[fic] A Discarded memory

Author’s comments: This is about 1/2 to 3/4’s of the first chapter. If anyone notices that the atmosphere changes around the end, it’s cuz this’ been in hiatus for awhile. Just got back to it recently.

“Princess! What are you doing?! Stop!”

I stared, quite shocked, as Matelite desperately sought the break through past the two guards that blocked his way.  He was screaming hishead off trying to get her attention.  I turned to one of the guards, the princess' personal guards, and tried to ask him what was going on.  

"The Princess ordered us not to let anyone through but you, Byuu,"  One of them gasped.  He dug his heels into the hard stone of the castlegrounds and prepared himself.  Matelite was readying himself to barrel through.  

"Princess!  What would your father say if he saw you doing this?!"Matelite howled in fear.  

"Hurry Byuu!  Find out what the Princess wants!  We can't hold

him all day!"

I nodded and ran back to the drawbridge.  There, Princess Yoyo wasstaring in awe at Salamando, my dragon.

Maybe that wasn't the right way to describe ownership.  I chose him as my dragon, and he chose me as his handler.  Sleek and powerful, Salamando shimmered in the soft evening light, his orange scales perfectly molded to his entire body.  Salamando had a regal bearing in public, but in private, like now, he acted like a giant kid, allowing Princess Yoyo to touch his coat of scales and to pet his nose, purring like a cat.  

"Good thing I got that blasted dragon to take a bath before this,"  I thought with a grimace.  To me, that was the worst thing about handling dragons.  They were a bunch of babies when it came to taking baths.  

"Princess Yoyo, what is it you wanted?"  I stood behind her as I hesitantly asked the Princess of Kahna what she wanted with me and my


The Princess shifted her gaze from Salamando to look at me.  She really was pretty.  Whenever she looked at me like that I felt my face get flushed and when she smiled I stuttered so much what came out of my mouth was unintelligable.

"No time for that now, Byuu.  Lets go!"  She smiled in glee as she grabbed my arm and yanked me towards Salamando.

My jaw dropped.  She wanted me to take her on Salamando?  Outside of the castle?  Without an escort?

Without even time to think about what was going on, I climbed up on Salamando's back and pulled the Princess up.  

Princess Yoyo laughed in glee at the shocked expression of Matelite and the royal guards from far below.  I myself had just finished gathering my bearing and realized we were already in air and just what sort of consequences might await me back at the castle.  Yet even these worries drifted away with the currents that passed by, wildly blowing Princess Yoyo's hair behind her.

"Wow, Byuu!  Salamando is so fast!"  She breathed, the wind whipping around her clothes.  I said nothing.  What was I supposed to say to the princess of my country?  "Yeah, he's fast?"


"Yes?"  Hesitantly, I turned my head to face her.  I was suddenly so very aware of just how close she was.  "Princess?"

"Do you mind if I hold tighter?"  She asked mischevously.

"S-sure," I stammered.  She smiled.

"Alright, I'll hold on really tight!"  She stated, and tightened her grip around my waist.  "Will you bring me to the Church?"

There was no need to elaborate, for the princess could only be referring to one place, and one place only.  I knew the place.  My heart jumped and pounded in my chest.  Why on earth did she want to go there?  Neverless, I directed Salamando to the church afore mentioned, the church that had special meaning only to couples, to lovers. The Church of Memories.  

We landed in front of the courtyard.  There was no one there.  The lights were dim and the church barren, the walls seemed to loom over everything else in sight.  No one came to church at this time of night anyways.  Except for the Princess.  Only she would come here at this time, sneaking out of the castle to get away from her duties as royalty.  

Princess Yoyo jumped down lightly from Salamando and I dismounted as well.  I whispered into his ear, asking Salamando to oblige my wishes.  We were as close as partners could be, and Salamando agreed without a word of complaint, resting his head upon his arms.  He would wait.  I patted his neck in silent thanks and turned to Princess Yoyo.  

The princess was walking around the entrance just spinning around and smiling happily, with no care in the world.

"Princess?"  She stopped and peered into my eyes.  It felt like she could see into my soul and I gulped, wondering what she would see.

"Where will we be in 5 years, Byuu?  What will we be doing?"  She  said this so seriously, with so much passion I was startled.  I thought about what she said, though, and gave her the obvious answer.  

"You'll be the Queen of Kahna, of course.  What else?"

"And you?"  She raised an eyebrow questioningly.

"Me?"  I chuckled self consciously, rubbing the back of my head.   I never really thought about things like that.  There was never any timeto do so.  "I suppose I'll be some sort of dragon knight, maybe the leader of Kahna's Dragon Squad."

"Is that your goal?"  

"One of them, yeah."  I couldn't tell her the other was to protecther from harm. That was not merely a goal, but closer to an ideal that Ihad been raised upon, to protect the royal family.

"...Byuu, do you know why this church is famous?"

I shook my head.  I knew that it was for couples, that it had special meaning for them, but I never questioned about it beyond that.  Yoyo turned around to gaze up at the church, looking it up and down as the sun was just peaking over the horizon, the light creeping up the side of the church slowly like a warm blanket.  

"There's a legend about this church.  Every man and woman that gets married here will love each other forever."

Again, the playful smirk was set on her face.  She held her hands behind her in a cute fashion.

"Would you like to go in with me?"  She queried, leaning forward.  

"What?!"  I cried out.  I fell backwards in surprise.  Lucky for me I forgot my sword belt or it would really have looked bad.  But...did the princess feel that way about me?  I could only look up and stare at her in surprise.  Then she broke the serious mood with a chuckle.

"Relax, Byuu!  I was only kidding.  We're too young to go in anyways."  I sighed as I stood up, relieved.  Only later would I realize the sigh wasn't from relief, it was from disappointment.  

