Dark Skies over Palamecia

Ch 9, part 2

"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 2

Minwu and Cantirena were always reading together. It took her a day or so to get the hang of basic Mysidian, but once she did, the two of them were going through that bookcase like nothing could stop them. Anything that might give them a clue about the crystal, anything at all would have been helpful. While they were either sitting side by side or back to back with their noses in books, Clarisse and Candice were in charge of hunting to make food and keeping up with anything else the group needed. It wasn't until Cantirena started yawning that anyone said anything for an entire day.

"All right," Candice said. "Put the book down. Time to rest, all right?"

Cantirena shook her head, trying to concentrate on the book. "I just… want to finish this one last part…" she said sleepily.

"You're going to dream in Mysidian at this rate," Clarisse said, pulling Cantirena up off the floor. "Sorry, Minwu, I have to put my sister to bed. She's as stubborn as you are, but she doesn't have the stamina like you do."

Minwu just smiled. He was feeling tired too. "You've no need to explain," he said, not looking up from what he was reading. "My student has fallen asleep reading more times than you know. I would not be surprised if she kept doing it, even now."

"I can't sleep now, not when the world is counting on us figuring this out," Cantirena said. "We've been down here for… what? Almost four days now. I'm afraid to see what the outside world even looks like now!? Who knows what towns are still standing, if any? We have to make a crystal, and we need to do it yesterday."

"You're not going to be making much of anything without any rest," Candice said. She pushed Cantirena down onto the bed where she and Minwu had slept before. "So listen to us, baby sister."

Cantirena yawned again. "I thought I was an adult now…"

"But you'll always be the baby to us!" Candice and Clarisse both said at once.

She flopped down on the bed, yawning again. "I'm not…" Within a few minutes, she was out completely, and her snoring was heard by all.

"Okay," Candice said, walking over to Minwu. "We know what you did."

Minwu gave her a puzzled look. "What?"

"You and Canti," she said again, poking the side of his face.

He shoved her off. "I thought you wanted to discuss lessons, and here you are... wanting to dive into our private matters…" he grunted, picking his book back up. "I should not be surprised, but I am."

"You're not going to talk to me about it?" Candice made a slightly pouty face.

"What Cantirena and I do alone really is none of your business," Minwu said sternly. "So I would appreciate it if you'd stop asking. There is no more discussion to be had on the matter, Candice. You will not persuade me otherwise." He was obviously annoyed. In a huff, he marked his spot in the book, put it on the shelf, and walked over to the bed to take his place next to Cantirena. "No lessons. I'm tired."

"Nice going, Candi," Clarisse muttered, picking up a book. She didn't understand any of the symbols in there, but she did find quite a few fascinating pictures and diagrams. Towards the ending of the book, she found pictures of people in clothes somewhat like Minwu's style of dress, but very different at the same time. "Wait... what is this?"

Candice looked over at the book from where she was sitting. "Hey. Are those… wedding pictures?" she asked. "Look… that guy's ruby! That looks like the one Minwu wears on everything."

Clarisse nodded. "Yeah, it's like the necklace that Canti wears, too. Minwu said it was a Mysidian ruby at one point. Could it be that… at one point, romance was a part of the life of Mysidians?"

"Before the outsiders came," Minwu replied from the bed with his eyes closed. "Those who belonged to the Magi tribe held that that love between couples helped promote a healthy relationship between one and the world itself. Love motivates past all things – it was a core belief for the Magi." He yawned, rolled over, and put his hand around Cantirena's stomach softly. "If one has love, one will strive for a higher tomorrow.

"Yeah, there's no denying it," Candice said, looking through the book. "Minwu really is one of the Magi. Not one of those stuffy Mysidians of today." She pointed at another picture. "The red is everywhere. The women wore red dresses decorated in floral patterns, and the men have the gems on their clothes… While Cantirena is whiter than a snowflake, everyone in these books have bronze skin like Minwu. She may look a bit strange in these kinds of clothes."

"Are you thinking what I think you're thinking?" Clarisse asked. "You… you want to put those two in these clothes?"

"I think… it would make for the most beautiful wedding," Candice said. "And so very fitting for them both, too."

Minwu didn't say anything, as he wanted to give them the impression that he was asleep, but it made him smile. He imagined Cantirena wearing the formal gowns worn in Magi celebrations in his mind. She would be able to wear those kinds of clothes. He gripped around her just a little tighter.

I'm not going to lie, he thought. That would be… perfect.

"Then why don't we surprise them?" Clarisse asked. "We make these outfits and… when things are a bit more peaceful, we'll set up everything. Go through the whole shebang, step by step. All the ritual parts and everything."

"Yeah but we can't read Mysidian! And if we show either of them this book, they would just tell us to focus on other things," Candice said. She seemed disappointed by that. "Even Canti has a hard time with the ancient stuff."

"Doesn't help that the language only looks like lines and dots with a few squiggles thrown in for good measure… and we don't even know if it reads sideways or front ways or backwards… fuck, it could read diagonal and I wouldn't have any clue…" Clarisse had to stop trying to make sense of it. The whole thing made her head hurt. "But… you really want to make them these outfits, huh?"

"I do," Candice said. "Because once this war is over, they're going to be living together. It won't be anything like it was before."

"You're right…" Clarisse nodded. "I… wonder, if this war had never happened…"

"There's no way they would have come together like this," Candice finished her sentence. "It took away so much from the both of them, and yet, it gave them something else. Claire… I hate to say that I love the world being in turmoil, but if it wasn't for this war… I'd still be alone for the most part. Am I… a bad person for being glad it happened?"

"I… uh…" Clarisse wasn't sure how to answer that.

In a way? She asked in thought. It's not like it's your fault that it happened. We're just making the best of a situation, right? Firion… what do you think? Are we… glad… that this war… happened?

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