|Charge of the Descent
Author: sasheme PM
What secrets keep yonder the bottomless Cataract? Much. Yet mentioned in sage lore by mooglecraft begins its mark. A trial for the Queen and desperation for the Sky Pirate, both of which are driven to unravel.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure - Ashe & Balthier - Words: 2,714 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Published: 10-30-12 - id: 8657056
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This is my first attempt writing a story; my tribute to the 6th year anniversary of the game. Did my best with it. I hope you'd read it and enjoy. :)
Credits to the elements in Final Fantasy XII used in this fiction. Other elements bearing similarities from other works are purely coincidental.
Queen Ashe's Diary, Entry 123, 709 OV:
Evenfall, I was scouring the renovated area of the Garamsythe Waterway; the East Spur Stairs is now directly connected to the Royal Palace, exactly as was in the blueprint I held, to my liking. Clearing the waterway of fiends and drosses were now be made easier, much asked by the occupants of Lowtown.
But, I think, this had been the most rewarding for me, now that I can easily come to foster my skills from war and most specially revisit that side of the reservoir. The area held a precious memory for me, for it was where the bevel of fate then begun moving, where I have met a band of sky pirates who realized my dream... Vaan, Fran—a viera, and Balthier. I met them on their thievery in that exact place, and I have had written much of their brave deeds long past.
What I would recount now was another alleged intrudery—no, a nimble prowler to be precise, at the same area. I was rather surprised, one because the waterway is still restricted to anyone except whomever I permit access, another thing was I dont grant enter to children in that danger of a place!
But the intruder was probing the intricate-laden walls of the Garamsythe, carefully checking every juttings on the walls with his frail little fingers, naught a care at all, even for my presence nearing on his rear. I meant to detain the hume for his misconducts and I was stealthy at that, a swift swing of my arms but with measured control so as not to bother a slight turbulence in air, ought he come to notice. He was taken aback as I caught him by the wrist, while asking: 'What's a curious rat doing at this place?' The little hume made no response. I can feel him tensed.
It was rather a surprising turn however, that I had been the one taken more aback as he turned his face toward mine.
Because that face was unmistakenly that of the sky pirate Balthier. The semblance cannot be ignored.
His eyes bore the fear of restraint but in deep despair, like he was very close to his aims but missed everything as if it was a single moment of a chance. Mystified by the brownish color in his eyes matching mine, my grip weakened, and that rendered him to make a rash escape for the only exit, a big portion of his wardrobe getting mangled and sent clicking sounds on the aggrandized walls as he passed by them. I was determined to seize him; I casted Protect on him ere he fell from harm for the long route he'd take. I knew of a shorter route to the Central Waterway Control.
I caught a glint emanating on the ground, as I passed near the walls where half his purple robe tore. It was a locket, aster-shaped, brazen, and was slightly pried open on the sides from its hit and fall. I skimmed through the remaining fastening at the bottom and the thing did send a jolt to my spine when it completely unfolded.
Inside was a portrait of the late Dr. Cid, a little more younger, though eidetic. On the other face, it held woman's image with a genteel countenance achieved from times in midlife—gracious, as seen from her smile, gentle, and yet commanding, void a sense of imprudence. I believed her to be the doctor's better half. I blankly stared at the locket for a time, had I noticed an etched word 'Mied' on the locket's adjoining side. I felt I would be unable to repose til this bewildering puzzle is quenched with answers. I hurried to the No. 10 Channel should there be anything of worry.
Awhile later did he appear on the channel, running, running for his dear life. He cannot afford another hit on him, as seen from my Libra. His pursuer, likely seemed to be more, was beginning to take shape from where I stood. They were a Genpenst, two of them. Apparently they came in a slew number, which I suspected, but to think it occurs rarely.
He cried help; he was crying. The Protect I prepared for him soon as he reached my casting range begun its effect, while I unwrapped a handful of Phoenix Downs for the band of the wandering undead, breaking their reach toward us. Yet, by ill-fortune he was struck, a final blow to his consciousness. It made me face the incoming enemies alone.
I kept the hume child in the secret study hall of my father's, which I recently uncovered the passage was behind the grand headboard of his private chamber. Lighting was teeming from the moon beaming from the transparent ceiling, so intended for the room to divine passing forms encircling the firmaments. The blue hues drawn from the light source made the room appear dull and dreary thus I lit a crystal glowing in amber. The child spread his lids wide from the flashes of the gemlight, briskly blinkering as it troubles his rest all the while strengthening his wary for the new locale surrounding him. Thus he revealed about himself.