"Still,"  Princess Yoyo said, looking at me out of the corner of her eye, "When we get older, after I become the majestic queen of Kanna and you become the bold leader of the Dragon Squad, would you like to come back here with me?"  I thought this was another one of her jokes, and laughed.  The intense look she gave me did shut me up quickly.  

"Of course,"  I said with all seriousness.  

"You promise?"

"Yeah, I do."

"I'm glad."  She smiled softly.

And it was then my feelings changed for her.  I grew from just respecting her as my superior, from just liking her as a friend, to cherishing her as someone I would grow to love.  It warmed me, comforted me, knowing that there was someone else out there who cared.  At the time, I could scarcely grasp the concept of what these feelings would mean, the problems if they were to blossom, and the pain that would follow when they were rejected.

A Discarded Memory

By Acetalon

Bahamut Lagoon is a game made by Squaresoft. This author has no claims whatsoever on any character. Warning! This fic contains spoilers for Bahamut Lagoon…sort of. Read on at your own risk.

I am sorry for any mistakes made in the course of writing this. If
someone would kindly point them out to me that would be much appreciated.

I lost my notes!!! I’m gonna have messups all over the place now!!!

Byuu sat in front of the flames, staring at them.  He watched them dance among the embers, flickering madly as though they were trying to escape.  Maybe the flames were, in a way.  Trying to escape so that the flames could dance in the night sky, dance among the stars.  

The night filled the vast void in the sky, the stars twinkling so cheerfully.  The moon was bright enough that night to illuminate the landscape in a blue aura, giving it an almost mystical quality to it.  Once, Byuu might have just watched it, soaked in the image that was a once in a lifetime view, but now Byuu looked out into the blue tinged landscape and sighed.  

"How many years?"  He questioned himself.  "How many years has it been since the ashes of Kahna rallied again around Princess Yoyo's banner after Alexander was sealed?"  It had been a few years.  Maybe a few years wasn't enough to forget.  He'd stopped thinking that it was for the best that the Princess had fallen for the general.  What was his name?  Palpaleos.  

Once, he had been at the forefront of Kahna's army.  He was the leader of the Dragon Squad.  The rest of the rebels had named him their leader.  Why him, the Cross Knight?  Why not Matelight, the self-proclaimed leader, or Sendack, the old man?  He didn't really know, but he relished the challenge, he loved the rush of adrenaline that came with it.  All that meant nothing to him now.  Byuu remembered it all so clearly.  The time when they came to protect the Church of Memories.  They came to Palpaleos' aid.  Why he was there?  No one really cared about the reason, except Byuu, and when everything was said and done, no one really cared what Byuu thought.  He was

just…there. Nothing he could say or do would change anything.
Nothing he felt would change anything. The Princess made her
decision… one he could do nothing to change…


Princess Yoyo cried out.  Her voice was heavy with worry, and I couldn't help but turn his head at the odd note.  She never had any emotion anymore, except when she looked out her window of her room in the flying fortress.  She became withdrawn and cold since her rescue, and Byuu was worried.  He was starting to see.  

In the background, Byuu could hear Yoyo's faithful protective guardian, Matelight, roaring like a wounded animal trying his best to maneuver around Taicho to protect the princess.  That didn't matter one bit.  All that mattered was Palpaleos, crouched on the ground and clutching his ribs in pain.  Byuu looked down at him with anger and gripped his two swords tighter.

"Palpaleos.  The right hand man of the reason this war had ever started, the reason my nation is destroyed!" Byuu said softly, his tone belying his anger.  "It's his fault Yoyo was kidnapped!  It's his fault this war started!  Him! He-"  

Yoyo slapped him in the face.  Byuu stood there, shocked.  

"That is enough!"  She commanded.  "He wasn't the one who sent those demons to destroy the church.  He risked his life for this church, for the memories of all those who were here before!  Don't you dare blame him!"

He was starting to see the truth now, now when it was too late.  

"I can't answer for my actions,"  Palpaleos replied, hissing as he stood to his feet.  The pain was excruciating.  "But I did what I thought was right for everyone.  Isn't that what you are doing?"  When Byuu didn't respond, he gave a small smile.  "You and me, we really aren't so different."

He gasped and leaned on his sword again.  

"Byuu, please take care of Palpaleos."  Princess Yoyo strode into the Church.

"Please, lend me your shoulder."  Byuu complied and helped Palpaleos into the Church.  He really wasn't as angry with Palpaleos as he thought, yet the feeling inside him that made him say all that without thinking welled up inside.  

"Don't you know, Byuu?"  Palpaleos queried as they walked down the halls of the Church.  "Sometimes you notice you're missing something from the start.  I lost someone once.  I want to bring back that person, something no one can do.  You have memories of the past.  As for me, I don't know.  I know you understand me."

Byuu understood.  He understood every word.  The battlefield Palpaleos spoke of was there.  He stood at one end and Palpaleos stood at the other.  They were supposed to be destined to fight, yet...they weren't.  They were now helping each other.  What had happened? 

"I can walk by myself now."  Palpaleos took his arm and shifted his weight back to his injured leg and stepped forward.

Yoyo was there, at the end.  Her eyes were filled with sadness as she walked past Palpaleos to Byuu.  He closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable.

"Thank you, Byuu.  We both know that we can never go back to those happy times before the war, before the dragons.  I was happy when you were there for me.  Do you understand?"

Byuu said nothing. He made no move except to shake his head slightly.

"You'll understand someday.  Growing up isn't all that we thought it was, is it?  We hurt people, we lose people.  We don't always see it when it happens.  We get used to it, but the thing we can't see is ourselves, so we look to other people.  That is how we try to become good people.  Goodbye, Byuu.  This hurts me just as much as it hurts you...parting like this."

She took a step back and turned her back to Byuu.  Together, she and Palpaleos ascended the stairs together to the altar in front of them at the top.

