Notes: OK, so this story takes place about a month after the ending of the RoLW OAVS. This one does contains WAFF. It's kinda scrypt-styled. There are going to be 13 Chapters, and I hope you enjoy this 'revised' version.
Special thanks and honours go to BURN 3IRD.
Chapter 14: Return
Setting: Forest Path; Midday
Characters: Parn and Deedlit; both sitting atop a horse
Having been riding since daybreak, Parn and Deedlit take a moment to rest in a forest clearing. It has been almost a month since their departure from Valis, after their battle on Marmo.
Parn: (sliding off the back of the horse) Ugh. Lets take a rest here.
Deedlit: (following behind him) This is a beautiful spot. (she takes a deep breath and looks around) It… almost seems , I don't know, familiar.
Parn: It does, doesn't it? (he walks a little to the left of where he was standing and looks over a dense enclosure of bushes. As he pears over the bushes he sees a cliff edge and looks over) What…?
Deedlit: (sees that Parn has a surprised look on his face and rushes to him) Parn — Parn! What's wrong with you? (she peers over the edge and gasps)
Directly below the cliff that they are standing on lies Parn's hometown.
Parn: Deed... Deed, lets go.
Deedlit: (concerned look on her face) Why, Parn? What's wrong? I would think that you would be happy to visit your hometown. I mean, now that you're a knight you could return home a hero.
Parn: Look, I left the village to move forward in my life. To go back now would be like taking a step back. (he turns away from the cliff) I don't expect you to understand this, even I don't completely understand it.
Deedlit: Look Parn, why don't you just go down for a short time, maybe two or three days, and visit some of your old friends. (Parn starts to say something, but stops and looks toward the town again) Go, I'll stay here and wait for you.
Parn: (Quickly turning to her with a puzzled look on his face) Y…you mean you're not going to come with me?
Deedlit: (looking at the forest floor) No, I think that this is something that you should do on your own. I'll wait up here for you and meet you in three days.
Parn: Are you sure about this?
Deedlit: Yes. (she looks up at him staring him right in his eyes)
Parn feels a little pouch concealed within his armor. A nervous, almost goofy expression comes over his face. His eyes light up as he makes a decision. Deedlit has since turned around, and sees none of this.
Parn: You promise you'll wait here?
Deedlit: Yes. You know I will. (she faces him with a bewildered expression not sure why he asked this particular question)
Parn: (reaching in his armor he removes the pouch from within his armor) Mind if I make sure?
Deedlit: What? (she eyes the pouch)
From within the pouch Parn takes out an ivory bracelet dyed light blue, with intricate carvings all along the outside. A red gemstone is imbedded on it flickers in the sunlight. Deedlit recognizes it almost instantaneously: an engagement bracelet.
Parn: Well? (he says hopefully. Deedlit smiles to herself)
Deedlit: (Removing a similar pouch from her belt) Here is my answer. (she takes from the pouch an ivory bracelet that looks identical to Parn's, but with a blue stone).
For a long moment they say nothing, only looking at each other. Finally they move toward each other and embrace.
Setting: The outside of the village
Characters: Parn, and the townspeople
Parn slowly walks on toward the town, having left the supplies and horse with Deedlit. Parn is carrying only a small sack of cloths and a snack, his sword, and a blanket covered object strapped to his back. On his wrist he wears the blue jeweled bracelet Deedlit gave him. He stops briefly at the rotting, singed pile of wood that used to be his home. He reflects on the day he left it so long ago, to begin a quest with his friend Etoh. Finally he reaches the outskirts of the main part of town and starts to move toward the town square when he suddenly hears someone call his name.
Liara: Parn? Parn is that you? It is! Hey everyone Parn's back! (she rushes toward him with most of the town following her to see what all the commotion is about)
Villager #1: What is going on?
Villager #2: I don't know. That girl started shouting and I rushed over here.
Villager #3: Who is that man that everyone has surrounded? He looks familiar.
Villager #2: I think it's Parn!
Villager #3: That boy we threw out of the village?
Villager #1: We didn't throw him out as I recall. The mayor sent him to find out what was going on outside the village. Last I heard he had been killed during the War.
Parn finally is able to free himself from the mob with Liara and duck into her father's house three houses away. Once inside, he sets himself down in one of the chairs. Liara brings them both a cup of water. A minute later Liara's father, the Mayor, enters though the door after breaking up the group. He is taken aback when he sees Parn.
Mayor: Parn is that you? (he rubs his eyes) Why yes it is. So those people out there were right. Well welcome back my boy how are you?
Parn: I am fine sir, just a bit shaken up. That was not the kind of welcome I was expecting to get. I mean considering the circumstances of my departure.
