There once was a Zorua named Ren who had a twin sister named Lin and lived in a place called Thunder Mountain. The brother was impish and the sister was naughty, but both were equally as devious and judged by the village they lived in. Hunting viciously and skillfully, the two cared of nothing in the world except each other. They were a rather happy pair of siblings.
One day while preparing for a hunt together, the two foxes would hide separately to take down a single prey. They set themselves up perfectly—they were both ready, but…only the sister would show herself. Ren was nowhere to be found.
Ren had been kidnapped, head stuffed in a sack and taken somewhere far and foreign; to a place that he did not know—a building that was surrounded in deserted snow. There, the 13-year-old fox was the victim of maliciousness, torture, and darkness for what seemed like forever… which lasted until almost his 15th birthday. During that year he began to hear a voice, the voice of the Other ‘Ren’, who began to tempt him with promises that They would: 1) Become his shield and weapon to get ‘them’ out of that horrible place while also ‘destroying’ whatever was threatening Ren’s life, and 2) that They would in the end bring him back to his sister, all in exchange for Ren allowing this Other voice to use his body to do so.
“…Whatever you are… I don’t—need HELP!”
Ren denied the offer from the strange and suspicious voice from nowhere and swore to get himself out on his own. However, that year of agony took a lot out of the Zorua’s will to live. In a single moment of broken weakness, Ren agreed to the Other voice’s offer and let Them loose. It was then that the Other did what They promised; They destroyed the place that had threatened to kill the Zorua and destroyed everyone inside…yes, everyone—including Ren’s most beloved person.
Unbeknownst to Ren, Lin has been searching for clues as to where her brother had gone. Ever since the day Ren had disappeared from their hunt, she had been angry—initially so because they lost the prey, but even more because of the whispers around the village of priests that were dealing with ‘troublesome nuisances’—and how the village had directed their attention towards the two of them. Seeing as how she was still there, then Ren was… ‘Good riddance,’ she heard repeatedly echo through the villagers… It reverberated into her fury and her motivation to find him.
It took much time on her part to get anywhere what with her lack of information about the people that took her brother, lack of places she had been able to even get to, and just—lack of resources in general. It took a year—a year of frustration that she beat into some villagers for doing this, a year of searching as much as she could for a light of opportunity to arise. Lin happened upon some of those ‘Scouting Priests’ that spoke of the same things she had heard from the village around the time Ren had been taken, and so she pieced it together; these were the people that took him. Lin ambushed one of the priests, disguised herself as one of them with her illusionary power, and followed other scouting priests back to wherever they were going.
Lin had finally found where Ren was and snuck into the place to try and save her brother. With a ‘sixth sense’ that Ren possessed for those of his own species, he had realized her presence during the Other’s rampage only when it was too late. The Other ‘Ren’ mistook her and…killed her in cold blood before he could stop them. Ren, realizing what ‘he’ had done to the only person he had ever cared about, went into mental shock that would lock his mind into a dark abyss of unconsciousness for many years to come.
But Lin was DETERMINED. Not even death of her physical form could stop her from rescuing her precious brother. Though the girl had indeed died in the snow and would take many years to fully realize what had happened herself, her soul would be relentless until she did what she needed to do—to release Ren from wherever he had been. Over the course of five years did the girl’s will build up on itself, gathering into enough of a form to be able fight and get Ren back. Through a sort of spiritual strength that linked her to her twin brother, she was finally able to send a signal out in the form of a Dream to whomever had Ren’s body, having figured out long ago that Ren was not the one who killed her. After the message had been sent the girl would prepare herself, imagining what she would look like, how she would fight, what she had always wanted as a weapon—she thought of it all and made them ‘real’ enough to be somewhat tangible, though no matter what the Other was definitely her aim.
After some time, the one who had Ren’s body had finally come to meet her. In pursuit of a game, the stranger did battle with her, both equally skilled and just as lethal with their attacks against each other. But amidst the fray of the fight, Lin had had gotten fed up with this person claiming to be Ren when she plainly knew it was not him, and so she opened up their eyes to the truth: ‘Ren’ was not the REAL Ren.
The ‘Ren’ that had been present until then was in fact the Other from the beginning and the girl whom They stabbed was in fact Ren’s sister, Lin. Neither Ren nor the Other knew that Lin was even there at the time. During that pause of realization, Ren suffered mental trauma from killing Lin which led to his mind breaking down and being locked into unconsciousness. This gave the opportune moment for the Other to take over control as a defense mechanism. Ren also locked his own memories away, causing the Other to not remember killing Lin and instead only remembered their own promise made to Ren—to escape the prison, to protect Ren, and to reunite Ren with Lin.
Lin, finding an opening, took advantage of the situation and ‘unlocked’ the prison within Ren’s body to allow Ren’s mind to resurface again, leaving the Other to return to their original state as a psychological defense mechanism—a shield. Though she did not like the fact that she could not truly save Ren from this fate at all and that she had to go soon since her goal was completed, she asked this Other to take care of Ren in her stead so that Ren did not get into trouble again. With the confirmation with the Other, Lin would then disappear from viewing eyes.
