The light shone on my face signaling the new day. The birds welcomed the morning with their songs as the ground shook around me. Are we under attack? I jerked awake, expecting to find the Lamia to be attacking. I shielded my eyes and glanced around when they adjusted to the light. A carriage? Why am I in a carriage? Where am I? Last I remembered I had laid down in my bed in Al Zahbi. Two Elvaan children sat across from me too transfixed on the world outside to notice anyone, and a Hume male across from me, smiled.
"Morning!" he said.
"Good Morning." I replied. I paused for a moment wondering if I should speak further, then timidly said "Um, excuse me, but where are we?"
The Hume laughed. Did I say something amusing? My face twisted into a scowl and I was about to express my displeasure when the man's smile faded from his face. The carriage came to a sudden stop and I could hear the chocobos getting restless. I turned around and stared at the creatures as an arrow grazed my cheek. Immediately both me and the man grabbed the children and bade them hide behind the trees accompanied by our driver. The man unsheathed the sword in his hilt and reached over the side of the carriage grabbing a bow and tossing it at me. I caught it and stared at it as though he had handed me a foreign object. "But I'm a White Mage." I thought, "I don't know how to use this."
"Don't you know how to use a bow?"
I shook my head.
He must have seen the confused look on my face.
"Ain't known a Viera wot couldn't use a bow proper."
Viera? What is a Viera and why does this man think that I am one?
Another arrow whizzed by and I dropped the peculiar statement to focus on the matter at hand. I nocked the arrow in the bow. I might have never used a bow, but I had seen one used by many an adventurer on my travels throughout Vana'diel. I pulled the string back and let the arrow fly. The monster fell, the arrow protruding from his chest. I stood there for a moment half amused, half surprised. I didn't have time to celebrate as his comrades' attention now turned towards me.( called Ixal by the people here, resembles the Yagudo but lacks their brilliant black feathers)
One by one they fell, some to the sword, others to the arrow. When the last had drawn it's final breath or fled the man turned towards me and smiled.
" Handled like a true Viera, beautiful work." He tried to wipe the sweat from his brow but only managed to smear the blood from his hands on his forehead. "Name's Bremondt."
"Crescentia." I replied. "Nice to meet you."
Bremondt sheathed his sword and started to walk towards the woods beckoning the frightened children out.
"Um, excuse me sir?" No response. "Mr Bremondt?" He turned his head as he helped the children back into carriage. "You keep calling me a Viera. What's that if I may ask?"
He gave me a confused look. The children looked at me as if I was crazy then whispered something amongst themselves.
"Don't know what else you would be called with those ears of yours." He chuckled.
Ears? What about my ears? I raised both of my hands to the side of my face.MY EARS ARE GONE!
My shocked face must have amused the children because they both laughed and the girl pointed to the top of her head. I slowly moved both of my hands up my hair (which I noticed was now white instead of black, a detail that was pushed to the back of my priority after the discovery of the missing ears) and up two long, furry bunny-like ears.
"And to answer your earlier question: You were on the carriage to Gridania, that is, until we were rudely interrupted." Bremondt glanced toward the slain monsters. "Those Ixal that fled will be back and they won't come alone. We'll notify the patrol when we arrive, shouldn't be much further." I climbed into the carriage and slumped into my seat. The children were already situated and had fell asleep, no doubt it was a trying moment for them. Bremondt,who had gone to see about the driver and to help calm the chocobos, now made his way into his original seat across from me and gave me a look of concern. "You alright lass? You've been actin' kinda strange all day." I wanted to scream, "My name is Crescentia Avagnar, Hume White Mage from the Federation of Windurst!"
if only to reassure myself of who I was. Instead I bent forward in my seat, burying my face in my hands. I'm so confused. I paused to gather my thoughts and Bremondt must have sensed this because he didn't press the question.
Who? What? Hell, at this point even When
is a possible question. I barely had time to get through any possible explanations when the carriage came to a stop again, this time at the gates of what Bremondt had call Gridania. (the Gates of Gridania remind me of Windurst, my home.)
I sat there as the children were woken and escorted off the carriage. I started to slowly remove my hands from my face, hoping that this was all a dream and I would be back in my bed in Al Zahbi. There it stood in all it's glory, yellow serpent and all, my new home. I held back tears as I dismounted the carriage and stood in front of the gate and blankly stared. As the driver started to leave Bremondt kindly asked him to wait and exited the carriage. After informing the guards about our earlier attack he quietly stood beside me, leaving me to my thoughts for a moment before speaking. "May the Twelve guide you on your adventures in Eorzea. Until we meet again, friend." I turned my head to him and gave him a saddened smile. He rested his hand on my shoulder in reassurance then turned slowly back toward the carriage. Just as he was getting in, I remembered I still had his bow. I took it from my back and handed it to Bremondt. "Keep it," he said, "to remind you of me and our battle together. May it protect you from harm on your journeys." And with that, he was gone. I sheathed the bow and stood in front of the gate again. This is it. This is me. I approached the gate and the guards nodded me in. As I walked through, I resigned my fate as I had learned it:
There is no more Vana'diel.
There is no more Windurst.
There are no more starry nights with friends.
Fides, Turroe, Redgwen, Fig, Darkwing, no one by those names exist anymore.
And worst of all, there is no him To Be Continued...