Chapter 1: A Lonely Night
Somewhere on a beach, a boy was walking alone. It was nighttime and he shivered slightly as the air grew colder.
He suddenly stopped to stare at the sea. It stretched for miles and there were no signs of other islands or ships anywhere. He was stranded on an island in the middle of the ocean.
Enu sighed and sat down in the sand, gazing at the waves wistfully. He had been wandering around all day, spending many hours searching the forest and the hills, but no matter where he looked, he couldn’t find any people. He even tried waiting in the shore in case a ship came, hoping that help will arrive soon, but that never happened unfortunately.
The cloaked man was the only person he came across so far, but whenever the boy approached him, he would walk away and somehow disappear. Enu tried calling for him and asking him about this island and who he was, but he never spoke back to him.
Something about him felt……sad.
Enu hugged his knees as he felt the wind blow against his red cape, his mind swirling with questions.
Where was he? How did he end up here? Why couldn’t he remember anything beside his own name?
He looked around to see some shipwrecked boats not far from where he was. Based on that alone proved that he wasn’t the first person to end up in this place, so where were they? If he could find them then they could help him find out where he was and how to get back to his home….once he got his memories back first and remembered where his home was. Or if I had one to begin with.
The island was quiet with only the sounds of the wind and the waves to fill the silence. The more he sat there, the more his loneliness became unbearable.
Just then, he heard a yip somewhere and looked over to see the fox standing on a rock, looking at him perplexed.
Enu smiled a little. This fox was the only company he had since he got here. The animal seemed to be taking him somewhere though he wondered where.
Enu stood up when it called for him again and began walking over to it. “Alright, alright!” he muttered with a laugh and began running after it across the beach and up a slope.
He eventually reached some ruins. It looked like an old building that was beginning to crumble due to the passage of time. What he assumed to be holes up ahead at first turned out to be two entrances with one being much taller than the other.
He stepped into the tallest one and turned to gaze at the starry sky and the shore, the breeze blowing his cape. The existence of these ruins meant someone, at some point, used to live in this island. Where were they? What happened to them?
“I’m coming!” the boy exclaimed at the fox’s calls as he gave the shore one last look before turning around and walked away.
Chapter 2: Winged Wrath
Thanks for the support!
Enu was running as fast as he could through the valley, dreadfully feeling the massive shadow looming over him. The fox was calling for him worriedly from the next hiding spot.
The boy quickly jumped into the shade just as the bird lunged at him from the air, its sharp claws barely missing him. He winced as he pulled himself up and heard the ear-piercing screech it let out before taking off again. Panting, he glanced down at the fox to see its ears drooping in concern.
“Hey, it’s okay. I’m fine,” he said, forcing a smile on his face. Another loud screech tore through the air and the boy shuddered. Maybe…maybe he can wait here until the bird leaves. It had to eventually, right?
The fox suddenly moved from under the shade and took off running. “Hey, come back!” the child called out worriedly, but the bird never went after it. The winged creature remained standing over a stone pillar, waiting for the moment he will step out.
“Why is it only targeting me?” Enu groaned and peeked out to see the fox had headed into a temple up ahead. He bit his lip, not wanting to get out, but also knowing that he had to keep going.
Gulping, the boy steeled himself before sprinting towards the temple’s entrance. He heard the sound of the bird coming after him and tried to run faster.
Before he could reach there, the bird dropped in front of the entrance, blocking his way. It shrieked angrily, causing him to stop in his tracks and fall back.
Frightened, the boy scrambled to get up as the creature drew closer to him, spreading its wings widely. “Wait, wait. C-calm down!” he tried to reason. “What did I do? Why are you chasing me?” he asked, but the bird continued glaring at him. The child could feel its gaze cut right through him and gulped.
Maybe if he figured out what the bird wanted it will stop chasing him. He became friends with the fox. Maybe he could with this creature too. He took a deep breath and smiled at it. “Listen, it’s okay. I’m not here to hurt you. Whatever it is you’re upset about, I might be able to help. I’m Enu, by the way. Do you…..want to be friends?” he said quietly and the bird lowered its wings, looking at him almost perplexed.
The boy took this as a good sign and stepped closer, reaching his hand out to its beak.
And that’s when it happened.
The bird’s eyes widened and jerked back from the child, its body convulsing.
“W-what’s wrong?” Enu asked, concerned.
