Chapter Two: Forgotten Lifetimes
After everyone had boarded the Garden, Squall had Nida land
it in a small clearing nearby. They walked outside, per Rinoa’s
request, to talk about what was going on and what to do next.
Squall stepped outside. “...This place just has rubble lying
among the grass...” He sat next to Rinoa on a giant stone slab.
The others gathered around, finding rubble to sit on.
“So the question is,” Squall began, “how do you defeat God?”
“...and why was she afraid of ‘us four...united’?” added Rinoa.
“...And what is the ring she ‘must’ have?” said Ellone.
Squall put his head in his hand. He couldn’t even ask God what
to do, since that was who he was fighting. Slowly, the rubble
began to swirl in and out...he thought he could see tall marble
buildings, a small town...being attacked by monsters....
He passed out.
Suddenly he was traveling through nothingness. Colors and pictures
flew before his eyes, it made him anxious as to how much this
was like the time warp he had fallen into after the battle with
“What’s happening?!” it was Rinoa.
“Rinoa?!” he called out, searching in vain. Finally, he saw
her up above him, floating, with her back toward him.
“Squall?” she called out. Squall swam through the air until
he was next to her.
“What’s going on?” Squall and Rinoa turned to see Seifer and
Ellone. Ellone had spoken. “I can’t disconnect,” she continued,
“I don’t even know where I am going. I’m sorry you all got dragged
along,” she said, puzzled and lost.
Seifer took her hand and brought her over to Squall and Rinoa.
“So, what do we do?” Seifer asked Ellone.
“I don’t know,” she said, shaking her head. “We’ll just have
to wait until I can disconnect.”
As if in response, they landed in a time period, finally.
Squall looked around. He was standing in a dark room, lit by
torches. He paced back and forth. Whoever he was, he was waiting
“Squall, Rinoa, Seifer, can you hear me?” Ellone’s voice echoed
in his head.
“Yes,” all three of them replied together. That was strange,
"Squall, we weren’t able to communicate before when Ellone
Ellone continued, “I think we can all communicate because I’m
here too.” She seemed to answer his questions; he wondered for
a brief second if she could hear his thoughts. He then canceled
it out. If she could hear his thoughts, he’d be able to hear
hers. “The only thing that’s bugging me is...” she continued,
“I don’t know these people. I can only send people I know in
the present to people I knew in the past.”
“Don’t worry, Ellone,” said Seifer. “You’ll disconnect eventually.
Maybe then we’ll make some sense of this.”
Suddenly, Squall’s “host” had looked up. A woman entered the
room. She wore a long purple gown adorned with silver. She had
long, blonde hair and blue eyes. Still, despite that they looked
nothing alike, he knew it was Rinoa. No matter what she looked
like on the outside, it was always her soul shining through
her eyes. Just as it had always been. Rinoa had just entered
a room and Squall was standing there. Even though he had long
black hair and bright green eyes, she could tell. She was sure
“Keara...” whispered the man as she entered the room.
“Meallan...” Keara replied as she approached him.
Meallan held Keara tightly in his arms and kissed her as if
her kisses were the nectar of life. Squall and Rinoa had no
“Have Aidan and Kealan arrived yet?” Keara asked.
“No, not yet,” Meallan replied, obviously anxious.
“Don’t worry, they’ll be here. Have they ever let us down?”
“...I suppose not.” Meallan still continued to pace. Keara
rolled her eyes. Squall tried to look around, but it was hard
for him to get a clear picture because of Meallan’s pacing.
Still, he was sure he recognized this place.
“Rinoa,” Squall asked, “do you know where we are?”
“It seems familiar...” Rinoa replied, “but I just can’t put
my finger on it...”
Squall’s thought was interrupted by another entrance. A man
with dark brown hair wearing armor entered along with a girl
with blood red hair in a long white gown. Both Rinoa and Squall
recognized them as Seifer and Ellone, immediately.
What does all this mean? thought Squall. Back when
Ellone had connected me to Laguna, I couldn’t tell who was Kiros
or Ward. Why is it so blatantly obvious now?
The brown haired man fell to one knee. “King Meallan, Queen
Keara, please forgive our tardiness.”
