ASTYANAX

By

Tyler Wells

Author's Note:  This Game, since it was primarily an "action" type game rather than an RPG, had an extremely simple bare bones storyline with very little dialog.  However, what dialog it had, opened up opportunity for a good, detailed story.  This is that story.  I didn't want it to have a "video game" feel to it so I created monsters and adversaries you would expect to find in a "medieval" land rather than monsters found in the video game.  Important:  One other thing I changed that differs from the video game are the names.  Astyanax is now the name of the land instead of the hero.  And as for his companion, I thought the name "Cutie" (her name in the actual game) was pretty corny so I gave her an "Anime" type of name.  (The game was probably made in Japan anyway.)  Other than that, the story will overall follow the original plot.  Again, I am sorry about the name changes, but I think you will enjoy the story regardless.  Enjoy!

Walking home from college one cloudy day, Thian, an average college student at the local university, kicked a nearby stone in the road and watched it skip across the street.  He was well liked, and participated in a few school activities, but felt like he was missing something.  Most people he knew already had plans for careers, families, or travel but he just didn't have a connection to any of those.  This bothered Thian immensely.  "Oh, well." he said, with a big sigh, picking up his stride with confidence.  He was still in school, after all.  He should concentrate on finishing that and go from there. 

Thian usually took the main roads home from college but today he felt adventurous.  About a mile from his apartment, he noticed a path in the woods for the first time.  It looked like a possible shortcut and perhaps a quiet trail where he could gather his thoughts better.  No sooner had he started off down the path, he saw something glowing on the ground near the trail.  Naturally, he was curious.  "What is that?" he said with growing curiosity.  He approached the odd piece of metal with caution.  Before he knew it, something was forcing his hand to reach out and touch it.  "What the…" he said in surprise.  The moment he made contact, he felt a strange feeling in his gut and became momentarily dizzy.  The next thing he knew, his surroundings had changed.  He was still in the woods, but they were different.  The odd piece of metal was gone.  "Now what have you got yourself into, Thian?" he said to himself.  He didn't know whether to be scared or excited about this deviation from his boring daily routine. 

He continued down the new path with growing anxiety. Since he touched the piece of metal, he hasn't heard any of the usual city noises in the distance that are commonplace near his home.  About 10 minutes later he came to a small clearing with a fallen log.  Standing on the log was what looked like a giant horsefly.  After a minute or two he decided to take a closer look.  When he approached, the thing on the log turned around and regarded him.  He about fell backwards in surprise.  The "insect" standing on the log was about the size of his middle finger, and it had transparent wings.  But that wasn't the surprising detail.  The body resembled that of a human female.  The first thing that jumped to his mind was the fairy tale character "Tinkerbell" from his favorite childhood storybook.  She looked just like that although the clothes she wore resembled that of medieval times. I must be seeing things.  Maybe I passed out.  He thought to himself with disbelief.  After a moment of gawking at her, she spoke.

"Hello, Thian" she said with surprising volume.  She then smiled and cocked her head at him.  He was having a hard time speaking.  "H-h-hello…" he managed to say.  "Um…where am I?" he decided to ask her.  She walked down the log towards him.  "Welcome to Astyanax!! My name is Yuki."  She said with a high, feminine voice.  "Uh, hi.  Astyanax?  Where is that?"  He said.  She smiled again.  "You have been brought to Astyanax to help us.  Our Royal Princess, Damia, protects our kingdom from the outside forces.  We have lived in peace for many centuries because of the power of Eternia that each princess inherits.  But recently, the outside forces managed to kidnap Princess Damia.  If we don't find her soon, our protection will fall and we will all be killed."  She said, looking down in sadness.  "Oh, I'm sorry." he said with sympathy, wondering if there was something he could do to help.  As if she could read Thian's thoughts, she responded, "You can help! That's why we brought you here.  You are special.  You have a power within you that can help rescue the princess!  Will you help us?"  She said hopefully.  He thought for a moment.  Well, this was a rather large change in his daily routine, but he wanted something to happen. 

Floating in the air with her fragile looking wings, she led him out of the woods and into the kingdom of Astyanax.  In the middle of the city was the royal palace.  He was greeted by the Royal counsel who basically repeated everything Yuki had told him but in more detail.  When they mentioned that only the princess had the power to send him back home, Thian had no choice but to help.  He didn't know how he was going to be of help, but he was willing to try.  "You have a talent in this world that you probably don't know about yet."  The head of the counsel said with a booming voice.  "You have the power of a master swordsman!  A power that will make your battle ability unsurpassed.   It is a talent that you can only use in this world and that is why we picked you."  His words caused Thian to fall completely silent.  "We will give you armor to protect yourself, a sword worthy only of a master of the trade, and a companion to guide you to the enemy castle where you will rescue our princess.  Our survival depends on your success!" the loud spoken man finished with a huff. 

