Chapter 20: The Finale
Narrator: With Queen Elincia's life saved by the Greil Mercenaries, our heroes rejoice in happiness. However, the Daein Rebels' leader, Ryura, appeared and taken Hana and Li-en to the Tower of Guidance in Begnion, where he told Ike and the his friends that his Superior awaits. Just who is the supreme ruler that pulls the strings in this plot, but was never seen?
Tower of Guidance…
Hana struggle against Ryura's grip around her wrist as he pulled her and her sister deeper into the Tower of Guidance, but no avail. The Daein Rebels' leader another hand held Li-en who was wincing at his grip on her.
The Tower of Guidance was enormous. The flight of stairs goes up and up with no end, and the only light that came from this darken place was the ghastly blue candles that were place everyone. He "escorted" them down a hall, a pair of giant doors was at the end.
Once they got to the door, Ryura kicked the door opened with his foot and pushed the girls inside and onto the floor roughly. He shut the doors with his hands and turned back to the girls.
"Why you sneaky, son of a b-…" Hana nearly swore, but was cut off.
"Ah, ah, ah, watch it." The Daein Rebels' leader smirked down on them, grabbing the eldest twin's sword away from her and threw it across the room. Li-en sat up from the floor, observing where they were, ignoring that Ryura was taking her bows and arrows away.
The room was dark and small candles that were lit of some of the tables gave the room an eerie feeling. Further in the room, she saw a person sitting on a sofa. The figure was shrouded by the darkness, but she could tell that the figure was small.
Ryura bowed down to the figure. "I brought them, Superior."
The figure nodded, not saying a word. She pointed towards to the door, ordering him to leave. He nodded, leaving with one last glance at the girls on the floor. The figure stood up, walking up to where Hana and Li-en sat. Once the figure was out of the shadows, they backed away and gasped. The person…The figure was a girl.
She was no older than thirteen years old with long, shining hair that had the same color of dawn that reaches pass her shoulders and straight bangs in front of her amber eyes. She wore a small black dress with lace at the edge of the dress and around the collar. Some of her hair was tied in a small in a small on one side of her head with a black ribbon.
She smiled wickedly on her pale lips, walking closer to the girls in her black slippers. Gripping each of their waists, the so-called Superior threw them on the sofa and sat down next to them.
She reached out a hand to Hana's cheek, but the Branded girl slapped it away. "Stay away!"
"You're quite the feisty one." Her voice was slightly high-pitched, like a little child's voice, but it was still cold enough to send shivers down Li-en's spine. The girl licked her fingers and smiled at her. She placed her hand to her chest and spoke. "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ashera. Goddess of Order."
"Ashera!?!" the girls eyes widen in shocked, refusing to believe this child was the Goddess herself. "Impossible! Ike told us that you were dead!"
"That meddling boy might have destroyed my body, but my soul sought vengeance. I refused to die by the hands of a mortal. Luckily, I found this girl's body as my host." Ashera spread out her arms to show the thirteen years old body. "Yune sleeps within this body as well. I dragged her with me into this body when I was defeated and she was purifying my judgment upon your race. Now that I am nearly completed, I will once again judge this world and let it sleep in stone of all eternity."
"What's your point in all of this!? Turning everyone into stones doesn't serve a purpose! You'll just be destroying everyone and everything that you ever created!" Hana snapped at the Goddess.
"I will merely recreated the world, begin a new cycle. You humans and Laguzs have thousands of years to show me if you could live in peace. That was my will. Now, all shall perish, starting with you two." The dusk-haired girl smirked, pointing a sharp nail.
"What do you want from us, anyway!?" Li-en shouted frightened.
"You are one of the Branded. You go against my teachings, therefore, you must not be allow to live. Do you understand, little girls? You are nothing, but abominations. However…"
Ashera smiled wickedly as she cupped Hana's cheek with her hand and leaned close to her face. The girl flinched at the touch, feeling the cold hand on her skin. She blushed at how close they were, and shut her eyes in fear.
"I envied you…" the Goddess whispered.
"Envy me? But…Why, you're a Goddess?" the Branded girl asked. Ashera lips turned into a frown and she grabbed Hana's wrist, twisting it as she heard the Branded cried out in pain.
"You think Gods are happy!?! I was the one who was drove into despair, curse to live in solitude!" the Goddess declared angrily, letting go of Hana and clutched her own hands into fists. "But you, little missies, grew up cherished by someone. I envied you."
Ashera leaned back down to the elder twin's and cupped her face with her hand again and pinned her down to the sofa. Her breath tickled against her skin as she whispered in the girl's ear. Without looking up from the girl beneath her, the Goddess yanked Li-en's neck down to her face with her hand, choking her. The youngest twin cried out in pain and tears fell down her face, trying to get the hand off her neck as her head hovered her sister's and Ashera's.
"No! Stop!" Hana screamed, looking up to see her sister desperately trying breathe. Her sister's tears fell down from her face to hers, rolling down her cheek. The Goddess noticed this and trailed her tongue on the Branded girl's face, wiping away the tear. Hana's lips quivered with fear and she tried to speak through her shaking tone. "What do you want with us, Ashera? Why are you doing this?"
"Because you're a Branded." She answered, gently caressing Hana's hair. "I've come to an understanding the party you travel with contains other Brandeds, is that correct? A dark haired Mage, the Maiden of Dawn, and that young, green-haired man, isn't that right? Yes, Ryura told me about him, the green-haired fellow. If the reports are true, he has his own little colony of Brandeds in the Grann Desert."
"Leave them alone!" she snarled at the Goddess. "Stefan's a good man! He helps us, the Branded!"
"He is only delaying the inevitable. He shall perish as well. You're just bait to lured him and that blue-haired boy here." Ashera told them, smirking. She let her hand find her way back to Hana's hand and she yanked her hair upward and let her other hand around Li-en's neck tighten. They yelped in pain, closing their eyes and tried to endure it.
"I am a Goddess." The dusk-colored girl stated, coldly. She glared at the two crying girls under her grips. "I do not understand the emotions you Beorcs and Laguzs feel. The hate and fear that resides in each of their hearts. One look at in your eyes tells me everything. You grew up, hiding who you really are because you were afraid of death. The Beorcs and Laguzs that cursed your very existence. I could put you out of your misery. You're so fragile, it would be so simple."
Hana tried to look down at the Goddess, her vision getting hazy. "Then, why don't you?"
"Because I am in need of a host."
"Huh?" the youngest girl choked. Ashera glared at the girl, releasing her neck from her hand. It came to the side of the head and banged it on the armrest of the sofa, knocking her unconscious. She felled on the floor and Hana eyes widen.
"No!" She tried to reach out to her sister, but Ashera yanked on her hair, preventing her.
