"You're quite predictable." Her voice was playful, but he could tell that she was somewhat disappointed. A thin layer of sweat covered his body as a result from their activities, but the lack of movement combined with the cool breeze dropped his body temperature drastically.

She was simply too much, and he was too little. In his mind, he knew she found herself bored; perhaps their differences weren't something which could be overcome that easily. Inwardly, he had to curse himself for that which he could not control. She didn't even need to say anything; her usual smiling expression still hinted at her boredom with his inability to keep up.

When he looked at her, it was something he couldn't fully comprehend, something unlike anything else he had ever witnessed or experienced. The movement of her body was elegant with no excess movement, and… just the fact that she was different was enough to pique and hold onto his curiosity like a vice grip; she was radiant. He wanted to get to know her more. But there would always be that distance between them.

For once in his life, he envied Yuri.

"We'll decide that with round three." Flynn smirked, standing up and picking up his sword once more. The clash of tongues he may lose to her, but he was determined to win in the clash of blades. Or, at least tire himself out by trying. That was the third time.

It had already been several days since Yuri's disappearance from atop of Zaude. The Empire recalled the search ships already, much to Flynn's chagrin, but as he was a soldier he had little choice but to adhere to his orders.

Not that he couldn't find a way to try to work around it.

"I have to admit, I'm a bit surprised." Her melodic voice wasn't a typical feature of this trip. They've never talked much before, but in this regard they had one common goal: they both wished to find Yuri. Both of them knew Yuri well enough where he wouldn't simply disappear on them without an explanation, and seriously; one drop off of the top of Zaude wouldn't be enough to kill him. Flynn knew this for certain; after all of the times Yuri's been jailed, he's proven that he was hardier than a cockroach.

"What's so surprising?" His lake blue eyes widened in a surprised motion; he was taken aback at the woman's sudden statement. Prior to this all he simply said was that if he ever got a vacation or retired from the Imperial Knights, he would like to travel the world. It was one of the original reasons why he decided to take his pilgrimage at such a time anyway. It was so last minute; he couldn't help but jump at the opportunity, not even able to have the time to inform Yuri about it. Not that he needed to know; the two trusted each other completely in that regard.

She simply chuckled. "It just seems rather uncharacteristic of you, Flynn." That airy tone of her voice seemed as frivolous as her personality, far unlike Estelle's innocent inflection or Sodia's serious tone. It had an enticing and playful property which seemed to make her as intangible as air; something you can't see, but once it moves you could see the results of. Perhaps that was the start of when it began affecting him. "The first person who comes to mind to say such a thing would be Yuri, after all." A light smile stayed constant on her lips; it was a smile for all occasions.

"I wouldn't say that." A bit defensive there, it seemed, but Flynn knew that she was speaking the truth. It irritated him, but only a few polarizing differences in their world view made them different; in almost every other aspect, Yuri and Flynn were identical. That's why he had to be so strict with himself, for if he ever lost himself to his base desires, he would end up like Yuri. The world of Terca Lumireis needed heroes, and Flynn was going to change the world. Or, at least that's what he aspired to, ever since his father... passed away. "You know Yuri rather well, don't you? It seems as though you two are on the same wavelength. I'm glad that he's made such a good friend."

"Oh?" Judith turned her head, overlooking the ocean from the ship they were taking. Finding nothing from the air riding Ba'ul, Judith decided to take a break and join Flynn in searching by sea. "Yuri and Estelle always seem to be talking about you; you seem to share a few common traits between the two of them." She observed. "I wonder if it was Estelle who inherited your... volition, or if it were the other way around?"

Flynn smirked. "You make it sound like I'm stubborn."

"You make it sound like she's stubborn." Judith teased.

Being around Judith was like a refreshing cool summer breeze on a scalding hot beach; she seemed to be just what Flynn needed after all of the stress of becoming an acting Commandant for the Imperial Army. In his station, he couldn't do as much as sneeze without somebody taking it as an ill omen. It was like he had forgotten what a casual conversation was like. Perhaps it was probably even before he joined the Imperial Army that he was able to actually relax in somebody's presence. Maintaining an image was quite tiring.

