Tales Of Symphonia Fan Fiction ❯ Run ❯ Chapter 3 - Ways & Means ( Chapter 3 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Again, sorry for being almost late in posting this. *sweat* It's my final day in Dallas, and I ended up getting caught up in other stuff. My bad.
Third chapter includes them going to the Temple of Earth - although they run into a few minor complications... Rather slow, so. *sweat again* Sorry. It picks up soon, I promise.
Anyway, had to rush both posts, but please check it out on the LJ post as well - hosted at the username boundtobeafraid - which include skits and chapter art!
Anyway. Again, thanks to all who have been reading this! Hope you're liking it!
Chapter Three - Ways & Means
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 come 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.
Maybe I won't suffer
If I find a way to love her
I'd be lying to myself
But there is no way out that I can see
Ways & Means
The trip off the Flanoir continent was quick and getting a boat was surprisingly easy. All Zelos had to do was wave around his title of Chosen, and people were quick to respond. The trip on the boat was blissfully short, and they were left off near the Grand Tethe'alla Bridge, not far from Meltokio. The group immediately picked up speed, going straight towards where they had heard the Temple of Earth to be located.
After a few hours of walking, Zelos stopped for a moment, sighing a little and looking behind him. "I suppose we're not stopping in Meltokio," Zelos said when the group was clearly far from the city. They were wandering around the forests that were on the way to the Temple. It was nearing the end of the day, but none of them had stopped yet.
"We got some supplies in Flanoir, and it will be faster to get to the Temple if we keep going," Regal said, getting an appreciative nod from Sheena. "You just want an excuse to laze around at your home anyway," she said.
Zelos chuckled, shrugging. "Ah, that and I'm sure my hunnies are worrying over me," he said, sighing dramatically.
Sheena fumed, hitting him over the head. "Stupid Chosen!"
Regal chuckled a little at their antics, rolling his eyes. "Perhaps we should stop here for the night?" he inquired, gaining an enthusiastic nod from the Chosen.
"Yes, please. My legs are so sore from walking for so long," Zelos whined, pointing to the offending limbs. Sheena glared at him, threatening to hit him again, but started to help the group set up camp once they reached a clearing.
The small clearing they picked was a good spot, and after chasing away the monsters in the surrounding areas (and keeping Zelos away from the Dark Bottles), the camp was all in order. Sheena volunteered to cook dinner that night, and the rest of the group set up the beds and such until she was done. They all huddled around the fire pit as night drew in, chomping away at the food.
"...Zelos, is something wrong?" Regal asked, noticing that the Chosen's plate was still rather full.
"Hmm? No, nothing's wrong," he said, the fork in his mouth.
Sheena took a look at his plate and frowned. "You're not eating much. Is my cooking that bad?" she asked, glaring at him.
Zelos grinned. "Of course not, hunny. I just can't eat too much, or otherwise I'll lose this handsome figure of mine!" He posed dramatically.
Sheena growled and threw a rock at him. "Just don't waste the food, you stupid Chosen!" she yelled, ignoring Zelos' whining after the rock hit him in the head. She was tired, and she did not enjoy having to deal with his foolishness constantly.
"Nourishment is beneficial and necessary for optimal progress," Presea droned, eating the food almost mechanically. Regal nodded. "You should eat some, Chosen. You did not have much for lunch, either."
Zelos sighed in defeat, nodding a little. "Yes, yes, fine. Don't worry, I'll eat," he grumbled, chewing a little more of the food. "As much as I can, anyway," he added quietly, chasing around the food on the plate with his fork.
"What was that?" Sheena asked, still a little angry from his earlier comments.
"Ah, nothing, nothing, hunny. Just trying to see if I can stomach this," he teased, getting another rock thrown at him.
"Just shut up and eat!"
Zelos sighed, brushing the rock out of his hair. "Yes, yes."
"Why are all these rocks in the way?" Sheena asked, a little confused at the rocks jutting out of the floor in front of them. There seemed to be rocks blocking every path they found, and they had only made it a little bit into the Temple when they were presented with the wall of rocks.
"Ah, leave that to me," Zelos said, grinning and displaying a ring on his hand. "The priests said something about these terminal things," he said, pointing over to a glowing platform that was nearby. He stepped up to it, and both it and the ring glowed for a moment. Still grinning, he walked up to the wall of rock and clenched his hand, causing a sort of shockwave to emanate from the ring. The rocks shook and fell, nearly crashing on top of the group.
"Watch what you're doing!" Sheena yelled, coughing a little bit from the dust.
Zelos sweated a little, holding his hands up in apology. "Ah, sorry, hunny."
"What is that thing anyway?" she asked, looking at the ring curiously.
