Ch 5, part 4
"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.
Mateus was in a wonderful mood that morning as his airship was flying over the sea towards the solitary island nation of Deist. The sun was just starting to come up, even though he much preferred the calm pale moonlight. Both were in the sky at once, as if they were celebrating his arrival.
The island was a quaint place, with one large mountain that stood almost as tall as the one his castle was built into. That was known for being Dragon Mountain. Everyone around the world had heard of the place where dragons were known to breed and roam freely. The other distinguishing landmark was a very nice castle, where dragons stood guard day and night. Four great wyverns sat curled up asleep on the top of each of the four towers, and their heavily armored knights sitting on their backs, reclined as if they were asleep, too. The common folk lived inside the castle walls because, as everyone was aware, the dragons were not the only things that roamed Deist's island.
The Dragoons were knights mounted on the back of dragons, skilled with both spear and sword, which patrolled the island and kept it safe from all the monsters. They were a vast unit and very well trained. Every man born in Deist was expected to become a Dragoon and fight in the service of their country, as they were symbols of bravery, loyalty, and service to the greater good. Every man who became one had their honor tested by that of a baby Wyvern, and throughout the rest of their lives, they would become one in both fighting and mind.
"Dragoons," he mused, looking at them through the cockpit window. "One of the most powerful forces in our world today. I've heard the bonding process between the wyverns and the knights themselves happen to be quite endearing." Then he looked back at his crew. "We land. Prepare to attack."
"Your Imperial Majesty," one of the guards said suddenly. "Did… did we not…?"
Mateus looked at the guard who bore a quizzical look on his face. "Yes? Does something trouble you?"
The guard nodded.
"Well, then, spit it out," the Emperor said, heading out the cockpit, "Before I kill you for wasting my time."
"Deist is a sacred place, sire. It is the only land where dragons live," the guard said. "Perhaps we could learn to tame them ourselves from the knights instead of having to… kill them all. It would be a great asset to the Empire."
"Hmm, yes," Mateus nodded as he walked out of the cockpit. "We will let one live, so that he may be able to pass on this power to our cause. The rest can easily be disposed of. So, young man, I will let you choose the one we keep. When you find the knight you approve of, please… bring him to me."
The guard looked down at the floor. Who could make such a choice, to pick one person out of an entire nation not to get slaughtered? He wasn't sure what to do. He soon followed after the Emperor.
Hilda… where are the rebels? He thought worriedly. We can't afford to lose the Dragoons to this madman!
"How long have we been walking?" Clarisse asked, looking over to see that Cantirena had barely any strength left in her. "Minwu, I don't care if the sun is on its way up. We need a break."
Candice agreed. Her feet ached terribly. The boots she wore were not good for walking long distances, and certainly not through muddy marshes full of meddling monsters. "I concur with this idea. It's pretty clear that if the Emperor wanted to catch up to us, he probably would have by now," she said looking up at the sky. The nighttime was fading away, and the sun was coming up in the east. The sky was a lovely purple color, and the moon was still in plain sight. "So we're in the clear."
Minwu agreed to that, reaching into his bag, which just happened to be his very useful Item Pouch. "All right. Find a decent dry spot and we'll set up camp," he said, looking around at the land. The marshes were flat. They'd gone so far they couldn't see the forest where they were almost caught, and they were nowhere near the winding mountain range. There was nothing else but the marsh. No trees. No hills. Just mud. He pulled out two large cloth rolls. "I brought two tents."
"Brought?" Cantirena asked, looking inside his bag without even asking if she could. "Did you bring any food, too?"
"As a matter of fact, I did," Minwu said, "Because I know how you are." He put his finger right up against her nose. "Now get out of my satchel before I send you do bed with no supper."
"…no matter what happens, you're still my teacher," Cantirena said, backing off. She took one end of the tent cloth while Clarisse took the other. "So how do we set this up, anyway?"
"It's very simple," Minwu said, taking the extra. "Follow my lead." He turned to face the wind and threw the cloth upward so it would catch the wind. A few seconds later, the cloth expanded magically with a very loud 'boin-thwip' sound before landing on the ground in the perfect tent shape. "Candice, take the spikes from my satchel. Make sure it's secure."
