Chapter 11: That Balcony Life

Matthew and Sveta sat in chairs on the balcony of her room, overlooking Yamata City. It was a beautiful night sky, consisting of beautiful stars and a huge glowing moon. In addition, Yamata was showing off; they had launched something that they called "fireworks" into the sky. The tiny canisters launched into the sky before exploding into bits of colorful sparks that made unique designs. It made for a wondrous night skyline.

Turning away from the demonstration, Matthew reached for Sveta's hand. He grasped it tightly, its warmth quickly spreading to his own hand. Sveta glanced at Matthew and smiled, an action that he quickly returned. Sveta turned back towards the skyline, causing Matthew to sigh. He truly didn't want to bring up what he was about to, but Matthew knew that he had to.

"Sveta." Matthew started. "I've got to talk to you about something."

"What is it?" Sveta asked. "You seem concerned." She noted.

"Just before we left on the journey here, I had a vision." Matthew began.

Sveta nodded for Matthew to continue.

"In it, you were shoved over a cliff, but I couldn't reach you. And then the Wise One appeared…" Matthew stopped.

"And?" Sveta asked, concerned.

"He said If I go to this Peace Conclave, then I'll save you, but I'll endure a fate worse than death… he said some stuff about my other options, but it doesn't really matter anymore."

"That's all?" Sveta asked.

"He also gave me the advice: don't be consumed by darkness. Whatever that means." Matthew revealed.

"Why did you come here if you knew that would happen to you?" She asked sternly.

"Because, if I didn't, I wasn't ever going to see you again. And that in itself is a fate worse than death."

Sveta gave a sad smile. "I appreciate that, but you shouldn't have come. We could have been pen pals. Or something."

Matthew chuckled. "Like I said. Fate. Worse. Than. Death."

Sveta giggled and punched Matthew lightly. "Well, have you told anyone else about your vision?"

Matthew shook his head. "Only you."

"What should we do?" Sveta asked.

"I don't know." Matthew replied.

Sveta sighed and leaned on Matthew's shoulder.

"I know one thing we can do." She said slyly.

"Oh? What's that?" Matthew asked.

"Enjoy what time we have left." Sveta replied.

"Aren't we doing that now?"

Sveta smiled, and then planted a kiss on his lips. Matthew smiled at first, but quickly Sveta continued, kissing his ear, and then his neck. The Venus Adept glanced down and saw that Sveta had unhooked the top two buttons on her vest, revealing a portion of her bosom. Realizing what she was doing, and he kissed her on the lips passionately. Quickly, he felt Sveta slide her hands onto his chest.

Sveta reached lower to his belt buckle, and began to unhook it when Matthew stopped her. "We shouldn't be doing this now." Matthew huffed.

Sveta sighed, acknowledging that he was right, and then leaned into his shoulder, closing her eyes. They stayed like that for a while, eventually falling asleep in the beautiful paradise.

-On a Higher Balcony

Karis sat on the edge of a balcony, her legs dangling above the party that was going on. The visitors and townsfolk both seemed to not care about the attack that had just happened. Both were partying, getting drunk and eating gluttonously. And, Karis was sure the whores of Yamata City were getting a significant boost to their salaries for the duration of the conclave.

The parties were fun, but Karis hadn't gotten a lot of alone time, especially since her relationship with Amiti had gone off. It wasn't that she didn't enjoy her time with Amiti. Just that, alone time was precious, and better than a singular party. Karis sighed as she watched the party.

Surprisingly enough, it was a bit cold. Karis supposed that it shouldn't be that surprising, after all, it was late fall. Winter would be coming soon enough, and that meant snow, ice and perhaps more. Karis shivered and rubbed her bare arms in an effort to warm herself.

Suddenly, Karis felt someone place something upon her shoulders: a jacket. Karis smiled and turned to face her gifter.

"Thanks Amiti." Karis said as she turned… only to see none other than Tyrell standing before her.

"Not quite who you were expecting huh?" Tyrell replied coyly, unsure of what Karis' reaction would be.

Karis rolled her eyes. "No, not quite." She crossed her arms, not even bothering to thank him for his jacket.

"How was your journey?" Tyrell asked, probably trying to engage in some small talk.

"Fine." Karis replied, not wanting to answer.

"How're things with Amiti?" Tyrell asked.

It took all of Karis' will power not to snort. The last time she'd seen Tyrell, he'd just punched up Amiti because the couple had kissed. "They're really good." Karis felt a twang of guilt as she spoke.

"Do you remember that time when we were under the stars, just before we reached Harapa? Me and you just sat together and counted out the constellations we could see."

Karis stayed silent for a while, before finally speaking. "I remember."

"That was an awesome night." Tyrell remarked joyously.

Karis didn't say anything. Partially because it had been an awesome night. They'd gotten to truly talk that night. It was probably the first time that Karis and Tyrell had talked without Matthew there. The other reason Karis didn't speak, was because she wanted to keep those good memories, not trash them.

They stood their silent for a moment.