Byuu didn't know what to say, what to feel.  He couldn't feel anything except the pain in his heart.  The throbbing that he became acutely aware of blotted out everything, all feeling except the rhythmic pounding that drowned out all other sounds.  

He turned his back on the altar and walked, with calm, measured
steps, to the exit. He knew that if he saw the two of them, Yoyo and Palpaleos, praying together atop the altar, the image would be burned into his mind. That one image of the church would stay there to fester and poison him. Byuu could see the truth in its entirety: He was nothing but a memory now. His time with her as a child was nothing more than a discarded memory, a fleeting memory that held no meaning, not anymore.

The exit wasn't far.  The disspirited Cross Knight stared into the sky. The world seemed to be just a little darker than it used to be. He fell to his knees and just sat there, unable to move, unable to speak.  The constricting grip around his heart tightened all the more, squeezing it to the point at which he thought his heart had already burst, and he could do nothing but blink away the tears that fell.  The haze that fell over his eyes, the burning sensation that covered his vision was an indescribable mix of pain and loss.

Salamando prodded him in the back and gave a low growl.  Byuu smiled sadly at Salamando.  Salamando was always there for him.  At that moment, to Byuu it seemed like that's how it would always be.  He would always be relying on his scaled companion and no one else.  He couldn't rely on anyone but Salamando and himself.  No one else.

"Come, Salamando.  Let's go."

Byuu kicked at the sputtering fire angrily.  He wished dearly that he would stop bringing up that same memory, time and time again.  It tore at his conscience, eating away at him.  He had to find a way of making peace with himself or else the bitterness would consume him.  He sighed again and poked at the flames with a stick, now dying out into glowing embers after he kicked at it.  He was moping around like an old man.  

He leaned back against Salamando, who had grown immense in the years since they left Kahna.  Salamando, he wagered, could probably face one of the Sacred Dragons head on without any help.  Byuu turned from his self-pity and admired the awe-inspiring dragon.  He was happy that Salamando stayed with him even now.  The dragon could easily squash Byuu by rolling over in his sleep.  Salamando was so big his windspan alone could blot out the entire night sky for Byuu.  His sleek 

scales had taken on a more intense hue, far different from the light orange that it was before. He still thought of Byuu as a partner, and that thought was highly gratifying in itself to Byuu.

"What's this?  The former leader of Kahna's dragon squad, caught off guard?"

Byuu looked up calmly to see a blade engraved with the symbol of Kanha resting lightly on his shoulder.

"Hello Rush," he replied unconcerned.  "What brings you out here to the middle of nowhere?"

"I'm here to pick up Salamando.  Look how fat he is!  What have you been feeding this poor dragon?  I should gut you here and now for your treatment of this poor beast." 

Salamando opened one eye and glared at Rush before turning over.  Byuu just laughed.  Rush sheathed his sword and sat down by Byuu.

"It brings a tear to my eye knowing you value that "poor beast"  over your old friend."

"Of course.  Cross Knights such as yourself are by far easier to come by than dragons."

Rush, his comrade in arms and his friend from childhood.  Together, they fought off a horde of vile, intensely monstrous beings, covering each others' back and relying on each other.  

"You haven't been taking very good care of yourself either,"  he commented, eyeing Byuu's ragged appearance and torn up clothes.  

"And you've become so critical since I left,"  he returned.

"Hey, I've gotta be good at catching mistakes, with my new job."

"And that is?"

"The leader of the Dragon Squad,"  Rush answered in a matter-of-fact tone.  He certainly was proud of his new station, Byuu could tell that much.  "I've been the substitute leader up 'till recently."


"Thanks, though I should be thanking you.  If you hadn't left, I'd still be your lowly foot soldier companion."

"What a tragedy THAT would be,"  Byuu remarked sarcastically.  Rush chuckled and shook his head.  Those times weren't all bad.  They were actually pretty good to him.  

Rush, Truce, and Bikkebakke were all part of Byuu's squad.  Thanks to them, he was never really alone.  Before that, he was always isolated.  They trained together and after a while they became good friends.  Rush was always blabbering optimistically that HE would become the leader of their group.  Still, he wasn't surprised when Byuu was given the title of leader.  They were best friends, thought Byuu never really talked a whole lot, and Rush always claimed that he would have made a better leader than Byuu.  When Byuu left, Rush was the first candidate to take his place, though Rush wanted Byuu to stay just as much as everyone else.

Silence followed.  


"If it's Salamando you want, you're gonna have to convince him to come with you."

"You know that's not what I came here for, Byuu."

"What, aren't you happy about your new position?"

"I would give it up in a heartbeat if you would just come

back. Everyone missed you when you left, and everyone would just as easily welcome you back. Truce has never been quite as happy since you left. Bikkebakke still mopes around every now and then. I’ll admit, you had a certain touch with the dragons. I’m not as good as you were when dealing with them."

Byuu looked at him with a strange look in his eyes.  He looked to the sky again.

"Do you know why I left?"

"No one KNOWS why you left, but everyone had an idea.  Matelight was pretty vocal on his thoughts whenever he went out for a beer."

"Well you all probably had the same idea, and it was probably right."

"Are you going to TELL me plainly, or just leave me hanging?"

"It was because of Yoyo, alright?  Dammit, I thought everyone knew that."  He turned away, trying to restoke the fire.

"The Princess?  You left because of her?  Because of her and Palpaleos?"


"Byuu, ALL of us fell for her at some time or another.  This thing between her and that general affected us all."

Byuu stood up angrily.  When Rush saw his face, he saw the rage, bitterness, and a little bit of despair.  He saw a multitude of feeling that had been bottled up, just waiting to be released.  Rush knew he had hit something, but he didn't know quite what it was.

