"Hey, Vincent," called the bartender. He was regular here since he found good work. "Did you read this?" The bartender shoved him a newspaper clipping.
Vincent picked it up and read, his metal hand shining in the light.
Extra! Farmer's Land Destroyed In Mysterious Night Attack!
"Last night, a farmer on the north side woke to find all his land destroyed save all that was fenced in around his house. Nothing was left, but barren wasteland with no potential at all. None know who is behind this, but they hope to find the culprit soon before this tragedy can be repeated again."
"So?" Vincent asked him and handed it back.
"Just thought since you were a mercenary you would be interested," the bartender shrugged.
The door banged open and an old man came into the old tavern. He shut the door and walked over to an open table in the corner, near the dark. He pulled something from his cloak, a book. A young boy was near him and read the title.
"Wow! Mister, could you read us some of the legends in that book?" he asked excitedly.
The old peddler looked at him with a confused look then smiled and nodded. Some young children and curious adults gathered round to hear this tale. The man put away the book and his glasses and made himself comfortable in his chair.
"Well, let me see. I know. I shall tell you the Legend of Jhudora. It is said that long ago two great beings rules - Jhudora of the Darkness and Marfa of the Light. These two created harmony throughout Planet. However, they had rules that anybody with their power could not interfere in human affairs, including them. So when a war broke out and it looked as if Planet was to be destroyed - they too destroyed this law, however, because they had abided by it for so long, they had could not help. So, they choose two elite people from Planet to host their power and win. This was done and the war was won, Planet safe."
"Now came another problem. The power could not be taken back. Both Jhudora and Marfa were forced to enter the humans and become one with them. And so, they lived mortal lives, passing into the next generation of the first warriors. It is said that one day, the person they tried to beat will come again to try and complete what he did not succeed at first. If this should happen, it is up to the heroes of that time to find the two warriors and in that when they are awakened they shall also awaken a new eternity, an eternity of peace."
"Wow," the little boy said. "To cool!"
"Yea! Wouldn't it be great if we were the warriors?" he asked. They left, dreaming of what it would be like to be the warriors.
Vincent got up and left. "What a load of rubbish." He hopped on the new air bike he had 'acquired' and speed off.
Vincent was getting bored when he had to ram on his brakes when a figure appeared before him. "
What are you? Crazy?" Vincent yelled at it. "What are you doing in the road?"
"Go back," it hissed. "Do not go farther. Only destruction awaits you if you go farther! Go back!" it hissed and wheeled its horse and speed off.
"Please," Vincent snorted. "Who rides horses anymore?" He speed off in the way the man had said not to go.
Vincent could not help but get a foreboding feeling of something bad up ahead, so he kept going. When he passed through the last canyon pass he stopped dead. A chilling wind blew and ashes went with it. Nothing was left. All it was a charred and barren wasteland. Suddenly, something ahead moved and he thought her heard a feeble cough escape it and then rasping as it fought for air. Vincent went to see what it was. His gun drawn he placed a hand on the thing. He shuddered, but didn't fight it didn't have the strength to.
Vincent went around to the other side where its face might be. It was covered in a black cloak so was hard to make out in the shadows of the hood.
"Who are you?" Vincent asked. "What happened?"
The figure drew breath. "I am a bounty hunter and a battle took place here."
"A bounty hunter? Who were you going after? You did serious damage," Vincent said.
The figure coughed more. "Her name was Alyia - a strong Ice Witch of the North. And yes I know, but that is what happens when magically produced ice meets desert."
"Magically produced ice? What are you -," Vincent stopped as a wind blew the hood off the figure.
It was a girl and she was pale and her face was cut up along with the rest of her body, he guessed. Vincent didn't know what to say. With a sigh the girl fell back down into an unconscious state. Vincent picked her up and carried her to his bike.
The girl groaned and her eyes cracked open. It was warm here, and her cloaked had been removed and she under a blanket now. She looked over and a fire was crackling. She tried sit up, but she just collapsed back down in exhaustion.
