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21
Chapter 6
Tentative Title:
Of An Ancient War
---

(A/N): Re-reading through this chapter more times than I care to admit, I finally realized that there was this very annoying and awkward POV shift between Valm and a nameless Zanarkand soldier. I rectified it accordingly, but dang. Was it just me, or was I the only one who did not immediately register that they were two completely different people?

In other news, happy holidays!

*

Valm exhausted all the ammunition and grenades he had in hand, slaughtering several of the enemies which were encroaching upon them, oblivious to the dramatic shift in weather until he left the island. Forewarning signs, such as oppressive dark clouds and suffocating strong winds, always arrived before a storm, but blinded by the fear and excitement of battle, he had noticed nothing.
   
When people are in a constant struggle for survival, they never stop to think about the consequences, he reflected.
   
The rain fell so heavy, he found it difficult to see in front of him; the gusts were projecting sea spray into his face, stinging his eyes. The small, flimsy boat kept him afloat somehow, but it kept pitching violently, compromising his balance. Uttering a string of curses that would have made his mother faint, he attempted to re-gather his composure.
   
‘Calm down, calm down…’
   
He wanted to leave this dreadful place as soon as possible. ‘After all, I completed my mission.’
   
Valm spotted another target on top of the air tower, and he squinted, trying to distinguish the distant figure. The man seemed young and built, but... that couldn’t be Johit. He had dark hair, not flaming red… Maybe Meroh? It had to be. Valm recognized his Guards, along with someone else, probably a prospective Aeon Core. It must be a member of his family or a beloved one. The more links between a Summoner and their Aeon Core, the stronger the bond, the more powerful the entreated creature produced.
   
Valm hoped the bomb had killed the remainder of his enemies.
   
But then, he spotted a conspicuous lone figure, and his eyes widened. “No…”

(POV shift)

If he could eliminate the mage at least, that would be fortuitous, for he proved the most dangerous; the others present around him were easy to dismiss.

This war between the two major cities seemed to wage on forever, even though he had sworn to give his life to end it. Yes, he chose to sacrifice himself for peace. The blind devotee lowered his hands from his prayer, raising his eyes to the empyrean. The wind stung, whipping his body with volatile ferocity, bringing the salt from the chaotic sea to hinder his sight.

“The truth…”

He never stopped to consider the outcome of this war, only Yunalesca-- the Summoner Princess and how he would live by her side, to be her most loyal servant. He looked back on the sacred ceremony over the course of which he had taken an oath, and she graced him with a kiss. The sweet smell of her hands came to mind, and the memory appeased him.

(POV shift)

Valm crawled through the shallow water, spying the pious murderer who appeared to have finally calmed down. Only the upper half of his head protruded from the surface, his eyes glaring in the dark of nightfall. As he approached, he made out the face of his enemy. He still looked to be a teenager. Had the Sage brainwashed him, or did his sorceress daughter bewitch the poor fool with her seductive spell?

The young man turned around, as if sensing him by his bloodlust alone, and Valm leapt, landing inside the small boat. He grasped him by the black hairs of his head, wrenching him closer to knee him in the stomach. This caused the enemy to double over in pain, vomiting all over himself. Valm tossed him aside and stood above him, unsheathing his sabre. Dragging him up by the neck, he pierced his back where his heart would be, and the boy let out an inarticulate cry.

With his task complete, Valm attached little importance to the pyreflies of his victim, whose soul already began to vanish. He went about surveying the ship, rummaging for anything useful. The spoils of war, as one would say. No weapons were found aboard, but a small boat equipped with a working engine could turn out to be salvageable. He wanted to call out to his comrades, but then reconsidered it. Maybe a fire as a signal… No. None of these solutions were efficient, considering nobody would be able to hear or see anything in this terrible squall.

Shading his eyes from the rain, Valm turned in direction of the island’s peak, reciting the words of faith, finding comfort in their divine nature.

“O Luchera, Goddess of War! Grant us your blessing, and protect us with your outspread wings!”

~

Hidden underneath the ground, a man-made bunker built at the center of the island, the Board of War’s South Division lied isolated from outside noises. The majority of the stationed troops had gathered inside the stateroom. Silence prevailed the spacious room, only disrupted by the echo of stifled tears.

An altar decorated with multiple rows of tropical flowers distinguished itself at the center of the room. Kushu had just finished her Sending, and Sloan, the brother of the victim, still knelt before the woman, his shoulders heaving with sobs. She stepped closer to him, and place a hand on his broad back.

