Disclaimer: Tales of Vesperia is copyrighted by Bandai Namco Games.
No profit is made from this. Should its removal be requested
by copyright holders, I will instantly do so.
A Tales of Vesperia-story
The Routes We Take
"Prelude of things to come"
It was a clear and sunny day outside. Trees swayed lazily in the slight breeze, birds chirped merrily whilst flying around and insects buzzed in their daily routines. It was a calm day in the city, things had started to settle down nicely after the crisis, which threatened the entire Terca Lumires about a year ago, had been averted. Cities slowly rebuild and even new cities and towns came to be marked on the maps.
As the sun reached a certain degree in the sky, its rays shone brightly through the one window in Yuri Lowell's room. He was lying on his bed, one hand behind his head, the other automatically rose to cover his eyes from the now, blinding light. He sat up with a swing, smiling slightly after a good rest. He made his way outside and continued smiling, not noticing it until now. "Guess I'm really looking forward to the gathering after all.." he surprised himself. He wasn't one to enjoy crowds but thinking about seeing his comrades, his friendsfor the first time in a long while was a very appealing thought. It seemed that his long time canine companion agreed, as he swung his tail excitedly.
For the past year Yuri had been keeping himself busy, traveling around the world with Repede, helping people to start anew and mostly to actually now have the time and absorb the beauty around him from all the corners of Terca Lumires. The swordsman had been all over during their groups adventures to save the world but he hadn't really stopped and marveled anything during that time. Too busy had their journey been with the constant battles, discovering new information and occasionally saving Estellise.
Before their group had dispersed, it was decided that they'd hold a small get-together annually so that they wouldn't completely lose track of each other. Estelle had returned to the Imperial capital, the struggle on who should rule it still going on between her and Ioder. Well, not really between them, but the nobles supporting them. It was all a bit too much politics for Yuri, so he gladly stayed out of that mess, and it seemed Estelle and Ioder were not too happy about the situation either.
Flynn of course followed the pink haired princess where ever she went and it seemed that something might be brewing behind the curtains between those two. Flynn had of course absolutely denied it after Yuri's slight remark on the matter and the two had considered the subject dropped. It was not Yuri's business anyways, he was just glad if things worked out for them. He was aware that Estelle had developed some feelings for him during their travel, but he just wasn't capable of seeing himself as anything but a brother and a protector for the princess. She was also a bit too naïve and certainly too goodhearted for him, not that he hadn't noticed her growth as a person. She really had changed a lot during their travels, and was not nearly as naïve as then, but still managed to retain her pure innocence even after all they'd seen. He admired her for that.
The old man somehow still managed to play his two roles as Raven and Captain Schwann, mediating between the Empire and the guilds. Though relations between these two groups were significantly improved during the world threatening crisis, there were still cracks rifting between them, old wounds taking their time to heal. However, the old man seemed like the perfect man to act in bringing these two groups together which in all honesty, seemed really strange to Yuri, he had not thought the man had it in him with his callous attitude.
The gorgeous Kritiyan woman, Judith, had also taken the life of a constant traveler, riding with Ba'ul around the world. Yuri had occasionally bumped into her on their travels, they'd share their stories in an inn, usually also shearing a hearty meal together and parting ways after, knowing they'd meet again sooner or later.
In Dahngrest, Karol maintained his position as Brave Vesperias leader. He had recruited some new members but was careful that they wouldn't grow to a size too big. He wanted to build a strong guild but decided that he'd focus on quality over quantity, which Yuri fully agreed on. "I want people that I can trust here, the guild is like a family!" Karol had said. "It's not about numbers, it's about knowing you'll be able to count on the people beside you! If there are too many.. I don't think I'd be able to get to know them well enough for that." Yuri was proud of how much the boy had grown, as a person and as a leader. Though very young in age, the small group now forming around him all seemed to respect the boy. Karol still maintained his good personality and was slowly overcoming his cowardice, seeming to want to set a good example.
Rita returned to Aspio, now studying the spirits released when Adephagos was destroyed. She had gained respect among the elderly researchers but was still slightly shunned for her eccentric character. She was too busy to be bothered by this though, the study of Mana taking full priority in her mind.
