In The Wind And The Light
Chapter Three - if you have read this far, you have my deepest gratitude.
A singular groan broke the peaceful morning silence, as the study's sole occupant rolled over in his makeshift bed. He was seriously regretting sleeping here, and his aching bones agreed. Pushing himself up, Merric made his way to his usual morning spot. The window.
The sun had barely begun to rise, most of the sky still bearing the darkness of night. On the horizon, however, the beautiful rose color of the sun was bleeding into the rest of the celestial body.
It was almost poetic.
Letting out a long sigh, the wind mage decided he really needed to get out of this place. Making his way out, he quietly made his way through the castle halls. Most of the nobles were still asleep at this time of day, leaving only the castle guard to accompany him. And they didn't ask questions or make statements. For once, Merric was thankful for that.
As he meandered around the halls, reflecting on his behavior the last few days- No, he said with a shake of his head, It's been much longer then that- he realized that he had acted mostly in an unsuited rashness.
His wanderings eventually took him to the castle gardens. While it wasn't exactly where we wanted to be, the fall flowers made for a beautiful display. And even in his current mood, he couldn't deny that.
A noise caught the wind mage's ear, and found himself wandering towards it. Looking over a balcony, he saw as Cain instructed a new selection on knights.
Merric chuckled a bit. That was certainly Cain. Driving himself and his students into training before the sun had barely risen. He was never a very militaristic man, but the wind mage still appreciated the work that these people put into their training.
One of the younger knights caught his attention. Rody, he believed his name was. Merric gave a nod. That would make this group the seventh platoon. Jeigen's most promising students.
A short spear went sailing over his head, just missing him by inches, causing the wind mage to fall backwards out of surprise.
"What kind of throw was that, Rody!? You're trying to hit your opponent!" He heard Cain yell out.
Merric sighed. Maybe they weren't quite that good yet...
With a huff, the wind mage started to pick himself back off the ground, when the same spear went flying over his shoulder back down to the training grounds below. Merric fell backwards again as his balance was lost.
"All that time in your study is hurting your dexterity, Merric." Est said with a laugh, standing over the downed mage.
With some help from the pegasus knight, Merric pulled himself back up. Dusting off his lighter court robes, the green-haired mage gave Est a slightly irritated, slightly questioning glare. "What are you doing out here so early in the morning?"
The pinkette gave a playful chuckle, putting on mock hurt expression. "What, I'm not able to come and watch my own husband at work?"
She had a point. Merric gave a slow, slightly saddened nod. Est looked at her friend concernedly. "You haven't been the same recently. Or sense we came back from the war, really. Your always so distant..."
The worn mage ran a hand through his hair. Est really wasn't going to give him a break, was she? Motioning for her to follow, Merric walked deeper into the castle's gardens.
Est followed silently behind the wind mage, waiting for him to speak as he guided her through the gardens. When he didn't say anything, the pink-haired pegasus rider quickened her pace until she had caught up to her friend.
The moment she made it to his side, the wind mage stopped. "Merric? Where are you taking me?" Est asked. Merric didn't respond, instead keeping his gaze trained forward. Est followed his gaze, right to the onyx monolith that stood in this circular part of the gardens.
The War of Shadows Memorial. "Oh."
It was still early in the morning, and the Altean League was already on the verge of the Grust stronghold.
Marth rode his horse up to the carriage that carried Nyna and the other non-combatants. Knocking twice on the canvas that covered it, the fair princess quickly stuck her head out. Upon seeing the Altean Prince, she exited the front, taking a seat next to Beck on the coach's front.
"Nyna... Something has been bothering you ever sense we started approaching Grust. If you have something to say... Now is the time to do it." Marth said hesitantly. Nyna looked to the side, away from Marth, for just a moment, before turning back to him.
"All right, Marth. As you wish. When the Dolhr-Grust allied forces seized control of Akaneia, the entire royal family was killed, save me. I was given into Grust's custody- the custody of the Sable Order, to be more specific. I am told Dolhr wished for my execution- and with it the end of the holy lineage of House Akaneia- and Grust was willing to comply."
Marth looked confused at the princess. "But... You are not dead."
Nyna looked sadly at the shifting ground beneath her. "That is right. I was not put to the sword. The Sable Order's captain came to my aid. His name... Was Camus."
Marth went stiff for a moment. The General Camus, leader of their second most powerful opponents, only behind the Dolhr manaketes, was the savior of Princess of Arkenia?
