Hello, everyone. Happy Holidays! And no, I haven't forgotten about this story, it's just... There was a scene in this chapter that had me at a writer's block and couldn't think of anything. In this chapter, we are introduced to Ryo, a friendly summoner who later becomes important to Kari and vice visa, anyway. When Lukya and Kari start to sing the most tearjerking I have heard, there is another reference to Daichi, which was unintentional to happen. But there will be a scene later on where Lukya has to make a difficult decision and the song is to help her remember no matter what choice she makes, her teammates will always be in her heart, supporting her from afar.

Music:

New Guardians: Ahead on Our Way ( www. youtube watch? v= d3M7jK6uh7w)

Kari's Hope: Flowers Blooming In The Church ( www .youtube watch ? v = 9kPC-WQ6Gx8)

Mi'ihen Highroad & Ryo's Introduction: Mi'ihen Highroad ( www. youtube watch ? v= MkEyvLRCLn8)

Yuna's Test: Those Who Come Closer ( www. youtube watch ? v = 0pcoLaHfJpc)

Traveling Agency Stop: Travel Agency ( www. youtube watch ? v= 0Xj4KqiGZQo)

Lukya's Pondering: You'll Be In My Heart ( www .youtube watch ? v = JIVaUcE4kAM)

Fight with Chocobo Eater: Battle Theme ( www. youtube watch ? v = xvL-tjvdIAw)

Chocobo Ride: Brass De Chocobo ( www. youtube watch ? v = KgssfBVOXtE)

Remember to remove the spaces to get the link to work. Disclamier: Story, characters and music belong to Square Enix and Phil Collins, changes, Lukya, and Kari belong to me, Ryo belongs to TwilightBlader/KingOfHeroes, Daichi belongs to Bushy Brow, and Dean belongs to Protecter212/StardustXtreme.


Chapter 2 Traveling Challenges

I ran back to Yuna and the others, smiling and gasping for air. "Lady Yuna!" I shouted, and reached them, stopping and gasping for air. "Lady Yuna, good news. Seymour said I may become your guardian!"

Yuna smiled, "Wonderful. That is good news. We're waiting for Tidus to see what he wants to come with us." I nodded and Kari gave me a Potion, I drank it and sighed. I looked around my now fellow teammates before I laid my eyes upon Dean. It didn't take me long to realize that Dean was somehow similar to Kazuhiro, due to the mysterious presence I felt inside them.

We waited for awhile when Dean said, "Oh, it's Tidus." All of us looked in the direction as Dean and saw Tidus with the man in red. All of us knew who the man in red was, Yuna gasped and spoke, "Maybe Sir Auron will become my guardian like he did with my father."

Kari and I simply smiled as Auron said, walking up to us, "Yuna, I want to become your guardian."

"Wh-whoa…. You serious?" Wakka asked in surprise, the rest of us didn't seem surprise at Auron's choice, the legendary guardian asked, "You refuse?"

"No, of course not," Yuna said immediately. "It would be a honor if you become my guardian, Sir Auron. I'm sure my father would be proud. Dean, Tidus, would you like to become my guardians?"

She looked at Dean, then at Tidus who just stood behind Auron, Auron said, "I promised Braska I would protect you." Then he pushed Tidus in front of him, "And….. he come too. I promised Jecht."

"Er…. Yo….. hiya….." Tidus said, a bit embarrassed. Dean spoke to us, clearly as he could, "Then, I'll also become her Guardian."

"Uh nah, no way." Wakka said, I figured anyone who hated Al Bhed also hated machina, and with Dean's guns resembled machina, it was clear Wakka hated him.

But Dean's eyes focused on the eyes of the ex-captain, he said, "It's Yuna's choice to take the person as a Guardian, so if she wants me to be her Guardian, so be it, it's not the Guardian's choice to select candidates for their Summoner." Wakka seemed taken back, Dean literally shut him down for any comeback or excuse. Yuna smiled, "Thank you so much, Dean."