Instead she would make her presence known to the waking Ren, leaving behind a game and a goal for her brother to strive for. With a final goodbye, she would depart from the living world, the only remnants of herself left in the form of a halved blue jewel to Ren.
Ren dreamed of Lin, about fun days of tag and games, warm spring days during which the two would nap in peacefully. It was then that the sister began to urge the boy persistently that he needed to play a Treasure Hunt game without her and…that she loved him. The boy progressively grew more confused and scared as he tried to reach for her. Instead he found himself awakening in a different place than he had remembered. The Zorua did not know where he was or how he got there, and was simply perplexed with his current situation. Ren found himself in a mysterious place, a small bar-locked room, but soon wanted to find where his sister had gone. It was then that he found it. In his clutches he found a blue half-round gem, the same blue he had recognized in his and his sister’s eyes. Realizing this…Ren held it close with a pang of grief-stricken pain.
After many crazy shenanigans happened with Ren being lost and confused, he found out that the ‘treasures’ that his sister spoke of were in fact memories that the Other seemed to make in Ren’s stead that would ‘build onto’ the half-blue gem the more he remembered. With a path to follow, Ren quested around Pokimono for each memory, gradually building the gem into a more complete form… but at the same time he remembered so many things that he wish he never knew. After a long while of searching and the gem nearly whole by a mere sliver, Ren found out the truth of what happened. The Other had KILLED people—a LOT of people—and he was furious to find out that they killed these people all in similar ways that the Zorua had been so mercilessly tortured before. This Other entity had turned him—his EXISTENCE—into a demented, psychopathic killer that everyone despised even more than when he was young. Ren no longer felt he even knew himself anymore, almost as if looking upon the darkest shadow of himself that even he could fear if he did not know that it would never hurt him. Even at a certain point when Ren was FINALLY able to speak with the Other, he had fully resolved that he hated them with his entire being.
His sudden onrush of experiences would leave Ren with a melancholic despair, almost listless to even want to keep going, similar to when he was locked away so long ago…
“…No, I’m not going to let it continue like this.”
Ren would tell himself with a new resolve. It was then that Ren would come up with his own plan, one that he felt would exact revenge on the Other. Ren would spend many months in this contemplation making absolutely sure that the Other would know nothing of this plan, with the only evidence being a note during a festival.
Not long after the resolve was finalized, Ren’s captor made his existence known. Daigo Rei—a power-hungry Alakazam who ran the facility that imprisoned Ren—reappeared after many years and endangered Ren’s life once more. It happened so fast—so quickly that Ren had barely realized who the Alakazam was during the time. ‘Why now of all times did that man appear?’ Ren would think before Daigo would steal the almost-whole jewel that belonged to both Ren and Lin. The world would suddenly go dark for him once again. Ren did not fully understand how this was happening or why he was so aware of what was happening right then, but he figured if he was in here then the Other was doing something, right? Then Ren would wait. The situation escalated so quickly that he felt his plan for the Other could be upon them soon...
Upon the end of Daigo, who was the ‘ultimate antagonist to Ren’, Ren and Lin’s Jewel reached completion, invoking the Other to meet with Ren again. It was time the Zorua would then enact judgment on Them. Ren voiced the charges that the Other had against them, seeming to balance the pros and cons of the Other’s worth, and it seemed as though They had been fully prepared for whatever fate shall befall Them. Ren could not help but grin seeing as he had already made his choice long before. Ren chose neither to coexist with the Other, nor to eliminate Them. Instead, Ren granted the Other with rewards: 1) that the Other will in fact exist as a being in Ren’s stead, 2) They will be granted strength in the form of evolution, and 3) giving the Other their own name—Rei.
Indeed, Ren ultimately chose to die in order to be with the only person that mattered the most to him despite arguments against the decision. Ren was sick of other people’s wills being forced on him, whether it was Daigo’s, Rei’s, or even Lin’s—not to mention being treated like a helpless imbecile by all three of them too? NO! Ren was very much his own capable being with his own will and he would be the only one to make choices for himself despite what ANYONE said. With that thought in mind, Ren finally departed the world of the living leaving Rei and meeting Lin again after what felt like a millennia.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? STUPID NI-NI, YOU JUST GAVE UP LIVING YOU DOLT!” Lin was furious that she was seeing Ren so soon, thinking that her brother was ridiculous for wasting the effort she had made to save him..
“SHUT UP! LIVING AT THAT POINT WAS HORRIBLE ENOUGH SO GET OFF MY BACK!” Ren would retaliate with just as much ferocity, “Besides… I can’t live without you, Lin. You’re my twin, my other half remember…? So please… Let’s just hurry up and go already. I’m sick of this place, okay?”
“… Geez, you are such an IDIOT! …But… I’m glad to see you too.”
The boy would hold his hand to his sister and the sister took it begrudgingly but happily. A light would overcome their grinning faces as their final thoughts echoed around them.
…Wonder if we’ll get another chance at life…Guess for now it’s ok because…
…We’re finally home…