Alright so if you are reading this I should let you know that this is my 5th Escaflowne story and is not supposed to be posted until Lost and Found is completed. I have just posted Chapter 8 of Lost and Found and was thinking I could only keep Last Person On Earth going for so much longer. I found myself thinking one night… what would I do when I was done… and suddenly the plot to this new story was born.
If you are familiar with any of my stories especially the ones running at the same time… I thank you. I would like to explain a few things in detail before we start. Like Lost and Found Varie Fanel is in it, but this time she is not alive… Van is reading her story through writing. This will also be in first person perspective but switching from Van to Varie in the form of diary entries.
Also there is a time difference from Gaia to earth. It is a 3times difference instead of the two of my previous story. It makes it so four months on earth is one year on Gaia. The easiest way to think about it is if you split the twelve months into four quarters of three months each; one quarter equals one month on earth. (If you want to break it all the way down 8 hours on earth is one day on Gaia, and one day one earth equals three.) So Hitiomi has only been home for six months but it has been a year and a half for Van. I am going on the assumption that Hitomi was on Gaia for Three months starting in August and ending in October so this story starts on Van's seventeenth Birthday in April.
One last note:
If the writing is in Italics it has happened to Van in the past
If the writing is Normal it Van's point of view present day. If it is Normal with Bold words someone is yelling.
If the writing is Bold and Italics it is in Varie's handwriting and point of view.
Chapter 1- Fate
White 12th Moon,
Happy Birthday to me. I can't help thinking this to myself as I wake up this morning. This will be my second birthday in the rebuilt castle, although a year ago most of the work had yet to be completed. It has been only a year and a half since the end of the War and more importantly since I sent Hitomi home. I know that we promised to always be together but it would have been selfish to keep her here. I love her, as hard as it was for me to admit in those troubling days of the war.
I could feel that she was doing well for a while but the connections between us have gotten harder and less frequent, almost as if she is shutting me out. It is painful to think that just maybe her memories of me are too tangled with the death and darkness that shadowed her time here on Gaia. Would Hitomi shut me out along with her memories of the War?
Though the thought comes to me often I know that it is not true. It took her long enough to sort her feelings of admiration out from those of a deeper love. All the times when it was just us against the world, our connection was strong enough to save the world, but can it span the distance?
The turning point for us would have to be that horrible night in the rain. I put my foot firmly into my mouth to cover up my embarrassment of trying to tell Hitomi how I felt about her. Naturally her response was that she smacked me and then ran away. Not that I can blame her, but it still hurt. What came later twisted the knife in deeper.
How could she return my feelings when there was suave debonair Allen to run to? I found out later that Zaibach feared the growing strength of our bond and tampered with Allen's emotions to force them to kiss, and drive me away. As much as I hated seeing that, it made me realize several things; that I loved this strange stubborn girl, that even if she didn't return my feelings I would do everything in my power to protect her, and finally as long as she is happy then I can have some measure of happiness.
Those thoughts have only gotten stronger over time. When Hitomi left to go back to her world the first time I couldn't understand the hole it left in my very being. Since the first moment she ran into me there was always Hitomi, and then she was suddenly gone. We talked about it later and though she was on her home world for less then two days an entire week had passed for me. A week where I had to come to terms with not only my feelings, but that fact that things would never be simple between us. Then again I guess my life was never meant to be 'simple'.
Even though I am a King I still fought and built with my own hands. I have done everything in my power to rebuild Fanelia since the end of the War. I find returning things to how they should be helps if I re-instill old traditions into our new life. Twice a year I go clean the graveyard where my family rests. I found myself doing it for the first time right after I removed Escaflowne's energist and sent Hitomi home with it. Today, due to it being my birthday, is the other day when I visit Folken and Father, the men who were or should have been king in my place.
Merle is all the family I have left and she bluntly refuses to help me in the cemetery as it is too gloomy and we have had enough sadness. I don't see it that way at all. It is one of the few times where I am not the young 'King of Fanelia', the 'Pilot of Escaflowne', or even 'The Draconian King'. That last one has brought both good and bad things my way. It is peaceful here in the shade of the sleeping dragon with just the sound of wind rustling the leaves to keep me company.
