CoN 25th Anniversary: 1997-2022
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The Tower of Mist

by Sabin


Chapter 6

"She destroyed them all?!" Cecil repeated, astonished at what Cid reported to him. Cid had awakened Cecil and Rosa from their sleep after Rydia had set fire to the airships.

"Well, she didn't destroy all of them. But she completely wrecked some. Others are going to take a long time to repair. Plus, a lot of replacement wood to help patch up the burns." Cid said. "If she set fire to my precious one... I don't know what'd I do."

"Well, I'll see what I can do. I am completely sorry, Cid." Cecil apologized.

Cid closed his eyes and looked like he was about to cry. "Those airships are my life, Cecil. And if those airships were destroyed, what good would my life be then, huh?"

Cecil patted the chunky engineer's back. "Don't worry, Cid. Just go get some rest." Cid exited the castle. Cecil looked at Rydia down the hall, talking with Rosa. Cecil walked up to them. He looked at Rydia with a stern look.

Rydia looked down at the ground, trying to avoid him. "I... I don't know what happened. All I remember is going to sleep... and then waking up inside the garage... with the airships on fire."

Cecil sighed. "I don't know what to think, Rydia. I mean, first, you freed one of the most feared warlocks in the world. And now you set fire to the airships."

Rydia wiped a tear away from her eye. "If I did that, then it must've been me that burned down the houses as well." Cecil looked at Rosa and then Edge. Both of them just looked back at him. Rydia began to cry. "What's happening to me?"

Edge bowed his head. "I don't know." He looked at Rydia. "But I'm willing to bet anything that Aaron is the cause of this."

Rosa nodded. "It has to be him. He must've cast a curse or spell upon you. When you were with him, did he do anything or cast anything?"

Rydia began to think. "Oh no... When I refused to join him, he placed his hand on my hand filled me with waves of magic. It knocked me unconscious."

Rosa nodded. "That must be it. He must have tapped into your brain."

Rydia placed her hands on her head. "No! Stop it,
Aaron!" She stumbled around. She looked up at them. "I can feel him trying to use me." She clinched her eyes in pain.

"That must be why he does it when she is sleeping or unconscious. So he can control her easily." Rosa concluded.

Rydia fell to the ground and held her head. After a quick shot of pain, Rydia let go of her head and stood up. "I could feel him inside of me. He... He was trying to make me do something horrible." Cecil, Rosa, and Edge just looked at her, scared in their own right. "You have to lock me up and stop Aaron before he creates his fortress.

"Lock you up?" Cecil repeated, trying to see if he heard her right.

"Yes. Put me in a magic negated cell. I can't stay awake forever. The minute I fall asleep again, I could do something worse than set fire to the airships." They all looked at Rydia. "Please!"

Cecil sighed. "Alright, alright. We'll put you in the cell. Edge, I'm leaving you in charge of watching her while we create a battle plan for Aaron and his man-made warriors." Edge nodded. "Rosa, why don't you go ahead and get some sleep." Cecil led Rydia and Edge into the prison block. Cecil placed Rydia in the same magic control cell she was in earlier that day. As he was about to walk away, he turned around and looked at Rydia. "You sure you want this?"

Rydia put her hands on the bars. "Cecil, I don't want to have my powers work against you. And the only way to keep that from happening is through this."

Cecil nodded. "Then I respect your decision." He walked away from the cell. Before he left, he leaned over and spoke into Edge's ear. "Don't let her out under any circumstances until we know what we're doing."

"You got it." Edge agreed. He grabbed a chair and sat down in front of the cell. He looked in at Rydia, obviously upset at what she had done and what had happened. He felt like he had to say something. "How are you feeling?" Rydia closed her eyes in response. "Yeah, I know, stupid question." He tried to think of something. "S-So, how is teaching the young monsters?"

Rydia looked at him. She sighed. "Everyday, I look at them and I see such promise. And I think, with so much promise, they are only going to grow up to serve a human. Never go on to anything else."

Edge nodded. "Sounds like..." He didn't finish his sentence.

Rydia was looking at him. She sighed. "I'm listening now if you want to talk."

Edge shook his head. "I think it's time that I listened to you. You look like you have to talk."

Rydia lay down on her cot in the cell. "I only did this to help Aria. But here I am, being controlled by a madman. I can't do anything about it, either."

Edge walked up to the bars. "Rydia, you have to stay strong. Aria was a ploy just to do this to you. We'll get Aaron and stop him from doing this to you."

Rydia sat up. "I hope so. I wouldn't want to do anything horrible to Cecil or Rosa... or you."

"Don't worry. We'll think of our attack tomorrow and we'll tell you. We'll face him together." Edge said.

Rydia managed a smile. "I'm getting a little tired. I think I'm going to rest."

Edge looked at his watch. "As well you should. It's 2:00 in the morning."