"Listen to me. If you want your sister to live, then, give me your body." She threatened her, icily.
"But why my body? You already have a host!" Hana cried.
Ashera frowned, sitting up from her spot and letting the girl go. She placed a hand to her chest and looked at the weeping girl. "This is little girl's body will not last for the next thousand years. I need your body, a Heron body."
'If you wanted a Heron body, why kidnapped us instead of Reyson and his siblings?!"
The Goddess scoffed. "Please, Herons are so fragile. They are weak, but you are a Branded. Your body is stronger than theirs and you live longer than most Beorcs. In my new world, I wish to feel the life of all creatures. And one by one, those who wishes to go against my teachings again, those who oppose my reign, will be eliminated from this world. I need the powers of a Heron do this."
"I'd rather die than help you destroy Ranulf and the others." Hana hissed at her. Ashera frowned and lashed her hand around the Branded girl's neck, lifting her up in the air.
"Then, you shall watch your sister suffer." The Goddess reached down to an unconscious Li-en with her another hand and clasped her hand around her neck, choking her. "She can die in her sleep for all I care."
"No! Stop!" the elder sister screamed as Ashera started to squeezed her sister's neck. The Goddess of Order stopped, not releasing her grip around the sleeping girl, and looked up at Hana. "I'll help you! Just don't kill her!"
"You will risk the lives of many…Just to save this one girl…? Is she truly that important to you?" Ashera smirked at her, letting go of Li-en's neck and turned her full attention to the elder sister. "I do not believe you know what you are doing."
The Goddess dropped Hana onto the floor, watching her rubbing her neck. The Branded girl gazed up at her, tears in her eyes. Deep inside, Ashera didn't understand Hana's reason for helping her just to save one girl. Perhaps it was because they were sisters that if was natural for sisters to protect each other?
"Yes…Sister Li-en important to me. I will protect her, no matter what. I know what I'm doing." The Branded girl stated, fiercely.
"So…She really is more important to you than that blue-haired boy?" Ashera inquired her, resting her chin on the palm of her hand.
"Yes, she is…"
"Show me how important." The Goddess of Order commanded. Kneeling down slowly, Hana bowed her head to the floor, pleading with Ashera.
"Please…Spare my sister's life…" she begged.
Silence hovered the air for a long time. The Goddess looked down at the girl with cold eyes, but inside she was surprised by her actions. Ashera smirked to herself and nodded, waving her hand in the air and let Li-en's body float in the air.
"Very well. You have my word as a Goddess that this girl's life will be spare." She promised, gently lifting Hana's face to hers with her hand. "And in return, you will give me your body."
The twin nodded, tears flying in the air as she did.
"You do understand by giving yourself to me, you're risking your comrades' lives, just for this girl?" Ashera gestured to the youngest sister in the air.
"Why would you so such a thing? Does that boy mean nothing to you anymore?"
Hana closed her eyes and smiled sadly, remembering everyone that helped her and her sister up to this point. "Ike, Soren, Ranulf…They are my friends. I'm grateful to them, for helping us. Ike and Soren saved us, and Ranulf was really kind to me…However, all we ever been to them were burdens, that is what I thought at first. But they taught me they wanted to help me because they wanted to, and not because they have to. It was their choice, the choice they made of their own free will."
"Then why choose your sister over them? Do you not feel indebted to them for saving your life? You let your personal feelings get in the way of the right judgment. You're acting selfishly." The Goddess told her, somewhat confused by the girl's words. Hana open her eyes, bringing her hands to her face to wipe away her tears. She looked at the Goddess with a small smile on her face.
"I know…I'm being selfish, but Sister Li-en…Her life is more precious to me than anything else…" she declared, not noticing the small gasp from Ashera's mouth. "I want to protect her…You understand, don't you?"
Ashera looked down, her hair covering her eyes. Understand? No, she couldn't possibly understand such feelings. For over a thousands years, she slept, watching over Beorcs and Laguzs fight and hate each other. Her thoughts of mankind was bitter, thinking they do things for they own selfish desires and not for anyone else. What emotions can someone who slept in solitude for a thousands years have?
But this girl in front of, Hana, astonished her. She never has seen a Branded giving her own life for another. The feeling to protect someone precious to them, the bond the sisters have between them. Is this what they call sisterly love?
"No…I don't think I understand, nor if I ever will…" Ashera whispered, solemnly. Hana looked at the Goddess in surprised. "You Brandeds, Laguzs, and Beorcs…Are the creatures I, Ashunera, created. I discarded my emotions, letting into manifesting into Yune and Ashera. However, the one you see before you is not Ashunera. It is I, Ashera. The Ashunera you Beorcs, Laguzs, and Brandeds learned of is in deep slumber inside my soul. Yune is too scared to come out, afraid of letting her emotions loose. You do know they story behind me, do you not?"
Hana nodded. "Ashunera was the Goddess who created Tellius, giving birth to what we are now. But, the Beorcs and Laguzs competed each other because they thought one race was better than the other. You tried to stop them, but you let your emotions let loose and you flooded Tellius. In order to prevent another flood, you discarded your emotions into Yune and Ashera."
The Goddess nodded at her accurate answer. "Yes. In order to recreated the world, you know what I must do when I take your body?"
"I understand…But, if it's for my sister's sake..." The girl trailed off, looking at her sister, who was still hovering in the air. "I'll do anything…"
"You are bold for one so young…" Ashera said, brushing her hand under Hana's jaw. "It must be nice, having someone to cherished and they cherished you in return."
"…" The Branded girl looked the Goddess sadly. Ashera's eyes looked so lonely, with so much pain hidden inside. She pity the Goddess, having to watch the endless cycle of war between Laguzs and Beorcs. Maybe Ashera wasn't evil, just empty, trying to fill her heart with destruction.
Rising to her feet, Hana sat of the sofa next to her, looking at the floor. Her attention drifted back to Ashera when she felt the Goddess taking her and licked her fingers.
"You're such a good girl, Hana. I thought you'd choose to sacrifice yourself…" she whispered into her ear. She cupped Hana's cheek with her other hand, turning her face to look at her. She saw the Branded girl giving her an odd look. "What is it?"
"Now that I think of it…I'm grateful that I'm a Branded, a half-Heron. This way, I can protect Sister Li-en…" the girl replied, looking straight into Ashera's eyes, sternly.
The Goddess giggled, stroking the girl's cheek softly. "Eyes that look straight into me…You remind of that blue-haired boy and the Maiden of Dawn that Yune was so fond of."
"I'll ask you again; You do understand what will happen when I take over you body…?" the Goddess of Order questioned her.
