Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Zestiria. That belongs to Bamco.
AN: The opening lines of dialogue are slightly altered from the second encounter with Heldalf, in which he inexplicably tells Symonne to release Rose from the bubble prison arte instead of the far far far more obvious choice, Mikleo. Because it made no sense to me why Heldalf would think to choose Rose when Symonne's been spying on them this whole time, during which time, she would have observed: 1) Rose armatizing with the other Seraphs, and (more importantly) 2) the relationship between Sorey and Mikleo. They seriously handed Heldalf the Idiot Villain Ball in that scene, so this is my take on it.
"Release the Water Seraph."
Sorey stared helplessly from Heldalf's grasp as a clawed hand aimed a blast at the silvery-blue haired Seraph. Mikleo had, fortunately, landed on his feet, staff at the ready when the attack fired. Swiftly side stepping the attack, he parried the blast, violet eyes gleaming in the darkness, searching for an opening.
"Mi-Mikleo," Sorey managed to stutter out even as he struggled harder to break free. "Luz-" His call for his childhood friend was abruptly cut off as sharp claws constricted tighter around his neck.
"Now, now, Shepherd, we mustn't end the fun early."
Several more blasts were shot Mikleo's way, but they were likewise side stepped.
"Hoooh, not bad, not bad at all, for one as young as yourself. Symonne," he commanded.
She bowed, replying, "As you wish." The dark Seraph raised her wand once more, making Lailah vanish before Symonne herself stepped back to warp away.
Sorey's vision blurred, and he was distinctly aware of the sensation of falling and hitting his back on the ground, knocking the air out of his lungs. Willing himself to breathe, he rolled, raising himself to a battle-ready crouch, only to stare slack jawed at the scene in front of him.
Mikleo had been bodily slammed and pinned to one of the fallen pillars, his blood drenching the ancient stone. Heldalf crouched over the fallen Seraph, right claws digging into aquamarine and gold trimmed cloth as more red blossomed around malevolent purple claw points. The feline lord's left hand had been curled into a fist, energy gathered for a death blow.
Amethyst met jade. "S-Sorey, I'm sorry."
Time seemed to move in slow motion as Sorey closed his eyes and shouted a familiar name, one last time.
He had expected to feel the familiar grip of their bow falling into his hands, the tug of the wind in their pony tail, the warmth and security of being one with the most important person in his life . . . his one and only . . .
But none of that happened.
He opened his eyes to see Heldalf's fist firmly buried in the stone where Mikleo's head would have been, and a burst of white light streaming up where his body should have been.
He sank to his knees, vision blurring as tears, unbidden, overflowed from his eyes.
Mikleo was gone. Mikleo, who always took care of him, who always had his back, who always had a kind word or a comforting smile right when he needed it most. Dark claws of grief dug at his heart, and he followed his emotions down, down past the grief and into the boiling fury below.
He would avenge Mikleo, even if it cost him everything.
"Well, Shepherd, what do you have to say now?" Heldalf, asked, a smirk gracing his feline features as he slowly stood and turned to face the bereaved Shepherd.
Sorey staggered to his feet, sinking into a battle stance, sword drawn. His head snapped up to meet Heldalf's gaze, murderous intent warping his once cheerful face. "Heldalf! Give . . . him back!"
Without warning, he charged in low, dashing in to meet claw with sword.
He was never going to see him again.
Heldalf merely set his stance to defend, and when Sorey swept his sword upward to begin his assault, a burst of wind tossed the furious Shepherd upward and away before the blow could make contact.
Never to see the bright amethyst sparkle of his eyes . . .
The Lord of Calamity laughed even as Sorey righted himself in the air.
Never to see the wind rustle through aquamarine hair . . .
The taunt went ignored as Sorey landed in a crouch, using the force of the landing to launch himself forward once more for another assault.
Never to see him to his right . . .
He spun as he closed in, water enhancing his opening sword strike as he landed, ducking low to evade an incoming claw swipe, calling up a jet of water with his sword.
Never again to see him smile . . .
"Heavenly Torrent!" As the jet of water lifted the Lord into the air, Sorey finished his attack with a flurry of stabs, each aimed with deadly precision for a killing blow.
Taken off guard by the sudden burst of water, Heldalf was forced on to the defensive as he blocked the stabs with his bracers. The moment the rain of blows ended, Heldalf drew back his right fist, gathering energy into a singular attack, "Lion's Howl!"
The attack slammed the fallen Shepherd into a rocky outcropping directly facing the blood-smeared pillar where Mikleo had last lain. Darkness swirled around Sorey tighter now, and he greedily welcomed its embrace – every pulse of darkness fed his rage and knit his wounds together, readying him for another assault.
Heldalf smiled, raising himself out of his battle stance as Symonne reappeared by his side. "I believe my work here is done. Let us leave."
The air rippled once more, even as Sorey charged forward, and Heldalf disappeared, revealing a familiar turquoise split cloak and the wary faces of his allies. His suddenly aborted attack left him skidding to a stop mere feet from a back he thought he'd never see again.
AN: Because I didn't really have it in me to kill off everyone's favorite water Seraph, I let Symonne be as awesome as she should have been. Illusionists have always been (rightfully) feared with my Dungeons & Dragons group, as all it really takes is a little creativity to be a frightfully effective Illusionist. I'm going with D&D rules on breaking illusions: either the character has to interact with it, or the caster stops concentrating on the illusion and lets it break, or they dispel it voluntarily. Either way, Symonne gets to be a bit more awesome here than she did in the game, lol.