Cuttingmoon57here, and back with chapter twenty-eight of The Tainted Grimoire. And as a side note, any beliefs expressed throughout my story are not my own. They are simply unique to the characters and their personalities. Just wish to clarify that.

Credit for making sure this gaggle of words is somewhat coherent goes to Supreme Distraction. Every writer who wants to be taking seriously should have a beta, and now I have mine. Hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy or anything related to it. If I did, FF12 would already be getting a direct PS2 or PS3 sequel. I also don't own any other anime, manga, or game that I take elements or characters from.

Suggestion: Head to Final Fantasy Wikia for information or images of the main cast if you'd like to see pictures of their appearance. They remain virtually unchanged in my story. (Other non-canon characters will be described.)

"Blah" = talking

"Blah"= thoughts, writing, sound effects, or flashbacks

"BLAH"= Yelling

(Blah)= scene change


"Hmmm…"

Maria Savoy de Pervenche gazed curiously at the stretched colorful canvas spread resting on the carved easel before her. Her ivory colored dress, ornately embellished with patches of emerald green and golden-hued stitching, matched perfectly with the colors of her private bedroom, from the white washed walls and floors to the jade tapestries and ornately designed golden pillows and furniture.

She averted her eyes to the golden bird cage on her near right, which rested on a white pedestal in front of the broad window that dominated the majority of the wall space. The orange, early morning sunlight filtered in evenly through the transparent glass gave both the cage and her pale skin an ethereal shine.

In the center of the cage, a petite, healthy brown sparrow sat atop a raised perch, fully occupied with munching on a few seeds it had gathered. It turned happily towards the girl, and offered her a pleasant chirp, which she returned with an equally lovely smile. The fowl flapped its wings in rapid succession, then exited the cage through the open door with a flutter, eventually flying through the door built into the window that Maria had left open. The brown haired female gazed at the avian animal longingly, ultimately focusing on the orange rising sun that it was silhouetted against. A stroke of inspiration then hit her, and within moments she spun back to her canvas and began applying paint with the utmost care.

A peaceful scene amidst the tranquility of morning


Maria Savoy de Pervenche

The light that pierced through the darkness of the sky

Shines ever so brighter in my heart

Chapter Twenty Nine: The Rising Sun Overture


Luso Clemens squinted as morning beams of sunshine assaulted his eyelids through the solitary window of his Inn room, spreading throughout and providing an ethereal glow to the otherwise dull, yet up-to-date wood that covered the walls. Taken aback by the sunlight, he pulled his white, cotton blanket over his head, though removed it a few seconds later. He realized it was time to awaken.

The boy sat up, shifting his legs to the right so that they hung off the bed. Then, with a small leap, his bare feet made contact with the frigid floors, unsettling him until his nerves had grown accustomed. His eyes wandered to the other room occupants, Cheney and Hurdy, whose presence was revealed by their soft, rhythmic snoring. He discarded the thought of awakening them, and headed straight for the room's private washroom.

Only a few minutes passed before the adolescent fighter had completed his morning rituals, which had before taken much longer as he adjusted to Jylland's methods of personal hygiene. Another four minutes allowed him to adorn himself in his trusted yellow overalls, scarlet hat, blades, and journal holster, occupied by the mysterious tome itself. Luso performed one last check in the full body mirror attached to the northern wall, giving his reflection a smile, then proceeded through the door out into the hallway. He strolled towards the right to the room adjacent to his own, the room occupied by Ensei, Cid, Kanin, and their newest clan member, Adelle the Cat.

And who more so to answer the door after the soft series of taps Luso beat upon its surface?

"He…H-Hello?" The silver haired female queried as she gradually pulled back the door, letting out a fierce yawn as her pet black cat strolled over and stopped beside her feet. Luso snickered inwardly at the girl's appearance--a wrinkled nightgown, bloodshot eyes, and her hoary locks a forest of tangles—though managed to keep his features schooled. He felt a small amount of guilt, however, as realization donned upon him.

She had been crying all night.

"Hey." He began with a small smile. "Are Ensei and Cid in there, by any chance?" The girl stared at him with lidded eyes for a few moments, much too exhausted to process the question at a normal rate. Following a second loud yawn, she responded.

"They said they were heading down to the pub. Something about a meeting with the Judgemaster and the Professor…"

"Great!" Luso's eyes lit up. "That'll give me the perfect opportunity. Thanks Adelle." Luso spun on his heel and began down the hallway towards the stairs. The girl stepped out more into the hallway and called out to his retreating form, adopting a curious tone.

