Author Note: This is the first official chapter revamped version of Burning Rose.
DISCLAIMER: By the way I do not own The Star Ocean franchise nor the characters. I only take credit for my own characters and this plot.
Also, note that I threw in Nel's ending and Her ending with Fayt. After this chapter everything will be my imagination.
Chapter 1: All Eyes On Us
As leaves fall from the trees in the surrounding forest as the wind lightly blows, but it quickly cranks up to that winds as a dark gray space ship gradually descended from Elicoor II's atmosphere and lands onto the soil in a clearing of a forest without any residents near-by for about 70 to 80 miles. Once landed and the ship door opens with a trio walking out on the ground.
"I see why you two want to live here, it is beautiful." An older purple-haired woman said observing her surroundings realizing that the air is lot cleaner and crisper here. "But...Are you two sure you want to leave this life behind?" She asks, with great concern and shock in her tone. Don't get her wrong, she has confidence that the two will do well on their own, but the drastic change in the life style on Earth to the life-style on here in Elicoor II.
The brown-haired woman before her nods with a cheerful smile, "Auntie Ryoko, you do not need to worry about me or Fayt." She then turns her gaze to the taller blue-haired male beside her who smiled in the same way.
"Yes Mother, Sophia and I will take care of each-other." Fayt said confidently to his mother, Ryoko Leingod.
"I am sure that our new friend Nel will make sure he stays in line." Sophia said nudging her childhood best friend and winked at him, knowing that he truly cares for Nel Zelpher.
Fayt looks at Sophia in shock refusing to believe what his ears just heard, "Oh now, I see what is going on. My son has his eyes set on an older woman." Ryoko said grinning at her now 20 year-old son.
"Mom..." The flustered blue-haired said at a loss of words, then coughed, "We are just colleagues." His cheeks started to feel hot.
"You don't need to freak-out kid... it's okay." A voice came from the ship revealing a taller male with short blonde hair, green eyes and very muscular, "I get it , Fayt. She is a total babe." The man stands before him smirking slightly teasing him.
"OH, No... Not you too, Cliff." Fayt sighs holding his head down, "I thought you were on my side."
The blonde laughs, "I am kid, relax. Damn, it is not something to be embarrassed about."
"Cliff, give Fayt a break." A feminine voice came from the ship this time, as another blonde walks down onto the soil of Elicoor II. This time the blonde has long hair in a single braid resting just above her chest.
'Save by Mirage.' Fayt thought to himself sigh from relief.
"He's just not ready to say it out loud." Mirage smirks looking at Fayt who dropped his head again.
'Well... there goes the save.' Fayt thought to himself again as everyone around him chuckles.
"We got your back, kid no matter what."
"Thanks... I guess?" Fayt said not so sure how to reply to that statement from his taller friend.
As the sun slowly begins to peak above the horizon, the red-head opens her eyes and sits up in bed looking out her window watching as the Scared City of Aquios slowly stirs from its slumber as one by one the shops, hotels and homes open revealing the citizens on their routine like clockwork. Zelpher took this as a sign that she better get going to freshen up to go see the Queen in the Audience chamber.
Aquios Castle, Audience Chamber
Nel walks into the chamber and kneels before Aquaria XXVII and Magistrate Lasselle...
"...After learning about our country's state of confusion, the noblemen of Greeton, where the damage was relatively minor, formed a conspiracy to take advantage of the situation." She paused briefly, "However, now that the Lord of Arzem has been stricken with an illness, the conspiracy is slowly dying out." Nel begins looking at the Queen and the Magistrate.
Aquaria XXVII nods listening to the red-head, then she replied, "Is that so... This is very unfortunate for the Lord of Arzem, yet very unfortunate for our country. We have asked out citizens to suffer too much already." The queen continues, "Now, our Sacred Kingdom of Aquaria has lost even the ability to avoid useless conflicts. In the years to come, until our Kingdom's strength has recovered, we will have to ask you to perform many difficult missions. We are counting on you."
Nel looks up at her leader, " Yes, Your Majesty! Please, this goes without saying. I have yet to earn the honor of serving the Crimson Blade, but I will not betray Your Majesty's sacred trust." Zelpher finishes, "I will spare no efforts in these tasks."
Magistrate Lasselle interjects into the conversation, "It would seem we can stop worrying about Greeton for a while. Although Airyglyph is another story, according to the reports of the Spectral Legion, everything is peaceful in the Sanmite region." Then concludes, "So it would appear that domestic problems are our main concern..."
Aquaria XXVII concurs, "We agree. We do not want to believe this, but..."
Nel questions, "Domestic problems...?"
Magistrate Lasselle answers the Crimson Blade, "We just received a report from Clair. There is a sense of restlessness among certain wealthy merchants in Peterny." He paused briefly, "We have not determined the size or objectives of this plot, or who the ringleaders are, or any such details, but we must begin an official investigation." He then instructs Nel, "You are to select one appropriate person to handle this. We also plan to assign a member of the Chain Legion, who is familiar with the local area to assist in this investigation."
