Sooo, I totally forgot to post last week! Shame on me. Well, with homework, tests, and Thanksgiving preparations, I got a bit sidetracked. Anyway, here is chapter five, sorry about the delay. Also, I haven't replied to my reviews, so I'll just say here instead: I'm glad I was able to make up your days! (: Thanks for reviewing as always!

(Also, I have to say that this chapter might have dragged on a bit, but I couldn't heeelp it. I'm very much pleased about the next chapter though, bwuahaha.)


Chapter Five


The next morning was unsurprisingly a quiet one. No one really wanted to talk about what had happened yesterday. Zelos himself was still feeling disturbed over his conversation with Pronyma, and was actually kind of thankful that he could excuse his pensive frown due to yesterday's events.

As they waited for the rest of the party to get out of bed, Zelos tried to busy his mind as he observed how the group was doing. There was nothing much to say about the irritatingly familiar newcomer, Regal, who was leaning against the wall a few feet away from them, looking as unreadable as ever. Lloyd, on the other hand, was looking as if he had had a hard time sleeping yesterday. Zelos wondered at what time he had gotten back to the room last night.

Genis was still looking miserable over the fact that they were going to leave Presea behind.

"Don't look so down, Genis." Raine was murmuring lowly to him. "We'll be back soon."

Genis mustered up a small smile at her, but it was obvious what he was really thinking. Raine sighed, and ruffled her brother's hair comfortingly.

"Are you sure you're feeling okay, Colette?" the party could hear Sheena asking as the girls stepped out into the lobby.

Everyone looked up to see a pale Colette trying to reassure the dark-haired ninja. "I'm fine, Sheena. Really!" the blonde said, and shot the group a bright smile upon spotting them.

The effect was rather ruined when she promptly tripped over thin air and landed harshly on her face.

"Colette!"

There was a clamor of hurried footsteps, as well as a couple of resigned sighs.

"I'm okay…!" the blonde assured them as she got back up to her feet.

"Seriously, Colette. Can you get any clumsier?" Sheena was sighing exasperatedly as she smiled down at the blonde Chosen.

Zelos couldn't help the snort that escaped him at these words, which quickly earned him an embarrassed, seething glare from the ninja. Zelos' smug smirk merely widened at that response.

"Anyway, are you really okay? Did you hurt yourself anywhere?" Lloyd was asking, though his own expression was less worried and more exasperated.

The blonde Chosen shook her head. "No, I'm fine. Just…fine." she told him, her voice becoming a bit quiet as she gazed down at the ground. She was looking much less pale by now, her cheeks reddening with embarrassment.

"That's good." The twin swordsman smiled with relief.

"Hehe, sorry." Colette smiled sheepishly then, and peered up slightly at them as she bit the edges of her lip.

And really, Lloyd had to sigh at that. "…why are you apologizing again?" His smile turned rueful as he shook his head slowly.

Before they knew it, the group's mood had somehow been lifted. Even Zelos found himself smiling slightly, before he even realized it was an involuntary reaction.

The good cheer didn't last very long however. Although they had arrived at Altessa's in record time, the meeting hadn't gone exactly as well as had been expected. Genis was still fuming over the dwarf's reception when Tabatha stepped out of the house to address them.

"I APOLOGIZE. THE MASTER DOES NOT WANT TO GET INVOLVED WITH PRESEA." she explained to them in her measured, monotone voice. Her face was devoid of any emotion as she bowed slightly to them.

Genis glared at her, still feeling angry and defensive as he snapped at her. "Why? Doesn't he care if she dies?" The young mage clenched his fists then and upon feeling his sister place a warning hand on his shoulder, had to bite back his growl of frustration

"IT IS NOT THAT." was Tabatha's response to the accusation. "IT IS BECAUSE THE MASTER REGRETS WHAT HE HAS DONE."

Everyone took a moment to sort that one out then, and while it did placate them for the most part, none of them were satisfied with the answer and it showed.

Predictably, Colette was the first to speak what was on everyone's minds. "Then please, help Presea! All she needs is for her Key Crest to be fixed!" she pleaded, her expression earnest. And here, Zelos couldn't help but to remember that it had been only a few days ago that the blonde Chosen had been in the same emotionless state as Presea.

Tabatha seemed hesitant to speak for a moment. "…I DO NOT KNOW IF THAT WOULD TRULY BE IN HER BEST INTEREST." she admitted then, much to everyone's shock and surprise.