Thus, Thian was prepared for the journey.  He must walk the entire way so he was stocked with everything he needed.  Besides, he was to have a companion, right?  He can carry some of this stuff too.  That thought was quickly cancelled when Yuki, whom he hadn't seen around for a while, came flying into the room cheerfully announcing, "I have been chosen to be your companion!  Isn't that great?"  She said excitedly.  Thian wasn't excited.  "No, it's not really.  I was hoping that my companion was going to be able to carry some of this stuff."  He said.  Yuki looked down for a moment.  "I'm sorry, but I will do anything I can to help!" she said hopefully.  Thian realized the harshness of his words and quickly apologized.  "No, Yuki, its ok.  I'm glad you are coming along." This brightened up Yuki's enthusiasm. 

Before long, they were off on their journey.  Trudging along through valley and forest, he was starting to feel the strain in his feet.  Occasionally Yuki would notice him slowing down and got impatient.  "What are you doing?" She would say.  This would sometimes anger Thian.   "Unlike other people I know, I must walk the entire way to the enemy castle and my feet are killing me!"  He would say, biting back.  Then he would regret his harshness.

They had been walking for most of the day and Thian was beginning to wonder if they were going to meet any opposition.  Soon after, the battle started.  Enemy forces were sent out to intercept "the target" that was heading in the direction of enemy lines.  Yuki took charge.  "Alright.  This is where your part comes in handy.  You must use your talent to defeat the enemy.  Draw your sword and fight bravely!  You must do it now!" she said with authority.  "Alright, alright!"  He said. Nag, nag, nag! He thought to himself.  I haven't even been told how to do this.  I've never even swung a sword before! Well, here goes…

The next thing he knew, he was battling the group of adversaries, somehow swinging his sword using all the right tactics.  His sword was also glowing and seemed to provide a barrier that allowed him to hit more than one enemy at a time.   Am I controlling this? Wow! He thought.  "Yes!  That's it!  Now destroy the enemy with the power you possess!!" Yuki said excitedly.  With each swing of the sword, he took out 2 or more bad guys, each with the accompanying growl of pain as they fell.  When the dust settled, there wasn't a sound.  "Yes!"  Yuki said excitedly while flying around him erratically.  Because of all the excitement, neither noticed the ogre that had escaped the attack through a cave nearby.  Nor did Thian notice it charging up behind him with an ax raised, ready to plant it in his head.  With lightning quick action, Yuki jumped in front of him and emitted a flash of light that blinded the ogre.  It stumbled off course and gave Thian enough time to strike the beast down.  Unfortunately, Yuki was hurt. 

Up until now, Thian had never actually come in contact with Yuki.  Therefore he was reluctant to pick her up for he didn't know how to handle a "tinkerbell".  He gently scooped her up in his shirt and sat down on the fallen log.  "Yuki!  Yuki!  Wake up!  Are you ok?"  He said worriedly.  It was at that moment that he realized just how human she looked.  She was cute too.  His face started getting red and realized that he shouldn't be thinking about that.  A few moments later, she started to wake up.  "Yuki!  What happened?"  He demanded.  She laid there for a moment and then softly replied,  "I had to use my power when I saw that ogre coming at you.   I don't have much, and I went a little too far.  It knocked me out." She said, holding her head in pain.  Thian sighed with relief.  "Are you ok now?" Thian inquired.  She smiled, blushing a little bit.  "Yes.  I'm still weak, though."  She said while analyzing the situation.  She tried standing up but she didn't have the stamina.  Thian realized that she had been flying next to him the entire trip.  "Yuki, if you want, why don't you sit on my shoulder?  There's really no need for you to fly, and it will give you a chance to rest."  He managed to say while trying not to sound embarrassed.  Yuki looked surprised for a moment and then looked down again.  "If that's ok with you…" she replied softly.  She said that in such a cute way, he thought to himself.  He started turning red again and did his best to hide it, directing his attention to the journey at hand. 

