The Insightful Visions of a Mirrored Image
The cold seeped across his body like a thousand knifes, stabbing ruthlessly at his pale, exposed skin. Flakes of beautiful, yet deadly cold, fluttered silently around him, clinging greedily to his elegant crimson hair and resting lazily upon his stiff eyelashes. Sluggishly, he fought to move his pale, trembling hands from beneath the light accumulation of snowflakes, a sense of urgency tugging him into consciousness. With a low groan, the Chosen of Tethealla drew himself into a sitting position, one hand pressed to his forehead to ward of the nauseating feeling threatening to overtake him.
The world bucked and swirled around him as he slowly opened his calm iced blue eyes, a gasp escaping his throat. Blankets of endless, icy white stretched around him in all directions, perfect and undisturbed. Panic engulfed Zelos Wilders heart like an ocean wave, forcing him upon unsteady legs. Staggering, he made his way over towards the smoldering wreck of his Rheaiard, too stunned to speak. Images flashed through his exhausted mind of the incident that just took place.
Lloyds voice could be heard yelling about something referring to the snow that rebuked them. Colette clung to his back on the same machine, muttering prayers to Martel while moments later, Regal and Presea vanished into the whitened sheet in front of them, almost in eerie silence. Zelos pulled hard upon the controls of his Rheaiard in an effort to slow down. He glanced to his right, immediately noticing Raine and Genis struggling to regain control of their Rheaiard as well. Something was wrong. Normal snowstorms barely affected the flying contraptions as much as this one did. Almost in response, Sheena screamed, slamming forward against Zeloss back as their Rheaiard plummeted towards the earth.
He then fully remembered the crash that took the eight from the sky. A soft groan drew him from his stupor, subconsciously drawing him over to the fallen ninja. He fell to his knees by her side and grabbed her pale arm from the frozen blanked that enveloped her. In one swift motion, he pulled her from her frozen burial, supporting her over his shoulders to carry her.
A muffled yell echoed nearby. Squinting, he could make out a red figure pointing; the silhouette of Lloyd. Heeding his direction, Zelos turned to face away from the Rheaiards, noticing the lights of a city. Understanding his mission, the young Tethealla Chosen trudged towards the lights.
His chilled eyes focused upon the destination illuminating his path through the whiteout. The boggled mind of the adolescent was set upon the warmth of the room that called to him. The lights from the town rained strength upon him, and audacity to push harder into the bulldozer of wind and sleet that fought against him. As he pushed, the snow around his feet pulled him downward. Nothing could derail his mind from the thought of a warm bed. No doubt, his fatigued body was going to need it.
The red-headed knight didnt notice anyone else around them. Worry plagued his mind. Where were they? Wasnt Lloyd around here a few minutes ago? He damned himself for worrying. This Chosen had a mission to accomplish, and he was not going to let that nagging sense of worry prevent him from succeeding.
Lifting his head, he realized he was drawing closer to the snowy village that beckoned him. His breath was thick and it was getting harder and harder to breathe properly. But everything he worked for paid off when he came to a huge sign in front of a large gate. Zelos used his frostbitten hands to brush the snow from the lettering. He had to squint to actually read the writing of the town.
Flanoir Chilled words fell from his lips as they began to chap. The Chosens memory slowly came back to him as he remembered the adventures he and the gang had endured while at Flanoir, the snowy city. Turning his attention to the cobblestone steps just past the gate, he staggered forward. Suddenly, his classy white boots fell upon a surface much harder than the soft, powdery snow he was accustomed to walking on, upsetting his balance. Unable to catch himself before the fall, Zelos took one last look at the towering sign above him, allowing himself to fall into a peaceful state of unconsciousness.
Zelos Zelooos The enchanted voice rang at the scarlet-headed Chosen. Through slurred words, he replied. Martel Is that you, Lovely? The Chosens voice droned as though he were in a dream or at least a day dream.
Zelos It called again.
Im here hunny! Dont worry! He held his hands out as if he were running towards the almighty Martel herself.
ZELOS! You Idiot Chosen! Wake up now! The shrieking volume instantly woke Zelos from his dream. In a fit of panic, he rolled off of the bed, colliding with the wooden planks of the inns floor.
Oww You know Sheena, they created muzzles for a reason He rubbed his head to chase away the impending headache.
Why you little- She would have pounced on him if Raine wouldnt have stepped between them.
Please. Both of you stop it, she turned her attention to Zelos as Sheena stomped off, How are you feeling?
Great now that my angel has come to my rescue from the violent demonic banshee! Zelos slowly pushed himself to his feet, using the bed for support.
I dont know how you were able to carry Sheena the whole way from the crash to the front gate of Flanoir She watched the Chosen struggle for balance as he walked across the room to an ornate mirror upon the wall. Zelos pulled an orange comb from the dresser below the mirror, using it to chase the tangles from his luscious red hair.
It was my amazing manly strength that gave me the ability to pull a B.I.D to safety!
B.I.D? Raine blinked, slightly tilting her head in amusement.
Banshee In Distress! A grin played at Zeloss lips as he set down the comb; regaining full ability to walk again.
Do you even remember what happened? Raine asked with her arms crossed over her orange robe.
Nope. No idea. All I remember is that it was cold, he turned and smiled at Raine as she sighed in pity for the man.
Well, the rest of the gang made it through the storm alright. You should go and see everyone else. They were worrying that you died; well, at least Colette worried, Raine started out the room at a brisk pace.
Aww yes, thats my little Colette! Man, I must go apologize to the cute little button for holding all the burden of worry! he ranted as Raine slammed the door on the nose of the chattering Chosen.
Everyones eyes fell upon Raine as she walked down the stairs of the Olive Village Inn. The wooden planks cracked and hissed loudly as she trotted down them in her eleven boots. Of course nobody heard the old wooden fixtures due to the joyful band that seemed to release wonderful tones of bravura.