"What?" the group gasped quietly in unison, except for Regal who was staring somberly down at the floor, his hands clenching tightly, as well as Colette who seemed to have been struck speechless.

"Why!" Lloyd then continued, his brows furrowing in both confusion and suspicion as his eyes flashed heatedly in her direction. "How could anything be worse than living in that cruel condition?" he demanded, clenching his right fist tightly at his side.

The green-haired girl looked away from them at that moment, and after another brief pause, spoke up once more. "IF YOU ARE THAT COMMITED, THEN YOU SHOULD SEARCH FOR INHIBITOR ORE." she suggested, her lips almost imperceptibly turning downwards.

"Inhibitor ore?" Lloyd parroted with a startled look on his face. It was obvious he hadn't expected a helpful answer from her.

"YES. PRESEA'S KEY CREST WAS NEVER MEANT TO—"

"Tabatha! What are you doing? Get rid of them already!" Altessa's gruff, aggravated voice suddenly rang out from inside the house.

Tabatha seemed to shrink in size upon hearing the dwarf's voice. "I APOLOGIZE, I MUST RETURN." She bowed slightly at them all once more. "PLEASE COME BACK AGAIN. I WILL ATTEMPT TO PERSUADE HIM." she told them hurriedly, and although her unchanging expression was hard to judge, she genuinely seemed to mean her words.

After she was gone, the party couldn't help but to stare somberly at the spot where she had stood as they tried to process the situation completely.

"Am I to understand then, that Presea's Key Crest is actually a fake?" Raine spoke up first, looking contemplative.

"What?" Genis looked startled and worried at the suggestion. "But that's dangerous!" he turned to look at Lloyd, wide-eyed. "Doesn't that mean that she could end up like Marble?"

Lloyd nodded tersely, looking pale at the reminder. He opened his mouth to speak then, when Zelos interrupted.

"Wait, wait, wait. Care to fill the rest of us in first?" he raised a brow, curious of what they were talking about.

Lloyd looked a little annoyed at having been interrupted, but did answer. His explanation of what exactly happened to the people who wore Expheres without Key Crests was mainly aimed towards Zelos and Regal, as everyone else had seen firsthand, in one way or another, the result of that in Sylvarant.

"That's... sick." Zelos couldn't help the disgusted grimace that spread across his face.

"…" Regal made a noise of wordless agreement and looked away, his expression shadowed.

"Anyway," Lloyd continued then with a grimace of his own, turning to address the Professor. "Without the inhibitor ore, Presea's Key Crest is pretty much useless." He agreed with a weary sigh. "If only we were back home… Dad could help us out." Lloyd's shoulders slumped slightly.

Genis turned to glare at Altessa's house with resentment once more, when Regal suddenly spoke up.

"…There is a mine in the mountain range that extends between Altamira and the Ymir forest. You could acquire the inhibitor ore from there. I could lead you to it, if it'll help Presea." he told them, with a quiet type of earnest that made everyone wonder once again just what type of connection the blue-haired man had with Presea.

Raine brought up that very question not a second later, though her only answer was an avoidant frown from the man in question.

"W-well, in any case," Lloyd interrupted, wanting to get back on track. "This is our only lead, so regardless of your reasons, we're grateful for your help." Lloyd piped up, not one to look at a gift horse in the mouth.

Raine sighed slightly, but let the matter go for now.

"So where exactly is this place?" Sheena asked, following Lloyd's lead.

"You said it was near Altamira, right? That place is awesome! Let's stop by there on the way!" Zelos cut in as well, with a wide grin spreading across his face as he spoke. It felt like it had been too long since they had stepped into a proper city!

Sadly, his idea was quickly shot down.

"We don't have time to waste, you moron! There's no way we're stopping at that gaudy resort." Sheena glared at him slightly.

"Oh, come on! It'll just be for a little!" Zelos protested, feeling the need to insist. He was going to go crazy if they kept camping out for the night, especially when there were perfectly good establishments around.

"Ahem," Regal interrupted their bickering with a pointed cough, wanting to get back on track. "The mine I know of is across the sea from here, on the southern continent." he informed them, and his words drew out a quiet groan from the half-elf professor that was later echoed by Zelos as well.

"Oh, man. We'll have to use the EC's again. What a pain!" he complained with a grumpy scowl, which earned him a hard smack from their resident ninja.

"Quit whining, or we'll leave you behind!" she warned him, despite the fact that she wasn't looking pleased either about the prospect.