"Camus protected me..." Nyna continued. "Knowing he would incur the wrath of the Shadow Dragon. He was the one who eventually arranged for my escape to Aurelis."
"I-I had no idea..." Marth stuttered out. For all he had accomplished in the world, he still was a terrible conversationalist.
Nyna shook her head. "I hated him at first. But in time, I found my hatred tempered by the compassion he showed me, my feelings...changed. And now, all I wish is to see him again...But not if it means you and he must fight."
The blue-haired prince gave a slow nod. "Nyna... I cannot make any promises. But I will do what I can. I hope you can accept that."
The princess gave Marth a sad, yet hopeful glance. "Thank you, Marth. I could not ask for more."
An arrow came soaring through the air, landing itself clearly in Beck's gut. The brown haired man slumped into the chair of the carriage, the horses pulling it rearing up as their reins were let free.
Merric was immediately caught up in the chaos as people scrambled to protect the princesses, get on their mounts and find their weapons. Jorge and Maria made it quickly to Nyna's carriage. The former to calm the horses and the later to tend to the wounded ballistician. Arrows continued to hammer them from the nearby ridge. Minerva and the Whitewings were quickly moving toward the archer's hill, with Cadea close behind.
The wind mage's attention was shifted, however, when a small group of swordsmen came charging down the path they had been on. Merric was thankful to whatever gods would hear him that his Excalibur tome was light enough to be carried around on his person at all times.
Dodging his way past the arrows, the emerald-haired mage tossed a torrent of air their way. The tempest made full on contact with the first soldier, blowing the man several feet into the air, before landing on another behind him. The next few were downed before they could recuperate as their own archers picked them off.
The wind mage readied another spell, but was interrupted and nearly thrown off his feet as a pegasus crashed not but a foot away from him. Merric shook off his shock, before noticing the sigil of the Arkenian League on the flying horse's armor.
"Cleric!" Merric shouted, trying to pushed the deceased mount off its rider. A head of blue hair caught his attention, if only for a moment. Catria.
Maria was came to an abrupt stop as she skidded by next to the wind mage, her already harried face going pale as she saw who the victim was.
Despite the flurry of confusion around him, he took note that the healer with him was. Maria. The wind mage shot a quick glance over to the carriage, noticing only Horace, Dolf and Mecellan there, guarding Nyna with their lives.
A javelin flew right over Merric's head, a Grust soldier collapsing right next to them, the sword that he had been holding over his head falling to the blood-stained dirt with a dull clatter. The knight who had saved them jumped off his horse, running to their side to help. "She is stable. Get her out of here, Frey!" Maria said in a tone of dire panic.
The blue-haired knight nodded quickly. Merric lifted the horse just enough for Frey to pull her out, before carrying her away in his arms.
The moment he was gone, a massive eruption of fire went off next to them. Merric hit the ground, the sound of bone cracking echoing in his head as he did.
He tried to push himself up, but lost his balance and hit the ground again as one of his arms gave way under him. Compensating for the broken limb, the wind mage managed to pull himself into a sitting position against the still corpse of Catria's pegasus. He resisted the urge to cry out as his shattered arm flared up. Ignoring the burning pain, Merric shifted himself to look over the dead mount. A small contingent of Grust mage's marched down what had been their formation, tossing about Bolganon and elfire spells like candles. One blast hit Draug, and he went down like a sack of bricks.
The intricate, yet far-beyond memorized incantation rolled off the wind mage's tongue, each breath burning his throat as he clutched the tome tighter in his good hand. The winds of Excalibur picked up again; gale blades slicing through the unprepared magi. Several fell dead as the magic tore into their flesh.
Merric slumped back down, only then noticing Maria's unmoving prone form. Gods, no.
A powerful, oddly pitched roar was heard, just before a lithe ivory dragon went tearing into the Grust soldiers.
The wind mage's vision started to blur as he tossed another Excalibur down at the enemy ranks. Yells of agony were let free as the arcane wind magics cut them down. Merric gave a grin of triumph, before slipping into unconsciousness. His last thought was of the motionless Macedonian princess before him.
The wind mage shook his throbbing head, only now aware of the someone trying to shake him awake. Forcing his eyes to open, he was met with the panicked face of Linde. Through the fog of his mind, me managed a smile. A mend staff was still in her hands, glowing as it poured its restorative energies into his battered body.
