-The Muted Scarps-

"Ashe," someone called me from a distance. I faced the voice, finding its owner to be Basch, "Will you enter the Deadlands?"

I was mystified. Why should I enter? It was past, done and over with. I couldn't change that which had happened. All this visit could do was fuel my craving to make the Empire suffer its consequences.

What if he knew? Maybe he considered this, and was finding a way for it to be beneficial.

If seeing the malicious fog masking the destruction below caused my fury to enflame, what would happen when I saw the true emptiness firsthand? Was this good or bad? Should I be feeling this much resent toward the Empire?


They were targeting Dalmasca, ready to obliterate all that my ancestors had built, owned and ruled over. Everything our allies, like Nalbina, had protected for ages.

Would being this infuriated help anything? Would it make me stronger?

Perhaps, yet…

Couldn't it make me foolish? Or careless?

My eyes wandered to Basch; did he want to see what lay below?

My expression must be questioning. After all, how would anger aid?

Was he simply interested? Had being surrounded my sky pirates brought upon a childish curiosity in this knight before me?

If I could control my emotions, I may channel it appropriately so I do not misuse my anger. Was I, too, changed by these pirates? Had they changed me to have a devilish desire to find what was below?

I must see what lies below.

"I will."

He did not seem phased, rather he expected me to willingly enter.

I lead the party down the winding ramp of stone, further into the dense cloud of mist. I was uncertain whether there was ground ahead of me. My feet powered forward, only because I knew there was footing beneath me at the moment.

Suddenly I could see: the area in my sight was no longer crowded by clouds.

The stone everywhere matched fluidly with that of which we had crossed prior. Small puddles of murky water settled in the rock depressions, sprouting tiny leafy plants. We continued onward, reaching a bridge of worn planks providing passage over a thin river, we passed, reaching stone walkways once more. Mushroom shaped lily pads sprung randomly out of rock, near tall stemmed flowers housing fanned petals.

I glanced toward Basch as we waded through the forgiving clouds. He scanned his surroundings. Did he think the same as I?

There were fiends lurking, crawling everywhere and anywhere, spawned from the nethicite's remnants of power. However, there were delicate red flowers with feather like antennae next to these fiends. There were lily pads and fan flowers beside the undead. What did it mean?

It meant life was able to be sustained, aside from that bore from vengeance.

There was hope that peddlers could inhabit the rebuilt cobblestone streets of Nabudis.

One more step and I witnessed the expanse of the forgotten castle, the Necrohol of Nabudis.

"Will you?" Basch's gruff tone indicated a mysterious emotion filling him. Was it grief?

The structure stood unevenly, jutting from the abyss, seemingly unstable. The gates had been broken off, leaving a clear opening to the dark chambers ahead.

Do I enter?


A/N: Another chapter! Yup, I listen to your requests. CX Just in case anyone is wondering, I will be writing another chapter to finish this story. ^^