Author's Note: I own neither the characters nor the world, and I earn nothing but personal satisfaction from my writing. Please don't sue me, I have no money.


Walking out of the cave that housed the entrance to the Land of Summoned Monsters was always strange. Inside the cave it was cool, slightly damp, just as a cave should be. The reddish glow was disconcerting, but the air felt like the Mist Cavern when her mother had taken her there to meet the dragon.

Outside felt like being wrapped in Ifrit's flames: hot, stifling, difficult to breathe, and dry as dust. She could see the lava that lapped endlessly at the edges of the land, never quite managing to overtake it. She paused to take it all in.

He cleared his throat, and she turned to face him. He was standing a few feet away, next to the airship Cid had built for him, a sleek thing coated in Mythril and built for speed. The name on the prow was covered.

"Ready to go?" he asked.

She smiled. "Yes."

"Come on." He held out his arm. "Do you like the ship?"

"It's very nice. What's it called?" She craned her head. Edge signaled to someone on the ship, and the cover was whipped back.

Rydia stared at the name Mist, painted across the prow in gleaming black letters, and blinked back tears

"Do you like it?" he asked, and though he was trying to be casual, she heard the anxious tone in his voice.

She hugged him tight. "I love it."

"Let's go home, Rydia."