There was a moment of silence, and then, "… When you say the EC's, do you actually mean to say that you've been riding on the Elemental Cargos?" Regal couldn't help but to speak up, his voice just a little bit incredulous.

Sheena grimaced slightly but nodded reluctantly.

"That is… a very interesting method of transportation." was Regal's only response to that.

"Isn't it?" Lloyd agreed with a wide grin, either ignoring or unaware of the wide disapproval that most of the party showed towards the EC's.

"Well, let's get going already!" the dual swordsman insisted cheerily as he began to lead the way back into the Gaoracchia forest and towards the nearest shore. The party followed, much to their reluctance.


"Found it!"

Genis was grinning as he held his hand out, showing Lloyd and the rest of the party the inhibitor ore he had stumbled upon. It had been a day and a half since they had set off from Ozette. The mine had been farther away than they had expected—Regal had given a shorter estimate at first, before taking the EC's speed in consideration—and the inside itself had been pretty deep. Thankfully though, they had finally managed to get a hold of the inhibitor ore.

"It's about time…" Zelos groaned tiredly, already feeling fed up about being inside the mine.

"Good job, Genis!" Lloyd exclaimed with a grin as he moved closer to examine the item. "It's perfect. When we get back, I'll carve a charm into it. It should do the trick until we can get Altessa or Dad to make her a proper Key Crest."

The party seemed relieved to hear that, though Regal couldn't help but to ask in a quiet, almost anxious voice, "Will it take long?"

Lloyd shook his head. "Not at all. I could do it right now, in fact. But I'd prefer it if we get out of the mine first." he explained. A second later, a small grin began to form at the corner of his lips. "Zelos looks about ready to run off without us after all." he teased, angling his grin in the direction of the redhead.

Zelos blinked in surprise for a moment, not having expecting the sudden switch of attention. He responded back quickly though. "Are you sure you're not talking about yourself, Bud? I've heard stories about your lack of attention span, you know." he teased right back, grinning as well.

Lloyd shot the possible guilty parties a momentary wounded glare before turning back to Zelos. "I do not have a lack of attention span!"

"Heh. Suuure, Bud. Keep telling yourself that."

The rest of the group just sighed and ignored this exchange.

"… In any case, Lloyd is right. We should head back to Ozette. The sooner we get there, the faster we can cure Presea." Raine said, and her words were met with a series of agreeing nods.

"Let's go, then!" Genis declared, and was soon dragging Lloyd off in the direction of the entrance.

"Hey!"

Zelos snorted slightly as he watched them set off. There was the beginning of a smile inching at the corner of his lips then, genuine and unexpected.

"Looks like you're getting along well." Sheena murmured to him, suddenly at his side. Zelos shot her a small startled glance—when did she…?—before his eyes turned forward again. (They most definitely did not turn to look back at Lloyd.)

"He's a bit simple, isn't he? It makes it easy to get along." Zelos shrugged her words off, trying not to look as anxious as he felt at that realization. It was irritating how Zelos kept lowering his guard around the dual swordsman. More so, because sometimes it took him a while to notice that he was even doing so.

"…Maybe so." Sheena agreed, her lips pursing. She was looking down at her feet as she spoke, her voice quiet and her body tense. "But it's that simplicity that makes him easy to take advantage of. He trusts people way too easily." There was a mixture of gratefulness and reproach in her voice.

Zelos' stomach twisted slightly at her words, and because he didn't want to examine the reason behind that particular feeling, he forced on a bit of a teasing grin. "Sounds like someone has a crush." Zelos winked at the ninja, who predictably flushed brightly and smacked him a good one.

"Zelos…!" she growled warningly, though her voice hadn't risen yet, still wanting to keep their conversation private from the others.

Zelos rubbed at what he was sure was soon going to become a bruised area, before raising his hands in a placating manner.

"Ugh, you're impossible…" Sheena complained, and began to pick up her pace a little.

Zelos rolled his eyes at this and moved to follow. "You need to learn to loosen up, hunny." he told her with a bit of an exasperated sigh. And then, because he really couldn't help himself, he added, "Of course, I could help you with that if you'd like, my dear." He grinned sleazily, and dodged the next blow.

"Pig!" Sheena muttered disdainfully under her breath.

Zelos chuckled for a bit, but was soon turning serious again. He felt more at ease now that he was in control of the conversation.