Rydia stretched out on the cot. She turned and looked at him. "Please do not let me out of here for any reason." Edge nodded. Rydia slowly drifted off to sleep. Edge watched her until his eyes grew heavy. He leaned back in his chair and shut his eyes. An hour later, Rydia arose from her cot. She grasped her stomach tightly. "Edge!" she whispered. "Edge!"

Edge slowly opened his eyes. He looked at Rydia holding her stomach. "What is it? What's wrong?" Rydia fell to her knees, grasping her stomach in pain. She opened her mouth and vomited. After that, she passed out on the cold concrete. "Oh my... Hang on, Rydia!" He fumbled with the keys and opened up the cell. He rushed in and picked Rydia up from the concrete.

Rydia opened her eyes and began to laugh. "Oh, I cannot believe you fell for that." It was at that point that Edge realized that Rydia was under Aaron's spell. She fought free from his weak grip. She pushed Edge into the bars and kept jabbing her elbow into his back. Once she let up, Edge turned around only to be met by a solid punch from Rydia. Surprisingly, she had a strong punch. Edge fell to the ground. Rydia ran out of the cell and closed it and removed the keys from the lock. She ran off leaving Edge inside the cell.

"No, Rydia! No!" Edge yelled. Edge spent the next 20 minutes yelling for Cecil. He finally got the attention of a guard. "Thank God! Get Cecil. Tell him we have a problem."

"Right away, Edge." The guard took off to find Cecil.

He arrived at the prison block to find Edge in the cell instead of Rydia. "What happened?!"

"Rydia tricked me. She was becoming sick so I went in to check on her." Edge explained.

"You did what?!" Cecil was surprised. "I thought I said to not open the door for anything."

"Cecil, she looked like she was really sick." Edge argued.

"It's no use to argue now." Cecil said. He grabbed his extra keys and freed Edge from the prison. He turned and looked at his small troop of guards. "Go out into Baron and find Rydia. I want her alive. Do not harm her!" The guards dispersed into the kingdom and the village.

"What are we going to do now?" Edge asked.

Cecil sighed. "I don't know."

General Warrick came into the hall as Cecil and Edge exited the prison block. "Sir, we did not find any trace of the summoner Rydia. However, I believe we have a bigger problem on our hands."

Cecil looked at his general. "What is it, General Warrick?"

He sighed. "Sir, a large, unidentified tower has formed over the former location of the village Mist."

Edge's eyes widened. "That's what she was saying. Rydia said that Aaron had planned to build his empire over Mist."

"No doubt he summoned Rydia there to help activate it." Cecil said.

Edge looked at Cecil. "We have to help her. We have to!"

Cecil sighed. "Edge, she burned down our main offensive. All the airships aren't going to be fixed by now."

"What about the Golden Eagle?"

Cecil began to think. "That's what we need. However, I don't know if it'll be good enough for just you, me, and Rosa to take on Aaron... and possibly, Rydia."

Edge began to think. "I have an idea. Go wake up Rosa, I'll go wake up Cid, and we'll meet in the airship garage." Edge ran off to Cid's house. Cecil just watched as he ran off, only wondering what his plan could be. But he did as Edge suggested and they met inside the airship garage. The rain from Rydia's rain spell was still falling inside the garage. The smoke from the burning airships had formed at the top of the garage.

"Great. First my problem was the rain outside getting in. But now I have to worry about it raining in here too." Cid complained.

"What's the meaning of this?" Cecil asked.

"Cid, the Golden Eagle is still intact, right?" Edge asked.

"Oh, aye. I don't know what I'd do if Rydia had burned my precious one." Cid said.

"You keep proclaiming how strong and how fast it is. How fast can it get us to the Lower World?" Edge asked.

"This baby can travel around the world at full speed in about 2 days. That's really quick. I could probably get you there safely in about 20 or 30 minutes." Cid said.

"I challenge you to do better." Edge said confidently.

"You challenge me? Ho ho! I never pass up a challenge." Cid said. He unlocked the door and entered the private garage holding the Golden Eagle airship. "Alright. Everyone on and buckle up!" They boarded the airship.

"Why are we going to the Lower World, Edge?" Rosa asked.

"Rydia has some friends down there. I'm sure they'll be willing to help." Edge answered. "I hope they care about her enough to fight against her."

Cid started the engine and opened the roof hatch to let the airship fly out. Once the ship was fully airborne and high above the kingdom, Cid put the engine into high gear. The gears and propellers began to spin twice as fast as they were before. Cid turned around. "Hang on to your butts." He set the airship into motion. It began picking up high speed, well above the average speed of a normal airship. The passengers could feel the intensity of the airship as it flew south. After many minutes of the high-speed ride, Cid finally down shifted the airship. He spotted Agart and the entrance to the Lower World next to it. "I'm taking her down." The airship completely stopped while it descended into the large hole. After three minutes, they arrived hovering over the Lower World. The Lower World was a couple degrees hotter due to the seas of molten lava. Cid looked at his watch. "Ha! I beat your challenge, Edge! 17 minutes!"

