Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chapter 4 - will & choice: Part 3

It had been long since he last felt the sea breeze. It was the smell of the Gran Pulsian seas. The suns rays were bright. The sound of the waves reverberated comfortably in his ears.

“Huh? What am I doing in a place like this?”

His surroundings appeared familiar. It was the seashore of New Bodhum which he departed from two years ago. It was a place he would recognize no matter what.

“Am I dreaming or something?”

He tried placing his hand atop the head of the cactuar beside him.


The sharp needles pierced right through his leather glove. It was painful enough to make want to him leap into the air. Surely, this had to be reality.

“I guess this means… I was thrown all the way back here, huh?”

Likewise, a familiar face lay ahead of where his eyes had turned to. It was Gadot. Somehow, his face looked glum. It was just as Snow was about to call out to him and ask what had happened. Someone else had said those words before the words before him.

“What’s the matter? You look down,”

Lebreau passed right by Snow and ran towards Gadot.

“Oi, hey, Lebreau. Is this how you’re going to treat me after not seeing me for so long? C’mon, ask me something like, ‘What’re you doing here?’”


It wasn’t only Lebreau who had ignored him. Even Gadot, who was within an earshot, hadn’t even bothered to look his way.

“Gadot? Lebreau? What’s going on?”

Could it actually have been a dream? No, the pain of being stabbed by the cactuar’s needles had been real. Did this mean that the Gadot and Lebreau before him were illusions?

“I was thinking if it was a good idea to let Serah go.”

His feet that were trying to walk up next to Gadot and Lebreau stopped on their own. Let Serah go? What did that mean? Where had Serah gone?

“Two years ago, the boss said this to me. ‘Take care of Serah,’ he said. He went outta his way to come see me,”

“Snow did?”

“Yeah. Serah seems happy, but she’s not all herself yet. Else there was no way she woulda backed down with a simple ‘wait here for me’.”

He was right. He looked at Serah, who had simply convinced herself that she had to stay for the kids, and he knew he couldn’t take her along. In Serah’s heart, there were a number of uncertainties, worries and insecurities. She should continue to remain under the protection of their kindhearted companions, he thought. 

“He said something like, ‘I know you might think it’s horrible of me to leave Serah like that, it’s really, really to make her happy.’ So, please, he said.”

“But, how come I’ve never heard this?”

“D’ya even need to ask? It’s a pact between two guys. It’s not just something I can blurt out. Well, I’ve gone and said it now, though.”

Really, nodded Snow in disbelief. Who would have thought he would ‘blurt’ that out right before the very person he had made the pact with.

Especially since this was Lebreau, there could be no going back. Aside from Gadot, there was not one single member of NORA who could keep a secret from Lebreau. And, well, it wasn’t as if Snow had made Gadot swear to secrecy. He just told him to keep it in the back of his mind.

Regardless, since he knew of their conversation that night, this Gadot wasn’t some sort of illusion. He was the real thing. He was sure this meant that Lebreau was real and the scene before him was real too.

“I see. So that’s what it was. I did think you were being just a tad bit defensive.”

Lebreau nodded with a look of understanding.

“You’re right. I wouldn’t have let the Serah from two years ago go either. ‘Cause she still seemed pretty unstable. Back then, Serah herself probably wouldn’t have gone either. No matter how much she was told that Lightning was alive.”

He doubted his ears. What had Lebreau said just now?

“Hey! Is Sis really alive!?”

For the past while, whether it was about where Serah had gone or whatever, they were all words he couldn’t ignore. Then, something happened just as he tried running up to them, thinking he had to know more.


Suddenly, the ground beneath his feet sank. He thought he had accidentally stepped into some mud, but it felt unexpectedly deep. When he hastily tried to pull his feet out, the ground had already reached the level of his chest.

Indeed, it was sand, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. What he had been standing on, that is. There was no way it should have been sinking like this. Yet, what was it that gave it this mud-like consistency?

“I had thought at first this whole coming from the future thing was just a bunch of nonsense. But, now Serah’s…”

What happened to Serah? From the future? What on earth was Lebreau talking about?

Snow was swallowed up by the familiar beach sands of New Bodhum, left with a number of question marks.

Once again, they had exited out into that mysterious space. That place filled with what seemed to be parts of a machine, spiralling into the distance. However, this time his vision turned white before he drifted very far. Just like that, they had arrived at their ‘destination’.

