The Orphan Chapter 6
By Kate Lorraine
Seifer Almasy and his posse were only on the outskirts of Galbadia when they were lucky enough to come across three incompetent Galbadian troops in their deep indigo uniforms. Seifer easily relieved the troops of their uniforms and proceeded to dispose of their bodies in a corner of the Tomb of the Unknown King. As much as he preferred the comfort and dramatic flair of his white trench coat, such a precaution was necessary for those sentenced to life long exile.
It didn't matter.
Rules weren't for people like him.
He always made his own.
"This uniform stinks, it smells like rotten cheese." Raijin complained.
"Shut up, you want someone to recognize you?" Seifer asked in a irritated tone.
Beside him Fujin walked quietly, her single eye scanning the train station for any danger.
She still looked tired. When they had taken the train here from Dollet and she had fallen asleep while Raijin had left to find some booze. Seifer knew he had been hard on them both, pushing them to Esthar and now to Galbadia. Yet unlike Raijin, she had never complained. She walked by his side always, waiting for him to announce his next impulse. When a bump in the train had awaken her from her slumber she had looked toward him with her single eye.
"You look tired, Seifer." She remarked absently.
"I hope you know what you are doing."
"I do. You know, you never talk much. Is there anything you want to tell me?"
She had sighed, running her hands through her tasseled silver hair. She glanced out the window at the barren landscape underneath a starless sky. She touched her eye patch casually, making sure that it had not fallen out of place. After a moment of silence she looked back at him, giving him a half smile.
"I dream of you sometimes, Seifer. You've changed so much. Your dream .. . remember what you told me in the years past about your dream?"
"I know, my dream's been perverted. I want to .. .. make things better." He looked down in a look of sadness. She reached out and gently touched him on his thigh. Her voice was sincere and nostalgic as she spoke next, with a warmth that she reserved only for him.
"I know, Seifer, I'll never forget what you did for me. If not for your dream I wouldn't be here right now, just remember that."
He looked up at her and nodded thoughtfully. For a rare moment in his life, he was being serious and grave. He knew those times were important to her. Her words were never wasteful, she spoke only when it was direly needed therefore, he had learned through time that when she spoke it was best to listen.
Seeing that she was being ignore, she closed her eyes once more. He knew that she would understand. It was common for him to be talkative one moment and completely unreachable the next. She never irritated him like Raijin did with his profusion of words. He contemplated her words, reminiscing about the past when he had been a star instead of scoundrel.
What was his mission about? Galbadia, the sorceress, Squall Leonhart. It was all connected somehow. Finally he came to the conclusion that Fujin was right, his dream was not evil, it was the sorceress that had made it so. The sorceress was evil. He knew suddenly what he wanted to do now. The sorceress. His revenge.
He waited for her breath to quiet to that of slumber before he whispered in her ear, "Thank you, Danielle."
With a new found vigor Seifer walked up the escalator steps into the main street of Deling City. It seemed like it was eternally night here. It was a city that slept during the day, when all the glitter and spaze of the night life quieted down and gave way to the rising sun. There was nothing as beautiful night in Deling, not even the advanced sterile technology of Esthar could compare. He had loved this place, back then when he was intoxicated with the fantastic future that Ultimecia promised him. He was able to see the world in gold tinted glasses then but somehow even now, this city was still encased in gold to his eyes. What a place to be exiled from, he thought to himself.
"Seifer." Fujin, muttered as she nodded toward a group of approaching soldiers.
He tensed slightly. His hand went to the gunblade at his side, hidden in a broad sheath.
However, there was no need for alarm, the soldiers passed by the trio without a second glance. Seifer, sighed quietly, noticeably relaxed.
"Let's go," he ordered his two subordinates. He quickly began walking down the main street, in effort to hid his relief.
He turned as they reached the large golden archway that stood in the middle of Deling City. He scratched his head nonchalantly and turned to his comrades.
"We made it in less time than I thought. There is going to be a meeting in three hours, between the president and his cabinet. We won't be able to enter until the gates open which means that we have about two and half hours to ourselves. I'll meet the two of you here then. Until then keep a low profile."
Fujin and Raijin nodded obediently.
"Understood." Fujin replied.
"Good," Seifer said as he turned around to leave. "Oh and Raijin, don't do anything stupid."He said with one last smirk. He turned around just in time to see Raijin growl with anger. Seifer laughed to himself. He ran away toward the direction of Caraway's mansion.
"I'm sorry, I'm not authorized to allow any SeeDs into the city," the soldier said, awkwardly, glancing at the imposing duo.
Quistis Trepe frowned deeply at the young soldier. So they had come all this way for nothing? She flung her arms in a gesture of frustration.
"We need to see Deling. There is some vital information we need to give him about the sorceress," Quistis said, blatantly lying, taking Squall's example from how he so easily sneaked in Balamb during its occupation.
"The sorceress is with SeeD," the soldier replied in a irritated tone. "Having SeeDs here is dangerous to Deling City's well being. Please leave."
Behind him a slew of guards showed up, all staring menacingly at Quistis and Irvine.
Quistis sighed once more. Well, Squall was better at this lying nonsense.
"Alright we understand." Irvine stated as he tipped his hat and turned to leave.
Quistis stared at him in surprise.
"What?" she asked under he breath.
He tugged at her arm, dragging her from the front entrance of the city. They headed back toward the trains which they had taken here.
"Come on Quistis, they're not going to let us in. We might as well go home and pick up the sorceress and bring her here with her head on a silver platter."
Irvine winked at the guards, who were not impressed by his lack of gravity.
As they walked behind the last train, and away from the sight of the guard, he let go of her arm. Quistis roughly pulled her arm from his grip.
