|The Forgotten Fayth of Zanarkand
Author: Vicious-Loner PM
What is a guy to do when a big-ass monster barges in and drops them off in another world entirely? Seifer, for one, talks to dead people. One-shot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Adventure - & Seifer - Words: 2,354 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 6 - Published: 02-26-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6780037
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Written for the Strifehart kink meme on livejournal.
Prompt: "Zanarkand" from FFX. OP recommends the Distant Worlds II track for the full symphony and the passion behind it.
I first thought of using Tidus and Yuna but it didn't quite work out so I rolled an imaginary D20 to a non-existent character list and ended up with Seifer. Nevermind that I have yet to get my hands on either KH2 or FF8, and have as a result a rather loose grasp of Seifer's personality based on other people's writings. I chose to use his KH2 incarnation simply because I'm more familiar with that universe as a whole.
Oh, and please excuse the (long-winded?) explanations on everything, because while you might've played FFX Seifer sure hasn't ;-P
The Forgotten Fayth of Zanarkand
Seifer was not a happy camper. First Twilight Town gets attacked by a big-ass monster, then that same monster took him with it and dumped him in an ocean near some gloomy ruins. Now he was standing on a beach on the edge of said gloomy ruins, soaked to the bone and pissed at the world at large, and the ruins appeared to be haunted by zombies of all things.
No, Seifer was not a happy camper.
Wringing out as much water from his clothes as he could he decided to keep going since seeking shelter would get him nowhere so to speak. He didn't have anything to make a fire with anyways. Avoiding zombies wasn't particularly hard, avoiding behemoths on the other hand was a real challenge, not to mention the smaller and sneakier creatures that prowled the ruins. Good thing he still had his struggle bat in hand, not that it did much actual damage. He was keeping an eye out for any piece of rusted pipe or whatever that looked like it could deal more serious damage.
Until the wilted structure he'd been climbing decided to collapse, squashing a few monsters and bruising one Seifer up pretty badly in the process.
It was dark. It was dusty. It was hard. And something sharp was poking him in the groin dangerously close to his manly bits. Seifer slowly rose to his knees and looked around, gingerly rubbing the lightly bleeding scratch. He seemed to be in a partially collapsed tunnel, the dusky light from the hole above offering little help. Looking the other way he noticed something glow vaguely in the distance. Might as well check it out, it could be an exit.
Except it wasn't.
It was a circular room with a pedestal in the middle holding a softly glowing palm-sized sphere. A closer examination of the pedestal itself revealed nothing of interest, nor did the rest of the room beyond a closed door with a round recess in the middle, about the same size as the sphere. Taking the sphere from the pedestal didn't do anything. Putting it in the recess in the door opened it, revealing a short tunnel to another room. The new room was larger, windier and damper, and had several statues of slender men in windswept robes placed strategically near the canal that eclipsed the room save the short bridge Seifer stood on. Looking down revealed slowly flowing water. The two closest statues had softly glowing spheres attached to their pedestals. Each statue was posed differently. If attaching a sphere to the door opened it, what would happen if a sphere was attached to a different statue?
Seifer was not a happy camper. First the sphere-puzzle-statues had summoned up a brisk wind that made his still damp clothes uncomfortably cold. At least he got a new sphere with a nice purple glow to it that clashed rather badly with his burgundy pants. Except when it was slotted into the right (or wrong depending on how you see it) statue it promptly exploded, throwing him off-kilter and into the waiting water. It wasn't deep, thank Hyne, but it was cold.
Wringing the water out of his black beanie once more he glared vehemently at the half-ruined statue and cursed long and hard at it while wringing out the rest of his clothes. Again. And once he was marginally drier and calmer he examined the treasure the half-ruined statue now offered. It was a bracer with an intricate design and looked expensive. The easiest way to carry it was to put it on so he did that.
Some more thinking and slotting later and the puzzle was apparently solved as a round mark on the floor glowed, which, when he stepped onto it, lifted him down into a new room. At least there were no sphere-puzzles down here. Only a door that opened by itself when he approached.
The softly glowing room beyond the door had a round glass-like plate on the floor. Beneath it laid a carved and painted picture of some sort of half-human half-monster, but before Seifer could look any closer it glowed warmly and something started to take shape. He stumbled back a step and gripped his struggle bat tightly, wary of an attack. The transparent apparition of a human man looked back at him with bright blue eyes. Golden-blond spikes stuck up in odd directions, chin hidden beneath a red cloak with blue clothes underneath. And belts.
"Well met Summoner" the apparition said. Seifer's head snapped up.
"Huh? Summoner? Me?"
"Yes, you've come here to gain the Aeon of Strife temple, have you not?"
"Wait, what? Aeon? Strife?" Seifer was getting agitated at his apparent lack of information. The apparition just stared back at him, mildly confused itself. Cursing in frustration Seifer stuffed his struggle bat into his belt, tore off his beanie, scrubbed at his face a few times before raking a hand through his damp hair and replacing the beanie. "Alright, let's take this from the beginning; what are you?"
"I'm a Fayth."
"... And what does a Fayth do?"
"Grants Summoners the ability to summon a specific Aeon" the Fayth explained carefully.
"And what's an Aeon?"
"... Basically a supernatural monster of great power controlled by a Summoner."
"Can anyone become a Summoner?"
"Granted they have enough resolve to undertake the pilgrimage, yes."
"A Summoner's pilgrimage across the land of Spira, praying at every temple along the way and gaining their Aeons. The road ends here in the ruins of Zanarkand, Lady Yunalesca awaits at the Stadium to grant successful Summoners the Final Aeon."
"What's so special about the Final Aeon?"
"It's the only creature powerful enough to defeat Sin."
