Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy IV
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The Tower of Mist

by Sabin

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Chapter 7

Edge opened up the door and entered. Inside, they found the tower was completely gray on the inside. The tower was completely silent. Edge walked cautiously down the first hallway. The others followed him, looking around the tower.

"It's almost too quiet here. Something's not right." Edge said. He wielded his sleek blade and continued to walk. As they reached the end of the hallway, they discovered a shaft containing a large cannon. "That must be how they're going to take out Baron."

"We have to find them before they plan on firing." Cecil ordered.

Ifrit spotted a ladder. "Come on. We must find Rydia." He climbed up the ladder to the next level. The rest followed him. The next floor was darker than the first. There weren't as many lights as the previous floor, making it harder to see. Ifrit held his hand up and created a flame around his fist to brighten the hallway a little better.

In the top level of the tower, Aaron turned away from the window he was looking out of and looked around. "I feel that someone is here that shouldn't be here." He looked at his robotic henchmen. "Belnab, Elbor, take a look." The robot left the room.

Aria was tied to a chair. She struggled to free herself. "Rydia," she whispered. "Rydia." Rydia turned her head. "Help me, please."

"Quiet." Rydia responded. She turned back around.

Ifrit stopped where he was.

"Ifrit, what's the hold up?" Edge groaned.

He dimmed the fire around his hand. "Someone is coming." He wielded his fire saber. They all paused to listen. From the floor above them, they heard loud footsteps.

"Those footsteps... they sound like they're metal." Rosa said. They continued to listen to the footsteps. As they reached the end of the floor, they heard something come down the ladder.

"What are we to do? Are we going to battle or wait?" Leviathan asked. Out of nowhere, a laser beam was shot toward them and smashed into the wall. It was too late to decide. Belnab was standing only a couple feet from them. Leviathan held his hand up. "Aquatic Impulse!" He fired a pressurized stream of water toward the robot. The pressure of the water sent it to the ground. Belnab got to its feet and fired lasers from its eyes. Edge stepped in and deflected the lasers off of his sword. He swung his sword at Belnab. The robot held up its arm in defense, blocking the sword. Edge swung it again at Belnab, but it was blocked again. After swinging the sword again, Belnab grabbed the end of the sword and ripped it away from Edge. Belnab grasped the blade with both hands and bent it until the blade snapped in half. Edge watched in shock as his blade broke in half. He looked up as Belnab delivered a solid punch, sending Edge flying across the hall. Edge remained on the ground, writhing in pain.

"Hellfire!!" Ifrit surrounded himself in blazing fire. He looked at Belnab and charged at him. As he tackled the robot, Ifrit released the fire energy within him. Belnab was surrounded by powerful fire. The fire ceased as Ifrit stood up. Belnab lay on the ground completely burned. The robot remained motionless. After fifteen seconds of remaining motionless, the robot finally stood up. It was moving slower, showing it had lost energy. "Son of a bitch! How did he survive that?"

"Belnab self-destruct in 5... 4... 3..." the robot uttered. Hearing what the robot said, Cecil, Edge, Rosa, Leviathan, and Ifrit bolted by the robot. As they heard it countdown to one, the robot exploded. The hallway shook because of the explosion, sending them sprawling to the ground.

Edge stood up and looked at the smoking crater the robot had made. "I can't believe that son of a bitch broke my sword!" He pulled another sword out of from the holster on his back. "It's a damn good thing he didn't break this baby," he said, admiring the Murasame. He looked back to find that the others were going on without him. "Hey, wait up."

At the end of the hallway, they found another shaft containing a large cannon. Around the corner, Cecil spotted a stairwell. "Over there."

But before anyone could make a move, Aaron's other robot henchman, Elbor, leapt down in front of Cecil. He backhanded Cecil with his strong, metal fist. The paladin fell to the ground. He was slow to get up. As he got up, he felt the sting of another metal slap from the robot. Cecil was dropped to the ground again. Ifrit tossed a fireball at Elbor. The fireball disintegrated as it hit the robot, but didn't have any effect. The robot looked at Ifrit and began to walk up to the fire demon. Ifrit removed the fire saber and swung it at the robot. Elbor grabbed Ifrit's wrist and began to crush it. Ifrit dropped the blade and tried to get the robot's hand away from his wrist. Edge placed his sword in his holster and closed his eyes. "Blitz!!" Edge summoned a large lightning bolt to strike the robot. The bolt of lighting fried Elbor, releasing his grip on Ifrit. Voltage began to dance around the robot. The voltage seemed to pass through his metal body quickly. The robot held up its hands and released the energy it absorbed back at Edge in the form of an electric beam. The electric current smashed into Edge, electrifying him deeply. Edge fell to the ground, unconscious after the attack.

