AI: Hello everyone! Did you miss me? I kid, I kid! Classes have started up and have taken most of my time, so yeah… not a lot of time to type. Hope you all enjoy this!
Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Symphonia nor its sequel Dawn of the New World aka Knight of Ratatosk.
Lloyd and Emil were chatting at high speed while looking over their personal registrar of monsters, trying to determine which would be the best to have as rides to get to their next step, Hakonesia Peak.
"So tell me again, why aren't we going to Thoda, a place surrounded by WATER that could potentially be a site for one of the Seals, and instead going through the pass?" Marta inquired.
Raine looked back at her. "We have heard about some fights between the Desians and a faction called the Vanguard. We don't want to get in the middle of that right now Marta, so we are going to do what we can for now."
Marta bit her lip and looked away. Lloyd paused from his conversation with Emil to look at her with reassuring smile before talking to his brother again.
As they reached the Palmacosta's exit leading to the field, they were stopped by a rather young and eager Priest. "Do you know Hakonesia Peak? You know about it, right? I'm sure you do, I can tell. Is there any chance I could talk you into escorting me to Hakonesia Peak?"
Lloyd blinked a few times. "Uh… Sure?"
"Thanks! I appreciate it!"
A while later, the group had arrived at the Peak.
"Thank you! I'm in your debt! I'll be happy to return the favor any time!" The Priest then ran up to the guards and showed a piece of paper before being allowed through.
As the group approached the trail themselves, they were stopped by the pair of guards.
"You cannot pass through these gates unless you have a road pass."
"Road passes are available for sale in that small shop. You must purchase one from Koton if you wish to pass here."
Raine rolled her eyes. "Of course we do. After all, everything on this trip has been SO easy!"
Rolling their eyes, the rest of the Chosen's group entered a small house to the side of the road. Inside was an old man surrounded by artifacts.
"Um, excuse us, but are you Koton?" Emil stepped forward. "We would like to buy some road passes, please."
Koton turned to the young man. "If you're looking for road passes, it's 100,000,000 Gald per person."
Emil's eyes flashed red. "Wha?! What kind of price is that? That's robbery!"
"Silence, boy! I'll have you know, I hate men!"
Raine sighed. "That means even those on pilgrimages with the Church of Martel can't make it past here."
Koton smiled as he turned to Raine. "Oh, my, you're quite the beauty! If you're on a pilgrimage, you should join in the Asgard ruin tour at the Palmacosta travel agency."
Genis glared at the man, pointing at him. "Hey! You're in cahoots with the travel agency!"
"Oh, shut up! If you don't have any money, then get out of here!"
Colette stepped forward. "Surely that has to be another way. It is very important that we get through! Is there anything we can trade you?"
Koton smiled wider. "Oh, my beautiful maiden! Unless you have a specific item I am looking for, I am afraid that I cannot part with a group road pass."
Marta scoffed in frustration. "Oh, come on! Lloyd is the Chosen of Mana!"
Koton blinked before smiling at Lloyd. "Is he now? Where is the proof?"
Lloyd showed his Cruxis Crystal to the man and summoned out his wings. Seriously, these people needed more information on him.
Koton took a few steps closer to the boy. "While I would have preferred the latest Chosen to be female, I guess this will have to be proof enough. Fine, I'll give you the pass, but in return…" A glint came into the old man's eyes. "I want those feathers off the boy's wings. So collectible and rare!"
Kratos held an arm out in front of Lloyd to block the man from plucking anything from the wings, a cold glare on his face. "I suggest that you decide on something else."
Koton frowned. "Well, more than anything, I want the Spiritua Statue that is displayed in the House of Salvation. If you bring me that, I'll consider giving you the pass.
Emil narrowed his eyes. "You're so stingy! Like it costs you anything to just let us have it!"
Koton rounded on the boy "Shaddup! Get the heck outta here if you don't have money, won't give me the feathers, and don't have the statue!"
"It seems we have to return to the House of Salvation we passed on the way here." Tenebrae mused as they left the small hut.
Lloyd huffed as they stepped outside. "What's that avaricious old geezer's problem?!"
The Chosen was confused. "Wh...what is it, Professor?..."
Raine seemed excited. "I can't believe you know the word "avaricious"!"
"Professor..." He trailed off.
"And you used it properly, too! That's fantastic!"
Lloyd blushed. "Y...you don't have to praise me that much."
"But it's a miracle!"
"Hehehe. You're making me blush."
