Tick... Tock... Tick... Tock...

Lazlo was alone in his room, resting on his very own bed. Silence was occupying all the room, except his slow breath and the sound of waves could be heard.

He had just awaken after cold for more than two weeks, which also after retrieving Obel back. All people who visited him had left him alone to rest. Miss Elenor told that his works had piled up, waiting for him to 'tidy' them out. He would need to heal as soon as possible to return to his duty.

He sighed slowly, and he heard nothing but silence again. The silence made the ticking sound of clock to be heard clearly, reminded him that time would always flow even without his knowing.


Had made always thought about his 'time', his 'running-out-time'. He knew it's running out, yet didn't know how much time left he had.

Three year? Or one? A month? Or the worst? Few seconds left?

He didn't know...

All he knew was his breath won't last for much longer...

"Uh..." He tried to put himself to sit on his bed, it's hard, but still able to do it. Sighed again, even to sit down needed so much struggle and willpower. The rune of punishment sure drained much of his energy and his life as well.

He raised his left hand with effort, after sleeping over than two weeks didn't make him fit at all. He felt his entire body was limp and no power in it. He looked at the mirror hanged on the wall, saw the image of his. No much difference to his normal self, just a little pale and listless.

He glanced on his left hand, then removing his fingerless glove. A shell like symbol tattooed was on the back of his hand. Somewhat scary for someone who knew about the rune he had wielded, even he, the bearer of the rune itself would be afraid sometimes.

No one could understand his fear, as no one accurately knew what would happen to him if he died of using the cursed rune. A dead will leave its body, the soul will be in peace or wandering, but not to the bearers of true rune of punishment. They wouldn't leave their bodies, yet turned to be ashes and disappeared with the winds instead. And their souls would be trapped in the rune, but no one knew what happened to the poor souls afterwards. This statement made him thinking of his own fate that had waited him.

Perhaps his soul will be tormented in the rune? Or cut into small pieces with unexplainable pain for eternity? Receiving an eternal ordeal? Enter the nothingness which drives every souls into insane souls, then screaming eerily for forgiveness for using the rune?

Once again, no one would ever know it, even the current rune bearer himself...

But perhaps, there was someone with similar condition with him. Someone looked like with his age, but perhaps he was the oldest one in the ship. He was being cold, and distance himself by locking himself in the room, only out from his 'nest' when had something to do. Sounded like a bear in winter?

Yes, it's Ted, the bearer of the rune of life and death, also known as the 'Soul Eater'. It was also a cursed one, but in different effect, it made the owner to be a jinx, dragged everyone around him to the death. Of course everyone would death sooner or later, but the soul eater made everyone around the bearer death and trapped in the rune, forcing the bearer to be a solitary being. He was about more one hundred in solitary, Ted told him about his past when they had a little chat.

Others true runes granted the bearer an anti-aging body and poison immunity, and rune of punishment granted a body with pain and a life that being shorter and shorter. For random times, he would feel some pain on his body, sometimes on his sleep, when walking, on naval battle, and more else, but the worst was when he was on battle. He almost got himself killed for bunch of times if he didn't grit his teeth and endure the pain.

And the pain he felt was also in random levels. Sometime it only a small 'thud' which would make him stopped for his activities for seconds or sometimes minutes, or a sudden dizziness attacked his head. And the worst was an excruciating pain on his entire body, like crushed his bones to pieces. His chest was in pain and had difficulties in breathing, a cold from nowhere attacked his body, and his legs would hardly support his own body. The symptoms became worse as he was bearing the rune for longer time.

When the pain attacked him on the meeting or when everyone was around him, he would have the hardest time ever. He didn't want to make everyone worry, but the pain kept forcing himself to scream, even faint. He kept everything normal as he could. For the people who knew his random pain, he asked to keep it as a top secret.


Speaking of which, there it came again, the random pain...

He had difficulties on breathing, as his chest was in pain. For then, he knew what a heart attack felt like. His right hand hardly pressed on the center of his chest, the left one gripped the bed cover as tight as he could. He had a great urge to scream, but he couldn't do that or someone-god-know would notice. He pressed his lips together so no screams out from his mouth.