Keara smiled. “It’s alright, Sir Kaelan. However, we must hurry,”
“Thank you, your highness.” He kissed her hand.
The four of them walked up onto a platform. When they all stood
on it, there was the sound of a gear switching, and a door opened
in front of them. Inside was a small room made entirely of white
marble. The far wall was lined with huge windows, making it
possible to view the city below. It’s design was similar to
that of Esthar’s, though the technology was not nearly as advanced.
Now, however, there was fire and destruction everywhere. Monsters
were attacking. They could see Hyne flying above it all.
Is this the Lunar Cry Hyne mentioned? thought Rinoa.
Then this must be Centra and we’re in..."The Centra Ruins,”
she said out loud.
“What?” the other three chorused.
“We’re in the Centra ruins,” Rinoa repeated. “Squall, you said
you had recognized this place; this is where we got Odin. The
platform we all stood on was the elevator. The door just looks
like a very decorated wall...”
“You’re right,” said Squall, remembering the room. “Then we-”
He was interrupted by Meallan’s voice. “Aidan, would you do
Aidan gracefully walked up to the candle covered altar. She
began to say some words in a language none of them recognized.
Suddenly a glowing image of a woman appeared before them with
radiant gold hair and a long, flowing gold robe.
All of them fell to one knee. “Meliora,” Aidan said, “Goddess
of all, we ask for guidance.”
“What is it?” When Meliora spoke, it also sounded like a million
voices, but instead of a million voices screaming, it was a
million voices singing.
“The Cult of Hyne has finally risen against us,” Meallan began.
“They have invoked Hyne, the demon of death and destruction,”
“She now wreaks havoc on the city of the Centra and the followers
of the light,” Kealan added.
“We ask you for guidance on how to protect your people and
chase this demon away from the mortal realm,” Aidan finished.
“It is not yet time for the final confrontation,” Meliora replied.
“Then what should we do?” Keara asked.
“You must flee. But first, take these.” Four rings appeared
in front of them, glowing white. Squall recognized his Griever
ring. Rinoa could see her angel feather ring her mother had
given her just before she died. Aidan had the ring Raine had
given her when she was very young, a silver ring with an emerald
eye inlaid upon it. Kaelan had a ring, however, that Seifer
had never seen before, two silver swords, crossed at the center.
When Kaelan put it on his finger, for the first time since Seifer
had been the Sorceress' Knight, he felt complete. “These rings,”
continued Meliora, “will open the sacred temple in the North.
Now leave Centra before all is lost.”
In a flash of white light, Meliora was gone. So were Rinoa,
Squall, Ellone, and Seifer. They awoke on the grass of the clearing.
“Dude,” said Zell, “one sec you’re all fine, then BOOM, you’re
“Did Ellone send you to the past?” asked Quistis.
“Sort of,” replied Squall, rubbing his head.
“What happened?” Selphie asked.
Squall went over to help Rinoa up. “We need to go to the Centra
Ruins. The next piece of the puzzle lies there.”
When they arrived at the ruins, Squall, Rinoa, Seifer, and
Ellone entered, alone. Just as they had in the past, all four
stepped onto the elevator. Again, the gears switched and the
door opened. They walked in. The windows had been all blown
out, and the marble was cracked and burnt and missing, but it
was the same room.
“Sis?” said Squall. Ellone looked around, not sure what to
do. Aidan had spoken in a language she didn’t understand. Still
she approached the altar.
When she arrived, the words came to her effortlessly, “Guthre,
Adowa, Kelekea,” she said under her breath.
Again, the room was filled with white light and Meliora appeared.
“You have returned,” she said. They all fell to one knee.
“Meliora,” Ellone said, “Goddess of all, we ask for guidance.”
“What is it?”
“Hyne has returned to the mortal world,” said Squall.
“We do not understand the past,” Rinoa continued.
“Yet again, the survivors of the Centra and Followers of the
Light are in danger,” Seifer said.
“We ask for the knowledge to end this once and for all,” ended
Meliora looked perturbed. “What do you mean, you do not understand
Rinoa stood. “In the world we have been raised in, we were
taught that Hyne was the Great Creator of all life, that the
Centra civilization had been destroyed by a natural event called
the Lunar Cry, and that these rings were mere family heirlooms,”
there was a brief pause as Meliora absorbed all this. “We now
seek the truth.”