A deep noise came from the bird and when it looked up at the child, he flinched. The bird let out high-pitched shriek that shook the air, glaring down furiously at him. It sounded even angrier than before.
“W-wait!” Enu stuttered, but the bird charged towards him without hesitation.
Panicking, the boy scrambled away, not knowing where to go until he found himself standing in front of a cliff. He turned to see the bird flying down towards him with its claws seeking him.
In his panic, the boy took another step back only to feel nothing beneath his foot and fell back. He cried out when he found himself briefly falling through the air, but then someone grabbed his hand.
The boy flinched when the bird flew over his head. Cracking an eye open, he found himself staring at the dark face of the cloaked man. “Y-you?” the boy murmured as he was pulled up.
Sighing in relief, the boy turned to the man towering over him. He couldn’t make out any features of the man’s face. He almost looked like a walking shadow and the boy felt a small shiver run down his spine. Still, this was the closest he had ever gotten to this person and he did just save his life so that meant he wasn’t evil. “T-thanks,” he said, hesitantly.
The man didn’t react to the child’s words and now that he was paying closer attention, the man’s hands and shoulders appeared to be shaking. He was clearly not happy or comfortable to be here, but why? Before Enu could say anything, the man turned around and began walking away.
“Wait, no! Don’t go!” Enu called out. “Please, tell me who are you? What is this place? Please, I just want some answers!”
The man paused briefly and Enu felt hopeful for a second. The man then glanced at him and pointed at something in the distance.
Enu blinked and saw he was pointing at the big windmill.
“The windmills? I know I’m supposed to go there, but that doesn’t answer my ques….tion,” the boy turned only to realize he was all alone. “What!?” he looked around the area, but saw no one.
The man had disappeared again.
Enu stood there, staring speechlessly at the empty space where the man was standing before and then realized what happened. “Aw, he tricked me!” he huffed and stomped the ground in frustration.
The sudden loud cry in the sky snapped him out of his thoughts and he looked up to see the bird flying in circles above him, ready to dive in once more.
Without a second thought, Enu began running again towards the temple, scowling in annoyance.
If he saw the cloaked man again he will grab onto his leg and never let go until he answered all his questions!
The boy stood in front of a dark staircase, hesitating. He glanced outside where he could see the shadow of bird gliding across the valley.
Of all the creatures in the island he had seen so far, this bird was the strangest. Why was trying to attack him? Why was it trying to keep him from leaving this place? Even though the creature was attacking him, even though he still felt the sting of betrayal when it rejected his offer to be his companion, the boy felt his heart grow heavy, but why?
Without looking back again, the boy descended down the staircase and yelled in the dark, causing several torches to light up. It wasn’t long until he disappeared in the shadows of the corridor.
Isaac grimaced and rolled over in his bed, trying to ignore the noise and go back to sleep.
The man’s eyes cracked up and he groaned as he sat up. Looking over at the clock, he realized it was past midnight.
He then turned to the door and hopped off his bed, wearing a white shirt and blue short pants. When he opened the door, he was surprised to see his seven year old son standing in the doorway, clutching his toy fox tightly.
“Enu? What are doing up this late?” he asked, rubbing his tired eyes and was startled when the child sniffed.
“I...I think there are monsters in my room,” the child murmured quietly, burying his face in his toy.
Isaac blinked at this and frowned. “Son, I’m sure you were just having a bad dream. There are no monsters,” he stated, letting out a loud yawn.
“B-but there are! I’ve seen them!” the boy grabbed his hand and began pulling him. “Come see!”
Sighing, the father followed the child to his bedroom at the end of the hallway. Stepping inside, the man switched on the light and looked around the room, seeing everything exactly like it should be. Not a single monster in sight.
Meeting his son’s pleading gaze, the man sighed and began searching the room. He looked under the bed, inside the wardrobe and inside the toy box, but found nothing odd. And he knew he wouldn’t find anything, but if it put his child at ease then he would do it, not matter how ridiculous it made him feel.
“See, son? No monsters,” he muttered after searching the entire room.
But the child didn’t look convinced at all. “They’re hiding. W-when you leave and turn off the light, they’ll come out again!”
The father groaned and was about to argue, but stopped when he saw his child was close to tears. Frowning, he knelt down and pulled him into a comforting hug. He knew he shouldn’t be so harsh on him. He was a seven year-old kid after all. He just wished there was some way for him to assure him that he was safe without having to stand here all night. They both had to go back to sleep at some point.
