Konnichiwa Minna-san! It's been a few months but I'm back! This semester has been brutal, not to mention the bout of writer's block and ten crazy long video games I've been playing through. But whatever, I managed to find time to get this chapter done. I don't have much to say aside from Flynn might be a little, tiny bit out of character at points. Well I've nothing more to say about this so, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Vesperia or the characters, I'm just borrowing them for a while.
Chapter Six: Getting Things Back to Normal
When Estellise woke up the next morning Yuri was still sound asleep. "He must still be exhausted," She thought, "And I don't think that waking him up last night helped him at all."
She carefully got out of bed while trying not to disturb Yuri, "Since you made supper last night," Estellise thought, "I'll make breakfast."
Estellise turned for the door when Yuri stirred. She held her breath as he stretched a bit but he remained asleep and she sighed in relief. She knew that Yuri still needed to rest. The night before he had seemed listless and almost out of it. She wanted him to be well rested in case they ended up being ambushed by monsters on their way to find the others. The last thing Yuri needed was to reinjure himself after the ordeal he had been through. She left Yuri a note explaining where she was going then quietly left the room. She would make the two of them breakfast but first she would stop to see how Flynn was fairing.
Sodia was rather surprised when she found Flynn attending to his normal duties. "Captain," She called, "What are you doing? I heard from Witcher that you were still a touch feverish."
"I'll be fine Sodia," Flynn said as he sifted through some of his paperwork, "I can't let myself lie around while there's work to be done."
"You should really take it easy," Sodia said, "You're going to make yourself sicker!"
Flynn sighed, "I'll only do the little things today," he said, "And I'll take breaks if I start feeling fatigued."
"If you insist," Sodia sighed, "Just please don't work too hard."
"What about you?" Flynn asked, "How have you been feeling? I know after what happened at Zaude, you were feeling sick for a few days. Are you feeling better now?"
"I'm feeling completely better now sir," Sodia said, "There's no need to worry about me."
"Alright," Flynn said, "As long as you're feeling better."
"Commandant," A Knight called as he entered the room, "Lady Estellise is requesting a visit."
"Let her in," Flynn ordered.
"Roger," The knight responded and opened the door for the princess.
"Flynn!" Estellise cried as she ran into the room, "How are you feeling? Should you be up so soon?"
"Lady Estellise," Flynn greeted, "I already promised Sodia that I would only do the little things today. What can I do for you today?"
"I just wanted to let you know that Yuri is alright," She said, "I found him in the Lower Quarter yesterday evening."
"I know," Flynn said, "Khroma stopped in a little while after you left and told me that Yuri was alright. I just want to know where he's been all this time."
"I don't even think he knows exactly what happened to him," Estellise said, "He thinks he may have been unconscious the entire time."
"He thinks he's been unconscious for the past six days?" Flynn asked, "Just how badly was he injured…?"
"I don't know but it must have been bad," Estellise said, "When I found him he was extremely pale and he seemed to be in severe pain. His abdomen was heavily bandaged as well but he wouldn't remove the bandages to let me inspect the wound at all. I don't think he had any broken bones though. There was a salve used to prevent infection on his table so he must have suffered some sort of deep gash…And I don't think broken bones would have been enough for Yuri to look the way he did yesterday. I don't think I've ever seen him look that weak..."
Flynn sighed, "I'm sure we'll find out what happened to him in time. Sodia," He called to his lieutenant, "You said you saw what had happened to Yuri before he fell. Did he seem to have any kind of deep wound on his abdomen?"
Sodia gasped. Of all the questions Flynn could have asked about what had happened before Yuri fell, that was probably one of the ones she was dreading the most, "I'm pretty sure I remember seeing a sharp piece of that core stuck in his side before he fell," She lied, "But I couldn't tell how deep it was."
"I see," Flynn said, "That would explain the salve used to prevent infection and why whoever rescued Yuri had bandaged it. Perhaps Yuri will be able to tell you about how he got such a wound in the future."
