Author: The Unknowing Herald PM
It's been one year since Ike left Tellius and the continent lives a confortable peace, one that is suddenly shattered as Daein falls without warning. Who are these attackers, and where has Ike's journey taken him? Time will tell. IkexElincia and others.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Ike & Terra B. - Chapters: 15 - Words: 122,426 - Reviews: 55 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 05-03-13 - Published: 05-03-12 - id: 8082323
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's note:And my drive for this one continues! For some odd reason I can't get this out of my mind so, as an added bonus for my mood, you get a new chapter. This one is alot calmer than the last ones, but I'm not going to give you the plot outright. Also, this chapter has recruits, so, in typical Fire Emblem fashion, I'll point out the recruitment themes for your imagination's pleasure.
PS: People that know me know that I fill the voids of characters with small and fun-oriented cameos that will do zero on the overall plotline instead adding OC's that… you guessed it, would have zero impact on the plotline, so take them lightly, okay? There's one here on this one.
PSS: We have a surprise guest that will turn the plot around quite a bit in the middle of it, chew your nails off.
Act 1: What Lies on the Other Side
Goddess of Blue Flames
Riding on a horse with Ike should have been a dream for the young Queen, but the constant cries of agony and sobs from the girl they were carrying made it a very distant cousin of that, a nightmare to be exact. First things first, considering how she had moved after those cuts, she shouldn't even be breathing anymore, which begged the question, even if life was still coursing through the girl when they got her to a bed, would any kind of treatment save her? Not that she was going to stop because of that. For a brief moment she looked back to see the girl, not a day older than eighteen, gasping for air as her garments began to turn a different tone of red from her blood. She looked so defenseless and innocent, nothing like the rampaging monster she had seen. Were the people that fell into chaos that changed? She had seen Ashnard taking up Lehran's medallion, but he was an evil man to begin with… Then again, general Gawain slew his own wife while under the influence of something similar, and he was one of the best men she had ever laid eyes upon, still, his son was much better. Was the tiara she wore the source of her rampage? Well, only the girl could tell at this point. She had to get her to the Solum estate fast.
"How much further?" Ike asked, preoccupied. "Her pulse is steadily growing weaker… I shouldn't have…"
"Don't. For all you knew, she was a monster. The injuries you caused her were in self-defense and you could not have guessed the outcome. You may have had to kill her to survive…" Elincia never liked the word "kill" even when she needed too, to save her kingdom and Tellius, but she had grown accustomed to it, enough to say it anyways. "Together we learned that the world is not Black and White, we can't blame ourselves for every life we take, no matter how righteous its motives were. Was Zelgius a kill that you are proud off? Or the killing of Levail, whose only purpose was to follow his leader, the one true general in Begnion, to the bitter end?" As soon as Elincia stopped her speech she turned her gaze into the bewildered ocean eyes of her former general and flustered at the stare he was giving her. "W-what is it my Lord Ike?" She spat out quickly, making an inhuman effort not to stumble on her words.
"Who are you and what did you do with Elincia?" He asked, still confused how he had just been told. "You're not the same person I knew just a year ago!"
"O-oh…" Elincia stumbled, not sure on what that meant.
"You've… changed… never thought YOU of all people would lecture me about the reality of killing." Ike explained, but quickly understood that that wasn't exactly to the queen's liking as her face had suddenly fallen into a sad, melancholic expression.
"Did… did I change so much?"She asked herself.
"Hey! Don't look at it like it's a bad thing! You were just that little flower right on the middle of the garden filled with weeds, the one who needed her gardener to survive." Don't ask Ike how he managed to do such an analogy, maybe going through a year of only Soren and Ranulf had finally driven him insane.
"So… you are implying that I am a weed now?" Elincia asked, slightly irritated.
"NO! I'm implying that you are… a stronger flower…? I don't know, I suck at analogies, forget I tried." The now flustered man replied, scratching the back of his head now that Terra's extremely heavy breathing had subsided into a calmer one. "Point is I lo-"Just in time Ike coughed the word away and went into the safer, yet more disappointing route. "Like this new you and I bet the people of Crimea do too! Except the nobility, they must have been driven against the wall even more now."
Tomato. A fruit that so perfectly described the color Queen Elincia's cheeks as she received such a compliment. She had no idea what to reply, well, she did, but didn't have the courage too. She could go on and on how weak she was on the inside, but she was done with that, she could compliment Ike, but he never really liked them, she could… help the girl that had just stained her armor as she weakly coughed blood. Yeah, that looked to be the best decision. Mostly because she could see the mansion's gates closing in swiftly. She did need to give a fair warning to the person on her side though.
