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FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: Final Fantasy X-2.5 : The Truth
« Last post by Serraphi on January 01, 2019, 08:47:50 pm »
Hello. I am a big fan of your work on the novel and I have read it five times already to better understand everything. I actually love the novel and think it is an ingenious extension to FFX original series. Are there yet any more complete translations of the book. Still waiting for official English localization :). Happy new year.
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: Final Fantasy X-2.5 : The Truth
« Last post by ChercheurObscur on October 18, 2018, 04:11:10 pm »
Hi Guest127 !

Thank you for your warm thanks addressed to me and those who help me translate the novel.  :D

About the story, there are lots of things people don't understand.

In fact, Nojima wrote the novel in a very particular way.
He crossed the relation between Kush and Valm, and the one between Tidus and Yuna, and when you understand that, you understand why Nojima wrote the novel like it is right now.

I did not found about it before reading the novel a second time, but then it all appeared clear to me.

Once you discover that, you will find out that Ifahnal has in fact killed Tidus, with this (too) famous blitzball bomb, and that he planned this before Tidus and Yuna washed up on the island.

I will give one hint to help you understand : Tidus and Yuna end up in the ocean because their boat has been destroyed. But did you try to find out what caused this ? If you read the novel correctly, you will find out that Tidus smells gunpowder before fainting. Does he ring a bell to you ? Don't you remember a similar scene somewhere else in the novel ? Yeah, Valm did exactly the same as Tidus while he was with Kush in some kind of appartment and that an enemy made a blitball explode. So what then caused the boat of Tidus and Yuna to be destroyed ? I think you know the rest :)

There are other parallels like this one in the novel, and they make you understand what exactly happens.
I'll let you find them, but feel free to ask, I'm all open to answer you.

The only part I don't still quite understand is why Ifahnal could not send Kush away. My theory is that he was not able to know where Kush was, and that he used the love relation between Tidus and Yuna, similar to the one between Valm and Kush (a love between a summoner and her guardian), to make them find the location of Kush, with the help of Tidus power.

Anyway, still waiting for my lovely FFX-3 !  :D

FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: Final Fantasy X-2.5 : The Truth
« Last post by guest167 on September 20, 2018, 07:14:16 pm »
Hey ya’ll! Not sure if anyone still visits this forum but nonetheless I joined. I’ve been a FFX/FFX-2 fan since my mid-teens (they were the first FF games that got me into the series!) and every now and then I still look up memorable cutscenes from either game or brush up on Spira lore. FFX’s storyline will always be my favorite in the series! I don’t play console games now, but I still try to keep updated on what’s new in the FF franchise.

I vaguely knew about the novel and audio drama when they came out a few years back but didn’t bother to look them up until now. To the people on this forum who bothered translating and restoring the FFX-2.5 novel from the French release into English, thank you! I was able to find this site on google and read all the chapters available, as well as some old commentaries and threads that are still here.

As for the novel...I thought that the best it offers is an expansion of Spira’s history and lore, particularly the time of the Machina War and what summoners/ the summoning arts were like before Yevon’s teachings took hold. I don’t care at all for the way Tidus’ and Yuna’s love story was treated (since the audio drama follows the novel, I don’t care much for it either). Was it always Nojima’s intent to keep these two as star-crossed lovers? Even after the perfect ending in FFX-2, these two can’t get a break can they.

I don’t like the idea of Tidus and Yuna breaking up as much as the next die-hard fan, but I don’t understand why Tidus had to die (arguably for a second time) in this novel and come back as an incarnate spirit. Why must Tidus only exist somewhere between physical reality and the Farplane? Yes, he had existed as a dream of the fayth and was destined to fade away once the Sin-cycle ended in FFX. It was a miracle he came back in FFX-2. I believe he returned to Yuna as a complete, human, and fully mortal person...only to be killed in a freak accident shortly after. Why can’t Tidus and Yuna be together and live their lives without the threat of Tidus fading away?

What do you think. Could Tidus and Yuna have a happy and relatively normal existence together as a couple (or friends) or must there always be something supernatural keeping them apart? If anyone who is a fan still comes here, I’d love to share more thoughts and ideas on this.