Genis rolled his eyes. "Lloyd, she's making fun of you."
Lloyd looked fearfully back at the door. Kratos noticed this and fell back a few steps. "Lloyd, is there something troubling you?"
Lloyd bit his lip. "I… It's nothing. Sorry Kratos."
"I see." Kratos nodded before looking up at the sky. "By the time we get to the House of Salvation, it will be nightfall. We will not be able to get back in time, and robbers and highwaymen are infamous for attacking at night."
When everyone entered the House of Salvation, they were surprised to see the assassin from earlier that week praying in front of a statue of Spiritua. While most couldn't hear what she was saying, Lloyd picked up the last of her prayer.
"…lla will suffer. Please, help me save everyone."
Lloyd motioned for everyone to keep moving and let her be. "Let's go…"
Suddenly, the female assassin turned around and faced the group. "Wait! This meeting shall be your end! I shall defeat you right here, and now!"
Tenebrae shook his head. "This is a place of prayer. Let's not start that here."
If Sheena was shocked by the fact Tenebrae was talking, she didn't show it as much as her shock to what he said. "O…okay…"
Emil smiled. "I'm Emil, Lloyd's brother."
Genis looked at Emil in wonder. "Emil, what are you doing?"
The elder of the Irving brothers smiled. "Well, you know I'm Lloyd. I'm still pretty new at being that Chosen, but I'm going to do my best and save the world."
The childhood friend was next to step up. "Ah, I'm Colette and-"
Sheena glared. "I never asked you your names!"
Colette looked down in shame. "Oh, you're right. I'm sorry."
Corrine growled from his place on Sheena's shoulder. "We… We're trying to kill you!"
Marta shuffled her feet. "We know that. But if we just talk, I'm sure we can come to an understanding."
Sheena looked ready to pull out her hair. "Are you listening to me?!"
"We're listening. But um… Ms. Assassin…" Colette trailed off.
"It's Sheena! Sheena Fujibayashi! Got it memorized?"
Colette looked up. "Sheena. You were praying. Praying makes one's heart grow. I pray, too. So I'm sure we can understand each other."
Sheena sputtered. "I…I was praying that I'd be able to kill you… Forget it! I lost my concentration! You'd better be ready next time!"
Sheena threw down a smoke bomb and vanished from the scene, along with Corrine. Everyone coughed and fanned away the smoke before heading upstairs to rest for the night.
Lloyd smiled at a group of children from the eating area the House had provided. They were sitting around who was most likely their mother. She was reading from a faded yellow book of old fairy tales.
"Mother, can you read us another? Please?" One of the children begged.
"Alright, alright, but just one more. After that, it's off to bed with you." The woman cleared her throat. "Well, there is one story in here I haven't told you, the Tale of the Fallen Angel."
"Fallen Angel?" A child asked.
The woman nodded. "Yes, this story also tells of why the only earthly angel is the Chosen and why all angels live on Derris Kharlan."
Lloyd paled, but it was only noticed by Kratos.
The woman turned to the page. "Alright, he we are. Once, there was an angel who wanted to live outside of Derris Kharlan. One day, he decided to sneak out and met a human woman. After a while, the two of them had a son, a child of both angel and human blood. The mother died, but the father did everything he could to protect his son. When the child grew wings, people discovered that the feathers were not like a normal angel's or even of a bird. They had a large amount of mana and in them could be used to make weapons and spells more powerful. At first, people were okay with only using feathers that had fallen off from when the child played, but they grew greedy and wanted more than just slightly used feathers. One day, when the child's father was not home, the villagers took away the Halfling and locked the poor thing up."
Everyone in the Chosen's party attempted to focus on their meal, but the story was ruining their appetites, Lloyd's more so.
"Distraught over the disappearance of his child, he searched far and wide for his child, killing anyone who tried to stop him. Soon, after killing so many people, the Angel forgot about his goal and just started killing for fun. Saddened by what his father had turned into, the Halfling broke out of his prison and tried to reason with him. In the end, the son had to strike down his father. Heartbroken, the boy flew up to Derris Kharlan to repent for his father's crimes under the kind eye of Martel, never to see his home again."
Lloyd grimaced and pushed away his food. "Here Emil, you don't have to get up for seconds."
The Chosen stood up and walked to the room that he would be staying in, Kratos following.
By the time Kratos caught up to Lloyd, the young man had already changed into his sleep clothes and was sitting on the window sill, a far off look in his eyes.