“In the time of the Centra,” Meliora began, “the Cult of Hyne
was a small group with very few followers. They believed that
Hyne would cause the end of the world, and that only those who
worshipped Hyne would be spared. Overall, they were ignored.
However, after years of building their forces secretly, they
went and summoned Hyne into the mortal realm. 80 years ago,
she came, and she brought down the plague of monsters from the
moon, destroying the Centra and sparing her followers. From
what you say about the world today, it seems that the Cult has
overtaken the world and spread their beliefs to everyone, using
the destruction of the Centra as an example, leaving very few
Followers of the Light remaining...”
Meliora paused again, taking in everything. “All of you turned
to me for guidance 80 years ago, and now you all return to me
for guidance now that the final confrontation is upon us.”
“Meliora,” it was Ellone who spoke. “When the Centra people
had been destroyed, it was not we who came to you, but King
Meallan, Queen Keara, Sir Kaelan, and Lady Aidan. However, we
did see what happened due to my...special abilities...”
Meliora smiled at this. She had had no idea how little they
had known. “My children,” she said, “you are Meallan, Keara,
Kaelan, and Aidan. Throughout the ages you have always been
my chosen ones, and defended me and the Followers of the Light
against numerous forces of evil. And though you have been called
by many names, you have always had the same souls.”
That was how I saw Rinoa in Keara, thought Squall. They
are the same person.
“Now that the time has come, you must go to the sacred temple
in the north. However, Seifer, you do not have your ring?”
Seifer hung his head, “...No Meliora.”
Meliora’s face became stern. “You must find that ring,” she
said with urgency. “That ring contains a piece of you inside
it. Whoever owns it, owns you, and all my powers combined could
not bring you back. It is more powerful than if they owned a
vile of your blood. As long as it is in the hands of a Centra
descendant, you should be safe, but should it fall into the
hands of a follower of Hyne, terrible things could happen.”
Terrible things have happened, thought Seifer. He remembered
how complete he had felt when he was the Sorceress' Knight.
He thought it had been because he was living out his dream,
but after Adel’s death, he had felt empty again, without purpose,
except now, not only did he feel empty. He had seen the damage
that had been done and felt guilty too.
“We will find it,” Ellone said gently, more to try and support
Seifer than to Meliora.
“Then go,” Meliora said as she began to fade away. “ Once you
find it, go to the sacred temple in the north where the Shumi,
Followers of the Light, protect the entrance.” She disappeared.
When they returned to the Garden base, their friends were waiting
for an update.
“UNINFORMED,” stated Fujin.
“Yeah, ya know? Keepin’ us in the dark ain’t cool, ya know?”
chimed in Raijin.
“I must say I believe we are all curious as to what is going
on,” Quistis said, arms crossed and one eyebrow raised, using
her Instructor voice.
Squall put his head in one hand. This isn’t going to be easy.
“Alright,” he said out loud, “let’s go to the Library”
They all walked over to the Library and sat in the back area.
Squall began to tell them everything that happened from the
moment they were at the remains of the small village to their
encounter at the Centra ruins, with the others filling in the
details. Besides an occasional “Dude!” from Zell and a “...ya
know?” from Raijin, followed by a kick in the shins from Fujin,
they were silent and attentive.
Once Squall finished there was a long silence.
“...Dude,” Zell finally said.
“Uh...Squall...?” began Selphie.
“Well, this is really confusing, for us. I mean. Hyne. And...?”
she began to mumble in a high pitched squeak.
Irvine laughed, “Must be a bit too much for her.”
“Are you not disturbed by this Irvine?” Quistis asked.
“Well, considerin’ I wasn’t all that religious in the first
place, I don’t really care either way. Personally, I didn’t
think ya’ll were all that religious either.”
“Well...” Quistis began, “...I never really was, but... it’s
still relatively disturbing. That, all this time, ‘God’ has
actually been a demon.”
Irvine shrugged. “As the saying goes, 'only difference between
a cult an’ a religion is one hundred years.' Or in our case,
Selphie seemed to have regained her composure. “...Squall...?”
she began again.
“Yeah...?” he replied, doing his best to be patient.
“How do you four feel about this?”
