Tales Of Symphonia Fan Fiction ❯ Run ❯ Chapter 2 - Grazed Knees ( Chapter 2 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Ack, I'm sorry I'm so late in posting this. *sweat* (That's what happen when you go on a trip, ahaha. I'm currently posting this on my friend's computer in Dallas. Go me. XD)
Anyway, chapter two starts to set up the group's journey and the first seal. Don't really have much to comment on, actually. Wrote it quickly along with the first chapter. *shrug*
Also, please visit the LJ post - hosted at the username boundtobeafraid - for skits and chapter art! I do a lot more for that post, seriously.
Anyway, thanks to all who have been reading this so far. I hope you continue to enjoy it!
Chapter Two - Grazed Knees
Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Symphonia or anything related to it thereof. Why I would, I have no idea.
Note: This is a shot at a bunny that's been eating my brain for no particular reason. I've always liked the idea of Zelos going through the Chosen ritual instead, and what that would entail. This is probably by no means a canon take on things, and really just me playing around with a rather odd plot device. *chuckle* Oh, and the title of the fanfiction and chapters comes from the songs of the same name by Snow Patrol, which me listening to them is what really got the bunny rolling. Other than that, I really have no reason for this strange thing.
It's easier to lie and be safe
Time and time again I'm half stalled
One giant leap of faith is easy
When everyone you ask is so sure
"Augh! I'm glad that's over!" Zelos yawned and stretched his hands over his head. The group was walking out of the chapel, out into the snowy streets of Flanoir. The crowds were all talking excitedly, although none had yet to approach Zelos. "That was so dreadfully boring," he whined.
Sheena huffed, walking briskly to move past him. "That's all you have to say? You're horrible! Honestly." She shook her head. "Even meeting an angel doesn't get you excited!"
Zelos grinned lewdly at her, shuffling closer. "Ah, there are many things that get me excited, hunny. Just not some stuffy old man telling me I have to save the world, you know."
Sheena rolled her eyes and moved away from him. "You're hopeless, you know," she said, smacking his hand away as it inched towards her. "And no funny business! I'm not having you trying to grope me this whole journey!"
Zelos laughed and pouted at her, but made no more attempts to seize some portion of her flesh. He looked off in the distance, where the Tower of Salvation rose towards the heavens once again. "Ah, I would say that it's good to have that in the sky again though, I suppose," he muttered, looking at it strangely.
Regal walked next to him, Presea still close by. "Chosen, I would exercise some caution. The journey is going to be ever more difficult now," he suggested.
Zelos rolled his eyes and nodded. "Yes, yes, I realize that. Especially now with this thing on me," he said acidly, pointing to the Cruxis Crystal now embedded near his neck. He wiped off some snow that fell onto the green jewel with a grimace, grumbling a bit. Regal just sighed a little. The Chosen was not going to be quiet about this, that much was for sure.
"Ah, why couldn't we accept the oracle in Altamira? That would have been nice," Zelos griped, waving to some girls that giggled as he passed.
Sheena grumbled. "What, so you could look at girls in bathing suits instead?"
Zelos grinned. "Yes! Exactly."
Sheena groaned and rolled her eyes, walking next to Presea instead. "Flanoir is a pleasant town, albeit a bit too cold," Regal said.
Zelos raised an eyebrow. "What, if you've got fur over your nuts?" he joked, causing Sheena to sputter a little. "Not that I hate it. No, cold's fine with me. Just rather have girls in bathing suits than full jackets."
Regal sighed. "Yes, I know, Chosen."
Zelos chuckled. "What have you got against Altamira, anyway?" he pressed, looking at Regal with a questioning eye.
Regal paused for a moment, but then sort of shrugged. "I did not say I disliked Altamira, Chosen."
Zelos grinned. "Ah, but you didn't say that you liked it either. You've got bad memories there or something?" Regal chose not to answer that, and Zelos just shrugged and kept moving. "Fine, have it your way."
After a few moments of silence, Sheena asked, "Anyway, where's the first seal?"
"Well, it would be easiest to journey first to the Temple of Ice, which is nearby," Regal suggested, looking down from the entrance of the city to the vast frozen wasteland that lay outside it.
"It is approximately 2.3 kilometers southeast from this location," Presea added, her voice flat and monotone.
Zelos let out a whine, obviously displeased with this decision. "The Ice Temple? I want to get off this frozen tundra of an island as soon as possible!" Sheena made a face at his tone of voice but nodded a little in agreement.
"Honestly, I'd have to agree with him. I'm no fan of this cold," she said, shivering a little. "But, if we finish this seal now, we wouldn't have to come back and freeze again," she added, sighing. Regal and Presea gave a nod, and they started to walk out of the city, leaving Zelos behind.