Later in the day, and a few foot sores later, they had their second confrontation.  A dragon, big enough to consume a whale, was sent out to find his breakfast.  Needless to say, Thian and Yuki looked nice and juicy.  He started charging the travelers and blew a ball of fire at them.  Taken by surprise, Thian started running across the plain.  During the confusion, Yuki, who was still sitting on his shoulder, fell off into the short grass.  Only after he had run a few yards did Thian notice that Yuki was gone.  "Yuki?  Yuki?  Where are you?"  He stopped and took a look at his surroundings.  It was then that he saw Yuki laying on the ground with the dragon a few seconds away from turning her into a chicken wing.  Something snapped in Thian's head.  Then it hit his heart.  He didn't want Yuki to get hurt.  It was his fault that she was in danger plus he felt a strange bond had formed between them.  Without another thought, he immediately harnessed the power deep within himself and used it to launch himself up to the dragon's head, drew his sword, and struck the dragon in the eye.  In addition to the beast's scream of pain, the impact was so hard that the dragon stumbled off balance, fell over, and rolled down the valley towards a cliff.

 Needless to say, they didn't need to worry about this threat anymore.  He ran over to Yuki.  She had not yet recovered from her loss of strength so when she fell off his shoulder, she hit the ground hard.  Thian picked her up and cradled her in his hands.  "YUKI!"  He said emotionally.  He walked over to a pond of water and gently squeezed a couple drops in her mouth.  She stirred and came to.  "Thian?" she said, softly.  "Yuki, I'm so sorry.  I didn't mean to drop you!"  He said nearly in tears.  Yuki looked up at him and studied his face.  "You were worried about me…" she said softly.  "Of course!  You're my friend, Yuki."  Thian said defiantly.  Yuki then remembered what happened.  "You saved me, didn't you?" she said.  Thian thought for a moment.  "If I did, then that makes us even.  Although, I wasn't thinking that when I did it." He said.  At that moment, they both realized that they were looking at each other so they turned bright red simultaneously and looked in opposite directions.  "Well, anyway, we'd better get going!" Thian said, with an embarrassed laugh.  He began  gathering up their provisions, which he had dropped earlier and placed Yuki back on his shoulder. 

At last, they had reached the enemy castle.  Nothing offered them cover while they approached the front door.  Strangely, there was no opposition.  "This is odd.  I seriously doubt they are going to let us just stroll in uninvited…" Thian said.  Yuki had a worried look on her face.  "Thian, something is wrong.  I feel a strange presence!"  He stopped to take note of the surroundings.  All of the sudden, a beam of light came shooting out of the top of the castle.  It hit Thian point blank.  He ducked down expecting the blow, but didn't feel anything.  After a minute he stood up and realized that he was ok.  "Yuki, I don't know what that was, but It didn't affect me.  I think we may have some type of immunity to their attacks!" he said excitedly.  Yuki didn't share his excitement.  "No, Thian.  You aren't immune to the attack.  It was very effective, unfortunately." She said in a sad voice.  "What are you talking about?  I'm fine!" he said getting worried now.  "Try walking forward.  See what happens." She said.  He did so and got a nasty smack to the head when he walked into an impenetrable wall that was completely invisible.

 "Ouch…what in the world is this thing?" he said, fingering the wall.  Yuki exhaled, "We are trapped in a nexus.  A cage that permanently holds its victim using invisible walls that cannot be broken by most means." She said, getting even more depressed.  Thian wasn't ready to give up yet.  "Well, is there anything we can do to get out?  If they don't kill us first, we'll starve in here!" he said.  Yuki nodded.  "Yes.  We have one thing that will break it." She then stood up and took a good long look at Thian, as if she was trying to memorize his handsome features. Then, with a tear running down her cheek, she launched herself off his shoulder, and rammed the invisible wall.  With a small flash of light, the wall shattered into thousands of glassy pieces all around them.  Thian was free.  But what he didn't realize was that Yuki had paid the price.  He quickly took cover in a trench around the side of the castle entrance.

 It was then that he noticed that Yuki was bleeding on his shoulder.  "Oh, my God! Yuki!  Are you ok?" he screamed in pure terror.  He picked her up and cradled her in his hands.  Yuki looked up at him.  "Did I break you free?" she said, in a hopeful but fading voice.  "Yes, but what did you do?" he demanded.  An expression of relief appeared on Yuki's face.  "The only thing that could get you out of there.  I'm probably going to die, now." She said.  "DIE? Why are you going to die?" he demanded.  Yuki smiled at him.  "I have a power that will break a nexus cage but it is at the expense of my life force.  You must continue on alone now, Thian.  You must save the princess.  She's just inside the castle! Please, Thian.  You must let me go.  I will be gone in a few minutes." She whispered, her strength destabilizing.  "NO!  Yuki, you can't leave me!….I…I have these feelings for you I don't understand…" he burst into tears.  Yuki gazed up at him, "Thian, is it Love?"  Thian stared at her for a moment and nodded as he broke down.  With her last remaining strength, Yuki put a huge smile on her face.  "Oh, Thian!  I'm so happy!  I have loved you since we first met!  I will never forget you!" she said.  As her arm dropped to her side and her eyes went dark, he heard her whisper her last words, "If only things were different…"

