Chapter 3

When AVALANCHE came to pick up Yuffie, they found her unusually subdued. She seemed fine physically, but she barely spoke on the airship, except to say that she wanted to go home.

As she sat in the cargo bay, fighting the urge to be violently sick, Yuffie tried to distract herself from her queasy stomach by twirling her shuriken in her hands. So light, so cold, so sharp.

She'd make sure it found its mark in her father's neck.


"Did she buy it?" asked Rufus, cutting up his steak that evening.

Tseng nodded. "Godo should be dead this time tomorrow."

"And there's definitely no male heir?"

"Definitely. Wutai will go to Miss Kisaragi. And..." Tseng's expression seemed neutral, but Rufus could detect his distaste. "And then I will continue to be a source of truth, and later friendship."

"Just don't take too long to work your way into her bed."

"You really are vulgar."

Rufus shrugged, taking a sip of wine. "It's just business. After you're married, you can kill her if you want."

"I think I'd be deposed if I acted too quickly. It will take a lot to win the trust of the Wutaian people."

"Hmm, I wonder why?" said Rufus.


In the dark that night, Tseng allowed himself a small smile.

Step one: become emperor of Wutai

Step two: amass its forces, repealing the ban on materia, and ally with AVALANCHE

Step three: wage war and overthrow Shinra. Gain glory. Subjugate Rufus.

Everything was going to plan.