To See Another Day Chapter 5
Conversations and Choices
By Kain Servant
No, you cant die! Dammit, you cant die! Zidane banged his fist against the root surface in frustration. And Kuja lay there as still as ever, his white skin seemingly whiter than ever. Listen to me!
And just as suddenly, the Angel of Deaths eyes flickered open again, Thank you brother, thank you for what youre trying to do. But I am dead at least I know that I am forgiven. That is worth everything.
Zidane slowly scooped up the genome, Youre not dead. Dont say that.
If I could have lived I would have changed everything I would have made it right. Do you believe me?
Zidane looked down into the blue eyes of his once enemy, identical to his own, I believe you.
And then the roots began pouring in
It was many hours later that Zidane crawled out of the cursed tree. All of the roots were dead and he almost joined them. Fresh blood covered his body from head to toe. The scars were deep, but they would heal. He was alive.
In his arms he carried the still body of Kuja, his purple robes arranged around him for his rightful funeral. Sometimes Zidane imagined that he could hear the faint beating of his heart but it was just vain hope.
Gently he laid the body down. It would be safe there, safe from all harm, And so join this new earth, and start a new beginning as a new creature, Kuja. You have restored hope to our earth, and we thank you. Slowly he rose, and laid his dagger on the genomes chest.
Everyone must meet death sometime thank you for restoring our life. Goodbye, Kuja. And then he walked away
Slowly light began to seep in again, and with it, the dreams faded back into reality. How long had it been? Hours? Days? Weeks? No! He didnt want light, he wanted death death was all that was left after something like that.
Fight the light! Fight it, he wanted the darkness, he had lost Garnet and with that lost nothing else was worth living!
Hey bro, look alive.
Zidane woke, quite aware of the ache seeping through his body, the pain in his head, which was not being helped by the light that seemed to flood in from every angle of the room above him. Slowly he blinked and tried to focus. There were three figures standing above him no six three again he blinked again, then with a yelp he sat up.
Vivi, Blank and Marcus were all there, staring anxiously at him. Vivi was the first to recover, Yay, hes up!
Blank nodded and touched his shoulder softly, How you feeling, bro? Alive?
Alive? He didnt want to be alive, he wanted to be dead! As for how he felt, I could use a little more sleep. Maybe for the rest of my life.
Blank grinned and looked around, Hey, I know how you feel. Man after some nights at the bar I could just sleep for weeks, especially with that headache waiting for me. So does Garnet bed you up her every night?
Sorrow washed over him once again as the last nights events came back to him. He wanted to throw up or was it die? He couldnt remember. A tear came back to his eye, but he ignored it, it was too late to worry about crying. I she did. But Im leaving now forever.
Three shocked pairs of eyes stared back at him as he rose unsteadily to his feet. He was still fully clothed from the night before, except for his sword. Who had put him in bed? Certainly it wasnt himself carefully he explained, half grinding his teeth and half crying the whole time, I Garnet decided Im not the one for her, we never were meant for each other, so shes going to go off with some guy and Ive been ordered to leave.
Blank half-laughed. Almost laughed. If the fool bastard had laughed he would have had to kill him. Never meant for each other, you two were head over heels for each other for years! And what happens after marriage is even better than making eyes at each other, how could you not be made for each other.
Thats it, Blank, shes never done more than that, making eyes at me, maybe a kiss even after we got married. Weve been married for years now, and shes never gone any farther. And He stopped himself. The tears were still flowing, but would it help if he told them everything? What the hell, She was getting a little closer to some guy last night while we were defending the city. Her city.
Vivi gasped, Blank eyed the floor, and Marcus shook his head, then spoke, I wouldnt let her send you away, man, Id leave. What do you see in a woman like that?
I dont know Slowly he lowered himself to the bed again and closed his eyes. Maybe a little more sleep wouldnt hurt
The door swung open with a crash, and Cid and Eiko walked gracefully in, Eiko holding a tray of food. She smiled at Zidane. He just closed his eyes with a moan,
Zidane, you need to eat, you could be sick! She scolded in a motherly fashion, setting the tray down beside him and ignoring the inspection Blank was giving her. Cid didnt ignore it, glaring fireballs at Blank until the man looked away with a sheepish grin.
Yes, Zidane, you must eat. When I found you lying on the floor last night, I thought you must have been seriously wounded, but I didnt find any injury.
I sure am tired Zidane mumbled. He wanted to be away from them and their mothering, he wanted to die well not so much to die anymore first kill Kain. Then die.
