A/N: After a talk with Yukiko Shiroryuu, we realized that the Last Remnant fic section is almost dead so I wanted to make a story to give it life again. She'll be making her own fic as well, but I won't tell you what it's about.
Disclaimer: Last Remnant's not mine. Like hell I would ever be able to own such a legendary game.
It had only been a month, but David felt like a year has already passed.
Losing his parents was devastating, but Rush's selfless death was more painful than his parents' death.
And yet, David didn't want to be completely consumed by sadness.
At that time... a month ago... when they departed from Elysion after Rush sacrificed himself, David heard that voice that was as calm as the morning air.
Don't mourn for me, Dave. Move on and be happy.
It gave him comfort... at first. Because, it's easier said than done.
In other words, it was difficult to find a way to move on. To forget the pain. To let go of it all.
No matter how many times he kept on contemplating about Rush's last words to him, he found himself unable to find a solution to erase the turmoil in his heart.
Rush was the reason why he had a new outlook in life as the Marquis of Athlum and as a human being. Rush was the reason why he changed.
It pained him to lose Rush, to the point that he shed tears, which was something he rarely did in all his life.
There will never be another person like Rush.
David relaxed on his chair, hoping that at least the cushions would relieve a little pain off him but so far... nothing. He just stared off into space, because he's not in the mood to do anything today.
Even though he appears to be calm and poised, his Generals had known him long enough to see right through his mask. There were times when it seemed it would break, especially when he was in the middle of business with the other rulers; which the Generals took note of.
And later, when they were having a silent dinner, his hands that often trembled lightly didn't allow him to cut the steak served on his plate.
They noticed this, and they tried to say something for emotional support.
But he looked at them only once with cold blue eyes and they immediately got the message: they should not say anything at all.
An hour after dinner, David read a small but thick book, sitting close to the candle on his nightstand.
He remembered a time when he entered Rush's room to discuss their situation with the Conqueror only to see the boy burying his nose in a book. Rush seemed so engrossed with the content that it made David shake his head in amusement and decide to have their discussion on a later time.
The blonde paused from reading and since no one was in the room to hear him, he let out a sad sigh. Everything in the castle reminded him of Rush.
He didn't want it; he didn't to remember Rush at every moment in his life, but he didn't want to forget him either. After all, Rush was his best friend.
To end things for the night, he put back the book on the shelves and then he blew the candle. David went into a deep sleep where there were no dreams or nightmares. Just an empty, peaceful sleep.
"Wow... Athlum's still the same!" a seemingly five year old boy exclaimed. "But what did I even expect? It's only been a month."
The boy tugged his hood further down his nose before stepping into Athlum, avoiding the guards thanks to stealth magic. He stifled a chuckle, thinking how clever he was.
"A kid outwitting Athlum's finest, what would Dave say?"
It was evening now. What was the only place that was open again even at the hour? The boy creased his brows, deep in thought.
"Maybe the inn would still welcome late night travelers…"
The boy's small feet trudged forward until he faced the door that would lead him inside the inn.
The door was larger than he last saw it, and it let him know how much change there was now in his height. The boy pouted and jumped twice before he managed to grab the knob and twist it open with both hands.
Inside, a young man was cleaning the desk, and the boy knew that the man was tired from work because his eyes were full of dark bags and his brown hair looked slightly messy.
The brunette didn't see the boy and just kept on cleaning the desk, and the latter noticed this so he walked closer until he was in front of the desk and made a few taps on the wood.
The young man looked over the desk and he was surprised to see a hooded boy who innocently waved to him. Then he looked up and saw the door open.
He peered his head out to see if there was anyone else who might be accompanying the child; but no replied even when he called out so he closed the door slowly, feeling more worried for the young boy.
"Hey, what are you doing here? Where are your parents?" he asked, sincere pity in his voice. Then he lifted the boy up and took him to small but comfortable chair.
"I'm not abandoned, and... I'll answer the other question later." he answered, drinking the glass of crystal water handed over to him as the man also poured a glass for himself.
The boy found the water refreshing as it washed away the mild stress he felt from the long minutes of walking all the way to Athlum.
"Oh, then what happened? Do you want a place to stay for the night? I can give you a room. There's no charge..."
"That's nice of you, but what I really want is to go into the castle."
The man almost choked on the water from the unexpected answer, but a small hand extended out to him, the little fingers alight with a soft green glow. The brunette felt better in a second, wondering how a very young child could practice healing magic with such ease.
"How did you…?"
The boy removed his hood, showing spiky black hair and bright, silver eyes.
Anyone in Athlum would know who this person was. With that kind of appearance that had been etched into the memory of almost everyone, even outside Athlum, almost everyone wouldn't mistake him for somebody else.
"Sir Rush... Sykes...?"