Anli, whose real name used to be Pohlan, lied dead on his wooden casket, but his beautiful, young face looked so peaceful that he appeared to be sleeping. The Summoner was still a teenager, but even so his soul had already departed for the world beyond.

Alb, the team leader, approached them, and spoke with a voice that belied his old age. “What happened to the man responsible, Sloan?”

“It was a young girl. I already eliminated her.”

“What about her soul? Do you think she’ll come back to exact her revenge?”

“If she comes back, fiend or Unsent, I’ll take her down!” He shrieks, his voice shrill with rage and grief. “I’ll cut her down again and again and again until she wishes she stayed dead!”

Alb opened his mouth, his eyebrows creased, but the sudden arrival of Valm, soaked from top to bottom and emanating a murderous aura, prevented him from speaking further. “What happened?”

Valm chose not to answer, staring at Anli’s corpse. After a long moment passed, he made his way over to Sloan and clasped his shoulder firmly.

“I will never forgive them…” Sloan swore, his voice cracking.

Valm agreed with a somber look that rivaled his grieving comrade.

“We’re short on people,” Sloan said, turning towards Alb, rising on one knee. “When will you be able to deploy the mechanical Bedohls?”

“We’re currently encountering multiple problems, but in the near future I expect very soon.”

“In the near future? You’re so vague! If you desire more guinea pigs, leave it to me.”

Alb sighed, folding his arms. “We already talked about this. Must I repeat myself? Aside from restricting the number of Bedohls, this entire thing is pointless. If you want to waste my time and waste the amount of Bedohls available to us, then go right ahead. But force will not solve anything.”

Sloan snickered. “You’re complaining to the wrong guy. You should say that to the heretic Sage!”

“Alb.” Valm spoke, intervening on their argument. “You appear to be having fun tinkering around with your Bedohls in the name of ‘research.’ But we’ve been eagerly anticipating the day when they’re finally going to be of actual use to us. We need reinforcements, fighters who will work as long as one of our enemies still live. We must protect the Summoners and their Aeon Cores at all costs. Forever.”

Every time someone mentioned the future, Kush always looked ready to cry, anguish flashing in her eyes.

Sloan turned back around to gaze upon his dead brother, raising his voice. “Let’s search the island, but we must proceed with caution. The enemies may still be upon us with more.”
22
Even though I know several of these threads are dead and fading away, I at least want to leave my retrospective thoughts behind...

So! Going through this novel, I honestly enjoy the interlude (Bria and Kush centric) chapters the most; I virtually fly through those! But once I return to Tidus's POV, it's like I'm trudging through the marsh of terrible writing while dredging up what's salvageable. I mean, it's not that the present story is uninteresting to me at all, because it really is! It's just... the writing style does not fit Tidus's voice. At all. If the entire novel was written in Bria's POV, alright, I wouldn't mind it, but not when Nojima retains the same style for every different POV. It's frustrating as a writer; sometimes it makes me wanna pull my hair out!

I plan to, once I'm done with rewriting the entire thing once, to rewrite it again but with a style or melancholy buoyancy that matches Tidus. I hope I'll have some willing, enthusiastic critics when I'm done and perhaps we can edit it together! :D

(Honestly, though, who would care to read or even want to read a restoration? Anyone? I need some moral support here. XD)
23
Chapter 5
Tentative Title:
Of Lost Love Found
---

(A/N): Oops, I got the order of the chapters all wrong. Because of the way I outlined my version, I combined chapters 5 and 8 together into a Chapter 2 (a lot of the other short scenes, I put them aside as Interludes). So, yeah. Here's the official chapter five. My bad, guys.

Also, the setting details for this boat really confused me. Like, was there really a random ball sitting around until it dropped, rolling to the stairs, or was that the description of the trident/hatch/mechanism/thingy, I don't know. I'm just working with what I got. XD

*

Tidus decided to wander in the Aurochs Ace to explore the boat and kill his boredom. He imagined the old combustion engine in charge of transporting the team from coast to training area, even without the wind, a powerful machine necessary to see the job through. On the deck, near the stern, he found a hatch, which revealed the glaring engine in question. A ladder allowed him to reach it, but he didn’t feel motivated to check it out right now, having no real interest or knowledge for mechanical things in general.
   
Near the bow rose a little hut that took up two thirds of the deck’s space. This narrow area housed the rudder wheel and a console with the buttons and sticks that controlled the engine. There must be a radio somewhere, Tidus mused, surveying his surroundings some more. ‘Would they even have a radio? Did someone even invent it, yet?’