"You shouldn't try to site up right now," said a man coming over. Vincent.
"Really? You think?" the girl retorted in anger at herself.
"You've got a cracked rib I think and maybe an eternal injury, so you need to lean on things if you want to sit up," he said. "By the way, my name's Vincent."
"Ryouken Ookido," the girl replied. She said no more and just closed her eyes with a sigh, reopening them when she was done.
"Here," Vincent came around and sat next to her. He helped her prop herself against him.
"You sure you don't mind me leaning against you? I mean, you have done enough already," Ryouken said.
"Its alright," Vincent said. "Your pretty lightweight so you know, I don't mind. Here, drink this. I don't make good meals, but it was the best soup I could muster up on short notice."
The girl smiled and took with a nod of thanks. She sipped it and soon the bowl was drained. Vincent smiled. At least her appetite is okay, he thought.
As time passed Vincent learned more about the girl. She was twenty - seven, like him and she had been looking for her younger sister while she was tracking the character known as Alyia the Ice Witch. Vincent also observed that she was very pretty. Her hair was very pretty and soft, a pure white color and her eyes were dark and mysterious, small gold streaks lighting the dark interior of them. Her outfit was pretty simple. She had the cloak and under that was a simple high neck turtle neck sleeveless with black jeans and small heel boots by the looks of it. She had gloves with the fingers cut out so hers could breath and she had a belt with several guns and other items for fighting fitted to them.
"Do you think you'll be well enough to ride in the morning?" Vincent asked and nodded to his bike.
"I should be, but that's not for certain," Ryouken said. "Do you have a hair tie or something so I can tie my hair back?"
"Huh?" Vincent was taken by surprise by the comment but handed her a small silver from his cloak that had come off.
"Thanks," she said and, even though her hair was longer then Vincent's, managed to tie it in a neat little loose ponytail. "Much better."
"Well, we had better get to sleep," he said. "I plan to ride a little after dawn so…"
"I understand," Ryouken said and he helped her lay back down. Soon, the two were asleep on opposite sides of the fire.
"I thank you for helping me Red," said a girl to the cat as they sat around the fire.
"Well, you can't exactly go anywhere with that leg and it would go against my code to leave you out there," Red replied and came over to drop a piece of meat and her feet. She took it and tore into it.
"Still, thank you," she said. "What is your name? You never told me," Red inquired.
"Me? I'm Ryuu," she said.
"Ryuu…does that not mean Dragon in the Ancient language?" Red asked.
"Yes," Ryuu answered. "My mother and father are Ancient studiers and liked the name."
Red fell silent at the comment. Ryuu was pretty for a girl and presumed she was around twenty-one or so. Her hair was ebony black and her eyes icy blue with streaks of black to cool them down. Her hair was kept in a neat braid that lay on the ground, when she stood it was to her knees. Her bangs were kept out of her eyes by a headband like Vincent. Her outfit consisted basically of a cloak and under that was a turtleneck sleeveless that had the neck slit to her cannon bones. She had on jeans and a silver chain with a fox head hung on it, the fox head was carved, no real. She had on small heel shoes and her left leg was bandaged at the shin from a bad wound.
"Ryuu - where do you head?" Red asked.
Ryuu looked out of the leave built hut she sat in with Red. "I'm looking for a town called Nibelheim."
"I know where that is," Red said. "Would you like me to escort you?"
"If you want to I don't mind," Ryuu said and tore more of the meat off.
"So, what were you doing out here and how did you get that wound?" Red probed.
"I got into a fight," was the answer. "I'm looking for someone as well."
Red didn't try to get more. He shrugged and settled down. As soon as he was sure the girl was done and asleep, he too went to sleep, waiting for the dawn to come.
"I really appreciate you escorting me to Nibelheim," Ryuu said to Red.
