Rising to the Occasion
Well, if it isn't Forename! What a delightful surprise. And just look at that posture and poise! I can see you've not neglected your training one bit since we last parted.
As for us, Troupe Falsiam continues to tour Eorzea, bringing hope to the dejected and downtrodden. Whenever and wherever the Totentanz threatened to rear its ugly head, we were there to cast out the shadows.
With tales of our performances spreading across the realm, we've had no small number of aspiring dancers knocking at our door. Training them was consuming nearly all my waking hours, but recently Ranaa has stepped in to help shoulder the burden.
Truly, I'd be lost without her. And what of you, Forename? Have you had any noteworthy performances since last we met?
!I traveled to and from a distant world. !I journeyed in search of a legendary hero.
And I thought our voyage to distant shores a long one! I see you've had yourself quite an adventure─though I confess the full import of your tale is quite beyond my comprehension.
Still, this bounty hunter you befriended put you in quite the predicament, didn't he? It reminds me of another troublemaker I used to know...
Me, a troublemaker!? I may have been immature, but I only had my friends' best interests at heart. Isn't that right, Forename? And besides, it sounds like even this bounty hunter came around in the end.
...Indeed. There is a certain something about you, Forename. Something that brings out the best in those whose lives you touch─and Ranaa here is a prime example.
The hot-headed girl I once knew has come into her own as a dancer, a woman, and a leader of her peers. Perhaps it is finally time that...yes, I am sure of it.
Forename. Ranaa. There is a dilemma that has been weighing heavily on me of late, but I do believe I've finally found an answer. Pray accompany me out of the city to La Noscea─I would discuss matters further with you away from the crowds.
Mistress Nashmeira has come to rely more and more on Ranaa of late. At first, I wondered if this was wise, but I must say I have come to be impressed with the girl's newfound maturity.
Over and over Mistress Nashmeira promised me: no more secrets! But I suppose she just can't help herself sometimes...
Forename, Ranaa...forgive me for not sharing the news with you two sooner. As fortune would have it, Troupe Falsiam has been invited to perform at the Mujikoza in Kugane─and our patrons are willing to pay a premium for our services.
The Mujikoza!? You mean that I could dance on the same stage that has hosted some of the most renowned artistes in all the Far East? Someone pinch me! When do we leave?
As soon as we are able─and therein lies my dilemma. The threat of the Totentanz still looms over Eorzea, and I have a duty to train the next generation of dancers to carry on Troupe Falsiam's mission.
I cannot very well abandon these shores while my life's work remains undone. And so I turn to you.
Ranaa Mihgo. You have blossomed into a fine dancer, and a capable leader. I would have you assume my role as principal, and oversee Troupe Falsiam's tour of Kugane.
Mistress Nashmeira...what are you saying?
It is the only practical solution. You would travel to Kugane to share our art with our friends in the Far East, and I could remain here to train our new recruits, and deliver the people of Eorzea from the throes of the Totentanz.
B-But I'm not ready for this! There is still so much I must learn. You told me as much just moons ago!
And I have seen you come far since then. No one is born a leader, and doubtless it will be a struggle at first. But you are every bit as prepared for this role as I was the day I inherited it.
I would not make this offer if I did not believe this with all my heart. And yet, I cannot─and will not─force the position upon you. But at the very least, pray think upon it for a while.
Me, leader and principal of Troupe Falsiam!? I do believe Mistress Nashmeira's lost her wits! Why, I still remember the days I would trip over my own two feet every time I took the stage!
And yet, she seems intent on remaining here in Eorzea. If I refuse, the curtains will fall on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase our art on the Far East's biggest stage! And yet, were I to go and fail spectacularly...
I swear, my mind is going in circles! Whatever should I do, Forename? It's not like me to brood and fret like this!
!Then stop brooding. !You are a dancer, are you not?
