Told ya! Another chapter. :D Tanith has more to him than it seems...

Disclaimer: I may not own Final Fantasy, but Tanith is mine.


The figure of what might possibly be a human walks through pitch-black darkness. It navigates the traps and barriers of the treacherous land with the ease of long practice, moving as if it can see through the inky blackness. Eventually, it reaches a corridor that is marginally brighter. Monsters lining the sides of the corridor bow low to the figure as it sweeps past them.

At the end of the long corridor is a single figure seated on a throne of obsidian. The first figure kneels before the seated one.

"You have found the crystal shards?" A voice issues from the shadow perched on the gleaming volcanic rock.

"Yes. I have retrieved the first one."

"You will bring the second bearer here." It was a statement, not a question. The kneeling figure nods in assent, before getting up and walking out of the darkness.

~Crystal~

It shouldn't take this long for the club to hit me. I take a chance and open my eyes, and they widen in surprise at what I see. The club is less than an inch away from my face, frozen in place by a power that I see as a rippling green wave of light. I turn, astonished, towards Tanith. His left arm is held out towards me, power rippling around his outstretched fingers. Then, my brain takes over. I jump out of the way of the club, and the power dissipates, allowing it to crash into the ground. That kid better explain himself when this is over. I thought I was the only crystal bearer left – the rest of the crystal shards all returned to the Yuke Crystal. I return to pummeling the monster with debris as Tanith uses his own powers, flinging his sword up at the monster's vulnerable eyes. In no time, the Behemoth is defeated and dissolves into Miasma. I close the Miasma stream quickly, and turn to face the Selkie/Clavat kid. He looks at me.

"I'm leaving," he declares. He turns to go, but I grab him with my powers and yank him back.

"I want answers. Now." Tanith's eyes flick around, searching for a route of escape. Then, his eyes lock onto mine. His left hand begins to glow with power, and I am suddenly thrown to the side by an unnatural gust of wind. Losing my concentration, I drop the other crystal bearer. He lands deftly on his feet and sprints for the exit. Jumping to my feet, I yell, "Keiss!"

"Right," he shouts back, and moves to block the exit. My partner is able to delay the kid, but not long enough – Tanith is still out of my range when he runs out of the ruins. There is no way I can catch a Selkie who has a head start on me – even a half-Selkie.

"Damn," I mutter.

"It's fine, Layle," Keiss tells me. "I'll send out my little birds to find him."

I nod, satisfied. The Selkie Guild's informants are among the best. There is no doubt that they can find the target.

.:At the Selkie Guild:.

"Listen up! The target's half Clavat, half Selkie," Keiss calls to the Selkie informants, holding out a picture of Tanith. "Has bearer powers over wind. Ten thousand for info." The Selkies nod and get to work.

"Well, all we can do now is wait, I suppose," Keiss tells me, leaning against a wall. I sigh. I hate waiting for things to happen.

.:The Next Day:.

We received info that the target was spotted under the Chocobo Circuit. Keiss and I are saddling black chocobos to get there, ay-sap. I finish saddling mine and swing myself onto its back. Even as I kick it into motion, Keiss is leaping onto his feathered mount to follow.

"Move it," I mutter to my chocobo, urging it to go faster. I turn it towards the edge of the ship and it leaps into the air. I grin, enjoying the rush of air flowing past me and the sight of the ground dropping away. The last time I enjoyed myself like this was… When was it?

"What a boring gig." Oh. Right. When I first met Goldenrod. It feels like years ago…

I'm jerked back to reality as my chocobo lands at the Chocobo Circuit. I dismount and stretch, loosening muscles stiffened from clinging onto the black chocobo's back. I then walk over to the circuit and skim down one of the steel columns holding it above the ground. Keiss' chocobo lands next to me, and my Selkie partner dismounts as well.

"He was seen over there," Keiss tells me gesturing towards a lowered area of land. If I remember correctly, that's where the Miasma stream in this area usually appears. Reaching the area, we see a very strange sight – Tanith is under a glowing white Miasma stream, which is… what is it doing? A thin tentacle of dark Miasma is extended towards him. As he backs away, it stretches, following him with deadly intent. He seems to be talking to it, but I can't hear exactly what he's saying. Suddenly, the tendril speeds towards him, and Tanith jumps back, but not far enough. Seeing that a dead Tanith won't give me any answers, I decide that it's in my best interests to save him, so I quickly close the Miasma stream. A small fragment of Myrrh drops to the ground, and the tendril of Miasma dissipates. I turn towards Tanith, but all I find is undisturbed air.

.:A Few Days Later:.

"We've got a lead." The sweetest words I've heard for days.

"All right! Where is it?" I ask eagerly. Keiss hands me the report.

"The target was spotted walking through the Yuke city…" Oh, geeze. He could be anywhere! There were warp points all over the Yuke city.

"Well, we might as well visit the city and see if anybody knows where he went," I say optimistically. Keiss nods in agreement. We head for the nearest warp point to the city with a newfound sense of purpose.

.:In the Yuke City:.

Being here brings back some painful memories. Memories of Goldenrod… Amidatelion. I don't know why I care about her death, but I do. Shrugging off the memories, Keiss and I split up to search for the target.

I walk along a narrow path, keeping a sharp eye out for the other crystal bearer. Swinging along the yellow orbs of light, I travel from warp point to warp point, searching for the target. After searching all the areas with warp points, I jump back down to the ground level of the city. Where else would Tanith go? I wrack my brain, thinking hard. You're the only crystal bearer left other than Layle. Said crystal bearer is after you. Where to go, to escape him? Then, I get it. That warp pool in the Edge of Oblivion! You can get to anywhere from there. There would be no way to track you… Even before I finish thinking the sentence, I'm off running. I have to get there before the kid escapes, or there's no way in hell I'm going to catch him.

Jumping over anybody in my way and flinging aside anybody I can't jump over, I get to the pool in record time. Just in time, in fact. I get there just as Tanith jumps. No time to call Keiss – I latch onto him with my powers and get pulled in as well.

.:???:.

More than a little disoriented, I pass through the warp pool into a place I've never been to before. I fall and land on what seems to be solid darkness. My vision is hampered by what appears to be dark, black and purple mist. What is this place? I wonder briefly, before my thoughts are interrupted by a familiar voice.

"Stop following me," Tanith's voice snaps, echoing oddly.

"But it's always so interesting with you around," I say, grinning.

"You shouldn't have followed me here. You don't know what you're getting into."

"Then tell, me," I say. Or almost say.

Before I get a chance to reply to this, a loud roar shakes the… "ground." A hazy outline of a large monster is visible through the strange mist. Together we defeat it fairly easily, but I feel far more tired than I should. Something is draining my energy.

"Hurry up and get out of here," Tanith yells. "Before the Miasma kills you!" He uses his powers to clear a part of the dark mist, revealing a warp point. Miasma…? It takes a while for my sluggish brain to process his words, and I then remember that Miasma is extremely poisonous. That must be what the mist around us is made of, I realize. I quickly pull myself through the warp point, landing in the waters of Costa Faguita.


I told you I didn't like writing battle scenes. Maybe I should've written more... My apologies.
A review a day keeps the monsters away!