Later tonight there will be a celebration for my birthday, but right now I heft the bucket of water and brushes down the short trail leading from the back of the palace and into the small royal cemetery. First I brush the lose dirt and dead leaves away. Calm times like this allow my mind to wander to memories where no one requires anything from me. I never want to forget Folken's carefree smile of my childhood or the times he would read to me at bedtime. I remember very little of my father other then his funeral and I don't ever want the memories of Folken to become lost as well.
Once I start scrubbing my mind wanders to other things that bring a small smile to my face. Hitomi Kanzaki, the stubborn, opinionated, caring, track running fortuneteller from another world. No matter how much her visions scared her, she would do anything to protect people and often ran head first into danger to save my skinny ass.
People often think that she went home right after the War ended, but they would be wrong and I would rather not correct them. It took time to get Folken properly buried and to let the people of Fanelia know of the rebuilding plans. Hitomi was there for me through everything. We explored the ruins together without fear. The dragons left on their own; retreating back into the wilds. Together, Hitomi and I found the least damaged places and figured out were the rebuilding efforts should start. I wanted the town to take precedence over the palace and we found a few rooms still mostly intact after the fire where Merle and I could comfortably live until there was time and resources to focus on a project that big.
I had chosen the room with a few missing pieces of roof where I could look up at the two moons at night. The night before I sent Hitomi home, there was a knock on my door pretty late; as I was still awake and dressed I opened the door to find Hitomi smiling at me.
"I knew you'd still be awake. Can I come in?" She absently brushed hair away from her luminous green eyes.
"Sure." I nodded stepping aside to let her in. I admit that her coming to my room alone late at night was not appropriate, but due to what we have gone through together normal rules of propriety don't seem to apply.
She walked right over to my refurbished bed and sat down without a nervous thought. "Van, do you really think it is okay for me to stay here forever?" Hitomi's habit for being direct and to the point still had an impact on me.
Sighing, I sat down next to her on the mattress our hands brushing briefly before I changed positions to sit with my legs crossed. "You are welcomed to stay for as long as you want." I shrugged, trying to play it calmly.
Her bright eyes flashed at me and I knew I was in for it now. "That's not what I meant and you know it! The War is over and things are peaceful now. You don't really need me here anymore." Hitomi held her hand up silencing the argument I was preparing. "Let me finish. Van, Do you want me to stay?"
Even though we had proven our feeling for each other, what she wanted right now was verbal conformation of what she already knew. "I don't need you to be anything but what you are Hitomi." I took her hand in mine and was surprised at how slim and soft it was as I twined our fingers together. "There will always be a place for you in Fanelia, with me. I love you Hitomi."
She removed her hand from mine and for a moment I was hurt by the rejection. Suddenly she threw both her arms around my neck and leaned in pressing her soft lips against my startled ones. Pulling away slightly I could still feel her moist warm breath on my lips as she whispered. "I love you too, Van."
I couldn't help cupping her soft cheek in the palm of my hand, mesmerized by this amazing girl in front of me. "How did I ever become so fortunate to deserve you?" I couldn't help asking before capturing her lips once more. We kissed hungrily between whispered promises for quite some time. Hitomi broke the kiss by removing the thin fabric of her blouse, startling me from our haze. Her pale soft flesh glowed in the moonlight. It took all my willpower to scoot away from her. "We need to stop."
I hated myself for saying anything, but we were just desperate for each other because we both knew our time together was coming to a close. Her cheeks shown flushed attractively and her lips were swollen from kissing. "This is our last night together. I don't want to regret not showing you how much I care, Van."
"You don't have to leave." We both knew it was a lie and she shook her head sadly.
"I have to return to my world, my time here is up." Her fingers stilled the argument on my lips once more. "I will come back to you I swear, but my life there has just been on hold. I have to say good bye properly before I can promise you forever."
I couldn't hold myself back any longer grabbing both her shoulders and crushing her slim body against my chest. "Promise me you will come back." I demanded breathing in the sweet sent of her hair.
She clutched the fabric of my shirt climbing the rest of the way into my lap. "I promise, as long as we don't talk about me leaving anymore."
"It is a deal." I sighed kissing her forehead softly. "I don't want this night to end."
She bit her lip in a mischievous way that made all other thoughts leave my mind instantly. "Then lets make every moment count."
When morning dawned, both of us knew the spell was broken, and though we spoke only of her staying; we said our good byes in the silent way we held each other.
