And here's what should be the final chapter (I don't know what I'd do beyond this really...). So, enjoy it~!
Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Phantasia. It's owned by Namco Bandai.
"It's a lonely feeling knowing we won't meet for another hundred years..."
One hundred years... is already gone... Arche...
"Ah...!" Startled by his friend's sudden call, Chester lost his balance on the ladder. He fell backwards, onto the ground, creating a loud crash. "Ow..."
Cless poked his head in. "There you are. Are you all right?"
"Dammit, Cless! Don't startle me when I'm on a ladder!"
"Sorry... Wait here, I'll get Mint—"
"Don't bother." Chester stood, brushing himself off. "If I can take Dhaos, I can take falling from a ladder. Besides, Mint has her own work to do."
"I suppose you have a point here..." Neither said something for a moment. "...Hey, Chester... do you think Derris-Kharlan will be okay?"
"There's no way of telling... I guess we'll just have to trust that the seed got there."
"...Dhaos may have been a hero to his people... but he was still an enemy of Aselia. Nothing justifies the number of people he killed."
"That's true... but..."
"He killed innocents, too... It was because of him that Ami..."
"...I need to get back to work." Chester climbed back up his ladder and continued work on the house.
Cless watched, worried about his friend.
"Hey, Cless... I'll see you again in the future!"
"Yeah. We'll head over to see you now."
"That might be weird... You guys just getting back and coming to see me... Hey, I know! Why don't you work on rebuilding Toltus some? You better show me a masterpiece!"
"I don't think we'll get it that good, especially not any time soon..."
"I'm sure you'll come find me at the right time."
"What time is right...?"
"Isn't it obvious? When Chester..."
"...Hey, Chester, come on down."
"Eh?" the archer looked down at his friend, holding a board up.
"We're going... to see Arche!"
"That's a small part of what I want the most!"
Caught in surprise, Chester leaned back a little too far with the large board; he lost his balance and fell from the ladder a second time. "Ow!"
"I'll... go get Mint. Meet us by the exit." With that, the swordsman left the building.
Chester slowly picked himself up. Arche... He walked over to where his bow and quiver leaned against a wall. He picked them up and slung them over his back. I... Am I ready for this...? How much has she changed...? A lot can happen in a hundred years... And now... we're going to see her... Why now...? He slowly walked to the town exit; he was there first, so he leaned against a broken pillar while waiting. What has she been doing over the past hundred years? ...What if she's forgotten...? What if... she's found someone...
His two companions finally walked up to him. "Is everyone ready?" Cless asked with a smile on his face.
"Yes," Mint agreed.
"...Yeah... Let's... go see Arche..." Fear gripped his heart. Dammit, this shouldn't be so hard... I want to see her again, but...
As they walked, Cless and Mint held hands. It wasn't unusual—after spending so much time together, they eventually realized that they loved each other. Still, it made Chester feel uneasy. What am I even going to do when I see her...?
They approached the valley she lived in—Lone Valley, where Klarth had obtained the summon spirit Sylph in the past. As they walked up to the door, Chester fell further and further behind. The swordsman knocked, and the three of them waited.
Before long, a young man answered the door. Chester clinched his fist, feeling uneasy.
"Hello... How can I help you?"
"Ah... We're looking for Arche..."
"Yes... Arche Klaine."
"Arche Klaine... I don't recognize that name..."
Chester didn't know whether to be grateful or angry. The good news is that this man wasn't her boyfriend, but the bad news was that now they had no idea where on Aselia the half-elf was.
"Ah... She used to live here..."
"It can't have been that recently... I've lived here my whole life."
"She's... an elf..." Cless quickly chose the easy explanation. It was a half lie, but some people still didn't like half-elves that much.
"Then why don't you try the Elven Colony? She might've gone there."
The three glanced at each other.
"She would," the archer muttered. "And she's going to get herself killed! If she hasn't already..." He turned and started walking away, his pace much quicker. "Cless, you still got those flying machines?"
