Disclaimer: Konami. It never belongs to me.
P/S: Requested and idea sharing with F.4.7.3. or i called Fate-chan.
Lazlo kept at his position, eye locked on the man stood opposite him. The man was shrewd and capable, the famous Commander of Queen Knight. Ferid was his name.
Lazlo made the first move. He dashed straight to Ferid, waved his dual swords to him. Ferid tilted his body to dodge while having his one-handed sword aimed at Lazlo's waist.
Lazlo blocking it with one sword, another sword slashed back. Leaped away, Ferid stood straight, immediately he charged back.
The whole training hall filled with sound of clashing swords. Two mans gave all they had. Ferid attacking, Lazlo blocking, none of them showed a bit of flaw while kept their eye on each other. Figured out it would never end, switching his position, Lazlo flexed back his body to dodge Ferid's attack, while having his dual swords slashed through, caused Ferid's uniform tore up at his sleeve. Seeing that, Ferid raised a grin. He held tight on the sword with both hands, waved it with full strength directly at Lazlo. Unable to dodge it, Lazlo quickly raised up his swords to block it, endured all the momentum Ferid sent off. It caused the ground around cracked, especially where Lazlo standing. Ferid putting more force onto the sword, but Lazlo resisted it tenaciously. He showed no emotion, not even a bit of fluster. Suddenly, out of all the expectation of Ferid, Lazlo pulled out and leaped away. With deep shock, Ferid lost balance, ended up tripped forward without the way he could control. Raised a light smile, Lazlo pointed his sword at Ferid.
"…Wow, incredible, huh?" Gulped while gazing at the sword in front, Ferid raised a bitter smile.
"Please don't say that." Lazlo shook while put the swords back to the sheath at his waist.
"Stop being humble. You're great at your age. It's a right decision to have you become a Queen Knight."
"Now you talk about it." Lazlo let out a sigh. "You are the one forced me to."
"We need talented person like you, Lazlo." Crossing his hand around his chest, Ferid looked up, sighted nowhere. "Armes Invasion just ended. Falena is still in recovering state, and we have a lot of stuff on hand. It's a big help you lend us your hand."
Lazlo took a quite glance at Ferid's ponder feature. He met Ferid by chance when he just reached Sol-Falana by the time not much later after Arshtat inherited the throne. After that, Ferid kept forcing him to become a Queen Knight. He was not the type get into trouble himself, but what could he expect when he was a trouble magnet? Besides, he did promise someone to look over Ferid, with the least he could do.
"You don't have to tell me. Anyway, I'm glad I can be a little help."
"That's the spirit!" Eying on him, Ferid changed a serious look. "I'm counting on you tomorrow, Lazlo." Lazlo stood straight as he noticed the tenseness. "Nether Gate…we cannot have more peoples sacrifice on it. We must disband it with our hand…with my hand."
Such strong determination clearly showed in his eye as he clenched his fist tightly. Lazlo formed a light smile, nodded as a respond and supporting.
Tomorrow they are going to disband Nether Gate, the royal assassins for Falena's monarchy under the order of Queen Arshtat. They never wanted the tragedy of Succession Conflict to replay.
A sudden voice of a boy distracted their attention, caused the two men turned their eyes to the source of voice. At the entrance of training hall, Lazlo found a little boy that wore in his usual orange uniform laid on the ground.
"What are you doing here, Frey?" Ferid walked to the boy, but had no intention to pull him up.
The boy-Freyjadour Falenas, the prince of Falena got up by himself, never asking help from anyone, not even his father. The little prince seemed in pain as he rubbed his knee with one hand, but only endured it instead of complained or anything.
Guess it was trained by his father, huh? Lazlo thought inwardly while noticed something on the little prince's hand. If he was right, that thing should appear to be the Tri-nunchaku. Was he watching their battle just now?
Flustered could be seen across his small face while he tried to hide the Tri-nunchaku. "Um…no. it's nothing, father."
Not that Ferid didn't notice the Tri-nunchaku. He raised a big grin and rubbed his son head.
