This work is complete and utter speculation. For those of you familar with Langrisser and it's five or so chapters, this may well explain the existance of the character Sherry and her reason for being a child of light. For anyone else, this probably makes little sense.
A small disclaimer: this corresponds with discussions on the subject by a couple of people who really, in essense, had nothing better to do than sit around and chat. I don't claim to own these characters. I'm just borrowing them for a while.
A last note: This was written exclusively by me! HolyUp Chacha. Any critique is welcome. Oh yea. If there are typos, I apologize. It's 2:30am and a revision of something I'd written a long time ago. I'm bound to miss a few things. :P
Creation of a Future: A Langrisser Story
The woods were deep that night, filled with the sounds of living things making their way in the dark. All around the small clearing that served as a temporary camp, young men and soldiers of rank, like her, were scattered about and sleeping. The young warrior woman sat still, perched upin a log that had been dragged closer to a small fire. Light blue eyes shadowed by thought lay trained upon the flickering oranges and reds of the fire warming her front.
Images of her childhood flashes before her eyes. Unhappy times of her youngest days when her parents had been first killed, leaving her orphaned and under the care of King Issac. Memories of the first time she'd picked up a practice sword flooded her senses with nostalgia as they were quickly followed by the pride she'd felt winning her first sparring match. Dancing within the flames before her, figures of her past played out the events that would eventually lead to her current station and the reason why she was out here in the woods, one days march away from Issac's now conquered kingdom.
She could still recall the castle burning around her, the sound of metal on metal ringing in her ears as she fought to stay by her king's side. Ranked as one of Issac's most trusted generals, Namu's loyalty to the man that raised her and allowed her to weild a weapon when most girls were sentenced to the drudgery of the kitchens was absolute. It had been with a heavy heart that she followed his last orders to her. Orders to leave the fighting and take the sacred sword, Langrisser, to his son who had already escaped.
"It's almost time," she mumbled, not realizing that the words were out loud. Her thoughts had been so focused upon the past. Startled by the sound of her own voice within the stillness of the night, the warrior girl - a girl not even in her twenties yet - cast a wary eye about to see if she had called attention to her embarassing blunder. Luckily, it looked as though she hadn't. The only sounds that came to her now were the gentle snorting of horses and the occasional snore coming from many of the men in the encampment.
A hand lifted to brush back the thick, and overly long, bangs of lavendar hair from her sky colored eyes. The circlet of gold at her brow felt cool against the back of her hand, the mythril wing at the side a comforting, soothing weight. Tonight, she had decided earlier in the day. Tonight she would tell the king's son what she should have years ago.
Her gaze swept over the sleeping encampment, not quite able to keep herself from wondering just how many of the men around her would die or be injured in the upcoming battle between her forces and those who'd conquered the kingdom of the man she'd come to think of as a father figure. She would have to be strong, her brilliant tactician's mind sharp. They trusted in her. She couldn't and wouldn't let them down. Even after so many years of training and of being involved with border skirmishes, it was hard to see faces of the innocent men under her command. Some of these men she had fought alongside on past campaigns. Some were men who had gathered under the banner of her Lord only days before.
Not wanting to become lost within her thoughts again, Namu slowly stood. She was silent in her movements, her stocky, almost mannish frame slipping easily from what was left of her heavy armored garments. She was soon left in but her light blue tunic and the stockings used to keep her legs and feet from chafing under the heavy metal coverings. She has chosen to leave her armor behind for the weight in her mind was more than enough to carry on her shoulders this night.
It took only a few moments to slip over and around the sleeping men and she made her way towards the edge of the clearing. She didn't look back, not once. To look back would only lead to a loss of nerve and that would have shamed her honour. Quickly, but quietly, Namu made her way towards a small stream she and her men had passed earlier in their march. She had chosen it especially because it had seemed secluded and reminded her of her childhood.
Namu paused just before stepping out into the meager fare the served as the scraggly clearing centered about the stream. A young man was there, standing beneath a stand of tall conifers. He was tall and broad shoulderd, his lean frame clothed in a lightly padded black bodysuit, the kind one would wear for comfort beneath heavy, total body armor.
