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[Fanfic][FFT] "The Prodigal One"

Posted: 15th February 2010 09:37

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Ummmm I still exist, haha. ;A; This was written last summer for that there This Game Exists Too contest over on ff.net. I got second! ...out of two submissions!

Anyway, I goddamn love Meliadoul.

Quote
The Prodigal One

This, then, is the night before Murond. Our last on earth, if the stories are true. It's unsurprising that once again, even in an endeavor to drag the world into hell, Vormav Tingel has taken it upon himself to lead. And once again, Meliadoul Tingel will follow him.

It's always been this way. My next step decided before I take the last, a path carefully laid out for me to walk. I've known my life was not my own since my fourth birthday, when the mantle of the Knights Templar was laid solemnly upon my shoulders. I was, after all, the sole heir to two nearly-extinct familial legacies, on both my mother's side and my father's; soon I would be the last.

And so my life, the culmination of two thousand years' of valiant knighthood, purest blood, noble deaths at the hands of the savage heathen, had been carefully mapped by my parents and my grandparents and generation upon generation of the watchful familial dead. Sometimes I felt I could hear their whispers in the walls of our chateau. Here, now, attend. She shall attend this academy, the finest; she shall begin to train as soon as she can walk; she shall become a Shrine Knight like her mother and father and obey them in all things.

This I did. It was what I was born for.

I remember my mother clearly, even with the long passing of time. She was the last child of the family Cristophe, considered by many to have an even finer bloodline than my father's, and indeed, in many ways she was a finer knight than he. But even she was not strong enough to fight the will of God: she died bringing my brother into the world.

***

It was the one eventuality no one had expected. My father had never had any siblings. Nor my mother, nor any member of the two peerless dying family lines of which I was so often reminded and at the end of which I alone stood, as one in the deepest point of a funnel. My brother's birth was almost an aberration on this tragic perfection, an awkward little lump stuck to the end.

My mother's death was only a passing grief: she and my father had done their duty, after all, in having me, and now they could die. No, it was the unexpected and unwanted complication of my brother's existence that proved vexing. What was to be his path, this younger Tingel, this unnecessary spare? There was no course laid for a second child, no well-mapped way; and so in the end, they simply sent him down mine. He attended this academy, the finest; he began to train as soon as he could walk; he became a Shrine Knight like his father and his sister and obeyed them in all things.

My father was a fool for allowing him this. Again and again I told him how weak my brother was, a waste of resources, not strong enough for this world, but he didn't listen. You see, I respected my father, even as a child; I took my slappings and whippings with acceptance. We had an unspoken understanding, the two of us, that it was all part of what had to be done, of what the whispers in the walls demanded from us.

But my brother didn't seem to understand this. He wanted more from my father than just what was necessary for the good of the family; he craved his acceptance, his praise. At times I almost suspected he craved my father's love.

How he would weep at the slightest harsh word! Sobbing for hours at my side in the dark of the night! And still he would try again the next day, desperate to please in any way he could.

I found him once when he was two years old, clutching my practice foil in both hands and begging me to teach him.

I wanted to take the sword away, throw it in the river. I wanted to bring him with me into the fields and gardens and watch him laugh as he only laughed with me, as if he were astonished that life could contain so much happiness. I wanted to pick berries with him, stain our mouths, fall asleep in the sun and forget that such things as swords and battle and the family Tingel ever existed. Instead I corrected his stance.

Our ancestors demanded nothing of him, had no need of him; he could have been free from the dreary march to our family's completion. He was to grow old and decorated, wed to an adoring daughter of the gentry, himself father of countless children and grandchildren that would have his smile, his laugh.

I was the one who was supposed to die. In the prime of life, in the full glory of religious passion and nobility of name, in the spectacular conflagration of a bloodline's end. I should have been the one to have followed my father to Riovanes, to have obeyed his wishes to have me killed, to have obeyed him, as I was taught, in all things. And now, because my father was a fool, my brother is dead and I am alive.

But then, perhaps I judge my father too harshly. Perhaps it was simply that he, like me, could deny my brother nothing. I know I, for my part, would have given him anything he asked of me.