"Ike, please, let me do the talking. If they push it, you have my permission to grind their heads in…" She saw the look of satisfaction on his face and quickly corrected. "With WORDS!" His eyes lost some of its shine, but they still remained. "Don't worry, considering how we're dripping blood and sweat, they WILL complain, you'll have your way." The queen added with a devilish smile.
"Is this an impostor or anything?" Ike asked, still untrusting of how she had loosened up.
"No, I just learned that the only way to control nobility's bark is to show we can bite." She said with a giggle. "Nailah told me that, and she has been a queen for a long time. Now, we're here, remember, behave, she needs it…" She told him, nodding at the trembling little girl resting on his arms.
"Halt! Who are you and what is your business here?" One of the guards asked as he approached the horse. Just as looked up however his eyes fell back down, plastered on the floor in shame. "I AM TERRIBILY SORRY MY QUEEN! Shall I inform Duke Solum of your arrival madam?" He had gotten the scare of his life. Had it been some other monarch… his head might have not been in the same place as it was.
"There is no time! Go and fetch me the doctor for this estate and the village, we'll go through the gate and get this girl to a bed. Also, you may NOT bar the path of anyone under my orders, understood?" She said in a voice Ike had scarcely heard of, her commanding voice. He had to admit, the change surprised him, but for the best.
"Understood! Gary, open the gates and leave them so!" The guard ordered to the man inside the keep.
"AYE AYE!" Was heard as the giant wooden double doors opened to the inside of the estate. Ignoring the property Ike and Elincia left Titania's horse, Erza, in the hands of a nearby knave and walked inside the house. This wasn't a modest house… AT ALL. Only the most expensive looking paintings, rugs and furniture adorned the mansion, things that Ike didn't care about and were about to get dirty, very dirty.
"Duke Solum!" Elincia called, hastening and impatient footsteps striding into her ears just before a… muscled man appeared from a door? Don't get me wrong, Solum was no Oliver, but he wasn't, by any chance fit, his posture also seemed to be too relaxed for the legendary snob he was. For this reasons, Elincia didn't believe it was Solum, until…
"My Queen! Good tidings!" The brown haired body-builder physic men greeted. So he was Solum… and he was being nice? "Fret not! I can see the surprise on your oh so beautiful face and I must admit, if I had appeared to myself a year ago, I would never have recognized me. And it is all thanks to you my queen!" He exclaimed, kneeling and kissing her left hand. This didn't exactly go well with the blue haired swordsman, but he held it in.
"M-me?" She asked, confused at how she could have caused such change.
"Yes, you! Phoenicis changed me! At first I was so blind I merely wanted to escape, then I met the most beautiful woman I had ever laid eyes on. It didn't matter that she had wings, those long, flowing chocolate strands of hair and emerald eyes won me over. I tried to integrate on the Hawk culture, but for that, I had to fight. I trained myself under Tibarn himself, who found my resolution amusing and well… little by little I changed. All that scheming and pettiness about money seems so far away now. Now that I have returned I'll make some changes around here! Leo promised that she would visit someday!" He didn't even notice Ike was there?
"Leo?" Elincia questioned.
"Leonor, my beloved hawk!"
"Branded on the way… better warn Stefan." Ike mumbled amused.
"Oh… is that… Sir Ike?" Solum exclaimed, running up to him and shaking his hand forcefully. "You have become my hero! You are everything I aspire too!"
"Oh Ike… fangirls weren't few, but fanboys is a new one!" Elincia joked, but as soon remembered why they were there. "Duke, sorry to interrupt, but can you spare a bed, this girl is in dire need of medical assistance!" As soon as Solum looked at the squirming Terra his eyes jolted open and he bolted towards the stairs.
"Follow me! I trust you already called the doctor."
"I'm here." An elder doctor using a cane to balance himself said in a sardonic tone. "Now, get me my patient."
"Never saw you 'round here." Solum commented.
"Does it look like I care?" Okay, so he wasn't the most sympathetic of doctors, but he had to do.
Now in the room, the man used very strange utensils to poke at the girl, touching her chest with a round metal utensil which cables went to his ears. Most importantly, no magic was involved.
"Well, I've got two good news and two bad ones. Now, which ones first?" The gruff man asked, leaning on his cane.
"The bad ones." Ike said. "What? Better get them over now."
"You asked for it." He said, spinning the cane. "One, no human can survive these wounds." Before the despair could settle in, he replaced it with another emotion. "Two… I was never really on your side." Ike rammed him against the wall violently just as he said that, they had been played.
"Hey, mister steroids, want to hear the good news?" The man mocked, his grizzly bearded face twisting into a smile.
"They better be good!" Ike threatened. Somehow, this close the man seemed to be so familiar… who was he?
