A Vision of Escaflowne Fanfiction
The standard disclaimer: Yeah, okay I stole these characters from the marvelous creators of The Vision of Escaflowne...and Rurouni Kenshin too. Yadda yadda yadda. Please don't sue me ^_^ The main story line is of my own delusional imaginings. Blah blah blah. Please do not distribute. Thanks.
A Broken Land shall rise again;
Vengeance and Hunger as Guidance.
The Wheel of Fortune turns.
Feathers tipped in Blood;
The Dragon's Sword forged in heated Battle.
Thy Kingdom's Heart it shall possess.
CHAPTER III "Introspection: Allen"
Allen Schezar leaned back against his seat and stretched out his legs. Riding in carriages was a cramping and stuffy experience. He would have preferred to ride his horse, especially in this beautiful weather. There wasn't a cloud anywhere in sight and the sun was shining brightly.
Natal, Allen's pet owl followed the carriage at his own pace, and wouldn't have suffered being inside. As much as Allen would rather be outside with his owl, his sister Celena insisted that if she had to endure the experience of being cooped up in a fancy box, he would have to as well. The idea that she wasn't the only one suffering of boredom cheered her greatly.
Maybe they should have waited until the Crusade was finished with its repairs. They would have been delayed by a few days, but at least Allen wouldn't be stuck in this moving hot pot. Teo had promised him that the crew would finish repairs as quickly as possible. They would head for Fanelia as soon as they were done.
Van had invited King Aston to his upcoming 21st birthday, but the Asturian king had previous obligations. To compensate for his royal absence, King Aston was "generous" enough to grant Allen time away from his position in Asturia to represent his country at Van's birthday.
Allen had not known that at the same time the elderly king was also discussing an idea with Van of setting up Allen as the Asturian ambassador. As the messenger and representative at Fanelian court for Asturia, Allen would be permanently residing in Fanelia. It made sense considering how close Allen was to King Fanel, and it would be excellent cultivation of the relations between the two countries.
It would also mean that Asturia...and Millerna would see little of the golden knight.
Allen wasn't supposed to know about this idea at all. It was King Aston's right to place his own knight where ever he saw fit. The night before Van left, Van spoke to him about the possibility of staying in Fanelia as the Asturian ambassador. Van didn't want his friend staying against his wishes and felt that Allen deserved the chance to decide himself.
Allen pounced on the opportunity to get out of the palace, among other things. He had one condition. His new position would not be declared until Van's birthday.
Van simply raised one eyebrow at the request, but instead of asking questions he went off to arrange everything with King Aston.
King Aston was more than eager to agree with Allen's plan to announce his new position when he was in Fanelia. It would prevent much public moaning and wailing from the local noblewomen, especially from one in particular.
For once both King Aston and Allen were in total agreement.
Everyone in the palace had been tense and cranky ever since Princess Millerna declared herself a nun. Well, not officially of course, but telling everyone that she never intended to marry was close enough. Dryden had run off on one of his trips after hurriedly asking Allen for his permission to marry Celena. Allen wasn't even going to seriously consider Dryden's request since he knew that Dryden cared deeply for the Princess. Allen figured the marriage offer was just a reaction to Millerna's announcement. He wasn't sure if there would much room for Celena in Dryden's heart as well.
Celena had interrupted them and pulled Allen aside, asking him to agree to the betrothal. Nothing is written in stone, she told him. If Dryden decided to come back to her then all would be well, but in the end it was up to him. Only then did Allen realize how much his sister had come to care for the wayward merchant.
Right now Allen really had a bone to pick with that unshaven moneymaking freak. He couldn't believe that the bastard disappeared one day after asking for Celena's hand. Well if the asshole wanted Celena's hand, he would have to come and get her in Fanelia himself.
He had to admit that he was also a little upset about Dryden's fairweather feelings for Millerna. The Princess...Allen winced a little. Princess Millerna had grown up into an almost exact replica of her eldest sister, Marlena. Marlena had passed away almost nine years ago, but it still hurt, losing her. Seeing the youngest princess around was difficult for Allen, being constantly reminded of Marlena. What bothered him the most was the fact that it wasn't ALL because he was being reminded of Marlena. He found himself missing little things about Millerna, the twinkle in her eye, the way she tilted her head and smiled when she saw him coming her way. Those little things sent the alarm off in his head telling him that it was best to stay away from the palace for a bit.