Leviathan shut his eyes and took in a deep breath. His body began to morph into his serpent form. He coiled himself and arched himself up to eye-level with Elbor. Leviathan hissed at the robot. Elbor turned and faced the king of the serpents. He lifted his hand and fired his fist. Leviathan easily evaded the attack. Leviathan closed his snake-like eyes and began to focus. "Tsunami!!" Leviathan summoned a large tidal wave inside the tower. The wave towered over the robot. As the wave crashed down, the water swallowed Elbor in its wrath. The water slowly disappeared. As all the water vanished, they found Elbor laid motionless. After a couple seconds, he slowly returned to his feet. He walked very slowly. Water was stuck in his gears. After a couple seconds, his walking became slower and slower with every step. Until, after the fifth step, Elbor completely stopped. Unsure of its status, Rosa slowly stepped up to it and pushed it over with a small poke. The robot fell to the ground, defeated.

Ifrit turned around. "Good job, your highness." Leviathan had transformed back into his human form. Ifrit grabbed his wrist in pain. Cecil was still on the ground along with Edge, still in much pain.

Rosa noticed this. She closed her eyes. "Cure 3." She filled the air with currents of healing magic. Cecil and Edge stood up, feeling the effects of the spell. Ifrit began moving his wrist all around, not feeling much pain.

"Thanks, Rosa." Edge thanked.

An odd noise distracted them. They turned around and found that the roof above the shaft was opening. As soon as it opened, they noticed the cannon begin to rise.

"Come on! We don't have that much time left." Cecil directed. They all ran past the cannon and up the stairwell. The stairway was long. It took a good ten minutes to get to the top of the stairs. At the top of the stairs they found the control room. The room was round with a large bay window surrounding the entire circular room. Out the window, the sun was just about to peak the horizon. Directly ahead of the doorway was Aaron at the controls. Rydia and Aria were next to him.

"Aaron, stop what you're doing and surrender yourself!" Edge yelled.

Aaron stopped what he was doing. "Please tell me that Belnab and Elbor took care of the problem." He turned around. "Oh yeah, certainly. I will surrender to you."

"You're out of options. Give up now and we won't destroy you." Edge offered.

"Destroy me?" Aaron began to chuckle. "I needed a good laugh today."

Aria looked up. "Daddy!!" She began to tug at her ropes again.

"Don't worry, honey. Daddy's here. I won't let anything happen to you." Leviathan promised.

"I'll make sure the last time she sees you is at your funeral, you old fool." Aaron said. He snapped his fingers. "Rydia, at them!"

Rydia stepped away from guarding Aria and stood in front of them. She closed her eyes.

"Rydia, snap out of it!" Edge begged.

"Fire 3!" Rydia fired three fireballs toward the group. The group dispersed avoiding the attack as the fireballs exploded into massive fire.

"Listen Rydia, we need you back. You are important to us and to our town. We all love you." Ifrit said.

"Ice 2!" Rydia fired ice magic at Ifrit. The fire demon dodged the attack and the ice magic hit and froze part of the wall.

"Rydia, think about what you're doing. This isn't you. This isn't what your mother would want." Cecil said.

"Rydia, try to gain control. We know you can do this." Rosa added.

Rydia closed her eyes. "Bolt 3!" She summoned a powerful volt of electricity to shoot down over them. The attack missed.

Aaron began to laugh. "It's useless to try and talk. She is completely under my spell." He continued to laugh.

Edge came up behind Rydia and grabbed her around the shoulders. Rydia began to struggle. "I'm sorry, Rydia. This is the only way." Rydia elbowed Edge in the stomach and fought free of his grasp. Edge grabbed his stomach and looked up at Rydia.