Fortunately, he had arrived without crashing awkwardly this time. Thanks to what he learned from last time, he was able to brace himself for the instant he felt he was being thrown out.

“Oh boy. I wonder what we’re doing in a place like this.”

In an instant, he knew that this incline surrounded by debris was Bresha Ruins. This was both a hiding place for the survivors of the firefight at Hanging Edge and also the place where many lost their lives in the airship crashes which followed. He had visited the Bresha Ruins a number of times to do things like erect gravestones at locations where they had to bury the bodies and accompany the bereaved families who wished to lay flowers.

Only, these Bresha Ruins seemed to have more advanced facilities than he had remembered. Although, you couldn’t originally see very far out from this incline, so it was only a fraction of what he could see now.

“So they can’t see us here either, huh?”

Chocobos dashed by, narrowly missing Snow. Even though these were chocobos, they would have tried to avoid Snow if they had saw him, and the cactuar was there too, so they ought to have had reacted in some way.

“...But anyway, it must be pretty helpful now that the Gran Elevator has been built.”

Suddenly, his ears perked up. Even though he couldn’t see them, he knew that there were soldiers standing guard nearby.

“I can’t believe when we had to order airship tickets all the time.”

“I know, right? The lines were pretty darn long at first, too.”

“But, didn’t we stop having to do that after the expansion?”

"Which reminds me, I heard they’re expanding the fourth base next year.”

“That’s sure to eliminate all the waiting time.”

“Well, they’ll probably stop for maintenance again, right? They’re pretty inconvenient now that we can just use the elevator.”


What were they talking about? How had he been travelling to Cocoon just a few hours ago? Why, the airships connecting Gran Pulse and Cocoon, of course. He had indeed been “ordering airship tickets all the time.”

He knew of the plans to build the Gran Elevator. When he last visited Rygdea, they had already began constructing it. However, it would have been due to be completed next year, in 4 AF. That had been completed and was now something that people could “just use.”

“What’s going on? Hey, what do you think?”

Though he asks, the cactuar shows him no visions. Was that supposed to mean he had no idea?

“Oh yeah, those guys disappeared into thin air, huh?”

“Yeah. They’re just like those ‘defenders of justice’ types that appear in movies and stuff, right? You know, how they show up, defeat the monsters, and then disappear.”

He could hear one of the soldiers speaking with a sigh.

“It’s really too bad. I wanted to get closer to Serah.”

What was that, just now? He was sure he had heard it. The name, Serah.

“Hey! What did you say about Serah!?”

He ran towards the source of the voice. However, he wasn’t able ask them what they were talking about. His feet had begun to sink again. As he thought, oh yeah, they can’t hear my voice, huh, he was sucked into debris littered surface of the ground.

“Huh, now we’re on a roof?”

This too was somewhere he was familiar with. He had visited the village of Oerba a number of times. They had gathered things like half-wild domesticated animals and crops, and conducted a survey on the remnants left behind by past inhabitants. Since the area had been declared a restricted Special Protected Zone after the initial survey, it was probably about two years ago that he last visited.

However, he thought the buildings had eroded significantly despite the fact only two years had passed. In the topography too, though subtle, there appeared to have been changes. Instead of two years, if someone had told him some decades had passed, he would have easily believed them. They were those sorts of changes.

Regardless, what could that soldier from earlier have been talking about?

There was that ‘like a defender of justice’ thing, too. Serah’s name was said right after that.Judging by the context, it would have meant that Serah was the one who defeated the monsters and then fittingly departed like a defender of justice.

“Who would have thought. No matter what, something like that just”

Isn’t possible, was something he wouldn’t say. If Serah was up for it and put her all into training, then it would have been possible for her to become comparable to Lightning in battle. However, whether or not Serah could have put such skills to practical use was another matter. Then, to top it all off, there was the fact of going as far as Bresha Ruins to defeat monsters.

“Nope. Can’t imagine that at all. I guess it was something else.”

The “Serah” person that soldier was talking about was probably someone else.


“At any rate, Serah should’ve been at the village. But, wait?”

He recalls Gadot and Lebreau’s conversation. Gadot said something like “was it a good idea to let Serah go,” and then Lebreau had said “I wouldn’t have let the Serah from two years ago go either.” Then, she said “no matter how much I was told that Lightning was alive.” If you connected those, then it would mean “Serah went on a journey to find Lightning,” wouldn’t it? If she had left on a journey, then it wouldn’t be strange if she had passed through Bresha Ruins.

