Disclaimer: I do not own Suikoden so please don't sue me. You wouldn't get any money anyways.
Notes: Well here I go again. Writing a story that will, like nearly all of mine, probably never reach you're eyes. As it says in the summary this takes place about a year after the events of Suikoden III. I'll be writing this as though Hugo were Flame Champion as this clearly was what the game intended. Oh, and when I mention 'the masked bishop', I use that term because I know that there are some people that haven't gotten that far in the game and still read fanfiction. Myself, being one of those kinds of people. With that said, let the story begin.Dreams and Nightmares
By: Luke 'Deathplight'
Life in the Karaya Clan had become incredibly boring after the events that took place with the five elemental True Runes. Hugo wasn't complaining that he wanted innocent lives to be destroyed once again, of course, but he was becoming incredibly restless lately. He had lessons every day about becoming a clan chief. He should have been chief already, in truth. He was of age according to Karayan standards and Lucia was ready to give up her title to Hugo. Hugo, however, had refused the title as of yet. With the commotion of rebuilding that village and everything else that was happening, including the current situation with Zexen, everything had become incredibly hectic. Hugo had refused that title of Clan Chief because he doubted he could handle all of that until things calmed down a little. Now that the town had been completely rebuilt, Karaya and the rest of the Grassland clans were attempting a treaty with Zexen that the arrogant council members did not want to pass. They of course new that if they did not pass it, it could lead to another power struggle between the two countries. This of course had very little to do with Hugo until he finally accepted the title that should technically already have been his. Right now he was just looking for things to do, and it hadn't helped that Sergeant had moved back to Duck Village.
Hugo was currently heading over to the stables after just recently leaving from a training session with his mother about filling the role of chief. It was mostly settling disputes within the clan and learning about annoying political issues.
As Hugo walked through the beaten paths of the town, he couldn't believe how much bigger it was from the original. There were several more buildings and there were plenty of shops that would never have been found in Karaya previously. The largest building was the meeting hall. It was actually not really all that big, but there were few people that ever used it. It was mostly for meetings about decisions that had to be made in the town. While Hugo would have rather not been present, his mother forced him. It would also not have been very becoming for the future chief to not be informed with what was happening in the village. Fortunately, the meetings were very few in number.
Upon reaching the stables Hugo walked over to Fubar, who responded with a soft, "Kueee…"
"Hey Fubar. How's it going?" Hugo questioned the griffon as he stroked the feathers on Fubar's neck. "Wanna go out for a ride."
Fubar answered with a much louder and more excited sounding "kueee!" Hugo smiled and open took the griffon outside. Hugo never locked up Fubar in the stables. To Fubar, the stables were more like a place to lie down and rest. He could enter and leave as freely as he pleased, but he spent most of his time there because Hugo was usually busy doing something equally as boring.
Hugo mounted on Fubar and walked toward the exit to the village. He had already let his mother know that he was going to go for a ride. It seemed like it was his only escape nowadays. Once the left the village, Fubar quickly picked up speed. Mostly Hugo's riding was just aimlessly wandering the plains. Now he was currently just listening and feeling the presence of the spirits. It was always very soothing and Hugo wondered why so few humans outside of the clan ever listened to them.
"Hey Fubar, do you want to go visit Sergeant."
"Kueee…" was Fubar's response.
"I'll take that as a 'yes'."
The two galloped along the path of the plains that headed to duck village. Hugo wondered how happy Sergeant was now that he had remarried. The way things were turning out it looked like Hugo would never know what it was like to be married. He was immortal and would probably never know what true happiness was like. Hugo sighed. He wanted to be happy and get married some day even with the fact of the True Fire Rune in his right hand. Seeing Geddoe was enough to make Hugo want to find a way to be happy. Geddoe just always seemed so sad. It was really kind of eerie. He hadn't seen Geddoe or Chris since the whole ordeal with the masked bishop.
Hugo had set out early in the morning on his way to visit Sergeant. It was about an hour before noon when the village came into sight.
Fubar let out a "kueee!" and took off even faster towards the village. Hugo smiled and chuckled slightly. Silently Hugo wondered if Sergeant would even be happy to see them.