"Heeey- Don't I get a choice in this?" he whined, chasing after them.
Zelos pouted. "Ah, you guys are no fun."
"What-" Zelos slid a little, trying to stay upright. "Is-" He slid a little more, this time in the opposite direction. "With-" Again he slid, almost crashing into a rock that jutted out of the ice. "This place?!"
Sheena, who wasn't far behind him, yelled out heatedly. "Augh! I don't know. Maybe it being the Temple of Ice has something to do with it?!" They had been sliding around an ice field that led to the inner sanctum of the temple for nearly an hour now. They were all tired and sore, and it had taken a good amount of the time just to figure out how to freeze the water in the first place.
"Well, excuse me hunny!" Zelos yelled back, obviously irritated and grumpy, as was most of the group. Presea was the only one who didn't appear to be exhausted or in a foul mood. Even Regal had snapped a little the last time Zelos had crashed headlong into him. Sheena grumbled angrily and slid forward, trying to follow Zelos, but instead crashed into him, causing them both to crumble into a heap for the hundredth time.
"Augh, Sheena, as much as I like an excuse to be this close to your fine body, I'd rather not be splayed out on the ice yet again," Zelos complained, stuck under Sheena. Sheena growled and smacked him on the head, stumbling to her feet. Zelos yelped in pain, but joined her, using the rock he had almost hit earlier for support.
"You know, hunny, the force of you crashing into me was painful enough. I didn't need you smacking my head again," he whined, getting nothing more than another fuming look from Sheena as she slid away from him. Zelos sighed, following after her, as they tried vainly yet again to make their way across the ice.
Another hour - and many fights and bruises later - they finally found a way across the ice. More accurately, Presea pointed out a route that they all followed. The trick to open the door was easy as well; Presea simply recited the positions of the faces on some of the stone in the ice field they had seen when they crawled up one of the ledges.
The inner sanctum was just as cold as the rest of the place and was huge and cavernous. The group took a quick look around as they made their way to the dais towards the back of the room. "It... looks like a Summon Spirit altar," Sheena muttered, suddenly uneasy.
"Each seal awakens the Summon Spirit sleeping deep within, who brings forth the Goddess, sending mana to our world," Presea recited, looking blankly at the altar. Zelos nodded, looking at it as if it was something unpleasant. "Yeah. As I recall, there should be a monster or something guarding it-"
As soon as he said that, the door that led to the chamber suddenly closed shut, blocking the only way out. They all swerved to face the altar, which had begun to rumble loudly. A huge form was suddenly materializing, almost faltering for a moment, but a great wolf-like creature emerged. It snarled at them, and its breath frosted the surrounding walls.
"Whoo, big boy," Zelos remarked, a little shocked at the sheer size of the monster. Presea rushed forward, swinging her axe at the monster's ankle. Yowling in pain, it turned around and faced her, trying to bite at her. Regal kicked it hard in the opposite direction, increasing its anger. Sheena attacked as well, with Zelos not far behind, casting a fire spell.
Distracted by the three attacking it, the monster vainly tried to strike each of them, going for whoever was hitting it the hardest. It managed to send Sheena and Regal flying for a moment, but Regal landed on his feet, and Sheena got up quickly.
"Burn baby! Eruption!" Zelos called, and a large rounded column of fire burst underneath the monster, causing it to roar in pain. Zelos grinned in his momentary victory, but his expression quickly changed once he noticed the monster was running right towards him. "Whoa!" he yelped, dashing out of the way just in time.
"Watch what you're doing, you stupid Chosen!" Sheena scolded, hitting the monster with another attack from her seals.
"Yes yes," Zelos responded, running to go attack the monster with his sword. The monster continued to try and maul those it could, sending Presea flying into a wall once; Sheena almost crashed into the altar multiple times. It also seemed to have a special attraction to attacking Zelos, seemingly bitter over the spell from earlier. It often interrupted him during any other spell he tried to cast, even First Aid for the rest of the party.
The repeated and constant barrage of attacks by the group eventually did in the monster. As it howled out as it disappeared into nothingness, a light began to glow over the dais. A part of the dais popped up, and the light burned brighter, with a figure hidden beneath it. But the figure soon disappeared, and the part that had popped up sank back down into the altar, and only the glowing light remained. Suddenly, the voice of Azrael loomed overhead, echoing in the deep chamber.
"You, the Chosen of Regeneration. Offer your prayers at the altar."
Zelos sighed a little and stepped forward. "...Yeah, yeah," he muttered, his hands folded in prayer. "Oh, Goddess Martel," he droned out, like he was repeating something he was told to say. "Great protector and nurturer of the earth, grant me thy strength!"
