Here we go again. I think I've just been on a Suikoden kick lately. Oh, well. The series is awesome. This is a story about two characters I think are very overlooked from Suikoden II. Then again, with a game with over a 100 characters, that's easy to do. So here is my take on a post game meeting between Teresa and Shin. I hope you guys like it. Enjoy!
I Came Back For You
'Such a never-ending sea of work…'
Teresa Wisemail, the elected head of Dunan, sat in her office, looking over what seemed like an endless stack of papers. As she combed through them, she found that they were mostly mindless forms that had no point or meaning other than to drag her day on longer. After another half hour, she sighed in frustration and weariness. She propped her head up by putting her hand under chin and looked out of the window, a faraway look in her eyes as she scanned over capital city of Muse.
Muse had been the central of movement of the unified kingdoms ever since the war ended and it was a good thing. There was a lot of calm and stability and more than she could ask for. After staring out of the window for a while, Teresa put her weariness of the papers aside.
'If this is the cost of peace,' she thought. 'Then it's more than worth it.'
She looked back down at the papers. She became disheartened again.
"But a break wouldn't hurt."
Teresa walked around the city of Muse, accompanied by armored guards who were there for protection. Teresa was in the position of leadership after Shu made the decision to walk away and left her in charge. The position also left her the target of many threats and possible assassination attempts. Though there were many in place to take her position should anything happen to her, Teresa had become the heart of the Unification even before Shu left. Her caring and willingness to give of herself touched all of the people in Dunan, making her beloved public figure.
Of course, the peace that she and others fought so hard for, was not without its enemies. Some of which, wanted to destroy that peace now.
As she walked along, in the shadows of the Muse streets, sat an assassin, who had her throat in clear view. He was just one of many who hated the idea of peace and was in love with thought of anarchy and war. Teresa walked with four guards; to this assassin, they were merely challenges, easily removed so he could claim his prize. The company of Muse guards and their leader came to open area where the assailant had decided to make his move.
He rushed at the guards, quickly shoving one of them hard into another. It was all happening so fast that Teresa hardly knew what to do. By the time she turned around, her other two guards were unconscious with one of them thrown yards away from where he was just standing. She looked down to the see a masked figure advancing toward her.
"DOWN WITH THE UNIFICATION!" He screamed with his blade ready to strike. "DEATH TO THE REPUBLIC!"
Teresa just stumbled back as the assassin rushed at her. He came within a foot of accomplishing his goal when he was suddenly sliced in the gut. He grabbed at his wound and stumbled back and turned to see the person responsible for his impending death, only to have the same person run him through the chest with the blade.
"You will never harm her again." The cold, determined voice was the last thing the assassin heard before he succumbed.
After she was sure he was dead, Teresa stood up and, while still shaking, managed to find words of thanks. "Th-thank you, whoever you…" Suddenly, the sword her hero was carrying looked very familiar. "Wait…"
The blade was common but it was the hilt that was different. The hilt was adorned with a silver spider with red eyes. It was then that she recognized the attire of her savior; orange for the most part with yellow cloth on his wrists and on the bottom portion of his legs with the same yellow cloth used for a turbine; at his waist, turquoise and maroon bands; on his back, the blue imprint of an artfully done spider. And a yellow turban on his head.
Only one man Teresa knew wore attire like this. And, if this was who she thought it was, it would be an even bigger surprise than the attempt on her life. "S-Shin?"
The man turned around, confirming his identity as the man who had always protected her. He got on one knee and bowed his head. "Hello, Lady Teresa."
Much later, Teresa was back in her office with Shin standing by door. As the new Dunan Republic head put away various papers, she took of note of her former bodyguard's posture. His hands were clasped behind his back while he stood guard, watching over her as he always did.
"You don't have to do that." Teresa was trying to get him to relax a little. "I'm sure there aren't going to be any more attempts on my life today. Plus, there are plenty of guards outside. Have a seat, Shin."
"Very well." Shin sat down, as comfortable as he could possibly be. Still stoic and looked ready strike in case anyone tried to attack Teresa.
Teresa watched him for a few seconds; he was looking out the window over the city. This was the first time she had watched him gaze. Shin was usually on lookout, not merely staring at a landscape. This time was far more different than any time before, she could see that in his eyes. "Are you alright?"
Shin slowly looked back at her. "Just admiring the progress you've made, Lady Teresa."
"Not just my progress. All I did was take over for all of the effort we all put forth."
"And I'm sure that was not easy."
Teresa could not lie. "No… no, it wasn't." She sighed. "With all the regime changes, new nobles and royals, deciding which borders go where, what land belonged to who." She took a deep breath. "You think that would be easy since all of those lines have been in place forever but… well, our allies were content to stay where they were but new Muse officials and Highlands new regime…" She sighed again. All of that had been quite the difficult process. It lasted 10 straight days and nights. "Anyway, it wasn't easy but it was worth it."
"Once I heard that Master Shu had vacated his position and left it to you, I knew that Dunan was in good hands." He actually sounded a little sad.
Teresa blinked in surprise. She had never heard Shin compliment her like that. "Th-thank you, Shin." Then, the burning question came to her. "Shin, I don't mean to be rude but… but I must know: why did you come back?"
Shin looked at her then out of the window. He knew the answer, he just was not sure he should say it.
His silence, however, Teresa took as offense. "I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Your reasons are your own."
"No… no, that's not it. It's a good question, I just…" He remained silent for several minutes.
"Do you remember… when I told you about Rikouy?"
"The town in the Grasslands. Yes, I remember."
"I went back there after the war was over. I thought maybe my time for fighting was done." He looked back outside, "I thought I could finally walk away."
"Did something happen?"
