Disclaimer: …if I actually DID own Square-Enix stuff, I wouldn't be writing fanfics, would I? Well, if the president of S-E was a sick and twisted fangirl, but I doubt that.
I wish I did more of this fic in the summer, because I update all the time when I don't have sadistic teachers and such. I think I finished my other KH fic during June or July or something, but now I've gotten to a point where my chapters are sooooo long! The last one was over 7000 words! I thought it would be 4000! That's why this chapter is a lot shorter than I planned, with less of the plot, because if I didn't divide it up this would be 14K words long and would be posted in June.
Oh well, I'm getting you to read. Hooray.
And also, I got a Deviant Art account now. It's just KatSumeragi, no ones or threes. Be sure to keep in touch if you have one too, I'd love to get to know some more people :3
After the short stop in the Pride Lands, the airship was in quite an uproar. Demyx and Auron were worn out from chasing a 50-foot tall fire beast around, and grew even more tired when Demyx had to talk to the brothers Sacred and Minotaur, who waited patiently for him because of Larxene's wish. Speaking of wishes, Xaldin was bragging to Auron about his pile of munny, while Axel sat at a table, contemplating whether to test out the old wives' tale, but he didn't, since it was an old wives' tale. And Larxene was being hugged by Demyx as a thank you for the new aeon. Some thank you that was.
The commotion dwindled down, and most of them went to bed, save for Auron (who was the only one trusted to navigate) and Larxene, who was recovering from a "super glomp." She was in her part of the quarters, a room with a bed and a small desk. She got it all to herself, using the logic that a damsel in distress couldn't be left alone with suspicious men who would do anything to get what they want. Although, she thought, Demyx probably still didn't understand the berserkers and the bees, Xaldin was the most asexual being she had ever met, and she was pretty sure Axel was gay. Or bi (come on, if he wasn't screwing with her life, figuratively, he was with Roxas, probably 23/7).
She left her room and made her way to the main chamber. She peeked inside the guys' bedroom, seeing Xaldin snoring, Axel falling out of bed, and Demyx, in a calm and almost…normal state. Ha, normal. In fact, it looked like he was smiling! Yeah, that was Demyx alright. Lying through his teeth even when he was asleep.
She sat on one of the couches near where Auron was watching the little flashing red dots going bleep-blip on the screen. "I see you're here to question me, right Larxene?" he asked, not even turning around to see her puzzled face.
"Oh, so I'm the only one that would bother you? How can you tell?"
"When you die, you can feel who's around you. Axel told me you've been acting suspicious. That's why you can't sleep. What happened?"
"Noting happened," she said in a defensive tone "It's just…have you ever thought about when it's over?"
"I don't think I understand. You're a genius when it comes to specifics."
"Ha. Funny. I mean, do you ever have this feeling that someday everything is going to go downwards? Like, sanity, freedom, the very core that keeps us going, it just breaks?"
"Are you trying to get philosophical?"
"No! I'm trying to say that lately it seems like things are getting worse. Challenges are getting harder to figure out. Nature is working against us."
"And Demyx is at the last of his nerves." Auron added. He remembered Larxene said a few other things, but they went straight through him. He was blinking, making sure that name on the map wasn't some stupid illusion. He pressed a few buttons to zoom in, and it wouldn't go away. It couldn't be…The lady in the airship asked him a simple question that was so hard to answer.
Would you like to land in this location: Spira?
"Hey, are you listening to anything I'm saying? This stuff is pretty deep!" Larxene yelled.
"That isn't important right now." He said coldly. The computer asked the question again. He smiled and pushed the green button with a "y" on it. This had to be some kind of sick joke. There was no way it could be so close.
How was that stupid keybearer not able to find a planet that was so close to a place where psychopathic mermaids sang about finny fun?
"Hey! Auron! What's more important than me?" Larxene asked again. "Damn it, say something!"
"Be quiet and go wake the others." he commanded. Larxene huffed and raised an eyebrow.
"Are you trying to kill us?"
"No, I'm trying to go somewhere very important."
"We're going back to the place I came from, along with summoning, Sin, and anything else you probably hate."