Thian was so distraught that he made camp for the night before he entered the castle.  He buried Yuki beneath a peaceful patch of grass that had some wildflowers growing in it.  This had been the most powerful blow he had ever received.  He just realized how much he loved Yuki despite the sobering fact that he could never love her the way he could a human being.  Then she was taken from him in such a way.  She was a pure, kindhearted individual who didn't deserve to die.  Thian had developed much hatred for the enemy over this incident.  This was no longer a quest to save the princess.  This was a quest for revenge. 

He broke camp early and sneaked into the castle.  He roamed the maze of halls, rooms, and dungeons.  He randomly encountered a guard or two, but they were no match for his anger.  His acclaimed sword was now thirsty for blood.  As he moved throughout the castle, he could feel the presence of the princess growing.  Finally, he reached the dungeon where the princess was held captive.  She was chained to the wall, her life fading fast.  Just as he was about to break the door, a giant man in a black cloak walked towards him out of the shadows.  "Well, well, well.  If it isn't the chosen one sent out to rescue his pitiful princess.  How amusing, all he has is a sword.  I guess you have come to your senses and wish to die." He said arrogantly.  Thian grinned.  "No, sir.  The princess is why I am here.  And I intend to rescue her." He said, blandly.  The dark man looked at him with curiosity.  "And why are you smiling at me like a loon?  Do you really think I will let you rescue her?" he said.  Thian replied, "Oh, I will rescue her.  Rescuing the princess is my original goal.  But now I have reason to kill you.  You have taken someone very important from me and now I will take your life." He said, angrily.  By this time, the princess had become conscious.  "Be careful, wary traveler!" she whispered to herself.  The dark man was angry now.  "So explain how you are going to beat me with just a sword.  I am twice the man you are and a thousand times as powerful!" he yelled as he drew his sword and charged at Thian. 

He's got a point there, Thian.  We're you too busy thinking about vengeance to come up with a plan? He thought to himself.  He didn't have much time to do that now.  He was busy dodging the large  blade that was being swung at him right and left. He couldn't find a chance to even swing his sword since he was using it to block the attacks.  Eventually, he found himself on the ground from a kick in the stomach.  He had no idea what to do.  He felt a trickle of blood running down his cheek as the dark man approached him for the final blow.  Thian….Thian!  He heard a voice in his head.  Thian! Use the sword!  Use your power on the sword!  He heard the voice say again.  Using his mysterious power that he did not yet understand, he concentrated on the blade of his sword.  It started to glow in his hands. 

"Are you ready to die now, you stupid boy?" The dark man said, with a triumphant smile.  Thian was still on the ground, making an effort to pick himself up.  It was hard.  He was in a lot of pain.  Using the last bit of strength he had, he lifted his head to face the dark man.  "Never! You will pay for what you have done!" he yelled.  He dropped to his knees, pointed the glowing sword at the dark man and, with all of his remaining strength, blasted him with a bolt of power from the end of the sword.  The defeated warrior fell to the ground and was dead within seconds.  After Thian realized that the confrontation was over, he  crawled over to the cell, unlocked the door and unchained the princess.  But before he could say anything, he lost consciousness. 

When Thian awoke, he was in a bed.  From what he could tell by the room décor, it was a royal bedroom.  He had a bandage around his head.  It didn't hurt and he felt restless so he got up.  Before long, the room was full of attendants making a fuss over him.  Once he was able to convince them he was fine, the head of the royal counsel and the princess came into the room.  "Thian.  I wish to thank you for rescuing me.  This kingdom is in your debt forever.  You are very brave and you now have the deep respect of the inhabitants of Astyanax." The princess said, bowing to him.  The head of the royal counsel spoke now, his booming voice a little painful.  "We wish to have a banquet and celebration in your honor.  When do you think you will be recovered enough to attend?" he said.  Thian thought for a long moment and spoke up. 

"Princess, and sir, I deeply thank you for all you are offering to do.  But, unfortunately, I don't have a whole lot to celebrate about.  Yes, I did rescue you, princess.  But there was a cost.  When you sent me out on my journey, I was given a companion to lead the way.  We went through a lot together, and became very strong friends.  But, when we arrived at the castle, I was confined inside in one of those nexus things, and she gave her life so I could get out and save you.  She is now dead, and  I can't celebrate at a banquet when my heart is aching so badly." Thian said.  The princess turned to the head of the royal counsel.  "Whom did you send out with him?" she asked with mixed curiosity and anger.  The man lowered his head.  "We decided that it would be best to send Yuki, your majesty.  She knew the way and had the power to help in an emergency.  If what Thian says is true, if she hadn't been there, Thian would still be trapped in that nexus.  But that still doesn't excuse the fact.  I'm sorry, your majesty." He said, bowing very deeply to her. 

