It was early in the morning the sun sitting just above the buildings of Sienne when Ike got up out of bed. As Ike packed for his trip he thought about what he was going to be doing. Today he along with a few of the Mercenaries and four Adepts were going to be heading towards Crimea. Ike was going to Weyard a place he had searched for along with Felix for three years. True they had more been searching for a way to get Felix back up to Weyard. But now the world Felix called home had landed back down in the seas.
However after all these years the Venus Adept would not be returning to his home. Instead he would be staying on Tellius to protect Ike's homeland from the invading Tuaparang. Ike felt like he was cheating his friend out of returning home. Felix though had volunteered to stay behind on Tellius to help with the war efforts. The Tuaparang had powerful Umbra Adepts that could summon black shadow creatures. Tellius magic alone wouldn't be enough to stop the powers of Dark Psynergy.
Yesterday when Soren picked the team to go to Tellius Ike could have sworn that Soren hated him at that moment. Ike was hoping to use the time on Weyard to sort his feelings for Lethe out. It was going to be much harder with her accompanying them. Not only was she going to be on the ship with them now they were going to be escorting Elincia home and Lethe still thought Ike had feelings for her. He couldn't ignore Elincia the entire time they were going to be together but he couldn't upset Lethe who he would soon be stuck on a boat with. Angry Cat laguz on a boat was not Ike's idea of a good time.
Once Ike had finished packing he strapped Ragnell to his back and headed out. Perk of being a recognized hero was Ike could wear a sword anywhere he wanted. It would be a few hours before they were to leave. He doubted that many of those leaving were even up at the moment. From the tales of his friends Ike came to understand that Matthew wasn't the easiest person in the world to wake and enjoyed his sleep. Strolling through the silent corridors Ike looked around to see if anyone was up from him to talk with.
A door behind Ike close shut with a quiet click. Ike turned around to see Felix. No longer dressed in all white the Venus Adept had adopted a brown and dark green set of clothing.
"Ike I was hoping it was you walking around out here." Felix said. "I have a favour to ask of you."
Preempting Felix's request Ike spoke up. "I'll watch over him Felix. From the sounds of his adventures though he might be the one protecting me on Weyard."
"He's a teenager though Ike and can make mistakes. The Gods know that I made a few at his age. He's seventeen years old with a girlfriend and he's trying to save the world. If you can give him the chance to be a normal kid as much as possible."
"I'll try Felix. But until we find one of the other Warriors of Vale he'll have to be the group's leader. The other Adepts already defer to him."
"Thanks Ike. Guess I can't really ask for more. Can't help but worry over my only nephew though."
Ike chuckled. "Don't worry about it Felix. I do the same with Mist. Which speaking of her will you look after her to?"
Felix laughed. "Of course Ike. I used to worry about Jenna and I still do but after she set me on fire a few times I started worrying about me."
"So what's your home like?" Ike questioned. "You've told me the history of it and what you've done but not about the world itself or the people."
"Well there were two big seas the Eastern and Western. With Alchemy unleashed I don't know if there is a passage between the two anymore. Weyard was still changing when I fell off of it who knows what's happened in the three years I've been gone. The people are varied way more than the beorc here on Tellius. There are of course the Beastmen the closest thing we have to laguz. Relations with them and other countries were iffy at best. You'll find out more when you get there. Just know that Adepts are few and far between." Felix told Ike.
"Guess I didn't exactly explain Tellius before we came here. Only fair you leave me in the dark." Ike responded.
A few doors clicked open as more people in the hall woke up. A few of them where just members of the palace staff getting ready to go about their normal day. Two of them were members of the group. Geoffrey and Shinion both had gotten out of bed the same time. The two walked by Ike and Felix without so much as a hello.
"What did you do to piss that guy off so much?" Felix asked talking about Geoffrey.
"I wish I knew." Ike said honestly with a shrug. "He's been that way with me for as long as I can remember. He was always nice enough when we fought together but off the field he seemed to have a bone to pick with me."
"Men" a passing green haired Adept said.
"Wait Karis what do you mean?" Felix asked.
"Ike is a hero on Tellius. Elincia is a Queen that while she tells him to drop formalities calls him Sir Ike. I trust you can figure the rest out now?" Karis answered. "Now if you'll excuse me I woke up early for this. I have some payback to give Tyrell"
"How is that Ivan's daughter? Who is her mother?" Felix asked himself. "So wait you think that Geoffrey is jealous of you Ike?"
"YES!" Karis shouted from down the hall. "Now take this Tyrell!"
