When he heard of Ryfia's return, Dynos quite literally sprung out of bed and dashed for the entrance of the cathedral. Despite the throbbing of his temple and the aching of his legs, he ignored the clergyman's protests and promptly fled the building. Rounding the corner of a shop, he caught sight of Ryfia talking to Walter.
"Lady Ryfia!" he shouted.
Ryfia glanced his way with a look of mild surprise. Their presence unbeknownst to him until that moment, Dynos saw couple more heads turn his way. They must have been the escorts the clergyman had informed him of, not including the traitor of the Aion Unit, Rastan.
"Dynos!" exclaimed Ryfia, her surprise replaced by concern. "Are you all right?"
A young girl with twin pigtails, Cecille, jumped back in shock amidst the small crowd. She blinked, and although Dynos was about to speak her words came tumbling out before his.
"Dynos? Is that you?" she asked.
The group suddenly looked to Cecille, as did Dynos, who regarded her confusedly before the girl's identity dawned on him. His eyes widened, and for a moment he stared with his mouth slightly agape until his manners got the better of him. His lips pressed into a thin line, his form tense. He looked troubled.
When silence reigned, L'Arc stepped up.
"Do you know him, Cecille?"
Cecille nodded as Dynos remained silent.
"Y-yeah," she started, "but I had no idea Ryfia meant himwhenever she talked about her aide."
She raised her head to look him in the eye, but Dynos averted his gaze at the last second, made uncomfortable by the sudden tension that loomed over them. Sensing this, L'Arc stepped toward the gate of the cathedral and changed the subject.
"We can talk later. First, we need to meet with the Patriarch."
Before Cecille could protest, Dynos nodded rigidly and backed away, effectively putting an end to the conversation. Ryfia gave him another look of concern, but was soon led away by L'Arc as the rest of the party followed suit. Dynos stared at the ground, and when Cecille saw that he wouldn't do otherwise, she too relented and headed into the cathedral.
Only Walter remained. However, the streets were hardly empty of people at this hour of the day; recognizing this, Walter coughed just loudly enough to catch Dynos' attention, whose head shot up at the noise.
"There is something I would like to discuss with you tonight," Walter smiled. "Please, do drop by then."
There was a pause before Dynos nodded jerkily. "Yes," he said at last.
Satisfied, Walter straightened and walked around Dynos. Another minute or so passed until Dynos left the pavement to head back inside, where the clergyman gently chided him for his rash actions. He apologized, and was swiftly nudged back into bed. He spent an hour staring up at the ceiling, hands clutching the sheet which had been laid over him.
Dinner came as the sun set, just before his appointment with Walter. With the clergyman's approval, Dynos left for the inn, where Ryfia had extended him an invitation to dine with them. Although he had dreaded the thought of eating with her new company, he had found himself unable to reject her kindness, and thusly arrived at the designated time.
The door flung open as he was about to knock, but only the decorated wall of the interior greeted him. It occurred to him that he should look down, and when he did Dynos was greeted by none other than Cecille. Her hands perched on her hips, the expectant look she threw his way scared him.
He was saved by Ryfia, who noticed him by the entrance and took him inside with a sweet smile. She seated him at the edge of a table beside her with L'Arc to her left. To Dynos' utter fright, Cecille sat across him.
"Everyone, this is Dynos. He's my aide," explained Ryfia.
"So we heard," said an orange-haired man, Serge, as he took a bite of the meal on his plate.
Niko took the initiative to greet him properly. Dynos nodded and carved away at the meat, suddenly deprived of his appetite. He stopped cutting when Serge spoke again.
"We also heard from that you're Cecille's brother."
Dynos fingered the knife in his right hand uncomfortably.
"Yes," he finally said in a quiet voice. "We're twins."
L'Arc gasped loudly and comically. He nearly dropped his utensils, the action deriving an amused snort from Serge while Ryfia turned to Dynos with the slight arch of both of her brows (her delicate way of showing shock, as it were). Niko was just loud, and the sound he made was even funnier than L'Arc's breathy outburst in retrospect.
"She didn't tell us that!" exclaimed L'Arc.
All eyes, save for those of Dynos, trained on her, and Cecille laughed. "It didn't seem important at the time."
"Didn't seem important? I'd say it's pretty important if you ask me! He doesn't look any bit your age. He has to be your older brother," Niko rebutted with suspicion.
"Actually, he's the younger one."
Niko spluttered and Ryfia took the opportunity to speak up, her curious gaze once again directed at her long-time aide. She wasn't angry, nor did she feel betrayed by the obvious withholding of information, but she was full of questions, as was the norm.
"Dynos, how come you never told me you had a sister?"
When he refused to say a word, Serge waved.