"Yes! We get to go to Spiral!" The two turned to see Demyx hopping up and down, almost bumping into the grumbling two Nobodies that were also awake. Xaldin was beginning to find something in the fridge for breakfast, while Axel was rubbing his head, wondering if he fell out of bed our not. "This whole time you've been telling us about everything that goes on there and the people and the food and we finally get to go! Is everyone there as nice as Wakka? Do we get to see more Chocobos and moogles? Do they have ice cream?" He continued his rambling questions while Auron was trying not to smack him.
"Isn't it called Spira? I remember Wakka telling me about that place!" Axel recalled. "There's a lot of beaches and has a big sports arena!"
"That's not true," Larxene said. "When the two of us were fighting over a piece of ham at dinner on your ship, he said that it was a big wasteland that worships a giant blob!"
"How about we stop sounding like a vacation brochure and settle that it has wastelands, beaches, and a good bar or two," Xaldin huffed while taking a piece of bread and a few mysterious berries for his meal. Whoever this airship engineer was, the lancer was happy that he kept his kitchens stocked.
"Yes, let's do that. We'll be landing in a few minutes, so make sure you don't do anything too stupid until then." If Yevon hadn't been such a pain in the ass, he'd be praying to the giant glob of jelly at that moment.
They had accelerated downward and were now above a large and bustling city with a few docks and airship ports. It must have been Luca, Auron though. How long had it been since he was gone? The world must have taken a turn for the better, hopefully. Cid must have really pushed using machina, with the airships and all. The ship rattled a bit when it fully landed. Demyx eagerly pressed the buttons to open the exit hatch, almost breaking them. As it opened, Demyx ran out onto the airship platform, and halted in his tracks, eyes wide open.
He was simply stunned by the ocean and how clear and blue it was compared to any droplet that'd he'd ever drank or sweat or thrown against an enemy. In his mind, it was impossible for there to be somewhere with so many vivid colors to paint every building in a city, engulfed in lush green trees without a dull grey found in worlds that never were.
How is it that he had gone through so much of his life without this?
"Auron…this is the place you're from?" he asked with a shaky voice? The three nobodies followed the swordsman out of the ship and had the same shock.
"Man, who knew that Mister Cranky had a nice hook-up?" Axel said as he stepped onto solid ground. "This place is like a resort! How long are we gonna be staying here?"
"Not very long. If anything we're going to have to get a boat to Besaid, then we'll make our way back here, then to Djose, Kilika might not be necessary, so we'll head straight from there to Macalania, and…you probably can't repeat anything I just said, can you Demyx?" Auron turned around to see the summoner scratching his head with a stupid grin on his face. "…of course you can't. We might not be able to go to Bevelle because I might be 'wanted' there still…"
"Whoa, AND you're a fugitive? I love this place already!" Larxene cheered.
"…sure. Just get some rest and I'll try to arrange for our ride. Should we meet back here at a certain time?" Auron asked, but then realized that if these nobodies were so incompetent with assassinations and phonics, their time management skills were probably less than desirable.
"How about we'll try to be back in an hour or two, but we might be late if the Whirlwind Alcoholic has too much fun," Axel huffed, shooting glances at Xaldin.
"What? I haven't even said anything yet!" Xaldin yelled.
"Sure. A few hours. Just go."
"But it's only a little bit of munny! Why do you have to be so cheap?!" Demyx shouted at Xaldin, who wouldn't give him a few pieces to buy a popsicle from a stand in front of a staircase.
"How do you know the conversion method won't rip me off?" Xaldin asked, clutching the amount he brought with him to his chest.
"I don't know! But it's a special popsicle! Look, there's a bunch of weird colors, like neons, and I'm hungry!"
"Find something more useful and I'll get it for you. You don't need any more sugar than what's still in your body." Xaldin began walking up the stairs to the main shopping plaza, while Demyx pouted.
"Don't feel so bad, Demyx," Axel said. "He won't give us money either. How about we follow him and go look around? If you find something nice enough for a souvenir, we'll have Larxene steal it for you!"
