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Crossroad

Chapter Text

"What now?" the boy asked as his gaze turned from the setting sun to his large friend.

 

After traveling through the ruins for days and solving all those puzzles, the two of them finally made it to the main tower, but now that were here the boy was lost on what do. Where should they go now?

 

Trico seemed to be looking around as if he was searching for something, but couldn't find it. The boy scratched his head, wondering why the beast wanted to come here in the first place.

 

The creature finally glanced down at him and chuffed before walking towards the edge of the tower. He then looked back at the boy expectantly.

 

The boy realized what he wanted. "You're going to try to fly?" he asked, a little apprehensively. After all, Trico never flew that far before. Trico hummed, almost reassuringly at him.

 

Unsure, but trusting his friend, the boy carefully climbed up and seated himself on the beast's back. Trico then began flapping his wings, ready to take off.

 

The boy's attention suddenly drifted back to the giant antenna and he quickly shouted. "Trico, wait!"

 

The beast stopped and glanced back at the boy in confusion.

 

The boy didn't know what was that thing was or what it did. Almost everything about the Nest made no sense to him and he had no idea how they worked. He just used whatever he found on his way to help them progress without questioning them, but something about this place just felt….wrong.

 

Glancing down at the mirror shield and then back at the antenna, the child frowned. He wasn't sure where this was coming from, but something told him this place was bad news, especially when he thought about that dark sphere inside the tower.

 

Despite the ominous feeling in the air, he had approached the sphere out of curiosity feeling almost as if it was beckoning him to come closer. An icy numb feeling then coursed through his body when the thing made contact with his skin.

 

Brows furrowed in determination, the boy knew what he had to do. He raised the mirror and aimed at the antenna.

 

Trico's eyes flashed violet. His tail rose in the air and dangerous purple energy gathered around it before shooting several lightning spheres at the target, blasting it off. The structure shook and the cage-like dome began to fall apart.

 

"Alright, let's go," With that, Trico turned around and began walking towards the edge again. Gulping nervously, the boy gripped tightly at the beast's feathers and braced himself.

 

Flapping his wings one last time, Trico leaped off the edge.

 

------

 

We're flying. The boy thought in awe as Trico began ascending to the sky. He dared to look down to see the ground below getting further and further.

 

The view was breathtaking.

 

Looking back, the boy watched the Nest slowly fade from view. He couldn't help letting out a joyful laugh. They did it. They finally escaped!

 

Trico growled in response to him as they soured through the sky, the wind blowing against his feathers.

 

The boy stared up ahead thoughtfully for a few minutes and then his eyes widen. "Are you taking us to my village?" he asked with excitement, realizing his friend's intention. The beast just snorted.

 

The child found himself wondering for what felt like the hundredth time. How much did Trico understand? The creature knew how to jump off pillars and catch the boy when he was falling with precise. One time he tried playing hide and seek with the beast when they reached another grassy area and Trico found him every time.

 

Suddenly, the boy yelped when Trico stopped and flew to a different direction.

 

"T-Trico? What's wrong?" he asked in worry, but Trico ignored him this time and continued flying. Unsure of what to do, the boy held on as Trico dove downwards.

 

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Ico sighed as he made his way through the thick trees, holding tightly to his companion's hand. It's been almost a day since the castle had fallen and the two of them had woken up on that beach. They had set out to look for a nearby village, somewhere safe.

 

Ico looked up at the sky and frowned. The sun was going to set. They'll have to find a place to spend the night in. It'd be dangerous to wander the forest at night.

 

After walking for a few minutes, they soon reached a clearing. This would do. Ico let go of Yorda's hand and turned to her. "We're going spend the night here," he said though he knew she probably didn't understand him, but he still felt the need to tell her.

 

The boy then began looking for twigs for the fire. He glanced back to see his friend kneeling in front of a patch of flowers, looking at them curiously. He couldn't help smiling at the sight before returning to the task at hand.

 

And that's when he heard it. The sound of beating wings. It started out faint, but then it grow louder and louder until it was impossible to ignore. Confused, the boy looked up at the sky and gasped when he saw something flying down towards them.

 

The moment the thing landed, Ico fell backwards as the very ground shook beneath him. The human found himself staring in terror at the creature before him, his blood running cold.

 

He couldn't tell what exactly it was supposed to be, but it looked like a giant dog with sharp claws and wings. He had never seen anything as big as this in his life. The creature's head alone seemed to be bigger than him!

 

The beast's black eyes stayed on Ico for a moment before moving to something else. Ico followed its gaze and realized it was looking at Yorda who was staring back at the creature in mute horror.

 

"Yorda!" Without a second thought, Ico grabbed the closest thing to him which was one of the branches he was collecting and hurried in front of his friend, raising the stick threateningly at the beast.

 

Ico tried not to show his fear to the monster, but deep inside he couldn't help panicking. What was he thinking? What could a tree branch do to a monster this huge!? The creature looked like it can crush the branch with its paw effortlessly.

 

Maybe he doesn't have to fight it. Maybe he could poke it in the eye and then escape with Yorda to-

 

"Hey!"

 

Ico snapped from his thoughts at the sound of another voice. He looked around, but didn't see anybody. For a brief moment he thought the beast spoke to him.

 

"Up here!"

 

Ico looked up and the branch almost fell out of his hands. The boy thought running around inside an ancient castle and being chased by shadowy wraiths was crazy, but nothing prepared him for this. There was another boy on top of the beast's head looking down at them curiously.

 

The new boy then began climbing down from the beast's shoulder and jumped to the ground with a grunt before approaching them. "Hi there!"

 

Ico was at a loss of words, his eyes shifting from the boy and the beast. Finally, he managed to speak. "W-Who are you?" he asked warily.