"Karis look." Tyrell said, moving closer to her. "I'm sorry for what I've done. And I regret it every moment of every day. I wish I could go back in time and take back what I did. But I can't. So just know that I'm so incredibly sorry."

Karis wasn't sure what to say, so she stayed silent.

"I just need to say that I care about you so much, and I want you to be happy. So if the only way for you to be happy is to not be around me, then fine. I'll leave you alone."

"Tyrell wait."

Instantly the fire Adept halted in place.

"I… I haven't treated you completely right. What happened wasn't entirely your fault…" For just a moment, Karis faltered. "I forgive you. And I'm sorry too, for how I've treated you."

"I deserved it all; you have nothing to apologize for."

Karis giggled, and then swung her legs back onto the balcony floor in order to face Tyrell, only to see that he was gone. Karis sighed, hoping that he could forgive her, and himself.

-On An Even Higher Balcony

Mia watched with a smile as Tyrell and Karis talked briefly. It reminded her of Garet… the lost love of Mia's life.

Mia and Garet had gotten together when the burly Adept had admitted his love to her. Mia has reciprocated his feelings, and soon a new relationship had been born. They hadn't had time for the happy times. Instead, Mia had been forced to go on a journey to heal

A little less than thirty years ago, he'd been wounded in a massive battle with an ancient enemy. It took him six months to heal, and even when healed he wasn't the same. He was constantly afraid, scared that he might mess up and die. It caused him to lose his faith and confidence. And because of that, Mia had left him.

The legendary healer had heard rumors that he was more like his previous self, confident and goofy, but she couldn't believe them. It was something that she would have to see for herself. Unfortunately, due to her responsibilities to Imil, a trip to the Lookout Cabin, or Kalay was incredibly unlikely. In fact her biggest chance of seeing him again was here in Yamata City. But, he'd sent Tyrell in his stay, not that that was bad, it was just… disappointing.

Truth be told, Mia missed Garet terribly; his handsome face, the warm hands, confidant personality. She missed the way that he could eat an entire banquet meal without flinching. In addition, she missed his incredible fortitude and resistance. Most of all, Mia missed his reassuring nature. She'd grown accustomed to it, and its' disappearance was striking. Mia hoped above almost everything else that Garet would return with his previous attributes. And yet, that hope seemed all too unlikely. However, the fact that Tyrell's nature was so incredibly close to Garet's likened to the return of the old Garet. Still, Mia was unsure.

After she left Garet, Mia had felt a hole in her heart. She tried various different ways to fill that hole; drinking, drugs, sex. But nothing worked. That is, until one day Mia woke up, and she knew she was pregnant. Instantly, Mia's hole was filled; she had a love in her life again. True, it wasn't one she'd been expecting. Several months later, two adorable little children had popped out, and despite all the chaos surrounding them, Mia was happy again.

Better yet, the town even supported her. Although she was technically a single mother, it never really felt that way. Everyone loved Nowell and Rief, and everyone helped raise them into the loving children they were today.

Mia looked down once more and saw Tyrell walk away. They're conversation may have finished, but Mia had a hunch, that they had barely begun.

-On a Beach, Yamata

Rief and Himi walked together along the shores of Yamata. The Fireworks launched into the stars above them, exploding in bright and colorful forms. It was beautiful, and Rief absolutely loved it. The night was going grand! He was walking on Yamata, with fireworks, with an incredibly beautiful girl. Seriously, how could things possibly get better?

"It must be nice, getting to live out here. Go swimming in this ocean every day." Rief noted, a bewildered smile on his face.

Himi shook her head. "I never go swimming. Father said I could drown, and besides, being in water always makes me feel… antsy."

"You live here?" Rief started, motioning to the breathtaking beach. "And you never go swimming?"

"You'd be crazy to go swimming here!" Himi answered.

"Then I must be crazy." Rief replied, slipping off his cloak and letting it drop to the sand.

"What are you doing?" Himi asked, bewildered.

"I'm going to go swim." Rief remarked, unbuckling his pants and letting them drop. "Come on!"

"I didn't bring swim clothing!" Himi exclaimed as an excuse.

"Neither did I." Rief noted, slipping off his shirt and walking into the water.

Himi stood there a moment indecisive. "Father did say to be more outgoing…" The Venus Adept slipped off her dress and waded into the water after Rief. "Wait for me Rief!" She shouted.

Rief stopped and turned around, smiling. "Come on, I'll help you out. Do you know how to swim?"

"Of course I do! Father taught me how in our pool." Himi revealed as she finally caught up to the Mercury Adept.

"You have a pool too?" He questioned.

Himi nodded. "Of course."

Rief smiled and rolled his eyes, before wadding deeper into the ocean, Himi following close behind. It took them a good amount of time, but eventually they arrived at an outcropping of rocks. Climbing up onto one, Rief looked around. It was small enough that only three people could sit comfortably, and had side wall that would be perfect for leaning against. The Mercury Adept turned around and helped Himi up, before leaning back against the side of the rock and resting. Himi quickly sat next to her friend and closed her eyes, resting as well.

