The New Omen
Fate, some embrace it, some abhor it, yet few truly understand it. The Oracle was a prisoner of a cruel fate, yet she bore it with a smile. Destined for hardship and heartache, she carried on her journey, from Insomnia to the Disc of Cauthess, to awaken Titan. It was there where everything changed. For better or worse none of us knew.
A colossal fist slammed on the ground, hurling debris in all directions. She had successfully dodged Titan's attack, but it was flying debris that caught her. Small shrapnel-like rocks had lodged into her forearm and temple. She hissed in pain and removed them as a small stream of blood started to flow.
Before she could do anything else, Titan slammed down his enormous fist. She raised her trident out of reflex, temporarily halting Titan's attack. It was Titan's sheer power versus her defiance. The crushing force with which Titan was pushing his fist down would soon overpower her. She realized it and quickly erected a magical barrier deflecting the attack and buying her a few precious seconds.
"I am not your enemy. I seek your blessings for the King of Light, so he may fulfill his destiny and banish the darkness from this world," said Lunafreya, clutching her trident.
"The power of the gods can only be claimed by those deemed worthy. Be it the Oracle or the King, they must prove their mettle," an ethereal voice responded.
"If, for Noctis' sake, I am required to fight, then I will fight, even with the Gods," she said with a firm determination in her eyes even with blood dripping down from the side of her face.
Titan roared in response and unleashed the next set of attacks. Lunafreya dodged each of his attacks. She summoned the energy around her trident and unleashed a devastating attack on Titan. Not expecting such a powerful counterattack, Titan was dazed. Taking advantage of this opening, she continued sending a volley of attacks to gain an upper hand momentarily. This only angered Titan further.
Not to be outdone by a mortal, Titan stomped the ground, sending shockwaves all around and knocking Lunafreya off her feet. She flew back a few feet and landed with a thud on uneven ground. The impact of the fall had dislodged her trident from her grip and it landed farther from her.
She tried to get up but her body had given up and refused to move.
She had endured a great deal of physical trauma in the last few days and her body couldn't cope with it. After barely escaping from the jaws of death during the fall of the Insomnia, she had traveled to Lestallum among the refugees after overcoming great adversities. Without rest or recovery, soon she marched on to awaken Titan. Physically, her body wasn't trained to endure such hardship. Her body had long since given up; it was only her willpower that drove her.
Titan continued to stomp in rage, hurling debris in all directions. Once again, her mind told her to get up, but her body refused to obey. She crawled towards her trident, which remained painfully out of her reach. She tried to push herself up when a huge piece of boulder flew towards her and landed on her leg. She let out a piercing scream as the weight of the rock crushed her leg. She was sure it had broken her ankle.
With her trident out of reach, her leg trapped and her body unable to move, her ability to attack or defend was nullified. She had come to awaken Titan; she had not been expecting a fight with it. It took armies to bring down an Astral. To confront Titan and survive this long was a feat any warrior would be proud of. But this was the end. She had put up a good fight. One more attack from Titan would be fatal.
"Willpower alone is not enough to overcome the impending darkness. If you can't pass my trial, what hope do you have of succeeding against the combined might of daemons, Starscourge, and the Usurper? Mayhap you or your king are not worthy to consort with the gods," said Titan in rage.
"Let me end your misery, the slave of fate and destiny," said Titan. With that, Titan coiled back his fist and, with all his might, charged towards the defenseless Oracle.
She had many visions about her future, but this, a premature death without fulfilling her calling, was not one of them. Her mind ran through all the possible scenarios and concluded there was no escaping this situation. She closed her eyes and thought of one person she loved the most: Noctis.
'No! This is not how it is supposed to end. My calling is to awaken all Astrals for Noctis. I cannot die here.' Her mind tried to defy the odds. But looking at the reality of the situation, she couldn't help but think, 'Could the Astrals have forsaken me? No, that can't be. I must be steadfast in my faith, even when all hope is lost. Oh the gods above, please me!'
She saw the giant's fist descending upon her and, with no means of defending herself, she instinctively closed her eyes, and waited for the fatal blow.