Also, has anyone mentioned how macabre were the ‘mechanical’ Bedohls in the novel? How horrifying. Nojima should leave Tidus and Yuna alone and give us more of the Spira from 1000 years ago. That’s far more interesting.

No sign of development for FFX-3 yet, but I’m ok with that. Especially if there were plans on building upon the audio drama or novel.
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: it's been a while
« Last post by Akuwah on February 16, 2018, 05:57:11 am »
Hi all, it's been a while (4-5 years?)

Anyways, have you guys seen this article?

They coloured Tidus and Yuna's arts from X - Will.

I wonder if this is a telltale that X-3 is in the making (well wishful thinking).
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: it's been a while
« Last post by ChercheurObscur on January 12, 2018, 05:54:37 pm »
Well, I'm still there, checking the forum from time to time.  ;)
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: it's been a while
« Last post by Pyreflies_of_MJ on January 12, 2018, 01:28:24 am »
Anyone hooooome? ; )
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: it's been a while
« Last post by ChercheurObscur on October 11, 2017, 01:14:04 pm »
Hello IMD !

Nice to see you again !  :D

Thanks for your compliments, I was happy to provide an english translation to a book which was misunderstood, since stupid rumors were spreading (and are still spreading) through the world.

I also hope for a FFX-3, but Square Enix is quite busy with many majors projects.

Anyway, Hashimoto never said no to a FFX-3 but they are too busy right now.

See you soon, I hope.  ;)
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / it's been a while
« Last post by Internal Medicine Doctor on August 01, 2017, 08:57:13 pm »
hey everyone
i had forgotten about this site until i got the ffx itch this summer and it led me back through the novella and audio drama
even though it's been a while i am still excited at the possibility for an ffx-3
experiencing everything again about the story made me remember the fun and buzz here when things first started coming out
and the work, too
chercheur and crystal did great work all for their love of the games which i feel wasn't appreciated as much as it deserved in hindsight

but i wanted to put it out there that i still am hoping for an ffx-3
if anybody else out there is too, you're not alone
this place is quiet but there's still passion here from me
and from what i remember i'm sure a few people here outclass me in that  :-*

i may be talking to a dead forum
but i wanted people to know there's still a want for it
and you can still find it here
here's hoping to some news in the future ~*`
Chapter 12
Tentative Title: Of Sacrifice
part two of two

(A/N): Had to split this into two parts, because I breached the maximum word count.


Valm had been searching for Kush, but he couldn’t find her.

In a span of the last few hours, the stateroom transformed into a countryside hospital, but ever since the enemy broke through their defenses, it felt more like a battlefield, with the lingering, pungent stench of waste, death, blood, and rotten corpses absolutely unbearable. The souls were fluttering in iridescent fragments above the crude gravesite that housed his fallen allies, spreading a pasty, haunting glow.

An explosion resounded outside, tearing his eyes away from the gross scene, and he heard a voice shout Kat’s name. Not long afterwards, another voice confirmed her death. Nobody could spare the time to take care of their wounded. Although the Guards were an elite unit, their weapons were outdated; they couldn’t even hope to match Zanarkand’s troops in artillery, let alone their technological progression.
“Despite everything…”

