Tales Of Eternia Fan Fiction ❯ Because I'm Needed ❯ Chapter 5
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Hey you guys! Ready for the next one?
Disclaimer: In case you haven't guessed it by now, I don't own Tales of Symphonia or any of its characters or locations. But try and claim Tai for your own and you will feel my wrath!!! Lol.
The monsters fell one by one as they where hit by the glowing pink chakrams of angelic light. They were small, pitiful creatures, the kind you find lurking in the bushes dotted around the Tethe'allan countryside. Why did they even bother to attack them when their defeat was inevitable? The pretty blonde angel giggled as she glided effortlessly over the ground, her translucent, magenta wings glittering in the late afternoon sun.
Smiling happily, she returned to her friends, “That was easy!”
Her wings shimmered briefly as she landed gently on the trodden earth, before vanishing as quickly as they came, leaving nothing but a few sparkles of mana on her back. Colette's wings fascinated Tai. They were so beautiful and mysterious, revealing her angelic powers when she pulled them out, yet she looked like an ordinary human went they were hidden. She could remember her shock when she first saw Colette fight; she had no idea that the Chosen of Sylvarant had actually become an angel. Colette had explained about how she got her powers when she released Sylvarant's seals, but she didn't go into much detail at the time. There was something she had mentioned which was troubling Tai, it was clawing at the back of her mind, a memory that she couldn't quite reach. But she was certain that it was to do with the Chosen's Cruxis crystal.
With the monsters destroyed, the group continued their journey, with Colette walking eagerly alongside Lloyd near the front. Tai called to her and she dropped back with a smile. The two girls slowed their pace slightly, falling behind the others so they could talk more freely.
“Colette… your Cruxis crystal is really important, isn't it?”
She seemed a little surprised at her sudden interest, but continued to smile regardless, “Yeah, it's the jewel of the Chosen. They say I was born with it in my hand.”
“The jewel of the Chosen? Does that mean that Zelos has one too?”
“That's right, every Chosen has one. But we only need to equip it when the oracle comes and we begin the journey of regeneration. Tethe'alla is still flourishing, so Zelos didn't need his crystal until recently. His sister, Seles, was looking after it for him in the Abbey.”
"So he has it now?"
"Yeah, he needed in order to open the Tethe'alla Tower of Salvation for us a while ago."
Even though she could be ditzy at times, Colette had a wonderful way of knowing when someone was troubled, even when they did their best to hide it. So when Tai fell silent, frowning slightly, she continued walking by her side and made no attempt at asking her what was wrong. She figured that she'd tell her when she was ready. After a few minutes of walking in silence, Tai seemed to come to a decision. Sighing, she brushed her fringe out of her eyes and turned to the tiny angel.
"It's... your Cruxis crystal which gives you your wings, right?"
She nodded, "It's the Cruxis crystal which gives me all my angel powers."
"How does it work?"
Her scarlet eyes were intense and serious. Tai knew that however Colette had become an angel; she'd suffered a great deal during the transformation process. She'd heard Raine and Genis talking about it one night, though she didn't hear all the details. She felt bad about asking, about making her relive her worst memories again, but she knew that she had no choice. Whatever was going on with Zelos, it had something to do with being the Chosen. Colette lowered her gaze, the usual happy light fading from her aqua eyes.
"I-it feeds on us, like a parasite. It's an evolved form of an Exsphere, so if someone is exposed to it for a while, it'll feed on their essence, making them lose their humanity..."
"Becoming an angel means loosing your humanity?!"
Her voice was small and sad, yet serious at the same time, "It's all part of becoming the vessel for Martel, that's what being the Chosen is all about."
Tai could only stare in disbelief, "Colette... I'm so sorry, I shouldn't have asked."
"No, no," she shook her head, "don't worry about me, I don't mind talking about it. I have Lloyd after all, he saved me. I'm really very lucky!"
She blushed slightly at her obvious enthusiasm towards the chestnut haired swordsman, "It's the other Chosen that have died in the past that I feel sorry for, they had no idea, they had no one to save them. And poor Presea! They were trying to create a Cruxis crystal inside her body. She would have died if Lloyd hadn't made that key crest for her!"