Yuri missed all of them. He was glad that the meeting was only a few days away, though that meant that he could no longer just lounge around all day, he really needed to get going if he was to make it in time. Repede seemed to agree as he barked with, what seemed to be an annoyed expression, and started strolling ahead, seemingly knowing that Yuri would follow closely behind.
Night had descended, and the two companions had decided to set up camp. In Yuri's opinion, they had covered a good deal of ground since they started in the morning. They were now somewhere around Ehmead Hill, having come past Halure some hours ago. The fire crackled audibly in the bonfire, echoing back from the tall hills. Yuri threw a couple of more sticks to the fire, Repede was laying next to his feet and yawned, almost dropping his pipe. "You know Repede." the man started. "You don't have to stay on watch. Why don't I do that tonight, after all, you were almost always our vigilant watchdog a year ago."
The dog yawned again, indicating that he would take Yuri on his advice for now, though being a dog as he was, he never actually reached a sleep as deep as a human would. As Repede's sides started moving more calmly, Yuri smiled warmly. The dog had been a companion to him longer that anyone else and also seemed to know him better than anyone. Repede had been his witness and comfort during some of his more darker moments, like killing Ragou. Moments like that had changed Yuri slightly, it had changed the way people around him see him, but it was the route he had chosen and regretted none of it.
Something ruffled the bushes around their camp, Yuri keening his senses to be alert for an attack. Repede rose to his feet as well and growled to their right. A squirrel jumped from a tree to another, stopping to chew on a nut it had picked up from the tree. Yuri let out a breath of relief and chuckled quietly. "I hop it's not planning to do that to our heads."
Repede whined and laid back down, obviously not appreciating Yuri's stupid joke.
"Sorry." the man apologized. It would take a few more days of traveling to reach Dahngrest, the city they had decided as their meeting place for the first year. Yuri wondered how the others were traveling, hoping that no one was as reckless as to travel alone. Karol obviously was safe, not needing to travel as everyone was heading towards him. Judith was flying with Ba'ul, Raven was probably in Dahngrest as well and Estelle was most likely escorted by Flynn and a handful of guards. Their routes might cross during their travel, they were taking the same route after all. He might also run across Rita, since the only route she could take was to go through Halure and Ehmead Hill to reach the port city of Capua Nor. Yuri smiled slightly, recalling how his first visit to these hills had been. They were running from the Imperial guard and had to take a side road through the forests. They had also just missed Judith destroying the blastia. Rita had been so furious, rambling how she'd beat the dragon rider to a stain on the ground. She had been rather cute actually, raving in her maniacal way. Actually, Rita always seemed to be cute when she got angry and/or flustered.
Yuri had come to accept the fact that he was drawn to the genius mage, few of her gender owned such an aura of confidence and determination. She was charming in her own eccentric and violent way and very cute as well. The only problem was her age, though very mature for her age, Rita had had been only fifteen (almost sixteen) during their travels and was now turning seventeen in a while. It's not like he was old or anything, now twenty two, but the age gap might be a bit too large for his comfort zone. He didn't really care what other people thought and was sure Rita didn't either, but he wasn't sure about the responsibility that came with starting a relationship with an adolescent, still developing into a woman. "That is, assuming she even feels anything like that towards me.." For now, Yuri was just content on looking.
It was well beyond afternoon when Yuri and Repede reached Capua Nor. They headed straight to the docks, reserving a passage for the next ship heading across the bay, to Capua Torim. They had a few hours to wait, so the duo headed to the markets, not really looking for anything but just spending time, checking out what the stalls had to offer. All sorts of edibles were displayed, fish, vegetables and there were even a few stalls that served food. Feeling slightly hungry, the swordsman decided to spend the remaining time by grabbing something to eat. "So, what are we having?" Yuri asked his canine companion. Repede merely barked in response. "Alright Clam chowder it is!" As they were walking towards a stall serving seafood, Repede stopped his usual stride, sniffed the air a little and bolted off. "Hey!" the man yelled, reaching a hand towards the now fleeting swish of bluish fur. "Repede! Where you going?!"
