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Me and the Moon: ToS One-Shot (PG 13- Violence) Contains Major ToS Spoilers


Well-Known Member
This Tales of Symphonia fanfic will be focusing on Kratos Aurion's thoughts and feelings, and his perception of events throughout a certain part of ToS (for those of you who have played it, this basically spans from after the 'two-and-a-half-plot-twist' night at Altessa's to the end. It begins with the Kratos overworld skit southwest of Flanoir.) It is written in first-person, and mostly in the present tense.

Why write about Kratos?
Aside from the fact that is he one of my favorite characters (second only to Lloyd), there are other reasons I chose to write about Kratos.
In the game Kratos always seems so calculating. All of his actions and words are measured, and it always seems like he has already weighed the outcomes of everything before he ever acts. I wanted to explore what Kratos is like when he is spontaneous. He so rarely opens up and lets his thoughts or feelings be known. Most of the time, he appears very stolid. I wanted to see how he would think, what things he would notice and observe and appreciate, and how he would feel about certain events or people. He's a very interesting character, and I like his whole dynamic with Lloyd.
All of this is also why the story is mostly in the present tense. If this were to be told in hindsight, Kratos would be very measured and calculating in what he would tell someone. He certainly wouldn't let all of his feelings and opinions on people be known.

I may still edit or add to this later, so I would consider this version a second, and not final, draft. Towards the beginning it still jumps around an awful lot, and I may want to add some non-canon scenes inbetween to smoothen transitions. Right now it sorta reads a little like a diary, and I don't know if I want that.
I don't have much experience writing fanfiction, so I'd be grateful for any suggestions.

The best audience for this fanfic would be people who have:

-beaten Tales of Symphonia (preferably on the Kratos path, as that is the one the story follows)

-seen at least a few of the sub-events' scenes, such as the ones in the Yuan ring mini-quest, the protozoan/arishis/the truth about Noishe scenes in Triet and Heimdall, and the one between Lloyd and Kratos from the rebuilding of Luin

-seen most of the Kratos overworld skits, especially the early one about Lloyd's boat and the purpose of mercenaries, and the one you find southwest of Flanoir (which occurs in the story)

-overall a good amount of ToS knowledge

And supporting Lloyd/Sheena is always nice, since there is a small bit of it in this (it's my ToS OTP ;P).

I'm not sure how well those who have not played the game will be able to follow it, but I appreciate it if anyone reads it and maybe reviews it purely for writing quality if they can't follow the story (since it basically follows events in ToS).
Me and the Moon

He’s there. He’s right there.
And Mithos is in his chambers. Pondering over Tabatha once more.
He flinched that night at Altessa’s when his fire ball struck her. Yuan flinched. I may have been down at that moment, but I could feel it.
They may hate Altessa for making her, they may hate that she could not accept Martel’s soul, but they could never bring themselves to hate Tabatha. She looks far too much like her.
Martel is still deeply rooted in both their hearts.
…Mithos will not notice if I go to see him.
“Pronyma. Watch the tower. There is something I must do in Tethe’alla.”
“B…but Lord Kratos, Lord Yggdrasil may be in need of y-”
Yggdrasil. We are all to be equal in his world, and yet only Yuan and I may call him by his first name.
Lloyd would dislike this.
“I will not be long Pronyma.”
“Y..yes Lord Kratos.”
Under the stars, he looks the same. His eager smile. That light in his eyes.
Has he seen snow before coming to Flanoir? Someday I must ask Dirk.
He seems to be excited about being in the snow. And for some reason, that makes me smile. I know one of my son’s quirks; he will get bored with the snow soon. Just as he grew tired of the Triet desert, he will lose his enthusiasm for the Flanoir tundra.

He’s seen me.
“..What are you doing here?”
Always straight to the point.
“Just looking at the sky.”
Truly, I am observing him. He’s been training. He looks like he is doing quite well. He exudes the vigor of a talented swordsman.
“Why aren’t you in Welgaia?”
“…You’ve grown stronger, Lloyd.”
“Huh? Do you really think I hav.. wait, you didn’t answer me! Why are you here?”
“Don’t worry about it. There was something I had to do here, and I have done it.”
“…Something for Cruxis?”
..The way he says Cruxis. As brash as he is, there are few words I have heard him say in that tone. I hope to never hear him say my name in that tone.
He looks frustrated. He doesn’t like those answers.
It’s difficult to evade his questions. I would like to be honest with him, but I cannot afford to leak any information about the Eternal Ring.