"The priests… used to tell me that story all the time on my birthday after I was hailed as the Chosen... and when I asked when I was going to see my Dad. They said that the legend was the reason my father never came to look for me after the Desians attacked me and my mom… because if he saw what happened, then the legend would come true." Lloyd brought both of his knees up to his chest. "Pastor Marche was the only kind one at the Church. He treated me like I was human, always told me to follow what I believe to be right… the other priests didn't like that, so they sent him away before he could 'corrupt' me. 'He is the Chosen of Mana, not some average brat, and should be selfless in everything' they used to say."
Kratos was silent for a few moments. "…They told you what lies at the end of the journey, didn't they?"
Lloyd nodded. "From the time I was hailed Kratos. They made me swear on my parents that I wouldn't tell any of the younger generation, not even Emil when he came to live with us." Lloyd looked over to Kratos. "It may sound like a burden, but please look after Emil and the others when this journey is all said and done, please?"
Kratos sighed. "I will look after them for you, Lloyd."
"You say you…want the Spiritua Statue?" The Grand Priest asked.
Emil scratched the back of his head. "I know it's a… brazen request. But it's for the world regeneration."
"Please, Father." Lloyd spoke up.
The Grand Priest sighed. "If the Chosen asks, we will of course not hesitate to lend our aid." He turned to another priest "…Bring the statue here."
"M…my most humble apologies!" The priest groveled.
The party looked puzzled.
The priest motioned to the statue in front of the church. "This Spiritua Statue is actually a fake I had placed here."
The Grand Priest did not look pleased. "… What are you talking about?"
"I lost the real Spiritua Statue during the pilgrimage a year ago."
Lloyd raised an eyebrow. "The pilgrimage is the Church of Martel's spiritual training journey, right? Why would you take the statue along with you?"
"The halo on the head of the Spiritua Statue is made of diamond. We always take it with us when we go out on pilgrimages in order to protect it from thieves. On the trip last year, I followed that custom as usual and brought the Spiritua Statue with me to Thoda Island. But there, I accidentally dropped it into the geyser…" The Priest recounted his tale.
"…Why did you have to take it to a place like that?!" Marta exclaimed.
The Priest bowed. "I am terribly sorry. I was so moved upon seeing the geyser for the first time… By the time I realized it, the statue had fallen onto the rocks on the other side of the geyser. Desperate, I paid a visit to a dwarf who lives in Iselia and had him make something just like it."
Genis nodded. "Oh, that'd be Dirk."
"It's very good work. Just what I'd expect from Dirk." Raine commented as she looked over the statue.
"Just what kind of jobs is Dad doing?" The Irving siblings whispered in unison.
Kratos crossed his arms. "Well then, what shall we do now? Do you think the fake will fool that old man?"
There was a brief pause before the party, minus Kratos, gave a unanimous "nah" and shook their heads.
Raine sighed. "That doesn't seem likely. It's well-built, but it's still a fake, as is the diamond."
Colette raised a hand. "Um…um…How about if we go get the real one?"
Raine flinched. "…Y…you want us to go all the way to Thoda Island? And on top of that, the rocky area is on the other side of the geyser, correct?"
"I'm sure that by the time we get there, the dispute with the Desians and the Vanguard will be over. The real problem is the geyser. Even I'll pass on getting hit with boiling water."
Raine rounded on Lloyd again. "Oh, my, Lloyd. You remembered that a geyser erupts with boiling water. I'm so proud!"
"Oh course. Everyone knows that."
"I bet you just guessed…"
"If only we could stop the geyser." Colette mused.
Kratos shrugged. "I've heard that the eruption cycle of the Thoda Island geyser is quite short.
Raine thought for a moment. "I wonder if we can seal it with something."
Lloyd and Emil instantly thought of something. "That's it! We'll just have Genis/Marta seal it with magic! You know, like cover it with ice or something." The brother looked at each other and laughed.
Marta smiled. "Okay! I'll give it a try for you Emil."
Genis smiled as well. "You'd better be grateful!"
"Dwarven Vow #1: Let's all work together for a peaceful world. We're counting on you, our Genius Mages."
Upon stepping out of the building, a solider dressed in Palmacosta Militia Armor came running up to them.
"Chosen One! Everyone!" He stopped in front of Lloyd, bowing his head slightly.
"What is it?" Lloyd asked, confused.
The soldier raised his head. "I have a message from Dorr. He would like you to temporarily postpone the journey of regeneration."
Kratos crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow. "What is this about?"