Hana nodded, closing her eyes. There was no doubt in her mind what will happen, and she still felt scared. But knowing that Li-en would be safe, reassured her a little bit. She will exchanged her body for her sister's life.
"Very well, then. The pain will subdue quickly." Ashera smiled slightly, leaning down to Hana's lips. "My soul will flow into you as soon as we make contact."
With her eyes closed, the Branded girl let silent tears fell down to the floor. She felt her body trembling in fear, but she will not back down. This is the only way to make sure her sister will live.
"Sister…Please, forgive me…" she pleaded in her thoughts. "This is for your sake…"
"GET AWAY FROM HER!" shouted a voice before the two girls' lips made contact. They backed away, turning to see where the voice came from. Li-en stood on the other side of the room, holding her sister's sword that was discard earlier by Ryura. Her hands were shaking as she pointed the sword at Ashera.
"You…" the Goddess mumbled. "When did you wake up?"
"When you were busy talking to my sister! I heard everything when you said that you were going to recreated the world by flooding it!" the younger twin took a step forward, the sword still shaking in her hands. "Get away from her, Ashera!"
"Oh my…This changes everything…" she smirked, leaning back on the sofa. She turned to the elder sister. "Hana…We had a deal, unless you want me to kill her…"
Without a thought, Hana walked forward to her sister and touch her wrist. Li-en looked at her sister with teary eyes, confused by her actions.
"I'm sorry…" the elder sister twisted her younger sister's wrist, letting the sword dropped from her hand as she heard Li-en cried in pain. Swiftly, Hana picked up her sword and stood in front of Ashera in a defense stance. She watched her little sister quickly rolled over to the corner of the room and grabbed her bow and arrows that were placed there and pointed the arrow straight at the Goddess's head over her sister's shoulder. "Sister Li-en, don't! Please, stay back!"
"What'd you do?!" demanded the younger twin, glaring Ashera.
"I did nothing. Your precious sister made her choice to offer herself to me." She answered, crossing her arms over her chest.
"That's a lie! She wouldn't do that!" Li-en protested, shaking her head. "What did you do to her!?!"
"Stop, Sister Li-en! She's telling the truth!" Hana yelled, desperately. "She's the only one who can save you!"
The longhaired Branded lowered her bow in confusion and shocked. "Huh…?"
"If I keep my end of the deal, she promised not to kill you! She can save you!"
"You think…That woman can save me!?!" Li-en shouted back, unable to accept the truth. "She tried to kill Ike, remember!?! Whatever she promised you, she won't keep it!"
"She gave me her word!" the elder sister argued, tears falling down her face. "If I give her my body, then, I'll be her host forever. I'm scared, but I'll be fine. This way…I can save you…"
"You don't have to do this!"
"Yes, I do! It's for you sake!"
"But I never asked you to!"
"Why can't you understand that this is for your sake!?!"
"Because this isn't the right way!"
"But it's the only way!" Hana cried, hearing a small gasp from her sister's mouth. "Don't you get it!?! This is the only way I can save you…"
"But why…?" Li-en inquired her sister, softly.
"Because…Your life is worth more than her own." Ashera answered, interrupting the siblings' feud. She stood up from the sofa and wrapped her hands around Hana's waist, smirking at the younger sister. "She willingly offered herself to me in exchanged for your safety. Such a good girl your sister is."
"Shut up! Let her go!" the young archer aimed the arrow straight at the Goddess's head, ready to shot it at her. Ashera gave her a blank look for a moment before she narrowed her eyes and looked towards the door, like she was waiting for something.
"They come…" she whispered, sitting back down on the sofa. She crossed her legs over each other and rests her chin on her hand, looking at Hana. "We have a deal, little girl. You better hurry before that meddling boy comes."
"Meddling boy…" the swordswoman repeated before she realized who Ashera was talking about. "Ike! He's here!?!"
"They must have used a teleporting staff to get here so quickly."
"HANA! LI-EN! WHERE ARE YOU!?!" they heard the blue-haired general bellowed from the stairs they dashed up to this room.
"Ike! Soren! We're in here!" the younger sister shouted at the door.
"Hana, our deal." The Goddess of Order reminded her, holding out a hand directly at the door. A pink light started to glow, forming itself into a ball of energy. "Let them come. They will be blasted onto the walls when I'm done with them, along with your precious sister."
"No, please! I'll give you my body! Just please spare my sister's life!" Hana begged Ashera.
"Sister Hana!" Li-en retorted, angrily. "Don't!"
The elder sister looked at her apologetically and dropped her sword of the ground. Slowly, she walked backwards to sofa and sat down, letting Ashera's hand cupped her face and bring it closer to hers.
"Sister…Please, don't…" the younger sister begin to weep, dropping her bow and arrows. No matter what she said to her big sister, there was no way of stopping her. "I don't want you to leave me…"
"I'm sorry…" she heard her older twin whispered. "I will always be with you…"
"Please, Ashera! Don't take my sister away from me!" Li-en pleaded at her, falling down to her knees.
"We had a deal, and I intend for her to keep it…" the Goddess looked at the younger sister, leaning forward to make contact with Hana.
"Then…If you take her body…" Li-en stood up, grabbing one of her arrows from the floor and aimed it at her neck. "I'll kill myself! I swear I will!"
"Sister, no!" Hana screamed, trying to rush to her, but Ashera pulled her back to the sofa. "Don't do it!"
"I will do it, if you let Ashera take your body! I'd rather die than live to see her take over your body! Don't you get it!?! Even if your body is here, your spirit isn't! I'll be alone! Then…I won't have purpose to live anymore…" the little sister declared, trailing off to look at the floor. "If you're gone, what'll happen to me…? Without you, it's the same thing as being dead…"
The archer stepped back, letting the arrow pierced her skin. Hana's eyes widen as she saw a drop of blood fell on the floor and looked back up at her sister with pleading eyes.
"See you in the next life…" Li-en flashed a small smile to her sister, ready to plunge the arrow in her neck.
"You fool, don't do it!"
The door to the room swung up and Soren ran forward, slapping the arrow out of the girl's hand and let it slide across the floor. Ashera frowned, digging her hands into Hana's shoulders in frustration, ignoring the girl's cries of pain.
Rising his hand high in the air, the Wind Sage slapped Li-en's across her face just as Ike and the others came in. She didn't react to it, only stood there to feel the dull pain. Ike gazed sadly at the two, before he looked passed them and saw Hana sitting there with a dawn-colored hair girl.
"Sor…en…You…Why did you stop me…?" the archer asked, in low voice. She placed a hand on the spot he slapped her and drifted her gaze to the floor. Soren snarled at her, grabbing her arm that was holding the arrow.
"Idiot! What were you thinking?! Killing yourself would only accomplish one thing; It would make that girl happy." He scolded, pointing to the Goddess of the sofa.
