Crimson Sonata follows the story of Takesawa Inuki, a young man commonly classified by society as a NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training), as he is mysteriously transported to an unknown world where dark forces and legendary heroes known as Valiants clash. There he meets Faye Lockhart, a travelling knight in search of clues to her murky past. Joined by other familiar characters from Valiant Force, our reluctant hero struggles to find a way to return to his home world. What fate awaits Inuki?
TABLE OF CONTENTS
0 - PROLOGUE
1 - DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS
The moon was bright and full that night, and the sky, filled with stars, spread out into its cobalt curtain like diamonds. She would never forget this sight. In fact, it was the only thing she could recall when asked about the tragedy that befall her village that fateful night.
The heat around them was bearable, yet the flames, hissing and spitting, continued to engulf the house of Old Beth, the village midwife. It was only a moment ago when the little girl and her parents sought refuge in the old maid's quarters after fleeing their own wrecked and burning house. Now outside, they had nowhere else to go.
In the background, black-hooded bandits on horses torched the remaining houses. Cries for help abound, but she heard none of them. Everything was far too unreal. This cannot be happening, she thought to herself. Mother will fix this. She can make it all go away! But even as she incessantly repeated those words in her head, she knew her mother could not save them. She was in dire condition, a stray arrow having wounded her left side.
"Leave me be," said the girl's mother. The orange light of the fires illuminated her face. She looked so weak, unlike her usual energetic self. "Run and never look back! The gods know I will not make it far, but you can still make it out of here."
"Do not speak nonsense, dear. I will not leave you alone," said the father to his wife.
"No. Take our daughter and go!" she pleaded. "If you don't, we will all perish. The royal knights will be on their way soon."
"To hell with the knights! Where were they when those bandits lit our house on fire? My brother is dead and our friends likely met the same fate in the hands of those bastards!"
The girl's mother did not say another word but only gently touched her husband's arm and pulled her daughter close to her. She was telling him not to be unreasonable and to think of their little girl. The two of them are both crying now for they knew she was right. Even at the tender age of eight, the girl understood that she will never see her mother again. With this she began to cry harder, her wails louder than the sound of crackling flames.
"GAAAAAAAOOOOHHHH!" An earsplitting beastly shriek broke the huddle.
"You two must go," said Old Beth urgently. "The gryphon is back."
"But what about you, Abuela?" the girl finally said. She had held her tongue all this time. Abuela was their village's word for grandmother, and though unrelated by blood, the girl loved the old woman dearly. She did not know it at the time, but the old-timer was the one who had helped bring her out into the world when her mother was in labor.
"I am sorry, child," replied the old woman. "My bones are weak and frail. I cannot run away with you. Let me stay with your mother. It will be like old times." She turned to the husband and looked him firmly in the eyes. "Protect her with all your strength. Go! Now!"
Without a moment to spare, he kissed his wife for the last time. Then, he took her crying daughter in his arms and sprinted towards the village gates as fast as he could, all the while avoiding the masses of brick and wood as houses toppled over from wreckage. All around them, villagers screamed and scrambled wildly to gey away from the bandits.
"Mother! Abuela!" cried the girl, her crimson hair flying as her father carried her away.
"GAAAAAAAOOOOHHHH!" A winged creature with an eagle's beak and two sharp, ebony horns landed on the spot where her mother and Abuela were situated with an audible crunch. The gryphon, with its bluish plumage, proceeded to tear their bodies apart with its large beak. A metal chain link was placed around its neck, seemingly glowing a bright shade of tangerine as it caught the light from the burning debris of houses. In that moment, everything was engulfed in silence for the girl. She stretched out her arms towards her mother and tried to scream, but she could not utter a single word.
"Curse the gods! Curse the Great War!" the father cried as he continued to run. With all army focused on the war, there was no one left to keep the people of the Kingdom safe from bandits and other evils. The black-hooded men saw tonight as the opportune time to sack the village for gold and women. "Where are the knights!? Somebody, help! H-help--!"
His words were abruptly put to a halt when an arrow hit him squarely in the right eye. The two fell on the hard ground.
"You won't be needing that eye where you're going," said a loud voice. A man dressed in black came up to them riding a brown stallion. "Oh? What do we have here?"
The girl felt her body tense as the bandit got off of his horse and walked closer to her. Without a doubt, she knew her father had perished and that she would be next. That is, if the man did not play with her body first. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she clung to her father's body. This was the end for her, she thought. She looked up and saw the bright moon in the sky -- an ironic view as its beautiful glow contrasted the vile massacre of her village.
"You are mine, little girl," said the man who has started to untie the knot of cloth that held his ragged pants in place. "I'm going to have a little fun with you. Come over here--!"
The bandit did not get the chance to finish his sentence. A long and shiny blade went through his chest and was quickly retracted as soon as it had stabbed him. The man dropped dead with a thud, revealing a figure of a woman clad in heavy armor behind. She flicked her sword to rid of the bandit's blood and sheathed it back in her side.
"You are safe now, child. The royal knights have come," said the woman. Her face was sweaty, beads of water caused by the heat and her rushing to the scene. Her long, dark hair was braided and unceremoniously tucked inside her helm. "Even though we came as fast as we could, it seems we are too late."
The lady paladin looked at the girl and then to her father. A great sadness overcame her. She did not make it in time. The little girl dashed to her bossom and wrapped her arms around her savior. She cried and cried until she lost consciousness, the night's ordeal proving too much for her innocent soul.
"I'm sorry you had to go through this. You are safe now."
She awoke abruptly, gasping for air as if she had long been underwater. She had dreamed of a bright full moon and glistening stars, yet it had scared her so. It has been ten years since Lady Milfune had adopted her. She was given food and shelter, but still there is something missing, something she had lost -- her memories.
Now a knight herself, she travels all over Arathos in search of her identity and clues to what happened on that night when the moon was full and bright.
END OF PROLOGUE
Hello, fellow Valiants! This is Gabrant with my first fan fiction for Valiant Force! Did you guess who the main character was? I hope it wasn't too obvious in the first part of the prologue. Anyway, I have a lot of plans for this story, including a story concept which I will introduce in the next chapter. I won't write a summary yet as I want to experiment on the coming chapters. Besides, writing summaries is not really my strong point. Please tell me what you think of the story. I hope it wasn't too gory for you. Thanks for reading!
EDIT: I have added a short synopsis to the story plus a table of contents. Reading the synopsis alone would already hint at who the main protagonists are. I also added an image to the chapter as reference.