Come to think of it, those soldiers had said “those people,” too. He assumed that the monster killing was done by Serah, but this would mean there was someone else accompanying her on her travels. Who, though? Hope, perhaps? If Hope were with her then there was a chance they would have done some monster exterminating. Then, this would mean the one who told that her Lightning was alive, was Hope.

“When was the last time I met Hope?”

Was it before he departed New Bodhum and visited Rygdea, or after? The Hope he had met with after such a long period of time had grown significantly in height. They hadn’t met for over a year, so it was no surprise that he had grown. However, it was clear that when they next met, he had grown taller again.

”No, wait, let’s put that point aside.”

When he had last met with Hope, he was still convinced that Lightning was dead. When he had told him about how only Serah’s memory was different, and about how he didn’t realize things until they were pointed out to him, he was utterly shocked.

It could be possible that Hope too, had begun gathering data based on having been told about the possibility that Lightning was alive. Then, he could have come across some information. He would visit New Bodhum to convey what he had learned, but Snow would not be there. Serah, who then received this information instead, would have decided to go on a journey with Hope to search for Lightning…

“Would that make sense, then? But wait, something still seems strange.”

Even if Serah had asked to accompany him, would Hope have gone along with it? Would Hope, who knew full well the dangers of going on an expedition, have allowed the “family of a former companion” to accompany him? That was just not possible. So long as he hadn’t been told, “take Serah with you,” by Lightning herself that is.

It was as his thoughts had reached this point. He heard the shrill call of a chocobo. Snow was left utterly flabbergasted as he casually turned his eyes in that direction.


There could be no doubt that the one mounted on the chocobo, sprinting across the beach was Serah, herself. Even from afar, there was no mistaking Serah for someone else.

“Heeeeey! Serah!”

The instant he began dashing forward, waving his arms widely in the air, he became filled with worry, “am I gonna be sucked into somewhere again?”


Unfortunately, he was right on the money. What had been the roof that he was standing on took on a mud-like consistency. There was no resisting.


“Just when I had finally found Serah…”

He sighed. That was real. Serah was really in Oerba. Perhaps it was because he had been shown the lies of the fal’Cie that he could grasp what was real and false when it came to Serah. It wasn’t about logic. He knew based on things like intuition and instinct.

Perhaps due to disappointment, it was a while before he realized it was dark around him.

“Where… is this?”

It was raining. Nighttime. Colorful lights were illuminating the darkness. As he looked upwards, there was a neck-strainingly tall building. There wasn’t just one of them. A number of buildings towered overhead.

Whilst taking care not to make any miss-steps, he surveyed his surroundings. It seemed he would be sent elsewhere if he moved away from where he was standing. Having gone through it three times already, it was about time for him to learn his lesson.

There were many pedestrians, but it had to be have been reasonably late in the day. The rows of shops had dimmed their lights, leaving only the ones in the display windows. Amongst them, there was a particularly eye-catching boutique targeting young women. There was an outfit of incredibly eccentric design being displayed.

Though eccentric, it seemed like it would fit Serah well. When it came to Lightning, regardless of how nicely clothes would fit, she would probably flatly refuse saying, “I’m not into that fancy look.”

As he thought of such things, Snow, who shifted his gaze nonchalantly, felt his legs go weak. It was because, next to the outfit, he saw the words “400 AF Autumn-Winter Collection.”

“Woah, woah. What kind of nonsense is this?”

As Snow was about to laugh it off, he came upon a possibility. Those soldiers that claimed people could “just use” the Gran Elevator, which was scheduled to be completed in 4 AF. Wouldn’t that conversation he heard there have taken place further in the future than 4 AF? Basically, wouldn’t he have been in the future, where the Gran Elevator had already been completed?

Even when it came to Oerba, it would have been more logical to say that it was tens or hundreds of years in the future. The deterioration of the buildings and the changing of the landscape were not things that could have occurred in just a few years. Although, it did make him uncomfortable to think that Serah had been in such a future.

“If that was in the future, then I guess it wouldn’t be weird if this was in the future as well.”

He takes another look around. The clothing worn by passers-by was not nearly as bizarre as the outfit in that display window. However, it was clearly different from the clothing of the people in downtown Palumpolum. Even more so than in design, he could tell that they were altogether of an entirely different material. The luster of the material when illuminated by the street and window lights, was unlike any other he had seen before.

He gave a try at waving his hand before the eyes of a woman who had passed by him. However, regardless of the fact that there was a hand stuck right before her face, she simply walked away without any reaction whatsoever. It was just as he thought; he wasn’t being seen by the people who were there.