"Why? You want to learn? I can teach you whenever you want, son!"
"R-Really?" A glimpse of joyous across his face with two eyes widened.
"Of course, and Lazlo will be glad to help too." Ferid pushed the ball to Lazlo, caused the young man sighed again.
Why this man…he reminded him of Lino.
He couldn't help but formed a bitterly smile. "…It's my honor, prince."
The little prince immediately cheered out after hearing that. "Thank you, Sir Lazlo!" Suddenly, he turned silent. "…But you will go out tomorrow, right? I just heard it…"
Talked about tomorrow, Ferid dropped his face. "…Yes, we have something important to do."
Hearing that, Little Frey lowered his head in disappointment. Lazlo knelt down, having the both of them in same height. "I can teach you after back from work. A promise, okay?"
"Really?" The little prince asked again. Lazlo nodded firmly. "Okay then, it is a promise!"
Freid chuckled at his son. Little Frey happily showed his father about the Tri-nunchaku he was holding. Lazlo only formed a smile while watching them having their fun.
None of them knew, the promise would never come true.
"Zahhak, Galleon, get everyone out of here!"
"What happened, Commander?" Galleon, the oldest Queen Knight asked.
"They set dynamite down at the basement! Quick, get everyone out!" Ferid anxiously urged them.
Lazlo approached him. "Commander, you too!"
"No, not until everyone get out safely."
"It's too dangerous! Please leave the rest to us!" Lazlo tried to change his mind, but Ferid seemed resolute about his decision.
Lazlo cursed under his breathe. This man…sure reminded him a lot of Lino. With not much he could do, he helped Zahhak and Galleon to get all the soldiers out from Nether Gate Base, while kept one eye on Ferid.
He won't let anything happened to Ferid, never, not under his hand!
"Commander, everyone is out! Now, you too!" Galleon reported.
"Alright." Ferid sighed in relieve. The only thing he felt regrets about was the three leaders had escaped, but for now, he needed to take concern for his men's safety.
Zahhak had leaded the troop waiting for them nearby. Ferid, Galleon and Lazlo were the last to leave.
"After this, we head back to Sol-Falena."
Before they left, Ferid took the last glance at the Nether Gate Base. Just when they were about to move, a tiny voice alerted the three of them.
"Dolph…where are you…? Dolph…"
They all turned around; found a little girl standing in front the base with dazes face.
"Why there's a girl?" Ferid shocked deep down.
Suddenly, a rumble clearly sounded from the base, caused the three knight almost lost balance. Some flame could be seen. Ferid moved his body before he realized, fearing the worst might happened.
"Commander!" Galleon and Zahhak shouted at the same time, but they were too late to stop him.
He rushed to the little girl and hugged her over, covered the girl with his body. Just by that time, the base explored.
Before the explosion engulfed the two of them, all Ferid saw was Lazlo lifted his left hand as he rushed to them.
"…rid…Ferid? Ferid, did you hear me?"
"Commander?" Zahhak slightly called him from behind.
"Oh? Er…I'm sorry." He finally caught his mind back.
Seeing her husband's despair face, Arshtat could only sympathy him.
"…Then, continue your report."
"…When we approached Nether Gate Base, we faced great opposition from one of the leaders, and he committed suicide at the end. Three other leaders managed to flee with their remaining force. A man named Shinatsu informed me they had set dynamite under the basement, so we immediately retreated. By that time, a little girl appeared. I tried to save her, and…"
Arshtat dropped her face as Ferid stopped his report. She could see her husband was blaming himself. And because of that, they lost a comrade.
"It may be a willful request, but please consider I'm dead."
"…You all did a great job. Please head back and have a rest." This was all she could say.
The remained Queen Knight was only Zahhak and Galleon. Lazlo was nowhere to be found.
Zahhak and Galleon dismissed from the hall. As they opened the door, they found little Frey waiting outside.
"Your Highness…? What are you doing here?"
Little Frey stood up immediately. Like what his mother told him, he needed to mind his manner as a member of royal family. He widened his eye, curiously looked around.