"I hope so," Estellise said, "I was really worried about him. He seemed to be in pain even after I healed him."
"I hope Yuri Lowell never tells them how he obtained his wound," Sodia thought, "If he does…"
"Is something wrong Sodia?" Estellise asked
"No," She responded, "It's nothing. Where is Lowell right now?"
"He's still sleeping," Estellise replied, "I accidently woke him up in the middle of the night…I had elbowed him in the side a few times…so I decided to let him sleep a bit longer."
"Were you sleeping in the same bed as Lowell?" Sodia asked.
"Yes," Estellise said, "There's only one bed in his room. He insisted that he would be fine sleeping on the floor but with his injury it would have been bad for his condition. But then he wouldn't let me sleep on the floor even though I told him that I wouldn't mind it. So in the end we shared his bed last night…I trust Yuri very much and I know he would never think of doing anything to hurt me or take advantage of me."
"Yuri probably wouldn't know what to do either," Flynn said, "He's completely clueless when it comes to figuring women out."
"That's mean Flynn," Estellise said, "But it is true. Usually if Yuri does say something that could be insulting to Judith, Rita or myself it's usually completely honest or innocent. He teases us a lot but I don't think that he could bring himself to be purposely disrespectful to a woman."
"It seems there's a lot I don't know about Lowell," Sodia thought, "Perhaps I judged him to quickly…"
"I should really get going," Estellise said, "I just came to tell you that Yuri is alright."
"Thank you Lady Estellise," Flynn said, "Keep an eye on Yuri for me. I'll let the rest of the knights know that there's no longer any need for the arrest warrant I issued the other day."
"Alright," Estellise called as she walked towards the door, "Don't work too hard today!"
"I won't!" Flynn called back.
"Captain," Sodia said, "I just want to know…even after all he's done, why won't you arrest Yuri Lowell?"
Flynn sighed, "It's because Yuri can do what I cannot," He said, "I'm the acting Commandant of the Knights. I wouldn't be able to go off to all corners of the world like Yuri can. It is true that he has done some terrible things however both Ioder and Estellise have overlooked his crimes…and honestly arresting Yuri would probably be one of the worst things I could do right now. Dealing with that thing Alexei unleashed is not something we'll be able to do on our own. Yuri and his group are more suitable to take that thing on than we are."
"When things are all said and done, will you ever punish Yuri for his crimes?" Sodia asked.
"I'm not sure," Flynn said, "I really can't give you an answer yet. Why are you so interested in Yuri all of a sudden?"
"I don't know," Sodia said, "I think I may have misjudged him a little bit…"
"You should try talking to him about these things," Flynn said, "It might help you get to know him a little better."
"I'll try…" Sodia muttered. "I don't think I'll be able to talk to Lowell…not after what I did to him…" She thought.
"Sodia," Flynn said, "Will you go tell the other Captains and Lieutenants that there is no longer any need to arrest Yuri."
"Roger sir," Sodia responded.
Sodia walked towards the dining hall. She knew that most of the captains would be there having breakfast and she wouldn't have to go chasing them down this way. She knew that most of the brigades wouldn't question the decision. But she knew that there was one brigade that would question it and she didn't quite feel like dealing with that. On the way to her destination she ran into that very brigade.
"Oh good the Schwann Brigade," Sodia said, "Just who I wanted to see."
"Lieutenant Sodia," Leblanc greeted, "What can we do for you?"
"We received a tip that Yuri Lowell has returned to Zaphias," Sodia said, "I want you three to investigate the Lower Quarter and arrest Lowell if he is indeed there. However, I want you to tell him that if he rejoins the knights we'll drop the charges."
"We understand!" Leblanc exclaimed, "We won't let you down Ma'am!"
"Thank you," Sodia said, "I look forward to your success."
"We won't let you down!"