"Leave the kid alone. He hasn't even gotten a bite of the food yet."
He was right, but eating at this point would be terribly difficult. Lifting the knife away from the plate, Dynos saw that he'd mutilated the meat beyond recognition, the pieces so small or so deformed that he wouldn't be able to scoop them up with a fork easily. Despite Serge's good intentions, it was of no loss; he wasn't hungry to begin with.
"Excuse me," he said quietly.
He slid out of his seat and went outside. Serge shook his head when Cecille tried to follow suit. She huffed, grumbling about being the elder sister and that it was the elder sister's duty to see to the younger brother's problems, but she was convinced to stay inside and give him time. Dynos didn't return, leaving Cecille to explain the reason behind their physical differences.
"You're here early," remarked Walter. When Dynos didn't respond, he continued with his trademark smile and bow, "Well, no matter. It simply means our business will be finished sooner. Allow me to get straight to the heart of the matter. You do not agree with Imaginal's Law, do you not?"
An inexplicable fear seized him, and Dynos couldn't move.
"After all, you are what the Diva's late mother called a 'kindred soul.' You cannot bear to see the Divine Race, much less the Common Race, harmed." Walter chuckled. "Unfortunately, this is hazardous thinking to the Diva, and so we must remove you from her side."
"What?" he asked airily, taken aback.
His head began to feel light. He didn't know what to do or say. Walter made no indication of empathizing, much less sympathizing, with Dynos and proceeded to elaborate in a clipped, casual tone.
"Being with you will only bring the Diva hesitation. The Patriarch decided that this was too great a risk to take, and kindly requests that you step back and allow us, the Aion Unit, care for her."
Separation anxiety kicked in and Dynos shook his head vehemently, lightly trembling hands fumbling to clench into fists at his sides.
"But those are my opinions. I have no intention of manipulating the Diva - "
Walter interrupted, "Yes, yes, but there are precautionary measures we must take."
At the news of his world's impending crumbling, Walter only smiled and shooed him out of the cathedral. Unbound by the pressure of Walter's suffocating presence, Dynos let his feet carry him somewhere quiet and isolated.
Dynos sat on the steps of the mercenary guild, absentmindedly observing the stone centerpiece before the entrance of the town. His mind raced with thoughts.
Lady Ryfia had escaped with a handful of servants, but out of the members of the Singing Ministry, only she returned. And in the servants' place, she brought new companions . . .
Memories of his childhood flashed by. He remembered the days when he, Cecille, and their father had been together, training away in the dojo in hopes that he, the son, would succeed the family tradition within a couple years. More than a couple years passed, and Dynos was as farthest away from succeeding the dojo than he could ever be. Rather, he had devoted himself to Imaginal's cause, and by extension those of Ryfia - or was it the other way around? - but Ryfia had looked so at home with his sister.
I couldn't protect her when the Olquinians attacked. Lady Ryfia managed to return with the help of my sister. Does that mean I've been replaced?
The rest of his thoughts came to a grinding halt when the door of the inn swung open. Alarmed, Dynos jumped off the stairs and obscured himself behind the guild building. At first, it was silent, but then heard a voice. L'Arc's voice. But he was too far away, so Dynos was unable to hear his words. Curiosity got the better of him, but as he inched forward just as Ryfia's voice homed in on his ears, and he stiffened.
He pressed on nevertheless.
"This rubble was the Singing Ministry? So this is where you . . . " chimed in L'Arc's voice, followed by Ryfia.
"Yes. I lived here as a child, receiving Imaginal's revelations. Dynos was there with me."
The mention of Imaginal froze Dynos in his tracks. Pursuing his lips together, somewhere in the back of his mind he reasoned that it was unreasonable to eavesdrop, but the conversation was quickly delving into territory that was dangerous - for one point or another. His heartbeat shot up when Ryfia, after a while, muttered words more damning than she seemed to realize.
"That it'd be nice to protect this beautiful world together . . . with you."
With him? But he's of the Common Race. He can't -
Dynos' head reeled, and he stumbled against the wall. He wanted to throw up.
Shaken by L'Arc's subsequent agreement, he fled the scene unnoticed and spent the night before Ciel's grave.
When Ryfia inquired as to Dynos' whereabouts upon their leave, Walter explained that Dynos was still recovering and would be unable to accompany them on their journey. In actuality, Dynos had just received the clergyman's permission to roam about freely without consequence. They had finally removed the gauze wrapped around his temples, and his legs no longer stung so much as tingled with numbness from harsh steps.
Ryfia had left by now, so instead of going to the exit he walked through the rubble of the Singing Ministry. Despite the extensive damage, he could picture what once stood where in his mind with ease. But the homeliness of the memories faded with every image that flashed by.
