The Great Convergence: ReMix

A remade video game crossover RP, based around the concepts of Kingdom Hearts


    The Escapist

    Adri
    Adri
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    Join date : 2019-07-28
    Age : 28
    Location : In my restless dreams

    The Escapist Empty The Escapist

    Post by Adri on Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:27 pm

    The origin story of Audrey Crowe, from her coming into the multiverse in two worlds at the same time, to her eventual escape from her gilded prison in Silent Hill.



    ~*The Escapist*~


    ~*Dive*~





    Falling...

    Diving...

    Sinking ever deeper, into the abyss...

    She didn't know how long she had been falling for, nor did she know how she came to be. The memories were hazy; she remembered being in her room, minding her own business. But then, something strange happened, and now she was sinking underwater.

    At least, that's what it appeared to be. However, she didn't feel like she was drowning, the need to come up for air simply not coming to her. The sensation was alien, but she felt she'd seen it before...

    In the back of her mind, she'd expected landing on a pillar of stained glass. However, with how long she'd been diving, that didn't seem to be the case. She was likely fated to dive for eternity, darkness further enveloping her.

    Her eyes slowly blinked open, in a state between sleep and wakefulness. The surface seemed further and further away, if there ever was one. All she could see was the faintest glimmer of light, so far above...

    "...ke up..."

    She'd been about to let herself drift ever further into the abyss, when she heard that faint voice. Was it her imagination, or did someone just...?

    "...wake up..."

    Barely clear, but she could make out the words. Someone was calling to her, from above the surface.

    Suddenly, it was as if a switch had been flipped. One moment, she was content to dive further and further down; the next, she was compelled to swim all the way back up, to that light, to whomever it was that called to her. She swam with a force she didn't know she had, a determination to make her way out of this abyss that she never would have found before.

    Closer and closer she got to the surface, the light growing brighter and brighter. The voice becoming a lot clearer the closer she got.

    "Wake up..."

    "Wake up...!"

    "Wake up...!"

    "WAKE UP!"

    "WAKE--"

    She resurfaced.

    Her vision went white.

    ....





    When she came to, there was no water to be found. Instead, she found herself in what looked to be a dark forest, reddish lights tinting the bare trees. Brighter lights, in the shape of small orbs, floated and bounced about playfully.

    Actually...hadn't she seen this place somewhere before?

    She had been about to raise a hand in response to the lights almost blinding her...only to find that her arm was transparent, a bright outline surrounding her form. Startled, she looked down and around herself, finding that her entire body was transparent like a ghost, a glow like the little balls of light surrounding her, cherry blossom petals fluttering around her.

    Part of her thought to panic, but at the same time, this was all very familiar to her, just like the underwater dream. Was she still dreaming, or was she actually...?

    "~Ah, another lost soul joins us, I see.~"

    A voice, echoing and ethereal, yet playful, its tone sounding like a song. One of the light orbs approached her, floating around her as if in a dance. She almost retracted back in response, fearfully. A lost soul? What did it mean by...?

    "~No need to be frightened, little one.~" the orb reassured, its lighthearted tone relaxing her nerves somewhat. It floated ever closer, nuzzling up to her like an affectionate puppy.

    She just stared, almost in a daze. The fact that she was taking this in without panicking surprised even her; normally she'd be freaking out at the possibility of being dead right now, talking to fellow ghosts. But at the same time...why was this so familiar to her?

    "Wh..." She had begun to speak, only to startle back at her own voice. It was the same ethereal voice that the orb spoke with, only with less of a song. She reached her translucent hand to her mouth, her eyes widened. Did she really just sound like that?

    The orb giggled, not in mockery, but with a mirth that would've been infectious if she weren't so confused. "~I see you are not used to this. Don't worry; it happens to every spirit that arrives here.~"

    Well that's reassuring, she thought sarcastically. Taking a breath to compose herself (was that even possible as a ghost?), she spoke up, trying to ignore the echo in her voice as best as she could, "Um...wh-where are we...?"

    "~Why, my friend, you are in Nekton, the forest where lost spirits gather!~"


    She thought she imagined that just now. Nekton...the Shrine of Spirits...an important area in one of her favorite games: Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean. No wonder she recognized the place; she had just played through that for the upteenth time, after finally getting through the prequel game. And last she remembered, she had left her old Gamecube on in order to get a particular Magnus that would unlock the rest of the songs in the game after two weeks of game time.

    But...to actually be here, in the flesh...or, well, in 'spirit' in this case...

    She floated back, sinking against a nearby tree while shaking her head in denial. This couldn't be happening; getting sucked into a video game was a typical plot found in bad self-insert fanfiction, not something that could actually happen! As the fellow spirit drifted near her in confusion, she mumbled to herself, "...I'm dreaming..."

    "~Now why would you think so?~"

    She almost wanted to yell that this was all just a game, but she couldn't bring herself to. She instead brought her hands to her head, somehow managing to hold it in spite of her incorporeality. "I-It's just...it's just too hard to believe. I-I can't be here, I..."

    She trailed off as the ball of light nuzzled up to her again, comforting her. "~I understand, little one. It takes some time to get used to. Take your time; it happens to all of us.~"

    She wanted to argue that it wasn't what they thought it was, but once more held back. Maybe it was the way this spirit was reassuring her, something that rarely ever happened with her whenever she was troubled. Maybe it was the prospect of being in one of her favorite games that almost made it exciting, even if it was possible that this was just some crazy fever dream she was experiencing.

    Or maybe...maybe it was the fact that she wanted to get away from her home, from all the yelling and slamming and hurtful words, that she was almost willing to accept this fever dream, if it meant she could escape even for a moment--

    "~Shh! Someone's coming!~" another spirit shushed them, this one much more chirpy in comparison.

    All of the spirits began to gather around the trees, watching from above as they waited for the potential visitor, their footsteps heard in the distance. The spirit that she had been interacting with flew higher above the tree she laid against, beckoning for her to join them.

    Strangely, she didn't struggle in her own flight like she thought she would. It was as simple as swimming, except in air rather than water. Joining her spirit friend, she had to ask, though she had a feeling she knew who was about to arrive, "Um...wh-what's all this about?"

    "~We watch every time a visitor passes by our forest,~" the cheerful little light explained. "~Some of us even try to bond with them as their Guardians.~"

    "~Bah. An impossible task,~" another spirit, this one much more gruff with less of a song, huffed. "~The last one who found her Spiriter was over twenty years ago, and she's since disappeared after that failed bond.~"

    "~Ah, yes...~" a more sympathetic spirit said sadly. "~Poor Daimon . She was only trying to help that poor man .~"

    She barely held back from blurting out that she knew that familiar name and what had happened with that 'failed bond'. Instead, she kept her attention on the visitors that were to arrive. The first of them brought a sigh of annoyance from the cynical spirit.

    "~See? It's only the duchess again...~"

    Indeed, the young woman , appearing to be about thirteen, walked forward with a poise and grace that almost breathed nobility, contrasting heavily with the dark forest around her. Her white hair, matching her pale skin, was tied into thin braids that curled and hung at either side of her head, her red eyes looking straight head as she walked, not seeming to acknowledge her surroundings at first. She was garbed primarily in white, with a pink-tinted cape wrapped over her shoulders, held by a butterfly clasp at her collar. The most elaborate, however, was her skirt, shaped like a noblewoman's dress, but made entirely out of stained glass.

    She knew right away who this was. Lady Melodia, the (demon-possessed) villain of the game. Even without a physical form, just seeing the scheming duchess in the sorta-flesh brought a chill down her spine, in a way that told her that, despite her elegance, something was not quite right with her.

    Her fellow spirits seemed to agree with her, as one pointed out, "~Is it just me, or is something...off about her? Even more than the last time...~"

    "~Yes...she walks like a puppet without strings...~"

    Like the models in this game move? she joked in thought. However, her train of thought was broken when her spirit friend was next to point out.

    "~Wait. She's not alone this time. Look.~"

    Her eyes followed where they gestured...and promptly went wide.


    Following the duchess in white, looking warily at his surroundings, was a young man, sixteen or seventeen years of age. A mess of blue hair, hastily held by a thin rope band, and a handsome face, deep blue eyes that were filled with an intensity that she couldn't comprehend. Garbed in a leather chest-plate over a light blue shirt with white vertical stripes at the sleeves, blue pants of a strange feathery make with a tan belt that had a cloak attachment, leather elbow and knee-pads over heavy wrappings at his joints, thick purple arm-guards and fingerless gloves that matched his shirt, and light blue croc-like shoes. Worn over him was a ragged cape with a red pattern at the ends, hiding away a secret that only she knew.

    Once again, she knew exactly who this was, and could barely contain the excitement she had of seeing him here. It was Kalas, the game's protagonist, found by Melodia after the loss of his grandfather and brother. A vulnerable soul, ripe for manipulation...