"Opportunity for what?"

Luso answered back over his shoulder, not breaking stride.

"If I get approval, you'll see."

She raised a curious eyebrow as he pelted down the staircase, disappearing from her view. A nonchalant shrug soon followed, and she closed the door behind her, prepared to catch up on any sleep she missed.

(Galleria Tavern)

Ensei Rou entered the Galleria Tavern with his usual confident saunter, taking in a whiff of the smell of alcohol that continuously saturated the air, regardless of the customer count. Cid walked directly behind him, his mood pleasant despite the stern look that comprised his visage. Both returned a small waving gesture that the barman had initiated with his free hand, then focused their eyes on the seating area of the establishment.

In conjunction with the current hour, the pub patrons were few and far between, comprised generally of small groups of burly men, mostly Hume and Bangaa, downing breakfast stews. Said men gave hearty greetings to the Clan Gully co-leaders, recognizing their faces as the two passed their respective tables. It was at a table just meters away from the farthest corner that they spied their reason for entering the pub so early in the morning.

Judgemaster Cid sat in his chair, coated from the base of his neck to the tips of his toes in his pristine silver armor. His cape cascaded down his back like a still, royal blue waterfall, though his messy brown hair consistently tuned down his elegant aura to manageable levels. Ensei was always grateful for his down-to-earth attitude, considering his esteemed position. Across from him sat his charge, Professor Alberio Augustus, humming to himself with closed eyes and stroking the fur of the Dreamhare situated in his lap. His Nirvana staff leaned comfortably against the back of his chair. Cid's three Templar bodyguards, Ogma, Gerland, and Nivus all leaned against the wall, their arms crossed in front of them and their spears to the side, within arm's reach should the need arise.

"You called? And what's with all these papers?" Ensei asked with a chuckle as he pulled out a chair for him to sit in, his Revgaji partner mirroring his actions. The black haired man referred particularly to the menagerie of papers and documents that lay sprawled out over the surface of the table.

"Merely reports I decided to get a head start on. There's going to be an endless amount of paperwork for this incident." The Judgemaster breathed out a heavy sigh, taking one of the sheets into his hand. "The more complete the report I submit, the smaller the investigation will be."

"Aye." Cid agreed, propping his dark brown arms onto the table. "With the city in the beginning stages of its re-organizing phase, the last thing it or the Pervenche family needs is a government investigation."

"Exactly." The Hume Cid chimed in. "Though you can be sure they'll get one, regardless of my information or testimony." He passed the paper over to the Revgaji, who then grabbed it, bringing it in front of him at a readable. Ensei leaned over to acquire his own view, eyes widening as he noted the names and faces imprinted upon the document.

"Dread Raven and Crow, known only by their aliases." Professor Auggie spoke aloud to the group. "The former, a high-ranking officer of the criminal syndicate, known only as Khajma; the latter, his most trusted assistant. The pair has made quite a name for themselves in their organization." Judgemaster Cid picked up where the aged Nu Mou had left off.

"Raven's list is most staggering. Infiltration into both federal and regional installations, numerous counts of assassination, including an attempt on a Baron's life." Both Cid and Ensei had gawk silently at that; such a venture was unheard of. "And now, lastly, the brutal murder of Sir Loin following an attempt against Maria Savoy de Pervenche."

"Quite a long list there." Ensei responded, his eyes subtly glazed over after hearing the name of his long time associate, something which both Cid and Professor Augustus caught. "What about Crow? I don't see much on him."

"The Black Mage is an odd one." The Judgemaster answered, sighing. "It seems as though he has never actually personally committed any of the assassinations."

"You must have seen Hurdy and the Heretic child, Sole, too." Ogma chimed in with his two cents. "Both of them were frozen when we found them, and aside from some hypothermia, they were completely unharmed. The same with Tetzel."

"What are you implying?" Cid asked, cocking an eyebrow. "That by freezing them, he actually ended up saving their lives?" The lightning wielding Templar shrugged after a brief moment of silence.

"I'm not saying whether it was intentional or not; just that professionals like them usually don't leave behind witnesses so easily."

All stayed quiet for a few moments, trying to absorb the idea. It was Judgemaster Cid that ended the silence, propping his elbows upon the table and leaning his chin on his hands, his voice growing stern.