A few seconds went by but that fatal blow never came. With her heart still pounding like a drum, she opened her eyes wearily. She was greeted with a sight of Titan's colossal fist hovering just a few feet above her with a sword-like weapon preventing its descent. She traced the sword with her eyes and looked at the owner, clad in all black, blocking Titan's mighty attack.
"You all right?" Asked a cool and collective voice as he glanced back at her.
She nodded in response, which wasn't missed by the stranger looking at her from the corner of his eyes.
"The good thing about a fight with a colossal enemy is that there are plenty of areas to strategically target," he muttered to himself, as if remembering a lesson he had learned. With all his might, he swung his sword deflecting Titan's fist. He immediately followed it up with two volleys of blizzard spells aimed right at Titan's eyes.
Titan screamed in agony and retreated momentarily. This gave enough time to the stranger to lift the rock trapping Lunafreya's leg.
"Thank you," she said, as she pulled her leg out from beneath the rock.
"No time for formalities," he stated, and proceed to cast a healing spell on her.
She closed her eyes as the feeling of rapture engulfed her whole body. For the time being, she forgot how much pain her body had to endure. She would love to be in the state forever if that were an option. But all good things must come to an end such is the cruel nature of life. As the effect of the spell wore off, the pain sensation returned, but with much lesser intensity.
"Take cover behind that boulder, I'll fight this thing," he said, just in time to block a renewed attack from Titan.
"No, I'll fight with you," she refused his offer. She tried to get up and walk towards her trident, but she stumbled on the first step, and fell to the ground. She noticed her ankle was badly damaged, and walking was excruciatingly painful.
"You're in no shape to fight so just sit this one out," he disagreed, while parrying Titan's attack.
"This is my fight," she said, as she crawled towards her trident with pertinacity.
"You will only end up getting hurt further," he said, looking at her struggle as he dodged another attack.
"I don't care if I get hurt. I only care about fulfilling my duty," she replied quickly.
"You can't fulfill your duty if you are dead, can you?" He asked sternly.
"If I don't even try then how different is it than being dead?" She retorted.
He placed his hand on his forehead. "Whatever. You are stubborn," he said, sounding annoyed.
"I am not stubborn. I am determined," she said, with fury in her eyes, as she clutched her trident.
"Determined to die, that is," he said under his breath, but Lunafreya heard it and gave him a look of contempt.
"Just stay out of my way," he said, as he readied to charge at Titan.
"What a jerk," she hissed under her breath, but he heard it. It was very unlike her to get angry at anyone, but here was a stranger who inserted himself in the middle of her covenant with the gods, and then have the audacity to tell her what to do.
"Look, you are hurt. You will only be a liability on the battlefield," he said, trying to reason with her one last time. He took his eyes off Titan momentarily to look at the girl who was arguing with him in the middle of a battle. It was a costly mistake as the impact of Titan's fist easily knocked him back a few feet.
"The Fallen has risen? How? He was erased. Matters not, for he shall fall again," said Titan, angrily at the intruder.
Before the stranger could get back on his feet, Titan's other hand was ready to pounce on him. Titan's fist was barely inches away from his face when a translucent golden magic shield blocked his attack dead in its tracks.
"Not much of a liability now, am I?" She said with a hint of a smile.
He tried his best not to react to her comment, but instinctively a hint of a smile crept on his face.
"Well, then, let's defeat this thing together. We can't win by defending only," he said, while getting up under the protection of her magical barrier. She quietly nodded in response. He extended his hand, and she grabbed it, and used it as a support to get back on her feet.
It was the first time she noticed the stranger closely. He wore a black leather bomber jacket over a white deep V-neck T-shirt which parts down the middle of his chest. He wore black pants, and white fur trim along the collar of his pants. A sash partially covers his right leg. He wore a lion-like pendant and a similar belt buckle. He had a distinctive scar which ran diagonally across the bridge of his nose. His unruly shoulder-length brown hair and a short boxed beard gave him a matured look. The way he was dressed was unlike anything she had seen before.