"Sorry…I was only thinking about my sister…" she apologized in a teary voice. "I wasn't thinking about your feelings at all…"
"I'm sorry I slapped you…" Soren pulled her into a tender hug, wrapping one arm around her waist and placed the other behind her head. Ike smiled slightly at the scene before he took out Ragnell and walked closer to where the Goddess and Hana were sitting at.
"So…You must be the Superior…" he stated, pointing Ragnell towards from two feet away. "Never imagine it would be a little girl. Then again, Ryura did tell me all about you, Ashera."
"So, you figure it out. Where is Ryura?" The Goddess narrowed her eyes at him, letting her nails dig deeper into the Branded girl's shoulder.
"Well…Let's just say, you're going to need a new bodyguard." Ranulf replied, shrugging his shoulders.
Ashera growled at them, glaring. "Unless…"
"The game's up, Ashera. Let Hana go, now." Ike demanded, taking a step forward to her.
"This girl here offered herself to me, in exchanged for sparing her sister's life." The Goddess responded, tighten her grip around the swordswoman.
"I won't let you do take Hana!" the blue-haired mercenary yelled, charging at the Goddess. Ashera smiled, wrapping her hand around Hana's waist and jumped back as Ragnell split the sofa into two. She pinned the Branded girl to the wall with one of her hand and held the other one in the air. Hana's sword began to move from the ground until it flew into Ashera's hand, letting the girl gripped its hilt.
"Not another step." She warned them, holding the sword to the elder twin's neck. She flinched in fear, eyeing the sword carefully. "One wrong move, and this girl is mine."
"You won't kill her. You need Hana's body." Ike growled, lowering Ragnell a little bit. "Ryura told us about your whole scheme before we lopped of his head."
"True, I do need her alive, but…" Ashera trailed off, smirking wickedly. "I never said anything about hurting her."
The tip of the blade pierced through Hana's skin lightly, and Ashera watched the blood flow down her neck and onto her clothes. She let her tongue slide up on her neck, licking the blood away.
"Gross! Stop it, let her go!" Li-en screamed, trying to rush to her sister, but Soren held her back.
"Stop it, calm down!" he told her, wincing to see the girl he liked so much be in so much pain. The archer flopped to the floor crying, dragging the Wind Sage with her. Placing his arms around her shoulders, he tried to comfort her. "Li-en, stop it. If you do anything recklessly, Hana will get hurt. Trust Ike, believe in him."
The Branded girl couldn't answer him, as she looked the blue haired-general glaring at Ashera. She watched the Goddess pushed Hana backed to the wall and stood protectively in front of her, sword in her hand.
"Tell me something, young man, for what reason do you take up the blade?" Ashera inquired, gazing at Ragnell. "I've watched from the heavens for what you do. You are mercenaries, correct? Men who are paid to fight for others."
"I fight to end the conflict between the people of Tellius and bring peace to the world." Ike answered, sternly looking the Goddess as she laughed.
"So, you fight to end the fighting…? What nonsense. You don't want to end the fighting. You find pleasure in it, don't you?" she smirked evilly at him, holding the sword towards his face.
"Shut up! That is not true!" he shouted back, angrily.
"Then, why do you stand in my way?"
"You have captured two people that are important to me. I want them back." Ike held up Ragnell with both of his arms, ready to take on Ashera. "That is the reason I fight! I fight for my friends!"
"Do you really believe that by fighting you can bring peace to the world? Fighting will only lead to more fighting. There is no love or joy, only hate. That is the way of the world, is it not?" The Goddess of Order questioned, not letting her eyes off of him as she trailed Hana's collarbone with her hand. "This world is like a flower. So hard to care for, but it is so easy to destroyed. You Beorcs and Laguzs will die one die, along with this pathetic world. What's the point of living when you're going to die?"
Distracted with her speech to Ike and the others, Ashera didn't notice Hana's hand rising up in the air and slapped against her face. Everyone gasped at the sudden action the Branded did and the Goddess growled at her, recovered from her shocked, and pointed the sword at Hana's chest. The swordswoman looked at her angrily, hands clutched at her sides.
Having enough of hearing Ashera speak of her and her friends, she spoke out. "You spoiled little brat! How dare you say those things!?!"
"What did you called me?! Listen…!" the Goddess tried to spat out, but the Branded interrupted her.
"No, you listen! I agree that this world isn't perfect and it is fragile, but we're trying our best to take care of it! The world is so much more than emotions like hate! It's about love and care and determination, too! The world is like flower, hard to care for and easy to destroyed, but…Like a flower, it's trying it's best to survive! That's how the world is!" Hana declared, angrily lashing at the Goddess.
"Why do you continue to fight!?! What's the point of living if you're going to die!?!" Ashera yelled back, rubbing her swollen cheek. "All I ever seen you people do is fight! You can never decided on anything without blood being shed! I hate it! And I hate you!"
"SHUT UP!" Hana screamed, clutching her hand that she used to slapped the dawn-haired girl again. "GET OVER YOURSELF, ASHERA! YOU MAY HAVE CREATED THE WORLD, BUT IT DOES NOT CENTER AROUND YOU! YOU'RE ACTING LIKE YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE WHO HAVE SUFFERED BECAUSE OF WAR!"
"WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO LECTURE ME!?!" The Goddess of Order agued, dropping the sword in her hand and pointed an accused finger at The Branded. "HOW DO YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL!?!"
"BECAUSE I'M TIRED OF WAR, TOO! I LOST BOTH MY MOTHER AND MY FATHER TO WAR! AND I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE! SANAKI, ELINCIA, IKE, SOREN, AND EVERYONE IN THIS ROOM HAS LOST SOMEONE PRECIOUS TO THEM BECAUSE OF WAR!" The swordswoman cried, falling down to her knees and wiping away the tears from her face. Ike and the others looked at her in amazement. Never before they have seen Hana act like, telling anyone who she really feels like the way she was doing now. They watched her stand up on her own feet, walking up Ashera and grabbed her shoulders, but the Goddess merely pushed her away.
"You say you people are tired of war, if that's so, why did you let it carry on for so long!?" the dawn-haired girl shouted, putting her hands to her chest and let her bangs covered her watery eyes. "People like you do not deserve to live! All you ever do is fight! Wasting your lives! You will not live for eternity! Nothing of you will last!"
"That is not true!" Hana retorted, glaring at Ashera. "No matter who or what we are, we will die one day, that much is true! It doesn't matter how long you live in you life, it matters how you live it! Everyone have a purpose in life, even it's just a little thing! Without a purpose in life, you're already dead!"
The Branded girl walked forward to the Goddess again, slowly wrapping her arms around her shoulders and embracing her. This time, Ashera did pushed away, but stared at the girl who was holding her.