"So it's the key crest that controls the crystal.”
“Yes, it stops it from going out of control. You see, it gets stronger when the wearer is suffering, so when I was fighting the guardians of the seals in Sylvarant, it grew more and more powerful…”
“Well at first, I lost my sense of taste… I just wasn't hungry anymore, and even when I forced myself to eat, I couldn't keep anything down. Then I couldn't sleep, I never even got tired. I used to just pretend or count the stars.”
Colette stared into the distance for a moment, then Tai realised she was in fact gazing at Lloyd.
“After that, I lost the ability to feel. I couldn't feel hot or cold or pain. I couldn't even cry… And then I lost my voice, and in the end, I even lost my heart…”
“Colette… stop. You don't have to tell me this if you don't want to.”
“No, it's fine, really! I get the feeling that whatever you need to do here, you won't be able to do it without some help, so I'll help you if I can, ok?”
The smile displayed on her pretty features was so sweet and understanding that Tai felt truly touched, "Thank you.”
But her fellow blonde was no longer looking at her, she was turning this way and that, a puzzled look had crept over her face and concern glittered in her eyes.
“Colette? What's the matter?”
“I... can hear something.”
Tai could hear it now too, a faint rustling noise, the occasional snap of a twig under foot, soft breathing, the breaths coming quick and shallow. Someone was following them and whoever, or whatever it was, they were hardly making a sound. No one else had noticed it, but Colette was angel, and she was part dragon.
“It's getting closer,” Tai breathed. There was no need to speak any louder; she knew Colette could hear her.
“What should we do?” came her fearful reply.
Tai was already creeping stealthily away from the bushes which harboured the mysterious newcomer, bow ready her hands. When used correctly, it served to be a deadly weapon, and had been masterfully crafted long ago from a strong, dark wood of which she didn't know the origin. Strange characters were carved into its polished surface, symbols that told stories of ages gone by, of past heroes and the dragons the fought beside them. But they were tiny and many had been worn away over the years as it was handed through the generations of dragon guardians, so not even Tai could decipher what they all said. The bow had been presented to her on her twelfth birthday, only a few days before the disaster occurred. It was her prized possession, other than her crystal of course.
Once she'd reached a suitable distance to fire from, she knocked an arrow in her bowstring, preparing to take aim. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on letting the walls around her mind fall away, and let her conscience flow out, briefly touching the minds of the other unseen creatures which inhabited the area, until she found the one which hid among the bushes directly in front of her. It was a young girl, she could tell that much, but she had mental barriers blocking intrusion that reminded her of those around Zelos's mind, though they were no were near as strong. The few thoughts she could hear were so mixed up that she could make no sense of them. The young archer sighed as she came back to herself and attempted to get some sense out of the other conscience that troubled her, while Colette went ahead to warn the others.
`I can't tell what this girl's intentions are at all… any ideas?'
The crystal at her throat shone in response, tinting her pale skin with its rosy glow.
Her thoughts don't appear to be malicious, but she seems to have some contempt towards some of your companions…
`So is she our enemy or not?'
Difficult to say…
Tai rolled her eyes. Why would it never give her a straight answer? `You're not helping!'
And you are not concentrating. Use your head, aim to stun…
Understanding dawned on her as she remembered what it meant. Carefully, she searched through her quiver, her nimble fingers feeling over the flight of each arrow she carried, until finally she found the one she sought, the one with the largest feathers, and separated it from its fellows before switching it with the ordinary arrow in her bowstring. This arrow was special, the only one of its kind she possessed. It was an arrow one only used when you didn't want to shoot to kill. It had a small bag filled with bitter smelling herbs attached to where the metal arrowhead should be, which would burst when it made contact with the target. The herbs had stunning properties which would temporarily paralyze the victim for a few minutes if used successfully. Since Tai didn't know whether their stalker was a friend or foe, this was the ideal time to use it.