"I'm on it," Candice said, reaching into the bag. She found eight different spikes, taking four of them to put the four corners of the tent all ready up in a position that would hold.
"Hey," Cantirena grunted. "I'm your student! Why can't I get into the bag?"
"You can," Minwu said. "You just didn't ask for permission first."
Clarisse giggled at that. "Ha! Minwu gotcha there, little sis!"
"Stuff it," Cantirena said, snatching the tent from her big sister and facing the wind. "I don't want your help if you're going to be an ass about things."
"I don't think you can set that up alone," Minwu said, walking over to her.
"Are you kidding?" Cantirena asked, throwing it up into the air. She then activated her magic and made the wind fly into the cloth the way she wanted, causing the tent to 'boin-thwip' in the same way the other one did. "I think you've underestimated you student, Lord Minwu."
"Cantirena…" Minwu said it in a way that made her feel like she was being scolded. "A part of a mage's training is learning when it is appropriate to use her magic and when it is not appropriate. You really are showing off a bit much."
"I wasn't showing off, teacher…"
"Using a full-blown Firaga to destroy a few goblins that would be easy to defeat with a simple hit on the head with a bamboo staff was showing off, my child," Minwu said very sternly. "Go inside the tent. We'll talk about your punishment later."
"Punishment?!" Cantirena asked in disbelief. "I just wanted to show you how much I've improved! I thought I-
"…go," Minwu said, pointing to the tent. "Sit inside until I come to you."
Cantirena felt like the scum of the earth as she went inside the tent. She sat in the center cross-legged, her arms crossed on top of them. All she wanted to do was help, and all she got was scolded. That was pretty unfair. At least, it was to her.
Clarisse was confused by that. "You've never actually grounded her before," she said. "You're typically the first person to tell her what a great job she's done. Minwu, do you think that might be a little harsh?"
"For a moment, I felt like I was someone else," Minwu said, shaking his head. "I am reminded of my own teacher, and… well, that is a story best left in the past."
"You had a strict teacher?" Candice asked. She was trying to start a fire between the two tents, but there wasn't any wood around. There weren't any rocks to make a ring to keep the fire in anyway. How was anyone supposed to cook any food if there was no way to make a fire?
"That is putting it… delicately," Minwu said. "Candice, do you need help?"
"I wanted to start a fire…" she said.
Cantirena stuck her hand out of the tent and shot a stream of fire right at Candice's foot. "No need to stress over that," she said. The fire burned brightly, and Candice was able to set up the pot from Minwu's Item Pouch right over it.
"Cantirena!" Minwu yelled, making her head come out of the tent. "What… did I just… tell you?"
"She couldn't make it by normal means, right?" Cantirena said. "Remember, knowing when it's appropriate to use magic is an important part of a mage's training."
For a moment, Minwu was able to react. Then he laughed, almost scaring everyone else there. "Get over here and eat, you smartass," he said, motioning for her to come out of the tent. "But, my child, you're still going to have to do exercises for showing off."
"But… but… Teacher!"
"No buts. You know that's not what magic is for."
A few hours later, once everyone was fed and ready to rest, Cantirena didn't have to be told to go back to her tent. She curled up in the cot that Minwu had made for her underneath the beautiful tartan tent. It was Mysidian for sure. There was no other pattern like that in the world. The sheet she was laying on was also made of a similar material, but it had no pattern. It was just a single white sheet, sat upon some sort of padding. What Minwu told her was that this was a traditional bed in his homeland, that they would carry the bedding wherever they went. The way the outside world handled bedding confused him at first, making such big beds that could no go anywhere with the owners made him wonder how they ever slept if they needed to be on a quest. But, then again, questing was an important part of Mysidian culture.
She snuggled into that sheet, so gracious for it even being there. She loved how it felt against her skin, how it smelled. Cantirena believed that this bed was heaven, even if it wasn't what she was used to sleeping in. She wrapped herself in it, almost feeling like Minwu himself was there with her, with his arms wrapped around her. No matter where she was or what she was doing, if Minwu was there, she was safe.