The red-head nods her head again, "Understood. Very well, I will undertake this mission."
Magistrate Lasselle raised an eyebrow, "Hmmm... Are you sure?"
Aquaria XXVII looks at Lasselle, then back at Nel, "But, Nel. You just returned home. You must still be tired." Then the Queen suggests an alternative, "Should you not assign this task to someone else?"
Nel insisted, "No, Your Majesty... I need to keep working. It's the only way I can relax now."
Aquaria XXVII shook her head in disagreement, "This will not do. Trusting the capabilities of one's subordinates, and giving them appropriate tasks to build up experience..." She paused briefly, "These are also the responsibilities of those who lead. Entrust this job to another."
Magistrate Lasselle adjourns the meeting, "Her Majesty has spoken. You must send one of your subordinates." He could sense disappointment in Nel's demeanor, "What... Don't tell me you're actually complaining about taking a few days off?"
Nel broke silence to clear up any confusion, "I will give the matter due consideration."
Magistrate Lasselle's eyes softened then relays, "In that case, you are dismissed. With the past war, our country finds itself in dire need of what personnel it has left. Take good care of yourself."
Nel stands up bowing, "Thank you very much. Then, I will take my leave now."
As Nel leaves, she saw Elena coming by, "Hello Professor Elena. You have an audience with Her Majesty?"
Elena stops and talks to the Crimson Blade, "That's right. It's about the motor I developed based on channeled force..."
Nel nods listening, "I see..."
Elena continues on, "I haven't seen you in a long time. You sure look busy."
The older woman's smiles shows how proud of Nel she is, "But, you're so young, why don't you try to do some of the things only the young can do? I'll support you any way I can."
Nel smiles softly with a slight nod, "You know, I could say the same to you." Then compliments the Professor even further," I hear you really put everything you've got into your research."
Elena shakes her head, "But that doesn't matter, since I'm not young anymore." The older woman shifts her line of sight over at the Queen and Magistrate," Anyway, I'll see you later. It wouldn't do to keep Her Majesty waiting any longer."
A slow motion shows Elena walking towards the queen and Nel walking away.
Nel questions as she continues to pass Elena, "Oh, and Professor Elena? Why do you work so hard for all of us?"
Elena responds to Nel as she keeps walking over towards the Queen, "It's because I like this world, at least as much as anyone else does. Do you have a problem with that?"
Nel shakes her head smiling as she walks out the double-doors.
Over the next two days the group spent their time looking for Nel, but along the way they ran into Claire, Adray and Roger.
"That was SO obvious, Fayt." Roger said looking up at his taller and older friend.
Fayt sighs realizing that all his friends are against him, "GEEZ... thanks a lot, Roger."
The young Menodix laughs nudging the human lightly, "Now we need to work on your Lady skills."
Cliff smirks, "Alright, now you are talking kid."
Tynave and Farleen are sparring with Nel in the back courtyard of the Sacred Castle of Aquria.
Tynave charges for the red-head, "You're going down, Lady Nel!"
Farleen observes and signals her partner, "Now, Tynave!"
Farleen jumps up and Tynave dashes towards Nel with her staff. Farleen is up in the air in slow motion.
Farleen conjures up a runology spell, "Roaring Flames! Envelope me, and devour the enemy! Sirocco!"
While Nel appears to be distracted by Farleen, Tynave is about to dash towards her. Tynave makes a move," Ninety-nine blasts of freezing mist!"
Tynave tries to strike Nel, but Nel quickly dodged the attack, "Too slow!"
Nel knocked Tynave down. Nel then jumps up and knees Farleen, knocking her down. Tynave groans in pain, "Ouch!"
Farleen manages to say in agony, "Ahh, that really hurts!"
Nel stands there looking at her subordinates, "You two need more training." She then turns to Tynave pointing out her flaws, "Tynave! A simple flurry of punches is a weak tactic which should be used only when you can be sure they will all connect." The Aquarian continued, "If your opponent avoids your first punch it's foolish to continue wasting energy."
"You can't just fight with random attacks, you must pay close attention to your opponent's moves!" Tynave nods listening but still in pain, "Understood, Lady Nel."
Nel turns to Farleen, "Now you, Farleen!"
Farleen stammers, "Y-yes, Lady Nel?"
Nel gives Farleen her critiques, "You rely on runology too much! Don't expect Tynave to guard your back at all times."
Farleen nods, "I'll be careful..."
A familiar voice comes from the distance, "Oh! There you are. Heeeeey!"
Nel was caught off guard and not sure if she recognizes the voice or not, "Huh!?" She turns to see whoit is. Fayt is now in her line of sight as he runs up and just stops before her. Nel greets the blue haired man, "Oh, hey there, Fayt." She was not too sure what to make of this visit.
