Hi! WeGotWinx here!
I'm gonna start off by saying a few things, so please don't skip straight to the chapter yet...
First, this is a re-write of BotM. That's why all of the chapters were deleted and then re-posted. There are two extra chapters here in the beginning. I felt like just a little more character-building was needed before I threw Mithri to Auldrant.
Second, yes, this will (eventually...) become SyncXOC... Eventually... Meaning somewhere around Chapter 40. (There's lots of hints of it earlier, but it's not explicitly stated until around that time, so... yeah.)
Third, if you desperately feel the need to skip the Guardian Chronicles, that's fine, you'll just be really confused when we get to the last arc of the story. (It may be best to save them until right before it's posted, actually, but oh well...)
Now then... Tales of the Abyss belongs to Namco Bandai! Definitely not me! I only own my few OCs. Most of the OCs belong to Kairi/Twilight PhoenixFyre.
(And yes, I have switched up the headers.)
Don't know what you're expecting of me...
I've become so numb...
I've become so tired...
And every second I waste is more than I can take!
Chapter 1 - Numb
Allura Mithri Reighn
"Allura! Get in here before you catch something!"
"Allura Mithri Reighn!"
I roll my eyes. "I'll come in later!" I yell. Not like she's going to hear anyway. I'm a few hundred yards away, hidden up in a tree hollow, one of many I like to hide in. This one's relatively tiny, but it's keeping me dry from the steady shower that always comes with the Dark Rain.
My mother's calls continue to pierce the drone of the rain for a few more minutes before she finally gets the hint and gives up. It's not like this is the first time I've stayed out here like this. There's a blanket stashed up here in case I start to fall asleep.
Still, it's been a while since Mother called me by my full name. Allura Mithri Reighn... So similar to Father's. She doesn't like to think about him, so it's no wonder she avoids using it. She usually calls me Ally. I won't say it to her face, because I know it's just her way of coping, but I don't like that nickname at all. I much prefer being addressed by my middle name. Not that many people know that. I don't talk unless I have to.
"Mithri! Are you up there?"
I smile slightly and stick my hand out of the tree trunk, waving haphazardly at the girl below me. It doesn't take her long to climb the tree, and I smile when I spot the soft blue glow of her violet-white hair. Water coats her dark skin, and as usual, I find myself comparing her blue eyes to the color her hair seems to be through the glow.
I tilt my head to the side, a silent invitation for her to continue speaking, while I sit and wonder just what's up with my friend. I know why Lora isn't trying to join me inside the hollow. She's completely soaked to the bone. Not that that's really strange. What's strange is that she's sought me out on an Irahday. Especially since it's getting dark.
Lora cups her hands in front of her, and a sea-green light erupts from her palms. I gasp, and watch in awe as the light condenses, forming three darker spheres in a line, two pairs of feathered wings seemingly sprouting from that established center.
"Looks like I can summon a teriques after all, huh?" Lora says. And while she tries to sound nonchalant about it, she fails, miserably, and I can't help but giggle along with her. She's ecstatic, and I can't blame her.
"It's nice to see you got more than the glowy hair," I finally speak up as our laughter fades. "Especially since you can't breathe under water."
Lora grins and nods. "No kidding! I was starting to get worried, 'cause I don't have the acid in my eyes that dissolves grit and whatnot either," she adds. She sighs and shifts on the branch. "Well?" She holds the teriques out again, and I smile as it flits around the hollow.
"It's beautiful, Lora."
She looks more comfortable now. "Thank you, Mithri." She pauses, gives me a sheepish look, and tucks a bit of dripping hair behind her ear. "I... I'd stay longer, but Dad wanted me to be back ASAP. I just really wanted to show you my teriques."
I sigh and shake my head, amused by her antics more than anything else. "You should get going, then."
Lora giggles and moves to leave, then pauses and looks back at me. "Are you planning on sleeping out here tonight?"
I shrug. "Haven't made up my mind yet," I admit. The half-Velis rolls her eyes and jumps from the branch.
"Don't be late for classes tomorrow!" she calls, already racing away. Her home is on the southern edge of Neo Tanis, which is a few miles north of Kaingilv, while the tree I'm in is south of Kaingilv.
I do end up falling asleep out in the tree. Yes, it's a small hollow, but hey, I'm four-eleven. I'm just small enough to get away with it.
Morning comes all too soon though, and after making sure the blanket is stashed away again, I jump down and head home to change. Then it's off to school... on the north side of Kaingilv. Urk.
There aren't a lot of things I dislike about my house.
The school being on the opposite side of town is irritating, though.
I'm not too surprised to find that I'm the last one to arrive. Class hasn't actually started yet, but the teacher is definitely ready to begin the day. I scowl and slip past him.
"Ah, Allura. How nice of you to join us this fine Oliday."
I pointedly ignore Professor McCoy's comment and find my desk. Pink hair in the back of the room catches my eye for just a moment before I sit and pull out my notebook and pens.
Lora doesn't attend classes here anymore. She used to, before her father finally decided that sending her three miles to school every day wasn't worth it. Even though she still ends up in Kaingilv just about every afternoon.