'Calm... Calm down, Lazlo... It's okay... This will be end up soon...'

He inhaled, and exhaled after few seconds, repeated it for few times. He tried to do as doctor Yu taught him before, just in case if the pain attacked when Yu was unavailable.

It took few minutes to stop the pain. It only 'stopped' for now, but the pain would come again for the time when-the-God-or-the-rune-had-decided.

After calmed down, he lied down on his bed again, knowing impossible for him to stand and walk around. Perhaps a sleep would make him feel fresh tomorrow morning.

He gazed on the wooden ceiling, while thought on the first topic again, his own death...

What he more wanted to knew who was the next bearer after his death, the one who would had a same fate as him and past bearers. For him, the burden of the rune was a challenge for both physical and mental. He was just lucky to be survived until then.

If he had met his end on the Dauntless, then the rune would pick on someone nearby in range. He frightened of knowing if the rune chooses on someone he knew later, or his people who was on his leads. Deep down, he didn't want to pass the cursed thing to someone else if he was able to. Just like Brandeau, the past bearer.

'I must do something before it happen...'

It was the last thing he thought before fallen into a sleep...

Lazlo was attending a burial ceremony of a sailor, who died in some random battle occured in middle of sea. They always did a proper burial for the death even on the seas, and as the captain and a leader, he would always attend for paying the last respect.

They settled the body onto a funeral boat, as a tradition he someone died on seas. Then slowly had the boat drifted away. He gazed on the boat which further and further away, thinking as if he was the one who was on the boat.

'It's impossible...' he thought, since he wouldn't leave anything but ashes if he dead. Perhaps they couldn't even do a proper burial ceremony for him, he would just die and turn to be ashes. And finally, the rune would move to someone only-fate-and-god-know. He smiled in grief, 'Well, unless I get myself send off before I die...'

'... Wait...'

He widened his eyes and blinked for twice. His brain came out with an insanely idea, an idea which could prevent of the rune self-transfer when the time comes. Perhaps it's the one and only way to prevent it happened.

He thought on dying alone on the sea...

He gripped his both hand hardly, afraid by his own thought. He got to have his mental prepared for his own crazy idea...

Snowe had joined him after he saved him few weeks ago. He somewhat eased a little for Snowe's acceptance, after pushed his offer away for twice.

For the first time, Snowe had received some negative and bad comments from some people. But, Lazlo could see that Snowe changed a lot. Now, he could receive commands, which he had always commanding before. And he took some odd jobs on the ship. Lazlo and those knight of Razril always talked to him whenever they had the time.

Snowe didn't know about his condition, since Lazlo asked everyone to keep it as secret. Yet, paper couldn't cover fire, he knew it, everything included everything. The ex-noble was even in the great rage, and scolded everyone insanely, noted Elenor. Lazlo wasn't excluded though. But he had calmed down since then.

The captain walked to the deck at night, knowing Snowe would be there. When he walked up the stairs, he felt a sudden dizziness in his head. His eyes blinded out for unknown reason.

He started to panic and almost tripped down from the stairs if he didn't grab on the wooden stair handle immediately. He was in true fear, he even could hear his own heartbeat.

Even in a great fear, he tried to calm himself down. Tried the method Doctor Yu taught him, but it didn't work at all. He sat on the stair, being more and more panicked, his body trembled so much. His hand wiped his cold sweated face, he knew this also another symptom of his 'condition'.

After few seconds, his sight was coming back, even blurry at first. He blinked for few times and he could see everything clearly again. It relieved him very much, perhaps he would insane if it took more minutes!

But, it also meant that his 'time' couldn't wait for any longer, it's running out soon.

'I suppose... I got no choice...'

He smiled in grief, he must had someone to prepare everything for him, all came to his mind was king Lino and miss Elenor.