"Virus!" She surrounded Edge in energy bubbles that drained Edge of energy. The attack left Edge weakened. Rydia sent him to the ground with a solid kick. She noticed Ifrit coming at her. She shut her eyes. "Ice 2!" She shot ice energy at him. The energy surrounded him and encased him in ice for a couple seconds. The ice shattered and released him. Ifrit fell to the ground. Leviathan grabbed Rydia and wrapped the spear around her neck. Rydia grabbed the body of the spear and sent electric currents through it. Leviathan dropped the spear. Rydia turned around. "Bolt 2!" She summoned a large lightning bolt to fry the serpentine king. The currents of electricity passed through his body and severely fried him. Leviathan lay unconscious on the ground. "Gravity Blow!" She fired a ball of black energy at Cecil. The black aura hit Cecil and sent him flying into the wall. The aura's force felt like 1,000 punches. Cecil laid against the wall motionless. "Stop!" Rosa stood up and saw pink energy surround her and infest her body with stunning energy. She fell to the ground and couldn't move.

Aaron continued to laugh. "Fools. You don't have a chance of stopping me!"

All of a sudden, the tower shook violently, sending Aaron and Rydia to the ground. The impact made Rydia awaken. "Wh-What happened?" She looked around at her friends on the ground. "Oh no! What have I done?" She shut her eyes. "Asura, please heed my summon." Asura, queen of the summons, appeared in front of Rydia. She looked around and closed her eyes and lifted her arms. "Serene Wind." Asura filled the room with a deep, healing aura. One by one, they began to arise. Asura vanished.

The tower began to shake violently again. "What is that?" Rydia asked.

Outside the window, they noticed an airship. "Cid you old dog!" Edge yelled with joy.

"Cid's outside attacking the tower with the Golden Eagle." Cecil explained.

"No! This tower may come down, but I will destroy Baron!!" Aaron yelled. He pressed a button and fired the cannon. They looked outside and saw the cannon begin to absorb energy. But just as it was about to fire its energy, Cid fired a missile at the cannon. The gun exploded into a massive explosion. The tower began to shake signifying it's upcoming destruction. "No!" The top of the tower began to disintegrate. The roof disappeared and the glass broke.

Cid brought the airship to the top of the tower. "Everyone jump!" Everyone boarded the ship when they noticed that Aaron was keeping Leviathan from freeing Aria.

"If I go down, I'm taking her with me." Aaron said.

"Daddy!" Aria yelled with tears in her eyes.

Rydia stepped up on the banister and was about to jump back into the tower.

Edge grabbed her shoulder. "What're you doing?!"

"She's my responsibility. I have to bring her home to her mother." Before anyone could act, Rydia levitated herself to back onto the tower.

"I don't know how much time we have left. This tower's gonna fall!" Cid told Cecil.

Rydia grabbed Leviathan's spear from the ground and hurled it at Aaron. The spear stabbed into the warlock's leg. He screamed in pain. Leviathan grabbed ropes and freed his daughter. They leapt into the airship. Rydia stood up and walked over to the edge. But Aaron shot a forceful beam of energy at Rydia and knocked her out of the way. Rydia stood up and looked at the faces on the airship looking at her. She waved her arms, signaling them to take off.

"What is she doing?" Cid asked.

"I... I think she wants us to leave her." Cecil said.

"Never! We stay here as long as we can." Edge said.

Rydia looked up and saw Aaron coming toward her. She closed her eyes and raised her hands to the sky. At that second, the tower began to collapse. Cid directed the airship away from the falling tower. The tall tower took only a couple seconds to reach the ground. Dust settled over the entire area. They looked down at the rubble, sadness in their eyes. Cid took off his helmet and lowered his head. Edge wiped a tear that came to his eye.

"Rydia. You were brave." Rosa said, trying to hold back the tears. Cecil put his hand on her shoulder. She turned into his body and felt his arms wrap around her.

The shadow of a flying creature loomed over the airship. They all looked up to look at what was making the shadow. The flying creature came level with the airship. They all looked at what it was and couldn't believe their eyes.

"Hi, guys!" Rydia said with a big smile on her face. Rydia was grabbing onto the thick neck of the powerful dragon, Bahamut. Everyone was looking at Rydia and Bahamut in shock and disbelief. Cid put his helmet back on and lowered the airship to the ground, but still staring in disbelief at what happened. Bahamut also lowered himself to the ground. Rydia dismounted the dragon and met the others as they exited the airship. They each took turns hugging Rydia and talking to her, completely dumbfounded that she was still alive.

