"I like the sea." These words came out of my mouth absentmindedly, instantaneously, as if it was the correct words to speak at any given time when questioned about it. The Dream-maker, ever the faceplate shaper, shot at me a curious glance, his hands taking a loose grip on his halberd as we kept walking towards our curious destination, one I was barely aware of as often happened to be the case. My beaming smile turned to a solemn one, the moment the following words left Bellamy's mouth... "We are going to Madras, in the Pal'tanir." The name sounded familiar... Yet, it was both sadness and happiness that flooded my mind as this word, this place, reached my ears. I find myself questioning what my former life was like, being able to feel both sadness and happiness by the mention of a single word. Both pain and sorrow, yet gleeful expectation urged me to seek answers in the homeland of my good friend's father. My emotions betrayed by my silence, Bellamy asked with a furrowing plated brow "You alright there Noct?" to which I replied with a short hanging silence, as was befitting of the scene, of course. "Hm? No, just... Something I think I remembered." A claim I've made before, yet one I have always had trouble backing up. With that small possibility of a message from my past awaiting me there, I awaited the day of our departure towards the deserts of the Pal'tanir.
The day eventually arrived, a simple yet proud boat at a port like any other, its wooden hull weathered storms most angry and waters most powerful, an auspicious day that marked a new beginning, a new grand quest! The water was cool to the touch, much like my skin as Bellamy mentioned, something I had come to believe was the opposite; that everyone else was simply too warm instead. Seeing the unknown reflection of my own person staring back at me from the waters' own surface, I let my mind wonder below what my eyes could perceive, below what most saw and into the deeper parts of the water we had chosen to set sail on, of the water we had chosen to lay our fates on. My mind sealed itself away from the others, their voices becoming a blur, joining the sounds of nature that many can hear but most ignore. There was something there, something cold... Dark... A gentle place, a place that drew me to reach out to it. Visions of safety in the deep darkness of the sea's bottom enveloped my soul, my heart lay silent as I briefly crossed over to the depths of mortality's end... Then darkness settled in, my hand reached out for to this secret haven, my selfish wish bid the world of light farewell. It was not yet time.
"Noct!" The hero's voice, violently crushing through all that had enthralled my mind with the unrivalled might of heroism, echoed throughout the boat and attracted the attention of everyone present, his mighty grasp holding me firm, saving me from a watery grave. In my desire to touch this darkness, I found myself nearly falling inside the waters below and forever losing myself to them. My own hand shifted, changing direction, catching my hat which flew off with what seemed to be a will of its own, attempting to enter the darkness I was kept from. With a masterful flourish, I returned it to its rightful position atop my head. I was pulled back by my saviour, the one and only Dream-maker, who examined me with worry painted across the expression of his faceplate, asking me multiple times if I was alright. With a nod, I was escorted to our cabin to rest awhile. While I enjoyed the experience, everyone present seemed woefully concerned about me, making me wonder how they feel naught for their fellow men and women, bearing witness to them toiling under the scorching rays of sunlight. The rest of the trip saw me avoid the water's surface, lest I attempt to touch the darkness once more.
Hours became days, my cabin a cage, yet salvation came alongside damnation. I walked out of our cabin, standing side by side with the Dream-maker, taking in all the details of this new, yet familiar, land. Without a moment's notice, a sharp pain, a burning knife of steel, an accursed radiance coming straight from the unforgiving sun, struck a memory inside my mind. With my hands nearly smashing my skull as they slammed on its sides, I squeezed tightly, both grip and eyes, nothing able to reach me any longer. I know not how long this lasted, yet I was certain about one thing. It rang true in my head, my heart, my soul.
Here there was sun.
Here there was sun.
Here there was sun.
Pain, agony, searing horror.
The voice in my head screamed, constantly repeating the same sentence.
"I WILL KILL YOUR SHINING LIGHTS! I WILL KILL YOUR SHINING LIGHTS! I WILL KILL YOUR SHINING LIGHTS!"
It all went through me, swiftly eating away the shadows of my soul. I tried to make it stop but I was helpless, my lies were brought to the world. As the light always does, notifies the lies to come forth, as they hid within the darkness of my soul. And the voice let forth the one true feeling I didn't want him to see...
Not simple pain.
Not simple sadness.
Not simple agony.
Not simple madness.
Now he sees it, please let me back into the coldness.
Now he feels it, please let me back into the darkness.
Now he dreams it, please don't let him sink inside me, for I am...