Disclaimer: I do not own anything involving the Suikoden Universe.

Chapter 1

"You summoned me Teresa?" Words from a young male would break the silence of the mayor's office. Several guards taking up a post pointing their spears toward the man who broke into the mayors office. His right hand touching his side, the fingers resting along the sword handle, "Be weary you two, attack me and you will never see your families again." The men froze in the cold response.

"Wait stop he is welcome here, I am sorry Alan. I didn't expect you so soon, we are still trying to straighten out things. Men can you leave us?" Teresa speaking calmly to the two men who would leave weary of the odd swordsman. Who upon first glance was a mere child, maybe no older than fifteen. Teresa sighing a little looking down, "I am still glad you got my letter and came here."

The young male would lower his hand from the handle of his sword, which upon close glance was wakizashi, and another was on the opposite side. "Well your letter arrived late to the islands. I heard of the war here, I am sorry I did not arrive sooner to aid you." The young male bowing his head apologetically, a simple red bandanna around head would sway downwards.

"Its my fault for sending the letter so late, thanks to Lord Riou, we freed Greenhill along with uniting it and others under the banner of Dunan Republic. I sent for the greatest mind from our academy to late, for that I apologize Alan." Teresa bowing her head a bit, while someone who entered spoke up, "You do not have to bow your head to a simple wanderer." The voice belonged to mail, who stood out wearing dark purple designed clothing.

Teresa quickly spoke up, "Silence Haresh, this man is no mere wanderer. He graduated with the highest scores from the academy, an accomplished warrior and mind. I owe him this apology because he traveled so far to help me. Show some respect." The man quickly bowed his head, "My apologies Lady Teresa. However he is still just a wanderer an armed wanderer in this chamber is forbidden unless they are a guard. You know this rule was put into place to protect you."

Teresa sighed a moment, "Alan I apologize for all of this. Can you go into town and I will join you later at the inn? Here let me." Teresa would fumble around looking for some money. Alan raising his hand placing it on top of Teresa's, which her cheeks tinted red instantly. "Don't worry about it for now. We will talk of older times when you arrive. I will go into town and take in some of the sights, check on some of the locals. Don't worry so much for now Teresa." His eyes didn't waver from the man named Haresh. Nothing about that man sat well with Alan, who left the office.

Outside Alan would look up and stretch, his knuckles popping a bit while his destination would be the inn. Stopping as a man was struggling to lift up his cart, which turned over, he apparently was a traveling salesmen. Alan lowering down by the man, hooking his hands under the wood. With a hard sounding grunt he would turn it upright with the man's help. Who turned surprised someone helped him. "Oh, thank you young man. This thing was to heavy to turn back upright on my own."

Alan tilted his head nodding gently, "It's not a problem, what happened?" The old man was happy to get some help, "It was just an accident, I lost hold of it when I was coming from the academy, it hit that pot hole there and turned over." Alan would look to where the man insinuated only to move over there, hand coming to place on the hole. Looking about a bit he would find a few large chunks of rock, before tossing them into the air. A quick slash sound followed, before the click of both of the wakizashi's being sheathed.

The fragments of the large rocks would fall almost covering the entire hole. "Ohoho, you must be a really skilled swordsman I never saw you strike the stones." The old man was quite impressed with Alan's sword skill, "I bet you killed many of the Highland scum who ravaged this land." Alan frowned a bit and shook his head, "I killed more than my share on many different lands. Take care of yourself old man." Alan moving away without another word, his thumb resting on the wakizashi on his right side, "Come out."

"You sensed my presence Lord La, I mean Alan." Words spoken calmly came from a cloaked figured, the simple brown cloak covered the face, and lingered over a feminine form. Alan shaking his head, "I would be a full to miss one of my bodyguards wouldn't I? What is it Selma?" The woman could only grin sliding back her cloaked hood, ears swaying back and forth a bit. "You know why I am here, the same as other places. I owe you a debt that I can never pay, the entire Great Tree society."

Alan would continue his walk, moving inside of the inn, and his destination would be a table. Selma taking a seat to his right side, "I appreciate the constant vigilance, but you do not have to do this Selma, you or Paula." Selma would shake her head, "I am aware of that, but this is what I choose too. Besides I know you miss them, all of them." Selma patting Alan on the hand. His head drooping a little while he sighed.

