A Fire Emblem fanfic set after the events of Trail of the Blue Flame, or Path of Radiance, focused on Ilyana and Zihark’s relationship. I wish this relationship was more heavily explored with the supports and conversations in the sequel, and gave us a conclusive ending with the two marrying; Zihark would finally be able to let go of his scar with the help of Ilyana. Alas, more material to write fanfics about, right?!
“Let’s Try, One More Time”
Chapter 1 (Zihark PoV)
“Again, huh…? Aren’t you getting tired of it by now…?” She asked me from across the table, with a blank look. Quickly realizing she may have said something inappropriate, she quickly straightened up, and replaced her vacant stare with an adorable smile. I really love that smile. It’s rare that I, much less anyone else, ever get to see it. “Not that I mind, of course! I’m just concerned… I mean, I know you don’t earn all that much, and I eat quite a lot…”
“Hey, as I said, it’s my treat, Ilyana! Now come on, the waiter will be over in just a moment, so don’t worry about such trivial matters and just enjoy yourself!” I respond to the girl cheerfully. Of course, she was absolutely right. I don’t make much money, what with the war being over now, and she does have a… Sizeable appetite, to say the least… I did manage to find a compromise, though. Through the many many times I’ve treated her to food, I’ve discovered a few things to save my wallet from crumbling apart. What she had in eating capacity, she made up for by being exceptionally not picky about her food. Or the environment. Or anything else that would make a meal particularly expensive, for that matter. So, while she may not notice it, the restaurant we’re in is in fact a rather shabby place. Okay, creaking wood and floor boards that look like they’ll break if a particularly pompous member of the nobility were to step in here, but at least the food is known to not be disgusting, while being extremely affordable.
“Ah, well if you insist… But you’re starting to make me feel guilty, Zihark,” the girl replies with an earnest smile.
“Does that mean you’re starting to care about me?” I tease. I laugh a little, watching her face turn red from my comment. She’s not denying it, either. The waiter then comes by to take our orders, and quickly went his way. Ah, but what exactly am I doing with this girl, anyway? She is very pretty… No, she is definitely my type, no matter how you look at her. She has a slender figure, a cute stature, and deep, mysterious eyes. And her appetite. Even if most men would find a trait like that obnoxious, it made me very happy. It brought back pleasant memories. Without even realizing it, I had ended up staring at her, curiously and gleefully, as she gobbled down the meal in front of her. By the time she was ready for thirds, she finally noticed my gaze, and her awareness brought me back to Earth, when I finally averted my eyes, a little embarrassed about what I had just done.
“Hey Zihark… Why are you always so nice to me? Even now that the war is over, you’ve stayed with me. You’ve fed me. You’ve protected me…” She beamed me. Her eyes, though seemingly tired and unwary, pierced deep into me. I did my best to look back to her eyes, but it was difficult. “Do you… Like me?”
In truth, I had never thought about it. Why was I so nice to this girl? I had to think about it. I couldn’t give her a truthful answer. Not because I didn’t want to be honest to her. But because no matter what I said, I wasn’t sure I would believe it, either. The fact is, I don’t know. But, she’s sitting there, expectantly awaiting my response. It wouldn’t be right for me to just leave her like that. So I muster up my courage, and try to express to her how I felt, in a way that I myself would believe. “Ilyana, I-“ I pause for a moment, the words rolling back and forth on my tongue. “I think-“
She cuts me off before I can finish, leaning across the table and sticking her index finger on my lips. She smiles gently as she does it, and doesn’t say a word until I finally relax myself. I hadn’t noticed that I had tensed up while trying to find a response to her question, but something like that didn’t escape Ilyana’s attention. I laugh a little. Though some may think of her as a little dull, or even slow, she is actually quite perceptive. A lot like her… She sits back down, the smile not leaving her adorable face. I can’t help but smile a little in response. Then, she spoke. “You’re… Complicated, do you know that? Most men are very obvious, but you… Well, I guess it was what drew me to you in the first place. You’re different, and I like that. But… I think I’m starting to… Care about you…” She pauses, her face a vibrant red. She’s having a hard time looking at me now; so much so that her eyes are now fixated on the empty dish that she had consumed in from of her. “But… I’m not the kind of girl who will go all the way. Not without your promise… I’m sorry, but I need you to make up your mind. Not today, but soon… Oh, but no pressure! When you can, I mean!” She smiles gently, her pupils hidden behind her long, lustrous eyelashes. Her face is still steaming red.
“Yeah. It’s a promise!” I assure her. By all means, I should love the beautiful girl in front of me. Yet, something was tugging at my heart. Something that made everything so difficult to comprehend. And then, the waiter arrived with thirds.
No editing or proofreading was involved in the making of this chapter.