Someone approaches.
It’s Zelos. An odd Chosen indeed.
…He’s going to hurt Lloyd soon. And I cannot do anything to stop it.
He must get the Aionis from Cruxis, even if it means he must fake a betrayal.
“..Be ever judicious, Lloyd. Someone very close to you may be planning to hurt you.”
“..Like you?”
That question.. like a dagger piercing my heart. Immense guilt rushes in through the wound to flood it.
Curse my past ignorance. I betrayed by son for Cruxis when he was at his worst.
I can never forgive myself for that.

Footsteps in the distance.
“..Be ever judicious Lloyd. I must go.”
“…Wait Kratos!”
Raine is coming. I really must go. She’s too perceptive. She’ll deduce things Lloyd cannot learn yet.
Welgaia’s a miserable city. A place that is supposed to be free of discrimination, and yet I see how the angels look at me. The human. A human of the Four Seraphim.
How was this wretched city ever the picture Martel dreamt of?
Lifeless angels. Few granted the privilege of free thought. Lloyd would hate this as well.
We… we did this to his friend Colette, and he saved her.
Will these half-elves ever be rescued from Mithos’ grasp?
The moon is out. Noishe likes the moon.
Derris-Kharlan would look like a large purple moon, if those on Sylvarant and Tethe’alla could see it.
I almost wish Lloyd could see it. If he knew such a place existed within his reach, he would do something about it. If he could see me and this purple moon of mana, he would save us both from Mithos’ twisted reality.
Altessa’s sick. My entire plan to make the Eternal Ring is in jeopardy. My only hopes are for a miraculous recovery for Altessa… or Dirk.
Dirk would tell Lloyd. It would be against those Dwarven Vows he abides by to lie.
Would Lloyd knowingly accept my help?
Bless him. My son has hired the best doctor in Tethe’alla for the dwarf. Altessa will recover.
He’s now in Flanoir. Waiting on the rest of his group to return from Altessa’s. Refusing to leave without the four of them. Everyone is precious to him. He trusts every single one of them with his life.
…Mithos is still sulking. I could go again.

The moon is beautiful tonight. Framed by ivory clouds dusting the cobblestones with snow.
A door stands between me and him.
He comes out and stands on the balcony. My son. How would he feel if I embraced him?
“Hm.. I guess I was hearing things. It doesn’t look like anyone’s out here.”
He looks disappointed. I should not leave without speaking to him.
“Da….. K.. Kratos.”
He… he nearly called me dad.
A name I will never be called, and did not seek… until I got to know him.
“Kratos.. There’s been something that’s been on my mind for a very long time now..
I want to know what happened.. to mom. You know… don’t you?”
Anna. It all comes back to me.
My sword hand still trembles.
“…I met Anna shortly after she had fled the Asgard Ranch. I aided her in returning to her hometown of Luin. We spent many months there.
We were married in Luin. Kvar discovered she was missing about a year later. For a long time we hid from him. Your mother was feeling sickly, and we couldn’t afford a conflict with Desians. Noishe and I could not protect her and the people who harbored us alone.
We later learned her sick feelings were from her pregnancy. She simply was not eating enough for the two of you. We stayed in Hima until she gave birth to you. Then we resumed hiding from Kvar, taking you along with us.
…Kvar caught us when you were three.
I feared you may be able to remember that day.
Kvar removed the Exsphere from your mother. He fled as the mana in her body began to go out of control, and she…”
“…She became like Marble.”
“..Yes. She lashed out at me, and then tried to attack you, but Noishe protected you. That is probably when he became afraid of monsters.
Anna temporarily regained control.. but then she tried to attack you again… and I… I..”
“That’s enough!”
“I struck her down with my sword… I killed her.”
“I said that’s enough!”
“When I turned back around, you and Noishe had leapt off the cliff. I descended it, but all that remained at the bottom were Desian corpses. I thought there was no way you could still be alive…”
His eyes… there are tears in his eyes. He… he is crying for me… for Anna. I have never seen him cry.
My heart feels heavy.
“Is that when you returned to Cruxis?”
“…Everything was meaningless then. I thought if Mithos would reunite the words after reviving Martel, all would be fine… that is, until I met you.”
His eyes light up.
“You remind me of Mithos.. before he lost his sister. And yet, you are different. You are stronger.
You have taught me if one hopes to make a difference, they must act. They mustn’t follow another’s ideals idly, turning a blind eye to the consequences.”
His face is flushed. This is new to him.
I have not praised him enough. No one could ever praise him enough.