With that, the light over the dais grew brighter and began to almost separate into different balls of light, floating up into the heavens. Then a light shone from above, like in the chapel, and Azrael appeared as he did before, hovering over them gently with a sublime smile plastered on his face. "Chosen, you have done well to come this far," he said, almost monotonously. Zelos gave no answer and stared at the angel, trying to convey that he wanted this done and over with.
Azrael ignored him and continued. "The guardian of the first seal has fallen, and the first seal has been released. Celsius will surely awaken soon. In the name of Cruxis, I shall grant you the power of the angels." Zelos rolled his eyes. "Yeah, thank you." He heard Sheena tsk behind him but didn't say anything.
Four beams of coloured light floated down, twisting and turning before converging into Zelos. Zelos winced for a split second, and his Cruxis Crystal gleamed. Suddenly, bright orange coloured wings appeared from his back, sparkling and glowing in the dim light. The group behind him jolted with surprise, and Sheena let out a gasp. Just as shocked, Zelos floated up from the ground, casting a look back at them before turning back to Azrael as the angel began to talk again.
"The angel transformation will not be without pain. Yet, it is but for one night. Be strong and endure," he said, his tone still dull, as if he was uninterested.
Zelos grimaced, his eyes flickering to the side for a moment but gave a nod. "I accept this trial," he supplied, also sounding bored.
"The next seal lies far in the southwest, in a vast cavern. Offer your prayers at that altar," Azrael said.
"Sure thing," Zelos responded.
Azrael nodded, disappearing in a ball of light and feathers. "I shall await you at the next seal, the Chosen of Regeneration," his voice echoed, disembodied with his disappearance. Zelos floated down, letting out a sigh of relief almost as he hit the ground.
Looking at the group gathered behind him, and their still surprised faces (minus Presea), he frowned. "What? Is it that shocking?" he asked, turning to flutter the wings.
Sheena gawked for a minute then shook her head vigorously, snapping out of it. "Augh, stop that, you stupid Chosen!" she yelled.
Zelos grinned and winked at her. "Want to watch me pull them out, hunny?" he teased, making them disappear for a second and before popping them back out.
Sheena flushed, conflicted between wanting to look at them and kick Zelos for being foolish. "I said stop it!" she yelled, flustered. Zelos laughed at her, letting her chase him around as he flew about the cavern.
Regal and Presea stayed still, watching them silently. Shaking his head and chuckling a bit, he turned to talk to Presea. "He said that the next seal was in a vast cavern. Could he mean the Temple of Earth?" he inquired.
Presea gave a nod in agreement, pausing as if to calculate something. "The Temple of Earth is northeast from the capital of Meltokio, and approximately 160 kilometers from this location. Easiest route is via the city of Meltokio, requires brief transport by boat back to the city," she droned, causing Regal to sweat a little.
"Ah, yes. Right," he muttered, a little taken aback by the girl. Taking another look at her, he paused before speaking again. She was reminding him of someone, someone he used to know so well... "...Presea, are... did you possibly-" he began, but he was stopped short by Zelos flying headfirst into him.
"You stupid Chosen!"
After scrambling back over the ice once more, they started to wander back through the temple. "I'm glad we were able to defeat that monster," Sheena said, cheerful after their victory.
"Indeed," Regal said. "It was quite large."
Zelos rolled his eyes. "Huge is more like it," he said, almost tripping over a puddle of ice. Grimacing, he coughed a little.
"Are you all right, Chosen?" Regal asked, as the party stopped along with him. "Did you catch a cold?" Zelos shook his head, coughing a little more.
"I don't think you have to worry, Regal. Idiots can't catch colds," Sheena said, continuing to walk.
"Hunny, that's cruel," Zelos whined, following after her and the party started moving again.
"Just stating the truth," she replied, at which Zelos pouted.
"...Are you really okay though?" she asked, quietly.
Zelos smiled a little. "I'll be fine, I think. Your concern is touching, hunny," he teased, poking her with his elbow.
Sheena frowned, moving away from him. "Oh, shut it," she said, flustered. "Just don't get sick. We can't have the 'savior of the world' sick."
Zelos chuckled, nodding. "Of course, hunny."
They kept on trudging through the temple, getting out as quickly as their tired feet would allow them, back into the now fading sunlight. "Oh, it's almost night," Sheena said, disappointed. "I guess it took longer than we thought."
Presea looked at the sun then back towards the direction of Flanoir. "It will take us approximately 3.5 hours to walk back to the city, in best conditions," she calculated, looking back the sun. "The sun will set in forty minutes. Possibility of reaching the city before sunset- less than 0.1 percent."
Sheena sighed, slumping in defeat. "You didn't have to tell me that..." Regal and Zelos emerged from the temple behind them, blinking a bit at the change in light. "Come on, Zelos, let's get back to the city as soon as we can," Sheena said, waving her hand, motioning for him to follow. Zelos just stood still though, looking blankly at the sun in the distance.