 

"I'm Tomiheanchu, but that's too long so you can just call me Tomi." He grinned and then looked at him curiously. "What about you?"

 

Ico gulped, unsure of what to say. The kid in front of him didn't look that dangerous besides his weird choice in clothes. He even seemed to be slightly younger than Ico and the fact that he spoke the same language as him put Ico a little at ease, but he wasn't sure if he could really trust him. After all this kid came with that creature.

 

"I'm Ico and she's Yorda," he answered hesitantly.

 

"What are you two doing out here? Are you lost?" Tomi asked.

 

"Why do you want to know?" Ico muttered suspiciously. This could be a trap. The kid might be acting all friendly to trick them and then command his monster to attack them. The beast growled and the both of them jerked back.

 

Tomi blinked and glanced back at the creature. "You're worried about Trico? It's okay, he's not dangerous." He said and then clapped his hands in the air. "Trico, come here!"

 

Slowly, the beast stepped towards them, making Ico pull Yorda back warily. The beast then lowered his head and nudged his friend with his snout.

 

"See, he's friendly!" Tomi giggled. The creature then turned to face the two and chuffed. Ico relaxed a little, but still didn't lower his guard down. "Hey, you still haven't told me why you are here." Tomi asked again.

 

"We were heading to a village and decided to camp out here." Ico answered, seeing no harm in telling him that.

 

"Great, can Trico and I stay with you?"

 

Ico grimaced. "But why?"

 

"You see, Trico has been flying for a while and he needs a place to rest in. Would it be okay if we stay here?"

 

Ico bit his lip and glanced at the beast and then Yorda before sighing in defeat, "Fine, but if that beast does anything-"

 

"Ah, don't worry. He won't, you'll see!" Tomi said with a smile.

 

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Tomi, of course, was aware that Trico wasn't tired or in need of rest, but the beast had come here for a reason and even though he didn't know what it was, Tomi wasn't going to force his friend to leave if he didn't want to. Not to mention, Tomi was curious about these two travelers himself. He hadn't see anyone wearing clothes like theirs before. He knew there were other villages beyond the forest he and his tribe lived in, but never got the chance to meet anyone from them.

 

Still, he appreciated having them around. He had been the only human in the Nest and was starting to miss interacting with people from his kind.

 

Tomi glanced over just in time to see Ico walking away with Yorda. "Hey, where are you guys going?"

 

"I think I saw a river on our way here. Maybe we could catch some fish for dinner." Ico explained.

 

Tomi's eyes lit up. "Really? I'm coming too then!"

 

"Sure, but the beast should stay here. He might scare the fish away,"

 

"Okay," Tomi shrugged and turned his giant friend. "Trico, I need you to stay here. I'll be back with some food for you, okay?"

 

Trico snorted and then lay on the grass. Grinning, Tomi then sprinted after Ico and Yorda. It wasn't long until the three children found the river. Ico walked over and to see if there was any fish for them to catch.

 

Meanwhile, Tomi stayed with Yorda who hadn't spoken a word since he met her. Maybe she was just shy?

 

Smiling softly, the boy turned to the girl. "Hello, I don't think we formally met. I'm Tomi, nice to meet you," he said, extending his hand for her to shake.

 

The girl just tilted her head and mumbled something he didn't quite understand. Tomi blinked in confusion. Didn't she speak the same language as theirs?

 

"Yorda, come and look!" Ico suddenly called out. Yorda said something in her language that almost sounded like an apology before walking to Ico. Tomi hurried to their side to see the fish swimming in the water. Yorda seemed to be the one showing the most interest out of the three of them.

 

Tomi and Ico stood side by side for a moment before one of them finally broke the silence. "So...have you caught a fish before?" Tomi asked.

 

"Uh….not really. You?" Ico muttered awkwardly.

 

Tomi shook his head. "Never, but come on. It can't be that hard." He said with a grin.

 

It was.

 

After several minutes of failing to catch a single fish, the two boys lay on the ground panting and wet to the bone. Yorda was sitting next to them and looking at them in concern.

 

"How could the hunters in my village do this every day?" Tomi groaned. The fact that they didn't have the right equipment to use didn't help at all.

 

"We're running out of time. It'll get dark soon." Ico said, frustrated.

 

Tomi sat up and rubbed his chin thoughtfully for a moment until his eyes lit up. "I have an idea," he told the two before walking away to the trees. He cupped his hand around his mouth and called out. "TRICOOOOO!"

 

Ico's eyes widen.

 

Oh no.

 

"Wait, stop-" But it was too late as the ground began shaking once more and Trico burst through the trees, startling them except Tomi.

 

The boy then led the beast to the river and pointed at the fish in the water. "Catch them, Trico!"

 

Trico leaned his head closer to the water, his eyes following the fish attentively. He swiftly pushed his claw into water, but when he pulled it out he found nothing.

 

"It's okay, try again." Tomi told him. Trico tried a few more times, but his claws were too big and the fish kept slipping through them. Tomi could tell that Trico was getting frustrated and he tried to calm him down by rubbing his side.

 

Trico finally seemed to give up and turned around to leave, much to the children's disappointment.

 

"Well, what now?" Ico asked, having ran out of ideas.

 

Tomi was about to reply, but then paused when Trico stopped in his tracks. He then turned to them and began scratching the ground with his claws, ready to pounce.

 

Eyes widening, Tomi backed away and waved his hands nervously. "Trico, wait!"

 

The beast dashed towards the three children and jumped into the river with a loud splash, causing a huge wave that knocked the three away. When they recovered, the three found themselves surrounded by fish wiggling on the ground.

 

Tomi cheered and ran over to pet Trico while Ico helped Yorda up. He glanced down to see water dripping from thier clothes and sighed.

 

Well, they were already wet anyway.