Just then, while rubbing the child’s back, an idea suddenly hit him. The man stood up and headed for the door, much to the child’s confusion. “Dad, where are you going?”
“Wait here, I’ll be right back!” he called out and disappeared down the hallway. The child stood there anxiously, waiting alone in the quiet room.
Soon enough, his father came back carrying an odd object in his hands.
“What’s that?” Enu asked curiously.
Isaac didn’t answer and hurried over to the window. Fiddling with a string for a minute, the man backed away to admire his work.
The boy walked closer and blinked up at the thing in his window. It looked like a ball with two sticks hanging from it. “What is it?”
The father walked over next to the wind chime and smiled. “This will keep you safe tonight!”
“Huh?” The boy tilted his head to side in confusion, not understanding how such a thing could do that. "That thing?"
His father nodded. “Yes, if any bad monster shows up it will scare them away!” the man had a determined grin, clutching his fists and punching the air to emphasize that.
The boy’s eyes widened. “Really!?”
“Of course, with it here, you have nothing to worry about,” his dad said confidently.
“But how will it do that?” the boy asked in awe.
Isaac flattered. “Um…uh….it’s a secret! It won’t work if I tell you,” he whispered in a serious tone.
“Oh!” The child nodded along with that explanation and gazed up at the chime with an intrigued look on his face.
“Now come on, to bed with you,” his father picked him up and placed him on his bed. He then went over to switch off the light.
The boy gulped as the room went dark again. Shadows fell over the furniture and his toys, giving them an eerie look. He shivered at the thought of the things that might be hiding in the shadows and corners of the room, things that might come out when he closed his eyes.
He glanced at the chime hanging in the window and felt fear slowly seep from his body as his dad’s words replayed in his mind.
He then looked at his dad who was now kneeling in front of his bed. “Are you still scared?”
“Maybe…a little?” the boy murmured, unsure.
Issac nodded. “So, do you think you can go back to sleep now?” he asked with a raised brow.
“I guess,” he shrugged.
His dad smiled and ruffled his hair playfully before standing up. “Alright, good night, son.”
Just as he was about to leave, the child called out. “Wait!”
The man stopped and turned to him questioningly. “What is it?”
“Can…can you play the song for me?” Enu asked hesitantly. A distant look passed over his dad’s face at the request, but he smiled at him.
“Okay,” the man went over to a shelf and grabbed a conch shell from there. He then made his way back and sat on the side of the bed. After a moment of hesitation, the man closed his eyes and began playing the song.
While his dad was playing, the boy felt the gentle lull of sleep and closed his eyes, slowly drifting off.
Wind to wind it goes. The dream of the sea…..
Enu slowly woke up, rubbing his eyes. He glanced over to see his robot friend sitting against the wall beside him. It turned to face him and made a humming noise.
“Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to doze off, Gillermo,” the boy said, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. The robot titled its head to side and the boy briefly wondered if it could really understand any of what he was saying.
Pulling himself up from the grass, the boy dusted himself. “Alright, we should keep going now.”
Gillermo slowly stood up and turned to child, waiting patiently for him to show him the way.
“Let’s go!” Enu began running again through the abandoned city and he could hear his friend’s heavy footsteps right behind him.
The boy stopped in his tracks at the sound of distant whispers and moans. The Shades. They must be nearby. He swallowed heavily, feeling his skin crawl at the thought of facing them again.
He then yelped when the robot’s foot fell too close to him and looked up at it to see its single eye glowing softly at him. The big robot looked almost concerned about him.
This put the child at ease and somehow washed away the dread he previously felt.
He smiled widely and sprinted forward, no longer worried. “Come on, this way!” he called out and the robot made another humming sound before following him.
Gillermo – means resolute protector.
Chapter 4: Gone
Hey everyone. Here is chapter four. I hope you enjoyed it.
Heads up, there is angst and feels in this chapter.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“See you tomorrow!”
“Goodnight,” Isaac called back, watching the other fishermen walk away. Giving his boat one last glance, he picked up his bag and left the docks.
Humming quietly to himself, the man greeted everyone on his way through the town with a smile before reaching his house and stepping inside. He placed his bag on the table and sat down, sighing in contentment. Today had been a good one as they managed to catch a large amount of fish.