Ive thought over it a little and I might have a solution to why you fainted. It may have been the Trance State you were in. Marcus tells me that you unleashed a huge amount of energy through the trance when you killed the monsters last night. Using magic energy for a mage or summoner is tiresome, but when they go beyond their limits well, it could be dangerous, perhaps even fatal. But the trance does not let you feel how tired you are, or how weak you may be. That may have been the reason Kuja died after he left his trance, he had so much energy flowing through his system that it, not you, wounded him internally, and when the euphoria left his system, he simply died.
Zidane murmured something about how that might be it. Any other time he would have been amazed by the theory, of course that was what happened but now wasnt the time. Okay maybe he wanted to live for a little more than killing Kain. He still had a little bit of the world to see and he still had to find out who that black-haired man he had seen last night was. Of course, if he tried to hurt Garnet he didnt care, he was only interested in why he was trying to destroy the planet.
Cid surprised him by nearly reading his mind, What are you going to do now, Zidane? You know I heard about what happened last night. After the battle, that is. Im deeply sorry Im not accountable for my nieces behavior, but Im deeply grieved that she acted in such a way.
Zidane glared hate up at him, why did everyone have to talk about that now? There were other things in life. Well its not your fault. He mumbled. Oh yeah, and he couldnt die until he saw how big Wili and Bili had gotten. He really was interested in that, no matter how much he teased Vivi about it.
So what are you going to do? Eiko demanded. Zidane rolled his eyes over to her. It was hard to believe the girl had been in love with him when she was six. Now she was a pretty girl, for anyone who wouldnt mind a wife with a horn in her forehead how did you kiss without stabbing someone? Anyway, she was still just as annoying as she had been when she was a little girl, but he could forgive her.
What am I going to do? Well He took a deep breath. He was going to let it all go. Now that I have no wife, no duties or obligations, no place to live, no income, no love and no real desire to live or thing to live for then I guess Im going to figure out where all these redheaded guys came from, and their leader and what theyre trying to do. After thats all taken care of, then I guess Ill just die. Does that sound good?
All that greeted him was a bout of raucous laughter from Blank. Okay, the guy wouldnt die because he was a friend, but only because he was a friend. Thats the old Zidane talking again, bro, welcome back! Zidane blinked. Maybe all the battling last night had rocked Blank a little farther off his rocker. Actually, the rocker was nowhere in sight. Thats what Im used to, you always saying that you dont care and then doing it anyway. Thats my man! Marcus cracked a grin, and Zidane could almost imagine Vivi grinning too, if he had a mouth. Cid and Eiko seemed as clueless as he had been but Zidane thought he had it figured out.
Slowly he grinned, Its glad to be back. Alright, listen up everyone, I dont care if you leave or go home or do whatever, but if you want to help out then listen. What we need to do first is find Amarant, if hasnt joined the redhead crew already, the loner bastard. I think he holds the key in this whole situation those invaders have something to do with him, and Im going to find out what.
Slowly Cid nodded, Alright do you have any idea where he might be now?
That took a minute for Zidane to think about. Of course he had absolutely no idea where Amarant might hide. Where would a big guy with a red afro keep himself anyway? Actually, he had always wondered what the big man did for fun, he always seemed to dull and boring, which made it even more curious when he decided he was going to do something on his own. As crazy as Blank, maybe it had something to with the red hair. Well why dont we start in Treno? He always seemed to like that place, maybe it had something to do with all the losers that hung out there
The door opened once again, and Steiner and Beatrix trooped in, Steiner, of course, with his arm around Beatrix. Zidane gritted his teeth. If his friendship with that man ever got as tedious as it had started off, he was going to kill him. Him and Blank always reminding him that his own wife was probably still making passionate love to some guy he didnt even know
Beatrix smiled brightly at Zidane when she saw him. He grinned in spite of himself, he actually had a lot of people here listening to what he was saying, bringing food to him in bed they were actually treating him like a queens husband for once. That thought kicked the humor right out. Good morning, Zidane, youre looking a little better this morning.
He rolled his eyes at her, What, did everyone come to make sure I was in bed and alright? Look, I would be fine if it wasnt for my goddamn wife!
Silence came again, followed by Steiner clearing his throat, I Im sorry, Zidane, I we heard
He snorted, Yeah, and so has the rest of the whole damn world, what, was everyone else outside listening to her blissful night too, or were you all taking turns making it for her?
Zidane Cid began, his ears turning red in embarrassment as he shuffled his way in front of Eiko, as if to cover her ears with his body.
No, dont stop me, I know what happened, probably better than anyone else. She was my wife, after all, I should know better than you. But I wouldnt feel like this if it wasnt for her, and right now I feel like dying. Slowly he began to feel something, a pulsing in the back of his mind. Trance? But that was impossible!
