Sometimes, when I look at that kid, I see Cain all over again. Not just his looks, but his noble personality and everything. His chivalrous outlook on things.

Ha, this coming from a guy who's only ever believed in himself. But if I'm so selfish, then why do I follow this kid around? I've given him my everything, and what do I get in return? It's all so damn confusing.

I can't seem to speak my mind around him, either… Which – like many other things - ticks me off. I mean, I have an ego to maintain and gotta keep my cool around him. But anyway, it's not like I've done anything to OWE him. I'm just doing this 'cuz I wanna. 'Cuz it feels right, or something.

You know, if someone deserved the boy, it might've been Vitis. Tch, I mean if he wasn't such an asshole. It was obvious enough to me that Vitis always wanted to please Cain. They had been like equals and good comrades in battle. Truth be told, I was pretty damn jealous. I could tell that Vitis always enjoyed sparring matches with him; it excited him like nothing else did.

But then his soul was sucked out of him after he became a member of OZ. He never had a chance to tell Cain anything. Or at least, he HAD chances; he just didn't take them. But not that it matters to me. After all, it puts ME one step closer, right?

But then kiddo had to go all "for justice" and save Vitis from his soulless form. That Vitis bastard better be a grateful snot.

I think… when it comes to understanding the kid, I've got the upper hand. I also think that maybe Almira is a close second. Or maybe I'm a close second to her, who knows. She's definitely more analytical and stuff, but it's impossible for her to feel. So, she can't feel what I'm feeling for the kid.

Whoa, what the hell was that? Ha ha, look at me; I'm spouting random crap.

Curse... or thank... whatever deity has power of sanity, I suck at words.

I can plainly see what was happening. Though I'm not able to read emotions or express them very well, I can see it.

"Hey, Almira. Have a question for you." Fiel approached from the side, greeting the lady curtly, before lazily planting himself on the staircase – on which, Almira stood.

With grace, Almira turned and greeted the boy with a smile. Though she felt it dwindle upon seeing the face of the boy; stern and serious, as if preparing to speak of a battle-to-come.

"I was a member of OZ, too, right? Not that I remember any of it…" To the woman, it seemed the boy was hesitant. It didn't require a lot of talent or foresight to notice how that boy was feeling, luckily for Almira.

Oftentimes, it was either a motherly hunch or luck, she reminded herself. After all, she was supposed to be incapable of feeling or having second thoughts; everything logical, everything calm.

But even she could see what was to come.

"And when you become a member of OZ, you need to give up something, right?" Fiel continued, "Well, what did I give up?"

The woman paused thoughtfully for a moment to consider, then reconsider. "Perhaps," she started, speaking her thoughts aloud for the first time that night. "That's not worth thinking of at this time."

"But it must've been important to me. Something irreplaceable. So, if it's so important, why am I living content like this? I mean, compared to your or Leon's loss, I-"

"You feel content?" Almira repeated, allowing the boy time to think. Fiel, I know what you've given up. Though, perhaps I wasn't to know. Perhaps it was your secret that should've been buried along with your past life of OZ. A secret that should've left the memories of both Vitis and Leon, as well.

Fiel stopped to scratch his wild, white hair, a habit that Almira found to be childish, yet well-suited for the young boy. "I guess so. I have no complaints, I mean. Everything's over. And everything's… kinda boring."

When the conversation ceased, Fiel let out a sigh. Of what, though, Almira couldn't be sure. Was he exhausted? Nervous? Does he feel like he's forgetting something? Or as if he's lost something?

There were times when Leon looked upon that smaller boy as a younger brother of sorts. Despite his words, he cared for him. But there were also times when I could see something else emerging from my partner. Something that went beyond what I could ever comprehend.

"Almira, you've… known him longer than I have. So, maybe you'd have an idea. Right?"

Who are you speaking of, Fiel? …Oh. Leon? The woman shakes her head lightly, "That's not necessarily true. You've met him long ago, around the same time I did. …Though, you don't remember, do you?"

"No… but even so, what sort of advice – I mean, this is…"

He's unaware of what he's saying. For some reason, Almira turned away from Fiel. Perhaps her oncoming words would be spoken too outwardly from the heart…? Why should she feel ashamed?

"Fiel, you're feeling things that I could never comprehend. I gave my emotions up to become a member of OZ, don't you recall? But after I left OZ, met you, and worked alongside you, I feel like certain things are coming back to me."

Fiel stood, wordlessly, giving heed to every word spoken by the lady, because he harbored a great deal of respect for her.

"What you gave up… Maybe it will return to you, as well?"

By the way, I love Fiel! He's so adorable! I'm actually working on getting all his outfits in-game. They're pretty expensive, but it's totally worth it, I think!

Though I'm pleased to post the first Sword of Etheria fic up here, I'm also hoping it won't be the last.

Everyone, let's give this awesome game lots of fan love!