Lord Cynic: "We wrote this… what… nearly a month ago?"

Mashu: "Yeah."

Lord Cynic: "Okay. No further comment."

Lord Cynic: "We own nothing."

Return of the kendama

Somewhere nearby the recently rebuilt town of Luin (after several hundred-thousand gald of donations), Genis noticed Lloyd grunting, cursing and threatening something or someone. Although it admittedly wasn't an uncommon occurrence, Genis couldn't help but be curious.

"What are you doing, Lloyd?" he asked his best friend. Somewhere, a cat was mauled.

"I'll get the hang of this thing sooner or later!" Lloyd proclaimed, irritably swinging a foreign object around. A ball on the end of string attached to the item hit him on the head. "Oww!"

Realisation flashed across Genis before being replaced by a mirthful grin. "You're still trying to use my kendama properly?" he stated rhetorically.

"Of course!" Lloyd answered determinedly. Somehow, he glared at Genis and his battle apparatus at the same time. "If you can do it so easily, there's no reason why I can't."

The grin on Genis' face turned sarcastic. His tone followed suit. "There're plenty of reasons why you can't."

Lloyd growled and appeared as if he wanted to thump the brat over the head. He didn't. "Shut up! It just takes practice, that's all!" He tried again. He failed again. He swore. To the audience's knowledge: Kendama: 3, Lloyd: 0. (In this story.)

"It also requires patience," Genis said. To rub it in, "So you'll never get it."

This time, Lloyd did hit him. Hard. "Grr, shut up! Just be on the lookout for Professor Sage!"

Genis looked up from rubbing the sore spot on his head, confusion evident on his face. "Huh? Why?"

Lloyd's expression seemed scared. Scratch that, it was. Terrified, even. "Do you remember what happened the first time?"

Genis shuddered and turned to locate his sister. Raine was explaining some rock or bone or whatever to Colette, who nodded her head and smiled, thus prompting the adult to enthusiastically continue her lecture. Genis was willing to bet that Colette was too naïve to understand what Raine was talking about. But then, Colette would always be too polite to admit such a thing.

Genis sighed. Was he the only smart kid in the group? Well, besides Presea, of course. The boy blushed as he watched the pink-haired girl talk with Regal. She was really cute…

"Hey, Genis!" Lloyd almost yelled, prodding him with a gloved finger. Genis snapped to attention.

"What? Oh, yeah. What about Zelos?"

Lloyd glanced at the redheaded Tethe'alla Chosen. The man in question was trying to talk to (flirt with) Sheena. As expected, he was having little success, either getting pummelled or outright ignored.

Lloyd raised an eyebrow at Genis. "What about him?"

Genis smiled. "Good point."

Lloyd nodded and focused on the current bane of his existence. If that's how you're supposed to say it. "Here I go!" He fought, toiled and struggled to grasp the concept of the kendama once and for all.

Predictably, he not only failed, but it flew out of his hand when he became too agitated. Lloyd and Genis watched in increasing horror as the kendama sailed through the air before descending upon…

"A foreign object has made contact," Presea deadpanned as the kendama bounced off her head and hit the ground.

"Are you all right?" Regal asked with concern.

"No damage detected," the axe wielder confirmed. She scanned the surrounding area. "Locating source of object…"

Lloyd and Genis gulped.



"It was Zelos!" Lloyd declared, pointing animatedly at the unfortunate scapegoat.

"Huh?" came the bewildered response from the redheaded Chosen guy.

"Target confirmed," Presea said, brandishing her axe. She approached Zelos with killer intent. "Extermination commencing."

"What? Hey, wait, I haven't done anything!" Zelos' attempt to defend himself fell on deaf ears. "Ahhhhhh!"

Lloyd and Genis forgot their less-than-innocent contribution to the situation. Instead, they laughed as Zelos was pursued by Presea across the fields of Sylvarant. Loudly.

The End