Disclaimer: NAMCO Tales Studio, Ltd. holds the exclusive rights to all characters and story elements appearing in the video game Tales of Symphonia. The following story has been created for entertainment purposes only, and no profit has been made by the author. The author is not affiliated with NAMCO, nor has NAMCO endorsed the story's contents.
The text of this story may not be reproduced in any manner, print or electronic, without prior permission from the author, save for short passages for comment or review.
Insofar as copyright laws are able to protect this work, it is so protected.
Note: Many character and place names in the game are drawn from mythological sources. These names, originally appearing in ancient stories and oral traditions, are under no copyright restrictions. However, the manner in which they are presented is under copyright to the aforementioned NAMCO. The characters of Hikari and Suzumebachi have been created by the author specifically for this story. Anyone wishing to use these characters, please be so kind as to e-mail the author at with the subject line: Tales of Symphonia question.
Setting: Based on the Sheena ending of ToS, this story chronicles the sometimes awkward, sometimes frustrating, but always endearing romance of Lloyd and Sheena. Eleven months into their Exsphere hunting journey, they're headed for some well-deserved downtime in Iselia, where Zelos shortly arrives with grave news. The trouble the two worlds have had adjusting to their new unified state has reached a crisis point. A clash of ideals has arisen based on Tethe'alla's having been a monarchical society with all political power vested in the king of Meltokio and Sylvarant's surface having been dotted with generally unaffiliated city-states. As Genis puts it, "Freedom or fealty. Eventually one will win out." Frightened that freedom will win that struggle, the king decides on a course of action: conquer all of Sylvarant at any cost.
Obviously, Lloyd and his friends won't take this lying down. Friendships are tested, alliances broken, and, in the middle of it all, two people come to terms with their responsibilites as heroes and their devotion to one another, learning that love is never as simple as "happily ever after."
Pairings: Mutual Sheloyd; one-sided Colloyd; one-sided Sheena x Orochi; a skosh of Gesea
Storylines: Lloyd and Sheena's romantic troubles; the king of Meltokio's empire dreams; genetically engineered super soldiers; Mithos's menace from beyond the grave; Lloyd vs. Orochi; Colette and Presea's quest to find Martel; Kratos's dramatic return; startling revelations about Dirk and Altessa; a new summoner; Sheena's lessons on leadership.
The Swordsman and the Summoner
Book 1: Gathering the Troops
Chapter 1: A short vignette about a sickly Colette
"Is that it? I was just getting started."
Sheena Fujibayashi cast an over-the-shoulder glance at the bodies of her fallen opponents, a pair of archers and an armored swordsman who had managed to join up with a witch. Bandits most likely, they probably thought the witch made them invincible. She was the first to go down. One of the first rules of warfare Sheena learned on her journeys—always take out the magic user first.
Hers was a false bravado, however. In truth, she was exhausted. Had the battle lasted much longer, she just might have lost. She sighed, at last tucking the spell card she had been absently twirling into the inner pocket of her gi. The fights were more difficult now that she had only one traveling companion. The enemies nowadays were less powerful than those of the past, but four against two were difficult odds no matter how lackluster the opponent. And, with so many criminals roaming the fields, there were plenty of opponents to be had. Not surprising. The times were confusing.
Scarcely a year ago, Sylvarant and Tethe'alla, two worlds that had existed simultaneously on slightly different planes of existence, were fused into one. Or rather, refused. No that doesn't work. Re-fused? Fused again? Restored—yes, that will do nicely. In the beginning, the worlds had been one. But to bring an end to the Kharlan war, Mithos, the Hero of Legend, wielding the Eternal Sword, had split the world in twain. He had hoped this would bring peace. The four thousand years of cycling between war and famine then prosperity since the splitting proved Mithos's a false hope. Lloyd Irving, the second Mithos, Mithos as he should have been, had restored the world. But just as Mithos's designs did not come to pass, neither did Lloyd's. At least they hadn't yet. Conflict and war still raged, and the people were still frightened.
Fear of the Desians, the half-elven oppressors of humanity, had formerly kept some would-be bandits on guard. But the Desians were mostly gone now. Scattered groups remained, and she and her companion periodically ran across them on their journey. Those battles were usually fierce but decisive. Her ninja skills and his swordsmanship complemented one another perfectly—she smiled at this thought—though, admittedly, they could have used a healer. Miracle gels had eaten up most of their gald reserve. On one memorable occasion they stumbled upon a group of Desians enslaving humans. Her companion had feared this was the beginning of a new human ranch: a factory that transformed humans into devices known as Exspheres that enhanced a person's natural offensive and defensive capabilities. They never discovered whether this were the case. They slaughtered the Desians without questioning them and freed the captives.