"Anyway, there's something I've been wanting to get your opinion on for a while now." Zelos told her after shooting a wary glance forward to make sure the group was well out of hearing distance.

Sheena gave Zelos a distrustful glance but nodded at him to continue.

Zelos gestured discreetly towards Regal's direction. "Is it just me, or does he seem sort of familiar to you? I don't know why but it's nagging me ever since we've met up with him."

"Huh?" Sheena's brows rose a little at this line of questioning. "Regal? …No, can't say that he looks familiar to me." She shrugged slightly, unbothered.

Zelos frowned. "Okay, yeah. I forgot you Mizuho people don't go out much. But still. I can't be the only one here that's connecting the dots, right?" There was a pause in which Zelos inched away for a second as he noticed the ninja begin to get annoyed again. "Oh, don't give me that look!" he protested with a bit of a whine. "Okay, listen. Do you know of any other exphere mine around here aside from this one?" he asked her and waited for her to shake her head.

"Exactly. Now, think for a second about whom is it that owns the lands around here."

Sheena frowned for a brief moment before responding. "I guess it'd have to be the Lezareno Company. But so what?" she asked him, shrugging.

Zelos stared at her for a moment before sighing and looking away. "…Oh, brother. Is your chest the only part of you that's well-endowed?" he muttered exasperatedly and then winced at the blow his comment had garnered.

"You better shut up before I smack you!" Sheena growled, bristling and looking about ready to hit him again.

"Hey!" Zelos protested petulantly. "Don't say that after you smacked me! Sheesh…!"

"Hmph!"


There's no doubt about it. That's got to be Duke Bryant, Zelos thought silently to himself as he shot discreet glances at the blue-haired prisoner. There was a scene just at the edge of his memory that he was trying to recall. He knew he had seen the man before.

It was at one of those stuffy parties, Zelos finally realized after a moment, and began comparing the man from his memory with the one before him. The resemblance was uncanny. Despite the complete switch of attitude the man was displaying, in terms of appearance the Duke had not changed at all over these past fifteen or so years.

There was a bit of a scandal a few of years ago, wasn't there? Something about the Duke having killed one of his servants? Zelos nodded to himself in remembrance as they stepped inside of Ozette. The short meeting they had had with Vharley at the mines had finally helped Zelos trigger his memory and he was grateful for it.

Tch, it really is just like the Pope to go back on his word. Zelos thought with a wary sort of distaste as he recalled the earlier meeting with the exphere redhead was sure that even if Regal had taken off with Colette, the Pope wouldn't have done anything to do imprison Vharley. Bastard…

He tried not to let his apprehension show on his face. He muttered a few tired complains about wanting to rest.

The party ignored him.

"That's them! The wanted criminals!" a voice suddenly called out from somewhere nearby.

Shit, Zelos' eyes widened as his head snapped up in the direction of the voice. There, by the inn, one of the villagers was consulting with a group of Papal Knights.

"Damn, not them again!" Lloyd grumbled, but didn't look particularly anxious. After all, they beat the knights in numbers, eight to five.

There was a clamor of hulking footsteps from behind them. The group turned around to see four more knights brandishing weapons at them.

"Tch." Lloyd looked a bit more annoyed now.

"We're surrounded!" Genis cried out as everyone got into battle positions.

"Well, well, if it isn't Master Zelos. I trust you are well." the Vanguard spoke, addressing them all with a smug tone of voice that made Zelos glare at him in annoyance.

"Back again for another ass-kicking, are we?" Zelos sneered at them as his hand reached over for his sword.

"Hmph. It would be better if you cooperated with us, Master Zelos. The Pope has been anxious to speak with you." the Vanguard informed him. And while it seemed obvious to Zelos that the man had no idea what he was talking about it, the redhead couldn't help but to feel his stomach drop in cold dread.

"Not a chance. You can tell the old man he can go to hell!" Zelos snapped back, with feeling. And he had to hold himself back from snarling at the knights too, because his tone had already garnered a surprised reaction from the rest of the group.

The Vanguard looked put out at this response. "Well, if that's the case…" He hoisted his weapon and signaled his men to attack. "Get them! And remember to capture the blonde girl alive!"

"As if we'd let you!" Lloyd declared before moving to parry an oncoming attack.

It took a little effort, but soon enough they finished dispatching the armored pests. Thankfully, after the Vanguard had gone down, a couple of the knights had decided that running off was their best bet. Good riddance.