"Welcome back…umm, where is Sir Lazlo?"
The Queen Knight glanced at each other, speechless. They didn't know how they to explain to the little prince.
"Lazlo was not here. Does he…?" Arshtat wailed near to Ferid, held his hands to comfort him.
"…No, he still alive. But he injured because of protected me." He let out a deep breathe. "I blamed myself of putting his life in danger. He should be fine if I didn't act rashly…"
Arshtat embraced her dearest. "…I should thank him. If wasn't him…I can't imagine if you came back dead…"
"I'm sorry, Arshtat." Ferid said while kissed her forehead. "I had informed the troop about his death. This is the least I can do for him."
Lazlo raised his left hand. "…You saw it. Not just you, everyone saw it." He put down his hand, covered his eye. Tiredness could be seen from his feature, as well as the injuries. They were some burn on his face, hands and left part of his body. "It may put Falena in danger. I can't bear to have that happen."
"Is that a rune?"
Lazlo only remained silent and that was obviously a yes to Ferid.
Little Frey suddenly bumped into the hall. His small face looked almost sad.
Ferid patted his head. "What's wrong with that face?"
"Is Sir Lazlo…he die?" Little Frey tried his best to hold his tears.
His parent fell silent. Both of them let out a sigh.
"…I'm sorry, Frey."
Upon hearing that, tears burst out from his eye.
"Please apologize to prince for me for not being able to keep the promise."
On that night, Ferid and Zahhak went back to Nether Gate Base to find a dead body that similar to Lazlo, and had the Queen Knight Uniform put on it. The next day, Ferid informed the troop about his death.
"Don't cry, Frey. You're a boy." Ferid knelt down, wiped away the tears for him. "I brought a new friend for you."
"Come, let's go to see her."
Ferid brought Frey came to a guest room. On the way there, Frey had stopped crying.
"Her name is Lyon." Ferid opened the door, revealed a little girl wore in green skirt.
"S-Sir…" Her almost emotionless face showed a little fluster as she stood up.
"Lyon, this is my son, Freyjadour."
"I-It's my honor t-to meet you, prince. M-My name is Mis-Lyon."
"N-Nice to meet you too, Lyon." Frey raised a light smile.
Ferid watched the kids chatting to each other. He hoped that Frey would be able to forget about Lazlo by making a new friend.
Many years later…
Yashuna Village, Tricolor Inn.
Frey stepped up the stair to find someone that stayed in the room in the second floor of the inn.
The fortune teller.
A week before, he and Lyon passed by the inn and been dragged by a mystery fortune teller. He told him that he had been harassed by some bad luck, and bad incident would befall him. To avoid that, he 'kindly' passed him a tome that he claimed it could keep him away from bad luck.
Not that Frey believed what he said, but the fortune teller kept pushing the tome to him, so he ended up took the tome along to him. The fortune teller even warned him brought the tome whenever he was, or else…
But there was no way he brought the tome when he bath or sleep. Lyon suggested leaving it in the storehouse, and he did so.
And the next day morning, Chuck knocked his door and gave him back the tome.
"I'm sorry prince, but please take it back…"
"I-I heard some strange voices at the midnight, so I went to take a peek, and…!" His face was pale up and somewhat freaked out. "It's glimmering! It's glimmering by itself!"
So at the end, he took back the tome.
He stopped in front of the room and knocked. No respond. He knocked again. No respond.
"Is he not inside the room?" Lyon asked.
"Well, let's see." Frey twisted the knob; surprisingly found the door was unlocked. "Hmm? Nobody here…"
"It seems he is not around." Lyon looked around the room. "Prince, in my opinion, that fortune teller is really suspicious. And the tome too…" Chuck would not lie. So that's mean the tome must had something within it.
Frey looked down to the tome he was holding. "Let's come back later."
They both turned back to exit the room, and suddenly Frey bumped into someone.
Lyon gasped, blinked. A minute later, then only she realized what had happened.
"P-Prince!" She rushed to him. "How dare you?"