He took a closer look at the trident situated against the wall; pulling it down, Tidus watched as the knob he gripped dropped down, swerving in direction of the hut, stopping close to the partition facing the rudder, bringing to his attention a flight of stairs, which led down below deck. Descending into the cabin, Tidus crossed the door to enter a furnished cubby hole comprised of a double sofa, a bed, and a little table. Both of the walls behind the sofa and bed had a round porthole that oversaw the waterline, allowing people to enjoy the landscape. The moonlight filtered inside, illuminating the entire cabin and its modest, cozy furniture.

Tidus plopped down on the bed, falling back to fold his arms behind his head to heave a sigh. The Ace might not be in its prime anymore, but this room still adorned a state of consciousness. Apart from the handwoven Besaidian fabric covering the walls, decorations worthy of a hotel in the capital ornamented the ceiling; although the exact level of comfort intended kind of confused him. The boat could transport a total of ten maximum, but this cabin could only shelter seven of them -- if they closed up. But even then, in order to enjoy it on a decent level of relaxation, two people the most could exploit it.
   
Tidus sighed. He must be bored if he felt compelled to contemplate the mysteries of this boat, a piece of man-made heaven for an underdog team of champions. Closing his eyes, he dozed. Many questions filled his mind, making it difficult for him to drift off completely, for example…

‘What?’

He awoke with a start, nauseated by a sudden falling sensation that made him stumble forward on his feet and almost retch. At some point, the boat started to oscillate from top to bottom courtesy of the swell. Even the wind picked up, worsening the violent motions.

“Did I fall asleep?” Tidus wondered aloud. ‘How much time passed?’

He did not know, but moonlight no longer illuminated the cabin, making way for shadows to creep inside the darkness. Maybe clouds had rolled in to cover the sky and moon, and he rushed to gaze out into the porthole, only to realize he couldn’t see the coast anymore.

“You gotta be kidding me!”

Leaping over the table in his mad dash to the other side, Tidus pressed his nose right up against the other porthole; the darkness revealed nothing. It’s official: The Ace had left the cove. Unless proven otherwise, Tidus could have sworn it had been moored…

“Oh no, it can’t be…” ‘Was I set adrift?’

He stood straight, and immediately banged his head. Swearing in anger and pain, he started to feel his way to the exit, and found it where his forehead collided into the doorframe. Holding one hand over the brand new bump on his head, he grumbled on his way back to the upper deck, climbing the stairs one cautious step at a time. He stopped all of a sudden when he found someone standing at the helm.

A white hood hid her face-- he could tell it was a woman going by her petite frame-- wearing a dress ornamented with red patterns at the billowing hem, which reached as long as the back of her leather boots. Tidus picked up the scent of perfume in the wind, and it reminded him of Besaid Temple, its cloy incense.

“Yuna!” His voice **** in joy and disbelief. “Yuna…”

She turned around, lowering her hood as she did so, stepping forward to stand in front of him, hovering in concern. She brushed her gloved fingertips over his forehead, massaging the swelling bump. “Maybe I should have brought my staff, or a sphere even. I didn’t think you’d be hurt…”

“Don’t worry about it! It doesn’t hurt anymore.” He shook his head with such vigorous energy, Yuna burst out laughing.

“Sorry I kept you waiting.”

“It was terrible! I thought…” He felt the urge to cry, surprised by the waterfall of emotion rising in his throat.

She put a gentle finger to his lips, silencing his remark with a sad smile.

“In my case, I’ve waited two years.”

Tidus nodded, remorseful. A day of sadness and neglect couldn’t compare to two years of grief, and so he reined in on his complaint. “Sorry…”

“It’s okay.” She smiled, lowering her hand.

Tidus stared at her, still processing the fact that she stood before him, and he took a shy, tentative step forward, reaching out for her. “Yuna…”

And then she turned her back on him, cutting through the solemn air with forced enthusiasm. “Departure of the Aurochs’ Ace is a go! Commence the private cruise!” She announced with joy despite the shaky hand she used to activate the stick, and then after a quick, awkward pause: “Do you know the other name for this boat?”

“How am I supposed to know?” he said, sounding more curt than he wished to. He hadn’t expected her to rebuff him like that, and the rejection stung. ‘Does she not want me around anymore?’

“The Aurochs used to call it ‘The Buddies.’” She giggled at that, turning around to smile at him. “Tonight, I let them know that we embarked; just you and me.”

