Terra: Part II Chapter 3
Terra? Edgar stepped into the receiving chamber set aside for the queen of Figaro and looked for her slight frame and pale green hair. The room was dark, but the slight glistening of a candle directed him to the far side where a collection of rugs and cushions served as her hiding place. Terra? He knelt down and gently pulled her toward him, enveloping her in his arms when he saw the tears streaming down her face. What is it, my sweet? What has upset you?
I think I said everything wrong, Edgar. I think I hurt him more than help him and now I dont know what to do, she sobbed against him.
There now, he soothed. Whom have you hurt? What has happened?
Shadow came, she said in a choked voice. He came and told me so many things about who he was and what hed done I couldnt tell him what to do. It had to be his choice.
Edgar frowned in confusion as he continued to stroke her hair and rub her back in an effort to soothe her tears. Shadow? Tell me, sweet, what did he tell you? What did he ask you to tell him?
Hes Relms father and he wanted to know if he should tell her or not. He didnt want to tell her because he thinks hes failed her. Why doesnt he see that she just wants him to love her. She wont care about all the other stuff. Oh, Edgar, I dont know if I helped him
Edgars frown dissipated and he pressed his lips tenderly against her hair. Ah. So the shadow of night has decided to attempt an unveiling to the morning. You have accomplished another miracle, my sweet.
Terra shook her head against him. I havent, Edgar. I was mean. I wasnt understanding or kind. I pushed him too hard and now I dont think Relm will ever know.
Her voice choked on her tears and Edgar tilted her chin up to wipe the wetness from her cheeks with the delicate touch of a finger. He smiled down at her. You havent the capacity for anything but kindness. You may believe you were too harsh, but there is an instinct in you that is able to know in which attitude you must speak. I am certain that you spoke justly. Remember, our dear friend Shadow has had a harsh life and respects firmness and forthright views. I am positive you offered him both.
Im just so afraid that it wasnt enough She sniffled and wrapped her arms tighter around him as she again rest her cheek against his chest. I so wanted to help him, Edgar. To help him find the family that I somehow knew he wanted to have.
Your concern for his life will not be lost on him, my sweet. Never before has he been in the presence of such gentleness as you. Trust in your heart. It shall be enough. He lay back in the cushions, his arms still wrapped around her to hold her close. Now, rest here with me. You shall forget your troubles soon enough. I assure you that I do the moment I see your smiling eyes.
Terra took in a deep breath and released it slow, snuggling against him. I love you, Edgar, she whispered.
As I love you, light of my soul. He placed another tender kiss on her head and ran a gentle hand through her long hair. As I love you.
Several silent minutes passed and then her breathing slowed, deepening with sleep. Edgar smiled, his hand absently caressing her neck. When the Chancellor had told him that Shadow had forced his way into the castle and awaited Terras arrival in her chamber Edgar had smiled with relief and quiet happiness. He knew how fervently she had searched for him and the fact that she would be relieved at his safety had relieved Edgar. He hated seeing her upset for any reason, no matter how slight. Sabin titled it disgustingly romantic sentiment, but it was simply how Edgar displayed the deep intensity of his love for her.
This love grew each moment she stayed with him.
Now his heart mourned at the grief she bore. I must do something, he reasoned. But what could he do? He knew not where Shadow was at that moment and only had a mere hint of what he had told her. How could he possibly do anything? Edgar placed another kiss on her head and then pressed his cheek against the softness of her hair with closed eyes. I know enough. I know that he confessed to being Relms father and that should be confession enough to know the heart of the man. How would I feel if I knew I had abandoned a daughter? Guilt. Shame. Rage at my own inability to protect her. Surely he feels the same as these? Is he not human?
Edgar took in a deep breath and then carefully manipulated himself from her arms. Unfortunately, he had become quite adept at doing so without waking her. The life of a king seldom began later than dawn. There had been uncountable mornings when he had escaped to the edge of the bed without waking her only to disturb her when he would lean in to give her a farewell kiss. Her lips had always been his weakness in those wee hours of the morning when his eyes had been shielded against her own. Then, upon the touch of his lips on hers, her bright eyes would wake and draw him in.
Edgar gazed down at her for a long moment, his lips drawing near to hers in a whisper of a kiss. I shall return, love light, he promised.
Edgar quietly stood and then left the chamber in search of Shadow. It amazed Edgar that he never tired of Terras company, or the warmth of her presence beside him. As a bachelor involved with many a village maiden for an indeterminate amount of time such a newness had never been present. He had tired of their plastic smiles and shallow beauty after only a few nights. His moments with Terra were never so fake. Never so shallow. Her laughter and smiles warmed him in a way nothing had previously done. How could he not do whatever was within his power in order to bring her another smile?
The Chancellor was just entering the hall. Edgar noticed that he looked tired, frustrated, and extremely insulted. Chancellor, what has upset you so completely?
Her highness guest, he answered in an exhausted tone. Never before have I been so tried and tested as I have been with this ruffian.
The gentleman inferred that he was asked by her highness to remain here for an unknown amount of time, the Chancellor said. I understand, highness, that she is young and inexperienced in matters of court, but how am I to prepare a place for her guests if I am not told in proper fashion?
Edgar smiled in understanding. I do apologize, Chancellor. I shall see to it that she knows the pr
The Chancellor looked horrified. Oh no, highness. You must not tell her that I have complained. I have no wish for her to feel guilty.
Then what do you wish for me to do, Chancellor?