Namu's breath seemed to catch as she watched the young man run his hand through thick, unruly red hair. How beautiful he seemed to her, then, and the image of him there, standing in the waning light of the crescent moon, caused butterflies to tickle her stomach. Her heart beat faster within her chest and it was only after a few moments that she realized she'd been holding her breath. Exhaling, the general run her fingers through her hair and stepped forwards. Her foot was deliberately placed upon a dry branch and it cracked to announce her presense.
The young man turned, his large hands reaching towards his side for a blade in a habitual reaction. While his training prepared him for the onslaught of a surprise attack, he seemed to have forgotten that his blade, the mighty sword Langrisser, wasn't where it should be. Chagrined, the youth raised his eyes away from his waist and towards the figure now entering fully into view. It took only a moment for a grin to transform an otherwise serious face into an expression of unabashed pleasure.
"Namu!" he greeted enthusiastically. Almost in an afterthought, his grin turned sheepish, creating a boyish charm that was all his own; the volume of his voice dropped. "I got your message. Here I am. What's on your mind, and why all the secrecy?" The young man's hands left his sides and were then crossed over the broad expanse of his chest. His stance, formerly on the offensive, relaxed and he settled back onto his heels.
Namu cast the red haired youth a wry grin. "You'll wake the dead if you aren't careful," she teased in that usual dry tone. "Or the rest of the camp for that matter. You'll never change, Ledin, no matter what happens to you." The general could feel her cheeks warming and that familiar thunderous beating of her heart began to echo in her ears once again. Ledin's grin always seemed to do that to her. All the memories associated with it found their way to the surface of the young woman's thoughts. Memories of the two of them practicing their sword techniques, playing in ponds together, running around the castle and shouting in their games.
She stopped her approach once she had reached the red head, seeming surprised that she had already come this far into the clearing. And so quickly at that. Allowing her thoughts to run away with her was not typical and she had to give herself a mental slap to stay focused on why she had come.
She was standing only a few inches away, now, and acutely aware of the presense that Ledin commanded. He was her Lord, king of her homeland, now that his father, Issac, was dead. But he was also tall and broad, even without the help of his bulky battle armor. It still amazed her to see how he had gone from a skinny kid that she'd delighted in teasing, to a young man that made her heart flutter embarassingly. Namu tilted her head to the side, hiding her unease for the moment, and rested a hand above her hip to reguard him. As she gazed up at the young man, her eyes grew wistful. It was all she could do to fight off the nostalgia that had been keeping her captive all night.
"Ledin," she started, her voice becoming uncharacteristically hesitant. "There's something I needed to speak with you about."
Unused to seeing this side of his long time friend, the boyish cast to Ledin's features disapeared, returning it to its former mass of angles and contours. "Of course, Namu. What is it? Is there a problem with the troops?" His mind fought to think of anything that would cause the mighty Namu to sound so unsure. And, somehow, trouble with his army didn't seem the likely cause. His typical male thought patterns just couldn't seem to fathom the mind of women. Particularly a woman he'd known since childhood. She'd been acting strangely for a few days now, and he hoped that this talk she'd wanted would clear up what was bothering her.
Namu shook her head. "No, no problems with the men." She stood silently, then, uncertain on how to proceed. Ledin, seeing the unease presenting itself on his general's face, raised his hands and settled then on her shoulders. Giving them a light squeeze, he offered Namu a reassuring smile.
"Go on," he encouraged quietly. "Tell me what's bothering you. Kris tells me how much better it is to share your troubles. I can see it," he added, then, as Namu tried to pull from his grasp with a shake of her head; already she was losing her nerve. Running away wasn't becoming such a bad idea. To hell with her sense of honour. Ledin continued, his hands warm on his general's shoulders. "I can see it written all over you face." He saw something, anyway. "You never could hide anything from me."
Mighty Namu, often unbeaten in swordsmanship and a brilliant strategist, seemed to sag under Ledin's hands. She had become resigned to hearing mention of the red haired healer, Kris, and it was was more than obvious, especially to Namu, that Ledin was in love. /And it's not with me./ How easily that thought came to Namu now. But still, she thought, lifting her gaze to meet Ledin's own concerned, crimson stare. I have to tell him. To get on with my own life, I have to. Taking a slow, deep breath of the chilly night air, Namu steeled herself and said, in a rather blunt and rushed manner, "You're in love with Kris."
