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The Roses of Death

by MogMaster


Chapter 5

As dawn broke over the watery horizon, the little rowboat containing Terra, and Siegfried, washed up on the beach of the southern continent. Upon a quick scan of their surroundings, Siegfried was able to determine that they were some five-hundred miles south of Tzen. In the distance he saw the Star Range that the city was at the base of. The tall mountains were just dim zigzags in the horizon, but he knew that was where his fate lay. A thought jumped to his mind then.

Did his fate truly lie that way? It wasn't as though he was obligated to fight with them.

"Besides, what am I to do with her?"

He contemplated, as he walked back to the boat where Terra still lay unconscious. The beach seemed to end only a few feet from shore, abruptly turning into wild green plains of thousands of grasses. He almost felt like he should be thanking her for allowing such beauty to return to the earth.

Where this had once been an empty wasteland, everything had regrown green and healthy. It was a comforting thought. At a loss for ideas, he sat down and decided he might as well polish up his sword. He pulled it from his sheath and began to work. He produced an oil cloth and whetstone and started the slow, tedious process. Stroke after stroke, the blade began to shine and sharpen.

He had just finished sharpening the blade, and was considering taking off, when she woke up. At first her eyes opened slowly as if the light hurt, but she seemed to grasp that she wasn't waking up in her own bed rather quickly, for she shot upright to a sitting position on the floor of the grounded boat almost immediately after waking. As she surveyed her surroundings her eyes filled with some emotion. Gazing into them, Siegfried, (who prided himself upon being able to read people's eyes,) wasn't able to understand what he saw. For a moment it was wonder as she looked at the grass sea, and then to the boat. Afterwards it was something close to panic, as though she had forgotten to do something. But then it was something he couldn't quite grasp as her gaze landed upon him.

"Is it malice? Terror? Or hatred? Perhaps it's curiosity..."

Terra fidgeted nervously as she cleared her throat and began to speak.

"Er..hello sir..and who might you be?"

Her clothes were a ruin. Only the tops of the large pants remained where the rest had burned off in a deck fire it seemed. The large shirt had been reduced to ribbons which only vaguely left her any modesty. Where the vest had gone neither, she nor he, could say. However the pendant around her neck ,was still much in evidence.

Siegfried spoke softly for the first time he could remember in ages.
"Siegfried they call me. Champion of the Colosseum, master swordsman, and human bred weapon of destruction; and your savior, Girl."

She weakly struggled to her feet and stepped out of the boat. As she tried to walk toward him, she tripped on a rock and fell to her knees.

"My head...oh dear gods. The pain."

He walked over to her, and picked her up as though she was a babe. Siegfried carried her out of the coarse sand before laying her down on the thick, soft grass, walked back to the boat, grabbed a bag, and reached in producing, shortly after, a thick, blue, wool cloak. He walked back to the girl and lifted her head gently before rolling up the cloak and using it to pillow her head.

"I thank you sir." she managed with a weak smile, "I am...."

Siegfried cut her off before she could speak, "Terra Branford," he grunted, "Light warrior and savior of the planet."

Terra nodded and fell into a fevered sleep.

Siegfried realized how weary he also was, and lay down next to her, drifting off into the nightmares of his own mind.
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2020 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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