Through the Eyes of Etro

Part XI: New Academia 513AF

A ghostly figure of Yeul walked through the gate, she was transparent and accompanied by an equally ghostly Noel.

''Hey.'' Noel waved to the former l'Cie. The pair then bowed at the group.

''Are you ready to take your place in Valhalla?'' Yeul asked.

''What?'' Lightning asked.

''Serah, you contain a spark of Etro. You didn't just receive her eyes, you became her.'' Yeul revealed. ''Serah, you must take your place as Etro in Valhalla to prevent the arks destruction.''

''What do you mean, she became Etro?'' Light asked as she placed a protective arm in front of her sister.

''Lightning, she is Etro. Just as a seeress is reborn, Etro is also reborn.'' Yeul explains. ''Serah, you are the Goddess, you are Etro.''

''Mwynn…'' Lightning's eyes widen. ''She wasn't saying goodbye to Etro, she was saying goodbye to Serah.''

''You're right…'' Serah realised, holding onto her engagement necklace.

''Serah, you have to come with us.'' Noel stated.

''She can't! I just got her back!'' Snow cried as he held onto his fiancée.

''If she doesn't take her place upon the throne, then Humanity faces extinction.'' Noel panicked.

''Snow, it's okay… I… I have to go. I love you.'' Serah replied, as she pushed his hand off of her arm.

''I'll come with you!'' Snow reached out towards Serah, she turned to face him. ''I don't care where we are, as long as I am with you!''

''Snow…'' Serah uttered.

''I'm going too, I was Etro's guardian. I will now be your guardian.'' Lightning walked to her sister's side.

''Don't forget me, kupo!'' Mog cheered as he floated over to his companions.

''Then it's decided, you shall accompany Serah into Valhalla.'' Noel spoke. As he spoke Mog, Snow, Serah and Lightning's bodies were encased in light, once cleared only crystal statues remained. Then light erupted from their chests and ghostly figures stepped out.

''Hope?'' Light muttered.

''Yes, Light?'' Hope replied.

''You are the leader humanity needs, the leader we've all been waiting for.'' Light smiled, she walked towards the silver haired man. ''Goodbye Hope.'' They share a deep hug. She then approaches Sazh.

''Sazh, the first person I met on this journey. You're dependable; I know you'll play your role in the future of Humanity. Farewell, friend.''

''Goodbye Light.'' Sazh replied, wiping a tear with his sleeve.

''Vanille…'' Light smiled, placing a hand on the young Pulsian's shoulder. ''Sweet, happy Vanille. Don't let your fire die. Goodbye.''

''Goodbye Lightning.'' Vanille cries.

''Fang?'' Light approaches the dark haired woman.

Fang holds out her hand, Lightning shakes it.

''Take care of them.'' Light smiles.

''You bet.'' Fang smiled back.

One by one the remaining say their goodbyes, and they disappear beyond the time gate. The time gate closes once Yeul and Noel finally walk through.

''Goodbye.'' Hope muttered as the time gate closed behind Yeul and Noel.

''So… what do we do now?'' Fang asked, placing a hand upon Hopes shoulder.

''We do what we always do. We protect Humanity.'' Hope turns to face the group. ''But first, we're building a memorial.''

After several days, in the centre of New Academia, a memorial is set up. In the centre the crystal statues stand on a silver plateau that has a golden plaque. The plaque reads…

Here stand the epitaphs of order, they who struck down the reign of chaos that plagued our realm. They stand here, their memory honoured; their actions remembered; their sacrifices never forgotten, preserved forever in indestructible crystal.

''It's beautiful Hope.'' Vanille smiled, wiping a speck off the plaque with her skirt.

''Do you think they'd like it?'' Hope asked.

''They'd love it, Hope.'' Fang replied.

''Daddy, will we see them again?'' Dajh asked his father, pulling on Sazh's sleeve.

''One day, Dajh.'' Sazh pauses, a moment of silence for his departed friends. ''One day.''