To See Another Day Chapter 9

Not Above Reality

By Kain Servant

There was a certain amount of practice that should have gone into flying before Zidane just started zooming around. But of course he didn’t have the time for that. At first the forward motion had been difficult to achieve, but soon he discovered that all that needed to be done was to “think” move forward, and it was accomplished.

He watched from a fairly long distance as Amarant ran doggedly onward, taking a fearful look over his shoulder ever now and then. At least he thought it was Amarant – they all looked the same, so it could be anyone…if they did give them names instead of numbers. Too many identical races had been created, the mages, the genomes…and whatever the redheaded men called themselves.

Even though he could easily have caught up with the running man, he kept a small distance behind. Better to know where he was going – just in case. And, this way, he wasn’t wasting energy anyway. A few extra minutes couldn’t hurt.

The few extra minutes stretched into almost an hour as Amarant kept running and running, holding close to the mountainous heights to their left. Sometimes he attempted dodging around a corner quickly or hiding behind a tree, but it was like playing hide and seek with the sun, the red hair and the height stood out like a banner.

After a long run, they finally reached their destination. This time, instead of ducking behind a tree, the man just disappeared into the cliff wall. Zidane flew down low to the ground, and quickly discovered that it was simply a large natural cave carved into the hard rock surface.

With a sigh he let go of the button and the trance, and landed lightly on the ground. An instant later his sword was out and held in an attacking stance before him. ‘No chances…I won’t take any chances…’

If he hadn’t been taking any chances a few days ago, he might not have lost his w—He shook the thought angrily out of his head. Couldn’t even control his own thoughts, what kind of person is that to save the world? ‘Or whatever the hell I’m doing out here…’

Gingerly he stepped into the cave, sweeping carefully with his sword in attempts to dislodge any traps waiting for him. All he was greeted with was blank rock and a few wisps of spider webs, the owners long since cleared away.

Before him was a long dark passageway. With a sigh, he plunged the button of the anger builder back down. Time to test how much this thing could really do… When he felt the surge of trance building, he simply concentrated on building a light before him. Slowly, dimly, a light source seemed to grow from out of nowhere, filling the air with luminescence.

‘Pretty neat…wonder how much I can achieve with this…’ He closed his eyes and imagined twenty giant shadowed warriors surrounding him, concentrating on every detail – the gleam in their swords and the cold dullness of their dead eyes…

When he opened his eyes, there they were. Oh sure, they were only apparitions, but hell, with twenty guys like that surrounding him, he would never have to worry about being threatened again. With a grin he stepped forward, and the apparitions followed him.

‘I really could get used to this much power.’ Power…the power seeped through him like water, coursing, pushing, flowing…it almost made his hair stand on end. It scared the hell out of him. It made him want to discover more. It…he kept walking down the tunnel.


Blank wiped his face with a shirtsleeve as he glanced around the main street of Treno. Currently being blasted with 1 million degrees of heat. Or so it seemed anyway, but Blank very seldom exaggerated.

Twenty million flies surrounded him, trying to eat him alive. Calmly he wiped off the other side of his face, and quietly swore, “GET THE HELL OFF OF ME, YOU SHIT-EATING BASTARDS!”

Suddenly every eye in the vicinity of a few miles seemed to be looking at him. ‘I didn’t say it that loud…’ He mumbled.

“Blank?” He turned, wiping the newly acquired sweat from his face. It was Eiko…looking as ravishing as ever, and, it appeared, barely sweating at all. “Something wrong? I heard you yell half way down the street.”

She heard him yell…so much for making a good impression. He swiped at his hair, “Er…sorry, guess I should control my temper. But it’s like…a million…and there are…nevermind.” He swiped despairingly at a fly.

Eiko smiled, a condescending smile, “It’s alright – we all have bad days.” Well that wasn’t it at all, it was just—“Blank, would you walk with me for a while? Keep me company?” Well sure…that was pretty possible for old Blank.

They walked in silence for a moment, Eiko looking carelessly around at the bustling city surrounding them, Blank waiting for Eiko to bring up the point of the conversation. Finally she did, “Daddy thinks I’m wrong, he thinks that it will all turn into a big disaster and my heart will be broken.”

Blink…blink… Blank swiped at his hair as he tried to think that one through. Eiko pulled up on the strap of her dress and then tried to straighten it across her knees, which meant by Blank’s knowledge that whatever she was going to talk about would be embarrassing.

“Blank…I think I’m in love…daddy says its just hormones but I really do think that I love him…I mean every time I talk to him I find myself laughing and…” She touched his arm for a moment, and a shiver ran up it. A mixture of jealousy, regret and hope. Jealousy that some bastard had Eiko head over heels in love with him. Regret because it wasn’t him, and hope that maybe it was…


“Good afternoon, Princess.” Steiner popped into the road in front of them, Beatrix standing slightly behind him, her arm wrapped around his waist. Steiner performed a jerky bow, then nodded to Blank, “Any sight of him?”

