I believe this is the first Wachenröder fanfic. If you know of another somewhere, please tell me where to find it!
If you love Wachenröder but don't know where an English translation is, go to the FAQs section of Wachenröder's entry on GameFAQs, and you should find it listed as "Translation Guide".
Now, the purpose of this fic. One of the few good points of Wachenröder's story is Lucian's rather unusual relationship with Bellebete. Unfortunately, fitting in with the many places in which the game was obviously rushed, an important conversation between Lucian and Leonora on the subject of that relationship ends right in the middle, and with no explanation the player is suddenly in a battle; Sega simply left that scene unfinished. So in this story, I've filled in the blanks with the story leading up to the final battle with Walter.
Hope you all enjoy at last having a finished version of that chapter of Wachenröder, even if it is an unofficial one. Please review with any criticisms you have, as this is my first fanfic for the game and I need you folks to tell me whether or not I'm handling it right.
The milieu and characters of this fanfic are all property of Sega.
Into Harm's Way
original plot and script (as seen in Wachenröder) - Masahiro Okano
English translation of original script - Yumi Makita and Glenn A. Rudy III
additional plot and script - Martin III
Lucian's heart burned with frustration. If this was a dead end... if their target had fled the court of King Crimson... then he had lost his chance. He would not be able to prove himself a knight. More importantly, if Vlad had taken his equipment with him, and they could not find him in time, it might well be the end for the world.
He couldn't quite give in to that fear, though. He'd told himself once that there was no God, that no God would have allowed his sister to suffer the way she did. Now, though...
The past weeks had changed his interpretation of everything. Bellebete had shown him(though it had taken him a long while to accept it) that his sister had not suffered the way he had thought she had. Duran had shown him that such great wrongs as the heavy water facilities could be fixed, righted. In their war with Vlad, none of his friends or allies were dying; only his enemies were. And as the lot of them fought battle after battle, he realized that all their struggles pointed towards their ultimate victory. Someone had to have made all this happen, turned the sewage he had allowed his life to become into this fairy tale adventure. He couldn't believe that the God who did all that would allow Vlad to escape at this point. The prime minister had to be hiding in the palace, somewhere.
He moved on to the next room. Hearing footsteps follow behind him, he turned to see Leonora had joined him. He gave her an acknowledging nod. "Any signs of life yet?"
She just shook her head. He was going to turn his concentration back to his search when she said in a puzzled voice, "Lucian, I think I have seen that diva of the Chemical Brothers before. Their troupe performs in many places. But why is she coming along with you to this place?"
Lucian's heart jumped; he hadn't expected anyone to ask him that question, let alone Sword Empress Leonora. His face burned with embarrassment. "Uhh, it's a..."
"Hmm," Leonora said, regarding him now with disgust. "I understand."
"N-No," he stammered.
"What is wrong?" she said with facetious innocence. "You are happy because you have a girl here who has risked her life to see you home safe." Giving him a look full of contempt, she turned and walked towards the other end of the room.
Lucian's face now burned with anger rather than embarrassment. He strode after her, fist clenching. "You don't understand," he said, forcing a tone of repraimand into his voice.
"I understand perfectly," she countered. "The signs aren't as obvious when the person in question is blind, but I've noticed how she speaks to you more than anyone else, even the others in her troupe. I recognize how the tone of her voice changes when she is with you. I've noted how both times I've seen her smile, the smile was directed at you." She shot Lucian a look of reporach. "She cares for you, and you have used that caring to lead her into harm's way."
"You've got a lot of nerve," Lucian snapped. "Just because you're an empress, you think you can judge everyone you meet? You don't know anything about my relationship with her!"
"What your relationship is doesn't matter. I don't care whether you regard her as a friend, a surrogate for your deceased sister, or your one true love, and whether or not you have told her all your deepest secrets, helped her gain new confidence in herself, or enjoyed with her the pleasures of lovemaking -" -Lucian blushed- "- is irrelevant. If you return her feelings, you ought to find it utterly intolerable for her to be put in danger. If you don't return her feelings, you should be ashamed to have her following you around like a stray dog following a stranger in the vain hope that he'll take her in. It really is that simple."
"It was her decision to come."
"And it was your decision to allow her to. Because your ego enjoys having a girl sacrificing everything for your sake."
"That's not..." But Lucian's voice caught in his throat when he tried to deny it. He could only stand there, at a loss for any sort of response.
As she walked away, Leonora said in a voice loud enough for him to clearly hear, "I wonder whether you will feel guilty if she dies - or flattered."
Lucian stood there for a moment, thinking, before he had to hurry and catch up to the others. His thoughts kept flipping back and forth between Bellebete and his sister.
Leonora was right. It's my fault. I tried to blame it on Duran, but it was my fault my sister had frightening light syndrome instead of me, my fault she died feeling abandoned and afraid. And whatever my excuse, it's my fault Bellebete is here. She wouldn't have come if it weren't for me. It will be my fault if she dies.
Not again. I won't let it happen again.
He forgot about finding Vlad for the moment and darted through the rooms of the palace, looking for Bellebete. The place was enormous, but they were systematically fanning out across the place, so he found her easily enough.
She was in some sort of massive office, bigger than the house Lucian had grown up in. Titus was with her, but exploring another end of the room.
"Have you found something, Lucian?" she said.
He stopped. "Ah... How did you know it was me?"
"I know the tone of your footsteps," she replied. "It is heavy with sorrow and guilt, yet bold and full of purpose. The sound of a person's steps is not as full of complexity and subtleties as the sound of his voice, but your steps are just as distinct and recognizable as your voice."
"Is... is that so?" he said, glad that she at least couldn't see him blushing, even though he realized the embarrassment in his voice had to be just as obvious. "Have you found anything yet?"
"No. Everything looks perfectly normal."
For the hundredth time, Lucian wondered why Bellebete always said things like that - "Long time, no see," "You look well," "As far as I can see..." It was almost as though she was trying to convince people that she wasn't blind.
"Bellebete... listen," he began, scratching the back of his head. "I really appreciate your help, but -"
"Found somethin'!" Titus's voice interrupted. "Looks to me like a good old-fashioned hidden panel behind the desk here. Made to look just like one of the floor tiles, but I can feel the difference. Let's try..."
As Lucian watched, Titus pushed down on the panel. A section of the floor on the opposite side of the room slid away, revealing stairs headed down. "Um... Bellebete, I..." he tried again.
"Not now, Lucian. We need to gather the others so that we can investigate this. It's too dangerous for just the three of us to wander down there alone."
"Hey, wait!" he called, but she was already striding away.
Damn it. I hesitated, and... now it's too late. I could catch up to her, but there's no way I can convince her and the rest of the Chemical Brothers to turn back now that we're right on the brink.
"So, Lucian," Titus said. "You wanna stay here and guard this viper's hole with me?"
Lucian sighed. "Sure. Whatever."