Hugo dismounted off Fubar once they finally entered the village. It appeared that this village had been expanded as well. Hugo passed the shops in the front of the village and walked through the inn to the residential part of the town. There was a soothing gentle breeze in the village today. It also had a fresh scent that would never be found in any of the Zexen establishments. The Grasslands, in Hugo's opinion, were much better.
Hugo walked to the building that he knew was occupied by Sergeant and his wife. He knocked on the wooden door and waited for a reply from the other side. The door slowly opened to reveal Sergeant's wife.
"Oh hello Hugo, looking for Sergeant?" questioned Sergeant's wife.
"Yes actually. Me and Fubar just came down to say high."
Sergeant's wife called to him and Sergeant came down a short time later.
"Hello Hugo, Fubar," said Sergeant.
"Hey Sergeant. How's married life going?"
"Oh, pretty good. We have our fights once and a while but nothing too serious. You wanna come in?"
Fubar and Hugo entered the building and Sergeant motioned Hugo to sit on the wooden sofa. Hugo complied with this. It was slightly uncomfortable but Hugo didn't mind. Fubar just stood around and let out a 'kueee…' every once and a while. Hugo and Sergeant talked for a while about what had been happening lately. Once noon approached Sergeant questioned as to whether they would like lunch. Hugo agreed, but Fubar decided to go out hunting.
Unlike the Karayan diet, which consisted mostly of meat, the Duck Clan was mostly a vegetarian group. Hugo was all right with this although he did find the food to be slightly bland as there were no spices and herbs that could be added to vegetables properly. After Hugo had eaten and Fubar had returned from hunting, they decided to head back to Karaya Village. They said their goodbyes to Sergeant and his wife and headed back home towards Karaya village.
The rest of the rest of the day had been mostly uneventful. Hugo and Fubar had enjoyed the rest of their ride home, and once they had returned it was just about time for dinner. After eating and some more training as well as physical exercise, Hugo finally turned in for the rest of the night.
Hugo dreamt during the night, but he couldn't remember what it was about. All he knew was that it made him miss his friends from Budehuc Castle. Hugo walked outside of the little hut after changing and found that, as usual, it was still dark outside. He always woke before sunrise. He walked out of the hut after strapping his curved dagger to the back of his belt and the knife to his side. Hugo still used the same knife, but now had a larger dagger on his back. He had actually grown in spite of the fact of the True Rune that he bore. It was probably due to his ability to hear the spirits, which included fire. Hugo supposed that he had cooperated with the Rune enough that it listened to his wishes. He was about six inches taller than he was the year before, and his build was now more muscular.
Hugo was headed to his mother's hut now to start his training for the day. He entered the hut and spoke to his mother.
"I'm here for my lessons," he declared.
"I've decided to cancel them for today. I need you to deliver a message to the Zexen council. I want to know what is taking the treaty so long. It's been six months since it has been set."
"Um… alright. Though… I was wondering if I might be able to take a sort of vacation while I'm delivering the message."
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know. Spending some time away from the village and visit my friends."
"Okay," came Lucia's response.
"Really?" questioned Hugo rather skeptically. "What's the catch?"
"By the end of the month you will take over as village chief."
Hugo sighed. "How much time do I get off then?"
"Are you kidding? It'll take me a week just for them to take the message. How about two."
"Alright then. You'll be gone for two weeks and by the end of the month you'll take over as Clan Chief."
Hugo sighed. He did not want to become the Clan Chief just yet but he might as well get it over with now that he was getting something useful out of the deal as well.
"Okay, I guess I can live with that," Hugo responded. "I'll see you in two weeks."
Lucia hugged her son, and Hugo returned it.
"Goodbye," said Lucia. She handed him the letter and Hugo pocketed it.
Hugo packed his things and took out Fubar. They exited and headed to Brass Castle. They would have to pass through there first and probably spend the night also. It was a rather long journey, but Hugo decided not to rush it by having Fubar fly. It would be good to travel on the ground.