In front of the largely noticeable fireplace that spurted purple fire; the result of a spell created by one of the group members; stood a lovely old-century velvet couch. It was large enough to fit Lloyd, Genis, Presea, and Sheena with plenty of room for more. Regals position was in the back, near the window of the Inn. He was looking at the old photographs hanging on the shelves along with several spices for food and other wonderful nick-knacks. Closely located near the couch sat a faded green beanbag that held the hyper Colette. She was screaming across the room to Lloyd who was yelling happily back to her.
Once Raine was down the stairs, she watched the group of amusing party members. Her eyes sparkled with silent laughter at their antics. Turning her attention to the bar located upon the other side of the room, she took a seat beside a stranger who slowly drank his alcohol. Raine ordered herself a small glass of water before hearing the steps making more cracking noises.
Zelos staggered down the stairs quickly and loudly to gain attention from everyone in the room. Knowing it was him, everyone ignored the sounds heard; except Colette who was oblivious to what he was trying to do.
Oh Zelos! Colette ran to the stomping Chosen as he came to the last stair. She smiled and waved to him, as if he didnt see her. Are you doing well, Zelos? I heard you were hurt badly!
Well, Im much better now that my cute little angle Colette shines a smile upon the battered Chosen! He smiled, slowly gaining brownie points with the young dame. She smiled as she led him to where she was relaxing. He happily took a seat beside Sheena who resented his presence.
Go on Sheena, get up if you must. You know I will just take your seat! My feet are killing me and they need a nice place to rest! He acted as if he were in pain to pry the Mizuho Ninja off from her seat.
Oh? Do your feet hurt? While having her back pressed lightly against the fuzzy exterior of the couch, she brought her foot up, and stomped on the foot that was closest to her.
Ow! You wench! He pulled his foot away from her and glared daggers in her direction, I bet I can have you standing and my feet resting where your voluptuous rear is sitting by the end of the night!
Oh, is that a challenge?
Oh, hunny, its more than a challenge, he winked, and remember who saved you from the frozen tomb!
Yea, and remember who saved you from your nap out in the cold! she hissed, pushing him away from her.
Raine slowly sipped her glass of water, observing the spectacle without interfering. But suddenly, the Inn door flew open, slamming against the wall. A man with one hand upon the door and the other on his belted weapon stood gasping for air. From what Raine could tell, the mans sheathed weapon was a dagger. His head was down, obscuring any view of his face. Everyone looked at the man. He stood in the doorway, breathing heavily as the cold air blew needles at the ones already inside.
Are you crazy? Close the door! Zelos bellowed before being smacked in the face by Sheena.
Warriors Are there any warriors here? His voice indicated he was fairly young, but from his battered clothes, it seemed as though hed been around for quiet a while.
Lloyd answered the call by standing up, Im a warrior. Were all warriors.
Please Help me. My friends are His voice faded as he began to lose his balance. Raine and Lloyd ran to steady the man before he collapsed.
Please sir, go on, Lloyd spoke, helping Raine move him to the couch. Unfortunately, everyone had to lose their spots. Of course, Zelos complained and rebuked the decision, but he was halted by Sheena and one of her threats.
I was with a group of friends treasure hunters, he coughed roughly before Raine handed him a glass of water. Looking for fortune, hoping today would be the day we traveled into a cave south from here. We were strong
Were? Genis raised an eyebrow, noting the past tense before he was hushed by his sister.
We thought we could deal with anything there. But there were no monsters only His coughing intensified immensely before downing the glass of water. Mirrors and Martel.
Raine watched the mans face change from worried to frightened. His high cheekbones supported pale skin that became very flushed with fear. Her eyes watched the man trembling; not from the cold that helped itself to his warmth, but from the thoughts of Martel? The goddess of life?
What is he blabbering about? Isnt there a bughouse around here somewhere? Zelos folded his arms, wanting to be the center of attention.
Do you even know what that word means? Sheena watched him, catching him off guard.
My friends are dead now Martel and her godly tricks! Please sir, I dont want anyone else to fall into the damned world that hellion creates for its victims. Destroy her More coughing exceeded him.
Lloyd bowed his head, Martel? Evil? He turned to the group.
Maybe it is some sort of devil that took the form of Martel? Genis said, looking down in fear.
Could be, but it doesnt matter! We have to get rid of her it. Lloyd blinked. The whole group gasped.
Stepping forward, Zelos put his hands on his hips, Anything that can take the form of Martel is amazingly strong, what makes you think we can do this?
Raine watched the group fight as she held her staff close to her, Mirrors Everyone stopped and looked at her. Mirrors. The demon used mirrors to fool its victims. Thats all we have to do, stay away from the mirrors! Everyone still looked pretty hesitant.
Come on guys, we can do it! For the sake of the people who died! Come on, everyone. I know we can do it, Lloyds words backed his stand. Looks reflecting the possible scenarios that could happen responded.
Colette looked at everyone around them, Come on everyone! We can take on one more side quest before finishing what we have to at the Tower of Salvation! I say we do it! Her decision added a flair of courage to everyone. Everyone nodded slowly, knowing they would regret it later. The man looked up at the bowing Lloyd.
We will go there first thing in the morning and avenge your friends. With that, a smile came about the young warriors face as he stared weakly up at Lloyd.
Thank you, young man. Thank you all.
Everyone slept soundly that night as the storm hounded the small inn. The alleys and houses were still, as the dense air created a void of darkness around the city. Dark shadows seeped along the snow covered, cobblestone sidewalks. The houses that owned the shadows stood silent, overlooking the city like kings ruling their countries.
Morning came quickly, bringing about sun. They thanked Martel that the storm halted before they went on their adventures. Lloyd and Raine, being the first ones up, traveled down the stairs to the phone. They called someone who could possibly retrieve the Rheaiards and fix them from the crash they suffered.
One by one, everyone rose from their slumber, eventually finding their ways downstairs where Raine and Lloyd sat chatting in front of the fire.