"Since when am I the one who has to steal things?" she scowled. "And is it just me, or do we really need some new clothes? If you haven't noticed, we kind of stick out, being the only ones with all black coats on. We just scream gang members, you know?"
"Then it's official! We're going to have Larxene steal clothes for us!"
"That's not what I meant!"
The three walked up the pale stone stairs and into the hustle and bustle of Luca. The streets were spacious with shops lining every inch, the signs filled with colors you wouldn't even think to blend together. The voices of shopkeepers could be heard from outside and they talked of end-of-summer sales and one even told a customer to "get the hell out of his store." Of course, this caught Axel's attention more than anything and her motioned his companions to follow him inside. Demyx tried to read the sign, but it was in a completely different language. Maybe once Auron was done getting a boat, he could help him read the sign because he would know things like that. He was just so smart, Demyx thought.
The store was apparently a very pricy store, with walls painted with gold and carpet with gold threaded into the scarlet patterns although it just could have been shiny thread, but that would ruin the illusion of grandeur, now wouldn't it?. Dark wooden shelves were lined with bottles, statues, knick-knacks, and things that made no sense no matter what angle you saw them in or how much of a Black Truffle's head you bit off in Wonderland. Demyx began shaking the contents of the potions that read "Holy Water" and "Stamina Tonic." Sadly the tonic didn't do much, but the holy water emitted a faint white glow. He thought he might have broken it, so he put it back on the shelf. Axel was sifting through a box of sale goods, which were still way over their price range, and was complaining about how the Underdog's Secret had no real mystic value and that the Door to Tomorrow had no entrance or exit. Larxene was cursing about how something called a mythril targe wouldn't fit on here arm.
"Damn armor piece is going to tell me that my arms are too fat! You know what? Screw whatever a mythril is!" she screamed at the inanimate object.
"That's because you're not looking at the tag, stupid." Axel said as he came to assist her. "Look, we're lucky they're in English! It tells you what kind of armor a certain kind of weapon user needs. Hey, this one looks like the kind Wakka has!" he picked up one of the thick arm shields and latched it to his forearm. "Okay, so since a blitzball is kinda like a projectile, we'd need these. You'd get the yellow one because it helps with lightning and I'd get the red one so I'll have more fire power, got it memorized?"
"Can't you think of anything better to say? So what would the scrooge get?"
"Can't you read? People that use lances need armlets! The Orichalcum one looks pretty nice…and I bet Auron already has one of those…"
"Bracers. And you say I can't read."
"Can it. But there's nothing for sitar players…but a ring looks like more of his thing. Hey Demyx, which one of these sounds better to you, the Phantom Ring, th Phoenix Ring, or the Saviour Ring?" The flurry and the nymph waited for a response, but there was none. "Hellooo? Demyx, where are you?" They soon after saw what had caught Demyx's attention.
His jaw had practically lowered to the floor as he stared at what was hanging on the back wall of the shop. The small white tag on the right sleeve read "Summoner's Robe - Antique - 40,000 gil," but it wasn't the price that he was astonished at. His hand reached out and touched the main piece's soft white sleeves and the golden rings around the cuffs. It then moved to the cerulean over piece and his slender fingers traced the designs embroidered on the back. Two gold swirls branched out and twisted together to form a contorted heart. There was also a belt with layers of fabric sewn ranging from the sky's lightest blue to a sea's clearest foam green, and another silk golden tie bound them to the summoner's waist.
"I'm guessing this is something useful, right Demyx?" Larxene asked, taking a feel of the nocturne's desire. Axel tugged on her cloak sleeve and gave her a wink. "Ohoho, just because you like it so much you want me to go steal it? No way!"
Of course, Demyx didn't really want to do the dishonest thing, since he was supposed to be someone who would restore the peace and balance of the universe. But Axel was determined to get her to pull it off. "Think about it, why would we just have you steal the coat? We could get some rings and armguards, some antidotes, and look! These things don't even make sense, but they'll be useful, like a Designer Wallet or…ooh, a Gambler's Spirit!"
"You don't give a rat's ass about the coat, do you Axel?" Larxene said as she rolled her eyes.
"What can I say? Sometimes you just have to share the wealth."