"Prince?" The young man Frey just bumped into tilted his head, stared at Frey with shock in his ocean blue eye.
Frey rubbed his head as Lyon held him up. "I'm sorry…" Frey stunned as he looked at the man. "You're…?"
The young man raised a somewhat bitter smile, but soon it disappeared.
"No, it's my fault. I should have noticed you."
"Uh…no, please don't say that…" Frey flustered.
Why this man…" did he meet him somewhere before? He did look familiar…
The gray hair and blue eye, especially the red band tied around his forehead…he swore he did see him before, but where?
"Prince, are you alright? Are you hurt or something?" Seeing his blinked face, Lyon afraid if the bumping caused him injured or what.
"No, I'm fine." Frey smiled. "Are you looking for the person in the room?" Judging they bumped into each other in front of the room, there was a possibility the gray haired man was here for the fortune teller too.
"Oh yes. I'm searching for something."
"You came for asking luck on your searching?" Lyon chuckled by the idea. "Oh…I'm sorry…I didn't mean to…"
"No, it's alright." The man shook. "He seems he has the thing I was searching."
"I see. But he is not here." Frey looked inside, revealed the empty room to him.
The gray haired man only let out a sigh, shrugged since he couldn't help.
"Prince, the tome." Lyon handed the tome he dropped just now. But before Frey took back, the man stopped him.
"What's wrong, mister?" Frey and Lyon threw him a question look.
"Where did you get this book?"
"You mean this tome? It's from the fortune teller…"
"Then, just leave it in his room."
"What?" they both frowned and perplexed. "May I know the reason?"
"This is a cursed book. I don't know why the fortune teller gave it to you, but this is definitely a dangerous one." The gray haired man took the book and put it on the table in the room. "Do you have any idea what might this book be?"
"No, I never open and read it."
"Prince, why don't we bring the old man here? He might know something." Lyon suggested, and reminded Frey about the old man Alhazred that love to collect tomes.
"You're right. Let's bring him here!"
"Great. You guys go and bring the person. I'll remain here; see if I can find the fortune teller."
Then, Frey and Lyon off to Estrise.
The gray haired man lingered his sight on the both of them until he lost sight.
"It's been such a long time since then…your son has becomes a great man, Ferid."
On the way to Estrise, Lyon asked Frey.
"Prince, do you know the person?" She obviously talked about the gray haired man Frey bumped into.
Frey lowered his head in deep thought. "…I don't know either. He looks kind of familiar, but I can't remember where I met him before."
"I see…no wonder you look pretty weird just now." Lyon felt relieve. She was worried if prince got any injury since they seemed bumped their head pretty hard.
Frey scratched his cheek in embarrassment. He too, never realized there was a person coming nearby and bumped against him.
"But that fortune teller is really suspicious. How dare he give you a cursed book?" Thought about that, Lyon got flared up. Of she saw the fortune teller again sure she won't forgive him!
"…I think I know who the fortune teller is." Frey raised a smile, lingered his finger around his chin. Judging from the voice and the way the fortune teller acted, Frey sure he was the one he had in his mind.
"Huh?" Lyon blinked. "Who is he?"
"Let's see." As they talked, they reached Estrise. "Come on, we're going to get Alhazred."
When Frey and Lyon brought Alhazred back to Yashuna Village, they met the gray haired man in front of Tricolor Inn. He seemed he just back from somewhere.
"Oh you guys are back." He slightly waved his hand and nodded to the old man behind. "Let's head upstairs. I found something interesting…about the identity of fortune teller."
He left a curiously question to everyone as they all stepped up the stair.
But they never thought they would saw that.
"What's this?" The old man Alhazred asked.
All they saw was the tome had opened, and it seemed draining something out from the fortune teller.
"E-e-e-v-v-e-e-e-r-r-y-y-w-w-w-h-h-e-e-r-r-e-e b-e-e-a-a-u-u-t-t-t-i-i-f-u-u-l-l p-p-r-r-r-i-n-n-c-c-e-e-e-s-s-s f-f-f-o-r-r- m-m-e…" He stammered, but looked enjoy enough. "I-I'm s-s-s-o-o h-h-h-h-a-a-p-p-p-p-y-y-y…!"
