I do not own the Arc the Lad characters. I only wished I did. Then I’d keep them all to myself WAHAHHAHA….*cough* Er,…anyway please enjoy the story.
Ch 1- Happy Birthday Elc
A boy stood on the edge of a pier overlooking the ocean, his black hair waving in the breeze. He closed his dark brown eyes in thought and sighed. Everything seemed peaceful enough but somehow it just seemed all wrong to him. He could feel in the very marrow of his bones that something was off kilter. His eyes darted to the side for a moment as he sensed someone walk up to him. Seeing no danger there, he returned his gaze to the water.
“Elc, are you all right?” asked a young girl, her long blond hair trying to fly loose from the tie that she had it collected in. Her bright blue eyes shined with worry. The monster wolf beside her whined, “You didn’t come for lunch so I got worried.”
“Leiza, do you feel that something strange is going to happen today?” asked Elc.
“No, not at all.” said Leiza frowning, “Do you really think that something will happen today?”
“I don’t know, Leiza.” said Elc sighing then looking back into the water.
Elc didn’t know how long that he had stood there just staring into the ocean water unable to quell his uneasy feelings. It soon became six o’ clock and the sun had started to dip low behind the mountains and Elc finally turned to go home. He walked slowly along the quiet streets and finally back to his house. He stopped at the door; it was cracked open! Slinging his spear out of its holder, Elc held it in a ready position and burst into the dark room. Suddenly the lights were flipped on and he stood in shock at the multiple forms that filled his room.
“Surprise!” came a chorus of voices.
Arc stepped out of the group and gripped Elc’s now limp arm in a greeting, “Happy birthday, Elc.”
Elc dropped his spear, “My birthday?” He seemed to be shocked then tears welled up in his eyes.
“Are you all right?” asked Arc looking at the tears. He was almost knocked backwards as Elc flew forward and wrapped his arms around him in a hug. After his initial surprise Arc reached up and pat Elc on the back. He smiled.
“You all came for my birthday?” asked Elc releasing Arc. The young king nodded. Elc smiled, “Thanks.”
Elc soon found himself caught in the middle of a hug with Leiza, Shuu, and the crew of the Silver Noah. He had never had anyone celebrate his birthday except for Leiza and occasionally Shuu. The hug broke and Toshuu ushered Elc over to a huge banquet table that they had prepared.
“Wow.” said Elc looking at all of the food.
“Hey! How can ya have a birthday without a good ole banquet, eh, kid.” said Toshuu grinning, “Now hurry and sit down so we can eat. Man, I’m starved.”
“Toshuu!” reprimanded Poco.
“What?! All the food is getting cold.” complained Toshuu, “We can’t waste such a meal prepared by two lovely ladies can we?”
Elc laughed then he felt someone hug his arm. He looked down to his side and saw Leiza smiling sweetly up at him. Her smile grew then she reached up and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, “Happy birthday, Elc.”
He smiled back then sat down at his appointed chair at the head of the table. Leiza sat to his right.
“Alright! Time to eat!” loudly announced Toshuu plopping down in an empty chair.
Elc talked with his friends as they ate. It had been two whole years since he had last seen all of them together. He would have visited them because Arc had told him that he was welcome at any time but he was just too busy tracking down bounties for the Hunter’s Guild that he just had no time to spare. He needed the money for he was secretly storing it away for a future married to Leiza where he would take less dangerous jobs. That is, however, if he ever got up the guts to tell her that he loved her. He glanced sideways at her as she sat talking with Kukuru and feeding bits of her roast to Pandit as the monster wolf whined. He let a warm smile cross his face.
“So Elc, ya gunna be the best man at Arc’s wedding?” asked Toshuu his mouth full of roast.
“TOSHUU!” shouted Poco in shock. Elc heard Arc choke on whatever he had been eating.
“Yeah, that’s the other reason we came down here.” said Chongala, “What d’ya say kid?”
“Wedding.” said Elc looking over at Arc who had turned three shades of red. Kukuru giggled and hugged his arm, “You’re getting married, now?”
“Yes.” said Gorgon, “He’s just now come of age to marry as king but I’d say that he’s still in a bit of shock with Toshuu and Chongala spreading the word everywhere they go. He was going to ask you himself but it seems that they beat him to the punch, so to say.”
“That’s great.” said Elc smiling at Arc, “I’d be honored to be your best man.”
“Thank you Elc.” said Arc his blush abating just a bit.
“You can be the maid of honor if you want Leiza.” said Kukuru smiling.
“Really?” asked Leiza a bright smile covered her face, “I’d love too!”