The princess turned to Thian again.  "Thian, dear.  I wish to ask you one question about Yuki and I won't ask anything else.  Did you love her?" she said in a serious voice.  Thian looked at her for a moment, and then lowered his head while turning slightly red.  "Yes.  I told her so.  Her last words were, 'if only things were different'.  I know that there couldn't have been anything between us but she still meant a lot to me.  I guess the best thing for me to do at this point is go back to my world.  I am very happy that I was able to help you but I will never forget Yuki.  At home, I will be able to occupy myself with my studies." Thian said, in a sad, but confident voice.  The princess regarded him with a tender smile.  "I shall grant that wish.  I will send you back. But I won't let you go without rewarding you for your bravery.  I will send it to you in your own world, for I am unable to give it to you here." She said.  Thian nodded acknowledgement.  "You are very kind, princess.  But please realize that you don't have to do that.  It was my pleasure to lend my help to your people." He said.  The princess brushed off that response almost immediately.  "I feel this is appropriate.  I thank you again, brave traveler.  Farewell!" she said. Everyone else in the room waved goodbye and before he knew it, he became dizzy again.  Moments later, he was back in his world, walking home from school at the exact point in time he left.  "Wow, I'm back!" He exclaimed.  

Things were pretty much back to normal for Thian.  Nothing had really changed.  He was still going to school and participating in school activities.  But he would never forget his adventure in Astyanax.  He was walking home from school the next day, deep in thought as he usually was, when he accidentally bumped into someone walking past him.  "I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to bump into you like that" Thian immediately apologized.  The assailant, about 5 feet tall and 110 lbs, looked up at him.  "That's ok, I don't mind." She replied.  Thian stepped back in surprise. How does this girl know my name? He thought.  It was then that he took a good look at her face.  She was looking at him intently.  "Yu….Yu….d…do I know you?" Thian Stammered.  "Maybe." She teased back.  Thian was at a loss for words.  This girl looked exactly like Yuki,  only she was the size of a normal girl and her wings were gone.  She was near his age, too.  But, alas, he mustn't get his hopes up.  Yuki is dead and he must accept it.  The girl got a mischievous look on her face and moved closer to him.  With her hands behind her back, she whispered into his ear, "Things are different…" Thian dropped his jaw.  "Yuki!  Is it really you?" He exclaimed, having trouble getting his mouth to say anything else intelligible.  The girl smiled and replied, "I think so.  The last thing I remember was your teary face with the entrance to the enemy castle looming behind you.  Then, I was standing here.  Oh, Thian, I'm so happy!" Yuki exclaimed, hopping excitedly.  Thian was still looking dumbfounded.  After a moment, Yuki cocked her head up at him.  "Thian, are you ok?" she said with a concerned voice.  Thian was just standing there staring at her like an idiot, unable to move, when he finally dropped to his knees, embraced her slender body firmly in his arms, and cried.  He loved her so much and this was just too much for him. Yuki stared at him in surprise, and then felt tears running down her cheek as she embraced him back and rested her head on his shoulder.  All he could think about was not letting her go for fear she would leave him once again.  He felt an overwhelming desire to protect her child-like form and spirit as if she was in danger of being hit with a nexus cage again.

After a while, they got themselves together and started walking down the street, arms linked with their thighs occasionally brushing up against each other.  Before long, they were stopped by an image of the princess floating in the air.  "Thian, Yuki.  This is your reward for embarking on that perilous journey and saving my kingdom.  I was unable to bring you back in Astyanax, Yuki, and I am sorry.  But since I had the ability to bring you back to Thian's world and give you a human body,  I decided that this was the best thing to do. Thian was grieving over your death so much that all he wanted to do was go back to his world anyway.  You will both have hero status in this world and will be remembered. Thian, please take good care of Yuki.  She means a lot to us and it will comfort everyone that knew her." She said.  Thian grinned. "I will, with all my heart!" He said, smiling down at Yuki, while cradling her in his arms.  She started blushing.  "And I will take care of Thian, you can be sure of that!" Yuki said confidently.

And so concludes my short story of Astyanax.  I claim no rights to this story for it was inspired by and/or characters/names were borrowed from the following works:  "Astyanax": the NES game, an anime title called "El Hazard: the magnificent world".