Red nodded as he loped beside her ride. Red had been surprised in the morning when the girl had whistled and a huge stallion had appeared. It was white with dark eyes and feathers floating at its feet. (Feathers are the long hairs on a horse's foot - like a Shire or Clydesdale) It had golden shoes and it trappings (saddles, reigns, bridle, ext.) were black with golden starts hanging on them. One part of the saddle had gold and black cloth that came out the end of the saddle to wrap around the hindquarters and then back into the saddle. It had splint boots on the front that were of the same make and the same cloth came around the chest. The bridle had golden starts hanging from certain areas on it as well as the reigns.
"You certainly decked your horse," Red said to her.
"Huh? Oh. I didn't do this," she said.
"Then who did?" Red asked flabbergasted.
"I don't know - he comes this way," she said. "He only comes when I need him, not before or after."
"Really?" Red said, surprised. Strange, he thought.
They rode for several hours more until they crested a hill and looked down on Nibelheim.
"That is it," Red said. " I shall come with you into town."
"Thanks," Ryuu said and they went in.
People stared at her horse, but none made comments. Red lead her to a bar called Tiffa's Seventh Heaven and she dismounted. Just as she had said - the horse didn't stay. It galloped off and disappeared within a few minutes.
"Looks like Cloud is here," Red mused as they walked in. A girl with black hair looked up and smiled.
"Red!" The girl said. "Good to see you."
"You too Tifa," Red said as he held the door open for Ryuu. As Ryuu came in she noticed that some were staring at her.
"Who's your friend Red?" Cloud asked from a table.
"The name is Ryuu," Ryuu countered him.
"Ryuu? Ryuu Ookido?" asked Yuffie from the table Cloud was at. Ryuu was taken by surprise because the girl couldn't have been more the sixteen.
"Yes," Ryuu answered. "That's my name."
"Oh my gosh! It is an honor to meet you!" Yuffie said from the table. She stood and bowed. Ryuu looked confused, but bowed back to the little ninja.
"And you are?" she asked.
"The name is Yuffie and I'm studying your fighting style!" Yuffie said cheerfully. "I mean, if you don't mind me doing so."
"Why would you try to copy her fighting style when you got the best right here?" asked Tifa.
"Because - have you ever won a fighter's tournament?" Yuffie countered.
"No," Tifa said simply.
"Well - Ryuu Ookido has won over twenty of them and she is reigning champ! Of course I would want to study her style!" Yuffie exclaimed.
Ryuu suddenly started laughing.
"What's so funny?" Yuffie shot at her.
"I don't know if you noticed, but you aren't looking for me. You want to ask my sister Ryouken. They gave her the nickname Ryuu in tournaments because of her special Dragon Fist attack. Although Ryo is my real name I am far from as good a fighter as my sister," Ryuu laughed, wiping tears from her eyes. "Besides, my sister has white hair and I have black - total difference. We look nothing alike."
"Really?" Yuffie asked. "But do you still fight?"
"Yep," Ryuu said. "I am second best next to my sister."
"Pretty impressive," Cloud murmured.
"It should be," said a new voice coming in. Ryuu spun around to face a girl that was older then her with white hair and dark eyes, but looked pretty much like her in all other respects.
"Ryouken!" Ryuu cried out as she looked at her sister.
"Yea, yea," Ryouken said. "Now little girl, tell me - where have you been? It has taken me six months to track you down." She came over and put her arm around her little sister. Vincent came over to sit at the bar across from Cloud.
"Did you pick her up or what?" Cloud asked. "Still the charmer?"
"I found her on a battle field," Vincent said. "I merely helped her out."
"Did Alyia attack again?" Ryuu asked Ryouken. "She gets annoying after while."
"You're telling me," Ryouken snorted. "She's stronger too. She blew a whole area into a wasteland yesterday when we fought. I wasn't prepared and if it hadn't been for Vincent over there I doubt I could have survived when Alyia came back to finish the job."
"Wait, hold up," Tifa said. "Who is Alyia and what are you two talking about?"
Ryouken and Ryuu looked at her and Ryuu nodded. She took a seat next to Vincent, Red sitting below her feet, and Ryouken near Yuffie, who was going into hyper mode from all this.
"I guess we had better start at the begging," Ryuu said and took in breath.