Fayt catches his breath there briefly and amazed to how she greeted him, and expected a little more enthusiasm from his red-headed friend, "Just a 'hey there'? Hey there, yourself! I've been looking for you since yesterday!"
Nel gains her composure back, "My apologies. What can I do for you?"
Fayt is again caught off guard by her response, "'What can I do for you?' Is that all you have to say?"
Nel is puzzled by his response and questions back, "Well, what else is there?"
The young man shakes his head in defeat and changes the subject, "Never mind. So, I see you three are training very hard."
Tynave nods smiling glad to see Fayt and as well to get a break from training, she took a pretty-hard blow from Nel just moments ago, "That's right, we've been sparring with Lady Nel. But even two-against-one, she doesn't even break a sweat."
Fayt returns a smile glad to have a friendly conversation instead of an awkward one, "I see." He could tell they have been working hard, and then jokes, "Be careful you don't get hurt. 'Cause this lady here can't control herself sometimes."
Nel turns to look at Fayt not exactly amused by his remark but also wondered what he meant exactly, "And what do you mean by that?"
Fayt looks back at her, "Exactly what I said. You let little things get on your nerves." This is nothing but the truth.
Farleen smiles nodding her head adding on, "Yes, she keeps her emotions bottled up, but you have to watch out when they finally break out."
Fayt nods still looking at Nel, "And she gets so jealous."
Tynave smiles stills saying, "Like that time she saw you and Lady Clair talking together. She was in a bad mood for days!"
Fayt froze as his mouth dropped, "Wha-"
Farleen turns to look at her partner in disbelief, "I can't believe you said that, Tynave!"
Tynave starts to feel cold and horrible realizing what she had just said, "Oh no... Now we're in for it. What should we do, Farleen?"
Farleen says still in disbelief, "Tynave, is your head full of rocks? Let's not push our luck. " The subordinate then warns the blonde, "I told you to keep your mouth shut because we don't want to get caught up in this."
Tynave starts to feel small and in dismay, "I'm sorry, Farleen! But, I didn't realize what a nasty mess we were in until you told me!"
Farleen starts to silence the blonde once more, "Shh! You don't have to yell!"
Fayt still in shock not sure how to take this news but quickly corrects them that he was only talking about business, "Well hey, w-wait a second! What are you talking about? I was talking about work..."
Nel looks at him agreeing with him, "Of course you were. Don't mind them. I don't know what they're going on about." She denies the subordinates' claims.
Tynave and Farleen used this opportunity to leave before they get even deep into this web. Fayt yells to get them to stop, "Hey, just a second! I'm telling you I was talking about work!"
Nel watches Fayt, Tynave and Farleen. Tynave yells from the distance, "Excuse us!"
Farleen shots from afar, "Enjoying yourselves!"
Tynave and Farleen said in unison, "And Fayt, we couldn't imagine life without you!"
Nel keeps watching then turns to Fayt, "What brings you back so soon? I was not expecting you to return to Elicoor for months for now."
Fayt scratches the back of his neck, "Well, we vacationed as look as we could, Nel."
"I see...you want to go for a walk?" Nel asks, walking up to him.
Fayt nods, "Sure."
Together they walked beyond the back courtyard, and over the bridge across the river. The colleagues spent a total of twenty minutes walking in silences walking through the woods behind the Aquarian castle. Soon after they appear at a graveyard, "Over here." Nel says softly leading the way to a head stone labeled 'Zelpher'.
"This is where we buried my mother and father." She said as she kneels down on both of her knees prays for them. Fayt kneels beside her and pays his respects.
The wind whistles as the two took the time to pray for everyone who has fallen. The woman opens her eyes and looks at the young man beside her, "You seem perplexed, what is on your mind, Fayt?" Nel asks with concern in her eyes.
"Nel... I..." Is all what the blue haired male could manage to say, "...Well... why did it bother you when Claire was talking me. You know we were just talking about work, right?" Fayt flinched after saying that, not sure how Nel was going to take that.
The auburn-haired woman gives an expressionless look, "I thought was giving you all of the information for the mission. I don't like being caught off guard."
Fayt nods looking at his friend, "Very well... fair enough."
Nel shakes her head not buying it," No... there is something else you have on your mind, now what... is... it?"
She folds her arms waiting for an answer, as he clears his throat trying to come up with the words, "Well...uhmm...I-I r-really like you a lot."
Nel raised an eyebrow, "Excuse me... what do you mean?"
Fayt sighs blushing thinking. 'I fucking hate Roger and Cliff right now.' He takes a deep breath biting his bottom lip, "Damn-it, I love you, Nel. I love how you handle everything, intelligence, quick wit." Fayt continues rubbing her left cheek with his right hand looking into her aquamarine eyes with his own.
She could not believe her ears and in shock as her cheeks get hot, "Fayt... I-" Nel was silenced as Fayt leans in kissing her lips deeply with passion...
There goes the end of the 1st Chapter, I hope you like. Please review and critique.