Hey everyone! I know it's been a long time! But I'm here with an update, believe it or not. Sorry if you were expecting something longer, but I tried my best. (:
A Gathering Army
What started off as a simple survey of the towns after the war, threw my friends away. I felt a strong urge, a tie to them I had never felt before this journey. It was now my turn to save them as they had saved me all those years ago. Where would I have been if not for Riou and his friends? I'd probably be captured as Highland property.
This was finally the point in time where my maps would come in handy, and be useful for someone other than myself. As much as the thought of the younger version of Viki had annoyed me to no end, in those past few days, she helped me construct a small map of Harmonia, at least one that seemed to be useful for where we needed to be. And from gathering together what Viktor had told me about the land, I was able to make a route there. It would take days, however, days I wasn't sure we had. I wasn't even sure where in Harmonia my friends were. But, I knew if Sasarai was apart of it, they would be there.
I glanced at the little pink-faced, pink-dressed girl sleeping next to me, Pilika. Ever since we got here she's been clinging to me as if I were her new-found 'uncle' Jowy. Not that I minded, I loved the feeling of being needed, but I wasn't much of a children's boy.
I gathered my supplies under my right arm, and with my left I pulled the blanket up to Pilika's neck. It tended to get chilly in this room made of stone, and the night was only beginning.
I stepped out into the lighted hallway and made my way to the stone stairs. A loud noise seemed to be brewing from outside, as if a large amount of people were cheering, I had to know what was going on. Outside of the wooden doors of the fort, an army was waiting. I ran as fast as my legs could go. The noise outside got louder as I opened the door. I immediately saw Flik and Viktor standing there, a large army was posted at their front.
Flik looked back to me with sweat and fear plastered on his face. He tried to keep composed but his pupils filled the entirety of his eyes. He spoke, gently and softly. "If I remember correctly, this fort is the next to go." There was a hint of sadness in his voice as he looked back to his army. "We're getting everyone out before that happens."
"No better time than now. Everyone that's supposed to be here is here." I looked over past them into the crowd as Viktor piped in. Immediately I saw Pohl, Barbara, Leona, Tsai, Rikimaru, Gengen, and many others as well as the commoners there helping. "Now, we're headed to Harmonia, we're off to save Riou and the others.. It's our turn to be selfless..." VIktor ended, finally.
A thought was brewing in my young mind. "We don't have everyone yet, Pilika is still in there." I handed the two men my belongings as well as my precious map and I took off to save the little girl as if she were in immediate danger. I picked up her sleeping body, blanket, teddy and all, and brought her back up to the roar of men outside to the front of the fort.
As soon as I stepped outside, I heard Viktor speaking. I tuned my ears to him. He was saying something about the easiest route being North Sparrow Pass, and I agreed silently with him. He also said that is was more than a few days journey, and he needed everyone to be prepared. "We're going to split up!" The loud man bellowed. "Half goes now, half follows before first light hits the ground. First half on the horses and in the carriages, second half goes on foot. Both teams will be led by Flik and myself. Flik will lead the first group and I will lead the latter. Everyone understand?" He bellowed, and the crowd roared in response.
Flik turned to me and smiled, seemingly looked more calm. "You and Pilika will be coming with me in the carriages. You too aren't strong enough to make such a journey on foot." If it were a few years ago, I would have pouted until I got to go with the others, but now, I realize my place in this world, and it isn't with the fighters. Flik nodded his head to the make-shift carriages to the front. Luckily there seemed to be enough to fit everyone. I took it as my hint to leave and headed towards them, little girl and all. Luckily, I shared my carriage with Leona, she brought snacks. We got in, as soon as the door shut behind us, I heard the whips slash and we were on our way, the hooves hitting the ground were almost comforting enough for me to fall asleep...
It was light. I didn't get much sleep after my encounter with Jowy. He's aged somehow, the features on his face were not as youthful as they once were.. That's when I realized we had changed, we could never be the friends we once were. This war had changed us, our sides had changed us. Would it be impossible to start new?
I looked around at my friends who were just waking up. Eilie's eyes had just started to flutter awake, she looked so beautiful laying there. I was sad that we had argued the last time we talked, and with her in the grasps of Sasarai, made me fear that I would never get to apologize. I kneeled down to her and laid her head in my lap, stroking her hair. "I was scared." I whispered softly.. "I was scared I would never get to apologize to you and Kasumi." She looked up at me and smiled, laughing slightly.
"It isn't your fault, I was the one teasing you." She laid her head back down, I wanted this moment to last forever. But all good things have to come to an end.
Everyone else stirred as heavy footsteps stomped down the cobblestone to our small cell. He laughed, it was a laugh I had not only heard before, but one I was very, very familiar with. "Cap.. Captain Rowd?" I asked and looked over to Jowy, who was also awake with alarm.
The man appeared through the bars of the cell. "Are you surprised? I wouldn't be gone forever. If you brats hadn't of ruined everything for us, you wouldn't be here. Your friends wouldn't be in danger." His eyes turned to an icy glare. "But, it isn't my problem any longer. Come on kids, get up. We're going on a... little journey." He laughed and patiently waited everyone to wake up before opening our cage to our fate.
A/N: Yay for cliffhangers? I promise to be more punctual with my updates, I'm sorry to all who were waiting. I hope you're all enjoying this story more and more as it progresses. In fact, it's almost over. (: That's right, I've always intended for this story to end after Riou learned his place in Suikoden society, in my story, he's always running from his problems. And finally he's realizing he needs to face them and hopefully learn the valuable lessons of friendship.