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Final Fantasy II (2)

Small disclaimer: This is just a story I made up which takes place after the destruction of Zeromus. It mostly centres around Rydia, but contains many of the other characters as well. I really hope you like it, it's my first real attempt at a fanfic. I'd really appreciate it if you'd E-mail me at the link below to tell me what you think of it. Thanks!

-Rydia Thenardier

It never seemed to get cold there except for the occasional ice shower created by a caller in training. Had it been three years? Five years? No one would be able to tell you because in the Land of Summoned Monsters time was different and not usually kept track of. Life was usually short for an outsider to the stange land, like a human. If Rydia didn't have such a strong bond with the land and incredibly powerful talent in black magic she herself would've been showing signs of age.

But Rydia was still very youthful and just as powerful. No longer driven by nessecity to further strengthen her black magic skills, beyond Meteo she had only learned one knew black magicc spell; *youth. It kept her growth at a steady human pace in such a place if used upon oneself regularily. The spell was very uncommon because the inhuman residents of the Land of Summoned Monsters had a lifespan corresponding correctly with the timestream. How long had it been in regular human years since the wedding of Cecil and Rosa? Probably no more than a year at most. Upon thinking about it, Rydia realized there was no particular reason that she hadn't visited the upper world since then, except the obvious; it was a lengthly and costly trip. Since the destruction of the Giant of Bab-il, a passage had been created in the tower from the underground to the upper world for transportation means. Maybe the reason was that she didn't have an airship and the only way for her to get there would be through the tower. Even in it's present state, the Tower of Bab-il vivid memories. Almost frightening memories. The tower was used basicallt for those without airships, an obvious majority, so there was no possible there were any threats in the tower such as monsters. Rydia decided the trip through the tower would be brief, and it was about time she payed a visit to the King and Queen of Baron.

Before she journeyed out, Rydia pinned up her lush forest green hair and pulled up her leather green boots. She had always worn green. It contrasted beautifully with her blue eyes. Rydia always looked presentable, and not much primping was required. It had never been very significant in her life anyways, she had higher concerns than her appearance. She hoped she wouldn't be inposing, showing up without invitation. Regardless, she she left her home to go visit the upper world for the first time in three years..... or had it been five?.....

As Rydia neared the entrance of the tower, she drew out her whip automatically, then put it right back upon realizing it's uselessness in the present situation. She couldn't decide why she had brought it with her in the first place. She normally wouldn't. She was stopped by security guards and had to stop herself from weilding her whip again. She was used to confrontation in the tower of Bab-il to be a threat. She ccalmed herself down and paid the regular 150 gp's for entrance and transportaion fees. The Tower of Bab-il almost seemed a different place, all crowded, public and clean. She followed the arrows to where the train to the upper world was supposed to be and suddenly stopped in her tracks. She felt faint and held her head. She saw Cecil, Rosa, Kain and an enfuriated Edge beside her, and a grand minion of the flame, Rubicant, in front of her. The vision quickly melted away and she shook her head to rid herself of the vivid deja-vu. Where one would wait for the train was the same place where they had fought that battle. It was hardly recognisable, but just enough. The train looked like a cross between a subway and an elevator. She got into it and waited until it would fnally reach the upper world.

When she emerged from the tower her gaze fixed on to the restored castle of Eblan. She gasped. It was a stunning building, like none she had ever seen before. After their journey Edge must have restored it. Prince Edge. Or could he be a king now? In order to ascend the throne he would've had to have had a bride. He must've been a prince. Nevertheless, it aroused curiosity and she could see no harm in paying him a visit. Truthfully, she had a strong yearning to see what had become of the headstrong, loudmouthed Ninja. She smoothed out her skirt and approached the front gates. She was then stopped by a guard.

The guard stood in front of the door and eyed her inquisitively. "What is your business here?" he asked her sternly.

"I would like to request a visit with Prince Edge." Rydia replied, unmoved by the guard's cold, forbading stare.

