What's going on, audience? Today, I've brought you a short story from one of my favorite games, Breath of Fire II. I'm not quite sure how this happened, but this idea just popped into my head, and I had to write it down before it slipped my mind. I've always found Nina from Breath of Fire II to be my most favorite incarnation of her, and so, seeing as she seems like a tragic character, I decided to write this to lighten her up. As always, I don't own BoF, and even if I did, I wouldn't know what to do with it.
The place they had found seemed decent enough to camp; it was an open field, the trees were scattered, with a forest just yards away from where they camped. The sun was starting to set and the four had to make a camp fire, for light and to cook the meat from the deer Bow had hunted earlier.
"I'll go gather fire wood," Ryu said. "Bleu, help Nina set up our camp. Bow, get our food ready."
Before they could all start their respective work, however, the snake sorceress, being lazy as she was, had already fallen asleep, taking another one of her long, inconvenient naps. Ryu sighed heavily while Bow shook his head.
"She is the powerful sorceress," Nina said, trying to encourage the group. "Maybe we should just let her rest."
"She's been doing that for the past three days since we've been traveling," Bow said, crossing his arms. "I don't think she's contributed anything to helping us, other than hunting. But even then, all the game gets scorched, and all we get is charcoal."
"Bow's right," Ryu said. "We can't let her lay around like that. Nina, can you wake her up?"
"O-okay," Nina said. She wasn't too fond of the magician, however. Ever since she joined, Bleu had always been looking down on Nina, calling her names and making fun of her. As much as Nina didn't like it, she tolerated it as best as she could.
"Bleu," Nina said to the napping snake.
She was unresponsive, completely ignoring Nina.
"Bleu," she said again, but louder. Still, the sorceress didn't move.
"Bleu…" Nina started to get frustrated. She grabbed Bleu and shook her. Still, it didn't work.
"Bleu, you have to wake up. You can't be sleeping while we all work."
Bleu gave a snort, but it was all she did. Nina shook her harder, but she started to think anything she did would not wake her up. Finally, Nina summoned a small bolt of electricity, shocking the sleeping sorceress. And she still didn't wake up.
Nina, considering her decision carefully, finally summoned a larger bolt, ready to strike the sorceress, but she stopped when she saw Bleu yawning.
"Little girl, if you're going to wake me up, at least try saying 'please wake up' politely," Bleu said, stretching her arms.
Nina stopped her summon, sighing heavily. "I did try to wake you, but you wouldn't. I even summoned my magic to try and-."
"Oh, please, your magic couldn't even hurt a fly. Why would you try to use your magic on me?"
"Bleu, I don't want to argue," Nina said. "Let's just help set up camp."
"Of course you don't want to argue. You're too shy. That's your problem. Show some backbone, will you?"
Nina lowered her head. "I… I suppose…"
"Bleu, about time you woke up!" Bow said, coming back.
"Save it, puppy," Bleu said. "I don't wanna hear you lecturin' me again."
"It'd be nice if you'd help the team once in a while," Bow said, shaking off her cold words.
"Bow's right," Nina said. "We all have to do our part. What do you say, Bleu?"
"Oh, all right," Bleu said, rolling her eyes.
She grabbed her wand and raised it into the air. Her staff started to emit a blue light. Then, everything they used for building the tent was moving on its own, magically building the tent. Within a minute, Bleu had set up the entire camp all by herself.
"Well, that saved us a lot of work," Bow said, stunned at Bleu's magic. "Ryu should be back soon, so I'm going to get our food ready." Bow left, leaving the two magicians alone.
"Thank you, Bleu," Nina said. "Things are a lot easier with you around."
"That's true," Bleu laughed at herself. "Where would you guys be without me, anyways?"
"Uh, that wasn't what I meant…"
"Hon, things are a lot easier when you use magic to help you not just in combat, but in everyday tasks, too. When you reach my age, you'll understand what I mean."
"But… I won't live that long, Bleu."
"That's the point. But you still have a long way to go before your magic can compare to mine."
"But magic isn't everything," Nina said. "We can't use it so carelessly. Master Yogi always said…"
"Oh, really? Tell me, have you ever tried reaching in a high spot, but couldn't quite get it? You used your magic, didn't you? What about finding water when there's none around? You summon your ice and melt it with fire, huh? And speaking of fire, you can't even start one without summoning it, am I right?"
"You're wrong, Bleu. We all can do so many things without being dependent on magic. I-I think…"
"Whatever you say can't change the fact; magicians like us need magic."
Bleu's words sank into Nina's thoughts. She never thought about it, but she was starting to think Bleu was right.
"Hey, Nina," Ryu's voice caught the Windian off guard. She turned around to see him, surprised to see him back so quickly and carrying an armful of dead logs. "Am I bothering you two?"