"I suppose that is the simplest way to put it." He looked back at her but then his eyes fell to the ground. "There… there were these bandits."
She sat down. "Alright."
Shin was actually breathing hard. This was the first that he had ever seemed at losing his nerve. His cold exterior was broken for the first time that Teresa had ever seen. "I fought. I kept fighting. They came back for days and days. Only I and one other warrior in the town kept up the attack. Eventually… he was killed."
"Shin, I'm sorry."
"He left me to defend the town and I did until the bandits were either dead or retreated."
Teresa was astonished. "Impressive. You saved that town."
"Yes. I did." He did not seem any happier.
It was always hard to gauge Shin happy. In all honesty, Teresa had never really seen it before. She saw him smirk once but that was all. Yet, she could tell that he was not happy. She knew him well enough to know that. If anything, he seemed sorrowful. A feeling that Teresa had no idea he could convey. Or that she could notice on him. "But… you won. Why are you so sad?"
"The man's name was Ile. He was an elderly man but by no means an easy target. He was as dangerous anyone I have ever come across. A very capable fighter. He had a woman he told me about that he was deeply in love with but would never tell her. That his ways were that of the sword… and there was no changing it. He said you never leave this life, you just find something else to fight for."
"That must've been hard for you to hear."
Shin sighed and sat back. "I made me think: is that all there is to life? Unable to tear yourself away from the battlefield? Even when you can… even when the opportunity presents itself, you're not able to do so? Such questions never plagued me before."
This was definitely a different Shin than Teresa was used to. Like he said, such questions concerning him had never come up before. The golden haired leader knew how dedicated Shin was to his art of combat and, for him to question it, the experience he had been through must have hit close to home.
"I was raised on the sword. Learned my ways in it and around it. I always imagined that I would die by it. I never thought that I'd envision a different kind of life. But… after meeting him…"
"You imagined that things could be different."
That was a first for both for of them. Teresa had never been able to preempt Shin's words. For one, he never talked enough for her to do so and, even when he did talk, the warrior's words were sporadic and brief.
Shin moved in his chair. "But… that wasn't the end of the story."
The soft spoken warrior nodded. "After the bandits were defeated, I went to see Ile's love, Serene. She explained to me that she was not sad about how Ile died, only that he was gone. I was going to tell her about Ile really felt but…" He scoffed. "Turns out she had always known. She just never said anything. She was content with him, she loved him, where he said back or not."
Teresa shrugged. "Some men and women just have that understanding."
Shin sighed. "The only way he could show his love: he died protecting her. At least, that is how she explained it to me. Said she was proud of him."
"I know how she feels."
"Of course. He was a hero." Teresa leaned on her hands and smiled. "Just like you."
Shin was surprised and, for the first time since Teresa has know him, his face actually gave it away. "R-really? Hero? Me?"
"Of course. How many times have you saved my life? Counting today." On that question, neither of them had an answer; they had both lost count.
"Still… I don't think that I could ever fully leave my sword behind."
"Who's asking you to? Who would ask you to?"
He looked at her, quizzically.
"Serene never asked Ile because she knew that was his life. It was what he did, who he was. When I said 'I understand,' I was referring to how she felt about him."
"But that's all he had was his sword. He would not even allow himself to do anything else."
"Then have a better life than his. Appreciate more than the sword you hold. And, if you care about someone, tell them."
"I am. I will."
Teresa then became curious. "What do you mean you will?"
"I had already considered everything you said before coming. It's why I am here."
Teresa was still a little confused.
Shin stood up, "Ile knew who I was when we met. Said he heard all about the war and knew of me from various tales of other places I'd been. He told me that to only live for the sword when you have something else is foolish. He told me he was too old to change but I was not."
Teresa found that her voice was caught in her throat as Shin walked up to her. Shin took her hand and guided her to stand up, an action that was powerless to resist, not that she would have had she been able to.
"Ile told me… that the sword is not the only option. That life outside of it, even in conjunction with it, is… if you have something worth leaving it for… or worth putting to use to protect."
"Lady Teresa… I didn't come back because Ile's death affected me because I saw myself. I came back because Ile made me realize I didn't have you."
Teresa was speechless.
"I came…" He took a sharp breath. "I came back… for you… Teresa… if you'll allow me… to be by your side again."
The Dunan leader almost missed that Shin called her "Teresa" without the honorific of "Lady" before it. It was another first. Shin had come back. Not just to be her bodyguard, not just to protect her, but for her. That was what mattered to Teresa the most. There were probably a dozen of people in the world who could protect her, for the right price and were probably even more skilled than Shin, though that was a small number. But he came back for her.
That made all the difference. That was the only thing that mattered.
"I…" Teresa began, "I never wanted to leave… in the first place. You're always welcome here." She took hold of his hands and Shin actually tensed up. "But not in service. Just… stay with me… please?"
Shin slowly nodded. "As you wish… Teresa."
She then threw her arms around his neck and hugged him, tears forming in her eyes. She didn't expect him to hug her back until, slowly but surely, his arms wrapped around her waist and pulled her in tighter.
She didn't say I love you. He didn't say it, either. Neither of them had to. It was a mutual understanding between the two of them. Teresa never expected that Shin would be poetic or dramatic about his feelings; that would be the opposite of who Shin is. This was all that mattered to her anyway: he came back. He was holding her this close and he came back… just for her.
There you have it! I hope you guys liked it! I didn't want to make it too dramatic with the last part. I mean, if anyone of you have played the game (which I'll assume you have, if not, go to . to see what the characters are like), then you know Shin is not the most expressive guy. I definitely took a lot of creative license in this story with him. Anyway, please review! I love to hear from you guys!