Disclaimer: Characters depicted in the story aren't mine. They belong to Konami.

Fire and Water

When and how did it happen? He was only a boy to me before but now...

The war has finally ended. Warriors from the Grasslands and knights from Zexen started to leave for their respective homelands. There was an air of both joy and sadness in Budehuc Castle, the home they had considered during the hard months of fear and vulnerability. Joy for they won the battle against Luc, a mad Harmonian bishop who wanted to destroy the balance of the world in order to salvage it, and sadness for it could mean the end of the Zexen-Grasslands camaraderie.

Chris Lightfellow, the Captain of the famous six Zexen Knights, watched as the people in the castle depart to return to their homes. Her gaze swept on the different races which united against a common threat. No one could have thought that the Grasslanders and the Zexens could overcome their differences and fight side by side.

Yet, inevitably, her gaze settled on a group of Karayans who are readying themselves for their journey. And on the boy. yes, the boy has always caught her attention. He was talking to a duck. Sgt. Jordi, she presumed for she had made it a point to know more about him. He flexed his strong arms and looked at his right hand, then ran his other hand through his blond head. He was saying something to his companion.

He has grown up. She thought as she watched him from the corner of her eye. The True Fire Rune that he had inherited must have done that to him. They were discussing something serious, and then he was suddenly smiling over something Sgt. Joe said. Again, she felt the familiar tug deep inside of her. What is wrong with me?

"Lady Chris," she started when she heard Salome, her trusted adviser, call her. He walked toward the Silver Maiden. "We must be on our way."

She nodded and said. "We must bid our goodbyes to the Karayan Chief." And to Hugo.

-"A handshake could have sufficed. But why did he have to hug me?" -"It was the Karayan way of saying goodbye." -"I know but he smelled so nice. So fresh... Like the meadow." -"IT DIDN'T MEAN ANYTHING! HE STILL HATES YOU!"

Two weeks has passed since she last saw Hugo. Yet their farewell has haunted her ever since. Her knightly duties weren't enough to keep her occupied anymore. They weren't enough to stop her from thinking too much of the Karayan. Why now? This has never happened before!

"Chris, did you want to tell me something?" Percival interrupted her thoughts as they rode in a leisure pace across the plains. The dark haired knight furrowed his brows in concern. "I always can tell if you're troubled, you realize?"

It was just the two of them. Percival has always been a good friend. She even treats him like a big brother, and she a little sister to him. Among the knights, he was the one she could really talk to, seriously or otherwise. That is why she invited him to ride with her. Perhaps he would understand her dilemma.

"I just wanted to clear my head." No, she couldn't tell him. He scoffed.

"Clearing your head always implied that you are anxious." Percival smiled and coaxed her. "Come on, you can tell me."

"W-Well," she started, "I'm having these dreams."

"About what?" Percival asked when she didn't continue. Chris blushed and remained silent. "Ah, could it be a 'who'?"

He thought for a moment. "Is it Borus?"


"Nash?" Percival pretended to be shocked. "He is married, you know?"

"I know he's married!" Chris cried indignantly. "And it's not Nash."

"I know. I was merely teasing." He laughed. There was a long silence before he continued, amusement gone from his eyes. "It's Hugo, isn't it?"

"H-How did you--?"

"I saw the way you look at him."