…Sheena’s awake. I hear her stirring inside the cathedral, calling Lloyd. I must go.
“Lloyd.. attack Cruxis. Strike before Colette is taken from you again.”
“…I will.”
He looks sad. “Do you… have to go?”
Suddenly I feel a warmth in my heart. A hug with words. Lloyd’s are simple, yet powerful. My son wishes for me to stay with him.
“..I cannot fight alongside you yet. Not until I can entrust.. something to you.”
The Eternal Sword. Lloyd only recently learned of its importance.
He must be able to wield that sword. To make that possible, I must stay with Cruxis a bit longer.
My wings spread and flutter. “..Protect Colette, Lloyd.”
Had I not left now, I don’t think I could have turned him down. That look in his eyes.. the same look he gave me long ago, when he asked me to travel with him on his boat. The boat he would build when his journey was over, and the world was.. in Mithos’ lie of a world: ‘regenerated’.
We should be there now.
I can never forgive Mithos for robbing me of my chance to be a good friend… a good father, to Lloyd.
Noishe is awake. Roaming the southern end of Flanoir.
He whines. A happy whine.
Arishis are wonderful creatures. Noishe will become an admirable human someday.
“Give this to Lloyd for me.”
With the locket in his mouth, he immediately rushes to the inn to wait for my son.
A wonderful arishis indeed.
…Mithos and Yuan seem to have forgotten him. The protozoans will be extinct after Noishe.
To most, they already are.
I sometimes wish I could say the same of Cruxis angels.
Yuan’s come to Welgaia. Researching Mithos’ plans for dealing with the Renegade bases, I assume.
Yuan is still reeling from the loss of his three best men. The Renegades no longer stand a chance without the aid of Lloyd’s group.
Mithos now knows Yuan has been a traitor to Cruxis from the start.
It’s tragic—the two of them have been striving to achieve different interpretations of Martel’s last wish—Yuan fighting in the name of his love, his fiancée; Mithos fighting in the name of his sister, the one who raised him. And they’re doing it at the other’s expense.
Zelos betrayed Lloyd today. He was seduced by Pronyma and her promises. He truly betrayed Lloyd.
Raine warned Wilder before. Betray Lloyd and he has forfeited his life.
..My son had to slay his dear friend.
I wish I could be there to console him.
They came to rescue Colette. Mithos’ traps have captured Lloyd’s allies. They may die.
I cannot allow my son to feel such heartache.
..His friends are good people.
The corpses of what used to be a battalion of angels litter the room. Still, more lifeless beings fly in to attack. Regal stands at the archway, fending them off.
..Regal reminds me of myself. A me who has had much less time to cope with the loss of his love. A me with no precious son to remember her by.
I should quickly get him to Lloyd. It hurts to see another like myself.
A Judgment spell makes quick work of the angels. Regal is free.
His greaves clink together like hollowed Linkite nuts as he runs to aid my son.
“Thank you, Kratos.”

A bottomless pit gapes back at me in the center of the next room. Inside Sheena is strung up by a root of the Great Tree.
The girl who will be my daughter-in-law someday. The girl with whom Lloyd shares a beautiful mutual trust. I must rescue her.
My Flamberge slices the root and I fly her out of the pit. She rushes past me after Regal. Lloyd is first on her mind. “Thank you,” she calls back.
“I’m coming Lloyd! I won’t miss the main event!”

The next room contains a lone terminal and a series of computer-operated doors. The panel of carbon flooring in front of the terminal is meters below. Raine must be trapped here.
She immediately recognizes my presence.
“Kratos.” Even from meters underfoot, her eyes manage to search out mine. She wants me to talk. Something to deduce my reason for being there from.
She’s bothered when I type away silently at the terminal.

She’s out of the trap, but she won’t leave.
Raine is a clever woman. She knows I’d like to join them now.
Every encounter with her seems to end in a battle of wits.
“Go. Lloyd needs you.”
“And he needs his father.”
“I.. will be there.”
She shows me mercy and ends it there. “I owe you my gratitude Kratos. Thank you.”
She dashes away to meet the others.

Mithos would be angry with me for doing this.
…That no longer matters.
Presea stares at me as I enter the next room. Silent, I begin to work on undoing the bonds pinning her small body to the thick walls.
“You are strong,” she says, observing me.
I tug harder to remove her bonds. She continues her study.
“You.. remind me of Lloyd.”
..I could never compare to my son. No boy could ever make their father prouder.
“…Please, try not to speak. You don’t have the breath to waste on speech.”
She accepts my advice and remains quiet.
Finally the vines unravel from her neck and arms. She rises to her full diminutive height and begins to run to the others.
..We’re both concerned with how much time we have to reach Lloyd.
“Thank you.”
She slings her ax over her shoulder and resumes running.
“I am coming Lloyd. Thanks to your father, I am coming.”