"Oh gods, Merric. Don't ever do that to me again!" She yelled, the tears that had been forming on the edges of her eyes finally making their way out, slowly leaving their trails down her face.
Merric slowly reached out a trembling hand, slowly wrapping it around a startled Linde's neck. Before she knew what was happening, the emerald-haired mage had pulled her down into a heated kiss. Linde froze for a moment out of shock, before relenting into the kiss. She could taste the bitter blood on his lips, and he the salt of her tears. They remained in passionate liplock until they had to break for breath.
"I- I'm sorry." He muttered, looking away, trying to hide his face. Though he didn't get very far, with his neck terribly stiff as it was.
Linde gently grabbed his chin, slowly turning his head back to face her. She placed a gentle kiss on his lips, pulling back a second later. She looked sweetly into his eyes, giving a reassuring smile.
The moment was totally disrupted as the wind mage's arm flared up again. It served as a reasonable distraction though, as Merric looked around to survey the damage.
Linde gave the Altean mage a wry smile. "We'll get back to this."
Hoisting himself up on Linde's shoulder, the wind mage limped through what had been their caravan. Several of their carriages had been reduced to smoldering husks, including the one carrying their equipment.
He eventually found exactly what he was looking for in particular. A small makeshift triage center had been set up in the most fortified part of their ruins. The majority of the League seemed to be clustered here, basically everyone who wasn't on guard duty.
Amongst the bodies laying on the ground, Merric could see Lena running furiously between them, with Wrys and Boah working over various people, staffs in hand. Minerva caught his eye as well, the Macedonian princess standing quietly amongst the bodies.
The wind mage let himself off of Linde's shoulder, hobbling over to the crimson clad princess. The light mage walked quietly behind him. Merric came up behind Minerva, placing a hand on her armor-clad shoulder. She didn't flinch. Instead just pulling the white cloth covering Maria closer to her head.
She was breathing shallowly, causing the wind mage to give a sigh of relief, even given the red stains that adorned the cloth.
Minerva shrugged his hand off. "She will make it. The only disadvantage of her injury is we are now down one healer." She said in her ever stoic voice, even if the waver in her tone betrayed her true thoughts.
Merric gave a curt nod, moving again through the crowd. He nearly collapsed to the ground himself as his battered legs gave out from underneath him. Linde and, oddly enough, Minerva, helped him back to his feet. He gave a thankful nod to his two companions, when he felt a new wetness on his hands.
Looking down, the wind mage saw his hand covered in fresh blood. Giving a worried glance to the Macedonian princess, he finally noticed her own blood seeping through a tear in her equally crimson armor.
"You... you need a healer!" Merric said through ground teeth as his injuries flared up again. Linde nodded to her as well "Really princess. You need to get it looked at, in the least, before it becomes infected."
Minerva shrugged it off. "I will have it tended to when the others no longer need the attention of the healers."
Another body joined them, his fair face still wearing a smile despite how exhausted he looked. "Mayhaps I can help?" Etzel said hoarsely, one hand gripping a mend staff for support as the other corrected the cracked monocle on his eye.
Minerva grudgingly accepted the sorcerers help. Merric shook his head, admiring what little humor he could find in the situation. Turning to Linde, the wind mage handed her a small heal staff. She sadly accepted the staff with a knowing nod, leaning the battered mage against a small rock before making her way off to help tend to the others.
Marth took a seat next to his friend, leaning himself up against the stone as he wiped a hand across the stale blood on his forehead.
"Are you ok?" The blue-haired prince asked Merric, who simply shook his head in response.
"Did we lose anyone?"
Marth let out a long sigh. "Beck didn't make it. Dolf is looking pretty bad and Arran and Samson took some grim hits. More than half of the League isn't in any fighting shape."
Merric stumbled back to his feet. "See if you can get the tacticians together. We need to plan, now."
Malledus hit a hand on the slightly charred map of Grust before him. "If I had know we were getting so close to the center of Grust's power, I would have had us under better protection." The elder man growled.
Chris put a comforting hand of his shoulder. "There was no way you could have predicted an ambush like that. Trust me, from tactician to tactician, I know how frustrating it is to have things outside our own planning."
The elder tactician gave a sigh of defeat, letting his shoulders slump. Running a hand through his ever-thinning hair, he went back to looking over the map.