Mayor: (chuckling) I can imagine. So Parn, where have you been all this time? When you first left, most expected you back in a few days begging to be let back into the village. And after you didn't and the war broke out we thought you dead.(Liara nods in agreement)
Parn: (leaning back in his chair) Much has happened to me since I left here.
Parn begins his tale from when he left the village. His travels with Etoh, Slain the wizard, Ghim the dwarf and Deedlit the high elf to the Fortress Myce. Witnessing its destruction at the hands of Marmo forces led by Ashrum. Meeting Woodchuck, the thief, their encounter with Karla in the body of Ghim's friend Lelia. The journey from Valis to Moss at the command of King Kashue and King Faun, to learn of Karla's origin. Their role in the War of Heroes. Their final confrontation with Karla that resulted in the death of Ghim and loss of Woodchuck. Parn and Deedlit's encounter with the mercenaries Shiris and Orson, the Berserker and how the four of them aided King Kashue in the defeat of the ancient dragon Shooting Star. Finally ending with the battle against the dark goddess, Kardis the Destroyer to save Deedlit. At the end of his story, dusk is setting on the land, and the mayor has offered Parn room and board.
The next morning, Parn awakens at sunrise to the smell of breakfast cooking on the downstairs fire. He dresses and goes down.
Liara: (looking up and smiling at him) My, you're up early. Did you not sleep well?
Parn: (politely smiling back) Actually the exact opposite I haven't slept in a real bed in weeks. (he sits at the table. As he does Liara notices the bracelet on his arm)
Liara: What is that? (she points toward it)
Parn: It's an engagement bracelet. (he looks admirably at it, and thinking of Deedlit smiles)
Liara: Oh. So who is the lucky young woman? (with a hint of disappointment in her voice).
Parn: Do you remember I told you about Deedlit? Well we very recently decided to wed. After everything we went through together we didn't want to risk losing each other again.
Liara: That is….. (Suddenly one of the villagers knocked on the door) Who is it?
Etheris: It is me, Etheris. I want to speak to the so-called knight in there. (Parn recalled that Etheris had been one of the people in the village who had never liked Parn and had pressed for his banishment from the village).
Parn: (mentally) 'What could he want?' (putting on his armor, sword, and retrieving the package he had had strapped to his back, he opened the door and went outside)
Outside many of the villagers are gathered around in a circle outside the Mayor's house. In the middle of it stands Etheris, tall, brown eyes and hair, and an angry smirk on his face. Parn exits the front door and finds himself also in the middle of the circle.
Parn: What is going on here?
Etheris: We all heard the Mayor tell us about your so-called journey. But what I want to know is how a pathetic miscreant such as you could accomplish these supposed feats. (he walks up to Parn and stares him right in the face) I am betting you never even went near Valis.
Parn reaches for his bundle and removes the blankets revealing the Valis holy knight shield given to him by King Faun and King Kashue. The crowd gasps as he holds in high for all to see. Etheris steps back stunned but not troubled.
Etheris: Sure! Sure, he has a shield! But he could have gotten that anywhere! Lets see if he can handle his sword. (He goes slightly into the crowd and one of the villagers hands him a sword)
Villagers: Yes!--Prove it!-- Prove it! (they begin to close in around Parn).
Parn lays down his shield and places his hand on the hilt of his sword. Etheris advances on him.
Parn: You don't have to do this.
Etheris: What's wrong Parn? Afraid of getting hurt?
He advances on Parn quickly and Parn finally draws his sword. Etheris lunges and Parn deflects his blow and shifts to the side, sending Etheris to the ground. Etheris recovers quickly and lunges again at Parn. This time Parn meets him and counters with a heavy swing that knocks Etheris's sword away. Parn holds his sword point over Etheris's neck.
Parn: No. Afraid of hurting you... (He pulls back his sword and sheaths it, turns and picks up his shield). Now I hope that this is the end of this.
Etheris: (whispering) Not by a long shot. (the crowd breaks up and the rest of the day goes on without incident).
Early next morning, the Mayor knocks on Parn's door and sees him packing to leave.
Mayor: You're leaving so soon? You have only been here three days.
Parn: That was all I was planning to spend. I have someone waiting for me. (he looks out the window up at the cliff a mile away where he and Deedlit had first sighted the town)
Liara enters the room and is surprised to see that Parn has his bags packed.
Liara: Why are you leaving so soon? (she has a surprised/hurt expression on her face)
Parn: I have to go. I promised to meet Deedlit on the cliff in three days. (he returns to his bag and finishes packing)
Parn leaves the town trying to avoid any conflicts with the local towns people. As he enters the forest he senses that something is not right. He stops to listen and hears footsteps behind him. Concealing himself in a dense grouping of bushes, he waits for his pursuer.