"My, my, what is he doing here?" Said a distant observer, removing his fancy hat. "Him being back is, dare I say, a bad Omen," said Ardyn, before breaking into a hysterical laugh at his joke. "What an interesting twist in the tale. Bahamut, what are you scheming now?"
On the ground below, the warrior launched himself towards Titan, expertly dodging all the incoming attacks. Lunafreya could tell he was a seasoned warrior.
He hacked and slashed at Titan with great agility. She too joined in by unleashing bolts of magic towards Titan. For the first time in this fight, it felt as if they had an upper hand.
Their victory was short-lived, as Titan swept his colossal hand swatting both of them. That attack caused them tremendous damage. Before they could recover, Titan stomped on the ground, causing a shockwave to knock them off their feet. Titan followed it up by forming a fist and targeting Lunafreya with it.
Because of her ankle injury, she struggled to get back on her feet quickly. She was about to be crushed by an incoming attack when the warrior in black covered her, and took the brunt of the attack. He falls away grimacing in pain.
Titan targeted him next, as he lay on the ground defenseless, still recuperating from the last attack. Just as Titan's attack was about to land on him, a magical barrier protected him once again.
"This magical barrier of yours is very helpful. How long does it last?" He asked while getting back on his feet.
"I don't know. 10 seconds maybe?" She said unsure.
"Hmm," he thought for a second, and continued, "that should be enough."
"Enough for wha-" Her sentence was cut off as Titan's attacked knocked Lunafreya off her feet once more. Another pounding of the fist next to her, sent debris hurling towards her, reopening her wounds.
He saw a stream of blood gushing down from Lunafreaya's hand and head. He looked at Titan with rage-filled in his eyes and ran towards Titan launching different spells all over him. Some hit Titan on his face, some on his hands, and some on his chest. As he got closer to Titan, he slashed him with his sword, creating sparks on each impact.
Instead of defending or even attacking him, Titan launched another attack targeted at Lunafreya again. He rushed back and covered her just in time to protect her, but once again they both were knocked down to the ground. Lunafreya erected her barrier to buy them some precious time.
While lying next to her, he noticed the blood had entirely covered one side of her face. "You're hurt," he said, with a hint of concern in his voice.
"I'll live," she assured, with a faint smile.
She uttered some spell and healed him, which took him by surprise.
"You should heal yourself first," he stated the obvious.
"No, you took the brunt of the attack multiple times for me, and you are hurt too, so I should heal you first," she argued.
"God! You are so stubborn," he said, putting his hand on his forehead. "Here," he gestured towards here, casting another healing spell. While it did not stop the bleeding entirely, it eased her pain.
"Next time, heal yourself first," he said, as he got back on his feet.
Their fight commenced. The dance of attack and defense carried on for a few minutes, with momentum swinging back and forth multiple times during this battle.
Instead of him attacking from close quarters and Lunafreya supporting from the back line, they adopted a new strategy where they fought back to back. It was a lot more efficient than their previous strategy, as now one barrier can protect both parties. They both took turns attacking, so others could get enough rest in between. It surprised them how well they fought together.
"My name is Lunafreya," she suddenly said, realizing she had not introduced herself to the stranger.
"Squall Leonhart," he said, without shifting his focus from Titan.
"Have we met before?" Lunafreya asked the stranger.
"No," he said definitively, before adding, "but you look familiar for some reason."
"Strange, I feel the same," she confessed, parrying the attack.
"We need to get an upper hand in this battle. At this rate, we will run out of stamina and all our spells soon," he remains focused on the task, while sidestepping Titan's fist.
"What do you suggest?" She asked.
"I don't know enough about this thing to draw any conclusion. What do you know about this giant?" He inquired.
"Well, this is an Archaean called Titan. The legend says that when the meteor fell on Eos, Titan intercepted it, and has been carrying it on his back for eons," she said, as she erected her protecting barrier.
"I don't need a history lesson right now. Just give me any information I can use to defeat it," he said, getting agitated.
"I don't know of such information. I was not planning to defeat it," she said sheepishly.
"You were fighting against it, but had no plan of defeating it?" He said partly surprised and partly frustrated, as he deflected another attack.
