Uh, why hello there, you might or might not have seen me around, probably because you'll notice I have quite a wee-bit number of stories I seem to go on and off... as I please. As if I suddenly lose any will to even think of continuing any of them in one fell swoop.

I figured I might as well do only one-shots if I want something complete.

Anyway, as a preface: Usual disclaimers (I don't own X series and blah) applies, this is a derivative work of fiction based on a copyrighted material, and as such I shall not gain or profit anything from it. Kthxbai.

Oh, here's another: English is not my first language. If you see any errors that prevent you from comprehending or enjoying the story, please do note me in your reviews. I'll see how can I amend it.

The centered italics are parts from the song "Roundabout" by Yes, so do check up on Youtube or any other source you have of it as you read through. Random useless trivia: this song was used as the ending theme to the 2012 adaptation of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.

It feels kind of odd that, of all games, I chose to go with the 7th installment of the series; Fire Emblem - The Blazing Sword, especially considering that there will be a Fire Emblem: Awakening release out for the US - although, I don't live in the United States, and to add another thing: I have no consoles. Except for FE8 in which I obviously used an emulator in absence of the consoles, I had my reading mostly done on other peoples' gameplays, summaries, spoilers, walkthrough, blah blah blah and what have you. Sure, doesn't feel as good as first-hand experience, but I was satisfied enough to know the overall plot.

In this story, we shall get to the point of view of Mark the Tactician (well, you can try replacing the name "Mark" in your imagination with your name, heh) about the whole war against Nergal, and by extension the fire dragons as well, and what he thinks of everything after it was over. Here's a hint: He doesn't give enough credits to himself and prefers to stay that way, but with the rest of the cast, our three Lords, especially one of them; really begs to differ.

And now, without further ado.


I'll be the round about

The words will make you out and out

I'll spend the day your way

Call it morning driving thru the sound and

In and out the valley


In a camp somewhere, erected for rest.

It was evening, the fifth day after that.

That.

By "that," I mean everything.

Lundgren. The Black Fang. Nergal. The dragons. And anything else that might have slipped my mind.

Everything was over, but we are still ways from home.

Oh, sorry. I didn't realize someone was listening to me. Reading my thoughts. You. You, who are reading everything unspoken from me, unheard to the others... letter by letter, word by word.

I am... Mark. I am but a specter, a spectator and guiding hand to every single of my comrade's successes. From the beginning to the end.

For those who've known me as I am, maybe you would remember that you used to be me. Maybe, in my place, you didn't think too much of what my role was. Except as the one speck of life who, while having very little to do with the ways of actual fighting, made my spot by teaching everyone the ways of battle. I am... the tactician.

While you've known my lords really well, many times I've heard them saying how I was an unsung hero, and that they've taken too much credit than they felt they deserved. Surely enough, they weren't happy that I was ignored. But truth to be told, I am not one for credit. Having pride actually hurts.

Ah, those days were full of havoc. When we first met each other, we have had various circumstances. Friends, allies, former enemies and the like. Of course, it was very hard at first since among the first rules of any army's integrity, is that everyone must get along. Though, over time, we managed to overcome those various barriers.

And we have seen ourselves through a lot of skirmishes and battles. Often you'll see stray arrows and spears finding their way to our camp. Getting outflanked was pretty common, as well as us outflanking our enemies. There were very formidable people on the opposition for most of the time, but we have broken through that too.

And then there was Nergal, and his morphs. If that wasn't catastrophic enough, we faced what was supposed to be humankind's common enemy - the fire dragons.

Although, if I may be honest, it is at those times I really felt like the the gods of stratagems, if you might think there was any, were not with me. You see, quite a number of us had it out personally for the Dark Druid.

I can't say I didn't have something against him too, what with him a terrible father - well, that was a terrible joke, nevertheless - but alas, what's a man with nothing but tomes discussing the art of war in his mind, despite not being one with the blade or the spirits, or possibly both? And this crazed man possessed power - befitting of his insanity.

And the dragons... despite convincing from my masters and fellows that I have nothing to fear, only believe; in nothing but Saint Elimine and my comrades... friends, they say... I still shook with fear as I offered my guidance for one last time, against such a monstrosity. Sure enough, soon they found me parallel to the floor, paralyzed with shock; after our victory against the dragons in all of the situations to be.


The muses dance and sing

They make the children really ring

I'll spend the day your way

Call it morning driving thru the sound and

In and out the valley


Night of the fifth quickly followed the day which went past. As I watched over the crowd... there was noise and action, but it is not stray arrows and spears I witness finding their ways around here. Not a spark of lighting. Not the clashing sound of blades. It is a celebration. A party. Cheers. Smiles all over.