"Yeah, I do miss them, Snowe, Kika, Lino, Elenor, even Adrienne." His hand resting a bit when Selma patting him gently, "Being a bearer of such a rune is a punishment in it's own way. I am glad , elves like myself and Paula live so long. We can give you some comfort in what it used to be like." Alan nodded gently, "It's a blessing to be honest. Without you two I might have lost my mind after I heard of Flare's death."

Selma nodded gently, "Paula and I dumped some white lotus petals out into the ocean on our way here." Alan quirked a brow before nodding, "Thank you for doing that. I am sure she would have appreciated it." Selma would look up as a man approached, "So what will you two have?" Selma would stretch a bit, "I want a beer." Alan tilting his head would nod, "I want a steamed bun and some tea." The man would nod walking back toward the kitchen of the inn.

"You try a steamed bun wherever you go. You miss Pam's food that much don't you?" Alan couldn't help but smile, "She made the best steamed buns I ever had. What can I say?" Selma would smile, she had noticed some were still looking at her strangely, mostly because she was an elf. Several steps toward Alan's table would make him raise his eyes a bit, seeing something out of the corner. Only to push the chair out next to him, using the edge of his foot.

The seat would be grabbed and then sat in, the simple brown cloaked hood would be pulled back, "Thank you." The soft voice of another elf would pierce the conversation, looking toward Selma she smiled. "I gathered some information for you Lord Lazlo." Selma would look up sharply, as if to scold Paula, however Alan spoke up. "Its not Lazlo anymore, I told you it's Alan. That name died when Flare did."

Paula's ears shot down it was a habit, she had called him Lazlo for so long but she had to try and remember, "My apologies Alan. What I found out is that Greenhill along with the other countries have only been free for six months. The true rune bearer known as Riou is governing Muse with attempts to strengthening the war torn Dunan cities. There still seems like a lot of bad blood amongst the people and the former Highlanders. Also it's rumored that Teresa Wisemail is attempting to patch up relationships with the Karayans. Apparently her family has done some injustice to these people."

Alan groaned a bit seeing the man return with a beer and his cup of tea. Seeing a new customer he would speak up, "What would you like Miss?" Paula looked up at the man and smiled, "I will have some water please." The man would nod, Alan looking to Paula, "It's amazing how hate can just drag on for people. Makes me wonder why I fought so hard all those years ago. Kind of pointless when it starts back up don't you think? Maybe Katarina was right when she told me that fighting won't stop forever."

"Don't speak like that Alan, you fought hard for your beliefs and saved many people because of your decisions. I returned home because of your valiant efforts." Selma trying to appease Alan who had sort of lost most of his desire for this world. He had studied in Greenhill to try and find some peace amongst all the books, yet found nothing that would appease him long enough. "Yes. Lord Alan, don't speak so badly of your efforts. You accomplished so much, Obel and Razril are still strong because of your efforts from then."

"Yeah, but spilling blood doesn't seem to solve things for longer than temporary. We still have skirmishes in the islands, I refused to join the ranks again because I am tired of spilling blood needlessly. I asked Adrienne to forge me these two blades for the purpose of killing. I thought we would get invaded because we were newly formed. I had no idea the last life I would take with them would be a comrades."

Paula would scoot her chair closer to rub Alan's back gently, "Nalleo wasn't your fault. He knew what he was doing, raiding a merchants vessel was piracy, he took up sword and killed a few of the civilians on board. It's not your fault you had to face him that day. You were protecting many lives. Not everyone changes for the better Alan." The steamed bun and water would be delivered, Alan poking at it with his fork. "Even so it didn't make things easier. I hated I couldn't save him. All the power and nothing I could do about it."

"It will be alright m'lord. " Selma trying to ease Alan's soul, he had been through as much as them. Then again being human , he wasn't supposed to see so many things, feel so much pain it was surprising that he managed to move forward. A credit to his race was all Selma could truly say about the young man. Paula sipping her tea a bit watching many come and go with little problem. Alan finally digging into the steamed bun having to say it wasn't close to what Pam used to make.

"Alan, I am sorry I kept you." Many of the customers as well as the inn keeper would bow their heads gently when Teresa stepped into the inn. Seeing Alan, and then the others who were sitting with him. Noticing they were elf, yet this was the first time she had seen elves up close. "Who are these young ladies Alan?" Teresa lightly opened her hand to motion out to both Paula and Selma.