"No," Nina said. "We were just chatting…"
"Well, if that's the case, can you cast your fire magic and get our campfire started?"
This had become somewhat of a revelation to Nina. With Ryu telling her to summon her fire magic, she started to think about Bleu's words. There was some truth to that; magicians like herself were too dependent on magic.
"R-Ryu," Nina started. "I… um…."
Nina's expression puzzled Ryu. "What?"
"I think she's a bit too shy right now," Bleu interrupted. "We were chatting, and I told her that magicians are too dependent on magic. That's why she's a bit hesitant to make our fire right now."
"That's not what I'm saying!" Nina said. Her shy persona had suddenly changed. "I can start a fire! Even without magic!"
"Is that so?" Bleu laughed. "I'll bet you can't do it."
Nina looked worried for a bit, but then she smiled at Bleu, giving her a confident look.
"Watch me. But something tells me you can't start a fire without your magic, either."
Bleu paused for a bit, staring at Nina. She then folded her arms and looked confidently at her, trying not to stutter. "Well… I can! It's easy, right? I have been alive for hundreds of years… yeah, I can do it! If you want to make this a challenge, then why don't we play a game; first one to make the fire first, wins."
"Okay," Nina said. "You're on."
"Um," Ryu stood there, still holding the logs in his hands. "Do you guys really have to argue about who's making our fire?"
The two set off into the forest, looking for materials to start their fire. Nina looked around at all the tree branches and leaves, figuring out her plan.
"Okay, let's see… I've heard about people doing it on their own. Ryu does it all the time. I've seen manuals and guides on making your own fire. Shouldn't be too hard…"
And then, right at the moment, Nina had realized she had no idea how to start a fire! She sat down on a log, lowering her head. She didn't want to lose to Bleu, but she didn't know how to start her fire. That confidence she had was gone, and Nina just sat there, blaming herself as she started thinking about Bleu's words, about her being too dependent on magic.
"So you guys really argued about making fire?" Ryu's appearance startled Nina, making her fall off the log.
"It's not that," Nina said, standing up and brushing herself. "What are you doing here?"
"I was helping Bow with the food," Ryu said, "then I realized; you don't know how to make fire."
Nina was silent for a moment, lowering her head. Ryu smiled a bit, facing away from her.
"But from what you say, Bleu maybe right on one thing; magicians are too dependent on magic. Everywhere I go, they are always using their magic skills. It seems funny that you're trying to prove her wrong."
"Ryu… I just…" Nina tried to talk, but she couldn't find the right words to say. She felt to embarrassed talking to Ryu about it.
"There's nothing wrong with what you're doing," Ryu said. "You just want to prove to yourself that you're capable, and that's something to be proud of. Stand up to your beliefs. If you want to see yourself do something, work for it, and see it through to the end."
Nina looked up at him, and smiled. "Thank you, Ryu."
"Still, if you're going to do something, you should at least have an idea of what you're going to do. Come look at this for a sec."
So Ryu explained to Nina the process of making fire from scratch. He showed her about finding tinder, making a fire board and a drill, and creating friction with the dry wood to start a smoke, and feeding that smoke to start a fire.
"It takes a while, but with a little luck and A LOT of effort, you'll be able to start your fire," Ryu said to Nina.
"Uh… I don't think I can do it." Nina felt uneasy at Ryu's explanation.
"It takes just a bit of technique." Ryu continued to show her the process.
Soon, they were back at their campsite, with Bleu standing confidently, her fire making materials on her.
"So, Nina? Are you prepared to lose?" Bleu laughed at Nina.
"I'm ready. Ready to prove you wrong!" Nina said.
"Then let's go!" Bleu said. She grabbed her drill stick, rubbing it against the fire making board. Nina proceeded, albeit stumbling a bit.
"I'm just ready for that fire," Bow said, looking on at the two. "That meat's gonna go bad real soon."
"Just let them go at it," Ryu said.
Nina concentrated hard, rubbing the two sticks back and forth. Her wings occasionally blocked her view, and she had to lift them out of the way.
"You look like you're struggling," Bleu started to taunt her.
"I'm doing just fine," Nina said. She then dropped her stick, and she stumbled to grab it.
"Hah! Watch me finish first," Bleu said, continuing her stick rubbing.
Nina was more focused than ever, drilling the stick into the wooden board. The squeaky sounds from the friction made her irritated, but Nina was not ready to give up. They continued for a good hour, rubbing the sticks continuously. Soon, Nina's hands started to hurt, turning into a blood red color. Her back was aching, and she was starting to get tired from kneeling. But still, Nina kept going, concentrating hard as her sweat dripped down the tip of her nose. She was not ready to lose yet.
"Aha!" Bleu yelled. "Look at this!"