A few students bother me with questions about the geography homework before Professor McCoy starts class. I don't answer. With all of the thoughts bouncing around the room, I was bound to start speaking someone else's mind if I opened my mouth.
Yes, I'm a telepath. I can hear others' thoughts, even project my own when I'm calm. Though I've only ever managed that twice. Unfortunately, there's no off switch to my 'ability', which means I get to listen to everyone's thoughts, all the time.
"Now then... Pop quiz! Let's see how many of you actually did the homework..." McCoy announces. I huff quietly. Oh yes. Pop quizzes. Please don't call on me, please don't call on me... "Allura." I sigh. And of course, it's the question on the floating continents. The ones I didn't study a lot because I'm probably never going to see them. "Name the countries of the sky continents and the species that founded each."
I frown and start wracking my memory. "Yecas and Gaws are the countries of the eastern sky continent. Yecas was founded by... Giants..." I pause as a very familiar mind pipes up with the answers. I resist the urge to turn around and smile at the pink-haired girl I'd spotted earlier and start listing off the other five countries.
I say only as much as I need to and then stop speaking altogether. Professor McCoy doesn't seem to mind too much. He just continues to ask questions.
"Maeve! Name the eleven capitals!"
"Umaya, Hawada, Manatil, Karru City, Tannir, Durvale City, Niru, Bhumi, Chaya, Benki, and Hava." I smile, hearing my savior's voice out loud.
Almost two hours later, Professor McCoy finally lets us out for lunch. Most of the students head out front, happy to forget that I exist. That's absolutely fine by me. I don't want to listen to them, anyway.
I head for the forest behind the school. Maeve skips along next to me. We barely get settled into the branches of a tree before another student joins us.
The boy is actually younger than me, but most people wouldn't know that. He's taller than I am by almost half a foot. Maeve makes for a happy medium between the two of us.
"Hey, Rishu! How was your morning?" Maeve asks. The two of them engage in conversation, and while I know that they are both acutely aware of my presence, they understand that I'm not going to join in unless I feel I absolutely need to.
Maeve cuts off mid-sentence and I frown as her mind clouds. While it's nice that I don't have to watch when her 'gift' cuts in, it's rather annoying that her mind can't just stay hidden forever. One less mind to listen to is one less person I have to worry about speaking for.
"Maeve?" Rishu doesn't sound surprised, only curious. He's a genius, really. I'm surprised he's even still in Kaingilv instead of having left for Durvale City. The University there is supposed to be one of the best in the world. But I guess I shouldn't complain. Rishu and Maeve are friends, and any excuse to keep at least a couple of trustworthy people nearby is one I'll take.
Maeve's blue eyes finally clear, and the fog around her mind disappears, for the most part. "Huh... That was odd..."
Rishu and I give her curious looks.
"Well, we were all sitting around Aesin's Fountain. And it was raining... The usual, dreary rain that comes with the Dark Rain, mind you. But there was someone else there... a boy, with slate-gray hair." Maeve pauses here. Judging from the clouds, she's probably digging through the vision again. "Then it changed. It wasn't Dark Rain anymore, it was Fire Rain. The boy was gone... and so were you..."
She looks straight at me, and I frown. Maeve looks away and crosses her arms.
"Weirdest part was... My sister was there instead."
That gets frowns out of myself and Rishu. Maeve has mentioned having a sister before, but not often. In fact, it usually only comes up around her birthday, since that's about when the other girl disappeared.
I sigh and shrug it off. "Whatever. There's little we can do about it at this point. Besides, McCoy and Tsuri are about to call us back in."
I've barely gotten the words out before the latter of the two starts yelling for her class to return to the school. Rishu sighs and leaves us.
The rest of the lunch period, as well as the rest of the school day, is spent without a single word passing my lips.
Maeve has to help out with the younger children at the orphanage after school, and Rishu is planning on helping his father with something, so I'm left to my own devices. I glance around, then start heading along the path north.
The path is less a road and more a monster trail than anything else. The Velis village of Neo Tanis is about two miles north of Kaingilv. The Velis usually fly if they need to get somewhere. That's why there's no real road to the village.
Lora meets me about halfway, and we leave the path in favor of heading toward one of the larger tree hollows we've found. It's really humid, which means another downpour is about to start.
Thus is the Dark Rain. It rains, and rains, and rains, and if it's not raining, then it's cloudy. Oh wait, was that sunshine? Nope, just my imagination.
Well, maybe not, but that's beside the point.
Our timing is perfect. We manage to slip into the tree hollow just before the skies unleash their wrath. I smirk and pull something out of my bag.
"Still hauling around your father's lexicon?" Lora asks. She doesn't need to; the leather may be worn, but the old runes charred into the cover are still perfectly legible.
I open the large book to a spot about halfway through and start reading. Sometime between my father leaving us and the unfamiliar man returning the lexicon to our house, a lot of the pages became blank. We're sure there's some sort of spell over it, but until one of us masters the magic needed to reveal the letters again, there's little I can do but read what is available.
