Disclaimer: The Characters in this story do not belong to me in any way. Vandal Hearts and Vandal Hearts II is a registered trademark of Konami Co, Ltd.

Many of the quotes in this story are used directly from the game and are property of Konami.

Vandal Hearts II ~ Heavenly Gate ~

Prologue

In the Kingdom of Natra, far north of the capitol, is the isolated village of Polata. I grew up on it's hard, unforgiving land.

As a child, I believed that the idyllic days would last forever. Little did I know of the great war that would engulf us all.

If only.If only there had not been that chance encounter, my destiny perhaps would never have changed.

"Yeah! C'mon! Just a little bit more!" shouted the brawny boy at his friend who was walking along the narrow plank of his house. He was surely the bigger of the four friends who now stood watching in awe as their good friend was attempting something completely insane. It was quite a long drop if he were to fall.which of course neither of them wanted that to happen. The brawny boy was already tired and hadn't eaten a bite since they had woken up and spotted the small Aurora Butterfly that appeared on the roof of his house. He knew his best friend would surely want to catch it and had almost immediately run over to his house and got him outside. The other two had arrived just in time to see the butterfly's attempted capture. Auroras were pretty rare around these parts, and also the most beautiful looking among all butterflies.

"Be careful. Steady now!" said the short boy who was quite shorter than the rest but obviously quite smarter than most.

The Boy on the roof saw a great opportunity and quickly dove at the butterfly for Auroras were very fast and could've easily escaped him. 'Damn, missed it!' he thought.

"Ohhh! You almost had it!" pouted the short boy, kind of disappointed in his friend.

"It's still close!" shouted the Brawny boy.

"Stop it! Come down before you hurt yourself!" yelled the blond girl who had joined the others just momentarily. She knew she couldn't just let her good friend risk hurting himself for a stupid insect which probably would have been let go anyway.

'Damnit! She's here too?!' the boy on the roof thought to himself. He hadn't noticed her standing there with the other two before.

He quickly shifted his attention back to the aurora and saw that now was as good as time as any and dove for the insect once more. 'Success!' he secretly praised himself.

"Yes!" shouted the short boy on the ground.

The Boy on the roof had noticed that the insect was trying to escape but kept a good hold on him. He hadn't noticed that one foot was not balanced correctly on the narrow roof and slipped.

"Whoa! Watch out!" shouted the Brawny boy.

"Oh Noooo!" yelled the noble girl as she witnessed her friend tumble down the roof and hit the ground. Hard.

Almost immediately they all went to check on their friend, all hoping that he hadn't injured himself.

Everything was completely dark. The Boy could no longer see the clear blue sky that he had just seen a few minutes ago. Not a cloud in the sky. Nothing. Just utter darkness. 'Am I dead?' he thought to himself. 'Is this what it is like to die?' 'No, I'm not dead. There are still many things I want to do in my life. There are still many things that I want to tell "her." I'd give anything to see her beautiful smile again. To see her laugh and to see her pretty face in the sun once more. Ha! Man, what the hell is wrong with me? Do I like her? No way! All she does is start whining and bothering me all the time. But, why am I still thinking about her?' he was thinking to himself until he heard some familiar voices calling to him.

".Hey.Come on. Wake up." a boy's voice called to him.

".No!. Open your eyes." this time a girl's voice. Her voice.

".Ok. He's breathing." said a third voice.

"Look! He's waking up!

With that, the fallen boy slowly got up and managed to balance himself on his feet. "Ow-ow-ow-ouch!" He felt a throbbing sensation on his back.

"Are you all right?" the young girl asked. "Are you cut anywhere?"

The fallen boy looked around. "Huh?" he said, still feeling a bit shaken. His senses came back to him quickly but decided to have a little fun with his friends. He wanted to see the shock on their faces when he would pretend to have forgotten everything. He tried not to smile at his own personal scheme.

"What happened to me? Where is this place?" he asked with a confused face. The shocks on their faces was surprising.

"What is wrong with you?" asked the young girl, half worried and half scared. She had hoped that nothing bad had happened to him when he fell but now she was beginning to get quite worried. "Maybe he hit his head the wrong way." Said the Brawny boy whose jaw was now quite open and with a shocked expression across his face. The fallen boy looked around once more. "Huh?" he asked again, trying very hard not to laugh.

"Maybe he's just confused from shock. Just relax and try to think. Can you remember your name?" asked the short boy. "Name?" the other boy asked. "My name?" He pretended to struggle on remembering his own name.

"Joshua. My name is Joshua." The fallen boy replied. "Good, at least you know who you are." Said the brawny boy followed by a sigh of relief. He continued, "How about us? Do you remember us?" "Your Clive. Your dad runs the tavern here." Joshua replied in a soft tone of voice. "Bingo!" shouted the brawny boy Clive, followed by another sigh of relief. This time a bit longer. Joshua turned to face the short boy who was on his left.

"The little guy is Yuri, the village genius." Joshua said, looking down at his friend. "Good! You beginning to remember! Oh thank you St. Nirvath, for your kind blessings." Yuri began to preach. He was an aspiring priest after all, so no one really ever commented on his lectures and preachings. He was barely 12 years of age, but had the faith of a true priest. He certainly was the younger of the four friends while Joshua at a close second at the age of 13. The other two were both 14 but Yuri and Joshua had always been the mature ones of the four friends.