Chris and the rest of the Great Knights of Zexen, accompanied by Louis, were currently headed towards the cafeteria of the Brass Castle. Chris usually ate in her room at the castle with Louis. They had just returned from patrolling the borders and Chris refused to allow Louis to cook, no matter how much he insisted. Chris felt kind of sorry for Louis. He did not want to become a knight, but it was her duty to see him transformed into one. He would get used to it eventually.
Once the seven had entered the cafeteria the line immediately seemed to get shorter. They got their food quickly and headed to an open table. People began to gather around them looking for excuses. All of the open seats near them also filled up quickly. It seemed as if they had just beaten the rush, because shortly after they entered, several other people did as well. They all seemed to look for excuses to form clusters around the knights and make idle conversation. The knights had learned to ignore this.
Chris had been granted a week's leave and would have the entire week to herself if trouble did not arise. While she loved being a knight, it was nice to get a break once and a while, even if it was short. Neither her nor anybody else in the room seemed to notice a certain two-tone haired Karayan enter the cafeteria.
It was near dinnertime by the time that Hugo and Fubar had reached the Brass Castle. Hugo did not like this place much but it was much easier to deal with than Vinay because of how alive the spirits seemed to be at Brass Castle. It was very gloomy in Vinay. Hugo had to drop off Fubar in the stables. He knew that Fubar would be locked up and hoped that he would be okay. When questioned by the stable boy what he ate, Hugo just told the boy to let out Fubar once he was hungry. He would be able to find food on his own.
Hugo walked through the castle checking the shops to see if there was anything interesting. Hugo had a good amount of funds ever since a year ago. While he had spent some of it over the course of the year, he had never had a reason to buy armor or much medicine and the blacksmith at the village sharpened his dagger for free. He seemed to have more money than he knew what to deal with. He did not find anything of interest and set his new goal on heading to the cafeteria. He was very hungry and had not eaten anything all day. He would then have to get a room to spend the night.
The cafeteria was very busy currently. Because of the time it seemed that everybody had come to eat. It would be a long wait but Hugo was okay with it. It wasn't as if he had anything to do anyways.
The room was filled with the aroma of food. It only served to make Hugo even hungrier, but he had gone for several days without eating before. There was one table that seemed to be surrounded by people. Hugo immediately saw the cause of this. The Six Knights of Zexen were currently occupying that table. People were gathered around it, but the knights seemed to ignore them for the first part and just continued eating.
Hugo picked up a plate and headed to where the food was. The line was quite long, but he just opted to wait instead of waiting for the line to die down. Fortunately nobody had recognized him as the Flame Champion yet. It was incredibly annoying the way that people seemed to idolize him and they didn't even know the first thing about him. Fortunately this didn't come up much in Zexen because the minute they saw him they simply passed him off as a 'barbarian'.
After finally getting through the line Hugo looked at all of the food. He didn't recognize any of it and chose to take a little bit of everything. Hugo did not find an open seat and just stood around like many other people waiting for one to clear. Brass Castle was really starting to get on Hugo's nerves now. He sighed and waited for a seat to open. Amazingly enough somebody left their seat that happened to be right next to the Six Knights. Hugo just shrugged and sat down. He ended up sitting next to a person who was sitting next to Leo.
"Hey, that kid looks familiar," commented Borus who was sitting across from Leo and next to Chris. Chris turned to see whom Borus was looking, and her eyes opening slightly wider.
"Hugo?" questioned Chris aloud. Hugo turned his head towards the person who spoke his name.
"Hey Chris. How's it going?" Hugo asked.
"Fine, and yourself?"
"Pretty good," replied Hugo.
"Hey wait. You're the Flame Champion," stated Borus. Everybody that heard this turned to look directly at Hugo. An awkward silence took place afterwards. This was becoming incredibly uncomfortable.
"Well… It looks like I'm finished," commented Hugo breaking the silence. "We should catch up sometime, Chris." With that Hugo stood up and was about to walk out of the cafeteria.
"You got taller," said Chris after seeing him stand up. "How?"
"I dunno. I guess the True Rune let me age a bit." With that Hugo took his plate, tossed it into a bin, and began to head out of the cafeteria. As he was leaving he caught Chris' eye and gave her one of his signature smiles, which she returned. That was the end of an incredibly odd situation.