"But Lucia told me that Elincia is in love with Geoffrey." Ike said. "That was after the Mad King's War though. Think her heart has moved on?"
"OUCH!" came a shout from down the hall.
Karis walked by a smile on her face. The door to Matthew and Tyrell's room was still open. Felix and Ike ran over to the room to see what the vengeful Jupiter Adept had done to Tyrell. The fiery youth was sitting up in his bed his hair sticking even more straight up into the air than normal. Small metallic objects were stuck to him as he gave off electrical charges. Matthew stirred in his bed and sat up.
"Oh yeah Tyrell I forgot to tell you. Sveta taught Karis the Ray Psynergies in exchange for learning the Plasmas." Matthew said groggily rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.
"Next time a little more warning Matthew" Tyrell said before passing out.
"Alright Matthew since you're awake you might as well start packing." Felix said. "You're going to be leaving in an hour or so anyway."
"Alright Uncle Felix." Matthew got up and started rummaging around for his belongings.
The older men left the young teen to his work. No one was worried about Tyrell. Both Felix and Matthew had taken worse from their respective Jupiter Adept friends. Felix still had a few nightmares of Sheba controlling lightning.
"Well Ike if you don't mind I'll see you later. Got to see if Mia's going to make me spar with her today before we send you guys off." Felix said waving bye to the Vanguard. "You really should have warned me about her."
Ike chuckled. If he had remembered Mia's crazed need to find her white clad rival he would have let Felix know. Now though he wasn't sure if that was true. It was kind of funny how much Felix complained about having to fight her yet he always seemed more than willing to test her strength.
Ike finally continued down the hall he had started walking. The sun was higher in the sky and he could hear the sounds of the palace life bustling about. Servants would be making sure that the white halls were spick and span with no trace of dirt to be found. This task was certainly made harder by the sweating soldiers who tracked in dirt and dust from their training sessions.
Felix had been right when he told Matthew they had about an hour before they would be sent off. There was going to be a small banquet for them before they headed out as was custom for visiting royalty. But once breakfast was done everyone would grab their packs and they would set out for home or in the case of the Weyard bound group, Crimea. It was going to be an interesting meal to say the least with so many familiar faces gathered together. Ike only hoped that he would be able to survive it. Tension between a few members of the party could easily turn it sour.
Ike checked on his friends that slept near his room making sure that they were indeed up and getting ready to leave. Boyd had been in the middle of getting ready clothes spewing out of his pack. It looked like a volcano was erupting and he was trying to put a lid on it. Gatrie and Rhys had both been awake and ready when Ike knocked on their doors. Rief was wide awake his nose in a book with what Ike had come to understand as healing symbols on it. Eoleo wasn't awake but his pack was next to his bed filled to the brim. Nasir and Janaff he left alone figuring that their Kings would be sure to have them ready if they weren't already. Ike just plain wasn't worried about Soren being ready.
After he was done checking on the guys to see if they were ready he walked over to the women's living quarters and asked the maid to see if Lethe and Lucia were ready. Ike, unlike Tyrell, did not want to take any chances of catching the women in a bad mood as they woke up.
A still groggy Matthew waved hi to Ike as he passed by and wondered into the hallway leading to his girlfriend's room. Ike didn't doubt that if he walked into the women's quarter gossip would spread like wildfire. He was single and didn't have girlfriend as an excuse to walk into that hall. The women in the palace Ike had found out were the best at making up stories. After that one time he went to wake Mist, who had a room next to Aimee, Ike swore he would never set foot in the women's quarters again.
Instead of the maid coming back and letting him know Lucia and Lethe both walked out. Ike was on good enough terms with Lucia that he got a hello and she told him she was indeed ready to depart back to Crimea after the banquet. Lethe however simply stood there waiting for Lucia to finish her conversation with Ike. The awkwardness of the situation was great. It was so great in fact that even Lucia felt awkward standing there with Ike and Lethe.
After the two girls left Ike had nothing to do. He couldn't train because by the time he made it to the training grounds and got ready it'd be time to head back to the dining hall. Everyone was getting ready and would really want Ike around as they decided what they'd need. That only left those who were awake and ready. Of those not a one was Ike good friends with or they hated him. It left the Vanguard annoyed. He needed to kill about fifteen minutes and nothing was presenting itself. Ike would literally take Djinn induced chaos right now or even Yune induced chaos.
"Hey Ike" Mist's voice came from beside him. "What's that look for exactly?"