"Nothing new, I take it...?"
I sigh and lower the lexicon. "If there's anything in here about where Father is, it's hidden on one of these blank pages. And it doesn't help that it's all written in Utheridian." Utheridian, of course, being a centuries-dead language.
Lora smiles encouragingly, and once again, I find myself grateful for her amazing ability to shield her mind. "You'll find him. So, what's in here?"
I shrug. "Eh. This page starts talking about warring countries called Kimlasca and Malkuth. But then there's this huge blank space..." I point it out, flip a couple of pages, and then tap another section. "And this page is talking about fonon sentiences. Shadow, Gnome, Sylph, Undine, Ifrit, Rem, and Lorelei. Then there's this break here, and the next visible section starts blabbering about fomicry and replicas and... Yeesh."
I expect Lora to giggle, or make some comment on how strange it all sounds, but she's silent. I look up at her, and frown when I see the serious expression she's wearing.
"I think... I should talk to someone."
I raise an eyebrow. "Whom?"
Lora glances at me, then Father's lexicon, then back to me. "A stranger. He's staying in Neo Tanis. I heard him talking to another stranger, and some of what they were discussing sounded awfully similar to this. So I think I'm going to talk to him." Lora looks outside at the downpour and sighs. "You should head home, anyway. Your mom's gonna start calling soon."
I sigh and nod, reluctantly putting Father's lexicon back in my waterproofed bag. Lora leaves, and I follow after her, waving to her before turning and running through the rain toward my house.
It's a small house, with just a few rooms on the ground floor and nothing but two bedrooms on the upper floor. I slip inside and up the stairs before Mother even realizes I'm there.
The peace doesn't last long though, and she's soon standing in my doorway, watching over my shoulder as I rearrange the books she put away incorrectly on my bookshelf.
"When was the last time you took your medicine?" she asks.
I shrug. "A few weeks ago?" I guess. "It's not like it helps."
She stands there, staring at my back as if it's going to make me swallow down those nasty pills. It's not. She knows that.
So it's not so much of a relief when she leaves me to my books. I start to pull one off the shelf to read, before hesitating and pulling out Father's lexicon again.
Seven years. You'd think, by this time, I'd have given up all hope of my father returning. But he'd never failed me in the eight years before then, and the blonde stranger who had delivered his lexicon had said, in no uncertain terms, that my father was alive.
The lexicon is my only link to him. The lexicon, and a series of words that means absolutely nothing to me.
Ming alach vie ang produnar. Strell mie.
Father had me memorize those words as a young child. They aren't a language I know. And I know quite a few, thanks to his odd habits.
Which means I'm still missing something.
I lean back into my pillows and quietly wonder just how much longer I have to keep grasping for straws. I sigh and flip to a different section. Why not read about eres instead for a little while?
Not that it matters much. Just like the section on fonons, this one has large, gaping holes. Although there are parts that aren't blanked out. Like the section on Ferines. Maybe it's because there are Ferines on Kelys, or something like that, but it's nice to find sections on species, because not all of them are native to Kelys.
It makes me wonder, sometimes, where the Ferines came from. Or the Velis. Or the Maeilyou, for that matter. Humans, Fae, Giants, these are the natives of Kelys. But the countless other species that call Kelys home today... No idea where they originally came from. No one knows.
A few rumors float around about other worlds. Most adults discourage the rumors, but I've heard their real thoughts on the matter. It's pretty much common agreement that there are other worlds out there.
Of course, if there are this many alien species wandering around on Kelys, it kinda makes a person wonder what happened to their home-worlds.
I don't fall asleep until late that night, and, unfortunately, I have school again. And since I'm sleeping at home, my alarm goes off.
Have I ever mentioned that I hate my alarm? Especially since I have no idea how to change when it goes off. My mother has it set to go off at six in the morning. I don't need it to go off at six in the morning. I don't have class until eight. I can get from my house to the school in fifteen minutes, if I can be bothered.
And yet, she insists on waking me up at six in the morning.
I head down to the kitchen and blink in surprise. "Mother?"
Tired gold eyes dart up to catch mine, before drifting away just as quickly. I frown when I realize she's playing with one of her Mourning Braids. One of the four on the left, the one with the light blue ribbon.
"Did something happen?" I ask quietly. Mother has five Mourning Braids. Her parents, her brother, my father, and her cousin. And she doesn't usually play around with any of them.
"There's just someone in town..." she mutters. Her hand drops from the braid, and she walks over to me, touching mine. Mine has a black ribbon, because it's the most recent. "An... associate... of your father's."
And she doesn't want me to go anywhere near the woman. That much is obvious. Glints of copper in gold, green eyes, and gold dust flash through her mind, more than enough for me to be able to identify the woman if I ever see her.
Well, her hair and eyes, at least.
What's with the gold dust?
I push it out of my mind and start making breakfast. Mother and I might not get along all that well, but she's acting weird.
And, I'll admit it. I worry whenever she's acting weird. If for no other reason than because she usually ends up with a new braid.