I thought this story wasn't doing so great because the lack of reviews and hits compared to my other stories. But, people are reading it, that I know; and I should be grateful for that. Thus, I decided that I don't care if I get reviews or not. So don't bother if it is an inconvenience.

Oh, and I bet no one noticed Botta's last name, Arthe. It's a scrambled word, cause I'm uncreative like that. And as another side note, the chapter title is not supposed to make sense. It's actually: "Blind (fill-in-the-blank)" So...chose a word that you would think fit this chapter after you read. If it make sense to you, so shall it be!

I don't own Tales of Symphonia. If I did, Yuan and Botta would have a last name that is not "No-Last-Name" XD


"Fireball!"

In a graceful form of a strange dance, Yuan dodged the three fist-sized molten rocs with ease. His long blue hair whipped around as a ribbon, not coming close to hindering his vision; despite the large tress covering his right eye.

"Stone Blast!"

The cobalt only had to hop back, and the earth spell harmlessly erupted through the floor; sending dust to cover his red and gold armor. Yuan made a mental note to polish it later.

"Fireball!"

Again, Yuan twisted his body to maneuver through the attack. Without his cloak to hinder him, the cobalt swayed in the air as a snake would. He even managed to keep his large Swallow, gripped tightly within his right hand, from any scorches.

"Stone-ugh!" A training sword fell with a dull thud, and the magic caster fell to his knees, obviously depleted of all the extra mana in his body. He weakly clutched at his heart; panting heavily as if in pain.

The cobalt hid a smile. "Excellent work, Botta," Yuan said evenly as he nodded his approval, placing his weapon on a nearby table. He approached the small brunette and knelt beside him.

"...!" Botta could only gulp air, he had extended his mana to the fullest, and Yuan was grateful for that.

How else could he strengthen his mana supply if he didn't exhaust it?

"Here," Yuan placed a pineapple gel inside the child's open mouth. The capsule-sized gummy dissolved quickly and Botta's breath became even and less frantic.

"Thank you...sir" the brunette sighed, not yet fully recuperated, but standing up once again.

"That's all for today," the cobalt stood up as well, retrieved the Swallow and headed for the exit of the Renegade's Training Room. But before he could reach the door, Yuan was stopped by a hand.

He looked down to see the brunette. "Sir, I can still go, honest," Botta's brown eyes pleaded for more attention, but Yuan new better than to believe the child on his own condition.

"If you stress your mana any more today, you will kill yourself," Though the response was painfully blunt, Yuan's tone no longer held the cold edge it once had.

Like he would ever admit to it though.

Botta seemed to understand as well. "Okay sir," he offered a weak smile before walking out the training room himself; dragging his feet to the prison he known to be his room.

Not taking any time to pity the younger half elf nonetheless, Yuan briskly walked towards his office, already planning what paperwork to complete for the day.

A delivery form for more supplies, including weapons…plus more applications for employees…

"Lord Yuan!"

The cobalt snapped his head around to the approaching renegade, there was urgency in the simple address that unnerved him. "What is it?" He asked curtly, masking any concern with his natural unbiased expression.

"Sir, we have a situation right outside the base!" The soldier, Yuan recalled the voice belonging to Günter Heisten, reported quickly. He didn't bother disguising the alarm in his tone as he motioned for his superior to follow him.

Immediately Yuan began walking with the foot solider towards the Renegade's entrance, his weapon gripped in a slightly tenser manner, "What's the status?" He always predicted the worse, so when the cobalt was told the actual facts, the reality didn't seem as dreadful.

Günter grimaced under his helmet. "We lost twenty already sir. In the matter of two minutes."

For not feeling many emotions with his Cruxis Crystal, obvious panic rose within the Renegade leader. Twenty? How was that possible? "What the hell is it?!" He demanded fiercely, sapphire eyes flashing.

"A giant Earth Worm, sir."

A worm was killing his men?

They both stepped into the blazing hot sands of the Triet Desert; a sandstorm was apparently raging. Through the downpour of sand, Yuan saw a small group of his men slicing at was literality, a giant worm.

A giant worm armed with hundreds of teeth and a seemingly impenetrable hide, that is. The Renegade leader saw how their swords harmlessly bounced off the creature, delivering no visible damage whatsoever.

"Step back!" Yuan roared among the chaos, earning his underlings' attention. They hastily scrambled out of way as he spun his Swallow decisively; the familiar circle of violet mana surrounding him. The cobalt assumed that magic was the only thing that would defeat the monster…rather, he hoped. "Thunder Blade!"

With an ear-splitting screech, the desert worm was directly hit by the lighting magic. The large sword of mana stuck hard, but before the last devastating pulse could be sent; the monster dug into the ground, causing the sand to absorb the shock.

Yuan cursed loudly, preparing another spell. As long as the creature was underground, the cobalt couldn't harm it…his lighting-based attacks were rendered useless in the earth. Fearing for his men's safety though, he ordered, "Everyone, get inside the base, now!" The renegades promptly obeyed, leaving only him and the monster to deal with.

A huge tremor made Yuan falter momentary in his spell casting. With a thunderous howl, the desert worm came up from underneath the cobalt; slicing his legs with its many rows of teeth. Yuan jumped away before it could swallow him whole, but he hissed from the pain shooting up his legs. Blood began pooling from the many cuts through his cream colored pants.

The worm buried itself underground again before Yuan could begin to counterstrike.

"Think fast…think fast…" the Renegade leader hated to do so, but he pulled out his cherry blossom-colored wings and hovered above the ground; his legs practically useless in their damaged state. "Isn't there anything…?"

"Sir!"

