Disclaimer: I do not own Seiken Densetsu 3, or any of its characters. All the new characters and places are mine. I do not profit from this story at all.
He had forgotten how the air felt like.
A dark-cloaked man stood atop a rocky cliff. The hood of his cloak was thrown back, revealing long, waist-length white hair that moved slowly with the wind. The man's pale face was turned to the star-lit night sky, his eyes closed lightly. A contented smile appeared on the man's pale lips as he inhaled deeply the crisp, night air.
Suddenly, a white dragon materialized in the sky far above him. Even with the distance between them, sense three small figures riding on the dragon. The man's shoulders twitched in surprise. He was not at all fazed by the manner of their arrival. He himself had watched them fly off to the Holyland, hidden behind some brush. It was the speed of their return that had surprised him. He hadn't expected them to be back for another hour or so… maybe these people were far more powerful than he thought.
The dragon flapped its large wings, streaking its way east with a loud, joyful chirp. The man stayed where he was, listening to the fading sounds of the beast. The sea beneath him crashed loudly against the cliff, sending a few stray droplets of water splashing on the man's face. He left the water alone, relishing the cool sensation.
There was no need to worry about being seen. The white-haired man could sense the emotions of the three people riding on the dragon. They were far too pre-occupied, far too worried to notice him.
The man took a final, almost regretful breath, and then opened his eyes. Twin, red orbs flashed into existence. The man chuckled mirthlessly, a grim, tightening of lips replacing his earlier one.
"Soon… very soon."
'Three months later…'
Oh Goddess… I'm not ready…
Lise stared out of her bedroom window, her blue eyes fixed on the rising sun. A cool breeze would occasionally wrap around her, playing with her long golden hair, which was for once, free of the usual metallic hair band. The Star Lancer sighed and fingered her dress; a pure white dress made of the finest Rolantian silks. It had once been her mother's, and she had worn it on a special day… the day she was crowned Queen of Rolante.
Father… I-I can't do this. Not yet…
A few tears trickled down her pale cheeks. 'Why did you have to die? Why couldn't I protect you?' Lise's hand trembled slightly as she clenched them into tight fists. If only she could have been a little stronger… If only she was faster… smarter… better… The tears fell in earnest now, spilling down her face onto the floor. The young woman sat herself on the floor and hugged her knees to her chest. She pressed her forehead down on her kneecaps, trying to muffle her sobs. This was shameful. Behavior like this was unfitting for a Queen.
I never wanted to be queen anyway.
Suddenly, the door burst open. A blond head peeked in, gazing about the room.
"Hey Sis! I-"
Elliot stopped in mid-sentence, his blue eyes widening as he saw his sister on the floor.
The prince rushed in, slamming the door shut behind him, He knelt at his sister's side, placing a comforting hand on Lise's shoulder.
"S-sis? What's wrong?"
Lise shook her head, tightening her hold on her knees. A heart-wrenching sob escaped her lips, and the Star Lancer's body shuddered, trying to keep her grief in.
The young woman bit her lip. She was ashamed of herself. She was ashamed to be seen in such a condition, especially by Elliot. As his big sister, she had to be strong. She had to be strong for the two of them.
"Sis… it's all right." Elliot crept closer, slowly hugging his protective sister. She was always trying protect him, trying to keep him safe. Now it was his turn to do the same. Elliot knew instinctively what was wrong… and he knew what to do. "Dad would have been proud of you." A maturity beyond his age shone in the prince's face. Wisdom that was well beyond his few years of life.
Lise raised her beautiful, tear-stained face to gaze wonderingly at her brother.
The prince swallowed a lump that suddenly formed in his throat. "I'm sure Mom would be too." A sad smile appeared on Elliot's lips as a few tears formed in his eyes. "'Cuz I know I am."
It was a cool day, the dark-cloaked man noted. The sun was obscured by thick clouds, and a slight breeze would pass by every now and then. The chirping sounds of birds flying around drifted to his ears, threatening to draw his attention away from the matter at hand.
From his position on the branch of a tree, he could see everything that was happening down in the castle grounds. A steady stream of people passed through the gate, crowding themselves under the balcony. A scattering of Amazon guards could be seen among the crowd, doing their best to control the people. On the balcony were more people, but this time, there were composed of different races. He saw Elves, Dwarves, Beastmen, the ever-present Humans, and thanks to his sharp eyes; even a few Corobokkles. It was a busy day for Rolante…
After all, it wasn't everyday that you could witness the coronation of a Queen.
A loud shout came up from the crowd, and the loud murmur of voices stopped. From the throne room, a beautiful woman emerged, wearing a pure white dress. A ceremonial spear was in her hand, and a golden crown over her forehead. The woman's golden hair waved slightly as she walked gracefully to the edge of the balcony.
Is this… Lise of Rolante?
A woman's voice rang out: "All hail the Queen of Rolante!"
A loud cheer erupted from the crowd, gradually growing louder and louder. Even the representatives of the other nations and races on the balcony cheered. The Queen gazed solemnly at the people, then raised her spear. Everyone slowly quieted, watching the new Queen with love.
The man smirked under his hood, then clenched his fists, making his joins pop. There was no need to hear what the Queen was going to say. He had done his job… it was time to leave. Maybe he would be able to spend some time on the mountain before going back home…
He leapt down the tree, landing in a crouched position. The guards were far too busy watching their queen to see him. They didn't even expect trouble. The War had just ended, and all the countries were making peace with one another. Everyone wanted peace.
Heh… not for long.
Author's notes: It's done! Whew… I've been working on this thing for months now, but couldn't get myself to post it. So… what do you think? Please review!