"That will keep them distracted for a while," Sodia thought, "It's not like they're actually going to capture Lowell anyway. It will just keep them from asking stupid, redundant questions."
Yuri woke up slowly that morning. A combination staying up late the night before despite his fatigued body's protests and being unconscious for six days had really done a number on him. When he opened his eyes he found that Estellise was no longer lying beside him, "Where did she run off to this time?" Yuri thought. He was hesitant to sit up. He was pretty sure that the wound on his side was still going to be badly bruised and rather painful.
"Oh, you're awake," Estellise's voice called.
"Estelle," Yuri muttered groggily as he slowly sat up causing pain to shoot through his side, "Good morning…ugh…"
"Good morning," Estellise greeted, "Is your side still bothering you?"
"Yeah," Yuri said as he gently massaged his right side, "Just a bit."
"I think maybe I should use another healing arte on it just to be safe," Estellise said, "We are going to be leaving today."
Yuri sighed, "If you insist," He muttered in defeat as the pink haired princess began activating her power. "Thanks, it feels much better now."
"Are you sure?" Estellise asked.
"Yes," Yuri sighed, "I'm sure."
"Can I at least see the area around the wound?" Estellise asked, "I'm still a little worried about it. You'll have to take those bandages off sooner or later. Please Yuri, let me see it."
Yuri sighed as he reluctantly removed his belt, jacket and shirt. He then slowly started to remove the bandages. The dressings had left angry red marks around his abdomen, "I should have removed these sooner…" He thought. He sighed once he eyed the scar and ugly deep purple bruise that had been left behind by the wound, "She was nice enough to not hit any vital spots but she still got me pretty good…This is going to continue to hurt for a while…"
"No wonder you're still in pain," Estellise gasped, "That looks terrible! Did you really get that from getting hit by a sharp piece of debris?"
"Sodia told us that, before you fell, you had been hit in the side by a sharp piece of that huge core," Estellise said, "Is that really what happened to you?"
"I guess so," Yuri lied, "To be honest I'm not sure what I had been hit with. I didn't really have time to check before I fell and lost consciousness." He sighed, "So that's the story little Miss Sodia came up with huh?" He thought, "I'll just play along I guess."
"I see…" Estellise muttered, "Do you want something to eat? I made breakfast not too long ago."
"Sure," Yuri said as he replaced his shirt and jacket, "That sounds good."
"We should hurry though," Estellise said, "Judith will be here soon."
"What's Judi been up to again?" Yuri asked as he stood up and walked to his table.
"Well she went back to Zaude with Rita," Estellise said as placed a plate in front of Yuri, "And once they got back she has been checking in everyday. She'll be here in a little while."
"But are you sure you're alright to travel today?" Estellise asked, "You were pretty badly injured from the looks of it. Should you take another day to rest just to be on the safe side? You still look pretty tired."
"It's not like we're going to be walking a lot," Yuri said, "We'll probably be flying to Aspio and Dahngrest. And besides weren't you all like "I want to tell everyone that you're alright" last night? I'm still a little tired but other than that I'm feeling alright."
"But I still think you should take just another day to rest," Estellise said.
"We have a mountain of problems to deal with," Yuri said, "And if we don't start thinking of solutions now, the entire world is gonna be in some serious trouble."
"I guess you're right," Estellise said, "But please take it easy for at least another day…I don't want to you reinjure yourself or something…"
Yuri sighed. He could tell that Estellise was still rather upset about what had happened to him the week before. "Alright then," He said, "If you want me to take it easy for the next few days then I'll take it easy for the next few days. I'll even sit any battles out if you really want me to."