"One, Terra here, is not human, not fully at least. If our look closely, most of her wounds are healing by themselves, she'll be fine." He said, not changing his tone even after being almost chocked. The news made Ike somewhat loosen his grip. "Two, if you don't kill me right now, you may win over a doctor."
"Why should I trust you?" Ike asked, letting go of the middle aged man but still eying him warily.
"I don't exactly like how my continent is being run. That said, I'm no fighter or politician, I'm a doctor, I heal people, so I stayed low. Also, I don't give a damn, but I don't give a damn 'bout 90% of things. Still, Terra is my favorite patient, mostly because of how interesting her body can be and because she's so easy to make fun off, her friends too…" He saw how evil the looks he was getting were. "What? It's true. Besides, blue hedgehog, you saw me once. I treated that extremely bitchy black haired friend of yours when he caught the desert fever."
So that's where he had seen him… well, if SHE trusted him as a doctor, he was a welcome addition.
(Cue "With us!")
"Fine, the queen of a country trusted you with so I might as well. Your name?" He asked as he saw the man walk away from him and near the bed.
"House, I was the Head Doctor back in Dalmasca. Because of that, you can and SHOULD call me Doctor House." He grinned before turning to Solum. "Need a needle, a lot of string, bandages and some wet cloth, pronto. The rest of you can go eat or something, just get the hell out!" He dismissed.
Elincia had so many questions left… but Ike had just heard about food.
"LET'S!" He exclaimed, abandoning all reason and dragging her with him to the dining room. She smiled, even if Ike didn't notice, he was holding her hand.
"Liquid… Liquid Snake do you copy?" The monkey tailed man whispered into a Whisperweed.
"Loud and clear Solid." The weed whispered back.
"There are two guards coming your way, as soon as they get pass the two of you, I'll give the command and you and Naked jump out and knock them out, understood?" He asked not taking his eyes off the two armored soldiers for one second.
"Understood." "Butz" replied from inside a crate. Okay, it wasn't a cardboard box, but they didn't even HAVE cardboard as far as they could see, so they had to improvise.
"Now!" "Solid Snake" told them, without a thought they both bolted out of their crates and smashed their blades on the guard's heads, the dull side of course, instantly knocking the two of them out.
"Good job team!" The monkey tailed man congratulated as he fell down the ceiling.
"Can we stop calling each other "Snake" now? Being the whiny brother all the time is kinda annoying." The blonde man asked.
"Well, now that we secured the dungeon, I guess."
"Are you here for the queen?" A male voice asked, the trio jumping back as a giant exclamation point on top of their heads. "Relax, I'm on your side if you are." The said as he stepped forwards, revealing a green haired Sentinel waving a key. "Edward told me about the three of you. You do have an escape plan, don't you? If you don't, I just blew my cover as a guard for nothing."
"Who the hell do you think we are? Of course we do!" The men with the monkey tail replied.
"Good, now follow me, I know where her cell is. Name's Aran by the way. You?"
"Zidane!" The man with the monkey tail exclaimed.
"Bartz!" The brown haired one continued.
"And Vaan!" The blonde finished.
"Okay then, follow my lead!" Aran said, even if he was finding the enthusiasm strange.
"D-Doctor?" A very weak voice called from behind the middle aged man who was now washing his utensils with the water he had asked.
"So you're awake. No this is not Rabanastre, it isn't the Magitek Research Facility either. Any memory you have from what happened is probably true." He said, trying to appear disinterested.
"Always… straight to the point… aren't you?" She asked, smiling.
"Get back to your damned sleep, if you don't walk out of this alive I'm not getting a new job." He said gruffly.
"Sure thing doc…" She replied, going to sleep, what happened before could wait.
"So this is it huh? They really locked them up as deep as they could." Vaan commented as they arrived onto two separate cells at the end of the deepest, darkest corridor of the dungeon. These cells were only used by King Ashnard himself in attempts of maddening people with solitude, and yet, two of the greatest heroes of this continent were here, locked.
"Micaiah?" Aran called as he looked into one of the cells.
"Aran?" A sweet yet wary voice asked as the Silver Haired Maiden came into full display. Her hair was her name sake so it's a given, she was wearing a dark, skin tight vest that covered everything but the top part of her torso, where it changed into dark blue hue that spread into her cape, she also wore a golden chocker and a blue ribbon. She was small and frail, and looked too young to be queen, even by their standards, still, the first thing that they could say was…
"You're a HOT queen, you know that?" Ever the flirt, Zidane couldn't just contain himself.