"Maybe, but she didn't flat out reject anyone.  She didn't look anyone else straight in the eye and call them an ignorant child!  She didn't tell anyone else that she would be there for them as a kid and reject them later after they found someone else!  She PLAYED me for a damn fool, Rush!  Like musician, she played me, and threw me away just as easily.  She didn't care!    She didn't-!"  Byuu exploded.

"Byuu, calm down!"  Rush laid a restraining hand on his shoulder.

Byuu stopped in his ranting and grew silent.  The fire in his eyes calmed and he seemed to shiver from the cold.  He draped his cloak tighter around his body.

"She said I made her happy.  Before the war, she asked me to go with her to the Church.  When the time came down to it, when the time was right to choose, she chose him.  I felt betrayed more than anything."


"She told me that the parting between us hurt her just as much as it hurt me, but she had HIM to console her.  She could easily forget about me.  She had him.  She had _him_."

"Are you saying it's Palpaleos you have the grudge against?"

"No."  Byuu's bitter tone changed to one of self-pity.  "I don't have a grudge against anyone.  I just...want someone to blame.  I want someone to blame for all my problems, someone that isn't me.  It's someone's fault, I know.  I'm just afraid to find out that it's mine.  Is it my fault?  Was it hers?  Maybe it was Palpaleos'.  But I don't bother thinking about it anymore.  They can rot in hell for all I care."

Rush refrained from telling him about Palpaleos' current status.  He didn't know how Byuu would react if he knew that Palpaleos was stabbed by a common bandit in his own castle.

Aside from that, Rush never knew Byuu to hold that much of a grudge.  Byuu was just venting, and he was venting frustrations that he had been carrying for years.  However, Rush did punch Byuu in the shoulder.

"Feh, I'm probably just going to make this worse with any advice _I_ give, but I think you need a girl.  A new one,"  He amended.

"You're right about one thing, Rush.  Your advice _was_ 

useless. Since when did you become my nanny?" Byuu asked mockingly.

"I'm serious!"  Rush protested.  "You need a new girl.  The whole thing with Yoyo was bound to happen.  You know how it is with royalty.  They always want someone at their own social station."

"It didn't seem that way at the time,"  Byuu muttered.

Rush ignored that comment.  

"Anyways," He continued, "moping around like this will get you nowhere.  All that you'll do is keep feeding salamando here junk food until he's too fat to fly.  I'm doing this for his sake just as much as yours."

"Huh,"  Byuu snorted.  "That was a really weak excuse, Rush.  Can't you think of something better than that to convince me?"

Rush sighed exsasperately

"It's just a little hard when you're being this tough to deal with, you know.  And I'm not out here freezing my ass off just to get my jollies out of bragging about my new title to you.  Come on,  give it one shot, and if you don't like it then you can go be a hermit for the rest of your life.  I'm asking you as a friend and a war buddy.  Just one try.  

"Those were the best and worst of times, Byuu.  You and I both know that.  Everyone who looks back at that time bless us and thank the gods that we did what we did.  We "brought" peace to the land.  We entered the portal when the sky was dark, when monsters ravaged the land.  We came back when the sky brightened and the monsters disapeared. The people assumed that we brought the light.  The Princess did, in a way.  We all left a part of ourselves back there, but don't let your memories hold you back.  Be a man!"  

Byuu looked at Rush, contemplating his words.  Rush stared back resolutely.  He was resolved in this course of action, Rush was.  He wouldn't waver now at the critical point.  

"You talk well for a snot nosed brat, you know that?"  Byuu chuckled.  

"Snot nosed brat?"  Rush repeated, punching Byuu in the shoulder again.  "Since when did you become so high and mighty?  Being alone for this long must've addled your brain."

"Maybe, but not anymore.  Wake up Salamando!  It's time to go!"  Byuu called out to Salamando, who grunted and stretched out his arms and wings.  

Rush grinned.  He had done it.  He put his helmet back on.  

"Great!  Just let me get my dragon and we'll head back to Kahna.  It's changed position and it's about 3 miles east of where it was since you left-"

"Hey now,"  Byuu interrupted.  "Just who said I was going back to Kahna?"  He looked at Rush, raising an eyebrow.

"...?  So, where are you going then?"  

"Not Kahna.  I don't feel like I'm ready for that.  Maybe... some other place.  Mahal."

"Well, you could at least come back to Kahna and pay everyone a visit before you go off flirting with women."

"I NEVER SAID I was leaving to chase women," Byuu retorted, spinning around to face Rush.

"And whats wrong with chasing women?"

"I never knew you were such a pervert Rush.  Is this what you've become in my absence?"

"I've always been one, you just never noticed,"  Rush answered.  "But you're coming back to Kahna for a visit.  I'm not taking no for an answer."

Rush could be pretty insistent when he wanted to be.  Byuu has no compunctions about visiting anymore.  It HAD been awhile since he saw his companions, his friends.  

He thought about Rush's words.  

"You need a girl."

Those few simple words made Byuu think.  What was the old saying?  Get busy living or get busy dying?  Well, it was time to start living again.  The more he thought about it, the more reasonable it sounded to his ears.  As they flew, side by side back to Kanha, Byuu shook his head.  What was Rush getting him into?

Byuu decided to take it one step at a time.  He would deal with whatever came up as it happened.  And right now, he could really use a shave shave.  

"Yeah, at least shave,"  Byuu thought absently, scratching his chin. He hadn't used a razor in a long time.

"Make way, people.  Make way for the former leader of the Dragon Squad!  Make way!"

Byuu's eye twitched at the man's choice of words.  'Former Leader' huh?  Somehow, the title made him sound old.  Hell, he hadn't even hit Palpaleos' age when all the fighting started!

People along the road cleared the street for the honor guard that accompanied Byuu to the castle.  Bakers, butchers, farmers, merchants and children all stood back.  They all stared at him.  Wonder, disbelief, surprise, awe or a little bit of each was in every face that Byuu could see.