"Please, Goddess of Order, stop this. We're not perfect and we don't live forever, everything about us will cease to exist one day. But, just because our body isn't here, doesn't mean our feelings, our memories, and our spirit isn't. Our memories and feelings of each other give us strength, the will to carry on in life. When I person dies, those memories and feelings will be passed down to another and to another. It will never die." Hana told her, whispering gently to the Goddess. "Not all Laguzs and Beorcs are like this. There are people who wish to fulfill your wishes."
"Why…?" the Goddess mumbled, tears falling down her face. "Why are you trying so hard…? You're not even supposed to exist."
Pulling away, Hana looked up at Ashera, rubbing her cheek. She smiled sadly at the Goddess. "But we're still are, Ashera. What's so wrong for Brandeds to live? We're just like anyone else, people who live and feel. There's nothing wrong with that, is there?"
"No…" the Goddess shook her head, falling down to the floor and dragging the Branded with her. "I'm sorry…"
"It's all right. You're not alone anymore, Ashera. I will take care of you." the swordswoman assured her, pulling her back into a warm hug. A warm and gently light wrapped around them, soothing them. Orbs of lights begin to flow out of Ashera's host's body and soon the body fell right onto Hana.
"Ashera?" she stared at the unconscious body, gently placing it on the floor. Standing up, Hana stared at the light that was floating next to her. Micaiah was the first to step forward, reaching out a hand to it.
"Yune…?" she whispered. The light started to form into a little child with dawn-colored hair and soon the form that Yune was once back then appeared before the Maiden of Dawn. Micaiah let out a gasp and knelt down to hug her, but her arms went right through the Goddess of Chaos. "Yune!"
"Hello, Micaiah." She smiled at her, as the light around her begins to dissolve. "I'm sorry I took so long to come back, but Ashera and I can only take turns sharing this form. I'm happy I got to see you again. I missed you so much."
"I've missed you, too, Yune." the Maiden of Dawn smiled, wiping away the tears of joy from her eyes. "I thought I never get to see you again. You have always been by my side. I never got to say goodbye last time."
"Yune, what happened to Ashera?" Ike stepped forward, kneeling down to the Goddess. Everyone gathered around them, staring at the scene that was taking place. Yune smiled, happy to see Ike again, and she turned to Hana and Li-en who was next to him. She walked closer to the twins, reaching out a small hand to Hana's cheek, careful not to let it pass through her.
"Do not worry, Ashera is all right, now. Thank you, Hana, and you, too, Li-en." Yune smiled at them.
"Who, me? I didn't do anything." The youngest twin blushed, rubbing the back of her head. "So, what happened, anyway?"
"Ashera have finally seen the light. Hana, your radiant light have given Ashera strength." The Goddess told her.
"Huh?" the elder sister cocked her head to the side, not sure she was hearing from Yune.
"Ashera, have been so alone for so long. She never felt the warmness of a person before. You, the first one to embrace her, have shown her the light and the goodness of each and every living person on Tellius." The girl dawn-haired explained, looking towards Ike. "I realized…You're the one who helped her see that, too. Thank you once again."
"No, don't thank me. This time, Hana was the hero, not me." He looked over at the older twin, grinning.
The swordswoman smiled back, slapping her general's back, causing his to stumbling a little. "Don't be so bashful, General! It was thanks to you I was able to keep on going. You were there, cheering Sister Li-en and I up when we're down. I just reached out to Ashera and told her that. Ike, you're the true hero."
The blue-haired mercenary blushed at her praise, and looked the other way in embarrassment. "Hana…"
Yune smiled at them and stared back at her hand, seeing that it was fading away. She spoke again, gaining everyone's attention. "It's time to go."
"Do you have to leave?" Micaiah asked, sadly. She looked down and saw her tears on the floor.
The Goddess nodded, smiling sadly at the Maiden. "I'm sorry, but this time I got to see you, one last time. Goodbye, Micaiah. Thank for taking care of me when I was bird."
"No problem, Yune. I was happy to do it." Micaiah replied, trying to flashed her biggest smile at her. "Goodbye, my friend. Take care."
"You as well." Yune smiled brightly at her and turned back to Hana. She closed her eyes and let her form grew bigger, taking the form as Ashera in her place. The twins gasped at the Goddess of Order's true form, finding very beautiful. She knelt down to them and spoke loving. "Thank you for everything. I am sorry for I have done."
"It's…It's okay, Ashera." Li-en said, smiling at her. "You were lonely. You couldn't see the light."
"But now, I can. Hana, your words are kind and your heart is true. Perhaps, not all people on this world are bad. You showed me that. I am grateful and…" Ashera trailed, leaning forward and place her lips gently over Hana's, causing everyone to drop their jaws.
"She's kissing her!?!" Li-en thought in shocked, covering her mouth. Her face was redder than anything else in the world and she looked at Ranulf to see him pointing a finger at the scene, eyes popped ut and jaw hanging. His expression was hilarious.
Pulling away, Ashera smiled at a surprised Hana. She took a few steps back and looked skyward, letting the remaining light of her form disappear. She looked back at everyone and smiled, especially towards the girl she just kissed. "Thank you and I love you."
Those were her last words until the light shot through the ceiling, causing a hole in the roof and disappeared into the sky. Hours passed, and everyone left the Tower of Guidance after climbing down those endless stairs. There, the twins saw new figures waiting for them outside; a man with a beard and brown hair, carrying an axe, and a blue-haired boy with blue, wavy hair with white robes.
"Who are they?" they asked Micaiah, pointing a finger at them.
"They're my friends. Hana, Li-en, this is Nolan and Pellleas." She introduced them and watched them shake hands with each other. "When Ryura kidnapped you, Pellleas and Nolan teleported to Crimea with the a teleporting staff and let us use it to get here."
"Oh, I see. Thank you." The youngest twin bowed down to them in thanks.
"It was our pleasure." Nolan grinned at her, ruffling her hair and causing her to blush.
"Now, now, Nolan. Stop that, you're embarrassing the young lady." Pellleas told him, giving the girls a kind smile. They walked off, letting Ike and the others come up and talk to them.
"So, what are you going to do now?" the blue-haired general inquired them. "The battle is over and the Daein Rebels are gone."
"I think we'll stick around for a little bit." Hana answered, looking at all of her friends that she made. What about all of you?"
'I'm returning to Crimea." Elincia announced, smiling. "I'm taking my throne back."
"Can you do it?" the swordswoman questioned, almost a little cocky.
Elincia Ridell Crimea nodded. "It doesn't matter if I can do it or not. All that matters that I try my best. Besides, I won't be alone. I have my uncle, Lucia, Geoffrey, and all of the Royal Knights by my side."
