A/N: This update is part of my celebration for being on the site for 5 years! That's right; on April 30 5 years ago I made this account, so today I have decided to update all of my stories that are in progress. This does not mean that more updates will be coming soon if ever though.
And here we have Journey of a Midnight Soul. Looking at some of those stories, spanning hundreds of chapters, I see how big of a commitment it takes to do a story as big as the game justice. Even for a post game SI, there's so much to cover. This was a fun story to work on, and while I don't plan on writing more, at least for a while, I hope you enjoy this.
Thanks to Wyntirsno for betaing.
Chapter 8: Big Castles and Big Oceans.
Did you know that castles were big? Like really big, huge, so big that they were just so big that all you could say to describe them was big.
Well they are.
"Wow," I say as I walk alongside Lloyd, Genis, and Raine; taking the sights of chandeliers taller than me, that hung hundreds of feet in the air, holding lots of shiny stones of gold, silver, and other sparkly rocks that I have not learned the names of yet.
"Pretty cool, right?" Lloyd asked.
"Yeah, this is amazing." They could never do this place justice in the game. Sure, it was a big place and was easy to get lost in, but there was no way to show everything in here. When I was playing I was only caring about getting to the next place, and after the first couple play throughs, it was just a matter of getting out of here as soon as possible. And sometimes some eagerness to play as Zelos.
I really don't want to run into that guy.
I mean, sure he's nice and everything… well when he wants to be. And if I was a girl... Yeah, I'd probably be pushed to the side, ignored, as he flirted with Raine or any other girls around us. That would probably be for the best, I could hide with Genis and maybe come up with plans to discreetly shoot some fireballs at his head.
Having magic could be fun after all.
Raine walked ahead and began talking to one of the royal officials apparently finding out that the king was busy at the moment. Lloyd wanted to demand an audience right away, but even for the heroes of regenerations, that would probably end badly, so Raine went ahead, being the most tactful one of our group.
"Man, what's taking so long?" Lloyd asked, bored as ever, even though it had only been about five minutes.
"It hasn't been that long Lloyd, just be patient."
"Yeah, but it's so boring, right Tiger?"
Under normal circumstances I would probably have agreed with Lloyd, but I'm still occupied with how big this castle is. I would probably be bored too, but now I can't help but gaze off into every doorway, imagining the hundreds of rooms that have to lie beyond here.
"We might have a bit of a problem," Raine said as she came back with a look of worry across her face.
"What's wrong?" Lloyd asked.
"Apparently the king went to Heimdell a few weeks ago, but hasn't returned yet."
"Do you think that had something to do with Orion and the half-elves that were held prisoner?" Genis asked, thinking the same thing that I'm sure we all did.
"It's certainly a possibility we should consider," Raine said, holding her chin in her hand, trying to think this through. That would make sense if the elves were planning something, they might want the king out of the way. But why would they do this after so many millennia? Does this have to do with the world reunification?
"So, we're leaving for Heimdell then?" Lloyd asked, getting up and getting ready to leave the castle, which if you did not pick up on, is quite big.
"We probably should try to learn more about what's going on here first, before we go bursting in there," Raine said.
That made the most sense to me. The elder could help us figure out what was going on, and if he were a part of it, could also put a stop to it. Then again, seeing how powerful Orion was, their leader was probably even stronger, and if together we couldn't beat even one of them, what hope would we have against a small army of elves?
"But, we might not have time. If the elves are planning something we need to stop them now. I don't want to see any other people become victims, like Genis and Tiger here."
I was lucky, other than being imprisoned I wasn't in any pain. Although, I can see Genis shudder, and I can't imagine the things they must have put him through. He never complained though, he just fought through it, showing that he was a much stronger person than me. What would it have been like if I was in his position? Would I have been able to help us escape? Granted, I wasn't much help as it was, but still.
"Lloyd might be right for once," Genis said, much to the surprise of Raine. "If the elves have anything to do with this, we have to stop them as soon as possible."
"Very well then," Raine said, obviously not happy with it, but deciding to go with it anyway. It's unlikely that she'd be able to stop Lloyd's stubbornness, and with Genis agreeing with him, there was nothing she could do.
"Okay, let's go then. Tiger, you ready to another fun ride?"
"Um, I think I'll just stick with Genis this time," I said, not wanting to lose my lunch before we go into what could possibly be a hostile environment.
Raine shot me a glance making me think of our conversation before we left for Meltokio, the fact that she didn't trust me, or my story, might make her nervous about me riding with Genis. Though by her own words she said that I couldn't be much of a threat, and even if I was, I'm sure Genis' magic could make short work of me.
Raine dropped her stare, and we continued on our way, greeted by the lush autumn air of the capital.