"You realize that we're only supposed to be buying clothes, right?"
"But if we're not paying, why does it matter?"
"Do you have a conscience whatsoever?"
"It's on vacation." He gave her a wide grin.
"You're a horrible person."
"Look who's talking." She smacked herself on the forehead and walked over to the counter the register was on. A small brass latch was quickly unhooked and Larxene kicked open the door to a back office.
"Get on your hands and knees, you old bastard!"
Somehow, the fact that the man they robbed was probably over the age of 65 didn't make Axel feel guilty.
Auron had finished speaking to the captain of a small ship called the S. S. Herra, who had agreed to take them to Besaid without a charge. It seemed like the whole "I'm a hero, I need free transportation" card still worked. He walked back to a bench near the Falcon Peak, where the summoner party had decided to meet after a few hours.
…and of course, no one was there except a pissed-off Xaldin leaning against the white stone walls.
"Please don't tell me you were thrown out of a bar," Auron sighed.
"No, the guy said my money wasn't used around here, so I couldn't pay for a pint. If I would have known that those damn genies were going to give me useless cash, then I would have asked for a feast, or my own airship so I wouldn't have to fly with you people, or Axel's pirate hooker he was rambling about!" He sat on the bench and gripped his head. "I think I still have a hangover from our days in the pirate world."
"Have you seen the other three anywhere?"
"Actually, I have." He pointed east. "They were running quickly to a place where they could change clothes. They bought me some too, but I'm going to change once they get back. They also got me a nice little armlet. It seems useless, but it looks pricy. Do you know what kind of stone it is?" Xaldin lifted his sleeve and gave the guardian a flash of the orichalcum. Auron was shocked.
"How much money did you give them?" he asked.
"None. I wouldn't even give the twerp a little for a popsicle."
"So they stole it."
"Eh, probably. You've made Demyx into a fine citizen, you know that?"
Auron's head sank. "I'm going to go find them and smack some sense into them. He resumed his search to find the nobodies.
"Can I come and watch?" The lancer got up and joined the swordsman, because he enjoyed nothing more than the ridicule of others.
"Why is it that in every world we go to I end up looking like a drunk or a whore?" Larxene asked as she came out of the public bathroom in the crowded center square of Luca. As she emerged, the young men couldn't do much but stare. They had randomly picked whatever they could find clothing wise, but now they knew they were dead meat. The olive green tank top she wore was a size too small, so it hugged her…chest area...in an ever so snug fashion. Sadly, the same went for the pair of blue shorts, held up by an bright tangerine belt, that stuck to her thighs. The only thing that seemed too big were her boots, which went up to her kneecaps, but that didn't help Axel and Demyx's situation at all.
"Well, at least you don't look like a drunk whore, or a mermaid!" Demyx said in a cheery manner with his "please don't throw kunai at my brain" face. He had put on his robe and was as content as can be. He was puzzled by why it fit so perfectly, how each belt was the right length, and how it didn't even touch the ground. Oh well, he thought, it must have been his lucky day.
"You did this on purpose, didn't you Axel?" Larxene asked accusingly.
"Trust me, if I was going to sabotage you, I wouldn't have gotten this thing," the flame muttered. From what they grabbed, he had gotten a pair of overalls with a black base striped with green and blue and grey pant legs. That covered a long sleeve green shirt with a collar that covered his nose and mouth. Luckily there were strings that helped him roll it down when needed. "Xaldin's gonna owe me when he sees he got the better deal. Should we have gotten Auron anything?"
"I doubt it. If he stands out from us, that means he's probably normal." Demyx said with a faint laugh as he put on the Saviour Ring since he took all three. "If my coat was forty thousand alone, how much do you think all of this came to?"
"Enough to get you thrown in jail for a few weeks at the least," Larxene said while attaching her Yellow Armguard.
"Or enough to get you in trouble with me," said a new voice in the conversation.
"Yeah, or that…wait…" Axel turned to see the red guardian and Xaldin standing near them. He made a loud gulping noise.
Demyx soon after took notice. "Oh crap."
"What were the three of you thinking? You want to become a summoner yet you can't even follow common rules! How much did you take?" Auron yelled.
