Candle on the Water
He breathed in deeply, feeling the burning sensation deep inside of him. He knew the emotion. It was shame.
Half-Guado. It didn’t sound like much. Half-Guado. What was wrong with that? The cold stares from the other worshippers answered that question…
He was “unique”. That was the word his parents gave him. “Special.” “The only one”. The only one… and it was not something that could be hidden easily, either. He was abnormally tall, with unruly blue hair and long talons for fingers. But the thing that he hated the most was his face. Long, blue veins formed a pattern over his forehead… he was not “different”. He was a freak.
They were talking about him now… their whispers gnawed away at his mind. He knelt before the statues of the great summoners and prayed to Yevon… Usually he prayed for the calm, as was expected. After all, what more could one ask for than peace and freedom from what plagued the world most? However, recently he had been thinking… he remembered the last calm, many years ago when he was a child. With no Sin life had returned to normal… people had started to notice him one more. His fellow children would taunt him; beat him, making a game of whoever could burst one of his delicate facial veins first. Then Sin came and it all went away…
He looked up at the beautiful figure of Yunalesca and prayed silently… “Take them away. Let me live. Let me be your servant forever if it will only stop… give me this I beg you…”
He stayed there as people came and went… finally he stood and tuned to the entrance. As he walked over to leave he was pushed back by a young male… Kilikan, by looks. Behind him, a young female entered, carrying a large staff. A summoner.
He prayed towards her as was expected. She was here to acquire the Shiva Aeon, no doubt. She noticed his attention and smiled warmly at him. Seymour could not believe it. A stranger smiled at him without a second thought…
Her three guardians stood behind her as she accosted the high priest in a rich voice. One was the Kilikan, one was a young Lucan, all kitted out in the official Blitzball robes, and the last one… he couldn’t tell. He was hidden under a long black robe…
“I wish to take the Fayth, sir. Please let me pass”
“I am sorry, Lady Belgemine, but another is already in the Cloister of Trials. If you would wait, then I would be most grateful.”
The woman sighed softly. “As you wish sir. We shall rest until morning.”
She nodded at her guardians who rushed to her side. The priest offered his prayers and asked her “Will you offer a prayer to Yevon before you leave? It would honour us greatly-“
“Yes. Of course we shall. Averus, Touka, come pray with me. Behel, you may go get us rooms in Guadosalam.”
The priest shot her a confused look. “Surely your friend will pray with us? We welcome all here”
Seymour could feel his face burn. They all looked at him, pitifully. He looked straight at the summoner, waiting for her to turn. Instead she held her gaze at the high priest. “If you please Sir, Behel will pass this time. It will be far more constructive for her to get rooms for us.”
Behel was close to Seymour. She was the robed guardian… a female too, how very rare … he could hear her breathing… there was a slight snarl to it. He looked closer at the shadowed face of the woman… all he could see was a dainty nose, breathing deeply… then he noticed. Instead of nostrils, she had slits… slits that pulsated with each breath. He leant in to talk to her.
“Lady Behel, may I accompany you to Guadosalam? I will be going in that direction anyway…”
She said nothing, and continued to stare at her charge. He smiled and leant in closer. “You are not human, are you?” he whispered. She turned suddenly and looked dead into his eyes. He could see her face more clearly now. She had sharp eyes and dark lips…
“Do not worry. I am not out to hurt you. I am… not of any fixed race, as you can tell.”
He could see her lips form a slight smile. “Come.” She spoke sharply, indicating towards the exit. Seymour gladly followed her, watching the faces of the worshippers as he departed.
“Wait!” called out the high priest, coming towards them. “You must pray, it is fitting!”
“I believe you heard Lady Belgemine’s wishes, Taurokmaun” said Seymour softly. “She wishes her guardian to leave-“
“Stay out of it, Half-blood!” sneered Taurokmaun, grabbing the hood of the cloak. Behel went to run, and the cloak fell to the floor.
The whole room stood in shock.
Behel stood, holding Seymour’s astonished gaze. Indeed, she was not human. He could not tell what she was…
Her hair was blue, much like his… but she was no Guado. Her eyes were dark and wide, her nose was cat-like and-
Cat-like. That was the only way to describe her. She was poised and elegant, but still strong and ferocious.
“Wh-what is that!?!” shouted Taurokmaun, pointing at Behel. Almost instinctively she ducked down as if about to pounce. “You shall not talk of her like that!” hissed Belgemine furiously. “She is my guardian!”
Behel took one last look at her and ran out of the temple. Seymour too, ran… he did not quite know why, but he followed none the less…
“Behel!” he called to the creature. She stopped and looked at him. “Come to stare and scream like others?” she spat, turning away once more.
“No! I am to accompany you to Guadosalam, as I promised. Do not tell me you have forgotten so soon?”
She paused and turned back smiling. “I would know your name, sir?”
“I am Seymour Guado, though the name is not entirely fitting. I am half-guado, as the High Priest sad in the temple.”
“Called you half-blood.”
He bit his lip at the word. “Yes. Not Guado, Not human, just Seymour.”
Her smile vanished. “Behelkhia Yudesca. Half-Ronso, Half human, there is only Behel.”
“Then you are the only one of your kind?”
She nodded. “Only one Seymour?”
He smiled. “Yes. I never thought anyone else could ever understand.”
“Exactly! I am not Guado, I am not human-“
They looked at each other for a matter of seconds. He had found someone, someone who knew…
Then he took her hand and led her down the long path to Guadosalam.
To Die For
“So, your father is Maester?” asked Behel, her blue eyes watching Seymour intently as they wandered round the idyllic unadulterated beauty of the city. He smiled warmly at her. “Yes. My father is Lord Jyscal, a great man by anyone’s standards. He is one of the only Guado’s ever to venture outside of Salam.”
“My Father Orikhua left Ronso many years back. Met my mother Lihiara. Could not think of anything but her.”
He turned and faced her. Her sparkling blue eyes seemed to shine with tears. “What’s wrong, Behel?”
