Disclaimer: I don't own anything in Final Fantasy XII, so please don't sue.

Awakening from his slumber Vaan was surprised to see that the girls were still lying on the floor. 'What hit me?' It felt like a bunch of drums beating in between his ears, the pain was excruciating.

Deciding to check up on the girls, Vaan went over and examined all three. It seemed that they had suffered no lasting injuries, but they would not be awakened so easily from their forced sleep. Looking around at the room, Vaan wasn't too surprised that it was completely decimated. The energy that had shot through his body was nothing he had ever felt, the pure power was invigorating but the pain after was something you wouldn't wish on your most hated enemies. Trying his best to somehow come to cope with the throbbing in his skull, Vaan sought the canteen of water that the group had brought along.

The cool water felt good on his hoarse throat, the introduction of all that power must have caused him to scream in agony from the bonding. Vaan again tried to awaken his three angels, this time they did awaken and they were as groggy as he had been. Ashe didn't remember the bright light that encompassed Vaan; all she could remember was stepping into the room and looking at the Dawn Shard.

"What happened Vaan? Where is the Dawn Shard?"

"I think I might have absorbed it…" Stunned by this turn of events, Ashe didn't know how to fix this situation. The Dawn Shard was her identification that she was the Princess. Without it, she was nothing more then a woman pretending to be the deceased Princess.

Vaan could see the hurt and sorrow that crossed Ashe's face, and the worst thing about it was he was the one who had caused the pain in her eyes. "Vaan, you couldn't have known that the shard would do that." Penelo tried to calm the anguish in her lover's eyes; she knew he would blame himself for the gem's actions.

"Penelo is right Vaan; you could not have foreseen the events that took place." Fran was more worried about what the shard would do to Vaan then what Ashe would do without it. The was no reason to blame the teen, Fran was a bit peeved that Ashe would even imply that. Though in Ashe's defense she had said nothing, but her body language spoke volumes about how she felt about the current situation.

"There is nothing that we can do now, what's done is done. We must find another means of restoring to your throne." Fran wasn't going to sugarcoat things, they were on a serious time crunch. There was no telling how much time it would take for the villains that took Dalmasca in the first place to find the princess.

Shocked from her stupor by the words of the Viera, Ashe lifted herself up and stood next to the group. "Fran is right, we cannot change what has happened we must continue on. Let's get out of here, we'll find another way to restore Dalmasca to its former glory."

Nodding their heads, the group exited the altar room. Though Vaan did cast one last glance at the place where the Dawn Shard was last seen. 'What the heck is going on with me?'

Without the Demon Wall to contend with it was smooth sailing for the group to exit the Tomb of Raithwall. What they found outside though didn't sit well with the group, the Dreadnought Leviathan was floating right outside waiting for them.

From the amount of soldiers gathered it was safe to say that the group accepted the offer to come aboard the war vessel once again. And who came to greet them then their favorite megalomaniac jerk, Judge Ghis.

"Such a tremendous honor to again be graced with your presence, Majesty. You left us with such great dispatch upon our last encounter that I must confess…I had begun to worry that we may have given some cause for offense."

"Such a heartfelt display of remorse. Now what is it you want?" Ashe didn't seem to be in the mood to play games with the idiot. "I want you to give me the Nethicite."

Wondering what the heck that could be, Ashe just stared blankly ahead. Not one to take things lying down Ghis tried once more. "We seek Raithwall's legacy… The ancient Relics of the Dynast-King: Deifacted Nethicite."

From the way he was speaking Vaan assumed it was the Dawn Shard that he wanted. 'Too bad for him that it's gone…or is it too bad for us?' Vaan couldn't decide if he was happy he didn't have it or worried.

"You want the Dawn Shard?"

" Yes, that is exactly what we seek. In return for the Dawn Shard the Empire will…permit Lady Ashe to reclaim her throne, and the Kingdom of Dalmasca will be restored. Think on it. An entire kingdom for a stone. You must admit, 'tis more than a fair exchange." The honeyed words that Ghis used did not hide the truth, they would trade the stone for illusionary rule. A larger prison if you will, but still a prison.

Unfortunately for the group they didn't have the stone to give the esteemed Judge Ghis and were thus sent to the brig to stew for a bit till they were more forthcoming with their knowledge of the stone's whereabouts.

"What are we going to do now Vaan?"

"Well I was thinking that we would spring out again just like last time."

"And how are we supposed to do that? They took our weapons this time unlike last time when we were fully armed."

"Penelo, you must have a little faith." Signaling to Fran, Vaan set about faking a injury to grab the guards attention. The guards motioned for the others to back away so they could inspect the teen, too bad for them that Vaan was a lot stronger then he was before. With a quick throw, Vaan had tossed one of the guards against the others and they all landed in a heap. With the guards unconscious the group headed to where they had stored their stolen weapons and armor. Now the only thing left was a way off the stupid Leviathan.

Traversing through the ship was exciting to say the least, with guards around every turn it lent itself to a few close calls. Fortunately for the group their intimacy allowed them to know the extent of all their abilities. Meaning that they fought as a well oiled machine, taking down foes left and right, all while evading the more devastating villains.

Finally the group found what they were looking for in the Archadian Imperial Army Light Cruiser Class Airship Shiva. It was logged to fly off the ship, perfect for flying below the radar of the Empire. With the only thing standing in their way was a few dozen soldiers on the ship, the group easily finished them off and navigated the smaller vessel away from the Leviathan.