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by wyvern14

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Part 1 (2008)
Part 2 (2008)
Part 3 (2008)
Part 4 (2008)
Part 5 (2008)
Part 6 (2008)
Part 7 (2008)
Part 8 (2008)
Part 9 (2008)
Part 10 (2008)
Part 11 (2008)
Part 12 (2008)
Part 13 (2008)

Chapter 11

A joining of souls


The high, tight collar chaffed his neck, which he could not stop scratching. A stern look held Edge's and his hand dropped to his side, almost ashamed. It all felt wrong; the cold rush of hair teasing his cheeks, the silky new clothes, the heavy chain around his shoulders and the repression of pain inside his chest.

Overdressed like a peacock at his insistence. I'd much rather be dirty and rushing in a fight than here...

The prince was doing this for them, they did deserve his presence and congratulations despite his seneschal's insistence that politics were at high stakes with this meeting. A grim smile lit his chiseled features at their most recent squabbles; it had been soothing to let his frustrations out and forget... forget...

Where is she now?


The vivid greens of Baron's forests came alight below the airship, bringing her wild hair to mind. Sparkling rivers were like her eyes, the running deer as graceful as her every step. The ninja blinked; now was not the best of times to daydream when his friends deserved his undivided attention on this very special day.

"Prepare for descent!!"

From the prow of the ship, his brand new cloak wavering in the draft of wind from their rapid drop toward the landing grounds, he almost looked the part of a king to the world below.

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Gloved fingers toyed with reckless curls in nervousness as she watched on; the future queen seemed radiant but tense. Rydia could notice the emotions on the fair face of her friend, echoing her own roaring heart.

"Are you sure it looks fine? Maybe it's too much?" The blond woman's voice was calm, although her eyes blinked one time too many.

When did the situation turn upside down?

"I assure you, you are regal Rosa, stop fussing your dress."

It felt so wrong, so strange... Her, comforting the calm, decided figure who had guided her through precedent demons and fears? To the summoner, the white mage had been a figure to uphold in ages past, a reassuring presence guarding their backs, an understanding smile at her frantic urges, then a sister in the throes of magic bliss...

I am no less nervous than you are...

A polite knock on the door broke the sudden silence, and then the tall knight entered the room. Rydia, feeling out of place as the two of them looked at each other, got up and smiled to the couple. Warmth filled her heart at the sight of her friends, pillars of strength next to the unstable flame that she was, and yet...

I used to look past this, to ignore this, to lose those feelings... But the admission woke me up, stirred my soul into life again!

Almost on tiptoes, she left the room and walked down the tower, stopping midway to gaze through a small window at the bright sun. A hand to her chest, she gazed outside without seeing, eyes focused on the drumming beat pulsing in her palm.

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Cecil looked from above at the throng of his people massed in the room with a neutral smile. He had little love for ceremonies, yet Baron expected it and would thank him for the celebrities, so one had to oblige their whims.

They will all be here; all those that supported my plight, that fought by my side, brought my salvation...

The massive wooden doors creaked open at Cid's curt nod, and Edge walked in, prancing stately and holding his head high. His pace was almost defiant, lips lightly uplifted in a smirk, cloth bustling in his wake as if he owned the place.

So even the prince is a character, yet now he hides behind another kind of façade.

Remembering his shocked state when he had taken his leave, Cecil couldn't help but wonder what had happened to push him into this role. As he rose with his consort to greet him, the ninja bowed deeply.

"Your new Majesties, I hope you fare well. Sweet Rosa, lovely as ever my dear!"

The white mage chuckled at his remark, while Cid hushed him to one side of the corridor rather brusquely.

A pity you didn't learn to know him better Cid, you two would get along famously!

Rather hesitantly, the dwarves came next, father and daughter pushing their way forward. The rest of the guests were not far behind and they soon exchanged niceties with each other as the carpets flooded with familiar figures, royalty or not.

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No... No no no no NO! Nobody told me anything about this!!!!

Panic surged through him as a memorable figure walked down the aisle toward the thrones, shaking his mind off the other state visitors and into a blank. His face contorted into a mask of dread and Edge didn't know how to feel, how to act, lost to the moment, gazing longingly at her.

Each step is a dance on red velvet, every hair a wisp of fairy dust...

His fingers trembled despite him and he failed to notice the amused glances thrown his way from all sides. Balling his hands into fists, he groped the sides of his cloak, lips parted in shock and eyes fully focused on her. Instinctively, he took a step back, hiding himself in the crowd. She advanced toward the royal couple, smiling and looking every inch like his memories.

So lovely, so calm, so composed...

He could remember abusing that peace, breaking the serenity of her thoughts like a clumsy burglar, invading her despite her crazed state of mind, unable to stop himself. Shame broke through the dam of his emotions, overwhelming.

She glanced his way and he couldn't help but turn away, unable to meet her gaze.

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Their eyes told her everything, as she demurely made her way closer to them. Each step light up loving faces, beloved memories, inner souls from before and now to her. She smiled, reliving the glow of their wishes on the moon, feeling their joy, basking in their happiness on this very day.

The victory was always yours, your support made this possible!

Cecil and Rosa looked at her, the masts of their adventures, about to write history again by sharing their kindness with a whole nation. The same people nodded at her, extending hands and whispering her name in welcome. She couldn't help but look at them quickly, unknowingly searching for something, someone...

I almost didn't recognize him!

The same soft silver hair clashed in the aria of colors, yet his attire was different, darker and richer than she had ever seen. Yet, what almost made him blend in, confusing her sight, was the lack of a mask cloaking everything but his eyes. Rydia leveled her look to meet his, feeling light and her senses playing tricks on her.

It is him...

His eyes went downcast, strands shadowing them as he turned around. She had not expected such a cold welcome and a rushing flush crept to her cheeks. A small part of her wanted him to smile and walk to her, another screamed for those hungry orbs gaping at her, while a third demanded retribution for this affront.

The summoner blinked, warmly grinning at Rosa and Cecil, bowing with grace and respect before quickly turning around, unable to think of something to say. This would not do, she had to do something, anything, to have him look at her...

"Fancy meeting you here."

The words had come up by themselves as she had come to his level in the crowd, before she had time to compose a decent statement. He turned around, clearly surprised, and then fright slid off his features to leave room for his joker face.

"Why hello there."

The words cut through her like blades, curt yet devoid of anything like... like last time. Her brows furrowed in confusion, Rydia had supposed he would react differently, do…

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Groaning inwardly at his untimely attempt at bad humor, he looked at her with wide eyes as she grimaced strangely and turned her head, walking to the end of the column at the other end of the room.

Edge cursed to himself.

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

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