How happy is all of this? Let me give you an example. Somewhere around in the corner, Jaffar is finding himself awkward with Nino. Even after that one embrace confirming their love for each other before it all ended. Jaffar being Jaffar, I can say it was surprising to say the least.

Sain was busy hitting on the ladies, using different pick-up lines for each. Of course, there were still a number of singles, and in one of my books mentioned the importance of what it would call "flags." I might have neglected that too much, I suppose.

Still, I suppose this needs one's own initiative; in this case, Sain might be the most hardworking on that, probably a little too hard for his own good... a drunk Kent dragging him away might illustrate a little. While I saw that, I'd rather not see what happens next. Even the girls Sain hit on earlier were trying to save him.

My masters? It was quite mellow with Lord Eliwood and Ninian, I say. I've seen all the sorrows they have gone through in their time together. Master Bramimond, I can't thank you enough for restoring the life, metaphorically speaking in regards to Lord Eliwood - and of course, literally in Ninian's case.

I had really wished Nils would decide to stay to be with his dear sister, but he had decided to his own; so did Ninian. Let's not remind ourselves of the warning; of what will become of her years later now that she gained mortality, as the world has not been kind to her and her kin...

Lord Hector, for the first time, managed a normal conversation with a female member. And it's not just some fair lady, it was Florina. Her sisters Farina and Fiora, were watching from a distance, giggling.

Florina, how much she had changed... she appears much calmer and more composed. Before, she would tremble, fidget and stutter before men.

Lord Hector, too, his face was gentle. Sometimes red with embarassment too, if I may add. Perhaps their meeting made them realize what they lacked - and took it upon themselves to improve.

And Lady Lyndis... seems she was looking for someone. Rath is just nearby, to his horse tending to it, her not being able to see him made me wonder how comical that was, but I suppose it was nothing to worry about.

As much as how lively the state of this camp is, I am unfortunately not one for festivities, instead being a man of taste towards the scenery of a moonlight-lit night.

Trying to nonchalantly move myself in silence towards a better spot to enjoy the beauty of nocturnal nature, I made sure not even the sharpest of eyes would notice my mannerisms down to the tiniest grain of dirt. Since I've long managed to master what the assassins may refer to as "move in the dark"... but in my terms, I'd like to say that as "low observability" - getting away from such noise was something made easy.

Within a few moments and distance later, I find myself in the width of plains, mountains and valleys visible to my naked eye, the beautiful moonlight shines ever so brightly as I bask myself beneath its grace.


In and around the lake

Mountains come out of the sky

and they Stand there

One mile over we'll be there and we'll see you

Ten true summers we'll be there and

Laughing too

Twenty four before my love you'll see I'll be

There with you


Ah, the landscape of the night. How I've missed you so. I might have seen you more than what I could remember before it was all over, but frankly, those are not exactly the nicest times to be spent looking at sceneries. Not especially when there exists war and turmoil all around you. But now with that all gone, nothing shall be stopping me now.


I will remember you

Your silhouette will charge the view

Of distance atmosphere

Call it morning driving thru the sound and

Even in the valley


And the healthy grass on these wide plains. For some reason I cannot stop admiring them as a part of the scenery. They look as if they would be welcoming me if I was looking for an outdoors bed. ... Okay, that was again a terrible joke. I really should not say that. Either way, this is just... ah, my heart. For some reason this lone feeling raised itself within me.

I for one, know that I am not that very social when it comes to the rest of my peers in this legion. However that by no means indicate that I have no gentle way with my mannerisms towards them. But there was also this feeling... it was peaceful, but at the same time this is a feeling that emits sorrow from the depths of my heart. What was it...


In and around the lake

Mountains come out of the sky

and they Stand there

One mile over we'll be there and we'll see you

Ten true summers we'll be there and

Laughing too (ooo oo oo)

Twenty four before my love you'll see I'll be

There with you


For some reason, a certain memory came to mind.

It was something I can only remember as the first memory I had at the start of this journey.

Yes, of how I met her.

Lady Lyndis.

Hmm? I am not even sure why. Perhaps this is nature's influence? Naturally, I am part of it. But being raised to hone myself in nothing but the ways of war, this feels like something I never had an opportunity to experience, much less understand it. But... ah, the memories... it's coming unto me...