‘The time has come. You and I couldn't be any more united.’
Valm would become an Aeon Core, as he saw no other way to turn the situation around.
The stairs, which normally led to the living quarters, had been scorched through, the walls almost collapsed to the point of no passage. A bomb must have been responsible for this damage. He stepped over the corpses of the men under his charge, and sent a prayer to Guard, the God of the Farplane, to take care of their spirits. When he walked to the stairs, he turned around to look behind him, feeling ashamed for the relief he felt that he couldn’t find Kush’s body among them, and proceeded upstairs.
Behind him, a trio of Zanarkand soldiers burst into the room, just as the door to GATE 1 opened passage for an awkward, bumbling, almost comical procession of mechanical Bedohls in their baggy suits and gas masks to proceed through. They spilled into the room at a snail’s pace, brandishing their chain whips, and the enemy opened fire.
Valm couldn’t understand it. Alb had demanded three more days to complete his project. After three years of research, what would three more days accomplish? Think of the devil, and he shall come; Alb staggered behind his creations, appearing to be on his last legs.
“Valm! I’m leaving the workshop. Sorry…”
He had no choice but to acquiesce, although grudgingly.
“Come back here!” Alb ordered the Bedohls with a hand signal.
“No. What are you doing? They must fight.” Valm exclaimed at once, vexed.
“The way they are, they would only get in your way…”
Another explosion resounded in the stateroom, announcing the arrival of more enemies. Alb and his Bedohls headed for the emergency exit, and Valm started to ascend the stairs again. Just before he could cross the inner gate, he turned around to look one last time despite the fact he knew lingering would only waste time. He didn’t think he could outrun them, nor did he want them nipping at his heels. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from the macabre sight where the enemy trampled over spilled blood and scattered corpses, and the wilting flowers of the altar, desecrating the funeral light of the departed souls.
One of them managed to spot him. “You’re running away! Coward!”
A young man charged at Valm with sabre in hand, and Valm deliberated for a split second. He wanted to conserve ammunition, and he felt confident he could outmatch him in a contest of swords, so he unsheathed his sabre.
“Bring it on, you son of a heretic!”
They clashed blade for blade, and Valm shoved him back with a large arc of his sword, striking his wrist to disarm him, before slashing him straight across. He sensed the edge of his sword slice deep into his enemy’s side, reaching as far down as his navel, until he pulled it back with a vicious flick. This poor fool leapt at him with too many openings, and Valm had the advantage of high ground; it took very little effort to strike him down. He managed to steal a glimpse of the injury he inflicted before the man toppled backwards into the void.

Satisfied, Valm turned around to continue onwards to his original destination, GATE 0, before the soul of his latest victim returned as a fiend to haunt him. And then he faltered at the chorus of cries and bloody murder resonating down below. He whipped around, startled, snatching glimpses of mechanical Bedohls lying motionless on the ground, eking out dark red fluid that looked suspiciously like blood. He had never stopped to think of those machines as humans, but if they had souls... He took pity upon them.

What happened next shocked him into clarity: the mechanical Bedohls gathered around their injured comrades, helping them to stand. Valm thought of the workers who were forced to remain in the workshop for days on end, working overnight, sometimes cutting through breaks and mealtimes until he scarcely saw them socialize with the others.

They eventually slipped from his mind, the engineers who always wore their hideous, strange jumpsuits and thick goggles. How did he not realize this before?

‘They’re human…’

Alb never succeeded to create artificial intelligence, let alone cybernetic soldiers. He constructed mechanical Bedohls out of the very men who worked under him, and in the end used them as expendable tools to ensure his own escape.

Valm clenched his jaw, descending the stairs with a slow step to his walk.


The elder man had already disappeared, but several of his fake mechanical Bedohls -- human beings disguised as machines, not to lure the enemy, but to fool their very own allies -- raised their eyes in direction of the Guard.

“Tell this to your cowardly master: Alb can run wherever he wants, but I will find him and I will make him pay for his treason!”

To throw out mechanical soldiers in front of the enemy instead of sacrificing human lives, a utopia that fueled his drive to fight, herein lies the reality of that dream… Despite the fact Valm enlisted as a soldier in the war for Bevelle’s cause, he had dreamt of a world where he would never need to fight. None should ever learn of this innermost, secret wish.

The mechanical Bedohls broke their formation as a gesture of awkward apology, and answered him in their own strange language.

“Be quiet!” Valm lashed out, disturbed by the fact they chose to communicate with him in that… alien way. And then the memory of Kush returning to the workshop through GATE 1 pushed into his mind, reminding him of his goal.

What could she be doing over there?

“Valm! They’re in the living quarters!”

A familiar voice brought him back to the present and the dire state of things, and he raised his eyes to see one of his men emerge from GATE 0, covered in blood. “The Summoners, hurry…” He managed to rasp out, before collapsing to the ground.