Nina looked in shock as she saw Bleu continue rubbing the sticks and saw smoke emitting from her board.
"Look who got the first fire!" Bleu said. "Look who lost! That's what happens when you challenge me."
Nina could not believe it. She knew it was a bad idea to challenge Bleu. She lost all confidence, dropping her stick.
"You know something, though?" Ryu stepped in. "Bleu may have gotten the fire, but I think Nina has won. If you started that fire, that means that you aren't dependent on magic at all."
Nina looked up at Ryu, shocked by his words.
"This was Nina's challenge. She wanted to prove that magicians, not just her, can do tasks without the help of magic. And it seems Bleu has proven that. She made that smoke without summoning anything."
Nina couldn't help but smile. Ryu had always been there to help her. Even when she had lost confidence in herself and when she felt she was helpless, Ryu was always giving her the extra push, and giving her confidence back.
Bleu looked on in disbelief. "Wait, wait, wait! The challenge was who could start a fire first!"
"Yeah, but even still, you only got smoke," Bow pointed out. "Keep the smoke alive by adding tinder, and then you got fire."
Bleu looked around her, and saw that she had no dry leaves or anything to help make tinder, and her smoke had died. She slithered back to the forest.
"Now's your chance, Nina," Bow said, smiling. Ryu nodded his head at her, and she smiled back at them. Nina quickly started again, rubbing the sticks together. By the time Bleu gathered her tinder and returned, Nina's board started smoking.
"Oh, it's starting!" Nina was caught by surprise at this.
She quickly gathered her tinder, blowing gently into the smoke. She did this a few times over and over, making the smoke rise. And then a small blaze appeared. Nina could not hide her shock. She had created fire.
"I… I did it…"
"NOO!" Bleu's cry made Ryu and Bow cover their ears. "How could I lose to this little winged brat? It's not fair!"
"Ah, don't feel bad," Bow said.
But Bleu left the camp, pushing Bow aside. Nina smiled widely, knowing that she had been proven right. She didn't think it would be true, but she learned that she didn't need to rely on magic all the time. And for once, Nina stood up for what she believed in, and won. She looked at Ryu, and she knew she couldn't have won without him.
"Well, Nina's won," Ryu said. "Now, let's hurry and get that fire going or else it'll die."
Bleu eventually came back, and after cooking the deer meat, they all sat by the fire, enjoying their meal and conversing.
"So, Bleu," Bow said, "you say you do everything with magic? It's no wonder you're lazy all the time."
"Oh, shut up!" Bleu glared at Bow.
"Regardless, we should still respect Bleu for who she is," Ryu said. "Even if she can be a little over her head."
"Whatever. The last blue haired dragon I met was not as annoying as you, you know," Bleu said.
"Last blue haired dragon?" Ryu asked.
"Don't worry about it," Bleu said. She then turned to Nina. "Well, you were right, for once. But don't think that your magic skills will ever surpass mine."
She then slithered away into her tent while Nina watched her, smiling.
"She admires your guts," Bow said, "even if she doesn't want to admit it."
"To be honest, I didn't think I'd be able to pull it off," Nina said.
"But it's strange," Bow continued. "You've always used your fire magic to help start our campfire. I didn't think you knew how to make fire from scratch. That's something only rangers, like me and Ryu, know how to do."
Nina looked at Ryu, who paid no attention to her as he was focused on eating.
"I just… knew," Nina said, smiling awkwardly. "I've read it from a book…."
"Well, we all know you've got more talent than just magic," Bow said. "You're strong, and we're proud of you."
"Thank you, Bow," Nina said.
Later that night, before everyone went to bed, Nina tried to thank Ryu for his help, for showing her how to start a fire, but she couldn't find the courage to tell him. It seemed so weird to her that she couldn't talk to Ryu. She could talk about random things to him, but she couldn't actually talk to him, on a personal level. She didn't know why, and it felt so weird whenever she would think about him. Before she went to sleep in her tent, she was approached by Bleu, who still seemed angry.
"So you proved your point," the snake sorceress said.
"I'm not in the mood," Nina said. "I don't want to cause trouble."
"Of course not," Bleu said. "But you already did, lil Nina. Normally, whenever someone gets on my bad side, it's the end for them. But your special, Nina. I told you to show some back bone, and you stood up to me, holding onto your beliefs. I like that."
Nina couldn't tell if Bleu was being serious or if she had a trick up her sleeve.
"Thanks?" Nina said, with a puzzled look.
"This was actually quite fun for me," Bleu said. "Next time, we should test might, not magic. I'll challenge you to an arm wrestle."
So, what do you think? If you feel there are any grammatical errors or misspellings, please let me know. No drama was intended for this story, it's just something I thought of, but if you enjoyed it, feel free to leave a review. Thank you for reading, and take care!