She looked at everyone, I nodded, having already told her Seymour gave an okay for me. Kari looked around and said, "Well, are we going or not?"

"Well, where do we head to?" Dean asked, Tidus looked a bit saddened, it looked like he wanted to enjoy the fact he was now a Guardian, but something seemed to be on his mind. Yuna spoke, "We're heading for the Mi'ihen Highroad, which is on the way to Djose Temple. Wonder if we should stop by Mushroom Rock as well? Tidus, would you like to come too?" "Yeah…. Sure…" He said, a bit sadly.

"Well then, people, lets go!" Kari said, leaving. I smiled, "She sure is hyper." Yuna smiled and nodded, following her.

Auron closed his single eye and said, "Moving too fast without any direction will get you killed." He turned to Lulu and asked, "Now what's our destination?" As they began to talk as Wakka started to talk with Kari about sharing her blitzball secrets, Kimahri was just standing still and Tidus and Yuna began to talk to each other. With a sigh, I sat down on one of the steps to the Mi'ihen Highroad, feeling out of place and left out. Kari managed to get away from Wakka and sat next to me, sighing with a smile and looked at the sky.

"Looks this will be one fun pilgrimage." She said, suddenly making me look up at her. She looked at me, still with a smile on her face. Wrapping her arm around my shoulders, she looked into the sky again and I did, too. Kari smiled and said, "You know, maybe this pilgrimage will help the people understand the Al Bhed a little more." Looking at Kari, I could tell she was part Al Bhed, it was in her eyes, those sprinkling sea blue eyes that would give me courage later on in the pilgrimage had the Al Bhed swirl in it. When she was talking with Wakka, I had noticed she had her eyes closed as to keep from having Wakka find out her secret.

Suddenly we heard Tidus laughed strangely and Dean turned his head, confused as was Wakka, Auron and the others stopped talking and just looked over at Tidus and Yuna. We all looked at them, and Yuna noticed. Sweatdropping, she tried to tell him to stop, but Tidus kept on laughing even though he heard Yuna. With a sigh, Yuna smiled and laughed with him and after awhile, Tidus stopped laughed after a while as it soon became natural. They began to talk to each other and I smiled, though somewhat confused by their actions.

Tidus started to walked but saw everyone's stares. "What're you looking at?" He asked us, "We were just worried you guys might've gone crazy!"

Wakka said in response. "We're sorry." Yuna said, embarrassed. "All right, then. Now, we will go to the temple of Djose. And guardians? Don't forget to smile." Dean had to make sure he didn't sigh at Yuna's words as we climbed the steps and Tidus sighed. And I could see why, it was the Mi'hien Highroad and it sure looked like one hell of a long walk.

"We gotta go this way?" he asked in fake defeat as Dean looked at him. "Nothing comes easy Tidus, we better start now before it gets dark." He suggested as Tidus sighed and started walking. Everyone walked on the road, while I looked around and smiled in awe, having never been on the Highroad before, Kari yawned out of boredom while Auron walked with the rest of us.

Up ahead somebody was fighting a pretty strong fiend. He wielded a pretty big broadsword and was doing quiet well in the fight. "Should we help the guy out?" Kari asked, I watched him fight the fiend when Yuna thought about it.

"He should be fine" Auron said as he observed the fight up ahead

The man smirked as he jumped up high into the air with his sword and slashed the fiend as he came down, reducing it to pyreflies. He slowly rested his huge sword on his shoulder and turned around and looked over at Yuna. "Maybe he knows which way to go?" Tidus suggested and Dean looked at him. "Auron knows the way as well since he was a Guardian before this." Dean pointed out and Tidus sweatdropped.

"Sir Auron, Dean." Wakka pointed outand Dean shrugged his shoulders. "It's just a title, it doesn't mean much, he's still called Auron." He said as Wakka was resisiting the urge to hit him. Yuna noticed he was staring at her and walked up to him. "Hello, sir. I'm Summoner Yuna."