The guard appeared uninmpressed and even slightly amused by the stranger's request. "And what is your name?"

"Rydia, Caller of Mist." she replied confidently. She was the only remaining survivor of the Callers of Mist and was extremely proud of her heritage.

The guard stood there silently for a moment. "Our Prince is occcupied. If you so choose I may leave him a message and perhaps he'll find time for you at a later date."

Rydia's pleading stare had no effect whatsoever, and with the newfound peace she was in no position to use her magic to influence his decision. She lowered her head, gravely disappointed and left the castle grounds. She decided not to let the insult ruin her trip and set her mind on finding her way overseas to Baron.

Edge heard the commotion at the front gate, but didn't pay much attention. It would soon be his twenty-first birthday and he had enough troubles on his mind. Sighing deeply, he arose from the throne and decsended down the castle's steps to the main entrance of the castle. It was approxemately ten minutes after Rydia's departure. He looked at the guard. "Wasn't there someone at the door a few minutes ago?" he enquired casually.

The guard snorted loudly. "Yessir! But it were just some impudent wench wanting your time and attention. She claimed to be a Caller of Mist but everybody knows them people were all wiped out, so I sent the lyin' broad on her way."

Edge was stunned. Rydia was a Caller of Mist. Could it have been her who had just dropped in so unexpectedly? After all this time? But it had to be! She was, after all, the only Caller of Mist left alive. The shocking realization melted into anger. "GUARD! I did NOT give you my authority to send anyone away unless they were merchants! NEVER send ANYONE away before notifying me. How dare you... YOU ARE HEREBY DISMISSED FROM YOUR POST UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!" Edge boomed, his voice echoeing through the castle.

The guard shuffled away, figuring he'd be back at work by the coming week. After all, their less than disciplined prince was well known to kick up a fuss about nothing.

But it wasn't nothing. Edge knew about the impossibility of a potential relationship between himself and the intruigueing Caller, but he remained infatuated with her beauty, and her in herself. Even though it was as if they lived in two entirely different worlds he would have wanted to see her again. He stormed up to his room, knowing he wouldn't be able to catch up with her.

Rydia had successfully found a method of travelling to Baron. She rented an airship. It was no petty fee but the time saved made up for the hefty cost. She certainly hoped that her trip would prove more fruitful than her attempt at seeing Edge. Her hope wavered as there were two stern guards at the gates of Baron as well. With a breath of relief she walked right past them. It seemed that they were stationed there to prevent any potential enemies or invasions from entering their land, not to harrass harmless civilians. She had a vivid memory of the castle, at least from the main entrance to the throne room. Being the King, the most obvious place to look for Cecil would be the throne room. Once there, stern, questioning faces began regarding her suspiciously. None of them especially friendly, and none familiar. The gaping faces became slightly intimidating. Was she really such a spectacle? Not particularily welcoming questioning she removed herself from the room. She then branched off to the right wing of the castle, the area where she had been when she learned *Odin. Before she ccould get very far she was stopped by a voice.

"Rydia? Rydia, is that you?"

Rydia turned automatically to the sound of her name. Before her she saw a King, a Hero, a Paladin and a friend; Cecil of Baron. She smiled widely. "Cecil! Hi! How are you doing?" Rydia exclaimed, hugging him happily.

"I'm doing just great, Rydia." Cecil replied sincerely. "It's good to see you again. Come up to our room, I'm sure Rosa will be thrilled to see you!"

Rydia accepted the invitation and followed behind Cecil. In her years in the Land of Summoned Monsters, she had enjoyed the company of a few companions, but had never had a true friend. Never anyone who she truly bonded with. She just then came to realize that she had been lonely. She had almost forgotten how pleasant it was to be in human company, especially in that of Cecil and Rosa, otherwise she would've visited sooner. It seemed as though her entire body was filled with a new liveliness. She entered the King and Queen's room where Rosa was reading quietly.

"Rosa, we have a visitor." Cecil informed her.