Selma would speak up even before Alan did, "We are his servants and bodyguards." Alan cut a glance toward Selma, before Paula could interrupt, "Yes, I am Paula and that is Selma." Teresa was shocked, she didn't remember Alan having bodyguards or servants when he was here two years ago. Then again it made sense for how intelligent and well manners, maybe he was of a noble family. "It's my pleasure to meet you Paula, and Selma. I am Teresa Wisemail mayor of Greenhill."

Alan rubbed his neck, then looked to Teresa, "So now that I missed the war, is there anything I can do for you now Teresa?" Teresa smiled toward Alan, glad to see him okay, even if he returned to the islands she had wandered what happened to him. "Well I have something that I would like to ask you to help me with. Shin left my side after the war and I believe he left to perfect his swordsmanship." Alan quirked a brow before responding, "Are you asking me to find Shin for you?"

Teresa blushed and shook her head, "No, no no. That is completely okay, Shin will return if he desires to. What I wanted to ask you was to come with me to the Karayans land. I am to deliver some potch, along with medical supplies as a gesture of goodwill. I have been requested to let some of our soldiers do it. However I felt it would mean more if I did it myself. What I want to ask you to do is accompany me there. I feel your insight in politics will aid in diplomacy, I really want this to go well. I promised Lucia the leader of her clan that I would do right for my families past wrongs."

Alan heard the words his fingers tapping against the wooden table, the tone was a sign of how important this was to Teresa. Could he truly say no to this request? Selma and Paula looked toward one another, Paula speaking up. "I think we should, m'lord. A chance to soften tension in borders and villages is a noble cause. I mean Karayans were like us Elves out casted and looked down by many." Paula thought strongly of this especially given her people still suffer from the racism amongst other races.

"You didn't need to say that Paula, I intended to go anyway. So what will you need from me Teresa?" Teresa heard the heartfelt words from Paula and nodded in approval. Surprised that Alan decided he would go then mentioned what would she need. "I will have a small escort of archers with us, I just want you there to aid in the diplomacy when we arrive. If everything goes well we won't have any problems." Alan would nod carefully with that, "It's fine, so when will we set out?" Teresa smiled to the inn keeper, "Can I ask for this young man and his servants a room?"

The man nodded, "Of course anything for you lady Teresa. I will have two rooms prepped for them right away." Alan rose his hand, "You don't have to do that, we will gladly pay for our lodging." Teresa smiled, "Let a friend spoil a friend. We will set out in the morning however Alan. I hope this is okay with you and your friends." Selma looked to Alan, "It's fine with us, we are ready to go at your command m'lord." Alan groaned, "Fine, we will set out in the morning, perhaps along the way we can talk more Teresa."

Teresa would smile, glad that Alan took the offer. "I would enjoy a chance to talk. I hardly had time to talk with you during your final year here. So I would love to know what you have been up to for the past three years. Along with your bodyguards. I never knew you were a noble, Alan." Alan groaned a bit to himself shaking his head slowly, "I um well you see I don't like to advertise my wealth so I often don't travel with my servants. Yet this time given there was war in this country, I requested them to come with me."

Gently nodding Teresa would stand up, "Well I didn't have long, but I will see you in the morning Alan. I wish you a pleasant sleep." Turning on her heels, she would depart out the door leaving Alan who was staring at both Selma and Paula. "Servants you say?" He spoke with a less than pleased look on his face, "Bodyguards you say." He continued to speak looking at both Selma and Paula. Paula's ears flattened a bit, "It was a believable answer, elves are not liked well as is. Saying we were your servants would make our time here easier."

Selma nodded, "Along with us being your bodyguards will explain our weapons on hand. Besides we do ow you so much, so being your bodyguards seems fitting enough. I mean... Oh... I am sorry Alan I was care less I forgot completely." Selma's ears turning down a bit as if the sudden realization sank in. Paula was confused, "Wait what is wrong with that Selma?" Her light colored orbs looking toward Alan who would stare toward the door. "Gretchen, Helga, and Millay were my bodyguards."

It dawned on Paula, her ears remaining down, "I am sorry Alan, it has been a long time though. Millay even became a general in the Obel army and Gretchen was a sword instructor. Everyone moved on, why can't you accept the time and move forward." "Paula!" Selma would hiss toward her friend, looking at Alan who shook his head getting up from his spot at the table. "Maybe I will one day, maybe I will. You to turn in when you are ready, I am going to take a walk."

The two elves sighed looking toward the door as Alan would exit, Paula looking down slowly. "Lord Lazlo..."