"I believe it's called the Sorcerer's Ring, correct?" Regal inquired, looking at it appreciatively. "It's a treasure of the Church of Martel."
Zelos gave a nod, looking at it somewhat himself. "Yeah. One of the priests gave it to me before we left," he said, poking it a little. "They said it would be helpful. Something about it being made for the Chosen's journey or something..." He shrugged. "Doesn't matter anyway."
"I guess we should keep an eye out for those terminal things then," Sheena said, casting a look back at it before the group kept walking. They didn't get very far though when a small... creature stopped them.
"You can't just barge in here!" It looked almost like a very small person, but it was deformed looking and... strange. It almost looked like a lawn gnome. "You can't go any further!"
Zelos stared at it. "What the hell is this?"
The little creature fumed. "You're rude!"
Regal sighed, stepping forward. "We need to go forward. Could you please let us through?" he asked, smiling politely at the small creature.
The creature just shook his head though, turning away from them. "No! You can't go any further! Big Brother isn't back yet!"
The group blinked, confused. Regal tried once more, still talking calmly to it. "We won't be a bother, we just need to get to the seal. Please?" The creature still shook his head vehemently. "No! Not until Big Brother comes back!"
Regal sighed, shaking his head as well, turning back to the group. "Well, it appears we cannot go any further until this 'Big Brother' returns."
Zelos huffed, stepping forward. "Keh! As if. We can just walk over this little-" He had been walking towards the little creature, just about to step over him when it pulled on his ankle, causing him to fall flat on his back. "...ow," he wheezed, the air knocked out of him.
"I said you can't go any further!" the creature yelled, shaking his finger at Zelos.
Zelos growled at him, pissed off. "Why you little-"
The creature motioned to kick Zelos in a rather private area, and Zelos instantly scurried away from him, hiding behind Sheena. "Never mind," he said quickly. "Maybe we can't go any further."
Regal sighed once more and spoke with the creature again. "If we find this 'Big Brother,' will you allow us passage?" he asked. The creature paused, considering something, and then nodded slowly. "If Big Brother's back, I don't see why not."
Zelos sighed, relieved as he stepped away from behind Sheena. "Fine, we'll find him, you little-" He shut up as the creature glared at him.
"Do you know where he could be?" Sheena asked, glad that Zelos had decided to finally stopped hiding behind her.
The little creature paused and then shrugged. "I heard he went to a big mine. That's all. Now leave before I get angry!"
The group sighed and turned to leave.
"A big mine? That's rather vague," Sheena said, sighing a little in frustration. They had made it out of the Temple of Earth, and they were now walking around almost aimlessly, unsure of what direction to head to.
"Well, there's always the Toize Valley Mine, right?" Zelos said, starting to think of mines. "That's the biggest one I know of."
Regal paused awkwardly, but gave half of a nod. "Yes, it's the largest known mine in Tethe'alla, and one of the few that are still operational," he said, gaining a bit of a look from Zelos. "I've... heard that creatures like that have been seen in that mine," he added.
"Really now, big guy? That's astonishing that you know so much," Zelos said, somewhat sarcastic. Regal shifted nervously, looking away from Zelos. "I... used to... work there, Chosen."
Zelos stared at him inquisitively, raising his eyebrow. "Mmm, I'm sure you had some sort of job there..."
"Anyway," Sheena interrupted, also growing frustrated with Zelos. "It looks like going to the Toize mine is our best bet."
Presea gave a nod, turning to look south. "It is approximately 234 kilometers from this location, and will require another trip by boat."
Zelos groaned, slumping a little. "Augh, this is more hassle than it's worth..."
After a rather long boat ride, the group made it to the southern continent. Finding a boat was not so simple as it was before. No one seemed willing to take them, and they almost had to request a boat at the church in Meltokio, since for some reason no one at the dock would believe that Zelos was the Chosen. Luckily, a priest that was in the area helped them out, and they were allowed a ride on a passenger ship heading to the southeast abbey. As they passed the island that the southeast abbey was on, Zelos stared silently at it and didn't respond when anyone talked to him.
The boat left them off at a dock nearby, saying they would return in about four hours to pick them up. Luckily, the Toize Valley Mine wasn't too far from the dock, and they reached it in less than an hour.
"...This isn't good," Regal said when they had gotten into the mine. There was some sort of machine attached to what appeared to be the main door, and it didn't seem to be in good condition.
"What's wrong with it?" Sheena asked, as they got closer to it, trying to examine what the problem was. "Ah!" she yelped in surprise as an arm from the door slammed the ground right next to her. The machine suddenly sprang to life, attacking those who were close to it.
"It's the guard system!" Regal yelled out over the noise, kicking one of the arms as it tried to attack him. "Someone must have tried to force their way in and messed up the controls! I can't get us in!"
