A/N: Hello there, I'm DeMerio and this is my first Fanfic which I came up with AGES ago and only now just worked up the nerve to write it. So here goes!
EDIT - 2/10/12: I re-read this a short while ago and I was surprised by the mistakes and poor presentation of it. So, I have gone over it with a fine comb.
Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Vesperia... But if I did, the PS3 version would be released in English quicker than Repede on caffeine. ( I do however own all the OC's in this story... Except one, which I'll specify when they appear.)
Prologue: 6 years earlier.
Evening had turned the skies above Zaphias a beautiful mix of orange and red. Inside the Castle was busier than normal. The maids and servants were frantically scrambling about the place cleaning and preparing the grand Dining room. The Knights patrolling the castle were trying to avoid getting in the way (and on many occasions, failing and colliding into a rushing servant) while sticking to their ordered patrol paths. The preparations took hours as this was an important occasion. When they were finally completed, the highly distinguished guests streamed in. Once they were all accounted for, the current Ruler of the Empire led his guests into an immaculate Dining Hall. Once all were seated, the King stood and began his toast.
"Welcome again to my special guests and dear friends Richard de Lyesia, Duke of Zaphias and his beautiful wife, Arinne de Lyesia." The Duke chuckled as his Duchess blushed ever so slightly.
"But not forgetting their children, to all of whom I feel like an Uncle of; Tillya the eldest child and daughter, Kara the youngest child and daughter. Last, but certainly not least, Dayrellan the eldest son and our very own 'Little Duke of Zaphias'". Around the table, there was a polite chuckle at the King's affectionate name for the boy as the one in question shyly hid his face in his hands. His sister's too were giggling along at the Emperor's successful attempt to embarrass their brother.
"I am truly glad you could join me here today to celebrate my 60... Um...ish Birthday. Now please enjoy the celebratory feast!" The king finished and sat to start his meal. Within seconds however, he turned to his friend and started a conversation.
The feast finished as the final rays of the sun slipped under the horizon. Afterwards, everyone moved to the Dance Hall to continue their conversations and enjoy the music. Off to the side, the King and the Duke were chatting and laughing heartedly with the Duchess and daughters. Everyone in the Hall was happily dancing or talking away. All except one boy sitting alone and staring a hole into the table in front of him. He didn't notice as a person approached him and so jumped slightly when she spoke.
"Why are you sitting here all alone Dayrellan?" She asked innocently. His chestnut brown eyes met her green ones and took a few seconds to register who the pink-haired girl in front of him was.
"Oh, Lady Estellise... Good evening." he replied politely and standing so he could bow. However the young girl stopped him.
"Please Dayrellan, I've told you that you may call me 'Estellise'. I may be three years older but we practically grew up together, remember?" She said with a smile.
"Yeah..." Was all he replied with. Nodding happily, she repeated her earlier question.
"So, why are you sitting here all alone?"
"Because adult talk is boring and I don't like dancing." Dayrellan said with a frown.
"But you know, one day you'll be the Duke so you will have to..." Estellise started but was cut off by her friend
"I know! Why is that all people say to me? 'Eat all your food so you'll grow up into a healthy Duke like your dad'. What if I don't want that!" The young boy said raising his voice and earning the attention of nearby dancers. The young Estellise in front of him gasped and raised her hands to her mouth.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I... I" The edges of her eyes started to grow damp. At this, the boy frantically apologised and tried to cheer her up.
"W-Wait, don't cry! How about we go and dance?" He hastily said
"Huh? But you said you didn't like dancing..." She said confused. The boy smiled slightly.
"Will it stop you from crying?" he asked. She nodded slowly in response. The boy's smile grew and he held out his hand.
"Then lets dance." This brought a big smile to her face. She took his hand and they made their way to the dance floor.
After dancing for a few minutes, the children noticed the whole Hall's attention was on them. Some were making quiet 'Aww' sounds while others only smiled brightly. Estellise's face soon matched her hair and quickly covered her face while Dayrellan put his hands on his hips and his face was one of annoyance.
"What? Can't two friends dance together?" His question earned quiet laughter from the crowd before they all continued dancing and chatting. Estellise and Dayrellan made their way to the side again and sat down. But before they could enjoy catching up with what they had been up to in the time they'd last seen each other, an annoyingly snobby voice addressed them.
"Dayrella! I saw you make the princess cry earlier!" The voice came from a young boy with short black hair in a white tux. Dayrellan just sighed 'Oh man, him again... And is he really still calling me Dayrella?' He thought exasperated.
"Just what do you want, snobby brat?" The boy asked, pretending to be more interested in his spiky brown hair.
"Grr... I'm no snobby brat! What did you say to Lady Estellise!?" The snob demanded. At this, the Princess stood up and turned to him.
"Please calm Tyran, everything is fine." She said with a touch of an authoritative tone.
"Lady Estellise... Just because you loooove him, doesn't mean..." But he was cut off
"Tyran!" She said with a raised voice and a red face. The snob looked surprised, but left grumbling about 'the Princess' pet'. Estellise turned around slowly, hoping the boy behind hadn't heard and Dayrellan beamed back, completely oblivious.
The King and the Duke had been joined by a third man, the King's advisor. The two old friends were watching the 'Little Duke' and the Princess happily chatting. The Duke was looking at his son with a smile.
"You must be really proud of how well your son is growing up, Duke." The advisor said with a hint of hostility. The Duke didn't seem to notice.