"That's right, Queen Elincia!" Lucia smiled at her childhood friend, gesturing to her brother and all of the Royal Knights. "We will continue to serve you."
"Thank you, everyone." The Queen of Crimea looked at everyone and walked forward and clasped her hands with the twins. "Thank you for all of your help."
The sisters smiled, pulling the green-haired woman into a hug. "You're welcome, Queen Elincia. Do your best and take care."
"You take care, too, Miss Li-en, Miss Hana." Geoffrey told them, bowing to the girls. Li-en nodded, leaning forward to whisper into his ear.
"Tell Elincia how you feel. You don't have to be afraid. She feels the same way you do." She muttered to him, and backed away. The knight looked at her in amazement and nodded, ruffling her hair.
"Hey Lucia, Mia told me before you're quite the swordswoman. Let's spar the next time we met, okay?" Hana challenged her, offering a hand to the blue-haired woman.
Lucia took it, shaking her hand. "It's a promise."
"Take care now, little missies." Nephenee and Brom bid farewell to them. "Come to our village and see us sometime. Just give us a holler and we'll come runin' if you're ever in need."
"We will." Li-en smiled, bowing down to them, turning to Bastian. "Goodbye to you as well, good sir."
The Count of Fayre bowed, placing kiss on the Branded girl's hand and she giggled. "I bid thee farewell, young maiden."
"Remember, Miss Hana, Miss Li-en, you not have to be royalty to be a princess," Renning came up to them, kneeling down to their height level and placed a hand on each of their heads. He smiled, a kind smile a father who gives to his daughters. "It matters who you are inside that makes you a princess. A heart true of light."
"Thank you, Sir Renning. Take care of yourself." They gave him a smile and waved goodbye to him, Elincia, Bastian, Lucia, Geoffrey, Nephenee, and Brom as they flew away with the Royal Knights. After they left, the twins turned to Tormod, Vika, Muarim, and Stefan. They will have to depart as well, back to the Grann Desert. "What will you guys do next?"
"We're heading back home, of course!" Tormod exclaimed, pointing a finger to his chest. "I gotta work hard like Queen Elincia to help my people, too!"
"Then, you have your work cut out for you, squirt." Sothe ruffled his hair, grinning.
"Hey, Sothe, that isn't very nice. Even the little people can have the biggest effect." Li-en giggled, giving the Fire Mage a wink.
"Thanks, Li-en, someone who…Hey! Did you just call me small!?! I'm a grown man!" he shouted in embarrassment.
"Grown man my foot!" Sothe laughed, clutching his stomach. "You're such a shrimp."
"I am not!
"You so are."
Everyone laughed at the scene, watching Sothe trapping Tormod in a headlock and playfully wrestling with him. Hana looked at Vika, Muarim, and Stefan and bowed to them.
"Thank you keeping our secret for so long. It must've been hard for you, not telling Tormod the truth. And thanks, for helping us all this time." She blushed, rising her head to face them.
"It was no trouble. I wasn't going to just stand there and twiddle my thumbs all day when a friend was in trouble." Vika stated, folding her arms across her chest.
"We're going to stay with Little One, helping him and our people." Muarim told her, placing a hand on her shoulder. "I hope we can meet again."
"I'm sure we will." The swordswoman assured them.
"When ever you need allies, come to the Grann Desert. Our comrades will be waiting for you." Stefan offered, patting her back for good luck in the future. "I will see you again one day."
"I'll be waiting." Hana smirked, giving him a quick hug. "Thanks for everything, Stefan."
"Though we're not blood, you're my family. Goodbye, until we meet again." He kissed her forehead and bowed down to her in thanks, causing the Branded girl to blush.
The Laguz Emancipation Army and the green-haired swordsman said goodbye to everyone and head off back to the Grann Desert, waiting eagerly to see their friends again. Sanaki saw them off and turned her back to everyone once they were gone.
"Okay, to much work for tears." She said, not facing anyone. "Sigrun, Tanith, let us be off."
"Yes, Empress." Her two bodyguards followed her as she began to walk away, but Ike called out to her.
"Huh? You're taking back your title?"
Sanaki stopped her in her tracks, looking over at her shoulders. "Of course I am. I'm not letting Seraphic have his way. He won't be much trouble. I'll prove to him that I can be a good ruler to Begnion."
"We will continue to serve our Empress proudly." Sigrun gave everyone a smiled, bowed down and went back to followed Sanaki as she walked away again.
"We'll see each other again." Tanith nodded, catching up with her mistress and her friend. Micaiah stepped forward and put her hands to her mouth, shouting out to her sister as she was almost out of sight.
"Goodbye, Little Sister! I'll come back and visit you once Daein is under control!" she called out to her. She smiled when she saw her little sister raised her hand in the air, telling her big sister that she heard her. Micaiah knew whom her sister was referring to when she said that was going to prove to him that she could be a good ruler. Sanaki was referring to her special someone, the person she loved the most.
"I guess this means you're taking the throne." Soren guessed, walking to the Maiden of Dawn. "I wish you luck, then."
"Thank you. I promise I will do this county proud. It'll be a lot of work, though." Micaiah grinned, rubbing the back of her head.
"Don't worry, Micaiah! We'll help you out!" Edward exclaimed, giving her thumb-ups. "You got us, after all. We'll protect you!"
"Wow, Edward acting all knightly. That's new, he's usually a rascal." Leonardo commented to Nolan, who laughed at his joke.
"WHAT WAS THAT!?!" the swordsman yelled angrily at his friend and begin to chase him as everyone else talk.
"Good luck, General Ike." Sothe bowed to the general that he greatly admired.
He nodded back. "You too."
"Ike." Tauroneo walked up to him in his heavy armor with Zihark, Ilyana, Jill, and Haar by his side. "If Sir Greil was alive today, he would be proud to know that you become a proud warrior. Ike, your father really loved you."
"I know he did. I loved him, too. He was strict and rough around the edges, but I loved my father. He and Mist was all I had when my mother died." The blue-haired mercenary smiled, looking up at the sky. He was thinking about everything that had happened with his father in life. He taught him, he raised him, he protected him, and he did everything a father would do for his son. He was happy to know that his father was still with him, in his heart, watching over him and protecting him and Mist.
"General Ike," Zihark started, gaining his attention again. "Jill, Haar, Tauroneo, Ilyana, and I have decided to help Lady Micaiah and rebuild Daein. We wish you the best. Please take care."
"Yeah. If you ever need to deliver something, just come and ask us!" Jill beamed at him, patting Haar on the back. The Wyvern Lord stumbled, who trying to sleep. He nodded in agreement at the girl he secretly loved and smiled at the blue-haired mercenary. "We're here for you!"