Taking a deep breath, she stood in position; eyes narrowed, and pulled back the bow string. The taut elastic tugged at her fingertips, desperate for release, and she felt a familiar calmness sweep through her as she let go and watched the arrow whiz towards the bushes, swift but not deadly. A shocked cry and the sound of a force field spell told her that the missile had been deflected, as her dragon spirit burst into life.
Beware of the magic!
Defend yourself... Now!
Tai threw herself to the floor just in time, and instinctively rolled out of harms way on impact as the shards of crystal ice viciously attacked the ground were she once stood, their razor edges now embedded in the rocky earth. There was no time to be shocked and she was on her feet at once, confident in her agility if nothing else, and launched herself at her attackers hiding place, arms outstretched and her eyes searching for any sign of a second attack. The archer needn't have worried, the young magic user clearly hadn't expected her spell to miss its target, and her reactions weren't as quick as Tai's. Before she could even get into a defensive stance, Tai had her pinned to the ground with her hands around her wrists. The girl struggled and fought but to no avail. Mentally she was strong but her physical strength was lacking, so Tai didn't find it too difficult to prevent her from recovering her strange weapon which had been flung aside when she'd knocked her down. She noticed that the stranger had short red hair, a shade lighter than Zelos's, and her eyes were blue-green, like the ocean.
"Insolence!" she cried, "Unhand me! Don't you realise who I am!!"
So far Tai's captive had been thrashing too much to take in her opponent's appearance, but now she grew still, panting heavily, taking in every detail of her character with venomous eyes. Tai found it strange that a sorceress could tire so quickly.
The young girl attempted to control her voice, a task that clearly required a lot of effort, and glared fiercely at her captor. "If you don't let me go this second, you will live to regret it," she hissed, voice filled with malice, "You don't know who you're dealing with!"
Tai tossed her head in order to move the hair that had fallen in front of her eyes during the struggle. Vision clear again, she glared straight back at the young red head with equal intensity, "Strange, I could say the same thing to you."
She felt the girl flinch in her grasp as teal met ruby, and watched as her pupils dilated in alarm. Suddenly, her thoughts became loud and clear: demon... Filled with panic inspired energy, she began to kick, thrash and scream with fresh fear, like a rabbit caught in a hunter's snare, making it difficult for Tai to hold her.
"Help! Demon! GODDESS MARTEL HELP!!"
The others were coming now; Tai could here the pounding of their feet behind her. The fact that they'd taken so long meant that she and Colette must have fallen must farther behind than she'd thought.
"Release me you Daughter of Darkness!! Take your demon's eye elsewhere!"
She was making far too much noise, and Tai was more than aware that there may be other enemies waiting for them near by. "I-I'm not a demon!" she said, attempting to calm her, but her words fell on deft ears. The sound of a sword slashing through vegetation told her that her friends had finally made it, and was surprised to find that Zelos was at the front of the group when she turned to face them. The colour drained from his already pale face as his aquamarines fell on the girl, making the wild tangles of red hair that blew across his face seem even redder. He was staring at her captive in utter disbelief.
"S-Seles?!" he stuttered.
Tai released her at once, unable to control the uneasiness rising from the pit of her stomach, and retreated back a few steps to give the breathless girl some air. "You mean this is your sister?!"
"Half-sister," he corrected, kneeling down in front of her, "Seles, what on earth do you think you're doing! You know you're not supposed to leave the Abbey! I can't believe they allowed this!"
Having apparently gotten over her sudden panic attack, Seles sniffed disdainfully. "They had nothing to do with it; I sneaked out on my own. I can take care of myself!"
"But you could have got hurt, or sick! Anything could have happened to you out he-"
He stopped, felling the entire groups' gaze upon him, and looked around sheepishly, a blush creeping across his cheeks.
"I thought you didn't care about her Zelos," taunted Genis, grinning like the school boy he is.
"He is concerned for his sister, that much is clear..." Presea observed, a rare smile playing on her lips.
Lloyd prodded the Chosen's arm playfully, “Heh, I guess even Zelos can be nice sometimes!”
“Wha-?! N-no way! I-I mean!...”
“Ha ha! Zelos is embarrassed!” came Genis's singsong retort.