    "~That young man...I feel his pain, but I cannot see where...~"

    "~Me, too...it's like it is there, but not there at the same time...~"

    Not there...because they weren't looking for the right soul. A vague explanation in the game...but if she looked closely enough, maybe she could see exactly what they were all talking about...

    As the spirits talked amongst each other, some even calling out to the two visitors, Melodia stopped in her tracks, with Kalas stopping just a few feet behind her. The young duchess looked up to the gathering spirits, a smile crossing her red-tinted lips.

    "The voices...the spirits are calling..."

    The blue-haired boy lowered his head, closing his eyes...listening. "Yeah..." he said quietly, "I hear them."

    The sound of their voices caught her off-guard, not at all like the bad voice-acting that had become infamous among those who had actually played the game. Instead of a shrill tone, Melodia's voice was soft like silk, betraying her true nature. And Kalas, instead of the scratchy voice, was a little bit deeper, still sounding youthful, but not forced. They didn't even have the 'tin can' effect; their voices were more akin to someone lowering the volume on them, even at a close distance.

    It was a weird sensation. It wasn't like someone made a remaster with better voice-acting, right? This game was far too unknown for something like that.

    This only had her further convinced that this was some deep fever dream she was having.

    That little bit aside, she squinted her eyes, trying to get a closer look. In this state, she thought she could see what looked to be their auras; Melodia's was tinted black outlined around her, but mixed with a strange light that seemed muted. Kalas, on the other hand, was much more difficult. At first, she couldn't find anything like the other spirits. But as she looked closer, she saw exactly what was meant when his soul couldn't be found normally. It wasn't an outline, but a bright light that was shining from where his heart would be. A soul glowing with a mysterious light...

    As if sensing this, her spirit friend balked at her. "~Wait a minute...can you actually see!?~"

    She didn't answer, just focusing on the scene in front of her, transfixed. While the boy was listening to the spirits around them, Melodia turned to face him, that smile never leaving her face.

    "You have heard about the Guardian Spirits, haven't you?" She held her hand to a ball of flight that floated near them, playfully swirling around her dainty hand. "From a place and time you will never reach...silent words, unspoken feelings..." She held her hand higher, letting the little spirit drift away. "You don't really need to summon the spirits to this world. They call out to us, so playfully."

    She raised her other hand, more in indication, as her smile grew wide. "Two souls in separate worlds, their never-ending dreams, their painful longing..." With both arms held out, she began to twirl around in a childish dance, her voice taking on a sing-song tone. "Two souls that call out to each other. Two souls that seem alike."

    Kalas just gave a soft grunt, having no comment on this silly little dance. His attention was diverted, away from the strange little girl...and he looked up, in the direction of the one who was watching him closely.

    She couldn't help the gasp of surprise, her own focus somewhat broken. He was looking right at her...just like he did with the Guardian Spirit in the game...

    "~You...can you actually do it...?~"

    "~That's impossible; she just arrived here.~"

    "~But he's looking right at her. I think it might be possible.~"

    What the spirits were saying...what this all meant...could she actually bond with him? Would she actually become the Guardian Spirit of one of her favorite characters, even knowing what was going to become of this?

    The duchess stopped in her dancing then, seeing the boy and the spirit locking gazes with each other. "That spirit seems to like you," she noted, a thin veneer of a gentle tone. "If you could bond with it, something wonderful may happen to you. Are you ready?"

    He didn't say anything, just staring in the direction of the spirit. Likewise, she stared back at him, conflicted. Not just in confusion as to how she could bond with him. She knew that by joining him, she would experience his betrayal, face possible amnesia for trying to argue against their plans. And yet, at the same time, she felt that maybe, in this dream, she could influence a possible change...

    Or maybe, she actually wanted to forget when the time came, not just the plot of the game, but everything before. Her life, her troubles...everything.

    She felt her little friend floating close to her, reassuring her, albeit for the wrong reasons. "~Don't be afraid. If you wish to bond with him...just reach out and call to him...~"

    Reach out and call...after a moment of silence and consideration, she did just that, reaching an arm out to the lost soul within, full of sorrow and a bitter hatred that left him longing for vengeance. And in turn, he reached out to her, the sad soul that wanted to escape from her life, no matter the consequences. Their never-ending dreams and painful longing...


    TH-THUMP


    A pulse, coming from both the boy and the spirit. The cherry blossoms that surrounded her, now encircling the boy, flowing into the soul deep within. And then, a bright flash of light...

    She gave a deep breath, a hand over where her heart would be. It was as if everything, from her life and the boy's, came to her all at once, pouring into her mind and soul. Sad and painful memories from both of them, bringing them closer. Sympathy and empathy born from pain and suffering.

    In all the times she had played through the game, she could never have known that this was how the sensation felt like. She was almost thankful that she didn't have a physical form; it probably would have been too much for her to take in.

    She could see that that was indeed the case when she looked at her bonded Spiriter. He had fallen to his knees, taking more time to process this than she did. Slowly, he staggered back to his feet, taking a deep breath of his own, his hand clutched against his chest. Then, lowering his hand, he looked up to her again, his eyes uncertain.

    "Uh...hello?" he greeted, sounding more like a question to if she were really there or not. "Can I...m-may I ask your name?"

    His voice was a lot more clear to her; in turn, the whispering spirits around them sounded muted. Even the one she befriended seemed so far away. For a long while, she just stared back, quiet in her own hesitance. Even in this supposed dream, faced with a favorite character of hers, she still had trouble speaking up, stammering over her words even in a simple introduction.

    "...A...A-Audrey...i-it's Audrey..."

    "Audrey...so that's your name..." He gave the faintest smile, as if reassuring her in her nervousness, as well easing up on his own uncertainty. "Not bad. My name's Kalas. We're a team now, you and I."

    "...." Silence...then she gave a smile back, even though it couldn't be seen. "O-Okay...n-nice to meet you, Kalas."

    He nodded back, his smile becoming a small smirk. "Well, hang in there for me, alright Audrey?"

    She nodded a bit more eagerly, her smile turning wide. Even though she knew she would end up becoming a pawn in the wide scheme of things, even though she knew she would end up with amnesia, facing betrayal and being tossed aside...at least for now, she could enjoy a new friendship and adventure in a world she loved, that she could now experience in person.

    If this really was a dream...she didn't want to wake up any time soon...
















    A smile formed on her lips, her form otherwise comatose. Long, messy brown hair, barely held back by a black headband, nearly covered her face as she slept. Her white blouse was drenched, jeans torn at the knees, and socks covered in black at the bottom, no shoes to speak of. Beside her was a kitchen knife, a thin line of dried blood at the blade from her attempt at self-harm.

    She slept on the shores of a lake, where she seemed to wash up from, a dense fog surrounding her. She'd slept and dreamt what looked to be a good dream, unaware that she'd fallen asleep in the infamous town of fog and restless dreams, where dream and reality were indiscernible in its constant shifts. The town that takes all.

    Silent Hill.


    While she slept, footsteps, slow and unnatural, approached her form. It appeared to be limping, jerking movements accompanied by the sound of clinking chains. It stopped before her, towering away above her, its eyeless face peering down at her. Then, contorting all the way back, it emitted a shrill, feminine scream from its bloodied mouth--

    BANG

    The bullet shot through its head before it got to do anything, crumpling onto the ground into a writhing mass. The cause of the shot approached as it struggled, calmly in spite of the potential threat, looking down at it without expression, without pity. Then, it was stomped down by an otherwise neatly polished boot, blood splattering over it and the dress pants that he wore.

    Despite the mess this certainly caused, the man did not react with any sort of disgust, even as his clothes were stained with blood. He didn't look like someone who came from the town: a man that appeared to be in his mid to late twenties, six feet tall and fair-skinned, shoulder-length black hair with bangs that covered the left side of his face, though dark eyes and prominent cheekbones were clearly seen. His clothing indicated someone of wealth, consisting of black longcoat with two coattails over a white waistcoat and dress shirt, a red cravat slightly undone at the neck, black silken gloves, black dress pants and polished black boots. Not the type of outfit one would be willing to get blood on.

    The man didn't seem to care, however. In fact...he didn't seem to react much to anything. No fear or stress against a potentially terrifying creature, no remorse or hesitation, or even sadistic glee in putting it out of its mystery. Just...nothing.

    However, that changed when his gaze caught the sleeping girl. It was like a switch had gone off; he immediately ran to her side, tossing the handgun away, and knelt down to her. Lifting her up slightly with one arm behind her neck, the other hand pushing some strands of hair away from her face. Looking down at her for the longest time.

    When he found her laying here, he had done everything he could to try to wake her. Called to her, shook her, hit her, splashed her with the lake water, even firing a warning shot. Nothing seemed to stir her, not even the threat of a monster. She was completely comatose.