Rosa turned around and gasped. "Rydia!" She hugged Rydia warmly and motioned for her to sit down beside her. Unfortunately, Cecil couldn't stay long as he had business to attend to.

"How long has it been now?" Rydia asked, still uncertain of the timeflow.

"Almost three years." Rosa smiled. "It's our anniversary in two weeks."

"Are you two happy?"

"Oh yes!" Rosa replied. She and Cecil had been together for a long time, long before they were married. Their two very different personalities seemed to compliment each other and flow together beautifully. She had always loved that part of their relationship, also it was apparant that they both genuinely cared about each other to no end, and had very few problems. Their marriage had turned out ideally, all that was missing was a child. But everything could ccome in time, and as Rosa and Cecil were both still young, they were in no hurry. She turned her attentions back over to her guest. "And what about you Rydia, any special man in your life?"

Rydia shook her head, also realizing there was yet another gap to be filled in her life. "There haven't been very many opportuninties for romance where I live." she admitted regrettably. Her mind drifted off to thoughts of Edge. Of course, she could never have him romantically. He was a Prince, and the successor to a nation. She was an orphaned black magic witch. The combination was impossible. She did miss him. She became embarassed, finding that her thoughts had become focused on Edge when thinking in the context of a potential romantic partner. She blushed softly and chastised herself. Edge had always been a competant warrior and valuable member of their team. She refused to think anything more of him.

Rosa nodded, wondering whether or not to tell Rydia of Edge's likely engagement. There had never been anything solid between them but everyone had known the interest was there. She would hope that Edge would invite Rydia to the celebration, so it wasn't necessary for her to be the bearor of bad news. But looking at Rydia's dreamy eyes, she could almost see Edge's image dancing within the shiny blue. "Rydia..." she began. "Edge is getting married next month."

Rydia's eyes opened in shock. She felt a tear begin to form but willed it away. "How nice." she said shakily.

"Are you okay?" Rosa asked, putting her hand on Rydia's shoulder.

"I'm fine." Rydia gasped, hoping the fact she was somewhat crushed wasn't apparant on her face. "Why wouldn't I be? I'm very happy for him..." It wasn't very convincing, even Rydia knew it.

"Rydia, I know there really wasn't much time for small talk while we were on our quest, but it was very apparant you had a thing for Edge. Also, I think on that horrible mission I found a very good friend in you. You should be able to tell me how you feel."

Rydia was grateful and happy to have anyone call her a good friend. And she was right, why should she keep her thoughts all trapped inside her. She looked up to Rosa and smiled. "Thanks. Well, at least I have an idea of why he was to busy to see me." she related bitterly and proceeded to tell Rosa about her wasted trip to Eblan.

"I really don't think Edge was even consulted from the sounds of it. I'm sure he would hve seen you had he known." Rosa reassured her.

"Who is the girl he's going to marry?" Rydia asked curiously.

Rosa shrugged. "He's uncertain."

Rydia raised an eyebrow not understanding. Then she remembered that Edge was a prince and his parents were dead. He would have to take the throne by the age of twenty-one and to to do that he would have to marry. He would have to marry some princess.

Seeing the look on Rydia's face Rosa suddenly had an idea. "Come on Rydia! We're going to visit prince Edge!"

Rydia just stared at her.

"They have to let me in, I'm queen of Baron. Furthermore I have my own airship to go there. Let's go Rydia, you're not backing out!" Rosa's face lit up with the idea. It would be great to take a short trip away from Baron and get re-aquainted with Rydia along the way. It would also be very interesting to see the interaction between Rydia and Edge. She grabbed Rydia's arm and proceeded to practically drag her into the back room of Baron where they keep the airships. Despite Rydia's light protestations she knew she wanted to go as well. The whole trip would be amazing.

The two wizards appeared before Baron about five hours later. Rydia became apprehensive and actually expressed that it was insulting for her to be returning after she had been sent away. Rosa assured her it was alright, and the fact that a different guard was posted at the entrance, it added to it. He seemed to display the same disagreeable disposition that the other guard had. Rosa approached him, with Rydia not far behind. They were, of course, stopped at the entrance.

