Golden Sun: The Sands of Time
Final Chapter: Golden Light
Disclaimer: All Golden Sun characters, items, names, and locations belong to Camelot and Nintendo.
Ivan blinked. He was staring straight up ahead, into a bleach coloured ceiling.
Sunlight poured into the room, filling it with a strange amber glow.
Midday…? Ivan shifted, and only then became aware that he was lying on the most comfortable bed in… well… he couldn't remember how long.
Closing his eyes for a second, he yawned, before swinging his legs over the edge of the bed. Mustering his strength, he managed to stand.
And was promptly knocked backwards by a blur that tackled him so hard he thought for a moment that had was being assaulted.
It was only after he took in the cry of happiness, the short, golden hair, and the shining emerald eyes staring back at him that he drew his arms around Sheba, holding her close to him, smiling from ear to ear with joy.
And then he heard soft footfalls, and Isaac entered the room, followed closely by Mia and Felix. All of them were bandaged (and as he stretched, he realized the same was true of him), but on all of their faces were content and relaxed smiles.
"You're finally up, Ivan." Mia chuckled softly. "Sheba's never left your side the whole week."
"A week?" Ivan asked once Sheba had let go of him. "That's how long I was out?"
"Longer, actually." Felix said softly. "Sheba herself was unconscious for three days after we brought you back. All in all, it's been ten days since the fight. I still ache all over."
Ivan shook his head. "I can't remember what happened…"
Isaac winced, as if remembering the events caused him physical pain. "That's probably a good thing. It wasn't a pleasant scene…"
"SHEBA!" He heard Mia's shocked cry as he himself broke into a dead run towards the flame dragon preparing to use Granite, Guard, anything that could offer an iota of protection for Sheba . However, the shockwave of the blast forced him back, sending him onto his back on the scorched sand of the desert.
Acrid clouds of dust and smoke billowed up around the area, cutting visibility down to zero. Angrily, Isaac struggled to his feet, forcing himself to move closer, step by agonizing step, towards the epicenter of the humongous blast.
The Dragon screamed in mortal agony, and it began to crumble into balls of ethereal light. In seconds, the howling winds had dispersed the remnants to the air.
After several long seconds, the huge clouds of dust began to subside, and Isaac could see a single figure lying sprawled on the desert.
"SHEBA!" He cried again, and broke into another run. However, as he neared, he saw the green tunic and lavender cloak. "Ivan…" He said this time, softer.
The Jupiter Adept was pale and unmoving. However, as Isaac neared, he saw Ivan's hand twitch slightly, as if trying grab hold of something. "He's alive…" He whispered to himself. Then, louder, announcing it to the others. "It's Ivan! He's alive!"
"I found Sheba!" He heard Garet's voice calling urgently. "Over here! She's… she's breathing! She's alive!"
"They're alive." He heard Mia let out a soft sob. "They're both alive…"
Isaac nodded, stooped down to pick up Isaac, and gave a start of surprise. "Wha- He's burning up! What happened?"
"Guys!" He heard a greater note of alarm in Garet's voice. "Sheba's in bad condition. We need someone who can heal her!"
"I'm on it!" Turning, Mia headed over the sandy dunes, running towards Garet's voice.
"Is the Dragon gone?" He heard Picard's weary voice from behind him. "Is there a body? It's never really dead unless there's a body."
"Well, it dissolved into countless balls of light that dispersed over the area, so I'm not sure if that counts." Davion said, sounding equally drained.
Before Isaac could respond, he heard a gasp of horror from Mia. Turning, his eyes widened as he saw Garet gingerly carrying the broken and battered body of Sheba up the sand dune. Steeling herself, Mia focused, and aquamarine light cascaded over the limp body of the Jupiter Adept. However, when it faded, most of the wounds were still there, with the exception of one or two of the smaller cuts and bruises.
"I…" Mia closed her eyes, focused again, and another cloud of blue light covered Sheba. "I'm too drained. I can't do much more…"
"Ivan's in bad condition as well." Picard reported as he crouched by Ivan's still form. "Not as much physical damage, but it's like he's been drained of his Psynergy."
Isaac grit his teeth and cursed softly. "We'll need to hike back to our ship. Can Ivan and Sheba handle it?"
"…I wouldn't risk it." Mia said as she continued to do what she could for Sheba.
"Right." Isaac nodded. "Alright… Davion and Garet, come with me. We'll bring the ship down to this level, and-"
"Nuh-uh." Garet shook his head as he lowered Sheba gently onto the sand, letting Mia tend to her. "You'll collapse if you take another three steps. Me, Picard, and Davion can go. You rest up and take care of Ivan and Sheba."
"-Am about to collapse with exhaustion." Garet finished for Isaac. "Sit. DOWN."
Too tired to engage in an argument he knew he was going to lose, Isaac nodded and slumped down on the sandy dune next to Ivan.
