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Severance, a fan fiction story written by K'Author for the Suikoden series

November 29, 2015

Another day and another round of Suikoden fan fiction for what has to be one of the best RPG games ever created. Otherwise, there wouldn't be so much love, literature, and fans for it now would there? This time it is a story written by K'Author, and was originally created for Red Mage Jerry as a part of the 2006 SuikoSanta Exchange.

Sounds like it's just in time for Christmas eh? Even though it's running a few years late to this blog in particular. This is one of multiple posts that were made at this year's Suikoden Day, an even where many fans of the famous rpg series gather to not only discuss it, but also share each others fan material whether it be cosplay, artwork, music, and whatever else you can dream up.

Yeah, and these folks can do a lot of dreaming mind you, like this piece below. Comment on what you think and then check out the links at the bottom for more of where that came from.


A/N: Written for Red Mage Jerry as part of the 2006 Suikosanta Exchange

 

Severance

By

K’Arthur

 

In Solis 451

 

The strangest thing about the makeshift family was that it actually worked. There had been some awkwardness at first, but after only a few weeks the entire arrangement felt completely natural. Two children, both orphaned with nowhere to go, and a man who had walked away from his life as one who orchestrated bloodshed and death.

Between the three of them, the winged horses that brought dark dreams never spent a night in the stables.

They never spoke of the unpleasant things. There was no mention of the bandits who murdered the girl’s parents in front of her. They did not speak of how the boy’s mother was beaten to death over a few potch worth of fruit as he stood helplessly ten feet away.

Never once was the subject of the man’s life before he found the village broached. Though they rejected their pasts, they were happy.

Shu had said once that it must have been fate that brought them together, but whatever it was, Apple was happy for it. She felt bad for the others, though. When the other children had to go home at the end of the day’s lessons, she and Shu remained with Master Mathiu.

He cooked for them, shared stories with them and made sure that each night the small house was just warm enough in the winter and just cool enough in the summer.

For a few years they lived in blissful denial. The routine of their lives became rote, almost boring, but none of them complained. They all liked the sameness and the familiarity of each other and their simple life. There were no surprises except the occasional cake to celebrate the occasional holiday.

The day the serenity ended brought no warning; it seemed like just another autumn day. The air was crisp and the smell of cooked pies wafted through the streets of the village as Apple made her way to the small store in the center of town. She was a skinny, plain girl with brown hair cut short such that when seen from the back, she was often mistaken for a boy.

At only eight years old, her large glasses dominated her gentle face. Skipping half the time and walking the other half, she was being extra careful not to crunch too many leaves under her feet. A few of the old women that spent their days gossiping as they sat in front of the store waved to her.

As she entered the shop, she did not hear them whisper scandalous tales about Mathiu— a man unmarried and still on the right side of thirty—who took in two stray children to which he had no obligation.

“Hello Miss Apple!” the portly, jovial shopkeeper called to the girl.

“Hello Mr. Joshan,” she replied, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “Master Mathiu said he needs flour and some fruit.”

“We only have apples and pears this time of year. I hope that will suit him.”

She nodded and smiled, her lips revealing a space on the side where a tooth had been. “I think that’s fine.”

“Ah, lost another one I see?” he asked, packing some fruit into a burlap sack.

“Yes.”

“Did you put it under your pillow?”

“I did and I got ten whole potch!”

“Amazing,” the man said with a grin. “A few more and you’ll be rich.”

Apple giggled as Mr. Joshan slipped the loop of the fruit sack over her arm and handed her the bag of flour. “Thank you!”

The grocer nodded and reached for a pen to record the items on Mathiu’s tab. “Be careful on your way back.”

Hoisting the goods, Apple started back towards the house. The items were cumbersome but she took small rests and constantly readjusted her grip on the packages. Finally, she reached the steps. She set the flour down on the porch and carried the fruit in first.

Opening the door, she realized something was amiss. No one was there. Master Mathiu was not standing at the counter chopping vegetables and Shu was not setting the table. The air was thick with the same sort of unease and uncertainty that filled a town square following a raid by bandits.

Staleness and hatred seemed to creep across the old wooden planks as she walked delicately upon them. The only bit of normalcy in the small abode was Master Mathiu’s ornery orange cat, Nicodemus. The obstinate animal was curled up on the sofa with his nose buried between his paws.

She called to him, but he did not even raise his head and only flicked his ears towards her in annoyance for awakening him.

Stepping further into the house, she sighed and glanced into Master Mathiu’s study to find it empty of life as well. On the floor she saw the only casualty of the battle—a ceramic inkwell that had shattered against the wall and had left a terrible stain on the paint. Her brow furrowed as her teeth folded pensively over her lip.

Apple’s anxiety grew as she pressed on slowly down the hall. A slight bit of relief befell her as she saw Shu’s bedroom door open and ran inside, since the two of them had long since stopped knocking when doors were open.

Shu was sitting on his bed with a traveling bag and a pile of clothing. Twice her age and rather handsome, he had black hair that he wore long down his back. His vexed expression caused her to gasp. Normally he had a serene, kind face, but as she looked at him, all she saw were frustrated and angry wrinkles.

“What’s wrong?” Apple asked. “Where is Master Mathiu?”

“Damned if I know,” Shu muttered.

“You shouldn’t say damned.”

He shook his head and answered her first question. “What’s wrong is that I’m leaving.”

Her eyes widened. “Leaving? Why? You can’t leave!”

