Hope in Love Chapter 11

A Whole New World

By Sorceress Fantasia

"Ahhhhhhhhh!" Barret shouted as he fell through a blue tunnel. Soon, he saw the light at the end of the long tunnel. He felt relieved, for he was finally getting out. However, things didn’t go well for him. The exit came too suddenly for Barret to react. Thus, he fell hard on the ground. Oof!"

"Oww…Damn man!" He cursed at his bad luck. He pushed himself up with his hands. Unknown to him, another portal had opened just above him. Barret was getting up when Yuffie practically sat on him, causing him to fall flat on his face. Yuffie rubbed her head to ease the pain Lexon had caused earlier, unaware that Barret was underneath her. It was only when Barret tried to get up again that she noticed. He quickly got onto his feet this time, afraid that someone else might take him as a cushion as well. Yuffie tumbled down his back and onto the ground in shock. "Ah!" She shrieked. She immediately jumped up and took out her Conformer, thinking that it was an enemy. To her surprise, she saw Barret some distance away from her, hands crossed and eyebrows knitted together.

"Huh? Barret?"

Barret took in a deep breathe, and shouted at her, uttering curses she had never thought one could conjure, "Damn you f%#$*ing idiot! $@%$*^! &^$*@$%! Why the $%#( heck did you have ta land on me!?"

"I did?" She asked, with a hint of surprise. Her eyes widened, and for a moment, she looked like a cute little lamb. She batted her watery eyes and tried her best to look as innocent as possible.

"Of course you did!"

"Big Deal!" She shrugged.

"Hey you…"

Suddenly, someone came between their argument and stopped them, literately. A ball of red fur fell between them just when Barret was about to retort. It was Red. He landed lightly on his paws. Right after him, came a few more of them: Vincent, Lucretsia, Cid, Reno, Rude, and Elena. Cait arrived last. Mog had appeared first, then he proceeded to catch Cait as he fell out of the tunnel. Cait gave a sigh of relief as he climbed onto Mog’s back. "Finally. We’re finally out."

Lucretsia looked around, then pointed out, "Where’s Cloud and Tifa?"

Just then, as though to answer her question, a portal opened and out came the two, along with Grim. "Cloud! Tifa!"

"Guys! I’m so glad you’re all fine!" Tifa replied excitedly. Upon taking a closer look of the surroundings, she exclaimed, "Oh my god! Where are we?" With a little reminder from her, everyone then realized this place was one they had never seen before. They were in the open, in the middle of a plain. The sky was like an enchanting picture that could never be captured on photos. Faintly, the sun’s rays of golden sunshine touched the violet skies, sending streaks of bright scarlet and azure blue into the heavens. The scenery was captivating.

"Oh wow! It’s beautiful…" Elena’s voice trailed away, as she noticed the grim expression on Grim’s face (a pun? J ). "Grim?"

Grim was staring into empty space, not looking at anything in particular. He was in no mood to look at the ‘beautiful scenery’ as Elena had said, for he had too much to think. The confrontation with Lexon, the Kallista… The Kallista… wasn’t that the name of the sacred dagger of Sapphire? Holy protector of Pacific? Or is it just a coincidence? It took him a good full minute to realize that Elena was calling him. "Grim! Grim Reaper!" She tried again. Grim jumped a little at the sudden mention of his name. "Huh? O…oh…what’s up?" He pretended to look calm.

"Grim, is something wrong?" Red asked, concerned.

He hesitated for a moment, unsure of whether he should tell his friends. It was only when Yuffie prodded on that he told them.

"Hey! C’mon! Tell us! Don’t hide anything from us! We’re your friends, aren’t we?" She cajoled. "And this is something that we are all involved in. We have a right to know."

Grim sighed. ‘She’s right. This is something that they are all involved in. They have a right and a need to know.’ With that last thought in mind, he started, "It’s Kallista."

"Kallista? You mean the dagger Lexon used?" Reno asked.

Grim nodded. "Right, Lexon’s dagger."

"What’s wrong with it?"

"What’s *not* wrong with it? It’s cursed! For goodness sake!" Yuffie chided.

"No, that’s not the main thing." Grim replied.

"Then what is? What could possibly be worse than that?"

"A lot of things." Grim thought about the dagger and felt a chill running down his spine. Slowly, he went on, "The most important thing about it is the name."

"Name? Ya kiddin’? What’s so scary ‘bout that?" Barret laughed.

"The name, if interpreted in the Pacific language, means ‘holy, sacred’. Sapphire had a dagger which was later placed inside Zeal, the holy shrine, as a protector. It was said that it had a mind of its own. And…its name was…" Grim swallowed the lump in his throat before he continued, "…Kallista."


For a minute, everyone just stood there, rooted to the ground, dumbfounded. No one could believe their ears. How can it be? Is it just a coincidence that the two weapons had the exact same name? Same name, but different purpose totally? One is a protector, and the other a destroyer? Or is it the same dagger? But it can’t be! Or…could it?

"Co…Come again?" Elena stammered, voice full of uncertainty.

"Just spell out what you wish to say, Grim." Red prodded.

Grim turned to face her. He took in a deep breath, then sighed, "I believe that they are the same dagger."