"We're about here. A bridge connects here," Malledus said, pointing to the indicator on the map. "Over the river, leading into a forest that comes out right at the rear of their main fortress. Palla and Est report ballisticians armed with Pachyderms guarding their fort, as well as several paladins, one who is believed to be the Sable general."
"We would be exposed in the fields to the south," Jeigan spoke in. "The ballisticians would hammer our weakened forces into oblivion. The forest would give us all the cover we needed."
Chris shook his head, looking over the map. "I don't think that would necessarily be the case. The forest would cover us from the ballistae, but the limited mobility would leave us open to the paladins, if they get wise. And the Sable Order has proven formidable thus far."
Marth seemed vexed by his tactician's lack of a conclusion. "How about we take our forces down both paths?" He offered. Everyone looked at him like he was mad.
"Actually..." Chris spoke up, looking back to the map. "That might work. It may divide our already hampered force, we could surprise them with the sheer lunacy of the idea." Everyone shifted their gave to Chris, who pulled at his collar uncomfortably.
"I'm with Chris." Minerva said, pushing her way into the circle of men. "We catch them off guard, as soon as possible. They won't be expecting an attack so soon after they think they have crippled us."
"I agree with Princess Minerva." Hardin said, joining them. "Though, I would beseech her highness to sit the battle out. Your injuries are still to fresh."
Minerva gave the man a sneer. "My dragon is ready, as are the Whitewings. We await your command, Prince."
Marth let his head drop. He was never very good at commanding people. He lack the age or veneration of even Cain or Able to make an excessively useful commander. Even with all his studies in Talys, the command of the last vestige of freedom weighed heavily on him. Why not Hardin or Minerva? Surely, they were more qualified-
The azure-haired prince shook the thought out of his head, meeting Minerva's gaze. "Get every able-bodied man and woman together. We march on the hour."
"As you wish, my lord." Malledus said, slightly miffed.
It hadn't even been a day yet, and Merric was already marching again. He had his armed wrapped tightly to his chest, and while it took away from his manual dexterity, he really didn't need it to use his spells. Chris, Bantu, Tiki, Linde, Marth, Gordin and Horace were with him, trudging through the woods at his side. Just as predicted, the dense foliage was making the trip take significantly longer. At least they hadn't been noticed yet.
The tell-tale explosion of a pachyderm sounded in the distance. Minerva must have engaged the enemy ballistae.
Just on cue, a javelin hit with a dull thunk into a tree right next to the wind mage. His nerves had been sharpened sense earlier, and the usually jumpy mage didn't flinch as we turned and launched a Thoron bolt in his aggressors' direction. A brief yell was heard as horseman and rider collapsed to the ground. A moment later, several more paladins were spotted in the distance. Merric grinned as he heard the dragons transform behind him.
What few paladins had managed to make their way to them were quickly felled between his and Linde's magic, Gordin's bow and the dragon's breath. Chris wasn't proficient enough yet in his magic, so he stood back with Marth and Horace as a defensive screen.
The wind mage hoped silently the other teams were faring as well as he was. The team walked into a small clearing, the edges of the Grust fort barely making itself visible through the tree line.
"With the Gradivus lance, I am all but invincible!"
A golden streak flew through the air, it landing with a rough crack as it pierced the scaled hide of Bantu. The elder fire dragon reverted to his human form, the displaced weapon falling to the ground. A tall black armored man came riding in on a equally armored horse. He picked up the lance, holding it blade facing the wind mage. Tiki had reverted to her human form as well, and was alongside Chris as he tended to Bantu. Merric sent another Thoron bolt at the man, Linde following it up with an elfire. The man held the Gradivus to his face in defense causing the majority of the to blast ricochet off the gleaming spear, though a bit of it made it through, blowing off the man's helmet. His golden hair shone clearly.
The man was about to charge at his opponents, when Marth jumped between them, Mercurius held high. "You!?" He said, faltering a bit. "You gave us the Thoron tome. Why do you fight us now?"
The man nodded his head. "Prince Marth. I am Camus of Grust."
Everyone seemed to freeze. So this was the man that Nyna spoke so fondly of...
Marth let the Mercurius fall to his side. "General, I have no wish to fight you. You know this battle is pointless; surely you must!"
Camus' face faltered for but a moment, before returning to his knight's composure. "So long as Grust continues to support Dolhr's ambitions, it does not matter what I know or think. I am a knight; I have a duty to fight for my motherland's glory till the very end."
"Prince Marth-" Camus cut him off. "There is nothing you can do or say. I am party to your father's murder. Are you a man or not? Draw your sword."