Coming back out of the memory I noticed something odd. One of the stones at the base of Father's memorial moved underneath the scrubbing motion of my brush. I set down the brush, curious to inspect the damaged marble brick. With a slight grinding sound the heavy stone moved easily, as if the mortar had already been carved away. Setting it aside, there was a hole about a foot wide and almost as deep.
Hoping the structure wasn't badly damaged and father's grave hadn't been defiled; I reached into the darkness not knowing what I'd find. At first I encountered nothing but dirt and cold stone. Then I felt something out of place, something soft like fabric but still solid. I pulled my hand out of the crevice holding onto what appeared to be a square bundle wrapped in dirty cloth.
I sat down on the ground turning the object in my hands debating the best method of action. Untying the fabric I found three items inside. The first was a small wooden toy carved in the shape of a dragon that I suddenly recognized as mine. The second was a long white feather brittle with age, but still somehow bright in color. Lastly a worn dark leather bound book with no title or cover art.
Setting the three objects down I plunged the dirty cloth into my cleaning water hoping I was wrong but needing more proof. I scrubbed at the fabric until the water was murky. Pulling it out I wrung the water from the faded pink striped portion of my mother's favorite long sash.
If the toy was mine, and the cloth was her's, the feather must have been Folken's. Why would she leave this odd package hidden in the graveyard? The only way to find any answers would be to read the book but I have a feeling I already know exactly what is inside its pages.
Carefully I opened the worn cover to find the first entry is almost 32 years old. Written in sweeping elegant scrip the faded lettering is still clear and easy to read.
Red 16th Moon,
Today is my 18th birthday and this is my most treasured gift. A new journal; given to me by my mother who I will greatly miss. My life from this day forward will never be the same, so it is here that I will record my new life and not my old. I should start by introducing myself.
My name is Varie Koraki and I am Draconian. I live in a small village of just my people hidden in the mists of the Mystic Valley. Koraki means Raven in the old tongue and we all have surnames of types of birds. We are a people of ancient race and traditions. The few that leave our settlement are never allowed to return until our last breath merges us with our ancestors once more.
Everyone interprets things differently and I find that being a direct descendent of the people of Atlantis to be a blessing and a curse. The weight of the past is a heavy thing. Mistakes made before this world; our world of Gaia was born haunt us thousands of years later.
When I was born, the seers were overcome with a great vision of war and destruction but , also of hope. An immense dark power would revive the power of Atlantis and consume the world. A sad future, but from sadness grows great love. My son will be the one to save the world.
That is a heavy thing to tell a child. To grow up knowing that darkness is coming. On my fifteenth birthday, my parents told me the rest of the prophesy. The man I was destined to marry is not only 12 years my elder but also a King in his own right. What does a King want with someone considered cursed just because of their race? Let alone the fortuneteller's actual readings on my life. Goau of Fanelia; I have crafted many stories in my head about him. Of what he will be like… of what our life together would be like.
People tell me I am beautiful, but I have never looked at myself in such a manner and the boys of our village tease me for being prophesied to be too good for them. For you who might never meet me I would like to tell you everything. Not just of my long silken hair or my larger than average wingspan and pure white feathers. Also of what my fears and faults are.
I fear this King could not ever truly love me. I have heard of stories where the wife is just a trophy to be seen and not heard. Though I know how to hold my tongue, I do not always do so easily. I have been trained from a young age to have impeccable manners, but I feel emotions strongly and have to do my best to hide them from others.
Today I leave the only home I have ever known to meet a man that will be my husband. You could say it is an arranged marriage with the exception that he knows nothing of it or me.
Red 18th Moon,
I set out on foot alone two days ago. I am to travel to a lake where you can see the Mystic Moon hang heavy over the western mountains. I am to keep my wings hidden until the time is right… whatever that means. A lone woman walking the forest paths is a dangerous thing, but I keep away from the main roads and travel mainly at night. It is not just animals I need to fear since 'man' is the most unpredictable predator.
I did not bring many belongings with me as I have been told I will not need them. Food, water, a warm blanket, and a beautiful white dress aside from my dark travel clothes. No one could come with me, as they would not be able to return home. I do not have a pack animal or yorkle to ride, as the quickest path for me would be hard on an animal and they would require greater rest.