"Hm oh so you must be Yuna. I have heard a lot about you" the man said and smiled "My name is Ryo. I may not look like it but I am a summoner as well" Ryo said. "Really?" Yuna smiled and bowed. "It's an honor to meet another summoner. These are my guardians. Why don't you have any, Ryo?"

"I am my own guardian" Ryo said and crossed his arm. A summoner that is also a guardian was unheard of for sure. "How very interesting..." Yuna thought for a moment. "Ryo, how far are you on your pilgrimage?" "I have gotten pretty far as it it" Ryo said. "I understand." Yuna smiled and bowed at Ryo. "I pray to Yevon that we will meet again someday, Ryo." Ryo smiled and bowed back "Indeed we will. We have a job to defeat Sin. Lets make sure one of us will be able to accomplish that and reach the end" Ryo said. "Yes. Farewell, then." Yuna left with us, her guardians. Kari shrugged her shoulders and followed us.

Tidus looked as we walked. "A Summoner that is a Guardian?" he asked, it was unheard of, he thought, Summoners chose their Guardians so they could focus on one thing and the others protect them.

"Perhaps he's just that confident." Dean said as they were met by some Chocobo Knights who wished Yuna well. Yuna talked with them a bit and waved goodbye as they left, continuing to walk. After awhile, Kari groaned.

"How long is this road? I'm tired!" We also met Luzzu and Gatta briefly before seeing another Summoner. I had smelled something and covered my nose. I grabbed Yuna's arm before she went to the Summoner. "Be careful, she is a Unsent."

Auron just watched calmly as Dean looked at the woman. "Who are you?" He asked her for a response.

"I am Belgemine," she said. "I was once a Summoner who tried to defeat Sin and failed. I am here to help the summoners who walk the Mi'ihen Highroad." Without a word, she summoned Ifirt, Yuna gasped and summoned Valefor. Kari looked at them, while I watched calmly.

Dean just crossed his arms as he watched and Tidus looked.

"Shouldn't we like help her?" he asked and Dean looked at him. "No, think about it, she summons an Aeon and she said she 'helps' summoners, think of it as...training or a test to prove Yuna can use her Aeon's potenial and show that resolve to defeat Sin." Dean suggested to him. Belgemine's Ifirt attacked but Valefor dodged, using Energy Ray. I had tried to keep my nose covered, not used to the smell of the Summoner.

Tidus was cheering Yuna as Dean watched, it was interesting for Summoners to battle each other in a way. Yuna had Valefor attack Ifirt, using Solar Beam. It hit and Ifirt counterattacked, but Valefor blocked. Kari cheered for Yuna. Tidus wondered who'd win, but he'd have to decide on Yuna of course. Valefor used Sonic Wings and Energy Ray, defeating Ifirt.

Belgemine smiled, "I shall watch your training, Summoner Yuna." She disappeared, I finally gasped for air and put my hand down, Kari looked at me, worried. "You okay?"

Tidus cheered. "Good job Yuna!" He smiled at her. Yuna smiled, embarrassed.

"Shall we continue onward?" She asked.

"Yeah." Tidus answered and walked until they saw an Al Bhed shop. Auron walked up to the al bhed inn

"We rest here" Auron said.

"But this is an Al Bhed shop!" Wakka stated.

"Is that a problem?" Auron said

"Well...In Luca they...they kidnapped Yuna!" Wakka said in response.

"where were her guardians?" Auron asked Wakka. Wakka facepalmed himself as he was put in his place as Dean's shoulders shrugged.

"Well, we never expected the Al Bhed Psyches to pull the stunt in the first place." He said in defense. "But then again, Wakka, you were a part-time guardian in Luca, it was Kimahri who stood by Yuna but he was held up by some ruffians when we searched for Auron and me and Tidus weren't even Guardians to begin with, leaving only Lulu to inform us of the situation."

Dean looked at the Al Bhed shop. "Besides, it's getting late and saving energy is important in this trip, sure you might not be tired, but others could be, that highroad was a long way even though we set off during the afternoon, so I'd take rest over exhaustion anyday."