"We didn't clean out the place, we just took some necessary things! We didn't want to stand out, and we don't have any arm gear, so—"
"That doesn't mean you had to steal it! Do you even know how to use half of the things you took?"
"Well…no…but," Demyx looked to the ground, hiding his shame by burying his head into the soft cream collar of his robe, "…I'm sorry, Auron."
"Wait, wait, don't blame him. It wasn't his idea in the first place," Axel stated. "He saw that coat and fell in love with it, so Larxene and I decided it'd be nice to get it for him. But it just so happened that the way we got it was kind of illegal. So one thing lead to another and we ended up with more than we could carry. Got it?"
Auron's anger visibly lessened, and he sighed again. "It's a good thing we're leaving soon. I swear, if we had to stay here any longer, I'd turn you in to the authorities."
"It was Larxene's idea!"
"Oh you backstabbing son of a—"
"Shut up, both of you!" Xaldin bellowed. "Give me my clothes so we can get out of here." Axel handed him a plain white pair of pants, a red tank, and a short blue jacket.
"Oh, thanks, get me the plain outfit," he said sarcastically. Axel retied the strings to his shirt and rolled the collar back up. Xaldin fell onto the pavement and started cracking up. Axel kicked him in the stomach. Auron told them both to stop acting like idiots so they wouldn't miss the boat.
"I can't believe this! The water is just so blue!" Demyx said cheerily as he hung over the edge of the S. S. Herra. It wasn't a very large vessel (only two cabins, a storage room, and the control room), but the upper level was mostly deck. They hadn't seen land in hours, only crystal blue ocean. And since water was the summoner's element, it was expected he'd be in a good mood. "It was nice of those guys at the dock to wave us goodbye," he said.
"Yeah, except it'd be a lot nicer if the weren't police officers waving their fists at us!" Xaldin chuckled, his sides still hurting from Axel's blow. "So Auron, tell us about this new place we're sailing to."
"It's a small island called Besaid. It's where Wakka and the previous summoner Yuna are from. We'll probably catch up with a few other guardians while we're there and we'll make a stop at the temple so that Demyx can get another aeon," Auron explained as he looked out to the sea "hopefully without any 'obstacles.'"
"Obstacles? You're hanging around us." Axel said, joining everyone in staring out into the nothingness. "If you haven't figured it out, we're the biggest obstacles you'll meet."
"Ha, like we can be grouped with you," Xaldin scowled. "If it wasn't for you, everything in the Organization would have stayed nice and peachy."
"It wasn't just me, Larxene was in it more than me! I was the double agent, the good guy, got it memorized?"
"Oh, so now you're going to start blaming me again! Hey, Demyx, who do you think is worse, me or Axel? Demyx? Hey, Demyx!" The summoner was too hypnotized by the calm of the water and the pure presence of Spira to notice his three companions fighting. "Man, he sure loves this place. Makes you wonder if he's been here before."
"Yeah, I guess it's best if we don't—" Axel paused as he sensed the lingering smell of smoke. He felt the ashes lightly falling like deadly snow and a huge surge of power went through his body. He remembered those surges too well, when someone as spontaneous as Demyx or Xigbar decided it was a good idea to carry out the mission by setting a building ablaze. Those flames that rose from brick and shingles gave him the rush he needed to wipe out armies of Heartless and village populations over thousands. He stood up, and he saw what was causing the rain of soot on them. Demyx seemed to have noticed as well.
"Auron, something's burning on that island over there," the nocturne said in a…surprisingly calm voice. Auron turned to see the orange blaze on the horizon. There was never a change of expression on the guardian, but the others could tell that something was wrong and turned his stomach inside out. He looked to Demyx, who obviously didn't get what was going on.
Did he or did he not know that the demolished island was what remained of Besaid.
After a few moments of silence the boat docked onto the pale sandy beach. As each traveler stepped off the deck from a small ladder, none of them spoke as they watched the thick trees and grasses were engulfed in the inferno.
"You're a lot calmer than I expected," the guardian said to his summoner.