"I do realize that she has a certain fastidious nature that's unrivaled due to her growing up confined in the palace." Flynn nodded, "I admit that even I was surprised that despite seeing so many horrific things during her journey with your group, that she hadn't lost it. If anything, seeing the world only tempered her world view to an astounding resilience."

"Whereas your world view and mine share something in common." Judith chuckled. "Our backgrounds aren't so sheltered."

"So, Yuri told you?" Flynn lifted an eyebrow, "Yes, I grew up in the lower quarters of Zaphias, with Yuri." It wasn't exactly a secret that he was a mere commoner - Captain Cumore made certain to belittle all of the recruits from the Lower Quarter of that fact before he passed away.

"That's not all." Judith nodded, "He told me that your father was dishonorably discharged from service."

"He couldn't have been discharged if he were already dead." Flynn's tone suddenly turned sharp. The sting of hearing the news from the soldier that came to his house that one day, his father's helmet atop of his uniform being presented to his mother, still lay somewhat fresh. Even though Flynn had wanted to forgive his father for what had happened after finding out Garista's involvement, the mere mention of the discharge was enough to send his skin crawling. Those records would never be expunged.

"I'll leave it at that for now, then," Judith knew when to back off when necessary. "And please, don't blame Yuri. It simply came up in pillow talk," She teased, before signaling for Ba'ul.

Before Flynn could say anything, she was gone. It was just as well, as Flynn wasn't entirely certain how to respond to that statement, or the mental imagery that came with it.

"I'm really not that skilled with blastia, Miss Judith." The Commandant scratched his head as he entered Judith's temporary residence within the city. "I'm surprised you haven't contacted Miss Rita about this; she's the leading authority, isn't she?"

Gently closing the door behind them, Judith's poker face didn't let on that with a flick of her wrist, the door was then locked. "Oh, it's just that we don't speak with each other that often, soldier-boy; I was in the city and everybody else seemed busy, so I figured, 'why not spend some time with Flynn?' Surely you agree that leaving a helpless young lady such as me alone in this big, menacing city all alone isn't safe?"

"I've seen you fight, so I'm not at all concerned for your safety. The safety of the rabble you rouse, however-"

"Exactly my point." Judith used her palms to push Flynn's shoulders against the wall, as her smile was devious as her eyes were seductive. The scarlet red of her lips found their way pressed in Flynn's face to the point he couldn't ignore it, as Judith's knee pressed into a rather sensitive area of his anatomy; he couldn't hide from her that despite his surprised expression that his blood ran hot as any other man's.

"M-Miss Judith!" Flynn's voice suddenly rang up at least two octaves higher than his usual tone. His tongue finally found a way out of the death-grip of her teeth. "We can't be doing this-!"

"Oh, don't be all knightly with me, boy." Judith's tone was sharp and clear; commanding, even. "I need a release. You can serve as my release. If I scream, who do you think any onlooker would believe? A poor, helpless Krityan woman, or the strong, strongcommandant who insists he doesn't need a woman?" It wasn't accusatory, yet both knew what she was getting at. The words were harsh, but the actions were something else entirely.

"... You, you..." Flynn's face grew rather red, "You don't need to resort to that..." His eyes narrowed and closed, as it was then his turn to reciprocate the kiss.

Judith was pleasantly surprised; it was deep and moist, yet nothing else in Terca Lumireis could come close to that particular sensation. And it was only about to get better. That was the first time.

Jolting awake, Flynn was covered in sweat and began to gasp for air. A nightmare about his father, again. Niren and his father were too alike, and despite happening years ago, the memories still stayed fresh. After all, that was exactly how Flynn was so easily persuaded by Alexei's charisma to follow orders.

He cursed himself for not knowing better, every single day since.