He pouted, blushing crimson to the roots of his flaming hair, “Get real brat!”
The boy magician pulled out his kendama, tossing it lazily into the air and catching it each time, his expression one of controlled rage, “You know you're pretty red as you are, but I bet I could make you redder. Fancy being toasted?”
Zelos sweat dropped, “You wouldn't dare!”
“Enough!” Raine's violet-blue eyes flashed with fury. “Can't you see we have a situation here that requires immediate attention?! Do you enjoy my punishments so much that you crave for more?!!”
Taken aback by her sudden outburst, both boys hung their heads, reliving the harshness of Raine's past punishments. “Sorry…” they muttered in unison.
"Yeah right," said Seles, returning the groups attention to her, "as if my precious big brother would ever be worried about me!"
She was on her feet now, smoothing her rumpled skirts and rearranging the orange beret on her head. Her pose was one of utter self importance, and her expression was scornful as she retrieved her unusual looking weapon (which reminded Tai of a lunchbox) from near Tai's feet, shooting daggers at her as she did so.
"I don't see why you're so bothered Zelos,” she said haughtily," If it weren't for demon-girl over there you would never had known I was following you."
Tai glanced up at her sharply, ruby eyes wide. She'd been called a demon before of course, always by people who didn't understand her, but it was still painful every time. She didn't understand why Seles continued to speak of her that way; surely she could see that she was a part of the Chosen's group and no longer a threat...
Though she tried not to let it show, the hurt in her expression was clear, and she bowed her head, fringe hanging before her eyes.
"That's not the point Seles!" Zelos fumed, "And don't call Tai a demon!"
Now it was Seles's turn to be taken aback. The young red head rounded on him, eyes flashing with something different to the previous distain. "Oh please! Are you telling me you actually care for her?!"
Her words pierced Tai's heart, paining her in a way that no knife or physical weapon could. Seles was right of course, she was a freak, and it was foolish to think that the Chosen would ever care for her. What surprised her though was that she actually cared about whether or not Zelos cared for her, which made little sense in her mind… Wait, yes it did. If Zelos hated her than chances are she would never get close enough to him in order to prevent him from doing something he'll surely regret. Tears pricked the corners or her accursed eyes. Her efforts would be in vain.
Meanwhile, the man in question continued to battle in the verbal war with his stubborn sibling, “Of course I care! I-”
“Um… you guys?” Colette's pale face hovered uncertainly behind the red headed warriors. Her intervention went unnoticed though as Sheena got in on the act.
“We all care, Tai's our friend! Although I wouldn't expect you to know anything about the values of friendship, Miss High and Mighty!”
“You witch! You're just as bad as she is! You dare show your face after toying with my brother's heart!?”
“You guys?!” The angel was becoming fretful, as she plucked at Sheena and Zelos's robes in a poor attempt to get their attention.
“What!?” The summoner was practically shrieking now, completely oblivious to Colette, “I've never had anything to do with your brother's stupid heart! You think I enjoy him being perverted and staring at me all the time?!”
“Hey!” Zelos protested, “I'm not perverted, I just have a natural curiosity towards the unknown!” The pink wearing Chosen grinned to himself at his clever answer, secretly enjoying the extra attention he was getting from the Mizuho ninja… until she whacked him over the head of course.
“Sheeeeeeeeeeenaaaaaaaaa!!!” he whined pathetically, “Don't hate me `cause I'm beautiful!”
“GUYS!!” yelled Colette, her wings shooting out in desperation, showering them in rainbow sparkles.
“Um, this may not be the best time my cute little angel,” Zelos groaned as he nursed the newly risen bump on his head.
“But this is an emergency!!!” she cried, her panic filled voice finally getting everyone's attention.
“What's wrong?” asked Raine.
Colette turned to Tai, eyes wide and fearful. “Seles sneaking up on us isn't what I heard.”
“What!” Tai looked up, alarmed.
“I would have mentioned it earlier, but everyone was busy with Seles, and I wasn't sure what it was…” She tilted her head upwards, searching the apparently empty skies, “If I'd have realised it was combing from above, I would have spotted them sooner.”