The words were acidic. “I’m leaving because Master Mathiu has expelled me.”

Apple grabbed onto his shirt as terror consumed her small frame. “No! He wouldn’t do that!”

“He did,” Shu said, tossing a few shirts from the pile into the bag.

“Why, Shu?” she asked, tears forming in the corners of her eyes. “He wouldn’t just do that for no reason!”

The boy’s face contorted as he appeared to consider something. Finally he answered, “He had a reason.”

She climbed up onto his lap. “What is it? What did you do, Shu?”

“Something I shouldn’t have,” he mumbled.

“Can you fix it? Can you say you’re sorry?”

“No.”

She sobbed into his shirt as he held her awkwardly on his lap. “Then tell me and I’ll fix it. You can’t go away.”

“You can’t fix it.”

“Why not?”

“Because Master Mathiu has made his decision and since he chooses to be an arrogant fool—“

Apple jerked back from him. “Don’t say that, Shu! Don’t say such things about Master Mathiu!”

“It’s true, Apple. If you knew half the things that I know about him—“

“You must be wrong!” she shouted, jumping off him to stand on the floor. “He’s been nothing but kind to us, Shu. No one else would take us. He did and he taught us things and we were happy! Don’t you remember?”

She sniffled back another round of tears and tried to keep her voice even as she spoke. “Don’t you remember when you got so sick that your skin turned red with welts? Master Mathiu stayed at your bedside all those days.

When your fever was so high that you didn’t even know your name, he sat there and put cold cloths on your head and talked to you. When you needed medicine he walked all the way to Lenankamp to get it!”

“That’s not all there is to know,” Shu sighed.

“That’s all I need to know,” Apple replied, crossing her arms over her chest. Then in a softer, gentler voice, she added: “He treats us like we are his children.”

Shu looked her directly in the eye with a stern glare wrought with anguish. “Fathers don’t abandon their children.”

She stomped her foot, the rough floorboards easily taking the abuse. “He never abandoned us, Shu! Whatever you said to make him mad take it back and he’ll let you stay! I know he will.”

“I don’t want to stay. I don’t want to be around someone who shirks responsibility out of convenience!”

“What are you talking about?” she demanded. “You’re not making any sense!”

Shu crossed to his dresser and checked the drawers to make sure they were empty. “Mathiu is no better than my own father, who left my mother and I to starve.”

Master Mathiu,” she corrected.

He frowned at her. “No, just Mathiu.”

“There’s a difference?”

Shu’s voice still held an edge but the words came delicately. “Yes, there is.”

Her head tilted in curiosity. “What is it?”

Mathiu is human. He’s fallible just like the rest of us. If you would kick the pedestal out from underneath him you might be able to see this in his eyes.”

Confused, Apple sat back on the bed and started taking the clothing out of the bag. “You’re not leaving. I’m not letting you.”

He sighed and grabbed what he could from her. “Enough. You’re not helping.”

“But Shu—I don’t want you to go,” her voice faltered as she dropped the rest of the garments she was holding. “I don’t want you to go and never come back!”

“What makes you think I’ll never come back?” he asked gently.

“The world is flat, Shu. I know this! It must drop off just outside of this town because when people leave this place they never ever return!”

“Apple…that’s utter nonsense.”

“It’s not!”

Before he could respond, a tall shadow appeared in the doorway followed by Mathiu himself. His eyes were morose, broken as he glanced between the two of them. He carried a small purse of money and a bag that smelled of bread and cheese. In a detached voice he addressed them. “Apple…please leave us for a few minutes.”

She did as he asked, slipping by him and into the hallway as he closed the door behind them. Sitting just outside the door, she slid to the ground and pulled her legs to her chest. It couldn’t be ending like this. No, there had to be something she could do to make things better. Something she could say to Master Mathiu or to Shu…there had to be a way.

Through the door she heard them speaking in hushed tones. She pressed her ear to the rough wood and listened.

“Hate me all you want but this is for the best.” That was Master Mathiu.

“Best for whom? You? Certainly not her.”

“You can’t possibly comprehend this situation.”

“I certainly can! You’re too much of a coward to tell the truth!”

There was a long pause before Master Mathiu responded. “Perhaps someday, when you have your own children you will understand.”

She heard Shu make a noise. It sounded like the noise he’d make when he was forced to eat onions but it had more anger behind it. Then she heard the sound of coins clinking together.

Master Mathiu sighed. She guessed he was pinching the bridge of his nose because his voice sounded oddly strained. “There’s ten thousand potch. That should get you established somewhere—and some food for traveling.”

“I don’t want your money.”

“I don’t care if you want it or not. Take it.”

Shu said something she couldn’t hear and a moment later, Mathiu stuck his head out of the door. “Apple, go to the living room, please.”

She sighed and again did as he asked. Nicodemus was still on the sofa, claiming most of it as he stretched his body towards the fire. She sat next to him and pet his head. “Shu’s leaving,” she said to the cat. “He’s leaving and we’re never going to see him again.”

Nicodemus nuzzled her hand, oblivious to the words.

“I want him to stay.”

The cat purred at the attention and climbed into her lap.

“It won’t be the same without him. Who’s going to tell me stories at night? Who’s going to help Master Mathiu clean the fish? You know I hate doing that.” She sat there staring at the fire, stroking the cat and trying to find a resolution to a problem she didn’t fully understand. She remained there on the sofa even after sleep claimed her.

When she awoke, Shu was gone. 


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