"Alright Jade, you promise?" A young Peony asked, a grin on his face. Jade, standing opposite him, nodded.

"Well then..." Peony extended his left hand. Jade looked at it questioningly, knowing perfectly well that Peony was offering a handshake, but with his left hand...?

"Oh, it's just an old Military thing." Peony offered, sensing the source of Jade's confusion and more than happy to explain. "To shake with your right hand, you must put down your sword, so you're saying 'I can't hurt you, so please trust me.' But to shake with your left hand, you must put down your shield, and thus you are saying 'I have no defense now, I trust you.'"

"I see..."

---

Jade looked down over the Cathedral, his mind in turmoil. And behind him, he knew that Luke had walked up to him and had stopped.

"I would understand if you choose to hate me. Even if you died, we would still have an original with stable powers. The miasma would be gone, and fewer replicas would place less strain on resources." That dominating part of him, that pragmatic and cold Jade had said that, as it always talked without regard of other's feelings.

"Jade...would you really ask me too--" Luke started, his voice strained, and Jade realized that his words would have a big impact on Luke's final decision. He was the oldest member of the party, and Luke had always valued his input highly.

"I would ask you to die, yes." That cold, heartless side of him said again. But that wasn't the only Jade in there, there was a kinder and compassionate man under there, but he had always disliked showing himself openly. But that side came out at this moment and continued talking. "If I were an Emperor with a country to consider. But as your friend...I feel compelled to stop you."

There was a pause.

"I...I never knew that you considered me as a friend." Was Luke's reply.

"Really? I suppose that's understandable. I am a terribly cold person...I'm sorry Luke."

---

Luke told the others what he was going to do. While Hod was collapsing all around them, Luke will stay here to free Lorelei...and die.

Jade was the first to walk up to him, having known and accepted Luke's path long ago. He extended his right hand unconsciously, by habit and by reflex. But suddenly, his mind went back to that day in Keterburg, of that promise he and Peony made, one now forgotten. But Peony's talk of handshakes...what had sounded so silly back then, he seriously thought about now.

Jade considered his right hand and withdrew it.

No, he couldn't ask Luke to "trust me". Not after all the secrets he kept from Luke, secrets that had changed Luke's life forever, secrets that were there because of him. Even now, there were still many things he kept to himself, maybe a few important things the group ought to know.

Jade then offered his left hand, and Luke seemed confused by this. The redhead did not question it though, and clasped hands firmly with the fonist.

Luke will never understand that subtle message, for Jade had told the boy "I trust you".

And Jade had given him not only his trust, but his respect as well.


AN: Am I the only one who noticed at the end of the game, Jade offered to shake with his right hand, kinda looked at it, withdrew it, and offered his left hand instead?

I'm not sure what the real reason is, but the reason explained here is why we Scouts shake with our left hand, not our right.