She wiped her eyes with her furred hands. “Did they not think, Seymour? Too selfish to think of life as… outcast. Lonesome, frightened outcast…”
She paused and looked down at her hand. “I… I am ugly, Seymour Guado! Pathetic, weakling Ronso, ugly, disfigured human. Did they not think of this? Of me?”
He thought about his own father… his own mother. “They did not think of the consequences, Behel. They loved each other. They believed that love could conquer everything, even the hearts of others-”
“They were wrong!” she snapped at him, “I shunned by Ronso, shunned by humans. I not beast, not man, then what?”
He paused and looked at her angry, tear-stained face. He could not believe he had found her… “
I thank Yevon that I have found someone who can understand, Behelkhia.”
She looked up at him, gulping back her tears. “Understand?”
“Someone who understands the pain of being outcasted. The daily struggle of not having anyone there. You know what it’s like, Behel.”
They arrived at the inn and paused. “You know” started Seymour facing her. “You need not stay here. We have much room in our house, and father would be glad to receive a Summoner in his home.”
Behel’s face broke into a large, toothy smile. “Truly we welcome?”
He smiled back. “Truly”
Seymour ushered in the guests to the main hallway. “If you would wait here, Lady Belgemine, I shall call my father”
He made his way up the staircase to his father’s private quarters. Cautiously he knocked on the door, pausing to look at his hand… talons. They were, at least, more subtle than blue and black claws.
“Son? What is it?”
He looked up to see his father. He was so gentle, so wise. A credit to their race… “Sir, I have invited a travelling party of a Summoner and her three guardians to stay with us. I wished to see that it was not inconvenient for you.”
Jyscal’s face formed an excited smile. “Why, of course it is fine! How wonderful… we have not had visitors since-”
Jyscal stopped mid-sentence, but Seymour knew what he was about to say. Not since the death of his mother. It had been a long time, but the pain was still fresh…
“Why don’t we go welcome our new friends, hmm?” spoke Jyscal softly, stepping in front of his son. “Perhaps you would care to show them the Zanarkand Sphere?”
He followed him down the stairs smiling. It had been a long time since he had had anything to smile about.
“So Lady Belgemine, how far along are you on your pilgrimage?” asked Lord Jyscal as they sat down to eat.
She smiled warmly, sipping Sake from her goblet. “We plan to journey to Zanarkand shortly. I need only Shiva to complete my pilgrimage. Then I shall receive the final Aeon and face Sin”
Seymour looked around the table. They seemed so unshaken… here they were, sitting over the dinner table discussing their undeniable paths to death. He could not imagine how they could be so accepting of their fates…
“You are thinking that it is strange, are you not, Seymour Guado?” sighed Belgemine, noticing his confused expression. “That we can sit and discuss our fates like this. But you must understand we have known of this from the day we became what you see here before you. I am proud to die for Spira”
“I agree” spoke out Averus. “If I shall die, I shall die a hero for the good of our people. That way, I will never really die, you know?”
“It’s an odd thing to say, but it’s true” added Touka. “Either we die at the hands of Sin, or we can try and save others from the same fate. When you look at it like that, facing Sin seems like the best option.”
Seymour looked to Behel, waiting for her to contribute to the conversation. She said nothing.
“And what are your views on the subject, Lady Behelkhia?” enquired his father as all eyes focused on her.
She did not look up from her meal. “I am lone Ronso-human” she said gruffly, taking another bite. “I live, I die. It is nothing to me. I am nothing. There is nothing to lose.”
Seymour had been thinking about what she had said. Nothing to lose… did she really value herself so little as to not care whether she lived or died? Seymour could not imagine it. Even he with all his hatred could not be so careless with a life that, although not perfect, had been granted to him by Yevon.
He rose out of bed and put on his robe. Surely she did not really feel this way…
The thoughts stayed with him as he started to leave his chamber and journey down the stairs… “I live, I die. It is nothing to me…”
He pushed open the doors to the dining room. Empty. He walked up to the table and drank copiously from the remaining goblet of Sake…
“You will regret come morning”
He turned round to see Behel standing by the doorway. Embarrassed, he wiped the excess liquid from round his mouth. “Behel! You… you frightened me! I thought you were a fiend!”
He could see her face sink. “Oh, no, Behel, I did not mean it like that…”
She smiled slightly and took the goblet from his hands and finished it off. “Leave drinking to experienced.”
He followed her as she sat down at the table. “What are you doing up? Can you not sleep?”
“Cannot sleep. Cannot think. Mind is swarming with matters that pain me…”
“What is wrong?”
He sat opposite her and took her hand. She pulled it away from him. “What was said. I believe it. But I do not want Belgemine to die.”
She stood and walked away from Seymour, so as to hide the pain on her face. “I left all to follow her. She is great woman. I do not want Belgemine to die. I sacrificed much to follow her.”
“But… I thought you said you had nothing to lose?”
“Nothing to lose now. That is true. I gave up everything.”
She turned to face him once more, smiling softly. “My buck serves Lord Braska. He disgraced long ago. He younger than me by years. He have life after I am gone.”
She came up closer to him again and took the hand which he had offered her earlier. “Mother is gone. Father is dead. Nothing to lose, see?”
She dropped his hand and moved towards the exit.
“No! You have me, Behelkhia.”
She said nothing.
The next day, Belgemine set out for the Temple of Macalania. Seymour went with them to pray as he did everyday.
The route to Macalania was strangely clear, almost unsettlingly so… Seymour kept his guard up, just in case…
He walked along with Behel at his side. She had not said anything for hours, and anything she had said was not directed to him. He watched her closely as she walked up to the entrance of the Thunderplane. “
I like Thunderplane. It’s fun.”
Seymour smiled. “I suppose it is, if you are fast enough.”
She stood in silence, looking out over the emptiness. “What you say last night. You mean it?”
He looked at her. She continued to stare out over the cacophonous landscape, smiling at every flash of lightning.
“Yes.” He whispered, barely audible. “Yes, I meant it, Behel. You are the only person who can possible understand me…”
She turned and faced him then, smiling slightly as she did. “Feeling is mutual, Seymour Guado.”
“Then… will you call me friend?”
“Indeed.” She laughed, taking his hand. “Friend.”
He smiled back at her, gripping her hand tight. “Ready?”