The flap of the tent opened, and Minwu walked into the tent. "The other two are sharing the other tent," he said very quietly. He buttoned the flap of the tent so it would stay closed no matter what happened in the night, and he sat down next to a small lantern with a book in his hand. "So, get a good rest, my student."
It seemed weird to her at first that he didn't refer to her like he normally did with 'my child'. She didn't want to pay attention to it much though. She was too relaxed to make any complaint. Everything was perfect. So very perfect. She closed her eyes for a split second, but suddenly felt warmth at her side. When she opened them again, she found Minwu had come right up to her, right up against her.
"Teacher," she said softly. "I didn't think you were ready to sleep yet."
"I'm not," he whispered into her ear. "But I wanted to be close to you. After you were gone, I remembered all the times you spent sleeping against me in the castle study. I almost forgot what it was like to sleep next to any warmth at all." Minwu pulled the sheet away, slowly running his hand on the side of her body. "You have grown so much…"
"Lord Minwu," Cantirena said worriedly, "Perhaps you should not be so close." She rolled over to face him, to look at him in his beautiful dark brown eyes. "You're making me…"
"Making you…?" he asked, putting his other hand against her cheek.
"You're making me want you," she said honestly. The last time Cantirena had been that close to anyone, it was when the Emperor Mateus had her pinned in his bed, and being that close ignited that drive again. Just having a body there made the feeling surge through her body. Even though it was her teacher, one of the people she's known the longest and practically she saw as a father-figure, she found herself wanting him to continue with that closeness. To get closer. Perhaps closer than skin could allow, if only she had the chance. "And I know how wrong that is of me, but I-"
Minwu pulled her chin down, leading her into a kiss. Even though he was still wearing that white cloth mask, she could feel his lips through it. After the first, he pulled down his mask, then went in for a second. This time, his lips led her along, pulling her into kiss through kiss. She went with it, soon placing her hand on the nape of his neck. The more they kissed, soon, their tongues became involved, rubbing up against each other as if they were making love themselves.
When Minwu pulled away, his hands slowly moved up and down her hips. "How wrong is it? When you know someone as long as we have, when we have a desire unfulfilled, shouldn't we be the ones to keep each other happy?" he asked her. "I would do anything for you."
Anything? Cantirena was taken aback by this, but she didn't want to stop where it was. Just by being this close together, and having marvelous kiss after marvelous kiss from him, she wasn't sure what to do. Should she ask him to… touch her? To make love to her? If it was Mateus, she wouldn't have hesitated at all. He wasn't her teacher. He wasn't her guardian. But with Minwu, she really had to think about it.
"You're my teacher," she whispered. "I couldn't-"
"Tonight, if you wish," Minwu said, pulling her closer. He could feel her breasts squished against his chest, even under her robe. "I will give you a secret lesson."
Oh, that put her over the edge. Feeling his heartbeat right up against hers like that set her off. "If that secret lesson involves anything remotely involving textbooks or scrolls, I'm going to have to say no," she said, "But if you're going to give me a lesson, Lord Minwu, please, by all means… teach me." With her other hand, she traced down his belly which was exposed by his breastplate, using just her finger. It went down, down, down, until it was below his belt. "Giveme a lesson, my teacher…" She knew she was wet by then, but when she put her hands below his belt, she could tell that he wanted it just as much as she did. Minwu was being very serious about this.
Minwu smiled at her directly. "I will never, ever hurt you," he said, moving his hands down from her hips to her butt, pulling that part of her body right up against his. "I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I ever hurt you."
"You can't hurt me," Cantirena said, letting him kiss her again. "I believe it's physically impossible for my beloved Lord Minwu to ever hurt me."
He reached behind her robe, starting to untie the strings that held her skirt up to the metal that rested right below her breasts. The cloth untied rather easily and slipped off with no real effort at all. Now all that kept him out of the lower regions was just a little piece of underwear. He put his hand inside, feeling her lovely little rump. Minwu turned his face slightly, so that he could reach her ear with his mouth when he leaned forward again. "Your beloved Minwu…?" he asked, his breath falling right upon her ear. "Just as you are my little Cantirena, my precious student. You are mine as I am yours, from now until the end of time."