Parn: (leaping out of the bushes) AHHH HA!!
Parn: Liara! What are you doing out here?
Liara: (Blushing) Well….. I was, uhhh, following you.
Parn: Now why would you be doing something like that? (annoyed look on his face)
Liara: I.. I…Look out!!
Liara points behind him and Parn turns to see Etheris and three other men from the town standing behind him with their weapons ready. Etheris and one other have swords drawn, one has a double bladed ax, and one wields a mace. Parn moves into a defensive position in front of Liara and draws his sword. The four men begin to spread out surrounding Parn and Liara. The one with the mace charges Parn. Parn parries and turns to face the second attacker, Etheris. Parn is outnumbered and desperately trying to fend off their attackers. He delivers a quick blow knocking down the man with the mace.
Parn: Liara! Run!
Liara runs heading up toward the summit of the cliff and trips over a raised root. As she struggles to rise a figure appears over her. She looks up and sees a blond haired, beautiful elf.
Deedlit: Who are you? And what are you doing here?
Liara: I… I… (she sees the red jemmed bracelet on Deedlit's arm) Are you Deedlit?
Deedlit: Y — yes. (she steps back a bit stunned) How did—
Liara: Parn is back there! Four men are attacking him!
Back at the battle sight, Parn is still desperately fighting. The man with the ax is unconscious having been knocked into a tree by Parn, but there are still three men left and Parn is tiring.
Etheris: What's the matter Parn? Tired? Well don't worry, this will all be over soon. (a confident grin spreads across his face as he and the other man with the sword lunged)
Parn: Gahh!! Damn! (he had been able to deflect one sword, but Etheris's sword sliced his arm)
Suddenly, from the tree branches two daggers fly at Etheris and his companions. They jump back and the knives imbed themselves in the ground between Parn and his assailants. Deedlit descends from the branches and draws her sword. Parn looks at her and a smile appears on his face.
Parn: Deed! Where did you come from?
Deedlit: Your friend found me and told me that you had gotten yourself in trouble again. (she smiles at him)
Parn: Seems to be my way of life, doesn't it?
Etheris: How nice, you and you're little elf companion can both go together.
Parn: Lets end this quick. (he gives Deedlit a look and she nods)
Deedlit: (placing her hands together she calls forth the spirit of the wind to their aid) Silph, Spirit of the Wind, aid our struggle.
A sudden hurricane lifts Parn and Deedlit's attackers off the ground and causes them to drop their weapons. Etheris's two remaining companions get up and run as fast as they can back to the village. Etheris has had the wind knocked out of him and fails to get to his feet before Parn and Deedlit reach him, Liara stands and watches from behind them.
Deedlit: Care to tell me what this is all about? (she looks to Parn)
Parn shrugs and looks back to Etheris. He has regained his senses and with them, his rude personality.
Etheris: You, your little elf, and that tramp behind you can all go to hell. I swear I will see to your downfall personally, even if it takes my whole life.
Parn: What have we ever done to you?
Etheris: Your father disgraced my father and led to the decline of my family! You don't know this, but my father was also a knight of Valis, he served under Tessius, your father! When your father was dismissed from the knights, all the soldiers under his command were heavily reprimanded. They lost all of the respect that had been given to them. My father could no longer bear the mistreatment brought about by your father's disobedience, he attempted to make a living by thievery and was captured by Valis's knights and punished. We lost all of our money, land, and respect. We lost everything, because of your father! And so help me I will take my reimbursement out of your hide! That means I will go after you, your elf friend, and any of your other friends (he looks to Liara)
Parn: My father did what he did to save Princess Fianna, your father's actions may be due in part by my father, but most of the blame rests on him.
Etheris: You lie!!
Parn: King Faun told me before he died! (Parn stares at Etheris and sees the hatred and the disbelief in his eyes)
Etheris: No! (he kicks both feet at Parn, knocking him into Deedlit and Liara causing all three to fall. When they finally stand up Etheris has already left).
Deedlit: Now what do we do? Do we go after him?
Parn: No. Let him go, hopefully he will leave us alone now that he knows the truth. Just the same, we should go.
Deedlit: What about her? (she points to Liara)
Parn: Well, we could leave her back at the village, but if Etheris makes good on his threats she could be in danger. Or...(he looks at Deedlit with an almost tired expression on his face) we take her with us.
Deedlit looks to her and comes to a reluctant decision. She gives Parn a defeated look. After a quick exchange of money, Parn, Deedlit and Liara mount their horses and started off West.