Dark Skies over Palamecia

Ch 3, part 8

"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 8

Master Tobul had never been a happier man. Finally with his hands on some mythril, he was ready to give a boost to not just the warriors who helped him out, but to the whole Wild Rose Rebellion. He and his granddaughter Krystal were pounding away at the table for hours on end. By the time they were finished, Minwu left Altair on his own, but Firion and Clarisse were still sleeping at the inn, trying to recover the strength they had spent on their last mission.

Clarisse's thin blade was given a full makeover at the hands of Tobul. He gave it a hilt adorned with a silver star, and sharpened the blade until it was just like a needle on a handle. It had become a royal rapier, one he named the "Estoc". He felt he never made a more beautiful, feminine sword, and it was more than worthy of giving to the lady who took part in getting the legendary mineral for him. Firion's broadsword was also given a much more sharpened blade and glistened in the candlelight. The design had come from just being a bound handle to something extraordinary with a very elaborately decorated handle with a rose vine that wound around the hilt up to the part where the blade connected with it. This mythril sword he felt looked more like it fit the hands of a prince and not that of a rebel. He named the sword the "Wild Vine".

"Krystal!" Tobul called out to his granddaughter, who was starting to fall asleep at the worktable. "I want you to go and retrieve Firion and Clarisse. Their weapons are ready."

"Okay, Grandpa," the cheerful young girl replied, running out of the shop as fast as she could. She was happy to see her friends had come back from that mission in one piece after the Dreadnaught had been attacking every place she'd ever heard of. Krystal was even more surprised to see how strong they'd become over the course of their journey. Then it hit her that Firion and Clarisse were given yet another task to complete, and after they received their new weapons, they were going to be heading out yet again.

Krystal didn't have far to run. The inn was only minutes away from her Grandpa's workshop. She passed the fountain of Altair, noticing that even after the attack, it still stood upright. She found that to be amazing. Other buildings had chunks missing and others were covered in bloodstains. The fountain was intact. It gave her hope that this war would come to an end because those fighting against it were so brave. Brave enough to stand up against any sort of attack that could possibly be thrown at them.

Krystal came to the inn and went to the first room right after the clerk's desk. The innkeeper didn't even care, as she had a pretty good idea of what was going on.

"Firion!" Krystal said loudly. "Clarisse! This is an important message from Tobul's Smithy! Your orders are complete, so please come pick them up!"

Firion sat up. "You didn't have to come give us all that, did you?"

"That's the way I was trained to deliver shop messages," Krystal said gently. Even though she hadn't been with the front line of the rebellion, Firion could tell that she had gotten stronger. Her arms looked like they had more muscle to them. She must really have been learning how to forge from her grandfather. "Grandpa wants to talk to you both right away, since he knows you'll be leaving on your new assignment very soon."

"Oh, excuse us then," Clarisse said as she sat up. "We're on our way right now."

Krystal smiled. "All right! Glad to hear it!" She dashed out the door of their room without even bothering to close it.

Clarisse climbed out of bed, stretching before putting her armor on. "I am so tired of having to wake up in beds that aren't mine," she said quietly. "This rebellion thing is way tougher than it sounds."

"Doesn't matter to me where I sleep," Firion said sheepishly. "The moment my feet are level with my head, I pass out faster than a chocobo on speed." He dressed himself before cracking his neck a few times. "Long as I do sleep, I don't care where it happens."

"Yeah, but… don't you miss having a home to return to?" Clarisse asked.

"Hmm," Firion said as he started out the door. "I don't think I do. All the moving I did when I was a little kid, when my parents were still alive. Then having to switch homes after they died? Then having the one home I loved destroyed by the Emperor's onslaught?" He stopped himself to think about it. "Maybe it's better not to have a home."

"What?"

"Then… no one can take it from you. Not the Gods or any man." Firion concluded, walking out of the room and giving the innkeeper some gil.

I loved that little cottage more than any other place I've ever been. It was the place I lived in the longest, and… it felt like home. When I went inside, I knew it was peaceful. I knew the people inside loved me and wanted me… Firion thought as he left the inn to stand outside by himself. He looked at the fountain, watching the water come out in a pattern. Should have guessed that it would end at some point. After all that traveling… it's all I wanted, too.

Clarisse came out of the inn then whacked Firion on the back of his head, knocking his favorite bandanna right out of alignment. "Don't leave me behind, ya meanie."

"Hey, I just wanted a moment to think by myself," Firion said, hugging her in return. "I didn't mean to make you think I'd left you. I was waiting right here the entire time."

Together they returned to Tobul's shop, where Krystal was looking incredibly excited.

"Hiya!" Krystal said, "Guess what? They're done!"

"Yes, you told us that when we were at the inn," Firion said, laughing a little. "So, Master Tobul…?"

Tobul brought out the Estoc first and handed it to Clarisse. "That is the most feminine sword I've ever forged. I might even go so far to say it looks like it would make a great gift for a princess," he said very proudly. "I took the base of your last sword and strengthened it. The blade now has a silver gleam like that of pure mythril. The star there is enchanted to help you strike quicker."

"That was my work," Krystal said. "I'm thinking about learning how to make accessories which will be an inhibitor for one's natural abilities. Wouldn't that be great?" She walked up to Clarisse. "I hope you find the star useful."

"I'm sure I will, Krystal," Clarisse said, putting the blade on her belt. "Thank you for all your hard work."

"And for the main man of our operation, I present this," Tobul said, handing over his Wild Vine sword. "My son once forged a sword that is much like this one called the 'Wild Rose' as a gift for Prince Scott of Kashuon, though I've no idea what happened to it now. I wanted something to symbolize the rebellion, something to symbolize all that we've worked toward. Firion, take it."

Firion smiled as he took it into his own hands. It did not surge with magical power, but he was proud to take a sword that Tobul worked so hard to create just for him. "Wow, that… makes me feel incredibly special," he said, blushing. "You didn't have to make me anything this… this… this is really cool. Thank you, Master Tobul."

"Now, on to your next mission, m'boy!" Tobul said. "And milady, too, of course." He tapped them both on the shoulder. "And for me, well, I've got new armor to make for all of the other resistance members! C'mon Krystal, let's show these pussies what it's like to be one with the forge!"

"Aye, Grandpa!" Krystal gave a salute. "To a better world!"

Clarisse and Firion left the two of them to their work, giggling the entire time. The last time they saw Master Tobul, he was in such depression it was hard to even talk to the man. Now it seemed that both he and his granddaughter were right in their element. They found their place and were working with all their hearts. Together, they left the borders of Altair, determined to get back to Salamand as quickly as possible, despite all the monsters and the frequent attacks by the Dreadnaught. They, too, wanted to find that part of themselves that they'd always wanted. Their place in the world to devote all their efforts.

Perhaps saving the world from tyranny was that calling?

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