Zelos grimaced, dodging a small flying drone that had appeared and whacked it with his sword. "Could we just keep attacking it until we destroy it completely?"
Regal paused, considering the possibilities for a moment as the rest of the group continued to defend themselves against the guard system. "...That should allow us to get in through the door if we're able to dismantle it enough," he said, going towards a spinning platform that was in the middle of the chamber. "This is the auto repair unit that will continue to fix the rest of the guard system. I'll focus on this. You work on the door!"
The rest of the group nodded, charging at the door system as the arms continued to try and attack them. Regal managed to shut down the auto repair unit temporarily, giving the group needed time to be able to break down the guard system enough. After about ten minutes of fighting, and Regal shutting down the auto repair unit again, they were able to destroy the defense system and finally get inside the rest of the mine.
"Wow! So this is what that sealed mine is like," Zelos said excitedly, looking around the cavern with interest. "I heard they used to mine Exspheres from here."
Regal looked around the mine as well, but with more of a concerned look than one of curiosity. "...That is true, Chosen. But they closed off that area, as well as the tunnel to Moria," he said, examining a platform with a control switchboard. With a few flicks of switches, a moving platform zoomed towards them. "If we use this, we should be able to get over to the other part of the mine." The group clustered onto the platform, holding onto it for dear life as it zoomed back over to the other side.
"...There is a bolder blocking the path," Presea said, pointing at the rather large rock that covered what appeared to be the entrance tunnel.
"How are we supposed to get past that?!" Zelos whined.
"I suppose we have to use the Sorcerer's Ring... The terminal is this way. Please follow me," Regal sighed, leading the group back to the moving platform.
About another hour later, the group had finally got the boulder out of the way, and all the other boulders that were blocking the path inside the mine. Now they were just trying to find the small creature. "This place is huge," Sheena remarked, looking around the rather large cavern. "This is all part of the mine?"
Regal nodded, looking around as well. "Yes. This was more of an area where things were housed, however. There was only a small amount of actual mining done here."
Zelos looked around the cavern curiously, glancing over towards a path that led to a waterfall. "What's over there?" he asked.
Regal looked over as well. "Ah, that leads to where the Inhibitor Ore was housed. There might even be some left."
Zelos smiled a little to himself, contemplating something. "Hmm, maybe that would be useful later..."
"Let's just focus on finding the Gnomelette thing right now, Zelos," Sheena sighed, pulling him away from walking over to the bridge that lead to it.
Presea looked over to the bridge, silent. "...Presea," Regal began, trying to think of an appropriate way to word what he wanted to say. "...Did you possibly..."
"Ah!" Zelos yelled, interrupting Regal. Regal and Presea ran over, finding that Zelos had tripped over the Gnomelette. Sheena was standing over him, yelling something about him being stupid for not looking where he was going.
"I suppose that's one way to find it..." Regal said, sighing as well. When he was going to be able to talk to Presea was beyond him.
"Hey, you jerks!" the creature yelled, puffing out his chest. "I'm on a journey to find potion. I want to eat a potion!"
Regal stared at the creature, raising his eyebrow. "Eat a potion...?"
Zelos got up, dusting himself off. "Potion? Why would a thing like you want that?"
The Gnomelette glared at him. "I want something that's only for adults that makes them feel good! I want it! I want it!" he yelled, stomping his feet.
Sheena sighed. "Well, I don't think we have any..."
Regal cleared his throat, pulling a bottle out of his pack. The group stared at him, and he flushed a little, embarrassed. "I... I've never had Flanoir Potion before, so..." he stammered. "I... Just thought it would be nice."
Zelos laughed a little, patting him on the back. "Good ol' Regal. Most sensible of the group," he joked.
Sheena sighed again, plucking the bottle out of Regal's hands and turning to face the Gnomelette again. "If we give you this, will you go back to the Temple of Earth?" she asked. The Gnomelette nodded enthusiastically, holding up his hands to take it. Sheena handed it to him, and he took the whole bottle, eating it whole. The group shrunk back a little.
"He ate it!" Zelos cried, looking horrified.
The Gnomelette stayed still for a moment, as if contemplating the taste before sticking out his tongue. "Bleh! That's what I went on a journey for? That wasn't anything special. I'm going home!" And with that, he turned on his heel and zoomed out of the place, leaving the group staring after him completely confused.
After a few more minutes of collective shock, Zelos rubbed his hands together, looking back over to the bridge. "Now, about that Inhibitor Ore..."
After taking a small detour to pick up the Inhibitor Ore, which Regal surprisingly had no qualms about taking, the group made their way back through the maze of a mine. "We've got about an hour until the ferry comes back," Sheena said, trying to pull Zelos out of rooting through a treasure chest they had found. Zelos seemed keen on stalling a lot, and kept finding excuses to stop and look at something. "Do you want them to leave us behind?" Sheena yelled, frustrated when Zelos didn't respond and instead handed her a cape that was in the chest.