***

If there is any miracle to be found in this forsaken world, Ramza Beoulve will find it. If there is, in Hell, any escape to the world of the living, Cidolfus Orlandu will fight his way there. The others find comfort in this, from their fears of death and what comes after, and for this I am glad. But I don't need comfort, not anymore. I already know this battle will be my last.

I have fulfilled all the duties required of me as daughter and heir. My family line is at last complete. I have little interest in my father, or the Infernal Lord of the Lucavi, or whatever it is he's become. I have nothing further to discuss with my mythic, tragic mother, or all the troops I led who fought and bled and died for me. I have no business with St. Ajora, if ever he truly lived, or with Satan, if he should unaccountably desire the pleasure of my company. I have nothing to ask of God.

This is what I will do. I will find my father in Murond the City of the Damned, and before I kill him, as is fitting and right, I will extract from him only one thing: an answer.

What is my last step? To where was I consigned, in death? All else, you see, I learned from you, but when I returned to our chateau the walls were silent. So tell me where I, the last child, am to go after I draw my last breath. For that is where my brother has gone.

Should Paradise be his answer, to be sure I'll be glad; but if it's Hell I'm meant for, my joy will be no less. I will turn my back to the light of day and the smell of the sea and the warmth of the sun and all such meaningless stuff of the world that the Psalms warn me I shall miss when I am dead. I will walk the streets of Hell, wade through the fire and brimstone, accept every horror and torment that I am owed, comforted in that I have found my way again at last. And when I find my place among the wailing and the shrieking and the endless night, when I look again upon he whom among all others I swore I would never fail, we'll be so far beyond heartache and pain and despair that I'll only draw him close to me, as I always did. I'll say, forgive me, I was lost; I wandered far and off the path, but I've returned; I'll never leave again. Izlude, ah, God, Izlude, my only one, don't cry. I'm back. I'm home.


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Some ghost of me might greet my son
the day he is delivered.


Eternal Sleep, Track 1-1: The Blue Planet
Post #183876
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Posted: 15th February 2010 18:55

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This is excellent! smile.gif

I just have one question: Did you make up the Cristophe line? or did I somehow miss it?
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Posted: 17th February 2010 06:30

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WHOA it took me a while to remember how to reply.

No, the Cristophe line is totally made-up, a wink to General Leo's spiritual successors, maybe. ^_^;

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Some ghost of me might greet my son
the day he is delivered.


Eternal Sleep, Track 1-1: The Blue Planet
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Posted: 17th February 2010 13:04

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I hope it was your shiny award that brought you back, we need more of our old members to come back around to stay. smile.gif

Is this ready for publication on the main site? I assume so, since it's been published before.

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Posted: 18th February 2010 14:10

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Indeed so on both counts. I needed to show my badge to everyone, and the story's all ready to go.

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Some ghost of me might greet my son
the day he is delivered.


Eternal Sleep, Track 1-1: The Blue Planet
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Posted: 21st February 2010 02:03

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Quote (L. Cully @ 16th February 2010 22:30)
No, the Cristophe line is totally made-up, a wink to General Leo's spiritual successors, maybe. happy.gif;

That would explain why it sounded so familiar. wink.gif

In any case, great job!
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Posted: 24th February 2010 05:44

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I like it. Great work on this. There is a certain sense of poetry to the prose that I found drew me in, into these... memoires? I suppose. Either way, well done.

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Games on the Go
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Posted: 21st January 2011 19:11

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It's criminal that I forgot to post about this amazing fic. Meliadoul's always been one of my fave characters, and the game doesn't really go into much detail about her, outside of a few dialogue snippits when she's involved in such-and-such a battle. I especially love the age angle, because if y'don't pay attention to the Brave Story, it's not incredibly obvious which of the Tingel kids is older. [In fact, Meliadoul swearing revenge in her first appearance kinda fits with the hot-headed younger sibling type!] Either way, you really conveyed the emptiness that can come from continuously shouldering a family's hopes and responsibilities, so kudos!

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