Again, Byuu closed his eyes and waited for an end to this stupid ceremony.  Oh how he longed to throttle Rush right now.  That idiot must have told everyone that he was bringing Byuu before he left.  It had only been a couple years.  What was wrong with these people?  He grimaced.  The last thing he needed was people parading about for his benefit.  Rush was gonna pay.  

His musings were cut short as he reached the door to the palace.  He reached up and grasped the large bronze ring hanging from the door, hesitating only a moment before pulling it open.

The palace was much the same.  Spacious, barely decorated, and almost completely barren.  Ever since the war, Princess Yoyo had insisted on leaving the room bereft of almost all decoration.  It had always been that way, and no one had seen any reason to change it when Yoyo came back.  Behind her stood Matelight, the ever constant watchdog of the Princess, and her numerous advisors.

Byuu saw her, sitting at the single throne regally, like a true Queen.  Her faced was masked, her emotions guarded.  She wasn't the scared little girl that she used to be, needing constant reassurance.  Now, she was what everyone expected her to be: the lead behind  the body of power that was Kahna.

Byuu tightened his expression as he stepped closer to the throne.  All the memories this brought up he forced back down.  

"Princess Yoyo,"  He acknowledged, bowing.  "Or should I say Queen Yoyo?"

"Do I hear a note of sarcasm in your voice, Byuu?"  She asked, smiling slightly.  "You know I could have you jailed for that."

"With all due respect, I merely wanted to reaffirm your station at this point and time.  I meant no disrespect,"  He replied,

straightening from his bow. He hid his smirk well.

"Queen will do,"  She acquiesced.  Yoyo looked at Rush and nodded, waiting for him to finish kicking out the advisors and counselors and generally useless people that hung around the castle.

The Dragnar rose from her chair.  She practically floated

toward Byuu until she was right in front of him, and place her hands on his shoulders.

"Welcome back, Byuu," she said warmly.

"Th-thanks,"  Byuu mumbled, caught off guard by her sudden move.  "It's been a while, hasn't it?"  At this proximity, he couldn't look her in the eye.  It still hurt.

Yoyo looked at his face, staring intently at it, studying it like a book.  His expression was just as easy to read as it was.

"You've changed, Byuu,"  She remarked.  "You were never this nervous in front of me before.  You were always...quiet, yet sure of yourself."

"Being alone for a few years does that,"  He replied, turning away.  If she saw his face, the scarlet red that it had become, she could easily that he was lying.  

An uncomfortable silence ensued (at least for Byuu) and Matelight coughed.  

"Nice to see you back, Byuu,"  He said in a rather lukewarm tone.

Yoyo dropped her arms and stood back.  

"Sorry if this sounds a bit cold, but why did you come

back, Byuu?" Matelight asked. “We’re full up on Cross Knights at the moment.”

"I didn't come back for work.  I came back to visit everyone," he answered stiffly.  He knew Matelight wasn't trying to be harsh or cruel, just blunt, because that's the way Matelight was.  "Is that ok with you?"

"Then that's it?  You just came to visit?  Then you'll go away to some far off remote island again for another couple years until you grace us with your pressence again?  Are you just going to keep wasting your life away like this?" He snapped.  Matelight didn't approve of it when Byuu left the last time, which he made Byuu acutely aware of right before he left.  Byuu couldn't hear himself think from the ringing in his head for a week.

"And what's it to you, Matelight, if I do?"  Byuu demanded.  "Why do you care a whit what I do?  I'm just a Cross Knight, no one important."

"Because your a damn fool, that's why,"  He declared.  "That's right.  All you are is a Cross knight who's got an inkling of talent in him.  That's all you will ever be if you leave like that."

"Matelight..."  Yoyo started, placing her hand on Matelight's shoulder.

"Pr- I mean Queen Yoyo, it has to be said.  He'll never shape up to anything if he wastes his life like this!"

"It's _his_ life,"  She reprimanded gently.  "He can do what he wishes with it." 

"But...I see..."  Matelite let the matter drop.  Byuu watched him for a moment longer before taking his bow and backing up towards the door.  Still, Matelite wasn't finished.

"Byuu, you were good once.  One of the best.  During the war you could clash with the fiercest.  What are you, now?  Washed up already?  I thought you were better.  All of us thought you were meant for great things."

"Maybe I still am.  But then, who will know or care whether I'm fit for something better?"

"No one.  That's your problem Byuu.  One you've got to correct.  And NOT by wasting your life,"  Matelite finished gruffly.  He coughed and left the room.

Yoyo looked at Matelite, and then at Byuu.  She sighed softly.  

"Good luck, Byuu.  With whatever you decide to do."  

"Thanks, I guess..."

And with that said, Byuu left.

Rush, who had been leaning on the wall towards the back of the room, grimaced. 

"I brought him back for THAT?"  he scowled.  "I thought that we could help him, show him that we all care.  I didn't bring him just so Matelite could discipline him and give him a father-son chat."

"Rush, you know as well as I do that it had to be said.  He knew, but he wouldn't have paid it any attention unless someone told him directly."

"Yeah, but...Matelite was pretty harsh." 

"Matelite has always been that way.  I don't think anyone else could have said it more clearly.  Do you?"

"I guess not."  Rush looked unhappy.  "I still don't really get why Byuu's acting like this.  I kinda understand, but..."

"It's because of me.  He's got a number of years of childish infatuation to get over."

Rush gave her a flat stare. 

"Well, my Queen, if memory serves right, it was YOU who turned him down, which caused him to leave.  He really thought you liked him all that time you were gone."

"If _my_ memory serves, he wasn't the only one who had a crush on me."

Rush's face lit up like a red tomato.  

"Yeah, well, I got over it.  I don't get it.  I know that you and him...well, that you two were closer when you guys were younger, but was that a good reason for him to disapear like that?"

"We all have our ways of dealing with problems."

"Whatever.  I'll go look for Byuu."

