It All Began When...
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The elderly Mithra smiled down at the boy, almost menacingly so. “What do you say, sonny?” she asked, trailing one of her nails around the top of a purple crystal ball. “Five gil to see the futurrrre!”

He looked up at the fortuneteller with wide, curious eyes. “Really? Well… okay, if you say so.” He dug through a pocket on his coat, producing five coins – roughly half his allowance for the week. Hesitantly, he held his hand over the table, and reluctantly dropped the coins before her.

She parted her lips, still smiling, and quickly snatched up the boy’s money. “Sold!” she said with a quiet cackle. With theatric flourish, she began passing her hands over the surface of the crystal ball, staring intently at it.

“Ah yes,” she said softly. “The mists of time begin to part… hmm-hmm, yours is an interesting tale, young Hume.” She trilled an inaudible purr, arching her eyebrows. “I can’t yet say what you’ll make of yourself, or of the worrrrld around us…”

“W-what can you tell me, though?” he asked in a small, timid voice.

“Ah-haaa… therrrre is something. Oh!” She shifted her eyes to him, amused. “It seems there is something for you today, little one.”

“Ye… yes??”

She tapped the ball with her index finger. “Something will happen today that will change your life.”

“What is it?” he insisted, his voice rising. “What’s going to happen??”

“Look behind you.”

The Hume whirled around, anxious and anticipating; anticipating what, exactly, he didn’t know. When all that met his eyes was the fountain and square of Windurst Woods, looking exactly like it had when he had arrived, his face scrunched up in confusion. “Huh?”

After a few seconds of fruitless searching, he turned around. “Hey, wh-what do you mean? I don’t see any… huh?!”

He blinked, rubbed his eyes; the stand was there, but the fortuneteller was gone.

“What just happened?” he muttered to himself.

Without warning, the fortuneteller popped up from beneath the stand, stopping to adjust her robe. “Sorrrry about that, I had to deposit your gil.”

“Oh,” he said, the past few seconds suddenly making more sense to him. “So, what did you mean?”

The Mithra shook her head, her faintly blonde hair bobs bouncing lightly. “I cannot say, except that it involves that fountain somehow.”

The boy ‘hmm’ed quietly, looking down at his feet for a moment. He then looked back up at her. “Well, thanks anyway, ma’am! I better get going!”

“Farewell, young one!” said the fortuneteller, waving to him as he departed.

He scampered across the square, dodging its many occupants as he approached the fountain. Nearing it, he slid to a stop and craned his head over its clear blue water, staring into it questioningly.

“I wonder what this has to do with anything,” he wondered aloud.

“I’ll get it!”

The boy turned around in time to see a sheet of paper drift by his feet, carried by small gusts of wind. He almost had time to notice the Mithra cub running towards him, trying to retrieve it.

“What the-” he began; she slid off-balance trying to stop, and crashed into him. “Aaah!” Her fiery red hair briefly obscured his vision as he was pushed backwards into the fountain.

He frantically flailed about, searching for anything to grab onto as he dropped into the water; he landed with a loud splash, hitting the bottom hard as the water quickly soaked through his clothes. He sat up and quickly, unsteadily, moved to his feet, his back throbbing painfully.

“Ohhhh,” he groaned quietly, shaking his head. He sloshed his way towards dry land and wearily climbed out of the fountain, every inch of his clothes and hair dripping.

“I’m sorry… are you all rrrright?”

He sniffed, nodding slightly as he started to remove his shoes and socks. “Y-yeah, I think so…” he looked up at the speaker, and his eyes went wide.

She stood next to him, clad in the same black-and-yellow dress, tied in front by a red bow, that he’d seen a few of the other girls wearing. Her hair, half-red and half-orange, was slightly mussed, and she carried what looked like a shopping list in her hands.

Her eyes watched him with curiosity and concern, her tail bobbing gently. “I didn’t see you therrrre,” she said, staring sheepishly at her feet. “Sorry about that…”

He blushed, ignoring his aching back. “Um… it’s all right,” he stood up straight, “I… heh, I needed a bath anyway!” he said, with forced cheeriness as he started to wring the water out of his light brown hair.

“My motherrrr gave me this list, but the wind caught it and I tried to catch it,” she explained, her face still showing signs of anxiety.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said, “really. It was…” he searched for the right word, not wanting to upset the girl. “It was fun,” he blurted out, without really thinking about it.

“Rrrreally??” she asked, clearly surprised.


She threw a glance to her left, her ears twitching as if hearing something. “Oh, I should probably get going! I still need to pick up these items! But, um… well, it was nice meeting you! Bye!” She waved to him, and then turned and skittered off, away from the square.

“Wait… wait!” he called after her. “Um… what’s your name?”

He heard her shout something back to him, but it was lost in the crowd.


“Never got her name, she never got mine.”

Jumbo gave a bemused grunt. “And you never saw her again?”

Brown-hair shook his head. “Not to my knowledge, no.”

He heard a snickering to his right, and gave Redhead a puzzled look. “What is it?”

The Mithra smiled knowingly. “Oh, nothing…”