He slowly raised himself and walked down the stairs. He changed his plan to meet Snowe, and talk about his request to King Lino and Miss Elenor instead, no one else but them.

He knocked on Elenor's door.


He opened the door, realized the King Lino and Lady Kika was there too, enjoying some good liquor of Elenor's. The situation was also perfect since Agnes wasn't there, not that he didn't count out Kika for something. But he thought she wasn't a sort of gossiper, so it didn't matter for Kika to know.

"Isn't now supposed to be a kids' bed time?" Lino looked at the clock, almost eleven at night. "Or you want to join us for drinking?" Lino joked on the serious boy. "If you want to have a drinking contest with us, I suppose you will lose to us badly, you know."

Kika put down her glass. "Perhaps no. Sigurd and Hervey told me that he didn't knock out by Elenor's special liquor. Even Dario, the heavy drinker had knocked out by it. He is really something." Lino suprised by her words. The boy scratched his head a little.

Elenor gulped her drink from his own bottle and asked, "I suppose you didn't come here for drink or something usual?" She put the bottle down. "Now tell, what is it on your mind?"

Her straight words just served him right, since he didn't know how to start the conversation. He sighed before he talked about what on his mind.

"... I have a request to be made..."

Sensed some serious conversation would be started, Elenor crossed her hands, laid against the wooden chair. Kika emptied her glass in an instant. Lino just being normal, ready to hear what the boy gonna say.

"Let's hear it then." Lino raised his shoulders a little.

"... About my condition..." he said, he tried to find a correct words to the sentence. He didn't know why he couldn't say anything anymore, until another pain attacked him, an medium 'thud' which made him ducked his body a little, he pressed his chest, and tried not to wince. Lino helped him and Kika started to worry, even didn't show it on her face.

"Hey, boy, you alright?!" Lino asked him, his tone shown worry. Lazlo wanted to assured them, but the pain had stopped him from talking. Lino started to panic and said, "I'll get Yu here!"

Lazlo's eyes widened. "NO! !" He screamed out his voice forcefully. He didn't want more people to know his condition. And he had been avoiding Yu lately, so he could not notice that the symptoms were worsen. By his word of refuse, even Lino unknowingly obeyed on the leader.

"I'm... sorry..." Lazlo gazed on Lino with guilty eyes. He didn't intend to raise his voice in front of the king.

Elenor sighed. "Don't need to hide it. I know all of it," said Elenor as he suprised. She stood up and took a small bottle from her shelf and gave it to the boy. "Drink it, I only have it. You will feel better."

Another 'thud' had attacked him when he received the small bottle, almost dropped the bottle down. He opened the bottle and sniffed out a smell like a rotten egg being fried. With a little hesitate, he gulped it all with an instant.

He almost choked and spit it all out, but he swallowed it up before it happened. After that, he choked himself with a glass of plain water Kika offered. He had a great tolerance of bitterness since he was child. Yet, what he drank just now was a foul tasted drink, with a disgusting texture thru his throat, tasted a little like wine. Perhaps it was the most disgusting drink he had drank ever.

"I see your condition wouldn't tolerate you anymore. What are you going to do?" Elenor gulped her drink and startled directly to the leader, who still tried to stable down. "As your tactician and your mentor, I know you're planning on something crazy in the future..."

Again, an awfully direct shot of conversation. Looked like Elenor knew his condition very well. And he knew what she asked was about the rune and himself.

He inhaled, the medicine did really work on the pain. "I just want to you to promise me something..." He looked at the three adults bravely. "If something happens to me, or... if there is the time when I have to use my rune again..." He let out his breath to calm down himself. "... with a small boat, please set me out to the sea, alone, even I'm still alive. Just in case so the rune can't transfer to someone else..."

"... So that's your decision..." Elenor drank her liquor again.

"What?!" Lino raised his voice. "Why do you-" "Please..."

He cut Lino's words. He knew that the king would scold him, but he let him to.