"Shut up monkey boy!" A teenage voice came from the other cell, from behind the bars, a green cloaked man stood, almost gnawing at the bars. The Whisper was known to be too over protective of his wife, even more so after they married. Still cloaked in his old green cloak and using grey pants that encased knifes, he was ready for combat, if he had a weapon that is.
"Aaaaaand you must be King Sothe. Edward did warn me NOT to flirt with Micaiah with you here, but sheesh…" Zidane mumbled, incurring even more wrath from the man.
"What do you want?" He exclaimed.
"Calm down Sothe! What if they are here to get us out of here?" Micaiah asked, Sothe swallowing dry and stopping his outburst.
"Ding Ding Ding! And you are correct! And you win…" Zidane exclaimed, pulling the key out of Aran's hand and hurriedly opening the door. "A "get out of jail free card" for you and your extremely grumpy husband who will have to promise not to do anything to destroy my physical integrity!"
"Sothe… do it." She ordered in a low but intimidating tone. She knew Sothe wasn't going to if she didn't order him as his pride had taken from Ike, who she still thought would be the father of his children, were he a woman.
"I promise not to… hurt you if you get me out of here…" He broke, Zidane smiled and kept his end of the bargain.
"Well, let's go!" Bartz exclaimed happily.
"Wait." Micaiah told the young man as she got out of a thinking position. "Why are you helping us like this? By your clothes, you clearly don't live in Daein, especially the blonde over there."
"That's Vaan! And I do just fine in this cold even without a shirt!" Vaan exclaimed, is pride hurt.
"What was Daein's last king?" She inquired.
"My point is proven." Micaiah said. "You could argue you came from the desert, but you didn't."
"Desert?" Vaan asked, looking both sides to only see facepalms. "I better shut up…"
"Now, answer me." Micaiah ordered.
"Do you really need a reason… to help someone?" Zidane asked with an unusually solemn tone on his face. "If you really do… then you're not worth saving." He continued, turning his back at her. "Come with me if you want, we're hightailing, with or without you."
"Micaiah… you don't have to-" Sothe didn't even finish the sentence before Micaiah walked up to Zidane and grabbed his hand. She never completely understood the length of her powers as a branded, but she knew that when she sacrificed herself, she didn't only cure the person, she understood her. And this was no different.
(Cue: "Stalwarts Unite!")
"Sothe, Aran, let's go." She said convict. "They mean well."
"Whatever you say Micaiah. Laura is waiting at the entrance." Aran said, putting one arm behind his head.
"Alright! Monkey boy there is Zidane Tribal, blondie number two is Vaan and I am Bartz Klauser." The young man introduced, still Sothe wasn't convinced.
"You sure?" Sothe asked, not sure if he trusted the man that was now kissing the hand Micaiah had just held.
"Yes, but you have my permission to punch him… once." She quipped, a broad smile tainting Sothe's normally cold expression.
"With pleasure." He said, cracking his knuckles
"Wait what?" Zidane asked just before everyone heard his jaw cracking.
"Well, I guess that's that." Tibarn commented as Sephiran used his Ashera's Staff to heal everyone on their side back to a healthy state. Ramza was still winning over soldiers as Mist and Rhys healed those who agreed. The others were patched up and sent to prison in a nearby city.
"I'm sorry you are so blind… you'll live, think about what I told you in prison." Ramza told the last survivor, him and the healers leaving him behind as he grumbled. This particular soldier however, was ruthless and knew when a guard was down. Even with his left arm cut off he saw the opportunity and grabbed his sword, jumping on the direction of the closest target, the small brown haired girl.
"For Palamecia!" He roared as his fell blade came crashing down on Mist. Everyone looked, but no one was in range. Mist could only watch as the blade inched ever closer… stopping just a mere centimeters away from her head. "W-what? C-can't move?" He stuttered, his body trembling all over.
"Of course not…" A mature woman's voice resounded behind him. "You're already dead." She completed, sheathing her katana as the man broke in half. "Are you alright little girl?" The newcomer asked, kneeling to Mist's side. She was wearing what seemed to be a blue eastern vest that covered the front and back of her legs, brown boots with blue ribbons on it and black gloves, nothing more. Her hair was tied in a ponytail and she looked to be in her early thirties.
"I am not little!" Mist protested. "But I'm alright… thanks to you! Thanks!" She exclaimed, hugging her savior.
"Well now, what do we have here? I had no idea there were any more Trueblades in Tellius." Stefan commented as he approached the woman.
"Trueblade?" The woman asked, confused.
"It IS what you are right? The level beyond Swordmaster." Stefan asked.
"We can see that!" Mia exclaimed. "We should have a match!"
"Not now Mia, but I must admit she does look skilled." Lucia cut in.