"I'll keep that in mind." Ike grinned at them. He waved to them, Micaiah, and everyone else as they took of on their Wyverns and disappeared in the air. Mia jumped up and down, waving both of her arms in the air to Ilyana and Edward, who waved back until they were out of sight. The Laguzs that he befriended with walked up to him, legs and wings ready to leave. "You're returning to your countries, I presume?"
"Yes." Tibarn smirked and crossed his arms, gesturing to Rafiel, Reyson, and Leanne. "We're returning to Phoenicis."
"All of you should come and visit. I'll keep my eyes out for you!" Janaff exclaimed, flying three feet off the ground with Ulki. "And don't try to plan for a surprise visit, Ulki will hear before you even get on our land!"
Hana giggled slightly at them, turning to the King of Phoenicis. She placed a hand over her heart and bowed to him. "Have a safe trip home."
"Showing respect, that's not liked you." Tibarn chuckled, ruffling her hair as she stood up properly. "Take care, Flower Maiden."
"Take care as well, Tibarn. You know, I was able to end this conflict with Ashera without killing her. You should remember next time before raising your talons at Naesala or anyone else." The Branded girl advised him, gesturing towards the Raven King. "It takes more strength not to fight.'
The Hawk King let out a huge laugh, ruffling Hana's hair again. "You know what? You're all right, little girl."
"Yeah, you're all right, too." The swordswoman giggled at him. "I'll remember to visit you and Reyson at Phoenicis someday."
"We'll have a feast waiting for you, then." Reyson smiled gently, turning to Li-en. The youngest twin blushed, walking to him shyly.
"Um…Take care, Prince Reyson." She said, bowing her head to him. The Heron chuckled, lifting her chin with his hand so that she can face him.
"Why the sudden formality? It's not like I'll never see you again. We'll meet again soon. I will make sure of it, I promise." He vowed, softly. "Li-en, without me ever saying it, you should know my feelings towards you."
The Branded girl's face turned red and looked down, bringing her hands to her chest. "Uh, yes. I admit…There was some sort of attraction. We're both Herons, after all."
"Maybe because we are Herons that we felt the way we did. To be honest, I don't know whether or not these feelings are real. But, when I do, I'll come for you." Reyson stated, smiling gently at her. "After all, I will have to get marry one of these days."
"Reyson…" the girl mumbled, embarrassed by his confession. "I…"
He placed a hand of her head, stroking her hair. "It's okay, you don't have to say anything. Whenever you need me, just call."
Li-en smiled, nodding at him. "Okay. We're friends, right?"
"Of course we are." He smiled back.
"Wow, so the Prince is giving up the girl he really likes to a guy he really don't like." Janaff whispered to Ulki as he nodded. They both looked at Soren, who was glaring at the White Prince.
"Yeah. Looks like Prince Reyson is finally growing up." Ulki agreed.
"I heard that, you two!" The Heron Prince flapped his wings angrily and begins chasing the two in the air. Tibarn quickly followed, waving goodbye at Ike and the others.
"Please, take care." Leanne flashed a smile at the twins, completing another sentence in Modern Tongue. She hugged them both, kissing them on their cheeks before she chased after her brother. Naesala, carrying Queen Nailah and Volug in his arms, spread his wings, ready to take off with Rafiel and Nealuchi.
"See ya, Beorcs. I can't say it's been fun, but it has been interesting." The Raven King smirked, already in the air.
"Take care of Leanne, Naesala, or you'll be sorry!" Hana jokily threaten him.
"Don't worry, we'll watch over the Heron siblings." The Wolf Queen assured them, waving her hand goodbye. Volug only nodded at them, his way of saying farewell.
"Take care, Prince Rafiel." Ike grinned, shaking hands with him. "Thanks for all of your help."
"I didn't do anything special, General Ike, but helping you brought him great joy!" the eldest Heron smiled. "Goodbye!"
"Bye-bye, see you again soon!" Li-en jumped up and down, waving her arms in the air as the Bird Tribe Laguzs left. Kurthnaga and Almedha walked over to them, ready to say their goodbye as well. Soren came forward to both his mother and his uncle.
Almedha gently held her son in her arms for what seems like years to her before pulling back and placed her hands on his shoulders. "You've grown well, my son."
"I suppose I did, thank you." He muttered back, looking down at the ground. "You are returning to Goldoa, I presume?"
"I have to, Ena and Nasir are waiting for us. I want to his her baby when it is born. The birth will be hard for her without her beloved." She embraced him again, petting his hair. "Come and visit your mother once and a while, dear."
"I will." Soren nodded, hugging her back.
"Take care, nephew." Kurth smiled, shaking his hand. "Please, look after Miss Hana for me."
"Don't worry, Kurth, I can take care of myself!" Hana proclaimed, pointing her finger at her chest. "Just be sure to rule over your kingdom and let them loosen up to the rest of the world!"
The Dragon Prince nodded. "I will. Come and see me when you're ever in need of my help."
"Okay, I want to see Ena's baby when it's born. I bet it's going to be so cute!" she grinned at him. Kurthnaga smiled as he walked closer to the Branded girl and kissed her forehead.
Hana blushed, pulling away in surprised. She covered her mouth with one hand and placed the other the spot that the Prince kissed her. "Uh…"
"Goodbye, Miss Hana. Farewell, Soren, General Ike." The Dragon looked at the two, before he transformed into his dragon form and let his sister climbed on his back. The Dragon Princess waved goodbye at her son and they both took the sky, leaving them for Goldoa.
"Well, we best be off as well." Lethe proclaimed, stretching her arms in the air and let out a yawn. "I want to get back at Gallia before nightfall."
Lyre laughed at her sister. "Yeah, me too!"
"So…Um, you're going, too, I guess." Hana mumbled at Ranulf sadly, looking down. He gave her an odd look and smiled, ruffling her hair.
"What's with the long face!?! I'm not going anywhere!" he grinned widely, bringing attention to the entire Beast Tribe.
"Ranulf, what are you saying?" Skrimir inquired, trying to stay calm at the news that his right-hand man is going..
"Sorry, you guys, but I wanna stay with Hana." He stated, putting his hands behind his head and crossed his legs. "So…I'm staying. Lethe, you're in charge now."
"But…" the cat girl looked down, sad that one of her friends is leaving.
"Ranulf is leaving." Mordecai sighed, looking down as well. "Mordecai is sad."
"Don't worry, big guy." The different eyes color Laguz patted him on the back. "I'll visit you guys, I promise."
"Okay." The Tiger Laguz nodded and smiled.
"Lyre, tell Kyza I said bye, okay?" Ranulf turned to Lethe's little sister, who was almost crying.