"Regardless of his intentions, they do not dissuade the fact that he is a wanted, not to mention dangerous, criminal. We will operate our investigation on that basis…starting with what they were after." The Hume lifted his chin from his hands and sharply snapped his fingers. Gerland stepped forward from the wall, and placed a small bag of sackcloth, tied at the opening with a small string, in the man's hand. He dropped the bag on the table, then returned to his original sitting position. As Ensei obeyed his silent command and reached for the bag, Auggie spoke.

"From what we've been able to gather already, as well as what Vaticus has told us privately from interrogations, Raven and Crow came for two reasons. The first was to remove him from power, whether that meant killing him or otherwise. Of course, they haven't the need to kill him now, as he will be moved to the most secure, prison facility in Jylland. The second, however, was more puzzling, and had to do with the contents of that bag."

Cid stared at the flawless jewel that he had obtained from the bag, Ensei blowing a sharp whistle as he stared bewildered. The gem in question was of the finest quality they had ever laid eyes on, its hue a mixture of white and silver that gave the impression of transparent glass devoid of impurities.

"Is this…?" Ensei began. Augustus finished his sentence.

"Indeed. Magicite." The Dreamhare on his lap gazed in wonder. "Though as to the origin and class of this particular piece, I cannot say." His statement surprised Ensei, who knew that the Sage was one of the leading Magicite scholars back at his time at the academy. "Unfortunately, I doubt I'll have the time to conduct a proper study."

"I am more focused on what Khamja had planned to use it for." The Judgemaster said, continuing Augustus's earlier elaboration. "That is where Clan Gully comes in. What I am about to tell you is to remain confidential." Both Cid and Ensei quirked eyebrows simultaneously, though soon nodded. "I want you to find out more information on this stone for me. Use whatever methods you deem necessary…"

Ensei's grin stretched from ear to ear.

"Outside of outright violation of the law, of course."

The grin faded back to a childish pout in but a split second, causing Auggie to chuckle under his breath.

"There's a company I know of in Grazton. Galleria Jewelers is the name." Cid said, placing a pondering hand to his chin while leaning back. "They procure almost all of their supplies from this area. I'm willing to bet they'd have information on our piece here."

"Grazton, huh?" Ensei spoke. "It's been a couple years since I've visited there. If we're lucky we'll be able to find some nice wares for the kids."

"That would be the ideal place to begin." The Judgemaster responded with a smile. "Alright, being an official request, I'll have to submit a bill strictly for record purposes, though there shouldn't be any trouble whatsoever."

The Hume stood from his chair as his three Templar leaned forward from the wall. Ensei and Cid mirrored his actions, stretching as they did. Just as they did though, there attention moved towards the exit, where a brown haired adolescent boy in yellow overalls and a red hat moved purposely towards their table, a look of exhaustion on his face.

"What brings you here so early, Luso?" Judgemaster Cid asked, staring at the boy curiously. The fighter stopped in front of him, leaning down and breathing hard before straightening up and meeting his eyes.

"I have a favor to ask...the professor."

The Nu Mou stared at the boy curiously, leaping down out of his chair and inching towards him.

"What would you have of me, child?"

He turned to Auggie, got down on his knees with his head bowed, and spoke in a clear, definite voice.

"I…want to learn how to use Mist."

Their entire area became completely quiet, Auggie's pallid eyes widening despite his lack of vision.

"Luso, what are you talking about?" Ensei interjected, breaking the silence and stepping forward. "What happened to wanting to become a Parivir?"

"I don't believe he is referring to its magical use, Ensei." Auggie countered without turning to the katana-wielding warrior, his voice distant. "He's read part of Mist Theory and Physics. He's talking about channeling."

Ensei became deafly silent. Cid, the Judgemaster, and his three Templar could all feel the increasingly heated aura that he began to radiate. Eventually, though, he calmed down, taking a deep breath, then spoke.

"Raise your head, Luso." The boy did as he was commanded. "Do you understand the brevity of your request?"

"I am aware." Luso curtly responded. "Professor Auggie has already told me the implications, and I've been thinking about them for a few days now…but…it was the fight against Vaticus that made me realize something."

Everyone remained quiet, allowing the boy to continue.

"As I lay there, my right arm and torso encased in ice, helplessly watching a man burn to death…I realized that with my current level of strength, I'm nothing more than a hindrance."

"So you want to become stronger, is that it?" Ensei asked blankly. "But strength comes at a great price, Luso."