“Yeah, dude. Isn’t it like weird?” chimed in Zell.
They all paused for a bit. They hadn’t really thought about
how they felt...
Rinoa shrugged. “I don’t think we really know how we feel about
it. I know it feels...comfortable, like slipping on a worn in
pair of boots.”
Squall raised an eyebrow at her. Worn in pair of boots?
I wouldn’t exactly call it that...but... “I don’t really
have any feelings about it. After what I saw in the past, I
know Meliora is right, or at least she is better than Hyne,
and right now that’s good enough for me.”
“...You sure about that?” Irvine asked. He wasn’t sure if Squall
was just hiding his feelings or if he seriously didn’t have
“Yeah,” said Ellone, “It’s weird. You’d think we’d be more
surprised or something...but...we just...aren’t.”
“So you don’t feel...anything about it?” Selphie asked.
They all shook their heads.
Seifer stood up. “Well, I’d love to spend all day in a frickin’
religious discussion, but I believe we have some things to actually
deal with, in case you all forgot.” He marched out.
“He has a point,” said Rinoa, watching him leave. “There’s
a lot that needs to be done...and I’m exhausted. Good night
everyone.” She got up to leave, Squall following her.
Everyone began to flow out of the room.
“Speaking of your room Rinoa...,” the picture of Rinoa’s destroyed
room came to his mind. The crew had just finished fixing the
blown out wall, but the rest of the room was still a shambles.
“...why don’t you stay in my room tonight?”
“Sure,” Rinoa said almost instantly, “but...um...is there a
reason I should sleep in your room?”
“Yeah, well, uh...” Squall began to explain what happened as
they walked toward the dorms.
“Yeah Selphie,” said Irvine, putting his arm around her. “Why
don’t you stay in my room tonight.”
“Nice try, Irvy,” she said playfully poking him in the ribs.
“Hey!” he said. “I just wanna protect you! What did you think
“Sure Irvine, sure...” she said, going to her own room.
“Darn...” he said, waving as she left.
The next day Seifer had been pacing around Garden all day.
The Garden in general put him in a bad mood. He hadn’t spoken
to anyone, including Fujin and Raijin who had been hurt when
he blew them off. Eh, they’ll get over it, he thought, they
“Hey Seifer!” called Rinoa from behind him. She and Squall
were walking toward the cafeteria.
“Hey,” he said, straightening from his hunched posture. He
figured since he’d be working with Squall and Rinoa for a while
now, he could at least try to be nice. Besides, Rinoa looked
exceptionally beautiful beaming next to Squall.
They caught up and all began walking together. Rinoa was in
the middle of a discussion with Squall and didn’t pay too much
attention to Seifer. As Seifer watched her hold on to Squall’s
arm and talk to him, he thought he began to understand what
she had told him back at Obel Lake. There was a powerful feeling
between them, but it wasn’t love. He knew that now. What he
felt for Rinoa was a sense of duty, like a brother to a sister.
He had finally felt love, he thought. He was almost sure that
back when he was Kaelan and he was wearing his ring...that he
had loved Aidan. However, he didn’t think he loved Ellone. She
was nice, and pretty, almost beautiful too...but...
“Got that Seifer?” Seifer stopped his daydream to the sound
of Rinoa speaking his name.
“What?” he asked.
“Ellone wants us to meet her in the Library at one o’clock”
“Yeah, yeah, I heard you,” said Seifer, walking off. He didn’t
feel like dealing with being “nice” right then. Maybe when he
got his ring back, things would change, but for now he still
Ellone entered the library promptly at 1:00. Seifer was sitting
hunched over on a desk. He looked as if he had been sitting
there for quite some time. When he saw her enter, he stood and
pulled out a chair for her.
“Thank you,” Ellone said, sitting down.
“No problem,” said Seifer, leaning back on his chair and putting
his feet on one of the desks.
“Where are Squall and Rinoa?” Ellone asked as she looked around.
“Heh,” laughed Seifer, “probably making out somewhere-”
“-Sorry we’re late,” Rinoa said, panting as she ran in. Squall
was right behind her.
“It’s alright,” Ellone said, suppressing a giggle because of
Seifer’s expression. “Okay,” she said, gathering herself. She
motioned for Squall and Rinoa to sit. “Seifer, I am going to
send you into your past. Tell me when you find your ring. Understand?”