"Ww—where am I? Who are you? What happened?"
"Might I ask more about yourself? What was your intent in my Waterway?" In my most lenient tone asking a foolhardy errant.
"You waterway? S—"
"Yes, I keep of the Garamsythe from its fine course. Tell me, who are you? What is your name?"
"I—I'm—My name's Priuss, madam."
"Priuss, hmm? What of your family?"
"I am only called Priuss, madam. The one and only Priuss, as Jerse would say... Erm, Jerse is my moogle guardian. He has been for about three years."
"I am Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca... Years not long past, I was leading a resistance and was kept underground in the Garamsythe. Rabanastre was taken hold of Archades and we want to reclaim it from them. Haply, a group of sky pirates and a royal knight of mine aided me to my goals..." I took out the locket and showed the doctor's picture to him. "This man, Dr. Cidolfus Bunansa of Archadia, his experiments roused many—difficulties in Ivalice. But one of his sons came to my aid, a great one at that expense, and he made sure to put an end to all the madness the doctor's exploits caused."
I paused a moment, thinking if prudence in my words for that dreadful account had been gracious, as Basch had frequently advised. Yet incessantly curious that agile child was, never spared a chance to fill his need of questioning: "Was he the royal knight who aided you on your quest?"
To which I got amused at the idea of Balthier being a banneret, this boy Priuss noticing my smirk I was sure of it. "No Priuss, actually he was one of the sky pirates. His eyes are darted on treasure... yet his care runs deep for his fellows. Did you see the big structure outside of Rabanastre?"
His eyes were firmly set on mine, lost in wonderment to ever respond, but looking as if he was waiting for the answer just to be sure of his guess. "It was the Sky Fortress Bahamut, the biggest airship in all of Ivalice long since. It was manned by an Archadian, which we defeated. We escaped the falling Fortress, but as it was to collide on this royal city, the sky pirate Bunansa went back to repower the Bahamut and landed it at the point you see today. He risked his life saving this Capital."
His look was that of a person uncovering a long yearned knowledge that was kept on placing into hopelessness, spirit now roused, thrilled to face the unknown, good or harmful might it be. Promptly did he share his leads about the circumstance, many and marvellous.
"I can only remember things when I was five, that was about five years ago. Mother was still alive, but we were living in Kerwon. She said she was from Dalmasca..."
Interest was escalating as I knew more of him. He continued to tell of her mother fleeing Rabanastre out of his best interest, how she became less conformed to cold weather so made him live with Jerse, in a moogle village upon reaching seven, how the locket came upon her and his connection to this 'Mied.'
I was traversing at the front of the sturdy shelves arrayed left of the center seat of which many of father's expeditions were chronicled, while at most bemused about the child's relation to the Bunansa's, or even the Mied's, as he narrated more about himself much to my inattentiveness, save his mention of etoria. I was musing the idea whether he was the son of Dr. Cid, his nephew, Balthier's nephew or even his very own! It was a possibility.
"Etoria you say?"
"Yes, that's why Jerse decided to keep me. We lived near their village and mother had me schooled by Jerse. I was very keen in studying etoria... That's why I went to the waterway..."
Aptly how vantage be served into my very own platter, the very guilty-ridden reminded me his own debt of favor. "Yes, about that, I ought to penalize you from your misbehavior, as keeper of the Garamsythe."
"Deal, but please, I must talk to Jerse. He doesn't know a thing about this."
"That can be arranged, it would be better if he accompanies you. Even so, you must never leave this room."
Jerse was silent, his shock was rather that of an alarm than amazement. Atop the large table in front of the center seat I unfurled a very large scroll—the map of Ivalice, snatched some books on the sturdy shelves and handed it to Priuss. The topmost book was entitled 'Alcyon Spire, Heights Beyond the East.' "As detention I would like you to unravel the whereabouts of this tower, coordinates are most helpful. If you would need anything, leave a note at the hall outside the bedchamber and ring the bell on the table. Do not show yourself to the hall attendants. I will see to your progress when I return."
"Wait! What about my locket? And when will I be able to go home."
"Im keeping this for pledge, if you attempt to sneak out and leave your homework. The faster you finish your due, the sooner your release."