    He likely would have just left her here, possibly to die. When he woke up in this town, he felt nothing but emptiness, no care or purpose for anything. But, when he found this girl, that seemed to change. Suddenly, he felt the need to keep her safe, from the monsters, from the fanatics that plagued the town...from her own destructive tendencies, if that knife was anything to go by.

    After all the aimless wandering, looking for anything that seemed like a sign, he finally had a purpose.

    So, removing his coat and wrapping it around her like a makeshift blanket, Ignazio D'Aleo picked the girl up in his arms and began to make his way back. To a mansion that wasn't far from the amusement park, where he had woken up and decided to call it home. A place where she would too, if she were to ever wake. A place where they would spend the rest of their time in this limbo...forever...

    "I will keep you safe...my dear Audrey Daniela Crowe...and I won't let anyone snatch you away from me..."



    Last edited by Adri on Wed Dec 25, 2019 6:26 pm; edited 3 times in total

    Adri
    Adri
    Admin

    Posts : 46
    Join date : 2019-07-28
    Age : 28
    Location : In my restless dreams

    The Escapist Empty Re: The Escapist

    Post by Adri on Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:22 pm

    ~*Betrayal*~




    "Audrey...are you in on this, too?"

    "N-No, I--"

    "No...Audrey didn't know about this at all. To tell you the truth, she was against our plan and refused to cooperate. So...we cast a memory loss spell on her."



    The words kept repeating in her mind, over and over. How could he have done this to her? After two years...after all the help she gave him...



    "Kalas, stop! Please, stop this!"


    "...It's too late, Audrey. I can't go back anymore. I would've done anything to avenge Gramps and Fee. Anything. I needed the power...I wanted to be stronger...I needed the power of a Spirit...I needed you...

    "But it's all over now."

    "What are you talking about?! You got your revenge! You don't have to do this! Please snap out of it, Kalas!"

    "Tch. Snap out of what? I'm just fine... You're the one that needs to snap out of it, Audrey. Isn't it time for you to accept reality and go back where you belong?"



    That statement pierced even harder. Though her memories of those two years were gone, she still remembered the reason why she was here. To reject the reality she lived in, to escape from where she belonged...

    And he just told her to go back to that reality. Back to the life of constant yelling, of verbal and emotional abuse and utter helplessness. For him to so coldly say that, after everything they've been through together...

    No matter what they did; herself and the friends that joined them on that quest; he refused to listen. He accepted the so-called 'gift' of the dark god, gaining two 'beautiful' wings at the cost of his sanity.

    She could recall those disturbing eyes, piercing blue on black sclera , looking right at her, a wide grin, and the formal way he spoke, so unlike him...




    "You must see by now, Audrey...I no longer need the Spirit's power! I've obtained eternal power of the gods!"

    "Do you even hear yourself right now?! Listen to me, Kalas! This isn't like you!"

    "..."

    ....

    "Unfortunately...there's no place for you in this world. Nobody needs you anymore! Your game is over! Go back to your world now!

    "So long, Audrey...it's been fun..."



    Even now, she could hear his haunting, insane laugh as her world faded to black. Her Spiriter...her friends...the newfound hope that she had for all of them, and for herself...

    Just like that, it was all gone in an instant.



    Now she was here...falling...diving...sinking ever deeper, into the abyss...

    She hadn't felt this sensation in a long time, not since she awoke as a Spirit for the first time. Back then, she was confused but determined to make her way to the surface. But now...

    "Nobody needs
    you anymore!"

    ...he was right. What was the point of even trying when she wasn't needed or wanted? Both there, and in her world. She was worthless; she always had been.

    And so...she let herself drift further, into the depths of darkness. She would fall for all eternity for all she cared...








    "So that's it, then? You're giving up?"

    ...a voice...one that she didn't recognize. She would've snapped up in confusion if she weren't so despondent.

    Why shouldn't I...? she responded back in thought, not expecting whoever it is to answer back. It's just like he said. I don't belong in that world...

    ...

    To her surprise, they responded back to her. As if they just read her thoughts.


    "You don't really believe that, do you?"

    ...what do you mean...?

    "Think about it. You've made all those friends, been through a lot together...and just like that, you're going to turn your back on them over one betrayal?"

    ...'turning her back'? Did they even know?

    I'm not 'turning my back' on anything. I was thrown away, remember?

    "True, but if you wanted, you could just swim your way back up. You did it before."

    They had a point with that, that was true, but still she wasn't persuaded. Why should I go back? Nobody...nobody needs me...

    It hurt for her to repeat those thoughts once again. What she believed for so long, coming to the fore from someone she thought was her friend. If she weren't in a state of sleep and waking, she would've broken down crying--

    "That's not true, and you know it. You have friends that need you right now. They're all locked away somewhere, waiting for someone brave enough to come rescue them."

    ...they were right. She remembered, all of her friends were held at the mercy of the enemy. They were probably held captive by now, if they weren't executed on the spot.

    But...could she really...?


    "And despite what he said to you, I'm pretty sure that 'Spiriter' friend of yours needs your help, too."

    And then the voice had to go and say that. It was enough for her to snap her head up and glare at wherever they were.

    Are you kidding me right now? He threw me away, over another stupid wing! How can you say that he needs my help after that?

    ....


    "I don't think that's what he really wants."

    ...what?

    "Look, I'm not trying to defend this guy or anything like that. What I'm saying is...maybe you should consider the evidence before jumping to conclusions."

    But the evidence was all there, she wanted to argue back, still indignant on the idea that that jerk would need her help. But...she couldn't bring herself to. A thought occurred to her, caused by that simple suggestion.

    He didn't just accept those dark powers right off the bat. Before he reached out to accept it...he paused for a long while. Almost as if...




    "What is it you fear? I'm certain you will be fine. Your Guardian Spirit will protect you. You need not fear the madness and anger of Malpercio. You must believe, Kalas...believe in the power of Malpercio!"

    "..."



    ...he hesitated. Even after he told her to 'accept reality', he seemed to struggle with his decision in that moment, like he couldn't accept his own reality.

    He said he was fine, but that small moment of hesitation showed otherwise. That cold statement he gave her...he was telling himself that as much as he was telling her...

    And then before all of that...that night, before they set out for what they thought would be the end of their journey...




    "...What do you think, Audrey? Do you think someone stole our End Magnus? Is there really a traitor among us? Is someone...actually lying?"

    "...I...I don't wanna believe it...but..."

    "...You think so, huh? Heh...kind of sad, isn't it...

    "...Find us, O Mighty Ocean, and forgive us..."



    At the time, she didn't know why he said that under his breath...but now she knew.

    Regret.

    Regret that he went through with that dumb plan when he now had friends that he could count on. Regret that he would sell them out over a pair of wings... Regret that he had her forget about the whole thing in order to keep using her power...

    For all she knew, he was probably in some dark room somewhere, struggling between his new power and pretty wings and the guilt in turning his back on the friends he made. A struggle that would go on until someone brought him back to his senses...


    ...he does need my help...

    "See? That wasn't too hard, was it?"

    No...it really wasn't. The evidence was all there; she was just too stubborn to see it for herself.

    But, there was still one problem...


    I...I can't just go back, though. I have to be bonded with someone, and it's not like he'll just accept me back right away.

    "Who says you had to bond back with him?"

    She heard it then, a faint sound that was heard throughout this conversation, but much more clear now. A young woman, somewhere in a distance...crying...

    She immediately recognized who this was.


    Xelha...!

    "Sounds like she could really use your help, kid. You better go on after her."

    W-Wait! Who are you?

    "Me? Well...let's just say, I'm a friend you haven't met."

    ...What did that mean? She would've asked that out loud, but she doubted she would get a clear answer. Instead, she made her way up to the surface, her determination in making her way out of the abyss returning to her once more. The sound of the girl crying became clearer the closer she got to the light.

    She had to save them all. Gibari, Savyna, Lyude, the Great Mizuti, Xelha...Kalas...they all needed her...

    ...

    She resurfaced.





    Her vision was dark when she came to. It wasn't the typical darkness where her eyes would adjust to it; she couldn't see anything at all. All she could hear was the crying of a close friend. Crying of hopelessness and despair...

    "This...this can't be happening...! Wh...What should I do? Where is everyone...?"

    She felt a pang of empathy, wanting to reach out for her, tell her that she was here to help. But she couldn't see where she was, couldn't bond with her like this. She had to be called to and accepted.

    A sad squeaking, like the sound of a baby dolphin, was heard alongside her. Meemai, the Greythorne that accompanied them, seemed to be trying to comfort the despaired woman...but then the squeak turned alarmed.

    "M-Meemai...what's wrong?"

    ...

    A surprised gasp. "?! Wh-Who is it?! I-Is someone...there?"