"Expect the unexpected" Auron said as he walked into the Al Bhed shop and walked in.

"Auron's right, Wakka." Kari said. "Besides, it's the only rest stop on the road. We're all pooped, so lets get some rest!" Kari followed Auron, she had told Yuna, Lulu, Kimahri, Dean and myself that she was half Al Bhed back in Luca, but she didn't understand Wakka's dislike for them. While everybody was walking in Auron was standing infront of the summoner/guardian Ryo.

"I knew that my eyes weren't deceiving me when I saw you Sir Auron. It was because of you that I went on this pilgrimage. You inspired me" Ryo said, Auron closed his eyes and smiled.

"Its a pleasure to know that" Auron said. While Yuna paid for the rooms, Kari decided to teach me how to speak Al Bhed. Lulu sat at a table and sighed. Ryo walked over at Yuna.

"Well I never thought we would meet again so fast" Ryo said.

"Neither did I." Yuna said. "How is your pilgrimage going, Ryo?"

"Fairly well. After I head to Djose I have to head to Macalania and then the calm lands" Ryo said proud with his progress

"Sounds like the same path Yuna and the rest of us are taking." Kari walked to them. "How 'bout a challenge then, Lord Ryo?"

"Kari!" Yuna shouted, embarrassed. Ryo looked over at Kari and smirked.

"So then what do you propose" Ryo said with his arms crossed. "Don't do something to embarrass us or Yuna, Kari." I said, standing next to Yuna, Kari turned to us, a confident grin. "No problem."

She turned back to Ryo, "First one to Zanarkand and obtain the Final Aeon must acknowledge the other's power and skills." Ryo closed his eyes and smiled/

"alright then I accept. Its not in me to decline the challenge of a pretty girl and besides it sounds like fun" Ryo said. "Then let the best summoner win," Yuna said, holding out her hand to seal the challenge. Ryo opened his eyes and shook her hand "I will see you at Zanarkand" Ryo said

Yuna smiled and nodded, I looked at Kari with a confused look, "Why did you do that?" "To make the pilgrimage more fun." Ryo opened his eyes and looked at the ground with a smile.

"Its best to have as much fun as we can" Ryo said softly but loud enough for them to hear.

"Yes, it is. I know exactly what you mean." Yuna smiled.

"Thats why we have to try our best" Ryo said looking up at them and turned away "well I have gotten enough rest. So its time I go and win our little bet" Ryo said and opened the door.

Before he walked out he looked over at Kari and winked at her

"see ya" Ryo said and walked out. After that, I walked around the shop a bit, and saw Tidus bump into someone who entered, it was an Al Bhed.

"Yr, so ybumukeac." he said as Tidus was confused.

"Huh?" he asked as the Al Bhed sighed and spoke in English. "I meant to say my apologies but it came out in Al Bhed. I'm Rin, owner of this travelling agency, perhaps you like to learn our langauge?" He asked Tidus and handed him a volume.

"Ah, it's Auron." Rin said as Dean noticed Rin and heard the langauge, Wakka already was in a room, probably being himself for hating them. ""Famm, ev ed ech'd Rin." Dean said, surprsing everyone as he spoke fluently.

"What?" He asked straight away.

"You know the langauge?" Tidus asked him.

"Know it? More like forced to, since one of the crewmembers who saved me was adamant about me learning the langauge, her brother also argeed before I left them to travel to Besaid, of course, I mostly stick to english unless I happen to need it, don't tell Wakka though, he already hates me for my weapons, if he heard I spoke Al Bhed just now, he'd probably in a very unstable mood." I didn't want to eavesdrop anymore and looked around, Kari had a little blush on her face, but her eyes were blazing.

"All right, lets rest up and show that guy who is better!" She shouted. Tidus stepped outside for fresh air, I sighed and headed to the rooms available. Sitting on the bed, I leaned back and began to sing something; it was a song that Seymour used to sing me when I was younger and frightened by a fiend or a bad dream.