The Chancellor straightened. Nothing needs to be done, highness. All is well.
Edgar fought back a laugh. I am glad to hear it. Now, where have you placed her highness guest?
In the west wing, although it was not I who placed him there. He has a certain independence about him, highness. He does that which he desires and will not hear a negative word about it.
Edgar nodded. Yes, that sounds very much like the Shadow we know and love. Edgar placed a hand on the Chancellors shoulder. Get some rest, Chancellor. The castle shall keep till morning.
The Chancellor bowed and then made his way down the hall toward his own room. Edgar turned and headed for the west wing. It is indeed odd that he would choose to remain here after such a disaster as Terra described. I wonder what his intention is? With Shadow, however, there was never any way to tell. Edgar shook his head, his eyebrow lowering in a frown. Terra may have thought the subject was closed, but Shadow apparently did not. Edgar would have bet his kingdom that the ninja had decided to meet with her again in the morning. How he has changed, Edgar commented inwardly. And that change made him wonder at the torture being silently withstood by him.
Edgar arrived at the only room available in the west wing and smiled at Interceptor who wait outside the door. Good evening, old friend. Does your master wish time to himself? Interceptor grumbled and adjusted his position as he raised his head, licking his chops and giving a long, deep yawn. If you make your way to the kitchens, I believe you will find the Cook more than willing to part with some choice bits of meat. Interceptors ears perked forward and he sat up, licking his lips with more enthusiasm as he tilted his head at Edgar. I do not jest, my friend. Go on. I shall comfort your master.
Interceptor stood, stretched quite thoroughly, and then lazily headed toward the kitchens. Edgar watched him go with a smirk and a shake of his head. The beast was truly amazing, as well as the groups first clue that Relm was more to Shadow than what he had alluded to. Interceptor had taken an instant liking to the young woman, as if he had already developed a trusting relationship with her. Now, with Shadows revelation to Terra, it was yet another piece to an intriguing puzzle.
Edgar turned away, pausing a brief moment as he stared at the door. Finally, he took in a slow breath and made a move to knock.
Do not bother me.
Edgar smirked, lowering his hand to his side. Typical of Shadow to know all and wait until the last moment to reveal it. I wish to speak with you, my friend, much as you wished to speak to Terra. It will be no bother. Silence greeted his response, so he reached out and opened the door. Shadow was standing on the far side of the room, staring into the dying embers of the fire. His mask was gone and Edgar immediately noticed the resemblance. He closed the door behind him before speaking. Misery blackens your face, my friend.
Misery. Misery is a close friend to me. Shadows voice was dead.
Edgar paused for a brief moment. It seems that this close friend is no longer wanted. He moved deeper into the room and sat in the armchair across from the fireplace. It is good to have you here, Shadow. Good to see you alive. Shadow said nothing. He simply gazed at the fire, his jaw clenched. You of course realize that Terra will have confided in me your secret. Still he said nothing. Your secret is safe, Shadow, unless you give either of us leave to speak of it.
Edgar examined the cool composure on the ninjas face. Terra described quite a heated debate between you. She was too mentally exhausted to go into great detail, but enough was said. To find you yet here is an intriguing twist. What is needed to be said that has not already, and in such a way as to break her very heart? The cool expression wavered minutely. She is certain that she has broken your spirit and heart more than it had already been. She is certain that she has done more harm than good. To find you here Edgar shrugged slightly. To find you here makes me wonder, Shadow, if there is something you yet wish her to do. Something you yet hope she can accomplish.
Shadow glanced to Edgar briefly and then returned his gaze back to the fire, his jaw clenching furiously. Edgar watched his reaction, his mind processing each emotion and veiled expression. She can not rescue you, Shadow, if you refuse to be rescued. She has performed many a miraculous feat, what with rescuing me from my own ignorance of happiness and companionship, but she is not superhuman. She can not turn back time and allow you to relive and change your past life. You must own up to your decisions and move on from there.
I do not ask for a miracle, he said through clenched teeth. I ask for her help. I ask for her support when I reveal myself to when I reveal myself to my daughter.
Edgar released a slow breath. Such a road I would not be so courageous to take, my friend. My respect for you has grown tremendously.
Shadow sneered and turned from the hearth, stalking to the far window with a dark growl. Courage? I have been backed into a corner as a frightened animal. What other route is there for me to take in order to save my soul? This is not courage. This is nothing but another form of cowardice!
I disagree. Passionately. You are accepting your responsibility. You are opening yourself up to rejection and pain the like of which no one has ever known. Do you truly believe this to be cowardice, my friend? No. Do not allow your demons to lie to you in such a way. You are putting right a grievous wrong. You are offering a young girl the opportunity to know a father whom has always held her best interest close to his soul. Do not discount this courage.
Shadow turned his face toward Edgar, his eyes a conflicting collage of emotion. I am afraid as I have never before been afraid. To look into my daughters eyes and see hatred or disgust it is of this that I am most afraid. Throughout this war against Kefka and the Empire I have continued to be haunted by her eyes and her voice. So like her mothers. To have her eyes despise me would be the one punishment I would not survive.
You know that you can not take this choice from her. Shadow turned away again. It will be a difficult time, Shadow, but Terra and I are here to offer our strength. Edgar stood and made his way to the door before turning and examining Shadows rigid form. If you are yet here in the morning, my friend, Terra and I shall accompany you to Thamasa. I know she will be pleased that there are no harsh feelings held by you. Good evening and sleep well.
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