Along the drifting cloud the eagle searching

Down on the land

Catching the swirling wind the sailor sees

The rim of the land

The eagle's dancing wings create as weather

Spins out of hand


I was lying on the grasses of a plain somewhere. Had I recalled it right, I suppose I am in a region of Sacae. I suppose I have wandered far enough into alien land, though I myself have barely no idea on where I originally came from. But alas! I have no vital cargo with me. I cannot walk anymore... and my consciousness can't bear it much longer.

As I was still down, that was when she came.

The sunlight's shadow silhouetted her figure, but surely I didn't miss the long ponytail, and that tall form - curvy, if I may add, but I consider myself lucky to be even able to assess that in my half-awake state. Not to forget her manner of clothing.

And the world went black.

Moments later I found myself awake, head throbbing from some kind of pain. I assumed it might have been heatstroke, as well as thirst and hunger that put me out. A deadly combination if you were to find yourself in a desert.

"Are you awake?" she said.

I turned towards the voice.

"I found you unconscious on the plains," she followed, "you seem to be a traveler from a faraway land. May I inquire as to who you are?"

I barely managed to find my voice for a reply.

"Mark," I said.

She paused a bit before her reply.

"Mark..." she muttered. "It's an odd name."

"Have it your way," I said. "I am not a brilliant mind when it comes to letting people know how they should address me, and I'd say I'm quite ashamed of it..."

... Well, that really sounded awkward.

"It's fine."

"Huh?"

"It's fine, I say," she said. "I apologize... I should've introduced myself first. I am Lyn, of the Lorca tribe."

"Um, nice to meet you," I replied.

She chuckled for a bit upon noticing my hesitation. "Likewise."


Go closer hold the land feel partly no more

Than grains of sand

We stand to lose all time a thousand answers

By in our hand

Next to your deeper fears we stand

Surrounded by million years


Shortly after our introduction towards each other, we found ourselves in the middle of a bandit raid headed towards our way. Of course, we were outnumbered, with these wretched curs at least a head taller than her, and definitely the opposite of the frail me. Lyn had told me that she could use a little bit of helping - although the odds against us were great, I found myself an opportunity to do so.

Soon enough did we overturn the odds against them, although their leader - "Batta the Beast"... or was that what I heard? Well, he wasn't forgiving enough. Thank goodness the odds continued to work in our favor, and in no time did he went down as well - but not without leaving a graze in Lyn's leg, in which I find it a bit awkward that I had to help tend to it. Let's just say the experiences were... quite enlightening.


I'll be the roundabout

The words will make you out 'n' out

I'll be the roundabout

The words will make you out 'n' out...


Ah, for some reason it was all fuzzy... well, it's not like I wanted to remember how fine and smooth her legs looked like when I tended to that wound as clear as day... wait, wait. That was fine and all, but...

... Yes. That expression. At that time. I cannot forget. I never did.


In and around the lake

Mountains come out of the sky they

Stand there

Twenty four before my love and I'll be

There...


I froze.

We just got acquainted a day ago, and I'm already seeing my first contact in my memory - shedding tears.

I suppose it was a terrible thing to ask, and it was a question that lacked tact. "Permission from parents..." bah! How could I even say that when I am not even sure about my own circumstances myself?

But... the sight of this... I-I am not sure what should I do...

Even then, I find myself drawing a step closer, and slowly opened my arms... as if trying to comfort her. I thought... I would do that. I am not sure why. Perhaps my sensibility is waning at this moment.

But I was wrong.

She got to me first.

It was a tight, but a gentle embrace. It's not fair, Miss Lyn. Not fair.

First, those tears. Then this. You're making me want to shed my own tears too.

I have that which makes me feel so. This is why I cannot bear seeing people in tears, as something inside me suggests so.

Nevertheless, I held it back. And returned the hug.

After a while, we let go of each other. She seems to have calmed down.

"I-I'm sorry... it was not your fault."

"No," I said. "You did nothing wrong. It... was your right."

We kept ourselves speechless for a bit. But somehow, Lyn's expression changed into something else. It was... a radiating feeling.

Determination. She gazed into my eyes, full of intent. I knew it, something needs to be said.

"Seems it is something I cannot refuse, no matter what," I said, trying to lighten up the atmosphere.

She beamed up.

I finished my words. "We will go together."

Hearing this, she grabbed my hands, and held our hands together between us; a clear sign of excitement.

And this is when I would hear the very sentences that started our journey together.

"You'll be my master strategist, and I'll be your peerless warrior! We can do it! Right?"


I'll be the roundabout

The words will make you out 'n' out

We spend the day your way

Call it morning driving thru the sound and

In and out the valley... eh


I let out a sigh.

How long has it been since back then?