"No…it's not that…" Demyx spoke with a slight quiver in his voice. His trembling hand reached in front of him and grasped the neck of the sitar that formed in front of him. "It's just…a little humbling, y'know? To know that this isn't the only time this has happened...to know that I'm gonna have to see a lot more things like this…to know that this is what I'm gonna have to go up against…to feel Sin's presence here…is quite humbling." He plucked the strings of his instrument and played the soft and gloomy tune to call his sea monster out of the waters. The serpent's teal scales were blinding against the sun, it's deep yellow eyes pierced with fury, and it's shriek was deafening and filled the void where the sad silence laid to rest.
"Leviathan, please douse these fires and let us pass…to the rest of the island…" The aeon obeyed its master and with another screech sent waves of the crystalline water over the flames. After seconds, all that was left were blackened branches, stumps, and the thing that made Demyx's body shake the most, the corpses of villagers and beasts alike. But, because his mind was set on becoming one of the strong summoners that could fight off the evils of the universe, he set his feelings aside and walked into the charred mess that led to Besaid. Really, if he could keep his real emotions from himself for his whole nobody life, why couldn't he now?
The other four simply stared and followed as they saw the nocturne take the road inland. Xaldin had what you'd call a flashback. Being someone who was ranked in the top six positions of the Organization, he would see things that most of the other seven couldn't, like the sight of a broken nobody coming back to headquarters after an excruciating mission. And Demyx was usually that broken one, who would come back with ashes streaked on his face and eyes as blank as white pages in Naminé's sketch books. It was one of those things that made his skin crawl. Axel couldn't help but think that he saw a little bit of himself in the ninth, an emotional wreck. Except, of course, this wasn't a friend who meant the world to him, it was the world. And Larxene, who already had the little secret of her own, how was she supposed to tell anyone about the Superior now?
Eventually they did reach the village area of the island. A line of lifeless and hopeless people stood in front of soldiers who loaded crates off of their large chocobos with dusty feathers. They handed out packages of band-aids, medicine, and food, while others were set aside as medics and treated the wounded. And the rest of the troops were left to dispose of the bodies that piled up during the attack, and the sheer image of the dead bodies made Demyx want to heave.
"Our plans are changing, obviously. I'm going to try to find an acquaintance, Demyx, you're coming with me. The rest of you ask if these crusaders need any help." Auron took Demyx by his wrist and began to search the chaotic scene for his familiar face. Luckily, that face found him first.
"Auron!" the woman's voice said in surprise. They both turned to see her leather-clad dress torn in places and her velvet black hair held together by two broken chopsticks. Smeared lipstick was across her speechless mouth and she had to blink twice to comprehend.
"Lulu, how did—" Auron began, but was cut off right away.
"Well, obviously nothing is gone for good. And then again, some things are, like you." Demyx even felt the bite in her comment.
"My presence wouldn't have stopped this. Be rational. Did Wakka contact you?"
"Yes, he did. I got a letter from him while during his stay in the Thunder Plains. He said he was looking for Tidus. Kimahri went back to Mount Gagazet, Rikku is with her father, and you're dead. That left me as the only one to protect this village and we get hit with something like Sin. And will you just tell me who that is that's clinging to your coat? I don't have enough time to beat around the bush." The black mage began to move in another direction and picked up pieces of wood and threw them into an existing rubble pile.
"This, is the solution to our problems," Auron explained while forcing Demyx off of his scarlet jacket.
Lulu glanced back and took a good hard look at the summoner. "Of course he is. Isn't he one of Issaru's brothers?"
"Actually, he's not even from Spira. He's a summoner."
The witch glanced back again. "Do you think that's funny?"
"No, watch. Demyx!"
"Hm?" he said, coming back to reality from his horrid daydreams.
"Do something to make yourself look smart."
"Okay!" He made his sitar appear again and took a second to think of which tune to play. The lightbulb went on and he strummed the bright and bubbly song of his mog and chocobo, Artemicion and Choco.
"Ne! Hello, master Demyx! What do you want us to look for, na?" Artemicion asked, obviously not noticing his un-cheery surroundings and making a horrible mistake by calling Demyx a master.