“Of course,” said Seifer, using his usual cocky attitude. Seifer,
however, hadn’t expected going through his past to be so difficult.
He saw when he failed the SeeD exam, Rinoa dancing with Squall
at the SeeD ball. He had snuck in, and when he saw Rinoa and
Squall had regretted it.
Then he saw millions of things he had done as the Sorceress’
Knight. Damn it, he thought, isn’t it enough I have
to put up with it now? Can’t she send me to any time I was happy?
But when he thought about it, there wasn’t any time he was genuinely
happy. Finally he was back to his childhood. At least he didn’t
have to worry about feeling guilty then; all he ever did was
make fun of Chicken-wuss, and who couldn’t help doing that?
Suddenly he was at a table. Everyone was there. Chicken-wuss
with cake all over his face, Irvine watching Selphie play with
a few colorful balloons, Squall was sitting diligently next
to “Sis” and Quistis was handing brightly colored packages to
Edea, who sat at the head of the table. I remember this,
thought Seifer. It was Matron’s birthday. Everyone had gotten
her a gift except me. I had forgotten. Still, I had to get her
the best gift. He watched as the little version of himself
handed his ring to Edea.
Ellone disconnected. “Edea has it,” Seifer said right away.
“However, she must be a Centra because I never had any problems
as a child.”
Squall raised an eyebrow at him. “Shut up, Squall!” he said
Ellone looked shocked by his anger. Seifer inhaled deeply.
Like it or not, he had to try and be civil with Squall. “I meant
I didn’t have any problems with-”
“-Until she became possessed,” Squall interrupted.
Seifer looked at Squall. Of course, Seifer had figured out
it was because of his ring that he had become the Sorceress’
Knight, but how had Squall figured it out?
“That’s right,” pointed out Rinoa.
“How did you know about it?” asked Seifer, sullenly.
“Meliora made it pretty obvious,” said Ellone, smiling. “The
question is, why did you remain the Knight after Edea had transferred
Seifer shrugged. “Wait,” said Rinoa, “...Seifer, what did your
ring look like?”
“Two silver swords crossed,” he said, putting his elbows on
his knees. "Why?”
“After we defeated Edea in Galbadia Garden, I remember seeing
that ring in front of me before I became possessed.”
“I remember it too,” said Ellone. “You had dropped it in the
control room at the Lunar Base,” she said to Rinoa. “I had it
until Raijin took it away from me after I was kidnapped, and
gave it to Adel. Then after Adel had been defeated, I took it
back and gave it to Uncle Laguna...meaning...”
“Laguna has it!” All four stated in unison.
As the group walked through the presidential palace again,
the building's roof and some walls had been blown out. They
approached with caution. When they entered, the lobby was a
“Uncle Laguna!” Ellone cried as she ran toward his office.
Laguna was lying against the wall. He was bleeding a little,
and was pretty banged up, but he’d live. “Uncle Laguna!” Ellone
ran to his side. "Are you okay?!”
Laguna looked up. “Who, me? Heh heh...I’ll be fine. After all,
I survived falling off a cliff. I think I can survive being
thrown against a wall.
"OWOWOWOWOW!” he cried as Ellone hugged him.
“...Sorry,” she blushed as she let go.
“What happened?” Squall asked, even though he could tell exactly
“That Sorceress you guys had been chasing came asking for ‘the
ring of the chosen one.’ I tried to tell her I had no clue what
she was talking about, but she just slammed me into the wall.
Then she stood above me, called me a ‘Centra Fool’, and took
that ring you gave me, Ellone. Then she left.”
“Damn!” Seifer slashed his gunblade into the wall. He turned
on his heels and left.
“Seifer, where are you going?” called Rinoa.
“Fujin, Raijin, let’s blow this popsicle stand!” he shouted
as he marched out.
Rinoa looked at Squall. “Shouldn’t we follow him?”
Squall shrugged. “He feels he needs to handle this on his own.
I say we let him.” Squall knew what it was like to want to deal
with things on his own.
Rinoa bit her lower lip. She really didn’t think now was the
best time to separate.
