Leknaat takes one of the chosen children
June 16, 2003
The sound of humming…
The silent, monotonous, white noise reverberating against the great hall’s walls was the first thing that assailed her senses the moment she stepped inside the building. It was the sole indication of the great power sealed in this place. The sound alone, in conjunction to the darkness, would be enough to drive an untrained person with even the smallest trace magical abilities to madness. It took most of her skills to keep the effects of the sealing spell from tearing through her own defenses.
“I’m sorry,” Her guide’s rueful voice filtered through her consciousness, “I know this is very tedious for you.”
“It can’t be helped,” The woman replied politely, before stumbling over her feet. She would have toppled onto the floor, had her guide not caught her in time. She bowed her head and mumbled an apology as she righted herself with the man’s help.
“I’m sorry,” Her guide apologized once again, “Asking you to come here was too much for you.”
“It’s nothing,” The woman said insistently, “My body is simply spoiled by the constant use of my gifts. It’s just a matter of getting used to.” It wasn’t far from the truth. She depended too much on her power, that not being able to use her skill in its full capacity temporarily enhanced her handicap.
“We’re almost there,” The guide stated reassuringly as they once again made their way along the corridors in relative silence.
The mystical torches made soft hissing sounds as they passed. She hid her face instinctively under the cowl of her cloak, despite the fact that they were the only ones there. There was no need for guards. No one in his right mind would come here willingly in the first place. This place is one of the Harmonian High Council’s best-kept secrets. The entire building was a magic seal, neutralizing all forms of magic... painfully. Those with the slightest magic ability would be driven insane and eventually suffer a slow agonizing death if left there. Those with no magical powers were naturally repelled by this place’s aura. Countless magicians had chosen to kill themselves rather than be temporarily imprisoned in this hell. Only those with skill level in par with a few members of the High Council are able to walk through these halls unscathed.
“Shukyu-sama,” The woman finally spoke to break the silence, “May I ask a question?”
“Are you having second thoughts?” Her guide simply asked in reply
“Second thoughts?” The woman lifted her head, puzzled at her companion’s sudden question
Her guide stopped and turned to face her, “You haven’t met him, but you already know him.”
“I have foreseen this meeting,” The woman nodded, “He is one of the chosen, after all.”
“Did you foresee the mishap he caused three days ago at Crystal Valley as well?” The guide asked curiously
The woman lowered her head, “It was a necessary evil.”
“Or is it more appropriate to say that…” Her guide paused as he gauged her reaction… “…he’s a necessary evil.”
“Then why are you helping him?” The woman asked, her expression unchanging
Her guide paused for a few moments, as if weighing to answer her question, before turning around and walking once again, “The High Council made their decision. They have chosen the elder one to fit their purposes. They’re simply using the mishap at Crystal Valley to justify their means.”
“I see,” was the woman’s simple and quiet reply
“It serves them right,” Her guide said sarcastically, “Giving such power to children who have yet to gain the ability to yield them.”
“Is the Council afraid that the younger one will unknowingly repeat what happened in the Grasslands twenty-five years ago?” The woman inquired, though she was not expecting an answer
“We’re here,” Her guide announced, ignoring her question this time, as he stopped, “He’s in the middle of the room.”
She made a slight nod as she took steps forward. She cautiously let her mind wander to reach the occupant of the room. Then frowned as her prodding was met by silence. She slowly walked forward until she sensed the small physical body in front of her, before going on her knees to reach his height. She held out her hand to the figure in front of her. It was like touching a life-like doll. The small hands were cold and clammy. The small face she was almost able to cup in both hands barely did not react from her exploring fingers. It was almost as if the child in front of her was not even breathing. She didn’t need her sight, or her gifts to see his blank unseeing eyes. The realization of what had happened almost brought tears in her own.
“A binding spell…” the woman replied quietly. A binding spell improperly done to be exact, leaving the child in front of her into a literal living corpse, “To put this child in a binding spell… on top of being sealed in this place. Is Council that afraid of this boy?”
“This one has inherited His Lordship’s undesirable… rebellious… traits,” Her guide stated, “Most unfortunately.”
“How long has he been like this?” She asked, though she already knew the answer.
“The binding spell was not our doing,” Her guide replied defensively, “He was found like after the mishap. The boy’s master must have attempted to contain the power of the rune when it went out of control. The damage was minimal enough to be hidden from the public, but not enough for the Council turn a blind eye. All that was left of his master and his household was dust.”