He was ready to go prepare dinner when someone suddenly knocked on the door. Confused, he stood up and made his way over to open it, immediately surprised to see his son with one of their neighbors, Mrs. Rosa. The old woman didn’t look quite happy as she had a firm hold on his the boy’s shoulder.
“Son? Mrs. Rosa? What’s going on?”
“I’ll tell you what happened. I was just watering my flowers in my garden when I saw your boy on top of my house!” she snapped.
“What!?” the man stammered.
The woman nodded. “When I told him to come down, he knocked out one of the tiles in my roof!”
“Son, is that true?” he asked the boy who flinched and looked away. The man sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Son, go inside. We’ll talk later,” he said and the boy obliged.
He then turned to the old man with a weak smile. “I’m sorry for all the trouble, Mrs. Rosa. I’m sure he didn’t mean any harm,” he stated, wincing under her glare. “I promise I’ll pay for the repairs for your roof.”
The old lady huffed. “Isaac, your boy has been causing mischief around the town ever since I’ve first saw him. You need to get him under control immediately because I’m starting to lose my patience!”
Isaac frowned. “W-well, he is only a child. He doesn’t know any better.”
“Oh please, he wouldn’t be causing everyone trouble if you weren’t spoiling him so much!” the lady countered in annoyance.
“Now Mrs. Rosa, there is no need to be-”
But the old woman was already storming away, leaving the man standing in the hallway awkwardly. Sighing, he turned around and went inside.
I’m not spoiling him. Isaac huffed as he walked down the hallway, but he couldn’t shake the doubt at the back of his mind.
“Enu?” he called out sternly and the eight year-old poked his from behind the corner nervously.
“Come here,” he demanded and the boy did so hesitantly. “Now tell me, what could have made climb up our neighbor’s house?” he asked, arms crossed.
The boy flinched. “There was a nest,”
The man blinked. “A nest?”
“It looked like the one in my favorite story book and I couldn’t get a good look at it from down there so…”
The man rubbed his temples in frustration. “Do you have any dangerous what you did was? Or how angry our neighbor is with us right now? It will be me who will pay for the damage you caused to her roof!”
“I-I’m sorry, Dad,” he stuttered, pouting and for a brief moment Isaac’s anger faded and he considered letting him off the hook-
He wouldn’t be causing everyone trouble if you weren’t spoiling him so much!
The man scowled at the words ringing in his mind, pushing them away. I’m not spoiling him!
“No, that’s not going to fix this. Just for what you did today, I’ll….I’ll be taking some of your toys away,” he said and began heading to the boy’s room.
“What!? Dad, wait!” the boy cried out and hurried after him.
Isaac ignored him as he stepped inside the room and began taking the toys into his arms starting with the boar and seagull.
“Dad, no! Look, I’m really sorry, okay? I promise I won’t do it again!”
“Come on, you’ll still have your books and coloring supplies,” the man replied as he grabbed the bird before heading over to his bed.
“No!” The boy quickly grabbed the toy fox and held it protectively in his arms.
“Enu, hand it over,” Isaac demanded, holding his hand out, but the boy shook his head frantically.
Growing frustrated, the man growled. “I said hand it over!”
The boy flinched and then complied, slowly giving it to him.
Isaac took the toy and walked away, leaving the boy alone in the room. Walking down the corridor, he frowned and stopped, feeling a twinge of guilt for doing this, but he quickly squashed it.
No, this was for the best. As his father he had to do this. The boy will never learn anything if he never faced any consequences for his actions.
With that in mind, the man went to his room and locked the toys away.
Isaac hummed as he flipped through his newspaper, a steaming mug on the table.
Just then, he heard the sound of the door closing and saw his son at the hallway.
“Welcome back, son. How was school?” he asked him, only to answered with a blank glare. Without saying anything, the boy made his way to his room and slammed the door shut.
Isaac sighed. They had spent the last three days like this. Enu barely talked to him anymore. Whenever the man succeeded in getting him to talk, all their conversation would on an awkward note. The boy would give him a short answer or a grunt and then goes silent again.
This hurt him more than he thought it would. A week ago, his son wouldn’t hesitate telling him all about his day. What they learned in school or what he and his friends did during recess. Everything.
Now they can’t even have a single conversation together.
The man stood up and walked away, his drink forgotten.