"For the sake of other around me…" He responded, voice unwavering. "I can think of no price too great."

The two males eyed each other for a full half minute. It took all he had for Luso to not back down at his mentor's steely glare, though he somehow managed to stay firm. Ensei walked gradually towards Luso, his face still unreadable. The chocolate haired fighter closed his eyes only for a second, and upon reopening them, found the Parivir's comforting hand resting on his hat, ruffling it. He looked over first to the Judgemaster, Cid, and Auggie, all of whom had smiles on their faces. Then, he heard Ensei speak in a cool, collected voice.

"Seems like you've become a man without my notice."

Even without seeing his face, Luso could feel the man's approving grin, causing him to grin as well. Ensei turned to Judgemaster Cid.

"We'll be taking a small detour before we head out to Grazton, if you don't mind?"

"Not at all." Judgemaster Cid nodded, grinning himself. "Ogma, Gerland, Nivus. Make preparations to head out before the ceremony today, and purchase the best map of the Aldanna Range you can find."

(Governor's Manse, Maria's Bedroom)

"Alright….finished."

Maria retracted her brush from the canvas, smiling warmly as she wiped perspiration from her brow with her sleeve. She placed the paintbrush into a cup of water to her side and began to untie her apron, tossing it onto the floor near the foot of her bed. The brown haired maiden then began to rummage through her closet, locating a lovely white dress, meant for the most important of occasions. It was as she held it in front of her body that she noticed Micaiah leaning against her bedroom's doorframe.

"That one is quite lovely." The woman spoke, crossing the expanse of the floor. Maria accepted the compliment with a smile, though remained curious as to her sister-in-law's visit. Her question was soon answered. "Mind if help you get ready?"

"Oh, not at all." She responded, laying the dress across her bedspread before walking over to her vanity and taking a seat in the red, cushioned stool provided. Micaiah stopped behind her, leaning over her shoulder to grab a comb. She then began to run its teeth through the girl's chocolate tresses, Maria closing her eyes as a peaceful feeling washed over her.

"You're going to do fine today." Micaiah spoke, picking out one of the more hardened tangles. "Just remember to stay confident." Maria muttered a serene 'alright', continuing to bask in the sensation of her hair being brushed. The two allowed a silence to pass for the next minute or so, before Micaiah reminded her of something. "You know, Clan Gully and Clan Falzen are leaving today."

"Don't worry. I'll make sure to say goodbye to th-."

The girl was interrupted by a loud rapping on her bedroom door, accompanied by the familiar voice of her brother, Sothe.

"People are already starting to show up. You've got about five minutes, Maria."

"Alright, I'll be out in a second." She called back, rising from her chair as Micaiah finished with her hair and making her way to her bed. She grabbed her dress and hurried into her bathroom, its door closing behind her with a soft click.

Micaiah turned to the window, noticing that the sunlight began to grow dimmer despite being the well into the morning. A blanket of clouds covered most every inch of the blue sky, save for small pockets scattered throughout.

"Hope it doesn't rain today."


"Attention!"

The two lines, comprised wholly of Bangaa Warriors and Hume Soldiers, followed the sharp command, all simultaneously straightening up with the utmost discipline and precision. Luso eyed the formation from his place in the front row of the crowd that had gathered in the Cathedral Courtyard.

The courtyard itself had been purged of all wedding materials and props that had populated it only a few days ago, allowing a fitting area for the day's main attraction: Maria's address to the citizens. The girl herself was seated atop the main balcony, the lower portion of her ankle-length snow white dress cascading from the chair's seat like a waterfall. She had a clear view of the crowd below that had divided into two massive sections of people, leaving a large open path directly down the center of the courtyard to its gate. Along the edge of said path stood members of the former Archbishop guard, lined parallel to the trail to keep citizens from entering the lane's area. She spotted Clan Gully, Clan Falzen, Judgemaster Cid, Professor Augustus, and his guards, who occupied much of the first row.

Seated on the girl's left was her father Aquila, who sat completely motionless, and on her right stood the newly appointed guard captain, a tall bulky Hume Soldier, who barked out another set of commands. Next to the captain, a Moogle began to play a rattling beat on his drum, the only other sound that could be heard throughout the entire area.

"Present arms!"

Each guard member immediately drew his own respective weapons, holding it vertically in front of him with both hands. All attention focused on the center aisle.