Hugo aimlessly wandered around the Brass Castle. After a while he found the training room and found many knights sparring with wooden swords. None of them seemed particularly good. Hugo never could quite understand how anybody could possibly fight with the Zexen fighting style. It was slow and in Hugo's eyes it lacked all basic fundamentals. He supposed that the Zexens must have found a way to make it worked. They had used it for so long.
After seeing enough he headed out of the room. He opened the door to find Chris, clad in knight's armor, on the other side.
Hugo smiled. "Hello Chris. I wanted to talk to you."
Chris returned the smile. "It's nice to see you again Hugo. Yes we really should talk, but perhaps this is not the best place. Let's talk in my room."
Hugo nodded and followed shortly behind her. After walking a ways the two of them seemed to be attracting a rather large crowd.
"You'd think they've never seen a Zexen talking to a Karayan," commented Hugo. Then he chuckled. "Come to think of it, they probably haven't."
"They always stare. Just try to ignore them."
"All right." The two entered the room to find Louis there.
"Hello, Lady Chris. Would you care for some tea?"
"No thank you Louis. Would you like any Hugo?"
Hugo, having no idea what tea was, politely declined. Chris motioned for Hugo to sit down on the sofa while she sat down in a cushioned chair. Louis just kind of stood around.
"So how have you been, Hugo?" questioned Chris.
"Pretty good, how about you? Anything interesting happening lately?"
"Oh nothing really. Just the usual border conflicts. Have you become Clan Chief yet?"
"No, but that was actually part of the reason I'm here. I'm on my way to Vinay to deliver a message to the council from my mother. She gave me two weeks off if I agreed to become the Clan Chief by the end of the month. I must say I'm not really looking forward to it, but I have really been putting it off for too long anyways."
Chris smiled at this. "I think you'll make a good chief. By they way, I wanted to ask you something. Could you please explain to me how you could have aged? You are definitely much taller."
"I honestly have no idea. I think the rune understood that I was not happy about being so short and it allowed me to age another year. I'm not complaining, however."
"How are things going in the village?"
"Pretty well, actually. We have finally finished rebuilding it. It is larger than it was before. It still reminds me of Lulu though…" and he trailed off.
"I truly am sorry," said Chris sadly and Hugo could tell that she meant it.
"It wasn't your fault. Lulu knew what he was getting into. It still hurts… but I no longer care about vengeance."
Chris sighed, and Hugo found himself staring into Chris' lavender eyes.
After a moment of this Chris questioned, "What is it?"
"You have beautiful eyes…"
"Um… thank you."
Hugo shook his head and regained sense of himself. "Sorry I kind of spaced out there for a minute."
There was an awkward silence afterwards when Louis spoke, "Lady Chris, Sir Borus is here to see you."
"What? Oh, okay," replied Chris after spacing out herself for a minute.
"Lady Chris, some of the knights and I are down in the training center. Would you care to join us?" asked Borus.
"Of course. Would you like to come Hugo?" said Chris turning to Hugo.
"Um… all right, but I think I'll just watch. It would be nice to see the Zexen style used with people that can use it properly. I was down there earlier and most of them looked pretty bad."
Chris chuckled a little at this. Chris, Hugo, and Borus left the room and headed down to the training center. Louis opted to stay behind. Borus did not seem very happy about the fact that Hugo was coming along also.
They reached the training center and the knights sparred while Hugo watched. The knights definitely did the Zexen fighting style much more justice than the soldiers he had seen earlier. Chris was especially good. She defeated all of the men that she sparred. Hugo decided to try his own luck. He looked through the pile of wooden swords and found a decent sized one. It was a little longer than his dagger but it would do fine. Hugo waited for Chris' current spar to end before challenging her. It didn't take very long.
"Would you care for a duel, Chris?" asked Hugo with a big grin on his face.
Chris returned the smile and said, "Certainly."