She looked so radiant, beaming at him, that he couldn’t stay mad at her anymore. But then she broke eye contact, bashful, looking like the ghost of her old self, shy and proper, and he felt the odd tickling from the thought that maybe he dazzled her, just as much as she did for him. They were finally alone, unsure of how to act around each other now. They hadn’t been alone since that night at Macalania Woods, in the water spring; with the cozy little cabin waiting down below, Tidus sensed his cheeks grow scorching hot.

“We’ve just left the port.” Her voice brought him back to the present, and he gulped, regathering his wits. “Do you mind if we row along the coast for a bit until we reach the other side of the island? The wind’s gotten stronger out of nowhere, and we need to find a good place to drop anchor…”

He shrugged. “If you want. I don’t care about the wind.”

Moving closer to Yuna, Tidus placed his left hand on the rudder wheel, directly over her own. His metal gauntlet clashing with her white glove. He felt her tense for a moment, and to his great relief she leaned back against him, allowing him to push the stick forward with his right palm. Underneath their feet, they sensed the vibrations of the engine as the noise heightened, and The Ace accelerated at a gentle speed.

“Do you know how to steer?”

Tidus threw her a wounded look. “What’re you talking about? I was practically born on a boat!”

After that boast, Tidus recalled all the times he spent on his father’s boat. His skills now were tuned enough to steer, but as he looked back and tried to remember everything he knew about navigation, his mind drew a startling blank. ‘How did I forget…? I used to know so much. Now I can’t think of anything.’

He couldn’t think straight, not with the scent of Yuna’s perfume mixing in with the strong, salty air. Yeah, that had to be it. She smelled so nice, and she felt so warm, it was enough to distract him.

“You wanna go down?” He pointed to the cabin, eager to lie down and cuddle with her.

“Shouldn’t we wait until we drop the anchor? It’ll be safer…”

He dismissed her concern with a wave of his hand. “What’s a little wind gonna do? Blow us away into the sky? There’s nothing to worry about. C’mon, let’s go down.”
24
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: Final Fantasy X-2.5 : The Truth
« Last post by Danko Kaji on December 24, 2016, 10:25:41 pm »
Hello~ [echo echo echo...]

Nah, we didn't move to a new host. Or at least, I don't believe so. Many of us have trickled away and moved on to other sites, such as Tumblr and stuff. My reason, I've always meant to return, but life got in the way, and my personal lack of motivation for anything (that's really on me, tho), but behind the scenes I have been re-reading those translated chapters and slowly been rewriting them.

It's definitely nice to see you've liked the novel, at least! Or making the best out of a crappy situation. XD

Thank you so much for swinging by! I really ought to do the same. I would love for this place to bloom again, but who knows, right? :3

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
25
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: Final Fantasy X-2.5 : The Truth
« Last post by Izunia on December 24, 2016, 07:05:39 pm »
If I shout here, will I hear my own echo?
Seems like this board isn't very active since September 2015. What happened here? For me, the board seemed very active. Or are you moved to a new host?


Well, anyway, there is a chance this here won't read anyone. I just registered to send you my best regards for the translation. I currently read your translation and I actually enjoying it, the translation, and the story (surprise). Of course, as somebody who own a Blog about Literature with a focus on translations, I will always prefer a translation direct from the source of the original language the book was written in. I'm from Germany, this is also my native language and most translations from the japanese here are coming direct from the japanese version, unfortunately, there are still publishers who are translating from english source. And I'm not the biggest fan of official english translations, cause most of them are translated pretty liberal.

Reading your translation from French to English is, however, pretty fluid, not over the top and it's a pretty quick read so far. I really envy you because, we most likely never see an official english or german translation. I spotted the french translation on Amazon, I was happy till the moment the description told me this is French, and the last time I had something to do with french was in 7th grade, gosh, feels like an eternity, I'm turning 30 next month.

I was really curious to read X-2.5. I never played through X-2 but I have quite the overview of the story, plus, there is a summary in X-2.5. For over 2 years now, I'm looking for a fan translation, but never found one. I thought, it can't be so hard to find something like that because the Novel is quite short. Your translation is finished since last year if I see correctly. It took me a lot of different search queries and pages via Google to find this board here. I almost gave up and it was absolutely random that I have found you. And it really seems like people were deeply turned off by X-2.5, maybe because of many false information that were spread by emotional people who actually learned a little japanese through Karaoke Clips.