"We'll be back before too long." Garet turned towards Picard and Davion, with the elvish prince nodding in acknowledgement. "Let's move."
Isaac sat there for a moment, smiling as Jenna regained enough of her strength to stand and limp over to his side.
"We did it, didn't we?"
Isaac nodded. "It's almost too much – I don't want to be let down – but… I think… I think we can say it's finally over. Mia? How's Sheba doing?"
"She's in bad shape, but she'll hold on." A weary smile appeared on the Mercury Adept's face. "She's a fighter, this one."
They sat in silence for several seconds before Jenna spoke up again.
"Shouldn't someone wake Felix up? I don't think sleeping with your face in the sand is good for you…"
"The worst of it was over, but there was plenty of tension over whether or not you'd make it." Isaac recounted. "I think Jenna started crying over the both of you-"
"Did NOT!" Came her annoyed voice as Jenna entered the room. "Just the desert sand getting in my eyes, that's all."
Mia chuckled. "Of course you didn't Jenna. Anyway, Ivan, you're still weak. No getting out of bed for you yet."
"Wha-? But I feel fine!" Ivan protested. And it was true.
"I'm sure you feel fine. But you aren't." Mia stood slowly. "Now, back into bed, or I'll have Sheba cast a Sleep spell on you."
"Sheba wouldn't do that!" He said. Then, he turned to her, still sitting at his side. "You wouldn't, would you?"
She smiled sweetly at him. "I'll do whatever it takes to get you fully recovered, Ivan."
He sighed, defeated. "All right." He mumbled as he slumped back onto the bed. "How long do I need to remain here?"
"Until I say otherwise." Mia grinned.
The hall was silent as it could possibly be with so many people jam packed into it. Of course, the fact that they all had to avoid standing on the scarlet carpet that flowed through the centre of the vast hall only added to the issue of overcrowding.
Still, Isaac found himself unable to be bothered by the large amount of people in the room. Partly because of the festive mood that permeated the room, and partly because he was standing at the foot of the dais, a fair bit away from the worst of the crowds.
"Glad you could get up in time to join us for the ceremony." He said to Ivan, who was fiddling with the navy blue cloak he had been made to wear.
"You kidding? I wouldn't miss it for-" He was cut off by the large double doors at the far end of the room slowly swinging open, letting Davion, the new King of Anthis, enter.
He was dressed in the finery of his kingdom, with a robe that shone in hues of red and blue and purple and gold. On his head was a thin circlet, made of purest mythril, and in his hand was a scepter that radiated with burning light.
The hall was silent as the king slowly ascended his throne, settling himself onto scarlet seat slowly. On a hidden signal, the entire court bent their knees and heads, paying respects to their lord.
Likewise, Isaac quickly knelt, averting his eyes. Huh, he thought to himelf, Davion really looks different when he's acting like a king.
Glancing up, he broke into a grin himself as he saw the smile that appeared on Davion's face. For once, Davion looked completely and utterly at ease.
The ceremony was over, and the celebrations had started in full force. Though night had fallen in the city, massive bonfires and festive lights washed Anthis in an orange glow.
Felix stood silently atop one of the castle battlements, watching the twinkling lights far below him, a soft smile on his face. He heard the shuffling of footsteps, and he turned to see Davion coming up behind him.
"Should you not be with your courtiers?"
Davion chuckled. "What for? There is no matters of gravity at a party."
"Heh." Felix grinned, and turned his attention back to the festivities below. A moment later, Davion came up beside him.
"Felix, do you know how long you will be staying?"
"Hmm, well, we discussed it, and after a couple of days or so. We've taken care of the problems here, so… we really should be heading back home."
"I see. Well, I hope you enjoy what remains of your time in Anthis." Davion closed his eyes. "Being able to take in the sights and experiences… without the threat of war looming over head."
"Indeed." Felix dipped his head slightly. "Indeed."
Picard blew out a long sigh as he gazed over the creaking hull of his ship. Catching the attention of one of the nearby elves, he walked over to him.
"How are the repairs coming along?" He asked.
"Pretty well, sir. Most of the cracked planks have been swapped out. There's just a few more left near the bottom." The engineer chuckled. "Never though I'd see a ship with wings, to be honest."
Picard nodded. "The entire world has many wonders. Perhaps one day you will be able to come see them for yourself."
"Ah, I'm no adventurer. But I can bet that there's plenty of the young ones itching to explore your world. Just think about it! Oceans, man, oceans! Water as far as the eye can see! It'll be a right shocker for them."
Picard chuckled. "Then perhaps they would wish to see my home of Lemuria one day." He said to himself, as he turned back to watched the repairs on his ship.
The tiny garden was located and built just so that a patch of sun fell directly upon the rough-hewn gravestone, bearing the name of the Mercury Adept who had fallen in battle. Soft footsteps heralded the arrival of Mia, who carried a tiny bouquet of flowers to the grave.