"Yeah. Here, this spot should be good..." Cless pulled a small capsule out of his pocket. He opened it up, and three flying machines appeared. After thanking the man for his help, the cleric hurried over, and the three each got on a machine. They started the engines and soon lifted themselves up in the air. They quickly flew across the land, not paying attention to the civilians staring in wonder far below.
Two hours after they had first left the ruined village, they landed outside of Ymir Forest. Chester jumped off of the machine and, not waiting for the others, hurried into the marsh. He ran across the bridges, towards the elf village.
"Chester, wait up...!" Cless called from behind as the other two hurried to catch up with their friend.
A voice caught his ears. He slowed down to a walk, looking around. That voice...
"Is that... singing...?" Mint questioned, looking around.
"I think it's coming from this way." The swordsman led the way, his two companions following.
Before long, they reached a small clearing on the edge of the swamp. It was a lovely clearing, just far enough away from the elf village that it couldn't be counted as part of it. Trees hung over the house. It was a red house, with a tint of pink in it. The door was a bright blue, with a wreath of flowers hanging on it. The roof was mostly black, save near the very top, where it suddenly turned white.
Sitting on top of it, broom in hand, was a half-elf girl with pink hair. She sang a happy song as she stared at the trees, wind blowing through her clothes. She didn't notice her visitors as they silently stared up at her.
Her song soon finished. No one said a word for a moment. The girl sighed and stood, a feeling of loneliness in her heart. When will they... She turned to slide down the front of the roof, as usual, when the appearance of guests finally caught her eye.
They stared at each other. The girl's mouth turned up into a grin, and she slid down the side of the roof. At the very end of it, she used her broom to safely lower herself to the ground. She then ran over and hugged the cleric. "Mint-chan!"
"Arche-chan..." Mint happily hugged her friend back.
"Cless! Come and give me a hug, you dense idiot!" Arche quickly grabbed his arm and pulled him into the group hug.
"Ow, Arche...!" Cless smiled. She was still the same Arche they had known before.
Chester watched the three, standing back. Arche... You're okay...
Arche laughed and let her two friends go. "I'm so glad you found me! Sorry, I couldn't really tell you that I was moving here..."
"It's fine. I'm just glad you're all right!"
"Of course I am! This is me we're talking about!" Her eyes fell on Chester. "...Chester?"
"Why are you staring at me all funny-like?"
"I am not!" Chester sighed. "Geez, you're just as annoying as before... One would think you would've matured a little in these past hundred years." The words suddenly came back to him. Even after a hundred years, she was still the same. He could still bicker with her like before.
"Wha...?! Why does the first thing out of your mouth have to be so rude?!"
"Because apparently no one's been truthful enough to you! I mean seriously, a pink house with a bright blue door?"
"Why are you always such a jerk?!"
"Why are you always so stupid?" Something occurred to Chester. "Oh right, about that quiz..."
"I told you I was going to quiz you to see how much you remember. But looks like you just failed."
"Ah... Chester! That's mean! I remember now!"
"Too late now."
For the first time since they parted, a small grin formed on the young man's face. It soon grew, and then he started laughing.
"Chester, this isn't funny...!"
Her protests only made him laugh harder. She soon started poking him, trying to make him stop.
"O-okay, okay...! I'll stop laughing...! Just... stop poking me...!"
"You're still laughing!"
"I can't stop if you say something...!" he pointed out between laughter.
She stared at him as he laughed. I've been waiting for this... for a hundred years... If I wait until he stops being a jerk, I'll only have to wait longer. It's time to seize the day!
"Chester..." She put a finger over his lips, and he soon quieted down, wondering what she wanted. She then moved the finger away and replaced it with her own lips.
It was a fine line that they walked, between hate and love, yelling and kissing. The others could never keep up with it, but they could, and that was all that mattered. And now Chester fully understood that it was something special that only they shared.
I love you...
I feel like it should be longer, but there's not really much else I can do with this... So, don't expect another chapter. Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed it! Thank you for reading it!