To See Another Day Chapter 13
A Melting Collage
By Kain Servant
The morning light revealed the now freshly battered walls of Alexandria still holding strong. Freya gave a prayer of thanks to the sky as she watched Kal speak with a lesser officer about their situation.
Fratley, I cant do this. Something is wrong with Kal, I dont care if hes our King. Hes gone mad or something, and we need to stop this!
Fratley lay beside her, spear clenched in his hands, his eyes closed, and in a gravelly voice he spoke, It was that red-headed man. I know it. He did something to Kal and caused this. No ambassador from Daugerro he was the enemy.
What enemy? The ones that attacked Alexandria before? But we dont even know who they or what they want.
Its been whispered through the ranks, Freya. Speak of a new invasion did you see the moon last night? Do you see the sky now? Those arent comets someone is coming, a new Terra. And whoever it is, they are doing a very good job of pushing the world into turmoil.
Freya stared at him nervously, But what can we do? We cant just kill Kal for no reason the soldiers would revolt.
Yes That was an obvious truth. But what could they do?
Hey! Heyyyy, wheres the ol King and his sorts? Freya and Fratley were both up in a moment, Can someone tell me what the hell is going on here?
It was Puck.
Emryal was still in a dark mood as he left Daugerro. But not quite as dark as before. The whole wiping out the town bit was fun. But he still dreaded facing Menoth. Confronting him would be the hardest part.
. His arm still ached from where Menoth had stabbed. But the ache only reminded him of how much pain he would put Menoth through before he killed him. He would be the first Allicar, his plan was nearly complete, even if there were a bunch of stuckup heroes wandering around Gaia. They would all die very quickly if Emryal ever got a hold of any of them.
His sources informed him that the heroes were collected in Lindbrum so that was where he was headed. All his anger wasnt gone yet perhaps one would be lying around by themselves unaware innocent. He would very much enjoy that.
Menoth wandered the corridor that he had stalked the whole night, his mind reawakened to his past from Emryals fateful nosing from the day before.
Fateful because he would kill the backstabber the next time he saw him.
There would be no mistakes, he would become Allicar and transcend all of the miserable beings humans, genomes and ellians. When he took her in his arms and they melded in a delightful surge of energy, he would remember nothing more of Aitella, and his miserable past.
Everything was miserable! But he would win! He stabbed his claw deep into the stone, and slowly tried to steady his breathing again. It was time to visit Zidane again for the last time.
The world is ending. Cid moaned, head on his desk. Around him sat everyone that could be called. Amarant and his posse, all mingling together enough to confuse the most perceptive man. Beatrix and Steiner sat together, as usual. And unusually, Blank and Eiko sat at opposite sides of the table, refusing to glance at one another. He would have to speak to her when he had time which they would have when the long flight back to Alexandria began.
Im sorry everyone, to look so dismal, but the pieces are falling out more quickly than we can even identify them. This planet will be touching off in five days now. Which means we have to clear this little Alexandria incident very quickly if we hope to recruit enough soldiers to face the threat we expect to face.
Also- He was cut off when the door opened, and Zidane entered with a man dressed all in black who looked oddly familiar. Zidane on the other hand, looked much different with all of his hair shaved off.
Everyone stared for a moment. Zidane smiled, Uh good morning. Continue, Cid. He motioned to a seat for the man in black, then took one himself. Cid cleared his throat, trying to pick up exactly where he had left off,
As I was saying, also it appears the Burmecians have gone entirely insane, which means we may not have as many allies as we had anticipated also Cid sighed and touched his mustache, A scout plane informed me today that the town of Dali was destroyed
A general gasp went up from the room. Remains of a few black mages were found but of course it is hard to identify who is who so we dont know if Vivi was there. We should know soon enough, of course, if we see him in the near future. Apparently there werent any survivors.
This was a shocking bit of news. And the room sobered up not much, because they were already very sober.
Beatrix, who had taken the responsibility of being the cheerful one, looked to Zidane, Do you have any plans, oh my captain? She smiled hopefully.
Zidane simply replied weakly, I just want to go get Garnet back. Sorry but Im not going to go with you to Alexandria. Me and my friend here, Arteon, are going to Macema. Its what I need to do.
Atleast hes being reasonable Beatrix told herself, nodding seriously at Zidane, Alright as for the rest of us, we can make it to Alexandria this afternoon. Questions? She looked into the blank faces of the ellians for a moment, then shrugged, Lets move.
Cid smiled, quite happy that someone else was taking charge. Right. Im going to stay here with Eiko to recruit whatever protectors I can. Ill meet you in Alexandria tomorrow.
