Okay, so this is the last chapter! This was a nice little story, neh? Sorry for taking so long but I've been busy, and haven't even been able to get onto the computer recently. Now I have to go work on Genesis of Infinity, Zenith (my own original story. If I ever do anything with it, I'll post stuff about it on my profile. Of course, I've got about nine other original stories I gotta work on too….sigh)
To those who haven't done the side quest to obtain the Gardios Sword in the game, or completed the Coliseum with all your characters, this part might be a little difficult o understand, but not too much. To those who have, I'm sorry that I didn't get the dialogue perfectly like in the end, but I lent the game to a friend, and besides, it worked better when I added my own wordings. Well, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not posses any legal rights or claims to the Tales of the Abyss game or any of its franchise. This honor belongs to the Namco company and Fujishima Kosuke-san.
(A few days after the last chapter)
The wide doors to the Baticul Coliseum lurched forward, and Luke, Guy and Jade walked out. The girls sat waiting on a bench in the preparation room. When they saw the boys exit the fighting grounds, they got up and met them.
"Have a nice work out?" Anise said cutely.
Some other contestants looked at her incredulously. This little girl was calling the coliseum, a gathering for the strongest fighters and monsters where a slip up could mean death, a work out? They thought her an ignorant child.
"Yeah, it was pretty good," Luke smirked, "I'm all warmed up now. And look at what we got!"
Luke held up a rather large sword before him proudly. It was magnificently made and rather intimidating. Guy also pulled out a new sword from his scabbard, which was just as finely made.
"They were the prizes we got from beating everyone in the Coliseum! Pretty sweet, huh?" Luke did a few test swings, then sheathed it.
Everyone else in the room was in a state of shock at what they heard and saw. A bunch of kids getting the grand prizes?! And thinking it was a warm up?! They couldn't take it anymore, and just decided to go home for now.
The girls all looked at Jade expectantly, who shook his head, "Nope, nothing here."
Shock came over all of them and Anise said, "What?! You didn't win, Colonel?!"
"Nah, he beat 'em easy," Luke waved his hand in the air, "They just didn't have a spear or halberd grand prize. Probably because they didn't expect spear users to get so far."
"Now Luke," Jade said coolly with a smile, yet as he adjusted his glasses on his face, they flashed menacingly, "If I didn't now any better, I would think you were belittling my choice of weapon."
"N-no way! Of course not!" Luke twitched nervously.
"Thought not," Jade said satisfied.
"Well, anyway, lets us check you for wounds," Tear more commended than requested, "You can never be too careful, right Natalia?"
"Yes, of course," Natalia agreed as she too set to work on examining them.
"Hey," Anise looked around the room, "Where did everyone go?"
The rest of the group looked around the empty area as well.
"Well, I guess that's it for today," Guy shrugged.
"Alright, lets go get some lunch then," Luke suggested.
"Sounds good to me!" Anise was ecstatic, "Eating good food in a palace! This is the life for me!"
Agreeing, the party made their way to Baticul castle. To Anise's great joy, they had a large meal in the dining hall.
Afterwards, since Anise was in the "rich life" mood, Natalia offered to take her and Tear shopping. Jade decided he would catch up on some reading in the royal library during this quick break.
"Don't you wanna keep on the clothes Emperor Peony gave you?" Anise asked the Colonel smugly, obviously enjoying one of the rare occasions where she could tease him.
After hearing Jade had won at the Coliseum, Peony had immediately sent him a letter congratulating him (to Jade's annoyance). Then, to top it off, he Peony sent another package containing a prize of his own for the Colonel. In it was a flamboyant costume, donning a blue dragon upon a white martial artist's outfit (Although on the outside he seemed to not care, on the inside he was already formulating a complaint or criticism to give Peony. So went their so called 'friendship').
The group mentally sighed as they all wondered how they didn't expect this of their 'eccentric' friend Peony.
He had tried it on when they were waiting for lunch, but immediately reverted back to his military uniform.
"I'm quite content with my current clothing," Jade shrugged, "Besides, his tastes in clothing do not often coincide with my own."
"I think he's just embarrassed because it would exhibit that he really does care for Peony," Luke joked.
Jade turned slowly to Luke and smiled evilly, "I would be careful of what I say if I were you, Luke."