The shriek startled Yuan into swiftly turning to the owner of the voice, Botta. The younger half elf panted with noticeable strain as he stood at the base's door. "G-get back inside, Botta!" The cobalt heard the slight tremor in his voice, but he paid it no mind. "Stay with the others!"

The young brunette only gaped at him, apparently shocked that the man he had come to respect had wings. Angel wings…Seraphim wings.

"Get completely inside!" Yuan snarled, glaring at the child. If it was one thing he needed to learn, it was to obey orders at all times! A sudden vibration however, tore his attention from Botta and in the direction of where the monster disappeared last.

Fluttering his wings as swiftly as he could, Yuan shot into the sky; wind rushing past his sensitive ears, and sand stinging his wounds. A second later, the giant desert worm broke through the earth where he had been hovering. "Think I'd fall for that again?" The cobalt taunted; watching the creature swing its head back and forth, searching for its prey.

But again, before Yuan could even begin chanting a mantra, the worm vanished within the sands.

"Damn!" the cobalt lowered to the ground once more, scanning the area for any disturbances in the earth; which was near impossible in the outrageous sandstorm. Still, his angelic sight caught small ripples barely underneath the surface. He knew approximately where the monster was, but how could he attack it?

"Stone Blast!"

The familiar earth spell exploded through the sand where the monster slithered, and a deafening howl came from below the sand. The giant desert worm jumped from the ground, only to bury itself again.

Yuan whipped his head around, already knowing who was responsible for the successful assault.

With a training sword gripped in his hand, young Botta Arthe panted heavily as he grinned, flashing his teeth. The younger half elf now stood only a couple meters away from the cobalt; no longer within the safety of the base.

The seraph was instantly by Botta's side, throwing his Swallow aside and placing both of his gloved hands on the child's shoulders. "You're going to die if you use anymore of your mana," Yuan reminded in a murmur from behind, gripping onto the brunette's shoulders a bit firmer. "Just relax and direct your spells where I tell you, understood?"

Botta was obviously confused, but he nodded his head anyway, visibly shaking in exhaustion. The cobalt didn't even know how the child could've let alone stand, much less use magic.

"Trust me…Now…there!" keeping his hands on the brunette's shoulders, Yuan pointed with a finger at a spot in the desert.

Responding right away, Botta struggled again to chant the practiced mantra. But before he could shout the two words to complete it, a warm rush surged through the brunette. "Stone Blast!"

The spell once again ripped through the earth, and another screech was heard. The monster for a second time leapt through the air, but it landed on top of the sand instead; writhing in pain.

Instantaneously, Yuan roughly shoved Botta away, grabbing his weapon and chanting; the violet runes dancing around him. "Takes this!" Yuan beamed, recognizing the absolute ecstasy of victory, "Indignation!"

The beautiful dome of swirling lavender mana gracefully enraptured the creature, who could only gawk in bewilderment at the unnatural lights. A loud crack, and the thunder of the one from the Underworld was unleashed. Screaming in an unearthly tongue, the monster dove into the sands.

The sandstorm subsided, and Yuan saw that the desert worm disappeared without a trace.

"Whew…" Botta sat on the ground, allowing his makeshift weapon to drop beside him. "W-we did it!"

Yuan glared harshly at the younger half elf, his cherry blossom wings quivering. "What did I tell you to do?" The cobalt rebuked, "You didn't listen to my direct order to go inside!"

"But I listened to you right now, sir." Botta blinked with mock innocence, his brown eyes smiling, "You told me to cast Stone Blast, and I did."

The seraph huffed.

"Sir," Botta grew suddenly nervous, remembering what had startled him when he first saw his leader, "Y-you have wings…"

Yuan grew self conscious of the physical manifestation of his angelic mana. "I know," the cobalt growled slightly, glancing back at the blessing and curse he carried. "I suppose I didn't tell you who I was entirely…"

The young brunette gazed attentively at his leader. For a moment, Botta held his breath in the suspense of what he was to learn.

"I am Lord Yuan, founder and head of the Renegades," The cobalt stated; his bright wings shone with more luminously, as if to prove a point, "And I am Lord Yuan, one of the Four Seraphim."

The younger brunette whimpered softly, his eyes growing large with fright. How could he lead an organization that collided with the group he worked for? What was he actually loyal to? "Of Cruxis…?"

"Yes," Yuan turned towards the base with his cherry blossom wings flapping lightly behind, "If you want to go back to your home I can send someone escort you." He couldn't convince anyone of his ideals; the seraph had learned that the hard way, through his former companion. So what, he lost a valuable magic wielder; Yuan was sure there would be others…

"I-I trust you sir."

The minor stutter of apprehension was present, but the statement was earnest as well. Yuan turned his head to smirk at the younger half elf, "Are you prepared to work under one that was involved in your mother's death?"

Botta replied without any hesitation. "Yes sir."

The cobalt was genuinely surprised with the answer. How could the brunette be so willing to continue? Yuan voiced his question.

"Because you didn't do it."

"What?"

"You're trying to stop whatever they're doing," Botta explained, shrugging as if the information wasn't anything special. "If you're going against it, then you don't agree with it. So…" the younger half elf smiled, "Besides, you gave me mana, sir."

The cobalt grinned. "Heh, you felt that?" Yuan was impressed with this young one. Not many half elves, or even elves, could sense when a mana transfer took place. Botta had the potential to become more than just another convenient mage…

"I will follow you sir," the younger half elf stood up and saluted, his face unusually grim. "Until my last breath."

"Now, now," Yuan laughed quietly to himself, "no need to say things like that…besides you will regret this choice later." Still, the cobalt hovered close to the child and smiled.

Some of us actually have...