"Stop! Camus!" Another voice cried out, this time causing the man to flinch. Everyone turned to see Nyna running towards them, dress frayed from running through the forest.
The man looked stunned at the princess. "Princess Nyna..."
Linde grabbed the woman's arm as she tried to pass her, stopping the princess in her tracks. "Nyna! What are you dooing here?! This is the middle of a battlefield!"
"I know, I know..." Nyna stuttered, flighting weakly in the light mage's grasp. "But please, Camus, listen to me... You gave me back my life. And Marth, he gave me back my kingdom. I do not wish to see that the two of you fight. It is...it is unbearable. Please, Camus, fight with us. We need your strength. ...I need it."
Everyone noticed to tears beginning to well up in the corners of Nyna's eyes. Linde faltered at seeing her usually strong princess break down, unintentionally loosening her grip just enough for her to break free.
Camus gave a defeated expression, looking away from the princess. "I am sorry, Nyna..."
Nyna took a step back, holding a hand to her chest. The horror in her eyes could be felt by all present. "B-but, Camus... Why!?"
The golden haired knight cast a hard gaze at the princess, one so cold, yet overflowing with kindness. "Were my heart my master, I would do exactly as you say. But what sort of knight abandons his kingdom- his king!- now, when they need him the most? Would you have me toss away the life I have built as if it meant nothing at all?"
Nobody dared move as the two continued their exchange, though Merric clutched both the Thoron and Excalibur tomes tighter in his good hand as he waited for the conclusion.
Nyna looked like she was on the verge of completely breaking down, her whole body shaking as she fought to stay standing. "N-No Camus... I don't... I don't know!" Tears were now clearly running down her face, leaving red streaks were they fell.
"I have lived as a knight, and I intend to die as one. There are no other roads left for me to walk. Farewell, my princess. I shall never forget our days together at the palace, few though they were. I pray you meet someone who can bring joy back into your life."
Nyna collapsed to the ground, holding her face in her hands as she tried to hold back her undammed emotions.
Camus held up the Gradivus again, leveling the lance again at Marth. The blue haired prince brought up the Mercurius again, though his stance was shaky with uncertainty.
Nobody noticed Chris in the back, trembling with an emotion of his own.
"ARE YOU SHITTING ME?!" The red haired tactician bellowed, surprising everyone with his ferocity. Even the Sable general seemed shaken. "The great and mighty Camus is too much of a blindly following imbecile to break away from an evil that he clearly sees?! All on the premise of 'being a knight'!?"
Camus flinched visibly at the venom being flung at him. But Chris wasn't done. "And I'm sure many agree with me! Just look at the Akeneian league! So many of our own men are defectors that we freed from the threat of death by disobedience to the Shadow Dragon!" He yelled, motioning to Horace behind him. "And when presented with the same offer by the love of his life, he, however elegantly, throws it in her face!"
Linde put a hand on the young man's shoulder, trying to calm him down. He shrugged her off violently, taking a step forward a thrusting a accusatory finger out at the ebon clad knight. "I'll just leave you with this, bastard! If we win this and defeat Medeus, every soldier and citizen who stood by their corrupted kingdoms will be branded a traitor! And those who rebelled will be the real heroes!"
Chris just stood there, bristling with the anger still radiating from his body. Camus however, could not meet any of their eyes. He simply looked into the distance, fighting his own emotions. Tiki shyly walked up the man without anyone having noticed her approach. She pulled lightly on the knight's armored leg-guard. "Why do you make the princess sad?"
And that did it. Camus dropped the Gradivus to the ground, the golden blade hitting the earth with a heavy thud. He dismounted his horse and fell to his knees in front of the princess. Nyna looked up, wiping her stained eyes on her dress as she looked at the humbled knight.
"Forgive me. My actions have spoken the volumes that my words spoke against in vain. Even what love for you that I have cannot excuse me of the crime that I almost committed. I indebt myself forever to you, princess. Prince Marth, and you, tactician."
Merric just stood there dumbfounded at what he had just saw.
Nyna slowly stood, adopting the most graceful poise she could. "Rise, Camus of Gurst, who's heart has shown him true strength."
The golden haired knight slowly took to his feet, looking shamefully, weakly to the ground.
Surely, this can't be the same man we faced but a moment ago... The wind mage mused.