"We managed to win…" Genis breathed with relief, looking a bit tired from the confrontation. They had already been exhausted from their forest trek after all.

"Is everyone alright?" Raine asked, giving the group a cursory glance. Zelos was trying not to grimace as he gingerly clutched the side of his ribs, which had been bruised mid-battle. He felt too exhausted to heal himself at the moment, and was grateful when the Professor noticed the problem.

"Why is it that they always show up where we're going?" Sheena complained with a tired sigh of her own, taking a moment to flash a grateful smile at the Professor as she moved to heal the bleeding gash on her upper arm.

"Who knows? But I sure wish they'd quit it." Lloyd groaned wearily as he sheathed his swords.

To top off their annoyance, the group soon noticed that the villagers were now looking at them with frightened eyes as they hid away into their houses. At this rate, they'd be lucky to be able to stock up at the shops, much less rest at the inn.

"It's my fault again. I'm sorry, everyone…" Colette murmured guiltily then as she stared down at her feet.

Zelos rolled her eyes a bit at her words, having already become used to her constant apologizes. "Don't be silly, Colette." He grinned cheekily at his fellow Chosen. "They're after my life, too, remember? Plus, the Professor and Genis are wanted because they are half-elves. Sheena is from Mizuho, now considered a village of traitors. And Regal's got his own issues with the Pope." he reminded her and shot her a charming wink.

Colette didn't look entirely reassured, but she flashed him a small smile. "Thanks…"

Lloyd sighed ruefully and shook his head a bit, smiling. "You've got to stop thinking everything is your fault."

Colette looked down at her feet again, looking bashful. "I'm sorry, Lloyd…"

"You don't need to apologize for that." Lloyd huffed exasperatedly. "How many times do I have to tell—Colette?" Lloyd stopped midsentence as he noticed Colette was beginning to sway. The blonde looked shaky and pale all of the sudden, and then she was falling down to her knees.

"Colette!"

"Lloyd…" the blonde whimpered quietly, breathing heavily as her pale face blotched with fever.

Lloyd's hands hovered worriedly over her as the rest of the group neared in concern.

"Professor! What's happening to her?"

"I…I don't know. I…" Raine bit her lip as she took in her student's state. She murmured a couple of spells over her, wondering perhaps if she had been poisoned in battle. But for some reason she knew they would be of a little help.

"Sis…"

"It…hurts…" Colette gasped involuntarily, and her painted voice really was too much for everyone. They were beginning to lose their composure, and Sheena was about to step in and suggest that they go visit a doctor when Presea's voice cut in from behind them.

"Move…"

Genis' eyes were the first to widen in surprise. "Presea!"

They turned to look at the pink-haired girl, who was staring intently at Colette. "Please leave this to me…" the pink-haired girl told them in her usual low, quiet voice.

There was a hesitant moment in which everyone just started at each other and then at Presea, before finally moving out of the way. They watched as she approached Colette, leaning over her slightly, and then, before anyone could even think to act, Presea was swiftly turning around, wordlessly brandishing her axe against them.

"What the—!"

"Presea!"

The party flailed to dodge the incoming blows, gaping at the axe-wielder with a mixture of shock and confusion.

"Hehehe. Good work, Presea." Rodyle's nasally voice called out from above, his face crinkling with delight as he shot the group a sharp, pointed grin.

"Holy crap!" Zelos took a wary step back, his eyes widening as he watched the Desian land a pair of freaking dragons into Ozette. As if they hadn't had enough stares from the villagers before. This was about to send them into a shrieking panic!

"You again!" Lloyd glared in the direction of the half-elf, his hands reaching for his swords. "What do you want?" The swordsman looked unperturbed by the fact that a couple of massive dragons had landed in the middle of the goddamned town. Zelos had to hand it to the kid—when his girl was in trouble, nothing stopped him from charging on ahead.

Rodyle shot the swordsman a smug, taunting smirk. "I hope you don't mind, but I'll be taking the Chosen One. Presea dear, if you would?" The half-elf signaled in the direction of the blonde Chosen and Presea wordlessly began to retrieve the sick girl, whom seemed to have fallen unconscious over the last couple of minutes.

"Presea! No!" Genis' eyes were wide and horrified as he stared at this scene, frozen in place.

"Stop!" Lloyd protested as well, taking a step forward.

Sheena beat him to the point though. "Now's not the time to stand around!" the ninja snapped at them all, before urgently moving to call Corrine. The small Summon Spirit quickly charged forward to knock Presea away, but they had been too late. Rodyle was already taking off with Colette.