The next room is bathed in the green light of a force field.
Lloyd’s best friend smiles at the sound of my voice.
“On my command, hurry to Lloyd.”
“But… my.. I told Lloyd earlier my…”
“Your reflexes aren’t very good, correct?”
My Flamberge sends a Light Spear Cannon through the barrier.
“It should take 20 seconds to respawn. Go.”
He turns to me and grins before leaving. “Thanks Kratos!”
He runs to his sister and the others, his kendama bouncing the light of mana off the walls.
“Wait for me Lloyd!”
In my heart I feel Lloyd crying out.
Mithos has done it. Martel has been resurrected in Colette’s body.
…What would Yuan think of this?
I am glad he is not here. Yuan does not deserve to be subjected to the sick torture of seeing one who was dead and haunted his dreams. One he failed to save.
He needs no more trauma to bottle up inside. The loss of Botta and his other allies was enough. He does not need to see Martel as a mortal once more. Martel as a human who can be killed.
Lloyd and his friends defeated Pronyma. And Mithos murdered her, in cold blood. Despite her being an enemy to every value and ideal he holds dear, Lloyd is outraged.
…This is my chance. Mithos is distracted.
A simple flick of the wrist releases Martel from Colette’s Cruxis Crystal. Mithos must regret the day he taught me the shatterpoints of those horrible devices.

…His unwavering stare could rival the coldness of Celsius herself.
Light pours into the room from Martel as she returns to the Great Seed. She leaves her brother with one wish: to return the world from this twisted state.
She truly was back.

Mithos’ eyes are locked on me.
Across the room, Lloyd’s eyes move from his friends to shine their warmth on me. In his proud gaze, I am resplendent. The moon to his sun.
My legs walk to him on their own.
“Kratos! I knew you’d come back to us!”

I want to hug him. I do not deserve to, but I want to.
Perhaps I can at least fight alongside him this one time.
Lloyd, Presea, and Raine separate from the others and draw their weapons. They have already learned one of Mithos’ flaws: the staging of battles at inopportune times—Lloyd has been studying his enemies. Mithos will fight us here, no matter how weak he is at this time.
My son looks back at me before thrusting one of his Wasier Rapiers towards Mithos.

We fought together again. He’s becoming stronger. His dexterity and speed rival my own.
…Soon my former student falls at the hands of my son.
All that remains now requires the Eternal Sword.
A pact with Origin is necessary to wield the Eternal Sword.
..I am the Origin seal itself. There is a stone of the seal within the Torent Forest of Tethe’alla, but the actual seal itself is based upon my life.
If Lloyd is to wield the Eternal Sword, if he is to reunite the worlds, I must die by his blades.
…The time to settle things with my past draws near. I shall finally be allowed to die. Lloyd will be free to forget his wretched father.
In the Torent Forest, I await him at the seal’s stone.

The forest is deep. I wish it were deeper.
Part me of wishes Lloyd would grow bored of the forest and return to the safety of his home.
Another yearns to lie down and relinquish my life. Allow my son to end this angel’s life.
Still, another part of me desires nothing more than to give him the true contest one as earnest as he would give.

The Heimdall elder reported Lloyd’s arrival last night. I have decided what I will do: I will give my son the respect he more than deserves. I will hold nothing back.
A full moon is out in the pale orange glow of dawn, obscured by neither trees nor clouds. How very much like the man who stands here now. The man who spent over 4,000 years looking at that same moon.

The sun rises slowly, approaching the moon.
I hear Regal’s greaves; the music of Linkite nuts foreign to Tethe’alla. Presea’s heavy footsteps thumping in time with each clink. Light from a kendama reflects off the trees, refracts in puddles and ponds of the forest.
My son is coming.
He stands before me, pleading.
“Kratos… Isn’t there another way to do this? I don’t want to fight you.”
He’s hesitant.
I shall remain resolute.
“If you are still concerned with that, you have already lost.”
He clenches his fist.
“…Then.. as your son, I will aid you in settling your past.”
He draws his swords.
His allies remain motionless.
…My son is going to fight me alone.

The air around my Flamberge and his pair of Angel’s Tears sizzles and spits steam. High above, the moon and sun draw closer to one another. Our eclipse begins.
Is Lloyd’s passion great enough to drown millennias of experience?
The battle comes to another stalemate. We know each others’ moves.
..He traps me against the seal stone and a large Kirima tree. He knows my weakness in tight corners: my spin slashes become unusable; I have no room to retreat when a spell is broken. I am no melee fighter. I depend on both long-range magic, and the variety provided by my large arsenal of single-sword techniques, slashes being my specialty. Strip me of those, and against a worthy opponent my strategy begins to unravel.
His instincts are remarkable. And when he studies his foes, his counters can be called art.
After a beautiful duel, he defeats me. Me at my best. The sun overtakes the moon.