    "Xelha! It's me!" she tried to call out to her then, her echoing voice sounding out...or at least it would, if she could be heard. But to the young woman, it was faint, barely audible, but enough for her to acknowledge it.

    "Wh...What was that...? Did someone....call out to me? It feels as if...someone is nearby..."

    "I am! I'm right here!" she called out again, trying to get through to her. This time, she raised her voice, hoping to sound clearer to her.

    It seemed to work, as she heard her gasp again. "I know that voice! I...Is it you, Audrey?!"

    "Y-Yeah...it's me. I'm here for you, Xelha."

    "...No...I can't...your voice is too faint...I can't hear you..."

    ....

    Her vision finally began to clear. It was a blur, not helped by the flickering light in the room, but she could just make out the blonde woman in bright pink in the prison cell, sitting against the cot with her head down. She could also make out the small seal/dolphin-like creature beside her, comforting her.

    "...Audrey...if you're there...please come to me..." She could just hear the tears in her voice; she would've teared up as well if she had a physical form in this world. "Don't leave me alone...I-I have to do something! I can't just leave Kalas..."

    Before, she would've tried to deny that, say that he doesn't need nor want their help after what he just pulled. But now she understood; she couldn't leave him either.

    "Please, Audrey...give me strength...!"

    A familiar phrase, one that she heard in another series many times. The image of a certain spiky-haired boy appeared in her mind. It was enough to further fuel the confidence the had been building inside, knowing that if he were here, he would've done the same thing she was about to do.

    "Okay! I'm reaching out to you now!"

    "..." Slowly, the girl got up to her feet, turning towards her direction. "...I'm here..."

    Her arms slowly lifted away from her, the young woman; the despaired soul with a great burden on her shoulders, who wanted to save everyone, including the man who turned on them; reached out to her; the sad soul who once tried to escape from her reality, who wanted to do everything in her power to make this right. Their never-ending dreams and painful longing...

    ....


    TH-THUMP


    A pulse, coming from the girl and the Spirit. The cherry blossom petals encircling her, flowing into her kind soul within. And then, a bright flash of light, followed by a burst of petals.

    Once again, it was as if everything from both of their lives came all at once, pouring into their minds and souls. Sad and painful memories, different from her previous Spiriter's, but bringing them closer all the same. Sympathy and empathy born from pain and suffering.

    Just like how she remembered before, it was almost too much for the Spirit to handle. But, because she didn't have a physical form, she was able to withstand it. The same, however, could not be said for Xelha. The minute the two bonded, her vision became clearer; she saw that the young woman had collapsed onto the floor, breathing heavily. Meemai hopped closer to her, nuzzling her in worry.

    "..." A hand held close to her heart as she slowly pushed herself back up. "...It's you...isn't it, Audrey?"


    Just like before, her voice was much clearer now. Far different from the voice that, from what little she could remember, couldn't pick a consistent tone. It was soft-spoken, much more fitting for a kind young woman like her.

    She nodded to her, managing a small smile in spite of herself. "Sorry to have kept you waiting, Xelha."

    A small gasp, the woman staggering back to her feet. With the Spirit's vision cleared, she could see that tears stained her face, but in place of the sorrow that she felt prior, she was beaming, a wide smile on her face.

    "I-I can hear you now!" she said with a sudden excitement that surprised her. "I can hear your voice, just like Kalas did!"

    Her mirth was infectious, the Spirit allowing a small giggle in spite of herself. Her own despair seemed to completely fade, her confidence and the comfort she felt from this bond taking place instead. In response, Xelha placed her hands close to her heart, her eyes closed.

    "It feels like...there's a warm light deep inside me. It's a wonderful feeling..." She looked up to her, her gold eyes once again brimmed with tears, but of joy rather than sadness. "Thank you, Audrey...I'm so glad you're here..."

    "...Me too, Xelha." She smiled back to her new Spiriter, but it only lasted a second as a look of determination crossed her face. "Now, how about we find a way out of here?"

    A nod in return, her eyes matching her Spirit's determination. "Right!"

    With their combined power, they broke free of their cell. Though there didn't seem to be any sign of the others, they were able to escape the fortress, thanks to the help of three mysterious women and their dragon , all of whom seemed to know Xelha. What this meant, Audrey only had a faint idea; if only that memory loss spell didn't make her completely forget the plot of a game that she played to death.

    As they flew off on the dragon, the last thing they saw, that slowly faded from sight, was the white-winged Kalas watching them leave, his dark eyes hollow and unfeeling. Xelha could only look back to where he was, a hand over her chest.

    "...I'll come back for you. I promise..."

    "We'll come back for him," Audrey corrected; if she could place a hand on her shoulder, she would do just that right now. "And we better. I have some words for him..."

    What those words were, only time would tell...



    ~*~*~*~



    Her comatose form continued to sleep on, not having moved an inch since she was found. No longer out in the monster-filled streets, her body was brought to a mansion that didn't look anything like it could be from Silent Hill. As opposed to being decrepit and decayed, the place was in mint condition, luxurious furniture and decor placed about neatly. A gilded home, shielded from the horrors that lied outside of these walls.

    Although in the world where her soul was, she had been there for two years, here in the town, her physical form had remained unconscious for a week due to the passage of time flowing differently. Not once did she stir from her slumber; even when she was sent back to that abyss, there was no indication of her struggle. Nothing, other than a single tear sliding down across her cheek, which was promptly wiped away from the one watching over her.


    Ignazio stared at the girl that he kept on the lavish sofa, a silk blanket wrapped over her. For the past week, he made sure to keep her safe while she slept, locking all the doors and windows and making sure the monsters wouldn't think to break in. Little by little, knowledge of this girl poured into his mind. Who she was, the life she lived before, the things she liked...why she was like this.

    The Great Convergence: a multiversal event that pulled people from different worlds, including the real world itself, and placing them in different worlds, even different times. But this girl...she wound up in two worlds at once, hence why her body slept. Her soul was bound to another...at least, it was, until the betrayal.

    He thought she would wake then, in a state of despair that he would comfort her from, all while convincing her that her so-called 'friend' didn't need her. But...she slept on, finding someone else to bond with in that other world. Determined to see that journey to the end...

    His stomach churned, a sensation he was not used to. He'd only found this girl, and she didn't yet know of his existence...yet despite this, this feeling he had, that made him want to seek these 'friends' out and keep them out of the picture, leaving her all to himself...

    Jealousy.

    He didn't like this feeling, preferring the hollowness from before he found her over this. It made him want to attempt a second time to try and force her awake, to pull her out of that world and cut her off from it permanently. Sadly, there was nothing he could do about it. He couldn't wake her, couldn't leave the town's boundaries to find his way to that world himself. He was as much of a prisoner as she was.

    All he could do was endure this feeling whilst he waited for her to awaken. And once she did, he would do everything in his power to keep her here, to make her doubt these friendships and herself, all so she could rely on him and him alone.

    That's what his role was to be, after all. Just as that boy in the helmet suggested, all he had to do was accept it.

    And so, stroking her hair away from her face, Ignazio continued to watch over the girl, trying his best to forget that bitter feeling. All the while, he whispered, both to himself as well as her, even while knowing she wouldn't hear.

    "...It won't last long, my dear. These 'friendships' of yours...it's not even real to you. It's all just a dream, remember? They're not worth your time. Once you wake up, none of it will matter anymore. You won't ever see them again...I'll make sure of it..."


    Last edited by Adri on Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:27 am; edited 1 time in total

    Adri
    Adri
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    The Escapist Empty Re: The Escapist

    Post by Adri on Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:32 pm

    ~*Free*~



    ~The night before~



    The party took up the guest rooms of Queen Corellia's palace, resting up before the big day. Tomorrow, they would head back to the Imperial capital to (hopefully) stop Melodia from unleashing the full power of the End Magnus, and (even more hopefully) save Kalas from the clutches of darkness.

    While everyone else had gone to sleep, Audrey had a small conversation Xelha, her current bonded being ever curious.



    "Audrey...what's your home like? The world you come from, I mean."

    "..." Despite seeming like a simple question, it was a hard one for her to answer. Not because of any 'amnesia'; that spell only made her forget about what happened the past two years on this world, as well as the entire plot of the game. Rather, it was because of the memories associated with it, that she'd been running from all this time.

    However, she allowed herself to answer anyway. Xelha had been so kind to her, more than her previous Spiriter had ever been. She deserved to know.

    "Not like this," she began, thinking on it a little. Being stuck in a fantastical world for the last few years almost made her forget what her home was like. "There's no magic or people with wings, and the technology we have is different from the Empire's. It's more...well, I don't wanna say 'normal', but..."

    "I see what you're saying," the girl who turned out to be Queen said with a smile. "It's hard to imagine, but it's something you grew up with. Just as we grew up with all of the things you say your world lacks."