The abrupt statement caught Ledin off his guard and he dropped his hands to his sides. The bridge of his nose began to warm with a blush the large youth just couldn't deny. He had been growing closer to the other woman during the campaign back to his ruined homeland, and now he was certain that it was love. After that brief moment of thought, he nodded. "I am, yes." There was no sense in lying to his friend, nor avoiding the subject. He knew that Namu would simply dog him until he gave an answer.
He was certain of it, Namu saw. The instant the words left Ledin's mouth, the hope that she had kept so carefully nurtured deep within her lock away heart. The hope that had weighed heavier upon her than any armor ever could, died. The agony of it left her feeling hollow and empty inside. Closing her eyes to avoid looking into the face of the man she'd grown up with, the faintest of smiles began to turn up the corners of her mouth. "She'll make you a good queen. She's kind," she whispered softly.
A look of utter bewilderment captured Ledin's expression as he stared at his friend for her odd behavior. "Namu? What-" he started to say, but, slowly, he was coming to understand. It was starting to make sense. How had he not seen it before? He who called her heart friend. "Namu, I-"
Again he stopped speaking, but this time he was quieted by Namu's slender finger pressing against his lips. She had opened her eyes; her smile had become one of vague, almost sad, amusement. "Now you get it, don't you?" Namu chuckled softly. "You always were the slowest of us. I love you." The confession came easily, and suddenly. It had come much easier than she had though it would.
Ledin's hand had come up to gently grasp and pull Namu's hand from his mouth. But now, at her confession, his hand tightened around hers, eyes going wide as he pulled her hand in to press against his chest. It was true; he hadn't seen it before. He stared down at Namu. His brain was going fuzzy and his thoughts were skittering about like drunken mice jammed in a box that still smelled of cheese.
"If I hadn't met Kris.." he trailed, absently. Truly, if he hadn't met Kris, he now realized, he'd probably have ended up loving Namu as his wife. Namu, his childhood friend who had looked out for him, helped him in his training, cared for him and believed in him. Even now as he was campaigning to reclaim the throne so ruthlessly torn from his now dead father's grasp, Namu was here, supporting him.
Namu, who loved him.
As he gazed down into the crystaline blue depths of Namu's eyes, his expression of surprise softened to become fond, more affectionate. Looking deeply into those eyes hidden within the shadows of night and those infernal bangs, he smiled, looking rueful. "I'm sorry," he began as his free hand lifted to brush back the hair from Namu's face.
It was as far as he got, however, for Namu was already beginning to lean up. Using the hand already clasped against Ledin's chest as balance, she silenced him with a gentle kiss. And, for a brief, sweet moment, she was able to forget about Kris and the world beyond the stream in the dark of night. The hand not held held swept up to press in behind Ledin's head, her touch feathery and light.
In that brief, tender moment, Ledin, too forgot about everything. For once, Kris' smiling face didn't intrude upon his thoughts to distract him. He marveled at the softness of Namu's lips, his mind awhirl with the wonder of it. Never before had he seen this woman as anyone but the warrior she had tried so hard to be. His hand soon dropped from Namu's face to rest lightly against the stiff material of the pale purple belt the securely fastened her tunic to her.
As the kiss ended, Namu drew her head back, standing lightly on the ground proper once more. Her breathing had grown unsteady to match the quickened pace of her heart. She could feel her cheeks flushing with warmth. Her own boldness had caught her in surprise and she could only stare at Ledin in silence. She fervently hoped that he wouldn't be upset with her for acting thusly.
Ledin drew his head back after a moment, a look of quiet wonder settling upon his face. His gaze dropped back to meet Namu's and something seemed to spark between the two, although no words were spoken. Neither could have found the right words if they had tried. It was all in the light caress of Namu's hand against the nape of Ledin's neck. In the light pressure of Ledin's hand above Namu's hip. The two hands pressed against Ledin's chest disentangled as the pair met for another tender kiss, their arms sliding around the other to gather them in closer.
Tears leaked from the corners of Namu's eyes as the empty place left in her chest was filled and over flowing with emotion. Ledin was giving her a precious a gift. He was giving her a special kind of goodbye. It was in every kiss and in every gentle touch. Tomorrow, they would return to being childhood friends. Tomorrow they would lead an army into their homeland and take it back for their people. And tomorrow, Namu would carry the future of children of the light within her.