"What is your business in the kingdom of Eblan?" The guard asked, in very much the same fashion as the previous one.

"I am a friend of the prince, and I wish to request audience." Rosa replied professionally.

"Too many broads wantin' the prince..." the guard muttered under his breath, too quietly for Rosa to hear him. "And just what gives you the cheek to show up here and expect a meeting with royalty?" The guard chuckled.

"This," Rosa replied, displaying her ring with the royal crest of Baron engraved on it. She looked over her shoulder to Rydia and winked. Rydia smiled back mischievously.

The guard immediatly dropped to his knees. "Queen Baron! I am gravely sorry for my rudeness. I shall see that you and your companion get treated with the greatest respect while visiting our humble nation." he stammered, opening the doors.

Baron was the world's largest and most powerful nation. It's inhabitants received great respect and the royal family were, in a way, the rulers of the world. Rosa held up her white skirt elegantly and proceeded up the stairs, with Rydia following silently. They were then met by two well dressed guards who gently escorted them into the royal lounge, to await the prince's company. They were offered food, drinks and music but they turned them down, satisfied with each other's company.

Rosa grinned. "It helps being royalty!"

Rydia smiled weakly and tried to straighten out her hair with her hand. She brought a hand up to her mouth and bit down on her pinky nervously.

"Rydia, are you... shaking?" Rosa asked, alarmed.

"I'm fine, just a littled nervous." Rydia replied, regaining her composure.

Before they had any time to lengthen their conversation, a well dressed man, presumably some figure of authority, entered the room. He bowed to the sorceresses and smiled. "May I present to you, the fine prince of our....."

"Oh quit the formal crap." a voice cut him off, and a handsome, well built ninja walked past him into the room. It was Edge. His eyes opened wide as they layed upon Rosa and Rydia, his jaw dropped in utter shock, unable to keep his gaze off Rydia. He closed his mouth, cleared his throat and turned to the man who had attempted to formally introduce him. "You may leave us." After the man's departure, Edge just stood there for a minute, eyes switching back and forth between his two old companions. " No...I mean..." he began, feeling thoroughly emabarassed at his difficulty to communicate. He had never imagined he would see her again... And even so, even in his imagination he hadn't remembered her being so stunning.

Rydia's gaze lingered on Edge. He was still extremely handsome, but the angry, forelorn look he had once hosted was gone from his eyes. She felt her face grow warm as they momentarily locked gazes. "When I was refused entry this morning, I figured an escort like Rosa would definitely help the problem. I didn't know you were so repulsed at the thought of my company," she laughed.

Edge shook his head wildly. "Oh no! I would have really loved to see you!! It wasn't my fault..... *ahem* er... I mean... Your refused entry was the result of insubordinance of a guard. Your company is always welcome in the palace of Eblan." he recited formally, having trouble keeping a straight face.

"Practicing, Edge?" Rosa asked, amused. Formal speaking was very out of place in their loud, rude, arrogant friend. He seemed to know it as well.

"It's really great to see ya Rosa!" Edge said, loosening up. "It's been awhile since you've payed me a visit." He then re-focused his attentions on Rydia. "But I had absolutely no idea I was going to see your face around here." he said, trying to hide the fact he was nervous.

"Neither did I." Rydia replied, staring off into space. "I suppose I only this morning realized how lonely I was becoming."

The chemistry between the two was still completely obvious. Rosa smiled at them halfheartedly. She was happy they were able to see each other, but was unhappy that they could never achieve the kind of relationship she could see they both wanted. She rose from her seat. "You two talk. I'm going to find a washroom." Rosa didn't actually need to find a washroom, it was just an excuse to let the two have some time alone together. She left the room gracefully.

The two were silent for the next few minutes. Each expecting the other to break the silence. Rydia took the initiative, asking a painful but significant question. "I am told you are to marry." she began, a fake smile taking over her face. "Tell me about it."