"A huge demonic creature spreading death and destruction across Spira, Sin is our punishment. Summoners seek to defeat Sin so that the people of Spira may gain a moment of respite during the subsequent Calm, until Sin is reborn."
Seifer mulled over this new information for a few moments before getting to the issue that had bothered him since getting dumped into the ocean a few hours previously; "This Sin... can it reach other worlds?"
The Fayth looked perplexed. "... I don't know. It can reach into the realm of the Fayth at least... why do you ask?"
"Sin is a big-ass monster in the ocean, right?"
"And there are no other big-ass monsters in the ocean that can potentially reach into other worlds, right?"
"... None that I know of."
"Then it must be Sin that attacked Twilight Town and brought me here when it returned."
"Ah. That would explain why you're not familiar with the spiral of death" the Fayth nodded. Seifer decided to not comment on the morbid wrongness of a 'spiral of death'.
"Right. So, is there any way for me to return home again?"
"I don't know. This, a person coming to Spira from another world, is unheard of."
"... Fuck." Seifer rubbed his face and paced around, frustrated and agitated at the whole situation. Thinking about it with the little he knew was getting him nowhere.
"... Perhaps you can find a new home here on Spira?" the Fayth suggested carefully. Seifer just glared. Well, he's stuck here until he can find a way back to Twilight Town, if there even is one, might as well ask around elsewhere too. But while he's here...
"So... uh... summoning?" Seifer awkwardly returned to the first topic.
"Yes." The Fayth seemed to relax at the return to familiar terrain.
"How do you become a Summoner?"
"You train at a temple and learn all the rituals and teachings necessary."
"What kind of rituals?"
"How to summon and how to perform a Sending, mainly."
"What's a Sending?"
"A ritual to guide the souls of the dead to the Farplane where they can rest peacefully."
"Ah... so, can you teach me how to summon then?"
"... I can teach you the basics but you'll need the guidance of a priest for the rituals, I'm not familiar with the intricacies of them."
"I was a guardian as a mortal, not a priest or a Summoner, and thus never taught those things."
"You were a mortal once?" Seifer asked in disbelief, though on second thought it was kinda obvious since it looked entirely human except for the light transparence.
"... And a guardian?"
"Yes." Seifer made a face at the short and uninformative answer.
"What kind of guardian?"
"The kind that supports and protects a Summoner on their pilgrimage."
And just like that a long moment of comfortable and contemplative silence ensued.
"Just... one more question..."
"How did you become a Fayth?"
"I... turned myself into one... sacrificed myself in a sense, because I wasn't strong enough..." the Fayth tapered off into a rather depressed silence.
"Not strong enough? For what?" No answer. Seifer stared and thought hard for a minute. "Did your Summoner die or something?" he guessed cockily and smirked widely at the Fayth's guilty flinch.
"I swore to protect her... she didn't deserve to die, not so brutally... so needlessly..."
"Ah well, it's not like you can do anything about it now anyway" Seifer shrugged and ignored the Fayth's poisonous glare, "so, how about you teach me how to summon instead? Or do I have to go ask someone better?"
"... I doubt you'll survive the trip to the nearest populated temple in Bevelle on your own" the Fayth replied frostily.
"You'll be facing the two most challenging obstacles on the entire pilgrimage one after the other; the snowy peaks of Mt. Gagazet and the vast plains of the Calm Lands. Many Summoners give up their pilgrimage in the face of those two mighty challenges. Even the mightiest of warriors would think twice before attempting to cross them alone."
"... So why don't you tag along with me then? You're a guardian, right?" The Fayth spluttered for a moment.
"I- I were a guardian! I can't 'tag along' with you like that, I'm a Fayth now."
"Why's that a problem?"
"I'm bound to my sarcophagus" it motioned toward the glassed-in carved picture it hovered above, "and my only way of helping you would be to let you use my Aeon."
Seifer merely quirked an eyebrow and smirked like the cat who had just eaten the canary. It didn't take too many minutes of staring before the Fayth folded with a resigned sigh.
Once the problem of no food had been solved through scavenging and foraging outside the city ruins where nature flourished somewhat, Seifer's training started. It involved far too much meditating and far too little action for his tastes but after a week he started to truly understand what the Fayth was talking about. It annoyed him that the Fayth's name had been 'lost in the sands of time' so he'd unceremoniously dubbed it 'Strife' after the temple. The Fayth itself seemed entirely indifferent to its new name.
A trip to the stadium to get tips and pointers from Lady Yunalesca proved to be a spooky affair. The place was shock full of something called Pyreflies; remnants or ghost imprints of the people who had passed through throughout the years. It was a bit unsettling to fight off monsters and suddenly see a bunch of transparent people and hear snippets of conversation, arguing, and once he even saw and heard a child begging for his mother to stop. Seifer silently wondered what became of the despairing child.
Lady Yunalesca herself proved to be a haughty bitch; wearing even less than Shiva with half the beauty and twice the self-importance. At least she knew what she was talking about and could explain the intricacies of the spiral of death as well as how Spiran society in general worked.
When everything was said and done Seifer was secretly glad to leave the stadium and quite possibly never returning, the whole place and it's pseudo-inhabitants were giving him the creeps. Not that the rest of the city were much better but those inhabitants he could at least smack over the head.
Finally the day had come when Seifer had been accepted by Strife the Fayth and gained Leon the Aeon, and Seifer the Struggler was now Seifer the Summoner.
… It was about damn time he got going, this place was starting to mess with his brains.
If someone feels inspired by this and would like to continue exploring Spira through Seifer's eyes, feel free to drop me a note, I'd love to bounce ideas even if I can't write much myself.