Ch 8, part 6
"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.
After days of searching the Mysidian countryside, Mateus found it hard to keep his anger contained. Every hour or so when another Dark Knight came to report to him that they hadn't found their Empress yet, he started killing the messengers to find a way to release his anger. Eventually, he decided he would search himself, because apparently his Dark Knights were not only ridiculously stupid, they were also colorblind. How hard could it have been to find one girl with dark blue hair and matching eyes? It's not like they were at a beach searching for dumb blondes. There normally wouldn't be anyone up near the Bog, so if there was anything human near that treacherous place, then that would have to be her.
His steps were quick, but his eyes missed absolutely nothing. After walking a mile or so, the smell of the bog was very apparent. The stench was enough to knock anyone over, if they weren't driven to stay focused on what they were doing, anyway. Mateus had determination, and there was no way in hell some damn smell was going to actually stop him from finding his bride.
Soon, he heard sniffles. It was the only thing he heard side from the bubbling liquid of the bog itself. He didn't move at all. It was clear – someone nearby was crying.
"Cantirena?" Mateus called out. "My lady, are you here?"
The crying became louder, and it drove him mad enough to blow something up. He saw a goblin on the other side of the bog, just minding its own business. Mateus shot out a bolt of lightning from his hands at the goblin, zapping it until it was nothing but a smoking pile of ash.
Mateus turned in the direction the voice came from, finding a very familiar blue haired girl running right to him. She was dirty, and her hair even messier than usual. But that must have been Cantirena. She wore a lovely white dress with gold trim, though it was covered in nothing but dust. "My lady," he said, opening his arms. "What have you been doing in this awful place?"
She hugged around him the moment she could, and he wrapped his arms around her in turn. "I… was so scared, Your Grace… I… was so scared…" She cried loudly, sobbing into his chest.
"I know. Those accursed rebels took you from the Dreadnaught and you've been dragged around the country," Mateus said. "Let's go home, my princess. You need to rest after your harsh journey. Never again will I leave you alone. " He reached down to lift her completely off the ground. "You are mine now."
Now that Minwu is dead, there won't be anyone around able to break the dark magic. This war is over. He thought. This world is mine.
"I'm so sorry, Your Grace."
"I… betrayed you…"
"Oh, my beloved princess… all is forgiven," As he carried her, he noticed something seemed a little strange. "Wait a moment." He stopped walking.
She looked up at him. "Have I done something wrong?" Her voice was fearful, her eyes teary. "Punish me if you must, Your Grace."
Mateus' purple eyes stared deep into hers. "You do not carry the aura," he said angrily. "You are not Cantirena."
The girl pulled out a short sword from a pocket and stabbed it right into the Emperor's chest. "You're right," she said. "Don't worry about Canti, though. She's being well taken care of by someone that loves her more than the world itself."
Mateus fell to the ground. "Gaaaaaaah!" he shouted loud enough for the surrounding Dark Knights to hear. "The rebels still wish to fight my reign…"
"We'll keep fighting until you're dead," the girl said proudly. "We will never stop fighting."
Mateus looked down to see his armor was cracked and blood dripped through. He knew how to use white magic, though it had been so long since he used it. It was one of those things his mother forced him to study, hoping that he would live a life of peace. Mateus never thanked his mother for making him learn it, not until now. He put his hand over the wound, calling forth a bright light. Within seconds, the wound was healed. He grunted. "I give you credit for managing to hurt me a little," he said, pulling himself to a stand. "My turn."
A bright bolt of lightning zapped the girl, causing her to flop onto the ground, shrieking in pain.
"Before I kill you, I demand to know who you are," Mateus said.
"I'll take it… to the grave…" she whispered. "Fuck… you… and your… Empire…"
"Hm, I was going to kill you out of mercy," Mateus said, "but I suppose you would rather writhe in agony in the middle of this decrepit, goblin filled place. That is your choice." He nodded. "But, luckily for you, you will not have to suffer very long." He turned around and started walking away, leaving the girl there in the dirt, gasping for air.
The blue hair girl smiled as she felt her life slipping away from her. "So I… failed," she said to herself. "But… hopefully… that will buy Paul time…"
The trees above her rustled, and out came someone that looked like a shadow.
"Oh… oh no," he said. "Hey, come on, Say-Ri… wake up!"
"Paul?" she asked. "Is that you?"
"Yeah, it's me." Paul said, kneeling down. "C'mon, open your eyes, girl."
"I… didn't… kill him…" she was trying to breathe, but her lungs felt so fried that it seemed impossible to breathe in any air at all. "He's still alive."
"That's fine. He'll have to rethink everything. Minwu's got Canti, and by now, they're somewhere safe," Paul said. "So you've got to pull yourself together. You make a great actress, Say-Ri."
Say-Ri coughed loudly. Her magical disguise melted away to reveal a woman with dark skin and auburn hair. "I'm… done… There is… nothing more… for me." She coughed again and again, her lungs unable to help at all. She wasn't going to be speaking anymore. She was choking.
"No," Paul said, trying to help her up. "You have to live! You… you have to…"
Say-Ri shook her head. With tears in her eyes, she lifted the dagger she stabbed the Emperor with. It was still dripping with his blood, but she couldn't put up with this anymore.
"No, not another one," Paul cried, trying to take the dagger from her hands.
As much as I hate to do it…
Paul took the dagger from her hands and laid her on the ground. "Forgive me…" With the sword in dagger in hand, he rammed it into her heart.
I will not see another girl kill herself for the rest of my life. I would rather give the mercy kill myself than… see another suicide…
Say-Ri's death from that point was instant. Paul picked up her body and when he found a less stinky place, he buried her. He bowed before the gravesite. "I swear your death will not be in vain. I know Minwu has a plan, and with all the guards out of the ship, I was able to get Krystal out of there, too. Don't worry, Say-Ri. We all owe you a great debt."
A few moments later, Paul looked at the sword he took from Say-Ri. It was the Wing Sword that Hilda used, too. Something about it felt different now. He stared at it. The blade was no longer beautiful mythril silver, but now a deep, dark red. It no longer bore the emblem of a Wing on the hilt.
"It's become a Blood Sword," Paul said. "It's not the same as it was before…"