Zelos mocked being taken aback. "Oh no, of course not, hunny. Just wanted to see if there was anything good in there." Sheena sighed, shaking her head, but the group kept going, getting closer to the entrance. Zelos suddenly stopped short though when they were almost at the entrance.
"Augh, what is it this time Zelos?!" Sheena said, aggravated.
Zelos held up a finger to his mouth though, telling her to be quiet. "There's someone here."
The group stilled, all stopping to listen. "...I don't hear anything," Regal said softly. Zelos shook his head, motioning the group to follow him quietly, and they rounded the corner that lead to the entrance.
"...no good, there's no Exspheres here either." They heard a man talking, and saw the shadows of at least three people. Regal suddenly tensed, his brow furrowing as he jumped out.
"Ah, wait!" Zelos muttered, but it was too late.
"Vharley!" Regal yelled.
The man who had been talking turned around and nearly jumped when he saw whom it was. "Regal! So you're the one who destroyed the guard system outside!" He laughed, holding his large belly. "Just you? I'm surprised. Prison must really make you strong, hmmm?" Regal just glared at him, growing furious.
"...Who's that?" Sheena asked, standing behind Zelos. The rest of the group was still hiding behind the curve.
"That's... Vharley, the Exsphere broker. What's he doing here?" Zelos muttered, staring at the scene quietly.
"Why are you here?! Why has the Pope let you stay free? That's not what I agreed to!" Regal yelled.
Vharley just laughed again. "Hahaha! Did you think the Pope would really keep a promise to a murderer?" he mocked, he and his men laughing again.
Sheena gasped a little, shocked. Zelos' eyes narrowed, muttering something to himself before he turned to look at the two girls behind him. "When this is..." he stopped short, noticing that Presea appeared to be shaking. "Presea?" he whispered, causing Sheena to look at her too. "Hey, are you all right?"
Regal, on the other hand, was caught up in his anger towards Vharley. "Silence!" he bellowed, causing Vharley and his men to jump backwards a little. "If the Pope will not fulfill his promise, then I will punish you myself!" He got into a fighting stance, ready to charge at them.
Vharely panicked a little, backing away. "No way! I'm gettin' out of where!" He and his men rushed away, leaving Regal behind ready to run after them.
"Come back here!" Regal yelled.
"Oy, Regal!" Zelos yelled, stopping the older man short as he tried to run. "Something's wrong with Presea!"
Regal paused, debating what to do in his mind before he turned around, rejoining the group. "Yes, what's wrong?" he asked, worried.
Presea was still shaking, somewhat curled up on the floor. "I dunno. I looked back at her, and she was like this," Zelos said. Sheena was sitting next to Presea, trying to comfort her. "I think she's scared or something."
Presea shook a little, muttering into her lap. "I... I hate that man. I hate..." The group looked at each other before looking back at the small girl.
Regal crouched down next to Presea as well, speaking gently to her. "Presea? That man is gone now. It's okay."
Presea stilled some, her blank eyes looking up. "...Gone?" she said, her tone back to its usual dullness.
Regal nodded. "Yes. For now."
Presea paused, looking at her lap for a moment before getting up, looking as if nothing had happened. The group sighed somewhat in relief. Presea, however, paused again, her calculating look running over her face again. "The boat will arrive in approximately forty five minutes," she stated, causing the rest of the group to jump.
"Ah! We're going to be late!" Sheena cried, and she started a mad dash out of the mine, Zelos not far behind.
"Wait up, Sheena!" he whined.
Regal waited a moment, looking at Presea curiously. "...Are you... okay now?" he asked. Presea gave a nod. He smiled somewhat, and started to chase after the Chosen, Presea not far behind.
Whew, glad that over with. I was always frustrated with the Gnomelettes, especially in my first playthrough. I didn't have any of the things they wanted, and since I didn't have any access to a guide at that time, it was horribly frustrating to try and find some of the things. (Especially the recipe for curry. I had horrible luck trying to find the Wonder Chef.) Oh well. Now I just bring the stuff along so I'm ready. *chuckle*
And Zelos isn't going to be keeping what's happening to him secret for much longer. Right now, he just thinks it's him. Somewhat. And Zelos is stalling because... well, would you really like to keep running right into what you know will be your death? Yeah, I didn't think so. (And yes, that's the reason he wanted the Inhibitor Ore. Just another reason to stall.)
Anyway, nothing else to say about this chapter, really. Took me a while to write since I lost interest in it for a little while. Next chapter will be finished the second seal and trying to get to the third seal.
Hope you're enjoying this.