Dark Skies over Palamecia

Ch 7, 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

Mateus was annoyed at the Mysidians for their stupid barrier preventing him from going there. He was just about ready to blow it up from afar, until one of the guards called his attention.

"Sire!" the guard said loudly.

"What is it?" Mateus snapped, turning to face the guard at the steering wheel of the airship. Not only was he annoyed, but he was more than pissed about the current situation. How did a small group of rebels manage to keep from him so long? He needed his little toy back again. Not having her was driving him slowly, bit by bit.

"The static isn't here anymore," the guard explained. "It looks like the barrier is gone."

Mateus looked out at the nearby sunrise. "A glorious day," he said with an evil smile. "To Mysidia! The Empress awaits our rescue."

"Aye," the guard said, flipping a few switches before taking the ship forward.

"I do not sense my bride…"

Every time Mateus heard the Demon King's voice, he wanted to make something explode violently. The voice was always darker and more brooding than the last time it spoke, like it was increasingly growing desperate over time. "Oh shut up," the Emperor snapped aloud, causing a few of the guards to look at him worriedly. They weren't speaking.

"Your Imperial Majesty," a voice said from behind him. "You've been awake for three days with no rest. Please, take a rest. We will inform you of our arrival in Mysidia."

Mateus kept hearing the voice, but he was unable to reply to it. He did require a bit of privacy to sort out his thoughts properly, so he took the invitation without even acknowledging the fact that he heard it. He was in the captain's quarters by himself with only a few steps, where he closed and locked the door to keep anyone from invading his privacy.

"I grow impatient. I give you powers, yet you do not give me what I ask for…"

Mateus walked over to the vanity next to his bed, staring at his own beautiful, flawless reflection. His hair was lovelier than that of any woman, and his beads accented his very pale skin. He loved the way he appeared, as there was no other man on this world who had his level of… perfection. "You will have what is yours the moment I have what is mine," he said angrily. "Iluia, you have no sense of propriety."

As he stared at the reflection, it slowly turned from his to that of another, more demonic figure. It took the form of a man of the same height, with four more horns of different sizes at different points along his head. No longer did he have hair, but snakes surging about the top of his face like a distorted Medusa. His clothes were darker and not longer shimmering. His beads were gone and replaced with scars and cuts of all kinds of sizes and severity.

"No, Mateus…"

Mateus shook his head in disgust. "You may be the Demon King, but I am the Emperor of all that exists. You are my servant, not the other way around. I give you form and presence on this Goddess-forsaken world. You had better appreciate my generosity."

"I am the one who gives you the depth of your magical power. If not for me, you would be casting healing spells over the wounded, not able to destroy entire towns with meteors…"

"How dare you insult the One True Emperor!?" Mateus shouted, feeling his head surge the angrier be became. "There is only one fit to rule, and it is I! This world and the next, they all are my own! Your realm of darkness, Cosmos' realm of light, and this one in between? They are all mine to rule and every mortal in every world exists to serve me!"

"No… you are a fallen monarch, Mateus. I would let you have your way, but it seems that you are too strong-willed to be used in my plans. I want the daughter of Cosmos as my feet, proving my ultimate superiority. Powers of the Goddess, serving the Demon King…" It laughed.

"She does not even know of your existence," Mateus said, pushing the long locks of hair from his face oh-so-delicately. "The girl belongs to me, Iluia. You cannot have her. You cannot have anything. You gave me your powers, now you can rot in my head with the rest of the voices that dwell within."

"Your father was too weak to hold me, and you are too stubborn. You are more like your mother than you would like to credit."

What? Why would the Demon King even bother bringing up Airu at a time like this? Mateus hated that woman. Her existence is what proved he was a mortal man among men. All of the rest of his family had died. And yet, he couldn't bring himself to kill her outright. At one point, he did care for her as any son cared for his mother. He spent most of his childhood with her, in fact. All those lessons, all those sunny days under the trees of the castle's gardens… they flashed through his memories so quickly.

"What do you know of my mother?" Mateus growled.

"I tried to make contact with her. She was so strong willed that I could not say anything to her. She felt my presence and immediately banished me from her mind. She is a powerful mage with brilliant powers of protection. Such a shame that none of them could keep you from me."

"You did not find me, I went to you. I knew of my destiny early on."

"When you were in your mother's womb, I celebrated the birth of a new prince to the Palamecian Royal Family… I couldn't wait until you grew up… You were mine from the moment you were conceived."

"Get back into the depths of my subconscious, you pathetic hellspawn," Mateus said, punching the mirror in front of him. It shattered under his strength, cutting into his long, purple glove. "I belong to no one. Everyone else belongs to me."

"You talk like a demon, Mateus. You act like a demon. You are no God. You are a goblin with a Zeromus complex. Even if you cannot see me, I am within you. I am always within, spreading my influence. You are becoming me and eventually, you will be nothing but the voice in my head."

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