Ike hadn't realized it but he was wearing a very concerned look. "What look Mist?"
"The one you were just wearing that was all serious and full of thought."
"I was just thinking about how to kill fifteen minutes is all."
"Well you can do that walking with me." Mist said wrapping her arm around her brothers and pulled him down a random hallway.
A silence sat over the two siblings for a while. Mist still attached to Ike was content just to spend time with her brother before he would once again be leaving.
"Ike I know why Soren picked the people he did but why wasn't I chosen instead of Rhys? I haven't seen you in three years and here you are leaving again. I know where you're going this time and why but it still makes me sad that you're going." Mist told him her voice betraying the tears she refused to let fall.
Ike stopped walking and turned Mist to face him. "It'll be alright Mist." He assured his little sister. "I'll be fine. I'm not going to Weyard alone after all. You've seen how powerful the Adepts are and remember we'll have others even stronger than they are with us. Besides do you really think Rhys is going to let anything happen to me with him around?"
"I know" Mist said wiping away a tear that had gotten loose. "I'd just feel better knowing that if anything happened to you I was there to help."
"You need to stay here and look after the rest of our family. The Mercenaries need a healer and that's why Soren left you behind. With your sword and horse you're more versatile than Rhys."
Mist hugged Ike and spoke into his chest. "Just come back."
Hugging his sister back Ike assured her that he would. The siblings then proceeded to walk around talking about what they had done here in Sienne while they helped Sanaki during the Mad King's War. Each remembered things in vastly different ways. Mist remembered the pain of the people and the beauty of the surrounding area. Ike remembered the fighting and the feeling of accomplishment when he completed a mission for the Empress.
"Well it looks like we should be getting to the dining hall." Mist said as she observed Queen Elincia being accompanied by servants. The Queen of Crimea was politely trying to tell the servants to leave her alone and that she could get to the dining room on her own.
"Shall we rescue a Queen this time Ike?" Mist giggled rushing over to Elincia's aid.
"I expect a huge reward this time." Ike shouted as he ran after Mist.
Once they reached Elincia Mist kindly ordered them to leave telling them that they would escort her to the dining room. The servants bowed and rushed away to go about other duties that needed doing. Ike wondered how much work they actually did around the palace with so many of them.
"Thank you Mist." Elincia said to the girl. "They seem to think that I can't do anything by myself. I wonder if Micaiah and Sothe have the same problems?"
"They probably have more. After all they are related to Sanaki. No doubt the Holy Guard is escorting them. What I'd like to see is them try that with Skrimir and Tibarn." Mist said.
"Can you imagine them trying to wait on Skrimir and Tibarn? I think they'd be too afraid to anger them and would leave the second they got the chance." Ike added
As the three friends rounded the corner they almost walked right into Geoffrey and Lucia. The blue haired siblings said there hellos to Ike and Mist and bowed to their Queen.
"Queen Elincia pardon my tardiness but other matters kept me away." Geoffrey asked his queen. "I should have been outside your door ready to walk you to the dining hall."
"You were just a little too late Geoffrey." Mist smiled as she informed him. "Me and Ike already got rid of all the servants hovering around Elincia."
"It's alright Geoffrey you don't need to be with me constantly. I'm safer here than back in Crimea anyway. Tellius' strongest warriors are gathered here in the palace." Elincia told her General as she motioned to both Ike and Mist. "The only thing I have to worry about is too many servants crowding me."
"Come on everyone or we're going to be late." Lucia informed the small group. "You may not care for formalities as much as other nobles Queen Elincia but Sienne is certainly going to notice if Crimea's Queen is late to a banquet thrown in her honor."
"Then we best walk quickly." Elincia said leading the group through the hallways.
Geoffrey was right on her heels seemingly ready to assault any threat to his queen that may appear. Lucia was on the right side of Elincia conversing with the Queen. This left Ike and Mist to trail behind them and wonder if they were even noticed anymore.
They met up with Micaiah and Sothe. Like Mist had thought members of Begnion's Holy Guard were walking behind the King and Queen of Daein. Ike still couldn't get over how young Micaiah looked and know that she was older than her husband. It was actually slightly creepy the age difference between the two. Strike that, it was really creepy how much older Micaiah was compared to Sothe.
Seeing as how they now had The Hero of Tellius' protection the Holy Guard had no problems leaving the royal couple alone. As they walked away Ike could hear comments about how Sothe was a cradle robber. If only they knew the truth.