    "Ah...yeah, like that." Xelha always had an interesting way of wording things. Whoever would think she was a 'dumb blonde' didn't know any better themselves. "But yeah...we're still similar in some ways. We go to work, go to school...we all have families and friends that...that we..."

    She couldn't help the sad tone in her voice as she trailed off. Her empathetic Spiriter picked up on it, looking up with concerned eyes.

    "...If you don't want to talk about it, it's okay."


    "No...I...I'll tell you..." She let out a deep sigh. "I...b-before I came here, I didn't have any friends. I mean, I had some people to talk to, but not...you know, not like you and me. I...I just couldn't relate to anyone. I was always picked on for being different...no one really understood me...

    "And my family...it's not like I hate them, but...ugh, it's complicated."

    "I'm sure it can't be anymore complicated than trying to stop a cursed god from being reborn," Xelha attempted to make light of the situation. It was enough to cheer up the Spirit somewhat, shown by her small laugh, but just barely.

    "Well...no, but...my parents always fought over the stupidest things. And...my brother always made things worse..." Her voice began to crack, like she were about to cry. "And...and they always dragged me into it. They always told me that we were both the reason why they were like that, that I didn't know anything about what they were going through...that I didn't know anything about love...

    "I...I just...couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to get away...I didn't want to deal with it anymore. And...I guess that's why I ended up here..."

    Audrey fell silent after her story, wishing she could let the tears fall in her ghostly form. Xelha just looked in her direction in sadness, a hand placed over her chest; a tic that showed her compassion and kindness.

    "...I'm sorry...I could never have imagined..."


    "...D-Don't be...i-it's not like you were responsible or anything..." The displaced girl managed to cheer herself up a little. "Besides...I got to meet all of you guys. You've all been the best friends I could ever ask for..."

    The woman's gold eyes lit up. "Audrey...you really think that?"

    "Y-Yeah, of course I do...even..." A wistful sigh. "...even Kalas...for all his jerkishness..."

    Her Spiriter nodded understandingly. "I know...what he did would be hard for you to forgive, but...the two of you were somewhat alike. Being different from the others, I mean. Maybe...that's why you were bonded."

    "...yeah...maybe. The same could be said for you, too...though in a different sense." She sighed again, looking out to the night sky. "I just...wish there was a way for him to see that."

    "There is," the Ice Queen reassured, pulling out the small, ornate hand mirror that she obtained from her trial. "We have the Ocean Mirror, after all. Barnette said it could save him...he'd have to see then, right?"

    "..." The Guardian Spirit fell silent. Though she wanted to believe Xelha's optimistic hope, part of her didn't think it was going to be as simple as she believed. But, at the same time, she didn't want to dampen her mood again. She just forced a smile, giving a nod that was otherwise unseen. "Y-Yeah...right. Everything...everything will be fine..."

    They will be...right...?







    They weren't.

    Not only were they all led right into a trap, her friends' power being drained by the End Magnus, but even when that was being warded off by the holy power of the Ocean Mirror, it turned out that her suspicions were right. The mirror didn't save Kalas from his corruption...

    It seared him alive instead.

    Audrey could only watch in horror as her former Spiriter convulsed on the floor, screaming as the light burned into him. No matter how angry she was at him for throwing her away...to see him like this was just...

    "Oh no...Kalas...!" Xelha was also horrified by this realization; not only over the fact that the mirror was hurting him, but that she'd been lied to by her trusted nanny. She had pulled the mirror away, trying to get it to stop, but in doing so, whilst the young man laid there in pain, the End Magnus continued draining from their friends, at a much faster rate.

    The Ice Queen looked helplessly to her incapacitated allies and the fallen boy, torn between preventing the birth of a cursed god and trying to save someone that very likely couldn't be saved. Unable to make the choice, she looked up to her Guardian Spirit, tears stinging her eyes.

    "What should I do...? Audrey, please tell me! What could I possibly do!?"

    "..." There was no answer for the longest while. The Spirit girl could only stare as all of her friends were imperiled...and there was nothing she could do to stop it. For all of her so-called 'wisdom and power' that everyone assumed she had, she couldn't use it to save anyone.

    "...I...I don't know..." she finally spoke her uncertainty, her voice shaking. "I don't know...!"

    "Oh please, I need your help!" Xelha begged, nearly falling to her knees in her despair. "I don't know what to do!"

    The sight of the woman; the one who, even in her worst moment, was always so optimistic and determined in helping absolutely everyone; on the brink of despair was almost too much to handle. She wanted to slink back, hide away from everyone, all while telling herself that she was useless, that she couldn't do anything...that she may as well just be thrown away again like--

    "...X...Xelha..."

    A pained voice spoke up, breaking them both out of their helplessness if only for a moment. It was none other than Kalas, who tried to push himself up, his teeth gritted from the strain. Was it from the burning, or...was he fighting back against the darkness...?

    "...the mirror...Xelha..." he said between grunts, holding his side. "Use...the mirror...!"

    Xelha's eyes went wide as she watched to boy struggle, speaking to her like the young man that they knew him as. Did this mean...the mirror actually worked, despite what it did to him...?

    "Kalas...I..."

    "Do it, Xelha...!" he cut in; he would've been yelling if not for his struggle. "Before...the End Magnus unite...before it's too late...!"

    "..." She shook her head once it finally dawned on her. He wanted her to stop this...but at the cost of...

    "But...if I do, y-you'll be--"

    "Don't worry about me! Do it...now!!!"

    He used what little strength he had to shout, making her flinch back. She couldn't bring herself to hurt him again...but...she had no choice. She had to stop this. After a moment of hesitation, she shut her eyes tight...and shone the mirror on him again.

    "AAA...RRGGGH!!!!"

    Once again, Kalas screamed and convulsed as the holy magic of the mirror burned into him. The sound of his cries made Xelha tremble, wanting to draw away the power again to stop it. But...it was the only way to...

    Audrey could only watch as the scene unfolded in front of her. Her ghostly form shook in place, her eyes widened. She wanted to look away, shut her eyes and block it out, but...she just couldn't. Watching her former friend get burned alive...he didn't deserve this at all, no matter what he did before. And her current Spiriter, she could see her inner struggle clear as day, wanting to save the boy, but at the same time having to do what was right.

    She couldn't take watching her friends like this anymore. Neither of them deserved to suffer like this.

    "...Stop it..." she whispered weakly, in between all of the magic and screaming going on. "Please stop it..."

    "But...!"

    Xelha still held the mirror, in spite of her turmoil, the tears beginning to fall. Kalas' screams grew louder, the power burning deep into his soul...

    ....



    She pulled the holy artifact away, unable to bear another second of this. Falling to her knees, unable to contain her anguish...bursting into a sobbing wreck...

    "No...! I-I can't do this! I just can't...!"

    A deep gasp from the fallen boy, burn marks seen clearly on his face, arms, and legs. The Spirit wanted to reach out, both to the crying girl and the injured boy, as well as the rest of their friends, all of whom were too weakened to stop any of this. She wanted to give them all the strength to get out of here, alive.

    But with the clacking of heels, and the sugary sweet, but malevolent voice that followed, that would not be possible.

    "Are you finished yet?" Lady Melodia asked in a derisive tone, a playful smile plastered on her face. However, it was gone in less than a minute, the duchess now sporting a sharp glare in her red eyes as she held a hand out.

    A blast of energy, like lightning, struck Xelha dead on, knocking her back down to the floor, back under the corresponding End Magnus that drained her power. As if that weren't enough, the Ocean Mirror was also shattered from the blast, rendering any chance of fighting back against the evil power useless.

    "Xelha...!" Kalas weakly called out to her, unable to push himself back up. All he could do was watch in horror as the End Magnus continued to drain from his former friends...from the ones he betrayed...

    Audrey wanted to ask him if this was all worth it, if this was what he really wanted. But, once again, she couldn't bring herself to do so. Between her friends' power continually being gushed out, Melodia's evil gloating and joy that the god of destruction would soon be born, and the once corrupted boy's weakened state leaving him unable to fight back, all she could do was watch as the events unfolded before her. Despite all of their best efforts to avoid what was to come, everything was falling into place...

    With one last bright flash from the End Magnus, a cloud of darkness filled the area, blinding them. A snarl, monstrous and inhuman, was heard within...

    The cloud dispersed. And from it, Malpercio, ancient god of death and destruction , was reborn.


    She could vaguely remember not being all that impressed by his appearance in the actual game, due to the outdated models making him look silly. But now, seeing the monstrous god in the flesh...the corrupted body parts of five tortured souls, fused together like some twisted Frankenstein's monster...

    There was no time to consider any further. The so-called 'divine being' brought forth a storm of light that rained down on her friends, the barrage of light beam further weakening them and knocking everyone but Xelha unconscious.

    "G-Guys...!" Audrey cried out, reaching out to her friends in vain. Unable to do anything in her ghostly form, she instead looked to Kalas, the boy finally finding it in him to stagger back to his feet, his face horrified by what he inadvertently wrought onto his friends.

