Let’s have some fanfiction: ‘True Beasts’ (Suikoden 2)

July 18, 2014 at 5:24 pm (Fanfiction) (, , , )

This is a work of fanfiction which was submitted to Suikoden Day 2012‘s Eike’s Library! Fanfiction Contest, and won first place.

It’s about a 16-year-old Luca Blight, a birthday, getting drunk, a True Rune, and foreboding about the future.


 

True Beasts

 

Luca Blight never had the patience for parties. It didn’t matter that this was for his 16th birthday, or that the royal household staff had brought in a dancing bear from Falena, or that a small army of chefs, rumoured to be high-ranking in the Black Dragon Clan, had whipped up a feast that might have been deemed excessive for a country at war. Luca kept to the wine. He’d downed at least half a keg himself. It was the only thing keeping him from killing these people.

In the ballroom, that inbreed Solon Jhee had the audacity to grasp Luca by the shoulder.

“My prince!” he blubbered, his face red with alcohol. “It’s an honor to be here! I have no doubt that the queen, rest her soul, would have been so proud of you—“

Luca knocked back a goblet of wine. It was either that, or break the man’s jaw.

“One day, Lord Jhee,” Luca said, keeping his tone even. “I will have your head cut off just for being annoying.”

The lout laughed. He thought it was a joke.

“She would be proud of your sister as well,” Solon Jhee slurred. “Just four years old, and already the darling of the court.”

He nodded towards the center of the room where a crowd had gathered. This was Princess Jillia’s first major social event, and her handlers had left her in King Agares’ arms to make a quaint picture for the guests to fawn over.

“Your daughter is beautiful, your grace,” General Kiba’s voice carried over the onlookers. “The spitting image of her mother!”

If anyone besides Luca noticed the king blanch at the comment, no one said a word.

“Indeed,” Agares said, with a rather strained smile. The old man was putting on a show. “My daughter is very beautiful.”

That was the last straw.

Solon Jhee was trying to introduce Luca to a couple of military upstarts, a solemn-looking man and an enthusiastic red-haired cadet—Luca didn’t catch their names—but Luca simply snatched another goblet off a passing tray and walked away. It didn’t matter what any of them had to say to him. It was all just noise, like the whine of insects.

At the back of the ballroom was the door leading into the sanctum of the Beast Rune. The guards didn’t even look up as he passed.

 

Only thin traces of moonlight came from the windows, and the brass candelabras on either side of the hall were unlit. But it was quiet.

Luca raised the goblet to his lips, content that there was nothing to accompany him but the sound of his own breathing, when he noticed he wasn’t alone after all.

There was a woman, standing with her back to him, her feet right where the crest of the Beast Rune was etched into the floor. Luca wasn’t sure how he’d missed her. She had very short, black hair, slicked back in an unusual style, but it matched the sharp cut of her red dress and the layers of white fur about her shoulders.

She was probably some low-grade noble, some royal retainer he didn’t know. Either way, it was immediately irritating she hadn’t looked up to address him.

“Here for some peace and quiet too?” he asked in a deliberately jarring tone. But she didn’t as much as look up.

“Odd place to come for peace,” she said, her voice deep. Her eyes were still on the crest. “Some people forget this isn’t just a piece of decoration.”

He raised an eyebrow. “The Beast Rune?”

“Precisely,” she said. “Do you know why the Beast Rune came here to L’Renouille, Prince Luca?”

So she did know who he was.

“You’re mistaken,” Luca said with a sneer. “The Beast Rune was granted to my grandfather, Maroux Blight, by the High Priest of Harmonia, as a gift.”

She chuckled. “Of course that’s what Harmonia wanted you to think. The truth is they could not stop her from coming. May as well stop a hurricane, or an earthquake.”

“Her?”

She finally turned to meet his gaze.

Something about her face caught Luca with an icy grip. He told himself that it was simply the wine that made him think the woman resembled the late queen. Her eyes were different, and there was a harshness to her features that could never have been found on his mother’s face. But still. There was something familiar in the shape of her lips, the curve of her chin.

“You—“ He paused. It’s just the wine. “How is it that you—look like…”

“Someone you know?” she asked. There was a rumble in her voice that was deeply unsettling. “It’s just a side effect.”

Luca put the goblet to his lips, but the metallic tang which touched his tongue repulsed him. The goblet slipped from his hand, spilling red across the marble tile. It had been the finest Kanakan wine. Now it tasted like blood.

The woman was nonplussed. “That as well,” she said, with a shrug. “Just an effect.”

“Of what?”

“Of me, being here before you.” She was smiling now.

“What are you talking about?” Luca asked. He didn’t have a sword, but he had automatically fallen into stance, flexing the fingers of his right hand. He recognized this pounding in his ears from whenever he sparred with Lord Han – the thrill of facing a more powerful enemy. “What are you?”

“Think of me as a guest at your party,” she said, her smile widening. Her teeth were very white.