Blank took a glance at Eiko. She sighed and shrugged. For another time…he nodded, “Uh…nope, not really.”

“I personally think this is pointless.” Beatrix touched the hilt of her sword, “Searching this big town for one man. It’s…futile.”

“But Zidane seems to think this is our hope…and if this is our hope then I’ ll keep on searching for him.” Steiner mumbled blandly. He seemed to put a lot of trust into Zidane lately, Blank had never seen him go against a word Beatrix had said before. Things changed, just as long as Zidane didn’t think he was a god, then everything was fine.


Zidane felt like a god as he made his way quietly through the cave, surrounded by twenty giants and a light that emanated from nowhere. He kept the trance, just in case an attack came…but he didn’t think one would…

As he turned a corner, suddenly a knife blade appeared, stabbing right through the center apparition in front of Zidane. Then someone gasped, and Zidane heard a sound like someone falling to the ground. Of course he couldn’t see anything, as there were twenty nothings blocking his vision, but that was easily remediable.

With a moment of concentration in trance, all of the lights in the room flickered out. Zidane gave a slight grin of satisfaction, then managed the darkest voice he had ever used in his life, “Peace, fool, one more try and you’ll be dead…” That inflicted a few gasps, which indicated something Zidane didn’t speculate on. There were more than one in the room. He paused for a moment to make the giants disappear – simply a matter of destroying his image that they were there, then he pushed all his power into creating light again, a much greater light than before.

A great flash blinded him for a second, and when he opened his eyes…there were a dozen some big redheaded guys lying on the ground. Zidane grinned. One of them looked up slowly, an impassive tint to his eyes. “Zidane? What the hell are you doing?”

“Amarant?” The slight curl to the man’s lip signified the answer, “Thank heavens, I thought I’d never find the right one of you.” Zidane took a slow glance around the room. It was just like the rest of the cave, simply a bit larger, with a few torches hanging on the walls. Just in his range of vision he could see a few blankets thrown on the ground…a sleeping area?

“Zidane…what happened to you? From what I hear, you can fly, you can create what isn’t there…a few travelers from Alexandria even said you have the power to destroy a city with your bare hands.”

“It’s trance, Amarant. You can reach the state as well…I’ve simply delved further into it than many others have…I…can tell you later. Look, you know about the…invasion, right?”

Amarant nodded, then looked around. The expression on his face turned sad, “Look, kid, I-“

“We don’t have the time to talk now, would you come back with me to the airship, please?” A few hints of murmuring reached his ears, and he looked around at the other identical men, “And the others. I need to know all about you that I can.”

“Still the responsible leader who cares about everyone, I see?” The expression on the pale face could almost be called a smile.

“Yep, same as always.”

“Well…I guess so am I…I’ll go with you, we’ll go with you. I suppose it’s time for Fa’al em Delamfar to come out in the open.” He sighed deeply. Zidane nodded and turned,

“Well, if any sentimental good-byes to the cave need to be made, hurry. We need to get back before sunset.”


Why is life so rushed? Arteon asked himself, watching the ground whir past as Puck’s hired airship raced away the miles to Lindbrum.

Because people don’t know the end result. So they simply run to the next objective as fast as they can, even though all it was is a miserable little piece of rock we call milestones in our live. That is why no one deserves to live, until we are enlightened then all there is to do is die.

And that was his old pessimistic self he called Kuja. Arteon grinned inside. At least he could try to be optimistic now…I am trying to bring hope to this world, to right what you’ve done wrong. If that is what it takes, then to sacrifice my life for the cause of greater good. Whatever you say won’t alter my path.

Enlightened…the word stuck in his mind, burned as if with a brand. How could mere mortals be enlightened into eternal bliss…was there a way? Was there really a point to living besides simply struggling against hopeless odds? The odds are hopeless! Just give in and elicit your revenge from these pitiful masses.

Arteon turned his head slightly to see Puck leaning against the deck next to him. The youth’s activity seemed to be entirely withdrawn into watching a bird fly alongside the ship. Behind him one of the crew workers was singing merrily as he mopped and cleaned the surface of the aircraft. The sky seemed to be filled with birds singing and playing in the breezes. Life, all so happy…Are these the pitiful masses? Why would I want to kill them? Leave them happy in their ignorance, at least their fate is more desirable than mine is…

I failed at my fate…I don’t deserve to be alive…why am I here? That was a question worth considering. Fate had given him another chance – or Zidane had – whatever the case, the answer was quite clear. He was there for a purpose, and he was going to fulfil it the best he knew how.