I suppose you're right. I've always been the type to act before I think. If thinking about my problems is getting me nowhere, perhaps I should just start moving and see where the moment takes me.
What are you saying? That if I cannot find the answer I seek in still thought, perhaps I might find it in motion? Hmm... You may very well be right.
Dance with me, Forename. Show me through your motions all you have learned in your travels, and help me to clear the shadows of doubt from my mind.
A stunning view, no sign of onlookers for malms─yes, this place should serve nicely for our private performance.
We dance today not for admiring crowds─our only audience is each other. So face me, Forename. I would look upon your movements in all their glory, and let you inspire me to greater heights.
Oh, thank you, Forename! That was simply exhilarating!
From the first step, I couldn't take my eyes off you. Before I knew it, I had forgotten myself, my worries carried off by the wind.
You were watching me, yes? What did you think? Have I truly come far, as Mistress Nashmeira says?
!Indeed you have. !You will go further.
Tee hee! You're too kind, Forename. Seeing you has inspired me to work even harder, that I could truly reach the heights Mistress Nashmeira envisions for me.
Hah! So you're saying there's still room for improvement, eh? Well, consider the challenge accepted! I'll train harder than ever, and next time we meet, you'll see what I'm truly capable of!
In any event, this I know more than ever: dancing is my life, my calling. I must continue to perfect my craft, that I might inspire and bring hope to others, just as Mistress Nashmeira and you have inspired me.
The answer is clear to me now. I may not be the leader that she was, but I will be the leader I know I can be.
Thank you for everything, Forename. I must return to Limsa to relay the news to Mistress Nashmeira. You will join me there, won't you?
Breathe, Ranaa... Breathe...
Ranaa here came dashing into town half out of breath. I can only assume what this means─the girl has found her answer, has she not?
You bet I have! I may not be ready to fill your toe shoes completely, but damned if I'm not going to try! Leave the tour of Kugane to me!
I am proud of you, Ranaa. Now, go and tell the others that you must begin preparations at once. I will be along with Forename shortly.
While I am beyond pleased with the results, I must admit I did not expect the girl to reach a decision so quickly. Whatever did you do to bring about her change of heart?
!We danced together. !That, I cannot say...
So it was not with words, but through your actions that you spoke to the girl. Indeed, it is as I thought─your very presence is as a mirror that helps those around you discover their true selves.
That's between you and Ranaa, you say? Well, with all the secrets I've kept from you, I suppose I'm not one to talk. And yet, as silly as it sounds, I can't help but envy the friendship you two share.
In any event, Ranaa owes much to you, my friend...as do I. Troupe Falsiam is stronger for you having joined us. Come, now. Let us return to the others.
To think the girl I thought of as a little sister would one day lead Troupe Falsiam! This will take some getting used to...
Look at all those surprised faces! Not that I can blame them, of course...
I cannot say I was prepared for this. And yet, if this is how Mistress Nashmeira would have it, it is far from my place to oppose. Besides, nothing in this world can last forever.
With the end of one era comes the beginning of the next, and all of us here welcome Mistress Ranaa's reign. We will do all in our power to see that Troupe Falsiam continues to flourish under her stewardship.
Kuihlud, my friends...you are too kind. Let us not forget that we are all in this together. If we move forward as one, there's no limit to the heights we may reach!
And with that, we must prepare to set sail without delay. In Kugane, too, there are those whose spirits sag, and we must bring them hope as only Troupe Falsiam can!
I, too, should be getting on. The Totentanz threatens to return in hidden corners of the realm, and I must train the next generation of dancers to continue our fight.
And you have your own adventures to return to, don't you, Forename? But don't be sad. Mistress Nashmeira, you, and I─even if we go our separate ways, we will always be united by our passion for dance.
Our paths will cross again, I'm certain. And on that day, you'll be simply astonished at the dancer I've become─mark my words!
And so to you─my rival, my friend─I say not farewell, but rather, keep dancing, until we might once again take the same stage!