    The look on his face...it was just as that voice in the abyss said, that she could now see for herself. He didn't want this at all.

    She saw his fist curling in. Whilst Melodia excitedly greeted her 'darling' Malpercio, the blue-haired boy gritted his teeth in anger, wanting no part of this anymore. He turned to face the evil teenage duchess while her back was turned, ready to end this here and now.

    "M...Melodia...!" he shouted in spite of his apparent weakness. He managed forward, charging forth at the girl and the reborn god...only to be stopped suddenly after not even a few steps. Not by any spell or attack by the dark god. No...he was stopped by his own 'beautiful' wings, which had summoned themselves on their own accord.

    "...?!" He gasped his realization, now in a struggle against the very wings that he once claimed to be a gift from the gods. His tugging and pulling against them with gritted teeth reminiscent of one trying to break free of the bonds tying them down, held against their will.

    This was no 'gift' anymore. It was a curse.

    "You poor fool." Only then did Melodia face him, her tone and the look in her eyes condescending. "Haven't I already told you? Once you bathe in his light, there's no turning back. You are already a servant of Malpercio...one of the Brethren of Darkness!"

    A servant...no, it was the Dark Brethren that were in control, not the other way around. Though the memory loss made her forget this game's story, Audrey still at least remembered the plot points of the prequel, including who the real villains were. Of course, now was not the time to bring that up.

    Despite the struggle he endured against his own wings, Kalas continued to remain defiant against the evil girl he once worked for, shown by his sharp glare and his deep growl as he continued to fight back, "No...!"

    However, any action that could be made against the duchess would be of no avail. Melodia had formed a magical barrier around herself, levitating into the air until she was at Malpercio's level. She looked down at her rebelling servant, a wide, evil smirk crossing her red lips.

    "Now we must punish the unwise, those who dared to oppose our god's awakening. Crush them all, Kalas!"

    Suddenly, a dark aura surrounded the boy, overtaking him...lifting him as if it choked the very life out of him. Silence, all signs of a struggle vanishing in an instant. As he turned to face his fallen friends once more, his former Spirit saw the look in his eyes, which had reverted back to the bright irises on black sclera that his evil form took.

    There was no defiance, nor was there acceptance to his apparent role, not even the insanity from when he first got this power. Nothing but complete emptiness, the winged boy truly becoming a puppet under the strings of a demon.

    He approached slowly and wordlessly, stopping just before Xelha. The Ice Queen was too weak to try and talk through to him, much less look up at him. In response, Meemai hopped right out of her hood, squeaking indignantly as it attempted to intercept the corrupted boy.

    This only prompted a childish laugh from Melodia, that wicked smile never leaving her. "Go on, Kalas! Squash the insignificant bugs!"

    "No! Kalas!!!"

    It was then that Audrey finally tried to do something. Her unseen form flew in front of Kalas, holding her arms out in a vain attempt to stop him. Even though she knew he would just go through her, that he could only just barely hear her, she couldn't just stand by and watch anymore. She had to do something, anything!

    "..." There was no response, not even a sneer in her direction. Ignoring both the Spirit and the Greythorne in front of him, Kalas drew his sword, pointing it towards Xelha...

    ....



    "...O Mighty...Ocean...guide us...as...we journey through... The darkest...pit...of night..."

    Xelha's voice, barely a whisper in her injured and weak state, but coming through all of a sudden, praying her nation's prayer as she faced her supposed demise. It caught the attention of her Guardian Spirit, looking away from the boy and down at her in confusion.

    "X...Xelha...?"

    "..."

    Somehow, her words seemed to get through to Kalas, his breath shaking as his grip trembled over his sword. Memories of the young woman filling his mind; when she first recited that prayer for her fallen bodyguards; when they spoke together after they fell into another dimension...the night in Balancoire, before they set out for the Empire...



    "Kalas...let's do our best, for everyone's sake. I believe in you..."



    "May Time, ever fleeting, forgive us... We, who have forsaken the song, and buried our future..."



    "..."

    Complete silence, the young man frozen in place. His eyes, brimming with tears, but slowly reverting back to the deep, intense blue that they were before.

    He tossed his sword aside.


    "What are you doing...?" Melodia's smile, still plastered on her face, began to falter slightly.

    "..." Once again, no response. Nothing but a silent grunt from the boy as his head lowered. Then...he reached a hand back, to the back of his left shoulder...to the white wing that tried to keep its hold over him.

    He gripped tight, his teeth gritted hard. Tugging, pulling at the wing, doing everything he could to fight back against the metaphorical bonds that tried to pull him back under control. Then...


    SHRRRRK


    The sound of tearing, accompanied by a pained, but determined cry. A flurry of glowing white feathers, practically blinding the Spirit as she watched this unfold, as well as her Spiriter, who managed to look up in time to see this.

    Both of their eyes went wide at the scene before them. In battling the corrupting influence of the End Magnus, Kalas had torn off his left wing, severing himself from the dark power both literally and metaphorically.

    "Kalas!?" Xelha yelled in surprise, her concern growing as she watched the young man fall to his knees in exertion. She could see the blood pouring from his left shoulder, a reckless action that would cost him otherwise if there weren't any other way to free him.

    Audrey could only stare in silence, her eyes wide and her hands over her mouth. From the small glimpses of memory coming back to her, she recalled this very scene, remembered herself cheering as Kalas broke free. To actually witness it in person, without the limitations of the outdated character models...it truly was a sight to behold.

    However, none was more dumbfounded than Melodia herself. Her smile was gone completely, her own eyes going wide, her mouth hanging open in bewilderment. She was physically shaking, wanting to deny what just happened right before her very eyes.

    "Wh...What have you done!?" she screamed, her normally composed voice going completely shrill. "Have you lost your mind!?"

    Kalas' right wing was glowing brightly, slowly dimming down as the corruption faded with it. Once the light was gone, the wing had reverted back to the dull grey swan wing that it was before...that he always was.

    "How...How could it be possible...?" Melodia continued to voice her denial, shaking her head in disgust. "Removing the power of a god? By your own will?!

    "What...are you...!?"

    "...." Slowly, doing everything he could to ignore his bleeding shoulder and his exertion, Kalas staggered back to his feet, a look of newfound determination upon his face. He turned to face the evil duchess and the reborn god, his eyes sharp and his teeth gritted.

    "...Melodia...I swear...I will drive Malpercio and his minions from this world...! Plunge them right back into the depths of darkness!!!"

    With those words, Kalas had truly cemented his return to the side of good.

    Unfortunately, this triumphant moment did not last. In a reckless and impulsive act of defiance, Kalas charged forth at Malpercio, only to be knocked to the ground with relative ease without his "blessing" or a Guardian Spirit to protect him. It would've been the end for all of them, had it not been for the untimely intervention of the Great Mizuti , who called upon the power of her people and attempted to weaken the incomplete god. In a fit of panic, Melodia and Malpercio escaped from the heart of the Imperial Fortress, leaving the heroes to their fate.

    Though weakened and barely conscious, the group would recover in time. However, it was Kalas that was the main concern. Due to the heavy blood loss and pushing himself to his limit, he had fallen unconscious after his reckless attempt to take down a god in the state that he was in. Xelha slowly crawled her way towards him, holding him close, doing everything she could to wake him.

    "Kalas! Can you hear me?! Please, you have to fight this, Kalas!"

    ...fight...

    Quickly getting over her stupor, Audrey was prompted to take a closer look with those words, looking deeper like she had done two years ago. Even after forgetting everything else, she still remembered the apparent abilities that she had as a Spirit. Squinting her eyes, she saw traces of darkness swirling around him, attempting to ensnare him once more. Despite forcibly removing his tainted wing, some of the corruption still remained to drag him back down.

    Unconsciously, the girl reached out to him, even though she knew it wouldn't amount to anything. After everything she witnessed, after seeing for herself that he didn't want any of this, she just couldn't leave him there, in spite of what he'd done. She...She had to save him, somehow...

    ...

    What happened next, she couldn't remember. All she heard was Xelha's surprised shout, and the last thing she saw was a strange pink mist filling her vision.

    All went white.



    ~*~*~*~



    He left her alone only for a moment upon hearing something banging against the front doors. The monsters that were trying to break in were quickly disposed of, the locks on the doors deliberately jammed in order to keep the rest of them out.

    He had other ways of getting back in and out. This was done in order to keep her from ever leaving, should she awaken.

    When he returned to her, however, he came upon a strange sight.

    She was surrounded by a pink mist, primarily focused around her hands, but swirling around her form all the same. This lasted for less than a minute before it dispersed and faded into her.

    At her side once more, Ignazio took a closer look, trying to see where that came from. She appeared to be in an even deeper sleep than before. Was that strange mist the reason she was comatose? Was it her own doing?