Along the course, we have seen a lot. We met people. Some good, some bad, some... might be weird, I say. I'd say I'm no higher than these descriptions myself, though I consider "weird" a compliment... depends on how it is said.

And then I realized.

I did feel this back then. And thought about it.

What will become of me after all this? I think I pretty much helped everyone get their happy ends... but where do I go in all of this? Do I even have somewhere to return? Have I even thought of how would I want to settle down?

What does the world know about me in return? Ah, but for this, I cannot help but stay with my standing of how my Lords have done for it a great favor - of course, this is a compliment worthy of them and their legions. I am happy enough to express it in that way. But... I cannot shake off this lonely feeling.

What in the world did I miss? Have I been too strict on myself? That I neglect on enjoying the small things in life, something those people I have been entrusted to command by none other than their own leaders, have managed? Did I think too much of the conflicts we've got ourselves thorough and thorough, that I leave very little room for my own feelings?

... Feelings.

Did I lose the ability to experience them at some point during all those wars? No, that can't be it. I'm not the same as those morphs. It seems... right now, I have a severe case. Of neglect.

Just when I was about to lose myself further in my thoughts... a familiar voice brought me back to reality. Instantly.

"Mark."

I turned behind, with a feeling that made me jump a little.

It was Lyndis. And the rest. I stood there stupefied, but wasted no time doing a quick scan and a head count. Behind her was... everyone else.

She approached me.

"Where have you been?"

I did not reply.

"Everyone was worried, you know," she said, forming a weak smile. Please, that weak smile... it only serves to settle upon me a feeling of fear. A fear that I have wronged them in a way.

"Everyone..." was all that I could muster.

Everyone was in smiles.

"Without your help, we could've not gotten here. Much less... throw a feast like this."

Lord Eliwood... what are you saying...

"Mark, I admit that when we first met... I was brash. But our times together have led me to realize that. I think I could've never changed at all if we didn't meet."

No, Lord Hector... I did nothing. You changed by yourself.

"You were a good advisor, and a great friend."

"Mark, you're one of the best people I've seen out there, thorough and thorough! If only you can be my vassal!"

"Mark... I... I can never forget. That is why I believe in you."

"... Thank you."

"Even though you took quite a while for my pay, I'm glad for the bonus you gave!"

These voices... I can't tell anymore... no, no... I did nothing, really... s-stop... please...

All of a sudden, I found my eyes wide open. I was breathing heavily. ... No, I was... sobbing. My legs... I can't feel them. I had dropped to my knees. This feeling of water from my eyes... flowing down to my cheeks... ah, tears. How long has it been since I actually shed any...?

"Everyone... p...please... this is too much... I-I did nothing..."

The three lords, they approached closer to me, with Lady Lyndis kneeling beside me.

"That's not true, Mark."

"Lady Lyndis..." I looked up a bit, still sobbing. "Lord Eliwood, Lord Hector..."

"No, Mark." What do you mean by that, Lord Hector... "Just... our names. ... It's an order."

I struggled to speak their names. What barrier did I construct on myself that I find it such a difficulty?

"... L, Lyn..." I uttered, "Eliwood, and Hector..."

I took deep breaths in between. Desperate for control against my sobbing. Oh, I feel so pathetic right now...

"Why?"

I asked.

"... Friends."

Friends?

"We're friends," said Eliwood. Friends... a concept I have lost a long time ago. I do not remember why I did. "Everyone is. You're a friend of ours too, Mark."

A smile, on Eliwood's visage. To see such a noble thing... how did I deserve such?

"Lyn," he turned towards Lyn. "Don't you have something to say as well?"

I slowly shifted my attention towards her. She paused for a while before she opened her mouth to speak.

"Mark," she said, "when did we grow apart?"

I... I didn't know.

"Was it when we learned of my... heritage?"

I didn't know.

"You..." she said. "You were apologizing when we learned of it. I... I was surprised. But that's not all."

I can't think.

"All of a sudden, you called me 'Lady Lyndis'... I... I wasn't the only one shocked by your change, you know."

I don't want to think...

"But you stayed the same nevertheless. Our friends, our comrades, our allies... you were the most helpful and friendly when they needed you."

She continued on.

"But what about me? Eliwood? Hector? Are we that special in your eyes? How high of a pedestal you put us on!?"

I... I don't like this tone. It is terrifying me. I... tried to speak.

"I-I..."

Suddenly, I feel contact. My shoulders, and my... forehead.

"Are you so terrified of our status that you would put it before our friendship!? Remember it, Mark! Remember when we first met! I was no more than the girl who lives by herself in the Sacaean plains!"