"Kweh!" added Choco, which probably meant "hello."
"Could you find all of the aeons that I haven't prayed to yet, na?" Demyx asked, picking up the ridiculous "na" from the last sentence. Lulu had now taken interest in the boy. There was never an aeon like the striped furry moogle and the chocobo on Spira, so how could he have obtained it?
"Sure, ne! It'll take a second, ne!" Artemicion then to the time to concentrate on the auras around him. "Ah! There's a lot of them here, master Demyx! But you'll only need five of them, na-ah!"
"Eh? Why's that?"
"Because of fate, ne! You'll get tired if you get them all here, so you'll fin them in other places!"
"Which aeons is he going to obtain here?" Lulu asked the mog.
"Hm, well Lady Lulu, Valefor, Ixion, Shiva, Yojimbo, and Anima, ne! Master Demyx is going to get a lot stronger here, ne!" Lulu was visibly shocked and looked to Auron.
"Thank you, Artemicion! You can go now, ne!" Demyx dismissed.
"Yay! We'll see you later, na!"
"Kweh!" And with that, the purple mog and the chocobo vanished. The summoner released his sitar and turned to his guardian and the mage.
"How are we supposed to find five aeons if we have to help these people? That's going to be impossible! Should we split up or something? Do any of these aeons make it so you can be in two places at once? But wait, I don't know if leaving the others alone is going to help any! Auron, what do you—"
"We're going to leave in two days." Auron declared, cutting off the musician's tangent. "The Besaid temple was left relatively undamaged, so we'll have you pray to Valefor there. Otherwise, you'll need to get some rest."
"But I want to help! It's my responsibility!"
"Actually, I don't think you'll have time to rest," said Lulu. "Tell me, do you know how to perform a sending?"
If there was one thing that Demyx wasn't ready to do, it was to send.
"No, what's that?"
"It's a ceremony to send the souls of the dead into the Farplane, the resting place."
Demyx gulped. "L-like a funeral, right? I th-think I can do that…"
"Good, then we'll teach you the Hymn of the Fayth and prepare the bodies."
Demyx's head began to spin. He latched on to the nearest solid object, which happened to be Auron's arm. He blinked to keep his vision in focus and nodded his head. "Y-yeah, I can do that, if you need me to…"
Lulu, looked to Auron with concern. "Are you expecting that Auron is going with you?"
"Well…k-kinda, since I've never really d-done this before, and I'm not that good around the…d-dead…"
Auron sighed, knowing that what he was going to say would crush the musician's soul.
"Demyx, I'm already dead. If I stay with you as you perform the sending, you'll send me too. I'm sorry if you didn't realize this, but you might have to go alone."
He felt trembling fingers dig deeper into his arm and heard little gasps for air from Demyx. He wouldn't look at him eye to eye, so he was probably already starting to cry. For a while there was only silence as the guardians waited for his response.
"…Okay. I'll still do it." Demyx said without a single stutter.
"Are you sure? You're not in the best condition."
"No! I want to get stronger! I don't want to be the person that can't handle the worst of things, or else how am I supposed to save everyone? I want…" He released his grip off Auron's arm. "to be able to do this alone." Lulu motioned for him to follow. As he left, Demyx lifted his head to look to Auron. His aquamarine eyes were free of tears, but there was something else missing. There was no laughter, no happiness, no confidence, no real spark. The sad thing was, Auron couldn't help but feel like those blank eyes were going to show up again.
He began to strum the notes of the hymn that Lulu had played for him earlier. He heard the notes were slightly out of tune, but no one else would notice the music's flaws like he would. Why was he so nervous anyway? Maybe this wasn't going to work. Maybe he was an exception.
He would kill to be that exception.
He saw out the corner of his eye glowing yellow balls rise from the piles of corpses. They were probably the pyreflies that Lulu had mentioned. The reverse storm of souls floated into the sky, with such a pretty light. How could something so beautiful represent something so dark as death?
How is it that he was still holding on?
He couldn't take it much longer. If he was somewhere completely different, the dirge would have been just another sad song, another sad song that he's been playing throughout his life. But the bodies, why did he have to be so close? And why was it that the only one out of the thousands of departed spirits he needed that moment was on the S. S. Herra, far from where he felt his nonexistent heart was going to burst?