Okay, so there was more to this than he admitted, but it still seemed like since Dryden couldn't have the Princess he would settle for second best. Not like Celena was second best...oh, nevermind. It all made Allen want to grind his teeth in frustration. Celena merely shrugged, saying that Dryden had some things on his mind and needed some time alone to figure them out.
In hopes of taking her mind off her groom-to-be, Allen asked Celena if she would like to go to Fanelia and she had agreed eagerly. He told her about his new position in the Fanelian court and that it would mean they would rarely be in Asturia. Celena didn't mind at all. She was actually pleased. It seemed that though Celena was perfectly fine with Dryden leaving so quickly after the betrothal she was not adverse to making him work a little in getting her back for the wedding, if there was indeed a wedding at all.
However, Meiden Fassa's insistence that his soon-to-be daughter-in-law travel to Fanelia in a luxurious carriage dampened Celena's enthusiasm dramatically. It didn't stop her from going, but she was fond of riding horses and the idea of being cooped up in a carriage was not appealing at all.
Meiden was insistent on providing the best of everything for Celena's stay in Fanelia. If Meiden couldn't get his son to marry a "proper" woman he would just have to make sure that the woman Drydan chose would be made into one. Transportation and clothing was just the beginning as he was planning to send servants along as well. Neither Allen nor Celena were fond of servants accompanying them on their travels. Allen was glad that Meiden didn't know about their plans to remain in Fanelia otherwise Celena would have been swamped with a whole entourage for her "extended" stay in Fanelia.
The trip to Fanelia would take a good three days travelling by carriage. Gaddes and Reeden volunteered to accompany them. The palace was not to their taste and they'd been twiddling their thumbs lately because of the lack of things to keep them occupied. Allen and Celena decided to leave a day after Van had departed which wouldn't give the King much time to prepare, but then Van did urge them to come as soon as possible.
Allen's crew would leave Asturia the night before the celebration with the gear and luggage more appropriate to a longer stay in Fanelia. They would need the extra couple of days to smuggle the luggage into the Crusade slowly so not to arouse suspicion. They would hide it among cargo that King Aston was sending to Van for his birthday. The last thing they needed was Millerna finding out about Allen and trying to highjack the airship.
Allen shifted uncomfortably in his seat, catching the wry glance and quirky smile his sister shot at him. "A little uncomfortable, dearest Brother?" He looked out the window, and Celena's smile turned into a grin. "Good." Sometimes, he wondered as he gazed out the window, if Celena hadn't retained some of Dilandu's malicious nature.
The scenery shot by and a sigh heaved itself out of his body before Allen even realized it.
"Brother, what's wrong? Pining away for the horses are we?" Celena teased with a laugh. She reached out and gently tapped his knee to show him that she really was worried.
Uncharacteristically for Allen's "refined" nature, Allen stuck his tongue out at her. Then, before Celena could react, he grabbed her in a headlock and mussed up her hair. Celena screamed, laughed and punched Allen in the stomach until he finally relented, letting her go.
Allen had always considered himself the perfect gentleman, but something in their brother/sister relationship really brought out the brat in him. Even in the days before Celena was taken they would play in rowdy way. They would play pirates and knights chasing each other all over the place. Allen was the pirate and Celena would be the knight. Mother would be so upset with them messing up their fine clothes. She was so gentle in nature though it was difficult for her to hold any anger. In the end, Mother always forgave them and in turn they would be perfect angels whenever they had company or went out.
When Mother passed away after Celena was kidnapped, Allen ran wild. Without parents Allen had a death wish. He wanted to fight everyone and anything. Somewhere in the back of his mind he was still the pirate like the game he played with his sister. It was a lucky stroke of fate that he met Balgus, one of the great Swordmasters in Gaea. Without Balgus' training and words of wisdom, Allen would have probably ended up in some ditch in the middle of nowhere.
Instead, Allen returned to Asturia, picking up the pieces of his father's estate. He worked hard, refining his technique and his nature. It wasn't long before the King of Asturia noticed him. He was inducted into the Knights Caeli, the elite corps of Asturia knights that directly served the king. The rest was history. Marlene, Chid, Millerna,...Hitomi.