Their cluster of people grew steadily as a few of the Mercenaries joined up with them. Mia and Felix were soon walking with the group along with a majority of the Adepts. It was as if everyone had decided to come to the dining hall at the exact same time.
Seeing the enormous group walking towards the set of double doors two servants scrambled to open them. A few in the group muttered their thanks to the servants as they walked by. The two that had to shock them the most though was when both Elincia and Micaiah thanked them.
Everyone situated themselves somewhere at the long table. The royal families and retainers were seated closest to the head of the table where Sanaki sat. As if sensing the presence of everyone seated the Apostle walked gracefully and with power to her seat and then the food was brought out.
At first everything went normal. People next to each other talked about the little things in life. Ike was talking with Soren when he noticed the first signs of trouble.
"Ack no! Furrow put the slice of ham down. That's Boyd's food. If you're hungry then come over here." Matthew scolded the Venus Djinn.
Rather than listen to its owner the Djinn engulfed the entire slice, which had to be twice the size of its mouth, in one giant bite.
"Geode no!" Himi shouted at another Venus Djinn. This one was trying to wiggle onto Mist's lap.
All over the table Djinn could be found trying to get the attention of people or stealing food from plates. It seemed that the Adepts had not been giving the elementals enough attention. Mercury Djinn were drawn to both Lucia and Geoffrey. They figured it must have been the light blue hair that matched Rief and Amiti's.
"What manner of creatures are these?" Geoffrey asked "No scram little creature."
Geoffrey not knowing the power of Djinn smack one away from his plate as it tried to investigate what was there. The Mercury Djinn, Pincer, was not happy about being attacked. Every Adept in the room shouted at Geoffrey to move but they were too late. A torrent of water flew from the Djinn's maw and right into Geoffrey's chest. His attacker out of the way Pincer hopped onto Geoffrey's plate found nothing of interest and plopped himself in the open area next to Lucia's plate.
Ike tried his best but he couldn't hold it in. The Vanguard burst into laughter along with a few others such as Skrimir and Tibarn at the sight of Crimea's General being bested by a small creature that could stand in the palm of your hand.
"I'm terribly sorry about Pincer's behavior." Amiti said as he went over to help Geoffrey off the floor. "I don't know what has gotten into him."
Geoffrey waved the Prince of Ayuthay off and stood up on his own. Amiti apologized once again before returning to his seat. Geoffrey propped his chair back up and took his seat next to his sister. The Silver Knight glared at the Mercury Djinn who completely ignored him. Both Elincia and Lucia were stifling giggles as he stared at the Djinn.
Once the Djinn found themselves a home with someone everything settled down. The Bird Tribe members found themselves with a Jupiter Djinn sitting atop each wing. Both Reyson and Leanne looked at peace with the elementals while Tibarn just looked funny with them on his wings. Questions about the elementals came from the people who had never seen them. Everyone helped in the explanation about what Djinn were and how they were used to help Adepts fight. It was also explained that they angered easily and tend to fight back when provoked.
"I am glad then that I do not have to put up with them anymore after this." Geoffrey said still drenched from Pincer's attack.
"I don't know Geoffrey they're cute if you don't anger them." Elincia said with a laugh as she fed a Venus Djinn sitting in her lap.
"Hey you want that one Elincia?" Matthew asked "You can keep Pewter he's nothing but a big mouth with an ego problem."
"If it wasn't for me and my genius you guys would still be wandering around the forest looking for Tret and Laurel." Pewter spat at Matthew.
"We would have figured it out sooner or later you annoying little Djinn!" Matthew yelled back.
As Djinn and Adept argued Ike had to ask, "How do they work together?"
"They don't. Pewter is my Djinn." Himi answered. "As you can see Matthew and Pewter have problems. So when I joined the group he was given to me."
"So what problems do they have exactly?" Mist asked
By this point Pewter had gotten out of Elincia's lap, which was soon occupied by another Djinn, and was bouncing in front of Matthew with rage.
"Rime seal Pewter will you please?" Rief asked his Djinn that had stayed with him. "We don't need vines growing out of the stonework. Once you're done just change back."
The Mercury Djinn glowed and released his powers on Pewter. Rime wasn't a gem for long as he changed right back into his elemental form. Rief thanked the Djinn and let him eat right off his plate no problems.
"Pewter kept insulting Matthew telling him he was a horrid leader and was going to get us lost as we ran around the underground of Belinsk Castle." Sveta answered Mist's question. "He got quite graphic with the demise Matthew would lead us to. Ever since the two have been at each other's throats."