He held their joined hands upwards. “One… two… GO!”
And with that, they ran out laughing into the storm.
Seymour sat quietly surveying the surrounding area… the Macalania Woods. He remembered coming here as a child with his mother, chasing butterflies without a care in the world… then mother got ill, and couldn’t come any more…
“I like butterflies”
Seymour looked up to see Belgemine looking down at him. “They’re so delicate, so beautiful. They remind me of the human race.”
She giggled and sat down next to him. “You are an extraordinary man, you know that, Seymour? Is it alright if I call you that?”
He nodded silently. Belgemine, one of the only human beings ever to not pass judgment on him, was calling him extraordinary?
“Why do you think I am extraordinary, Lady Belgemine?”
She smiled warmly. “You have brought something out in Behel that I have not seen since her union to her buck. You… touch her, Seymour. She is so reserved all the time… it is nice to see her happy.”
He laughed slightly as her words. “You are mistaken, Lady.” He sighed following the path of a blue butterfly as it swooped around them. “It is her who has touched me, not the other way round.”
He stood and offered his hand to the summoner. “Shall we continue? It is a long way yet to Macalania! We should try to get there before it is too dark.”
She smiled back at him and took his hand. “Indeed, we must.”
“MY LADY!!! MY LADY!!!”
Seymour looked up to see Averus shouting down. “What is it, Averus?”
“It’s… a fiend, Belgemine! Touka is down and Behel is fighting on her own!”
“We’ll be right there” called up Belgemine as she and Seymour began the ascent up to the correct level.
Seymour ran as fast as he could, his heart thumping. She was fighting on her own! She could get hurt…
Hurt. He laughed at himself for worrying. She was on a mission to get killed, for goodness’ sake! Still he ran on, checking his equipment. He was ready.
When he reached the path he could not believe his eyes. It looked like a Dragon, but it couldn’t be…
Behel called him to her side as she fought strenuously. She was panting and bleeding, trying desperately to fend off the creature. “It no good!” she cried out in pain, collapsing to the ground. “You must attack as strong as you can!”
He thought about his options… Multi-Watera, Firaga…
No. There was only one thing he could do.
He looked into Behels eyes. She looked up at him expectedly. He would have to do it.
“In the name of sorrow and suffering” he called to the sky, raising his staff. “I call for you! Come, Anima!”
The sky turned dark as the anchor crashed down through the pulsating ground, hitting the ground harshly. Then the screaming began. It was so faint at first… then the cacophony grew and grew as Anima rose from the depths of Hell itself. She stood swaying to and fro, her one crimson eye weeping… with once final cry, she prepared herself to give the Grand Summon… her overdrive.
The fiend melted away into the ground, no inkling of the terrible atrocity that awaited it. But Seymour knew. Seymour knew that the part of Anima that was visible was nothing compared to what lurked in the darkness… he shut his eyes as the screams reverberated around his head… the screams of Her, the screams of the Fiend…
After what seemed like hours of the torment the Fiend slammed down into the ground, dead on arrival. Seymour called Anima back, and with one final scream she disappeared.
Behel stood and ran into his arms. “What… that… thing you summoned” she choked through frightened tears. “It… so hideous!”
Seymour slipped a potion through her black lips. “That was the embodiment of all the pain, all the hatred of my childhood. It was a symbol of what I felt when they picked on me, taunted me, beat me…”
Behel looked up at him as he paused. She stood away and studied his pained face. “Who…?”
Seymour turned away from her, the truth tearing away at his soul.
“That was my mother”
They had travelled in silence through the forest, none of them being able to contemplate the lack of Fiends. Could it have been that that one fiend had frightened away all the others? Seymour doubted it. He stayed close to Belgemine, protecting her like a guardian, only he knew he did not have what it took to be a true one.
They finally reached the end of the forest. Seymour looked over the snow towards Rin’s travel agency. “Why did you not just stay there, my Lady?”
Belgemine looked warily at the building. “I do not trust the Al Bhed, Seymour.” She said coldly. “And besides, Guadosalam is a holy place. It was an honour to stay with honest Guardan folk.”
Seymour smiled slightly. “What makes you think the Guado’s are more honest than the Al Bhed?”
“They are the guardians of the Farplane. They are trustworthy.”
He laughed slightly to himself… for someone who seemed so open-minded at first glance she had a distinct racist streak in her. “If that is your opinion, My Lady.”
She glanced at him coldly, and then walked on. Seymour exchanged a smile with Touka and they continued.
“Y’know, Belgemine isn’t really that bad,” whispered Touka as they progressed through the snow. “Well, she can be sometimes, but she doesn’t mean to be. She just… thinks she knows best, you know?”
Seymour smiled. “I know. I’m a Guado, remember? All Guado’s are convinced that the Guado way is the right way. And they’re right, of course!”
Averus came up behind them. “What are you two laughing about?”
“I was just telling Seymour here about Belge-meanie.”
Seymour stifled a laugh. “You call her that?!”
“Only behind her back!” laughed Touka, earning a glare from Behel. “You are talking again”
“It’s not against Yevon to talk, Behel.”
“Is when you do.”
Seymour could not suppress his laughter any more. With a great snort the joy erupted from his mouth, causing all around him to stare.
“Are you alright, Lord Seymour?” questioned Belgemine, looking down at him from further up the long path. “Of course, my Lady” he managed to say, noticing her puzzled look. “Good. Because… we are almost at the end of our journey.”
He noticed the smiles of the Guardians disappear. He pondered over her words for a moment, then he realised. It was not just a reference to the fact that Macalania temple was on the horizon. She meant that soon the pilgrimage would be over, and they would face the ultimate test.
He looked over at Touka. The young Kilikan was smiling slightly to himself, obviously thinking about the implications of His Lady’s words. He noticed Seymour’s attention and laughed softly. “You understand, don’t you?”
He nodded. “I was wondering… how can you laugh in such a care free way when you carry such a burden?”
Averus came up beside him. “You know, we gave up a lot to do this. To… die.” He added, shrugging his shoulders. “It’s little moments of joy, no matter how fleeting, that remind us why we’re doing this. The way I look at it, we can give ourselves a few minutes of happiness with our actions. But by facing Sin...”