The power vacuum created by the sweeping defeat of the Desians had given rise to roving bands of raiders. It took most of the king's soldiers to maintain peace. Smaller groups, like the one she had just fought, had free reign.
Add to that the rumors circulating that the goddess Martel was a fraud. The religion that had pervaded both worlds had split. Some denied Martel altogether. No deity meant no judgment and the freedom to do as they pleased. Others clung to the goddess more fiercely. One particularly radical sect of militant Martel devotees had convinced themselves that the Chosen's group, the group of eight that had set out to regenerate the two worlds, were Martel's enemies. They had put out a hit on the group a few months back—put out a hit? More like started a war. Sheena recalled the events with a sigh. Barely escaped that one, she thought.
The sect had preached that the appearance of Derris-Kharlan, the third world, a year before had signaled the final awakening of Martel and her triumph over the Chosen's group. In a way they had been right. Martel was back. Sheena had not seen Martel with her own eyes, but Lloyd had. And she trusted Lloyd.
"I thought the regeneration of the world was supposed to make people treat others with respect," her companion said, gesturing to the fallen archers. "But they're still hurting each other."
Sheena smiled. "Patience, Lloyd. Altamira wasn't built in a day."
"What's Altamira have to do with this?"
She sighed. "It's an expression."
"Oh. You think they have any new rides?"
"Yeah," Lloyd scratched his chin thoughtfully. "We haven't been there in months. Maybe they have some new rides."
Sheena shook her head. "Regal's been directing all his company's resources to rebuilding the world. I doubt there's been time to create any new rides."
"Too bad," Lloyd said. "Hey, remember the time you threw up on the cups ride?"
"It flew everywhere."
"Then Genis threw up."
"But, Lloyd, that—"
"Then I threw up."
"What is it, Sheena?"
"That wasn't me. That was Colette."
"Are you sure? I was pretty sure it was you."
Sheena sighed. She reached into her bag and produced a small flask, which she tossed to Lloyd.
"Mmm. Apple gel. Thanks, Sheena. You're a great friend.
"She blushed. "You looked like you needed it."
Lloyd settled onto the ground as he worked at removing the cork stopper from the flask. He pulled at it with his teeth and only succeeded in biting off a chunk of bitter-tasting cork. He groaned.
Sheena laughed, walked over and sat down beside him. She took the flask, turned it over, tapped the bottom, and mumbled a short incantation. The cork began to slide out, and she righted the flask before it could spill.
"Thanks," he said and wolfed down the healing contents.
Sheena rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. Had she kept them open, she would have seen a brief smile play across his features.
Resting her head on Lloyd's shoulder was one of the little things Sheena did to convey her true feelings. She couldn't come right out and tell him. The man was supposed to initiate these relationships. That's the way it had always been done in Mizuho. True, she wasn't in Mizuho now, nor had she been to the village in some months. But she would someday return, perhaps permanently, especially if things didn't work out with Lloyd. Mustn't think like that! And as successor to the village's chief she would be the caretaker of its traditions. If anyone should behave according to these traditions, it was she.
This was, of course, simply an excuse. The real reason she left only those hints—plausible deniability. She was afraid of rejection. Suppose Lloyd didn't return her feelings. What did I say about this line of thought? Should he confront her about them, these little hints could easily be brushed off. "Ha ha ha. Love you? Lloyd, I rested my head on your shoulder because I was tired! Honestly, you're so funny." or "We're friends, Lloyd. Friends can touch one another like this. Doesn't mean a thing." She could frame these words in her mind, but it would be harder than forging a new pact solo to say them without tears.
In the elven village of Heimdall she had come closest to telling him how she felt. "I want to be with you," she said. He thought she meant this journey. Even as she spoke, she knew that had been how he would interpret her words. The next day he would have to fight a very personal battle. It wouldn't have been fair to burden him with her feelings. She hadn't wanted him to understand. It had been enough that she had understood the true impact of her words. Managing to say them had been a personal victory.
Lloyd began to speak, but was cut off by a sharp bark. He stood. "Now that the monsters are gone, Noishe's finally decided to show his face again. Let's get going."
"Already," Sheena moaned. "But I'm exhausted."
Lloyd laughed. "I thought you were 'just getting started.'"
"Obviously," she quipped, "I was joking."
Last Modified: 06 October 2006