The man yelped in surprise and turned to see his friends looking at him in puzzlement.
“What’s wrong? You don’t usually take so long to untie your boat,” His friend Antonio said. He had a light beard and wore a fisherman hat.
“O-oh, I’m sorry. I was just…..thinking,”
“You’ve spacing out a lot lately. Anything on your mind?” another one of his friends asked.
Isaac felt his cheeks warm up. He felt too embarrassed to talk about this to his friends and also didn’t want involve them in his problems, but he was really tired and wanted someone to talk to. “It’s just…..I’ve been have some problems with my son. You see, he damaged one of my neighbor’s house, so I punished him by taking some of his toys away, but now he won’t talk to me anymore. I don’t know what to do,” he stated dejectedly and placed his hand on his forehead. “Maybe I should just give them back to him and end all of this.”
“Now, now. That’s not going to fix the problem. If you give the boy then he’s going to keep doing stuff like that,” Antonio replied.
“Look, you didn’t do anything wrong. The kid made a mess and you punished him for it. You should be the one upset with him for what he did and not the other way around,” he then smiled. “Besides, I’m sure he will come around eventually. You just have to wait and see.”
“I hope so,” Isaac murmured.
After heading home, the man went to his son’s room to find him lying on his bed, reading.
He greeted him, but Enu didn’t reply. He just flipped the page and buried his face in the book again.
Heart growing heavy, the man headed to his own room and unbuttoned his shirt before sitting down on his bed. He really wished things will just go back to the way they were. He missed the times when he would sit down with his son, telling him stories or playing with him outside.
Running his hand through his hair, he suddenly noticed the picture hanging on the wall and looked at it. It was of him, his wife and their son many years ago. Seeing it only added to the weight on his heart and he quickly looked away.
Maybe a shower will help him feel better. He walked over to open the lowest drawer to look for a clean shirt and then froze up. Everything inside it looked….off. He remembered folding his shirts and putting them in there neatly, but now they looked a wrinkly as if someone messed with them.
For a brief moment, Isaac worried that a thief had snuck into their house when they weren’t around, but there weren’t any signs of someone breaking into their house. It was then it struck him.
Enu had snuck into his room, most likely looking for the toys he took from him.
No. The man stared at the open drawer, refusing to believe it. His son, while very curious and mischievous at times, was always an honest child. He would never do something like that….would he?
The man was marching down the hallway before he knew it. “Enu?” he called out and soon the boy came over, looking confused.
“What is it?”
Isaac eyed him warily. “’Enu…. tell me the truth. Have you been in my room lately?” he asked and the way the boy tensed up at the question gave him all the answers he needed.
“You looked through my belongings, didn’t you?”
“I…I…” The boy opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out.
Even though the suspicion had been at the back of his mind, having it being confirmed didn’t make it hurt any less. He felt disappointed, betrayed and most of all angry.
“How could you? I am your father. You can’t just wander into my room and search through my things behind my back!” he exclaimed.
Everyone was right. This boy really thought he can do whatever he wanted. “This is exactly like what you did to our neighbor the other day. You need to stop doing whatever comes to your mind without thinking about how anyone will feel about it!”
“No, I don’t want to hear any more excuses. Can you imagine how disappointed I am in you? I thought you learned your lesson before, but you clearly haven’t. Go to your room. You’re grounded,” he snapped and the boy jerked back at the harshness in his voice.
Isaac watched as Enu's face crumbled and turned he walked away. Just when the boy was about to go inside his room, he glanced at him and the man was taken back by the tears streaming down his face. Sniffling, Enu rushed inside and closed the door shut, leaving the man standing in the hallway with a hollow feeling in his chest.
Enough. Isaac thought as he unlocked the cabinet and began taking out his son’s toys. It’s over. He couldn’t do this anymore. Everything he said, everything he did, it only fractured his relationship with his son further and further.
It was hurting them both….and it needed to stop.
He knew that if everyone in town could see him right now they will tell him he was weak, but he didn’t care. There were many other ways, a hundred other ways he could deal with this problem that didn’t involve tearing his family apart.
Isaac still couldn’t erase the look on his boy’s face nor could he forgive himself for making him cry like that.
Taking a deep breath, he knocked on the door. “Son? Are you awake?”
“I want to give you something,” he said, forcing some cheer in his voice, but he still got no response. Using one had to hold the items, he opened the door and stepped inside to see his child lying on his bed, staring at the wall.