“We can give joy to the people of Spira forever!” finished Touka, grinning ear to ear. “That is worth everything!”
The two men went on ahead, leaving Seymour with Behelkhia. He looked at her, trying to determine her mood.
“You are quiet, Behel.”
“Yes.” She said simply, walking on ahead of him. He followed her quickly. “Have I done something? Please, tell me what is wrong?”
She turned and looked at him, her eyes slightly blurred. “If… If I become Final Aeon, I… not want to be like Anima.”
He frowned at her. “What do you mean?”
“When Belgemine chooses Final Aeon, I do not want to be… ugly. I could not be ugly for eternity.”
He looked at her pitiful expression. “You will not be like Anima as long as Belgemine doesn’t want you to” He replied curtly, walking ahead of her. “Aeons react to their masters. If she has fond memories of you, then you will be forever beautiful.”
“Forever beautiful…” she echoed, upping her pace so she fell into stride with him. “Wait!” she cried suddenly, halting. Seymour turned back to her. “What is it now?”
“If summoner holds Aeon’s appearance, then… why you make your mother so…”
“Hideous?” he replied, going back to take her hand and lead her along the temple path. “Let me tell you something of my childhood, Behel. When I was young, I would make this journey to the temple every day, much as I do now, to study Yevon and the summoners with my fellow Guados- Pah, Zazi, Yuma… I would study alone, play alone, pray alone… come break times I would go sit outside the temple and watch the others as they frolicked in the ice and snow. Then, come home time I would get company at last. Some of the Guados would pick on me; verbally at first, but it was not long before taunts became fists, words became bruises… I would run home crying to mother every night, begging her not to send me back. She would soothe me and dress my cuts, but still she would send me out there, telling me ‘You must not be afraid, Saimouri, you are my son. You are beautiful, and one day you will be happy.’ I believed her for so long… then one day I returned from the temple and she did not bathe my wounds, instead she lay in bed, pale as death… each day she got worse until father returned. He told me that my mother was going to leave me… and I could not bear it. The only person who had ever cared was dying. I did not want her to leave me, and she did not want to leave either. So she became an Aeon- my Aeon, to always protect me… she honestly thought that was enough. When she died, I lost everything, and therefore Anima became more and more twisted…”
He looked over to see Behelkhia’s face blank and expressionless. “I know it is hard to understand, but she abandoned me. All the hurt, everything, she was not there for me…”
They arrived at the temple doors. He looked over to her. “It is almost over, Behel. For you at least.”
She smiled back at him. “Yes. No regrets past here.”
She entered the temple to join the others. Seymour lingered, remembering the hardships of his youth, and then entered also.
The words of the prayer resounded in Seymour’s mind.
Dream, Praying Child
Until eternity, bring glory
For the first time he really believed in the song… he bowed down in prayer and looked up at the icy flames. For the first time in his life, his prayer altered.
“Fayth, give me strength, hear my prayer. Save my friends. Give them the fulfilment of their destiny. I know they will die, I cannot change that. But if they only could succeed… it would give meaning to their suffering. They would have fulfilled a purpose… Please do it for them.”
He then realised- that was the first time in his life he had prayed for anyone but himself. Even when his mother was dying, he had prayed for his own happiness, but now… now all he wanted was the promise of the safety of Belgemine and her followers. Could it be that he was changing? He couldn’t contemplate it… after all these years, was the resentment he felt towards the world decreasing?
“It is done. Belgemine has received Shiva.”
Seymour looked up to see Averus looking down at him. “Then you will leave?”
“Yes. We’re ready.”
Seymour stood and prayed to him. “I pray only for your success. I know it means a lot to you.”
Averus laughed and prayed back. “When we come back you can give us a big party back in Guadosalam, eh? I’ll teach you how to Blitz and everything!”
A young female Guado came up beside them. “Ha! Saimouri can’t Blitz! You should have seen him when he first tried. He was worse than me!”
The young girl walked off and Seymour blushed brilliantly. Averus shot him a quizzical look. “Saimouri?”
“Yes. It’s my pet name. I went to school with that girl. She must have heard my mother call me it.”
“It’s kinda cool. Saimouri. Heh! I like it. Can I call you that?”
Seymour grinned. “I would be honoured. It is a name I associate with friendship!”
Averus laughed heartily. “Cool, Saimouri! And by the way, were you really that bad a Blitzer?”
He laughed slightly. “I believe I was.”
“No worries! If I teach ya, you can’t go wrong! I’m the star player of the Luca Goers! I’m hoping my son will live up to me when I’m…”
“What’s your son’s name?” asked Seymour curiously, surprised at the outburst.
“He’s called Graav. He’s quite the little star, I’m telling ya! He’s only eleven, but he’s already well on the way to being as great as his old man!”
Seymour frowned. “Old man! You can’t be-“
“Well, no. I’m twenty eight. Had my son young, you know? I miss him…”
“I’m not surprised.” said Seymour, pausing to think… How could Averus leave a young child, knowing he may not return? Surely that was… irresponsible?
“Maybe I can meet him someday?” asked Seymour, noticing the rest of the group emerging from one of the side rooms.
“Sure, Saimouri! He’ll be there at the big party you’re gonna organise! I’ll get the whole of Luca down there! It’ll be remembered in Guadosalam for eons!”
“That’s enough Averus” he heard the distinct voice of Belgemine call. She approached Seymour and prayed. He prayed back.
“So you are leaving, Lady Belgemine?”
“Yes. We must go now. I cannot say how grateful I am to you. Your hospitality over the last few days has been most generous. You will go far, Seymour. I can tell.”
Seymour smiled and kissed her hand softly. “It was an honour to have met you, my Lady. And all of you.” He added looking at the other three. “I have never met people like you. You have all taught me so much about a lot of things… myself, life, what it is to live. I thank you.”
He bowed down in prayer to them and they returned the compliment. Belgemine took one last look at him and exited the temple. Seymour knew he would never see her again.
Touka approached him, smiling in his strange little way. “Seems this is it, Seymour. I only wish it could have been longer!”