Edge nodded. "Good. Can you direct this airship over to the cave on that island?"

Cid looked at the island that Edge pointed at. He saw the sea of lava between the ship and the island. "I don't know if this airship is ready for the effects of the lava's heat."

"Come on, Cid. I thought you said this ship was strong and well-built." Edge argued.

Cid glared at him and put the airship into first gear. "So now you're denying my carpentry skills. Well, mister, you chose the wrong engineer to mess with." He directed the airship toward the cave and took off over the sea of magma. After five minutes over the magma, they arrived over the island. Cid landed it. "So, let's do what we gotta do."

"Come with me." Edge requested. Cecil, Rosa, and Cid did so. Edge led them through the cave without trouble. At the exit of the cave, they entered the town of the summoned monsters. Edge looked down the road and noticed a red house. He ran up the street and knocked on the door.

Ifrit answered the door. "Edge? What are you doing here?"

"Ifrit, Rydia is in trouble." Edge said.

Ifrit rolled his eyes. "You'll say anything, won't you."

Cecil and Rosa came up to the door. "He isn't lying. Rydia is in trouble." Rosa said.

"Madame Rosa, Lord Cecil, what an unexpected surprise." Ifrit said. "What kind of trouble is she in?"

"She is being controlled by her evil brother. We need your help to stop him and get the old Rydia back." Cecil requested.

Ifrit began to think. He closed his eyes. "Oh my god, you're right. She is not herself." He looked at them. "B-b-but how can I help you?"

"We need your assistance to help us battle Aaron." Edge said.

"You mean to fight alongside you?" Ifrit asked. They nodded. Ifrit began biting one of his nails. "I don't know. Summoned monsters and humans fighting side by side has never happened before."

"If you do not go, Ifrit, I shall join you," a voice said from inside the house. Ifrit turned around and saw Leviathan, in his human form, had overheard the conversation.

"Oh, we didn't know you had company." Cid apologized.

"Your majesty." Edge bowed. Cecil, Rosa, and Cid also bowed.

"I don't want to see Rydia being used." Leviathan said. "And I also want my revenge at the one who kidnapped my little Aria."

"Your majesty, I cannot let you risk your life without risking mine as well." Ifrit said. "It shall be done. We shall fight alongside you humans. But this is for Rydia and Aria. Do not ask me for further help in your own personal affairs."

"Thank you very much." Edge thanked. "We will await your presence at the mouth of the cave."

After ten minutes, Ifrit was prepared. He had a flame saber swinging at his side. Edge walked over to Asura's and Leviathan's house. Edge found the door open and entered. He looked inside and found Asura and Leviathan talking.

"Rydia is in trouble. And so is our little girl. I cannot sit here without offering my help." Leviathan said.

"I know." Asura said. "And I know there is no way to talk you out of it. But please be careful, Levy. You aren't the warrior you once were."

"I will be careful. And I will bring home our child and our friend." Leviathan said. He looked up and saw Edge standing in the door.

"It's about time we should get ready to go." Edge said meekly.

Leviathan closed his eyes. "Yes. I must go now." He kissed his wife one more time. He stood up and grabbed his well-sharpened spear. "Let us go now, Edge."

After taking a couple minutes to pass through the cave, they reached the mouth of the cave where the others waited for them. They boarded the Golden Eagle and took off. Shortly, they were above ground and out of the Lower World. Cid turned around and looked at Leviathan and Ifrit. "Have either of you two gone 130 miles per hour on an airship before?" Both of them remained quiet, but curious. "Well then, you might want to buckle up." Cid placed the ship into high gear and fired the engine. The ship flew off to the north toward Baron. By the time they reached the continent, the night sky was no longer black, but developed into a dark blue. They arrived a couple miles away from the hills to the north of Baron. They could see the tip of the Tower of Mist over the hills.

Cid stopped the airship from moving. He turned around and looked at Cecil. "What're we going to do from here?"

"See how close you can get us to the top of the tower." Cecil ordered. Cid drove the airship towards the tower. "There! There's a platform right there. You can drop us off there." Cid brought the airship as close the platform as possible. Cecil, Rosa, Edge, Ifrit, and Leviathan leapt from the ship onto the platform.

"I'm going to load this baby's weapon system up with some weapons. I'll be back as soon as I can." Cid drove the airship around the tower and back to Baron.

"Do you think we've been spotted yet?" Ifrit asked.

"I sure hope not." Edge said. He walked over to the door. "Now the fun part begins."

Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy IV
Version 6
©1997–2023 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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