With His Father's Sword

[04.02.00] » by Brickroad

Truce was a small, quiet city. The people of this small city, on the borders of the kingdom of Guardia, were peaceful and friendly. It was such a town where everyone knew each other and no one was discontented with their lot. A young girl lived in this tiny hamlet in 985, a young girl named Tanya Morray.

Tanya was 16, graduating with honors from Truce High. She was part of a huge circle of friends, and had many ambitions for her future. Her parents delighted in their daughter's accomplishments.

It was raining. Tanya hated the rain. She looked sadly out of her window at a weird group of people walking outside. It was almost funny to see how people decided to dress nowadays. But it wasn't these weirdos that made Tanya cry like she was. She had just gotten back from a doctor's appointment... the worst thing possible had happened. Tanya was pregnant.

She didn't understand it, really. It was just once- with Dariek, on their prom night. She wasn't even sure if she loved him, really. He was a tall boy, 18 years old, with long, flaring red hair and a sword that was constantly at his side. The thing that really bothered her was that, the one time she decided to do something irresponsible, the one time she did something without thought, she completely ruined her life.

Tanya looked out the window. Those three freaks outside had stopped in front of the house and were talking to each other. Actually, there were only two freaks. The first was a tall kid, probably 14 or 15, with crazy red hair and a sword by his side. His companion was a tall man with pale white skin and long white hair. He wore a long black cape and held a huge scythe. The girl, and the most normal-looking, was a girl who wore almost a gypsy like outfit, with her long blonde hair tied back in a ponytail and a crossbow at her side.

Many of the people in Guardia wore weapons, it was a sign of their heritage. Not everyone used them, they just carried them. Like Dariek...

Tanya didn't want to wait for her parents to come home. When they found out, they left to speak with Dariek's parents. She didn't want to face their accusing eyes when they returned. So she put on her overcoat and donned an umbrella. At times like these it was always best to be alone- to be alone with her thoughts.

As soon as she stepped out into the rain, the punk kid with the sword ducked from her gaze. He looked almost embarrassed. The girl with the ponytail stepped right in front of her. "Hi!" she said enthusiastically.

Tanya nodded a greeting in her direction, but didn't acknowledge the girl with words.

"Don't be shy, it's alright to say hello," said the girl again. Tanya spun around and looked at the girl. The punk kid peered at her from behind the long-haired man. "Hi," said Tanya. She resumed her journey to her little place behind the school. She didn't have time to deal with strange people.

It was nearly ten at night when Tanya returned home. Her parents were home, as she expected... and she dreaded their disappointed looks when she walked in.

Fortunately, there was something to soften the blow. Tanya's parents and their best friends, Taban and Lara Brosnan, were all sitting around the coffee table, laughing at a comedy on TV. Without a word, Tanya ascended the stairs to her room. As she went, she looked directly into her mother's eyes.

Tanya's room was always cluttered. She never bothered to clean it, really- by the time it was cleaned it was just cluttered up again anyway. Clothing, books, and drawings were piled on the desk and her bed was constantly unmade. Tanya was surprised to see Dariek sitting on her bed, though, looking at her. The constant sword was sitting next to him, his hair braided, as was his custom. He shook his head as Tanya walked in.

"Tanya..." he said, coming to his feet, "why didn't you tell me?"

Tanya shook her head. "How did you get in here?"

Dariek pointed to an open window, the white curtains blowing slightly towards the center of the room. "If my parents find you here, they'll..."

Tanya never got to finish that sentence. Dariek threw his arms around her and kissed her.

"Did you think I wouldn't care? Did you think I would leave you and... no. I want to take responsibility for this... if you have to go through this then so will I."

"Thanks Dariek..." said Tanya. "But my dad... he'll never hear of it. He... he hates you... he hates me. I'm not sure if this is the best thing."

Dariek shook his head. He walked back towards the bed and re-sheathed his sword. "Here," he said, placing some money on Tanya's dresser. "That is 400 GP... it isn't much, but I'll help any way I can."

Tanya examined the money. "400 GP..." she repeated. That was a lot of money for a kid who didn't have a job. "Dariek... I can't take this."

"You will, Tanya. I swear I'll do whatever I can to help you."

With that said, Dariek disappeared out of the window.

The next day, Tanya went downstairs to breakfast. What she saw was unbelievable! The three oddballs outside her house the day before were now at the table.

"Good morning, honey," said her mother, serving eggs to the kid with the red hair. "Your father got called into work early today. He won't be home until eight."

Tanya nodded and went into the kitchen for some juice.

When she returned, her mother was chatting with their guests. The girl with the ponytail was the most talkative, while the two guys sat very quietly, the red haired boy occasionally nodding or the pale man occasionally raising his icy stare to meet whomever was talking.

Tanya simply sat in her place. She didn't feel like talking to anyone right now. But from her mother's conversation she learned that these people were travelers, who would be staying with them for a little while. They would share the spare room next to Tanya's.

Right after breakfast, Tanya left to meet some friends by the schoolyard. It was Saturday, and she knew this would be one of her last opportunities to live her childhood. Her friends had not yet found out, and she knew that they would disown her once they knew.

That night, Tanya returned home late. Dariek was nowhere to be found. Everyone seemed to be asleep, so Tanya quietly fixed herself a sandwich, put on her nightgown and retreated to her room to read. The TV in the next room was loud, their house guests were watching some movie with lots of gunshots. It was hard for Tanya to concentrate, but eventually they shut the TV off and reverted to normal conversations.

"You think she's asleep?" ask the young girl. "I don't want her to overhear us."

"She shouldn't." said the boy. "If I know her at all, she probably came right home and went to sleep."

