Suikoden II - Jowy's Story
A Fanfiction by Joanna Sherlyn Dunlap
"Suikoden" and all its characters therein are trademarks of Konami Co., Ltd. © 1995-1998.
English Translation © Konami of America, Inc.
Writer-Creator: Yoshitaka Murayama (Murayama-san, arigato!)
For those that are wondering, it is common politeness in Japan to call older unrelated males "uncle" (and likewise, calling females "aunt"). This may be why Pilika calls Jowy "Uncle Jowy."
Chapter 2 - Found
Jowy was dreaming. He and Riou were sparring again. Blow after blow, neither gaining any advantage over the other. They were a perfect match for eachother. They fought hard, completely absorbed in their little game. Riou smiled at him, his face mingled exhaustion and energy. Jowy smiled back and swung his staff at him. Riou just barely dodged the blow. Still, no one had the upper hand. The dream seemed to last an eternity with Jowy and Riou battling on.
Then the sky went red. Both boys dropped their weapons to their sides and looked up at the black clouds overhead. A bloodthirsty roar tore through the air and Luca Blight's terrible mad face appeared right in front of Jowy. He jumped back in surprise. He went to bring up his staff, but it was missing. So was Riou. Luca still howling, Jowy desperately looked around for his friend, but he was nowhere to be found.
"What have you done with him?" he screamed at the prince, but he couldn't hear his voice under Luca's laughter. Jowy spun around, looking more mad than the stationary prince. "Riou! Riou!"
A disturbing ferocity took over Jowy and he lunged, weaponless at Luca. At this, the laughter stopped. The prince looked down at him, as one would at a stupid child, an produced his massive sword from thin air. He looked sideways at his blade, then hurled it directly at Jowy. Jowy had to no time to slow down or dodge, but he didn't have to. The great sword fell at his feet, stuck in the earth before him.
All was silent. Luca was gone. Jowy looked at the sword. It seemed to taunt him, daring him to take it, same as when it was stuck in the fish barrel. It was easy. He could take it, Luca was practically giving it to him. If he wanted it, it was his.
Suddenly, he felt as if he had been submerged in water. He woke up in shock. He was in the river, splayed against a rock. He was close to a bank, and the current was light. He pulled himself farther onto the rock. Every muscle protested the movement in pain. After settling on the rock, he allowed himself to rest. He blinked and took in the sights around him. The sky was blue and calm. The sounds of sweet water, singing birds, and laughter played in the air. Exhausted, Jowy sighed -
- and sat straight up, "Riou!"
"Aaaah!" He had sat up and shouted in the face of a little girl. She stumbled back.
"Oh!" he corrected, "No, no. Don't be frightened. I'm sorry. I -" but he fell - for he had tried to move to the girl - and splashed again into the shallow water.
The little girl laughed and Jowy got up again, slowly this time. It was painful, but he managed. He scanned everywhere within vision for Riou, but he was nowhere. He walked slowly to the laughing girl and bent down to her. "Hi. I'm sorry I scared you. My name's Jowy."
The girl stifled her laughter. "I'm Pilika. Why are you all wet?"
"I, uh…that is…" Jowy couldn't tell this innocent little girl the truth. "I was going for a swim with my friend Riou. But we got separated. You haven't seen another boy around here, have you?"
"No," she answered. "I haven't seen anyone else. I'm sorry."
"Oh," Jowy's heart fell. He hoped Riou had made it. He looked around for signs of him - his bandana, a tonfar, a ragged piece of red cloth, anything - but he found nothing. What his did find was his own staff. It had gotten caught up among some reeds and rushes. He was happy not to have lost it, but he would have given it up for Riou. "Oh, that's my staff," he pointed it out to Pilika and began to hobble to it.
He was so incredibly weak. It only hit him now how foolish it was to try and walk again, but he had no chance to remedy the situation. Just steps before reaching the staff, his knees buckled, and his legs gave way. He fell again, and this time, he hit his head on a rock. The world went dark.
Jowy felt something wet on his forehead. He knew he must be in the river again, until he realized that the rest of his body was dry and warm. He opened his eyes. He was lying on a comfortable bed. The girl, Pilika, was sitting beside him.
"Uncle Jowy! You're awake! Mommy, Daddy, he's awake!"
And suddenly, Jowy was surrounded by chatter, hands, and a bowl of warm stew.
"Eat up now," the woman said, "It's rabbit in there, and spices. Pilika picked the spices herself, didn't you Honey?"
Jowy was grateful, but he felt very claustrophobic. He wished he could wake up and get up in his own time. He took a few bites to settle his empty stomach – the stew was delicious – and then returned it to the woman. "Thank you. It's wonderful," he said weakly.