Four burly Bangaa walked with heavy steps down the path. Between them was a large black coffin, held up by its handles by the reptilian males. They proceeded slowly as a trumpet sound accompanied the drum roll, releasing a solemn tune. All eyes turned back towards the front as the quartet of lizard men reached the end of their path, setting down the coffin on a stand draped with a white silk sheet. The four then stood to the coffin's side, two on the right and two on the left, standing in the same manner as the other guardsmen.

A solemn silence soon followed as the instruments continued to play for the next few minutes. Luso stared absently at the closed casket, his face completely blank as Adelle, who stood on his left, cried silently as not to attract attention. The boy could not bring himself to say a word.

The music eventually stopped, followed by a short silence, before Maria stepped to the railing of the balcony, all eyes transfixed on her form.

"My brethren, we are here today to commemorate those who fought valiantly to defend the freedom and well-being of our city, and to offer an even greater word of thanks to the man who gave his life for that same purpose."

Maria pressed on with her speech, going on to mention the valiant deeds of Clan Gully, Clan Falzen, and the Heretics while also ushering the people to put away the past and look towards the future. Despite how important and uplifting her speech was, Luso mood matched the downtrodden, cloud-filled sky above him, and nothing he heard seemed to lift his spirits, though his placid face hid his emotions well.

"Why do people die, Ensei?"

The bearded man to his right continued to face forward, taking a full puff of the lit cigarette in his mouth. Then, in a quiet yet firm voice, spoke.

"That, I cannot answer Luso, but there's one thing that always rings true, no matter who it is. Everyone has bonds that they created during their lifetime, friendships they matured. Even if they are gone, there is evidence that they were once here among us. Whether it be lessons they taught, objects, or even a will to inherit…"

He paused, spotting Adelle out of the corner of his eye.

"Nobody ever dies without leaving something behind."


Cid strolled through the gates of the Cathedral Courtyard, an hour after the ceremony had concluded. The entire area was vacant, except for the few janitorial staff members whose occupation it was to have the space ready for the next event.

The Revgaji spotted Ensei Rou standing in the same spot he had been during the funeral, still puffing on the same cigarette, if its shortened length was any indication, and still staring at the onyx casket that held whatever remains of his old Seeq companion that some of the staff could locate on the roof.

"We went out and bought a new wagon and some supplies. Everything should be packed up now." Cid said, stopping just southwest of his position. "You ready to go?"

"Yeah. It's about time we head out. Besides…it's starting to rain."

Cid turned his attention towards the sky, which had lost more than half of its previous cloud count, rays of sunshine now dominating the landscape. He was about to correct his samurai-esque friend, when all of a sudden…

He noticed a single tear roll down the side of his left cheek.

"You're right. Better get going before the storm comes along."

(St. Galleria, City Gates)

"There you guys are." Luso exclaimed, sitting up and folding his arms over the side of the wagon as he spotted Ensei and Cid making their way towards them. "What took you so long?"

"We were busy. Mind your own business." Ensei responded with gritted teeth, knocking the boy comically over his head. The katana-sporting warrior looked over to the right of his clan's wagon, where the five members of Clan Falzen stood, their backs each occupied by their respective weapons as well as a backpack full of supplies. "Ah, Andie, you guys are shipping out too?"

"Yes." The blonde Hume replied. "We have another job set up already in Moorabella, which we are already currently behind schedule on." She snapped her fingers twice. "Come on, girls. We must leave immediately. Let's say your goodbyes and get moving." She turned towards Cheney as all her clan members began to give their farewells to everyone. "Have a safe journey, Mr. Galliformes." She held out a hand to him, which he shook without hesitation.

"See you soon, Andie." The huntsman replied with a genuine smile, causing even the normally composed Falzen leader to gain an extra shade of red on her cheeks.

"Awe..." Kanin voiced her dissatisfaction, running over to give Gertie a large embrace, who returned the gesture in full force. "I'm going to miss having you guys around."

"Luso Clemens." Claire spoke evenly, garnering the brown-haired boy's attention. "I was instructed to give you my blessings on your journey." She held out a hand, expecting the boy to shake it, though to her surprise he placed his hand over hers, then constricted her fingers into the shape of a fist. He gave her a curt fist bump, smiling.

"That's how I shake hands."

The goodbyes passed by quickly, and soon the old gate had been opened for the all-female clan to pass through. With a few final waves and verbal farewells, the girls had disappeared into the forest just outside the gate. None were sad, though, as they had a distinct feeling that it wouldn't be long before they saw "sisters-in-arms" once more.


