IN SEARCH OF THE PAST
I came out with an idea to do a novelization of Chrono Cross with Guile's perspective. The setting is the post CT DS ending, in which Magus/Janus was sent away by Schala and woke up amnesiac in a forest. There will be spoilers for the game (though there are several changes).
DISCLAIMER: Chrono Cross doesn't belong to me.
It was just like yesterday. The days I spent learning at Magic Guild passed so quickly. But I hated what I had passed there; the moment my friends became jealous of my title.
Because of their acts, I didn't look like the old me anymore. My ears had become round. My vampire fangs were now non-existent, for the regular teeth of humans had replaced them. I had concealed the top half of my face behind a golden mask. What remained during that accident were only my long blue hair and the fragments of my silver amulet. I was but a normal human now, adorned in white garment.
But I wouldn't care about my appearance. Whether I would eventually be a fiend again or not, it wouldn't be an obstacle for me. All I wanted was just to find what I had been searching for; something that I had been thinking about for so long.
One afternoon, I came to visit my old friend at Termina; an old woman in green robe who had spent her days as a fortune-teller at this town. She was my friend at Magic Guild, who could never stop asking many questions about myself. Unfortunately, I always had trouble answering her questions as I didn't know much about my childhood... All I could do was only avoiding her by telling a bunch of white lies, but I did not feel that it was something a gentleman would do. So I decided to make a promise that one day we would talk about it during my leisure. However, if she were to ask deeper questions, there was nothing I could do other than lying or derailing the conversation. Such was life.
"Sir Guile! You're finally here!" the woman said. "You've promised to tell me about your past today, especially about how you found Magic Guild...and much more!"
I nodded and began the storytelling whilst hoping that this would stop her from asking more.
Alone in the darkness, without any source of light. There was nothing I could see. Neither could I hear anything.After flying aimlessly for a few seconds, I decided to stop a while. Oddly, I could feel that I was standing as if there were concrete ground.
All of a sudden, my heart was beating faster and faster. I felt heavy and was forced to my knees, as if there were an invisible force that pressed me. I could feel stinging pain in my entire body. Soon the pain was gone, and I could no longer feel anything.
That noise snapped me into consciousness. Now I could feel blades of grass grazing against my cheeks.
Rising to sitting position, I asked, "W-who am I? What has happened?"
I received no answer. I'd have thought that I was in a sound void if there hadn't been the noises of the chirping birds and buzzing bees. I looked around, but only to find white rays slanting through the canopies of the trees.
I shook my head and said, "I…don't remember anything but there is something…something that I need to find!"
I got up and clenched my fists. It would be hard, but nothing could stop me from finding a way to remember. It would not be wrong if I made efforts to learn more about the start of all this, would it?
So I walked westward. As I walked, I felt my hair whipping my face. I had long hair I supposed… Also, I felt like there was cloth flapping around my neck and a small plank resting against my left thigh...
After a few minutes of walking, I arrived at a clearing, where I encountered a stretch of river. I looked at the clear water of the river, where I could see a pair of red eyes staring back at me amidst the glittering prisms. My long blue hair and red cape fluttered as the river breeze blew at me. What about the plank then? I focused, and saw that I was wearing an amulet, which chain was like strapped across my chest. Its trapezoidal plaque was dangling as another series of breeze blew.
As I noticed that I had pointed ears, I gawked, revealing a pair of vampire fangs. Now I knew that I was not a human, but I still didn't know my true identity. Was I a human who had turned into a fiend?
I turned around and closed my eyes. "Despite knowing how I look, I still don't know who I am."
The soggy soil seeped into my leather boots as I walked towards the clusters of trees on the east of this river. There was only silence here, except for several splashes, which my boots created as they hit the damp earth. As I walked, I felt a bead of sweat trickling down my neck despite the breeze. I felt uncomfortable with my ignorance about my past and how I possessed such demonic appearance… Stop it! If I let my discomfort haunt me, I would not earn anything. I had better proceed and put that aside for now.
Not long after that, I could feel that I was no longer stepping on the moist ground. Looking at the trees, I wondered how I could get out of this forest. Hmm, only palisade of tall trees stood before me.I had to continue walking then.
