Part one of Tales of Destiny. Fifteen years after the events of Earthbound, an embittered and broken Ness is approached by an enigmatic figure and given a mysterious mission.
He was roused from his rest by the sound of feet splashing in the ditch. He opened his eyes ever so slightly, just enough to let the light come in. The storm had ended, and the sun was shining down on his face, softened by the clouds. The light seemed warm and welcoming, not harsh.
/When hurricanes pass, bluer skies are never seen/, he thought incongruously. Where had he heard that before? A song? Yeah, that was it.
He raised his head slightly, just high enough to see that the intruder was Mahna, who was striding towards him slowly, almost reverentially. Ness tried his voice and found it was not functioning. He swallowed and tried again, and this time managed to wheeze out the other's name.
"You have performed admirably, Chosen One." Mahna said seriously as he stepped foreward. Now he was at Ness' feet, but still he kept walking.
"Mahna..." Ness repeated, "Remember your promise, Mahna."
"I do." Mahna said, and for the first time, something like a smile passed across the mysterious man's features. It was such a friendly and understanding smile, and it looked so right upon the other's face, that Ness wondered why he didn't wear it more often. He was standing right over Ness now, and he bent down over the prone hero. He placed his hand upon Ness' face, pushing it back, to lie gently in the water. Ness could see Mahna's eyes now, and they were deep, blue things, full of compassion and grace.
"Go to them." Mahna whispered.
And then he was standing in a field. The field stretched off in all directions for miles, and was bordered by mountains. He felt the grass, and it felt good and right beneath his fingers/. At the bottom of the hill a woman and a child stood, playing in the tall grass. He says nothing, but they look up and see him nonetheless. A grin splits across the child's face and the child cries out to him./
He is running to them now, shock overcome by joy, and now the child is running to him. He scoops the child up in his arms and throws him in the air; The child squeals with delight and terror as he falls back down into his father's waiting arms. The woman stands by and watches, hand to her breast.
And now he runs to her, and he enfolds his arms around her, and she wraps her arms around her, and as he pulls close and feels the warmth of her body against him, he begins to cry. He cries with joy, with tears streaming down his cheek, as he holds her close, he cries with joy at the knowledge that he is home, home, and nothing can ever take him away again.
"/Life's greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved."--Victor Hugo, Les Miserables, 1862/