"You are correct, he will grow to be a fine Duke of Zaphias in the future!" Was the very proud response from the very proud father.
"And the Princess and him get on very well..." He added with a sly smile to The Emperor, who chuckled and said:
"Indeed... Now if only your boy Tyran would just be a little kinder to Dayrellan, maybe they could be friends, eh Lawrence?" The Advisor's eye twitched at this but painted a fake smile on his face. 'I'll be the one having the last laugh, foolish King. And as for you Richard... I wonder If your pride in your son will last...'
As the night was wrapping up, the guests slowly started to leave. The King looked over to his old friend's family and saw their troubled expressions. Upon reaching them, he noticed the absence of a certain 'Little Duke'.
"What is the matter Richard? And where is young Dayrellan?" At the sound of his voice, the family turned to him, the panic in their eyes growing.
"We are unsure, no-one has seen him for a while now... Not even the Princess." The Duke responded calmly but a hint of fear that crept into his voice.
"Good heavens... I'm sure he is fine old friend. I'll get Lawrence here to..." The King stopped when he noticed his Advisor's absence as well. Suddenly, a Knight entered the Hall.
"Your Eminence! There have been reports of screams coming from the lower levels. But the hallways are being blocked by some of our own Knights!" The Duke's eyes widened and sprinted off while drawing his two swords. His wife was just behind him holding two daggers which seemingly appeared out of thin air. The Emperor called after them, before ordering the Knight to watch over the Duke's daughters and following.
The Duke and Duchess just knew that the screams had to be their son, it was their intuition as parents. As they charged to the lower levels, Knight traitors attempted to stop them. But there was no stopping two parents rushing to the aid of their child. They took down every Knight (without killing a single one) that dared getting in the way. They eventually reached a poorly lit hallway down a few levels from which the screams were coming from. They could now hear the blood-curling screams... as well as their son's desperate cries of 'PLEASE LEMME GO!'. They barged into the room and were horrified by the sight. Their son was tied down to some metal table. In fact, the whole room looked like some medieval operating theatre... which was close to what it actually was.
"Ah, the concerned parents are here at last." The cold snarl came from none other than Lawrence, the King's Advisor.
"What have you done to my son! You goddamn...!" The Duke's rage was interrupted by Lawrence's deep laugh.
"Oh... just a little experiment is all" Was the response, devoid of remorse but full of a sickening childish glee.
"What!? Explain yourself!" Richard demanded.
"This is my personal laboratory and your son is one one my biggest and greatest experiments... You should be very proud of him." Lawrence's sickening glee turned to evil hostility. Arinne burst into tears
"Why? Why Lawrence? Why would you do such a thing?" She said between sobs.
"...Maybe you should of chosen me then" Lawrence growled. Richard was confused by this.
"What do you... Argh! Just let my son go!" He roared, deciding not to think about what the Advisor just said. Also, he was scared as to why his son had been silent for a while now.
"Ok... He's all yours now. If he is even your son anymore!" Lawrence added with an evil grin.
Before he could respond, his son suddenly sat up snapping all the binds as he did. In the middle of his chest was a dark orb... 'A Blastia!' The Duke noticed, 'but it isn't a normal one'. Dayrellan's eyes opened and his once brown eyes now golden. He got down and attempted a step forward but bent over clutching his chest. He suddenly screamed out again and sparks of electricity were originating from the blastia. Then, Dayrellan started curling up into a ball and as he did so, the sparks grew larger and became more frequent.
"Uh oh... that's not right" Lawrence said. He then ran to the far wall from the Duke and pushed it. It moved and spun around revealing itself as a secret passage. Richard was unable to stop him and so turned back to his son.
"SON! WE'RE HERE!" He yelled desperately. But it fell on deaf ears. Dayrellan suddenly 'opened' up and spread his arms.
All the electricity aer he'd been absorbing was suddenly released. Since it was done in an enclosed space, the explosion of electricity completely destroyed the room. All that remained was rubble, fire and his parents' bodies. Dayrellan then blinked a few times as if just waking up from a dream, a dream turned out to be a nightmare. When he saw his parents, he fell to his knees.
"What have I..." He whispered, voice shaking. He heard running footsteps getting closer so he scrambled to his feet and left through the secret passage the Advisor had used earlier. The King was the first to arrive and just saw a foot as someone disappeared into the passage. He looked around at the wreckage.
"What in the spirits has... Oh... Oh please no." He gasped, noticing the bodies. Slowly, he knelt by his friends' side and wept.
The whole of Zaphias went into a state of mourning. Both the Duke and Duchess were loved by all, including the Lower Quarter. The Duke had helped them a lot over the years, including paying for the fountain which made such a difference to their lives. For months, the King ordered search parties to find the Duke's son. The searches came up empty and soon called off. About a month after this, the hope and chatter about the young Duke being found slowly died and were forgotten. The King had lost his best friends and the only one he considered like a nephew to him in one night. However, the Duke's daughters however refused to give up the search, but struggled to find leads to go on. They waited.
Now, six long years later, a year after the destruction of the Adephagos, our story starts.
And that's a wrap! Phew! Well there is the Prologue. Turned out quite dark actually... Well, it'll get brighter in Chapter 1. Reviews are much appreciated, especially as I'm just starting out and would like constructive criticism. I'll update as often as humanly possible but with the menace of School coming back soon I will be quite busy. Until next time!