“Could it be that the dimension has been shifted?”


He recalled the Ark, which was originally housed in Eden. Rygdea had said that it was housed there using a dimensional shift. How you couldn’t see it or touch it even if it was right before your eyes, was precisely the same as his present situation.

“Now, there’s the matter of what that all means.”

How could stop himself from being sent somewhere else simply by moving.a little ways away?

It was just as he was thinking of such things. The faces of people walking right before him suddenly contorted in pain.

“Hey! What’s the matter!?”

They clawed at their own necks, appearing to be suffering so greatly that despite knowing none could hear him, he couldn’t help but call out to them.

In the next instant, the people before his eyes transformed. Into a form he had seen a countless number of times within the Pulse Vestige of Bodhum, and at the Seat of the Sanctum, Eden.

“They’re Cie’th…”

Why were these normal-looking people turning into Cie’th? Could it be that all of the area’s residents are l’Cie? No, the mark of the l’Cie progressed at a different pace for everyone. There would have needed to be some intervention from a fal’Cie for everyone to have turned into Cie’th at the same time. But, weren’t all of Eden’s fal’Cie in hibernation and hadn’t all of the Pulsian fal’Cie lost interest in humans?

It was the first time he had seen a horde of this many Cie’th. They began to shamble about in all directions. There were some who came in Snow’s direction as well. He couldn’t help but retreat.

There was nothing a mere human like him could do for them. Even a fal’Cie could not turn a Cie’th back into a human, Even for fal’Cie Cactuar who had regained his memories and powers.

His footing sank. That was the first time he felt thankful for such a thing. The rain-drenched pavement gradually rose. Then, it happened just as he was about to concede to sinking, Beyond the herd of Cie’th, he saw Serah.

Serah was fighting with the Cie’th. With a bow in hand, she shot off a powerful-looking spell, whilst nimbly dodging the approaching Cie’th.

However, that was all. In the next instant, he could no longer see Serah, or the person fighting next to her.

“I don’t believe it… but that was Serah. What could possibly have happened?”

If that place was really 400 AF, did that mean Serah had lived on for four hundred years? No, it couldn’t be. It wasn’t that, she had probably travelled through time somehow, like himself. However, there was still the question of why Serah could move around freely, while he was rooted to the same place.

“But man, it sure is rough. Being shown such a sight.”

Especially since this was right after he realized what he was seeing wasn’t a dream or an illusion. He thought he would like to see something peaceful next. Something where he could stand around and listen to the conversations of some soldiers on guard duty, would be nice. If there was nothing he could do anyway, he thought.


“This time we’re in Pulse… huh?”

He could see a group of tall buildings in the distance. Perhaps the city he had seen earlier was over there. However, based on the amount of deterioration in the buildings, he could tell even from far away that a number of years had passed. They didn’t age naturally. It appeared as if they were destroyed by man, as the result of there being some sort of war.

“What could have happened?”

In the instant he muttered this, he heard a splitting noise. Or, perhaps it was a cracking noise. It sounded as if a crack had formed in ice lying atop a vast lake. The sound came from the skies. Cocoon was in that direction.

“It’s shaking?”

It looked as if Cocoon was shaking ever so slightly. Shaking in fear, almost. Again, he heard the sound. It was the same as the one he had just heard. It sounded a second, and a third time. Again, Cocoon shook. This time, more widely and irregularly.

“No way…”

He thought the color of the supporting pillar had changed. It wasn’t that. It was a fissure. That was the sound of fissures forming in the crystal. Cocoon shook wildly. At this rate, the support pillar would break. Cocoon would fall to the ground. He stilled his feet which threatened to break into a dash and clenched his fists. He couldn’t move from here. If he took even a single step, he would get sent somewhere else. He had to do something to stop Cocoon from falling.

“Cactuar! Do something!”

With the strength that could carve up the landscape of the Archylte Steppe, he thought.


He knew all too well that such a request would be impossible. There was no way he could prevent the disintegration of the pillar just by having been able to carve up the landscape. Even so, as he could not presently move a single step away, he had no choice but to rely on the power of the Cactuar.

The crystal cracked in various places and each time, fragments glittered and rained down to the ground. Cocoon shook wildly as if to twist itself off the support pillar.

The Pulsian crest appeared in the sky. The Cactuar fully stretched out its little arms and legs. His body began to inflate. However, nothing would happen. There was nothing like the changes that occurred back in the Archylte Steppe.