"It makes sense that an Adept wouldn't get along with at least one Djinn." Soren reasoned. "From what I've seen of them they each have a different personality and it was only a matter of time before you found one you wouldn't get along with."
"You have no idea about not getting along with a Djinn." Felix told them with a worried look on his face. "I forget which of Sheba's Djinn it was but it would zap me whenever I wasn't looking. For years I had to constantly look over my shoulder to see if it was there going to zap me again. Nothing makes you more paranoid than an angry Djinn."
"When were you with Sheba for years?" Karis asked leaning forward. "From what dad told me you guys had lit the last two lighthouses only seven months after Venus."
"Uh well we traveled together for a while seeing the sights as Weyard changed. Sheba has the Teleport Lapis after all. She needs to be able to visualize where she wants to go and so we traveled seeing the 'important' places." Felix explained a slight blush on his face as he was reminded of what exactly he and Sheba did on that little adventure.
"From the looks on your face you didn't just explore Weyard." Mia said poking her elbow into Felix's side. "Good to know that you're well-traveled."
Felix went red and Karis' eyes went wide as she figured out what Mia meant. "If you guys were together years then how come Matthew doesn't have any cousins?"
"I will not be questioned about my sex life at the breakfast table." Felix whispered loudly pounding the table with his fist. "If you must know Venus Adepts have a slight control over life forces that helps prevent such things. Why do you think Matthew is only seventeen if his parents have been married for almost thirty years?"
Himi nodded her head as Felix revealed one of the secret arts of Venus Psynergy. Mia much to Felix's dismay had a smirk on her face. It spelled out to every woman that Felix had a good chance with Mia and it just confused every guy as to why Mia was smiling about a conversation of sex.
The rest of breakfast went without incident. No more Djinn were angered, save Pewter. No more people were knocked out of their chairs nor was Felix questioned more about his sex life with Sheba or any other girl for that matter. It was somehow made clear that Sheba wasn't his last. You could blame the questioning powers of the female mind.
Everyone stood on the outskirts of Sienne. It was finally time for the royal families to head back to their countries and for the Weyard bound group to head to Crimea. Everyone had already said their good-byes and were ready to head on out.
It was agreed that Felix would accompany Micaiah and Sothe back to Daein, Amiti would head to Crimea, Himi would go with the Beast Tribe to Gallia, while Karis and Tyrell would act as Begnion's Adepts. Karis made sure to explain that since Tyrell was guarding a forest that someone would need to stay behind and keep an eye on him. Even Ike could tell there was more behind her reasoning.
Hefting his bag onto his shoulder Ike turned to Mist and gave her one last good-bye hug before he walked over to stand with the rest of those heading towards Crimea. As if every god in the universe hated him Ike's group had the addition of Aimee and the merchants. In the Daein bound group you could see Felix giving a silent thank you to every god in the universe for not having to deal with Aimee.
"You ready Your Majesty?" Geoffrey asked from atop a Begnion borrowed horse. "Everyone is here ready to leave when you are."
"Then let's be on our way Geoffrey." Elincia said from her seat in a carriage.
It was customary for ruling bodies to ride in carriages when traversing the country. It lasted about five minutes once they could no longer see the buildings of Sienne. When they were far enough away Elincia hopped out of the carriage in a riding skirt. Lucia handed her the reins to a horse and helped the queen onto its back.
"It is good to see that Elincia hasn't changed one bit." Ike said to Lucia.
"Our Queen has stayed the same ever since we came back from the Tower of Guidance. She became a strong person after such ordeals. You can see it in her ruling now even. No longer does she let the nobles walk over her but she kindly keeps them in line." Lucia told Ike with pride in her voice.
"Lucia I've been meaning to ask you. Are Geoffrey and Elincia together? Last I knew they both had feelings for each other, or so you told me."
"Geoffrey no longer holds the Queen's attention Ike. Are you hoping that you might get a chance with Her Majesty now that you are a world renown hero?"
"No I have enough relationship problems I don't need to add to them. But now it makes sense why Geoffrey has been extra distant when talking with me."
"Yes. My younger brother fears that Elincia's heart now belongs to you. Be careful around him Ike. When he asked Elincia for permission to court her and she turned him down it shattered his heart. He still loves her though and pines for her." Lucia warned.
"I'll be sure that I don't do anything to specifically upset him Lucia." Ike assured her.
"Thank you Ike. He is my brother after all I can't help but worry about him."
Ike chuckled as he had said the same thing about Mist to Felix earlier that very day. "I understand completely Lucia."