"That's it! I remember now!" Joshua suddenly blurted out, ruining Yuri's mode of concentration. "I was trying to catch an aurora butterfly when I fell off the mill roof." "Whew.sighed the blond girl who was quite relieved that Joshua was quite ok after a rather nasty fall. "That was really stupid of you!" the girl shook her head in anger. "No butterfly could be careless enough to be caught by you!" she said in a rather harsh voice.

Startled and angered by her words, Joshua decided to continue his little charade. "Huh?" he asked in a confused manner.

"Wha-what? Why are you staring at me like that?" she asked, quite worried this time. Joshua continued looking at her with a confused expression on his face. "You. Who are you?" Joshua asked. This shocked everybody once again. "You-you're joking, right?" she asked, her eyes beginning to show a small sign of tears. "Stop it! Stop clowning around!" she demanded.

"Urghh! My head! It hurts!" Joshua said falling to the ground while putting both hands on his head. "No! What's the matter?" asked the young girl with a tear streaming down the side of her cheek.

"Urgh.." Joshua groaned.

"What's the matter? Are you dizzy?" asked the girl feeling even more concerned than before.

"Urgggh.." Joshua continued.

"Oh no! We have to get a doctor!" the girl said, already fully in tears and turning the opposite way.

"Urggh.(cough).Joshua stood up. The girl immediately turned around. "Joshua?" she asked in a concerned tone. "Urgghh..Pah!" Joshua couldn't hold it in any longer.

"Bwhahahahahaha!" Joshua started to laugh loudly. He turned around to face the young girl.

"Hahahahahahaha! Oh my, the look on your face, Adele!" Joshua kept laughing." "You-you, you really had me worried!" Adele shouted. Joshua walked up to her and softly put a gloved hand on her shoulder. "(Giggle). Hey, sorry, sorry." She immediately took his hand off of her small shoulder. "What do you mean sorry!? That was funny!?" she shouted in his face. "Hey, look, I'm sorry. I apologize." Joshua said in a tone voice. 'Why am I apologizing to her? That's not like me at all.'

"Your idea of funny is just sick!" she said, her face growing angry and serious rather than amused. "Your as stupid as an insect, so why not try to at least live honestly!?"

"Hey now, wait a sec. I don't deserve that." Joshua said losing his sense of laughter all together. 'Geez, she has no sense of humor!' "Well, Adele, if I'm as dumb as a bug than you're about as smart as a slug!" He could see her eyes getting pretty watery. 'Oh great, here come the waterworks!' He was beginning to think his joke wasn't such a good idea.

"WHAT? HOW DARE YOU!!?" she yelled, this time more tears strolling down her cheeks. 'How can he say such a thing? Well.I did insult him first, but that's not the point! He's the one that started it!' she thought.

Yuri couldn't stand seeing his two best friends fight like this any longer and decided that he should intervene. "C'mon! Cut it out, you two!" Yuri demanded.

"Hey, if the princess here didn't mouth off." Joshua began.

"You're an idiot! Be that way your whole life!" Adele paused for a moment and felt her body shiver. 'I shouldn't say that to Joshua. He's one of my best friends! He's always been there for me. To tell the truth, I've always kinda had a thing for him ever since we first met. It's just that he can be so stubborn and arrogant at times!' she told herself. With that thought in mind, she turned and walked away in tears.

"Well, there goes Adele. Boy, she's really steamed." said Yuri. "It always happens when you two get together." Clive told Joshua. "It never used to be like that."

"It's because she's so snooty!" Joshua complained. "I don't think so." Yuri said. "She's the Governor's daughter, but she doesn't look down on us. She doesn't see us as peasants." "It's true. The nobles are usually jerks, but Adele and her grandpa, Kossimo, aren't." said Clive.

Joshua opened his hand slowly. Yuri was shocked, "Huh? Joshua is that.!?

Clive walked over to where Joshua was standing and stared at the beautiful butterfly that was moving around in his hands. "It's amazing you didn't crush it!" Joshua turned around and let the butterfly go.

"Hey!" Yuri shouted and asked, "Why? After all the trouble you went through?"

'Damn.' Joshua thought as he stared at the aurora butterfly fly away. 'I caught it because she said she wanted it.'

"Joshua?" Yuri asked, feeling a bit concerned for his friend.

"Big Brother!" shouted a girl's voice. All three of them quickly turned around.

"Rosaly. What's the big rush?" Joshua asked the small girl in front of him. She was his step-sister and was the daughter of the mayor of Polata. Even though were not really blood related, he protected, looked after her and acted like her big brother despite Rosaly being one year older than Joshua.

Joshua noted that she had a very worried look in her eyes and figured that her nervousness must've meant that something must've been terribly wrong..



Character Profile Joshua-The Main Character-Age 20(Age 13 in Prologue)

A farmer's son in the village of Polata, a forgotten corner of the Natra Kingdom, he was orphaned early in his life and reared by his uncle Kordif, the village mayor. Owing to the progressive ideas on education held by Kossimo, the previous laird, Joshua grew up alongside Adele, a scion of the aristocracy, as her childhood companion. However, with the arrival of adolescence, he started to have romantic feelings for her. At the same time, the dawning realization of their different stations in life now proves to be disconcerting to him.



Author's Note: The Prologue will actually be very long and it will tell mostly of how Joshua and Adele felt for each other and how they discovered themselves and their different statuses in life and the events leading up to war of the continent of Natra. I will be adding something that I felt would be a nice addition called Character Profiles after the end of every chapter which tell a little bit more info about the main characters and their role. In this chapter, I wanted to show how Joshua and Adele act with another and how they often land in big arguments over trivial things despite their feelings for one another. Please R&R and try to be nice! I'll be updating shortly. ~BongoMonkeys~