"You blubbering idiot. What are you doing? I knew it was mistake to take you along." She said, utterly frustrated.
Irvine smiled cunningly. "A mistake? I just found us a way in, instructor. Here I am saving the future of garden and all the lovely ladies that inhabit it and you call me an idiot?" He scratched his head. "Hmm I'm beginning to wonder if I should share my plans with you. Maybe I should just leave you there with those guards while you argue until the cows come home."
Quistis frowned. "This plan better be good." she snapped.
"Say please," Irvine said, enjoying her discomfort.
"Fine we'll just stand here and wait until Deling commence with his plan against Garden."
"You bastard," Quistis hissed.
"What? That didn't sound like a 'please' to me."
"Irvine Kinneas, will you please tell me your bloody plan."
He laughed. "Alrighty, good enough."
Irvine pointed at the manhole at the back of the train station. "We'll get in using the sewers. You did it before right? It should be no problem, Quisty. We'll be frying Deling's caput over our garden barbecue in no time."
Quistis stared at the manhole. Irvine was right, that appeared to be the only way to get in. Maybe Squall wasn't the only man on their team who could think on a higher level than a ochu.
She looked at the cocky, smiling Irvine who had his gun swung over his shoulder in a dramatic pose. She hated telling him that he was right but it appeared to be inevitable.
"Alright, let's go." She said quickly walking toward the manhole in wide strides.
"Hey did I hear a thank-you-Irvine-for-your-good-looks-and-marvelous-ingenuity?"
Quistis growled under her breath and ignored him.
Fujin saw Seifer watching Caraway's mansion with a look of anger and despair on his face. She had known that this city had special meaning for him, that coming back here was not easy. Although he had swore to both her and Raijin, over a couple of drinks, back in FH that he would never involve himself in any of Squall or his sorceresses foolishness ever again, something had changed. Ever since he started to have trouble sleeping he had been drawn toward traveling, first to Esthar now to Galbadia. He tried to hid his insomnia but she had known. She had watched his sitting alone on those starless nights staring at the ocean for hours on an end. Was it the Lunatic Pandora he was waiting for? To resurface from the waves like some demonic Aphrodite? She knew him better than he knew himself. She had loved him for as long as she could remember and even if he never returned that love, it wouldn't matter. As long as she held some importance in his barren heart, as long as she can be something not easily replaced, it would be okay.
She stood there, behind the trees, watching him watching the mansion. Her mind traveled back in time to that day. That day when her parents abandoned her. She never thought they would. All her childhood they had insisted that she talk more and in some ways she had enjoyed frightening them by sitting quietly and frowning for hours on an end. They were cruel people, poor and nomadic, but she did not hate them.
Danielle, her mother had said once, never place your trust in anyone. The world hates the likes of us. They'll fool you into believing their lies and swindle you, leaving you in the dust as soon as the weather turns foul. That is human nature, me and your father are the only ones who could ever love you.
She thought of the times when she was young, and still had both of her eyes, when her parents had used her as bait to rob good hearted people. It was always the same story, she had sat on a doorstep or a street corner crying. As they were distracted with concern for her, her parents would make way with the person's Gil. Oh, how she hated that. Having the kind stranger smile and coo over her for a few precious moments before they realized that they've been tricked and glare at her with utmost hatred. Demon's child, one of them had called her, as she ran away.
When she was fourteen they had abandoned her. She was attacked by a ruby dragon in the forest near Balamb. She had called out to them for help as the dragon backed her into a corner. She remembered crying hysterically, reaching and calling out to them for help as the beast drooled with hungry lust. For a second she thought they were discussing how to help her but as she blinked they were gone. Fled, her role as bait obviously wasn't important enough for them to risk their lives saving her. The dragon slashed her across the face, taking her eye. Forevermore, that was what the scar underneath her eyepatch meant to her, her utter lack of importance to her parents.
But then Seifer came.
He was fifteen, already enrolled in garden but to her that day he was her god descending from the heavens. His coat glowed like gold in the sun as he ran straight into the ruby dragon with his gunblade held high. She remembered watching him from her good eye, a blur of white against the red skin. His movements were swift and quick, slashing the dragon across the flank than, going for the neck. Although his movements were clumsy compared to the present, to her he was the greatest warrior in all existence. The dragon dug his teeth into Seifer's arm but he gave no notice of it, as he continued to slash, loosening the dragon with an ice spell. Finally as the dragon fell, from deep gash in his neck, squirting red fluid into the air like a fountain.
Seifer came up to her, she was still quivering against the rock face, afraid. He kneeled down beside her.
"Hey, you okay there?" He had asked, with a slightly victorious smile on his face. He whistled quietly when he saw her eye wound. He gave her an elixir, it dulled the pain but it did not stop the bleeding. He picked her up, placed her on his back and carried her back to Garden where she had stayed ever since. His bloody arm had stained his coat red but he insisted that whatever they did, they did for her first. She had never forgotten that, his bravery and the bloody trail of red they both had left on the way to Garden.
"Why did you save me?" she had asked him after her eye was treated, remembering her mother's words.
"Because you needed help. That's what I do. I'm a knight, I give people help when they need it."
"You just save people? Don't you get anything in return?"
"I get one step closer to my dream."
Fujin had been by his side ever since. She had taken on a new name, to match with his loyal friend Raijin. Only he knew her by Danielle.
She knew now that every time she did something for Seifer, something devoid of all thought of benefit for herself, she took a step further from her parents's miserable way of life. She wanted to help Seifer achieve his dream, no matter what it was. No matter how wrong it seemed to people like Squall Leonhart.
From her place beneath the trees, Fujin sighed as she watched Seifer step away from the mansion.
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