Ready to go kick some devil butt? Lloyd asked with enthusiasm. Raine sighed. Lloyd, you say that as though this is going to be easy. I have a bad feeling about this, the half-elf replied in a whisper. Lloyd stood up.
Aw, come on Professor! With the new weapons we just got, this should be a piece of pie!
Pie is never easy Lloyd. We dont even know what we are looking for
So? Well figure that out when we get there!
Just remember Lloyd. My healing spells only go so far
Good morning everyone! Collettes cheery voice filled the air, interrupting the conversation. Raine glanced in her direction.
Good morning Collette. Did you have a good night?
Yes Professor. Did you?
Of course my Ultra Cool Beauty did! How could it be any other way? Zelos responded with a smirk. A swift punch from Sheena forced him to the ground.
You know she doesnt like being called that!
Ow! Okay, okay! Not even noon and your already acting like a Banshee
Excuse me?! Her dark eyes pierced the bared skin of the Chosen.
Nothing, nothing! He cowered against the couch, hiding behind Raine and Lloyd.
Alright you two. Are we about ready to leave? Raine stood up, clasping her staff in her hands. Zelos smirked, checking to make sure his flame-shaped crimson dagger was still at his side.
Sure thing, Gorgeous Ultra cool-
Alright Sheena! Sheesh!
I took the liberty to stock up on apple and orange gels incase we need them, Genis announced casually. Raine nodded in his direction.
Good. Now Lloyd, go pay the inn keeper for his trouble so that we may pursue this new quest. Lloyd did as he was told while everyone else checked their supplies.
Walking out from the snowy village, the group of eight noticed the consistency of the ice below them. Frigid air stung their bared flesh with ruthless force, warning them not to continue moving.
Wow, Its hard to believe the snow was able to freeze to this level of degree, Genis looked at his older sister and then continued his small rant of intelligence, Its impossible if you do the math! We shouldnt be able to walk on the ice until at least tomorrow.
Lloyd looked back at the troubled silver-headed kid, Well, there is a demon lingering around this area. Im sure he has something to do with it
The young Ninja of the group turned her attention to the Chosen of Tethealla, who shivered and rubbed his hands together for warmth. She couldnt help but snicker before dodging a fist from the Chosen himself.
What do you think we shall encounter during this adventure, Presea? Regal walked solemnly with his eyes closed and his handcuffs in front of him. His long blue hair caught the wind in a steady stream, wavering like a banner behind him.
Energy level 195%, strength over maximal level, number increasing of individuals holding emphasized power of ice, rock, and water. Weakness unknown due to shields of hidden identities. Odds of survival: negative 132%. Preseas voice droned as she expressed what she could conjure in her mind. Regal shook his head as to agree while Lloyd and Zelos stared blankly at the two.
Well, the only thing I got out of that was that this isnt going to be a simple battle, Lloyd mentioned as he walked onward, towards the unknown that waited for the leading hero.
Aww, dont say that Lloyd! Have strength! Colettes eyes gleamed at Lloyd with spirit expelling through them. Lloyd looked into her bright cobalt blue eyes and smiled brightly as the group watched. Confidence beamed between the pair, but did not travel throughout the remaining group.
Whoa Eight sets of eyes gazed upon the huge, towering stronghold of ice standing before them. Sharp icicles pointed towards a deep chasm, lining the endless void of darkness that was the entrance. Monochromatic blues and whites rose above them like a tower, exceeding the sky. There were no walls, only spikes of ice and large amounts of snow.
They all stared at Colette, seeing her confidence standing strong. She smiled cutely and noted, We can still do it!
So, shall we go in? Raine said, holding her healing staff close to her. Its wooden body was chilled from the over exaggerated temperature, and she silently prayed it would not splinter. Wood never was that durable in the cold. Taking a deep breath, she followed Colette and Lloyd, Genis trotting close behind her. The last four lazily traveled behind the group.
Another gasp escaped through their frozen lips as they saw the bright glass-like essence that lingered inside the huge cavern of ice. The vividness in Lloyds eyes deepened when he noticed the huge fissure a few feet in front of them. He walked to the edge of the frozen land and gazed at the emptiness below him.
Lloyd! Look! Colette pointed to a long passageway that led over the hole. It was a captivating ice bridge that traced the whole way to the other side of the cavern. Zelos looked at the bridge and then to the group.
Guys, for some reason, I dont think Ill be joining you on this mission
Yea, me too Genis said, backing away from his sister and Lloyd. I can stand the cold, but heights? Nope, sorry. This is where I get off.
Come on guys! This shouldnt be that bad! Colette smiled, before walking on the ice bridge. Lloyd watched her endlessly.
Colette, be careful. He cleared his voice nervously.
Dont worry about me, Lloyd! Even if this bridge does break, I have my wings! Her small feet made pattering noises as they slowly danced their way across the bridge. The bridge held her weight without incident, despite its transparent properties.
Uh oh Colette muttered midway across the bridge. She was pretty far away from them, so they could only see the blotted colors of her angelic shirt in the darkness.
What is it!? Lloyds voice became concerned. Are you okay?!
Im fine, but the ice bridge breaks off into two paths. Which way should I go?
Come back, Raine said, watching from the edge.
With that said, she trailed back to the group as they gathered in a small circle, Guys. We are going to have to break off into two groups of four.
No problem, weve done this before in several places, Sheena smiled in reply.
Yes, but this will be different. I doubt we will be able to meet back together before facing the demon. And from what everyone says, it looks as though we are going to need everyone in a battle like this. I want everyone to be as careful as they can. Make sure you take precautions in what you do. Be sure not to talk too loud, because who knows how fragile this place my be, Lloyds small rant painted worried expressions on everyone in the group.
Who will go with who? Genis asked meekly.
Ill be the leader of one group while you can be the leader of another.
Really Lloyd? Me? A leader? Becoming flushed, he turned to the group as if it were the part of dodge ball when they pick team mates.