The soldier turned to the mercenary. "A Church of Martel pilgrimage tour guide has been kidnapped by the Desians. In light of this, Dorr has decided that this is the time to gather Palmacosta's forces and launch an attack on the human ranch controlled by Magnius."
Genis pushed for more information. "How is that related?"
"We would like you to rescue the kidnapped tour guide in concert with our attack."
Colette became worried. "Who is this kidnapped tour guide?"
"Her name is Chocolat."
Lloyd paled. "Chocolat?!"
Raine looked shocked as well. "…Oh no."
"Chosen One, please help us!" The soldier begged.
"Yeah, okay." Lloyd nodded.
The professor huffed. " …Somehow, I thought you were going to say that."
Lloyd nodded at her. "Of course! We can't just leave her."
"Thank you! Neil will inform you of the details once you reach the ranch. Thank you so much for your help."
The soldier then left to return to Palmacosta.
Grumbling, Emil, or rather Ratatosk, took out the World Map and began to scan it. "Oh no, DON'T tell us where the Ranch is. We'll be fine on our own."
"Well, it should be near the Thoda Docks, correct?" Tenebrae interjected.
Time seemed to go fast as the group made their way to the Palmacosta Ranch. They had to go by foot so that their monsters would not be spotted. Upon reaching the forest that surrounded the Ranch, they met up with Neil, who seemed conflicted.
"Chosen One, please wait." He said after a while.
Lloyd ran up to him. "Neil! We heard Chocolat's been kidnapped!"
" …Yes. I wish to speak with you regarding that. Please, come this way…" Neil led them to a small alcove away from the Ranch.
"…It doesn't sound like you have very good news for us." Tenebrae observed.
"I would like you all to just go ahead and leave the Palmacosta region."
Colette gasped. "But if we do that, what will happen to Chocolat?"
Genis gave a determined look. "Yeah! We're supposed to work in conjunction with the Palmacosta army to save Chocolat, right?"
"So…it is a trap." Kratos deduced, earning surprised looks from everyone minus Raine.
"…Of the several possibilities, it looks like the worst one came true." The eldest female sighed.
Lloyd turned to the adults in the party. "Kratos and Professor! What are you talking about?"
Kratos turned to his young charge. "It was a mystery that the Desians would simply leave a city with an army alone."
The teacher agreed. "Yes, exactly. Choosing not to crush the seeds of rebellion must mean they are not a threat… They are left alone simply because they have no real power, or perhaps, because they are in fact beneficial…"
Neil shuffled his feet. "…It is as you say. Dorr is working with the Desians to lead the Chosen into a trap."
Emil became livid. "Why would he do such a thing?"
The Assistant Governor-General looked away in shame. "He didn't used to be like this… He always thought of the well-being of the people of the city. Even five years ago, when he lost his wife, Clara, he swore to fight against the Desians."
"Then why would Uncle…" Marta whispered.
Neil shook his head. "I don't know. At any rate, entering the ranch now will put the Chosen in danger. Leave Chocolat to me and please, go on your way. Please regenerate the world as soon as possible."
Kratos nodded. "…Indeed. It would be best to abandon the situation here for world regeneration."
Emil shook his head. "No! We can't just ignore this!"
Genis stepped up next to his friend. "Emil's right. If we leave things as they are now, Palmacosta may be destroyed just like Iselia. You think so, too, don't you, Lloyd?!"
Raine frowned at her younger brother. "Yes, what you say is true. But I still wish to side with Kratos. If you don't want to see cities destroyed, you should avoid contact with the Desians."
Lloyd shook his head. "No, that's not right at all. Regenerating the world and saving the people in front of us are not exclusive of each other, like they are different classes. That's what I think." Lloyd turned to his school teacher, fists clenched. "That was my intention from the beginning. Remember what I said? I'm going to destroy them all."
Ratatosk smirked. "Now, then, we have two courses we can take. The first one is to go on ahead and infiltrate the ranch and rescue Chocolat and the other captives. Now that things have come to this, if we leave the ranch alone, it will surely result in a second Iselia. Our second option is to confirm Door's true motives. If he has planned a trap, then he knows the layout of the ranch well." A certain evil smirk grew as he rubbed his hands together. "…Let's let him talk for a bit and explain himself."
Dorr's assistant paled. "What are you going to do to Dorr?"
Genis leaned over to the disturbed man as Lloyd hit the red eyed teen upside the head. "…You'd better not ask that. Both Emil's and Lloyd's punishments are painful."