By the time Zidane and his new acquaintances had found their way back to the ship, the sun had tipped across the broad line of the horizon, giving a shadowed light to the wide plain that surrounded Treno. Zidane motioned to the large form of the Hilda Garde rising into his vision. “There’s the ship…they haven’t left us.”

“Good.” Amarant grunted, then he leaned in a little closer, casting a suspicious glance at his peers, “Zidane…how do you fly?”

Zidane barely noticed that he was hovering anymore, he had grown so accustomed to it. With a shrug he slowly lowered himself to the ground, letting go of his trance, “I’ll show you later, once I’m sure I can really trust you.”

Amarant snorted loudly, “You’ll never be sure of that.”

“Then you’ll never advance in life. You should learn to trust people yourself, there’s no harm in it.”

That simply brought a few moments of silence, punctuated by the stubborn clashing of large boots against the dry grass.

A few minutes later he led his party up the ramp of the ship, and into a semi-circle of peering eyes that tried to bore right into him. Cid’s bored the loudest, “Zidane, where on earth…you’ve found him! Well thank heavens.”

“He found him and some friends.” Blank added, “Are you sure these are the right guys?”

Zidane took a deep breath, “Everyone, I want you to meet Amarant, and his comrades, they’re a rebellion from the Fa’al em Delamfar.”

Amarant nodded slowly; “Yes…we came to this planet nearly a hundred years ago, sick of the constant wandering and destroying that the Ellians lived by.” His eyes appeared sad and distant as they stared past Zidane into the foggy grasslands. Nothing like Zidane remembered him; he had always been a punk who didn’t give a damn for anyone…not a leader with responsibility.

“There are three different planets, all inhabited by the Ellians, the one we were from was called Tialtor.” He paused, “I believe that this is also the planet assaulting Gaia, all of the attacks I’ve heard of have Emryal stamped all over them. He is known for his cruelty and precision in his killing. Outside of Alexandria two men were found dead…with half of their heads neatly cut away.”

Eiko calmly covered her mouth, mild compared to the green shade Steiner’s face took – or the retching sound that came from Cid. Zidane looked around slowly…there were un-callused, innocent people among them, not used to the terrors of war. Why did whatever he was involved with always have to drag in the innocent. Abruptly he coughed,

“You said a hundred years ago…no offense but you don’t look much older than I am.”

“Ellians are something like genomes, we’re not born, we’re spawned. I will never look any older than I am now, and now I am nearly one hundred and fifty years old.” That got a few surprised murmurs, “And I’m not even near the oldest among us.”

“Amarant…is there anything that you could tell us about fighting these…Ellians?” Cid wrinkled his nose and adjusted his glasses. “From what we’ve seen they are…well…very powerful.”

“They were made with literally no flaws. We all have the capability to go into a self-induced trance, as well as wielding inhuman strength. Quite frankly, I could most likely kill anyone standing here easily, with the exception of Zidane.”

“You wouldn’t even have a chance with me, grandpa.” Zidane countered with a grin. That brought simply an impassive grunt from Amarant.

“What I am trying to say is there is no real way for you to fight them – we have to fight them…and we don’t have much of a chance of that. Our hope is to hold them off from taking over Gaia until the fusion, when the fusion takes place, then the Ellians will all go to sleep, and their places will be taken by genomes…who are…not quite as strong.”

“What about the master, the guy that stays to rule the genomes? Do you know anything about him?” Zidane asked.

“Well…” Amarant shrugged, “That would be either Menoth or Emryal. Both of them…have power beyond belief. We don’t stand a chance with them.”

‘The black haired man…’ Zidane murmured to himself. He didn’t care how much of a chance he stood with that punk, no one was going to take his girl without a fight. A really big fight.

Cid coughed and rose with a hurried smile, “Well, thank you for joining the crew, Amarant, and…company. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to be taking off for Lindbrum now – I’m getting home as soon as I can.”

“Is that all you can think of?” Zidane groaned, but he got up as well. Might as well grab a bite to eat. He wasn’t even aware of his painfully shrunken stomach until he let go of the trance, but now he wasn’t going to waste any time pacifying it. But first it was time for him to give orders.

“Hear me!” All eyes turned toward him, which was quite satisfying for someone always buried in the dirt beneath his wife’s glory. “We’ll do as Amarant says then. Stay in Lindbrum and stay alert for any more invasions. We have to keep them off this planet until the fusion takes place.”

“And how long will that be?” Blank peered up at him expectantly, as if he was now some sort of God. Helplessly, Zidane looked to Amarant.

“From the position right now, I’d say about four days.” The big man growled. A rather pleasant sounding growl, but still a growl. Zidane nodded and beamed a smile,

“So, four days, how hard is that. I trust everyone on this ship – we can win this battle.” And with that, he strolled away toward the kitchen, leaving everyone murmuring skeptically behind him. He paid them no mind…now all he had to do was fill his stomach, and find out where the hell his wife had gotten to.


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