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Missing Piece

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The silence in the cabin is heavy and thick. They’re all tired, dirty, sore and worried. It had been hours since they escaped the top of Zaude, all but one, and hours upon hours of searching gave them nothing in turn. It was well into nightfall, Judith being the one to bring up the thing on their minds but not ready to say because of that nagging fear of ‘what if?’.

“Yuri’s not here, and we can’t stay much longer.” Judith’s voice was unnervingly calm, steady and her words a matter of fact. It was too dark to look in places again they already covered. Between the monsters lurking around and any possible remaining soldiers of Alexei’s, it wasn’t safe. The air took a tension to it, knowing it was a hard truth, each of them processing this in their own ways- necessity over want. For now, however, her gaze was on Flynn, who was looking out of the cabins window, still searching even while they were supposed to be taking a break. The Krityan watched him take in a silent, sharp breath, tense, his hand curling into a tight fist at his side.

Out of all of them, Flynn had taken it the hardest once they realized what had happened. Sodia was left in-charge of overseeing the capture of any of Alexei’s men, and to search the premises for any possibly hidden away. There was still the burden of knowledge he had to deal with as Captain and that he would have to leave out soon as well, he had that responsibility to his brigade, to his men. “Do what you must. I’m going to go search around some more.” The accusation in his words was not missed, nor his frustrated tone. Half-way to the door, he was only briefly stopped by Estelle’s soft, concerned voice. “Flynn, you need to rest as well. Your wounds are healed, but it’s not safe to over-exert yourself so soon.” She paused then, her hesitance shortlived before her mind was made, to bring him up now in hopes Flynn would listen. “...Yuri wouldn’t want you to get hurt again.”

Flynn didn’t bother looking back at them, knowing full well Estellise was right, but Yuri wasn’t there to say it himself. He didn’t know where Yuri was, and right now that was the problem, and he refused to think of Yuri as anything other than just missing in action. “I’ve made up my mind, Lady Estellise. We’ll reconvene in the Capital in two days time.”

The cabin door slammed shut behind him. Rita, the next to speak, had displeasure on her face for the world to see, glowering at the door after she saw the pain in Estelle’s eyes while he left. “What gives him the right to act like that!? He’s not the only one who lost someone today.”

“Don’t say it like that!” Karol snapped suddenly, turning to face Rita, wide eyed and hurt. “We’ll find him! But Yuri’s not dead! Something like this wouldn’t be enough to take him out.”

Rita could hear the childlike hopeful determination in his words, his voice- only holding back telling him the odds working against Yuri then. It wouldn’t be welcomed information and only fall on flat ears.

“Kids right. Yuri’s stronger than that, and a fall like this isn’t going ta do him in.” Raven chipped in his opinion, noticing the skeptical look on Rita’s face while Karol added a determined 'Yeah!’ “For now, we gotta head back ta town and make plans from there. Wherever he’s at, it can’t be far.” All he had to say was said then. so while they were talking amongst themselves, Raven had been thinking of a hot-headed young knight willing to take on others in a bar because of an injustice he wasn’t there to see. For someone like that, like Yuri, it would take more than this to kill him. Raven was certain of that much.

“Be ready. I’m going to contact Ba’ul to pick us up once we reach a safe distance away from here. I’m going to let Patty know.” Judith stated, giving them each a brief look so she knew they heard. Patty wasn’t in the cabin with them, distracting herself with preparing the ship to set sail. It was busy work, but she wasn’t alone. Repede had followed, likely trying to look around more as well. Judith noticed the strong bond Yuri and Repede had- it reminded her of her own with Ba’ul. It brought on a feeling of fondness, one welcomed during this time.

Leaving them on their own for the time being, she had someone else to talk to before she spoke to Patty and they departed.

Meanwhile, Flynn had been exhausting himself further searching as best he could, his resolve to find Yuri one of the things keeping him going(he tried to not think about finding a body, instead finding Yuri alive, even any sign of him would be welcomed right now).

Calling out the swordsman’s name again and again had gotten him no farther now than it had earlier, and reluctant as he was to agree, Judith had been right. Nothing to go on by land, what parts of the water he had been able to search yielded no results of any kind. There had been nothing left; that realization taking more than he had to give to push away. Furrowing his brow, Flynn knew now was not the time to be thinking of Finas.

Yuri would be different.

The thoughts nagged at his mind, driving his worry, knowing full well a fall alone would not have been enough to cause Yuri to go missing with no response. Something had happened either before the fall or after and figuring out what that was was leading him to nothing but guesses; monsters in the waters? Kidnapped? Then there was a chance Alexei got in a hit Flynn himself hadn’t known about...

Guesses was all it would be until he found the sole person that could answer the question, leaving him back to nothing. “Dammit, Yuri, where are you?” Flynn vented to the night sky, stars twinkling, moon full and bright, no answers forthcoming.

“Flynn!” Judith called out, getting the mans attention and noticing how tired and worried he appeared, even while trying to keep a neutral look on seeing her approach.

“Judith, if this is about earlier-”

“It’s not.” She interrupted, coming to stand beside him. Judith’s eyes met with his and she could only ask him, “why are you wasting your time looking here?”

Flynn’s blue eyes darkened while she remained unfazed. “Searching for Yuri is hardly a waste of time.”

Keeping his stare, the Krityan reached out and placed a hand on his arm, shaking her head. “Searching here. You know as well as I do if he were still around, we would have found Yuri much earlier already.”

Flynn remained silent for a short time. Judith’s touch was gentle, calming and once more, he was hesitant to agree she was correct- this meant leaving soon, without Yuri still, but if he truly was somewhere else, then any more time spent here would be time away from him and aid, should he need it. It didn’t seem as though searching around Zaude again would give him any different results than before, either.

Judith lightly squeezed his arm, stirring him from the thoughts she knew were running through his mind. “Yuri is important to us, to me, as well. We’ll find him, but it won’t be here.” Judith was no fool, she knew what those two meant to one another, however, Yuri had come to be special to her as well. Judith saw her point had sunk in once understanding flashed in his eyes, then some tension visibly left his shoulders as they slumped tiredly.

Feeling more worn down now than he had moments ago, Flynn could see an expression on Judith’s like his own, and in their mutual pain and goal, he felt the faintest connection to her in that moment. “Once I return to the capital, I will not be able to continue looking for a couple of days, at least.” Informing his Highness Ioder of the turn in events, then taking care of what remained of Alexei’s men was going to take more time than he wanted to give with the situation being what it was.

“Ba’ul and I will look by sky, Patty will captain the Fierta and search by waters around here first, Estelle and the rest will split up and search on land. Don’t forget, you aren’t the only one looking for him.”

“I- I know.” There was no way to really convey how he felt right now, not ready to share part of his past he was avoiding himself then. A name he dared not think about still; finding Yuri came first. Finding him alive. A look to the Krityan’s face showed him a determined but tired, understanding smile.

They left in silence then, side-by-side, only offering the other a worn smile that told of the same goals, for the same person they held the same feelings for. A promise to find what was lost and return it where it belonged.