    Was she even aware of it?

    "What in the world are you, Audrey Crowe...?" he muttered quietly, continuing to remain at her side. He wanted to see this through until she awakened, whenever that would be...


    Last edited by Adri on Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:44 am; edited 2 times in total

    Adri
    Adri
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    The Escapist Empty Re: The Escapist

    Post by Adri on Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:55 am

    ~*Dream*~




    Here again. The familiar diving sensation, in a dark, water-like abyss. Diving deep into a dream.

    Except this felt different somehow. This dream...it didn't feel like her own...

    Opening her eyes, regaining her sense of awareness even in this sleep-like state, Audrey soon found that she wasn't alone. Before her was the pink-clad woman that was her current Spiriter, unconscious and unaware. She 'swam' closer to her, reaching a hand to--

    Wait...was that a bracelet on her wrist? When did she wear bracelets?

    Looking down at herself, she saw that her clothes had changed. A red top with pink frills on the sleeves, red shorts under a three-quarter skirt with pink frills at the hemline, the aforementioned red bracelets, black nylons, and red ankle-high boots. The sides of the shirt, skirt, and shoes were adorned with some pink spiral design, a white belt around her waist that seemed to be for show rather than anything practical.

    It suddenly occurred to her that she may have always looked like this since waking up in another world. Why she didn't notice...well, it may have been due to the fact that it was hard to see for herself when she was a transparent ghost. But this was besides the point.

    The girl brought her attention back to her Spiriter, reaching a hand to her and lightly shaking her. "Xelha..." Her voice sounded a lot more echoed when she spoke, much more than when she first materialized as a Spirit. Unlike then, she didn't put much thought into it, instead putting her focus on her friend. "Xelha, wake up."

    Gold eyes slowly blinked open, in a state between sleep and waking. Upon seeing the girl, they opened a little wider, though still appearing in a daze.

    "...Audrey? Is that...you...?"

    A nod. "Yeah, it's me. No ghost."

    "...." Slowly, the Ice Queen righted herself in the 'air,' her fairy wings unconsciously summoned. Unlike the physical world, her heart's power seemed to be limitless in this place. She looked around the dark abyss, her tired eyes confused. "Where...are we...?"

    "It's...kind of hard to explain," Audrey admitted sheepishly, wringing her hands together. "I...guess you can say it's a dream? Except...I dunno, it still feels real, but..."

    Before she could attempt to find the right explanation, they were suddenly enveloped in a bright light, nearly blinding the two women as they covered their eyes. When it died down, they were no longer in the water-like abyss, but in a quaint little home, a warm fire comforting them.

    "What...?" Xelha continued to voice her confusion, looking up and down at their new surroundings. The sight also perplexed the Spirit girl, who looked this way and that. This never happened before...


    "Grandpa, is it true that somewhere in this world, there's a huge puddle called the 'Ocean'?"

    The voice of a young boy snapped them out of their confusion, whipping around to where it came from. There, around a table with tools scattered about was a family of three. The one that spoke was a boy of thirteen , with short blond hair, bright blue-green eyes, and garbed in a white shirt and blue shorts. What was most striking about him were his pointed elf-like ears and a small mark of a spiral on his forehead.

    "And a big old fish called the 'Whale' swimming around in it?" the boy continued his question, his feet swinging playfully back and forth from his chair. "I heard the Whale is so smart, it'll know the answer to anything you ask!"

    "Oh, I don't know. I've never met anyone who's actually seen that creature," the old man that appeared to be the boy's grandfather answered, his focus on his apparent project while he humored the child. Despite his elderly features, he was careful and precise with the tools he had in hand. Without turning away, he spoke to the third one among them, "Hand me that wrench, Kalas."

    A gasp escaped Xelha's throat, the two girls turning their attention to the last family member. There was Kalas, looking youthful and carefree, in contrast to the bitter young man that they came to know him as. Here he was, aiding his grandfather with his project, with a gentle smile that he was rarely seen with.

    No wonder something felt off. This dream...it wasn't Audrey's. It was Kalas'.


    "Hmm...I think there really is an Ocean, somewhere," the boy continued his wonder over this apparent myth, the scene going on as if the two women weren't there. "The Whale must be there, too! I wanna ask him something."

    This brought a pause from the old mechanic, who looked with a raised brow. "And what is it that you want to ask?"

    "It's a secret." The boy got up from his seat, looking with a smile that said 'I know something that you don't.' "Can't tell anyone, not even you, Grandpa."

    "Ah, a secret, is it?" the grandfather of the boys remarked with an amused chuckle. Kalas looked up from their project then, giving a playful smile to his younger brother.

    "Hey, Fee. Whad'ya say we go out and find the Ocean and this Whale of yours someday?"

    "R-Really?!" Fee's eyes lit up in child-like excitement, prompting a small laugh from the young man.

    "Sure. When you grow up, that is."

    "Promise?"

    "I promise. You and me together, on a quest to find the lost Ocean and its Whale."

    Xelha brought a hand to her chest at this, a sad look in her eyes. Why this was, Audrey had the faintest idea, but didn't dwell on it, instead watching as Fee began jumping up and down in his excitement.

    "YES! I know we'll find 'em! I just know it!"

    It was an endearing sight to behold. But at the same time, it was also sad. Didn't Kalas say they were killed...?

    Suddenly, the area transitioned around them, like dust scattering in the wind. Now they were in a vast grassy field that seemed to go on forever.

    Was this still Mira? It didn't look like it...

    Once again, Xelha looked around in her confusion, voicing aloud, "Wh...What's going on...?"

    "...I-I don't know," Audrey admitted, wringing her hands together nervously. "Th-This never happened--"

    She suddenly gasped as something ran right through her, phasing through like a ghost. This brought the other young woman to whip around to her, only for the same thing to happen to her, catching her by surprise. They looked to find that it was Kalas and Fee racing along the grass, laughing and playing together like children.


    "Hey, Kalas!" Fee called back to his older brother as he raced ahead of him. "Don't forget your promise! We're gonna go look for the Ocean and the Whale!"

    "That's right!" Kalas said cheerfully, a tone that was practically unheard of from him. "We'll find them together, wherever they are!"

    "Yeah! If we both go, I know we'll find......" The boy's words trailed as he slowed to a stop, his cheerful demeanor vanishing in an instant. This immediately caught Kalas' attention, slowing his own pace to a walk to catch up.

    "...What's wrong, Fee?" he asked as he stopped behind his little brother. However, when he caught sight of what the boy saw, his breath was caught in his throat, cold. The two witnesses also took a closer look, the sight making Xelha gasp and Audrey's eyes widen.

    The dead body of the boys' grandfather lay sprawled in the grass before them. A closer look revealed his skin to be charred with deep burns. There hadn't been a fire...had there?


    "...We're all going to die...aren't we?" Fee's voice was a dead monotone, all childlike joy and excitement gone as he stared blankly at the corpse. "No matter what...it'll just happen...

    "I guess our promise won't happen...ever..."

    The sound of glass shattering suddenly reached their ears. Fire filled their vision, Audrey reflexively grabbing onto Xelha's arm in a sudden bout of panic. Though the Queen did hold her in reassurance, they found that the fire did not burn them, the danger once more phasing through them.

    The same, however, could not be said for the one whose memory this belonged to.

    They were back in the family home, which had now gone up in flames. Kalas and Fee had been knocked to the floor by some sort of force, likely an explosive that caused the fire. It didn't take too long before the boys staggered back to their feet, weakly, holding each other for support. Just as they were about to make their escape, they came face-to-face with the perpetrators behind this.

    A man garbed heavily in imperial armor walked into view, alongside a dark-skinned young woman with magenta hair. Even with the fire nearly blinding their vision, they were quick to recognize who they were.

    "Giacomo...Ayme..." Xelha said quietly, her hand over her chest in worry.

    Kalas stood protectively in front of Fee, doing his best to show no fear despite the situation. Sadly, it turned out to be for naught; Ayme gave them no time to think before she fired twice, blasting the two back down to the floor.

    "Kalas!!!"

    The blonde woman's cry as she watched the one-winged boy and his brother get shot wouldn't reach anyone, the two unable to do anything to alter this memory. All they could do was watch as the scene carried on. Whilst the boys were forced to drag themselves out, they watched as Ayme turned to her superior, who shook his head...disapprovingly? He didn't want them to die?

    Why would he be the target of Kalas' anger then, if this were the case?

    Before they could question this, they saw Giacomo turn his attention to the grandfather, who, as they learned, was in actuality the man's father. They couldn't hear what was said, but the man seemed to demand something. A brief pause until, in an act of defiance, the old man threw himself into the flames, Giacomo unable to stop him in time as he reached out in vain. Forever denying whatever it was he wanted...