"Well… if I tell them I'm a Blade Lord they might ask too many questions… and I'm not that far away from a Swordmaster so for now I might be okay." She rationalized before answering. "Yes, if you call me that. You are the only other ones I found… I take it you were the ones that took care of the army I was following." She weaved the question in-between her answer as she scouted the environment. Considering the amount of prisoners and the group she had taken care of on her way here she was sure they had been wiped out.
"Aye, that was us." Tibarn said, approaching the woman who was completely dumbfounded by the man.
"W-wings? Just what are you?" She stuttered.
"Well, aren't you the beaming example of good manners, not that they wouldn't e wasted on Tibarn, but I digress." Only the Raven King could weave two insults so perfectly on the same phrase.
"Oh, let her be, she must have never seen bird laguz. Right?" Ranulf asked.
"T-t-tail?" She stuttered again, ending Ranulf's theory.
"Oh c'mon, you never saw a laguz? Herons, cats, tigers, lions, ravens, hawks… heck, dragons?" He blurted, the most ridiculous answer possible.
"Oh, I've seen dragons." She answered truthfully and somewhat bitterly.
"WHAT? How can you get to GOLDOA and never see any other laguz?" Ranulf was wary at best.
"Just let the girl be, Ranulf. Explanations may come later, what I would like to know is your reason to be here." Sephiran calmly asked as he made himself be known.
"Well… now that I screwed it all up I'm lucky I even got a chance… Can't let them know where I come from though."The woman told herself. "The destruction and misery of Daein… I can't stand and watch it. I needed to do something about it. So I followed this regiment of the army to help whoever it was going to be attacked… Seems I didn't need too."
Sephiran could see she was hiding a lot, but he needed to ask of her something else.
"Might I ask what you are going to do now?" He asked rhetorically, he was fishing for the answer he wanted, and oh boy did he get it.
"Tell me, is this army going to liberate Daein?" She asked with a hopeful look on her facial features.
"We'll do the best we can, after we join with Begnion." Nasir told the girl.
"Yeah, kick their faces in and then rip out their eyes!" Tibarn said a little too aggressively.
(Cue: "Together We Ride!")
"Then…I ask of your permission to join this army!" She exclaimed, putting up a strict soldier pose.
"I had already guessed. I see no evil in your eyes, you are free to help us. May I have your name?" The heron asked.
"Should I tell him? He seems to be trusted, but maybe my surname is not the safest bet." She thought, deciding to only use her first name. "My name is Lyndis, but you can call me Lyn, may I see your commander?"
"Of course, we were headed for Ike just…" He stopped to look at a small bird flyng its way in Ike's direction."… now…" He said with a smile.
"Is that…?" Reyson asked before noticing that Tibarn and Stefan were gone, running after the bird.
"Wait a second here." Tibarn told the bird, which never stopped flying. "Back so soon?" The bird nodded as it chirped.
"Heading for Ike?" He received yet another nod. "Can I come?" And yet another nod. "Great!"
"So Ike… how was your journey?" Elincia asked hesitantly, sweeping a piece of cloth around the edges of her mouth as she finished her meal, which would only be the first course for the blue haired mercenary.
"It would have been better if I hadn't needed to run back eight months in." He said matter of flatly. "Spent two months getting to Mastus, the capital city of Hatari. And another month getting too an crossing over the freaking mountain. Pair that with the fact we had to backtrack to Mastus to get some warp powder and manage to come in time, one third of it was mindless walking."
"What did you expect?" She teased. "I mean, you're lucky to have even found anything at all, if it wasn't for Soren or Ranulf you'd be lost anyway."
"My sense of direction isn't that bad!" Ike protested.
"On the battlefield. After two full months in Melior you couldn't even find the fair!" She accused, laughing when Ike's face reddened and he decided to stuff in mouth with pork to forget his problems.
"My queen, when did you marry Ike?" Solum asked casually and honestly. Maybe he shouldn't have done it when Ike and Elincia were drinking as both of the spit their drinks out on top of each other before looking at him in confused and distressed looks. "You mean, you aren't? Could have fooled me, you're exactly like a married couple."
"We are not!" Ike roared.
"Why would say that?" Elincia asked, much less aggressively and more curious.
"You'll know when you get there."
"Implying they get there." A voice came from behind.
"You're really… REALLY creeping me out Geoffrey." Ike told the Silver Knight who was now sitting on the other side of the table. How did he even GET there?
"Solum." He said with a head bow.
"Geoffrey." He returned.
"Ike, we have a new recruit that wants to see you." Geoffrey informed before raising from his seat. "But first, we have a guest." He said as Tibarn entered the room, a little bird chirping on his shoulder and Stefan walking by him.
"Is that…?" Ike began before seeing the bird bolt towards the room where the girl was.
