Author's Note: Hello, again. I'm starting to realize that this story wasn't thought out very well, so updates will probably take longer while I try to salvage it and somehow make it less boring. It's not that I'm dropping it entirely, but I'll be working on oneshots and short stories instead of exclusively focusing on this one. I'll probably pick up the pace if it turns out people actually do enjoy reading this, but for now I'm going to try working on other things.
As always, I don't own Tales of Legendia.
It wasn't long before the pair reached the hospital after a walk through the now empty streets of Werites Beacon. It seemed the quiet town's residents had all retreated to their houses the moment it became dark, as light could be seen from most of the windows.
"I'm back," Chloe announced, followed by an uncertain Gaet.
Elsa and Alcott were both still sitting at the counter, though it looked like they were almost finished sorting the herbs. The man simply glanced at the otter behind Chloe before giving a nod and returning to his work. "Welcome back." The young girl beside him, however, looked far more excited to see them. She smiled cheerfully and approached the knight, greeting her with a hug.
"Chloe! What took you so long?" Not waiting for an answer, Elsa immediately moved on to pet Gaet and scratch her ears, much to the Oresoren's discomfort. "Aww, it's so cute! Whose is it?"
Chloe and Gaet started to correct the young girl's apparent misconception that Gaet was a pet, only to be interrupted. "It talks!" Elsa pulled her hands away and stepped back, watching the creature in fascination. "What's your name?"
"Elsa, don't be rude..." Chloe shook her head and sighed. "I'm sorry about that, Gaet."
"Er...it's alright." Gaet took a couple of steps back so that she was out of the giant's reach. It wasn't that she hated this girl—it just felt odd to be petted. I always used to handle animals so much, it feels surreal to be one. Wait...I used to work with animals? Gaet's eyes widened at the realization that she might have started to get her memory back. I remember now! I worked as...what did I work as? It involved animals, but... The Oresoren sighed in disappointment. Looks like I don't remember.
"Is something wrong? I'm really sorry for mistaking you for a pet, so please don't be angry."
"Huh? Oh..." Gaet snapped out of it to see Elsa and Chloe standing in front of her, looking concerned. "I'm fine, I just spaced out a little. Anyways, I'm Gaet," she introduced herself, remembering the girl's question from earlier.
"Nice to meet you. I'm Elsa," she replied, extending her hand for a handshake. The otter had to get on her tiptoes to reach, but she managed to return the gesture.
"Alcott, is it alright if she stays in my room for now?" Chloe turned to the man, who had apparently been listening.
"Of course," he answered without looking up.
"Thank you." Chloe addressed Elsa next. "Gaet and I have a long trip ahead of us tomorrow, so we'll be going to bed now."
"But Chloe, you always take days to come back!" Elsa protested. "What if something happens?"
"I promise I'll be okay. Now—"
"Elsa, I'll need your help making this medicine," Alcott suddenly interrupted. Chloe gave the man a grateful look as Elsa reluctantly joined him.
"Good night, then." The knight walked up the stairs, gesturing for Gaet to follow. This proved to be more difficult than she expected, since the steps were easily half her height.
It doesn't make sense! I had no trouble walking up stairs at the Oreso...oh. Right. Of course she had no problems walking up the stairs there—those were made for Oresoren. "I'll be right there..." Gaet placed her paws on the bottom step and dragged herself up, then repeated the process two more times until she felt a pair of hands lift her up. "Ah!" She weakly flailed her small limbs before giving up.
Chloe sighed, carrying the otter all the way up the stairs. I don't understand, Jay. What could be so dangerous about this Oresoren? No matter how she looked at her, the knight simply couldn't see this creature as a threat. When they finally reached the doorway, she carefully set her down and opened the door.
Gaet looked at the ground and shuffled her paws, slightly ashamed of how pathetic she just looked. "Thanks..." She walked inside quietly.
"No problem," Chloe looked down at the Oresoren for a while longer, searching for some form of a threat only to find none. What am I supposed to be watching out for? Shaking her head, she walked in after her and sat down on the bed closest to the window. For the sake of Gaet's dignity, the knight let her climb onto the remaining vacant bed without any help. "So, Gaet. I know you said you don't remember anything, but do you have any guesses as to how...this happened?"
"Not a clue," Gaet shook her head before curling up under the covers. "I'd like to be human again, though, or at least get my memories back. I mean, I have a name and family and a past and everything, and it hurts that I can't even remember. It feels like I'm just an empty shell without them, and I don't even know who I am," she confessed, once again starting to get depressed by her situation. Getting upset won't fix this! The Oresoren quickly told herself.
"It must be horrible," Chloe answered solemnly. "I'm sure we'll find a way to fix it, though."
"Yeah. Thanks for helping me, by the way. It must be hard to trust a stranger."
"It wouldn't have been the first time we've helped a stranger in need." She remembered the fact that Senel and Shirley were complete strangers at first, yet nearly everyone in the group, including her, wasted no time in helping them.