From the pile of rubble, a beam of light shot up from the bottom and split the sky. Many other light beams were emitted from the pile of rubble. The rubble completely disintegrated and revealed Aaron emitting the beams of light. He transformed into a large black dragon with silver claws and fangs. He was as big as the airship. Cecil and Edge wielded their blades. Ifrit, Leviathan, and Bahamut were prepared to strike. Rosa lifted her bow and arrow. Cid cracked his knuckles.

But Rydia shook her head at them. "No. This is my battle and my battle alone." She stepped up to the large dragon. "Alright, Aaron. It's time we finish this."

The dragon pulled its head back and shot billows of flames out of his mouth. He shot the flames out of his mouth for ten straight seconds over Rydia. However, when the attack was over, Rydia was standing without a burn on her. Aaron was puzzled at this. He lunged his head back again and sprayed more fire out of his mouth. But again, Rydia was unaffected. "Aaron, I must tell you something. Sometimes it doesn't take strength to win a battle. Sometimes all it takes is spirit." Rydia closed her eyes and held her hands toward the large dragon. "Spirit Flame." She shot a wave of white fire at Aaron. The wave of white fire swallowed him up. When the flame deminished, the dragon had disappeared. Instead, Aaron laid on the ground, defeated.

Rydia turned around. She looked at Leviathan. "I succeeded in rescuing your daughter," she said, managing a smile.

Leviathan smiled as well while giving her a hug. "I never meant for this to happen. I just wanted my little girl back."

Rydia hugged Bahamut. "I thank you Bahamut for rescuing me." The dragon flew off into the sky. Rydia came up to Cid. "Cid, you old goat. I can't apologize enough for what I did to your airships. But I thank you for helping me."

"Don't you worry none, Miss Rydia. On the bright side, I won't be out of work to do for awhile." Cid said with a smile.

Rydia hugged Cecil and Rosa at the same time. "I know I put Baron in jeopardy and I apologize. Thank you for coming for me though."

"That's quite alright, Rydia. You also took Baron out of jeopardy. We should be grateful for that." Cecil said.

"You are always welcome back." Rosa said.

Rydia came up to Edge. She looked like she was about to hug him but she stopped. Edge shrugged. "You don't have to."

Rydia sighed. "But you never gave up. You said you wanted to help me. And no matter how many times I said no, you still came for me. Edge... thank you." She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him gently on the cheek. "This doesn't mean that we're back together, though." She held out her hand. "But we can still be friends. I can allow that."

Edge closed his eyes and smiled. "Friends is good." He shook her hand.

Leviathan cleared his throat. "Well, I think we should get home. I know your mother is dying to see you."

"Yeah. I miss her." Aria said. She began to think. "Does this mean I have to go to school tomorrow?"

Leviathan smiled. "Yes. An education is good for you."

"Hop in the airship. The least I can do is give you a ride down below." Cid offered. Leviathan, Aria, and Ifrit entered the airship.

Rydia sighed. "Well... I'll try to come to visit more often. Hopefully under better circumstances."

Rosa nodded. "And maybe we'll have to visit you too."

Rydia smiled. "Alright." She boarded the airship. Cid started the airship and fired it toward Agart.

Edge sighed. "Well, I'm glad that's over."

"Are you alright with that?" Cecil asked, referring to what Rydia told him.

Edge sighed again. "Yeah. I feel that if we're just friends, we can have a new start and forget about all the bad things that happened."

"Come on. Let's go have a cup of coffee in Baron." Cecil offered. "I feel that the worst of the day is over."

***************

"Good morning, class. I'm sorry I wasn't here for the past two days. I hope you all didn't mind the substitute." Rydia said, greeting her class of summoned monsters.

"Oh no, Miss Rydia. She was an ok teacher, but nowhere near as beautiful as you are." Ifrit Jr. said.

"Ifrit, what have I told you. Sucking up to the teacher does not help your grade." Rydia said.

Aria turned around. "Maybe if you actually studied and not sucked up to the teacher, you'd get better grades."

"Shut up, Aria. We know how special you are because you're King Leviathan's daughter." Ifrit insulted.

Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy IV
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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