Colette, come join me. Lloyd said, smiling as she trotted toward him.
I choose my sister, Raine. Raine smiled while shifting behind the tiny leader.
Now, I choose Presea.
I will do my best, Lloyd. She joined him.
And I will take Sheena.
And Regal can join us, which leaves
Yeah, yeah, I know. Im normally the first one picked when it comes to these kinda things, so dont flatter yourself! Zelos joined Geniss group sluggishly.
Grand, why are we stuck with the idiot Chosen? Sheena glared as the crimson-haired Chosen grinned in her direction.
So, are we ready to look around? Lloyd said cautiously as the tiny leader agreed to the requested action. They all went one at a time, making sure not to put too much weight on the ice bridge at one time in fear of the abyss below them. When someone in Lloyds group reached the fork, they went left while everyone in Geniss group went right. In less than an hour, they were on their ways.
So, does anyone agree with me when I say I believe we are lost? Zelos pondered as they walked aimlessly through the illuminated blue ice cavern. The walls of accumulation towered above the small group of Exphere carriers. Reflections were dull, but visible once a person set their views into the mesmerizing cold glass. But the thing that seeped into the minds of Geniss group was the darkness. It was incredibly dark, so dark that it was hard to see the chilled floor below them. They tried hard to set this aside from their goal, but it was hard when their eyes played tricks on them, reminding them at every turn.
What are we looking for exactly? Sheena said, gazing at her altered reflection.
Genis looked at his troubled group and sighed, I have no idea actually. I just know that we shouldnt get distracted. We need to focus on everything around us.
Hmm Raine noted to herself as she watched the glassy ice surrounding them. She scratched her reflection with her fingernail. Once she did, she became very startled to notice her reflection didnt do the same.
Hey, Genis. Come here a second.
Yea sis? He said, slowly feeling his way to the wall she was gazing at.
She scratched again, watching her reflection start blankly at its owner. Then she showed Genis, I dont understand why this glass isnt showing what I am doing
Thats strange why does mine accomplish everything I do? He scratched the wall of frozen liquid with his nail and watched it do the same. As the two were focusing on their reflections, Sheena let out a loud but short scream.
They turned to see what happened; seeing her on the cold ground pointing at the wall she was gazing into. Her eyes looked frozen like the chilled wall before her.
Dont scream so loud! Genis kneeled beside her to see what the matter was.
Yes? Raine raised an eyebrow in curiosity.
It ran away.
Lloyds group stopped walking when they heard a scream from the other group. They all looked at each other, worried.
What do you think happened? Colette shuttered.
Sheenas scream, Presea said without even looking at everyone. Regal looked at the young shell of the 28 year old. He sighed before looking at Lloyd to confirm her assumption. Lloyd gritted his teeth before speaking.
The professor is with them, there is no need to assume the worst. Im sure they are fine. Lloyd couldnt look his members in the eyes while speaking. Now lets keep moving. We need to find this demon and destroy it before anyone else gets hurt!
Colette shook her head to agree while the others nodded as well. Lloyd looked into a long walkway that was encased in layers of ice. Blue highlights showed themselves from tiny crystallized rocks located throughout the cave. While they traveled, they noticed it got colder. It also got harder to breath with the thickly layered air.
It feels as though my lungs are freezing Presea coughed as Regal watched over her.
Indeed. I too feel the air blotting my lungs with ice. His long blue hair blended into the scenery as it began to freeze.
Colette looked at Lloyd who seemed to be trying his hardest to show all the strength he could as a leader, Lloyd, please lets slow down a bit. We have all day!
Yes I guess youre right.. He slowly felt his way to a sitting position on a rounded ice cube. Everyone else followed his example. Remember, we have to be on our guard for anything that could possible happen. Upon finishing his sentence, he noticed light seeping from under the rock that Presea was sitting on. He rubbed his eyes, thinking it was the dark playing a trick on him. But once he opened his eyes again, he noticed it growing. He jumped to his feet, drawing his blades.
Whoa, calm down Lloyd. Whats wrong? You hear Something? Colette watched closely.
Presea, move! As he yelled this, the area under Presea vanished, creating a large hole. She unexpectedly fell into it. It was so sudden, that she wasnt even able to scream.
No! Everyone shouted as they reached for her, Presea! Regal listened closely to hear if she was alright, but nothing but stillness could be heard. The only thing able to be heard were the heart beats of the remaining three members of the group.
We have to help her! Regal stood, angrily.
How? Lloyd snarled defensively against the handcuffed man. He couldnt see his face, but he could feel his eyes piercing his body.
Youre the leader, you figure it out. We must save her.
I would if I knew how. Amazingly Regal, I dont know everything! he fought back with his eyes, attacking Regal with hazel highlights.
Regal grunted and turned away from Lloyd, We must help her now. I cant let anything happen to her. I will not rest until I see her safe
Lloyd felt a prang of sympathy, as if something was controlling him before when he became angry. Listen, Regal. We will help her. But I think that demon has something to do with the thickness of the air. Its causing us to become overly angry. We must relax and face the situations. Alright? So we will start looking for her immediately. Just calm down.
Regals shoulders sank from the release of tension. He turned to look at Lloyd as Colette stood behind him, smiling. I understand. Lets start searching for her. He let Lloyd lead the way into the darkness.
What do you mean he is missing? Raine blinked in anger.
Zelos just wandered off. I have no idea where he could be.. Genis blinked. He must have wondered off while we were dealing with what Sheena saw.
Or do you think the shape-shifter got to him?
Are you saying he was eaten? Genis blinked.
Raine sighed at the thought. Possibly.
I doubt that, who would want to eat him? Genis watched Sheena as she giggled.
Stop it, both of you! Raine ordered. This is serious. We know now that there is actually something here. The man at the Inn said that his friends were killed by this thing. If the demon has taken Zelos then this thing could easily kill him without even thinking twice. She created silence throughout the cave. But their heads turned as they heard a crash in the direction they were headed. Looking at each other, they all nodded before walking towards it.