“Vanille! Fang!”

Though he yells at the top of his lungs, his words are drowned out by the thunderous roar. Although the red glow of the Pulsian crest intensifies, the disintegration of the pillar does not cease. Finally, the gigantic cocoon begins to fall. There are only a few seconds before it impacts the ground. They were a long few seconds that seemed to last an eternity.

With the ground-shaking thud, his vision was obscured by a miscellany of dust and dirt. He thought something had screamed, but he could no longer hear it. The ground shook violently. Anything and everything was sent flying.

Regardless, Snow stood fast throughout it all, without moving a single muscle. The fact that they alone suffered no injury in this great calamity. This was proof that there was nothing they could do.


Aside from clenching his fists and shouting, there was nothing.

He heard an incoherent scream. He finally realized that the thunderous roar had stopped. The Pulsian crest too, had disappeared, and there was nothing but white around him.

He couldn’t do anything.

He involuntarily sank to his knees. He couldn’t save them. Not Vanille, Fang, the people residing inside Cocoon, the people living on Gran Pulse, or the world.

Was there really nothing he could have done? Wasn’t there at least one thing he could have done? Maybe he had just one-sidedly decided that there was nothing he could do at the destinations he was sent to. Could he perhaps have missed something, from habitually becoming a spectator of the events that unfolded before him?

He punched the ground with all his strength. Again and again. Pain shot through his fists. How could he think that there was nothing he could do. Wasn’t it that he might have been able to do something, but just didn’t do anything? 

What’s worse is that until he was faced with the collapse of Cocoon, he had been as careless as to think he “would like to see something peaceful next.” He made no attempt to think about why he was there, or why he was being shown these images that could be from nowhere other than the future.

In what age could this have been in? How far in the future was it?

It had to at least have been further in the future than 400 AF. He was sure that Cocoon was in the night sky that he saw just a little while ago. The crystal pillar too, remained intact.

He thought of this and became filled with terror. If the pillar existed four hundred years in the future, then this meant they were unable to save Vanille and Fang. They had died without being able to save their companions. Then, the crystal would come to disintegrate far in the future. Along with the two of them, still inside.

"Damn it…”

They had all wished to save Vanille and Fang. They hadn’t said so out loud, but all of them had to have sworn to save them. They had likely all continued hoping for that until their deaths. Yet, they could not make it happen…

He punched the ground in vain. He wouldn’t have been able to keep himself in check if he didn’t do at least that. From the violent emotion swelling forth, that could neither be described as anger, or regret.

How long had he been at this. Again, he heard a thunderous roar. Reflexively, snow lifted his face. It was a sound that differed from before. It was magic. Someone was fighting with magic.

He strained his eyes and stared at the direction where the sound came from. However, the dense crystal dust was in the way, and he could not see the people who must have been fighting.

He had thought a great number of lives had been lost from the fall just moments ago, but perhaps, the people had evacuated elsewhere and were safe. There were people who could fight using magic, after all.

People fighting with magic typically meant danger, but now it sounded like a gospel, and even brought him hope. Those sounds meant there were a number of survivors.

He stood up, strained his eyes, and focused on listening. He saw Bahamut soaring through the sky. Perhaps he was able to see him this time because unlike on the surface, the dust was less dense in the skies.


Unlike Fang’s Eidolon, it was a jet-black Bahamut. It was the color of a sinister darkness.

“So, does this mean that the ones fighting are l’Cie?”

However, Bahamut was moving quickly, so he couldn’t tell who was riding on its back. Just then, meteors came raining down to the ground. The one controlling Bahamut had to be quite a powerful magical user.

Occasionally, he would see intense thunder and flame attacks being fired at Bahamut. Since they were fighting on par with one who controlling such a powerful Eidolon, they too had to have been powerful magic users.

After a long, long battle, silence came. Was it over?

“Who won?”

As if to answer Snow’s mutterings, from behind came the sound of something being thrown. It was close. Just then, the jet-black Bahamut took flight. He could hear a roar of laughter. As usual, he could not see them, but he knew from the sound of their voice that they were a man.

Serah, echoed a scream-like cry. That sound. Wasn’t that the sound of someone collapsing? He didn’t want to see, he thought. He had a gut feeling that he would see something awful if he turned around now. Even so, he couldn’t keep his eyes turned away. Simply because.


His intuition was right. Serah lay collapsed, having already expired.

“You’re… kidding, right?”