The trance flew straight out of his mind as the door burst open, again, and Garnet walked in. She was wearing the orange overalls she had worn during all the journeys they had shared long in the past too far into the past. But still a welling of pain rose in his soul when he saw her, and saw the troubled look on her face. Under her arm she carried the ornate golden book. That book that had something to do with Kain, he knew it! Damn that book! Damn that book and her forever!
Zidane I She stumbled as she looked around and saw all of the people (and one black mage) gathered in the room. Seven sets of eyes locked onto her in anticipation. Zidanes eyes were locked on the floor. Zidane. She said more quietly, Im leaving now.
Leaving with Kain, right?
Well yes, but, Zidane-
So youre just going to leave Alexandria to whoever wants it and run off to play the whore to some peasant living in the woods.
He could feel her blush even not looking at her he was her husband, he knew her emotions better than anyone, Zidane Im not running off with him, Im taking him with me, to find out about this book. He brought it here, so he must know something more about it, he can help me find out what it means.
Score Kain did have something to do with the book. Now what the book was What, did the book tell you to make love to him last night? Another blush, this time with a little anger, he could feel it almost as well as if it were his own. Today he didnt care if he hurt her feelings, Why is the damn book so important? Or is it just an excuse to stay with him?
I cant really explain the book to you but please listen. I take back what I said last night, you can stay if you wish if you ever want to see me again is your choice but I want you to forgive me.
He let the silence hang in the air just long enough to make it look as if he was considering it. Today he was in his right mind, much better than last night. Today he was going to blast her as hard as he could, Just leave, Garnet, just go, go and never come back for all I care! Go to hell! I wont be here if you come back with your new husband, but just remember this. As much as he tried, he couldnt keep his voice from trembling as he finished, All I wanted before was you. Now all I want is death. Now go!
Go, dammit! Now!
And she was gone, angrily slamming the door behind her. Slowly he looked up. He had not opened his eyes the whole conversation. Everyone was still there, quiet, staring at the door. He turned to Steiner, And why didnt you go with her? Youre always talking about wanting to serve her.
The big knight turned to him and then shrugged. He had not donned his armor yet he didnt wear the old rusty set anymore, of course, but a new set of shining steel armor, which Zidane thought looked quite nice and was simply wearing a white tunic, sleeves rolled up his massive arms, and a pair of baggy black pants. His hair was a mess, brown locks spilling across his face and some sticking straight up in the air. That was probably Beatrixs doing, the rumpled look. Zidane had no doubt that she kept him up long hours at night. But that wasnt his concern.
I swore to Queen Brahne that I would protect the princess with my life and honor. But now the princess is the queen, shes old enough to take care of herself and suffer the consequences. Slowly the somber faced man took a knee, And these are the consequences. Zidane, no matter what has happened between us before, I turn my assistance from her to you. She was clearly in the wrong in this matter, and I cannot think to serve her until it has been recompensed. My life is at your service.
And mine as well. Beatrix did not kneel, she simply nodded her head and tossed her hair, The General of Alexandria must know who follows the better course for Alexandria. I was deceived before, Zidane, and you showed me the light and told me to follow Garnet. Now She tossed her hair again, I will not take the risk of being deceived again. I will follow you. Temporarily, of course. She grinned, and he grinned back, slightly dazed. Was this really happening?
Blank and Marcus both nodded in unison and then gave a Tantalus salute of honor to them, he returned it. Vivi adjusted his hat; Youve always shown me the right way before, Zidane. Maybe Garnet will get better soon, but Ill help you.
Cid sighed and rubbed the back of his head, Well it would seem traitorous if I did not follow you in this revolutionary group of individuals. I will help you, dont worry about that. But I need to see to the affairs of Lindblum first, so Im afraid I will be helping from afar. But He bowed his head solemnly, I do acknowledge you as the true shall we call you Defender of Alexandria? Defender of her well being at least. May your luck fare as well for you as it did before.
Eiko turned to her father slowly, Daddy can I go with Zidane? He opened his mouth in protest, but she immediately began protesting, Ive gone with him before and Im sure he would never let anything happen to me. And I havent visited Treno in such a long time. Pleeeeeeaase?
Zidane saw the yes coming before the elder man said it. He grinned mischievously. The regent of Lindblum, cracked like an egg by a sixteen-year-old girl. And will you, Steiner and Beatrix, will you go to Treno with me as well?
