*A beacon of hope, Deliver us the Dark.*
I stood in front of the gate to the crystal tower as Alisaie, Krohman, Alphinaud and Cleo arrived. A big smile formed upon my face, seeing so many of my friends again. Years after they had died, their was much I would have done in order to see them once more. Cleo walked up, hugging me as she passed by. Krohman looked much younger with out his white hair.
Both the twins looked to have grown since last I had seen them. Not merely in body, but spirit and will it seemed.
“It is good to see you all again. Thank you for answering the call.” I remakes as they nodded to me. Kura looked up toward us at the top of the stairs, curious with the sight.
“Scions only club it seems?” She asked, shrugging a bit as she walked up the stairway and quickly toward the doors.
“How does someone like that get the gift? I wonder sometimes” Krohman stated, baring a fang towards her back as he shook his head.
“Why was she brought here anyway? We can handle this.” Krohman stated, crossing his arms as he looked to me with many questions on his mind.
“All heroes need their journey to discover themselves Kitty. She may not seem like it, but in her beats a good heart.” I stated, petting his ear to calm him a bit.
“I wish I had time to visit with all of you right now. However the Exarch requires your attention. Krohman, come with me. I would speak to you on another matter.”
As Cleo and the twins followed Kura into the crystal tower, Krohman followed me as we took a stroll through the Crystarium.
“Beautiful isn’t it?” I asked him as he looked to me and nodded.
“I know you have a lot of questions... like why am I of all people here... and why I look so... different.” I stated to him as he followed me into the cafe. We sat down at a table as an elven woman poured us some tea.
“I’m sure it can all be answered with one. I’m just not sure why you did not bring me along for the ride.”
I smiled a bit at him, and his cleverness. The grin on his face reminded me much of the affection he would show to his daughter over the years, and even my own.
“You had a good life where I left you. You and Krehmia.”
“Krehmia hmm? Was I a grand father yet?”
I shook my head at him, smiling a bit.
“No, as the best scientist we had for nearly two centuries, she became a bit too devoted to her work. I suspect by now perhaps in that time line she may.”
“Head scientist? Does this mean everything here is because of her?” Krohman asked curious as his ears began to twitch.
“In many ways yus yus. She took over much of Cids work after he could no longer continue. Without her assistance, it may have taken us much longer to get here.” I stated, stopping myself further as I took a long sip of the hot tea in front of me.
“Did she have friends? Anyone she loved?” He asked as his curiosity was peaked.
“She had you. And she had my daughter and the entire Ironworks crew.” I smiled, Krohmans ears seemed to rise after.
“Your daughter? You had a child? Is she here or...”
“She’s gone... her sacrifice helped ensure our success. But at the deepest cost to me and her.” I said, as I grasped the Cait Sith doll strapped to my waist buckle and placed it gently upon the table. Needless to say the doll had seen better days. But stitching it gave me something to do and closure every chance I took.
“I was not the greatest mother. But Krehmia had the best father anyone could have asked for. I just wanted you to know that. And know that, no matter what happens here, I will personally assure you, Y’Shtola will return home soon with you. It was never our intention to bring her here... but it was however for you, Cleo and Kura.”
“I Again must ask, why Kura. She’s got too much of that royalty attitude behind her to be here.”
“Because the risk is too great. We needed someone more attune to Hydaelyns gift. She is what we would refer too as a farseer. Her echo rivals that of Rave Glory. Maybe even surpassing his if she would allow it. It is why she wears the blindfold. She can not seem to control her echo around others... it also may be the reason she is not very friendly.”
Krohman snickered at the thought, shaking his head a bit.
“We’ll follow your orders but this Exarch guy.... he seems to be keeping things secret. You know I don’t like that.”
“Oh I am very aware, but for now, I ask you put up with his..... Theatrics”
I stopped talking as I noticed Lyne approach quickly.
“My lady the town holminster switch is under attack. It is the sin eaters! We must send reinforcements.”
I nodded to her, patting her shoulder to calm her.
“Inform the Exarch immediately. We will await you outside the towns gate.” I ordered as she nodded, quickly rushing her way to the tower. Krohman stood up, putting on some knuckle protectors as he bore a grin.
“No need to ask, people need help. I’m on it.” He stated. I nodded, knowing he had recently learned what it was we were fighting. Sin eaters were nothing like the void creatures. No, these creatures would often change foe to ally with a mere scratch. That was the danger behind each encounter.
That was one of the reasons we needed echo users. The perhaps slim but possible chance of immunity, or maybe mere resilience. Were it possible, I wished I could have had a long chat with each of them to prepare them for the dangers ahead. However, every moment that passed, moved us closer and closer to the end. If we failed, their would be no second chance. This was the second and final opportunity we would ever have.
With the Exarchs prior failures, he cost us around five years time. All of which would have been useful to help hasten the forestalling of the eighth umbral calamity. Yet, I could not blame him entirely, for perhaps their was a reason. The tower has its own will in so many ways. It never mattered how much time we might spend trying to learn about it.
Something new always surprises us, nearly every day.
I arrived outside the town standing at the edge of the beautiful purple forest area of what they called Lakeland. More people seemed to be running out in droves. This was perhaps a good thing, considering it meant they were alive. But the question quickly became how many were dead inside?
Krohman, Cleo and Esper arrived the crystal Exarch and we quickly made our way in. His body guard Lyne kept close to him as a means to protect him. I grinned as I rushed in, stopping as I sensed an incredible amount of light aether. Removing my blindfold, I looked out to the monsters before us and tapped a button upon my gunblade. The blade became loose and allowed me to extend it out as a whip.
Slashing across the first of the pearl white creatures before me, it tore through them as anything else. We quickly strolled through the now befallen town. The hardest part was watching as helpless people running were quickly turned into these creatures. Having to ignore this thought, we continued onward destroying two commanders and finally ending the strange creature they claimed a Light Warden. Esper went to reload her gun as she glanced over to me.
“Talk to the Exarch” she stated as I turned toward him and slowly walked beside him.
“Alright.... what now?”
“Yes, the reason you were summoned.” He began to state as a large glowing energy ball of white aether began to form over the dead large fisted creature.
“Absorb the aether, Before it chooses a new host for light warden!
I looked upon it confused for a moment before slowly walking towards it, accepting its power as it quickly rushed itself into me. Each burst of aether hit me hard enough to push me down to my knees in pain. As the light orb absorbed into me, I quickly shot up an aura of light and pierced the heavens. The endless light of the sky split apart and I gazed on as it seemingly disappeared from sight. Leaving only the darkness and stars in its wake.
“Beautiful...” Esper stated as she looked up for a long moment, hiding a small tear in her eye.