Seymour smiled back. “You always knew what you had to do. Don’t lose sight of it now!”
“I won’t. It’s a worthwhile cause, don’t you think?”
“Yes. You shall be a hero, Touka. The people will remember you always.”
Touka laughed. “A hero! I never even thought of it like that! A simple Kilikan, a Hero! Well, that does sound appealing… Thankyou Seymour.” He shook his hand warmly. “These last few days have been a pleasure.”
“I feel the same way.” Seymour said as Touka exited the Temple. Averus came towards him and patted his back enthusiastically.
“So, Saimouri, guess this is it! Wish us luck, eh?!”
Seymour laughed at him. “An optimist until the end, Averus?”
“Yup. Beats getting down! Besides, this isn’t the end! This is the beginning!”
He crossed over to the exit and bounded out. Seymour stared at the last one. Behelkhia.
Slowly she approached him. She extended her arms and brought him into a close hug. He stroked her head fondly, wanting her to stay there forever.
“You… are great man, Seymour Guado. Greatest Friend. Best Friend.”
He smiled as a small tear escaped him. “You’re my best friend too, Behel.”
She broke away and laughed through her tears. “When this over, remember me.”
“Perhaps you will return to me someday.”
“Perhaps.” She laughed, turning towards the exit. “Goodbye, Seymour Guado.”
“Goodbye, Behelkhia Ronso.”
It had been a week since they had left. Life for Seymour had returned to normal… he would travel to the temple each day to pray, then return to Guadosalam.
He could not stop thinking about them. Every day he would wake up and think “Where are they now?” “Where are they fighting?” “Are they near Zanarkand?”
He walked slowly through the streets of Guadosalam to his home… his father was waiting for him, ready to give him his Yevonite history lesson… he’d heard it all before. “Al Bhed bad” “Yevon good.” “Machina bad” “Summoners good”.
Maybe it was the anticipation of it that was slowing him down so much. He continued walking through the square, pausing for a moment to look at his family mansion.
“Erm, excuse me, Mr Seymour?” he looked about for the origins of the voice. “Err, Mister? Down here!”
He felt a sharp tug on his robe. Looking down he saw a young Guado child. “Hello there, little one!” he giggled at the child, who scowled.
“I am NOT little! I’m a fierce warrior, Lord Lombardi Guado to you!” the kid puffed himself up. He was a sorry sight; drenched from rain, bearing a small scar.
“Did you get your scar in a battle?”
“Yup! I fought a big ol’ Fiend! Almost killed me! I wanna be a guardian one day!”
“Really? Do you think you’d be good?”
“Sure I will! I’m brave an’ fun an’ loyal an’ very very very very very very tough!”
“And that’s all you need, is it?”
“Well, yeah! And luck. But I got my lucky earring in!”
Lombardi indicated to the shimmering gold band through his ear. “It’s very nice, Lombardi”
“Thank you Mr Seymour!”
“Please, call me Saimouri.” He chuckled, walking towards his house. “I just wanted to ask you if you’re gonna go on a pilgrimage and if you are would you like me to be your Guardian? I’m real good! I am!”
“I’m not planning to. But I’ll tell you what. If I ever go, you’ll be my greatest guardian.”
“Heey! Cool!” laughed Lombardi, following the tall man to the door of his house. “Where we goin, Saimouri?” asked the concerned little guy. Seymour picked up the tiny child. “Oh, I thought you could come inside and help get me off my Yevonite History class. We could just sit, chill, eat mango’s…”
Just at that moment little Lombardi’s stomach gave an almighty rumble. “Oooooh, I really really really really like mangos! Are they green!?”
“Some are. I tell you what: you eat all the green ones and I’ll eat all the red ones and we can see who can eat them quickest.”
“But what about the red AND green ones?”
“Well, whoever wins can eat them! How does that sound!”
The tiny Guado laughed excitedly and began telling Seymour everything about his life as they entered the mansion.
Jyscal could hear him approaching. He prayed to Yevon silently for strength for what he was about to do…
“And then I’m gonna Blitz for the Glories! Yeah! I’ll be the best player EVER!”
“You know, I knew Averus, the star of the Luca Goers!”
“WOW! REALLY! How come? Was he nice? I heard he likes to swear!”
Seymour laughed loudly as he pushed open the door to the dining hall. “I’ll tell you about it after our-“
He stopped as soon as he saw his father’s concerned face. He gently dropped Lombardi and addressed his father. “Sir” he started, bowing down in prayer. “I am sorry for my lack of punctuality. You see I have a new friend!”
“Seymour, I have some news. Perhaps it would be better if little Lombardi came back later.”
Trommell entered the room and picked up the child. “I shall take him to his parents, my Lord.”
“Thank you, Trommell.”
Lombardi cringed as the old man bent double to pick him up. “What about our contest Saimouri!? I wanna EAT! C’mon! Awww, Saimouri!” Trommel now had the little one over his shoulder. “Awwww! Jus’ cause I’d beat ya! C’mon!”
Seymour couldn’t help but laugh as the boy kicked and shouted at Trommell. Jyscal noticed his son’s joy and his heart sank… it was so unfair to bring his spirit down now…
“What did you wish to talk to me about, Sir?” asked Seymour, sitting himself down on a chair. Jyscal paused and tried to find the right words. “What is it?” Seymour continued, noticing the sadness in his father’s face. “It’s bad news, isn’t it?”
“I… I’m afraid it is, Seymour. You may wish to be seated again.”
“No father! You must tell me now! What could possibly be this bad…?”
He knew from his fathers’ expression. “It’s Belgemine, isn’t it? She…”
“She failed, Son. I am sorry. Touka is gone also… We could not recover him…”
“But… that means they died for nothing! How could something like that happen? I…”
Just then a thought crossed his mind. “Oh Yevon, no…”
“What is it son?”
“If… Belgemine is dead, then what of the others…?”
“Averus has not been found yet, but it is believed he may be…”
“And what of her? What of Behel, father?”
Jyscal’s dropped his head and turned away. “I… I’m sorry Seymour.”
“No…” he whispered, slowly backing away towards the door. “You… YOU’RE LYING! How could you!”
