Ch 6, part 10
"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.
Cantirena was lying down, cuddled once again in the tent she'd started to call home. Her eyes were closed, just so she could enjoy the… well, everything. She didn't want to live in a house anymore. The tent was enough. The cot was the perfect bed. Minwu was more comfortable than anything she'd ever slept against. She felt his heartbeat. No, she didn't want to go back to Altair. No, she didn't want to go back to Fynn. She could live with Minwu in the wilderness until the end of their days.
"Minwu," she whispered quietly, feeling a bright red blush all over her face.
"Yes?" he asked. "Are you all right?"
"Why wouldn't I be?" Cantirena asked. "Everything is perfect…"
Minwu sighed. "You look like you're lost in one of your daydreams again."
She opened her eyes to find herself riding on the back of the black chocobo that she had bonded with earlier. Clarisse and Candice were on both sides of the bird, holding onto the reigns and leading him along their path. Minwu sat on the chocobo behind her. She had been leaning against him the entire time. That woman, lady Say-Ri, was walking in front, leading them.
"You're right," she muttered. "I was."
"You daydream too much," Minwu said, winking at her. She knew they had to keep a low profile with their relationship while near anyone from Mysidia. He only sounded like he was scolding, but it was clear to her that he didn't mean to chastise her for it. "And while we're traveling in a monster-infested forest, too. Tsk, tsk, my child. We'll have to do drills when we have the free time."
"I understand, teacher," Cantirena nodded at him. "I'm sorry that the hike's been a bit more than I'm used to. I will have to train that much harder."
"You're lucky," Candice grunted. "Why do you two get to ride on the chocobo?"
"She fell asleep mid step," Clarisse said. "We should be grateful lady Say-Ri allowed us to use her chocobo, otherwise one of us would be carrying Cantirena."
Candice gave Minwu a very perverted look. He shook his head at her. She knew not to crack any sort of jokes like that, especially not now, of all times. Even though all three of the girls were aware that Minwu would have been the one doing the carrying. And he wouldn't have complained, not once. He never did before. And they were all very aware that Cantirena would wake up, look into his deep eyes, and blush romantically, almost sort of like what she did just then.
"It is not my chocobo, lass," Say-Ri said quietly. "I raise them, but they do not belong to me."
"Who does he belong to then?" Clarisse asked curiously.
"The Holy Mecca owns the chocobo, as it owns everything in Mysidia," Say-Ri answered. "I know, this may sound very strange to one who has lived on the outside all of his or her life, as it sounded very strange to me when I first came here myself. Mysidia has no private ownership. Nothing is owned by one person. It all belongs to the city itself."
"But… who owns the city?" Clarisse pondered aloud.
Say-Ri shook her head. "No one owns the city." She sort of laughed at that question, like she was making fun of the feeble intellect of Minwu's traveling companions. A student that collapses while traveling, one who doesn't understand the concept of non-ownership society, and one with a sarcastic attitude happened to be traveling around with the failure? It almost seemed like karma had given back what the white mage started when he was but a student himself. Say-Ri was disgusted.
"Someone controls the city. Every city has a governor, or a king, or something like that which looks after it and ensures rules are followed," Candice said. "That's how cities work."
"Our lives are overseen by the Circle of Mages," Say-Ri said. "Which reminds me… Ming-Wu, were you aware of the fact that you had an invitation to join the Circle of Mages? Everyone expected you back here much earlier than… now."
Minwu groaned, trying to keep it under his breath. He was going to have to hear that damn formal name of his every minute he was back in Mysidia, and he hated it. He much preferred the nickname the Fynn Royal Court had given him to making saying his name easier to those on the outside now than his given mage name. "There was a time where I wanted to join the Circle," he answered calmly. "At one time, I planned on introducing my student, and perhaps her taking my place in the Circle."
"What changed that? It sounds like a perfect opportunity for you to right the wrongs you have committed in the past," Say-Ri gave off this aura that made the three girls only want to make the chocobo peck her to death and eat her heart. She obviously hated Minwu and Minwu was obviously tired of talking to her. "Giving yourself to the will of the Goddess would heal you and you know it."
Minwu tried to stifle laugh. He wanted to laugh at that as loud as humanly possible. This was making him incredibly uncomfortable, and she just would not shut up. "I did not return to Mysidia for forgiveness, Say-Ri," he said quietly. "I did not drag my student and her sisters across the continent for some selfish quest to improve myself. If I wanted to do that, I would do it on my own time."
"You sound so offended," Say-Ri's voice cut like a dagger through Minwu's ears. "Then, pray tell, master-" she said master so incredibly mockingly that it only pissed him off further "-white mage Ming-Wu… what do you come to Mysidia for, if not to offer yourself to the Goddess' light?"
"I am imperfect, Lady Say-Ri. The Goddess cannot heal what is… wrong with me," Minwu said carefully. "I come back to speak on behalf of the world outside these lands, which is in turmoil. I told you this earlier."
Now would you please stop talking to me? Minwu thought.
"Minwu, you're the nicest person I've ever met," Candice said, looking up at him. "What on earth could be wrong with you? You?! I've been around some nasty people, and you're a kind and gentle as they come."
"Do you not see his impurities?" Say-Ri asked. "He is a curse, a failure."
"No, he's not!" Cantirena shouted at Say-Ri. "My teacher is perfect!"
"Hush now," Minwu whispered gently. "Speaking in too high a volume is improper for a lady like you."
"But you're just letting her insult you!" Cantirena cried. "Let me at her, I'm going to show her who's the failure!" Her rage was hard to keep down. Minwu, who had been riding behind her on the chocobo, could feel her aura fluctuating. "You're a black mage, right, Say-Ri?! I challenge you to a magic duel! Bring it on! I'll prove to you that Minwu's not a failure at all!"
"Your student is just like you, Ming-Wu," Say-Ri said, turning around. "A failure can only raise a failure."
"Hey!" Clarisse said. "With all due respect, Lady Say-Ri, that was incredibly uncalled for. You don't know anything about Cantirena."
"Yeah, so she's got a temper, but she's not a failure at all," Candice said.
"You three…" Say-Ri looked at them very closely. "You are pieces of a greater whole. Destiny holds big plans for you three blue haired girls." As she said that, her expression became something of a very twisted interest. "Wait a moment. Wait a moment now. Was there not a legend-"
"Would you kindly let us go into Mysidia all ready?" Minwu asked, finally snapping under all of her namby-pamby constant prattle. "We don't have much time left. The Palamecian Empire has set its sights on Mysidia next, don't you understand?! Not only is the outside in danger, but so is this place! And if there's anything I would rather not see, it would be a man who is possessed by EVIL INCARNATE walking in the Holy Mecca!"
"Of… of course…" Say-Ri muttered quietly, moving out of the way.
Ming-Wu has the three girls mentioned in the prophecy… perhaps he is not the failure everyone has labeled him after all? Lee-Chun did say he saw a great destiny in Ming-Wu or he would not have saved the sniveling little boy when he did. This, this is interesting.
END CHAPTER SIX