The room was silent for a long while until finally snoring could be heard. So she's asleep? Chloe looked at the Oresoren for a short while, once again finding no threats or indications that the otter was only pretending to be asleep. I guess there's nothing to worry about. The female knight sighed, then let herself drift off to sleep.
Gaet found herself walking down a dirt road, approaching an area filled with red tents and matching flags. Feeling a shadow looming over her, she glanced up to find a soldier in red. Hey...that's the one from my dream! She thought, quickly recognizing the man. However, the figure that flew above him wasn't quite as familiar to her: it was a grey phynx. The large, winged catlike creature followed them, but it seemed to have no intention of attacking.
"What's wrong, Lila?" The man asked, noticing that she had stopped walking.
Lila? I'm not... Gaet looked down and gasped when she saw human hands. They were small, like those that would belong to a child, but it was the fact that they were human hands that surprised her the most. What...is this a dream, too? Confused, she looked up at the man. Now that she thought about it, he looked familiar. Not just from the dream, but somewhere else...
A chuckle from the man interrupted her train of thought. "Ah, I get it. You're nervous about starting your first day at training camp!" He placed a hand on her head and ruffled her brown hair. "Don't worry, it'll be fun."
"D-daddy!" She said the first word that came to mind, then jumped and covered her mouth when she realized what it was she had just said. W-what? Why? But, this is...
"Heheh. Still don't wanna walk? C'mon, upsy daisy!" Suddenly he lifted her up to let her sit on his shoulders. His voice, the way his hands and shoulders felt, it was all so familiar. Don't tell me I'm... She recalled the dream from earlier, and how this man had his kid daughter with him. Am I? With the realization came a sense of calm rather than surprise. I am. This is my father. Finally, she was starting to remember who she was.
The phynx that had been flying overhead suddenly landed on all fours in front of them. "Oh? Looks like Mina wants to give you a ride." The catlike creature gave something between a growl and a purr in response, then spread its feathered wings to take flight when 'Lila' was set down on its back. She gripped the animal's fur to avoid falling off, which it didn't seem to mind. And this is...the first beast I tamed. It seemed like she was suddenly remembering things much faster now that she understood the dreams, but she knew these were old memories. They would probably be useless in trying to turn herself back to normal, but that didn't make them any less precious. Thank goodness... The child wrapped her small arms around the phynx's neck and buried her face in its fur, relieved to finally have some form of identity. I don't think I want to wake up for a while.
But if I'm the little girl, that means I'm... She looked ahead at the tents and flags, realizing they resembled a war camp. ...part of the Crusand army. If nothing else, she knew this would have to be kept secret even from Jay. The others seemed generous, but not that generous. Not generous enough to support someone who was part of an enemy country's army. Besides, for all she knew, she may have quit the army years later. It was too late to be jumping to conclusions. But maybe I can learn something useful from these dreams.
"Daddy," she looked down at the man from her spot on the phynx's back. "What's it gonna be like when I'm a beast tamer?"
This earned an enthusiastic grin from the soldier. "Well, it's not quite going to be the same as handling Mina. The army's beasts are all much less friendly, but they'll almost always obey commands. Some of them will only listen to the person they're assigned to, but several, especially the weaker ones, will listen to anyone who gives them orders. Those are the ones you'll be working with at the training camp," he explained, ready to babble on forever about how Crusand's army worked. "In fact, a lot of the beasts we use in combat will listen to anyone. Heh, even the enemy could command them if they knew it would work! But basically, you'll be learning the strengths and weaknesses of monsters and how to deal with the stronger, more rebellious ones."
'Lila' nodded, listening intently. She never knew when this would come in handy, so she did her best to remember everything. Even if this information turned out to be useless, she was still eager to learn more about what was most likely her lifestyle.
"They'll teach you the specific stuff later, but that's the gist of it," he finished.
Before she could ask any more, 'Lila' suddenly began to feel incredibly sleepy.
...et. Gaet, wake up!
"Hmm?" Gaet sat up and looked around sleepily. It took her a moment to process the fact that she was still an Oresoren and that this was the hospital. "G'morning..." she mumbled.
"You seem tired. Didn't you sleep well?" Surprisingly enough, it was Elsa's voice she heard. "Breakfast's ready."
"Oh. Yeah, I just had a weird dream," she answered, hopping out of bed. "Where's Chloe?"
"Downstairs. She wanted to do some training earlier, and she just got back. Come on, let's go." The girl skipped out of the room and down the stairs while Gaet followed. However, the otter paused at the top step.
It should be easier than climbing up, she reasoned. Okay, Li...no, Gaet. You can do this. Taking a deep breath, the Oresoren jumped down the stairs one step at a time before reaching the ground. "Phew!"
If going up and down the stairs was such a great feat, she began to wonder just how difficult the journey ahead would be.