I kneel down before him. He sheathes his twin swords.
“..Aren’t you going to finish me?”
“..No. I.. I have defeated Kratos the angel who betrayed us.. and I forgive Kratos, the hero, who helped us.”
I am.. forgiven?
I could go to Anna happy at this moment.
My wings spread as I release the mana from my body.
Origin is finally being released. It is time for this moon to finish waning.
“No!” My son and Sheena yell as I begin to fade away.
The last sound I remember is Origin’s voice.

I wake up and Yuan is holding me. I can feel that he is weakened… his mana is flowing through my veins. He saved me.
“And I thought I finally earned the right to die..”
Lloyd runs over to me and goes down on his knees.
“Dad, there is no meaning in dying.. When you’re alive, you can atone for your sins, but when you’re dead, that’s it! What will you achieve by dying?
You’re only running away if you die..”
“..You’re right. I.. can’t believe I needed to have my son teach me such an obvious lesson..”
My breathing grows short. Lloyd looks concerned.
My heart feels heavy again. I have worried him.
…Yuan, is he going to be okay?”
Yuan checks my pulse. He knows with his mana I will be fine, but he still checks for Lloyd’s sake. Bless Yuan.
“He will be fine, Llo-
Lloyd watch out!”
..I hate myself for blacking out at this moment. Yuan later tells me Mithos survived in the Cruxis Crystal Genis was keeping. He attempted to take control of Lloyd’s body, but Colette stopped him and he took her instead. Curse Mithos.
He will pay for trying to put his putrid soul in my son.

Mithos now has Colette in Derris-Kharlan.
..Lloyd blames himself.

I wake again at Dirk’s home in Sylvarant.
My son stands at my bedside. He.. and Dirk. The man lucky enough to have Lloyd call him ‘dad’.
“..Lloyd, there is something I want to give you.”
I draw my Flamberge and place his gloved hands on the hilt.
“Your… your sword?”
He smiles. Derris-Kharlan looms overhead, and he can smile defiantly in its wake.
“That’s a fine sword,” Dirk remarks, “I doubt you have one in your collection to match it.”
“You’re right…”
Dirk walks to his workspace and grabs a sword from beside a kiln.
“Here, take this. It’s the sword I promised you.
It’s time for me to entrust you with the greatest sword I ever forged.”
The brilliant blade of ice joins my fiery Flamberge in Lloyd’s grip.
“A sword from each of my fathers…”
He swings both in a Tiger Blade motion, marveling at the colors of light the swords streak across the floor.
“Thanks Dad… and Kratos.”
I hold back a smile. There is still more business to be taken care of before we rescue Colette.
“..Now Dirk, I need a favor from you.”
“What is it?”
“I need you to forge the Ring of the Pact for Lloyd.”
“The Ring of the Pact? I.. I don’t know if I have the skills to make it. Is there no one else who can do it?”
“The dwarf who has the skills is sick.”
“Then for my son.. I will try.”

I lay out the materials as Dirk identifies them. He grows more and more amazed with each rare item.
Lloyd seems surprised too.
“Kratos… Is this what you were traveling all over Tethe’alla to get?”
“I can’t imagine the trouble one would go through to get all of this..” Dirk says, handling a fragment of adamantite.
I feel my cheeks begin to color.
Lloyd smiles again and steps outside. I follow.

He’s standing by Anna’s grave. He turns slightly at the sound of soft footfalls upon the bedrock.
The graceful fingers of his sword hand fidget with a locket.
..The locket I gave him.
“I.. I remember my dad used to lift me up on his shoulders, and we’d look at the stars together. I loved listening to him.. he would always tell me the myths about the stars his dad told him when he was little, and he’d show me all the constellations he could find..”
…My son remembers some of the happiest moments of my life.
“I.. I thought you didn’t remember anything about your parents.”
“I don’t remember much else… just that. I guess when we spent time together like that.. it just.. it just really made me happy, and those times stuck out in my mind.
..I think that’s why I’ve been studying the stars so much all these years.”
“Yeah… really.”