"I'm sorry Yuri…" Estellise said as tears welled up in her eyes, "It's just…I thought you were dead at the bottom of the ocean somewhere…Even Flynn was starting to think that continuing the search for you was pointless…When I found that you were alive…you don't know what a relief it was for me…I didn't want to sleep last night…I was afraid that I would wake up…and find that it was all just a dream…"
"Estelle…" Yuri gasped as the pink haired girl burst into tears, "Hey, don't cry," He said softly as he embraced the sobbing girl, ignoring the momentary pain in his right side, "I'm okay. I survived. I'm not gonna disappear or anything anytime soon. Do you think I could just leave things the way they are?" He sighed again when Estellise's tears refused to yield, "I know how you feel." He muttered trying a different approach.
"When that bastard Alexei took you from us," Yuri explained softly, "And when he made you fight me. I was terrified that I would have to kill you in the end…I didn't want to hurt you so made sure to hit you with the backside of my blade…and you nearly defeated me. I was so relieved when you snapped out of it but then…Alexei's system started back up again…and the fear of losing you returned. I was extremely relieved when you came back. So I know how you feel…" he sighed, "I'm probably doing a really crappy job at cheering you up huh? I'm just...really bad at this sort of thing..."
"No…it's not…" Estellise whispered, "It's just…I tried so hard to be strong and not cry the entire time you were missing…And I guess it's just all coming out now…"
"Alright," Yuri said as he gave Estellise a little pat on the head, "Just try not to cry too long okay. Rita'll kill me if she finds out I made you cry."
"I guess you're right," Estellise said as she smiled and dried her eyes, "We really should be going now. Judith will be here any minute!"
"Okay, okay," Yuri said as he grabbed his sword, "Let's get going."
"Alright," Estellise said as she dried her eyes one more time and followed Yuri out of the room.
Yuri sighed as he stopped just in front of the fountain in the Lower Quarter and stared at the sky, "Alexei really unleashed something terrible," he mused out loud, "I'm really getting sick and tired of this "freeing the world" crap."
"Just what is the Adephagos?"
"Who knows? But if it's been called a catastrophe then it can't be anything good," Yuri responded, "It's definitely something big to fight this time around."
"Yes it certainly is," Estellise said, "Are you going to go after it?"
"If I don't, no one will be able to live a normal life," Yuri responded.
"A normal life for everyone…" Estellise mused, "That's why we fight."
"It's reason enough to fight something like that right?"
"Yes it is."
"I thought I heard a familiar voice. I'm glad to see you back on your feet Yuri. You had all of us pretty worried for a while."
"Hanks," Yuri exclaimed.
"That young lady must be tired," Hanks said, "So don't you go dragging her all over the place."
"Estelle," Yuri said, "Besides when you healed me, were you using your power again?"
"She healed every injured person who came back," Hanks said, "We're all in her debt."
"If I can do anything else to help please let me know," Estellise said.
Yuri sighed and made a mental note to remind the pink haired girl of their promise to Phaeroh, "It's nice to see the Lower Quarter is back to normal."
"I would like it better without that thing in the sky," Hanks said.
"Don't worry," Yuri said, "Brave Vesperia will take care of it."
"There you go again Yuri," Hanks exclaimed, "Just how do you think you're going to close that massive hole in the sky?"
"Hey I'm sure Yuri will come up with a way to do it," The young man standing behind Hanks said.
"I agree," The innkeeper's helper said, "Yuri would never make a promise he isn't able to keep."
"STOP RIGHT THERE!"
Yuri sighed as he looked towards the hill, "Man, you guys again?" Yuri asked, "What do you want this time?"
Adecor walked up to Yuri with a smug look on his face and a letter in his hand, "Heh heh," He chortled, "I say look at this!"
Yuri took the letter and sighed, "Come on now, another warrant?"
"But I thought…" Estellise started.
"I say," Adecor said, "A knight's duty is to apprehend the unlawful."
"So…no one else has a bounty on their heads?" Yuri asked, "It's just me?"
"That has nothing to do with the matters at hand," Boccos said.
"We have a proposal," Leblanc stated, "Rejoin the Knight and this all goes away."
"Someone high up is making a fuss about leaving you to do whatever you want," Leblanc said, "So…"
"Whoever told you to arrest me feels better if I'm kept under his or her watch huh?" Yuri finished.
