The Forgotten Walk

By Cronos

I awoke to find myself still alive, but my body still ached from the pain we had received from Balio and Sunder’s brutal and unsuspected assault. I lifted myself up as I turned to see our tree house we had once called home, was now engulfed in flames. I looked around to see neither Rei nor Ryu. I could only think of one thing, “No…they can’t be dead. They just can’t.”

I tried to keep that thought stuck in my head, but the evidence was far too great for it to be a lie. They were nowhere to be found. I dragged my half beaten body away from the burning tree house so I would not attract attention. As I walked I felt a great change on how I moved. It seemed that I was now bending much more at my knees then I usually do. I tried to walk normally as I usually do, but it didn’t seem to feel right and soon just switched back. I didn’t understand and so I closed my eyes and placed my hand at my head to feel if I was injured or not. Perhaps I was just too injured to think right. And then I felt it, a sharp reptilian-like hand on my fore head. I opened my eyes and spun around to see nothing, but the familiar settings I had just seen previously.

Now I knew I was hallucinating, but just in case I reached for my sword. Surprisingly I reached into thin air. “What? Where’s my sword?” I thought. Where my sword had once been was now completely gone. I put my hands to my face again only to see in place of hands were black claws with talons. “What? What’s happened to me?” I walked slowly to the stream that was near our fort. I looked down to try and see my reflection. I was expecting to see an image of a young boy with long mauve-colored hair. Instead I saw a completely different and disturbing appearance, as I was no longer even human. I touched my face with one of my claws, gently stroking my cheek. It was the face of a black dragon. Seeing the shocking sight and plus because of my wounds I quickly fell unconscious on the floor.

I awoke the next morning to a rude awakening, “Hey sonny, are you dead or what?”

“Errr…” was all I could mutter out. He then poke at me with a stick, “You gonna wake up?”

I suddenly grabbed the stick and replied, “Ok, ok I’m awake. Stop with hitting already.” I then got a good look at the person who was hitting me. It was one of the elders at McNeil village.

“Oh sorry there little Teepo.” The old codger said

I put my hand to my forehead, “Erg, my head.” then it hit me, “Wait where’s Ryu and Rei!”

The old man replied, “I’m sorry, but I didn’t find anyone else, neither Rei or you new friend Ryu.”

I then looked at my hands; they were the hands of a human boy. I thought, “A dream? No way that could have really happened to me.”

I looked around to see my sword lying next to me. I quickly picked it up and got up from where I laid. The old codger shouted, “Now where do you think your going, Teepo?”

“I’m going to go out and find Rei and Ryu. I know there alive, they just gotta be.” I said back to him

No sooner did I start to run I felt the pain once again. I fell to the floor as I put my hand to chest to try and ease the pain. The old man approached me, “Teepo…let you’re wounds heal first. When I found you, you were far worst off then this. You’re lucky I had a couple of healing herbs on me at the time. I’m surprise you had lived through there assault.” He turned around, facing his back to me.

“I knew if you kept stealing from others, you’d get into trouble. But, I didn’t expect something this big to happen to a couple a kids. Just forget about Rei and Ryu, there dead. Just leave them in the past.”

Despite my current condition I got up and shouted, “They’re not dead! They’re alive! And they’re probably looking for me right now, erg.” I fell back. No matter how much I ignored the pain, I just couldn’t stand it for much longer.

He walked over to me, “I know I’m going to regret this, but I’ll take you back to McNeil, I can better tend to your wounds there. You better hope that no one’s watching us, or will be both dead.”

I soon fainted once again, losing consciousness. The last thing I saw was the old man picking me up. Whether or not he was actually going to help me, I leaved it up to him. I didn’t have the strength to move around or even talk. I just hoped that I don’t wake up in some jail or something like that.