After a few seconds, Flynn was shocked to realize that he had no clothes on; he steadily recalled the events of the evening before. The blood once again came to a boil just recalling what had transpired. Looking to his side, even in the dim moonlight, he saw that she had already left. She didn't stay last time, either - it seemed like she never slept. After their activities, he drifted off into a deep slumber from pure exhaustion, but he couldn't ever recall seeing her sleep. Then again, this was only the second time.

After a few more minutes of attempting to go back to sleep only to be unsuccessful, Flynn put his clothes on and decided to walk about Zaphias. Yuri was still missing, but each and every one of his friends refused to give up.

Walking about Zaphias in the middle of the night wearing regular clothes wasn't something Flynn did on a regular basis, but it was nice to feel somewhat normal after a full day after being Commandant. He didn't feel at home unless it was the slums, but he couldn't risk going down there. The residents still stood behind him since he fought for their rights, but he kept on failing them in other ways. He wasn't the one who brought back the aque blastia. Ever since that aque blastia was stolen, it felt like Yuri was besting Flynn little by little, until there was nothing left. The thought of the two of them being compared to each other made Flynn bite his lower lip in frustration; was this how Yuri felt all of these years? Did Yuri resent him?

Plus, he was certain that Estelle was continuing using her healing artes to help the populace of the Lower Quarters, against a few people in the Council protesting against her involvement. In the end, it seemed as if they had cast their hopes on loder instead.

Lost in his thoughts, he didn't realize that his feet carried him to a hotel. He could hear voices, as he stood beside an open window.

"I'm telling you, this Hermes guy is amazing!" Rita's voice didn't show the slightest hint of being tired despite the time of night. "He's developed blastia formulas I couldn't even begin to dream of! I've spent the past couple of nights just reading through what I deciphered and I can't get tired of it at all! "

"You're rather amazing yourself, Rita." Judith's voice didn't show the slightest hint of exhaustion, either

Their conversation went on. Who was Hermes? Why were they reading his journal? Flynn had to admit that he didn't know Judith very well, but he knew her well enough that she wouldn't involve herself in something like this if it were purely trivial; there was some connection between her and whoever Hermes was. At least, it would make sense, then.

"It's quite unexpected for you to pay me a social visit." Flynn commented, allowing Judith entry into his room in the castle. That was a lie. The social part wasn't anyway; whenever she came, it was always for one thing. The room was clean; he hasn't used it much since becoming Commandant, and the maids concentrated on dusting. He still hadn't realized that Yuri fixed the door to his quarters after Zagi tore down the door. It was after Yuri and Brave Vesperia had defeated Duke Pantarei.

"I was in the area." Judith simply responded, making herself comfortable on his bed, crossing her legs. "After all, circling around Terca Lumireis so many times makes you end up visiting the same areas once in a while, right?" She teased, crossing her legs. "How goes the restoration of the Empire?"

Flynn shook his head. "I know that's not what you're here for."

Judith chuckled, patting the spot next to her on the bed. "You're too smart, you know that?"

Despite this now being the fifth encounter, Flynn still had a bit of a blush as he reluctantly cast his gaze to the side. "I just happen to recognize patterns when I see them."

"Oh? The fourth time was still a surprise for you, wasn't it?" She tilted her head, gazing at him seductively.

"That was when Yuri was found." Flynn nodded. "With him back, what need do you have of me?"

"Oh?" Judith once again chuckled. "You took me seriously?"

"I take everything seriously, as much as you seem to disregard most everything with your flippant behavior." Flynn turned to face Judith, his face showing frustration.

Judith pouted. "I don't treat every single thing with reckless abandon." She retorted, her voice never being raised. "Besides, I never said that taking things so seriously is a bad thing. Why are you taking it as an insult? I personally think it's one of your cuter qualities."

"I'm not comfortable being a replacement!" Flynn snapped. Realizing that the door was still open and that perhaps somebody could hear them, he shut it and lowered his voice. "You've had your fun, and the real thing came back. Why are you still toying with me?"

