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The Roses of Death

by MogMaster

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Chapter 7

Grunting, Siegfried sat up and looked out at the tranquil blue sea, which may have been a reflection of the sky on this day. It was rather cool out, and morning dew was clinging to the plains and his cloak like a shimmering blanket. As he looked to his left, some feet away Terra was still sleeping rather soundly. For lack of anything better to do, he went and found his walking stave from his small pile of things. Swiftly, he tied his dagger to the top of the stick, and walked out to the ocean. Within a few minutes he'd managed to spear three fat fish and a lobster with it. Suddenly Siegfried experienced a feeling of nostalgia at being out in the ocean spearing fish.

"Make the harpoon an extension of your arm. Good, like that..."

Shrugging off the voice of his old teacher, he walked back to shore and proceeded to gut and clean the fish. The unnecessary or inedible parts of which he threw listlessly back into the ocean. By the time the girl began showing any signs of life, a fire was started and he was roasting a large chunk of fish on a spit made from the small branches of a nearby tree, which had been the only tree he had seen in the endless field of grass. It stood solitary and unrelenting, swaying lightly in the wind.

The girl sat staring at him from her makeshift bed for several minutes after waking up. Siegfried played the indifferent act, pretending not to notice her blank stare. Inside, he did not care what she chose to do. Long ago he had decided that people who were not him were hardly worth caring about; especially the weak.

"Then why did you save her?" A little voice seemed to say in the back of his mind.

Why HAD he in fact? The question made his mouth twist into a sneer beneath his plain mask. He himself couldn't answer it. Perhaps it was gratitude? Or maybe it was just a hidden streak of bravado. Apathy again seemed to supply the best solution, so he shrugged that question off as well. Once again he thought to himself,
"It hardly matters."

Wrapped up in the overlarge cloak she was using as a blanket, Terra brought herself close to the fire. Wordlessly, Siegfried pulled the spit off the fire and thrust a large chunk of fish at her face, cushioned on top of a small heel of bread that he had taken from his cabin before abandoning ship. The juices of the fish ran into the hard bread, softening it and making it turn a dull yellow. She ate silently staring at the large man's back while he surveyed the ocean looking for something he could not grasp, nor find. Following several minutes of that, he stoically began packing up his things, save for his extra cloak, into a neat bundle, which he stored in his leather side satchel. The entire time, Terra watched wordlessly with cool meticulous eyes. By the time he had finished, the girl had finished her food and was just staring at him.

"I usually stick daggers into the eyes of people who stare at me too long, Girl." He said cutting through the silence in tones dripping with acid.

Terra looked slightly abashed and began, "Well it would be nice if you actually said something once in awhile, you know! You mutter and stroll around not saying anything. Well what are we supposed to do now anyhow?"

"We?" he said softly, "there is no ‘we,' my dear. There is only me. And I..."
He realized now he did not know what he was going to do.
"Well what I intend to do," he continued, "Is my affair. If you mean to make for Tzen, head that way towards the mountains. Otherwise sit here and wait for death. It makes no difference to me."

He shouldered his satchel bag as the girl sat on the ground looking confused and slightly out of it.
"Keep the extra cloak. Call it a gift." He intoned slightly amused.

She seemed to grasp the situation then.
"You're just going to LEAVE me here? With no weapon or food?" she shouted angrily, "What kind of person are you?"

Siegfried stopped in his tracks. He had only walked about twenty feet away at this point. Without turning around he said in a tone almost as quiet as a whisper, yet loud as a drum,

"I stopped calling myself a person a long time ago, Girl." He spat and drew one of his swords. At this point he turned and faced her with the sword pointed up at the sky in front of his face. "I'm just a sword; a sword with an appendage that enjoys baser human needs."

With catlike grace he threw the blade high into the air. It landed three feet away from Terra, its point stuck in the earth. Without gauging a reaction, (he imagined it was something from disgusted to confused again,) he turned again and began walking. Several yards later he heard her voice again.
"Wait!" she shouted.

Turning he saw Terra running towards him with the sword stuck in her belt, and the cloak wrapped around her shoulders.
"I'm coming with you."

He thought about arguing. He considered killing her on the spot. A thousand ways to protest this unwelcome company came to mind, yet he realized they would all do no good. He would lose the argument, and he wouldn't be able to handle his already screaming conscience if he killed her. Later, he would vaguely recall saying,
"So be it then." He said handing her the sheath to his second sword.
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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