Celena was correct in assuming that there was something occupying her brother other than the discomfort of being in the carriage.
"It was that light we saw last night, wasn't it Allen?" Celena asked quietly. She leaned over to stare out the same window Allen was looking out of. "It was more than just a falling star."
Allen was silent. Yesterday evening, when Allen and Celena were having their nightly tonics, they saw an intense beam of light in the distance decorating the sky. It was in the direction where Van would have been traveling home. It came from the Mystic Moon.
Celena had never seen the phenomenon before. If she had it would have been when she was Dilandu. She didn't remember many details when she had been him. Allen muttered something about it being a "falling star" and nothing more was said about it. Obviously Celena hadn't bought the comment that what they saw was a falling star.
Allen had seen the light before. It had been a night much like that one, clear with the stars bright in the sky and the Moons glowing brightly.
He shifted uncomfortably. It looks like Celena wasn't going to let this one go. He glanced out at the sun in the sky. Fanelia was still far away. They had more than enough time for Allen to explain everything to Celena...from the very beginning. Allen took a deep breath, and started telling Celena a story, starting with the night he saw a bright light and a girl from the Mystic Moon.
* * * * *
When Allen finished his story, Celena took a shaky breath and sat back. It was night outside and the Moons seemed larger than normal. The carriage had drawn to the stop.
Gaddes poked his head in calling out cheerfully, "We're stopping here for the night. We can set up good camp and I figure we can water the horses at the...What the hell is with the long faces?!"
* * * * *
Celena threw a small twig into the fire, watching the flames flare around the new fuel. She was glad that they "missed" the inn they were supposed to stay at and had to camp out here. It was a beautiful night. Celena smiled when she remembered asking Gaddes why they were camping out.
"Eh? Well, we 'accidently' missed the turnoff for the inn we were staying at. Whoops, heh heh, I guess it was too dark to see. Didn't realize we passed it until we were a good few hours away." Gaddes then winked at Celena and walked away to unload the sleeping gear he had stowed for such "emergencies".
Celena grinned. Gaddes knew full well that both Allen and Celena would prefer to stay out on a night like this. Besides, most likely the inn that Meiden recommended was filled with people to fawn over them. Celena rolled her eyes in disgust. Why did that man have to make a parade of everything?
Allen wandered over after checking to see if the horses were content where they were stabled. He sat down beside Celena and stretched out his legs. They sat there quietly.
The rumbling of Allen's stomach broke the silence.
Celena laughed, hearing her own stomach grumble in response. Allen arched an eyebrow. Gaddes, who had been heading back with the gear heard both of them.
Gaddes sighed and rubbed his chin. "Now where the heck did Reeden go? I sent him out to try and catch some game for dinner. If he comes back empty handed I'll have to go unpack the dried stuff."
At that moment, Reeden crashed through the bush with a huge grin of triumph on his face. He held up two good-sized birds of game and a line full of fish. It would be good eating tonight.
Gaddes whooped in relief. "Reeden you saved my life. If you were any longer I think I would of ended up on the menu."
Celena stuck her tongue out. "If we ate you, it would take a week just to get the aftertaste out of our mouths. No thanks."
Gaddes sniffed and wiped a mock tear from his face. "That's mean, lady. I took a bath last week, I did."
Allen groaned and walked over to Reeden to help him clean the game.
There wasn't much talking after that. The food kept everyone occupied. After everyone had eaten their fill Gaddes went to clean out the cooking pot while Reeden left to bury the remains of their meal.
Allen and Celena sat contently by the fire.
"Allen, do you think it was Hitomi we saw last night?"
"I don't know. For Van's sake I hope so."
"Why do you sound so uncertain?"
Allen frowned. "I don't know. I guess I'm afraid. Part of me hopes it's Hitomi, wants it to be her for Van's sake, for my sake. The other part of me is afraid of what that light means."
Allen stopped as he watched Celena throw another branch into the fire. He continued his voice so soft Celena had to strain to hear him.
"I'm scared because the last time that light came, Gaea went to war."
The Prophecy, original characters, artwork and links © Melinda
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