Where the hell am I? Zelos turned behind him, trying to remember which way he came. Bah, I have no idea He continued walking, until he tripped suddenly. He collided with the solid iced rock and cursed to himself as he turned to see what it was. But before he could sit up, he heard a loud hissing noise, and saw a shining light coming from under a section of a wall. He blinked and pushed himself to his feet. He didnt want to find out what was happening, but he couldnt help it. It seemed to be beckoning to him.
Once he reached the wall, it vanished and showed to him a door way. Again, he unwilling walked into the open section. Once he was inside, the wall reappeared as if it never opened.
He looked around inside the secret corridor noticing it was very dark, except for an orb of light hovering around a side of the iced room. Under the lamp stood what seemed like a mirror. It was neatly carved from ice, but appeared to use real glass. He walked up to it, and saw his reflection. It perfectly displayed his image without distorting the color or body build.
What kind of trick is this? He watched closely as a voice popped into his head.
What the hell? Whos there? He turned around quickly to see if anyone was in the room with him. Then he turned his attention towards the mirror who seemed to be calling to him eternally.
Why do you travel with such weaklings? The voice seemed very light, almost feminine.
Youre so powerful you could take on the demon by yourself and gain the glory of the village. Everyone would be looking up to you. When the voice hissed in his ear, a picture appeared in the mirror.
What? He watched as a crowd of people were bowing to him as he stood on the balcony of the Flanoir church. They were cheering and praying to him as if he were a god.
Imagine the glory
Zeloss eyes suddenly became tired. What are you talking about? Im weak. My whole bloodline tells me that
Why do you attempt to listen to such foolishness? Your amazingly strong. You dont need anyone else but your dagger. It felt as though Martel herself was staring at him through the mirror.
I dont know-
Think of the title you would gain. You wouldnt just be The Chosen. You would be so much more. You would be The Gleaming Knight; who saved hundreds of people. Just imagine Her voice seemed to warm Zelos as a mother would to a child.
His eyes drooped as he watched his reflection. Let me help you turn your dream into a reality, young master. He tilted his head up slightly and asked, What do I need to do?
The voice rang again, this time, fiercer, Kill them
Friends wouldnt try to take your glory and hold you back from being better than them. They are all jealous of you and plan on killing you before you figure it out. Blinking became joyless as his mind became flushed with thoughts of glory and heroism. Will you let me help you?
Yes. Zeloss mind became brainwashed as his cerulean eyes were plastered a light silver. The mirrors image showed Martels face smiling in joy for the young Knight. It felt as though Martels arms were cradling him with trust and love; something he hadnt felt in years of being called Chosen.
His flame dagger glowed in its sheath as he drew it. He turned from the mirror with a drunken face, a grin of insanity etched upon his face. An exit that lead to the hallway he had seen once before opened as he began to stride towards it. Finding the hallway empty, he took a seat and waited for the remainder of his group to catch up. He had all of the patience in the world to wait if it meant for his glory to be renewed.
Emerald eyes flickered open quickly once consciousness was back into her mind. Without moving, her view was of ice crystals and cold rock. Breathing heavily, she noticed the chilled air of the cavern. A lone voice snared her attention.
Startled, she held her ax close to her side, daring not to move from her resting place.
Presea It called again.
Whos there? Her voice echoed against the hollow walls.
The voice sounded like that of Martel, eerie and ominous to the young girl. She felt strangely drawn to it.
Presea, youre not alone in the world.
Tell me who you are! Her voice rose.
The voice waited a few moments before speaking again. Youre alone inside. But you dont have to be on the outside. I am just like you.
They talk to you as if you were a child when youre older than most of them. Why? Cant they open their eyes and pay attention to you? Cant they open their ears and listen to what you have to say?
You call them friends? Would you call an attacker a friend? it questioned.
Presea looked for the source of the voice in the small room, finding a hovering orb of light above a movable rock. Her small hands touched the chilled rock and pushed with all their might, removing the rock from the orbs path. It revealed glass that threw Preseas reflection back at its owner.
Who are you? She stared blankly into her own eyes.
Your friend. I am here to set you free from you troubles. I see you as you are A picture of a woman appeared in the mirrored image. She was beautifully tall with elegant curves. Long pink hair fell to her shoulders in a waterfall of shine. Innocent eyes held the attention of a million men behind her.
Presea stared into the picture of the woman. Her tiny hands touched the chilled glass in disbelief.
This is you, Presea. Not someone stuck in a shell of a 12 year old. But, you can never actually look like this Tears balled up in the girls eyes before she looked away from the image.
I Presea started.
Remember who did this to you? You thought they were your friends but Kate and her group turned you into an experiment without even having consent from its vessel. You may not be able to do anything about your body, but you can do something
What is there to do? Her eyes looked up at the mirror, seeing her crying reflection. A tear ran down from the corner of her emerald eye to the corner of her lips where it quickly began to ice over.
Avenge yourself. Avenge your suffering. Not just to Kate and those half-elves. But to the half-elves you call friends. They too share the blood of those who plotted against you. They couldnt care less about your feelings or being. I believe they should find out what its like to be separated from their bodies.
Presea watched the mirror as a smiling face of Martel appeared in the reflection. Looking down at her ax, she closed her eyes. How?
Let me help you. Do you want my help to show everyone who you really are? The voices persuasive tone rang into Preseas mind.
Silence swept over the young dame as she thought about all the things the half-elves had done to her. Then, she spoke weakly, as if being controlled, Yes help me. With opening her eyes, the color drained to a silver gleam.
A feeling of triumph brushed over Presea as clouds showered her with confidence. For the first time, a confident smile played at the lips of the crying girl as she gripped her ax tightly. Its glow seemed strong as she stepped back from the mirror. She glanced to her left, seeing an exit into a hallway. Before leaving the room, her voice echoed, I will destroy the half-elves and those who try to stop me.
