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as long as it takes

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Sheena stood in the castle, surveying the lands below. Her hands were gripped tight on the handle of her greataxe, rose-hued gauntlets locked with some kind of tension.

So many people… so many innocent lives.

She heard footsteps from behind, and knew who it was without having to turn her head. “Kiran,” she said calmly. “Summoner. Good day.”

The summoner stepped up, standing beside her and resting his arms on the bannister as he gazed down alongside her. She could see Breidablik strapped to his waist inside the coat.

“Sheena. How are you?”

An honest question coming from a place of genuine interest. She appreciated it.

She sighed, feeling the weight of her armour keenly upon her back. “…Concerned.”

Kiran smiled with understanding, still not turning his head. “In times like these, it’s only right that you’re uneasy, what with the Müspell threat and other concerns.” There was a moment before he asked, “Is there anything I can do to help lift your spirits? I’m only one man, but perhaps I can be of assistance.”

Sheena laughed wistfully. “You are most kind, Kiran. But no, this is not a problem that any one man or woman can fix.

“Do you see those villagers down below?” She gestured down and lifted a hand off her axe. “They’re good people - people who deserve to live long and grow strong. Back in my homeland of Gra… we had such people. The commonfolk were the lifeblood of my land. Without them, the miserable courts filled with idle nobility would be but a pale shadow as to what Gra really is.”

Closing her eyes momentarily, her mind went back to Gra. Home… how she wished she could be there to see her nation prosper once more.

Changing tack, Sheena resumed, “I had a right-hand man, you know.” Kiran glanced at her. “Oh? Forgive me, but I’m not too familiar with your fellow heroes of Gra.”

She smiled fondly, waving his words aside. “It is understandable. After all, we were no heroes. At least I was not. Samson, though…”

Blue hair and blue eyes, much like Prince Marth and the descendants of his that she had met here at the Order of Heroes. Strong and tall, with a warm smile and words that had brought her through so many dark times. The smell of blade oil and the sound of a whetstone.

He had been there for her when even her own father had left her.

“Who is Samson?” Kiran inquired, eyes searching her face for a hint. Her eyes, normally so weary and burdened, glimmered with warmth when she said his name.

“Samson? Well, I understand he was a mercenary for a while till he came under my employ. You know of the War of Shadows?” She asked the summoner, and he nodded. “I know it well. Jagen does like to tell his tales, after all,” he chuckled.

Sheena smiled. “They certainly are tales that deserve to be told. I do not begrudge him his pride in watching Altea withstand so much of its troubles.” She was quiet, then chuckled. “Samson told me that he lived in Altea for a time before the war. I hired him at first, needing a bodyguard in those troubled times.

“He followed me into battle many a time and once even saved me from an assassin.” Her fingers drummed on the bannister. “Seeing as we spent so much time in each other’s company, I suppose it was only natural that we… well, we… we grew close.”

Kiran nodded with understanding. Her face had coloured a light red as she recounted this.

“But all that happened before I was summoned here to aid you in your quest.” Sheena looked back down. “I support you, you know. I believe your cause is most noble, as is that of Alfonse and Shareena. …as to Commander Anna, I am still uncertain of her reasons, but that may be due to my knowledge of a relative of hers from my world clouding my judgement.” Kiran smirked.

“Nonetheless, you are here in an effort to protect the people. That is a cause I will fight for, no matter the time, no matter the world.” She shifted the shield at her side to allow her to stand more comfortably. “I believe that if Samson were here, he would do much the same.”

They were silent.

“Can I ask you a selfish question, Summoner?” Kiran nodded, already knowing what she was about to say, but letting her say her piece.

“Do you… do you think you can bring Samson to this world?” Sheena did not look at him, trying to stop herself from getting her hopes up. “My mind has been turning to him of late, and, well - I would dearly love to see him in this world. Would such a thing be possible?”

He chose his words carefully now, not wanting to say anything wrong. “…truthfully, I can’t hear his voice from Breidablik.” He put his hand on the handle of the sacred weapon. “I would know if it was him, but I haven’t heard Samson speak to me yet.”

“I see.” Sheena nodded, face passive. Foolish. She was foolish.

“However,” he told her, “That doesn’t mean he’ll won’t ever come to the Order.” Kiran tentatively laid a hand upon her shoulder. “You know, Sheena, he’s probably waiting for you somewhere. I don’t know how, but I’m sure he knows you’ve been thinking of him. And when the time comes for me to summon him, I promise that you’ll see him again.”

She turned to look at him, relieved smile saying all he needed to know about how she felt. “I’m gladdened to hear that. If he is being patient, I will not let myself be outdone.”

Sheena settled once more into her watchful position, keeping an eye over all the peoples of this realm that deserved their happiness. “Then I shall wait, Summoner. As long as it takes.”