Hesitantly, Isaac made his way over to the boy. “I believe I have kept these with me long enough. Here, you can have them back now,” he said, trying to sound firm, but deep down he was waiting to see the child jumping in joy.
But that didn’t happen.
Enu spared him and his toys a brief glance before curling up under the covers further.
Isaac’s face fell and he frowned, confused. “Son, I’m giving your toys back. Aren’t you happy?” he still got no answer and he grew desperate, placing a hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Enu, come on. I’m trying here. Stop playing stubborn-”
“You really thought that’s what I was upset about?” the boy finally asked him and he blinked, taken aback by the question.
“W-well, I….yes. What else could you have been upset about?” he asked.
The boy sat up, but refused to meet his gaze. “Back then….you….you yelled at me…a-and just earlier today…” he said, sniffing.
His father stared at him in surprise, thinking back to both incidents and recalled his son’s reaction. He bit his lip, realizing he might have been too harsh on him.
“I’m….I’m sorry,” he frowned. “But that doesn’t mean what you did was okay. You shouldn’t expect me to not get mad whenever you misbehave,”
“I said I was sorry about the roof,” the boy muttered.
“And what about sneaking into my room?” he asked, crossing his arms.
“I just wanted him back,” Rime answered, placing his hand on the fox. “I couldn’t sleep without him.”
Isaac blinked at the boy and then remembered that yes, the toy fox always helped his son sleep better at night.
“Why didn’t you tell me? I would have given him back to you,” the man stammered.
The boy looked away. “But you already knew that when you took him so I thought….”
“What? No!…I…I forgot,” he admitted, burying his face in his hand. Now he felt terrible. How could he had made such a stupid mistake? What kind of father was he? He yelled at his son earlier due to his own foolishness.
Isaac then threw his arms around the boy and hugged him tightly. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to make you think I was too angry at you to care. I would never have done that if have known. Y-you mean too much to me, Enu.”
He suddenly felt a small pair of hands wrap around his waist. “It’s okay,” he could imagine the boy’s usual grin on his face. “I still love you,”
Isaac felt his eyes water.
“Love you too,”
“Thanks, Gillermo,” Enu said as he hopped off his robot friend. He shivered as he stood under the rain, his attire soaking wet. It didn’t look it would stop anytime soon as far as he could tell.
Looking around the area, the child couldn’t help feeling uneasy by this new place. It was different from all the other ones he had been to. Darkness consumed this world. There was no light anywhere.
Everything looked bleak and worn out, as if it would crumble into pieces by the slightest touch. There was nothing but ancient, ruined walls and towers. The air was only filled with the sound of the robots’ footsteps and the raindrops falling down.
As the boy moved forward, he gulped. There was also this….feeling in the air, a crushing sense of emptiness and despair that made his insides turn and his skin crawl. He felt a hollowness within his chest just by gazing at the broken remains of this city alone. It was almost unbearable.
Wanting to move forward as fast as possible, the child hurried up the staircase and into a room of some sort. There he saw another giant statue sitting in the center of it. His fox friend was sitting by it with its ears drooping. Something in the boy’s chest swelled as he stepped closer.
The man of stone had his face buried in his hands with the rain pouring down over him endlessly.
It almost looked like he was crying.
This was the longest chapter so far and probably the one I spent the most time on.
In case you guys are wondering, no. This story is not five chapters long. I don’t know how many I will write, but I still have a lot of idea for this fic.
Chapter 5: Downfall and Mercy (AU)
This is an AU chapter that it doesn’t exactly follow the events in the game. I might write some more if I have more ideas.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Rime.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
As soon as he lost his grip, he only got a glimpse of the child’s terrified face before he felt the air rushing past him.
He felt like falling forever until he finally hit the ground and went limp. For a while, he just lay there on the cold ground, stunned. It was quite dark around him save for the light coming from above. His entire body was numb with pain and his wings were ruined.
The all-consuming anger had made him ignore it all this time.
But that anger was now gone.
Now he felt empty as he lay in the dirt with the faint sound of the storm raging somewhere. He made a weak attempt to move, but his body protested against that.
He didn’t know how long he lay there. Minutes, possibly hours? He didn’t really know, but he didn’t find himself caring. After being driven by that violent rage for so long, that burning feeling within his chest, that strong desire to harm anything in his way at any cost, he felt completely empty and tired without it now.