Rief opened his eyes and glanced at Himi, noting that she was only wearing her bright green undergarments. They were soaking wet, which allowed Rief to see through them just a tad bit, providing an even better look at Himi's newest assets. Unfortunately Rief quickly realized what would happen if he stared for too long, so he turned away. After a moment however, Himi leaned against his shoulder.

"I'm gonna be honest." Himi stated dryly. "That swim took a lot more out of me than I thought it would."

Rief smiled. "When was the last time you went swimming?"

"Five years ago." Himi mumbled out.

"Five Years Ago?!" Rief exclaimed.

Himi grinned and nodded. "Yeah, I never liked it much."

"Then why did you go now?" Rief asked, bewildered.

Himi shrugged. "Cause you wanted me to."

Rief shook his head, and then leaned back again. "Well you did good."

-Elsewhere on the Beach

Eoleo and Abigail were walking down the beach talking, for the first time in a long time. It was good to air their grievances out, and really, Eoleo was just happy Abigail was willing to talk to him. Last time he remembered talking to her, they'd had a pretty big fight. Something about some whore from Sana. Eoleo didn't remember. He'd probably been drunk when he met the whore… and had the argument.

Eoleo looked over at Abigail. Her normally long straight blonde hair was in a tight pony tail. Her shirt was a white button down one, that was missing the top three buttons. She wore her trademark black pants and brown combat boots, and had a butcher knife sheathed at her waist. It was pretty hot.

The old friends were talking when they came across some clothes; traditional Imilian robes, and a royal Yamatan dress. Glancing towards the ocean, Eoleo could barely make out the forms of two people whom Eoleo expected were Himi and Rief. Smiling devilishly, the pirate turned to his lover. "Help me move these clothes." He commanded.

Abigail crossed her arms. "What for?"

"My friend Rief hasn't ever kissed a girl, but somehow he's got one out there on the rocks without her dress. When they come back with no clothes…" Eoleo stopped hoping Abigail would catch on.

She did, and she smiled. "Tyrell mentioned Rief, sounded like the kid needs all the help he could get." Walking over to the dress, Abigail dragged it into some bushes nearby, and then helped Eoleo stuff Rief's robes in the same bushes.

"What'd you think will happen?" Abigail asked.

"Ah, Rief probably won't get anything tonight, but he'll at least get a nice look. And he needs one of those."

Abigail laughed, before turning to continue walking.

"Eoleo." She asked, after a minute of silent walking.

"Yes?" He replied.

"Why did you do it?" She asked.

"Do what?" Eoleo replied, honestly not knowing what Abigail was referring to.

"Why'd you get engaged to that Sanan whore when we were dating?" Abigail asked.

"I was drunk." Eoleo admitted.

"That's why we've been fighting all these years?" Abigail asked, completely bewildered.

"I suppose so." Eoleo replied.

Abigail's eye shot into the air in anger. "Eoleo!" She shouted. "If I EVER catch you with a drink again, you're a dead man! You hear me? A. Dead. Man." She threatened terrifyingly.

Eoleo nodded soberly. "I understand." Though in truth he had no intention of giving up drinking.

Abigail smiled. "Good."

"What does this mean… for us?" He asked. "Are we together again?" Eoleo asked, hopefully.

Abigail snorted and shook her head. "I'm not that easy, Eoleo! What do you think of me? A whore?"

"No, no, n-" Eoleo was interrupted before he could finish apologizing.

"The balls in your court now, Eoleo." Sighing, Abigail flung her hair and walked away.

Bewildered, Eoleo stood there unnerved. "I need a drink." He muttered to himself.

"I heard that!" Abigail shouted from a ways over.

Eoleo sighed, this would be the hardest bed of his life.

Author's Notes: demonsshade uploaded a new story entitled: Methodenstreit: The Last Czamaral. And it is wonderful. I HEAVILY recommend it. It's awesome. Go read it. It's legit.

Now, with that aside, sorry this took two long. I've done two chapters of my other story in my absence, so that's where I've been. Anyway, I seriously appreciate the reviews I've gotten, and I hope you guys keep it up!

So unlike all of my other chapters so far, this one actually delved into the backstory of Mask of Pain. The prequel to SaS. Don't go read it, MoP is trash. I keep it up partly cause it is the back story, and partly because i've traded computers and the internet copy is the last remaining one. That said, I tried not to dive too deep into backstory. But, if anything didn't/doesn't make sense PLEASE tell me so I can transfer the info. So I have a canon change. Now Nowell and Rief are twins instead of being a couple years a part. It honestly doesn't matter much in my opinion.

Truth be told, the Rief-Himi scene there was totally based off of In Time, a great movie

Now for Review Responses:

Anon Dude: Thanks for the review! I appreciate it. There's a bit more Matt-Sveta shipping in this chapter, and there will be more later. Cough16cough

Yasha Kyouran: Glad you liked it!

Finally, see you next time, for Chapter 12: Remembrance.

Thanks for reading!