“Sorry to sound rude,” began Laguna, “because the last thing
I wanna be is rude, but, am I missing something? After all,
I thought you guys, didn’t like that Seifer...”
Ellone sighed and began. “Well, Uncle Laguna, you know about
the ‘Great Hyne’, right?”
Seifer began to travel north to the Mordred Plains. He decided
until he knew what he was doing, he’d have to follow his instincts.
“Ya know? Seifer, why’d we finally ditch those Garden Geeks
anyway, ya know?”
“Because,” said Seifer, “There’s something that needs to be
done, and whenever something important needs to be done, they
bring in the best guy to do it.” He was still very good at being
cocky, despite the fact he had no idea what he was getting into.
Especially because, when they arrived at the top of the cliffs
that separated the Mordred Plains, all they could see below
were black cloaks.
Squall was alone in his dorm. They were heading east, the direction
Nida had seen Seifer going. He had turned down Rinoa’s invitation
to the Quad, much to both her and his surprise. He was too busy
thinking about the people he would take to get the ring back.
The biggest problem was Rinoa. Hyne needed her. So taking her
with the party to get the ring would be putting her, and the
party, in danger. However, Hyne might be coming toward Garden
right now, and if Rinoa was here, he wouldn’t be here to protect
her. He couldn’t just send three random people to go get the
ring either. He had to go with. He’d been thinking in circles
all day. That’s it, he thought. I’ll ask Rinoa, and whatever
she says, goes.
He walked toward the Quad. Rinoa was on a bench next to Ellone.
“Alright,” he said, sitting down. “Rinoa, what do you want
“Do what?” asked Rinoa.
“Do you want to be in the battle party or not?”
“Yes,” Rinoa said instantly.
“Are you sure?” Squall asked, surprised by her certainty. “It
will be very-”
“-Yes I’m sure,” Rinoa answered again. “I’m involved in this,
and I’m going with.”
“Me too,” said Ellone.
“Ellone?” Squall asked. Rinoa he could understand; she was
a good fighter, but Ellone...
“Squall, I’m involved in this too. Besides, remember last time
all four of us were together? She’s afraid of us united. Therefore,
now is not the time to go our separate ways.” Ellone looked
at Squall with the scolding look she used to use back at the
“... ... ... ...Whatever...” he finally replied. “We better
get geared up to leave.” He walked off to go back to his room.
Ellone and Rinoa... he thought. I’m going to have
my work cut out for me.
The Garden arrived at the Mordred Cliffs at sunset. Squall,
Rinoa, and Ellone exited, only to be greeted by three cloaks.
Squall pulled out his gunblade.
“Hey now, Squall, I do still want the chance to show you who's
the better gunblade master, but now’s not the time.”
“Seifer?” asked Ellone.
“In the flesh,” replied Seifer, removing his hood. Fujin and
Raijin removed theirs also.
“Yeah, ya know? We brought ya something, ya know?” They all
pulled out black cloaks from underneath their own.
“These guys are idiots,” said Seifer, laughing at the cloaks
below. “All it takes is a black cloak and you’re one of them.”
Rinoa, Squall, and Ellone put on their cloaks. “She’s keeping
the ring with her, over there.” Seifer pointed toward the far
north side of the plains. “I don’t know when she plans on using
it...” Seifer’s voice trailed off.
“GET MOVING,” said Fujin. Squall and Seifer nodded to each
other and began to climb down the cliff.
As Ellone struggled down, Squall began to regret allowing her
to come. She didn’t have the training for it. On the other hand,
neither had Rinoa when he had first met her, but she had become
quite an accomplished fighter since then.
Everyone was at the bottom, except Ellone, who was still a
bit of a ways away from the ground.
“Come on,” Seifer called up to her.
“JUMP!” yelled Fujin. They were still quite far from the other
cloaks; Fujin didn’t need to worry about being heard.
“Don’t worry, I’ll catch you,” Seifer said.
Slowly, Ellone nodded and jumped off.
Seifer caught her effortlessly, as if she were a falling pebble
instead of a falling person. “Thank you,” she said quietly.
Seifer couldn’t see her blush under her hood.
They began to walk toward Hyne. Hyne’s voice boomed. “Soon
it shall be nightfall, and then it shall be the beginning of
the end of all the Centra!”