No. This time I say no. Cid exclaimed gruffly. She obeyed. Which relieved Cid greatly What was the world coming to? It was frightening to see everyone so down, even Zidane. Could it really be the end? After all they had done? He didnt want to think of that.
Zidane hurried along the ship dock with Arteon, his fancy clothes exchanged for the more comfortable coarse silk he had worn in his early adventuring days. He felt better that way, with his old dagger snugly resting by his side. Like he was younger again more innocent.
I dont know why you came. He murmured to Arteon. I told you I want to do this alone.
Arteon smiled, If you stayed alone much longer you might break yourself. I will stay only until I see you have Garnet safely in your arms. Then I am off to pay back all my other deeds. That is my promise.
Sure sure, you dont owe me anything He would have said more, but the breath was caught in his lungs as he saw the Red Rose, docked in the port. The Red Rose Garnet!
Garnet! He yelled, taking off in a sprint toward the ship, his heart rising with his breath.
No. Kain stepped from the ship, his head down. Im sorry, Zidane, shes not here.
Zidanes knife was out in an instant. If the bastard had done anything to his girl, he would well he would kill him! Where is she? The stains of old tears around Kains eyes bothered Zidane, and he advanced, knife pointed at the bigger man in a loud accusation, Where is she?
Shes in Macema, Zidane. Im sure of it I dont know whats going on but Im afraid Ive been tricked. I- the elder took her, Zidane. I dont know why. I think it had something to do with the book he gave her. Something evil youve got to help me get her back.
Help you? The knife was sheathed and Zidane was running for the Red Rose, Youve gotta help me find the damn town so I can kick this elders ass! Move it people! He wouldnt think of anything she was alive. She was alive and he would find her!
Pucks grin wavered as Freya and Fratley crowded around him, relieved smiles all over their faces. What? What do you want now? They had never ever been glad to see him before.
Fratleys grin broke for a moment, but he soon replaced it, We need you to claim authority, Puck. You couldnt have come at a better time. Kals been acting strange and we need you to be King again, just for a while.
Wait, wait! I aint gonna be shoved into no-
Call of this foolish attack, Puck. Lord Puck. Freya lowered her eyes respectfully, Please no one wants to attack Alexandria, they are our allies. Stop him!
Lord Puck! Kals booming voice shot out from behind them, and they all turned guiltily around.
Fine morning, eh Kal? Puck tried hopefully, grinning his ass off. Thered better be a good reason for them demanding things from him as soon as he came back. If there were trying to use him he might be angry. And there was NO way they wanted to see that!
What an honor, sir. What are you doing in this neck of the woods? Kal glanced around casually, readjusting his crown quite obviously upon his head.
Well actually Kal, I happen to be here because I want you to- Puck scratched his head and ducked his eyes, trying to approach a bit more straightly. I want you to stop this attack on Alexandria.
Stop? What why may I ask, sir? I Kal glanced from his shock over to Fratley and Freya, who were both trying to look invisible. His smile dissipated and a harsh glare took its place, Theyve poisoned your mind havent they?
No, my King. Fratley bowed speedily, forcing a smile, That would be furthest from the truth.
Youve been against me this whole time, Fratley. Dont deny it. You like your friends more than you honor your King! Kal drew his sword and put the point to Fratleys chest. Well that makes all three of you traitors then! Because Im the real King around here!
What? There was no no way that Puck had stumbled into this. He was having a nice relaxing vacation, away from all this hell, and as soon as he came back, But I have nothing to do with whatever this is, Kal. Im just an innocent bystander. Kals eyes were ice. Really frozen ice. Oh please, you cant kill me!
Youre right. Kal smiled and turned, resheathing his sword, Company A! A score of Burmecian pike soldiers hurried to assemble before Kal, bowing hastily. Kill these three traitors, and bring me their heads!
Aw, shit. Puck moaned, reaching for his dagger. Both Fratley and Freya were ready with their pikes, knuckles whitening around the poles.
The day had begun.
Menoth drew his portal to Zidanes presence on Gaia. The sensation of using his magic always felt delightful, a pleasant rush of the soul. The world faded to gray, and then reappeared on the deck of the ship he had met Zidane on once before.
This time no one was there. The deck was empty the ship moved quietly, as if a phantom through the still morning air. Fog pushed past his face, leaving a few specks of moisture there. Enchanting. Every little thing about this world pleased him. He wanted it.
Zidane! Come give me your answer! There was a silence, but he knew that he had been heard. There was a rustling in one of the inner rooms. Then the faint glow of trance. Im not here to fight you, Zidane. I just want your answer I know you decided for the better.
A door behind him burst open, and Menoth whirled around, nearly amazed by the electricity that shone around Zidane in massive quantities. Menoth sighed and raised his finger, Weve been through these before Relaxing his mind, he drew on trance and called upon calm, pushing it against Zidane.