Bantu weakly limped up between the princess and Sable knight. "You have chosen well, both of you." He wheezed out, elderly voice sounding even weaker then usual. "I wish you both the greatest happiness."
The moment was completely disrupted, as a battered wyvern and equally abused rider hit the ground. Minerva stumbled off her mount, nearly collapsing herself as her viridian scaled partner staggered to the earth. Both Merric and Linde were quickly at her side, tending to what they could with their heal staffs.
"We... Have taken the strong... hold." The crimson princess mumbled out. She caught Camus naxt to Nyna, his arm protectively around her waist. A small smile played on her face. "General Lorenze would like to see you at the fort, Camus..."
The sun had set. Merric stood looking out at the stars from one of the fort's windows. Word was that the spineless king of Grust had taken his own life when he realized he had been defeated. Lorenze, the general who had been in command of the fort was in discussing what was to become of their country with Camus. It had been a successful day, a hard one to win, but one won none the less. Even if it had come with a cost. He hadn't talked to anyone about it yet, but apparently, the league had suffered its first real casualties. At least they had what was left of the Grust force and a proper facility to treat their men in now.
Chris came up, silently leaning himself against the sill. "Hey. Sorry for blowing my top earlier." He said with a light chuckle. He was answered with silence. "But, hey, at least it worked, right?" More silence. "Look, I know you are having a hard time loosing people, but it was unavoidable. It was either that, or any other move that could have cost us even more."
Merric shifted his gave to the ground, still silent.
Chris growled, frustration rising again. "Look... Merric. You think you have it tough. Cord just lost his brother!" He yelled at the wind mage's face. Merric looked shocked for a moment, before turning even more gloomy.
Chris looked over his shoulder, having heard something that Merric clearly had not. "Look, Merric. Of all the things you have going for you right now, which includes almost every friend you have ever made, and a major role in what will be the liberation of the world... At least try to do right by her." And then he was gone.
The wind mage rubbed his bruised arm as he thought about the tactician's words. Before he could finish the thought, he grabbed by his good arm and spun around. Linde placed a heavy kiss on his lips, shocking the mage more than anything. After realizing who it was, which probably took more time then the light mage would have liked, Merric melted into the kiss.
"I believe that is where we had left off. " She said, pulling apart for a moment and resting her head against her lover's own.
That day had forever etched itself into everyone's memory. Both in its joys and sorrows.
Merric approached the slab, running a hand over its engraved obsidian surface. "Wendell..." He muttered as his hand passed over his old teachers name. Est warily walked up to his side, watching the wind mage's hand as it skittered over the names of their fallen friends. "Matthis... Darros... Bord... Beck... Arran... Athena." He let out a sigh, distracting Est for moment. "They even have spots for the giant who helped us during the assault on Grust, as well as Michalis."
Merric's hand eventually came to rest under a single name in particular.
CHAPTER THREE - END
How'd ya like that ending, huh?
Time for a freaken super-long author's notes! First off, I noticed amoungst what little feedback I have gotten so far, that nobody has pointed out the reference in this story's title. But I'll just leave you all to figure it out...
Next, this chapter actually gave me a rush while writing it. My heartbeat was up and I was all sweaty. No joke.
And, I would like to congratulate myself on writing a chapter of over 5k words. I'm so proud of myslef.
On an off topic note, is there anyone else out there who dislikes Malledus' character? Cause he drives me crazy sometimes, with all his explaining all the time. I think that might have altered how I write him, so I appologize.
And speaking of dislikeing things, did this level give anyone else a heap of trouble, or am I just bad at Fire Emblem?
Also, for those of you who care, I am a helpless, hopeless romantic, and as of such, I just can't help but slip that kind of stuff into my story. I beg forgiveness if it seems awkward of poorly exicuted, as I have absolutely no firsthand experiance in the field of romance. And not for lack of trying.
As for Camus... Well, his dying (Even if he technically didn't die) always really miffed me. So now, with the way things are shaping up now, the canon is going to get really different. Let's hope I can pull it off!
And oddly enough, my other story, To Live A Dream, a very stupid Tales of the Abyss story I wrote just to burn time, has significantly more veiws then this, despite the fact that I put no real effort into it. It really hurts my enthusiasm to work on this fic.
Lastly, I'm going to be taking a break from fic writing to work on some other projects, so it may be awhile before I update again. Maybe it'll happen sooner though, depending on how many hits this story gets...
Massive thanks to everyone who has read this far! CHEERS!~