after footstep, the person crept closer and closer to were Lawrence was.
"It seems like I wasn't the only one who knew it was the perfect night to enjoy," the familiar voice rang. It was none other than the fearless captain of the Dolphinus, Vyse. His words seemed to have fallen short due to the fact that Lawrence made absolutely no movement of acknowledgment. With a steady sigh from Lawrence, Vyse made his way up to the peak then plopped down beside his trusty, yet silent helmsman. Lawrence's eyes shifted down towards Vyse as he sat, silently latching his gaze onto Vyse like a snake. Vyse gave a good stretch and a yawn is he fell to his back, allowing him to feast his eyes upon the endless sky above. Lawrence then unlatched his eyes from Vyse with a shrug, executing his favorite demeanor: The Cold Shoulder.
"Lawrence...you've been sailing with us for well over a year now. You've seen almost everything the world has to offer and all the places that we have explored, but yet, you don't phased by anything. I know we haven't talked all that much, but it would be nice to get to know you better, your the only member of my crew that I know nothing about," Vyse stated with a firm yet cheerful undertone. Lawrence lowered his head down further and shrugged.
"I have no obligation to talk to you about myself captain. I am here because you have paid me to be here. I don't really care about you or the crew that I fly with, I am here for the money...besides, our contract is almost up and I'll be leaving for Valua soon..." Lawrence dredged. It was moments like these that truly reminded Vyse why he was indeed the captain of the most deadly air ship in all of the known world: Patience.
It seemed as if time drifted away from them as they stood and sat in silence. The two of them continued to simply enjoy the evening air and the sweet ambiance of the night. As time continued to progress, so did Vyse's unspoken objective, to get Lawrence to talk. It wasn't for what seemed another hour or so before the silence was finally broken.
"...I used to be a captain of my own ship...of my own life...and my own family...that was 4 years ago, before the Valua-Nasr War..." Lawrence spoke fourth, his words piercing through the wind like swords, making their way to Vyse's ears. Vyse sat quietly, turning his gaze up to Lawrence. Lawrence's eye had shifted away from Vyse and locked onto the red moon that began to listen.
"Captain...this is something I've never spoken to another soul...I will share my tale with you if you can best me in a duel. Show me the strength of your ambition and your resolve. If I can see you as an equal, then I share my tale with you..." Lawrence opened up. Vyse was dumbfounded by Lawrence acting with such passion on any subject. Lawrence slowly stepped off from the flagpole, locking his eyes onto Vyse like a predator on prey. Vyse quickly arose to his feet and as his eyes met with Lawrence's, they also met with the icy cold glare that could freeze even a Gigas at a glance. Vyse smirked as his own powerful eyes retaliated against his chilling stare.
"Alright Lawrence, I accept your challenge! Just try and not disappoint me," Vyse smirked, giving off that cocky yet confident tone of voice that would inspire his crew. With those words, a grin slowly curled out from Lawrence's lips as he removed his retractable cutlass from his waist. Vyse then reached behind him and to his side, revealing both of his cutlass, showing Lawrence that he was ready to put his pride, ambition, and resolve on the line.
"En Garde!" Lawrence growled. The intimidating blade from his cutlass shot out with a vicious jettison, it's Nasr Red shine nearly catching Vyse off guard as he nearly skimmed his face, almost making another scar where the previous one sat. Vyse's eyes widened in surprise as he rolled backward, narrowly evading the oppressive jilt of his blade. The blinding blue glow from Vyse's cutlasses created an aura around himself, showing Lawrence that there was no way that he was going to back down. Lawrence's eyes began to glow as he quickly began barraging Vyse with fierce blow after fierce blow, testing his reflexes from the start of the duel.
"That was a close one! I never knew that Lawrence was such an impressive fighter," Vyse analyzed carefully; dodging swing after swing, growing more and more difficult as he was forced down the hill. Vyse then stomped the ground behind him and used both cutlasses to catch Lawrence's blade, it's very tip merely and inch away from his face. Vyse started to show his strength as he swung his swords forward, knocking Lawrence's blade back at him. Lawrence quickly regained his footing blocking Vyse's first swing effortlessly. Vyse began to press forward as he quickly dashed forward making swing after swing with both of his cutlasses, almost as if he were in a dance. Lawrence continued to block blow after blow, his eyes continually staring down Vyse, waiting for his chance to counter attack. The clashes and crashes from the blades of the chosen began to echo throughout the open air of Crescent Island, causing another soul to join the two in the night. As the continuing crashes raged onward, a slammed door was masked and a very scared and concerned Aika came rushing around the corner. She was ready to cry out to Vyse but her words never came as she became mesmerized from the dizzing display of force between the two pirate kings. Vyse when for a strong side slash but narrowly missed Lawrence, giving him the chance to finally make his counter attack.
"Now you lose!" Lawrence cried out as he began to swing with full force down against Vyse's back. Unbeknownst to Lawrence however, Vyse reached down with his defensive cutlass and wrapped it around the back of Lawrence's leg, causing him to come crashing down onto his back. Vyse quickly jumped to his feet and began slashing at Lawrence while he was down. Lawrence blocked each swing as he pushed himself backwards try to get back on his feet. Lawrence finally stumbled back onto his feet, only to see Vyse summoning the power of the yellow moon.
"Moons, give me strength!" Vyse pleaded out with a roaring echo. Lawrence shielded his eyes as a massive ball of yellow light lit up the area, Vyse stared Lawrence down as he aimed all of the stored electric energy from his body into a blistering attack.
