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Afterstorm

by Sherick

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Chapter 2

Chapter II: Locke's Tale

Locke Cole, as well, hadn't changed much. He was more adult, but still went on the occasional treasure hunt. Though now he was married. Two years ago, he married his love, Celes Chere, who was also a member of the Band of the Returners. They were living in the town of South Figaro. Right now, however, they were in a cave in eastern Kohlinghen. As Locke remembered, there was no cave in Kohlinghen when he was growing up. But after the world was ruined, a cave system appeared due to the sudden change in erosion.

They were searching for treasures and gold-what else? -and were having very little luck. Though adventures had always been fun for Locke, even if there was no reward. Celes too was growing into the thrill of the journey.

Locke was now showing her a small tunnel. "C'mon, trust me. There should be something at the end of this tunnel."

"It's not that I don't trust you, hon," Celes said, with a slight bit of agitation, "but last time you said that, we were on the bad end of a rhinotaur."

Locke grimaced. Shows how much you know, he thought. He saw the light. Ah-ha! He ran out the end. Locke was surprised to see a small nest of monstrous hornets. "Uh, oops," he laughed embarrassingly under his breathe. The hornets attacked him. Locke got out a sword.

"Locke, what's going on?" Celes called from behind, being unaware of the monsters.

"Uh, nothing, babe. Just hold on."

He made quick slashes that took about twelve down. More came. Before he could make another attack, his wife jumped from behind with her own sword, a falchion, and made quick work of the enraged insects. Locke gave her a kiss to the cheek. "Thanks."

"Oh, Locke, you punk. Stop acting like a kid all the time."

"Maybe this'll make it up." He reached inside a hive and pulled out a small pearl. It was made of a honeycomb, hardened over time to make a beautiful jewel. "Oh, you're lucky you're cute," Celes said.

"Thanks again," he said and gave her another kiss.

"I'll thank you this time. Do you think we should destroy the nests and get rid of the young?"

"What, and get rid of all these gorgeous honey-pearls? Nah, let's keep them around."

Anyways, he thought, time to get the real treasure. He looked around, and he spotted it. An old chest in the corner of the cave, just like he'd been told. It had best be worth my money. The opened the chest...but there was nothing there...

"Looking for this, boy?" he looked over and saw the illustrious swordsman Siegfried holding a golden amulet. Locke sighed. Not again!

"All right, you win again."

"Ah-ah, the pearls." He extended his hand. Celes looked over from where she was collecting more pearls from the hives. She had already collected four.

"Come on, Siegfried. It's for my wife," Locke pleaded.

"It's all right, Locke," Celes reassured him. She handed over the pearls. When she put the first one in his hand, she moved quickly behind him, dropped the other pearls, and put the falchion to his throat.

"Let's trade," she said, "the amulet for the pearl."

He struggled a bit, then, somewhat sportsmanlike, conceded. He put the amulet in her hand, at the same time grabbing the honey-pearl.

"I guess we win this one, old man," Locke taunted.

Siegfried wore a mask of cloth, Locke knew he was scowling him from underneath. This was the first time he had lost an exchange.

On the way out of the cave, Celes and Locke stopped and hugged each other before giving a kiss on the lips to the other.

"That was magnificent, Celes!" Locke complemented.

"What, the exchange or the kiss?" she replied smartly.

"Both!"

They kissed again. Celes's long silver-blonde hair got in the way of this one, though they tried not to notice.

They had had a happy marriage. There were many of these "treasure hunting" adventures. Travelling all over the map just to find riches for themselves. Of course, they had to because Locke refused to get a job. He always considered treasure hunting to be a job. Celes threw fits about it all the time, about how he could never raise a family like that. As time went on, she grew into it. It was better than sitting around doing nothing, being a store clerk or merchant. They both had become too restless for that. And she always loved the prizes.

She got out the golden amulet. They gawked at it for a moment. It was even more beautiful in the daylight. Locke stared into her eyes. She was even more beautiful. She looked so happy at the sight of the jewel, so was he. Now they walked on, back to South Figaro.


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

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