Tales of the Abyss

My eighth and final story of my AschLuke series.

And also, pyropyro, Ashyx and Kisho Myst, thank you for your constant support!!

Well, on with the story!

2 years have past after Asch's return.

Lorelei is released and the world is at peace.

But no one knew…

that a dark future is waiting ahead of them…

To Be With You Once Again

By kiralacusforever

22 years old, Asch Fon Fabre sighs as he looks at the papers piled up on his working desk. Ever since he returns to the Fabre Manor 2 years ago, he had been helping his father and uncle on the politics. He and Natalia too, manage the rebuilding of Akzeriuth for the replicas to live in. Tear is helping along side with them as she lives with Natalia in the palace. Jade and Guy work for Emperor Peony while Anise had started her work as the first and ever female Fon Master, and the leader of the Oracle Knights back in Daath.

The work has been tough on them, especially the rebuilding of Akzeriuth and settling the replicas. The people around the world have started to accept the presence of the replicas, even though some are still afraid of them. Anise and Florian have set out around the world to teach people about the replicas.

Asch stretches his arms as he gets up from his chair and moves to the window, opening it. His long red hair will have been mess up by the wind, if he hasn't tied it in a braid. He wears his blue uniform and pants, with a darker blue long jacket over it. His arm is covered by his gloves from his elbows to his hand, covering his palm while leaving the fingers uncovered.

He runs his hand through his front bangs that are already combed to the back, like he always does in the past. He never lets it down unless he is bathing, he only lets it down in front of one person. The only person who he will ever show.

The wind caresses his face as Asch closes his eyes. "Today…is the day again…"

Knock. Knock.

Asch frowns. "Come on in."

The door opens slowly as a head pops in, follows by a soft giggling. "Hi there, Asch! You look great!" Asch snots at the 18 years old Fon Master as Anise Tatlin steps into the room, closing the door behind. Through Anise has grown a FEW centimetres taller, she is still the shorter among the group, and Asch still regards her as an irritating brat. She wears a pink sleeveless dress that stretches till her thighs, with the same colour gloves that is covering her whole arm, leaving her shoulders and hands expose. Her Tokunaga is still hanging behind her back.

"What do you want, brat? I'm busy here."

"How many times have I told you to stop calling me that?! I'm already eighteen! And I don't think standing by the window and catching the scenery is being busy."

Asch turns his head and glares at her, as she giggles nervously. "Alright! Alright! I came here to ask you something on Natalia's behalf. She wants to know whether…"

"If it's about tonight, no. I am not going to the feast." Anise sweatdrops as Asch answers her question before she can even ask. Sighing, she shakes her head and turns back to the door. When she exits, she turns to Asch.

"You know…everyone is worried about you. Don't keep everything to yourself. And…it's not your fault for what happened."

Asch remains silent, his back still facing her. With a last look, Anise closes the door. Asch looks up at the clear sky. Today is Lorelei-Decan 37, ND2023, his 23 years old birthday. The same date he comes back to life two years ago. And the same date when he lost 'him'.

Verse 1:

The Unexpected

Anise sighs as she walks along the corridor.

"Anise!"

Anise looks up and smiles widely at the two people standing a few distances from her, before a flash of blue appears before her. She holds Mieu in her hands and hugs the little cheagle. "Mieu, long time no see!!" Mieu smiles up at her. "You too, Anise! I miss you so much!" She then turns to the two standing in front of her. "Natalia! Tear!" They run up to one another as Anise puts Mieu down and hugs Tear. "Tear! Long time no see! When did you get back?"

21 years old, Tear Grants smiles at the young Fon Master. She went back to Yulia City to help out with her grandfather a month ago. She has been taking care of Mieu ever since the battle had ended. She still wears the same type of clothing, only some changes here and there, like showing her collar bone and back. "I just arrived when Natalia came to fetch me at the port."

Anise lets go of the melodist as 23 years old, Natalia L.K. Lanvaldear, smiles at her. "So, Anise, what did Asch said?"

