In the Wreckage
DISCLAIMER: "The Vision of Escaflowne" is not and never will be mine. Otherwise, Folken and Eries would have been together.
NOTE: It's been a while since my last Folken/Eries fan fic. I know I should be updating "Recompense" and "Drink in the Moonlight" but I've been terribly busy with school and life in general as well as completing several other pending stories. As soon as I conclude my old stories, I will focus more on the two I posted on my birthday.
But I wanted to post something special on this historic date so I decided to put this up. It's a short story I've had in mind for Folken and Eries for quite some time now. It's just going to be brief – just two chapters. A little random, as usual, but hopefully an enjoyable read.
"I'm afraid we will have to spend the night here, Princess," the captain said regretfully, "The repairs cannot not be finished in time and there is no question of our travelling back to Asturia in the darkness. Forgive me for this inconvenience."
"No need to apologize, Captain," Eries reassured the man, "it can't be helped so we will make do as best as we can."
Arrangements were made for the sojourn as the Princess of Asturia and her small travelling party prepared to spend the night on their air ship. It had inconveniently broken down on the way back from a trade negotiation in one of Asturia's allied nations. Eries wasn't worried about not getting home again. What mystified her was the fact that of all places on Gaea, they had managed to land there.
Though it was only a shadow of what it used to be, just like he had been.
Years ago, he had chosen the cold, dark walls of Zaibach to be his new home and he had served a new master. And though it was the Strategos that she had come to know so well, every now and then, she had caught glimpses of the prince of Fanelia. In spite of himself, he would sometimes betray his true identity when he was working with her, and for these rare occasions she was grateful. He did not let his guard down so easily but somehow he trusted her enough to do just that when they were together. They had always been cordial to one another but she had always considered him a kind of a friend.
So the news of his death had been hard on her though she masked her sadness well. She had been away on this trade negotiation trip when the communication about the destruction of the Flying Fortress Vione had been transmitted to her ship. She still found it hard to believe but she dared not dwell too much on it lest she be plagued with memories and emotions that she had no use for at the moment.
"Perhaps he found his way home at last," she thought.
Later that night, Princess Eries was seized with a sudden desire to take a stroll through the woods. She was surprised at this reckless longing but she figured she would give in to it for once. Luckily, her guards were too exhausted to do their duties and she was able to slip away unnoticed.
The princess followed a small path through the woods, savoring the cool night breeze, and listening to the rustling of the leaves in the trees. It was said that dragons sometimes roamed that land but Eries was not afraid of them. And it was perhaps the purity of her courage that kept the monsters at bay, if indeed they were there.
At length, the path brought her to the banks of a river. The two moons shone brightly in the night sky, their radiance making the serene waters seem to shimmer like precious stones. The princess was mesmerized and before she knew it, she had taken off her shoes and stockings and was wading in the cool, shallow water.
Somehow it didn't seem ridiculous to be wading in a river in the middle of the night. She was never one to act impulsively but this seemed strangely appropriate. Eries sighed with contentment as she walked in the shallows, the water swishing gently against her dress and a gentle breeze blowing through her long, golden hair.
It was strange to be back there again after so many years. And as he gazed at the ruins of the land he had loved, he could not help but be burdened with guilt and remorse. He had allowed this to happen. He had destroyed his own home.
And yet, now at his lowest moments, the land still brought an inexplicable comfort. Even in ruins, it was more home to him than Zaibach ever was. And he berated himself for choosing to be blind to this truth for so many years.
But now that he had severed his ties with Emperor Dornkirk, Folken was determined to set things right. He only hoped that he would live long enough to pay for his crimes and to make amends with Van. There was still so much he needed to do and he prayed that he would have enough time.
He walked through the familiar woods close to the river. He remembered how he and Van had played here as children and how he and Balgus had sometimes trained in this area. And for some reason, he suddenly remembered the story Balgus had told him about how his parents first met.
It had been on a night such as this, with the two moons shining brightly in the sky. Goau Fanel had seen a mysterious, beautiful woman wading in the river. And at that moment, their destiny had begun.
Folken remembered his mother's beauty and completely understood how his father could have been completely enchanted. After all, she belonged to a race of people who were almost like gods. And instead of being afraid of Varie's wings, Goau had been fascinated by her and had fallen so deeply in love as to defy the world to be with her. Folken smiled wistfully as he remembered all this and decided to visit his parents' first meeting place.
But as soon as he turned his gaze towards the river, his parents' story was furthest from his mind. Nothing else mattered but what he saw before him. He could not believe what he was seeing but he was convinced that even if this was a just a dream or vision, he would never be able to forget it.
Bathed in the light of the two moons reflected on the surface of the water, the princess seemed more like a goddess. Her golden hair was radiant under the moonlight and she seemed to have an ethereal glow about her.
He recognized her immediately and yet he felt like he was seeing her for the first time. He wondered how and why she could be there at that very moment but he was at a loss for ideas.
And though he thought that it would be better for him to remain in hiding, his feet moved of their own accord into the water and soon he gave up resisting them. He was utterly entranced, and he didn't really care about what happened next.
So just like his father had done many years ago on a similarly beautiful moonlit night, Folken Lacour de Fanel was going out to meet his destiny.