I found myself walking in some strange mist. I didn’t exactly know where I was or where I was walking to, I just knew I was supposed to go somewhere. The whole place was dark, shrouded in shadows. I didn’t think it was night, it was just too dark for it to be just night. I looked up, no stars, no moon, not even a familiar night sky. Then I heard it, a slight whisper that seemed to echo through the fog. I shouted, “Who’s there!” I reached for my sword. I spun around only to see the same empty darkness. And then I heard it; “Teepo…” and an imaged appeared before me. It was an image of a young woman in a pink dress with white wings coming out from her back. She looked so beautiful, but the apparition quickly vanished from my eyes. I heard from the fog once again, “Come to me…”

I woke up from my dream; sweat was dripping from my forehead. I found myself in a nice bed, wearing some person’s pajamas. I looked to the side to see the fire in the fireplace was almost out and the old man was in a chair, dozing off. Thinking, “Hmmm…must be pretty late, if the old guy’s sleeping the fire’s almost out. Guess he wanted to help me after all.”

I got up to look outside the window of his cozy little house. Sure enough, it was night and then I noticed my armor and sword placed onto the side. I immediately walked over and pick it up and equipped it on. I noticed there was a couple of apples and bread on the table. I thought, “Sorry old man, but I gotta find Rei and Ryu.” I walked over and started to place the food in my bag. “Anyway I’m still a kid, always taking things that don’t belong to me.” After that was done, I opened the door and quickly and also stealthily made a quick getaway.

Back at the house, the old man opened one of his eyes. Seeing that Teepo had gone and left he also noticed that he had taken the food that was on the table. He muttered, “Don’t worry Teepo, the way I see it, you never survived that attacked and I never found you. Go and find your friends now, if they’re still alive that is.” The old man closed his eye and began to sleep this time.

Meanwhile, back to where Teepo was. I took an apple from my bag and started to eat it as I walked unnoticed by everyone and everything. I thought, “Ok, now if…I mean WHEN Ryu and Rei woke up where would they have gone off to, first?”

I finished up the apple and threw the core off to the side. Then it hit me, “I got it. Rei always said that Wyndia was the place we’d go when we hit the big time. We might not have hit the big time, but if anywhere that’s where Rei would have gone. And he’s probably found Ryu and he took him with him. I better pick up the pace, they might be there already looking for me.” I suddenly just stop for no apparent reason. Something was just drawing me back to Cedar Woods. I tried not to think about it, but I just couldn’t force myself to move on. Even if I decided to go to Wyndia I just had to go back and take one last look at the place. I rushed back into Cedar Woods, back to our tree house fort.

I took the normal path, crossing the bridge, following the same trail. And then I saw it; the place we once called home was now burnt to the ground. I placed my hand on one of the remaining boards that was still up. I remembered when I first met Rei. “He said he found me in the forest and he brought me here and took care of me.” I thought as I kept my hand on the board. And then I forced my hand off it and turned my back.

“No, I have to forget about the past. I can’t just remain here and expect them to find me. I have to find them, not the other way around.” I said aloud. No one of coarse heard me. Except for the animals and monsters here, I was just completely alone. It was a strange feeling for me; I didn’t have anyone to talk to. Not Rei or even Ryu here to help me, but that’s why I had to stop moping around here and get a move onto Wyndia. I yawned, after all it was the middle of night and the only other time I got some sleep was when I was back at the old man’s house.

I thought, “Well, Wyndia can wait. I gotta get some sleep first. I’m sure Rei and Ryu is doing the same exact thing. And look at me, walking in the middle of the night thinking about the past.” I had finally noticed something. “Geez I gotta stop talking to myself.”

I crept next to the burnt fort and lied down next to it. It was no bed, but I was comfortable enough. I removed my armor, and that made it a little better. I placed my hands at my head and closed my eyes. I was just too sleepy to really be picky on where I was and how I was sleeping. I adjusted my position and I quickly fell asleep.

I awoke the next morning as sunlight shined at my eyes. I opened my eyes to see my familiar settings. I picked up my armor and placed it back on. I reached into my bag and pulled out a green apple and quietly ate it in silence. After that I headed to the nearby stream and splashed some water at my face. And then I heard it; it was a loud and terrifying roar. “What was that?” I thought. I drew my sword and quietly walked towards where I had heard the noise. I approached the fort and kept my back to the wall as I slowly peaked from the corner. I saw it, a monstrous beast with sharp teeth and claws. It looked to be a tiger-like monster. It roared again, but I didn’t stick around for much longer as I rushed out of the woods as fast as my feet can take me.