"Come stop your crying, it will be all right, just take my hand Hold it tight." I looked at my hand and sighed, closing my eyes and wondering what Seymour was doing. Suddenly feeling another hand on mine, I opened my eyes and saw Kari sitting next to me and holding my hand. She just smiled and held my hand as she sang with me, hugging me.

"I will protect you from all around you. I will be here, don't you cry." We just sat there, Kari holding me while her hand grasped mine tightly. It didn't take long to realize how different everyone was, most of the group was human and looked relatively normal, aside from Kimahri, a Ronso, and myself, a Guado. As I recalled, the Ronso always had beastly features and rarely showed any emotion while the Guado were elfish with plant-like hair and long limbs. I remember the white-skinned man from my dream and noticed he had minimal beastly features, did that mean he was half-Ronso? Noticing my comparison of everyone, Kari smiled and put my hand over my chest. I could hear my heart beating, and then she brought my hand to her chest. I heard the exactly same heartbeat, then Kari fully embraced me, continuing to sing.

"For one so small, you seem so strong. My arms will hold you, keep you safe and warm. This bond between us can't be broken. I will be here, don't you cry." A bond, I thought of the bond shared between the summoner and their guardians, the bond between me and Seymour, then I realized there was never a bond between a Guado and a Al Bhed and smiled, realizing something and hugging Kari, starting to fall asleep as Kari softly continued.

"Cause you'll be in my heart. Yes, you'll be in my heart. From this day on, now and forever more. You'll be in my heart, no matter what they say. You'll be here in my heart, always." I began to remember something I had hoped for in my heart, that the people I met would know me as just me, not as the daughter or sister of the Maester of the Guado, not as the future leader of the Guado, not by any title, but just as Lukya Guado. I smiled, knowing that the friends I have met now would be in my heart and they would know me for who I am.

"Why can't they understand the way we feel? They just don't trust what they can't explain. I know we're different but, deep inside us, we're not that different at all." I didn't know it at the time, but I would discover why the people dislike a change for the better or something what they wouldn't be able to explain and understood what Kari had done earlier. We're all different on the outside, but on the inside we're the same, but how would the people see that.

"And you'll be in my heart. Yes, you'll be in my heart. From this day on, now and forever more. Don't listen to them 'cause what do they know. We need each other, to have, to hold. They'll see in time. I know." Suddenly, I felt like a little child again, laying in the arms of my older brother, listening to him sing me asleep. I smiled and hugged Kari, she hugged me back and smiled at Lulu, who was standing in the doorway and left.

"When destiny calls you, you must be strong, I may not be with you. But you've got to hold on. They'll see in time, I know. We'll show them together."Then I thought of the summoner/guardian, Ryo, and wondered how he would do on the pilgrimage. It was unique for a person to be a summoner and guardian at the same time, but he was confident to try that, I supported it. Beside, you never know if something works until you try it, and that's what Ryo was doing.

"'Cause you'll be in my heart. Yes, you'll be in my heart. From this day on, now and forever more. Oh, you'll be in my heart, no matter what they say. You'll be in my heart, always, always…" Kari finished the song and stood up, stretching her hair. Turning to me, she patted my head and smiled, "Gotta get some rest for tomorrow to beat that punk. Night, little princess. Tomorrow, Team Besaid heads out!"

I looked on confused as she left and saw Yuna entered the room Kari had picked with Lulu and me and rested. I decided to wander the hall to check on everyone else. Dean was relaxing in a room as Tidus entered, he was going to sleep with Wakka and looked at him.

"Say Dean...do you believe that I'm from Zanarkand?" he asked as Dean removed his feet from a table. "I don't have a real answer to that since I remember nothing but my name and how to fight, I could be from your Zanarkand but I also could not be." He responded as Tidus looked at him.

"What do you think of Machina?" He asked him as Dean pondered for a moment. "I have nothing against the ones who use it, it's their choice to use it or not even if Yevon states that Sin would never return if people atoned with their teachings, after all, Yevon decides what's good or bad machina like Blitzball's a good one while my guns are considered bad since the Al Bhed use them." He said, looking at him.