Judith stood up and approached Flynn. "You're a lot more fun to tease." She chuckled, laying her hand on his armored chest, and her other arm slung over his armored shoulder. "Your armor is so cold! Why not take it off, and warm me up with your body over there in the bed, hmm?"

Flynn once again averted his gaze. This woman was truly frustrating. This secret rendezvous was only one of several thus far. He would be lying if he said it didn't feel good, but the guilt before and afterward always plagued him and his conscience. He knew that Yuri and Judith had some sort of connection, since they always seemed to be on the same wavelength during their journey. Judith, the Krityan with the proportions of a goddess and a purely hedonistic attitude not completely unlike Yuri's.

What was she thinking, doing this?

"You're just using me." Flynn simply said, refusing to budge.

"You never refused before." Judith began to pout, "And that's how relationships work. You use each other. Parents use children for unconditional love, and children use parents for name recognition and money. Men use women for sex and children, and women use men for money and security. Empires use their people for manpower and money, and people use their empires for leadership. The same thing can be said about Commandants and their soldiers: Commandants use their soldiers so they themselves don't have to be sacrificed, and soldiers use their Commandants to be free from all responsibility."

"That may have been how Alexei operated, but I refuse to do such a despicable thing."

"It's not despicable." Judith explained, "It's the way things work."

"So, how do we use each other?" Flynn was almost afraid of the answer.

"A girl likes to have some company on a lonely night or two." Judith smiled, her lips running across her teeth. "Besides, surely you enjoy our conversations, don't you? I doubt you could just talk about anything with just anybody here in Zaphias, after all."

"It seems as if we never have conversations anymore. Just pure, raw, unbridled, animal… encounters." Flynn looked her in the eye once again. Her ruby-like irises seemed to hold many mysteries. "How do you know about my father? I somehow doubt that you're the pillow-talk type. Yuri wouldn't have told you."

"I'm surprised it took you this long to see through my little white lie." Judith chuckled. Putting some distance between Flynn and herself, she took a seat on a chair next to his desk and crossed her legs. "Estelle let some of it slip." She leaned one elbow on the desk. "I did some detective work for the rest."

Walking toward her and stopping about a yard away, he sighed. "The public records." He discerned. "Well, since you know about my family, why not tell me about yours?" An eye-for-an-eye indeed.

"Aa, but the allure of a woman is her air of mystery, isn't it?" Judith teased.

"There's little mystery when we've explored each others' bodies so... thoroughly." Flynn's face grew red once again, averting his eyes as to not allow his imagination to recall the details cropping up in his mind. It didn't work.

Judith simply chuckled. "How about this; after we have our fun, I'll tell you a little bit about myself. I get satisfied, and then you get satisfied. I already know that your endurance is just as good as your word, after all."

It was difficult to argue with such a deal. The sound of his cape falling to the floor was followed by several other movements, as he felt as if he were losing himself within her.

It took longer than usual. Flynn supposed that her appetite for his end had to justify his appetite for her end of the bargain, so he didn't think to complain. The first few times seemed to last an eternity; this brought back that feeling. Finally, after two and a half hours of pure exhausting activity, her lips were a telltale sign that she was satisfied with what he had given to her.

The urge to sleep was strong, despite it being in the middle of the day. "Well, Miss Judith?"

"You may as well be calling me Lady Judith, with how well you've been taking my orders." Judith leaned toward Flynn, her tongue outlining his lips before finally entering his mouth. After several seconds of an intense, passionate kiss, she pulled away, a string of saliva briefly connecting the pairs of their lips before breaking.

Just as Flynn thought he wouldn't go any further, he felt his body tense up.

He gently used his finger to trace the contour of her cheek, setting back a sweat-drenched strand of hair out of her face. "You're not getting out of your end of this transaction, Lady Judith."

Judith chuckled. Her manicured nails gently brushing against his chest, she knew the even just the simple movement of the sheets was setting him on fire. He had a choice, yet she knew she couldn't divert his attention. She smiled. "We're not so different, you and I." She admitted. "My father's name was Hermes, and he was a blastia researcher in Mt. Temza before the Great War." Well, it instigated the war, but that detail was minute, at best.

