It was colder up in the mountain than they expected; Zanarkand
was farther north, but Zanarkand never saw the sort of winds that
howled along the mountainside all too often. Those who wore the
dainty clothing of the noble class died first. The other
survivors, not knowing what else to do, pushed the bodies from
the mountain when the summoners were too weak to stand.
The survivors of Zanarkand called themselves the Faithful because
they trusted in Yu Yevon. They knew that if they looked northward
they could see the distant ruins of the great city. They never
looked northward and, when they found that the view of the world
beyond Gagazet was just as frightening, they looked only at each
other. They would huddle close and study the face of the person
in front of them. It didn't matter who the person was as long as
they were warm enough to keep themselves and those nearest alive
through the night.
They would sing each morning until Yu Yevon returned. It became a
way of quickly picking out which of the cold bodies would only
get colder. Those who had lain long enough to become unsent would
look northward in tight-lipped silence until the thin, limping
summoners could send them. They had seen the fiends that had been
the leisurely nobles and understood that their only choice was to
accept the sending or walk down the mountain path to join the
Sometimes, they talked of Yunalesca and Zaon or of the nine
Faithful who sailed with Yevon across the great, unknown ocean.
They talked about Lenne's beautiful voice or the way that the
lights had flickered before the horizon turned to flames and
wind-carried ashes. They mostly talked of Yevon and reassured
themselves that he would come back for them.
When Yevon did return, they did not ask what had happened to
those that went with him. No one asked what happened to young
Valefor or the younger Bahamut. Nor did they ask about the fates
of the three sisters or the lovers Shiva and Ifrit. And there
were no questions about Yojimbo or quiet Ixion who, with tears in
his eyes, had watched the city burn. They asked about Zanarkand.
They begged him to take them back to the city; back to a place
that wasn't so cold that life and death were decided in the space
of a few degrees. He listened to their pleas and, when they could
no longer find the words, their weak and broken sobbing.
He was gentle when he pushed each of the trembling survivors to
the mountainside and, with those gentle hands, ripped away all
that separated them from the nine singing Fayth that had once
walked beside him. It was cold in the mountains, colder than they
expected, and the stony face of Gagazet was colder still. The
Faithful no longer felt the cold when they walked along the
lighted streets and swam in the warm waters of their dreams.