The others in the area cleared out as they both took their offensive stances. Hugo was the first to strike. He moved with blinding speed towards Chris. He made a horizontal slash that Chris barely managed to block as she was caught off guard. Hugo quickly followed it up with a jab with the dagger the Chris backed away from and countered. It was a vertical slash that Hugo sidestepped and made his own counter. Chris parried his slash. It continued with parrying, countering, and dodging for a while as the two began to discover how each other's fighting techniques worked. Hugo's was very odd to place. Chris wondered where he could have learned it. Chris made a lunge with her sword forcing Hugo to step back. She followed it through with a horizontal slash the Hugo parried and countered. Chris dodged this attack and made a combination of a lunge and slash that caught Hugo off guard and forced him to roll backwards. He was apparently attacking only her weak spots and was moving very quickly. Chris was becoming tired and it was becoming more and more difficult to block his strikes. The teen's stamina, however, seemed to be infinite. She thought about using the True Water Rune to heal her weariness, but in her own mind that would be cheating as Hugo seemed to be doing fine without healing himself.
It appeared that in the mean time, all of the other spars had stopped. There was now a large group of people gathered around the two that were greatly interested in the duel. Chris and Hugo, however, didn't even notice them.
"Where did you learn to fight?" questioned Chris trying to by some time for her body to recover.
"I learned how to move from Fubar. Jimba taught me how to use a weapon."
Hugo nodded, and quickly charged forward with another strike. Chris, who had been thinking of her father, barely dodged his strike. Hugo then changed his grip on the weapon, and his fighting style changed drastically. He was attempting to mimic the Zexen fighting style. After a while though, Chris realized that it was a combination of the Zexen style and his own style. Hugo could not copy the Zexen style properly since he was not armored. Then something incredibly odd happened. Hugo slashed downward diagonally. As Chris blocked the attack Hugo slipped because of the bad traction on his sandals along with the accompaniment of the hard floor and fell straight to the ground. Chris lost her grip on the wooden sword, and it fell on top of Hugo. Luckily for Hugo, the flat side landed on his chest. Unluckily for Chris, she had been disarmed and Hugo possessed to weapons. Chris new the duel was over. Hugo stood up and moved towards Chris. She backed up into the wall, and Hugo crossed the two weapons beneath her chin.
Then, for the second time that day, Hugo found himself unable to focus on anything but her eyes. Chris was first to break the silence.
"You lucky son of a bitch."
Hugo smiled. "What are you talking about? That little trip of mine was completely intentional."
Chris grinned back. "I bet."
Hugo handed her back the sword that she was using and turned around. He immediately froze in his tracks.
"Whoa, we're surrounded," he commented.
"Yes, they seemed to be very interested."
"So… how do I get out of here?" Hugo walked over to where the door would be if there were not so many people in the way. They seemed incredibly stunned. "Um… excuse me?" The people cleared out and Hugo left the hall.
Borus then walked over to Chris and commented, "That barbarian just lucked out."
Chris chuckled a little. "It's okay. He probably would have ended up winning anyway. He just had to much endurance."
"You could have simple used your True Water Rune."
"I thought about that, but it would have seemed too much like cheating. Besides, he would probably be able to get in a deathblow while I was trying to use it. If you'll excuse me, I never congratulated him on his victory."
As Hugo left, he couldn't believe how lucky he had gotten. Apparently the hard floors of the Brass Castle had some advantages after. Hugo very much doubted that he would have been able to hold out much longer. He had gotten very tired by the end of that battle. Chris was an excellent fighter. She was easily the most powerful that he could ever remember facing, except perhaps the one short lived duel he had had with Yuber.
What was annoying Hugo the most, currently, was how strangely attracted he was to Chris. It was hard for him sometimes to not just stop and gaze at her beauty. That, of course, would get him some really strange looks from anybody that saw. Her knights would probably get pissed off. Borus especially seemed to have a short fuse. The oddest part was that a year ago Hugo didn't even notice Chris' looks. He was probably just too caught up in Lulu's death. It still hurt, but he felt no anger towards Chris. Such was going through Hugo's head when the person in his thoughts spoke to him.
"Hugo, you didn't stay long enough to allow me to congratulate you," spoke Chris.
Hugo turned around and gave a bashful grin while he scratched the back of his head. "There's no need for that. I shouldn't have even won."