"Hermes... as in, Hermes-grade blastia?" Flynn was honestly quite surprised. After hearing that name at the hotel that one night, he did some research on it. Not that it brought up a lot of results, but the concept seemed to ring true - the mages formerly of Aspio, particularly Witcher, spoke of odd blastia cores written with strange formulas. However, the issue was mostly moot, as all of the blastia cores had been converted to Spirits.

She simply nodded, continuing to run her fingers across his shoulder. "The reason I traveled around the world to destroy blastia is because the Hermes blastia is his last vestige, and they are dangerous. Little did I know, he knew they were dangerous. Rita helped me decipher his journal, and know his thoughts. He died when I was nine, after all." Sitting up, she began kissing Flynn's neck. His torso already showed evidence of several past encounters of her passionate kisses. "To this day I couldn't tell you the difference between a blastia formula and a bunch of doodles, honestly."

"How is that similar to my situation?" He asked, between bouts of heavy breaths. The way the sunlight leaking from the window reflected on her sweat-covered, perfect skin glistened.

"Both of our fathers did something which could have been viewed terrible." Judith explained, now using her tongue to outline Flynn's triceps and bicep, lifting his arm with her hands. Closing her eyes, she only opened them occasionally to peek at Flynn's expression. His eyes were also closed, his breathing heavier and his face red, made all the more apparent from the sweat dripping down to the pillow. "But they both loved their children, and wanted to do what was right in the end." She moved onto his forearm, then hand, and his fingers. Her tongue licked the edged of his nails, as she put his thumb in her mouth.

"You have a very effective method of storytelling, Lady Judith." Flynn managed to say, before she startled him by straddling his stomach.

"Considering what a good boy you are, I'll make sure there's a sequel." Her lips once again met his. This would be the sixth time.

Dahngrest rivaled Zaphias for being the largest city in Terca Lumireis, and considering how the Guilds and the Empire were rivals as well in the past, it only seemed fitting. The rebuilding of the world without blastia was an uphill battle, and to celebrate their progress, Altosk was going to host a grand ball and invite the Empire. Of course, Flynn was also invited as a guest of honor.

"Oh, Hell no! I am not showing up!" Yuri dismissed the matter with a wave of his hand. "You think I'm actually going to go to that sort of stuffy thing? Even if Altosk is running it, I'd still be out of place."

"You just have other plans for that night, don't you?"

"I've made a date with a lovely companion." Yuri simply smirked. Flynn was sharp. Sometimes too sharp. He was beginning to read Yuri almost as well as Yuri could read him.

"You have things to take care of in Nordopolica, " Flynn sighed. "You've become quite the workaholic, Yuri." Flynn allowed himself to smirk in turn. "Natz is a good man. You're doing a good thing by helping him out."

"Nordopolica's a nice place, anyway." Yuri scratched his nose. "You can take walks at night and it doesn't feel too stuffy, being by the sea and all. It was probably a bit too peaceful for Judy, though. I don't think there was a night when we traveled together that she didn't take long walks out late at night."

Flynn flinched at the mention of Judith. Did Yuri know? "So, Miss Judith often likes taking late-night walks. It seems as though she's not very fond of sleep."

"She's probably an insomniac." Yuri shrugged. "You'd have to ask her yourself, but it's probably because of what she went through as a kid." Their childhoods weren't peachy, either - everyone shared that, anyway. The crimes of peoples past still affected them today.

Flynn thought that would have made sense. Judith was the type to always move around from place to place; staying still for very long would probably cause her to panic. If you stay in one place for too long, you grow attached to it, and when you lose it, you lose yourself.

If there was one thing that could be said about the Guilds, it was that they certainly knew how to throw a party.