Edge sighed. Forced marriage wasn't a very appealing idea to him. He looked over to Rydia. She seemed very happy for him. He had almost hoped that she would suddenly have an enraged outburst, complaining that he could never marry another. Her face revealed no such emotions. He shook his head. "What was I thinking?" he thought to himself. "She has no interest in you! Just look at her, she's happy you're getting married. You should stop dreaming and realize this is a one side love..." reminding himself of that he managed a smile himself. "That's what they're saying, but oddly enough, they haven't told me nothin' about it." he laughed.

Rydia's face hurt. There was only so long that one could keep a fake smile plastered on. "It doesn't seem to bother him in the least." she thought to herself. She stifled a bitter laugh. She had half hoped he would protest, claiming that he had no intention of marrying another. But his face revealed no such protestations. "How could I even begin to think that?" she scolded herself silently. "You must accept that it's a one sided infatuation, he isn't interested in you. He's getting married..." she told herself again and again. She continued to look pleased. "I'd like to meet her." she told him. "No, no, I would not like to meet her, I would like to call Bahamut upon her..." she thought to herself evilly, shocked at her own ideas.

"If I knew who she was I'd letcha, but I still haven't chosen."

Rydia looked at him, confused.

"I have until the day before my twenty-first birthday to choose my bride." He explained. "It must be one of high profile, a princess or figure of authority." he recited mockingly. Just then Rosa re-entered the room.

"Have you two been getting re-aquainted?" she asked pleasantly. They both nodded with their plastered on smiles. Just then a guard opened the door.

"Edge, the chancellor requests your presence." The guard said firmly.

"That means I gotta go, ladies. I'll have one of my men prepare a room for you if you wanna stay awhile." before he left he looked into Rydia's eyes. "It would be nice if you'd stay awhile." and with that, he left the room.

Rydia sighed longingly. Her face was burning. She had v=never thought that seeing him again when not faced with the distractions of battle would have such an effect on her. But it did, and she couldn't hide it. She began daydreaming, picturing herself and Edge getting married. She sighed again.

"Thinking about him?" Rosa said as more of a statement than a question. "So what were you two talking about when I was elsewhere? When I returned, both of you were blushing like schoolchildren!"

"He was blushing too?" Rydia asked dreamily.

Rosa nodded, then noticed that it seemed as if Rydia had forgotten her question and was caught up in her own fantasies again. "So...." Rosa prompted her but she still received no reply. Even she had underestimated Rydia's thing for Edge. She had always known it was there, but just not to such an extent. She then decided to do whatever she ould to shed at least a small ray of hope on the situation, if it could be found. She cleared her throught to get Rydia's attention, and was finally successful.

"Oh! Sorry about that. We were talking about his plans to marry... he seems... contented." she concluded. "But he himself doesn't even know who it is he is going to marry." she laughed, even though she wasn't very amused.

"Well..." Rosa began standing up. "Let's go get ourselves a room. If your prince charming isn't yet charmed by another, perhaps he'll find his bride right here." she coaxed her looking at her slyly.

Rydia stared at her in disbelief. It was an impossible notion... wasn't it?


The thing he had had in common with Rydia was that he too had never returned, but it had been even longer for him. He no longer even remembered exactly how to get there, even thoughit was his home too. He had been greatly affected by the mission they all had embarked on. He had been bestowed with amazing intuition. A better sense of warning... Street smarts. But his intuition was telling him something.... Something was wrong, something important...but he couldn't pinpoint it. He knew it would continue to torment him until he exposed the truth, if it was to be found. With his mind set, he tied back his blonde hair and left the mountain. Perhaps to never return...

