Chapter XX: The King of Figaro...
They went back to Figaro Castle. Edgar had been born, raised, and reigned there, thus a proper place of burial. People from all over the Kingdom of Figaro gathered to mourn. Everyone from Afterstorm was there, everyone who had fought by Edgar's side, or had been more than just in acquaintance...for the most part anyway.
Cyan wasn't there; he had to receive emergency medical attention in South Figaro. He had received a large stab wound in his chest similar to Edgar's, and no one was sure if he was going to live through the night. The funeral was held in proper tradition, in the castle courtyard. Sabin felt uncontrollable pity for Awin and Edwina, his sister-in-law and niece. He couldn't confront them, or anyone. It was his fault.
The ceremony went underway. Everyone wore black and circled around an area where Edgar's body was displayed. Sabin was expected to say something in remembrance to his brother, but he declined, to everyone's surprise. It took more than a few hours, but Sabin's mind wasn't even in it. Afterwards, rather than staying with the others or doing anything in the main areas, he left to the higher levels, to the room that had once been his own.
Finally he was at peace, alone, and to himself. He sat on his bed, not knowing what exactly to do, or what was expected of him. He had nothing, no one left. First his father, when he was younger, in his later teens. Then his training partner Vargas-the only person he had grown to know for years-killed by Sabin's own hand. Duncan dying not too long ago from sickness hit him hard, harder then any opponent could ever do. Only a few months ago now-though it didn't feel that long at all-Shadow was dishonorably killed.
Now, his twin brother, the one person that had meant the most to him, ruthlessly taken away, just defending his friends. And now Cyan, who was like Sabin's second mentor and one of the wisest men he knew, may not be alive long enough to help him grieve.
He lie back. It should have been him. He should have been the one to defend Cyan, to be slain. He deserved it more. Edgar had responsibility as a father, a husband, a king, and a leader of the Returners; Cyan had done nothing wrong his whole life, and he deserved to live out the rest of his life. After all he had been through; he shouldn't have to die this way. It was Sabin's fault anyway; he didn't save his brother. He was too late; he had been trying too hard to win and get out alive rather than helping Edgar and saving his life.
I deserve to die, he thought.
Sabin rode out on chocobo to South Figaro. He tried to enter the facility where Cyan was being treated, but was denied. That had to mean something bad had happened. He rode more, not knowing where to go, not caring, just far away from anything. Somewhere in the northwest countryside, he dismounted the bird and walked.
He walked for miles, his head half empty and half full. It was long past dusk, but he didn't care, the dark seemed to acquaint him and his thoughts. After hours of meaningless traveling, he figured out why he had wandered out here. Back in the younger days, years ago, they had rode out here. Back then they had to run away from the castle to be able to see anything, and they always did it at night. The mystery and adventure always invigorated them; it felt like that was all they ever wanted to do.
He had to laugh. Now that they finally had their adventure, all he wanted to do was go back to the way it was, with Father and Matron and Edgar. Before the whole crazy Empire thing came about, with Kefka and the Returners. He just wanted to live life out normally, not worrying about such important things, just letting his father and brother tend to it.
He saw images of them as boys running through the country, even though now the countryside was disfigured from his memories. He felt warm tears on his face as he watched his younger self running with his then-young brother, carelessly roaming, hoping for adventure. Sabin fell to his knees, then down completely. He cried into the earth: "Edgar, just come back. Let it all have never happened. Everyone's alive, the war never happened. We are all living...like we should have."
Night turned to dawn, with Sabin facedown in the open earth.
After searching all morning, they found Sabin and brought him back to Figaro.
After some treatment, which he really didn't need, Sabin was up again. Now he couldn't escape having to stand up and give his voice to people. He had known this was going to happen yet he still didn't know how to cope with it, nor did he want to. With Edgar's death, meant that there had to be a new king of Figaro... Sabin.
Hours past; Sabin hadn't eaten, nor did he want to. He had been sitting on his bed all day, rethinking what he was going to have to say. Terra came in to check on him.
"Sabin," she said in a small voice, "I think it's time. Everyone's waiting for you."
Sabin looked down at the floor. "Alright then. Guess I have to."
As he walked out, Terra looked as if she wanted to give some words of encouragement, but he left before she could. He didn't need any encouragement.
The court was full of people, most of who had been here at the funeral a few days prior. A hush fell over them as Sabin stepped up to the dais. He coughed a few times, and tried to remember what he was going to say.
"In c-consequence of resent events," he began, still uncomfortable, "it has f-fallen upon me to bring forth a new king for this nation." He looked around until he met with the eyes of Awin. "And that I have.
"But, c-contrary to what most of you may think, it shall not be me."
A murmur of shock and whispers went through the crowds. "As a matter-of-fact, I don't know who it will be, and quite frankly I don't care. I'm sorry, but I have a job to do; a job that Edgar would have wanted me to continue. I am going to follow the Returners and do whatever it takes to stop the Empire. And I believe that Figaro should help in the stand. But I am not the leader, so come to whatever decision you may."
There was much more whispering. "Thank you all."
As he stepped off the dais, he heard applauds. For somewhere, his brother was clapping for him.
As many guests went on about Sabin's announcement-either approving or disapproving-one slid out and headed to the chocobo stables. One of the Figarans helped him mount. As he rode away, the Imperial spy thought, His Majesty will just love this.
Author's Note: I wrote this chapter on December 7-8 2004, and it is dedicated to the memory of Dimebag Darrel Lance Abbot. It wasn't influenced by, but was actually begun while the events in Columbus took place. I heard it on the news the next day and finished this. Creepy coincidence, eh?