The living quarters were similar to a labyrinth of corridors, which led to bedrooms, the most fortified area within the base. How could the enemy have accessed it?


Only Alb could have led them there, as another insurance of escape.

Blinded by rage, Valm rushed for Kush’s room.

In the long, narrow corridor, he spotted an enemy who sported long hair, probably a woman, who progressed towards the quarters while scraping her shoulder along the wall. She appeared to be injured, and Valm stole the opportunity to slip behind her, sliding the edge of his sabre over the front of her neck to slash it open, before trampling over her cadaver without a second thought, kicking her in the ribs for good measure.

An unnecessary, cruel act, he knew, but he didn’t care. The war and its endless wave of battles were affecting him for the worse, and the wrath and lingering resentment of the slain were already spreading their toxic influence in his soul, as well as their own. He might as well be possessed by a fiend.

“Protect me, Luchera!” Valm exclaimed, setting forth for the next corridor.

In the heat of battle, only one who maintained their composure could hope to survive, and he would have to remember that the moment he met up with Kush again. He had to be Valm, the Guard she admired and loved.

The living quarters for the Summoners were located deeper within the labyrinth, where ten doors led into their section. Kush’s bedroom had been labeled number three, and once he arrived in front of the door, he hesitated. Would she even want to talk to him? Ever since he had walked in on that possible altercation between Kush and Ifarnal, the air had deteriorated between them.

He recalled how his lover tried to reach out to him, and he had pushed her away.

“May I talk to you?”

“Later. My men are fighting.”

She gave him a thin smile. “Really…?”

“Stop! Right now is not the time!”

Valm gritted his teeth in regret, dropping his forehead against the door. Any fortress would fall under the command of a distracted commander. No need to go through the trouble of planting a traitor for that.

“Give me a chance to redeem myself…”

Lifting his head from the door now, he hit the panel board three times, according to the signal. The dial lighted up, and on the other side of the partition, he could hear a bell ring out, but no one inside reacted to it. The enemy must not have reached this area, yet, much to his faint relief… However, this place still reeked of blood and death like the stateroom.

An unpleasant combination of gunpowder and blood, mixed with the cloy scent of souls…


Valm slammed his fist into the board again, except only one time. The door did not move. Nobody replied.

Treading past doors four and five, he stopped before number six. Ifarnal’s bedroom. He knocked on the door and waited, and then a ball rolled to his feet from the shadows of the cramped walls.

‘A bomb…!’

His first reflex demanded that he send the ball back with a kick, but he feared the impact would activate it. And so Valm jumped back to sprint in the opposite direction, desperate to reach door number ten and cut into the right, where the hallway merged into a bend. Valm barely had the time to react before the radius of the explosion flooded the chamber, and he threw himself against the wall, avoiding the stream of combustion.
The resulting noise did not drown out the sound of Ifarnal’s scream. He had opened the door to his room one second before the detonation, and Valm swore, leaving behind his hideout. He found the enemy standing at the other end of the hallway opposite of him, close to door six and steadily closing in on it. Brandishing his sabre, Valm met the enemy headlong, shouting to Ifarnal as he passed the room.

“Close it!”

Now Valm faced three of the enemy, whom were moving in a single file line. The narrow corridor impeded on their progress, and so the man in the lead, a dark-haired teenager, raised his firearm for a shot. Valm dove to avoid its trajectory, rolling to stand upright again, running under the force of momentum to point the tip of his sabre at his opponent’s throat.

He slashed it without missing a beat. His two comrades appeared younger, and much less determined to forge ahead. Covered in blood and sweat, Valm read fear in their eyes, and his bloodthirsty glare cut quite an intimidating air, causing them to bump into each other and lose balance. He stooped to pick his fallen enemy’s gun and fired, watching as the bullet pierced through them both and they collapse in a dead heap.

“I can’t manage to close the door-- It’s broken!”

Ifarnal dashed out into the corridor, in a state of panic until the scene he walked into made him grimace.


But the Summoner did not move.

“Where is Kush? She doesn’t respond when I knock on her door.”

