Disclaimer: Suikoden is the property of Konami.


As he trudged down the forest path back to Rokkaku, Sasuke had a vague recollection of the rumors that were flying around Gregminster and Banner. All talk was now only about the Masked Bishop and his group of merry True Rune Destroyers who had wreaked havoc upon the Grasslands. There was also gossip about the 'young Flame Champion' who defeated the Masked Bishop with his True Fire Rune, and the 'spirit of the original Flame Champion' being rekindled. As if it was possible for a guy who was dead and gone to come back to life. The original flame champion had sealed off his rune and died, so how could he have 'magically' come back to life? Sasuke had never understood magic anyways…best to leave that to the magicians.

Also, many children had begun to idolize Captain Geddoe of Harmonia, and sporting an eye patch over one eye was becoming very fashionable indeed. The man was reportedly believed to hold a true rune, and also to have fought alongside the Flame Champion and the original Fire Bringer. But for some reason Sasuke was remembering Captain Gengen and his fan followers.

And of course, what would an epic be, if there wasn't a beautiful, daring woman sidekick either? There was the famous Lady Chris of Zexen, whose single blow could fell an entire army. If anything, he found it amusing the way people would stretch a story to such unbelievable extents. He wasn't saying that a woman was unable to fight decently; he'd seen plenty of women warriors who were stronger than him. But he found the 'took on an army by herself' bit a little nonsensical.

People these days considered news to be like a rubber band. You bend it, break it, and twist it till it suited your country's political power and economy. Pretty soon, traders would start flocking to Zexen only to hear all about Lady Chris' fantastic exploits.

He dismissed the thoughts, getting irritated that a little thing like that had upset him. These were idle rumors; after years of training, he shouldn't have gotten so annoyed about it.

He sighed. If there had been another gathering of Stars, Luc would have most certainly been there. Along with the dumb tablet. It had been almost two decades since he'd seen his friend. Futch still kept in touch, but a few months ago, he'd stopped writing as well. As for Luc…he hadn't the faintest what became of the wind mage.

He snorted. The old grouch was probably holed up in Leknaat's tower, following his mentor's every beck and call. What a lovely life, having someone make all your decisions for you. Luc had always been like that, unwilling to set his foot down and do something apart from what Leknaat told him to do. For Pete's Sake, he even joined the Allied Forces because Leknaat told him to!

He had been a real enigma. Although he far from a born leader, he had his ways when it came to putting people down and making snide remarks. He was gifted in his art, and was respected for it, yet he never really respected others' arts. But strangely, the three of them still managed to become good friends…

They were far from similar, to boot.

Maybe it was time he took a break from his work and visited the Toran Republic. Both Magician's Island and the Dragon's Den were situated there anyways…

If he found time, that was. He had recently taken up Varkas' gate keeping job, and his only business was to escort people to the capital and back to the national border. Easier said than done, because each trip took almost a day to complete, especially because of all the new bandit groups that lived in the forest. Visiting old friends was impossible, he realized, and this was a sacrifice he had to make.

He yawned loudly and realized it was already past midnight. His mistake for starting after noon, anyways. Placing his bottle and weapon on the ground under an old tree, he settled down for the night.

He listened to the crickets, feeling his mind drift idly.

Luc…Futch…wonder how those two are doing…And Bright will be a giant by now…can't imagine that pest all grown up.

A peaceful expression settled on his face. He drifted off to sleep.


A/N: Terribly short, I know. And I know he can't sleep under a tree in the night, cause of lack of oxygen or whatever…(mumble). Reviews appreciated…

And if he seems a little OOC, forgive me. I honestly can't imagine Sasuke a grown man of twenty-nine (looks afraid).