A Seth/Tolten fan fic.
CONTAINS SPOLIERS. Disclaimer: I do not own Lost Odyssey or any of its characters, althought I wish I did (especially Jansen), and I am not making any profit out of this etc etc.
Author's Notes: I originally wanted to write a Ming/Jansen fic as this is my favourite LO pairing. However, I was drawn to Seth/Tolten, as I think they'd make a very interesting couple, particularly as they are so different, with Seth's fiesty, tough attitude, and Tolten's polite, nervous demeanour. I think they'd complement each other perfectly, and they could both learn a lot from one another.
This story takes place a few months after the final Gongora fight. Of course, this tale involves Seth NOT going back to her world at the end. I think she would have made it back somehow anyway. Seth's very resourceful. Anyway, I've not written anything on here for a lonnnng while, so be kind. I've also not played Lost Odyssey for a long time, so there may be some Out-of-Character-ness, and some plot discrepancies from the game. Yeah, sorry about that.
The Pirate and the King
Seth was restless. She longed for the rush of the waves and the wind in her hair. Being here, in Uhra, was not doing her any good at all. She felt trapped and suffocated. She should have gone back to the Pirate Fortress with Sed when she had the chance, but stupidly she'd agreed to help the dopey newly crowned King Tolten to manage his troops. Given her previous experience in the Uhran army, and the fact that the King could trust her, it seemed she was perfect for the job. It had been fun at first – bossing around a group of boisterous, rowdy men; taming them to respect and obey; teaching them how to fight – but now her patience was running out and she felt the need to be on the move again. Ugh, why did Kaim have to turn down Tolten's offer? And, more importantly, why hadn't she? Because she felt sorry for him, that's why. He needed to toughen up – and quick – and he wouldn't do that if left to his own devices.
Seth paced along the part-restored castle ramparts that looked down upon the Ceremonial Amphitheatre of the Sky. A light rain had begun to drift down from the darkly overcast clouds. Most Uhran residents had taken cover in their homes or in one of the city's cosy taverns. But not Seth Balmore. She loved the feel of the rain on her skin, refreshing and cool. It reminded her of the anticipation right before a huge downpour – the air charged with nature's magic; not the artificial kind harnessed here in Uhra. She thought about the wild storms she'd endured at sea – the rushing excitement and exhilaration. The uncertainty and danger.
As Seth watched the rain grow heavier, large droplets now bouncing of the Amphitheatre's stone floor, she noticed a figure stepping out from a doorway below. Who, besides her, would be crazy enough to venture out in this weather? She walked around to get a better look and then realised; not crazy – stupid.
"Tolten!" She yelled over the gathering winds. The howling was too strong and he failed to hear her, continuing his hunched-over walk towards his father, King Zypha's, statue. Seth groaned and bounded down the nearby steps to the Amphitheatre floor.
"Hey Tolten!" She shouted again. This time he spun around, a look of astonishment on his face.
"Seth! What are you doing here?"
"Ah, well, I thought I'd go for a little stroll. Stretch my legs, seeing as it's such a perfect day and all." She ran towards him, the rain now soaking her clothes and skin. As she reached him, she saw that he was wearing his usual expression of confusion/nervousness. Not only that, Seth realised, he looks terrible. The young king's usually well-groomed hair was looking mussed and bedraggled, his bright blue eyes were bloodshot and rimmed with a mixture of dull, grey circles. Tolten turned away from her and looked towards the plaque beneath his father's statue.
"Hey, what's wrong?" Seth's voice softened. Tolten could be such a royal pain in the ass at times, but after spending so much time with him over recent months they'd developed an unlikely friendship. Seth had to admit – she had a soft spot for the guy. Tolten, seeming not to hear her and lost in his thoughts, knelt upon the wet floor, pressing his hand to the late king's plaque.
"Your father?" Seth asked, kneeling beside him.
"Yes. Today is the anniversary... when I received news of his death," Tolten whispered. Seth said nothing. She had witnessed many deaths in her long, long years, yet she still found words of comfort difficult and awkward.
"He was a great man, and a fine king. The people loved him." He looked miserable and hopeless.
They sat in silence for a while. He's struggling, Seth thought, yet trying so hard. Too hard. Trying to be someone he's not - his father. Tolten hung his head, his eyes wet with tears.
"Father, I'm afraid I have failed you. The Uhran people no longer have faith, not after Gongora. I am a sham, a fool. A weak king," he wailed dramatically.
Seth frowned. Tolten had been trying to be brave and strong, to rebuild his country after the chaos. She knew now why he was so upset - a combination of the anniversary of his father's death and a few lowly rebels in Uhra city, protesting against the monarchy. He was so damn sensitive. And now he was making her mad. Very mad. She couldn't hold it in any longer:
"Will you quit being such a baby!?" Seth blurted out, her voice tinged with anger.
Tolten's head snapped up. He looked startled, and a little afraid.
"Seriously, Tolten, you've got to pull yourself together. You are getting worse than Jansen at moaning."
Tolten backed away a little. He was scared that Seth might hit him. She had a reputation of doing that to unruly members of his army.
"Who cares what your father thinks, or what he did? He's gone – and you're not!" Seth pressed her fingers to her temple and sighed. Loudly.
"Things have to change – YOU have to change, and stop feeling so damn sorry for yourself. You are kind, and compassionate, and good. All of the makings of a great ruler. And I've seen many rulers rise and fall over the years."
"But-" Tolten went to speak, but Seth silenced him with her hand.
"I know today is a sad day, but why not make this a day of change – for the better. Uhra needs you. Your people need you to lead them more than ever now. All you can do is work hard and try your best."
Tolten looked up to the sky, the rain splashing upon his face. Listening to Seth's words he felt the beginnings of a renewed strength inside.
"I know it's tough, and it'll get even tougher so you'd better get used to it. And, if you don't, I'll be here to kick you into shape." Seth grinned mischievously, hoisting herself up to her feet. She reached down her hand to the still-kneeling king.
"Whadda you say?"
Tolten hesitated, glancing once more at his father's plaque. Then, with a determined expression on his face, he reached up and took her hand.
They both stood, facing each other – the new king, and the ex-pirate. As different as night and day, but still sharing the same understanding. The rain pounded down all around them, yet time stood still.
Seth took a deep breath, "I believe in you." She looked him straight in the eye, not letting go of his hand. And she had meant everything she said. Sure, Tolten could be a wimp – a little wet behind the ears. But he had proved to be loyal, and brave, and courageous when it really mattered. A surprise hero after all. He had earned the respect of Sed and her friends, and of Seth herself, which was no mean feat.
"Seth... I... I will not let Uhra down", Tolten nodded at her solemnly, water dripping from his golden-blonde hair. He seemed to pause for a while, as if trying to find the right words to say, then, speaking in a softer voice, he simply said, "I will not let you down."
A flash of lightning lit up the horizon and their eyes met again, and Seth knew she believed him completely. In that moment, something transformed for the both of them. Seth felt a spark ignite deep inside – magic – not artificial, not atmospheric, but something much, much more. It was like the awakening of something long forgotten, something she had thought was lost over the decades.
She wanted to stay.
She wanted to see this man become the great king she knew he would be.
And she wanted to be part of it.
One day she would return to her home - the sea - back to adventure, back to exploring the world and living free. But she had plenty of time ahead of her for that. It was a time of change, not just for Tolten and his kingdom, but for her. It was an age of new discovery and new feelings, of learning and rebuilding, and hope. And they would see it through, together.
There, amongst the torrents and the thunder, Seth was restless no more.