“Son, don’t do this…”
“I… WHY, Father? Why did they have to…?” He couldn’t say any more through the tears. He ran out of the dining hall, unable to look his father in the face. He collapsed in hysterical sobs at the base of the staircase. “Why… Why you? Why… now…”
He felt a sharp poke on his shoulder “Hey! Hey Saimouri, whatsup?”
Seymour looked up to see Lombardi, frowning at him. “Whas’ the matter? Why are ya sad? Did your dad eat the mangos?”
Seymour laughed slightly and hugged the young boy. “I’m just sad that’s all. Nothing’s ever going to be the same again.”
Hymn of Fayth
She was dead.
No matter how many times he told himself he could not believe it.
They had recovered Averus. He was badly wounded, and his family had been sent word in Luca of his impending death. Even now, Luca Goer’s fans were lighting candles outside Jyscal’s mansion where he lay - the symbol of a hero. When he was finally sent, they would be extinguished.
So much death…
He could not think of a single reason that they deserved to die. Touka, a simple fisherman; loyal, honest and caring… The Lady Belgemine, who was simply beautiful… Kind, courageous, helpful and strong… yet no match for Sin… and Behelkhia. Behel was dead… the only person who could ever understand, gone… and unsent, also. Someone like Behel could not have accepted death no matter how much she wanted to… she would have become a fiend.
He could feel the tears start to fall down his face. What could Zanarkand have done all those years back to deserve this? Slowly, the world was being destroyed… and the lives of those who survived were made unbearable by sorrow.
He walked up to the entrance of the Farplane and looked at it wistfully. How many in there had died at the hand of Sin? Hundreds of thousands at least. And what for? So the cycle could begin again… and again…
“Excuse me Sir, but who do you remember?”
He looked behind him to see a beautiful young woman clad all in white. Although he was slightly taken aback at her question, he decided to tell her. “I remember many people, Lady” he said softly, turning back to the entrance. “My mother, Lady Belgemine, Touka… but mostly her…”
“Who is ‘her’?”
He smiled softly as the name formed on his lips. “Behelkhia.” He savoured it, remembering how beautiful it had sounded when she first uttered it…
“Tell me more about this ‘Behelkhia’”
He bit his lip. Softly, slowly, he started to tell the woman.
“She… was a half-Ronso. She hated it. Many people have great reasons to want to face Sin, but not her… she just couldn’t stand being what she was…I believe she thought nobody cared for her. She was wrong, though. I cared so much… She taught me so much about myself. I had been afraid of the world for so long, but she took me by the hand and showed me there was nothing to fear. I just… wish she were here so I could tell her how I felt… how I feel…”
The woman came before him, a single tear falling down her face. She pushed her long black hair away from her, revealing her face… so familiar…
“I once knew a man. He never knew how much I cared for him, because I could never say it… in life, I did not realise how I cared… only in death did I realise I had so much to lose...”
He looked again at her… her eyes… darkest blue, like the moonflow at midnight…
“Behel? It… can’t be…”
The woman lay one finger over his mouth as the tears ran down onto her hand. “Don’t talk. Not now… let me tell you why I’m here…
You are probably wondering why I look like this. When I died, I chose the form I would take for the rest of eternity…”
Seymour looked into her eyes. They were the same dark blue, only now they were framed in soft black lashes, accented by pure snow skin. “You are more beautiful than ever, Behelkhia”
She let out a small cry as the tears ran faster down her face. “I was never beautiful, Seymour. I was ugly, beyond ugly. Hideous. Deformed. Nothing more than a freak…”
Those thoughts reverberated through his head… was it merely a few days since those thoughts had haunted him?
“I… I used to think that about myself, Behel. But then you came and I felt for the first time that I meant something! Don’t you see? When we have each other we are never alone…”
He stopped as soon as he saw the pained look on her face. He knew why she looked so pained.
“You… you’re going to leave me, aren’t you?”
“No!” she cried, holding him in a close embrace. “I will never leave you. You are part of me, Seymour, and I hope I am part of you. We must… part for now, that is all.”
He squeezed her tightly, choking on the words as he said them. “My father can send you, if that is what you want”
She pulled away and looked into his eyes. “I need to be sent Seymour. You understand, don’t you?”
“Why can’t you stay here with me? You can remain unsent; no one need know it’s you-”
“Seymour! Let me go! You have so much left to give to this world. I do not. It’s really that simple. However, there are… things which need to be said …”
She handed him a small blue orb. “This is my sphere” she said smiling. “I hope you can treasure it, like I treasured our time together.”
Seymour looked into her eyes. He couldn’t think straight. “You… why do you want to leave, Behel?”
She smiled slightly at his innocence. “It’s not like that, Seymour. When you’re in limbo you feel… exhausted, tired. I need to rest. And I need to stop haunting you”
She stood away from him and stared at the seal of the Farplane. “Let me rest, Seymour.”
He felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned to see his father’s calm and soothing eyes. “It is alright son. I know what I must do.”
Seymour looked round to see every Guado in the town standing, holding candles.
He did not have the words to say what it meant to him.
He gently touched Behel’s shoulder. “We are ready, Behel. Are you?”
She turned and smiled at him. “I am ready. Thank you. Thank you all.”
Seymour stepped away into the crowds of Guado’s. He spotted little Lombardi in the front, mesmerised at his candle… so young an innocent about the harshness of the world. He lifted the tearful child onto his shoulder and then began to sing.
Gradually, all of the Guado’s joined him, and his father began the sending. He continued to watch her as the pyreflies gradually increased in number, drowning her.
Finally she faded into nothingness. At that moment, a hundred candles all burned out.
The Last Hero
Seymour looked out into the square. It was quiet, peaceful… everyone was waiting.
He looked back over to Averus. He was thin and pale; constantly slipping in and out of consciousness - it was obvious that death was upon him.
“Seymour?” he croaked, shakily extending his hand towards the Guado. Seymour grabbed it fondly, looking into the eyes of his friend. “What is it? What do you need?”
“I… need to die.”
Seymour looked at him blankly. Averus smiled and continued. “I feel… weak. I have nothing left, Saimouri. Won’t you help me?”