Since I'm away pretty often I created a PDF and sent it to my Kindle, of course not without to give you guys credits. But since I'm the only one reading this, this wasn't even necessary, but I still felt it was the right thing to do, even if only I read this PDF.

My post is coming to an end. Thanks for your effort and the translation. Nice holidays and a fine ride in the year 2017. I would love to see this board blooming again, count me in for contributing to fill the now empty halls with content.


Best regards,
Chancellor Izunia
26
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: Final Fantasy X-2.5 : The Truth
« Last post by behindthewheel on September 26, 2015, 09:16:29 am »
Hi everyone!
I know this is all old news by now but I've been out of the loop for quite some time.
Had a flash of nostalgia a few weeks back and googled for some FFX related stuff and one of the first suggestions are "Tidus Yuna break up", so of course I had to look in to this further and found this site.
Been lurking a few weeks reading the novel and listening to Will.
Massive amount of work done here with the translation, thank you very much for all of it!

I kind of have to side with those not too fond of the novel. A lot of it having to do that I am a huge sap XD
But I also have a realistic side and I could've taken T & Y growing apart in time but killing him like right after she gets him back is just rude.
I also find it interesting that he is seems weak already before he dies, and is really bad at blitzball all of a sudden, and then in Will he is a star again, even though he is weak still and seems sick (well dead). I'm not sure how they put those pieces together.
I also have such a hard time coming to terms with Yuna going back with Yevon, after all she knows and went through. Even if it is for the elders or finding out more about her summoner powers, there must be another way than re-joining the church who kept everyone in the dark for 1000 years.
Yuna acts so strangely in Will, even more stiff than in FFX, that I'm wondering if she is possessed.
She also says that the final aeon is the only way to beat Sin, which we all know isn't true. Why would she of all people claim that?
And that Kurgum(spelling?) all of a sudden proclaims his love for Yuna, someone he just met, makes me think more of the possession-theory.

I read now in the end the post about Ifahnal killing Tidus and the reasons why, but I still don't see why he would have to die for Ifahnal to use him and Yuna for his purposes. It just remains a gimmick -_-

However it is quite exciting who would beckon Sin, and some of the other parts of the stories, I feel that it is quite cliffhanger-y but at the same time the ending of a new game would be either similar to X or X-2, it would be very much of a repetition, I think.
Sorry for the long post but I just really needed to get some of the stuff out.
Have been rageing for weeks about my OTP and all but this didn't turn out to screaming haha
27
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: Final Fantasy X-2.5 : The Truth
« Last post by CrystalOfLies on September 11, 2015, 12:41:51 pm »
I just realised: If Chuami really is telling the truth about being Auron's daughter... she's technically the only living relative Tidus has left if Auron had filled out adoption forms.

His only family is his adopted stepsister. Such tragedy. Many angst.
28
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: Final Fantasy X-2.5 : The Truth
« Last post by mamboitaliano on September 11, 2015, 11:42:50 am »
That's my point. I'm not sure which, but English speakers are either the largest or 2nd (to Japan) largest consumers of Final Fantasy. So the book's lack of availability to us is not a coincidence imo. The audio drama's wide availability led me to believe that if they do something, they'll piggy-back off of it and probably ignore the novel. No disrespect to Nojima. It's just business.

Btw, I'd totally play that game. The drugs get them through the Macerana. :D
29
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: Final Fantasy X-2.5 : The Truth
« Last post by CrystalOfLies on September 11, 2015, 11:29:52 am »
Exactly. Don't you find it strange that in close to two years since its release, Square issued a Japanese and French release for the novel but not an English one? This may just be country bias, but I'm sure that the most-used language in the FF community, alongside Japanese, is English. Why make it inaccessible to a majority of English fans, then? It makes me think that Square didn't think the novella was entirely a good idea, but didn't want to disrespect Nojima in that regard.
30
FFX-3 Speculation and Developments / Re: Final Fantasy X-2.5 : The Truth
« Last post by mamboitaliano on September 11, 2015, 11:09:53 am »
haha I'm that casual fan Crystal. Gaming's one of my favorite hobbies but I've never taken any of it seriously, like gotten into fandoms, read fan-fiction, or whatever...I'm not even sure how all of that works.. :P I just do it all for fun. Hearing the bonus audio drama at the end was enough for me to get excited for X-3. I randomly heard that there was a novel where Tidus gets his head blown off, googled it out of curiosity, and came here to find this site. That's why I think this novel wasn't meant to go anywhere or be anything more than just something to throw out there. It just isn't accessible enough if that makes sense.

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