Dirk calls us in. The Eternal Ring is finished. He’s succeeded.
My son picks it up and smiles as it catches a ray of light and glimmers.
“With this… I can wield the Eternal Sword..”
Finally, a human can wield the Eternal Sword. And no greater human could be the one to do it.
“…Lloyd. I have another favor to ask you..”
“What is it?”
“..Would you allow me to join your journey once more?”
His eyes light up.
“Of course! ..I was hoping you would say that.”
A smile pulls up the corners of my mouth. I turn away from him.
Lloyd draws a sword from a sheath in his rucksack and hands it to me. My smile hidden behind a gloved hand, I grasp it tightly and perform a slashing motion.
..The sword is Zelos’ old Laser Blade. He is giving me his dear friend’s trusted weapon.
“Come on Kratos. We’ll put a stop to Mithos together.”
Lloyd leads our Rheairds to Luin on a quick detour from the Sylvarant Renegade base. He explains there is something he must do here before we go to Tethe’alla.
We enter and a woman welcomes us. “Welcome to Luin, the City of Water,” she says.
The last time I was in Luin, the entire city had been destroyed by Kvar’s men. Now it stands before me, unharmed. What miracle could have rebuilt this city to be even more beautiful than it once was?
…It’s like it was at our wedding. Anna’s beloved city has been saved.
Lloyd runs past the Katz building to a man beside the inn. Pietro of Hima. The man Raine and Lloyd saved long ago, when I was in their group for the first time.
“This Gald is for your journey, Pietro.”
Pietro pushes his offering away. “..Lloyd, I can’t take that from you. You already funded the rebuilding of this city! I could never ask for more from you.”
…My son. He is the one who revived his mother’s home.
I was correct about it being a miracle’s doing.
Lloyd insists Pietro take the Gald. He eventually agrees on taking half. They part with a handshake.
I can’t help laughing a little to myself. My son is still a stubborn young man, just as he was when I first joined his party.
Don’t ever loose that doggedness, Lloyd.

As we leave Luin I catch sight of a statue of my son in the fountain. Lloyd sees it too.
I allow myself the privilege of patting him on the back before returning to the Rheairds.
..I think he smiled.
In Tethe’alla the Tower of Salvation is in shambles. All that remains intact is a stairway to the Eternal Sword.
Raine and I sprint up the staircase behind Presea and Regal. At the top stands Sheena, watching as Lloyd summons the sword from its pedestal.
Origin speaks to my son, “You who possess the right, what is your wish?”
“Take us to our dear friend! Take us to Derris-Kharlan!”
..I’m here again. Meters away from the miserable city of Welgaia.
The angels have been evacuated. Or slaughtered.
The planet reeks of Mithos.
We battle our way through monsters to a portal. Lloyd approaches it, and we follow. Only he makes it across.
…The effect of the Derris Emblem. We’re about to be trapped by the vast darkness in Mithos’ heart.
We say our temporary goodbyes.
“Find the Derris Emblem, Lloyd. That will relea-”
I am teleported away. Those could be my last words to my son…
..No... I can survive Mithos. I was once his tutor. His ally. I know him. I won’t get sucked into his traps.

