In Memories We Walked
«The Far Edge of Fate
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Ah, Forename. Fellow master of the dark arts. And yet that is but one of the many faces you wear.
Slayer of Gods. Rider of Dragons. Savior of Ishgard. A hero by any measure who stood against Nidhogg on the Steps of Faith when others fled.
A hero who walks in light and fights for great causes...and a knight who walks in darkness and fights for the forgotten. A contradiction, some might say.
Rubbish, I say, but you tell me. Do you yet walk the path?
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! So long as innocents suffer, I will not forsake the abyss. ! If I must forsake the abyss to serve the Light, then so be it.
...I thought not. Then let us speak as comrades.
Ishgard has seen much change in recent days, and many proclaim it to be the dawning of a new era of peace and prosperity. An enlightened age...yet as we both know, the brighter the light, the deeper the shadows.
As dark knights, we must remain vigilant for injustice, and be ever ready to defend the weak and downtrodden. Now more than ever.
It has been a while since we patrolled the streets of our fair city─felt the cobbles beneath our boots and so forth. A tour from the top might be in order. Why don't we start at the Last Vigil?
...I was not aware that they were mutually exclusive, but you would know better than any. Go well, friend.
I should be glad if there is no call for us to draw our swords this day, but do not doubt that there are still evil men in this city... In any event, we shall join you at the Last Vigil anon.
(...If you ask me, it's just an excuse to spend time together.)
Hm? You seem distracted... Ah, right. You were a ward of House Fortemps.
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! Once upon a time... ! No longer.
No, I suppose not...
Huh? Damndest thing, but I swear I heard something in your pack break...
Bloody hells, is that your soul crystal!? What happened to the other half?
Forgive me. It seems I am the one responsible...
...I do not know you, boy. Name yourself.
...Myste, my lord.
...Hm. I'm no lord, and you're no Myste. Don't think I wouldn't know a bastard of the Brume by sight.
I have a power. A power which I can use to help those in need.
Alas, this power requires a tremendous quantity of aether. I thought to draw on natural sources nearby, but in so doing, I stole a portion of that contained within your crystal...
Forgive me... Please, forgive me... I will return it to you, I promise, but I must first ask that you allow me to use a portion!
...Myste, was it? Who do you want to help?
Anyone. Everyone. Look around you. Is not this world filled with sadness and despair? If I can free but a single person from their burdens...
He means well enough. Why don't we help him find someone in need and give him a chance to use his power?
Oh, bloody brilliant! Let's believe the mysterious boy with the mysterious power who mysteriously stole a portion of Forename's soul crystal. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, it's your crystal, Forename. Either we deal with the boy here and now, or we go along with his plan. And since you're not reaching for your sword, I gather it's the latter?
Congratulations, boy. You get your wish. We're not like to find any poor unfortunate souls here, so I suggest we head to Foundation. And if we find no one suitable there, you are to return what you stole at once. Understood?
Yes, my lord! Thank you for placing your trust in me!
I remember when I first came to this place. So full of delusion and despair. All the more reason for me to do what little good I could...
Coin in the coffer, milady! Until you pay what's owed, you'll get naught more from me an' me boys!
You have my assurances that the remaining funds will be delivered soon. Surely that is enough to convince you to resume work?
I've got a score of clients clamoring for me services─clients willing to pay in full, in advance. I'd be a fool to put you ahead of 'em.
I understand that, I do, but it has been an eternity since we first brokered this arrangement! And many of the clients of whom you speak have come to you but recently. I know this to be true!
<sigh> ...It's one thing to aid the scholasticate, milady, but you...you've got to understand me position here. Bloody politics, it is.
...No man lifts a chisel till we're paid in full. I'm sorry, but that's the way it's got to be. A blessed evening to you.
Oh...I beg your pardon. I did not notice you standing there.
...As you may have overheard, I am funding the restoration of the statue of Saint Valeroyant. And, as you may have guessed, it is not going well, on account of my insufficient funds and my family's growing infamy...
My cousin is...was...Ser Ignasse de Vesnaint of the Heavens' Ward.
He served the archbishop faithfully, together with his sworn brothers. Great, goodly men who were complicit in terrible crimes, if Ser Aymeric and this Warrior of Light are to be believed...
Ignasse was distraught when he learned the statue had been destroyed by the Dravanians. He took it upon himself to champion its restoration...but because of these tales, others are reluctant to involve themselves.
I do not know nor care if Ser Aymeric speaks the truth. Ignasse was my cousin and a man of the Fury, and I will honor him by completing his legacy.
Or so I once believed. Perhaps it is indeed beyond me...
Forgive me, cousin. I tried...
We found someone, didn't we? I knew it. I knew we would...
I can help her. Yes, yes...I will make it right. I have the power.
Come! Let us not keep this poor woman waiting!
Is this she? The one you would have me help?
Is this child a friend of yours? The way he stares at me is somewhat...
Do you wish to see your cousin again?