"It's been so long since I've been here!" Estelle exclaimed, amazed at the atmosphere of Dahngrest. She was dressed in an elegant ballroom gown, with a jewel-studded tiara placed atop of her hair tied in a bun. The Cooking Coliseum was the only building big enough for the gala, and they cleaned it up rather well. "Look! There's Karol!" She waved at the young Guild leader of Brave Vesperia, and approached him.

"Yo, Flynn." Raven was still wearing his usual outfit, not out to impress anyone. Then again, most of the Guild grunts from Dahngrest didn't even own nice clothing for such an extravagant occasion. The cooking guild certainly did provide splendid food, however. "Looking as sharp as ever." Flynn was in a tuxedo, accompanied by a top hat. It was a gift from Chastel Aiheap, after all, and was difficult to turn down. His coat tails didn't feel too different from his cape on his armor, so it felt comfortable in that regard. "All that's missing is a monocle. Or maybe a conductor's baton."

"Captain Sch- aa, Raven." Flynn bowed his head in respect. The man he once admired so much, and idolized as his hero... Raven cast aside the identity of Schwann. The hope of those Imperial Knights who hailed from the Lower Quarter. Raven was still the man he admired, in a sense, and in another sense he was an entirely different man as well. "It's good to see you."

The old man certainly gave a vibe of being lazy, but Flynn could tell from the subtle details that Raven was working as hard as ever. Although Flynn never saw him from the Imperial side of things, the bags underneath Raven's weary eyes were more than tell tale enough that Raven had been working hard with Altosk and making sure that Harry Whitehorse wasn't making too many mistakes. "Same to you, kid." Raven grinned wide, his teeth beaming.

"While Harry was listed as the host, I know you had to be working behind the scenes to make this happen." Flynn nodded. "Thank you for trying to make Empire-Guild relationships smoother, in your own way."

"Food and alcohol are always the best way through men's hearts!" Raven laughed, taking a chug of his beer. Suddenly, a very attractive young woman came up to Raven's side. "Okay, sweetie, I know I promised to show you around." He burped a bit. Raven's eye twinkled as he grinned at Flynn. "Talk to you later, kid."

Watching Raven's back as he walked away with that woman, Flynn realized that there was little difference between him and Raven. Raven obviously used women and alcohol as a distraction from a fate he couldn't escape, being Alexei's puppet. Even with Alexei gone, old habits die hard; Raven seemed to continually party and celebrate the end of the final battle with Duke Pantarei. Flynn found himself exhausted and stressed from all of the responsibility of being the Imperial Army's Commandant. And while he was at first reluctant and hated to admit it, he became more and more indebted to Judith as a release of all of his stress.

"I was wondering when you'd show up."

Turning his head, he saw the shapely figure of the Krityan warrior was draped in an elegant shimmering dress with a slit that went dangerously high. Held up by two thin straps across her bare shoulders, her arms were gloved in white and around her neck was a thin silver chain. Her usually radiant lips were painted ruby, shaped in a smile for the person she addressed. The cut of the top of her dress went dangerously low below her bosom; although Flynn had already seen everything, he still gulped in attempt to calm himself down.

"There's no need to be so dumbstruck." She teased, interlocking her arm with his. "You've already seem more than this, hmm? Unless you've kept your eyes closed the entire time."

Flynn blushed once again - that wasn't the case. "You look beautiful tonight, Lady Judith."

Judith smiled, "That's the first time you've ever said that to me."

Having a gorgeous woman by his side as they attended the party was quite an experience for Flynn, indeed. He could feel everybody's eyes in the room staring at him and his companion, as she truly lit up the room. The evening went on, and after the majority of the attendants either left or drunk themselves into a stupor on the floor, Judith and Flynn found themselves on a balcony overlooking Dahngrest. Most of the city was sleeping, aside from the perimeter guards staying on watch for monsters.

"You're beautiful tonight," Flynn repeated. "Everybody in the room was staring at you."

"That's funny, because I had my eyes only on one person." She smiled, her silver earrings also glistening in the moonlight.

Flynn was once again feeling frustrated. "How long will it be before you grow bored of me?"