"Is… it customary in Mysidian culture to… make love to one's student?" she asked as she spread her legs enough to let Minwu's crotch come that much closer.
"While making love is taboo in general," Minwu said, unlocking his belt so that the bottom part of his robe would come off, "I know of one particular relationship that was kept in the shadows. The drive was too much to resist. A teacher was going to break his vow of purity, and before he could let it get out of control, his student was the one to intervene and give him his release, so that he would not break his vow. If it comes to that, then, yes, it is the student's job to release their teacher as part of the unspoken contract between them. Many parts of the relationship are kept secret from the rest of the world, naturally." He slid it off, becoming fully exposed in the process. Cantirena was very surprised to learn that Minwu never wore any kind of underwear under his robes. "The world knows that we have a relationship. That I am your teacher and you are my student. In the world outside of Mysidia, it is very common for a student to be given the title of apprentice. You study under me, you receive the lessons that I have received in the past…" Minwu slid between her legs, right until the tip of his hardened lovestick touched the lips of her wet, soft pocket of deposit. "…and I am sure that there have been plenty of teachers attracted to their fully grown students."
Cantirena didn't wait for him. She pushed herself to open for him, and it slid in smoothly. She didn't wince or shudder. Unlike when Mateus entered her, this didn't hurt. She reached around his neck with both hands. It made her moan just a little, feeling him push himself in as far as he could go. "What about your… vow of purity?" she asked. "Isn't this breaking-"
Minwu placed a finger on her lip delicately, interrupting her words abruptly. "Before I even wore the white robes the first time and took the vows within the Circle of Mages," he said, "My purity was taken from me. My teacher took it from me... forcibly." As he started to thrust inside Cantirena, he could remember how much it hurt the night his teacher cornered him and made it impossible to escape. That was the last time he had done anything remotely sexual until this night. "After he did that, I immediately applied for graduation within Mysidia's testing purposes, just to be away from him… I never wanted to even touch or see another naked body…" He gently used his lips to nibble on her ear, making her moan come out to where he could hear it. "But… my little Cantirena, my little student… she needs release of her own… so I come to you, ready to give you that release you crave." His thrusts slowly became harder and deeper, slowly building their way to an ultimate climax for the both of them. "Because I couldn't dare stand to see you in any sort of pain or longing. Not you. It hurt giving myself to my teacher when I was little more than a teenager. But… I enjoy making love to you, my student."
Cantirena gripped around his neck even tighter as they came closer to finishing. Minwu's thrusts were becoming much faster as he kept going. "Please," she gasped, "Don't stop…"
The ending came as what felt like a finale to end all finales. It was over in a flash, but neither of them were unsatisfied. Minwu released himself inside Cantirena, and she was in a state of euphoria that she could not quite put words to. It was much different than being with Mateus before. Minwu had indeed made love to her. She could feel it.
He didn't bother putting his clothes back on. Instead he curled up closely to her, squeezing underneath the same sheet she had been lying in, and laid there next to her. He listened to her heartbeat until he drifted off to sleep in her arms. Cantirena could tell that Minwu needed that. He needed a healing sexual experience, after the one he had gone through in his childhood was so harsh to him. "My teacher…" she whispered. "If you need me at any time… I am yours." She gripped around him tightly as he was next to her, kissing his cheek before starting to feel herself drift to sleep. "…I almost wish… I could be your bride, my… perfect… teacher."
After dozing off for what felt like only a few minutes, Cantirena woke back up only to find herself alone in the sheet on the cot. She looked around, finding Minwu sitting next to the little lantern. He was still reading the book he was looking at before, too.
"…is something the matter, my child?" Minwu asked, looking over at her. "You look a bit red in the face."
She shook her head. "No. Not at all, teacher… I… I just had a weird dream, that's all," she said, lying back down. "I'm fine… thank you."
"Thank me?" Minwu asked. "For what?"
"For… being my teacher," she replied, snuggling back into the sheet. "I couldn't ask for anything more."
"…you could," Minwu said quietly, looking back at his book. "I'm sure whatever you wanted could be given to you."