He closed his eyes and allowed the crushing silence to swallow him.
Suddenly, he heard some rocks fall down. He ignored it at first, but to his surprise more began to fall down.
The bird’s eyes snapped open at the new sound and he moved his head off the ground a little so he can look forward.
It was the boy.
The bird’s body shook and he let out a screech as he tried to get up, to make that human pay for what he did to him, but alas; his body refused to comply. He could only fall down again as his limps began to ache again.
The human, who backed away when he tried to lung at him, was now eyeing him with pity, much to his chagrin. He snapped at the child when he drew closer, not wanting him to be anywhere near him.
But the child didn’t seem to be planning on leaving him alone. Eventually, he gave up on trying to drive away the human. Moving sapped whatever strength he had left. He dropped his head on the ground and lay there, panting.
The child began approaching him again, but this time the bird was far too tired and weak to do anything. He felt the human place his hand on his head and heard him murmur something. It sounded like an apology.
To his surprise, the child then sat down on the ground in front of him and leaned over, pressing his side against the bird’s head. While one hand remained on his head, the other began rubbing his beak slowly, which only served to confuse him more.
Then the boy began to hum.
It was soft and quiet, barely audible from afar probably, but why? What was he trying to accomplish from all of this?
The bird wanted to pull away, to get this human to leave, but at the same time something about the treatment was easing some of the pain he was feeling…just a little. The boy then began to hum a song of some sort. Something about it felt strangely….familiar to him and hearing it put his mind at ease.
The boy then paused, as if trying to remember before sighing and pressing his cheek against the bird’s head. “I’m sorry. That’s all I remember,” he said. “I…I don’t really remember much about my past or where I came from. It’s all a blank in my head. This song is only thing that keeps…coming back to me. I only remember bits of it, but maybe after a while, I’ll remember it fully,” he said, a weak smile on his face.
Why was the human telling him this? The bird grunted in response, trying to block out his voice, but there was nothing else to distract him from what he was saying.
“You know…you still haven’t answered me yet. Why you were chasing me?” the boy suddenly asked, hoping for an answer of any kind.
To tell the truth….the bird couldn’t really remember why he did it, why seeing the child for the first time filled him with blinding rage. All of it was now shrouded in fog in his mind.
Just then, a small yip broke the silence and the bird had to tilt his head to the left to see the fox standing over a large rock not far from them.
“Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to make you worry,” the human said sheepishly.
The fox looked worriedly between the two of them, seeming unsure of what to do. Its eyes then fell on the bird who glared at him.
“Come on, be nice,” The human told him and he just gave a low grunt. The boy sighed.
Seeing that nothing bad was going to happen, the fox lay down, watching them from his spot on the rock.
The human then glanced at him with an unreadable look before leaning against him again.
The bird couldn’t understand. Why was the boy doing all of this? After everything that happened, why did he risk coming all the way down here into this dark abyss just to sit here with him?
“Do you….want to be friends?”
The words rang in his mind and it made him even more confused about this human.
They stayed like this for a while with the boy humming quietly until finally something different happened. The rubbing stopped and just when he began to wonder if the kid was done with whatever he was doing, he heard shallow breathing and he realized the kid had fallen asleep against him. Running around the mountains and climbing down here had probably drained him.
The bird sighed and his eye trailed upward to the surface and the sky. Even though dark clouds covered it, he hoped to see the blue sky behind them.
He remembered loving the freedom flying gave him, the open skies and the warm sunlight. Seeing them getting blocked out had angered him more.
Now all of those things were gone.
Sighing again, the bird could feel the warmth coming off the sleeping child against his face and he slowly he found himself nuzzling closer to him before closing his eyes and drifting off as well.
The idea for this chapter came to me when I replayed the game recently. When I saw “From the Sky into the Abyss” achievement, I assumed I was supposed to go look for the bird after defeating it since it had its picture on it, but it turned out that it was one of the robots in the Depression stage who had fallen off and I was supposed to go check on.
Here are two theories I have about this. First, it might be meant to invoke guilt in the boy for what happened to the bird since the robot and the bird both fell down from an edge.
The second theory is that it was symbolizing losing a potential friend. That robot could have become a friend to you just like the bird, but you lost them both.
Anyway, I’m planning a part two for this chapter so this AU isn’t over yet! :D