Edge unlaced his boots slowly while he sat in his room thinking. He didn't want to get married, not so suddenly, not to someone he didn't even know. And he very much doubted in the short time that remained for him to choose a bride he would find the ideal girl. Royal girls were all too annoying. He had thought so since his seventh birthday when a whole flock of them ha attended. They were all so caught up with themselves. The fact that they were born into a royal family somehow lead them to believe that they were better, smarter, prettier people than all the commoners... But it was all in their heads. The only royal girl Edge could stand was Rosa. But Rosa hadn't been born into a royal family so that probably explained her fun, down to earth nature. And Rydia... Although her childhood had been stressfull and her adulthood perilous, she still stood more regal, stunning and confidently than any other girl he had met, yet without the self-involvement. He would have to do his best to spend as much time with her as possible now that she was here, because she was so unpredictable, so who knew how long she'd stay? A tour? Perhaps a hike in the new monster-free environnment? He decided to leave it unconcluded for the time being and went to bed.

Rydia woke up and stretched out her legs. She had slept surprisingly well, the guest beds in Eblan proved to be very comfortable. She looked to the bed beside her. As it appeared, Rosa was already up and about. She saw her out of the corner of her eye, she was reading. Rydia stood up and walked towards her. "You're reading?" she asked.

Rosa smiled. "Oh, good morning Rydia. Actually, I'm studying. I've been trying to come up with a white magic spell that would restore magic points."

"That's a great idea! No one would have to buy those horribly expensive ethers anymore!"

"That's what I was thinking." Rosa concluded.

Rydia got dressed. In green.

"Do you always wear green?" Rosa questioned looking up from her studies.

Rydia looked down at herself. "I suppose so... I never really realized it." In the Land of Summoned Monsters she had gone through a daily routine. Never questioned it, never changed it. All her clothes were green because they were dyed with natural resources such as grass which were green. Most had been woven for her by some of the monsters near her. Most of her footwear was either green or black. "Does it look odd?"

"Of course not." Rosa laughed. "I was just wondering if there was any particular reason for it." As she completed the sentence there was a knock at their door. Rosa opened it and Edge stood in the doorway.

"Mornin' ladies." He said, and sat down on Rosa's bed. Near the ruin of the tower of Bab-il there's a forest to go. It's really nice there especially without the monster scare. I have a day off so I figured we could head down for the day." he suggested

"Of course." Rosa confirmed, closing her book. "Splendid idea! And to spice up the occasion, I'll invite Cecil to come as well."

"Cecil... Wow. It's been awhile since I've seen that one." Edge realized. And with the exception of Kain, that would be the entire group that faced Zeromus. He furrowed his brow. Something inside of him was sending off alert sensors. Something he couldn't quite decifer. It was as if there was some particular reason they were joined together. Something beyond socialising. He looked at Rydia and Rosa. They didn't know. It wasn't planned, but there was something. Almost like a calling. Or maybe it was only his imagination. After all, everything was so jumbled. But he couldn't help but feel a sense of defensiveness. Not towards Rydia and Rosa but corresponding with their presence. Was it real?


Time was of the essence. Everything was beginning to come together. He knew where and when. But still, he had absolutely no clue as to who and why.... or if. The familiarity of his surroundings began to haunt him. But in whose company had he been in when he had been there? Whose memory was he taking these familiarities from? Which side of the former warrior? It didn't matter. He had made up his mind that he would intervene without causing a scene. No one else needed to know if he could stop it himself. And he was confident. Perhaps altogether too confident. But confidence was an impotant attribute to one in battle, a battle he knew would come. Cecil.... Rosa.... Rydia.... Edge.... all the others... They need not get involved. He had made up his mind to help preserve their peace, as he had once made the mistake of depriving them of that peace. Soon.... He was almost there....

"Cecil!!" Edge exclaimed, upon viewing his old companion who had just joined the party of friends.

"That is King Cecil of Baron to you, invalid." Cecil snapped with false authority. Then they both began to laugh, exchanging jokes.

The afternoon was proceeding quite pleasingly. Everything was going on as planned. The four sat on a tablecloth in a picnic like fashion, laughing and teasing like children. Rydia had never really known what it was like to go out on social occasions. She liked it. She very much enjoyed it and she soaked it in. The sun began to set, but the fun was hardly over. The four went to the waterside and began to frolick with the waves. Rydia eventually tired of this activity and stepped out into the forest. Everything was always so beautiful at night, or so she believed to be true.

