Dark Skies over Palamecia

Ch 6, part 9

"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 9

Paul was instructed to take Krystal to one of the rooms nearby, so he did was he was told. When the door was shut behind them, he locked it and made her sit down. He was so mad at first that he wasn't sure exactly what to say, giving her several minutes to try to gather her thoughts before he laid into her with all the subtleness of a stampede of goblins during an earthquake. He wanted to slap her silly. He wanted to kick her off of this ship in general. She wasn't supposed to be there. She wasn't supposed to be anywhere near Altair!

"You better have a good answer for me," Paul said, pacing back and forth. "What the hell were you doing in Altair?!"

"I…" Krystal looked at the table. "I didn't know why Altair was on fire."

"Because I was ordered to set it ablaze," Paul said angrily.

"By your Emperor?" Krystal asked. "You betrayed the Wild Rose Rebellion, Paul."

"I did no such thing!" Paul shouted at her, resisting all urge to beat the living daylights out of her. "You have no idea what I went through in the last twenty-four hours. All you're able to do is make conjecture about things you do not understand."

"I understand that you agreed to work for the man who wants Princess Hilda dead," she snapped.

"Princess Hilda IS dead," Paul said. "The lady died last night when… when… when she took her own life."

"You're a traitor and a liar," Krystal muttered angrily. "And I hate you."

"You can believe what you want," Paul said, feeling like this argument was doing nothing but potentially giving away the rebellion's secrets. "But if you want to survive, you'll do as you're damn well told. You are to stay in here until I tell you otherwise. Talk to no one unless you absolutely must. You know too much and I can't be with you constantly to make sure you don't spout something you're not supposed to. " He reached into his pocket and pulled out the Wing Sword. "If anything turns dangerous, I want you to use this. I will secure other weaponry in the road ahead. Keep yourself safe."

What's with me giving girls weapons these days? Paul thought, putting the sword on the table.

"What if I use it on myself?" Krystal asked.

"Then I would proclaim that sword cursed and thirsty for a wielder's blood," Paul said quietly. "I promise that I will see you back to Master Tobul. I know for a fact that he never threw you out. You ran away."

"I did it because everyone treats me like a little kid," Krystal said weakly. "I'm a person, too, you know. I deserve to know what's going on around me just as much as anyone else does."

"…all right. You're an adult now, despite the fact that you're only fourteen years old," Paul said. "You're going to be married because if you don't do it, you'll be killed because that's what the Emperor believes is the most merciful thing he can do for someone who claims to have no family and no purpose in life. You were a bargaining chip for him, because by letting you live and marry me, he bought my service. That's a pretty adult situation, now isn't it? Don't you wish you were a little kid again?"

"How long are you going to rub it in my face that I messed up?"

"Until it sinks into your thick skull that you got yourself into this situation," Paul grunted. "Do not blame anyone but yourself. You could have safely made your get-a-way and no one would know you existed." He straightened out his black outfit to fit the way it was supposed to and retied the yellow scarf around his neck. "Stay here. Be good. I have to… do things."

"Kill other rebels," Krystal whispered. "Hey. When you find Minwu again, tell him everything. Go on, do it. Tell Minwu what you've done before you stab your closest friend in the back."

Paul couldn't help it anymore. He raised his hand up and slapped her across her face as hard as he could. "Goddess help me, say that again! I swear I will put my sword through your heart," he said, walking up to the door. He unlocked it and walked through. "I will come back for you. You are not being abandoned."

"…fuck you," Krystal said.

"Very well," Paul closed the door as he walked out of the room. When the guards looked at him, he pointed at it. "She's not feeling well. Make sure she says in here to rest."

"Our orders come from the Emperor," one guard said. "We will not listen to you."

"That girl in there belongs to me. She was payment from the Emperor himself for my services. If anything happens to her, I will not hesitate to kill you," Paul said angrily. "If she was used as payment, I would wager that she has a high value to His Imperial Majesty as well. If she is hurt, I suspect he would also not hesitate to kill you. Keep that in mind." He hated everyone on this ship. He hated everyone in Palamecia. But the person he hated the absolute most was himself. He was more than ready to kill himself…

The only reason he hadn't done so yet was because he was determined to carry the three letters to their recipients. He had no idea what was written in them, but they were the final orders of the last heir of Fynn.

What is Fynn going to do when the war is over? We've always been a monarchy… I can't help but fear for the future of the citizens of Fynn. Not that there's a lot of them left anymore. If it weren't for you, Hilda… if it weren't for you, I would have surrendered for real. Goddess, I swear I will make your death worth it. I will never, ever… ever… let your death be in vain, my princess.

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