The bird came into the room, flying towards the bed as blue flame emerged from its claws, which were holding a very familiar medallion. The flames spiraled around the room before concentrating on one spot, in one flash exploding as they condensed into a small girl. Wavy, red hair that passed her shoulders and touched her green cloak, yellow dress with white pants and brow shoes. It was hard to believe this was the being it was. Yune, the Goddess of Chaos. The deity then walked up to the bed and started staring deep into Terra's features, even touching her chest just for her eyes to jolt open as though she had been shocked.
"So much power on a mortal is not natural…" She mumbled before hearing a cough and cane hitting the ground behind her.
"Well, hello to you too…"House said sarcastically. "No, I'm not impressed with your little light show. And yes, I am annoyed that you essentially blew up near my patient."
"Well now, who's the badass?" Tibarn questioned as he entered the room.
"Save it for later, I haven't slept in three days, I'll see you in an hour or so." The medic grumbled as he went away.
"That was… weird." Tibarn commented. "Anyway! What are you doing here short stuff?" He asked casually at the Goddess.
"Shouldn't we be more formal, she is a…?" Elincia began.
"No, it's quite alright with me Elincia, after all… we are "family" aren't we?" She asked, looking at Ike that replied with a grin. "The reason I am here is lying right next me." She predictably explained.
"Why is that?" Terra asked, sitting up and stretching her arms. "I needed that…" She mumbled, glad to have had any sleep. Her delicate frame and almost divine voice made even the ones that fought wonder if this was the same person that they met on the battlefield.
"Well, you look a lot cuter when you're not trying to murder people." Ike commented. He got more than a few daggers thrown with Elincia's eyes and noticed a sudden darkening of the room's atmosphere. "What? It's true!" Dense Ike, people… Dense Ike.
"I couldn't control it okay? I still can't!" Terra exclaimed, looking at her hands as tears formed up. "I know it! I remember them! I remember every single face of the people I killed! I'm conscious while I'm doing it, but it's like someone else was controlling my body. And this was when I didn't have Kefka order me around with that cursed crown!" She was in tears now, leaving Ike to take the blame for it.
"Look at what you did bonehead!" Tibarn gnawed. "I wonder how so many females grow attached to you, you're as sensitive as a rock is to a mosquito!"
"You should consider the feelings of your peers more." Yune scolded.
"She's still a girl!" Elincia continued. Geoffrey didn't do anything, he just smiled at Ike getting his head beat in.
Stefan however, wasn't a man of "company" or, "society" or even "conversation" so he jumped straight to the point.
"That little rambling you did lead us nowhere. I understand that that crown enslaved you and that you cannot control that… shifted form of sorts but tell me this, who is Kefka and how often do these bursts come?" Stefan would appear happy go lucky to most, but behind all that was the reason he became a hermit, he was awfully direct and highly critical, something that didn't suit well on nobles, even more so him being a branded.
"K-Kefka is the Head Advisor for the Emperor. I know nothing about his schemes, but he is constantly doing it, you only realize it when it's too late… like my parents." She held back the tears again, they wouldn't fix anything. "He was also the one who controlled me. For that matter he was the de facto commander of Lightbringer Division since I was the one elected so he could manipulate it from the shadows." She was regaining her composure and had sat on the edge of the bed, now revealing how the side of her body was only stitched, seemingly determined to let no scar remain. She still had bandages covering her more private parts of her upper torso though. "The rest of the six Divisions either fell for it or didn't want to risk interfering with Kefka."
As overwhelming and extremely vague this information was for Ike he still wanted to know one thing. "Wait, six other divisions? You're in charge of one the BIG ones? So you're saying we're going to fight a seventh of the Empire's army in Daein with a rag tag group?" It was the first time in a long time Elincia saw Ike worried about the odds, but before she could ask why, Terra answered.
"No. The Lightbringer Division is a lot smaller than the rest. This is because we are the "infantry" of the army and well… I can't sugarcoat this, our main strategy was to send me into the middle of the fight and have Kefka remove restriction number 666 if things got out of hand. We only did it once though. I still have nightmares about it…" She shuddered but shook it off.
"So what you are saying is that a big part of their threat got cut down when they lost you." Stefan deduced.
"Yes. And to answer your other question… I don't know. I haven't been able to control my actions for the past five years… Only when Kefka went on a trip would I be able to relax for a few days, even then my "methods" branded me a monster when Kefka was the one doing them." Even she was worried about her self-control, she didn't want to harm the people who had saved her.
"Interesting. I reckon then that if we keep you away from them they cannot control you and we might stand a chance." Stefan suggested, but that wasn't happening.