She took a step towards him, and Luca found every instinct he had screaming for him to retreat. But he did not.

“You’re afraid,” she said.

“Of course not!” he spat. “Fear is a stupid emotion.”

“I just wanted to talk, little prince,” she said. “To ask what it is that you want.”

Another step. He had thought she was just some woman, but there was something terrible lurking right behind her. No, that wasn’t right – it was within her, inside her skin. She looked like a woman but Luca felt like he was standing before any of the monsters King Agares kept at L’Renouille’s menagerie.

“What I wanted was to get out of that stupid party,” he said, trying to sound dismissive. “Those idiots drink and eat like they’ve forgotten Highland is at war.”

“With the City-State of Jowston,” the woman said. The words passed fluidly between her lips. “Is it revenge that you want? Vengeance for what certain men of that country did to your mother?”

Luca felt the rage well up from within him, threatening to overflow, but then he met the woman’s eyes.

“What was done to the queen was abominable,” he said quietly. “And I did not have the strength to protect her.”

“Is it power, then?” the woman asked. “Are you looking for power?”

Luca looked down at his hand, at the compulsive flexing of his fingers.

“No,” he said. “What I want…” His voice wavered. The last time he had seen the queen was shortly before her death, when pain and sorrow had diminished her to a shadow of her former self.

“There was a time when I would have wanted her restored.” Luca said. “It was a foolish child’s wish. That she would be as she was before.”

“Is that still what you want?” the woman asked.

Luca glared at the woman, and when he spoke the words rang like steel.

“That time has passed,” he said. “What I want is for every one of those State pigs to die.”

He clenched his hand into a fist. “I want them all to know fear, and pain, and grief. I want to see the look on their faces when all mercy has been denied them. I want to drag my sword through every one of their necks, to see their corpses piled up in the streets of their towns. I want them to rise up against me with all the strength they have, and then cut them all down. That is what I desire,” he said.

“Ah.” She smiled. “Then it seems you and I will be good friends.”

Luca inclined his head, in a mocking sort of bow. “Lord Han once told me how he came to wield the Black Sword Rune. He said it peered into his heart and found him to be worthy of its power. Are you about to tell me that I am worthy of you?”

She laughed at that.

“I am no Sword, or Shield, to be wielded by any human being. I am not the Souleater, or the Rune of Punishment, imposing themselves upon people whether they would have them or not. Neither am I the Blue Moon or the Sun, to be kept in shrines,” She cocked her head to the side. “It is not my will to be wielded.”

“But,” she said, “Start the fire and I’ll follow the smoke. I will trace the blood to whatever feast you may prepare, and I shall dine voraciously.”

She gestured towards the sigil on the floor. “After all, the wolf has two heads. All the better to feed with.”

She leaned in close, close enough for Luca to see her eyes weren’t human at all.

“You’re just a boy,” she said, her voice soft. “But one day, you will become worthy of me. If I did not believe this were so, I would never have left Harmonia.”

Luca wanted to ask her what she meant. There was much he wanted to ask. But then he heard the patter of footsteps, and a child’s voice asked, “Brother, who are you talking to?”

He spun around. Princess Jillia was at the door, clutching her skirts nervously. When Luca turned to where the woman was, he was unsurprised to find she was gone, like she was never there.

“I heard you talking to someone,” Jillia said. “And, um, you spilled your drink.”

She pointed. His wine had spread across the floor, the red touching the edges of the Beast Rune’s crest.

“Father’s looking for you,” Jillia said, tugging on the hem of his coat. Luca looked down at her face, at her wide eyes, at the gentle fall of her hair. One day, she would grow up to look like their mother, and not the way the strange woman did – uneasily fitting a human mold. Jillia would be beautiful, like their mother was.

“You know,” he said. “That man isn’t really your father.”

Jillia blinked in confusion. “Yes he is,” she said. “He said so.”

“He’s lying,” Luca said patiently. “When you’re older, you’ll understand.”

He gave her a grin. He saw her twitch, wondering if he was joking, and whether to return it or not.

“You’re weird,” she finally said.

He wanted to laugh, and to let his laughter echo out into the ballroom. Instead, he bent down and scooped his sister up.

“What do you say we go back to those pigs outside, and let them continue to believe I wouldn’t kill them all if I wanted to?”

“But why would you kill anyone?” she asked. “I don’t understand you at all.”

“You don’t. Perhaps you should be thankful for that.”

She squirmed in his hold. “Brother?” she whispered. “You’re starting to scare me.”

She was honest, he had to give her that.

“Now why would you be scared of me?” Luca asked. “You’re my sister.”

“But you look like you’re about to do something bad.”

There was a rumbling in Luca’s body he couldn’t quite explain. A terrible, wonderful fire. It filled him with something close to peace.

“Not yet,” he said, striding back out into the ballroom. Over his shoulder, he knew the woman was watching. “But soon.”

 


The Genso Suikoden series is property of Konami.

 

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