Ifarnal stole a nervous glance at his room. Stroking his chin in thought, he eventually motioned for the man to follow him. He had little personal effects to his room, with the walls laid bare except for a mattress half-concealed behind a wooden partition. Ifarnal seemed less concerned by the state of his room than the look on Valm’s face.

“She’s in the back, but be careful… To be honest, I need to talk to you, before you…”

But Valm wouldn’t listen to him. “Kush!”

He rushed to the four poster bed, and kicked aside the folding screen. She lied there half naked and asleep, and Valm loathed to piece the puzzle together.

“Valm, wait…” Ifarnal stepped forward to reel him back to the present. “This is the only method I know. There exist other ones, but I haven’t been taught to use them.”

Shutting his mind from reason, Valm jerked around to punch him in the face, his rage quenched for a fleeting moment when he watched him fall to the ground, and then he turned back around to grab Kush by her shoulders, shaking her awake. She peeled her eyes open a fraction and smiled up at him, lost in a daze.

“What happened to you?”

She did not answer. He tried to have her sit up, but faltered at the sight of her glassy look.

“What the… Kush?”


He whipped around just in time to discover the enemy had ventured into the bedroom, a man he thought to have eliminated.

The Zanarkand soldier brandished his sabre, raising it high above his head for a vicious blow. Valm faced him unarmed; if he chose to parry, the sword might redirect and hit Kush. He had no time to think. He bent his knees in preparation for a lunge, intending to tackle him down, but someone else beat him to the punch. The man’s head toppled from his shoulders, rolling on the ground in a bloody geyser and leaving the decapitated body to fall into Valm’s arms.

A mechanical Bedohl emerged from the doorframe, rewinding the whip he just used.

Ifarnal stood upright and spoke to the Bedohl, communicating in its disgusting language, and then they skirted Valm who knelt there in shock, surrounding Kush in concern. They situated her on the edge of the mattress, positioning her upright while she still appeared dazed. When the Bedohl slapped her, Valm wanted to spring for its throat, but Ifarnal snatched him by the waist before he could wrap his hands around his jugular, holding him back with all of his strength. And Kush finally awoke after the second slap.

The Bedohl removed its goggles and mask, revealing a head full of hair. Valm recognized him from somewhere…

Oh, he remembered him now: one of the Bedohls who always carried Kush’s palanquin. He said something, and, to Valm’s utter astonishment, Kush answered him with startling fluency. But she did nothing to cover her naked body, nor acknowledge her lover and Guard with a single glance.

‘O Sloan, who should I kill first?’

This had to be a conspiracy against him, a trick of the mind. The battle must have deteriorated his senses, ruining his ability to comprehend even the simplest of things. There had to be a reason for all this betrayal. Finally, Kush turned towards him, as if she just noticed his presence. He read astonishment, then confusion, and she hastily wrapped her chest behind the sheet with a meek smile.
Chapter 12
Tentative Title: Of Sacrifice
part one of two

(A/N): Jesus, this might be the longest chapter, yet! It basically covers the climax of Valm's story, before the final epilogue-y Chapter 14. Two more chapters left to "The Boy's Side!" It was quite a ride, I'm pretty excited to cover it in its entirety. I suppose Valm and Tidus were supposed to parallel each other, and that in itself is pretty foreboding.

Overall, I enjoy Valm's arc. It's very gritty, dark, and enlightening.