"I don't think that's what she wants." Ike intervened but his former teacher took the logical route.
"It is not a situation of what she wants, but one of what we need. She must be kept away from the battlefield." He was right, from what he knew, it was the logical path.
"No!" The small girl exclaimed with conviction. "I've had enough of being told what to do! I have to atone… for the pain I caused and if the first step is to free Daein, it will take more than a human like you to stop me!" She was getting a little bit angry, and nobody liked Terra angry.
(Cue: "With us!")
"Alright, you convinced me. You got a lot more guts I gave you credit for, they are just hidden away." The former general told the girl as he extended his hand. "Welcome to the group… ham…"
"Terra! Terra Branford!" She exclaimed with the most expressive "thank you" she had ever had on her face as she shook his hand.
"You're not general anymore Ike, what makes you able to recruit people to our army?" Geoffrey intervened. Was it just Ike thoughts or was Geoffrey growing increasingly more aggressive as time went on?
"Well, she can join the Greil Mercenaries and come as a part of it to the army." Ike replied, already used to go around regulations.
"I do not think that'll be necessary Ike." Yune said as her eyes closed. "I can feel them. The Holy Blades, Ragnell and Alondite. They are so near. This can only mean…"
"What do you mean, I need to be under Crimean orders? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?" A brattish voice screamed from the outside. The fact that it was female and coincidently, the promise of the blades being near, she could only be.
"I should dispose of your head for touching the Apostle!" A woman's voice cried.
"Yup, that's Tanith alright." Ike quipped, remembering the Falcon knight's captain temper. "We should get down there before she kills someone." He suggested and as such everyone started to move out.
"Get dressed." House groaned as he threw Terra her washed clothes back. "Grats, you finally stood for yourself, now you know how it's like to be me, but on an ant-sized version."
"Good enough of a compliment for me." She returned, starting to put her red dress back on. When she arrived down there she saw Ike and Tibarn trying to restrict the short brown haired woman from impaling the guard, over and over. It took a minute or two for that to subside, but it did.
"Ike, we meet again." The small Empress, in her red dress and bandana that held her long purple hair, plus her signature baggy pants, asked. "Why is it that even when you leave the continent, you still manage to arrive in the nick of time? Honestly, this seems more of a tale than real life." She said, why would she think that?
"Well Sanaki, I really don't know or care about that, I live my life the way I think I should, EXCEPT when an certain monarch appears, gives me a very important and potent sword and uses it as leverage to make me a general. At first I refuse, then these guys make me take it. I'll save you the trouble." The Crimean general-to-be said, extending his hand. "Give me the Ragnell and I'll lead this ONE LAST TIME!"
"Unusually cooperative, I see you're learning to respect me… Just joking, the only way to earn your respect is to beat that face in as you would say in your ruffian ways… Tanith, get both blades if you may." With a nod and a salute the captain ran to her Pegasus and detached from it two massive swords. Both had cross shaped hilts and their blade was straight with a roundish tip, however they differed in colors. The first one had a black hilt with a green crystal on it and a dark golden blade, the other seemed its antithesis, with a glowing golden handle supporting a red gem and a shining pure white blade. "Here you go, your sword. You have no idea how troublesome it was to take it out of the cathedral again on such short notice, but I believe Godslaying blades need to be put to use." Sanaki told her new General, giving him the sword he used for the most important moments of his life.
"So it's MY sword now? Oh you're really trying to treat my boots aren't you?" Now he was just teasing her and Tanith, but, for his disappointment, they had become "Ike-proof" after so long. "Oh c'mon, not even a cringe?"
"That is quite enough childlessness Ike, now tell me, who should I hand this blade?" She asked as she grabbed the Alondite. "That Trueblade Mia?"
"Hm…" He wondered but soon found someone that could need it. "Terra, do you require a weapon?"
"Y-you want to give me that? Isn't that sword a Holly Blade?" Terra stuttered, she knew nothing about the sword, but they said it killed even gods.
"So? It's a sword, you use swords by what Stefan told me and I see no sword on you, you want it?" he asked directly, thinking on a purely practical way.
"Wait a second…" She closed her eyes and projected her mind elsewhere, a place where she summoned her normal blades. "I thought so… they cut my access to the Void Storage, I can't summon my blades…" She lamented taking a few steps forward to a slightly uncomfortable Sanaki. "May I?" She asked, extending both her arms.
"If that idiot trusts you, I'm okay with it, show us what you are made off." The now teen girl replied as she put the sword on Terra's hands.
Instantly, a surge of energy took over her, her eyes jolted open as the blade glowed in a calm blue flame.