The female Fon Master sighs and shakes her head. "Same old. He didn't want to attend the feast tonight." The other two ladies frown at the news. Asch has been absent from his birthday feast ever since he returns 2 years ago, no matter how many times they persuade him, he will just ignores them.

"But, he's going back to that place again tonight, right?"

Natalia sighs. "I think…that's the only place which will remind Asch of him…"

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Standing at the dock of Tartarus, Jade and Guy look across the sea at Baticul. The group will always gather at Baticul on this date. 40 years old, Jade Curtiss adjusts his spectacle. "It's been a while, isn't it?"

26 years old, Guy Cecil chuckles as he looks at the City of Light. "True. How long is now? A year? Wonder how's everyone doing?"

"They should be doing just fine. Especially Anise, she must be still full of energy."

"Haha, yeah. If he's still here, he will be like that too."

"And so it is."

They move back inside the ship as the Tartarus begins to dock at the port.

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Time passes fast as the sun sets while the night arrives. Everyone is busy at the Fabre Manor to prepare the birthday feast for their young master. Susanne Fon Fabre looks at the dining table that the maid is preparing and sighs, which Duke notices it.

"What's wrong?"

"Why are we still preparing all these, when our son is not going to attend it?"

Duke can only let out a sigh of frustration at the comment.

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Stepping into the familiar ground, Asch moves towards the large rock that Tear once seat when the group is waiting for his return, or maybe…they are not waiting for him at all. He sits on it and looks across the flower field, to the sea and to the remains of the replica Hod. They decided to leave Hod as it is two years ago.

Ever since he came back, on this date, he will always come back to this place. Actually whenever he feels frustrated or free, he will always come here at night. The atmosphere of this place will always calm him down and comfort him. Not only that, this place always has the presence of 'him'. Of Luke…

Asch brushes his hand through his bangs to let them fell freely in front of his face. He will always do this when he is in this place, that is what he promised Luke. Looking down at the petal that has fell onto his palm, Asch recalls the last words Luke had said to them.

"And one more thing that you must really do...is that even if I'd disappeared."

"I want you to continue living."

"I have…and I did. I continue to live…Even though there are times that I want to just die to be with you once again…" Asch chuckles. "But I knew that you will angry with me…"

The wind blows the petal away from his hand, along with others. Asch closes his eyes as he lets the warm breeze embrace him.

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A few distances from the garden, Tear and the others hide behind the rock wall. They knew that Asch will always come to Tataroo Valley on his birthday. Anise sighs. "He still can't let go the past…"

"How can he? Luke's memories remains within him, it is not something he can just erase off or forget." Natalia folds her arms.

"But there is one thing I'm worried about." Everyone turn towards Guy. "I'm afraid that Asch is having a thought that he is at fault for causing Luke's death. He might have been blaming himself since the last two years."

Everyone looks down as Jade looks back at Asch. "We can only wait and see. Isn't that right?" All of them nod.

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"Luke…I miss you so much…How I wish you are here with me…"

It is then he feels a warmth feeling at his chest, the feeling of the second order Hyperresonance. Asch smiles at this. "Yeah…I'm a fool… You are right here, you always are. Luke. Happy Birthday."

Asch gets off the rock and is about to move back to the manor, until he hears a voice in the wind.

"Happy Birthday to you too, Asch."

Looking back at the field, Asch smiles and proceeds back.

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The next morning arrives as Asch continues his paperwork, until someone knocks the door. "It's open." Opening the door, Natalia and Anise step into the room. "What is it?"

"ASCH!!" Natalia slams her hand on his desk that startles the Fabre young master. "Go out with us!"

Asch blinks. "W..What?"

"I said come with us! Let's go for a picnic!"

"Natalia, I still have…!" Asch sweatdrops when Natalia's face leans close to him and glares. Asch sighs. "Alright, alright…Just for a while, I still have lots to do." He puts the paper down and gets up from his chair.

Natalia smiles at him. "Good, Anise and I will wait outside the room for you." With that, they exit the room. Asch shakes his head and reaches out to grab his sword, bucking the belt around his waist. Once everything is settled, he exits the room.