This... how do I respond? ... Wait, n-no, Lyn, please, don't do that... please don't cry like that before me!

"This status... I am happy I finally knew who my family was... but if I knew that you feared me because of it, Mark... then what use do I have for it!? I... I'm just happy I finally learned who I truly am, that's all! But if being a royalty is what sets us adrift from each other... I... I can't take it!"

It... It's true. It was by no accident. There was a reason for that gap. I have a fear of nobility. Those with status. It has been ingrained within me for more than I can remember. Perhaps, it is some sort of a primal fear developed by those who were of my kind. But I don't have such people that I know of anymore. I am not sure how it came about either. But it was true that I became very cautious when I learned to knew my two other masters.

Lyn continued speaking. It seems she is calming down.

"When you left... I became restless. The more days passed with you being away, I can't help... but think more of you. I was confused at first. I tried to restrain myself... I didn't want to make Grandfather worry. But when I saw you with Eliwood and Hector on that day... I felt very happy."

"But you were still the same. Back then, you were trailing behind these two, some ways down in the middle. Although, I was still trying to sort out my own feelings. Over the course of our adventure, Mark, I realized something..."

I... do I deserve the right to hear this?

"... I love you."

Those words. Three words that can stir turmoil in a person's heart. Stronger than any magic that can be conjured. But on the other side... I want to feel happy. But why am I feeling it's so hard to take this?

"I love you, Mark. From the first day we met... you've been with me, supporting me... and our friends... from the back. Without you... I... I don't think I would have gone anywhere. It was where it all began," she started wiping her tears, "Our adventure, our friendship... but there was something else you were oblivious to... My feelings."

... I-It can't be...

I started speaking.

"L, Lyn..." I stammered. "How... what, when... what did I ever do, that I deserve such a thing...?"

Still wet with tears, she put on a smile. What a sweet smile... And she is giving it to me.

"You came," she said, "to me."

I... I can't understand.

"From you, I saw the light for change. Remember when I said I wanted to train with you, that I wanted to travel with you? If we never met, I wouldn't have gotten this far... Mark, we've been a through a lot. We've seen a lot, and we learned a lot. And I'm now beside here with you, Mark... Remember that promise we made back then? I promised that I will be your peerless warrior... and here I am. You... have always been my master strategist... right from the start."

I sighed. There is no backing away from it. That is to say... before a tactician and a strategist, I am a man. I must say... what I must.

"You are, Lyn," I said.

Our gazes connected with each other.

"You are. You have always been. I feel the same."

I paused, and took a deep breath.

"Lyn," I said, "I shall renew our oaths."

I said it. But I'm not stopping there.

"I will be your master strategist, and you will be my peerless warrior. Forever, engraved deep in our hearts as well."

My words seemed to have stunned her.

This, by extension, froze the rest of them with bewilderment.

It was Hector who broke the awkward silence.

"W-whoa," he stammered, "didn't know you had it in you, Mark. That was some way with words you have there, but...you... you just... proposed."

Eliwood gave a slow nod in agreement, still in shock.

A moment later, the crowd was full of cheers.

Of course, the happiest had to be this girl beside me. The girl, this girl, from the plains. By extension, me too.

We confirmed our newfound feelings for each other... with a tight embrace.

Happiness... it is truly a fleeting thing. But one thing for sure is that I cannot deny the power it bestows upon humanity. Such power of emotion is truly one of the most remarkable things, by the blessings of Saint Elimine... and the one thing sought by peace and safety, as something that is needed.

Such a fleeting feeling, it is no wonder why people always said they wanted it to last forever.


In and around the lake

Mountains come out of the sky and they

Stand there

One mile over we'll be there and we'll see You

Ten true summers we'll be there and

Laughing too ooo

Twenty four before my love you'll see I'll be

There with you...


A few months after that day.

Days and night come and go, as I live my life here in the Sacaean plains... with Lyn. Although there were many bad memories caused by our journey together, the plains reminded us of our good times. Such peace... I suppose I should mark the end of my journal here. This shall be carved forever in history... no, legend, even... and we shall live the rest of our lives knowing it; until death do we part.

Until then, may we meet again... maybe in some other time, some other place... and maybe... some other realm?

"Mark!" she said. "Dinner is ready!"


Da da da da daaa da da

Da da da da daaa da da

Da da da da daaa da da

Da da da da daaa da da

Da da da da daaa da da

Da da da da daaa da da

Da da da da daaa da da

Da da da da daaa da da

- FIN -