Two nods hailed him, and he smiled. Good. Now, once we find Amarant, I think-
Suddenly he realized something. The light in the back of his mind was still there, the quiet rising of emotion the trance. That brought up a few questions he had been storing, Cid what did Doctor Tot say about how Kuja stayed in a trance for so long?
Cid blinked, but answered quickly, Well, he said it was because Kujas whole mindset was based around anger and sorrow and violent emotions. As you know, a trance is brought on by an uprising of these emotions, anger usually, when you get beat around a lot in a battle, or sometimes by sorrow some have reached trance when they see a friend die in battle, or when their nation crumbles in a battle but those are few and far between. Kuja was sad because he had no purpose in life but to die, and he was angry because Garland had made it that way. Those were the only goals in his mind when he began his attempt to destroy Gaia, and since his anger was constantly so high, the trance never left.
Zidane smiled, triumphant, yet sorrowful as his mind turned back to Garnet, I think I can duplicate that
Kain walked slowly out the abandoned gates of the castle. He was heading home. Inside his mind was still as confused as it had been the night before. Why had his elder done this to him? He could have sent anyone in the town, but he sent Kain and the queen had melted all over him at first sight how was he supposed to refuse a woman literally throwing herself on him? Besides she had said, basically, that she wasnt involved with her husband. He thought she meant he was gone and done for! Not that he might walk in any moment. If he had had any idea that her husband was still living with her, he would never have even gone into her bedchamber.
So that left him with the question that had plagued him the night before, and would probably plague him for the rest of his life. Was it Garnets fault, for not telling him truthfully and dragging him into making love with her? Or was it his fault for not refusing when he knew that it was not morally right.
He still could feel the tingling electricity of her skin beneath his fingers, the sweet scent of her skin and the delicious taste of her No! It wasnt worth it, a few hours wasnt worth eternal shame!
Kain! He turned quickly. That voice wasnt one to be forgotten. There was the queen, now dressed in a pair of orange overalls and a baggy linen shirt. Not particularly suitable apparel for a queen.
Your highness He bowed as low as he could, trying to avoid her eyes. Good morning.
Kain, I want to go with you to Macema. There are a few things I need to talk to the elder about the book. She nodded to it, tucked under her arm.
Alright He said quietly. He couldnt refuse the queen of the nation, could he? But I wont take advantage of you again. It wasnt really taking advantage of her, but how could he tell a queen to her face that she had manipulated him?
Dont worry, Kain. Her smile was small, but full of life, and the seductive hint to it sent his hormones raging once again. Stop! Zidane said he never wants to see me again, so if we made love for the rest of our lives he would never try to stop us.
The thought was enough to make Kain blush, and he noticed her cheeks getting a little red as well. Hastily he murmured, Ah I, Im sorry still, I maybe we shouldnt.
Look. The smile disappeared and her eyes grew sad, Lets just go to Macema, alright? We can work out the details sometime later.
Sure no problem, um your highness. The smile came back to her face, and she began to talk about of all things the weather, as she led him to the airship docks.
Freya leaned against her lance for a moment and took a moment to breath, surveying the work of the day. Burmecia nearly glimmered from gate to gate with the white marble that was now paving the streets. Every ten or twenty feet, a giant fountain stood in the street or in one of the public gardens, making use of the eternal rain that fell.
She smiled happily. Fratley and new King of Burmecia, Kal, had decided that the city not only needed to be rebuilt from the destruction that the black mages had caused, but that it also needed to be the grandest city in the world. And it was.
Kal had only become king since Puck had disappeared again. That fool always ran off and left someone needing him. If he did decide to reappear he would be the ruler of all the lands between Burmecia and Cleyra but the young rascal would never accept that sort of task. He was meant to be a wanderer. And Kal was doing a fine job as the King, especially in the remaking of the city.
Of course it was much larger now that the people of Cleyra had decided to join with Burmecia once again, forgetting whatever argument that had caused the rift over a hundred years ago. Freya guessed that if the Cleyrians still had their tree and their sandstorm, they would not have even giving Burmecia a second glance after Kuja had been disposed of.
Freya could see the palace from where she stood in the center of Main Street. It was almost all made completely of marble as well, what wasnt made out of gold, and the sunlight that fell upon it made the palace, and the whole city in fact, seem to gleam. That was why, though the land of Burmecia was still called the Realm of Eternal Rain, the city was now called the Gleaming City. Dar kara was the name in the old tongue, if that was of any use at all.
The work of the day had consisted of finishing the grand fountain in the center of Main Street. The marble fountain was a depiction of the last king of Burmecia, with his hands lifted to the sky, blessing Burmecia with its rain, which was the water of the fountain. If rain is a blessing Freya thought with a wrinkle of her nose.