I reached McNeil and hid behind one of the houses. There I caught my breath as I dropped my sword. “What was that thing?” I thought, “I’ve never seen such a beast before, not even when I was with Rei and Ryu. How in the heck did that thing get into Cedar Woods?” I continued to question things; as a result I couldn’t come up with any good answers. As I staid hidden behind a house, a couple of women were talking. Being the little kid I was curious to know what they were saying. I listened in…

“Did you hear what happened yesterday night?” the first lady said

“Either then the same usual gossip, I didn’t hear anything strange about last night.” the second lady replied back

“Well, I heard that those kids who live in Cedar Woods were attacked.”

“Really?” The second lay said back surprised

“Yes, they were attacked by some thugs who Mr. McNeil works for” the first lady explained

“Personally I think those kids deserved what they got.”

I griped my sword in anger. “How could she say that!?!” I thought

“Despite from the fact they destroyed the Nue, stealing from the mayor was wrong.” the lady continued

“I suppose they paid the price for stealing. Still it was pretty harsh for a couple of kids playing around.” The first lady replied

She looked at her in a funny way, “Are you kidding? Playing around? Those kids should have known better then to continue to steal like that. It’s there own fault.”

I couldn’t stand it anymore as I threw a stone at the window of house I was hiding behind. I ran as fast as I could before anyone could see me. As I ran I started to think a lot about things, “To think I use to like those people and I thought they had finally accepted us. They were just some double crossers. You do something nice for them and when you’re in trouble they turn on you. That just shows I can’t trust any of them, I’ll just rely on myself to find Rei and Ryu.

I finally stopped to catch my breath. “Just a bunch of double crossers, I don’t need them.” I said aloud

All of sudden I heard a noise coming not too far away from where I was. “Over here! I thought I heard something over here!”

“Oh crud,” I said as I started to run again. I just couldn’t let myself be seen by others. I was trying to keep a low profile, cause the thugs might come back at anytime to try and finish me off. Finally when I couldn’t run anymore I hid behind a tree. I sat down as I breathed deeply, filling my lungs with air. I heard it again, the voices of the local villagers. I remained behind the tree and staid silent.

“Over here! I think whatever destroyed my window went down here!” The man said

He led a small group of men into the forest, but luckily for me they had missed me. I continued to breath normally now. I thought about my current condition.

“Ok Teepo, remember try and be unnoticeable, at least until things die down. To think I almost got caught because I broke a window.” I wiped the sweat from my forehead. As I put my hands back down I seem to stare at them. I didn’t exactly know why, but I when I starred at my hands I remembered the dream I had after we where attacked by Balio and Sunder.

“Weird? But it was just some stupid dream.” I said to myself. “Why would I dream that I was some dragon or something like that? Then again why would I dream of women with wings calling out to me in some dark fog?” I couldn’t explain any of it.

“Tck, why am I thinking about this? I should be thinking how to get to Wyndia.” I thought

I looked to off into the distance of where Wyndia was located. Remembering that I would have to cross Mt. Mynreg to get to Wyndia. It should be a piece of cake if we took out the Nue and the ghosts of McNeil. “But…” I had second thoughts. “All those times I had Rei and Ryu’s help. Can I stay alive until I find them again?”

I began to have doubts of my plan. “What if they really are dead and I’m all alone. I’ve never been alone before. It was Rei who took care of me since he found me in the forest. Rei was the one who showed me all of his stealing techniques. He was the closest thing to a parent for me. Then there was Ryu. I might have not known him for very long, but he was a friend. He stuck by me when we we’re all alone in that mansion together. He might be a little crybaby, but he was someone.” I thought about it some more. “Can they really be gone? They were my family, it might not have been the same family that everyone else had, but I liked it anyway.”

I suddenly realized what I was doing. I got up and gritted my teeth, “NO! I won’t talk like there gone forever. If I survived THEY survived as well! They’re around somewhere and they aren’t just sitting on their butts thinking that the others died!”

I picked up my sword and started to run towards Mt. Mynreg. I ran as I kept a thought in my mind, “Don’t worry Rei…Ryu…I’m coming to find you!”

Cronos' Fanfiction