"I would like to ask you something, however. How do you endure for so long?"
This caused Hugo to break out laughing.
"What's so funny?"
"I wanted to ask you the same thing. I thought I was going to die out there."
Hugo nodded. Well I really need to get a room it'll be getting late soon and I don't really want to wait until the last minute.
"Wait, I'll come with you."
"Um… all right, but won't the other knights get… I dunno… they act really strange sometimes…" Hugo finally managed to get out after spending forever trying to figure out how to word that particular sentence.
"Don't worry about them. They always act really strange."
Hugo smiled. After the two had gotten them a room Hugo spoke.
"Well, I guess I'll just hang out in the room. There's not really much else to do. I'll be leaving in the morning, but I'll come back in a few days. It'll depend on how long the council takes to listen to me. It took forever last time."
Chris nodded and walked away.
Chris was just about to enter her room when she thought of something. She should probably invite Hugo to eat breakfast with Louis and herself in the morning. Chris turned around and walked back to where she had just come from. She stood outside the door and was just about to knock when she heard Hugo talking to himself inside. She meant to cut him short by rapping at the door, but her curiosity got the better of her. She pressed her ear to the door and listened.
"Spirits, I cannot believe I am falling for Chris," said Hugo slightly exasperated. Chris' eyes widened at the sound of this. "I can't be falling for a Zexen captain. It doesn't matter that she's beautiful, smart, great to be around… hell, who am I kidding. She's perfect." After hearing this Chris blushed so hard that her face invented a brand new shade of red. Chris quickly walked away, not wanting to eavesdrop anymore. She did not look back as she turned into the next hall. She leaned against the wall and slid to the ground, wrapping her arms around her knees.
This would definitely cause difficulties to a lot of things. Hugo hadn't made any direct passes at her yet. She decided to pretend that she never heard him. Perhaps he would never try anything. She did not want to complicate her life right now by thinking about how she felt towards Hugo. He was just a good friend. Well since she was pretending she had never heard him, she should still invite Hugo to breakfast. Chris sighed and stood up. She had waited long enough to take away any suspicion that she might have been listening. The Zexen captain walked up to the door and knocked.
Hugo opened the door and smiled. "Lady Chris, what is it?"
"Did you just call me 'Lady Chris'? You never call me 'Lady Chris'."
Hugo just shrugged. "Sorry. So what did you want to ask?"
"I was wondering if you would like to join me and Louis for breakfast tomorrow morning before you leave."
He seemed to think about this for a moment. "Okay, why not. How early and where?"
"We can eat in my room. Come as soon as you're ready."
"Um… I usually wake up before sunrise unless the bed is really comfortable. I'll just wait a little after I'm awake and show up. Is that okay?"
Chris nodded. "Of course."
"Well, good night, Chris. Pleasant dreams."
"You, too." Chris then headed to her own room, removed her armor, and changed into her pajamas. She really hoped that the rest of her life would not be as hectic as it looked like it was about to become.
Author Notes: Amazing! I actually finished the first chapter. It only took me three days! Damn, I must be dedicated. Oh, and if you're wondering about why Hugo grew, I know that that isn't the way the True Runes work. I'm sorry, but I just could not write a Chris/Hugo story without Hugo being about six inches taller. He just looks too much like a kid next to her when he's short. By the way, if you're wondering and don't know, Hugo is 15 during SIII and Chris is 22. This would make Hugo 16 now and Chris 23. It's only a 7-year difference. I look at it this way, though. Since it's like Hugo aged a year and Chris didn't, he's only 6 years younger. Oh, and Geddoe is 112. If you're wondering about him he will make an appearance in the story, just not for a while. If there are a lot of errors in this story I'm sorry. I didn't proofread it myself because I wanted to post it so quickly. I'll go back through it and make corrections later. Okay… um… bye until the next chapter. I will hopefully be able to get it out soon. Oh and by the way: please review. Reviews make my writing oh so much quicker. Even if you flame, I'm okay with it as long as it is done intelligently. Don't tell me that it sucks. Tell me why it sucks. Happy Writing.