Vigil of the Fates Chapter 3


By PeterEliot

The instructor takes care to fall behind a little as we near the classroom, I suppose so that we will not be seen entering class together. What a hassle being in authority is—one must watch for everything. I am one of the last to arrive at class. I take my seat near the back row and do not acknowledge the presence of Seifer. Hating front row seats as much as I do, he sits a couple of desks to my right. I note to my satisfaction, however, that he sports a vaguely crescent scar, fresh and crimson, that runs down between his eyes. He has not bothered to dress the wound. Typical of him.

“Good morning.” Instructor Trepe takes her seat in front of the screen board and addresses the class. Advanced Combat is composed largely of cadets who are approaching the age of compulsory dismissal from the Garden—twenty. This places the instructor, herself only eighteen, at merely a year older than the majority of her students. One cadet is of the same age as the instructor: Seifer Almasy.

“Today’s schedule is very simple,” the instructor begins. “There seems to have been a rumor flying around since yesterday... and I confirm it now. The field exam for SeeD candidates will begin later this afternoon.”

The announcement stirs a look of excitement and tribulation on many faces. The instructor continues: “Those not participating and those who failed last week’s written test are to remain here in the study hall. Field exam participants will be given free time until the exam, which will commence at 1600 hours. Assemble in the front foyer, and be sure that you are in top condition. I will be announcing the team assignments at that time.

“Any questions?”

There are none. I wait for the instructor to dismiss the class. I am glad for once that today’s special schedule will help keep my early morning skirmish from becoming public information.

“Oh, and Seifer!”

Or maybe not.

“Do not injure your partner while training. Be careful from now on.”

I do not spare a glance to see Seifer’s reaction to the admonition, but it should be safe to assume that the savage thump just now was the sound of him taking one out on his study panel. The guy can be such a little kid sometimes. He’s also probably shooting daggers at me with his eyes, but I am so peeved myself that I don’t care if he gets any angrier than he normally is. I keep my line of vision restricted to my own panel.

“Field exam participants, I will see you all later.”

And with that, the class is dismissed. I remain in my seat until the other students leave the room, including Seifer, then rise to go.

“And Squall, I need to talk to you.”

Or maybe not.

I make my way over to the instructor, who is engaged in conversation with a few students doing their best to impress her. I wait till she terminates the talk and turns to me.

“You haven’t been to Fire Cavern yet, have you?” she asks me. “You do realize that you won’t be able to participate in today’s field exam if you don’t pass this prerequisite.”

I know that. I meant to go this morning, in fact, when Seifer with his damnably impeccable sense of timing so courteously proposed “a little exercise match to prepare for the test.” To get me loosened up for the real thing, he said.

“Hmm? Do you have a good excuse?”

“…No, not really.”

“Then let’s get going. I will act as your supporting partner. Meet me at the front gate at 1000 hours. You might want to use the time until then to do some preparation—work off any medication Dr. Kadowaki gave you. Oh, and it hardly needs to be said, but make sure that you junction your Guardian Forces optimally for action.”


Waving to the other students who have stayed close by, the instructor leaves. I move to leave myself when I notice that the cadets are giving me a strange look. The two younger girls are quietly casting an icy glare at me, while the lone guy longingly remarks with a resigned shake of his head: “Alone with Instructor Trepe...”

I leave.

Chapter 4

Final Fantasy 8 Fanfic