Sloan and his troops managed to flush four of the enemy out.
They slaughtered the first three, but caught the last one alive for interrogation, in which they proceeded to drag him to the east side of the island. On the beach, Sloan and about twenty of his subordinates were surrounding their prisoner, whom they buried in the sand from the neck down. He looked almost comical, shouting up at them in youthful, trembling fury.
“Kill me! Just get this over with!”
All of the agents of Yevon reacted this way. Whenever a soldier realized only death awaited them, they outright refused to answer any further questions and persisted in demanding to be killed. Sloan sighed, annoyed. He knew he would squeeze nothing out of this one, but the Guard could not leave his post without receiving new instructions. Thus, the long wait.
Ever since they moved into this Bevellian outpost, they had been leading their battle in a passive way. For Sloan, who had dedicated his sabre to the Goddess of War and had taken on the name of the God of Vengeance, this situation frustrated him. He had suffered in silence while waiting for his brother to bind him as his first Aeon Core.
But Anli died, leaving Sloan behind to stew in his hate. He used to hate his younger brother before, for small, inconsequential things normal between siblings, at times a smooth talker, but also prone to moments of indecisiveness, who bore a brotherly love as great as Sloan harbored for him. When he learned that Anli possessed the gift, he couldn’t have felt more proud…
‘Now that he’s not here anymore, whom should I protect?’
The Summoner who stood as the head of Bevelle had declared the Mage of Zanarkand, his daughter, and their supporters heretics, but for some reason did not make the official decision to excommunicate them. Why? According to the rumors, Bevelle intended to use them for their own gain by exploiting the two summoners’ charisma to win over Zanarkand and lead the city into abandoning their technological weapons to rely on their own fledgling army of Summoners, which would pave the way for Bevelle’s victory.

Sloan thought the reasoning sounded twisted. He could never spare those who renounced the Gods. Anyone who rejected their faith were to be eliminated as quickly as possible. That had been their goal since the moment their elite unit were stationed to fight on this island. But the father - daughter pair of mages understood the true nature of their enemy’s plan, and sent out their young, delusion hopefuls to carry out mass murder. And then the thought occurred to him: ‘Is my government manipulating me to do the same thing?’

Even children knew that Gods were simply imaginary, an artifice of imagination. Yet, anyone could picture them in whatever image they so wished. This common and widespread illusion tightened the ranks of their army, to the extent that any man loyal enough to the cause were ready to give their very lives for it.

‘Yes, this is brainwashing.’

“Do we begin the questioning?” Kat spoke up, interrupting his musings.

“He won’t answer us.” Sloan scoffed, before reconsidering the idea; perhaps the young man would be more receptive if he opened the subject with his beloved Summoner princess. “Did you meet the Sorceress? People say that she’s in peerless in beauty. Is that right?”

The prisoner remained silent, his eyes lost in the distance while he wore an eerie smile.

“You’re nothing to her, you know that? She’s just using you and your comrades because you’re disposable. Once you’ve outlived your usefulness, she will abandon you! Nobody will come to save you!”

For an instant, the soldier raised his eyes to the Heavens.

‘...what’s this? Why is he doing that? Will reinforcements come from the sky?’

Sloan couldn’t see anything, but he knew that flying apparatuses had joined their ranks. This kind of weapon could turn the tide, he knew this for certain.

“Kill me.” He repeated.

“I see.” Sloan paused for dramatic effect, looking out into the turbulent ocean. “The tide is rising, you know. Soon enough, your head will be submerged in the waves. You won’t be the first one to try breathing underwater, but nobody has managed to do it. Do you think you will succeed where the others have failed?”

“Y-You’re a monster…”

“One of your comrades killed my little brother. I know you didn’t do it; you could have, but you know what, you might as well have. The problem, you see, is that you came here to kill him and the other Summoners. You won’t get off so lightly. You will die… but slowly. You will leave this world while cursing it, suffering from pain. After that, do me the pleasure of turning into a fiend. Then, I want you to come find me. The next time I see you, I promise I’ll tear you into pieces so I can throw them into a fire.”

Sloan hadn’t even finished talking yet when the man burst out into hysterics. A soldier stepped forward to silence him, but then the captive fell silent again, directing his gaze to the sky above, as if following a supersonic sound. Everyone did the same, and then they heard it: an unfathomable, horrendous sound that rumbled the sky. And then a stout, loud whistle rang from the sand, courtesy of their motionless prisoner.

An airship appeared from the opposite coast of the island, looming over the top of the mountain where the Luchera statue resided.

This would be the first time Sloan had ever witnessed an aircraft with his own eyes; a triangular object that soared in the air, very noisy and slow. What it lacked in speed, it definitely made up for in sheer size and the contents of its cargo. Upon arriving at the beach, various bright lights lit up and the machine started its gradual descent, kicking up a whirlwind of sand sharp enough to blind those in proximity.