Just then Rydia began to feel uneasy. She heard something else in the woods. She looked around. Nothing. She reasoned that it would have to be a small animal, but the sounds of rustling leaves and crunching braches were too loud than those made by any sort of small animal. She took out her whip. She stared at it in amazement. She couldn't figure why she had brought it in the first place. She had known it would only be a social engagement... Her uneasiness was somewhat relieved when she saw Edge rounding the bend. It had been him in the woods.

"Rydia. You ran off." He smiled, nearing towards her.

"Rydia leaned against the trunk of a tree behind her. "I was looking at the forest. It's much easier to look at the forest when not blinded by excessive sunlight." She told him, admiring his beauty in the dim lighting as well.

Edge neared closer towards her. "Rosa and Cecil began to... indulge in each other's company perhaps a bit too much. Then I realized your absence."

"You don't have to talk like that around me." Rydia laughed lightly.

Edge laughed a trifle as well, even through his embarassment. Rydia had always giving him the impression of being so regal, in all her melancholy dispositions. If he was the prince, and she the orphaned mage, and yet she still had an aura of royalty about her that he was yet to possess, he figured he could at least try to fake it. He inched yet even closer too her and looked even deeper into her eyes. He opened his mouth again to speak, with an heir of importance, bu was interrupted by a shrill screech from the sky above.

The two looked above their head. It was a huge bird!! Absolutely humongous!! The flapping of it's wings was enough to cause a wind to hit Rydia and Edge. "What is it?!" Rydia yelled over the sound of it's flapping.

""It's a Ravelak! I haven't seen one of those in almost five years!! Don't worry Rydia, it's noisy, but not hostile."

It continued to circle over their heads, keeping it's gaze fixated upon them. It screeched incessantly, glaring at the couple with it's wide yellow eyes. The force of it's flapping blew Rydia's hair and almost seemed to slap her in the face. It contiued to circle, like a vulture stalking it's meal.

"If it's not hostile them why does it glare at us like that? And why won't it leave?" Rydia yelled. But before Edge had a chance to respond the great bird swooped down with it's talons open extended towards the both of them! Both of them, luckily battle trained were abe to dodge it. But it had a longer lasting effect on their minds. What was happening? All the monsters were gone! The evil had been defeated.... it had... had it not?

Edge ran over to Rydia intent on comforting her, but she stood confidently, in defense, whip in hand. She was obviously not looking for comfort. She prepared for it's next potential attack, determined to be on the offensive rather than defensive. She knew very well she could have easily turned it into Kentucky Fried Chicken by means of her magic, but she decided that it was probably an isolated incident. After all, animals can go crazy the same as humans. There was no need to bring a greater force into the matter. The threat was completely under control.

Rydia waited. It continued to circle. But before it again descended upon them Rydia saw a shadow cover the little bit of sun left in the sky directly above the birds' head. As the figure above the bird made contact with it, the bird screeched and fell to the ground heavily. It seemed as though it had been attacked from above. It crashed only steps away from Rydia and Edge.

Edge steppedc towards it. "What the hell just happened?" he demanded.

Rydia appeared equally cross. "I don't know any better than you. It appeared it was attacked from above."

"By what?!"

"I... don't know. I couldn't make it out. And it was fast. For all we know it could have been hit by a travelling airship. It could have been another bird, a sprite, a dragoon, or any other form of flying beast. Not to say the attack was even intentional."

Edge sat down and punched his fist into the ground angrily. "Pretty theory. You just don't want to admit that the monsters may have returned." He sneered.

Rydia rose. "I don't need you to direct your feelings of hostility, imaturity and disability to handle pressure on to me. No need to make something out of nothing." And with that said she took off into the woods away from him, towards the direction of where she had departed from Cecil and Rosa. (bite)