Sheena frowned and walked over to him, waving her hand in front of his face. "Hello- Tethe'alla to Zelos. Are you there?" she teased. Zelos looked at her just as blankly as he was looking at the sun, starting to sway a bit, his face growing white. "...Zelos?" Sheena asked, growing concerned. "Are you okay? You look pale..." Zelos swayed for another second and then collapsed, falling into her arms.
"Hey!" Sheena yelled out, surprised. Zelos gave no response though and laid limp in her arms, his eyes closed, and his face flushed.
Regal awkwardly placed his hand on Zelos' forehead, managing to move his hands gently over without knocking into anything. "He's got a high fever," he said, dropping his hand, his expression concerned.
Sheena looked down at Zelos, worried. "Zelos! Zelos, wake up," she pleaded, lifting him up a bit.
Zelos stirred a little, opening his eyes to a slit. "Dizzy," he muttered before leaning back into Sheena's arms, apparently not able to stand. Sheena frowned, not liking the fact that he managed to lean right into her chest, but she lifted him up anyway, pulling his arm over her shoulders so she could support him.
"Come on, you. We'll set up camp," she said, gently, getting a soft moan from him as a response.
Zelos woke up with a start a few hours later. They were in a small building, which looked to be the abandoned House of Guidance that they had heard about in Flanoir. The building seemed to be in relatively good condition, but it looked like someone had hastily boarded up a few holes with broken chairs and the like.
He sighed, rolling over. Sheena had fallen asleep right next to him, curled up under one of the blankets they had packed. "…heh." Zelos chuckled, brushing his hand across her cheek lightly. "Thanks, stupid Sheena," he whispered, smiling at her gently. Sheena mumbled a little in her sleep and shifted, burrowing under the blankets a bit more.
Chuckling a little more, he got up slowly, his head still reeling a little. "Ugh," he moaned, casting a look around the room. Presea and Regal were in the other corner, also sleeping. A dying fire was crackling in a dusty fire grate, a pot left over it. Zelos fished a bowl out of his pack and moved slowly over to the fire, shaking his head a little as another wave of dizziness hit him.
Finding some soup left in the pot, he scooped a little into his bowl, not feeling very hungry for some reason. Scooting away so the embers from the fire wouldn't hit him, he sat down, taking a small sip of the soup. He paused, confused by something as he looked back down at the soup. Shaking his head, he took another sip of the soup, this time letting it sit in his mouth for a second.
With a clatter, he dropped the bowl in shock, waking up the group with the sudden noise. "Huh? What was that?" Regal asked, bleary eyed.
Sheena looked at him from her position on the blankets, blinking slowly. "Are you okay, Zelos?" she asked, somewhat grumpy from being woken up.
Zelos faltered for a moment, but shook his head. "No, no, everything's fine, hunny. I'm just dizzy still," he said. Regal nodded and went back to sleep, and Presea just rolled back over. Sheena gave him a questioning look but crawled back under the blankets and fell back to sleep.
Zelos waited for their breathing to quiet and looked back down at the now spilled bowl of soup. It... has no taste. Zelos frowned, brushing his hand against the Cruxis Crystal briefly. It's most likely nothing, he mused to himself, picking up the bowl and cleaning up the mess, crawling back to the makeshift bed. I'm probably just not hungry.
He fell asleep, closing his eyes, his thoughts drifting. At least, that's what I hope it is…
Whew, long chapter, for me at least. I always loved Flanoir in the game; all that snow! So pretty. (I find it ironic that my favourite character is Zelos and he hates snow. *chuckle* Oh well.) One of my least favourite parts in the game though is that damned ice field in the Ice Temple. Getting across that thing is just no fun. I almost always have to look at the guide each time I go across that thing...
And I wasn't sure what to have the monster of the seal be like, so I picked a wolf, which kind of makes sense. I suppose it would look like Celsius' partner, Fenrir, or something. It'd pretty much be the opposite of the monster at the fire seal. I wouldn't want to fight it, that's for sure. (And you can probably tell I'm not used to writing action scenes. Eh heh heh. I'll get better, I swear...)
Yes, Zelos' Cruxis Crystal is green. And yes, one of the NPCs in Flanoir mentions an abandoned House of Guidance. I didn't just pull these things out of my butt, you know. I did, however, pull the distances out of my butt. I have no idea how far away things would be.
First seal's done though, and now it's time to tackle the second seal. Although, they're going to have to make a bit of a detour, due to those silly little Gnomelettes. *chuckle*
Anyway, I hope you're enjoying this. I'm going to try and write up all the chapters before I post them, so that way I don't do my usual habit of stopping after doing a bit yet again.