She nodded, trying her best not to cry. "Okay."
"Take care, then, Ranulf." King Caineghis bowed his head at one of his most trusted vassals. The Cat Laguzs bowed his head in thanks and stood next to Hana. Saying goodbye to all of his Laguzs friends, he watched them transformed into their beast forms and took of into the horizon. The sun was almost setting and it was time for them to head out.
"So, Volke, what're you going to do, now?' the eldest twin asked, looking at the assassin. He was quiet during all of their goodbyes, leaning against a building and staring at everyone.
"Well, I do what I do best. Thanks for everything." He replied, standing properly and turned his back to Ike and the others. "Take care."
"Wait. What about your payment?" Li-en inquired, remembering that the assassin charged them for saving them they first time they met.
"We'll call it even." He answered, shrugging his shoulders lightly. "After everything you girls went through, I'd cut you a break. Besides, it was fun, traveling with you guys. See ya. Oh, and Ike?"
"Yeah?" the blue-haired mercenary stared at the assassin's back. He tossed something towards him and the general caught it, seeing it was only a dagger. When he looked up, he saw that Volke was already gone, going back to his work in the shadows. He stared back down at the dagger and saw there was a note on it. Taking it off, he read in his mind.
Keep making your old man proud.
P.S: If you ever need me, you know where to find me."
Ike smiled at the letter and looked at the spot that the assassin who stood. "In the shadows, right?"
On top of a building, not far from Ike and the others are, Volke smiled under his mask and took off in the shadows. His work was done. If Greil were alive today, he would have been proud of everything Ike had accomplished.
"So…You two are staying in Greil Mercenaries, right?" Mist questioned, beaming at the twins.
"Yeah. It's fun traveling with you guys. We'll stick around for a while." Li-en replied, grinning. She walked passed the brown-haired healer and intertwined her hand with Soren. "Besides, I want to stay near my special person."
"Hey, you guys, look! I think Soren's blushing!" Boyd laughed, pointing at the raven-haired boy, who glared back at him.
"Leave him alone, Boyd." Mia chuckled at him. "At least Soren can get a girl!"
"Say that to my face, Mia!"
"Fine, I will!"
"You guys, stop it." Rolf pleaded, trying to get them to stop arguing.
"Aw, let them fight. It's nothing new." Shinon yawned, wanting to go back to Crimea soon and sleep.
"Hey, Ranulf, are you sure?" Hana whispered to the Cat Laguz as everyone watched Mia and Boyd fight.
"About me…" she muttered, looking down insecurely.
"Do you even have to ask?" he grinned back at her, grabbing her hand in his. Blushing, she smiled shyly and nodded at his answer.
"Oh, and by the way, congrats." Ranulf smirked.
"For finally attracting girl!"
Flustered, Hana broke away from him and grabbed his shirt, shaking him back and forth. "What are you talking about!?!"
"Ashera kissed you!" he reminded her, still grinning widely. "That means she's attracted to you!"
"Oh, shut up!" she shouted at him, taking out her sword and started to chase him out of Begnion. The Cat Laguzs couldn't stop laughing, missing the fire-temper Hana. Ike dashed after them, trying to clam the Branded girl down. The rest of Greil Mercenaries followed suit, chasing after them, except for Soren and Li-en who walk, hands still locked together.
"I have a feeling that Greil Mercenaries is going to get a lot louder now." The Branded girl giggled at her love interest.
"I'm just glad everything's done with. The war is over and everyone will be rebuilding their lives. It's over." The Branded boy replied, looking back at the Tower of Guidance. "To think, this is the place where it all started and now it's over."
"The war is over, but it's not over for us! It's a new beginning!" Li-en exclaimed happily, running forward to the setting sun, pulling Soren along with her. "C'mon, Soren! The adventure's not over yet!"
And with that, the Greil Mercenaries marched towards the horizon; waiting to start their lives with the ones they cherished most. Stories throughout the time have told of the legendary Ike and his companions, helping everyone they encounter across Tellius.
The twin sisters, Hana and Li-en, continue their lives happily with their new family, smiling brightly each day. What happened that day in the Tower of Guidance never left their thoughts, knowing that one day that Ashera might come back to see the world again. Maybe in the next generation, Laguzs and Beorcs will peacefully among each other, learning to accept Branded.
Besides, maybe the next generation isn't too far behind as Li-en sing to herself as she sat in the woods, rubbing her stomach gently. It's been 2 years since she joined Greil Mercenaries and she adjusted to the life naturally. She was taking time off for now, due to a certain arrival that would come in nine months.
The Branded girl looked at the Cat Laguz coming towards in his beat form and slowly shifted back into his human form. Standing up from the ground, she walked over her brother-in-law with her hand still place on her stomach.
"Hey, what are you doing out here? You know Soren and Hana doesn't want you to wander off too far from the Headquarters." Ranulf sighed from exhaustion. "Man, Hana will have my head if she found out."
"I told you where I'd be. I can't stay locked up at home for the next nine months with this little one in me." Li-en rubbed her over-grown stomach affectionately.
"Well, until the kid is born, your sister and my mate don't want you to leave without having someone go with you. You're still in the early stages, after all. It's only been six weeks since we found out about the baby." The Cat Laguz said, escorting his sister-in-law back home.
"Six weeks, hmm? And it's only been a year since you married Sister Hana." The Branded girl stated, staring at the sky. "I wonder if Ashera would approve of the little one…"
Ranulf stared at her for a moment and grinned. "Of course she would. Who knows, maybe she'll come one day and see you."
"That'd be nice. Maybe this time, we won't have to fight. The world is still changing and I want a place where everyone can exist peacefully. I want to see Ashera smile for the next generation, when we're older and our children can…" she trailed off.
"Hey, you're thinking too far ahead. You talk like I'm some kind of old house cat. Our lives are just beginning, after all, especially for you and Soren." The Cat Laguz interrupted her, smiling.
"Hey, Sister Li-en! Ranulf! Over here!' Hana called, waiting at the front of the door of the Greil Mercenaries Headquarters with Ike and Soren. The two started to ran over, waving their hands and shouted back cheerfully. Li-en looked at the sky and back at her stomach, running toward to her Branded love.
"When you're born, little one, I'm going to name you Yue." She thought happily, placing Soren's hand on her abdomen and letting him feel their child. And somewhere up in the heavens, she knew that Ashera and Yune were smiling down on them.
WOW! I'M FINALLY FINISHED! It took a long time, but I did it! Thank you for everyone who supported me throughout this fic. Happy New Year, everyone! This is the end of my story, a start of a new year, and the beginning of my next story! Remember to come back and cheek me out when I post my Kingdom Hearts story. I don't know when I'll post it, but I will do it. Goodbye!