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Meanwhile in a underground dungeon near Daath, two guards are standing in front of a large white door. "Hey, is it true that the 'Key of Lorelei' is kept behind this door."

"It seems so. Master Asch told Fon Master Anise and Master Florian to keep the sword in here, ever since he returns." The two guards continue to chat, not knowing a figure walking towards them.

"So…is the 'Key of Lorelei' really in that room?"

"What? Hey, no civilians are allowed to be…" The guards turn around and gasp. "You…You are…!! AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!"

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Back at the manor, Asch turns around as he scans the hallway outside his room. 'Is it…my imagination…?'

Anise and Natalia turn around to look at him, "Asch?"

"Ah, yah…I'm coming." Asch is about to move on when a sudden headache hits him, follows by a high pitch sound wave. "AH! My…My head!! What is this…?!"

"Asch?!"

Asch fells to his knees as the headache gets worse. His head feels like it is going to break soon. It is then, he sees flashes of Luke's memories flashes pass his mind. Slowly, the memories start to fade off one by one.

No…Luke's memories…

They are disappearing!

No…Please!

They are what that is left of him.

The only thing that connects me to Luke.

Don't take it away!

NO!!

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Tear, Guy and Jade are inside the Tartarus as they are heading to Daath. They decided to check the dungeon where the 'Key of Lorelei' is kept before they go for the picnic that Natalia is planning. They are chatting at the dock when a soldier rushes to them. "Sir! We have an emergency!!"

"What is it?"

"The 'Key of Lorelei' is…!!"

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"Asch…Asch!"

Opening his eyes, Asch looks up to see Anise and Natalia looking at him in worry. They smiles and sighs in relief. "Thank goodness! You're finally awake."

Asch jerks up from his bed and looks around to see that he is in his bedroom. "What happened? I had fallen unconscious?"

"That's right! You really scared the hell out of me and Natalia! You suddenly cried out in pain and fell uncon…" Anise's words trail off as she and Natalia gasp.

Tears are felling down from Asch's eyes as the young Fabre clenches onto his blanket. "A..Asch…?"

It's…gone…

It is true that I can feel Luke's presence…

His memories are within…

But now…

I can't feel anything…

Why…?

Anise and Natalia looks at each other and back at Asch. "Uhmm…Asch?" They stop when they heard the door opens, as they turn around to see Florian by the door. "Florian?"

Florian's eyes tear up when he looks at Asch who is wiping his tears off, as he rushes to him and hugs him. "Asch!!"

All of them are startle as Asch pulls the boy away. "Florian, calm down! What happened?!"

"I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!! Uwahhh..!!!"

"Florian! What are you talking about?! Calm down!"

Florian sniffs. "I promised…I even promised you…to take good care…of the thing that is important to you…!" Asch stiffens at this. "But…I just received… news from the knights…that…the 'Key of Lorelei' is stolen!!"

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"10 people are killed. 3 are injured. The culprit that stolen the 'Key of Lorelei' is still unknown."

Asch slams the table that makes everyone turns towards him. They have gathered at the drawing room in the manor. "Damn it! What is happening here?!"

"Calm down, Asch. Everyone here is just as clueless and worried as you do." Asch snots as Jade continues. "By the way, Asch. I heard that you have a little accident. May I hear about it?"

Asch looks at him. "His memories…An hour ago, I have a sudden headache. During that period, Luke's memories disappear. But I do not know what's the cause behind it."

Jade thinks for a while. "Is that so…This may be my interpretation…but…"

"What is it?"

"It is a possibility that…Luke has returned to this world."

Asch slams the table again and stands up. "What did you mean by that?!"

Jade adjusts his spectacle. "We immediately rushed to the scene when we received the report. The room where the key is kept is empty, while the guards are lying around with their necks deeply cut. One of the guards is barely alive when he told us something shocking."

"He's...back..."

"The...other Master Luke...is back..."

The End

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End of first chapter!!!

Stay tuned for the upcoming chapters!! Reviews please!!