He looked down at his pitiful expression. Averus was now a man with nothing… nothing to gain, nothing to lose… he was but waiting to die.
“I cannot, you know that, Averus. It would be wrong.”
Averus smiled weakly and closed his eyes. “I deserve to die peacefully. I cannot live for much longer after seeing the things that I have seen, knowing such forbidden things…” He drifted off into slumber. Cautiously and quietly Seymour crept out of the room and down the stairwell.
He was aware of muffled talking escaping from the dining hall. Curiously he crept towards the door, listening in on the conversation that was taking place…
“…and therefore Grand Maester Mika has decided to ordain you. Congratulations. You are officially a Maester of Yevon.”
“I am most honoured” he heard his father say. “Though I wish it could be under better circumstances. You see, we are currently housing a fallen guardian… the protector of the Lady Belgemine.”
“Ah, yes. She was a sweet Lady. We mourned her loss greatly.”
Seymour could contain himself no longer. “You do not know! None of you do!” he cried, bursting into the dining hall. “She was not just a sweet Lady! She was the greatest of women I have ever met! And now she is dead!” He bit his lip to stop himself crying.
Jyscal crossed over to his son. “I apologise, gentlemen. My son Seymour here was a good friend of the Lady.”
One of the men stepped forward and prayed. “I am indeed sorry if my tone offended you, Lord Seymour. Please allow me to give my sincerest apologies”
Seymour returned the prayer. “I am sorry. I just… miss her that is all. I miss all of them.”
“It is understandable. Let me introduce myself. I am Braska, High Summoner, and these are my guardians, Auron and-“
“Hi, my names Jecht” barked the tall man with the rugged appearance. “Nice to meetcha. We were passin through to get to Macalania, and we though we’d tell your dad the great news! He’s-“
“-been ordained, I heard.”
“You must address the new Maester fittingly, Jecht” spoke up the third man, who must have been Auron. He approached Jecht and gave him a menacing stare. “He is ‘Lord’ or ‘Maester’ Jyscal”
Jecht shrugged and wandered off to eat more of the food on the main table. Seymour approached Braska and looked him straight in the eye. “I wonder, Lord Braska, if you know the true implications of what you do?”
He looked straight back at him. “Of course. I will face Sin.”
“Yes, but do you understand what it will mean to those you leave behind? I mean, even if you succeed, you will be hurting people, will you not?”
“Yes. I have a wife and child that I have left behind.”
“And what of them? Did you not think about their feelings? How old is your daughter?”
Braska smiled as he thought of her. “Little Yuna is eight now.”
“Eight. And soon to be fatherless. Why?”
Braska sighed impatiently. “It is my duty to try and stop my daughter from growing up in a world as dangerous as this. If I can stop Spira’s suffering…” his voice trailed of into a smile as he thought of the Calm.
Seymour laughed slightly. “I remember Averus telling me the same thing. And now he is lying upstairs waiting to die as people mourn him.”
Braska prayed again. “I am indeed sorry to hear of Averus.”
Jecht’s ears pricked. “Averus? Blitzer, wasn’t he?”
“Yes,” replied Seymour. “I was wondering, Lord Braska, if you would send him before you leave.”
Braska smiled. “It would be an honour.”
Seymour prayed one last time and left the room. As he scaled the stairs he thought of Averus’ proposal. Did he really wish to die so much? Seymour for one could not believe it. Life was sacred… wasn’t it? Or was life merely a prelude to greater things? Averus had said he knew things… what things? What could he possibly have found out?
Seymour pushed open the door and peered into the room. Averus smiled back at him weakly, beckoning for him to come in.
“Have you changed your mind, Saimouri? Are you going to aid me?”
“Is it what you want?”
“Yes.” The young man replied in a darker tone. “Think of it as the last wish of the last hero. That makes it sound noble, don’t you think?”
Seymour gulped. “How would you like to…?”
“Use the pillow. Use a knife. Anything!” cried out the exasperated man, coughing up blood from the exertion. “Please, Saimouri. I cannot bear this.”
Seymour picked up the pillow and looked at it. Such a regular item… could it really be used to kill?
“Do it, Seymour.” Whispered Averus determinedly, clutching his wrist. Seymour held his hand and placed the pillow over his face.
Seymour’s heart pounded as the man stopped breathing. He looked down at him; was it so easy to take life away? He felt the strangest sensation as he pushed the pillow deeper. Such power… he knew it was wrong, but he felt something unlike anything he ever felt possible… the promise of power over another human being…
He noticed the body lay still. Cautiously he lifted the pillow to reveal two blank expressionless eyes. Crying slightly, he shut them.
The last Hero was dead.
If I’d never known you…
Averus was sent peacefully by Braska. He had succeeded in his pilgrimage also. The Calm was upon them. Seymour had not yet looked at the sphere. It sat on his bedside table, haunting him like her ghostly form.
“You haunt me still, Behelkhia” he said to the blazing blue ornament. It said nothing back.
He looked at it again. Why was he so afraid of it? Was it memories of watching his mother’s sphere that deterred him, or was it simply that he didn’t want to think of her gone…?
He slowly approached and picked it up. It was nothing. Just a marble.
He activated the sphere and sat back on the bed… just a marble…
“Hey! Hey Behel! What are you doin?”
“Nothing, Averus. Go away”
“Damn, you can be so cold!”
Seymour was greeted by the familiar face of the old Behel, her blue fur touched with snow.
“This sphere for Kimahri. Kimahri, you are young. Guard your youth. It precious.”
“Behelkhia! We must move”
Seymour smiled as she growled at her Lady.
“And do not go on Pilgrimage. It not worth effort”
The sphere cut off and started again, this time just outside the moonflow. It was night time, and the lake shone with pyreflies.
“I wanted to show this, Kimahri. This moonflow. It… beauty beyond measure. Wish you could see it. Look like… candle on the water. Maybe you see it someday.”
Like a candle on the water… a shining light over the emptiness.
“You were my candle, Behel” he whispered to himself. The sphere changed again.