I reappear beside Sheena in a dreary room. A Rune symbol lies underneath us.
“Is this...the location of the Derris Emblem Seal?”
“Hang on a sec. Do you hear a strange sound?” Sheena strains to hear better.
“What's this?!”
A black vortex appears in the center of the room. We catch each other’s surprised glances and begin to run.
“We'll be sucked into the magic circle!” Sheena yells. Tendrils reach out from the abyss to grab us.
“Look below!” I shout. Below us a large yellow spider-like monster lies in wait for a meal.
Suddenly two people materialize before us. Before me.. stands Lloyd. Before Sheena is Kuchinawa.
“What's the matter? You'll be caught unless you hurry up and run,” Kuchinawa mocks.
“Well, well, what a rare sight, Kratos!” Lloyd says. He’s grinning at my pain.
…That cannot be Lloyd. This is an illusion created by Mithos.
“Wh...why are Lloyd and Kuchinawa...” Sheena mutters. She’s scared.
“Calm down. It's just an illusion.”
“I'm not an illusion,” Lloyd replies, “You've spent so long turning a blind eye to Mithos that you've lost all ability to see.”
..No.. my son would never..
Kuchinawa continues to speak to Sheena, but my ears selectively listen to only Lloyd. There must be something about this that will prove it’s an illusion.
“You couldn't stop Mithos, and you couldn't protect Mom. And then you sank to the level of a traitor. You're absolutely pathetic, you know that?”
My heart keeps denying his words. But they are true.
Kuchinawa denounces Sheena further.
“The one who betrayed his friends and then shamelessly came back, and the one who killed the people of her village. What a fitting end.” Lloyd grins again.
“Now, if you think you can run, run! You'll be devoured by the darkness and die!” Kuchinawa shouts at us. The tendrils pull us further in.
This would be an abhorrent way to die.
“...At this rate, we'll be eaten by that thing.”
“You've gotta be kidding!” Sheena shouts back.
Lloyd laughs and turns to me. “Want me to help you, Kratos?”
“Beg for our forgiveness,” Kuchinawa commands.
“Pledge loyalty to Cruxis with me.”
..Lloyd says Cruxis in a proud tone. It cannot be him.
Mithos appears above us. “That monster will bestow eternal suffering upon you. If it devours you, you will neither live nor die. You will be trapped in true darkness, tormented in isolation forever.”
“Forever...” Sheena repeats.
“Allow me to save you. Just cooperate with us. Then it will all be over”.
“Lord Mithos has agreed to let the people of Mizuho live,” Kuchinawa adds.
“You turned a blind eye to what Mithos did once. All you have to do is turn away one more time. Then the world will be saved. Mithos will save it,” Lloyd says.
“Mithos will...save the world?” I feel my lips form the words, but I cannot believe I am hearing them.
“Yeah! And he'll even forgive you for betraying him. You and me, Dad...let's build a peaceful world that Mithos envisions together.”
…My son and I. We’d be.. we could be like true father and son.. I could start over..
“All you have to do is pledge your allegiance to me. As soon as you do that, you will be saved from the shadow's grasp,” Mithos assures us.
Sheena mutters something again.
..Everything is surreal. This cannot be happening.
“This is absurd...”
A familiar voice calls out to Sheena and I from below.
“Listen to me, both of you! Don't be fooled. The real me is down below.”
I can feel my son’s presence. The real Lloyd is below us.
“...So it would seem.”
“Then that one really is a fake,” Sheena replies.
“You fool,” Mithos barks, “The real Lloyd is here. That voice is just an illusion.”
“I'm not an illusion! Do you think it's better for the people of Mizuho to become part of the Age of Lifeless Beings? Besides, there's no way I'd go along with Mithos’ ideals!”
That is… my Lloyd.
“...Don't worry. That's just an illusion that lives in my heart. An illusion that tries to appease me for turning my back to reality and going along with Mithos.”
“...Then, that Kuchinawa is...is an illusion inside me.”
The spider image below us flickers off and on. It was just a trick to hide Lloyd from us.
“Exactly!” My son calls out, “I believe in you! I know you two can beat those illusions and come back to me! You're here because you're needed in this world. Your lives have value just by existing!”
“Just by being alive...my life has value?” Sheena says.
“...I...have value? Me?”
“Of course not. No life has any value just by being alive. Humans and those who have betrayed me have no value!” Mithos screams.
Lloyd appears in place of the spider once more.
“Shut up!” Lloyd shouts, “There's a significance in being born. But if that's not good enough for you, I'll give them another value. They're both valuable because they're my friends!”
I feel a warmth fill my heart.
“...So you accept me?”
“You'd betray me again?” Mithos yells at me.
The illusion speaks again, “Dad, are you choosing that fake over me?!”
“…Be gone, illusions of Mithos and Lloyd! My son needs me. I...cannot run from the sins of my past. Lloyd, allow me to atone for the foolishness of overlooking Mithos' brutality!”
I stop running. My faith in my son takes over.
My body is sucked into the vortex.

I open my eyes, and before me is my son. My real son.
“Welcome back, you two.”
“It's not like I can really run away from the fact that I was born,” Sheena says.
“ I am ashamed for giving up and running away. I convinced myself that there was nothing I could do. I was able to reconfirm that thanks to that illusion.”
…Lloyd hugs us both.
“Yeah. Running won't solve anything.”

A glittering golden object floats down to us.
“ ...What is that?”
I glance at it. “A spider figurine?”
“But it's broken in half,” Sheena observes, “It's kind of creepy.”
Lloyd turns it over in his hands, examining it. “Maybe it's an admonition to not run away.”
He finds a purpose in everything.
Sheena agrees and decides to hang on to it.
Colette is waiting for us in Welgaia. Lloyd has already saved her.
She smiles when we approach. “I’m so glad you two are safe!”

In the center of the city, we find a green panel on the floor. A voice resonates from it when we stand upon it, and then a large monster appears.
We draw our weapons.

…The monster is called “The Fugitive”. A part of Mithos’ dark heart, made tangible. Made lethal.
Together we defeat it in a matter of minutes.
Before finding the others, I insist Lloyd clean his blades. I will allow no part of Mithos to taint something that belongs to my son. Not a single stain of his blood will remain to haunt Lloyd.