Luke gulped stepped away from the Colonel, who was scarier then Van or anyone could ever hope to be.
Jade smirked with satisfaction, and then easily went back to his state of mind beforehand. Everyone sweat dropped, but said nothing.
"I suppose I will have to wear it for him at least once next time I see him," Jade sighed, "Otherwise he will make a big fuss. He can be quite immature."
Without another word, he left up the stairs to the library.
"Man, he's scary…" Luke muttered.
"No kidding," Guy agreed.
Shortly after, Luke and Guy waved goodbye as they parted with the girls at the fountain in front of the castle.
"So, what do you wanna do?" Luke turned to Guy, hands folded behind his head.
"Hmm, well I think we've had enough of fighting for now," Guy folded his arms, "How about we stop at your place, get our bathing suits and things, and go down to the docks for a swim?"
"Uh…yeah, sure," Luke a little uncomfortable as he looked over to his manor.
"If you don't want to-" Guy started.
"No, no. I want to…it's just, it's still awkward being there."
"Ah, come on," Guy bonked Luke on the head, "It's still your home, too. Not just Asch's. It's still your family."
Guy unconsciously touched the medallion as he thought back to what Luke said about family so long ago.
Luke merely shrugged and they headed toward the manor. They quickly gathered their swimsuits and other things and were heading for the door when they found Pere by the front pillar, gazing at the sword that had hung there for so long.
"Ah, Luke, Guy. Welcome back," he turned and smiled.
"Hey, Pere. How're you doing?" Guy gave him a friendly pat on the back.
Luke, however said nothing, instead looking intently at the sword.
"Guy, last time we came here, you and Pere were talking about a bet we made. What was it about? And what about this sword?" he said, not taking his eyes off the sword.
Guy sighed and scratched his head, "Still don't remember, huh?"
"Remember what?" Luke pressed.
"A long time ago," Guy also turned to the sword, "We made a promise. You said you would become a man worthy of being my master."
Luke's gazed shifted downward to the ground. He opened and closed his mouth as if he wanted to say something, but wasn't sure how.
"I wonder, has he grown to your expectations?" a deep voice questioned, and everyone turned in surprise to see none other than Duke fon Fabre. Guy was sure he had just said aloud what Luke was thinking.
"Your eminence," Pere addressed the Duke.
"Gailardia," the use of Guy's real name by the Duke brought an air of slight tension. "I know my apologies for what happened to you and your family will amount to nothing compared to your suffering. If you were to go on hating me I would understand-"
"I made peace with my demons long ago," Guy did not smile at the Duke, but his expression held no malice either.
The Duke was a silent for a moment, then said with all seriousness, "Of course, I know you are no longer a servant of the Fabre household. But, if you could go on standing by my son, watching over him…"
Guy responded without hesitation, "He still has a little ways to go, but after seeing how Luke has grown and what he's done, I'm positive he will certainly become a strong and admirable man. And I would be proud to serve under him."
The Duke's face softened with a small smile. He turned around to the pillar and brought down the sword.
Holding it delicately in his hands, he faced Guy once again, "The Gardios Sword. The sword of your father, and your family's treasure. I now return it to you."
Taking the hint, Guy kneeled down before him, as the Duke would grant him the sword, and Guy would swear loyalty to Luke.
"W-wait," Luke said slightly embarrassed, "I-I don't want you to be my servant, Guy! I don't think I'm strong enough for that yet, anyway. I just want you to be beside me as a friend."
Guy stood back up and as he stared into the determined face of his friend, he was reminded of a young boy with the same look in his eye, saying the same things, years ago.
"But I promise, I will become a much better person! I really will fulfill that promise!" Luke's gaze was no longer that boy, but a steady and strong-willed young man.
The Duke nodded and handed the sword over to Guy who accepted with much joy. For years he had desired to regain his father's sword and return honor to his family. Before he wanted to use it to kill the Fabre family, and now he would fight for one of them. Fate was funny that way.
Guy fastened the sword to the belt at his waist and for a moment stood in awe of its beauty and how it was finally his to call his own.
He finally addressed Luke, "Come on, we have a lot of work ahead of us. We should enjoy our downtime while we can!"