Sloan and his comrades acted in haste to find shelter behind the cover of vegetation. When the commanding officer risked a look over his shoulder, he saw that a rectangular shell hanging from the underbelly of the craft ejected, and a battalion of soldiers zipped down from the opening on a set of thick, secure ropes.

Gripping his weapon in hand, Sloan turned his back on them and sprinted for the beach.

He noticed the enemy came equipped with bags on their backs, made with a complex net of strings that contained a ball; a bomb like the one Valm had described to him. Fifteen to twenty infantrymen rappelled near their buried comrade; the first one to land on the beach wasted no time to throttle him where he stood, and Sloan watched his head tip over, soaked in blood.

In the face of such brutal interrogation, the prisoner had resisted bravely, like a great warrior. If they had fought in the same camp, they would have gotten along well.

“And yet…”

Sloan murmured, trailing off under the watchful eyes of his men. They were awaiting an order. He must look strong, for them. “The last time I checked, any life worth living could never be as terrible as that.” He laughed in bitter humor, and then he immediately become serious. “Return to base and report to Valm, then place yourself under his orders. Kat will assume command of the group until then.”

Then, Sloan brandished his sabre in direction of the enemy, releasing a wild howl. “After my death, let Valm take over the Sloan name!”

‘After all, he has always been worthier of this name than me.’


They were intercepted before they could even reach base. The aircraft had deposited enemies throughout every mile and yard of the island. Exhausted, Kat knew that she would meet her death very soon, but she felt no fear. She had been waiting for this moment ever since her beloved Summoner’s death.


Despite her gift in the Summoning Arts, Kanaela had been killed six months prior, soon after Mikka, before she had the chance to fulfill her objective. And now that she no longer lived, what were the chances for Kat to become an Aeon Core?

Kushu would choose Valm, and the Guard would produce an impressive creature. That left Ifarnal, but who did he have his heart set on? Everyone knew he harbored romantic feelings for his fellow Summoner, Kush, but the young woman always rejected his advances. Besides, Kat doubted a Summoner could produce an adequate Aeon Core. It would be such a huge waste.

She only had one option, then, and yet, even if Ifarnal were to choose Kat, she doubted they would be able to form a genuine soul bond. She had heard the others say that a Summoner and their chosen Aeon Core must share powerful mutual feelings for each other in order for the ceremony to bear fruit.

With Kanaela, everything would have been easy. But with Ifarnal…

Offering his life to the promised one, that’s one thing, but to sacrifice himself for a complete stranger whose only desire to bond originated from her thirst for vengeance, that’s another issue entirely. How she regretted Kanaela’s death! If only she had been strong enough to protect her, quick-witted enough to anticipate the attack…

A set of explosions ripped her away from her thoughts.

‘They’re launching an attack!’

If that massive aircraft still harbored more soldiers to overwhelm them, the Guards had zero chance of survival. Kat stood straight, undaunted; she lost her chance to become an Aeon Core, but at least she could still be the arm of vengeance.

‘O Sloan, give me the strength to lay our enemies into the dirt!’

She found courage in the happy memories she shared with Kanaela, the days they spent side by side, soaking up the sunlight when they bathed in the swimming hole, building lop-sided sand castles at the beach until the sun set, passing the time shut inside the shelter in boredom with random games. Kat snaked in and out of the trees, sticking close to the foliage until she reached a hilltop. From here, she could see the entrance to base.
Beside the dented, battered GATE 3, Kat recognized the cadavers of her comrades Gekkoh and Romand. They didn’t die in vain, succeeding to drag several more of their enemies to the Farplane with them. A familiar sword jutted out from the body of one of them, a beautiful young woman.

Kat bit back her anguished cry and hurried to GATE 0.

A gaping breach awaited her, as well as the stench of blood, and she cringed, startled by the object that struck her back. She jerked around to search for the perpetrator, and found nothing but forest and wilderness. A ball rolled by her foot, and then she heard a pronounced click, followed by a dilation of fiery white light.

Her last thought before the scorching blast of air consumed her:

‘Will I flower in the world beyond?’
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