    Now they were outside the burning home, watching as the two boys limped out while holding against their wounds. In the shadows, they saw a familiar woman watch them go, looking on in regret. The sight of the dark-haired woman that was currently one of their allies had Xelha gasp in surprise.

    "Savyna...?"


    "Neither of them will last long..." Savyna voiced her observation, closing her eyes, "not with those wounds..."

    So Savyna was involved in this, too? How deep did this connection go?

    Once again, the area transitioned before they could find an answer. Now they appeared in what looked to be the heart of a dark forest. With the glowing red orbs in the trees and the spirits floating about, it was easy to deduce that this was the Nekton Shrine.

    At the end of the path, they saw the two boys. Fee had collapsed in Kalas' arms, the young man holding him close. He was visibly shaking, crying as he did all he could to keep from losing his little brother.


    "F-Fee...talk to me..." he whispered, his voice shuddering as he failed to hold back his tears. "Come on...h-hang in there..."

    "...i-it's so dark..." Fee's voice was quiet, barely a whisper. Blood dripped down from his forehead, tears streaming from his eyes. "I...I'm scared...Kalas...wh-where are you...?"

    "Fee, I'm right here!" the young man called to him, unable to keep it together with the sight of his brother fading. "Y-You'll be alright! I'm with you, Fee! I-It's just a scratch...i-it'll heal in no time. W...We made a promise, remember? W-We're gonna go find the Ocean together! You've got a ton of things to ask that Whale, right?!"

    "...." The boy's eyes were unfocused, all life slowly fading. "...Kalas...I...I'm sorry...I don't...think...I can keep...my promise...

    "Find the Ocean...find the Whale...for me....."

    The young boy had fallen limp, but Kalas still held on, desperate to believe that his brother was still hanging by a thread.

    "F-Fee!! Y-You've gotta fight this! Don't go! P-Please...don't leave me...d-don't leave me alone...!"

    ....

    There was no response. His breath was caught cold, lightly shaking him in some vain attempt to wake him.
    "...Fee!? Fee...?"

    Still nothing. It became clear as he tried to find a pulse, only to find none. Fee had given in to his wounds and died in his brother's arms...

    The realization was too much to handle. Holding his little brother close, Kalas let out an anguished scream, crying out into the darkness. His family, his home...gone in an instant...

    The sight brought tears to Xelha's eyes, her hands over her mouth. Her sympathy and empathy for the young man that otherwise pushed her away shone through as she witnessed his darkest hour. "Oh, Kalas..."

    Audrey couldn't help but start crying herself. Again, she could vaguely remember this flashback, initially not feeling anything due to the poor voicework ruining the scene. But now, witnessing it in person (or lack thereof), she could feel the sorrow, her own sympathy for her former Spiriter welling up in her. But at the same time, a part of her was still angry.

    His little brother's last request was to find the Ocean and the Whale...and he was still willing to throw that away for a stupid pair of wings?

    Slowly, everything faded to black. They were back in the abyss, only now they were standing on what seemed to be solid ground. The ground, however, was covered in a dark essence that snaked around their feet, the sight nearly making the two flinch back in surprise. However, what was more concerning was what was in front of them.

    Kalas laid unconscious on the ground, dark tendrils latching onto him, threatening to drag him down. From the heavy bleeding on his left shoulder, it was clear that this was the one-winged boy that they knew, not a phantom memory.

    "Kalas!!" Xelha was already racing towards him, the possible danger not occurring to her in the slightest. She knelt beside him, grabbing him by the shoulders and shaking him. "Kalas, wake up! Please...you...you have to fight this..."

    "...." No response, the boy lost in a deep slumber. Tears were streaming from his eyes, unconsciously. Was it from the memories that they saw...?

    Tentatively, Audrey took a step forward, wanting to help, but unsure if she could do anything. This was all just a dream, wasn't it? Wouldn't they wake up soon...?

    Just as she was questioning this, she suddenly saw something appear behind Xelha. A dark figure with a sword in hand, raised high and prepared to strike down. She didn't think twice about what was to come next.

    "XELHA, WATCH OUT!!!"



    Her Spirit's cry brought the young woman to snap her head up, just in time to see the sword come down on her. Acting on reflex, she raised her wand over her head, the blade clashing against it in a loud CLANG as she did all she could to hold against it. Despite having already gone through a fight and having most of her power drained in the physical world, here in the dream, she managed to hold the sword back as if she were fully energized.

    The figure was garbed in light armor, black like the darkness that pooled the ground. Their features were hidden beneath the feather helmet and the face mask that they wore , but strands of shoulder-length blue hair were seen. Despite the human features, their eyes were a round red, lacking pupils. In contrast to the darkness, on their back was a pair of glowing white wings, the wings that had been rejected.

    And on those very wings, Audrey found two familiar sigils imprinted upon them.


    The Escapist Symbol_-_Dream_Eater_%28Nightmare%29

    "A Nightmare..."

    The Nightmare pushed Xelha away, the young woman quick to right herself back up and get into a battle stance. In turn, the dark tendrils that ensnared Kalas had spread further around him, cocooning him and keeping him further trapped.

    As worried as she was for him, however, Xelha didn't allow herself to falter, keeping her focused glare on the dark, winged figure in front of her.

    "Kalas...I promised that I would pull you out of this nightmare. And I won't go back on my word!"

    The Nightmare rushed at Xelha after her declaration, at blinding inhuman speeds. This time, Xelha was able to avoid the coming attack, her movement graceful like a figure skater as she dodged. It was a battle of speed and wits, the Nightmare charging and pulling feints to throw her off, and Xelha dodging and sending out her spells at every opportunity she got.

    Once again, all Audrey could do was stand by and watch in awe as the winged fighters clashed. Other than lending her strength; which seemed to work unconsciously; as well as granting Spirit Attacks; which seemed to be entirely random and out of her control; she couldn't do anything to help in the battle, as she had no weapon or any other power that she could actually control herself.

    However, looking to the darkness that encased her former Spiriter, she couldn't just stand by and do nothing. She might not have been able to join the fight, but she could try to get through to Kalas, somehow.

    As Queen and Nightmare went airborne in their fight, the Spirit ran to the dark prison, reaching her hand out. However, she immediately flinched back with a yelp as soon as she touched it, the darkness burning her hand, making her curl inward and whimper.

    Of all the times to be fully corporeal, even in a dream...

    Despite the immense pain, Audrey tried to call out; if she couldn't reach out physically, then maybe, just maybe, her voice could reach him. "K-Kalas...c-c'mon, y-you have to wake up! Please!"


    "Leave him be."

    A voice, low and gravelly, clearly masculine. The girl snapped her head up, looking around for the source. "Wh-Wha...?"

    "He brought this on himself. He knows he deserves this."

    She looked up to the combatants, where the Nightmare threw Xelha off-balance with an upward spiral attack. They were focused on their battle...and yet, somehow, she had a feeling the Nightmare was speaking to her in spite of this.

    "B-But...h-he's my friend--"


    "Do you really believe that? He used your power for his own gain. He even had your memories erased just so you'd keep working for him. Can you really call him your friend after that?"

    "...!" Their words struck hard, tears stinging the edges of her eyes. It was the complete opposite of what the other voice said; whereas that one had given her hope and determination to try and save her former friend, this one reawakened her doubt and anger at being used. Despite her wanting to save him...there was still a part of her that wanted to leave him to die for what he did.

    "I...I don't..."


    "You know this is true. You can't continue to deny this. He will be forever lost in darkness.

    "As will you."


    That cold statement brought her to snap back up. The Nightmare, who previously targeted Xelha, had now turned their attention on her. Before either of them knew it, they rushed at the girl, practically phasing through the air.

    And unlike the Ice Queen, who had the battle experience to prepare herself, Audrey had no way to avoid the coming attack. The sword slashed forward, the force of the impact knocking the wind out of her lungs, throwing her off of her feet...and sending her straight over the edge of the platform. Back into the dark abyss.

    "AUDREY!!!"

    Xelha's cry echoed after her, the sight of the blonde woman diving after her, only for the Nightmare to intercept and stop her, being the last thing she saw. She continued to fall, diving deep into the darkness until it blotted her vision.

    What was the point of trying to get back? She couldn't do anything to help, and besides, the Nightmare was right. After everything he did...why would she want to save him? He brought this on himself.

    So she let herself drift further, letting herself be consumed by darkness and oblivion. She would go down as she'd always been: a pathetic and worthless wreck of a girl who couldn't do anything even if she tried...

    ....




    "No, Audrey! You can't give up, not now!"


    Yet another voice. Unlike the other two, this one was much more feminine. Actually...it sounded very familiar...

    She looked up, her sight blurred from the hit she received. She could just barely make out a hand reaching to her, grabbing her own. The figure before was a complete blur, but she just barely make out the image of a certain blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl.

    And once again, all went white.


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      Current date/time is Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:08 pm