Why did that vacant hole in his chest hurt so much?
Demyx heard footsteps thumping towards him and Lulu, accompanied with shrill voices yelling.
"If we would have known earlier, we would have captured you right when we saw you enter the village, Myde."
The crusaders who had been helping the wounded and the broken down repair their lives after Sin's attack were now holding him to the points of their spears. Lulu, who was at Demyx's side in the first place, was now being yanked away from him by a male soldier. She tried to use the Onion Knight buried in her arms to cast a spell of poison onto him, but was pushed to the side before she could finish.
"What is it that you want with him?" the mage asked in a demanding tone.
"We don't wish to hurt you, Lulu, but it seems like some things aren't gone forever," he said back. "And if you say you don't wish to come with us, we'll have something that will change his mind. Men, bring the others!"
As he still refused to turn around, Demyx heard more footsteps and something faintly scraping against the sandy earth.
"Two of your friends who were helping us with the rebuilding had overheard our conversation on you and your past, and they haven't gotten anywhere by interfering, right? Luckily, this little lady had been working with the medics and caught on too late. Too bad, she was quite the helper, right?"
"Demyx, don't listen to these guys!" Larxene's rasping voice called out. "They want something with you, and it's probably for the wrong reason! Forget about us, just keep fighting Sin! We can figure this out on our own!"
"We won't hinder your pilgrimage, Demyx, we just want to help bring out the best of your ability. You want to get stronger, don't you?" The soldier's words were too persuasive. He wanted more than anything to be strong, to fight Sin, to save his…friends, but…
Demyx slowly turned his heaving body to the crusaders to see the Flurry of Dancing Flames and the Whirlwind Lancer knocked unconscious, their waists down resting on the ground. Larxene had a look of…almost sympathy on her face while the soldier's thick and muscular arm was wrapped around her neck. And through all of this, he could only find himself still crying, tears streaking down his cheeks and splattered onto the collar of his beloved summoner's robe.
"Who's Myde?" was the only thing he could muster up without completely weeping.
"Myde is who you used to be, and the maesters of Yevon had sensed you enter our world. They feel that it's only necessary to bring you back to your whole self to complete your mission."
"Demyx, you idiot, don't—!" Larxene tried to say before the soldier covered her mouth.
"It's only for the best interests of the world, right?"
"Would Myde cry after a sending?" Demyx asked again.
"Once you become him, never again."
He dropped his sitar to his side. A loud twanging sound emerged and a string snapped. The rest of it fell to darkness.
"I'll do whatever it takes. Just…please, leave the rest of them out of it."
He stared that soldier in the eyes. All the soldier could see was nothingness. His capture was indeed, too easy. The same thoughts just kept running through his head, each conflicting the other.
I need to get stronger.
These guys can't be trusted.
Larxene and the others can't get into this.
Please, Auron, save me.
Out on the ocean, the dock of the S. S. Herra rocked aggressively. He looked off the rail to where the fire once rampaged on.
"What could be taking Demyx so long?" Auron said to himself. "If he thinks he can handle his first sending on his own, then he's crazy."
Or maybe he was just expecting too little of him, the swordsman though again. Whatever the reason, he just hoped Demyx's mental composure was fine at the moment.
Please, Auron, save me.
Confused? Don't worry, so am I.
Like I said, much more will be explained in the next chapter…
Chapter 11: The Somebody, The Nobody, and The Summoner
With Demyx giving himself to what seems to be the good guy, how will the maesters of Yevon try to transform him back into his Somebody? If anything, is his Somebody really a person he'd want to be? Will the crusaders keep their promise on leaving the disadvantaged Axel, Larxene and Xaldin alone? And with the Nobodies and Auron completely oblivious about Demyx's location, how will they find him? And who was Demyx really in his past? What happened to Spira in the past few years anyway? Questions will be answered as soon as possible!
PS: If you want spoilers, I guess I'll give to you if you ask. And this Spira arc is going to be a long one. Over 4 chapters worth. Hooray :3.