"Just a moment, Rush.  He doesn't know about what happened to Palpaleos, does he?"

"No.  Truth to tell, I thought you would tell him."  

"Well, I suppose he'll find out eventually."  She said this in a somber tone and looked down sadly.  Rush nodded and left her to her thoughts, painful as they were.  She wanted to be alone.

"Hey look, Byuu's back!"

"HEY, BYUU!"  The crowed returned, practically burying  Byuu under the sudden charge.

"Big Bro!"  Bikkebakke caught Byuu in a hug and squeezed all the air out of him.

"Nice to see you too,"  Byuu gasped, and dropped to the floor.  He grasped the edge of the table to lift himself up, breathing deeply.  

Now that he thought about it, it must have been Truce who set all this up.  Rush never really was the type to plan something like this.  Somehow, Rush, or Truce, whichever one it was, had managed to round as many people into Byuu's old hangout for this exact moment.  Though how they knew that Byuu was coming...  

Byuu scanned the crowed and spotted Truce, who just grinned slyly and waved.  Byuu vowed that he would get him back, oh would he get Truce back.  

"Where've you been, bro?  Why'd you leave?  C'mon, tell me!"

"Easy there, Bikkebakke!  I've been travelling.  I just came back for a visit and I'll be leaving soon."

"You'll still have time to share a few drinks with us, won't you Byuu?"  Diana interrupted, drink in hand, invited herself over.  The thigh-length robed priest sat down next to Byuu.  

"Of course.  If only long enough to hear what's been happening around Kahna and with my old friends."

Diana chuckled.  She gestured at Bikkebakke, and asked him to get her another drink.  He looked around, then pointed at himself questioningly.  She nodded impatiently and pointed at the bar.  Sighing to himself, he stood up to get her a drink.  Gossiping was thirsty business.  

"Well, where to start?  A lot of stuff has gone on since you were gone, you know."

"Just go with what's interesting,"  Bryuu replied, smirking.  

"Easy enough."  Diana sipped at her cup, filled with mead.  "Ectarina finally stopped beating around the bush and asked Hornet to go out with her.  That man was so dense its amazing he could understand anything that she said.

"Hum."  Byuu had a different opinion.  Ectarina was incredibly shy.  It was a good day for her if she managed to say more than five sentences in a day.  She had to go to Byuu to find out Hornet's favorite food.  It was amazing that SHE had the courage to tell HIM.

"Frederica is still going on and off medication, but she's doing better.  Her health has gotten a lot better since we came back.  I dunno, maybe she's been exercising or something.  She doesn't faint anymore though, which is good.  I think Zora was planning on taking her for treatment or something if it didn't."

"Oiy, Diana, you spreading that gossip of yours again?"  

Lukia leaned over on the table, her cool-as-ice gaze giving Byuu the once-over.  She nudged Diana.  

"Don't tell me your spinning your spiels with this riff-raff."

"Riff raff?"  Byuu repeated, slightly surprised.  "That's pretty harsh, Lukia."

"Well now, never thought your hide was so thin now, little boy."  

"It's not.  You just pierce to the bone."

"All the better to see the real you.  The outside is hardly what usually matters."  

Diana coughed.  This bantering could take forever.  

"Lukia, can't you relax for once?  You always seem...uptight." 

"I am relaxing,"  Lukia responded, taking a seat as well.  "Just pretend I'm not here.  So, you were saying?"

"Ah, yeah.  Taicho and Gunso have gone back to Mahal to rebuild.  I don't think Taicho's ever forgotten his wife, or what Sauzer's men did to his kingdom.  Ties have been strained between the two kingdoms.  With Palpaleos out of action-"

"Hmm?  What did you say?"

"Palpaleos.  Out of action.  What, you didn't you know?  He's been stabbed b a common thug.  To think, the the might general of Sauzer's army, who defeated all who stood in his way, beaten by some rat off the street."  

Lukia grimaced and drank deeply from her mug.  

"That idiot, getting himself stabbed like that.  Doesn't he know what he's doing to Yoyo?"  She muttered heatedly. 

"No...I didn't know."  He wondered why Yoyo didn't tell him.  Maybe she just didn't trust him anymore.  And, though he hated to admit it, he didn't blame her.  It was as Matelite said, what happened to him or what he knew didn't truly matter to anyone.  He was just...there.

Byuu snatched Lukia's glass and downed the whole thing in a gulp. 

"Hey!"  She cried.  "Byuu, if you want a drink, then get your own."

"I'm broke,"  He sighed.  "All that I had was in the castle, and I don't even rember where I my room was.  

"Oh?  The mighty Byuu, stooping so low as to ask little me for a drink?"  She teased.  

"Yes, the 'mighty' Byuu is asking the wonderful, nice, and incredibly good looking Lukia for a drink,"  he scowled.  She sure had a mean streak.  

"No problem,"  she replied, grinning triumphantly. She turned around, swiped Bikkebakke's drink and told him to get some more drink, ignoring his squeaks of outrage.  

"It's on me."  Lukia passed the mug to Byuu.  Diana stared flatly at Lukia.  

"That's _my_ beer,"  she said pointedly. 

"Well then, it's on Diana."  Lukia laughed.  Diana just shook her head and smiled.  Even Byuu grinned a little, albeit forced.  

"Why thank you for taking pity on this poor soul, Lukia.  He will be sure to pay you back when he can."

"Well, tell 'him' that he needs to get a job for that."

"He'll get a job when he feels like it."  Byuu drank some more.  Lukia raised an eyebrow.  Byuu's slightly mocking attitude was new to her.  Byuu must be getting drunk.

Lukia pushed her chair back stood up. 

"I got some things to do.  See you, Diana.  If Byuu tries to leave, strangle him or something."  She waved and disapeared amongst the crowd.  