"I wasn't planning to fight with-" she said before he cut her off mid-sentence, "what was the thing you said about Titan carrying something on his back?"
"It's a meteor this Astral has been carrying for eons. He is protecting this planet by not letting the meteor hit the ground, or so the legend says," she repeated, her 'history lesson,' annoyed at being cut off mid-sentence earlier.
"That's it!" He said, as his eyes lit up.
"What?" She asked, unsure of what he meant.
"Attack him on his back where the meteor is being held," he instructed.
"No, that is reckless, I will not do that," she defied.
"God! Why are you so stubborn?" He complained.
"We don't know what kind of chaos it could unleash if that meteor hits the ground," she replied still in shock at his preposterous idea.
"He won't let it fall at any cost," he argued back.
"How can you be so sure?" She asked with a reservation.
"Because ever since the fight started, he has used only one hand to attack. His other hand is always supporting the meteor," he explained the rationale behind his plan. "And if he is carrying it for eons, then chances are, he will try to hold it up at all cost."
"It is too risky," she doubted, while wiping her face off the blood.
He turned around, grabbed her hand, and looked straight into her eyes. "Just trust me on this one."
His commanding tone left no room for argument. She nodded in silent agreement.
He ran towards Titan drawing his attention, while Lunafreya prepared her attack. She said a silent prayer before letting out her attack, hitting the spot where the meteor was lodged in Titan's back.
Titan let out a deafening roared in response. Titan was furious but, before he could counterattack, Lunafreya attacked again. As the weight of the meteor shifted on his back, Titan immediately focused on readjusting it.
With Titan distracted, Squall let out a volley of blizzardga freezing the entire Titan.
"It's time to end this," he declared. His heart was pounding, his focus laser-sharp, as adrenaline ran through his body. It was time for his limit break.
He ran towards Titan with unmatched speed, slicing him with his gunblade multiple times, causing massive damage with each hit. He stepped back and raised his weapon over his head to summon a large aura of energy around it. He charged the energy until it formed a pillar extending into the sky. With a mighty force, he brought down his gunblade and the pillar of energy with it, destroying anything within its path causing an exorbitant amount of damage to Titan.
"Finish it," he instructed her.
She swung her trusty trident and unleashed a massive amount of energy aim at the heart of Titan. The frozen Titan appeared to shatter into million spectral pieces in the surrounding atmosphere.
Squall looked at Lunafreya, asking for her silent approval to check if it was over. Her face was expressionless, as she was unsure of what would happen next.
Within seconds, the spectral pieces dissipate, and Titan was revealed once again. Titan adjusted the meteor on his back and sat back in a dormant position.
"Mayhap I misjudged your strength," Titan said in a humbler tone.
She stepped forward confidently with a trident in her hand. "Will you forge a covenant now?"
"Yes. But, I shall first test your king's strength, before I surrender my power unto him," said the ethereal voice in a divine language.
"I have full faith that he shall pass your trial. Thank you, for your kindness," she said, bending her knee and bowing down her head slightly. She was still graceful as always, although she could barely stand.
"Is it over?" He inquired from a distance.
She nodded with a charming smile.
"I hear by form a covenant with thy soul," echoed the ethereal voice, as gold lights emanated from its body, some of which coalesced around Lunafreaya. The energy circulated around Lunafreya for a few seconds, before lifting her off her feet, and suspending her a few feet in the air. The surrounding energy suddenly imploded on her. As her body absorbed the massive amount of energy, she screamed in pain and collapsed on the ground.
Squall caught her just in time, as her head was about to hit the ground. He cradled her in his arms, as she seemed to be in a deep slumber. Was she exhausted or unconscious? He didn't know. He quickly checked her pulse. He let out a sigh of relief, when he detected a normal pattern of the pulse.
It was the first time he noticed how beautiful she looked. Something about her felt so familiar to him. A sudden jolt of a headache had him clutching his head in agony. It was as if a distant memory was trying to resurface from the depths of his mind. He vaguely remembered holding a girl in a coma, tenderly in his arms. He caressed her face, but everything was a blur. He could not recall who she was or how she looked. He clutched his head in agony as the memory faded.