"Hello, Alex." She said softly. "How are you today?"
She stood in silence for several long seconds before shifting her position slightly. "You know these flowers, Alex? They're called sundrops. They need little water – they can survive in the harshest of conditions… and when they bloom, they shine the most brilliant gold."
She paused again, running her fingers softly over the golden petals of the flowers. "You gave some to me once, back when we still lived in Imil. They were beautiful, I remember."
Crouching, she placed the freshly picked flowers in front of his grave. Then she straightened again, a tiny smile on her face. "You can rest now, Alex. We've completed our task. Anthis… Jorgmund… they're all safe now."
She raised her head, smiling as she gazed up at the brilliantly blue sky.
She liked to think that, somewhere, Alex was smiling back too.
"So what's this kind of meat called?" Garet called as he beheld at the red joint in his hand, slathered in a dark brown sauce."
"Well, we generally refer to it as Lawcren." The chef beamed. "Go on, try it."
With a shrug, Garet opened his mouth wide and tore a chunk of flesh from the bone. Jenna watched bemusedly as he chewed at the meat. "So?" She asked after a moment.
"It's… very… uh, spicy." He said after swallowing. "Water?"
She pushed a mug in his direction and turned back to the chef. "So it's a delicacy?"
"Indeed! I usually charge top price for such fine cuts, but as you're so highly honoured by the new king, it's on the house! Go on, eat up!"
"Thags, dob by ib I goo." Garet replied, already stuffing his mouth with more of the food. Jenna merely rolled her eyes at the display of her friend and settled back to eat her own lunch.
With a sigh, she blew out a long breath of air that no one else noticed. "It's finally over." She said to herself.
Two days later, a small group of people stood in the shadow of the Lemurian ship. Isaac watched, arms folded, a slight smile on his face as Picard and Felix engaged in carrying several supplies into the belly of the ship.
"I'm surprised you would come to see us off." Picard said as he shoved a crate onto the ship. "Shouldn't you be running the country or something like that?"
"Surely I could spend five minutes to say farewell to those who saved my homeland." Davion laughed. "Although, must you really leave so soon?"
"…Much as we love the hospitality of the elves, our home calls to us." Felix replied, an apologetic expression on her face.
"Not to worry though," Isaac stepped in. "In time, the sands between the worlds will heal again. In times to come, our people and yours will be able to traverse the lands without need or aid of an airship."
"Mm. I look forward to that day." Davion said softly. Then he frowned. "Where are Ivan and Sheba?"
"Oh, them? They're already on board. Up there." Isaac grinned slightly as he pointed towards the highest tier of the ship.
They all stood in silence for several long seconds, unwilling to be the ones to actually initiate the final farewell. Then Davion stepped forward to embrace Isaac.
"Farewell, my friends."
Isaac nodded. "Farewell, Davion."
The Lemurian Ship creaked slightly as it raised itself above the burning sands of the desert. Slowly, but surely, it swerved, heading towards the mountains that they had first traversed to come here.
Sheba stood on forefront of the ship, gazing at the harsh lands. A moment later, she felt Ivan's arms around her waist.
The two of them said nothing, merely enjoying each other's company as the ship flew on a steady course over the land.
Finally, Ivan spoke up. "Thanks, Sheba. Thanks for coming after me." He gazed down at the tiny scars that crossed over her hands – a painful reminder of how close he'd come to stabbing her through the throat.
Sheba closed her eyes, leaning against him, feeling the warmth of his body. Then she spoke up. "It's all over now, Ivan. And… we're together now. We're safe."
Ivan was silent for a long while. "Sheba… what happened in the mountains… I… I…"
Sheba turned around, staring him in the eye. "It wasn't you. It was Geldor and Nara. That's all that need to be said. I still love you. And that won't change."
Ivan smiled a quiet smile, then leaned in, pulling her close. As the ship continued it's slow, steady, flight over the horizon, one watching from afar might have seen a single figure melded together against a backdrop of brilliant light.
Isaac, at the wheel, smiled at the sight of his two friends. And then he turned his attention back to the imposing rock formations ahead of them.
"I can see the electrical storm!" Picard called.
"Got it." Isaac responded calmly.
And then they were flying through the cracks, out into the endless rift. Lightning flashed, jarring the ship, and rocking it back and forth, but despite it all, Isaac's smile remained.
They were heading home.
Completed. It's been a long ride, hasn't it?
As with most of my longer stories, the end result is far different from what I anticipated. Some plot points I thought major ended up being omitted entirely, while some insignificant issues ended up becoming rather important to the plot as time went on.
Well, I enjoyed writing this story, all things considered. Thanks for putting up with my ridiculous update lags and questionable writing.
At this point, it's a formality, but…
Thank you for reading, please review!