Yuri lost track of him but was able to hear the dog bark a little ahead of him. He tried his best to follow the sound, though it was a little difficult to detect through all the hustle and bustle of the markets. Finally seeing Repede near the entrance of the Inn, Yuri calmly walked towards him. "What are you doing?" he asked curiously, seeing the dog standing on it's hind legs from afar. As he got a closer look, Yuri could see Repede towering over something, or rather, someone, licking the persons face affectionately. "Wow, looks like he's missed someone!" Yuri laughed, now having a perfect view of what was happening.
"Get your stupid mutt outta my face!" an angry scream echoed from below all that fur.
"Ouch! You're gonna hurt his feelings if you're not careful." the man winced, though a smirk crept its way to his mouth.
Repede stepped away whining slightly, displaying his saddened state.
"Oh don't you start!" Rita commanded with frightening authority. "You're just faking it."
Still not cheering up, Repede stayed hunched over, as if wounded.
"You're not fooling me!" the fiery mage proclaimed, emphasizing her point by sharply placing her hands on her hips.
Yuri stepped forward slightly, smiling. "Hey to you too." he said, placing a hand on her shoulder.
Rita returned her greeting and smiled warmly, captivating Yuri who was caught off-guard by such a display. His hand lingered on her shoulder for a little too long, since the next second, Rita was yelling him to back the hell away, calling him a pervert amongst other charming names. Unfazed by her tantrum, Yuri simply removed his hand and asked if Rita would like to join them for a meal.
"Sure." Rita answered and started walking in her usual confident stride.
"What?!" the mage turned around in annoyance and noticed that neither Yuri nor Repede had moved.
"The food stall is this way." Yuri smiled brightly, pointing his thumb over his shoulder.
A small, embarrassed blush rose to Rita's face. "I.. I knew that!" she stammered slightly and looked at the ground to hide her reddened cheeks. "Let's go." the mage said, walking past them quickly, her confidence returning once she was sure that her two friends were unable to see her face from behind her.
"Yes ma'am!" Yuri saluted her passing figure, a mock smile on his face. Repede let out a single, loud bark.
"We should reach Capua Torim by nightfall." Yuri said, his voice laced slightly with concern. He was still little surprised about Rita's fear of the sea. He couldn't have imagined her being scared by anything, least of all seafaring. Luckily the mage's fear wasn't as great as her fear of heights and flying.
Rita nodded quietly and pulled her knees towards her chest. She was sitting below deck on one of the crates in the cargo hold. For some reason, the room seemed to be the most stable place to be on the ship, easing her constantly rising motion-sickness.
"So, how you planning to continue you journey?" Yuri asked, standing next to her and leaning on the wall, his arms crossed over his chest. Rita looked at him with raised eyebrows, clearly not quite understanding the question, so he continued. "I mean, you want to hook up with me?"
The small mage looked away and had shock plastered all over her cute face, a blush slowly rising to her cheeks. Yuri only now realized how his question must have sounded so he quickly rephrased. "I mean with me and Repede! You know, walk the rest of the way together."
"Um, sure." Rita nodded, though the blush still slightly adorned her face. "I mean, you're still an idiot but I guess I can tolerate your presence for now." she quickly continued, a huff escaping her lips.
"Alright." Yuri nodded, not taken aback by her small outburst. He had come accustomed to them during their long journey, even grown to like them. "I was thinking, maybe we should keep going for a while more after we reach the shore."
"I don't mind, though we won't reach Heliord for a while."
The swordsman shrugged. "We can always set up camp outdoors if you get tired."
"Me?" Rita asked in an high pitch tone. "Tired?" she raised her hands before her head, palms facing up. "Who do you think you're talking to here?"
"Oh right, I almost forgot." Yuri smiled in response. "I guess you're sea-sickness is managing to keep that temper of yours in check."
"Wha-whatever!" Rita stammered, again blushing. She pulled her legs tighter against herself, burying her head in her knees in the process.
"Alright, we'll set up camp here." Yuri stated, suddenly pulling to a stop.
"Why?" Rita asked, looking behind her over her shoulder. "I haven't tired out yet!"
"No, but I have." the man responded, already starting to rummage his backpack for the tent. "Make yourself useful and gather some wood, will you."