Diana grabbed Byuu's mug and sipped at it for a stretch of time.  She set the mug down heavily.

"Ah, good stuff."  She licked her lips.  "Now, where was I?"

"Mahal."  Byuu decided to change the subject.  He didn't really care to know any more about what happened to Palpaleos.  He did make a note to ask someone later about it when he felt like it.

"Ah, right.  You know Gunso and Anastasia?  They're going steady now.  They decided to move to Mahal, shortly after you left.  It was Gunso's choice, really, but I don't think Anastasia had a problem."

"Uh huh..."

And after that, Byuu drifted off, nodding his head when it seemed apropriate and saying "that's interesting" when it seemed right, but he didn't pay any attention..  For most of it he was inane babble about his or her girlfriend's situation about a breakup that never happened or whatnot.  Really, right now he just wanted to concentrate on his beer.  After that, he concentrated on his mead.  After that he concentrated on his ale.  Then on his whiskey, and so on and so on until he was so drunk that up was down and Lucia's face had taken a greenish scaly shade, kinda like a dragon, and was winking at him disturbingly.  

"Three cheers for Byuu, drunk as a skunk!"  Someone shouted. Everyone cheered, and Byuu grinned stupidly trying to stand up and pose.  Except the ground had flipped up and tossed him on his stomache.  Everyone else laughed heartily.  

"Thans all,"  He slurred, staggering to his feet and accidentally dumping his cup on Bikkebakke, who jumped back, surprised.  " Ah'll tell yous, that love ain't worth nuthin. Reellyy, 'taint worth th'effort.  You always hurt bad.  Bein alone, 's not so bad..."

Lukia (who had just returned) groaned.  She knew what was coming.  This wasn't the first time she heard full grown men (and women, for that matter) bawl their eyes out after a couple drinks.  Granted, Byuu had drunk more than a couple, but still.  Diana, seeing that Byuu was finished listening to her, quietly made her exit.  

Byuu's eyes teared up.  "But shtill, why doesh crap always happen to me, huh?  Why do I takesh it all lyin down?  Well that'sh gonna shtoop now, noone takes advanteg of meeee.  I'll show'er.  And'er lil dog too.  No one caresh 'bout lil me...beeeer, you're the onnnly friend I got..."

And after that Byuu blubbered off into incoherency, nursing his emypty mug.  Lucia sighed and stretched out her arms.  Well, that wasn't what she was expecting, but without his inhibitions, Byuu had bled his heart out.  

Truce shook his head.  "I knew Byuu took it hard, but I didn't think for an instant that it messed him up this badly," he confessed quietly.  

"That's love for you,"  Lucia answered.  "Lady Love is a feisty one."

"She sure gets her kicks out of screwing with people.  Byuu here is evidence enough of that.  Did he get a room?"  

"No, don't think so.  If he did he didn't give us his room number."

"Ah jeez, what a pain you are, Byuu." Truce shook his head, not very serious at all.  "Well, it can't be helped."

"Lets just toss him in the street.  It's not like he has anything to steal,"  Lukia suggested.  

Truce raised an eyebrow.  "I'm not going to waste my time tomorrow dragging his drunken ass out of jail, Lukia.  And I know you wouldn't waste any time trying to get him out."

"What are you talking about?  No one would throw Byuu in jail!"

"Why not?"

"Because he...well...you know..."

"No, I don't know."

"Ok, just shut up then and come up with a good idea."	
"Hmmm...We take him to your place."

"What?!  Are you insane?  Do you know what Diana will do if she hears that Byuu went to my house and didn't leave until morning?!  Rumor control will be blown and I'll be up to my neck sorting this out!  No way.  He's not coming to my place.  Dammit, listen to me Truce.  Sonofa...no, this isn't happening..."  She put her hands over her face and moaned in frustration.

Truce had a momentary minute of deafness as he called some other guys to help him carry Byuu out.  Bikkebake gave Lukia a weird look.  Rush grinned and winked at her, giving her the thumbs up.  Lukia's fist told him otherwise as he pulled himself out of the wall.  Jeanne nudged Lukia, raising an eyebrow.  

"Don't even think about that, this wasn't my idea,"  Lukia growled softly.

"I didn't think so.  Byuu's a nice guy and all, but I never really thought him your type."

"Do me a favor Jeanne and help me keep this quiet.  I think I need another drink."

Byuu moaned and turned over. The birds were screeching as loudly as possible today. He could almost swear that they were right next to his head blaring into his ears. He muttered and mumbled, waving his arms about to get rid of the birds before throwing the blanket over his head. A lot of good that did him. The stupid birds were likely under the bed, just waiting for him to doze off again before they started pecking his head to get at his juicy brain. He knew that they had already tried because his head had the most exquisite pain he ever felt (otherwise known as a hangover).

'Damn those birds,'  he thought viciously.  'Once my legs work again I'll show them.'

Not like that was going to happen anytime soon.  His legs felt like they were made of jelly.  His arms made of lead.  Maybe he was trapped in this bed, crippled for life...

Lukia grabbed the bedsheets and yanked hard, dumping Byuu to the ground.  He fell gracelessy as he used his arms to shield his face from the blinding light.  

"Uhhhh,"  He moaned.  Lukia kicked him a bit more to help reorient himself.  

"Get up, would you?  It's bad enough that you had to come to my house to sleep."

"Wha-Lukia?  What am I doing here?"  

"Shut up for a moment and drink this."  She tossed a bottle to him, which he uncorked and sniffed before drinking.  The pain in his head receded enough that he could gather his bearings.  It was probably one of the potions the healer made, though he never knew that the healer made potions for hangovers.  He tossed the bottle back to Lukia.  


"Don't mention it.  Though you could do me a favor by getting out of here as fast as possible."

"Hmm?  Why's that?" 

"Just hurry up, dammit!"  She was starting to lose her cool.  Byuu sighed and stood up.  Then he looked down.  Then up again.  