Within the next half hour, the Judgemaster, atop his Chocobo, his three Templar bodyguards, and the aged professor Augustus had finally reached the gate, the Nu Mou doing his best to keep pace with the other four.

Just behind them was the governing family of St. Galleria. Sothe and Micaiah walked side by side, followed by the governor himself, Aquila, and his daughter Maria. A brown, burlap sack rested over the green haired thief's shoulder, and jingled with every step he took. Likewise in Maria's hands was another odd object: a large, rolled piece of paper with a bow at its center to hold it together.

"What brings all of you here?" Cid asked, directing his question towards the Pervenche family. Sothe decided to answer, stepping forward. A genuine smile was plastered across his face.

"A small offering to the saviors of our city." He placed the bag into the Rev's outstretched, brawny hands. "Forgive me for its mediocrity. It was the most we could scrounge up at the moment."

"We appreciate it either way." Cid responded with a smile, placing the bag in an open spot in the wagon and already hypothesizing about its contents after hearing the jingle it made upon setting it down.

"It was our pleasure." Aquila added. "We'll see you all again one day…and from the bottom of our heart…thank you."

Cid grinned sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head in an embarrassed fashion. His grin was mirrored by all the members of his clan, who had already begun to jump onto the wagon. Aquila motioned for his family to follow him back, though after a few seconds turned to notice that his daughter wasn't with him.

"Just give me a few minutes, father."

He raised a curious eyebrow, though nodded, shrugging his shoulders and heading back towards the city with his son and daughter-in-law.

"Make it quick, you four." Ensei remarked, hopping into the clan's cart before turning to Adelle, Kanin, Hurdy, and Luso, who were lined up horizontally, giving Maria her final goodbyes.

"Be safe, Kanin." The brown haired girl ordered, patting the White Mage on the back as she fully embraced her. "You too, Hurdy." She knelt down, allowing the Moogle to wrap his paws around her neck. "Thank you for everything, Adelle." She gave the silver-haired girl a more reserved, yet comforting hug, an action which threw the thief off guard at first, though nevertheless appreciated. She released Adelle and stopped upon approaching Luso.

The boy stared at curiously, as for the first few seconds she said absolutely nothing, simply standing perfectly still. Then, she handed him the large roll of paper that she had been holding and spoke softly.

"Your first present…"

"A present? Really?" The fighter's face lit up, though quickly returned to confusion. "Wait…first-" Without a moment's notice, Luso found himself utterly paralyzed, from the tips of his toes to the chocolate-hued hairs on his head…

As Maria Savoy de Pervenche placed her delicate lips to his right cheek.

It was over within the second, and the girl rapidly made a one hundred eighty degree turn and dashed as fast as she could back towards the city.

Hurdy's mouth gaped open.

Adelle was stunned at first, though recovered quickly, holding a downright evil glint in her eye.

Kanin stood stunned, face a darker shade of red than a tomato, though whether it was from surprise, embarrassment or anger, none could tell.

Ensei, Cid, Cheney, and the three Templar guardsmen whistled out small catcalls and laughed amongst themselves.

The Judgemaster merely grinned.

Augustus wondered what he had missed while inwardly cursing his blindness.

And lastly, Luso remained still, staring bewildered at her retreating form and still mostly unsure of what exactly had just happened.


Every time I look into the skyI wonder if the sun is rising or setting on my world

Maria strolled down the crowded street of St. Galleria, smiling warmly as the late morning sun rose above her and waving at all the citizens who passed her by.

She placed a delicate finger to her lips, recalling not only her spontaneous decision to suddenly plant a kiss on the Luso's cheek, but the painting she had spent all night creating as well: A marvelous portrait of Luso Clemens standing on the cathedral rooftop, dressed in his usual battle attire, surrounded by a bright light-blue aura, and wielding a blade in each hand, poised for attack. Behind him, a large orange sun rose from the horizon, bathing him in and the remainder of the picture in its pure light.

But now I know for sure…

Maria stared up into the wild blue yonder, spotting the sun just above her.

She released a genuine smile.

It is definitely a rising sun

(St. Galleria Arc…End)


Alright, there you have it. The true end to the arc. Next chapter: Clan Gully and the Judgemaster's group head out to the Aldanna Range, so look forward to it.

P.S. The last scene ties in with the first scene of chapter nine. Since it's been so long since that chapter, I didn't think many people would remember that far back.

Until next time.