"What?!" the mage retorted. "What am I? You're personal woodcutter?!"
"It'll be a cold night without a fire, wouldn't want you to catch a cold." Yuri said gently, still keeping himself busy with the tent.
"Hmph, fine!" Rita stormed off, mumbling something under her breath. Repede followed her silently, making sure to keep her safe in the darkness of the night surrounding them. Not that she wasn't capable of handling herself but just in case she got lost or something.
Not long after, the small mage returned with an armful of stick and branches and dropped them down next to Yuri's feet. "What, there's only one tent?" she asked in surprise. "There's no way hell I'm sharing a tent with you!" she screamed, pointing an accusing finger towards Yuri.
"Why not?" he shrugged. "It's not like we haven't shared a room before."
"Tha-that's different! We shared the room with everyone! Now it's just us two!
"Is there a problem with that?" Yuri asked smugly, though his heartbeat did accelerate slightly at the thought. "It's not like there's anything indecent about it, is there?"
"The hell there isn't!" Rite yelled loudly.
"Nah, after all, you're still just a kid." Yuri shrugged and added some sticks to the beginnings of their bonfire.
Rita stood quietly, her arms firmly glued to her sides, her fists clenching and unclenching in a repetitive motion. She looked away, her bangs falling on her face to cover her eyes. "I.. I am not a child anymore." she said silently.
Yuri looked at the young woman before her, her expression hidden but her body language spoke volumes. She was shaking slightly, from anger or sadness, the man wasn't quite sure. He was sure though, that he had upset her. Even now Rita looked beautiful, the warm light emitting from the fire dancing on her body, creating darker, mesmerizing shadows on her silhouette. "Alright, I think it's best if we retire for the night."
Still seemingly quite upset, Rita didn't respond verbally but did walk to the tent. Yuri sighed, he hadn't intended to upset her. He was most likely just trying (but failing miserably) to convince himself that, that is how he still saw her, as a child. He wasn't fooled. He walked slightly away from the camp, his bladder indicating that it was time for him to relieve himself. After unbuttoning the front of his trousers and pulling out his manhood, he sighed contently as he emptied himself amidst the bushes. He looked over his shoulder towards the camp and instantly regretted it. His eyes caught a glimpse of Rita's silhouette through the fabric of the tent, the fire behind it almost making it see-through. It appeared Rita was just changing into something more comfortable as he glimpsed the side of her profile, her arms above her as she was pulling off her tunic, her small, perky breasts pointing slightly upwards as the soft skin around them was pulled up as she raised her arms and- "Dammit!" Yuri cursed inwardly and quickly looked away. He knew he was going to have trouble sleeping tonight.
He walked quietly to the tent, thinking twice about sleeping outside on the ground. He decided against it, recalling the few times he had done so and waking up as stiff as a stick, his muscles aching all over from the lack of comfort and warmth. He slid the entrance of the tent open and quickly entered, not wanting to let cold in too much. He released the sash he had over his tunic and pulled the garment off, placing it somewhere close to his feet. If Rita was still awake, she hadn't indicated any protest of him sleeping next to her, quite close to her in fact, it's not like there was very much room in the tent. He laid down on his back and looked next to him at his friend, whose back was turned towards him. Yuri smiled, even from behind like this, Rita looked cute. Her hair was slightly ruffled and she breathed quietly and calmly, appearing to be asleep. She turned around on her back. Yuri watched her, his tongue watering at the sight of her. The mage had an uncharacteristic, serene expression on her face, her pink lips slightly parted as she breathed through her mouth. Her other arm was lazily lying above her head while the other rested on her tummy, her now quite exposed tummy. Her shirt had risen slightly, revealing some of her creamy skin, her small, taunt but feminine abs, her small navel, her.. "Dammit!" Yuri cursed again, this was going to be a long night.
A/N: Alright, first chapter out! I'm planning to make this fic somewhere around 5-10 chapters long, so not too short nor too long. Yuri and Rita centric, in case that somehow went unnoticed.
Liked what you read? No? Then press the review button and write me some feedback.
Would be nice to know if this is worth continuing. Thanks for reading!