"Oh no!" Alhazred screamed. "This is it! The Book of Condemnation! It's already began the offering the Doom! The tome drains the life force out of the unwilling fool who opens it! It won't sate until he's dead!"
"What? Scary…!" Lyon gasped after hearing that, she glad that Frey didn't open it.
The gray haired man rushed up to the book, intent to stop it by closing the book. However, the book refused to, it resisted his action. The man then put his left hand on top of the book.
Frey and Lyon had no idea why he doing so, but some light glimmering. The gray haired man quickly pulled out his hand.
"Guess it won't work." He muttered.
"Young mans and girl, would you like to help me to retrieve the book?" Alhazred asked.
They all took out their weapons, nodded firmly to him.
"We still have something left to discuss with the fortune teller." Frey took out his Tri-nunchaku.
"Yes, we won't let him die yet!" Lyon pulled out her nagamaki. Her tone was full of fury.
"I'm here for this." Dual swords off the sheath, the gray haired man shrugged.
The book slowly turned bigger, almost covered the whole room.
"Oh no, this may put us in disadvantage." Lyon struck first, she tried to cut through the book, gray haired man followed behind. "Huh?"
Their swords flicked back, caused them back down.
"Its cover blocks our attacks!"
The Book of Condemnation struck back. It activated some spells, some dark mist spread through the room.
"W-What is this?"
"Be careful!" Gray haired man shouted out. The dark mist dismissed, leaving the effect on them.
Lyon coughed hardly, almost caused her stopped from breathing. Frey and gray haired man fortunately resisted it.
"What is the thing just now?"
"It's using instant kill spell. Be careful of that."
"You hear that, Lyon?"
"Y-Yes!" Lyon got her best to refrain the cough, back to Frey's side.
Frey rose up his right hand, a silver light glimmering, showed out the Dawn Rune. The second phase of the power of the rune: First Ray, like a laser scattered down from the sky, cut across The Book of Condemnation. The book stunned a bit, Lyon quickly gave it another shot.
She rushed up and attacked, gave it a few cut.
Frey followed up, attacked The Book of Condemnation with his Tri-nunchaku. The Tri-nunchaku looked like a normal staff, but then he divided it into three knot, cleverly waved it and pulled it back without hurting himself.
Before Frey and Lyon realized, The Book of Condemnation released a spell again. They saw a weird rune appeared that Frey couldn't describe by word.
He only felt hid sight covered by dark mist, caused him blind at first, and then a vomiting feeling rose up from abdomen.
"Watch out, prince!"
He heard Lyon shouted at him, but he couldn't see what happened in front of him. Only when he felt wind brushed across hid face, he realizes the seriousness.
The book opened up and headed directly to Frey.
He felt someone hugged him and someone blocked in front of him. He heard a scream and gasp from his top. With anxious, he quickly raised his right hand.
"Dawn Rune!" He released the first phase: Time of Awakening to cure the status effect.
Once he opened his eye, he found Lyon hugging him like his shelter, while the gray haired man blocking the crushing from the book for him. His hands almost stuck inside the book.
The gray haired man twisted his face in pain. He tried to pull out his hands but failed.
"Let go, Rune of Condemnation!"
Suddenly, a silver laser attacked the book. The book trembled; he took this chance to pull out his hands.
"Are you alright?" Frey approached him. "Why are you doing this?" They just knew each other, why should he do that for him?
"…Because I broke my promise before." He pushed away Frey, stepped front as he raised his left hand. "Rune of Condemnation, I'm not allowing you to give Doom to the others anymore. Get out from the tome!"
A red light blinded Frey and Lyon, having them covered their eyes in shock. The atmosphere of the room changed to odd one. Frey saw some swords fell down from top and stabbed into the book.
"W-What is that?" Lyon could barely open her eye.
"…Sir Lazlo…?" Frey stunned by the idea.
