When Locke awoke—or rather sprung fully conscious out of bed—he found himself in his own house, and Edgar, Celes, and Sabin were with him.
"What happened?" he cried, before anyone had a chance to speak. Then, reeling, he sat down hard on his bed again and put a hand to his head.
"Steady, Locke," said Edgar.
"Steady yourself! What happened to Terra? Did we win the war? Are we all dead? Speak, man! unless you are a ghost."
"Peace, Locke," said Celes with a note of exasperation in her voice. "Shut up and all will be explained.
Locke shut up, but his every nerve was alight with energy, and his mind raced.
"We were discussing tonight's strange happenings," said Edgar, "specifically Terra's...feats." Here he turned to Celes, and all eyes followed her.
For a moment Celes sat bemused, staring far away it seemed, until she became conscious that the others were waiting for her to speak.
"What happened on that mountain is beyond my knowledge," she said at last. "In Terra I saw a power not only greater than that of any magitek knight, but wholly other. She looked like..." Celes trailed off.
"What?" said Locke.
"An Esper," said Celes. Everyone had been thinking the same word.
Sabin, who was standing in the corner, his careworn brows furrowed in thought, said, "How is that possible?"
"I don't know," said Celes.
"And the war?" said Locke.
"With the imperial tanks destroyed, and seeing Terra's transformation, Kefka fled," said Edgar. "Leo too withdrew his forces and has gone back to Vector."
"They left without the frozen Esper?" said Locke.
"There is no Esper anymore," replied Edgar. "After Terra flew off, the light emanating from the ice faded and the Esper disappeared."
"Where'd it go?"
"Who knows?" said Celes. "Probably to its own world."
All of a sudden Locke exploded, but afterwards felt a strange sense of guilt for his loose tongue: "Holy shit! Banon's dead! Who's gonna lead us now?"
"There are not many left to be led, Locke," said Edgar gravely. Then they were all silent for a moment, as if something new was weighing heavily on their minds.
"What is it?" said Locke.
"There is one more thing," said Edgar. "Arvis is dead. He appeared to have succumbed to cold and exhaustion, although it seemed like he had lost the will to live—not out of despair, but rather because he had done all he had set out to do."
"What happened?" said Locke impatiently.
Edgar continued: "When the women and children returned, they found him in bed with a severe fever, almost delirious. We have just come from his house. When we told him what happened to Terra, he took a turn for the worse. But he died with a smile on his lips. One of the last things he said before he died was, "Bless her, dear child. My eyes have seen the glorious bride, Terra Triumphant. Praised be the gods!"
There was another long silence.
Finally, Locke jumped up and said, "What are you all sitting around for?"
"What's in your mind?" said Edgar inquisitively, though staid by the general grief.
"I'm going to find Terra. The Empire will be after her more than ever now, and no matter how much that kid packs a punch, she's still gonna need my help. Are you all coming with me?"
Everyone replied affirmatively.
"Yes, of course we will," said Edgar. "But where will you search?"
"You all saw her fly off to the west, right?"
They all said that they had.
"Then I'm going west."