I remembered as we traveled through the slums on the way here, the hundreds of people who seemed to be gathered around with nothing. I was never one to notice the poor where I lived. Both my hometown and university were relevantly wealthy. Sure, not everyone was rich, but it wasn't like one of those big urban areas where homeless lived among the alleys. Because of that, I never thought much of the poor, I knew they existed, and from time to time I'd give some money to some charity, but I didn't care much. Sure, it was bad, and they were hungry and in need of stuff, but there were other things much closer to me and much more important for me to worry about. As we passed through the slums again on our way out of the town, I catch sight of a couple kids who seemed way too thin trying to get away from a merchant while carrying a loaf of bread.
Sadly, I knew this wasn't just a problem in this world.
But as always, I averted my eyes and kept walking, eventually leaving the city and mounting the Reheard with Genis. We took off into the sky, our sights set toward Heimdell, and nothing else mattered.
According to Genis, it took about two hours to fly to Heimdell. It was cool flying, seeing all the ground beneath us just soar behind us. It was like riding in an airplane except that we were out in the open. And while I held on quite tightly, it was kind of fun. Especially since Genis didn't have quite the adventurous nature as Lloyd so we stayed right side up.
After a few minutes we reached the ocean, the pure blue water lying below us and soon spreading out in all directions. It was so clear; I could even see some fish beneath the surface as the waves bounced back and forth. It reminded me of that time I went on vacation in Florida with my family. The way my little brother kept drawing lines in the sand, as if they would stop the ocean from knocking down whatever he was building. Sadly, it never seemed to work.
It didn't matter where I was; the sheer vastness of the ocean always humbled me. Looking beside me, I saw Raine hold on tighter to Lloyd, her fear of water obviously showing. I wondered, with all the flying they did in the game if Raine was always like this. Though I can kind of relate, since I can't swim I'd be doomed if I fell off here.
"Something wrong?" Genis asked.
"Why do you ask?"
"Well you seemed to grab on to me tighter than before."
"Oh, well you see," I wasn't sure if I should tell him, sure that he'd be surprised that someone as old as me couldn't swim. But I figured it wouldn't hurt anything, maybe he could teach me sometime when we had some free time. Heck, that would be cool; I get transported to my favorite video game, learn magic, and learn how to swim. Granted, I could do without the fights to the death, but I guess we all can't get what we want. "I can't swim."
"Yeah, I know, kind of pathetic right?"
"Well I guess if you don't grow up near a river or ocean or anything, that makes sense."
"Raine told you where I came from then?"
"Yeah, it's still kind of hard to believe how you got here though."
"I know, I wouldn't believe it either, if I didn't experience it." Although, I keep thinking that I'll wake up and find out that this was all a dream brought on by doing too many math problems, playing too many video games, and not getting enough sleep. Besides, I'd like to go back home at some point, and maybe my mind will just be placed with my body back on earth. I seem to remember some anime's where things worked kind of like that, so maybe that's what it will be like here.
"What's it been like, I mean, trying to get used to everything?"
I hadn't really had time to think about it that much. I mean, it was just get used to it, don't complain, deal with it. Sure, modern technology would be nice, like running water, inside bathrooms, and of course laptops, but at the same time it's kind of nice not having to worry about things like my Facebook status or making sure I respond to every email I get. "I haven't thought about it that much," I finally answered. "I mean, with everything that's been going on, I didn't care that all of our technology was gone."
"Did you have a lot of technology there?"
"Yeah, a lot of what we had seemed to be what you guys would consider magi-technology here. Things like computers are common place back home, even in all of our houses."
"Oh wow, that must be cool."
"It is. Though sometimes I think it can be a bit much. We use it so much I wonder what would happen if it suddenly disappeared."
"You guys would probably react how Zelos did when we got back to Sylverant. Those were some fun times," Genis said as he adjusted the course of the Reheard, and over his shoulder I could see the tracking device that kept us on the right direction.
"I haven't been too bad, have I?"
"Nah, but I guess that explains why you were so quiet at first."
"Yeah, I guess I just didn't know what to do or say. I just tried not to arouse any suspicion."
We rode in silence for a few moments. I didn't know what Genis had going through his mind, but I just wasn't sure what else to say. I wondered if he was afraid at all at going back into Heimdell. They were never friendly to half-elves and even though he saved the world, there was no certainty that it would change with him. And even for me, I was a half-elf now, so I'd probably have to stay out of the village too. Unless Lloyd could convince them that I needed to come along for whatever reason and that I was his friend. I wonder if Lloyd even thinks of me as a friend. Sure, he helped save me from the prison, but was it just because I was with Genis and it made sense to help me too? Would he vouch for me, a guy he hardly knew?
"There's the other continent," Genis said and looking out in the distance, I could see land slowly coming over the horizon. That didn't mean we were almost there, it was a big continent, so we probably still had quite some time to go, but it was a nice break from the infinite sea.
A/N: And lets end it here. We have some things set in motion for the next chapter, and if I do decide to right more, I'll need the time to figure out more of the plot, since what little I had planned I had forgotten. Oh well, this has been a fun story at least.