"That's the idea," Leblanc said.
Yuri sighed, "I can't see Flynn doing something like this," He thought, "It had to be that charming lieutenant of his. Sorry guys, I can't let you arrest me today, I've got too much to do."
"Hey! Schwann!" He called as he looked towards the lower entrance to the town. He knew exactly how to get away from the Schwann Brigade. The three members weren't exactly what you would call intelligent so fooling them was extremely easy to do.
Just as Yuri thought they would, Leblanc, Boccos and Adecor snapped to attention, "What? Where?" Leblanc called falling for Yuri's jest hook-line-and-sinker, "H-Hey! Wait!" He yelled as Yuri ran off.
"See you later everyone!" Yuri called as he started to run up the hill.
"Take care!" He barely heard Hanks yell back.
"As I thought," Leblanc sighed as he smiled to himself, "And I wouldn't have it any other way," he mused, "ARREST THAT MAN!"
"Yuri…" Estellise called as Yuri gasped for breath, "Are you alright?"
"Man…" Yuri panted. Being unconscious for the past almost week had taken a serious toll on his stamina and he was quite out of breath after the short dash, "I'd forgotten…how brutal…this hill was…"
"Those Knights are amazing!"
"More like…tenacious and utterly addicted to their work," Yuri said as he caught his breath.
"Hey Judith!" Estellise called happily, "Just in time!"
"Well I just came to get you Estelle," The Krytian woman said.
"She putting all her research together in Aspio," Judith said she turned to Yuri, "You'll come too right?"
"Of course," Yuri said, "If you don't mind."
"Then let's go," Judith said as she heard yelling coming from the Lower Quarter, "It sounds like you have some followers."
"Sorry to make you worry Judi," Yuri said.
"I thought my heart was going to burst from worrying so much," Judith responded as she started walking towards the city's gate.
"Yeah alright," Yuri sighed sarcastically.
She stopped and turned, "Hey, I really mean it," She said with a soft smile.
"Dammit," Yuri sighed, "Once, just once, I want to be able to leave somewhere without someone or something chasing me. Is that too much to ask? We should hurry."
"Ba'ul is just outside the city limits," Judith said, "It isn't far."
Leblanc, Boccos and Adecor could only stare in wonder as Yuri waved at them from a ship pulled from what looked like a giant flying whale.
"See ya later guys!"
"GET BACK HERE!" Leblanc yelled. He knew that Yuri wasn't about to come off the giant flying fish-thing anytime soon, "Come on…" he sighed, "We might as well tell Lieutenant Sodia that Yuri escaped…again."
Sodia was sifting through paperwork at Flynn's desk when there was a knock at the door, "Here's the Schwann Brigade to tell me that Lowell got away again," She thought as she walked to the door. She quietly slipped out of the room. Flynn was taking a nap and Lieutenant Leblanc had no concept of what an "indoor voice" was supposed to sound like and she didn't want Flynn to wake up just yet.
"Lieutenant," Leblanc said, "We…"
"Couldn't arrest Yuri Lowell?" Sodia finished.
"Yes exactly," Leblanc sighed.
"Captain Flynn actually dropped the warrant," Sodia said, "It happened just after you three left. Don't worry about it"
"WHY ARE WE DROPPING THE CHARGES!" Leblanc screamed.
"Because I don't feel the need to punish Yuri right now." A tired voice came.
"Captain!" Sodia exclaimed as Flynn stood in the door way.
"Lieutenant Leblanc," Flynn said in a low voice as he rubbed his aching forehead, "Lieutenant Sodia…I ask that the two of you lower your voices and if you absolutely must continue your argument do it on the opposite side of the castle. I don't want to hear you, AT ALL!"
"Forgive me Captain," Sodia muttered.
"Sodia," Flynn snapped, "I thought I told you to inform the Captains that I dropped the charges."