"Well, what do you think about Yevon?" He asked as Dean took a few minutes.

"Honestly, I don't give a damn to what they say." He simply stated. After that, I went back to my room and sighed, being wide awake in my room, thinking about my brother, Seymour. Father told me why he married a human and had Seymour, but the one thing I couldn't understand was what happened to father or why Seymour once forbid me from becoming a Guardian. With a sigh, I fell asleep.

Morning had soon rose and I felt Dean was awakened to it's light, not surprised to who he had as a roommate, it was Kimahri who never spoke a single word when he arrived as he strenched out in the hallway before giving a light yawn as he walked to the front of the store. Yuna and I stepped out of the store and smiled, Kari couldn't stand still due to her excitement to wanting to win the bet. Tidus came out, strenching as he started to head out the front door but someone screamed. "Ahh! the Chocobos!"

Yuna and Lukya ran to the person who screamed, quickly. "That's our cue" Auron said remembering Tidus wanted to deal with the monster who was eating the chocobos. Tidus nodded and ran out as he headed for the area where the chocobos were usually kept but Dean was ahead as he shot the Eater's arm, releasing the Chocobo it held as they escaped. "Well, time to take care of this guy." He said before getting into a stance.

I had loaded my bow and shot at it as the CHocobo Eater was sure persistent as it refused to fall back as Tidus cut across it's stomach and leapt back reflexively. Yuna summoned Ifirt and it performed Hellfire on the Chocobo Eater, along with a fast blitzball from Kari. Auron ran forward and slashed the Chocobo Eater causing him to fall off the cliff. Tidus looked at Auron.

"That was your plan from the start?" He asked him.

"This is my second encounter with it. Back then Jecht thought it would be right if we fought it and made us fight it. In the end we were the ones who fell off that cliff" Auron said.

"W-wait, you fought that thing before and fell?" Tidus said, looking over the side and stared at him, it was a long way down, he was pretty certain his old man could live through the fall but then again, anything could of happened.

"Just think of it as Auron giving back interest to the monster for that time." Dean suggested.

"Yeah we managed to survive. It was a much longer path down there and it was filled with fiends" Auron said.

"You guys coming or what?" Kari, Yuna, and I had our hands full of the reins of all the chocobos we had gotten to ride. "The lady said the first charge to ride chocobos is free!"

"We're riding those?" Tidus asked and hopped on as Dean did so.

"Well, you don't know how long this road goes on, so it's better to take the offer when we can." He said

Kari, Lulu, Yuna and I had gotten on our chocobos, since I had forgotten, I asked, "Where are we headed?"

"To Mushroom Rock." Yuna said.

"What's that?" Tidus asked and Wakka spoke. "You'll see, hah!" he said as the chocobo moved onward as Tidus followed on his own and Dean did so to. The girls followed on ours while Kimahri walked beside Yuna's. As we rode to Mushroom Rock, I couldn't help but wonder what was going to happen there and gripping, unaware of the dread that was to come.


Al Bhed Translation: Ah, my apologies (Rin)

Well, if it isn't Rin (Dean)

Story Ideas:

1) Kaleido Star Line - AUniverse - Seymour tells Lukya he is a magical being and makes her his apprentice to carry on his duties.

2) Fated Night - AU - Lukya is a Master in the Holy Calm War with her Servant, Caster whose Heroic Spirit is her departed half-brother, Seymour. When she finds love in another Master, she must choose the right path.

3) Just A Dream - AU/Songfic - Seymour is killed in battle and his spirit watches Lukya as she wishes everything that happened was just a dream.

4) The Little Guado - AU - Seymour and Lukya lost all their wealth and Seymour must work off, but when Lukya meets a mysterious girl, can she help the two regain their lost wealth?

A/N: Kari calling the group Team Besaid is based off of Kamina's Team Dai Gurren, thus giving her a Kamina side. While her calling Lukya Little Princess is a reference to the book, the Little Princess, which will be revealed later on.