Kratos nodded. "Thinking logically, dealing with Dorr first is the correct choice. What do you think, Lloyd?"
Lloyd shook his head. "Let's go attack! By the time we got back from Palmacosta, Chocolat might not even be here! Who cares about their trap?! We're going to save Chocolat, now!
Genis smiled. "You got it! Count me in!"
Colette stepped up next to Lloyd. "Me, too. I'm sure Chocolat is scared and lonely by herself."
Raine sighed. "I don't want to agree to this, but it looks like I don't have a choice…"
Kratos shrugged. "…If that is your wish. Let's go."
As the party began to walk off, Neil called out to them. "Wait, please! Please, take me with you!"
The group glanced at him. "Please allow me to aid you."
Ratatosk made a 'come on' motion with his hands. "…Okay. Let's go."
Genis looked unsure at his friend. "Are you sure? It's dangerous."
Ratatosk closed his eyes. When he opened them, one was Emil's emerald green while the other was still a deep ruby red. "…Yes, I remember what it felt like back in Iselia when I was told not to follow Lloyd on his journey. I don't want others to go through the same thing."
Neil was not fazed by the stereo effect Emil's voice seemed to take on. "Thank you! I promise I won't get in the way. Also, be aware that once you've gone inside, you won't be able to leave until we're done."
Kratos pointed to a section of the base through the shrubbery. We'll be barging in from the front door, so we better make sure we're prepared.
"Let's do our best, Neil!" Marta cheered.
"Sir, there have been reports that the Chosen and his companions are heading towards the Palmacosta Ranch with intentions to destroy it. How do you wish for us to proceed sir?"
Yggdrasill looked at the angel out of the corner of his eye. These lifeless husks that were formerly the bodies of the fallen warriors of the Great Kharlan War could grate on his nerves at times. "We leave it as is. One of the trials of the Chosen is to take down the Desians, is it not? Additionally, after this regeneration, there will be no use for the Desians."
The angel nodded and floated out, missing his leader's look of disgust. Recently, the research teams had attempted to create a replica of Martel in case something were to happen to the Chosen before he arrived. The only successful creation turned out to be a child no older than maybe 3 with golden hair and matching eyes. The… thing, he refused to call it part of his sister, just stared at him, cooing and grabbing his hair.
Yggdrasill sneered at the first pure angel to be created. There was no elven blood or human blood in him, solely the angel blood and mana that had evolved from him over the last 4000 years. The only way they stabilized the 'clone' was combining DNA from others to replace parts of Martel's own genetic sequencing; the failure Chosens, the other angels, even Yuan. They even changed the gender of the child because he provided more stability to the result.
This was no Martel, or even someone he would consider a nephew. This was just a failed experiment.
"Yuan!" He barked. Within seconds, the blue haired seraphim entered the chambers of Vinheim.
"You called, Mithos? Is it for another mundane chore?" Yuan drawled.
Yggdrasill tossed the child to Yuan, who caught the child and checked him for injuries. "Take care of that thing. I don't care what you do, just get rid of that abomination. Kill him, put him up for adoption, leaving him in the forest, I don't care."
Yuan rolled his eyes. "Yes, Lord Yggdrasill."
As the half elf left, he heard his former brother-in-law-to-be mutter something along the lines of 'Kratos' son already put a chink in my plans and made me rearrange them, I don't need your son to do the same.'
Yuan looked over the information on the child he was carrying. There was no doubt about it, this child was artificial yes, but he was also the son that he and Martel never had a chance to raise.
Yuan carefully cradled the child and took him back to the Renegade's Base, laying him down on the new couch in his office.
"I'm a father now." Yuan muttered. Something stirred within him, and he couldn't help but wonder if Kratos felt the same thing when his child came into the world.
"Martel and I… if we ever had a child… decided that if we had a son, we would name him Dhaos."
AI: Hope that this keeps you tided over for a while everyone! Classes have been keeping me on my toes this semester, 15 credit hours in all! Also, I have gotten into another fandom, the -Man fandom. Not to worry, I am not going to drop this fic to make one for the new fandom. I will suggest that everyone read/watch it in between updates.
Yes, the Dhaos mentioned here is the same Dhaos from Tales of Phantasia, which takes place around 4000 years after Symphonia.
The story that the woman was telling her kids came from the manga "Love Monster", but I adapted it for the story… and it fit because of this fan art I found: : / / 25. me dia. tum blr tum blr _ ltw f36 A W8 31 qci vr bo 1 _ 12 8 0. j p g