"Whoa…" Terra gasped as she looked at her blade. Without a thought she grasped it with one hnad and danced with it in a flurry of silver flashes. Sanaki was flabbergasted at how fast she could swig one of the heaviest swords in existence, but she was even more surprised when she began exhibiting flashes of red flames, ice covering the blade and showering from it and even lighting striking the rocks the blade touched. "It conducts magic so well!"
"Yeah and look at this!" Ike exclaimed, singing his on the general direction of a rock, such rock being decimated even though it was more than ten meters away. "Anti-archer material!"
"Thank you!" She thanked the empress who just flashed a very confused smile.
"I'd say be careful with it, but that will never break so… have fun I guess."
"My blessing didn't wear out yet also." The goddess which the empress hadn't seen said, pointing at the blue flame that at times appeared.
"Yune?" The empress asked, walking over and hugging her in a very uncharacteristic act. "You did not abandon us!" She exclaimed happily.
"We would never abandon you, we were just trying to make you safe… but we failed. I came here asking for help… Ashera stayed on the other continent." She explained with a sad look on her face.
"Well, it sure looked like they needed help, but Yune, don't tell me you came all the way here just to ask for help… you are telling me that after we kicked them out of Daein I wouldn't round up as many people as I could and stormed the other side of the mountains?" Ike asked, almost hurt.
"You would do that?" Yune asked, surprised that he would even care.
"Well, you know what Zidane said, do you really need a reason to help someone?"He said with a smile.
Elincia had so many questions on her mind she barely knew where to start.
"Who is Zidane, Ike?" She asked, but she fleet a and on her shoulder, one that belonged to.. Stefan?
"Whoever he is it can wait until we are moving. Let's get the army moving to meet with Begnion and Goldoa." Always the practical one. "Yune, are you coming on that form or…"
(Cue: "With us!")
"It's been a long time since I used a body, may I? I can fight too! Not to my full extent but I can be a "decent mage"." She joked.
"Fighting WITH a Goddess? Well, this is worth being a general for!" Ike exclaimed, excited to see how she fought.
"Okay then, let's go!" Stefan said as he pointed onwards.
"We'll discuss payment at camp." The doctor told the queen.
Before they left however, Ike pulled Terra by her arm and asked a very important question.
"That's right, Terra, why did you want to go so vehemently? If it's just for revenge I…" He knew he couldn't talk after his past with the Black Knight, but still, he didn't need too.
"There's a friend who…"
"Ramza's already on our army." Ike interrupted, only to be corrected.
"Not Ramza. This one was my "right hand" if I wasn't controlled. He should be a very good addition if we can save him." She explained, Ike wondering who he could be, he did completely miss the fondness on Terra's voice.
"Captain Verus! We have cornered them!" A man with a white turban and cloak told the man with the crystal ball.
"Now or never…" The man with the surname Verus told himself as he rushed to the location, finding his soldiers being decimated by the combined strength of the rebels. "Halt!" He ordered, putting himself between the crowd and the queen. " I am captain of the sub-division of Mystic Knights from the Lighbringers. Are you rebels trying to escape with the queen?" He asked, Zidane stepping forward.
"What if we are?" He asked with a threatening tone.
"In that case…" He knew they had taken Terra's license so he summoned her Lightbringer, one of the seven treasure of the empire and charged it with icy winds. He then did the completely unexpected…" Spellblade… Blizzaga!" He chanted, swinging his sword towards his own "allies" freezing them all in place. "Follow me! I know the way to the sewers." He shouted, running down the corridor.
"Let's!" Micaiah exclaimed, blaming her trust on her alliance with Ike, he made her way too soft.
"Ohhh a rogue? That will make it sooooo much more fun to wait for the army! Hey Ice Queen… go take care of your friend." Kefka said in a sadistic and joyful tone at the same time before unleashing his trademark laugh.
"Dammit…" A blonde woman by his side cursed, but she had to obey.
As Crimea marches towards Daein bits and pieces of Ike's journey fall on his friend's ears, ones that light the path to the mission the Crimean Hero has imposed himself on behalf of peace.
Meanwhile, Queen Micaiah dances with the devil himself as they try to make their escape through the canal.
Far away, in an unknown land two monarchs decide what could be either a war declaration or a peace treaty.
Next time: Power Hungry Fool
"You see, I care not of the other Lycians, I care only for the entrance to not be barred… the rest will sort itself out."
"Come out come out wherever you are!"
"The people of Mist?"
Post-Chapter Note:Even with my drive people… Diablo III comes out today… yeah, next chapter should be the first to go by the two weeks schedule, knowing that I DO have a bigger priority on the other story. Sorry 'bout that, remember to leave your opinions on that new, big blue button! You might just get a surprise. And yup, Lyn's here to stay!