“I see…” The woman uttered again, “Shukyuu-sama… If may I ask my question now…”
“Why are you risking your position and your life over such a potentially dangerous Third-class citizen?”
“I cannot agree to how the High Council is using these methods to control the power of the True Runes,” She could hear the silent rage in her guide’s voice as he replied, “You already know that this is necessary. To be quite honest, the Council does not know what to with him. But the consensus was, no one really cares if this one dies. He is just a spare, after all.”
“Are his… undesirable traits… a deciding factor for the Council deciding his fate?”
“You already know that Council gets rid of variables that are not useful for them,” Her guide replied softly, “This child’s only saving grace is the fact that one of the True Runes has chosen him. It was a complete fluke that both the elder and the younger were chosen. Who knows when they will be able to successfully create another one…”
“But that hasn’t stopped the Council before, has it?”
“Hmph…” Her guide bowed his head with a smirk, “Some of the Council Members have suggested involving the Guild to make the ‘process’ inconspicuous. They’ve already started the initial procedures to replace him…”
“…despite appearances, I know that something else has happened that day,” Her guide stated almost solemnly, “Despite his status or the potential danger of allowing him to live… I cannot stand by idly as the High Council plans the murder of a helpless child.”
“I see,” was all she could say, “This is the reason why you are entrusting him to me.”
“Certain members of the Council can be easily persuaded to turn a blind eye if the child is learned to be under the… care… of someone as essential as yourself. Those who would prefer to sweep the whole matter under the carpet would object at a formal arrangement.”
“Thus a secret arrangement is more viable.”
“It’s a better and simpler option than trying to weave more threads in the spider’s web.”
“That is already a great risk…” The woman commented, “…for a member of the Harmonian High Council to maintain such great faith on a person who was also once an oppressed third-class citizen.”
“Perhaps,” Her guide agreed, “But you have bound your very life to maintain the balance. It would be enough if the child would grow up with the same passion for those bonds as you.”
A small uncharacteristic frown marred the woman’s normally calm and stoic face, “Even out of sense of duty, that is asking too much.”
“Then I ask as an old friend begging for a favour,” Her guide replied with finality, “I shall leave now for you to make your decision. I can give you fifteen minutes more at most, before they realize your unauthorized visit. But the minute you use your teleportation power, that will be the end of it. So use your time well.”
“That’s very generous of you,” The woman replied quietly
Her guide watched her for a moment, as if trying to decide if she was indeed being grateful or being sardonic. He finally shrugged it off with a small smile, before turning away to leave, “Good luck.”
The woman let out a small breath before turning her attention to the smaller figure standing in front of her. She held one hand over the child’s smaller right hand to properly seal and bind the power of held in it. Before reaching out to cup the child’s cheek and neutralized the effects of the cruel binding spell that held him. The small figure immediately let out a loud gasp and collapsed like a rag doll in her arms. He curled up into a ball and started to cry like a newborn infant taking its first breaths.
For a moment, she was lost with what to do. She knew that this chosen was still a child, but she didn’t realize how young he really was until that very instant. Based on his cries, the child could be no older than seven or eight years old. She wrapped her arms around the distraught boy in an attempt to soothe him, “Shhh… shhh… it’s all right… it’s all right now.”
But the child did not… could not even acknowledge her presence. She could sense the uncontrollable tempest of emotions within him. The sealing spell imbedded on the four walls around them was already overwhelming the child’s already fragile psyche beyond logical reason. She protectively held the boy in arms even tighter as she whispered a sleep spell to calm him.
“It’s all right now, child…” She whispered again as the child’s sobs eased into soft whimpers as the spell took effect, “I’ve come to take you away from this… Luc…”
With those words, a flash of brightness engulfed the entire room before dissolving once again into darkness. Leaving the dark cold walls to continue with their silent, monotonous humming.
Huaaa… This is my first Suikoden fic. My sister got me hooked on the game and I finished the first 2 games a couple of weeks ago. I’m currently trying to finish the 3rd game. After this… I’m gonna tackle Suikogaiden which will be QUITE a while since my written Nihongo is not really the greatest… ^_^. I actually have a love-hate fascination with Luc (he was such a little bastard! Half of the time, I wanted to wring his neck!) But I personally think that his storyline is the most interesting of all the characters in the game (since his weird reaction when Sasarai first showed up in the game). I know how game 3 ends, so I’m not looking forward to it… L.
Anywayz… I know this fic is still confusing… and the format is going to be a bit weird too (since I’m experimenting a particular storytelling format style right now). I hope I’ll be able to pull it off. Please criticize and comment! ^_^.