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Beneath the Brightest Star

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Beginning

When Yuri dropped by Halure to give Estelle a surprise visit, he wasn't expecting to be given a surprise himself. Moments after Estelle let him in, though, she suddenly gasped and disappeared into another room, squealing excitedly that she had something to show him. She returned with an expectant look on her face and a thick book in her hands, which she swiftly held out towards him so that he could clearly see the front cover.

The huge font of the title read Tales of Vesperia. The byline read Estellise Sidos Heurassein.

For a few moments, Yuri could only stare. He had known that Estelle had been working on her story for quite a few months now, but he wasn't aware that she had already finished it, never mind that it had been published. But once his surprise wore off, he was left just feeling happy for her.

“Well, what do you know.” Yuri grinned as he met her eyes. “This happen recently?”

“Yes, a few days ago. It's not even in the stores yet.” Estelle beamed, excitedly shoving the book into his hands. “Here, you can take this one. They gave me ten copies to give to people.”

“Oh, uh, thanks Estelle.” Yuri realized only after he heard his own voice in his ears that his reaction sounded less than enthusiastic, and he hoped Estelle hadn't noticed.

But considering that Estelle was now frowning at him, she probably had.

“You're not going to read it, are you?” Estelle asked, her disappointment apparent in her face and voice.

Yuri knew he'd been caught, but Estelle had obviously been elated about getting published and he didn't want to bring her down. “I didn't say that—”

“Look, Yuri,” she interrupted before he could even try. “I know you're not into books, but could you at least read the beginning? Just the first chapter, and if you don't like it, you don't have to continue.”

Estelle bit her lip nervously, looking at him with pleading eyes, and Yuri knew he couldn't let her down when it meant so much to her. She had doubtlessly put a lot of work into writing her book, and admittedly, he was rather curious as to how exactly Estelle had chronicled their journey together, so the least he could do was give it a shot.

Yuri sighed, looked back down at the cover, then met Estelle's eyes again, smiling earnestly. “At least the beginning,” he agreed. “I'll read it when I can, alright?”

Apparently, that was satisfactory, because Estelle grinned, thanked him, and gave him a quick hug before offering him something to drink.


About a week later, during a slow morning at Brave Vesperia headquarters, Yuri decided that he might as well make good on his promise and opened up his copy of Tales of Vesperia.

He couldn't put it down and read the whole thing from beginning to end.