I immediately left the library and ordered the sentry-in-duty a long note: that I ought not be disturbed until I come out of my father's private room where no one is allowed entry, let my Chief Counsellor attend to those wishing to seek an audience with Her Royal Majesty, provide for anything written on my future missives, and bring the travelling moogle named Jerse in Lowtown at this very bedchamber, immediately.
I returned to my father's room, but opened another hidden passage on the bed roof which led to a heightened courtyard serving as an aerodrome but rather small, private, the three airskiffs—Sylphs—aligned at its left were free of the Dalmascan crest; I boarded one.
By myself, the Queen of Dalmasca, fleeing her royal city, for one unsettling question about the boy Priuss, to which lies the answer in Archades.
Daybreak. I reached the privy estate of the Fon Rosenberg. Basch recognized my ship afar, a dawn riser ever vigilant about his knightly ceremonials. He waited in front of the Sylph's dock, to where I hurriedly strode down.
"And what made haste the Queen of Dalmasca to Archadia at such time?"
"Basch, I need some advice..."
"Then come, let us settle inside."
"Basch, I'm in a hurry, I came in secret, I cannot spare an idle second." Not a word of response was heard from Basch but a waiting ear at my intent that I partially want him to know, "If...if the Alcyon Spire is discovered... If the whereabouts of the Alcyon Spire have been found, should I leave Rabanastre awhile once more?"
Basch was silent for a moment. He closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, like weighing any manner of thing that would harm the good of my Dalmasca.
"I take it that Rabanastre long last found a capable scholar?"
I nodded in approval, his gaze darting through my deepest intentions, "...then if the Queen so desires, there would ne'er be any doubt. Long has her majesty raised the royal banner of Dalmasca's lineage, even through perilous means should the need arise, which she already proved. The late King Raminas trod soil and water, even mist, to give an invaluable worth of inheritance to his eight in line. He would find it a joy and an honor, if she wishes to fulfill what her father had originally intended her."
From Basch's prudent blessing for my planned short absence I was set putting Rabanastre in rule of a regent, one they had experienced when the Aegyls menaced Ivalice. Yet what I said to him was half my reason, greatly exaggerated for a possible turn of events if the boy would likely discover its whereabouts.
"How fares Sibila?" He immediately noticed how pensive have I become, drawing me less from uneasiness through causerie. "She is growing gracefully and is tended to very well. You need not be of any worry."
"Is there anyone else deem of concern?"
"...Basch, I need to speak to the overlord of the Bunansas. There is something that belongs them that is in my possession. I wish to return it as soon as possible. I cannot repose until I see this matter settled."
"The Lord Bunansa lives inside Archades, near the aerodrome. You can use one of my airships to avoid news of your presence. I will prepare an escort for you."
"Your Highness, Queen Ashelia, you must not hesitate to accept the aid of others if they're so willing to help you. You were under my care since you were little, I have come to know your ways. You keep many things to yourself. But never has your reason bent solely for your own good, that is why I never question any excuse for your actions, whether you speak of it or not."
"Right, I'll keep them in mind. Thank you, Basch."
"E'er thy duty for the royal family of Dalmasca. I bid your leave with care, must you outrun the bright of morn."
Basch set a short notice to the Lord regarding my visit. I parted the Rosenberg estate and entered the capital by his airship.
"Such a favour to be graced by the very presence of the Queen of Dalmasca this morningtide. How could House Bunansa be of personal service to her excellency?"
"Lord Bunansa, I won't be long," He nodded and I showed him the locket, "I only wish to know whom this heirloom belongs to." He picked the locket, gently perusing it as I laid it on the table next to us.
"Mied? T'is no doubt my mother's..."
I narrated the boy's story, the one in possession of the amulet, all about him, save his name.
"10 years, you say? That would be farfetched. Mother has long been gone since, and she was an only child. Ah, I remember now. I've seen this last from Ffamran."
"What? You mean—?"
"Haha, stud of a cad he is I suppose! Haply you'd hear it from the buck himself. Word, he's been strutting about his wits, digging into our old man's, hard trove he tells me."
My bantering wonder escaped from my lips, a silent but obvious remark of amusement. Yes, the gentry had quite a personality when he gets enthused, and I saw it amusing.
"Erm, pardon my manners, my Queen. Yes, he visited me not so late yesternight."
"Wait, he was here?"
"Was? No, is. I'd be given word— quick— if he'd leave the very premises. High chance he's still at the aerodrome." Lord Bunansa winked at me and said: "Catching or being caught, your choice?"