She, of course, didnt have much to do with the building. She was just there because her rounds had been made for the day and she was waiting for Fratley. The Head, or Lady of the Dragon Knights had many duties to perform, but they werent too strenuous, or too numerous. Of course she wouldnt have been the Lady, but Fratley was the Supreme General of whatever Burmecia had of a military, so the position was left to Freya. She didnt particularly want it, but she wasnt about to run away from her duty again.
Finally she spied Fratley, walking toward her from the palace. He was still wearing his old dragon knight uniform, and carried his legendary lance over his shoulder. The same Fratley, and different it had taken so long for her to relive all the experiences he had forgotten, to make him remember but now he was her love once again, that was all she wanted, what was there to worry about?
He greeted her with a squeeze on the shoulder, Hello, Freya. How goes the work on the fountain?
She nodded and smiled, Fine, see for yourself. What did the king want, Fratley?
He gave me a warning, Alexandria was attacked yesterday by some monster horde. Freya shook her head in disbelief. The peace had lasted for so long was it crumbling once again?
A monster horde? Then it was organized? Monsters arent like that.
Fratley opened his mouth, but closed it as a man stepped toward them. Freya almost gasped. He looked almost exactly like Amarant! The curly red hair, the deep set face and black eyes the only difference was that a tattoo on each cheek, both depicting an open, bloodshot eye. Disgusting men. He wore a light coat of chain mail as a shirt, leaving his huge arms bare to the elbow, and a pair of black, baggy silk pants, tied at the ankle with strips of cloth. He wore one weapon, a dagger slipped into his belt. It had no sheath, and the silver blade depicted the same eye that was tattooed on his cheeks.
Fratley shook his head at the man, Greetings, stranger. What may I do for you?
The man paused, settling his cold eyes on Freya for an instant, then he turned them to Fratley, I need to see the King of this nation. Where is he?
Fratley pointed dutifully at the palace, That way, ask a guard for directions at the palace. The man nodded and then began moving off swiftly. Peace favor your day, stranger.
Both dragon knights stood watching him until he was out of their sight, then Fratley shook his head, Strange man.
Freya nodded, Yes hmm he looked almost exactly like Amarant Coral
Amarant? Suddenly Fratleys voice was urgent, Who is this Amarant?
Freya turned to him and raised an eyebrow, Hes a strange man I used to know, one of Zidanes friends. Why?
Because thats what the King said! The message told him that those who led the monsters looked like Amarant! I didnt know who he meant but the King is in danger!
Freya was already running toward the palace. What have you got us into this time, Coral?
Emryal hurried along the wide passages of the marble palace. It was a big place, and rather grand, if not as grand as the palaces on Tialtor. But he wasnt here for the palace. He was here for the King. Slowly a grin swept over his face he always wished he was allowed some time to torture his victims before he killed them, but Menoth did not allow it.
Damn Menoth and his honor! This wasnt about honor, this was about life and death and of course Emryal wanted to have fun. I mean, it wasnt like they were going to lose they could relax, that was what Menoth didnt see.
He slowed as the Throne room rose at the end of the hall, and drew his knife. Maybe no one would notice if he put a few nicks on him before he killed him hmm
The rat-faced king nodded slowly as Emryal entered the room, but soon his calm face was a picture of panic as the redheaded man advanced on him with a chilling grin.
Fratley reached the throne room just behind Freya. Your highness, were here, where is he!
And there was Kal sitting on his throne, just smiling at them lopsidedly, Where is who, Fratley?
Well the big redheaded man, we think hes here to kill you!
Kal slowly shook his head, No, no, not Lord Emryal he was here to tell me the truth about Alexandria.
Freyas eyes widened, But but we think hes one of the ones who attacked Alexandria.
Kal nodded understandingly, Well, yes, he was. But you see they told me that it was an army of monsters that attacked Alexandria, the lying bastards really Alexandria is the place that has an army of monsters. Lord Emryal was there with a peace embassy from Daugerreo, and when they were inside these monsters came down on them and slaughtered everyone. He was the only one who escaped alive.
Not only were Freyas eyes wide, but her eyebrow was climbing higher and higher. Daugerreo? The people of Daugerreo probably had not left their city in a millenium, And you believe that? Sir, youve never met the man before.
Kal sighed and tapped the side of his head, Yes I believe him. Ive never trusted that Garnet; her mother was twisted, why not her? Fratley, gather your soldiers, and Freya, gather the dragon knights, were going to attack Alexandria!
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