Lloyd, I think we are lost Colette mentioned as they walked aimlessly through the darkness. Their hope seemed to be drained with their shoulders tightly fragile. Irritation clouded their minds as the cold ate at their flesh.
You dont have to keep reminding me, Lloyd retorted.
Lloyd, your not acting like yourself please dont yell like that. Her mind was telling her to cry, but she refused, knowing that tears would only freeze this far into the cave.
Lloyd, do not yell at her, she did nothing but mention a fact.
Oh, so your going to correct me too? Lloyd sharply turned around to stare at Regal who had his eyes closed.
Upon opening them, his eyes gazed at Lloyds sword. No need to draw you swords.
Anger boiled inside of Lloyds body as he charged the martial artist in the dark. Colette shrieked as she heard metal clashed together which created sparks. Stop it!
Regal held back Lloyd by catching his bladess tip in his handcuffs that restrained him. Lloyd shook with anger as he pressed his swords closer to the fugitive.
Guys, you dont want to do this! Please, stop! She ran to Lloyd and grabbed his arm. Without even thinking twice, he threw the blonde angel onto the chilled floor.
Dont you dare tell me that to do, Regal His voice was not the Lloyd they knew and loved, but one of possession. Jumping back, he landed in an attack stance. Because the hallway was small in width, there wasnt much Regal could do in the situation.
Charging again, Lloyd brought his swords down at an angle, hoping to catch Regal off guard, but he easily jumped away from the blades, bringing his feet into an offensive stance, Fine. I will not sit by and let you act so folly. I shall teach you some manners!
Engaging again in battle, Colette began to cry, sitting up from where she landed. She could see their minds being overtaken by madness. It wasnt happening to her which she guessed was because she was no longer human. But light footsteps caught her angelic ears in the midst of the battle. She turned her attention to the sound, seeing the outline of Presea walking calmly through the darkness.
Presea! Colette mentioned before getting up and running to her. The boys didnt seem to notice. When she reached her, Colette noticed something was strange about her. The aura around her was different.
Where are the half-elves? Her voice seemed normal enough.
Raine and Genis? She blinked at the strange question, Well, they went to the to the right of the path, remember?
Of course. She pushed by Colette, almost knocking to the floor again.
Hey, Presea? Whats wrong? What happened back there? She put her hand on the young girls shoulder. Which caused the ax wielder to jerk back and glare at the girl.
Dont try to stop me
What? What are you talking about? Her face was flushed with worry as Presea started to walk towards the quarreling boys. Wanting to understand, she walked up to Presea again and put her hand on her shoulder once more, Presea!
A Loud shriek filled the cave which caused the boys to stop and look. Blood fell to the cold ground as Colette fell to her knees with a thud, holding the side of her face as blood seeped past her hands.
Colette! Lloyd noted, diving out of the mood that seemed to control him.
Presea held the ax above Colette as if she were going to decapitate the angel.
Presea! Regal shouted, kicking her feet from under her. She tried to swing the ax at him while she was on the ground, but he stepped on it with all his body weight before she could fully swing it.
Your trying to stop me! She shouted angrily.
Lloyd kneeled to Colette, shaken from all the blood that sat in puddles at his feet. He touched her hands that were concealing the wound. Her crying was silent as her body was still.
Colette His voice seemed to clot in tears as he watched the girl he cared so much about sit in her own blood and cry.
Everything was silent except for the angry Presea who fought desperately to get away from Regals new found grip. Colette removed her bloodstained hands from her face. Her hair obstructed her face due to the angle her head was tilted. Then she looked up at Lloyd. A giant gash trailed from the edge of her chin to the corner of her eye. She looked at him with her angelic eyes as tears fell from their sitting positions.
Lloyd, dont fight anymore. I want to get everyone out of here. No one is safe. Lloyd watched as her courage grew even stronger. He was amazed how she hardly cared about her own body but never lost thought of her friends. He smiled weakly and hugged her close to him.
Colette, I am so sorry my mind became clouded. I promise to stick by everyone and fight this creature that picks at everyones mind. I am so sorry Colette smiled slightly as her arms found themselves around Lloyd as well, hugging him in reply.
I will not let you get in my way! Presea yelled as she wiggled her foot free. With it, she kicked Regal roughly in the chest, sending him stumbling backwards before tripping over Lloyd and Colette. Free, she stood up and grabbed her ax tightly in her hand.
Infliction, a droned tone was mumbled in anger as she performed an uppercut crescent swing at the small group.
What do you think made that noise ? Genis asked the group as they walked towards it. Sheena watched the silver-haired boy with a smirk.
Probably that stupid Chosen. He probably tripped or something, she trailed ahead of the two before stopping in front of them.
Oh thank god, Raine said, walking up to the sitting Knight. He was watching the cold Earth below him. What happened? I take it you got distracted and wandered off? This statement provoked a giggle out of Sheena.
Zelos looked at the group and smiled widely. More jokes, eh?
The group looked at him sympathetically. We didnt mean anything by it.
Uh huh. Thats what everyone says to me. Well Ive had enough. He stood up, stretching his back.
What are you talking about? Sheena stepped in front of everyone. When did you start caring about what we said?
He looked her in the eyes and grinned, Since Ive realized how much stronger I am than anyone else. Zeloss eyes seemed to grinned themselves as he stepped forward, pointing his dagger at Sheenas neck.
Zelos? She said, stepping back into the group.
You can call me The Gleaming Knight now!! He lunged forward at Sheena who hid behind Genis and Raine. They all jumped from his path, bumping into the walls beside them so he wouldnt cut anyone.
What the hell is going on? Genis said as he dodged a swipe of the flame blade.
He stopped swinging and grinned madly. He looked at the scattered three and started laughing hysterically.
Is this a joke?! Sheena glared in anger, she walked up to the laughing Chosen and brought her hand back to slap him. Before her hand reached his face, his hand flew up and caught her wrist tightly. His face was inches from the Mizuho Ninja.