Everyone felt dozens of words struggled up their throat and clamored to get out, but none managed to string them into full sentences. Silence struck them once more. All of them stood there, minds filled with questions. Whoever tried to speak found that their voices had left them. It was Reno who finally broke the silence, speaking on behalf of everyone else. "Wa…wait a sec! Let me get this straight. What you are saying is that Lexon has got the holy dagger?" The rest looked eagerly at Grim, hoping his answer would ease their worried minds.

Grim hung his head, expression full of pain. He nodded as a reply, then answered softly, "Yes."

Reno took a step back, then murmured, "Oh my god…"

"The holy weapon, Kallista, has extremely destructive powers. It’s said that if it lands into the hands of the good, then, it can be used to protect mankind. But if it, by some accident, falls into the hands of evil doers, then…" Grim paused, unwilling to continue.

But the others wanted to make sure, so Yuffie asked, "Then…?" She gestured for him to go on.

"…Start praying."


After that horrifying statement by Grim, Tifa decided that it would be better to draw everyone’s attention away from it for at least a while. So, she immediately changed the topic.

"Grim, do you know where are we? It doesn’t seem to be our world anymore…I don’t think I’ve ever seen this place before!"

As if on cue, everyone started to stare at the surroundings. Blades of green green grass bowed their heads as the soft zephyr blew. Flowers of many colours bloomed. The sweet chirps of birds could be heard faintly. Nothing was wrong. Elena then inquired, "What’s your definition of ‘weird’? Is it ‘strange’ of something else? I don’t see anything strange."

Tifa’s face blushed a little and she silently cursed herself for her fair complexion. "Well…It’s the feeling this place evokes in me. I don’t know how to say it."

Yuffie nodded her head vigorously, supporting Tifa’s point completely. Elena, determined to prove *her* point, asked again, directing her question at the young ninja this time. "So? Tell me what’s so strange?"

Yuffie, for the first time in her life, was at a loss for words. She too, felt the same as Tifa, only being able to feel it, but not able to express it. She shook her head, then muttered, "I dunno either! I just can’t say it!"

Elena snapped at her, like a Venus flytrap lunging at its prey, "Yeah sure! The day Yuffie Kisaragi can’t say anything is the day pigs can fly!"

Suddenly, as if to help answer Elena’s queries and to support Tifa and Yuffie, something crawled out of the ground. It was…erm…no one knew what it was. It looked like a pink pig, except that it was *really* small. "Oh my god! Is there a famine going on here?" was the only thought that ran through everyone’s mind.

"What is this?!" Reno asked, totally bemused. "A pig with stunted growth?"

The animal sensed that it was the object of their scrutiny, and let out a small whimper, sounding just like a pig. Then it spread a pair of white feathery wings and took off for the clear skies, leaving Cloud and company standing there, jaws wide open and eyes as big as saucers. Elena was especially shocked.

Yuffie crossed her arms smugly, and a winner’s grin plastered on her features. "As you were saying?"

Elena quickly regained her composure, and choked out, "Ok! I take back my sentence! This place *is* weird! Happy?"

Yuffie only grinned more, and her head threatened to come off if her grin got any wider. She finally replied, "Yes! Very!" Then she added gleefully, "What a *perfect* world! Pigs *do* fly!"

"Erm, Red, is there such an organism such as that in our world?" Cloud queried.

Red swallowed the lump in his throat, and answered, "I * don’t * think * so…"

Grim, in order to gain attention, held up a finger, and said, "I’m almost afraid to say this, but in conclusion, we are not in your world anymore!"

Reno slapped his forehead in frustration, " So, where are we now?"

"Somewhere that we’ve never been to before?" Yuffie suggested.

"No one will say that ya’re dumb jus’ cuz’ you don’t talk!" Barret barked.

Yuffie made a face at him. Grim sighed, and spoke, "We might be in Pacific, ya know."

At that, everyone’s head whipped around to look at their friend. He continued, "The place where we got sucked into the tunnel is, after all, the entrance to Pacific. Perhaps Kallista reacted with the entrance and took all of us here."

Cloud spoke up, "Maybe. Well, no matter where this is, we have to move on. At least, we have to find shelter for tonight and then we’ll formulate a plan to get out. Is everyone fine with that?"

Everyone agreed. This was the only option opened to them now. And so, the party, after some *friendly discussion* between Reno and Barret (yet again J ), they set off, to the east.


It wasn’t long before they received another shock. The sight that greeted them was fabulously beautiful. They saw a myriad of colors. An endless waltz of attractive roses, tulips, poppies…there were too much to name and they didn’t exactly know flowers that well to identify each breed. It was as if they were some puny insects, wandering in the middle of an endless garden.

"Oh wow! It’s…it’s absolutely captivating!" Yuffie exclaimed. She immediately frolics, and jumped into the flowers. Everyone else run after her.

However, their footsteps soon stopped. A majestic building stood before them. It looked arcane, and even a little archaic. The stone construction was surrounded by a depressing and sad aura. It reminded Cloud deeply of the temple of the Ancients. He knitted his brows together.

Grim stared at the stone structure, narrowing his brows. He felt somewhat…safe and secure to be here. It was as though this was his home.

Cid grumbled, "What the $##%# are we standin’ here for!? Let’s jus’ go in!"

Before anyone could rebut him, he marched towards the building. Suddenly, he felt the presence of someone at the threshold of it and he jumped back, thanks to his reflexes. He screamed, "Who the #$%*^ are you! Standin’ there like some sorta ghost!"

It was only then, everyone noticed a slight movement in the shadows.


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