“Spotted what sooner?” Tai questioned, now also looking heavenward.
Colette extending her arm and pointed to something in the distance. For a moment, Tai could neither see nor hear anything, but then three shapeless specks appeared on the horizon, growing bigger every second. She could hear the faint sound of wing beats drawing closer ad closer. Whatever they were they were travelling at an immense speed towards them, and Tai realised that Colette's senses were undoubtedly superior to her own if she could hear them so long before her. Presently she shivered, angel senses must be even more enhanced than dragon ones.
“What are you talking about Colette? I can't hear or see anything,” Genis stated, puzzled, “Are you feeling ok?”
“She's fine,” Raine sighed in exasperation. “Honestly, have you forgotten already Genis? She's an angel now.”
Tai felt Colette grip her arm worriedly, “You can see them too right?” Her voice was almost pleading.
“Yes, but not as well as you can. What do you see?”
“Spiked wings and…,” she squinted slightly to better her focus, “…red eyes.”
Tai felt her breath catch in her chest, she couldn't breathe. The airborne newcomers continues to close in, their silhouettes now outlined clearly by the dying glow of the setting sun. They were dragons. But not just any dragons, these were loyal to Yggdrasill. And they had come for her.
“Crap!” she muttered under her breath, panic taking root in the pit of her stomach.
Knowing that this was a first for her friend, Colette gripped tighter, “What is it Tai?”
There was no time to explain, the deadly creatures were only moments away and yet everyone was just standing there! She dashed away, leaving a bemused Colette in her wake. Tai couldn't understand it, she'd been so careful not to let her mind wander ever since that first attack before she joined the Chosen's group, so they couldn't have picked up any of her mental signals. And they hadn't stopped at any major towns or ran into any Desians, so there's no way that her presence could have been reported that way. The feeling of dread continued to rise, overcoming her other senses until she was on the verge of hysteria. Everyone was going to get attacked because of her! The only dragons left in the world were those that were corrupted by Yggdrasill all those years ago, and she always knew that if he was made aware of her presence he would set out to eliminate her. As long as she was the guardian of a dragon spirit, she would be seen as a threat, and the most affective force against her pitiful dragon magic was another, stronger, dragon.
She shook her head violently, `The only way he could have possibly discovered that I've joined the Chosen's group…'
She slowed down as she neared Zelos and felt something click into place amongst the jumbled thoughts that plagued her mind. The memory of the day before surfaced, it was just after the food fight when he was washing his clothes. His smile was so fixed and didn't quite reach his eyes: “I think I'll head back now, not that I'll have been missed or anything!”
Tai stared at Zelos dubiously, `…is if someone in our group told Cruxis!'
All of a sudden Genis was tugging her arm, only partly arousing her from her terror-stricken trance. “What are you doing Tai!?” His distresses tone told her that everyone could now identify their approaching attackers, “We have to get out of here, the dragons are coming!”
“No…, “she murmured, unable to tear her gaze away from the evil which waited in the blood stained sky, “We cannot escape them…”
The young mage pulled with all his strength, but the archer stood firm, rooted to the spot, her half closed eyes glassy and dull. Her hands were cold and clammy to the touch, and the gemstone at her throat was blazing erratically.
“R-Raine!” he despaired, “Something's wrong with her, she won't move!”
But Genis had no idea. He had couldn't hear the fiendish words that pierced her mind at that very moment, as the monstrous shadowy forms loomed overhead, causing her breathing to falter.
`We have you now little dragon child, you won't escape us this time… Soon you will rejoin your mother, and all those other pitiful humans who dared defy our master!'
Ooooooooooooh, my first cliffy! Are you mad? Are you desperate for more? Well then review for me you awesome people! *goes starry eyed* You know how much I adore reviews!
Yes, yes, I know there was no sheelos n this chapter- *gets pelted with rotten fruit by angry sheelos fans* No, spare me! I promise there will be some sweet sheelos stuff in the next chapter; I have it all planned lol! Are you excited?
Well that's pretty much everything for now, till next time!