Please, hunny. Dont make this difficult. He twisted her arm so that it was behind her back and then kicked her forward to where she was on her knees facing away from him.
Lightning Thrust! He shouted as a shock of lightning began to surround his body. He lunged forward at the fallen Ninja.
Aqua Edge! Genis shouted as water slapped into the chest of the Knight, sending him against a wall. Raine ran to Sheena and helped her up as they backed away from the possessed Zelos they once knew.
Oh, so is this the game? I always hated relying on others to help me. Dont you Sheena? Someone would always take the victory right under your feet.
Is this what its about?! Glory? You pig! Her cards started to glow brightly, Cyclone Seal! Zelos watched as the ground below him started to swirly violently. He looked at them before shouting.
Guardian! A green dome clouded his presence from the attack. After it broke, he lunged at Raine.
Sonic Thrust! In the middle of casting the spell, she was unable to protect herself. Luckily Genis countered his spell. Icicle! Before the possessed knight could reach the casting beauty, a large icicle jumped in front of Zelos, blocking him.
We cant really hurt him because we know its our friend being possessed by a demon!
Force Field! Raine finished casting as large green diamonds covered the allied side before vanishing. This boost made them feel a little safer.
Your just getting in the way of my fame and my flame. Hell Pyre! He slashed at Genis who was casting a spell. The blade cut open the young leaders shoulder, ripping his blue cloak; Genis fell backwards in pain while he held his wound. Then Zelos jumped backwards in the air and threw a bolt of fire at his target; Genis.
No! Raine reached out to her brother.
Thanks for the Guardian, Regal Lloyd mentioned as he picked Colette up in both of his arms.
Guardian! Regal countered again as Lloyd sat Colette down away from the skirmish.
Lloyd, listen to me. We have to get everyone out of here. This monster feeds on hatred and the strength hatred creates! When we get fresh air, everyone will come back to normal! Im sure of it. Her tired voice seemed faded and she was in need of some healing. But with the apple gels in the hands of Genis, and Raine not present, that was going to be impossible for the moment. Then it hit him.
Regal! You know healing arts! Please, Ill distract Presea while you take care of Colette.
Regal guarded again, and nodded, kicking the girl away from him with the heel of his foot. She collided with a wall roughly. He ran to the fallen angel as Lloyd picked up his swords and ran into the crossfire of the angry child.
Youre holding me back!! She ran at Lloyd once upon her feet from the hard blow of the wall. Her ax, stained with Colettes blood, flew at Lloyd in a downward slash. He caught the huge blade with his double blades before throwing her away with force.
Lloyd, Im to weak to do so, I need an orange gel!
What?! Grand! He caught another swipe before pushing her away again. Everything we bought is with Genis!
Regal looked at Colette and whispered, Its going to be alright. Everyone is going to get out fine. Upon finishing his sentence, a scream fell from Lloyds lips which caught the attention of Regal.
He fell to the ground, holding his left arm. His blades askew on the ice floor as he panted deeply, Man, why doesnt she get this much motivation when she is with us?
Presea stood above Lloyd watching him closely. Her ax was rightly in her hand.
Regal got up, about to run to his aid when Lloyd looked at him and shook his head to disagree.
Look, Presea. I know I havent been the best leader. Im not as bright as Raine or Genis, and I dont have as much courage as Colette and I might not even be as strong as Regal. But I believe inside everyone there is something that makes them special. He looked her square in the eyes, But I also believe there is something amazingly special about you
She looked at him, and then she rose her ax.
You have inner beauty! He turned his face away, in fear of being slashed at. But once he figured he was still alive, he looked at her. She held it above her head and watched him.
What are you saying? She droned.
You might only appear to be a 12 year old girl, but inside youre an intelligent, beautiful woman. It doesnt always matter what is on the outside, but it does matter what is on the inside. And out of the group, you gain the title as being the most Beautiful Person. If you want to kill me, then go ahead. I wont be able to stop you. But why try to kill the Professor and Genis?
Half-elves ruined my life.
But your friends didnt. Genis thinks youre the cutest person around and is amazingly happy your appearance is of a young girl. You make Raine amazingly happy when your making Genis smile. Your so important to Genis that it effects everyone around you two. He noticed she started to lower her ax.
So why let some ugly demon control you and ruin your inner beauty? Fight the creature! You dont want to hurt us! Please! We will always stand by you and fight with you. You dont have to be alone anymore.
Youre youre right, a muffled tone fell from the girls mouth. Her silver eyes slowly started to regain its true color. Then she dropped her ax and fell to her knees before losing consciousness. Lloyd caught her when she fell, smiling at the tired girl. Then, a dark figure seemed to melt away from Presea. It was a shadow of a human with deformed features. It quickly jumped into the glassy wall to the side and vanished into the cavern.
Regal looked at Lloyd who held the body of Presea. And then picked Colette up in his arms to follow the example of Lloyd. Regal watched the strong hero as his arm bled badly.
Come on, Regal. Lets find that small path. Regal nodded and looked down at the sleeping Colette.
Aww, why did you have to go and do something so foolish? Zelos mocked as he looked at the heroic Sheena who took the flame for Genis. She collapsed from the fatigue of the shot.
Sheena! Raine reached her brother and the fallen Ninja. She looked at the laughing Zelos as tears welded in her eyes. Zelos! Stop this!
Why? He retorted like a little kid.
Because your hurting the people who care about you!
Like hell you care! No one does! Therefore, I am going to take this picture into my own hands! He started charging up for an ice attack.
Raine jumped to her feet and darted towards the caster. She swung her staff at him but he simply deflected it with a simple hand movement. Her staff flew from her hands and collided roughly with the ice wall, splintering into thousand of pieces. She was successful in distracting him from casting his spell, which made him angrier.