A warrior without a past and an Oracle without a future, united in a cruel game of fate.
"Bravo! What a spectacle that was. This was as good as last time, if not better," Ardyn said, from a distance, eating popcorn in his lounge chair. "Now that my dear friend Squall is back, perhaps it's time for a rematch with the Astrals. What say you, Bahamut?" He broke into a burst of maniacal laughter, as a dark aura started oozing from him.
Earlier That Day
Gentiana opened her eyes and quickly realized where she was. She was in the beyond, in Bahamut's domain.
"I know that you can sense him too," said the ethereal voice of Bahamut.
"Bahamut, what is Squall doing here? How did he–" Gentiana's curiosity was cut short by Bahamut.
"Do not finagle, Shiva. I had trapped him in the beyond, it is impossible to escape from there without divine intervention," howled Bahamut in rage.
"Are you accusing me of helping him escape from your prison?"
"I merely suggest the likeliest possibility, as you are the only one among all the Astrals who is fond of that traitor."
"Let me assure you, I had no role in this," she said sternly. "I have learned my lesson from last time," she said with her eyes cast down in a humble tone.
"Have you?" Bahamut asked. "How about you prove it to me?" He challenged.
"What must I do to prove my loyalty?" She asked.
"Do that which you failed to do the last time," he offered.
"Yes, kill him and all that you lost shall be restored to you."
"You can't be serious!" Gentiana said, appalled at the proposal.
"Should you kill him, that which is most precious to you will be restored. I want to see the old cold-blooded Shiva back." He tempted Gentiana with an offer she couldn't refuse.
"Then I shall do what I must," Gentiana said coldly.
"I like this attitude, but let's not get too hasty," he said with a sudden shift in tone.
"What do you have in mind?" She asked hesitantly.
"Gain his trust and use it to your advantage. Assign him to be the shield for Lunafreya, and guide them through the trials. Bring him to Altissia, to the very location where he betrayed us, and slay him there."
"What purpose does this serve?"
"My purpose is not your concern," he said commandingly.
"Maybe so, but is Lunafreya not your concern? Wouldn't she be hurt by his presence?"
After a long pause, Bahamut finally responded, "I don't determine fate, I simply enforce it. They are slaves of destiny and duty; they will tear each other apart. Such is their providence."
"How many times must history repeat itself?"
After an outstretched silence, Bahamut spoke again, "History is only important to those who remember it. He remembers none of it: not of his old world, the Omen, or even his history with Eos. His memory is like a puzzle with missing pieces, and you are forbidden to assist him. He must not learn of his past."
"You intend to leave him in his ignorance. To what end?"
"Learning about events from the past would corrupt his redemption. Should you tell him, you will suffer the consequences," Bahamut said in a menacing tone.
"Understood," Gentiana said with an icy stare.
'Everyone from his old world perished and were reborn on Eos, but he remembers none of them. Moreover, he has no recollection of the events that transpired during the Omen. I wonder if he will even remembers me. Can fate be more unkind?' Gentiana thought grimly.
"He awaits you at Garden of Fenestala Manor," said the Bladekeeper, breaking Gentiana out of her thoughts.
She glanced at the Draconian before leaving the ethereal realm of the beyond.
"Please forgive me, Eos," said Bahamut, once he was alone.
Since characters from a different world e.g. FFXIV and Serah (Terra wars) can pop in and leave without altering the overall narrative of the game, I thought why not do something similar for Luna. Unfortunately, we don't learn a lot about the heroine of this story in FFXV, which ironically gives freedom to fill up those gaps as per our imagination. So I picked Squall (Leon) Leonhart (FFVIII)/(KH)/Dissidia to serve as her Shield (I have a good plot reason to pick him.) However, the challenge is to bring Squall into this lore (and take him out at Altissia) while leaving the main FFXV story intact, to the point that not a single dialogue from the game should be changed for any characters involved.
I am not sure if people would be interested in reading a story like this, but after working on it for over a year, here it is now. Please leave a review if you've enjoyed the story so far. It would be very encouraging to hear your feedback. Thanks :)