"ELECTRULEN!" Vyse howled into the night, releasing all of the electrical energy at Lawrence, blinding the surrounding area. As the electricity engulfed Lawrence, the sound of an explosion rang through the island. At this point everyone that was once asleep had now awoken to the tremors of what felt like an enemy attack on the island. Everyone emerged from the cave and the living quarters into the open air, all wondering what the hell was going on. Vyse took in a deep breath as the energy exploded around Lawrence, wondering if he took it too far. Suddenly, Vyse found another source of light was being swung back at him!
"DEFFENING SLASH!" Lawrence roared out, overpowering the sounds of the explosive energy. Vyse didn't have a second to move so he threw up his cutlasses and braced for impact. The slash of light flew at Vyse like a jet, it's oppressive aura keeping Vyse in place. Vyse held onto his cutlasses for dear llife as the energy clashed with it, pressing Vyse back with the tremendous force of a gale. Vyse grunted loudly as he used all of his strength to press against it. Lawrence recovered himself and began to charge Vyse like a rhino, not giving him a moment to recover. Vyse then growled out like a wild dog as he used all of his strength of his right arm to deflect the blade of energy into the night sky, losing his cutlass in the process. The moment the flash of the energy was gone, he instead found a very aggressive Lawrence back in his face. Lawrence spun around and used the force of his body to push his strength into the swing. Vyse clenched his teeth and used all of the strength in his left arm to clash with Lawrence's blade. The two cried out like wild beasts as they put all of their strength on the line.
Wild gusts began to form from them, creating a mild gale that expanded across the island, pressing all of the onlookers back. Suddenly, a loud shattering crash echoed in the area, causing the gale to subside. Everyone quickly charged to the epicenter of the mysterious crashes and eruptions. As the dust cleared out, the silhouette of the two rouges came to vision with Lawrence hunching over a fallen Vyse. Both Lawrence and Vyse were breathing heavily, both of their bodies shaking from over exertion. In both of their minds, they weren't aware of the destruction and calamity they had caused, nor did they back down. Sweat cascaded down the face of both Lawrence and Vyse, their expressions still locked in as if still in combat. Against Lawrence's neck was the blade of Vyse's defensive cutlass and between Vyse's eyes were the shattered remains of Lawrence's cutlass. The small spikes from the remainder of the blade were no more than centimeters away from Vyse's face, leaving some minor scratches upon his brow with slight traces of blood moving down his eyebrows. Lawrence felt his strength leave him so he quickly pushed off of Vyse and rolled over onto his back, his breaths leaving a smoker like haze above him, a testament to his effort against the the king of pirates. Vyse slowly lifted himself back up from the ground and onto his feet. He attached his defensive cutlass to the back of his belt once more then peered down at Lawrence, revealing a hand to his worthy advisory. Lawrence laid lifelessly upon the ground, gazing restlessly to the sky that hung above. It wasn't until Vyse moved his offering hand to Lawrence's face that he had finally noticed it was all over. Lawrence turned his eyes to Vyse and gave a recognizing nod; grabbing a hold of his hand, Vyse helped him back onto his feet.
"Captai...no...Vyse...You are one hell of a fighter. You've earned my respect instead of just paying for it. For that you have earned both my story, and...my allegiance..." Lawrence said breathlessly. Vyse smirked and a gave a respectful nod, helping Lawrence over to the wall of the living quarters to rest against it. Not a word was spoken among the rest of the residence and crew, everyone speechless and lost by what just happened.
"Lawrence you have surprised me more than I have been surprised by any new continent I have discovered. Where did all of that power come from? I'm sure if your blade had not broken I'd still be on my toes right now!" Vyse praised. Lawrence shrugged and dropped his head in exhaustion, satisfied with the battle that was just waged. Aika's eyes fluttered as she looked around at everyone, knowing that they would all bombard the two combatants with questions and cries of anger and accusations. Vyse looked over at Aika and shook his head, signifying that she needed to herd everyone away for now.
"Ok everyone! Don't worry, Captain Vyse is ok! He has ordered everyone back to their sleeping quarters, so please wait til morning before we bombard them with questions!" Aika ordered everyone. Everyone just looked at each other with a "what just happened" gaze, saluting towards Vyse before dispersing. Both Vyse and Aika took a hefty breath, being thankful that no riots broke out. Lawrence finally lifted himself up back to his feet. He then slowly walked back out to where the battle had erupted and began hunting down all the pieces of his shattered cutlass, getting on his hands and knees to pick up piece by piece. Vyse walked over to him, stooping down beside him.
"You know we can just replace it with a new blade, probably a better one," Vyse stated. Lawrence stopped searching for a moment, and within the now bright crimson light of the red moon, Vyse noticed several gasps and shudders from Lawrence from beneath his bangs, catching Vyse off guard.
"You don't get it...this cutlass that I have and the blade that it sheathed...they were both made and molded by my son..." he spoke softly enough so that no one else could hear it. Vyse rested a hand on Lawrence's back, patting it gently.
"I'll help you find the pieces then, even if it takes us all night," Vyse comforted. With a hefty sigh and a defeatist nod, Lawrence accepted Vyse's help. Aika and Fina couldn't do anymore but to watch silently. Lawrence felt that not only his blade and pride were broken, but his will as well, leaving him in emotional turmoil. However, he felt as long as Vyse was around, he'd be able to help pick himself up, and to also open himself up. Lawrence knew that the following nights to come would probably be some of the longest nights of his life, the thought of reliving all of his memories, secretly terrifying him. The red moon overhead continued to shine it's protective eyes upon Cescent Island, lighting the way of the lost souls who couldn't sleep this very night.
To Be Continued...