"I'm sorry sir…" Sodia muttered.
"I'm taking the rest of the day off," Flynn muttered, "If I have to come out of my room for any reason the consequences will be severe. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes sir." Sodia responded.
"Before you go back to you room I just want to let you know that Yuri Lowell has left Zaphias." Leblanc said.
"I figured he would," Flynn said as he walked back to his room, "Just let him do as he pleases. Sodia, can I trust you to take charge today?"
The trip from Zaphias to Aspio was relatively uneventful until Yuri, Estellise and Judith reached the seal city.
"I'VE GOT IT!" A familiar voice screamed as a crimson-clad blur blew by them.
"Ah Rita!" Estellise called, "Yuri is…!"
"I don't think she heard you," Judith commented.
"I really don't blame the people here who think that Rita's a strange one." Yuri mused.
"She must have figured something out," Estellise said, "She looked happy."
"I don't think "happy" covers it completely," Yuri said, "But whatever. Let's go see what her big discovery is."
The trio walked to Rita's small hut where they found Rita mumbling about something that went completely over their heads.
"Rita?" Estellise called as the girl walked away still mumbling.
Yuri sighed. It was obvious that the girl hadn't even noticed that they were there and decided to take matters into his own hands, "Rita!" He called loudly.
"Can't you see I'm in the middle of something?" Rita snapped back, "What do you want? Oh it's you how did you…wait a sec you're…!"
"Hey there," Yuri said nonchalantly as the girl turned to face them.
Rita's eyes widened, "Where the hell were you? I looked everywhere for you!" She screamed.
"Ah sorry about that," Yuri said, "It's kind of a long story."
"Whatever," Rita said, "I don't have time for it anyway. I need to talk to Estelle about something."
"You want to talk to Estelle?" Yuri asked.
"I may have found a way to control the behavior of aer," Rita said.
"Really?" Estellise asked, "That's amazing Rita!"
"I learned a lot at Zaude," Rita explained, "And I might be able to apply some of the things I learned to our current situation. However…"
"It's related to Estelle's powers isn't it?" Judith asked.
"We need to interact with aer to figure out how to apply it to a formula," Rita said, "It's something only Estelle can do."
"Now I wish I hadn't given Dein Nomos back," Yuri sighed.
"Did you meet Duke?" Estellise asked.
"Yeah," Yuri said, "He was the one who saved my life. Granted he said he said he only did it to recover the Dein Nomos."
"That sword is different than the child of the full moon," Rita said, "I highly doubt it would be a suitable substitute."
"But that control formula you used on Estelle," Judith said, "That was to control the Child of the Full Moon's power wasn't it?"
"Yeah," Rita responded, "So if we're going to control the aer with this theory, we'll have to release the control formula on Estelle."
"So…if everything works the way it should we'll be able to control the aer," Yuri commented, "However if we screw it up the aer problem will get worse and the Adephagos will destroy the world. Does that sound right?"
"That's quite a bold plan," Judith remarked.
"I'm sure it will work," Rita said, "Believe me Estelle…lend me your power."
"Are you scared?" Judith asked.
"No," Estellise said, "I'm glad. With this I'll be able to use my power to help people. Please Rita, let me know if there is anything I can do."
"So what do we need to do?" Yuri asked.
"I just need to finish working everything out," Rita said, "But I'm almost done with that."
"Alright," Yuri said, "The rest of us will go and pick up Raven and Karol while you work things out."
"I can come too," Rita said, "I've got everything I need in my head. I'll let you know when I come to a conclusion."
"Alright let's go."
That took a lot longer than I had wanted it to. But whatever, it was longer than I had expected it to be. And yet I had originally intended to include the part where you meet up with Karol and Raven. Once again I used a mix of the original Japanese and English translation for the dialogue (the English version is almost a direct translation of the Japanese version anyway). I will definitely write one more chapter and as for where I go from there, well, we'll just have to see. Until next time minna-san! Ja ne!