Red 23rd Moon,
The lake has come into view and I am glad for it. From the position of the two moons he should be here in only a few short days. I am dirty and tired, but relieved to have made it this far already. If I had to choose one of my strengths it would be perseverance. During the journey, I have worn rough men's clothing and kept my hair in a thick plat tucked down the back of my tunic. It is hot and uncomfortable, but I have come across a few other pilgrims and they haven't given me the slightest notice.
Tonight, I checked for a good spot along the lake edge hidden by the trees. Not risking being seen in the nude I waded into the water still in my undershirt. The water was cold but I feel like myself once more. Untangling my hair I let it dry loose and straight by the small fire I allow myself.
Red 25th Moon,
He is here! I heard a war party enter the woods in the early afternoon to set up camp. I have chosen a good spot after all, as I can hear them, but they do not know of my presence. No fire for me tonight. I do not know when they are to leave and the moons are to be huge in the sky tonight. I will dress in my clean white gown and appear to him tonight.
Thanks to the spring floods the lake is high and the shore edges right up to the tree line. What would be the bank of the lake is underwater so as I can stand in the water up to my knees and not fear going to deep.
I am both terrified and excited. I just need to relax and breath, but I fear I will climb right out of my skin from nervousness. Now the trick will be to attract only the attention of the one I need and not the whole war party. Whatever am I to do?
Red 26th Moon,
Thank the gods! For though the prophesy was considered a curse by some, it has become a blessing to me. If not for those seers, I would never have met Goau. He is more then I could have ever hoped for even in my childish fantasies. He is thirty moons but the age difference doesn't matter to me as I thought it would.
Last night, I could hear the celebration from his party. A good sign of victory and hopefully a vision of my success as well.
The glow from the Mystic Moon was bright and clear, bathing the world in mystery. Fireflies danced along the water's edge and the breeze was the smallest stirring. The warm firelight danced to one side. Walking out to the lake, the long skirts flowed behind me though the calm waters. Two of the men stood together talking but I couldn't hear their words. I hoped I was right and that one of them was him.
Breathing deeply, I began to sing not knowing how long it would take for him to notice me. From the corner of my eye I could see the two men approaching the water's edge. I had never seen the man I am destined for until that point. He stood closer to me while the other man seemed more hesitant and on guard. The second man called him 'my lord' verifying for me that I had the right man's attention.
"Look at that." The first man said to his friend.
Taking a deep breath I threw my arms out in front while releasing my wings for the first time in weeks. Feathers floated down around me glowing in the moonlight. The second man tried to push him back.
The man with one eye spoke first, "A Draconian! A descendent of Atlantis. The demons of legend. You're in danger Lord, stand back!" He made to draw his sword in the moonlight.
I had to pray that I was right that the man I was meant for wouldn't let any harm come to me. I was correct, as his hand came forward stilling the warrior.
"Don't Balgas. She is no demon; She is beautiful. I would gladly let such a demon steal my very soul."
I turned towards him with my arms out and my wings framing the moons. He waded out into the water towards me without fear. I did my best not to become shy or look away as he arrived in front of me,stopping a safe distance away. I knew I had to tell him the truth and let him accept me as I am.
"Goau of Fanelia." I spoke with a confidence I didn't feel.
"That's right." He said in shock. "But how is it you know my name?"
"When I was born it was prophesied that the man to whom I was destined would come tonight. When the mystic moon hangs above the western mountains."
There was a pause in which I could study his face openly before he spoke again. "You mean me?"
I couldn't help but smile. "That's right. Our meeting was fated, you see."
His face softened. "I am beginning to see. What is your name?"
"Varie." He held a large gloved hand out to me in a very gentlemanly way. I gladly accepted it, feeling warm all over.
"Varie, will you come with me?" He asked in a low soothing voice, which I was very quickly coming to love.
"Yes Lord Goau."
We stood together in the moonlight for some time. He was kind and thoughtful. I know now that I can have some measure of happiness by his side.
I shut the cover of the old diary with a sigh. These words, long forgotten, show me a side of my parents I never had the chance to know. What is destiny? Who decides a person's fate? Does a person's will count for anything? Or is it because of her will to except and fight for the chance of hope that the prophecy came true after all? Does my mother have any idea how sad and lonely this life will turn out to be?