"Don't say something like as if I would do it! Why do you being so pessimistic?!" The king really scolded the boy. The boy only looked at the angry King steadily. Lino knew that the boy's body had strained out too much, after took on the leadership then overworked, and his life too, after years of being the bearer of Rune of Punishment and had used the rune for big or small matters. The rune had pretty much consumed his life, and only could have him stay alive for less than a year. Even Ted, who told him all of it, was very sure of it.

"I did not, sire... But, I know my own limit, and I almost reached it. Please..." Lazlo pleaded. "Please fulfill this dying man's wish…" His tone shown very much of grief, a resignation to what had awaited him close ahead.

"You asked this because of everyone's sake?" said the King, the boy shook his head.

"No, I merely asked this for myself..." He lowered his voice. "If the rune couldn't pass itself, then I won't feel any guilt..."

"So I will be able to rest in peace..." He said it with smile, but a sad smile.

Kika widened her eyes. His words remembered her of Edgar and Brandeau, both died as victims of rune of punishment. Brandeau left and avoided Kika and everyone he knew, so no one fell as the rune's victim. Lazlo, who was a lot younger, but had considered things ahead, and had chosen for dying alone. Sad… and so lonely… If not because that rune, perhaps he would still happily together with Edgar and Brandeau, that boy would also not being dragged in this harsh fate.

She countered the conversation with an unexpected answer. "If they couldn't do it, I will do it..."

Lazlo smiled at her, "Thank you, lady Kika..."

"No need to thank me..." She stepped to the door, intended to leave. "Just promise us, live on until the time comes..." Then she left.

"... I will... live the fullest until then..."

He left Elenor's room after felt much better. Lino also promised him even it was hard, Elenor didn't say a word, but silently agreed on the dying young man's decision.

Lazlo leaned his back on the closed door. He felt so tired, very tired.

He thought himself had been a villain to them for what he had decided. Perhaps, he did not consider their feelings at all, or being pessimistic…

But he knew, he wouldn't regret his decision...


Few days later after secret meeting of Lazlo, Lino, Elenor, and Kika…

"Miss Elenor?" Lazlo asked when he was studying by Elenor's teachings.

"What is it?"

"Can I know the recipe of medicine you gave me few days ago?"

"Why do you want to do with it?" Elenor gulped her drink and opened one of her drawer, searching the recipe.

"Well, it's pretty fast to redeem the pain earlier. Perhaps I could make it for myself?" Lazlo did not know what would happen after it. "Is it herbal medicine?"

"No, it isn't." Elenor took out an old-looking paper and glanced at the leader seriously. "You really want to know? Won't regret it?"

Lazlo frowned. "Uh… yes?" And he got a bad feeling, and doubted a little on his decision to ask the recipe.

"You will regret it." Elenor threw the recipe paper to Lazlo, and he caught it up agilely.

His eyes widened as he read on the recipe and his face turned strange color soon after he read it.

'Five ounces of inner organ of *censor*, three ounces of pickled *censor*, five pieces of dried *censor*, half of a liter of *censor*'s fresh blood, three slices of *censor*, ten of *censor*'s eyeball.'

'Boil them together for ten hours until they mashed altogether.'

(Please fill the *censor* with your own thoughts of disgusting medicines in your imagination! Happy imaginating!)

Lazlo dashed out from the study room for vomiting after thinking he had drank the *censored* things, leaving Elenor there smirked with crossing arms.

"I said you will regret on it, right?"


Okay, now. This fic actually finished from weeks after I published 'Andarc's Secret Journal', but too shy to publish this! DX

And, I need to thank three people;

Yami no Majou077 thanks for making the 'Promise' for me! Thank you very much! I'll make the version of mine with multichapter soon! XD

Moonlight M3lody, thank you for answering Suikoden V's question! This helped me a lot for making my upcoming fiction! Perhaps I'll still bother you more with my questions! ==a

la-sera, I'm very surprised that you really draw Lazlo for me! I really like it, really! I also want to thank you for your support! Thank you very much! XD

I'm now making a fiction about Ted's conversation with Lazlo, and a little with Lino and Tir *perhaps*... XD

RnR please?