Dark Skies over Palamecia

Ch 12, part 5

"Dark Skies over Palamecia" – a Final Fantasy II retelling

Disclaimer: Square Enix owns Final Fantasy II and all FFII characters featured within. Original characters and interpretations are owned by the co-writers of this fan fiction. There is no profit being made from this story.

Part 5

Minwu had never read through any books before as fast as he did the books left to him from Lady Airu. He didn't have much time, and he compressed all that information so quickly, it was amazing how he even bothered spending afternoons on one book at a time. He, too, heard the booms from outside. He knew Cantirena and the world were in more danger every pressing second. Minwu couldn't shake the feeling that something was going to happen to not just him, but the one he cared about more than anyone else in the world, before the night was done.

The bag was full of six books, all of which Minwu had never seen or even heard of before. They were Kashuon Royal Documents, all marked with the royal seal both on the outside cover and on the inside on the title pages. These books were meant for only the royal family… which was why he'd never seen them before.

Cosmos indeed sent us where we needed to be – closer to Airu's information, Minwu thought as he was crunching through everything. Even though Cantirena had to be used to distract the Emperor… though she didn't want to, the last time I saw her.

"A piece of love, truth, and freedom," he repeated it again, pulling out the protective charm that Cantirena had given him all that time ago. "This is a piece of love, for certain. As for freedom…" he reached into his pocket, pulling out a coin minted with a rose on it. "…I wonder if this counts?" Minwu put them both on the table, and thought about the last piece again. A piece of truth? What could symbolize truth? That was an intangible thing, wasn't it?

Actually… all of these are intangible. They're just concepts. What makes them a piece of love or something else is the value we give it…

Minwu went back to a book he passed through before.

I've read a passage sort of like this, didn't I? Yes, that's it, right here! Right here! The value we give something is the only value is actually has. Much like if we did not use a monitary system, gil coins and blocks of gold would have no value if humanity did not give it value! Why… did I not… why was the answer so obvious?

Quickly he grabbed the Mysidian ruby he wore on his chest to hold his cape up around his shoulders. "For a long time… this ruby meant truth to the Magi. Red was the color of honesty. If anything means truth, then this is it!" He put it next to the charm and the coin from Fynn. "As for a pure, white light…? What can I do about that?"

Come on, Minwu… think!

Suddenly the door burst open and Lady Airu fell inside. Minwu ran to her side, helping her to her feet. "Wha… what are you doing here?!"

"I was resigned to my fate to hang at dawn," she said weakly, "but then the storm started."

"The storm?" Minwu asked.

"…ever since my son took the throne, the Dark Skies over Palamecia have not once faded. The sun was always hot, even with the cloud cover, and the rain was still seldom. Hear the roars the thunder makes, Minwu. These booms do not sound like natural thunder. It is a storm of evil!" Airu cried. "I struggled to be free, and they are coming here for me." She brushed herself off somewhat, but realized soon that she would look and feel terrible regardless if she bothered with that or not. "Did you figure out the secret of the crystal?"

"All but one part," Minwu said. "How do I make the pure white light? Surely casting Holy is not enough."

"The purest light is a spell that I believe I can do myself," Airu walked over to the books. "Give me time. The troops will be here to take me away."

"Teach me the spell! How do I cast it?"

"No, Minwu. You have an assignment directly from the Goddess. This would greatly interfere with your task," Airu said, putting her hand on the books. "I will not let you defy the Goddess you serve."

In just a few seconds, the guards were there at the door. They held their weapons up at Minwu, but he had a barrier up with his hands the moment the spearheads were to touch him.

"Minwu," Airu called out behind him. "I hate to be a burden, but I need to ask you something?"

"Anything, as long as it doesn't require me to cast another spell while I have this barrier up."

"In all your worldly travels, did you ever meet a young lady by the name of Sumia?" Airu asked.

Sumia? …that was the woman who adopted Clarisse and Cantirena! He thought. But why would she ask that now of all times?

Minwu started to answer. "Yes, she was-"

Airu interrupted him quickly. "I'm glad to hear that you have met her. When you see her again, you must tell her that her that I miss her, but will not ask her to come home. I know… that her brother missed her as well." She used her aura to call out a massive light, which blinded the soldiers who were trying to break through Minwu's barrier. "Mateus, and Sumia… know your mother… loves you always."

"Airu?!" Minwu shouted angrily. "Lady Airu?!"

The guards fell over from the bright light, and when Minwu turned around to look behind him, there was a beautiful shimmering rock being held by a pure, white spirit right next to where the books were lying.

"Airu?!" Minwu asked again.

"This… is what it asked for. Only… this kind of pure, white light can create… a crystal…" She reached over and placed it into Minwu's hands. "Save this world and my son! Please."

The mage was in a state of confusion upon seeing the crystal in his hands. Someone had to die to cast the spell needed to create a crystal? There was no other way? "I can't believe-"

"…shhhh. I was going to have to die soon anyway," Airu's voice said very softly. "It had better be for the sake of the world, rather than because the Demon in my son's head decided that finally hanging me would satisfy his need to kill off those who can make the one thing needed to defeat him. Iluia knows me. He tried to take hold of me while I was pregnant with Mateus. This was all a game to him. Drive that beast out of my son and smash the stone of Iluia! Only then will we be free of the Demon King's evil." As the light began to fade, it blew around Minwu like a tornado before being absorbed into the crystal itself. "Thank you, Minwu…" With one last sparkle, Airu's voice was gone for good.

"Lady Airu, your sacrifice will not be in vain…" Minwu said, gripping the crystal tightly. "I will defeat Iluia once and for all."

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