"Umm, Lukia, where's my clothes?"  He asked quietly.  

"Those rags?  I threw them out."  

"...then what am I going to wear?"

"I don't know.  I don't really care either." 

"Why'd you take my clothes off?"


"You didn't...take advantage of me while I was asleep did you?"

"What?!  Are you crazy?"

"I knew it!"  Byuu looked shocked.  "You undressed me so you could do dirty things with my body, you sick, sick woman!"  

"I'd never do something so idiotic as that!  You're overreacting."

"Then why am I in your bed, huh?"  

Lukia swore that she was going to kill Truce.  He would die a terrible, terrible death.  Rush too.  

"I feel so violated..."  

"SHUT UP!  ARG!"  Lukia lost all semblance of her outward calm and coolheaded nature and growled at Byuu.  "I didn't do anything to you!"  

"I still feel violated..."

There was a soft swish and a dull thunk that vibrated next to Byuu's head.  He slowly turned his head towards the sound and saw a rapier bending back and forth, buried deeply into the wood.  Lukia had thrown it from clear across the room.

Lukia stomped up to Byuu and grabbed and grabbed him, looking him eye-to-eye.  

"Byuu, lets get one thing clear.  You are not to tell ANYONE that you were ever in my house.  NO ONE.  If anyone asks, you went to the inn.  Got it?"  She growled.  

"...So does that mean you did do something while I was asl-"


Byuu grinned.  He gave Lukia a hug, which caught her completely off guard.  "Don't worry, I'm just kidding.  I promise I won't tell anyone."

Later, some time down the road, Byuu would tell Diana about what happened.  He would ask Diana why Lukia was so paranoid about him being there.  Diana would just laugh.  

"She hasn't been with a man for years.  If someone thought you and her were going out, well, that would put an end to her social life trying to get a man."  

It wouldn't completely make sense to Byuu, but whatever.

Lukia gave Byuu a flat look.

"You've really changed, Byuu.  What happened to the serious close-lipped leader from the war, or the moody depressed drunk from yesterday?"  

"I don't know.  Maybe I just felt like changing.  Maybe I need something different."

"Maybe all that beer you drank yesterday addled your brain.  So stop grabbing my ass before I castrate you."

Byuu's hands were gone before she finished speaking and he moved back about three feet.  He had the decency to look sheepish as he rubbed the back of his head.  

Lukia just sighed and tossed him some clothes.  "Here.  I know you don't have any money, so you can borrow some of mine."

He caught them handily enough.  Eyeing them carefully, he looked up in surprise. 

"These are mens size."

"Shut up before I change my mind, Byuu."

He shrugged and slipped on the tunic and pants.  He could really use a new pair of boots, but that wasn't likely going to happen.  The shirt was a little tight, a size or two too small for him.  Same with the pants. Still, it was better than the rags he had before.  He waved his goodbye, which Lukia didn't respond to.  

"Farewell Lukia.  I'll see you later."  

Lukia just sort of scowled and busied herself readying her armor and equipment.  Byuu opened the door and took his leave.

"But really, mens size?"  He muttered to himself, out of what he thought was Lukia's hearing range.  For someone so slim I never thought she was so macho-"  

A sheathed sword came flying out of the open door and struck the back of Byuu's head at lightning speed, sending him to the ground.  He spat out some dirt and rubbed his head.  'Damn, she can hear pretty far,"  He thought.  Well, at least she returned his sword.

Being unfamiliar with the game I can’t comment on characterization or anything, but you’ve got quite a bit of content and it looks like you’re off to a good start.

I like how there are words missing, and how you made words up.

I don’t know what game it is either, but the story looks good. There are tiny errors here and there that you can take a look at, like here:

“The Princess ordered us not to let anyone through but you, Byuu,” One of them gasped. He dug his heels into the hard stone of the castlegrounds and prepared himself. Matelite was readying himself to barrel through.

>No capital O is needed in “One of them…”, the end of something said doesn’t require that.

"Princess! What would your father say if he saw you doing this?!"Matelite howled in fear.

>There should be a space between the " and Matelite.

thanks for the replies.

Weiila: Thanks for the notice, I’d better run this through a spellchecker or something.

Charlemagne: Whatcha mean, missing words? Sorry, don’t follow you.

CablNova: Thanks for your comments. I appreciate it.

Sorry, guess I didn’t make it clear. This is a Bahamut Lagoon fic. Well, some background information is probably needed, the short short version.


Kahna: A city ruled by Yoyo, a summoner. All cities are in the air, floating in the sky, so flying ships (or dragons) are needed to get around.

Byuu and his friends: Truce, Rush, and Bikkibakke, all join Kanha’s army at a young age. Eventually a few years pass and Byuu passes through the ranks to become the leader of Kahna’s dragon squad.

Lukia’s a coolheaded light armored fighter who hangs out with Diana, a priest. Diana likes to gossip.

Matelite is Yoyo’s guardian. Old guy, straightforward and tough.

When they were young, Yoyo and Byuu liked each other. they kept liking each other until Kahna was attacked and captured by the “bad guys”

time passes, Byuu and his crew from Kahna rescue the princess. 'cept during her imprisonment, she fell for the commander of the “bad guys”

more stuff happens, Yoyo basically tells Byuu that she doesn’t like him any more.

More stuff happens, war ends, and Byuu leaves.

Oh, I thought I recognized the name Byuu. Haven’t played Bahamut Lagoon, but I have read some quotes somewhere :slight_smile:
And don’t mind Charle, unless he specifies he’s messing with your mind. Be on your guard, he wants to eat your face to tell you “welcome to RPGC” ^^;;

But of course. Who wouldn’t want to eat a face as perfect as mine?


That’s the “damn best most”* answer to Charle I’ve ever heard :hahaha;

*Memory from a review on ff.net.