Luke, emboldened by his renewed promise, nodded vigorously and shouted, "Last one to the docks has to take care of Peony's rappigs for a day!"
Guy shot past him out the door, and called back to Luke, "There's no way I'm gonna lose then!"
"Hey!" Luke was already regretting his outburst, but that couldn't dampen his spirits now.
The road before them was sure to difficult, but he knew his friends would always be there. Guy would always be at his back.
Three years later…
"We should be heading back soon. The valley is dangerous at night," Jade advised, hands tucked in his pockets.
They had all come to Tataroo Valley, and had found Tear there, singing the Grand Fonic Hymn. Singing for him, on this, his birthday.
It had already been over three years since the fall of Eldrant. Since the day Luke disappeared.
Guy took a last look at the valley. He squeezed the medallion tight in his hand, the ribbon still wrapped around his neck. He glanced at Tear, and was sure that she, like him, believed, knew, that Luke would return. And he knew that he could wait.
The group all turned and began to walk away. Hearing a small gasp from Tear, Guy looked back. In the distance a lone figure made its way to them. Guy caught sight of long, flaming hair, and his eyes widened.
There before them was none other than Luke. Though he had a slightly different aura about him, and different hairstyle, Guy recognized him as his best friend.
"Why are…you here?" Tear said, her voice shaking.
"This place has… a nice view of Hod," he responded, his voice calm and gentle, "And also…I promised someone."
Tears began to roll down her face, and a smile spread on her lips as Tear walked up to him. Without hesitation, Guy walked forward, Anise and Natalia following suit. Behind them Jade showed a rare moment of surprise, but it turned into an even rarer, sincere smile. Then he too went to greet his self-proclaimed 'student'.
"Welcome back," Tear wiped her face and squeezed Luke.
"Gah, can't breathe, Tear," Luke laughed.
"That's what you get for being away for so long!" Tear smiled as she let go and stepped back to look him over.
"Exactly!" Natalia snapped, but went up to hug him as well, "A letter would have been nice, you know."
"Yeah! You're gonna have to spend a lot of time with us now to make it up!" Anise waved a finger and took her turn to hug him.
"Indeed," Jade patted him on the shoulder, "Making an old man such as I, wait for you like this. Shame on you, Luke."
Luke laughed and said, "You never change, huh?"
Luke then turned to Guy, who was waiting off to the side, and smiled, "Guy…"
Guy's face was set as he advanced on Luke. He stopped before him and said nothing. Then he raised his hand and gave Luke a good bonk on the head.
"Ow, hey," Luke rubbed his head, "What was-?"
He stopped when suddenly Guy wrapped him in his own hug.
"You should know better than to make your family worry about you like that," he smiled, "But, I'm glad you're back. I missed you."
"Guy," Luke gave a big grin," I remember. I'm sorry it took so long."
Guy only tilted his head in confusion.
"I remember about the good luck medallion. About the bet we made."
Guy saw Luke's gaze shift downwards and followed it to the Gardios Sword hanging at his own hip.
"You told me about it when my dad gave you back your family's sword. That I had won that bet of earning your respect. Back then, I couldn't remember. But after I released Lorelei, I regained memories…and I still mean it when I say this: you are my family. My best friend, my brother, my father," Luke looked Guy in the eyes and beamed a big smile, "Thank you."
Guy took one of Luke's hands and placed his own above Luke's open palm, "Your welcome. Consider the bet yours."
Luke looked in his hand and saw the medallion, luminescent in the moonlight.
"Let's head back," Guy pushed Luke forward, "Your parents and everyone will want to give you a hero's welcome. After a good scolding, that is."
"Can't wait for that," Luke sighed, but smiled all the same.
"Let's go!" Guy called as they made their way to the entrance of the valley, "I still need to give you lessons in not lying to your friends, too."
Luke took in the sight of his friends and ran to them.
"Yeah," he whispered, "I really missed you, too."
Well, this is the first fic I have ever finished (albeit a short one)….feels kind of satisfying, yet sad.
I guess that's it, I hoped you all enjoyed it. Expect more stuff from me in the future. Until then, I'll see you where day meets night, the world where anything is possible: the world of the people who believe in what the normal people can't even comprehend.
Catch ya later! Shiroyanagi