There was no effect. As Menoth stared in amazement at Zidane, at his determined eyes, his newly shaved head, his shabby clothes, and the amazing amount of power he was drawing on it suddenly became clear. Every time I come back you are somehow stronger it is your desperation. Your will to survive. That is what you feed on, correct?
Your mistake, Menoth, is you stereotype me with everyone else. Zidane was perfectly calm as he spoke, never losing hold of the power he held he was doing something building something, Menoth couldnt quite tell. You put me in a mold and since that is what I am, you can instantly judge me to do something. Your strength? Now your weakness.
What am I now, Menoth? I am a shadow, I am formless. I havent quite decided yet what I am, or why Im here. Its not for hate if I hated I would be like you for love? Im feeling lucky, Menoth why dont you attack me. I can get rid of your threat right now!
A question Menoth slowly chose an attack of his own something not fatal, but nearly crippling. Enough to kill Zidanes pride once and for all. What is it about this world that makes all of you so damn persistent? No one will just accept dying around here, they all hang on by their fingernails
Cant you see? Youve lost! A wind began to grow. A strong wind something was going to happen, Menoth could sense it. Something that would change everything he had planned. He was uncertain. He wasnt used to being uncertain.
All I know is that Im going to go get my love back. Everyone seems to be after Garnet lately but you know what? Shes mine! And hell, if this is what I have to do to protect my rights, then bring it on, because I know what I want. Do you? What will you gain from this earth? A few more years before you have to wander around again, veritably soulless. Youre just a skeleton wearing black.
Idiot! Something about the boys calm tone irked him, and he began focusing, Speak to me again when your pride is on a normal level!
Chaos Cloud. A storm of wrath quickly encased the ship, settling its energy on the tip of Menoths finger. With a smile he directed it straight toward Zidanes chest. Nothing could save him.
As the bolt came, Zidane rolled his head back to the sky and raised his dagger, RECOIL!
Gaarnneeeeet! Zidane stabbed straight into the bolt, absorbing the energy into his fist his body still in motion he ran forward, through the bolt, through the energy that fell everywhere trying to escape and stabbed the dagger straight into Menoths chest.
Menoth wasnt sure what he felt first the bolt, the dagger, or the extreme shock at what had just happened. He fell
He had been defeated defeated by a boy that he had simply toyed with for days, sure that he was just a useful pawn, nothing more. Nothing dangerous. Was his pride really what needed lowering? He fell watching Zidane standing above him, his face just as solemn as it had been before. What had happened?
Who are you? Where is the Zidane I saw in Alexandria Menoth gasped for breath, both hands clutching his chest, trying to control his breathing and slow the blood, You are cold not the same.
I am. I dont know what, but thats me for now The storm faded away, and the bright light of morning swept across the ship again along with a refreshing gust of air.
The door that Zidane had come from opened once again, and another man wearing completely black stepped out. Zidane, were almost to Macema what have we here? Alas! A copycat!
Menoth watched through half-closed eyes at Zidane. He was breathing heavily. Good so he was not as defeated as he thought quickly he searched his mind for a healing spell and slowly sewed up his wound. He was not over yet he was just more aware.
Arteon meet the Ellian version of Kuja.
Ahh Arteon smiled and nodded at Menoth, The insecure exhibitionist type eh?
What? Menoth looked from Arteon to Zidane, No not at all. I am the Ruc Tzai of Tialtor! In a matter of days I will control your planet.
My names Arteon, by the way. Arteon noted, before continuing, Yes I thought I was in charge of a planet as well, until Zidane here showed me the way. Happiness screw power, if you know what I mean. Im much more content just trying to make peace with all the wonderful people here. It is amazing they seem to accept it.
Menoth shook his head and stood slowly to his feet. What was all this? I made an offer to Zidane to let him survive and instead you try to indoctrinate me? You dont look like much to defeat Arteon.
Zidane just stood, staring at Menoth. His mind somewhere else, obviously. Which gave Menoth a plan. Grabbing his side, he feigned weakness again, though his wound was almost completely healed, So I suppose youre going to visit your Garnet, Zidane? Mind if I tag along? View some of this wonderful love that drives you from Gaia to do incredibly stupid things. I was after happiness for my people. Not sappy. I dont want my warriors to become soft.
What do you want, Menoth? Zidane asked, his eyes still distant unfocused. You came with great propositions of honor, and now you insult what you lifted up days ago. Why should I trust you?
I wont try anything I just want to get a small taste of culture before I leave to destroy your lives. Trust me?
Arteon gasped suddenly, and Zidane glanced over at him, but he just smiled and put his head down. Zidane shrugged,
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