A/N: Thank you AprilRaven for helping and pointing out some things that needed correcting on my very first fanfiction story. Please review and tell me what you think.
DISCLAIMER :I do not own Shadow of the Colossus or any of the ideas and characters created by Team Ico.
Wander wearily struggled up the hill, the forest had been too thick for him to ride Agro through without losing the way, and there was no sunlight he could use the sword with to show the way to the Colossus that he was so avidly searching for.
He dropped to his knees by a small pool and leaned in to get a drink and to wash the grime and sweat off of his face, but something made him stop...
He looked at his own reflection and was horrified at what he saw, but he felt compelled to stare.
His hair, once a dark brown and smooth was lank and clung to the side of his face, it looked ash grey at the roots. His face was ghostly pale and painfully thin, dark shadows under his once sparkling eyes, were now lifeless pits showing an empty soul.
Something that shouldn't even be alive.
His wooden sandals had worn very thin, and had rubbed painfully against his feet during however long it had taken him from the night he had taken the sword and his beloved's body and stole away into the night, to speak to a God that presided over a forbidden land. It never seemed to turn to night in this strange place.
Wander couldn't tell how long he had been conducting his mission for the bodiless, double voiced God that seemed to speak within him, rather than to him. It felt weird to him that this land, so close to where he had lived all his life, was so different to the one he was used to.
His tunic that he wore was ripped and stained in several places and he was aware that he couldn't remember the last time he ate properly, other than the sparse fruits he could find or the lizards that were always around the shrines he prayed at before attacking the Colossi. He hadn't eaten since he had left his home village to journey to the Forbidden Lands, even then he hadn't eaten the day before because he was so nervous about stealing the sacred sword and his true love's corpse.
Despite all of this, he had never felt more alive.
At first he had been scared of the Colossi, their huge statures, otherworldly voices and their eyes. Those eyes could send you mad, vacant, yet they were all knowing, almost like Wander's own.
However the more he defeated, outwitting them and showing his strength, the more he seemed to be...enjoying...the process.
He grinned into the puddle, then froze, as if he had suddenly woken up and his eyes had suddenly gained some of their light again. He caught himself smiling and felt disgusted. He could feel himself changing as he killed these magnificent creatures and felt that this God that was telling him what to do was playing some sort of trick on him.
Perhaps this God was just waiting until he was crushed or fell to his death from trying to defeat these Guardians of the Spirit World or just traversing this strange, hostile land. Although the land he had entered wasn't that big as shown by the map he had also stolen along with the sword, it had every type of terrain imaginable. Cloud spearing mountains to vast rolling deserts, each area had a Colossi perfectly suited to its terrain. The land was barren and lifeless except for a few small creatures that looked as if they were struggling. And these vast, mountainous...
He couldn't think of a word that would put them all under one category. They had all been so different, some intelligent and using their surroundings, others not so intelligent and the surroundings being their downfall. Some using tools and weapons, others relying on their brute strength and flailing limbs to defend themselves. Some flew using wings or other means, some swam, and some walked upon the Earth. However, each one looked similar. As if all spawned together, all siblings, all defending a certain patch they wouldn't stray from. It was as if the God was putting them there as a test, to see how much he really wanted to bring his true love back from her untimely death, even at the risk of his own, and the death of these creatures that didn't harm anything except only to defend themselves.
Wander initially noticed this upon finding the third Colossi on top of his podium in the lake. There was no way the Colossi could have traversed the spindly bridge that wound around the flat stone circle that jutted out of the water, but the rock was old and worn, and it must have got up there somehow...
It was when meeting the third Colossi and defeating him, having to use a different tactic as he had the last two, slightly more animalistic Colossi that he realised they had no bones surrounding their domains, and none of them had tried to eat him, as one might have expected of large predators.
This coupled with their stone armour that seemed to be growing out of them made him believe these Colossi were not of this world. Perhaps they were the Guardians to another world or were just the mere plaything of a dangerous God, but they were not meant to be here.
Each time he killed one he said a quick prayer, to his own God, not this spectre that freely spoke to mortals, yet showed no signs of his actual existence. The prayers had initially been a prayer of thanks, and prayer for the Colossi's souls, for even if they were not from this world he believed they must go somewhere upon death. He believed they were not truly evil, and this affected him the most.
Now the prayers were in salvation of his soul.
He was almost trying to convince himself and his God that he was doing the right thing, that he was not evil.
He just wanted the thing that made him truly happy, was that too much to ask?
As Wander shook himself out of his trance like state, he stood up out of eyeshot of the pool, and another thought struck him. He pondered as he slowly walked through the trees, hoping by some divine miracle he was heading the right way.
The Colossi all seemed to have damaged bodies, like long ago wounds that had healed slowly. Some of the leviathans seemed to predict how he would attack, as if it had been tried before, and that's when he realised.
Others, like him, had tried to bring someone from the spirit world, and used the God that freely allowed people the chance to bring people back from their graves.
Others, like him, had risked all and had tried themselves against these Colossal beings made of flesh and stone. If that was the case, maybe others had succeeded, and that brought hope to Wander, but that meant that the Colossi had been brought back to life, a bittersweet mental victory. He didn't trust this multi gendered God. They might bring the Colossi he had already slain back, just for him to end for their own amusement, or help the Colossi in ways that couldn't be seen if the God was bored of seeing Wander defeat his timeless guardians.
That's when it hit Wander.
Other's must have died in this realm.
He turned slowly in the dim forest, suddenly feeling that something was watching him. Maybe the lost souls that this land's God now owned and tormented in his planes. They constantly relive the moment they failed and wouldn't save their loved one, and they would be doomed to walk this land forever, lost, alone and afraid.
The Colossi must have claimed some lives, maybe which explained the disappearances of people he had heard about. Disappearances that the Elder's always put down to "getting lost" or "an accident." Many others had tried what he was trying to do, but he was different.
He was willing to go to the ends of the Earth for her, just to see her smile and breathe once again, even if it meant killing these sorry looking creatures. The whole ordeal was corrupting his soul, trusting a God he knew nothing about, never being able to go back to his village.
He would do anything for her, even if he couldn't be there for the outcome or she didn't know of his ultimate sacrifice, he would bring her back.