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[personal profile] caersidydd
Title: This Time Imperfect
Chapter: 3 - The Boy from Lidiera
Fandom: Legend of Dragoon
Genre: Action/Adventure
Word Count: 2,043
Rating: T - for violence also suggestive adult themes at some point maybe I think.
Disclaimer: Sony owns The Legend of Dragoon, however the majority of the characters which will arise in this story belong to me.
Summary: 2,362 years after the destruction of the Moon That Never Sets the world of Endiness is again in dire peril. The Dragoon Spirits awaken to offer their aid, but is it enough to save a dying world?


This Time Imperfect
Chapter 3: The Boy from Lidiera

“Hey. Hey, you okay?”

Something jabbed Richard hard in the side. The young monarch leaped up from a sound sleep into a battle ready crouch, his hand instinctively reaching for a weapon that was not there. His assailant yelped and skittered backwards out of the king's reach. Richard blinked away sleep and confusion and straightened to his full height while focusing on the man before him. The man was actually more boy than man, lanky, with sandy brown hair that fell to his shoulders in a dirty, unkempt tangle. He was also shorter than Richard by about a head or so, but that was unsurprising as most men were. He had an olivine complexion that was nevertheless sallow and sickly looking, but his eyes were bright and alive and the most startling shade of blue Richard had ever beheld. He wore garments similar to Richard's own, though more worn in places if that were even possible. Richard came to the conclusion that this boy too must be a prisoner, but the deposed monarch was quite certain the cell he had been graced with had been empty upon his first entering.

“Uh, hey there,” the boy intoned uncertainly. Richard nodded slowly his acknowledgment. “I was, uh, just checking to see if you were still alive. You’ve been asleep for a while. I was beginning to wonder if you’d ever wake up. I brought dinner!” He finished brightly and hurriedly picked up a tray from the floor near the door where he had retreated to. The tray was topped with some noxious looking concoction. Richard felt ill just looking at it.

“Really though,” the boy lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper, “I suggest you feed it to the rats and then eat those. They’re higher in protein and they sure as hell won’t kill you,” He walked the tray over to a low table in the corner that Richard had not previously noticed. He continued in a normal conversational tone. “Unless you get the plague, which, I’m told, you can’t actually get just from eating them, so I guess it’s okay.” The boy ended with a thoughtful look plastered over his face. He set the tray down and turned back to Richard with a smile.

“I suppose that makes you Duer,” Richard ventured once he was certain the boy was finished speaking.

“They told you about me!” The boy exclaimed as if this was the best news he had ever received. “Yeah, I’m Duer, and hey, thanks for getting thrown in here. I’ve never been allowed into this wing before. Believe it or not, it’s actually /really/ nice compared to the rest of the place. I’ve been here for /years/ so trust me ‘cuz I’d know. So, whatcha in for?”

The guard banged on the door from outside, “You got enough friends already, Duer! Git yer ass outta there!” The guard shouted, then added more quietly but still loud enough to be heard inside the cell. “That one's not gunna be around much longer anyway.”

Duer frowned and gave Richard a sympathetic look, “It's not so bad,” He said quietly. “Sometimes they forget to kill you. Like me for example. I was supposed to hang /years/ ago, but they forgot all about it. You seem like a nice guy. A little good behavior and you'll be fine.” With a reassuring smile and a thumbs up Duer scampered back to the door and knocked on it. The guard peeped in and opened the door for the boy. He looked back and waved, “See you tomo—hrk!”

The guard yanked Duer out by the collar and gave him a shake as he slammed the iron door shut, “Get outta here you moron! You got other work to do!”

“Okay, okay-I'm gone. Sheesh.”

Richard stared at the door for a moment. Strangely the boy’s words had been quite diverting. His feelings of amusement were fleeting however. Duer had no way of knowing exactly who he was or why he was here. They might have forgotten about the order of execution for the sickly brunet but no one was going to forget about the King of Sandora.

--

“Hey, Rat!”

The dirty haired prisoner Duer sighed a long suffering sigh and turned, a bright smile fixed on his face, “Someone call me?” The boy was suddenly surrounded by several guards and he gave a nervous laugh.

“Heard you were assigned to the prisoner up in the west tower,” One of the guards said conspiratorially. They all stared at him. Duer nodded slowly, not sure where they were going with this. Someone reached out and cuffed him on the back of the head.

“By Soa but you’re dense, Boy!”

Duer rubbed the back of his head, “What?” At this the guards all began laughing. Hard. Duer’s face grew red in embarrassment, among other things. “Can I go? I have to get back to the kitchens-“

The guards seized him and began walking him down an east corridor which did /not/ lead toward the kitchens. Duer struggled a little, but not much. He was perfectly aware of where they were taking him and he groaned internally.

“Do you have any idea who it is in that tower, Boy?”

“Well, yeah… A soldier right? Is it a general or something?”

The soldiers let out a loud bellow of laughter. Duer frowned.

“It’s okay you don’t recognize him. We wouldn’t expect you to,” Said one.

“It’s Richard,” Said another. “The so called ‘king’ of Sandora.”

Duer’s eyes widened in surprise and he looked between the men, “Really? Does that mean-“

“Yes!”

“It means the war against southern Serdio’s more or less over.”

Duer frowned, “So…why are you telling me?”

One of the guards nodded his head, “Even without their king it’s possible that Sandora’ll keep puttin’ up some resistance. Half their army escaped into the Topes mountains when they sounded their retreat and there are pocket resistances in the Villude mountain range.”