"Would you like some more?" the woman asked. "If you're too weak, I could spoon feed you. Not to imply that you're weak or anything, I just thought – "
A man's voice interrupted her, "Joanna, let him be. The boy is exhausted." Jowy was thankful for the voice. He saw a man standing in the doorframe and he assumed that the voice belonged to him. The woman, Joanna, walked back to the man with the half-eaten bowl. Jowy turned over and closed his eyes. He heard the man whisper, "Don't worry Darling, your stew is delicious. Come now, we'll eat the rest." Jowy smiled and sighed. He hoped that Riou had found as good of luck as he had, and he swore that he would do what he could to find him when he regained his strength. But for now, with food in his stomach and sore muscles relaxing, he fell again into a dreamless sleep.
When he awoke again, he was alone. It was quiet but for the faint sounds of distant laughter and conversation. Sunlight pealed through the window, and Jowy sat up. He had been wrapped in a colorful quilt upon a meager bed. The small wooden room he was in was clean, and smelled of flowers. In the corner, on a small chest, was a pile of neatly folded blankets and pillows. This bare little room had a delightful charm about it that would be very out of place in his father's large house in Kyaro. He wondered where he was now. South of Tenzen, most likely, since the river ran south from Highland in the north down to the southern City-States of Jowston.
So, he was in the City-States. Jowy thought it wise not to reveal to anyone that he was a Highlander just yet, and was immediately thankful that he was skilled with accents.
He stretched and groaned from stiffness, and got out of bed. He was wearing white cotton nightclothes. His own clothes were clean and folded on a small chair in the corner by the door. His staff leaned up against the wall beside it. He changed his clothes and then made the bed. He folded the nightclothes and put them on the chair, but left the staff for now. He trusted these people. He figured that if hey meant him any ill will, they would have done something about it already.
He ventured out into the main room. There was something delicious cooking. Joanna was standing at the stove, creating her aromatic masterpiece. "Hello," Jowy said in the voice of a City-State citizen.
Joanna turned around happily, "Oh, Mr. Jowy! You're awake and walking! How wonderful! How do you feel? You were asleep for days. Here, come sit down and have something to eat. You must be starving."
Jowy smiled She sure liked to talk a lot. She reminded him of Nanami, only a better cook by the smell of it. "Three days? Yes, well, um…" he walked to the table and sat. "I feel…better. Thank you."
Joanna set a heaping plate in front of him. "Eat up now. That's salt-and pepper potatoes and carrots with honey-and-rosemary sauce. We have a garden. Pilika and I spend a lot of time out there. Sorry we don't have any more rabbit. We usually have fish, you know, living by the river and all. I'll cook some up for dinner tonight. And here's a glass of water for you."
Jowy could only smile at this kind, eager-to-please woman. He gently interrupted her, "Thank you. I am pretty hungry. This smells fantastic, I can't wait."
This pleased Joanna and she blushed. "Oh no, it's nothing. Just my mother's recipe. I hope you like it." Jowy took a bite. It tasted as amazing as it smelled. Joanna was quite a cook. Then Jowy realized that though they knew each other's names, he hadn't formally introduced himself. "The food is delicious, thank you. I'm Jowy."
"Oh yes, I know. Pilika told me. Oh!" Her hand flew to the mouth in shocked embarrassment. "I'm sorry. How rude of me to say your name without an introduction. It's wonderful to meet you, Jowy. I'm Joanna. My husband, Marx is out right now, and you've already met my daughter, Pilika. She's taken right to you, you know. These past few days she's either been by your side or out by the river looking for your friend. She said you went swimming?"
Jowy took another bite. "Yes, that's right. But don't worry. I'm sure he'll turn up." These people had already done enough for him. No need to burden them with the truth.
Joanna looked at him sideways. Jowy isn't sure if she believed him or was just politely ignoring the lie, but her eyes seemed to say, "Don't worry Honey. I won't ask any questions. You just tell me when you're ready." Jowy wondered how people could be so trusting with a war going on, but he was eased by her look and ate some more.
"Your daughter is a very kind girl. You must be proud of her," he said after swallowing.
"Thank you, Mr. Jowy. We do our best with her."
"Oh, please just call me Jowy."
"All right then, Jowy. Thank you."
"I'm sure she picked up her kindness and hospitality from you."
Joanna blushed at the compliment. "Would you like some more food, Mr. Jowy?" She was obviously trying to change the subject. Jowy still had carrots on his plate; he wasn't fond of carrots, but it was true that he hadn't eaten for days. Plus, he didn't want to seem ungrateful, and since no one else was around to eat the meal, Jowy guessed that she had probably prepared it special for him.
So he accepted. He even tried the carrots. They were actually very good cooked with the honey and rosemary. He had three plates total, and five glasses of water by the time he was finished. Joanna tried to offer him a fourth plate, but he graciously declined, already bursting at the seams.
"Why don't you go down to the river?" Joanna asked while taking away his empty plate. "I bet Pilika is there. She'd love to see you out and about."
Jowy liked the idea of stretching his legs and thanking his savior. "I think I will. Thank you for the food, Mrs. Joanna. Can I help you clean up before I go?"
"Oh no!" she laughed, "I can do it. You just enjoy yourself. I'll see you back here for dinner, Jowy."
And he left the little house with a full belly and – despite the worry he felt for Riou – a strange new contentment that gave him a level of happiness he had not felt in a long time.