“I am at Farplane, Kimahri. Here where we go when dead. When I die, will you see me? I don’t know. I saw father. It… strange. This place holds pain.”
“Indeed, it has always held pain for me”
“I do not like it.”
“Neither do I.”
The sphere went blank for a long time. Seymour moved to stop it, but then a new image flickered in front of him. He looked closer. It was her, but in her human form.
Her long black hair fell down over her white dress and wings, and was long enough to touch her visible legs. She was so beautiful…
“I have changed my mind. This sphere is for Seymour, who I have known for so little time, yet also for so long…
I have lived life with no direction. For twenty three years I have resented my own existence, been subjected to humiliation and self-degradation, and as a result of it learnt to hate myself. I never thought in my wildest dreams that two days could change my life so much…
You gave me something I had never felt before, Seymour. You gave me hope. For the first time in my life someone was there who understand how I hurt, how I grieved, how I faced every new day with dread… I never had a friend in the world before you. And you were the greatest friend I could have ever asked for.
I wish I could have told you this when it meant anything, but I did not have the means to communicate it to you. I only hope that my fate has taught you to treasure your life, no matter how much you may despise it…”
He reached out to the figure, his hand passing straight through her. He glanced at his hand- talons. Why did the world hate him so for such a cosmetic thing?
“Live your life, be happy. And maybe we shall meet again in Zanarkand?”
She laughed, a tinkling little laugh, something Seymour had never heard before. The sphere switched itself off, and he was left staring into the emptiness.
Seymour had not yet dared to enter the Farplane to see Behel, though many had. Her mother, Lihiara, was the first to come. Then the Ronso’s came, all of them outraged at her wish to become human in death…
He was standing outside it now. There was so much to say to her. So much he had to do…
He took a deep breath and broke through the seal. He was struck by the strange beauty of the place. It was so stark, but so… inviting. He walked up to the edge and peered out into eternity… somewhere out there was Zanarkand…
“Behelkhia? Are you… out there?”
The pyreflies flowed around, bringing her forth. She looked straight at him, speechless, blank…
“I’m sorry I haven’t come to see you for so long… I’ve just seen your sphere.”
Her head tilted slightly.
“I have been thinking, Behel. About what you said about me living my life. I have decided to follow my father, become a monk of Yevon. And I shall stop suffering for good.”
Behel frowned, as if confused. He laughed slightly.
“I’ve realised what I have to do, Behel. To stop all this hurt, all this hatred which the world has forced on people like you and I… I will follow the way on Yevon as my father has. I am due to become a monk soon enough and I already have skill as a summoner… I will rid the world of pain and suffering, Behel, I promise you. At first I thought I could go on a pilgrimage… but I do not think I could, not now that I know the truth… I shall become a Maester, like my father. Then perhaps I could find a solution.”
Still the figure did nothing.
“I thought you might say that.” He laughed to himself, gazing at the figure. “It seems clear now, what I shall do. I shall become the thing that saved me, become… Sin.”
The figure twitched as the pyreflies grew agitated at the name. “If I become Sin, I can stop their taunts; stop all this hurt and pain! Don’t you see! If I become it, I can change things! Punish the wicked! Give Spira the apocalypse it needs to become pure! I can help them all, end the cycle! I would have the power to do it!”
The figure still did nothing, but he could have sworn he say a small tear escape one sapphire eye.
“I may not see you in Zanarkand, Behelkhia.” He whispered turning away from the figure. “But you will always stay in my heart. My only friend, my beautiful Behel…”
He exited the Farplane, his eyes swelling with tears. Spira would have to pay for the devastation of her precious life.
He did not hear the screams of the image. Instead he entered Guadosalam once more, calm and sure of his fate.
Ok, sorry about the cop-out ending. I tried. But all my endings are crap
Characters © Squaresoft (except Lombardi. That adorable lil mister who shall one day be my godson belongs to Auron no Aijou. And Behel, Touka and Averus belong to meeeeee) .
By the way, this was meant to be a Belgemine fic I always found her character really interesting, Didn’t you? She was my fave character for 3 reasons:
1: she kicked ass as a summoner
2. She gave me lots of nice things!
3. She was voiced by one of my fave singers Cree Summer, who has SUCH a cool voice!
Ok, ten things to say.
One: Yes the dress I describe Behel wearing at the end is Yuna’s wedding dress. That will be clearer after you read the (short!) sequel I’m working on for this.
Two: THEY WERE NOT TOGETHER. Very important point. I wanted to prove in this fic that you can love somebody without it having to be sexual. That’s what I think anyway. Seymour looked up to her, found something in her he had never seen in anyone else. BUT SHE WAS HALF-CAT! Lol
Three: Saimouri, the name, is the literal translation from the Japanese. They rendered it as Seymour.
Four: In this fic, Seymour has met Auron. That’s why he’s Ultra-suspicious of Auron being *alive*. Seymour knows the truths about the final battle against Sin- that even if you do escape alive, there is little chance you will remain so, whether due to injuries or suicidal feelings (the whole sin-cycle is incredibly depressing, doncha think!?)
Five: Sorry if Seymour’s a bit OOC. But the way I see it, he’s changed over the years (god help anyone who hasn’t changed from the age of seventeen to the age of twenty-eight!)
Six: the way Behel talks. It’s meant to be sort of fragmented, like Ronso beast talk but a bit less. The way I see it, Ronso’s don’t talk like that because they have bad grammar, they just cant make some sounds because of the shape of their jaws (hence Behel being able to express herself fully when human)
Seven: Yes, I had Graav be the son of Averus. Why? Because Graav always beat me. Always. And it really annoyed me. That’s not a very good reason, is it?
Eight: When Behel ‘chooses’ what she looks like at the end, I’m guessing that’s how it works, I don’t know. But they have to choose what they look like really. Otherwise, How does Auron age?
Nine: Everyone who’s read this- Can you all try to write a Belgemine fic? She seems like she might have a good story that none of us know about. Lol she’s my favourite character and there is literally *nothing* on this site about her. THANKS!
AND TEN (THE MOST IMPORTANT!): I THANK ALL OF YOU FOR READING! Considering I think this is one of my worse fics, the support has been great! Thanks!