"When you say such spiteful things like that, it just might hurt my feelings." Judith frowned, placing her hand on his shoulder.

Flynn turned his head, taking her other hand with his, and using the hand of which his shoulder was her hand's resting place to be placed on her hip. "How about my feelings, then? I know you're the restless type. Sooner or later, we're going to hurt each other." He began swaying according to imaginary music playing in his head, Judith following his movements.

"I may be restless, but perhaps the few chances I have with you offer me rest." She looked into his eyes, waiting for him to finally make eye contact with her again. "Why are you so suspicious? It's not a very desirable personality trait, you realize."

"I'm just having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that you would choose me as your resting place." Flynn finally turned to look into her eyes. It felt as if he could get lost forever in that bewitching gaze of hers. "Why not Yuri or Raven, if it's to be quick and painless?"

"You know how to treat a lady right," Judith responded simply, her hips swaying with Flynn's lead. She placed her head onto his shoulder. "What I remember of my father was that he was earnest and hardworking to a fault. While his research was harmful, I will always remember him as a kind and gentle soul who loved my mother and me. Given that your father was the same way, don't we have some common ground?"

"I suppose so." Flynn smelled her hair. It smelled of botanical extracts. Her words made him thinking on what his father did - Niren always did say that Flynn's father sacrificed himself and disobeyed orders in order to protect the people. It seemed almost silly now that Yuri was able to believe in the good of the late Finath Scifo better than his own son. "Though it seems like in every other regard, we're complete opposites." He sighed, "I just don't know what's going to happen, should you decide to move on. At this point, I don't know if I'll be able to handle it."

"Who said I'm going to move on?" Judith asked. He could see her face, with her head burrowed into his shoulder. He couldn't tell if she was teasing or not - that was killing him inside. He was growing attached to her. No other woman he knew had such a vice-like grip on him like Judith had managed to gain. Moving her head to face him, Judith smiled. "Want to go for a ride?"

"A ride?" Flynn grew red once again. Was she implying what he thought she was implying? Judith giggled as she felt what his other side was anticipating.

"You'll see," She teased.

He found himself both surprised and disappointed.

"I don't think I've had you ride with Ba'ul before." Judith commented, as the night wind gently passed by both of them. Sitting on the railing of the boat, she kept on eyes on Flynn. "Even if you have, it's nice taking a private ride, isn't it?"

"The sky... such vast freedom. Although you can be in the sky, you can't claim it as your own. Yet, you have something nobody else can have, thanks to your bond with Ba'ul." Flynn gazed at the land before him. "You're the envy of everybody, I'd think." He turned to face her.

One of the straps holding up her dress was over her shoulder as she approached him, her fingers gingerly undoing button by button.

"L-Lady Judith...!" Flynn sputtered, once again growing red. "Here? Right now?"

"Why not?" Judith ran the tip of her tongue along his neck to his jaw line.

"Ba'ul's watching...! " Flynn blushed, looking up at the magnificent Entelexeia. That only made it easier for Judith to travel up his Adam's apple and eventually lightly bite his lower lip.

"He doesn't mind." Judith's playful tone was evident once more. "Besides, it's not like he's participating. Up here, nobody can accidentally walk in on us. Doesn't that make you any more comfortable?"

"Always thinking of me, aren't you?" Flynn sighed, giving in once again. He already surprised himself by being able to enjoy physical intimacy and pleasure outside of wedlock. The way she was pushing his boundaries began to surprise even him. Lowering his lips to meet with hers, thus began the seventh time, now in the sky.

"... and those are the progress reports on the defenses of the various cities in Terca Lumireis." Sodia concluded her report.

"Thank you, Captain Sodia," Flynn nodded. He had promoted Sodia recently due to her contributions toward the new world order, and she accepted by telling him that anything she could do to take some of the burden off of his shoulders she would be glad to do. "You are dismissed."

Sodia saluted, but still stood. Hesitantly, her lips quivered as she took in a deep breath. "Commandant, there have been rumors that you are involved with someone. Is this true?"

