Disclaimer: I don't own any part of Sorcerer Hunters. This fanfiction is for entertainment purposes only and is in no way for profit.

A Tale of Enduring Love

The children cried out happily as the old woman shuffled slowly into the room. They eagerly clamored around her, helping her to her favorite chair, placing a pillow behind her back, wrapping a fire warmed blanket around her thin legs, before finally crowding close to her and sitting at her feet.

"Tell us about the Man on the Mountain!" they exclaimed together.

"The Man on the Mountain, eh?" the old woman asked. "Why would you want to hear that story children? Why not the story of the Prince and the Dragon?" she smiled, waiting for the expected response.

"No! NO!" they cried, "The Man on the Mountain!"

"Alright children! Alright," she laughed.

"The story of the Man on the Mountain is a tale of patience and true love…" she began.

"Began over a thousand years ago, when our world was very different from what it is now. It was an age of magic and evil. Of valiant warriors and wicked sorcerers.

This battle barely touched our peaceful valley, but we were not without our own perils.

Every hundred years, the spirit of the lake on the mountain would form a human body and call upon a normal person in order to judge mankind. It was a ritual as old as the human race, but it was always feared. If found wanting of goodness, the lake would turn into a raging flood and wash away the villages. But, even if the person was found not to be evil, the chosen representative always died. For this reason, on every hundredth year, no one would venture to the lake for fear of their lives./

It was on one such year, on the chosen day, that a band of noble warriors happened upon the path to the lake and – not knowing the tale of the lake – decided to visit it.

One member journeyed ahead of the rest of his group.

He was a young man, barely beyond being a boy. Rambunctious and energetic, he was slightly lecherous but very selfless.

While walking the shores of the lake, he met a small child. After offering her a sprig of berries as a token of his affection they spent the day together, playing silly games and climbing rocks for flowers. But, just before his companions arrived, the girl disappeared, leaving behind the sprig of berries he had given to her.

It was a few hours later that the now morose boy was 47again walking by himself by the lakeshore that he saw a young lady who was quite close to his own age.

The boy quickly retrieved the sprig of berries and offered it again to the new girl as a token of his affection.

Together, they sat on a rock and talked of various pleasant things until one of the boy's companions happened upon them. However, before the companion could confront the mysterious girl, this one too disappeared, again leaving behind the sprig of berries.

Later that night, while the rest of his group was talking around the campfire they had built, the boy suddenly felt the need to return to the lake where he again met another girl. This one was a very beautiful woman, several years older than himself.

Together they shared a pleasantly competitive run along the lakeshore. When they stopped, the boy offered the sprig of berries to this woman asking her if she was the young child and the girl from before.

Surprised, the woman asked how he knew.

The boy told her that when he fell in love with a girl, he would remember everything about her for the rest of his life.

You see, while he had always been quick to fall in love, his love, while slightly lecherous, was always true. For a smile he would gladly walk into a blazing furnace.

The woman, whose name she revealed to be Lake, told for the first time since creation her story.

She told him how she was the spirit of the living lake who tested an individual every hundred years to determine if mankind was worthy to live in the Sacred Valley.

She told him how for every hundred years, she got one day of life.

At sunrise she was born from the lake. In the morning she was a child. In the evening she was a young girl. In the midnight and early day hours she was a grown woman. And in the pre-dawn hours she became an old woman before vanishing back into the lake at dawn.

Even then, she could only spend a short time out of the lake to live these stages of her brief life.

She told him that the next time he saw her, she would be old and withered woman.

In the pre-dawn hours, the young warrior walked across the magically hardened water surface to meet Lake for the last time for a hundred years.

Their final meeting was sweet and sad.

He presented to her once again the sprig of berries he had given to her in her every form of life, telling her that even now, she was a beautiful woman. Then he asked her if he could come back to this lake in a hundred years to play with her again.

Lake smiled and cried at his kindness, telling him that she looked forward to seeing him again.

She told him that the minutes of the day had been like weeks for her, but they had been filled with happiness and joy, and she would never forget him for all of time.

With the first rays of the morning sun, she turned into a glowing orb of light that sunk deeper into the lake, turning younger the further into the water she went.

Her final words were 'Goodbye my love!'"

The old woman paused in the story then.

"But Nana, that's not the end of the story!" one little girl protested.

"No, child. Indeed it is not.

While the years passed, the boy fought much evil and helped save our world from destruction. You see, he was not an ordinary man, but housed the spirit of a god within his body. With this power he was able to save our world, but his aging was slowed to a crawl compared to the rest of the world.

When a hundred years had passed, true to his word, he returned to the lake on the mountain to be with his love again.

Again, he watched over her life as a child, as a girl, as a woman, and as an old lady, and again he asked if he could play with her again in a hundred years.

And so, time went by.

For every hundred years, the man on the mountain got to spend one day with his true love. For a time, he spent the hundred year wait traveling, but eventually, he settled into a house he built on the mountain and waited for his love patiently there.

And thus he spent his life, patiently waiting for his love to return.

Waiting a hundred years for one day of bliss with his beloved.

But, eventually, even his slowed aging caught up with him. And one day, when Lake came forth from her watery home, she found an old and withered man, barely clinging to life in order to see his love one last time.

Together, they spent one final day together, watching the peaceful waves of the waters as Lake held her elderly love gently as she aged through the changing day.

And at dawn, only slightly before Lake had to return to the watery depths of the ancient lake, she held her love in her old arms as he smiled up at her one last time before closing his mortal eyes forever.

And Lake, as old as the world, cried for her love because he was her first love.

When she turned back into a glowing orb of light, she clung tightly to her beloved, causing his body to change with her.

To her shock, as their combined orb of light descended into the water, she watched as they grew younger together. The years slipping away from both of them until as a child, the boy opened his eyes to her once more and smiled.

And together, they merged into the lake.

No one is sure how or why this happened.

Some say it was the power of Lake's love that changed the boy.

Others say it was the power of the god in the boy's body that changed him.

All however know, that now, every hundred years, Lake emerges from the waters with the boy she loves, and together they age throughout the day and return to the waters at the following dawn.

And all know, that ever since their original meeting those many hundreds of years ago, no human has since been used to judge mankind.

And now, no matter how many years pass, and no matter what the world endures or how it changes, Lake and the boy she loves will endure for all of time.

A/N: I always thought Carrot and Lake made a much better coule than Chocolate and/or Tira(?) would make. This is a one shot and will not be the start of a series. I didn't use Carrot's name because I figure as time passes, that would become an easy thing to be lost in the tale, but Lake's name was too easy to remember. I also didn't give a perfect retelling of the episode because as centuries pass the story doesn't stay exact to everything that happened, just the main things.