No! My healing staff! Raine watched it before turning back to Zelos. When she did, she was welcomed with a punched in the face which caused her to fall back with the two other hurting members.
Man, Martel was right. I am stronger than everyone else!
Martel ? Genis looked up at the encroaching Chosen.
Yes, the one who is lending me her power right now!
Genis stood weakly. Youre being tricked! Thats not Martel! Martel would give a helping hand to save the world! Not destroy it!
Anger flared in the chosens face.
You always were an annoying brat!
Were? He noted the past tense again.
Yes, as in your over, done, finished, destroyed! He started to cast another spell.
Zelos A weak and tired voice called to him. This made him stop his spell.
Zelos watched Sheenas weak attempt to stand.
Zelos, please. Stop this! I want the old, perverted, Idiot-Chosen back! Cast out the demon within you!
Why should someone as strong as I listen to someone like you?
Because your stronger without that thing inside you.
What? He blinked, looking at her confusingly.
She staggered up to him as if she were drunk. Burn particles of flesh covered her arms and chest.
No, Sheena. Dont try fighting him when he is like this. Youll surely die Muttered Raine. She ignored the Professor.
The only reason this demon is tagging along inside of you is because its feeding off of your power! It wants your glory! You have to get rid of it right away!
No! Martel makes me stronger, makes me feel as though I am loved!
What? She watched confusingly.
No one cares that I am the Chosen. They want me to die to regenerate the world! Im scared as hell and I would rather live than die. If I become famous I will gain a better title and I will become important; too important to die!
Sheena looked at him with strong eyes. Her body felt as though it would fold beneath her at any moment, but she cared not. She wanted the old stupid Chosen back.
No one cares about me, so I will make them care! A thought appeared in her mind. One that made her cringe to think about. Then, the faces of the whole party popped into her head and what they would do for her safety.
You think no one cares? That no one loves you?! Her voice seemed choked as she yelled at him.
He glared at her and rose his dagger. Exactly. Maybe if I save this town, maybe someone will love me! Before he could start another though, the Ninja stepped forward and wrapped her arms around his neck and embraced him with a kiss. The Chosens eyes grew wide as he dropped his dagger. His hands winced in a loss of power as they fell to her hips, to hold her as well. Genis and Raine gasped as they watched the phenomenon unfold.
Then, the silver shine of his eyes vanished, revealing the ice-blue color of the true Zelos they all knew too well. Before he had a time to enjoy the kiss, he fainted onto Sheena. She pulled away from him and lowered him down to the cold ground so his head was on her lap. She stroked his red hair as the dark figure pealed itself away from the unconscious body of the Idiot-Chosen and sank into the iced wall beside them.
Wow, Sheena. That was amazing thinking! Genis said, weakly standing up again.
Sheena looked back at them and glared. Hopefully he wont remember anything, so no one will hear of this! Alright?! She threatened with a blush.
Raine smiled brightly, Sure. Your intelligent secret is safe with us, she stood and walked to Sheena and the fallen Zelos. She helped Sheena pick him off the ice ground.
Come on guys, lets get out of here. Genis stood, facing the exit they entered the cave.
Well, it looks as though we are the first ones out. Lloyd mentioned as he knelt in the snow with Presea in his arms.
Indeed. It feels so nice to breathe fresh air again. Regal noted as the sun bathed his face along with Colettes. .
Look! I think I see them! Lloyd pointed out. Genis popped out of the cave, looking at Lloyd and Regal. He smiled brightly as his sister and Sheena carried Zelos out of the darkness and into the fading sunlight.
Genis ran to Lloyd and Presea, What happened to her?! He blinked, in shock.
She was being controlled by that demon thing. Lloyd smiled at Genis. But we took care of everything. She is only sleeping now.
The same thing happened with Zelos. He was provoked into hating everyone by that stupid thing. He claimed it was Martel.
The girls sat Zelos down beside Regal and fell to the cold ground.
Man, you guys look beat! Lloyd commented.
Zelos can actually be amazingly strong sometimes when he isnt distracted. Sheena laughed.
How were you able to get Zelos back to his normal self? Regal asked, holding the sleeping Colette. This caused everyone in Geniss group to look at each other and laugh.
Well, we cant tell you- Sheena started.
Sheena kissed him!
Sheenas eyes grew big as she glared at the little leader. Why you little brat! She stood in anger. This caused everyone to laugh. In the midst of the laughter, both Presea and Zelos opened their eyes slowly.
What is so funny? Presea said, sitting up from Lloyd.
No one wrote on my face while I was sleeping, did they? Zelos blinked, sitting up from below the angry Sheena, seeing her made him smile. Hi there Sheena!
What do you remember? She leaned down to him.
Excuse me? He blinked. Is there something I should remember? She turned away.
Thats not fair! Tell me! Something happened! He gasped. Did you get me drunk and have your way with me?!
Sort of. Genis poked.
Are you serious?! What happened! Someone tell me in full detail!
Presea rubbed her head and looked at Lloyd, not quite sure what happened. Did I lose control?
Kinda. Lloyd replied.
What? Did I hurt anyone?
You harmed Colette, but she will be fine once we get to the Inn. He looked at the large cavern. Use your magic and destroy it, Genis. No one should ever have to go through pain like that.
Genis smiled and began casting his spell for Eruption as Presea watched Lloyd. How did you change me back?
He smiled before speaking. Dwarven Vow #7: Goodness and Love with always win! This made Presea smile as the huge cavern began to fall into itself. They all watched with a relief. In this moment, Colette woke up.
Thank you, Lloyd She smiled to him. He returned the smile and blushed.
Alright everyone. Lets get back to the Inn. Lets leave this adventure where it stands. They all gathered themselves up and began walking away from the memory filled ice palace.
No guys, seriously. What happened in there?! Zelos begged the walking group. He pouted and walked along too. Lloyd took one last look at the large pile of ice cubes and smiled, leaving behind their worries for the future.
All That Glitters Is Cold 3 Fanfic Competition
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