The cloaks all gave a great cheer. Squall and the others did
also, though they were cheering for their upcoming victory.
They slowly approached the throne. Hyne’s blood red fingernails
were tapping the gilded arm of her throne, impatiently awaiting
nightfall. Seifer saw his ring glistening on a small pedestal.
He could no longer contain himself. The piece of himself he
had always been missing was sitting right in front of him. He
ran out and grabbed it.
“Seifer, no!” Squall whispered. Seifer ran back and slipped
the ring on his finger. He felt whole. However, now was not
the time to celebrate his victory. He had been lucky Hyne was
so busy waiting for sunset she hadn’t noticed. However, soon
she would, so they had to run. They were halfway through the
crowd of cloaks when the sun set.
“And now...” Hyne began reaching for the ring “...WHAT?!?”
She scanned the crowd and saw the six that were running. “Kill
them!” she screamed, pointing toward the Renegade cloaks. This
command confused the cloaks, however, because all they could
see was their own kind. All the cloaks began to fight one another.
The team was getting away without a scratch, until a cloak tripped
Rinoa and her hood flew off. The cloaks immediately recognized
her as a threat and began to attack. Squall instantly covered
her and began to attack the swarming cloaks as Rinoa put her
hood back on. Once her hood was back on, the cloaks no longer
saw her as a threat. She looked back at Squall. He had come
just in time, but barely. He had been too late to block the
first attack with his gunblade, resulting in a nasty gouge in
his right arm. Rinoa bit her lower lip, knowing it was her fault.
She hated always being the damsel in distress.
She wished for once she could save herself.
Ellone gawked up at the dizzying cliffs. She had barely made
it down; how was she supposed to climb up?
“Come on,” Seifer said, reading her mind. “Get on my back.
I’ll climb fast enough for both of us,”
Ellone nodded and climbed on Seifer’s back.
Squall was the one to reach the top last this time. By the
time he was at the top, he could barely walk because of the
blood loss. Rinoa did her best to help him to the Garden, until
Raijin came and carried him on board.
Squall opened his eyes to see Rinoa above him. In the bright,
fluorescent light of Dr. Kadowaki’s office, she looked like
an angel watching him from heaven. “Rinoa...” he said, lifting
his hand to touch her hair. Suddenly, he became aware of a shooting
pain up his arm. He brought it down immediately and winced.
“Shh...” Rinoa said, putting her fingers to his lips. She smiled
at him as she continued to unwrap the bandages. “We used a few
Curagas after Raijin brought you on the ship,” she said, answering
the question his eyes were asking. “Dr. Kadowaki said you’ll
be fine, but you’ll have another scar to add to your collection.”
She fingered the scar on his face and smiled.
Squall smiled and grabbed her wrist with his good hand, then
pulled her down and kissed her gently on the lips. Her lips
tasted of vanilla, as they always did, and he didn’t want to
let her go.
“Well, I see Squall’s doing fine,” Dr. Kadowaki said as she
Rinoa jumped up and blushed. “I was just taking off the bandage,”
she replied to the ground.
Dr. Kadowaki laughed. “It looks like you were doing more than
that.” She laughed again. “Anyway, I was just checking in, and
now I’m going to go out...AND LOCKING THE DOOR,” she suggestively
called back as she left. She had always thought those two looked
Rinoa smiled at Dr. Kadowaki’s implication, knowing there was
no real reason the door needed to be locked. “We’re heading
toward Shumi village now, like Meliora told us,” Rinoa said,
looking back at Squall.
“How’s everyone else?” Squall asked. He hadn’t remembered a
lot from what happened.
Rinoa laughed, “I can’t say I notice any difference in him
with or without his ring, but at least we can enter the temple
Rinoa looked into his eyes then looked away. “I’m fine, thanks
to you. You know, that gouge should be on my arm, not yours...”
Rinoa still felt really guilty and angry with herself.
The thought of Rinoa bleeding made Squall cringe. “I’m used
to it,” he replied with a shrug. “Besides, chicks dig scars,
“Oh, definitely,” replied Rinoa, running her fingers through
his hair, something she always loved to do.
Squall put his left arm around her waist and drew her closer.
Maybe having the door locked wasn’t such a bad idea after