Aurnion's spiked wall held out the monsters well enough, but Flynn could still see them wandering around outside the gates. It had been three days since he had arrived at Aurnion for his quarterly inspection. It had been three years since he had supposedly saved the world. Two since he had last seen Yuri.
His twenty-third birthday had been a lonely one; albeit the grand ball in his honor and the various presents from nobles worth more than the whole of the Lower Quarter. Although Estelle and even Raven had graciously taken the time to visit, it was a hollow affair without Yuri. The one who would snicker at the helmet of gold when everyone else cooed. The one who would push his face into his birthday cake. The one who would have made his birthday a celebration.
Oh, sure, he could've reached Yuri if he really tried. He hadn't just disappeared. But Yuri had moved on from his childhood memories of catching fireflies and being chased by guards. No, Yuri had moved onto something greater. Flynn, for all his ceremony and prestige, had not.
"Commandant?" Flynn jumped as a familiar feminine voice pierced his thoughts. He nodded to Sodia, resisting the urge to return to staring idly at the monsters. They looked so peaceful from far away … just letting themselves be swept along by life.
"Commandant?" Sodia repeated, snapping Flynn out of his daydream.
"I'm sorry, Sodia. What is it?"
"There's a party nearing Aurnion. Guards have identified Researcher Mordio and Captain Schwann, among others."
Flynn lifted his eyebrow. "But…?"
Sodia bit her lip. "There seems to be a horde of monsters gathering around them."
"Then we must help fight them off."
"We can't, sir. There's just too many of them. Going in would be suicide."
Flynn rose. "If you will not aid them, then I will. Alone."
Sodia shook her head pleadingly. "I can't allow you to do that, Commandant. We can't afford to lose you. Not now. Not while the lack of aer has left us vulnerable."
"You expect me to just sit back and watch them die?" Flynn frowned. "The people out there are my friends. Yuri would have never-"
"Well you're not Yuri!" Sodia felt her voice rising, but she could do nothing to control it. She could see Flynn; see the pain he was going through. See how much it hurt.
"I'm sorry, Flynn," she whispered. "This is for your own good. And the good of all the people of our world.
'Guards! Take the Commandant to the council chamber and keep him there until I give you the word! That is an order!"
"I knew I shouldn't have let you kids talk me into coming with you. Talk about bad for an old man's bones…" Raven whined as a boar fell to his arrow. Pausing for a moment to wipe fake sweat from his brow, he fingered the bowstring idly before nocking his next arrow.
"We didn't talk you into coming!" Rita shrieked, pushing earth from the ground with a flick of her scarf. "You just tagged along!"
"It seems … like we've been fighting … for months…" Karol gasped as he swung his oversized sword.
Rita rolled her eyes. "Maybe if you used a weapon that was your size, you wouldn't be so tired."
"This weapon is the right size!"
"Karol's right, though," Judith mused, absentmindedly blocking a mantis' claws. "Aurnion should have sent help by now."
"Well they obviously aren't going to," a low voice commented serenely, coupled with a deeper bark.
Karol laughed nervously at the dark haired man. "Oh come on, Yuri, they wouldn't just leave us out here to die." he chuckled. "...Would they?"
"Sure they would. They've been trying to kill me for ages anyway."
"But that was before we saved the world, right?"
"In the records it says Flynn saved the world."
"Oh. Right." Karol sighed, resigned.
"Why don't I just sit down here and let your young bones do the fighting?" Raven smiled lazily, laying himself down on the grass.
"Keep fighting, old man!" Rita yelled, snapping her scarf at him.
Groaning as he got up, Raven nocked another arrow, his supposedly old hands deftly pulling the string taut. "Why are they after us, anyway, genius?"
Sitting down, Rita gazed up at the sky thoughtfully. "Well," she mused, "I suppose it could be the prototypes I have with me. Elemental magic at its finest," she sighed dreamily.
"Well what the hell do they do?" Yuri snapped as a rhino tore at his arm. "Dammit! Get off of me!" He yelled, slicing at the monster.
"...Yuri?" Karol asked timidly.
"They're mood influencers," Rita said, her tone matter-of-fact. "I suppose they could be aggravating the monsters, since they have less controlled emotions than humans do."
"Well then get the fucking rid of the damn things!" Yuri spat, his face livid.
"You don't suppose…" Karol whispered, not even noticing the monster smashing into his sword.
Rita shrugged. "It's possible."
Repede let out a barking laugh as he slashed through a mantis, his eyes aglow.
"What're you two kids whispering about over there?" Yuri growled, mercilessly slamming a monster to the ground.
"Can you destroy them?" Karol whispered.
"But … my research!" Rita whimpered, producing two vials from her bag.
Sweat burst from her pores as she felt Yuri's breath on the back of her neck.
"Get. Rid. Of. Them. Now." He growled.
Letting out a silent whimper, Rita let the vials fall to the ground, smashing them with her heel. Uncontrolled magic flew from them, dispersing into the air with a rainbow of sparks and dancing flames. Wind rushed past their ears as incredible power rushed from the vials, shattering the glass like a glass slipper under a giant's foot. Across the field, monsters shook their heads quizzically before lumbering off, sated and peaceful. Turning to Yuri, she smiled weakly.
He smiled back, patting her back apologetically. "Yeah."
Behind him, Repede let out another gloating laugh.
"Halt! This is Aurnion. State your business," the guard stated nodding to the group.
"Really?" Yuri grinned, clapping the man on the shoulder before walking past.
Striding into the grassy clearing, Yuri smiled before cupping his hands around his mouth.
"Flynn!" He yelled. "I'm back!"
A shadow stirred in front of the council chamber. Sodia grinned as she walked into the center.
"Yuri Lowell." She nodded. "The Commandant does not wish to see you."
A/N: Yeah I haven't played this game for about … a long time. So it's vague (Which is why I call everything "monster"). And hopefully not too horrible or out of character!
P.S. The reason I'm calling it "Part 1" is because these are meant to be read as a series of one-shots. Well, two shots, in this case.