Beregond realises that there things aren't as they seem
Once he had finished, he realised that he had neglected another important need of his. His stomach grumbled its protest quite forcefully.
Chuckling a bit and thinking how Alphonse would have mothered him for not taking care of himself, he made a sandwich, the best thing he could make at this time of night; and sat down on the couch, looking again at what he had come up so far.
The results were interesting, to say the least.
On the one hand, he had the story of a prince, a ruler of a fair city that worshipped the sea, and who was fondly known as the Mariner because he was in the Sea-God's favour. After seeing many wondrous things on his voyages, always driven by his love for that element, the Mariner finally met a princess of great wealth and wisdom. He fell in love with her and he asked her to marry him, giving her as a token of his love a valuable stone that the Sea-God himself had given him to win her heart. The Princess accepted his love, but she also asked him to never set sail again. The Mariner promised her that he would do no such thing, feeling truly that his desire for sailing and adventure had been quenched.
But then news reached his ears that a black dragon raged his country, and the Mariner was asked to return to offer his assistance. He refused that call two times, because of the love he had for his wife. At the third time, his heart couldn't bear it. While the Princess was away, he sailed away to help his kin, taking two more ships with him.
When the Princess returned to see that her husband was gone, she was almost maddened by grief. She rode out in the wild hope that she would find her husband again and bring him back home. But, while she was riding through a forest on her way to the closest harbour, robbers attacked her, wishing to gain the valuable stone that shone on her breast. The Princess fled, only to reach to a cliff on the bottom of which the gaping sea was roaring. Seeing no other hope and finally despairing, she threw herself over the cliff and everyone believed she truly died there.
Yet it wasn't so. Feeling pity for her, the Sea-God changed her into a great, white gull; and in that new form and with the stone in her beak, the Princess flew onwards so she could find her husband. After many days and nights of search, she finally landed exhausted on her husband's ship. The sailors were ready to kill her, not knowing who she was and believing that the gull would bring misfortune. At the last moment, the Mariner noticed the stone on her beak and recognised her. As he cradled the bird in his arms, the Princess returned to her true form, and the couple was reunited once more.
When they finally arrived to the Mariner's city, the couple saw it getting burned to ashes by the black dragon, and so they both prayed to the Sea-God for assistance. Suddenly, through the power of the Sea-God, the ship was suddenly lifted by a huge wave and, as though it was flying, the ship got close to the dragon. The Mariner, using the power of the stone the Sea-God had given him, finally slew the monster, and then remained with his people to help the city be restored. The couple ruled the city to the end of their days and, just before they died, they sailed on their ship one last time. As their last breath left their lips, the Gods took the ship to the heavens, and the stone that was from then on clasped on the Mariner's chest, always shone the brightest in the morning, when the ship was starting its voyage on the sky dome.
On the other hand, Beregond remembered from his childhood the story of Earendil, son of Tuor, a lord of Men, and Indis, the Elven princess of Gondolin. After his family suffered through much misfortune, Earendil grew up in the Elven haven of Arvernien, where he met Elwing, the daughter of Dior, Lord of Doriath and son of Beren and Lúthien Tinúviel, and married her. Meanwhile, Cirdan the Shipwright, an Elf of great renown who knew of Earendil's love for the sea, built a mighty ship for him, Vingilot, to sail and explore at his wish. And when Elwing gave birth to twins, Elrond and Elros, Earendil truly believed that he was blessed with happiness for the remainder of his days.
But it wasn't meant to be. While he was at sea, Arvenien was attacked by Noldorin Elves who, bound by a terrible vow, wished to retrieve the Silmaril, a bright stone that Elwing had in her possession, inheritance from her family. Seeing no means of escape, Elwing threw herself and the Silmaril to the sea, and Ulmo, the Lord of Waters, saved her by transforming her into a sea bird and allowing her to fly to Earendil. The couple used the power and light of the Silmaril to find their way to the Undying Lands and ask the aid of the Valar. In response, the Valar and Maiar host, along with the Elves of Eldamar, came out of the Undying Lands in the War of Wrath, which ended in the Great Battle and during which Melkor, the First Dark Lord, was defeated. Even Earendil took part in the battle and, using Vingilot, which now had the magical ability to fly, slew Ancalagon the Black, the greatest Dragon Middle-earth had ever known. Once the War was over, Earendil led the surviving men to the Island of Numenor, while he was destined to sail Vingilot through the firmament. Called the Evening Star and the "flame of the west", the Silmaril on his brow shone down from the night sky forever after.
Beregond didn't know what to make of it. He could recall instances from his own history that resembled Alchemy. Then, Alphonse told him how one could use a philosopher's stone to enhance their powers in Alchemy, and even attach them to rings to make sure that that power was always with them. That reminded Beregond of the Rings of Power.
And now he was reading a fairy-tale that resembled a story of his own people.
The first time he had disregarded the strange similarities because he believed that he was desperately trying to find examples from his world in an attempt to grasp the principles of Alchemy more easily. The second time he had disregarded the connection with the rings as coincidence. The Rings of Power, though they also enhanced their wielder's power, didn't seem to work in the same way a philosopher's stone did.
But now he was beginning to feel that perhaps he didn't just keep on stumbling on coincidences. He still recalled the conversation he had with Ed and Alphonse some time ago. The two worlds, Middle-earth and Amestris, were connected by what he knew as the Gates of Mandos and Ed knew as the Gate of Truth. What if there were far more connections? There was still the matter of Hawkeye's resemblance to Almiel to be considered.
Beregond's mind tried to reason with him. He was probably reading too much into things. After all, almost all tales followed a familiar pattern; the youth searching for adventure, falling in love, and going through seemingly impossible tasks to earn the right to marry their beloved or to prove their love even after their marriage. And it wasn't far-fetched to consider the possibility that people just happened to resemble each another.
If that were the case though, why did the animals understand him when he spoke in the Elven-Tongue? He still remembered the instant faith the military horse and that farmer's dog had on him when he addressed them in Sindarin. And from where did this knowledge of dragons and gods and creation of stars come? How did these ancestors of Amestris grasp those theories and how was it that they resembled the concepts of his people so much? When he was back in his world, he had travelled into Rhun and the Southern Lands during peace negotiations. While there, he had been astounded to witness the diversity of culture of those people - including their beliefs on how things were created and the gods that ruled over it. And they were just neighbouring lands.
Beregond rubbed his forehead, feeling that his head was aching from all those questions he was trying so desperately to answer, yet he couldn't. One thing was certain though; he had to look over things very carefully. If everything he had discovered were coincidences, no harm was done - he would probably benefit from the knowledge anyway.
But if they weren't... what then?
He clenched his hands into fists as his mind was finally made up. He didn't just want answers.
He needed them.