Each time I took a step, I scanned through the trees in hopes to find a clue to get out of the forest. But unfortunately, there was nobody. So I decided to sit under an oak tree beside me.
With legs crossed, I placed my fingers on my chin.Who was I? How could I be here?
My head dropped down a bit as I forced my eyes shut. Alone in this forest, without anybody... Was I merely a person without friends or family? Or perhaps, were they what I'd been searching for? I contemplated, but found no clues about my past. I did not even know who I was, let alone my family and origin. My heart pounded quickly as I tried to remember what happened earlier.
Knowing myself as a fiend.
Sitting under an oak tree, contemplating.
Perhaps I had to give up now. Life did not seem to welcome me after all. Alone without identity and memory; what could be worse than that? I opened my eyes and brought my right hand to the front of my face. A fire spell would end everything... My sorrow would all be burned down to ashes, and everything was over... Wait! How did I know about magic? My hand trembled as I thought that. Maybe my conscience forbade me from killing myself. Was there a hope then?
A creak. That noise alarmed me, as if there were danger approaching. I got up and looked around. There was nothing on my sight, other than clusters of trees. They were all standing upright and singly, except one. There was a shadowy figure of a bald man with pointed ears standing beside an oak tree a few meters in front of me.
Maybe I can ask him for help… Yes, that was what that suddenly fluttered in my mind. I ran and approached the figure, which twitched as I said, "Excuse me, mister."
The man turned around and asked, with a smile on his wrinkled face, "Yes, how can I help you?"
"Mister, do you know how to get out of this forest?" I asked.
The old man brushed his white mustache and replied, "I can guide you out of this forest. Anyway, where do you come from?"
"I d-don't know… I don't even know who…who I am," I stammered.
"Judging from your appearance, you're a fiend. Maybe you're interested to be an apprentice at Magic Guild?" the old man offered.
Hearing the words 'Magic Guild', I had a heavy feeling in my stomach. "Magic… That sounds familiar. But I'm a fiend… I do think that humans will look down on me."
"Don't worry! I'm the founder throughout the Magic Guild and also a fiend. You know, fiends are so guileful that they can deceive humans!" the old man said. "If humans dare to pose any problems, we fiends can use our wits to deceive them."
His words were quite convincing. Humans would not be any problems for me and perhaps all fiends. Also, I believed if I learnt about magic, I would know my origin! I then nodded. "Very well, I'll join."
"Great! Because you have no idea about your identity, tell me what you would like to be called!" the old man said rapidly.
With fingers my on my chin, I said, "You may call me…Guile."
"Time flies like lightning, ma'am," I told the old woman. "That's how I found out about the Magic Guild."
The old woman laughed like a witch. "Hah, Sir Guile! That's not enough! May I know why do you wear a mask too?"
Wasn't she supposed to know about the accident at Magic Guild that transformed me into a human? I thought she would be able to recall that incident by looking at my green eyes, which were red in the past. I told her, "I am sorry, but I'd prefer that you didn't ask the reason behind wearing a mask, ma'am."
The old woman said, "Or maybe you'd like to have a bet?"
"Oh, gambling is fun at higher stakes," I replied, smiling.
"Good!" she said while grinning mischievously. "Tomorrow there will be a big festival at Viper Manor and I want to know whether you're worthy of the title 'Rising Star'. Find the Dragoon's Honor inside the mansion and bring that item to me tomorrow. If you can do it, I'll give you my rod. But if you can't, you must take off your mask and reveal your true face! So far I've heard that Viper Manor is an impenetrable fortress…"
Without any further thinking, I told her, "Fine. It's a deal!"
With that, the old woman cackled before disappearing with a puff of smoke. All I saw now was a red tent in front of me. Gasping, I realized that I had just agreed to do something dishonorable. Now I had to break into Viper Manor only to win this bet. I was so silly, was I not?
So I flew away, along the walkway of the town where I could see some people were strolling around, with flowers and bulky plastic bags in their hands. Well, shopping spree would not tempt me because a bottle of wine was more satisfying for me... No, put that aside for now. I had a better job to do. I had to think of a way to barge into the mansion.