"…Because I broke my promise before."
Wasn't he dead? Father and mother…everyone told him he was dead. So why he was here?
The Book of Condemnation stunned stiff at its position. Not much later, it turned back to a normal book, and an orb dropped put from it.
The gray haired man—Lazlo let out a deep breathe, turned back as Frey called his name. He must have remembered him.
"Your hand…" Frey looked down on his left hand, noticed that Lazlo kept covering it after he released the spell.
Lazlo shook. "Nothing. I'm just a little tired." He then walked near to the fortune teller.
Alhazred got back to the room; Lyon frowned as she wondered where he was during the fight.
The old man picked up the book and the orb. "This is the rune, cursed form hidden in the Book of Condemnation."
The fortune teller seemed woke up as well. "Urgh…err…what happened to me?"
"The power of the Book of Condemnation took you to the brink of the hereafter. That's all."
"The Book of Condemnation? What? Huh?"
"Stop acting like you're innocent." Lazlo glared at him.
"Just revealed your identity, Euram." Frey sighed in annoyance.
"Erk! Oops! Ahhh!" Lazlo took away the cloak he used to hide his identity.
"Euram Barows?" Lyon widened her eye.
"…Well, the cat's out of the bags now. The mysterious seer's secret identity, revealed at last! It's I! Euram Barows!"
"Why did you give the cursed book to prince?" Lyon immediately glared at him, stand by her nagamaki.
"Oh no please!" Euram gulped. "I-I found that book in my father's collection. I figured out a cursed book would be the best way to get back of you! But how could it be that you're fine, and I would get cursed?"
"Only he who opens the tome is affected by the curse." Alhazred further explained.
"Oh that's explain it…it didn't seem to be working, and when I came back I found the book on the table. So I thought I'd have a closer look. And then I saw a bright light and the most beautiful blossoming princess you can imagine! Ha ha ha ha!" He laughed, suddenly he gritted his teeth. "Curses!"
He then walked out from the room. Everyone watching him while he missed a step on the stair and tripped, ended up rolling down from the stair.
"A-Are you alright, sir?"
"Of course I'm not alright! Do you think the stair is soft?" And he continues to complain.
"…What was that all about?" The old man asked.
"Frey shrugged. "Ignore him."
"Anyway, I must show my appreciation. I could never retrieve the Book of Condemnation without everyone of you. I thank you all sincerely."
"Please don't mention it. But can you do me a favor?" Frey only asked one thing in return, to have him joined them and the old man agreed.
After the incident in Tricolor Inn, Frey, Lyon and Lazlo had a small chat in the room for quite a while.
Lazlo explained the reason he lied, and apologized to Frey for not being to keep the promise. He also showed him The Rune of Punishment. The Rune of Condemnation was actually spawned from Rune of Punishment. He couldn't leave the responsibility aside. That's why he pursued the rune.
"So Ferid was dead…I heard about it, but I just couldn't believe it." Lazlo lowered his head in sadness, as well as Frey. Every time he talked about his family, he couldn't stop the sadness occupy him.
"…But I'll find out who killed them, and took Lym back." He swore to himself. "And stop Godwin!"
"I know you can do it." Lazlo rubbed his head, like what Ferid always did to him. He then stood up.
"Where are you going, Sir Lazlo?"
"I've done with my thing here, so I probably will set out again." Lazlo smiled. "Send my greeting if you meet Admiral Skald from Island Nation."
"Wish you the best luck." Even Frey felt sad to say goodbye to him, he still had to.
"I should say that to you." Lazlo chuckled. "Remember, you are not alone. Trust yourself and your friends, and you can overcome any troubles."
Frey nodded. "We will meet again."
"Yeah, we will meet again." The young man finally left off the guilty before he left the nation.
He wished Frey all the best with his fight.
I guess this is the fastest complete story I write in two weeks immediately Fate-chan requested me. I did a lot of research while writing the story since it's been quite some time I played the game. Hope you enjoy the story, and I hope I don't disappoint all of you, especially Fate-chan. :D