Lloyd rescues the rest of his friends and meets up with us in the central area of Welgaia. There we find the Derris Emblem. Mithos can no longer trap us with the illusions of his cruel heart.
We teleport to Vinheim, where the gatekeeper awaits us. Lloyd wastes no time in challenging the beast.
Lloyd, Raine, Presea, and I make quick work of the dragon.
The last of those loyal to Mithos has been exterminated.

Raine uses the key the creature left behind to open the large doors of Vinheim.
They swing open slowly, revealing a disheveled Mithos on the floating debris from his chambers, kneeling. He laughs maniacally.
Above his head are Martel and the Great Seed, suspended in Derris-Kharlan’s mana.

He exchanges words with my son. I am not interested in words.
This conflict between me and Mithos can no longer be resolved in a civil manner. There is no saving him. Lloyd must see that now.
I draw the Laser Blade from its sheath and angle its tip towards Mithos’ throat.
“Lloyd. This will be the final battle.”
He nods. Presea and Raine assume an all-out formation I have never seen before—Lloyd once had only three group formations, when I first traveled with them—I take Zelos’ place. Raine explains they devised this after their first battle with Mithos.
Mithos remains unfazed. He reverts to his child form, and the battle begins.
It’s almost over. I can feel Mithos weakening.
He begins the incantation for Holy Lance.
…Lloyd is in the spell’s range. He’s too hurt to move.
The magic strikes to the left of my son. To the right.
I feel my legs propel me forward into a dive.
“Guardian!” The green barrier appears and shields Lloyd from the magic.
..I black out.

I open my eyes seconds later.
Lloyd stands before Mithos, Material Blades crossed in the air. He parries a series of blows from Mithos. An Outburst counters Lloyd’s Rising Falcon and sends him down on his knees. Raine and I are paralyzed by a Retribution spell.
Lloyd cries out in desperation.
“Falcon’s Crest!”
..A shining circle of blue light appears around my son. It rapidly hits every inch of debris, every particle in the air, devastating Mithos. With a sudden renewal of energy Lloyd leaps into the air and creates multiple rings of light around him as he crashes down. Another shining circle appears, damaging Mithos further. Then Lloyd finishes with a hemisphere of light that causes Mithos to scream and thrash about. His body then goes limp.
His consciousness now lives on only in his Cruxis Crystal.
“Hurry Lloyd… shatter the crystal.”
Lloyd destroys the crystal. Mithos Yggdrasil is gone.
I hear Lloyd whisper to himself. His hands are trembling.
“Why? …You could have lived peacefully with us in the new world..
No one should have to be sacrificed..”
Origin teleports us out.
We stand before the Tower of Salvation in Tethe’alla.
Lloyd raises the Eternal Sword in the air.
“You who possess the right, what is your wish?”
“Please.. reunite these worlds. Return them to their true form!”
Tremors tear through the ground.
“What’s happening?” Colette asks.
“Just as I thought...”
“The world was originally separated into two in order to prevent its destruction,” Origin explains, “If it returns to its true form, the world lacks the mana to support itself. The land...is dying.”
“I don't need to know why it's dying! What do we need to do to stop it?” My son shouts. His face is creased with intense worry.
“Support the two worlds by linking them with the Giant Tree. That is the only way to stop the destruction of the land,” Origin responds.
“We need to restore the Giant Kharlan Tree.”
“...I get it!”
“Lloyd, quickly! Before Derris-Kharlan flies off into the distant reaches of space, use its mana to awaken the Great Seed! That's the only way to revive it.”
My son calls upon the Eternal Sword once more.
The Great Seed has been summoned back. Lloyd flew to it, with wings created by the Eternal Sword. He revived it with his mana.
We meet him before the sprouting young tree, where he rests. He is on the verge of fainting. Sheena takes him into her arms, and requests that Raine heal him.

Regal and I stand before the tree.
“I have missed sitting in the shade of this tree.”
Regal smiles. “I believe it will be more enjoyable now, with a son to share it with.”
…I will not be here to share it with him. Yuan and I are the last of Cruxis. This new world cannot prosper with people like us still in it. I must leave with Derris-Kharlan.
Someday, when Cruxis is forgotten, perhaps then I can return...
Lloyd and I stand before the Tower of Salvation.
“I don’t want you to go Dad..
Promise me you will come back.”
..I hug him. I feel his tears fall upon my shoulder.
“Please.. don’t die before I do, Lloyd.”

I teleport away to Derris-Kharlan. I can hear Noishe whining in the distance.
The planet has already begun to drift away.
“Goodbye... dear new planet of Symphonia.”
When my son studies the night sky, he now has two favorite objects. Two things he is always searching out. Two things he is saddened when he misses a chance to see them.
…Me and the moon.
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