"Hehehehe! I am Rodyle, the most cunning of the Desian Grand Cardinals! Remember this moment, for it'll be the last time you'll see your precious Chosen! Hehehehehe!" Rodyle's cackle carried down with the wind, and the party could only watch helplessly, unable to do anything else as Colette began to get farther and farther away from them.

"Dammit!" Lloyd snapped furiously, kicking at the ground in frustration. Everything had happened so suddenly! And now… and now…!

The rest of the group looked equally as frustrated and perturbed, but Zelos in particular couldn't help but to stare in white-faced horror in the direction Rodyle had taken off.

No… not this too! He thought, feeling his stomach drop as an anxious feeling that almost felt like panic began to rise in his chest. Dammit!


After everything, they ended up staying overnight at the inn. Even Presea—whom they had cured soon after Rodyle had taken off, and had insisted on tagging along to make up for troubling them—had decided to join them there, having wanted to avoid staying over at her former house.

"Dammit, dammit, dammit." Zelos was still chanting this in outright annoyance as he plopped down on his bed at the inn. He still couldn't believe that Colette had ended up being kidnapped.

I thought Cruxis was going to leave her alone for now since she was supposedly sick. Zelos still wasn't exactly sure what she was sick with, or how that impeded her from being a good vessel for Martel, but nevertheless the fact that the blonde was finally under Cruxis' hands did not bode well for Zelos.

"I hate my life." Zelos grumbled in irritation as he ran a stressed hand through his wet hair. He was at least glad that this crappy village had a functioning plumbing system. It was no five-star hotel, but at least something was something.

It was kind of pathetic how this ended up being the only thing Zelos had been grateful for the entirety of today. But really, if it hadn't been for Raine, Lloyd would have had them marching off into Mizuho at the moment. Never mind the fact that the village was near. After everything that had happened today, they all needed the rest.

Well, at least if Kratos is to be trusted, then Rodyle's reasons for kidnapping Colette have nothing to do with Cruxis' goals. Zelos doubted his luck though. He knew Rodyle kept closely in touch with Pronyma, so it wouldn't be long before Yggdrasill got a hold of his fellow Chosen.

Just what is that guy playing at anyway? Zelos thought then, wondering why exactly Kratos kept showing up wherever they were. Like Zelos, the seraphim also appeared to have an agenda of his own, though Zelos had no idea what that could be. He was going to have to find out soon, although at the moment, Zelos could really care less about it.

Tch, why can't everything be easier? Zelos sighed and rolled over in his bed so he could lie on his side. He shifted uncomfortably for a second, feeling something bulging in his pocket, and sat up to remove it.

"Huh? What the heck is this?" Zelos blinked down at the letter he now held in his hand, wondering when exactly this had been slipped into his pocket. He turned the crumbled envelope over in his hand and immediately tensed upon noticing the Pope's signature seal. He hurried to tear it open, and what he found inside froze his insides for the second time that day.

Don't think just because your traitorous ass is wanted that you're to forget your responsibilities, Chosen. If you care about your sister's safety, you'll unleash the Seals.

Also, if you try to go behind my back again, you'll regret it. Don't think you're the only one with friends in Mizuho.

Zelos stared at the piece of paper for one dumbfounded moment, letting the implications of that last sentence sink in as a new bout of frustration welled within him. He crumbled the paper in his hand, shoving it back in his pocket, before sliding off the bed and moving to edgily pace around the his room. Fuck, he thought blankly, feeling too much of everything to really think straight right now.

And here I thought this day could not possible get any worse, Zelos thought with growing anger. His face scrunched up as he glared darkly into the rickety floorboards of his room. He felt anxious. Trapped.

I have to do something about this. He decided after a moment, beginning to feel a little bit reckless as well. It wasn't exactly like him to put all his cards on the table, but he was going to have to rely on someone to help him. And he knew just who.

Zelos straightened up decidedly then and began to head towards the door. His hand reached for the knob, but of course, it was at this moment that the door swung open from the outside to reveal none other than Lloyd.

"Zelos…!" Lloyd blinked startled, clearly not having expected to see Zelos standing there.

Zelos blinked down at him as well, but a moment later he was grinning easily, calling a greeting of his own.

Perfect. Zelos thought as he stepped aside to allow the brunette to come in. Just the man I wanted to see.


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