Duer understood, and rolled his eyes slightly, “Okay, I get it. You want me to play spy and find out some information that you guys can use to…what? Get promoted? Or something.”

“Don’t go getting lippy, Kid,” One soldier said, squeezing the back of Duer’s neck. The boy cringed. “Remember the only reason you’re even here today is cuz Eckard took a shining to you,” At this the men leered at Duer. The boy seemed to shrink a little under their eyes.

“So what do you say?”

Duer swallowed thickly and muttered, “Yeah…I’ll see what I can find out.”

--

“And that’s why I’m here,” Duer finished explaining to Richard in a low tone.

The young monarch was a little stunned at the boy’s honesty. He chuckled but the sound was sad. He pushed himself up from the edge of the cot and folded his hands behind his back, “I apologize, Duer. My presence here has put you into a strange and precarious position.”

Duer shrugged, “Not really. My position was already pretty pricky-us,” Richard’s brows quirked at Duer’s pronunciation. “So what should I tell them?”

Richard shook his head and turned to face Duer, “You may tell them that I know nothing of resistances in the mountains. There was a passage once through the mountains. In the beginning of the war my father had troops stationed there. A major battle was fought there but it never came to anything. There was an earthquake you see. It caused part of the mountain to crumble and collapse. The two sides were forced into a retreat and many were never heard from again. Any more than that I do not know I am afraid. I suppose you may tell your,” he paused, searching for the right word, “associates that there are troops stationed in the Villude mountain range, if that will benefit you at all, though if there are they certainly are not mine.” Richard thought for a moment and then smiled a smile of defeated contentment. “Tell them that the troops in the Villude mountain range will move east upon hearing of my capture and the escaped army will move south east to meet with them in Eastern Serdio to take back Fort Seles. I’m sure if they believe that it will keep them busy for a little while.”

“Why would they do that though?” Duer asked. Richard saw the apprehension in the boy’s face and knew he was concerned for the potential validity of these made up plans. It was his life in the balance after all.

“Whoever controls Fort Seles controls fifty percent of Serdio’s total farmland. Since the beginning of the war it has been taken, lost, and retaken numerous times by either side. Currently it is Serdian territory. Its capture could be seen as a last stand, it could be ransomed for my safe return.”

“Ooohh,” Duer nodded his head in a very sage like way.

“I assume your enthusiastic response means that your associates will be satisfied.”

“I sure as hell hope so,” the boy responded. He scratched at his dirty nose. “So uh… You’re the king.”

“I am,” Richard responded with a small nod of acquiescence.

Duer looked away, “I’m sorry for saying what I said. About them forgetting. I guess it wasn’t very much comfort considering who you are and all.”

Richard smiled magnanimously at the young man and Duer’s spirit seemed to lift, “Do not trouble yourself with such thoughts,” the young monarch said. “Your words were diverting, and for what it is worth I am glad to have been able to know you.”

“Aw don’ talk about yourself in the past tense like that already, your majesty.”

The deposed monarch bowed his head, still smiling. Duer watched the taller man with an expression of worry over his sallow features. He hoped he hadn’t offended the king. After a moment Richard looked up, curiosity etched into his gaze.

“May I ask where it is you are from, Duer?”

Duer scratched at the crown of his head, “Yeah, ya can I guess. I’m from Lidiera.”

Richard’s brows came together slightly in confused curiosity, “So far.”

“Yeah… It was a couple years ago when Serdio moved on the Sunset Islands. I guess there was a treaty because the Islands haven’t been attacked since. That’s what I heard anyway,” Duer shrugged. “And I mean if they have been at least no prisoners have been sent here.”

“I can tell you with certainty that Serdio has not moved against the Sunset Islands since that time,” Richard said, hoping his words would reassure Duer. “There /was/ a treaty, one which effectively cut Tiberoa, and through Tiberoa Sandora, off entirely from Mille Seseau,” He paused, uncertain as to how Duer would take what he had to say next. It was with a heavy heart that Richard continued, “The treaty gave control of the Sunset Islands to Serdio.”

“Oh,” Duer responded. The boy’s expression became distant and Richard knew that in his mind he was reliving the horror that had been the Sunset Island Massacre.

Duer shook himself out of his thoughts and nodded slightly to Richard, “I better get goin’. I’ll see you tomorrow uh, Your Majesty.”

Richard nodded in acknowledgement, “To-morrow. Thank you, Duer.”

Despite his obvious sorrow, the boy smiled before moving to the door, yesterday’s tray in his hands though the food upon it was untouched. He kicked at the door with his heel. “Oy!” he shouted out the window slat.

“Shut your face,” came the bellow in response from Richard’s guard. It sounded like the man was not directly in front of the door where he usually was, but somewhere down the hall. Duer’s smile became conspiratorial.

“There was a little ‘trouble’ down on the lift platform,” he informed Richard, his voice suddenly lighter in an attempt to forget and alleviate the moment. “Now watch. He’ll open the door, grab me by back a’the neck, and just drag me out. It’s pretty predictable how they a—ack!”

The door was opened with a screech of the bolt and sure enough Duer was grabbed and pulled bodily from Richard’s cell. Richard blinked several times as the cell door was once again bolted from the outside and the guard’s voice was hollering incomprehensibly at Duer.

Unable to help himself, Richard laughed.

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