The church has cast me out. Lady Ryfia doesn't need me anymore. I can no longer stay in Benetnasch. No . . . maybe I can find some other work here.
He started when he heard Walter's voice behind him.
"Good morning. There is something I must tell you that I failed to bring up yesterday."
Sucking in a deep breath, Dynos whipped around, unsure of how to approach Walter after their previous encounter.
"Sir Walter . . . ," he started nervously, only to be cut off mid-address.
"Oh, it has nothing to do with Imaginal, or the Diva for that matter. It is about your father."
Dynos' eyes widened to such an extent that the whites of them began to sting, and as he stood there, searching for his voice, Walter waited patiently with his cane held before him.
"Dad? What about him? Is he here?" asked Dynos in haste, as though he was being timed and would lose his chance to learn more if he stopped.
Walter jerked his chin to the side to silence Dynos, who immediately clamped his mouth shut to await hopeful news. Contrary to his hopes, some part of him knew not to expect anything good after the ugly discussion last night. If Walter had meant to tell him alongside the Patriarch's command, this could not end on a positive note.
"No, he isn't here. I regret to inform you that he passed away. Three years ago, in fact."
His mind stuck to the one detail that made his heart drop into his stomach. Dynos swallowed.
"That's when I . . . "
"Yes, the same year you landed on Turemilian soil. As it turns out, your father had awoken earlier and set about doing his own business. He was then killed."
Walter had never been the sort to mince his words, but Dynos found this better than to try prying the details out of his elder acquaintance.
"By whom . . . ?"
"Now, now, let's not jump around. Aren't you curious as to when he died? Allow me. He was murdered a week before you left the Skywalk."
Something inside Dynos collapsed. His growing look of horror went ignored as Walter continued to build upon the guilt that had already formed inside of him.
"Quite tragic, isn't it? If you had woken just seven days earlier, you might have been able to save him," he exclaimed scathingly, the effect of his words empowered by the polite tone he employed. "Perhaps you could have sacrificed yourself to spare him. Well, not that it's a possibility any longer . . . "
Dynos thought of Cecille, thought of how he had to tell her, of how he had botched things and how they were now both orphans, or have been since the last three years. Again, his body was no longer his to maneuver. His feet rooted itself stubbornly onto the floor and his own thoughts screamed at him. He didn't notice when Walter turned on his heels and stalked off.
It's my fault that Dad died. Why is this happening? Don't cry. Don't cry!
He didn't know how long he stood there, but he knew by the end of the early morning that he could no longer stay in Benetnasch.
With blue eyes that reminded him of the ocean and soft pink hair that flowed gracefully, she was beautiful. She possessed an elegant beauty that the Imaginal Diva lacked in favor of endearing curiosity. And she recognized him, and told him how much he resembled a determined man who had visited Antrax-Parish and perished within hours.
She took his hands and comforted him of his loss, and this spurred him into action.
"What're you doing here!" exclaimed L'Arc in shock, his sentiment shared by the rest of his group.
"Dynos . . . are you working for Adele?" asked Ryfia with wide eyes.
Dynos looked away, as he was prone to doing, and was then chastised by Cecille for his apparent betrayal, but he pretended not to hear them lest he spilled everything in a moment of fright and anxiety. Cecille sounded the most hurt and ambivalent, while her older companions stood back and observed the scene quietly.
Alfonse derailed the conversation with a reprimanding of his own, calling L'Arc out on his naivety before turning his back to his former friend.
"Let's go," he said.
Without a word, they followed. From behind, Dynos could hear Cecille's demand that he come back, presumably to explain himself, but he kept his sights trained before them and ran with clenched fists. Further in the cave, he slowed to a near stop and stared at his feet. Adele noticed first and, too, stopped, the gesture extending to the rest of the party.
"If we present Real's Law . . . we'll be able to save both races, right?" Dynos asked hopefully.
He looked up and saw Alfonse nod with a determined look.
"Yes. And that is why, for the sake of both races, we must gather all the Rogress before L'Arc."
Dynos understood, and with that understanding he picked his pace back up. He trailed behind Adele to act as rear support, though he feared that meant L'Arc and company would reach him first before anyone else, even if there was nothing to fear. Real's Law, he knew, would salvage what Imaginal's Law abandoned while keeping the world intact. He would protect both races; surely, this was what his father would have desired.
The first scene was altered to include Walter. If you recall in the actual game, the party doesn't meet Walter until after that day. And Serge. Serge isn't supposed to be there, but I threw him in there anyway. As well, Dynos' awakening was pushed back a week for the possibility of his father's lone death. As for who that blue-eyed, pink-haired woman is . . . well, use your imagination. It's ambiguous on purpose!
I wrote this for a friend. It's ridiculous, I know.