Flynn raised his eyes to meet Sodia's. He then looked back to the reports on his desk, moving them along with his hands. "I don't see how this would affect my job." He responded, rather blandly.

"Commandant, you are the hope of the people! For you to be associated with dubious activity is-"

"Captain." Flynn's eyes narrowed as he glared at Sodia. She visibly took a step back. His patience was wearing thin. "My personal life is none of your business, and is none of the peoples' business. I am not royalty. I am simply trying to make this world work. it's bad enough that we tossed the entire responsibility of stopping Duke Pantarei to Yuri and Brave Vesperia, without anybody crediting them. It's my responsibility to make sure that their efforts were not in vain. What I may or may not do in my personal time is of no consequence. You are dismissed."

Sodia had never seen Flynn so stern and almost... feral, before. Shocked speechless, she left the room without another word.

Aurnion certainly grew to vast proportions in such a relatively short time. For the first city in the world to be built from the ground-up not reliant on blastia, it was a symbol of hope for all of Terca Lumireis. Overseeing some more Imperial matters regarding the soldiers, Flynn paid a visit to the city; it was a breath of fresh air, being able to travel around the world. The job was certainly stressful, but the benefits were difficult to argue with.

After the meeting over, Flynn went back to his private quarters. Out of honor, the people of Aurnion built him his own private quarters for when he came to town as a gesture of gratitude. Unlatching the straps holding his armor, he had set several pieces on the table before he sensed somebody's eyes following his every movement. He found it difficult to smile. "I suppose this is when you'd like to hear that you're always welcome in my place, isn't it?"

"You've read my mind," Judith teased, stepping forward as the daylight from the window revealed her presence. "Let me help you with that." Approaching him, she unlatched a few more of his straps, his armor falling to the floor. It didn't take too long for her hands to travel toward unbuttoning his shirt and untying his pants.

"I can't stop thinking about you." Flynn admitted, his confession causing enough of a reaction from Judith before she could finish pulling the strings holding up his pants. He clenched his fists, tense, going over each word leaving his lips carefully as if his life were hanging in the balance. "I stay up late at night wondering if you're going to come visit me. I stay up at night after waking up to your disappearance, wondering if you're going to come back. When I spend my nights alone, my head is filled with thoughts only of you, and it's driving me crazy. You have this control over me that I can't get out of, and I can't do anything anywhere. I can't concentrate on anything until I see your face!"

Judith gave him a blank stare.

"You're beautiful, gorgeous, intelligent, and I've never met anybody like you before. I could just be off doing my job and living a normal life, and have some sort of political marriage if you and I have never crossed paths. But we did!" He gritted his teeth, his frustration showing in his furrowed brows. "I have no control over my life! But the only time I long to lose control is when I'm with you! I love you!"

Before Judith could respond, Flynn grabbed her shoulders and planted a deep kiss, his tongue desperately exploring the innermost reaches of her mouth, pushing her onto the bed. Amazed, Judith reciprocated his actions, grabbing his hair with her fingers, turning his weight against him and ending up on top, not even bothering with neatly taking his clothing off anymore; she tore them to shreds, throwing them at the wall.

And that was how the eighth time started.

It was the first time he took the initiative in this particular activity. Losing himself, he wasn't even certain of what he was doing, but somehow Judith's moans were encouraging in a manner that he was doing the right thing. It felt good. It felt really good. Unlike the other times where he simply sat back and allowed Judith to do whatever she wanted, he took charge and it felt great to lose control, to become the one in charge.

When it was all over he was once again asleep; out of his dreamless sleep, he woke up in the middle of the night once again. In his mouth, he could still taste the faintest traces of her. However, something was different. He noticed the moonlight bleeding through the curtains, and following the light… surprisingly enough, it lead to Judith's voluptuous figure, wrapped tightly in blankets, her breathing causing the sheets to rise and fall, her hand tightly across his chest. She was asleep.

Kissing her forehead, he went back to sleep, clutching her hand. This was their place right now, together.