Elc watched the joy dance in Leiza’s eyes and wished all the more that he had Arc’s courage to tell the one he loved that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her but whenever he tried he always got choked on his own words so what he said made no sense at all. He smiled happily for Arc and Kukuru, one day soon he was sure that he’d ask Arc to return the favor and on that day he and Leiza would begin their life together. Toshuu belched loudly giving a signal that the banquet was nearly over and received a dirty look from Poco. Elc started to get up but Leiza and Shuu grabbed his arms.
“We’re not through with you yet.” said Shuu, “Just stay seated.”
Leiza and Kukuru got up and disappeared into the kitchen for a moment and then returned carrying with them a very elaborate cake, which spelled ‘Happy 17th Birthday Elc’ in red icing. Seventeen candles were lined up on the cake and as soon as Leiza and Kukuru set it down and returned to their seats Arc lit the candles with a simple hand gesture. Elc grinned; he couldn’t wait until he could have enough control over his powers to do that. Everyone sat quiet while Elc stared at the cake.
“Well, make a wish.” said Shuu smiling.
Elc drew in a deep breath and wished……………………………..
Soon the cake was devoured and the leftovers covered and put away the table was cleared. Presents were then brought forth. Elc smiled brightly this was the very first time since his village had been burned down that he had a birthday party. Still even in this moment of merriment and celebration, he had a bad feeling. Shoving it aside Elc looked at all the smiling faces and reached for the first present. He carefully pulled back the paper to reveal a dark green poncho and a beautiful feather. He looked over at Leiza with a smile.
Her smile beamed, “I made it myself.”
“Thanks Leiza.” he said only to be rewarded with a kiss on his cheek.
There was a loud, ‘wahooo!!’ heard from Toshuu but it was silenced by a shout from Poco and a glare from Arc. Elc blushed then moved on to the next presents. A set of five throwing knives from Shuu, a sketched portrait pf the whole lot of them from Kukuru ( Elc noticed that she had drawn him and Leiza holding hands), a new pair of boots from Chongala, a small wooden whistle made for him by Poco, he also received a puzzle cube from Gorgon, and from Toshuu he came into possession of two bottles of good wine. On one it had a little note—SavE Till ThaT GooD DaY.--. A picture of what resembled Elc and Leiza standing side by side in front of a chapel was scribbled on it. Elc blushed again. Toshuu gave him the thumbs up. The gift Arc had for him, however, lay under Arc’s hand still. Kukuru got up quickly as if remembering something.
“Leiza, will you help me go get some wine glasses to toast Elc’s birthday?” she asked.
“Sure.” smiled Leiza as she got up from the table.
Elc saw Kukuru give Arc a glance before disappearing into the kitchen behind Leiza. Elc looked confusedly at Arc.
“What’s going on?” asked Elc. He calmed a bit after getting a reassuring smile from Arc.
“I asked the Spirits to help me to grant your wish today Elc.” said Arc then he slid the small box across the table, “And this is what they showed me.”
Carefully Elc removed the paper and quickly opened the small box. Inside the box lay two bright silver rings. He picked them up. On the inside of one of the rings was ‘Leiza’ and on the inside of the other ‘Elc’. The top of the first said “Together” and the other said “Forever”. They were engagement rings. They were exactly like the ones that Elc had wanted to buy but knew that he could never afford. Elc looked up to see their smiling faces then he smiled too, though his own eyes were beginning to tear up.
“You go for it Elc.” said Toshuu giving him another thumbs up.
He snapped the box shut and stuffed it into his shirt pocket quickly as Kukuru and Leiza returned with the glasses. Shuu poured the wine. Leiza looked over to see tear streaks across Elc’s face.
“Is something wrong Elc?” she asked.
“No. Nothing at all.” said Elc then he smiled.
“To your health and future ambitions Elc.” said Arc as they raised their glasses.
The place was small but Elc still managed to make room for all of them to sleep. It was too late into the night to let them go back to Sumeria, so he had insisted that they stay. It had been so long since he had seen them anyway. Elc, unable to send himself to sleep just yet, stood on the balcony staring at the ring case in his hand. He had everything he needed so all he had to do now was to ask her. He couldn’t help but blush. He was a great warrior who never lost any battles but yet he couldn’t get the guts to ask the girl he loved to marry him.
“Are you still awake, Elc?” came a soft voice from behind him.
“L-Leiza!” Elc jammed the case into his pocket quickly, blushing.
“Did I scare you?” Leiza frowned worriedly.
“No, no. That’s ok.” said Elc taking a deep breath. This was it. He was going to take the step, “Leiza, I-“
End Chapter 1
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