Lyle set his head down on his desk. For a moment he peered at his study. It was neat, tidy, and comfortable, just the way he liked things. However, even the good comfortable feeling that he received from his room could not cancel out his headache. He had not slept yet and it was already four in the morning. He had been poring over accounts, fixing mistakes, taking notes, perusing his father's old notes, and double checking matters in his sturdy books. He sighed. Much as he wanted to restore the kingdom and bring happiness to his people, the work was half-killing him. There were only a few people left in court who had been there when his father had ruled. Therefore, he spent much time training new courtsmen, something his father had never had to deal with. Lyle pounded his desk in frustration as he remembered how one accountant had been attempting to set up an elaborate way of smuggling money from the kingdom. It had taken a great deal of work from Lyle to finally catch the fraud and even more work now to set everything right. Rubbing his temples fiercely, the young king knew that he could no longer think straight and needed to stop focusing on these matters. With the slightest smile possible, Lyle drew up an old memory with his love, Meria.

"But you said Rugurodull was a man of peace before you left. What happened to him?!" Ihrie frowned.

"I don't have the answer to that. Ihrie-chan," Lyle had answered slowly. Upon hearing Lyle refer to her with her first name and with a -chan suffix, Ihrie wasn't able to stifle her surprise,


"Maybe the magic he unleashed was so horrible it drove him completely mad. That was the very reason my father had it sealed away in the first place." Lyle had continued.

"And now he's after something even more powerful." Ihrie frowned again, puzzling the situation.

"Ihrie! .." With surprising conviction, Lyle used her name again, causing Ihrie to take attention with a slight blush, "Seeking and destroying Rugurodull is something I've sworn to do. You and the others are under no such oath." At that, Ihrie's face lost its tension. With a confident grin, she winked and quipped,

"Hah! Don't be ridiculous! We're not going to back out at this stage of the game. I think you underestimate your princely charm." Laughing together, Lyle had only time to say,

"Thank you, Ihrie-chan, you're an amazing woman."

With a start, Lyle raised his head and broke the reverie. What had possessed him to remember that conversation? Granted, it was one of his few favorite conversations. That day on the ship. Lyle recalled the feelings of fear and dread. and even guilt he had experienced then. However, Ihrie had been the one to bolster his flailing spirits by the conversation they had shared. It had been back in the days when he had no kingdom, only a seemingly useless title and Rugurdull was still on the loose. Lyle stared into his hands, wondering.

A courtier walked in just then ending Lyle's self-discovery before it really even started. "Your Majesty! We were searching for you. what are you doing up still?"

"Searching for me? At this hour? I am just going over the records," Lyle answered.

"Yes well your guard checked into your room only to discover a unslept in bed and consequently became quite frantic," the courtier replied with a slight, disapproving frown, "Silly man. Like our King would ever shirk his duties. Look at you here, poring over work that is not even rightfully yours at this time!" Lyle had to hide his smile. The way his subjects treated him. it was enough to make one feel as if they believed he could do no wrong. And in their eyes, he could not.

{A/N: Bleh I know this looks like it focuses on Lyle but the protagonist sort of shifts around here and there. I absolutely love Ruin Explorers so writing this has been a pleasure. Of course some lil 15 year old doesn't own Ruin Explorers! Copyright is to however owns the bits and pieces! ^.^ By the way. on Microsoft word, fanfic isn't a word. the closest word it tries to spell check it with is "fanatic". not a bad, synonym, eh? XD }