Another thing has been bothering me since I began reading, What she had written about the prophecy here gives no indication that Folken wasn't the intended target. It just says 'her son'. What determined that it would be me? If I had died to the dragon the day I met Hitomi; would Folken have been the one to end the war and not me? Would he still be alive? Or was Hitomi's intervention part of the plan after all?
I have seen enough visions come true despite all the odds to doubt the truth behind them. Was Hitomi part of the plan after all? Should I be like my mother and trust that things will work out for the best despite the sacrifices? If I had been selfish and kept Hitomi here would she resent me? Have I waited long enough to be happy?
Can I take my mother as an example of what to do or what not to do? I will keep her written words in the hope that this is my chance to know my parents better than I could have when I lost them as a child. Furthermore, some of the events in these pages may help me prove the path that is best for me.
Already, I feel a calm sense of confidence that I have waited long enough to be happy. I will put my heart on the line and go find Hitomi myself. I won't force her to come back but I will tell her once and for all that I need her by my side. Not as a seer, but as a partner. Forever a team, to defy all odds.
We never talked about these things. What our future would be like. How long I should wait for her. I have left many things unsaid, hoping she could know how I feel about her without the embarrassment of words I don't know how to express clearly. The times I tried to hide my embarrassment with bravado always ended with Hitomi slapping me…. Hard.
With a new sense of purpose, I replaced the missing brick covering up the hiding spot once more, but take the contents with me back to the castle. Returning the cleaning supplies, I always borrow I come face to face with my bouncing cat-sister.
"Lord Van! Happy Birthday!" She throws herself into my arms in the enthusiastic hug of someone that doesn't see me every day.
"Good morning to you too Merle." I pat her between her perky ears before extracting myself from her strong grip.
"Are you excited for the party tonight?" She prances beside me as I walk towards my rooms to put the diary and other items in a safe place, as well as change into clean clothes.
I sigh, knowing my decision will not go over well. "I won't be attending."
"Why NOT!" She stamps her foot clearly not happy about the news. "You can't skip your own birthday party!"
"I'm sorry Merle, but I think its time I went to get Hitomi. I don't know how long it will take." I reach the door to my room but she darts in front of me blocking the way.
"Hitomi will come back when she is ready." Her striped tail is puffed out and her blue eyes are fierce. "You can't leave Fanelia to go to her strange world for gods know how long. What if you can't come back?"
"I will come back Merle, but this is something I have to do." I move her aside as gently as I can and enter the room knowing that she will just follow me in to continue the argument. I place the toy, feather, and fabric in my desk drawer but hesitate to put the book away. "Believe in me Merle, it may just help me come home faster."
Her features soften before running up and giving me another hug. "I'll always believe in you Lord Van. Bring Hitomi back for good this time." With a mischievous smirk she danced away adding. "I have so much to yell at her about."
"I'll warn her." I nodded, shooing her out the door. I was quite lucky that she didn't take notice of the odd items in my possession. As much as I love Merle, her affection can be tiring as are her questions. Changing into a clean outfit, I pause before strapping my sword to my side. Hitomi told me that it is not common for people to be armed openly in public. The last thing I need is to draw unwanted attention, but there is also reason to not want to be in a strange place unarmed entirely. I tuck a dagger in my boot and the diary under my shirt.
I also decide against telling my advisors before I depart. Merle knows to tell them where I am if I'm not back in three days' time. Not that a huge pillar of light appearing isn't a dead giveaway. I leave my room and walk down the hall making my way back to the graveyard. Some places seem to have stronger connections to the mystic moon then others, and since this was the last place used for transportation it gives me the best chance to arrive near Hitomi.
I close my eyes, breathing deeply while picturing the green eyed girl in my mind. Clutching the warm stone of Hitomi's pink pendent, I wish to be where she is with everything I have. A strong wind stirs around me and suddenly I feel weightless, as my feet lift off from the ground. With each heartbeat the wind pulls me faster as if I'm being sucked down a long tunnel. The thrumming in my ears starts to slow down as my boots touch down on solid ground once more.
Blinking, the blue-white light disappears as fast as it came; leaving me standing alone in the darkening twilight. I am exactly were I first met Hitomi Kanzaki as she ran directly into me. This time there are no witnesses to my arrival. The red paved track feels odd yet familiar under my feet. I know from what she has told me in the past that this is the place Hitomi attends lessons, and that she doesn't live far from here.