His voice sounded distant. Time had stopped. That’s how it felt. He heard an incoherent yell. When he realized it was his own voice, he could no longer see Serah’s body.

He came back to his senses after hitting the ground awkwardly. Afterwards, he continued being sent here and there. He recalled a Yaschas Massif shrouded in darkness, a Sunleth Waterscape where little miniflans were spawning in great numbers, and an Oerba where the sandy beach grew ever larger, but his memories were altogether blurry.

As he staggered around, he was sucked into the ground, sent flying to another location, and then he staggered some more… continuing to repeat the cycle. He wished to go somewhere that would tell him this was just a dream, but it was the same no matter where he went. Instead, he only became more confident that this was reality.

That is the future of our world. A future that will someday come to pass, whether or not I am alive there.

It wasn’t as if there was sound evidence. However, he understood this through the illogical aspects. …Serah’s death included.

If that had been someone else’s corpse, then he might have been fooled. “It’s an illusion,” he might tell himself, and then cling onto a false sense of security. If only that hadn’t been Serah.

Because it had been someone more precious than any other to him, there was no way he could lie to himself. He knew, now.

As he sluggishly righted himself, a desolate landscape unfolded before him. There was a land of death. There was a lifeless sea. There was debris strewn throughout that one would even hesitate to label as ruins.

“Could it be that this is…”


It was a landscape he had seen before. Because he had seen it since before there was a single house, or even a campground, he could still recognize it in its dilapidated state in just a single glance. It was the shore of New Bodhum. He couldn’t stop himself from muttering, why this?

“Our village is going to become like this?”

In the skies he looked up towards, there was no Cocoon. This was probably the future after Cocoon had fallen. An object of that much mass had fallen down. The ground’s surface had to have been decimated. New Bodhum wouldn’t have been any exception.

“The crystal pillar crumbled to dust, Cocoon fell… Serah died. Then on top of that, even our village has become like this… Hey, this has to be some sort of bad dream, right?”

The Cactuar simply stood next to Snow, without showing him any sort of vision at all. Silence. That was the Cactuar’s answer.

“I know. I know, alright. It’s not some sort of dream. But how? How did I know that this is real?”

It was probably because these were things that were precious to him. Even if he couldn’t touch them with his own hands. Even Cocoon. Even Pulse. Even the people living there. Even his companions. Finally, even Serah. They were all things that he needed so much. They were things he would go as far as to offer himself to protect.

All of those things had turned to dust and lay here.

He wanted to yell again. The anger and humiliation welled up once again. The instant when he became stricken with a sense that he was powerless to do anything had come back to him with vivid clarity.

Snow stood up slowly. He placed his feet down on the land of death and looked up at the darkened skies. No. He wasn’t meant to be yelling in anger to his heart’s content. He wasn’t meant to be pounding away with his fists, either. If this was the future they were destined for, then he would change it. He would go against it. He would fight. There was no way he was letting it all end like this.

“Cactuar. Turn me into a l’Cie.”

The Cactuar looked up at Snow as if to say, ‘are you sure?’

“I said there was no point in obtaining power if it would cause the one person who is truly important to me to suffer, didn’t I. That’s why I didn’t want to become a l’Cie, I said.”

The Cactuar understood how he felt. The power of a fal’Cie, could have easily been used to force a person to become a l’Cie, but the Cactuar did no such thing.

“But, if I wasn’t able to protect the one person who is truly precious to me, and only I’m left alive, then there’s nothing that can be said.”

Even if he became a l’Cie, there would be no one to feel sad for him. Then, what was the point in trying to stay human? Even if he was destined to become a Cie’th, he would have no regrets if there was even one thing for him to protect.

“I might not be able offer protection even if I do become a l’Cie. However, if I had power, then maybe I could do something. I’ll bet everything on that.”

As if to reply ‘okay,’ the Cactuar spread out its limbs. The color disappeared from his vision. It was a vision of his Focus. For real, this time.


Snow was there. So was Serah. The two of them were up against the jet-black Bahamut. Snow was throwing punches at it. Serah was shooting off magic. Snow stood on guard and took a hit from their enemy, while Serah watched Snow’s back.

I see, he thought. Up until now, he had always only thought of protecting Serah. The Cactuar was telling him not just to think about that, but to try fighting together.

Tendrils of light stretched towards him. Instead of being bound by them, Snow himself reached out his hands and took hold of them.

“Thanks. I’m glad that we’re companions.”

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