Know her? How could that kid know her? She had never seen him before in her life!

"Quiet, both of you," mumbled the old man with the scythe. "Don't forget our mission here. We have to preserve Queen Azalea's life, at all costs."

The girl sighed. "Yeah, you're right."

"Though I don't understand it," said the old pale man. "Ever since we got our little swordsman back from the dead, everyone's been wanting to raise dead loved ones. Let the dead rest, is always my motto..."

The redhead chuckled. "Yeah, yeah. You don't hear my whining about my dad do you? He died when my mom was still pregnant..." here the kid paused, realizing how loud he was talking. He brought his voice down a little. "Point is, I never met the guy."

Tanya was becoming frightened. Bringing people back from the dead? She wondered what kind of lives these people led!

"At any rate," began the girl again, "Mom is going to be killed tomorrow. The crossbow bolt that hits her is carrying that deadly poison that will eventually leak into her vital systems and... and... and we have to stop it from happening."

Tanya suddenly sat up, her book dropped to the ground. Who would want to kill Queen Azalea? She was such a nice woman, and she had a little daughter now... The next day, Tanya awoke to find Dariek standing outside. He walked up to her, looking very scared...

"Tanya..." he said. "From now on, everything will be alright. I got a job. After today, we can live peacefully, together..."

Tanya shook her head, confused. "Dariek... what are you talking about! I never said that..."

"I don't have time to talk. I have a job I have to do. If I do it right, I'll make a couple hundred thousand GP."

Tanya almost fainted. "A hundred thousand! Dariek! How did you..."

"I can't talk about it. I have to go."

Dariek looked around him and ran off, leaving Tanya bewildered in his wake. She looked at the ground, wondering what to do. Dariek had no skills except fighting. He wasn't even that good with his sword. How could he make a hundred thousand GP?

Suddenly it became clear. "Damn it!" yelled Tanya, running off after the father of her child.

Guardia castle was open to the public in 985. Not since Magus in the year 600 had there been an attempt on the life of the Guardian royalty. And now there were only a handful of people who knew Queen Azalea was in danger. Only a few people who could save her.

There was a banquet today- it was Princess Nadia's fourth birthday. Tanya simply looked around, and was surprised when an usher walked up to her.

"Miss? Were you invited by the king?"

Tanya looked at the man looming above her. "No, sir..."

The usher nodded. "Then you'll have to join the crowds up there, on the balcony level, please."

The usher pointed to a crowd of people standing above the banquet hall. Above her stood the three people she knew so little about- the three people who could save Queen Azalea's life. She scanned wildly from Dariek, but he was nowhere to be found.

"Miss?" said the usher, politely.

"Yes, I'm sorry." Tanya hurried up the stairs.

Once on the balcony, she saw Dariek, walking through a door to a restricted area of the castle. Tanya guessed it led to a higher portion of the balcony...

"Dariek!" she screamed, but he didn't acknowledge her.


Tanya ran after the three people- the ones who wanted to stop the assassination. They were on the balcony, talking... they knew the exact second the bolt would leave the crossbow. How? Tanya didn't care. She pleaded with them to follow her, that she knew where Dariek was...

Tanya led her companions to Dariek's lookout point on a balcony above the public one.

"There!" cried the girl with the ponytail. Dariek looked up at her, his red hair drooping over his face. The kid with the red hair drew his sword. "This is it! We're going to save Queen Azalea!"

Dariek stood up. "Who the hell are you!"

"Shut up!" shouted the girl with the ponytail. She loaded her crossbow. "You leave the queen alone!"

The girl took aim and Tanya looked at her in horror.

"No! Please! Don't kill Dariek, please! He's just trying to help, trying to help me, trying to earn money..."

"Dirty money is seldom spent on holy merchandise," quoted the man with the cape.

"No! Please... I have to take responsibility too... I'm pregnant... Dariek is the father... and he's just trying to help me."

The kid with the red hair was taken aback. The girl spun around. "What the... this man? The assassin?"

The kid shook his head. "No. No. I won't believe this."

Suddenly, Dariek spun around and took aim again. A second later a scream, a yell, a "Oh my God! Azalea!", a "Mommy! What happened!"

"Damn you!" screamed the kid with the sword. "How dare you! How dare you do this to Tanya, to Azalea, to me!"

He rushed Dariek, piercing through the man's shoulder with his sword. The force pushed Dariek over the side of the balcony, barely balancing. In a second, all eyes in the banquet hall were on the combatants.

"That sword... it is mine... how the hell..." said Dariek, delerious from the pain.

Tears were streaming down everyone's face, save that of the pale man. Crono Morray pulled his father's sword out of his father, Dariek Karporie, the man who killed Queen Azalea with a poisoned crossbow bolt. They had failed to save the queen. They had failed to save Marle's mother, but he had learned the truth of his father.

"Honey, your father was killed before you were born, and he left his sword to you." 15 years later, Tanya Morray would say these words to her son, Crono, the boy who killed his own father... the man who killed Azalea... the mother of Princess Nadia...

Dariek tumbled over the side of the balcony and was instantly proclaimed dead by some guards.

That night, it was raining. Tanya hated the rain. She knew that the people who tried to save the queen had left- had gone back to where they came from. She didn't understand yet, not yet, who they were, and she wasn't sure she wanted to know.

She looked at the only thing the Guardian knights let her keep- Dariek's sword, the beautiful sword that never left his side.

Tanya patted her belly. The life growing inside her... yes. Be it a son or a daughter, the child would inherit Dariek's sword. They would grow up, learning not to do what Dariek had done... to be chivalrous and pious... to be happy and sensible.

Maybe like the boy who tried so hard to save Queen Azalea, and was crying when he failed.

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