I close my eyes picturing the pendent just as I was taught. It swings to the right and I at least know the direction to start. Each time I reached a crossroad or unfamiliar turn I would pause and deduct the correct path. Finally, I reach a residential area and find I don't need to focus anymore as I am being drawn to one building in particular. There is a nameplate with unusual markings that I can only guess is the written language of this country.
I always found it intresting that Hitomi could understand our spoken words easily, but the writing of my country didn't seem to translate the same way. It must be the same here for me now. I run my fingers over the characters and it's meaning comes to me like the swinging of the pendent. Kanzaki.
I am here standing in front of her home. Why does it feel like I am still miles away? What should I say? A simple greeting seems odd, but blurting out that I love her and want her to come home… well that won't do either. What if her parents open the door? "Hello Sir or Madam I don't look like it but I'm a king and I want to take your daughter back to my world… forever." Maybe this was a bad idea.
I stand frozen, staring at the solid door afraid of it in ways I never was even when facing armies of enemies. Yes, this was definitely a bad idea. She promised to come back when the time was right. What if she isn't ready yet? I should just leave and wait for her, right?
Just when I decide to turn and leave I hear the sound of the door opening and freeze. "Van? Is that you?" The voice I had longed to hear asked from directly behind me.
"How did you know I was here?" I couldn't help asking, even though I was too relieved to move.
Her voice softened. "I could feel you through our connection." That alone made my heart pound faster. She hadn't cut our bond. Hitomi's voice took on a hard edge again. "What are you doing here Van? You shouldn't be here."
I spin around surprised by her harsh words. "I came for you Hitomi. I couldn't wait to be with you anymore." Looking at her for the first time in a year and a half I drank in the sight of her even if she didn't seem to be as happy to see me, as I am to see her. Her honey brown hair was a touch longer than before, just barely framing her face. Beautiful bright green eyes searched my face as if looking for answers. I had grown taller in our time apart but she still remains lanky and athletic with one major change.
The front of her shirt was stretched tightly over a solid rounded stomach. Hitomi, my Hitomi is with child? When had this happened? How… how could this be? I grasped for a coherent thought; searching my memory for the time difference. Something like a third my time has passed. Six months? Could it be? True to my past mistakes I did the only thing that came easy. Open mouth insert foot. "Is that mine?"
That is the third time Hitomi has slapped me with all her strength.
To Be Continued…
*P.S- Edited I was trying to math out the ages and realized I said Goau was 22years older the Varie. It was an error. As Varie has no recorded age I made her 18, and records state Goau was 30 when they met hence the correct age difference of 12 years.
As there will be diary entries in each chapter I will use the Gaian Calendar… unfortunately only half the months I could find the translation for the ones with at * are ones I've guessed or full out made up. The ones with birthdays are actual from the series. (With the exception of Millerna who it said was born in April like Van but his month is White Moon so I made her birthday a month earlier since it made more since then trying to have two colors per month.)
February- Purple (Folken was 25 at death, Birthday 17th Moon)
March- Green*, (Millerna's Birthday 24th Moon)
April- White (Van's Birthday 12th Moon)
May- Yellow (Dryden Birthday 25th Moon)
June- Orange, (Merle's Birthday30th Moon )
November- Blue, (Allen's Birthday 3rd Moon)
December- Silver* (Hitomi's Bithday 9th Moon)
This is the timeline of when people were born or major events happen as compared to the end of the war. For this story since it takes place a year and a half after the War ends one or two years will be added on according to what time of year the event happens. For example Van is 17 but Merle who was born two years after him is only 14 (as her 15th birthday is three months away). In the story itself I'll say how many years ago it was to try and keep you from getting too confused.
60 years ago Goau Fanel born.
30 years ago Goau Fanel and Varie meet.
25 years ago Purple, 17th Moon Folken Lacour de Fanel born.
15 years ago White, 12th Moon Van Slanzar de Fanel born. December 9 Hitomi Kanzaki born.
13 years ago Orange, 30th Moon Merle born.
12 years ago Goau Fanel passs away. (48 Earth years at death)
10 years ago Folken Lacour de Fanel disappears during dragon-slaying ritual. Varie Fanel disappears looking for Folken Lacour de Fanel.