I... Well, yes, I would love to see Ignasse again. More than anything. But I know I will not. He walks in Halone's halls, I am certain.
Think of him. Think of his face, of his smile. Of his laugh. Remember every moment you shared, every memory, and hold that image of him in your mind's eye... And then go to a quiet place you shared where no one will come. Wait for me there.
I really don't understand what this is all about, but...since you seem so earnest, I will trust in you and do as you ask...
There is a garden to the south of the Tribunal of which we were both fond. I pray you will explain all to me when this is finished.
Go with her. I will go to Sidurgu and Rielle and bring them with me. Then you will all understand what I can do, and why you must help. That's a promise.
I think of Ignasse every day, but what is this meant to accomplish?
Ah, your friend has arrived. He has brought companions, I see...
No... It cannot be!
Ignasse! Is it really you!? Oh, praise Halone! You're alive! You're alive!
My dear cousin, how it warms my heart to see you in good health. I pray you will forgive me for my lengthy absence...
Don't be foolish! There is only joy to see you returned! Come, we must go to your father and mother at once! How they will weep at the sight of you─
I cannot. Better for them to mourn me as the son who gave his life in service to his archbishop and his home.
I have heard that you yet labor to see the statue of Saint Valeroyant restored. Know that I am grateful beyond measure.
I...I am undeserving of your praise, cousin. For all my efforts, the statue remains a shattered ruin...
But seeing you here, so full of light and life, fills me with renewed conviction. I will see it through, I swear to you.
And...if you have indeed done the things they say...then perhaps it will earn you a measure of forgiveness...
I love you, cousin. Now and ever after. Look after my parents...and yourself.
I don't know how you did it, but thank you for bringing him back to me. But you must know he is not safe here. I pray you help him to flee the city.
She's right. Ishgard is no place for a man of the Heavens' Ward.
We will sneak him out of the city. The fewer the better. Meet us at Falcon's Nest after. We have much to discuss...
I will never forget this kindness. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
For fear of being seen by the sentries, I bade the others go on ahead.
We should hurry. The further they take Ignasse from Millie, the weaker he will become. I pray we are not too late...
Godsdammit. I should have known.
I...I don't understand. What happened to him?
Forgive me... Forgive me... I should have known the magick would not sustain itself much longer...
That which you see before you is Ignasse. What remains of him...
I can give the memories form. I can breathe them full of life and return them to their loved ones. But as the memory fades, so too does the magick...
Aether, formless and free. That which I took I used to make Ignasse...and Millie...whole.
Draw your sword. Reclaim that which was lost. Consume the abyss with Souleater.
That which was taken shall be restored. Consume the abyss. It is yours.
It is finished. Good. I've had enough of this farce.
Conjuring a simulacrum of a bloody knight of the Heavens' Ward in the middle of Ishgard!? Fury take me, you are a fool. We're lucky to be alive...
Your soul crystal is restored, then?
We had an agreement, boy! You were to return that which you stole!
Forgive me, forgive me... I returned to you that which was used to give Ignasse life, but as for the remainder...
Four more times. It is within my power to do this four more times. Four more times, and you shall be made whole. You have my word.
For a boy with such an incredible power, you are remarkably helpless. Not only did you rob Forename of his aether, you imposed upon him to find your “people in need.”
You want to do good? You want to be a hero? You want to help people? Then why weren't you better prepared?
I...I will never be a hero. I only wanted to help...
It is not death itself we fear, but the unfinished story. The promise of what could have been. It is enough to break a heart...and a man.
The shattered pieces of a life will never come together again. But, if a glimpse of their loved ones grants them the peace they deserve, then I must...I must...
It is your decision, Forename. You are the victim.
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! Perhaps some good may come of this. ! Well, he's got my aether. I'm not about to let him out of my sight.
Thank you, thank you. Together, we will make them whole.
Then...then you will continue to accompany me? That is...a relief.
We're not going anywhere, Myste. Even Sid. He may look and act like a chocobo's arse, but he means well.
Fine, fine! I'm only trying to put the fear of the gods into the little shite, but by all means, go ahead and undermine my authority!
Anyway, I'd rather not freeze to death out here in the snow. Let's return to Falcon's Nest and discuss what to do next.
I knew you would understand. How could you not?
For the most part, I'm happy to go along with Sid's act, but every now and then I have to remind him not to be so grim and dark.
Just what I needed. Another child to look after. Am I a dark knight or a nursemaid? Even I don't know anymore... <sigh>
But times, they are ever changing, and perhaps we dark knights must change with them. Long-held truths are become lies, and villains heroes...though I should be glad if I never have to deal with another “hero” again.
No offense, of course. But you are the exception that proves the rule. The righteous are all too uncompromising, and woe betide the man who offends their delicate sensibilities.
If anything, I say you are too accommodating, but it is your aether and soul crystal at stake. Four times, he swears, but we shall hold him to it. Together.
In the meantime, you may as well get some rest or attend to other matters. These two can keep themselves company. Maybe I'll find somewhere to take a nap, or a tavern to have a drink...